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OpenID still not working
Also, login on en: using OpenID from fr: and URL fr:user:joelf doesn't seem to work either. Thanks for your help. joelf
I feel that we lack a right to vanish policy. The meatball version is to be found here. The Wikipedia version is here. Suggestion: import the current Wikipedia version. Riggwelter 09:45, 12 September 2012 (EDT)
Nominations should also include a sentence or two outlining the nominee's relevant experience and understanding of Wikitravel's policies. --W. Franke-mailtalk 21:24, 23 September 2012 (EDT)
The main reason for this problem is that nearly all the current admins have left to start another project. Pashley 22:01, 23 September 2012 (EDT)
W. Frank is correct -- qualified admins are needed now, and to guide this project going forward. This is an excellent fresh start for Wikitravel :) --IBobitalkemail 20:29, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
Can the techies improve the captcha or something to cut down on the amount of spam? I've been deleting several pages a day for some time & over a dozen today, and I am not the only admin doing it, but there are lots more. Most involve accounts apparently registered only to spam. Is there a way to prevent spambot registrations? Pashley 01:24, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
Captcha is at its highest level (recaptcha, actually). We're exploring new ways to combat spam accounts, including the Abuse Filter extension. If you notice patterns in the spammers, please let me know. Whether it's coming from a common IP range, always posting the same exact content, similar usernames, etc -- if there's a pattern we can write a rule around, we can set up blocks.--IBobitalkemail 20:34, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
Another is use of the <br> tag, not needed on a wiki but found in many pages whose pattern is "Hello, I'm Bozo McGuffin from Camelot.<br><br> See my blog:" then some rubbish link. Pashley 23:33, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
Thinking about it, if there was a way to prohibit new users from posting links -- for example just reject any edit to a new user page that includes a link -- that would eliminate most spam. Pashley 23:51, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
FYI, we have placed some filters, as well as scripted the mass deletion of the vandalism over the last 2 days. It's not a big deal in the end, just a minor annoyance. Vandalizing a wiki... pointless. Thank you all for you help.--IBobitalkemail 14:54, 25 September 2012 (EDT)
This account  has vandalised thousands of pages. On the software side of things, can making more than "X number of edits in X amount of time" by a new user/IP address be blocked? AHeneen 03:33, 26 September 2012 (EDT) PS:The name translates (Google Translate) as "Stalin-our shared combat". Wonder if it has something to do with those Pro-Communist/Russian nationalist people we've had to deal with on the Russia & Tiraspol pages?
PPS:Looks like several vandalism bots might be those people. За Родину!= For the Motherland! Слава России!!!=Glory to Russia! Слава Родине!=Glory to the motherland! Пиздец неруси!=Nerusi f***ed! Русская месть=Русская месть Возмездие= Retaliation Месть русских=Revenge of the Russian That's all the Cyrillic user names that appear in the block log going back through the 14th.
The red box being put on pages corresponds with the page of the user that has taken over the Russian WT merging former Soviet countries into the "Russia" page. User page translates to: "Слава России! GLORY OF RUSSIA! Glory to the great heroes of the Russian land! Honor, praise, honor and eternal glory to the victorious people! Kudos to you, brave, GLORY, fearless! Eternal glory SINGS TO YOU PEOPLE. Valiantly lived, Death is broken, MEMORIES OF YOU WILL NEVER DIE! WE - RUSSIAN, God with us!" Clearly some delusional apparatchik well-versed in Russian nationalist, revisionist history. Can Cyrillic characters be blocked from new user names? Any other ways to deal with this? Seems to me like the people who gave us the headache over on the Russia/Tiraspol pages were likely from Transnistria (which corresponds to the Tiraspol edits & the fact that Transnistria remains stuck in the 1980s with the Communist party in charge). Any way to automatically block (or put restrictions on editing capability) of Moldovan IP addresses? Possible to also add Ukraine, too, because Transnistria borders it and it's possible telecom services might come from Ukraine due to the conflict between Moldova/Transnistria.AHeneen 04:22, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
Can we make it impossible to register an account on en with a non-ASCII name? There have been at least two accounts with Russian names used for vandalism. Pashley 03:45, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I see the vandalism and your heroic efforts. I think both those restrictions are on the table and good ideas. Thanks for your heroic efforts in reverting. We'll have to see about a mass revert via username. If the Abuse Filter can handle the x edits/x time restriction, that might do it. Even if we set it to 50/hour, it would have helped here tremendously.--IBobitalkemail 03:56, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I would strongly deprecate any blocking based on geographical area or Cyrillic alphabet names. We do not want the innocent to suffer because of the guilty. Number of edits allowable per minute (if technically feasible) would not penalise the innocent newbie so much, but set much lower limits eg 1 edit per 2 minutes for 1st 7 days of a new account, then 1 edit per 1 minute for next 7 days, then 2 edits per 1 minute for next 28 days, then 3 edits per 1 minute for next 90 days, subject to manual override on appeal. -- 188.8.131.52W. Franke-mailtalk 04:36, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I agree with Frank, we shouldn't discriminate against a certain area or language. Anyways, the vandal could switch to ASCII names, so there's not much point in blocking non-ASCII names. But I'm fine with an edits per minute limit. –sumone10154(talk) 10:23, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I am taking out anywhere from two to twenty spam pages every time I visit, and that is just the obvious stuff. I'm not even looking at the dozens that are probably spam, the ones with a three-line intro to a "user" and some irrelevant link. Nor am I patrolling edits other than new pages and some things on my watchlist. I am doing far more deletions now than I used to when there was a whole crew of editors, but I'm also seeing more problems I do not have time for and much less patrolling by other admins.
If IB want to keep this site alive despite the massive defection of editors, something must be done quite urgently. Either find many new editors or have IB employees doing extensive patrolling. Pashley 23:48, 14 October 2012 (EDT)
And the spammers are getting craftier. I believe this one created several different "Black Hat" user names to vandalise dozens of pages and then went back using his "White hat" user account to "repair" the damage - but also added a tailored external link to a travel guide each time, hoping it would not be noticed in the pag3 "restoration"!
IBadmins are doing extensive patrolling Monday to Friday but there are patterns in this spamming which could be used to automate reversions.
Thank for that alert, guys -- were you in fact seeing that spam piling up on the weekend? We do expect to see less of that as more admins are starting to peck away at night and weekends. We also are in the process of implementing a number of filters that keep vandalism and spam more at bay, but there is only so much Captcha and filtering can do versus NEW pages; no system is going to be able to tell what is a "good" new page and what is not, because there's very little commonality with which to write a rule that prevents them without potentially preventing "good" new pages from being created.
The good news is, new content continues to be added to WT at a fantastic rate. This site is doing great, and you two are part of the reason. If you have ideas for spam remediation, I am more than happy to implement them!--IBobitalkemail 18:24, 18 October 2012 (EDT)
I do have one lead that you might want to check out - but since I suspect it might be against (your implicit) policy to mention the source here, I will email you about it. --W. Franke-mailtalk 18:44, 18 October 2012 (EDT)
The abuse filter names are singularly unhelpful (they appear to be named after things like Stephen King novels and the like). When a user gets a message like "A brief description of the abuse rule which your action matched is: Lethal Weapon", that doesn't help them make more constructive edits, because it doesn't explain what the problem was. LtPowers 16:47, 25 October 2012 (EDT)
User User:IBlegal has made some imprecise and obnoxious threats and IB has actually sued some users and there are countersuits.
Would it not be a better use of legal dep't time to go after the spammers who are actively and persistently damaging the site? I took out 24 rubbish pages today, 19 yesterday, and I'm just doing the obvious ones. Unchecked, these bozos will destroy WT.
Also, going after spammers would be much better politically, doing something that might help all the other wiki sites out there rather than appearing petulant and aggressive. Pashley 06:09, 13 November 2012 (EST)
FYI legal has nothing whatsoever to do with spam. Spam is handled here, by people like you & me. Some of it we can handle technically, a lot of it manually. This is how it is everywhere. It's a neverending battle, but we do very well at it. I saw your edits over the weekend and recently, Pashley, and you're doing an amazing job! For instance: the life of the knob and door page was... about 3 hours? That's fantastic!--IBobitalkemail 16:05, 13 November 2012 (EST)
That's great news if it really is true that Internet Brands have reached an out of court settlement with the Wikimedia foundation and the former contributors to this site that it sued, IBobi. Where can we see the press release and then move on? --W. Franke-mailtalk 16:23, 13 November 2012 (EST)
Good question! Pashley 08:02, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Yes, I know that currently "legal has nothing whatsoever to do with spam"; I am suggesting that they should. There are laws in place that make misuse of other people's computers a criminal offense and/or grounds for a lawsuit in many jurisdictions. The site logs have IP addresses for where this rubbish comes from. The spam itself has URLs for advertised pages. I'm both cynical and biased, so my opinion of IB's legal department is remarkably low, but I imagine they could do this. It might even be profitable if they nail the right spammers. Pashley 08:13, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Again, you're not wrong!
Although, the hard case spammers can use proxy servers and internet cafe's to try and attempt to circumvent these lawsuits, it would be a relatively trivial programming task to block IP edits (as opposed to edits by registered users) from each proxy or IP address as it becomes known for abuse. In this case I would suggest also blocking edits by registered users from each black-listed proxy or IP address until an editor using a black-listed proxy or IP address has made a certain number of good edits - say 15 - so that privacy obsessed and registered "good" editors are not handicapped in any way.
Thanks for continuing your spam removal, Pashley! --W. Franke-mailtalk 10:15, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Ideally I agree with all of this. Internet companies have explored many avenues for actually tracking down spammers who blast their sites. The sad reality is they continue to make enough money doing this that they can afford to employ armies of people in between themselves and the site, masking IPs, and generally making themselves untouchable to anything short of the FBI; and if they're outside the US? No idea. Interpol? We always do as Frank suggested, blocking obvious spam user accounts permanently while also blocking the IP address they come from for a shorter amount of time. It's the best that can be done, and it works. The amount and type of spam we had three months ago was night and day compared to now. As we continue to add admins, it will get even better.--IBobitalkemail 13:46, 15 November 2012 (EST)
You think the current situation is "better"? Wow! To me, it seems an almost complete disaster.
Checking recent changes, I find I have nuked 57 garbage pages in the last four days. I am only checking main article space and only taking out really obvious spam. There are certainly dozens I am missing; I would not be surprised if it were hundreds.
Moreover, I generally just nuke the page leaving it to others to block the bogus users. I quite often see the page reappear in my watchlist with new spam, indicating that no-one is doing those blocks. Pashley 14:07, 15 November 2012 (EST)
It's definitely better; the measure is not how many spam pages appear, it's how long do they live on the site for. If a spammer/spambot creates a page, we delete the page, block the spam account and block the IP they used, the same spammer can then create the same page using a new account and IP. That's why you may see that happening after you nuke a page; it isn't the same IP or account, it's the same spammer. If I could delete *people* I would ;)
By the same token, if you do happen to see the same page reappear after being created by the same user/IP, please let me know. We can always use more tips on how to get it done best. Whenever possible, I use the following technique:
1. Locate spam edit. 2. Block user/IP. 3. Protect the spam page to be editable admins only (in the hopes that it won't be able to be recreated). 4. Delete the spam page.--IBobitalkemail 14:16, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Good luck. I took out a dozen rubbish pages today, but I feel like I'm almost alone both as a contributor & as an admin. There are masses of admin work being left undone — patrolling in general, in particular catching the bogus user pages I mentioned above, blocking the bogus users for pages I've deleted (one spambot whose drivel I removed refilled the page eight times before I got bored & removed it from my watchlist; it is probably still active), appointing new admins (see troosers just above), ...
My editing work now is on other wikis where there's a reasonable community to interact with and admin things actually get done. I'll keep the account here and pop in from time to time to see what's doing, but for now I'm done with even trying to fix the spam problem. Pashley 17:16, 29 November 2012 (EST)
Bon voyage, Sandy!
The dwindling real community on Wikitravel (as opposed to some PR-speak or Orwellian new definition) certainly have appreciated your erudite contributions and dogged persistence to the bitter end here.
I'll probably linger on (at least until fired by IBobi or one of his minions) since I hate seeing a good project destroyed by boneheaded stupidity and inaction. I'll message you privately via one of your other projects (since e-mailing is still disabled here) if there is anything cosmic that needs your urgent attention. --singaporeAlice 19:35, 29 November 2012 (EST)
Very sorry to hear that. In general, this *is* how spam gets removed. I and the other admins here at IB are constantly removing the spam that gets through the Captcha, Spam Blacklist, and Abuse Filters that we are also constantly updating. There will always be people trying to spam the site, and we'll always be here removing it. It's simply not possible to stop it all on the front end, so blocking and deleting is the order of the day. It's a fact of life, and any site that encourages anyone to edit it will have to deal.
You've been a very valuable admin here, Sandy, and I hope you'll reconsider & stay. Any suggestions you have will be heeded; in particular, if there are persistent spambots, we can block them at the IP level, or even rages of IPs -- there's no reason to continually remove the same content.
Either way, we'll be seeing you around, and thank you :) --IBobi 19:52, 29 November 2012 (EST)
Pashley, it's sad to see you giving up. Please know, that everybody here highly appreciates your contributions and your administrative efforts. Spam is going to be always happening on sites where the content is generated by users. Actually, right now IB notices way less spam than it used to be. There are more people keeping an eye on the site plus we set up a bunch of abuse filters that help us significantly.
We would like to see you here often. Please know that you are always welcomed on Wikitravel! Cheers! IBAlex 19:54, 29 November 2012 (EST)
This action has been automatically identified as harmful, and therefore disallowed. If you believe your edit was constructive, please inform an administrator of what you were trying to do. A brief description of the abuse rule which your action matched is: Link spamming by anonymous or recently-registered users
Hi there, It may be that your edit included a link, which is something the system looks for from newly registered or anonymous IP editors (since they are often sources of spam). Sorry about that, it's a protection that helps keep Wikitravel's pages clean and spam-free. I recommend registering an account, and after you've become recognized by the community and the system, your edits can be properly attributed to you, etc. Welcome aboard!--IBobitalkemail 15:42, 25 September 2012 (EDT)
Also, I have made that revert!--IBobitalkemail 15:58, 25 September 2012 (EDT)
Ok, I've made an account and I'm trying to revert vandalism on the page Mombasa, but I cant, and I still get the same message! Im only trying to help wikitravel. Ÿ;;!!! 09:31, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I'm sorry, I realize you're helping by editing the page back to where it was before. Please keep making constructive edits -- we're happy to have you!--IBobitalkemail 03:07, 27 September 2012 (EDT)
User MVGreenland has been contributing many listings and photos (see WS). What do you think of these contributions? Touting?--IBobitalkemail 14:34, 27 September 2012 (EDT)
Someone needs to review all the photos to ensure the licensing is correct...someone over on WT Shared needs to check these. Make sure to click the link to the photo. At first I clicked the link to the user stream and saw all the photos were copyrighted. However, when I clicked on the link to the photo (on WTS and on flickr) I noticed it was licensed CC-SA 2.5 on WTS & CC-A 2.0 on flickr. As far as edits go, I went through the most recent 100 edits and didn't see anything that goes against our policies. There were a couple photos of businesses added (1-2 hotels & a bookshop), but none of the wording in hotel listings this user has added sound like touting. IMO, the user seems like a very helpful contributor to our Greenland pages. AHeneen 00:24, 28 September 2012 (EDT)
Thanks for that -- I generally felt the same way, as did IBcash, about the tone of his edits. Skirting the line perhaps but nothing worse than other business owners do.--IBobitalkemail 01:29, 28 September 2012 (EDT)
Selection of Destination of the Month and Off the Beaten Path for Main Page
Hey current editors! We have changed the Destination of the Month and Off the Beaten Path sections of the Main Page for October. However, we would value your input and suggestions in the Destination of the Month candidates page for following months. Please check it out! IBcash 15:38, 2 October 2012 (EDT)
Obviously I'd like to feature a New Zealand destination - but first I need to get one to Star status! --W. Franke-mailtalk 07:50, 3 October 2012 (EDT)
Albuquerque has been already featured in the past as a Destination of the Month. –sumone10154(talk) 17:01, 3 October 2012 (EDT)
You're right! It slipped past me. Thanks! Since we changed it early because we didn't have one in September, we could keep it there until the 15th (the actual time when the OTBP would change) and then change it. What do you think? Any suggestions for another October OTBP? IBcash 13:59, 4 October 2012 (EDT)
Hello! Are there any suggestions for the Destination of the Month and Off the Beaten Path for December. Please let us know your ideas here. Thank you! IBAlex 19:04, 27 November 2012 (EST)
Being an experienced Wikipedia editor, but very, very new to Wikitravel editing (though a somewhat frequent reader of), I - on my very first intended edit - ran into a question.
In the By car-section of the Slovakia travel guide, I would like to have quoted a part of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice for Slovakia: "The standard of driving is not high and can be aggressive. Specifically, beware of oncoming cars overtaking on your side of the road (particularly on bends and hills)." In my view it sums it up very brilliantly (having being a driving tourist in Slovakia on several occasions) and I think, that sourcing it would only make it all the more authoritative in this case. While being a reader of Wikitravel I have never pondered over the "lack" of quotes, but I have now looked into both a number of articles as well as various parts of the Wikitravel:Manual of style, the Wikitravel:External links (could be it had something - it didn't) and Wikitravel:Welcome, Wikipedians/Wikitravel:Cooperating with Wikipedia/shared:How to re-use Wikipedia content (Wikipedia is rather anal about quoting and sourcing). Basically I came up empty-handed in all cases. I even found Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Reflist indicating that I'm not the only one with this "predicament". So my question is:
How do I quote and reference it?
I'm inclined to just insert a statement such as:
As the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office put it in their travel advice for Slovakia: "The standard of driving is not high and can be aggressive. Specifically, beware of oncoming cars overtaking on your side of the road (particularly on bends and hills)."
But I would rather do it in the right manner, in case I have missed something very obvious :). In kind regards, Henrik/Heb 04:01, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
You could go the short quote route (under the fair dealing copyright provisions) providing a link to the source (that might quickly become outdated) but it might be better just to put that in your own words - especially if you've personal experience of driving in Slovakia. That would mean one less external link - which we prefer. We normally don't reference material here and unless we're (rarely) using a direct quote, don't usually source either. Enjoy your new-found freedom and plunge forward Henrik!--W. Franke-mailtalk 07:55, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
Okay, another question from newbie Dane, but please bare with me...
I wanted to update the S-train-map in the Get around-section of the Copenhagen travel guide. The one currently there is from 2009, and there has been two changes since then. Because I am slightly lazy, I thought of using the map from Wikimedia Commons, which as far as I read shared:Tech:Enable InstantCommons should be fairly easy. Unfortunately the simple [[Image:S-train diagram (dec 2011).svg|thumb|420px|Map of S-trains and Metro in the Copenhagen area, with districts marked in the background]] didn't work - and neither did replacing Image: with File:. So I tried including a .png-file from Wikimedia Commons and that actually did work :)
Then I did a search for .svg-files on Wikitravel and there seems to be a lot of them. But none of them works. So I'm guessing there is an issue with SVG-files somewhere. I tried with SVG-files on Wikimedia Commons and there have no problems. What do I do? In kind regards, Henrik/Heb 04:28, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
I'm afraid this is beyond my knowledge - but I can confirm it's a real problem - I had to substitute a png file for an svg file in this template, Henrik. --W. Franke-mailtalk 17:16, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
I will have tech look into this! Thank you, --IBobitalkemail 18:30, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
OK -- we're seeing that they do in fact work (you have to click all the way through to the actual file, not the thumbnail), they just won't produce thumbnails.
Can you tell me how you're uploading them, and where, step by step, i.e. 1) Go this page 2) Edit 3) Upload this file or reference this file 4) Error?--IBobitalkemail 18:50, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
Looks like this may be fixed; thumbnails should slowly repopulate as the cache rebuilds over time. Let me know if this is still not working as expected.--IBobitalkemail 20:16, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
Hello! I would like to call to action all the administrators and contributors on WT.
For a long time Travel news have been outdated. It is time to change it and keep the Travel Alerts and Current and upcoming events up-to-date. To achieve that, I need your help. Who is willing to offer his/her help? Thank you! IBAlex 15:54, 29 October 2012 (EDT)
I think many of us are waiting for some straight answers here before we decide whether it's worth the effort in doing anything other than curating the articles that have already been written, Aleksandra. --W. Franke-mailtalk 19:56, 15 November 2012 (EST)
It's a pity to hear that, Frank, because I really believe in Wikitravel and I would like to make the site as much updated as possible. I know that with yours and community support it will be easier and better. IBAlex 20:27, 15 November 2012 (EST)
The stay safe section in Stockholm (and to some extent Sweden) is frequently subject to edit conflicts, many of them pushing the opinion that Stockholm would be a dangerous city. Can you give some advice how to solve this disagreement? Thanks in advance. /Blist 09:45, 6 November 2012 (EST)
Hello Blist! Thank you for notifying me. I checked it out and I saw that the user with the IP address 184.108.40.206 has made just one change in the stay safe section in Stockholm. However, I have already contacted him asking to avoid edit wars on Stockholm page and discuss all the changes he is planning to do on the discussion page.
I am also watching this page so I will keep an eye on this issue. Cheers! IBAlex 13:04, 6 November 2012 (EST)
The best solution is always to discuss the changes you both are making, using the Discussion page for that article. Sometimes it can be difficult to get an IP user to engage in this way. Try leaving a detailed note in the Edit Summary asking him/her to talk to you.--IBobitalkemail 14:43, 6 November 2012 (EST)
POV-pushing continues, by first-time unregistered users. Can anything more be done? Please contribute to Talk:Stockholm. /Blist 07:06, 26 November 2012 (EST)
Travel booking tool!
Soon, Wikitravellers will have the ability not only to browse and edit travel topics right here on the world's largest and best free travel wiki, but also to *book* travel from the very same page.
Wikitravel has partnered with Orbitz to bring you a tool that will give you air and hotel booking options on each destination page in our travel guide. If you log in to your Wikitravel account, you will need to go to your *preferences* in order to turn on this booking tool -- you will not see it at all unless you turn it on.
We've worked with the Wikitravel community over the past 2 years to determine exactly what the look and feel of the tool ought to be; please let us know any feedback you have, and we'll make every effort to accommodate changes! Thank you, --IBobitalkemail 14:34, 19 November 2012 (EST)
I think this is a great idea for monetising the site!
I also like the way that none of our registered editors will probably ever notice this. After all, you're not wrong when you continually point out that there are millions of visitors to this site who never bother to register and will automatically get a chance to make bookings.
So as not to weaken the credibility of the ads, it's even more important to give more people effective janitor tools!
However, I still think that you should clarify in writing the community established policies you have changed. --singaporeAlice 15:05, 19 November 2012 (EST)
I've switched on the display of Orbitz but still I never see it. What pages is it actually working on, please?
Also, Wikitravel has been slow to the point of being unusable today from this Pacific Rim country - the competing Wikimedia site loads more than 100 times faster on identical pages like North Korea. More than 20 times in succession I get the "Sorry! We could not process your edit due to a loss of session data" message. --singaporeAlice 04:07, 22 November 2012 (EST)
Did I miss an important announcement? I still don't see the display of Orbitz travel information but now the option to switch it on has disappeared completely from my preferences. What gives? --singaporeAlice 02:54, 30 November 2012 (EST)
At this time, the tool is only available if you are not logged in. We will restore functionality to those who wish to use it while logged in soon.--IBobi 14:07, 30 November 2012 (EST)
Thanks for your prompt response.
I assume you are still having technical problems since I have just seen the Orbitz tool appear for the first time while logged in and with my preferences flag not set to "Show Orbitz Search", as this screenshot clearly shows if you click on it to enlarge: Please feel free to email me if you need help.
With this edit you removed another user's comments. Unless there are exceptional reasons, this is frowned upon, so I assume the excision was accidental, yes? --singaporeAlice 15:10, 30 November 2012 (EST)
Alice- you have to go to your web browser's options and clear cache . Then the Orbitz Widget will not show again. I hope it helps. IBAlex 15:27, 30 November 2012 (EST)
Bizarre! You might want to check the logs. (IBadmins have recently promoted - without any community discussion or warning - a number of admins that, unlike yourself, have a very limited understanding of the policies and procedures of the English Wikitravel. Equally it might be some new spammer trickery.) --singaporeAlice 00:57, 1 November 2012 (EDT)
Fixed; no biggie. Just re-saved from earlier edit. Happens with MW database on occasion.--IBobitalkemail 04:58, 1 November 2012 (EDT)
Thanks for your very rapid response.
I have deleted the contents & re-directed: Southwest (United States of America) since it's a breach of our Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence to duplicate a page without duplicating the attribution history.
I'm still baffled as to how (on the face of it) an IP editor managed to duplicate an article and then delete the original (and its edit history) and all without leaving a trace in the logs. --singaporeAlice 00:36, 4 November 2012 (EDT)
Without doing extensive research, I'm not sure that's how it went down. Looked to me like a DB error that was easily corrected. At any rate, after verifying that the "new" page redirects also redirected to the "old" page, I went ahead and deleted the "new" page, as it consisted of nothing more than dupe content, which is confusing. We don't want people contributing on one location and not the other, which is just what would happen.--IBobitalkemail 15:52, 5 November 2012 (EST)
We're looking into what causes this. Obviously we do not want to wait until a knowledgeable editor like yourself discovers pages that are unusable. Did you find these by browsing to them or by some other method?--IBobitalkemail 18:39, 5 November 2012 (EST)
The article above states: "It's possible to encode information about the latitude and longitude of a destination into the destination guide itself. This information will then be used to make special HTML tags to show that the page is related to those lat/long coordinates;"..."A "Map" link will also be added to the "Toolbox" in the left pane, which will take users to a Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft map of the location."
I've added the relevant template to our Nelson (New Zealand) article but the "Map" link was not added to the "Toolbox" in the left pane! --singaporeAlice 20:37, 6 November 2012 (EST)
Hmm. Research shows that there have been problems with this template interfering with formatting. And not being terribly useful besides. We'll have to look into this one. Do you see an example where it is working?--IBobitalkemail 13:35, 7 November 2012 (EST)
I can't find any page where it is not currently broken - sorry.
It's not terribly useful to save the few keystrokes needed to key "Nelson, New Zealand" into the on-line mapping provider of your choice but
it would enhance the advertising click revenue of Internet Brands to have our relevant article page (with advertising by default) show up on users geocode-enabled smartphones according to their GPS location
it's very useful to find out of the way places (often in third world countries) where names are often incompletely found or differently spelt on maps. --singaporeAlice 17:01, 7 November 2012 (EST)
You are taken to the special page but, although the search box is correctly pre-populated the "Go" search button no longer works. --singaporeAlice 16:26, 7 November 2012 (EST)
Hmm. I'll queue it; no guarantees on timing as this is the first I've seen of this functionality.--IBobitalkemail 18:00, 7 November 2012 (EST)
Appears to be working as designed. It's generating the AMAZON and B&N, etc. links at the bottom of the page. The input box is just to refresh the page and generate those links. Let me know if you have info to the contrary.--IBobitalkemail 18:12, 7 November 2012 (EST)
UPDATE: My clarifications have now been deleted (twice).
So we are now back to the hypocrytical situation of having one policy actively enforced and promulgated (at least by some IBadmins) without ever having that policy enunciated on any policy page that I am aware of. I think I'll change my user name to George Orwell. --singaporeAlice 18:48, 5 November 2012 (EST)
1. WT editors are not to make changes to policies unilaterally. That is why the changes were reverted (at the request of another non-IB editor). 2. The policy in question doesn't really need a change. It's being interpreted internally in a way that it hasn't been interpreted before, due to a situation that has not arisen before. And it's almost entirely in the past. Thus there is no reason to amend policy, both because as it stands it is being applied consistently, and because the situation requiring that interpretation was unique and has now passed. It's time to move forward.--IBobitalkemail 19:06, 5 November 2012 (EST)
1) I don't think you can have it both ways. Either you genuinely do not think We do not allow (and will attempt to strenuously police and expunge) external links to, or promotion of, travel websites that are not primary sources - this policy includes other wikis, whether Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 licensed or not has been our policy for a long time or I'm a Dutchman the policy in question has always existed and doesn't really need a change. Instead it's being interpreted internally in a way that it hasn't been interpreted before, due to a situation that has not arisen before. That interpretation needs to be made explicit and prominent to avoid edit wars.
2) I do think it completely Orwellian and counter productive not to explicitly warn people that they should not include links to or use the naughty names of other travel wikis in text - particularly those that have recently started operating from Wikimedia servers. Since I am not an admin I really do need an explicit policy to link to in a terse but precise and authoritative way when I excise naughty names or links if the (often bona fide but ignorant-of-our-policy-that-can-not-speak-its-name) editor is not to be left puzzled, frustrated and annoyed by my (to him, incomprehensible) edits. An example of this is where an article discussion section dating back to July 2006 was removed to the genuine puzzlement of an IP contributor. --singaporeAlice 16:51, 7 November 2012 (EST)
On a related but different topic, I really find it objectionable that no official announcements are being made about new admin appointments.
If this character is not an admin, I really deprecate that this naming loophole has not been plugged weeks ago as I suggested! --W. Franke-mailtalk 16:11, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Unfortunately there's no way I know of to prevent that yet. But since we watch all new user creation, we'll catch it if it happens. Sometimes users are appointed internally as admins. No biggie. I was such a user, and look how great I've turned out :) --IBobitalkemail 16:21, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Has IBMaarten arbitrarily been made an admin, on the English language version of Wikitravel, without the usual experience + nomination + discussion process but as a secret appointment?? Yes or No, please. --W. Franke-mailtalk 16:35, 15 November 2012 (EST)
I thought I explained it? And the edit that made him an admin was clear: he's administering the Dutch site, and also working on EN. There's nothing secret, Frank. Rejoice: and welcome the new admin!--IBobitalkemail 16:50, 15 November 2012 (EST)
No, we have still not had any announcement from you, any other IBadmin or a properly appointed admin, never mind on the proper pages and you have still not answered with a "Yes".
We're not mind readers, you know and you really are abusing all of our policies and processes now. As for there being nothing secret, that really is a lie as Alice makes clear above.
Would you now make clear (with a properly formatted diff) what exactly was "the edit that made him an admin", please?
And for the avoidance of doubt, I personally have no objection in principle to admins from other language versions being rapidly promoted to admin status on the EN Wikitravel. But there should be a clear announcement on the proper page(s) each time this happens and you urgently need to revise all those policy pages that you currently keep flouting. To do anything less is to destroy any chance of re-building the community that has been decimated by your autocratic and thoroughly whimsical decisions, never mind poisoning the wholehearted welcome that would otherwise be given to new (and sorely needed) wielders of the mop. --W. Franke-mailtalk 18:30, 15 November 2012 (EST)
I believe you can view this page? Sorry you're unhappy Frank. We're promoting anyone who gets the required community support in the required time period, and shows the best qualities to help the community move forward. Thank you, --IBobitalkemail 18:46, 15 November 2012 (EST)
That User rights log is not a page that can be added to anyone's watchlist and neither do I know of a way to find out what pages internally link to it. Do you seriously expect editors to load that page every few hours to find out what admin has been appointed on the English language version of Wikitravel most recently?
I note that you have still not dealt with the most pressing point: Explicit Clarification in writing, on the English language version of Wikitravel, in the obvious places of the new policies and, if they are of only a temporary nature, their expected date of expiry. --W. Franke-mailtalk 18:59, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Is "formatting according to our MoS" edit warring?
Perhaps appropriately, given its subject matter, this policy page has been constructed by individual editors plunging forward and writing stuff that seemed blindingly obvious to them.
Rather refreshingly, a brand new IBadmin has queried whether making persistent changes to article formatting is "something that needs to be discussed first within the community. I'm referring to this  change."
Does anybody else think that (for example) when more knowledgeable editors continuously and relentlessly change formatting that does not conform to our Manual of Style (without good reason) - such as changing "150 Pesos" to the more correct "₱150" - this is edit warring?
Who else thinks that in cases of controversy, the style manual should not trump? --singaporeAlice 15:05, 19 November 2012 (EST)
Edit warring is edit warring, regardless of whether one of the parties is "right" and the other party is "wrong".
If two people are changing the article formatting back and forth, the correct thing to do is to follow the procedure discussed in Wikitravel:Edit war. JYolkowski 22:11, 21 November 2012 (EST)
Replied to you at Wikitravel_talk:Edit_war since I'm rather baffled by your imputed suggestion that we should scrap at least one of our five foundation policies that: "Text and images should follow style guidelines. With rare exception, text and images should follow our Manual of style. Exceptions should gain wide consensus; in cases of controversy, the style manual trumps." --singaporeAlice 22:47, 21 November 2012 (EST)
The quote you included contains the words "With rare exception." That's why you need to discuss with the other party instead of edit warring with them to see whether it makes sense for this to be such an exception. Cheers, JYolkowski 19:06, 23 November 2012 (EST)
I boldly started Wikitravel:Requested articles for listing links to articles that would be useful, but do not yet exist. Would it be useful for the development of Wikitravel? /Blist 13:14, 22 November 2012 (EST)
Why not? --singaporeAlice 14:27, 22 November 2012 (EST)
Unfortunately this is consistently and automatically buggered by the "add listing" option that appears in blue to the right of our standard section headings of "See", "Do", "Buy", "Eat", "Drink" and "Sleep" that always adds the new listing to the bottom of that particular section.
Is it time to change the listing order policy or recode the robot so that it understands alphabetic order? --singaporeAlice 16:34, 24 November 2012 (EST)
There are many countries around the world that use the name "dollar" and the symbol "$" for their currency. Our usual policy is that Prices should be listed with the currency symbol that travellers will encounter, specifically the local formatting. The currency symbol should always be prefixed. Travellers should be able to assume that symbols used for multiple currencies (like $ or £) apply to the local currency. Do not use currency codes like "USD", "EUR", or "GBP" if the symbol is established.
$100 in Detroit, not US$100, 100 USD or 100 dollars
$100 in Vancouver, not CAD$100, 100 CAD or 100 dollars
$100 in Wellington, not NZD$100, 100 NZD or 100 dollars
$100 in Canberra, not AUD$100, 100 AUD or 100 dollars
and I propose no change in respect of this.
However, the currency of Colombia poses special dangers of inconsistency and confusion as exemplified in our Cartagena (Colombia) article.
Colombia is unusual in having an officially recognised currency symbol of "$" that (unlike Singapore, etc) is not actually used on their banknotes - where, instead, "pesos" is printed. Since prices in the tourist industry in Colombia are also often quoted in US$, I propose that we use "pesos" instead of either the $ symbol or COP for Colombia currency.
This is somewhat analogous to the "Baht or ฿" situation adjudicated at Wikitravel_talk:Currency but differs in that I propose using the plural "pesos" rather than "peso" since
the peso is so minute as to be almost never encountered in the singular
Nobody has raised any objections so I will now make the necessary policy change. --singaporeAlice 18:44, 30 November 2012 (EST)
First of all, I want to apologize if this is the wrong place to post this, but right now I am so frustrated that my head is spinning.
When I was originally planning our family vacation to Las Vegas I used the WikiTravel website as a source of research for shows, attractions and places to stay. As a first time visitor to Las Vegas, the website seemed to be a prime resource providing a lot of useful information.
We have since returned to Las Vegas several times and I absolutely love this destination and am planning to return many more times.
In anticipation of my return to Sin City in a few months I was going through my Vegas bookmarks and I noticed the Wikitravel entry. I remembered reading a few of the entertainment/shows entries and I realized that a few things didn't jive with what I had experienced in real life.
When I went back to the website to confirm my suspicions - Sure enough, there they were!
Numerous inaccuries, for example:
Blue Man Group at the Venetian (they have since moved their show to the Monte Carlo)
Bette Midler at Caesars Palace (her residency ended Jan. 2010)
Lance Burton at the Monte Carlo (his residency ended in Sept. 2010)
Fab Four Live at the V Theater in Planet Hollywood (the correct title of the show is Beatleshow!)
Viva Elvis at the Aria (closed in August)
Human Nature at the Imperial Palace (ended their residency in November, and the Imperial Palace is now know as the Quad)
nowhere did it mention the residencies of:
Elton at Caesars Palace (his residency has since ended but was current at the time)
Shania Twain at Caesars Palace
Celine Dion at Caesars Palace
Rod Stewart at Caesars Palace
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at the Venetian
these are the most glaring ommissions
Comedy Shows had only 2 listings (2 listings?!?!? I couldn't believe this! Carrot Top and Sin City Comedy (the venue has since changed) are the only 2 comedy shows in ALL of Las Vegas???)
not listed were: Brad Garrett's Comedy Club, Louie Anderson, George Wallace, Big Al's Comedy Club, The Improv at Harrah's, Wolf's Comedy Den, Riviera Comedy Club etc. etc.
Tribute Shows did not list:
Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas, MJ Live, Legends in Concert, Purple Reign: A Tribute to Prince, Dancing Queen, The Australian Bee Gees, Trent Carlini's the King, The Rat Pack is Back (there are currently over 4 Frank Sinatra and/or Rat Pack shows playing) etc. etc.
Magic Shows did not list:
Jan Rouven, Mike Hammer, Nathan Burton, Seth Grabel, The Amazing Jonathon etc. etc.
Impressionist/impersonation shows did not list:
Gordie Brown and veteran impersonator Rich Little!
You get the picture! The number of ommissions and innaccuracies was-and-is mind-boggling!
Considering that Wikitravel's Main Page proclaims that it is a "complete, up-to-date and reliable worldwide travel guide" this is unfathomable!
At this point I decided to take it upon myself and sign up as a Wikitravel editor with the intention of becoming a "Las Vegas entertainment editor" of sorts and doing a thorough update of the "See" section (that's kind of funny actually).
I spent over a week researching and documenting the current shows as well as the concerts and special events (I'll get to this in a moment) ... and this is no mean feat ...
To verify information required me to consult the venue's website, the performer's website, the authorized ticket agent's website and in some cases some entertainment revue sites. (I subscribe to dozens of Las Vegas tourism and entertainment guides and websites.)
Once I had compiled all the information, I went about adding the new entries to the appropriate categories and correcting any inaccuracies.
Once I was finished editing all the regular Las Vegas shows, I decided to tackle the concert listings knowing that this would be a very "hands on" endeavour requiring me to make edits on almost a daily basis.
I created a sub-heading titled "Concerts/Special Events" with 2 sub-headings under that titled "1 Night Only" and "Limited Engagement". I then started to populate the lists in chronological order based on all the information I had.
Halfway through listing the events for December I see a notice at the top of my screen saying that "there was a conflict with some of my listings etc. etc". Upon checking my User talk page I see a message that says this:
"I had to delete your contribution on Las Vegas page because we do not post one time events/ attractions in destination articles. Best, IBAlex 20:19, 30 November 2012 (EST)"
I could not believe what I was seeing!
To omit "1 night only" or "limited engagement" concerts/special events from a Las Vegas entertainment listings is a travesty! Las Vegas is truly the entertainment capital of the world and to ignore this by not including these listings is doing the reader a huge dis-service. I personally, would book travel based on several of these events alone and I know this to be true for many others. There has to be an exception made for Vegas ... the concerts, shows and special events are what Las Vegas is all about! That in itself is what makes Las Vegas a travel destination! You can't apply standard rules as there is no place on the planet like this!
This is a partial list of the concerts and special events for the month of December:
Aerosmith & Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Megadeth, The Eagles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, Pitbull, The Killers, The O'Jays, Jerry Seinfeld, the Wayans Brothers, The Eagles, Jeff Dunham, UFC 155, The Ultimate Fighter Finale, The National Rodeo Finals, American Country Awards, Three Dog Night, Restless Heart, Mannheim Steamroller, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Train, Ron White, Bill Engvall, Dennis Miller & Bill O'Reilly, Journey & Loverboy, Merle Haggard, Lonestar, Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Márquez, Charlie Daniels Band, The Oak Ridge Boys, Randy Travis, LeAnn Rimes, 3 Doors Down & Daughtry, Moody Blues, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, The Tragically Hip, Trace Adkins, Social Distortion, Dave Koz and many many more.
So now, in addition to all the concert/special event listings being deleted, so are all my show updates and inclusions. All of my work is now GONE! Wiped out in one fell swoop by an all-knowing, all-mighty admin. Hours and hours of work down the toilet!
So, as of right now according to the Las Vegas WikiTravel page: Bette Midler, Lance Burton and Viva Elvis are still performing, while Shania Twain, Rod Stewart, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill and Celine Dion are not. Carrot Top and Sin City Comedy are the only 2 comedy shows in town. Dozens and dozens of shows and venues do not exist and there are no concerts playing in town at all whatsoever.
It's a shame.
I restored your edits; IMHO the deletion was bad judgement by an inexperienced admin. On the other hand, she had a point; WT is a travel guide; some of your listings may be too short-term to bother with and should be deleted as unmaintainable. Dicussion should go on the article's talk page. Pashley 20:03, 1 December 2012 (EST)
I have committed myself to maintaining the short term edits. By tomorrow morning the concert listings dated December 1 will have been deleted. And so on and so on. I can appreciate how short-term listings might be termed "unmaintainable" by conventional thinking ... but ... Las Vegas is far from being a "conventional" travel destination. Thank you Briank58 20:17, 1 December 2012 (EST)
Briank58- thank you for your notice. I would gladly address this problem. I am here to help users and I am open to any suggestions and discussions.
Please know that your contribution on Las Vegas page is highly appreciated. I am glad to see that you understand that Wikitravel does not support short-time listings (especially 1 day listings) because it is difficult to maintain them. We do worry that when users post short-time listings on the site, they will not remove them once the listings become outdated. And this clearly is not beneficial for the site and the users... In this way, the site risks of becoming eventually cluttered with those outdated listings. That is why I removed your listings, leaving a message on your Talk Page to let you know that I did not mean anything bad. I was simply following the conventions.
However, when I see that you are willing to upkeep the listings and remove some of them on daily basis, I am fine with keeping them there. Again, your contribution is extremely valuable to Las Vegas site, thank you for that. Warm regards, IBAlex 13:32, 3 December 2012 (EST)
Why are the Orbitz ads appearing on non-logged in users?
Disclaimer: I wrote the following without knowing that the feature was supposed to be opt-in
Case in point: Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Paris, and many other cities now have Orbitz banners in the header and the 'Get In' and 'Sleep' sections.
I understand the need for more funding, but nobody will ever say "Oh, how convenient, now I can buy plane tickets while in the middle of reading a Wikitravel article". On its current state is useless at the best, and obtrusive at its worst.
Sometimes this is extremely ridiculous: just look at the article on Orania.
For those reasons I think anyway that having it as an opt-out is a terrible idea. 220.127.116.11 22:57, 1 December 2012 (EST)
If you log in to your Wikitravel account, you will need to go to your *preferences* in order to turn on this booking tool -- you will not see it at all unless you turn it on.
These ads are appearing to me as a non-logged-in user, and the only way I found to disable them is
to log-in into an account, clearly making it opt-out.
Was that change intentional? In that case it's a horrible decision IMO. 18.104.22.168 11:37, 2 December 2012 (EST)
This was discussed about a year ago and is one of the reasons why it is so quiet here. However ignoring question of whether a booking engine should be there, I find the implementation poor.
I tried the booking banner from the Aberdeen page, trying to find a flight to there from Manchester. The article said that there were direct flights, so that was what I was expecting to be offered, but I was only offered a flight via Amsterdam, requiring an overnight stay and costing $407 return. But at Orbitz's own site, I was offered direct flights on the same dates for $184 return. There is also no easy way of finding out who Orbitz is, or of changing the currency from dollars.
Trying it on Orania gave the suggestion of Alexandria, which is a long distance away - the booking engine must know the correct airport for every page that it appears on.
It would be better to have the booking banner on the right hand side, above the adverts. This also gives the possibility of getting local bus and train companies to offer booking. I doubt that I will be looking to book a flight here, but a way of booking the bus from the airport would be useful. AlasdairW 18:18, 3 December 2012 (EST)
Hi Alasdair -- I am looking into why the results are different. I tried the same search and got the same results you did. We're still working the kinks out and hope it can be a very useful tool indeed for our Wikitravelers. Please let me know if you see anything else that is suboptimal. Cheers, --IBobi 19:02, 7 December 2012 (EST)