Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.

Difference between revisions of "Wikitravel:Travellers' pub"

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search
(Country surgeon Expedition)
(businesses self-adding listings)
Line 875: Line 875:
 
:::::::Me 4, this sounds like an excellent idea.  --[[User:Peterfitzgerald|Peter]] <small><sup>[[User_talk:Peterfitzgerald|Talk]]</sup></small> 19:14, 10 August 2011 (EDT)
 
:::::::Me 4, this sounds like an excellent idea.  --[[User:Peterfitzgerald|Peter]] <small><sup>[[User_talk:Peterfitzgerald|Talk]]</sup></small> 19:14, 10 August 2011 (EDT)
  
 
+
&rarr; Made a smallest first step possible :-), here it is: [[Wikitravel:Business listings reliability Expedition]]. Please plunge forward in clarifying its goals and anything else. I never started an expedition, and a bit depressed by a blank paper syndrome about it. --[[User:DenisYurkin|DenisYurkin]] 19:09, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
  
 
== Red exclamation marks ==
 
== Red exclamation marks ==

Revision as of 23:13, 24 August 2011


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!

Travel Warning

NOTE: 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.



Contents

Am I being obtuse?

I'm having trouble understanding what an editor wants at Talk:Central_Europe#The_Central.2FEastern_Europe_debate. Comments welcome, maybe someone else can have better time of it. LtPowers 21:21, 3 January 2011 (EST)

Combining Wikitravel and OpenStreetMaps

I've added OpenStreetMaps support to the latest version of iTravelFree. (Well, to the Android version; the new iPhone release is still awaiting App Store approval. Offline OSM maps are next on the list.) This made me think: they're both open attribution-ShareAlike licensed data, so they ought to play nicely together, and OSM has lots of Point Of Interest (POI) data as well as the maps themselves. Are there any tools or protocols to add OSM POIs to Wikitravel, or to mark Wikitravel listings as OSM POIs? .. Rezendi 22:15, 5 January 2011 (EST)

There are some tools to create wikitravel style maps from OSM data. The process usually goes to add the Wikitravel POIs to OSM first, and then extract to WT. We are limited again, by an inability to do tech work in any integration effort, but I'd certainly be interested in discussing adding a reference to an OSM POI to WT listings, or v.v. --inas 22:46, 5 January 2011 (EST)

I can't find any geodata at all in here. Am I missing something ?, where's the co-ordinates link at the top right that I get on Wikipedia ?. Almost everything in here is at a fixed point, and hence should have a map ref, and ultimately a link to OSM. If there's any POI's that aren't in the map then they should be, and as part of the maintenance of the entry in here it should be added to the map. --mark_c_lester 10:50 3 July 2011 (BST)

Not everyone has the tools or experience necessary to edit maps. We don't want to discourage contributions by prohibiting them from being added unless they also add them to the map. LtPowers 09:49, 3 July 2011 (EDT)


Road types..

I'm doing a bit of work around lesser traveled roads, and I'm essentially using the three categories..

  • Sealed road - meaning surface is paved, asphalt, concrete, etc.
  • Gravel road - graded and loose rock surface added and compacted
  • Formed road - just graded, road surface varies depending on terrain.

Are these meanings clear enough to everyone, or are they a local dialect? --inas 23:03, 6 January 2011 (EST)

I don't think it's a local dialect problem, but they are a bit technical—I didn't know formed road off the bat. I would suggest paved road, gravel road, and dirt road, but that may perhaps be my own local dialect ;) --Peter Talk 23:13, 6 January 2011 (EST)
I agree with Peter on dirt road vs formed road, as I would understand your 3rd meaning as dirt road, but formed road would be meaningless to me. I would guess that this would be shared by most English speaking South Africans, Can't comment on other parts of the English speaking world. I am easy on paved road vs sealed, with a slight bias to paved. For some parts of the world, you may need a fourth category for a road which is not even graded, or which may be graded on such an irregular basis that you should assume that it has not been graded. In parts of Africa these may be quite important routes. I suggest "Bush road" as a possible term. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 01:50, 7 January 2011 (EST)
It is also called a trek, track or 4x4 track if that is what you mean. Swissbelg 06:32, 7 January 2011 (EST)
In the U.S. we call those "unimproved dirt roads." Not sure if this is in common usage elsewhere. --Peter Talk 22:03, 7 January 2011 (EST)
"Unimproved dirt roads" conveys the meaning pretty well to me, or maybe even just "unimproved road". "Graded road" or "Graded dirt road" is then another possible option for "Formed road" • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:06, 8 January 2011 (EST)
"Sealed Road" sounds too technical/stuffy to me. I think it'd be better just to say "road" or in the case of differentiating it from a dirt road, just calling it a "paved road". I have never heard "unimproved dirt road" although I'm American, but it definitely gives a clear impression of the type

of road. ChubbyWimbus 02:01, 9 January 2011 (EST)

"Paved" has the added advantage of including cobbled and other surfaces where bricks, stones or other form of laid slab surfacing is used, which technically may not be "sealed", as the joints are not watertight. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:43, 9 January 2011 (EST)
I would support the following designations: "Paved," "Gravel," "Packed dirt," "Unimproved dirt," "Track," "Unmarked." A track is not even a real road, and would require a Land Rover, Jeep or the like (a 4-wheel drive vehicle), whereas an unimproved dirt road would be likely to be passable with care by ordinary passenger vehicles in decent weather (and overly muddy and rutted in the rain). Packed dirt roads would be passable even in rainy conditions, absent flooding or perhaps really big thunderstorms. "Unmarked" would refer to desert, where if someone didn't know where the road was, they would never find it. As an American, I don't know what a "graded" road is. I'm guessing "formed" means packed dirt rather than unimproved dirt, but I'm not sure. Ikan Kekek 16:40, 3 May 2011 (EDT)

Yeah, I wouldn't consider using sealed unless it was to somehow distinguish it. Like, there are two paved routes that cross Australia east to west. I'm happy with paved, gravel, and unimproved dirt. It would appear their meaning is at least apparent to all. Thanks all for suggestions. --inas 02:59, 9 January 2011 (EST)

I thought the two main categories were metalled and unmetalled roads? Metalled being tarmac or concrete roads. --SaxonWarrior 16:24, 3 May 2011 (EDT)

Roads that are dirt, but graded once in a while, we call "minimum maintinance roads"


how to organize extensive details on ClubMed

Moved from Wikitravel talk:Accommodation listings#more details than 1-3 sentences per establishment

I am considering to share my recent experience with ClubMed, an all-inclusive resort in Chamonix-Mont Blanc, France. Details are extensive, and they are both about:

  • deciding whether to stay there
  • and how to make most of the stay once you are there

One issue is that it looks like gonna take more than a single paragraph.

Another is that this is my first experience with ClubMed chain, and very likely half of details actually applies to ClubMed everywhere (but I'm not sure which half :-) )

So the questions are:

  • will both types of content be welcome here at Wikitravel?
  • OK if I put a concise summary for the business in Chamonix, linking for details to a separate article
  • based on our nursery approach, I am considering to create that separate article as a travel topic like "All-inclusive resorts" (or something like that) where (a) both general info on all-inclusive establishments should emerge some day, (b) generic advice and characteristics for ClubMed (and also other chains, if they exist) should be given, and (c) extensive details on individual ClubMed (and other-chain) establishments should be listed.

Anything wrong with my plans? :-) --DenisYurkin 15:35, 19 January 2011 (EST)

All-inclusive resorts are tricky to fit into our normal article structure. Might want to raise the question on the Pub for more visibility, since I don't know the answers to your questions. LtPowers 17:24, 19 January 2011 (EST)
It is a tricky thing.
I'll start by saying that I don't think that all inclusive resorts have enough in common to justify a travel topic, because really they don't all have that much in common. Some are in the snow, some are on islands, some have buffets, some are a-la-carte. Some arrange transport, some even have internal transport. Some include meals, some charge for some services, like motorised craft. I don't know what would be left to include in the article.
However, some resorts have as much to write about them as some small towns. They are like a cruise ship. When these resorts are on islands, we seem quite comfortable in giving them their own article. When they are in towns or cities, then we resist and put them in the Sleep section.
I don't have a solution here, but I can identify the problem.
I think we could maximise a Club Med travel topic. There really is enough unique to the Club Med chain that can be added as useful information. Information that could let people know whether they want to choose Club Med, and how to get the most of their stay. I think it would be a shame if we had to call the article All inclusive resorts just to fit. ON the other hand, I'd hate to see a Sheraton, Hilton, travel topics popping, so we'd have to be careful we don't set up too slippery a slope. --inas 18:01, 19 January 2011 (EST)
I'm fine with creating a travel topic for ClubMed alone if it's OK to put details on individual ClubMeds as well, and if there is no other objections/considerations.
As for Sheraton/Hilton risk, I think the differentiating criteria here may be:
a) most (or only several?) ClubMed resorts are destinations in itself, where most people spend all or most of their time, and they intentionally head there for that.
b) there's a widespread scenario "I want to go for vacation for ClubMed. Which of them to choose this time?" I.e. people first decide that it will be ClubMed, and only after that they choose a destination with a particular ClubMed that meets their criteria for resort (and then destination). For Hilton and Sheraton, they normally choose destination first, and only after that they seek accomodation within it (even with preference to a specific chain). --DenisYurkin 13:31, 20 January 2011 (EST)
Las Vegas casinos are a similar problem - a single casino may have 5-10 restaurants, 2-3 Broadway caliber shows, and all manner of sights and activities. Perhaps we need another sub-section under "Sleep" or "Do" for places that are destinations in their own right? If we create a criteria similar to the rental listing criteria stating that any such section must be discussed on the talk page first, and preface each one with something like "The following resorts/casinos are large enough to be vacation destinations in their own right" with a hidden comment stating that any additions required discussion, would that be sufficient? -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:03, 20 January 2011 (EST)
The difference is that anything common to all casinos [in Las Vegas area] can be sticked to LasVegas article, but what's a place for things common to all (or most of) ClubMeds around the world? And, again, I'm sure it's losing much useful content if we try to squeeze all the important practical details into a single paragraph of listing description within destination guide article. --DenisYurkin 14:17, 20 January 2011 (EST)
And in Las Vagas, a visitor may dine in one casino restaurant one night, gamble at another another night, and visit a show in a third. I would say 95% of people who go to Club Med bintan, for example, never leave the resort. They arrive on the Club Med bus, get the traditional Club Med greeting, and at most take a Club Med excursion to see the sights. --inas 14:45, 20 January 2011 (EST)
Admittedly I know next-to-nothing about Club Med, but I think we should be cautious about creating articles for specific companies - we started down that route with airlines and it didn't turn out well. Is Club Med so different from (for example) Four Seasons resorts or Disney resorts that a separate, Club Med-specific article is needed? If not then I would think a sub-section of an article with a few paragraphs about the resort would be a better approach. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:05, 20 January 2011 (EST)
I agree with the challenges. I think Club Med is different from Disney or Four Seasons resorts. They have and promote a very distinct culture, across all their resorts. Inclusions, restaurant styles, services are all standardised across the resorts, and the % of people who don't leave them is much higher. They really do have much in common with a cruise ship. --inas 15:48, 20 January 2011 (EST)

OK, unless more objections appear, I am going to start ClubMed resorts article. Going to include detailed description of individual resorts and hoping someone will help to identify things that are common to the whole chain (which will go to the same article, under its own section). At the same time, respective destination guides will include summary of individual resorts, linking for details to the anchor in the travel topic in question. --DenisYurkin 17:29, 27 January 2011 (EST)


Map Import/export

I'm currently travelling a lot and I find wikitravel useful. 2 things, I find missing

-for each location, you really need to give the different name: local name with local language, local one in local language written with extended us alphabet (for example, to give an arabish name to a local without being able to read arabic or same in chinese), same in international english

- for each location map, a kml/gpx file would be really useful. so anyone could use these informations in an interoperable way.


Thanks for your work-- Jul —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 196.204.160.79 (talkcontribs)

I agree those things would be nice, but where do we get the information? Are you referring to all the attractions, all the names of shops, reataurants, hotels etc, or just the name of the place the article is about?
For the kml/gpx file, what would you expect to find in it? • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 15:57, 21 January 2011 (EST)
As someone travels, if possible, he tries to export his POI or take some of OpenStreetmap (compatible licence ?). I don't know if there is other free sources which reference travel Point Of Interest.
With a quick search, I find this The Best Free POI Downloads for Your GPS Unit
I refer to all places (first transport facilities, next viewpoints and museums, after shops/hotels). The gpx/kml file would contain place name (both in local spelling, local name with english/roman spelling for pronunciation, and english/international name), some category/tags informations and gps coordinates -- Jul

Analytics

This may have previously been asked, so my apologies if it has been. Is there any analytics data available on Wikitravel? Yorke417 21:43, 27 January 2011 (EST)

It exists, but unfortunately the owners of the domain, won't share it with us. Google trends for websites is the closest you are going to get, we hover somewhere between 70.000 and 100.000 unique daily visitors if that's the number you are looking for --Stefan (sertmann) talk 22:23, 27 January 2011 (EST)
Wow. I'm surprised to see that there are more visitors from Japan than anywhere else. Interesting! Texugo 22:36, 27 January 2011 (EST)

Anyone have this Inkscape problem?

Putting this here to attract more attention. I use Inkscape to operate on maps, as most of us do, but I have an issue that I haven't been able to find a fix for elsewhere online. When I use the fill function, it's very slow and after filling 2 or 3 areas, it crashes entirely. I'm using Windows 7, and I updated to the most current version of Inkscape but the problem persists. Does anyone know of a fix for this? Or does anyone have a suggestion for another free, open-source vector graphics program? I'm trying to go on a map-making spree for Brazilian regions, and this is frustrating me greatly. Texugo 10:48, 3 February 2011 (EST)

I know I am. Either it's my computer, the new version of Inkscape, or the map files we're using these days are just too much for my computer. I just can't make maps at the pace I used to. PerryPlanet Talk 14:02, 4 February 2011 (EST)
I am using Inkscape 0.47 on XT and dont seem to have anything like your problem. Maybe I misunderstand, so could you explain in more detail what is happening with an example I can download and do comparative test. I have tested a map of about 3.8MB with about 50 layers at a guess. Selected all objects in a layer with 10 objects, blanked the fill and replaced it with something different. process time order of a second - you could see it happening, but only just. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 06:50, 6 February 2011 (EST)
The best answer is of course to use a fully developed vector drawing program like Illustrator :). More seriously, the object fill function has had problems in every version of Inkscape I have used. Some of the map files I have drawn are relatively huge (especially so when using imported PDF plot points), and the fill function routinely hangs after changing the opacity slider (for example). I understand your frustration Texugo. --Burmesedays 22:30, 24 May 2011 (EDT)
After making about 6 Brazil state maps, I put the project on hold out of frustration with Inkscape. I may look in to getting Illustrator or something, because there are still dozens of maps I'd like to make...texugo 22:43, 24 May 2011 (EDT)
I've never had a problem. What version of Inkscape are you using? LtPowers 13:36, 25 May 2011 (EDT)
Long-standing problems with the Inkscape fill function were also discussed here.--Burmesedays 20:19, 25 May 2011 (EDT)



Wikitravel + OpenStreetMaps > iTravelFree

The latest Android version of my iTravelFree app (Android Market link) allows users to download an OpenStreetMap map for later offline use (with mapped Wikitravel listings optionally superimposed on them.) I'll soon be adding this capability to the iPhone version as well. Right now only a small number of maps are available - in particular, London and Paris - but that list will grow. This feature is very much in beta test; I'd appreciate it if people would a) try it and provide feedback b) suggest other maps that should be made available. As the name suggests, the app is completely free, though a paid version with some additional features does exist. Thanks! Rezendi 21:30, 19 February 2011 (EST)

Great news! What do you mean--"suggest other maps that should be made available", for testing purposes (as for normal use as wide coverage as possible is required)?
BTW, with [1] there's no more plans on Google Maps offline--what happened? --DenisYurkin 02:37, 20 February 2011 (EST)
So far I've only made a small number of prebuilt map packs available. (Users can roll their own, too, but it's a complicated procedure.) As for Google Maps caching, unfortunately that would be a violation of their terms of service. Rezendi


OSM export woes [venting]

Error

The load average on the server is too high at the moment. Please wait a few minutes before trying again.

I'm trying to re-use your map tiles in a really productive way! Let me download your tiles! Graaaahh! --Peter Talk 17:00, 23 February 2011 (EST)


In need of a substitution script for listing tags on pt:

I posted this on Shared a few days ago, but the pub here is busier, so I thought I'd post here too:

Listing tags were partially implemented on pt: a while back with a translation of the wizard interface but without translating the actual tag names or attributes. Now I know how to translate those and I think it would be best to do so, but the problem is now that lots of those tags have been inserted in articles-- if I make the translations on the MediaWiki attribute pages, all the existing listings will immediate stop working, and there is no way to search and change the tags manually because the search engine (apparently) ignores things within brackets <>, not to mention the fact that there are a lot of them and changing them manually would be extremely tedious. If we had a substitution script to go through all the articles and change some strings like "<eat" to "<coma", "name=" to "nome=", "address=" to "endereço=", etc. it would solve this problem and I could go ahead and complete the tag translations so that everything works in Portuguese so that users would be more likely to use tags in the future. However, I know absolutely nothing about writing and running scripts. Would anyone like to work with me to create a script for us? Or, can anyone think of a different solution to this problem (i.e. a way to make the system accept tags and their attributes in both English and Portuguese)? Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Texugo 10:58, 21 February 2011 (EST)

Yet another reason I'm baffled as to the implementation of our listings tags. If they'd been done with MediaWiki templates, it'd be a simple matter to wrap the English template in a Portuguese wrapper. LtPowers 22:08, 26 February 2011 (EST)
But they do seem to be done with MediaWiki templates-- those listed at the bottom of Wikitravel:Listings. The problem is that the English template was already implemented in lots of listings there on pt:. If I translate the template now, all those existing English ones will stop working, and finding and replacing them manually would be an inordinate pain in the arse without a script.texugo 02:44, 27 February 2011 (EST)
No, by "MediaWiki templates", I mean the ones in the Template: namespace. Pages in the MediaWiki: namespace are interface messages. LtPowers 20:17, 27 February 2011 (EST)
Ah, gotcha, but you understand my problem, right? Know how to make a substitution script? texugo 21:28, 27 February 2011 (EST)
No, I'm afraid not. I could probably write one, but I wouldn't know how to tell you to execute it. =) LtPowers 16:18, 1 March 2011 (EST)




Wikitravel in the news

Australian news sites have Wiki threat to guidebooks running in the travel section at the moment - Cardboardbird 23:05, 12 March 2011 (EST)

Tourist office information

Should not there be a standard section with information about Tourist offices (e.g. web addresses, physical addresses, opening times, phone numbers) ?

Indeed, I had the same question. Sometime it is at the end of the "Understand" section. Should this become a standard? It could be put in "Cope" too but this section is optional and rather at the end of the page; and Tourist office info is something people probably want to know pretty early. Joelf 16:04, 13 March 2011 (EDT)
I've always seen (and placed) this at the end of "Understand" under the heading "Tourist Information". ChubbyWimbus 17:18, 13 March 2011 (EDT)
Huh; I could have sworn we had a standard written down somewhere for that. Anyway, I've added "Visitor information" to Wikitravel:Article templates/Sections#Understand. LtPowers 21:22, 13 March 2011 (EDT)
We do-- Where you can stick it indicates the Understand section.texugo 23:56, 13 March 2011 (EDT)

Shortcut links on edit pages

On WT-French version, when editing a page, I don't have the table listing all the template shortcuts (attractions, restaurants, hotels...) contrary to the English one. How can I set this up? Is it a mediawiki config?

Additionally, I'd like to have the "add listing" link next to each section as well. Any thought? Thanks! Joelf 15:55, 13 March 2011 (EDT)

To add editing tools is easy-- you can just change Mediawiki:Edittools.
Adding the listing editor function is more difficult. First you need to translation a number of tag files-- see the list at Wikitravel:Listings#Translations to make listing templates in Fr:. Make sure you edit the Fr: version, not the En: ones. Then you'll have to petition IB to turn the functionality on. texugo 20:37, 13 March 2011 (EDT)
Ok, Edittools works fine. I'll probably keep it simple stupid and not translate the tags since French accents are a pain and there are already many English tags in the French version. For the "add listing", I can survive without them for now. Thanks a lot texugo for your quick answer! Joelf 04:01, 14 March 2011 (EDT)

April Fool's day article 2011

After little more than two weeks it is April 1st again. Any suggestions for this year's joke article? How about Atlantis? Ypsilon 05:18, 16 March 2011 (EDT)

I'd love to do a pair of articles on Tlön and Uqbar, but unless other current users are familiar with the story to help on it, I could easily support Atlantis.texugo 06:32, 16 March 2011 (EDT)
I nominate Mesoamerican Barrier Reef -- felix 11:14, 20 March 2011 (EDT)

How about a region from Pokémon? (ie. Kanto) Or just the Pokémon World in general? –sumone10154 18:59, 22 March 2011 (EDT)

Just three comments and April fools day is after four days? I've read the short story by Borges a couple of years ago so I guess I could come up with something on that. Mesoamerican Barrier Reef... well, I don't really get it. The Pokemon idea seems ok too, if the article won't be filled with just tsunami, Fukushima [2] and earthquake jokes. Ypsilon 08:35, 28 March 2011 (EDT)

I think anything Japan-related would be disrespectful at this point. Besides, we have an article for the real Kanto region on which the Pokemon map is based. texugo 09:46, 28 March 2011 (EDT)
Sorry, I wasn't thinking about Japan when I nominated the Pokémon idea. I've never read the story about Tlön and Uqbar and I don't get the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef idea either so I'll just support Atlantis. –sumone10154 10:54, 28 March 2011 (EDT)
I was not actually serious about Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, it was just that texugo posted both the Mesoamerican and the April fools comments at around the same time and could not resist it. On a more serious note, if Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is not an April Fools joke then it should probably be deleted as an article as it does not seem to be good for anything much else. -- felix 13:32, 28 March 2011 (EDT)
  • Neverland may also be a good one. Whatever it is should be chosen soon. There are only a few days left to make it suitable. ChubbyWimbus 18:40, 28 March 2011 (EDT)
    • That's a good one; it has several well-defined locations and it's old enough that there may be public-domain media that can be used. LtPowers 11:15, 29 March 2011 (EDT)

So it's April Fool's day already and the article isn't created yet! I'm assuming the article will be Atlantis right? –sumone10154 12:17, 1 April 2011 (EDT)

Not too many comments in this section, seemingly. IMHO there's nothing wrong with Neverland, but Atlantis has got three supporters, in a few hours it's already April 2 here in Europe so I'll create Atlantis right now. Otherwise we must wait a whole year until the next April Fool's day :(. Ypsilon 14:36, 1 April 2011 (EDT)

Mesoamerican Barrier Reef

This article was vfd'd before (see the discussion on its talk page), but that was 4 years ago, and the article remains completely blank. It is a nebulous cross between a body of water and a cross-regional dive site region article, neither of which we really do, and contains no destinations because the few islands here belong in their respective country hierarchy. Can we revisit this? texugo 22:28, 19 March 2011 (EDT)

Universities and colleges

I have an idea: individual articles for universities and colleges. In the U.S., high school students visit their prospective universities to take tours and meet faculty so they can decide where to apply and learn what the campus is like. Also, faculty travel around giving talks at various universities or attending conferences.

It seems like it would be helpful to have pages for each university/college summarizing how to get there, how to get around campus, what's in the area, and maybe have some useful links like a campus map.

Any thoughts? --BigPeteB 18:44, 3 April 2011 (EDT)

Don't the university web sites already cover that? Pashley 18:57, 3 April 2011 (EDT)
I don't know if Wikitravel really has much more to offer than the university websites. I think universities should be on our maps, because they are good landmarks, but if the school's website is not enough, then they should probably schedule a campus visit. Campuses with legitimate attractions are listed under those attractions in articles, but what sort of help could we offer prospective students beyond university websites? ChubbyWimbus 19:36, 3 April 2011 (EDT)
Yeah, I agree with Pashley and ChubbyWimbus. Plus, we really don't even list universities and colleges in our articles unless they are of historical value in their own right or offer short term classes that a tourist might take, and it is well established that we are not here to help students choose a potential school. Why would we then turn around and make thousands of articles for them? texugo 21:03, 3 April 2011 (EDT)
In total support of not having Universities listed. One of my pet peeves is long lists of schools in articles. Utterly useless to almost all travellers. - Cardboardbird 22:19, 8 April 2011 (EDT)
A Studying abroad article has been suggested before Talk:Pakistani_students_coming_to_Finland. Certainly many students travel to study, either within their country or internationally. The international exchange is by no means all in one direction,"Third World" students going to Western countries, either. I'm at a Chinese university that has dozens of Africans, a fair number of French students and at least some Iranians, Americans and I'm not sure who else. Others have hordes of Indonesians, East Europeans, Americans, ...
I do think we need something on travel for study, but it is not clear what. Pashley 01:22, 9 April 2011 (EDT)
The Indian articles in particular seem to act as a magnet for academic institution listings and are often problematic. They sometimes start getting promotional then requiring management. Frankly unless they are of historical or similar interest such as possessing stand out museums, libraries of national or international significance, have significant architectural characteristics or are a significant in some in some other iconic way then they I think they should just be removed. I suggest that Cambridge University probably rates a mention, however the Wagga Wagga TAFE probably does not. I suggest that as we do not necessarily know of the individual 'iconic' status of any particular listing that all listings should be moved across to the articles discussion page and only come back into the article if the reason for listing is abundantly clear. In the case of lesser know institutions the re-listing should then be achieved by a consensus. Bangalore is a good example. That city is clearly notable as a research and learning centre, I do however question the value of listing out the individual but never-the-less notable individual institutions (as per WT is not a phone book or the yellow pages). Unless a visitor is actually going to visit them then the matter should be dealt with in article prose. I would value the opinion of others on this matter. -- felix 07:24, 9 May 2011 (EDT)


Adding a listing for churches/religious services/places of worship

I have recently added a listing for the church I attend into the Golden Horseshoe page because my church is a multi-site church and I thought that any visitors to this area might be looking for a church to attend. Also, I thought it might have been helpful to put individual listings on the page for each city where there is a site for the church so visitors could easily find it if they happen to be in that area. Unfortunately, all my additions and listings got summarily deleted and each individual page got reverted back to its state prior to my last edit by one of the administrators, stating that I was proselytizing. It was by no means my intentions to force people to come to my church or tell them that my church is right and everybody else is wrong. The pages affected were: Brampton, Burlington (Ontario), Halifax (Nova Scotia), Hamilton (Ontario), Kingston (Ontario), Kitchener, London (Ontario), Oakville (Ontario), Ottawa, Parry Sound, Toronto, and Waterloo (Ontario). Now, I would like to know, how can I (if I can) add a listing for a church/place of worship/religious service without appearing to be "proselytiz-y"? I noticed that there is still a listing for religious services under "Cope" for Windsor (Ontario). Can it stay or should it be deleted as well? If it can stay, can I use that as a template? Thanks for your help. ElectroSpace 01:59, 17 April 2011 (EDT)

As I was one of the two people who removed many of these listings, User talk:ElectroSpace#Meeting House Listings has some of the reasoning. Wikitravel isn't currently anti-religion, and as Wikitravel:Where you can stick it#C states, places of worship that aren't otherwise tourist destinations can be listed under the "Cope" section of an article, but I have concerns about listings for religious "services" being copied to more than a dozen articles. For example [3] says to "call ahead" and that "locations vary" - to me, listing a building with an address and regular services is something helpful for travelers, but listings for "services" that vary in schedule and location crosses a line and starts us down a slippery slope. If others disagree then these listings can be easily restored, but I think some discussion definitely needs to take place first. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:40, 17 April 2011 (EDT)
ElectroSpace, consider what this site would look like if we listed every church in every city in the world. We can't, and in fact one of our explicit non-goals is to be a directory listing of all the [restaurants/hotels/churches] in a given location. Now, people who travel often do need to know where they can find an appropriate house of worship, but for reasons of pure practicality, we have to limit such listings to a reasonable number. We may not have hit that target everywhere, but that's our goal. LtPowers 15:26, 17 April 2011 (EDT)
My specific reasons for eliminating your listings were 1) multiple listings, 2) description of the beliefs of the church, i.e. claims about the "real Jesus", and 3) extraneous details like the name of the pastor and the mention of where else the church can be found. Beyond that, I have a general sense that most Christians on vacation forego religious services, and those that don't are dedicated enough not to be shopping for a new denomination to try out. I feel that your listing was trying to appeal to people to come try out your church, and I think that is something that is outside our scope at Wikitravel.
Incidentally, aside from User:Jonboy's question on the WYCSI talk page back in 2006 and User:Jpatokal's subsequent addition of it into the WYCSI list, I can't find any actual discussion of the appropriateness of listing non-tourist churches at all, and I think it is something that should be revisited, because this is something that is an inherently un-policeable slippery slope:
  • Unlike other types of listings, people general tend to stick to their own chosen denomination, so any listing we have basically serves only the fraction of the population that already belongs to that denomination. Wikitravel has no business trying to offer descriptions of beliefs or exhortations about how welcoming the service/congregation/pastor is, because people are unlikely to change to a new type of church anyway, and we are not in the business of encouraging them do so.
  • We can't possibly hope to cater to even a majority of faiths without allowing a virtual phone directory of possibilities. Even within Christianity there are so many denominations: Catholic, Orthodox, Southern Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Unitarian, Anglican, Adventist, Church of God in Christ, Church of Christ, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Presbyterian, many subdivisions within these, many other less populous denominations and so-called non-denominational churches, not to mention all the many denominations of Islam, Hindu, Buddhism, and other major world religions. While it hasn't become a problem in the vast majority of articles, if we allow non-tourist churches to be listed then we must, to be fair, allow all types of worship service to be added-- how can we prune a long list of churches without someone saying "Why did you cut my church? It's not fair."
  • There are quite often multiple churches for the same denomination within a city, even quite small ones. There is no way for Wikitravel to recommend one over another-- obviously the people who go to each church are partial to their church for whatever reasons, and there is no good way for us to choose which one(s) to list, nor to police edits and additions in this regard.
  • For those who speak English well enough to utilize our guides in the first place, it is easy enough in the English-speaking world to pick up a phone book and choose one from the giant list in the phone book. For those in a non-English speaking country, if their mastery of that language is good enough to appreciate a church service in that language, they are also good enough at it to use a phone book there.
  • This point is rather an aside, and it would be quite difficult to come up with statistics to show it, but my gut feeling is that the majority of travellers are prepared to forego religious services during their trip anyway.
With these reasons, I would propose that non-tourist churches be disallowed, period. The only exceptions I might consider allowing are churches in non-English-speaking countries that have services in English, since that is something that would be hard for a non-speaker of the local language to track down, and since it would be fairly obvious what should or shouldn't be included and the list would likely be always short and manageable. I'd like to hear more opinions on this, and probably the discussion should be moved elsewhere, though I'm not sure where offhand. texugo 02:15, 18 April 2011 (EDT)
You make some good points. It does seem like listing specific churches may be a bad slippery slope (though many of the same points apply to removing listings for embassies and consulates, and I lost that argument). Certainly an overview (in the Cope section) of the types of religious services available in a destination would be appropriate, but I wouldn't mind a prohibition on individual listings. LtPowers 09:12, 18 April 2011 (EDT)
Support. Churches, temples etc. that fit into "see" do of course have their place here, but this isn't the Yellow Pages. And who should then decide which places should be included and which not? It will mean trouble and a lot of angry people complaining about their place of worship being removed. Ypsilon 10:12, 18 April 2011 (EDT)
I'd be a bit uncomfortable with a blanket ban on listing churches in the "Cope" section since many people do attend a church while on vacation, and many that I know will attend a different denomination's services if their preferred denomination isn't represented. That said, I agree that very long lists are to be avoided, so would something similar to the rule on rental car companies work, ie if there are ten or more churches in a locality that they should not be individually listed? Similarly, I'd also suggest we avoid listings for "services" where the group in question doesn't have their own, single-purpose building to avoid a plethora of non-traditional listings that most travelers would not be looking for. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:02, 18 April 2011 (EDT)
Ryan, in the US at least, even tiny towns of only 10000 people usually have ten or more churches. texugo 11:18, 18 April 2011 (EDT)
In my hometown of Pampa, Texas, for example, population of only between 15 and 16 thousand people, I stopped counting at 50 churches when I did a Google search. How can we ever fairly choose a helpful handful of those to recommend on our guide? texugo 11:27, 18 April 2011 (EDT)
I don't dispute that in most cases this policy would result in the article not listing individual churches, but for out-of-the-way places, some district articles, and smaller cities it would provide a way for places of worship to be included. Additionally, just as with car rental agencies I'd suggest that we wouldn't need to do any trimming until the list begins getting excessive, so if an article only has 5-10 out of several dozen places of worship listed there would be no need for any trimming to be done. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:54, 18 April 2011 (EDT)
Ten seems like a lot, I'd be tempted to go with five as a limit if we don't exclude it entirely. LtPowers 20:06, 18 April 2011 (EDT)
And Ryan, how would you answer to my point that there can be absolutely no fair criteria for trimming once it does get more than whatever limit we set? I'm afraid we are setting a trap for ourselves later. What's wrong with leaving them a phone book to find their church out of Los Angeles' literally thousands of places of worship? Who's going to choose which of their 566 Baptist churches to recommend? And on what criteria? texugo 21:49, 18 April 2011 (EDT)
I'm not proposing that we trim - I'm proposing that if there are more than 5-10 listings we remove all individual listings for the article. That's what we currently do with car rental agency listings (see the final bullet point under Wikitravel:External links#What not to link to). -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:54, 18 April 2011 (EDT)
With car rental agencies, most places don't have many and customers generally don't have this kind of loyalty to one company over another. We decided to not list them if there are a lot there because it should be easy enough for travellers to find one, hence the "don't link to them in places where they are common" policy you linked to. With churches, they have a much higher degree of loyalty, and the vast majority of destinations have far, far more than 5 or 10, and hence already surpass the "easy to find" and "common" thresholds. Are you just suggesting it be first-come-first-served for people to highlight their preferred church until it reaches a magic number and then we blank it? I don't think that is a very fair or comprehensive approach.texugo 22:20, 18 April 2011 (EDT)
I think this may be an agree-to-disagree scenario, both with respect to church listings and why the rental car policy was put in place. My opinion remains that there isn't harm in allowing a handful of churches/synagogues/mosques to be listed in articles so long as the list doesn't grow too long, but it looks like I'm in the minority on this one. I do, however, think we should avoid religious "services" that aren't in a fixed location on a fixed schedule since that starts us down a slippery slope towards some potentially questionable areas. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:05, 19 April 2011 (EDT)
We dont list supermarkets, we dont list dentists, we dont list places of worship. We list tourist attractions, places and services that are useful to the traveller in general. The usefulness of listing places of worship is limited to those travellers who subscribe to the particular religion, if that. If a place of worship is a tourist attraction then it gets listed as such, and many are among the architectural and artistic treasures of the world. Most are not. Most are as aesthetically inspiring as your average strip mall. I am very much against starting a bandwagon of religions touting on Wikitravel. That way lies disaster. If you think we have problems with car hire and apartment touting, we will look back on them with fondness as the good old days. A couple of religious fanatics starting a spam/flame war could trash the whole project. Next thing we have a fatwa, (and beware the Pastafarians http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster). Religious neutrality is the only way to avoid this problem. This means no listings, all listings or only listings that are totally non-contoversial. That would mean listings that are completely acceptable to persons of all religious convictions. Listings on Wikitravel are traditionally limited to a maximum of 9 per destination. In other words, as soon as anyone protests a place of worship or deletes its listing, or adds a 10th listing, it is gone forever. Extrapolating from historical precedent in religious agreement so far, this level of agreement between religions will never happen. Far easier to go with no listings at all. If people feel strongly that they or co-religionists need to know where their places of worship can be found, a travel topic could be the way to go. That way only people who have some interest in that particular religion are exposed to the list of addresses. There could be topics on pilgrimages, that would fit in with Itineraries, and could even be moderately interesting. There are some classic pilgrimages.• • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:35, 21 April 2011 (EDT)
I don't disagree with your point of view on listing places of worship, but I have indeed seen listings for supermarkets, such as in district articles within cities, and such listings can be very useful for travelers. I believe I've seen listings for dental clinics under "Cope," too, and consider such listings very useful, if they're limited to clinics that take people 24 hours or/and in emergencies, for example, or in places where there is only one or a few dental clinics in the area. Ikan Kekek 03:04, 21 April 2011 (EDT)
OK you got me there. "Never mind what I say, listen to what I mean". Clearly I didn't do my homework on this one. Anyway, I think the supermarkets and dental clinics can be, as you suggest, useful to the average traveller, they were just the first examples that came into my mind of things we dont really want exhaustive lists of for every destination, and they are less likely to cause trouble too, or at least the dentists are not likely to start touting on Wikitravel. Not so sure about supermarket chains though... • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 05:00, 21 April 2011 (EDT)
I think we should be flexible enough to take some things on a case by case basis. I actually have seen a few instances of touting by dentists, but I don't think that's a good reason to forbid listing dental clinics in any situation, and I just specified a couple of reasonable exceptions to such a blanket ban. Similarly, while we definitely don't want lists of supermarkets hundreds of items long, a few mentions of good ones in particular neighborhoods can be useful in certain cases. So, to brainstorm, I think the way this relates to listing religious institutions is that famous ones, visited by a really large number of tourists or/and pilgrims, should be listed. And sometimes, the interest is not mainly architectural but cultural. For example, the Abyssinian Baptist Church is a venerable Harlem institution, in terms of history, advocacy for civil rights and the rights of the community, and Gospel services. It amply meets any test for inclusion in the Harlem and Upper Manhattan guide, though its architectural interest is moderate at most. Ikan Kekek 10:17, 21 April 2011 (EDT)
Touting by dentists comes as a bit of a surprise to me, I suppose it is because in my part of the world the medical council frowns on that sort of thing. No matter, In a large enough universe many weird things will happen. The Abyssinian baptist church you refer to surely qualifies to be listed under "See", for the reasons you give. I am not against anything thet is a bona fide place or object of interest for travellers, or is of general utility to a significant proportion of travellers, but keeping religion out of destination articles is a general principle I think we should stick with as it is not so much a slippery slope as a bottomless precipice. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 03:27, 22 April 2011 (EDT)
We are essentially in agreement. If anything, my emphasis is slightly different, in that I'm arguing more for retaining a reasonable level of flexibility, while you're rightly pointing to the "bottomless precipice" that could suck us up. So where I come down is that a great deal of caution is needed, but that we still need to look at entries on places of worship on a case-to-case basis and resist the desire to promulgate a rule that's too rigid, but at the same time, any guideline on such listings should state that they need to be justified by cultural interest to travelers or/and historically well-established interest to pilgrims, or in cases where English-language services are unusual in a given non-English-speaking locality. Does that sound reasonable to you? Ikan Kekek 14:42, 22 April 2011 (EDT)
This is Wikitravel, no rules are totally rigid. You just have to adequately justify breaking with consensus. I have no problem with listings that are of cultural interest, and pilgrimage sites would normally fall ito that category (but have no problem with them anyway, some travelling is required to make it a pilgrimage). Places where English language services are offered in non-English-speaking locality are arguable, but lets expand locality to region. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 08:45, 26 April 2011 (EDT)
Region or city is where I would come down. Ikan Kekek 15:51, 26 April 2011 (EDT)

(Coming in late, and sorry not to respond to all topics touched on above.) Travelers do often need info on availability of religious services, but listing all churches, synagogues, mosques, and what have you would just bog down our site. My experience is that travelers have one of three questions on this topic:

  1. Where is the closest X of my denomination?
  2. Where is the most famous X of my denomination?
  3. Where the heck can I find anyone to worship with from my denomination?

The first, I think, we should define as out-of-scope—much as we do with barbershops, for instance—simply because we cannot reasonably do so without overwhelming our other content. The second and third questions, however, are within our capabilities. The one example that comes immediately to mind is Chicago#Religious services. That section succinctly takes care of the two travel needs that I think we can reasonably cover, and cover reasonably succinctly! This type of section would by no means be desirable for every article, but it fit well in that huge city guide. --Peter Talk 19:53, 2 June 2011 (EDT)

I ran into this. Any comments? Ypsilon 02:26, 3 June 2011 (EDT)
Considering the size of the place that's not bad: something for everyone, yet short and succinct with just the key info. The only thing missing might be a contact no. The only quirk is the title "Cope", which is bizarre; even "Refresh" might be better! A priority here, of course, should be English language services in non-English speaking countries; there won't be many, but they're an oasis for English-speaking holidaymakers. This article shows that a sensible balance can be struck for larger articles. In smaller articles if the one or two churches are a point of interest mentioned elsewhere, we could just add times of services and contact no, rather than repeat info in a separate paragraph. --SaxonWarrior 07:47, 23 June 2011 (EDT)


Patrolling

I see good patrolling from various contributors, but lots of edits get through without being patrolled. For some parts of 2010, I made sure that everything was patrolled, but stopped as the work load was too much. As I see it, we really need to do something to prevent our content from degenerating. If we were seven people who would take the responsibility to take one week day each, we could make sure that everything was patrolled. I am happy to do one day a week, so now we only need six more, --ClausHansen 21:28, 24 April 2011 (EDT)

It is a vital task at Wikitravel and one which can be a bit soul-destroying if it is not shared. Claus is one contributor who has done sterling work on this front for a long time. I hope to be able to help again and put myself forward as one of the seven.--Burmesedays 22:47, 24 April 2011 (EDT)


@Claus/Burmesedays: Great to see both ofyou back at WT, work overload was pretty bad here in the last months. I will be very busy during for the next months to finish a project by July. Therefore i can only offer irregular patrolling like in the past. I focus now mostly to maintain my favourite articles and the DoTM/OtbP as they are in desperate need of articles. I think its a good idea and we should start a table at the project Home to encourage other admins/users to join you. Best regards, jan 14:02, 25 April 2011 (EDT)
If the daily patroller thing works then I'm very supportive, but I'm a bit hesitant to sign up for something that sounds disturbingly like a job - Wikitravel is a great escape for me, and I try to patrol as time allots, but I'm hesitant to sign up for a task that turns an escape into a chore... are there perhaps any other thoughts about how we could encourage more people to patrol without assigning shifts? Would a statistics page that captured "top patrollers", some sort of barnstar (10,000 pages patrolled, etc) or something similar do anything to encourage more people to join in? Statistics would be fairly easy to generate from Special:Logs. Just a thought, and many thanks to those who have been patrolling in obscurity. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:08, 25 April 2011 (EDT)
Statistics could be a good idea, see one [4] that I made for 2010Q1, --ClausHansen 03:55, 26 April 2011 (EDT)
I am with Ryan on this, I sometimes spend a lot of time patrolling but I would be loath to make a commitment to do it to a quota or roster based system lest I lapsed and did not fulfill the undertaking. I don't know about others but my own style and approach toward patrolling varies considerably from day to day and even during an editing or patrolling session. Sometimes I just look over the recent edit and either mark as patrolled and move on or make any basic corrective adjustments that may appear to be required. Other times I may dwell on the wider scope of the section or the entire article and do a wider review of other recent edits or sweep through the section or entire article copy-editing or reviewing listings or article page formatting. That is often a potentially very time consuming task and would result in quite spotty performance in terms of a daily clearance volume. I assume others are the same and have a mixed style and approach toward this task. To regiment it into a volume driven or performance oriented task may not be that good a thing to do. If patrollers felt they had a quota to fulfill it may rob the articles of other essential input incidental to the patrolling. The other problem is that I am sure that many of us have specific areas of knowledge and some specific articles that we take greater individual interest in. I normally pay attention to these first and then do a general look around if I still have time. Some articles I do not feel comfortable with if I do not have sufficient knowledge of the location so I can only reasonably deal with policy or formatting issues unless it is just a simple correction of some obvious and outstanding editing absurdity. I worry that a volume based approach may rob the activity of the required focus, prior edit investigations and User activity enquiries that are often required to work out what is going on in some articles. Then again of course setting up such a system does not mean we all have to follow it. Maybe it will suit some better than others. Certainly there is quite a volume of stuff that simply gets missed. --- felix 07:08, 26 April 2011 (EDT)
I agree with Felix's points. For the record, my life is way too complicated and busy for me to make any kind of commitment. This is volunteer work, whereas there are other things in my life that simply must be done. So there could be weeks when I don't log on even once. But I salute anyone who may be able and willing to make specific commitments. Ikan Kekek 17:34, 26 April 2011 (EDT)
As an aside, the number of un-patrolled edits [5] is very, very low at the moment. A hearty well done to all who have worked so hard on this.--Burmesedays 10:06, 10 June 2011 (EDT)
On another aside note, this [6] (i.e., choosing the day limit as "30", as opposed to "7", which seems to be default) will provide a larger number of unpatrolled edits. – Vidimian 12:23, 10 June 2011 (EDT)
Indeed, but the number is still very low.--Burmesedays 22:24, 10 June 2011 (EDT)
Sure, no disagreement on that. :-) – Vidimian 07:10, 11 June 2011 (EDT)

Watch and unwatch pages

Is there any way we can toggle the tab between "watch" and "unwatch" to show clearly whether or not a page is on our watchlist? And does the action really need a confirmation? It would speed things up if it didn't. --SaxonWarrior 16:01, 6 May 2011 (EDT)

Technical changes such as that would require intervention from the corporate overlords, who tend to not be very responsive. In this particular case Wikitravel's caching architecture would make implementing the more standard Mediawiki behavior problematic since the tabs are initialized by Javascript in order to lessen server load. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:13, 6 May 2011 (EDT)
Hmm, shame. Also when you "ok" watching a page it says "If you want to remove the page from your watchlist later, click "Unwatch" in the sidebar." But there is no unwatch tab anywhere let alone in the sidebar... Slightly confusing. --SaxonWarrior 16:41, 7 May 2011 (EDT)
That, at least, we should be able to change, if we can find the right page in the MediaWiki: namespace. LtPowers 21:44, 7 May 2011 (EDT)
Sounds a bit technical but.... cool! --SaxonWarrior 06:30, 8 May 2011 (EDT)

Atlanta Regions - request for feedback

User:BigPeteB has proposed some changes to the regional structure for Atlanta at Talk:Metro Atlanta that would benefit from additional comment from those who either know the area or have some time to examine his proposal. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:51, 8 May 2011 (EDT)


Counter

Does anyone know of a template where at the article anyone can see how many people have viewed that article??? I remember seeing it somewhere but I cant find the template, this helps out I think as I see more people visiting the page, that more work needs to be done :) —The preceding comment was added by Ralphzztop (talkcontribs)

I'm not aware of any way to obtain pageview statistics. LtPowers 22:14, 8 May 2011 (EDT)
Ok maybe someone here might know or we can make a template for that, ive seen it though before I swear, I think it would be a intresting thing to see how many people see the articles we all work so hard on :)
If such a template either exists or can be created, I would agree that this would be good information to have. --Burmesedays 22:38, 8 May 2011 (EDT)
The {{NUMBEROFVIEWS}} magic word will provide this information, but on wikis that use caching (such as Wikitravel) the data is meaningless since statistics aren't generated for pages served from cache. Additionally, on the version of Mediawiki currently in use (Special:Version) this function seems to not yet have been implemented. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:36, 8 May 2011 (EDT)
Ralphzztop (talk) you might be thinking of something you have seen on Wikipedia. per http://stats.grok.se/en/latest/insertnameofarticle or by licking on the page link described as Page view statistics in the list of External tools appearing at the top of an article History page.
* External tools: Revision history statistics · Contributors · Revision history search · Number of watchers · Page view statistics
I note at the bottom of the stats display "This is very much a beta service and may disappear or change at any time." -- felix 12:52, 9 May 2011 (EDT)

Volunteer travel — is it an activity or is it a tours/travel agency listing

Recently while reviewing edits to Nepal and New Zealand I have paused to consider the listing of volunteering activities which appear to be travel service promotions with a feel good skin. Some of these listings are looking a bit borderline in terms of our activity listing policies in regard to listing by tour guides and travel agencies. Frankly in my opinion much of the international volunteering tourism activity is just feel good commercial travel and tour business activity marketed using emotionally driven messages and packaging. Certainly some of the volunteering activities are entirely legitimate, however a few of them seem to be using volunteering as a means to market and promote tours and maybe they should not be listing here on WT when other quite legitimate tour, tour guide and travel agency enterprises are not permitted to do so.

International Student Volunteers Inc http://www.isvonline.com/: "ISV allows you to combine meaningful volunteer projects with action-packed adventure travel into the ultimate life-changing experience. Impact your World by contributing to the 250,000+ volunteer hours provided each year by thousands of ISV participants to hundreds of projects around the world that focus on conservation and community development." International Student Volunteers Inc, is the highest rated Volunteer & Adventure Travel Program in the world and has been selected as one of the Top 10 Volunteer Programs by the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy. International Student Volunteers Inc, (ISV) has 12 offices around the world with international headquarters in the USA. For the past 28 years ISV has conducted international travel programs for tens of thousands of students on six continents.

Volunteers Nepal http://www.volunteersnepal.com/: "The Chhahari Group Nepal (CGN) is a non-profitable and non-government organization based in Nepal and conducting volunteering and internship opportunities in south Asia on nominal and affordable cost. Our aim is to encourage the international students to visit cultural heritage of Nepal and gain the life time experience on affordable cost". See http://www.volunteersnepal.com/program_fees.php for a cost breakdown.
Their website describes:

  • Homestay Tours; Sirubari Village, Bandipur Village, Balthali Village, Chepang Village, Briddim Village, Kopan Village, Godavari Village
  • Travel Services; Sightseeing Tours, Adventure Trekking, Jungle Safari, White Water Rafting, Mountain Flight, Hotel Reservation, Tibet Tours, Bhutan Tours.

This edit to the Nepal article and several following brought my attention to Volunteers Nepal.

Global Volunteer Network's YOUNG AT HEART TOUR (50+) This tour has been designed for mature volunteers who are young at heart and ready for their next adventure! Starting May 9 2011 described at http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/young-at-heart-tour/ looks to me to be in conflict with tour listing. Sure they seem to be doing something worthwhile whilst travelling but it is still tourism and it is a group of people on a tour. It appears to have an "application fee" of US$350 + a "Program Fee" of US$1247 10 days. I understanding from reading their promotional material that US$200 of this goes toward a 'project'.

I am curious what other editors think about this. -- felix 09:13, 9 May 2011 (EDT)

I'd be in favor of a policy that stated that the Volunteer article was the only appropriate place for listing individual volunteer organizations, and that country/region/city articles should then link to that article (ex. [[Volunteer#Nepa]]) for locations where volunteering is a common activity. I agree strongly that many of these "volunteer" listings have become questionable over time, and I've seen a number of cases where an organization plastered numerous links across many articles in a way that seemed very spammy. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:23, 10 May 2011 (EDT)
Agreed. Also, the volunteer article should be edited to point out how to detect the scams. Pashley 03:05, 10 June 2011 (EDT)

Region and town templates

I appreciate that we don't necessarily want infobox overload, but IMHO if well done they improve the professional appearance of articles and enable key facts to be displayed neatly and clearly instead of padding out the text. In particular, could we consider infoboxes for:

I may be able to create the infoboxes based on the de.wikitravel ones. --SaxonWarrior 02:16, 10 May 2011 (EDT)

The trouble with infoboxes (or quickbars, as we call them here, since "infoboxes" are something else) is that they encourage the inclusion of non-travel-relevant information. Even our country quickbars are bloated with basically decorative information. They also don't lend themselves well to nuance, which can be much more usefully described in prose. LtPowers 08:57, 10 May 2011 (EDT)

I get that. So let's restrict the information displayed. For example, the Lower Saxony state article on de.wikitravel (de:Niedersachsen) only has the following info:

  • Photo (which occupies the normal place of an image in the header)
  • Location map - showing where the state is in the country
  • The state flag
  • Capital city
  • Status i.e. "federal state within the Federal Republic of Germany"
  • Area
  • Population

This is less than we have at country level, which also includes: language, currency, calling code, internet and time zone, none of which are needed (unless it's a large country where time zones vary). --SaxonWarrior 13:38, 10 May 2011 (EDT)

I would be in support of adding something that more clearly identifies top-level regions such as states, but ideally it would be something less intrusive than the quickbars used for country articles. I don't think that flag is particularly necessary, but a location map, capital, and perhaps a quicklink to the "Cities" section would be helpful. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:57, 10 May 2011 (EDT)
I will work up a template for consideration if that's acceptable. BTW do we use sandboxes here? --SaxonWarrior 09:31, 12 May 2011 (EDT)
Under the auspices of the Region maps expedition, I have started an awful lot of region articles, and it had crossed my mind before that a tailored quickbar would be helpful. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. And yes on sandboxes - see: http://wikitravel.org/en/Graffiti_wall --Burmesedays 11:00, 16 May 2011 (EDT)
For regions: we don't need a bespoke infobox because we can just use the Template:Quickbar for countries and leave out any irrelevant parameters - see Lower Saxony for an example.
For cities and towns: as a trial I have created Template:QuickbarPlace - see it in use at Cologne. I don't particularly like the location map (too large, no detail and yuk colour) - see the template example - but that is a function of other templates, not this one. I'd also like to make the data column wider at the expense of the parameter column, but don't know how. I think most of the info is about right. If you want to visit a city or town it's a good idea to have a feel for its size, location, visit the official and tourist office websites and, while you're there, have a streetmap, know what numbers to ring in an emergency, etc, and how people could phone or write (hence dial code and post code). --SaxonWarrior 04:55, 19 May 2011 (EDT)
I'm pretty sure that infoboxes for city articles are something that was decided against and eliminated long ago. I would ask you not to include it anymore articles for now. I have a feeling most of the community is going to come down against this one, starting with me. texugo 11:06, 19 May 2011 (EDT)
I would agree with Texugo that the usefulness of an infobox for a city seems limited. For the region, I think the map is useful, but the flag seems unnecessary to me, and overall I'd like to see the box be a bit smaller so that it's not taking up so much space. As noted above, I think location map, a quicklink to the "Cities" section, and capital would probably be sufficient. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:13, 19 May 2011 (EDT)
Truth be told, many people have found the quickbars unnecessary (or at least cluttered) even for countries. LtPowers 17:24, 19 May 2011 (EDT)

I think Template:QuickbarPlace looks great at Cologne and am wondering why folks think this is an undesirable move? A quick, organised reference for stats seems to me a lot less cumbersome than writing the same in long sentences. --Burmesedays 22:28, 19 May 2011 (EDT)

My disagreement boils down to two issues: I don't think the information presented in the quickbox for cities is particularly important for travel, and I like the idea that quickboxes are used relatively sparingly to provide a UI clue that an article is special - for example, current quickboxes provide a fast visual clue that you're viewing a country article. Regarding the first point, it's debatable how valuable the country-level quickbar info is, but I think it would be tough to make an argument that it isn't more important to know the government type, calling code, capital and currency of a country than it is to know the height above sea level of a city. I can possibly see some value if we used this box for top-level regions and huge cities as a way to quickly guide readers to the sub-region and district sections of the article via shortcut links, but I don't think it works well as part of the standard template for every city article on the site. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:43, 19 May 2011 (EDT)
Yeah, I'd say that it basically comes down to this:
  • Population, if relevant, can be easily mentioned in the lead in prose in an approximate way (as is already in Cologne in addition to the infobox). There is no need to have exact census figures.
  • Area is largely irrelevant because it's quite relative to how the given country divides up their space, and also it's ultimate meaning is dependent on population density as well. Seeing the area of a city doesn't help me get an idea of what to expect, and we usually deem it extraneous encyclopedic information, even when it gets added in prose form.
  • Height above sea level is irrelevant to the traveller except in cases of a certain few cities with exceptionally high elevation, where it can be mentioned in prose.
  • Local dialing codes are already included any place that we list phone numbers, and lists of dialing codes for any large city or metropolis are likely to be very long. Ultimately they are useless unless you already have a full phone number to dial, in which case you already have the exchange number as well.
  • Time zone is info that belongs to only the country or region article because it will be the same for the surrounding region or country, hence we don't need to list it in every city.
  • Official website already has its place in the opening line of the article, just after the first mention of the city name.
It really doesn't leave much use for an infobox at all. texugo 23:00, 19 May 2011 (EDT)
Hmmm. An assumption there that our region articles are of any practical use. They are of course mostly empty and remain the single most unloved things at Wikitravel. The massive efforts made on a couple of specific regions have not had the desired effect of encouraging a wider effort. A region quickbar template would at least encourage some information appearing in those all those empty articles.
There is lots of information that we include in City articles (even in Stars) that in theory would be more appropriate in a Region or Country article - climate comes to mind immediately. The fact remains that the theory is largely ignored as nobody (with very few exceptions) does any work on region articles.
As an aside, I believe altitude is of interest to every intelligent traveler. For example, go anywhere in the tropics and see the effect of moving from sea level to even 500 metres - a very minor elevation change which will significantly effect temperature and humidity levels. --Burmesedays 01:18, 20 May 2011 (EDT)
Seeing the altitude alone doesn't help you predict anything, though. A wide variety of other factors influence climate as well. That's why we have the climate template. texugo 01:48, 20 May 2011 (EDT)
As a newcomer to Wikitravel, I think a smart city infobox give an article a professional and attractive appearance that encourages the reader to read on. With the right information it can also provide a useful rapid orientation.
I have taken the format straight from German Wikitravel, where, clearly they are very happy with it. However I think it needs improving in 2 ways: first, it should be reduced to the same size as the country infoboxes. Second, the maps (not a function of this template) need improving e.g. with a small country map as an inset and a region or state as the main map. I'd go for a less "in your face" colour too. Wikipedia has some good examples. I don't like the current map and would leave it out - see Bispingen
As for the info provided - that's a separate debate. I'd keep it relatively short: key facts only.
Finally, a newcomer comment: if we're too prescriptive about things that are relatively subjective (and this is one) we will put people off helping to improve and maintain Wikitravel. That would be a shame.
I propose we allow the infobox to be kept, but focus on improving it. --SaxonWarrior 02:33, 20 May 2011 (EDT)
For what it's worth, as a collector of atlases when I was a kid and beyond, I like facts and figures about places. I'm not the only one, and those who aren't interested can easily skip over the info boxes. Clearly, I vote "Yes" on them, at least in principle. Ikan Kekek 02:43, 20 May 2011 (EDT)
PS I've reduced box width to 250px and font size to 85%. This matched the country infobox and looks better - see Bispingen - but note that if the map is included it widens the box to 300px for some reason. For now I'd leave the map out until we sort it. --SaxonWarrior 07:03, 20 May 2011 (EDT)
Box content is not a separate issue-- if there are only one or two things it's going to contain, then there is no need for a box to be crowding up the lead of every article in the first place. I like facts and figures too, but they belong in an encyclopedia, not here. Please remember that if we allow this template, then it's probably going to have to go into every city article. (The linked discussions below make some good points about the immense amount of work this would imply, with our tens of thousands of city articles.) And do we really need an infobox listing every zip code and dialing exchange in New York City?? (I have already demonstrated the uselessness of having dialing codes in the box anywhere, and we've already deemed zip codes to be so irrelevant that we don't even allow them in listings.)
This is not the first time this idea has come up-- see Template talk:Quickbar#Quickbar for cities, and while I didn't participate in the discussion then, I will add my voice to those that shot it down the first time. A number of people already want to chop down the country quickbox and or move it, or just eliminate it entirely and I count myself among those too. Quickbars squash the lead and give prime real estate to information that is basically a list of irrelevant curiosities.texugo 07:37, 20 May 2011 (EDT)
I take your points, Texugo. Your arguments are very convincing, in my opinion. I think I'd still argue somewhat to keep infoboxes at the nation-state level, but your point that if we allow them for some cities, they would be expected to be put in all of them tends to win me over in regard to cities, unless some other logical rationale for where the templates should and should not be included that makes some kind of logical distinction between cities can be advanced. Ikan Kekek 08:14, 20 May 2011 (EDT)
I don't find Texugo's arguments convincing at all. 1. No one's proposing an infobox with only "one or two things". 2. The lede has to be punchy and attractive, box or no box, so it'll be crowded with something either way. 3. No one's proposing adding a box to every article. 4. There's no immense amount of work - articles can be improved over time. That's the point of a wiki. I'd just like to use them for our region. 5. Re New York City: we can pick and choose what the box displays for any given city or omit the box entirely. 6. Surely you're not suggesting we can only discuss an idea once? 7. Clearly there are some for and some agin, and probably some in between. 8. No one's suggesting the box should contain irrelevant curiosities. I believe some articles look far more professional and attractive with a decent infobox, good photo and some crunchy facts alongside a short lede. Far more likely to attract travellers - which is surely the aim. --SaxonWarrior 13:39, 20 May 2011 (EDT)

I think it would be great to have quickbars for all region articles. As I see it, it would be helpful to readers to have an overview map showing where the region is located, and also giving a quick way to direct to subregions and cities in the region. In relation to cities, I am not convinced that it would be good to have it for every city, but for huge cities, I think it would be helpful to have such quickbars including an overview map of the location and quick links to city districts. I am not convinced by the arguments about information not being of interest to travelers, we should of course restrict the information to travel related facts, but I do not see why information about flag, height, area, population etc should not be relevant, it is certainly something I would be interest in for any region or city I visit. Besides, quickbars will make our articles look more uniform and professional, --ClausHansen 17:51, 20 May 2011 (EDT)

It sounds like there may not be consensus to include quickboxes for all city articles, but that there might be hesitant support for high-level region articles (there is some strong disagreement, but several people have expressed support as well). Would it make sense to try this out by (for now) removing the boxes from city articles but adding them to the articles for German states? That would allow people to tweak the implementation, discuss something concrete, and hopefully move this discussion towards some sort of resolution. I think Saxon's point that "if we're too prescriptive about things that are relatively subjective (and this is one) we will put people off helping to improve and maintain Wikitravel" is a valid one, and sometimes there is too much resistance to change - that can be a good thing when it comes to keeping things consistent, but it also hinders progress and innovation, which is a danger for a site that relies on having a vibrant community. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:02, 20 May 2011 (EDT)
That sounds like a very sensible suggestion to me Ryan. --Burmesedays 22:16, 20 May 2011 (EDT)
That sounds really helpful. I also notice that Michelin guides have a different set of key facts in their "infoboxes" - which I guess is based on customer research. I'd like to trial that and see how it's received against a) no infobox and b) a cut-down version of what we have here. Could I therefore also propose as a trial that we be allowed to experiment with different city boxes for just a very limited area e.g. Lower Saxony. I can get some folks working on this, so we can have fresh minds and I may be able to do a "customer survey". We can then decide downstream which way to go. I think Wikitravel is a brilliant concept and was intending to have my team get this area at "guide" standard by Christmas anyway and this could just be part of that work. --SaxonWarrior 22:49, 20 May 2011 (EDT)
Not saying that I will ultimately support its use, but I can agree to let you demo test a quickbar only on the 16 German state articles. A city quickbar is still totally and completely out of the question because, again-- yes, essentially you are proposing something that would have to go in every city article because, for the sake of consistency across the site, and for the sake of patrollability we need clear criteria. Even if we decide to allow a quickbar for only top-level regions/states, that is still going to mean many hundreds of quickbars that need to be created, which is indeed an "immense amount of work". Let me just go ahead and respond to your points above:
1. No one's proposing an infobox with only "one or two things".
No one has demonstrated the usefulness of more than one or two of the items either.
2. The lede has to be punchy and attractive, box or no box, so it'll be crowded with something either way.
I'm talking about squeezing the physical format of the text into a little column between the TOC and the infobox, which is one of the reasons some don't like the country quickbars we already have and have expressed interest in moving them down to the Understand section.
3. No one's proposing adding a box to every article.
That is exactly what you are proposing, by default. Unless you have some spiffy criteria for allowing contributors and patrollers to know when and when not to include them, then it's a free-for-all on several hundreds of top-level region article, or worse, tens of thousands of city article pages. Again, an enormous amount of work to bring the site back close to being consistent again. It's even worse than a site-wide article template change, because each quickbar would require some research to fill it out properly.
4. There's no immense amount of work - articles can be improved over time. That's the point of a wiki. I'd just like to use them for our region.
Yeah, see above.
5. Re New York City: we can pick and choose what the box displays for any given city or omit the box entirely.
No, no and no. That would open up a huge can of squabbles over what to display or not display here or there. Consistency benefits readers, contributors, and patrollers alike, and we've always strived for consistency across our articles. I don't expect us to stop now. Plus, you are never going to convince me of the utility of using prime real estate at the top of the page to tell me what area code is already included on every phone number on the page, no matter what the size of the city. Those codes by themselves are meaningless.
6. Surely you're not suggesting we can only discuss an idea once?
Of course not. But I do want to point out that the opinions expressed about the first attempt are equally valid now and must be addressed if we are to move forward.
7. Clearly there are some for and some agin, and probably some in between.
As Ryan said above, there is some tentative support, mostly from relatively new users, to try it out on top-level regions. And sure, some think the box looks nifty, but I'm not sure everyone has fully realized the implications here. This would be a massive site-wide transition that will take months. If people support the idea and talk about it in realistic terms, demonstrating its value to be worth months of quickbox research/insertion work, I will be much more willing to listen than if it's just "facts are neat-o, let's put 'em in".
8. No one's suggesting the box should contain irrelevant curiosities.
We appear to disagree on the relevancy of the items you have included. I have already stated why I think most of them are irrelevant and still wonder why you think it's useful to include dialing codes when they are already included in all listings, duplicate emergency numbers that are the same for every city in the country, duplicate the same time zone info for every city in the country, duplicate the website link when it's already at the top of the page, etc. As a sidenote, Wikitravel has a strong bias against duplicating identical info in every article.
So yeah, go ahead and create a test for German states. Just don't expect this to be an easy fight to get the go-ahead for rampant quickbar proliferation. We need to demonstrate the real usefulness and desirability of it because it's a lot bigger policy change than you think it is.texugo 02:35, 21 May 2011 (EDT)


I am also sceptical about their usefulness below country articles. I wonder if the real problem is just that people are not looking at regional articles with content/maps. Looking at Chugoku, for example, I think the map is enough as is to showcase the region without an info box. Other information can easily be put in the text. Of course, I will wait to see how these German articles look and what content is placed there. ChubbyWimbus 03:27, 21 May 2011 (EDT)
I am not sure that the tentative support is from such relatively new or inexperienced users as stated. I have made about 20,000 edits here and I suspect that Claus would have a similar number to his name.
I look forward to seeing how the German top level region articles look with this template.
A key benefit here could be having region articles that actually contain some helpful content.--Burmesedays 05:05, 21 May 2011 (EDT)
I was referring to the other two users.texugo 06:24, 21 May 2011 (EDT)
@Texugo. I have no desire for a fight; I only wish to develop the outstanding potential of Wikitravel for the benefit of others. I'd also like to understand better how changes are achieved here. Is there a consensus approach or a panel that approves changes? If so, what's the process? And does anyone check what customers want to see? Also does every article have to look the same? It seems a pity if the format is universal and fixed for ever with no room for variety or creativity? I apologise for my inexperience on Wikitravel, but would appreciate constructive help and support. It will avoid nugatory work by me and others here. --SaxonWarrior 15:05, 21 May 2011 (EDT)
Wikitravel:Consensus is the guiding principle for decision making. Achieving consensus can sometimes take a while, but in this case there seems to be some agreement that adding quickbars for the German states is a good starting point for further discussion so I think you would be fine to move ahead with that, and it should give everyone involved the ability to come to some sort of agreement using a concrete implementation for discussion purposes. I think one of the fears many people here have (myself included) is that it is a significant amount of work to agree to standards and guidelines on a wiki, so anything that introduces major changes (in this case a modification to high level regions) tends to require a lot of time and discussion to find a mutually-acceptable solution. In the end, however, things usually work out for the best :) -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:38, 21 May 2011 (EDT)
Thanks Ryan, I can understand the nervousness, especially when time and effort has been spent getting it to where it is today. --SaxonWarrior 16:05, 21 May 2011 (EDT)

I think adding a quick bar would be useful for regions and cities, as they would provide necessary information that is hard to write about in the Understand section. To get a scope of what a city/region is like, it is useful to know its amount of inhabitants and its sq. km., but writing this out in prose is kind of dull. Also, quick bars could make the site look more professional, just like Wikipedia features quick bars on most of its places.

The only thing I'm not sure about is regions that do not have official borders, such as Northern Germany. Adding a quick bar for those regions does not make sense as there are no criteria for what "Northern Germany" actually consists of. --globe-trotter 14:17, 1 June 2011 (EDT)

I would love to never do this... This should be no surprise given my diatribes here, where I (and others) have listed complaints against this dreaded template in great detail (so I won't repeat them all here). I would prefer to eliminate them from countries instead, as it takes up too much space, duplicates work that should be done in the subsections of the article, adds all sorts of unwarranted emphasis to trivial pieces of information, and generally look like an awkward Wikipedia import that do not further our aims. Just my opinion of course, although I was sort of under the impression that we were moving at least in the direction of getting rid of them altogether prior to this discussion. --Peter Talk 19:59, 2 June 2011 (EDT)
I think there is a distinct split in opinion here, even amongst some seasoned WT veterans. I would be very surprised if we ever reach concensus for a change - some folks clearly like the idea of a neat, tabulated solution for stats, and others like a prose-driven approach.--Burmesedays 22:48, 2 June 2011 (EDT)


Site times out

The last week or so, I've been getting very frequent time outs when loading pages, regardless of whether I'm editing or just viewing. After a minute or so it will pass, but I have to reload the page several times before it will finally load. I'm reasonably certain it's not a problem with my connection, because WT is the only site I've been having problems with. --BigPeteB 07:24, 16 May 2011 (EDT)

I've had the same experience for the past few months. Some days its quick and others close to unusable. Reloading the page (usually only once) is the only fix. I cant pin it to particular times of the day. It seems to happen randomly but not infrequently. I put it down to server problems and a lack of concern to address them by the powers that be. - Cardboardbird 08:20, 16 May 2011 (EDT)
It's a frequent problem. The server reliability of this otherwise great site is completely shocking.--Burmesedays 11:47, 16 May 2011 (EDT)
See also Talk:Main Page#this website is. Perhaps if a few other people sent descriptions of the problem to the "tech at wikitravel.org" email address it might get some attention, although responses from IB seem to be very hit or miss. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:04, 16 May 2011 (EDT)
Are things particularly bad today? I'd guess that three out of every four page requests is timing out. I'm on the latest version of Chrome, in case that turns out to be relevant. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:58, 18 May 2011 (EDT)
This problem has been driving me crazy for months. Also uploading an edit sometimes takes several attempts and a long time to resolve the page reload. I have assumed it is both a server issues and some sort of conflict with scripts. -- felix 10:35, 19 May 2011 (EDT)
I have been having similar problems (IE8), and have assumed it is just IB attitude problems. Most days uploads are slow, and I expect multiple failures. I have noticed that edits are much worse than just viewing articles, which usually goes quite fast and very seldom fails, so my guess is that IB are under-resourced and are biasing service towards viewers because that is the where the short term profit lies. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:55, 22 May 2011 (EDT)
Who is our main contact at Internet Brands these days? They have always been rubbish at responding to anything posted here, but an email often used to get a reaction. I am just out of touch as to who the main contact person is. I think it would be useful to put that person's name and email address here and as many users as possible should make the point about the unacceptably slow server response times. It has got so bad that I often give up. If I am doing that, then more casual visitors must be. --Burmesedays 00:19, 27 May 2011 (EDT)
shared:Internet Brands has contact info. I've had intermittent luck in the past with the "tech at wikitravel.org" address (most recently in October 2010), but I don't know if any of the other contact emails on that page are still active. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:27, 27 May 2011 (EDT)
Is IBSteph (Stephanie Gerber) still a valid contact do we know? The last contact I had with her was in May 2010 when her title was "Online Community Manager- Travel & Leisure".--Burmesedays 00:38, 27 May 2011 (EDT)
Nope -- Steph is no longer here at IB. Hi all, this is Paul O'Brien, the Community Manager for WikiTravel. I post under IBobi. The contact info for IB is up to date at shared:Internet Brands so please refer there with any questions/comments/concerns like this, as it's pretty tough to monitor the whole site for issue reports. If you'd like to use that page for reporting tech issues, or create a different central repository for them, I'm game too. Most important is that you are able to reach me when you need me. To that end: paul.obrien@internetbrands.com and I'm on PST (Los Angeles) so keep that in mind as far as reply timing goes. I've made our tech department aware of the posting slowness/timeouts (I have not made many posts/edits but have read a LOT of content here, so I had not noticed a particular lag).--IBobi 20:21, 27 May 2011 (EDT)
Hey guys, Dick the tech guy here... It looks like the timing of the reports are about the time of some network issues that we've been having intermittently. I'm running the site through our normal checks, and I'm not seeing too much latency, although this is my first attempt at editing. We'll take a look but hopefully this is a symptom of our network disruptions that should be behind us. IB-Dick 13:41, 31 May 2011 (EDT)
I can definitely confirm that today as of 11:40 Pacific the problems are still occurring. An easy way to see this issue is to go to Special:RecentChanges and open a few of the "diff" links in multiple browser tabs (this is the way people most commonly patrol edits). Similarly, editing pages, viewing topic history, marking edits as patrolled, etc are all generating 404 timeouts about 50% of the time on average - at some points all edits fail for several minutes, at other times most are successful, but the average I'm seeing is that about half of all such actions fail. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:44, 31 May 2011 (EDT)
The behavior your describe above is right inline with what I'm seeing on the database. Those pages are locking tables and are queries that we can't cache. We're working on the appropriate solution, but fair warning-- we might need to schedule some downtime to fix this. Paul (IBobi) will be able to communicate that to you. IB-Dick 20:15, 31 May 2011 (EDT)
Wikitravel has been really slow today, to the point it was pretty much unworkable to make edits. Oddly enough, it worked a little bit better in Firefox than in Google Chrome. I hope you can fix these issues in the near future. --globe-trotter 15:37, 31 May 2011 (EDT)

Thank you to both Paul and Dick for responding. The functions that seem to cause extreme slowness of server response are very important for the site. My call would be that you should take the downtime needed to implement a proper fix. Obviously you should give us some notice about this - date, time, approx downtime etc - so that we can post a notice about the same. --Burmesedays 07:40, 1 June 2011 (EDT)

If you're having a downtime anyway, maybe this would be the moment to update the Wiki software to the newest version? I think by now we're running Wiki software that's quite some years-old. --globe-trotter 14:33, 1 June 2011 (EDT)
Globe-trotter, my understanding is that that is in fact built into this database downtime -- laying the groundwork for a software upgrade. Dick and I will certainly give everyone as advanced and detailed a heads-up as we can before any scheduled downtime occurs. IBobi 21:19, 1 June 2011 (EDT)
That is great news :) --globe-trotter 16:23, 2 June 2011 (EDT)
Please see the discussion (continued from the 2010 archive) at WT shared Talk:Advertising_policy regarding implementing the travel booking engine that was discussed last year/early this year. We'd love to get some feedback, as the development resources we are bringing online to update the site are the same ones who are developing this new booking functionality. Beta will go live in a matter of weeks.--IBobi 19:53, 14 June 2011 (EDT)

Trying to fix some breadcrumb trails following a little region reshuffle has reminded me just how incredibly awful this problem is. It's why I've all but given up on patrolling edits, along with several other once useful endeavors... --Peter Talk 01:33, 13 August 2011 (EDT)

Any sailors about?

I've been working on Retiring abroad, and of course that could use more contributors. However, this post is not about that.

One way to retire is to get a nice boat and sail about. Seems to me that might suit some better than buying a house abroad, so I'd like to link to sailboat or some such article, but as far as I can see there isn't one. I cannot write one; I do not know nearly enough about the topic. It cannot be just a section in the Retiring abroad article because there are lots of non-retired travellers who sail.

Any volunteers? Pashley 11:05, 28 May 2011 (EDT)

Big topic. Name should be Cruising rather than "sailboat", as that is how it is generally referred to by those who do it. I haven't done any for years (decades actually) and am certainly not an expert. These days power and sail cruising are both popular, and a lot of the cruisers will rent boats for a short cruise, while the dedicated will buy and live aboard on extended travels over decades and oceans. I will have a go at setting up a base article, but don't expect too much ;-) Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 05:47, 30 May 2011 (EDT)
To the casual traveler, "cruising" involves Cruise ships. LtPowers 10:38, 30 May 2011 (EDT)
OK, do you have an alternative suggestion? To the cruising yachtsman(person) the term was always cruising when I was involved. I suppose cruising has other connotations in other contexts too, and we wouldnt want them to be confused. So a disambiguation page looks like the first step... • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 04:00, 31 May 2011 (EDT)
There are several topics here, I think.
Like diving (a fine example; well done Peter at al.!), sailing can be a recreation where travellers plan trips to good areas, get training (are there certifications?), rent equipment, and so on. I'd like to see an overview — I guess at Cruising with a link to Cruise ships — maybe eventually a structure like our group of scuba articles, with overviews for the main areas. It seems to me it would not need as much detail as some of the articles on specific dive sites, but that can be left to sailors to decide.
Unlike diving, it may need some specific additional articles on other aspects. Chartering a yacht to cruise about, living on one, retiring on one, making a living by chartering it out, travelling by working as crew, ...? We quite rightly do not cover the profession of diving; it is too specialised and not entirely travel-related. On the other hand, arguably we should cover living on a boat, since that is a way to travel. Pashley 05:21, 31 May 2011 (EDT)
Agreed. I think we will have to wing it a bit, but that looks like a good way to start. I am away for the day, but will take a look at getting it going tomorrow unless someone else feels like starting earlier. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 03:35, 1 June 2011 (EDT)
We have Crewing as a redirect to Freighter travel. I thought there was something about working on yachts, but now cannot find it.
Cruising is currently a redirect to Cruise ships. I changed the few non-talk-page links that pointed to it so they now go direct to the ships. Pashley 09:32, 1 June 2011 (EDT)

Discussion copied to Talk:Cruising on small craft Please continue discussion there. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 03:41, 2 June 2011 (EDT)

How to handle information about trains

Hello

I have noticed that the Get in-sections of many cities mostly focuses on air travel and information about rail travel is scarce, I hav been trying to fill in some gaps mostly in Eastern European and Russian cities. I have been trying a few diffrent approches, in some cases adding train numbers and departure times for the most important routes. At other I have only added which cities have direct connections and added travel time in brackets. I think we should try and develop this section a bit more and find some standardised method. See for example Bratislava#By_train or Samarkand#By_train. --Jonas Ryberg 11:15, 29 May 2011 (EDT)

Does Wikitravel:Routebox_navigation help? Pashley 19:46, 29 May 2011 (EDT)
Your contributions to both articles look good and useful. All the better if you can add price information and a little more details on trains (for example, do they have sleeper and restaurant cars?). I think instead of forcing standardised sections throughout the entire site, it would be better to run the information given in a section against a subjective usefulness test on a case-by-case basis. And that's easy—think of yourself as a traveller in some distant, foreign land with no information source but article print-outs from Wikitravel. Would you be satisfied with the information given? – Vidimian 17:20, 3 June 2011 (EDT)

Problem with uploading new version of file on Shared

MV Princess Elizabeth general arrangement plan.png

I want to upload a new version of a file on shared, but the option is not provided on the file description page for that specific file. Others are no problem, and I have uploaded several new versions of maps over the last few days. Has anyone seen this happen before? Know what is happening? File is shown as thumbnail here. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 05:56, 30 May 2011 (EDT)

The option shows just fine for me. Are you sure you didn't just forget to click over to the Shared description page instead of the local one? texugo 06:47, 30 May 2011 (EDT)
Quite sure, and have just tried it again. Still no option to upload new version. The option to edit using an external application is there, and always was. The page background is pink and has the 'shared' logo at the top. Pretty sure I am at the right place, as I got there by clicking on the 'file description page' link, which is how I usually go about uploading a new version of a map. Most odd that it works for you but not for me. I will check on the laptop and see if it makes any difference. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 08:24, 30 May 2011 (EDT)
Same problem from the laptop, so I assume it is not my OS or browser, as they are both diffent on the laptop. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:35, 31 May 2011 (EDT)
Weird. What if you try a direct link? : [7]
texugo 08:50, 30 May 2011 (EDT)
Direct link worked fine. Anyone care to speculate on whats happening here? Beats me! Thanks, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:30, 31 May 2011 (EDT)
I have seen this happen before, though without any particular rhyme or reason. You can still upload a new version of the file via the regular Upload File link -- just make sure you set the filename to be the same as the file you want to overwrite. LtPowers 10:37, 30 May 2011 (EDT)
Thanks for that too. Problem bypassed, though I can't claim resolved... Should we put a description of the workaround up somewhere? FAQ? Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:30, 31 May 2011 (EDT)

WYSIWIG

As long as there's some chance to upgrade to latest MediaWiki, maybe it's also possible to set up a WYSIWIG plugin? WYSIWIG is used for long at Wikia wiki hosting, and works perfectly (I had some experience with http://paygsimwithdata.wikia.com/). Looks like they are running this extension [8], although I'm not absolutely sure.

Benefits are obvious: much lower barrier for one-time contributors, therefore a higher conversion to regular contributors, therefore more useful content, therefore more pageviews and ads served--so there's even a benefit for IB :-) --DenisYurkin 15:12, 1 June 2011 (EDT)

Downsides include horrible code created by WYSIWYG editors (especially FCKeditor) making editing harder for those who don't use it, and sometimes even showing up as garbage in an article, as well as increased server load. 219.90.179.249 06:38, 21 June 2011 (EDT)
Can you demonstrate this by an example text and a simple editing scenario which a inexperenced user can reasonably have, which results in horrible code/makes editing much harder? --DenisYurkin 01:31, 22 June 2011 (EDT)

Using Google Analytics

It is very surprising and shocking that Google Analytics (A 3rd party free and closed source tool) is being used to track user visits on wikitravel. As a regular user of wikitravel, I personally would not like to be tracked by Google (or any other company), or let my ipaddress be stored on some remote server which is controlled by Google. Although I understand that Google Analytics is a great tool to visualize user-traffic, it is possible that a significant portion of the visitors are unaware of the fact that wikitravel uses Google to track their visits. Besides, this raises several other questions such as who is given access to these data ? How can I trust that wikitravel would protect my privacy/anonymity ? I do not trust Google and certainly wikitravel should not endorse Google. Wikipedia does not track users through Google Analytics. I suggest that Google Analytics be removed.

131.107.0.71 06:21, 4 June 2011 (EDT)

As I have no knowledge whatsoever about Google Analytics, I must ask questions before I can have any useful opinion.
  1. How do you know Google Analytics is being used?
  2. Is this something that the Wikitravel community have any control of?
Cheers • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 07:18, 4 June 2011 (EDT)
Google Analytics is being used at WT as it is on a huge majority of websites around the world. You can see the Google analytics tracking code by viewing the page source code of the Wikitravel homepage. We have no control over this - the code is placed on the site by our hosts. It is a very useful tool for any website owner to use to track visitor stats (country, web browser used, how many pages are viewed per visit etc etc etc - it is almost endless). The Google conspiracy theorists out there will not like the presence of this code, but any site that relies on Google generated ad revenue (like WT) would be kind of nuts not to use Google Analytics. --Burmesedays 07:28, 4 June 2011 (EDT)

Questions about images

Some photos have been deleted from Bangkok/Khao San Road page, because allegedly they were promotion. This one [9], because it shows a restaurant sign. This one [10] because it shows a hotel room. And this one [11] as it is a bowl of soup offered by a restaurant near Khao San Road.

I've now been checking the other Bangkok articles for similar pictures, and if signs are promotion, then many pictures would need to go. The rationale behind the removing of the pictures was that "they are not attractions". But then which things are attractions and which aren't? The picture removed from Khao San Road was a restaurant. So then we can also not show bars or clubs? What about shopping malls? Some examples of photos that could be seen as promotion and would need to be removed:

  • White Lodge Hotel [12]
  • FoodLoft food court [13]
  • Brick Bar [14]
  • Chacrit Muay Thai School [15]
  • Emporium Shopping Mall [16]
  • Condom Compendium Restaurant [17]
  • Long Table Restaurant [18]
  • Narcissus Club [19]
  • Nana Hotel [20]
  • Central Plaza Pinklao Shopping Mall [21]
  • RCA 808 Club [22]
  • RCA Plaza Mall [23]

Most of these pictures are from Bangkok/Sukhumvit, just to give an example. This is logical, because at places like Sukhumvit and Khao San Road, there are no attractions. There is not much more to do than drinking, clubbing and going to restaurants. Almost any picture would be promotion, except for those just giving an overview of the road.

Then there is a second problem: recognizable faces. Bangkok is a busy city, and there are people walking around everywhere. Some pictures were already removed, but this also puts open a plethora of images that need to be removed. Some examples:

  • Khao San Road lead image [24]
  • Chinatown [25] - shows people on the road, the road itself, but also some signs, so could also be seen as promotion
  • Yaowarat cloth seller [26]
  • Yaowarat market [27]
  • Khao San Road market [28]
  • Tuk-tuk on Khao San Road [29]
  • Soi Cow-boy [30]
  • Soi Pat-pong Night Market [31]
  • Siam Square Soi 7 [32]
  • Hualamphong Station [33]
  • Oriental Hotel lobby [34]
  • Tuk-tuks and people on the road [35]
  • Soi Thaniya [36]

Many of them are markets, which are nearly impossible to photograph without people on them. Others just show the road, and well, also people as there are people on the road. Where do we draw the line on which pictures can stay and which need to go? --globe-trotter 19:34, 8 June 2011 (EDT)

In addition I see that they were images that were considered acceptable during the star nomination process. As they were not criticised during that process it seems reasonable to assume that those of us who bothered to participate didn't consider them objectionable at the time. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 07:08, 9 June 2011 (EDT)
On the "promotional"" complaint, Wikitravel Shared image policy [37] states: As a general rule, photos of individual businesses, especially those seen to be promotional, will be deleted. Exceptions include images that are meant to be illustrative of the type of business establishment in a certain region, or those of exceptionally famous establishments.
It would seem to me that the Bangkok images in questions absolutely fit the category of being "... illustrative of the type of business establishment in a certain region". They certainly add to the articles in that respect.
On recognisable people, the Wikitravel shared policy [38] makes an exception as follows: ...in public spaces people give up a certain degree of privacy, which means that they can be photographed (and cannot stop the process). At Wikitravel, this is generally interpreted conservatively to mean that identifiable people in a picture should be peripheral to the picture content. For example, you can upload a picture of a crowded market or plaza, as long as you could take out or substitute any given person in it without materially affecting the picture. That surely covers any photographs of crowded streets, markets etc. --Burmesedays 08:43, 9 June 2011 (EDT)
I know Khao San Road and Yaowarat passed the Star nomination, but this discussion took place after it. What about signs, like the Narcissus Club sign? --globe-trotter 09:05, 9 June 2011 (EDT)
I don't see anything wrong with the soup picture; it should be restored. The sign picture is arguable, but it's pretty tasteful and I don't think it's blatantly promotional. The hotel room picture is pointless, as it looks like a generic hotel room; I don't think it'd pass muster at Shared VfD. LtPowers 09:51, 9 June 2011 (EDT)
I would like to get back to the point that if the images were approved by consensus to be OK for a star article, they should not be removed without further discussion, unless to be replaced by a better image. If someone disagrees with the star nomination consensus they can discuss the difference of opinion on the talk page before making a change, in case there was a good reason for the use of that image. Of course the reasons may be recorded in the discussion, which should also be on the talk page, but it is quite possible for the star nomination process to miss a detail, or for best practice style to change over time. Presumably any changes made after the date of elevation to star have not been vetted by peer review, and may be patrol edited without prior discussion.
This does not prevent anyone from simply plunging forward and unilaterally changing something which was accepted by peer review, but then they should expect to be challenged and required to explain and defend their actions.
Based on this line of reasoning, I think it is acceptable to simply revert the deletions and open a discussion on whether the images are inappropriate. As one of the participants in the star nomination process, I must have accepted all the images as appropriate at the time. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:22, 10 June 2011 (EDT)
To clarify re: wts:Image_policy#Photos_of_businesses—I wrote that section for the express purpose of dealing with touts. If it's an image uploaded and added to the article by a regular like Globe-trotter, then I see no reason to remove it simply on those grounds. --Peter Talk 03:21, 10 June 2011 (EDT)
I agree with this principle. I think that the photos improved the article. Not that it would be impossible to find better ones, but we use what we can get until someone finds better. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 14:30, 11 June 2011 (EDT)

Regional hierarchy

How do we handle the situation where a region straddles more than one state? E.g. Harz is currently subordinate to the state of Saxony-Anhalt, yet the western half lies in Lower Saxony and there is even a small area in the state of Thuringia. This leads to a problem with towns in the Harz, like Braunlage, looking as if they are in Saxony-Anhalt, when in fact they are in Lower Saxony. --SaxonWarrior 16:39, 11 June 2011 (EDT)

Whew, there are a lot of convoluted discussions I could link to answer this, but let me summarize and see if anyone takes issue:
Treat Harz as an extra-hierarchical article. In other words, direct the breadcrumbs around it. Have Braunlage, while linking elsewhere in the article to Harz, direct to Lower Saxony. So: {{isPartOf|Lower Saxony}} instead of {{isPartOf|Harz}} (sorry if I'm over-explaining). --Peter Talk 17:52, 11 June 2011 (EDT)
Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy#Overlap has details. In general try to avoid regions that span multiple parent regions except in rare cases (and this may be one). -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:24, 11 June 2011 (EDT)
The Eifel region straddles both North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. I have solved this problem by calling the area in NRW North Eifel and the area in RL-P South Eifel, making the Eifel page a disambiguation. The same idea could be applied to the Harz, making the pages Upper Harz and Lower Harz. --globe-trotter 08:38, 12 June 2011 (EDT)
That might work for the Harz (ignoring Thuringia) if the boundaries fit - I'll have a look at that. However, there is the risk elsewhere, I guess, of creating non-standard terms and regions simply to fit a Wiki format. "Ore Mountains" is another one: it straddles the German-Czech border. --SaxonWarrior 07:29, 14 June 2011 (EDT)
Forcing awkward regions to fit our own structure is what we really should avoid. We need to have an unbroken breadcrumb trail leading back up the hierarchy from the bottom, but it's not a problem to have additional extra-hierarchical region articles that provide another way of understanding an area. This is something that sometimes trips up the people (us) doing the organization, but is very unlikely to confuse readers if done properly. --Peter Talk 09:47, 14 June 2011 (EDT)


New starnoms

Just a heads up: there are two brand spanking new starnoms up, and they are both very short articles, so it should be easy to give them a look and a thumbs up or down as need be! --Peter Talk 17:54, 18 June 2011 (EDT)

Anonymous survey request

Working on the research portion of my Master of Arts thesis, which involves begging people to fill out this online survey regarding people's travel habits. I'd be enormously appreciative if anyone reading this would fill it out for me... It's completely anonymous. Again, thank you so much... https://spreadsheets2.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&formkey=dGs4aGNIQjZDRmo3Z04wTEZhaHVyR1E6MA#gid=0

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bouchette1 (talkcontribs)

I cannot do it because Google Docs are currently blocked in China. Seems to me a weird way to run a survey anyhow. Pashley 02:00, 21 June 2011 (EDT)
I did it. Worked fine. No big deal. texugo 02:04, 21 June 2011 (EDT)
Eventually, it sort of worked for me too. It just took over 5 minutes to load the page. Then it crashed when I tried to save answers. Dunno if that was before or after answers were delivered. Pashley 03:25, 21 June 2011 (EDT)

Layout issues

Vancouver squashed.png

So, who can see the problem in the image to the right? LtPowers 18:36, 22 June 2011 (EDT)

The break between "nightlife and" and "accommodation listings — consider"? --Peter Talk 18:39, 22 June 2011 (EDT)
Yes, specifically, and the very small amount of width available to the lead in general. Vancouver's hardly the only article with this problem (and it seems to show up a lot more often when the ad column on the right is wider due to having a graphical ad, as it is here). Having the TOC on the left and an image over (say) 350px on the right makes for a very very narrow lead section. I really wish there was a way to get the TOC out of the way, but barring that, I think we should think about limiting lead images to 350px. LtPowers 18:45, 22 June 2011 (EDT)
Instead, perhaps we could revisit this: Wikitravel_talk:Article_templates#Updating_how_we_display_articles. You seemed against the idea, but I think that opposition was mainly because you didn't see much need to make the change? I'm still a fan of a more colorful table of contents in any rate, but avoiding the squishing problem (which is also a big problem on articles with quickbars) would be a clear advantage. --Peter Talk 19:12, 22 June 2011 (EDT)

Suggestions for accessibility info

Hi there, Just wondering if there's any standard for adding info specific to wheelchair accessibility. If not, are there any suggestions?

A few options I can think of:

  • Inline - Easy to find but may bloat articles
  • Section per article - My suggested method
  • External page per article - Comprehensive but much redundancy, bloat

I think this is an important market to include, as comprehensive access info is hard to find & fragmented currently. What would be your thought on users adding an "Accessibility" section per article? Where should it be? Welcome any feedback. Kyebosh 02:34, 23 June 2011 (EDT)

In general, I support including such information at its natural position within an article, with any details that don't fit elsewhere going in "Stay safe" or "Cope". For U.S. destinations, for instance, lack of accessibility would be the exception rather than the rule, so we should only call it out when we have to say that there may be difficulties. LtPowers 14:32, 23 June 2011 (EDT)
Unfortunately that's not at all true, speaking from much experience. Good accessibility is very much the exception especially for (but most certainly not limited to) any constructions more than ~15 years old. I like the readability of adding access info in-line but fear it could bloat the articles (considering the info would irrelevant to many readers).
Perhaps there is a way to add a small "Universal Access" symbol to the beginning/end/title of a listing which could link to or tooltip a short message, for example (a museum) "Elevator to all floors, Braille signage, hearing loop on large exhibitions"? I'm a newbie to wiki markup so not even sure if this is possible...

Kyebosh 14:53, 27 June 2011 (EDT)

Wow. It took me forever to find this, but I'd refer to this discussion that we had a few years ago. I'm still against a separate section and agree with LtPowers that the info should go into individual listings, or if a destination is so completely handicap unfriendly, then into a stay safe or cope section. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 19:51, 27 June 2011 (EDT)
Thanks Sapphire! I agree, all in the one article seems best. Perhaps you could take a quick look at the Santa Monica -> Getting Around article? I've added a small section as a demo of what I would have found helpful as a traveler. I hear the suggestion of "only mention if there's a problem", but since accessibility requirement vary so greatly I think a brief description of access points serves a larger audience better. Sadly, "accessible" is by far not the default, so even the smallest info can help a great deal. Kyebosh 00:45, 1 July 2011 (EDT)

17th century vs seventeenth century, minutes vs min

When looking over Staraya Russa I noted that "seventeenth century" is being used rather than 17th century. I am curious to know if we have a clear WT policy on this? As it (is/was) a pending Star article I am assuming that aspect was applied to due scrutiny. Same query applies to 2nd floor vs second floor, or second bus service of the day.. vs 2nd bus service and similar. I also noted that minutes is being used rather than min. ie "with the trip taking about 90 minutes", rather than the shorter 'with the trip taking about 90 min'. Of course to economise on space the abbreviations make sense but do we actually have a clear policy on this. As the Staraya Russa article has been subjected to some rather close scrutiny in regard to other issues I am curious as to the min, hr, Xth, km, mi and other abbreviations that I understand are a common guideline or to-policy in regard to usage in WT articles. Is it a shorten in listings, run with full word in prose guideline, possibly similar to Jl (in listings) and Jalan (in prose) in the Indonesian articles (as kindly explained to me by Burmesedays some time back when I needed some guidance on that matter), or is it a universal application of the shortenings. Or is it not really defined as a hard and fast rule with a Mos guideline. I note that Wikitravel:Abbreviations gives no information on this, nor does Wikitravel:Time and date formats. I have been using min. hr 2nd floor and similar in many article edits and I would like to know that I am doing the correct thing here regarding the MoS, most especially as no doubt I am sometimes changing other established editors work when doing this. I have been assuming that most of us often just use the full word without regard to the potential shortening, certainly I often do myself and sometimes find I am going back and 'correcting' my own edits. I guess whilst considering the 12/24 hr question at Wikitravel talk:Time and date formats it would not hurt to visit the other abbreviations and standardisation policies/guidelines as well. Thanks -- felix 11:30, 23 June 2011 (EDT)

As you note, we do not have a policy requiring shorter versions of certain words, with the exception of "Road", "Street", "Avenue" (etc.); months; days of the week; and the like within listings. Outside of listings, I see no reason to abbreviate most of the time. LtPowers 14:28, 23 June 2011 (EDT)
I was surprised when I saw Peter 'spelling out' seventeenth century in the Staraya Russa article, not that I have a problem with it, I was just surprised and that was the primary motivation in my comments above. Knowing that Peter has a well tuned concept of WT policy and guidelines it stirred up a few lingering concerns with my own interpretation of abbreviation policies for prose content. I imagined that abbreviations were possibly more appropriate especially in listings such as Do, See, Sleep Drink and Eat but possibly less so in the intros to those sections. As the Understand and similar sections are more likely to include prose and broader descriptive content then possibly abbreviations are less appropriate as it can sometimes 'chop' things up a bit. I will continue with my current assumptions however I wanted to ensure I was not missing out on something that I should be aware of. Thanks for your comments. -- felix 11:29, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
I think outside of listings this is really something that should be up to the editor's discretion. The way I look at it, listings are something we want to have consistent formats, because they're throwing a lot of info at you in a very short space (This is a Restaurant, 83 Wherever Ln, +00 000-000. Su-Th 9-9. Exceedingly generic. $5-$10.). But outside of the listings, we're establishing a more informal tone with our reader, a conversational tone. When reading it, I imagine it as a friend telling me why I should go to this town, in which case I want him/her to talk to me in plain speech. I'm not against using abbreviations outside of listings, but requiring them just seems silly. PerryPlanet Talk 12:09, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
Probably a good idea to keep it that way, especially in light of the recent events with the Staraya Russa article. So I am hoping that no one has a problem with things being abbreviated sometimes, and not at other times within the prose. I would suggest that an article should have some reasonable internal consistency though and that abbreviations should be applied appropriately in the individual listings, most especially for clarity and to assist in reducing clutter. -- felix 13:16, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
FWIW, I thought I had been roughly following the Chicago Manual of Style guidance for abbreviations, by writing out numerals one–twenty (after which the hyphenated numbers get cumbersome: twenty-one, twenty-two). Turns out the CMoS actually recommends writing out numerals one–one hundred [39]. Go figure. I don't like the looks of single digit numerals in general prose at all, but they look fine in listings details. A basic level of consistency within an article, or even within, say, a huge-city collection of articles, is best. But I wouldn't be excited to try to come up with a site-wide policy on this one ;) --Peter Talk 19:51, 27 June 2011 (EDT)

new monetization initiative by IB proposed

Internet Brands has recently proposed a new initiative to monetize Wikitravel: shared:Talk:Advertising policy#New Monetization Effort II (earlier it was mentioned shortly in #Site times out).

This is more or less how it gonna look: http://wikitravel.org/images/top-hovers.jpg.

Please share your support or criticism on shared: at the above link. --DenisYurkin 17:51, 28 June 2011 (EDT)

Too harsh?

I was a bit surprised to see this response to my queries. Was I too hard on a new contributor? (See also my comment on a different page, here. I don't want to drive new users away. LtPowers 13:58, 15 July 2011 (EDT)

Patrolling edits and trying to work with users who ignore edit summaries, Template:Style tags, and user talk page messages is something that tries everyone's patience, so while your comments did seem a bit harsh to me (example: "All right, VLC, it's time to stop editing and start responding"), they're also very understandable. I think the larger issues to be dealt with here are 1) how can we make it easier for users to contribute constructively and 2) how can we increase the pool of patrollers and editors in order to make it less tedious/frustrating for the small group of people who currently do that job. Sadly, while I think a lot of people probably have some good ideas on both of these issues, to get anything significant done will likely take someone who knows the site and community well and is willing to spearhead an effort to make possibly major and contentious changes, and I'm not sure if anyone currently has the stomach and willpower to push such an effort. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:48, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
Now I'm curious—what are you thinking of, Ryan? --Peter Talk 23:00, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
Off the top of my head, here are a few items that would be great to open up to greater scrutiny, but it's tough to imagine any of them getting very far without someone devoting a huge amount of thought and patience to seeing through:
  1. I think a majority of our documentation / policy pages are in need of refactoring and consolidation. Many long-time users have difficulty finding basic guidelines, the naming is often counter-intuitive, we combine "howto" pages with policy pages (example: Wikitravel:External links has both guidance on formatting and policies about what is appropriate). My girlfriend has commented on several occasions that she is "scared" to contribute here, which (to me) means the messaging and guidance provided is insufficient. The efforts at categorizing existing documentation was a minimal start in the right direction, but much, much more is needed and it will take a huge effort from knowledgeable contributors to get anything done.
  2. Beyond the occasional talk page welcome message and rare barnstars we aren't doing much to build community. As a result, it seems like many contributors show up for a day and then lose interest due to a lack of a sense that their contributions are valuable.
  3. IB is an impediment - as an example, upgrading Mediawiki would give us improved talk page notifications, and fixing cache issues and listing editor problems would be a huge help for new users. Even enabling simple things like CAPTCHA on shared: would be huge, but the process of getting them to do so is more painful than minor surgery.
  4. Integration with shared: and other language versions is clunky at best, and it seems that most regulars contributors review shared: intermittently, if at all. I don't know what the solution to this issue would be, but it's a shame that the language versions really don't work together more.
  5. The current "consensus-building" process is daunting for anyone new as well as many longtime users and generally leads to frustration due to the massive status-quo bias - back in the day at least Evan could sort of play the benevolent dictator role, but since his departure it's often very difficult for someone to declare "OK, we've discussed this enough, and there seems to be enough agreement on X to do Y". As a result, we've got dozens if not hundreds of suggestions that lead absolutely nowhere, despite days or weeks of discussion. Even VFDs tend to drag on for months, which goes to show that something is out-of-whack.
  6. The organizational structure/region templates could use some revisiting. We do a decent job at the country and city level, but with a few rare exceptions we do a very poor job on mid-level regions and on guiding users down the hierarchy in a useful way.
The list goes on, and I'm sure others have many more areas of concern, but it would be a significant amount of work to address any one of these points, particularly without support on the software side from IB. Getting back to the original point, I think LtPowers was justified in getting frustrated, but the current structure and setup of the site doesn't lend itself well to new users like Visitloraincounty who have good local knowledge but poor knowledge of Wikitravel. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:54, 16 July 2011 (EDT)

businesses self-adding listings

(unindent) Very much agree with Ryan on #5, take "should we allow businesses to self-add listings" as one of the examples that we can't agree even on fundamental principles of this project. --DenisYurkin 05:12, 7 August 2011 (EDT)

Should we discuss this here? Because businesses self-add listings, I would never trust hotel listings. I would also be a bit skeptical of restaurant listings in Wikitravel for two reasons - touting and differences in taste (witness the chains people list in some American towns where there are other, good eateries). I would at least cross-check the listed establishments at websites that have non-self-interested posters with track records or/and rating systems (e.g., for food, websites like Chowhound for certain areas and perhaps Tripadvisor for hotels).
But I think it will be essentially impossible for us to prevent all listings from being added by businesses, so the best we are likely to do is draw a hard line on touting, which also has the salutary effect of tending to cause inveterate touters to either give up or eventually be blocked or blacklisted. But while all the detouting and reverting we do does some good, I don't think it makes this site reliable, and I see that as a major problem with this whole project. Ikan Kekek 05:33, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
I believe that the original point of allowing businesses to self-add listings was that nobody else bothered, and you can't have a travel guide without places to stay and eat. Wikitravel was never intended to be a review site like Trip Advisor (which has serious issues of its own) for example. --Burmesedays 05:44, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
That's somewhat true for hotels, less so for restaurants (I added a bunch of listings in various New York City guides, from my perspective as a diner). But let me ask you: Would you consider such listings reliable, if you were consulting a Wikitravel guide for a place you haven't been to yet? I wouldn't and would tell any friend of mine in particular to ignore hotel listings on Wikitravel almost entirely. Ikan Kekek 05:51, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
Good God no! Of course I would not :) - with, it must be said, the very notable exceptions of certain articles here which are run as personal fiefdoms. Like I said WT was never intended to be a hotel review site. What WT is very good at is organisational stuff, activities and attractions. To be frank, no travel guides I have ever used are much cop at hotels. --Burmesedays 06:36, 7 August 2011 (EDT)

I always believed Wikitravel should be ultimately better than TripAdvisor in reliably recommending the best restaurant and hotels. Among other things, TripAdvisor forces a reader to read too much reviews per hotel/restaurant while we can summarize what's most important for making choice in a single paragraph.

As for "you won't rely on Wikitravel listing except when created by myself"--maybe we simply don't try hard enough to make Wikitravel listings trustworthy--but we should actually? --DenisYurkin 06:51, 7 August 2011 (EDT)

I think we do try, but I know that I lack enough information to edit the content of most hotel listings knowledgeably and haven't traveled to enough places to know all the listed restaurants. My feeling is that a large majority of the hotel listings were inserted by self-interested people, and probably a majority of the "Eat" and "Drink" listings, overall on this site, are as well. I would also delete some restaurant listings based on my own taste if I didn't feel that would violate the spirit of this guide. Caveat emptor! Ikan Kekek 15:50, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
We can't always blame the touts. Anyone who goes to the trouble of writing a listing is undoubtedly "self-interested". Ordinary travellers who want to tell the world about their favourite restaurant or hotel tend to do so with a gushing positivity that generally comes out as fluffy marketing copy (or perhaps worse still, in the style of printed travel guides). People just write that way because they dont know any better. Most people are bad at being unbiased, particularly when they are only considering the single best in town, affordable, must try!! restaurant or hotel they remember from their travels. Are we expecting too much by wanting fair and informative writing from the casual contributor? Are the "50 rooms with aircon and pool. Close to attractions" one line listings any more or less useful than promotional guff? - Cardboardbird 21:13, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
When have we ever asked for unbiased writing? We ask writers to be fair, not be neutral. LtPowers 21:45, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
I didn't think we did and I don't think I suggested that we did either. The crux of the arguments being made here is that many (most?) listings are perceived as untrustworthy because they were written by people who have a self interest in promoting that business (owners and customers alike). Matters of personal taste aside, what one sees as lively writing another takes as unreliable. It's rare to see a listing that is indeed, 'fair'. - Cardboardbird 22:20, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
On the bright side, new (not self-interested) people might be more likely to remove or correct an (originally self-interested) listing, than to add a whole new one. I don't trust any listings fully, also in printed guides, but I love to use them as a starting point and many people do. As far as taste goes, I totally prefer the "printed travel guide style" (I'm thinking LP) over "50 rooms with aircon and pool. Close to attractions". =) Justme 04:37, 8 August 2011 (EDT)

OK, let's start with a simple thing. Is there consensus that for every destination we should aim to list only restaurants and hotels which are the best for a traveller; this is what star acticles should only list in Sleep/Eat; our listings ultimately should be reliable and trustworthy; and we do bother to achieve that whenever possible?

Criteria of what is best, how to select them and how to describe hotels & restaurants to be discussed later. --DenisYurkin 15:43, 8 August 2011 (EDT)

I do not agree with those terms; as described at Wikitravel:Avoid negative reviews, sometimes it is actually desirable to list a non-recommended establishment. LtPowers 19:08, 8 August 2011 (EDT)
Of course with the exception of what recommended to list per Wikitravel:Avoid negative reviews and other policies (are there any other actually?). Now you agree? --DenisYurkin 03:24, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
That basically makes sense to me, and I thought that ultimate goal /was/ the consensus & policy :-) "The best" being a broad concept though, sometimes restaurants that aren't "very good" or are overpriced can be an addition still because they provide diversity in choice or a very convenient location. But that seems obvious. In small towns with few options I'd prefer to have /all/ listed with a short text of what to expect, rather than having only the 2 or 3 "best" options in the article. Justme 07:10, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
I suppose with those caveats, the statements are trivially true. LtPowers 10:55, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
If there are enough people interested in this issue then it might make sense to start a "Reliability expedition" whose goal it would be to brainstorm and implement ways to make Wikitravel listings more reliable. I don't think a prohibition on allowing businesses to list themselves on this site would be feasible, but perhaps something like a small icon that could be added by selected users to listings indicating "recommended/verified by X, Y and Z", thus providing some of the transparency of rating sites in a wiki-friendly format. Whatever the eventual solution, an expedition might be the best way to discuss options and test out ideas without having the drawn-out process of attempting to change the fundamental openness of Wikitravel to all contributors. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:24, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
Ryan, just to better understand your point: how organizing an expedition can have an added value over a simple discussion thread, here in the Pub or in, let's say, Wikitravel talk:Don't tout? --DenisYurkin 16:54, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
I guess it goes back to the point (far) above about how difficult it is to achieve consensus. I don't think a discussion on disallowing listings from business owners will ever get to a result that changes the status quo, but there might be more success with an expedition whose goal is to come up with ways to make listings on Wikitravel more reliable. An expedition would have the advantage of having a group of people interested in the issue and focused on a specific goal, and would also have a bit more leeway to experiment with potential solutions. As it is, we have yet another good discussion that seems to be meandering around without any clear direction or potential solution, whereas a more focused expedition might be more productive. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:57, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
OK, who else would be interested to be part of such a "reliability expedition" (or, maybe more general, on improving reliability and quality of selection of our eat & sleep listings)? --DenisYurkin 14:25, 10 August 2011 (EDT)
I would be, sounds like a good idea. --globe-trotter 14:45, 10 August 2011 (EDT)
I would also be willing to help get this going. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:48, 10 August 2011 (EDT)
Me 4, this sounds like an excellent idea. --Peter Talk 19:14, 10 August 2011 (EDT)

→ Made a smallest first step possible :-), here it is: Wikitravel:Business listings reliability Expedition. Please plunge forward in clarifying its goals and anything else. I never started an expedition, and a bit depressed by a blank paper syndrome about it. --DenisYurkin 19:09, 24 August 2011 (EDT)

Red exclamation marks

What does a red exclamation mark by an entry on the watchlist mean? --SaxonWarrior 15:21, 17 July 2011 (EDT)

Wikitravel:Recent changes patrol. — D. Guillaime 15:28, 17 July 2011 (EDT)

New York Thanksgiving Day Parade

This is my first time on this site and a computer beginner... anyway would anyone have any information on traveling to New York for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? Do you recommend staying in New York the night before? We are in Connecticut and thought we might drive in very early in the am... Bunky 15:49, 17 July 2011 (EDT)

You might have trouble finding parking that morning. If you have the money for a hotel room or a friend to stay with the night before, that's a good idea. Or perhaps you could take the train in and leave the car at home or parked at a train station in CT. Ikan Kekek 16:56, 17 July 2011 (EDT)

I'm a Spammer? I tried to edit Balaklava, I live there.

Cool Project! I tried to edit Balaklava in Ukraine and it gave me Spam Filter denial., I made an account, and tried to edit again, maybe some admin can see that? I updated prices to reflect the UAH from 5 to to 8 to one exchange rate, removed a restaurant that hasn't worked in a 1.5 years, added the local favorite, cheburecki, and explained the pirate thing, which is nolonger where the article say it is. it moves every year and is the locals bar for that year.

I live there and work in media for 10 years, and know all these places. How do I actually get unlisted as a spammer? I didn't use any URLs or make any money from these places or anything.

Best, David

Hi David and welcome. Really sorry about that. This will be because there is some spam-filtered content on the page - possibly completely unrelated to your edits. For example, sometimes a dodgy site is blacklisted, but the url remains in some articles. Then when someone else tries to edit that article, the spam filter does its stuff. I will have a look at Balaklava and see if I can find the problem. --Burmesedays 09:43, 19 July 2011 (EDT)
OK got it. Problem was the presence of hostel ukraine dot com. You should now be edit that article without issue.--Burmesedays 09:46, 19 July 2011 (EDT)

Template:Cautionbox

Hi folks. Due to overuse of Template:Disclaimerbox, which is supposed to be limited to organizational and political disclaimers, I've created Template:Cautionbox. I'm not incredibly happy with the design, or the examples and instructions (both of which I borrowed from Template:Warningbox). I'd appreciate it if you could review it for me and make any improvements you see necessary. LtPowers 20:20, 21 July 2011 (EDT)

Don't we already have the Warning box for these kind of messages? --globe-trotter 14:44, 25 July 2011 (EDT)
Warningbox is for dangers to life and limb; it's been felt that it should be reserved for those uses due to the bright red coloring and forceful stop sign. LtPowers 21:00, 25 July 2011 (EDT)

City/town official website

Where should the official website of the town or city in question be entered? When I want to visit a place I like to browse their website and maybe even book accommodation through it. It shouldn't replace Wikitravel as, often the info is not in English, but the link should be made available on Wikitravel IMHO. --SaxonWarrior 12:16, 22 July 2011 (EDT)

As explained at Wikitravel:External links#External link usage, it should go right after the first time the city/region/country's name is mentioned, i.e., in the lede. – Vidimian 12:47, 22 July 2011 (EDT)

I now read that policy page on external links too, and I have a somewhat different question. I see that links to restaurant review sites are unwanted, but this strikes me as odd and not very helpful for the traveler? As a newbee, I was trying to update Eindhoven. I included some restaurants but also a link to the most used review site (In Dutch but with numerical ratings, allowing people to at least get an idea of what's there and the addresses). When traveling myself, I always try to find something like it in order to pick local favorites beyond the 5 or 10 listed in my guide. Or, to find a specific (say Indian) restaurant in a city where none of those are listed. It seems a lot more fair to the other 100 restaurants or more in town, some of which are also quite popular and good, to allow for travelers to see they exist and make their own choice. Should I remove it nonetheless? Justme 05:35, 26 July 2011 (EDT)

Yes. If we have missing content, we want that content added here. Allowing external links to review sites discourages people from adding content here. LtPowers 08:56, 26 July 2011 (EDT)
So, does that mean that ideally I should be listing /all/ good or reasonable restaurants in the city? I get that a bunch of the most interesting ones should definitely be in the article, but all of them wouldn't fit. Neither is it feasible to keep them updated, I guess? How does that work then? Justme 09:14, 26 July 2011 (EDT)
Just add restaurants you have visited and are positive about. We're not the Yellow Pages, so we definitely don't need to list all good/reasonable restaurants. As you're working on Eindhoven, check out Hilversum for an example as it's also a medium-sized city in the Netherlands and it's a star article. --globe-trotter 09:59, 26 July 2011 (EDT)

I've been adding info to Eindhoven (and might add some more later), but the page offers enough info for any visitor to find his way around there for at least a week or so. I don't really know how to make a map, but I posted a request for that on wiki travel shared. Can anyone check if it would be good enough anyway to make it a "guide" instead of "usable" article? Or if not, what it is missing? Thanks, Justme 13:39, 28 July 2011 (EDT)

The article looks pretty good. As you say, it would really benefit from a map though the guidelines state that a lack of a map wont hold it back from guide status. A few points: The See and Do sections could use an introduction parragraph. Many of the listings don't have addresses and phone numbers. The get out secton would be more useful if it listed the nearby/next destinations with wikilinks to the articles. Nonetheless, nice work so far. - Cardboardbird 20:28, 28 July 2011 (EDT)
That's an extremely well constructed article. I would have no hesitation in putting it at guide status. Small quibbles: the listings should be presented alphabetically in each section. Very good work and well done.--Burmesedays 21:07, 28 July 2011 (EDT)

Okay, thanks. I added introductions for See and Do, expanded the Get Out section and fit in contact details where I could find them. Many of the landmarks don't really have public contact details like that, since they were renovated for other purposes and can't really be visited on the inside. I wasn't aware of the alphabetic order rule but I now mostly rearrange the listings to bring them in accordance with it. Can I just go ahead and change the status or should an administrator do something like that?

One more thing: many of the listed places actually shield their email addresses or use [at] instead of @, to keep spam bots from getting them, I guess? Is there any policy on how to use those addresses or you just put them in, unprotected? Justme 11:41, 29 July 2011 (EDT)

Good question. As far as I know, no specific policy exists. Its a tough call. If they have their email address on their website then its public info that you can use, though it does make sense to be nice to those legit businesses by respecting their desire to not have their email harvested by spammers. Generally complete listings are preferred but email addresses are less important than street addresses and phone numbers (who emails a restaurant or museum? Hotels or Do activities that take bookings via email, maybe). Leave email addresses out if you feel it is not essential. - Cardboardbird 23:24, 30 July 2011 (EDT)
I think e-mail addresses should never be listed, unless the listing does not have a website. If you're online, one could always look up the email address from the website. --globe-trotter 23:37, 30 July 2011 (EDT)
What if you're not online and just want to send an SMS message? LtPowers 10:30, 31 July 2011 (EDT)

Restaurant categories

Sorry, another question. Can someone point me to a place where I can find how to determine what makes a place budget, mid-range or splurge? For the Netherlands, that is. Thanks! Justme 13:07, 26 July 2011 (EDT)

Mostly it's just a subjective matter, and the price categories are relative to the city in question. You could take a look at some well developed Dutch articles like Hilversum#Eat or Amsterdam/Old_Center#Eat. --Peter Talk 13:55, 26 July 2011 (EDT)

Oceania rfc

I'm cross posting an rfc here, first and foremost because the question of creating top-level articles for one of our continent-level articles seems like something that we should have more people way in on, and second because I'm not sure how many people are still watching Wikitravel:Requests for comment... Anyway, please share your opinions at Talk:Oceania#overseas_territories, ideally after perusing the relevant threads above on the talk page. --Peter Talk 22:34, 30 July 2011 (EDT)

Can't edit

I can't seem to be able to edit Globe-trotters talk page, since my message is refused by the spam filter. What am I doing wrong? I wanted to post: "Hi, I appreciate your help but since I was still working on the text I've been getting edit conflicts on South Limburg. That is making it quite harder and frustrating, so I'll just stop editing until you're done. Could you give me a heads up when you are? Justme 12:54, 30 July 2011 (EDT) "

As to that last problem, is there a way to indicate that you're working on something and ask others to not edit for a while? These edit conflicts really are frustrating.. Justme 12:54, 30 July 2011 (EDT)

I can't edit his page either. G-t has something on his talk page that is activating the spam filter. On edit conflicts, I think if one user is significantly editing a page, it is good practice to let them get on with it and come back later. Otherwise, as you say, edit conflicts will drive you nuts.--Burmesedays 13:02, 30 July 2011 (EDT)--Burmesedays 13:02, 30 July 2011 (EDT)
That's my fault - a spambot has been hitting the site over the past several weeks using specific CSS, so I added that CSS pattern to the blacklist. Unfortunately it looks like several user pages are using the same pattern, so I've removed it from the blacklist. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:57, 30 July 2011 (EDT)
Thanks. I'm done with South Limburg, so you can just continue editing there Justme. --globe-trotter 14:14, 30 July 2011 (EDT)

Big number, big number

Folks, we have surpassed 25,000 articles on the English version of Wikitravel, and we hardly knew it! (Partially because StatScript seems to need some repairs.) The honors appear to have gone out on 17 June 2011 to the modest country town of Trowbridge, Wiltshire in the southwest of England. --Peter Talk 17:23, 31 July 2011 (EDT)

Dear old Trowbridge. That's probably the most important thing that town has ever been involved in :) --Burmesedays 20:48, 8 August 2011 (EDT)

How to deal with villages

I wonder where do we really list villages or rural areas. Do we place them under the "cities" list or under the list of "other destinations"? In South Limburg this has become a problem, where small villages are listed in "other destinations" while the bigger towns are listed under "cities". The same logic is applied at North Zealand. However, I believe the Other Destinations section was originally aimed at destinations like national parks, ruins or other geographical features like canyons and volcanoes. How should we deal with this? --globe-trotter 17:36, 5 August 2011 (EDT)

If a village has its own article, I would put it under cities. But if an articles covers several villages or a rural area, I would put it under other destinations, --ClausHansen 17:56, 5 August 2011 (EDT)
Yes, the MOS allows the "Cities" heading to change to whatever is necessary to describe the communities listed therein -- but whatever you call it, all communities go in there. LtPowers 18:56, 5 August 2011 (EDT)
I'm sorry, that was my mistake, I confused up the titles. I meant to use "Other towns and villages", like Burmesedays suggested on [[Talk:Limburg(Netherlands) and like he did in Central_Java. I'll change that now. For South Limburg, putting all the villages under cities would be far to many. The area has 18 municipalities and tens of villages, most of which have several options to stay and eat since it is a touristic region. And then I'm not even talking of all the hamlets, which in some cases meet the article criteria too.
Now, South Limburg lists only the largest towns (under cities) and most interesting (arguably, of course) other settlements. I was in fact wondering what would be ideal. I do think it is most useful for a traveler to have an idea of which towns are the more interesting ones, with a link there. But what is the policy? Should a regional article ideally have all the settlements linked? Splitting up into regions might seem good from a "systemic" point of view, but really isn't from a travelers one (as discussed on Talk:Limburg too). The South Limburg region as a whole is commonly and broadly regarded as "one" travelers destination so a solid overview article with pointers on where to go seems best. However, the whole "cities" header is more a systemic functionality, as a place like Geleen or Heerlen is less interesting than some of the tiny places around. Justme 19:34, 5 August 2011 (EDT)
Twelve (which is the number of communities listed on South Limburg) is around the point where we like to see a region subdivided into subregions. But if there's really no good way to do so, twelve is probably a tolerable number (we prefer five to nine). But however you do it, they all go under the same heading. You could, if it's really useful to the traveler, have two lists under that heading, each alphabetized individually. LtPowers 20:29, 5 August 2011 (EDT)
Here is an example of how a grouping of villages can be treated as an Other destination. At Bali you will see Amed listed as an OD. The Amed article covers 7 villages along a 14 km strip of coastline.--Burmesedays 20:46, 5 August 2011 (EDT)
Ah, looks good. Quite similar as I have done for Wijdemeren at Gooi and Vecht Region. South Limburg could easily be turned into a couple further subdivisions as shown by the tourist board. --globe-trotter 22:28, 5 August 2011 (EDT)
Well, splitting up is an option, although.that is a rather arbitrary thing, with the Tourist board having their own version. For them, it is just a further split with all info also directly available through their main portal. Since the region /as a whole/ is the destination for most people (it's just a 20 x 20 km stretch with some millions of tourists spending the night each year), I do think the main South Limburg article should list the most interesting places across any subregions.
It's not 12 communities, that's just the ones I believe are most interesting, plus the largest ones. However, it now does /not/ list all (18) municipalities. A place like Epen is a popular destination and should be mentioned in South Limburg, but it's not a municipality of its own. I don't think this region is comparable really to Wijdemeren or Amed. South Limburg is highly touristic, with many village receiving so many people that they have a tourist office of their own. A place like Valkenburg has some 6000 inhabitants but 1.2 million tourist overnight stays per year and millions of visitors for the day. Justme 06:28, 6 August 2011 (EDT)
I would suggest you finish the article, adding every place that you think warrants it, and then it can be re-assessed.--Burmesedays 06:33, 6 August 2011 (EDT)

I seem to be blocked from editing

Hi all, Please someone check if I have been blocked from editing either intentionally or by accident. I have been unable to log on and have not been able to edit for a week. I have had no notification of a problem, and IB have not been forthcoming on why I get gateway timeouts for attempts to edit or connect to non-article pages. My service provider promised to check if they are the problem but have not come back to me. This is seriously frustrating and annoying, as I have a lot of updates waiting to upload. I dont even expect this message to go through, but it is all I can do. Cheers, User:Pbsouthwood

If you can't log on at all, it's not a block (nor is there one on your account). You'll have to define "unable to log on" more precisely -- do you get an error message of any kind? Or is it just a timeout, or no response, or what? LtPowers 10:13, 6 August 2011 (EDT)
My IP address was blocked once by IB, but I was unable to even browse the site when that happened - emailing tech at wikitravel.org (several times) and giving them my IP address and a description of the problem eventually got it resolved. Also, be aware that site functionality for many users has currently degraded to the point where edits take numerous attempts - I'm finding I generally have to reload pages several times due to timeouts - so that may also be part of the problem. As LtPowers said, if you can provide any additional info it might make it easier to figure out the issue, and if you can't access the site then any of the admins here can probably act as an intermediary for you via email. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:19, 6 August 2011 (EDT)
I am editing from a friend's house for this edit, and I had absolutely no problem at all, very quick connection and everything seems to work as expected. I don't know who his ISP is though as it is a local network service. Anyway to get to the questions: Not able to log on means if I click the Log on/create account tab I get a timeout. The only error message I get is 504 gateway timeout. and I get that for most non article pages, and all edit attempts in the last few days. I have not been able to get into shared at all recently, but the problems at En have been more gradual in buildup, which doesn't make sense to me at all. I have mailed the tech guy at IB (IBDick, I think he calls himself), but he has not so far managed to explain what the problem is or solve it. I have found out that the server refuses tracert requests as a policy, so that test didn't prove anything. I have been having the same trouble Ryan describes for months already. I have been unable to get onto anyone's talk page to leave a message or I would have done that already., and I don't have anyone's private email to bypass the problem. Its been a sort of "you cant get there from here" situation. I plan to try dial-up tomorrow if I get the time. that may also throw some light on the problem. Another friend accessed WT and could make edits using the same ISP that I use, so that doesn't look like the problem either, though the tech I spoke to at Telkomsa (my ISP) said he would get back to me after making some tests. me but did not. So it goes. If anyone wants to contact me by direct email, my address is on my user page. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 12:51, 6 August 2011 (EDT)
I am also finding it is near impossible to load pages, preview or resolve an edit at this time, very frustrating. -- felix 12:09, 7 August 2011 (EDT)

I have made some small adjustments (set DNS to a more local branch) recommended by my ISP tech who thought they would solve the problem, but things have only improved marginally. I am now sometimes able to open an edit page. Perhaps 1 in 5 tries will open, and some of those will save, but still no success at all with shared. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 11:42, 8 August 2011 (EDT)

You could try setting your DNS servers to 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 (Google's open DNS servers) ...
I am also current experiencing serious access issues. It is no longer just the problem of frequent mind numbing lags and time outs I have experienced for the last year or so.That problem comes and goes, at times making editing a considerable challenge, other times only requiring backing up and re-loading the page or page edit a few times. This is why I occasional show two sequential identical edits, or sometimes go-offline leaving an unresolved edit sequence. The current problem however appears quite different. I have not been able to load any Wikitravel page for an extended time since my last edit at 10:07, 14 August 2011. I use Safari for mac and Firefox for mac and of course tried both browsers multiple times and flushed the caches. Just prior to uploading this note I did manage to successfully load WT recent changes and the WT main page, then it went back to the error message again. I can however consistently load pages using a different IP (by proxy). As I can log in from a different IP, using the same browser/s I assume the IP is being blocked, albeit now intermittently. The error messages are presented as follows. Just prior to posting this using a mirror proxy I started getting successful page loads again using my regular. The messages below are the error message displayed on failed attempts, the error message is the same in both browsers:
The requested URL could not be retrieved
While trying to retrieve the URL: http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?
The following error was encountered:
• Zero Sized Reply
Squid did not receive any data for this request.
Your cache administrator is root.
Generated Sun, 14 Aug 2011 17:32:44 GMT by wikitravel.org (squid/2.6.STABLE6)
ERROR
The requested URL could not be retrieved
While trying to retrieve the URL: http://wikitravel.org/en/Special:Recentchanges
The following error was encountered:
• Zero Sized Reply
Squid did not receive any data for this request.
Your cache administrator is root.
Generated Sun, 14 Aug 2011 21:04:20 GMT by wikitravel.org (squid/2.6.STABLE6)
Except for the date stamp the message is the same each time.
I hope the IB people are currently paying some attention to this page. Although I have been experiencing erratic page loads, occasional timeouts and other frustrations up to a few hours ago they were in the normal range of lousy server response to which I am accustomed, this latest issue is however an entirely new phenomena. To me it looks like a classic data base overload problem and most likely the Squid response is arising from giving up waiting for Apache to respond after a set period of time, most likely due to DB structural problems, possibly the /temp folder or memory cache or a load balancing issue. I am really quite sick of having my time wasted by persistent re-loading requirements and time-outs when editing here. What I find odd though is that whilst experiencing this problem I could come in through a different IP and access the WT server at the time without any issues. I am assuming therefore that the problematic server I was accessing from my own IP was the issue and the other (proxy) IP I was using was accessing a different server (or an unaffected mirror server). This latest event is further underlining my suspicions that IB need to do some serious housekeeping, really how old is the gear these guys are using, have they purloined the stuff from a museum collection somewhere. Maybe others here have some ideas on this. To add some clarity to the matter I could not get in from an Indonesian IP but could get in from a Dutch IP. -- felix 18:36, 14 August 2011 (EDT)
I don't know if anyone from IB followed up with Peter after the emails that went out. In any rate, I left a message at our current IB liaison's talk page current IB liaison's talk page. --Peter Talk 00:05, 15 August 2011 (EDT)
Thanks Peter, I get "User account "IBobi" is not registered." when I go to that commons.wikimedia.org address. I manage to load this page OK today so maybe that particular server issue was transient. Hopefully though IB can see there are (ongoing) problems that really do need to be addressed. -- felix 04:40, 15 August 2011 (EDT)
I guess Peter meant to link IBobi's Shared talk page but linked to Commons instead, apperantly out of a mistake.
On another note, I've got the very same message Felix explained above yesterday night, around midnight GMT, and gave up but now I seem to be accessing and editing seamlessly. The details on the problem and how to get around it are far too technical for me, though. – Vidimian 06:59, 15 August 2011 (EDT)
For what it's worth, I'm seeing the same behavior intermittently. I emailed tech at wikitravel dot org with a screenshot last night, but I'm not optimistic about a response. At this point I would lay odds that the database is in need of standard TLC, but who knows if that will ever happen. -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:36, 15 August 2011 (EDT)
Hi -- I pinged Dick on this just to be on the safe side. Hopefully he'll be able to take a look at this over the next few days. In the future, you can contact me via my posted email address, or Dick/Tech as you see fit.--IBobi 16:16, 15 August 2011 (EDT)
Hi IBobi, from my perspective today things seem to be back to their old cluncky ways again with no more squid ink blackouts. Thanks for your note above. -- felix 06:58, 16 August 2011 (EDT)
I was now able to log in again, but have been experiencing the same problems over the past few days, including earlier this evening. It seems the troubles come and go, sometimes not allowing me to do anything (including logging in or seeing recent changes, which gives me the same "Zero Sized Reply"), at other times I can see recent pages but still not log in or edit. In any case, it's working now but was still broken a few hours ago so I'm not sure it's fixed. Justme 19:06, 17 August 2011 (EDT)
Back to extended periods of failed page loads, failed edit uploads or zero server responses, happening again yesterday thru early this morning, working OK at this moment. -- felix 12:28, 18 August 2011 (EDT)

So I understand this, the error that led to this thread has been resolved and we are "back to the usual site sluggishness"? If this is a bug that needs to be addressed, please report it here: http://wikitravel.org/shared/Top_bugs --IBobi 14:01, 23 August 2011 (EDT)

Sometimes page request times are good however for a lot of the time timeouts and slow page loads are a very disappointing aspect of editing on this site. Edits are occasionally lost in the muddle of it or alternatively require lots of back paging to retrieve, this is also frustrating as loading those pages is difficult as well. I often find the site unusable for hours at a time and on many occasions these problems have persisted for days or even weeks. Maybe there are conflicts with my ISPs caches, maybe it is a dysfunctional mirror server. It seems we do not all suffer from the same problem at the same time. Just incase it should be of interest I do check using a different computer and I have alternative browsers installed. I use only up to date OS and browser versions. Thanks for taking and interest iBobi. -- cheers felix 18:09, 23 August 2011 (EDT)
Hey felix, looks like rather than your being blocked, this is a symptom of an overall site issue that we will be working to resolve as we upgrade Mediawiki and address existing tech requests and bugs. Hang in there, because the site is going to be in better shape over the next couple of months.--IBobi 19:24, 23 August 2011 (EDT)

Two great tastes that taste great together

Hey, y'all. I'm back from my own travels (Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, England, France, India - 'twas quite a trip) and back developing iTravelFree. The new Android and iPhone versions (available now, and pending App Store approval, respectively) include various UI improvements and bug fixes; and I've also added some code to try to find a Wikipedia page that corresponds to a Wikitravel page, and include that information, if any, as a new "Wikipedia" section after "Get out" or "Contact" (or whatever the last WT section on the page is.)

If you want to try this out, you'll probably need to use the Refresh button, because both the apps and the iTravelFree server cache old data for a few weeks; also, not every page has a corresponding Wikipedia page. Try Gravenhurst as an example; on the app it now includes Wikipedia's Gravenhurst,Ontario. I've found there's generally very little overlap between the two.


So: iTravelFree now grabs and combines data from Wikitravel, Wikipedia, and (if you use it download offline maps) OpenStreetMap. It doesn't yet include OSM POI (Places of Interest) but I guess that's the obvious next step. I'd like to add other data sources while I'm at it, but I'm limited to sources that allow data caching in their Terms of Service, or are Creative-Commons licensed, or public domain. Anyone have any recommendations? Rezendi 12:14, 8 August 2011 (EDT)

Don't forget that we often link directly to the Wikipedia page in our sidebar, using [[Wikipedia:placename]] syntax. I don't know if that's what you meant by "try to find" or not, but it could simplify your algorithm. LtPowers 10:55, 9 August 2011 (EDT)


Oh, hey, I had in fact completely forgotten about that. Right now it actually does a semi-complex Wikipedia search based on the page and its breadcrumb parent, if any; this'll make that much easier, at least when those links exist. Thanks! Rezendi 17:58, 9 August 2011 (EDT)

Double listings or not for small cities/villages?

Question. I read somewhere (but can't find it now) that double listings should be avoided. How should I list hotel/restaurants in smaller villages? I was just working on Vijlen, but almost all the restaurants there have a hotel facility too (or the other way around). Do I list them double (under sleep and eat) or only at one place, and if so, under which of the two? Justme 09:31, 9 August 2011 (EDT)

Definitely stick to one listing per business only. For a hotel, you may for example like to mention that they have a restaurant. Likewise, for a restaurant you could add that accommodation is attached. But never maker two separate listings.--Burmesedays 09:47, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
Wikitravel:Don't tout#General guidelines is the guideline against multiple listings for a business. I'd say list only once and where it makes most sense. If the place is famous for its restaurant, make it an "eat" listing, and vice versa. Some articles are heavy on either "eat" or "sleep" listings, then it might be a good idea to stick your listing to the emptier section. – Vidimian 10:03, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
Okay, thanks. Kind of difficult to choose then, but very well. I guess it's not an option to combine the sleep and eat section into one, hm? :-) Justme 10:17, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
I disagree with the above advice. In Saint Marys (Pennsylvania), I listed an establishment twice because it's primarily a restaurant that happens to have rooms upstairs, but there aren't a lot of hotels in the area so I don't want to miss mentioning it in Sleep. The rule at Wikitravel:Don't tout, the way I see it, is intended primarily for hotels that happen to have restaurants in their lobbies and for restaurants that have full bars (or pubs that serve food). As with everything the traveler comes first, and when it comes to very small destinations, presenting a full picture to the traveler requires double listings. LtPowers 10:55, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
Menzies, a star article on a (very) small town has a similar instance (Menzies Hotel) and IMHO it does its job of notifying readers without resorting to having multiple listings beautifully. I don't know if anyone intends on expanding it later, but Gunners hotel listing at Saint Marys article currently didn't look really useful to me—it could be a sentence at the end of the restaurant listing ("... also has rooms upstairs, for $80...") just as well. Bolding "rooms" would be ever more eye-catching, so users wouldn't miss it. However, I agree that everything on Wikitravel should be decided on a case-by-case basis and the traveler comes first should be the number one guideline, overruling all others. – Vidimian 17:38, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
Well, if you want an extreme example, how about Childs, where the Sleep section would be empty if I had followed this rule to the letter? =) LtPowers 19:50, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
Slippery slopes all over the place there... one rule for the touts and another rule for the rest of us? The Wikitravel:Don't tout#General guidelines are extremely clear. The traveler comes first is open to all sorts of interpretation. "Only list a business once" (with defined exceptions) isn't. My advice to Justme remains exactly as given and in line with both policy and general practice here. --Burmesedays 23:01, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
Small towns can be troublesome to make complete coverage of all sleep/eat options, limited as they may be, without resorting double listings. I agree with the list under the section it is best at aproach. Some average hotels have great restaurants and vice vera. It's not a bad idea to add a line like "The restaurant at Hotel X is pretty good if you've tried all the others" to point reader to listings they might not have read. - Cardboardbird 03:28, 10 August 2011 (EDT)
I see the slippery slope here, but I do agree with LtPowers that the traveler might not be best served when that rule is strictly followed. "Under the section it is best at" isn't easy either. Firstly, because only those who have stayed and eaten there would be able to tell and secondly because with not much options around, a place that is "better" as a restaurant may still be one of the best (or only) places to sleep. Would it be problematic to make the description longer? That is, to add more than just "also has rooms for $80" to a restaurant listing? Justme 03:51, 10 August 2011 (EDT)

"Only list a business once" was intended to stop touts from spamming hotel bars and restaurants, not to prevent listing legitimate (and sometimes solitary) options in small villages and towns. If making the latter explicit is necessary to make people feel better, then I propose we do so. LtPowers 16:03, 10 August 2011 (EDT)

There is currently an exception clause stating "That said, exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis if, for example, a hotel has a famous, separately named bar or restaurant that also draws significant numbers of non-resident customers". I would be fine with something similar for very small towns (less than three hotels/restaurants/bars?) that would make it easier to fill out sections, but I very much understand Burmesedays concerns about slippery slopes, particularly in regards to the Southeast Asian articles that he has authored where businesses almost always have a restaurant, bar and hotel. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:37, 10 August 2011 (EDT)

Why not having a combined "Sleep / Eat" section for such small towns? --DenisYurkin 16:14, 10 August 2011 (EDT)

The rare exception listed by Ryan is important (like the Plume at the Jefferson in Washington, D.C./Dupont Circle. For small towns, though, I recognize this problem and think it is best dealt with via a mention in the eat section, rather than a full listing (e.g., "In addition to the restaurants below, X Guest House also does a fantastic plate of Kazakh goat eyeballs for dinner, open to non-hotel guests). --Peter Talk 19:18, 10 August 2011 (EDT)
How is that in any way better than a full listing? LtPowers 20:50, 10 August 2011 (EDT)
That's very much the approach I have used; eg Four Seasons Ubud listed as a hotel and a mention that it has an exceptional restaurant in the prose blurb in the eat section.
As Ryan states this is a big issue in many Asian destinations. Not only a hotel, bar and restaurant at the same address but also often various combinations of spa, dive-shop etc. Listing a business once only is a guideline that has served WT well.
Many English country towns would be another, different example. The pub will often be the only place to eat, drink and sleep in the town. List it just once and say that in the description. Seems very straightforward and in line with the traveller comes first. It is much easier to read one listing rather than 3, only to then realise that all 3 are talking about exactly the same place.--Burmesedays 21:52, 10 August 2011 (EDT)
In Thailand there are listings that could be listed in nearly all sections (a guest house (sleep) with a bar/restaurant (drink/eat), a cooking school (learn) and a massage service (do). Adding a listing in multiple sections I think never should be done, as it is very confusing to have the same listing twice or more. Most accommodation listings have some sort of eating and drinking available, so those listings could be spread all over the article. Like Burmesedays, I have always just written it down in the description which I think makes most sense (for example: Bangkok/Dusit#Eat). --globe-trotter 23:23, 10 August 2011 (EDT)
I'm also going to say there is no case for a double listing. A bit of prose to redirect the reader to the appropriate section will suffice. texugo 00:51, 11 August 2011 (EDT)
Agree. The hotel name can appear twice, but only one entry needs a full listing, the other can say "See Eat section" or similar. --SaxonWarrior 02:13, 11 August 2011 (EDT)
I can see how that works for really small towns with up to 3 places, especially with a note above the eat-section saying something like "several of the restaurants are attached to hotels, so see the Sleep-section for more options" I do feel however that there should be the same info for the restaurant as it would get in a separate listing, so it does become a longer listing. Bolding "restaurant" or "rooms" doesn't seem to help in making it clearer, see Vijlen#Eat.
There's nothing like symbols on Wikitravel, right? I mean, would it be an option to place a small colored star/fork/whatever at the beginning of such a listing to just indicate that it has a restaurant as well?
Last thing, I think sights with notable restaurants should be listed double, especially in longer articles. That link between "see" and "eat" is less clear. Justme 04:23, 11 August 2011 (EDT)

Not relevant here, but in huge cities like New York, I think it is in some exceptional cases reasonable to list a hotel and a restaurant in the hotel separately. A possible example would be Jean Georges, a New York Times 4-star and Michelin 3-star restaurant that is extensively patronized by people who are hard-pressed to even remember the name of the hotel (it's in the Trump Tower Building, I believe - I'd have to check the exact name, myself). There are several quite independently famous restaurants in New York that happen to be in hotels which may themselves be famous. So I would argue that we should allow for occasional, unusual exceptions to this rule of no double listings, but probably only in huge or at least large cities, where not listing Jean Georges and whatever hotel is there (I think it's called the Meridien and it may be in itself notable, though as a native New Yorker who's never stayed in a hotel here, I wouldn't know for sure) could cause one or the other to really be lost in the shuffle. Ikan Kekek 05:43, 11 August 2011 (EDT)

Jean Gorges is a separate listing, it is a restaurant that happens to be in the Trump Hotel. That's not what we're discussing here. To Justme: the length of the listing is no problem, you can extensively write out all its sleep, eat, drink and other facilities available, that's no problem at all. About See and Eat -- can you give an example? --globe-trotter 05:58, 11 August 2011 (EDT)
The case of Jean Georges is already perfectly covered by the exception to the rule.
On See and Eat, there are many examples where an attraction has a decent restaurant. Again though, just mention that fact in the listing as an attraction. --Burmesedays 06:10, 11 August 2011 (EDT)

I did know about the exception. I mistakenly omitted a phrase from my post. I just wanted to clarify things because I was seeing posts to the effect that there should _never_ be a listing for a restaurant in a hotel, separate from the hotel listing. I see that the "never" is specifically in the context of villages and small towns. Ikan Kekek 17:13, 11 August 2011 (EDT)

@globe-trotter: an example to me are some chateaus in Europe. The city Maastricht is a currently underdeveloped article but should eventually be as large as Amsterdam or so. The castle of Neercanne there, e.g., is the only terraced castle in the Netherlands, beautiful as an attraction, with a vineyard and wine cellars in grottoes. There's also a restaurant, not just "descent", but a Michelin star one, considered to be one of the most classic dining opportunities in the area. I do think it should be listed separately under Eat, splurge options in Maastricht. Justme 06:27, 11 August 2011 (EDT)

Where to stick money/credit card info?

In this edit[40] a user quite rightly pointed out that credit card use in the Netherlands increasingly requires a PIN code. I removed it from there, for it was in the wrong place, but now am unsure on where to stick it instead. I'm guessing more travelers are unpleasantly surprised by that PIN-code fact, and I think it should be in the article on The Netherlands. But where? Money exchange info should go in the Buy-section, but it seems way too far down to put general info on currency, credit card use and all that there, since it's relevant from the first minute you arrive. Now that I look at it, we also don't seem to have one of those "costs & money" sections (I think that's how LP calls it, or some other guide) with info on what to expect in terms of daily costs. Is that on purpose? For many years that was one of the first sections I would read in search of travel destinations that would more or less fit my budget. Justme 09:35, 15 August 2011 (EDT)

All banking, money, currency etc information should go into the buy section. If you want to post daily cost/budget info, make a costs sub-section of the buy section. See for example United Kingdom and United States of America (and I am sure lots of other articles). --Burmesedays 09:47, 15 August 2011 (EDT)

More information on how to dress

I'd be interested in seeing more information on how to dress for a destination. Not in a lot of detail, but enough to know what to expect. There's bits here and there, but I think it should be more widely used, certainly at the country level.

For example, at a country level: a sentence each on dressing for business, for everyday wear, and for "dressing up" to go to nice restaurants or plays. At a state/city level, there could be room for this, too... in the Southern U.S., dress is very casual during the summer because of the heat, while in Washington D.C. people tend to dress nicely even for everyday dress.

Thoughts? --BigPeteB 11:49, 18 August 2011 (EDT)

Definitely agreed. Useful information. I suggest in the Understand section. I think that the only guideline on dress so far, is for warnings about modesty etc which are to be placed in the Respect section. --Burmesedays 12:24, 18 August 2011 (EDT)
I agree strongly that this would be useful. It's one of the hardest bits of information to come by prior to travel—I often find myself crawling through flickr searches for street views—but is quite useful for anyone who doesn't want to stand out as a tourist (presumably everyone?). I guess Cope would be the appropriate section? --Peter Talk 16:37, 18 August 2011 (EDT)
I'll be happy to take a stab at this in a few articles. I notice that several countries don't have a Cope section yet; is it worth adding one just for this? Maybe it should go in another section? --BigPeteB 15:36, 19 August 2011 (EDT)
Cope is usually for services. Understand or Respect would be better, depending on the nature of the advice. LtPowers 16:44, 19 August 2011 (EDT)
I took a first attempt at this at United_States_of_America#Dress. It turned out a little longer than I expected (and it's biased towards men's dress because that's what I know), but I think it covers 98% of all the scenarios travelers would encounter. Let me know what you think! --BigPeteB 18:12, 19 August 2011 (EDT)
I do think it is a bit long; the entire United States article is already too long and contains far too little travel information and too much basic how-to-act information. I think what needs to be said about dress in the U.S. could fit into one or two paragraphs, and belongs properly in the Understand or Respect sections. LtPowers 19:32, 19 August 2011 (EDT)
Alright, I pared it down a lot. I think I like it better shorter, anyway, as part of the adventure of traveling is discovering for yourself what local culture is like, rather than reading about it on a website. --BigPeteB 13:20, 21 August 2011 (EDT)
I don't think understand or respect would be appropriate sections. The point of going over how people dress is about making your trip more comfortable via blending in. --Peter Talk 23:19, 19 August 2011 (EDT)
But we've never used Cope for such things in the past. Ever. It's always been for services. It especially doesn't make sense in locations where we also cover appropriate dress under "Respect" -- then we'd be putting clothing information in two different sections. LtPowers 23:26, 19 August 2011 (EDT)
The respect material has been about not offending local sensibilities, but that's not what BigPeteB is suggesting. Having a dress subsection would allow us to move the information up there.
I don't know where you are getting the "services" bit from. Wikitravel:Huge_city_article_template#Cope advises that Cope is for Anything that has to do with the practicalities of daily life should go here. Intuitively, the name of the section would also suggest that this is an appropriate place. Choosing what to wear is pretty clearly one of the practicalities of daily life, and trying to blend in is one of the most basic coping mechanisms for travel in a different place (lest you be hassled endlessly, draw funny looks, or feel silly). --Peter Talk 00:04, 20 August 2011 (EDT)
But likewise it says "Don't put something here when it could fit in one of the other sections." "How Americans dress" is quintessential "Understand" information. LtPowers 09:36, 20 August 2011 (EDT)

How to edit {Schengen}?

Can someone tell me how I can edit the text that is generated by this: {{Schengen}} , in a country article? Thanks, Justme 05:19, 22 August 2011 (EDT)

Template:Schengen. Just keep in mind that whatever changes you make will show up in all the almost 30 articles that use this template. texugo 07:39, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Ah, thanks, also for the "nowiki" trick :-) Justme 08:10, 22 August 2011 (EDT)

page like a traveller wish list ?

As a traveller, I found some guesthouses or other services, sometimes lacking complete understanding of what a traveller coud ask: for example, for guesthouse, be cleaned / no bedbugs, have some informations on transport from/to, ... is there such a page on wikitravel ?

183.182.122.40 09:04, 24 August 2011 (EDT)

Software tools for easy edit / offline

Trying to contribue on wikitravel, I find online editing not the best way to do it. Is there any software to do this easier, on Linux/Mac/Win or smartphones ? to say: retrieve a list page, edit/review multiple time, check render, upload.

Wikipedia list some https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Wikipedia:Tools/Editing_tools#Wikisyntax_conversion_utilities http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/wikipublisher?intcmp=1547 and offline editing is still pretty rare

183.182.122.40 09:04, 24 August 2011 (EDT)

Country surgeon Expedition

Our "See sections" on country articles tend to be empty, despite being potentially the most useful section for giving people an idea of how to spend their time in the country. I think Iraq#See is a decent example of how useful this can be (and I wrote that with just a couple hours of research and nearly no prior knowledge). I've organized a list of countries that need see sections, or at least better developed see sections, which could serve as a checklist, in the same manner as we do at the Wikitravel:Regions map Expedition. We have been discussing this issue at Wikitravel:Collaboration of the month#Update Country See and Do Sections.

So in short, I'd like to start the Wikitravel:Country surgeon Expedition! --Peter Talk 18:15, 24 August 2011 (EDT)

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages

other sites