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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New bolding in watchlist (resurrected)[edit]

Restored from 2 August premature archive. Problem remains unresolved. At least one editor has stated that they like the change. To prevent more premature archiving, I am adding a DNAU template to prevent another archive for one year, and that can be removed when this issue is resolved. ―Mandruss  20:35, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

Firefox 47.0.1. Less than an hour ago, my watchlist started bolding unvisited page title links, where previously there was just a subtle color difference and no bolding. I have cleared history and cache and restarted Firefox, don't know what else I could do on my end. Anyone else seeing this? ―Mandruss  21:19, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

@Mandruss: Did you recently change any of your gadget settings? Under Gadgets -> Watchlist there is a setting that will "Display pages on your watchlist that have changed since your last visit in bold". Is that checked? If not, check it, save, uncheck, and resave, and see if it fixes it. --Majora (talk) 21:24, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Did you recently change any of your gadget settings? No, not in many moons. The option was unchecked, so I did what you suggested. No change. ―Mandruss  21:26, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm having the same phenomenon, the same version of Firefox. Nothing changed on my end. But in the last hour or two, the bolding got so bold on the unvisited ones that it's blurry. It's big and thick and very dark and blurry. Only the link title is that way, not the rest of the info on the item. My gadget on Preferences is also not checked. What happened? — Maile (talk) 21:37, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
It's beginning to look like it might be a Firefox problem. I saw the change around the time that Firefox said it had automatically downloaded 47.0.1, albeit before I restarted Firefox to install it. I don't understand how the download could have introduced the problem, but then I know nothing of the internals. If it's Firefox, I'd expect a 47.0.2 very soon. ―Mandruss  21:42, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
I've had Firefox 47.0.1 for a couple of weeks now. By default of any other postings here, it's probably Firefox. But who knows. It's really distracting. And just confirming that I do not have this same problem in I.E. — Maile (talk) 21:48, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I assume that the bolding has something to do with the was Firefox handles CSS scripts. I'm not seeing the issue on Chrome so it is probably a problem on their side. I believe you can override it. WP:CUSTOMWATCH has instructions on how to make it bold. I'm guessing you would just replace, "font-weight: bold;" with "font-weight: normal;" --Majora (talk) 21:47, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Am seeing the same myself in Chrome, Firefox, IE and Edge. Do not have the option selected in prefs. Have tried selecting it and deselecting it. No difference. Nanonic (talk) 21:49, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Not seeing it in Edge or IE, no other browsers to test. ―Mandruss  21:55, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Has now stopped in both my Edge and Chrome but still in IE and FF. Odd! However when I refresh the page in Chrome, I can see it bold the 'unread' entries during page load before putting them back to normal when rendered. Nanonic (talk) 22:00, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
I've always experienced that in Chrome. I just assumed there was some Javascript at work that took a little longer to load. clpo13(talk) 22:04, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
I think I've always seen that in Firefox, but the bolding was turned off so quickly that I barely noticed it. So the hypothesis would be that whatever was turning it off is no longer working. No idea what that is, or why it would suddenly stop working. ―Mandruss  22:19, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
It's CSS. The MediaWiki software comes with bolding and no builtin option to remove the bold. The English Wikipedia removes bolding in MediaWiki:Gadget-WatchlistBase.css, a gadget enabled by default and saying "(This loads the base style for the watchlist. Please do not disable this option.)" Another gadget MediaWiki:Gadget-WatchlistChangesBold.css can then override the first gadget and make bolding again with "Display pages on your watchlist that have changed since your last visit in bold (see customizing watchlists for more options)". For some reason the first gadget is failing. I tried a dummy edit of MediaWiki:Gadget-WatchlistBase.css with no effect. It works in Firefox 47.0.1 if I load it using withCSS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Watchlist?withCSS=MediaWiki:Gadget-WatchlistBase.css. But it fails if I just have it enabled in gadgets and disable the bolding gadget. The English Wikipedia got mw:MediaWiki 1.28/wmf.11 three hours ago so something there may have triggered the issue. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:31, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm experiencing this problem as well, Firefox 47.0.1 and briefly on Chrome 52. Interestingly enough, I tried Majora's suggestion above regarding the watchlist gadget and the bolding went away, but only in Chrome. Firefox still has it. clpo13(talk) 22:04, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
I also am seeing the same bolding effect, started in the last hour or two. I am using Iceweasel 24.4.0, and have not recently tweaked any of my settings there or on WP. (Just got a new pair of glasses, but surely that is not a factor.) ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:12, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Me too. Started up this afternoon. I thought perhaps I had just loaded the page funny (sometimes clearly caches and what not fixes things like this) but apparently its still happening. I haven't tweaked any of my watchlist settings, and I am not happy about the bolding, although if it helps I have noticed that only pages I haven't directly edited are being bolded on the watchlist, those pages that I have edited and still have the current for are not bolded. Not sure what that means, but I am willing to take it. For the record, I am contributing using Firefox and I am fairly certain its the most recently available one. TomStar81 (Talk) 01:26, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Incidentally, I just noticed that its also on the recent changes page for those items I have on my watchlist. Not sure how that happened, but its happened. TomStar81 (Talk) 02:56, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
The bolding is of watched pages that have been changed since you last visited them. I don't know why MediaWiki:Gadget-WatchlistBase.css fails as a gadget but the bolding can be removed by importing it in your common JavaScript:
importStylesheet('MediaWiki:Gadget-WatchlistBase.css'); // Linkback: [[MediaWiki:Gadget-WatchlistBase.css]]
With this, bolding will be determined by the gadget "Display pages on your watchlist that have changed since your last visit in bold". PrimeHunter (talk) 10:33, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
@PrimeHunter: Thanks for helping with this, as always. Before deciding whether to fix this locally, I would like to know the prospects for a site fix that would make that unnecessary. Is anyone looking at this? If not, is there a way to get them to, such as phab? ―Mandruss  10:51, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
My guess is it will soon be fixed but I don't know where or by whom. I only know what is written here. Many people with CSS and MediaWiki knowledge watch this page, it has only been 14 hours where many users are not active, and so far a problem is only known to exist with a locally made gadget so I wouldn't take it to phab now. PrimeHunter (talk) 11:10, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Ok. I'll wait. ―Mandruss  11:21, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
It appears that gerrit:288026 has somehow changed the loading order of modules, so the module that applies the default bolding is now loaded after gadgets rather than before. Anomie 13:14, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
A short-term workaround would be to increase the specificity of the selectors in the gadget (e.g. make it "html .mw-changeslist-line-watched .mw-title") so it's not relying on ordering to break the tie. Anomie 13:25, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
I have limited CSS knowledge but I suggest you do that if you ensure MediaWiki:Gadget-WatchlistChangesBold.css still works for those who do want bolding and have selected it in preferences. PrimeHunter (talk) 19:11, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
This is still occuring, seems to have stalled in getting a "fix", think we need to this this enwiki local still? — xaosflux Talk 11:18, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: If the suggested fix looks good to you or another admin with CSS knowledge then I suggest trying it. Anomie only has one edit since the suggestion. I'm not qualified to evaluate it. PrimeHunter (talk) 10:54, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

That dreadful bolding that everyone hates!!![edit]

I see that unreadable bold text in the watchlist is back. How do I get rid of it this time? Checking/unchecking the "Display pages on your watchlist that have changed since your last visit in bold (see customizing watchlists for more options)" box, in preferences/gadgets/watchlist, makes no difference.--Ykraps (talk) 18:58, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

I don't see this bold. Where is the customize button? Millbug talk 19:09, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
See #New bolding in watchlist. There is a solution for your personal JavaScript and a suggested solution for everybody who is affected. PrimeHunter (talk) 19:14, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't understand much of that conversation. Do I create User:Ykraps/common.js, then copy this script, "importStylesheet('MediaWiki:Gadget-WatchlistBase.css'); // Linkback: [[MediaWiki:Gadget-WatchlistBase.css]]" to it, and save?--Ykraps (talk) 19:32, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
Exactly. (Don't copy the nowiki part in the page source). PrimeHunter (talk) 19:35, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
That seems to have done the trick, thank you.--Ykraps (talk) 21:32, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

As as side note, I don't understand why people consider the bold "unreadable". In fact I've had the bolding enabled for a while, and it's much easier to spot changes than solely based on the color of a small dot. nyuszika7h (talk) 21:13, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps it's a failing eyesight, getting old thing but in vector skin the type is so blobby the characters are barely distinguishable. With other skins it's not so bad but then the normal type is too small.--Ykraps (talk) 21:32, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
I use Firefox and MonoBook; I found that with IE (any skin), all characters get smudged. I believe that this smudging is something called anti-aliasing, which some consider a Good Thing. With my eyesight, it's not - I need sharp edges. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:47, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
I use Firefox and the Vector skin, it looks fine to me. nyuszika7h (talk) 11:12, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
I use Firefox and Safari in Vector, and it looks good. Perhaps it's a Windows problem? I use a Mac.
Not a Windows thing. I see it on Linux with Firefox. Jason Quinn (talk) 17:23, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Despite the assertion that everyone hates the bolding, I happen to like it, and I will go to some trouble to enable it at the few wikis where it's not on by default. WhatamIdoing (talk) 13:50, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing I think what everyong "hates" is that we already had a gadget option for this (Display pages on your watchlist that have changed since your last visit in bold) that is broken, removing the ability for users to configure this as a preference. Perhaps the gadget needs to be changed to "DO NOT BOLD ....." ? — xaosflux Talk 21:57, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
I like the bolding too, because otherwise the only notice that a page is unvisited is the dim color of the tiny bullet to the left of the page name. (In fact, the bullets are so non-obvious that I never even noticed their color variations until I read about it in nyuszika7h's post above.) I don't care whether bold or non-bold is the default, as long as I have the power to choose bold if I want it. (I'm using Firefox.) — Lawrence King (talk) 20:44, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Ad banners[edit]

When I close a "wiki loves monuments" ad banner, it appears to pop-up again and again, as I happen to login from separate IP addresses. (I suppose that is why I keep seeing it.) Is there not a way make it so that the banners do not repeatedly pop-up for the same user? I wonder if this is a bug that has already been logged? Thanks. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 18:36, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

@Biosthmors: The toggle is tracked by a cookie which is specific to the device you use. Enable the "Suppress display of CentralNotices" option in Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets to get rid of the banner. - NQ (talk) 18:50, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
I use the same computer but it still keeps popping up VarunFEB2003 04:14, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I just saw the ad banner again at my home IP, and I believe this isn't the first time. And I don't want to turn off all central notices. I just think that after I close out of it once, I shouldn't ever see it again. Is it supposed to keep re-appearing after I close out of it? Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 02:49, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
According to m:Special:CentralNoticeLogs, User:Romaine is probably the best person to answer questions about why this isn't running the "impression diet" or other features that would limit how often you see it. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 15:15, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
An impression diet would have caused the same problem, as clicking a banner away should have the same result as an impression diet: not showing again.
Banners are enabled in such way with such settings that the banner fulfils what is supposed to do. Some banners use an impression diet, as for those it is assumed that if you have not looked at it in the for example 10 page views on a wiki, you are not interested. The Wiki Loves Monuments banner is set up differently than that, because it otherwise is not possible for participants - after going out and taking photos - to find back the website with the info about how to participate, how to upload, rules, etc.
However, if you have clicked a banner away, and you access it on a wiki with the same device and same browser, you should not see the banner again. I am not completely in the tech side of it, but so far I know the banner is placing a cookie and marks that you have clicked the banner away. Then the banner should not be shown to you again. I personally have clicked the banner away and did not show again to me. So why it keeps on showing to you I do not know.
One of the possibilities can be that a cookie contains an error, that you have an adblocker that disables the cookie or that your browser deletes cookies after closing/some time. Maybe other causes can exist as well. Romaine (talk) 19:27, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Ah. I do have an adblocker. The irony. Just saw it again from my home IP and computer. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 17:53, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks User:Whatamidoing (WMF) and Romaine. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 17:55, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
I do also wonder just how many times people have viewed this banner (which links to c:Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2016 in the United States). I do find it annoying, and it seems to be quite long-running. I wonder how many readers are also annoyed by it. Is anyone responsible for publishing a cost-benefit analysis of this banner's use? Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 18:02, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
For the WLM banner specifically, the answer is almost certainly "no". To create a banner, you have to have admin rights to m:Special:CentralNotice, but I believe that, with the exception of banners posted by Fundraising team (which endlessly and heavily analyzes everything), no further testing or cost–benefit analysis is ever done. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:02, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Opera 9.27[edit]

Hello. It is still impossible to see formulas. Is there any progress with this bug? Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)/Archive_147#New_formulas_layout phab:T137765 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.140.224.81 (talk) 08:20, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Any progress on updating your browser to something that isn't obsolete, unsupportable, and a decade old? It doesn't support HTML 5, does it? I'd guess it probably can't cope with modern CSS either. It must be long past time to let go of it and use something supportable. Murph9000 (talk) 09:45, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
You expect people to fix an error in a browser from over 8 years ago? We don't even support MS IE8, and that was released a year later. Update your browser. --Izno (talk) 11:45, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
That's not very nice. The official story is more along the lines of: "You are using a very old browser used by very few people, which we do not support and for which we thus cannot guarantee a fully functioning website. Most will be working, but you should also expect some things to NOT work." A fix might be possible, but it will depend upon the time available to volunteers to invest in such a rare problem. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:37, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
""Update your browser." -- Can't update browser, sorry.Wiki A01 (talk) 11:28, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

WikiData item call?[edit]

I see the WikiData item in the sidebar menu, but...

How do you have a script look up the WikiData identifier for a particular Wikipedia article? The Transhumanist 05:04, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

If I understand the question ... you'll only get the wikidata link if the article title in wikipedia corresponds to an entry in the 'wikipedia' child table in wikidata. So, for example, Bovinae points to https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q4979192 because en:Bovinae is found in the 'wikipedia' child table in wikidata, and points at Q4979192. Put another way, the wikipedia article title is the foreign key used to look up a Q value from wikidata via a 'wikipedia' child table. It follows from this that if the wikidata item is missing from the wikipedia page, the cause is the absence of a link to en: in wikidata and the cure is to add the wikipedia article to the appropriate wikidata item. Wikipedia:Wikidata may be helpful. --Tagishsimon (talk) 05:19, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
@Tagishsimon: Thank you. By the way, how do you look up the Wikipedia child table in Wikidata? The Transhumanist 05:57, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Why do you want to do that? It's possible that someone has already implemented the thing you want. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 14:53, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
To achieve the technological singularity, of course.   :)   I'm trying to learn WikiData and how it can be used in conjunction with WP pages. Like automatic data storage and data retrieval. I see the "Wikidata item" link on the sidebar, but how do you access the Q value other than by clicking on that link? Like with a script. As for "things", is there a list of the things that have been implemented? And how do you access the WP child table to get the Q value? The Transhumanist 20:30, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
What seems to be being implemented are templates, such as {{Wikidata property}} which enable you to retrieve a wikipdata property based on the article name being an FK to a wikipedia article name in wikipdata. Category:Templates using data from Wikidata shows progres to date. Visit any of those and view the source to see exactly how the query is put together - such as this. Does that help? Wikipedia:Wikidata seeks to explain this and provide some links to additionally useful pages. --Tagishsimon (talk) 20:52, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
@Tagishsimon: That looks like a very good place to start. Thank you. By the way, what does "FK" mean?   The Transhumanist 21:33, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Foreign key. The value that you search for in the 'wikipedia' table in wikidata. --Tagishsimon (talk) 21:44, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
"Based on the article name being an FK to a wikipedia article name in wikidata."
  • {{Wikidata property |1=P496 |2=ORCID }} →
Wikidata has a property, P496, for ORCID (see uses)
@Tagishsimon: {{Wikidata property}} appears to access a property that you specify by its identity number. But where would a script get the identity number in the first place? And how do you use a foreign key? The Transhumanist 01:39, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, I chose a really poor example. That template has little or nothing to do with the question you asked. Let's try again. Take {{OL author}}. Try adding just that: {{OL author}} to the top of the Jack Kerouac page, and preview. The result is a sentence "Works by Jack Kerouac at Open Library", and the link associated with the "Works by Jack Kerouac" substring is to https://openlibrary.org/authors/OL21491A ... and the value OL21491A in that URL is the OL author number, stored in wikidata against the wikidata item https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q160534 - its Jack Kerouac item. In that record we find OL21491A in the identifiers section, against the Open Library ID property. And in this example, the foreign key that was passed to wikidata in order to retrieve the OL21491A was the title of the article on which we placed the {{OL author}}. (And in the template's source, we see mention of #property:P648, which is the wikidata property number for an Open Library ID ... so the query is saying 'if there is one, give me the P648 value, for the wikidata record which has the title of this article in its wikipedia child table'.) ((Amongst things I don't know about wikidata: does it / how does it ensure that a wikipedia article name maps to only a single wikidata record, and/or, how does a template like OL author behave if there are two wikidata records associated with the article title ... doubtless I'm eliding a whole rats-nest of complexity in this simple answer. It's a learning experience for me, too.)) --Tagishsimon (talk) 02:21, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
@Tagishsimon: to answer your questions. a) it simply doesn't allow you to add Xwiki link to multiple WD entities. This is a problem sometimes to us at Wikidata,but we haven't come up with a solution. b) it may pick the best value (see d:Help:Ranking) or simply get the first one (or probably random one). Oh, didn't read the part after 'and/or' carefully. So I answered that too in 'a)' part. --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 04:37, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
I think you want to go to Wikipedia:WikiProject Wikidata and make lots of friends. Face-wink.svg Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:42, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Wrong citation template[edit]

mw:Wikimedia Research/Showcase#September 2016 presents some interesting work about finding sources to support unsourced statements in Wikipedia articles. One of the things that complicated this work is the inappropriate use of {{cite web}} when {{cite news}} would be appropriate (e.g., for citations to BBC News) – almost a million instances, actually. I think it'd be easy to identify a handful of popular news sites that should normally use the {{cite news}} template. (We might even be able to get a list from this researcher.)

If we get a list of URLs, can we send a bot around to fix "cite web" uses that should be "cite news", or is this task better suited to AWB? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:34, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Changing {{cite web}} to {{cite news}} should be a fairly straightforward task given a list of news sources and I can imagine how an AWB task might accomplish that. I suspect that editors at Wikipedia will not easily accept, much less trust, that the researcher's machine will insert valid citations into Wikipedia articles.
Trappist the monk (talk) 15:52, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Some thoughts:
  1. In the most basic of uses, and probably most common, cite web and cite news render things identically (assuming web is provided a URL):
    • Last, First (January 1, 2000). "Title". Work. 
    • Last, First (January 1, 2000). "Title". Work. 
  2. Given #1, there would need to be a strong consensus (per WP:COSMETICBOT) to change one to the other.
  3. 1/2 aside, "should be" cite news is a mis-characterization for multiple reasons
    • Some template instances citing news works may not be citing a news article--for which cite news would clearly be wrong;
    • These are not "inappropriate" uses of cite web, simply unrefined. Please consider using more precise terminology in the future.
--Izno (talk) 16:22, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree with you that editors would be unlikely to be pleased with the results of a citation-inserting bot. However, the idea is that it recommends a possible source and shows you the source (including the contents) so that you can decide whether it's appropriate. They seem to have reasonably good results, but "reasonably good" means maybe 80% chance of being acceptable, not 99%.
Izno, if you're citing something at https://news.bbc.co.uk (one of the ones that has this problem), it is very unlikely that you're citing just some web page. But if COSMETICBOT is an issue, then this is better suited for AWB/when other fixes are being made anyway. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:50, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Notifications getting annoying[edit]

I can't simply click off notifications I've read. Yesterday and preceding days, that was happening to pages where a link was made to articles I created. Way down at the bottom of that was "Try the redesigned Notifications page. All new look and features." OK, fine. And that notice was the only way I could actually access the redesigned Notifications page to click off the link notices I'd received. So...today, I can't click off notifications on that show under "Alerts". I mean, I can click on them, and I can read them, and I can go to them. But the alert stays active no matter how many times I do that. Way down at the bottom of that is "Try the redesigned Notifications page. All new look and features." I went to it...again. I finally got that Alert to stop showing. So, now instead of just a one-keystroke clicking on the notification to get rid of it, we now have to go to a separate page that is NOT the article the notification refers to, and click, click, click, then get rid of that page to go back what we were doing? Good programming intentions go awry, I think.— Maile (talk) 14:08, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

After reading the Alert or Notice, click on the blue dot to clear it. It won't stay active after you do that. Akld guy (talk) 19:45, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
If you're lucky... Ceratinly with crosswiki notifications, but also with enwiki ones, they may remain active (or inactive but counted). Revisiting the page, or (if possible) marking the notice again as unread and then as read, may solve the problem. Nagging the WMF about the continuing problems with notifications may help as well. Fram (talk) 11:35, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

AFD log bug?[edit]

Resolved

Hi, Going through this log I've noticed all the afds that have second or third noms simply say "(2nd nomination)" instead of "X (2nd nomination)", When I click on some of the AFDs some will say "X (2nd nomination)" whilst others say "(2nd nomination)", It's never happened before so not sure if it's a bug or what, Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 00:46, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

@Davey2010: It was caused by this edit by Izno. I have now reverted that edit. GeoffreyT2000 (talk, contribs) 00:51, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Hi GeoffreyT2000 - I'm not sure as this AFD still says it and that's with me purging the log as well as this AFD ... or would the purging take much longer?, Sorry I'm hopeless when it comes to technical things, Thanks for your help/reply tho, –Davey2010Talk 01:00, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
{{Afd2}} is used with subst: so if it was substituted on an Afd page between 13 September and 26 September then it will have |stripprefix=Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/ in the wikitext. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:16, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Ahhh right I thought once a template was changed then everything was changed, Having read SUBST it all makes sense now!, Thanks PrimeHunter for kindly explaining in the simplest of terms and thanks GeoffreyT2000 for finding the cause :). Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 02:47, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Africa/The Africa Destubathon[edit]

Hi, I was wondering if somebody could find a way to generate me a list of women article stubs for each African country in a list to distribute in this contest page. Also from the list generated on high/mid importance ones a hotlist of articles on women stubs for Africa too considered importance ones. Thanks.♦ Dr. Blofeld 08:56, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

How does this look as a list for Egypt? (on the "Categories" tab, change the nationality in the "Categories" field.) עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 11:32, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Should spacing before heading depend on number of blank lines?[edit]

Should the spacing before a heading depend on the number of blank lines before the heading, since typically one or more blank lines are handled the same in markup languages.

If the spacing actually should depend, then what number of blank lines are recommended before a heading and between paragraphs, and may no blank lines be used ?

See example below.

One blank line before this heading[edit]

Lorem Ipsum.


Two blank lines before this heading[edit]

Lorem Ipsum.


Other examples made in User:MortenZdk/sandbox#Example_of_spacing_before_heading shows blank line dependency as:

  • Paragraph to heading: Different spacing depending on number of blank lines
  • Heading to paragraph: Same spacing independently of number of blank lines
  • Paragraph to paragraph: Different spacing depending on number of blank lines

--MortenZdk (talk) 17:17, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

@MortenZdk: The established practice (see MOS:HEADINGS) is one blank line before each heading (n.b. not "header", that's the top row of a table or the box at the top of certain pages), except where a subheading follows a heading, in which case the blank line is optional. Why are you asking? --Redrose64 (talk) 19:33, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
@Redrose64: Thanks for the answer and reference to MOS; I have corrected terminology of header to heading. Reason for asking, is that I happened to see that the spacing on rendered pages depended on the number of blank lines I used, and I found this odd when using a markup language, since for example DokuWiki system and markdown language collapses consecutive blanks lines. I think collapsing consecutive blank likes is more logical, so the markup language is used only to specify the contents and logical structure of the contents, but not the appearance. It seams like Wikipedia handles blank lines inconsistently, since for example consecutive blank lines from heading to paragraph are collapsed, while consecutive blank lines from paragraph to heading are not. I recon that MOS describes the required spacing, but my guess is that a great number of the inexperienced and occasional editors have not read the MOS before start editing, and the markup language should not have that kind of unnecessary pitfalls. Also, for example the Danish MOS does not mention the requirements for just a single space before a heading, which show that having more requirements also makes it more difficult to communicate correct use. And in the end; what is the idea of giving the editor control over the amount of space in the rendering, with the risk and result that the appearance of different Wikipedia pages are inconsistent? --MortenZdk (talk) 20:09, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
There are many things illogical about MediaWiki wikitext syntax (and similar with markdown and dokuwiki syntax and almost any other plain text markup syntax that was ever invented). The problem is that it is very difficult to fix inconsistencies like this without breaking things in the process. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:30, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Sometimes you will see people adding multiple blank lines before a heading in an attempt to bring that heading below a left-floated object such as an image. The problem with this approach is that it makes all sorts of assumptions about how other people see the page - most of these assumptions (primarily the screen width) will be wrong. The correct action to take is to use a template like {{clear left}}, as I did in this edit. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:15, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
@TheDJ: Lets address the issues one by one when we spot them. Since the behaviour of multiple blank lines is not defined, it should not break anything define it, and thereby get a consistent view of the pages, independently of what odd formatting editors have used. --MortenZdk (talk) 05:51, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
@MortenZdk: I'm re-pinging TheDJ, because your previous attempt to do so couldn't possibly have worked as you forgot to sign your comment. Graham87 07:53, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
The behaviour is defined - at least in terms of the emitted HTML. If you use one blank line before each heading, you get an orderly sequence of HTML elements, of the form
<p>Last paragraph of a section</p>
<h2>A heading</h2>
<p>First paragraph of the section</p>
...
Where there are two blank lines in the page source, you get
<p>Last paragraph of a section</p>
<p><br /></p>
<h2>A heading</h2>
<p>First paragraph of the section</p>
...
notice the additional paragraph element, and that it is empty apart from a single <br /> tag, this <br /> gives vertical spacing. Where there are more than two blank lines, each pair of additional blank lines will yield one additional <p><br /></p>, so six blank lines emits three of those empty paragraphs.
But it's not a good idea to use this technique; not only does it depend heavily upon unknown characteristics, but the very next edit to that section will strip out all the blank lines to leave just one. This is because the MediaWiki software is designed to leave one blank line before each heading; it does this as follows. When you edit a section, the edit box is loaded with the wikisource for the section, but it's not an exact copy: all trailing whitespace is removed, and then one newline is appended. When you save your edit, all trailing whitespace is removed, and then two newlines are appended (unless it's the last section on the page, in which case no newlines are appended). So if a section finishes with several blank lines, clicking "[edit]" for that section and going straight for Save changes will replace all those blank lines with a single one; similarly, if a section finishes with no blank lines but goes straight to the next heading, clicking "[edit]" for that section and then Save changes will insert a single blank line. --Redrose64 (talk) 08:08, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
@Redrose64: Thanks for the detailed answer. So the MediaWiki software will actually collapse consecutive blank lines in section editing, but not in page editing nor page rendering. Also opening and saving a section without doing any explicit edits will cause the rendering of the related page to change. I see that the consecutive blank lines will generate HTML code like that, thus resulting in rendering with additional space, but I guess that this is an artifact in the WikiMedia software, and not a feature that was specified and implemented by purpose, since otherwise section editing should not alter the presentation by collapsing consecutive blank lines. Note that I have created a suggestion for change as WikiMedia Phabricator T146732. --MortenZdk (talk) 09:37, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

How to edit on the history page[edit]

Resolved

Hi - I left an injudicious comment on my last edit of The Chippendale Society article and would like to remove it but don't know how. Could someone please do me a kindness and take my foot out of my mouth - i.e. delete same?

With thanks MarkDask 13:22, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

While administrators have the technical ability to redact edit summaries, we generally don't do it simply to hide bad judgement. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 14:09, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
For the rules on what the admins are allowed to remove, see Wikipedia:Revision deletion. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:17, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for both responses; I have now read the revision deletion info. In this instance I am asking for an own comment to be deleted as it is counter-productive. I had placed the Society's banner at the top of the Chippendale article, pending permission, and when I sought permission it had ruffled some feathers that I used the banner prior to seeking permission. I therefore took it down, (penultimate of my edits), and the comment I left was a matter of pique. Shortly thereafter I received a very positive email from the Society to say there was no substantial reason why I may not use the banner but it will take a few days for the Trustees to decide formally; my comment therefore may prove injurious to my general intent to improve all Chippendale-related articles; I value the Society as a source. MarkDask 20:33, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
OK I have treated it as disruptive and hidden it as WP:Point could apply to the remark. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 12:13, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Sincerely grateful Graeme - if you had not done so my pique might have lost me an essential source. MarkDask 17:57, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Tech News: 2016-39[edit]

18:07, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Problems with template overload on the Select Bus Service article[edit]

I was recently editing and updating articles related to Select Bus Service. This includes several {{routemap}}s (see my contributions history). Now, most of the templates work... right up to the point where I included {{reflist}}, and after that, it seems that a template limit has been reached. The templates just conk out and it shows the template wikilinks instead, like Template:Reflist instead of the actual reflist.

Does anyone know how can I fix this? Any help is appreciated. I am using Safari version 9.0.2 on OS X El Capitan 10.11.12. But this problem is seen on Chrome and Firefox, too. epicgenius (talk) 03:32, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

I hid 3 templates and everything seems fine again, but I don't know exactly why these particular templates cause template overload on this page. epicgenius (talk) 03:45, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

@Epicgenius: The limit in question is the post-expand include size. The solution is to reduce the number of template calls on the page, particularly templates that are deeply nested or output a lot of wikitext. (I'm afraid I'll have to leave finding out which templates those are until I have more time, unless someone else beats me to it.) — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 05:46, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
I see that {{M15 SBS BRT map-infobox}} is responsible for 241543 of the limit here (11.5%). עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 11:03, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
ANd {{B44 SBS BRT map-infobox}} is responsible for 281111 of the limit (13.4%). Deactivating just these 2 templates leaves the page at 1784845, which leaves enough room for either, but not both, of these templates if you don't add much else (even a small route template). עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 11:07, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
@Mr. Stradivarius and Od Mishehu: Thanks for the responses. I've hidden both of these templates since they're redundant to the images and displayed on their main articles, so these should no longer be a problem. epicgenius (talk) 15:27, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
I wonder whether the unusual size of these templates should be noted on their /doc pages. It seems that some of these route map templates have appeared here for the same reason before now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:27, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
The problem is that {{routemap}} contains much fewer templates than {{BS-map}}. Before all the maps on the Select Bus Service page were converted to use {{routemap}}, they all used {{BS-map}}, which typically had about 20 to 30 templates in it before post-expand size (compared to {{routemap}}, which is typically only one direct transclusion, not accounting for post-expand size). When the Select Bus Service article used BS-maps, the templates would be unable to parse by the time the "Q44" section was reached. I converted the BS-maps to routemaps in order to reduce the number of templates, but it seems like there needs to be some warning or something for these routemaps. epicgenius (talk) 21:24, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
@Epicgenius: Might there be a way to reduce the server load/post-expansion include size of {{Routemap}}? I might end up running into this problem in my sandbox, as there are still about 40 of the SL diagrams left to convert to {{Routemap}}. Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
to reply to me
08:41, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
@Jc86035: I already removed a lot of inconsequential templates in these routemaps, like {{!}}, which seemed to not have a negative impact when I removed them. However, I think that the collapsible function has a lot to do with the high post-expansion include size of the M15 and B44 maps. epicgenius (talk) 12:50, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
@Epicgenius: I've removed each template's {{#ifexist:}} parser function; maybe that might help a bit more. Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
to reply to me
13:22, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
@Jc86035: It does seem to help (fewer functions). The inline parameter is supposed to be optional in case it is used as a standalone template. epicgenius (talk) 13:26, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

SSL links[edit]

Can y'all figure out what is going on here and whether this is of any use? User:ChangingLinksToSSL, feel free to explain. Thanks, Drmies (talk) 03:46, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

When SSL is available on the page for the citations will change the links to SSL (have the links default to encrypted pages) --ChangingLinksToSSL (talk) 03:56, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Why is this not happening en masse, with a bot? Is there a reason to keep non-SSL links when there is an secure protocol for the address available? --Wesalius (talk) 05:24, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
The bot account Bender the Bot (talk · contribs) is working on this. -- John of Reading (talk) 06:10, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
See this WP:VPR. Right now Green Cardamon's bot is fixing Wayback Machine links, and my bot fixes Google Books and Google News. --bender235 (talk) 13:26, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Only a section to watchlist, not the whole page[edit]

Is it possible to put just a section of a page to watchlist? For example if I am interested in just the responses (notification emails) only to this qustion and not interested about all the other edits on this page.

The reason I am asking is that when I get notified that something is happening here that does not interest me and for that reason I do not visit the page, I stop getting notifications even for my own section. Thanks. --Wesalius (talk) 05:18, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

No, it's not possible at the moment. This feature is frequently requested, but would be very difficult to implement due to the way the MediaWiki software currently generates wiki pages. However, it will become possible if and when we switch talk pages to use the Flow discussion system or something similar. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 05:30, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Is there some task about this at phabricator/technical discussion somewhere else, where I can get and insight on the technical difficulties you mentioned? I am curious because at my homewiki the community declined switching to Flow, so I am interested in possible solutions/workarounds to this. Thank you. --Wesalius (talk) 05:42, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Section watching was #18 in last year's Community Wishlist Survey (another Community Wishlist survey will take place later this year). The related task is phab:T2738. Basically what Mr. Stradivarius already wrote above. :) --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 12:59, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Wikicode adding a "(" into a template's wikilink[edit]

Greetings, at Template:Catholic Church hierarchy sidebar group6, a left parantheses "(" is being added to display for line [[List of Princes and Grand Masters of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta|Prince and Grand Master of the<br> Sovereign Military Order of Malta]]. Asking for help here as I have not a clue as to how to fix. Regards, JoeHebda • (talk) 12:51, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

@JoeHebda: The "(" comes from {{startflatlist}}. The corresponding ")" is at the end of the list, after "Calatrava". It's doing this because most of the items in "group6" are marked as sub-items, each beginning with two asterisks not one. -- John of Reading (talk) 13:26, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
I have piped out repeated text in the subitems to make the list easier to read.[8] PrimeHunter (talk) 14:12, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
John of Reading and PrimeHunter – Thank you for your help. Cheers! JoeHebda • (talk) 18:26, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Font size Safari 5[edit]

Someone wrote into Wikimedia with an observation that the font size of equations is quite small in Safari 5.1.10.

I'm sure I have read some advice recently that Wikipedia has no particular interest in trying to resolve technical issues in very old browsers. Does this qualify?--S Philbrick(Talk) 15:41, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

User:Physikerwelt, do you think that this is the math software or local CSS?
I suppose it might be helpful to find out whether that's the case at all Wikipedias, or just the English Wikipedia. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:30, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
@Sphilbrick: You are probably looking for mw:Compatibility. --Izno (talk) 18:32, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
@Izno: Thanks, that's helpful. If I read it correctly, Safari 5.1.10 makes the cut. I'll try to follow up with more info.--S Philbrick(Talk) 01:27, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Image compression and saving on hard-disk capacity and bandwidth costs[edit]

I've recently sent an e-mail to the Wikimedia Foundation and got an answer saying I should post this matter here.

I imagine a big part of Wikimedia Foundation costs are maintaining servers and paying for the bandwidth necessary to serve content.

I humbly suggest that a typical 10-25% of the disk space necessary to hold and bandwidth needed to serve JPG and PNG images be cut by using freely available software.

As an example, I have just downloaded and compressed the file: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Great_Wave_off_Kanagawa2.jpg from 38,986,864 bytes to 34,874,379 bytes (a ~10,5% saving in disk space and bandwidth every time this image is downloaded).

This can be done with OSS such as https://imageoptim.com/mac, which can be called from the command line. This is for OS X, similar implementations are available for other platforms.

I should emphasise that this is NOT lossy compression, but rather an optimization of the way information is encoded in JPG and PNG files, and produces visually and otherwise indistinguishable files (provided the options to remove metadata in the files, which are enabled by default, are disabled).

The output files are still standards-compliant, and will still open in all the same browsers and software. This is as close as it gets to "free money" (I personally shaved off a couple hundred Gb on high-resolution images related to my professional activity by using this software). There is ample technical explanation available on what is going on behind the scenes (Huffman tables optimization and the like), and I'm sure some people here will be well equipped to understand and better explain all the nitty-gritty detail. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vrrp (talkcontribs) 17:14, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

The servers cost about $2,000,000 a year to run. This isn't chicken feed, but it's a minute fraction of the budget of a little over $50,000,000 a year—the server costs are a drop in the ocean compared to the staff costs. Remember that viewers aren't being served up the full-size version of images (unless they click through to them on Commons) so any "savings" from compression are illusory, and uploading fresh versions isn't going to save on server space since the previous versions will still need to be kept on those same servers. ‑ Iridescent 17:21, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
I wouldn't jump to the conclusion of the savings being illusory. If you store images with lossless compression then you don't need to keep the originals around, as you can reconstruct the originals byte for byte from the compressed version. Storing images using lossless compression would obviously take up less disk space than storing them without compression if we didn't keep the originals. And if we could serve compressed images and get users to decompress them once they are downloaded, then it would obviously save on bandwidth costs. There are several questions still remaining about this plan, though. Here are a few off the top of my head:
  • How does the WMF currently store its images? They might already be stored in a compressed form for all I know.
  • How much bandwidth and hard disk space would we expect to save exactly? If it turns out to not be that much, then this might not be cost-effective to implement.
  • If we served compressed images, would the decompression on the client end work on all the browsers we support, and on all the platforms we support? And would it work without JavaScript?
  • Would changing to compressed images break existing gadgets, bots and scripts?
I'm not trying to say that this wouldn't work. But it would definitely require some careful thought if we were to go through with it. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 00:17, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Also, it is probably worth saying that both PNG and JPEG use compression already, so with these formats we are talking about the relative level of compression, not compression or no compression. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 00:26, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
"If you store images with lossless compression then you don't need to keep the originals around, as you can reconstruct the originals byte for byte from the compressed version" is misunderstanding how Wikipedia/Wikimedia works. For attribution purposes we have to keep every revision which has ever existed; thus, if an existing 10mb image is compressed to 8mb, the total space taken on the servers will be 18mb so compressing all images will lead to a significant loss, not a saving, of space. Regarding bandwidth, both you and the OP seem to have a misapprehension regarding how MediaWiki handles images—except in cases where the original image file is smaller than the default, the software automatically generates and caches smaller versions which are what the viewer sees. Thus, a mammoth file like File:1886 Snyder's real estate map of Cook County, Illinois.jpg takes up no more bandwidth to view than a file one percent of the size, unless the reader clicks through to view the original. (We do have a 25 megapixel limit for PNG images for technical reasons; for other formats there's no limit although we strongly discourage large progressive-mode JPEGs.) I really wouldn't worry about server space; Wikipedia is actually a lot smaller than people think. The entire edit history of all Wikimedia projects takes up about 40TB; this obviously isn't tiny, but it's nowhere near as big as people assume. (If you're willing to blow about $10,000 on RAIDs you could easily run a Wikipedia mirror in your basement; indeed, the WMF strongly encourages anyone with the spare capacity to do so). ‑ Iridescent 08:33, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
I assumed that the question is actually about compressing files on Commons (where most of the images are), rather than the English Wikipedia's File: namespace. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:45, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Three things coming up for 2017[edit]

Some of you may think this is long-term planning, but I wanted to let you know about three tech projects :

  • mw:Parsing/Replacing Tidy. Tidy cleans up certain mistakes that editors make, e.g., invalid HTML tags such as <b/> or tables that are missing their closing tags. As part of a years-long project to improve HTML compliance and get back to having only one parser, Tidy is going to be removed, probably some time in 2017. When that happens, some pages that currently look okay, even though their wikitext is broken, are going to stop looking okay. If you're a tech-savvy person, or if you like gnoming work, then please have a look. If you have time and want to help, but don't know what to do, then please drop by Wikipedia:WikiProject Check Wikipedia and ask the regulars how you can help them. (User:VarunFEB2003, I'm looking at you. Also, everyone with TemplateEditor, because templates are the most confusing source of problems.) If you are involved in Commons, Wiktionary, Wikivoyage, or other projects, or if you can read a language other than English, then please help with this work at the other projects, too. Those projects particularly need people who can figure out how to get the scripts and systems that CHECKWIKI has been using ported to them.
  • Remember when Ops switched the servers earlier this year from Virginia to Texas for a few days, as a sort of live test of what happens during an emergency? They were talking about doing it again in October or November 2016. However, they now say that the next iteration of the server switch won't happen until at least February 2017.
  • If you edit this page, and you get a light blue editing bar that has some pictures and then words/tabs that say "Advanced", "Special characters", etc., then you're using the 2010 wikitext editor (aka "mw:Extension:WikiEditor", not to be confused with WP:WikEd). Work on the mw:2017 wikitext editor is underway. If you want to see what it looks like, then go to the Beta Cluster and login. (That's a test site, and it's not on the SUL. If you're creating a new account there, then heed that warning about using a new, unique password in case it gets broken/hacked.) Then go to https://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-betafeatures and opt in to the "new wikitext editor". You'll only see the 2017 update if you enable the visual editor and switch back and forth. https://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/World and https://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Cat are my favorite test pages at that site. Keep in mind that this is pre-beta; stuff's known to be broken. (Feel free to tell me what you think here or at WP:VEF anyway.) If all goes well, it may become available as an optional Beta Feature here next month. One of the blockers for that is a long-requested system for auto-saving your edit-in-progress to your local computer, so that if you lose power or accidentally close the wrong tab (and you're using the new editor), then you won't (always) lose all of your work. So there's good news on the horizon there. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:08, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Oh dang, that new wikitext editor looks hot. --Izno (talk) 20:14, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Is there a tracking category that contains pages that will break when Tidy is removed? MER-C 02:11, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
      @MER-C: There is one for pages using invalid self-closed HTML tags. — JJMC89(T·C) 02:28, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
      User:Fluxbot has been working on cleaning this up (on other project too) but some of the pages are so messy it is hard to regex; also that category populates very slowly. — xaosflux Talk 02:34, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
      @MER-C: Partially. Category:Pages using invalid self-closed HTML tags (mentioned by JJMC89) will pick up cases like <span /> or </span/> but it will not detect cases like </br>. If you want a forced line break, HTML5 recognises two valid forms of tag: <br > and <br /> (case-insensitive, and the space is optional). Some people misunderstand tag construction, and don't realise that the position of the slash is significant, and often mistype this tag as </br>. At present, Tidy converts this invalid form to the valid <br /> so you get the intended line break; but when Tidy goes, the </br> tag will be served to your browser, and the behaviour of this tag will be very much browser-dependent (Firefox 49 treats it as if it were <br>; Opera 12 treats it as if it were <br />; others might ignore the tag as invalid). At present there is no tracking of </br> and as it's not Wiki markup or a template, the capability to detect this would need to be incorporated into the MediaWiki software. --Redrose64 (talk) 07:52, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
    @Whatamidoing (WMF): I am going to go to the beta labs and check that out! Since you particularly mentioned me, I want to know how can I help. Frankly speeking I have not been a long time here, it's the first time I heard about Tidy. Is it like a bot or is it like script/tool which you enable to easily correct. Wait! I think I got a better example to ask you. Is it like this? I am ready to help in whatever way I can. Thanks a lot and yeah thanks a lot for the input! Face-smile.svg VarunFEB2003 07:25, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
    @Whatamidoing (WMF): I am facing a problem. I was creating my account at Beta cluster, but when it asks me for the CAPTCHA it's not showing me the image. How do I enter it. The request account link is also a dead page. Can you tell me some other way? VarunFEB2003 07:31, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
    I was just about to say the same thing.  — Scott talk 10:52, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
    Thanks for reporting this! Indeed, I can reproduce. I have created a bug report at phab:T146904 (feel free to subscribe to that bug report). Sorry for the inconvenience; we hope to get this fixed soon. --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 15:13, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
No problems. I know what that site is! VarunFEB2003 15:30, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
@Redrose64: Can you explain me what is this Tidy thingy? That way I'll be at least aware of what you guys are talking about. Thanks! VarunFEB2003 12:35, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
HTML Tidy. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:50, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
All right: Anybody who was having problems might like to try again, now that I've fixed the links to point to https://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/ directly. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:32, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
If you just want a quick look at the interface, then I've made a few screenshots:
@Whatamidoing (WMF): I'll see the Beta thing. The photos you have given are for the visual editor. Can you give for the text editor too. Moreover even after its release I hope the current (2010) editor will always be available. There are a no. of scripts I use that will work only with it and I don't want to leave them behind. The Extra Edit Buttons and Advisor.js are the most which I like. I would appreciate if WMF doesn't yank support for it. VarunFEB2003 09:26, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Just a note VarunFEB2003, that is the image for the wikitext editor (though it does look a lot like the visual editor). It looks good! No comment on backwards compatibility/availability reference the user scripts and the new release -- samtar talk or stalk 09:31, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
@Whatamidoing (WMF): Well I just created an account it's here (frankly that's my username in my gaming apps) sites I found a big error in the new wikitext editor. It is slapping <nowiki></nowiki> tags unnecessarily (diff) and it has been marking each edit via the new editor as a visual edit. Since you asked for input I just though I'll tell you. I find it good (uh... let's say not bad!) but will there be compatibility for the scripts and an opt-out from the new editor (via preferences or via .js pages?) I have no problems in using it as long as it functions with all code perfectly (which I presently think it doesn't) and there is compatibility for the extra edit buttons. Thanks! VarunFEB2003 12:05, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
@Whatamidoing (WMF): One thing more I came up with is why is it auto loading the visual editor? When I click the switch button while in Visual mode am I able to see the new editor. Moreover after my edit has been saved and I am back at the normal saved screen, I still see the https://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Whatamidoing_(WMF)&section=new URL and the editing name in the tab name (one that is defined using <title> in HTML) see the image
VPT New editor error.png.
When I click anywhere I get the popup (because I have it enabled in my prefs) that "you are about to leave this page are you sure your edit might not be saved". I know it's BETA but I thought I'll leave some feedback as it'll help the teem improve it! VarunFEB2003 12:22, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure where to shove my comment so I'll shove it here, The new WikiEditor looks pretty cool and I have wondered for quite some time as to why this was never done sooner, I think we can all agree the current editor is outdated, Admittingly I hate changes (whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Youtube ... I hate changes full stop) so as you can probably imagine I don't really want the old editor gone however it is severely outdated!, Whatamidoing (WMF) - I'm always known for bashing and lecturing the WMF over the things they've created in the past however I don't think I've ever said thank you .... so I wanted to take the time to say thank you and the WMF for creating and working on this editor :), Don't worry come next week I'll probably moan about something else so I'd make the most of the compliments lol, Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 13:18, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
That's what I am asking support for both! VarunFEB2003 13:21, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Student token fatal exception[edit]

Hello, I have set up a class: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_Program:Maynooth_University/Critical_Skills_(Fall_2016) with the enrollment token: MU2016 When I attempt to enroll I receive the following error: [V@uzZApAMFUAAG5J4AIAAAAO] 2016-09-28 12:11:16: Fatal exception of type "MWException"

Any help would be appreciated. AugusteBlanqui (talk) 12:14, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

@AugusteBlanqui: I've seen this on the first day of course openings before - it may resolve within 24 hours, if not please let us know - in the meantime students should be able to enroll using this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Enroll/Maynooth_University/Critical_Skills_(Fall_2016)/MU2016xaosflux Talk 13:16, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
As the instructor, you can also add students from the "add students to course" dialog at the bottom of the page you linked. — xaosflux Talk 13:18, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Thank you. I'll let you know either way after another day or so. Best, AugusteBlanqui (talk) 13:24, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
@Sage Ross (WMF): - SR, this appears to be a bug - if trying to register using the enroll dialog for a user who has their gender set to neutral - the dialog forces them to go through a gender specification screen during enrollment - then errors out. If the gender is defined in preferences first it appears to work fine. Not sure why courses are forcing this selection at all? — xaosflux Talk 14:51, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
I have not looked up the w:Stack trace for that MWException but I can imagine that this is another occurrence of phab:T145771. :( --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 15:15, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
"Not sure why courses are forcing this selection at all?" The idea was to get better demographic information about the education program. If I recall, it doesn't force a selection; you can leave it blank and proceed, it just tries to get the user to set preferred pronouns when they sign up. But the exception seems to be a new issue.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:57, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the response - I added the information about having a predefined gender to the phab ticket. — xaosflux Talk 22:26, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Undo -> Land on talk page[edit]

In recent weeks I have had a few frustrating experiences with editors (mostly anonynmous) who constantly revert and won't discuss their changes on the talk page. It's the most frustrating type of edit-war; at least in a heated discussion you learn about their motivations and you can always bring in other editors via an RFC/project page if a dialog exists. When I do try to communicate with them they have invariably left their IP number behind. I was thinking perhaps it might be possible that when an editor initiates a revert by using the "undo" button, once they save that edit they land on the talk page of the article. In such cases where there is an ongoing discussion it may encourage more editors to participate. I just thought I would sound out my idea here. Would it be technically possible, and if so do we think it would encourage greater engagement on the talk page? Betty Logan (talk) 15:48, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

There are three classes of IP: 1)the new, inexperienced IP, 2)the experienced IP who knows that in contentious cases they should discuss on the Talk page, 3)the familiar, well-known user with user name who edits in IP mode as a form of sock puppetting. This latter usage is the reason Wikipedia still allows IPs to edit. Far too many well-known editors want to be able to sneak around in IP mode and they resist allowing edits only by registered users. Your suggestion might encourage Talk page activity by those in class 1, but class 2 and 3 editors will simply ignore the hint. I don't see it as a useful proposal. Akld guy (talk) 20:43, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Actually, Wikipedia needs to keep getting new users - and type 1 is a significant part of our source. For many people the need to register first may deter them from doing their first edit. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 03:40, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Actually, Wikipedia needs to keep getting new users because good editors quit in frustration because IPs are allowed to wreak havoc with disruptive editing and vandalism. If registration was mandatory, good editors would stay. Virtually no other online forum allows comments by unregistered users, and yet here is Wikipedia, with an enviable reputation to uphold, allowing edits by nobodies who can only be blocked after a tiresome and high-workload appeal system at WP:ANI. If IPs can't be bothered registering in order to correct a simple typo (which is how many get started), then we don't need them. But I'm just wasting my time protesting this. I'm certain that I'll quit one day when a disruptive IP infuriates me once too often. Akld guy (talk) 05:57, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
So in stead of disrupting anonymously, where we can all see the ranges they use and those of us with the technical knowledge can find out their ISPs, they will start with massive sockpuppetry, which will mean that we will need more checkuser actions to stop them, more checkuser time doing it, etc. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 09:02, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
If Wikipedia really wanted to stop sockpuppeting, they would write code to detect whether a user attempting to create a username already has another username assigned to that IP range. Bingo, username request denied, sockpuppeting thwarted. But as I said above, there isn't the will to stop disruptive editing or sockpuppeting, because the editors on whose shoulders the decision rests are the very ones who want to be able to sneak around undetected. Akld guy (talk) 21:44, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Mediawiki message delivery creating a subpage to my talk page[edit]

How did it manage to create User talk:Doug Weller/Bedsonuserpage? I have a userpage subpage with that name, but this is odd and not helpful. And 2 duplicate messages? Doug Weller talk 17:43, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

@Doug Weller: From looking at the logs, you got 2 messages because User:Ser Amantio di Nicolao sent the same text to multiple distribution lists, as separate actions; and your name is present on multiple lists. — xaosflux Talk 17:58, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
As for why it went there instead of your main page - the message was targeted to a category (not a MMS list) - and your subpage is in the category, not your main page - this may be due to a userbox not categorizing to the basepage name. From what I can tell "page creation" as part of message delivery is allowed. — xaosflux Talk 18:00, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Weird. That seems a bad idea. Messages should go to talk pages. Doug Weller talk 18:04, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree and have posted the issue to meta:Talk:MassMessage#Posts to talk pages of user subpages. PrimeHunter (talk) 20:04, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
The messages are posted to the talk page of the page the category is on, seems like. So the fix would be to move the category to User:Doug Weller. It is not a given that all users want to have the mass messages on their main user talk page, so I don't think that changing the behaviour of the deliverer is the right way to handle this. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 20:11, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Sorted, thanks. I'd not thought about the categories on that page, which I've now removed. Doug Weller talk 20:28, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Agree with Jo-Jo here -- this type of MMS issue is most common when using category targets - I usually recommend to only send MMS's to dedicated lists - also much easier to opt out of a future list without having to leave the category. — xaosflux Talk 22:25, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Before MassMessage, we had EdwardsBot (talk · contribs), which ceased activity in June 2014. I believe that around about November 2012, MZMcBride (talk · contribs) (the bot operator) removed the ability to send messages to "all users in category X"; this may have been for reasons related to those described above. It didn't completely eliminate the problem, see User talk:EdwardsBot/Archive 2#Spurious and unwanted pages. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:12, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
@Doug Weller: The simplest solution is to redirect User talk:Doug Weller/Bedsonuserpage (and any other of your user-space talk pages, especially red links) to User talk:Doug Weller. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:48, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Pages not being added to maintenance categories in a timely fashion[edit]

I just submitted this comment to Phab ticket T132467, but maybe someone here has some insight. Maintenance categories are taking more than two months to be applied to pages when a change is made to MediaWiki's underlying code or to templates that are transcluded in those pages.

This is a long-standing problem. See T69419 and this VPT discussion from 2014.

Here's the latest example: I created Category:Pages using invalid self-closed HTML tags on 14 July 2016 on en.WP after a change to MediaWiki started adding a hidden category to articles with a specific kind of HTML error. As of today, 28 Sep 2016, there are pages on en.WP such as Portal:East Frisia/Region that have the error in their code and will properly appear in the category after a null edit, but that have not yet shown up in the category on their own.

That means that fundamentally, categories are not being applied to articles in a timely fashion until those articles are edited. By any measure, taking more than two months to properly apply maintenance categories to pages is a bug that needs to be fixed.

Is there some way that we can force all pages to be null-edited (or the equivalent) with a reasonable frequency? It is not happening right now, and has been failing to happen for more than two years. – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:52, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

There's a bot which periodically purges certain important pages. Ping Joe Decker, the operator. However it appears that it would run too slowly to purge every page in a reasonable time. I don't know whether this could be increased but ultimately load on the server is a limiting factor.
Supposing, however, that not every page can be purged, there is another possibility I can think of. If the errors can be detected by a search (and I don't see why not) a bot could search for pages with a particular error and purge those it finds, to add them to the category. Issues like unnecessary repetition would have to be considered. BethNaught (talk) 18:15, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
You say "categories are taking more than two months to be applied to pages when a change is made to MediaWiki's underlying code or to templates that are transcluded in those pages". It's true when a new maintenance category added by MediaWiki itself is created like Category:Pages using invalid self-closed HTML tags. There is a limited number of such categories. I think they are all listed at Special:TrackingCategories. We have 40 million pages here and that's just one wiki. I don't think a delay of months is so bad for a new tracking category we lived without for 15 years. If a template is edited then the updates should happen much faster since all pages transcluding the template are stored and should be added to the job queue for automatic processing. They are usually processed within days, sometimes minutes or even seconds. There has been problems in the past where it took months but do you actually have a recent example of that? phab:T132467 is about edits to templates and modules so your post is misplaced there. Your other links are also about template edits. PrimeHunter (talk) 19:41, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, I guess I figured those were the same thing. I was wrong. They amount to the same thing, however, since changes to MW that result in maintenance categories are done for a reason. In this case, the category is designed to pick up invalid HTML that needs to be fixed before a newer version of MW or a related tool starts breaking pages with that invalid HTML. See the reference to replacing HTML Tidy above – before it is replaced in 2017, we will need some additional maintenance categories at the MW level to help us find and fix all of the errors that Tidy's replacement will not hide for us. If it takes months for those categories to populate, that slows the deployment of updated software and tools. – Jonesey95 (talk) 20:44, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Hi, I'm new to this situation, so forgive me if I misunderstand the specifics of the situation you're seeing this problem in. I'm the operator of Joe's Null Bot. BethNaught's comments about server load (mine and Wikipedia's) are absolutely accurate.
I certainly believe that you see two month, or longer, delays if underlying MediaWiki code is changed and you wait for that to trigger an update to the categories associated with an article. In fact, there is no reason to believe that the categories will ever be correctly updated short of MediaWiki reprocessing the article (e.g., a purge/null edit) It's not a "waiting for the server to have time" thing, it's a "the server doesn't know its cache is invalid so it NEVER updates it" thing. So it's not a job queue issue, although the confusion on that point is both understandable and common.
I thought transcluded template changes worked properly, however.
No idea about modules.
The usual place where such things fail is when the templates work properly for the moment they're actually processed, but that nothing invalidates the cache when an external condition (e.g., how many days since something happened) passes. E.g., A page is changed four days after a template is applied, the server checks that against a 5-day deadline and decides to not add a category. The next day, nothing triggers a chance to that decision, the category which would have been hypothetically applied after five days never gets applied. --joe deckertalk 23:17, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Extendedconfirmed might need some more flags[edit]

It appears that an extendedconfirmed editor is not guaranteed to be autoconfirmed. The implication is that a newly registered valid alt be given "extendedconfirmed" and is able to edit Israel (ecp), but is unable to edit England (semi). Is it a "feature" that the software allows for restricting a set of pages generally deemed to be at a "lower" protection level from being editable?

I'm proposing that editsemiprotected, autoconfirmed, and autoreview be bundled with the extended confirmed user group. (and possibly the template editor group... though it's more or less understandable that template editors are not given extendedconfirmed; the lack of hierarchy there seems known.) — Andy W. (talk ·ctb) 05:25, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

  • Good idea: I see no issues with getting those flags added to prevent the situation you above described - will need a request made once a consensus has formed -- samtar talk or stalk 08:20, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Who has been handing out the extendedconfirmed right to people who are not yet autoconfirmed? Alternatively, which non-autoconfirmed users have been given the extendedconfirmed right? --Redrose64 (talk) 14:45, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
See TJH2018b (Special:Permalink/717473853), a valid alt. I personally don't see a problem with this other than a technical issue described above Better query. TJH2018b currently does not have editsemiprotected but has extendedconfirmed. — Andy W. (talk ·ctb) 14:51, 29 September 2016 (UTC) added 16:44, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Hi all. Per a quick cry for help from Andy, I checked to see if I could edit semis with my alts. It appears I cannot. Hope this helps! TJH2018talk 15:26, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

So this is only a problem when being manually flagged? Admins can just as easy check both boxes when manually doing this, no? — xaosflux Talk 17:24, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
So we apparently have just one case, log entry. Unless this is likely to happen more frequently, I say leave as is. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:19, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
@Redrose64: (TJH2018c as well) @Xaosflux: With manual granting only, as far as I know. Checking both boxes is a workaround but doesn't address the possible incongruency in the software. — Andy W. (talk ·ctb) 18:28, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Redrose64 Fixedxaosflux Talk 19:01, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: TJH2018c (log) and Dragonese Nordic (log) as well. That's 3 of about 13 successful grants at the request page — Andy W. (talk ·ctb) 19:06, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
I feel a bit terrible about this right now. I didn't mean for this to be a an admin search-and-grant when a software fix will take care of this. This was done with the best of intentions, and did not intend this to be an admin workitem, but for our devs. Corner cases are a fundamental part of software testing, and I've believed the additional flags will make our system more logically foolproof. Anyway, I looked through the user rights change log... it looks like there are two other cases to fix (above). — Andy W. (talk ·ctb) 19:33, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Fixed - not sure if this really needs a programming change - ultimately while policy allows for these +ecu's to be added for accoutns that are being created for the purpose of being doppelganger accounts, I'm not really seeing a need for +ecu, much less even +confirmed. I'm not strictly opposed to it, just don't think it is necessary. Certainly can update the rights scripts and the admin directions related to WP:PERM though. — xaosflux Talk 19:52, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Ping not working[edit]

Recently I've noticed that when editors "ping" me, I don't receive a notification. If I go to Preferences --> Notification, I see that the "Web" check box opposite "Talk page message" is greyed out and I'm unable to check or uncheck it. Can this be fixed? --NSH002 (talk) 08:14, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

That's always greyed out as it has to be always checked. I am receiving pings perfectly it might be a problem somewhere in your account itself. Let's see..... VarunFEB2003 09:14, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, that makes sense. --NSH002 (talk) 11:34, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
@NSH002: The box is greyed out with a checkmark for me. Don't you have a checkmark there? And please post diffs you think should have caused a ping. There are many situations where an edit is not supposed to cause a ping. See mw:Manual:Echo#Technical details. I guess one of the edits you have in mind is [9] by Randy Kryn. The timestamp said "2:15" instead of "02:15" so it's not consistent with a signature made with four tildes. I suspect Randy signs with three tildes so the automatic time stamp is omitted. His personalized signature may instead include code to add the current time without a leading zero. Cute but not good. Apart from ping problems it can cause confusion for others who may think the edit has been altered and waste time checking the page history. PrimeHunter (talk) 10:22, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, yes it does indeed have a tick, and I also received your ping. --NSH002 (talk) 11:34, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Hi, and my fault. I sign manually, as I often type laying down and don't trust the four tildes reach so near the 'escape' key. I'll try to recall that single-digit hours need the zero in front of them. Thanks. Randy Kryn 10:31, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Hee hee, that explains it. Perhaps you should switch to a UK keyboard, where the tilde is right at the opposite corner! --NSH002 (talk) 11:34, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Or even simpler click that idiot button in the window. And to be clear in QWERTY Keyboards ~ character is near the Esc Key wheras in the QWERTZ and AZERTY keyboards the ~ key is at the opposite end near the ↵ Enter Key. So NSH002 uses a QWERTZ/AZERTY keyboard and Randy Kryn uses a QWERTY keyboard! VarunFEB2003 12:30, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Err, no. I use two laptops at home but with separate full-sized keyboards connected to the laptops through a wireless USB gadget. One is a standard UK keyboard, the other is a US keyboard with joint Latin/Arabic markings on the keys. Both keyboards are QWERTY; there is very little difference between the two: the UK keyboard has the pound sign (£) as shift-3 instead of the hash sign (#), which moves next to the enter key, shift-# is the tilde, and the @ and " keys are swapped around. But they are both QWERTY, and all the letter and number keys are in the same position. In fact in "English" mode I use the UK keyboard driver with the US keyboard, which means some keys don't produce what they say on the key, but it's what my fingers are used to, and that's what matters when you're typing quickly. And yes, I used to use the "idiot button", but nowadays I prefer to use the tilde key. Regards --NSH002 (talk) 13:39, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Oh ok so it is one bit customised from the normal one! No problems! VarunFEB2003 14:29, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Fixing hundreds of broken URLs - updating links to different server with the same reference number[edit]

I edit hundreds/thousands of wp articles relating to Somerset. Recently (for at least a week) all links to the Somerset Historic Environment Records have been giving a 404. I contacted the web team who's server hosts the database & they said: "as you may be aware what is now the ‘South West Heritage Trust’ is independent from Somerset County Council – some of their systems eg. HER have been residing on our servers since their move – and as part of our internal processes these servers are now being decommissioned. Their main website is now at http://www.swheritage.org.uk/ with the HER available at http://www.somersetheritage.org.uk/ . There are redirects in place on our servers that should be temporarily forwarding visitors to the correct website eg: http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/details.asp?prn=11000 should be forwarding you to http://www.somersetheritage.org.uk/record/11000 - this appears to be working for me, so unsure why it isn’t working for you".

According to this search there are 1,546 wp articles which include links to the database. Is there any quick/automated way to find & replace all of the links (currently http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk ) to the new server name ( http://www.somersetheritage.org.uk/record/ ) but keep the identical record number at the end? A complication is that two different formats of the url previously work ie both formats for the URL ie /record/XXXXX & /her/details.asp?prn=XXXXXX.

I don't really fancy manually going through this many articles & wondered if there was a bot or other technique to achieve this?— Rod talk 14:39, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

@Rodw: Yes, there are. You can file a request at WP:BOTREQ. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:48, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks I've put it at Bot Requests.— Rod talk 14:56, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
@Rodw: If you have lots of links to the same site, with only the ID changing, it's best to have them in a template. Then, of the domain changes, as here, you only need to make one change. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:53, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks but I have no idea how to create that template or automate the insertion of it into the 1,000+ articles.— Rod talk —Preceding undated comment added 14:56, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
I did that with {{Merseyrail info lnk}}, since in the seven years that I've been here, Merseyrail have changed their URL format at least twice. So, just under two years ago (when the format last changed), one edit fixed over sixty pages. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:01, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
@Redrose64: Thanks for the pointer but that template link just takes me to something which says "This template's documentation is missing or does not accurately describe its functionality or the parameters in its code" - this is why I don't go fiddling about with template code.— Rod talk 15:06, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
That notice isn't relevant, because the template code is never in the documentation. To see the template code, use the "Edit" tab at the top (not one of the section "[edit]" links). When I first created it in January 2012, it looked like this:
{{ #if:{{{1|}}}
|*[http://www.merseyrail.org/stations/station-details.html?station_id={{{1}}} Station information] for {{#if:{{{2|}}}|{{{2}}}|{{PAGENAME}}}} from Merseyrail}}
and at the same time I gave the article Formby railway station the line {{Merseyrail info lnk|26}} and so this was effectively
*[http://www.merseyrail.org/stations/station-details.html?station_id=26 Station information] for Formby railway station from Merseyrail
which displayed as
This link doesn't work, hence the October 2014 edit. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:35, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
I just created some simple documentation for Template:Merseyrail info lnk. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 23:30, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Another example, though probably more complex than you need is {{NRHP url}} and its sub template {{NRHP url/core}} (used also by {{NHLS url}}, a similar template). These templates accept an identifier, akin to the 11000 in your example, and prepend a URL to that identifier. If ever the URL changes, it is a simple matter of changing the URL in the template and Bob's your uncle. It will still be necessary to replace the broken URLs in article text with the new template but that can be done by bot or WP:AWB.
Trappist the monk (talk) 15:41, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thanks for all the advice but code like that is beyond me. Editing wp has helped me to learn a lot about archaeology, history, geography, architecture, etc, etc but not code. I have been advised at Wikipedia:Bot requests#Fixing hundreds of broken URLs - updating links to different server with the same reference number to use AWB as are approximately 800 links in some 300 articles. I have never got AWB to work properly (although I registered to use it years ago. I have just downloaded the latest version & can't even get it to log in. I might just walk away and leave the hundreds of broken links (or spend years doing them manually) rather than have all this effort.— Rod talk 15:59, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

@Rodw: I can write a template if you want one. As for AWB, you can ask at Wikipedia:AWB/TA (like BOTREQ, but for people who use AWB). Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:04, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
I have added a request at Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser/Tasks#Fixing hundreds of broken URLs - updating links to different server with the same reference number. That is a kind offer to write a template, but I don't know if it would be used. If I admit that I don't even use Template:Listed building England for all the listed building articles I write you probably wouldn't even talk to me again.— Rod talk 16:19, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for all help & advice - the broken links are now fixed.— Rod talk 07:09, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

RecentChanges New Filter Question[edit]

I have been fighting vandalism on Recent Changes for a while now, and I was wondering if there is any way to have a filter so you can only see the most recent edits on a page, so that you don't end up going to pages to look at vandalism when it has already been reverted. If there isn't any feature like this, does anyone else agree that this might be a good addition? Thanks, Gluons12 talk 15:39, 29 September 2016 (UTC).

If it has not been reverted a word like this - (current) is displayed at the end of the summary. This means that it is the current version of the page, no edits have been made after it. This is a good way to see if vandalism has been reverted or not. And if you use Lupins tool it has a function that shows whether it is current or not. VarunFEB2003 09:16, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Special:RecentChanges doesn't show (current) -- samtar talk or stalk 09:22, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
@Gluons12: If you manually patrol Special:RecentChanges you'll find you only have a couple of minutes max until a Huggle user (or similar) has reverted the vandalism. I would reccomend sticking to edits which have been marked as damaging and only reviewing the top three or four before refreshing the page again. This is another good place to review possible vandalism -- samtar talk or stalk 09:22, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
I have never had a problem with looking at, what when I got the page, was not the most recent edit - because in order to be getting pages which haven;t been fixed since I loaded te page, I would tend t have to reload, anyway. Keep in mind that if you get the recent changes, and someone else saves the revert a split second later, you will see the information on the recent changes as if the fix didn't happen. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 12:16, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Edit summary fields and IpV6[edit]

Does anyone know of any proposals to do something about the current 255 byte limit? I'm not sure how many bytes "Undid revision 741833819 by 2601:19B:C602:2CB0:C869:8B14:1697:ECA4 (talk)" is, but it's 191 characters, leaving little room for an edit summary. Doug Weller talk 15:58, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

There is a task in Phabricator asking for this. There are some database software limitations that are hard to work around, though. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 16:35, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
In your example we can shorten the automatic edit summary. See MediaWiki talk:Undo-summary#IPv6 uses 194 of 255 characters and Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 119#IPv6 IPs. Editors can also remove part or all of an automatic summary when they want more space. I often do that. PrimeHunter (talk) 17:03, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
A significant issue in this general area is MW using /128 for talk and contributions of IPv6 users, which generally hinders communication and scrutiny. Many people have the automatic address hopping turned on in their OS (by OS vendor default), so the addresses are frequently meaningless past /64 level, with the second 64 bits being essentially random and frequently changing. From my point of view, MW should still track the full address used, but aggregate talk and contributions at the /64 level, and make that the default blocking level for IPv6. Shortening them to /64 would greatly reduce the length of the edit summaries. I realise that's not a simple change, but it might be a very useful change. Murph9000 (talk) 17:18, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
I do either or both of two things in such cases, depending upon how much extra room I need: (i) de-pipe the contribs link, this can save up to 40 characters - in the above example, it becomes Special:Contributions/2601:19B:C602:2CB0:C869:8B14:1697:ECA4 (which saves 39, since the second 16-bit value is only three hex digits); (ii) remove the talk page link, this can save up to 61 characters. So you can gain up to 101 extra characters by doing both. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:48, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I should have added that the practical immediate solutions above are good but not that east on a mobile or tablet. Doug Weller talk 06:58, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

Download as PDF completely broken?[edit]

I'm aware of the long standing issues with "Book Creator" (see the template notice on Help:Books), but I thought it did work at least some of the time, and that "Download as PDF" worked fairly often. We have someone at Wikipedia:Help desk § PDF issues reporting that the latter option has stopped working. I've tried it on a few pages, and it does seem completely broken at present, just endlessly refreshing at Progress: 0.00% Status: Waiting for job runner to pick up render job, and have let it refresh for quite a long time in case it was just being slow. Maybe a server / service needs a kick? Murph9000 (talk) 17:07, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Sounds like a daemon gone zombie. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:50, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

A saved edit doesn't appear[edit]

At 16:38 on 30 September 2016 I archived a completed copy-edit request at Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors/Requests/Archives/2016, at the end of the second large section on the page, "Second half of 2016". I thought something looked strange when I made the edit because the edit window was entirely white except for the black text, but I went ahead and typed and saved the edit. Now, my edit (archiving the request for Black & White (video game)) appears in the revision history but does not appear at the end of the list. I logged off and restarted my computer and went back to look at it and it appears the same. I guess my edit is somehow lost. Shall I undo it and re-do it? I don't recall this ever happening before.  – Corinne (talk) 17:19, 30 September 2016 (UTC) I think I see now what happened. I forgot to add a pipe and hyphen after the previous entry. I'll add it and see what happens.  – Corinne (talk) 17:20, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Yes, that took care of it. The entry appears on the list now. I should have looked more carefully. Sorry about that.  – Corinne (talk) 17:23, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

@Corinne: The entry for Black & White (video game) was there (see here and go to the very bottom), but to the right of the preceding entry (U.S. Route 70 in North Carolina), not below it. The "pipe and hyphen" are a the markup for a new row in a table that is formed with Wiki markup. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:18, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Grants to improve your project[edit]

Greetings! The Project Grants program is currently accepting proposals for funding. There is just over a week left to submit before the October 11 deadline. If you have ideas for software, offline outreach, research, online community organizing, or other projects that enhance the work of Wikimedia volunteers, start your proposal today! Please encourage others who have great ideas to apply as well. Support is available if you want help turning your idea into a grant request.

I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 19:52, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Changes to NPP and AfC[edit]

After 5 years of unstructured discussion since ACTRIAL, a dedicated venue has been created for combined discussion about NPP & AfC where a work group is also being composed to develop recommendations for necessary changes to policies and related software. It is 'not an RfC, it is a call for genuinely interested users who have significant experience in these areas to join a truly proactive work group. There is some reading to be done before signing up. See: Wikipedia:The future of NPP and AfC. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:43, 1 October 2016 (UTC)