Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)

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The technical section of the village pump is used to discuss technical issues about Wikipedia. Bug reports and feature requests should be made in Phabricator (see how to report a bug). Bugs with security implications should be reported differently (see how to report security bugs).

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2 articles with the same name ?[edit]

I've just come across List of deceased hip hop artists and List оf dесеаsеd hiр hор аrtists - They have the same title yet the content's somewhat different (The talkpages for both are completely different) so are the names somehow different as I can't spot any differences between the 2... Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 04:31, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

The second version has many Cyrillic letters instead of Latin letters. You can for example copy-paste the name to the "Characters" field at PrimeHunter (talk) 04:52, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I marked the second one for speedy deletion using a rationale that seemed reasonable to me. – Jonesey95 (talk) 05:03, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
PrimeHunter - Bloody hell how on earth did you know that!?, I spent about 5 minutes clicking between the tabs like an idiot trying to figure what on earth I was missing! Face-grin.svg,
Jonesey95 - Ah thanks I was gonna tag it after but wanted to find out the issue first,
Well least it's not a bug! :), Thanks for both of your helps, –Davey2010Talk 05:10, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
If you look at the source of this discussion, you may see a difference in how the characters render. Some fonts will show them as the same, and some will show them as different. Mine uses a monospace font of some sort, which shows the Cyrillic letters as smaller and "thinner", as if they are underfed. – Jonesey95 (talk) 05:17, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Ah yes the other one has all letters & stuff - I had never even gave it a thought about the Latin stuff, I'm still using the prev 'pedia font so that could be why there wasn't a noticable difference, Ah well thanks for your help :), –Davey2010Talk 06:05, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

There were also pages in the main namespace that had the same title as a non-main namespace page due to T87645. All such pages were already deleted by Topbanana. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 23:02, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Not the same issue at all. T87645 concerned pages in mainspace which should have been in another namespace, but where the namespace value had been set to zero and instead the namespace name formed part of the page name. This thread concerns pagenames that are in the correct namespace, whose page names are composed of characters which resemble each other but are different. In the redlink above, the page name is "List оf dесеаsеd hiр hор аrtists"; and the characters that I've underlined are the Cyrillic letters а (U+0430), е (U+0435), о (U+043E), р (U+0440), с (U+0441). --Redrose64 (talk) 12:49, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Peer review bot down - please help![edit]

Hi technically aware Wikipedia village pump (Technical) denizens, I'm one of the regular peer review mop (non administrator) handlers. We have a crisis brewing... the bot that closes old reviews (PeerReviewBot) has stopped working, last edit June 19. This is a very time-consuming and labourious task to be done manually that was previously easily automated. The bot is owned by CBM who is mostly retired.

Is it possible to either get the bot started again, or create a similar bot that does the same thing? Yours very gratefully, --Tom (LT) (talk) 23:09, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

It might be worth asking at WP:BOTREQ. I notice that the bot's userpage says the code is available on Toolserver SVN, which no longer exists - I wonder if it was backed up somewhere. — This, that and the other (talk) 23:11, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I am retired from running bots. The bot's source code is available on wikimedia tool labs from anyone who has access to the VeblenBot project, i.e. Ruhrfisch and possibly me. Unfortunately, although I have made several public requests for someone to take over the bot, nobody stepped up to take over. If anyone is interested, I can see if I can still log in to email them the bot code. It is not a difficult project to code from scratch, in any case. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:22, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
@Fhocutt (WMF): I know you got Citation bot up and running--is there scope for you to poke at this bot also? --Izno (talk) 05:47, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
If there's no one to take over CBM's code, I'll have a go at this. I don't use Perl, so I won't re-use that code, but it's a fairly simple set of tasks. Relentlessly (talk) 17:20, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks very much Relentlessly, this is much appreciated by me and the many other users who use peer review. --Tom (LT) (talk) 06:12, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Notification look change[edit]

I'm not sure if this is good or other, at this point. But mentioning it. I have Modern skin. That you-can't-miss-it red notifications now just very subtly changes from a white 0 to white numbers when there are notifications. It's so subtle you don't notice it unless you are looking for it. Maybe that's not all bad. It might have something to do with the latest Tech News mention, "Echo notification icons in MonoBook will look more like other icons in the theme." — Maile (talk) 23:52, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

It needs to be a lot brighter. I'm sure there's an WP:ACCESS issue having it so pale. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 13:46, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
I also use Modern skin. I actually acquired five new notifications yesteday at different times without noticing any of them. To me this is bad. I consider my notifications a vital part of my day, since some require response or action, or retaliation. (sigh...this constant tinkering..). Fylbecatulous talk 16:56, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
See WT:Echo#Notification icon colours. The techniques there are only tested in MonoBook, but may work in Modern. --Redrose64 (talk) 00:11, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Yep, that works. Thanks. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 20:51, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you all. Yes this works for me with the Modern skin. Excellent. ツ Fylbecatulous talk 12:39, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The Modern skin is only supported by volunteers. But since there are no volunteers that actually maintain it, in reality, especially when it comes to integrating with other extensions, it's simply not supported. I therefor wouldn't advise anyone to use it. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:19, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I really am not complaining and have given my gratitude for this fix. Some years ago I had LASIK which was a delight, but it did leave me glare sensitive. I have my television brightness and contrast toned way down or I see a haze for hours after viewing. The Modern skin is easiest for my eyes. If it became too quirky or deprecated I would switch. Thanks again. ツ Fylbecatulous talk 22:01, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

image tidy-up[edit]

I got into a pickle with File:Men of Men - bookcover.jpg, can someone remove the last two updates ? Thanks GrahamHardy (talk) 17:03, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Which is the correct version, GrahamHardy?Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 17:06, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
the 2nd one up, 3rd one down, can the last two updates just be removed ? Thanks GrahamHardy (talk) 17:09, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I've requested the removal. I assume that the current image is the correct one.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 17:54, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Done. Nyttend (talk) 21:00, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Misleading expiry time for protection[edit]

Follow-up to Category talk:Wikipedia pages with incorrect protection templates#Bot automation on it's way

This does not affect users who have set their local time zone to UTC.

If you protect a page, and instead of selecting a duration you select "other time" and enter a date and time, that is taken as UTC. But if you revisit the "change protection" for that page, and look at the "Expires" item, it says "Existing expiry time" with a date and time that are in your local time zone. If you wish to extend a current protection by, say, 24 hours, you need to be careful how you do it.

Assume a user in New York (UTC-5), they might see "Existing expiry time: 16:00, November 22, 2015". If in the "Other time" box, they enter "16:00, November 23, 2015" and Confirm it, then they revisit the "change protection" for that page, it says "Existing expiry time: 11:00, November 23, 2015" so they actually extended it by 19 hours, not 24. To get a 24-hour extension on the original expiry, they actually need to set "Other time" to "21:00, November 23, 2015". --Redrose64 (talk) 14:55, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

@Redrose64:This should be reported at Phabricator - see Wikipedia:Bug reports and feature requests. I see no reason to discuss this here. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 22:17, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I know that it's ultimately a phab: thing, but searching phab for existing tickets is a pain. Many people post here initially even when it's a MedaiWiki software issue, since they know that at some point one of the phab regulars will come along and say "ah, that's ticket T987654 which has been open for three years". Saves filing a redundant ticket only to get it closed as "resolved, duplicate" which doesn't help much. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:16, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
More details, Redrose64. I've always had my time set to UTC, but just now I changed it to a random Australian time zone (how did Currie, Tasmania, population 746, end up as the reference point for a time zone area?) and protected a userspace page until 2015-12-15, 23:12. I then unprotected it, changed my time to America/Denver, and added the same protection, and the expiry time was the same. However, the protection log appears differently on the protection page — when I was in Tasmania, the latest log entry was

(change visibility) 07:44, 24 November 2015 Nyttend (talk | contribs | block) protected User:Nyttend/ZIP [Edit=Allow only administrators] (expires 10:12, 16 December 2015) [Move=Allow only administrators] (expires 10:12, 16 December 2015) (Protecting until 2015-12-15, 23:12 with time zone set as America/Denver) (hist | change)

Now that I'm in Colorado, the same line reads

(change visibility) 13:44, 23 November 2015 Nyttend (talk | contribs | block) protected User:Nyttend/ZIP [Edit=Allow only administrators] (expires 16:12, 15 December 2015) [Move=Allow only administrators] (expires 16:12, 15 December 2015) (Protecting until 2015-12-15, 23:12 with time zone set as America/Denver) (hist | change)

If you view the section of my contributions that includes those entries, you'll see the same dates and times regardless of whether your time zone is Dar es Salaam or Yap (I just checked), but the protection log changes with your time zone. This shouldn't be the case, especially given its effect on protection time changes: all the logs should be in UTC, so that everyone sees the same thing in all cases, and so that protection times aren't accidentally changed. Nyttend (talk) 20:54, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

TOC right[edit]


{{TOC right}} doesn't seem to be working for me. @Funandtrvl: looks like they have tried to fix it recently? I'm on Chrome in case it's a browser issue. GiantSnowman 20:41, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

On which article(s)? In what way is it not working? --Redrose64 (talk) 20:51, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Well it's not displaying. GiantSnowman 12:44, 23 November 2015 (UTC)


  • E5 E6
It works for me, for example on Alien, both logged in and out, Vector skin, Chrome 46.0.2490.86 on Windows Vista. Please provide the same details. I see a box to the right of this section with E1 above the box and E2 E3 E4 E5 E6 inside the box. Which of this do you see? PrimeHunter (talk) 13:16, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
It's working for me now, but I'm on a different computer/browser. I'll check again when I'm back at home. GiantSnowman 13:22, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm back home and it's displaying fine. Whatever bug it was has been fixed. GiantSnowman 17:56, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

User sandbox appears in google search[edit]

Got a bit of a surprise just now. When I searched Michael Katovich "Studies in Symbolic Interaction" Volume 33 in google, the seventh of 185 results was the sandbox I'm working in, User:JG66/sandbox White Album reception (where Katovich's article appears as a source). I'm all for transparency on Wikipedia, but – boy, I just didn't expect a sandbox to come up! Is it quite normal, for these to appear in a google search? JG66 (talk) 04:57, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

This isn't new, back in the old days if a page could not stand deletionists I would keep working on the subpage version ha-ha. It takes more for non-main space stuff to show up though. B137 (talk) 05:01, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
There is an outstanding request to change this in the configuration. In the mean time. {{userspace draft}}, that's one of the reasons we have that template. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 06:12, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
JG66, it's quite normal, and you can meet the nicest people that way 718smiley.svg The {{NOINDEX}} and {{NOINDEX|visible=yes}} templates work nicely too. The visible parameter lets other editors know the page is probably not going to be indexed. These templates are not guaranteed to be effective. PS: Pinging TheDJ too. Cheers! {{u|Checkingfax}} {Talk} 06:41, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks to you all for the replies, especially those options, TheDJ and Checkingfax. Still can't get over the shock I got seeing "User:JG66/sandbox …" come up in google – scared the bloomin' life out of me! JG66 (talk) 07:15, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
I use {{user sandbox}}, which sets __NOINDEX__ as default; if you want the sandbox page to be indexed, you can override that with |noindex=no --Redrose64 (talk) 10:28, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Redrose64. {{userspace draft}} seems to work, actually. Fingers crossed. JG66 (talk) 11:28, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

The configuration change was finally deployed as well. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 17:59, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Could we NOINDEX File: namespace pages that have non-free images?[edit]

Previous discussion from 2008 (no consensus): Template talk:Non-free media#Adding NOINDEX

In light of the above discussion about NOINDEX, I'd like to present an idea I've had. Currently, Google Images and other image searches search all images hosted on Wikipedia and create thumbnails for them. This is not always the desired behavior on our part, because we host non-free files as non-free precisely not to make them reusable. Our non-free license templates warn the user that: "Any other uses of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, may be copyright infringement" (emphasis added). While the end user has the ultimate responsibility if they chose to reuse these images outside Wikipedia, we should not promote reuse by letting search engines index our non-free files. It serves neither the copyright holder nor Wikipedia's purposes.

The technical aspect of it is to add the NOINDEX switch to all non-free license templates (similarly to how it's used in sandbox templates; see above discussion). I'm not technical minded enough to understand what the (dis)advantages would be from that point of view, so I'd like the Village pump to consider those first, before we start thinking about if this is a good candidate for a new policy. Some questions that come to my mind are:

  1. There are legitimate reasons for accessing the file page through an external search engine (finding information about why a file is used on Wikipedia; as a principle Wikipedia is mostly open; etc.) and this would be blocked. Then again, some pages are deliberately NOINDEX because of concerns about illegitimate outside use (eg. BLP talk pages)
  2. I don't know how image thumbnails on search engines are indexed. Are they derived from the article pages where the images are displayed or from the image description pages, or both? (From both, according to the previous discussion. Opinions as to whether the user should be pointed to image description page that displays the license, or to the article it's used in (which is the result of NOINDEXING) differed. Finnusertop (talk | guestbook | contribs) 12:21, 23 November 2015 (UTC))
  3. None of us know how search engines' algorithms work, so it's not easy to come up with 'negative' search engine optimization (SEO) to hide our images to the best of our ability. If I google " +bigcompanyname +logo", I'll find the image I want for my hypothetical illegitimate reuse, but I don't know why it was returned in search results.

My understanding is that this is not implemented already simply because no one ever thought of it, not because it would be a bad idea (policy-wise, usability-wise, technically). Finnusertop (talk | guestbook | contribs) 11:32, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Seems to be totally unnecessary. Google will index any image, presumably under fair use. What they do is up to them. Wikipedia does not have to attempt to control reuse of material, apart from stating that it is not free. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:37, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, Graeme Bartlett. To emphasize: I'm not worried about reuse by Google per se (there are court cases that say Google's reuse of images as thumbnails is okay), but of reuse by people who find our hosted non-free images with Google search. "Wikipedia does not have to attempt to control reuse of material", yet for text materials we do. BLP talk pages, drafts and sandboxes are hidden from search engines, even though our license allows the reuse of those materials. As for non-free files, our license does not allow reuse, so I am confused as to why should we make it technically easy. This could also be a legal protection (out of our fair-use claims many are admittedly invalid); compare this with the obvious protection against legal threats concerning libel material that our noindexing of BLP talk pages offers. Finnusertop (talk | guestbook | contribs) 11:50, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
You're overthinking this. People constantly improperly fork and reuse the actual article content here repeatedly and without a thought as to the copyright violation. Images are just another example and not something that requires extra work to protect. Google books has entire "ebooks" that are literally nothing more than improper Wikipedia quoting which makes it a mess to figure out whether a fact is true or not when people go into circular sourcing. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 11:57, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
The difference is that non-free content we host is not "our content" whereas Wikipedia articles are. If someone illegitimately reuses non-free content they got off Wikipedia they are violating the copyright holder's right and we are 'complicit' in that. If someone reuses Wikipedia article text without proper attributing they are breaching the terms of our CC BY-SA 3.0 license, which is not quite the same thing. It's misguided to think that images are not different; they are and that's why we have the non-free content criteria for files that are different from the non-free content criteria in general (text quotations are fair-use, but we deliberately treat them with less scrutiny, see WP:NFC#Text). Finnusertop (talk | guestbook | contribs) 12:21, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

If we take the whole site out of Google, we probably don't have a vandalism problem anymore either ! Google indexing is NOT the way to solve problems. If we are so concerned about Fair use images, we should just totally remove them. It's the only way to actually solve the problem of secondary reuse of non-free content. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 18:09, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

We NOINDEX pages not to prevent their reuse, but to make them less visible. We don't need people being attracted from the outside to "legal threats concerning libel material" (the reason for NOINDEXing the BLP talk pages). If some fair use claim is incorrect, we want the issue noticed and brought to our attention. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 22:29, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't see the problem here. Wikipedia/WMF doesn't pick up liability for copyright infringement by a 3rd party, and has no obligation to take any steps to prevent or limit 3rd parties from infringing copyright, beyond making sure that the copyright status is correctly reflected when the image is viewed on WP itself (i.e. on the image's own page). NOINDEX makes perfect sense for sandbox pages and BLP talk pages, but I strongly oppose any use of it for primary content as being wildly inappropriate and overall harmful. The idea of a non-searchable or less than fully searchable encyclopaedia is frankly laughable, and that includes all images now that the world has image searching technology. --Murph9000 (talk) 10:47, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Not seeing a problem here either. I also wonder whether the NOINDEXing would also work; policy demands that non-free images be used in articles, so the file would be indexed anyway by way of the article it's posted on. I also fail to see why the lack of reusability is a problem that needs removal from Google's indexes. Google indexes a lot of images that are non-free. And non-free status does not prevent always reuse, too.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 10:59, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Excluding bot edits from watchlist[edit]

Help! I am desperately trying to exclude bot edits from my watchlist, which is being flooded with notifications of delivery of a mass message about the Arbcom election. I check the "hide bots" box and click "Go" on the next line, but next time I look the box is unchecked again, and the flood of mass-message notifications continues. It isn't a caching issue, I have tried purging the page. JohnCD (talk) 17:53, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

You can permanently remove bot edits from your watchlist by going into your Preferences, then the Watchlist tab. Look under "Advanced Options". Resolute 18:14, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! It seems that checking the boxes in the "Watchlist options" box on the watch-list only affects the search you immediately do by clicking "Go". I found that confusing: perhaps there should be a note there to say "To permanently change these options, see Watchlist under Preferences". JohnCD (talk) 18:50, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps off-subject here, but I don't think Search is effected in any way by Special:EditWatchlist. — CpiralCpiral 20:37, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Tech News: 2015-48[edit]

20:26, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Usage of template parameters (Tracking)[edit]

Is there a (simple) way to track articles by number of used parameters in a transcluded template? For example I have a template like this:

{{Template Alpha
|parameter1 = 
|parameter2 = 
|parameter3 =
|parameter4 = 
|parameter5 = 
|parameter20 = 

How to track articles in categories, by number of used parameters of this template (how many parameters of this template have some values)? --XXN, 22:11, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

@XXN: Probably the easiest way would be to use a tracking category and change the sort key depending on the number of parameters. Some sample code:
[[Category:My tracking category|{{#expr: {{#if:{{{parameter1|}}}|1|0}} + {{#if:{{{parameter2|}}}|1|0}} + ... + {{#if:{{{parameter20|}}}|1|0}} }}]]
I haven't tested the above yet, but I've seen other code like it in various templates. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 23:28, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Actually, ignore that - after testing, it doesn't seem to work. The following will, but you need to create as many different categories as there are template parameters.
[[Category:My template transclusions with {{#expr: {{#if:{{{parameter1|}}}|1|0}} + {{#if:{{{parameter2|}}}|1|0}} + ... + {{#if:{{{parameter20|}}}|1|0}} }} parameters]]
Best — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 23:49, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Your test code does work when it's actually used.[2] PrimeHunter (talk) 01:44, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Aha, that explains it - thanks for the fix. :) — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 02:29, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for idea, Mr. Stradivarius. I also thought about this, but it's a bit tiresome to write such a function for a template with 20-30 different parameteres +with the same number of aliases for main parameteres names. --XXN, 01:03, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
@XXN: In that case, how about doing it in Lua? There are three ways that I can think of using Lua to do this. The first would be to count the number of all the parameters specified, including ones that the template doesn't recognise. The second would be to make a list of all the valid parameters and count how many of those are specified. And the third would be to use Lua patterns to specify groups of parameters - for example, if you specified the pattern ^parameter%d+$, you would count all the parameters that were specified that consist of the word "parameter" followed by one or more digits. Something similar is already done in Module:Check for unknown parameters. I'll try and write a module that does all three of these so you can choose which one is the most appropriate. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 02:29, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
@XXN: I've now written Module:ParameterCount which should make this process easier. Take a look at the documentation and see what you think. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 06:36, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you so much Mr. Stradivarius! Nice job!:) This module works very well. --XXN, 12:49, 24 November 2015 (UTC)


I wonder if the developers of wikipedia would consider a turn book page option for articles instead of just the standard one page scrolling downwards. Like this at I actually find it easier to read and browse with a simple click between pages horizontally without having to keep scrolling downwards, especially for big articles. If we had a "Reader" function on wikipedia which converts articles to a book format, perhaps with two columns on each page I think I'd find it much more reader friendly and usable.♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:00, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

If you browse through the magazines on you'll notice that browsing content puts much less strain on your fingers with a simple click and is actually a more convenient way of reading for the reader. You don't have to keep moving it down, but you work across and it's all in one place, page by page. I also think that as it is an encyclopedia, customizing it to resemble an old encyclopedia with pages would be a more attractive way to read content and consolidate knowledge. I think even for mobiles and iPads it would be a far easier way to browse to simply tap between pages. To allow room for the double page book format there could be the option to have a hidden sidebar which only appears when you hover over it to maximize reading space and appearance. Another feature I think, the option to browse articles by subject. Like you could browse a category alphabetically in a book format, going from article to article, or click on a letter at the bottom to find surnames or articles with that letter in a given category or section of the project.♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:04, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
That page is a collection of scans of old magazines, rather than html, so doesn't have the formatting issues one would have trying to display Wikitext articles in that format across multiple devices of varying shapes and sizes. I agree with what you're saying about reading ease on mobile devices, but it won't be a simple matter. If you've ever tried to read a heavily-footnoted and illustrated book on the Kindle, iBooks or Google Play Books apps (which use the turn-the-page format) you'll know how hard it is to handle embedded images and internal footnoting and section links in this format, even with the full might of the world's three leading content-delivery companies working on it, and the markup of some Wikipedia articles is far more complicated than that of most books; I imagine it would lead to illustrations and tables regularly becoming separated from their accompanying text. That's not to say it's a bad idea, but if Apple can't handle it I'm not sure WMF Ops would be up to the task. ‑ iridescent 12:22, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Stray </noinclude>[edit]

Just noticed that at Talk:Destruction_of_cultural_heritage_by_ISIL there's a stray standalone </noinclude> tag in a white row between WikiProject Africa and WikiProject Arab world. Editing wikisyntax doesn't reveal anything, looks like something went wrong elsewhere. Could someone check? Brandmeistertalk 22:36, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

{{WikiProject Libya}} had an incorrect edit yesterday. I think it has the intended content now. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:54, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

"maintenance" in the upper left corner of this page[edit]

Just curious. I'm starting to notice the unbolded and unlinked lowercase word "maintenance" in the upper left hand corner of new articles. And I just noticed it at the top of this VPump page. Is this new? And what does it mean? — Maile (talk) 22:47, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't see it here or in any of the examined new articles. Please post an example article. Do you see it when you are logged out? What is your skin? PrimeHunter (talk) 22:58, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
OK, this was strange. I use Modern skin. "maintenance" appeared, besides on this VPump page, in the upper left hand corner of any new article I looked at on Newpages. I changed to Monobook, and that went away. So, I came back to Modern skin, and the phenomenon is completely gone from all articles I'd seen it on. Just one of those momentary flukes, I guess. — Maile (talk) 23:21, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

When following a section link I am invariably taken well below the target[edit]

I've been experiencing this for a few months now. Anytime I follow a link to a section I am taken a ways below it. For example, the third link on this page (currently) is Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 142#Image purge. If I navigate to that link I end up so that the top of my screen is just above the next section header. As far as I know, other than keeping my browser up to date, I have made no changes. No deal breaker but a bit annoying. I use Firefox on a Mac and Monobook. Is it on my end and any ideas?--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:12, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

P.S. I thought maybe it was a cache issue, so I dumped everything just now, then logged in and tried the same link – same result. However, I then logged off, dumped everything and tried it without logging in. The issue went away. So I'm guessing it does have something to do with my settings, or my use of Monobook, or some combination of those, plus some change to the software here.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:20, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Known issue with collapsed content and some browsers (Firefox at least). Too lazy to look up the phab ticket. --Izno (talk) 00:59, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
@Fuhghettaboutit: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)/Archive_141#Firefox_and_anchors --NeilN talk to me 15:54, 25 November 2015 (UTC)


When editing Template:Uw-voablock, "No matching items in log." is shown in the top area. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 02:36, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

uselang=qqx shows it displays MediaWiki:Logempty. I don't know why. translatewiki:MediaWiki:Logempty/qqq says: "Used as warning when there are no items to show." The message is displayed in the actual log page [3] as expected. A random template with no logs Template:Uw-ublock-double also displays it in the actual log [4] but not in the edit page. The page history of Template:Uw-voablock shows a 2007 move [5] over a redirect at that title. Could MediaWiki be expecting a log entry for that and try to retrieve it but report that it didn't find anything? PrimeHunter (talk) 03:07, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Since this page is protected the edit page will show the protection log entry. This page was protected under its old name {{vandalblock}}, which it was renamed from in 2007. I believe that at that time log entries, including the protection log, were not moved with pages. However, protection status was. The page is protected, but there is no log entry to be found, thus the message. Nothing to worry about – I do not recommend trying to 'fix' it. Prodego talk 04:16, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
The "missing" protection log is here. It's still the case that log entries are not moved when a page is moved. But if a page under a protection at the time of its move, an entry is added to the log for the new page name, see WP:MOVE#How to move a page item 4. This entry is of the form "moved protection settings from Foo to Bar (Foo moved to Bar)". Apparently that additional entry was not generated when the page was last moved, 21:24, 2 December 2007, and is probably a newer feature. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:06, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I should have been more clear that this "moved protection settings" log was the "moved with pages" feature I was referring too. The log isn't simply moved – a new, different entry is added to the destination page, and the originals never move. "Logs don't move" generally holds for all logs. Prodego talk 13:02, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
I fixed this specific page; note, however, that this only fixed the one page - you would need to do it separately for each page which has this problem. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 15:48, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
I have mentioned the issue at MediaWiki talk:Logempty, with the message quoted to help find it in searches. PrimeHunter (talk) 16:33, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Is Labs down?[edit]

Doesn't matter which browser I use. The tabs are missing things. Under what would normally be Page/History (and other selections), we only get History. You can't find your Userspace at the moment via User/Userspace. — Maile (talk) 16:48, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

toollabs: has lots of tools and many of them are working. Please be more specific if you have problems with one of the tools. The XTools (those starting with have been down a lot the last year and are currently down for me. PrimeHunter (talk) 17:09, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, how about this error message that just came up when on Loyal Valley, Texas, from Page/History, I chose Revision history statistics:

Four hundred and four!

The URI you have requested, /xtools/wikihistory/wh.php?page_title=Loyal_Valley,_Texas, doesn't seem to actually exist. If you have reached this page from somewhere else...

This URI is managed by the xtools tool, maintained by MusikAnimal, APPER, Tparis, Cyberpower678, Tools.xtools-articleinfo, Elee, Technical 13, Lixxx235, Tools.xtools-ec, and Nakon.

Perhaps its files are on vacation, or the link you've followed doesn't actually lead somewhere useful?

You might want to looks at the list of tools to find what you were looking for, or one of the links on the sidebar to the left. If you're pretty sure this shouldn't be an error, you may wish to notify the tool's maintainers (above) about the error and how you ended up here.

Also, I had tried just the usual Page views options earlier, and sometimes it says "connecting" forever without ever doing anything. And once, it actually provided the stats. I think Labs might be working on something. — Maile (talk) 17:47, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

As shown by your quoted text, that is one of the XTools. This page has had lots of discussions about down XTools in the last year. It doesn't imply a general problem at Labs. As mentioned, lots of other tools at Labs are working. Labs is a host for a large number of independent tools, often made by volunteer editors. PrimeHunter (talk) 18:02, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Maile66, MusikAnimal may have fixed the issue: User_talk:MusikAnimal#Please_kick_the_Xtools_server. --NeilN talk to me 03:38, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

This looks like a good excuse to let people know about Labs labs labs and Beta beta beta. There are a lot of things that are called "Labs" or "Beta". Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:59, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Autoconfirmed checker?[edit]

Is there anything that makes it quick and easy to check whether a user is autoconfirmed, or how close they are to becoming autoconfirmed? Thanks. Samsara 22:22, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

@Samsara: User:PleaseStand/User info (talk) 22:45, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. :) Samsara 23:04, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
You can also get info about a user if you have WP:POPUPS enabled and hover over a link to their user or talk pages. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 15:46, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Page information[edit]

On some pages such as Barbershop 3, the page information shows the wrong number of edits. For that page, it says that there are 146 edits when there are actually only 7. The remaining 139 edits were merged into Barbershop: The Next Cut. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 03:28, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

The page had not been edited since the revisions were merged. A null edit updated the counts at PrimeHunter (talk) 11:45, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

File reuploading[edit]

When uploading a new version of a file, the edit is not marked as a minor edit, as it is when protecting or moving pages. For example, this edit to File:Saule - Dusty Men (feat. Charlie Winston) official cover.jpg is not marked as a minor edit. Note that this is the opposite of Tryptofish's problem at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 139#Page moves marked as minor edits. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 05:53, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Sounds about right to me; uploading a new version of a file is a pretty major edit to that file. Why page moves, in particular, are marked as minor is not at all clear to me. — This, that and the other (talk) 09:15, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
GeoffreyT2000, thank you for reminding me of that. I agree that it would be good for the community to reevaluate how certain actions are or are not labeled as minor. I've been busy with other things lately, but I do agree that this ought to be pursued further. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:29, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Section-specific notifications[edit]

Does a tool exist that will ping me only when content is added to a particular section of a page? - Dank (push to talk) 13:50, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm not aware of one, but I'd love to be able to do that with some talk pages and noticeboards. The last time I followed it, however, my understanding is that Flow will have this capability built in. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:31, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Not yet, see phab:T2738. --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 13:22, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Right. I smell two red herrings. First, it's irrelevant how hard it is for a bot to search for "==" on a talk page (although I suspect it's not that hard) ... it would work perfectly fine for my purposes to insert two hidden comments and have a bot check the diff regularly between one comment and the next to see if the diff has changed. Second, I'm not asking for permission. This is a simple task, anyone can code it if they feel like it, and I'm asking if anyone who reads this page feels like doing it. - Dank (push to talk) 16:55, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Unwatch from watchlist?[edit]

Hey folks, is there a way to "un-watch" pages from the watchlist? Seems to me like that would be an exceptionally handy feature, so much so that I'm sure it's been proposed before, but I can't find it. Cheers! Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 15:43, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Special:EditWatchlist Reedy (talk) 15:44, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
I use WP:POPUPS to do this. -- John of Reading (talk) 16:08, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

@Ivanvector: mw:Snippets/Unwatch from watchlist (talk) 16:32, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Awesome, thanks! I just recommended popups in a thread above, I don't think I knew it could be used that way. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 16:39, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
@Ivanvector: I use User:Anomie/unwatch.js for this. It gives you a handy "unw" link on the watchlist itself, next to the "diff" and "hist" links. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 21:55, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Another Festivus miracle! Thanks, that's perfect. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 22:27, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Arbcom elections[edit]

On, I am attempting to submit different votes, discarding my earlier votes, and being told I need to log in to vote, when this wiki states on the main page that registration is not required and it is only meant for a limited number of accounts. When I go to vote, it says "Welcome, Rubbish computer", so I have no idea whether or not I am logged in. Please advise. Thanks, --Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 23:19, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

If it welcomes you by name, you're logged in. The rules say:
An editor is eligible to vote who:
  1. (i) has registered an account before Wednesday 00:00, 28 October 2015
    (ii) has made at least 150 mainspace edits before Sunday 00:00, 1 November 2015 and,
    (iii) is not blocked from the English Wikipedia at the time of their vote.
I'm not sure where you are when it's greeting you by name, but if you're on the voting site for "2015 English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee election", you're on the Wikimedia server. I've never tried changing my vote, so don't know how that works.— Maile (talk) 23:28, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
@Maile66: Okay, thanks. I knew I was eligible when I recieved the Wikimedia message, and my vote is registered from earlier, but I don't know hoe to change it: it says to just fill it out again, which it won't let me do. Thanks, --Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 23:33, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
You cannot log in at but if you are logged in at the English Wikipedia and click a vote button such as the one at Special:SecurePoll/vote/398 then you should be taken to without being logged in there but in a way where the software knows who you are and lets you vote. Is this not working for you? If so, please be more specific about which page you are on when something goes wrong, and exactly how it goes wrong. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:45, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Rubbish computer, are you running NoScript or other browser extensions? WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:03, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: I'm not sure, but I use AWB, if that affects it. I voted on mobile earlier, and tried to revote on my computer. Thanks, Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 01:20, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Please try to describe what actually goes wrong, especially at what point you are told you need to log in. For example: "I reach which says 'Welcome, Rubbish computer'. I can select radio buttons to vote but when I click 'Submit vote', I'm told I have to be logged in." PrimeHunter (talk) 02:02, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
@PrimeHunter: After I've picked my votes and pressed the "Vote" button: sorry if I was unclear about any of this. Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 10:57, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Someone else has answered this elsewhere, but thanks anyway. Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 11:02, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Editing comment text accompanying uploaded image files[edit]

I've been a Wikipedia editor for nearly 12 years and can get around pretty comfortably. Yet aspects of image uploads still have me stymied. I accidentally pasted some raw Wiki markup into the Comment field when uploading a new image. When I saw the result, I realized I had made a mistake. The markup was still markup, and had not, in that place, been rendered properly. Thinking that, as with most other Wikipedia edits, I could just go in and fix my mistake, I attempted that, and found out I was wrong! What I had intended to place in that Comment field was what an uploader of a similar image had put there, "fair use reduce". So how does this get fixed? The image page is: File:City-of-bothell-new-logo.photograph2.jpg I want to do the right thing, yet here I find my hands are tied. Any help appreciated. --Alan W (talk) 04:24, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

The "fair use reduce" is a template that tags an image for a bot or admin to reduce the image size to make it meet non-free image use requirements. As it is a template, it has to be enclosed in double curly braces like: {{ }} . I have got ahead and done this for you on that image. --MASEM (t) 05:16, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
OK, thanks. I guess the user who uploaded the previous version of this logo image didn't know about the curly braces, and I assumed, when I should not have, that it was done correctly and I could just follow that example. I was not aware that the image size needed to be reduced further, either. (I knew it would automatically be reduced when fitted into the infobox where it is being used, but I guess that is considered not enough.) As others have no doubt said, uploading images to Wikipedia is still much too convoluted and confusing a process for most Wikipedians. I have something of a technical background, and my head is still spinning from all this. Anyhow, this situation is not your fault, and I appreciate the help. --Alan W (talk) 06:39, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
@Alan W: When you don't use the File Upload Wizard, and you are the first person to upload an image under a particular name, as you were with File:City-of-bothell-new-logo.photograph2.jpg, the comment in the upload log and the edit summary in the page history are both set to the first 255 bytes of the wikitext for the file description page. In those entries, only Wikilinks are expanded, the rest appears as raw markup - this has been the case for many years, and it can't be altered. If you try to "fix" it by altering the wikitext, as you did here, all you do is alter the appearance of the file description page - log entries cannot be amended. But if your intention was to upload an image and immediately add {{non-free reduce}} to it, why not simply reduce the resolution yourself before uploading? There are several programs/applications/packages which will do this. Reduce it on your computer to whatever size is necessary, then upload that in the normal way. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:10, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
With the usual 20/20 hindsight, I see that I should have used the File Upload Wizard. I was thrown off by thinking that I would not need that as I am an "experienced user". What I didn't consider is that when it comes to uploading image files, I am really not such an experienced user. :-) As for reducing the image size myself, I could have done that with tools I already possess and can use; but, as I said to Masem above I didn't think it necessary, as I knew the size would be reduced on the page I intended to use the image on, automatically, to be squeezed into the Infobox. Anyway, all's well that ends well, and I appreciate all the feedback and assistance by you and Masem, RedRose64. I still say, though, that—not criticizing anyone in particular—uploading images on Wikipedia is much too hard for an "encyclopedia that anyone can edit". You have to be a combination graphic artist, lawyer, and computer programmer, and even then you could miss some requirement or unexpected behavior. --Alan W (talk) 19:11, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Search for "Mm³"[edit]

Is there a way to find uses of "Mm³" in the encyclopedia. Note that the "³" is the Unicode character rather than a superscripted "3". I've found some by searching for "mm" and increasing the number of search results to 5000 then using find to look for "Mm³" and paging through the results, but I don't think that gets them all. Thanks,  SchreiberBike | ⌨  03:05, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Google is quite helpful here. — Earwig talk 07:27, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Google's 120 results also include finding m<sup>3 (and that's m not mm) at Spremberg Dam, (from an infobox template's MCM).
I think this is just because Google's index hadn't updated since you had changed the page. It no longer appears in the results. Anyway, WP:DUMPS are the way to go (as Johnuniq says) if you want to be completely sure you've caught everything. — Earwig talk 06:50, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
"mm3" gives 140 results. CirrusSearch seems to be ignoring the unicode ³ but it is supposed to be "normalized" to 3, just as the various forms of quotation marks are all normalized to ASCII quotes on our keyboards (T41501). Also, regex are supposed to find exact strings, even with with unicode . So I've opened T119806.
Normally, non-alphanumeric characters are ignored like that, but in this case, they should definitely not be ignored. THis means you'd have to evaluate all "mm" terms. WP:AWB might work for you @SchreiberBike:. — CpiralCpiral 21:14, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
See phab:T95849 (talk) 22:14, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
@SchreiberBike: This sort of search can be done using WP:DUMPS. Unfortunately my most recent download is from April 2015 and so is out of date, but I put a list of article titles in my sandbox (permalink). I searched for "mm²" or "mm³" but in retrospect I should have searched for "m²" or "m³" or possibly just any superscripted number. Some caution about correcting would be needed because there might be special cases where substituting html superscript would break the wikitext; example:
  • {{convert|100|m²|abbr=on}} → 100 m2 (1,100 sq ft)
  • {{convert|100|m<sup>2</sup>|abbr=on}} → 100 m2[convert: unknown unit]
Johnuniq (talk) 03:27, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

How to stop automated messages appearing on my talk page?[edit]

Is there some code I can put on the page, or something to tick in preferences? --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 05:26, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Cheers. — Earwig talk 07:24, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Unable to log in to use AWB[edit]

I am currently unable to log in using AWB because it is stated that the acccount "Rubbish computer" already exists. I am using the correct password and I have tried closing and reloading the tab. Please advise. Thanks, --Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 13:05, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

It appears to be working when I don't click "Save account", so never mind. --Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 15:06, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Date header[edit]

The "November 23" header in Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion is not shown, but the discussions from Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2015 November 23 are shown. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 15:26, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Fixed with this edit -- John of Reading (talk) 15:51, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Logging output of Special:PrefIndex[edit]


is there a tool that I could use to fetch output of Special:PrefIndex query and log it in a text file? I am familiar with pywikibot and I am guessing there will be a way to do this through mediawiki API, but right now I dont know any better way than manual copypasting. Thank you kindly for your advice. --Wesalius (talk) 05:30, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

If you have pywikibot installed and have used it and so are logged in, the following example works:
python ../scripts/ -family:wikipedia -prefixindex
What page names are you looking for? Shakespeare
There are options to format the results and to write the output to a file, but the above is my first run of a script so I haven't tried them. Johnuniq (talk) 07:06, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you very very much. This is just great! If you want a nice output, you dont have to bother with the script functions, it is easily obtained with -prefixindex > file.txt
One more question, do you know if I can somehow filter out redirect pages? I did not find that possibility in the script documentation, but maybe there is a workaround (using a different tool?). Thanks so far! --Wesalius (talk) 07:33, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Inspecting makes it appear that redirects are never included. I also noticed that has comments at the top which specify how -format can be used to control how the output appears. Johnuniq (talk) 09:22, 29 November 2015 (UTC)