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Difference between revisions of "Wikitravel:Travellers' pub"

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::Thanks, cacahuate. Let's continue this conversation on [[:shared:Tech:Table of contents makes too much whitespace]]. --[[User:Evan|Evan]] 08:11, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
 
::Thanks, cacahuate. Let's continue this conversation on [[:shared:Tech:Table of contents makes too much whitespace]]. --[[User:Evan|Evan]] 08:11, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
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==[[project:Database dump|Database dump]]==
 +
The lack of availability of a WT database dump was brought to my attention again today, when people at [http://bewelcome.org BeWelcome] considered a synergy with Wikitravel. BW is the off-spring of Hospitality Club and CouchSurfing, a free, cooperative hospitality exchange organization. There will be a lot of active members, and the idea is to send them to Wikitravel to work on a travel guide. But the lack of an available database dump is holding this back. Well, anyway.
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Check out [[project:Database dump]] and find out how we can book some progress here! [[User:Guaka|Guaka]] 07:38, 21 June 2007 (EDT)

Revision as of 11:42, 21 June 2007


The Travellers' pub is the place to ask questions when you're confused, lost, afraid, tired, annoyed, thoughtful, or helpful. Please check the FAQ and Help page before asking a question, though, since that may save your time and others'. Also, if you have a question or suggestion about a particular article, try using talk pages to keep the discussion specific to that article.

If you are having a problem that you think has to do with the Mediawiki software, please post that on the Bug reports page instead.

Please add new questions at the bottom of the page and sign your post by appending four tildes (~~~~) to it, but otherwise plunge forward!

Contents

Archives

Keeping the Pub clean is a group effort. If we have too many conversations on this page, it gets too noisy and hard to read. If you see a conversation that could or should be moved to a talk page, please do so, and note the move here.

Stuff that's been moved:

Also, see the Travellers' pub archives for older archived discussions.

Please sweep the pub

So, the TP has been getting kinda crowded and messy. I'd really appreciate if we could all make an effort to clean up a bit by moving discussions to places more appropriate or deleting discussions that have reached their conclusions. It's a tedious job, but like most, it's easier if we do it together. --Evan 16:44, 20 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Should we sweep this out? -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 03:20, 16 August 2006 (EDT)
Ugh, this place is getting messy and this is the one page I hate to attempt to organize. Anyone want to take a stab at cleaning it up? -- Sapphire(Talk) • 18:29, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

Javascript errors?

Wikitravel seems to be throwing a javascript error: "wgBreakFrames is not defined" (wikibits.js, line 51). I'm getting this on both firefox and IE, and so I don't think it's a problem at my end.  ;-) --Tinkerer 02:15, 10 March 2007 (EST)

Creative Commons 3.0

To everyone,

Creative Commons just launched the 3.0 versions. There are some interesting and, I think, better features about the overall 3.0 license. I.e. 3.0 licenses can be relicensed under other licenses with the same spirit. See Creative Commons by-ShareAlike 3.0 and the Creative Commons website for the nitty gritty. Once I read over everything I'll consider relicensing all of my contributions under possibly the 3.0 license, or something more recent. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 03:56, 10 March 2007 (EST)

New Itineraries

After a trip, I've started several new itineraries — two for routes I followed, Yunnan tourist trail and Overland Kunming to Hong Kong — and two for other routes, Overland to Tibet, and Burma Road. Comments and contributions solicited.

Some more specific questions arise, though. One is a naming convention for overland itineraries. This has been discussed before, at least at Talk:Overland from Singapore to Shanghai and Talk:Istanbul to New Delhi over land. Should "Overland Kunming to Hong Kong" have a "from" inserted? Or should "Overland from Singapore to Shanghai" have it removed? Should "Istanbul to New Delhi over land" be changed?

Another is how to choose directions for itineraries. I wrote it as "Kunming to Hong Kong" because that is the way I travelled it, but "Hong Kong to Kunming" would fit better as a component in "Overland to Tibet". Do we need a policy, or just a suggestion, that says itineraries should be written from the better-known or more accessible end, travelling toward the other end?

There's also an open question about whether we need some sort of hierarchical tag for itineraries. Or for Travel Topics. isIn is fine for destinations, but what about itineraries. "Singapore to Shanghai" has several parts; should they link to it? How? "Overland Kunming to Hong Kong" could be part of one route in "Overland to Tibet"; should there be breadcrumbs for that?

Just using isIn — "Overland to Tibet" isIn Asia, "Overland Kunming to Hong Kong" isIn China, Yunnan tourist trail isIn Yunnan — might be better than nothing, but it does not seem to be the Right Thing. Pashley 04:32, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

Personally, I favour the briefer alternative of "Overland Hong Kong to Kunming" with the convention you suggested of from the better-known or more accessible origin to the lesser-known or less accessible destination.
However, there may need to be exceptions to this. For example, the Routeburn Trail in South-West New Zealand is best walked from the Glenorchy end to The Divide (on the Milford Road) because walked in that direction, one is warmed by the sun in the early morning and shaded from its glare in the afternoon by the prevailing topography...
...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 08:58, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

TOC placement template

The history of TOC placement is a long and sordid affair on Wikitravel, but Evan has been working on a solution that should eliminate many of the whitespace issues (shared:Tech:Table of contents makes too much whitespace). In the mean time some users have begun using Template:TOCleft. Articles that use this template look much better than those that don't, but there may be some conflicts with Evan's solution, and I'm not sure we want to have the precedent of allowing any editor to modify something as fundamental as the TOC on a per-article basis. My preference would be to wait for Evan rather than modify TOC placement on a per-article basis, but perhaps others have an opinion, so discussion begun... -- Ryan (talk) 20:07, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

I confess to being one of the users that has been trying to save some paper at print time (and prettify articles in the process - but beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and others, of course, may disagree with my aesthetics).
When I first edited on Wikitravel (anonymously, some months ago) I found that {{TOCleft}}
did not work. When it started working I (wrongly?) assumed that the issue of custom ToC placements had been decided upon.
Obviously I will agree to desist from custom ToC placements if someone would be kind enough to give me a firm timeline for Evan's solution (or a place to track progress) since Template talk:TOCleft hadn't been created at the time I wrote this...
...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 09:35, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
I'd love to get this done and launched. I'm tired of dealing with the ToC placement. Please, if folks have comments, please make them on the shared: discussion page. --Evan 12:13, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Please forgive my ignorance, (there is currently no text on shared: discussion - was it archived somewhere?) but several users have directed me here to the Pub to discuss this - who is that (blank) page shared with?...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 20:06, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

What Evan meant is that anyone who is interested should add to the discussion on the shared site article at shared:Tech:Table of contents makes too much whitespace. -- Ryan (talk) 20:09, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, Ryan! I've left a comment at shared:Tech:Table of contents makes too much whitespace. (I had to sign my comment manually since my log-in doesn't seem to work there; I was reluctant to create a new log-in since I assume there must be a way to use my Wikitravel log-in there too?)...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 20:46, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
You assumed wrong. You'll have to create a new account for Shared, however, you can then use OpenID so that you'll be logged into en and shared at the same time. See the log in screen for more details. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 21:53, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
Andrew, you are wrong. You can use OpenId to import all your details from Wikitravel to Shared. Linking is just an additional feature if you already happen to have already created an account on Shared. — Ravikiran 22:16, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, I just remembered that. I've been waiting for an OpenID un-converter because I'd rather have my other IDs tied to en:, rather than to shared so I've been doing it the old way. Anyhow, to use OpenID shared:Special:OpenIDLogin. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 22:43, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
No, I'm afraid the OpenID login is broken at shared...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 12:13, 27 March 2007 (EDT)

Graffiti wall

I'm using the graffiti wall to print some devanagiri. Upamanyuwikitravel( Talk )( Travel ) • 00:28, 29 March 2007 (EDT)

Done. I'v reverted it to the last version. For some obscure reason, MS word does not support devanagiri so I printed it out from the graffiti wall. I might use it later for the same purpose. Upamanyuwikitravel( Talk )( Travel ) • 05:45, 29 March 2007 (EDT)

Chimney Rock spamming

I've got the following message to the email address I've published at my user page:

From: Laura Essay [settlers@praiSPAMBLOCKFORTHISDISCUSSIONrieweb.com]
Under the information about Chimney Rock, you have forgotten to mention that great little gift shop,souvenit shop, snack shop, campground that right there. It is located 1 tenth of a mile before you actually get to the rock. It is a great place that deserves to be mentioned. For more information go to: (snip)
Thanks

Is the same was sent to many others, I think the addresses were collected by a bot, not manually. Is there any meaningful way of preventing that? Actually, this is the second or third case of email like this (previous were about other articles I also never contributed to).

Normally I don't worry about publishing my email address, as I have efficient spam filters. But I'm not sure this one was very mass :-) --DenisYurkin 10:40, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

So, question: was that message sent to several others? It seems like an unlikely thing to make a spam bot for. There's (obviously) no way for anyone to get your email address from Wikitravel unless you put it on your user page. My guess is that this was more of an innocent mistake than a concerted spamming effort. --Evan 11:05, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
Yes, first question is whether it was sent to anyone else here. --DenisYurkin 12:34, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
I didn't get anything. It looks like just confusion on the part of a user - I occasionally get emails telling me that some information is wrong on an article, blasting me for missing information about a place, asking for vacation ideas, etc. I think people are just clicking on one of the names at the bottom of a page and then using the "email this user" link, so this sort of thing is fairly harmless. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:40, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

Next stop option

Hi, I'm new here, and I got an idea to help travellers, but couldn't find anything resembling it (this post might belong to suggestions of features or an idea section?):

What I'm looking for is a feature like the one on the bottom of this page from wikipedia [1]. It should make the viewer able to easily go to the next (available) article on a particular transport route (Bus/Train/Ferry). Maybe even see the distance (in length or time).

The one on the page is just made ad hoc by someone, but the idea is nice.

Why I miss it: When you plan a trip on a train/ferry, you would like to know what the different stops have to offer, but if there is no page for that specific railline/ferry route, the only way to find out soething about it's stops is by manually looking for every city on the railmap.

E.g. On the Irkutsk page is only listed that trains go from Moscow or Vladivostok. It would be nice to mention the nearest important stations Taishet, Novosibirsk and Ulan Ude, but even nicer with a small box saying Trans-Siberian Railway on the top and containing:

... | Novosibirsk | Taishet | Irkutsk | Ulan Ude | ...

Instead of having to do this for every town, it would be perfect to just be able to make a list of station somewhere.


Something like this - just nicer, and not in an infobox.

Trans-Siberian Railway nearest stops:
... Novosibirsk Taishet Irkutsk Ulan Ude ...


Clcow 02:45, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

The problem is that most places aren't neatly laid out on a line like the Trans-Siberian: what's the "next" stop from Tokyo or Chicago? But the "Get out" section is intended to provide the traveller some nearby choices for continuing their trip. Jpatokal 03:26, 7 April 2007 (EDT)
Well, in the US I guess it could be used for the interstate highways, but true, in countries and cities with several options it might just add to more useless info. I'm just thinking that in less infrastructurally developed countries, the number of railroads or mayor roads are small, and this could be an easy way for a traveller to check up on places én route to his destination. Clcow 03:05, 8 April 2007 (EDT)
Regarding the Trans-Siberian route: If you can read/translate German definitely check out the German language guide, which is simply awesome. Without looking at it, I think it does list everything in order, or at least all the major stops in order. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 03:59, 7 April 2007 (EDT)
Thanks, I was actually just using it as an example (I figured it easier to relate to, than ferry routes in Greenland), but I might check some of the German info and merge it with the English. I'll have to do it on paper at some point anyway, might as well do it here.

Traveling by Bike

Hi, I'm going to be traveling Europe, and I'll be doing it almost entirely by bike, so I was curious whether there are bike trails in various areas. If someone knows about bike trails for various areas, I think it'd be nice to see more of this, because I find it hard to find cycling path information for Europe. All the areas I've been reading so far didn't have much of anything about cycling, anyway (Norway, France, Italy).

134.84.99.96 21:48, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

Denmark is recommendable for bikers. Drivers are used to bikes everywhere, thus its generally safe. Mayor Cities have biketrails along their roads and on trafikken.dk[2] you can find guides to the biking routes across the country. - Maybe I should add this info to the page. This page (in Danish) has links to all of europe, btw [3] Clcow 03:31, 8 April 2007 (EDT)
Yes, please do. -- Mark 03:34, 8 April 2007 (EDT)

Road designations

I'm not sure where a section should be inserted, or if I should declare style policy with at least some attempt at consensus, but it would be nice to have something. I posted the below to the MoS discussion page:

I can't find any other place discussing it, so I'll just kind of stick it in here. I've been using (at least in the US articles) what I think is the official designation system. Interstates are prefixed with "IH-", Non-interstate federal highways are prefixed with "US-", state roads are prefixed with "SH-" (I had to kick myself several times to stop using the prefix "TX-", which we Texans know isn't really official, but use any way), and others that might not be so popular across the country (I really don't know), like County Road ("CR-" here), Farm-to-Market Road ("FM-"), and Ranch Road ("RR-") are just spelled out. I wouldn't mind having a stated consensus on this though, especially with "FM-" (In Houston, at least, if you ask for "Farm to market road one nine six zero", you'll get a blank stare about half the time, but everyone knows of "FM ninteen sixty").

But I'm not familiar enough with even the whole US to tell which road types are widely known, and which just stick in my head. Please comment on the following list:

  • Interstate Highway "IH", widely known
  • US Highway "US", widely known
  • State Highway "SH", widely known
  • Farm-to-Market Road "FM", somewhat known
  • County Road "CR", mostly local
  • Ranch Road "RR", mostly local

Jordanmills 13:36, 10 April 2007 (EDT)

In my experience, interstates are always prefixed with "I-", and state highways vary by state (e.g. here in Michigan they're prefixed with "M-"). I don't think most people would understand "IH-" or "SH-". "FM-" and "RR-" are completely foreign to me, but if that's what the designation for a particular road is, so be it. The bottom line is that roads should be identified to by whatever name people use for them. - Todd VerBeek 16:40, 10 April 2007 (EDT)
I've seen it mostly as "IH-", but a quick look at the NHS web site [4] (which, I guess, is about as official as it gets) shows their regular use of "I-". I'd venture to say that your usage is more correct here. While I've also seen "SH-" and "SR-" used interchangably, the DOT/FHA also uses state-specific abbreviations for state highways and state routes. Additionally, there is apparently some difference between a "U.S. Highway" and "U.S. Route". Though I can't wade deep enough into the paperwork to figure out what it is. I may have dug myself too deep here. Jordanmills 18:44, 10 April 2007 (EDT)
Talk:United States of America#Road Nomenclature. I think we should have a Manual-of-Style entry for countries (or at least the major ones) describing our writing conventions. The country MoS would cover addresses, phone numbers, and highway stuff. The MoS for a country would not override the project-wide MoS, of course. -- Colin 17:30, 10 April 2007 (EDT)
Oh goody, link and discussion. I think country-specific MoS entries for country-specific naming conventions sounds like a good plan. Jordanmills 18:44, 10 April 2007 (EDT)

AA

Someone recently added a link to AA meeting info to the "Drink" section of an article, and while there's an obvious logic behind that, I'm wondering if this is information we want to include. I can see AA info becoming hard to maintain, and perhaps better handled by Alcoholics Anonymous itself. But on the other hand, it's obviously useful to many travelers. If we do include info about AA meetings, is this the best place for it or would the "Cope" section be better? - Todd VerBeek 17:15, 10 April 2007 (EDT)

if we do, i say put it in the drink section... then maybe they won't drink in the first place and won't have to "cope" with themselves in an AA meeting the next day... – cacahuate talk 00:31, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
I don't think it's really relevant to travel, and not a slope we want to take on. IMO it's better to leave it out. Jordanmills 00:37, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
I'd leave it out altogether. It may be useful for a few travellers but it's possibly too fine grained for Wikitravel. Otherwise, maybe use the Stay healthy section. -- Ricardo (Rmx) 08:20, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
I wouldn't put it on the city page, because that it just too much to keep up (in the small the town I live in there are at least three churches that have weekly meetings). If anything, I think I'd put it on the "stay healthy" section country page. -- Fastestdogever

Slate article

There's a not-very-positive article on Slate by someone who tried traveling (in Thailand) using only web resources (primarily Wikitravel). His main criticism is that Wikitravel is missing information and too "neutral". - Todd VerBeek 07:57, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

Todd, do you live in a cave? Just kidding. 8) -- Sapphire(Talk) • 08:12, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Yes, I do. I tried getting out once, but couldn't find a decent online travel guide. :) - Todd VerBeek 08:22, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Good article and I think we should pay some attention to it. The writer has a very valid point, our Be Fair rule can sometimes cause us not to give quality, useful information. --NJR_ZA 03:49, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

Phone number spam

We seem to have a spammer on some of the Indian pages adding his phone number to all listings and in some cases replacing existing numbers with his number. Seems to be same one that was adding URL removed as it has been blacklisted and this was preventing editing of this page - see edit history for URL ~ 58.8.1.171 22:58, 17 June 2007 (EDT) entries. Is there any automated way to blacklist a number? --NJR_ZA 15:33, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

Or worse, it might be his ex-girlfriend's number...I hope we can blacklist it. -- Ricardo (Rmx) 15:47, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
OK, there seems to be more than just the one number that looks suspect. I'll keep a list here something to work off:
list removed as the numbers have now been blacklisted and this was preventing editing of this page - see edit history for numbers ~ 58.8.1.171 22:53, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
I have found least 20 articles that seems to be affected so far.

--NJR_ZA 16:12, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

I added a dash after the first digit of these numbers. With them intact, no edits to this page could be made. Of course, the spammer could do the same thing. Sigh. Jordanmills 17:07, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Thanks, was just about to come back and do the same as the spam filter blocked this edit of mine. I have cleaned up one or two of the articles, but am running out of time here and will have to look at the rest tomorrow. It's a bit of a mess to clean up as some of the changes are old and he did not add them in any single simple edit. --NJR_ZA 17:14, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Coolness. I'll see if I can find some time tonight to poke around. Jordanmills 18:27, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Can we do a mass revert of this dork's changes? Here's an IP with a lot. I just got the bright idea to collect his other IPs, so I'll list 'em here. 121.246.3.9 121.247.89.142 121.246.3.74 121.247.229.142 210.211.236.226 121.247.89.250 ... never mind, there's a lot. It looks like he comes from 121.246.0.0/16 and 121.247.0.0/16. Please advise if the following is possible: block all IPs in those ranges from editing, get a list of all changes made by those IPs, give 'em a quick one-over to make sure we're not removing useful content, and undo all those changes. Jordanmills 18:53, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Here are some more numbers I've seen this spammer using:
numbers removed as they've now been blacklisted and this was preventing editing of this page - see edit history for numbers ~ 58.8.1.171 22:53, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
Unfortunately, the spammer has added a good deal of content that may or may not be legitimate - a lot of resort entries. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 19:01, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Yeah I noticed that too. But there's generally nothing listed but the name and the spam number, so I'd consider it dubious info at best. I don't know how I'd go about looking up the info to verify, either. Jordanmills 20:56, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Looks like he stopped. Maybe we got all his numbers, or he got tired of paying for new ones. Yawn. Jordanmills 18:01, 14 April 2007 (EDT)

Phishing

I don't think Evan posted this, yet, because he was having trouble with the wifi in SJ, but don't answer any emails requesting credit card information from an email purporting to be affiliated with Wikitravel. This is a scam and several emails were sent out to Wikia users. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 21:55, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

Add a counter to articles?

Hello, I'd like to know if it would be possible to add a counter to Wikitravel articles, so that editors could see how many times a particular page has been viewed. Would this be possible? Any interest? SONORAMA 09:29, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

I'd second that suggestion, if it is feasible. I haven't been able to find any statistics on article views, which would be useful and interesting. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 09:34, 1 May 2007 (EDT)
$wgDisableCounters is likely set to "yes" in LocalSettings.php as a mater of style because hit counters are so last century. The simple hit counter also counts search engine spiders and other robot spider hits. So it is not an accurate measure of human page visits. I keep the hit counter display turned on in my wiki so I wont feel so lonely (see top of the centered text block at bottom of any regular page at http://wikigogy.org ). We don't need that at Wikitravel because Wikitravel actually rocks. Page edits and quality of text is a more accurate measure of community interest in a wiki. Evan could probably turn the counter display back on if persuaded. Do we really want it though? --Rogerhc 00:43, 3 June 2007 (EDT)
I like the idea, as well...the site's high traffic reflects well on all the good work going into these articles. Redondo 19:42, 13 June 2007 (EDT)

Webby

Just in case you haven't seen todays Logbook -- Wikitravel has won a Webby! Congratulations! Maj 10:11, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

Excellent! I have added it to the news section on the main page. --NJR_ZA 11:27, 1 May 2007 (EDT)
So where do we put our trophy? - Todd VerBeek 13:39, 1 May 2007 (EDT)
I'd love to put it on the Main Page, but maybe we could put it on Wikitravel:Webby Award 2007? --Evan 14:08, 1 May 2007 (EDT)
Hmmmm, personally I'd like to see it somewhere more prominent than on an obscure page like Wikitravel:Webby Award 2007, can't we put it in the disclaimer bar at the bottom or somewhere on the Main Page? That logo will make people sit up and take notice of the site if they're just passing by and that could increase the number of edits we get, which is a good thing! -- Tim (writeme!) 15:19, 1 May 2007 (EDT)
How about we put it on the Main Page for a few days, and we put something in MediaWiki:Sitenotice (which makes a banner across the top of every page) about it? And let's have a page dedicated to the award to link to, too.
Can someone who's got better Main-Page-editing-chops than myself put it on the front page? --Evan 15:31, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

I've uploaded a couple of images to choose from. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 15:54, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

I've added it to the news item for now... long-term handling to be determined. - Todd VerBeek 16:11, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

Since Wikitravel is certain to win additional awards as time goes by, I've started Wikitravel:Awards. I think we should link to this from somewhere on the Main page, and if not there certainly from the Project page. Suppose we were to change the opening blurb to "Wikitravel is an award-winning project..."? - Todd VerBeek 08:30, 2 May 2007 (EDT)

Advice for road trip across USA

Hi

My family are planning on a road trip next year from St. Paul, Minnesota to San Francisco. Any advice on good sights to take in? ~~John.

Hi John. You might try posting in the forums on Wikitravel Extra. (here's s shortcut to staring a new forum discussion: [5])I'm sure plenty of people will have suggestions... including me! Thanks, Maj 08:23, 2 May 2007 (EDT)

Renaming Login UserID

Hi Everyone,

Just joined the other day - I know this might be slightly silly, but never-the-less, I would like my username to be RomanT, and not Romant.

Who would I drop an email to - in order to have them fix it up for me?

Thank you.

R

If he doesn't see this here, leave a message on User talk:Evan, and he can take care of this for you. - Todd VerBeek 10:21, 3 May 2007 (EDT)

Mexican national parks

At present there are several articles on archaeological national parks in Mexico up for Wikitravel:Votes for deletion. A challenge is that it's hard to decide which of those articles qualify as "exceptions" according to Wikitravel:What is an article? that justify a stand-alone article rather than including the information in the article for a city or region. This issue is complicated by the fact that the United States National Parks -- for which our articles are far better developed at this time -- aren't handled in a very uniform way, as regards the size, significance, remoteness, etc., required to justify a stand-alone.

It would be nice if somebody could do a Mexican National Parks uber-article to parallel the US one, but first, I've tried to start a discussion on Talk:United States National Parks to see what lessons might be learned and applied to the incipient Mexican article. Please stop by and offer an opinion. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 09:51, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

Vandals

Can we IP ban them?

Please see Wikitravel:How to handle unwanted edits for more on how we like to deal with stuff like this. Thanks. Maj 16:19, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
thanks looked for something like that but didn't see it

Table of contents

Well, the new table of contents looks great, I think. The only problem I see is that it now appears at the top when viewing differences, pushing the differences over so that one has to sidescroll to see everything. Can we suppress the TOC when viewing differences, as we did before? Or simply push it down below the differences into the article where it would normally appear? 220.2.118.238 17:43, 10 May 2007 (EDT)

Issues related to the new ToC are being discussed here. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 21:27, 10 May 2007 (EDT)

Attribution Question

Most articles say "Based on the work by ...." at the bottom of the page. I've just added a page (Hsipaw). Why doesn't it say "Based on the work by Wandering?" --Wandering 12:54, 16 May 2007 (EDT)

Because it says "This page was last modified 16:17, 16 May 2007 by Wandering." Once the next person edits it, your name gets moved into the "Based on..." list. Jpatokal 13:06, 16 May 2007 (EDT)

Thanks! All is now clear :-). --Wandering 13:14, 16 May 2007 (EDT)

UniversalWikiEditButton

Coming out of RecentChangesCamp Montreal (RoCoCo) in May 2007 there was a sense that there is an opportunity to "brand" the edit button on wikis in the same way that the little orange radio waves icon is used to indicate a feed. This diffuse impulse is trying to coalesce here: http://www.aboutus.org/UniversalWikiEditButton

Thoughts? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Brandon CS Sanders (talkcontribs)

I think it's a great idea... I voted over there, and will keep an eye on how it develops. – cacahuate talk 15:23, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
Very cool idea, it will be nice having a recognizable button on all wikis. Have voted and added my comments there. --NJR_ZA 01:31, 24 May 2007 (EDT)


Applying for a passport

I have to replace my passport and while I've applied for a passport before I wasn't quite sure if my passport was damaged enough so that I'd be required to re-apply in person and pay the more expensive fees or if I could simply use a renewal form and pay the $67 fee, plus the expedited fee.

After trying to get hold of NPIC for an entire day I decided to stay up all night and wait until 06:00 then call (earliest possible time I could get a hold of an operator). I finally got a hold of someone and they saved me about $70 by telling me to do the renewal form.

This is going somewhere... just give me a second. Now, also with the new border crossing rules that require a passport when flying to/from 'them who are up north', Mexico, the US' Caribbean passports are likely to needed by several million more Americans than the previously 5 - 6 million who applied annually. Also, since by the end of January next year a passport will be required at all land/see/air crossings within the US the need for passports is going to sky rocket. (Might this be a conspiracy to get drunk co-eds to party in the US, rather than Cancun? One can only hope so.)

Anyhow, should we have an article that'd explain the process to apply for a passport? I'm on the fence about whether or not the scope should be expanded, but I definitely think it'd be useful for those of us with those 'what the **** does that mean?' scenarios. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 05:25, 24 May 2007 (EDT)

I was in line at the post office a few days ago thinking the same thing. I'm curious if the application process is similar in other countries as the U.S. (fees, wait time, etc). Also, it would be great to cover what would happen if I am out of the country and I lose my passport. -- Fastestdogever 10:13, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
An article about passports could be useful, but I'm not sure how much we can generalize about them. Certainly the "how to get one" information is going to vary dramatically by citizenship. - Todd VerBeek 11:11, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
The article should concentrated (and be titled?) to cover only US passports, which are thoroughly byzantine to apply for and have completely ridiculous waiting times. Jpatokal 11:22, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
Agreed about the waiting time, but I've never found the application process particularly byzantine. My renewal last year was quick and (just kidding) easy enough. Or is it getting ridiculous for new applications? In any case, topics such as passport privacy/security (e.g. RFID chips) and what to do if you lose it, are international in scope.
We should make sure to mention that there is no such thing as a World passport [6]Ravikiran 11:31, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
I would very much appreciate some information regarding how to get a Sealand[7] passport. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 13:14, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
This is cool. I wasn't expecting any support, let alone general support for the idea. So where do we go from here? A generic Passports article? A US-centric article titled US Passports? The current waiting period for an American passport is 14 - 17 weeks, if you don't spring for the additional $60 to get it expedited, which is rather byzantine, especially since you have to send off your birth certificate.
The Germans apparently only need to go to a city hall, tell someone they need one, and... poof... they have one. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 21:12, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
I'd suggest a travel topic article on Passports and visas. US passports are a section. Countries with odd visa requirements (e.g. Saudi Arabia does not have tourist visas, Tibet needs permits, ...) get another section that is mostly one-liners with links. Pashley 00:08, 28 May 2007 (EDT)
But doesn't information about countries with odd visa requirements go in those countries' articles? - Todd VerBeek 13:47, 28 May 2007 (EDT)
Yes, but it can also be covered at a higher level. Middle East, for example, has some info on problems with visas in that region. An overview pointing out potential problems — e.g. citizens of some countries (US, EU, Canada, Oz, NZ, Japan) can go most places without getting a visa in advance, but for other passports (China, India, ...) you need a visa, and anyone needs a visa almost anywhere (except EU-to-EU and a few other special cases) if they want to work — might be useful to many travellers. Pashley 02:17, 19 June 2007 (EDT)
I don't think it makes much sense to have a passport page. Most countries have fairly detailed directions already available on the web, and it seems to be informationally inefficient to have it reproduced here. At best, a link to the passport page would be enough. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wandering (talkcontribs)
The US State Department has a lot of information, yes, but if it covered the situations I ran into then I wouldn't have proposed the idea here. By having the information here we can give travelers quick access to information they'd need that the State Department wouldn't be able to give them unless they called NPIC precisely at 06:00. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 19:30, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

Site slowdown

Site painfully slow -- saving edit sometimes takes minutes or even times out on Wikitravel.org now. Is this due to increased traffic or something else? Maybe Webby Award traffic? Anything being done to fix this? :-) --Rogerhc 17:04, 25 May 2007 (EDT)

I haven't noticed serious speed problems lately, though of course it's never as fast as it should be. :) The site's traffic stats [8] don't include the past week yet, but I don't see a huge spike since the Webby awards :( so I don't think we can blame any speed problems on that... just on the ongoing increase in traffic (roughly doubling since a year ago). - Todd VerBeek 17:38, 25 May 2007 (EDT)
I've noticed serious performance issues too. We're talking ten to thirty seconds to load a page, like recent changes or editing an article. Jordanmills 20:14, 25 May 2007 (EDT)
I have definitely noticed this problem as well on multiple pcs and internet connections, although I can't say it has taken full minutes to load any pages. On shoddier wireless connections, I time out often for Wikitravel, but not for other sites. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 22:17, 25 May 2007 (EDT)
Yep me too... not painfully slow usually, but I've certainly noticed a fairly big difference in the last few weeks or so. – cacahuate talk 03:56, 26 May 2007 (EDT)
Ok, actually sometimes it's painful – cacahuate talk 02:04, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
Another me too. It can be several seconds to get to the home page. I usually go though my watch list looking at differences, which can also take several seconds per page. - Davidbstanley 04:46, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
I'm in China with a fairly slow connection. The site has usually worked reasonably well for me, but often quite slow. Lately it seems worse, but not by much. Pashley 06:07, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
So, I think there are two issues: one is that we've added Google Analytics code to each page, and I think that's why you get a delay when the page is almost loaded. I'll see if I can make that work better, and if not we can remove it.
I vote for getting rid of Google Analytics. I have noticed pages sticking on that on this and other sites. Davidbstanley 17:03, 29 May 2007 (EDT)
Second, we've got a lot of traffic. Internet Brands has an account with Akamai and we're looking into offloading the work of distributing images and static files (.js, .css) through their very fast caching network. That should probably perk up the response time quite a bit.
After that is in place, we're going to look at throwing some hardware at the site to speed it up. --Evan 12:50, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
I have discovered that throwing a hammer at a server tends not to produce the desired performance improvement. But then, I may not have hit the right spot; optimization is tricky work. - Todd VerBeek 13:00, 27 May 2007 (EDT)

shared:Wikitravel Shared:30 May 2007cacahuate talk 21:18, 31 May 2007 (EDT)

Site still s l o w ....... is there hope? --Rogerhc 19:20, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

Page saves are still s l o w, 10 seconds slow. Am I the only one? --Rogerhc 02:44, 12 June 2007 (EDT)

Nope, you're not alone... still crawling for me... getting a little annoying... ok, a lot annoying... – cacahuate talk 02:57, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
On the upside, the slow site speed is teaching me to be real proficient at tabbed browsing—I've got 15 tabs going in this window right now! --Peter Talk 03:38, 20 June 2007 (EDT)

Need help with it:

Italian Wikitravel is under attack from what seems to be a distributed bot network; any help very welcome. --Evan 22:02, 25 May 2007 (EDT)

I just took a look and it appears that the crisis is over (at least for now)? - Todd VerBeek 09:20, 26 May 2007 (EDT)

Watchlist problems

The automated mechanism by which pages get "added to watchlist" seems haphazard. Although I have my preferences set to automatically add pages I create to my watchlist, only about 9 out of 10 new pages actually get on my watchlist. I've had to go back an add a lot of pages for which I am the only editor, and I just noticed this happen with the most recent new page I made, Udmurtia. Anyone know what's going on? --Peterfitzgerald Talk 13:13, 26 May 2007 (EDT)

I haven't noticed that, but while we're on the subject, can we revive the 2 step confirm process conversation too? What's stopping us from using the single watch/unwatch button like Wikipedia does? – cacahuate talk 14:54, 26 May 2007 (EDT)
Wikitravel pages are actually written to the server's hard disk the first time they're read; everyone gets the same HTML the server. This makes for a very fast response time (not lately, but usually). We do some JavaScript tricks to put your name, talk page, admin buttons, etc. onto the page. It's a pretty crafty system.
One thing we don't do is twiddle the "watch/unwatch" button based on whether the current page is already in your watchlist. I think the two-step process is worth it, compared to the speed savings and complexity of working out another solution. --Evan 12:54, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
Okie dokie – cacahuate talk 00:26, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

Proposals to change Washington (state) geographic hierarchy

There are a couple of proposals open to change the geographic hierarchy for the articles about Washington (state), USA. One is a proposal to make San Juan Islands a top-level region. One is a proposal to eliminate counties from [the] hierarchy. Follow the links to the respective sections on Washington's talk page to contribute your opinions. One useful bit of information would be: do any other states or provinces use counties (or other regional political divisions) in their article hierarchy? How well does it work? Answers to the proposals sections please. Thank you! JimDeLaHunt 21:02, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

I have been involved with some of these decisions in New England (United States of America). My personal bias is to use counties as delineating where region boundaries are but not to use them in the hierarchy per se. That is, a state region can be defined by one or more counties, but the counties themselves are not necessarily articles. It's a convenient way to know what falls into a region that may not be otherwise clearly defined. Like all rules of thumb this doesn't always work well--like when one or more of the counties is not homogenous. OldPine 09:27, 2 June 2007 (EDT)
I agree that it is very useful to create new regions by amalgamating administrative districts like counties. Which reminds me, would it make sense for us to list counties under their amalgamation-regions? This might set a bad precedent and editors might go around making articles for the listed districts. But on the other hand, it would be useful in directing editors as to where they can stick content by clearly delineating the regions. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 14:03, 2 June 2007 (EDT)
I'd suggest listing the counties at the top of the region article, but as a comma-delimited list (e.g. "The Freedonia River Valley includes Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe Counties."), rather than as a bullet list with a "Counties" header. That makes it clear what the region consists of without enticing people quite so much to "fix" that section by wikilinking the county names. - Todd VerBeek 15:57, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

Thanks, everyone, for your comments. It's been nine days, there is support for eliminating the counties, and no objections. Discussion has died down. I've incorporated the suggestions above into the implementation plan. Last call for comments, please add them to the proposal to eliminate counties from [the] hierarchy, or proposal to make San Juan Islands a top-level region sections of "Talk" for "Washington (state)". If no objections emerge in the next 2-3 days, I'll start implementing. JimDeLaHunt 20:52, 6 June 2007 (EDT)

No objections registered. I'm going ahead with implementation over the next several days. JimDeLaHunt 14:50, 9 June 2007 (EDT)

Template approval process

Hey there! So I'm just thinking, based on several past conversations and some Star article nominations, would it make sense to have a Template rating system/status? I don't think it's worthwile having multiple levels or anything, but something as simple as "approved template" or "star template", which would make it easier in the future when evaluating a Star nomination. I don't think we're close to having any Star countries, but if we were, as an example, it would be nice if we'd already come to a consensus about Template:Regionlist, and that's it fully hashed out and has met its potential for the most part. Then a Star country would be required to use it, and we'd feel confident that the template was based on a reasonable consensus. The same would go for the new Climate templates, or a bus timetable template on a city page. ??? – cacahuate talk 22:31, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

I think this would be getting more bureaucratic than we need. If a template gets used widely without anyone undoing it, that's de facto "approved" status, via wikiconsensus. When people stop messing with it, it's a "star". And if we want to require a country article to use (or not use) a particular template, then we revise the Star criteria (or Guide criteria, or however strongly we feel about it) to say so. (P.S. A bus timetable template? I'd go around undoing it.) - Todd VerBeek 22:54, 29 May 2007 (EDT)

Moving all multilingual coordination to Shared

So, we've currently got lots of pages regarding language versions and policy duplicated between en and Shared. As this is (IMHO) an issue for Shared -- other versions don't concern English, they concern Wikitravel as a whole -- they should be maintained only on Shared. To start with:

Any objections? Jpatokal 04:28, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

IsIn vs IsPartOf

I can't believe this is not covered elsewhere, but I could not find it. What is the rationale for using one rather than the other. Should IsPartOf always be used? OldPine 09:31, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

I think it's a historical thing. IsIn was created, and everyone loved it and was happy. Then someone noticed that it broke badly for places with spaces or other non-alphabetical characters in the name, and the level of happiness declined. Evan then created isPartOf as a test to see if it fixed the problem, and the happiness level again increased. The downside was that we had a ton of articles that used isIn, but a much better solution in the form of isPartOf. Since isPartOf is a better solution I think it should replace isIn, but unfortunately we can't simply get rid of isIn since it's used in so many existing articles. If desired we could probably start a crusade to get rid of isIn altogether, much like 2005's war against the "External links" section, but prior to embarking on that battle it might be best to get other's opinions on whether or not it's worthwhile. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:39, 2 June 2007 (EDT)
Ryan pretty much covered all there is to know, but in case anyone is interested, this was also discussed here. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 12:42, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

OK, Thanks. Seems way over my head so I'll just start using the new form. I trust there is a reason why the old template (IsIn) cannot just be changed, that is, fix the code. Is this not a job that a bot could run? (See IsIn, replace with IsPartOf?) Geez, nevermind. Why do I even think I can understand Geekiness on such I grand scale? :) OldPinw 13:06, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

The problem (as I understand it) is that IsIn requires the use of underlines and other kludges, but IsPartOf breaks if you use them. - Todd VerBeek 13:09, 2 June 2007 (EDT)
A key element of geekiness involves laziness. In this case, since nothing is actually broken we can procrastinate and avoid doing any additional work. If it HAD to be fixed then the laziness vs. work quotient (LVWQ) is applied to determine if it's worthwhile writing a bot. Basically, you guess how long it will take to write a bot (and this calculation is ALWAYS wrong by half) and compare that to how long it will take to fix by hand, taking into account the likelihood that someone else will deal with it. Note the special case where the person performing the calculations is too lazy to actually work out the solution, in which case you again default to hoping someone else will deal with it. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:16, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

You know, I have been using IsIn because it is faster to type, but that's kind of silly. I'll add the IsPartOf to the article templates—it is marginally easier to edit. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 13:42, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

Ah, now that all rings a bell,Ryan. Guess I don't have the perspective. I was thinking that whipping up a bot is real easy since I've never actually done it... or even written a script in probably 10 years. It all seems so easy when you're sitting in the audience. Thanks, guys, for splainin' things to the old guy. OldPine 13:46, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

If for some reason we do go on a crusade or start a bot, I would suggest rather than changing IsIn's to IsPartOf's we should fix the IsIn template and then spend the work fixing the spaces and underscores. I also continue to use IsIn because I would much rather type that than IsPartOf, and it just has a much better ring to it. Lame, but true. On the new Hindi WT we've set up IsIn to work the way that IPO does here, though obviously a much easier task since we've only got like 20 articles. – cacahuate talk 03:26, 3 June 2007 (EDT)

I tend to use isPartOf by default these days since it just works better than isIn, but I agree with Cacahuate that a better solution will be to get isIn fixed and use that exclusively --NJR_ZA 05:10, 3 June 2007 (EDT)

isIn

Where should I report a broken instance of {{isIn}}? ({{isIn|Lower Saxony}} on Oldenburg page is not displaying at all.) --Rogerhc 19:31, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

Fixed the crumb. Wrh2 replaced isIn with isPartOf but still no crumb. So I, per Wikitravel_talk:Breadcrumb_navigation#Truncation_of_Breadcrumbs, purged the parent crumb pages Germany, then Lower Saxony, then the page itself Oldenburg and then reloaded the page. Crumbs show now. YEA! :-) Rogerhc 20:39, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

Image source/license templates

I can't seem to use the {{no source}} and {{no license}} templates for images. These are pretty essential template for a wiki site. Are they called something different in Wikitravel? OoishiMoe 02:07, 4 June 2007 (EDT)

Images should be uploaded to the shared site - see Wikitravel:How to upload files - which has most of the relevant license templates. However, please don't upload images without a license as it will likely have to be deleted in accordance with Wikitravel:Copyleft. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:11, 4 June 2007 (EDT)
Actually any legacy image is CC by-sa 1.0 by default... and most image descriptions make, or at least should make, fairly clear where the image is coming from. Jpatokal 02:38, 4 June 2007 (EDT)
The majority of images here are travel photos uploaded by the person who owns them, so if a user doesn't specify a source, the source is implicitly that user. - Todd VerBeek 08:21, 4 June 2007 (EDT)

Touting on Userpages

I have seen some very fishy user pages recently (like this one). They are either soliciting, personal ads, or just offering business services. I figure these should be deleted, at least when the user is clearly not here to contribute content, but I am a little wary about just deleting userpages—should I just delete them? --Peterfitzgerald Talk 18:26, 4 June 2007 (EDT)

I don't have a problem with a business owner putting info about their hotel/restaurant/etc on their user page, even going so far as doing a little touting, as long as they've actually contributed to the guide, and it doesn't turn into a free "web presence" for their business. But I don't think the above-linked user page is appropriate. At best it's a "job wanted" advert, and I can't help wondering if the services being offered include "happy endings" (which would be even less appropriate). For something like this (especially since I doubt she's coming back), I think we should blank the page, with a note on her User_talk page explaining why. - Todd VerBeek 18:40, 4 June 2007 (EDT)
Anytime you feel wary about just deleting something, please hold off. In particular, if a user page has some content you think is unacceptable, it's much better to talk to that user than to just delete their user page.
I think that touting user pages are relatively harmless, and I think that it's more important that contributors feel that their user page is their own to do with as they wish. Clearly user pages don't fall under the same MoS requirements as pages in the main namespace. Unless there's clear and imminent harm from having a particular user page on the site, let's practice benign negligence. --Evan 22:42, 4 June 2007 (EDT)
I'm very much with Evan on this one - unless a user page is obviously in violation of the Wikitravel:Illegal activities policy or if they are obviously in violation of the "not a homepage service" goal then I think we should only modify them after leaving a warning on the talk page and reaching a consensus to do so on the VFD (or some other) page. The user page policy tells a user that the page is "their own user page", and just as you wouldn't enter your neighbor's house except in an extreme situation I don't think we should be patrolling user pages without good reason. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:11, 4 June 2007 (EDT)
Just so I better understand how to deal with these—in this particular case, it appeared the user was using her user page to advertise her "escort services" and had not contributed any content to wikitravel other than the user page. I went with Todd's suggestion: blanked her page and left a note on her talk page. Did I overstep with this one? --Peterfitzgerald Talk 00:07, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
I think it's a rare case that we need to do this, but I agree this is one that should have been blanked, yes. I can't think of any reason beyond the 2 Ryan mentioned why we'd need to do this... either a user has turned their userpage into a large and unruly personal website, or if they're in violation of the illegal activities policy. Otherwise, don't worry about it – cacahuate talk 02:01, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
Sorry, I thought this discussion had concluded, so I just reverted Peter's blanking. I rolled back. I am on the fence on this one. — Ravikiran 02:08, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
I agree with Evan on this -- it's not our job to start censoring people's user pages. Jpatokal 02:15, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
One of our non-goals is to "provide personal hompage service", which, I believe extends to businesses. As policy says, "[user pages] should be used to support the development of the travel guide", which the user pages in question don't do. I'd say delete overt advertisements, but leave the user pages of users, who contribute alone, even if they advertise their businesses on a user page. -- Sapphire 22:10, 19 June 2007 (EDT)
The suggestion to "talk to the user" is a good one, and when I have reason to believe the user will be back for a conversation, I do exactly that. I don't like "censoring" anyone, and personally I don't care if someone sells sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll. But when they create a Wikitravel account and place an advert on their not-really-a-user page as their first and only edit, and it clearly isn't consistent with what this site is for, what are we supposed to do? Just leave it until they (don't) come back? The User: space (which isn't where she first created the homepage, BTW; I moved it there) is not the main Wikitravel space, but it's still part of this site, and unless we want this to turn into MyWikitravelSpace, some "policing" is necessary. "Benign negligence" is still negligence. - Todd VerBeek 22:40, 19 June 2007 (EDT)

Car rental extlinks

There have been a rash of car rental links breaking out throughout Wikitravel in the past few days, and it gives me an itchy urge to scratch out a bunch of "rmv extlinks." These are primary links, but it seems more like a corporate race to up google hits by adding "Schmertz" to every article in the United States. Personally, I see no reason to have car rental information any lower than country or top-level region articles (at the lowest). Do we have a policy on this? --Peterfitzgerald Talk 22:47, 6 June 2007 (EDT)

Translated item name

In <see, do, eat, etc. > tags, use an alt="" attribute to display a translation of the item name into the local language when appropriate and helpful to travelers. This will appear normal weight, italicized and within parentheses after the bold text item name. Example: see Harbin page.

Can we please include alt="" after the name="" attribute in the click-to-insert snippets of the edit page? Something like this:

* <see name="" alt="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" hours="" price="" url=""></see>

Maybe add a note on the edit page bellow or above the click-to-insert snippets explaining what the alt="" attribute will do and also linking to a page about the click-to-insert snippets (or whatever we call them). And what is the something-extra="" attribute for? --Rogerhc 19:20, 11 June 2007 (EDT)

I'm still mulling this over, but I thought I would add that it is a bad idea to render foreign names by default in italics because this can cause problems across alphabets. Cyrillic fonts, in particular, use very different characters in italics, which would make italicized Russian place names, for example, useless to anyone who doesn't speak Russian. But I definitely agree with your basic premise—that listings should give local names, especially when the local signs are in a different alphabet. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 19:28, 11 June 2007 (EDT)
Actually, the alt tag is already implemented so that only Latin scripts (Unicode Ux0000-02FF, or at least that's what I asked Evan to do) are italicized and the rest are left as is. Test:

Test (Test テスト 実験 ижица 조선말).

As you can see, only the Latin word is italicized. Jpatokal 23:36, 11 June 2007 (EDT)
There's also a directions="" tag that can go after "address"... should we consider adding "alt" and "directions" to the template? or is that getting confusing for new editors? – cacahuate talk 01:15, 12 June 2007 (EDT)
Wow, there's a directions="" tag? I never knew that. That would be very usefulj I could have used it at least twice yesterday. And alt="" is a must for attractions with names not in Latin script. It definitely should be documented better. I see your point about it being confusing for new editors though. JimDeLaHunt 13:48, 12 June 2007 (EDT)
I've added the alt and directions tags to the edit tools. Jpatokal 23:30, 13 June 2007 (EDT)
I'm loving the directions tag. Gorilla Jones 23:52, 13 June 2007 (EDT)

Currency

The click-to-insert area of the edit page lacks ¥. Are we planning to use ¥ or 元 in English on China pages? --Rogerhc 19:08, 13 June 2007 (EDT)

Currency: ¢ $ € £ ฿ (baht) 元 CHF Kč kr mk Rs zł

lacks ¥

Good point, I added it – cacahuate talk 22:44, 13 June 2007 (EDT)
Definitely ¥, we're not Chinese (and I've removed the 元 sign). See also Wikitravel:Currency. Jpatokal 23:26, 13 June 2007 (EDT)
I prefer 元 on China pages where it is the local currency. ¥ feels less indigenous, more pretentious to me there. Any reason why we shouldn't simply use the indigenous 元 on China pages? --Rogerhc 17:02, 14 June 2007 (EDT)
Because "元" is not English: we don't use 円 for Japanese yen or บาท for Thai baht either. ¥ is instantly comprehensible as long as you know that the local currency is the Yuan, whereas 元 isn't and many browsers won't even show it right. Jpatokal 23:28, 14 June 2007 (EDT)
Which browsers wont show 元 right? --Rogerhc 19:34, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
Any browser(/PC) without Chinese fonts installed. Jpatokal 08:09, 18 June 2007 (EDT)
Personally I'd prefer RMB since I can type that and that is what I see most in China, after 元. Howevr, I can live with the current compromise and use "¥". See discussion at Talk:China. Pashley 01:29, 15 June 2007 (EDT)

Spam filter... ouch... PLEASE HELP

Someone has put something into the spam filter regex in LocalSettings.php (I think) without first removing all instances of that something from all pages and namespaces of Wikitravel.org. This is bad because it causes the next person who tries to edit a page containing that something to be unable to save his edit, even if his edit has nothing to do with something. The person putting this something into the spam filter regex is in a much better position to remove instances of something from the site because he knows what something is and no one else knows this something. I hate it when this happens. I figure everyone hates it when this happens. Hope this helps. :-) Rogerhc 18:54, 17 June 2007 (EDT)

Wikitravel:Travellers' pub is currently blocked to further edits by something. --Rogerhc 18:56, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
I've reverted recent spam filter changes. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:01, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
Thanks. Maybe a policy of removing instances of something from all Wikitravel pages before putting it into the spam regex would be in order. :-)Rogerhc 19:33, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
Well, I think that goes without saying, but the problem here was a user was attempting to prevent spam, however, as a result, when a page displayed certain numbers in a certain configuration it was automatically blocked. As an example, we were unable to edit the Cincinnati guide because '24 was used in the guide and the user attempted to block the spammer (who would paste seemingly random phone numbers into guides). -- Sapphire(Talk) • 21:08, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
The Cincinnati problem occurred when I tested something on one of the spammed eight-digit 'phone numbers where the same numbers in the same order appear in the following line of the Cincinnati guide: 28 W. Fourth Street" directions="Downtown, Inside Carew Tower" phone="+1-(513)-241-4104" email= "" fax="" url="http://www.mortons.com" hours="Monday - Saturday 17:30 - 23:00 (bar opens at 16:45); Sunday 1
The spammer doesn't use random numbers, however it does look like he might sometimes be typing his numbers in incorrectly ~ 58.8.1.171 00:03, 18 June 2007 (EDT)

The "problem" with this page was that the Phone number spam section included a list of the spammed 'phone numbers and the associated URL; I've removed them. ~ 58.8.1.171 23:13, 17 June 2007 (EDT)

I'd just like to say that I am seriously considering nominating 58.8.1.171 as an administrator. --Peter Talk 00:42, 18 June 2007 (EDT)
Too bad IPs can't be given any kind of elevated status. That said, I know exactly who 58.8.1.171 is. Unfortunately, his/her IP keeps changing. If I am not mistaken, he/she is residing in Bangkok and has done thousands and thousands of useful edits. If it weren't for the fact that he/she hasn't signed up for an account he/she might be an administrator. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 01:08, 18 June 2007 (EDT)

Docent template problem

I can't seem to get the Template:hasDocent to work on the Washington (D.C.) article. Does anyone have a clue what is going wrong? --Peter Talk 19:51, 17 June 2007 (EDT)

Hmm. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the page's protection. Perhaps my DC docenthood wasn't meant to be? --Peter Talk 22:01, 17 June 2007 (EDT)

OK, something very odd is going on. Now I can't seem to get the Template:Regionlist to work, although it worked just fine in the past and no new edits have since been made to the template. I tried to use it on the Armenia page, but this happened. All the stranger since it worked just fine a couple days ago when I was working on the Armenia regions and previewed my changes.

Why can't I use templates anymore?! :( --Peter Talk 18:40, 18 June 2007 (EDT)

TOC problems

The new TOC design is online for several weeks now. Still there are some severe problems, not only with the layout but also patrolling is bothersome now. As Evan doesnt see to care about these problems maybe we can fix them ourself. Does anybody have an idea which MediaWiki-Extension is used? Are we the only Wiki that uses this kind of TOC? --Flip666 writeme! • 19:24, 19 June 2007 (EDT)

The last thing I want to do is make you think I don't care, Phil. As far as I know, there are two serious problems (the way the ToC shows up with diffs, and the fact that the ToC shows up in the wrong places). I'll make those an immediate priority and work on them tonight. --Evan 21:10, 19 June 2007 (EDT)
I hacked up a temporary solution for the diff problem; let me know if it works OK. --Evan 22:51, 19 June 2007 (EDT)

Looks like what you did worked for diffs, good job! That was an annoying one. I know you've got a lot on your plate but it would be nice to fix the other things people took issue with as well:

  • getting the + sign to twist down - the new TOC is still pretty unusable for anything below the top-level sections in Safari
  • forcing all sections to stay below the TOC - see how Africa looks in my browser
  • getting the "bullets out of the margin", as Todd put it... but if you fix the above problem then I think this would become irrelevant
  • move the "contents" heading inside the box, or better yet, remove it altogether

Sorry to keep harping on them, but you haven't really responded to the previous requests, and as far as I know you're the only one that can fix these things  :) – cacahuate talk 00:10, 20 June 2007 (EDT)

The last two items are very low priority, IMO. I don't think sections-below-the-TOC is the best solution; it'd do ugly things to articles with brief intros and longish TOCs (like lots of city articles). Changing the regionlist template so that the left margin can move (do the div tags wrapped around it prevent that?) might be preferable. - Todd VerBeek 07:54, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
Thanks, cacahuate. Let's continue this conversation on shared:Tech:Table of contents makes too much whitespace. --Evan 08:11, 20 June 2007 (EDT)


Database dump

The lack of availability of a WT database dump was brought to my attention again today, when people at BeWelcome considered a synergy with Wikitravel. BW is the off-spring of Hospitality Club and CouchSurfing, a free, cooperative hospitality exchange organization. There will be a lot of active members, and the idea is to send them to Wikitravel to work on a travel guide. But the lack of an available database dump is holding this back. Well, anyway.

Check out project:Database dump and find out how we can book some progress here! Guaka 07:38, 21 June 2007 (EDT)

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