User talk:Tim Starling

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MediaWiki update on Wikipedia[edit]

Hi Tim, I figured you'd probably the best to ask this. When is the wmf branch of mediawiki going to be updated here, addressing a few tex bugs fixed in the main branch more than 6 months ago? Thanks for a quick reply. Nageh (talk) 21:41, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure. If you have the bug number I can probably backport it and deploy it right now. -- Tim Starling (talk) 18:27, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
It's all in this one line (bug fix 65160 with intermediate fix 65039). Thanks, Nageh (talk) 18:47, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Done. -- Tim Starling (talk) 05:36, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! Nageh (talk) 20:45, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

String functions[edit]

Hi, are you following bug 6455 (the request for string functions to be enabled)? People are wondering what your current take is on this. Thanks for any input,--Kotniski (talk) 08:00, 19 November 2010 (UTC)


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Hello, Tim Starling. You have new messages at ElockidAlternate's talk page.
Message added 13:47, 20 December 2010 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Creating a Poll w/ SecurePoll[edit]

I've got SecurePoll set up correctly as far as I am aware (on an external mediawiki site). Special:SecurePoll is a valid page and shows a list of no polls (since there are none). I'm wondering if you would be able to give me an idea of how to set up a poll. Thank you very much in advance Zathman (talk) 10:08, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for database disruption[edit]

Hi Tim, I just wanted to apologize for my script last night that caused problems with database lag. It had been running for a while without comment and I got complacent about watching for messages. It was completely my fault, and I'm sorry you had to intervene to shut it down. Thanks for all your hard work over the years and sorry again for the hassle. --CapitalR (talk) 04:20, 16 February 2011 (UTC)


Hello, Tim Starling. Please check your email; you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{ygm}} template.DieWeisseRose2 (talk) 23:05, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

National Museum of Australia[edit]

Are you anywhere near the National Museum of Australia in Canberra? I am looking for someone willing to get a photograph of this for an article. Thanks for your attention. SpinningSpark 20:59, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Cancel that request, Graeme Bartlett has now agreed to do this. SpinningSpark 21:33, 16 May 2011 (UTC)


Rainbow trout.png Per this. While I think enabling the function was a good idea, turning it on by default for everyone and neglecting to properly inform the community deserves a trout slap. Yoenit (talk) 14:33, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Yoenit, I expect the next time you go to the bathroom, you request consensus from the community, first :p –MuZemike 14:57, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
In addition: Tim did exactly what he's supposed to. It was announced on Foundation-l. This troutslap is out of place and seriously unwise. This was a highly requested feature, and I think Tim deserves flowers and candy for it. Heck, I'd have them delivered on snow white horses if that were available to me. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 17:36, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

I am sorry, but the "on by default setting" was definately not a request (I guess). Could the default values asap be changed to "no email"? I don't like any website that suddenly starts sending emails (and only turn it on for pedia's that I am not a regular contributor to) and have the feeling there are authorization/privacy rules (or best practices) involved... L.tak (talk) 20:14, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Having the feature is fine, having it default to "on" was an extremely poor choice, and having it default to "on" without letting everyone know about it is indeed troutable. I figured out what happened when I got my first e-mail, but other editors were freaked by suddenly getting communications they never asked for.

Please change the default to "off" and send around a notice letting people know that the new feature is available for their use. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:16, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Having it default to "on" seems the best way to let people know about it (for new users the option should be provided clearly next to the option for setting up wikimail - then for them it wouldn't matter much what the default was). But there certainly ought to be an option for disabling the messages contained prominently within the message itself (preferably a link directly to the user's preference page).--Kotniski (talk) 10:48, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

I am still learning how the decision making process is for this kind of things, and my comments on your page could be out of place here. Could link me to a page of the policy and the discussion on this kind of things in general and the discussion process in this particular case? Thanks! L.tak (talk) 22:14, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't know who made the decision to turn it on for everyone, but I, too, disagree with it. Since no one else has mentioned it here, I will note that a lot of users think this might be the reason that the page load times have been so long on Wikipedia for the last few days. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 22:59, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
There are a lot of links and more info, as well as discussion, on Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#Watchlist_emails. Nemo 19:11, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Question about enotif[edit]

Hi tim, I had a small question. Is it possible to disable email notification for bot posts? There's a ton of bot posts that aren't really that important, and would make things a bit more manageable. Any thoughts? Theo10011 (talk) 19:06, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps it could ignore posts marked as "minor", and bot posts could be marked as such. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:24, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
They already are, see Special:ListGroupRights. Just tell your bots to mark their edits as minor if you really want people not to be notified about them. Nemo 19:11, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Proposed Image Deletion[edit]

A deletion discussion has just been created at Category talk:Unclassified Chemical Structures, which may involve one or more orphaned chemical structures, that has you user name in the upload history. Please feel free to add your comments.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 23:08, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Account merging[edit]

Hello and sorry if you're the wrong person to contact, but I feel like I've tried everything else. I initially had 3 log-ins, Boleyn, Boleyn2 and Boleyn3, as I had read that you could only have around 8000 on each watchlist. For a year or so, I've only used User:Boleyn, but I've heard that you may be able to merge the three log-ins; this would mean that I can more easily monitor my edits and pages created, and so can others. I'd really appreciate it if you could help me, or help point me in the right direction. Thanks a lot, Boleyn (talk) 17:52, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Rangeblock limit[edit]

As the lead sysadmin of Wikipedia's cluster, your !votes and comments on whether this proposal is feasible enough would really be appreciated.Jasper Deng (talk) 04:56, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

File:Acetaminophen small.png listed for deletion[edit]

A file that you uploaded or altered, File:Acetaminophen small.png, has been listed at Wikipedia:Files for deletion. Please see the discussion to see why this is (you may have to search for the title of the image to find its entry), if you are interested in it not being deleted. Thank you. Sven Manguard Wha? 04:10, 23 August 2011 (UTC)


Tim, I emailed you. Tony (talk) 14:45, 7 October 2011 (UTC)


FYI: I didn't mean to do this, but now that I have mentioned you in a talk comment, I think I can exploit the situation and invite you to review what I said at User talk:Okeyes (WMF)#Security issues (permalink). Johnuniq (talk) 03:56, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Occitan wp[edit]

Tim, I posted a follow-up on Midom's Occitan tak page. Please do have a look. Regards, --— J. F. B. (me´n parlar) 21:31, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Citation templates[edit]

I have a vague recollection of something you wrote about the early days of Wikipedia, in which you questioned the wisdom (or lack of wisdom) of citation templates. Is my memory playing tricks on me? Jc3s5h (talk) 01:41, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

MSU Interview[edit]

Dear Tim Starling,

My name is Jonathan Obar user:Jaobar, I'm a professor in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University and a Teaching Fellow with the Wikimedia Foundation's Education Program. This semester I've been running a little experiment at MSU, a class where we teach students about becoming Wikipedia administrators. Not a lot is known about your community, and our students (who are fascinated by wiki-culture by the way!) want to learn how you do what you do, and why you do it. A while back I proposed this idea (the class) to the communityHERE, where it was met mainly with positive feedback. Anyhow, I'd like my students to speak with a few administrators to get a sense of admin experiences, training, motivations, likes, dislikes, etc. We were wondering if you'd be interested in speaking with one of our students.

So a few things about the interviews:

  • Interviews will last between 15 and 30 minutes.
  • Interviews can be conducted over skype (preferred), IRC or email. (You choose the form of communication based upon your comfort level, time, etc.)
  • All interviews will be completely anonymous, meaning that you (real name and/or pseudonym) will never be identified in any of our materials, unless you give the interviewer permission to do so.
  • All interviews will be completely voluntary. You are under no obligation to say yes to an interview, and can say no and stop or leave the interview at any time.
  • The entire interview process is being overseen by MSU's institutional review board (ethics review). This means that all questions have been approved by the university and all students have been trained how to conduct interviews ethically and properly.

Bottom line is that we really need your help, and would really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. If interested, please send me an email at (to maintain anonymity) and I will add your name to my offline contact list. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can post your nameHERE instead.

If you have questions or concerns at any time, feel free to email me at I will be more than happy to speak with you.

Thanks in advance for your help. We have a lot to learn from you.


Jonathan Obar --Jaobar — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:12, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Happy Adminship Anniversary[edit]

Wikipe-tan mopping.png
Wishing Tim Starling a very happy adminship anniversary on behalf of the Wikipedia Birthday Committee! Armbrust, B.Ed. Let's talkabout my edits? 03:03, 24 March 2012 (UTC)


I don't get it. :/ —Yutsi Talk/ Contributions ( 偉特 ) 04:23, 10 July 2012 (UTC)


In case you missed it, I've partly Scribbled a whole load of our citation templates. Here's some feedback from the experience so far:

  • The is missing. I've thought of a workaround, but I'm holding off implementing it in the hope that you can get us the table.
  • I've had to roll my own, not very good, replacement for mw.text.ref.
  • There are some indentation oddities in the code editor. It gets the indent level wrong for an end on occasion.
  • The code editor doesn't always come up when first creating a module. The widget to turn it on is completely missing, and an ordinary edit page appears.
  • Lua needs a way for code to detect whether it is being run for the PDF generator or for a displayed page. It's not good to have the goal of eliminating nested parser calls and then have to send lots of stuff through {{hide in print}} and {{only in print}} with nested parser calls. Another read-only variable in mw somewhere would be good.
  • There's no documentation for what happens to template parameters that have things like minus signs in their names. Yes, the answer is "nothing special". That needs to be documented, especially for the editor who is using the frame.args.woof form of table lookup.
  • The ipairs() function doesn't work on frame.args, because it isn't an ordinary table. This needs to be documented, or fixed, because it's the obvious choice to use for templates that can take variable numbers of unnamed arguments, such as {{main}}; and there's no clue whatsoever in the documentation that it will fail.

Uncle G (talk) 18:06, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Here's some more feedback:

  • The mw.url.encode() function is missing, as noted on The Pump. Presumably you can provide a C implementation that will be more efficient than a Lua implementation.
  • Some visual clue that "Script error" is a (sort of) hyperlink would be a good idea.
  • I haven't found a way to duplicate {{#ifexist:}} yet. That's a must. Detection of whether a page exists is used in templates as diverse as {{infobox country}} and {{article for deletion/dated}}.

Uncle G (talk) 09:07, 28 August 2012 (UTC)


People want to know about the profiling, by the way. See the link to M. Wales' user talk page above. Uncle G (talk) 09:07, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

That was me (I thought it better to filter the questions through Uncle G who may have been able to provide an answer for all I knew). However, now it's mentioned here, at Jimbo's talk I asked a question in response to Uncle G's report that India, copied over to test2, had its display time reduced from 50 to 20 seconds when using Uncle G's scribbled Template:Citation. I was wondering how much of the remaining 20 seconds is Template:Citation, and whether there is a stand-out bottleneck apart from Citation. Also, is the Scribunto/Lua in use at test2 running at full speed, or is it running with some kind of debug/profiling code? What I'm getting at is that when doing anything but a trivial edit, it is common to preview several times before save, and 20 seconds (admittedly for a full and complex article) is a long time when doing that. Johnuniq (talk) 10:03, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

On the subject of profiling: It would be useful to know whether there is any significant difference between the ways that Template:see also2 and family work and the ways that Template:notelist and Template:reflist work. The former call individual Lua functions, which then call common internal functions. The latter call the one functions with different arguments. Uncle G (talk) 23:23, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Lots of data in a module[edit]

On other subjects:

  • I've written a Guide to Scribbling incorporating some of my experience. I wavered between writing it here and writing it on test2:. I decided upon test2: because that's where people are currently asking questions.
  • I was expecting Module:convert to be the lorryload-of-data-in-Lua example that you could use. It turns out that it's Module:NYRepresentatives‎‎ (q.v.) instead. Enjoy. ☺

Uncle G (talk) 23:23, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Modules are not wikitext[edit]

When I edit a module, the edit page tells me a list of "Templates used on this page" and gives me a preview. The latter is redundant, and the former is simply impossible. What the former tells me is that something somewhere is wasting time putting module code through the wikitext parser, which is pointless given that it isn't wikitext. Uncle G (talk) 09:28, 1 September 2012 (UTC)


India is a featured article. In case you hadn't realized, I've been implementing and Scribbling the templates that it uses so that India is — bar the obvious CSS issues because of all the missing skins and JavaScript — as close to equivalent as can be. The infoboxes and navboxes are missing some fields, and Module:convert is simply erroneous, but we're close now. So you should soon be able to compare the behaviour of a large featured article with its Scribbled equivalent. Uncle G (talk) 10:24, 1 September 2012 (UTC)


The Scribunto test cases are turning up things that seem to be Cite.php problems rather than Scribunto or template problems. See Talk:Citation templates test#Functional Issue and the Technical Pump. Uncle G (talk) 10:26, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Test2 servers[edit]

Sometimes I get "my uploads" next to "my contributions". Sometimes I don't. This tells me that not all servers in the cluster are identically configured. Uncle G (talk) 09:24, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

re: #switch limits[edit]

I noticed your message on my zh.wp talk page. I don't know if I understand it correctly, does it mean I can still use these templates (like this) until Wikidata is enabled? Or should I stop using the templates immediately?

BTW, I will let zh:User:Tianyamm2 know the problem.--Stevenliuyi (talk) 07:52, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

You should stop using the templates immediately. -- Tim Starling (talk) 00:40, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

10K Wikipedia and Nupedia[edit]

Kudos for the work you've done saving early WP edits from the ether. I was wondering if you've made a comparable effort to recover the saved content of Nupedia, which would also be of historic importance. I also note that the early Nupedia-l and Wikipedia-l mailing lists preserved by Wayback Machine are highly imperfect, with numerous messages unsaved. It would be a historical goldmine to find a full backup of those archives. Drop me a line on my talk page or directly by email at if you'd rather. best, —Tim Davenport, Corvallis, OR /// Carrite (talk) 16:33, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Потерял пароль от учетки[edit]

Здравствуйте! Я потерял пароль от своей учетки: . Почту в настройках незадолго до этого я отключил. Можно ли вернуть мне доступ к аккаунту? Вообще потеря пароля была намеренной в связи с одним конфликтом в русской Википедии, но теперь я изменил свое решение - жаль терять учетку с таким вкладом. Заранее благодарю (talk) 04:27, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Quotes about MediaWiki[edit]

I'm doing research for Wikiquote, if anyone knows of interesting or pithy quotes about q:MediaWiki, please let me know at q:Talk:MediaWiki, it would be most appreciated! Thank you, — Cirt (talk) 17:19, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Invitation to join the Ten Year Society[edit]

Ten Year Society.svg

Dear Tim,

I'd like to extend a cordial invitation to you to join the Ten Year Society, an informal group for editors who've been participating in the Wikipedia project for ten years or more.

Best regards, — Hex (❝?!❞) 02:51, 11 November 2012 (UTC).

Removing COINS metadata[edit]

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Hello, Tim Starling. You have new messages at Template talk:Citation/core.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.


Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, Tim Starling. You have new messages at Template talk:Citation/core.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Analyzing template slowdown[edit]

A few weeks ago in Wiktionary's Grease Pit, you listed off how long it was taking certain pages to render, and how much certain templates were contributing to the rendering time. How does one get this kind of data? Is there a tool somewhere that lists where the rendering time comes from? --Yair rand (talk) 21:12, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Notice of change[edit]

Hello. You are receiving this message because of a recent change to the bureaucrat policy that alters what you were told at the time of your decratting. The effect of the change is that if you are inactive for a continuous three year period, you will be unable to request return of the bureaucrat user right. This includes inactive time prior to your decratting if you were decratted for inactivity and inactive time prior to the change in policy. Inactivity is defined as the absence of edits or logged actions. Until such time as you have been inactive for three years, you may request return of the tools at the bureaucrats' noticeboard. After you have been inactive for three years, you may seek return of the tools only through WP:RFB. Thank you. MBisanz talk 00:20, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Speedy deletion nomination of File:Tim Starling.jpg[edit]

A tag has been placed on File:Tim Starling.jpg requesting that it be speedily deleted from Wikipedia. This has been done under section F2 of the criteria for speedy deletion, because it is an image page for a missing or corrupt image or an empty image description page for a Commons-hosted image.

If you think that the page was nominated in error, contest the nomination by clicking on the button labelled "Click here to contest this speedy deletion" in the speedy deletion tag. Doing so will take you to the talk page where you can explain why you believe the page should not be deleted. You can also visit the page's talk page directly to give your reasons, but be aware that once a page is tagged for speedy deletion, it may be removed without delay. Please do not remove the speedy deletion tag yourself, but do not hesitate to add information that is consistent with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. Sfan00 IMG (talk) 14:55, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Pending changes minor interface glitch[edit]

Sorry to hassle you with trivia, but I'm not ready to make a bugzilla account, so since you're active at the moment (thanks for your reply to my performance question at WP:VPT#Scribunto deploy), here is something very minor I noticed a couple of hours ago.

I did an edit to the Scribunto reference manual (diff) in a section with title "frame.args". On saving, the pending changes banner displayed the expected message, but it said the following (with "%" instead of ".")

Return to page section named "frame%args".

The link in "frame%args" is correct (it goes to to the "frame.args" section), but it looks like there might be an escaping problem such that "." is displayed as "%".

BTW I've now done a lot of Lua coding (see Module talk:Convert), but only recently noticed how clever the module testing is, with its "preview" and debug console. Excellent stuff. Johnuniq (talk) 10:18, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Lua cites will speed edit-preview 2x faster[edit]

Hi, Wikid77 here. After years of plans, I have confirmed the CS1 Lua-based cites will allow most major articles to format, or edit-preview, 2x faster (or more if we optimize for Lua script features). Some major articles are unaffected (which use Template:Vcite instead, or have hard-coded <ref> tags). In case you missed the Lua topics at wp:PUMPTECH, several editors have submitted corrections to the wp:CS1-format Lua-based cite templates (using Module:Citation/CS1), and we are developing a transition plan:

I understand how a quick transition might seem great, but there are over 430 parameters in the wp:CS1-format cite templates, and we want to avoid people thinking Lua was "bad" to upset the format of many footnotes. I think more people can be persuaded to go with the flow and allow a Lua-cite transition for 2 weeks, with promises to fix any unforseen format differences during future weeks. Do you think Wikipedia needs the 2x-faster edit-preview sooner? Because Lua offers so much more than just "citation formatting", I was hoping we could stretch the transition as a slower, more-comfortable pace, without associating the word "Lua" with massive upsets and chaotic changes. Reply below if any comments. -Wikid77 (talk) 23:46, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Related: <>. No idea why this post was made to User talk:Jimbo Wales. --MZMcBride (talk) 10:16, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Lua requests[edit]

Hi Tim, I noticed you've made some fixes to the Lua scripts at Module:Citation, Module:Mw, and Module:String. I just created a request page for Lua scripts at Wikipedia:Lua requests and it'd be great if you could watchlist it to assist anyone who needs help with Lua scripts. Thanks! Dcoetzee 00:49, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

The search index update failed again this morning[edit]

There is a clear need to get the operators at WMF to take some responsibility for seeing that the index gets updated, and for notifying appropriate people when it does not. Thanks for your help earlier this week, but you shouldn't have to be contacted personally by the Wikignomes when this happens. It's time for procedures to be updated. Please talk to whoever it is who can get this problem ironed flat. Chris the speller yack 13:28, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Afraid I have to report that the search index failed to update overnight last night as well. The latest revisions I can find are about 06.00 on 20 March - so there has been one update since 13 March - and it's nearly another weekend ;-) - Arjayay (talk) 09:24, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
We expect things to improve now, due to -- Tim Starling (talk) 00:37, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Lifting the Gibraltar DYK restrictions[edit]

A couple of months ago, you opposed a proposal to lift the restrictions on Gibraltar-related DYKs, which were imposed in September 2012. Could you possibly clarify (1) under what conditions you would support a lifting of the restrictions, and (2) when you think it would be appropriate to lift the restrictions? Prioryman (talk) 20:06, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

File:Show preview.png missing description details[edit]

Dear uploader: The media file you uploaded as:

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If the information is not provided, the image may eventually be proposed for deletion, a situation which is not desirable, and which can easily be avoided.

If you have any questions, please see Help:Image page. Thank you. Theo's Little Bot (error?) 08:38, 14 April 2013 (UTC)


I edited in your sandbox by misstake. I reverted my edit directly after. -~~


I edited in your sandbox by misstake. I reverted my edit directly after. -(tJosve05a (c) 11:51, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Old CU logs[edit]

Hi Tim. Dominic filed a bug 2,5 years ago regarding old CU logs (bugzilla:27807). It looks like it's finally getting fixed, but Reedy asked where he could find the logs. Dominic had them at the time, but he said he lost them or so. Apparantly Reedy doesn't know where to look and Dominic claimed you could access them back then. If you still have those logs or know where to find them, could you please send them to Reedy maybe? Or maybe even resolving the bug itself when you have time? :) Thanks in advance anyway! With regards, Trijnsteltalk 16:37, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

November 2003[edit]

Around November 2003 the YYYY-MM-DD format was accepted for use in Wikipedia articles, and described as "in accordance with ISO 8601". I believe you were involved in implementing dynamic dating for this format.

I would like to know if the editors involved in adopting this format understood that ISO 8601 requires, without exception, that dates must be in the Gregorian calendar. I also wonder if the standard also requires obtaining agreement with data exchange partners (that would be readers in the case of Wikipedia) before using the standard for years before 1583. Any recollections you might have would be appreciated.

The question arises because an editor proposes that dates in the YYYY-MM-DD format may be interpreted as either Gregorian or Julian dates, according to context, which would necessarily involve repudiation of ISO 8601. Jc3s5h (talk) 17:33, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

@Jc3s5h: The standard says: "For the purposes of this International Standard the calendar based on these rules is referred to as the Gregorian calendar. The use of this calendar for dates preceding the introduction of the Gregorian calendar (also called the proleptic Gregorian calendar) should only be by agreement of the partners in information interchange." Since the partners in information interchange have not agreed to the use of the proleptic Gregorian calendar, it should not be used. This does indeed mean that the option labelled "ISO 8601" does not strictly refer to the date format defined in the standard, rather, it could be considered to be an extension of that standard. The date of an event in the calendar in use locally at the time of the event is useful information, and cannot be automatically derived from the proleptic Gregorian date. Practically speaking, the dynamic date feature can only format a single date string, so the only sensible way to handle the strings output by {{OldStyleDate}} etc. is to format each date separately and to allow the template to specify the calendar externally. -- Tim Starling (talk) 21:18, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I was more curious as to whether the editors who implemented this format had given thought to dates in historical articles or not. A present day example would be someone decides to create a table with dates using dates formatted like 1605-11-05. Did the originators think that such a date could be understood as a Julian date (provided article was about a topic where Julian dates would be the natural choice), or did the originators think such a date would have to be Gregorian, even if most historical sources would have used Julian for the date? I think the current "Manual of Style/Dates and numbers" would disallow representing a Julian date with that format, and the date would have to be written 5 Nov 1605 if brevity were required. Jc3s5h (talk) 22:12, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Linux compose key sequences[edit]

Hello — I noticed your recent edit to Compose key where you saved a dead external link by copying the target Web page from the Internet Archive to your own server. That's a generous and heroic solution, which also gives you a handy local copy, but I wonder, would it be better for the article to just refer to the Archive version directly using {{Wayback}}? as:

Linux Compose Key Sequences at the Wayback Machine (archived February 15, 2014)

 Unician   20:16, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

@Unician: Maybe, but IA is quite slow, and has that annoying header. Before the link went dead, I used that page often, and had it bookmarked, so I wanted a fast and reliable copy that I could continue to use. Also, IA is not indexed by the search engines, as far as I know, and I wanted to help out all Linux users, not just myself. You know, is just the personal web site of a former software engineer who was interested in Linux just over a decade ago [1] -- like except he's older than me. So I thought it made sense to pick up the torch. The old link and the new link are equivalent on the basis of WP:ELNO 11. -- Tim Starling (talk) 20:47, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for picking up that torch on behalf of all us Linux users. Face-smile.svg I was working on the assumption that the Internet Archive had a level of redundant high-availability infrastructure to keep the link working under adverse conditions, but that may be a bad assumption; I didn't even consider that your solution may be faster. Thanks again.  Unician   21:54, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

MfD nomination of Wikipedia:Unprotected MediaWiki messages[edit]

Wikipedia:Unprotected MediaWiki messages, a page you substantially contributed to, has been nominated for deletion. Your opinions on the matter are welcome; please participate in the discussion by adding your comments at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Unprotected MediaWiki messages and please be sure to sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~). You are free to edit the content of Wikipedia:Unprotected MediaWiki messages during the discussion but should not remove the miscellany for deletion template from the top of the page; such a removal will not end the deletion discussion. Thank you. — This, that and the other (talk) 06:50, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Implementation of Wikipedia:Bureaucrats#Bureaucrat activity requirements[edit]

You are receiving this message because you are listed at Wikipedia:Bureaucrats#Former bureaucrats. Writ Keeper pointed out that these users were not directly notified of the community discussion ending August 2015, where consensus was reached to remove the bureaucrat permissions of users who have not participated in bureaucrat activity for three years.

As of 1 October 2015, any former bureaucrat who has not participated in bureaucrat activity for three years that wishes their bureaucrat permissions restored will need to request reinstatement at RFB.

If you intend to return to bureaucrat activity, please request restoration of permissions before 1 October 2015 or three years passes since your last bureaucrat activity, whichever is later.

To assist with the implementation of this requirement, please see Wikipedia:Bureaucrat activity. Modeled after Wikipedia:Inactive administrators and similar to that process, the log page will be created on 1 September 2015. Bureaucrats who have not met the activity requirements as of that date will be notified by email (where possible) and on their talk page to advise of the pending removal.

If the notified user does not return to bureaucrat activity and the permissions are removed, they will need to request reinstatement at WP:RFB. Removal of access is procedural only, and not intended to reflect negatively upon the affected user in any way.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. –xenotalk 20:53, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

You appear to be eligible to vote in the current Arbitration Committee election. The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to enact binding solutions for disputes between editors, primarily related to serious behavioural issues that the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the ability to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail. If you wish to participate, you are welcome to review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. For the Election committee, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 08:51, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

#time and year-only dates[edit]

Dear colleague! The code e.g. {{#time:Y-m-d|1973-02-14}} works fine: it returns the expected 1973-02-14. But the {{#time:Y-m-d|1973-00-00}} returns 1972-11-30 instead of the expected 1973-00-00. I see here a problem, because not all dates of births and deaths on the Wikidata are complete, and many dates can not be complete (especially for antique persons). Can you change the #time to solve this problem? Gamliel Fishkin 19:32, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

No, the date parser is inside PHP and HHVM, written in C, and it's very difficult to change any details in it. It took about a year of bugging the maintainer to get him to fix a DoS vulnerability in it, even though I supplied a patch. There's not much we can do short of rewriting it in PHP. -- Tim Starling (talk) 21:19, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Extended confirmed protection[edit]

Padlock-blue.svgHello, Tim Starling. This message is intended to notify administrators of important changes to the protection policy.

Extended confirmed protection (also known as "30/500 protection") is a new level of page protection that only allows edits from accounts at least 30 days old and with 500 edits. The automatically assigned "extended confirmed" user right was created for this purpose. The protection level was created following this community discussion with the primary intention of enforcing various arbitration remedies that prohibited editors under the "30 days/500 edits" threshold to edit certain topic areas.

In July and August 2016, a request for comment established consensus for community use of the new protection level. Administrators are authorized to apply extended confirmed protection to combat any form of disruption (e.g. vandalism, sock puppetry, edit warring, etc.) on any topic, subject to the following conditions:

  • Extended confirmed protection may only be used in cases where semi-protection has proven ineffective. It should not be used as a first resort.
  • A bot will post a notification at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard of each use. MusikBot currently does this by updating a report, which is transcluded onto the noticeboard.
Please review the protection policy carefully before using this new level of protection on pages. Thank you.
This message was sent to the administrators' mass message list. To opt-out of future messages, please remove yourself from the list. 17:49, 23 September 2016 (UTC)


Apparently today is your day. Thanks for your contributions, which enable all of our contributions. Chris Troutman (talk) 00:57, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

Two-Factor Authentication now available for admins[edit]


Please note that TOTP based two-factor authentication is now available for all administrators. In light of the recent compromised accounts, you are encouraged to add this additional layer of security to your account. It may be enabled on your preferences page in the "User profile" tab under the "Basic information" section. For basic instructions on how to enable two-factor authentication, please see the developing help page for additional information. Important: Be sure to record the two-factor authentication key and the single use keys. If you lose your two factor authentication and do not have the keys, it's possible that your account will not be recoverable. Furthermore, you are encouraged to utilize a unique password and two-factor authentication for the email account associated with your Wikimedia account. This measure will assist in safeguarding your account from malicious password resets. Comments, questions, and concerns may be directed to the thread on the administrators' noticeboard. MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 20:33, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

A new user right for New Page Patrollers[edit]

Hi Tim Starling.

A new user group, New Page Reviewer, has been created in a move to greatly improve the standard of new page patrolling. The user right can be granted by any admin at PERM. It is highly recommended that admins look beyond the simple numerical threshold and satisfy themselves that the candidates have the required skills of communication and an advanced knowledge of notability and deletion. Admins are automatically included in this user right.

It is anticipated that this user right will significantly reduce the work load of admins who patrol the performance of the patrollers. However,due to the complexity of the rollout, some rights may have been accorded that may later need to be withdrawn, so some help will still be needed to some extent when discovering wrongly applied deletion tags or inappropriate pages that escape the attention of less experienced reviewers, and above all, hasty and bitey tagging for maintenance. User warnings are available here but very often a friendly custom message works best.

If you have any questions about this user right, don't hesitate to join us at WT:NPR. (Sent to all admins).MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 13:48, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

ArbCom Elections 2016: Voting now open![edit]

Scale of justice 2.svgHello, Tim Starling. Voting in the 2016 Arbitration Committee elections is open from Monday, 00:00, 21 November through Sunday, 23:59, 4 December to all unblocked users who have registered an account before Wednesday, 00:00, 28 October 2016 and have made at least 150 mainspace edits before Sunday, 00:00, 1 November 2016.

The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to impose binding solutions to disputes between editors, primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the authority to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail.

If you wish to participate in the 2016 election, please review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. Mdann52 (talk) 22:08, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

ArbCom Elections 2016: Voting now open![edit]

Scale of justice 2.svgHello, Tim Starling. Voting in the 2016 Arbitration Committee elections is open from Monday, 00:00, 21 November through Sunday, 23:59, 4 December to all unblocked users who have registered an account before Wednesday, 00:00, 28 October 2016 and have made at least 150 mainspace edits before Sunday, 00:00, 1 November 2016.

The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to impose binding solutions to disputes between editors, primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the authority to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail.

If you wish to participate in the 2016 election, please review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 22:08, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

Are you willing to ruin your reputation? :-)[edit]

I'm looking for somebody, who is kind of brave and can spare some small amount of time to help me in putting [2] into practice. Would you like to help me or do you know somebody, who could do that? -- seth (talk) 21:53, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Administrators' newsletter - February 2017[edit]

News and updates for administrators from the past month (January 2017). This first issue is being sent out to all administrators, if you wish to keep receiving it please subscribe. Your feedback is welcomed.

Admin mop.PNG Administrator changes

Gnome-colors-list-add.svg NinjaRobotPirateSchwede66K6kaEaldgythFerretCyberpower678Mz7PrimefacDodger67
Gnome-colors-list-remove.svg BriangottsJeremyABU Rob13

Green check.svg Guideline and policy news

Octicons-tools.svg Technical news

  • When performing some administrative actions the reason field briefly gave suggestions as text was typed. This change has since been reverted so that issues with the implementation can be addressed. (T34950)
  • Following the latest RfC concluding that Pending Changes 2 should not be used on the English Wikipedia, an RfC closed with consensus to remove the options for using it from the page protection interface, a change which has now been made. (T156448)
  • The Foundation has announced a new community health initiative to combat harassment. This should bring numerous improvements to tools for admins and CheckUsers in 2017.

Scale of justice 2.svg Arbitration

Nuvola apps knewsticker.png Obituaries

  • JohnCD (John Cameron Deas) passed away on 30 December 2016. John began editing Wikipedia seriously during 2007 and became an administrator in November 2009.

13:38, 1 February 2017 (UTC)


Hello, Tim Starling. Please check your email; you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{ygm}} template. RadiX 17:02, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

ArbCom 2017 election voter message[edit]

Scale of justice 2.svgHello, Tim Starling. Voting in the 2017 Arbitration Committee elections is now open until 23.59 on Sunday, 10 December. All users who registered an account before Saturday, 28 October 2017, made at least 150 mainspace edits before Wednesday, 1 November 2017 and are not currently blocked are eligible to vote. Users with alternate accounts may only vote once.

The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to impose binding solutions to disputes between editors, primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the authority to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail.

If you wish to participate in the 2017 election, please review the candidates and submit your choices on the voting page. MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 18:42, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Portals & Wikipedia-History[edit]

Hello Tim, by I found that you were involved concerning Portals in the early times. There must have been some consensus to start with portals I think. For de:WP I collected this in de:Kategorie:Wikipedia:Entwicklungsgeschichte von Redaktionen Portalen und Wikipediaprojekten. Please read this discussion. I think for Portals & Wikipedia-History there should be available a little more knowledge for the upcoming WP-Generations. Best --Tom (talk) 16:24, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

@Tom: I think there was only a brief informal discussion prior to the creation of Portal:Cricket in May 2005, although people were familiar with the idea from German Wikipedia. Then Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Cricket (portal) and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Portal:Cricket followed, the second in particular makes it clear that it was the first proper examination of the concept on en.wp. An hour after the closure of the AfD, the discussion was started to create a separate namespace, now at Wikipedia:Portal namespace (setting-up debate). I ran the initialisation script in response to the conclusion of that debate in August. -- Tim Starling (talk) 08:15, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
@Tim Starling: Heavy thx + wow wish I had the same excellent memory as you seem to have it. You probably suspect why I ask for it? It's because "There is no expiration date for consensus" and Portal:Contents is a central point of wikipedia ... hm. Nobody seems to care about it, because the knowledge has been lost. (It's nearly the same in Germany). It should be mentioned in Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/RfC: Ending the system of portals and who else could do that better? Have a nice day & thx again. --Tom (talk) 09:03, 22 April 2018 (UTC)

Request to change Username[edit]

Hi user:Tim Starling am kindly requesting if you can help me change my user name to user:Mashi8563 this is because I only intended to use this user name to make minor Wikipedia edits back in 2016. But I have found Wikipedia to be a great platform to contribute to and too often I edit here and now want my name to be anonymously. However I would love to have my previous contributions on user:Joseph Kalimbwe to remain as is.

Best regards Joseph Kalimbwe (talk) 08:07, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

@Joseph Kalimbwe: Use Special:GlobalRenameRequest. -- Tim Starling (talk) 10:01, 29 July 2018 (UTC)