Wikipedia:Special pages bug reports

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This is an archive only of bug reports from Phase II of the Wikipedia software (used before June 20, 2002). Please see Wikipedia:Bug reports for instructions on adding bug reports for the current system.

return to wikipedia:Bug reports/Phase II

This page lists bugs reported in special pages (interactive pages in the special: namespace). Pages should be listed by their name in the default skin.

Recent Changes[edit]

The Recent Change page has many design flaws.

When I want to list all the new changes since my last visit to the site, I can only see the most recent 100 changes. Given all the minor changes are always included, one exceeds the 100 entries limit in a few hours, if you are away for more than a day, you have serious trouble seeing the complete list. It may not be problem for the wikipediaholics who check the Recent Change page every 30 seconds, but it simply does not work for the regular users.

I tried using the max count and the age link, they also have design flaws and do not work intuitively. When I click last seven days, it shows only 100 entries that cover only half a day, (same problem as above). When I click last 2500 entries, it either fails to return anything or it covers only the last 3 days. i.e. There is no way to ask for last seven day without count limit, or a count limit but no age limit.

workaround: Since the 100 count limit can be easily reached, it becomes the limiting factor. In effect, all the links, 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 5 days, 7 days, 14 days all give the same 100 result. To workaround this problem, you can right click on these links and copy its URL iinto the address field of the browser, change the count limit and hit ENTER.

RecentChanges regularly claims (2 Changes) if there was only one. Except for new pages, it always counts one to many. AxelBoldt

Changes to the [main page] show up wrong

Every time the main page is edited, the special:RecentChanges shows a date a long way in the past and only the diff and the changes can be clicked. The person doing the edits is also not visible. The entry in the Recent Changes looks like this:

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
   * (diff) ; 15:59 (75 changes) . . .

It should have looked like this:

   * (diff) Main Page; 15:59 (75 changes) . . . xxx

Another oddity: after another page is edited, the name of that page ends up in place of the Main page and the entry in the Recent Changes than looks like this:

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
   * (diff) Vicki Rosenzweig; 15:59 (75 changes) . . .

"List only new changes" doesn't work

(2002/1/26) On special:RecentChanges, the link saying "list only new changes" consistently returns an empty list, even after waiting a while. --AxelBoldt

Right! Same here. Maybe because i'm using a +8 hours offset? --Luis Oliveira
Yes, there's a bug in the time zone handling code. I am on Central time (Server time + 2h) which I set in my user preferences and I noticed that the "List only new changes" link returns something only after I wait for 2 hours, and then only those changes that have occurred two hours since I last accessed RecentChanges. AxelBoldt

minor edits showing up even if turned off (2002/03/05)

And with bad links and dates?

minor edits hide the major edits (2002/04/12)

When I turn off the minor edits in the preference, I would expect the most recent major edit would take its place.

For example, the history shows that an article was edited (major) at 1pm, and the same article was edited again (minor) at 1:02pm. In the Recent Change page, both the 1pm and 1:02pm edits become invisible if the preference is set to hide minor edits.

Edit this page[edit]

See Editing.


See History.

Upload files[edit]

The upload files page doesn't have a image uploading policy or something like that: We should not use formats like GIF, with can cause patent problems, or like BMP. with are not optimal. I suggest PNG and JPEG.

Very few web browsers support MNG (the animated version of PNG). Mozilla does, but Microsoft Internet Explorer (>90% of users) doesn't. What format should we use for animations? --Damian Yerrick

Also, we probably have no need for .exe or .mp3 files--do we?

WAV is not optimal, and MP3 has patent problems. Use Ogg Vorbis instead. --Damian Yerrick

2002-06-21: A file with an ampersand in its name cannot be deleted. The file is كاس العالم 01.jpg (كاس العالم 01.jpg) and several sysops have tried to delete it to no avail. -phma

2002-06-23: Some upload log entries are missing. cutelayout.bmp was never uploaded, but it was deleted; and was uploaded and never deleted, but it isn't there. -phma


New pages[edit]

I just got a set of SQL error messages, and one meaningless line of content, dated 31 December 1969, from the "New Pages" page. Here's the output:

Warning: Supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/wiki-newest/work-http/wikiUser.php on line 150

Warning: Supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/wiki-newest/work-http/wikiUser.php on line 157

Warning: Cannot add header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/wiki-newest/work-http/wikiUser.php:150) in /home/wiki-newest/work-http/wiki.phtml on line 84

Warning: Cannot add header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/wiki-newest/work-http/wikiUser.php:150) in /home/wiki-newest/work-http/wiki.phtml on line 86 New pages Log in | Help Main Page Main Page | Recent Changes | Random Page | Special Pages

These are the last 100 new pages on Wikipedia in the last 3 days. View the last 50 | 100 | 250 | 500 | 1000 | 2500 | 5000 changes; View the last 1 | 2 | 3 | 5 | 7 | 14 days Legend : M=Minor edit ; N=New article.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

   * (diff) ; 15:59 . . .

[end quoted output] Current time is 9:00 p.m., EDT, on 29 April 2002 (I think that's 6 p.m. server time, but I'm not sure.) Vicki Rosenzweig

Hmm.... the line numbers are in the function that checks your login cookie against the user database, which clearly has failed (error messages, and an IP address shown instead of your login name), though that should be completely independent of the special page, which gets loaded after the login check. The lack of results in the article list also seems to imply that the database isn't returning results... I can access special:NewPages now, both logged in and not, and everything seems fine; my first guess is a temporary problem connecting to the database server (load-related?) -- try it again, if it's still showing the above symptoms (and is it only that page, or others as well?) my second guess would be some glitch in your login cookie; the system doesn't currently gracefully handle problems in that department. Try clearing the cookie in your browser settings and logging in again. Brion VIBBER, Tuesday, April 30, 2002


"Orphans" page isn't completely correct

For instance, Godfrey_Reggio is not and never has been an orphan page; it was created long after the article for his documentary Koyaanisqatsi. Similar issue with other articles listed.

I've noticed that "Orphans" gets confused by whether a title contains spaces or underscores between its words.

If an article is created with underscores, but all the links to it have spaces, then it is listed as an orphan. I've noticed that in the URLs, the strings "%20", "_", and "+" can be used interchangeably. "Orphans" should be updated to treat all three the same.

Also, pages that could be usefully listed as Orphans are not, e.g., "Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication" is not listed, presumably becaused "SWIFT" redirects to it. However nothing links to SWIFT and it looks like redirections are not counted as Orphans.

This should be fixed if the proposed Islands page (showing all pages unreachable from Main Page) is implemented.

For some time I've noticed that the year pages for 803 to 809 keep appearing on the orphan list. Yet when I go there and check out the links they do have links, even if only to each other. Maybe somebody with a better understanding of the site's innards can have a look at this. --Eclecticology, Wednesday, June 5, 2002

Most wanted[edit]

Articles with trailing spaces (2002/02/04)

A link of the form Israel (note the spaces in the link source) causes the Most Wanted page to think that an article called Kingdom_of_Israel_ (note the trainling underscore) is required. I have created a redirect to Kingdom_of_Israel to fix this particular case.

Existing page linked from Most Wanted

On the Most Wanted-page a link to Unit interval is listed, but the article already exists. -- JeLuF

Yet another sql error? At the top of the most-wanted page I get this error, and the rest of the page is entirely blank after the [50 most-wanted pages] header.

Warning: Supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/wiki-newest/work-http/special_wantedpages.php on line 22 ~Karen Johnson Wed 5th May 2002

Same bug as the "line 99" error on regular pages -- the unlinked table is fubared. ("Can't open file: 'unlinked.MYD'. (errno: 145)" -- this is not a good thing!) Someone with access to the server needs to fix it. Brion VIBBER, Wednesday, May 8, 2002

Most popular[edit]

All pages[edit]

Page is enormous[edit]

This page is rather large, it took my Mozilla 1.0rc3 about 5 minutes to display it after download. How about splitting it alphabetically into 26 pages, plus another for numbers and non-alphanumerics? There's a long tradition of encyclopedias coming in alphabetical volumes, anyway. Bryan Derksen

Random Page[edit]

Stub articles[edit]

I've run into a couple of odd problems while browsing through the stub articles pages. Firstly, there's an article with bold tags in its title that is messing up the table on

The article in question is displayed as 241(16 chars) [[devotchka|Bdevotchka/b]], if people have been cleaning up stub articles since I posted this it may be earlier in the listing. Its row in the table appears to be mixed in with the subsequent row in the table, and afterward the columns of the table are misaligned. It also destroys the link at the bottom of the table leading to the next larger set of short articles.

Found another example: 385(27 chars) [[Upload/loa1[1].jpg|Upload/loa11.jpg]] also screws up the table, and doesn't appear to exist.
I have deleted the articles in question (relics of long-fixed search page and title bugs), so it should be gone from the list now. The table screwup problem is due to a more recent bug (see top of this page) with links with bad titles, which has been fixed in the code but not yet installed. Brion VIBBER

Secondly, there are a whole bunch of articles listed as having a length of 27 characters which don't appear to exist at all. For some examples, see here:

When I click on these links, I go straight into edit mode as if they were new. I believe that the 27 characters the stub finder claims these articles to have are "Describe the new page here." Bryan Derksen

That seems to be a feature: a page that somebody saved without actually editing anything (and thus containing only the new-page message) comes up in edit mode. On the other hand, we probably shouldn't actually save a page that contains only the new-page message. Brion VIBBER, Saturday, April 6, 2002

Long articles[edit]

List users[edit]

My watchlist[edit]

I just clicked on the "my Watchlist" link, and went to the right place (a good thing), but all of the watchlist changes are now listed under 2/25/02, 15:51 (not a good thing, since yesterday they were sorted by day and time!). Thought you might want to know! JHK

This isn't a bug in "my watchlist". The problem is that the timestamp on every article got changed (which also added a few thousand pages to Recent Changes). --Zundark, 2002 Feb 26
This was my fault. With the introduction of the new database schema we introduced a new column that had to be filled with a new value. I forgot that setting this value automatically updates the timestamp of the article. So this is not a bug in the software but in the procedure for moving to the new database schema. -- Jan Hidders 2002 Feb 26

Namespaces and watchlists don't mix very well now

My watchlist now classifies pages with namespaces together with the normal form of the pages under the date and time list. This isn't very useful.

The watchlist also lists the namespaced page under its own proper time, which is useful. This does lead to the humorous result that Talk:Main Page is listed twice in a row in my watchlist right now, since among the pages in my watchlist, changes to Main Page and to Talk:Main Page occur right next to each other, as things are now.

When I add a page to my watchlist, the software brings me back to the page that I just added -- great. But now when I add a page with a namespace, I come back to the unnamespaced version, which is not very nice -- and quite disconcerting when that unnamespaced version doesn't even exist!

Now, what do you suppose the result to my watchlist is when I add a page with a namespace that doesn't have an unnamespaced version? (such as this very page). It shows up in my talklist under the unnamespaced name, in the list of "non-existing [sic] articles" that I'm watching. This is completely useless.

This all seems to be a result of implementing the feature that putting a page on the watchlist also puts all of that page's namespaced compatriots on the watchlist. This is a great idea, for the reasons listed in Wikipedia:Feature requests, but I don't think that it was implemented very well -- so much so that I prefer it the way that it was before.

The watchlist is currently somewhat broken thanks to workarounds for slow database issues. It'll be rewritten shortly so that all namespaces, not just (some) Talk pages, will work happily again, and everything will appear in a reasonable order and not duplicated. Brion VIBBER, Wednesday, May 15, 2002

-- Toby Bartels 2002/05/15

(Problems mentioned above now fixed in CVS. Brion VIBBER, Wednesday, May 15, 2002)

After raising a point at Talk:Nobel Prize I activated the "Watch This Page" function so that I could be ready to find answers when they came. Instead I ended up the underlying Nobel Prize page contrary to my intention. Eclecticology, Thursday, May 16, 2002

See above; Nobel Prize and Talk:Nobel Prize will both appear on your watchlist. This is a feature: you don't have to separately add them both. Brion VIBBER, Thursday, May 16, 2002

Thanks for the comment; it makes sense with the explanation. Now a related problem. I was culling my watch list of pages that I no longer wanted to follow. One of these was Talk:Simon and Garfunkel, which I put in on March 30 without the underlying article. I tried stop watching this page with no effect. I tried to watch the main article; this put the article on the watch list with a second talk page entry. At this point the stop watching command got rid of the article and the new talk page, but left the old talk page still there. Resultant question: How does one get old talk page reference off one's watch list? --Eclecticology, Tuesday, May 21, 2002

No problem, Eclec; just do what I did: By this point, all articles on your watchlist that don't belong to the blank namespace are listed at the bottom of your list as "non-existing [sic] articles". Next to each is the link "Stop watching this article for me" -- this does not work properly due to a cookie bug (I assume), so don't click on it. Instead, follow the link to the article itself. (If the article is really nonexistent, then you will now have to manually edit the URL to remove the &action=edit at the end of the URL before the next step.) Now click on "Stop watching this article for me". This will remove the page from your watchlist and at the same time remove from your watchlist every other page with the same name but in different namespaces. If you don't want to watch any of these, then you're done; else, click on "Watch this article for me". You are now watching all of the articles with that name, in whatever namespace, but there will be no spurious entries on your watchlist. You say that you want to watch the main article but not the talk page? Tough beans, that is no longer an option (unless there's something that I don't know about, which is always possible). FWIW, I did all this on March 21, just in case this trick has been ruined by an update since then. -- Toby Bartels, Thursday, May 23, 2002
Thanks Toby - it seems to work; now I can do some real housecleaning! Eclecticology

Can't watch [[User Talk:]] pages

I've been watching User Talk:AxelBoldt since June 11 now, waiting for him to reply to something that I wrote there. Even though my watchlist reports every petty change to User:AxelBoldt, it doesn't notice any of the 4 changes that occurred to the talk page since then, so that I failed to realise until now that he answered me the very same day. — Toby Bartels, Monday, June 24, 2002

Can't get my own [[User Talk:]] page on my own watchlist

I can't seem to get my user page to stick on the watchlist. I put it on, it's there for a day or two sometimes, then goes off. This week I just can't get it on the watchlist at all. The interaction seems normal, but when the page refreshes, it is still unwatched. Since this is a major means of communication, I'd like for this to work more reliably. I can watch any other page. I've tried this with three different browsers and it's always no go. Note that I live in the "Macwater". Ortolan88, Saturday, July 13, 2002

I'll email you when it changes.  ;-) I was watching your page awhile back and forgot to stop. Koyaanis Qatsi

Wait, is the problem your <code>[[User:]]</code> page or your <code>[[User_talk:]]</code> page? Is this the same bug as the one just above? — Toby Bartels, Sunday, July 14, 2002

I can't watch my own user page or my own user_talk: page. I can watch User Talk:AxelBoldt however, so it isn't the same bug.
When I click on "Watch this page" I get a message that the page has been added to my watchlist, then I get a new page whose title is the URL of the page I just asked to watch. I just ignore this page. This happens whether the request to watch the page works or not. Ortolan88, Friday, July 19, 2002

"Votes for" pages[edit]

Voting for a page to be deleted logs that vote under [[Wikipedia:]] rather than Wikipedia:Votes for deletion. Koyaanis Qatsi

History of vote pages misses many edits

See comment in Wikipedia:Bug reports/History. — Toby Bartels, Tuesday, June 25, 2002