Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 62

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Someone tried to active / take control of Google Analytics for WP

I marked this for CSD and it was quickly deleted, but I am concerned that this was truly a hacking attempt (albeit not terribly effective) and wanted to raise it to the the attention of security experts.    7   talk Δ |   00:28, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Original discussion from Gimmetrow's talk page:

== Google Analytics ==

Hi - saw you declined AIV action on this. I just wanted to make sure you understood this was a hacking attempt to gain control of using google analytics over all of WP. Seems pretty severe to me. Thanks    7   talk Δ |   23:15, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

The file is deleted. What exactly would this have allowed? Gimmetrow 23:33, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Google Analytics will give people stats on links in/out, hit's per day, referrer, IP, etc... Well, it might not have been a very effective hacking attempt, because this "verification" step is only the first part of using The second part would be adding a script to pages (ideally I suspect the poster would have tried to do it on all pages, but at the very least they could do it on some pages they created or on their user page. I guess my point is that even if it was harmless and the user couldn't have done much with it, it was still a hacking attempt.    7   talk Δ |   23:39, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
My other concern is that this verification step is to ensure that the user has control over the site (which they prove by posting a file), and as long as the site doesn't return error404 then google assumes the file is there - so in theory even though the file is deleted it is probably not returning a 404.    7   talk Δ |   23:41, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
If there is a potential privacy hole here, shouldn't someone try it out and report the results? Gimmetrow 23:44, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, a white-hat should. I have no idea if this new user is acting with the consent of WMF and in the project's best interest.    7   talk Δ |   23:51, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, one thing I notice is that some stats are limited to 5M pageviews per months for non-adwords users. That wouldn't get too far here ;) Gimmetrow 00:07, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I completely agree that this wouldn't be the most effective hack even if it worked, but again my point is it seems like something should be done about it regardless of how effective it is. Is there perhaps another place I should mention this?    7   talk Δ |   00:10, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I think WP:VPT would be the best place. Gimmetrow 00:13, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

The verification does work to some extent. If there is any concern here, we could add /.*google.*html/ to the spam/abuse filters. Gimmetrow 00:36, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

May also want to add and filters, as those are the scripts that users would try to add (actually, I suspect the entry parser may already block them?).    7   talk Δ |   01:00, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we need to worry about any of this. The google authentification file must, I believe, be placed in the root directory, which can't be achieved through the interface, and it's not possible for non-admins to add any javascript that would automatically be run by users to collect the data. Yes, people may attempt to create those articles, but they do no harm, and can simply be deleted as they come in. Amalthea 11:15, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Don't be ridiculous. If the user could have added a script to all pages, then we would have a very serious XSS security vulnerability, and it would be fixed within an hour or two. There is no reason to be alarmed here. — Werdna • talk 13:10, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry you felt this post was ridiculous.    7   talk Δ |   15:02, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I've posted a note at User talk:Michkol1, inviting the editor to explain, here, what he/she was trying to do. If there is no explanation provided, I suggest that it may be appropriate to block the account. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 19:09, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
I am using a content management system which uses /word1.word2.word3 style URLs. One of my users created a page called "Google*** html" and added the website to his Google Webmaster Tools. I was checking if it works on Wikipedia. I was able to add to my Google account. I didn't change any settings in Webmaster Tools. Google's verification system is insecure because it doesn't check file contents - verifying a site requires only creating a file/page. Michkol1 (talk) 20:13, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
This regular expression matches all Google verification files: Google[0-9a-f]{16}\.html Michkol1 (talk) 20:46, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
It's nasty that anyone could get even this far, and it should be stopped, as part of a general strategy of defense in depth against blended threats. If these pages are a way to convince Google that someone "owns" Wikipedia, could their generation be blocked using the abuse filter or page name blacklist? Has anyone contacted one of the developers about this, to see if this can be blocked globally in MediaWiki itself? -- The Anome (talk) 23:22, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
m:Title blacklist works for all Wikimedia wikis. Mr.Z-man 00:45, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not a meta admin: could someone make a suitable blacklist entry there, please? I believe "google.*\.html" would probably do the job in a reasonably future-proof way, assuming that the blacklist documentation is right about matching being case-insensitive. -- The Anome (talk) 13:21, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
It is case-insensitive. However, I'm not clear why we need to block such titles. Could someone give a short & clear explanation?  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 22:52, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
It is the first step (verification process) of proving that the person who posts it is the site owner for use in google webmaster tools - please see this link.    7   talk Δ |   01:47, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

The fact that the offending page must be put in the root directory is quite deliberate on the part of Google and others, because they know that subdirectories frequently include unprivileged or semi-privileged input. There is no risk, please relax. — Werdna • talk 00:07, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

In addition, it's just Google webmaster tools. This is not the keys to the kingdom; if it were possible to verify.. Google allows them to at best see 'crawl errors' and 'search keyword' counters, links to your site, submit a deleted URL from removal from the index, submit additional sitemaps, and change address (if they can create 301 redirects from old address to new address). Notably, there's no link in Google webmaster tools that does something like display lists of visitor ip addresses or private info about users finding the site from search results. --Mysidia (talk) 06:10, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

It should be atleast added to the blacklist for the default MediaWiki installation. As some sites like Wikia have the pages at the root of the domain, thus allow attackers to take control of the Google results ranking.

I had Google41920ade216012da.html up for a few month to try and collect some interesting data. However this data isn't very interesting. Four Google subscribers are watching RSS (file format). The top impressions are: facebook, youtube, hotmail, you tube, gmail, myspace, yahoo mail, wikipedia,, bebo. There are 7,746,077 links that we return a 404 code, and 100,520 that are block via robots.txt. The most linked to pages are Main_Page (296,469 approx.), Social_bookmarking (508,321 approx.), RSS (file format) (175,194 approx.), and United_States (77,224). I also tried to use it to find content reuse but it wasn't good for that. — Dispenser 16:52, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Dumb Template Trick of the Week™

Well, I've got the basics down, but could somebody help make this fully functional… support for octal and binary numbers would be good too. You might even help find a use for this. — CharlotteWebb 07:00, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Warning. Template:Convert is huge, with thousands(?) of sub pages that make it work. See Template:Convert/hex. (talk) 01:10, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
    • Yeah, I created the hex2dec template and redirect that to it. I was just hoping someone could finish it up the right way so that it does everything one would expect from a convert "module". — CharlotteWebb 21:26, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

o_O Do you have to? — Werdna • talk 21:27, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Install StringFunctions and we'll stop using the hacks :P Happymelon 21:37, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Don't spend too long writing templates that use those padleft hacks, some day they might stop working. -- Tim Starling (talk) 13:54, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
And then there will be howls of outrage, like there was the last time the hack was blocked. I'm with you all the way that the hack is just that, a horrible hack, but the fact that it's seeing widespread use is indicative of the need for this functionality to improve editing and viewing experience. If you enable a proper, parser-friendly, non-hackish implementation, I will personally hunt down and replace every instance of the padleft-based hacks, and then break out the champagne when the hack is blocked. But arbitrarily removing used and needed functionality without providing a replacement is not a constructive way to improve MediaWiki. Happymelon 11:48, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the correct phrase is enable the string functions. The string functionality made it into the now live version of ParserFunctions, but is disabled by default with a global configuration setting. Dragons flight (talk) 21:53, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
It made it through code review? I'm very surprised (per our discussion at But as you say, it's still a config line away. Happymelon 22:23, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Tim made several modifications (e.g. fixing a parser state issue I had ignored, changed several other minor things, and added the global disable flag), but yes, the functionality is still there. Dragons flight (talk) 22:35, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Tim did comment that he would prefer mw:Extension:Lua instead. But no word on whether we'll get that any time soon either :( Anomie 23:59, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I've heard other devs be quite skeptical of lua, which would give us a roughly Turing complete function system and requires compiled binaries to operate (limiting its availability for other sites). But who really knows. Dragons flight (talk) 00:10, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm reasonably convinced that with the padleft hack and an unlimited preprocessor node count, the current parser with ParserFunctions is Turing-complete. It would be an interesting challenge... Happymelon 11:56, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
With neither looping nor recursion, I don't believe you can do it. Lua would allow both of those things. Dragons flight (talk) 12:07, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
With an infinite page base, you can simply create as many copies of the function you want to recurse as you want (since there's no way to return values from 'functions', our 'program' flow is almost entirely by going deeper into the transclusion stack anyway, potentially without limit). I agree it's a rather pedantic distinction when you need to give yourself infinite resources to get around the restriction, but true Turing-completeness depends on that anyway. Looping is actually harder than recursion; if you allow database actions to be performed as part of the machine's cycle (that is, can you say that you need to edit a page a few times and replace whatever's there with subst:something to clock the machine over) then it's definitely possible. It's certainly not something I'd want to try and build an OS from :D Happymelon 12:52, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
(undent) HM:Then you have BlooP but not FlooP --Thinboy00 @242, i.e. 04:49, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
To be honest though, I think I'm with Werdna here, in wondering Why? I fail to see where those conversions would actually get used. Dragons flight (talk) 21:59, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Something based on this could be used to choose complementary colors for foregrounds/backgrounds of templates, etc. by subtracting it from 0xFFFFFF. Picture something like:

<td style="color:#{{{1}}}; background:#{{invertcolor|{{{1}}}}};">text</td>

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, shrug… — CharlotteWebb 17:34, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I see the value in it, but I think something like this should be a built-in, rather than requiring absurdly complex template structures, something such as {{##func: printf | "%d" | {{##func: str2num | input="0xDEADBEEF" | base=16}}}}, which opens up possibilities also like outputting an octal number. Where say ##func (in this case) should ultimately be a library of simple functions defined in a restricted programming language, eg server-side javascript.
This is complicated, but simpler, more scalable, and more maintainable than having obscenely complex template hacks --Mysidia (talk) 16:45, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
That's the other extreme: static functions that work only for the specific purposes coded up. We need some flexibility: we don't know all the wonderful things that someone can come up with given an open platform. Lua looks interesting (and having it would at least be better than what we have now) but I don't think it's a simple decision—is it worth it to have blocks of straight-up code in the middle of wikitext? Would that replace or merely supplement the existing ParserFunctions? What advantages—and disadvantages—does Lua offer in comparison to StringFunctions? I echo Happy-melon: we use the hacks that we've created because we have nothing better. I know that string-manipulating functions would see extensive use in title-parsing templates: for example, being able to separate "Foo (bar)" to find "Foo" and "bar" would be very useful. When can we have an effective way to do these things with templates? {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 01:29, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Ask and once in a while you might (sort-of) receive:
  • {{title disambig text|Foo (bar)}} = bar
Subject to the limitations that the title must be less than 50 characters and the disambig text can support only a limited character set (roughly ascii), i.e. the same as most of the other string manipulation templates. Dragons flight (talk) 04:10, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Well it would be tucked away in templates, not directly used in any article. The most immediate benefit I see of embedding a real programming language (or creating one from scratch) is being able to store the result of a function as a variable so that it only needs to be calculated once (rather than repeating the same complex and expensive operation hundreds of times on the same page). — CharlotteWebb 03:36, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Magic word for Special:WhatLinksHere

Is there a magic word that returns the number of links in a "what links here" page? I'm thinking something along the lines of {{PAGESINCATEGORY}} but for Special:WhatLinksHere. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 13:30, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Presumably you have looked on the pages that would document such a feature if we had one (mw:Help:Magic words, mw:Help talk:Magic words, Help:What links here). You could search bugzilla for: Special:WhatLinksHere to see if anyone has requested this. There is a Special:MostLinkedTemplates page which isn't what you want. --Teratornis (talk) 19:23, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
In short, no, there isn't. What were you thinking of using it for? haz (talk) 07:12, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I imagine the purpose would be to determine when an article is no longer {{orphan}}ed, so that the template in question can invoke a different category (or even make itself disappear) as appropriate. — CharlotteWebb 16:53, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Nah, nothing that useful...I was mainly just thinking of using it as a way to do this template without having to use a category. Right now it uses a category that is populated by a userbox, but the same thing could be accomplished with WhatLinksHere...the only difference is that using a category allows me to have that template (using PAGESINCATEGORY), but WhatLinksHere doesn't. Some people objected before to having this category (it was CfD'd), but whatever, it's not a huge deal, just thought I'd ask. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 04:31, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

How do you use a variable to insert a page's name uncapitalized?

I'm trying to insert the pagename into part of the title of another page (Outline of x, where x is the pagename). Unfortunately, it turns out like Outline of Construction instead of Outline of construction.

Is there any way to return the pagename in small case, without the capitalization?

The Transhumanist 02:08, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

{{lc:BOB}} = bob
{{lcfirst:BOB}} = bOB
Dragons flight (talk) 02:10, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
how would that work with:
{{main|Outline of <includeonly>{{subst:</includeonly>PAGENAME}}}}
I look forward to your reply. The Transhumanist 02:54, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Hum, not sure this is what you want to do but try this??
{{main|Outline of <includeonly>{{subst:</includeonly>{{lc:PAGENAME}}}}}}
--Stefan talk 04:57, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>lc:{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>PAGENAME}}}}. --Splarka (rant) 07:50, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Having had a look at Special:PrefixIndex/Outline of, this would be better:
{{main|Outline of {{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>#ifexist:Outline of {{lcfirst:{{PAGENAME}}}}|{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>lcfirst:{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>PAGENAME}}}}|{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>PAGENAME}}}}}}
Works for both Outline of construction and Outline of Albania. Just make sure you subst the template. Face-wink.svg haz (talk) 15:12, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. This works better, but it doesn't catch the outlines with "the" in them, like Outline of the United States, Outline of the Cayman Islands, or Outline of the Internet. There are quite a few of those. And it doesn't catch outlines that use the subject's plural form, such as Outline of ants and Outline of sharks. The Transhumanist 21:28, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
OK... <takes a deep breath...>

{{main|Outline of {{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>#ifexist:Outline of {{lcfirst:{{PAGENAME}}}}s|{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>lcfirst:{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>PAGENAME}}}}s|{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>#ifexist:Outline of the {{PAGENAME}}|the {{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>PAGENAME}}|{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>#ifexist:Outline of {{lcfirst:{{PAGENAME}}}}|{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>lcfirst:{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>PAGENAME}}}}|{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>PAGENAME}}}}}}}}}}

Certainly works with all those examples. I dread to think what that would have looked like back in the days of {{qif}}... haz (talk) 10:44, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. The Transhumanist 17:56, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

edit-tools not functioning in Safari for the Mac

Sorry if I've used the wrong terms. For at least a week, they've been black, not blue, and won't work. Even the blockquote syntax. I notice also that the "Cancel" button to cancel an edit has been black, although it turned blue again yesterday and remains functional. Is it just my computer? I use Safari for the Mac. Tony (talk) 08:14, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

This was caused by the recent software update, and has been fixed. --Catrope (talk) 09:06, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
It is called MediaWiki:Edittools. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 12:49, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I'm still having the same problem that Tony outlined above with the Edittools — I'm also on Safari for the Mac. Mlaffs (talk) 16:46, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Yup, still all dead black. Tony (talk) 07:42, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I Just updated a few minutes ago from Safari 4. to Safari 4.0.1 -- and they still do not work. I am a little puzzled, because the update talked about updating both Safari and JavaScript, & I figured that would fix it. FWIW , it works in Firefox 3.0.11. DGG (talk) 06:45, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Confirming that there is still a problem and that it seems to be en:wp specific; no issue on en:Wikisource, Commons, or Meta. Cheers, Jack Merridew 09:26, 18 June 2009 (UTC) (who mostly uses Firefox;)
  • And is there a problem in Safari for Windows? I guess it's not relevant. Needs to be fixed. Tony (talk) 07:43, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
  • So ... is a Bugzilla report the way to get this fixed? Tony (talk) 08:51, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
  • The edit tools here depend on the site javascript to function. If there's something in there that isn't compatible with with your browser, it may just abort the script, so later things stop working. Can someone who sees the problem check their javascript console to see if there's an error message in there which tells where it stopped? -Steve Sanbeg (talk) 20:18, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
    • If nobody else has by then, I will do once I get home in a few hours. For what it's worth, last night it was actually appearing properly for me about once out of every 15-20 times that I was bringing up an edit window. Mlaffs (talk) 20:52, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
    • No, absolutely no error message in my Java Console. Sorry ... Mlaffs (talk) 01:13, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

(od) This appears to be a problem with MediaWiki/en serving to WebKit based browsers. I have tested on browsers with the following UA strings:

Google Chrome/WinXP Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/531.0 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/ Safari/531.0

Safari 4/Mac OS X 10.5.7 Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_5_7; en-us) AppleWebKit/530.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Safari/530.17 0.9.6/Mac OS X 10.5.7 Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_5_2; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1 Safari/525.13

Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer all not effected. The edit tools beneath the edit box on the WebKit browsers all have the same issues: no dropdown menu to choose which set of tools to display, all tools display in a single box labeled "Copy and Paste" instead of the dropdown menu which begins "Insert" followed by "Wiki markup", "Symbols" etc. on the correctly functioning browsers. The problem is exclusive to WebKit browsers and, other language versions (tested de, fr, pl) work correctly in WebKit. Sswonk (talk) 02:44, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

This is definitely a problem involving the MediaWiki/ interpretation of the User Agent string. To fix the problem in Safari 4, simply go to "Preferences" and under "Advanced" enable "Show Develop menu in menu bar". Close "Preferences", go to the newly active "Develop" menu and click on "User Agent", choose to assert you're any browser other than Safari (recommend "Firefox 3.0.10 - Mac" for the time being) and the edit tools start to work again. Sswonk (talk) 03:01, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

No, that doesn't seem to have done it, at least not for me. Followed those steps exactly - even restarted and did them again just in case - but no change. Mlaffs (talk) 03:17, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Try several different UAs to see what happens. I am getting results all over the map but it seems if I go to "Internet Explorer 7.0" it will work. Try that one, then go to to confirm "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0)", then go back to a random Wikipedia page and try to edit. Caching may be a problem as well. If I go to "Default (Automatically Chosen)" it goes back to a "Copy and Paste" all black list, even after changing to FF or Opera later, but I seem to be able to kick it back to correct behavior if I go to IE7, then into anything but Default or Safari, which breaks it all over again. Sswonk (talk) 04:10, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Man, this sucks. Still no go - I've tried as above, as well as other versions of IE, Firefox, and Opera. Still not getting a working set of tools any more than once about every 15 or 20 times. Mlaffs (talk) 04:26, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Final report for the evening, it's getting late. I now am experiencing random drops in the implementation of the edit tools when using different user agents chosen by the Safari "Develop menu method" I talk about above. Sometimes choosing "Default" or "Safari" will work as well. The only thing I can say with a high degree of certainty is that it is a WebKit/ problem. Testing other browsers and other language sites fails to show the problem, but English Wikipedia under Safari will still fail to render the edit tools from time to time and Google Chrome on the Mac (still in developer only release) will always fail to render them. I believe it is time to file a bugzilla report, and I leave that to anyone reading this who is efficient at doing that as I have not yet tried one of those for MediaWiki. Sswonk (talk) 05:38, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Probably made a hash of it, but I've filed a report at Bugzilla #19306. Mlaffs (talk) 12:14, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I replicated it on Safari in Windows. I'll have a look at it. Ale_Jrbtalk 12:35, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Bugzilla report has been closed as "RESOLVED INVALID", with the following explanation via email: It means it's closed because it's not a bug in the MediaWiki software. Per comment #1 on that bug, it's a bug in the JavaScript that the English Wikipedia community added locally. In less technical terms: the enwiki community added a customization, so if that customization is broken, they're the ones that can and should fix it, not 'us' MediaWiki developers. So, what now? Mlaffs (talk) 16:17, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I've applied a fix. Please ensure you've cleared your cache, and check again. Ale_Jrbtalk 16:31, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Yep, that's got it — EditTools are working great for me now. I'm still getting dialog boxes that I have to dismiss when I use HotCat, which also started happening following the Safari upgrade, but I assume that's a separate problem. Thanks much. Mlaffs (talk) 17:04, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
No worries. You'll have to talk to the developer of HotCat if you are having problems with it. It's funny though - I didn't think it was possible to hate Apple software any more than I did before. Ha - wrong! :) Ale_Jrbtalk 17:11, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
This fixes Google Chrome as well. WebKit is open source, not Apple software, and did nothing do deserve hate escalation since it was an bug. Nevertheless, thanks for the good work. Sswonk (talk) 18:30, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Google Chrome worked fine in my testing before the fix - so think what you will. In fact, the WebKit engine simply refused to attach the imported script to the page onload, for some reason unknown to me. Firefox, Opera and IE all worked as expected. It wasn't a Wikipedia bug, it was incorrect execution of valid code by WebKit. Which was rather annoying to fix, to say the least. Thus, while the iPod may be a work of genius, I now do hate Safari more than I did before (which is quite a lot :P). Ale_Jrbtalk 20:10, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Hey, it works again on Safari for the Mac. Thanks, guys. (There is a Safari blue scrolling bar, complete with left/right arrows, bang in the middle of the Wiki markup edit-toolbox if it's the previous tab option you've chosen, but if you change the tab or leave a smaller tab option from your previous edit-mode occasion, it's not there). Nice. Happy. Tony (talk) 07:56, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Finding all edits a user made to a certain page

(cross-posted from the help desk) Hi there. I think I remember that there is a script somewhere that gives you the diffs for all edits a specific user made to a selected page but I cannot find it again. Does someone know of that script and where it's located (if I'm not making this up of course)? Regards SoWhy 15:59, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I've certainly never found one; I'm currently coding that exact tool right now, as it happens! I'll let you know when it's done... haz (talk) 19:51, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I already have one of these. Hold on, let me find it. — CharlotteWebb 20:36, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

See User:CharlotteWebb/history filter. Very much a work in progress, though I've made no progress lately. — CharlotteWebb 21:23, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

You were probably thinking of the Per-page contributions tool. Graham87 00:54, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, thank you Graham, that is it :-) Regards SoWhy 07:21, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
This is also possible with the API: rvuser=Splarka. I believe this requires an index to be built, that exists on en.wp but not very many other projects. --Splarka (rant) 07:47, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

What I've been wanting is some way to get the combined contributions to the same article by multiple users. I realize I could do adapt my script to do that by just making a separate query for each user, then sorting them by time-stamp. I'm sure I could figure out how to do that but it would be more complicated. I asked about this possibility on the mailing list here but got no response. — CharlotteWebb 15:33, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for my tardiness, I replied on the mailing list. Splarka's wrong about the index: rvuser works on all projects, it's rc'user (in list=recentchanges) that doesn't; Tim is supposed to have added the required index for that recently, though, so I'll look into finally enabling rcuser. --Catrope (talk) 07:53, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Regex question

(I have the regex gadget installed above the edit window).

Below is a watchlist for use with Related changes. How would I use regex to add the corresponding talk page to the end of every entry on the list?

Wikipedia:WikiProject Outline of knowledge/Watchlist using Related changes

I look forward to your reply.

The Transhumanist 21:24, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Not sure how that works exactly but you'd want to do something that has the effect of this, where txt is the content of the edit-window:

txt = txt.replace(/\n\*\s*\[\[([^\]]+)\]\]/g, "\n*[[$1]] ([[Talk:$1|talk]])");

// or better yet if you want a bunch of other links use a template
txt = txt.replace(/\n\*\s*\[\[([^\]]+)\]\]/g, "\n*{{article|$1}}");

That would work for the article pages anyway. The other stuff would be more complicated. — CharlotteWebb 21:38, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Hold on a sec... I think that I can do this. I've done it with watchlists before, thanks to the handy {{swl}} template. –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 22:05, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
 Done; just changed it to use the template with two simple regular expressions. –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 22:08, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
It looks like it's now done, but if you wanted to do it with the Regex-tab script, you could have replaced
\* \[\[([^\]\[]*)\]\]
* {{swl|$1}}
which is effectively what Drilnoth did on the page in question. The '\[' means a literal bracket character, the '\*' is a literal asterisk, the '[^\]\[]' means any character other than brackets, and the parentheses saves the match so it can be referenced later as '$1'. I hope this makes sense. Plastikspork (talk) 00:04, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. That helps a lot! The Transhumanist 19:06, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Vector skin

I saw a report in the Signpost at the beginning of the month about a new skin called "Vector" which was supposed to be available as of revision 51094 of MediaWiki. We're now up to 1.29.0-wmf.20 (8954854), but I still don't see it in "my preferences". Does anyone know what happened to this skin?-gadfium 06:38, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

It is still in development. It works partially with useskin=vector. See The Usability Wiki. --Splarka (rant) 07:05, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay, thanks.-gadfium 07:07, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Styling tags

Now that MediaWiki has been updated past r52071, Tags are now wrapped in a span which allows us to identify them. There is now an open discussion on whether we should style tags when they appear in RecentChanges, Watchlist, etc. All commens welcome! Happymelon 09:54, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Did you mean...?

I was searching around for the Wikimedia-wide Terms of Use, regarding the switch to cc-by-sa, and I ran this search. I was kind of surprised to see what the "Did you mean...?" suggested. Is this, er, expected behavior? It does play into the stereotypes about Wikipedia pretty well. – Quadell (talk) 13:57, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

The 'Did you mean:' function is powered by the current Lucene search version (extension). I believe the suggestion is based on a rather complicated algorithm that finds the most similar word(s) that is(are) regularly searched for - or something along those lines. Perhaps an exception list would be a good idea though - you probably wouldn't see Google search make that sort of mistake... Perhaps Bugzilla it? Ale_Jrbtalk 14:07, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah that's a bug, now fixed. --rainman (talk) 20:11, 21 June 2009 (UTC)


Er... what is the point? ╟─TreasuryTaghemicycle─╢ 18:32, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

You are not the first to wonder. At Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2009 May 14#Just wondering... Algebraist wrote: According to the release notes it is 'for benchmarking, etc.' PrimeHunter (talk) 19:10, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
There's a point to it, involving what a page looks like / is without content. It's for the devs rather than the visitors, naturally. It came up a few weeks back I think. - Jarry1250 (t, c, rfa) 19:51, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Thankfully, there's an encyclopedia that has an article that explains it in part. ;) EVula // talk // // 19:54, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I think it's just a joke. There is no bug for it, and the commit logs don't explain it. --- RockMFR 20:06, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

If you want to benchmark the performance of your site/server, having a single special page lets you easily filter the tests out of your logs. More importantly, if you want to debug without having your target do anything fancy that might interfere, now you can[1][2] (view the source). I guess Domas used to use Special:Version for this purpose.[3] :-) —Emufarmers(T/C) 07:56, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Author's name in the cite book template

Please see Hi-Fi Murders. The link to Gary Kinder used in the cite book template goes to the wrong article. How does disambiguation work in that template? Just add the disambiguation phrase in the template? Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 20:56, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Just change the authorlink param to any value you like, really. - Jarry1250 (t, c, rfa) 21:03, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
That worked, thanks. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 21:08, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

anyone available to write a simple history merge script?

For the links below, look instead at Wikipedia talk:New histmerge list.

it seems we've got a metric shit-tonne of cut&paste moves to prepare. We're going to get a bot on it, but there will still be ones that need human eyes on 'em.

Can someone write a simple (or complicated, up to you) history merge script? At the bare minimum it should move the page over the target location deleting it, then restore the deleted edits.

I thought this would be a nice addition to Twinkle, but Amalthea unfortunately has RL aggro. I'm sure you could build it with the Twinkle framework.

If you want to get fancy, you can check for already-deleted edits so nothing uncanny comes back in the restore. If this is too complicated, we'll just put a disclaimer to check the target for deleted edits first. Thanks in advance, ye code wizards. –xenotalk 21:48, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I use this method for history merging, which is less risky and kinder on the servers. I've made some more comments at [[User talk:Anthony Appleyard/New histmerge list. Graham87 09:55, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
^^ I'm fine if the script uses that method instead as it's lighter on the servers. Though, MZMcBride also raised a good point at the BOTREQ:

I don't usually like history merges in general. If there's any overlap between the two pages, the page history gets mangled, diffs become confusing and unreadable, etc. There's a core feature (disabled by default) that was written by one of Wikimedia's contractors to deal with split histories safely (see "#$wgGroupPermissions['sysop']['mergehistory'] = true;" in DefaultSettings.php). If possible, I'd much rather seem that activated than an ad hoc bot solution. For what it's worth. Perhaps can someone can convince me this is a good idea in a bot request given appropriate safety measures.... --MZMcBride (talk) 02:46, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Any reason this isn't activeated? –xenotalk 12:47, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't believe it's been extensively tested. ^demon[omg plz] 13:15, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

"undo" for move entries in history

Why do history entries for article moves have an undo link when that link doesn't actually revert the move? dramatic (talk) 00:52, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Guess it is like the move tab in filespace— it might work someday. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 11:36, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
There isn't a move tab in filespace, since that feature was deactivated. –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 18:26, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Ah- I have the "Add page and user options to drop-down menus on the toolbar." gadget checked. I have Page → Move page on all but Commons images. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 18:35, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Gotcha; no that isn't set by default. –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 18:41, 19 June 2009 (UTC)


I'm sorry, but please tell me, where can I find the text of permission to be written on a webpage with free pictures that may be used for Wikipedia under the licence CreativeCommons Attribution ShareAlike? My colleague Sergey Zagraevsky is about to give such permission for any photo from his medieval architecture photo collection and I promised to send him the text of such permission. --Ozolina (talk) 18:58, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Go to and make sure you select 'Yes' to commercial uses and 'Yes, as long as others share alike' to modifications. Algebraist 19:12, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you! I've sent to Dr. Zagraevsky this information and hope that he will soon place in at his site so we shall be able to take necessary photos to Commons. --Ozolina (talk) 19:41, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Scary behaviour

Something really weird just happened: I started up my computer from hibernation. Some Wikipedia page was still open in a browser window. After clicking on "my watchlist", I found myself logged in as User:Malafaya! The window displayed his watchlist, on which he has 10 pages, under "my contributions" I saw Special:Contributions/Malafaya. I guess I would have been able to change his password and usurp his account if I wanted to ... but I didn't and logged out. Is this some know bug? It's certainly not a behaviour one would expect ... -- Momotaro (talk) 20:31, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

It happens occasionally, when there is a "session collision": purely by coincidence, the cookies you got when you logged in (which contain random number strings) happened to match exactly the cookies Malafaya got when he logged in; when you give the cookies back to the software when doing later edits, there is a chance that the software will get confused and swap you over. I do believe, however, that it is occuring more frequently in recent time than it has in the past. Maybe the cookies need to be upgraded to contain more random data to reduce the probability of collisions. Happymelon 20:49, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I have a hard time believing this is true. Is this behavior documented anywhere? --MZMcBride (talk) 20:54, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I remember at least two other people in the last couple months reporting incidents just like this one here. Accidental session id collisions should really be nigh impossible though. Anyone knows a bug id on this? Amalthea 21:30, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I was thinking the same thing. Too many people have reported it for nothing to be happening, but I also don't think that the session ids are colliding - I suspect another issue of some kind, personally. Ale_Jrbtalk 21:41, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
There is of course the birthday “paradox” which, more or less, says that collisions are more likely to happen than one would expect by naïve intuition. But still … I also find it hard to believe this happens, and even occasionally, as it seems. Does anyone know how long the random numbers in the cookies are? -- Momotaro (talk) 22:17, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

(undent) They are 128 bit MD5 hashes, for example for Momotaro they might be something like:


This does seem highly extremely unlikely to be a token collision. More likely they are just getting a session for the wrong user from some other bug...? --Splarka (rant) 00:28, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Happened to me back in February: [4]. I'm at least glad to see that I'm not crazy; after a few weeks, I really started to question my recollection of what happened. --Floquenbeam (talk) 00:44, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
This is bug 19158. Mr.Z-man 01:03, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

They're not md5, they're randomly-generated. — Werdna • talk 10:34, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for all your answers. There are 32 digits, which means indeed 128 bit. If I calculate correctly ([5]?), assuming there are about 100 000 active sessions (or even 10 billion), the chance of a random collision should indeed be tiny, so maybe the collision happens somewhere else in the software. However, according to the bug report, a fix seems to be coming. -- Momotaro (talk) 17:48, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
It's probably just the usual problem of "random" data not being as random as it should be. E.g. with a random number generator that has a relatively short loop, or that is reset to the same seed value each time the server restarts. Hans Adler 18:47, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
With 10 billion sessions a truly random 128 bit number should generate a colliding pair less than one time in 1019. Obviously it either isn't random enough, or they are being duplicated by mistake in some way. Dragons flight (talk) 18:10, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
No, it won't be completely random. With a time-based seed, however, (what most random functions use, dunno about this one. Either way) it will easily be random enough - IMO there's never anywhere near to enough people logged on for there to be even a tiny chance of collisions. I suspect a caching issue, like brion says below, to be far, far more likely. Ale_Jrbtalk 18:15, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

This has happened to me as well. On 2 June, switching tabs, I found myself logged into Kroshkmd.  Roger Davies talk 19:33, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I've added an explicit username check to the code, but I haven't deployed the fix yet — it can wait a month or two for the normal code review to happen. — Werdna • talk 16:38, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

We've generally believed this sort of thing in the past to be due to pages with Set-Cookie headers getting incorrectly saved in cache and sent out to some other people. May or may not still have such things... brion (talk) 17:13, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Page layout errors

The layout of Wikipedia pages has recently changed to that every link on a page now appears by itself on its own line, which looks awful. The "printable" version of a page looks the same as always, however. Have you begun using some advanced HTML function that is not supported by my old browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer Version 5.00.2314.110031C, running under Windows 95)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:42, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Confirmed with - IE 5.01 / Windows 2000. IE 5.5 works though - [6]. (IE 4 is broken in an even more interesting way). Mr.Z-man 23:11, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
rev:51807 added some more "child combinator" selectors to shared.css. IE5 has a horrible regressive state (since child combinators didn't exist even in draft) whereby, rather than ignoring this CSS2 property, it parses it as a comma.
#p-logo a {display:none;}
This would parse in both IE5 and lets say "good" browsers, as 'Hide any link descendants of the logo".
#p-logo > a {display:none;}
In good browsers, this would just hide links that were direct children. In IE5 however, it basically sees:
#p-logo, a {display:none;}
Which is "hide any object with id="p-logo", and any links."
This means per 51807 all LI are being applied the styles float: right;, and links display: block;. This could either be fixed in IE50Fixes.css, or by convincing Trevor Parscal to give the objects better classes and not refer to descendants. Note: I too have IE5 but I never use it. --Splarka (rant) 00:11, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
And fixed in rev:52402. These were also broken in IE6, although in this case it was simply ignored, not totally misinterpreted. And since more than two people use IE6 this was apparently an actionable problem. --Splarka (rant) 14:46, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Italic titles

Why aren't some ways of italicising titles working at the moment? Articles like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus with: <span id="RealTitle" style="display:none">Methicillin-resistant ''Staphylococcus areus'' </span> and articles that have {{taxobox}} with the "name" parameter (Paracerceis sculpta) aren't working at the moment. {{italictitle}} used to italicise the Homo in Homo (genus), but doesn't anymore too. What is wrong? Smartse (talk) 22:30, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

See request for template edit at Template talk:Taxobox title, and the recent repair to {italic title}. Celefin (talk) 22:46, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Just to clarify, this recent change [7] removed the RealTitle system. For flexible title italicisation, it is now necessary to use the magic word DISPLAYTITLE, for example:
{{DISPLAYTITLE:Methicillin-resistant ''Staphylococcus aureus''}} Celefin (talk) 22:54, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I think we need guidelines for use of DISPLAYTITLE. There is some discussion at MediaWiki talk:Common.js#Technical restrictions code ready to be removed about implementing it as a template. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 17:05, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Collection/create-a-book extension tweaks

Just a quick note y'all -- we've implemented bugzilla:18902 so we can limit saving of collections to autoconfirmed users and above. Will be peeking at other issues with it over the next weeks. --brion (talk) 22:50, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Announcement of pending Checkuser and oversight elections

The Arbitration Committee has determined that there is a need for further oversighters and checkusers to improve workload distribution and ensure complete, timely response to requests. Beginning June 20, 2009, experienced editors are invited to apply for either or both of Oversight or CheckUser permissions. Current holders of either permission are also invited to apply. Voting will begin on July 28, 2009 and close on August 10, 2009. Further information, including instructions for application and a complete timeline, are available at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/CheckUser and Oversight elections/August 2009. For further information about the Committee's relevant resolutions, please see the Arbitration Committee noticeboard.

For the Arbitration Committee,
Risker (talk) 02:53, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Customise editing-toolbar or special-characters-list

Is it possible for me to remove some of the buttons that I don't often use (such as Button bold.png) and replace them with buttons to paste in my own custom text, something that I'd find useful?

Or could I do something equivalent with the – — … ‘ “ ’ ” ° ″ ′ ≈ ≠ ≤ ≥ ± − × ÷ ← → · § toolbar beneath the edit-window? Thanks! ╟─TreasuryTagprorogation─╢ 18:59, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Could probably be scripted without too much difficulty; I'll look into trying to write something, because I also think that that would be more useful. –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 19:13, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Adding buttons is easy with mw:Manual:Custom edit buttons in your user js. You can hide existing edit buttons with your user css, eg:
#mw-editbutton-bold {display:none;}
--Splarka (rant) 07:52, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Ooh, great, that's very helpful. Just one more thing... how do I find the mw-editbutton-bold tag for each button? ╟─TreasuryTagconstabulary─╢ 20:12, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

You'll have to view the html source, then you want the id attribute of each button. - Jarry1250 (t, c, rfa) 20:15, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
No, I tried that, but it only has the id for the first few, for some reason. Take a look yourself. ╟─TreasuryTaginspectorate─╢ 20:21, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I thought that answer was too easy to be true ;) I suppose you could try img[src=whatever]{ but I don't know whether that'd work here. - Jarry1250 (t, c, rfa) 20:28, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
In edit.js:
function addButton(imageFile, speedTip, tagOpen, tagClose, sampleText, imageId) {
Following the convoluted code you can see this 6th parameter is set as the id attribute on the image tag. Viewing an edit page source you can see these. Or you can look at the post-js html with a debugging plugin (or in mozilla, hilight it and 'view selection source'). It looks something like this. --Splarka (rant) 06:35, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Preferences changed by themselves

{{resolved}} My settings for Image size limit and Thumbnail size (under Appearance) both changed to the smallest value, but I didn't change them. Any idea what happened, and what are the default values? --Apoc2400 (talk) 20:27, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

The defaults are (I think) 800x600px and 180px respectively. No idea what happened, though. ╟─TreasuryTaghemicycle─╢ 22:04, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I actually had the same problem after the new MediaWiki software update. I normally have it set to 1024x768, but the software update knocked it down to 320x240, for some reason. A quick change, however, was all that was needed to return to normal. The Earwig (Talk | Editor review) 22:07, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

This was a bug that I fixed, but I'm not sure if the fix is live. I'll make sure it's been deployed now. — Werdna • talk 16:36, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Should have been deployed. Let me know if it happens again. — Werdna • talk 16:37, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Text/Image overlap

I noticed text/image overlap problems with the Atum article. The line of text beginning "Atum is one of the most important ..." overlaps both the left and right hand images using Firefox 3.0.11 and using Google Chrome browsers. I don't see this overlap problem with Internet Explorer 6.0.2900.5512.xsp_sp3_gdr.09026-1234, but all three browsers have text/image overlap problems with the footnote numbers in the Notes section. Firefox and Chrome overlap the footnote numbers on top of the image, IE overlaps the image on top, partially obscuring the footnote numbers. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 23:11, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Arrrgggghhhhh layout!!! It doesn't overlap for me, but either way, the layout of that article needs a heavy dose of fix-i-ness. Ale_Jrbtalk 23:25, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
If you want to see the issue, you need to look at this version. This is a known issue discussed several times. The only fix is to move the offending image a bit. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 10:54, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

sub page is not working properly

I am trying to create a new article, on one of my sub pages, here. However, it won't save some new material, and seems to be off and on about "reading" references and placing them at the bottom in the reference section. In other words, some of the new text doesn't show up when I save the page, and disappears. And it's not reading some of the references either. In addition, the talk page may have the same problem. Thanks in advance for looking into it. Ti-30X (talk) 23:58, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Oh yeah, I was working on this at a previous sub page and moved it because of this same problem. Thanks again. Ti-30X (talk) 00:01, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

This is usually caused by mismatched <ref> tags - if you begin a reference and forget to close it with </ref>, the wiki thinks that everything until the end of the page (or until it encounters another </ref> tag later in the page) is part of the reference. This can cause the affected text to not be displayed, although it should still save the page contents correctly, albeit with the broken <ref> tags. Hope this helps. Gavia immer (talk) 00:13, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Be careful that "ref" tags are closed. In particular, <ref>Kaku, pp.18,19<\ref> is probably not considered "closed" - the end tag needs to be </ref>. Gimmetrow 00:14, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
OK. The (ref) tags are probably the problem. Thanks for looking into this. Ti-30X (talk) 18:00, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Hyperlinks in collapsable boxes

I'd like to put some links to oldIDs or diffs in a collapsable box, but it's not working out too well. See my subpage here. Any bright ideas?--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 03:01, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Check it out now. I added a 1= right before the box content, because the equal signs in the links were messing up the content rendering. I hope that helps! The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 03:34, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I ran into exactly the same problem while requesting to be unblocked earlier tonight. Another thing.... on the same page, my first bullet is rendering as an actual asterisk. Is there a way to fix this?--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 04:29, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Get into the habit of calling the first parameter explicitly, i.e. {{foo|1=foo bar}}, especially for templates that are signed, or have links in them. –xenotalk 04:43, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I misread what you said. It appears the 1= is actually what is causing the problem. Fixed using {{oldid}} (now you no longer require it to be explicitly named and the first asterisk is bulletfied). Also users logging in thru secure server won't get pushed onto the unsecured network. –xenotalk 04:49, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Very good to know. That's exactly what I wanted. Cheers, The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 04:57, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

template tweak help

Hi, I need what is probably a simply tweak on Template:Rescue tagged. I have a show/hide box and it seems to be pushed below the image there. I'd like it to instead be immediately after the initial text so it ends up next to the image and the whole template thus a bit shorter. Any help appreciated. -- Banjeboi 04:31, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

how's that then? –xenotalk 04:41, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
It still seems to be doing the same thing and pushed below the image? -- Banjeboi 05:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Ah yes, on lesser endowed monitors. This should do 'er. –xenotalk 12:46, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
LOL. I won't take that personally! Thank you for all your help. -- Banjeboi 21:41, 22 June 2009 (UTC)


Is this okay to import? importScript('User:TheDJ/qui.js'); ---Scarce |||| You shouldn't have buried me, I'm not dead--- 09:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Given the caveats on the page, then yes. TheDJ is pretty sharp on that stuff. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 10:48, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Date unlinking bot proposal

The community RFC about a proposal for a bot to unlink dates is now open. Please see Wikipedia:Full-date unlinking bot and comment here. Dabomb87 (talk) 13:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

IP address for only?

The owner of an ISP in Belarus sent an e-mail to OTRS asking for technical help. Although he charges a per-use fee to his subscribers, he wants to give traffic to for free. He tried to add the IP to his "free traffic list", but he found that all languages of Wikipedia are aliases for a single IP. He wants to know if there is a way to grant subscribers free access to only. (For OTRS users, this is ticket #2009062210015755.) Does anyone here know of a solution? – Quadell (talk) 14:39, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

m:Wikimedia Forum‎ might be a better place to ask since the Stewards tend to be up on all the interwiki IP info. MBisanz talk 14:49, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I've asked there. – Quadell (talk) 15:40, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Incorrect links in the PDF output

The links provided in the PDF output of articles go to e.g. instead of --Eleassar my talk 20:06, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Reported to Bugzilla (bug 19350). Cheers. Ale_Jrbtalk 16:31, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The PediaPress devs are aware, and should be able to apply a fix pretty soon. Thanks for the report! --brion (talk) 17:07, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

abuse filter log

I noticed that apparently blocked users cannot view the abuse filter log. I think this is pointless because anonymous users can view that log, so all you have to do is log out to view the abuse filter log. Am I the only one who thinks like that? -- Prince Kassad (talk) 20:27, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Somewhat pointless, but just as pointless to fix or worry about =) One possible reason is to prevent the blockee from immediately figuring out how the AF caught them, at least the ones that aren't bright enough to log out and check. Presumably the autoblock would prevent them as well. –xenotalk 04:56, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
After painstaking research, yes, they won't be able to view the abuse log from their IP while autoblocked. –xenotalk 05:04, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

But if they really wanted to know they could use a third-party service such as WebCite to fetch a copy of — CharlotteWebb 21:52, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

edit link problem in the Outline of Gibraltar

There are a number of section edit links that are bunched up on Outline of Gibraltar.

How do you fix that?

The Transhumanist 21:43, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

See {{fixbunching}}. Give me a minute and I'll fix it for you. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 21:45, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
 Done. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 21:50, 22 June 2009 (UTC)


Any ideas why this page is getting so much traffic ? It's currently the number 1 page with 49,505 hits last hour. I don't think users would search for 'search' ? So that's probably a malfunction of some sites or softwares, abroad. Cenarium (talk) 22:01, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

A bot to add "redundant=yes" to images that need it in Category:License migration candidates

There's a bot request at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/DrilBot 3 to go through Category:License migration candidates and add |redundant=yes to images which need it needed. This sounds like a great idea to me, but I wanted to see if anyone here sees a problem with the request that I don't. All the best, – Quadell (talk) 22:33, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

How to use column-alignment in wikitables and counter-variables/templates

I was pointed to this place to try my luck in geting a helpful answer here. :)

1) I have a long wikitable with 6 columns. Is there a possibility to get the columns aligned specifically without spend an extra align in each cell? Say, 1 colmn left, 2. colum, center, 3 colmn right, e.t.c. I know the e.g. style="text-align:right" for aligning all cells by default e.g. right.

2) Is there a possibility to get counters? So a template:Count which on each call increases by 1 and returns this value as a numerical string (perhaps even with an initialization value)? I only found fixed variables in Wikipedia, but not user-definable variables.

Thanks in advance, Achim1999 (talk) 23:11, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

(1) You can use a template call instead of each row, thus making it easy to change something for the whole column. Related bug: mediazilla:986 ("[tables] Please implement COL, COLGROUP"). (2) is not possible as far as I know. — AlexSm 18:45, 23 June 2009 (UTC)


{{formatnum|1000}} renders as

Use the colon (:) to invoke the magic word directly instead of the pipe (|) which invokes the template.

Has the {{formatnum}} parser function been broken by the soft redirect at [[Template:Formatnum]]? -- Boracay Bill (talk) 01:34, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Try using a colon: {{formatnum:1000}} = 1,000. The syntax has not been changed or broken. —Remember the dot (talk) 01:41, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
That's correct. Because it is a parser function, you don't use a pipe (|) to separate the operation and the operand, you use a colon (:). The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 01:43, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

This soft-redirect should be deleted, as it only serves to confuse users. I actually deleted the preexisting template back in January after a TFD discussion. Ruslik_Zero 18:32, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

It's now "backward compatible", see comment [8]. We can't expect the average editor to know the difference between templates/parser-functions, i.e. when to use a "|" or a ":", so we should try to accommodate plausible variations wherever possible, then normalize them now and then if there is a non-trivial efficiency gain. This will also stave off the creation of a behaviorally different template sharing the same name as the parser-function (which would only cause more confusion). — CharlotteWebb 21:25, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Has anyone just consider setting up a warning message when they use the template? A bit like the Error messages with the parser functions? — Dispenser 23:53, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

The red angry salad should be reserved for fatal errors, not for general nit-picking. Good error message:

  • input 'asjdflasjgaskgj' is invalid and probably not a number so we don't know what to do with it—abort, retry, fail?

Bad error message:

  • we would format this number '42180236.957' for you but we feel like being a dick because you used the wrong syntax.

Hint: it's not about the word choice. — CharlotteWebb 00:29, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Yeah because silently correcting their mistakes is going to let them know in the future that when they attempt to use magic word. I have seen plenty of examples of that from The Old New Thing blog to know that is a horrible idea. — Dispenser 01:06, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Delete per {{padleft}}, {{padright}} , etc. --Splarka (rant) 07:59, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

ParserFunctions and Magic words

Why doesn't {{#if:__TOC__|foo|bar}} do the right thing, even if __FORCETOC__ is present? --Thinboy00 @231, i.e. 04:32, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

What's the right thing? You can't detect the presence of a Table of contents box like that.... --MZMcBride (talk) 04:45, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Why not? --Thinboy00 @248, i.e. 04:57, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
The #if statement tests if the parameter passed to it is non-empty, so the value has to be a parameter, not a bit of wikicode you want to see if exists in the article. –xenotalk 04:59, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
But it works on {{ns:0}}! (see wikicode). --Thinboy00 @252, i.e. 05:02, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
What is that intended to demonstrate? {{ns:0}} evaluates to the empty string, so you get the second option in your #if. What does that have to do with TOCs? Algebraist 11:53, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
__TOC__ will output the table of contents, but only in the first instance of __TOC__ on the page. If the parser function is the first instance, then the string will be non-empty, and the parser function will "work" as you intended, but you'll see no table of contents. If the parser function is not the first instance of __TOC__ then the string is empty and the parser function fails. Also, __TOC__ and __FORCETOC__ are antagonistic: one forces the table of contents to display at that location, whereas the other forces it to appear in its default position above the first section header. haz (talk) 17:20, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually, it seems from some testing that __TOC__ is processed after parser functions, templates, and such are done. So {{#if:__TOC__|foo|bar}} will always be true, and will not affect the TOC since the magic word ends up not rendered on the page. See? Anomie 23:51, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Because of the way __TOC__ is processed, it can't be used that way in a parser function. It would require an extra parser pass to do it properly. At the point of template expansion, that magic word is stored as a placeholder. — Werdna • talk 00:18, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Search result interface messages

Two messages that should be changed to make search results more comprehensible:

--Tgr (talk) 06:54, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

I created the first page. I am not sure that "(redirected from YYY)" is better as nothing is really redirected during the search. Ruslik_Zero 09:16, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe a format like "word definitions from Wiktionary", "quotes from Wikiquote" etc would be more clear? --rainman (talk) 09:22, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Changed. Ruslik_Zero 09:27, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I changed the second to "redirect from". Ruslik_Zero 09:20, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

'Lost' wiki tool

I was reading the Warwickshire page a while ago, maybe a month, and when I looked on the talk page, I found reference to this tool. I have since contacted the user who displayed the results (Snowmanradio - see here, but he said that he could no longer find it. Does anyone know anything about it?

Also, any information on 'Wiki tools' would be greatly appreciated as I don't really understand them. De Mattia (talk) 09:26, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

You probably want this tool. -- Prince Kassad (talk) 10:31, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Uploading SVG files

We frequently get requests to upload SVG files on WP:Images for upload, particularly for the swine flu maps. One unregistered user posts the code for the file on a talk page (example) and requests that files are updated. Currently this is what I do:

  • Go to the talk page. Edit it and copy the contents to the clipboard.
  • Open a text editor and paste the contents.
  • Save the file with the extension .svg
  • Go to the file to be updated and click "Upload a new version"
  • Browse to find the file on my computer and then upload it

I keep thinking there must be an easier way. (Of course the easiest would be for the user to get an account, but clearly he/she doesn't want to do that.) Apart from that, how can I reduce the number of steps? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 14:39, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

I noticed that as well. This is way out of my league, but isn't an SVG an XML file? Isn't there a way to know what parts of the XML refer to each country and the color assigned, then use a table where one simply toggles an entry to change the color?--SPhilbrickT 14:53, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

See mw:Extension:Inline SVG which would essentially allow you to paste the SVG code into a template rather than uploading it as an image. I'd have to experiment with this to know for sure, but you might be able to include parameters, parser-functions, etc. within the SVG code. For example: a map which renders with different labels/captions based on the {{{lang}}} parameter.

Even for SVGs which are uploaded as "files", it would be nice to have a way to quickly make a few minor changes without having to load an external program and pollute it with Inkscape meta-data upon saving. See bugzilla:5899. — CharlotteWebb 21:37, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Inkscape has a "save as plain SVG" option, but wiki-editing of SVGs would be nice (even if many people probably wouldn't know how to do it). Anomie 11:38, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Sometimes it is just a spelling error, which would be easy to fic without understanding any code. This example is a png, but it could have been SVG.[9] Myself I think it is just as easy to re-upload it just like any other file correction. (talk) 16:13, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Redlinks for certain redirects

I'd like to request that, if a link leads back to the same article (a circular reference), its color be changed to a redlink (or some other color). This would make it easier for editors to spot problems (though there exist bots that handle this in some cases). SharkD (talk) 21:17, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure if it would be good to build this into the core MediaWiki, but User:Anomie/linkclassifier.js does a good job of highlighting them for any users who install it. –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 21:23, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
OK, thanks. SharkD (talk) 00:47, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Internet Explorer 8 Compactabality Errors

(just copy and paste from my help desk query). {{Help}} The above buttons {cite, bold, signature, etc) does not seem to be working in my version of IE8. Please help, Tyw7‍ ‍‍ (TalkContributions) Leading Innovations >>> 21:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

They work fine for me in Firefox, Chrome and IE 8.0. Is there any chance you disabled javascript? The buttons require it to be enabled. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 21:27, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The buttons work when I log out. --Tyw7‍ ‍‍ (TalkContributions) Leading Innovations >>> 21:49, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
You have a lot of entries in User:Tyw7/monobook.js. Try removing them and bypass your cache. If that fixes the problem, then add them back a bit at a time until it breaks ago. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 22:07, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Which section is causing the problem? --Tyw7‍ ‍‍ (TalkContributions) Leading Innovations >>> 22:11, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Even clearing the page does not work. --Tyw7‍ ‍‍ (TalkContributions) Leading Innovations >>> 22:13, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

There is a yellow error on page error on the botton left of the bar. This is what it says: Webpage error details

User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1) ; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.30; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.648; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729) Timestamp: Mon, 22 Jun 2009 22:14:34 UTC

Message: Expected identifier, string or number Line: 4 Char: 1 Code: 0 URI:

Message: Object doesn't support this property or method Line: 1697 Char: 2 Code: 0 URI:

Message: 'Namespace' is undefined Line: 30 Char: 1 Code: 0 URI:

Message: Expected identifier, string or number Line: 60 Char: 2 Code: 0 URI:

Message: Object doesn't support this property or method Line: 598 Char: 3 Code: 0 URI:

Message: Unexpected call to method or property access. Line: 83 Char: 3 Code: 0 URI:

--Tyw7‍ ‍‍ (TalkContributions) Leading Innovations >>> 22:15, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Hm. It looks like your JavaScript is desperately in need of fixing. Are the edit toolbar buttons appearing at all, or are they simply unclickable? I'm worried that there might be some underlying problem, and per the above, I haven't a clue why your browser is unable to parse something as simply as MediaWiki's edit.js. Might I suggest sticking with another browser? That should fix the problem, at least temporarily. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 00:19, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Also, may I ask that you tone down your signature a tad? It appears very large on screen and takes up at least three lines in the edit window. Thanks! TNXMan 02:04, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, they appear, but is unclickable. However, when I logout, I can use those buttons. I have blanked the my javascript js but that doesn't work. --Tyw7‍ ‍‍ (TalkContributions) Leading Innovations >>> 03:33, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
How to fix this "java script" error. --Tyw7  (Talk ● Contributions) 21:49, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Try asking at the Technical Village Pump. Alternatively, you could just download Firefox. Hersfold (t/a/c) 22:22, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Twinkle doesn't work in IE. Mr.Z-man 02:39, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Which line of code should I delete? --Tyw7  (Talk ● Contributions) 12:15, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Deactivate Twinkle in the gadget section in your preferences. Locos epraix ~ Beastepraix 14:36, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Still won't work. --Tyw7  (Talk ● Contributions) 15:54, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
All lines in your monobook.js that contain "User:AzaToth" or "User:Ioeth". The Gadget version is deactivated automatically on IE, so you can activate them instead.
By the way, could you please remove the "<font size=5>" from your signature, per WP:SIG#Appearance and color? Thank you, Amalthea 16:58, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Nope it wouldn't work. The problem is still there. Might I need to remind you that if I logout, the buttons works.

Copy and pasting the error details below: Webpage error details

User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1) ; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.30; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.648; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729) Timestamp: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 17:53:16 UTC

Message: Object doesn't support this property or method Line: 1697 Char: 2 Code: 0 URI:

Message: Object doesn't support this property or method Line: 560 Char: 3 Code: 0 URI:

Message: Unexpected call to method or property access. Line: 83 Char: 3 Code: 0 URI:

Message: Unexpected call to method or property access. Line: 83 Char: 3 Code: 0 URI:

--Tyw7  (Talk ● Contributions) 17:53, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Now it says: Webpage error details

User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1) ; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.30; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.648; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729) Timestamp: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 17:58:41 UTC

Message: Unexpected call to method or property access. Line: 83 Char: 3 Code: 0 URI:

--Tyw7  (Talk ● Contributions) 17:59, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Regarding the signature, if I remove the font size=5, it shrinks it to unlegable size. --Tyw7  (Talk ● Contributions) 17:50, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Please remove everything from your monobook.js, deactivate all your gadgets, log out, completely clear your cache, log back in, and try again. And if you cannot read the font at the normal size, please pick a different font. Ale_Jrbtalk 19:02, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Two points. First, you might want to consider resetting your preferences while you do the steps Ale_Jrb suggested above, because this might be partially responsible for the problem. Second, how is something like Tyw7 (Talk • Contributions) for a signature? It solves the problem of being too large and illegible, and removes that annoying ● character that is driving me crazy. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 20:21, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Deactivating my gadget fixed the problem. That mean one of the gadgets is fixing the problem. I now enable:

Friendly Twinkle WikiEd

In the past I enabled all 6 gadgets. --Tyw7  (Talk ● Contributions) 17:49, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I already said that Twinkle doesn't work in Internet Explorer, according to their documentation, wikEd and Friendly don't either. If you want to use those scripts, I would recommend switching to a better browser, like Firefox, Safari or Chrome. Mr.Z-man 18:05, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
I've changed the WikiEd Gadget to not import the script if the editor is using IE, similar to how Twinkle and Friendly already guard themselves. Amalthea 10:01, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
How about reftool and hotcat? --Tyw7  (Talk ● Contributions) 12:21, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

portable devices

im writing this on a psp. wp is horrible on psp, berry, etc. tool bar takes half the screen but i have to scroll all the way down to see it. try british empire on a berry :( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Hm. Are you using the mobile site? The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 02:02, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
I'll make sure it's on our list of devices to test... -- (talk) 05:21, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Now thats awesome, thanks!

CAtegory intersections

Is there a tool that does this? I would like to find out the intersectn of eg, delisted FA/GAs and articles under a certain wikiproject to find out a list of demoted FA/GAs from the said project YellowMonkey (cricket calendar poll!) paid editing=POV 02:53, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

See [10] --Stefan talk 03:14, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Editing AN archives

Would someone more template-minded change {{Administrators' noticeboard navbox all}} & {{Administrators' noticeboard navbox}} to include the code <includeonly>{{{category|__NOEDITSECTION__}}}</includeonly> or something similar, and set up a flag to disable it? As opposed to adding a separate template to the 900+ archives that transclude it, this option seems to make more sense. I added the code without already and forgot that it is transcluded on AN and ANI, and nobody was able to edit sections there. Any takers? ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 06:48, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Seems a little pointless to me. If somebody wanted to manually archive a section, or bring it back out of archival, the NOEDITSECTION "feature" would just annoy them. Unless you're going to protect all the archive pages and allow no editing at all, you don't gain anything by preventing section edits, only waste bandwidth by allowing only full-page edits. So please explain what good this would do. — CharlotteWebb 21:00, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Charlotte. If you desire to copy a thread that has been archived, to restore it to the active noticeboard, the section-edit link is the best way to get hold of the thread's wiki text for copying. EdJohnston (talk) 23:14, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
I've previously refactored an archive so a discussion makes sense. Those edits would have been almost impossible without the edit section links. If the edit section links are removed in the AN archives, it would be better if they could be easily re-added, but that would also waste bandwidth. Graham87 01:58, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
It's not super important, it's just that this has been standard practice with archives. Archive headers have this built in. The idea is that, as nobody really watches archives, we don't want people coming across a conversation through a search or a What links here and attempting to participate. If this is not a desirable feature for archives to have, then many of ours should be changed. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 05:16, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't object to it if the template was easily removable, so if someone had a good reason to edit a particular section of an AN archive, they could do that. You raise a good point about consistency. Graham87 13:31, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
It would simply be a matter of switching it on for that page (as is obviously needed with the main AN and ANI pages), or just putting {{tl}} in the template code for the duration of the edit. Although, it is possible that whenever the change was made to the archive templates it wasn't by consensus. So the question is: Is it better that new editors clearly see that a possibly-contentious discussion on ANI is not current, or is it better that people be able to edit archives as easily as a normal page? I didn't realize that people were even actively editing archives. I do not think that archives should be protected, and I apologize if I implied that. Again the idea is not to stop editors from editing them, it's just for a clear distinction to be drawn to the untrained (and even the trained) between normal and archived pages. At the very least, protecting would prevent further archiving. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 14:48, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Eh, Johnny… if users would still have to make a full-page-edit (often the better part of a megabyte for AN/I) in order to disable the template which prevents them from making a section-edit, what good does it do?

Aside from the central issue, there should be a user-preference setting to override the NOEDITSECTION tag. This can be done reliably in javascript only when all the sections are directly part of the same page, but a script cannot determine that at a glance.

Maybe a better approach would for the page to only make the section-edit links invisible (instead of absent) when the NOEDITSECTION tag is present. This would be enough to address cosmetic issues such as when the [edit] links collide with floating images, infoboxes, etc. (which I thought was the primary application of this tag) but still allow it to be made visible to those wishing to override the "display:none;" bits.

If all you want is a visual distinction rather than a (dys)functional one, just change the background color (or add one of those big angry-salad edit-notices). — CharlotteWebb 09:41, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Date unlinking bot proposal RFC open

The community RFC about a proposal for a bot to unlink dates is now open. Please see Wikipedia:Full-date unlinking bot and comment here. --Apoc2400 (talk) 11:33, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Can't contact the database server: Unknown error (

Resolved: News-related news spike over

I've been getting a lot of these types of errors in the last hour or so. Sucks. SharkD (talk) 22:39, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I think it means "spend more time with your family and friends" - Pointillist (talk) 22:49, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Does it have anything to do with increased traffic due to the Michael Jackson situation? Dabomb87 (talk) 22:51, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Seems to; traffic load is a fair amount above our normal peak and we've seen some overload. We're keeping an eye on things... A little more info on the tech blog. --brion (talk) 22:57, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
There should be a way to place "problem" articles like this one on special servers (if only temporarily) so they don't screw things up for everyone else. Preferably in Latvia or Palau. Call them the "traffic quarantine servers" or "Wikmo" or something. SharkD (talk) 23:24, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
The tech blog is giving "internal server errors" right now. --Carnildo (talk) 21:42, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't complain, except I am doing un-bot-assisted work on categories, and it's easy to "lose my place". SharkD (talk) 23:11, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Seems OK now - how about you? - Pointillist (talk) 23:14, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, I'm finished for now. I'll work on other stuff later when things have died down (no pun intended). SharkD (talk) 23:24, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
For what it's worth, CNET says the LA Times site is having issues at the same time [11], so it probably is Jackson's death causing the server trouble. Gavia immer (talk) 00:36, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Odd behavior with piped wikilinks

Resolved: Behavior explained

I'm sure many of you know about this little feature: [[Wikipedia:Redlink|]] is expanded when the page is saved, producing: [[Wikipedia:Redlink|Redlink]] -- the extra pipe drops the namespace from the link text, and saves time when editing. I've no idea what to call that feature or I'd have used a slightly more descriptive thread title.

However, entering [[User:Text before comma, text after comma|]] produces [[User:Text before comma, text after comma|Text before comma]]. Note that while the link target remains correct, the link text has omitted text after a comma. Seems unusual to me, although it's probably not a big deal, either way. Any insight? – Luna Santin (talk) 23:21, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

BTW, it's called the pipe trick. Dabomb87 (talk) 23:29, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
The comma formatting is useful for converting, say [[London, England|]] into [[London, England|London]]. Of course, in that case, just [[London]] would work, but not always. It also works nicely for page titles like [[Joseph Schmoe, Viscount Whatchamacallit]] etc. Gavia immer (talk) 00:46, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

You have me to blame for the comma support, waaay back in the day :) --NE2 00:59, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Ahh, nifty. :) Thanks all! – Luna Santin (talk) 01:44, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

userbox weirdness

Resolved: Page cleaned up

Why is it when I transclude this userbox Wikipedia:WikiProject Outline of knowledge/userboxes/created outlines it looses its formatting as seen here? -- penubag  (talk) 00:16, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't know. Why do you have all those variables? Have you tried using the {{userbox}} meta-template? ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 01:04, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I removed them and it works now. Thanks -- penubag  (talk) 09:56, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Revision content disappeared

See most if not all of the revisions listed for Dungeons & Dragons at [12]. The content of the old revisions seems to have disappeared completely, starting from May 2005 and continuing back I don't know how long. Any ideas on what happened? Database bug? And doesn't this cause GFDL problems? –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 03:18, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm seeing this too, though it is worth noting that 2004 revisions were loading for me. Dragons flight (talk) 03:34, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay; I didn't check too far back. –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 03:38, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
The problem has also occurred at Temple (Latter Day Saints) and augment. I have a hunch that it might have something to do with the change in compression formats in early 2005 - see this post on the administrators' noticeboard. Graham87 10:45, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
So is there any way to get the revisions back that you know of? –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 16:37, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Nope, the sysadmins are the only people who *might* be able to recover the text. Graham87 18:14, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

source tag doesn't support overflow: auto

See Wikipedia:Double redirects#Old Topbanana method. The source tag doesn't seem to support the use of the overflow: auto CSS style to wrap the text to the width of the containing element. Is this intentional, or a bug? Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 10:03, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

I do not see any problem. What browser are you using? Ruslik_Zero 10:16, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Maybe related to the #GeSHi_update mentioned above? ^demon[omg plz] 13:10, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Bug 10081. I think it has always been the case. --Splarka (rant) 14:49, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it has. Cheers for the bug #. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 15:30, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Huggle Newbie

I was given rollback and I am trying to install Huggle. On Wikipedia:Huggle/Configuration I clicked the User subpage link which I don't clearly understand. Am I to create this page? Then am I to populate it according to the option:value scheme depicted on the Configuration page? Due to the warning, I'd rather ask here than proceed. Thank you. Newportm (talk) 10:26, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

No, you just need to put "enable:true" on it, save, then huggle away. - Jarry1250 [ humourousdiscuss ] 10:29, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

How to add link sidebar toolbox ( Upload file-->Wikipedia:Upload)

How to add link sidebar toolbox ( Upload file-->Wikipedia:Upload)

Dear All I am from Bengali Wikipedia ans I am admin there. I want to create same approach to our wiki as English wiki sidebar Toolbox section Upload file link to Wikipedia:Upload. How do you create that? Please explain. If any kind of change to be done in any MediaWiki page, please secify me. I want to create for only registar user can see the Upload file. Thanks in advance.- Jayanta Nath (Talk|Contrb) 18:46, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

See MediaWiki:Uploadwizard-url, change it to the desired target page Triplestop x3 22:50, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks,But I already did that in our wiki (MediaWiki:Uploadwizard-url link to Wikipedia:Upload). But still in our wiki we see upload file link to Special:Upload. I think it has to be done any change in MediaWiki:Common.js and MediaWiki:Monobook.js or any other MediaWiki pages.Any help?- Jayanta Nath (Talk|Contrb) 07:40, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
You need to request a change to your mw:Manual:$wgUploadNavigationUrl. You can see some examples of this at InitialiseSettings.php (warning, heavy page load). Here are some past requests from other projects, in bugzilla (for inspiration). --Splarka (rant) 08:00, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Triplestop and Splarka.- Jayanta Nath (Talk|Contrb) 08:42, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Creating redirects with bot

Hi, can a developer check this Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/BOTijo 2 (again), please? emijrp (talk) 18:51, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

"Rescaled fairuse images more than 7 days old" category not working

On 16 June, I made a thumbnail of File:SFIVcover.jpg to comply with Fair Use policy. The page transcluded the template Non-free reduce which gave the instruction:
"Once a reduced version of this file has been uploaded, please replace this template with {{Non-free reduced|~~~~~}}."
I did what it said, and administrators are supposed to delete the original file after seven days. When I checked the page today, the original file still hadn't been deleted even though it was a few days after the seven days. I realised that the template I added was supposed to add the page to the category Rescaled fairuse images more than 7 days old (which administrators are supposed to check), but it hadn't (there are no files in the category when there should be lots). I would fix the template, but it uses a parser function. I used to be fairly good at using them, but since I don't edit MediaWiki wikis too much now, I can't remember some of the things so well (I should have more practice). Thanks!
--Super Shy Guy Bros.Not shy? 21:15, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

The template is fine, but MediaWiki doesn't properly recategorize pages just because a parser function suddenly evaluates differently: It needs a (null) edit to the page, just like all pages tagged with {{db-c1}} and {{db-t3}} currently do, and some other templates. I've talked to someone recently who is thinking about creating a bot to performs periodic null edits to the affected pages, to force recategorization. Until then, the conditional categorization in those templates is effectively broken. Amalthea 22:25, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Why not just sort them into dated cats like PROD? Triplestop x3 22:54, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
And who will create, categorize, and delete those daily cats? Depending on the amount of pages that have to be organized, I believe both methods have their raison d'être. Amalthea 23:25, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
What if we merged all dated delete tags into one category as well as keeping a separate category for all pages with each type of delete tag? All delete tags (di, prod, etc) are the same in principle, after 7 days if the tag is left in place the page is deleted. That way admins would only have to check one category for daily deletions. Triplestop x3 01:41, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
A bot would create the category (like I believe is done for all the other ones) and whoever deletes the last page in the category deletes the category. Mr.Z-man 01:45, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Hi, there;s been a similar discussion at Template_talk:Db-meta#Suggestion_for_Db-c1. And the result was that (since this is a common problem) a list of categories should be made, called Category:Pages in need of null edits every 1 days, Category:Pages in need of null edits every 2 days, Category:Pages in need of null edits every 3 days etc. and then a bot (I've been meaning to add this function into User:SDPatrolBot for quite a while now) would be made to go through all the pages in this category, and if they haven't been edited for this amount of time, to do a null edit. Which should update the templates which are made to change after a period of time. If this template was added to the category Category:Pages in need of null edits every 7 days then the bot would edit it after seven days. I've taken a long time over programming this (haven't even started yet), but it should be fairly easy,so I'll try and get round to it. - Kingpin13 (talk) 04:57, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Why not just write a bot to make dated categories? That would use far less resources. Mr.Z-man 05:07, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
It would be far more complicated, needlessly so. Also, this way it allows the null edit categories be used for a range of things, not just templates which have categories which change over time - Kingpin13 (talk) 07:24, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Not really, that's what we do for every other deletion category that works like this. We already have a bot that does it - User:DumbBOT, it would probably be extremely trivial to just add another couple of categories to its list, then all that would have to be done is to update the templates. A bot for doing null edits was recently discussed and likely would have been rejected if it wasn't withdrawn. Mr.Z-man 15:27, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay, since null edit bots seem to be disapproved of, I wont make it. If DumbBOT is already doing this with other categories then it would probably be easiest for it to do this. - Kingpin13 (talk) 19:02, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Location stuff

There are several different ways that locations (in coordinate form) are given on wikipedia - Degrees minutes and seconds, decimal degrees, degrees and decimal minutes... This can make it a bit annoying. Would it be possible to add some sort of user setting to choose which you want to see, and have all templates convert their input to a standard output which is formatted however the user prefers? I'm thinking sort of like how dates are displayed. -mattbuck (Talk) 00:14, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

One problem with that, which reared its head with the date display preferences, is you then get articles with disparate formats appearing to editors as just using one type, but to other readers as a mess. Another problem is we have requested such facilities for years with no success. Rich Farmbrough, 14:00, 27 June 2009 (UTC).
We created CSS to allow for specifying the displayed format, see Template:Coord#Display. We really need gadgets extended to allow for this sort of preference options. — Dispenser 17:14, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, that'll do for now. Thanks very much! -mattbuck (Talk) 17:20, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

JavaScript Error

Aitias contacted me some days ago for an issue with one of my scripts. When it got down to it, there was an error that involved the Location.toString method; I started experiencing the same error today from Wikipedia:WikiProject User scripts/Scripts/Fix lowercase first letter problem. Even after removing the script, the bug persisted in my Error Console. Does somebody more clueful than me about these matters know what's up? —Animum (talk) 02:45, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

You might have to clear your cache. Triplestop x3 03:09, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Heh, whoops! I did clear my cache several times during the same browser session, but I didn't realize that you have to either exit out of Firefox or clear the Error Console itself to purge the errors. —Animum (talk) 22:47, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
I've made that mistake before :). Firebug is awesome for Javascript debugging - including that Javascript errors don't remain when you leave the page. If you regularly create Javascript scripts in Firefox, I highly recommend it. Ale_Jrbtalk 22:57, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Please stop editing?

I was updating a Pacific Electric Railway template when I was abruptly warned against "blanking out or deleting" a BSicon (with the threat of being blocked from editing), though I did no such thing as far as I am aware, and the icon still exists. Has anyone had this problem/know what I'm talking about? Samhuddy (talk) 22:20, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

It sounds to me like you triggered the abuse filter, but I can't find a log of it. When did the warning appear? Do you remember a bit more specifically what it said? Ale_Jrbtalk 22:24, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
I was previewing an edit I had made, and it warned me about blanking out the page uCONTr. Of course, that page didn't exist, and the correct form was BSicon uCONTr.svg, which as you can see exists, and which I was using.

Samhuddy (talk) 22:30, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Hmm - definitely the abuse filter. You can safely ignore it, though you may want to report the issue on Wikipedia:Abuse filter/False_positives - I don;t know a huge amount about it. Ale_Jrbtalk 22:33, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Customizing Monobook Skin

Hi, I am a reader of wikipedia for sometime, but just signed up today so I could log in with a customized coloring to the skin, the reason being is I have problems with bright colors and glare. I copied the text from Memory Alpha, something that usually works only to find out, that the sidebars (which I had figured) don't change (but the text does), and a lot of the main content pages are still white (but the text has changed). Is there an idea at all on how to fix this, maybe something I have done wrong somewhere? I don't completely understand wiki coding, so I am not sure where I am supposed to start. --Terran Officer (talk) 23:27, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

See Help:User style. You generally can use CSS to customize coloring. Ruslik_Zero 07:10, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
If I'm correct, you're also wondering why the background of this page is a light blue color, while the background of other pages is white, right? That's intended as a way to distinguish between the actual articles, and the pages that are not exactly articles but related to Wikipedia itself, like this one, user pages, talk pages, and some others. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 14:34, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the help, as for what I am asking/looking for/wondering, is why these pages are darker when I insert the code (I make so many edits because I am slowly figuring out what the add filled MA uses and what this wiki does not need or will use) these type of pages change to conform to the darker colors, while the article pages (and the main page, etc...) will not change. What do I enter in the css for those such pages? The text changes colors but the white of the pages themselves will not. --Terran Officer (talk) 02:05, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Random Gaps

A technical glitch

Are we treating this as a problem with Internet Explorer 7 or is this something I can fix. If someone could inform me of how to fix these sort of problems cause I see it alot. See related image to the right.--AresAndEnyo (talk) 06:58, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

It can be fixed by using a better browser. Lugnuts (talk) 15:57, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
I kludged it by using the {{FixBunching}} template. – ukexpat (talk) 00:07, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

What I'd like to see is a set of standards for template sizes added to the MoS. Notice how the infobox and media player box are almost-but-not-quite the same size. This is ugly, IMO. SharkD (talk) 00:01, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Edits appearing in abuse filter page but not User Contributions page

Please see vs. Why don't the edits listed in the filter log show up in the User Contributions? Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 23:28, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

The edits don't appear in Special:Contributions because the change was never saved. The abuse filter will often warn users when they have made an inappropriate edit, and then the user will abide by the warning and not save the page. The abuse filter logs the action, but because there was never a change made, the "edit" won't appear in the contributions log, the page history, or anywhere else. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 00:00, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
(e/c) Because the user has been warned and didn't click save page again. You can try at testwiki: to see how it's done, add "the abuse filter will block this" to a random page. Cenarium (talk) 00:01, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, but the user wasn't warned, according to his Talk page. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 00:08, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
The warning appears as a dialogue, rather like a "you may not edit this page" dialogue on a protected page, so it's not a talkpage message. Acroterion (talk) 00:24, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Two images in the same thumbnail block?

Is there a way of placing more than one image in the same thumbnail block? The gallery tag sort of achieves this, but the styling is noticably different. SharkD (talk) 23:55, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Does {{Double image}} work for your purpose? PrimeHunter (talk) 00:06, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Awesome, thanks! SharkD (talk) 01:47, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Mathematical accuracy and editing diffculties caused by coding problems

Many of the mathematical entries in Wikipedia lack the accuracy and the precision expected from any mathematical entry. The problem is compounded by the very poor interface with any TeX, Latex, TeXML code that often sacrifices readability in the HTML format[1]; however, this is mostly, or at least partially, restored in the PDF format which is also available at Wikipedia[2], but that is not available at many of the online "Free Encyclopedia"s. This serious TeX compatibility coding problem for mathematical entries needs to be adequately addressed by the Wikipedia's programing team as it does severly limit its contents especially in areas that require diagrams that can be very nicely built in Latex or TeX, etc, but are not available at Wikipedia through its very limiting mathematical interface. Another easy route for improving Wikipedia's mathematical problems is the importing of available entries from mathematically and physically oriented websites that do have acceptable Latex or TeX coding and HTML conversion ability such as PlanetMath or Planetphysics/ where many such useful mathematical and mathematical physics entries are available [3]; the existing exchange program between Wikipedia and[4] is a first step in this direction, but so far only relatively few exchanges have taken place between the two Encyclopedia websites (less than 0.1 percent of the available entries) because of the coding conflict problem pointed out in this section [5]-- a major Wikipedia limitation that needs to be addressed by Wikipedia programers as soon as possible. On the other hand, the PDF books sections of such websites[6][7][8] do not suffer from this coding problem, and therefore the percentage exchanged of the GNUL, PDF formatted books is greater than 10 percent at present. Planetphysics/ where many such useful mathematical and mathematical physics entries are available [9]; the existing exchange program between Wikipedia and is a first step in this direction, but so far only relatively few exchanges have taken place between the two Encyclopedia websites (less than 0.1 percent of the available entries) because of the coding conflict problem pointed out in this section-- a major Wikipedia limitation that needs to be addressed by Wikipedia programers as soon as possible. On the other hand, the PDF books sections of such websites do not suffer from this coding problem, and therefore the percentage exchanged of the GNUL, PDF formatted books is greater than 10 percent at present. Planetphysics/ where many such useful mathematical and mathematical physics entries are available; the existing exchange program between Wikipedia and is a first step in this direction, but so far only relatively few exchanges have taken place between the two Encyclopedia websites (less than 0.1 percent of the available entries) because of the coding conflict problem pointed out in this section-- a major Wikipedia limitation that needs to be addressed by Wikipedia programers as soon as possible. On the other hand, the PDF books sections of such websites do not suffer from this coding problem, and therefore the percentage exchanged of the GNUL, PDF formatted books is greater than 10 percent at present. - The WP-MATH project at Wikipedia can only address a small part of such coding issues because of the cumbersome and inherently limited/inflexible/difficult to use Wikipedi's coding for mathematical purposes. Last but not least, in the NVOP sense, Wikipedia does have superior graphics and color illustrations in comparison with other online, free Encyclopedia websites, especially on its WikiCommons; such illustrations greatly enhance the explanations, and also substantially facilitate the understanding of the entry contents, with the notable exception of the absence of mathematical diagram building capabilities that Wikipedia now sadly lacks, and that the Latex-based websites, archives, on-line mathematical and theoretical physics journals, and so on, do have right now, and that have had such capabilities for at least the last 10 years. Thus, in terms of the Latex/TeX mathematical encoding abilities, Wikipedia's capabilities for mathematics and theoretical physics are at least ten years out of date, which is a pity. + The WP-MATH project at Wikipedia can only address a small part of such coding issues because of the cumbersome and inherently limited/inflexible/difficult to use Wikipedi's coding for mathematical purposes. Last but not least, in the NVOP sense, Wikipedia does have superior graphics and color illustrations in comparison with other online, free Encyclopedia websites, especially on its WikiCommons; such illustrations greatly enhance the explanations, and also substantially facilitate the understanding of the entry contents, with the notable exception of the absence of mathematical diagram building capabilities that Wikipedia now sadly lacks, and that the Latex-based websites, archives, on-line mathematical and theoretical physics journals, and so on, do have right now, and that have had such capabilities for at least the last 10 years. Thus, in terms of the Latex/TeX mathematical encoding abilities, Wikipedia's capabilities for mathematics and theoretical physics are at least ten years out of date, which is a pity. Bci2Nu 05:42, 29 June 2009 (UTC)Bci2Bci2Nu 05:42, 29 June 2009 (UTC)Problems with TeX on Wikipedia in math and theoretical physics entries

This is already quite rambling, but you never explain exactly how other sites do things differently / better. A few concrete examples of how things are encoded at other sites and how that is an improvement over Wikipedia might go a long way to helping developers understand what it is you would like to see accomplished here. Keep in mind that most developers simply aren't familiar with the other sites you mention and hence don't have a good frame of reference for this. Dragons flight (talk) 06:23, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't see how the level of LaTeX support could possibly make an equation more or less accurate... The equation is either correct or it isn't. Please provide some examples. SharkD (talk) 06:39, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't see any real concrete stuff here that a developer can act on. Saying "it sucks, do it like sites A, B and C" isn't very helpful. More specific things like "X feature is rather confusing" or "when I do Y, I expect Z but I get W" are much more useful to developers. ^demon[omg plz] 13:29, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
TLDR. Sorry. Happymelon 15:21, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

broken Category


There is a problem with the following Category:

Musical_instruments -> String_instruments -> Piano -> Pianists -> Pianists_by_genre -> Stride_pianists -> Boogie-Woogie pianists -> Stride_pianists ->...

The "Stride_pianists->Boogie-Woogie pianists->Stride_pianists->..." repeats endlessly.

See Category:Musical_instruments [13] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:56, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Problem was: two classes (categories) can never be subclasses of each other.


{{Resolved}} Have we just had an outage - the URL is unaccesable at the moment - I've just had to log in through the secure server. D.M.N. (talk) 19:57, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Power outage in our European servers. We've redirected Euro traffic to our US servers, but things may be a little sluggish for a bit. We're working on smoothing it out, and should hopefully have the situation resolved in the Netherlands soon. --brion (talk) 20:57, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the update. --Old Moonraker (talk) 21:00, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I got this message a few minutes ago. It was one of many like this.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 21:10, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
GET, from via (squid/2.7.STABLE6) to ()Error: ERR_SOCKET_FAILURE, errno (98) Address already in use at Thu, 02 Jul 2009 20:26:08 GMT
I think it's been fixed Smartse (talk) 21:37, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
European servers are back online, and traffic's starting to switch back, so things should start behaving nicer soon. Also, the interface has been running fine as it's separate from the general proxy traffic. --brion (talk) 21:43, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Performance seems pretty much back to normal now. --brion (talk) 22:08, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

If Wikipedia isn't putting up a page telling me it's down, it's taking forever to bring up a page after I click on a link. Am I the only person having this problem? Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 22:11, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

No, it was extremely slow 15 minutes ago, taking forever to load. It is still slower than usual, but now at least it is possible to do some actual editing. --Saddhiyama (talk) 22:13, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
The Toolserver is in the same datacenter as the Wikimedia European servers, so they were also affected by the outage. The main webserver - - is up now, as is the server the bots run on. The database servers are mostly up. The copy of the s3 wikis (small wikis) is still down and the copy of the English Wikipedia database isn't updating at the moment. The stable tools server - - was moved to a new server and seems to be up now. Mr.Z-man 00:53, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

It just went down again for a few seconds, and has been really slow for the last half hour or so. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 03:40, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Image not showing up

{{resolved}} Is it just me or the image in June_Uprising_in_Lithuania#Nazi_advances_and_Soviet_retreat does not show up properly? The image itself is just a thin & tiny strip. The other image on top of the article seems fine to me. I am confused. Thanks, Renata (talk) 12:42, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

You should try to bypass your browsercache. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:48, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I cleared out my entire cache -- did not help. The image shows up like that since I added it. I am in the process of completely re-writing the article. Renata (talk) 13:04, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
What kind of browser and OS are you using ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:31, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
The image was not displaying properly for me also. I reset the image cache at commons, then reloaded the article page in Firefox while holding the shift key. The image is now displaying properly in the article. This procedure should work for any image with this issue. Please add a {{Resolved}} tag at the beginning of this section after the header if this solves the issue for you. Sswonk (talk) 13:33, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
That worked. Thanks! Renata (talk) 13:59, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Variables extension

Is the variables extension supposed to be installed on Wikipedia? Because I'm not succeeding in getting defining variables to work. Could someone point me to an existing example that I could shamelessly copy. Thanks. SpinningSpark 16:15, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Not installed. - Jarry1250 [ humourousdiscuss ] 16:20, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Only extensions listed at Special:Version are currently available on Wikipedia, and that's not one of them. Dragons flight (talk) 16:22, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, didn't know that variables were so controversial. So much emotion in that! :) SpinningSpark 16:48, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
It's just a few developers opposing it, but they have a lot of power. --Apoc2400 (talk) 00:32, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
The real humor is that they are complaining that it would make Wikipedia too much like a programming language, while at the same time other developers (and one of the same developers!) have advocated for embedding an entire programming language (Lua) as a way to solve the problem that template coding is too difficult to use. Dragons flight (talk) 06:28, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
What's humorous about preferring a sensible programming language over step-by-step descent into a horrifically illegible one? --brion (talk) 15:34, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't know that I'd call it humorous, but this is what I've distilled from bug 6455, bug 19298, and various posts to wikitech-l:

Users: Please give us basic string functions, so we don't have to use horrible hacks.
Devs: If you give us a patch, we'll look at it.
Users: Ok, here's the patch.
Devs: Ugh, that patch is horribly inefficient.
Users: Ok, here is a better patch addressing all your issues.
(Wait a very long time)
Devs: Ok, we'll apply your patch. But we'll add a configuration option defaulting it to off because we'd prefer to embed a real programming language. Parser functions syntax is ugly! And some unspecified insane people have claimed they intend to do natural language processing with these basic string functions, too.
Users: Please turn it on! We know it's ugly, but this will let us make some things less so. (And why would anyone want to do NLP with this?)
Devs: No, we'd prefer a real programming language. After all, if we turn it on then we can never turn it off because old revisions would break.
Users: Ok then. Let's embed the real programming language!
Devs: We're not interested in looking at this any time soon. Maybe later.
Users: Ok then. Can we turn on the basic string functions, since you're not interested in embedding the real programming language anytime soon?
Devs: No, we'd still rather embed the real programming language like we said earlier.
Users: So we have to live with horrible hacks for basic string functions, even though the basic string functions are right there, because at some unspecified point in the future you want to embed a real programming language?
Devs: Now that you mention it, we should adjust things so your horrible hacks don't work either. Never mind the "old revisions would break" argument we used 6 lines ago.
Users: *boggle*

Anomie 17:47, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Lol on the one hand, but sad facepalm on the other: this is exactly how the discussion has evolved, as I see it. There aren't many bugs with more votes than #6455, and yet a total lack of interest from the senior devs, who (AFAICT) seem to be hoping that the problem just goes away. It's not going to go away, if anything it's going to get worse. We need this functionality, in some shape or form. The absolute worst thing that could happen is what's currently happening: no one giving a definitive answer one way or another as to what functionality will or won't be enabled (and why) and how we should best move forward. Happymelon 19:41, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Just to note, I checked my email shortly after posting the above and found two new wikitech-l digests full of discussion on the embedding a real programming language question (starting about 1.5 hours before my post above). Anomie 20:14, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Search box not working

When I try to search, I can't type in the box, unless I search with an empty box, type something in the box on the search page, then search again, and finally overtype what is now in the side box. --Alx xlA (talk) 22:30, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

That's odd. What browser are you using? Algebraist 22:43, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Chrome in Vista --Alx xlA (talk) 01:11, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
We got some more reports from people using chrome, cannot do it now, but i'll try to look into it later today. --rainman (talk) 09:11, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
By the way is this only when you're logged in or always? --rainman (talk) 20:39, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Scaling of SVG images ugly

If you look at the second image in Lightness (color), you'll see that it has been scaled but the output is illegible. I believe that anti-aliasing has somehow been turned off. SharkD (talk) 06:37, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

If you're referring to the graph, it  Works for me. In that case, it might just be a problem in your browser. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 14:21, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Are you sure you can read the vertical text to the left of the y-axis? SharkD (talk) 15:26, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
I can't. SVG images are rendered to PNG; the actual image you see is 500px-Lightness_approximations.svg.png. See Wikipedia:SVG Help. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 16:09, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, it's the PNG image I was talking about. SharkD (talk) 23:31, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Taking a quick look, it uses Arial, which is a proprietary font. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 16:16, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
The text appears fine to me, even to the left of the y-axis. It might just be a browser compatibility issue. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 03:20, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
It's readable to me on FF3.0.11, although the character spacing is a bit uneven. Happymelon 13:44, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

(Cannot contact the database server: Unknown error (

Resolved: English Wikipedia database master borked itself. Was swapped out and site back online after 52 minutes; internal documentation updated so we can fix the next one faster.

Have been getting this for 30 mins. Seems to have resolved. (talk) 23:21, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

I got this too while trying to submit a page. Based on the gap in times in Special:RecentChanges, it went on for 50-55 minutes. Anyone know what this was about? --TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 23:28, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Yea, was almost an hour messed up for me. (no changes in watchlist between 22:23 and 23:17, I have 11,000+ pages in there, hehe). Probably one of the servers died. –xenotalk 23:29, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Sonic the Hedgehog died and people have been updating his article. SharkD (talk) 23:30, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
FWIW, Special:RecentChanges shows the server was down for 52 minutes:

(diff) (hist) . . Laws regarding incest‎; 23:17 . . (-20) . . (talk)

(diff) (hist) . . Four square‎; 23:17 . . (-55) . . (talk) (→Errors and elimination)

(diff) (hist) . . The Visitors (ABBA album)‎; 23:17 . . (-1) . . (talk)

(diff) (hist) . . User talk:Jza84‎; 23:17 . . (+783) . . Jza84 (talk | contribs) (→Shoving rabbits where you shouldn't: could this work....?)

(diff) (hist) . . m Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time‎; 23:16 . . (+28) . . CarbonX (talk | contribs) (Added {{non-free}} tag to article. using Friendly)

(diff) (hist) . . User:TheCatalyst31/Sandbox‎; 23:16 . . (+2,962) . . TheCatalyst31 (talk | contribs) (save)

(diff) (hist) . . Nickelback‎; 22:24 . . (+2) . . Evb-wiki (talk | contribs) (Undid revision 299592709 by (talk))

(diff) (hist) . . Desalvo (band)‎; 22:24 . . (+359) . . 4x4skin (talk | contribs)

(diff) (hist) . . m Talk:Moniaive railway station‎; 22:24 . . (+39) . . Rosser1954 (talk | contribs)

(diff) (hist) . . User:Dinkytown‎; 22:24 . . (+51) . . Dinkytown (talk | contribs) (→Articles I have started: More additions for my vast empire...)

(diff) (hist) . . Joe Sample‎; 22:24 . . (+32) . . Lovejonesfly (talk | contribs) (Infobox clean up)

(diff) (hist) . . United States box office records‎; 22:24 . . (+1) . . (talk) (→Wednesday)
Killed by Nickelback? Sswonk (talk) 23:43, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

English Wikipedia database master borked itself. Was swapped out and site back online after 52 minutes; internal documentation updated so we can fix the next one faster. --brion (talk) 23:50, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Some part of Wikipedia (probably English only) is down for around an hour. Some article's rendering was strange and outline of the template box disappeared at that time. I cannot edit articles during the down time. The problem was fixed by now and this might be another database bug or problem, all the article and data are safely kept from my observations. Thanks brion for explaining and resolving this problem. -- (talk) 00:05, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Picture Problem

This is how I saw it.

What I seen as pic on this Mahan_Air, is different signs not the pics itself.yousaf465'

Not sure what your question is, but the images display OK for me. – ukexpat (talk) 15:56, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Looks like a temporary buggage in your browser or video driver showing the wrong image from memory -- the image you see there looks like an icon set for a browser. --brion (talk)
But I haven't seen it before.yousaf465'

Two images with the same name

Hi! You might be interested in the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Moving images to the Commons#Two images with the same name. Thank you. Damërung ...ÏìíÏ..._Ξ_ . --  14:48, 1 July 2009 (UTC) 14:48, 1 July 2009 (UTC) (Using {{Please see}})
I was bold enough to place this template here (something maybe inappropriate)... Should I create a template for this my self instead of using this one? (or perhaps there´s another way)


For searches, we should be able to (for example: in the "history" tab) filter out changes that were ONLY additions (for example: when only Lines are added) or filter out changes that were ONLY subtractions (for example: when only Lines are subtracted).

This might be a new feature, we have to report to bugzilla. (talk) 04:40, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

But the software's no good at making those identifications. Have you noticed the weird things that show up in diffs, such as the same chunk of text being deleted and then added back in the same change? Ntsimp (talk) 15:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Total number of english wikipedia articles just dropped.

Resolved: Mystery explained: chunk of bot articles were deleted

I monitor the number of wikipedia english articles daily and I noticed that there was a recent unprecedented drop in the number of english wikipedia articles which you can find located at

Underneath Page statistics -> Content pages. Does anybody know what happened? I'm just curious. It had been steadily rising (monitored in NZ) and then it dropped very suddenly

June 29 9.24 AM 2,929,524 articles

June 29 11.52 PM 2,926,146 articles

It's been rising ever since, at it's normal rate of approximately 1000 articles per day. Something big (purge) must have happened! HowiAuckland (talk) 05:10, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Anybot's algae articles. mgiganteus1 (talk) 05:31, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
That's very interesting, thanks for your reply. I wonder over what period of time these articles were generated? HowiAuckland (talk) 08:06, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
It appears the first creation was Sporochnus on 20 February 2009, and the last may be Helminthora on 19 April. The deletions were faster.[14] PrimeHunter (talk) 12:43, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Show whole page

How can I show a whole page inside another page? I want to show Henry Burk inside Portal:Leathermaking/Selected biography/1. Debresser (talk) 23:23, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

If you want to transclude the entire article, then simply add {{Henry Burk}}. If you want to tranclude only a portion, such as the lead, then enclose that portion of the article in <onlyinclude>...</onlyinclude>. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 23:41, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I must be having a brain cramp, because that isn't working. -— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 23:53, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Transclusion targets the template namespace by default. You need an initial : to specify the mainspace. Algebraist 23:56, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh yes- the template markup defaults to template space. For articlespace you have to start with a colon like {{:Henry Burk}}. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 23:57, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Right-sided scroll bar

Hi, several months ago I converted Template:Holden timeline into a scrollable timeline. However, I would like the bottom scrollbar to be set to the right-hand side by default, showing the most recent models first. OSX (talkcontributions) 01:16, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure this is not possible. --- RockMFR 02:00, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

More links on Special:NewImages?

As one of the few new image patrollers, I spend a lot of time on Special:NewImages. Under the thumbnail, the username of the uploader is shown, along with a link to their userpage. It would also be nice if there was a link to their talk page- firstly, so it is easy to spot uploads by super-newbies, and secondly, because it would save me hitting them with deletion notices when they haven't even been welcomed, which is never nice. Is this something that would be easy to implement? J Milburn (talk) 17:00, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

It should be easy to do. There isn't a field in Special:AllMessages we can tweak, but a bugzilla: request should do it. MBisanz talk 17:07, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Special:Log/Upload is already there and it has everything except the thumbnail. MER-C 07:26, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Patrolling from that would take some getting used to, but I could give it a try ;) J Milburn (talk) 10:50, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Take a look at what the Commons has. In particular, check out the gadgets
  • PrettyLog: reformats the log and displays thumbnails of most recent files, cannot show thumbs of overwritten files. Unfortunately, has been rather slow lately, I've seen it get the thumbs much quicker. Preview here, should be easy to port to en-WP.
  • GalleryDetails: displays extended image info with quick links to mark for deletion, as copyvio, tineye search, etc. Admins get quick deletion links. That one would be hard to port since it depends on quite a few other files. There's also an alternate interface (see the documentation); that one would be still more work to port.
HTH, Lupo 12:41, 2 July 2009 (UTC)


Please join the discussion in Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#Links_to_essays_in_policy_pages - Altenmann >t 17:27, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

GeSHi update

Per bugzilla:10967, GeSHi has been upgraded on Wikmedia, as well as the extension to plug it in to Mediawiki. As a consequence of this, though, the previously unintentional behavior of GeSHi <pre> tags getting the same border as Mediawiki <pre> has been "fixed", meaning they should no longer appear with borders.

However, this is probably not what most wikis will want, having gotten used to these borders. But simply re-adding the border with !important is not an optimal solution, as not all GeSHi outputs use exactly one <pre>.

Per bugzilla:16324 though, at the same time, a consistent class has been added to all <source> output. This is either <div class="mw-geshi"> or <span class="mw-geshi"> (for enclose="none"). Meaning, a wiki can re-add the borders via site-wide CSS now (rather than using crude selectors or a long comma-delimited list of all languages). For example in MediaWiki:Monobook.css one could add something like: {padding: 1em; margin:1em 0; border: 1px dashed #2f6fab;}

--Splarka (rant) 06:59, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your help. I edited User:33rogers/monobook.css and it works now. --33rogers (talk) 08:08, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Why to MediaWiki:Monobook.css, but not to MediaWiki:Geshi.css? Ruslik_Zero 10:09, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
For the same reason it probably shouldn't be added to MediaWiki:Common.css. MediaWiki:Geshi.css loads in all skins, but only Monobook and Chick (and the forthcoming Vector) define <pre> border as "1px dashed #2f6fab;". This could be done with of course. --Splarka (rant) 10:49, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Um, at least for me, Haskell and Scheme code examples are now virtually unreadable as the keywords and the punctuation are shown with a very pale yellow/green color that is barely visible on the white background that Monobook.css is giving me. Was this change intentional? —Tobias Bergemann (talk) 06:51, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I want the code to be surrounded by the boxes! If I use <pre></pre> around the code box, then the coloring goes away. Here is [ Google's Cache of June 23] and here is the current page. Do you see the difference? This update was not necessary! It caused more problems. --33rogers (talk) 07:19, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

This seems to annoy people, so I opened bugzilla:19416. Comments required. --Splarka (rant) 08:14, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. --33rogers (talk) 08:27, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Automatically marking a deleted article as "patrolled"

Please see this thread at Proposals. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 19:35, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

The new enhanced toolbar

First off, kudos to those who did this - it looks sharp. That aside, is there a discussion page for the toolbar? There are a few issues I've noticed that might be worth addressing. (For example, internal and external links buttons are swapped for some reason; internal now follows external, whereas the previous version - internal first - would seem to make more sense. The "redirect" button has vanished as well.) Thanks in advance. --Ckatzchatspy 01:40, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

More on this... there are a number of buttons that seem to be missing, and the "refTools" gadget that adds a button for simplified "cite" templates doesn't work with it. --Ckatzchatspy 01:47, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Best place to comment right now is on the usability wiki. Sorry this isn't quite clear; we'll be launching a more explicit and visible request for feedback soon.--Eloquence* 01:50, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I am not seeing a new toolbar - looks exactly the same as before. Do I have to enable it somewhere? FF 3.0.11, WinXP SP2. – ukexpat (talk) 03:08, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
It's a preferences option. Algebraist 03:09, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I have "Show edit toolbar" checked on the Editing tab, has been for as long as I can remember. – ukexpat (talk) 03:14, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
It is a new option, a few lines down, labelled "Enable enhanced editing toolbar". --Ckatzchatspy 03:15, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Doh! Got it - maybe it should be moved up the list to just below the standard toolbar. No sig button? -ukexpat (talk) 03:21, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
That would be sensible. I don't think it can be done locally, though; you'll have to open a bug. Algebraist 03:26, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Math in templates?

How do you do math in templates? (For example, if I wanted a template that would add two parameters together and return the sum, like if I entered {{sum|5|5}} and got 10.) I thought there was a magic word or parser function that did this, but I can't seem to find it now, and there don't appear to be any math parser functions in Help:Extension:ParserFunctions. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 05:57, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

It's the first parser function, expr. Something like, {{#expr: {{{1}}}+{{{2}}}}}. Someguy1221 (talk) 06:04, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Ah, right under my nose. Thanks, rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 06:06, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Bug in Konqueror

On all English Wikipedia pages Konqueror indicates the following: "Error: ReferenceError: Can't find variable: XPathResult" SkyBonTalk\Contributions 06:50, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Can't reproduce with Konqueror 4.2.3 on Win XP. What gadgets do you have enabled? Lupo 07:09, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Fixed number of decimals?

Is there a template/magicword which produces a fixed number of decimals? For instead shoving {{#expr: 1/3}} and 0.1 in it would produce something like 0.333333 and 0.100000. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 19:49, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

{{#expr:1/3 round 3}} == 0.333
{{#expr:1000000/3 round -3}} == 333000
You'd have to use something like padright to get non-significant zeroes. — CharlotteWebb 20:20, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Know of any template/magic words that pads to the right?Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 04:16, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
You mean like "padright"?
{{padright:ABC|7|d}} = ABCdddd
Dragons flight (talk) 04:28, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Ugh, ain't the quick fix solution I was hoping for, but thanks nonetheless. At least I'll be able to do what I want (develop a sorting function for {{val}}).Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 13:57, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Rather than adding invisible zeroes and similar hackish nonsense, it would be better to produce some sorting js that actually works like you want it to. Like I explained to Thekohser on WR, the easiest fix is to ask the devs to remove the "$" (matching end-of-string) from the regular expressions used to identify numerical cell values in wikibits.js (thus recognizing a cell as a number as long as it starts with a number). It would be better to treat the source of the problem, but until then, any functions declared in MediaWiki:Common.js with the same names will over-ride the originals. — CharlotteWebb 09:51, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

The devs aren't given us parserfunctions, so we have to resort to "hackish nonsense". It is much quicker to spend weeks finding hacks than to figure out how in the world to file request to developpers anyway. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 23:08, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

No, I'm serious. This isn't about parser-functions, it's about javascript. I can show you what to add to on common.js to make your tables sort properly without polluting the cell contents. — CharlotteWebb 00:04, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

And I'm serious too. common.js tricks are tricks that only benefit an unfathomably small minority of users, plus they won't do for what I have in mind. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 00:28, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

It would benefit anyone who has javascript enabled, whether they are logged in or not so I don't know what you're talking about. Everyone else would have non-sortable tables anyway, but either of these is better than the status quo—tables which sort incorrectly or contain a bunch of invisible garbage data at the beginning of the cell. — CharlotteWebb 10:30, 3 July 2009 (UTC)


There's a typo in the MediaWiki "Action complete" page that comes up after you delete a page; it says "Depending on the reason for deletion, you may want to remove any links to this pageand ..." instead of "Depending on the reason for deletion, you may want to remove any links to this page and ...". Does anyone know where to go to fix it?

(If you need an example of what I'm talking about, check out User:Rjanag/Delete me! and delete it, you have my permission. You should see the error after you delete it.) rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 04:42, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Are you sure? MediaWiki:Deletedtext seems to be the page in question, and I don't see such a typo there. (Also not there when I deleted that page.) ÷seresin 05:04, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Might have to be a file page, is there a separate mediawiki page for that? I got the typo when I deleted File:ChinaTJC.jpg. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 05:09, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I saw this the other day and tried to figure out how to fix it. MediaWiki:Filedelete-success is where I went, but couldn't find the error. In fact this edit on June 18 looks like it should have fixed the problem (though I only noticed the problem within the last week). --auburnpilot talk 05:11, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I just uploaded File:Delete me!.jpg if anyone wants to take a whack at it. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 05:14, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I tried this edit... it took me a while to test it (getting the deletion equivalent of edit conflicts), but I just tried it now and it seems to be fixed. I guess just was not quite enough within a {{switch}} template to be recognized as a real space, and I had to bring in the heavy   artillery. Anyway, this looks resolved to me, let me know if any of you are still having problems. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 05:32, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Yep - all fixed now thanks - Peripitus (Talk) 05:49, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

There seems to be a bug here. &#32; and &#032; usually get converted to &#32; by the parser (then get converted to spaces by HTMLTidy, I think). However, when used in this interface message, &#32; gets removed entirely. &#032; still gets the normal treatment. --- RockMFR 05:49, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't believe MediaWiki message pages are processed through HTMLTidy. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 10:46, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Move image to commons

Could someone please move this image to Commons for me? The "b" in the file name is not necessary if that helps any. Thanks! SharkD (talk) 11:11, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

So I guess we've been updated?

Well, firstly, the search page has been updated, looks alot nicer.

And Vector is now available as an option for themes in the theme picker, though it seems to not have the new toolbar everyone has been talking about. {{tmbox}} also doesn't seem to render correctly in that theme... But still. ViperSnake151  Talk  23:23, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

The toolbar is a separate option in Special:Preferences, under "Editing" (enable enhanced editing toolbar).--Eloquence* 23:28, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Also, tmbox does render correctly, the class has just not been assigned a color yet. Prodego talk 23:38, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Resolved: Buglet in search formatting update fixed!

The new search page no longer offers the ability to create the page if an exact match wasn't found. This is a disaster! This was one of the primary entry points for page creation. Now, if I want to create a page, the only way to do so is to create a redlink somewhere and click on it. WTF?! Hesperian 23:40, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

That is fixed now. Prodego talk 23:42, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Hesperian 00:33, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Is updating the category search, the existing +incategory: feature (bug 2285, planned ? That would be an excellent addition to the search and simplify some maintenance tasks. Cenarium (talk) 00:21, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

No, no further work on this is planned until someone comes along and makes a proper category intersection backend. --rainman (talk) 00:31, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikimedia's server admin log. --MZMcBride (talk) 00:29, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

    • Urgent - I cannot edit!!! I am using Opera 8 beta from Windows 98. Submit buttons in forms have stopped working - I cannot edit or even log in. What has happened? Quick fix or revert, please. — RHaworth (Talk | contribs) 09:04, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

I filed a slew of bugreports on various css/js issues, and I added a coordinates position for the Vector skin, because that was annoying the hell out of me :D —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:18, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Very simple

What is the URL of the "Permanently disable mobile site" link? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 04:01, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Currently it is which is a redirect. Calvin 1998 (t·c) 04:10, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

CSS class for self-links

The article kilogram uses font tags so that links going to different part of the article are displayed in a different color. It would be quite useful to have such a feature working by default, especially in places such as Irish phonology#History of the discipline where one might want to be able to tell citations from links to other articles with a glance. Is there a pseudo-CSS class (something like a:visited) applying to self-links? If not, could it be possible to add a feature to MediaWiki making all self-links have a class="mw-self" attribute or something like that? --A. di M. (formerly Army1987) — Deeds, not words. 14:26, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

I really don't see the need or this. There may be accessibility issues; this should be run past WikiProject Accessibility; see also Wikipedia:Colours. Personally, I find it confusing to find green links in this article, since my monobook.css has rules to show redirects as green links. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:46, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I see kilogram is full of all sorts of wacky formatting (e.g. spans with 0.1em margins (I guess because in a certain person's browser "(foo)" doesn't look perfect; in my browser, OTOH, their "fixed" version "(foo)" looks worse) and <sub>{{nbsp}}</sub> (apparently for the purpose of screwing with IE's line-height)), "smart" quotes, and the like. But I'm not going to go near that article, as the person responsible for those oddities is someone my sanity is best served by avoiding. Anomie 19:58, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I was scratching appendages until I read Talk:Kilogram#Spans and closed span tags. The margin-lefts are used to add a space every three digits behind the decimal and to add spacing between italics and the reference link. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 22:22, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
The space-every-three-digits part at least sort of makes sense, they're using spans so copy-pasting the numbers doesn't include the spaces. But the italics thing is apparently fixing IE to the detriment of other browsers: Kilogram[10] versus Kilogram[10]? ice."[10] versus ice.”[10]? The first looks better to me in both cases, and has the advantage of lacking confusing markup. Anomie 02:24, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Sigh, Kilogram. I tried fixing it, and was reverted, twice, with some nutjob saying I had to properly close the span tags... I got the hell out of there at that point. I mean, I was being chastized about proper html, when I was removing things like <span style="margin-left:0.1em"><ref></span>, and being reverted with things like "I don’t believe you are correct. All HTML commands like span tags must be closed." --Splarka (rant) 08:23, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Note that if you really want to make style changes again, you have a good reason for him to be the one getting out of there this time. It's too bad someone doing so much good content-wise has to royally screw it up style-wise. Anomie 10:57, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
It's not a browser issue as much as a font issue: in my browser, the eff "f)" used to clash into the parenthesis, but now I've installed a more recent sans-serif font and it doesn't anymore (although it still does barely touch it). I'm still using the exact same version of the browser. So it's not as simple as that. --A. di M. (formerly Army1987) — Deeds, not words. 11:24, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement#Greg_L. — CharlotteWebb 12:24, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

CSS cleanup for existing stubs

User:Jarry1250 has now created a list and AWB frontend, to fix the CSS issues with the current deployed stubs. I invite all Windows users to help fix these issues by using AWB. See also Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Stub_sorting#CSS cleanup for existing stubs. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:49, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

New idea to simplify editing for newcomers?

In the coming months, I'll be teaching some workshops for scientists on how to edit Wikipedia. After seeing this usability video, I'm concerned about how difficult it is for newcomers to understand wiki-markup, especially in articles with lots of inline citations, other templates, navigation and infoboxes.

One solution is to color-code elements, as does the editing tool, wikEd. But another solution occurred to me today. Could we use JavaScript to show/hide the non-textual elements such as inline citations, infoboxes, comments, etc.? For example, we might collapse an inline citation to an asterisk inside the edit box; clicking on the asterisk would cause it to expand to the full citation, which could then be edited and re-collapsed to the asterisk. Such an approach could drastically simplify the edit-box appearance of the article, making it much more similar to what readers see.

Does this seem like a good idea? Has it been done already? Thanks for your help, Proteins (talk) 23:16, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

If you want to create a new JavaScript based text editor (like WikiEd) you are welcome. Ruslik_Zero 11:50, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I think it is excellent that someone will be teaching something other than - here is how to vandalize the article on elephant on Wikipedia. Apteva (talk) 16:52, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

In response to the inline citations part, you might want to check out the citation system I used in GRB 970508 (if you haven't seen that kind already). This puts most of the information at the bottom of the page rather than in the middle of the text. It also produces an article that looks more similar to an academic journal than the conventional system. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 14:55, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Shortcut commands different after upgrade to Safari 4(?)

I've recently upgraded to Safari 4 for Mac and the shortcut key combinations to edit, save, preview, etc. have all changed. (This seems not to be the same issue discussed at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive62#edit-tools not functioning in Safari for the Mac, but may be related.) Formerly, they were of the form "Ctrl+[key]" (like "Ctrl+s" for Save page), but now, hovering over the buttons and links reveals that they are "Ctrl+alt+[key]" (so Save page is now "Ctrl+alt+s"). Changing the "User agent" from Safari's "Develop" menu to "Safari 3.2.3 — Mac" changes the hover text to show "Ctrl+[key]" shortcut, but only the "Ctrl+alt+[key]" combos work. Can anyone identify whether this is a Safari thing or a Wikipedia thing? And, more importantly, can someone describe how to restore the former key combinations? Many thanks in advance. — Bellhalla (talk) 13:15, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

This has been the case since the early Safari 3 versions. bugzilla:14401 indicates since June 2008. And this is a Safari issue, it is not anything that you can influence from the website (only the letter) and every browser uses their own set of "keys" for these hotkeys. See also Wikipedia:Keyboard shortcutsTheDJ (talkcontribs) 18:49, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I suspected it was a Safari thing, but I have to disagree on the "since Safari 3" part (in my case, at least). Thanks for the reply. — Bellhalla (talk) 21:05, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you are right. Changed from Webkit 526 and higher. Safari 3.2 used up to webkit 525.29. Man. I didn't realize I had been using Nightly builds of Safari for over a year already... —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:33, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

How do I mark deleted pages as patrolled?

I'm a regular patroller of the backlog of new pages. I've noticed that a lot get deleted without being marked, and they remain on the backlog but don't have a link to mark them patrolled. How can these entries be removed? -- ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 20:05, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

You should see a "mark as patrolled" link if you visit a new page from a link on Special:NewPages. – ukexpat (talk) 20:08, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I do on pages that haven't been deleted. I just noticed there is a discussion on the proposals board about this, though. Can't the code that delete a page also fire the code that is run when a person clicks "Mark as patrolled"? (Or have the mark as patrolled link remain on deleted pages) -- ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 20:11, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Deleted pages are removed from special:newpages altogether. You need to purge the page's cache. Triplestop x3 01:14, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Webpage retrieval with eggdrop

I code an Eggdrop bot for IRC, and we are working having it return searches from inside IRC. When I send for a webpage on, I get a webpage back that gives the following error output: <html><head> </head><body>

The document has moved <a href="">here</a>.

(And even if I try to go to that link, it returns the same link)When I retrieve with my web browser, it works fine.

Any suggestions on what I may be doing incorrectly? --Callcentermonkey (talk) 07:36, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Certain ill-behaved bots / user-agents are blocked by the server, and I suspect that's what you are seeing. In general, bot processes should use the mw:API whenever possible, respect the mw:Manual:Maxlag parameter, and avoid creating unreasonably high demand on the servers. Dragons flight (talk) 08:19, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you! No, this is a small IRC community, 35-45 on average in channel (Been here for over 14 years, many for over 10, #callahans on Undernet, based on the books by Spider Robinson); I expect the bot to make from 0 to 15 queries per day at most, with an initial high usage (no more than 50) from testing the code, and the novelty of a new feature; with previous features, the activity resumes to normal levels in about a week. --Callcentermonkey (talk) 10:52, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
OK, took a gander at that, nothing for tcl (not too much of an issue, I understand GET/POST); however that is way more complicated than needed; this bot is just for mainly returning one of two things: If it gets a disambiguation page, parse for first 3 or so, and /msg them to the requestor, or B) Output about the first 255 characters of the wiki article, with the link to read more, to channel. No editing, just reading the page only. I'll play with a few things from the API and see if I can get what I want, and thanks again --Callcentermonkey (talk) 11:03, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Here is some to help you along:
TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:41, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
While Dragons flight is correct that the sysadmins have blocked various generic client library user agents as well as agents specific to certain troublesome bots, the error message you quote is more likely to be due to a missing "Host" header, required for Name-based virtual hosting. Which makes it likely you're using a rather old client library; simply updating it might fix the problem. Anomie 15:02, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Why are categories deleted?

Why are categories deleted and recreated as a result of WP:CFD rename requests instead of moved? Categories have Talk pages as well. Are they less deserving of being preserved than article Talk pages? SharkD (talk) 14:56, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Because the software can't do category moves yet (there's probably a bug on bugzilla about this). If a category is renamed, its talk page should simply be moved. Category talk pages shouldn't be deleted when categories are renamed. --- RockMFR 16:18, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

CAtegory intersections

Is there a tool that does this? I would like to find out the intersectn of eg, delisted FA/GAs and articles under a certain wikiproject to find out a list of demoted FA/GAs from the said project YellowMonkey (cricket calendar poll!) paid editing=POV 02:53, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

See [15] --Stefan talk 03:14, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Is it broken at the moment? YellowMonkey (cricket calendar poll!) paid editing=POV 04:43, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Worked for me. Does that search have issues for you? --Izno (talk) 05:14, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks it kept on clanging before for some reason YellowMonkey (cricket calendar poll!) paid editing=POV 05:50, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Regular expression searching

Is there an already existing tool for searching Wikipedia using full-fledged regular expressions?

See my question at Wikipedia talk:Searching#Regular expression search.

Thanks in advance. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 14:18, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Full regular expression support would be very computationally expensive. Might have better luck with the limited subset supported by other search engines. If you really need to use them then I suggest downloading a site dump and writing your own scripts to do so locally. SharkD (talk) 15:11, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
AutoWikiBrowser can search the site using regular expressions, but it's only for Windows. That's the closest match I can think of. Graham87 05:12, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. The question is - is there an existing script, or should i write one of my own? I can do that in Perl, i just like code reuse. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 10:01, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Improving <ref>

As posed at Wikipedia talk:Citing sources#Improving .3Cref.3E, I'd like to consider making small adjustments to the functioning of <ref> to increase the readability of wikicode. Please comment at the linked page if you have suggestions / opinions. Dragons flight (talk) 10:28, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

ref is too imprecise

I tried to use the ref element to integrate footnotes. However, there seems to be no possibility to indicate if the footnote references to the sentence in front of the ref element or the paragraph in front of it. In example:

This is a first sentence. This is a second sentence.<ref>Miller (2009), p. 7.</ref>

Instead, it should be as follows:

This is a first sentence. <ref text="Miller (2009), p. 7.">This is a second sentence.</ref>

Now, it is clear, that Miller is based on the second sentence only. Is there any possibility, to indicate that? If not, it should be programmed, because it opens new possibilities, e.g. mouse-ever effects when having the mouse pointer over a sentence. Then, a pop-up box could show "Miller (2009), p. 7". Furthermore, it is much more helpful for future editors to know, if sentence 1 has a reference already and can be relied on. (talk) 10:20, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Inline references should generally be placed after the first piece of punctuation following the fact that they supporting. So it would generally be assumed that, in your example above, the ref applied to the second sentence only. Otherwise, the ref would be duplicated:
This is a first sentence.<ref name=miller>Miller (2009), p. 7.</ref> This is a second sentence.<ref name=miller/>
While I agree that a more objective way of connecting facts with citations would be desirable, I don't think your proposal is viable, as it totally changes the syntax of the tags (what is currently reference content would be displayed as page content), a breaking change that is unlikely to be considered. I think a more uniform and consistent application of the tags would be an equally-effective way of improving verifiability. Happymelon 11:24, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Community consensus on how to best reference an article is mixed. I have had the first half of a compound sentence {{fact}} tagged due to the citation being placed at the end of the sentence. Contrast this with those who object to any inline references, complaining they obstruct the flow of text and make the article harder to read.
The Manual of Style calls for footnotes to be placed "immediately after the text that requires a source." My personal interpretation as to the meaning of this requirement allows for multiple consecutive sentences within a single paragraph to be referenced with a single footnote unless the text block contains quotations or other information likely to be challenged. This is consistent with Wikipedia:When to cite#When a source may not be needed and seems to provide a workable balance between verification and readability concerns. As Happy-melon has shown above, there are differences of opinion on this matter. --Allen3 talk 12:07, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Changing ref to a tag with an inside (i.e. <ref>Text.</ref>) would make it possible to do context highlighting in the browser. I.e. browsers could highlight the piece of text the ref pertains to. This would be very useful, IMO. SharkD (talk) 15:17, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Personally, I would find it rather annoying. Mr.Z-man 15:24, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
It would be very useful, yes; it would be able to show that a whole paragraph is mated to a ref, or only half a sentence... having a better editing environment would make it much easier to implement, though. --Golbez (talk) 18:29, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Pushpin maps

Is it possible to add a pushpin map directly to an article, without using an infobox? I was thinking it would be nice in July 2009 Ürümqi riots—a pushpin map with the location of Urumqi, replacing the current map that shows the location of the entire Xinjiang Province without specifying Urumqi. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 04:06, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Something like this would do it:

{{Location map

-- WOSlinker (talk) 06:58, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Excellent, thanks! rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 13:30, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Traceroute tool for IP users broken

{{resolved}} Just a heads up, the traceroute tool linked at the bottom of IP user pages has changed its link format. The current link format of now takes you to a page announcing that this service is part of their paid subscription package. The main page for still has a free traceroute function that, when used, returns a different link format, and may be session based as there is a ?token= section in the link verbiage. ArakunemTalk 20:13, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Thought this was changed to ages ago because of this. Yep- that is what I get on Special:Contributions/ ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 23:42, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I can never remember to look at Special:AllMessages to find the message list. This one is either MediaWiki:Anontalkpagetext (talk page) or MediaWiki:Sp-contributions-footer-anon (contributions page); both call {{anontools}}. I don't see any recent changes. If you still see the link, try browsing to the MediaWiki pages and bypass your cache. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 23:59, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Are you sure? I see samspade for the whois but dnsstuff for the traceroute. Algebraist 04:43, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
That's what I get while talking on the phone and looking at this stuff. I was looking at whois, tracert is still dnsstuff. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 10:27, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Should be fixed. Ale_Jrbtalk 11:49, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Works like a charm! Pie for you! ArakunemTalk 13:37, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

First test round for HotCat 2.0

I'm presenting to you the first working demo of my HotCat 2.0 aka. CatBurn. If you are an experienced user you may want to give it a quick spin to test and provide some feedback. The details of installation, the new features and bugs can be found on the talkpage of HotCat. Below is a preview image for the nosy people. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:33, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Demo view

Page view stats not working

Resolved: Back online.


I've been trying to access today with no success. I don't think it's a problem on my end since no other websites are down and I've used many times in the past. What's the word? --Cryptic C62 · Talk 15:28, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

It looks like there is no IP address assigned to – I think this would make it inaccessible. snigbrook (talk) 20:10, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm finding the same problem and indeed the DNS A record seems to have vanished. This is a huge issue, page counts are an important tool. I believe the site maintainer's moniker was Henrik, is that a user here we could contact? If he's having problems paying his phone bill, maybe we could persuade the Foundation to shift over a few dollars/kroner/euros for a little while. Franamax (talk) 02:09, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Hmm. He hasn't edited since June 7, so I sent him an email. Hopefully he'll be able to shed some light on this. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 02:37, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I decided to usurp the domain just as a placeholder, but according to this, the registration is active. The problem seems to be that both the DNS nameservers are inactive. and are both valid sub-domain entries - but they both resolve to (Henrik, that's a no-no, you should always designate a secondary server). Pinging returns nothing, and of course telnet'ing to port 53 there doesn't work either. It seems that the nameserver responsible for has left the building... Franamax (talk) 00:26, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Crap. I use it a lot for Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games/Traffic statistics. I've tried to contact him several times via his user page in the past but was never able to get a response from him. SharkD (talk) 15:00, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, so people have tried to assume this was a DNS problem and can't find a working IP? What about the alt sites that have "who wiki is more popular than" stats? Nerdseeksblonde (talk) 12:09, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I know it's a no-no, but this is a low-budget operation :-) I only have one server. henriktalk 19:10, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Hey, it seems to be working now. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 14:32, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Just got an email response from Henrik: "The system disk on the server crashed, and it took a while to get a replacement and restore everything from backups. It should be up again now, and hopefully be up to speed again soon." --Cryptic C62 · Talk 18:06, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Yep. The timing was the worst possible too: It crashed on a Friday afternoon and getting a replacement installed needed the cooperation from the co-lo people who only work weekdays unless you pay extra to get 24/7 support. henriktalk 19:10, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

less and less editable... sigh

Resolved: Yes, this is one of the goals of the Usability Initiative project. In the meantime, you might try the 'WikEd' gadget which does syntax highlighting and folding, but may be a little overwhelming itself! --brion (talk) 22:20, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

first § of Roger Federer article:

'''Roger Federer''' ({{pronEng|ˈrɒdʒə ˈfeːdərər}};<ref>{{cite web |url= |title=Ask Roger | |accessdate=2008-07-10}}</ref> born on August 8, 1981) is a [[Switzerland|Swiss]] professional [[tennis]] player. He will retake the world number one in July 6, 2009 having held the [[List of ATP number 1 ranked players|World No. 1]] position for a [[ATP World Tour records#Ranking|record 237 consecutive weeks]].<ref>[ Roger Federer Article;]</ref> Many sports analysts, tennis critics, and former players consider Federer to be the greatest tennis player of all time.<ref>{{cite news|first=Richard|last=Evans|title=Jack the Lad| date=June 24, 2007|publisher=The Observer|url=,,2110101,00.html|accessdate=2009-02-15}} <small>Jack Kramer "is ready to anoint Roger Federer as the best he has seen."</small></ref><ref>{{cite news |title=Federer the greatest ever — Lloyd|date=2009-06-07 |publisher=BBC Sport |url=|accessdate=2009-06-07}}</ref><ref>{{cite news |title=Pete Sampras calls Roger Federer 'greatest ever'|date=2009-06-07 |agency=Associated Press |url=|accessdate=2009-06-07}}</ref><ref>{{cite news |title=Roger Federer, greatest of all time, ensures statistics back up unrivalled artistry|date=2009-06-08 |publisher=Times Online |url=|accessdate=2009-06-09}}</ref><ref>{{cite news |title=Is Roger Federer the greatest?|date=2009-07-04 |publisher=BBC Sport |url=|accessdate=2009-07-04}}</ref>

i'm soooo tiredddd kernitou talk 18:24, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

You're not the only one! Unfortunately, I'm not sure if there are any plans to create a better way to use templates - but yeah, that sure is a mess. It's a wonder new users can figure out how to edit these kinds of pages. - Rjd0060 (talk) 20:35, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
The main culprits are the refs. It would be nice to define the refs somewhere else in the article. For instance, put an empty ref tag in the text with the name attribute, and then define the named ref in the References section of the article. SharkD (talk) 22:11, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
We used to do that with {{ref}} and {{note}} templates. The whole <ref> thing is an extension to MediaWiki. I like the old way more. Thanks, gENIUS101 02:39, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Wow. That would be a lot more convenient. SharkD (talk) 13:28, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

thanks for your comments, guys! i hope wiki will find a better way - kernitou talk 05:58, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I've mostly written an extension that allows one to create defined blocks "<define name='foo'>bar</define>" and place them in arbitrary points in the same page using "<display name='foo' />". Once that's done I'd like to create a similar patch for Cite to do the same thing with <ref> so that named refs don't have to be defined at exactly the first point that they appear. Dragons flight (talk) 08:26, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

just to compare: this is the "real" federer text, obtained by the one "edited" above :

Roger Federer (pronounced /ˈrɒdʒər ˈfɛdərər/;[6] born 8 August 1981) is a Swiss professional tennis player. He is currently ranked world No. 1, having previously held the number one position for a record 237 consecutive weeks.[7] Many sports analysts, tennis critics, former and current players consider Federer to be the greatest tennis player of all time.[8][9][10][11][12]

wikEd can collapse references and templates, which helps a lot. We're hoping to incorporate this or similar functionality into the standard editing code as part of the Usability Initiative.--Eloquence* 06:14, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Is there any reason why this template requires FULLPAGENAME?

{{Harvcolnb}} uses FULLPAGENAME to link to an anchor. This causes page reloading when one is on the page through a redirect, and doesn't work properly with old versions of the page. But I tried to remove it and the links broke. Does anyone know what's going on? --NE2 19:07, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I think my latest edit should fix it. --- RockMFR 22:58, 6 July 2009 (UTC)


Where can I find the documentation for the Javascript functions on MediaWiki, eg the stuff I would need to know to write my own Javascript? Thanks, Triplestop x3 02:55, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Mostly in the Doxygen-style comments in the core javascript files (mostly wikibits.js). Also note, jQuery is experimentally being tested and may become a core feature. --Splarka (rant) 07:36, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Page-to-page transitions

I don't know if this is the right place to ask this, but I've noticed that in the past few days, whenever I'm on one page, press a wikilink on that page to get to another, and then press "back" to get back to the first, the browser goes back to the very top of that first page before going to the specific place I was at on the page. This is less true if I start off at a smaller page and more true if I'm at a bigger one. Is this a technical problem of some sort, something to do with slower speed? (and I haven't noticed the internet be slower outside of Wikipedia) All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 02:53, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

It probably does have to do with speed. The browser first has to retrieve the page from Wikipedia's servers, then it can decide what to do with it (like location on the page). So the browser always starts off at the top. If the page is loading slowly, it will stay up there for a while (until the page is done loading). Calvin 1998 (t·c) 03:08, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Right, that's what I thought. But I distinctly remember that, previously, my browser started off in the part of the page where I was already at, though it sometimes was still opening the rest of the page (i.e. now it's the vice versa, it opens the page first and then finds the spot). Is there any way (Wikipedia- or server-wise) to reverse it? All Hallow's (talk) 05:37, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
My browser is still behaving as you describe, so the problem is probably at your end. Algebraist 13:20, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Timeline at Yoshi

The timeline at Yoshi is complaining that it's invalid, but with no indication as to how it is invalid. Any help would be appreciated. Stifle (talk) 15:16, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. The ampersand needed to be escaped for some reason. Algebraist 16:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Can't get template to display

I updated Template:Grand Strand transportation but can only see what I did when I edit.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 21:27, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I can see your change. Maybe you have to bypass your cache on the template page to see the change. If you mean that the change doesn't show up on a page where the template is transcluded then just wait. It can take some time before template changes are propagated to pages where the template is used. If you want to see the effect on a page right away then purge the page. PrimeHunter (talk) 21:56, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
There seems to be no way to view the template. Normally I can click on "v" but this one doesn't have that.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 12:53, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Just click on the show boxes. It is collapsed. Vegaswikian (talk) 17:39, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
How is anyone supposed to know this? Can't it be like before?Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 19:48, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

How many WP pages use disambiguators?

Quick question: how many WP: namespace pages use (disambiguators)? Google seems to be no help with this, it ignores my intitle:"(" search terms. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 04:23, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

If you mean how many pages in the Project namespace here contain "(disambugation)" in the title, that is a long list, mostly because the subpages for WP:Articles_for_deletion include quite a few. Excluding subpages, there are not as many. If you mean anything in the namespace ending in parentheses, then there are a lot.
If however, you want to find disambiguations (despite the name), you can check something like this for each of the templates listed at MediaWiki:Disambiguationspage. For example, WP:CU is a disambugation. --Splarka (rant) 07:48, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 13:30, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
For more details, User:Jarry1250/Introduction might be useful. Lots of detail. - Jarry1250 [ humourousdiscuss ] 10:44, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Using the [[wiki:anything]] tag on Wikipedia redirects to non-Wikipedia website

If I want to link to a Wikipedia article, I guessed I'd use the tag [[wiki:Tennis]]

But if I use that tag on Wikipedia, it creates a working link that looks like:

Is there any reason to redirect to a commercial website? I am guessing that the answer is "no" and that this is a bug exploited by that nobody has noticed. Or that it is an Easter egg, since was the creator of the first wiki.

Summary: Basically the correct tag is [[w:Article]] (and is rendered w:Article), but the tag [[wiki:Article]] (rendered wiki:Article) redirects to an external website. Twocs (talk) 03:23, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

This is not a bug. 'wiki:' is the interwiki prefix for WikiWikiWeb, the first wiki. The interwiki prefix for Wikipedia is 'Wikipedia', as you'd expect (though the abbreviation 'W' also works). There's an old discussion at meta:Talk:Interwiki map#wiki:. Algebraist 03:32, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh yes. I also found it on meta:Interwiki_map. Funny. Twocs (talk) 03:50, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
By the way, instead of w:Article, you can just link to an article by using Article. hmwithτ 12:57, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Make indent spacing all the same size

  1. Numbered list
  • Bulletted list
Regular indent

The three items above are indented by different amounts. I suggest that the indentation amount be the same for all three. This would make Talk pages look nicer in many cases. SharkD (talk) 15:55, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

We've been through this several times before: it's impossible to make them line up sensibly in all browsers, because different browsers measure the margin/padding from different places. Happymelon 17:38, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Village_pump (technical)/Archive 55#Make bullets, numbers and tabs all indent by the same amount Happymelon 17:44, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. SharkD (talk) 14:58, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Secure server not so secure?

I do some of my editing from a wireless connection, and so I use the secure server ( to prevent eavesdropping. Recently, when I visit a few certain pages, such as my watchlist, Firefox complains that my connection is only "partially encrypted". The blue background behind the Wikipedia favicon that indicates a secure site disappears partway through the loading process. What's the problem, or has it always been like that and I only just started noticing? Xenon54 (talk) 22:42, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

It has always been this way. Most of the images, and some of the userscripts don't load from the secure server. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 22:52, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Possible bug?

Could this be something to do with the software? The only reason I can think of for something like this happening is the apostrophe in the name of that user, but I'll leave it to the people who are technically knowledgeable to figure that out. Should this be reported as a bug, or is it something else? ≈ Chamal talk 07:23, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I know the problem is resolved. I'm just looking for the reason it happened and whether it should be reported as a bug. ≈ Chamal talk 07:37, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't have any signature preferences set, and my signature comes out as this: Amalthea'"&lt (talk)
So this doesn't appear to be a general problem with apostrophes in user names. Amalthea'"&lt (talk) 08:32, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to standardize stubs to use a meta-template

Please see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Stub sorting#Clean slate, standardization once more (.7B.7Basbox.7D.7D proposal) and the straw poll. –xenotalk 13:20, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Automatic e-mails when watched pages are changed?

Hi. A few days ago I activated the option under "My Preferences" to have an e-mail sent to my confirmed Gmail account when changes are made to pages on my watchlist. It hasn't been working. Any thoughts? 2help (message me) 00:29, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Have you purged? Do you have email enabled? Try actually sending yourself a mail, just to check it isn't something else (e.g. misspelled address) - Kingpin13 (talk) 00:32, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions. It does work when I send an e-mail to myself. Odd. 2help (message me) 00:39, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
The feature is disabled, but the preferences setting wasn't hidden. bugzilla:19468 Mr.Z-man 01:23, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Hmmmm, I see. Well that's just silly. 2help (message me) 02:11, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Meanwhile, adding "(disabled)" or something to Tog-enotifwatchlistpages and Tog-enotifusertalkpages would save the confusion for a number of registered users. — AlexSm 14:29, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
As noted on the bug, the displaying of these options when they aren't enabled has been fixed and will (hopefully/probably) be included in the next code update. ^demon[omg plz] 14:31, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I did say "meanwhile", didn't I? Creating these messages and deleting them afterwards would take you less time than the wasted time of even one confused user. — AlexSm 14:42, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Missing system messages in logs and search

Am I the only one missing system messages in certain places?

AlexSm 21:11, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I just confirmed with rainman-sr. These searchmessages are (like MediaWiki:Noexactmatch) deprecated in the new Search interface that is a result of the Usability study. There are several new messages Special:AllMessages and they start with the prefix searchmenu- . HOWEVER. the usability study has clearly shown that instruction creep is quite scary for users. We would be better to avoid as much of it as possible. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:26, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Can't agree more, on my home wiki we only had a link to local WP:Searching and nothing else. The problem is, right now I don't see a system message where I can insert this link. Also, I've never seen searchmenu-help and searchmenu-prefix in "action". P.S. Due to layout changes, sometimes there are JavaScript errors on the search page. — AlexSm 14:25, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I'll move the search selector into the advanced box later today. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:41, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
It's back in it's old spot again. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 16:14, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

VLC plugin and firefox 3.5

When you use the "more" dropdown under a video to try and get firefox 3.5 to play the file with a VLC plugin the video continues to be played with the native firefox support. Is this something to do with mediawiki or is the issue with firefox/VLC?©Geni 00:10, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Probably VLC. As far as I can tell, all MediaWiki does is run some JavaScript to change the player. But I wouldn't know, as I'm using Firefox 3.6apre1 (aka Minefield) without VLC. For me, all the options (native, cortado, quicktime) all work. Does the Cortado player work too, or are you stuck on the native player? Calvin 1998 (t·c) 01:12, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Table layout problems

Hi. I use subpages to keep the content of my userpage together. Today I've added the Signpost to one of these pages, but the Signpost template and the User Committed identity template doesn't work together. Take a look at this page for more info. Any help would be appreciated! Kind regards, LouriePieterse 14:22, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Assuming you want to avoid the overlap, placing a {{clear}} template immediately before the committed identity template
(i.e. {{clear}}{{User committed identity|...}}) should fix this. Sswonk (talk) 15:09, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
{{Resolved}} Thanks SSwonk. It works perfectly! LouriePieterse 17:16, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

New toolbar and jQuery disabled

FYI. like I already mentioned above, jQuery was causing some problems, and the usability extension (which includes the new experimental toolbar) have been disabled. In case anyone wonders where it went. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:06, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

The toolbar should be back now. jQuery is only enabled on Edit pages atm. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 18:45, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Error message

Hi there. I am getting the following error message when trying to edit the talk page of Eric Frimpong:

Sorry! We could not process your edit due to a loss of session data. Please try again. If it still does not work, try logging out and logging back in.

I logged out and back in but it still doesn't work. Any ideas? Basket of Puppies 19:53, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Edits are taking an inordinate amount of time to post. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 20:56, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Edits are still taking an inordinate amount of time to post. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 06:43, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Generally speaking, if you're having technical issues with a Wikimedia site that you're fairly sure are not your fault, you should try to join the IRC channel #wikimedia-tech on freenode and ask in the channel. If problems persist and you're not able to find anyone, file a bug (<>). This page isn't usually closely monitored by sysadmins. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:44, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Your edit token or other login info was rejected. You probably have cookies disabled or something. Triplestop x3 18:40, 10 July 2009 (UTC)


The editcounter is down again. Shannon1talk contribs 00:08, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

There are others, if you need them. –Juliancolton | Talk 12:32, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
The Toolserver is a separate entity from Wikimedia. You should contact the tool's maintainers. The convention is username <at> For that particular tool, it would be river@ or dab@, I believe. Though it seems to the tool is now working again. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:42, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Zephyr Software Training Ltd.

Why isn't Zephyr Software Training Ltd. showing up in the category of speedy deletion nominees? Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 07:26, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

It is for me, although it's on the second page. Stifle (talk) 08:39, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
The category wasn't showing up on the article page. But it's moot, now.  :) Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 17:18, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Long shot, but do you have "show hidden categories" checked in your preferences? Stifle (talk) 15:20, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I didn't, but I do now, but I've been able to see the categories in the past. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 22:27, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Why is there ActiveX on WP?

I'm seeing atop every WP page viewed, a warning notification from Symantec Antivirus that "Your security settings do not allow Web sites to use ActiveX controls installed on your computer. This page may not display correctly." Is there some way to make my preferences such that no ActiveX is used?LeadSongDog come howl 17:52, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

It's most probably some gadget or the newly served jQuery, or the autosuggestions for the search box that try to use XmlHttpRequest, a web-2.0 way for Javascript to talk to the server it came from. (It does not allow Javascript to talk to arbitrary server, just the one the page came from, in this case to On Internet Explorer (at least the older ones, not sure about IE8), that XmlHttpRequest thing is available only as an ActiveX component. It's nothing evil. Does Gmail work for you? They also use it. Try configuring your virus software to allow the use of ActiveX for the domains and Otherwise, try disabling autosuggestions in your preferences, and disabling gadgets. Lupo 19:01, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I see it even before logging in from IE6 on a restrictively managed network where all external xml and AJAX is blocked, so yes, gmail is also blocked. The autosuggest doesn't work on this machine either, so you may be right that there's a connection. I didn't think it was evil, but it clearly is not very general either. Users shouldn't get error messages as their first contact with WP. I'd like to ascertain the cause of the behaviour. It seems to be the same not just on WP, but also on meta, commons, wikiversity, and wiktionary. Perhaps something around language support. Anyhow, it's ugly.LeadSongDog come howl 22:13, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
You wouldn't have this problem on a current version of Internet Explorer, or on a default configuration of Internet Explorer, or on any browser other than Internet Explorer. If we could detect that you have the rare combination of an old version with an unusual configuration we would just disable the AJAX stuff for you, but apparently the only way to find out is to try it -- which throws the dialog box at the user. Thanks, Microsoft! :) --brion (talk) 22:28, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. Yes, if I had any such option I would exercise it, but not everyone gets to change their configuration. Think public kiosks, libraries, corporate networks, etc. Lots of reasons to lock down a config. The tools at ip2location seem able to determine that I'm running IE6 on Win XP here, so that's clearly available info. But what is it that needs AJAX to work? Can't the basic UI functions of the main page at least be rendered in straight HTML? LeadSongDog come howl 23:00, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
The problem isn't the version, its the configuration. The little bit of AJAX used in the normal interface should work fine with a standard installation of IE6. The problem is the security settings, and AFAIK, there's no reliable way to detect settings that would cause such conflicts. Mr.Z-man 00:29, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Ah, gotcha. But what's changed in the last two days that might be blocked?LeadSongDog come howl 01:16, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I know this doesn't really answer your question, but maybe you could ask your Internet café/library/corporation to upgrade IE or install a different browser such as Firefox? If the organization you rely on knew that there is a demand, they'd be more motivated to make the switch. —Remember the dot (talk) 01:24, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
In my particular case, no, but that doesn't matter, it's just another nuisance notification banner to me and if I wait long enough it'll eventually get updated. To someone else it could be "OMG, this site is trying to infect my computer! I'm not going to risk going there (to wikipedia) again, it must be full of viruses! Good thing Symantec caught it." And we've lost another potential contributor. Lots of underfunded public libraries and schools are using old hand-me-down machines that are memory limited. They lock down these machines because there's a new and often careless user every few minutes. I'd be amazed if the problem isn't showing up there too. LeadSongDog come howl 16:05, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, Firefox uses less memory than IE: [16]. Old hardware is not the problem, in fact, until recently I was browsing quite happily with Firefox on a 7-year-old old Pentium III with 512 MB of memory. And really, it's not hard to lock down machines without going security-paranoid and popping up warnings about Wikipedia. —Remember the dot (talk) 16:35, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I get that. I don't choose the config.LeadSongDog come howl 16:40, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Could the problem be avoided by providing on IE an XHR facade that used hidden iframes instead of the ActiveX component for the transport? (Of course, IE6 also has a "security" setting "Launching programs and files in an IFRAME": disable/enable/prompt... it just sucks.) Lupo 07:42, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps. Got an example I could check?LeadSongDog come howl 16:05, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Getting back to the original problem, I have the same issue. My corporate network was making the error come up twice for each page. After disabling the auto-suggestions, I'm down to once per page. Anyone know what I can disable to get rid of the last one? Dismas|(talk) 02:51, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
My mistake. It hasn't changed any. At first when I tested it, I was only getting one error at Janet Jones (disambiguation) and two at Janet Jones. Now it's back to two per page though... Dismas|(talk) 03:12, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Is that from Symantec AV too or some other source?LeadSongDog come howl 04:01, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
It's from IE. At my work, we run IE 6 (outdated, I know) through Citrix MetaFrame (which, after looking at the article, I see is discontinued *roll eyes*). You'd never know that I work for a Fortune 500 technology company... Dismas|(talk) 09:32, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, I don't know why, but the warning banner has disappeared! I note the footer that proclaimed the MediWiki version as 1.16(alpha) has also gone, though WP:about says that it's still alpha.LeadSongDog come howl 15:57, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Nope, not fixed. But jQuery got pulled because it caused other problems. See #Login problem below. Lupo 16:02, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, either way... For my sake, I'm glad it's "fixed"! Dismas|(talk) 23:58, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Vector skin and scripts

I've been testing Vector and some of the scripts a bit.


  • Qui
  • HotCat
  • Popups
  • + for new section
  • lead section [edit] gadget


  • assessment gadget is broken due to the changed ID for the talk page tab (ca-talk now ca-main_talk )
  • refTools, broken as expected due to changed toolbar.
  • The ipv6 detection code of Common.js
  • Drop down menus (p-cactions now under views or something)

Requires thunks gadget

  • wikEd doesn't work. likely due to changed layout of edit page
  • UTC clock gadget. broken due to broken addPortletLink for p-personal (now called personal ?)
  • Broken * purge tab (again due to changed id's for portlets)
  • Broken twinkle (due to p-cactions changes most likely)

So it seems that so far most problems are with p-personal and p-cactions layout changes. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 19:58, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

I added a gadget MediaWiki:Gadget-vectorskin-thunks.js, conveniently ripped from zh.wp that can deal with some of these issues. If people want to use the Vector skin, then this gadget may be useful until the scripts or skin are adapted. For compatibility, see the list above. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 22:04, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
This skin was rolled out a bit prematurely it seems to me. The most apparent problem I believe is that the tabs are apparently hardcoded? They are always showing the anon-version of the tabs, which for users of additional rights is missing the watch and move tabs, and for admins of course a lot more. And hmm, why does it introduce messages specific to that skin, e.g. uses MediaWiki:Vector-view-edit instead of MediaWiki:edit?
The tabs could of course all be added back via compatibility gadget, but ... Amalthea 09:25, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Ah, found them. Yikes. Amalthea 09:28, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
This is just a preview though. I mean, you would have to have read the techblog to know about this atm, most people will never find it. It is there so that everyone can test and check more easily in real world situations. I think that is a good thing. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:30, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
A preview is certainly good. All those script incompatibilities wouldn't have been found without it. To me, it appears to be pretty final though, it's just as accessible as all other skins, and is going to be listed in the next Signpost. Amalthea 11:13, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
It is just a first iteration. I think many more iterations will follow before the skin becomes the default skin. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:50, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
The next release of wikEd is compatible with vector, but I hope the unnecessary id changes in this skin that break so many scripts will be undone. Almost all monobook scripts could then also work under vector without any changes. Please see the bug report asking for that. Cacycle (talk) 03:02, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I honestly want to know why any of the ids were changed, seeing as a new skin is simply a difference in CSS and JS... --Izno (talk) 04:07, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
A new skin is more than just CSS and JS, there's also pesky details like document structure, headers, footers, sidebar construction and layout, etc. :) However I have advocated on not changing IDs unnecessarily, and some at least are going back. --brion (talk) 22:26, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
That seems inefficient to me. Why wouldn't MediaWiki deliver the same page structure and let CSS/JS do the rest of the work (simply curious)? --Izno (talk) 20:04, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
The one big change that is going to be made is the separation of namespaces vs actions in the top of the page. This is not something you can do with just CSS. To do it well, you have to do it in the page structure. Also note that many of these changes that were breaking compatibility with monobook have been undone in the past few days. These changes just are not live yet. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 23:41, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

AWB being funny

Whenever AWB tries to load Health care, it sits there repeatedly timing out. Anyone else getting this? OrangeDog (talk • edits) 03:12, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Safari as well. The server must have a lock on it or something. Asking sysadmins. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:33, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Correction. Now i have no problem with it. Weird. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:34, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Oddly, it pre-parses just fine, but still times out when trying to load it for editing. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 01:54, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Not that odd. I just found out that that page uses {{Topic by country}}, which if the page is not cached, brace yourself, will take 48, yes FORTY EIGHT, seconds to parse, and it then times out, instead of finishing. This is just not acceptable. I will put this thing up for deletion. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 00:26, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Has Vector gone live?

Or is it just me and my prefs aren't working. It says Monobook in my prefs, but I see that simplified edit environment when I edit. I ask because I want to continue to use reftools. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 23:53, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

The skin and the enhanced edit toolbar are separate preferences. You can turn the toolbar off in the "editing" tab ("Enable enhanced editing toolbar").--Eloquence* 07:12, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Rollback issue

Did someone mess with Rollback function? It's now showing this in edit summaries:

<div id="mw-revertpage">Reverted edits by (talk) to last version by Levineps</div>

It's not supposed to show div id markup in an edit summary. I don't think anyway. Never has before. - ALLSTRecho wuz here 10:26, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Just came here to say the same thing. I can't navigate BugZilla, nor do I have an account. So could someone else please file a report if it's needed? Cheers - Kingpin13 (talk) 10:39, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Fixed Oops, sorry that was me. I was trying to add an identifying div to the message that you get on the "action complete" page. Is it the same message as the edit summary? That's not very clever... Happymelon 10:42, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Straw Poll on modifying <ref>

I have created a straw poll on proposed software changes to <ref> aimed at improving the way references are organized within wikicode. Please comment at the referenced page. Dragons flight (talk) 11:43, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Uploads and thumb generation offline for a while


See techblog. They are gonna try to fix Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#extreme_slowness.3FTheDJ (talkcontribs) 19:41, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Everything should be back to normal. Now it's waiting to get back to the stress situation, to see if the server will hold out with the new patch in place. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:20, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
All fixed! --brion (talk) 21:20, 15 July 2009 (UTC)


A question has been asked at Template talk:Loop#Why do you need to double? that I'd like to get resolved. If anyone can answer it definitively, it'd be much appreciated. --- RockMFR 01:54, 12 July 2009 (UTC)


WebCite, a popular on-demand web archiving service referenced by Wikipedia over 20,000 times, went down for a server upgrade on June 24th. WebCite is currently "on-line" but a few things were broken in the upgrade and it is currently not working properly - for example, returning error messages or blank pages for most previous archives. ThaddeusB has been in contact with Gunther Eysenbach throughout the process and would like to assure the community that efforts are underway to fix the broken links. In the mean time, please do not remove, or otherwise attempt to fix, "broken links" to See this discussion for more information. --Blargh29 (talk) 05:20, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Links to articles from an Inkscape svg

Cheshire Ring Schematic.png

File:Cheshire Ring Schematic.png is easily converted to a svg using Inkscape. Each of the text objects (labels on the diagram) is the name of a valid Wikipedia article. All I want to do is click on the text object and wikilink to the article. The file will be found on commons. Can any of you graphics gurus tell me how to do it? --ClemRutter (talk) 13:37, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Use an image map. The SVG image is converted by the server to PNG, and the fancy animation/scripting/hotlinking features are ignored as a result. SharkD (talk) 17:05, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Excellent. This was the page I was looking for. --ClemRutter (talk) 08:44, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Substituting surname

Any idea how you can {{subst: a surname in the page title to DEFAULTSORT sort the categories? Its just I have a large batch of German politicians to transwiki and I want to do it more quickly. So basically when you create the page it automatically places e.g Fritz Baier as Baier, Fritz in the categories. If not I gather there is a bot that can default sort the categories by surname and fix it afterwards?

I'd imagine it is something like {subst:PAGENAME} but with a little programming to read the last word of the title and place it first. It would save a great deal of time anyway. Dr. Blofeld White cat 20:15, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

The only way I know to do this would be with AutoWikiBrowser. You would insert {{DEFAULTSORT:%%key%%}}, and AWB will replace %%key%% with a best guess for last name, first name. I expect multiple word last names, such as those with "von", will not get parsed correctly, so you need to check before saving. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 13:25, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Strange error...

I was in the middle of nominating a page for speedy deletion [17]:

Name: Cynthea Tan Former School : SJK(C Pui Ying) Current School : SMJK Kwang Hua Current Location: Klang Age : 13 As she is such a hater, You don't need to know more about her!

When Twinkle froze. When I opened up a new tab to see what happened, Cynthea tan had this on it:

The requested page or revision cannot be found
The database did not find a page or revision that it was expecting to find.

With my deletion nomination and stuff on it, and it looks like I created the page, and there is no deletion log. Very strange... [mad pierrot][t c] 08:11, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Just kidding, there is a deletion log. But still weird. [mad pierrot][t c] 08:15, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
It appears it was deleted shortly before you nominated it in the same minute so your nomination created a new page. The nomination saved the text of MediaWiki:Missing-article. Maybe (just guessing here) Twinkle substed that page when Twinkle was used to nominate a non-existing page for deletion. PrimeHunter (talk) 12:28, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Twinkle didn't subst MediaWiki:Missing-article when you went to create a new page; MediaWiki does that automatically. I get that kind of problem sometimes when I'm doing history merges. I'll try to edit a page while MediaWiki is deleting it, and the text of MediaWiki:Missing-article will pop up in the edit window. Graham87 16:00, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

How To Request a User Block?

I'd like to request a user (IP) be blocked after repeatedly re-adding inappropriate external links after repeated reversions and warnings. User is IP Edits have been mainly to Rock Hill, South Carolina but also includes Hampden, Maine and South Carolina. Constant edits to add external links. Most do not seem to be promotional spam, rather listing lots of businesses that happen to be in a city within that city's articles, plus adding lots of links to weather websites for each city, all of which is inappropriate external links. Also changes the population stats of different city articles without citations.

First I'd like to request a block of IP

But I'd also like to know the correct process for what the proper process is to make a block request. Is the right course of action to just post here on Village Pump, or is there a specific place I should go to make this request.

Thanks. --Fife Club (talk) 03:05, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

This is definitely not the right place. You want either the vandalism noticeboard or the administrator incidents noticeboard. This page is (mostly) for technical issues regarding Wikipedia software and operation. Franamax (talk) 20:05, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

CSS randomly deactivating


I just had several pages randomly load without their style sheets (so the pages I remember it happening on are CHU, my watchlist, and randomly hu:User talk:EVula). A couple of refreshes and they come back, but still, it's odd. EVula // talk // // 21:20, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Access to the directory containing the stylesheets was killed temporarily. Fixed now. Algebraist 21:27, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Yep, was a temporary glitch in deployment -- the directory tree didn't get updated properly on the server. Should be all better now. :D --brion (talk) 21:31, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Groovy, thanks. EVula // talk // // 21:43, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Database error when deleting images

I tried to delete a few images in the last minutes, and what I got was:

A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was:

(SQL query hidden)

from within function "LocalFile::delete". MySQL returned error "1205: Lock wait timeout exceeded; Try restarting transaction (".

How do I fix this? -- King of ♠ 00:13, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

A "timeout exceeded" most likely means that the server is taking too long to process. See related discussion Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#extreme_slowness.3F. Zzyzx11 (talk) 00:40, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Archiving seems to be broken

Oops! I started this thread in the wrong place. It was about operation of this page, not the subject of the page, so it belongs on Talk and I've moved it. Interesting paradox though, what happens when the technical operation of VPT, the page where technical operations are discussed, needs discussion? Franamax (talk) 01:44, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Would it be possible to hard-code alternate text for images, i.e. at the File: description page?

This would make it easier to deploy standard WP:Alternative text for images for highly used images without having to enter it every time an image is used on a page. (Related discussion: Wikipedia talk:FAC#Alt text in images). –xenotalk 19:04, 10 July 2009 (UTC) added: it should be possible to over-write the hard-coded alt text per irid's concern below.

As I've already said at the FAC thread, I strongly oppose this. The appropriate alt-text for an image depends on context; for example, this image of Lindsay Lohan wearing a Gucci hat would warrant totally different descriptions in its two different Wikipedia usages; in Gucci, the text would focus on the design of the hat and the person wearing it would be irrelevant, whereas in Lindsay Lohan it would describe the person wearing it with just a passing mention of the hat. – iridescent 19:13, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Your analogy seems a little far-fetched (shouldn't we find an image of a gucci hat on its own?), and off, I think it would probably be refuted by users of screen readers (alt text should describe succinctly the entire image). That being said, if this solution were enacted, the default alt-text placed at the File: page could be over-ridden by explicitly providing it when calling the image. –xenotalk 19:17, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Why not an |alt= option, to go along with the |link= option? --Izno (talk) 19:26, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Images may already take an |alt= paramater. The proposal is to provide some way of coding the alt text at the File: page itself, i.e., through a magic word, or template of some sort. –xenotalk 19:31, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Feature requests go to Bugzilla: Try to be clear when filing a bug. It sounds as though you want a modification made to the image table to store alt text in a column. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:38, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I know, but generally clever folks like yourself are better at writing those things than bumbling idiots like me. So I bring it here, so that either a) someone else files it at bugzilla or b) someone shoots me down and says no it can't be done, etc. or c) I get some direction on what to write in the bugzilla. =) –xenotalk 19:41, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Here's an example on why this would be useful: File:Moh right.gif, used on just over 250 pages. Someone kindly provided a suggested alt text at File:Moh right.gif#Alt text. So if this could be wrapped in a template or magic word and then automatically provided (with option for override) when the image is called... it would save a lot of work. It would also preclude a bot task I recently filed to edit over 2800 stub templates. –xenotalk 19:45, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

We'd need a way to find out which images have alt text assigned to them, probably through a category. I can also think of serious WP:BEANS issues with this feature, unless the image pages with the alt text are closely watched. Otherwise, I support anything that adds making it easier to add alt text to images. Graham87 06:38, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Strong support, having the alt text in the file itself makes sense. It would also improve the accessibility of Commons (though I don't know if a screen reader has interest in going there, but who knows).
If alt text is provided directly on Commons files, we will need a way to differentiate every language. Dodoïste (talk) 11:46, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
This would require an engineering effort of some sorts, and though i think the idea is nice, judging from the amount of years we are already waiting for any type of metadata to be coupled to images and articles, I don't think this is gonna happen any time soon. The translation issue for Commons files is also rather interesting. Though great stuff for a bugticket, I don't think we will see this implemented within the next 2 years at this time. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:32, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
You would need a way to define the alt metadata in the file page; lets call it {{{DEFAULTALT}}}. Then, when the image is displayed, it would use the default alt text unless it was defined locally with alt=. This will require a Bugzilla feature request; as TheDJ noted, it will probably be quite a while before it will be implemented, but that is not a reason to file the request. The short term solution is to edit every article with the image in question and add the alt text, or replace the image with a template; implementation of either would be an easy task for AWB. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 11:31, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia's top left logo doesn't load for me until I visit a page where it's been stored in my cache. This has only been happening for these last few days. -- penubag  (talk) 23:06, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I guess this is related to the above. -- penubag  (talk) 23:09, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#extreme_slowness.3FTheDJ (talkcontribs) 23:09, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Same with what I'm experiencing. The problem sometimes appear throughout the day, something is definitely wrong. -- (talk) 23:49, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

"From Wikipedia" appearing under every page title

This is an issue with selecting en-gb interface language; some messages don't fall back to the version you expect. --brion (talk) 14:54, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure how long this has been happening, but I don't remember seeing it before so it must be fairly new. Every page title is now followed by the phrase "From Wikipedia", in the slot that used to be empty and only used for "redirected from..." notices. Why has this been added? To me, it seems superfluous and distracting. Modest Genius talk 01:40, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Doesn't it say "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" like in MediaWiki:Tagline? PrimeHunter (talk) 03:03, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Shouldn't that be a lowercase "from", seeing as it's a run-on from the title (and no full stop)? OrangeDog (talk • edits) 03:14, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
@Primehunter, no, I'm referring to the title at the top of each page. For example, for water I see: Water <edit button> <horizontal line> From Wikipedia <article starts> Modest Genius talk 03:35, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
That's not standard. What skin are you using? Algebraist 03:43, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
And what gadgets and JS tools, browser etc ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:30, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I see "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" in the place you describe. Try to completely clear your cache. PrimeHunter (talk) 12:09, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Me too. Monobook skin with Popups, purge tab and Friendly tags. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 13:05, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Hmm. When I log out, I get the "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". But logged in, I just see "From Wikipedia". I'm using monobook, with no custom .js, on Firefox 3.0.11. I have the "Add an [edit] link for the lead section of a page" gadget enabled, but I tried turning that off and it didn't make any difference. The only other gadgets I have on are "Focus the cursor in the search bar on loading the Main Page." and "Open external links in a new tab/window". Modest Genius talk 17:01, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
You've set your language to en-gb, so you see MediaWiki:Tagline/en-gb. Algebraist 17:24, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Aha, that explains things. But why is the en-gb version different? I'm not sure, but I don't remember seeing anything there before. That article has no history, so I can't check if it changed recently. Modest Genius talk 23:33, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
All system messages are done separately by language. No-one seems to maintain the en-gb ones much, so they're mostly stuck on MediaWiki defaults. Algebraist 23:56, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) What I suspect that has happened, is that previously, this system message was not "translated" and empty. Since a recent update however, it was translated and started showing up. This brings an interesting point btw, we shouldn't rely too much on these languages specific site messages.... —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 23:47, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, en-gb is almost totally unsupported. Algebraist 23:55, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
If anyone feels like wasting a significant amount of time to clean this up.... en vs en-gb. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 00:05, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Aaaaand I notice the en-gb version has been synced to the en version, and has acquired an article history. Now I think I'll disable it in my JS... Thanks for your help all! Modest Genius talk 01:18, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
For historical completeness, here is how to hide it, which goes in the CSS not the JS (oops) Modest Genius talk 01:26, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
There's an en-us too, isn't there? --Izno (talk) 01:34, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Not as a language option on WikiMedia projects, no. Algebraist 04:47, 10 July 2009 (UTC)