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Wikitravel:Travellers' pub

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The Travellers' pub is the place to ask questions when you're confused, lost, afraid, tired, annoyed, thoughtful, or helpful. Please check the FAQ and Help page before asking a question, though, since that may save your time and others'. Also, if you have a question or suggestion about a particular article, try using talk pages to keep the discussion specific to that article.

If you are having a problem that you think has to do with the Mediawiki software, please post that on the Bug reports page instead.

Please add new questions at the bottom of the page, but otherwise plunge forward!

Archives

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 a conversation that could or should be moved to a talk page, please do so, and note the move here.

Stuff that's been moved:

Also, see the Travellers' pub/Archives for very old discussions.

Lists in articles

I find it very unconvinient that every list is in a separate page (north, south, center ect. see Karnataka for ex.). If it does look nice, than maybe one page with whole the lists in it? F16

Seems to me this is a reasonable thing to do. Only problem is that one has to scroll down a lot to get to the meat. Schizoid 03:01, Mar 2, 2004 (EST)
North (India) etc. are not lists. That's all that's in the page at the moment, but it's a region article and needs to be expanded. List article titles begin with "List of". -phma 08:39, 2 Mar 2004 (EST)
List articles are actually the culprit here, not the hierarchy pages. We divide large countries into regions, and describe those regions. If those regions are large, we divide them up into smaller regions, and so on. See the Wikitravel:geographical hierarchy for how and why we do this. --Evan 09:00, 2 Mar 2004 (EST)

MediaWiki question

Apologies if this is the wrong page for this question. I was over at wikipedia and noticed that in the page edit mode, there are some nifty buttons that show up to add markup to an edit. Is this part of a new version of Mediawiki that we are waiting to install, or was there a decision not to enable this feature in wikitravel edit pages ? Schizoid 10:01, Mar 5, 2004 (EST)

That's part of the new version. It's at 1.2.0rc2 right now, and I'm doing testing on a local machine to make sure the upgrade will go smoothly. --Evan 15:04, 5 Mar 2004 (EST)


Another MediaWiki Question, How do to wikipedia links work? Any links? --Caffeine 07:32, 16 Mar 2004 (EST)

You should take a peek at Wikitravel:links to Wikipedia. As to how any links work: that's a beautiful mystery. B-) --Evan 13:18, 16 Mar 2004 (EST)
Actually, I meant from a WikiMedia configuration pov - I've been playing around with my very own wiki and would like wikipedia links to show up as they do in Wikitravel. I should probably go ask on MetaWiki. --Caffeine 14:11, 16 Mar 2004 (EST)




Navigation bars

I did some tests with navigation bars. See Flanders, West Flanders and Bruges Ommeland. Would this be something we could consider doing in Wikitravel? I'd like to read any comments you have on this. Thanks. One question: is there a way to get rid of the self link? DhDh 11:27, 6 Mar 2004 (EST)




More than one way to skin a Wikitravel

So, I've been thinking about the user interface on Wikitravel, and I think there are some things that could stand changing or rearranging. As some may know, MediaWiki has a skinnable interface -- we can modify the UI to make it more customized to Wikitravel. Writing a skin is hairy, but I'd make that effort if we had a good design to work with.

I have my personal beefs with the Cologne Blue skin for MediaWiki we use:

  • the confusing overabundance of links, and search boxes
  • the huge amount of dead space at the top of the page
  • the fact that the layout area doesn't have a prescribed width
  • there's no good place to put our logo
  • the color scheme doesn't go with the logo, anyways

I'm sure that lots of other people have things they'd like to see changed, too.

I'm wondering if people with HTML skills would be interested in doing a skin design contest. People could submit HTML mockups for a new interface, and we could discuss them and vote on them. We could take the top one or two or three candidates and make them into skins, and make the top one the default for not-logged-in users. Obviously, people could choose to continue to use the skin they want.

Would anyone be interested in this? I don't want to start a contest if nobody's gonna participate. B-) --Evan 16:32, 8 Mar 2004 (EST)

So, uh... let's just scupper this contest. Maj and I started working on a new skin this weekend; you can see the work in progress here. Any comments or criticisms are more than welcome. --Evan 13:48, 14 Mar 2004 (EST)
Yes, I like it and links are much easier to find. Yann 13:55, 14 Mar 2004 (EST)
Nice. I'd like to see the table of contents laid out like Cologne Blue ( ie a border, maybe a background colour )but it might not look good hard up against the navigation box on the left hand side. --Caffeine 16:01, 15 Mar 2004 (EST)
I just noticed that the signatures have EST time stamps - I guess that's EST North America (UTC-5), not EST Australia (UTC+10) or EEST Europe (UTC+3)? That's not a very clear naming scheme eh? --Caffeine 03:41, 16 Mar 2004 (EST)

Women Wikitravellers

So, I was just reading a thread on the Debian mailing lists about women involved with that project (It's got something like a 900-to-1 ratio of men to women). And it got me thinking: female travelers seem underrepresented on Wikitravel, too. Why is that? And what can we do about getting more? --Evan 03:00, 16 Mar 2004 (EST)

First, I belive that you can't really know how many women surf wikitravel. Second, I think that mostly men (or at least more men) become addicted to the net or some site (so there are fewer of us around to begin with). 61.247.241.181 08:01, 16 Mar 2004 (EST)
Been extremely busy with school (studying) and school (teaching) lately, so I haven't been around much lately. On the teaching side, I may get the ratio to swing a bit the other direction as I start using Wikitravel with students at one or two women's universities here. Ted 05:29, 17 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Locator port to English pages

I used the locator on the Madras page by copying it from the Bucharest page

Sunteţi aici: Europa Centrală > România > Bucureşti

would become Central Europe > Romania > Bucharest in English. I am not sure what 'Sunteţi aici' means. What does it become in English ?. Will recheck for an answer before implementing it.

-Sridhar Pandurangiah 18:10, 23 March 2004 (IST)

I'd actually prefer that people don't implement this. This is going to be fixed with a technical solution in the near future, so doing this stuff by hand just means we'll have to take it out later. --Evan 11:08, 23 Mar 2004 (EST)
OK. ---Sridhar Pandurangiah 14:35, 24 March 2004 (IST)




WiFi.Bedouin

Just found this link on Slashdot, and I just had to put it on Wikitravel :) http://www.techkwondo.com/projects/bedouin/index.html Guaka 16:10, 27 Mar 2004 (EST)




Romanian location bar

So, one of the things I plan to do with Wikitravel is enhance the interface to do bread-crumb-like navigation. That is, the San Francisco page would have links like:

United States of America -> California -> Bay Area -> San Francisco

All you'd have to do to make this happen is put this code in the page:

[[region=Bay Area (California)]]

The navigation bar used on ro: and fr: are manual replications for this functionality. They're pretty brittle, since they include the entire hierarchy on each page.

I really don't recommend using them, since they're going to have to be removed in the future when the built-in navigation happens. --Evan 18:04, 28 Mar 2004 (EST)

Topic Separator

I have added a few additional blank lines between the topics. This makes it a little easier to find each topic when you're editing the page. Since redundant blank lines won't show up in the rendered page, this is a Good Thing(tm). -- Nils 04:40, 7 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Ferries?

This is the big question, how much detail do we want? I noticed that many articles list for ferries etc "many connections exist". Usually probably because the author knows that some connections do exist, but not exactly which ones. Now, of course we can not list all airline connections, roads, bus connections, or even ferry connections. But a bit more detail should be good, no? How should we do it? List a few "important" connections? -- Nils 14:46, 11 Apr 2004 (EDT)

I think it depends on the city/country/region. For countries and regions, I'd say list a few cities that make convenient entry/exit points. For cities, give some specifics for other endpoints of ferry travel, and rough schedules. For many cities served by ferries, there's only a few carriers and a fixed daily schedule. I don't think we need full timetables; generalizing is good ("about once every half hour from 6AM to 10PM during the week, and about once every 2 hours late nights and weekends"). --Evan 15:16, 11 Apr 2004 (EDT)
I've added a listing to Germany. It's in "Get in", and hence grouped by foreign origin, I won't duplicate it in Get out, obviously. I think this format should work okay. If a country has 100s of international ferry connections, this might be too much but for a place like Germany, with maybe a dozen important lines, it seems okay. Opinions? -- Nils 07:35, 15 Apr 2004 (EDT)




New User Deluge

So we have tons of new users right now, contributing lot's of great content. Yay! But since they're new, there have been some issues. I thought I'd write the issues down here while I still remember them.

  • New pages mostly don't use templates. We need to go back through them and fix this as time permits. I've added stub msgs to most of these. Should I add them to Wikitravel:articles needing attention also? (It'd be pretty easy to just look through my changes for msg stub to generate this list)
  • Someone entered the four individual theme parks of Disney World Florida as four separate articles. I think this should be merged. Disneyworld
  • In both new articles and modified, first person is pervasive.

-- last updated Colin 19:41, 12 Apr 2004 (EDT)

This is what happens when we take a day off!
Anyways, I've been adding stuff to articles needing attention. Lots of great stuff that needs Manual of style improvements. Keep up the good work; we can re-edit at leisure in a while. B-) --Evan 22:39, 12 Apr 2004 (EDT)
OK. I went through my changes and made sure I manual-of-style'd each or add to articles needing attention as needed. But I need an additional clue: your checkin message for your last comment says make sure to add stuff to stubs or articles needing attention. What does it mean to add stuff to stubs needing attention? Do you mean I should add them to Wikitravel:Stubs_needing_attention? I'm kinda puzzled by that page because it seems almost completely unused despite the fact that tons of our articles are stubs. If I'm supposed to add to that page, what criteria should I use?
I just want to make less work for you guys in my wake next time :-). And by the way, you and Maj work insanely fast and cleaning up after all this flurry of changes! Yow! -- Colin 00:43, 13 Apr 2004 (EDT)


Insane, one mention on BBC and we get swamped with odd little bits and ends of articles. And non-articles. Ouch... -- Nils 09:45, 13 Apr 2004 (EDT)

"Ouch"? Better "Hooray"! We've got tons of new information, new users, and lots of new direction. WikiWiki is an iterative process -- it'll take a while to integrate the contributions into "proper" form, but that's what Wiki is all about. --Evan 10:50, 13 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Ouch for stuff like this... :D -- Nils 11:05, 13 Apr 2004 (EDT)
If you think this is bad, just imagine how bad it could be if Slashdot mentions Wikitravel. -- Colin 12:06, 13 Apr 2004 (EDT)
All your articles are belong to us. Natalie Portman's hot grits. First post. Cowboyneal lives in Tibet. In soviet russia, articles write you. - Think I covered it all? -- Nils 04:14, 14 Apr 2004 (EDT)



Links to other guide sites

Is there a policy about not linking to other guide sites? ---Professorbiscuit 11:56, 15 Apr 2004 (EDT)

There is a style guideline on it: external links. The main reason we don't link to other guides is that we should have the same information on our guides. When you're stuck in a blizzard in Tulsa, you need a list of hotels on your printed Wikitravel Tulsa guide, not a link to http://ReallyGreatTulsaHotels.example.com . --Evan 12:17, 15 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Right so. Cheers. --Professorbiscuit 13:02, 15 Apr 2004 (EDT)



Article text formatting

I'm coping below text from my orginal question in Talk:Polish phrasebook, as I believe problem is universal, and here more people will see my question

Is there any smart (and accepted) way to put more text on a page? For example to have 'Pronunciation guide' displayed in two columns?

Scrolling several pages to find something is rather annoying. I believe that if somebody prints phrasebook, can be also a bit unhappy because of number of pages used (and carrying them and searching among them). -- JanSlupski 12:48, 15 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Right now, there's not an easy way to do this. We want to keep all the phrasebook information in a single article, so you just print out the page and go. It'd probably be better for printing a phrasebook on A4 or letter-sized paper to do 2-up printing. It's an interesting concept; I don't know exactly what to suggest. --Evan 13:13, 15 Apr 2004 (EDT)

What is an Initerary?

I've checked several guideline and discussion pages, but I couldn't find an answer to the following question: Is something like a 3 hour walking hike an Initerary or not? Or more generally, does it fit the Wikitravel goals at all? --- Hansm 07:25, 2004 Apr 17 (EDT)


I noticed no one's answered this, or at least not here. I think we'd have to fall back on the rule-of-thumb for 'what's an article' and as "do you sleep there?" Under that idea a 3 hour hike would be an "activity" and not and "itinerary" and would be on the same page as where ever people 'stay' while doing it. It could go under "Do" or "Get out" IMHO. Does this help? Majnoona 14:59, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)



Please sweep the pub

So, the TP has been getting kinda crowded and messy. I'd really appreciate if we could all make an effort to clean up a bit by moving discussions to places more appropriate or deleting discussions that have reached their conclusions. It's a tedious job, but like most, it's easier if we do it together. --Evan 16:44, 20 Apr 2004 (EDT)



Not just a Web site

Evan said "Wikitravel is not just a Web site. We want to make guides that can be used as printed pages for travelers who are away from a computer." Where do you draw the line ? e.g. I added some wine links to Marlborough. There are over 40 wineries in this area most of which have their own idividual web sites. So there is a link to a page which then links to the individual wineries. Are you suggesting that all the winery info. should be on the Wiki page? Or just some of the better ones? Or just the link? I really battle with this one. --Nzpcmad 16:53, 21 Apr 2004 (EDT)

So, first off, Nzpcmad is referring to a tip I added to Wikitravel:tips for new contributors, which is a list of things that new contributors often don't get right away. The actual policy is on Wikitravel:goals and non-goals. Just to be clear.
If the question is, "When should we use external links?", I think that's a tough issue. I don't think there's a crystal clear line as to what's useful info to have on Wikitravel, and what should be left on other sites. If I had to make a rule of thumb right now, I'd say we should have enough info on Wikitravel itself that people can make general travel decisions without following the link. We also have to balance this need against the need for brevity and readability in the guides.
For example, this just isn't enough for restaurant listings:
If I'm in Yourtown, NZ, holding a printed copy of the Wikitravel guide for Yourtown, I can't really make a decision about going to Joe's Cafe or not (much less be able to find it). The listing should at least have directions, hours, rough price scale, and a short description. That information may also be on the Joe's Cafe Web site, but we also need it here.
On the other hand, we don't need everything from the Joe's Cafe Web site here (the full menu, photographs of the inside of the restaurant, the names and pictures of the entire staff and the 5-page history of the cafe). I think the listings formats in the manual of style give just enough info, give or take. (They may need fine-tuning, but I think they're close).
In the case of Marlborough, I think that individual wineries should be listed as attractions on the pages for nearby cities and towns. If there are some really notable ones, they should be mentioned in the See and Do sections of the region page, with links to the city page that has the full listing, like this:
  • The Plonk Brothers Winery near Picton has tasting tours.
Do we need all the wineries listed? I'd say no; just the ones worth going to.
This isn't to say that having links to some list isn't useful. The above stub for Joe's Cafe would help another contributor enough info to flesh out the rest of the listing. It's part of the iterative process. --Evan 17:23, 21 Apr 2004 (EDT)
I agree that at least putting in the link is useful, in fact as one of the poor schmucks who feels compelled to run around and fill in attraction, restaurant, and (I wish) hotel details, I can usually get what I need from just the name and a google search. That said, I would really wish that more contributors would fill in the entire listing according to the MoS in the first place. -- Mark




Rock bottom budget travelling

We already have tips for hitchhiking and home stay network, maybe it's time for an article that discusses all possible aspects of rock bottom budget travelling? Guaka 15:19, 22 Apr 2004 (EDT)

*cough* *cough* Wikitravel:plunge forward *cough* B-) --Evan 17:15, 22 Apr 2004 (EDT)
The objective of Home stay network is not cheap travel. There are already too many people misusing these for cheap accomodation. If you want a cheap stay, go to a youth hostel. Yann 17:39, 23 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Re on Talk:Rock bottom budget travelling. Guaka 11:37, 24 Apr 2004 (EDT)



Hungarian Wikitravel Expedition

I've just started an expedition trying to create a Hungarian language version of Wikitravel. I think that it is time for us to have finally a free, easy to use and detailed travel guide.

Hungarian Wikitravel Expedition

If there are any Hungarians around give me a sign.

Lacisoft 20:08, 24 Apr 2004 (EDT)



Vertical whitespace

Mark likes vertical whitespace in bulleted lists. As a result, he's been breaking up lists with newlines in between items. Since this completely breaks those lists, I'd like to ask everybody not to do this and to fix any articles where it's been done. Evan, can we have some padding after each item? I agree with Mark that it improves readability, but it should definitely be changed in the CSS. -- Nils 09:07, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)

I don't really see why the page sections need to be contiguous lists, but it doesn't matter that much. I want the whitespace one way or the other. If it can be done with CSS fine, but of course that still doesn't help make the page any more readable in edit mode, which is also imporant. -- Mark 09:10, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)
HTML has never been a layout language, never will be. Breaking up entities is bad. Imagine automatic parsing or conversion of articles. Imagine we decide on a layout - say, a box around each UL entity. Suddenly, your changes break a dozen articles. And f-ing stop undoing my changes. -- Nils 09:14, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)
And ps... Changing this on CSS level is like 1-3 line of code. Changing it in each and every article takes hours and days. I rest my case. Please don#t ever try to do layout in pure html, it simply is bad, bad, bad. -- Nils 09:16, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)
As far as I can tell, when I edit the pages I'm using Wikitext, rather than HTML. If perhaps there's something borked about the Mediawiki's parser in that it can't handle blank lines between list items, then fine that should be fixed along with the CSS. Meanwhile please stop undoing my changes. -- Mark 09:18, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)
You did start the reverting, check the changelog. But you get your wish. As of today, you can work on this guide without me. I am tired explaining things to people who have no idea about what they're doing. -- Nils 09:20, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)

OK, so you probably shouldn't quit on my account. I'm not that important you know. Meanwhile, here's a diff to the css for cologne blue:

--- cologneblue.css.0   2004-04-27 15:56:34.000000000 +0200
+++ cologneblue.css     2004-04-27 15:56:41.000000000 +0200
@@ -17,6 +17,10 @@
  padding-top: 0; padding-bottom: 0;
  margin-top: 1ex; margin-bottom: 0;
 }
+li {
+ padding-top: 0; padding-bottom: 0;
+ margin-top: 1ex; margin-bottom: 0;
+}
 p, pre, td, th, li, dd, dt { line-height: 12pt; }

 #footer { padding: 4px; }

-- Mark 10:04, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)

All right, so, I've made this change in the CSS file. Please work this out on a manual of style page, like Wikitravel:list formatting or something. And, yes, MediaWiki needs to ignore blanks between list items. If someone could put it on Wikitravel:bug reports, I'd appreciate it. --Evan 11:42, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)

BBC Persian

Wikitravel is the featured site of the week on BBC Persian. --Evan 14:25, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)

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