Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-11-19/Technology report

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The Wikipedia Signpost


Bugs, Repairs, and Internal Operational News

By ais523, 19 November, 2007

This is a summary of recent technology and site configuration changes that affect the English Wikipedia. Note that not all changes described here are necessarily live as of press time; the English Wikipedia is currently running version 1.32.0-wmf.8 (53a4a6c), and changes to the software with a version number higher than that will not yet be active. Configuration changes and changes to interface messages, however, become active immediately.

Fixed bugs

  • A bug was accidentally introduced that caused 0, Template:0, and similar names to be invalid page names, breaking uses of {{0}} across the wiki; this was fixed shortly afterwards. (r27448, bug 11958)

New features

  • Using a namespace of Media: in the {{#ifexist:}} parser function now checks if a media file (usually an image) by that name is available to be included (even if the image is on the Wikimedia Commons rather than locally on the English Wikipedia); this differs from a namespace of Image: in that that checks the image/media description page, rather than the image/media file itself, for existence. (r27460, bug 7985)
  • The default signature (the signature that users use if they have not customised their signature) is now customisable by administrators (r27473, bug 11913); a separate customisable default signature was added for anonymous users (r27512, bug 11315). The relevant interface messages (which administrators can edit to change the default signature) are MediaWiki:Signature and MediaWiki:Signature-anon; at the time of writing, the signatures have been customized to Ais523 (talk) and 127.0.0.1 (talk) respectively (note that the signature for anonymous users links to their contributions rather than their userpage), with no hyphens included in the signature (they were added by an administrator and then removed again). This does not affect signatures customized in Special:Preferences using the 'Use raw signature' option (this option requires any links wanted to be entered manually in the 'Nickname' box).
  • Indexing and software updates done to the checkuser extension allows for faster and more complete retrieval of IPs used by a user. Range scans now check for results size before running the actual scan to avoid large filesorts that timeout. A list of IPs used in the range will appear in such cases instead. (r27262).

Configuration changes

  • The 'patrolled edits' feature was enabled on the English Wikipedia for Special:Newpages only; this feature makes it possible for new-page patrollers to better balance their work by marking pages as having been checked ('patrolled'). This newly-enabled feature, and instructions on how to use it, is explained at Wikipedia:New pages patrol/patrolled pages; that page currently suggests patrolling a page when it's been tagged for speedy deletion, you've checked it and seen no issues, or you've checked it and either fixed all issues with the page or placed appropriate cleanup tags on it to mention what those problems are. The action of patrolling a page is logged at Special:Logs/patrol. The way that the feature was originally configured, only administrators could patrol pages; after a discussion, this has since been changed, so that any page created by an administrator or bot will be automatically patrolled, and other pages can be marked as patrolled by any 'autoconfirmed' user (i.e. a user who has had an account for over four days), apart from the creator of the page. (bug 12007)
  • The AssertEdit extension was installed on all Wikimedia wikis, although it does not yet seem to be live/working. The extension allows a user (although it is most useful for bots) to request various checks on requests they make to the wiki; for instance, it's possible to request a check that a page exists before editing it, or to request a check that the user editing is a logged-in bot (e.g. a bot can tell the servers to refuse its edits if it gets logged out accidentally or is accidentally run on the wrong account).

Ongoing news

  • Internationalisation has been continuing as normal; help is always appreciated! See mw:Localisation statistics for how complete the translations of languages you know are, and post any updates to bugzilla or use Betawiki.




Also this week:

Anthere interview — Khobar plagiarism — WikiWorld — News and notes — In the news — WikiProject report — Features and admins — Technology report — Arbitration report


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