Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-01-31/Technology report

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Bugs, Repairs, and Internal Operational News

By Aude and X!, 31 January, 2009

This is a summary of recent technology and site configuration changes that affect the English Wikipedia. Note that some changes described here have not yet gone live as of press time; the English Wikipedia is currently running version 1.31.0-wmf.4 (477691b), 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.

Earlier this week, the developers rolled out an update of MediaWiki, to r46424. Rollback links on watchlists, the PROTECTIONLEVEL parser function, and other changes are now live. There are "fixes" [1] that users can use in personal css files (e.g. monobook.css), in order to hide the watchlist rollback links.

Fixed bugs

  • When uploading files as a "new version" of an existing file, the upload form is now simplified, giving only a field for "File changes" and filenames. (r46465, bug 15811)

New features

  • It is now possible to sort the Special:ListUsers list by account creation time. (r46177, bug 3301)
  • User pages and talk pages of blocked users are now automatically no-indexed, to keep the pages from being indexed by search engines. (r45712, bug 11443)
  • User preferences now include the option to specify gender. This feature is most relevant to Wikipedia versions in other languages, including Polish and Russian, where system messages should vary based on gender. For example, the user namespace in Russian should display "Участник" for male and "Участница" for female users. (r46246, bug 13040)
    • The variable {{GENDER}} was also implemented, to allow the system messages to specific what text should be shown for which gender. It can also be used to view a user's gender.
  • When adjusting blocks, the block form fields are now pre-filled with the existing values. (r45862, bug 17045)
  • The undo function is now accessible via the API. (r46260, bug 15949)

Other news

  • The AbuseFilter extension [2] is enabled on The extension will allow admins to specify editing patterns to screen for and take some action, ranging from tagging edits for admin attention to blocking users and even emergency desysopping. The filter-triggered blocks and other serious actions are not currently enabled on the test wiki.

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.
The Wikipedia Signpost

Also this week:

Orphans — News and notes — In the news — Dispatches — WikiProject report — Features and admins — Technology report — Arbitration report

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