Err.. am I the only one not seeing the sidebar, as it's placed all the way at the bottom of the page? Justme 14:12, 19 January 2012 (EST)
Incompatibility between latest firefox and this version of mediawiki. --Inas 16:07, 19 January 2012 (EST)
Oh :-( thanks... Justme 18:42, 19 January 2012 (EST)
I gave an explanation of this failure (Rendering failure with Firefox 9.0.1 above) and a solution some days ago. Nothing was done. The problem is to solved by IB. --Unger 09:15, 20 January 2012 (EST)
Did you report it on Shared? LtPowers 14:57, 20 January 2012 (EST)
Appears this issue will resolve with the MW upgrade, which is in progress.--IBobi 19:08, 20 January 2012 (EST)
Never resolved, but I just updated to Firefox 10.0 and WT appears normal again. AHeneen 15:48, 4 February 2012 (EST)
So slow for the past couple of days. A couple of attempts at editing, and then give up for the day. --Inas 22:40, 19 January 2012 (EST)
Everything might be (possibly) fixed by the Mediawiki upgrade scheduled for September 2011November 2011 some time in 2012/2013. In the mean time it seems frustration will be rampant... -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:56, 19 January 2012 (EST)
Investigating the performance issue -- thank you for reporting.--IBobi 19:10, 20 January 2012 (EST)
Please report if there are still performance issues today; we had a bad crawler last week that may have slowed the site.--IBobi 14:04, 23 January 2012 (EST)
I still get frequent delays loading pages, though it usually speeds up as my session goes on. LtPowers 16:56, 23 January 2012 (EST)
I could swear I posted this here last night, but I can't find any trace of it...
Anyway, just asking because I'm not sure, but is this use of our image properly attributed? It makes no mention of the creative commons license, etc. texugo 15:57, 25 January 2012 (EST)
We had an unplanned outage for several hours today due to a database malfunction. Site should now be behaving as normal; thank you for being patient while we resolved this.--IBobi 17:45, 25 January 2012 (EST)
Are you talking about these kinds of weird error messages, such as this one in the Kerch guide (the same one that was in the Johor Bahru guide before I did a hard edit to the previous version):
The database did not find the text of a page that it should have found, named "(fixme, bug)".
This is usually caused by following an outdated diff or history link to a page that has been deleted.
If this is not the case, you may have found a bug in the software. Please report this to an administrator, making note of the URL.
He's probably also referring to the "Wikitravel has a problem, try again in a few minutes" message that I got most of the day, yesterday. For the record, today the site seems to be very slow, but functioning. Justme 07:18, 26 January 2012 (EST)
The site appears to have become so slow over the last few days that it is now virtually unusable. It is near impossible to load a page, preview and edit or render an edit upload. Whats happened, rats chewed into the cabling? -- felix 09:54, 16 February 2012 (EST)
Hey Felix -- I'll have performance check with tech. Would you be interested in participating in the beta testing of the new Mediawiki upgrade?--IBobi 15:50, 16 February 2012 (EST)
Hi iBobi, will I need to have any needles stuck into me or take any tablets? If not then let me know the details and lets see if I can assist by participating. -- felix 18:08, 17 February 2012 (EST)
Just email me at paul.obrien at internetbrands.com and we'll get you fixed up with testing credentials.--IBobi 19:54, 17 February 2012 (EST)
Seeraa, the user and the Chinese website
Hi, everyone. I would like you to please read the exchange at User_talk:Seeraa and also have a look at  and . User Seeraa is some informative edits (unless they are copyvio, and except where they're merely added links to the seeraa portal), and I don't want to chase him/her away, but if the website in question really is in any sense official, why does  not mention that? How should we handle this situation? Ikan Kekek 03:58, 3 February 2012 (EST)
Ikan, their homepage say they are a non-profit organisation. I think their xl linking to diverse places like Lhasa and Hangzhou looks a bit touty for me. I accept if they work in their knowledge into Wikitravel but the linking is to much. Especially in political sensitive cases like Tibet imho their link can't stay. Jc8136 04:06, 3 February 2012 (EST)
Beta testing Mediawiki 1.17 upgrade
Having addressed the first round of bug reports from the Mediawiki upgrade beta test server, we're currently underway on a final round of testing before the new version of Wikitravel goes live in a few weeks. We'd love to have your input, so if you are interested in participating in the beta, email me at paul.obrien at internetbrands.com for testing credentials and instructions. Thanks!--IBobi 18:55, 21 February 2012 (EST)
Nice to hear that it's coming along :-) Just a question though.. why not upgrade to the latest version? 1.18 has been released a while back already and Wikipedia in fact is deploying even 1.19 this week. Isn't it strange to start with a backlog? Justme 06:22, 22 February 2012 (EST)
It would be great to upgrade to the most recent version; but as you can see, they release small updates quite frequently, and upgrading a site as big as WT is a long process -- one that began prior to the release of 1.18 in November -- thus, we're finishing the upgrade to the version that was out at the time, 1.17. At any rate, it will not be as long between upgrades as it has been since the last one.--IBobi 14:40, 22 February 2012 (EST)
Integrating as a Wikimedia project
This does not seem to have been brought up in a long time. I believe that integrating would be positive for all involved
Would provide a secure funding base and reduce the need for google ads which take up so much of my screen
Potentially increase editors as no google ads
Would make it easier for the two sites to direct people adding content to the better place
Would make Wikitravel better known (lots of great content here in a useful format)
Would thus speed up the development of the project
Potentially increased reliability (I am having trouble viewing this site right now)
I cannot really think of any drawbacks. Wikimedia projects are now under the same license is here.
--Doc James 10:25, 23 February 2012 (EST)
If Wikitravel:Internet Brands was interested in moving the site to Wikimedia management I suspect many people would be in support, but since they own the trademarks it would be up to them to make that decision (hopefully User:IBobi or someone from IB can provide their position). Moving to Wikimedia without their blessing, and without trademarks, would essentially mean forking the project, and while that's entirely legal since all content is CC-SA licensed, using Wikitravel to have that discussion might not be entirely appropriate. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:19, 24 February 2012 (EST)
Furthermore, if ads are an issue, registered users can turn ads off in their site preferences. LtPowers 13:59, 24 February 2012 (EST)
Yes I realize that those within the Wikimedia movement are free to take all the content here and put it under their own "name" as the content is CC just as those here are free to do the same with Wikipedia. I do not think splitting the editor base however is best for the content in question / open source movement. We already have too much duplication of efforts in other areas. I thought I would post the idea here to see if those here had any interest in collaborating more closely. I sit on the board of Wikimedia Canada and could bring this forwards to the WMF if there was interest. Good to know about the ads Lt.Doc James 07:41, 25 February 2012 (EST)
Internet Brands, which owns the Wikitravel trademark, is a commercial entity looking to make money off this site, and I can't imagine any situation in which they would be supportive of this plan, regardless of potential benefits to the Wikitravel project and community. Otherwise, what Ryan said ;) --PeterTalk 22:08, 25 February 2012 (EST)
Wikitravel was down for a while this morning due to an unscheduled data backup. If you see any unusual performance issues today, please let me know. Thank you --IBobi 17:11, 23 February 2012 (EST)
Site is going down for a few minutes for DB maintenance. Thanks --IBobi 18:16, 23 February 2012 (EST)
There were a few hours today when the site was flapping up and down; it seems very stable now, but please report if you see any localized outages or ongoing issues with stability or access. Thanks!--IBobi 18:00, 1 March 2012 (EST)
Seems like it's back to its normal level of suck. --PeterTalk 21:28, 1 March 2012 (EST)
Booking tool & ad policy discussion
Please take a look at the proposed changes to ad policy and the general Booking Tool discussion taking place over the last couple of weeks -- and years -- over on Shared http://wikitravel.org/shared/Tech:Add_booking_tool_to_WT. As we approach implementation time on the booking tool as well as the Mediawiki upgrade, we'll be soliciting more feedback on look and feel as well, etc.
Also, if anyone is interested in participating in the ongoing Beta test of the Mediwiki upgrade, please contact me for credentials. Thank you.--IBobi 14:17, 5 March 2012 (EST)
Database upgrade complete
If you noticed many pages down this morning, it was due to the massive database upgrade we just completed. You should be seeing improved performance along with few to no errors when viewing, editing or posting content to Wikitravel.
If you see site weirdness, pages missing, error messages, or generally anything else that could come from a DB upgrade, please let me know.
Next steps are the MW upgrade and Booking Tool! Thanks,--IBobi 17:18, 7 March 2012 (EST)
I've been on the search for a good video travel guide and I'm not sure if wikitravel would be for or oppose the idea of making a universal video guide as well. Thoughts?--User:themarcophoto 04:49, 11 March 2012 (EST)
Videos are discouraged per the image policy. If you see a strong reason for allowing videos you can make the case on that article's talk page. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:45, 11 March 2012 (EDT)
Query: where do I go when I have forgotten my password?
Others may know better, but I'm not sure that this version of Mediawiki provides that capability (I don't see anything on Special:Specialpages and there is no Special:PasswordReset page). Your best option may be to just create a new account and leave a note on the user page indicating that you're the same user as whatever your old login was. Alternately, IB will (hopefully) complete a Mediawiki upgrade in the coming month(s) that will enable the password reset page. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:55, 17 March 2012 (EDT)
On the login screen, there's a button that will send your password to the e-mail address specified in your preferences. If you didn't specify an e-mail address, you may be out of luck. It seems like there ought to be something a bureaucrat could do, but I don't know what that is. LtPowers 14:45, 17 March 2012 (EDT)
If that doesn't work, let me know. I do not have access to passwords, but I may be able to bend tech's ear about it; obviously we want established members to retain access to their existing accounts.
Incidentally, the MW upgrade Ryan refers to SHOULD (should) be live this week!--IBobi 16:18, 19 March 2012 (EDT)
We were down for about an hour. Back now and all is well.--IBobi 19:02, 14 March 2012 (EDT)
How long to update a revision so it appears in the browser?
Having just spent a number of hours revising, correcting, updating, adding or clarifying links for the Quime, Bolivia page I try and load it (after updating in Mozilla and IE) and it has reverted back to the original. I wonder if it just takes awhile for the moderators to approve the revision, if so how long? If it does take awhile for revision approval, maybe it could be posted in the FAQ so revisionists don´t get freaked out. If it has reverted, well I don´t understand why and am maybe a bit upset having wasted a few hours since IMO I improved and updated the page.
Look here - http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Quime&curid=80685&diff=1842732&oldid=1825508 - at the editing comment and read the links I provided for you to understand why most of your edits to that page have been deleted. I'm sorry you feel like good work went down the drain. I appreciate your attitude, but you need to read the links I gave, and also tour, which is in part relevant to the reversion of your edits to the "Contact" section. Also, please sign talk pages by typing 4 tildes in a row before pressing the enter key. Thanks. Ikan Kekek 19:38, 16 March 2012 (EDT)
Other guide books
I was just wondering if we could start adressing physical guide books. We could for example that we just state which books cover that general area etc... Is this something that would be helpful? We could also just say something about wether that book felt up to date or not...
Wikitravel:External links deals with this topic (short summary: references to other guides, either book or URL, are discouraged). That article's talk page has lengthy discussions explaining why this was done, proposals for change, etc. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:39, 22 March 2012 (EDT)
At what point did the credits (example) cease to be displayed at the bottom of Wikitravel articles? I always thought being able to see who had been working on the article recently was pretty cool (in addition to being an exemplary way of showing attribution). Without this feature—even so much as a link to it—we are no longer keeping our promise to attribute users' real names, for those who have chosen said manner of attribution.
Did we have a discussion about this, or did IB just unilaterally change the way we attribute users' work? --PeterTalk 04:27, 11 April 2012 (EDT)
I'll look into it-- I know it was not a conscious decision, because we'd have discussed it with the community. May just be a glitch. Any idea how long it's been like that?--IBobi 14:07, 11 April 2012 (EDT)
OK, here is the 411 on attributions: the feature is recommended "OFF" by Mediawiki. We switched it off (sorry -- this did not come down through channels to me) and that was the major factor in improving the site's performance and speed last month. So, once the MW upgrade is live and stable, we can always try turning it on again, and see how it affects performance & decide if the hit is worth having the attributions.--IBobi 14:23, 11 April 2012 (EDT)
That makes sense, and site performance should be a top priority (It's taking just forever to post this message). I'll note, though, that this really is essential information to discuss with the community. Not even notifying us is a pretty huge misstep (not hurling this at you personally). I do think we should restore at least a link to the credits section of each article, though, e.g., Please see the "article credits" for author attribution. And I should point out that that link is generating a database error right now... --PeterTalk 17:13, 13 April 2012 (EDT)
Sadly, I'm not well versed in the technical details, so I don't know if they'd see the credits by default or wouldn't see them at all. LtPowers 13:43, 15 April 2012 (EDT)
Without speaking out of turn, I believe we'd have resources for something like that, as it does not sound like a huge deal. Right now we have two techs working on WM upgrade and the booking tool, and we have them specced to work on WT for quite a while after that's complete. Let's see how the MW update affects performance, turn attributions back on as-designed, and revisit.--IBobi 13:32, 16 April 2012 (EDT)
We're working on a solution to get attributions back on the pages with minimal performance impact; however, if we need to turn them back on now we can. It will probably slow edits back down considerably, and maybe reads too. We just want to be as above-board as possible that we're going to resolve this one way or the other, attributions are going to return to and stay on Wikitravel, and our plan is to include them along with performance improvements under the new version of WM. But if the community prefers them to be on now, we can and will oblige without a problem. Fair enough?
The Article Al Riqqa
I was reading through the page articles needing attention and Al Riqqa came across my mind. Al riqqa is a district in Dubai, I suggest either we delete it and put all the information in Dubai or introduce distritification in the article so that Al Riqqa will be included.
I'm very concerned by the French version of this wiki : it seems that there is not anyone by there to ensure as a basic thing as ensuring that the pages about licenses describes the licence in the footnote. --ArséniureDeGallium 16:47, 23 April 2012 (EDT)
To my opinion, you should close Wikitravel in French, it is dead in all ways to think about it. --ArséniureDeGallium 16:52, 23 April 2012 (EDT)
There appears to still be active users on French Wikitravel, and fr:User:Joelf is still active as an administrator. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:08, 23 April 2012 (EDT)
Sure. In fact, when saying that, I was hoping someone would explain me I was wrong. --ArséniureDeGallium 20:42, 23 April 2012 (EDT)
I had the day off, and was looking forward to putting some real work into the New Orleans articles, but was completely unable to load even the main page (timeouts). Special:Recentchanges makes it clear enough that this wasn't true for everyone. Why does this happen? --PeterTalk 03:58, 25 April 2012 (EDT)
Well it was true for ME for much of the day. We had some firewall issues and an actual fire on the roof of our building that made it impossible for most staff to come to work yesterday and address the other issues. Things are still getting back to normal, but at least WT is up & running. Please report any lingering weirdness that may have begun yesterday. Thanks,--IBobi 14:08, 25 April 2012 (EDT)
FYI you *may* be seeing more of this today; i don't know how performance looks from outside, but there are more network glitches running around today. Sorry about that -- we'll lock it down as soon as we can.--IBobi 18:13, 30 April 2012 (EDT)
Ontopic or not? Page gathering information on possibilities to take bicycles on public transport.
Hi! Over at the (Swedish-language) Facebook group  and Facebook page  we were discussing to create a collection of information somewhere listing the possibilties (and lack-thereof) of taking a bicycle on Swedish trains, buses, etc. I wonder if that would be on-topic on Wikitravel? It would be one page listing for all of Sweden with what companies and on what lines it's possible to take a bicycle and where it's not. If possible we would make a map out of it. A wiki would be useful, we don't have one, and on Wikipedia it would be off-topic I think. What about Wikitravel? Does it fit? --Gerrit 17:08, 3 May 2012 (EDT)
Such an article might be a bit too limited in scope. It might be better to have an entire Bicycle travel in Sweden article that covers all aspects of bicycling. LtPowers 18:45, 3 May 2012 (EDT)
Templated See and Do listings
Hi there. I'm only a new 'WikiTraveler', but am a seasoned Wiki-editor with many years experience. I am hoping to make some big contributions to this site, but something has been bugging me lately. I find that the See and Do listings on some articles can get very messy and disorganised. I think if we were to organise this information into a template/table, this would be much better for viewers to decipher information from, and also improve the quality of our articles.
This has been proposed many years ago at Wikitravel_talk:Attraction_listings, but with little discussion or progress. It seems many other language WikiTravels do it. See here for a Japanese example. I understand we use WikiCode tags, and it could take a long time to convert every article to a template format. One option is to keep the WikiCode we use, but change how the system organises the info within the tags; from a jumbled text wall, to an organised table format. This would allow for a total revamp across the board, yet with minimal effort.
Any other thoughts, ideas or comments? Thanks, JamesA 08:56, 11 May 2012 (EDT)
One of the reasons the wikicode tags were used was to add the "edit" links to make it easier for non-technical contributors to add and edit listings. As far as I'm aware there would be no way to achieve similar functionality using templates. -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:30, 11 May 2012 (EDT)
Maybe this is just me... I feel like the Japanese presentation is a bit over the top, but I'd be quite happy just to add a bit more formatting to the current presentation. Just a bit of italics here and there, that kind of stuff. Most English-language print guidebooks do this, and I think it aids readability and makes it easy to spot when a listing is missing a piece of info. --BigPeteB 14:18, 11 May 2012 (EDT)
Our listings already use bold and italics. LtPowers 18:50, 11 May 2012 (EDT)
We do have a great system for adding listings. This system can easily be kept. What would be changed is where that information goes. There has to be a page somewhere (probably a MediaWiki: page) that organises the listing into the format it currently is, with the bold font, italics, etc. From a glance at this page, it seems User:IBobi handles the wiki's technical stuff, so maybe he would know how to change it.
The Japanese format does take it a step overboard with all the colours and pictures. We could always have a much more toned down version. I just feel the way it is now is really messy. Look at the opening times on the first listing here; it's all over the place. A possibility could be just to add more bold/italics/underlines, or even put some information on separate lines or dot points. Does anyone want to have a go at fixing it up? JamesA>talk 04:28, 12 May 2012 (EDT)
Yes, I know they already use some bold and italics... I was saying I think they could use a little more. --BigPeteB 10:15, 18 May 2012 (EDT)
Well, to be honest, I wouldn't know how to change them. But a good start would be creating a mockup. Wikitravel talk:Listings would be a good place to discuss the mockup once you create one. LtPowers 19:26, 18 May 2012 (EDT)
I certainly wouldn't want to see the listings become as colorful and complex as the ones on the Japanese site and I like the tag system we have now, but I think some minor tweaking couldn't hurt - putting the opening hours and the price info in italics, to further distinguish them from the description of the place, would really tidy up the presentation (whether this can actually be done I don't know, but I'm just throwing that out there). I really wouldn't want to see any more bolded text in the listings - as of now only the name of the place is bolded, and I like that because it highlights it and makes it easier on the eye when you're scanning an article looking for a specific listing. PerryPlanetTalk 10:31, 19 May 2012 (EDT)
We could make the phone number blink! LtPowers 13:35, 19 May 2012 (EDT)
Moving the hours to a separate line could be really useful. I think we could make them more readable:
International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, ☎ +1 202 393-7798, . 9AM-5PM or 9AM-6PM daily, last admission one hour before close. D.C.'s newest hot attraction's principal claim to fame among locals is the extraordinarily long line that usually winds out the doors (not to mention the high price tag). Its popularity, while a bit disproportionate given all the other great free museums in town, is not unwarranted—its exhibits are interesting to anyone even marginally interested in espionage and Cold War history, and it also has a great exhibit tailored specifically to kids.Adults: $20, seniors: $15, children (5-11): $15, 4 & under: Free.
International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, ☎ +1 202 393-7798, 1.
9AM-5PM or 9AM-6PM daily, last admission one hour before close.
D.C.'s newest hot attraction's principal claim to fame among locals is the extraordinarily long line that usually winds out the doors (not to mention the high price tag). Its popularity, while a bit disproportionate given all the other great free museums in town, is not unwarranted—its exhibits are interesting to anyone even marginally interested in espionage and Cold War history, and it also has a great exhibit tailored specifically to kids.
Good idea to take a fresh look at this. We'll have to wait until we have functional tech support, or the ability to do our own tech support, before we can implement this, but it's good to figure out what we want in the meantime. --PeterTalk 15:55, 19 May 2012 (EDT)
That's great, Peter! The separate lines makes it much easier to read the information, instead of it being a jumbled mess. Most travel guides do organise the info how we do it now, (all in one long spiel, rather than spaced out) but that's just because they need to fit all the info into a specific number of pages. We have much more room than books, so it makes sense that we make use of it and make the info easier to read for viewers. I'll do some perusing and see if I can find out how to edit the backend stuff. JamesA>talk 07:05, 21 May 2012 (EDT)
Excellent suggestion! Atsirlin 07:15, 21 May 2012 (EDT)
If anyone wants to have a go searching for how to modify the backend code that configures the layout, here may be a good start. That's a list of all the technical MediaWiki pages that can be tweaked. Some pages have the prefix "listing", which might be somehow relevant. But don't take my word for it; the page we need might not be there. JamesA>talk 09:02, 21 May 2012 (EDT)
Keep in mind that, despite the prevalence of mobile options in the modern era, making guides that can be easily and cheaply printed out is still one of our explicit goals. LtPowers 20:17, 21 May 2012 (EDT)
It is entirely possible to change the format for a printed guide, much like we do now for URL formatting. --Inas 20:27, 21 May 2012 (EDT)
Is that feature custom to Wikitravel, or a feature of MediaWiki? LtPowers 13:35, 23 May 2012 (EDT)
The alternate formatting for printable version is a MediaWiki feature. All it does is use a different (css) stylesheet for formatting. I'm pretty sure MediaWiki allows more of these stylesheets to be configured as preferences too. So in my understanding you could easily have a different style for printing than you have for online display, so we shouldn't let the printing bit constrain our thinking too much. After all, our online display currently has no URLs, so is inherently unsuited for printing. --Inas 19:29, 23 May 2012 (EDT)
There's been a week of inactivity, so is everyone content with just implementing Peter's version for the time being? There's no colour or pictures, simply a few extra lines and spaces, and it should be possible to keep the Printable version as-is. After implementation, we can re-discuss if there's any issues. I did a little search around to find the code we need to edit, but it's very complicated. It looks like Ajax and CSS were used, which is only editable by site admins/IB. The Listing Editor's code is here. The formatting of the listing is here. Original discussion here. While we're at it, we should add the 'email' option to the editor, which has been long missing. I guess we should file a tech-request then? JamesA>talk 23:21, 29 May 2012 (EDT)
Given the complexity of the change and the expansiveness of its effect, I'd prefer to see more discussion before we go making major changes. LtPowers 13:35, 30 May 2012 (EDT)
I would also like to see some more discussion on this before making a change. Listings have a variety of completeness and length of information, so depending on what is there, the above proposal could easily produce a very lopsided-looking listing like this:
International Butt Museum, 800 F St NW, ☎ +1 202 393-7798, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1.
Super awesome museum about butts. Great for people who have butts or would like to find out more about butts.
Is there a code that we could use that would only implement the multiple-line layout when a certain character/word count is reached? Sounds complicated to implement, though. JamesA>talk 05:42, 4 June 2012 (EDT)
That would result in an ugly (I think) situation with listings appearing in a random combination of the two formats. I think we would have to either go whole-hog, as ja: has done, or just leave it alone.texugo 12:53, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
A lot of links to this site have been posted in articles about various Chinese cities. I doubt this is an official airport site, but I'm not completely certain. If it's not, all such links should be deleted. Ikan Kekek 22:02, 25 May 2012 (EDT)
At the bottom of the page of http://www.airport-china.com are various advertising links to hotel booking sites and tour guides, there is also a statement of "Power by Lutu ltd.", whose own website states that:
Lutu Inc. is the one of the domestic company in China, which fully committed in the business of China Hotel Online Booking Service.
These links coupled with the .com rather than .cn top level domain suggest a commercial, rather than government, site.
Every time I'm monitoring the Recent Changes, I notice new users creating accounts then pasting some huge advertising spiel on their user/user talk pages. I understand advertising is completely disallowed, but are these pages meant to be outright deleted? If so, it may help if we had a template for 'Speedy deletions'. All the pages with the template would be put into a category where admins would just delete them without discussion, as they are blatant breaches of guidelines. Template:Vfd seems to only cover deletions that require discussion and consensus. I'll go ahead and create the template in the few days, if there are no objections, but wanted to also notify admins of the idea.
On an unrelated sidenote, I think the pub is definitely in need of a sweep of items that are at least 3 months old. Any objections to that? JamesA>talk
I don't think a separate template is needed as the VFD tag should be sufficient, and if a speedy deletion is warranted the nomination can state as much. However, for spambot-created pages no nomination is needed unless the page is overlooked - per Wikitravel:Deletion policy#Speedy deletion obvious candidates don't require a nomination as it adds extra overhead for nominating and archiving discussion ("New pages that are plainly spam and that qualify for speedy deletion will be deleted as soon as they are noticed by an administrator, and therefore do not need to be listed on the votes for deletion page. If such a page remains for more than 24 hours, add it to the nominations page as a way to ensure that it isn't overlooked."). -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:15, 3 June 2012 (EDT)
Yes, such user pages should be deleted, and I delete them whenever I see them. Ikan Kekek 18:20, 3 June 2012 (EDT)
The pub definitely needs more brooms! Please don't simply sweep everything into an archive, though. Discussions should be swept to the most relevant talk page, per the little sweeping guide at the top of this page. --PeterTalk 12:55, 3 June 2012 (EDT)
I didn't think it was necessary to list advertisement articles on the VfD page because, as Ryan said, it would involve extra nomination processes and archiving when discussion shouldn't be required. I considered letting an admin know on their talk page, but quite a few new pages popped up. Also, I'll sweep some old dust out of the pub later when I get a chance :) JamesA>talk 03:45, 4 June 2012 (EDT)
Introducing the Wikitravel API
Hey there. Just wanted to mention that I've gone and created an API for Wikitravel, for people who want to use Wikitravel data in other projects. It renders pages as hierarchical JSON objects, with wikimarkup rendered into simple HTML, and includes lists of subpages, geocoding of listings with addresses, etc. There's also a search API and the ability to search for pages and listings near a particular latitude and longitude. Please note, however, that it's very much a beta release; any feedback, suggestions, or bug reports would be most welcome! Rezendi 12:48, 4 June 2012 (EDT)
Mediawiki upgrade scheduled for 06-June-2012
Site will be READ-ONLY for up to 2 days while the upgrade is occurring.
If there are edits you'd like to make, please do so asap.
When the new site comes online, it will be on new hardware as well. Bug reporting is available here:
Eratic readings since crash at 5. Juni 2012 in German Wikitravel
Seit dem 7. Juni 2012 werden auf der Deutschen Seite von Wikitravel Informationen zu Sehenswürdigkeiten, Gastronomie und Unterkünften nur noch zum Teil angezeigt. Auch die Darstellung am Beginn eines Artikels hat sich zum Nachteil verändert. Die Hauptseite hat einen aktuellen Stand vom 22. Juni 2011, also fast ein Jahr alt. Auch die Artikelinformationen sind veraltet. Interessierte neue Autoren springen sehr schnell ab und gehen zu WV über. Dort werden sie herzlichst begrüßt und aufgenommen. Bei Wikitravel werden sie von einen nicht mehr aktiven Administrator gefrustet, der ihre Beiträge ohne Begründung löscht, anstatt ihnen Hilfe anzubieten.
Man bekommt den Eindruck Wikitravel ist gestorben und wird nicht mehr gepflegt. Es ist seit Januar 2012 kein aktiver Administrator mehr tätig. Die Wahl für neue Administratoren ist mangels Interesse gescheitert. Wie soll es weitergehen?
Please answer at the German Travellers' pub-Site. -- Knut 188.8.131.52 04:32, 8 June 2012 (EDT)
Upgrade to 1.17 complete
As you can see, we have completed the initial stage of the upgrade of the MediWiki software to v1.17, the most current version available when the upgrade began in November.
This has been an enormously complex endeavor, due to the huge size of the Wikitravel database and high level of visitor activity, as well as Wikitravel’s highly customized MediWiki version, consisting of a great many plugins.
The next phase is now in progress: bug reports and fixes. Inevitably in an upgrade of this size and complexity there will be bugs. They’ll be addressed as they are reported; the process started this morning.
Once we are convinced the new site is stable and fully functional, we’ll be able to tackle feature requests and bugs that were reported previously but that we could not address before the completion of the upgrade, and new feature requests that are just now available with this version of the software, such as InstantCommons. And now that the upgrade past 1.15 has been completed, future upgrades to 1.19 and beyond can and will be done in a far more efficient and timely manner.
Wikitravel is now running on a completely new hardware platform. When the cacheing process is complete, we expect significant increases in performance and stability compared to the previous version of the site. We also have a larger and more experienced technical team to address the needs of the site.
What this amounts to is a Wikitravel that is dramatically improved from a technical standpoint than it has been for the last few years. Coupled with the renewed community engagement between members and Wikitravel’s steward, Internet Brands, we have a recipe for longterm success with the technical aspects of the site, the ability of administrators to patrol edits, bug reporting and resolution, ease of contribution by writers, and above all usability for travelers around the globe.
Wikitravel would not be possible without the dedicated community of administrators and writers whose content and curation have made it the preeminent travel destination anywhere. We are very happy to have completed this hardware and software upgrade, and look forward to continuing to evolve the site, in partnership with this community, in the years to come.
We appreciate your patience and support during these last few months, as we have renewed our efforts to improve the site and energize the Wikitravel community. And we thank you for all you have done, both before and during Internet Brands’ stewardship. With nearly 2 million edits to almost 80,000 pages; over 70,000 registered users; and 7 million monthly visitors, there has never been a travel resource like Wiktravel. It is massive. It is unique. And it’s getting better by the day.
I sincerely hope at least the bugs that affect security will be fixed within a few hours. If you don't have a safe new version of the software, isn't it better to prevent editing until you do? Yes, performance is a huge issue, but the inability to block spammers is untenable. If I can suggest something for the next upgrade: You need software that recognizes obvious spam, because depending on volunteers to manually delete spam and block spammers is not likely to withstand the efforts of more and more spambots. Thanks, and sorry if I sound peeved, but spammers have been operated unblocked for several days now. All the best, Ikan Kekek 05:29, 11 June 2012 (EDT)
Hi Ikan, I am told the first round of bug fixes will be deployed in the next 24 hours. We've been working on site stability over the days since the update, and I am working hard to ensure that spam remediation -- including blocking users -- is prioritized. We know the manual removal of new spam accounts is arduous in the wake of this upgrade, and it is much, much appreciated by everyone. If I hear anything sooner, I will update here. Thank you,--IBobi 13:09, 11 June 2012 (EDT)
Does anyone else have an opinion on locking edits until the user blocking feature can be restored?--IBobi 15:06, 11 June 2012 (EDT)
I think we've been able to keep up with the spambots thus far, but it should definitely be a priority to get user blocking working again before the end of the day - at present we would have limited ability to deal with high-volume vandals, for example, and it's inevitable that they'll show before long. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:48, 11 June 2012 (EDT)
Any update on bug fixes? It's been five days since the upgrade went live, so any info on when (for example) user blocking will again be working would be very useful. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:10, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
When the far more serious issues such as those above have been dealt with it would be good to see a longer edit summary window return, that new short one is quite frustrating. cheers -- felix 13:14, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
I think that is user-selectable, Felix?--IBobi 15:26, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
Hi iBobi, I cannot find any setting in the user prefs, is it somewhere else? -- cheers felix 22:38, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
First set of bug fixes are coming tomorrow a.m. (June 14), and will include blocking. Thanks for your patience and greater efforts at patrolling edits necessitated by this week-long tool outage!--IBobi 15:26, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
Lots of fake Ikan Kekek usernames just created: . Time to prevent all edits by new users, or just shut down Wikitravel, period, right now. We won't like the results of allowing unblockable spammers and vandals to continue to run rampant, and we can wait till tomorrow (or whenever your bug fixes are actually operational) to start editing again. Ikan Kekek 20:50, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
If this sort of thing is going to continue unabated then lock down editing access completely until proper administrative functionality is restored. The world will not stop turning if editing functions are missing for a while, it might irritate or alienate a few new or casual editors who might run up against an editing block, but that is better than having the whole thing turned into a time consuming spam riddled and vandalised mess.--felix 22:38, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
en: has been unbelievably slow the last couple of days, far more than other language versions.texugo 11:02, 14 June 2012 (EDT)
I agree that IB should lock editing on :en, except perhaps for admins, until blocking functionality is restored. That this hasn't been fixed yet is troubling, and it cannot wait. --PeterTalk 11:15, 14 June 2012 (EDT) Looks like blocking functionality is back, although I haven't tested other language versions. Loading the block page is slow as a Ghanaian cook, though. --PeterTalk 11:44, 14 June 2012 (EDT)
Over on pt:, I'm starting to think that the spam blacklist isn't doing its job-- I put some domains in the list the other day, and I see today that they are still being allowed to be posted. Has anyone checked this here on en:? texugo 11:22, 14 June 2012 (EDT)
Blocking has started working on pt: too. texugo 12:30, 14 June 2012 (EDT)
It works on ru:, but many other things still do not-((( Atsirlin 15:33, 14 June 2012 (EDT)
I still am not able to mark many articles as patrolled. This is a problem that seems to randomly apply to some articles and not others, but it's been consistently a problem with perhaps 1/2 of unpatrolled articles at any given time since the update. What happens is that the articles show up in the "Recent changes" list as needing patrolling, but when I open them, there is no button to patrol them. That's not because anyone else has patrolled them: When I refresh the list, they still show up as unpatrolled. And if I edit them, the resulting version also shows up as unpatrolled in the "Recent changes" list but generally still does not have a patrol button when I open it. I am using Firefox 13.0.1 in a Windows XP environment, if that matters. Ikan Kekek 18:25, 24 June 2012 (EDT)
Same thing here. I believe the "Mark as patrolled" button doesn't appear when there is more than one edit to the article. Opera 12 on XP. Jjtk 04:21, 25 June 2012 (EDT)
At least for administrators (but I thought for all registered users?), it should, and used to before the upgrade. Ikan Kekek 04:40, 25 June 2012 (EDT)
It did, it broke after the upgrade. Jjtk 04:53, 25 June 2012 (EDT)
I haven't had any problem patrolling edits. LtPowers 11:42, 25 June 2012 (EDT)
Using "enhanced recent changes" from the preferences (which consolidates edits to the same article) I'm also unable to mark multiple edits as patrolled, although they can be patrolled singly. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:49, 25 June 2012 (EDT)
I've been using those enhanced changes. Ikan Kekek 17:51, 25 June 2012 (EDT)
This is now fixed, so we can get back to the beat. I have noticed that, on occasion, the marked as patrolled link is hiding at the bottom right of the page (as with new pages). I don't know why, but it shouldn't be a big deal, if people know about it. --PeterTalk 13:55, 6 July 2012 (EDT)
Breadcrumb Navigation not working on fr:
Hi, thanks for the upgrade. However the breadcrumb navigation on fr: seems broken. It works on en: and nl: and I don't see any modification in Template:IsPartOf. Any idea? joelf
It seems fixed now. Thanks IB people! Joelf
OpenID not working
Also, login on en: using OpenID from fr: and URL fr:user:joelf doesn't seem to work either. Thanks for your help. joelf
No problems here. Maybe it's fixed? LtPowers 13:16, 18 June 2012 (EDT)
Now I can get to the Shared main page, after a considerable wait, but I still can't reach the page I want to change: []. texugo 13:50, 18 June 2012 (EDT)
Amtrak logo for routeboxes - fair use?
I would like to integrate American rail travel into our routebox navigation, but first I need to come up with some 100x25 route icons to use. Obviously I could come up with some generic train symbol to use, but ideal would be to use Amtrak's wave symbol on the left with the route name on the right. The Amtrak logo is trademarked, and I do not know if this would constitute fair use, or if not, whether it would be desirable enough to attempt to get permission to create such derivative icons. Does anyone have an informed opinion on this? texugo 10:29, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
I definitely think it would be permitted under Fair Use, per usage at Wikipedia. The problem is, though, that we don't allow copyrighted images under Fair Use ;) I agree, though, that it would be a shame not to use it—maybe we could come up with some other justification? --PeterTalk 10:37, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
Hmmm.. Do you have any ideas on that? texugo 11:20, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
None at present ;) In the meantime, how does this look?
We would need to modify policy in order to make use of the copyrighted logo. One option might be to use Amtrak's old logo (wikipedia:File:AmtrakLogo.png), which I would argue is uncopyrightable. Other than that, just stick with the wordmark in appropriate colors, as Peter did. On another note, how do we work train routes with routeboxes? Do we link all destinations, or only those at which the train actually stops? (Tangentially, I would suggest creating a combined icon for routes with a lot of overlap like Empire Service/Maple Leaf.) LtPowers 14:56, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
OK, thanks. I took what you did and made a mock-up icon for each train line they have. I just updated the same .svg you uploaded. Please have a look and tell me what you think! texugo 22:49, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
LtPowers, that's a good idea about making combined icons for routes with overlap-- can you suggest exactly which ones might need that?
We should only link the destinations at which it stops-- it does no good for a traveller to know that some train passes through without stopping where they are. We have already implemented the main train lines pretty well for our Japan articles. You might want to have a look. texugo 22:55, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
It wouldn't do me much good to look at Japan because I'm not familiar with the geography of the area. =) I also don't know exactly which routes overlap; I know that Empire Service and Maple Leaf are the same except for Maple Leaf going to Toronto, but beyond that I'm clueless. LtPowers 13:09, 20 June 2012 (EDT)
By the way, I re-exported your Northeast Express icon from the SVG to fix some font sizing issues, but I'm having trouble forcing the thumbnails to regenerate. LtPowers 13:24, 20 June 2012 (EDT)
In the northeast corridor, it would probably be useful to have combined icons for Vermonter/Acela/Northeast Regional. The Vermonter and Northeast Regional share all the same stops (I believe) from D.C. through NYC before splitting. The Acela follows the same route as the Northeast Regional (and hence the Vermonter through NYC), but makes fewer stops. --PeterTalk 13:27, 20 June 2012 (EDT)
I don't understand why we would see using the Amtrak logo as ideal. Surely that sends us down a slope of wanting to use each railway system logo around the world. There are literally hundreds of these, and some are going to want to enforce their trademarks. Stick to generic, I say. --Inas 00:52, 22 June 2012 (EDT)
Problems with the search/go function
There seems to be something wrong with the search function. No matter what I type in there the search result is always the same:
"No such special page
You have requested an invalid special page.
A list of valid special pages can be found at Special pages.
Return to Main Page."
Ypsilon, you beat me on time ;-) I have the same problem and can't search for articles. Jc8136 05:27, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
I just had that problem while looking for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Of course, when I clicked the list of Special pages, it wasn't there, yet I found it by going to an off-site web search. Ikan Kekek 05:39, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
Go was working fine (that is, if you typed an article name exactly) until recently; I suspect they broke it when they were trying to fix Search. LtPowers 10:25, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
This is too important a problem to let readers sit in the dark about, so I have updated the SiteNotice to direct people to... Google. --PeterTalk 12:39, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
Nice move. I can't believe they won't even respond for something so important. Oh, wait.. yes, I can. texugo 12:48, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
I've reported this to our tech team. Please keep in mind that we are on the US West Coast and will generally be able to respond to issues according to that time zone difference; it's just morning here. Thank you,--IBobi 13:22, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
Now it's working again. Thanks! Ypsilon 07:18, 27 June 2012 (EDT)
Let's be clear. Go is working, but Search is still not working properly. Currently it does perform a search, but it spews forth every resulting page in its entirety in raw text form. Try searching for "New York" and see what I mean. texugo 10:12, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
What's the desired result for a search?--IBobi 13:43, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
It should return a list of results with only a 2-3 line excerpt of the article content (not including wiki markup) from the beginning of each result's article.texugo 13:52, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
My understanding is that this is the way MW 1.17 handles search results; it is fundamentally different from the old 1.11 version.--IBobi 15:44, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
OK, so we have altered the way search displays so that it is a small 2-3 line digest of each result; the raw code as part of the results is a different matter, and we're looking into it.--IBobi 16:12, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
FYI once we change this for all users, you can still go to your settings and go to the default setting if you want to see the full article in your search results.--IBobi 16:32, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
I may be mistaken about the part about not showing raw text. Another thing though, I do think that the search used to default to content pages only, not everything all mixed with talk pages, user pages, etc. Please compare with the search on pt:, where everything seems to be working as it did before. I cannot really imagine a situation in which a user would find it useful for the entire article to appear on the results page in one giant block like that. It's ugly and often requires one to scroll quite a bit between result listings.texugo 18:00, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
POTALA INN, LITANG Sichuan China, DON'T GO!
<removed by LtPowers>
Please add your information to the Litang travel article (click on the link, as the search function seems to be broken) because future travelers to the town will look for it there, not here. You should also boil it down to a few sentences. Ypsilon 08:10, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
Yes, but I looked at the entry for the guesthouse out of curiosity and they weren't the first ones to complain about the service and the cleanliness. Googling the place gives even more negative reviews... And I guess there aren't very many places to choose from in the town, and according to the description it's centrally located too. So IMO this is one of the cases where travelers should be warned. Ypsilon 08:09, 27 June 2012 (EDT)
I removed the positive listing from the article. I would think that if they are using the internet to find accommodation, and they come here and aren't satisfied with any of the other 6 options we do list, then they would be fairly likely to look elsewhere online and encounter said negative reviews. You won't find commercial printed wasting space with such negative reviews either.texugo 11:55, 27 June 2012 (EDT)
InstantCommons now enabled
Here's a bit of a bright spot in our messy upgrade: InstantCommons is enabled! This means you can add images from Commons to Wikitravel articles without having to re-upload them here. All you need do is add a thumbnail as usual (e.g., [[File:Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.jpg|thumb|270px|Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery]]). It will then show up properly in the article, and will have a shadow page of sorts here (e.g., File:Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.jpg), analogous to how our software handles images from Shared.
To see this in action, check out Arlington (Virginia), to which I just added 10 Commons images, without the huge amount of work that used to entail! --PeterTalk 23:05, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
Awesome, super useful. Now, what is it that we don't have that allows one to directly display an .svg file on WP? If we had that functionality too, we could more easily import route icons without having to open them in Inkscape, save a .png, and upload it to Shared. Is that something we can get enabled here? texugo 23:27, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
Ooh, good point about route icons. (It will still be important to export maps to PNG, for the purpose of allowing translation layers within SVGs.) Yes, we have the capability, provided we can get IB to add two lines to the config file... The instructions are here, and I assume the renderer to use would be rsvg, as that is what the WMF projects all use. --PeterTalk 00:35, 27 June 2012 (EDT)
Let me see what I can do.--IBobi 13:46, 27 June 2012 (EDT)
Should be done guys -- can you test?--IBobi 13:31, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
I'm not seeing any difference. When an .svg is put in an image tag, it simply shows the filename as a link, e.g. . texugo 14:20, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
Well color me surprised! I assume our image use policies will not change as a result? It might make it more difficult to enforce, though. LtPowers 09:01, 27 June 2012 (EDT)
I suppose the main policies that will see changes are just about which files should be uploaded to Shared, and which to Commons. I think it is probably worth keeping our maps hierarchy separate. There also may be cases in which we want to use files locally that Commons doesn't consider free enough for global use (pictures of statues, for example). --PeterTalk 11:12, 27 June 2012 (EDT)
I just tried to add the coat of arms of Zeeland to the province article, but unfortunately, they forgot to turn on svg support. I hope they fix that soon! :-) --Kim Bruning 01:28, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
Are we using __TOC__ <div> </div> __TOC__ <div> </div>
I have seen this mark-up in a couple of articles today, are we using this image floating mark up here? -- felix 01:34, 27 June 2012 (EDT)
You'll also notice a parenthetical number next to many of them e.g. "(175)" -- this refers to the internal technical problem report assigned to each and will help us track them.
If you see "Fixed" next to an issue you reported, please test it; if it's resolved, remove your bug from the list. If it is unresolved, please explain.--IBobi 15:22, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
We have addressed and fixed all bugs reported since the 1.17 upgrade. Please review any you have reported and if they are still occurring, report them on the upgrade page (and unmark them as "resolved" or "fixed") and we'll readress them.--IBobi 19:44, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
I currently can't seem to reach much of anything on Shared except the main page. Recent changes, the pub, random images, etc. all either time out or return a SQL error. What is going on there? texugo 15:43, 29 June 2012 (EDT)
Something is wrong. I got the database error (shared:Tech:Database lock timeout) on the recent changes page a few minutes ago, but it seems to be working now. The spider I run that attempts to keep a backup of images has been getting error responses on nearly every request (after ten minutes of waiting) since late last night. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:06, 29 June 2012 (EDT)
I have been editing Shared all day with no issues. There was a minor access blip on Shared and the regular site for a few minutes early this morning, but it's been fine since.--IBobi 19:08, 29 June 2012 (EDT)
semi-problem logging in
I seem to be able to log in, and when editing my changes are saved under my name, but while navigating it keeps saying "Log in / create account" in the upper right corner, instead of "Justme - My talk - My preferences" etc. As soon as I start editing I do see all those account-related options. Does anyone know why that is? Justme 12:09, 1 July 2012 (EDT)
Yup, chronic problems with caching. This particular problem has been around for, yikes, something like 5-6 years, but is rearing its ugly head a little extra post upgrade. IB claims to be looking into it, as you'll see here. --PeterTalk 13:38, 1 July 2012 (EDT)
Oh, I see. Hadn't encountered this specific bug yet. Thanks for the quick reply. Justme 14:12, 1 July 2012 (EDT)
Get Out is on the way out
Hi folks... if you haven't seen it, we've got a poll on options to change the name of our "Get out" sections to something less confusing. This will be a widespread change, so we want as much input as possible on it.
As a somewhat minor contributor, have no objection to changing the section title to something better. Would suggest the new title consider that the section may be used by folks also looking for nearby sites to visit on day-trips while using the main locale as a base. Hennejohn 18:01, 5 August 2012 (EDT)
Wikitravel still glacially slow?
Does anyone else feel that the site is basically just as slow as before the MediaWiki upgrade? This is the one thing that I most hoped the upgrade would fix, but it seems to me that things load just as slowly as before, especially here on en:, where I get to wait 15 seconds or more for even important pages like Recent Changes. texugo 12:16, 3 July 2012 (EDT)
It took just over a minute to load the diff of your edit from the recent changes page for me. While the slowness could be due to any number of reasons, there was some suspect editing activity earlier today (see User talk:Pranavk) and there has been a known Linux issue affecting many, many servers since 30-June - see http://lwn.net/Articles/504657/ (that issue affected my home server and slowed it down massively). No clue whether either of those issues have any relevance to the current problems on Wikitravel, but something has definitely made things significantly slower lately. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:39, 3 July 2012 (EDT)
WT is running on a brand new set of servers, one of which was replaced shortly after the upgrade was complete. Today the replacement machine was down for a short period of time but all is well now. What sorts of read/edot speeds are you experiencing yourself?
Also FYI on Thursday 7/5/2012 we are switching to a new cacheing service that ought to result in improved overall performance (read & edit) and several bug fixes.--IBobi 19:14, 3 July 2012 (EDT)
WT remains slow espcially when loading pages or initally starting to access WT. It's better compared to yesterday but still pretty slow compared to history.Jc8136 09:10, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Things have been faster for me by a factor of about ten since late yesterday afternoon. Prior to that I was seeing page load times of up to a minute and occasional timeouts. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:35, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Wikitravel is operating just as quickly, if not moreso, than Wikipedia for me. LtPowers 10:29, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Agreed. Seems to have returned to normal here too. texugo 14:12, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
A project for anyone who wants to help
I've been playing with Special:LinkSearch, which I assume to be a new feature since the upgrade, since I've never noticed it before. At any rate, it makes it pretty easy to spot hundreds of links which are not permitted in the main namespace by our external links policy. After eliminating a few dozen of them, I decided to appeal for help from anyone looking for something to do. Here are a few of the searches I tried:
tex, not today but i have a conference upcoming, where i'm going to be definitely need to look busy ;-) Jc8136 03:15, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Tex, it ain't easy to find the links. I tried Yerevan and i see Troll Pub but it has not ext.link. The search for Facebook results nothing. Jc8136 03:21, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Nifty tool! Several of the above searches might turn up legitimate links, though. Facebook, MySpace, and even Wordpress are more commonly used as websites for obscure little guesthouses than you might think. --PeterTalk 03:31, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Agreed. I think we should alter slightly the policy to include the possibility of a blog or fb page being allowed when they are the only official web presence of a business. Jjtk 03:50, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
What if the future looked like this?
Three separate discussions about allowing Facebook links,
web/email format, and redesigning our templated listings format have got me thinking how we can update or modernize the way we present our information, and I've come up with a tentative proposal. It's really less a proposal and more just me throwing some ideas around, so I'm open to debate on any of the multiple points this will introduce, but I think the general idea is worth considering. Before I lay out the proposed changes though, I'd like to make some points and detail some reasoning behind the proposal.
Social networking as contact information - Since WT started, social networking has grown drastically in importance as a means of communication, in some cases being now more important than phone numbers or emails, and surely in all cases more relevant than telegram fax.
Facebook - As the Facebook discussion points out, many establishments have only Facebook as their web presence, and consensus seems to be leaning towards allowing them in such cases. Even for those who have also a normal website, Facebook may provide a more convenient way of contact for travellers, since a huge portion of our users also have Facebook accounts.
Twitter - Hasn't been discussed, but since Wikitravel has started, Twitter has taken over the web, and many many establishments have a twitter account, many users are bound to have accounts, and Twitter makes a more convenient avenue of communication for some than phone calls, full emails, etc. Twitter is especially popular with smaller accommodation owners, local restaurants, bars, music venues, and recreational activity providers, and even many mainstream attractions such as museums and festivals have an account.
Skype - Many smaller restaurants and accommodations (e.g. hostels) have Skype accounts which would provide travellers with a free international phone call or text consultation. I know that I, for one, would be far more likely to call via Skype to book a room at a foreign destination than I would to call international long-distance via landline.
Grouping all contact information - Within a listing, contact information should all be grouped together. As an aside, I will throw in the bold assumption that fax info can be eliminated as a now-outdated mode of communication unlikely to be used by travellers. For the purposes of this proposal, then, contact information will be taken to mean:
Address, including directions, if any
Facebook business page
Accepting the above definitions as reasonable and assuming we can set up the templates to do what we want, the tentative proposition is simply this:
We separate all the contact information, either into a separate column on the right or on a fresh line under the rest, leaving the lead to go directly from the name into the description, followed by hours and price.
In the contact info part, the address and phone number are written out. Everything else gets just a small linked icon unless you print the page.
Template fiddling, spacing, which icon to use, how images are incorporated into such sections, etc. can all be worked out later, but I made mock-ups of a couple of layout ideas. I tried to include examples with an assortment of information quantities to approximate how it would look with the completeness of an average article.
Anyway, I'd like to call for your general comments and opinions, so... what if the future looked like this? :
I don't know how to artificially display our standard bullet points and cannot make functioning icon links, so please use your imagination. Also, if you know how, feel free to mess around with the messily-coded mock-ups and/or make new ones, but please do so on a different page so these will be here for others to look at.texugo 17:54, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
I think these are some good ideas. I'd support the removal of 'fax', but I notice you've also removed 'alt' phone. A lot of Asian/African countries have multiple phone numbers, due to unpredictable landline connections. Some smaller businesses also give the option of mobile or landline; whichever is cheaper, or working. Therefore, I think that should stay. Facebook, Twitter and Skype accounts are a good idea, but we'd need to be careful about linking to "official" accounts, and not someone's fanpage. I'm leaning towards something along the lines of Mock layout 1, as it separates the information into where it belongs, whereas the others shove things like trading hours, price and descriptions. Mock layout 3 could be good if the left column was widened. One option could be automatic column width, so that if the left column gets a lot of text from things like directions, it would be wide, whereas if all it had was titles, it'd be narrow. But very nice work overall. JamesA>talk 06:45, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
FWIW, I didn't intentionally leave out alt phone numbers. I just didn't think of them because they're are very rare in the vast majority of articles.texugo 08:42, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I made a similar proposal at DE WV. Of course we implemented do, see and eat tags, but we use mainly a template named vCard. A template is more flexible and could easily be changed without programming. We use a template master to make the data entry simple but I hope that new Mediawiki versions will have its own graphical tool. By the way I prefer the first variant. --Unger 01:41, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I agree with your assessment of the third mock up and have widened the left column somewhat. I also think that one would look slightly better if both the telephone number and the icons were on the same line but with the number left-aligned and the icons right-aligned (but still in the first column), instead of taking up two separate lines. texugo 11:39, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I cannot speak to the prevalence of fax as means of communication in certain areas; it seems like it might still be used in some places, but I can't say for sure. Is there any harm in leaving it? Phoneextra is also useful for TDD/TTY numbers, though those are also going by the wayside. LtPowers 12:26, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
The only harm it does is to work against economy of space. I just have a hard time imagining that more than the rarest of travellers would even consider sending a fax to make a dinner reservation or inquire about hotel vacancies these days, especially to/in a foreign country. Even in Asian countries where they are still more common, I think they are mostly used for inter-business purposes.texugo 13:13, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I work in many countries. Fax really has died over the last 5 years, so I do not think it is a problem to drop it completely. If absolutely necessary somewhere, it could be put in as part of the text. I like mock up 3! However, I am not convinced of the value of adding Twitter. There is a risk of too many icons littering a page.Davidbstanley 11:27, 6 July 2012 (EDT)
For fax (along with alt, checkin/checkout, and several other tags), I think we should just nix it from the listings editor, but keep it available if someone in the know wants to add it, for the relatively rare exceptions that would see them as useful.
I think adding facebook/twitter information is the right way to go, as businesses put out a lot of really useful information through both. Hopefully we could create something more generic, though, to include other microblogs and personal social networking page sites. (Evan  hasn't yet dethroned Twitter, but I'm bullish on destroying Facebook .) I can't comment on skype—haven't yet worked it into my travel bag of tricks.
Texugo, I really like your first mockup—awesome stuff! It would be good to make the hours stand out even more, though, as they are arguably the most important reference information we include. Maybe italics? Or color?
Unger, does your template work with the listings editor? Keeping the listings editor will be crucial if we ever do launch into the yesteryear age of online editing... --PeterTalk 16:04, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I'm poking around clker.com (PD icons), and found some that either would be great looking imported as is, or which I could edit a bit. For urls,  is pretty nice. I could fix up one of these to make it look a little tweetier , and could try to fix one of these for social networking profiles . Our email icon is fine, but these are a bit snappier . Adding an hours icon (basically any clock) could be another good way to highlight the ever-important hours field. --PeterTalk 16:20, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I'm also partial to mock-up 1, and I totally agree about italicizing the hours. I've gone ahead and done that on the mock-up, and it works well to set that info apart from the description. As to icons, I'll get back to you on that, but I was basically just shooting to find ones that have the same background shape (couldn't find one for Skype). I'm leaning toward making the icons for facebook, twitter, and skype clearly indicate what they are though and wouldn't really like to use a generic that doesn't at least indicate something similar to their own icon. I like the idea for a clock icon, and I considered using one to replace our little phone symbol. It would be nice to mock up some stylistically matching sets of all the necessary icons since they'd always be sitting next to each other in random combinations. Anyway, choosing specific icons would be its own discussion if consensus gets behind this idea.texugo 16:53, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
One thing I'm noticing is that the price info can get a little lost at the end of the hours line (which can vary wildly in length). Perhaps move it back to the end of the description, and bold it? Or we could have the price range follow a more eye-catching dollar icon? --PeterTalk 17:49, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I like the layouts, Mock Layout 3 makes the address easy to find in a list of places, which is good in larger cities where maybe I am looking for somewhere to eat in the North side of the city. However I am not so sure about generally adding Facebook and Twitter links. If a business uses Facebook as its main internet presence then this can just go in place of a web address. I would not expect to look at Twitter as my first contact with a business, more as a way of staying in touch with somewhere that I already use. There may be the odd exception like an airport that tweets departure information, but then I think that we should take the trouble to say what is being tweeted. Unless devices are common that can only look at Facebook / Twitter and not web pages, then I think that the traveller should be directed to whatever is the best first point of contact and can then find other links from there (which helps to avoid getting fan pages added).AlasdairW 18:54, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
Here's a bored half hour's worth of icon work from someone who probably isn't too good at this kind of thing... Anyway, they are of even width & height, and conform in a very loose way to our usual color scheme!
Like 'em? FTS? Suggestions? Anyone want an SVG of this? --PeterTalk 19:13, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I appreciate the effort, Peter, but I gotta admit the icons don't mean anything to me. A couple I can figure out with some concentration, but icons like these need to be immediately recognizable to be useful. LtPowers 22:24, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I'd disagree with that sentiment, if not the criticism of the icons, since you can always just hover your mouse over an icon to see what it's about. In any rate, our current footnote looking things aren't immediately recognizable! --PeterTalk 23:22, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
Facebook I am concerned about the concept of Facebook linking. To include Facebook potentially opens a quite large can of worms in regard to patrolling. We have had plenty enough problems with @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com and @gmail.com email addresses. Especially in the 3rd world many providers use common domain email addresses, or use them as a back up secondary email address. In some regions (especially the Indian sub-continent) every time someone changes one of these addresses they need to be checked to ensure it is not a hijack attempt. This phenomena is particularly common in the Indian articles but appears elsewhere as well. It has occasionally been suggested we should eliminate these common domain email addresses from the articles. This is not practical as many quite legitimate and substantial providers use them. It would be unfair to a large body of providers and disadvantageous to travellers to eliminate them. Unless the provider is well known to the patrolling editor, or the common domain email address is published on the providers website or another authoritative source then it is often difficult and time consuming to determine legitimacy. Sometimes an extensive examination of edit histories is required to determine the bona-fides of the editor changing or adding the common domain contact.
☯To add Facebook listings to this mix seems to be asking for more trouble. Though it is of course understood that many traders do use Facebook accounts I have noted many Facebook accounts appear to be name holders, similar in a way to registering a common domain name email address, or a domain name similar to that of a trader or product, and then sitting on it either to block use of it or to gain some advantage by selling it or using it to divert business to someone other than the principal business.
☯Perhaps we need to consider if FB is really even accepted as a formal communication vehicle, or is it more one of tagging and maintaining existing customer connection through often vacuous self promotion. I have also noticed that for many small operators a common domain email address and a Facebook account is their only web presence. Anecdotally it appears that Facebook does not work well for many third world tourism providers. Many small operators tell me they do not believe it provides them any tangible business opportunity and it is email, SMS, Telephone, Skype and positive Tripadvisor recommendations and referral that are far more important to their activities
☯The previous discussions concerning FB seem to have hovered over the idea of 'business' Facebook accounts being linked. For those who might use a Facebook account in replacement of a business website we must consider if they are really likely to use a revenue account with FB, it seems unlikely, therefore we are setting ourselves a near impossible task of assessing the 'commercial' relevance of individual FB accounts that may be associated with a business operator. There is also the issue of inactive FB accounts. Some people tire of the medium and neglect it, so if we link to an account such as this we are potentially adding a dead end contact.
☯Perhaps our endeavours would be better applied to ensuring the existing contact methods are accurate rather having our efforts diverted into an added burden of further account verification demands arising from FB and Twitter accounts and the questionable virtues of supporting a commercial opportunity for either IB, Facebook or Twitter arising from providing such links in the articles and then patrolling them for consistency and legitimacy.
☯I am unconvinced of the benefit to the project and not at all keen to commit my own time toward refining a potential revenue stream derived from FB clicks or the data mining and correlation models operated by FB and Twitter.
☯I am raising this here as I note the Wikitravel:External links guideline on this has been modified recently. Perhaps this requires a little more scrutiny, especially in regard to the potential outcomes in regions with a history of contact hijacking and also in regard to our own participation in developing the Facebook and Twitter commercial models by facilitating WT linking.
Twitter seems to be reliant upon an always-on connectivity, this is irrelevant to much of the world, I think we should be wary of viewing the world through a lens narrowed by the hype of always-on connectivity. Also I wonder why we are allowing these 3rd party commercial links into the body of the article, we should not forget the core function of enterprises such as FB, it is to collect, collate, control and commercially disseminate data for commercial gain, it is not a benign vehicle of communication.
Skype linking is a different thing, I thoroughly support that and it would be good to see a listing field added to the standard format asap. As for adding an icon for that, great idea. Skype is a service commonly used and very popular with travellers.
Alt phone this should stay as it is essential to list more than one phone contact in some regions and PABX systems are rare in many 3rd world environments, I don't think it requires an icon though.
Fax is difficult, some still use it for payment authorities and many banks and insurance companies will insist on faxing documents and will not accept email communications, having the number readily at hand in a WT article may assist the traveller in circumstances such as these so maybe it should remain as listing text detail, but not have an icon. --felix 23:41, 6 July 2012 (EDT)
I certainly agree with negative sentiments regarding Facebook. But, small businesses—even those that have a real webpage—often update their personal facebook page with important information more frequently. In my endless search for details belonging in listings, I often cannot find hours information for small boutique restaurants, or current event listings for nightclubs or rock venues without looking into their Facebook page. Microblogs, such as those on Twitter, are a similar deal for finding current events. --PeterTalk 12:36, 7 July 2012 (EDT)
Shared repository message
When you visit an image page on en: for a file hosted on shared, you get a message that "This file is from a shared repository. Visit it's file description page.." etc. When did that message turn into a hot pink eyesore? Can we change it do something a little less jolting? texugo 23:35, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
Did I miss a holiday today or something? The only time I've seen so few edits in recentchanges has been on Christmas! --PeterTalk 23:05, 7 July 2012 (EDT)
Some of the more prodigiouseditors seem to be missing today. And the number of contributions seem to generally have been lower since the upgrade - some folks probably wandered off temporarily due to various upgrade bugs and should return as things stabilize. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:28, 7 July 2012 (EDT)
Maybe. It's weird though—I just patrolled the entire day's edits in 15 minutes. --PeterTalk 23:45, 7 July 2012 (EDT)
I suspect I'm not the only one who sees little point in working on WT while we wait for the hammer to drop... jpatokal 22:55, 9 July 2012 (EDT)
Regardless of outcomes, I still want things in good shape here. The fact that I cannot block bots or delete pages right now frustrates that desire. --PeterTalk 01:48, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Am I the only one then, who repeatedly could not reach Wikitravel, today and yesterday? I got the "Wikitravel has a problem" message. Maybe others had the same. Justme 08:39, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
There were scattered outages yesterday due to the cacheing change reported on Shared. Are you still having trouble editing? I made an edit with no issue.--IBobi 14:53, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
I can edit with Chromium on the same PC, and Firefox on a different pc (same IP, different Firefox version), so I guess the issue is with Firefox 3.6.24? --PeterTalk 17:01, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Sounds likely. I'm on FF 13.0.1, so it's just possible some new updates left your ancient version behind finally?--IBobi 17:06, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Peter, tech recommends you remove ALL cookies and hard refresh; it may have cached something wonky. They're looking into potential conflicts with that FF version.--IBobi 17:26, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
I'm able to edit as normally as of this evening EST! --PeterTalk 18:42, 12 July 2012 (EDT)
Suggestion: Guidelines for Accommodations (price)
During my trip to (Southeast-)Asia I experienced often the situation that the budget and mid-range section where totally mixed up. Maybe it would be good to have a rough guideline for each place to sort the accommodations according to the price. —The preceding comment was added by Askingcat (talk • contribs)
Is that true? Should every sleep (and eat) section have one? Because most of our star articles don't, I think. --PeterTalk 10:49, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Well, every bottom-level (leaf-node) article. At least, that's what I thought. LtPowers 13:03, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Hi! I'm new to Wikitravel (in the meaning of adding information). I would like to make suggestion, although probably it was discussed before on this page. I think it will be very convenient to have GPS coordinates near titles of places, especially in the See section. When I go to new place, usually I print relevant Wikitravel page and having coordinates there will be very helpful. Also it could very helpful to have linked appropriate Google map to the article, but probably it is out of scope of the project.
While I understand the nobody is able to add magically coordinates in the one moment, it would be nice to mention this somewhere in guidelines (if it is not yet) --DixonD 10:27, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
You can find more information on the topic at Wikitravel:Geocoding. If you have ideas as to how those coordinates can best be displayed and utilized, please leave a message on the talk page! LtPowers 13:05, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Also see Wikitravel:Geographical data and metadata. For adding geo data to listings, that's actually pretty easy, so long as they are properly formatted with our listings tags. For a completely random example, look at Slough#See and click on the edit link at the end of the listing. In the listing editor that comes up, you can enter the coordinates into the lat and long fields.
We used to have the ability to use special:mapstraction to pull up a Google Maps view of the article destination, but that doesn't seem to be functional now. In any rate, it wasn't that helpful, and probably just distracts from our mapmaking goals, which stress keeping the maps on-site, so that articles are easy to print and use on the go. In the not-yet-foreseeable future, one of our goals is to auto-generate maps of our listings on maps imported from OpenStreetMap, which shares our CC license. --PeterTalk 13:30, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Bugs, feature requests, and the future of Wikitravel
I can't for the life of me find the discussion in which we were talking about having the ability to up/down-vote and to mark-as-correct listings, with a trusted class of reviewers and editors. Does anyone know what happened to it? --PeterTalk 16:25, 11 July 2012 (EDT)
Today, email notifications have been enabled. The feature defaults to "off" so you will not receive any until you switch it on and confirm your email in your User Profile.--IBobitalkemail 13:45, 27 July 2012 (EDT)
FYI for those not following Shared, this changed basically has disabled email without notice for all users who registered prior to 27 July 2012. To re-enable yours, use Special:ConfirmEmail and be sure to update your email preferences to enable only those notifications that you actually want.
This is a big problem, though, in that the vast majority of our past and present users are not following pub discussions, and will not know that their Wikitravel email functionality has been disabled. Please also see wts:Tech:Enable Email Verification and Notification. --PeterTalk 18:54, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
It looks as though this issue has been fixed, and that email is working fine once more. --PeterTalk 23:55, 6 August 2012 (EDT)
You're shown as the author of User:Chen47vk7, which is a spambot page. Any idea what's going on? Is this another upgrade bug? -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:09, 14 July 2012 (EDT)
When I tried logging in earlier, I got a message that (I think) said something about being prevented from logging in to prevent account being compromised or something like that. The time of those edits is about the time I logged in (or tried to). I'm on a public wi-fi network...maybe that has something to do with that? AHeneen 16:15, 14 July 2012 (EDT)
You're the second "normal" account I've seen today that had a spambot page created. It may be an upgrade bug, but if you see that message again can you copy it and add it to this thread? -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:01, 14 July 2012 (EDT)
Today after clicking the "log in" in the upper right, then entering my username & password and hitting enter, I got the screen at right. I think what I did on the 14th was re-enter my password at this screen, after which I got the message I mentioned about being compromised or something like that. This time I clicked the WT image in the top right to return to the homepage, where I was still "logged in" as this spambot (?). I just closed the window (my Firefox setting is to clear cookies when exiting) and came back to WT to log in...without incident. These two instances are the only two times I've ever seen this message...my browser should accept cookies. Using my home internet this time. Maybe this is a bug. (BTW:Message is in a grey box because I highlighted it to copy/paste, but then decided to capture a screenshot with the message still highlighted). AHeneen 05:49, 16 July 2012 (EDT)
I got the log in error message in the second screenshot when I tried to log in today...the same one I got the first time. Happened in the same way as the last two times: clicked on "log in" from WT homepage, entered by username & password on the following page and hit enter. Again, notice that I appear to be logged in as a spambot. This time I entered my password on this page and clicked "log in", but checking my "user contributions" it doesn't look like any spam edits have been made by my account. AHeneen 22:39, 16 July 2012 (EDT)
There was a bug fixed in Mediawiki 1.17.2 that apparently would allow a script running on your machine to "steal" session information - if you're on Windows, do you run a virus scanner? Otherwise you might want to try clearing cookies and see if the problem goes away. Alternately, it's possible that a malicious Google ad or something similar could be stealing session info via the aforementioned bug. For what it's worth I reported the problem to IB and requested that they upgrade to the latest bugfix release. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:58, 16 July 2012 (EDT)
I was adding another comment when you added yours. I do run a virus scanner and like I said in the first post, my browser setting are set to delete cookies when the browser is closed (just double-checked this). Should this be moved to the pub for others to comment on? So after making the last comment, I went to my watchlist to patrol recent edits and got the message shown in the third screenshot while making a couple edits. After logging back in, I checked my contributions, but no spam edits made by my account. Since the upgrade, I seem to get logged out of my account anywhere from 15-45 minutes after logging in (a rough guess) and this happened 20 minutes after logging in (based on difference between timestamps on the images' metadata).AHeneen 23:04, 16 July 2012 (EDT)
So has anyone else seen this or seen these error messages? AHeneen 01:28, 17 July 2012 (EDT)
Yes, I was receiving them after last Monday's caching server upgrade (at least I think that's what it was), and received them July 9th-12th. I only received them in one browser on one computer (Firefox 3, Ubuntu 10.04). On the 13th I was able to edit again as normally. I didn't report on site because it was too much of a pain to edit! --PeterTalk 00:43, 18 July 2012 (EDT)
I've been getting these messages every time I've logged in since the 14th. Upgraded from Firefox 13 to 14.0.1 today (on Windows 7 SP1, for what it's worth), but that hasn't changed anything. Only the first time this happened were spam edits "made" by my account. AHeneen 02:12, 18 July 2012 (EDT)
I got it today for the first time. LtPowers 14:53, 18 July 2012 (EDT)
We are working to implement a security patch this week. Thank you all.--IBobitalkemail 15:10, 18 July 2012 (EDT)
Jani, just placed the irony on IBobi's talk page. It would be ironic if it wouldn't kill Wikitravel rather soon. It's really sad to see the project unfold on its own. If anyone needs arguments against IB, then we show this discussion. Jc8136 09:41, 24 July 2012 (EDT)
The MW 1.17.2 patch was deployed early this morning Pacific time. Please let me know as soon as possible if it has not addressed the spambot issue and the deletion problem.
If earnest attention to and resolution of a MW software bug is an "argument against" the host, Jc, I really don't know what to tell you. A patch this size cannot be deployed hastily, lest the functionality of the site itself be jeopardized.--IBobitalkemail 13:20, 24 July 2012 (EDT)
When we have big problems affecting the integrity of the site, I think Wikitravellers' patience with IB's business hours wanes. We work around the clock, around the globe to maintain some semblance of wikidignity on a site that is hard for me to even edit, still. It took around 5 minutes to load this page's history and then the diffs since my last visit just right now. --PeterTalk 18:00, 24 July 2012 (EDT)
Sorry it's been slow today, Peter; as I mentioned in earlier notes regarding the upgrade that occurred today, site speed will be slow because it's a patch to the entire site, which then requires some time for the cache to rebuild. This is a huge site, and there's no way around it. Upgrading takes a temporary toll on site speed -- it has nothing at all to do with it being IB that made the upgrade. It's a software bug with MediaWiki that we needed to resolve.
Some things just take time. It wasn't business hours that caused the week delay; it's our care in ensuring that the upgrade would be done well and would not compromise the site. We go from investigating the issue, to investigating a solution, to putting the solution on a staging server, testing it there, then putting it into production on the live site here. Hopefully you understand, and thank you for your help in reporting and resolving this.--IBobitalkemail 18:12, 24 July 2012 (EDT)
According to recent changes "I" have just created a new account called User:Rdidonato41... one of many probable spam accounts. And as I said on shared before, I still need to reload almost every page (half of the time not even that works, I have to go back one page and forwards again to get the page.) /insert swearing word of your choice/ Ypsilon 02:20, 30 July 2012 (EDT)
Cache was fully cleared yesterday (as you could see from slowness); this should have propagated all changes made since the patch last week. Please report if spambot spooling issue persists.--IBobitalkemail 18:09, 31 July 2012 (EDT)
Was my account taken over? In the morning I couldn't edit and got a message that I was blocked for spamming. Jjtk 07:54, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
Same thing happened to me yesterday. I also noticed that Travellers' Pub was missing from the nav bar, and when I tried to edit a page, I got the message below...
You do not have permission to edit this page, for the following reason:
Your IP address has been automatically blocked because it was used by another user, who was blocked by Ikan Kekek. The reason given is this:
Autoblocked because your IP address has been recently used by "Hdfs9f2qb".
The reason given for Hdfs9f2qb's block is: "Spambot"
• Start of block: 08:49, 2 August 2012
• Expiry of block: 08:49, 3 August 2012
• Intended blockee: 10.17.32.138
You may contact Ikan Kekek or one of the other administrators to discuss the block.
Note that you may not use the "e-mail this user" feature unless you have a valid e-mail address registered in your user preferences and you have not been blocked from using it.
Your current IP address is 10.17.32.138, and the block ID is #10618. Please include all above details in any queries you make.
I was unable to email User:Ikan Kekek because my email address was no longer registered. When I tried to re-register, I got the following message...
Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information.
Good news is that I was allowed in again today, and able to re-register my email. Jnich99 01:32, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
We have a solution we'd like to implement on the spambot spooling accounts issue; please see Spambots and the comments from Ryan and myself. Weigh in if you have any information or opinion. We'd like to do this soon.--IBobitalkemail 14:24, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
Spambots are doing more than just creating accounts from existing non-spambot accounts. They look to be making edits with others' accounts too. See Special:Contributions/Faust38 and his/her user log , who has a good, normal edit, plus a spam edit for insurance accompanied by a user creation for a spam insurance account.
This is so awful, and isn't getting fixed. I'm starting to feel like it's time to make a final back up of data (or use the last one and manually integrate the good changes since) and to pack our bags. --PeterTalk 11:05, 9 August 2012 (EDT)
Editting on iOS?
I can't seem to edit pages when using my iOS device. Am I missing something? It seems to work fine when using Android... -- Tim 08:25, 17 July 2012 (EDT)
What issues are you having specifically? Have you been able to edit on iOS in the past, and only having the problem recently? It could be related to the recent MediaWiki upgrade. Personally, I can edit using my phone (HTC Windows Phone) JamesA>talk 08:30, 17 July 2012 (EDT)
I've not tried editing on iOS before so I'm not sure if it's a new thing or not. When viewing any page on either Safari or Chrome, after clicking to see normal versions of the pages (as opposed to mobile versions) it will show up the "edit" links - but then if I click on it, I get the edit page but back in the mobile version, but the wiki code isn't in a text box which you can edit. Hope that makes sense... -- Tim 09:01, 17 July 2012 (EDT)
Okay, so now it's kinda working now. I'm using Chrome on iOS and when trying to edit it still takes me back to the mobile version which is formatted differently and can't be edited. But with Chrome there's a "request desktop version" option which shows the normal desktop version of the page and allows you to edit as normal. It's still a bit of a hassle though. -- Tim 15:38, 17 July 2012 (EDT)
I have the same problem on Android as well. If you want to edit, you can't let the site know you are on a mobile device, otherwise it keeps flicking back to it. --Inas 21:47, 17 July 2012 (EDT)
User page exists but user account not registered
I was going to blank and protect a User page that has been subject to numerous spam edits and deletions. When I went to edit it though, I got the following message:
"User account "xxxxx" is not registered. Please check if you want to edit/create this page."
Has anyone seen this message before? It seems odd that it recognizes the page as a user account but the account is not registered (and that my editing would register it). - Shaund 10:42, 21 July 2012 (EDT)
Editing the page would not register the user account; the warning is there because it is usually not desirable to create a page in the User: namespace without an attached account. LtPowers 14:21, 21 July 2012 (EDT)
So, is there any hope that the bug will get fixed? /Blist 19:13, 25 July 2012 (EDT)
The ability to move pages seems to have been restored as of July 31. Eco84 14:51, 31 July 2012 (EDT)
That redirect would be entirely out of bounds. Sigtuna is a town and thus a perfectly normal title for a travel guide. Stockholm-Arlanda Airport is an airport which happens to be situated in the county of Sigtuna. Riggwelter 10:14, 23 August 2012 (EDT)
Having gone through this before, the consensus was that airports get their own article only if they are extremely large and confusing. Most airports don't qualify for this; for instance, Atlanta's airport is the busiest in the world, but its layout is actually pretty straightforward, so there's not much to say about it. There's not much need for a listing of restaurants and shops in the airport, because most large airports already have a decent website with that information. So in short, no, I doubt Stockholm's airport needs its own article.
(For reference, the only airports that currently have their own articles on WT are O'Hare, Kansai, Chubu, and London-Heathrow.) BigPeteB 12:53, 15 September 2012 (EDT)
I'm currently writing the Erie Canal itinerary article, and I'd appreciate some input regarding whether I'm on the right track or not. I've never written an itinerary article before and I want to make sure it's starting out okay before I get too far into it. Please comment on the article's talk page. Thanks! LtPowers 20:31, 25 July 2012 (EDT)
Nowiki tag broken?
Tried to use the nowiki tag in Wikitravel:Currency without desired result. Is there an alternative? /Blist 08:41, 27 July 2012 (EDT)
It works on wiki markup and HTML tags, but it seems it's not working on HTML entities like and –. I don't know if this is a bug or expected behavior. Fortunately, there's an easy workaround; the & entity produces an ampersand, which you can use to write out the entity without having the character display. (See the source code for this paragraph for examples.) LtPowers 12:06, 27 July 2012 (EDT)
Started two new topics. I would appreciate contributions and cross-links. /Blist 14:53, 29 July 2012 (EDT)
Cache rebuilding today
We have deployed a code update that will require the site's cache to rebuild today, slowing performance until the cache is again whole. Usually this takes a day, give or take, with performance steadily increasing to pre-update levels. Early in this process, it's possible you will see a 503 error. Thank you--IBobitalkemail 13:35, 30 July 2012 (EDT)
Not only have I seen a lot of 503 errors; I also keep getting the following error message when attempting to save text I wrote in a user's talk page that previously was empty:
Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information.
What is that junk, and why is that message being shown? The site is also slower than I've ever experienced other than times when it was impossible to edit at all. Ikan Kekek 04:41, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
Which user page are you trying to write on? I can take a look and see if it can be reproduced; but today I am seeing site speed beginning to approach page loads of 3-4 seconds, and I have not seen that particular error.--IBobitalkemail 13:32, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
User talk:Danielfeihu, for example, but I got that message repeatedly while trying to edit the Travellers' Pub, too; other user talk pages; and when trying to delete a spam user page. And the site is still almost unbearably slow. Are you using various different browsers, or only IE? For the record, I use Firefox 14.0.1Ikan Kekek 04:54, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
OK, now I've logged out, deleted _all_ of my cookies, cleared my cache, logged back in, and _Still_ get this same error message when I try to edit a user talk page, such as User talk:Edralin. This is very annoying, because it's important to inform touters of why and how they're running afoul of Wikitravel rules and guidelines. Ikan Kekek 05:29, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
Do you see interwiki links and the link at the top of the page to Wikitravel:Votes for deletion on Special:RecentChanges? I was seeing that behavior yesterday until clearing all cookies, cache, etc. One guess as to why some people are having issues is that IB has at least one bad server in their cluster, and if you have the bad luck to hit it then the site behaves poorly (note that most modern clusters will try to keep users on the same server, so if you hit it once you're stuck on it until you force your way off). -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:09, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
I do now, but I didn't yesterday. My last edit to this page, below, took, but I got an "internal error" message after hitting "enter" to post it. Very strange goings-on on this site, quite a lot of them, and it's been going on on and off for a long time now. Ikan Kekek 16:10, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
Servers are being rechecked. If there's any slowness in one of them we'll pull it from the cluster and replace it. Note that I'm not seeing error reports from other users at this time.--IBobitalkemail 13:41, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
Please read the following discussion in my user talk page: . How is it that blocking spambots is causing so many innocent users to be blocked? This is _really bad_! Ikan Kekek 16:06, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
RE: performance issue, we did find a couple of servers running slower than the rest, and those have been fixed. We should see a site performance boost as well as the reported missing links issue resolution.
I replied to the blocking issue on your page.--IBobitalkemail 16:50, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
And I replied to you.
I continue to be unable to put text onto currently empty user talk pages. I get the "internal error" and then have been able to confirm that no text was added. (At least when I post to the Travellers' Pub, despite the "internal error" message, my edits are currently showing up.) Are you working on that bug? Ikan Kekek 17:05, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
Wikitravel's speed is finally back to normal, but I continue to be unable to add text to currently-empty user talk pages. For example, when I tried to add a welcome/thanks message to User talk:Nicho Pratama, I got the same damn "internal error" message, and I have confirmed that my edit did not go up. Do you understand why this annoying bug is happening? Ikan Kekek 16:41, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
And I got the "internal error" when posting the reply above, but at least the text I added showed up here. Ikan Kekek 16:45, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
This site has gone feral, I just made an edit, entered it in under the last appearing contribution from Ikan ( Ikan Kekek 05:29, 3 August 2012 (EDT)). Then after several attempts to get the newly edited page to load I cannot see my recent edit, then noticing the content looked different I found it way up the page, I have now moved it down. Note the time line incongruous date stamps to illustrate this anomaly in caching behaviour. It is rather frustrating having to click away for at a page an extended time to get it to load. When I loaded the edit again it did the same thing again, everything below Ikan's earlier edit, including my subsequent 2 edits had again vanished requiring a further forced page reload to bypass the caching. Very messy! -- felix 13:49, 5 August 2012 (EDT)
(the moved edit) Last few editing sessions I have to make multiple attempts to load an article page in standard (read) view. Generally an entirely empty page is displayed, Anyone know what this is all about? -- felix 13:40, 5 August 2012 (EDT)
Yeah... since over a week it's more of a rule than an exception to get a blank page. Reloading doesn't help but going one page back and one forward to the page you wanted to open seems to do. XP Ypsilon 00:42, 6 August 2012 (EDT)
Over the weekend, tech has been looking into whether this is a cacheing issue or a problem with a particular type of edit. They're still working, and I'll update as I get more information. Thank you,--IBobitalkemail 14:00, 6 August 2012 (EDT)
Can someone create an actual bug report (or reports) of the issues mentioned here? We'd like a central repository, rather than some remarks on the Pub, some on various Talk pages, that the technicians can refer to and respond. A great place to link the new bug page(s) is Top Bugs.--IBobitalkemail 15:02, 6 August 2012 (EDT)
I added Spambots. Other issues I see reported here that need bug reports added to Top Bugs are:
1. Internal Error/Inability to put text into empty Talk pages, reported by Ikan
2. Edits appearing out of sequence (?), reported by felix
3. Last few editing sessions I have to make multiple attempts to load an article page in standard (read) view. Generally an entirely empty page is displayed. Reloading doesn't help but going one page back and one forward to the page you wanted to open seems to, reported by felix and Ypsilon
Any others? And is anyone else seeing these behaviors, or just the one individual who's posting them?--IBobitalkemail 19:51, 6 August 2012 (EDT)
I don't see see it on English, but almost every edit I make on shared reports "Internal error" with the message "Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information.". The edits have been saved every time, but this sounds like the same issue others are reporting. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:21, 6 August 2012 (EDT)
I spoke too soon - the same error just occurred on English Wikitravel while trying to save the above edit. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:21, 6 August 2012 (EDT)
I just got this error when trying to post a new section in the pub. I got the internal error, so went back and resubmitted, only to find the section was saved twice with a duplicate. This is particularly bothersome. ...And now as I try to make this post and correct the duplicate, I've encountered a 503 about 10 times and very slow loading times. JamesA>talk 05:56, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
Still happening for me, I never get error messages but do need to 'reload' pages, it occurs both when viewing and when editing/previewing.--felix 15:11, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
Hmm, I spoke too soon. I clicked on [Save page] for the edit above and while it ground away trying to upload that edit I went off to another page I had got bored with previously whilst waiting for it to load, there I found this instead of the anticipated page at Bangalore Latest revision as of 20:02, 6 August 2012
Error 503 Service Unavailable
Varnish cache server
So I copied the error message and came back here to make this enthralling discovery known to others, and clicked again on the edit link for this section of the now loaded Pub page. But I was thwarted, my recent edit I had just seen with my own eyes on the displayed Pub page was not in the edit pane, the last edit viewable there was that of JamesA>talk 05:56, 7 August 2012 (EDT).
So I reloaded the page again then again clicked to edit, this time the copy and markup was there, so here I am to share this astounding information and there (above) is the Error 505 message. So I guess that indicates I am also now getting error messages as well as blank pages on page read, and page edits and edit previews. And all this has probably taken more time than to patrol a day of 'watched' articles.--- felix 15:33, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
Also I might add I have seen paint dry faster than it takes a page to load here--felix 15:38, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
Editing here is like trying to grab smoke with your hands, it is almost impossible and now I am also getting "Sorry! We could not process your edit due to a loss of session data. Please try again. If it still does not work, try logging out and logging back in.". I am giving up.--felix 16:25, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
Ryan, JamesA, felix, ypsilon, Ikan: since you are all reporting some version of a cacheing error -- or at least an inability to edit/getting a message when editing -- can you report the exact behavior you are engaging in when these errors occur? Also, where geographically you are? Our error logs are not showing the errors you are reporting. Nor has anyone (including me, who makes many edits per day on WT) internally seen these errors lately. So, any information you can provide so that we can troubleshoot this would be helpful. Thank you!--IBobitalkemail 17:36, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
I am using an Indonesian ISP (PT Telkom Indonesia) 125.167.XXX.XXX. The problems are occurring on loading a read page, an editing preview and an edit. I somewhat tired of editing after the "Sorry! We could not process your edit due to a loss of session data" message repeated a few times. I did log out and logged back in and completed that edit. Following that I continued with an other edit on a different article, the article's read page loaded after my edit but registered no change to the article and no record of the edit available on the history page. I then back-paged to the previous edit pane view page (this then re-displaying the unresolved edit content again), clicked on [Save page] again and the edit subsequently resolved correctly. Now I will no doubt have to endure another trip on the mystery tour when I attempt to resolve this note on the Pub page. Also when logging in it takes me three page load attempts to get the login to occur. I just clicked on the side bar link for the Main page whilst in the read view of the Pub page, it took 5 reload prompts (from the address line) before the page started to load. The cache and cookies had been cleared and the browser 'reset' since the previous session reported in the posts above. (Postscript - Yes as I suspected I am repeating the experience and this edit is also requiring some revisits to get it to happen)..-- felix 18:32, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
I'm in Melbourne, Australia. I got the 503 about ten times, and it took me about 20 minutes to save the above post. The page loaded forever, and would timeout to a 503. Eventually it finally did save the edit, but my screen went blank and there was no confirmation. Like felix, it's getting to the point where I'm not going to bother editing and posting here because it's far too much of an effort. JamesA>talk 02:16, 8 August 2012 (EDT)
Cacheing issues should now be resolved. You should no longer see any 503 errore. Please report if you see any *other* errors though.--IBobitalkemail 15:19, 8 August 2012 (EDT)
It took 4 page reloads to log in from WT:Recentchanges page. Still broken from where I am looking at it. I am not going to try any edits in addition to this one, it was maddening the last time I was here and a complete time suck. Maybe when it is fixed I will try again.I am not going to tempt fate looking to see if the 503 error is still going to pop up on my screen, oh, here something new ... clicking on the tides at, or any other html shortcuts on the editing page makes the page move up to the top, no effect on the edit pane content, nothing appears there, just the 'jump' upwards of the page display--guess I will just type in the 4 tides. -- felix 18:42, 8 August 2012 (EDT)
Oh, so that was fun, the Save page click gave this "Internal error Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information." -- type the tides again as the shortcut is still inactive --felix 18:42, 8 August 2012 (EDT)
That gave "Edit conflict: Wikitravel:Travellers' pub" . I will try again. -- felix 18:42, 8 August 2012 (EDT)
Well that didn't work either, lost all the content then then backed to a page that displayed it, but the Save page button was inexplicably missing from under the edit content pane, trying again...this is a bit like yesterday, glad I am remembering to copy the page edit content each time ...-- felix 18:42, 8 August 2012 (EDT)
That is very strange! I'm wondering if you are having some local browser issue too? Which browser & version are you running felix?--IBobitalkemail 20:18, 8 August 2012 (EDT)
I just encountered the Internal Error/wgShowExceptionDetails error as well when editing on Shared, under Firefox 13.0, as well as when first saving this comment on :en. — D. Guillaime 00:41, 9 August 2012 (EDT)
Hi iBobi, just logged on so I could leave this note, 4 page reloads got that done. I am using Safari browser for mac, Version 5.1.7 (6534.57.2). I can now click on the Sign your name: ~~~~ (on talk pages only) link again, and also the nonwiki markup short cut (as per this edit content.-- felix 15:07, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
The edit did not resolve, after a drawn out period this message appeared:
"Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information."
Thank you, felix -- all of that specific info is enormously helpful, and I am making sure tech sees all of it. Please keep updating us on your progress; dramatic changes have been made to cacheing, and we continue to work at it.--IBobitalkemail 15:31, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
Well now that edit finally loaded I am able to view the page, and see my edits, and Ibobi's recent addition. However a very odd standout feature of all my (recent) edits is that they all have the same time stamp, even though I used different browsers and came at WT from from two entirely different IPs seperated by a lot of ocean. The edits from the Firefox browser and the US based proxy IP were incredibly slow, much slower then would be anticipated merely from proxy relaying, and of course certainly did not occure at the same time as the prior edits, that is decidedly strange (using Firefox and IP 184.108.40.206 in Germany for this edit
It is notable that the error messages and the edit conflicts are not occurring, the edit conflict occuring earlier when using Safari (mac) and an Indonesian IP apparently arising from the WT server accepting the edit but providing an instruction to the browser to display and error message, that provided and a subsequent edit being made it is then not recognised as a new edit but is seen as an 'Edit conflict" even when the content is changed. This edit is from Firefox and IP 220.127.116.11, significant delays can be attributed to proxy relaying, but not entirely to that alone. --
So then I reviewed my recent edits an thought I might fix a couple of typos and comment further on the time stamps. But whilst still using the Firefox browser and a French IP I got this error message:
"The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because it uses an invalid or unsupported form of compression."
"Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem."
So still using the Firefox browser (mac) and after a long page load and edit pane load I am back. Please note my last edit ( felix 15:32, 10 August 2012 (EDT) ) in the series of edits with a 15:32 time stamp. When that resolved I logged out and waited for the page to reload. Having viewed it and gained assurance I was indeed logged out I then opened my Firefox browser and set out to load the WT page using a proxy server, I viewed the page, then logged in, having logged in I loaded up an edit page, this all took a nice long time, then I wrote my edit and clicked on the EDIT button, that took also tokk a noticable extended time to resolve to a displayed page. Yet astoundingly the result of that edit had the same time stamp (felix 15:32, 10 August 2012 (EDT)) as the previous edit using a different browser, and a different IP and at a much earlier time. The WT/IB server appears to be applying time and date stamps appropriate to a US east coast setting, ie 12 hours behind my own physical location. So this is not an anomaly arising at my end, is IB using mirror servers that are perhaps experiencing a time setting conflict between each other and then having difficulties resolving page loads and edits.--
"The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because it uses an invalid or unsupported form of compression."
"Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem."
I am going to try with a different IP to upload this edit.
Please note the non-sequential time stamps in my edits above. The multiple edits with the same date and time are explained by my pasting the previously un-resolved edit (saved to my computer) into the new edit attempt with an additional later edit content appended below. However they are not sequential, at least one edit displays a time stamp prior to the ones above it. iBobi, perhaps check that all the (IB) servers are running on the same clock and calender time. Those were the earlier edits from just the one single IP in Indonesia and whilst using the Safari (mac) browser. Uploading this edit from a Swedish IP 18.104.22.168.--
So still using the Firefox browser (mac) and after a long page load and edit pane load I am back. Please note my last edit ( felix 15:32, 10 August 2012 (EDT) ) in the series of edits with a 15:32 time stamp. When that resolved I logged out and waited for the page to reload. Having viewed it and gained assurance I was indeed logged out I then opened my Firefox browser and set out to load the WT page using a proxy server, I viewed the page, then logged in, having logged in I loaded up an edit page, this all took a nice long time, then I wrote my edit and clicked on the EDIT button, that took also took a noticeable extended time to resolve to a displayed page. Yet astoundingly the result of that edit had the same time stamp (felix 15:32, 10 August 2012 (EDT)) as the previous edit using a different browser, and a different IP and at a much earlier time. The WT/IB server appears to be applying time and date stamps appropriate to a US east coast setting, ie 12 hours behind my own physical location. So this is not an anomaly arising at my end, is IB using mirror servers that are perhaps experiencing a time setting conflict between each other and then having difficulties resolving page loads and edits.--
Back again after logging in using the Safari browser (mac). No problem logging in or loading view page or edit section page. Bit slow but consistent with previous performance, however seemed a bit quicker. Now lets see if the times are progressive and if the edit will take.--
^^^^ Well I got an error message and an edit conflict -- below is a cut and paste of what should have displayed after the edit above, not this edit point should be following the copy "click section edit etc..." --
Back again after logging in using the Safari browser (mac). No problem logging in or loading view page or edit section page. Bit slow but consistent with previous performance, however seemed a bit quicker. Now lets see if the times are progressive and if the edit will take.--felix 17:02, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
Well it did not work, I got this:
"Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information."
So I will try again after copying all this to my clip board as no doubt I will need to come back in from a page view, click section edit etc...--
As per detail shown at ^^^^ the edit did not work and has been pasted in above, being rather tired of this I am now going to drive a crowbar through one of my feet for some fun as just about anything would be better than this time wasting nonsense. I really do hope the IB IT people are paying some attention and I have not just been wasting my time doing this. --
Look at the time stamps on the edits displayed on the page and compare with the editing history page list of edits, the time stamps there are sequential but display different time stamps to individual edit's own signature time and date stamps. Left hand is maybe not talking to the right hand?? --
"There seems to be a problem with your login session; this action has been canceled as a precaution against session hijacking. Go back to the previous page, reload that page and then try again".
Return to Main Page".
To 'Undo' and 'Edit' frequently requires multiple reloads of the page. Multiple attempts, edit conflicts and other anomalies are plentiful. -- felix 18:12, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
Hi felix -- did you mean to post these repetitive remarks? There seem to be 3 sections you just posted with somewhat different content, but beginning essentially the same way. I just want to be sure to accurately report what you're experiencing.--IBobitalkemail 19:06, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
Hi iBobi, well I guess that illustrates the problem in a way. When I went to read your own recent addition I could not see either your content, or my own from earlier today. When I force reloaded the page I could. What appears to be happening with some of the edits is they actually do upload, but either do not or cannot be loaded into a viewable page. These (repeated content) edits are arising from the ones that have generated the Session failure errors and Internal error pages. When the new content fails then the edit is attempted again. The outcome is often an Edit conflict. This is apparently being generated in the instances when the edit has actually loaded into the system, yet still cannot be viewed, no doubt due to a caching problem. So, I cannot see it, I have an error message suggesting it has most likely failed and hence try it again, then arriving at an "Edit conflict". What you are seeing on the page is the outcome of my saving the edit in anticipation of it not uploading and the content becoming 'lost' and then when the edit fails I have reloaded the edit page, still cannot see the previously edited content in the edit pane and so have pasted it back into the edit pane from my clipboard. Then later I find repeats, yesterday I cleaned some of them out afterwards and replaced that removed content with a 'marker', this can be reviewed in the Histories if you are interested. I am not going to give myself a case of the head-spins going back through the histories again and trying to work out exactly which edit has done what , it is just too confusing. I tried yesterday thinking I could use the edit history page time stamps as a guide, then I saw they were seemingly entirely different to the time and date stamps appended to the displayed text. I makes editing a very tiresome process and it is difficult to ensure that edits are uploaded. --- if it looks odd it is because it is 'odd and highly frustrating. As it has started to fill up the page it might be an idea to archive it now. I am going to remove the repeated block so it is representing the error messages in the sequence, the messy version can be viewed in the histories if anyone wants to look at it.-- I hope this helps as it is both frustrating and time consuming, it is also filing the page with rubbish edits. Really I should have been writing a log of the entire thing offline as trying to describe it in sequential edits is impossible due to the problem itself. It is really quite maddening.If there is repetition in what still displays above it is because the problem repeats and I am documenting it, look carefully, one describes the outcome of editing on the Mandarmani article, another is the effort to report that here, and then a subsequent one attempts to report the failure of that edit, and onward. No doubt when I try to upload this there will be more. I am not going to log them though it is like banging my head on a wall.-- felix 21:16, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
Understood. We are only seeing this reported for you and one other (above), so we're considering if this is possibly geo-related. We'll keep plugging away at it, and thank you for your efforts here, they're invaluable. I'm just sorry this has been so frustrating for you.--IBobitalkemail 21:31, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
I, and others, have stopped reporting bugs because there are too many, it makes my head hurt to think about them further, the "work" you guys do to fix them seems to just involve either ineffectually turning off really important, basic functionality like... email, API, etc., or just creating new bugs for us to report. Progress is only towards the abyss. I've given up editing.
It is disappointing, though, that I am unable to email User:Cayla, who is our docent for Winnipeg, since I had questions for Cayla about an upcoming trip. It's (one of) the same problem(s) that Felix reports: submit on the emailuser form generates Internal error. Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information. --PeterTalk 03:53, 15 August 2012 (EDT)
Ha! I get the message when I submit these edits as well. But at least they go through, unlike my email. --PeterTalk 03:54, 15 August 2012 (EDT)
Hi iBobi, I do appreciate that there is a lot to sort out at the moment, and that is a rather arcane series of edits above, but if you look back through them you will note the following:
1. I have encountered the same problem using entirely different browsers
2. Others are reporting the same error messages and are to the best of my knowledge in entirely different parts of the world
3. Inorder to clarify the geo issue I accessed WT through a proxy server system and thereby attempted a series of edits using entirely different IPs to access WT, from different countries
4. The time stamps showing appended to the edits on the Pub page and the Pub History page are in variance, apparently there is more than one clock and the clocks are set on different times in relationship to GMT (UTC).
5. This problem endures and I also note it effects the WT email facility.
I have been aboard vessels in distress at sea on a couple of occasions and know how worrying it can become when the decks appear to take longer and longer to clear with each new wave that comes across them. I have often found myself in the engine room at times like that as inevitably something always seems to go wrong in there at the worst possible time. It can also be one of the hardest places to get back out of if the deck becomes permanently wet. I will be just quietly sitting this one out at the rails now.-- felix 15:29, 15 August 2012 (EDT)
How wonderful! I managed to log in... as Vietnam.visum or something like that with the Safari browser and cannot logout - I get just blank pages, even when trying to load the main page. With Camino I get that red error message box when I try to log in. I have pretty much the same to say as felix above except that I don't get that many error messages but instead empty/blank pages. We're obviously both Mac users if that may help. Vietnam visum 07:45, 16 August 2012 (EDT) (Ypsilon)
This is ridiculous. It seems like I'm "Vietnam visum" when using Camino as well. Vietnam visum 07:48, 16 August 2012 (EDT)
Are you saying you have logged in as yourself, but are actually logged in as a different user? That can't really happen. I wonder if you have two accounts, or are sharing a computer with another user, and you actually logged into their account.--IBobitalkemail 14:56, 16 August 2012 (EDT)
Yes. And it is not the first time but fourth or fifth that I'm logged in as someone else. For the last couple of weeks when I log in with my user name and password I usually get just an empty page when I hit "login" (or sometimes I get the red error box). When I then reload the Main page it usually looks like I'm normally logged in (with my real user name) but this time the text in the upper right corner said "Vietnam visum". The first time this thing happened - a month ago - I wrote about it on Shared's Travellers pub  and saw that AHeneen also had experienced the same problem. For me Wikitravel worked quite well before last month's update but after that it hasn't. And no, I have just one account and I'm not sharing the computer with anybody else. Might it be that you have a bug in the part of the new Mediawiki software that handles the login requests and matches user name and password or in the database where the passwords and user names are stored? (I'm not an expert on this stuff). And I'd like to ask Ltpowers, Ryan and other regular users: have you experienced anything like this or is it just us WT users outside the USA? 22.214.171.124 02:16, 17 August 2012 (EDT) (Ypsilon)
I'm working on improving all the articles related to Bangladesh, beginning first with major tourist sites. However, I'm having issues categorising specific sights into articles. Say for example, Somapura Mahavihara, ruins of a Buddhist temple. According to UNESCO, it is in the tiny village of Paharpur. That village is probably too small for an article, so I could put it in a "Badalgachhi Upazila" article (upazila means county), but again, it'd probably be the only attraction. The next level up is Naogaon District, which could easily get a few sights and attractions, and have hotels/restaurants dotted all over the place. But then does the administrative capital of the district, "Naogaon", get its own article? I'm finding it all very confusing, and want a clear-cut idea of how to subdivide the country so I can filter the information well. Thanks guys, JamesA>talk 05:38, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
My thought is that the traveller comes first, so you should deal with this in whatever way you think will be most helpful to a visitor. If a decision is made later to change things, fine; at least you will have put up the information. Ikan Kekek 06:45, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
The real answer is simply that it is confusing. The destinations that we have best figured out how to break down and organize are huge cities, for example, Chicago, which have districts for small, dense, and commonly understood regions like the Loop as well as large, less dense areas that we have decided here to group together for convenience, like Chicago/Southwest Side. I think that we would ideally apply this same logic to basically everywhere, leaving no gap and no overlap at the bottom level of the hierarchy.
In your example, I might guess that a Rural Naogaon District article and a Naogaon (city) article would suffice to cover the whole area? Those would then be linkable from Rajshahi Division. That might look a little unusual, but that's a consequence resulting from the fact that Wikitravel hasn't figured this part out very well yet. I did something sort of similar at Montgomery County (Maryland) as a potential exemplar, although it has considerably more subdivisions than what I just recommended—you'll know the particulars of this situation better. --PeterTalk 13:02, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
Let me look into it; what's it used for?--IBobitalkemail 13:28, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
See http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/API:Main_page. The Mediawiki API is a tool for people to programmatically access the site. The benefit to end-users is that it's easier to use the API instead of parsing HTML pages, and the benefit to IB is that the API is far less resource-intensive than full page generation would be. I'm sure spambots are probably exploiting the API (as they exploit anything available to them), but it's a tremendously useful tool for non-spammers, too. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:39, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
If it is being used by the spammers, I'm not sure how much luck we'll have getting it re-enabled right now if this was part fo the anti-spambot effort.--IBobitalkemail 13:44, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
Not having this functionality is a dealbreaker for me in terms of contributing to Wikitravel - I use it to keep a mirror of the site. I understand that there is concern about spam, but the API was enabled until yesterday, and disabling it has had little impact on spam volume. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:04, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
I understand that it is decreased functionality, but there are two spam issues we're trying to lock down. One is the volume of spambots being created, which is something I'm not sure there is a solution to within MediaWiki -- the openness of creating user accounts without email verification, the ability to make anon edits, etc. Other than manually deleting them, how do you handle that? The second issue is the reason Peter keeps blocking himself: he thinks spambots are exploiting MW to use existing accounts to spoof new spambot accounts. O think I see evidence that it has happened in the past, and that's what we're trying to address right now, and I'm guessing is the reason the API was changed. If that's the way to fix this, I don't know what other option we have. Do you have a suggestion?--IBobitalkemail 14:17, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
Please check with your tech team to find out if disabling the API is permanent - I assumed it was just a test, but if that's not the case I'd like to know as soon as possible. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:30, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
This is following a very distressing pattern of "fixing" problems by creating bigger ones... without even fixing the original problem. --PeterTalk 00:01, 11 August 2012 (EDT)
The spambot deluge continues, seemingly worse every day. Now we also edit with the knowledge that our work is no longer being backed up by anyone other than IB, whom honestly no one trusts to preserve the data if they decide it no longer suits them to do so. I have no idea why I should continue contributing here. --PeterTalk 09:25, 11 August 2012 (EDT)
We're working to resolve the spam issues that you and other admins have reported, Peter, and this is one method to try to diagnose what is happening and resolve the issue. I know you're not suggesting we do nothing? This API has only existed for a month or two, so it seems unlikely that it's a make or break feature, right? As to your commentary on some sort of need to preserve data outside of WT (?), or an implied motive to lose data (?), not sure what that means, but I can assure you no data has been lost, nor could I even conceive of a reason to deliberately do so. Can you explain? --IBobitalkemail 16:47, 12 August 2012 (EDT)
The MediaWiki API was introduced in v 1.8.0 and set by default "working" ($wgEnableAPI=true;). The API was working also in times of Wikitravel v 1.11. The statement "This API has only existed for a month or two" is incorrect because this option is default. A lot of services use the API including search engines. The most important feature are the autocomplete search suggestions ($wgEnableMWSuggest=true; default false) which are only usable with enabled API ($wgEnableAPI=true;) and enabled AJAX ($wgUseAjax = true;). This feature is used by all modern mediawiki sites. Disabling this API feature did not solve configuration failures. At least it is possible to set the read only flag. --Unger 09:46, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
Look at all the spam user pages in "Recent changes." I'm calling uncle! I simply refuse to waste my time deleting previously-deleted spam pages for free. Fix your damn problem. Your software needs to block spammers, period. Maybe I'll come back if things get better after a while, but so far, I vote No Confidence in you and whoever is allegedly working with you to ostensibly fix the security problems here. Ikan Kekek 07:41, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
Is this page relevant? Where would it go?
I'm working with a group of people who need a place to keep a shared list of meditation retreat locations. We are having trouble finding a centralized non-sectarian site for it, so I thought I'd ask if this would this appropriate content for a single page on Wikitravel? There will be fewer than a few dozen locations listed, and doesn't really seem to be appropriate to hide the locations on individual country-pages, since seekers of this page will enjoy seeing all available locations in once place. Where might the page go, and be linked from? Thanks! 126.96.36.199 10:20, 17 August 2012 (EDT)
Seemingly every article comes up with "Database Error", and the following text:
A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was: (SQL query hidden) from within function "LocalRepo::getArticleID". Database returned error "1146: Table wikitravel_org_-_shared.page doesn't exist (wikitraveldb1-new)".
It was working earlier today; glitch, or apocalypse? 188.8.131.52 19:44, 28 August 2012 (EDT)
When did you get that error? Is it still happening now? We did a cache update which may have caused a short error period earlier today. Also, did that happen when you were reading or editing?
If you refresh the page you're working on/viewing, it should disappear.--IBobitalkemail 19:57, 28 August 2012 (EDT)
User Adigax91 has been adding a lot of info recently in the "Buy" sections of many countries. Such an awful lot of content seems suspicious, and when these additions verbatim online, the search results sometimes come up with multiple sites all claiming copyright on their site's content, so it's not clear who the original owner of the content is. The top result that seems to be the source of the offending content is worldtravelguide.net. I'd do more searching, but it's late and I don't feel like spending the necessary time to research and delete all inappropriate content. Even if this came from an open source like Wikipedia, there's no attribution. I've written on Adigax91's wall to give him/her a chance to respond, but all offending content needs to be deleted ASAP. Checking a handful of examples:
I feel that we lack a right to vanish policy. The meatball version is to be found here. The Wikipedia version is here. Suggestion: import the current Wikipedia version. Riggwelter 09:45, 12 September 2012 (EDT)
Nominations should also include a sentence or two outlining the nominee's relevant experience and understanding of Wikitravel's policies. --W. Franke-mailtalk 21:24, 23 September 2012 (EDT)
The main reason for this problem is that nearly all the current admins have left to start another project. Pashley 22:01, 23 September 2012 (EDT)
W. Frank is correct -- qualified admins are needed now, and to guide this project going forward. This is an excellent fresh start for Wikitravel :) --IBobitalkemail 20:29, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
Can the techies improve the captcha or something to cut down on the amount of spam? I've been deleting several pages a day for some time & over a dozen today, and I am not the only admin doing it, but there are lots more. Most involve accounts apparently registered only to spam. Is there a way to prevent spambot registrations? Pashley 01:24, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
Captcha is at its highest level (recaptcha, actually). We're exploring new ways to combat spam accounts, including the Abuse Filter extension. If you notice patterns in the spammers, please let me know. Whether it's coming from a common IP range, always posting the same exact content, similar usernames, etc -- if there's a pattern we can write a rule around, we can set up blocks.--IBobitalkemail 20:34, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
Another is use of the <br> tag, not needed on a wiki but found in many pages whose pattern is "Hello, I'm Bozo McGuffin from Camelot.<br><br> See my blog:" then some rubbish link. Pashley 23:33, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
Thinking about it, if there was a way to prohibit new users from posting links -- for example just reject any edit to a new user page that includes a link -- that would eliminate most spam. Pashley 23:51, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
FYI, we have placed some filters, as well as scripted the mass deletion of the vandalism over the last 2 days. It's not a big deal in the end, just a minor annoyance. Vandalizing a wiki... pointless. Thank you all for you help.--IBobitalkemail 14:54, 25 September 2012 (EDT)
This account  has vandalised thousands of pages. On the software side of things, can making more than "X number of edits in X amount of time" by a new user/IP address be blocked? AHeneen 03:33, 26 September 2012 (EDT) PS:The name translates (Google Translate) as "Stalin-our shared combat". Wonder if it has something to do with those Pro-Communist/Russian nationalist people we've had to deal with on the Russia & Tiraspol pages?
PPS:Looks like several vandalism bots might be those people. За Родину!= For the Motherland! Слава России!!!=Glory to Russia! Слава Родине!=Glory to the motherland! Пиздец неруси!=Nerusi f***ed! Русская месть=Русская месть Возмездие= Retaliation Месть русских=Revenge of the Russian That's all the Cyrillic user names that appear in the block log going back through the 14th.
The red box being put on pages corresponds with the page of the user that has taken over the Russian WT merging former Soviet countries into the "Russia" page. User page translates to: "Слава России! GLORY OF RUSSIA! Glory to the great heroes of the Russian land! Honor, praise, honor and eternal glory to the victorious people! Kudos to you, brave, GLORY, fearless! Eternal glory SINGS TO YOU PEOPLE. Valiantly lived, Death is broken, MEMORIES OF YOU WILL NEVER DIE! WE - RUSSIAN, God with us!" Clearly some delusional apparatchik well-versed in Russian nationalist, revisionist history. Can Cyrillic characters be blocked from new user names? Any other ways to deal with this? Seems to me like the people who gave us the headache over on the Russia/Tiraspol pages were likely from Transnistria (which corresponds to the Tiraspol edits & the fact that Transnistria remains stuck in the 1980s with the Communist party in charge). Any way to automatically block (or put restrictions on editing capability) of Moldovan IP addresses? Possible to also add Ukraine, too, because Transnistria borders it and it's possible telecom services might come from Ukraine due to the conflict between Moldova/Transnistria.AHeneen 04:22, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
Can we make it impossible to register an account on en with a non-ASCII name? There have been at least two accounts with Russian names used for vandalism. Pashley 03:45, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I see the vandalism and your heroic efforts. I think both those restrictions are on the table and good ideas. Thanks for your heroic efforts in reverting. We'll have to see about a mass revert via username. If the Abuse Filter can handle the x edits/x time restriction, that might do it. Even if we set it to 50/hour, it would have helped here tremendously.--IBobitalkemail 03:56, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I would strongly deprecate any blocking based on geographical area or Cyrillic alphabet names. We do not want the innocent to suffer because of the guilty. Number of edits allowable per minute (if technically feasible) would not penalise the innocent newbie so much, but set much lower limits eg 1 edit per 2 minutes for 1st 7 days of a new account, then 1 edit per 1 minute for next 7 days, then 2 edits per 1 minute for next 28 days, then 3 edits per 1 minute for next 90 days, subject to manual override on appeal. -- 184.108.40.206W. Franke-mailtalk 04:36, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I agree with Frank, we shouldn't discriminate against a certain area or language. Anyways, the vandal could switch to ASCII names, so there's not much point in blocking non-ASCII names. But I'm fine with an edits per minute limit. –sumone10154(talk) 10:23, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I am taking out anywhere from two to twenty spam pages every time I visit, and that is just the obvious stuff. I'm not even looking at the dozens that are probably spam, the ones with a three-line intro to a "user" and some irrelevant link. Nor am I patrolling edits other than new pages and some things on my watchlist. I am doing far more deletions now than I used to when there was a whole crew of editors, but I'm also seeing more problems I do not have time for and much less patrolling by other admins.
If IB want to keep this site alive despite the massive defection of editors, something must be done quite urgently. Either find many new editors or have IB employees doing extensive patrolling. Pashley 23:48, 14 October 2012 (EDT)
And the spammers are getting craftier. I believe this one created several different "Black Hat" user names to vandalise dozens of pages and then went back using his "White hat" user account to "repair" the damage - but also added a tailored external link to a travel guide each time, hoping it would not be noticed in the pag3 "restoration"!
IBadmins are doing extensive patrolling Monday to Friday but there are patterns in this spamming which could be used to automate reversions.
Thank for that alert, guys -- were you in fact seeing that spam piling up on the weekend? We do expect to see less of that as more admins are starting to peck away at night and weekends. We also are in the process of implementing a number of filters that keep vandalism and spam more at bay, but there is only so much Captcha and filtering can do versus NEW pages; no system is going to be able to tell what is a "good" new page and what is not, because there's very little commonality with which to write a rule that prevents them without potentially preventing "good" new pages from being created.
The good news is, new content continues to be added to WT at a fantastic rate. This site is doing great, and you two are part of the reason. If you have ideas for spam remediation, I am more than happy to implement them!--IBobitalkemail 18:24, 18 October 2012 (EDT)
I do have one lead that you might want to check out - but since I suspect it might be against (your implicit) policy to mention the source here, I will email you about it. --W. Franke-mailtalk 18:44, 18 October 2012 (EDT)
The abuse filter names are singularly unhelpful (they appear to be named after things like Stephen King novels and the like). When a user gets a message like "A brief description of the abuse rule which your action matched is: Lethal Weapon", that doesn't help them make more constructive edits, because it doesn't explain what the problem was. LtPowers 16:47, 25 October 2012 (EDT)
User User:IBlegal has made some imprecise and obnoxious threats and IB has actually sued some users and there are countersuits.
Would it not be a better use of legal dep't time to go after the spammers who are actively and persistently damaging the site? I took out 24 rubbish pages today, 19 yesterday, and I'm just doing the obvious ones. Unchecked, these bozos will destroy WT.
Also, going after spammers would be much better politically, doing something that might help all the other wiki sites out there rather than appearing petulant and aggressive. Pashley 06:09, 13 November 2012 (EST)
FYI legal has nothing whatsoever to do with spam. Spam is handled here, by people like you & me. Some of it we can handle technically, a lot of it manually. This is how it is everywhere. It's a neverending battle, but we do very well at it. I saw your edits over the weekend and recently, Pashley, and you're doing an amazing job! For instance: the life of the knob and door page was... about 3 hours? That's fantastic!--IBobitalkemail 16:05, 13 November 2012 (EST)
That's great news if it really is true that Internet Brands have reached an out of court settlement with the Wikimedia foundation and the former contributors to this site that it sued, IBobi. Where can we see the press release and then move on? --W. Franke-mailtalk 16:23, 13 November 2012 (EST)
Good question! Pashley 08:02, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Yes, I know that currently "legal has nothing whatsoever to do with spam"; I am suggesting that they should. There are laws in place that make misuse of other people's computers a criminal offense and/or grounds for a lawsuit in many jurisdictions. The site logs have IP addresses for where this rubbish comes from. The spam itself has URLs for advertised pages. I'm both cynical and biased, so my opinion of IB's legal department is remarkably low, but I imagine they could do this. It might even be profitable if they nail the right spammers. Pashley 08:13, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Again, you're not wrong!
Although, the hard case spammers can use proxy servers and internet cafe's to try and attempt to circumvent these lawsuits, it would be a relatively trivial programming task to block IP edits (as opposed to edits by registered users) from each proxy or IP address as it becomes known for abuse. In this case I would suggest also blocking edits by registered users from each black-listed proxy or IP address until an editor using a black-listed proxy or IP address has made a certain number of good edits - say 15 - so that privacy obsessed and registered "good" editors are not handicapped in any way.
Thanks for continuing your spam removal, Pashley! --W. Franke-mailtalk 10:15, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Ideally I agree with all of this. Internet companies have explored many avenues for actually tracking down spammers who blast their sites. The sad reality is they continue to make enough money doing this that they can afford to employ armies of people in between themselves and the site, masking IPs, and generally making themselves untouchable to anything short of the FBI; and if they're outside the US? No idea. Interpol? We always do as Frank suggested, blocking obvious spam user accounts permanently while also blocking the IP address they come from for a shorter amount of time. It's the best that can be done, and it works. The amount and type of spam we had three months ago was night and day compared to now. As we continue to add admins, it will get even better.--IBobitalkemail 13:46, 15 November 2012 (EST)
You think the current situation is "better"? Wow! To me, it seems an almost complete disaster.
Checking recent changes, I find I have nuked 57 garbage pages in the last four days. I am only checking main article space and only taking out really obvious spam. There are certainly dozens I am missing; I would not be surprised if it were hundreds.
Moreover, I generally just nuke the page leaving it to others to block the bogus users. I quite often see the page reappear in my watchlist with new spam, indicating that no-one is doing those blocks. Pashley 14:07, 15 November 2012 (EST)
It's definitely better; the measure is not how many spam pages appear, it's how long do they live on the site for. If a spammer/spambot creates a page, we delete the page, block the spam account and block the IP they used, the same spammer can then create the same page using a new account and IP. That's why you may see that happening after you nuke a page; it isn't the same IP or account, it's the same spammer. If I could delete *people* I would ;)
By the same token, if you do happen to see the same page reappear after being created by the same user/IP, please let me know. We can always use more tips on how to get it done best. Whenever possible, I use the following technique:
1. Locate spam edit. 2. Block user/IP. 3. Protect the spam page to be editable admins only (in the hopes that it won't be able to be recreated). 4. Delete the spam page.--IBobitalkemail 14:16, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Good luck. I took out a dozen rubbish pages today, but I feel like I'm almost alone both as a contributor & as an admin. There are masses of admin work being left undone — patrolling in general, in particular catching the bogus user pages I mentioned above, blocking the bogus users for pages I've deleted (one spambot whose drivel I removed refilled the page eight times before I got bored & removed it from my watchlist; it is probably still active), appointing new admins (see troosers just above), ...
My editing work now is on other wikis where there's a reasonable community to interact with and admin things actually get done. I'll keep the account here and pop in from time to time to see what's doing, but for now I'm done with even trying to fix the spam problem. Pashley 17:16, 29 November 2012 (EST)
Bon voyage, Sandy!
The dwindling real community on Wikitravel (as opposed to some PR-speak or Orwellian new definition) certainly have appreciated your erudite contributions and dogged persistence to the bitter end here.
I'll probably linger on (at least until fired by IBobi or one of his minions) since I hate seeing a good project destroyed by boneheaded stupidity and inaction. I'll message you privately via one of your other projects (since e-mailing is still disabled here) if there is anything cosmic that needs your urgent attention. --singaporeAlice 19:35, 29 November 2012 (EST)
Very sorry to hear that. In general, this *is* how spam gets removed. I and the other admins here at IB are constantly removing the spam that gets through the Captcha, Spam Blacklist, and Abuse Filters that we are also constantly updating. There will always be people trying to spam the site, and we'll always be here removing it. It's simply not possible to stop it all on the front end, so blocking and deleting is the order of the day. It's a fact of life, and any site that encourages anyone to edit it will have to deal.
You've been a very valuable admin here, Sandy, and I hope you'll reconsider & stay. Any suggestions you have will be heeded; in particular, if there are persistent spambots, we can block them at the IP level, or even rages of IPs -- there's no reason to continually remove the same content.
Either way, we'll be seeing you around, and thank you :) --IBobi 19:52, 29 November 2012 (EST)
Pashley, it's sad to see you giving up. Please know, that everybody here highly appreciates your contributions and your administrative efforts. Spam is going to be always happening on sites where the content is generated by users. Actually, right now IB notices way less spam than it used to be. There are more people keeping an eye on the site plus we set up a bunch of abuse filters that help us significantly.
We would like to see you here often. Please know that you are always welcomed on Wikitravel! Cheers! IBAlex 19:54, 29 November 2012 (EST)
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: Link spamming by anonymous or recently-registered users
Hi there, It may be that your edit included a link, which is something the system looks for from newly registered or anonymous IP editors (since they are often sources of spam). Sorry about that, it's a protection that helps keep Wikitravel's pages clean and spam-free. I recommend registering an account, and after you've become recognized by the community and the system, your edits can be properly attributed to you, etc. Welcome aboard!--IBobitalkemail 15:42, 25 September 2012 (EDT)
Also, I have made that revert!--IBobitalkemail 15:58, 25 September 2012 (EDT)
Ok, I've made an account and I'm trying to revert vandalism on the page Mombasa, but I cant, and I still get the same message! Im only trying to help wikitravel. Ÿ;;!!! 09:31, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I'm sorry, I realize you're helping by editing the page back to where it was before. Please keep making constructive edits -- we're happy to have you!--IBobitalkemail 03:07, 27 September 2012 (EDT)
User MVGreenland has been contributing many listings and photos (see WS). What do you think of these contributions? Touting?--IBobitalkemail 14:34, 27 September 2012 (EDT)
Someone needs to review all the photos to ensure the licensing is correct...someone over on WT Shared needs to check these. Make sure to click the link to the photo. At first I clicked the link to the user stream and saw all the photos were copyrighted. However, when I clicked on the link to the photo (on WTS and on flickr) I noticed it was licensed CC-SA 2.5 on WTS & CC-A 2.0 on flickr. As far as edits go, I went through the most recent 100 edits and didn't see anything that goes against our policies. There were a couple photos of businesses added (1-2 hotels & a bookshop), but none of the wording in hotel listings this user has added sound like touting. IMO, the user seems like a very helpful contributor to our Greenland pages. AHeneen 00:24, 28 September 2012 (EDT)
Thanks for that -- I generally felt the same way, as did IBcash, about the tone of his edits. Skirting the line perhaps but nothing worse than other business owners do.--IBobitalkemail 01:29, 28 September 2012 (EDT)
Selection of Destination of the Month and Off the Beaten Path for Main Page
Hey current editors! We have changed the Destination of the Month and Off the Beaten Path sections of the Main Page for October. However, we would value your input and suggestions in the Destination of the Month candidates page for following months. Please check it out! IBcash 15:38, 2 October 2012 (EDT)
Obviously I'd like to feature a New Zealand destination - but first I need to get one to Star status! --W. Franke-mailtalk 07:50, 3 October 2012 (EDT)
Albuquerque has been already featured in the past as a Destination of the Month. –sumone10154(talk) 17:01, 3 October 2012 (EDT)
You're right! It slipped past me. Thanks! Since we changed it early because we didn't have one in September, we could keep it there until the 15th (the actual time when the OTBP would change) and then change it. What do you think? Any suggestions for another October OTBP? IBcash 13:59, 4 October 2012 (EDT)
Hello! Are there any suggestions for the Destination of the Month and Off the Beaten Path for December. Please let us know your ideas here. Thank you! IBAlex 19:04, 27 November 2012 (EST)
I think that Jacksonville would be a good Destination Of The Month for February or March. What do you think? User:Travelgeek 12:34, 27 December 2012 (EST)
I was thinking either of Rio de Janeiro for February because of the Carnival or some destination in Asia because of Chinese New Year celebrations. What do you think? Jacksonville maybe in March then? Is there something going on in Jacksonville in March? warm regards, IBAlex 13:57, 15 January 2013 (EST)
Being an experienced Wikipedia editor, but very, very new to Wikitravel editing (though a somewhat frequent reader of), I - on my very first intended edit - ran into a question.
In the By car-section of the Slovakia travel guide, I would like to have quoted a part of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice for Slovakia: "The standard of driving is not high and can be aggressive. Specifically, beware of oncoming cars overtaking on your side of the road (particularly on bends and hills)." In my view it sums it up very brilliantly (having being a driving tourist in Slovakia on several occasions) and I think, that sourcing it would only make it all the more authoritative in this case. While being a reader of Wikitravel I have never pondered over the "lack" of quotes, but I have now looked into both a number of articles as well as various parts of the Wikitravel:Manual of style, the Wikitravel:External links (could be it had something - it didn't) and Wikitravel:Welcome, Wikipedians/Wikitravel:Cooperating with Wikipedia/shared:How to re-use Wikipedia content (Wikipedia is rather anal about quoting and sourcing). Basically I came up empty-handed in all cases. I even found Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Reflist indicating that I'm not the only one with this "predicament". So my question is:
How do I quote and reference it?
I'm inclined to just insert a statement such as:
As the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office put it in their travel advice for Slovakia: "The standard of driving is not high and can be aggressive. Specifically, beware of oncoming cars overtaking on your side of the road (particularly on bends and hills)."
But I would rather do it in the right manner, in case I have missed something very obvious :). In kind regards, Henrik/Heb 04:01, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
You could go the short quote route (under the fair dealing copyright provisions) providing a link to the source (that might quickly become outdated) but it might be better just to put that in your own words - especially if you've personal experience of driving in Slovakia. That would mean one less external link - which we prefer. We normally don't reference material here and unless we're (rarely) using a direct quote, don't usually source either. Enjoy your new-found freedom and plunge forward Henrik!--W. Franke-mailtalk 07:55, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
Okay, another question from newbie Dane, but please bare with me...
I wanted to update the S-train-map in the Get around-section of the Copenhagen travel guide. The one currently there is from 2009, and there has been two changes since then. Because I am slightly lazy, I thought of using the map from Wikimedia Commons, which as far as I read shared:Tech:Enable InstantCommons should be fairly easy. Unfortunately the simple [[Image:S-train diagram (dec 2011).svg|thumb|420px|Map of S-trains and Metro in the Copenhagen area, with districts marked in the background]] didn't work - and neither did replacing Image: with File:. So I tried including a .png-file from Wikimedia Commons and that actually did work :)
Then I did a search for .svg-files on Wikitravel and there seems to be a lot of them. But none of them works. So I'm guessing there is an issue with SVG-files somewhere. I tried with SVG-files on Wikimedia Commons and there have no problems. What do I do? In kind regards, Henrik/Heb 04:28, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
I'm afraid this is beyond my knowledge - but I can confirm it's a real problem - I had to substitute a png file for an svg file in this template, Henrik. --W. Franke-mailtalk 17:16, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
I will have tech look into this! Thank you, --IBobitalkemail 18:30, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
OK -- we're seeing that they do in fact work (you have to click all the way through to the actual file, not the thumbnail), they just won't produce thumbnails.
Can you tell me how you're uploading them, and where, step by step, i.e. 1) Go this page 2) Edit 3) Upload this file or reference this file 4) Error?--IBobitalkemail 18:50, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
Looks like this may be fixed; thumbnails should slowly repopulate as the cache rebuilds over time. Let me know if this is still not working as expected.--IBobitalkemail 20:16, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
Hello! I would like to call to action all the administrators and contributors on WT.
For a long time Travel news have been outdated. It is time to change it and keep the Travel Alerts and Current and upcoming events up-to-date. To achieve that, I need your help. Who is willing to offer his/her help? Thank you! IBAlex 15:54, 29 October 2012 (EDT)
I think many of us are waiting for some straight answers here before we decide whether it's worth the effort in doing anything other than curating the articles that have already been written, Aleksandra. --W. Franke-mailtalk 19:56, 15 November 2012 (EST)
It's a pity to hear that, Frank, because I really believe in Wikitravel and I would like to make the site as much updated as possible. I know that with yours and community support it will be easier and better. IBAlex 20:27, 15 November 2012 (EST)
The stay safe section in Stockholm (and to some extent Sweden) is frequently subject to edit conflicts, many of them pushing the opinion that Stockholm would be a dangerous city. Can you give some advice how to solve this disagreement? Thanks in advance. /Blist 09:45, 6 November 2012 (EST)
Hello Blist! Thank you for notifying me. I checked it out and I saw that the user with the IP address 220.127.116.11 has made just one change in the stay safe section in Stockholm. However, I have already contacted him asking to avoid edit wars on Stockholm page and discuss all the changes he is planning to do on the discussion page.
I am also watching this page so I will keep an eye on this issue. Cheers! IBAlex 13:04, 6 November 2012 (EST)
The best solution is always to discuss the changes you both are making, using the Discussion page for that article. Sometimes it can be difficult to get an IP user to engage in this way. Try leaving a detailed note in the Edit Summary asking him/her to talk to you.--IBobitalkemail 14:43, 6 November 2012 (EST)
POV-pushing continues, by first-time unregistered users. Can anything more be done? Please contribute to Talk:Stockholm. /Blist 07:06, 26 November 2012 (EST)
Travel booking tool!
Soon, Wikitravellers will have the ability not only to browse and edit travel topics right here on the world's largest and best free travel wiki, but also to *book* travel from the very same page.
Wikitravel has partnered with Orbitz to bring you a tool that will give you air and hotel booking options on each destination page in our travel guide. If you log in to your Wikitravel account, you will need to go to your *preferences* in order to turn on this booking tool -- you will not see it at all unless you turn it on.
We've worked with the Wikitravel community over the past 2 years to determine exactly what the look and feel of the tool ought to be; please let us know any feedback you have, and we'll make every effort to accommodate changes! Thank you, --IBobitalkemail 14:34, 19 November 2012 (EST)
I think this is a great idea for monetising the site!
I also like the way that none of our registered editors will probably ever notice this. After all, you're not wrong when you continually point out that there are millions of visitors to this site who never bother to register and will automatically get a chance to make bookings.
So as not to weaken the credibility of the ads, it's even more important to give more people effective janitor tools!
However, I still think that you should clarify in writing the community established policies you have changed. --singaporeAlice 15:05, 19 November 2012 (EST)
I've switched on the display of Orbitz but still I never see it. What pages is it actually working on, please?
Also, Wikitravel has been slow to the point of being unusable today from this Pacific Rim country - the competing Wikimedia site loads more than 100 times faster on identical pages like North Korea. More than 20 times in succession I get the "Sorry! We could not process your edit due to a loss of session data" message. --singaporeAlice 04:07, 22 November 2012 (EST)
Did I miss an important announcement? I still don't see the display of Orbitz travel information but now the option to switch it on has disappeared completely from my preferences. What gives? --singaporeAlice 02:54, 30 November 2012 (EST)
At this time, the tool is only available if you are not logged in. We will restore functionality to those who wish to use it while logged in soon.--IBobi 14:07, 30 November 2012 (EST)
Thanks for your prompt response.
I assume you are still having technical problems since I have just seen the Orbitz tool appear for the first time while logged in and with my preferences flag not set to "Show Orbitz Search", as this screenshot clearly shows if you click on it to enlarge: Please feel free to email me if you need help.
With this edit you removed another user's comments. Unless there are exceptional reasons, this is frowned upon, so I assume the excision was accidental, yes? --singaporeAlice 15:10, 30 November 2012 (EST)
Alice- you have to go to your web browser's options and clear cache . Then the Orbitz Widget will not show again. I hope it helps. IBAlex 15:27, 30 November 2012 (EST)
Bizarre! You might want to check the logs. (IBadmins have recently promoted - without any community discussion or warning - a number of admins that, unlike yourself, have a very limited understanding of the policies and procedures of the English Wikitravel. Equally it might be some new spammer trickery.) --singaporeAlice 00:57, 1 November 2012 (EDT)
Fixed; no biggie. Just re-saved from earlier edit. Happens with MW database on occasion.--IBobitalkemail 04:58, 1 November 2012 (EDT)
Thanks for your very rapid response.
I have deleted the contents & re-directed: Southwest (United States of America) since it's a breach of our Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence to duplicate a page without duplicating the attribution history.
I'm still baffled as to how (on the face of it) an IP editor managed to duplicate an article and then delete the original (and its edit history) and all without leaving a trace in the logs. --singaporeAlice 00:36, 4 November 2012 (EDT)
Without doing extensive research, I'm not sure that's how it went down. Looked to me like a DB error that was easily corrected. At any rate, after verifying that the "new" page redirects also redirected to the "old" page, I went ahead and deleted the "new" page, as it consisted of nothing more than dupe content, which is confusing. We don't want people contributing on one location and not the other, which is just what would happen.--IBobitalkemail 15:52, 5 November 2012 (EST)
We're looking into what causes this. Obviously we do not want to wait until a knowledgeable editor like yourself discovers pages that are unusable. Did you find these by browsing to them or by some other method?--IBobitalkemail 18:39, 5 November 2012 (EST)
The article above states: "It's possible to encode information about the latitude and longitude of a destination into the destination guide itself. This information will then be used to make special HTML tags to show that the page is related to those lat/long coordinates;"..."A "Map" link will also be added to the "Toolbox" in the left pane, which will take users to a Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft map of the location."
I've added the relevant template to our Nelson (New Zealand) article but the "Map" link was not added to the "Toolbox" in the left pane! --singaporeAlice 20:37, 6 November 2012 (EST)
Hmm. Research shows that there have been problems with this template interfering with formatting. And not being terribly useful besides. We'll have to look into this one. Do you see an example where it is working?--IBobitalkemail 13:35, 7 November 2012 (EST)
I can't find any page where it is not currently broken - sorry.
It's not terribly useful to save the few keystrokes needed to key "Nelson, New Zealand" into the on-line mapping provider of your choice but
it would enhance the advertising click revenue of Internet Brands to have our relevant article page (with advertising by default) show up on users geocode-enabled smartphones according to their GPS location
it's very useful to find out of the way places (often in third world countries) where names are often incompletely found or differently spelt on maps. --singaporeAlice 17:01, 7 November 2012 (EST)
You are taken to the special page but, although the search box is correctly pre-populated the "Go" search button no longer works. --singaporeAlice 16:26, 7 November 2012 (EST)
Hmm. I'll queue it; no guarantees on timing as this is the first I've seen of this functionality.--IBobitalkemail 18:00, 7 November 2012 (EST)
Appears to be working as designed. It's generating the AMAZON and B&N, etc. links at the bottom of the page. The input box is just to refresh the page and generate those links. Let me know if you have info to the contrary.--IBobitalkemail 18:12, 7 November 2012 (EST)
UPDATE: My clarifications have now been deleted (twice).
So we are now back to the hypocrytical situation of having one policy actively enforced and promulgated (at least by some IBadmins) without ever having that policy enunciated on any policy page that I am aware of. I think I'll change my user name to George Orwell. --singaporeAlice 18:48, 5 November 2012 (EST)
1. WT editors are not to make changes to policies unilaterally. That is why the changes were reverted (at the request of another non-IB editor). 2. The policy in question doesn't really need a change. It's being interpreted internally in a way that it hasn't been interpreted before, due to a situation that has not arisen before. And it's almost entirely in the past. Thus there is no reason to amend policy, both because as it stands it is being applied consistently, and because the situation requiring that interpretation was unique and has now passed. It's time to move forward.--IBobitalkemail 19:06, 5 November 2012 (EST)
1) I don't think you can have it both ways. Either you genuinely do not think We do not allow (and will attempt to strenuously police and expunge) external links to, or promotion of, travel websites that are not primary sources - this policy includes other wikis, whether Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 licensed or not has been our policy for a long time or I'm a Dutchman the policy in question has always existed and doesn't really need a change. Instead it's being interpreted internally in a way that it hasn't been interpreted before, due to a situation that has not arisen before. That interpretation needs to be made explicit and prominent to avoid edit wars.
2) I do think it completely Orwellian and counter productive not to explicitly warn people that they should not include links to or use the naughty names of other travel wikis in text - particularly those that have recently started operating from Wikimedia servers. Since I am not an admin I really do need an explicit policy to link to in a terse but precise and authoritative way when I excise naughty names or links if the (often bona fide but ignorant-of-our-policy-that-can-not-speak-its-name) editor is not to be left puzzled, frustrated and annoyed by my (to him, incomprehensible) edits. An example of this is where an article discussion section dating back to July 2006 was removed to the genuine puzzlement of an IP contributor. --singaporeAlice 16:51, 7 November 2012 (EST)
On a related but different topic, I really find it objectionable that no official announcements are being made about new admin appointments.
If this character is not an admin, I really deprecate that this naming loophole has not been plugged weeks ago as I suggested! --W. Franke-mailtalk 16:11, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Unfortunately there's no way I know of to prevent that yet. But since we watch all new user creation, we'll catch it if it happens. Sometimes users are appointed internally as admins. No biggie. I was such a user, and look how great I've turned out :) --IBobitalkemail 16:21, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Has IBMaarten arbitrarily been made an admin, on the English language version of Wikitravel, without the usual experience + nomination + discussion process but as a secret appointment?? Yes or No, please. --W. Franke-mailtalk 16:35, 15 November 2012 (EST)
I thought I explained it? And the edit that made him an admin was clear: he's administering the Dutch site, and also working on EN. There's nothing secret, Frank. Rejoice: and welcome the new admin!--IBobitalkemail 16:50, 15 November 2012 (EST)
No, we have still not had any announcement from you, any other IBadmin or a properly appointed admin, never mind on the proper pages and you have still not answered with a "Yes".
We're not mind readers, you know and you really are abusing all of our policies and processes now. As for there being nothing secret, that really is a lie as Alice makes clear above.
Would you now make clear (with a properly formatted diff) what exactly was "the edit that made him an admin", please?
And for the avoidance of doubt, I personally have no objection in principle to admins from other language versions being rapidly promoted to admin status on the EN Wikitravel. But there should be a clear announcement on the proper page(s) each time this happens and you urgently need to revise all those policy pages that you currently keep flouting. To do anything less is to destroy any chance of re-building the community that has been decimated by your autocratic and thoroughly whimsical decisions, never mind poisoning the wholehearted welcome that would otherwise be given to new (and sorely needed) wielders of the mop. --W. Franke-mailtalk 18:30, 15 November 2012 (EST)
I believe you can view this page? Sorry you're unhappy Frank. We're promoting anyone who gets the required community support in the required time period, and shows the best qualities to help the community move forward. Thank you, --IBobitalkemail 18:46, 15 November 2012 (EST)
That User rights log is not a page that can be added to anyone's watchlist and neither do I know of a way to find out what pages internally link to it. Do you seriously expect editors to load that page every few hours to find out what admin has been appointed on the English language version of Wikitravel most recently?
I note that you have still not dealt with the most pressing point: Explicit Clarification in writing, on the English language version of Wikitravel, in the obvious places of the new policies and, if they are of only a temporary nature, their expected date of expiry. --W. Franke-mailtalk 18:59, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Is "formatting according to our MoS" edit warring?
Perhaps appropriately, given its subject matter, this policy page has been constructed by individual editors plunging forward and writing stuff that seemed blindingly obvious to them.
Rather refreshingly, a brand new IBadmin has queried whether making persistent changes to article formatting is "something that needs to be discussed first within the community. I'm referring to this  change."
Does anybody else think that (for example) when more knowledgeable editors continuously and relentlessly change formatting that does not conform to our Manual of Style (without good reason) - such as changing "150 Pesos" to the more correct "₱150" - this is edit warring?
Who else thinks that in cases of controversy, the style manual should not trump? --singaporeAlice 15:05, 19 November 2012 (EST)
Edit warring is edit warring, regardless of whether one of the parties is "right" and the other party is "wrong".
If two people are changing the article formatting back and forth, the correct thing to do is to follow the procedure discussed in Wikitravel:Edit war. JYolkowski 22:11, 21 November 2012 (EST)
Replied to you at Wikitravel_talk:Edit_war since I'm rather baffled by your imputed suggestion that we should scrap at least one of our five foundation policies that: "Text and images should follow style guidelines. With rare exception, text and images should follow our Manual of style. Exceptions should gain wide consensus; in cases of controversy, the style manual trumps." --singaporeAlice 22:47, 21 November 2012 (EST)
The quote you included contains the words "With rare exception." That's why you need to discuss with the other party instead of edit warring with them to see whether it makes sense for this to be such an exception. Cheers, JYolkowski 19:06, 23 November 2012 (EST)
I boldly started Wikitravel:Requested articles for listing links to articles that would be useful, but do not yet exist. Would it be useful for the development of Wikitravel? /Blist 13:14, 22 November 2012 (EST)
Why not? --singaporeAlice 14:27, 22 November 2012 (EST)
Unfortunately this is consistently and automatically buggered by the "add listing" option that appears in blue to the right of our standard section headings of "See", "Do", "Buy", "Eat", "Drink" and "Sleep" that always adds the new listing to the bottom of that particular section.
Is it time to change the listing order policy or recode the robot so that it understands alphabetic order? --singaporeAlice 16:34, 24 November 2012 (EST)
There are many countries around the world that use the name "dollar" and the symbol "$" for their currency. Our usual policy is that Prices should be listed with the currency symbol that travellers will encounter, specifically the local formatting. The currency symbol should always be prefixed. Travellers should be able to assume that symbols used for multiple currencies (like $ or £) apply to the local currency. Do not use currency codes like "USD", "EUR", or "GBP" if the symbol is established.
$100 in Detroit, not US$100, 100 USD or 100 dollars
$100 in Vancouver, not CAD$100, 100 CAD or 100 dollars
$100 in Wellington, not NZD$100, 100 NZD or 100 dollars
$100 in Canberra, not AUD$100, 100 AUD or 100 dollars
and I propose no change in respect of this.
However, the currency of Colombia poses special dangers of inconsistency and confusion as exemplified in our Cartagena (Colombia) article.
Colombia is unusual in having an officially recognised currency symbol of "$" that (unlike Singapore, etc) is not actually used on their banknotes - where, instead, "pesos" is printed. Since prices in the tourist industry in Colombia are also often quoted in US$, I propose that we use "pesos" instead of either the $ symbol or COP for Colombia currency.
This is somewhat analogous to the "Baht or ฿" situation adjudicated at Wikitravel_talk:Currency but differs in that I propose using the plural "pesos" rather than "peso" since
the peso is so minute as to be almost never encountered in the singular
Nobody has raised any objections so I will now make the necessary policy change. --singaporeAlice 18:44, 30 November 2012 (EST)
First of all, I want to apologize if this is the wrong place to post this, but right now I am so frustrated that my head is spinning.
When I was originally planning our family vacation to Las Vegas I used the WikiTravel website as a source of research for shows, attractions and places to stay. As a first time visitor to Las Vegas, the website seemed to be a prime resource providing a lot of useful information.
We have since returned to Las Vegas several times and I absolutely love this destination and am planning to return many more times.
In anticipation of my return to Sin City in a few months I was going through my Vegas bookmarks and I noticed the Wikitravel entry. I remembered reading a few of the entertainment/shows entries and I realized that a few things didn't jive with what I had experienced in real life.
When I went back to the website to confirm my suspicions - Sure enough, there they were!
Numerous inaccuries, for example:
Blue Man Group at the Venetian (they have since moved their show to the Monte Carlo)
Bette Midler at Caesars Palace (her residency ended Jan. 2010)
Lance Burton at the Monte Carlo (his residency ended in Sept. 2010)
Fab Four Live at the V Theater in Planet Hollywood (the correct title of the show is Beatleshow!)
Viva Elvis at the Aria (closed in August)
Human Nature at the Imperial Palace (ended their residency in November, and the Imperial Palace is now know as the Quad)
nowhere did it mention the residencies of:
Elton at Caesars Palace (his residency has since ended but was current at the time)
Shania Twain at Caesars Palace
Celine Dion at Caesars Palace
Rod Stewart at Caesars Palace
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at the Venetian
these are the most glaring ommissions
Comedy Shows had only 2 listings (2 listings?!?!? I couldn't believe this! Carrot Top and Sin City Comedy (the venue has since changed) are the only 2 comedy shows in ALL of Las Vegas???)
not listed were: Brad Garrett's Comedy Club, Louie Anderson, George Wallace, Big Al's Comedy Club, The Improv at Harrah's, Wolf's Comedy Den, Riviera Comedy Club etc. etc.
Tribute Shows did not list:
Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas, MJ Live, Legends in Concert, Purple Reign: A Tribute to Prince, Dancing Queen, The Australian Bee Gees, Trent Carlini's the King, The Rat Pack is Back (there are currently over 4 Frank Sinatra and/or Rat Pack shows playing) etc. etc.
Magic Shows did not list:
Jan Rouven, Mike Hammer, Nathan Burton, Seth Grabel, The Amazing Jonathon etc. etc.
Impressionist/impersonation shows did not list:
Gordie Brown and veteran impersonator Rich Little!
You get the picture! The number of ommissions and innaccuracies was-and-is mind-boggling!
Considering that Wikitravel's Main Page proclaims that it is a "complete, up-to-date and reliable worldwide travel guide" this is unfathomable!
At this point I decided to take it upon myself and sign up as a Wikitravel editor with the intention of becoming a "Las Vegas entertainment editor" of sorts and doing a thorough update of the "See" section (that's kind of funny actually).
I spent over a week researching and documenting the current shows as well as the concerts and special events (I'll get to this in a moment) ... and this is no mean feat ...
To verify information required me to consult the venue's website, the performer's website, the authorized ticket agent's website and in some cases some entertainment revue sites. (I subscribe to dozens of Las Vegas tourism and entertainment guides and websites.)
Once I had compiled all the information, I went about adding the new entries to the appropriate categories and correcting any inaccuracies.
Once I was finished editing all the regular Las Vegas shows, I decided to tackle the concert listings knowing that this would be a very "hands on" endeavour requiring me to make edits on almost a daily basis.
I created a sub-heading titled "Concerts/Special Events" with 2 sub-headings under that titled "1 Night Only" and "Limited Engagement". I then started to populate the lists in chronological order based on all the information I had.
Halfway through listing the events for December I see a notice at the top of my screen saying that "there was a conflict with some of my listings etc. etc". Upon checking my User talk page I see a message that says this:
"I had to delete your contribution on Las Vegas page because we do not post one time events/ attractions in destination articles. Best, IBAlex 20:19, 30 November 2012 (EST)"
I could not believe what I was seeing!
To omit "1 night only" or "limited engagement" concerts/special events from a Las Vegas entertainment listings is a travesty! Las Vegas is truly the entertainment capital of the world and to ignore this by not including these listings is doing the reader a huge dis-service. I personally, would book travel based on several of these events alone and I know this to be true for many others. There has to be an exception made for Vegas ... the concerts, shows and special events are what Las Vegas is all about! That in itself is what makes Las Vegas a travel destination! You can't apply standard rules as there is no place on the planet like this!
This is a partial list of the concerts and special events for the month of December:
Aerosmith & Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Megadeth, The Eagles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, Pitbull, The Killers, The O'Jays, Jerry Seinfeld, the Wayans Brothers, The Eagles, Jeff Dunham, UFC 155, The Ultimate Fighter Finale, The National Rodeo Finals, American Country Awards, Three Dog Night, Restless Heart, Mannheim Steamroller, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Train, Ron White, Bill Engvall, Dennis Miller & Bill O'Reilly, Journey & Loverboy, Merle Haggard, Lonestar, Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Márquez, Charlie Daniels Band, The Oak Ridge Boys, Randy Travis, LeAnn Rimes, 3 Doors Down & Daughtry, Moody Blues, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, The Tragically Hip, Trace Adkins, Social Distortion, Dave Koz and many many more.
So now, in addition to all the concert/special event listings being deleted, so are all my show updates and inclusions. All of my work is now GONE! Wiped out in one fell swoop by an all-knowing, all-mighty admin. Hours and hours of work down the toilet!
So, as of right now according to the Las Vegas WikiTravel page: Bette Midler, Lance Burton and Viva Elvis are still performing, while Shania Twain, Rod Stewart, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill and Celine Dion are not. Carrot Top and Sin City Comedy are the only 2 comedy shows in town. Dozens and dozens of shows and venues do not exist and there are no concerts playing in town at all whatsoever.
It's a shame.
I restored your edits; IMHO the deletion was bad judgement by an inexperienced admin. On the other hand, she had a point; WT is a travel guide; some of your listings may be too short-term to bother with and should be deleted as unmaintainable. Dicussion should go on the article's talk page. Pashley 20:03, 1 December 2012 (EST)
I have committed myself to maintaining the short term edits. By tomorrow morning the concert listings dated December 1 will have been deleted. And so on and so on. I can appreciate how short-term listings might be termed "unmaintainable" by conventional thinking ... but ... Las Vegas is far from being a "conventional" travel destination. Thank you Briank58 20:17, 1 December 2012 (EST)
Briank58- thank you for your notice. I would gladly address this problem. I am here to help users and I am open to any suggestions and discussions.
Please know that your contribution on Las Vegas page is highly appreciated. I am glad to see that you understand that Wikitravel does not support short-time listings (especially 1 day listings) because it is difficult to maintain them. We do worry that when users post short-time listings on the site, they will not remove them once the listings become outdated. And this clearly is not beneficial for the site and the users... In this way, the site risks of becoming eventually cluttered with those outdated listings. That is why I removed your listings, leaving a message on your Talk Page to let you know that I did not mean anything bad. I was simply following the conventions.
However, when I see that you are willing to upkeep the listings and remove some of them on daily basis, I am fine with keeping them there. Again, your contribution is extremely valuable to Las Vegas site, thank you for that. Warm regards, IBAlex 13:32, 3 December 2012 (EST)
Why are the Orbitz ads appearing on non-logged in users?
Disclaimer: I wrote the following without knowing that the feature was supposed to be opt-in
Case in point: Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Paris, and many other cities now have Orbitz banners in the header and the 'Get In' and 'Sleep' sections.
I understand the need for more funding, but nobody will ever say "Oh, how convenient, now I can buy plane tickets while in the middle of reading a Wikitravel article". On its current state is useless at the best, and obtrusive at its worst.
Sometimes this is extremely ridiculous: just look at the article on Orania.
For those reasons I think anyway that having it as an opt-out is a terrible idea. 18.104.22.168 22:57, 1 December 2012 (EST)
If you log in to your Wikitravel account, you will need to go to your *preferences* in order to turn on this booking tool -- you will not see it at all unless you turn it on.
These ads are appearing to me as a non-logged-in user, and the only way I found to disable them is
to log-in into an account, clearly making it opt-out.
Was that change intentional? In that case it's a horrible decision IMO. 22.214.171.124 11:37, 2 December 2012 (EST)
This was discussed about a year ago and is one of the reasons why it is so quiet here. However ignoring question of whether a booking engine should be there, I find the implementation poor.
I tried the booking banner from the Aberdeen page, trying to find a flight to there from Manchester. The article said that there were direct flights, so that was what I was expecting to be offered, but I was only offered a flight via Amsterdam, requiring an overnight stay and costing $407 return. But at Orbitz's own site, I was offered direct flights on the same dates for $184 return. There is also no easy way of finding out who Orbitz is, or of changing the currency from dollars.
Trying it on Orania gave the suggestion of Alexandria, which is a long distance away - the booking engine must know the correct airport for every page that it appears on.
It would be better to have the booking banner on the right hand side, above the adverts. This also gives the possibility of getting local bus and train companies to offer booking. I doubt that I will be looking to book a flight here, but a way of booking the bus from the airport would be useful. AlasdairW 18:18, 3 December 2012 (EST)
Hi Alasdair -- I am looking into why the results are different. I tried the same search and got the same results you did. We're still working the kinks out and hope it can be a very useful tool indeed for our Wikitravelers. Please let me know if you see anything else that is suboptimal. Cheers, --IBobi 19:02, 7 December 2012 (EST)
Town of Rochester, New York
There is Town of Rochester (Ulster County)  in New York State which is different from the larger, more familiar City of Rochester (Monroe County) in New York State. How would I add (name) the Town of Rochester here? The two Rochesters are over a hundred miles apart, not related at all. gamweb 18:10, 8 December 2012 (EST)
Hi Gamweb! Thank you for your message. The best way is to create a page for Town of Rochester from the scratch since it doesn't exist here. Please have a look . You would need to select the best template and just plunge forward. Don't worry if you don't know how to fill out all the sections- someone will be along to help with it later! Once the page is created, we would need to create a Disambiguation Page, similar to this one so that nobody will get confused with the destination. Please let me know if there is anything else i can help with. Greetings, IBAlex 13:42, 10 December 2012 (EST)
There is already a disambiguation page at Rochester. I would suggest Rochester_(Ulster_County) might be best, county names are often used when there is more than one place of the same name in a state / country. But it worth asking "what do people say locally?", when buying a bus ticket to the town from the other side of the state, as this may suggest a better name. AlasdairW 18:47, 10 December 2012 (EST)
User Blist has recently created a page with a list of requested articles that still don't exist on Wikitravel. Please plunge forward and help us grow! Looking forward to your contributions! Best, IBAlex 18:13, 11 December 2012 (EST)
New Page - Kerhonkson
I just created new page for Kerhonkson, New York. It's been a while since I made a new page. Please look it over to see what's missing. (Auxiliary wikilinks) gamweb 22:48, 12 December 2012 (EST)
Great job! Thank you! I needed to change the headline "Go next" to "Get out" because that's still the proper name Wikitravel uses for this section. We would be changing this headline soon throughout all the articles. I'm looking forward to more contributions from you. Thank you again! Cheers! IBAlex 15:10, 13 December 2012 (EST)
Sorry about that. I was working in "parallel" with another travel site at the same time (enough said). gamweb 16:04, 13 December 2012 (EST)
No worries. Thank you! IBAlex 16:35, 13 December 2012 (EST)
Ellenville, near Kerhonkson. Give it a look over. I still have to add some photos. gamweb 23:18, 16 December 2012 (EST)
Page looks great! Are there any other destinations you are planning to work at? Best, IBAlex 16:39, 17 December 2012 (EST)
Here is a list of articles that have been rated as Usable and need some attention. Please feel free to plunge forward and add some information. If you think that some of the articles shouldn't be there, please let us know. See this page for a description of what qualifies an article for different statuses. Thank you! IBAlex 18:32, 17 December 2012 (EST)
Some and some
I already run seahouseswebsite.co.uk for my community. I made half a dozen or so edits to the Wikitravel page about Seahouses but what now appears on-line includes only some of those edits - in some cases leaving ungrammatical sentences. What did I do wrong? Should I try again or is there some reason why my edits were edited?
My edits included a reference to the Farne Islands. No Wikitravel page existed so I've just written one but I'm quite sure it needs proper formatting etc.
Ideally can someone respond to email@example.com?
Bonniedougall 09:47, 18 December 2012 (EST)
Dear Bonniedougall! Some of the edits you made had to be deleted because you inserted too many external links on one page (there were 10 links leading to the same domain). Please read our external links policies to get more information. A couple of links on a page is ok but it is not our aim on Wikitravel to fill up the articles with external links. Anyone reading Seahouses article will see the link even if it's only one. I hope you understand.
I also noticed that you created Farne Islands page. We already had a page about Farne Islands, please have a look. That is why I need to ask you to merge the information on the page you created with the existing one. We do not duplicate pages on Wikitravel. Thank you! Warm regards, IBAlex 18:22, 18 December 2012 (EST)
OK Alex, I've had another go which should be more compliant. And I'm suggesting that the page entitled THE Farne Islands should be scrapped.Bonniedougall 06:34, 20 December 2012 (EST)
Bonniedougall- would you mind putting a template on the Farne Islands page you created? The page would look nicer and more organized. In this way I would be able to delete The Farne Islands. Thank you! IBAlex 11:35, 20 December 2012 (EST)
Having mentioned the Holy Island of Lindisfarne on 'my' Seahouses page, and there having been no Holy Island of Lindisfarne page, I have created one - ready for the Lindisfarne folk to develop. So I have left an email with them, at, drawing their attention to the matter.
Bonniedougall 08:47, 20 December 2012 (EST)
There is a Lindisfarne page aleady. I made yours a redirect to that. Pashley 08:56, 20 December 2012 (EST)