Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 32

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Blocked from editing notice WHILE READING

It would be very useful if blocked IP addresses got a notification of abuse while they are reading. With the way many proxies and school IPs use Wikipedia, the intended messages of abuse and new talk page messages never get seen by anyone with the authority (like the ISP or school teacher) to solve the problem.

A message in the site notice area has the capability of cutting down on a ton of vandalism. How possible is this? SchmuckyTheCat (talk)

If an account is blocked, a message is usually left in the talk page of the user, so even when reading he would get a "New message" notification (it may fail if there are multiple users, but so would the block notification). -- ReyBrujo (talk) 19:00, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I am specifically not talking about accounts, and don't really care about the new message notice. I would like all users who are IP blocked to see a notice of the block. ISP administrators, corporate IT guys, teachers, etc would all see this notice when editing through their proxies - and maybe take action against the users who took up the block. Lots of these people read and never edit. We need to put their vandalism issue in their face. SchmuckyTheCat (talk)
That would be extremely annoying for readers who have rotating IP's from their ISP. And for those IP's that do trace back to a school, business, whatever, this will inconvenience many people to get a message to a very few. There is probably a better way to accomplish this, how about an email to the site admin? --Kbdank71 20:53, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Well one thing that exists technically is the ability to prevent people from viewing a page when blocked (its a flag possible flag like rollback, etc), I imagine it could be replaced with a message "You are blocked from Wikipedia". MBisanz talk 20:57, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
re to Kbdank71, a small notice at the top of the page isn't "extremely annoying". I'm proposing something like the donation fund drive templates. "You are blocked from editing, but not reading: find out why by clicking here." SchmuckyTheCat (talk)
I suspect the intent is to annoy all the users routed through the IP into applying peer pressure to get vandals' fingers chopped off, or equivalent. I've worked at some large corporations where firewall access required individual user authorization. Perhaps such "big brother messages" would get such a result in some cases, but I expect most would be inwardly annoyed and nothing more would come of it. My attempts to contact the registered abuse complaint handler has never—not once—resulted in any visible action. —EncMstr 21:16, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Why not keep it short and sweet... cross-out the "edit-this-page" links rather than using a banner. Only people who are going to notice are the people interested in editing. I can't think of a scenario this doesn't address while annoying those who casually browse significantly less. (talk) 10:53, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
I think a simple message like "Your IP address is blocked from editing Wikipedia." that displayed instead of MediaWiki:Anonnotice would be a helpful feature. I don't think it's at all rude or distracting, and I think it would prompt network administrators / authority figures to discourage that kind of behavior (when, otherwise, they'd have no clue what had happened). Canderson7 (talk) 22:25, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
It's computationally quite expensive to check block status for every not logged-in reader (as opposed to simply sending cached pages), which I suspect makes this proposal unlikely to be implemented. Dragons flight (talk) 07:12, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Displaying a watchlist is certainly several orders of magnitude worse—Think of all the database rows that query has to access. WP:Don't worry about performance says we do what makes sense for the project, then someone gets to worry about limiting or optimizing it. —EncMstr 07:19, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
There are much fewer hits on Special:Watchlist than on every other page :). I'm not sure how the cache is computed, but that might invalidate it every time a blocked user reads a page. To be honest, just imagining the uproar of blocked AOL users that would never have edited otherwise would make me think twice before implementing such a notice. -- lucasbfr talk 08:30, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
How does it compare to checking for new messages, computationally? --Random832 (contribs) 19:13, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Tor question

I am struggling to work out what the prevailing approach is to Tor. I find Category: Tor exit nodes and Category:Blocked former Tor exit nodes. So I am confused: do we block them, or not? If so, why is there a category of 3000 not-blocked nodes, and a category of 150 currently-blocked nodes that should not be? They both are populated by bots for the most part. So do these two cats represent 'instant backlogs', or is there something I am not aware of? Splash - tk 22:56, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

The idea was to block then as open proxies, but there were people in China using it to evade firewalls so that they can edit here and possibly some other special cases, so it the collateral damage was causing problems. Voice-of-All 00:06, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, hence the business of maybe softblocking, which confused me further. To be direct about it: should I go block the Tor node I just found editing Wikipedia, or are we letting them be now (or is this a function of whether they are vandalising or not)? Splash - tk 01:08, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm interested in this answer also. If I find a TOR node, should I always report it to WP:OP? Just if it's disruptive? If it's involved in suspected sock-puppeting? Is there any specific policy on this? Franamax (talk) 05:06, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
The current "let's please do not talk about it" practice is to hardblock the nodes that are abused with {{TOR}} for a long period of time. But we should really come to a clear policy one way or an other, one day... -- lucasbfr talk 08:06, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
That's unfortunate, because the whole point of onion-routing is that it is not the node doing the abuse, it is the originator of the traffic. Blocking the exit node ultimately blocks nothing at all, unless every single IP edit is checked for proxy and blocked, the onion will win by design. I've often thought about establishing a node myself, if I could convince myself that it would be for repressed-world and non-illegal use only, I might actually try it. If I interpret "hardblock" correctly, I would nuke my own self at the same time, right? Franamax (talk) 08:28, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes. My personnal opinion is to block all TOR and ip-block exempt the users that would make a legitimate use of it. Tor is widely used to abuse the system without suffering the consequences, here. -- lucasbfr talk 08:32, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Two thoughts here: 1) without comment on whether Stifle really is a stack of shit (I've seen no evidence of stacking or shitting :), wouldn't the best response be a relatively short block, say 31 hours, enough for the originating node to retry and find a new exit? In the case of active disruption for that matter, two hours? and 2) if one wishes to achieve ip-block exempt status on a blocked IP, is there a way to do that? From the experience of a chinawalled country, can I connect through a blocked TOR node and create a named account? Does the current unspoken policy accomodate this? It certainly should IMO. Franamax (talk) 11:10, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
(outdent) It would be technically nice to be able to block an IP for an anonymus user but to allow an IP for a registered user. jmcw (talk) 08:01, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
This is possible. When blocking an IP address, admins are presented with two independent check boxes:
  • Block anonymous users only
  • Prevent account creation
which I think also answers part of Franamax's question. Splash - tk 12:22, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
It seems that it would be enough to block TOR IPs for these two functions. Registered users coming in over TOR could be individually managed with user name controls. jmcw (talk) 12:41, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

How does one change the powers that be to a new idea? This seems an improvement. jmcw (talk) 07:16, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Thumb parameter

Is the "thumb=" parameter option for image display temporarily disabled by a bug, or is it going away permanently? For example, this code [[Image:Smiley.svg|thumb=SFriendly.gif|right|Example]] should display SFriendly.gif at a reasonable size, but instead currently displays Smiley.svg at a huge size... -- AnonMoos (talk) 03:25, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't think that was ever a feature... -- Ned Scott 08:18, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes it was -- it worked at least between early September 2006 and late March 2008. There's an article I converted to using "thumb=" image display in September 2006, and now I need to know whether I have to convert it back, or whether it's just a temporary passing bug... AnonMoos (talk) 10:31, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
If you wan't to display SFriendly.gif as a thumb you simply do this: [[Image:SFriendly.gif|thumb|right|Example]]. MiCkE 10:27, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

rect 0 0 50 50 [[:Image:Smiley.svg]]
desc none

What are you trying to accomplish? Display Image:SFriendly.gif as the thumbnail but link to Image:Smiley.svg instead? You can use ImageMap to achieve that. --soum talk 10:44, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

The main use was actually because Wikimedia PNG thumbnailing sucks so bad (i.e. the hugely-bloated file length of PNG images whose pixel dimensions have been reduced). So you could say [[Image:Large.png|thumb=Presized-thumbnail.png|right|Example]], and the presized thumbnail image would display, but clicking on the "enlarge" icon would lead to the image description page of the original large unresized image version. At this point, I'm not really as interested in alternative solutions, as I am in knowing whether the thumb= feature has permanently gone away, or has only been temporarily disabled by a passing bug (since that's what I need to know in deciding whether or not to re-edit the abovementioned article)... AnonMoos (talk) 12:10, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Hopefully resolved through Bug 13624 -- AnonMoos (talk) 16:03, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Changing e-mail address and unified login

So, I change and confirm the e-mail address in Special:Preferences. For the rest of the session, I can check back, and the new e-mail address will be listed. When I log out and log back in, however, the e-mail address has reverted back to the old one. This happens on other wikis with my global account, but not with an account not attached to a global account. Anyone else have this problem? Anyone know of a solution? WODUP 21:45, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

From what I've been told, to change your e-mail address for a unified account, you must change the e-mail address for every account that is unified, and then all new accounts will use the updated e-mail address. There's currently work being done to simplify this process a bit. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:27, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
So because I have an account on hz.wikipedia, a closed wiki with the database locked, I can't change my e-mail address right now. Is there a bugzilla bug that I can follow to know when it's fixed? WODUP 19:51, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Reported as bugzilla:13660. WODUP 18:04, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Expanded watchlist feature request

On the expanded watchlist, I want an option to hide multiple edits with "(0)" characters changed. Those are almost always vandalism reversions, and when they aren't, they rarely matter much. I already go out of my way to skip those, and I'm always upset when I accidentally click on one. Thanks! Listing Port (talk) 21:50, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Note: Related discussion on VPR - Neparis (talk) 20:38, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Here you go: user:js/markZeroEdits highlights (and optionally moves to bottom) zero size collapsed edits that look like reverts. Comments are welcome at the talk page. —AlexSm 23:25, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Popups and green Monobook

don't mix well, because cream color of (Lupin's) Popup background clashes with black background of the dark-screen Monobook. Any suggestions? (I find it useful, but can I change the color scheme?) ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 04:30, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes you can, using this code added to your Monobook.css, changing the hex colour values with your own:

.navpopup {
      background-color: #CCDFFF  !important;
      border-color: #204080 !important;

Hope this helps.Harryboyles 05:20, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Will try. Thanks! ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 02:59, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

If you remind me later, I will add it to the script for you. Prodego talk 22:31, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Time of orange bar

So I went to my university computer lab one day and decided to log into wikipedia (when I should've been writing a paper). When I clicked the login screen I saw a notice bar, which was weird since it was logged out. I clicked the view messages and it was a warning to the IP of the machine for vandalism from Feb 15. This was 2 days ago. What I'm wondering is: how long does the "new messages" message stay in the system, and should it expire at sometime after the last talkpage post. Would there be any longterm performance issues with Mediawiki tracking millions of talkpage notices to be put up, when the IP or user may never log in again? MBisanz talk 07:39, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Wouldn't it just be the case that WP checks
  • has the IP read the latest posting to its talk page
  • what is the latest diff to show (not the text, just the diff numbers)
That isn't a lot of information to remember, and once stored can be saved forever. It might be more overhead to run some process to clean out 'old' information. Shenme (talk) 09:46, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
My thought was more that if the IP doesn't have messages, it would view a cached version of the page on the squid server. But if it has messages, it would have to regenerate teh page from the webserver. MBisanz talk 13:50, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
The new message bar is just a simple boolen varable stored in the user table along with the latest revsion time, and the time of the last view by that user. I dont have access to the API at the moment but you can get all that information for any given user via the API. βcommand 2 14:58, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Javascript LI menu


I've been trying to modify the Add LI Menu script, which turns navigation tabs into a drop-down menu, to make the toggle of the menus occur on click instead of on hover, but have thus far had no luck (I'm still learning JavaScript). Any attempts to root out the problem would be appreciated. Here are the scripts I'm relying on:

I already know the menus work on hover, so there's really no need to check out the CSS. Thanks as always, — Bob • (talk) • 18:25, April 6, 2008 (UTC)

Nevermind, I got it working. I had incorrect syntax for adding events. — Bob • (talk) • 21:44, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Logged out while editing

It has happened to me a couple of times that I've been logged out while in the midst of protracted editing of an article, so my edits are saved under an IP. Is there anything I can do to prevent this (without having to think about it every time), and if not, is this something that is worth filing as a bug/enhancement? Matchups 01:12, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

You might want to use the secure server (, which may work. Try it! ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 03:01, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

This user script should prevent the submission of an edit if you're not logged in:

addOnloadHook(function() {
    var editform = document.getElementById('editform');
    if (!editform) return;
    editform.action += '&assert=user';

This uses the Assert Edit extension, currently enabled on Wikimedia wikis. It can be added to User:Matchups/monobook.js. Note that it won't work if you're logged out when you view the edit page; it only has utility if you somehow log out after opening the edit page but before submitting. If you're logged out when viewing the edit page, a message (MediaWiki:Anoneditwarning) will be displayed on the edit page (see also this wikitech-l thread). GracenotesT § 04:01, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. I've added it, but haven't had a chance to test it yet. I was thinking of putting in &assert=false as a test that the hook was being properly triggered and all, but realized that if I did so, I might not ever be able to get it off! So I will just wait and hope it does the right thing. Matchups 18:15, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Asking for advice

(moved to Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#another_use_of_POV_tags_and_other per comment below, to discuss what policy says about using those tags. I hope this centers the debate on the actual use of the tags)

(ec) This is not the right place to raise issues like this: this page is for technical questions about wikimarkup, the MediaWiki software, personal settings, and the like. I suggest you move this thread to Wikipedia:Wikiquette alerts. Happymelon 20:34, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

New editors need better help with footnotes

Take a look at United States Naval Academy history for April 7 starting at 14:46. While it's funny to read from an experienced editors point of view, it must have been quite frustrating for the newbie who was quite exasperated trying to do things "right." I'm not exactly sure what needs to be done here, but I experienced the same sort of problem myself.

I suspect something under the edit page, maybe larger than the tiny helps that are there now.

For those not wanting to spend the time, the article above has the poor newbie trying to get his footnote to be numbered "correctly" by assigning a number himself and sticking it under "references." I mean, it makes sense, though I admit that most of us figured out the area was inexplicably blank when we went there to do the same sort of thing and that was a clue something was up.... Student7 (talk) 19:31, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

That's why something like this, discussed here, needs to be implemented - the cite.php extension was clearly better than its predecessor, but it also clearly can be improved. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:27, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I think it's at appropriate that new editors can add in sourcing in stupid-simple style: <ref></ref> and let both experienced editors and bots (there's at least one that seems to be able to replace the above with a {{cite web}} at a basic level). Let's put it this way: we should strongly encourage them to drop in links and sources when they can, but formatting and the ref system they should only start to concern themselves once they are comfortable with it. Improper use of citation templates by a newbie should not be a reason to bite them. --MASEM 15:50, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Lord knows, we're not biting them. The system is. The sequence above was interrupted by a kindly editor who gently asked the user what exactly was he trying to footnote (not exactly obvious, though we had the "footnote number" he assigned and could probably guess a range). John Broughton's suggestions may be worth considering. BTW couldn't read the example because of poor resolution on my screen but it sounds like a great idea. Newbie needs to be told something and not left guessing and fumbling around. Masem's idea is fine too, if we could convey that to them, maybe on the "welcome to Wikipedia" for those who have logged in? Would also emphasize the need for reliable footnotes which many users haven't quite "got" yet. Student7 (talk) 20:04, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Disappearing underscores in "C" code

Hi there; the following example (originally modified from Function pointer) illustrates a curious issue, evidently caused by iffy CSS, in which underscores on lines followed by a line extending at least to that point, disappear when wrapped in a <code lang="c"></code> tag. The following are all "M_PI" rather than "M PI":

Insert non-formatted text here

... M_PI/4 ... ... M_PI/4
... M_PI/4 ... ... ... M_PI/4
... M_PI/4 ... ... M_PI/4
... shorter line

I can testify that this happens in Windows in both Firefox and IE 7.0.5730.11 (with the default Wiki skin).

Not critical, but slightly odd and irritating! I don't know who maintains this CSS but I imagine it's a line-spacing thing or something equally banal. Carl Turner (talk) 21:07, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

PS: If this is in the wrong place... sorry.

That is because you're doing something very weird there. <code> is a valid whitelisted html tag, so the contents of that tag are parsed. However, every line inside is indented, which means it gets parsed as a <pre> block. However, since <pre> is a block level element and <code> is inline, tidy cleans it up to:
<pre><code lang="c" xml:lang="c">... M_PI/4 ... ... M_PI/4
... M_PI/4 ... ... ... M_PI/4
... M_PI/4 ... ... M_PI/4
... shorter line</code>
This means, the <code> block is inside the <pre> block, and <code> has a background style applied to it, which crowds up above the line above it, hiding the underline. Another way to visualize it:
... M_PI/4 ... ... M_PI/4
... M_PI/4 ... ... ... M_PI/4
... M_PI/4 ... ... M_PI/4
... shorter line
Perhaps you meant <source lang="c">? This is an XML parser hook, and the contents are not parsed by the wiki (code doesn't have a lang parameter, but source does). --Splarka (rant) 07:34, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I just spotted the same problem at BSD Daemon#ASCII image. That one really looks like a hard nut to crack: the background color should be set on the <pre> tag, but this can't be done using indentation — and if one tries to use and explicit <pre> tag in the wikitext, MediaWiki helpfully decides to interpret the content as if it were CDATA. Setting the background color in a surrounding block-level tag won't work either, since the monobook style sheet overrides it. So it very much looks like there's currently no reliable way in MediaWiki to have a preformatted text block with a non-default background color and with multicolored text inside it. Aarrgh! Whoever came up with that stupid idea of changing the semantics of <pre> in MediaWiki from those it has in HTML anyway? —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 04:17, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, that specific instance is insidious, but you can do something like making it display:block;, for example [1]. I think what Carl wanted was <source> though. --Splarka (rant) 08:33, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Font/table style used by the image thumbnail template?

McDonalds Molded Pulp Drink Tray Top.jpg McDonalds Molded Pulp Drink Tray Bottom.jpg
McDonalds Molded Pulp Drink Tray Top Closeup.jpg
McDonalds Molded Pulp Drink Tray Bottom Closeup.jpg
A McDonald's spray-molded vacuum-formed Molded Paper Pulp cup carrier. The open slits are punched out following the drying process.
I want my mini-table to be able to look like this template's formatting, using this font style and spacing.

Occasionally I don't like the formatting of the image thumbnail template, especially since it is limited to only one image. I would like to create my own little collection of images using the wikitable system.

However, when I do this I cannot figure out how to make my own custom design to have the same text styling as an official image thumbnail.

For some reason using <small>foo</small> is not good enough. This does shrink the description font as you can see in my example, but it still leaves a wide ugly whitespace between each line, and I cannot figure out how to remove that gapping.

I would also like to duplicate the single-line table border and the little "enlarge image" image to the right of my text so that it looks very much like a normal single-image thumbnail.

I don't yet know how to access the image thumbnail template used by the automatic thumbnail maker.

DMahalko (talk) 08:58, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

You can't use Wikitext to duplicate the appearance. But using HTML it is possible.
I made a test edit to include a single thumbnail in my userspace, and then used IE's "view source" command to view the resulting page and changed the code a little, because the HTML includes <a> and <img> elements which are not allowed in Mediawiki HTML. This is the code to replicate the look of a single-image thumbnail, using HTML wherever possible:

<div class="thumb tright">
<div class="thumbinner" style="width:122px;">[[Image:Maome.jpg|120x72px|Caption]]
<div class="thumbcaption">Caption</div>

Pegasus «C¦ 11:58, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

See also {{double image}} and {{triple image}} --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:15, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Let's see if I can mimic the thumbbox... (see source) Maybe I could make it into a template? EdokterTalk 00:01, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

McDonalds Molded Pulp Drink Tray Top.jpg McDonalds Molded Pulp Drink Tray Bottom.jpg
McDonalds Molded Pulp Drink Tray Top Closeup.jpg
McDonalds Molded Pulp Drink Tray Bottom Closeup.jpg
A McDonald's spray-molded vacuum-formed Molded Paper Pulp cup carrier. The open slits are punched out following the drying process.

Where are the servers??

Has anyone else had major problems with logged-in edits the last hour or two? I see the search engine is currently down for performance reasons. Everything is hanging and erroring out. What is happening? (talk) 09:03, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I've been especially having trouble with Image Pages. Nimur (talk) 09:12, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Yep, I had some trouble editing and viewing articles not long ago. Seems alright now. - 52 Pickup (deal) 09:31, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
A change to the log viewers introduced a performance problem which bogged down the database servers for a while. Search was temporarily switched off to reduce load. The problem has been corrected, and search has been reenabled. --brion (talk) 16:53, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Hide particular pages from search engines

Can I ask a stupid question that I should probably already know the answer to? Isn't there a standard or semi-standard string that you can put at the top of a page in user space that tells Google, Yahoo, etc., etc. not to index it? It would need to be a tag I could add to an individual page myself, not some meta tag thingy that is added by MediaWiki. I've got an idea that will only work if there's a way to hide individual pages from search engines; feel like this should be easy, but am computer-illiterate enough not to know how. --barneca (talk) 12:56, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

See the earlier section #Is there some way to keep Google off pages we don't want to be found easily?. PrimeHunter (talk) 13:03, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Lazy of me not to check the archives or the TOC; thanks for the pointer to the earlier discussion. Pardon my density, but do I correctly understand that previous discussion to mean that if Wikipedia used mw:Extension:NoRobots, it would be possible, but it doesn't so it isn't possible? --barneca (talk) 13:12, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
That is my understanding but I'm not a developer, I have limited knowledge, and I don't know whether mw:Extension:NoRobots actually works. I just found it by searching MediaWiki. PrimeHunter (talk) 13:20, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I just tried a test; the software doesn't recognize <norobots> and </norobots> as valid tags. So the extension isn't installed, it would appear. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:14, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
It is not, as it is not listed in Special:Version. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 06:25, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Category:Pages with too many expensive parser function calls


(copied here from WP:AN):

In editing Portal:Trains today, I noticed a redlink for Category:Pages with too many expensive parser function calls at the bottom. The subpages for this portal, as far as I know, are all on my watchlist, and I don't see any edits to those pages that would have added this category; furthermore, when I go to that category page, Portal:Trains is not listed there. Has any other admin been working on one or more of the higher-level protected templates behind the portals? Slambo (Speak) 12:59, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
It appears that a change was made to MediaWiki sometime yesterday or today that adds pages to this category if there are more than 100 parser function calls on a page. With the complexity of some infoboxes and succession boxes, it seems that this category will have quite a few more pages in it before the end of the day. I'm updating Portal:Trains to remove the category from that page, but I'm a bit disappointed as the parser functions there were being used to automate many of the updates to the page. Further discussion should take place on WP:VPT. Slambo (Speak) 13:20, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

(further discussion below)

Yes, this was added very recently. The most likely culprit is too many calls to ifexist during the parsing of the page. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:02, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the variable was originally set to 500 for Wikimedia projects, but a recent change changed the name of the variable and it was apparantly not changed in Wikimedia's configuration (the default value is 100). This should be fixed soon. Mr.Z-man 16:12, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Been fixed. --brion (talk) 16:50, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Way cool, thanks! Slambo (Speak) 18:11, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
What counts as an "expensive" parser function? Is it currently only #ifexist: ?? Happymelon 19:37, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Its currently ifexist and the new PAGESINCATEGORY magic word. Mr.Z-man 20:13, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
PAGESINCATEGORY?? COOL!! Happymelon 16:17, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I saw this category on Special:Upload (possibly on Commons)!! :-) Carcharoth (talk) 19:58, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

In looking over User:David Kernow/List of terms for administrative country subdivisions, I'm not seeing either of the two examples above. Is it something else? (In looking over Field hockey at the Summer Olympics - another listed in the category - I suspect it has something to do with flags?) - jc37 18:11, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
The first of these two pages uses {{flag+link}} extensively, which itself calls {{#ifexist:}}. The second page makes extensive use of {{fh-big}}, which itself transcludes several other instances of {{country data}} variants. Slambo (Speak) 18:30, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Reflist broken

References section is broken, giving a message when an article has sources, but no given references for particular statements. [2]Londo06 13:53, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

bugzilla entry of this problem --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:07, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I've changed the error message at MediaWiki:Cite error references invalid group so people can understand what the heck this is. --- RockMFR 16:25, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Just a thought, can we add a hidden category there ? Might be handy for maintenance. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 16:37, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
This warning is a really bad idea :( It will trigger the removal of <references /> tags from articles which are currently unreferenced, which is a very bad idea. A tag which generates no content breaks nothing for the reader, but if the &ltreferences />tag is missing when there are <ref></ref> footnotes, the footnotes don't display.
If there had been a proposal to remove the <references /> tag from articles without footnotes, there would have been plenty of objections, and it's a real pity to see it being triggered by a software change. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:22, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Maybe change MediaWiki:Cite error references invalid group to link to an explanation of all this? Could someone make sure the developer who did this (regardless of who it was) is aware of these concerns? Carcharoth (talk) 20:36, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
This is definitely a bad idea, and I agree with the points that have been raised above; namely, those concerning articles with no references but which use <references /> would benefit by keeping the tag silent rather than outputting an error message. I am also seeing this error message on thousands of articles, including ones I've been working on recently: Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; invalid names, e.g. too many Gary King (talk) 08:50, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
It's been fixed Happymelon 09:15, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks to whoever reverted this change :) --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:01, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Did I speak too soon? It's still showing the error message on Michael Morris, 1st Baron Killanin. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:45, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
We're still on r32995, so the errors won't go away until the next update (the fix was applied in r30003). --- RockMFR 19:31, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
You made a typo. The fix was in 33003]. It has taken effect now and is working. PrimeHunter (talk) 02:32, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Article changes not showing up

Regardless of where I am, my change a few days ago to the ODS article shows up in the article history. But it doesn't always show up in the article itself. The mirror in question is DrHydeous (talk) 14:50, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand the question; are you saying that the change doesn't show in the mirror site? If so, that's an issue with whoever runs the mirror site, not Wikipedia; the change is certainly showing up when viewing the page directly, as I did just a moment ago. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:03, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Because of the suffix, I suspect that address points to one of Wikimedia's servers. I've purged the article so it is updated on all the Wikimedia servers. Hope this helps, Graham87 11:37, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, looks good now - DrHydeous (talk) 11:09, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

New log format

After some objections on IRC, I would appreciate some wider opinions, especially regarding which of these three options is best:

  1. Keep the new Special:Log format
  2. Revert back to the old format pending review
  3. Revert back to the old format forever

The difference is the grouping by day (see e.g. [3]), and the lack of bullet points in the new format. Tim Starling (talk) 16:16, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

The date headings are good for RecentChanges, where you have many entries for a single day, but something like this is silly. It has practically one date heading for each line. I assume Nikerabbit wasn't thinking of this when he implemented it, but it seems like a very common use case. I'd be in favor of reverting back to the old format forever, once Nikerabbit has had a chance to comment (since he apparently made the change). —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 16:20, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I'd say revert back - it's much easier to follow date format. Ryan Postlethwaite 16:20, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Personally, I preferred the old log, particularly as the date was on the same line as the time. Majorly (talk) 16:21, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Same. WODUP 16:30, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
We're reverting back. --brion (talk) 16:48, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll get the data I need before Nikerabbit decides to make any further changes without asking anyone's opinion. Majorly (talk) 17:07, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I like the grouping by date. Why not adding the date per line too? a little bit redundant but it keeps the grouping. Raymond (talk) 18:01, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
+1, I also like the new format. It's somewhat clearer and very useful if you have larger logfiles. Adding the date to each line would be a possible solution. Another one would be to put a choice into the preferences (date headlines y/n, date in each line y/n). --Thogo (Talk) 18:05, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
This is not going to be a user preference, that's for sure. We have too many of those already. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 18:20, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Why are user preferences expensive? --Random832 (contribs) 19:47, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, some in fact are expensive, because it fragments the parser cache: we have to cache separate versions of rendered pages for people with different combination of date preferences, redlink handling, etc., etc. But the problem isn't that this would be expensive, it's that it would add clutter. If we add preferences for every little thing like this that comes up, it makes it that much harder for new users to navigate the preferences menu and find what they want. The general MediaWiki policy, enforced by Brion, is that new preferences have to meet a relatively high standard of usefulness. Personally I think this clearly doesn't meet it. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 14:33, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I prefer the old way. While the new format does change somewhat with user timestamp preferences, it doesn't fully use the preference (if that makes sense) and it looks somewhat strange without the bullets if an entry doesn't fit all on one line. Mr.Z-man 18:20, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I prefer the old way as well, as I find it easier to use. I think there should be something added to Special:Preferences, though, because there's doesn't seem to be a unanimous decision regarding this.   jj137 (talk) 18:34, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Whitespace generated by template

I've just noticed that Template:Polish borders generates much whitespace, preventing text appearing next to it (as far as my Seamonkey can tell). I think this problem must have appeared recently; the template was not edited for a good few months and worked fine quite recently. If anybody could fix it, it would be much appreciated.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 16:41, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not really sure what you are expecting to see here, but i do think i know what is causing it. Recently new CSS for navbox was implemented. Since this "info-nav-box" uses class="navbox", i think your problem lies there. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 16:48, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
In Microsoft Internet Explorer the white space on the left-hand side (between body and template) is 5mm standard, but even Mozilla Firefox can produce different formatting results as far as I know. Please try to change "margin-left" from "1em" to "0.5em" and see what SeaMonkey makes of it. --Poeticbent talk 17:18, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I am afraid it did not help. I just replaced the heading with that from a template that works and the problem is solved. Crude, but effective :) --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 20:04, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Block Log question

This probably has been answered several times before, but are block logs cleared on a regular basis? I was blocked several times in the past (once under my current account for a second, just when an admin provided a link to my old block log) under my old username "Davnel03", yet it doesn't show up in the block log. Why is this? D.M.N. (talk) 17:33, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Block logs don't get moved when a user is renamed. This is an ongoing technical limitation of MediaWiki, which might or might not ever get fixed. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:48, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
That used to be the case, but the bug's recently been fixed. Nihiltres{t.l} 18:23, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
That's wonderful news. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:13, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, but my previous blocks don't show up on either the Davnel03 or D.M.N. blocklog. D.M.N. (talk) 21:03, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Lucky you :) Prodego talk 21:24, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I see them just fine. This may have been caused by whoever was changing the format of the block logs earlier (I should have taken a screen cap, as it's been reverted back). - auburnpilot talk 21:34, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

All my edits getting an "N" tag

Why are all of my edits in my contributions list showing up with an "N" tag? I thought "N" meant that the edit was creating a New article. Corvus cornixtalk 21:26, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Me too, everyone's contribs seem to be getting this. Wassup? Franamax (talk) 21:30, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I was just coming to ask the same. I also noticed there was a temporary change to the appearance of blocklogs, but it has been reverted back to the old style. Somebody must be messing about. - auburnpilot talk 21:32, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm also experiencing the same problem with my contributions don't know why, it maybe a problem with the Wikimedia server. Terra 21:34, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
It's fixed. --brion (talk) 21:40, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Brion. (And for switching back to the old log style) - auburnpilot talk 21:44, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
A background update script will be ran sometime soon to show the N marks properly. Voice-of-All 21:46, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I've always been proud of my ability to do open-heart server surgery where dozens of people could see my mistakes immediately. I can only imagine what it's like to roll out changes where th-th-thousands of people see it within seconds. (oh wait, I'm doing that right now :) Kudos and stars to the techs who keep this site rolling along! Franamax (talk) 21:53, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Heh. Thanks to Brion. Corvus cornixtalk 21:57, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Why does my table column not sort?

At Wikipedia:Core biographies/statistics the column called Occupation does not sort (click on the sort button and it will not work). The other columns do. Why is that? Gary King (talk) 22:14, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Fixed. One of the rows was missing a cell. Cheers. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:37, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Ah - how'd you manage to find it? Gary King (talk) 02:39, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
A regex, specifically \|-\r\|.*\r\|.*\r\|.*\r\|.*\r\|.*\r\|.*\r\|.*\r. --MZMcBride (talk) 03:04, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Logs not working

Logs don't seem to be working. DuncanHill (talk) 23:16, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Could you elaborate as to what is not working about it? They work for me. Gary King (talk) 23:33, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Should be all fixed now. --brion (talk) 23:34, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Working again now, thanks. DuncanHill (talk) 23:42, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Unable to access certain user pages - download file

I cannot access User Talk:Jagz. When I click on any link to get to that page, IE attempts to download an 'unknown file type' rather than going to that page. I also have the same problem attempting to get to User Talk:Raggz (this started back in Feb.). Is there any reason why that would happen and anything that I can do? Does it have to do with page names ending in 'gz'? (I am using IE 7 on Windows XP). I can get there when I am using other computers. TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 00:25, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I think it is a local problem; the HTTP content type is correct when I download the page. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:33, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
It works for me. I haven't heard of this problem and it's just a guess, but maybe your browser or other software on your end thinks it's a gzip file (file extension .gz), and tries to interpret it as such. Try to manually change the url to another ending, for example by adding ? as in [4] PrimeHunter (talk) 00:55, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Prime - that worked! TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 01:35, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


After the latest crapflood from off-Wiki, I noticed that the vandal edits used in these types of attacks always have "B" as their title. So, I have to ask: is "B" a wildcard in these edit links? -Jéské (v^_^v X of Swords) 00:44, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


On my complete watchlist (Special:Watchlist/edit), I now have separate listings for blank talkpages of pages I'm watching. Anybody have any ideas? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 02:26, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the developers have been testing out some improvements (check a few of the sections above this one regarding logs and contrib pages). It seems protections now appear in the watchlist, whereas they didn't before. (If any devs are watching, it'd be nice if Special:Watchlist/edit had a TOC) - auburnpilot talk 02:59, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I hope this is only a test, because I'm not a big fan of what pd thor is describing.--Rockfang (talk) 03:50, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I like the new style, but any watching devs please note that only non-existing talk pages are showing up in the "talk" section, which probably needs to be fixed. Happymelon 09:00, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't particularly care for it, but you're correct in elabourating my issue: only the red talk pages for are being listed separately. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 17:13, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I have to go now, but I'm almost certain this is an error. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 11:47, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, it was an error. Aaron fixed it in r33019. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 13:29, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm still having the issue elabourated upon above. Was 33019 something different, or would it not be working for me for some reason? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 17:13, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Software changes are not applied immediately. You can check Special:Version to see what version of the software is currently being used. Probably when you posted, it wasn't yet up to r33019; it's now beyond that and things work correctly for me at least. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 14:01, 10 April 2008 (UTC)