The Travellers' pub - your watering hole on Wikitravel
The Travellers' pub is where Wikitravellers of all languages get to together to talk about Wikitravel, and where you can ask for help if you're confused, lost, afraid, tired or annoyed by Wikitravel. Please check the FAQ and Help page before asking a question, though, since that may save your time and others'.
My point is that only some 20% of the pages can compete with a basic paper travel guide. And I'm being optimistic.
Sorry to say it, guys, but this is *partly* a MFA site. Which means, of course, as I said, that there are good, useful pages (such as the one on hospitality exchange). But overall the service to the community is dubious to me.
In case you care about the future of this web site.
Emmanuel B. 7/15/2012
Icons for Train Lines
In the routebox template page there are two examples of Icons for Japanese train lines, ( and ) and several more can be found on the pages for other Japanese cities. I want to add one to a page that doesn't have one yet, but I can't find the one I need. Is there centralized repository or some sort of search I can do to locate all of the existing ones? Chazchaz101 19:09, 20 March 2012 (EDT)
I think we should also organize our icons by category on Shared itself. I'll try to work on that now—we'll see if the site speed allows this endeavor! --PeterTalk 19:25, 20 March 2012 (EDT)
I just want to inform you that there are no active admins on the German version of Wikitravel anymore. I left the project 9 months ago and the last remaining admin left two months ago. I don't want to go into too much detail, but the lack of support by both Shared and IB was a major factor in our decisions to abandon the project. As you can imagine, Wikitravel de: is in a pretty poor state now after two months without any admin activity (and only sporadic admin edits in the months prior) and, in my opinion, IB should consider closing it down for good, if they cannot find any new admins. --Albion 17:12, 27 March 2012 (EDT)
Hi Albion. I'm Paul, the Community Manager for Wikitravel from IB. As this is the first I've heard from the German site in the year that I've been here, I'd love to chat with you and any other current/former admins of that site about what it is you need and are not getting from IB. You can feel free to contact me on my Talk page, here, or at paul.obrien at internetbrands.com. Thank you, --IBobi 14:41, 28 March 2012 (EDT)
Hi Paul, it seems you started your job here shortly before I left the project last year, so I must have missed that. I'm glad to read that there now is somebody to contact at IB, because that always was a major issue during my time as an admin. Whenever we had a problem (not matter if technical or otherwise) at Wikitravel de:, no one really seemed to care, neither at Shared nor at IB. It often took months to fix even the tiniest problems, if they got fixed at all. I hope it works better now. What killed Wikitravel de: in the end was http://www.wikivoyage.org/, a similar project started by former Wikitravel admins who were unhappy about the sale of the website to IB. Unfortunately, Wikivoyage has become far more popular with German Users than Wikitravel ever was and therefore it has been like fighting windmills to keep the German Wikitravel alive over the past few years.
Anyway, I left Wikitravel last July for the reasons mentioned above and have dedicated my spare time to other projects since then. I have no desire to resume my "job" as an admin. After my departure, the last remaining admin on de: was Geisterfahrer, but he left the project earlier this year. So, as much as I appreciate your offer, I will not get involved in Wikitravel again. I'm afraid you will have to find some other users (although there are very few active ones left) at Wikitravel de: to fill the admin positions, if IB wants to keep the German version alive. --Albion 12:36, 29 March 2012 (EDT)
Thank you, Albion. I'd like to ask if you might help in the search for new admins for the German site. We are currently getting over 750,000 unique visitors per month to wikitravel.org/de/ (compared to around 750 visitors/month for wikivoyage -- both German and Italian combined), so any contributions here would be invaluable to our German-speaking visitors. Can you help?--IBobi 18:53, 3 April 2012 (EDT)
Hi Paul, I have my doubts about those numbers, but that doesn't really matter. I've noticed that you have already contacted some admins and users on WT/de. The only other "old" user I can think of, who still contributes to WT/de on a regular basis, is Volksparker. I think he would be well suited to be an admin. I've left him a message on his discussion page and told him to contact you, if he is interested.
Looking through the recent changes there seem to be four other active users (who are not spammers) at the moment: Knut, Basta, Atze and Knautschke. They are all doing a good job, but seem to be relatively new to Wikitravel. I don't really know and therefore can't vouch for any of them, but of course you can contact them, if you like. Hope that helps. --Albion 13:02, 5 April 2012 (EDT)
That's very helpful and much appreciated Albion -- thank you.
As to the traffic figures, I know ours are accurate, because I retrieved them from Google Analytics myself. Last month we got 750,000 unique visitors to wikitravel.org/de/ alone, and well over a million page views. Wikitravel has just huge readership. That's a tiny fraction of what we see at the site as a whole.
I'd love to see some other numbers for WV -- all I am able to view is the number provided by 3rd party traffic sites like compete.com, which lists less than 1000 visits per month for WV.--IBobi 15:07, 5 April 2012 (EDT)
I can't provide any data regarding WV other than their own statistics , so I will try to trust you numbers. Anyway, the important thing with websites like these should be the quality of the site (i.e. number of useful edits), not the quantity of visitors (although of course I can understand that the numbers of visitors is important for IB as a business because of AdSense).
I have now changed the box, that appears on top of each WT/de page, to inform all visitors that we are looking for new admins and that anyone interested shall add their name on WT/de's administrator nominations page. Maybe this helps finding some new admins. I will supervise the election process, in case we find any nominees, but this will definitely be my last and final act for WT. --Albion 08:39, 6 April 2012 (EDT)
Thank you, Albion. That is extremely generous and gracious of you to do that.--IBobi 15:40, 6 April 2012 (EDT)
Those numbers are interesting. I have no reason to doubt them. They show between 100,000 and 300,000 total visits per month, over the entire site (German and Italian). If you take away the Italian (since for the moment we are only taking about German WT versus German WV), and then account for a much lower number of UNIQUE visitors (those numbers are TOTAL visits, remember), it's clear how much smaller WV/de's readership is than WT/de's. Which makes it all the more sensible for German speakers to write and edit at WT instead of WV. We just need to show some WT/de readers that this is the place to be.--IBobi 19:04, 6 April 2012 (EDT)
One user asked this question in WT/de's Travellers' Pub, so I thought I'd forward it to you: would it be possible to automatically protect all WT/de articles in a way, that only registered users can edit them? Of course, I know we could do that by protecting each article individually, but with 5278+ articles, that would take a lot of time. This measure could stop the recurring IP vandalism and would give new admins more time to focus on repairing the damage that has been done over the past few months. --Albion 11:08, 7 April 2012 (EDT)
That's a great question, and in fact an excellent suggestion; we were just discussing what to do about spam until we have an active admin crew on /de/ again, so this is very timely. What are your thoughts? I believe this is technically feasible.--IBobi 13:51, 9 April 2012 (EDT)
In my opinion, it is the only viable option right now. Spam and vandalism are major problems at WT/de and blocking IP-edits would help a lot (as an interim measure, of course). Regarding the admin search: so far we have to candidates. Knut (fomerly know as Volksparker) is an experienced editor on WT/de, but he is not 100% sure, if he really wants to take on that job, yet. The other one is user Tomitsch. Although I'm sure he means well, he is new to WT and does not seem to have much experience with Wikis of any kind. --Albion 17:03, 12 April 2012 (EDT)
It's been three weeks now since we started the search for new admins on WT/de, but so far this has produced no results. As already mentioned above, there were two nominations, but neither received the required number of positive votes by current admins. Therefore, in accordance with our rules, neither candidate will be made an admin. As I had already anounced before, overseeing the admin election was my final contribution to Wikitravel. As there have been no new nominations since 12 April, and I do not expect that to change any time soon, my work here is done and I will now retire from Wikitravel for good. Good luck for the future. --Albion 15:12, 28 April 2012 (EDT)
Mediawiki upgrade will start 06-June-2012
Site will be READ-ONLY for up to 2 days while the upgrade is occurring.
If there are edits you'd like to make, please do so asap.
When the new site comes online, it will be on new hardware as well. Bug reporting is available here:
We have a number of open bug reports, assumably related to the old MediaWiki version. How about closing them all (many of them are really old anyway) and starting all over now that we have a new software version? The feature requests are a different issue though and I do not know what the new s/w version actually supports in that category. Riggwelter 17:23, 18 June 2012 (EDT)
They should only be closed if the bug is confirmed to be fixed. LtPowers 07:24, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
Since most of the bugs are O L D and seem to lack any update as to whether they still exist or not, it is not much point in keeping them open now that the software has been updated. But OK, it might be an idea to contact the person who reported the bug and ask them if it stil exists. If so, it stays open. If not, or if no answer is given in a reasonable amount of time, they can be closed. Riggwelter 15:07, 20 June 2012 (EDT)
I have started to go through the open bug tickets, making sure they are signed and timestamped. Riggwelter 16:25, 20 June 2012 (EDT)
I closed the few you edited that were indeed fixed. Looks like the diacritics issue has been solved for images, which is very good.
Might it be worthwhile to start categorizing the open bugs? There are a ton of OpenID login tickets, which are probably all more or less about the same problem (I don't use OpenID, so I don't really know what's going on). It might simplify things to create a simple "OpenID Bugs" page with links to the various individual bugs. That way we could take them off the main "open bugs category" to keep things a bit cleaner. --PeterTalk 22:52, 20 June 2012 (EDT)
I will continue to check the open tickets and make sure they are signed and timestamped. During that job, I try to match thedifferent tickets to see if there are any crossreferences. My next idea was to create a sub page and stick all remaining open tickets in a table with the bug headline and report date, thus making it easier to follow up. Riggwelter 09:11, 21 June 2012 (EDT)
There's an old proposal I made for duplicate and misreported bugs at Category talk:Tech requests, which never received comments. It's not always easy to decide what to do with bug reports where the best response is "it seems to work now", particularly when the reporter has not given enough information to easily re-check their specific error -- but (admittedly without rechecking) I don't think we have too many of those. -- D. Guillaime 14:56, 23 June 2012 (EDT)
All open tickets are now timestamped. Riggwelter 14:44, 1 July 2012 (EDT)
Blacklist not working on ar:
Since the upgrade the spam blacklist on Arabic Wikitravel doesn't seem to be working - spammers are creating multiple copies of the same spam content each day with patterns that should be blocked. ar:MediaWiki:Spamblacklist is set to "Local spam blacklist" - is there anything else that needs to be done to make this work? -- Ryan 16:21, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
It appears functional—I was unable to add patterns to my test page. --PeterTalk 18:29, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
Thanks for testing. I may have gotten mixed up with the patterns being reversed on the edit page due to the left-to-right language - I've updated the blacklist and will see if the spam (finally) comes to an end. -- Ryan 18:51, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
Hm, all of a sudden, the diff links (cur/prev) on the far left of each line on recent changes are gone. Has it been done intentionally, or is it just me who suffers from a temporary memory loss? It is really important that one can access the latest change to check if it is vandalism or a serious contribution. Riggwelter 10:32, 3 July 2012 (EDT)
Reported this. I'll let you know when I hear something back -- thanks.--IBobi 13:45, 3 July 2012 (EDT)
Do you see them now? I see a slightly different format that what we used to see... those dropdown arrows are new...--IBobi 17:40, 3 July 2012 (EDT)
Works fine - thanks! :-) Riggwelter 13:44, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
As announced last week, today we are implementing a new cacheing system. It is expected to result in an overall increase in performance, as well as resolve the login issues and most other reported bugs from the recent upgrade to 1.17. You may have seen intermittent errors today, and initially some performance slow-down as the cache builds back up with every page load. Not to worry -- this will be alleviated with time, and overall there will be a bump in read/edit speed.
If you discover longterm problems (i.e. beyond today) or bugs resulting from this change, please report them as usual. We do not anticipate any issues. Thank you!--IBobi 18:47, 9 July 2012 (EDT)
1.17 upgrade bugs addressed
We believe we have addressed and fixed all bugs reported since the 1.17 upgrade. Please review any you have reported and if they are still occurring, report them on the upgrade page (and unmark them as "resolved" or "fixed") and we'll readress them.--IBobi 19:42, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Please thank your team for their work - while things have likely been frustrating on both sides lately, the effort shown is still appreciated. -- Ryan 20:08, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
That's great to hear Ryan, thanks. I will let them know.--IBobi 20:14, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Bugs, feature requests, and the future of Wikitravel
We're rapidly closing in on a completed and bug-free MW 1.17. We began this unprecedented update in November, when 1.17 was the most current version of Mediawiki. Clearly at some point in the near future we will upgrade to 1.19, or 1.20 when it is fully released and stable. But this is not where we stop.
There are a number of open bug reports Category:Open bug reports and open feature requests Category:Open feature requests -- some of which are collected on the very useful Roadmap -- that are no longer relevant in the post-1.17 world. The first task will be for the community members who requested those features and fixes to sift through them (we'll be doing the same) and remove anything that is now just clutter, so that we can address any that are still relevant and desired by the community. Many requests will be *much* easier to address now -- or only now possible -- since the upgrade.
Next, we will ask for recommendations (and votes) on new feature requests, and begin to prioritize them among the existing requests, and send them off to the development team to hammer them out.
Please help us in this next step toward making Wikitravel better.
--IBobi 20:46, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
You often note that the upgrade to MediaWiki 1.17 is "unprecedented". What do you mean by that? LtPowers 21:48, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Is that spin-speak for "extraordinarily long overdue"? texugo 22:46, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
It's to highlight the huge undertaking of upgrading the software on a Wiki this size, and yes, it includes the big jump from 1.11 to 1.17. This is by far the biggest technical achievement ever accomplished on Wikitravel, largely due to the increase in size of the database and user base of WT since the last upgrade.--IBobitalkemail 13:22, 11 July 2012 (EDT)
So, unprecedented but for the WMF upgrades that happen, well, regularly? on wikis much bigger?
There are a few wikis that are bigger than WT. Not many! Fortunately, now we're over the big gap and can upgrade more or less at will, much more easily.--IBobitalkemail 00:56, 12 July 2012 (EDT)
I'm not sure how to add to the Open feature requests page, but I've proposed changes to the WT warningbox that I think may need a little work on the IT side if consensus is to add this. Similar to the "What links here", the page would need a bot to list all the warningboxes on WT and their date added/updated and proposed "review date", with all columns able to be sorted alphabetically or by date up/down. Basically an auto-generated version of tables found on Wikipedia like this one. AHeneen 02:43, 11 July 2012 (EDT)
Recently, I went through all the current bugs in the open bugs category and made sure they were stamped with the date and time when they were first reported, in order to make it easier to evaluate them. Personally, I'd suggest we close all bugs prior to the upgrade and, if they still occur, reopen them. Riggwelter 11:48, 20 July 2012 (EDT)
That's pretty much what tech is recommending as well; there are so many changes it'll be more work to run through each of them than it would be to just wait & see if they pop up now. Many things were resolved with that update, and feature requests are possible now that were not before. We'd love to have a fresh start with bugs & feature requests so we can prioritize according to what the community wants most. Obviously at the moment that means fixing the 1.17 security hole & deletion errors, which we should be able to do Monday at the latest. But new features available should be added (such as email notifications which I suggested).--IBobitalkemail 15:00, 20 July 2012 (EDT)
I strongly disagree with just closing bugs because they're old -- as of yesterday, there were only about fifty bugs remaining, some of which were obvious duplicates (and could of course be merged), but by no means all. The CADT Model is a lousy way to run things, especially when there is so little effort involved in verifying most of them. -- D. Guillaime 13:45, 21 July 2012 (EDT)
I have now gone through all the open bugs again, and there are still quite a few tickets that need to be checked by IB; among the most important ones are tickets related to non-ASCII characters, diacritics or "local" letters, such as Å, Ä and Ö, and tickets related to the caching thingy you implemented on July 9. Also, following that, the top bugs list needs to be revised. Riggwelter 00:43, 21 July 2012 (EDT)
Wikimedia Foundation considering Travel Guide project
First I noted that WT seems damn slow this morning (European time). As I tried to login on en I found myself logged in as someone named Prabjot that Dguillaime recently has blocked as a spambot. Logged out again to write about it on English's Travellers pub - and found out that I could not edit anything nor as anonymous nor as Ypsilon as my IP seems to be blocked. To "complain about the IP block" I'm supposed to email Dguillame if I've specified an email address in my preferences - well, I have, but I cannot do that. I cannot do anything. I can just say WHAT THE F**K!? How is this possible? Has someone else experienced something similar? I have to write it over here as I cannot do anything over there and hope someone sees it. Ypsilonatshared 01:04, 24 July 2012 (EDT)
Best guess is that a spambot is exploiting a security hole in 1.17.0 - see the last part of Talk:Roadmap#MW upgrades for a discussion and some pointers. IB was supposedly going to implement a patch to the latest 1.17 bugfix release, but at the moment that doesn't seem to have happened. Clearing your browser cookies may fix the login issues, but won't address the spambot session hijacking. -- Ryan 01:15, 24 July 2012 (EDT)
Now I see, this looks a bit similar to what [has experienced]. When I saw that I was logged in as someone else I logged out and logged in again. Now I was logged in on my own name but got one of those warning boxes. My IP address has apparently been blocked on en for 24h, because I was logged in as that spambot. :|| I think I'll follow the situation as an anonymous spectator until IB has sorted out those security issues. Ypsilonatshared 07:44, 24 July 2012 (EDT)