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).

Newcomers to the technical village pump are encouraged to read these guidelines prior to posting here. Questions about MediaWiki in general should be posted at the MediaWiki support desk.

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Wikiget tool[edit]

I wrote a tool for myself, found it pretty useful so cleaned it up and posted on GitHub in case anyone might be interested.

It's a unix command-line tool to retrieve lists of article names, such as all pages in a category, backlinks of a template, pages edited by a user during a certain period, etc.. it's generally useful for work with AWB or bots, but probably other things as well in a unix environment. Only dependency is GNU awk and one of wget, curl or lynx.

-- GreenC 01:36, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

Thank you. Right on. Perfect direction with the generation of titles-only query-results. Its easy, and it works fast and flawlessly. AWB nutrition! Your wikiget.awk tool offers Contributions' titles. It offers Categories' titles. It offers backlink titles.
But I'm sure development should proceed with Search titles via the Search API (not just stop with Contributions and Categories APIs). (See T113840 for this Search feature request.)
Also the text post-processing of titles, in your Usage section on GitHub, should mention comm as well as grep. — Cpiral§Cpiral 03:05, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
User:Cpiral, thanks for the interest and glad to hear it works :) Wasn't aware of the Search API. Agree it should be added. Any other ways to retrieve lists of titles? Re: comm it could link to this page which has all the options with pros and cons. Awk is my favorite but I chose grep for brevity, but if working with millions of records comm is best. -- GreenC 18:07, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
@Cpiral:, version 0.4 supports search. -- GreenC 17:38, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks GreenC. See mw:API_talk:Search#title_search_is_disabled. See ya on Github. — Cpiral§Cpiral 19:35, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Ah there's a solution for it. Fixed in 0.45 0.46 -- GreenC 03:25, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
0.47 fixed a couple edge case bugs and should be stable now. -- GreenC 17:39, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

Tool request[edit]

Hey all, not sure where the best place for this would be, but in my capacity as a gnome admin, I'm interested in some sort of tool that will search for key phrases, say, daily or weekly, then notify me when they appear. Examples:

  • I've been dealing with one or two disruptive editors who keep adding "Background Muppets" sections to articles.
  • Another disruptive editor is a young Indian actor who keeps adding his name, "Prem Khan" to articles.
  • An Iranian IP-hopper keeps adding (unsourced) "Komail Shayan" or "[[Komail]] [[Shayan]]" to articles.
  • "declared as blockbuster" "declared as super-hit" "all-time blockbuster status" are (obviously problematic) phrases some editors from India add to film articles.

Being notified when these things as they pop up would be helpful in combating disruption and it's gotten really hard to remember all the phrases I'm supposed to search for. I'd love to automate that. Thanks in advance for any help. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 17:08, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Those all sound like something that could be an edit filter, at least a edit filter log. Post over at Wikipedia:Edit filter/Requested. — xaosflux Talk 00:46, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
What about just having some links on your user page like this
This is what I tend to use. See User:Jason Quinn/searches. Wouldn't take long to customize your searches to group them and do whatever you want. Jason Quinn (talk) 19:04, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
@Jason Quinn: Thanks for taking the time to post these. I'll take a closer look and see if I can figure 'em out. :) Thanks! Cyphoidbomb (talk) 17:21, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Search needs a basic "literal regex" to find non-alphanumerics like square brackets. The other searches don't need insource. Please see Help:Searching/Draft and {{Search link}}. — Cpiral§Cpiral 04:13, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Previous issues in sending emails from the site[edit]

Please help the awesome user:Legoktm test his fix to this hideous problem. If you have had issues in the past sending email messages from your wiki account, please head to and send him a test (or a Thank You!) message. HTH, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 18:28, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

@Elitre (WMF): Yes, "o"s with umlauts are very hideous. Perhaps you mean phab:T66795? :) --Izno (talk) 18:40, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
I would have noticed that if I were using a visual editor! /runs away --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 18:43, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Note: this will reveal your email address (As with all uses of email user) - I hope Legoktm signs me up for only the finest newsletters! — xaosflux Talk 20:19, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
    • If you will go vote at the m:2016 Community Wishlist Survey, and tell your wiki-friends (especially at smaller/non-English projects) about the best ideas there, then I'm sure that Lego will remove your name from spam-subscription list. 😉 Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:56, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Ping @ user:Eddaido, user:Dirtlawyer1, user:AsceticRose - as you had related issues in the past, could you help here? thank you! --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 17:38, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
My WP email problem was solved by opening a new email account (with iCloud) and scrubbing Yahoo. Hope this helps. Eddaido (talk) 20:57, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Same to me as Eddaido. I opened a new account at g-mail and abandoned Yahoo. The g-mail did not cause any problem. -AsceticRosé 15:22, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

Several technical problems[edit]

For the past hour, I have faced several problems, which appear to be related. Pop-ups no longer work. On my Watchlist, edits still appear grouped by page; but I no longer have a drop-down arrow next to each page to expand and look at these. Twinkle has disappeared. I see several other display problems. I have tried clearing my cache, opening Firefox with add-ons disabled, rebooting my PC; but none of this has helped. These all appear to be Java-related issues, but I do not have any problems on other websites, and this just started about an hour ago, for no apparent reason. Are others facing similar problems, or is it just me? And if it is just me, do you have any suggestions about how I can correct the error? RolandR (talk) 23:27, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Same here, not getting popups, watchlist announcements (such as RFAs) and things. I've had this problem before and usually a refresh or two solves the problem. No such luck this time.--☾Loriendrew☽ (ring-ring) 23:33, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Iiiiit'ssss Thuuuursdaaaaayyyyy.... --Redrose64 (talk) 00:20, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Seriously though, several gadgets have stopped working, these include "Display pages on your watchlist that have changed since your last visit in bold (see customizing watchlists for more options)" and "Add two new dropdown boxes below the edit summary box with some useful default summaries". On the latter, see WT:Gadget#Edit summary gadget was working now not working. --Redrose64 (talk) 00:23, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
"Display pages on your watchlist that have changed since your last visit in bold (see customizing watchlists for more options)" had disabled itself for me and one or two others at Wikipedia:Help desk#Bolding of Watchlist items. It worked for us to enable it again. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:44, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Oh, it isn't just me! I've noticed a slowness in how a page loads, with that little spinning thing happening at the top of the tab on English Wikipedia. I suspect it might be part of a phenomenon I've noticed on Wikisource for the last couple of days. Replication is not always instantaneous the last 18 hours. And while I can purge the cache on the individual pages, the Index of any work has been iffy in that regard (sometimes yes, but mostly not enabled on a purge of Index). And, oh yes, the watchlist changes in bold has disabled itself on mine also. It magically unchecked itself on my Preferences. — Maile (talk) 01:03, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Hi this problem is being investigated and looks like another api problem today, see please Paladox (talk) 16:12, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
That is definitely a separate issue, not related. Matma Rex talk 16:26, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

What happened to the bolding on Watchlists?[edit]

For quite a while there, unvisited changed pages on my watchlist appeared in bold, and that was quite helpful as I could easily tell how far I needed to scroll down the list and which pages I still needed to look at if I so chose.

Now the bolding has been removed. Can someone tell me why it has been removed, and how I can get the feature back if I desire? Thanks. Softlavender (talk) 05:08, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

See the thread above this one. Certain technical things are awry at the moment. Normal service will be resumed, one hopes... --Tagishsimon (talk) 05:12, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Oh thank goodness. I had just forlornly accepted my fate. Glad to see that it's an actual issue and not just my browser/machine. AlexEng(TALK) 05:23, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks all. Appreciate the quick feedback. Softlavender (talk) 05:31, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Just to add to this, pages with changes don't have the green marker either (I use good old monobook). Also, I see a flash of bold when the page initially loads. It's almost as if all the pages are being marked as "visited" once the watchlist has finished loading. -- Scjessey (talk) 14:38, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

@Scjessey: At Preferences → Gadgets, check the setting of "Display pages on your watchlist that have changed since your last visit in bold (see customizing watchlists for more options)": whatever it is, flip it and save. If it's now incorrect, flip it again and save again. Then do the same checks on "Display green collapsible arrows and green bullets for changed pages in your watchlist, page history and recent changes". --Redrose64 (talk) 18:31, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
@Redrose64: Ahhhhhh - thank you. Both now work as expected. I wonder what caused it to eff up in the first place? -- Scjessey (talk) 23:17, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

Still no Google results[edit]

Hey. My article about Irina Nevzlin still has no Google results. Is there any way I could fix it? Thank you in advance. Sllm (talk) 06:35, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

I've submitted it via ... we live in hope. --Tagishsimon (talk) 06:49, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
I wonder if this is because recently we changed unpatrolled pages to be noindexed. If google picked up the page in it's unpatrolled state and isn't aggressively updating it's noindex setting after the article was patrolled, then that might explain. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:33, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Main Page buttons[edit]

Why does the Main Page have a move tab but not a delete tab? Moving is impossible; Special:MovePage/Main_Page gives you a message

You do not have permission to move this page, for the following reason: You cannot delete or move the main page.

This is identical to the message you get at, except of course it says "permission to delete". Since the tech folks have disabled doing both, and disabled the delete tab, why do we need a move tab? Nyttend (talk) 14:33, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Special:Diff/753005631 removed tab consistent with having the delete tab removed. — xaosflux Talk 17:28, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Maybe the delete rule should also be moved to MediaWiki:Group-sysop.css? --Izno (talk) 17:41, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
These may both be able to be moved, please discuss at MediaWiki talk:Common.css. — xaosflux Talk 17:51, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
@Nyttend: Why do you want it to have a delete tab? --Redrose64 (talk) 18:25, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
So someone will put me on WP:STOCKS :-) I didn't want a delete tab; I was suggesting that we get rid of the move tab. Nyttend (talk) 23:14, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

{{sisterlinks}} not working--possibly due to a comma[edit]

Tech News: 2016-49[edit]

18:07, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

Substitute partial page name[edit]

Long background explanation for why I'm doing this, but basically I have a ton of categories that are called "Category:Pages using TEMPLATE_NAME with unknown parameters". Rather than having to repeatedly type out "This category tracks transclusions of {{TEMPLATE_NAME}} using unknown/unsupported parameters." I wanted to have a subst I could copy and paste that would pull it from the page title... Now I know that {{str right |{{str crop |{{FULLPAGENAME}}|24}}|21}} will give me what I need... but how do I subst that?! --Zackmann08 (Talk to me/What I been doing) 00:02, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

What happens, if you subst only str right or all three templates? --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 00:50, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, all three should work fine: {{subst:str right |{{subst:str crop |{{subst:FULLPAGENAME}}|24}}|21}}. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:07, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
@PrimeHunter: thank you!!! I was lost on the syntax. That worked perfect! --Zackmann08 (Talk to me/What I been doing) 01:11, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

API PERL question.. correct specification of HTTPS connections[edit]

Now, let me start off by saying, I'm jet lagged, and probably am missing something obvious.

I did check this--the bot doesn't appear blocked.

I've been running very simple PERL scripts as User:Joe's Null Bot for some years, these work off the PERL MediaWiki API (e.g., [5].)

Since early November (and I was literally on Antarctica away from internets in the meantime), it appears that these scripts have been failing, unable to connect to port 443. Can't connect to that port, I hear it cry, error 500. My only environmental upgrade that likely to be relevant was an upgrade to OSX Sierra. The PERL APIs don't appear to have changed in the last year or more, so whatever is wrong is probably on my end, but as I said, I'm jet lagged and not seeing it. Ideas? --joe deckertalk 01:06, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Hmmm. Given what 443 is, I have one idea. Back in a few minutes. --joe deckertalk 01:09, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Okay, what's the correct way to populate the hashref passed to API->new for an HTTPS connection? I take it that simply putting https in the URI is not sufficient. --joe deckertalk 01:13, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Just a guess, for something to try, I've run into problems before with SSL and expired CA certificates. Maybe in the OS upgrade it lost the certificate. Though there is a status code for that 435 .. 500 is a generic which is more a question than answer. -- GreenC 02:18, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Hmmm. ENWIKI's cert looks good, the only thing that upgraded was my own box, which is my back-room iMac where the scripts run. Weird. --joe deckertalk 02:37, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I seem to recall an issue with root CA's and macOS Sierra. Can you check if the cert looks good from your box using Safari? I don't know what browser you normally use, but IIRC Chrome was using its own list of root CA's. Rchard2scout (talk) 08:30, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Both Chrome and Safari report ENWIKI's certs as valid.
Slightly more caught up on sleep, I'll look into this more in the next few hours. I see that midyear I applied a hack to disable some sort of hostname checking to make SSL work, my guess is that that's breaking now. Have gotten similar results from two machines. (If someone has experience with, or better, an concise example of, all the correct incantations for a login connection to over SSL, I'd appreciate it. --joe deckertalk 23:24, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)/Archive_146#MediaWiki::API_and_SSL may provide some background. --joe deckertalk 23:26, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Normally all you need with the Perl API is the protocol card:

my $bot = MediWiki::Bot->new ({
        assert       => 'bot',
        host         => '',
        protocol     => 'https',
}) or die "new MediaWiki::Bot failed";

Hawkeye7 (talk) 01:27, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

{{ping}Hawkeye7}} Cool, I was using the lower level interface, but it's probably not that hard to cut over.
That having been said, it still doesn't work.
2: 500 Can't verify SSL peers without knowing which Certificate Authorities to trust : error occurred when accessing after 6 attempt(s) at line 86. --joe deckertalk 16:30, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
Let me try putting the $ENV{PERL_LWP_SSL_VERIFY_HOSTNAME} = 0; fix back in. --joe deckertalk 16:32, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
And nope.
2: 500 Can't connect to : error occurred when accessing after 6 attempt(s) at line 86. --joe deckertalk 16:33, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
Have dumped code to User:Joe_Decker/ so that you can laugh at the kludgery. --joe deckertalk 16:39, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Showing related articles, at the bottom of the article on mobile[edit]

Related pages on mobile English Wikipedia.png

Greetings, the Related Pages feature is currently running on stable mode, on almost all Wikipedias, except English. It has been live on beta for over six months (to review, select beta from the settings page on mobile). The feature allows readers to be exposed to content that is similar to the topic that they are reading, a good way to further engage readers, and allow for more access to knowledge. After reviewing the feature's performance on beta, which displayed very high usage for the feature in mobile and significantly lower usage in desktop, the reading web team, responsible for developing the feature, would like to move the feature to stable on mobile web and potentially discontinue the feature on desktop. If no major concerns are identified, the team will be prepared to apply these changes in early January. Thank you --Melamrawy (WMF) (talk) 09:24, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Specific range of user contributions[edit]

Is it possible to get a specific range of user contributions? I was expecting the &from= parameter to work like it does in recent changes, but it doesn't seem to. The &month= parameter may not be sufficient to narrow it down to the required contributions when dealing with a prolific contributor. SpinningSpark 10:18, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Click "older" in user contributions to see the url structure like You can then edit the date and time in the url directly. The time is UTC. PrimeHunter (talk) 10:37, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I may as well post this which I wrote before seeing PrimeHunter's answer.
You can use offset=YYYYMMDD with limit=N, for example the following shows 10 contributions older than 1 April 2014:
A time (HHMM or HHMMSS) can be added:
Johnuniq (talk) 10:40, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Doh! 'click "older"', obvious when you put it like that! SpinningSpark 13:56, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Easy way to spot user renames?[edit]

Hey all, I can't figure out which tool is supposed to indicate the various previous usernames a person has had. For instance, here I see no results for a user name change, here I see no results for a user name change, but from what I can tell from stuff like this and this, the editor has changed names at least three times. I'm sure this is totally an issue of my ignorance. Thanks! Cyphoidbomb (talk) 17:27, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Standard way I use is to check the page history of the user talk page for moves. When an user is renamed, that page is automatically moved. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 17:31, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
@Jo-Jo Eumerus: There isn't a log for this? That's bizarre. Also, any idea why nothing shows up when I select Move log? Thanks, Cyphoidbomb (talk) 17:37, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
You need to use the previous username for both logs - it works the same way for normal page moves. This method requires that the user previously had a talk page, or user page, which was moved. Another method is to look at their early talk page signatures. -- zzuuzz (talk) 18:02, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
What links here, show redirects only. -- GreenC 18:10, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
So I would first have to suspect that someone has been renamed in order to think to use one of the methods listed to figure out who they were before? That is so weird. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 19:21, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
The same can be said for all page moves; there's probably an ancient bug report for it. You'd have to suspect a rename in order to look at their previous-names log, if it was there, so there's not a huge extra amount of work involved. Sometimes though, without userpages or signatures, it can be almost impossible to tell. -- zzuuzz (talk) 19:37, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Yeah it would be a good idea for a User Script to highlight a username when they have backlink redirects from User space. I've never written a user script but it would be similar as User:Theopolisme/Scripts/adminhighlighter.js (highlight admin), User:NuclearWarfare/Mark-blocked script.js (highlight blocked user). -- GreenC 19:46, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I think it would be generally awesome to have a "user info" script that would tell me a bunch of crap that I often forget to look for when investigating socks. Like, if I could click one link a and it would tell me what other accounts the user has created, or if another account created that user account, or if the user has any deleted edits like this guy or how many times the person has been blocked, and for what, whether they've had their account renamed, how many times, etc. A central "rap sheet" might be helpful instead of having to manually go through all the various tools. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 19:18, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
It's unfortunately late now but the 2016 Community Wishlist is nearing closure. I agree a tool that helps discover bad actors would be very useful. Automating the best practices for searching for problems. -- GreenC 20:04, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Did you try the global rename log on meta (example)? — xaosflux Talk 19:56, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Never mind - that is the same direction you don't want. — xaosflux Talk 19:57, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Nowrap templates[edit]

Sometime in the past 24 hours, the nowrap template has stopped working. I use them fairly extensively because I edit from a mobile device for mobile users; they're very helpful in making tables readable. Does anyone know why they have stopped working or how to fix the issue? Prisonermonkeys (talk) 20:36, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

It seems that it's is only non-functional on the mobile site.Tvx1 20:53, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Weird custom JS/CSS of inactive users[edit]

Querying DB I just found these weird custom JS/CSS of some users with only few edits on en.wp. Were they created automatically by some MW engine feature? If so, I'd say it would be better to delete these custom user scripts/styles.

Extended content
Page_title (page_size) // user editcount

--XXN, 21:48, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

It appears to be a dark theme. Considering they're all virtually identical, they're probably copies of each other, possibly from some other source. I also found a copy of that css here. The people who have a dark theme probably really want it. The fact that they don't edit much other than their own css isn't necessarily an incompatible personality characteristic. Also, the users aren't all inactive. Some of them have recent edits. They just don't have a lot of edits. --Unready (talk) 22:24, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I guess the pages were created by a browser extension, maybe Stylish, shortly after the users created an account or installed the extension. The creations were only around 2011–12 and seem harmless. Maybe not the best use of server space but the space usage is tiny for Wikimedia, and deletions don't actually save space. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:25, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Login problems in Firefox[edit]

During a recent session in which someone reverted a large series of edits I had made after a discussion I wasn't made aware of during the two hours in which it occurred (but that's another story), I found my pages were hanging and shut down Firefox, which I prefer to use for editing.

When I restarted it, I was logged out and couldn't log back on. I keep getting this message above the login box saying "There seems to be a problem with your login session; this action has been canceled as a precaution against session hijacking. Go back to the previous page, reload that page and then try again.

I did that and still got the same thing. I restarted the computer. Still happens. But only in Firefox; I'm typing this on Edge.

Can anyone help me with this? Daniel Case (talk) 03:43, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

I've been unable to login using Firefox for months now - again, Edge works perfectly - for me it appears to be related to Norton 360 (Firefox works when Norton isn't installed).Nigel Ish (talk) 19:40, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
I had no problems until yesterday (Chrome also works perfectly as well).

I should add that this applies to all Wikimedia sites, as I have SUL. Daniel Case (talk) 20:27, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Login error using iPad[edit]

Hello, I am Hwy43. I'm trying to login to my account on my iPad but I get the following error message:

"There seems to be a problem with your login session; this action has been canceled as a precaution against session hijacking. Go back to the previous page, reload that page and then try again."

I've tried the suggestion on numerous occasions but the problem persists. This began approximately 24 hours ago when I logged myself out after somehow finding myself in annoying mobile mode so that I could log back on in desktop mode, but haven't been able to get back in using my iPad since then. The edits I have made in the past 24 hours were through my laptop where I am not experiencing the same issues.
Also, if an Admin such as Resolute or The Interior could conceal my IP address after posting this I would greatly appreciate it. Cheers, [details removed] 07:58, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Did you try to explicitly bypass your browser cache? --Malyacko (talk) 12:08, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
No luck. Hwy43 (talk) 14:55, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
This still isn't working for me either. Since I have found I have no problems in other browsers, I suppose the problem is something related to Firefox. Are there any cookies I should check or whatever? Daniel Case (talk) 19:23, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
I've been able to resolve my issue. In iPad's settings for Safari I selected "Clear History and Website Data" and that appears to have done the trick. Hwy43 (talk) 23:24, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
So what would be the Firefox equivalent? Daniel Case (talk) 01:46, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Rowspan, TBA, and tables[edit]

Why didn't this edit work properly? I'm not completely familiar with how templates work, so it's probably quite a simple mistake. Anarchyte (work | talk) 08:21, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Fixed The documentation at {{TBA}} explains what was wrong. -- John of Reading (talk) 08:27, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

G13 notification issue[edit]

Greetings. I do some work over at G13 deletions. In the past, editors were given a warning when a draft had lain dormant for 5 months. This was done by a bot called HasteurBot. Then at the 6 month mark, if no further editing had occurred it appeared on the list. Then it is reviewed and either asked to be deleted, or ask for the deletion to be postponed for another 6 months. When the request for deletion is made, admins can delete the article (or editors/admins can remove the deletion tag), in a relatively short span of time. It appears that HasteurBot is no longer working, so the 5 month warning is no longer being sent out. Any ideas? Onel5969 TT me 22:06, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Courtesy ping to User:Hasteur who created the bot. Their wiki page says they are retired, but they do seem to come around Wikipedia sometimes and may have helpful input to this discussion. --MelanieN (talk) 22:48, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
The 5 month was simply a curtosey, The bot's process was a nice to have running in advance of the activist G13 editors. I'm not interested in re-upping the process. It's nice for creators of AFC articles to recieve notice before hand, but it's not a requirement. Hasteur (talk) 04:21, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the perspective, Hasteur. And all your efforts here. Onel5969 TT me 11:51, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
It's true that this was just a courtesy notice to users with inactive drafts and not an essential function. For those whose drafts get deleted, it isn't hard to get them reinstated, so there's probably no point in trying to recruit another bot-writer to reconstruct this. I'm sure there are much more important things for those rare-and-much-valued techies to be working on. --MelanieN (talk) 20:04, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. I've requested G13 on well over 1000 drafts, and in all that time, this is the first instance of someone getting upset by it. I felt that if it was an easy fix there was no harm in asking for it to be corrected. Thanks for the input, as usual. Onel5969 TT me 20:30, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

"Your notices"[edit]

Is it just my setup, or does the "your notices" notification take like five seconds to come up on other people's machines? --jpgordon𝄢𝄆 𝄐𝄇 01:36, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Special:Notifications often takes a long time to open for me in Firefox but not Safari. I see gray and white stripes. What web browser are you using? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:30, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Creating a related account name[edit]

I just encountered a editor with an unusual name, What cat?, and as we chatted I mentioned the awkwardness of the username due to the terminal question mark — it gets left off when you type the URL, so goes to the nonexistent User:What cat. I suggested creating a doppelgänger account, "What cat", and the user agreed that it would be a good idea, but I ended up sending him to WP:ACC after he reported that he couldn't create it due to its similarity to the names of two other accounts, including his own. When you're trying to create an account, why would similarity to your existing username be an issue? I was under the impression that the restriction on creating names similar to existing names was imposed to prevent impersonation, and clearly "What cat?" won't be creating "What cat" to impersonate himself. Nyttend (talk) 01:37, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

A sysop or account creator can make this for them for the immediate need. As far as the antispoof here is a quick example why:
  • First existing user User:I love cats
  • Second existing user User:I love cats!
  • Either of them wants to make User:I love cats? - a check could be put in that they are not spoofing themself - but what of the other account? — xaosflux Talk 01:45, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
    • An enhancement may be possible if there is "only one collision" and "collision=me". phab requests are around the corner :D — xaosflux Talk 01:47, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
[ec with your enhancement note] In this case, there was also the unrelated User:Whatcat, so What cat? shouldn't have been able to create What cat. The problem is that the similarity to What cat? was even mentioned — if you're using one account to create another, it should ignore the creating account's name when determining if any existing accounts have too-similar names. Nyttend (talk) 01:49, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

trying to create a toggled script[edit]

I'm working on a script to alter the display of an article.

But because I've run into a problem, I took the operational stuff out, in order to test the switch: the script adds an item in the tab menu that alternates between "Hide anno" and "Show anno".

The below script worked fine, until I added this to it:

var orig = cont.clone_node(true);

The words "Hide anno" are supposed to show up in the tab menu, but don't because of the above line.

Why does the creation of this variable cause the script not to work?

Here's the script:

/* anno.js: (Will) add a button to toggle visibility of annotations in lists. 

Currently, the toggle switch is being tested, because it breaks whenever I add most anything useful to the operational portion of the annoShow and annoHide functions, or above those functions.

Function annoHide will hide some text (I removed those lines of code until the toggle is fixed).  Function annoShow will put the text back (removed those lines of code for now).

Based on:
and  */

( function ( mw, $ ) {
    var annoSwitch; 
    var cont = document.getElementById('mw-content-text');
//  ERROR: the below line causes function annoShow not to work. "Hide anno" does not show up in the tab menu.
    var orig = cont.clone_node(true);
// This problem has me stumped, because I will need to set the content back to the original state, which is what the clone is for.

    function annoHide() {
//      the code to hide stuff will go here. For now, I'm just testing the toggle switch.
        if ( annoSwitch ) {
        annoSwitch = mw.util.addPortletLink( 'p-cactions', '#', 'Show anno', 'ca-anno', 'Show the annotations', 'a' );
        $( annoSwitch ).click( function ( e ) {
        } );
    function annoShow() {
//      the code to show stuff will go here. For now, I'm just testing the toggle switch.
        if ( annoSwitch ) {
        annoSwitch = mw.util.addPortletLink( 'p-cactions', '#', 'Hide anno', 'ca-anno', 'Hide the annotations', 'a' );
        $( annoSwitch ).click( function ( e ) {
        } );
    // Only activate on Vector skin
    if ( mw.config.get( 'skin' ) === 'vector' ) {
        $( function() {
            // Change this if you want to hide annotations by default
        } );
}( mediaWiki, jQuery ) );

I thought variable assignment was non-invasive. Please explain how that line affects the rest of the script.

This problem has me totally stumped. I look forward to your replies. The Transhumanist 08:28, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

I suspect you are running into a JavaScript error, which causes script execution to cease. Some browsers are not very good at reporting JavaScript errors inside anonymous functions. The error would be because the method clone_node doesn't exist in JavaScript; it is called cloneNode. — This, that and the other (talk) 09:01, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
And as a note, you are using mediawiki.util RL module, without guaranteeing that it is loaded. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:27, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
How do I guarantee that it is loaded? The Transhumanist 09:36, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
mw:ResourceLoader/Modules#mw.loader.using --Unready (talk) 19:56, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
@This, that and the other: That worked. Thank you! The Transhumanist 09:36, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
By the way, I've been trying to return the content to its previous state, which is what the clone is for.

I added this line:

cont.parentNode.replaceChild(orig, cont);

but it causes the script to cease execution. Can you spot an error in that line? The Transhumanist 09:36, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Never mind, I found a fix:


orig2 is a clone of orig. I found this necessary due to the limiting effects of local scope.

Thank you for the help. The Transhumanist 13:34, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Why cant I see the visual editor option on Wikipedia:WikiProject_United_Nations[edit]

Hi all

I'm doing some work to restart Wikipedia:WikiProject_United_Nations (a mainly abandoned Wikiproject with very little activity) and I just realised that I can't see the VE button on any of the pages, can someone explain why this is happening (I can see VE button everywhere else) and also enable it?

Many thanks

--John Cummings (talk) 13:34, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

@John Cummings: The Visual Editor is disabled on pages with the "Wikipedia:" prefix; see Wikipedia:VisualEditor#Limitations. -- John of Reading (talk) 15:22, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
As a technical matter, it's possible to do this. However, there's no way to enable it at the WikiProject pages and simultaneously enable not enable it at, say, ANI and VPT. The visual editor is not designed to function well on talk pages (e.g., no indentation to fake threading in discussions). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:28, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Watch category?[edit]

Okay I know multiple watchlists is a perennial proposal and I know one can already watchlist a category for additions to/removals from that category; my question is (hopefully) neither. Is there an easy way to watch every page in a category, besides cutting and pasting to the raw watchlist? Alternatively, is there a way to automatically add or remove pages to one's watchlist based on membership in a category? Cheers. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:17, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

@Ivanvector: RecentChangesLinked. --Izno (talk) 14:35, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
That helps, thanks, but it's not quite what I'm looking for. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:53, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
@Ivanvector: I'm a big, big fan of, which is nicely customisable. Just save the results URL to your userpage or somesuch for future reference. I use it to track image changes and additions over at Commons, so I'm sure it would work fine for Huntster (t @ c) 17:09, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

ENWIKI server changes?[edit]

Were there signficant changes to the Wikimedia server configuration for ENWIKI that would affect login APIs deployed in November?

(This is related to Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#API_PERL_question.._correct_specification_of_HTTPS_connections, but here I just need a yes/no.) --joe deckertalk 16:48, 8 December 2016 (UTC)


Hello all!

As you may or may not be aware, I'm a maintainer for xTools, which is a wonderful suite of tools originally developed by User:X!. As many of you have no doubt noticed, there are some lingering stability issues since User:Hedonil (One of our last maintainers) retired in 2014. His rewrite and maintenance also tied us tightly to Tool Labs, which has its own stability issues at times.

I have been working for a few months to rewrite xTools. I have decided to use Symfony, which has built-in caching and template functionality. My current development version is located at [], though please note that it is pre-alpha software and very buggy!

I have also asked for assistance from Community Tech. If you believe that xTools is useful, a vote would be appreciated: meta:2016 Community Wishlist Survey/Categories/Moderation tools#Rewriting_X.21.27s_Tools.

Note: While technically in violation of WP:CANVAS, Canvassing is permitted as part of the 2016 Community Wishlist Survey. See here. ~ Matthewrbowker Drop me a note 18:13, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Pinging interested parties: @Cyberpower678:, @MusikAnimal: ~ Matthewrbowker Drop me a note 18:13, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Reopening discussion about aligning colors with Wikimedia color palette[edit]

I started the discussion in mediawiki talk:common.css but maybe it's not public enough. The new changes in colors just got deployed in English Wikipedia (as part of 1.29.0-wmf.5) 324549 324161 and 324534 changed:

  • Search results colors
  • "You've got new message" bar.
  • TOC border and background.
  • Border and background of thumbnails.
  • Same for galleries.
  • Catlinks (Categories box)
  • Wikitables

Changes for Catlinks, galleries, thumbnails and TOC was changing from #f9f9f9 as background to #f8f9fa and #aaa as border to #a2a9b1. So to keep consistency in colors I think it's very important that all #f9f9f9 and #aaa in common.css should change too. (Mostly background of infoboxes) This change is almost unnoticeable (You too didn't notice it, did you?).

Beside that I have proposal to change some more stuff in Common.css to make it more aligned with Wikimedia color palette (phab:M82). This is a part of UI standardization to give users better experience. So these changes are a little bit noticeable:

  • #1e90ff to #36c (The left border of ambox-notice and similar ones)
  • #fbfbfb to #f8f9fa (background of mboxes)
  • #b22222 to #d33 #b32424 (The left border of ambox-speedy and similar ones)
  • #fee to #fee7e6 (Background of ambox-speedy and similar ones)
  • #f28500 to #ac6600 (The left border of ambox-content and similar ones)
  • #f4c430 to #fc3 (The left border of ambox-style and similar ones)
  • #bba to #a2a9b1 (The left border of ambox-protection and similar ones)

The color palette colors are widely used everywhere. For example in OOjs-ui (so most buttons you see in the interface). Even color of the disambig icon is aligned. What do you think? :)Ladsgroupoverleg 22:29, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Ambox-content in the Wikimedia UI colors is too dark and doesn't seem to indicate (at all?) the gradation. And the red too bright--too in your face. The others seem fine. --Izno (talk) 22:53, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Regarding the red, We can go with #b32424 (another color from the color palette) instead of #d33. @Izno:: What do you think? :)Ladsgroupoverleg 23:16, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
That's much closer. --Izno (talk) 01:33, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
Changed in the proposal. :)Ladsgroupoverleg 02:13, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Infobox in mobile: title malformed[edit]

{{Infobox}} has |title= (atop box) and |above= (inside box). All fine. But today in mobile view, the title text shows downgraded, eg compared to above-text, and is left-aligned. IOW: presented misformed. See earlier talks. A bug? -DePiep (talk) 23:17, 8 December 2016 (UTC) (and when in need, I ping Edokter -DePiep (talk) 00:49, 9 December 2016 (UTC))

Possibly related discussion about Infobox television. – Jonesey95 (talk) 02:42, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Visual editor reorganization of infoboxes[edit]

Whenever a visual edit to an infobox is made to an article that doesn't have an infobox in sorted the visual editor sorts infoboxes, it appears to reorganize the infobox. This causes the diff to be slightly more confusing than it needs to be. I propose we either make the diff system recognize lines/statements being moved around, or we make the visual editor not do this. The first one sounds better, but I'd guess that it'd take much more work than having the visual editor remember the order. Thoughts? – 🐈? (talk) (ping me!) 00:58, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

@What cat?: You can try User:Cacycle/wikEdDiff. It parses that diff quite finely. --Izno (talk) 01:37, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
Can someone who uses VE please make a dummy edit to this article to verify that it really does move infobox fields without an editor specifically doing it? If that happens, it should be filed as a bug against VE. – Jonesey95 (talk) 03:32, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Occasionally inflexible image placement[edit]

Sometimes no matter where an image is placed within the wikicode, it shows up in the same place in the article. Case in point: Rubus strigosus (version I'm referring to, in case someone fixes it). No matter where I put that image on the left, it shows up there, next to the references, with an obnoxious block of white space above it. This sort of thing happens regularly, and is usually a matter of moving things around until it looks acceptable. It drives me nuts, though, and there's just not much flexibility when we're talking about a short article. Whyyyyy does it do this, and how do I fix it? The left side of the article has no images save this one, so I want to be able to put it wherever I want -- top of a section, end of a section, between paragraphs, etc. What am I missing? — Rhododendrites talk \\ 02:52, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Well, if you change the location specification from left to none it displays perfectly where you tell it to. I'm not an expert in the ways files work, but I guess that works. Cheers -- The Voidwalker Whispers 03:07, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
That clears wrapping. Not exactly the best aesthetic option as it creates a bunch of whitespace around the image. --Majora (talk) 03:10, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
Oh, and it is the infobox that does this. Removed, the images work as expected. I'm testing some alternatives. --Majora (talk) 03:14, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
@Rhododendrites and The Voidwalker: By using the {{stack}} template I think I managed to put the image where you wanted to put it. --Majora (talk) 03:25, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
@Majora: Hmmmmmm. Ok, follow-up question: Why did that work? :) — Rhododendrites talk \\ 03:33, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Quite honestly, I wish you hadn't asked that since I have no idea the technical reason why it works. I just know that it does since I remember seeing it before. It definitely has something to do with infoboxes on short articles. If you look you will see that the image without {{stack}} didn't just appear in the references. It appeared immediately after the infobox ended. Why this happens and why the stack template fixes it? No idea. Perhaps someone else with more template knowledge than I do can explain it to the both of us Face-smile.svg. --Majora (talk) 03:42, 9 December 2016 (UTC)