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Wikitravel:Travellers' pub/2014

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Happy 2014![edit]

Happy 2014 from New Zealand to one and all!

This seems like a bit of a dead place now. Is that because of the heavy censorship - or is there some other reason? --118.93.235.201 16:36, 5 January 2014 (EST)

Happy New Year If you check Special:RecentChanges, things are happening here: new pages have been added and miscellaneous helpful edits made every day. Feel free to add yourself. Koavf (talk) 16:38, 5 January 2014 (EST)
There is a severe problem with spam robots. Unfortunately the reaction to this has been to make it harder and harder for non-logged in users to contribute - sometimes I give up after failing 7 Captcha tests... --118.93.235.201 16:46, 5 January 2014 (EST)
Spam Tell me about it. That's why I'm an admin here. It's frustrating, no doubt. I didn't know anything about IPs having a hard time contributing... Have you brought this up at Shared? Why do you edit with an IP? Koavf (talk) 17:48, 5 January 2014 (EST)
I've been editing as an IP for many years, but less and less lately as the Captcha tests get more and more difficult for human beings to pass. Spam bots don't seem to have any difficulty since they pay people peanuts to register new accounts with unlikely account names that then lie fallow for several months until they are activated.
Because I work for a New Zealand central government funded agency I am subject to heavy and intrusive government surveillance at work - including keystroke loggers. --118.93.235.201 23:09, 5 January 2014 (EST)

IP edits You probably know what's best for you but you could always make a throwaway account with a throwaway e-mail. Definitely let the tech guys know on Shared—they're always trying to improve the user experience around here. I wish I had more to offer you. Thanks for your patience in trying to help us build the travel guide. Koavf (talk) 23:37, 5 January 2014 (EST)

admin edit[edit]

What is an admin edit? --113.64.64.149 08:23, 20 January 2014 (EST)

Admins In terms of MediaWiki software which runs Wikitravel, there's no difference between an edit you would make and an "admin edit"—they are technically the same thing. At Wikitravel, some administrators are members of the community and some are employees of Internet Brands (IB), the company which owns the site. The handful of IB administrators sometimes take it upon themselves to control content here per corporate policy and they might use an edit summary that consists of "admin edit". Koavf (talk) 09:17, 20 January 2014 (EST)
"Admin" is a contraction of Administrators who "...are Wikitravellers who have been nominated by the Wikitravel community and have been granted some additional privileges over and above normal. Administrators have shown a good appreciation of the Wikitravel policies and guidelines and made significant contributions on Wikitravel articles."
Koavf is an admin but IB employees typically distinguish themselves by pre-pending the letters ""IB" before their user names and hold office ex officio rather than having gone through a nomination process. IB admins are sometimes called IBadmins to make the distinction clearer so it might be better if they used "IBadmin edit" in their edit summaries to make things a bit clearer... --118.93.244.91 14:24, 20 January 2014 (EST)


Region Heading Needs to Be Changed[edit]

In the Rajasthan, India, section there is a region called Shekhawati, but the page is titled as Shekhavati. http://wikitravel.org/en/Shekhavati

All the other references on the page are spelled Shekhawati, which seems to be the most common spelling. I do not see how to edit the spelling of the page title.

Muchwari (talk) 12:37, 27 January 2014 (EST)Muchwari

Moving Go to the top of the page and there is a tab entitled "Move" (this may not be activated for you if you are a new member but permissions to move a page are common). If you move it, make sure that you leave the redirect for the alternate spelling and consider finding links (Special:WhatLinksHere/Shekhavati) and changing the spelling there, too. Koavf (talk) 13:33, 27 January 2014 (EST)


Nope, the Moving tab does not exist for me. I'm pretty new. Muchwari (talk) 14:42, 27 January 2014 (EST)Muchwari

Hi, I noticed your message and have made the change. I also sent you a message on your talk page. Thanks! Adzas (talk) 09:17, 14 February 2014 (EST)

Changes needed to the listing format[edit]

Our current policy at Wikitravel:External_links#External_link_format states:

"There are three possible formats for "external" links. For the sake of consistency and to avoid those confusing, incrementing little footnote-style numbers appearing all over the place, we only use the first format below for external links as a general rule:"

Good

*Example, to create the standard hypertext-style of external link seen all over the world wide web, the syntax is to place one open square bracket, then the URL (not forgetting to include the http:// part since the software won't recognize a link if that's missing), then at least one space, then the text you wish to hyperlink and that will be coloured blue and finally one closing square bracket. eg: [http://www.example.com/ '''Example'''].

"This "good" style means that it is very easy for our readers to spot when they will be taken away from this great site to another website because the upward and right pointing arrow symbol like this is very visible. This "good" style also does not interrupt article prose with meaningless, footnote style numbers and nor does it occupy valuable screen space or confuse screen readers for the visually impaired with huge, ugly, unpacked URLs."

Is the management able to task their tekkies to bring our listings into conformity with this advice? --210.246.57.91 19:28, 16 February 2014 (EST)

Request What is it exactly that you want? This is a style issue which (I think) you're asking to get fixed by a bot. Is that right? Koavf (talk) 23:50, 16 February 2014 (EST)
No, this can not be fixed by a bot.
Compare the following two listings.
The first uses our listings template, the second doesn't.
Can you not see the obvious difference (and I'm talking about the appearance on the page, not the underlying code)?
  • Company A (A compagnie), (down the lane to the left), +33 1 26 41 32 55, [1]. Daily 07:15-20:30. €36.  edit
  • Company A (A compagnie), (down the lane to the left), ☎ +33 1 26 41 32 55, Daily 07:15-20:30. €36
  • Listings Ah, I see—you mean that the listing tags don't add the link URI to the listing name's text. Yes, this is a straight-forward problem and one that must be addressed by the developers. This is an excellent point to bring up at Shared. Koavf (talk) 00:39, 17 February 2014 (EST)
If you look at the archives ( Wikitravel:Travellers' pub/2012, Wikitravel:Travellers' pub/2013) you will see that, for the last 2 or 3 years, no technical changes whatever have happened. That's why it would be nice to see some comment by IBadmins about this thread... --Ttcf (talk) 02:21, 24 February 2014 (EST)
Granted I don't hold out a lot of hope either but if you want to get someone from IB to respond, I suppose it could happen here at en. My point is simply that Shared exists in part for precisely these kinds of issues. Koavf (talk) 02:34, 24 February 2014 (EST)
For me this is one of the litmus paper issues.
Some technical tasks are quite time consuming or difficult to solve. That is not the case with getting rid of all those confusing and meaninglessly incrementing footnote style numbers when listings use our templated editor. If I can get some indication from IBadmins as to whether they think this desirable or, if not, why not, I can then spend some time on laboriously translating things into other languages and canvassing the change on other language versions of Wikitravel. --Ttcf (talk) 03:24, 24 February 2014 (EST)

Large scale deletions without adequate explanation[edit]

What's the story with Special:Contributions/39.55.48.187 who seems to have deleted a lot of our Punjab_(Pakistan) article without an explanation in their edit summaries or the article's discussion page, please? --Ttcf (talk) 16:36, 22 February 2014 (EST)

Most probably it was a vandal edit because all the content that 39.55.48.187 deleted was valuable. I brought it back. Thanks! IBAlex (talk) 15:08, 24 February 2014 (EST)
I had a suspicion that the deletions might be related to the edit that immediately preceded the series of edits I complained about. That preceding edit summary talked about removing material not properly attributed to another travel website, and I wondered if it was sufficient attribution to mention that other Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 licensed website in the edit summary or whether something more was needed when restoring the excised material?
Obviously the question is now moot since you've restored it, IBAlex. --Ttcf (talk) 16:03, 24 February 2014 (EST)

Publishing markup[edit]

As far as I am aware, the publishing collaboration with User:Peterfitzgerald, User:Jpatokal, User:Maj and User:Evan, etc ceased in 2011, so may we now remove the special markup such as <!--WEB-START--> and <!--WEB-END--> that still lingers on in some articles such as Chicago, Paris and Singapore? --Ttcf (talk) 17:42, 23 February 2014 (EST)

Yes please Wikitravel Press shut down in 2011. I've removed and deleted now irrelevant templates: (e.g. and e.g.). Koavf (talk) 00:33, 24 February 2014 (EST)
Thanks for the quick and helpful response, Koavf. --Ttcf (talk) 01:35, 24 February 2014 (EST)
Thank you, both! IBAlex (talk) 15:03, 24 February 2014 (EST)

Obstructive abuse filter[edit]

Except for about 50 countries with universally known currency notation exceptions, our Wikitravel:Currency policy requires most currencies in the world to be formatted with the three letter ISO 4217 code for the currency in block capitals and no intervening space.

eg: AZN100 in Azerbaijan, not 100 Azerbaijani New Manat.

I have been thwarted on more than 20 occasions today with the message: "This action has been automatically identified as harmful, and therefore disallowed. If you believe your edit was constructive, please inform an administrator of what you were trying to do. A brief description of the abuse rule which your action matched is: Vandalism in all caps" when trying to make an edit such as the following:

==Get out==
If you get the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, there will be a bunch of combis waiting for you outside the train station that go to Cusco Plaza de Armas. Some are PEN10 and some are PEN15.
.

Please would someone with sufficient privileges adjust this demonic filter? --Ttcf (talk) 01:31, 24 February 2014 (EST)

Hi Ttcf! Great that you told me about it! Let me explain what happened. The filter mistakenly assumed you wanted to use the profanity word for "PENI*", encrypting it with "1" and "5". The reason we have a filter for this encrypted word is because in the past we had many examples of profanity edits like that. The filter has been so far 100% effective, creating no false-positives at all. I changed it now so that it won't stop you again. Thank you for helping us improve the site. Best, IBAlex (talk) 15:01, 24 February 2014 (EST)
Yes I did think that was probably the case. It's unfortunate that the recommended ISO symbolization for Peruvian currency is "PEN" and obviously Peruvian prices will sometimes include a figure one as the next character. Is there a trusted user level that might bypass these filters? That way you could still keep this filter to weed out the onanistic vandals but allow bona fide edits (I have been editing on this particular site for more than ten years now...) --Ttcf (talk) 15:52, 24 February 2014 (EST)

Editor retention[edit]

For the last decade or so we have not made much of a distinction between editors who have admin rights and those who don't.

Traditionally all editors have had both the ability and the opportunity to plunge forward and make edits that benefit the traveller.

Sometimes these edits are reverted because they are clearly against policy or our Manual of Style or simply because the reverting editor simply doesn't like the change.

However, if reverts are to be constructive it's important that the editor that rolls back an edit made in good faith then explains their viewpoint on the editor's talk page if the reason is not obvious or - if it's a general point or concerning a policy development - on the relevant article's discussion page.

If this discussion does not take place, then editors may become discouraged or simply confused at the difference between what is written on our policy pages and their personal experience.

Obviously, since many of our most experienced editors left a year or so ago, the three remaining active admins (User:Pashley, User:Nurg and User:Koavf together with the IBadmins ( User:Adzas, User:Binbin, User:GiulioC, User:IBAlex, User:IBobi, User:IBpark, User:Ibrshao, User:OVK, User:PierrB, User:Porteplume and User:Tyen) have been very busy fighting linkspam and vandalism but I would encourage them all to try and become more active on discussion pages if we are ever to restore this "community" to health.

PS: Obviously I except you from this little sermon, Koavf! --Ttcf (talk) 21:39, 24 February 2014 (EST)

Community It's true that making a community, establishing one over time, or re-building one is difficult and requires some kind of communication. Unfortunately, there aren't many editors here who are willing to do that. I'm glad that you're evidently interested in talking and adding to content here, Ttcf. Koavf (talk) 04:43, 25 February 2014 (EST)
Historically most of my thousands of edits have been copyediting and syntax corrections. Occasionally I do add content - but I'm reluctant to do that if my work is just going to be reverted without explanation or discussion. --Ttcf (talk) 05:06, 25 February 2014 (EST)
I think we have quite a nice group of editors at the moment, we are all doing our best to work on the articles and communicate with the editors when needed. For this I use the summary field a lot as well, everyone can see there why an edit was reverted and this works well. My focus is really to remove spam and actually add content, no need to discuss everything I do here, and I greatly appreciate anyone who is trying to contribute to Wikitravel and interact with each other in a positive way. Happy editing all! Adzas (talk) 11:46, 25 February 2014 (EST)
Yes, the edit summary field can be very useful for those quick explanations where no dialogue or discussion is needed. However edit summaries do have some limitations:
1) IPs and inexperienced editors may not even know about (or bother to check) the edit histories and, therefore, may never see the summaries
2) They are not really designed for dialogue and, therefore, limit any in-depth discussion
3) Particularly for developing policy and preserving a record of the arguments raised they are very clumsy.
I do appreciate that your focus is on fighting spam and that is a huge and necessary task here. However, if we are to remain up-to-date and relevant, then It will be necessary from time to time to have multilateral discussions and I do hope that you will "interact with each other in a positive way".
In passing, I do feel that there is an important point that I have been trying to communicate on your talk page, Adzas and I would appreciate a response - either that I'm mistaken or that you understand that you were mistaken. Just deleting my comment without any response (not even in the edit summary) doesn't really progress matters very far... --Ttcf (talk) 17:47, 3 March 2014 (EST)
I was archiving my talk page this afternoon when my system crashed, just didn´t have a chance yet to correct that but was not my priority either, as it is only my talk page. I did not see the need to discuss the other edit further, I´m not here to have endless discussions about who is right or who is wrong. Happy editing! Adzas (talk) 18:58, 3 March 2014 (EST)
I'm sorry you've been having problems, Adzas, and I hope you get them solved soon.
However, wikis do function better when people have the time to communicate one with another. That communication doesn't have to be long-winded or endless. Just a simple acknowledgement of a mistake or that the mistake has been corrected or the reasoning behind a reversion by reference to a particular established policy is often sufficient. I don't expect immediate replies, but it's not a good look when comments on a discussion or users talk page just disappear (three times) without a response. --Ttcf (talk) 19:07, 3 March 2014 (EST)

Etiquette[edit]

User Talk pages[edit]

There are some points of etiquette in using User Talk pages that have built up over the years. Here are a few that come to my mind:

  • Reply on the User Talk page that a question was posed or a comment made rather than going to the User Talk page of the user that posed the question or made the comment. (That user should be "watching" the page where they posted!)
  • If, in the heat of the moment, you said something you regret, go back and change it.
  • And, Forgive and forget when someone changes a nasty comment to something more civil and productive.
  • As an exception, it's impolite to remove a comment if someone's responded to it. It makes them look ridiculous.
  • In general, conversations aren't deleted from talk pages but are instead archived when they are old or no longer relevant. To archive discussions simply create a new page such as User talk:Mypage/Archive and copy the old discussions to it.
It's usually considered acceptable to remove something from your own User Talk page if you consider it embarrassing or harassing - after all User Talk pages are for communication and once the User has read it, it may not need to be kept for "pillory purposes".
  • It's best to wait until the page has grown quite long before archiving, and such archives should always be clearly linked from the principal talk page, so that everything is easy to find. Avoid archiving discussions on destination and policy article discussion pages. Archives should not be edited.
  • Unlike everything else in Wikitravel, it's considered bad form to change someone else's posts on a talk page — even to correct spelling or grammar (unless what they wrote is obscene or illegal or drastically effects the profitability of the website of course).
  • It's usually perfectly OK, though, to change something you wrote on a talk page, for any reason. If you made spelling or grammatical or syntax errors, feel free to change them.

Is there anyone editing here that feels these rules of etiquette are now outmoded and, if so, why please? --Ttcf (talk) 21:39, 24 February 2014 (EST)

User pages (other than "User Talk")[edit]

It's heartening that, after 2 weeks, nobody seems to to feel that these rules of etiquette for User Talk pages outlined above are now outmoded, so I'd go on to summarise what I believe is the the current etiquette for other pages in User name space:

  • You don't have to create your main User name page but, if you don't, your user name will show in red. Usually, your User name page is used for a brief introduction about you. This can clarify if you have any business interests (or conflicts of interest) relating to travel and may point to personal or business connected websites.
    (However, if this page looks like it's been written by a robot and other Wikitravellers don't see you making constructive and substantive edits in other name spaces, they may think you are just abusing Wikitravel for your business interests and remove those links until you're able to justify them.)
    Unless by invitation or when there are egregious breaches of important polices, nobody other than you should edit your main User page.
  • You can include other stuff
    on your main User name page such as a portrait or other images or links to policy or other aides memoire, but all of this content must comply with our intellectual property licensing. Remember that Wikitravel is not a "personal home page" or a "holiday snaps" service.
  • You can create other sub-pages
    like User:MsTraveller/project1 or User:MsTraveller/Sandflies are a nuisance to work on projects or ideas outside the "main" travel guide, but don't forget that they're publicly accessible, and anyone can read them. Each of these sub-pages can also have a discussion page associated with it for collegiate co-operation.
  • It's up to you whether anyone else edits these other sub-pages.
    You can invite or dis-invite everyone or nobody or just a select few to edit and you should be the final arbiter on edits.
    Again, all contributions on sub-pages are subject to our licensing and must conform to our goals but, historically, a fairly wide latitude is given if it's clear that the general direction will assist our project. --Ttcf (talk) 19:26, 6 March 2014 (EST)
Objections These edits I made to userpages are clearly beneficial and I shouldn't be dissuaded from making them: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. I'm hesitant to disallow anyone to edit much of anything, since there are small changes that can clearly be beneficial, even if someone is not specifically requested to edit a user (sub)page or if said page doesn't breach any particular policy. Koavf (talk) 23:11, 6 March 2014 (EST)
The edits you reference are all to main user pages and all are clearly small syntax and copy editing changes that most users would be grateful for, Koavf. The tricky part is in drawing the line between these changes (which were presumably effectively sanctioned after the event by the user when they did not object or revert them) and more substantive ones. (I know I've made these sort of interferences myself from time to time - and inwardly censored myself for succumbing to copyeditor's affliction). Perhaps you could draft appropriate wording for a caveat that I could add above? --Ttcf (talk) 23:27, 6 March 2014 (EST)
Draft Here's some language that might be useful. I'm just making it up and I'm not married to it. "Your userpage is space that you can use to introduce yourself to the rest of the Wikitravel community: Give a bio of who you are, list areas where you've travelled, even add photos of yourself and your destinations from Shared. Userpages have more relaxed guidelines to their content than the actual travel guide articles and individual users are responsible for the content on their userpages (including blank ones). Generally, there is no need to edit someone else's userpage, except for non-controversial editing (such as correcting typos), removing spam or other violations of our site-wide policies, and if you are requested to edit someone's userpage." Something like that, I guess. Koavf (talk) 00:42, 7 March 2014 (EST)

Good new and bad news[edit]

Site visit statistics show that wikitravel.org has increased its total site visits in the last quarter and remains second only to lonelyplanet.com in global visits to on-line travel guides with all other wiki travel sites trailing far behind due to poor search engine optimisation. This is a vital metric for our editors to understand and appreciate since there is not much point contributing to an on-line travel guide that few people actually read.

The Israeli site reports the weekly number of visits in the last 6 months as follows:

  1. lonelyplanet.com 12.5M estimated visits
  2. wikitravel.org 7.2M estimated visits
  3. fodors.com 4.3M estimated visits
  4. virtualtourist.com 3.9M estimated visits
  5. frommers.com 2.25M estimated visits
  6. roughguides.com 1.35M estimated visits
  7. WMF travel site 1.05M estimated visits
  8. worldtravelguide.net 330K estimated visits
  9. tripwolf.com 290K estimated visits
  10. arrivalguides.com 120K estimated visits
  11. concierge.com 110K estimated visits
  12. letsgo.com 50K estimated visits
  13. dktripplanner.com 10K estimated visits

(travel.yahoo.com is a bit of a wildcard because of the way that its travel guide domain is arranged with estimates going as high as 22.6M estimated visits and as low as 988K.)

However, Alexa also reports under "How fast does wikitravel.org load?" that wikitravel.org is "Very Slow (4.126 Seconds), 88% of sites are faster." and this may have important implications going forward since Google increasingly takes speed of loading into account when delivering organic search results... --Ttcf (talk) 18:44, 3 March 2014 (EST)

IBAlex: It took quite a bit of effort for me to collect and then to post the details above which you just casually deleted with an inappropriate edit summary of "" there is not much point contributing to an on-line travel guide that few people actually read"...no need for those biased opinions. Keep them to yourself. Thanks!" contrary to our stated policy at Wikitravel:Using_discussion_pages#Etiquette.
Now I do realise that you are very busy making lightning decisions about deleting linkspam, linkspam accounts and inappropriate plugs from business owners.
I can only think that perhaps you did not take the time to actually read what I had written before you deleted all of it.
To try and put it in simple terms, I was trying (unsuccessfully it seems) to make the points that
1) Wikitravel had seven (7) times as many eyeballs reading it as any other travel guide that had user authored content
2) Wikitravel was maintaining its second place position overall.
Do you really still think that the idea that editors should want to continue to contribute to Wikitravel because their contributions will be actually read by more readers than any other to which they could contribute should be censored? --Ttcf (talk) 02:29, 4 March 2014 (EST)

Page protection[edit]

Wikitravel:Protected page policy currently states: "The revolutionary nature of Wiki is the ability for any reader of any article to edit that page right now. Wiki is the enabling technology that is making Wikitravel into a really great travel guide. Wikitravellers know that we need to keep Wikitravel open and available to make it succeed. We depend on the distributed effort of the millions of people on the Internet to get high-quality, up-to-date and reliable articles.

"However, in some circumstances, it may be necessary to protect a page on Wikitravel. When a page is protected, it can only be edited by administrators. This is an extreme measure and shouldn't be taken lightly. Whenever possible, we prefer to counteract abusive actions by some users with the ability of other users to edit a page."

Although neither the reason nor the page protection has been listed at Wikitravel:Protected pages, a new itinerary, The Walking Dead 1, has been fully protected from editing by anyone other than someone with admin privileges by its IBadmin author.

Is this a mistake? --Ttcf (talk) 22:58, 5 March 2014 (EST)

Protection For what it's worth, I unprotected it. Koavf (talk) 01:02, 6 March 2014 (EST)
Thanks, Koavf. I can make a few fiddly, MoS fixes now - but it would still be nice to hear from the protecting IBadmin the reasons (or lack of them) for the original protection... --Ttcf (talk) 04:09, 6 March 2014 (EST)
The Walking Dead 1 is a special page that we've been working on. It's not finished yet therefore I protected it for the short time being. I was planning to make it editable once we're done with all the content. I should have kept it in Sandbox but figured that the protection status will save me the hassle of copy pasting the content from one place to another. Next time I will just keep it in Sandbox. IBAlex (talk) 13:17, 6 March 2014 (EST)
Thanks for the explanation, IBAlex.
However, I do think the general principle of "everyone can edit" is important to preserve in main article namespace and should not be sacrificed just because of the "hassle" of copy pasting the content from one place to another (?!).
If you work on stuff like this in your own User namespace you can have more flexibility. You can invite everyone else to edit - or just a select group. And while it's in your own User name space, you should be the final arbiter for all edits so that should provide you with all the flexibility and control you need. --Ttcf (talk) 19:34, 6 March 2014 (EST)

Adzas[edit]

She does good work fighting linkspam.

Was her block a mistake? --Ttcf (talk) 16:39, 12 March 2014 (EDT)

Carrot and stick[edit]

I'd like us to put more effort into educating them about our policies and then trying to get them to stick around in a mutually beneficial relationship where travellers benefit from frequently updated, factually useful listings without those touty practices we dislike so much. --Ttcf (talk) 17:34, 13 March 2014 (EDT)


Breadcrumbs buggered by Sol[edit]

I'd fix it myself but I don't have enough privileges to edit this abusively locked page.

{{isIn|Sol}} needs to be removed for the joke article Earth or breadcrumbs for country articles such as Bermuda are continuously buggered by the appearance of the red-linked and never to be created Sol article ... --Ttcf (talk) 03:30, 18 March 2014 (EDT)

It's fixed now. Nurg (talk) 07:01, 18 March 2014 (EDT)
Thanks. You're a star! --Ttcf (talk) 19:14, 18 March 2014 (EDT)

Default image size[edit]

Most of our readers are not logged in.

For them, the default image width of thumbnails is rather small at 180px.

Please may we increase that to 250px, please? --Ttcf (talk) 20:45, 16 February 2014 (EST)

Tech issue Any technical request can be made at shared. That's the best venue for getting the developer folks to see your preference. Koavf (talk) 23:42, 16 February 2014 (EST)
That's useful information. However, I think the way things work may be something like this:
  1. Folks here decide whether it would be a good thing or a bad thing to raise the default image width.
  2. If the answer to (1) is yes, IBadmins and management decide if that would be a good use of the tekkies time or not...
I've raised the issue here in the Pub to see if there are any community objections to raising the size from 180px to 250px width. --Ttcf (talk) 00:42, 17 February 2014 (EST)
Ah Well, for my two cents, I don't have a strong opinion. A decade ago, screens were smaller on desktops and users connected with dial-up. But today, mobile screens are far smaller. The utility of a site like this on mobile is actually a pretty huge consideration. Koavf (talk) 00:52, 17 February 2014 (EST)
Don't we show a different mobile version if we detect the user is using a mobile? --Ttcf (talk) 01:04, 17 February 2014 (EST)
Style I believe so and this is one of the basic functions of stylesheets but I do not have a smartphone. Koavf (talk) 01:06, 17 February 2014 (EST)
Hello. I‘m a newbie here. Regarding default image size. Small size, like a current one, is not bad. I don‘t use a smartphone nor a laptop, but work on a desktop computer with an older (not wide) monitor, and also with a wide monitor. If the article's paragraph is short, the larger pictures distort the composition of the page. Especially if there are several pictures, then only the upper one is at its right place, others do not fit. The composition (general appearance) looks better with a "narrow" screen, however the larger pictures start to distort the text then, appearance of the text, i.e. the left side of the page while the right side with images looks good. The smaller screen the worse is appearance of the text, it may turn almost to a column. Current small size (of the pictures) then looks quite reasonable.
If the screen is wide – the paragraphs become even more shorter (visually), and several pictures near to each other (a column of them) distort the composition of the page again. The smaller pictures – the less distortion.
I think that some sort of a pop-up (say, half screen size) would be useful. One click – you see a big picture, another click – big picture has gone. Now if you want to see details you have to open a page with a picture and then click it again in order to enlarge. It take time and annoys. It could be a possibility to open a page with a right click->open page, or something. Then you have a possibility to have a quick look at the picture of a decent size, and also have another possibility to look at it properly, along with all attributions.
Practically, to me there is an uncertainty, but it is not related to size, it‘s about the picture policy that reads Image use in articles should be kept at the minimum necessary to get across a point or impression. Is this still really valid? Visual information is more informative than text. Proper informative images can tell more than most detailed description. In such case current small size makes sense. It saves space. If images are almost absent, then they could be larger, just "to make the article beautiful". In my extremely humble opinion information should prevail, not ornaments. And the beauty of the article usually is determined by the orderly composition where everything fit in its proper place, sort of. Sorry for the intervention :) --Local (talk) 15:51, 19 February 2014 (EST)
Puerto Asese marina in Granada (thumbnail image at the current default of 180px)
We're not talking about a huge increase in the default here. Wikipedia upped their default from 180px to 220px several years ago and it could be argued (as you seem to have done above) that images that are evocative of the general feel and ambience of the destination should be a tad larger in a travel guide than an encyclopaedia.
To address your point about enlargement, unfortunately many of our readers don't realise that, if you click the little widget in the lower right corner, you will be taken to a page where often you can make a choice from a range of image sizes. (For example, after you click the "enlarge" widget, the "Puerto Asese marina in Granada" thumbnail image at the right can then be viewed at either 800 × 600 pixels or at its full resolution ‎of 1,280 × 960 pixels)
Perhaps we can take things one stage at a time and first agree on the default image size before we discuss (under a separate heading[s], please) other changes to image policy?
Incidentally the two images I've used here are examples from the current version of our Granada (Nicaragua) article.
Please also remember that changing the default size does not prevent editors overriding that default by specifying a larger or smaller size. It's just that, at the moment and with such a small default size of 180px, a lot of editors feel the need to specify larger hard-wired sizes of 190, 200, 205, 210, 220, 225, 230, 240 and (very often) 250px and that causes at least three problems:
(1) We end up with a range of different widths in the same article which looks awkward
Typical horsecart in Granada (thumbnail sized to proposed new default width of 250px)
(2) The servers are overburdened by generating such a huge range of thumbnail sizes
(3) Registered readers who have set their preferences to display a smaller thumbnail size than the current default (for both not-logged on users and logged on users who have not changed their preferences) of 180px, eg 150px, then actually get served the larger hard-wired size of 210, 220, 225, 230, 240 and (very often) 250px and incur extra data roaming charges or slow loads. Contrariwise, those with fast, cheap connections and large screens who have set their preferences to display a larger thumbnail size of 300px, then actually get served the smaller, editor hand crafted size of 210, 220, 225, 230px or whatever. --Ttcf (talk) 17:29, 19 February 2014 (EST)
Of course i agree that my post was too broad. To me, as a reader/user/"consumer", the current default image size is sufficient and better than a larger one, no matter how much larger. Some images (as you say) can be larger when necessary, and of course i don't like several images with different sizes in one article. I purposefuly posted my opinion slightly off-topic to illustrate that i don't see relevance in increasing default image size. I recently reduced the size of several pictures to 180px in one article, appearance then became better. But how it is better depends on concrete article, i think. In other words, to me the current situation is suitable. And all policies of everything are suitable too :). Just, like you see the relevance in image sizes, i see it in image policy (though accept it and agree with everything).
BTW, these 2 examples of the pictures: one 180px, another 250px, but there is no essential difference in perception of their content, they both are too small to perceive the details, and both are nearly equal in their general effect. If other users are uploading different sizes for no reason, then maybe their edits are ignorant and need to be fixed. Maybe they don't see the whole "picture" of the article and only want to stand out. Is it a problem of default image size? To me current size is good, but i won't express any objection if it will be increased :) --Local (talk) 07:57, 20 February 2014 (EST)
At the end of the day this is largely a question of subjective aesthetics and your opinion is just as valid as mine in that regard.
I do worry, though, that you have not understood my argument about NOT specifying an image width in pixels (as opposed to a relative sizing expressed as a factor of the users default by using the "upright=n" image syntax) when it is within about 10% of the default of 180px.
It would be nice to hear others opinions as to both the aesthetics and the other reasons I gave for making this change... --Ttcf (talk) 13:28, 20 February 2014 (EST)

Categories[edit]

Please would someone explain to me why it is helpful for travellers to have "maintenance" categories visible (as opposed to hidden) at the foot of many pages?

For example, how does it benefit the traveller to have visible at the base of our article about Jammu and Kashmir:

Categories:

  • Articles with warnings
  • Articles needing style fixes
  • Outline articles

exactly? --Ttcf (talk) 22:13, 25 February 2014 (EST)

Hidden categories We can make these hidden categories, then. It's a feature of MediaWiki that's used on the English-language Wikipedia. These are useful for editors if not necessarily readers. Koavf (talk) 02:34, 4 March 2014 (EST)
That would certainly be my feeling if nobody is able to answer my (somewhat rhetorical question), Koavf.
As I'm sure you're already aware (but others may not be) categories that a page is in are normally listed at the bottom of the page, but in versions of Mediawiki after 1.13, (and I believe ours may be 1.17) a category can be hidden from this list by adding the magic word "__HIDDENCAT__" to the category page. MediaWiki category help page. --Ttcf (talk) 02:42, 4 March 2014 (EST)

Wide images[edit]

Most of our readers view our pages without logging in.

All of these readers (that have not logged in) will have adverts enabled.

If editors use images that have fixed image widths larger than about 620px, then unwanted page artifacts appear meaning that, with most common browsers and operating systems, the page then "falls off" the right hand screen edge and the {{panorama}} template does not work properly.

Readers who have set their user preferences to display adverts can compare the differences between these two pages:

(since adverts are not displayed on user pages). --Ttcf (talk) 19:59, 15 March 2014 (EDT)

Wikitravel upgrade 1.22.2[edit]

Hello all, We're excited to announce that Wikitravel will be upgrading its software! In order to migrate Wikitravel's extraordinary database of travel information, we'll be putting the site into read-only mode starting Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 at 5pm PST and running it for about 3-4 days. No edits will be possible at this time. When we come back, we'll be better than ever.

We’re moving to 1.22.2 version of MediaWiki. Here is a page that lists the changes. I also put together my own list with the changes that are visible to regular users. I believe this list is more easy to grasp.

Changes between 1.20 and 1.22.2 Media Wiki Software[edit]

IPs, Registered users, Admins:

  • Create an account page has new look and feel (more colors and shows on the right side stats for the # of edits, pages and recent contributors on Wikitravel)
  • Simplified search bar with vector skin only as an option, instead of “Go” and “Search” buttons.
  • Add Listing and Edit show on the top left side of the sections (previously at the top right corner)
  • Pop-up message “Your edit was saved” after making an edit and clicking “Save”.
  • When comparing revisions in the article history where noting was changed in the article, you notice a message "(No difference)" at the top middle part of the screen.
  • Left navigation bar subsections are now collapsible.
  • A pop up message is now displayed when the user attempts to leave the edit page with unsaved changes, on browsers supporting dialogs. Message says: This page is asking you to confirm that you want to leave - data you have entered may not be saved.”

Registered users and Admins:

  • Log in page is more new look and feel (colorful and neat).
  • Watch pages just by clicking on the star icon in the top right menu. Now you are not redirected to a different page and you don’t have to go back to the article after clicking “Watch”; you stay all the time on the same page. If the star icon is blue it means you’re watching the page.
  • New option in Account Preferences- User profile- Internationalization: “How do you prefer to be described?”

Admins only:

  • "Mark as patrolled" link available on any patrollable page or revision, without having to go to Special:RecentChanges or Special:NewPages. You stay all the time on the same page.
  • Cascading page protection levels other than "Allow only administrators". New option: “Autoconfirmed users”.


Please let us know if you have any questions. Warm regards, thank you IBAlex (talk) 17:38, 20 March 2014 (EDT)

Wikitravel is upgraded[edit]

Dear community! Wikitravel was upgraded successfully! Now you can edit the site again. If you see any bugs or issues, please report them below and I will be checking them and reporting to our tech team. Thank you for your cooperation! Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 14:00, 25 March 2014 (EDT)

"Travelling with kids" section[edit]

Hi !

I was wondering if the idea of adding a section for people travelling with kids would be of interest. I am actually travelling with two kids in Ecuador and I feel like I could share a lot on many of the pages I read.

Thanks for answering !

--Rufen327 (talk) 18:03, 28 March 2014 (EDT)

Hello Rufen327! Thank you for your message! We actually have a separate article called Travelling with children and several individual pages like London with children or New York City with children. It would be great if you could create a separate page for Ecuador, ex. Ecuador with children. Please also feel encouraged to contribute to our general Travelling with children article. I hope this helps. Thank you for joining our traveler's community! Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 18:07, 28 March 2014 (EDT)

Top 10 most photographed travel destinations across the globe[edit]

Google’s Panoramio is a photo-sharing website that lets people tag photos of landmarks or landscapes with their locations and upload them to Google Maps.

That means it only takes some relatively trivial programming for them to produce some interesting "heat" maps...

(Incidentally, many of these photos have licences which mean that editors can use them here, too.) --Ttcf (talk) 04:20, 8 April 2014 (EDT)

Ok, thanks for sharing! I will have a closer look at that. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 12:35, 8 April 2014 (EDT)
While there's no direct link between the most photographs taken of a destination and the most visited pages here, I think the map does produce some interesting results. Where can I most easily see the list of "most viewed pages" here, please? --Ttcf (talk) 16:07, 8 April 2014 (EDT)

Order of Listings[edit]

For about 7 years now, we have not had anyone suggest that listings should be in a random order rather than in alphabetical order as a default, or another logical order if agreed on the destination article's discussion page.

However, our Wikitravel:Accommodation listings#Listing order current policy has now been questioned so I thought I would give a "heads up" here in case anyone else wants to participate in the discussion at Wikitravel_talk:Listings#Random order in listings?... --Ttcf (talk) 23:16, 9 April 2014 (EDT)

Tout's new tricks[edit]

It's not the first time I have seen a deliberately untrue edit summary in an attempt to deceive.

Then along comes another "helpful" editor to change the Brussels reference to a "Marrakech" reference (all this in our Marrakech article) and then finally another "helpful" editor restores the touting with an edit summary of "Undo revision 2193705 by 82.164.193.105 (talk) No links to Airbnb".

One has to admire the team work - and well spotted, IBAlex! --Ttcf (talk) 19:36, 16 April 2014 (EDT)

Hello! thank you for this message! Admins are already aware of the touty tricks with users inserting bitly links to airbnb or other booking services or aggregators. They do their best to revert edits like that as soon as possible. Feel free to also remove them from our articles. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 19:44, 16 April 2014 (EDT)

Front page news items are stale[edit]

Please update Almost everything on the front page when it comes to travel advisories and events is out of date (the only one that really could apply is that traveling to South Sudan is probably not wise). Someone needs to add fresh content to our splash page, lest it look like the entire site is out of date. Koavf (talk) 23:29, 16 April 2014 (EDT)

Thanks for the "heads-up", Justin.
I'm a bit puzzled, though. Do you mean http://wikitravel.org/en/Main_Page or some other page? --Ttcf (talk) 03:27, 17 April 2014 (EDT)
Main Page(s) Huh. Take a look at this history: http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Main_Page&diff=prev&oldid=2152696 and this edit interface: http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Main%20Page&action=edit and all the news is old. Evidently, it's updated with current news items by transcluding some flim-flam-ery... I guess I can be ignored. Either way, my complaint on Shared about the Wikitravel Extra link still stands. Koavf (talk) 03:55, 17 April 2014 (EDT)
Well, if it is the Main Page you're talking about, the travel advisories currently all seem germane and relevant after a quick glance.
2 of the 5 events listed of
  • Cherry Blossom Festival, DC, (20 Mar - 13 Apr 2014)
  • Garden of Europe opening, (20 Mar - 18 May 2014)
  • Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, (1 - 30 Apr 2014)
  • Coachella Music Festival, Indio, (11 - 13 Apr 2014)
  • Acceleration Race Festival, Portugal, (25 - 27 Apr 2014)
have "expired" by 4 days, but that's not too bad...
I don't actually have any problem personally with the page being protected against editing but, now we've had our MediaWiki software upgrade, I do think there is scope for having an additional category of "Autopatroller" that would be able to edit protected pages like these after, say, a year of good edits... --Ttcf (talk) 04:32, 17 April 2014 (EDT)
Justin, everything is regularly updated on the Main Page, both the events and news. Our Main Page is an html, not a wiki page, that I can edit through a special panel. What you are looking at is a "View History" of an old home page.
About the Travel news and Events News, please feel free to edit those pages and I will add the news to the HP accordingly. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 12:15, 17 April 2014 (EDT)
Editing See the "edit" link I posted above and the first news item reads "{{newsitem| Eruption of Mount Sinabung in North_Sumatra|04 Jan| The emergency response to the eruption of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra has been extended until January 4, 2014 as the volcano still shows signs of increased activity[http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/91899/sinabung-emergency-response-extended-until-january-4]}}. This is not displayed on Main Page, though. Again, there's clearly some HTML trickery involved here and I'm not privy to it. If someone looks at Main Page they will see up-to-date info. I simply thought it was out of date because I was looking at http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Main%20Page&action=edit instead. Koavf (talk) 15:16, 17 April 2014 (EDT)
Yes, I understand you. The reason why the news about Mount Sinabung is currently not on the HP is because it is outdated. It used to be on the HP (new HP) in January. We introduced a new look to Wikitravel HP about one year ago and changed it to html for the better user's experience. We got a very positive feedback from the community about change. As mentioned before, feel free to share with us your suggestions for the current HP, update the news and events and I will apply the changes to the HP via the admin panel I'm taking care of. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 15:24, 17 April 2014 (EDT)

Watermarks in images[edit]

Currently we have a prolific editor that has expressed a wish to upload images with watermarks to enhance our articles and been told that he shouldn't.

While there has been discussion a few years ago about removing images that have images that feature grotesquely prominent watermarks for commercial entities (eg, hotels or tours), the wts Image Policy is currently completely silent on this topic.

Is this "policy" on watermarks one that does not really exist - or simply one that is inadequately documented? --Ttcf (talk) 19:00, 17 April 2014 (EDT)

He is more than welcome to upload images to Shared, but watermarks are a form of self-promotion and protection against copyright infringement. The former has no place on Wikitravel and the latter is unnecessary where one has already uploaded to a CC/SA website. No watermarks. --IBobi (talk) 19:28, 17 April 2014 (EDT)
Since you're the boss, I'll make the new policy clear at wts Image Policy... --Ttcf (talk) 20:01, 17 April 2014 (EDT)

Incidentally, is it really necessary to continue to include information which we know to be wrong and outdated? isn't the edit summary of "It hasn't been true for quite a while that "Every page on Wikitravel has a credits block at the end of the page" we do still have an edit history, 'though..." a true statement? --Ttcf (talk) 03:19, 18 April 2014 (EDT)

Please understand that we are open to changing the policies but all the changes should be first discussed on the talk pages. We do not allow arbitrary changes to policies. Thanks, IBAlex (talk) 14:36, 18 April 2014 (EDT)
I was rather puzzled by your response - which is why I've been trying to figure out what you meant for the past week, IBAlex.
  1. My understanding was that any edits that IBobi made were not open to question or revision. Hence my response to him above.
  2. I think you know that I'm very much in favour of polite and reasoned discussion to make sure our policies are both clearly laid out and reasonably transparent, up-to-date and clearly explained.
This is difficult to achieve if questions and responses are just left hanging in the air or censored without explanation or reference to policy.
Where do you propose that the restoration of my edit with the summary of "It hasn't been true for quite a while that "Every page on Wikitravel has a credits block at the end of the page" we do still have an edit history, 'though..." be discussed, please? --Ttcf (talk) 17:08, 23 April 2014 (EDT)

Wikitravel:Manual of style for the US - obsolete and defunct?[edit]

The last edit to this was nearly 4 years ago and all of its style points are now incorporated into our general Wikitravel:Manual of style that is valid for all the other 207 countries as well. I therefore suggest labelling it as "Currently inactive but retained for historical reference." --Ttcf (talk) 04:26, 19 April 2014 (EDT)

Hi! You're right, all the points are covered by MoS so we don't need to have a separate page for US Manual of style. I will add the disclaimerbox to Wikitravel:Manual of style for the US. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 14:18, 21 April 2014 (EDT)
Actually there is one point covered explicitly there that I can't find codified anywhere else but that has long been our usual practice: that we prefer to abbreviate street types by using "Rd" instead of Road, "St" instead of Street, and so forth. Consequently I've made the necessary addition at Wikitravel:Abbreviations#Addresses. --Ttcf (talk) 15:51, 21 April 2014 (EDT)
I saw it listed on the page already (see: bullet points). IBAlex (talk) 15:54, 21 April 2014 (EDT)

Islands in Thailand[edit]

I note that the islands are variously noted as Ko or Koh. Both are used in transliteration, both in Thailand and in travel books etc. So it is important if anyone wants to look at a particular island to be able to be redirected from either. (some already are). I note that Ko Laan is written as such when I went to set myself up to make a contribution. However, it is also written as Ko/Koh - Laan/Larn. Koh Larn is used on the island itself and nearby in English transliteration.

Will it be possible to go through the islands in Thailand and make redirection from Ko/Koh possible at all? Also with Ko Laan, to make the same redirection as well as redirection from Larn also. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Avemario (talkcontribs) • 11:03, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Good idea. Plunge forward! --Ttcf (talk) 11:24, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for bringing that to our attention, Avemario! I will create the neccessary redirects for the Thai islands. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 12:07, 23 April 2014 (EDT)


Changes in Crimea[edit]

Historically, Wikitravel has not been concerned with taking sides in political or diplomatic disputes or in adjudicating issues of sovereignty.

Usually we just tell it like it is in terms of what the traveller is likely to experience in a particular part of the world.

I feel that urgent changes are needed to our Crimea article. Comments are very welcome at Talk:Crimea#Annexation_of_Crimea_by_Russia --Ttcf (talk) 18:51, 26 March 2014 (EDT)

World Cup 2014[edit]

Hello everybody! The World Cup 2014 in Brazil is coming up. I created today a new page for this event and I entourage everybody to plunge forward and contribute. Thank you! Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 20:34, 10 April 2014 (EDT)

It begins in June. —The preceding comment was added by Aknsgirls (talkcontribs)

Transgender Travellers?[edit]

I've noticed on articles about countries that might be hostile to LGBT people, it only focuses on people in the LGB. I'm ftm transgender and am on hormones - while my identifications would say I'm female, I have a deep voice and very male appearance. If I were to travel to, for example, the United Arab Emirates, what would be expected of me in terms of dress? Would I face any sort of persecution? 76.216.209.128 14:41, 7 August 2014 (EDT)

Good question I think that information like this is omitted solely because of ignorance: it's just hard to say. One way to find out is to call an embassy. Are you asking hypothetically or are you actually planning on traveling internationally? Koavf (talk) 17:41, 7 August 2014 (EDT)
Right now it's hypothetical, but travelling is one of my biggest wishes, especially the Middle East. I'm still in highschool at the moment, so it would probably not be for a while. I have seen a few things, mostly on European articles, and the embassy thing is a good idea. Thank you for your response! 76.216.209.128 13:58, 8 August 2014 (EDT)
Follow-up Please let me know what you find and share it with others! Koavf (talk) 01:04, 9 August 2014 (EDT)

Need help[edit]

Hi there I am comfusing about to leave some information on wikitravel. I want to put it in Sangkhlaburi travel guide page. (external links removed) —The preceding comment was added by Muddy (talkcontribs)

Hi, thanks for your question. On wikitravel we don´t add links to secondary sources and to general tour booking sites, so your links would not be allowed. If you are knowledgeable about Sangkhlaburi please share your knowledge in the article (original content). If any further questions, please let us know. We are looking forward to your edits. Thanks! Adzas (talk) 10:05, 27 August 2014 (EDT)

Wikitravel statistics page? To check page views etc.?[edit]

Hi, I'm new. I was looking for a feature that shows individual page views / counts for single Wikitravel guides, sorted by dates or time spans. Something like this or this for Wikimedia projects. Any idea? All I could find is this static page. Thank you and all the best, Oibalos (talk) 13:07, 2 September 2014 (EDT)

Hello and welcome to Wikitravel! I don't think we have anything like that set up on here. Interesting, are those stats native to those wikimedia projects or are they third -party data? Best, IBcaldera (talk) 13:42, 3 September 2014 (EDT)

GPS Coordinates[edit]

What is the best way to add GPS coordinates to a location. They are really helpful, especially if addresses (let alone names) do not exist. Using "lat" and "long" (as suggested in http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel:Listings) is not helpful, because the values are not displayed.

Is there any best practice to follow? I am sure a link to bing or google maps (depending on who offers the best picture material) would be apprciated by a lot of travellers. Also with those GPS enabled smartphones everywhere it is really helpful to mark points in advance on a map. E.g. you hotel, etc. Thanks for any help! User4353 (talk) 08:02, 15 October 2014 (EDT)

Good point I know this feature could be very useful for travelers and has been introduced on other MediWiki sites. You might want to suggest it at Shared. Koavf (talk) 02:14, 17 October 2014 (EDT)
I am new to this. Who or what is Shared. Is it some higher authority? Who makes up the rules here. Who (or where) could we decide on a new standardized way of implementing GPS coordinates? Thanks!! User4353 (talk) 03:58, 17 October 2014 (EDT)
Shared Sorry--I should clarify. Wikitravel is published in 22 language editions (sometimes known as "expeditions"). Wikitravel Shared is a common repository of media (specifically images) for all of the different editions. Since it is a centralized location, it is also the place to make bug reports and feature requests. You can just head over to the Pub at Shared to post your request. (Feel free to just copy and paste these threads over there). Koavf (talk) 04:01, 17 October 2014 (EDT)
OK. Thanks a lot for the clarification! I will try my best of luck over there. On the other hand:
  • while it would be nice to have a technical solution (one where you could click on the coordinates and they would show up in a map (e.g. OSM) or even better you could aggregate them to some kind of list to get a gpx file with your route/POI
  • as a quick solution a unified way (format, layout, etc.) of just showing the GPS coordinates would be nice. This could also be helpful if at a later stage someone decides to do something (s.a.) with this data and would not require any technical work.
User4353 (talk) 04:09, 17 October 2014 (EDT)
I moved this over to Pub at Shared. Hence, this section could probably be deleted/archived? User4353 (talk) 04:25, 17 October 2014 (EDT)

Make email addresses SPAM safe[edit]

If I enter an email address I fear that a spambot will spam the recipient. Is there any standardized way/best practice to prohibit this? E.g using example`àt´mail.com or alike? Thanks! User4353 (talk) 08:06, 15 October 2014 (EDT)

The "email a user" feature that is native to this MediaWiki software was disabled some while ago to try and prevent editors from communicating their concerns and information to other editors off wiki.
Most spam harvesters will have no difficulty in overcoming such transparent devices as spelling out "at" rather than using an @ symbol. More difficult for them would be an IMAGE of your e-mail address placed on your user page. --92.30.244.53 10:42, 15 October 2014 (EDT)
Huh? I was referring to email addresses of businesses, hotels, contact persons, etc. that are entered in Wikitravel. Is there any way to obfuscate these email adresses? Sorry, if that wasn't clear from my original post. User4353 (talk) 11:03, 15 October 2014 (EDT)
E-mail obfuscation As far as I'm aware, the most-used tricks are replacing the @ character with a picture or using tricks with scripts. If you think we should employ something like that (along with any other kind of technical change), you'd have to suggest it at Shared. Koavf (talk) 02:22, 17 October 2014 (EDT)
I will move this to Shared. Thanks. User4353 (talk) 04:26, 17 October 2014 (EDT)


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)
I've now created zip so you may want to add to or modify that page... --Ttcf (talk) 20:58, 30 November 2014 (EST)

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)wts:Wikitravel Shared:Travellers' pub

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)

Hi again! Getting old sucks totally, as us old bastards have problems working out just how this internet performs! I am trying to update Samut Songkhram, and tried to remove a few listings from the get around to the see page. Did not work! I got the name of the camp transferred, but nothing else will cooperate at all! Will someone please move these listings - Bang Kung Camp, Wat Charoen etc, Nativity Cathedral, and King Rama 2 Park to the "see" page and delete them from the Get Around. Then I can edit them. Thanx Avemario (talk) 02:40, 30 December 2014 (EST)

Hey Avemario, I moved those listings as you requested. Let us know if you still have problems in editing the page. Regards, GiulioC (talk) 06:08, 30 December 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)

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)

Listing mechanism needs to be improved[edit]

so that

  1. it does not produce "footnote style" external links
  2. it displays phone numbers contained within the "phoneextra" tag

--Ttcf (talk) 14:57, 25 November 2014 (EST)

Listing fixes That would be a technical issue for the <listing> tag, so you should mention this request at Shared. Koavf (talk) 00:03, 26 November 2014 (EST)

Right balance? Safety concern in Chicagoland[edit]

User:Conserve & User:Bentup (Special:Contributions/Conserve & Special:Contributions/Bentup) have been adding a lot of warnings recently to destination articles in the Mid-West of the USA, especially in the greater Chicago area.

Clearly we have to walk a tightrope between giving appropriate warnings to travellers and being unduly alarmist in comparison with other regions of the USA and the world in general.

Do other readers feel the right balance is being struck? --Ttcf (talk) 01:48, 28 November 2014 (EST)

I totally wonder how fair it might be. That the places are less welcoming than Thailand and less safe than a Swiss village, it's understandable, but as you say, so is the world. The thing is, these places are not well documented, so having some perfectible notes doesn't hurt, but I would definitely keep an eye on how things are said - and on potential reactions, if any. Would we see similar warnings for every town from Arizona to Alabama were visitors claim to be welcomed by the sight of a gun, I would definitely reconsider my position. Back to the Mid-West and off with clichés; I don't know, let's assume somebody is moving to this area from another state and looks for cheap housing or anything, they may be glad to read that, perhaps? - PierrB (talk) 21:40, 28 November 2014 (EST)
It is wise and right to allow locals of any metro area to edit pages for the metro area they live in. I live in the greater Chicagoland area, and I know Chicagoland like the back of my hand. It is very wrong to act like this is North Korea and tell other editors "you can not say this" and "you are not allowed to say that" especially when that editor lives in the metro area represented by the Wikitravel page that he or she is editing and/or adding information. Conserve (talk) 22:57, 28 November 2014 (EST)
Conserve/Bentup and their IP have been indef banned for multiple and repeated policy violations and failing to heed short-term ban warnings. If you see them return in another guise, please bring to the attention of an admin for banning. IBobi (talk) 22:51, 29 November 2014 (EST)
I'll notify any future suspicions at Wikitravel:User ban nominations.
Meanwhile, I would be grateful if someone with rollback privileges would revert this edit that removed other editors' comments from my User Talk Page... --Ttcf (talk) 04:23, 30 November 2014 (EST)
I re-added the part you wanted back on your talk page, Ttcf. Adzas (talk) 13:28, 30 November 2014 (EST)
Thanks, Astrid! --Ttcf (talk) 22:03, 30 November 2014 (EST)