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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
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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.



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 [1] 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 [2] 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 [3] 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 [4] (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)


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)

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 [5], 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)


Questions about images

Some photos have been deleted from Bangkok/Khao San Road page, because allegedly they were promotion. This one [6], because it shows a restaurant sign. This one [7] because it shows a hotel room. And this one [8] 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 [9]
  • FoodLoft food court [10]
  • Brick Bar [11]
  • Chacrit Muay Thai School [12]
  • Emporium Shopping Mall [13]
  • Condom Compendium Restaurant [14]
  • Long Table Restaurant [15]
  • Narcissus Club [16]
  • Nana Hotel [17]
  • Central Plaza Pinklao Shopping Mall [18]
  • RCA 808 Club [19]
  • RCA Plaza Mall [20]

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 [21]
  • Chinatown [22] - shows people on the road, the road itself, but also some signs, so could also be seen as promotion
  • Yaowarat cloth seller [23]
  • Yaowarat market [24]
  • Khao San Road market [25]
  • Tuk-tuk on Khao San Road [26]
  • Soi Cow-boy [27]
  • Soi Pat-pong Night Market [28]
  • Siam Square Soi 7 [29]
  • Hualamphong Station [30]
  • Oriental Hotel lobby [31]
  • Tuk-tuks and people on the road [32]
  • Soi Thaniya [33]

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 [34] 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 [35] 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 [36]. 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)
I have not suggested that I am being blocked, it appears to be bad server behaviour or related issues, good to hear that there is something being done to address the problems.-- cheers felix 20:00, 24 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[37] 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)

I don't think it's a good idea to start enforcing this idea by reversion. After the section was removed, the best thing to do would be to discuss on the talk page whether it should be re-added or not, especially since this is a new proposal that has yet to gain any significant traction. I, for one, continue to be unconvinced that this needs a whole section of its own under "Cope" in a city guide; a single sentence or two under "Understand" should be plenty. In country articles, we might be able to get more verbose, but things just don't vary enough city-to-city to be worth three paragraphs. LtPowers 13:26, 31 August 2011 (EDT)

I'm fine with removing the section in the future, if the general feeling is that it is not helpful. But it is for the time being our test case, so I'm happy to see it draw critiques in the meantime. I will reiterate, though, via rambling, that while many might not care about this sort of information (in the same way I don't care about where I can find shopping malls), for some tourists, blending in while traveling is a priority and a difficult art. All the more difficult owing to the general paucity of destination-specific information online. For most destinations, though, this can certainly be left off. --Peter Talk 18:58, 31 August 2011 (EDT)
I agree that most city articles don't need a Dress section, and those that do probably only need a couple of sentences. (I couldn't care less where it's placed, either.) I just want to convince people that it is important... maybe not for you, but for others. Business travelers, I think, have an obvious need to show up appropriately dressed. European visitors to the U.S. could be quite embarrassed to realize that speedos are uncommon at beaches and pools. As for everyday dress, other than a general desire to not look like an out-of-place tourist begging to get mugged, I can only offer a personal anecdote. I've taken several college choirs on tours where they did "homestays" with local families for lodging, and they were consistently praised for their maturity and responsibility, and it led to many further displays of kindness and hospitality. (And this is from families who regularly host college choirs throughout the year.) I think that dressing to fit in, rather than just lazily putting on shorts and sandals like we wear at home, contributed to this, and I think all travelers ought to have that information available, whether or not they choose to use it. BigPeteB 09:43, 6 September 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)


Policy/convention question - hierarchy-related

So, the question has come up regarding why we tend to divide regions into strict subregions, rather than allowing (as a matter of course) subregions to have multiple parent regions. Of course, we have for some time now allowed occasional exceptions where it would be perverse not to -- Lake Tahoe, for instance. But it seems to me that in general, we prefer subregions to be entirely contained within a single parent region.

The problem is that I can't find this convention clearly written down anyway. Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy certainly implies it to me, but apparently not to everyone. Is there something I'm missing here?

-- LtPowers 13:51, 26 August 2011 (EDT)

The Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy#Overlap section was meant to cover overlapping regions, although perhaps it needs more detail? The three most relevant sentences of that section would be "If we have overlapping guides, readers don't know where to go to get travel information, and contributors don't know where to put travel information. It's also easier to draw maps for a destination if none of the parts of the destination overlap... No two regions at the same level of the hierarchy should overlap." -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:59, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
Yeah, but we're not talking about overlap, but rather one region with two parents. So the cities on, say the west side of a county are in one superregion while the cities on the east side are in a different superregion -- but we have the county as a whole as a single region article with both superregion articles as parents. There's technically no overlap between "two regions at the same level". LtPowers 14:32, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
I think that's the same issue though - the county overlaps two parent regions. Lake Tahoe and Russia are obvious examples of where this rule is broken, and Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy covers that case, but per the existing guidelines: "...if a subregion is commonly understood as belonging to more than one parent region... it is perfectly fine to list it in both parent regions as long as this does not create significant content overlap. A region's breadcrumb trail, however, will display only a single parent region in a strict hierarchical fashion." If that guidance is being understood as a broad permission to create non-hierarchical regions rather than a rare exception I'd be in favor of updating the policies to make it clearer that overlapping regions should be a rarity in order to make it easier to keep the site organized. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:37, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
There are several issues here that are getting muddled together under the notion of a "strict hierarchy/strict subregions" (I have no idea what that really means).
1) The way we prevent unhelpful overlap is to create a hierarchy that—at each level of the hierarchy—there are no gaps nor overlap. This is a simple enough rule to follow, and is useful to prevent the problem of people not sure where to put information (this is far more important at the bottom level, where we have actual listings, rather than creative descriptions and interpretations of various regions).
2) Single parents. This has been discussed several times, and the verdict both in discussion and the policy article itself has always been that, while single parents can do an excellent job, it never hurts to have two. Russia provides an elucidating example. It clearly belongs to both Asia and Europe, and to omit it from either continent article in pursuit of some vague parochial notion would be absurd. This does not create any significant problems of overlap, however, as the boundaries at each level of the hierarchy are defined: Europe and Asia are bounded by the Urals, Russia's official borders separate it from neighboring regions and countries. The only real problem is with our breadcrumb navigation, and this is a problem ideally solved via a technical solution, which would allow us to create a breadcrumb trail for Vladivostok (for example) that would navigate back to Asia, not Europe.
3) New York's regional division should be tweaked anyway, to do away with artificial county borders when they are formed in ways that are not helpful to travelers.
4) Non-hierarchical regions. These actually have nothing to do with what LtPowers is discussing. --Peter Talk 16:42, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
(edit conflict) Well, the issue in question is Ulster County, which a new user would like to split between Hudson Valley and Catskills. And that's fine; our regions don't have to follow county boundaries. The problem is that he seems to want a single Ulster County article with two parents -- Hudson Valley for the eastern part and Catskills for the western part. While this sort of thing is allowed (Lake Tahoe is not in both Nevada and California simultaneously, after all; it's partly in Nevada and partly in California), I don't think it's the best option in this case. If Ulster County is to be split between two regions, we should keep it split. And I don't think the "overlap" section of the hierarchy policy page addresses that case. LtPowers 16:48, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
Is there a pointer to the discussion that "Single parents. This has been discussed several times, and the verdict both in discussion and the policy article itself has always been that, while single parents can do an excellent job, it never hurts to have two" ??? My impression has always been that this should be a rarity, and is only done in cases where it would be confusing NOT to do it - for example, claiming that Russia is in Asia only, or that Lake Tahoe is solely in California. In all other cases we generally try to come up with structures that are very hierarchical, and use disambiguation pages where that doesn't work (example: Knowledge Corridor). No? -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:31, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
Talk:Turkey#Who.27s_your_daddy.3F and Wikitravel_talk:Geographical_hierarchy#Single_parents are what I find right away. Wikitravel_talk:Geographical_hierarchy#Extra-hierarchical_regions is tangential, but still worthwhile reading. Bill's last comment especially.
Knowledge Corridor was created as a disambiguation page for an article which we did not feel met our article criteria—it's not really a travel region at all and does not merit an article. (For this reason, I didn't see why we needed the disambiguation page at all.) The argument, as I understood it, was that it might anyway be helpful with navigation. But again, this is a different issue from the question of parenthood—multiple parents is a way of having more intuitive indexing of our articles.
As an aside, I think we organizers sometimes get a little too wrapped up in the desire for internal neatness, possibly at the expense of intuitiveness and generally helpful organization for the reader. John's comment—"I've spent a significant fraction of my life dealing professionally with geographic data architecture, and I don't think it's arrogant to assert that I know a lot about what does and does not work -- and an arborescence doesn't"—is a stronger statement than I would make, but the basic point that geographical reality does not always conform to a perfect tree structure, and it thus can be counterproductive to try and force it, if our real goal is to produce travel content and navigation that is intuitive and commonsensical.
Lastly, lets really keep in mind Bill's comment in all of these situations: WTP? Because it's rarely clear to me. --Peter Talk 17:53, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
(Re-indenting) Re: WTP - the most significant is the breadcrumb trails, and given the current site ownership that seems unlikely to ever be fixed; currently it's misleading to see Siberia listed under Europe in the breadcrumb. The second is map-making: an occasional extra-hierarchical region is fine, but in any significance they can turn messy. I don't know that this is a desire for "internal neatness" rather than an attempt to be clear and consistent.
That said, I'm still not sure whether you're proposing anything different from what LtPowers and I seem to be arguing: that extra-hierarchical regions be used only when it would make less sense NOT to use them. Turkey, Russia, Lake Tahoe and the Navajo Nation are all travel destinations and clearly-defined regions, and splitting them up for hierarchical purposes would be absurd. However, Ulster County may not make sense as a travel region and might thus make more sense as a disambiguation page, thus preserving a clear hierarchy. Does that make sense? Or are you proposing that extra-hierarchical regions aren't really something that we need to be trying to avoid where possible? -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:29, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
I was more arguing that we are not talking about extra-hierarchical regions :P (And agreed, the one real problem is with breadcrumbs, but it would be a shame to let our tech mismanagement force us to fit our content and content organization to a bad technical set up.) But if we are going to discuss extra-hierarchical regions, then yes, I don't think they are so scary. Since they are extra-hierarchical, there is no reason to put them on the regions maps, since their purpose is just to better explain a real travel region, not for the purpose of navigating the hierarchy. I'll go back to my usual example of Great Lakes. It's not a part of our hierarchy, but it's a nice article to have, and does no harm that I can see. The Chesapeake Bay article is a lot less well developed and messy, but it seems obvious that we would want an article about it (I personally would certainly benefit read a well-developed travel article about it), and again, it's not doing any harm listed as an Other Destination. In that conversation linked above, I suggested calling such articles "travel topics," which presumably wouldn't offend anyone's organizational sensibilities, but that would just be us falling into a sort of parochial overthinking—the Great Lakes is a region. --Peter Talk 19:37, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
So do you think we should have an Ulster County article and a (say) Eastern Catskills article that covers the same geographic area as the western part of Ulster County? That seems even worse than just having a single Ulster County article as a subregion of both Hudson Valley and Catskills. LtPowers 22:37, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
No, I do not. --Peter Talk 22:48, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
Okay, then I guess I'm looking for a policy or guideline that I can point to to explain why we don't want an Ulster County article if it's split between two regions. LtPowers 10:06, 27 August 2011 (EDT)
The problem is the use of counties in New York (state) as regions, while counties don't match up with travelers' geography. --globe-trotter 11:11, 27 August 2011 (EDT)
(Edit conflict-- I was expounding on the same point:)
I'd say the question is mainly "should we even have all these county articles at all?" We eliminated them from most other states long ago, and even after all this time, New York's county articles are still not in good shape. All but one of New York's top level regions currently break down into counties (total of 45 mentioned), but almost half of them (21) are still red links, and the majority of the ones that have been created contain little more than a city list. Certainly if these counties are not the most useful way for us to divide the territory, and if they don't even match up with the parent regions (see Finger Lakes for yet 3 more cases of counties overlapping multiple parent regions), then I think we need to stop insisting on using them as regions at all. texugo 12:02, 27 August 2011 (EDT)
I don't have any knowledge of these particular cases, but I suspect the issue is as pointed out by Globe-trotter and Texugo. New York State is a 2nd level region of the US. Then New York State is split into a further 9 third level regions, and then there are 45 bottom level regions (or counties). So a second level region (a state) has spawned a further 54 region articles. Surely, that can't be the right way to go.--burmesedays 12:37, 27 August 2011 (EDT)
We're getting off-topic here. Counties were used as a convenient way to measure where region boundaries should go, but we deviate from them where necessary (as with Finger Lakes). With Niagara Frontier, I felt that county boundaries (with one county split in half) was the best way to organize the region. Other than that, we list counties a) because most NY regions haven't been otherwise subdivided yet, and b) because many of the counties mostly have their own tourism organizations and web sites, making them fairly convenient as travel regions.
But the issue here is that we have a user who wants to place information in the Ulster County article while insisting that the county be both in the Catskills region and in the Hudson Valley region. He said he read Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy and that the "Overlap" section validated his plan by allowing multiple parent regions. My contention is that it should be avoided where possible, but I don't have any policy document to point to. LtPowers 13:41, 27 August 2011 (EDT)
I think John seemed amenable to retooling the hierarchy? While this discussion has been interesting, I don't think this particular matter is as much a matter of policy as it is a matter of rethinking the particulars of the NY state divisions. --Peter Talk 21:59, 27 August 2011 (EDT)
The problem is that the county was only listed as being in the Catskills region, while a part of it also lies in the Hudson Valley. Thus, the user got confused when looking at the Hudson Valley page and not seeing the county listed there. For this situation, two parent regions are necessary as the county spans two tourist regions. This is possible and done before, such as with the Harz Mountains in Germany, a region with both Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt as parent regions. The only problem with this is the breadcrumb trail, but there is no real solution for that (and probably not anytime soon). In the New York case it would be even better if these counties were eliminated at all, and turned into tourist regions (and it seems like the Hudson Valley needs to be reconsidered, as the region on Wikitravel looks out of touch with the map at the NY tourist board [38]. Also the Metro New York region is problematic, and probably needs to be an extra-hierarchical region or be left out altogether as it spans multiple states). --globe-trotter 01:11, 29 August 2011 (EDT)
None Only one of our New York regions matches the state's tourism site. I didn't realize that was a problem... it's never been a problem before. LtPowers 21:47, 29 August 2011 (EDT)
Obviously the regional scheme doesn't have to match those of the tourist board. But I think some changes could be made, especially to the Hudson Valley and Metro New York (and maybe also cut off Long Island east of New York as tourism there is of a different nature than in the big city). County borders could help in some of these divisions, but are confusing in others (such as the Hudson Valley). --globe-trotter 22:05, 29 August 2011 (EDT)

Title icons

I've found an issue with the use of title icons. When two of them are used in an article, it seems like only one of them appears (the bottom one). Ubud is both a star article, and a former OtBP destination — however, only the star is displayed in the upper right corner (which I changed, as before it was only the OtBP icon shown). Is this a recent site issue, or has it always been like this? --globe-trotter 16:00, 26 August 2011 (EDT)

There were two invocations of Template:Title-icons rather than a single invocation with two arguments. I updated the Ubud article so it should be working now. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:04, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
Ah, I didn't know it worked like that. I also fixed Menzies now. --globe-trotter 16:10, 26 August 2011 (EDT)


Rhinocarhire dot com Removal from Local Spam Blacklist Request

We are seeking feedback / support for the removal of rhinocarhire dot com from the Wikitravel talk:Local spam blacklist#Various Car Hire Agencies. We have for some time been in discussion with a moderator who has recommended that we use this platform in an attempt to gain support for our removal from the list by consensus. We found ourselves added to the list in September 2009 where the route cause was traced back to an external editor / SEO specialist who took it upon himself to spam wiki travel with our website. Upon discovering such practices, this person ceased to work for the company and has not done so since. We have explained our situation in detail, however the perception remains that we will try to use Wikitravel for our own benefit and SEO purposes, which I can assure the Wikitravel community is not the case. We run an honest business and were awarded Best Car Hire Website at the 2010 Travolution Awards, something that the team worked very hard towards and are very proud of. Our integrity has been questioned on Wikitravel to the extent where we have been labelled not trustworthy, something we find unjust and unfounded. There have also been references to 'fake blogs' that we know nothing about and have requested further information to fully investigate, however no further information has been supplied. We have no interest in self promotion of our business on Wikitravel and are not looking for recommendations, however being listed as spam is potentially damaging for our business. We have been punished by wiki travel for 2 years now (listed on the spam blacklist) and feel that continued listing as spam for actions carried out by a 3rd party on our behalf (unknown to us at the time) is not longer justifiable. We would welcome to feedback from the community on this matter as we will continue our pursuit for removal from the list. Many thanks. Rhinocarhire dot com. (86.29.197.231 09:23, 30 August 2011 (EDT))

Wikipedia Images

Hi folks, is there an easy way to add/share images from wikipedia?

Not at this time. You'll have to save the images and re-upload them at Wikitravel Shared. LtPowers 13:32, 31 August 2011 (EDT)

Feedback request: Margarita Island car rentals

Per Talk:Margarita Island#Car rentals hopefully a few other people can chime in. I removed a car rental section per Wikitravel:External links#What not to link to (more than ten car rental companies available at the location), but there is some history to the car rental section as outlined on the talk page, so perhaps one or two others can provide their opinions on this subject. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:46, 31 August 2011 (EDT)

Hey Ryan, I just want to clarify my position on this issue. Your statement, "I removed a car rental section per Wikitravel:External links#What not to link to (more than ten car rental companies available at the location)," I feel, is not entirely accurate. The reasons are listed below.
"Avoid linking to secondary sources - for example, avoid links to: Rental cars operators, in cities where they are common (10 or more operating in the city). Typically we don't provide details of national car rental chains in local guides. Providing details at the national level, and mentioning the name and location at local level is sufficient if required." http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel:External_links#What_not_to_link_to
The above referenced policy deals with "Rental cars operators, in cities where they are common (10 or more operating in the city)" and "national car rental chains in local guides". Margarita Island is not a "city", it is a State. Therefore, while there may be more then 10 car rental agencies operating on this Island, it is not a "city" and the policy about including individual local agencies in the article is not very clear except to say that national car rental chains at the local level need only be mentioned.


In the State of Florida, http://wikitravel.org/en/Florida, 8 rental car companies have been listed, 4 with links to their web sites. The "city" of Tampa, http://wikitravel.org/en/Tampa, list 8 "national car rental chains" and one local company, all with links. The city of Tampa has 10 or more "rental car operators" operating within that city.
This is common place on wikitravel, if more examples are needed I can supply 100's more that violate the above mentioned policy. By removing the "national car rental chains" from the individual listings that you removed, it would be within policy. So if there are no objections I will rework the list to be policy compliant. Thanks, MustSee 16:28, 2 September 2011 (EDT)MustSeeMustSee 16:28, 2 September 2011 (EDT)


By removing the details of the national car rental chains that are mentioned in the text below, since they are listed on a national level and Margarita Island is not a city as required for exclusion in the policy quoted, this now falls within WT established policy. In addition, the operators listed below are all licensed and are genuine car rental companies, saving the traveler the potential hassle of dealing with a third party or an unlicensed company. This gives the traveler the information they need to decide on their own. I propose the following addition if there are no legitimate objections.


Rental cars are available from major chains such as Avis, Budget and Hertz, as well as local operators. Always use common sense when renting and make sure to check for any hidden costs and levies that may appear when you return the car. To rent a car you will need a current driver’s license and a passport. Make sure you have adequate insurance cover any loss or purchase a Collision Damage Waiver and do not leave your passport, drivers licence, or any other important documentation with the rental company as a security deposit. Thoroughly check over the vehicle including the glass and all panels for any damage and have the salesperson initial a damage record. If in doubt at all photograph the vehicle from all sides prior to taking delivery. Ensure you check the gas tank prior to the rental and at return. Check the vehicle over thoroughly before you leave the depot to ensure everything is functioning on the vehicle and that it is roadworthy.
* Gringo Rent A Car (US enquiry number +1 813 964 7300), Av Mario Oliveros, El Yaque Paradise Hotel, PB Level, Playa El Yaque, international calling +58 416 698 4323 Local calling 0416 698 4323, [39]. 7AM-11PM. Kiosk at airport (PMV). Both new or late model cars available. Spanish, English and French language contracts available, multi-lingual staff on site. Free delivery available to the airport, ferry or hotel.
* Losan Motors-Isla de Margarita, Main Office Porlamar, +58 295 263 9420, +58 295 269 1075. 8AM-12PM. then 2:PM-6PM. A car dealership that offers rentals
* M and M Tours, Av Santiago Marino, edif.Blue Sky Piso1, Local1-2 Polamar, +58 295 872 2408, +58 426 586 0415, +58 414 785 6315, +58 412 210 7891 (), [40]. Late model cars 2007-2010
* Margarita Rentals, Office and rental depot located at the airport, +58 295 263 2711, +58 295 269 1047.
Scooter motorbike and moped hire
  • Excellency Rent a Car, Porlamar, Hotel Dynasty Best Western - PB Costa Azul, +58 295 262 6503, +58 295 262 2955. Motorbikes and scooters are available for around $20 to $35 per day, also offer 6-12mth car leases.
If considering making a trip to the mainland on the ferry and taking a rental vehicle with you then please ensure beforehand that your rental and insurance contract permits the vehicle traveling off the island.
MustSee 14:54, 11 September 2011 (EDT)MustSeeMustSee 14:54, 11 September 2011 (EDT)
It is not helpful for this discussion to happen in two places, and Ryan's comment above was only a pointer to the actual discussion at Talk:Margarita Island#Car rentals. Please keep all discussion there. --Peter Talk 19:22, 11 September 2011 (EDT)

Regional quickbox

Template:QuickbarRegion Following the earlier discussion, I have produced a "draft" quickbox template (see right) for regional articles as desired. The key advantages are:

  • It provides an "at a glance" summary of the key questions a tourist might ask when choosing a holiday destination:
    • Where is it?
    • What are the top attractions?
    • Is there anything for kids?
    • How long do I need there, minimum?
    • Where can I get more info?
  • It means you can quickly get a feel for the tourist potential of a region without having to wade through the whole article
  • It avoids the "spurious facts" criticism of the previous quickbox
  • It takes no more width than the standard photo
  • It is based on exactly sort of info shown in popular travel guides
  • It therefore enhances the usability and appeal of WikiTravel

I'm sure it can be improved, but you can see the basic idea: "key tourist information at a glance", not "a box of spurious facts". Views? --SaxonWarrior 07:48, 1 September 2011 (EDT)

It's not bad, but I'd prefer to see it without the photo and placed only in the Understand section, which meshes with the changes that are underway with the country quickbar (see Template talk:Quickbar#Round three). As a more specific critique, the "website" link is wholly superfluous as the website should be linked prominently in the first sentence of the article. LtPowers 09:59, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
I'd like to reiterate my strong objection to adding quickbars to region articles. I think the content they contain belong in the proper article sections, and that they hog the screen real estate we use for pictures. As per the discussions linked above (and in further discussions regarding specific articles, for example those of the UK's home nations), the community in the past has come down firmly against expanding their use to non-country articles. And even with the country quickbars, the community over time has come around to the idea that they do hog space, and we are just about to reduce its size and scope significantly. I do not think we have a consensus to create or use this template, and think it should remain in SaxonWarrior's userspace until we do. --Peter Talk 22:46, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
I'll also re-voice a strong objection here. We are backing off on even the country quickbar. I can't imagine why we would introduce one for cities, which have even less unique info about them. All the info in your box already has its proper place within the article. I give this a huge no. texugo 00:38, 2 September 2011 (EDT)
@texugo. We're not backing off the country quickbar - we're trimming it to what is essential - this quickbar does exactly that for regions (not cities by the way). Of course the info can be found in the article, the whole point is you don't have to wade through 500 words of text to find it. It's a quick "at a glance" summary of key tourist facts - that's why major international tourist guides use this system - and they have done their customer research!
@Peter. The quickbar includes a picture anyway. The browsing tourist will see the top of the article first - he wants to be able to see at a glance whether he would be interested in going there. In about 6 seconds he can browse the key point and make a quick judgement, then read on or move on. It's purpose is not the same as the country quickbar. --SaxonWarrior 01:43, 2 September 2011 (EDT)
They also shove the regions map way down the article, and for region articles, that will usually be below the regions section. That is a huge disadvantage. --Peter Talk 14:59, 6 September 2011 (EDT)
Well, that's easy to fix: put the map in the box or leave the image out. The example is only a draft - we can change the template or even tailor it slightly to each article. Those that like the concept will find ways to make it work even better; those that don't... well nothing will convince them! --SaxonWarrior 16:05, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
I don't think that's fixable at all, as different region maps come in different shapes and sizes, based both on the needs of the region and the aims of the mapmaker. Some regions require more than one map to adequately do the job. Here are a few examples: a b c d e f g h.
In my view, essential "at a glance" information belongs in the lede. Only one piece of information in the example you have provided seems to me essential, and it's the "must do"s, which absolutely should be mentioned in any good lede. For more detail or less essential information, there is a table of contents right at the top (which could use an overhaul), and the breadcrumb navigation just above for geographical orientation. Ideally, the WT-style regions map would also provide that type of immediate context, but not if it is buried—even below the regions section itself! --Peter Talk 19:02, 8 September 2011 (EDT)

Kosovo

I've been reverting a lot of political edits from this user [41]. However, I have to agree somewhat with his removal in Kosovo in the Europe regions list (in brackets at Balkans). Listing Kosovo is logical, as Kosovo de facto is an independent state, and travellers have to deal with Kosovar authorities in order to go there. However, if we list Kosovo in this list, we should also list Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia and Transnistria, as the situation in these de facto states are not really different from Kosovo. So should we either include all of these states or remove them all? --globe-trotter 21:33, 2 September 2011 (EDT)

We should only remove Kosovo if we're going to make it a region of Serbia. Otherwise, we list it because that's how we've defined it as a travel region. Politically, I note that none of the other regions you've mentioned have international recognition on the level of Kosovo, which has been recognized as independent by about 40% of the countries of the world. Of the regions you mentioned, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria are treated as regions while Nagorno-Karabakh and Northern Cyprus use the country template. The latter two should be added if we are going to continue to treat them that way, even though they have virtually no international recognition. LtPowers 08:52, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
That would be pretty random. All these states have limited recognition and all are not recognized by the United Nations. South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transnistra shouldn't be "regions" on Wikitravel, as they are de facto states with their own rules, immigration policy and currency. However, I'm a bit reluctant on adding them to the Europe page, as we'd have to add a lot of countries on there many people barely know. Also, these political edits are getting annoying, and we'd have less of them if we'd just follow the UN. --globe-trotter 11:32, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
It's not random, unless you assume the decision to go with a country template or region template for those articles is random. And Kosovo has far more international recognition as independent than the other regions you mention. LtPowers 11:58, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
Yes, calling some of those entities "regions" and others "countries" is random, as they are more or less similar. About Kosovo, is that relevant for the traveller that a few more states have recognized Kosovo than have Abkhazia? Both are de facto states that a traveller has to deal with and both are not recognized by the United Nations. If the "degree of recognition" would be of concern, we'd be opening an endless can of worms. How many states should recognize a de facto state before it gets a mention on the Europe page? --globe-trotter 12:12, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
If you consider 75 to be "a few", I suppose you'd have a point. Otherwise, I have to wonder why you're minimizing Kosovo's status. LtPowers 13:38, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
Kosovo is not recognized by the United Nations, just like many other de facto states. Like I said, the amount of other states recognizing a de facto state is not relevant to traveller, as the traveller has to deal with de facto states, whether they are recognized or not. Kosovo is recognized by 75 states, Taiwan by 23 states, Abkhazia by 4 states and Nagorno-Karabakh only by non-UN-states. Where do we draw the line? At recognition by 5 states? Just for the heck of it? The traveller has to get visas and follow the rules of all these de facto states. So we should treat them all equally and in the same manner. I am not "minimizing" Kosovo's status in anyway, I just think that if Kosovo is listed, all these de facto states should be listed. --globe-trotter 14:06, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
But as you said, that opens a big can of worms: "we'd have to add a lot of countries on there many people barely know". Not every breakaway region has to be treated the same. I'm not saying official recognition is the only metric we should use, but by the same token, neither should UN recognition (elsewise, bye-bye Taiwan). It's better to look at each of them on a case-by-case basis. For regions for which we use the country template, we treat them like other countries. For regions for which we use the region template, we treat them like other regions. I don't think there's any objective metric that fits every possible case. LtPowers 14:31, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
Well, there is an objective metric, that is listing all of them or listing none of them. That's why I think all de facto states ought to be included, not just a few we like to pick for no objective reason whatsoever. About those templates, they should all either have country templates or region templates, as they are all states with limited recognition. Calling some "regions" and other "countries" would be arbitrary, as all of them operate like states with their own visas, currency, national anthem, flags, etc. --globe-trotter 14:39, 3 September 2011 (EDT)

CotM

I just wanted to plug our new Collaboration of the Month: a project to create meaningful see sections for all country articles. We have three people on the project; three more would mean that we would make real progress quickly. If you already are familiar with the country, it doesn't take long to write up a see section. If not familiar, this is a great exercise for learning about travel in parts of the world new to you.

This is all to say that this is a fun CotM—join in! --Peter Talk 17:45, 7 September 2011 (EDT)

Alignment of images - left or right?

Hi folks. Can someone please point me to the policy about the alignment of images? Cheers. --SaxonWarrior 07:08, 9 September 2011 (EDT)

Archiving

Hi, I have just archived all threads over 3 months old on this page. I hope I have done this correctly - please guide me if I haven't! Thanks. --SaxonWarrior 07:59, 9 September 2011 (EDT)

Thanks for taking on that task! We do prefer that discussions relevant to particular pages elsewhere on the site be "swept" to the corresponding Talk page, though, rather than just archived to the "cellar" as you did. For example, Wikitravel:Travellers' pub/2011#how to organize extensive details on ClubMed could have been swept to Wikitravel talk:Accommodation listings, where it originated. LtPowers 08:58, 9 September 2011 (EDT)
Ah, sorry. It's obviously more complicated than I thought! I'll move that one for a start. --SaxonWarrior 15:24, 9 September 2011 (EDT)
Yes, please take a look over the "Please sweep the pub" section at the top of this page. When everything gets tossed in the cellar, useful stuff gets lost. I've been working on cleaning up the cellar, and that's a very lonely and demanding task that gets even more daunting when more stuff gets tossed down the stairs! ;) --Peter Talk 21:38, 9 September 2011 (EDT)

Purge a page

Is there any trick to purge a page easily, and see the last version? For some reason, I always have to read the "edit" version to see what's really on the page, since the normal page shows me versions up to days old. Isn't that like a major major bug? It's very frustrating at the very least, but I would say it limits the use of the whole website.. Justme 05:05, 12 September 2011 (EDT)

On the edit page, there is a purge button at the bottom. Or you can change the action in the URL from edit to purge. texugo 06:56, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
For me, just pressing F5 usually makes it show the most recent version. --globe-trotter 06:59, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
Amongst the stinking heap of operational crapiness of this site, I think this is the worst of it all. It is sometimes weeks before a cached page clears itself. Most regulars know how to purge cache (although it is still incredibly annoying), but casual users (i.e. the key target market) will not have a clue.--burmesedays 07:59, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
The comments above are an understatement, dog crapiness does not even come close either. It is near impossible to edit anything without a mind numbing array of page reload attempts, failed previews or 'lost' edit uploads and a seemingly endless stream of blank pages instead of a page or preview loading. Lately I have near given up. I have recently just given up on a few corrective edits because I just cannot get anywhere with the page despite purging, cache clearing and even waiting and returning later often ends up in the same morass. Gets a bit disheartening after a while and is an appalling waste of time and energy. -- felix 11:37, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
For what it's worth, IB is hopeful that upgrading our version of MediaWiki will resolve these problems. LtPowers 13:42, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
IB's latest update with respect to performance issues is here. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:49, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
For my information, is the issue reported here also the issue reported here: http://wikitravel.org/shared/Tech:Cache_not_clearing_after_editing#Caching_still_not_working --IBobi 18:23, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
Tech indicates that if the MW update does not resolve the issue itself, there is a chacheing upgrade we can do as well to resolve this.--IBobi 19:38, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
That's good news IBobi, thanks. Justme 14:43, 16 September 2011 (EDT)

Reversion question

I've had to revert this edit three times already, and so I'm reluctant to do so again, but I can't figure out why this is being removed. Any thoughts? LtPowers 19:06, 16 September 2011 (EDT)

It's not clear why the original text is being removed, so provided the info isn't incorrect then your revert seems fine. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:35, 16 September 2011 (EDT)
The user in question left a note on my talk page explaining the deletion. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:53, 16 September 2011 (EDT)
Odd that he did so for you but not for me. The explanation is also unsatisfying, for reasons I explained on your talk page. LtPowers 09:06, 17 September 2011 (EDT)

Name of Ko Chang

I've been trying to find out what the article name of Ko Chang (Ranong) should be. There are two Ko Chang in Thailand and both are islands at the same level of the geographical hierarchy. Ko Chang is much more famous than Ko Chang (Ranong), so it gets the name. But then what name should the other island have? I checked the naming conventions for it, and it states the following: "If two places are on the same level of the geographical hierarchy (e.g. both are cities), put the country of each in parentheses after their names." Well, this doesn't really make sense as both are in Thailand. So what now? I could use the highest level of geographical hierarchy available where both are different, which would make the article name Ko Chang (Southern Thailand). But Southern Thailand is an "invention" of Wikitravel, there is no administative subdivision in Thailand called that. Another option could be to use the lowest level of geographical hierarchy, which would make the article Ko Chang (Northern Andaman Coast), but again, this is not an existing subdivision. The last option would be to use the current name or Ko Chang (Ranong Province), but this is also odd as we don't have an article about the province of Ranong on Wikitravel. --globe-trotter 02:56, 17 September 2011 (EDT)

I would go with our hierarchy and rename it Ko Chang (Southern Thailand).--burmesedays 03:47, 17 September 2011 (EDT)

Help with Crumlin

I'm not putting this on VfD because, for all I know, Crumlin is a real place. However, this article is an obvious joke. So would someone who knows either delete the article if there is no place called Crumlin or edit the article suitably? Thanks so much. Ikan Kekek 16:25, 18 September 2011 (EDT)

Yeah, a real place. I just stripped it back to an outline and fixed the IsPartOf. texugo 23:06, 18 September 2011 (EDT)
Thanks. :-) Ikan Kekek 02:34, 19 September 2011 (EDT)

Wikimapia

Could someone give me a basic outline of our policies toward linking to wikimapia policy. My understanding is that we do not link to other guides, as per External links, including mapping services. However I cannot find any specific reference to Wikimapia in our policies or the discussion pages. I would like some clarity as a new user is quite enthusiastic to use them and I do not want to jump on them in case I am in error in any way in my interpretation of this. Thanks -- felix 05:13, 19 September 2011 (EDT)

I would not treat Wikimapia any differently to any other map site, i.e. it should not be linked to. As an aside, it has struck me as being a rather odd site, and probably little more than a means for Google Maps to gather user-generated content free-of-charge. The copyright situation is also murky. --burmesedays 08:12, 19 September 2011 (EDT)
I thought the same but buttoned my lips, I will refer the contributing editor here so they can have a look if they are a bit curious as to what others think about it. -- thanks, felix 08:37, 19 September 2011 (EDT)

Historical photographs, artists' impressions -- Image policy discussion please

Hi all. I'd like to get some input at the Image policy discussion page. I hope to clarify our policy regarding the use (or preferably non-use) of historical documentary-style photos, etchings, engravings, paintings, artists' impressions, and the like. Please drop by over there and share your opinion. Thanks! texugo 09:42, 19 September 2011 (EDT)

WT support, week of 9/23-9/30

In the event of technical issues with the site during these dates, please directly contact Dick Bradley (WT technical lead) at dick.bradley@internetbrands dot com. I will do my best to address any questions prior to that, and will be back in Los Angeles the first week of October. Thank you, WTers, --IBobi 18:56, 20 September 2011 (EDT)

Presenting bus line information

Perhaps we have had some discussions about this somewhere, but I don't know where to look. How much is too much bus info? My instinct is that this list is too exhaustive and detailed, but I don't really know the best way to pare it down and present it usefully. Is there any guidance available on this? texugo 11:46, 24 September 2011 (EDT)

I agree, and I think our standard "7±2 rule" is a good rule of thumb that can be pointed to in this case. LtPowers 11:54, 24 September 2011 (EDT)
I'm kinda thinking that, in a country like Brazil that has so many different bus companies, it may not make sense to make individual listings of bus companies at all. With every bus company serving a different roster of destinations and routes, there is no logical way to "recommend" 7±2 of them, is there? texugo 12:33, 24 September 2011 (EDT)
No, I agree; I meant if there are more than nine or ten, don't bother with individual listings at all. Isn't that what we did for rental cars? LtPowers 13:20, 24 September 2011 (EDT)
Yeah, I'm totally ok with that. Perhaps the region article's Get around section can have an overview of the bus companies operating in the area. I think that would suffice. Brazil just has too many bus companies to give local contact info for all of them in every article... texugo 13:26, 24 September 2011 (EDT)

Timeshare articles?

We have extensive and creative experience with owning, using, and disposing of timeshares. I've tried to figure out this site but can't seem to find anyone to ask a few questions of.

1. Is there a timeshare category? It doesn't come up in any search.

2. Would people be interested in articles like

     Timeshare Swaps - Creative Timeshare Travel+ $0 Exchanges
     Vacation with eBay Timeshares
     Rent to Sell Your Timeshare
     How to Get HIGH DOLLARS for Your Timeshare

3. I understand the prohibition on self advertising and have no problem being total generic. We are a charity that accepts timeshare donations, but the only mention of anything would be in my bio contact email address. We just find that too many people are stuck and need a few creative ideas.

4. What page should we start with as a link?

5. If not, how do we start a new page? Drkenrich 15:10, 30 September 2011 (EDT)

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