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Contents

Addresses with or without city?[edit]

The address format specified in Wikitravel:Accommodation listings states Don't repeat the city name unless the "city" is different, other listings guidelines have very similar rules. However, this was not enforced for a long time and there are now many articles not following this format, showing city names (and ZIP codes) in their listings just as you would in postal addresses. (Regarding the ZIP codes, very few or possibly none of the city articles mention them.) The big question therefore is: what are we gonna do with that? STENSOFT (talk) 21:53, 2 September 2014 (EDT)

Hello there! Well, my opinion is that we should adhere to the guidelines and avoid useless repetitions (and ZIP codes, I'm not sure they can be useful here on Wikitravel). What do you think? Regards, GiulioC (talk) 04:00, 3 September 2014 (EDT)
Yesterday I undid a change by STENSOFT for this very reason. Apologies! I agree, from now on we should go with the guidelines(just as you both said) and correct all other listings as we come across them. I don't think there's a feature to change all existing listings at once and there are many, many listings with city and zip. Any other ideas?
Postal codes We definitely should include postal codes (ZIP or otherwise) because it can make things much easier for machine reading with apps. Imagine an application that could scrape ZIP codes from a guide and then just make listings or an itinerary automatically for a traveller. You can type in "eat at 8:00, museum before noon, eat at 1:00, hiking before 6:00, eat at 7:00: all within three square miles" and an app could do that based on postal codes. It's important to convert listings into machine-readable format for this purpose as well. Koavf (talk) 23:42, 20 October 2014 (EDT)
That's an interesting perspective that I had not thought about before you brought it up, Koavf.
I think it's covered by the current brief advice at Wikitravel:Accommodation_listings#Creating_an_accommodation_listing "Postal codes may be used for listings in those countries where they offer useful additional precision {currently Argentina (only 8 character CPA or Código Postal Argentino, Argentine Postal Code), Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal and the UK}", but the same advice holds good for other types of listing I would have thought. --103.9.41.192 03:33, 27 October 2014 (EDT)

New discussion on listings in multiple places[edit]

Hi Wikitravel admins, I run a social enterprise travel web platform called backstreetacademy.com We allow anyone in developing countries to create a tour experience and list it on our platform to sell it to tourists. We focus on the underprivileged and disadvantaged in creating these experiences. We have physical offices in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap & Luang Prabang.

We have posted our listings on these citys' wikitravel pages, some of the earlier ones are even posted by our guests, but they have all since been removed very consistently and judicously. I subsequently got in touch with one of the admins, username: IBcaldera or Jose and discussed this issue and it boils down to a general rule that wikitravel does not allow multiple listings in different city pages. After our discussion, we believe that there can be exceptions to the rule, and that this rule is preventing the flow of important information to the users and reducing the value of the wikitravel page. Here are the reasons why:

1) While websites like ours can be seen as a chain and compared to 'worldwide airlines' and 'hotel chains', i'm sure you can see that while posting the same chains has no value to a user because they already know it to be there and will not be looking for it, they are not aware of this very local business and the information will be of value to them.

2) The information we post in each city is different and customized to each city, and the products we offer in each city is also very different, making every post a customized post with again valuable information about activities travelers can do in the city, without which they will not know about on wikitravel, again reducing the value to the users

3) Choosing one destination to highlight, i guess a common solution prescribed to chains, is not very practical for this as every city is very different, and people who are searching for things to do in Siem Reap for example would obviously not look at the Kathmandu page and would thus miss out on this information.

4) We do have physical locations in each of these cities, not like a virtual website which is just based in one country and selling tours in 100 different cities. In that case they are just replicating listings already on the wikitravel page. All our experiences are however unique and sold exclusively through our website, thus preventing replication of listings and again providing value to users of wikitravel.

5) All the hosts on our platform are people living near the poverty line and would benefit from the support of socially responsible communities such as this, and this exposure would be very helpful for them. A blanket implementation of the rule would really be unnecessarily unfair to them given their non-existent ability to market their services.

I'm sure there are better ways to implement this rule than to simply delete the listings, thus if there are any recommendations, we will be happy to engage and implement them in our writing. I'm sure the addition of this listing would be beneficial to users, which is the end goal of wikitravel, and we would do anything we can to help make it so. If there are any other concerns, feel free to discuss, i'm sure we can get to a consensus for the good of all wikitravel users. Thanks and looking forward! Jamon919 (talk)04:56, 19 September 2014(EDT)

Touting and multiple listings We have policies in place about multiple listings and also touting a good/service/business, etc. because as you pointed out, it is generally the case that a large company or even outright spam will invade and descend upon a free travel guide, thus defeating the purpose of it in the first place. From what you've posted above, your organization is not like that. I feel like this tour would actually be of substantial value to travelers and he comes first in decisions on this site. Although it would be a big change to how this operates, I'm not opposed to it as such. Koavf (talk) 01:16, 19 September 2014 (EDT)
Touting and multiple listings. As Koavf rightfully pointed out we do have policies to specifically prevent this kind of behavior. Even though Jamon919 did make a great point about being eligible for an exception, I, for one, am sorry to say I find this exception a bit of hard to accept. For one thing it's not allowed by our policies, and also I think the benefit to the users by this (kind of) exception is exaggerated and the potential difficult situation such an exception will put Wikitravel in is neglected in Jamon919's argument. It's possible, that we will have many other well-intended business owners/marketers who believe the information about their branches in different cities will benefit Wikitravel users a great deal and post listings here in many different articles, which will enssentially make Wikitravel an advertisement platform. So, even though I find Jamon919's argument very strong and convincing, I'm still inclined that we stick to the rules. I will also be looking forward to other opinions about this discussion. --Binbin (talk) 02:18, 19 September 2014 (EDT)
Thanks for bringing this up Jamon919 (talk). A very tricky subject I think, as not only do you want your listing in multiple articles, the site also offers general tour planning options, which in general we also don´t allow in our articles. However, looking at the site, if I would be traveling in any of those locations, I would love to try some of the activities you offer, so I feel the information could definitely benefit the traveler. I would rather see a listing like yours, then all those chain hotel and taxi listings. I rather see places mentioned that are "hidden gems" and would make a stay extra special, then the same standard listings that a traveler can easily find on his own. But if we allow your link, many other companies will follow, so this would require clear instructions in our policies and guidelines. It already says in these guidelines that if you feel an exception is warranted, to discuss it on the discussion page of the article. So the listing can only be added to the article after a consensus is reached. If not discussed first, the listing should not be allowed. In your case I would probably vote yes to allow the exception. Again, it is a tricky one, as there are various other listings that I have removed in the past that would probably want their listings added back again, so let´s see what others (and also non-admins) have to say about this. Thanks for your input! Adzas (talk) 07:26, 19 September 2014 (EDT)


I think an important way to discuss this issue isn't to classify it as 'enforce the rules vs making an exception' case. I think that is not the issue here. More importantly at the start of every discussion should be the 'user value test': 'Does this information provide value to a traveler who is traveling to this place?' I think it's clear that a wikitravel user would want to know this option, and by preventing it from being listed, no matter the reason, is a form of censorship which places a cost on the user who is deprived of this information. Why should we be depriving the user of this information? I would believe there is a more urgent need to revisit the interpretation of the rules rather than simply enforcing it. There are many practical usage of a multiple listing, and here are 3 examples i take with reference from the Phnom Penh & Siem Reap pages.
1) Handicraft Shop ' Friends & Stuff'
This handicraft shop is listed in both Siem Reap & Phnom Penh. They have physical shops in both places, they are one brand, one company, selling possibly 90% the same products. Should they be classified as multiple listings? There is obvious value for travelers to both cities we cannot assume travelers in one city will definitely travel to the other. And if one listing is deleted, we are depriving the users of that city from knowing about this fabulous shop.
2) Restaurants 'The FCC'
The FCC is both present in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Its glaringly obvious that both listings should be present, because they are both star attractions in each city, and each FCC is very different from the other, and even after visiting the one in Phnom Penh, as a traveler i would still want to visit the one in Siem Reap, in fact even more as he must have had a great experience at the FCC Phnom Penh. finding out from wikitravel that there is a FCC in Siem Reap is of great value then for the traveler. Similarly, for Backstreet Academy, each location is quite different from the other, as you might see from the courses offered in each city.
3) Guesthouses
There are many examples of guesthouses having branches in both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh: Frangipani villas, Velkommen guesthouse etc. Frangipani itself has a number of listings just inside Phnom Penh, and for good reason as each hotel has a slightly different theme to it. Again it's not useful to delete hotel listings for this reason. Each listing has its own value.
From the above examples, i am sure that a flat enforcement of the rules would mean cleaning up all those as well, and how much value would be wiped off wikitravel if that was to happen. Thus its obvious its not a 'enforce the rules vs making an exception' case. It's more of how do we interpret the rules in every case? And in interpreting the rules, the most important consideration would be to consider the value to the users. Since the above examples make sense, i'm pretty sure the backstreet academy example makes sense too, as will many other business listings.Jamon919 (talk)


Hey guys, thanks for your input so far! Not trying to step on anyone's toes, but both sides are correct. In fact there is no right or wrong here, only a "how do we approach this." As Binbin said we can't allow Wikitravel to become an advertising platform that's certain. It's simply not what we do. Sites like TripAdvisor have cornered the business-oriented travel site space and they do it well. I like to think of Wikitravel in the following manner, "If I were to be planning a trip to a new destination what would I like to know?" Having this in mind, Back Street Academy's services would be an asset, but it has to be handled carefully. Yes, some business have managed to sneak past our eyes onto multiple articles, but with such a popular Wiki, it's difficult to catch every single instance. It's not that we let them through, it's that we didn't catch it. I suggest we try to come up with a new solution in which businesses can list themselves only if the content is catered to that specific location while at the same time observing our current policies on the number of listings per section.
I'm going to step back from my role as admin for a moment and speak as a traveler now. I don't come to wikitravel.com to find out the best hotel in Paris or the best tour service or the best restaurant. I go to TripAdvisor, Yelp, or any similar site for that kind of information because I can find first person reviews. I come to Wikitravel because it will show me multiple ways to get to Paris, points of interest in the city, local activities, general travel info and regulations that I should keep in mind. The businesses are icing, but they are not why I'm here.
I'm proposing an addition to business listing policy - if you can't successfully state how your business is relevant to that destination in your listing, "so long". Under this addendum, Backstreet Academy(and any other business) would be allowed on Wikitravel as long as the business made an expressed interest in proving their relevancy in their listings. Yes there are holes to my idea, holes that we can work together to solve. In the long term, we would cleanse Wikitravel of posts that are spammy and for lack of a better phrase - not up to standard. Thoughts? IBcaldera (talk) 15:26, 19 September 2014 (EDT)
Let's begin by citing the regulation that prohibits multiple listings for a business on multiple destination pages; the rule cited above prohibits multiple mentions on a SINGLE page (i.e. if a particular hotel also has a bar that's "famous" and could be listed on its own). Next, if a change is proposed, it must be in the form of a regulation that can be applied evenly by all editors. Saying the business must make a case for whether it is "relevant" will only lead to everyone saying they are relevant because they are located in that destination, and it turns the decision into a subjective one; i.e. this is "worthy" and that is not. I don't see that as helping, and I don't see how it keeps the Hilton from being able to add listings for every hotel they own in the world, which we do not want. IBobi (talk) 20:51, 19 September 2014 (EDT)
Hello guys, what an interesting debate here! I have to say that I understand each one's point of view, but I think we should stick to our guidelines: even though a company such as Backstreet Academy indeed offers a valuable service for tourists (and I would probably use such a service if I travelled in that region) I think that allowing to insert a listing in every page might attract many other businesses claiming to be “valuable” for any reason. That's why I totally agree with Binbin, we can't allow Wikitravel to become an advertisement platform, it's not WT's purpose. I fear that this could trigger endless discussions here on the Pub or in the articles' talkpages or, worse, edit-wars which is something I'd really hate to see on Wikitravel. If we decide for exceptions (or an addition as suggested by IBcaldera - it's a good idea), then the criteria for these exceptions/additions must be clearly stated on the guidelines or the debate will never end. GiulioC (talk) 04:58, 21 September 2014 (EDT)
Hi everyone, i see your worries about not sticking to the guidelines, but i think if many of us agree about the value of a listing and how it would help in our own travel planning, then the key should be about how to revise the guideline rather than agreeing something has value and then saying it shouldnt be there because the guidelines say so. Guidelines are here to ensure wikitravel stays relevant and valuable to users, and if we are sticking to it to destroy value, then whats the point?

Regarding the influx of businesses and chains saying they are of value, i think: 1) This is a slippery slope argument. 1 business doing so doesn't mean all others will also do so. Secondly, it's not for the business to claim value, its for the admins or users to claim value. Of course every business will claim it has value, but it should not be up to them to justify. It should be for you guys to determine. I don't know how you guys decide things, but it probably can be done the same way with an added guideline of how admins should consider value to the community. Again nothing for business owners to decide besides providing more information if it is debatable.

2) Big chains like everyone mentions which doesn't have value really don't careabout listing on wikitravel. Hilton like someone mentioned simply isn't going to spend effort doing this or debating about its value. What you are afraid of is not going to happen, in this particular scenario.

I'm pretty sure the guideline for an admin to decide if it has value is enough to weed out nonsensical or spammy listings, and as long as a few admins decide that it does have value, then there will be a group of people who would be happy to know about this information. Again, i think the freedom of a wiki, the non-censorship are what embodies such a community, with the exceptions of malicious spammy people who can be blocked, this sort of censorship is really going against the core values of an open source community. Jamon919

Actually, Jamon, this happens constantly. Big corporations hire smaller marketing firms to add their listings to Wikitravel for the same reason you want your listing here: to drive sales. IBobi (talk) 19:00, 23 September 2014 (EDT)
Spamming IBobi is right--spam is a serious problem here. If we were to allow some exception or change to the rules, it would have to be in a structured or predictable way. As though there were specific affiliates for Wikitravel who were agreed upon by the community. The tricky part about that is that it opens up the door to the site being less free and objectively helpful to travelers and it risks an endless stream of "Why not this?" exceptions... Koavf (talk) 00:41, 24 September 2014 (EDT)
As I also said before, a tricky subject....but we can also look at it from a different angle. Instead of debating whether a link should be allowed, why not focus on the main aim of Wikitravel, which is adding valuable information for our travelers. If your business is offering a great experience, why not describe the sights that can be seen in your location, so travelers want to visit the location, and on your user page just add your business name (no advertising, but you can associate yourself with your business on your user page). If a traveler feels your information is helpful he/she may check out your user page, to find out more about you and possibly your business. If they then want to contact you, that is great, and in the meantime we have great valuable information in the article itself. We are not an advertising platform, there are other sites for this, contributors should remember this. Just my thought for the day. Adzas (talk) 05:20, 24 September 2014 (EDT)
After reading everyone's thoughts, I have to agree. The pros don't outweigh the cons. Jamon919 thank you for bringing this up, please accept our apologies on our community's decision. We'd be happy to host your listing in what you believe is your flagship location. Please be assured one of our duties as admins is to catch spammers in multiple articles, we are doing the best we can with the info the system shows us! If you need anything at all please feel free to reach out to myself or anyone who participated in this discussion. I personally know they practice some of the best judgement I've come across during my time here! IBcaldera (talk) 14:30, 24 September 2014 (EDT)

Merging many articles into one?[edit]

Hello people! I've been recently working on all the city articles for the South Bay and trying to make them into somewhat usable articles. However, it doesn't seem like any one city in this region really fills up an entire article neither are many of the cities a tourist destination. So I've been playing with the idea of merging all of the two dozen city articles into the one South Bay regional article with sub-regions to preserve all the info from past edits. Some of the articles I've worked on here are big on transportation but small on real substance (like, what to do, where to stay, etc.) Also, it would make it easier for a traveler to find all of the things they want without having to sift through boring city articles. Does that sound like a good idea? Jrunna runna (talk) 04:47, 26 September 2014 (EDT)

Hi Jrunna runna! The page Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy mentions something you may find interesting: Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy#Other divisions. Sounds like a go to me, but please have a look on it and let's see what other people say. Cheers! PierrB (talk) 11:20, 26 September 2014 (EDT)

Slowing the spammers' deluge[edit]

I notice that many spammers create accounts only so that they can seed their user page and newly created articles with new external links.

Since few genuine new account creators will think they need to immediately create user pages or new articles with external links, why not institute fail-safe precautions:

Institute a script to immediately and automatically block (with an appropriate message on their talk page but leave open their ability to e-mail)

  • a) all new accounts who create an external link on their user page within 30 days
  • b) all all new accounts who create a new article with an external link within 30 days

The "appropriate message" would point out the reason for the block and explain how it can be appealed. --92.30.241.130 20:53, 13 October 2014 (EDT)

True But this would require a technical fix from the team at Shared. Also, anyone who's even moderately good at spamming will just set their bots to wait X days before adding links. It will stop some spam (probably most!) but it's not perfect. Koavf (talk) 22:58, 13 October 2014 (EDT)
Even a 30% reduction would give hard-working admins such as yourself more time to concentrate on more interesting and substantive edits.
The rules can also be refined - for example, apply the procedures outlined above to those accounts that have made no intervening edits that did not add external links.
Looking at the history of this Travellers' Pub over the last year or so, I do realise that few if any good suggestions are ever acted upon. Does that mean that technical support for this website has now ceased? --92.30.244.53 09:16, 14 October 2014 (EDT)
Tech support "Ceased" is a bit strong but there are regular complaints about bugs, features, etc. Koavf (talk) 14:44, 14 October 2014 (EDT)
There is one little change you could make, Koavf...--92.30.244.53 18:59, 18 October 2014 (EDT)

I enjoyed putting the toppings on the pizza and herding sheep, but how are blind folks expected to pass the new (or old) captcha? --103.9.41.192 01:58, 5 November 2014 (EST)

Editing ghost trick[edit]

Firstly, I am not sure if I am writing this at the right place so I'll go ahead and say its a technical point I need help with in what is supposed to be a simple edit.

If I can get help elsewhere let me know.

I started creating a page about a location I visited recently in Taiwan. I tried to add a link to another wikitravel page and it just won't work. I used the double brackets as per the wiki markup tool but it wont link to the page, which I assure you exists because I checked the title of that page over 20 times.

I am working on this page and I am trying to add a link to Alishan National Scenic Area to the understand section, towards the end of the section. A red link is there for now. I can't even make a wikilink in this post so here is the page I am trying to make a link to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alishan_National_Scenic_Area

Can anybody let me know what I am doing wrong?

I used so many wikitravel pages in the last years, now I just want to help a bit.

Thx Lin.wf.22 (talk) 10:45, 25 October 2014 (EDT)

On the same topic, I found two pages with the exact same name at the top, how do I know which name to use if I want to refer to one instead of either. I tried looking in the editing mode but couldn't find the spot Lin.wf.22 (talk) 10:49, 25 October 2014 (EDT)

Hi, thank you for your comments. I had a look, and noticed that you are trying to link to a wikipedia article, which is not allowed in our articles, so therefor you would see the red link. I have changed it to Alishan as we do have an article here at Wikitravel for this location. With regards to the two pages with the same name, can you let me know the name of the page, so I can have a look? Thanks again, and happy editing, we appreciate your efforts! Adzas (talk) 17:36, 25 October 2014 (EDT)
Hi Adzas, thanks for the precision. I didn't know about this interwiki rule for wikitravel. Now, this same page name issue is related to that. The wikipedia article is much more developed and detailed than the wikitravel one. Should I just copy the stuff from one to the other? Of course adjustment would be necessary to make it traveler friendly, but still.

Lin.wf.22 (talk) 03:22, 26 October 2014 (EDT)

Hello Lin.wf.22! You spotted it correctly: WikiPedia and WikiTravel don't have the same purpose, that's why it would be irrelevant to have to same content within both, wouldn't it? The page Cooperating with Wikipedia will explain you better than me; and as you used as a traveller you know it already, what is great with WT is is provides with handy, sharp info you can print and extract from your bagpack when needed. WP... Well, everybody knows you go there for details, and also that you can stick there for hours... So, to sum up, an original sentence on WT is more effective than 1 page copied from WP. Hope I helped you! PierrB (talk) 04:48, 26 October 2014 (EDT)

Ratchaburi[edit]

Hi! Here I go again! Looking through this article, it appears to have been updated by a Thai or similar person. It is extremely difficult to work out much of what is being said, and there is also a first person comment. Please check out and advise - this is all part of my learning curve! Avemario (talk) 03:03, 30 October 2014 (EDT)

Hi, thanks again, well spotted, I removed the part with the first person pronoun, the rest of the article definately needs attention. If you like, feel free to adjust the text so it makes more sense, I will add it to my list as well to check it when I have a chance. You´re great, thanks! Adzas (talk) 11:36, 30 October 2014 (EDT)

Hi Astrid, thanx for the help. Since you have allowed me a little poetic licence, I am thinking that the best bet is for me to go there next time I am in Thailand, which will be in three weeks - I rarely plan in advance, and tend to go where the mood takes me. I can check out the place and see what I can work out about the places and things mentioned, so I can rewrite them. Maybe I should delete the ones I cannot confirm or find info on, (or understand enough to rewrite). Would this be OK? Regards Avemario (talk) 02:45, 3 November 2014 (EST) In addition to the above, I have noted that adjacent provinces Samut Songkhram and Samut Sakhon have the same problem as above. Maybe I will try to visit all three. Regards Avemario (talk) 02:51, 4 November 2014 (EST)

Sounds like you have a great trip ahead of you. It will be great to have updated information in the articles from you once you have visited the places, so yes, feel free to edit as much as you like. Have a great time! Adzas (talk) 15:54, 5 November 2014 (EST)

Systematic copying from another Wiki without attribution[edit]

Although it has never been spelt out clearly, my understanding is that IBadmins have instituted procedures that mean it is difficult if not impossible to give here the required attribution to material copied from other travel sites.

That is why a close eye should be kept on edits like this one.

I have a strong suspicion that this IP has been doing this for some while and may not realise it is a breach of copyright and potentially actionable in law.

There are really only two remedies:

  1. make the required attribution (which I have already stated is difficult verging on impossible with the current settings) or
  2. expunge the plagiarised material.

Please don't shoot the messenger! --Ttcf (talk) 21:41, 31 October 2014 (EDT)

Please explain how I am plagiarizing if I wrote the material myself and I published it to Wikitravel before publishing it anywhere else. I'd like to know how it is actionable by law. Should I sue myself? —The preceding comment was added by 50.195.72.217 (talkcontribs)
(Edit conflict) It may be that the same IP editor has actually edited both articles at each of the two Wikis to achieve identical prose.
If that is indeed the case, this still raises some difficulties. Trivially, the manuals of style for these two different Wiki's are not identical - and neither are the section headings. More importantly, I am not sure that either Wiki wants to be a carbon copy of the other, that certainly would cause confusion for the traveller.
There's also the difficulty that an anonymous IP editor is just that - anonymous - and it's difficult to be sure that simultaneous edits have indeed been made by the same human being. (That would be ameliorated if you created identically named accounts here and at the other place, but still wouldn't solve the problem of copy-cat articles...) --Ttcf (talk) 00:53, 1 November 2014 (EDT)
Copying To 50.195.72.217: it's perfectly acceptable licensing-wise to use material on both sites. For instance, I make all of my contributions in the public domain--anyone can copy what I add anywhere at any time for any purpose. There are some problems with identical information at both sites but those problems aren't legal: information that you make is something you own, so you can decide how it gets used (although once you submit it to either wiki, it will then be subject to their license restrictions). I have done the same thing myself, actually. The practical problem is that if both sites contain identical material, that creates a problem for search engines and optimization. But that's not necessarily your primary concern: the traveler comes first. Koavf (talk) 01:12, 1 November 2014 (EDT)
The language on both wikis was the same before I made the edits and it is the same after I made the edits. If there are problems with identical info on both sites, that problem existed before I made the edits. I made the edits to WT first so if anything, the language on WV was copied. The info that I added is very useful and there is no reason to delete it. —The preceding comment was added by 50.195.72.217 (talkcontribs)
Attribution The problem of identical language is not one that necessarily concerns you: you didn't do anything legally or morally wrong by posting the same information at both sites. It's something the two communities should address corporately. Koavf (talk) 14:52, 1 November 2014 (EDT)
I remember we had a similar discussion a while ago. If a contributor decides to add his own written content to both Wikitravel and another wiki, he/she can do that, it is his/her own work. But as mentioned above, with an IP editor it is difficult to establish if it is one person who made the edit. And on the other hand, we do want original content on Wikitravel. It would definitely help if a contributor adds on the article talk page that he/she wrote the content and also added it on another wiki, to avoid having it all deleted. Adzas (talk) 15:56, 1 November 2014 (EDT)
IP editors It is no more difficult to ensure that an IP is the same person here and there than it is to ensure that a registered account is. Koavf (talk) 16:09, 1 November 2014 (EDT)
I hate to disagree, Justin, since you're usually spot on, but I need to raise a quibble with the idea that editing from an IP assures the identity of the author to the same degree as editing while logged on to an account. It is entirely possible for many different humans to either sequentially or simultaneously edit from the same public library or college IP address. However, if their respective account passwords are not compromised, that is not the case when they are logged on to their account.
Obviously I would prefer it if we were adult about attribution (rather than continuing with Kim Jong Il standards of openness) but, until that happens, Adzas's suggestion is a good one... --Ttcf (talk) 20:41, 1 November 2014 (EDT)
IPs For awhile, all of Singapore had the same IP address, so back in 2005 or so, one anonymous IP had 250,000 edits to the English Wikipedia. All I mean is, if someone has the same user name here and there, we don't know it's the same person. It's a reason to think it but that's actually a good way of hiding it and impersonating someone else. Anyway. Koavf (talk) 01:02, 2 November 2014 (EDT)
Good point, Justin. Are you "competing with Singapore" yet with edits on WP? Your tally must be getting close (grin)... --Ttcf (talk) 01:08, 2 November 2014 (EDT)

Edits Something like that. I can remember back then thinking, "Wow--250,000 edits!" and there were bots that had about that many at the time, too. I was so young back then... Koavf (talk) 01:13, 2 November 2014 (EDT)

Awesome! You're a star (and also rather modest) ! --Ttcf (talk) 01:22, 2 November 2014 (EDT)
Star? I don't know about that: maybe a big fish in a small pond. Koavf (talk) 22:33, 2 November 2014 (EST)
The short answer on attribution from other sources is: we don't allow content from other sources, so no attribution is necessary. We're the original source, they're the copy. Since we don't allow copied content from other sources (and since content written by the same author is not "copied" content, but original content added to more than one site), we shall always be a source of entirely original content. I don't see that changing anytime soon. Also, I think that 99.99% of the time, the idea of multiple users editing anonymously from the same IP AND copying content from another site is an extreme edge-case and we needn't worry ourselves about it. Nice work, everyone. IBobi (talk) 21:17, 4 November 2014 (EST)
Attribution While this is generally true, it's not exclusively true: shared:Copyleft#Can_I_copy_text_and_other_content_to_Wikitravel_from_other_sites.3F. Plus, we use InstantCommons which potentially embeds tens of millions of pieces of media into our guide. Koavf (talk) 23:56, 4 November 2014 (EST)
I don't know what practical effect Instant Commons has for WT. It's doubtful that it's beneficial to us, so if it turned out to be a licensing issue, we would just turn it off. As to the "generally but not exclusively" part, you're right Justin -- as I said, if a writer wants to add his/her own content to more than one site, it's not copying, and no attribution is necessary. Short anser again is, we don't allow 3rd party content here. Never have. Wikitravel is the original and best free opensource travel guide because we're 100% original, for travelers, by travelers. Other sites are sad, carbon-copy wannabes, and that's fine too. We can continue to ignore them. Just like Google does. IBobi (talk) 19:53, 5 November 2014 (EST)

Remarked out "PRINT" sections[edit]

Do we still need them?

(An example is to be found immediately after Chicago#Districts and before Chicago#Understand.)

Now that there is no separate company producing a print version, do these hidden sections not contravene advice previously given about HTML?

(The MediaWiki software allows editors to mix in HTML markup along with standard Wiki markup. In general, HTML should be avoided because HTML is hard to edit. Wiki markup is designed specifically for editing on-screen in a browser, and to be really easy to edit. HTML is not. It intimidates casual editors and keeps them from making improvements to our content.

If HTML must be used for formatting reasons, it's hidden "behind the scenes" with Mediawiki templates whenever possible. For example, disclaimers should be added with Template:Disclaimerbox and country quickbars with Template:Quickbar, not by adding raw HTML. Not only is this more user-friendly, but it allows updating the design of all boxes or bars in one place.

Text enclosed between the special comment characters <!-- and --> is not displayed. This can be used to leave instructions or warnings visible only when editing the page, but should be used sparingly.) --Ttcf (talk) 17:46, 6 November 2014 (EST)

Print/Web As you can see, about a year ago, I removed the Web template and also deleted a related print template. Since Wikitravel Press hasn't been functional for years and it was only used on Chicago and Disneyland articles, it seemed pointless. It certainly can be useful if someone wants to print on a large scale or if we decide that we want to make a push for style sheets and content that are unique to different media but that simply doesn't exist here now. Koavf (talk) 19:00, 6 November 2014 (EST)
I'll give it a couple of days to allow opposing comments and, if there is no persuasive opposing rationale, I'll remove them on sight thereafter... --Ttcf (talk) 20:29, 6 November 2014 (EST)
I guess without one the other is not necessary. Still, it's best to see if anyone has an argument against this. If not, please feel free to move forward! IBcaldera (talk) 22:22, 6 November 2014 (EST)

Diving Adverts Khao Lak[edit]

I note that some diving schools advertise in more than one location. There are three in Phang Nga, two of which also advertise in Takua Pa, and in Khao Lak. They are all actually situated in Khao Lak. Certainly they are in PhangNga Province, as is Takua Pa.

Should they be listing in multiple sites like this? It would appear that the businesses themselves have posted the articles. Looks like unnecessary clutter to me. Please advise the rules on this one. Regards Avemario (talk) 22:27, 8 November 2014 (EST)

Multiple. --Ttcf (talk) 22:33, 8 November 2014 (EST)

Thanks for the reference. I have removed/transferred the diving schools in accordance with the rules. Comments recorded on the relevant discussion pages. Avemario (talk) 04:36, 10 November 2014 (EST)

Vandalism I can not remedy[edit]

I have insufficient privileges to be able to rollback some of the vandalism of User:Pshalanoenttbr.

Specifically, I get error messages when trying to revert his edit to Châtellerault -presumably because of the huge size of the changes required... --Ttcf (talk) 14:12, 12 November 2014 (EST)

I clicked the previous version in the history, and then pressed Save - it worked. CheeseCrisps (talk) 14:49, 12 November 2014 (EST)
Thanks! (Perhaps you have much larger cache memory than I...) --Ttcf (talk) 14:54, 12 November 2014 (EST)

City Quickbar[edit]

Hello everybody. It is quite obvious that most of the people like quickbars, and add it on their own to our article pages. As a traveller myself I absolutely enjoy being able to catch quick facts when browsing. Is this place big? What are its features? Or simply, where is it? Nothing is more talkative than a map, especially the one with regional location and zoom.

So, as a traveller, I'll say I'm definitely pro quickbar, and in fact, most of the people I talked to feel the same. So why not let it be? However, and it's the main counterargument, the typical country quickbar is unarguably not adapted.

So what I suggest is to 1) stop removing quickbars, as it takes time to make one, and 2) define an updated template for city quickbars. After all, we have 3 distinctive templates for cities plus the district one, and all are different from the country template. Also, a middle-sized town is no match to world-class cities such as New York City, Barcelona or Hong Kong. Therefore, I think we should allow ourselves to not copy the entire template each time, I mean to adapt it to the city need. For instance, there is no need to say Chicago uses USD and speaks English, is it? On the other hand, you have Hong Kong, with its unique currency, a distinctive language and a better level of understanding of English. Displaying the time zone for London and Manchester is absurd, but for Quebec and Vancouver, it is not.

Please see below a list of quickbar elements, and my comments about it.

  • Map One of the most relevant elements, let's keep it.
  • Flag Often a strong element of the citizen identity, let's keep it.
  • Capital It's absurd to tell where is the capital of a city, but it's nice to tell this place is the capital of the region, province, or cultural area. I would suggest to rename it "Status", and to use it only when it's needed. (optional).
  • Government redunding (see above) Let's cut it.
  • Currency (optional), it should appear only when different from the country it belongs to.
  • Population: More striking than a sentence from the "Understand section", don't you think?
  • Language see above, (optional).
  • Religion (optional) Same ase currency and language I guess. For instance, it may worth mentioning a muslim town in India, not to mention Lebanon.
  • Area relevant.
  • Electricity (optional) Also I don't know any places (apart from HK again) where the plug is different from the rest in the country.
  • Time zone (optional)
  • Food, drink or handcraft specialty. Don't underestimate "food tourism". Just put the name, a single -word description, and describe it in the relevant section. Of course it is not easy as actually specialty are often (?) more regional than from one unique place, although it does happen.
  • Sport team Well, how about that? I know not everybody likes sport, but I also know that several people, including myself, had bad experience because confusing 2 football teams, for instance. Of course, only very famous teams should be named with the related sport. (If possible with their colours?) Best ice-breaker ever in Europe, the US and Latine America...
  • Tags Please keep in mind the focus is "What's the traveller needs/wants?". That's why I think supershort tags like "port:ferry", "student", "beach", "mountain", "archeology", "military", "modern arch."etc. are a must when you need in a blink to know what you can expect from this place.

Sooo people, let's see what you think, shall we? --PierrB (PierrB) 02:10, 13 November 2014 (EST) (Timestamp added after the event, later corrected by User:Ttcf after consulting the edit history of this discussion page)

It's not obvious to me "that most of the people like quickbars". All the quickbars that you have reinstated in defiance of our existing policy were put there in the last few weeks by just one editor.
It really sets a bad precedence if you allow more than one illustrative experiment until and unless a new policy is approved and the relevant policy page updated.
Certainly many people can waste time endlessly edit warring over whether North Korea is a "Juche people's democracy" or an "hereditary feudal dictatorship" but usually the fine nuances are best explained (where necessary for a traveller to know) in prose rather than these Wikipedia plagiarisms.
Also consider our (increasingly numerous) mobile users. By default, all they will first see is the laughable quickbar instead of the informative prose of our first paragraphs.
I can illustrate some of the points by referencing Shanghai
Is Shanghai such a different place from the rest of China that (exceptionally) it needs its own quickbar?
Does it have its own currency?
Timezone?
Electricity details radically different from the rest of China?
Does its religion differ radically from the rest of China?
Why can Shanghai's area and population not just be mentioned in prose in the Understand section, as we do with other cities where they are relevant to travellers?
Is it exceptional in China in having Mandarin as its official language?
Does it have its own flag that it is critical for visitors to instantly recognise?
Why are the emergency phone numbers not listed in its brand new quickbar? (Is it because they are the same as the rest of China or simply because the newbie editor that has been going around sprinkling these redundant and misleading templates is unaware of their syntax & possibilities or just of our laboriously debated policies in general?)
Please read the discussion at Template_talk:Quickbar#Region_and_town_templates and add any new points that may have been previously missed when we reached a consensus after much debate that quickbars should ONLY be used for articles about sovereign countries and their separately-administered territories (generally speaking, places with their own 2-character ISO country code and Internet Top-Level Domain) and that they should not be used for US states, Canadian provinces, or any other article type such as cities or regions or villages or Disney World...
Meanwhile, until and unless we come to a new consensus, I'd be grateful if you would either:
  1. Revert this policy-defiant edit or
  2. Designate the Shanghai article as experimental and explain the rationale for this experiment at Talk:Shanghai... --Ttcf (talk) 03:26, 13 November 2014 (EST)
Dear Ttcf, perhaps what was clear in my mind is not on the screen. I specifically mentioned what is wrong with the current quickbar for cities. And as an answer, I'd say for instance that Barcelona is (not yet) separated from Spain, and yet you'll be more than welcome there if you use another language than Spanish. Canton is in mainland, totally under direct Chinese control, yet the language is different from the one used in Shanghai, etc. And yes, when I use my mobile, I like to have quick facts being obvious as long as they are relevant, so I don't need to scroll down to catch the different elements I needed.
Wikitravel is not a religion (although even religions evolve, in time), and experimenting is a good idea, but at least let's do it with some relevant material. this is the very purpose of this thread, to determine what are the relevant elements, if any. PierrB (talk) 03:45, 13 November 2014 (EST)
That Wikitravel is not a religion I can agree with, but at least do us the courtesy of reading what others have written at Template_talk:Quickbar#Region_and_town_templates</big> and add any new points that may have been previously missed there. You've drawn attention to the issue, but any discussion should be informed by what has been pointed out before rather than forcing me to rehash the powerful arguments made on the proper page.
I know that your first language is not English so I simply can not believe that you have actually read and carefully considered all the arguments made there in the short time that elapsed before you made your response.
What I will say here is that it sets a very poor example and precedent to flout policy first and then try and change the policy, all the while confusing newbies with non-policy compliant pages that are not clearly marked as experimental.
A better order would be
  1. point out the flaws with existing policy (on the appropriate page)
  2. reach a new consensus on a changed policy - or go back to (1)
  3. if a new consensus on a changed policy is reached
  4. change the policy page accordingly (this step should not be skipped!)
  5. consistently implement the new changed policy
PS: Please go back and sign and date your contributions on discussion pages. --Ttcf (talk) 04:07, 13 November 2014 (EST)
I think it is great to start this discussion again, thanks to a new user who has been spending quite some time creating new quickbars in various articles recently, at that time not being fully aware of the existing policies. The consensus that is mentioned here all the time was reached back in 2011. That is the great part about a wiki isn´t it, times change, people change so new opinions can be shared. Yes, I do agree that as we do have a policy that says those quickbars should not be in city articles they should be removed until it has been decided if this policy is going to be changed or not. But I also feel that while we are now discussing it again, we could leave the incorrect ones for now, we should also respect the efforts made by a contributor, who is just plunging forward. It is more likely for a new contributor to have a look here in the pub then on the talk page of the policy page in question, so we could well have the discussion here, as suggested by User:IBcaldera. The great thing about Wikitravel is that we have contributors from all over the world. I don´t think a condescending comment about "english not being our first language" is necessary. I support the comments made by PierrB, let´s see what others have to say about this subject. Adzas (talk) 07:56, 13 November 2014 (EST)
I do not think that's fair (or you have misunderstood me too), Adzas.
What I actually wrote was "I know that your first language is not English so I simply can not believe that you have actually read and carefully considered all the arguments made there in the short time that elapsed before you made your response". That comment was made because it took me several hours to read and cogitate on the points that had been made at Template_talk:Quickbar and the pointers there to discussions elsewhere, whereas PierrB had completed his response to me a mere 19 minutes after I suggested he read the previous discussion about quickbars first and only then comment further. --Ttcf (talk) 00:44, 16 November 2014 (EST)
I see PierrB's point and I think that our quickbar policy can be rediscussed and changed if consensus is reached. That said, I don't see why we shouldn't add quickbars also in cities/regions articles: as PierrB suggested it would be good to adapt the quickbar template to a city/region's unique features (languages spoken are just a good example). I wouldn't keep all the quickbar elements, though: some are essential (map), some others are not. I support the tags and food, drink or handcraft specialty idea, a fast way to describe what you can see/do/eat/drink/buy. GiulioC (talk) 10:25, 13 November 2014 (EST)
I'm all for creating a new set of quickbars for cities. It's already been said quite a bit, but not all cities are perfect reflections of their countries. In regard to mobile display, the quick stats that can be provided by a quickbar are more useful for travelers than a greatly written intro paragraph mainly because of conciseness and utility. IBcaldera (talk) 14:04, 13 November 2014 (EST)
Great initiative Ttcf (talk) to start a new template (Template:Towntips). I would suggest to use a different name though, before others start making templates for cities, villages and regions. Just a general Quickfacts or something, so it can be used for different type of locations. Obviously as we are still in the middle of the discussion we should all agree what to add to the template. I like the idea above mentioned about adding a local dish of that location, or a special craft that you can find there. Adzas (talk) 12:17, 15 November 2014 (EST)
Alright so I've started by editing the quickbar template to open the door for our new templates. Now's the time: How many new quickbars are we developing? IBcaldera (talk) 15:39, 17 November 2014 (EST)
I would say just the one for cities/towns/villages and maybe one for regions? Adzas (talk) 09:36, 18 November 2014 (EST)
The Polish and German language versions of this site currently have something similar. For example see de:London or pl:Londyn. I would suggest that we start by trying quickbars on a few huge cities, as I doubt that much can usefully be given for a village. AlasdairW (talk) 17:44, 18 November 2014 (EST)
On the Dutch versions I also found a few nice ones, ex. nl:Calabrië, (although that one is too large). Agree with above. Adzas (talk) 18:06, 18 November 2014 (EST)

Is translation of articles allowed (or recommended) ?[edit]

May I translate your articles to other language versions (and vice versa) just like in other Wiki sites? If yes, what procedures are needed for license purposes? 116.80.233.53 02:49, 16 November 2014 (EST)

Licensing Do you want to have them posted here at Wikitravel or somewhere else? Either way, you need to credit the source and any works that you create from this material need to have the same license: accreditation and freely-reproducable. Koavf (talk) 02:50, 16 November 2014 (EST)
As usual, Koavf is spot on. http://wikitravel.org/shared/How_to_re-use_Wikitravel_guides might be a good place to start learning more... --Ttcf (talk) 03:32, 16 November 2014 (EST)

Ok, I have read the guide page. Thanks for quick response116.80.233.53 05:19, 16 November 2014 (EST)

Our pleasure. Are you wanting to improve the Japanese version of Wikitravel or put them to some other use, please? --Ttcf (talk) 05:40, 16 November 2014 (EST)

Location for listings with a multi-district service area[edit]

How do I list businesses that are located in one area, but have a service area that spans multiple districts? For example, a flower shop or a tour company might service or tour an entire city. A business might also be headquartered in one are, but only provide service to another area, example: Generic Ski Training Company could be located at the city center, but the actual activity takes place in a mountain on the outskirts of town.

Should these listings go in 1. multiple districts 2. the root /CityName wiki page or 3. only in the district where they are headquartered?

Jptastic (talk) 00:30, 20 November 2014 (EST)

This is an interesting question that comes up a lot less frequently than you might expect. The reasons for its sparse occurrence include:
1) "Buy", "Drink", "Eat", "Sleep" and "See" listings invariably go in the relevant destination page where they are physically located.
2) Most listings for tours are already completely disallowed. Where they're not, they will go in the ONE destination article that is most appropriate for their scope.
That really just leaves "Do" and "Cope" listings which we probably need to discuss further. (Consulates and Embassies go in the destination article they are physically located in with a mention on the country article page if that's not the capital city.)
To open the discussion, I'd suggest that if places of worship for a particular sect or religion are so rare that they need to be mentioned at all, they should go in a "root" article.
At the end of the day, this may be one of those policies that are best not spelled out at all (other than at multiple) but rather best left to ad hoc decision-making as they arise.
For your Ski training example, I would tend towards the root (with possible mentions in relevant ski slope prose). --Ttcf (talk) 00:52, 20 November 2014 (EST)
As Ttcf already stated, listings generally go in the page where they are located (see Multiple) and most Tour listings are simply not allowed. I wouldn't change these policies, we can always discuss exceptions in the talkpages whenever necessary. GiulioC (talk) 04:52, 20 November 2014 (EST)

Should we now "recommend"?[edit]

I was perturbed by this recent edit, which restored the phrase "Some recommended places to go are:" in the Custom made shoes section of our Hoi An destination article.

For more than 7 years now we have had a distinct policy not to recommend any specific "Buy", "Do, "Drink", "Eat" or "sleep" listings (except, perhaps for sun block or malaria prophylactics...)

wta has stated since 2007: "Recommended by whom? Wikitravel is too big to make recommendations. Simply add descriptive listings."

If anyone thinks this policy should change, please would they explain why since I think we have enough problems with touting already... --Ttcf (talk) 18:37, 22 November 2014 (EST)

I don´t think this discussion is needed, I already responded to the same question you added to my talk page, a sentence was added by mistake while I was reverting a travel agent listing, that is all. Adzas (talk) 19:03, 22 November 2014 (EST)

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