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Wikitravel:Travellers' pub

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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'.

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

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 Technical requests page on Wikitravel Shared instead.

If you want to celebrate a significant contribution to Wikitravel by yourself or others, Wikitravel:Celebrate a contribution may be the place you are looking for.



Please sweep the pub

Keeping the Pub clean is a group effort. If we have too many conversations on this page, it will get too noisy and hard to read. If you see an old conversation (i.e. three months after the last comment in that discussion) that could or should be moved to a talk page, please do so, and note there that it has been swept in from the pub.

  • A question regarding a destination article should be swept to the article discussion page
  • A discussion regarding a policy or the subject of an expedition can be swept to the policy or expedition discussion page
  • A simple question asked by a user can be swept to that user's talk page, but consider if the documentation needs a quick update to make it clearer for the next user with the same question.
  • A pointer to a discussion going on elsewhere, such as a notice of a star nomination or or a request to comment on another talk page, can be removed when it is two months old. Any discussion that occurred in the pub can be swept to to where the main discussion took place.

Any discussions that do not fall into any of these categories, and are not of any special importance for posterity, should be archived to Wikitravel:Travellers' pub/Archives and removed from here. If you are not sure where to put a discussion, let it be—better to spend your efforts on those that you do know where to place.


API?

I've resumed work on my Wikitravel:iTravelFree Android/iOS app - the next version will include Foursquare data as well as Wikitravel and Wikipedia - and its Wikitravel maps mash-up, and it occurred to me that some of the server-side stuff I do might be useful to others. In particular, I parse out Wikitravel pages into their constituent sections and listings, work out parent/child relationships using both breadcrumbs and internal links, convert addresses into lat/long coordinates, etc. It wouldn't be that much work for me to create a API that let developers access not just individual pages but individual sections and listings within pages, and the parent/child relationships between pages.

But it wouldn't be a trivial job either. And if a bunch of people wanted to use it extensively, the bandwidth costs would quickly become nontrivial. (I'm using Google App Engine, which ain't cheap.) So would anyone out there be interested in such an API? And if so, would it be a Creative Commons terms-of-service violation to charge its users enough to defray my costs for it? Rezendi 16:34, 2 January 2012 (EST)

Although I think charging for the service would be entirely possible under the licence, I think the derived information would also be CC-BY-SA. Arguably, it should be put back into the main guide. --Inas 17:39, 2 January 2012 (EST)

Spelling of Odisha/Orissa

Hi, everyone. User Triseult has been editing every mention of the Indian state formerly known as Orissa to reflect a new official Indian government spelling. I appreciate his/her diligence but have doubts about his/her decision. We have not changed the spelling of Bangalore to Bengaluru, for example, because the latter spelling is still at least somewhat more common in English.

I have started a thread in Talk:Odisha and invite your participation.

All the best,

Ikan Kekek 05:21, 4 January 2012 (EST)

Tour listings - rules

Hello, I would like to find solution of one problem. I was trying to edit info about exploring Warsaw and information about tours was erased according to [1]. I asked User:LtPowers to change back information because mentioned tours have got "value-added activity". Warsaw during WWII was destroyed in 90% and many interesting places are covered by modern buildings (eg.last pieces of Ghetto Wall). Whats more there is lack of book which describes Warsaw architecture in English. Thats why Wiki users should have access to erased information.

A better place for this discussion would be Wikitravel_talk:Activity_listings, the talk page for the policy in question. Have a look at older discussions there too.
Please sign messages by typing four tildes( ~~~~); that adds date, time & your ID,like this: Pashley 05:53, 9 January 2012 (EST)
I agree. Users should have access to the information. I suggest that you kindly put the information in Wikitravel. It is a guide, then people will have the information. We're here to provide open information, accessible and free. Anyone can then use our free and open information on their site, for their tour, or for their personal information. --Inas 06:32, 9 January 2012 (EST)
Yes, perhaps this should be discussed at Wikitravel_talk:Activity_listings, so please do raise your concerns and inquiry there if you wish. However do consider first if the tours being offered are something that requires the experienced and specialist guidance of someone such as that offered by the tour company. I note you have mentioned there is apparently a lack of readily available information, such as from a book. Please consider if a visitor to Warsaw can go and visit (or 'tour') these sites independently and without the support of guide services. If so then the Tour service is probably precluded from listing in the Wikitravel articles. Also of course have a good read of Activity listings. Consider what it is that the tours is offering. Does it offers something as a supplement to that a person would be able to sufficiently derive from a visit to the location on their own? Also consider if the tour operators are are a requisite to visit a certain area, this would include provisions where a guide is required by law or safety regulations of some kind, or where un-supervised access is denied without an official guide or supervisor.-- felix 06:38, 9 January 2012 (EST)

Outline status for travel topics

I'm a bit confused about the layout requirements and status determination of travel topics. Maybe I'm looking on the wrong page, but it seems to me that travel topic outlines are different from destination outlines, in that they will apparently be deleted if not edited for a year. Looking at Wikitravel:Travel_topic_status, it seems that that warning is the only template outline travel topics can bear. Why is that? In practice, some outline travel topics have been given a "normal" outline template (e.g. Rock climbing) while others have been tagged "usable" despite being fairly short (e.g. Round the world overland). I imagine this might also be the result of people trying to get rid of the deletion warning, and indeed it it would be strange to delete these topics.

Now, I was trying to save windsurfing from deletion, but I'm unsure what that would require? There doesn't seem to be a set article template for such topics (and I would say that's a good thing), but what would it need to be usable and thus off the hook? Or should I give it just the standard outline status? Justme 06:39, 13 January 2012 (EST)

IMO this is why we have the vfd process. We won't vote to delete an article that is being developed, or has travel content. --Inas 06:01, 14 January 2012 (EST)
I get that, and I'm not worried that windsurfing will be deleted now, but the vfd is meant to evaluate individual cases, judging them based on policy and common practice. In principle, we try to develop articles without making use of the vdf. So that leaves my more general questions about why travel topic outlines are different from destination articles. If there's no explanation, I don't see why we wouldn't replace the "warning-this will be deleted if not edited for a year" template with the "normal" outline template. Justme 06:30, 14 January 2012 (EST)
You can look at the development of the policy here, Wikitravel talk:Deletion policy#Incomplete travel topics and itineraries.
I kind of see your point. I see this policy squarely aimed at "Visiting secondary sewage processing plants in Southern Europe with kids", type article, rather than a single sport or such.
Practically, however, the threshold for being "usable" is quite low. If the article is usable, then apply the usable template. If it really is an outline (headings, introduction, and no travel content) then it deserves to be considered for vfd after a year.
Despite of some of the comments on the vfd page, I think it is one of the most effective collaborations on the site. It brings out the strongest arguments in content and policy, regularly rescues articles and images, and leads to policy development. I don't think I've ever seen a vote that I'd consider removes useful travel content.
Would you have contributed to the windsurfing article if it hadn't been there, or would it have been a content-less disaster for the next decade? --Inas 23:09, 15 January 2012 (EST)
Thank you for that link, Inas, it explains the rationale :-) Although I don't believe it's a proper policy for mainstream travel topics (like windsurfing or any other sport) I can see why it's been developed and how it is useful. When the usable threshold is quite low, it shouldn't be much of a problem. A final question again though (sorry), a writer is in principle free to choose headings, right? There's no template? Thanks! Justme 08:10, 16 January 2012 (EST)
Yes, the writer is in principle free to choose headings in a travel topic, however, there is a tendency to reuse existing headings where they fit, and use the imperative phrasing also.
I think there are an infinite amount of things that could become travel topics, and a finite set of contributors. We generally don't create a travel topic articles in advance of a contribution. Unfortunately, in my view, that contribution can be a non-contribution - with no travel content, and we still tend to keep the article. An equivalent non-contribution in an existing article may well be removed. I see travel topics as needing curating during their early days if they are going to be successful, and if they are created by a passer-by and no regular contributor steps up, they languish. --Inas 17:09, 16 January 2012 (EST)


Navigation at the bottom?

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)

Wikitravel sucks

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 2011 November 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)

Wernigerode

Please would someone peer review the Wernigerode article and let me know what is now essential to get it to guide standard. Many thanks in advance. --SaxonWarrior 11:44, 21 January 2012 (EST)

I've upgraded it to usable from outline. For guide status, the See, Do, Buy, Eat, Drink, and Sleep sections need summaries, and the listings need actual prices. Drink listings need descriptions, and I'd also like to see the Sleep listings fleshed out more. Museums should be in "See" rather than "Do". LtPowers 13:01, 21 January 2012 (EST)
Thanks. I'll get to work. --SaxonWarrior 03:32, 22 January 2012 (EST)

Saxon Ore Mountains

The above article name is a bit of a fudge forced to fit the existing country/state hierarchy. The range is known as the Ore Mountains and straddles the German/Czech border, the highest point being on the Czech side. It is a major tourist magnet. IMHO we need an article on the Ore Mountains, but it will be an extra-hierarchical region. Can we cope with that? --SaxonWarrior 02:14, 25 January 2012 (EST)

Extra-hierarchical regions are fine, the Harz Mountains already function as an extra-hierarchical region. --Globe-trotter 03:38, 25 January 2012 (EST)

Adequate attribution?

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)

Today's outage

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.

Ikan Kekek 04:21, 26 January 2012 (EST)
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)

Listings of individuals

Hi, everyone. I'd like you to weigh in on this. My understanding has been that we don't allow listings of individuals, such as individual language tutors, trekkers, guides, translators, or drivers. But I'd like to refer you to a discussion taking place in Talk:La Paz and another that I just started at Talk:Banaue. I think we need to have a clear and well-thought-through policy on these matters. Ikan Kekek 06:20, 28 January 2012 (EST)

I think we these things we're guided by the number of potential listings, and the difficulty the traveller has in finding them. If there is only one elephant driver in a town, and that's the only way to get from the station to the camp site apart from walking, then we list them. Doesn't matter if they are an individual, or a franchise of Mega-Elephant. If there are a few elephants, but the traveller needs to be able to contact them, and the method for doing so is not apparent, then may need to maintain a compact list of choices. Style of listings, capacity of the organisation, traveller recommendations, etc, guide us in choosing who to list, but we'd rather list individuals than Elephant-Back-Travel booking office. However, if there are many elephants such that they are ubiquitous, then we don't need to list. A line of prose saying the elephants are outside the station, or some such suffices.
The bottom line is the traveller comes first. We don't need to accept a business owners rationale. --Inas 23:59, 28 January 2012 (EST)
The issue has also turned up at Talk:Yangshuo#Tour_Guides. Pashley 10:10, 29 January 2012 (EST)

Cape Town Dive Festival 2012

Cape Town is hosting a dive festival in August. It is not on the same scale as the football world cup or summer Olympics, but we are hoping for visitors from all over South Africa, and possibly a few internationals. The festival is a co-operative event to be organised, subsidised, and run by most if not all of the local dive shops, charter boats and clubs. If successful, they plan to make it a bi-annual event. I would like to put up a temporary article giving basic details and contact details for booking and a small temporary banner on the following relevant articles:

  • The actual dive sites selected for the festival (about 12)
  • The launch site and base for the festival (one of the local slipways and already a sub-article of the regional dive guide
  • The regional dive guide,
  • The national dive guide
  • Scuba Diving travel topic in the section for South Africa
  • The local regional travel guide (Western Cape)
  • The host city (Cape Town)

The proposed banner is:

Cape Town Dive Festival
11th & 12th August, 2012
Launching from
Cape Boat Club, Miller's Point, Simon’s Town
Festival Dive Site

Is this acceptable, and are there any suggestions or existing policy to cover this? Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 11:07, 31 January 2012 (EST)

I'm reluctant to approve a banner for a national event like this. This is not a major international event, so it is not going to be driving tourism; instead, it sounds like you want to advertise it via Wikitravel. There's a big difference between "Looking for information on the 2012 Olympics? Here's where it's held," and "Looking for something to do in South Africa? Here's an event." I don't think the latter is an appropriate use, especially for an event that will only draw minimal participation from outside the host country. LtPowers 14:47, 31 January 2012 (EST)
A standard event listing in the appropriate city/country article would definitely be OK, but too much promotion would be a concern. That said, given all the great work that Peter (Southwood) has done on dive articles I'd trust his judgement as to whether Wikitravel is a proper platform for promoting an event like this one, but I've got some concerns that it could be a bit of a slippery slope, and the proposed banner definitely looks a bit like an advertisement.
Wikitravel tends to be very conservative, which isn't always a good thing, so this might be a time where some experimentation would be warranted to see how it goes. In that spirit, I would be OK with adding temporary notices to the relevant dive articles provided they are a bit closer to standard Wikitravel style (for example, something more like Template:Infobox). As to a separate page promoting the event, I've also got some concerns about the precedent that would set, but in the interest of encouraging experimentation what about creating an initial page for discussion purposes and seeing how it goes, although the talk page should make it clear that this is just an experiment and not something should be followed as precedent by other events? -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:14, 1 February 2012 (EST)
LtPowers, I take your point. It would be a foot in the door for possible spamming, so I will scrap the idea and just link to the pages from the event website.
Ryan, Thanks for the support, but it is a bit of a slippery slope. I have been editing a lot on Wikipedia recently and tend to get policies mixed up between WT and WP. No problem, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 01:06, 8 February 2012 (EST)
I don't think a banner such as the one for Olympic host cities would be inappropriate on the main page of the South African Diving Sites article though. If someone is looking for Diving in South Africa then it would likely be of interest but not from the South Africa country page. ChubbyWimbus 10:03, 16 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 [2] and [3]. 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 [4] 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)

Cameron Highlands Tour providers

I would appreciate a second (or third) opinion on the comments I have left on the Cameron Highlands discussion page. Thanks. -- felix 06:33, 5 February 2012 (EST)

General aviation

I'm wondering about this edit, which reverts what an anonymous user had added about general aviation airports near Atlanta, with no explanation given. I couldn't find any WT policy on general aviation, but I thought it was generally not excluded. I've certainly seen it mentioned in a lot of other articles. -- BigPeteB 09:43, 10 February 2012 (EST)

You'd have to ask User:Dguillaime to be sure, but looking at the IP's previous edits, it appears the reason for the reversion was to eliminate the spamming of the link to "Jetset Charter", rather than any particular antipathy toward general aviation. To the larger question, general aviation is certainly a valid topic for our guides, though only the most significant GA airports in a given region should be listed. LtPowers 10:13, 10 February 2012 (EST)
The company in question has been copying and pasting the same text to numerous articles, so had User:Dguillaime not done so I would have also reverted them under the Wikitravel:Don't tout guideline. There was a similar discussion about listings for private jets in the USA article at Talk:United States of America/Archive 2007#Private jets? and the consensus was that it didn't make sense in that article, and I feel that the same holds true for articles like Los Angeles or Atlanta where private charters aren't something that's relevant to 99.999% of travelers. However, for cities with small airports like Santa Monica where the major airlines do not operate then listing smaller operators might make sense - that assumes that the company in question actually operates the planes and isn't just a booking agent. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:12, 10 February 2012 (EST)
Yes, the spamming of the company link was why I reverted those. You'll see more instances of that in the edit history for that IP address, for other cities, and never with any contact information for that company besides the link. -- D. Guillaime 11:38, 10 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 ;) --Peter Talk 22:08, 25 February 2012 (EST)

Outage

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)

Archiving the contents of user talk pages

Have a look at this history: http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=User_talk:FortMyersResort&action=history

and this discussion: http://wikitravel.org/en/User_talk:Ikan_Kekek#Personal_Talk_Page_Edits

I think the idea that someone can remove all content from their user talk page and put it in an archive, especially when the content is not even a month old, is absurd. What is your opinion about this? Ikan Kekek 02:22, 27 February 2012 (EST)

Why do you feel it is absurd? Obviously, the archive ought to be linked from the talk page, but as long as that is done, I don't see the problem. LtPowers 13:03, 27 February 2012 (EST)
First, I didn't see a link. Second, there has to be a minimum amount of time before it makes sense to archive discussion, especially when the discussion consisted of two posts by others telling the user in question not to tout. Do you really think it makes sense to archive discussion in user talk pages that's less than a month old? Ikan Kekek 14:05, 27 February 2012 (EST)
Plenty of policy discussions about this, without much consensus, but with a fairly strict status quo practice of letting users do almost whatever they want with their own userspace. Guidance for users is at Wikitravel:Using_talk_pages#Etiquette, but etiquette is not something policed. We do have a consensus to remove content from non-contributing users talk pages, and remove some extreme content (especially hate speech, promotion of illegal activities like prostitution, or threats). But we have not been able to build a consensus to police users' removal of good faith comments by other Wikitravellers (I think we should). For archiving, though, I think we shouldn't get too much in the business of policing userspace.
FWIW, I would support adding a note to the etiquette section, noting that it's best to wait until the page has grown long before archiving, and that such archives be clearly linked from the user's main talk page, so that everything is easy to find. --Peter Talk 17:55, 28 February 2012 (EST)

Outage today

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. --Peter Talk 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)

Maintenance window

Hi all: we are going to require a ~30 minute maintenance window for the DB, starting in a few minutes, FYI. Site should be back up shortly thereafter. Thank you,--IBobi 16:51, 6 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)

Wikitravel suggestion

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)

Password

Query: where do I go when I have forgotten my password?
I will sign with my IP I guess..
--81.68.73.34 15:17, 15 March 2012 (EDT)
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)

Outage

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)

Lansing

Anyone else think Lansing (Michigan) meets our "much more famous" criterion and ought to be at Lansing? LtPowers 19:30, 19 March 2012 (EDT)

As the capital of Michigan I think it qualifies since Lansing (Illinois) is just a small village. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:37, 19 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...

Ptrk 13:36, 22 March 2012 (EDT)

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)

Amazon wikitravel books

See thread here. [5] 81.141.31.216 17:07, 22 March 2012 (EDT)

iTravelFree is dead; long live WikiSherpa

A quick note: I've renamed my Android/iOS Wikitravel app from iTravelFree to Wikitravel:WikiSherpa, mostly due to an irritating trademark dispute (don't ask.) Of greater interest to most is that, thanks to ever-cheapening bandwidth, it's now possible to download a complete offline snapshot of Wikitravel, and all associated Wikipedia pages, on the free version of the app. (The only difference between the free and paid version now is that the latter is ad-free; the income covers my bandwidth and App Engine costs.) Enjoy! And, as ever, any comments or suggestions are most welcome. Rezendi 08:03, 31 March 2012 (EDT)

Cool, I'll check it out and let you know how things are working ;) --Peter Talk 19:13, 31 March 2012 (EDT)
Thanks for the app, dude, it's really helpful! I'm traveling now in south america and use your app every day. —The preceding comment was added by 190.234.100.117 (talkcontribs)
Very cool. I was using it on the weekend and being able to read WT while offline (no cell coverage) was very handy. - Shaund 20:42, 13 April 2012 (EDT)

Credits?

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? --Peter Talk 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... --Peter Talk 17:13, 13 April 2012 (EDT)
I wonder if we could use javascript to hide the credits until the reader clicks the "[show]" button. Or if reducing the number of authors shown by default would improve performance. LtPowers 20:11, 13 April 2012 (EDT)
We probably could, but What about users who (sensibly in my view) disable javascript for security reasons? Pashley 23:03, 14 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)
If the goal was to reduce performance impact the credits would not be seen by someone who did not have Javascript/Ajax enabled. Note, however, that this change would require a custom solution be developed and implemented by IB, so it seems unlikely to happen. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:59, 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?

MediaWiki upgrade is in staging and ready for testing

There is now a version of WT with the Mediawiki upgrade, live at this URL:

http://staging.wikitravel.org/en/Main_Page

No credentials or password are needed to access this server. Just click through, poke around, and report any issues you find under BETA here:

http://wikitravel.org/shared/Tech:Upgrade_to_MediaWiki_1.17

Testing this is critical to ensuring that the transition to the full new site is smooth. This will be happening very soon (weeks or sooner) and we're anxious to hear feedback. So please, go look.

KNOWN ISSUES:

1. This is NOT the "real" Wikitravel site -- your updates won't carry over to the real site. This is just a testing environment for debugging; it will mimic the look & feel of the new site however.

2. The article data you will see on this staging server are several months old. New edits will not appear. Don't panic -- all the data will of course appear when the real site is switched over.

3. Speed will be okay; not as fast as the full site, but not nearly as slow as the previous testing environment.

Thank you,--IBobi 14:43, 11 April 2012 (EDT)

FYI the staging server is now closed. The next step will be adding the booking tool and internally testing the site, then opening it up again on staging for the community to test before it goes live. This should happen in the next week.--IBobi 14:57, 20 April 2012 (EDT)
Just a reminder—MediaWiki is the name of the software. --Peter Talk 17:53, 20 April 2012 (EDT)
Thanks Peter -- think I reversed my MW and WM a couple times there.--IBobi 19:06, 20 April 2012 (EDT)

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.

-SnappyHip 11:01, 14 April 2012 (PST)

The way that "table of contents" is displayed

Hi guys.

As a sysop of the French Wiktionary, I'm really interrested in the way tables of contents show up here.

Would any contributor please help me to understand how it works ? --ArséniureDeGallium 14:04, 23 April 2012 (EDT)

I believe Evan worked on it. He is no longer very active on this site, so best to contact him via his own website [6]. --Peter Talk 16:10, 23 April 2012 (EDT)
Thanks. --ArséniureDeGallium 16:40, 23 April 2012 (EDT)

French Wikitravel

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)

Pure grumbling

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? --Peter Talk 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)

Changing time formats

An anonymous user changed all the times in the Tokyo article to 24-hour format. There's some logic behind that, since it's common in Japan to use 24-hour time in most public information displays... but if we were to follow that standard, wouldn't it be better done at a national level? Whichever way it goes, is this worth reverting? BigPeteB 09:49, 25 April 2012 (EDT)

See Wikitravel:Time and date formats for the official policy. The talk page for that article also has a fair amount of discussion on the subject. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:07, 25 April 2012 (EDT)

I have nothing to edit. What can I?

Hello, I'm a new user. I am bored on here. I have nothing to edit. What can I do?

And besides, are you going to comment about my username and signature? Pmaistakingthebanhammertobanworld 22:35, 28 April 2012 (EDT)

If you have nothing to edit, why are you here? If you're only here to publicize your dislike of Pmanderson (who doesn't edit here), we're not really interested. If you're genuinely interested in becoming a Wikitraveler, I suggest your first step should be to register a better username. LtPowers 09:27, 29 April 2012 (EDT)

Vandals getting around blocks

How is this vandal that I blocked able to still make edits, as an unregistered user, to a page that I protected from edits by unregistered users? See User talk:216.66.167.98 Ikan Kekek 21:27, 29 April 2012 (EDT)

A blocked user can still edit his talk page with the current Mediawiki version. Similarly, it doesn't appear that protecting a page has any effect unless the page exists - you can create a page with a note indicating why it will be protected and then protect it, and things should work as expected. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:00, 29 April 2012 (EDT)

French Wikitravel pages for deletion

Hi, could someone speedily delete some of the pages on the French Wikitravel pages for deletion? –sumone10154 14:01, 2 May 2012 (EDT)

Done. --Rein N. 19:01, 2 May 2012 (EDT)

Ontopic or not? Page gathering information on possibilities to take bicycles on public transport.

Hi! Over at the (Swedish-language) Facebook group [7] and Facebook page [8] 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)

***RESCHEDULED for next week*** MediaWiki upgrade is scheduled for Monday 5/14/12

Site will be READ-ONLY for up to TWO DAYS while the upgrade is occurring.

If there are edits you'd like to make, please do so over the weekend and on Monday.

When the new site comes online, it will be on new hardware as well. Bug reporting is available here:

http://wikitravel.org/shared/Tech:Upgrade_to_MediaWiki_1.17#1.17_UPGRADE_BUG_REPORTS

If for any reason you need to contact me, I can be reached on my Talk page or my email address paul.obrien at internetbrands.com.

Thank you for hanging in there with us; once this major upgrade is complete we expect to be able to update the site software in a much more timely manner (1.11 to 1.17 is a big jump), and we have development resources to address any technical issues still lingering after the upgrade, as well as to address the next set of feature requests from the community. We're looking forward to the next stage of the project and hope you are too!--IBobi 17:47, 4 May 2012 (EDT)

I've updated MediaWiki:Sitenotice to note the scheduled outage. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:36, 4 May 2012 (EDT)
Thank you Ryan.--IBobi 18:59, 4 May 2012 (EDT)
Might be helpful to list the time in UTC (for the non-US users) in the message that displayed at the top. So: A MediaWiki upgrade is scheduled for Tuesday 8-May at 10AM PST (17:00 UTC). The site will be READ-ONLY for up to two days during the upgrade. AHeneen 23:38, 4 May 2012 (EDT)
Done –sumone10154 10:58, 5 May 2012 (EDT)

THIS HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR 5/15/2012 due to network issues today. As we get closer to the day, I'll post a time -- it is likely to be around 5am PST (12:00 UTC).--IBobi 14:22, 7 May 2012 (EDT)

THIS HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR 5/14/2012. It is still likely to be around 5am PST (12:00 UTC).--IBobi 16:28, 11 May 2012 (EDT)

Since the site isn't read-only as of 8AM (Pacific) on 14-May, is there any update on when the upgrade is going to happen? -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:56, 14 May 2012 (EDT)
I'm told 2 minutes from now.--IBobi 12:58, 14 May 2012 (EDT)
I'm following GW Bush's counsel [9]. --Peter Talk 13:33, 14 May 2012 (EDT)

I will update shortly on the upgrade status.--IBobi 16:55, 17 May 2012 (EDT)

Mission Accomplished!? --Peter Talk 20:18, 17 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. PerryPlanet Talk 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:

Current version:

  • International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, +1 202 393-7798, [10]. 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.

Another idea:

  • 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.
Price: Adults: $20, seniors: $15, children (5-11): $15, 4 & under: Free.

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. --Peter Talk 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, butt@buttmuseum.org, 1.
9AM-5PM.
Super awesome museum about butts. Great for people who have butts or would like to find out more about butts.
Price: Free.

texugo 15:16, 3 June 2012 (EDT)

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)

Mediawiki upgrade status

The planned MW upgrade has been postponed.

During the last 2 days, as you may have noticed, Wikitravel has been in read-only mode for a planned upgrade. Due to unforeseen technical circumstances, we had to re-schedule.

We have been working to transfer the entire site to new hardware while simultaneously migrating it to MW version 1.17 from 1.11.

As you can see, the existing version of the site running on 1.11 is back online for read-write access. Our technical department has built testing tools specific to the customized version of MW that runs Wikitravel, and we'll be using them to troubleshoot and log potential causes of the upgrade failure.

As soon as we have it, I will post a new timetable for the switchover to the new site.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns,--IBobi 20:37, 17 May 2012 (EDT)

Hi, this is Shoestring, an admin of ja:.
It will be very much helpful if you could kindly leave a brief message about the concrete schedule of the next system maintenance on the MediaWiki:Sitenotice of shared and en:, at least prior to a week.
Usually ja: users don't check the pubs on en: and shared so frequently, and we have totally no idea what on earth was happening on the site for the last couple of days.--Shoestring 07:22, 18 May 2012 (EDT)
Out of interest, what are the changes? Is it just performance improvements, or will this bring in new ads? Are we getting upgraded to the Vector skin, because the Monobook is starting to look quite old. I've seen non-Wikimedia sites do it; we should too. JamesA >talk 21:40, 19 May 2012 (EDT)
Any chance of providing a database dump for download at the same time? Please? Anjocu 23:05, 21 May 2012 (EST)

www.airport-china.com

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.
The Civil Aviation Authority of China has a website at http://www.caac.gov.cn/.Travelpleb 10:57, 3 June 2012 (EDT)

Deletion of user and talk pages

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've created Template:Delete and Category:Speedy deletion candidates. Please add it to your watchlist/userspace, admins, so you can keep an eye on it. :) JamesA >talk 08:11, 3 June 2012 (EDT)
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. --Peter Talk 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:

http://wikitravel.org/shared/Tech:Upgrade_to_MediaWiki_1.17#1.17_UPGRADE_BUG_REPORTS

If for any reason you need to contact me, I can be reached on my Talk page or my email address paul.obrien at internetbrands.com. Thanks!--IBobi 14:07, 4 June 2012 (EDT)

Delayed until 06-June-2012--IBobi 19:11, 4 June 2012 (EDT)
Upgrade complete. Please report issues at http://wikitravel.org/shared/Tech:Upgrade_to_MediaWiki_1.17#1.17_UPGRADE_BUG_REPORTS--IBobi 19:02, 7 June 2012 (EDT)

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 Wikivoyage 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 84.58.160.100 04:32, 8 June 2012 (EDT)

Upgrade to 1.17 complete

Hi all,

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 on the 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.

--IBobi 21:36, 8 June 2012 (EDT)

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