Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive Q

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Village pumps: PolicyTechnicalProposals (persistent)Miscellaneous


Watchlist troubleshooting[edit]

I added an article to my watchlist which has since been deleted. Afterwards, it was still listed in my watchlist so I tried to remove it. When I did, a message popped up saying that it had already been removed from my watchlist and that I should try refreshing the page. I refreshed the page, and the article still remained on my watchlist, and I have been unable to remove it. - Conrad Devonshire 01:29, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Try going to the article's talk page and using the unwatch link there. --cesarb 16:26, 3 April 2006 (UTC)


This has probably been debated since the annals of time here on Wikipedia, but why don't we have a rudimentary spellcheck button on the edit page? One can simply cut & paste to an external program and perform a spellcheck there, but how can we expect that of an anon who can't be arsed to create an account? A spellcheck button would be nice. Isopropyl 17:09, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

one of the major objections is that British and American English frequently have different spellings, and to choose one spellchecker over another would be bias. User:Zoe|(talk) 19:33, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
That's a trivial objection. If that's really the problem, than one could simply combine the two wordlists into one list, or run it twice- only an entry flagged in both variants would be sent to the reader... &etc. There are plenty of ways around it.
The real problem is that there are so many odd words (like HTML, or wiki-markup, or simply names) that a spellcheck turns up many false positives. My own personal dictionary still flags things it shouldn't, and I've spell-checked many articles.
And of course, there are server load problems. It'd probably be best if we kept spell-check as a client's problem. Feature-creep and all that. --maru (talk) contribs 21:07, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, that settles my curiousity. Thanks! Isopropyl 21:31, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Make a plug-in available? Is the server load greater than that of multiple submissions due to spelling errors? Just zis Guy you know? 22:43, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
There's a client-side plugin for Firefox called Spellbound. Superm401 - Talk 01:05, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Recent version of the Google toolbar also provide client side spell checking. Dragons flight 02:53, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Google Page Rank[edit]

Well, someone complained in the portuguese wikipedia that the articles for deletion entry for an article was getting first choice for google search. If I remember correclty, there is some way to fix this, right? I checked Robots Exclusion Standard and PageRank#Google's "rel=nofollow" proposal, but couldn't figure out how to make this work. So, does any one know how do we do that? Thanks! algumacoisaqq 16:29, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

How do you say "articles for deletion" in Portugese? Looking at , it appears the Portugese deletion pages are already blocked. Superm401 - Talk 17:49, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
It's Páginas paraa eliminar. Yes, it is on this file. I talked a little more with the person, tought, and it seems that the majority of the links come from pt:Wikipedia:CheckUser/Pedidos de verificação. I checked the same file, and this one isn't there, so I think this is it. It was a discussion about checking some user's IP, and tought the discussion the user being acused posted several links to the article for deletion page - this is probably causing the google engine to search it. Shouldn't checkuser be added on the list? Thanks a lot! algumacoisaqq 19:00, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

A ticket has been filed on BugZilla for this. Rob Church (talk) 02:37, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Deletion glitch[edit]

What's going on here? FireFoxT [15:55, 2 April 2006]

Offhand that doesn't look possible from the server-side code. You seem to have a lot of user JS, and are running a beta version of Windows; try clearing that stuff out, see if it's a client-side bug. --Brion 00:19, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a good point I suppose. It's only happened the once but I guess it's probably me rather than Wikipedia. Thanks. FireFoxT [11:02, 3 April 2006]

IP blocks and accounts[edit]

I've no doubt this has been dealt with before, but I don't know where. Is it not possible to arrange matters so that an editing block imposed an an IP addresss only blocks non-logged-in Users from that address? Obviously this is especially important when an IP address is used by a large number of people, some of whom are persistent and seriously disruptive vandals while others are sueful, conscientious editors. If we could say to those innocently affected by an edit block: "Open an account, and this won't affect you", it would be much fairer. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:32, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Blocking policy proposal. Martin 22:37, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks — I've joind in the discussion there. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:24, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

bypassing a draconian Web filter[edit]

My school has been tightening its Web filtering. I used to be able to visit Tammy sex video scandal and Media Whores Online but now I get: "403 Forbidden - access blocked by access control list" every time. Is there any way to bypass this so that I can watch these pages for vandalism? — | Talk 14:32, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

I doubt it. The only potential way would be to set up a an external proxy which encrypts traffic before relaying it do you. However this will probably be in violation of your universities rules and regulations and you could be expelled. Since you live in Singapore, you should be glad you can at least access it from home as Singapore proxies/filters all internet traffic in their country. I would stick with stuff which Lee Kuan Yew approves of :-P Nil Einne 14:38, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
A ha... I guessed correctly that they were doing a simple word search for certain banned words (sex, whore, etc) in the requested URL string. Encoding the letter (eg sex -> s%65x) in the URL gives me the desired articles. :) — | Talk 16:48, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
I figured a Singaporean would be that smart (except for the one who decided to install the filters). --Dhartung | Talk 08:23, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Why isn't my monobook.css recognized?[edit]

I tried creating my monobook.css, User:Tifego/monobook.css with exactly the same contents as User:Locke Cole/monobook.css, but for some reason mine doesn't even show up as a CSS file whereas his does. Is there some hidden user setting I have to switch on? –Tifego(t) 00:46, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Are you using the standard Wikipedia skin (which is called monobook), or are you using one of the other ones? The name of the css is not always identical to the skin name. If you are using monobook, perhaps you need to force your browser to refresh its cache.-gadfium 09:45, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Go to [1]. If it wants to download, open it in Notepad (and check that your new edits are there); if it opens as raw text in your browser window, simply press Ctrl+F5. (It happens because of cache; your browser still has the old version without any text in its memory.) Jon Harald Søby 11:00, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I am using the monobook skin. That raw link does not work, it says "Forbidden", "Raw pages must be accessed through the primary script entry point." I have already tried hitting Ctrl+F5 in IE and Ctrl+Shift+R in Firefox. It's not a browser cache issue, it's something server-side that thinks the page is a regular user page instead of a script page. I can tell it does not think it's a script page because the text is not automatically preformatted and there is no note at the top about how to refresh the browser cache. –Tifego(t) 11:15, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Could somebody please answer this, how to get a CSS file working here? It can't be that hard, considering how many other users already have it set up. –Tifego(t)23:26, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Or, alternatively, let me know why I shouldn't expect to get this working. (Does it require admin privileges or something?) –Tifego(t)22:07, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
I fancy your browser/something else client-side is objecting to opening a CSS file that doesn't end with .css. You can probably get round it with Javascript, but I don't know how. Sam Korn (smoddy) 22:11, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
What? I don't understand what you mean. If it's client-side, it's happening for all clients, not just for me; you will see the same problem I am seeing if you attempt to go to my monobook.CSS file. And it does end in .css, so again, I don't know what you mean. –Tifego(t)01:20, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Okay, here is my new question then: Why doesn't my .css file do anything, and why doesn't the text display as preformatted? Is it interfering with itself? –Tifego(t)01:30, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Stacking images[edit]

For a page that has lots of images, I prefer to stack them right on top of each other at the page margins. This avoids jagged margins.

It is easy to stack images against the right margin. All I have to do is specify "right" in the link for each image, and the images all stack on top of each other if there is no text between the images.

However, the "left" attribute does not work the same way. The next image displays at the right of the previous one instead of at the bottom. So, I devised a left aligned table with one cell per row to do this. It stacks the images okay, but. mysteriously, the images are shrunk horizontally, and there is white padding to the right of the table. See User:Wuzzy/test_left_photo_table I wonder if someone could fix my table, or explain another way to stack images along the left margin. It would be much appreciated. Wuzzy 20:46, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

It's bad style to stack the images on the right. The point of images in an article is to enhance the text. By aligning all the images on on side of the screen, it becomes very difficult to match a picture with a section. The picture tutorial specifies that images should be alternated, see Wikipedia:Picture tutorial#Avoiding image "stackups" and Wikipedia:Picture tutorial#Alternating left and right floats. ~MDD4696 21:28, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Related discussion: Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not/galleries. (After all, if the images do not directly contribute to sections of the article, wouldn't they just be a vertically stacked gallery?) ~MDD4696 21:53, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Image slowness[edit]

Images seem to be really slow and unreliable today... is something wrong with the servers, or is the site getting unusually heavy traffic? *Dan T.* 18:57, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

New line after Userbox[edit]

Hello all,

I am now writing in the User page about me. But how do I make the page continue with on a new line after a userbox?

With kind regards Allard

I'm not 100% sure this is what you want, but you can use {{-}} to clear any floated boxes on a page (so text would not flow next to a userbox, but below it). It's called a template, and all you have to do is copy it to your page. Also, please remember to sign your posts with four tildes (~~~~). ~MDD4696 16:28, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Update interval[edit]

Does anybody know when and at what interval, wikipedia run the cronjob to update the database (such as search index, special:disambiguations, special:lonelypages, special:deadendpages, special:doubleredirects, special:brokenredirects, ...)? borgx (talk) 02:52, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

None of these are run at scheduled periodic intervals. -- Rick Block (talk) 02:59, 4 April 2006 (UTC) Per Tim, below. -- Rick Block (talk) 04:20, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
The special pages listed are updated every Saturday and Wednesday. The update starts at 04:00 UTC, and works alphabetically through the list of wikis. There's also a daily update of the smaller wikis (i.e. not including this one), which starts at 05:00 UTC. I know this because I was the one who set it up. As far as I know, there's no schedule for search index updates. -- Tim Starling 03:59, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Help on locating help on accessing Wikipedia via BlackBerry[edit]

I'm sort of stumbling around in the dark here. Or more like bumbling around in the forest, running into trees. I have a BlackBerry and I've been experimenting accessing Wikipedia with it. Only either I'm doing it wrong or it doesn't work right. I can't seem to find the search box, in particular. I've been stumbing around in Help and/or the Village Pump and/or other self-referential sections of Wikipedia trying to find the section that I just have to think exists about accessing Wikipedia from less capable browsers and platforms such as BlackBerry.

So here are my questions:

1) Could some kind individual point me the direction of help of accessing Wikipedia from less capable browsers and platforms such as the BlackBerry?

2) Could someone perhaps point me to a page that explains how to search the self-referential section of Wikipedia without searching the larger 'pedia?

And while I'm at it:

3) If this is not the appropriate place to ask these questions, can you tell me what is?


The Letter J 00:57, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like you're looking for Wikipedia:Wikipedia on PDAs (but there's nothing on BlackBerrys). Searching is described at Wikipedia:Searching. The self-referential sections of Wikipedia are separate namespaces, to which searches can be restricted either in your preferences or following an unsuccessful search. This is a reasonable place to ask these sorts of questions, or Wikipedia:Help desk. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:20, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

"Hide My Edits" preference?[edit]

Is there a way to make "hide my edits" on your watchlist the default? I understand I could bookmark the URL, but that's not quite as convenient. Didn't see it anywhere in the preferences ... — WCityMike (T | C) 20:36, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Not at this precise second, but it could be added. Rob Church (talk) 03:58, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

multiple topics[edit]

are we allowed to add information on a person if there are multiple people with the same name? to be exact, i would like to add information on the centerfielder for the chicago white sox named brian anderson, but dont want to erase the information on the pitcher with the same name

Yes, of course you're allowed to. You can create a new page at Brian Anderson (centerfielder), and add
:''For the Chicago White Sox centerfielder, see [[Brian Anderson (centerfielder)]].''

at the top of the current Brian Anderson article. -- Eugene van der Pijll 14:26, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Except of course the article name should be Brian Anderson (center fielder). —Doug Bell talkcontrib 21:36, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

"hist" and "diff" columns[edit]

Hi, why is it that in the "Recent changes" page (and also "My watchlist") the first column is the "diff" link and the second column is the "hist" link, while in "User contributions" (including "My contributions") the first column is "hist" and the second "diff"? It can be quite annoying when you switch often between these pages, you end up clicking on the wrong thing. 02:11, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Also, the watchlist diff is a different url than the diff in the history page. When trying to figure out how far back to look at changes (say on this page that I rarely read), due to the different format, it doesn't remember (faint link) the last diff I selected in the history.
Example (formatted):
  • in the history,
  • in the watch list,
Why is the curid added? It seems to be overridden by the diff and oldid.
--William Allen Simpson 08:54, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

In the history last compares the version in this  row with its pedecessor in the next  row, setting oldid=this  and diff=next. OTOH cur compares oldid=this  with the current version diff=cur  in the first row. -- Omniplex 23:31, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, that's true on the history page. That's not true on the watchlist page. The curid has no effect on the watchlist diff. You always get the diff and oldid version, even when 16 more people edit as you are working your way through the watchlist. The curid is superfluous.
--William Allen Simpson 06:33, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

RFC: measuring article quality[edit]

As this is a quite technical proposal, it would be nice if some village pump people could have a look ok it: Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Metrics_for_measuring_article_reliability. It is about ensuring quality articles without the need for authorities deciding about it. -- 00:51, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

If I'm reading this right, the proposal is essentially to add a page hit counter that is reset to 0 whenever an edit is made to an article. I don't think this is necessarily a bad idea, but the overall system architecture at this point basically precludes adding page hit counters (see Wikipedia:Technical FAQ#Can I add a page hit counter to a Wikipedia page?. There is an article validation feature in the works to address the same problem. You might also be interested in Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team. -- Rick Block (talk) 15:33, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
The overhead issue has been addressed on the discussion page of the proposal: the overhead can probably be kept low by adding the hits retroactively from the logs. -- 00:14, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Cree interwiki link is incorrect[edit]

I just noticed that the language name for interwiki links to the Cree Wikipedia is incorrect and incomplete. The links currently read "Nehiyaw". This is incorrect, because the e vowel is long; it should read "Nēhiyaw". (Some linguists would go so far as to write "Nēhiýaw", presumably to mark the y/th distinction among dialects.) Furthermore, Cree can be written in either the Latin alphabet or Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, so both scripts should be represented. The full text of the interwiki link should thus be "Nēhiyaw / ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ" or possibly "Nēhiýaw / ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ". This makes it match interwiki links for other languages with two scripts, such as Kurdish ("Kurdî / كوردي"). So, who do I contact to get this change implemented, and if it needs to go to a vote first, where should I conduct the vote? —Psychonaut 05:25, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

I've submitted a MediaWiki bug report and patch for this issue. —Psychonaut 18:48, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

#R button[edit]

Hello, I am an admin on the English Wiktionary. I'd like to add the "#R" button that appears above the Wikipedia edit box, to edit boxes on Wiktionary. Could someone please tell me where to find it? Thanks in advance, --Connel MacKenzie 05:53, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

It seems to be javascript in MediaWiki:Monobook.js. -- Rick Block (talk) 11:50, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. --Connel MacKenzie 04:22, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Spoofing of "You have new messages": a very simple solution[edit]

It's very easy to spoof a "You have new messages" notice.

Sometimes this is used for practical jokes, with the link pointing to the Autofellatio page. Sometimes it's more serious, using an external link to some malicious page like GNAA Last Measure (it's hard to distinguish external links from internal links with that bright orange background, and newbie users might not know the difference anyway). Not to mention, nowadays there's yet another unfixed Windows security hole that can take over your Windows computer merely by getting you to visit a malicious website, and for which no patch will be available until April 11 or so. Note this is not the same as December's Windows Metafile vulnerability, it's an entirely new one.

Needless to say, some vandals have already been adding such spoofed "new messages" notices. Some time ago they were adding them to the featured article.

Given this state of affairs it would be highly desirable to make the "You have new messages" notice unspoofable.

One obvious step would be to personalize it to mention your username (I presume there's no {{USERNAME}} Mediawiki variable spoofers can use to display this). If you see "Jimbo Wales, you have new messages" and your name isn't Jimbo Wales, then you'd be quite suspicious. On the other hand, your name might be Jimbo Wales, so why not make the orange notice display in an area of screen real estate that users can't write to? For instance, why not display the notice at the very top of the page, above the page title instead of below it? Or maybe in the left-hand-side sidebar?

Actually both of the above should be done: customize the message with the user's username and put it somewhere where a spoofer can't. -- Curps 08:33, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Seconded. --Quiddity
You might want to fill out a bug report on bugzilla. jacoplane 09:47, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
I've added a little hack to my monobook.css that shows those pratical joke ones in a different font color and text. However, it's only for when they link to Practical joke, I'll have to see if I can adjust that. --lightdarkness (talk) 18:10, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Just add the following to your monobook.css (with your username of course) and real new messages will appear in deep blue, smaller text.
.usermessage a[href *="User_talk:Lightdarkness&redirect=no"] {
        color: #0000FF;
        font-family: Comic Sans;

Enjoy! --lightdarkness (talk) 18:20, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

I can't obtain the username of a person visiting a page so that would work (assuming one could rouse a developer). But it doesn't matter where the notice appears; I can fake it -- no such thing as an "unwritable" area of the screen. No, I won't tell you how to do it. And don't you, either. John Reid 23:03, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
There are places where the notice would be very hard to fake, since any fake notice would overlap other content. A real notice, of course, would simply push the other content away. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 21:54, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

By what process was "Featured articles" added to the navigation menu?[edit]

I'd like to make a case for the Community bulletin board to be added there, but I don't know where to start. --Go for it! 20:33, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Like most decisions on Wikipedia which actually get things done, I suspect large quantities of alcohol were drunk by someone who already had extraordinarily large testicles and who had just finished reading Wikipedia:Be bold. The history of MediaWiki:Sidebar says that Dragon's Flight did it in this edit, so you could ask him if he's got any liquor left. Rob Church (talk) 23:24, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
LOL --Go for it! 20:23, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Really there was no alcohol involved, but there were a half-dozen or so voices in support at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals). As to this particular suggestion, doesn't the "Community Portal" link already take you to a page that shows you the bulletin board? Dragons flight 01:37, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Dragons flight - There's no point in linking both the community portal AND the community portal bulletin board. Space on the sidebar is limited and we should avoid redundant links like that. Raul654 01:45, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
No, the idea is to remove the Community Bulletin Board from the Community Portal, and have it linked to instead from the nav menu. That way the CBB won't overwhelm the material on the Community Portal which it is doing now (it pushes it way down the page, and is a frequent complaint of people trying to access material other than the CBB itself). Another frequent complaint is that the Community Portal is too large -- moving the CBB off of there would significantly reduce its size. --Go for it! 09:09, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I would support that. Although there is also Community Portal redesign draft that places the CBB in a column, which slightly solves the size complaint, though it does push the collaborations further down the page from where they were. see User:Quiddity/sandbox2. --Quiddity 19:40, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
The floating column format doesn't work well with the kind of information that's on the Community Portal. Colspan and rowspan work much better, and allow for specific placement of cells.
Slightly tangential, I was wanting to propose that we continue to improve the Wikipedia:Featured content portal, and place that in the sidebar instead of the "Featured articles" link. That would seem to cover the intended material slightly better.
Then, we could remove the "Featured content" link from the main page (top right), and replace it with a link to (also to be improved) Wikipedia:Category schemes, which covers all the links listed in the Template:Browsebar. thoughts? --Quiddity 19:40, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Good idea. You have my support. Drop me a note when you propose it, and I'll fall in behind you. --Go for it! 20:08, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

format error in today's feature article[edit]

A very minor criticism, but you should be consistent. Your text reads: "According to one school of modern textual criticism - the documentary hypothesis, the Ark story told in Genesis . . " The writer has used a dash " - " parenthetically at the start of the phrase but then uses a comma at the end. Either write: . . - the documentary hypothesis - . . or . . , the documentary hypothesis, . .

Norman Email address commented out for anti-spam reasons. Werdna648T/C\@ 00:26, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Redirects in watchlists[edit]

Per a user request, I've added a <span> around links in the watchlist editing view which allows users to style these according to their preference using their custom CSS subpages. The span has a class of watchlistredir. As an example; to italicise such redirects, use:

.watchlistredir {
  font-style: italic;

Hope this is of use to more than one user. Incidentally, notice also the talk and history page links, in the same view. Rob Church (talk) 15:30, 6 April 2006 (UTC)


Wikipedia serves as all Wiki Projects' highest form of governemnt; I don't think that's right. I think that Wikimedia should be where Help, Reference Desk, Proposals, Policy, etc. should be located. Also, Beer Parlour & Tea Room should be deleted, etc. & if there are any other institutions like as mentioned in this comment, then they should be deleted to. User pages should also be consolidated into 1 central location, namely Wikimedia, or a separate place, but these are draft ideas, but the general idea, would organize Wikimedia & save resources. Taking the point of saving resources, Accounts should be allowed to be deleted.

Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNU licence hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].

thanks 14:23, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

See Martin 13:11, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply.
I went to the link, & I noticed that all Wikimedia Projects including Wikimedia is sorely disorganized;, still, the above issue has not been addressed;: on the link, nowhere was there Refernce Desk, Compliants, Help Desk, etc.. Also, Wikitionary has no links in any part of its entirety which would lead to Refernce Desk, Compliants, Help Desk, etc.. Coudn't there be a project or devlopers clean this mess up?!?!
Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNU licence hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].
thanks 14:23, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Your premise is simply incorrect, Wikipedia has no power or jurisdiction over the other projects. They are all self-contained. Wikimedia is not a project, it is the umbrella organization. Wikimedia is the only organization with power and jurisdiction over the others. And yes, Meta (which is a wiki about wikimedia) is quite disorganized, and they are working on that.
Thanks for the reply.
Your right wikipedia has no power of jurisdiction over the other projects, & I'm glad for it; if that wasn't the case, we'd have a bigger problem on our hands. Excactly, if Wikimedia is the Umbrella organization, then it should have Help Desk, not Wikipedia; in the current state, only Wikipedia has Help Desk, & this is just an example, as you can see with Refence Desk, etc.., which correlates to the fact that Wikipedia acts as the Umbrella organization, in some areas, & I hope that this gets brought up & I hope this changes.
And I'm a bit puzzled by what you mean by Meta.
By the way, you forgot to sign-_-'
Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNU licence hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].
thanks 16:03, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
You continue to speak from a factually incorrect standpoint. The Help Desk is on Wikipedia because it is a help desk for users using Wikipedia. The Reference Desk is here because this is the encyclopaedia project, which is where the centralised "knowledge" store is; it would make no sense to have a general knowledge reference desk held at Wiktionary.
A lot of changes are dictated by Wikipedia; mostly software changes; because this particular Wikipedia was the first, and has the largest user base, and indeed, the most content. Rob Church (talk) 15:33, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the comment
Like you said, Wikipedia has the largest user base, but that means Wiktionary &, all the other projects have no representation. If maybe a link or, like the some how a centralized base of government/operations, or commitee, could be put on Wikimedia, that would be more representative of & INCUSIVE. Being the first really doesn't give special privilages. Indeed, Wikipedia has the most content BUT IT DOESN'T have ALL THE CONTENT.
Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNU licence hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].
thanks 19:57, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Castle Reussenstein[edit]

I'm stumped by how to link images referenced by the German language version of Castle Reussenstein to the English version. (Please excuse the crude state of translation at this point.) I tried variations inspired by Help:Images and other uploaded files and other articles it links to. The most helpful seems to be Help:Interwiki linking, but it doesn't seem to cover linking an image from another wiki. I tried things like
[[image:Reussenstein 01 gr.jpg|thumb]] (the direct approach)
[[image:de:Reussenstein 01 gr.jpg|thumb]] (a direct interwiki reference)
[[de:bild:Reussenstein 01 gr.jpg|thumb]] (go to german, then request an image)
[[image:de:bild:Reussenstein 01 gr.jpg|thumb]] (exasperation perhaps?)
So, how is this done? EncMstr 05:39, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Hi EncMstr, you can't include images from other language Wikipedias. You could upload the images to Commons and tag them with {{NC}} in the German wikipedia (marking them for deletion). Then you can use the "direct approach", as images from Commons are used if there is no image by the same name locally. —da Pete (ノート) 07:22, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Title for table[edit]

I'm looking for help in getting a single long box at the top of the following table in order to place a title in it:

Col 1 Col 2 Col 3 Col 4
Row 1 a b c d
Row 2 e f g h
Row 3 i j k l
Row 4 m n o p
Row 5 q r s t

Thanks! -AED 05:27, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Done. — Knowledge Seeker 07:53, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks again, Doctor! -AED 17:50, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Search engine frustration[edit]

Why is it that on a wikipedia search it's impossible to do only part of a word? Say I was looking for Campus Martius but couldn't remember the exact name, with a better search engine I could search for campus mar and find it--but as is, our search engine returns no entries for half-words. Citizen Premier 04:13, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Search for 'campus mar+'. (By the way, every major search engine I know searches whole words. Google, for instance.) --Brion 23:13, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Highlight search box[edit]

A proposal that came out the Main Page Redesign discussions was:

Mainpage searchbox2.png
  • Improve visibility of the left-navigation search box in the default MonoBook skin, with an orange-colored border (as used on the active tabs at the top).

This would be to aid new users in finding the search box.

this is easily shown by adding this line to one's user/monobook.css. (and presummably common or monobook css for sitewide)
#searchBody {border-color: #FABD23;}

The only question remaining is can this highlight be easily coded to display on only select pages? (specifically the Main Page, and possibly any others we wanted to choose) (or only for non-signed-in users, or other useful permutations?) Or is it a choice of "site-wide or not at all"?

Once this is answered, I will copy the proposal to the proposal page. Thanks. --Quiddity 04:17, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

It can be done on a specific page only by using the same ugly JavaScript hack which is used to hide the page title in the Main Page. Not "easily coded", but since it's already coded, adding it should be trivial. --cesarb 12:52, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. moving to Proposals. Please come discuss it further there. :) --Quiddity 19:28, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

display keyboard shortcuts next to sidebar links?[edit]

Is there any way to have the keyboard shortcut for the "History", "Watch", "My contributions", etc links displayed beside the respective link, not just as a popup label (my IE6 on WinXP doesn't even display the label)? I'll be very grateful if someone can tell me how. Thanks! — | Talk 01:50, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Proposed bot[edit]

Instead of proposing something thats proposed or currently in operation I came here to verify existence or complications of a new bot request. I suggest a bot which searches through wikitionary wiki and compares if any entries already exist on the main wikipedia. If so it would add the proper {{wiktionarypar|black}} tag on the bottom of the page. Thanks for your time. –Tutmøsis · (Msg Me) 00:34, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Trouble with replaced image[edit]

Uploaded Image:Tarringlines.jpg OK. Then replaced it with a better version. After replacement, it doesn't work. It sometimes displays for a second, then reverts to a text message. According to the help page for image upload, there's some known problem associated with updating an image file. But there's no indication there of what to do about it. I've tried reverting and uploading again. How do I fix this? Thanks. --John Nagle 18:12, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Looks fine. What's the "text message" you see? --Brion 22:03, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Try clearing your cache and then refreshing the image. Sometimes the browser gets confused when a new image is uploaded. ~MDD4696 00:45, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Referral tags and Link Farming[edit]

Technical question: Does wiki have any built-in mechanism to prevent search engines from construing our links as referrers? AFAIK there's no "rel='no follow'" tags. The topic of using wiki to promote websites through references has come up, and it would seem like a reasonable step to deter misuse of the encyclopedia. --Mmx1 17:12, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Excellent point. Fixing this might cut down the number of junk articles coming in, too. --John Nagle 20:50, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
m:Spam blacklist is used against spam links in general. æle  2006-04-05t21:35z

We do add rel="nofollow", as it happens. Except on this particular wiki, where it's been switched off. According to Brion, the reason for this is "whiners". Rob Church (talk) 22:03, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

See m:nofollow etc for the sordid history. --Brion 22:03, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I ask this because there's indication that one user in particular has had a pattern of rampantly adding one website as a reference: Talk:9/11_conspiracy_theories#Why_does_Bov_like_Jim_Hoffman_so_much.3F. This is not simply my disagreement with the POV of the editor, it appears that the editor is also removing conspiracy POV not aligned with his, and substituting other references with the 911research site. This is mostly circumstantal, except for one bit:
Two editors (myself being one) independently removed a section of Jim Hoffman's bio that was a copyvio off the 911research site: [2], [3]. I reedited the paragraph but explained that it was a copyvio on the talk page:Talk:Jim_Hoffman#Fancy_Wording. User:Bov readded the paragraph some 2.5 weeks later, except at that point it had been reworded on the 911research site, and had dissapeared from google cache and This indicates some collusion on the part of the webmaster and the wiki editor. Moreover, the discussion over that paragraph displays an odd familiarity with Hoffman's work: [4].
Now ordinarily, I would not particularly care that much. But when I happened on the first link describing the user's history of promoting this one site as a reference to the exclusion of all others brings up concerns of link promotion via wiki. Is it overt spamming? No. But it's a situation where I feel nofollow is warranted. Any recommendations? --Mmx1 04:35, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Mathematical expressions and conditional constructs[edit]

See also m:ParserFunctions and the talk page there.

In response to a campaign by users of the English Wikipedia to harrass developers by introducing increasingly ugly and inefficient meta-templates to popular pages, I've caved in and written a few reasonably efficient parser functions. There are two conditional functions and a mathematical expression function. The expression function should support uses such as time and date deltas, as well as floating point applications such as unit conversion. The conditional functions should replace most uses of {{qif}}, and improve the efficiency of similar templates.

Please read the wikitech-l post for more information. I'd like to hear some comments about the syntax and behaviour of the extension, before I put it live on Wikipedia. -- Tim Starling 15:25, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

How did you choose the operators for the expr function? They're very similar to XPath operators, with the exception of division. Maybe it would be a good idea to change it to match? <= and >= would be nice as well. ~MDD4696 16:31, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not Tim, but the fact that pretty much every programming language uses such operators maybe is a clue. ;) XPath presumably uses "div" because "/" is used in, well... paths there. --Brion 22:06, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I thought that most languages used % for mod, && for and, || for or, and ! for not? Anyways, I thought it might be useful if the operators matched some known standard, and XPath is the closest that I can see. ~MDD4696 00:54, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I think is see where the disconnect was--I was asking how he chose the representations of the operators, not the operators themselves. :) ~MDD4696 01:03, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
C/C++ and some other languages use &&/||/etc. Pascal uses "and", "or", "xor" and "not". Speaking of xor, where's that? =) Regarding the syntax s presented, I'd suggest using "div" instead of "/" for the division operator. 1.) it's easier to read, and 2.) you can use "/" later for something else if necessary (a separator perhaps). —Locke Coletc 01:46, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Looks great, and will probably be very useful. I think the current choice of operator naming is great: while % for mod, for instance, might be intuitive for those of us who are used to high-level assembly, remember that the wiki should be as intuitive as possible for common people, and the more verbose name for the unfamiliar operators should really help. The syntax for if and ifeq also looks good. On a related note, see Zawinski's Law. --cesarb 01:37, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Hiding the TOC[edit]

Is there a way to generate the [hide] button for custom tables of contents? The default TOCs, that is, those generated by MediaWiki have it, but I can't find a good way to generate it for templates such as {{TOCMonths}} or hard-wired TOCs like the one on List of 2005 Atlantic hurricane season storms. Any ideas? Titoxd(?!? - help us) 04:28, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

You could probably use the javascript way of doing it but the obvious downside to that is that it either breaks or just doesn't work for those people who don't have javascript capability or have it disable. Pegasus1138Talk | Contribs | Email ---- 14:05, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
You can't use javascript because you can't embed it into articles. There is a ShowHide extension for Mediawiki, but it hasn't been added to Wikipedia (not sure why). I think it'd be handy. ~MDD4696 16:20, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Showing/hiding things is obviously not portable to print media, so it's only useful in a project like ours for user-interface parts. --Brion 23:16, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Just use {{hidden}}, or {{hidden begin}} and {{hidden end}}. The code is at MediaWiki:Monobook.js. --cesarb 01:42, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Feature to view/hide footnote superscripts?[edit]

I love the new <ref></ref><References/> mechanism, which has finally[1] made it easy and practical to cite sources thoroughly. One of the best features[2] is that the <ref></ref> pair put the reference next to the text it is supporting, so that it is not necessary to coordinate matching pairs of edits in two different sections. However, when[3] an article is [4] very thoroughly annotated,[5][6][7], even the little footnote superscripts become ugly and intrusive[8], and they make the paragraph line spacing uneven. I know there's supposed to be a CSS patch you can make to avoid this[1] but I bet very few people have applied it; I certainly haven't.

While one could imagine all sorts of possibilities, I wonder how hard it would be to provide a view/hide feature for the footnote superscripts? Dpbsmith (talk) 12:58, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

  1. ^ See Footnotes: Disadvantages and future improvements

I Support that. Would be a nice addition to the preferences menu. --Quiddity 05:30, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

[Edit] botton for section editing shows up in wrong place[edit]

There's a problem in the Brooklyn Bridge article with the section [Edit] botton's, they keep showing up in the wrong place, sometimes even in middel of the text. I tried to fix it a while ago by moving the images around, but it keeps getting messed up as new info is added. This is probably due to the larg amount of pictures in the article. Shlomke 17:44, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

This is a known issue, caused by the intermingling of various floated elements. æle  2006-04-03t21:40z
Infoboxes and other stuff floating left (align="left" or similar) can be a PITA, the general layout is more suited for floating right. You can stop all floating with {{clr}}, see WP:EIS. Or try only <br clear="left" />. I squeezed some of your pictures to the left of this dubious infobox, if that's not how you want it revert, or maybe subst the stubborn infobox and edit its output manually. -- Omniplex 07:43, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanksfor the answer, but this was a little too technical for me. Currently the pictures and info box are pretty bad out of place. The pictures are not from me, and if that's the problem then some of them should be removed. I will try to experiment a little more, but since you understand this stuff maybe you could try some more? thanks again. Shlomke 21:07, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Redirect image broken[edit]

The redirect image is apparently corrupt. (Tested in Safari 2.0.3, Preview 3.0.4, Firefox on Mac OS X 10.4.5.) æle  2006-04-03t01:11z

Diddo, Firefox on Tiger. Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 05:30, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Netscape navigator crashes with that link at the moment. -- Omniplex 05:43, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Some of the MediaWiki icons and images were corrupted during our conversion from CVS to Subversion; they were apparently listed as ASCII files in CVS, so got line-ending conversions applied. I'm correcting this... --Brion 09:06, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, working again - as far as that's possible with my old browser not supporting inline PNGs ;-) -- Omniplex 05:57, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Page to show if Wikipedia is on-line?[edit]

Was Wikipedia down for several hours on 7 April? I have a new computer and an over-zealous protection product that is stopping access to legitimate sites, so this may have been my problem. However, without changing any parameters, Wikipedia later became accessible. Would it be a good idea to have a page to show the status of the site? Obviously it would have to be on another server that would be unaffected by any Wiki-downtime. Apologies if this already exists. JMcC 23:44, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

If you Google "Wikipedia status", you'll be given [5] as the first hit, and [6] within the first few hits. They're usually the first place to look. An even better strategy for those who are familiar with Internet Relay Chat is to go to the #wikipedia channel on undernet freenode. The channel title will tell you if there are any current problems. See Wikipedia:IRC channels.-gadfium 00:01, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Move reversal bug[edit]

Admin FireFox recently reversed a move of User:Jimbo Wales/In many languages... to a vandal's talk page, and as a result, the talk pages of FireFox and the vandal (sounds like a new TV series), and maybe others, have been added to my watch list. Not destructive, but weird. Tycon.jpgCoyoty 20:27, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

When a page you are watching is moved, both the old and the new locations are added to the watchlist. Moving the page back doesn't undo that. --cesarb 21:26, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Fileupload Page[edit]

Hi :-)

Since I don't know where to put the question exactly, I'll simply ask here. When browsing through the other Wikipedias & Commons, I noticed the nice drop-down list to choose the licence of the uploaded file. We wanted to do the same on the LB-Wikipedia, but we simply don't know how or where to put this. Maybe someone can help :-)

Please answer on my local page on LB-Wiki & thx => Briséis

Redirect template[edit]

Is it possible to make a template to put inside a redirect page which redirects the page? For Shi`ah Islam there are about 30 redirects and an ongoing discussion over the page title. I want to be able to change all of the redirects easily, but it's not working correctly. I created this template: Template:Shi`ah, but I'm having a lot of difficulty. Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 02:05, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

It's not possible. Anything you do will just redirect the template itself. --cesarb 02:19, 7 April 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone know how you start a new category? Or can only mods do that? Joziboy 8 April 2006, 19:12 (UTC)

Just add the category to an article and then click on the red link which will be produced. Choalbaton 19:16, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Link underlining[edit]

For a couple of minutes there, all links in Wikipedia were showing up non-underlined for me, then it returned to underlines. Is somebody tinkering with the stylesheet? *Dan T.* 14:32, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

This is because the CSS didn't load properly. If it happens again, just force a reload or clear your cache. ~MDD4696 14:50, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

No redlinks on my watchlist?[edit]

Where, oh where, have the redlinked articles on my watchlist gone? All I see are blue links. Joyous | Talk 03:05, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Ditto --lightdarkness (talk) 03:08, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Me too. I hope my redlinks come back. -Kmf164 (talk | contribs) 03:19, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, the latest software version seems to "helpfully" hide all redlinked pages from the watchlist editor. It does make the list more tidy, but on the other hand it makes it hard to actualy remove deleted items from the watchlist. It also means that a whole bunch of user talk pages do not show up because the user does not have a userpage. There should be an option to toggle "hide redlinks from watchlist" on or off from the preferences or something. The new filter by namespace option for the watchlist is cool though. --Sherool (talk) 07:06, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I would also like to seem them back. Sometimes, they are there because of pagemove vandalism; in which case the list can be the only way to find them and remove them from the watchlist (other than looking at every edit in the history of every page which has ever been in your watchlist). Sometimes, you are actually watching a redlink (for instance, The weather in London). For people who don't want to see them, something like watchlistredir could be used. --cesarb 18:46, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Will poke. 00:29, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

There's a little typo introduced recently with the ability to mark redirects in the list. Rob's fixing it, should be live soonish. --Brion 00:45, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

good - the sooner we can see redlinks on watchlists again, the better. Grutness...wha? 02:55, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Works now. -- stillnotelf is invisible 03:09, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Harmonizing the new collapsible footers with class="toccolours"[edit]

Is there any issue with changng the Padding for the NavFrame class from 2px to 5px? It would allow these new nifty collapsible templates to follow the style already well-established by class="toccolours". Circeus 00:25, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Misleading edit diffs a problem?[edit]

Does anybody else think it's a potential problem that edit diffs like this one don't give any indication that other editors were involved in-between the two edits, especially when the later editor isn't just reverting and didn't give much of an edit comment? –Tifego(t) 00:00, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

You make an interesting point, and I'm suprised it hasn't come up before. When someone links you to a diff, it really should be apparent whether you are looking at a single edit or not. I'll file a bug on MediaZilla. ~MDD4696 02:22, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Theorically, Rollback should only ever be used when all edits being reverted are assimilable to vandalism, and the edit summary itself should never be an issue. I personally do a manual revert in any other case. I think your problem here has to do more with the admin being a bit careless than with the edit summary. Circeus 03:34, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Circeus - I think you're missing the point that this diff is between two manually selected versions. The rollback was reverting vandalism. The diff is between the result of the rollback and a version manually picked from the history not the previous version, but without looking at the history it's not readily apparent this is the case. -- Rick Block (talk) 15:33, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
See MediaZilla:5485: "Diffs over multiple edits versus single edits not easily distinguished"

Useless metadata in jpeg files[edit]

There are many jpeg files in Wikipedia containing extra and absolutely useless data, generated by image application, e.g. Adobe Photoshop. Here is example: - 35174 bytes, when it is processed with utility like JPGCLN32 - JPG Cleaner v2.6/W32Console Copyright (c) 2002 Rainbow Software (, size lowered to 12145 bytes! Is there any policy for such things? Or maybe it worth to organize this image processing for uploaded files? --ONjA 10:21, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Just ignore the ones you don't like. --Brion 23:12, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Size of junk in single file is comparable with size of entire article. Nonsense. I'm sorry if nobody cares. Or maybe here is a wrong place to ask. --ONjA 07:45, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, not a bad idea. Why not remove EXIF data from generated thumbnails? If anyone cares about the EXIF, he or she can always visit the full image and look it up there. ONjA, EXIF data in general is not "junk", but metadata I've found useful quite a few times. However, I agree that it wouldn't be needed on generated thumbnails. Lupo 08:02, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, there probably shouldn't be any exif data in generated thumbs, indeed. In uploaded files, it stays. --Brion 00:49, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Lupo, there are EXIF data and EXIF thumbnail. The first one, of course, can be useful, and itself takes a couple of bytes. But EXIF thumbnail is sometimes bigger than picture itself (as it is generated from big 'real' picture) and transferred for no purpose as two identical pictures in one, doubling traffic of both sides.
Brion, EXIF thumbnail can be stripped independently, leaving EXIF data in place. --ONjA 09:28, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Redirect: Edit summary[edit]

What utter moron came up with the idea of redirecting me to a page which instructs me to summarize my edit WITHOUT then providing a link back to the Edit page so I can do so? I hit the Back button to find my edits gone, then had to spend two minutes I'll never get back restoring them. Why is it that some people prefer creating this kind of assinine user-unfriendly finger-wagging administrative bullshit to actually working on articles? Add a box with the user's proposed edit to the bottom of that page, please, coding guys, just like you did with the "this article has been edited since you started working on it" page. -- 00:44, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

What on earth are you talking about? --Brion 00:52, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
If you don't summarize your edit, you're now redirected to a page which reminds you that you haven't and asks you to do so. No problem, except that page doesn't then redirect back to the Edit page you were working on. If you use the back button to return to that page, the edits have been reset. DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? -- 21:12, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
There's no redirection of any kind. You just get a little message at the top of the edit window asking you to double-check. You don't have to hit "back" or go anywhere, and you don't lose your edits. (But even if you did hit "back", you likely wouldn't lose your edits unless you have a very buggy web browser.) --Brion 07:43, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
There was a redirection three days ago when I noted this. -- 23:04, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
There was no redirection when I tried it immediately after your comment three days ago. --Brion 00:12, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
I can't explain that, all I can do is tell you what happened. What reason would I have to make up something as mundane as that? -- 01:41, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Maybe you're confused or mistaken. Who cares? You've been rude enough above that it's hard to give a flying fig about your problem. — Matt Crypto 13:56, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
People who are deliberately obstructive deserve a sharp talking-to. Every civilised adult would back me up on that. Was the redirect your idea? -- 23:44, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
You just vandalised my page with an obscene message[7]. You want to talk about behaving like a civilised adult? Ugh. Conversation over. — Matt Crypto 08:17, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
That wasn't obscene, just a bit of harmless banter to remind you you had unfinished business here. You haven't answered the question. -- 17:31, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree that sometimes Wikipedia can be frustrating, but I don't think there's any need to be rude. I can tell you for sure that my Wikipedia doesn't do that. Perhaps your software has a glitch with it's back button or your Wikipedia options are set to somthing funny. Avraham 03:12, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Bots[edit]

Any documentation on how to make these, software needed, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. --Kha0s 17:59, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

See m:bot. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 18:02, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Column alignment[edit]

Hi, I have a concern about something outside of the main namespace. The Community Portal is currently in, basically, an edit war and I am designing a new idea in my sandbox. The only issue is that all the columns want to align themselves to the left; the page that I'm modeling it after has two columns (and in one palce, three!). I think it's an issue with the code but I can't figure out what to do. Everything is already color coded (green on the left and blue on the right, just like the Main Page), so can you at least tell me what I need to add to the code and where?--HereToHelp 11:56, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Templates inside redirects?[edit]

Can anyone confirm that there is no way to use templates inside a redirect? I am attempting to do:


and it's not working. I checked a lot of the redirect help, the mediawiki bug reports, and even looked a little at the actual source code. Has this been discussed before? Sr.Wombat 04:49, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

12 topics up is similar -- Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Redirect template -- stillnotelf is invisible 05:25, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, thank you. Looks like I'll just have to recode my personal wiki so that it does work and then submit the modifications to the developers. ;-) Sr.Wombat 05:54, 9 April 2006 (UTC)


Perhaps this is the totally wrong place to ask, but I can't connect to freenode. AzaToth 19:59, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Me neither. Is there a system status page anywhere, or anyone who knows more about Freenode who can update this? (ESkog)(Talk) 20:36, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Have tried every server now I think, gets only this:
* Looking up 
* Connecting to ( port 6667...
* Connection failed. Error: Connection refused
 Cycling to next server in FreeNode...
* Disconnected ().
It's up for me just now, but I was getting this error earlier. Shimgray | talk | 20:45, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Same here, it is up now. Titoxd(?!? - help us) 20:46, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
They stopped allowing new connections for a while to allow them to fix a problem with host cloaking. --GraemeL (talk) 20:58, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
If freenode has an extended outage it will likely be placed on [8]. — xaosflux Talk 02:24, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

The new explanation for subcategories is annoying and pointless[edit]

It now says in every category with subcategories "There are X subcategories shown below for this category. Categories which include too many pages to list on one page may have additional sub-categories listed alphabetically on subsequent pages." This is really annoying and pointless. It takes up a lot of space and in treats the reader as incurious and slow witted. Anyone who clicks on a few categories will soon find out how the system works, and it is intuitive anyway. I do not want to have to see this useless message every day for the rest of my life. Please remove this awful "feature" asap. Choalbaton 18:59, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Better? -- Rick Block (talk) 20:07, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
The shorter version is good, though I hope eventually that subcategories will all be reported on the first page. -- Beland 02:51, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Automatic Edit Summaries[edit]

When editors leave blank edit summaries, would it not be possible to create an automatic summary? I know it has the potential to get messy, but I'm thinking of something simple like "AutoSummary: +(first 30 characters added), -(first 30 characters deleted)." This would keep a lot of us from needlessly checking out some good edits (especially interwiki stuff), and a lot of vandalism would be easier to spot.


A user adds "Poop" to an article, with no edit summary, one is created reading
"AutoSummary: +(Poop), -()"
A user changes a large block of text to "poop", the summary would read
"AutoSummary: +(Poop), -(The dating of the Industrial R...)

Granted, if the change is to a scattering of text ([9], e.g.) things get awkward. One possible answer, though, would be to bail out-- not generate a summary in such cases. Or maybe someone can see another approach? TIA, -- Mwanner | Talk 20:57, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Kudos for a great idea. Sorry, I don't have a clue on the practicle aspects. FrankB 14:26, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

==Extra Space==$. Does this make comments larging in size as bytewise? Even if not, it could create confusion. So I guess Mediawiki needs to be tweaked/the devlopers\the codes needs a little editing?

Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNUL hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].

thanks 20:22, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

The mediawiki parser, like most parsers, ignores whitespace in many places. What's your point? -- G. Gearloose (?!) 20:47, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Somebody brought this exact point up a few weeks ago. Even if we removed all of the whitespace from the code, the space savings would be extremely minimal. ~MDD4696 21:09, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks but this is better than none.
Sorry you can't contact me [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNUL hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up]. 10:23, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

(copy from my talk page at the german WP) I still don't get it. Mediawiki rarely generates wikitext. It parses it. Also... a few spaces eat up a few bytes. But that overhead is completely marginal compared to the vast amount of additional memory used for caching, indexing, etc... The days of the byte-miser are long gone... what are you trying to do, run mediawiki on your cell phone? -- G. Gearloose (?!) 10:56, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

== Extra Space ==$ is also the same as

Extra Space[edit]

I noticed that in wikihtml, when we edit, formating has extra space, for example, when we edit a comment, there's a space between the $Subject/headline:$ & the content of the message. Another example is

Block ip and existing user accounts[edit]

I blocked an IP recently that ended up doing some collateral damage to User:Kyle sb. While I appreciate the need to keep a blocked anon from creating/editing from accounts; is there a way to differentiate an IP block from an established account. Although maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree as Kyle sb mentioned his IP was dynamic. - RoyBoy 800 06:25, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

There is a current proposal for this behaviour at WP:BPP. Werdna648T/C\@ 16:18, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

howto make more gramaticly friendly links to specific topics with general names?[edit]

On my internal TWiki at work I can specify a wiki page's direct address and format the link text nicely with this syntax:[[http://yada.yada.yada/bing][[translating]] but I can't seem to find similar syntax here on Wikipedia.

I want to make a link to translation (geometry) in the artical atan, but I'd like it to appear on the word 'translating' in the following part of a sentance: "... by translating both points..."

translating is a very general word with many ambiguous references, but the sentance just doesn't read very well when you say: "... by translation (geometry) both points..."

Thanks in advance,

 - R
[[some article name|link text]] is what you want. This is only for links to other Wikipedia pages though. External links look like this: [ link text] — | Talk 23:50, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Small Project Wiki?[edit]

Question Dear wiki-users, Could you suggest an appropriate wiki technology to allow 5-10 people to collaborate in a networked office environment? I'm not interested in distributing over the internet at first, simply allowing wiki-type collaboration between people sharing a LAN. Thank you, Mike -- 17:27, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Updated Question OK, I found a very interesting summary of available wiki's at: I'm trying to sort through this list to find a test wiki, in other words, a small easy to install wiki, that doesn't require a dedicated web server like Apache, etc... Thanks, Mike -- 18:34, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Answer Look into Wiki on a stick. It's this very Mediawiki software but all packaged up in one easy to install package. It uses an external webserver and database, true, but they're part of the install. I don't run it myself but have heard lots of good things about it. Hope that helps. ++Lar: t/c 18:45, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Response to Answer Thank you Lar! Wow, that is interesting. I am browsing through the Wiki on a stick installation instructions, and they may suit my purpose very well. I mean, if I can install wiki on a USB drive, why can't I install it on my LAN? Great information, thanks, Mike -- 19:50, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

No problem. You will have to do a little tweaking to allow multiple users and stuff but should be no big deal from what I hear. Glad to have been of help! ++Lar: t/c 20:38, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Missing text[edit]

There is a slight problem which has recently come up when I edit. For 2 times now in the past one week, after editing an article, a large chunk of the article at the bottom of the article goes missing. For example see - 1 and 2. Can anyone tell me what is going wrong. I use Firefox ( with Windows XP. - Aksi_great (talk) 15:52, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

stray blue bar in {{Emergency-bot-shutoff}} ??[edit]

Template:Emergency-bot-shutoff seems to have a stray blueish purple bar rendered some distance down from where it ends (not in preview mode, just . Perhaps it's me? See for example: User:Tawkerbot, the bar renders into the TOC area. This is on FireFox 1.5 on Win XP. I checked on IE6 and it seems OK. Again, could just be me... ++Lar: t/c 06:26, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Working fine here. Luigi30 (Ταλκ το mε) 11:26, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I get the same thing in a few different versions of Firefox / Windows. Didn't realize the blue bar was unintentional. --CBDunkerson 11:49, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Me too in Firefox. The "button" is a big dot character, and the blue line is the link underline. I tried to minimize it a while ago but gave up. — Omegatron 13:12, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I've added class="nounderlines" to the template, that should fix it. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 14:30, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
OK, that's TOO funny. I never thought that it might be a link underline!!! but ya, it's the right color for it. Thanks for the fix. ++Lar: t/c 16:45, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Possible reason[edit]

Was there any thunderstorms in the area ? If so, I suspect that a direct lightning strike or a high EMP from a nearby lightning strike had blown said breaker. Martial Law 04:56, 10 April 2006 (UTC) :)

Impossible this is how the system is set up:

Dirty outside power --> UPS/Generators --> Servers The breaker between the UPS and Servers tripped not the outside one. Nice theory, but impossible =). Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 05:16, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Newbie to table code, need help[edit]

I'm trying to create a template for a series of articles. Right now I have

{| align=center class="toccolours" width=75% ! style="background:#ccccff" align="center" | Traditional [[Liturgy of the Hours|Liturgical Hours]] of the [[Catholic Church]] |- | '''[[Matins]]''' | '''[[Lauds]]''' | '''[[Prime (liturgy)|Prime]] ''' | '''[[Terce]] ''' | '''[[Sext]] ''' | '''[[None (liturgy)|None]] ''' | '''[[Vespers]]''' | '''[[Compline]]''' |}

This renders as:

Traditional Liturgical Hours of the Catholic Church
Matins Lauds Prime Terce Sext None Vespers Compline

As you can see, this looks bizarre. How can I get rid of the space between Matins and the others and make the title stretch out normally?

Thanks, --Pyroclastic 02:48, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Traditional Liturgical Hours of the Catholic Church
Matins Lauds Prime Terce Sext None Vespers Compline

(changed "! style="background:#ccccff" align="center" |" to "! style="background:#ccccff" align="center" colspan=8 |") -- grm_wnr Esc 03:00, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Help:Edit summary renders incorrectly[edit]

The edit summary help page appears to be blank when viewed in IE6, until scrolling down a considerable distance past the long "editing" box on the right. Oddly, the MediaWiki page it is a copy of does not have this problem; it is specific to the page when on Wikipedia. (This happens even when not logged in.) –Tifego(t) 18:41, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Looks like someone changed a template somewhere. It's insisting on being the highest location on the page; I tried to relocate it several different places. The page looks fine (normal) on Mozilla FireFox. You can download from, and they have a wikipedia extension set, and allow multiple page tabbing, which is danged useful.
I use both, and regret very much not doing so sooner. There is no reason not to have both, and the non-IE6 browsers all handle the HTML standard protocols better, so webpages will work better with some of those, and not well for IE6 as MS has their own ideas— which is part of the big lawsuit blitz and anti-trust suits a few years back.
Techies pretty much abhor IE6, so you might take note. Keep IE6 as your default browser for a while, while you get comfortable with FireFox. My son is crazy about the email program too for spam elimination, but I haven't flown that myself. But consider I couldn't get him to use his high speed account until he used that, so that commends it quite well.
I don't know enough about templates to help further, but you have identified a real and valid problem; trouble is there may be nesting issues and the change is several layers deep. So not my cup of tea.FrankB 07:18, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Looks fine from my POV with an almost ten years old browser, but it's a bit special compared with other help pages: It's a help page (from Meta) and a Wikipedia guideline. For the latter it got the normal guideline template at the top with shortcut and icon. But all help pages have a sidebar floating right needing 20% of the available width. Therefore the guideline template was squeezed into 80% with brute force, see Template:Phh:Edit summary (edit talk links history). Fix it as you see fit, one strategy could be to subst the guideline template and tweak the result. -- Omniplex 09:47, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Namespace filter on watchlists[edit]

As people scream, whine and get out the pitchforks when things are added, I thought I'd cough now to adding namespace filtering to watchlists. I think it's this sort of comment that makes it all worthwhile. Rob Church (talk) 17:33, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

  • I happen to like it. A resounding good job! to whomever added them (now I can remove the filtering in my monobook). — Flag of Ottawa, Ontario.svg Flag of Ontario.svg Flag of Canada.svg nathanrdotcom (TCW) 22:13, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Of course, now I have to leave a post here stating that
  • I'm looking into changes to the blocking mechanism
  • that isn't the only bug pertaining to blocking
Muwahahahaha. Rob Church (talk) 03:18, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

using images or graphs from pdf files[edit]

hi, i am trying to find out how to copy/export a graph or picture from a pdf file to put into an article. I've tried to select it, but i just end up selecting the text, which when i paste it in the article, just gets thrown together. Its public matireal, so there are no copyright issues.

Do you need a special program in order to do this?

I'm hoping it can be done with just the Acrobat Reader.


user talk:Daemion

To select an image in a PDF file, use the Image Select tool. It looks like a camera, and it's usually on the toolbar with the Text Select (I-bar) and Hand tools. If copying an image into Wikipedia, be sure the image is not restricted by copyright, or that your use is fair use. Also, if you want to sign your comments, the best way is to type ~~~~. This adds a link to your Userpage as well as the date & time of your message. Let me know if I can help further. Ssbohio 02:25, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

"dB SPL" is an invalid unit[edit]

Numerous articles in Wikipedia are using an invalid acoustic "unit", variously specified as "dB SPL", "dBSPL", and "dB(SPL)". There may be other variants. Affected articles include decibel, sound pressure, sound pressure level, and audiogram. But the full range of articles with the problem can best be seen by search for each specific variant. Such a search on "dB SPL" returns 21 Wikipedia articles.

The guidelines given for the US National Standards clearly excludes the use of "dB SPL". See the ASACOS Rules for Preparation of American National Standards in ACOUSTICS, MECHANICAL VIBRATION AND SHOCK, BIOACOUSTICS, and NOISE, which states:

3.16 Unit symbols

3.16.1 When to use unit symbols

In the text of the standard, the unit symbol for a quantity shall be used only when the unit is preceded by a numeral. When the unit is not preceded by a numeral, spell out the name of the unit. In text, even when a numerical value is given, it is desirable to spell out the name of the unit. Moreover, the name shall be spelled out when it first appears in the text, and more often if the text is lengthy.

Thus, in text write "...a sound pressure level of 73 dB; or "...a sound pressure level of 73 decibels." Do not write "sound pressure level in dB"; the correct form is "sound pressure level in decibels." Do not write "dB levels", "dB readings", or "dB SPL."

Levels or readings are not of decibels; they are of sound pressure levels or some other acoustical quantity. Write out the word "decibel" for such applications, and be sure that the word 'decibel' follows, not precedes the description of the relevant acoustical quantity.

The use of "dB SPL", as shown above by an authoritative source, is wrong. The incorrect use is common in Wikipedia articles, and it is a problem. I've been leaving a message in the talk sections of various articles that need to have this fixed. An attempted edit to begin correction of the decibel article was reverted to the incorrect usage.

The treatment of sound pressure level is inconsistent with standard reference works across Wikipedia. Both Kinsler and Frey's "Fundamentals of Acoustics" (2nd edition) and Robert Urick's "Principles of Underwater Sound" (3rd edition) indicate that a measured intensity is a level (Urick p.15) or sound pressure level (K&F) relative to a reference effective pressure (K&F pp.125-126). Both of these sources recommend reporting decibels with an explicit listing of the reference effective pressure, like so: "74 dB re 20 micropascals", where the number and units following re is the reference effective pressure. Level or sound pressure level in both these standard texts simply refer to a measurement in the sound field and are not indications of a specific reference pressure upon which the decibel is based. In other words, "dB SPL" is an invalid means of attempting to refer to the in-air reference effective pressure. In no article thus far have I seen the "dB SPL" usage tied to an authoritative source. By contrast, the "dB re" formalism is common to both standard reference works that I have cited, and is explicitly excluded in the work laying out the format for the national standards.

Other sites using the "dB re" formalism: Oceans of Noise (explicit in defining SPL and SIL in terms of "dB re"), SURTASS LFA, NIST listing SPL in terms of "dB re", and Acoustic Impacts on Marine Mammals.

On the decibel page, an edit lists having entered a better reference for use of "dB SPL". This "better reference" for use of "dB SPL" added to the decibel article ends up being a document that merely includes "dB SPL" in a list of terms. The glossary within the same document does not even list this supposed unit, even though weighted decibel terms are defined. The glossary in the file does have an entry for "sound pressure level", which is

Sound pressure level: (1) Ten times the logarithm to the base ten of the ratio of the time-mean-square pressure of a sound, in a stated frequency band, to the square of the reference sound pressure in gases of 20 micropascals (µPa). Unit, dB; symbol, Lp. (2) For sound in media other than gases, unless otherwise specified, reference sound pressure in 1 µPa (ANSI S1.1-1994: sound pressure level).

Notice that the unit specified is "dB", not "dB SPL". The inclusion of "dB SPL" in the list of terms does not establish that that usage is correct, and even their own reference of the ANSI standard indicates that their usage is incorrect. SPL refers to a measurement, and is not an indication of the reference effective pressure. The ANSI standard referenced makes this clear, as SPL is defined as being used for other reference effective pressures, too. (Note: The ANSI standard itself is not something I have on hand; I am relying on the quoted glossary in the referenced link. I did check and found another page that claims to have extracted that text without modification from the ANSI standard, and it matches. To get the PDF of the ANSI standard, one would have to pay $150.)

A reasonable question to ask is why, if the term is incorrect, does Wikipedia have so many articles that use it? Since SPL is a useful concept, people do report measurements of various SPLs. I think that the shorthand way that this may commonly be done (and which the writing guideline above warns against and the ANSI standard contradicts) would be to say, "We recorded a 74 dB SPL at 10 meters from the sound source," rather than, "We recorded a sound pressure level of 74 dB at 10 meters from the sound source," or the complete, "We recorded a sound pressure level of 74 decibels re 20 micropascals at 10 meters from the sound source," which is unambiguous. If one uses the shortcut of the first example a lot, one may become erroneously convinced that the actual unit of measurement is a "dB SPL". This may be more common among people who do all their acoustic work using only one assumed reference effective pressure. Within a particular community, actually writing out each measurement with the reference effective pressure indicated may appear to be redundant and a waste of space and time. Because reference effective pressures have changed in the past, published reports that failed to specify which one corresponded to a particular measurement has made comparison to modern measurements ambiguous, and thus unreliable.

If the "dB SPL" problem is going to be fixed, we must have some agreement among those who regularly contribute to the acoustics articles on Wikipedia that there really is a problem here. The incorrect usage is otherwise too pervasive in existing Wikipedia articles to risk starting edit wars that will simply waste people's time.

Wesley R. Elsberry 21:05, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Missing edits from "User contributions"?[edit]

As can be seen from my talk page history, (talk · contribs) has made two edits to it; one was rolled back using popups, and another one using the administrator's rollback. However, none of the two are showing in his User contributions. Bug? dewet| 16:04, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

OK, that's just weird. It has reappeared, but only after 15 minutes of so worth of clicking "refresh". Odd. dewet| 16:06, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
See above.  :) User:Zoe|(talk) 16:14, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Minor diff bug?[edit]

This diff shows no space between the word "numbers" and "in" in the right-hand panel, even though there is space in the text. Dmharvey 14:13, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Shooting Blind in the Dark[edit]

...and saying a prayer or three hundred thousand!

I just lost a ton of chained edits using Firefox of all browsers. It locked up, and I had to use the winDOZE Task Manager to shut down an arrant help window-- but the whole shooting match closed. The edit pages (previewed, mostly proofed) should be somewhere in my internet temp files.

  • Anyone know how I can access them and not loose some really nice expansions just cause I went off checking links?
  • At least I have a history of where I was. I frankly went far afield, but was well on working my way back. HELP!!! Three hours at stake or more, perhaps! FrankB 14:19, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
I use the Mac version of Firefox (which, NPOV aside, hasn't failed me yet) and I have no idea how to get the files back. I think they're gone for good. Sorry. (trust me, I've hit Command-Q and lost some good edits, too.)--HereToHelp 14:38, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
If you know where your browser cache directory is, you can navigate to this directory and likely open the files directly. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:44, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Uh, good luck. I don't think you can recover them, but if you want to give it a try, the cache should be located in C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\RANDOM.default\Cache. ~MDD4696 02:43, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
In future try the SessionSaver extension, which ought to rescue your tabs (including edits) if Firefox crashes. the wub "?!" 11:48, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Public watch list[edit]

Is there any possibility of making a watch list available to the public? If so, how can it be done? MOD 21:19, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Just create a page full of wiki links, then press "Related changes" to see the list of changes. An example of a public watchlist is at WP:MVP.-gadfium 03:29, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
see also meta:Share watchlists and my own (share yours!) at user:here/watchlist. Still looking for a kind sould to write a greasemonkey or user script to automate the process. here 06:42, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, these are good ideas, but I was thinking more along the lines of a double entry both in Special and the Main namespace, with the latter being an option. 11:34, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Musical Album Sidebars[edit]

Due to wikipedia's extensive help section, i can't seem to find anything relating to the sidebars located under most music album pages. Can someone help me figure out how to insert one? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Meddling (talkcontribs) 03:31, 12 April 2006.

These are called infoboxes. There is a category for infoboxes as well--you may be looking for {{Album infobox}}. Don't forget to sign your posts with four tildes (~~~~). ~MDD4696 04:32, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

What happened with class="toccolours"??[edit]

Apparently, someone just reduced the padding for it, but I can't find *where*. It doesn't seem to be on either MediaWiki:Common.css or MediaWiki:Monobook.css... Circeus 15:35, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

nevermind... Looks like an issue of display between IE and Fx... Circeus 16:08, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Search update frequency?[edit]

How often does the search update itself. Adventures of Mottel the Cantor's Son was created back on the 20th, but it's not showing up. -- Zanimum 02:09, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

There is no schedule at this time. It depends on when I have time to poke it between other data-dump-related thingies. With luck we can turn back on the automated updates some time soon, this depends on server fixes. --Brion 07:19, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Automatic resizing of images[edit]

We are currently trying to set standards for chemical structure images, see our discussion. I would like to permanently resolve an issue that often comes up but which no one really knows the answer to. If I have an image 2000px wide and 400 k in size, and it appears in an article at 200 px wide, how much bandwidth does this use compared to an image already at 200 px/4k? Is it the same? Is it 2 or 3 times as much, or does it require the full 400k to download (i.e., 100x as much as the 4k image)? Thanks, Walkerma 18:17, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

If you have a 400k file and put it in an article setting the size smaler it will be 400k to download. Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 18:41, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
No it won't: the image is scaled down on the server side. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 18:45, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Thumbnail size.
If you have a 1600x1200 image (that's 1920000 pixels total) and it's resized to 320x240 (76800 pixels), then it's 4% the size of the original. So, if the original was 400KB, then the resized one would be 16KB. This is just a rough estimate for JPEGs though, because the amount of detail that is visible greatly impacts how well the compression works. For GIFs and PNGs it should be more accurate.
My advice here is that you should disregard file sizes. This is a technical matter, and the devs have said multiple times that policy should not be based on such things. If bandwidth or other technical issues become a problem, the devs will come up with a technical solution. ~MDD4696 21:18, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, it can be a lot less accurate for GIFs and PNGs because the compression algorithm still has a tendancy to do interesting things with color depth. For example, converting a 1600x1200 four color image into a 320x480 with 24 bit color. Still, the "don't worry about it" principle basically holds. Stick with whatever size is reasonable for the article. A complicated 250px image is going to run you ~15k or so, and even a 52kpbs modem will swallow that fine. Dragons flight 22:26, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for comments so far. My concern is not for the poor overloaded servers, but for the poor folks trying to download the files. I used to live in rural Vermont, where my 56k modem used to download at around 2k per second, so one 400k image would take over 3 minutes to download. I presume this is also why we recommend pages be 32k or less. Many of our users are using old computers on old telephone lines, I want them to be able to load a typical chemistry page in 10 seconds, not 10 minutes. Walkerma 21:37, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

A thumbnail like the one on the right is no more than 20KB. ~MDD4696 22:05, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Reactions of alpha-pinene

What about this picture? The original is 65 kB, that is 678px by 546px? If I show it at half size (339px wide, as here), does it take up 16 kB while downloading, or does it take up 65 kB, or something in between? A long chemistry page might have 8 or more pictures like this, (i.e., perhaps up to 5 minutes downloading) so it is important, especially since we are setting the policy for about 10,000 pages. Thanks, Walkerma 04:14, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The article size "limit" is to allow older browsers to be able to open the page for editing, which isn't an issue concerning images as they each require only a line of text in teh article. Rmhermen 04:20, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
You really shouldn't be setting policy based on how long a page takes to download; article quality should be the first concern. Download speeds vary so much computer to computer, and they're always increasing. To answer your question about downloading size--the file size of the original image does not matter when using thumbnails. An entirely new image is generated, which will be of a smaller file size since the thumbnail's physical dimenstions are smaller than the original. ~MDD4696 04:27, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks a lot, these points are both useful clarifications. I'm still unclear on one thing, though. The reason some are arguing for large images is in effect, "What if a user wants to use this image in a poster, where the image is blown up to be 50 cm across?" One of my pictures was used recently by the History Channel in a TV program, but they had to request I send a bigger image - you never know what these images may be used for! Many of our images need to be bigger than thumbnails on the page to be readable (see the example on the right). So should we be making humungous images, or not? Walkerma 04:49, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes we should. You wanted a clear answer, so I'll give you one: The size (in bytes) of a thumbnail image does not depend on the size (in bytes, or in pixels) of the original full-size image. Period. The only exceptions are if
  1. the thumbnail would be bigger (in pixels) or the same size as the original, or
  2. the original image is so huge (something like over 10000 pixels across) that the MediaWiki image resizing code can't handle it.
In those cases the original full-size image is sent to the browser as is. Also, it should be noted that, as a corollary to the rule above, thumbnails can be larger in bytes than the original image they are generated from. This is not, however, something one should usually worry about. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 12:44, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
You could try a vector format (MediaWiki has support for SVG). They can be scaled indefinitely, and for diagrams like these you are using as an example here, they are ideal. --cesarb 14:27, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
And don't worry about browser support for SVG, since MediaWiki automatically converts all the vector images to PNG when displaying on the pages. --cesarb 14:29, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

THANK YOU ILMARI! I particularly like the "period." That's exactly the specific answer I was looking for - I have found that even experienced Wikipedians aren't sure on this, they "think" it does what you say. Now we can lay down standards for chemistry images with confidence. For the sake of our own sanity we probably won't have images wider than about 3000 pixels, and probably most will be more like 1-2000. The SVG thing is interesting too, once this is supported on the major chem drawing software that people use we might recommend a switch to that. Walkerma 18:11, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Has there been a change made to the contributions list?[edit]

Suddenly, things I have edited in the Wikipedia: namespace are not showing up on my contributions. How do I get them back? Will this also happen if I want to keep track of a vandal's edits? Any vandalism made by the vandal to Wikipedia: namespace will also not show up? User:Zoe|(talk) 15:38, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

The developers recently added a namespace filter for watchlists feature, so perhaps they are tweaking with the contributions list also. You can filter the contributions by namespace (including Wikipedia ns), with the dropdown menu. -Kmf164 (talk | contribs) 15:48, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
I went to my watchlist, and it's set to watch all spaces. This contributions limitation is a major problem. User:Zoe|(talk) 15:56, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Sure, it's a bug. But, until the bug is fixed, choose "Wikipedia" from the dropdown menu and you can see those. -Kmf164 (talk | contribs) 16:00, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
When I do that, I get "Fatal error: Call to a member function set_namespace() on a non-object in /usr/local/apache/common-local/php-1.5/includes/SpecialContributions.php on line 183 (" User:Zoe|(talk) 16:01, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
I see... when I look at a vandal's Wikipedia NS contributions (and they have none), I also get that error. -Kmf164 (talk | contribs) 16:02, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
However, since I did that and got the error, I can now see all edits. User:Zoe|(talk) 16:03, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Problem is fixed. -Kmf164 (talk | contribs) 16:10, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick fix. User:Zoe|(talk) 16:13, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't know what happened, but good to have it fixed so quickly. I guess it's just a matter of some patience. -Kmf164 (talk | contribs) 16:15, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't know... my watchlist is borked now. I can't view my "user talk" contributions without getting "Fatal error: Call to a member function set_namespace() on a non-object in /usr/local/apache/common-local/php-1.5/includes/SpecialContributions.php on line 183 (" ~MDD4696 16:42, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Huh. I logged out and logged back in, and now it's fixed. ~MDD4696 16:45, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

A developer, who is going to remain nameless, committed a silly typo to the code following some improvements. He fixed it as soon as we were alerted to it, and the fix was taken live. Rob Church (talk) 00:29, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

What links here sortable?[edit]

Is there a way of filtering the what links here page, like can be done with your watchlist, so as to only display pages in the main space or the wikipedia namespace? Steve block talk 08:37, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

User_talk:Interiot has a tool to do this; I don't remember the URL atm, check his talk page. JesseW, the juggling janitor 08:58, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Jesse. There's a lot of tools listed there, I'll have to have a poke around. Steve block talk 09:18, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I asked this question on the Help Desk just over a week ago, and was told the best thing to do is wait until the database is updated, when the links will display in a logical order. See here and also the guidelines at Help:What_links_here#Order. I know that last page is a copy of the master page at Meta, but if there are such tools to use while waiting for the database to be reindexed, would it be possible to add a note to the Meta page? How can you request updates or changes to a Meta page? Carcharoth 12:28, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

And despite looking around, I can't find a "what links here" page that has any logic to its order. And a filtering tool is still needed, by the looks of it. If anyone finds the tool, could they post a link? Thanks. Carcharoth 12:35, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
There's this, but its on the toolserver and so can suffer from replication lag. the wub "?!" 18:02, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Brilliant! Thanks. Carcharoth 19:39, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
This is also bug 4624.--Commander Keane 14:38, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Should protected pages be visible in my watchlist?[edit]

They aren't. More a question than a concern, it's not like I can change protected pages anyway :) -- stillnotelf is invisible 02:15, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean. Changes to protected pages in your watchlist will show up there. Changes in the protection status won't, at this time. Rob Church (talk) 02:01, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Problem: Outdated WP always loads instead of the updated one (Part 2).[edit]

After much work done, I discovered that it's not a time zone problem since I always browse WP in the evening and at night (UTC +8). It's something else. The WP with the old layout doesn't load anymore but whenever I load up WP, the Main Page shows up yesterdays page! I don't know, but when I refreshed the page using the ordinary F5 technique, it became worse! It loaded up the Main Page that shows April 8! Only through the Ctrl+F5 technique will the up-to-date WP load up. What's wrong here?!? Before you answer my comments, remember that I'm using MS Internet Explorer and that I might never clear the IE cache since my internet connection is horrible at night. --Bruin rrss23 (talk) 09:43, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Try appending ?action=purge to the URL. æle  2006-04-13t20:16z
Note that if the main page is based on use of {{CURRENTDAY}} etc to select templates, it won't automatically clear from caches properly. --Brion 22:15, 13 April 2006 (UTC)


Is the " is no longer updated" notice at a permanent situation? If so we'll never get out of the orphaned fairuse/untagged images backlog - gmaxwell's tool was our only hope. Is discussion of this taking place somewhere else? (ESkog)(Talk) 03:22, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I believe there is some discussion as to how to bring it back on the toolserver mailing list. --lightdarkness (talk) 03:23, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
It's being worked out. --Brion 07:55, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

New template + category[edit]

Hello! I've recently created Template:User LEO contributor with [[Category:LEO contributors|PAGENAME]], and I have also created the relevant category. Now I have the userbox on my user page, but I am not listed in the category. Could anyone help (explain), please? Thank you in advance. Daniel Šebesta (talkcontribs) 00:13, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I did a null edit on your user page and purged (by appending "?action=purge" to the URL) the category. One of the things did the trick. Kusma (討論) 00:22, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Perfect! Thank you. Daniel Šebesta (talkcontribs) 06:22, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Page icon[edit]

Has the little image that appears next to the URL and in the tabs in Firefox been changed to the Wikimedia logo? It looks ugly. Dmn Դմն 00:09, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I saw it earlier, though it appears to have been changed. Try clearing your cache. ~Linuxerist L / T 02:32, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

==B==</nowiki> etc. It's used mostly for glossaries – see List of glossaries. I myself just stole the design from somewhere to create Contract bridge glossary – you can steal it yourself from there :-). HTH, Duja 23:19, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

P.S.: If you want to do it yourself rather than to use {{compactTOC2}}, The form [[#HeadingTitle]] is an "internal link". For example, [[#Spellings]] will get you to #Spellings heading above. Duja 23:23, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Yea I understand what you want, I was just using the above example to see if that is the format you wanted them in. Duja's answer is exactly what you wanted though! Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 03:06, 13 April 2006 (UTC)


How to format A-Z internal links within a page?[edit]

I want to create a line of characters from A to Z. It's to appear at the head of a page. Each character needs to be an internal link within the page. The idea is that users click on, say letter H, and they're taken to the entries for H on that page.

Lots of list-type pages have this style of page navigation, but i can't find the code for it.

You'll see the page I want to modify if you search for: "Children's Non-Fiction / Nonfiction Authors".

The current A to Z listing appears in a vertical numbered column -- I'd like it to be horizontal and unnumbered!

Thanks for your help.

So like this: A B C D etc? Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 22:20, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, exactly like this -- but [[ ]] style seems to direct users to pages about letters of the alphabet (A, B, C, etc), which takes them away from the page I want them to stay on. My page will have an alphabetical list of authors, with an A B C D at the top. When you click on D, I want them to be taken to the entries for D on the same page -- not off to the entry for the history of the letter D. Hope you can see what I'm trying to do. Many thanks, John
You want {{compactTOC2}} template, but then all the headings must be in form ([[User talk:Ilmari Karonen|talk]])</small> 12:53, 12 April 2006 (UTC) ::::As the page states you can put an interlanguage if the problem is similar. and it is, since there are many Bushes in any language. [[User:DGtal|DGtal]] 22:44, 13 April 2006 (UTC) ==New Message, last change== <!-- 00:12, 15 April 2006 (UTC) --> "New message, last change" notice will not go away despite my having answered the inquiry. This is the "ghost" of User:Spoongap following me; User:Plumalley around. Spoongap was refused entry into the system long ago, and was forced to invent a new name and password User:Plumalley. Please do not make these complexities for me. I do not know how to handle them. --plumalley == One page that causes a Wikimedia error... == I have been trying to get [[Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies]] to load, and for some reason, the page gives me the Wikimedia error message, whereas no other page does this. I can work my way to the discussion and the history page, but am unable to reach the above page. Does anyone know how to fix this error? [[User:Indiana Fats|Indiana Fats]] 22:31, 14 April 2006 (UTC) :The problem was an infinite loop due to having a <references/> tag inside a <ref> tag. This has been fixed in MediaWiki, now time to fix the article... -- [[User:Tim Starling|Tim Starling]] 00:08, 15 April 2006 (UTC) == Image not showing in [[Unit_operation]] == What am I doing wrong here? Is the image size too big? It shows as a thin gray line (which appears to be the correct number of pixels wide as specified in the image markup ('' <nowiki>[[Image:LOC MI0086 QuincyMine TIF 00027aS.png|right|thumb|400px|Ore Extraction unit operations at [[Quincy Mine]], [[Hancock, MI]] ca. 1900]] ) in Firefox rather than the thumb I expected. Clicking the line takes you to the image page correctly... thanks! ++Lar: t/c 19:31, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Think I got the problem. It wasn't really a PNG, it was still in TIF formatt. Should all be fixed now (new png version uploading). Ian13/talk 19:42, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah, maybe not - unless it's Wiki cache working its magic. Ian13/talk 19:44, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Also - whats the images licence - since the image description seems untagged. Tagged as USGOV-PD as per note in description. Ian13/talk 19:47, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for looking into this. It's from HAER so, the license maybe should be {{PD-USGov}}, as you surmised (I set it correctly on the crop I took, Image:LOC MI0086 QuincyMine TIF 00027a cropStampMill.png but apparently not on this one, oops!). It was a tif when I got it from HAER but I thought I had converted it to png correctly before uploading. Perhaps Paint Shop Pro (what I use first, although I have ImageMagick and know about GIMP) didn't really convert it?? I'm still hazy about whether these should go on Commons or here, pd-gov confuses me. (different topic) It doesn't look like the problem is fixed yet though. For me, in fact, you no longer can click through to the image page from unit operation++Lar: t/c 20:01, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Weird, I can still click through. Well, I manually opened the origional file in my text editor (how primitave of me!), and it mentioned TIF on the first couple of lines, which is usually an indicator of file format. So I converted it over, and reuploaded. I am not sure if it is a cache thats still giving the scaling renderer the old one, or another problem. But I will take another look tomorow morning if someone doesn't beat me to it. Ian13/talk 20:09, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I can click through too, it was user error, my old fingers didn't put the cursor in the right place, sorry for the bum steer on that one. I will try using some of my other tools to convert the image if I can, that's the biggest image I ever tried to convert with Paint Shop Plus... I may end up trying to find another image for the article as, the image is neat but may not look good at 400 px anyway because it has so much writing on it. ++Lar: t/c 20:16, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
This is very odd - for me now there is no image at all (even on image description). Ian13/talk 21:02, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Yey! Fixed! It seems to all work now I have lowered the resolution - maybe the rendering software couldn't cope with it. It is also now a valid PNG (rather than still in TIF). Ian13/talk 21:08, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Well done, sir. It really does liven up the article, I feel... If someone needs the original for whatever reason (like snipping other machines out of it as I did for Stamp mill) the link is there to go fetch the original. In downsizing it you seem to have made it easier on the eye too, well played. Cheers for your efforts. 21:25, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Glad to be of service. Ian13/talk 21:36, 14 April 2006 (UTC)


All the images appear broken at the moment. Does anyone else have this problem? --GW_Simulations 12:43, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

    • They are working again now. --GW_Simulations 13:10, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm still noticing this problem while accessing WP from two different ISPs. -- Gridlock Joe 15:33, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Probably a DNS dissemination slowdown -- getting "unable to resolve" error for -- Gridlock Joe 18:03, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikimedia Toolserver[edit]

A series of tools are hosted on the Wikimedia Toolserver (at ). The server used to receive regular updates from the wikipedia database. Since 2 days, it appears that these updates are no longer available (see User_talk:Interiot#Toolserver_is_effectively_down).

Personally, I used some of the tools, such as CategoryIntersect.php (which makes use of the numerous categories) or (which is used to expand Category:Living people).

In the past, we could run queries directly on Wikipedia (see Wikipedia:Database_queries). The toolserver made available a series of standardized queries to everyone.

In the future, will the "Toolserver" be updated again? -- User:Docu

Scroll up. --Brion 09:21, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Indeed: #Toolserver?. Thanks.
Great, now that it's back . -- User:Docu

Font color[edit]

When I type in: <font color = "#668535">SAMPLE TEXT</font>, it comes out looking like this: SAMPLE TEXT. What does that strange number mean? And how can I edit it to make a different font color? Jonathan 01:29, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Oh, and one more thing: When I type in <font color = "grey">SAMPLE TEXT</font>, it looks like this: SAMPLE TEXT. That font color looks more like GREEN than GREY to me! Jonathan 01:34, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

The number is the hexadecimal representation of a color. Colors in CSS can be defined by their "number" (#FF0000 or #F00) or by name (red). The number is in the format #RRGGBB, where R is the amount of red, G green and so on. Black is #000000 and white is #FFFFFF. ~MDD4696 01:36, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Also, use <span style="color: #669966;">SPAN</span> instead of FONT. ~MDD4696 01:38, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
In case it wasn't obvious from the post above, a higher number (FF = 255) corropsonds to more of that color; a lower number (00 = 0) corrosponds to less. So 000000 is the absence of all color (black). FFFFFF is the maxmium presense of all colors (white). FF0000 is maximum red, no green, and no blue, so it would be pure red; 00FF00 is maximum green with no red and no blue; 0000FF is maximum blue, with no red and no green. Raul654 01:40, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
OK, but why "FF"? Why not "99"? Jonathan 01:56, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Jonathan - Most human number systems are based around the number ten (e.g, the decimal system). In a decimal system, numbers like 1, 10, 100, 1000, (and for similiar reasons, one less than each value - 9, 99, 999, 'etc)) are important. However, the easiest way to answer your question is to say that the binary nature of computers makes exponents of 2 (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 'etc) very important numbers (as a computer engineer, I have these memorized up to about 65,556 or so). Corrospondingly, one less than each of those values (0, 1, 3, 7, 15, 31, 63, 127, 255, 'etc) are also fairly important. To a computer, 99 is a meaingless unimportant number. Most computers use 8 bits (true/false values) to store color information for each of the three primary colors (red, green, and blue). You've probably heard of "24 bit color" when setting your monitor - that's eight bits per color times three colors. Thus, the most they can count is 2 raised to the 8th power, or 256 (actually, it's not 1 to 256, but 0 to 255) Raul654 02:19, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Because it is expressed in hex not in decimal (follow the link you were given for hexadecimal), by convention (and to be easier to calculate believe it or not. FF is 255 decimal in hex (base 16), the largest unsigned 8 bit number. 24bit color values use 3 pairs of hex digits. If they were expressed as decimal numbers it would be very confusing. As for knowing what #669966 means, there are a number of tools out there that let you convert between RGB, CSV, HSV, etc etc, and even let you grab the color of something you like. I like Pixie for this, but there are others. Hope that helps. ++Lar: t/c 02:09, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and can you tell me how to get a border for my sig? Jonathan 02:05, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Getting a border is a formatting question. Read the helps on how to format things, and read about raw signatures, they should help you out. ++Lar: t/c 02:09, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
See web colors for a tutorial on how to choose and set colors.-gadfium 02:18, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Nobody directly answered why "grey" displayed as green, I think. Here's the answer: Because the "e" in "grey" is in the slot for green in the hex. "grey" isn't a recognized color, so it expands it to the hex string "grey00", but because "g", "r", and "y" aren't valid hex characters, they're replaced with 0's, and the string is treated as "00e000" which is a green color. If you use "gray" instead of "grey", then it will actually show up as the color you meant, although hex is usually better because it gives you more control over the color and its brightness. –Tifego(t) 02:37, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Ha ha! Funny bug in Internet Explorer! I didn't even know what he was talking about until I checked... Firefox interprets the name properly. A browser really shouldn't interpret that as hex unless there is a pound sign. ~MDD4696 02:59, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I though the mediawiki software was responsible for converting recognized colors to hex for the browser, I guess not (never checked). –Tifego(t) 03:19, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Don't worry, my ten years old mozilla 3 also displays "grey" as "green". Try "gray" (A), or lightgrey (E), all other gray like darkgray insist on (A) with my browser, e.g. darkgrey is pink. -- Omniplex 13:19, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Safari displays them all as gray. æle  2006-04-14t15:34z
OK, thanks for explaining it to me. Jonathan 7:32 PM April 14 2006

Network problem[edit]

Just a note: we're currently experiencing a problem with an upstream network provider (Level3) which has blocked access to Wikipedia for various people for the last 20 minutes or so. It's in process of being fixed, and should be all fine in a few more minutes. --Brion 22:17, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Should be working for most people by now. --Brion 22:31, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
No. It is NOT. I'm getting S...........................................l........................o.............................

w................................................. response time of 30 sec. to 1 min time, then "Operation has Tmed out." signals. I have a watch with a stopwatch function. Martial Law 23:05, 13 April 2006 (UTC) :)

This is functioning a LOT better now. Martial Law 23:07, 13 April 2006 (UTC) :)

Appreciate the assisstance. Martial Law 23:09, 13 April 2006 (UTC) :)

Not sure if I'm thinking of the same thing you are, but for the past hour or so, I haven't been able to access any of Wikipedia. It seems to be resolved now, though. (Specifically, the problem was the pages not loading. Domain resolved and all, just no page.) --SheeEttin 23:22, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm wondering why Level3 would've blocked Wikipedia... is that some sort of routine thing they do to high traffic sites? Kind of disruptive. ~MDD4696 00:55, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
When you have a temporary power failure, do you wonder why the power company "blocked" you? --Brion 09:22, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes because I vandalized their transmission lines! Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 15:26, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Can I delete myself as a user?[edit]

I wish to delete myself as a user. Is that possible?—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Eduardo.oyanedel (talkcontribs) 21:36, 12 April 2006.

Hi! You can blank your own user page, and talk page, but because the GFDL requires attribution information to be retained, it is not typically possible to entirely delete a user. Remember that all your contributions are licensed once you make them so if you blank things, others may revert (and thus restore) what you blanked. What most people do is just stop using their account going forward. Hope that helps. ++Lar: t/c 03:27, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
You can place {{db-owner}} on your user page to have it deleted. This won't affect your account, though. -- stillnotelf is invisible 03:38, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Nevermind, I now see that you don't have a user page. -- stillnotelf is invisible 03:39, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Is there a way to cancel all passwords or something like that, thus preventing further use of an account? Ardric47 03:53, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not as sure of the answer to this one but I don't think there is. A user has one password at a time. What one could do would be set it to a really long string of gibberish that you did not even think about as you typed and then deliberately not remember what it was. Not sure if you could also set your email account to gibberish so effectively, no new password could be obtained... ++Lar: t/c 04:08, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

How long until wikipedia runs out of hard drive space from storing every edit? DyslexicEditor 06:43, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Never. Hard drives keep getting bigger. --Brion 09:23, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Templates for Suit (cards)[edit]

I raised this before... sometimes... somewhere... can't find it anymore. Basically, the default font symbols for card suits (I'll use hearts throughout) are a) all black b) too small c) thus, difficult to distinguish. Compare:

<font color="red" size="4">&hearts;</font>K

resulting in


Since they're used in many pages on many places (I'm mainly interested in Category:Bridge, it is a real pain to type full text every time. To ensure consistency, I meant to make a template out of it ({{Hsuit}} or {{hearts}}), but at the time I was told that it would significantly increase server load. Is it still the case? – wikisoftware has undergone many improvements since. I'd pretty like the answer that I have a free way to go here. Duja 22:23, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

You could create a template as a subpage in your userspace and then just subst it everywhere, i.e. {{subst:User:Duja/Hearts}}. ~MDD4696 02:57, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
But that a) almost doesn't save typing b) beats purpose of the template. A wikifriend even suggested editing monobook.js so that clicking on the symbol inserts the entire sequence instead of just symbol. At least, if possible, that would save typing. I'd still prefer the pure templates though. Duja 15:05, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Random thoughts, there's a template for chess positions on Help:Template, it uses inline PNGs. You could create 52 PNGs - I'd prefer GIF or JPG because my browser doesn't support inline PNG, but let's ignore this oddity :-) Or four templates as you said, IMO better than the picture idea. Something like {{coeur|K}} or {{coeur|A D 10}}. This won't hurt the servers more than other templates we already use everywhere. For hardcore backwards compatibility you could use red h+d, and black s+c. If backwards compatibility isn't important you could use <span style="color: red"> instead of <font color="red">. In theory you could get away with a pure colour solution c: red on white, d: white on red, etc., but that's the point where it would break for text browsers (unless you add some media CSS tricks - also a good idea for speech browsers). -- Omniplex 12:51, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the ideas. Once I get the template and its associations working, it wouldn't be a problem to get the template to work "in the best way". The bottom line for my question was, though:
Is it OK (from the server load point of view) to have templates which will be used in average 10 times per page, on cca. 200-400 pages?
If it is, I'll go on to define the templates and perform replacement where necessary (btw, what would be the right tool for the job?). Duja 21:39, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Preferences / Chick Skin[edit]

I changed to this skin to see what it would look like. Didn't like it so tried to change back. It appeared that most of the menu titles were not active. Eventually, whilst trying to explain the exact situation on a simialr bugzilla report, I discovered that the links do esist but it is only when you hover the mouse over the very last letter in the menu item that they become active - very easily missed.

Should this skin be removed from use until it works correctly. I was very frustrated with the skin as is.

Johnmarkh 15:54, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Spoke too soon. Still stuck with the Chick skin. The 'Save' button is probably not over where the hyperlink is. Really fed up that I can't either change the skin back or use it it. The Search buttons 'Go and Search' are also free floating in the main text window. Help! Johnmarkh 16:07, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Looked in the source code and helpfully the programmer had written in (alt-s) next to the sasve button and I'm free !

Still I would strongly recommend that the skin is withdrawn Johnmarkh 16:12, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

A simpler way to escape the skin would be to use which opens the preferences while "previewing" the default Monobook skin. --cesarb 14:35, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Cute. The preferences page could offer a link with that effect. Or better a link to reset the initial settings for new users. -- Omniplex 12:16, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

fullurl, fullurle, and google[edit]

Apparently {{fullurl:page }} and {{fullurle:page }} always produce the same result, is that true? It's impossible to produce %20, but for [[google:queries ]] this could be relevant. Apparently Google accepts + instead of %20 in queries, so that's not critical, besides I could try to move the query string into a fullurl: parameter. But I'm still curious where fullurl: and fullurle: actually differ. -- Omniplex 18:48, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

A brief glance at the parser and the title handling code reveals that FULLURL produces the canonical URL to a page, while FULLURLE takes this output and HTML-escapes it for use in links and other HTML elements, etc. Rob Church (talk) 02:07, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Okay, but that doesn't help me, I'm looking for an example where the output is actually different, for Help:Magic words and Help:Variable. So far I found none. -- Omniplex 12:06, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

editing an article title[edit]

I'm not sure whether I'm posting this in the right place but it's the best place I can find. I apologize if I'm off track.

I just want to let someone know that the article entitled "Edwin Ushiro" has a typo in the title/heading and I can't find a way to fix it.


If you have an account and wait until it is 4 days old, you'll see a "move" button appear at the top of your screen. -Splashtalk 23:12, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Commercial link[edit]

A commercial link has been added to a page I created long ago (NPSH). I do not know how strictly the No commercials policy is implemented here in, so if somebody would take care of that... my page UbUb 12:46, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I deleted the commercial link. -- Rick Block (talk) 13:33, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Rotating Images?[edit]

Is it possible to have, say 4 images and every time someone views the page one of them is randomly chosen? I don´t need this for wikipedia, but for a game site using the Mediawiki, and I didn´t know any better place to ask . Thank you in advance for any hints you can give me. Sean Heron 09:00, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

The Uncyclopedia wiki has this functionality up and running, it works like:


Maybe you could ask about it on their forum. –Tifego(t) 09:20, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank you, I´ll see if they can help me. Are you saying its not possible on the normal MediaWiki (on Wikipedia for example)? Ok found out myself, you need to install the algorithm. Thats all I need to know, great :D 10:59, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Not Rendering Mark-up Code Correctly[edit]

I was wondering if some could take a look at this page, which I believe Wikipedia is incorrectly rendering. I had earlier been having some problems with the section edit links loading the incorrect section, and then today this happened. When I edit it, I don't see anything wrong with the way I wrote it, but it's simply not appearing correctly. Is it something I'm doing that I'm not aware of, or did I discover a Wikipedia bug? AmiDaniel (Talk) 04:42, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Never mind, I forgot to close a nowiki tag. Though it would still be nice if someone could figure out why the edit section links aren't working correctly ... probably another of my mistakes. AmiDaniel (Talk) 04:44, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
How's that? — Knowledge Seeker 05:22, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Ohh you fixed it!!!! Thanks! Why did the shortcut box affect it? (I didn't add it, someone else did) AmiDaniel (Talk) 05:28, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
To be honest, I'm not certain. Since the section header edit links were malfunctioning, and I saw a misplaced template on the same line as the header, I thought it would be a logical thing to try. Maybe someone else knows more precisely what the problem was. — Knowledge Seeker 19:49, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

upload problem[edit]

Is something wrong with the upload server?

I have tried uploading the file 4 times, and it won't display. It is Image:Big_Biz_Tycoon_box.svg. I have tried jpg and svg files. Is it my computer or Wikimedia?

--Primate#101 03:48, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

That SVG image is trying to reference a file on your local filesystem, which obviously cannot work on the Wikipedia servers. --cesarb 03:56, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Considering that the SVG consists of only a JPEG image plus some metadata, may I suggest that uploading the JPEG by itself might be a better idea? -- Tim Starling 04:03, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Frequently Asked Questions[edit]

I have noticed that a few questions are repeated all the time on this page. To reduce the repetition, I added them to the header at the top of the page. Let's try to keep the list short, and put only questions that are really repeated all the time on it. --cesarb 02:54, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Links with lines[edit]

Is it just me or are there lines under the links now... because I'm pretty sure that wasn't there before...American Patriot 1776 02:06, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Try refreshing the page or clearing your cache; underlines appear when the site hasn't loaded the CSS properly. ~MDD4696 02:20, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Unprotection auto summaries?[edit]

Are these useful? They don't remove the tag for me, so I still have to go write an edit summary. -Splashtalk 21:47, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean by an "auto summary", but the purpose of the reason field in protection or unprotection is to annotate the protection log. -- Tim Starling 03:07, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
He's probably speaking of the new misfeature where all changes of protection status appear on the page history. --cesarb 03:50, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Some people are never satisfied.

Template Sandbox[edit]

If I want to experiment with templates, in the way that the Sandbox is used to experiment with articles, how would I do that? Ardric47 00:54, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

You can create userspace subpages. For example, I have a sandbox and a playground for this purpose; I create the template in the sandbox, and preview it on the playground. ~MDD4696 00:57, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Do templates work as templates within the User namespace (i.e. not in the Template namespace)? Ardric47 01:01, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I ask because I'm not sure that I can answer that based on your pages, because I don't understand the complicated features that you are using. Ardric47 01:03, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, you can transclude or subst any user page or subpage; it doesn't have to be in the Template namespace. –Tifego(t) 02:19, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
You can also use one of the various Template:Sandbox. There is a difference between transcluding from template space and other pages: you have to purge a page if you modify an included page that is not in the template space (I don't know if this has changed lately, however) - Liberatore(T) 15:34, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't think this has ever been the case. The only difference is that the software prepends the template namespace if a namespace is not specified. --cesarb 20:34, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks everyone; my template is working so far (it's a test version of a replacement for Template:Long). I guess the text "You start a new template in the same way you would start a normal page. The only difference is that its title must start with Template:" in Help:A quick guide to templates is not entirely correct, then? Ardric47 23:09, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Not entirely correct if you think in a technical sense; however, if you think in a policy sense, it's entirely correct (if you do not use the Template namespace, you'll be yelled at). --cesarb 00:38, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Nobody has yelled at me...although I am doing it on my user pages. Ardric47 01:23, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
If you try to add it to an article without first moving to the template namespace, you'll be yelled at . --cesarb 02:42, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Just been Attacked[edit]

I've been attacked by a bug that is causing the sig to malfunction. Someone will think it is a sockpuppet, or some such nonsense. Cleared out everything on my end to kill it. Martial Law 20:47, 13 April 2006 (UTC) :)

Is this a serious comment or a paranormal experience? ~MDD4696 01:00, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Good one. This bug is causing some problems. Just got hit by it, and this may be caused by a tech glitch. Martial Law 05:47, 15 April 2006 (UTC) :)
Maybe you should explain what's happening and give a link or two, because I don't think what you said makes sense to anyone else. –Tifego(t) 06:09, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
My Userpage's history file has two reverts done by Admins to a "anon account".hold on, i'll get the designation of this alien account.Martial Law 06:45, 15 April 2006 (UTC) :)
The alien account created by this sockbug is I have cleaned out my browsers everytime I log on here. This thing is a known sock bug. This thing is so bad it'll make Bugzilla puke. Martial Law 06:53, 15 April 2006 (UTC) :)
I still don't understand what you mean, a anon made an edit to your userpage and what else? I'[m comfused!Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 07:09, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
So am I. I hope this thing does not strike during a heated discussion. Had it before, and was told that if this thing hits, to explain that a bug exists that will cause the user to be a sock of someone else. I clear out my end, then log into this site, and the bug hits 1/5th to 1/4th of the times I, or someone else logs into this site. It causes the designated sig to be knocked offline, the Wikipedian does not relize that happened, he or she makes a edit on a talk page, article page, etc., and instead of the designated sig, this mess appears: 112.123.789.007 in place of the lawful sig, which can lead someone to be accused of being a sockpuppet or worse by one or more other Wikipedians. Martial Law 08:17, 15 April 2006 (UTC) :)
May I suggest that that's your IP address, and you weren't logged in at the time? What do the admin reverts have to do with it, isn't your IP address is it? –Tifego(t) 08:20, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
That is what I am thinking now, but I am still confused about what he is asking/trying to get across. 112.123.789.007 does not exist either, cant traceroute, cant whois, weird. Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 12:06, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
112.123.789.007 is not a valid IP address (789 > 255). Maybe he was just making up a number as an example. —Veyklevar 15:37, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
That IP is only an example of what has been going on. Some Admin thought it was a new IP. Before logging in, I clean out the browsers. Recently, something forced Wikipedia to be down, such as a server failure due to a problem with the power supply, then something else forced Wikipedia to be downed for nearly 20-60 min. I was wondering if the software got affected by these glitches. Really do appreciate your patience, assisstance in this matter. I'll be keeping a eye on this in the future.Martial Law 19:08, 15 April 2006 (UTC) :)

Martial Law, can you show us a page where this has happened? By that, I mean a page where this "bug" has caused your signature to malfunction? Joyous | Talk 19:27, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

My Userpage's History file shows this, twice. The alien account is I don't think that is my correct IP.
Now I have a edit conflict - with myself ?! Martial Law 20:05, 15 April 2006 (UTC) :)

Maybe Martial Law is using "signature" a little unclearly? The description makes more sense to me if I read "login" every time he says "signature." On that reading, he's getting involuntarily logged out from time to time, without noticing, so that some of his edits aren't being credited properly. FreplySpang (talk) 20:07, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

That's what it seems like to me. Martial Law, if you are clearing out your browser every time you visit Wikipedia, you will not stay logged in. You will only stay logged in if you DO NOT clear out your cookies. Go to to see what your IP is, and see if it is similar to the anon IP. ~MDD4696 20:35, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Just been there. It is my current IP. Really do appreciate the patience and assisstance. Can the IP location link be placed on my Userpage w/ the rest of the links ? Martial Law 22:06, 15 April 2006 (UTC) :)

Wikipedia Article Violation[edit]

Sorry, I am uncertain where to put this, what to do with it. If it belongs elsewhere, move ot, but let me know on my talk so I can keep up. Anyways, I found, which uses Wikipedia articles. I found the site, and knew they were Wikpedia articles, yet was the only mention I could find to Wikipedia. ~Linuxerist L / T 02:29, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

That could be the worst website I have ever seen, their ads are HALF the page vertically. They do seem to be lifting wikipedia content with following the GFDL licence. There is a certain area of wikipedia to report this, i will find it and post your answer there. Mike (T

C) Star of life2.png 03:07, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Topped! Look at my user page at this site: [10]! Linuxerist L/T 23:40, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Okay thanks, could you give me the link, as I might be able to find some more with some Clustering. ~Linuxerist L / T 03:09, 13 April 2006 (UTC) is the link I do believe! Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 03:10, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Wow, I can't believe all of those bad mirrors... Okay thanks. ~Linuxerist L / T 03:16, 13 April 2006 (UTC)


Some time ago, someone asked if there was a way to toggle spellings in articles, which would reduce the incidence of editors correcting spelling 'errors' that are merely dialectical differences. Doing so could be technically simple, but rather difficult to implement.

Step one:

Create a template:

<span class="spelling_american">{{{1}}}</span><span class="spelling_commonwealth">{{{2}}}</span>

To insert this template into an article, use


By editing a user's css, you can toggle which spelling is used.

To see American spelling, a user would insert the following in their css (User:USERNAME/monobook.css):

{ display: inline; }

{ display: none; }

Likewise, to see Commonwealth spelling, you insert

{ display: inline; }

{ display: none; }

One of these options would also need to be inserted at the universal css at MediaWiki:Standard.css. Ingoolemo talk 22:08, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

This will cause a bunch of illegible crud to display in older browsers, be read in some screen readers, and redistributions of content. Wikipedia is first and foremost a freely redistributable, editable encyclopedia. Damaging the text to make it difficult to use harms both readers and writers. --Brion 23:11, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
And... you then may decide which one is the default. I look forward to this one... Sam Korn (smoddy) 23:14, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
...and for countries that use some US and some Commonwealth spellings, like Canada and Australia...? its an axis not a polarity. BL Lacertae - kiss the lizard 23:27, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
And it'd be a major pain to replace ALL American/Commonwealth spelling with the template. Werdna648T/C\@ 18:58, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I should think most of the spelling change edits are by anonymous users who cannot use a stylesheet, or relatively new users who have no idea what one is. Neither of these groups could/would use the stylesheet properly, and just get confused when trying to "fix" the spelling. In other words, it would only change the visible text for experienced editors who probably don't care. I'm not against something to automatically alter the spelling, but if it involves "user's .css" I don't think it will work. -- stillnotelf is invisible 19:28, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

How about a word or phrase replacement list for each user? This could also be useful for people who don't want to see potentially offensive terms in vandalism or talk page discussions. æle  2006-04-07t20:02z

That would effectively mean disabling the parser cache. Which, in turn, will melt the servers immediately. Unless you plan to donate several dozens of servers, it's not an option. -- G. Gearloose (?!) 10:58, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

This would create a huge problem unless there were a manual override in the Wikitext; otherwise, one wouldn't be able to accurately quote writing. Ardric47 02:36, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

A similar proposal was introduced months ago by PizzaMargherita on the MoS talk page, but it went nowhere (none of the MediaWiki people actually volunteered to implement it). -- 21:28, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

contributions navigation nomenclature[edit]

A while ago, we were talking about the confusing "previous 50" and "next 50" links in the contributions list. I just now noticed that someone has changed these to the sensibly-aligned "newer 50" and "older 50". Thanks much, whoever that was! —Steve Summit (talk) 22:37, 16 April 2006 (UTC)


I have been helpfully told that the capatch support is an extention but i don't seem to be able to find out what its called or where to get it. Special:Version doesn't seem to list anything relavent and a quick poke trough the extentions dir in svn didn't reveal anything either. Plugwash 15:00, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

It's ConfirmEdit extension. --cesarb 18:52, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Specialpages: RandomStub[edit]

It'd be awsome if there was a special page that'd take you to a randomly selected stub. I don't want to crawl through the inordinate amount of interrelated categories to find something to work on. Most users probably have something of value to add to ~20-25% of all stubs, and could just click through the random link generator 4 or 5 times to find one.



Mrzaius 21:24, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Just click on a stub category and then choose one of the articles at random from the category. Phr 09:43, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

User Page[edit]

My user page is a mess, can someone please teach me how to clean it up? Richardkselby 00:06, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

...delete all the userboxes? ~MDD4696 20:41, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good to me! ericg 20:42, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I concur. User:Zoe|(talk) 21:52, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
if you really want to keep them, move all but the most important ones to a subpage, like I did (see User:Grutness/More userboxes) Grutness...wha? 00:37, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Images from one Wikipedia to another[edit]

hey there, I have a question, I am working to improve the Arabic Wikpedia, and I was woundring, is there a way to add a picture that's on the english wikipedia (for example [[image:orange.jpg]]) without having to save it on my computer and then upload it again in the arabic wikipedia? thanks--muhaidib-- (Talk | #info | Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg ) 19:43, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

No. You can, however, upload it to Wikimedia Commons, where it can be used by all the language wikis. --cesarb 21:30, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Note however that the license restrictions on Commons are a bit more cautious than on en. So if the image is a fair use image, you may not be able to put it on Commons. I don't know what the licensing restrictions on other language wikis are, but if it can't go on Commons you may need to download the image (rightclick save it) and then upload it to your language wiki. Hope that helps. ++Lar: t/c 01:29, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok thanks alot guys for the help :D, I guess the best for now is save and re-upload. I wounder how many GBs (or TBs) is Wikipedia taking lol --muhaidib-- (Talk | #info | Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg ) 06:07, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Padding nested tables[edit]

Hello. How may I set the parameters for the distance between a table and a nested table located inside it? I'm trying to emulate for my User Page the outlook of the tables that appear on the Main Page (i.e. Today's featured article and so on), but this Wiki markup can get so difficult to grasp at times... Thanks -- Andres 18:21, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

You could try adding cellpadding="5" to the outer table. ~MDD4696 20:38, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks a lot, MDD4696. -- Andres 12:59, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Numbering figures[edit]


I'm currently working on an article with many figures (Power MOSFET), and I wonder if there is a way to automatically refer to figure number. At the moment, when I want to refer to a given figure in the text, I have to number it manually. This is not practical because it makes further figure insertion rather painful...

I haven't found anything in the help about figure numbering, but I must admit I'm a bit lost in the help tree... -- CyrilB 13:59, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't think there's currently any way of autonumbering figures. If you want to create one, you could try a variant of Wikipedia:Footnote3 (this would conflict with autonumbered links, but they are easy to avoid with Cite.php). --cesarb 14:10, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't know about numbering figures, but I must say that the page has many figures more than necessary. There are so many, they continue past the article itself! Please consider removing some, or left-aligning some.
Also, I'm not sure what's up with all the empty subheadings toward the end, but it makes it hard to read, there being a large chunk of unused space and all. --SheeEttin 14:15, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I have inserted a few {{clear}}'s. Now the images are closer to the place in the text where they are discussed. This may make it easier to refer to the pictures without using figure numbers. (Feel free to revert if you don't like it) -- Eugene van der Pijll 14:21, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your help. The {{clear}}'s are a good idea, especially at this early stage of the article. I also agree that there are too many figures for the moment, as I added all at once, but I plan to use every one of them in the text (there is quite a bit of text to add).

I'm surprised that nobody uses figure numbering. Maybe it is an academic habit of mine, but I find it really frustrating not to have a way to refer to a figure (or an equation either) from the text. I'll give the footnote trick a try. -- CyrilB 15:11, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm keen on this idea too and would love to see it worked out if there was a way to do it so that it did not conflict with footnotes as outlined above. Please keep us posted (and once a way is sorted, consider updating the helps.. not sure where exactly but it would be goodness...) I too am spoiled by how (for example) MSWord lets you insert figure captions which you can reference in the text and which get automatically renumbered as you add new figures, etc... (the preceding is NOT to be taken as a statement that I actually LIKE *cough* bloatware *cough* MSWord!) ++Lar: t/c 15:39, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I've just spent some time on modifying the ref and note templates (I created the Template:RefFigure and Template:LabelFigure, though I don't know if test can be made in the Template namespace), but I think this is a dead end: the number of the reference is generated by the mechanism which builds the external urls, so there is no way to store this number for further use. In the footnote3 system, the text of the footnotes is placed in a numbered list, but this workaround cannot be used for figures as they are spread all across the text, not grouped at the end. Therefore, I can create the label "see figure 1" in the text, but I can't create the corresponding "Fig. 1:" in the figure caption. As far as I can see, the only way would be to build a new "cite.php" for figure numbering (and equations by the way). -- CyrilB 22:04, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Just to say that I've made a request on the bugzilla about this. -- CyrilB 16:05, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Speaking of log summaries...[edit]

I was reading the above question on protection log summaries, and that spurred me to ask this, which I've been meaning to ask for a while now: why doesn't undeleting (restoring) a page not have a summary field? All the other log actions (protect, unprotect, delete, move) have log summaries already, and it would make sense for undeletions, just like deletions, to have such a summary field. Is there a technical reason for this discrepancy? Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 03:13, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

See Bugzilla:3309. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 19:59, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the link! Flcelloguy (A note?) 20:03, 16 April 2006 (UTC)


I'm STILL having problems with my signature!!!

I designed my signature like this:

<font size="2" color=#00FF00 style="background:#884400"> Jonathan</font>

so it's supposed to look like this:


But when I type in four tildes ~~~~ for my sig. it looks like this:

<font size="2" color=#00FF00 style="background:#884400"> Jonathan</font> 18:44, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Appearantly that's about Wikipedia turns "<" into "& l t ;". Why don't other users like --lightdarkness have this problem?

After I fix this problem, I aslo want a link to my talk page and an image of the Canadian flag next to my signature: Jonathan talk 30px (See my talk page). But I'm gonna try to fix this problem first.

Jonathan 7:40 PM Apr 14 2006

Right, what you need to do is tick the box next to "Raw signature (no auto link; don't use templates or external links in this)", and then manually append the link code around the signature, so for example type:
[[User Jonathan|<font size="2" color=#00FF00 style="background:#884400"> Jonathan</font>]]
for your initial example, and the latter can be produced with:
[[User Jonathan|<font size="2" color=#00FF00 style="background:#884400"> Jonathan</font>]] <sup><font size="-1"> [[User talk:Jonathan W|talk]] </font></sup> [[Image:Canada flag 300.png|30px]]
I hope this helps! Ian13/talk 18:49, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Just as a note though - many users object to images in signatures, due to extra server strain and load time. Ian13/talk 18:51, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Uh...thanks for all the help, but now it says: Invalid raw signature; check HTML tags. Jonathan 18:58, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Right, well that means some of your code is wrong. I'm no expert but try this:
[[User Jonathan|<span style="background:#884400; size:2; color:#00FF00;"> Jonathan</span>]] <sup><span style="size:-1;"> [[User talk:Jonathan W|talk]] </span></sup> [[Image:Canada flag 300.png|30px]]
Just tested, and it worked for me. Ian13/talk 19:07, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
CSS won't work with some browsers, therefore <small> might be better than <span style="size:-1">. It's also shorter. -- Omniplex 01:45, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:How to fix your signature. In your case, it's missing a couple of double quotes. --cesarb 20:31, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Mind you, my new fixed example uses span instead of font which is better. Ian13/talk 21:12, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
All right, it worked! Check it out: Jonathan talk 30px 00:31, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
By the way, what did the "span style" mean? It seemed to be the problem.
The actuctal issue was color=#00FF00 in your code - it needed to be quoted like: color="#00FF00". Span however is preferable, because it confirms to more recent XHTML markup styles. Ian13/talk 09:51, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
As sole member of Category:User css-0 I second this because I won't see it... <gd&r> -- Omniplex 01:50, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
The link to your user page doesn't work, by the way. You typed [[User Jonathan|...]] instead of [[User:Jonathan W]]. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 01:49, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Cool user names[edit]

How can some users sign their names and it comes out with cool font color and everything?


Jonathan W 15:30, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Goto "My Preferences" and there is a box called signature there. Check raw siganture then use wikicode to make a signature for yourself. View the source to this question to look at what makes up the signature examples you have provided. ie paste this into your signature box[[User:Jonathan W|<font size="-2" color="red" style="background:blue"> Jonathan W</font>]] to get this  Jonathan W Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 16:06, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
You realy made an ugly example :) AzaToth 16:08, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
And where is YOUR example. It was better than nothing =) I'm not a designer. Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 21:46, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Azatoth had colors in his sig! (so do I...) just not QUITE as loudly instructive as your example! Smile.++Lar: t/c 22:26, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
All right, thanks a lot. That really helps. Jonathan W 00:10, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Hey, but I can't find anything about my signature in my prefs! Jonathan W 00:10, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
DUH my fault, its called nickname sorry!! Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 00:18, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Do note, however, that custom sigs can be considered more silly than cool, and that what's really cool is spending time on improving the encyclopedia, rather than on such frivolous pursuits. —Steve Summit (talk) 22:16, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I only edit wikipedia to look cool. ericg 22:26, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Builtin conditionals and mathematical expressions enabled[edit]


The extension for mathematical expressions and conditional constructs has been enabled on all
Wikimedia wikis, on a trial basis. Documentation is at:

See the talk page for discussion.

-- Tim Starling

--cesarb 15:35, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Great to hear! Are these usages automagically recorded in a way that we can search for pages utilizing them? — xaosflux Talk 20:15, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Since this is currently on a 'trial basis' I suggest we hold off on wholesale conversion of hundreds of templates. I've been implementing the changes on 'high profile' pages such as Wikipedia:Featured content, Template:Tomorrow, Template:Babel-X, et cetera as a proof of concept. If there is a problem and these new features have to be rolled back then we only have to restore a few pages to their old forms. On the other hand, if the new features hold up without problems in heavy use on these high traffic pages then they'll presumably be kept in permanently and we can start the process of converting every little infobox over to use the new capabilities. --CBDunkerson 22:45, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
{{See also}} looks OK so far, checked 1 to 8 links.
--William Allen Simpson 05:51, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I'll copy my response about it being a trial from wikitech-l to here:
The main reason I'm calling it a trial is to avoid appearing to have made a unilateral decision to enable it permanently. The critics of this concept now have one final chance to turn community opinion against it, before it becomes ingrained. However the reception has generally been positive. I've received a number of private compliments on it, in addition to what can be seen publically.
There's also the possibility of bugs and syntax changes. We've already had one syntax change: I changed the whitespace handling in #if to mirror the behaviour in template parameters, to allow for easier conversion and neater multi-line syntax. There's also a pending suggestion to allow whitespace between the #if and the colon, and a suggestion to make #if treat "0" as true, both of which may well be implemented.
One of Gangleri's syntax suggestions sounded quite reasonable and I may well implement it. The idea if I understand it correctly was to treat pipe characters beyond the specified maximum number of arguments literally, e.g. {{#if: 1 || literal pipe: | }}.
-- Tim Starling 04:27, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
His new {{#: wh|at|ev|er}} proposal is better, it works also for the then part. -- Omniplex 01:25, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I've created a new cat category:Templates using ParserFunctions. This cat might get deleted as soon as m:ParserFunctions moves from "trial" to "released". --Ligulem 10:17, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

IRC on a Mac[edit]

The IRC link that is given all over Wikipedia (irc://, doesn't work on my Mac. I downloaded both ircle and Conversation, but I can't get either to work with Freenode. (The former keeps timing out, and the second doesn't show any activity on the channel. I really don't know how to use the second one.) I haven't registered a username, but I didn't think that was necessary. What am I doing wrong? - ElAmericano (dímelo) 19:04, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

OK do this: open ircle and you want to type /server then /join #wikipedia, you do not HAVE to use the link that is all over wikipedia. Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 19:47, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
It keeps timing out. I'm on a college network; do you think it's because of a firewall? If so, can I get around it? - ElAmericano (dímelo) 01:40, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps, try the servers here Also can you open a terminal and type this traceroute and paste the output to MY talk page, not here. Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 03:07, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
IRC links work with colloquy. It's a nice app. ericg 16:46, 16 April 2006 (UTC)


The site was down from 19:19 UTC on 9th April to around 01:30 on 10th April. The explanation we have at this time is that one of the 800A circuit breakers between the generators/UPS and our servers failed at our Florida colocation facilities causing obvious problems. Staff at the datacentre struggled to resume service as soon as possible, and are now investigating the reason said breaker failed.

Following this, Brion Vibber worked to bring up the database servers, apaches and squid caches. Before reporting bugs and errors, please clear both the client (browser) and server-side cache of pages which appear to be broken, and likewise for thumbnails. Rob Church (talk) 01:48, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

(Corrected times above.) --Brion 01:52, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Bloody hell. Can't you all just follow the UK ;) Rob Church (talk) 01:57, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

For anyone who's interested, I've saved the Recent Changes from just before and just after the outage, and copied them to here: User:JesseW/RC_over_the_downtime. Enjoy. JesseW, the juggling janitor 02:02, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Several servers came up with bad clocks. I've corrected the times in the 'revision' database entries for the entries edited from these servers so 'history' and 'contribs' will be correct, but you might see some edits listed in your watchlist etc 8 hours earlier than their actual times. --Brion 04:08, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the hard work getting this back up. When I saw the page was down I went looking for the reason, since the error page had no details and found that about (literally) a thousand others were doing the same by logging in to the IRC channel. May I suggest that the error page be updated with a short, maybe one sentence, blurb about the problem when an outage happens? Thx --Kickstart70-T-C 15:41, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree, this would be quite helpful. 21:52, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I also hope that in future (not wishing downtime to happen, but preparing for such things), the error message could be updated (with a time-stamp, to allay worries that "nothing is happening"). If that is technically unfeasible and the IRC channel continues to given out as a go-to address, then i would request that those who have ops standing in the IRC channel understand that there WILL be many people coming through looking for information -- because the error message sends them there -- and that they will treat these newcomers with more courtesy and friendliness than was shown this time. The attitude of the regular users and ops was a little too harshly elitist to my liking, to put it gently. No offense intended; i am just hoping for a smoother method of dealing with the issue if or when it again arises. And a big THANKS to all who got the site back up as soon as possible. Catherineyronwode 00:33, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
I have to agree, there was beurocrats threating to devoice all new comers, and couldn't understand why they join to #wikipedia during outages. I found it quite distaseful. Also the comment was made, #wikipedia is not ran by wikiepdia. While it isn't, the ops of the channel are representitives of wikipedia and should follow the rules (such as welcoming, helping, being civil, etc). Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 00:54, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
We've had trouble getting the error pages to update properly in the past. Hopefully we'll get it working smoothly before we next need it; in the middle of an outage isn't the best time to experiment. :) --Brion 01:04, 11 April 2006 (UTC)


Several users queried the reasoning behind placing the #wikimedia-tech IRC channel into moderated state at this time. The response is that, in an outage of this nature, it is vital that

  • we don't get floods of people all reporting the same error
  • we aren't pestered with the same stupid "what's broken" questions
  • system administration and other development staff can communicate

We don't do it to be mean; we do it so we can work as effectively as possible to fix the issues. Thanks to the users who first brought the problem to our attention, and of course, a global thanks to those who worked to fix it. Rob Church (talk) 01:48, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

My thanks to Brion & the other admins who got things back up & running, while simultaneously keeping us informed of the status via IRC. Moderation was the only way to go. With 1000+ users in the #wikipedia channel, to do anything else would have rendered it useless. SteveB 18:06, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
The #wikipedia channel should never have been set +m (IMO), #wikipedia-tech on the other hand was +m and rightfully so. Even users trying to be helpful to the devs are just stepping on toes when it comes to a major downtime such as today. Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 03:56, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I set #wikipedia +m because it was scrolling so fast that I couldn't read it. It was an endless stream of "Is it down?" "Wikipedia's down." "Is it dead?" and other such content that made the channel useless as a medium for communication. Setting +m was the virtual equivalent of standing on a table in a crowded meeting room and firing off an airhorn several times to get people to shut up. Kelly Martin (talk) 00:15, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth; I was also opped in #wikipedia at this time, and can state that had Kelly not beaten me to it, I would have taken the channel +m myself. I'm of the opinion that, in cases like these, it's more sensible to provide status information in the topic, and maintain some level of order for regular discussion in the channel.
As noted above, the #wikipedia IRC channel is not an official channel, and is often off-topic as it is. The channel has its own rules and atmosphere, although these do not include biting newbies or people asking reasonable questions, of course. I point people to #wikipedia-en for a quieter time, and for a more on-topic expectation. Rob Church (talk) 00:33, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I think thats why the error message should never point to the irc channel, a third party website should be established to give a error report, as well irc is not for newbies IMO, its a hard thing to jump into and understand for a lot of people. I wasen't there for the start of the +m so i retract my comments, but if your going to +m atleast have a reasonable way for people to get +v. Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 00:52, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
As the channel topic stated, and as was announced on a periodic basis; those who required voicing in order to participate in some sort of sensible discussion were free to /msg a channel operator and ask for it. Regular channel users and the odd newcomer were also voiced on sight. 21:24, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I might regret this later when the bandwidth bill comes, but i am willing to give a few GB (10?) of bandwidth per month to wikipedia to establish a error message page if this would help. I can't see a few hundred thousand views of a small html file being a huge problem =). Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 00:55, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

More visible status link?[edit]

There is a discussion on the Main Page talk page here where people are requesting a more visible status link to find out what happened after things are back up and running. Carcharoth 10:50, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

2001 article histories[edit]

From Wikipedia:Usemod article histories:

Note that the very last UseMod edit is listed as done by "Conversion script" with comment "Automatic conversion" instead of the actual author.

In the case of Gambeson, this appears to replace the only pre-Conversion-script edit there was; how can I find out the original author of the pre-2002 version of this article? dab () 15:32, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

One way is to look on the Nostalgia wikipedia. It was User:Anders Torlind. -- Eugene van der Pijll 15:44, 17 April 2006 (UTC)


I'm sure this has been asked hundreds of times before but... Category:Living People (note the capital P) has got articles in it which shouldn't be the case. Is the only solution to go into each article and change the big P into a little p or is there some fancy technical solution? RicDod 14:39, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

You can use one of the category-renaming bots to do it for you. You can find them on WP:CFD. --cesarb 16:22, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

The post log-in special page[edit]

How come after logging in, it always only offers to return you to the Main Page. I'm sure it used to send you to the article you had just come from...Brendanfox 09:01, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

On a different computer now, it's stopped happening - either its been fixed or its a browser thing but thanks, problem solved. Brendanfox 10:46, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

==section==</nowiki> is contained within a <div style="clear:both;"></div>. This makes it so that images put into one section of an article do not transfer into the next article.

This may have serious reprocussions though.. for special formatting and such where people have meticulously designed pages to display correctly with multiple sections lining up with a single image or something. But, its just a proposal. I frequently use the Sectionbreak template but often if I'm not the main contributor to the page, the changes get reverted by people who can't see the benefits... drumguy8800 - speak? 22:45, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

You should limit the use of {{Sectionbreak}} as much as possible. As with any web development, the current situation is a compromise. The sectionbreak template might make an article look better on some pages, and worse on others, just as you mentioned with many images. I think that the current solution works pretty well--alternating images on the left and right. The less formatting tweaks we add, the more consistent the pages look across platforms, and the less work we need to do when browsers change. ~MDD4696 23:00, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

formatting designed for high-resolution users[edit]

On high-resolution monitors, it takes far fewer lines to display a section of an article than it does on the more common, narrow monitors. I for instance use 1680x1050, and most contributors probably use 800x600 or 1024x768. When an editor puts a lot of images in a section, oftentimes it formats correctly on their monitors, but when high-resolution monitor users see the page, all the images stack up because there isn't enough vertical text buffering. A proposal to fix this would be to modify software so that each <nowiki>__NOTOC__ to hide the table of contents, or __TOC__ to force it to show up in a specific location. ericg 21:07, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Gracias. Tijuana Brass 21:28, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Trouble with .gif image[edit]

I recently downloaded an image off the CDC website (in the public domain) and planned on putting it on an article. It was a .gif image, but I've seen them used successfully before. It uploaded onto wikipedia no problem, but I get a red link everytime I try to link to it. The image in question is present in the Category:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention images under Reported I. I've linked to plenty of .jpg images with no problem, am I missing something? The format I'm using is [[Image:Reported I.GIF]] with usual syntax for position and thumbnailing. --Joelmills 18:54, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Are you simply misspelling the filename? It's a lowecase L, not an uppercase I. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 19:02, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Whoops. Thanks. --Joelmills 19:31, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Where did the editing buttons go?[edit]

Two days ago, the "JavaScript Editing" mode for Wikipedia lost its graphic buttons. Now I just get the text for the buttons; I see "Bold textItalic textInternal linkExternalLink (remember http:// prefix)Level2headline)..." etc. The functions all work; it's as if someone removed the images or changed their location. What changed, and how do I fix it. I'm running Firefox 1.5. --John Nagle 18:02, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

They're still there, and they look fine in Firefox here. --Brion 21:35, 18 April 2006 (UTC)