Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 56

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Additional discussion

Additional archived discussions from around this time are at Wikipedia talk:Village pump (technical)/Archive A


Clock in upper-right isn't being updated every second

I enabled the "Include a clock in the upper-right part of the screen" feature a long while ago. Every time I access a Wikipedia page, either article or the "edit" tab, the clock isn't being updated every second or so like it usually has been. How is this happening? SF3 (talk!) 21:59, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

It was changed because updating every second is too CPU intensive. MER-C 12:08, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
It seems to be updating every second for me. Equazcion /C 12:11, 8 Feb 2009 (UTC)
It's good now, so never mind. I guess I just had to restart the computer. SF3 (talk!) 19:18, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Bug? Pipe tricks not supported in refs

I was just disambiguating a couple of inline citations which used <ref> and discovered that [[The Dominion (Wellington)|]] was not expanded to [[The Dominion (Wellington)|The Dominion]] as it would be in prose text. Instead, the page showed the raw markup as it appears above. Is this a known issue? dramatic (talk) 10:18, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it's a known bug. See Wikipedia:Footnotes#Known bugs and Help:Pipe trick#Cite.php footnotes and the pipe trick.-gadfium 10:43, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
This needs to be reported to bugzilla. — Blue-Haired Lawyer 10:41, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
You mean bug 2700 and its 16 duplicates? It seems to have far too little love over the past 3.5 years. dramatic (talk) 20:24, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Wiki Technical Problem


I am listing this Wiki page below as it has a technical problem to it.... Hopefully an administrator will see this and fix it.....

List of United States inventions and discoveries

If you scroll to the bottom of the page mentioned above, there is a Wiki table section (1700's inventions) in the wrong place which should be near the top of the page under the section header 1700's. I have tried to repair this by editing the page, yet an error message comes back saying that the edit cannot be done. --Yoganate79 (talk) 10:34, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

There was an unterminated table in the article. I've fixed it.-gadfium 10:51, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Problems with server


I need on of the revisions of International reaction to the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict and I can't get it. The file is maybe to big. And I need it to fix two reference links (name=TO and name=AJC). It's really very annoying. I need this version. What do I do? I mean it's a pretty poor performance of Wikipedia, if you ask me. Debresser (talk) 15:34, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

By the way, on the Wikimedia Foundation Error message is a link. It's broken. Not very correct. Debresser (talk) 19:08, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Use the edit link on the diff to get the raw wikitext. I can't get the version of the article to display either. You might find the option labelled "Do not show page content below diffs

" in the misc section of your preferences to be useful. Hope this helps. Graham87 01:34, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Cannot Understand

<table width=200px><tr><td width=150px valign=top bgcolor=aliceblue>
₰ ~ [[Portal:Seamounts]]<br>
₠ ~ [[Ferdinandea|GA Ferdinada]]<br>
¶ ~ [[Mickey Mouse|Mickey M. Cartoons]]
<td width=50px valign=top bgcolor=aliceblue align=center>
<font color=green>90%</font><br>
<font color=orange>40%</font><br>
<font color=red>0%</font><br>

Every time I try to put this bit of code on my userpage, it tells me that it was blocked because one of the links was on the Spam Blocklist. What? None of them are external links in the first place. Resident Mario (talk) 16:07, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

The only thing I can see on the blacklist in that set would be the "list" characters. Try using character referenes if you can find them, instead. --Izno (talk) 17:27, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

WP:BN is not displaying correctly for me with Internet Explorer.

Does anyone know why WP:BN looks like this for me? The page displays correctly using Firefox. I haven't tested with any other browsers, as I normally use only IE.--Atlan (talk) 22:35, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Is anyone (well, anyone who doesn't use IE) actually surprised? (IE is known to have rendering and CSS problems. Bug them, we can't really do much about it.) Calvin 1998 (t·c) 22:38, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Fine here, in FF or IE. Algebraist 22:39, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
The display problem is actually in Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard/Header and started after this edit to it. But yeah, I wasn't expecting much in the way of a solution, I just wanted to know what caused the problem.--Atlan (talk) 22:46, 8 February 2009 (UTC)


Has anyone gotten a watchlist to load today? Mine's sizeable (around 6000 articles), and I haven't managed to get it to load for the last 5 hours.—Kww(talk) 18:25, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Mine's working perfectly. It's only 1105 pages though. Algebraist 18:28, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
It's been goofy the past few hours. Sometimes if you wait long enough you'll get the standard "wikimedia servers are having technical difficulties" message. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 18:38, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
129, mine loads fine, has all day. --Kbdank71 18:48, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
6,000?!?! How can you feasibly watch that list? I panic when I have more than 100, it's so easy to miss something if you have too crowded a field (in my opinion) doktorb wordsdeeds 18:59, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
It's time-consuming, but I manage. It includes a lot of articles that there is no reason at all to change, so the only edits that occur are vandalism, as well as a lot of articles that are deleted ... that way, if someone recreates it, it shows up on my watchlist. I trimmed it down to 4500, and got it to load at least once.—Kww(talk) 19:18, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
Mine (~5,000 pages) loads now. I think Wikipedia was just really heavily loaded this morning (EST). As for the usefulness of a large watchlist, I don't look at every single change there, but scan for vandalism and problematic edits. I keep a separate user subpage listing a smaller subset of pages for which I'm more interested in tracking content edits closely, and use Special:Recentchangeslinked to track that. — TKD::Talk 19:56, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
Out of interest, how many actually display? You might improve performance if you change your Preferences > Watchlist > "Days to show in watchlist" to 1 or 2 days. -- Tcncv (talk) 01:03, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
It varies. Usually around a thousand or so. On a bad day when a bot goes through and changes all "Californian artists" to "Artists from California" or something like that it can get much higher.—Kww(talk) 13:07, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
I currently have approx 5,300 pages on my watchlist, with a 7-day history log. It varies between 150 and 300 changes on those articles per week. Lugnuts (talk) 13:20, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Oh? I have six pages on mine. It's never been a problem - it loads well. ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 03:20, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Merging consecutive edits from same user?

This has probably been discussed before, but anyhow, here is idea again. I know there is a preview button, but i'm sure many people don't use it always, including me. Why not merge consecutive minor edits with the first edit? (talk) 00:53, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Let me elaborate: if I understood well wikimedia source code, each edit is a version of the article and full text is stored into database. Having 5 minor changes in a 10kb article would take at least 50kb space in the database. Multiply that with number of such minor consecutive changes made each day, and you get significant number. Making this change to wikimedia software would, I think, save resources and expenses. (talk) 09:45, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

The default configuration of MediaWiki does, indeed, store the complete copy of the page text for every revision and so has the inefficiency you note. Wikimedia (AFAIK) instead uses compression to essentially just save the diffs that each edit produces, so there would be very minimal saving on resources and probably an increase in server load as the servers calculate when and where edits can be merged. There are also many complications to consider: what happens when user A makes an edit, user B makes an edit, but then an admin selectively deletes B's revision (deletes the page, then restores all the revisions apart from B's)?? If A then makes another edit, there is no reason for the software to not merge the two together (deleted edits are stored in a completely different database table), but if B's edit is then restored, the history is either corrupted or out of order. Ditto for oversighted edits. Even history merges would cause problems.
Merging edits together in the UI is a completely different matter, and one that I think would be quite popular. I can see that as a useful preference setting. Happymelon 10:38, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Wikimedia (AFAIK) instead uses compression to essentially just save the diffs that each edit produces... I don't think it works that way. Calculating difs between two revisions would then require calculating merging/diffs of all the diffs in between. Sounds complicated.
Yes, there is a problem with intermediate reverts, but if the successive change is minor (i.e. less than few characters), then it would also be reverted. Also, that revision would not be a new ID, but would be merged with the old ID on the INSERT/UPDATE time. Calculating merges, i think, is not very server consuming, as it takes comparison of version lengths only if edits are from same user within small time interval, and if difference is smaller than threshold, do the replacement. You don't even need to calculate the 'merge' diff. (talk) 11:01, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
As you rightly point out, the numbers involved are such that it cannot be any other way. Interpolating from the second column here, I estimate that the average bytecount of a revision is 2kB, a suitably conservative estimate. We have 283 million edits on the books. Crunch those numbers to get a pagetable size of half a terabyte. Yet interpolating from this data, we see that that is clearly ridiculous. If no compression is involved, and yet every revision is still accessible, which magic rabbit hole are they disappearing down? Calculating diffs of any sort is a complicated operation, certainly; but once they're created operating on them is very much easier. On the other hand, the system you propose causes edits to be irreversibly merged; there is no way to separate them if a situation requires it.
We here are not in any position to make assumptions or statements about what would or would not be a valuable performance boost for Wikimedia. The Foundation employs eight professional developers who run a network of three hundred servers on three continents which serves ten billion pages a month, and has done so on a shoestring for seven years with probably less than a week's total downtime. If there was a magic wand to wave to quarter the load on that network, it would have been waved long ago. If it hasn't been waved, there is almost certainly a very good reason for it. Evaluating this on its performance merits is completely unnecessary. If it is implemented at all, it will be done in a manner that the developers are happy with, which is almost certainly not going to be the same as the original suggestion.
On the other hand, if we discard the consideration of how this feature could/should/would be implemented technically, and consider purely how it would appear, then it starts to look increasingly interesting. I'm thinking of a system which essentially extends the "extended watchlist" functionality to page histories; multiple edits by the same user are 'collapsed' into one, still accessible separately through an 'expand' link, but "merged" by default. How that process is organised on a software level is not our concern, the question is: would it be useful? Happymelon 21:52, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
"If it were a good idea it woulda been done already" -- Careful when invoking that kind of logic. Many people and companies in history have passed up some of the most profitable ideas based on that thinking. Always consider the possibility that even the most regarded professionals in the field may not have thought of everything. It's not only possible but it happens all the time. Equazcion /C 22:33, 7 Feb 2009 (UTC)
That's certainly true, and I don't mean to suggest otherwise (although my comment certainly gives that impression :S). I'm more focusing on the fact that sitting here, we have such a woefully incomplete picture of what's actually going on that the probability of us finding an idea that not only hasn't been thought of and discarded before, but which could actually work on such an enormous scale, is incredibly remote. Happymelon 23:42, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for good info Happy-melon. Just a note, you don't need to impress me about Wikipedia, as WP and YouTube are 2 sites that have impressed me for a while now -- both conceptually, and engineering wise. Anyhow, here is correction for your estimate: Wikipedia_database#Where_do_I_get... And the corresponding dumps compressed by bzip2 are impractically big (about 150GB)... So it seems your half a terrabyte estimate is the good one. (talk) 23:13, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
ps. from the point of DifferenceEngine.php, it doesn't mater whether it calculates 'whole articles' or 'differences'. dealing with 2 revisions is one process, dealing with N differences in between are N-1 processes. (talk) 23:27, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
That's interesting, thankyou for that information. I wonder what measure the other site is returning, possibly the sum of the sizes of the current version of each page?
Your analysis is correct, but if the N-1 processes for doing 'diff algebra' (adding or subtracting diffs) are very much more computationally efficient than the process of creating a diff from two complete texts, then the latter process may still be more efficient than the former. I honestly do not know whether that is the case, and as I've said above, I'm happy to leave the technical details to those who do (and I'm speaking as an active bugzilla user with MediaWiki patch credits). Our thoughts should be towards what we want any modification to do, not how we think it should be done on a technical level. Happymelon 23:42, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Just a quick answer. What you consider 'adding and substracting diffs' actually requires the same diff 'creation' process as is used for calculating diffs of complete text revisions. Just go to history of this page, and think about how you would see the diff between version 30 diffs apart by combining only diffs! For one, you would at least have to have full text version of the first diff, as calculating each time to the very original version would not make sense!! Therefore, by using induction, we can assume that every page has full text version, as any page can be taken as the first diff for comparison. (talk) 23:52, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't believe you are correct. Think about how you would 'store' a diff without the full page text. The diff format used in SVN springs immediately to mind: essentially the format is "from line X, remove 2 lines, add these 4 lines" (so if only a part of a line is changed, the whole line is removed and replaced by the new version). For prose text it may be useful to be more specific, to say "in paragraph X, from character Y remove 150 characters, insert these 30 characters". This is the most efficient way of storing a diff, and you are correct, it only makes any visible sense when linked to a full text onto which to apply the diff. But there is no requirement to store those parts together in the database, it merely has to be possible to link them when a diff screen is requested for output.
However, now think about trying to add such diffs together. It's utterly trivial to do so. Only where diff changes actually intersect is it necessary to do anything other than simply combine the instructions; the process is likely vastly more efficient than creating the diff in the first place. Of course, you still need the full original text to work from. If I were designing the system (and obviously I'm not) I would work in a similar manner to the MPEG video format: every X revisions, we store the full page text, and so to construct the full text of any revision we just take the most recent previous 'keystone' revision, take all the diffs for the edits between the keystone and the version we want, combine them into one diff as discussed above, and apply that diff to the keystone to get the new text. Happymelon 00:09, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
The database dumps are in a very different format from Wikipedia's internal storage. The dumps contain complete uncompressed copies of each revision, while Wikipedia stores them compressed, and I believe Wikipedia stores diffs rather than complete old revisions. --Carnildo (talk) 23:55, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
NB. [1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:42, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

(Outdent since thsi is a pair of questions to the initiator)

  1. If this is a proposal then why not put it on the proposals page?
  2. Show me, an ordinary editor, the benefit of this proposal.

Once you answer (2) I can make a user based comment, as can all ordinary mortals. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 12:10, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

  1. This is a technical idea, and if I understand well, Village Pump (technical) is a place to discuss such ideas? If you know another place, please give me a link. (ed.) isaw now the bold sentence on top! well, maybe i'll post there too...
  2. benefit is that your edit history would be less messy, as would be histories of other editors and articles. (talk) 12:16, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
(after edit conflict)
  1. "The technical section of the village pump is used to discuss technical issues about Wikipedia. This page is not for new feature requests. Bugs and feature requests should be made at the BugZilla or the Village pump proposals page because there is no guarantee developers will read this page."
  2. Thank you. I see no personal benefit and am opposed to this from my own perspective for this reason. It's an interesting suggestion with no obvious end user plus. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 12:24, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Bgzilla requires an account, and i'm not in a mood of opening one. if someone wants to post this idea there, you are welcome... (talk) 12:27, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Another problem would be how it would incorporate edit summaries. A combined edit summary of "sp|wikify|changed wording|add word|remove word|grammar|disambig link|rm unnecessary link" would make it hard to view exactly what has been changed. It would be easier to view each edit with its accompanying summary individually. Graham87 13:32, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't think of that. Plus, there is a limit on summary length, so they couldn't be combined sometimes. :( (talk) 13:57, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Occasionally I make two separate edits on purpose: e.g. to make it easier for others to examine and potentially revert an edit without a lot of complicated formatting changes mixed into the same diff. Coppertwig (talk) 20:19, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
The main occasion when merging edits would be useful is where you make one edit and then soon after that notice a spelling or formating mistake & you go back and fix it. So if you did a normal edit with summary and then within 10 mins, go back and do a minor edit (without summary) then that could be a good combination to merge. -- WOSlinker (talk) 22:11, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the chief benefit of this would be that article histories and user contribs would be slightly more organized. I don't necessarily see the benefit to this; sometimes multiple edits to the same page are for very good reasons. (for example, on CHU, I'll often reformat a botched request in a separate edit from performing/denying the rename, simply because the two tasks are dramatically different) EVula // talk // // 22:26, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

To clear up some confusion:

  1. Currently, last I heard, each revision is stored gzipped, with adjacent revisions of the same article being stored adjacent to one another. They are not stored as diffs. As long as the size of each revision is well under the block size used by the compression algorithm, this is pretty efficient.
  2. But articles are often much larger than the block size. Tim Starling is or was writing a new backend for revision storage that's diff-based, and which uses drastically less storage space. Of course it's more complicated in some ways to reconstruct articles, but diff-based storage is a well-studied problem. The usual way to efficiently retrieve arbitrary revisions is to have some revisions stored in full, and only most of them stored as diffs. Storage formats like MPEG and the Subversion backend use this kind of technique, and retrieval ends up being perfectly fast. Maybe even faster than if you stored all revisions in full, since you get more hits to the page cache if your working set exceeds your memory.
  3. But in any event, we're not talking about a whole lot of data. Wikipedia's revision storage requirements are tiny compared to many sites. You can fit all the revisions on a single hard disk these days, even if they're just naively gzipped. A lot of people probably have personal music collections that take up more space. The biggest bottleneck right now is CPU on the application servers.

Revision storage space is not a big issue, and it's definitely not worth significant user-visible changes. The proposal given here would allow all sorts of obnoxious things, like replacing pages with a link to Goatse and then minor-editing it back with no one the wiser. Revision storage is deliberately append-only (well, maybe except for rev_deleted/oversight) so that there's perfect transparency as to how each article looked at each moment in time. And anyway, consecutive edits by the same user are not such a common case that there would be substantial savings, as opposed to fundamental improvements like a diff-based storage system that could give order-of-magnitude improvements in storage space use. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 23:52, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for clarification. My suggestion was based on my understanding of mediawiki source code, in which I saw only full text version storage model. Also, suggestion was only for the very small changes of up to couple of bytes, so your Goatse example doesn't fit in there. But diff based storage you explain is definitely the long term solution. (talk) 10:58, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Move without redirect - bit more audit trail please

Consider these two titles:

  • Hablir - here I did the old-style operation: moved the article leaving a redirect and then deleted the redirect. The deletion log is displayed to all classes of user.
  • Reading Metro - here I unticked "Leave a redirect behind" when I moved the article. There is no hint that any article has ever existed on this title. This is fine for ordinary users and anons but it would help if admins were allowed to see a link to "View logs for this page" or even showed the move log entry.

RHaworth (Talk | contribs) 02:06, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

see bugzilla:16950. --Splarka (rant) 08:17, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

derivativeFX question

When using the derivativeFX tool to upload to Commons I get the following message:

your images can't be merged!

The licenses are incompatible or the licenses can't be detected.
See above for all license tags the tool found for this images:

    * File:Money_Icon.svg
          o {{Cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0}}
          o {{Cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0/en}}
          o {{GFDL}}
          o {{GFDL/en}} 
    * File:Gamepad.svg
          o {{LGPL}} 

1.)Unknown templates
2.)no known license found for this image!

I was wondering if anyone could explain why the two images are incompatible and whether it is a flase positive? They're both "free" licenses, are they not? Thanks! SharkD (talk) 03:31, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

But they're not the same free license. They have very different requirements for attribution and reuse. For instance, AFAIK the LGPL does not require explicit attribution, while the GFDL and CC-BY-SA licenses do. While a recent provision was made in the GFDL 1.3 to allow transitions to CC licenses, there is no such provision in LGPL. Happymelon 08:56, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Too bad. I was hoping that one would be more "free" and thus allow combining with the other. SharkD (talk) 23:52, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Search suggest


Just an FYI, it's currently turned off. This is the feature in the search box that shows matching articles as you type. Tim Starling disabled it due to current high CPU usage. --Chasingsol(talk) 16:24, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

When will it be back? Queenie Talk 18:17, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
I miss it already *tear* Equazcion /C 18:18, 9 Feb 2009 (UTC)
There was no specific time period mentioned, other than it will be turned back on again once CPU usage has decreased, which will be likely later today. --Chasingsol(talk) 18:33, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Looks like it's back on, as of now. Yay! I now realize how much I rely on that feature. OlEnglish (talk) 01:24, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Proposal: change link color

I'd like to suggest changing the color of links to the more grayish color used in the Winimedia Foundation banner at the top of the page. It's a little easier to read and matches the basic site color scheme better. SharkD (talk) 12:35, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Of course you can very easily change the links for yourself using your own css. But Wikipedia's bluelink/redlink is an almost iconic feature of the modern age; changing it would be incredibly disruptive. Take a look at this cartoon: I reckon an absolute majority of the population of Europe and North America would immediately or quickly understand the symbolism. That's what we stand to lose. Happymelon 14:56, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
How much effort might it be to drop this into user preferences (assuming it is not already there)? It sounds pleasant enough for those who wish it, assuming it is easy and quick to do. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 15:02, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
This doesn't really require that much coding; i.e., it isn't really something that would be "worth" it.
Go into special:mypage/monobook.css and the code should be something like this: a { color: grey; }. Insert the color of preference (I don't know what that is, since I dismissed the message long ago). --Izno (talk) 15:32, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
I am a technoturkey. I do not appear to have any content on "my" page. Thus I am lost. (I dont; actually care, but others will, if you follow me) Fiddle Faddle (talk) 15:35, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Go to special:mypage/monobook.css and add the line Izno just said:
a { color: grey; }
This should turn all links grey (with the exception of links you've already clicked, which will still be purple). Calvin 1998 (t·c) 15:41, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
The correct color in this case is #006699. SharkD (talk) 23:58, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
#069 would work in this case, too; you can use color shorthand when the numbers repeat like that. EVula // talk // // 03:36, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I tried it and it didn't look as good as I thought it would. SharkD (talk) 06:50, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Colwidth problem

I've noticed occasional display glitches (running Firefox) on pages using the Reflist "colwidth" parameter.

To given an example, here are two versions of an article: [2][3]

The difference between the two is innocuous and should not really have screwed anything up: [4]

Yet one of the versions correctly displays 3 ref columns of equal length on my system, and the other one does not. (It has the first column twice as long as the second and the third empty. Obviously, how many columns you will see on your systems will depend on your browser window size and your font size.)

Do any of you see any difference between the reflist displays on these two page versions? Any idea what the cause might be? It's a rare problem, but still, if it can be fixed, it would be good. Jayen466 23:18, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

It's a Firefox bug. Anomie 01:03, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
You mean, Firefox has bugs? Who could have imagined it? SharkD (talk) 03:42, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm using Firefox, and even when I make the window really wide so that 3 columns appear, the columns are all evenly balanced. Maybe you're using an old version of Firefox? —Remember the dot (talk) 04:16, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I had incorrect behaviour (not quite the same Jayen466 had) when I tried it yesterday with FireFox 3.0.5, it seems fixed in 3.0.6 now though. --Amalthea 10:15, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I am using 3.06. The first page version indicated above only displays incorrectly (but consistently incorrectly) if I have a full-screen window at 1600x1200 before I access the page. If I access the page in a small window first and then resize the window so the reflist display goes from 2 columns to 3 columns, it does it correctly. If I have the window marginally smaller than full-screen, it also shows the three columns correctly. Jayen466 16:36, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Category behaving weirdly

Category:Ohio Registered Historic Place stubs is just now displaying its contents in an unusual fashion: rather than showing the names of the articles, it has a list:

  • Object id #525
  • Object id #527
  • Object id #508

and this repeats over and over again. The links themselves are fine (click on the first Object id #525 in the C column and you get a different article from the last Object id #525), but I can't imagine what's causing it to display like this. Other categories aren't displaying this way, but this one keeps displaying, even when I refresh or go to a different page and back to it. Any idea what's going on? Nyttend (talk) 05:39, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Looks fine to me (in Chrome). I vaguely recall something like this happening a couple of years ago, but can't remember what caused it or how it was fixed, or even if it was quite the same. DuncanHill (talk) 05:43, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I saw this at a completely different category (Category:Request templates). When I purged the cache it worked fine though, so maybe it was just a temporary problem. — Blue-Haired Lawyer 13:07, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

I saw this in Category:Non-operating common carrier freight railroads in the United States, and it went away on a standard refresh (no purging). --NE2 22:44, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Tagging errors

I just revealed a tag shortcoming at Template:Infobox Planet, which is manifest particularly in 7253 Nara, but can't figure out how to fix. --Brandспойт 08:44, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

The template adds a reference, and the article was missing the <references /> tag. If that feature was newly added to the template then I'm guessing that there'll be a number of articles with that problem, but a bot will take care of those sooner or later. --Amalthea 11:23, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Now documented at Help:Cite errors for your viewing pleasure. And yes, the issue of refs in templates has already been discovered. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 11:40, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

SUL page not updating editcount for other projects

This is quite a trivial question, I suppose, but this page for my global contributions isn't recording the 5 edits I have on meta or the 2 edits I have on the French Wikipedia. Does someone know why? If it is a case of infrequent (or queued) updates, then why is it always up-to-date with my enwiki contributions? Thank you! Maedin\talk 09:24, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

It's probably because Toolserver updates for the "s3" group of wikis (most of the small ones and a number of the bigger ones) isn't working right now due to a hardware failure. "s1" (Enwiki) and "s2" (German and some of the other large ones) are still updating. --Carnildo (talk) 10:13, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, that makes some sense! At least it isn't me doing something wrong. Thanks for the reply. Maedin\talk 10:18, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Cite errors

For those trying to figure out the big red Cite error messages, Help:Cite errors is now available. I have started some discussions on a few improvements on the talk page. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 11:57, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

That is great. You should edit each of these error pages so that they link to this help page. — CharlotteWebb 03:42, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Free media stub template

There is now a {{Free media}} template much like {{Non-free media}}, plus a new category it sorts into. Get this transcluded into all free media templates and we may finally be able to have a ratio of non-free to free images on Wikipedia too. ViperSnake151 15:58, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Ideally, we shouldn't have any free images on Wikipedia; they should all be on Commons... EVula // talk // // 16:58, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Not quite true, there are things that the Commons doesn't want but which are suitable for non-Article Wikipedia pages. For example, borders and other page ornaments are okay on user pages, but are deemed too trivial for the commons. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 18:06, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Ah, that much is true. Doesn't change the fact that the vast majority of the free images here should be there, though. :) (and an argument could be made for having page ornaments on Commons if they are used on an editor's userpage on multiple projects) EVula // talk // // 18:30, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

And there is stuff that has entered the public domain in the US, but not yet in the country of origin. That work is usually also hosted on en.wikipedia and not on commons. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:56, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Dismissing banners across multiple wikis

Earlier, I dismissed the Wikimedia Foundation's 2009 steward election notice on When I go to another wiki (currently I'm looking at an article on, the banner is there again. Is there a way to make a banner stay gone once I've dismissed/hidden it on one wiki? Lugnuts (talk) 18:26, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately not. Other than that you can log-in to all of them using the same username and password, each is still completely separate. There's no joint preferences or user scripts. — Blue-Haired Lawyer 18:42, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
You could kill all sitenotices with browser CSS, but you might not want to go that far. Algebraist 18:45, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
A bit drastic! Shame there's no easy way to kill it across all wikis. Thanks for the replies. Lugnuts (talk) 19:20, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Adblocking has the desired effect. MER-C 01:26, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
A couple weeks after the blood drive started they moved all the wikibits.js/etc stuff to, making it more difficult to block the centralnotice without collateral damage. I'm told this is purely coincidental. However they've now gone back to using separate skin-javascript urls for each wiki, so it would once again be prudent to block everything from the "upload" server other than… um… images. — CharlotteWebb 03:50, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Disappearing images

This is has been bothering me for a while now. Images will spontaneously disappear in IE7, usually from infoboxes. They'll reappear after the page is reloaded, but it's a little annoying. Is there any way to fix this? --​​​​D.B.talkcontribs 23:08, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

What do you mean by 'spontaneously'? Do you mean that the page finishes loading, with image present, and at some later point the image vanishes? Algebraist 23:16, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the page will load, with the image showing up and then the image will disappear, usually within seconds. --​​​​D.B.talkcontribs 23:43, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I've been having what I suspect is the same issue -- the browser will spontaneously move content on the right side of a page, and occasionally images included in this content will stop showing as well. A Bit Iffy had the same problem as well. This was discussed at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)/Archive_51#Odd_behaviour_of_locator_map_images. (Note that not all the articles I mentioned have this problem now -- the taxobox on Tyranni no longer shifts, for instance -- but it still shifts on other articles.) Lucky Wizard (talk) 00:06, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

How long should it take for a task to get through the job queue?

I replaced some images in a few templates about 12 days ago. If I look at the "old" image page, the obsolete image links still appear, showing articles that transclude the since-modified templates. I realize this is a low priority task, but 12 days in the job queue seems like a lot... — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 01:34, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Try 40 days. PrimeHunter (talk) 02:04, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Wow. Thanks for the pointer to the archive discussion. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 06:16, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I work quite a lot with templates and categories. In order to be able to do meaningfull work I do a lot of null-edits, to be able to assess my progress. But yes, sometimes that just isn't feasible, and I'd also like the job queue to move a little faster. Debresser (talk) 14:08, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Tomasz is working on it, but he's taking vacation this week. Should improve in the next few weeks. — Werdna • talk 03:08, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Please replace "→" with "->"

I can't see the non-standard "→" on every device I edit with, and I imagine I'm not the only one. Not seeing this "→" means not being able to access that feature at all. I'd very much like to replace it on edit summaries with "->". It looks about the same, but it doesn't cause accessibility issues. Is this in the software or is this local? I will file a bug if need-be. ~ JohnnyMrNinja 09:44, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Actually, I think it look awful in comparison. That aside, I see your point - I just don't like your solution. TalkIslander 09:54, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I can't really say I see his point. This is a standard Unicode symbol; it should be in all modern font sets. Anyone who can't see it really needs to do some updating. --Trovatore (talk) 10:00, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
It looks better in courier... As far as updating, if a Treo 750 (fully updated) can't see it, then I'm guessing a lot of phones and mobile devices won't be able to. This causes a portion of the people who use this site to not be able to use a basic and frequent feature, and it is easily fixed, so are you saying it shouldn't be? The idea of Wikipedia is to make it as accessible as possible (especially for things as integral as edit summaries), not to force everyone to update to the latest version of Vista. It could be replaced with a >>, or the word GO. The point is it doesn't have to be a non-standard character (not on a keyboard), so it shouldn't be. ~ JohnnyMrNinja 10:37, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Mmmm, it's entirely possibly there's a problem with you phone. Does it recognise this character " € "? — Blue-Haired Lawyer 10:48, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
No, so we shouldn't use that one either. I didn't say it wasn't a problem with my phone, I'm saying it is a problem with at least my phone. Is there a reason not to switch to the more friendly >> or something similar? ~ JohnnyMrNinja 11:01, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Keep in mind as well that I am not talking about text of articles here, but an incredibly common part of the software. This character is a link, part of an otherwise-unusable software feature. (I need to go to sleep now). ~ JohnnyMrNinja 11:07, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Well that's the Euro symbol, so I'll be dammed if we have to start replacing "€ 5.20" with "EUR 5.20", all over the place just because a few phone don't support it. I appreciate what you said about it being part of the interface rather than articles, but the same principle applies.
When I said your phone, I meant you might have a problem with your fonts. It's rather strange that you can't see the euro symbol. Coincidentally can you see " &#128; " or " € "?
To be honest I think developers might start laughing if we suggest not using non-ascii in the software (so much for arabic support etc...) but I could write a javascript search and replace user script to "→" with "->", assuming you phone supports javascript that is? — Blue-Haired Lawyer 11:56, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
The character used appears to be controlled by MediaWiki:Sectionlink, but I would oppose changing it. My suggestion would be to turn the entire section name into a link (but have it styled as it is now; italic and a different color from other links). Unfortunately I couldn't find a MW message to modify the edit summary output. —Locke Coletc 11:41, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I brought that idea up here before, but was told about the arrow (I didn't know). I think it's a great idea. ~ JohnnyMrNinja 11:44, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Is there opposition to this idea? This would be a dev thing, right? To link the entire section name? ~ JohnnyMrNinja 02:56, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, I'm opposed to making any serious changes to support Treo compatibility. Mobile devices should work with the web, not the other way around. For them not to render simple Unicode is just unacceptable — you should ask for your money back.
However the idea in isolation might not be too objectionable. The main change I would like to see in edit summaries is that they should reflect the actual anchors generated on the Wiki page, even if the section header contains markup. I try to be vigilant about removing markup from section headers — it usually doesn't belong there anyway — but there are a few sorts of pages where it's hard to avoid. --Trovatore (talk) 03:05, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I am opposed to this idea. Not only is → a standard character (meaning it's a bug for Palm, not us), but the main site isn't designed for phones. We have for that, and a little birdie somewhere told me there might be a better version in the works. Whereas this is an element of the site interface, it seems pointless to "fix" it. I don't even think it's a fix—the change you've suggested seems to me like it would be confusing for many users. {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 03:12, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, it's a standard character. It should not be changed. Gary King (talk) 03:13, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Uhm, guys, that wasn't the idea. I think he was referring to my idea of making the section name in the edit summary also be a link (which would also resolve his problem since then the whole thing would be a link). From a usability perspective it's also good, since clicking on that little arrow can be a pain sometimes. :P —Locke Coletc 13:31, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, that would defeat the purpose of formatting it in gray to be recognizable as a section title. — CharlotteWebb 20:02, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
If "→" worries you, you should check out this list! Seriously I agree with Trovatore regarding that refund, especially if you bought the thing primarily for internet use. I can't even picture trying to access the internet with a device on which I could not install extra fonts. — CharlotteWebb 03:34, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Piped link problems

What causes these to be "Copy and Paste" when I first try to edit an article? Later I can click on them.

Of course, what happens in so many cases is that I think I'm where I need to be and the piped link shows up as the first character in the article or section.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 15:05, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

It also happens with the four tildes.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:47, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

This is a piped link: [[Foo|Bar]]
What do you mean by 'it is "Copy and Paste"'. I really don't know what you mean. --Amalthea 18:06, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Replied on Amalthea.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:44, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Would you keep the discussion here, please? And I really, really still don't know what's going wrong. You pasted the markup help javascript from below the edit box on my talk page. Am I to understand that those don't work for you? --Amalthea 19:51, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
The way I understand it is that a number of symbols and some wiki markup appear below the edit window in plain text. If JavaScript is enabled, and once the page is loaded, these symbols "migrate" into dropdown menus. This means that to use the symbols, one must copy-and-paste them into the edit window, until such time as JavaScript has rendered the dropdown menus, (later) one can click on them. One also needs to position the cursor by clicking in the text of the edit box in the place one wishes to insert such a symbol. Make sense now? -=# Amos E Wolfe talk #=- 20:03, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

My problem is that it's annoying when the first edit I try to do where I need those dropdown menus is not the first one where they appear.

As for positioning the cursor, in many cases I believe it was already positioned. And then I find out the hard way that I have to go back to where I was, which is sometimes hard to do if there's a lot of text. Is this a Wikipedia problem or a Computing reference desk problem?Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 22:06, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Adding template to a numbered section


Ikip (talk) 12:32, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

How do I add a template to a numbered section without messing up the numbering?

For example:

  1. blah blah
  2. blah blah
  3. blah blah
  4. blah blah
  1. blah blah
    but blah blah blah...
    Yes, but blah blah blah...
  2. blah blah

Ikip (talk) 00:49, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Like this?
  1. blah blah
  2. blah blah
  1. blah blah
  2. blah blah
Gary King (talk) 01:43, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Hey Mr. King, is it possible to continue the numbers as # # #, or do i have to use <li> </li>? Ikip (talk) 02:51, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, it has to be continued like that. The wiki code doesn't give much room for customization. Gary King (talk) 03:11, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Doing it the following way will ensure the items before and after the table are actually part of the same list:

  1. blah blah
  2. blah blah
  3. blah blah
  4. blah blah
  5. blah blah
    but blah blah blah...
    Yes, but blah blah blah...
  6. blah blah

This works but only if the table is pure html with no line-breaks, otherwise it won't show up right. This is because the parser will see a line starting with "#" and put "<li>" at the beginning of it, then only look for the end of that line to close the tag (put "</li>"). It does not look for the end of the "<table>" or any other element which started within the <li> element on this line. One could argue that this is a bug. — CharlotteWebb 03:18, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Smiley.svg Thank you! Ikip (talk) 12:32, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

AJAX suggestions gone :-O

Hi! In the last couple of days, my AJAX suggestion-y thing in the search box (type in a, suggests aardvark, abacus etc. alphabetically) has disappeared. The "disable" option in my preferences is not set to disabled; does anyone know how I can get them back? Thanks! ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 20:50, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

It was turned off globally due to unreasonable server load. I don't know when, or if, it will come back, but I certainly agree it is useful. Dragons flight (talk) 21:02, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Seems to be back now. At least for me.  :-) Dragons flight (talk) 00:07, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Back for me as well. EVula // talk // // 00:11, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Re-enabled because we got new servers. — Werdna • talk 03:04, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

And yet the SUL utility is still out of date. *sigh* EVula // talk // // 06:24, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Colspan in a navegational template

I've been trying to combine colspan and columns in a navegational template and I've uterly failed on it. The closest I've been is this:

It's in Catalan. It should represent the English and Scotish monarchsin two columns and then list them together. I started trying to use colspan to make the last two groups expand through all the template, but it didn't work. Now I've tried to use different navboxes and join all of them, but it look weirs. Could you give me some clue? Thanks!--RR (talk) 08:57, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Just wondering... Is it a "hide all" problem, or "dividing" problem? I may be able to help. HУтaяtalk2mecontribs 20:04, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Gender-neutral templates

I don't know if this is old news, but there is a new mediawiki feature called {{GENDER:}} that allows you to use gender-specific language based on a user's preferences. I have created templates {{heorshe}} and {{hisorher}} that can be used to expand to "he" or "she" and "his" or "her", respectively, in talk page or project space discussions. If the user has not set the preference, the templates expand to "he or she"/"his or her". Obviously, these are only for talk pages and project discussions. --B (talk) 14:09, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Nice work. I moved the documentation to separate subpages - this means that even if the templates need to be protected (due to being transcluded on lots of pages, or being substituted a lot), the documentation can still be edited. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 08:39, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Wrong titles in category listing

Hi, i experienced something really odd when checking the artícles listed in a given category. Check it out here. I'm not a user from this wp, so excuse my signature :P, bye. -- (talk) 04:08, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

It's a strange issue. Even Google sees it, but I'm not sure why it's happening. Gary King (talk) 07:25, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
See #Category behaving weirdly. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 12:37, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

welcome screen for new users?

Does anyone know where the welcome text that appears when you create a new account on Wikipedia lives? It's a one-time screen that appears when you first successfully create an account and that links off to the introduction, etc. The URL is [5] but I can't reproduce/find the welcome screen (without creating another account). At any rate, the page could probably use some work. thanks, -- phoebe / (talk to me) 04:19, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Are you referring to this? MediaWiki:Welcomecreation Gary King (talk) 07:24, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
That's it! thanks so much. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 20:38, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Dumb template question(s)

Based on my reading of examples and TFM, I'd appreciate confirm/deny and help and example pointers:

  • A template is not aware of the number of supplied parameters. (In /bin/csh this would be #?$ I think).
  • A template cannot loop. (In csh, a for or foreach statement).
  • Template named parameters cannot be repeated, i.e. topic=bar cannot appear in a transclusion after topic=foo - within the expansion, topic will always expand to bar.

What I'm getting at here is my wish to allow infinite expansions along the lines of:

<title> <text1>
<title> <text1>
<title> <text1>

The preferred mode would be {{''tname''|''tsect''...}}. tname is the template name, tsect is of the form title==title|textlist, and textlist is of the form |text1|text2|...|textN That's my clumsy attempt at BNF notation. :)

The context here is a nascent attempt to create a talk page template to list perennial discussions at the top of article talk pages. By their very nature, perennial topics will have multiple references (the "text"s), and there may be any number of FAQ-style topics per page (the "title"s). These can't be known in advance, hence my questions about infinite-style template techniques.

If any template gurus are interested, we're planning to hack around with this on gchat in a few days. And any advice in the nonce would be most appreciated. Thanks! Franamax (talk) 04:39, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

There's no looping or recursion with templates. The {{loop}} template fakes looping by using repeated if statements. (if count > 1, xxx; if count > 2, xxx; ...) That's the only way to achieve what you want - make a template that has arbitrarilly many iterations of whatever it is you want to do. --B (talk) 05:26, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
This seems overly complex just for a FAQ. I did the FAQ for Talk:Harry S. Truman using one of the navbox templates; I've been considering a simpler purpose-built template for this. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 12:45, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
I really hope the $n$ thing works in this wiki, though I knew that it was removed after some revisions in mediawiki. That would have simplify the task I plan to do here. Never mind, I'm not actively involved in the making of it now. HУтaяtalk2mecontribs 19:55, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Automatic n-column generation template

Does there currently exist a template which can automatically format a list into n columns equally? Spidern 14:27, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

{{Columns-list}} will work for the ~30% using FireFox and Safari; see the notes on browser support. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 14:33, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Is it possible to enumerate a list on mediawiki? If so, perhaps we could take that number (total items in list), divide by n (columns), and insert {{col-n}} templates where necessary, placing the whole block in a {{Col-begin}} and {{Col-end}}. Spidern 15:16, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
You would still need to manually place the {{col-n}} templates. Perhaps we can ask the devs for a column extension that does not use CSS3.
Doesn't {{col-break}} work? HУтaяtalk2mecontribs 19:47, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but I'm trying to automatically balance the columns. In other words, I want {{tag1|3}}*listitem1 *listitem2 ... *listitem6{{tag2}} to produce 3 columns with 2 items each. This way, in a regularly-updated list, editors don't have to frequently shift around list items making sure that an equal number are in each column. Spidern 22:19, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Then your options are to either bug the devs or force everyone to use FF. Algebraist 22:28, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Hijacking User Zeizmic


Ok, I haven't been around for a while, but I noticed in my contributions that there was a whole lot of discussions with my user name, and I didn't make any of them! My account had a secure password, and I've changed it. Is is possible to put down a user name in discussions without actually hacking the account? Zeizmic (talk) 21:03, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Sure, you can write anything you want in the text of the discussion. -- Zeizmic 21:18, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
If they're really displaying as you in contributions and history, though, then they were made by someone with access to your account. Algebraist 21:22, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
No, it was just in talk pages. Could they manually input the user name without using 4 tildes? or access to the account? Zeizmic (talk) 22:32, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Sure just using Wikilinks like this: Zeizmic (talk) 22:34, 12 February 2009 (UTC). But I am pretty sure that impersonating another user is blockable.  – ukexpat (talk) 22:35, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Someone had better block Brion, then. Algebraist 22:38, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Where exactly are you seeing it? Special:Contributions/Zeizmic shows no edits between 8 August 2007 and 11 February 2009. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:46, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

So, I actually went and found these...(go go AWB). It looks like people were just copy-pasting RD threads that you had participated in. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:42, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

trouble with deleted article replaced by redirect

By request, I userfied the deleted article NASCO Properties (to User:Ikip/NASCO Properties). This was a bit confusing though, as the "article" had been made into a redirect. I went round a few times and eventually undeleted and moved the article, with all revision. Except the revision which was the lingering redirect, which I'd now like to restore. Where'd it go? What did I do wrong? —EncMstr (talk) 23:32, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

This one? --Amalthea 23:36, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
That's it! How did you find it? —EncMstr (talk) 23:46, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
There was nothing to find, actually, I just followed your link to User:Ikip/NASCO Properties, and it was still redirecting. The log is clear, so I don't think anyone else did anything either. :) --Amalthea 23:54, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Need technical help in properly creating sub-sections

Would someone please take a look at the "Dorset culture" section: 2 of the sub-sections I created mysteriously appear in long boxes which extend far to the right of the rest of the article. I can't seem to make them normalize.

Thanks, <email removed> —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:15, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

That's the formatting produced when you start a line with a space. Don't use leading spaces unless you want that formatting. Algebraist 03:23, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Refresh wikipedia caches after template edit

Is there a means of causing wikipedia to update the cached versions of all files that include a particular template after that template has been edited? (By a vanilla user with a user name, not an administrator.) I presume I could just wait 24 hours for the refresh to occur naturally, or I could do null edits to each of the 200 pages that include a template, but neither seems a good option. -- SGBailey (talk) 17:22, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

This is being done automatically but the "job queue" is having issues and it's sometimes taking weeks to push things through. From what I understand reading threads here and elsewhere, the right people are looking at the problem, but don't expect a solution before next week. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 17:49, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
So that is a 'No' then. Thanks. -- SGBailey (talk) 09:08, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
If you've got Firefox you can install the Wikipedia toolbar and click the "purge" button (purge server cache) for each article you want to refresh. Just one step, once you're at the page -- Still requires navigating to each article, but it's quicker than doing it with null edits. Equazcion /C 09:49, 13 Feb 2009 (UTC)
Oh or you could also enable the "clock", in your Wikipedia Preferences, gadgets section. Once enabled and displayed, clicking the clock purges the cache for the current page. Equazcion /C 09:53, 13 Feb 2009 (UTC)
You don't even need the clock now - the star widget (which does nothing except purge the cache) is now also available in prefs. Pretty essential for editors working regularly in templatespace IMO. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 10:48, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, neither of those gadgets works for someone who uses the "classic" skin. --Carnildo (talk) 11:13, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
If you're on Firefox, the toolbar should work with any skin. Equazcion /C 11:29, 13 Feb 2009 (UTC)

Editnotices generating invalid XML (HTML)

It has been brought to my attention at WP:TW/BUG#TW-B-0250 that Twinkle (and Friendly as well, of course) are having problems editing pages that are utilizing editnotices. I think I've tracked the problem down to a case of bad XML (HTML) being returned from the server, although I cannot figure out what the cause would be, other than a bug in the MediaWiki software. That being the case, I'm coming here to confirm. I'll be using the talk page of User:Amalthea to demonstrate what I'm talking about.

First, have a look at User talk:Amalthea/Editnotice. Pretty standard, right? And when you do a "View Page Source" have a look at the HTML generated by the {{tmbox}} template, in particular at the end of the unordered list (<ul> tag). Nothing wrong there.

Now, have a look at the same section of HTML when you edit Amalthea's talk page. What I'm seeing (in both IE and Firefox) is that the </td> tag from the {{tmbox}} template is somehow being placed before the </li></ul> tags that close the unordered list. Immediately following the </li></ul> line is a line with </tr> to close the table row. This is clearly incorrect and is, I believe, causing the XML parser to bomb out when doing Twinkle or Friendly functions to pages where this occurs.

Does anybody have any insight into what might be going on here or what could be done about it? Ioeth (talk contribs twinkle friendly) 20:30, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

What happens if {{tmbox}} is not used? What does {{editnotice}} or plain text do? --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 20:33, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
An excellent query which has led me to another discovery! If I just use one line of plain text in an editnotice, the corresponding HTML on the page where it is displayed is correct. However, if I use a bulleted list, the MediaWiki software incorrectly places the </div> tag exactly as it was doing to the </td> tag in the previous example. It seems that there might be a problem specifically with unordered lists in editnotices. Have a look at editing my user talk page for an example. Ioeth (talk contribs twinkle friendly) 20:38, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and filed a bug in Bugzilla regarding this behavior here. Ioeth (talk contribs twinkle friendly) 20:52, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
After some experimentation, I've confirmed that this issue affects all wikimarkup lists, not just unordered ones. I don't know if it would affect HTML lists, though (didn't test that). ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 21:46, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
And now that I tested HTML UL lists, they work fine. Has to be the wikimarkup parser bugging out for some reason. ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 21:51, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
And HTML OL and DLs also work fine (although for some reason, with DL lists, the parser is now closing a P tag in the middle of the list - see the source of [6]. ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 21:55, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

JS question

This is pushing my knowledge of javascript out to new boundaries... how can I get the HTML of, say, into a JS variable on a page here, without headbanging against a load of XSS restrictions? Happymelon 21:22, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

I do not think that this will work with any proper browser with JavaScript only, because of the same origin policy. I am not sure for what this will be, but you could use AJAX very well within one common domain, (meaning & for example). Otherwise you would need to have access to both domains (on-demand scripting) or even to the servers (frame origin "faking", providing on-demand script/variable output). Some links: [7], [8] (JSON), [9], [10] (once I found a good website with different (bi-directional) method examples, but cannot find it anymore unfortunately). --- Best regards, Melancholie (talk) 23:07, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
If you said more specifically what you were trying to do, there's a couple things with the API you could do, but none that would give the full HTML including sidebars and stuff. Mr.Z-man 01:32, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Essentially I want a global watchlist: when I go to Special:Watchlist on, I trigger javascript that pulls up Special:Watchlist on various other wikimedia wikis, pulls out the HTML, and pushes each entry into the correct place on the 'normal' watchlist timeline. So I guess I could reconstruct each entry from the API output if that's accessible but other stuff isn't, but that'd make it a hell of a lot more delicate and prone to getting out-of-sync with any changes to the core watchlist format. So really I don't want the whole page code, just the contents of #bodyContent. Although I'd take pretty much anything that's accessible :D Happymelon 13:52, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
You can't do that (but see below), the HTML of a given page title is open to all, but the Watchlist is restricted. You can get Watchlist data via the API, say for example: action=query&list=watchlist, and, you can get API data from cross domains, using importScriptURI('...&format=json&callback=somefunction'), but you cannot combine these two, as login certs are dropped for API &callback (for very good reason, you could hijack any account when they visited your website).
There are of course, things you can do. If you use a Mozilla-derived browser you can drop the XSS restrictions in your browser configuration and allow ajax to operate globally. This usually involves some stuff like capability.policy.default.XMLHttpRequest definitions (google for it). This can be smegging dangerous. The only upside is that this is so rarely done, not many sites would probably actually attempt to exploit it.
You may just want to create a custom bot/script (in python probably) that can log in to each project and request the watchlist, and aggregate it for you. --Splarka (rant) 08:16, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Hmn... thanks for the explanation. The fact that we can add JavaScript to both sites isn't of any help? Would the callback function that's executed on the API data have any access to JavaScript that's in place on the other wiki? Happymelon 13:18, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Use GreaseMonkey. — Werdna • talk 03:11, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

How 'bout opening the page and closing it again using JS. Its slow, but works. Or see what you can do with AJAX. Why not open your watchlist on the other wiki using, get its HTML, close it, parse it, and then somehow merge it. I have been reading other pages with JS without AJAX for one of my scripts, so ask me if you need to know how, and Ill give you the code. ManishEarthTalkStalk 15:59, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Rather than telling everyone to drop their pants XSS restrictions, it would be better to add some way to to access data from a "foreign" wiki using the local API. That way I could use a local javascript on my local watchlist to grab data from

(note that the last parameter is meaningless as yet) which would be my/your/anybody's watchlist on the Czech Wikipedia without having to actually "go there". Obviously this would trigger an error if the user has no SUL. This should be quite feasible overall but I think everything on the API is too old to be SUL-aware. — CharlotteWebb 22:14, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Redlinks in categories

Is there a log or category with all articles that contain redlink categories (that do not exist)? Debresser (talk) 13:59, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Special:WantedCategories. Algebraist 14:05, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, but that is a list of the 1000 most redlinked categories. I meant a category, not a list. And not just the 1000 mostly found, but all of them. I proposed creating such a category here and here. Debresser (talk) 18:08, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
You said "log or category". And how would one place a category page that doesn't exist into a category in the first place? --Amalthea 19:54, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I see that Pascal666 already asked that at one of the two other places you asked that.
If you want to "clear" all those redlinked categories (and I hope you don't mean to just mass-create them all without thinking about each one), the list of the 1000 most used ones seems like a good place to start. Why would you need all of them right away? --Amalthea 19:59, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I am not a programmer, so the first question is not my forte. Nevertheless, it seems to me that finding a redlinked category is no harder than finding any other redlink.
You do have a point that the 1000 most common redlinked categories is a nice start, but

I personally would like to start from the other side, the rare redlinks, for various reasons. Apart from that, I hold that there is purpose in completeness in and of itself. Even working on a problem becomes more attractive if you know that you might - even just theoretically - solve it completely.

By the way, please don't think I'm just asking the same question anywhere. Things unfolded by first asking here, then being referred to that talk page, and then making an actual proposal on another section of this Village pump. Debresser (talk) 22:32, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

The frist 1000 entries on the specialpage appear to get you down to wanted categories with four members. Do you need anything rarer than that? There are already 240 4-member cats to look through. Create one, another one will show up... Franamax (talk) 03:42, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
I think a full list of redlinked categories would be very useful. Since no main-space category should have only a single member, pages at the end of such a list would be almost entirely articles with typos in their categorization. I think it would be very useful to fix all of these typos. --Pascal666 (talk) 04:42, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Right, that makes sense. And since the list is only cached anyway it shouldn't be harder or more demanding to cache it in its entirety. --Amalthea 13:42, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
And since the task that makes the list has to visit every page anyway to make the counts, it would already have the complete list when it is done, it is just set to discard everything after the first thousand. The list does not appear to be updated at a regular interval, so I guess the question becomes: who is updating that list? Hopefully there is a simple setting in the script they run that can be changed. --Pascal666 (talk) 00:11, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Pascal666 said: "Since no main-space category should have only a single member, pages at the end of such a list would be almost entirely articles with typos in their categorization. I think it would be very useful to fix all of these typos." This was precisely my idea. Debresser (talk) 18:17, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

References section of Luis W Alvarez

Resolved: ukexpat (talk) 01:18, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I am editing Luis W Alvarez. Everything seems correct, except when my references appear at the bottom where I have placed the tag, they appear correctly, then they appear again in a long list, which I don't want. Help, what am I doing wrong, please?

jaander —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jaander (talkcontribs) 00:57, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

You added the extras in this edit. I don't know how you came to do that. I've removed them. Algebraist 01:05, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Many thanks, jaander Jaander (talk) 01:16, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Broken watchlist

This has been going on for a while and I finally surrender. There is a User: page on my watchlist, under the heading (Article). I click the link to take me to the page and it shows that it's not on my watchlist. I watch it, the page gets added under User, I unwatch the page it leaves User but stays under (Article). I would just click the check next to the item and click the button at the bottom, but after getting a confirmation that the item has been removed it's still there. After a purge and everything (clearing entire temp files, etc.)...but that happens for all items and not the odd User: page that's secretly an article. The sad thing is I don't even remember watching that page! If it's useful the page is User:Deejaylee. Win Vista and 7, IE7,8 and FF2 all do the same thing...nothing. Is this normal? Thanks, §hepTalk 02:27, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Also, items will not leave my watchlist if I remove them via the Edit raw watchlist option. §hepTalk 02:29, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Surely a database error of some kind. Probably the only way to get rid of it would be to clear your watchlist. — CharlotteWebb 09:58, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

That did it. Thank you very much! §hepTalk 01:48, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Automatic paragraphs do not work with two paragraphs in a template

My questions are in the box headers below.

Anyone know how to solve this? Gary King (talk) 08:41, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

wikitext html
<div>Paragraph 1

Paragraph 2

Paragraph 3</div>
<div>Paragraph 1
<p>Paragraph 2</p>
Paragraph 3</div>
<div>Paragraph 1

Paragraph 2

Paragraph 3

Paragraph 4</div>
<div>Paragraph 1
<p>Paragraph 2</p>
<p>Paragraph 3</p>
Paragraph 4</div>
<div>Paragraph 1

Paragraph 2</div>
<div>Paragraph 1 Paragraph 2</div>
Paragraph 1

Paragraph 2
<p>Paragraph 1</p>
<p>Paragraph 2</p>

The parser does not add p-tags to lines of text adjacent to the beginning or end of a div tag, so when there are fewer than three lines, there are no p-tags. If this is a serious problem you can add p-tags manually. Adding extra white-space to the parameter won't work for you like the example in row 4 because templates strip all white-space from both ends of named parameters (which is a good thing, as putting each parameter on a separate line for readability shouldn't affect the output). You could fix it by editing the template, change:

<div class="NavContent" style="blah:blah;"> {{{content|{{{2}}}}}} </div>


<div class="NavContent" style="blah:blah;">

CharlotteWebb 09:51, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I suggested that last night at Template_talk:Hidden#Possible_fixes.3F. I'll put in under an {{editprotected}} now; thanks for verifying what I thought. Coding late at night isn't always the best thing to do. Gary King (talk) 20:56, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Election notice

The election notice has just randomly started simply displaying as <centralnotice-template-plain_text_election_notice>. Anyone know why? ·Add§hore· Talk To Me! 09:52, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Oh, its global, Oh well. ·Add§hore· Talk To Me! 10:01, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm guessing it's an epic fail. Lugnuts (talk) 10:02, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Came here to inquire about this too. Something to do with the steward election is it? We have meta admins about here who could fix this, do we not? Skomorokh 10:05, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Seems to be a bug, see m:MediaWiki:Centralnotice-summary. Kusma (talk) 10:12, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

DuncanHill (talk) 02:35, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

A Bug ???


Kindly have a look at Reincanation Research template...Is'nt a bug here ? ! When I click on edit, or preview etc, some other template pops up...kindly reply on my talk page... Jon Ascton  (talk) 23:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. --Amalthea 00:45, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Bug report

I attempted to put a db-test tag on the article Can_i_put_up_a_page_myself_of_someone, and when the page came up it said:

The database did not find the text of a page or revision that it should have found, named "Can i put up a page myself of someone" .
This is usually caused by following an outdated diff or history link to a page that has been deleted. Other possible causes are an incorrect URL, or deleted revisions in an existing page.
If this is not the case, you may have found a bug in the software. Please report this, making note of the URL and how you reached that URL.

The URL is, of course, and I got to it by hitting the "Save page" button after inserting a db-test tag atop the article. Instead of putting the tag on the pre-existing article, it created a new article with the db-test header and the text shown above. (The phrase "report this" led to this page.) Thanks! Flopsy Mopsy and Cottonmouth (talk) 23:27, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

No bug here. The page was deleted before you could tag it. Algebraist 23:33, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Yep, I figured that out the moment it happened. However, the text that appeared was quite insistent about me reporting it.  :) Flopsy Mopsy and Cottonmouth (talk) 23:55, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I guess we should add a clause covering this case to MediaWiki:Missing-article. Algebraist 00:01, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
It already says "This is usually caused by following an outdated diff or history link to a page that has been deleted. [...] If this is not the case, you may have found a bug in the software." I think that is enough. --Amalthea 00:53, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't seem to be, since none of those occurred here and Flopsy Mopsy and Cottonmouth, recognizing this, posted a bug report here as requested. Algebraist 00:58, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Election notice


Umm. Is anyone else seeing that at the top? -- OlEnglish (Talk) 02:49, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Saw it earlier, appears to have left now. §hepTalk 03:18, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Election notice

I've recently noticed that the steward election template has been replaced with"<centralnotice-template-plain_text_election_notice>". Template Vandalism?A Patriotic Person. You'll see me in History someday. 02:51, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I noticed that too. I figured it was a coding error. Equazcion /C 02:52, 15 Feb 2009 (UTC)
Appears it was just an error. §hepTalk 03:18, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia is going really slow

Wikipedia seems to be going reeeeally slow for me right now. Anyone else experiencing this? Equazcion /C 20:12, 8 Feb 2009 (UTC)

Ditto - I've actually switched to... (wait for it)... Other resources! *Gasp!*
I don't know what's going on, but it needs to be sorted. Dendodge TalkContribs 20:15, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
It's been really slow for the past few hours, but in the past few minutes it's sped up again. Gary King (talk) 20:22, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Something weird is going on for me. It's been terrible all afternoon --and now I keep losing session data after only seconds. --Bobak (talk) 20:23, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
It's working for me now. SF3 (talk!) 20:36, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Same here, back up to full speed for me now. Equazcion /C 20:42, 8 Feb 2009 (UTC)

apparently, the issue was that "we were hitting APC lock contention after some CPU peak." <nods sagely/>. Whatever the hell that's supposed to mean :D Happymelon 20:48, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Ohhhh, APC lock contention after CPU peak, well why didn't you just say so? Now it all makes sense. Of course the site would be going slow during a bit of APC lock contention. It's to be expected, really. Equazcion /C 20:53, 8 Feb 2009 (UTC)
APC, used for PHP opcode caching Gary King (talk) 20:56, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Ooooh, opcode caching, now I get it... hehe... ok I'll stop doing that now :) Equazcion /C 21:00, 8 Feb 2009 (UTC)
It happens now and again, to the point that it's not unexpected, at least for me. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 21:58, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

As we have seen, the 'server admin log' isn't useful for mere mortals. Some organisations provide a status page ("links to Mucklovia are slow") and/or a performance meter. Does such a thing exist for Wikipedia? Lightmouse (talk) 00:32, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

I am disturbed that I understand these things. Chillum 03:36, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
This is actually a great idea, this "performance meter". Debresser (talk) 14:03, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Would be nice to see the system load :) Gary King (talk) 07:36, 12 February 2009 (UTC) (talk • contribs) 01:01, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Excellent! I will use that to my advantage so that I'll edit primarily when the load is low :P Gary King (talk) 00:17, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
All greek to me, I'm afraid, but I'll add my tuppence worth that I've also found Wiki to be incredibly slow on and off for the last several days. When it's working, it's fine, other times pages will less than half load (you get the headers and menus and little else) after which it just sits there somewhat dazedly until I tap Refresh. Disconcerting at best. Damage (talk) 18:48, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes its been bad the last few weeks, I didn't know if it was my computer or internet connection or what Dr. Blofeld White cat 18:53, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

spamD template and broken citations

Usage of the {{spamD}} template results in the reference being listed as a broken citation in the Category:Articles with broken citations. Which is bad. Can somebody take care of this? Debresser (talk) 00:19, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I think it's being taken care of already .... Nonetheless, can you give an example of where you've encountered that? I'm thinking that a named reference was put inside the {{spamD}} which was used outside of it. The template completely removes all the content wrapped inside, including the body of the reference, which left you with the error message. --Amalthea 00:52, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I found it in Lukas Ridgeston when I fixed broken references. Now it is not a broken link any more, which is good. But it is a little funny that in the middle of a reference (in this case #4) it should say "this template is being considered for deletion".
I expressed my opinion that we should keep it, by the way. This is where. Debresser (talk) 07:20, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Ah. Well, it's currently only not giving you an error message because it's up for deletion. The reason is that the template usually has no output at all, which means that the citation template used there will have no URL input, which makes it display a warning and places it in Category:Articles with broken citations.
{{spamD}} shouldn't be used here. I don't think a reference needs to be marked as spam anyway, its either reliable or it isn't. --Amalthea 11:19, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
That last point I discuss here. What it comes down to is that information can be reliable even while the site is also engaged in spaming. It all depends on what different people put in there. Debresser (talk) 12:42, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Deletion log in watchlist

It was certainly good when the deletion log was added to the watchlist, but could the "hid edit summary for 1 revision" and the like be filtered out? --NE2 08:20, 15 February 2009 (UTC)


GeoHack, the site one comes to after clicking on the coordinates in the corners of some articles, looks like nonsense to me. Is it just my computer or some general problem? It worked just a few days ago. --Hegvald (talk) 16:55, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Broken here, in all my browsers. Algebraist 17:01, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Phew, I'm glad I'm not the only one to notice. Simply south not SS, sorry 17:04, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Magic word for what kind of fonts someone has in their browser?

Resolved: they may say I'm a dreamer... rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 21:11, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Is there any magic word that returns information about the browser being used by the person who's looking at the page? Spefically, I'm wondering if it would be possible to use a magic word and a parser function to make some text show up as one way if the person opening the page has the appropriate fonts installed, and show up a different way if they don't (for example, show up as an image, or in an non-unicode font). An example of some pseudocode:

{{:ifeq#{{FONTS IN YOUR BROWSER}}|the fonts you need to see this|འཇིགས་མེད་གེ་སར་རྣམ་རྒྱལ་དབང་ཕྱུག|[[Image:Jigme khesar namgyel wangchuck name.svg]]}}

In other words, "if you're using a browser that can read this text here's the text. If not, here's an image of it." Is this possible, or is it just way too far-fetched? rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 21:01, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

This is too far fetched. Pages are parsed and the final form is cached and used for all non-logged-in readers. So it is not possible to change the page depending on the fonts the reader has installed. If this were a feature of HTML it might be possible to do this by setting the output HTML correctly, but that is not possible either. — Carl (CBM · talk) 21:05, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Ok, that's what I figured. Thanks for your reply! rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 21:11, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

No idea what it means but I know it looks like Tibetan script which shows up just fine for me. Even if we could determine that the user's browser is missing the correct font(s) it would be better to link to a place to download said font(s). If they don't have the fonts installed it is probably because they do not do any reading or writing in that script, so the image won't do them enough good to justify the logistical overhead of creating a placeholder image for every word or phrase written in a non-latin script. The text at least can be copied and pasted into a machine-translator, if one exists for the language in question (this can be done whether or not user actually sees the characters). Imagine if somebody went around replacing Russian or Arabic or Hebrew words on the condescending basis that "most people don't have the fonts for this". I remember I installed Mongolian on my lappy six months ago and loaded the Mongolian script article to test the fonts. Much to my disgust, the article did not contain any Mongolian letters, only pictures of them. — CharlotteWebb 21:32, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, this came up a while back at the Sinhala script article's GA review, we were trying to decide whether to use images of the font (since the fonts themselves were a pain to install, and even people like me who have lots of fonts still couldn't get them to display) or actual font (because images are annoying, and because if you're one of the few people who does have the fonts then it's nice to be able to copy and paste stuff from the page, which you can't do with an image)'s not really a big deal now, I just got curious all of a sudden.
(And if you're wondering, the font I used above is Dzongkha, just as a random example, and what it says is the name of Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck...just the first thing I could come across that had both an example of some font and some image.)

I thought of a better way to do this.

  1. Develop some way to auto-generate image placeholders for certain text. This would work similarly to the math tags, e.g. using "<math>\frac{1}{2\sqrt 3}</math>" to get without having to design any of them manually. This image exists only in a temporary directory, and might not be there tomorrow, see
  2. Delete all the images and replace them by literal text in whatever script you're on about.
  3. For every article containing non-latin scripts such as Tibetan, add a little "I don't have the fonts for this" link at the the top.
  4. User clicks on that link and goes from /wiki/Dzongkha to /w/index.php?title=Dzongkha&convert_non-latin_to_image=1, where the latter url would contain a dynamically generated patchwork of little pictures instead of the actual Tibetan letters/words.

This would also help solve the threads #Please replace "→" with "->" above and #Automatic text to SVG conversion tool? below. — CharlotteWebb 12:19, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Good idea. You should file a report at Bugzilla. Whaht would the HTML element be named? "Script" and "font" are already taken. "Text" might work. SharkD (talk) 13:54, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Seeing last edit of an editor alone on one page


I am interested in seeing the last edit of an editor alone on one page. For example on page Special:Contributions/All_in, it shows that user's All_in last edit was 16:27, 26 April 2007, but this page includes the editors last 500 edits too. I simply would want to see:

# 16:27, 26 April 2007 (hist) (diff) User:All in/userboxes ‎ (fix links)

On the page.

I know that it is possible to see the editor's first edit,
* 02:52, 24 November 2005 (hist) (diff) m Template:Disambig ‎ (rvv)

So I believe seeing the last edit of an editor on one page is possible, but how?

Is there a sort of HELP:Magic Words page which explains how to set up these inquires?

Thank you. Ikip (talk) 20:00, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I figured it out:
Ikip (talk) 20:06, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
If you meant you want to see a user's last edit(s) to a specific page, you could use something like [11]. — CharlotteWebb 18:17, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Moved Page - technical redirect considerations

Hi there, I had a question about the way that Wikipedia handles moved pages:

If a page 'Sometown University' is moved to 'University of Sometown' then two URLs can now access the same content.

Following the guidelines from Google & other search engines suggests that the correct way to implement this would be to have a 301 permanent redirect pointing from /wiki/Sometown_University to /wiki/University_of_Sometown

I presume a decision was made to avoid such redirects, and allow the duplicate content to exist. Does anyone know if such a discussion was had, or what the reason for making this choice was? (talk) 16:02, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I assume you mean that each redirect is its own URL? Probably because redirection is an internal thing -- the content ISN'T duplicated. You can see the actual contents of a redirect by clicking on its small name, which takes you to the page (for instance [12]). There should be no perminance on WP, because anything has the potential of changing. Sometimes pages at one name for YEARS will be changed later because someone brought it up and others agreed. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 16:09, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Right, and displaying that backlink to the redirect page won't be working reliably if it needed to check the referrer or something.
Luckily, what we can rely on is that search engines have special logic to deal with Wikipedia by now so we don't really need to worry about their rules. --Amalthea 16:19, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Melodia, that's a good example of where duplicate content does exits. It's a duplicate if you can see the same content on two pages, and if you look here: (google search) you can see that Google considers there are two different URLs on WP that have the same content. The search engines may try to implement special rules for Wikipedia, but there are very few hints given to it. For instance, on this page: [13] there is no link pointing to the Canonical URL. In fact, the links that it can follow point even further in the wrong direction. (i.e.: they point to the non 'redirected' page.) (talk) 17:17, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

What problems does this cause, if any? Algebraist 17:49, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree. If this is a problem, it's entirely Google's. — CharlotteWebb 18:09, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

JavaScript watchlists

This suggestion is pretty unlikely to be implemented, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway. As I understand it, watchlists constitute a large part of Wikipedia's bandwidth expenditure (I know I look at it more times than any other single page). I was thinking that since so much of the data is repetitive, much of the pages could be constructed dynamically using JavaScript based on a minimal set of input data. For instance, the "diff", "hist", "talk" and "contribs" links could be constructed simply from the page and user names. The same is true for much of the formatting. Also, this would open up opportunities to apply additional formatting (such as dynamic tables) that would ordinarily increase bandwidth instead of reduce it. Of course, such a feature would need to be toggleable as an option in user preferences so that the site doesn't suddenly break for users with JavaScript turned off. Again, I can see a lot of reasons not to do this, but I thought I'd present the idea anyway. SharkD (talk) 23:48, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Don't worry about performance. :) EVula // talk // // 03:35, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
If you take a good look through that "don't worry" page, you'll see it's really more to make sure editing/policy/administrative decisions aren't made based on how they'd affect performance. I don't think there's anything wrong with discussing ideas for technical changes to the software that may save performance, especially when they might result in benefits for users, like more features. Equazcion /C 03:43, 10 Feb 2009 (UTC)
PS. I think this should probably be moved to WP:Village pump (proposals). Equazcion /C 03:49, 10 Feb 2009 (UTC)
On the contrary, this is exactly the right place for it; it's a proposal for a technical change that does not affect what we do here, only how we do it. Happymelon 13:48, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

No, watchlists do not constitute a significant part of Wikipedia's bandwidth usage. Remember that >90% of all page requests are anonymous article views. — Werdna • talk 03:10, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

It would be easy to make a "live" watchlist that continuously updates from the API without reloading the page. It would look and feel a lot like Gmail if you do it right. It could even color-code the diffs you've read Smiley.svg. — CharlotteWebb 21:54, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

AJAX could be used for lots of stuff. I hope to see it used some day. SharkD (talk) 01:31, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Very recent discussion about making recent changes available via Jabber: see here. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 17:02, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
A lot of Wikipedia should be converted to use APIs on compatible browsers. Regarding Don't worry about performance, we should remember that Wikmedia's servers are not the only infrastructure involved here [in particular, I use a (very slow) dial-up connection, and so do some other people]. Brian Jason Drake 14:39, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

List of manga licensed in English

There is just one article in the Category:Articles with invalid date parameter in template and that is List of manga licensed in English and I can't find the problem. Perhaps you can help? Debresser (talk) 18:13, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Tags of type date=2009-02-14 are no longer supported and should be changed to date=14 February 2009. — Blue-Haired Lawyer 18:55, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
That is not completely correct. Not all of the templates have stopped supporting ISO dates, nor should they just be arbitrarily changed to international format, but to whatever the article is using. As there are many many many many articles still using ISO dates in their citation templates, that is not what is causing a problem on that page. -- Collectonian (talk · contribs) 20:02, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Since the problem goes away when I delete either the first half or the second half of the article, my guess is that the breaking of the limit on expensive parser function calls is to blame. Algebraist 21:26, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
That is what I was wondering too, since it is also incorrectly showing as needing clean up, even though it isn't tagged for that. -- Collectonian (talk · contribs) 00:35, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
{{Nihongo}} was changed to use {{Lang}} in the last revision; since {{Lang}} uses #ifexist, calling it 639 times will break the page. Either it's time for a split or {{Nihongo}} should roll the language markup into the span element that's already there. Since {{Nihongo}} is used heavily on a fair number of pages, I believe the latter is the better option. —tan³ tx 02:40, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
A split of the list has been discussed and agreed upon; no one has done it yet, though. Regardless of that, though, streamlining the template is a generally good idea. ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 18:54, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Italic titles for names


Hello all. Just recently I've noticed that species are now using italics in the title see Gryllus veletis etc. It seems to be programmed into their infoboxes to produce an italicized title. What would anybody think about this for film, book etc titles? As a name which is italized in the article intro below and according to MOS is put in Italics in the article links, would this seem more consistent to also have the title of the page italicized in coordination? Dr. Blofeld White cat 18:02, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Ugh. That looks bad. I can't see a reason they should be italicized when they are article titles. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 18:09, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm not saying either looks better, just think it should be consistent thats all. For instance Gryllus pennsylvanicus is not in italics and makes it look completely inconsistent. Species are always in italics in the article, so are names of films. books etc but this new move towards changing the species page titles seems to have made it inconsistent. I wonder if somebody could find the discussion which gave consensus on italics for species titles?? Dr. Blofeld White cat 18:17, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I'd prefer it if we didn't italicize titles as it is either inconsistent or precedent-setting, and the tools for formatting titles are inadequate. While some titles need manual fixing due to technical restrictions (e.g. "iPod" and not "IPod"), the range and diversity of page titles could break the formatting of certain titles. I'm just imagining someone adding a badly-written template bit to an infobox that results in something like "Examplemovie (film)" when the goal would be to get "Examplemovie (film)". {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 18:33, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Dr. Blofeld White cat 18:35, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

This is being done in Template:Taxobox name. --- RockMFR 18:45, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I just left a message there pointing to this discussion. I agree with Melodia that it's a little clunky looking, but I don't mind too much. I agree though that this should only be implemented if we have the tools to make all titles correctly italicized (like Examplemovie (film)), which I'm not sure exist yet. Calliopejen1 (talk) 20:07, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
The manual of style, and indeed scientific practise, states that binomial names should be italicised wherever they appear. By displaying the title in plain-text, it creates ambiguity as to whether the article name is a common or scientific name, and is also technically incorrect. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 21:54, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I'd like to see this implemented, personally. With regards to Calliopejen1's question, titles can use mixed formatting simply by marking up the text as desired within the style that modifies the page:

<span id=RealTitle style='display:none'>PAGE TITLE HERE</span>

To demonstrate with Calliopejen1's example,

<span id=RealTitle style='display:none'>''Examplemovie'' (film)</span>

would display the page title as:

Examplemovie (film)

This discussion began at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Films#Film article titles in Italics, where I have temporarily added a modifier to demonstrate the effect on the page title there. --Ckatzchatspy 02:06, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Something similar to that would be on a per-page modification basis though, right? That could end up with an extra param in the infobox that overrides the automatic text the infobox puts up. Would it be possible for it to detect if the page contains "(XYZ)" and not add the modification if it does? §hepTalk 02:12, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we need to apply our manual of style to the actual names of the articles; they're there strictly as an identifying marker for the article itself. EVula // talk // // 02:20, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with this. The header at the top of the page does not follow usual style rules. It is merely an identifier to indicate where we've decided to place a particular subject. I really don't think this is worth the trouble. --- RockMFR 03:42, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

If we are going to use this format, I agree this should not have to be specified manually on each page. Obviously we would want some kind of string/parser function to split "Foo Bar (film)" into the part which is the proper name of the subject and the part in parentheses which merely distinguishes it from other subjects with the same proper name. Maybe something like:

{{#titledab:Foo Bar (film)}} → "(film)"
{{#titlenormal:Foo Bar (film)}} → "Foo Bar"

Not sure what the best names or syntax would be. Maybe they would be best as extended features of {{#titleparts:}} which already exists as a limited way to say p1.split("/")[p2], mostly to help navigate between sub-pages (though there are other more esoteric uses). I can think of dozens of practical uses for splitting at the parentheses, hopefully enough to rebut anyone who says it would be stupid. — CharlotteWebb 03:19, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I also think that the title does not need to be italicized. Frankly, some people will have trouble learning how to make the title italics, and if they want to change it from italics to non-italics, they won't know where to begin. Also, for some reason the italics removes the edit link from the lead section. Gary King (talk) 15:53, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
With parser functions to do what I explained above (separate the parts of the title in order to italicize only part of it it) it would be as easy as putting something like {{italictitle}} anywhere on the page. The "edit lead section" feature is a javascript gadget, so this is probably just an indicator that it was written poorly to begin with. I'll see what I can figure out about that.CharlotteWebb 16:15, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually the problem is that the code in MediaWiki:Common.js, after changing the title, tries to delete an element with id "RealTitleBanner", which doesn't exist because it is not supplied by the code in Template:Taxobox. This causes an error which just says "RealTitleBanner is null" and causes the browser to stop executing any other scripts including the one that adds an "edit lead section" link. So there's nothing wrong with the gadget itself, which I found at MediaWiki:Gadget-edittop.js. — CharlotteWebb 16:44, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I like the idea of italicising titles if and only if we can iron out all the bugs. It shouldn't be too hard for the devs to code something that can separate the qualifier from the rest of the title... Dendodge TalkContribs 17:50, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I think italicizing titles is a good idea as well. Using templates also would be the way to go. Simply entering the correct title, including any formatting, as a parameter to the template would be the simplest solution from a user's prespective. It could be abused, but so can any other type of formatting anywhere on Wikipedia. SharkD (talk) 03:41, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Links no longer work when discussions are archived

Since links to discussions cease to work once a page is archived, I was wondering if it might be a good idea to create the next archive beforehand and then redirect the main Talk page to it. For example, this discussion would be located at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 57 and Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) would simply redirect to it. SharkD (talk) 13:50, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I think that would cause more problems than it solves, for example for watchlists. PrimeHunter (talk) 16:43, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Like my case, when I need to refer an archived topic, I just add "/Archive ##" in the link. No big deal right? People seldom refer to archived topics anyway. HУтaяtalk2mecontribs 21:47, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

LyricWiki links

Assuming I got consensus to do so, would it be possible to block interwiki links to LyricWiki locally, or is that something I have to get done globally? They have stopped even bothering to try to get permission or pay royalties for the lyrics, so any links to them are forbidden by our copyright policies. Since the links are impermissible, I don't see a good reason to support the interwiki links.—Kww(talk) 16:14, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Better to pursue this request on mediawiki talk:spam-blacklist, methinks? --Izno (talk) 16:27, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Isn't that for blocking http style links? I'm not sure any of the blacklists work against direct links like [[Lyricwiki:Broken Social Scene|Broken Social Scene Lyrics at Lyricwiki]], do they?—Kww(talk) 16:32, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
There is a global proposal to remove it at meta:Talk:Interwiki map#lyricwiki. PrimeHunter (talk) 16:36, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I've checked in on the meta discussion, and it is apparent that it is moving at glacial speed. So, back to the original question: if I could generate a consensus to block links of the form [[Lyricwiki:Broken Social Scene|Broken Social Scene Lyrics at Lyricwiki]] within English Wikipedia, would it be possible to do so, or does that change have to be made at a higher level?—Kww(talk) 16:52, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't know, but meta:Interwiki map was last updated 28 December where an editor made multiple changes. The proposal to remove lyricwiki is from 30 December. Maybe it will get attention next time somebody updates the page. PrimeHunter (talk) 19:46, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

How did they do it?

Resolved: ukexpat (talk) 22:17, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I was just wondering how the developers did the whole WP: = Wikipedia: thing. I am interested in doing this for my own MediaWiki wiki. Thanks, Genius101Guestbook 00:27, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

It's done using MediaWiki software. Have a look at Comparison_of_wiki_software to see the other types of "operating systems" for wikis.Smallman12q (talk) 01:48, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
mw:Manual:$wgNamespaceAliases. --Splarka (rant) 02:41, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Splarka, that's just what I wanted! Genius101Guestbook 21:51, 17 February 2009 (UTC) timing out

Occassionally, the encrypted version of wikipedia... times out too fast or I get a 404 message. Is the secure wikipedia experiencing technical problems of some sort?Smallman12q (talk) 01:36, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm also getting a number of 503 messages lately to.Smallman12q (talk) 21:12, 17 February 2009 (UTC)


It's nice how everything's in categories. I can find strawberry in category:berries if I wanted to. But is there a way to find articles by specifying more than one category? Like if I wanted a list of all articles under category:berries and category:All articles lacking sources. -- penubag  (talk) 08:36, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

The only way currently to do this is to use CatScan. Nanonic (talk) 15:02, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia:Category intersection#Using MediaWiki search to find category intersections it's possible to type +incategory:"category1" +incategory:"category2" in the search box also, but yeah that doesn't seem to rely work at all. You sometimes get a few hits but they seem to be the restult of a full text search rater than any category membership or some such... --Sherool (talk) 15:42, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
CatScan is probably the most efficient way to intersect cats online. For external use AWB has a list comparer that will compare 2 categories and show intersections. §hepTalk 16:45, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

{{or}} stripping whitespace in some cases

Flagging this for wider attention: {{or}} appears to be stripping any following whitespace if the next paragraph starts with a link. This has the effect of concatenating paragraphs. Discussion. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 16:10, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

It's not special to that template. Any category link can cause the problem:
Blah blah[[Category:Wikipedia features]]

[[Blah]] blah

Blah blahBlah blah

Algebraist 16:18, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Ah, right. Can't this be compensated for in the logic of inline templates? I'm a little surprised this has never bitten me before... Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 16:34, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
This same issue came up a while back with {{fact}}. {{fix}} has a parameter specifically designed to hold the category link, people just have to use it. Anomie 02:14, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

What just happened?

I was sitting here, minding my own business, editing a page, everything going normal. When I hit "show preview", I was suddenly logged in as User:Chatsam. His links showed up at the top of the page, his contributions showed up when I clicked "my contributions", his signature showed up when I did the four tildes in preview. I logged out, logged into my own account, checked that all the edits I made today are shown in my contributions and that all contributions from my account are my own (they are), changed my password (because I'm a little freaked out now), but I'd really like to know what just happened.

I have absolutely nothing to do with that account. This is my own computer, it isn't shared.

My main concern is, if this can happen to me with Chatsam's account, it could happen to someone else with my account. So, I ask again, what just happened? How could this possibly be? --Floquenbeam (talk) 17:46, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

p.s. I know you usually can't request Checkuser on yourself, but if doing so would help someone figure out what just happened, you've got my permission. --Floquenbeam (talk) 17:50, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
This is extremely unlikely as Wikipedia stores users as hashes on cookies. It would be extremely unlikely that even a corrupted cookie could produce that users account hash. Still, maybe you stumbled upon a wiki bug.Smallman12q (talk) 21:11, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I almost didn't post here because I didn't want people to think I was crazy, confused, or trolling. If someone had asked me before today if this kind of thing was possible, I'm sure I would have said it was "extremely unlikely" (with "extremely" in bold :) ) myself. All I can say is:
  • It happened exactly as I described: I was editing logged into my account, and when I hit preview, it looked like I was logged in as Chatsam instead. I didn't try to save anything while logged into his account (felt like I was trespassing, and I was kind of worried that someone else had been switched to my account at the same time), so don't know what would have happened then.
  • It wasn't a matter of accidentally going to the wrong page and getting confused where I was; the actual headers at the top right of the screen were his data not mine, linked to his contributions not mine, had a redlinked talk page like he does, and in the preview window, the message I had just written had his signature appended to the end, instead of mine.
  • There is no prior link between my account and his account at all. This has been my home computer for 2 years, so it's not like his cookies could have been left on my machine from a previous session. It looks from his French Wikipedia page like the guy isn't even on the same continent as me, so I don't think he's driving around with a little black box stealing my wireless signal (which is secure anyway).
Assuming I'm not dismissed as a crank, is the fact that this is possible of interest to anyone? I suppose, as extremely unlikely as it is, that maybe the cookie got corrupted, or (in way over my head now) a server hiccup sent me the wrong page, with the wrong links at the top (and the wrong signature?), by mistake. I'm hoping that someone knowledgeable can reassure me that they understand how this could have happened (even if they can't explain it to someone as clueless as me), and can tell me that it's a bug that's been dealt with, or at least being looked into. --Floquenbeam (talk) 01:42, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I had something similar happen at college back in 1999; suddenly I was viewing other people's Excite homepages. Turns out we were all at the same college, and the IT department had started a new caching system, which somehow meant it was caching cookies and connections and the whole jazz. Now, true, things have improved in ten years, and certainly cookies shouldn't be that vulnerable anymore; but are you on a college network? I would wager a commercial ISP wouldn't pull that stuff, but colleges might. Of course it would only work if Chatsam was on the same network. --Golbez (talk) 02:37, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm editing from home, on Verizon FioS. Not sure how my IP works with them, whether it's more or less static or hops all over the place, I haven't bothered to check before now. And I'm reading between the lines here, but it appears Chatsam might be in France, rather far from my location, or perhaps Quebec, closer but still highly unlikely to have this network. --Floquenbeam (talk) 02:47, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

{{sort}} diffuculty

This may or may not be the right spot for this, however I am having a great deal of difficulty with {{sort}} on the article List of Calgary Flames draft picks. To try and get around the bug where a blank cell is treated as a zero, I've used {{sort|0.1|0}} wherever a 0 is found to force it to sort above a blank space. However, I've run into a problem with the line for Matt Keetley (2005 - 5 - 158) where using the sort template in this way breaks numeric sorting and instead has it go to alphabetic. I can see no reason at all why this would happen as this row is no different than any other. I've spent far too much time contemplating this (as the edit history would attest), so am wondering if someone has an idea on why this would be? Also, as an aside, is there away to set the default to descending order then ascending rather than the reverse? Thanks Resolute 02:49, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Pelle Lindbergh messed up?

Can anyone else see the mess on this article or is this local to me? -- OlEnglish (Talk) 06:56, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

I did a server purge, looks good now. (It was seriously messed up! :) Related to the software changes above, if you see more, try adding "?action=purge" to the page address (e.g. Franamax (talk) 07:32, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

pleasure Ridge Park High School

pleasure Ridge Park High School seems to think it is at the correct capitalization, and I can't get it to move. I tried moving it into my userspace and moving it back, but it slipped neatly into its old slot. Can anybody help with that? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:03, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Done. ;) --Amalthea 19:10, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Ah! Thank you. Very tricky. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:11, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

What do you post if you make a logo for your monobook? Raiku Lucifer Samiyaza 22:02, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

What do you mean? What do you want to do with this logo? Algebraist 23:03, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Make it so that it's in the place of the normal logo for my monobook. Raiku Lucifer Samiyaza 23:05, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
What normal logo? Algebraist 23:07, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
The globe. Raiku Lucifer Samiyaza 23:10, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
#p-logo a {background-image: url(full url of image goes here) !important;}
to Special:MyPage/monobook.css. Algebraist 23:30, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Blocking & watchlisting

When an admin blocks someone, is the talk page of the blocked editor automatically added to the admin's watchlist? DuncanHill (talk) 04:00, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

No. There is a checkbox which has to be toggled to do that. It is clear by default. However, when adding the block notice to the talk page, my "watch this page" is on by default and I almost always leave it checked in case I made a mistake. —EncMstr (talk) 04:30, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the answer. Not all admins leave block notices, which is what spurred me to ask. DuncanHill (talk) 04:33, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Broken redirects

Resolved: ukexpat (talk) 16:34, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Broken redirects and all other special pages don't update anymore, maybe somebody here know, what a problem. Tat1642 (talk) 19:25, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Er, could you give an example? I don't see how a broken redirect is supposed to update... EVula // talk // // 19:27, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
The pages have been disabled for performance reasons. --- RockMFR 19:43, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Can u give me link on discussion of it? Tat1642 (talk) 11:59, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
  • There was an issue with the cron that periodically updates them. Afaik: this has been fixed and should update again soon. ^demon[omg plz] 01:03, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Ok, thx for answer, i will wait. Tat1642 (talk) 13:28, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Template loop

Resolved: ukexpat (talk) 16:31, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Hi, I managed to create a loop on Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Log/2009 February 15, just following the instructions on the template. AFD on Institute of Nuclear Materials Management. Template loop detected: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Any suggestions to fix it ? thanks Mion (talk) 23:08, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

The articles entry is Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, which might be wrong. Mion (talk) 23:12, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
The loop isn't fixed, but the second page is working Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (2nd nomination). Mion (talk) 23:40, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
All fixed. You transcluded the page onto itself by using the AfD3 template, instead of the AfD2 template. EdokterTalk 00:14, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for fixing Mion (talk) 01:54, 16 February 2009 (UTC)


Resolved: ukexpat (talk) 16:27, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Hello. I'm Feen, you may contact me here. I'm merging my accounts and I need the following user accounts to finish this.

As I checked, at User:Feen, the user that registered this username isn't using it. So, I hope you can give me a hand with that.

Best. -- (talk) 20:39, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

You need to add your request to Wikipedia:Changing username/SUL. Cheers, Amalthea 20:49, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very much. -- (talk) 20:54, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

How to add listas sorting to a WPBM banner?

Resolved: ukexpat (talk) 16:29, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

In the WikiProject template: Template:Serial killer and many others, we cannot figure out how to make the listas parameter sort correctly in the WP's categories, like: Category:B-Class Crime-related articles. Could someone write out the syntax for us or add it to Template:WPBannerMeta/doc, so we can refer to it in the future? Thanks. --Funandtrvl (talk) 22:31, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Currently the listas feature is "under construction" AFAIK. The developers of the template watch Template talk:WPBannerMeta and will most likely be able to answer you the best with issues regarding the template. §hepTalk 22:36, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Note to add that it appears they plan to have the listas functional after bug 16552 is dealt with. §hepTalk 22:38, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll keep watching it. --Funandtrvl (talk) 22:39, 17 February 2009 (UTC)


Resolved: ukexpat (talk) 16:27, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

The page Before Christ redirects to Anno Domini. AD is in the category "Calendar eras" as "Anno Domini". Is it possible to additionally place it in Category "Calendar eras" as "Before Christ". This would be helpful when looking things up from the Calendar eras category list page. (If so, how?) -- SGBailey (talk) 14:20, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Eh....did you try adding a category to the redirect page? ηoian ‡orever ηew ‡rontiers 16:22, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

No, cos I didn't know you could do that. Thanks for the answering the question, even if indirectly. -- SGBailey (talk) 21:39, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
 Done. – ukexpat (talk) 16:51, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks -- SGBailey (talk) 21:39, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

A category that refuses to die

Can anyone explain why the deleted category Category:Icons for canal descriptions isn't empty, when the only file it allegedly contains is File:BSicon uWHARF.svg, which is a commons file not a WP file (the WP version having been deleted)? This was raised at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive183#File Data Linking to un-needed Category but as the problem is still persisting nearly a week later, I wondered whether there was a technical explanation. BencherliteTalk 15:14, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

I think you'll find your explanation here, here and here. -- Tim Starling (talk) 15:50, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Interesting, had no idea about that one (so no change there!) Category removed from the redirect. BencherliteTalk 15:56, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I guess someone should delete File:BSicon whfSTR.svg. Algebraist 15:58, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Shot with a silver bullet, stake driven through its heart, garlic and crosses posted around its coffin. Should be safe now. BencherliteTalk 16:02, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Category redirects

Thanks to a recent fix, these now work much better than they used to, though there still seems to be a slight problem (in that you can't detect which pages are in the redirected category rather than the target one). Anyway, please join the discussion at WT:Categorization#Redirects now work!! to decide how to make use of the new possibilities.--Kotniski (talk) 16:53, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Software update

A software update will be going live in the next few minutes. Please bear with us if some things are a little unstable while it shakes out. :) --brion (talk) 05:04, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Whee, I love a good ride! Are the archive links at top of this page now being shown to REAL*8 precision part of the fun? Franamax (talk) 05:14, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
And the help message for the edit summary box on the edit screen showing the raw HTML? Oh wait, is that why you asked for patience? :) Maybe I should try flushing my cache before I start bitching? LOL Franamax (talk) 05:16, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I hope one of these unstabilities include the <span style="text-align: left;"><a href="/wiki/Help:Edit_summary" class='internal' title="Briefly describe the changes you have made" target="_blank">Edit summary</a> <small>(Briefly describe the changes you have made)</small></span> that's been showing up above the edit summaries. -- penubag  (talk) 05:18, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Both these problems are fixed in the first and second MW revisions after the current one. Wonder whether that's a coincidence... Calvin 1998 (t·c) 05:20, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Both fixed (yay werdna!) --brion (talk) 05:30, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

I've been noticing some wonky integers in the past few minutes. Glad to see that it's (hopefully) only temporary. My biggest worry will be that people will try to "fix" this by replacing the integers with something strange, like the number spelt out with words, etc. Gary King (talk) 05:25, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Please point out such issues as specifically as possible, otherwise we may never see them and won't be able to help fix them. --brion (talk) 05:30, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Every page that uses automatic numbering like what is found in {{talkheader}} for instance. Frankly, this is seen on nearly every page; check the top of my user page for instance. Gary King (talk) 05:32, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
What is "automatic numbering"? Do you mean number formatting, or perhaps arithmetic done with {{#expr}}? Can you point out what you're looking at and how it looks different from what you expected, exactly? Are you maybe referring to extra decimal points? Or something else? --brion (talk) 05:38, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I am referring to the extra decimal points. Hm, are you not seeing that? Gary King (talk) 05:39, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
It's on the top of the page....where all the archives are....seriously is there a test wiki for new versions of mw? If there isn't, there really ought to be one for obvious errors like this. ηoian ‡orever ηew ‡rontiers 05:41, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Ah, so THAT's the cause of the weird issues at {{Age}}. They should be whole numbers in that template (see eg Brendan Nelson where it's saying he is 50.0000000000000000 years old). Orderinchaos 05:44, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
This has been resolved by reverting changes to the arithmetic precision for #expr evaluation. We'll consider putting it back when we've got some better tests for it. --brion (talk) 05:49, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Anyone going to answer my question about a test wiki? There should be a sandbox of sorts for new mw versions, to iron out any potential wide-affecting glitches that have been overlooked like this. ηoian ‡orever ηew ‡rontiers 05:47, 18 February 2009 (UTC) and plenty of offline testing during development. The rest that aren't found get flushed out only with actual usage. Obviously we'd like more test cases under our belt before we get things to you, though. :) --brion (talk) 05:49, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
  • I keep getting "active members" error when I click on a contribs link, and obviously the automatic numbering is being thrown off all over. Enigmamsg 05:33, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
    • What does an "active members error" look like, and which contribs list exactly? Please provide a link. --brion (talk) 05:38, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
      • User contributions. I got it twice within five minutes, and I imagine it's related to this. I forgot exactly the link, but I doubt it was a user-specific error. I tried to load up Special:Contributions and it gave me a long error message, starting with "activemembers..." I wish I had copied it. Add: searching my sleep-deprived memory, I finally came up with this as the link I was trying to load. Of course, it works fine now. Enigmamsg 05:46, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
        • Sounds like you might have been bitten by a transitory error with the magic words during the upgrade. If it happens again, please copy and save the exact error message but you shouldn't see it again. :) --brion (talk) 05:52, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
          • Will do. Anyway, I tried a full refresh and asked someone I know, but I'm still getting problems. See the infobox on Jason Hanson, for example. Enigmamsg 05:57, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
            • What's wrong with it? Please be as specific as possible -- do not assume we will know what you mean. Nothing appears to be problematic on a first glance for me; it may have been one of the issues which was already resolved (in which case a purge or null edit will clear it). Or, there might be something which is glaringly wrong to someone who knows exactly what it "should" look like but which someone else such as me might not be aware of. --brion (talk) 06:06, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
            • Purging the cache works for me. MER-C 06:07, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
              • Fixed now. Not sure why it took longer here, though. I did several full refreshes. Enigmamsg 06:09, 18 February 2009 (UTC)


Brion and all the rest of the team making this happen with only minimal disruption (so far:) - thanks and nice work! I've been myself in the position of "a few changes to the software" that went systemically way more wrong, although to a few million less people. :) A few points though:

  • "A software update will be going live" - if it's important enough that you feel the need to post a warning here, isn't it also important enough to all of us that you would post a link to the exact changes, or rather a summary of the changes and their expected effects? My practice has always been to 1) inform the users of an upcoming change; 2) explain in general terms what the intended change is, along with an optional detailed explanation; 3) explain what should be different tomorrow from the user point of view; and 4) make sure the users know how to report unexpected problems, and how to tell the difference between "expected" and "unexpected". You guys did most of 1) and 4), but did it in a somewhat context-free manner, i.e. the bits in-between where people could actually understand what was happening.
  • Thinking a little more on this, if it's sufficiently major to post here, then perhaps in future you could think about posting a sitemessage 20 minutes prior? "We are in the process of updgrading software <link>, please purge your browser cache and be patient, please report ongoing problems <here>" Anything to increase communication and decrease confusion. I just got lucky seeing your post here right when the problems started, and purged and rebooted of my own accord. Franamax (talk) 06:17, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Or maybe a site message asking users to go to the test wiki and help beta prior to launch. ηoian ‡orever ηew ‡rontiers 06:32, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
This should cover it (autogenerated from log entries). As for beta-ing; we do solicit testing before launch. We're hoping to get a fuller staging infrastructure at some point though so we can get more people to bang at it. :D --brion (talk) 06:36, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Just a update, there's a few more AN postings with issues, although you've probably already seen them. ηoian ‡orever ηew ‡rontiers 06:44, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Twinkle issues

I'm not sure if this has to do with the new update, or if it is just because I have slow internet, but using Twinkle/Friendly (don't remember which it is) to rollback a edit seems to get stuck on the second step, ex.

"Grabbing data of earlier revisions: revision 271523724 that was made 1 revisions ago by Spoon!

Reverting page: data loaded..." Can anyone with faster internet test this? Undo feature still works. Thanks. (probably internet) ηoian ‡orever ηew ‡rontiers 07:23, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Hey, I've been noticing the "Twinkle gets stuck" errors here too. Not sure if I have a faster connection or not (somedays it's great, others... it crawls, but I suspect that's my computer). But you're not alone (was coming here to comment on the same thing. umrguy42 07:52, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I've reported this at WT:TW/BUGS#TW-B-0255 (new). Firefox's error console reports "form.wpAutoSummary is undefined". ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 08:05, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
And indeed, it appears to affect Twinkle in its entirety. Haven't checked everything, but Twinkle won't revert, won't report vandals, and won't warn vandals either. All giving the wpAutoSummary error Dinoguy1000 mentions. -Lilac Soul (talk contribs count) 08:58, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm having major problems with Twinkle, Friendly, and several other scripts (all of which were working fine earlier today). Any possibility of rolling back the "upgrade" until this is sorted out? --Ckatzchatspy 09:26, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Twinkle won't create XfDs either... TalkIslander 09:41, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I've had to disable Friendly because it was interrupting the load of other scripts... further to my earlier post, I am seeing (in Firefox) "api.query.logevents is null" errors for the drop-down menus gadget, "response.query.logevents is null" errors from User:Animum/easyblock.js, and "element is null" errors from mwsuggest.js. --Ckatzchatspy 09:49, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
  • It's because $summaryhiddens isn't written into the page anymore, in rev:47202. Is there a reason for that that I'm not seeing, or can it be brought back quickly and Twinkle won't need adapting? --Amalthea 09:41, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
    • For some reason that I'm not seeing this also suppresses the no-edit-summary prompt if the preferences are set that way. I would have supposed that it won't allow a blank summary on a second try, since the wpIgnoreBlankSummary isn't being written anymore, but that's not what's happening? --Amalthea 09:48, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
We had a few "Server error" messages between 05:00 and 06:00 as well as the problem with some archives showing as .000000 Wikipedia:Helpdesk -Archive 1.0000000000000000 and dob tag giving lots of 00000000 Talk:Jimbo Wales - Dates of Birth & Height templates used in infoboxes and the twinkle issue - all related to the update ? --Chaosdruid (talk) 10:26, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
The number problem was definitely related to the update, but has since been fixed. Gary King (talk) 19:22, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Just to say the problem's still there. --Dweller (talk) 14:05, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm thinking that Brion is still asleep, since he's from San Francisco. Let's give him another couple hours. --Amalthea 14:17, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Just another me too. I hope this gets sorted out soon, with Huggle not working for me, I'm back to Lupin's anti-vandal tool. It's been a while since I hit save page buttons on user talk pages, but it definitely is a humbling expirience. I guess you never know the true value of things until they're gone. Puchiko (Talk-email) 14:45, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
It's 8 AM in the west coast, hopefully solved soon. ηoian ‡orever ηew ‡rontiers 16:06, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Creation of xfd's/prods still isn't working. Ten Pound Hammer and his otters • (Broken clamshellsOtter chirpsHELP) 17:18, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
But I just saw a user revert vandalism with Huggle, so perhaps there's hope?--Fabrictramp | talk to me 17:33, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Huggle isn't affected by that problem. --Amalthea 18:26, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
No huggle doesn't seem to be affected by this (even though it should O_o shouldnt it?) But anyway huggle is still not working for maybe people as the squid errors arn't handled yet. ·Add§hore· Talk To Me! 18:50, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Probably my EditPage.php changes. Shouldn't these scripts be using the API instead of the UI? — Werdna • talk 18:52, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, they quite certainly should, but don't always do (yet). As mentioned above, it's because $summaryhiddens isn't written into the page anymore, in rev:47202, from what I'm seeing. --Amalthea 19:03, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Isolated and fixed on svn. Will be synced in a few minutes. — Werdna • talk 19:08, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks a lot, works again now that rev:47457 is live. --Amalthea 19:28, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Not that this is Twinkle-related, but this is the active section - trying to create new talk page sections via the "new section"/"+" tab (or "&section=new" in the URL) without providing a section header in the appropriate box prevents the page from being saved at all - at least, that's what happened to me when I was trying to file the above-linked Twinkle bug report last night. For some reason, after I copied the header into the box, it also stripped off a pair of equals signs, moving the section up one in importance. anyone else experience these problems, or have any ideas on what may have caused them? ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 19:20, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Offhand that sounds like normal behavior. --brion (talk) 19:27, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Ordinarily, it is. If you try to do that, it returns you to the edit screen with the message that you didn't include a header, and submitting one more time will save it anyways. However, I clicked "submit" three or four times, getting that message every time. I finally had to copy the section header into the header box before it would let me actually save the page. ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 21:18, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
It seems to be fixed at any rate, I just successfully created a talk page section without having anything in the header box. *shrugs* ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 21:30, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm still seeing a Twinkle-related error in Firefox's error console. The text states "Error: TwinkleConfig.showRollbackLinks is undefined", with a link to this code:

if( TwinkleConfig.showRollbackLinks.indexOf('diff') != -1 ) { (line 210 of the script)

This error seems to prevent Twinkle's "rollback" features from being displayed. As well, Friendly (which is Twinkle-based, if I recall correctly) is creating the error "FriendlyConfig.idsToRename is undefined", with a link to:

for(i = 0; i < FriendlyConfig.idsToRename.length; i++) { (line 26)

This error appears to cause subsequent scripts in the monobook file to not load, as every time I enable Friendly (either through Gadgets or monobook) I lose many other scripts. --Ckatzchatspy 21:30, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Are you by any chance using Safari? This seems to be purely an issue with Twinkle and Friendly in any case. Could you come to WT:TW and reply there? Thanks & Cheers, Amalthea 21:41, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
um...Ckatz said Firefox error console. ηoian ‡orever ηew ‡rontiers 00:32, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
That's a no then? Oh well. Ckatz, I'd recommend you try and remove the TwinkleConfig you have in your monobook, then activate Twinkle again, clear the browser cache with Ctrl-F5, and report back at WT:TW. That was previously only an issue with Safari, but it might help you too. If it does I'll give you a modified configuration that should work. Cheers, Amalthea 11:45, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Um actually the only thing he needs to do is define the variables. It should be as simple as adding
FriendlyConfig.idsToRename = [];
TwinkleConfig.showRollbackLinks = true;

Alexfusco5 14:22, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

That's in principle correct, but should be done slightly different, to catch all those problems. It seems to be caused by the import of the twinkle.js, which on some browsers/configurations executes the imported script before it finishes processing the monobook.js itself (which so far I've only heard happening with Safari on a Mac). Since the TwinkleConfig object in the monobook is set up in a way that creates a new config object (as was recommended in the documentation for quite a while) it will overwrite any defaults that might have been created by the twinkle scripts themselves already. Switching the creation of the config object and the import usually fixes that, and changing the configuration to a way that doesn't simply create a new object fixes it, too, and also works with the gadget version.
I don't know that much about the different javascript engines that are around, no idea if there are potentially any multithreading issues that might play into it. --Amalthea 14:40, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the tips... it seems that the structure of the configuration for both Twinkle and Friendly has changed a bit since I first installed it some time back. Removing the old one and replacing it with the current versions seems to have done the trick. I'm still getting one error in Firefox - an "element is null" note regarding line 744 (if (element.addEventListener) {) in mwsuggest.js. Thoughts? --Ckatzchatspy 04:41, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Glad to be of help. The default config was change in response to the problem I mentioned above, yes.
No thoughts on mwsuggest.js, I'm afraid. On which page are you getting the error? And is the ajax search suggestion in the search box working for you? --Amalthea 13:09, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

wannabe_kate editcounter is broken

It says that I have 0 edits.... By the way, everybody, including myself, is leaving bug reports on User_talk:Interiot, but he hasn't edited since December 2007.... --Enric Naval (talk) 02:32, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

I contacted Interiot awhile ago and he responded by asking where I found the contact link so he could remove the link. (Assuming he) Interiot seems to be a determined non-participant and the tool is broken, at the very least it doesn't count File: space and I've found other major miscounts. wannabe_kate needs to be killed dead - we discussed this at WT:RFA a few months back. It's toast, unless someone wants to rewrite the code. Franamax (talk) 05:00, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Archived link. I can point out to anyone interested where the source is, and where the problems reside. Franamax (talk) 05:07, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I've marked it as broken on WP:WPEC, for what that's worth. Algebraist 14:27, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I also raised issues with this last month on the WPEC talk page. Lugnuts (talk) 10:48, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Job queue

Anyone know what is going on with the job queue today? Special:Statistics appears to indicate it is actually keeping up for a change. Watching it over the past ten minutes I have seen it go over 18,000 and back down under 4,000 several times. Problem is, it doesn't seem to be actually working. The 718 articles in Category:Canoer stubs for example have been waiting to get refreshed since the 7th. --Pascal666 (talk) 22:59, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

The last month there have been many reports about categories and WhatLinksHere not updating long after a template is edited. See Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 56#How long should it take for a task to get through the job queue? which indicates somebody may be working on it. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:09, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
They killed an entire class of job. Now the remainder is much faster, but that previous functionality is being shelved for the moment. Dragons flight (talk) 00:13, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
No, jobs queued before February 16 were removed, but jobs queued after that are working reasonably well, with a scaled-up and optimised job queue system. No functionality has been shelved. I'm planning on doing a complete link table refresh of all wikis, but this will have to wait until I've written the software for it. -- Tim Starling (talk) 01:31, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. --Pascal666 (talk) 10:03, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Deleted edits under "my contributions"

Occasionally I check my "Edit and action count" summary on the SQL's Tools page, and I find that my total number of "Deleted edits" is decreasing. I have also found some people have a negative number of deleted edits. Could someone explain all this to me? How does SQL's Tools' deleted edits tally work? kilbad (talk) 03:23, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

It's the number of edits according to the API, which includes deleted edits, minus the number of edits according to Special:Contributions, which doesn't include them. The problem is that a single page move can count as up to four edits, if you move the page and talk page, and all the old redirects still exist. Because I do many page moves, according to SQL's edit count tool, I have -4,222 deleted edits. I brought this problem up with SQL once by email and he said that there wasn't an efficient way to check a user's actual number of deleted edits. Graham87 14:37, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Bunching In Year Articles

I have been fixing the bunching problem in some of the year articles such as 216 BC. Could someone please program a bot fix the bunching problem in all of the year articles? Flaviusvulso (talk) 03:55, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

You need to go to Wikipedia:Bot requests, but when you do try and be a bit more specific, I not sure what you're talking about. — Blue-Haired Lawyer 13:23, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
The bunching problem is described here: WP:BUNCH. Flaviusvulso (talk) 03:13, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Improving the Diff

(Diff is the difference between two versions from the page history of a wikipedia article. I frequently use it to view the latest changes in articles on my watch list, by clicking the "compare selected versions"-button.)

In some cases the Diff is inadequate, as it does not clearly show the actual change:

  • If a user removes a comma or a space in a paragraph, the Diff will highlight the entire paragraph background yellow/green, but the actual change is hard to find, and multiple changes are easily overlooked. It would be better if the removed character was highlighted by a special background color.
  • Similarly, if a user removes an new line command between two paragraphs, the Diff will highlight the background of both paragraphs, and it will apply a red font color for all text beyond the new line. The actual change is barely visible, and multiple changes are easily overlooked. It would be better if the location of the removed new line character was highlighted by a special background color.


Is this the right place to report it as a suggestion to improve the software? Ceinturion (talk) 12:45, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

You know, I vaguely remember a short period of time where there was a little box around the changed part, which made such edits easier to spot, but it must have been turned back off pretty shortly after (and I remember it being pretty annoying looking for substantial edits).♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:07, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Are you joking, do you say that the current Diff makes looking for substantial edits easier? Take a look at my second example, where the new line was removed. Ceinturion (talk) 14:48, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I *think* you're talking about a change that spurred this discussion on Mediawiki talk:Common.css. IIRC, there were other discussions related to it elsewhere, but I don't have a clue where they are any more. But yeah, it got reverted pretty quickly. ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 18:58, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I've never used it, but you might find User:Cacycle/wikEdDiff helpful. Algebraist 14:17, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, WikEdDiff is just what I needed, and it works fine. Problem solved. Ceinturion (talk) 14:48, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Personally, I use User:Js/diffs. It's got a number of nifty features beyond better diff hilighting (but then, I can't say it's better than wikEdDiff, having never used that one). ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 18:58, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Random text, can't remove it

Resolved: Template problem --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 19:27, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Can someone help with John Sedgley Homestead? This article has the random text "Homestead from the East in 1975" at its very top, which isn't in the article text. The only template at the top of the article, moreover, is an infobox that is used on tons of other pages, and none of them have this text, so I'm confident that it's not a template. Nyttend (talk) 19:15, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

It was in {{Infobox nrhp}}. It appears that if you have a caption without an image, it throws a fit. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 19:23, 20 February 2009 (UTC) Left a note on the template talk page. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 19:27, 20 February 2009 (UTC)