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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 gets 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.



Wikipedia attribution

So in this discussion, I mentioned that I am not a fan of putting the new Wikipedia attribution template at the bottom of the main article page. Notes about sources and copyright info have always gone on the talk page in the past, and I don't see any reason for the Wikipedia note to have a permanent place on the main namespace. There is no way for any other kind of contribution to get permanent mention there, so the exception for this one seems odd to me. I would like to propose that attribution notifications be given a permanent place at the top of the talk page. There they will still be highly visible and they won't accidentally get swept away into archives, etc. What does everyone think? Texugo 11:06, 22 March 2010 (EDT)

Definitely agree. I have used this template a lot for various African articles, and would much prefer to see it on a talk page.--Burmesedays 11:07, 22 March 2010 (EDT)
No. It needs to be at the bottom because that's where the rest of the attribution information is found. If it's on the talk page, a reuser may not know to look there for additional attributions. LtPowers 16:28, 22 March 2010 (EDT)
That is incorrect. At the bottom of the page is only a randomly selected list of contributors, with a link to the complete list. It has never included source info-- notes about text sources (i.e. release notifications, etc.) have always gone on the talk page, the same way image source info is off in the image source file. If we insist that any text must be sourced on the main article page, we could end up with a whole pile of boxes at the bottom of some articles, which I think is tacky and unnecessary.Texugo 23:36, 22 March 2010 (EDT)
I suppose I'm responsible for creating that template, which I added in line with the existing {{Attribution}} and {{Mergecredit}} templates as documented in the template index, in turn based on earlier discussions of requesting permission from others and crediting original sources of translated pages.
Mind you, now that I check it, it seems that {{Attribution}} is only used on two pages, and that I've personally added all but one of {{Mergecredit}}'s uses, neither of which had I previously realized. — D. Guillaime 00:58, 23 March 2010 (EDT)

We could amend MediaWiki:Copyright to say something like "additional attribution information may be found on the article's talk page." Either way, we're still making things miles easier for re-users than Wikimedia does. --Peter Talk 01:30, 23 March 2010 (EDT)

That seems like a good solution. I realise that the Wikipedia attribution is necessary, but let's try try get it off the main article. --Burmesedays 01:37, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Sounds good to me! Texugo 01:40, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
There are so few articles that have additional attribution information (at least it seems so?) that I might prefer a single, subtle template as a talk page pointer for the few that need it, rather than padding out MediaWiki:Copyright for everything. That's merely an aesthetic thought, though, not an argument of any substance. — D. Guillaime 02:47, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
I don't see why we should separate attribution information like that. We link to Wikipedia because Wikipedians wrote some of the text in the article, and they should be credited just like Wikitravelers who are credited at the end of the article. Since we can't transclude the Wikipedia article's history, the next best thing is to make sure that people looking for attribution information know where to find it and don't think that the auto-generated information at the bottom is the be-all and end-all. LtPowers 08:54, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Mainly because it doesn't look very nice. Wikipedia do not even credit their own writers on the page they contribute to (at least not in a place obvious to me), so I am not at all sure why we should worry about it. --Burmesedays 09:26, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Also, reserving the article space for travel content alone has long been a goal, which is why we have shunned the practice of crediting photographers in thumbnail captions, as well as in-article ads of any sort. --Peter Talk 12:21, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Understandable, but at least we're consistent with the image credits. With text credits, they're scattered all over the place if text was imported from other sources; keeping them as close together as possible is ideal. If we had a way to stick the information in the footer or on the credits page, I'd be all for that, but we don't. LtPowers 15:55, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Well, Peter's suggestion is just that, to add a note to the footer pointing to the talk page. I'm all for it. Texugo 06:44, 24 March 2010 (EDT)
Yeah, I agree - I'm tired of seeing these boxes cluttering up pages. If anyone asks, we can point them to the talk page (heck, if they're familiar with Wikipedia, the talk page is probably the first place they will look!). PerryPlanet Talk 18:58, 24 March 2010 (EDT)
I don't think that's sufficient. LtPowers 20:53, 24 March 2010 (EDT)
Well, do you want to offer any suggestions as to what would be sufficient? PerryPlanet Talk 22:16, 24 March 2010 (EDT)
I believe the current templates are our best solution at this time. LtPowers 09:30, 25 March 2010 (EDT)
Why? You have made no reasonable arguments as to why this is necessary. Any Wikipedian will surely not expect it as it does not happen over there. --Burmesedays 12:10, 25 March 2010 (EDT)
I already explained why. First and foremost, we are not Wikipedia. Wikipedia does not place its text credits in a convenient location at the bottom of every article page. One must, when attributing in Wikipedia, go through the history and record the usernames listed there -- and, if the page history indicates merges occurred, link to additional pages and find those pages' histories. Alternatively, if the content was copied from a compatible but extra-Wikipedia source, they use a template, such as Wikipedia:Template:CCBYSASource, which is placed on the article page to inform users that the text was not original to Wikipedia.
Wikitravel, on the other hand, places its text credits in a convenient location at the bottom of every article page. Except that it only works if the author physically edited the Wikitravel article to add the text; if it was added by someone else, the wrong author gets credited. We should make every effort to make sure that all sources are pointed out at least as prominently as the auto-generated credits block is displayed. The best way to do that is with a template at the bottom of the article, just like Wikipedia does. LtPowers 19:38, 25 March 2010 (EDT)

I don't see it that way. The auto-generated credits at the bottom of the page are only a fractional random sampling and one still has to click to another page to get the full list. Any notes from non-wiki websites relicensing their text to us are still going to go on the talk page, and there is no way around that. All images sources are off on their own pages and that is unlikely to change. All our attribution is not nor ever has been all in one place, and I don't see any particularly need to clutter up the main namespace articles just to make it so.Texugo 22:38, 25 March 2010 (EDT)

It's not random; it's the most recent contributors. And the link to the full list is right there. Putting these small templates at the very bottom of an article is not cluttering at all, and it keeps most of the most important information together. LtPowers 07:39, 26 March 2010 (EDT)
And the link being suggested would also be right there, instead of up in the article space.Texugo 00:38, 27 March 2010 (EDT)
I agree with LtPowers. The idea behind WT is that you should be able to copy and reuse the WT guide, without having to worry about things not in the article namespace. We use the talk article to get the article right to make the real article free and available for everyone to use. --inas 20:53, 28 March 2010 (EDT)
Laudable Inas. But we do not do that now, do we? And it is surely impractical to even try. The only credits in the main article space are the last few contributors. Image and map credits are not in the main article at all. The onus is on the reuser to find out. We cannot babysit every possible reuser of the site. --Burmesedays 21:37, 28 March 2010 (EDT)/
As LtPowers inadvertently reminded me here, there are other cases where we can't get around using the talk page for attribution notes too, such as merge and redirect or merge and delete cases. Just another reason why I think we need a dedicated attribution space on the talk page. I certainly don't think we need to create yet another box template for that kind of thing just to pile at the bottom of the main page. Texugo 23:30, 1 April 2010 (EDT)

I've been hanging out on the fence on this one, since both sides to the argument have plenty of merit. But ultimately, I think it's important that we draw the distinction between travel content and non-travel content in our guides, as we have done with ads.

Ideally, we'll find a way to stick this sort of attribution (from WP, other language versions, etc.) in the footer alongside the list of Wikitravellers, but until then, I think the least bad solution is to put the templates on the talk page and note that re-users should check the talk page for additional attribution information. This is how we have handled image attribution, for example, also owing to the lack of tech support to get it in the footer, as well as the problem of having one name too many in the list. --Peter Talk 12:17, 19 May 2010 (EDT)

What's going on then?

With all these active members with high school yearbook names? All seem to be new members but all edits are coming through as patrolled (by themselves?). As I am writing this, we have the following users in the last 20 edits on the recent changes screen: User:Miranda.paullin, user:Christina.Megan‎, user:JennieStarner‎, user:Jennifer Paster‎, user:BeverlyEKeith, user:VeronicaVanHouten, user:VictoriaRussell‎, user:Caitlin Bannister‎. Very unusual. All women, all with names that sound like they are lifted from a prom night guest list in a movie, all apparently new and all produce edits that seem to patrol themselves. With the edits, there is little pattern except some are copy vios from other travel sites.--Burmesedays 01:06, 9 April 2010 (EDT)

As I understand it, the Mediawiki default is that any account older than 30 days (such as VeronicaVanHouten) have auto-patrolled edits; changing the defaults for when a user is auto-patrolled would be an IB issue. As to why we're seeing these edits, if I had to guess I'd suspect that it's part of a college course - we got a bunch of them about two months ago, so perhaps the most recent batch are students finishing up at the last minute? -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:22, 9 April 2010 (EDT)
That would all make sense. Please all patrollers look out for these. A number of articles have been butchered format-wise and the edits are all coming up as auto-patrolled. Fighting a losing battle here.--Burmesedays 12:48, 9 April 2010 (EDT)
I have seen the edits of Veronica as well (and welcomed her) as she was busy contributing and didn't violated policies. She didn't really good MoS wise but that's maybe because she didn't have seen the policies... I agree with Ryan that more and more Colleges, High schools etc. use Wikitravel and start educate pupils in how to use Wikis. I regular find the british school in Bangkok, some canadians etc. if you search the IP jan 12:00, 10 April 2010 (EDT)

There have been a number of edits recently for New England towns that look like they may be college projects - Blackstone and Roger Williams Park seem like two likely candidates - so the college students may be back. A bit of extra vigilance and patience in recent changes patrolling is probably worthwhile. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:31, 26 October 2010 (EDT)

what to include in BUY section

Minot has a new touting listing of a garden center. My first reaction was to delete it but before doing so would like some clarification of the policy. Clearly the BUY section is not just for souvenirs as we lisrt shopping centers and malls. So how do we decide what goes in? Shep 01:09, 15 April 2010 (EDT)

Shopping useful to the traveler I would say. Garden centres definitely are not and should be deleted.--Burmesedays 01:16, 15 April 2010 (EDT)
Yeah, shopping malls are legitimate travel destinations. Garden centers, not so much. ChubbyWimbus 01:46, 15 April 2010 (EDT)
I'd agree with one caveat - when a place is so small that there are literally only a handful of businesses it probably doesn't hurt to list any of them that might be remotely interesting to travelers in a there's-nothing-else-so-I'll-stop-there kind of way. Minot is large enough that this wouldn't apply. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:52, 15 April 2010 (EDT)
Wikitravel:Where_you_can_stick_it#Buy says bookstore, camping supplies, clothing shop, market (food purchase), ski rental, souvenirs, but I guess this is not ment to be exhaustive, and the principle must be that we list what we expect to be relevant to the traveler. But maybe we need our policy to state a bit more clearly how we decide what to include in the buy section?, --ClausHansen 02:02, 15 April 2010 (EDT)
But what kind of traveller will need to stop by a garden center to pick up a bag of mulch? I don't see a garden center ever being a legitimate entry. I don't know if the policy really needs reworked, although I have seen bookstore listings with questionable value. ChubbyWimbus 02:57, 15 April 2010 (EDT)
A garden center can never be interesting for a traveller because gardening requires a garden and you can't take it with you while you travel ;-) jan 03:20, 15 April 2010 (EDT)
Never travel without a rotary lawn mower I say.--Burmesedays 03:48, 15 April 2010 (EDT)

I often buy seeds and plants when travelling - but I think the idea behind the Buy section is to list the things particular to the destination - not the things you can find anywhere. So, list that African Violet nursery with the nice cafe out back, but not MegaGarden Warehouse in the suburbs. List the quaint bookstore great for browsing, but omit the Borders in the shopping mall. I don't think we are ever going to tie down this too much. Again, we are a human edited guide. If you don't think it is of interest to travellers, delete it, and take any discussion to the destination talk page. --inas 20:30, 19 April 2010 (EDT)

Strange but true, I also often go to garden centres as I like to buy seeds and take them home. Indeed I recall an intensive seed search on one occasion just prior to departing a city. I had left it too late and everywhere I went they did not have either sufficient seeds or the ones I wanted. I remember wishing I had planned things a little better. I don't think I would be expecting to find this sort of thing in WT articles though. But it really got me laughing. As to Burmesedays travelling with the lawn mower there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. People take bikes, surfboards and all sorts of stuff along with them. If using airline transport one of the manual push-pull models would probably be better these days as lately the airlines have been getting upset about things with petrol in them. Personally, I always try and buy my mulching requirements locally or make it up myself rather than dragging it back to Indonesia from a Carrefour in Paris. felix 04:34, 26 October 2010 (EDT)
Perhaps it depends on the country, but seeds are usually confiscated at airports; it's illegal to transport seeds and plants. ChubbyWimbus 23:23, 26 October 2010 (EDT)
It is Indonesia, it is up all up to good luck and charm. Also I always bravely declare them to the Indonesian Quarantine officers. If transiting another country on the way there forget about it, they will go in the bin. Also only the ones in the sealed packets.

For heavens sake though don't anyone try to carry seeds into australia or somewhere similar as the process is complex and if you for some reason forget to declare them you will be punished without mercy. I think a public stoning in the customs area car park may be in order and a serious wallet stripping is a certainty. felix 02:28, 27 October 2010 (EDT)

Mobile version

Back in November 2009 a mobile version (m.wikitravel.org) had been announced. Just recently I got to check it out and noticed some issues. The major one is that the search function is not working (or not set up?). Also in the footer it is still referring to the old CC 1.0 license. It is definitely helping the users to read wikitravel on a mobile device (which is not so unlikely for a traveler after all) although some pages are a pain in the a**, having to scroll half a minute to get to the desired information. So maybe after clearing the major bugs even some improvements are possible ... Who is taking care of this version or is there any way to contribute to this? --Sebindi 08:53, 27 April 2010 (EDT)

The mobile version was implemented by Internet Brands. You can see the announcement at shared:Wikitravel Shared:Travellers' pub#Announcement: Wikitravel Mobile version. IBSteph requested feedback in that thread. LtPowers 11:22, 27 April 2010 (EDT)


iTravelFree Maps

Hi. Me again. Because Android and iPhone apps weren't enough to keep me busy, I spent today cooking up another new Wikitravel feature: page maps!

I figured since I'd already written code to convert listing addresses to lat/long coordinates, I might as well make all that useful information available. So go ahead and feast your eyes and mice at http://wetravelright.appspot.com/map, which shows the locations of 777 more-or-less-randomly selected Wikitravel pages.

You can browse around by clicking on those flags, or use the Search form to search all of Wikitravel. Here's an example of what it looks like when you zoom in from pages to listings: http://wetravelright.appspot.com/map?terms=Santa+Monica

...and, of course, you can click on the listing icons to view/edit their basic information, or get a link to the Wikitravel page they came from.

This is very much a pre-alpha release: I started it from scratch just today! So it's still a little balky, and right now the search only works on English-language pages. Also, I've only tested it on Firefox and Safari for Mac, and the address -> lat/long geocoding is imperfect. But even so, I think it's pretty useful as is, and I've got a whole bunch of new features, improvements, and tweaks in mind.

(Most of them will have to wait until June, though, 'cause next week I'm heading off to travel down the east coast of Australia. This also means you shouldn't expect much in the way of new iTravelFree Android/iPhone app releases for the next six weeks.)

Enjoy! (And let me know if and when and how it breaks.)

Rezendi 01:27, 30 April 2010 (EDT)

That's just awesome! After all, it's great in districtifying job--especially in identifying what was misplaced in a wrong district, like this: NH Constanz in Barceloneta.
And yes, ability to see a huge city immediately with its subdistricts on the same map would absolutely rock. --DenisYurkin 01:40, 30 April 2010 (EDT)
Nice. I agree from an editing point of view, you can quickly see what is wrong. I would like to edit a WT page, get your app to geolocate all the addresses, then check them, then write it back to the article. How is that for a feature request! Enjoy your trip down the east coast. I hope the WT articles help you on your way. --inas 01:56, 30 April 2010 (EDT)
I am still opposed to automatic geolocating in articles, due to inherent inaccuracies in the process. But I have no problem with displaying them on the map in an application like this, as something is better than nothing. My major bug-fix request for Rezendi is to have the little arrow on the bottom of the listing icons point at the calculated location, rather than have the icons centered on the location. LtPowers 09:30, 30 April 2010 (EDT)
Not proposing that. I am suggesting that if a district or small town an visually display the geocoding for the attractions, this can then be manually reviewed and accepted. I would like the ability to edit the geolocation of attractions via the map interface rather than the wiki interface. The current wiki interface involves cutting and pasting coordinates, with no sanity check at the end. I geocoded most of the Sydney/Darling Harbour attractions using a GPS standing out the front of them, and when viewed on this map there I see a couple of blatant errors with just a quick glance, and I wish I could just correct them via the map. --inas 19:34, 2 May 2010 (EDT)

Chinese Wikitravel

I have been trying to give the Chinese version some structural base for people to make contributions by creating each country page. I am curious though:
1. Is it possible for the Chinese version to be changed to the Japanese set-up? I don't know how Chinese (or Chinese speakers) feel, but to me, it looks nicer with the Chinese characters.
2. The "add listing" feature, even as it is, requires the contributor to know English (or look it up), which defeats the purpose of a non-English language version. Is there any way to get that changed? ChubbyWimbus 02:27, 3 May 2010 (EDT)

IMO its too dangerous to use the Japanese setup as not all the characters in Japanese are the same as Chinese, and the Chinese hate the Japanese still. If you want to do a Chinese version it must be setup for the Chinese not the Japanese. If you need any translations let me know. —The preceding comment was added by 109.123.86.185 (talkcontribs)

It wasn't a proposal for the Chinese version to copycat the Japanese version; it just seems to suit the characters better and works well for both languages. If you're interested in translating for the Chinese version or helping on the Chinese Wikitravel, then by all means, plunge forward! It's relatively new, so there is a lot to improve. ChubbyWimbus 17:22, 21 July 2010 (EDT)

problem brewing on Wikipedia

Hey folks. Wish I had a more positive reason to poke my head in here again, but I'm here to report a problem developing on Wikipedia. IB has been accused[1] (rightly or wrongly, I don't know) of inappropriate self-promotional editing on WP, and there's a lynch mob forming which is overreacting to this and suggesting that they: delete all articles about IB sites, remove Wikitravel from the master interwiki map (which makes it easy to link from WP to WT), and even blacklist the wikitravel.org domain, which would make linking to WT impossible. I don't know the facts behind this dispute (it sounds like some corporate doofus with poor judgment behind it), but I know that the above actions would be harmful to both projects (especially WT), and I'd encourage calm heads (who can represent the WT community as the responsible project that it is), go over there to engage in damage control. -Todd VerBeek 14:02, 5 May 2010 (EDT)

And this, god damn IB, you guys seriously need to get your act together. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 14:37, 5 May 2010 (EDT)
I think I have enough WP editing history to be considered more than just an interloper, so I've commented on the thread Todd linked. <sarcasm>Good show, IB.</sarcasm> LtPowers 15:09, 5 May 2010 (EDT)
As someone very involved with spam mitigation on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia Foundation projects, I can say the following:
  1. I don't see a lynch mob
  2. I do see a very large spam effort by Internet Brands -- one of the worst I've seen in several years.
  3. As long as Wikitravel is owned by Internet Brands, I don't see how Wikimedia projects can continue allowing linking via interwiki shortcuts; technically, there's no way to inventory or monitor interwiki links.
  4. Editors could still use traditional external links to link to Wikitravel if interwiki linking were eliminated. Wikipedia bots and editors can monitor and, to some extent, control external link additions short of blacklisting.
  5. I expect many Internet Brands domains will have to be blacklisted by Wikimedia projects but I would be surprised to see this happen to Wikitravel. Many of our Wikitravel links have been added by regular Wikipedia editors and the informal relationship between Wikipedia and Wikitravel predates the Internet Brands acquisition.
When adding domains to one of Wikimedia's blacklists, what best helps our projects' content trumps "punishing" a spammer.
--A. B. (talk) 18:22, 5 May 2010 (EDT)
PS: As with any Wikimedia project, nobody speaks for the community; my comments above are just my opinion. --A. B. (talk) 18:34, 5 May 2010 (EDT)
I realize I'm possibly contributing to the fragmentation of this discussion, but I'll abstain from the thread on meta, since I'm not a user there.
With regards to your point three, I'm not sure I understand the reason why they would need to be monitored. How could interwiki links to Wikitravel articles constitute abuse? Aren't they desirable? We always make a point to add interwiki links to Wikipedia for the same reason—it's a like minded, open-content wiki, with information complementary to that which we provide.
If the purpose of removing Wikitravel from the interwiki map is simply punitive towards IB, I could understand that. Although that would, of course, be terribly unfair to Wikitravellers, who would suffer the double misfortune of a deteriorating relationship with Wikimedia (through no fault of their own) as well as the continued tragedy of being handcuffed to a negligent, incompetent, and at times abusive site host. --Peter Talk 21:02, 5 May 2010 (EDT)
Jesus fukin' wept. IB's reluctance to help us fight spammers here is now at least more understandable - they are major participants in the dark art form themselves. Absolute idiocy. --Burmesedays 21:52, 5 May 2010 (EDT)
I'm really angry and upset about this situation, but not entirely surprised. Before I start, I'll admit to not knowing all that much about servers, hosting, mirrors, etc. When I began contributing to WT I assumed it was set up in a similar way to Wikipedia. Since then I've learned about IB's ownership of the site, and frankly I've always thought it a bit of a strange situation. But it seemed to work (after a fashion). This current problem, however, seems to have shown up IB to be an organisation completely at odds with the spirit of wikis. I don't see how their ownership of Wikitravel can remain tenable. As I understand it, when IB took over Wikitravel, the Italians and Germans set up their own fork, Wikivoyage [2], reasoning that the aims of IB would not be compatible with the aims of the WT community. I have to say it now seems that the Italian and German wikitravellers were absolutely correct. So, given that IB doesn't own the content of Wikitravel, what is to stop the WT community from following the Wikivoyage example? Perhaps someone who knows about these things could explain the logistics and practical implications of this, and perhaps someone from Internet Brands might like to post some justifications for their actions and some reasons why forking away from them would not be in the best interests of the WT community? Tarr3n 06:51, 6 May 2010 (EDT)
The primary obstacle, to my mind, is the enormous loss of readership and reputation that will come with giving up the brand name and the domain name. First things first, though -- we ought to contact IB and ask them what this means. LtPowers 08:27, 6 May 2010 (EDT)
Tarr3n, you are certainly not the only one feeling that way. My view of IB has perhaps not been as dim as some here, but having read three times now that dreadful, sleazy situation which has evolved with WP, I was wrong. I have tried to find a reasonable explanation but I do not think there is one, and the situation is as we see it. They are at worst a very low brow, shady organisation indeed who should never have been given the opportunity to purchase a major community content owned site like Wikitravel, and at the very best a company with appallingly negligent corporate controls (anticipating an explanation of "It was all John's fault and we fired him". The very fact that this situation with WP has evolved and that IB have not even had the common courtesy to give us an explanation, says an awful about their corporate culture. Giving up the great brand name which we have all built has a lot of downside as LTPowers explains above, but it has to be given serious consideration.--Burmesedays 09:32, 6 May 2010 (EDT)
Peter, the potential abuse comes not from normal interwiki linking but from placing such links on tenuously-related articles, like putting a link to our New York (state) travel guide on the article wikipedia:Politics of New York. LtPowers 08:27, 6 May 2010 (EDT)
You may have other reasons to change your relationship to IB but I certainly wouldn't make this move just because Wikitravel is (likely) coming off the interwiki map. 99+% of Wikipedia's links to non-Wikimedia sites use the regular external linking process, not interwiki linking. External linking to Wikitravel would still be allowed.
Getting on the Interwiki map is getting harder all the time, so it's not clear any new entity would be added anyway.
Unfortunately, there's enough concern at this point about IB spamming that an unpaid Wikitravel volunteer enthusiastically adding a slew of Wikitravel links to Wikipedia (without a bunch of other content like article text) would probably now trigger spam warnings. It's hard for us to tell the difference between a professional spammer and a Wikitravel enthusiast that only adds links. I suggest not adding Wikitravel links unless you're also contributing a lot of other content, preferably with a user account, not an anonymous IP.
Finally, I'll note that all this spamming may be the work of one rogue IB employee; it may not reflect IB's overall values. From the perspective of someone cleaning up spam on Wikimedia sites, it all looks monolithic to me and we have to treat it as such. We get a ton of spam everyday from around the world and we just don't have the time or insight to try to tease out the nuances of IB's culture, politics and organization. A big company caught spamming will tell us they "fired that one employee", they "don't condone spamming", etc. Sometimes they're telling the truth, sometimes they're back again the next month with new sockpuppets unless we block their domains. On the other hand, your relationship to IB is so close and important that you have more reasons, insight and ability to sort out IB's value to your project and community.
As always, none of this is an "official" Wikipedia or Wikimedia view -- just one unpaid volunteer admin's opinion. --A. B. (talk)
PS, I'm also an enthusiastic Wikitravel reader. --A. B. (talk) 09:11, 6 May 2010 (EDT)
Many thanks A. B. for taking the time to explain your position. As I am not a regular Wikipedia editor I will not jump into the discussion there as that could be counter-productive. I do confess though that I have added a lot of inter-wiki links to WT at WP, always taking care to make sure they are placed in the right article, but almost always from an anonymous IP.--Burmesedays 09:37, 6 May 2010 (EDT)
If anyone is wasting any thought about forking, now is probably the time to discuss it. Be it because of the recent events (and still no reaction from IB as far as I see?) or because of other problems like the neglected tech support. Sympathy will be with it at this moment - just have a look at the WP discussion [3]. I can see some beauty in getting rid of those problems but of course there's a lot of risk. Wikivoyage [4] managed nicely though for the German version, now having almost double the articles of the German wikitravel. Anyway, I feel much too new around here to have as much as an opinion on this matter but I am curious about the thoughts of the more seasoned wikitravelers. --Sebindi 12:30, 7 May 2010 (EDT)
A. B., out of interest, how is a decision to remove a site from the inter-wiki map taken? I ask only because you state above ".... just because Wikitravel is (likely) coming off the interwiki map.". And yet when I read the relevant wikimedia discussion, there is little support and a fair amount of of opposition to that proposal. I am curious. --Burmesedays 12:40, 7 May 2010 (EDT)
It's pretty informal and that discussion page is a real backwater. Likewise, the spam cleanup documentation pages that are linked to in that discussion are backwaters -- few regular editors or admins follow them. When the Internet Brands problems eventually becomes wider knowledge (and it will), then I would expect a big storm to brew and a strong move to pull Wikitravel off the interwiki map.
Something as big as the Internet Brands problem really needs to be brought to the wider community's attention, probably at Wikipedia:WP:ANI; I'm traveling, however, or I would have posted a note there already. I think it's important that a big decision not be taken by a small group of regulars in an arcane area -- that would be abusing the spirit behind our requirement for consensus decision-making.
My comments are strictly my own opinion; I'm basing them on my appraisal of the situation. Personally, I believe strongly that the mapping must be pulled for reasons I've given here and on Meta-Wiki.
As for the actual mechanics, any Meta-Wiki admin has the authority and ability such as myself can pull that mapping at anytime but it would be irresponsible to do without community discussion. --A. B. (talk) 15:23, 7 May 2010 (EDT)

To keep users abreast of developments (as far as we can given the deafening silence from Internet Brands themselves), there is a discussion here about deleting from Wikipedia all Internet Brands-owned businesses. Whilst there is some spirited and logical defence of Wikitravel in particular, and some of the attacks are a little extreme, it is easy to see why folks are so damned upset with Internet Brands, and despite denials are clearly looking for punishment. --Burmesedays 06:22, 9 May 2010 (EDT)

Some good news. The result of the Wikipedia discussion to delete the Wikitravel page (as a consequence of IB's purported behaviour), was keep. See [5]. --Burmesedays 23:04, 20 May 2010 (EDT)
I’ve received a few inquiries about how some recent allegations on Wikipedia involving our parent company Internet Brands might affect the Wikitravel community. I took these inquiries to senior members of the Internet Brands management team. They said they are aware of the allegations that were posted on Wikipedia and that the allegations are factually inaccurate.
Speaking for the entire Wikitravel team, we assure you that Internet Brands has always fully supported and encouraged the goals, spirit and guidelines of the Wikitravel community. Of course, all of us on the Wikitravel team embrace all of the core values of the Wikitravel community and we continue to work in the best interests of Wikitravel. We hope that inaccurate allegations don’t result in unjustly impacting Wikitravel and the work of the community.


Best,
Steph --IBsteph 10:27 am, 24 May 2010 (PST)
Thank you Steph. I have no wish to shoot the messenger and am truly grateful that you pursued this matter and got some sort of answer, as empty as it is. What does "factually inaccurate" mean here? It is undeniable that there was a mass spamming campaign involving domains owned by Internet Brands. The evidence is all there at WP. If Internet Brands did not instigate this, who did?--Burmesedays 11:10, 25 May 2010 (EDT)

Rochester (New York)

I'm hitting a bit of a wall with my improvements to Rochester (New York). I would greatly appreciate some fresh eyes and any accompanying advice as to which parts of the article might most be in need of attention. Thanks in advance! LtPowers 13:46, 6 May 2010 (EDT)

User:194.17.116.224

Hi! Anon user 194.17.116.224 in the last month made a tremendous effort to rewrite Swiss and Austrian talk sections. He thinks that he is right and all others are wrong concerning the proper naming of German. Lately he started to insult [6] other editors (especially me). I blocked him now for two hours and tried to explain him we are not Wikipedia and that even Wikipedia has a wide variation for German not to start with all other specialties... I tried to explain we are based on consensus but so far he deciced to stay a lonesome cowboy. Please revert on spot. jan 07:44, 7 May 2010 (EDT)

Suckiness

I can barely use WT of late—it has been running so slowly. --Peter Talk 20:31, 11 May 2010 (EDT)

Some monitoring scripts I've got show it dropping off the net (connection timeout) at 17:15 Pacific today, and at around 20:00 Pacific last night - both times for about twenty minutes. Otherwise response times look normal. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:48, 11 May 2010 (EDT)
I occasionally have periods where I have to wait several seconds for a response from the server, but lately they've been fleeting (five minutes at most). LtPowers 22:49, 11 May 2010 (EDT)
Also had a lot of issues lately. Quite often loading takes forever and sometimes I get like a very rudimentary text version without any of the layout ... --Sebindi 12:14, 12 May 2010 (EDT)
I have no idea why, but the D.C. guides seem harder to edit than any other pages. This often seems to be the case, but it's exacerbated by the fact that the whole site seems really slow the past few days. --Peter Talk 12:54, 12 May 2010 (EDT)
Over the last two months, it has gotten to the point where I'm surprised if I don't have to refresh at least twice or three times to get the page to load fully and properly.Texugo 20:32, 12 May 2010 (EDT)
Quite so, but I believe that's a different issue. LtPowers 08:55, 13 May 2010 (EDT)
Could it be a factor of some content being on different servers? It is strange when a particular guide is always slow (as Peter experiences with DC). London is so slow I usually do not bother. On general slowness, one tip is to use Chrome. A stripped down browser makes up for a lot speedwise.--Burmesedays 09:08, 13 May 2010 (EDT)
I'm using Chrome already and still have these problems. It seems like the first time I call up Wikitravel is the worst. Texugo 11:23, 13 May 2010 (EDT)
My experience is that the speed of WT is highly depend on the day time. During the European morning and lunch time (night time in the US) i can edit without problems and have new issue. If i want to edit in the evening it is pretty slow and it takes sometime to even just revert something. This is why i'm pretty active in the morning (6-16 CEST) but not in the evening. So far i have not experienced differences between loading times from articles. jan 08:16, 14 May 2010 (EDT)
I have experienced similar over the last few months so the problem seems to still be current in late October 2010. I am using an IP in indonesia and of course accessing the internet in any form from that country has it's own interesting set of issues and frustrations. Similar to Burmesedays I have been considering that maybe we are accessing the WT pages concerned from a mirror server and that maybe it is that mirror server causing the problems. When comparing to other similar sites (such as WP) WT seems still to have some issues at this time (late October 2010). I often have an experience similar to Texugo. Sometimes I do not even get a page preview or edited page to load at all. As a result either the edit process is disrupted leaving a certain air of mystery to the outcome of my edit or preview attempt. Indeed this has been an interesting feature of WT editing ever since I first tried it but is seems to have got a lot worse in the last few months despite my net connection getting a little bit better in the same time frame. I have been assuming the WT servers were being flooded by DOS attacks and that consequentially those servers were getting overloaded. I am sure Burmesedays is having similar overall net access issues as he is also on an end branch of the pipe in Indonesia. However he seems to be MIA at the moment, maybe he is elsewhere in the world at this time. I suspect this is an issue arising from a problem other than 3rd world internet access. A page refresh may grind on for several minutes or time out. An edit preview or edit save will often either take an eternity to resolve and will often 'hang' the browser whilst the page loads at a speed comparable to paint drying on a rainy day. Indeed on some days I am lucky if the power is even on long enough to finish an edit. On many occasions I have to walk away from an embarrassing edit error and often come back to it many hours later when the power and net access have finally returned. I am assuming there is either a WT server error or some sort of javascript conflict contributing to these problems. I also get edit confict messages when I am the only editor present and there is no apparent reason for any content conflict with my own edit or that of anyone else, ie just clicked on the preview button, this is quite common and I have back-refresh, save the edit content, reload the original article and re-edit, can be a bit frustrating when the power then goes off in the middle of the whole exercise or this preview edit/save edit hang occurs as well. I also edit on Wikipedia and do not experience these issues there other than very occasionally and if so to a much lesser degree. Those occurrences are most probably reasonably consistent with the general net access issues we have here. I think that if using the WP servers in similar conditions does not consistently give rise to the same issues then maybe we are indeed looking at a problem arising from WT. felix 04:11, 22 October 2010 (EDT)
I am having similar problems in South Africa, perhaps not quite so bad, and not consitent to any pattern I have been able to work out yet. I tried Chrome, but it doesnt make a noticeable difference. WT is usually worse and slower than other sites. Cheers, Peter (Southwood) Talk 15:12, 24 October 2010 (EDT)

World Cup 2010

Just 22 days to go. This article needs updating urgently. Can anyone do it? Shep 15:46, 18 May 2010 (EDT)

Strickland, MS?

I want to add this to the project but i don't know what MS stands for i thought mississippi but i could be wrong. thank you. --Varajou89 06:16, 24 May 2010 (EDT)

Why do you want to add it? If you want to write an article about Strickland, please go ahead and add it. It looks like a very, very small place though. If you want to add an empty article, then please do not bother.--Burmesedays 06:26, 24 May 2010 (EDT)

New Wikipedia design

I've noticed Wikipedia has a nifty new design. Is is possible to also update this design and use it on Wikitravel? --globe-trotter 14:45, 31 May 2010 (EDT)

We certainly could incorporate elements of the new design if someone was willing to dig into the CSS files, make the necessary changes, and then convince IB to do the replacement. But I believe the full new design requires elements of the latest versions of the MediaWiki software, which would require an upgrade on IB's part, something they've mentioned in the past but I can't see happening any time soon. LtPowers 15:01, 31 May 2010 (EDT)
I hate the new design. I always have to login to see the old look. Lets not make the mistake of bringing it here.--TrekkingTurtle 19:15, 9 October 2010 (EDT)

Dindigul

I'm wondering if there is a mistake or what the logic is behind redirecting Dindigul to Dindigul (city)? We don't have an article for the Dindigul District, and I don't think there are any cities outside of this area by the same name. If this is the case, don't we do "Dindigul" for the city name and "Dindigul (district)" for the district name like we do with the Japanese prefectures (ex: Tokushima is the city, Tokushima (prefecture) is the prefecture) ChubbyWimbus 19:34, 6 June 2010 (EDT)

I am not sure I understand your point. Dindigul is not a redirect, it is the district article. The BC is Tamil Nadu -> Dindigul -> Dindigul (city). I do think that Dindigul should be renamed Dindigul (district).--Burmesedays 10:22, 7 June 2010 (EDT)


On the Dindigul article, there is a merge tag to merge it into Dindigul (city), but in these cases, doesn't the city get preference like in the Tokushima example to NOT have parenthesis in the name? Shouldn't the Dindigul (city) article actually be merged into the Dindigul article and then create a Dindigul (district) article? ChubbyWimbus 16:42, 7 June 2010 (EDT)

I am hailing from the Dindigul city, i agree with Chubby to merge with Dindigul District. For more info www.dindigul.tn.nic.in, this website belongs to Tamilnadu Govt. —The preceding comment was added by Thamins (talkcontribs)

Stubs

Articles like these Great_Lakes, Japan Alps and Latin America are stubs. They are greater regions that overlap multiple regions. How to deal with them? How to turn them into outline status? I tried to make Latin America a disambiguation page, but I feel that's wrong, as these regions do not have the name Latin America. --globe-trotter 09:35, 7 June 2010 (EDT)

We have a number of such articles, and it is unreasonable to expect all of them to be fleshed out into full travel guides. We need a categorization similar to disambiguation pages to include this sort of extra-hierarchical region. (Some extra-hierarchical regions, like Navajo Nation, can support a full region article.) LtPowers 14:07, 7 June 2010 (EDT)
Our current disambiguation policy allows for these kind of articles to be disambiguation articles when they are extra-heirarchical - even if strictly speaking they are not disambiguating in the traditional (WP) sense. --inas 18:58, 7 June 2010 (EDT)
We don't have much of a consensus on how to treat these articles, as evidenced in numerous vfd discussions. While I don't want to comment on the Japan Alps for lack of knowledge, and the Great Lakes may be a bit of a pain to write, surely we could find something to say about Latin America in a full region article! --Peter Talk 22:50, 9 June 2010 (EDT)

Cleanup tasks/discussions worth noting

Two items worth noting for anyone who might have missed them: first, the Wikitravel:Collaboration of the month is on for June and includes a number of housekeeping tasks that people can get involved with. Second, User:Inas is soliciting feedback for some automated scripts that can detect common article errors, touty language, etc - those interested in joining the discussion can comment at Wikitravel talk:Syntax checks#Discussion... -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:30, 7 June 2010 (EDT)

iTravelFree Maps, redux

Hi. I'm back from Australia and back working on apps and maps and stuff. In particular, I've got a much more robust Wikitravel maps interface working now, over at iTravelFree.net. You can browse around by clicking on those flags, or use the Search form to search all of Wikitravel.

This new map is faster; can automatically load district and neighbourhood subpages (see this Montreal example); lets you search the listings on the map, and filter them by category (See, Do, Eat, Drink, Sleep, etc.); and lets you search by Wikitravel language.

It still has its quirks and weirdnesses - this is a beta release, at best - but I think it's pretty useful. Let me know what you think, and what needs fixing.

(Meanwhile, if I may blow my own horn, my Wikitravel-gateway app iTravelFree just passed the 10,000-download mark on the Android Market, where it boasts a four-star user rating, and the iPhone version is garnering some nice App Store reviews too. Check them out - they're both absolutely free! And I should be updating both with new tweaks and features pretty soon.)

Rezendi 14:08, 14 June 2010 (EDT)

Props mate, unfortunately my phone is not smart enough to try it out, but I applaud your work. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 09:20, 18 June 2010 (EDT)

Hotel Chain blacklisting

How would people feel about some procedures on blacklisting hotel chains that continually violates our policies and hospitality? (more specifically Best Western and Marriott at the moment)?

Sure we'd miss out on a few generic hotel properties, but in my view its not much more different than not listings McDonalds restaurants in our eat sections, and being able to mount a credible threat to the SEO consultants might make them think twice before doing stuff like this

I'm thinking something like:

If a hotel chain have

  • Been given several (more than 5) warnings on Wikitravel talk pages.
  • The chains management have been contacted by email to warn about a pending blacklist voting, and not responded/won't not enact internal procedures to stop the abuse.

The community may decide to blacklist the chains name, after a consensus decision have been made on the blacklist talk page. Likewise, If the chains management fail to put an end to policy violations, a vote may be enacted 30 days after the management were first contacted. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 09:17, 18 June 2010 (EDT)

Can't we just block users and IPs instead of whole chains? This could even lead to business owners ruining it for their competitors under false IPs. --globe-trotter 09:37, 18 June 2010 (EDT)
Stefan, i totally agree with you! Especially the Marriott chain is very unruly and a continious violator of our policies in Vienna, Hamburg and other german speaking cities.
G-t: Mariott works with own Ip's and marketers, it's a pretty big bunch of Ip's. I think it's much easier to control a block of the name than every individual. And most importantly, if the whole chain is blocked usually someone starts to interact with us instead of plain ignorance. E.g. see the discussions with the apartment agencies. jan 10:55, 18 June 2010 (EDT)
Provided there is a process by which the community must come to a consensus before blacklisting a chain then this may be OK, but I can't personally envision a scenario in which I would be in favor of blacklisting the entire Marriott or Best Western chains - while the marketers are hugely annoying, we'd also be throwing out a large number of traveler-written listings in the process, and I don't think any benefit would outweigh the disadvantage of losing so many good-faith user contributions. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:04, 18 June 2010 (EDT)
I strongly oppose this proposal. It unfairly punishes independent operators for the actions of others. The owner of the Best Western in Saint Marys (Pennsylvania) has no control over whether the owner of some other Best Western in another state or country spams Wikitravel. LtPowers 14:52, 18 June 2010 (EDT)
Yeah, I knew this would be controversial, but I did check a hell of a lot of the Best Western/Mariott listings before I put up this proposal in the first place. And I must admit, I do fail to see much difference between listing McDonalds in every town they are located, and say, Best Western listings. I'm sure there are bunch of decent McDonalds franchisees as well. Somehow it just seems wrong to be pulling our pants down, bend over for the soap, and get arsefucked by a bunch of hotel marketeers, who don't give a rats ass about us in the first place, without any sort of response. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 22:01, 18 June 2010 (EDT)
With chain restaurants they are literally a cookie-cutter copies of one another, with the same menu, same decoration, same food quality, etc - I've been to McDonald's on the Champs-Elysee (in my defense, it was just to use the bathroom - anyone who visits Paris and eats at McD's is damaged in the head) and it was the same as the one in my home town, albeit with a menu in French. Amongst hotels, even within a brand the amenities vary, age of the hotel varies, restaurant/bar varies, etc, so there is actually quite a lot to say about each one. As an example, within fifteen miles of where I live, the Marriot in Marina del Rey is vastly different from the downtown Marriott. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:24, 18 June 2010 (EDT)
Ryan, it might be that hotels vary in it's style but in essence the whole chain has standards (quality and employee/staff guidelines) that are world wide the same Especially Marriott hotels (i stay from time to time with them on a business trip) are pretty similiar from their interior in continental Europe. One good example is User_talk:62.189.228.130 where the Marriott Europe HQ in Reading, England (IP search resulted in that the owner is Marriott) started to spam German-speaking cities and changed to other IP's once they discovered my messages. They know on the top-level they do wrong and other chains must feel stupid because they comply with our standards. There is no incentive for them to comply as long as we don't blacklist them. jan 07:37, 19 June 2010 (EDT)
But it doesn't improve our travel guides. What about the small town with nothing but a Best Western and maybe a bed-and-breakfast? You're thinking of big cities where travelers have lots of choices, but if this blacklisting idea goes through, we may end up with destinations where we say "there's only one major chain hotel in town" but can't say what it is. LtPowers 10:37, 19 June 2010 (EDT)
Keep in mind that Best Westerns and Mariotts are listed more frequently not because of scammers, but because of me. See User:Hotelmakerbot. Hard to believe, but there was once a time when we desperately needed hotel listings... -- Colin Jensen 22:07, 21 June 2010 (EDT)
Don't Support. I can't comment on Marriott hotels but I've stayed in a few Best Westerns and they do vary a lot ( at least in the UK). Yes they have minimum standards to be allowed to be part of Best Western but they are independent hotels with their own menu, decor, local character, etc. I would suggest we continue to blacklist on an IP basis even if this does cause more work for admins. Tarr3n 06:57, 22 June 2010 (EDT)
Colin, i know that a lot of listings where initially done by you but in the last years loads of articles were spammed with new listings by marketing companies. I assume Wikitravel is partially a vistim of it's own success. The deletion and blacklisting on IP/hotel basis is very time consuming e.g. see User:Hotel_Nikko_San_Francisco who was only interested to use his page for marketing.
Tarr3n: I know that Best Western hotels are franchises but the marketing is done for all of them because the spammer market here always a lot of hotels in a row. So it must be a joint effort by the hotels. jan 07:16, 22 June 2010 (EDT)

(indent) I know they are different, and this is not a suggestion to ban the said hotels per se, more of a way to gather some leverage against the marketing agencies which I suspect are paid from HQ, given the number of vastly different towns and cities they spam in. Its meant as a last resort tool to stop those agencies, when everything else fails. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 11:12, 22 June 2010 (EDT)

Regarding "last resort tools", since most of these marketing agencies won't communicate with us on-wiki I've started sending non-threatening, professional emails as a way of trying to combat some of these companies - see User talk:74.7.154.242 and Wikitravel:User ban nominations for two examples. The hope is that if the people paying for these services realize some of the sketchy methods being employed that they will be less likely to hire these agencies in the future. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:20, 22 June 2010 (EDT)

On the fence - As Lt already pointed out, there are many places where chain hotels are literally the only places to stay. The McDonalds-Best Western analogy isn't fair, because even in the smallest town with a McDonalds there will still be a local restaurant (at least in North America, I can't speak for the rest of the world) but go to any little town along the interstate and you're likely to find your only choices are the Super 8 or the Best Western.

Now, that said, I do agree that handling this on an IP basis may not be enough of a disincentive for these guys to come in and add their spam listings, so what about some sort of compromise between the two sides here - what if we blacklisted chain motels just for that (or those) cities? Obviously the main target articles for these spammers will be cities where there's lots of competition, rather than tiny towns where they're the only choice. So instead of blacklisting the whole chain, we blacklist the ones in cities that keep getting hit with spammers? So if someone keeps adding spammy listings for a Best Western in San Francisco, we remove all Best Western listings in San Francisco, period. PerryPlanet Talk 13:14, 22 June 2010 (EDT)

Removing all listings of a major chain would be on the balance a disservice to the traveler. But blacklisting urls punitively might be an effective tool... The principal obstacle, though, is that blacklisting, say, Marriott, would make a huge percentage of our articles uneditable until their links had been painstakingly removed.
Contacting hotels can be really effective, and if it is from a single hotel, merely threatening to contact supervisors can put an end to things very fast. For enormous hotel chains, though, getting a hold of anyone relevant can be tough. I'm curious to see what sort of success Ryan's emails may produce! --Peter Talk 22:23, 22 June 2010 (EDT)
So far there is no reaction on the Mumbai spammer because i had to block him today again because he started with several edits and didn't stop until the block. The main obstacle with multinational companies is that you need to find the right person first and second they never commit themselves to wrongdoing instead the usual term is individual misinterpretation of job tasks and some other guy will do it... jan 09:33, 24 June 2010 (EDT)
I may be in a unique position here, but I am also a Best Western owner. As has been stated earlier, all Best Westerns are individually owned and operated. The chain operates more as an owner's cooperative than a centralized franchise. So the actions of a few property management companies or individual owners may be skewing the results for the entire BW chain. I have never heard of any concerted effort made to penetrate WikiTravel in any of my marketing briefs from the Colorado marketing CO/OP or elsewhere. If there are any problems, I suggest you address it to the BW head of marketing, Dorothy Dowling, whose email I can provide in a private email to one of the Wikitravel admins. But please don't punish an entire group of small business people because someone, somewhere isn't bothering to play by the rules. Thanks! WineCountryInn 15:09, 31 July 2010 (EDT)

Crafty Hungarian Vandal

User:Rühatka has been craftily uploading images in the Hungarian version under the same name as they have in Wikitravel Shared so that his/her offensive/stupid images appear. (The "featured article star" is now the Communist emblem [7], the Saudi Arabia lead image was changed to this [8]. All images by this user need to be deleted and all edits reverted. Is anyone able to? ChubbyWimbus 20:29, 21 June 2010 (EDT)

I think we need to consider our options for these situations in general. Before I put this suggestion up on shared, how does granting our bureaucrats, admin rights on every language version (including English, in the name of fairness) sound to you guys? --Stefan (sertmann) talk 03:35, 23 June 2010 (EDT)
I definitely think we need some people from English Wikitravel who are able to intervene in other language versions, because many of them seem to have lost their regular contributors. It would be nice to know we have at least SOME authority able to do something about this sort of thing. ChubbyWimbus 04:02, 23 June 2010 (EDT)
We have a community bureaucrat (i.e., someone we can reach) for all language versions. Just type "special:listadmins" in the search box of any language version. I am the bureaucrat on hu, and have undone the vandalism. If you have any interest in monitoring hu or any other forlorn language version, please let me know! --Peter Talk 06:33, 23 June 2010 (EDT)

Major spam attack

Currently a spambot generates new user accounts and spams the usertalk page. Please help and add to the blacklist and delete the pages. Thanks! jan 15:39, 1 July 2010 (EDT)

The spambot still creates user accounts but the new page creation is slower as my new additions to the blacklist might slow the entering of text a bit. Any ideas to stop this? jan 15:50, 1 July 2010 (EDT)
Was just about to warn about this - the pattern is bit trickier than usual, anyone found a form, or are we blocking everything nonsensical? --Stefan (sertmann) talk 19:49, 3 July 2010 (EDT)
There is a discussion about this at Wikitravel_talk:User_ban_nominations#Spambots. I'm a bit uncomfortable with the mass-block that's going on now as it isn't clear that some of those aren't legitimate user accounts. I think Peter's proposal of applying a permanent block as soon as we see spam from one of these accounts is safer. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:19, 3 July 2010 (EDT)
300 legit user accounts with random nonsensical names created at a rate of 1-2 per minute at specific time intervals? er, ok - I'll stop blocking then --Stefan (sertmann) talk 20:39, 3 July 2010 (EDT)
To clarify, there's no doubt that we're seeing a ton of accounts created by a spambot. However, it seems like our normal rate for user account creation is about one an hour, so blocking all accounts created since this attack began (even if the names look like gibberish) is likely to net some legitimate users unless there is some clear pattern to the spam account names. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:46, 3 July 2010 (EDT)
Erm, are we going to do anything about this?... I mean, in 4 days time, at the current rate, 10% of users on :en will be malicious spam accounts that will eventually be autoconfirmed. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 19:24, 4 July 2010 (EDT)
Well, only one of the users in the current string actually updated something after creating an account. I'd say keep that one and delete the rest. What is the purpose of spambots on a website like this? Some legitimate users may be blocked, but if the spambots are able to cause problems, it may still be better for the site to block everyone in these strings of user account creations. ChubbyWimbus 20:14, 4 July 2010 (EDT)
I'd also prefer that we wait until we have some sort of confirmation that an account is spambot-created before blocking—blocking even one single potential user runs the risk of depriving us of a great contributor. If the bot plan is to let them go autoconfirmed and then attack, I have little doubt that we'll be able to handle it then. Moreover, there are already a host of more certainly spambot-created accounts that we allowed through without blocking, and they haven't really done anything—these may follow suit. --Peter Talk 21:44, 4 July 2010 (EDT)
Just a stupid question: can't you administrators somehow see from which IP those accounts are created? Then wouldn't it be easy to block that/those malicious IP-adresses? Ypsilon 08:38, 5 July 2010 (EDT)
Admins can't see IP addresses. I don't know if bureaucrats can or not. I believe we can block with the option to prevent account creation, though, which might or might not work (I'm sadly not up on the more arcane details). LtPowers 09:26, 5 July 2010 (EDT)
I believe only site admins can see IP addresses. If people want we can remove some of the "connect dot cityname" spam patterns that are currently blocking these spambot accounts when they try to edit. That would allow us to identify a few of them and then block the account & the IP that created the account, but typically these attacks come from a wide range of IP addresses so I'm not sure how valuable that would be. I'm not convinced that these accounts will be able to do much harm in the future - if we see any spam we simply use the blacklist - so I'm not sure this is really that big of a concern. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:44, 5 July 2010 (EDT)
Mostly out of curiosity I removed the "connect dot cityname" pattern from the blacklist, after which the bot was able to create spammy user talk pages. I then blocked those accounts, including blocking the IP address the account was created from, but the rate of account creation does not seem to have diminished. Based on that simple test, it looks like 1) this spambot is fairly harmless (it just keeps adding the same patterns to user talk pages) and 2) it is coming from a wide variety of IP addresses, so blocking account creation is probably not very effective. I think our current approach of using the blacklist while ignoring the spam user accounts is probably the best option. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:21, 6 July 2010 (EDT)
I gave this another try, this time blocking 15 accounts and the IP the account was created from, but if anything the rate of account creation has increased to one every 1-2 minutes. Whatever is hitting us is large & widespread, but it's luckily also dumb in that the spam is almost identical on every talk page, and the created accounts do not seem to get re-used. While it is disconcerting to have hundreds of spam accounts created each day, unless we can convince IB to implement captcha or something similar I think this is a relatively harmless attack that we're forced to live with until it finally stops. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:09, 7 July 2010 (EDT)

Ryan, thank you first for your effort and i think we need to get the tech guys from IB involved. If the editor of the spambot improves it, then we are in trouble. jan 12:14, 7 July 2010 (EDT)

Yeah, it has been suggested more that once before, but as Wrh2 mentions, it might be time for a renewed push to get IB to add a "captcha" to the account creation process-- I think it would prevent most of this trouble. We are facing a similar problem over on es:, with not quite the sheer numbers, but with several spambot users created every day from a variety of IP addresses and with a variety of texts and urls such that I have been unsuccessful at stopping the problem for months now.Texugo 22:14, 13 July 2010 (EDT)


I've tried writing team@myrxcash.com since all the links have one of their affiliate ID's (12781) attached, if they could ask him to stop, or cancel payments until the attack was brought to a hold. My spam folder on the mail account went from receiving 1-2 spam mails per day to around 150 per day, so I guess that means no. So much for their anti spam policy. Sigh. I have an urge to submit that email address to as many dubious websites i can find.... but.... hmmmm --Stefan (sertmann) talk 18:00, 21 July 2010 (EDT)

Template:Translate

I just wanted to make sure everyone is aware of one of our newer templates, Template:Translate, which identifies articles that could benefit from translation work from other language versions. So far it's only being used on one article, but there are plenty more potentials out there. Just remember to slap it on when you see a superior version elsewhere! --Peter Talk 12:30, 2 July 2010 (EDT)

Do we have a guideline as to what is "superior"? Obviously star articles... Is this a case-by-case, judge it yourself sort of thing? ChubbyWimbus 17:29, 2 July 2010 (EDT)
If there's any question, it's probably not worth the trouble of translating. But if we've got a nearly-blank article and, say, the Russian version has a nicely filled-out article, that's where the template might be useful. LtPowers 23:06, 2 July 2010 (EDT)

Error creating thumbnail: Invalid thumbnail parameters

Hi all, I have this message when I upload the latest version of a map on shared. Does anyone know what causes it and what I can do about it? Size is 2.18MB. Cheers, Peter (Southwood) Talk 08:12, 13 July 2010 (EDT)

We're not terribly sure what is going on—see wts:Tech:Error creating thumbnail, Invalid thumbnail parameters. Try decreasing the size a little bit and re-uploading? --Peter Talk 18:48, 13 July 2010 (EDT)

Star nomination

There is a star nomination out for Bangkok's Yaowarat and Pahurat district, please show your opinion at star nominations. Even minor comments are helpful to get the article up to star :) --globe-trotter 17:45, 16 July 2010 (EDT)

How to rename a page?

The topic Wikitravel:How to rename a page says to go to the "move this page link". However, I can't find the link on my screen.

I am looking at the page Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves. This area was renamed in 2007. See talk page for details. Should change to "Gondwana Rainforests of Australia".

Thanks. Bill Ellett 22:22, 20 July 2010 (EDT)

There should be a tab next to "history" on the top of your screen. I believe that as a security measure Mediawiki may no longer allow users who have been registered for less than 30 days to rename pages, so if you don't see that tab then someone else can rename the page for you. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:53, 20 July 2010 (EDT)
Yep, my account is four days old, so I've got another 26 to go. Can someone rename Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves to "Gondwana Rainforests of Australia"? You can see justification on its talk page. I'll change the pages linked to it once that happens. Also, it has a disambiguation tag on the page, but if I understand disambiguation correctly, I don't think it should be there. Bill Ellett 23:15, 20 July 2010 (EDT)
Done. I'll also update Wikitravel:How to rename a page to note the 30 day restriction. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:21, 20 July 2010 (EDT)
Thanks. All linked pages have been updated. Bill Ellett 23:42, 20 July 2010 (EDT)

reCAPTCHA

The wts:Tech:CAPTCHA for registration tech request was finally fulfilled, but seems to have been accompanied by a surprise—CAPTCHA is now being used for all anonymous edits! That strikes me as undesirable, although Wikipedia's policy of requiring it for anon edits that contain new external links [9] seems a good one. Since the vast majority of WT's new content comes from anon editors, I think we should be careful not to alienate them. --Peter Talk 13:10, 23 July 2010 (EDT)

I agree, this has to be changed, --ClausHansen 13:31, 23 July 2010 (EDT)

Redirected pages lose functionality?

Wikitravel appears to show less functionality when users arrive at a page via a redirect rather than directly. Breadcrumbs, related pages, and docent lists do not show up after a redirect. Similar functionality such as other sites and toolbox:map still display even after a redirect. Purging the cache does not affect this. After seeing this on sites I have edited, I looked at random redirected sites and it appears to be universal. Search for “Vienna”. You see breadcrumb, destination docents, related pages:World heritage sites, and other sites:Wikipedia. Now go to “Vienna (City)”. It will automatically redirect to the same page, but no breadcrumb, docents, or related pages. You still have Wikipedia. Search for “Cahokia”. It will redirect you but the geo template “geo|38.656438|-90.058824” still gives you the map link after the redirect. You still get Wikipedia link but no breadcrumbs or related page. This does not appear to be affected by sequence of the templates or presence of blank lines around them. I am new on wikitravel. I looked in help, policy, and guideline pages and didn’t find anything, but if I should be looking elsewhere, or if this should be asked on a different part of the site, please point me.

(A previous question today about breadcrumbs was resolved by simply purging the cache. Thanks Ryan). Bill in STL 15:59, 23 July 2010 (EDT)

Unfortunately, this is a known bug with some special features that were added onto the base MediaWiki installation in the early days of the project. Did you have a specific question for which you wanted an answer? LtPowers 16:12, 23 July 2010 (EDT)


Offline edits with iTravelFree

So the new version of the iTravelFree app for Android/iPhone was meant to support offline Wikitravel editing as well as offline reading. And it still sorta does, but the new reCAPTCHA requirement for anonymous edits complicates matters somewhat.

How it works:

  1. Users download the app, and enter a valid email address in its Settings screen.
  2. The app now includes facilities that allow users to edit Wikitravel section text, add listings, and edit listings even when offline. (When online, they can upload them right away.)
  3. When they next launch the app, they'll be asked if they want to upload any pending edits.
  4. The edits are uploaded to the iTravel server, which tries to apply them to Wikitravel. It then sends the user an email indicating whether it succeeded or not.
  5. It might fail if, for instance, the old text has been changed by someone else. It will fail for all edits right now, due to the reCAPTCHA. (And due to a Google App Engine bug that currently prevents me from logging in to Wikitravel from the iTravel server.)
  6. However, the email includes the old text, the new text, and a link to the appropriate Wikitravel edit page - so it's still vaguely useful, in that you can sketch out edits when offline, then upload them from your phone, and then go to your computer, check email, and apply those changes with a few clicks and copy-pastes.

That said, it would be nice if either the reCAPTCHA was removed for anonymous edits, or Google were to fix the bug that prevents me from logging in programmatically...

Anyway, the new Android and iPhone versions of the app (v2.41 and v2.6, respectively) are now available. They're free, as ever. (There are paid versions, too, but they're basically identical; this is guiltware.)

Do bear in mind it's still very much in beta test... but it's (hopefully!) getting more polished with every release.

Hope it's helpful!

Rezendi 11:17, 28 July 2010 (EDT)

eta: Oh, yeah, and I've also tweaked the app to highlight Wikitravel's Star Articles - they're now available directly from the app's search screen, via a dedicated menu option (Android) or a very visible button (iPhone).

Getting an Android phone next week, can't wait to finally try this. Captcha' on anon edits is a mistake, should only be for sign ups, we're trying to get it fixed, but as you may know, Internet Brands is not the most responsive monkey in the jungle --Stefan (sertmann) talk 14:34, 28 July 2010 (EDT)
In case anyone's curious, today I seem to have successfully implemented editing-from-the-app, despite the CAPTCHA wall... Rezendi 19:47, 22 August 2010 (EDT)
I've just got an Android phone in the last few days so I've started playing around with iTravelfree. First reaction - this is absolutely brilliant. Congratulations Rezendi you've done an amazing job with this. I think as more and more people get smart phones over the next year or so this will give Wikitravel a major lift as this application moves the whole project onto a level where it becomes properly useful for travellers (I certainly never had the desire to print of a sheaf of A4 on my destination and then cart it about with me on my trip). The maps feature seems to work well though it does highlight the importance of putting as much address detail as possible (and ideally geo-codes too) into listings. One thought - would it be possible to have the "alt" section from the listings template moved up a page? For example, if I click on "See" on a well-formatted travel guide, I will just see a list of attraction names, some of which might not give much of a clue as to what the attraction actually is. So if the information from the "alt" field was there, I might have more of an idea whether or not I want to click on that attraction to find out more. I haven't tried editing with it yet, either on- or off-line, but I'll let you know any feedback as and when I do. Again, really well done Rezendi! Tarr3n 05:37, 16 September 2010 (EDT)

UNESCO World Heritage List 2010 Additions

Just thought I'd let you all know that the UNESCO conference is going on in Brasilia through the 3rd. I'm not sure if more voting will go on, but so far 20 listings have been added and 7 extensions were made: [10]. Be sure to update the UNESCO World Heritage List and when the conference is over, put a blurb in the travel news/main page. Even if you don't make edits to these pages (like my lazy self), check out the great new sites added! AHeneen 00:35, 2 August 2010 (EDT)

The announcements from Brasilia say that they are now finished with consideration of sites for this year. 21 new sites and eight extensions. All have been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List page. Bill in STL 20:42, 2 August 2010 (EDT)

Travel Topics

I guess a new account is unable to edit protected pages; I was unable to put this on the Talk:Travel Topics page though logged in.

I noticed that there are a number (46 by my count) of pages which use the traveltopics template but are not listed on the Travel topics page. Is there a definition of which topics should show up and which should not? Or is there a process which gets them added automatically over time? Or should I plunge forward and start adding them. I don't want to screw up a standard process. The one which started my curiosity is the missing entry for United States National Parks, which I expected to find.

Thanks. Bill in STL 22:33, 1 August 2010 (EDT)

I believe all travel topics should be linked from Travel topics. If you see any that are definitely missing, feel free to add them. However, if they are stubs or outlines and haven't been edited for a year, you should nominate them for deletion. LtPowers 20:57, 2 August 2010 (EDT)

New Star Nomination - Magic Kingdom

Hi, folks. Just a pointer. Wikitravel:Star nominations#Walt Disney World/Magic Kingdom. Thanks in advance for comments, no matter how brief or critical! LtPowers 22:05, 3 August 2010 (EDT)

Error on main page?

The main page says "22 Sites Added to UNESCO World Heritage List (3 August 2010)". However, I believe the correct number is 21. See the unesco site [11]. See the site cited in the entry on the main page [12]. There were 890 last year, I believe they added 21, updated 8, for a total of 911. Bill in STL 01:03, 4 August 2010 (EDT)

Feel free to make the change; the UNESCO site does clearly say 21. LtPowers 08:05, 4 August 2010 (EDT)
My account has no privileges to make this change (too new). Bill in STL 11:24, 4 August 2010 (EDT)
Try clicking on the "View Source" tab for the main page and see if you're actually able to edit, or else try going to the "History" tab for the main page and see if you then get an "Edit" tab. Occasionally there are caching issues on protected pages such that the view that's shown, even for logged-in users, is the view that an anonymous user would see. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:29, 4 August 2010 (EDT)
I tried purging the page. When I went to source, it also said page is locked. When I went to History, it gave me "Source" not "Edit" tab. Based on comments I read earlier on Wikitravel talk:Protected_page_policy#Talk:Travel_topics, I thought the protection was for non auto-confirmed users rather than just anonymous. That would include my new account. Bill in STL 13:20, 4 August 2010 (EDT)
Sorry, you're right. The "protect" interface says "block unregistered users", but the actual protection that gets applied is for non-autoconfirmed users. Sorry for the confusion. I'll update the main page with the corrected numbers. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:26, 4 August 2010 (EDT)

Categories

A discussion on categories that stalled back in March 2009 has picked up a bit again and it would be great if others could comment at Wikitravel talk:Categories#Revisited - when are categories OK?. Specifically, I've proposed a category hierarchy for the Wikitravel: namespace to hopefully make it easier to find help pages, guidelines, etc - see Wikitravel talk:Categories#Categories for the Wikitravel: namespace. Feedback would be greatly appreciated. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:15, 4 August 2010 (EDT)


GPS & KML Stuff

The "See" section is nice, but perhaps we could include a section with some KML files with GPS information on how to reach some destinations, and perhaps showing live in google maps.

What do you think ? WindowsNT 14:26, 4 August 2010 (EDT)

Question about Russian teaching

There's a list at Teaching_English#Teaching_other_languages of organisations various governments run to teach their languages & promote their culture abroad. I've done a bit of searching but cannot find one for Russian. Is there one? Pashley 21:53, 11 August 2010 (EDT)

(commenting by request from my User talk:) I'm not any sort of expert, so I referred to [13] and from there to [14] and [15].
Scanning the above links, I only found [16] which doesn't seem to have a huge geography presence, according to [17]. --DenisYurkin 16:19, 16 August 2010 (EDT)

Get in - is this good English?

A great site that I've just discovered but I was a bit taken aback by "Get in" as a title. Is that American English? "Getting there" is what is used in British English. Get in is what we say to a dog or naughty child. If there is one title I would like to change it would be that one! Wouldn't it be better to use the same terms that are commonly used by travel agents such as "Getting around". I'm not being pedantic. On a worldwide website the language should be as commonly used as possible - a kind of International English in effect. I will never teach my English students that "Get in" is acceptable English in this context nor would I teach them to use similar headings for a Travel site. for anyone who writes for a living or who teaches English the tiles are a real shock to my aesthetic system! —The preceding comment was added by 94.194.91.5 (talkcontribs)

I wouldn't know if it's American or British, but the titles refer to how you Get in to the city, and then how you Get around the city. Travel writing is typically informal, so whether or not it's proper academic English isn't really the guiding principal here. All the section titles are meant to be short and snappy - something which anyone could figure out what they mean the first time they read them - it may have the drawback of sounding stern; people have also commented on how See, Do, Sleep, and especially Get out sound rather commanding, but if you can tell what it means, I'd say it's doing the job. As a side note - this has been discussed at incredibly great length elsewhere on this site, such as here, so I would look there to get a fuller grasp of the argument - you'll likely find opinions far more informed and convincing than mine. PerryPlanet Talk 12:42, 10 August 2010 (EDT)
The other main argument is that it's part of our branding; we don't want to sound like other travel sites and sources. Not exactly like them, anyway. When you see "Get in" and "See" and "Do", you know it's Wikitravel. LtPowers 15:31, 10 August 2010 (EDT)
There is absolutely no such thing as "correct English". You, as an English teacher, should know that. Read some Bill Bryson. --TrekkingTurtle 19:19, 9 October 2010 (EDT)

"Get In" should be "Get In and Out"

The "Get In" and "Get Out" sections are poorly named I feel. In reality the "Get In" sections have all the information on "getting in" AND "getting out" of the destination. The "Get Out" section is really just suggestions to the traveller for the next destination. I would guess that this has been discussed before, but it is still a problem IMO. It may not feel like a big issue for people who are seasoned users and contributors to WT, because we are all used to it so there is no confusion. But put yourself in the position of a new user or contributor, and it is very misleading. If I was someone who had never seen WT before and I was trying to work out how to catch a train out of Paris (for example) I might go down to the "Get Out" section where I would just see a list of 8 other destinations. Not much help....how do I know that the information is actually contained in the "Get In" section? Why don't we rename the sections to "Get In / Get Out" and "Next Destination" or something like this?Lturner 12:00, 11 August 2010 (EDT)

Please discuss this at Wikitravel talk:Article templates#Get out, again, but read the existing discussions that are linked from there first. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:57, 11 August 2010 (EDT)
Thanks, will do. Lturner 15:30, 11 August 2010 (EDT)

User:Mariborko

A couple of days ago, User:Mariborko uploaded a slew (as in well over 100) images to Wikitravel Shared. User:Dguillaime discovered several of them were copyvios, and none of them come with a source. We're likely to delete them all.

The problem is that Mariborko replaced a lot of existing images here on en.wikitravel with the uploaded images. I would ask for opinions on whether we should just go through and mass-revert these image additions and replacements. Sadly, it may require examining each edit in turn, as Mariborko also had text contributions.

Thoughts on what we should do here?

-- LtPowers 15:39, 12 August 2010 (EDT)

Sounds like the same type of thing that happened in the "Crafty Hungarian Vandal" section above (except the replacements are not offensive). Reverting all of the images sounds like the best option. The user should not be replacing other images, even if his/her pictures are not copywritten and with the "guilty until proven innocence" policy regarding these sorts of violations, the user is currently guilty. ChubbyWimbus 15:50, 12 August 2010 (EDT)

User:JanezDemsar rightly challenged most parts of the text by Mariborko as it in general violates several policies (e.g. Obvious, tone) and it includes some nonsense as well. I suggest to undo the pictures and may also revert the text, if not Janez has already deleted/changed it. jan 05:33, 13 August 2010 (EDT)

guide* templates

Is there a help page which indicates which records should have the templates Cityguide, Regionguide, Parkguide, Districtguide, Countryguide, Stateguide, Continentalsectionguide, Continentguide? These are the record type templates, not the record status templates. There were 49 with Stateguide (Vermont's not a state?), but should this be assigned to Washington DC, Puerto Rico, etc? The Countryguide appears to be assigned to about half the countries. I found the Wikitravel:RDF Expedition/Place type, but it just lists them, it does not describe them. Thanks. Bill in STL 00:06, 16 August 2010 (EDT)

Shared

Hey, I don't mean to whine, but edits like this make me very frustrated. The reason this user sees my name over and over again on shared:Votes for deletion is because it seems like I'm the only one patrolling new uploads. (Thanks, though, to D. Guillaime, who did recently take note of one user's prodigious copyvios before I spotted them.) As this user noted, it makes me look like a real Negative Nelly, or even a copyright Nazi, when I'm the only one submitting and commenting on VfDs. If anyone has some free time, it'd be a big help to go over and take a look at some recent uploads and comment on a few VfDs. I'd greatly appreciate it. LtPowers 14:55, 16 August 2010 (EDT)

Your vfd work is very much appreciated, and I think the main reason why most do not draw attention is simply because other contributors see that you have a good handle on it—and that most of the vfds are straightforward. --Peter Talk 20:54, 16 August 2010 (EDT)
It would be nice if there were more contributors to this one as well [18]. I think with a few more people we could reach a consensus and put it to rest.
There is not much to add to your conversation with the banana, since you said everything, but I can add support. On another note, some genderless people use the pronouns "Ze", "Zer", and "Zim" ChubbyWimbus 23:12, 16 August 2010 (EDT)
The number of proposed genderless pronouns is so large that picking one and expecting it to be understood is an exercise in futility. =) LtPowers 10:03, 17 August 2010 (EDT)

IsPartOf updates?

Is there a programmed process which either corrects or at least identifies changes to regions which are included in IsPartOf templates on other pages?

When a region name is changed and the old name redirected, breadcrumb navigation no longer works for any page using the old name. The redirection does not affect the breadcrumb process, and the city or area loses its breadcrumb trail. For example, recently "Subcarpathian Voivodship" was changed to "Subcarpathia", and all cities in that region of Poland lost their breadcrumb link to their country and continent. So the breadcrumb for Solina became just

"Subcarpathian Voivodship : Solina" instead of "Europe : Central Europe : Poland : Lesser Poland : Subcarpathia : Solina"

For this region, I manually updated all the IsPartOf links, but was that wasted effort? This region had about 20 pages to be changed. If there is not an automated process, should the Rename a page help text be updated to request the person renaming to look for and update IsPartOf links? --Bill in STL 00:02, 22 August 2010 (EDT)

Updating "isPartOf" tends to be a manual process. It would be good to collect together a list of these sorts of items - broken "isPartOf", url tags without "http://", etc and create a task to write a JanitorBot or something similar that can go through the site and make appropriate updates. Looking through our pages related to scripts, Wikitravel talk:Script policy might be a good place for that discussion. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:27, 22 August 2010 (EDT)

Blocked in India

Got this mail just now:

I had been a regular visitor to wikitravel.org but as of late, I am unable to access these websites from India. I know my company firewall is not blocking these websites as I am not even able to access these sites back from home. Anywhere we can get help?

Anybody else having problems? Jpatokal 08:15, 24 August 2010 (EDT)

London 2012 Olympics

I have created a London 2012 template and added it to the London page. This is based on the FIFA2010 soccer template. The official logos are legally unavailable to us, so it is straight text. If someone can devise a legal graphic, that would be great. Based on the FIFA template, I left room for up to five stadiums in the town. London has about 12 areas, should we list them all? That makes for a long box, but only on that one page. The other nine cities each have one stadium or other location. Pending comment, I have only added it to London so far; it should be added to the other dozen cities/districts if ok.

The London 2012 article could also use some work, if anyone's looking for an article to update. --Bill in STL 20:24, 27 August 2010 (EDT)

The copyright on the five-ring Olympic flag design expired in 2007, if it was ever even eligible for copyright protection in the first place. I would suggest using that. LtPowers 09:02, 28 August 2010 (EDT)


Site maintenance

This is to inform you that we will be conducting server maintenance for Wikitravel next Tuesday September 14 between 10:00 PM and 3:00 AM PST. The entire site may be down during this time period.

We apologize for any inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding. IBsteph 6:06 PM, 9 September 2010 (PST)

Thanks for the advance heads up. We'll be sure to put up a site notice prior to the outage. --Peter Talk 21:40, 9 September 2010 (EDT)
Does the downtime begin on Tuesday, or end on Tuesday? LtPowers 21:50, 9 September 2010 (EDT)
I'm guessing it's safe to assume it begins Tuesday, and have changed the sitenotice accordingly. --Peter Talk 23:48, 12 September 2010 (EDT)
Does anyone know what was changed? We still seem to be on a very old version of Mediawiki, and I don't notice anything that's visually different. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:11, 15 September 2010 (EDT)
It'll be down for a lot longer then 5 hours if they decide to upgrade MediaWiki. My guess is this was a hardware upgrade or replacement. Or maybe just a reboot. LtPowers 14:05, 15 September 2010 (EDT)

Star Nomination for a major theme park in Florida

Please comment on the star nomination for Walt Disney World, at Wikitravel:Star nominations#Walt Disney World. Thanks! LtPowers 21:52, 12 September 2010 (EDT)

Have still gotten very few comments on what could be a precedent-setting star article. If this is promoted, it will serve as the exemplar for any future articles on large tourist attractions. Please, lend your opinion, even if it's negative. LtPowers 10:52, 28 September 2010 (EDT)

Odd bug

Anyone seen behavior like this before? It looks like someone used the listing editor to edit an entry in the Eat section, and it overwrote an HTML comment in the Sleep section. View the next three edits for more weirdness. LtPowers 18:14, 15 September 2010 (EDT)

iTravelFree page

I've gone and created a first draft of a Wikitravel:iTravelFree article for my iTravelFree app/service. (And before anyone objects to this as excessively promotional, let me stress that it was not my idea!) Rezendi 23:22, 19 September 2010 (EDT)

IB (and hence Wikitravel) being bought by private equity firm

Also, of interest: Internet Brands to be acquired for $640 mln Rezendi 17:11, 20 September 2010 (EDT)

I'll give this a tentative "great!" Neglect is unlikely to increase, and I suppose we can guess that future abuse will be less likely. Basically, I'm all for changing management of our hosts. --Peter Talk 17:34, 25 September 2010 (EDT)
Having worked for two companies that were bought by private equity companies, I'm less optimistic. Though, ownerships of Getty Images and Webreservations International could potentially be interesting. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 18:07, 25 September 2010 (EDT)

recognition for moderately-sized contributions

I recently realized that every time I return from vacation with a pack of travel notes, and make a major contribution to an article at Wikitravel, I subconsciously expect some form of recognition / compliment for my efforts and for a serious improvement I introduced for a destination article or two. I also realized that some kind of reward could be expected, I would be more Wikitravel-focused during my vacation time, and/or procrastinate less with publishing what I have made notes anyway during the trip.

This led me to understanding the rewards we currently have are too high barrier for an average contributor can shares the experience from his recent trip (and is not very proficient with WT MoS or what content to pay attention), but hardly more at a time. Saying "Thanks for contributing to article on Destination, please don't stop" in a welcome message is great, but it works only once when a user joins Wikitravel community, and most typically when someone starts contributing, not when he's done adding all he have to say. DOTM is hardly reachable for an average traveler who returned from a week-long vacation. Pushing article to Star status is something only roughly top20 Wikitravel gurus are able to do from a single trip.

IMHO giving such reward could bring better contributor retention, and probably improve size of an average contribution.

Thinking of how it could work, the following could work fine for me--just to give some food for thought:

  • receiving a personal "Thank you" from one of the community admins, especially if it stresses things like "great that you extensively covered aspect X for the destination Y" or "thanks for rare details/info on attraction Z" or "I could not find anything on practical details for W, and you made Wikitravel first travel guide to help a traveler with this".
  • bringing improved article to "one day of fame" or "one hour of fame, one hour per day during one week" at home page of Wikitravel (or a contribution itself rather than an article, maybe similarly stressing things from "Thank you" from the previous bullet)

What do you guys think? --DenisYurkin 15:55, 22 September 2010 (EDT)

Wikitravel:Barnstars? LtPowers 18:45, 22 September 2010 (EDT)
In theory I'm 100% in favor of making people feel more ownership and involvement in the site, but personally I find my time for such things is limited. At the moment I do a lot of article patrolling and try to comment in discussions in which I can add some insight, but even with that minimal agenda it's impossible to keep up with everything. The dearth of comments on recent Wikitravel:Star nominations seems to indicate that others feel similarly constrained. As a result, while I'm fully in support of giving more feedback and encouragement, we either need a lot more regular contributors with time to do so, or we need to find ways to streamline things around here to free up the time of the regulars. Having some support from IB to implement simple technical improvements would obviously help to achieve the latter (*cough* howhardwouldthatbeforthem *cough*) but otherwise I support your idea but fear that few people will have extra time to help out. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:57, 22 September 2010 (EDT)
I think Ryan is right. Some of our most active admins completely (Burmesedays + Inas) or partly (Stefan) stopped editing and the touting/spam wave now hits hard the rest of us. I personally hope that they return because they are invaluable for this community but IB is not a great help. IB only focuses on increased revenues and nothing else. Also some discussions are cross roads for some so i think barnstars are the only viable option for now. jan 11:33, 24 September 2010 (EDT)

Barnstars is one of the possible options, given that (for this purpose):

  • they are cumulative, i.e. one user can gets many stars, one per recognized contribution
  • each time the star is given, a clear motivation should be provided what exactly it's for
  • we define some guidelines on what contribution can qualify for a star (current "a user's exceptional community and content work" is very vague, and imho should have a lower barrier: i.e. something like "any contributor invested a week worth of evenings editing time should be able to qualify")

As for "we don't have time for that": but we have time for voting on/discussing COTMs, DOTMs, VFDs (OK the latter is more on patrolling) and replying in the Pub. My belief is that voting on significant cotributions shouldn't be more time-consuming. And to make it even less a burden, we can make it a contributor's responsibility to share what he believes is a completed contribution, and what's so special about it (although of course others can submit his contribution in effort to thank for his great work). --DenisYurkin 14:46, 29 September 2010 (EDT)

Any Wiki community member can give a barnstar to any other for any reason whatsoever. If you think someone's done exceptional work on Wikitravel, plunge forward and let them know with a barnstar. (direct quote from Wikitravel:Barnstars). Yet how often do you see one? Part of it is presumably that they are generally presented on the user talk page, so not many people know about the award. This is OK in many cases, but in other cases one wants the appreciation/recognition to be more public.
In those cases how about copying the award to the Pub as well?
Another idea that has been lurking in the darker recesses of my mind for some time is a way for a user to notify the community that he/she/whatever has finished a particularly satisfying or tedious or whatever piece of work and wants to celebrate by letting someone else or the whole community know. I suggest for this purpose a "Drinks all round" template with appropriate image/s, which can be used to celebrate any mildly notable occasion, either on one's own user page, someone else's user page or the Pub, depending on how public you want it to be. Maybe a "Have one on me" for private celebrations/thanks. (for those who dont drink, whatever equivalent celebratory notice they prefer) Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:46, 30 September 2010 (EDT)
I've sent out such notifications every now and then. Mostly, though, I just try to leave thank you/praise messages for users who are doing exceptional work on their talk pages. I tend not to do this for excellent work from more established users, though, since I already take it for granted that they do exceptional work ;) Taking exceptional users' exceptional work for granted probably is something we should work on changing.
We don't see the barnstars too often because we have traditionally reserved them for only really enormous, exceptional, and/or exceptionally diligent tedious work. Personally I kind of like that; although there is no restriction on who can or when to give them, you know that it's a big deal if you get one. --Peter Talk 14:31, 30 September 2010 (EDT)
I checked several barnstars granted over time--most (if not all) of what I've found are about really something large enough to be seen at the scale of whole Wikitravel, like regionalizing Russia. I speak of much smaller contributions, and mixing them doesn't look a good idea for me--at least because future authors of exceptional contributions won't feel they've done anything exceptional if a similar barnstar is given every day or week at Wikitravel, for only a one-week-worth efforts. --DenisYurkin 15:30, 30 September 2010 (EDT)
This would imply a change of written policy for awarding barnstars, as it is incompatible with the directions given on Wikitravel:Barnstars. Note that I dont have any strong feelings on this either way, but do think that the directions should reflect consensus or at least common usage. I second Peter Fitzgerald in that exceptional work by exceptional users should not be taken for granted. A bit of occasional appreciation may help delay or prevent burnout. It is sad to see an absence of edits by people who have produced so much good work. Unless of course they are out travelling... Anyone know what has happened to Burmesedays? Cheers, Peter (Southwood) Talk 05:40, 1 October 2010 (EDT)
Burmesedays works in the hospitality industry and is in the thick of high season (same applies to me right now, actually). I certainly hope he'll be back seasonally! --Peter Talk 13:25, 1 October 2010 (EDT)
Another point about barnstars is that they appear to be intended for collaborative work. (barnraising is not generally a one-person occupation). Maybe we need an award for users do quiet solo work as well. Possibly a range of awards, including one that could be given for patrolling, cleanup etc, and something else for producing high quality articles more or less from the ground up. etc. Cheers, Peter (Southwood) Talk 05:56, 1 October 2010 (EDT)
It sounds like there may not be agreement that barnstars are the best option, but the two other suggestions made above seem good:
  • User talk page recognition. If we created something similar to barnstars, such as a new template that could be placed on user pages, this would be easy to work with. Something like {{thanks|Thanks for all your work patrolling edits!}}.
  • Using a community page for community-wide recognition. Instead of the Pub it might make more sense to use a new page such as "Wikitravel:Community appreciation". This would provide a single location to highlight people doing good work.
Assuming these were simple and open I'd be fully in favor. Ideally it would be nice if there was a simple way to combine the two, such that editing a single location would update both the user talk page and the community page. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:54, 1 October 2010 (EDT)
I am not against barnstars in principle, but the regular barnstar should perhaps be reserved for it's customary usage, which should then be described on Wikitravel:Barnstars. Variations on the theme might do the trick, but lets avoid the Wikipedia Barnstar diversity explosion and general OTT sillyness, which would water down the value of the awards in a sea of fluff. Cheers, -- Peter (Southwood) Talk 03:50, 2 October 2010 (EDT)
I still think it would be nice if there was a semi-formalised, but not very formal, if you get my meaning, way of announcing to the community that one has just completed a large, tedious, important, groundbreaking or otherwise noteworthy task, and just want to share with the rest of the gang the satisfaction of being done for the present.
A little bit of generalised social interaction of this kind might be a healthy thing. -- Peter (Southwood) Talk 03:50, 2 October 2010 (EDT)
Some sort of "Milestone" barnstar equivalent? Rezendi 15:44, 4 October 2010 (EDT)
Nice idea, tell us more. Fits in nicely with the travel theme. Peter (Southwood) Talk 04:37, 12 October 2010 (EDT)

Thanks for input to everyone. Looks like:

  1. Barnstars is not what will help much here
  2. The simplest approach that could possibly work would be to have a page where new users can share their completed projects, provided that they are significant enough contribution--and anyone else can praise the contribution (hopefully regular editors of WT will join to regularly comment there).
  3. Maybe others can also nominate someone else's work, but it's unclear now how to make sure original contributor has finished (two-week timeout from the latest revision in a given article will do the job?)

If consensus is close to the above list, we need to:

  • choose a right name for the page. Not sure about "Wikitravel:Community appreciation", because if I'm an author of significant contribution, it's rather unnatural to add it to "appreciation list" myself--while self-added summaries looks like an easiest way to launch the whole idea.
  • define minimal barrier of contribution, so we don't need to deal with "your contribution is ridiculously small, but thanks anyway" cases.

Suggestions? --DenisYurkin 16:01, 12 October 2010 (EDT)

Unfortunately Wikitravel:Milestones is already taken. -- Peter (Southwood) Talk 07:06, 13 October 2010 (EDT)
"Achievements"? "Deeds"? As for minimal barrier, I'd say something that requires at least a couple of hours of work, and has very significant effect on one article, significant effect on a tree of articles, or affects the entire site. Rezendi 15:24, 14 October 2010 (EDT)
Thanks for suggestion on barrier, it sounds reasonable for me.
As for the naming, the most natural metaphor from what I tried is "Contribution to celebrate": similar to a real-word party/celebration, it's up to host to decide whether reason is significant enough for celebration, and to choose a right moment for it ("when I'm done with X and Y, I'd like to celebrate it with my neighbors"). However, the neighbors are free to suggest more reasons to celebrate than the host originally thought :-)
However, other (much weaker) options I had are (listing them just in case it will trigger some better ideas than mine):
  • Hours of work
  • Significant contributions
  • Significant effort
  • Contribution to share [with the community]
--DenisYurkin 16:43, 20 October 2010 (EDT)

OK, here is first draft: User:DenisYurkin/Wikitravel:Contributions to celebrate.

Feel free to edit/criticize it however you choose. --DenisYurkin 16:13, 29 October 2010 (EDT)

I like it. Possibly change name to "Celebrate a contribution". • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 09:52, 30 October 2010 (EDT)
Done, renamed to Wikitravel:Celebrate a contribution (and also pushed from personal namespace to "official"). --DenisYurkin 16:57, 30 October 2010 (EDT)
On my watchlist!
I wonder if this is a page where new items should be added to the top of the list. Then you see the latest item immediately on opening the page. Comments? • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 10:39, 12 November 2010 (EST)
Absolutely, go ahead! --DenisYurkin 17:02, 12 November 2010 (EST)
The only obstacle that I realized is that we can set up "+" button on that page to make adding a new contribution easier, but it can only add to the bottom AFAIK. However I think we can expect that if someone completed a contribution serious enough to celebrate, it won't be an obstacle for him. --DenisYurkin 17:20, 13 November 2010 (EST)
No point in the "+" button. Agreed. Minimum requirement for celebration is ability to make edit near top of page. (not serious) • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 00:20, 14 November 2010 (EST)
Just added the page to my watchlist - great stuff, you guys. One thought: where should this page link from? At the moment, the only people who can find it are those who have been following this discussion. We want others to be able to find it too! PerryPlanet Talk 18:24, 12 November 2010 (EST)
Good point. I think it should go in the navigation box at the top left corner of the page along with links to Traveller's Pub, Recent Edits, Random Page etc. I also think that new items should be added by registered users, but anyone can comment. I will make some comments to this effect on the page, see if it looks right. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 00:58, 13 November 2010 (EST)
If you believe it should be nearly as frequent as the Pub etc, I would be all for such an outstanding link.
In the meanwhile, I added a link from Wikitravel:Namespace index. Maybe it should be also linked from some of the following, but I'm not sure how to introduce it there--any ideas appreciated: Wikitravel:Project,Wikitravel:Tips for new contributors,Wikitravel:Quick contribution guide, Wikitravel:Welcome, newcomers. --DenisYurkin 17:13, 13 November 2010 (EST)
I think it is a page that can and should be used fairly often. After all that was your original point — moderately sized contributions happen quite frequently — but lets leave it until we have a few more opinions. Besides which I have no idea how to put it in the navigation box. Also if linked from the places you suggest, would you explain the purpose at each reference? • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 00:20, 14 November 2010 (EST)
The only purpose of linking is, as always, "We want people to find it easily". --DenisYurkin 00:56, 14 November 2010 (EST)
Agreed, but if they also know what it is that is linked, they know if they want to go there. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 06:30, 14 November 2010 (EST)
Just a thought: it could be linked from Wikitravel:Barnstars along with a comment that if the contribution is not as exceptional as worthy of a barnstar, but important enough nonetheless, that page could be used instead. – Vidimian 09:10, 14 November 2010 (EST)
Oh my, I'm embarassed. It seems Peter has already done that but I failed to check the page throughly. – Vidimian 09:16, 14 November 2010 (EST)
No need for embarassment, what you suggest is not quite what I had already done! I have gone back and added your improvement as I understand it. Please take a look and see if it fits in with what you had in mind. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 10:27, 14 November 2010 (EST)
Yes, that's exactly what I meant. Thanks. – Vidimian 13:42, 14 November 2010 (EST)

TIME Magazine

Hello Peeps, we will be in the September 27th issue of Time Magazine; [19], pretty solid article although it revolves around two of our dearly departed. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 17:40, 24 September 2010 (EDT)

I failed to find the author's edit in Bruges, however (looked through latest 50 edits). --DenisYurkin 04:22, 25 September 2010 (EDT)


Star nomination for Kununurra

This article is soon to be up as an OTBP feature and is close to being a star article. It would be nice if the two could coincide and we have it as a star when on the front page. Please make some comments at Wikitravel:Star nominations#Kununurra to push it over the line. Thanks. Cardboardbird 04:13, 26 September 2010 (EDT)

Thanks to those who have commented and/or made edits recently. All of the suggestions have been addressed now, so if your initial thought was almost you might like to take another look. - Cardboardbird 05:56, 28 September 2010 (EDT)
Hi! I think it is up for star now as Stefan, Claus and myself have changed from almost to support. Let's wait until the weekend for responses but afterward you can take the honour and change it to star. jan 07:40, 28 September 2010 (EDT)

Travel to 3rd World for teens?

Some pretty awesome, third-world travel adventures for high schoolers, led by former Peace Corps voluteers is WHERE THERE BE DRAGONS, based in Boulder, CO. They take students to any of 10-15 countries.

Unclear as to whether/how to include them in Wikitravel. I have a granddaughter who has been once to rural Thailand and twice to Senegal with that group. Very responsible and very well run. Very strict codes of behavior, etc.

Since Wikitravel is focused on specific destinations, this may be out of bounds but maybe not? Who knows? As a travel info Wiki there could/should be some way of handling this useful information. Yes? Frnkatca 16:08, 3 October 2010 (EDT)

This type of thing may be covered by Travel topics. Take a look and see if what you have in mind would fit into this category. -- Peter (Southwood) Talk 09:53, 4 October 2010 (EDT)
Does or could Gap year travel cover what you are interested in? Pashley 21:11, 30 October 2010 (EDT)

New ads

IB finally put forth the intended style for new ads. Please have a look at shared:Talk:Advertising policy#New Monetization Effort. – Vidimian 06:07, 7 October 2010 (EDT)


Failing Collaborations

After almost 4 months of non-collaboration on Toronto, I just changed it to Mauritius. I haven't really had the chance to look over the tasks, but the concern was that there was too little to do. Well, being that the month is half over, I thought it could be the perfect October CotM. Hopefully we can get at least some of the tasks completed and begin reviving the collaboration project. ChubbyWimbus 05:15, 12 October 2010 (EDT)

User:Wrh2 blocked?

Ryan says that his home IP address has been blocked from editing Wikitravel, and IB has been unresponsive to his questions. Obviously, this is totally unacceptable. Anyone know what's going on? Gorilla Jones 22:09, 12 October 2010 (EDT)

I finally got a response - my IP address was blocked from accessing all Internet Brands sites by one of their automated tools, apparently due to a bot that I run to spider Wikitravel. The bot complies with Wikitravel:Terms of use but was apparently the cause of the problem (I'm awaiting clarification as to what specifically triggered the block). In fairness to IB, Kevin Hayes fixed the problem relatively quickly after I was finally able to get a response. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:02, 13 October 2010 (EDT)

Why?

Star nominations for Photographer's Reef and Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay

These two articles have been nominated for star and await revier and comment at Wikitravel:Star nominations.

Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay is the first Regional Dive Guide to be nominated for star and therefore it would be desirable to get as much community involvement as possible, as this will to some extent provide a standard for future articles of this kind. (if it makes it). -- Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:30, 15 October 2010 (EDT)

Photographer's Reef has been promoted to star, Thanks to all who commented.
A large part of the issues brought up regarding Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay have been addressed, but there is a policy issue outstanding. If anyone has the time to look the discussion over and maybe even check over the article it would be appreciated. I think the process is nearing finalisation, as there is not much more that I can do at this stage based on the current outstanding issues. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 14:37, 19 November 2010 (EST)

Unable to use Regionlist template in Wikitravel/fr

Hi all,

I would like to use the Regionlist template in Wikitravel/fr but it seems unknown there. How can we export a template from one wikitravel language version to another? Do we need special admin rights?

I had a look at Template:Regionlist and Wikitravel:Using_Mediawiki_templates but found nothing.

More generally, how do we create/manage/edit/rename templates in one language version? The stub template for an article in WT:en has been translated into bouchon in WT:fr and should really be renamed into ébauche.

Thanks for your help! Joelf 21:43, 16 October 2010 (EDT)

Hi Joelf, I have made templates and no special admin rights are needed.
The easiest way to do what you want would be to copy the source text of the regionlist tenplate, and paste it into a new article in template namespace with the appropriate name on fr, then translate it bit by bit until it is as you want it. I dont think I have forgotten anything critical. It is useful to other users if you add an explanation of how and where to use the template somewhere. Cheers, Peter (Southwood) Talk 01:46, 18 October 2010 (EDT)
Got it! Pretty simple indeed, cf: fr:Amérique du Sud. Thanks a lot Peter. Joelf 01:01, 19 October 2010 (EDT)

Images from Wikimedia Commons

I'm an en:wikipedia admin and very active there; while I find Wikitravel useful, I'm not sufficiently interested to become active here. As such, I'm curious — is there any way that images at the Wikimedia Commons can be used here without being re-uploaded? I find that there are plenty of guides here that could better be illustrated with images from Commons. 69.136.6.110 19:53, 1 November 2010 (EDT)

I understand that the newest versions of the MediaWiki software will allow that, but the version we're using does not. I agree it would be very useful. LtPowers 09:43, 3 November 2010 (EDT)


I kind of like having a limited number of Wikipedia images on Wikitravel, because I think it looks bad/boring/overdone/not "fresh" when the same pictures used in the Wikipedia articles are used on Wikitravel. I've stumbled upon pictures I recognize from Wikitravel on Wikipedia and it's kind of dissapointing seeing that ours are the same and kind of makes good pictures look dull, because I know I've seen the same thing elsewhere. This may be a minority opinion, though. ChubbyWimbus 18:43, 3 November 2010 (EDT)
I agree with LtPowers it would be useful. There are many images there that are not currently in use on WP. WT articles could benefit from easy access to them. The existing process of downloading the image, copying the commons info and then uploading to WT is laborious and very clunky. Using the same images in WT and WP articles is not so good though unless it is a very important or iconic image having significance to the subject of the article. felix 07:11, 4 November 2010 (EDT)
For the vast majority of destinations, there are very few free images available. The choice is usually between not having an image at all or going with one from Commons (which may or may not be in use on the English Wikipedia). If those are the choices, we should go with having an image, no matter where it came from, IMO. LtPowers 09:25, 4 November 2010 (EDT)
Sometimes it's possible to find beautiful pictures we could use to illustrate our guides on Wikipedia articles that are remotely related to the Wikitravel guide in question, so users clicking on Wikipedia link from our guides won't be disappointed by being welcomed to the article on the same place with the same photo. For example, I've put this photo at our Altai Republic guide (which it makes most sense, anyway), but found it on Wikipedia article about Altaic languages, which is barely if ever related to Altai Republic (although I should admit that it's also linked from Altai Mountains article, but that's still not equivalent to our Republic guide). – Vidimian 12:54, 4 November 2010 (EDT)
And I should also add that, I'd prefer former rather than the latter at "any photo vs no photo" comparison. When adding pictures (or any other stuff as far as I can think of), Wikitravel articles should be considered stand-alone guides, with keeping users with no access (or no desire) to click those Wikipedia links in mind. – Vidimian 13:04, 4 November 2010 (EDT)
I agree with LtPowers as well, sounds like a useful option. The current process is rather tedious and time-consuming. --globe-trotter 13:17, 4 November 2010 (EDT)


I think a lot of good points are made for the Wikipedia photos, especially for those that are good but unused on Wikipedia. On the other hand, having no photos encourages users on Wikitravel to upload their own, new images while having WP photos probably discourages that, because users may feel there is no point in uploading an image if the article is already filled with pictures. Unfortunately pictures from users come slowly, since new users come slowly and may not even get a shared account. ChubbyWimbus 03:11, 5 November 2010 (EDT)

Statistics

I think it would be encouraging if statistics about wikitravel usage would be visible. Funny to see that pages you have written is read. 95.209.70.145 06:02, 11 November 2010 (EST)

There used to be. I've asked if another user knows of anything. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 08:06, 11 November 2010 (EST)
  • Yes i was actually just wondering that, I remember that there used to be at the bottom of the page a listing of how many people have viewed that paticular page, lets bring it back please someone help —The preceding comment was added by Ralphmiester (talkcontribs)

Search down?

Searches in English don't seem to be working, and haven't been for at least a day. Curiously, other languages seem fine. Anybody know why, or when it might be fixed? (I'm gettin' mail from frustrated app users - iTravelFree currently uses the built-in search facilities.) Rezendi 08:41, 13 November 2010 (EST)

suggestions on finding a restaurant

I've recently added* tips&suggestions on finding a good restaurant, which are region-specific (and therefore go into a respective region: Camargue in my case).

I wonder if:

  • there are any other attempts to suggest how to find a restaurant/cafe for a specific destination, not only to list specific places that are good at the time of research?
  • we can compile/define any recommendations applying to most locations, filing them into Eat travel topic or something similar?

(*) the text itself was written by a LonelyPlanet ThornTree forum member, cross-posted at Wikitravel with his permission. --DenisYurkin 22:07, 15 November 2010 (EST)

No fine dining detectives here yet? :-) --DenisYurkin 14:42, 17 November 2010 (EST)

Star nominations page empty!

With the promotion of Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay there are no longer any star nominations in process. Time for a new nomination anyone? Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 11:58, 28 November 2010 (EST)

Search still down?

Have English-language searches really been broken for three weeks without IB seeming to notice or care, or am I missing something?

I tweaked iTravelFree to use Bing instead, that's working fine, but if so, I'm more than a little astonished by the intensity of neglect. Rezendi 19:46, 2 December 2010 (EST)

Yes, 'intensity of neglect' is a good phrase. I presume you have emailed IB on the issue, expecting them to read anything here is presuming too much. --inas 21:03, 2 December 2010 (EST)
Have you seen the number of open Tech requests on Shared, Rezendi? LtPowers 21:20, 2 December 2010 (EST)
For issues like this one you might try the tech at wikitravel.org email address. My experience has been that they respond about a third of the time, so if you don't hear back in 24 hours try again. And if you do get a response, you might also try getting their attention about addressing the spam problems on Arabic Wikitravel. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:39, 2 December 2010 (EST)
Update: I emailed tech at wikitravel.org yesterday, and while I received no response, English-language searches are now working again. Rezendi 13:43, 4 December 2010 (EST)

Sue Gardner: "Wikitravel is a great site"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11894901 (3:40) -- LtPowers 15:38, 7 December 2010 (EST)

Breadcrumbs

Anyone else noticing that breadcrumbs are being particularly obstinate lately? I'm getting awfully tired of having to go down the hierarchy purging the cache repeatedly. LtPowers 11:36, 13 December 2010 (EST)

Yes, I've noticed the same thing. --inas 16:59, 13 December 2010 (EST)
Just came to the pub to ask about the same issue. There's no sense to it. For example, Scotland is showing just United Kingdom: Scotland at the top of the page, whereas England shows Europe: Britain and Ireland: United Kingdom: England. The IsPartOf seems to be identical on both pages but for some reason isn't returning the same result! Tarr3n 09:21, 16 December 2010 (EST)

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