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User talk:Koavf

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Hello! Welcome to Wikitravel. Thanks for plunging forward so far. If you're going to continue working on Wikitravel, you may find the tips for new contributors helpful.

You should also make sure you understand our copyleft and policies and guidelines. Scanning the Manual of style, especially the article templates, can give you a good idea of how we like articles formatted.

If you need help, check out Wikitravel:Help, and if you need some info not on there, post a message in the travellers' pub or on the talk page for the most appropriate article. --Evan 23:49, 21 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Please discuss on the Talk page before moving major articles! Jpatokal 01:56, 7 August 2006 (EDT)


I noticed you creating a lot of stub articles. Have you noticed the links above the article that say:

City | Major City | City District | Region | National Park | Phrasebook | Disambiguation | Talk Page

If you click on them they will automatically pre-fill the article with the standard sections. People are more likely to add information to an outline because there it is obvious where information goes. -- Fastestdogever 14:54, 26 April 2007 (EDT)


While it's helpful to have redirects for common alternate spellings, and I appreciate your effort to be thorough, I think you may be overdoing it a bit with redirects to El Aaiún. For example, because this is the English-language version of Wikitravel, the spellings used in other languages aren't likely to be used here. Instead we'd rather make sure the name is spelled correctly and consistently in all articles, rather than create redirects for every possible way a city's name can be spelled. And as a general rule, we don't create redirects using alphabets other than the Latin one, because articles on the English-language Wikitravel will never be spelled with it. - Todd VerBeek 22:53, 29 April 2007 (EDT)

The Arabic redirect is definitely not the sort of thing we normally do, but a dozen Latin-alphabet variations for Smara and nearly 30 for El Aaiún seems excessive as well. Generally speaking, all that's needed is to create a redirect for the standard spelling without diacritical marks (in this case El Aaiun), to help people who don't know how to type those characters. For a city that's often referred to in English texts by another version of the name, that can be helpful too. Granted, Arabic names are going to need a few more variations than, say, French names because they aren't transliterated consistently, but it's not our responsibility to think of every possible misspelling with every diacritical mark. - Todd VerBeek 23:30, 29 April 2007 (EDT)
I understand your point about inconsistent latinization of Arabic names. The only disagreement we have is that I'd just stick to the most common variations. It's a judgment call. - Todd VerBeek 20:15, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Western Sahara[edit]

Greetings and also apologies for having deleted much of the information you added to the Western Sahara article. As interesting as it was, it unfortunately was incompatible with Wikitravel's style of listing places, which is aimed solely at providing information that is of benefit to travelers. Therefore, unlike Wikpedia we do not list towns in grid format with estimated populations etc. In addition, an article should avoid contentious political statements. If a region has disputed territory, the situation can be explained briefly in the Understand section, but basically we should not lose site of the ball: to provide info from a traveler's view point. In short, the country that issues the visas is the one under which the territory should be listed. For example, whatever Beijing or the UN says about Taiwan, it is Taipei that issues visas to travelers visiting the island and so Taipei, Kaohsiung and other cities are listed under Taiwan, not China. Anyway, before you proceed with other edits, you might find the information discussd in this articles of interest: Wikitravel:Manual of style, Wikitravel:Article naming conventions and Wikitravel:The traveller comes first. Anyway, thanks for your contributions and apologies for deleting many of them. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Cheers. WindHorse 01:39, 30 April 2007 (EDT)


We are hoping to break Indianapolis into several smaller district articles to make it easier to read, and seeing as you live in or near Indianapolis, please could you comment here. -- Tim (writeme!) 12:34, 12 August 2007 (EDT)

Ok - do you have any suggestions for what the districts could be? -- Tim (writeme!) 11:48, 14 August 2007 (EDT)

Welcome back[edit]

Hello! Thank you for your recent contributions to Wikitravel articles! Please keep it up. Thank you! IBAlex (talk) 15:11, 17 July 2013 (EDT)

Congratulations on being demoted to admin![edit]

I see that you're already in harness and making a great contribution in fighting both spam user pages and deleting some dusty, forgotten corners. Please keep it up! -- 01:11, 3 November 2013 (EST)

Thanks I think you mean promoted... Either way, I'm happy to help this community: this is one of the highest-ranked wikis on Alexa and it's definitely not in anyone's interests for this to be overrun with spam. Koavf (talk) 01:35, 3 November 2013 (EST)
Traditionally, we have not thought of it that way: Administrators were the plumbers and janitors of Wikitravel, and were asked to help perform some mundane tasks - sysop status used to mean, because of our egalitarian ethic, that administrators had no more authority in decision making than other users (obviously now that we also have IB appointed admins that stance may have irrevocably shifted). You may wish to read further some historical background here.
I definitely agree that it's not in the traveller's interests for Wikitravel to be overrun with spam (or outdated and poorly maintained articles) while this site remains the crowd sourced travel guide with most readers. -- 03:31, 3 November 2013 (EST)
True! It's funny you say that because now I remember similar terminology when I started on Wikipedia (about a decade ago!)—admins still have the mop as an icon. Good point. Thanks for saying hi, anon. Koavf (talk) 10:22, 3 November 2013 (EST)
Ah, we're of a similar age then. Incidentally, a lot of Wiki users forget that really most editors are anonymous in the final analysis. You (and IBobo) are exceptions in it being easy to associate your edits with an identifiable single human being. Anyway, I really admire your stamina, Koavf! -- 17:13, 3 November 2013 (EST)
Anonymity To be really anonymous, you would use a login through a VPN through a proxy and change that up every now and again. Leaving us with a bare IP address tells me something about who you are... Koavf (talk) 03:09, 4 November 2013 (EST)

Other destinations on Europe page[edit]

Hello Koavf! Do you know Europe well? If yes, I would like to invite you to the discussion about the "Other destinations" in that article. Your knowledge and insights would be very much appreciated here. I would love to see opinions from our users and together decide which destinations we should include in this section. Looking forward to hearing back from you. Warm regards,

Europe I'm far too ignorant to be able to help there but I appreciate the invitation. You're actually from that continent—what do you think? Koavf (talk) 23:47, 4 November 2013 (EST)

checking recent changes[edit]

Hi there! Looks like we are both checking recent changes. I was checking the edit of user Brewman for copied content but seems ok. Not sure why he put it on his user page, will you move the article and send him a message, since you already patrolled that page? I will check later to see if I can work on something else. Enjoy your saturday! Adzas (talk) 14:05, 9 November 2013 (EST)

Moving I actually think it's a good thing for users to work on articles in the user namespace if they're so bare that they are stubs. If you want to move it, I certainly wouldn't revert but if he (evidently?) wants it there and if it's not exactly a "live" guide yet, then it seems like a good fit. Koavf (talk) 14:07, 9 November 2013 (EST)

Link format[edit]

Hi, thanks for notifying me! I think the issue is settled (I reverted my changes). However, I still find the current (and apparently preferred) treatment of tags very strange. If that 'blue link' appearance is what is wanted, why don't wikitravel make the see/eat/drink/sleep tags look in that way straightaway? A tag with a name field moved to outside (which is what the current approach results in) is just as good as no tags at all; and, in particular, those small 'edit' buttons become less functional when they cover only part of the field (with name and url excluded and formatted manually). Is it not simpler to embed the desired visual behavior right into the tags, and keep tags consistent? AntonBryl (talk) 17:25, 20 November 2013 (EST)

You are absolutely right, Anton; please comment at the Pub! --Ttcf (talk) 17:37, 17 February 2014 (EST)

thanks for your welcome message![edit]

Yes, I've already had my Wikishared account and uploaded lots of my pictures (almost all of those are on Japanese version Wikitravel). I really enjoy being a Wiki-traveler. --Aiko99ann 00:20, 24 November 2013 (JST)

Thank you very much for your advice.
Would you tell me also how to make a link to my Japanese Wikitravel account? --Aiko99ann 13:14, 24 November 2013 (JST)
I appreciate your kind assistance. I'll contribute to these websites here! --Aiko99ann 01:54, 25 November 2013 (JST)

spam blacklist[edit]

Hey Koavf, I had to undo your recent edit on the Wikitravel:Local spam blacklist as it triggered the spam filter preventing me from editing some pages (undoing tout listings). GiulioC (talk) 08:21, 30 November 2013 (EST)

Thanks It's tricky because there are some terms or string of letters which are conceivably useful. Thanks for your note. Koavf (talk) 13:36, 30 November 2013 (EST)

Gloucester - England[edit]

Hi Koavf, I decided to radically amend the Gloucester entry because it was really out of date and not suitable at all.

I didn't mean to amend the sub-headings but the content is much better now. Let me know if I need to change anything else.

Thanks, Binary2014

London Guide[edit]

Hi I have no clue how to edit this great site.

Was reading your London section and wondered if your can list this site that was the first ever online London guide started in 1995

Would this be possible? , we are already on page 1 of google for London Guide we just like this listing as we think our site can be useful.

Thank you so much

have a great day

Other guides See alog: we don't link to other travel guides here. Yours may be the best but the preference here would be to simply make ours better. Let me know if you want more help with Wikitravel. Koavf (talk) 01:56, 8 February 2014 (EST)

Template talk:IATA[edit]

Since you are probably very busy fighting spam and you recently edited that template, you may like to be made aware that I left a comment on its discussion page... -- 18:21, 16 February 2014 (EST)


Hi, just checking, I noticed on the Wikitravel:External links page you changed all the URL to URI, is there a specific reason for that? I initially thought it was a typo and changed it back to URL, but am aware now that URI can also be used. It´s just that URL seems much more common, and is also used in all our templates, so curious to why you made this change. Thanks! Adzas (talk) 07:53, 17 February 2014 (EST)

URI Although URL is more common, URI (uniform resource identifier) is more technically correct. "URL is a useful but informal concept: a URL is a type of URI that identifies a resource via a representation of its primary access mechanism (e.g., its network "location"), rather than by some other attributes it may have." Koavf (talk) 11:40, 17 February 2014 (EST)
Certainly URI is more inclusive (all URLs are URIs but the reverse is not the case) - but in the instance referred to, URI is inappropriate for at least two reasons:
URI will be a less familiar term for most travellers than URL
All of the external links that we talk about on that policy page will indeed be to URLs rather than other types of URI such as an International Standard Book Number (or ISBN which is generally allowed as far as I know)... --Ttcf (talk) 17:34, 17 February 2014 (EST)


Nice work!

Do you think there is scope for adjusting the User group rights in an effort to avoid all these user space pages being automatically created by spambots? How do they get around the Captcha? - I always found it bloody difficult before I created an account! --Ttcf (talk) 04:55, 18 March 2014 (EDT)

Thanks I have no access to this: I'm a peon. I know that in MediaWiki you can make it so that new accounts have to wait X hours to create new pages... Koavf (talk) 23:38, 18 March 2014 (EDT)

External links to promotional videos on[edit]

Thanks for the note! Would you mind looking at the Ephesus, Turkey page and helping me understand why THIS video from Rick Steves is allowed and mine is not? We really care about the traveler and enjoy making videos for them to see. And so does Rick Steves. Do we need to make more "user generated" looking Rick has done in order to be accepted? Thanks again, Erikthetravelguy (talk) 10:45, 24 November 2014 (EST)

Sorry to jump in, but that shouldn't be there. I'm deleting it now. IBcaldera (talk) 16:50, 24 November 2014 (EST)
I did wonder... --Ttcf (talk) 17:17, 24 November 2014 (EST)


Hello Koavf, I noticed you started redirecting many of the travel guides to new articles. Is there a reason why? IBcaldera (talk) 19:24, 19 December 2014 (EST)
Hi to both of you; I think th idea is to summarize in a synthesis spirit. For instance, if you look for Vinimale or Via Veneto, since they are in the same district of Rome (hope GiulioC will back me up on this one^^) the redirection is legitimate so we avoid to cope with 25 dwarf districts. I aslo understand Koavf saves the original content and delete redundancies, which is good as well. I don't have the knowledge to appreciate all the changes that have been made, so please Koavf, could you tell us whether these are things you actually know (which is impressive, yet possible), or whether you rely on some source of information. Thank you ! PierrB (talk) 02:00, 20 December 2014 (EST)
Redirects The changes are actually a lot simpler than that. Edits such as this just fixed some double redirects. I didn't change any of the content. Koavf (talk) 02:02, 20 December 2014 (EST)

Category: National capitals[edit]

Hi again Koavf and sorry for hassling you, we are for sure full of questions!

May I ask why you systematically delete names from this category? I might be missing something, but it seems rather nice to be able to see all national capitals at once (Also some come with sensitive status). Thank you very much for your kind answer. PierrB (talk) 02:04, 20 December 2014 (EST)

Deletion No problem. The only reason I removed the category was because it was a redlink: no one had actually created it. Categories aren't really used much here, since Evan and Maj set it up before MediaWiki had categories. (Evan invented the RDF breadcrumbs for navigation.) Between the fact that not much on the site uses categories, no one actually made that category, and I don't see how it's really that valuable to travelers, I removed it. If someone wants to actually create the category, I'm not going to stop him--I just don't see the point. Koavf (talk) 02:07, 20 December 2014 (EST)

Travellers' Pub Archives[edit]

Hi Koavf! Thank you for your contributions and efforts, but please do not remove old edits from the Travellers' Pub. It would be nice to keep the old edits up for a while in order to let the Pub grow.Ncahill (talk) 12:19, 17 January 2018 (EST)

Over at the fork[edit]

Hello Koavf, I hope you're well. I know you were at one point active both here and on the WM travel site fork. I have not been over there in years (I'm probably still blocked from editing), but it seems clear that someone from there named Typhoons is spamming WT, and possibly attempting to stir up legal trouble again [1]. This is one of perhaps 10 of his/her recent attempts to contact our admins in contravention of our agreement with WMF Legal to leave each other alone. In lieu of my getting in touch with the WMF administration again, if you could let the admins on the other wiki know that this is going on and hopefully they will do the right thing with this editor who clearly has too much time on their hands. Thanks, IBobi (talk) 14:36, 16 March 2018 (EDT)

I'll mention it. Koavf (talk) 01:29, 20 March 2018 (EDT)
User:IBobi, I mentioned this on the WMF's travel wiki and the user in question said that he didn't do it, which I believe. Koavf (talk) 12:02, 20 March 2018 (EDT)
Thanks Justin. TT is lying, very clearly, and not very well. He's using a known (on WT anyway) IP of good old W. Frank, and clearly Typhoons is just another Frank alias, and didn't expect to get caught out over there for what he did here. The cognitive dissonance it takes for those admins to willfully ignore the wrongdoing of their comrades is stunning (this is not the first time, nor the worst -- the worst was old admin Jan cyberstalking one of our female admins here; a true creep, and the WV folks did nothing other than say they didn't believe me). I'll pursue with WMF Legal -- they will do a Checkuser of his various accounts, and if the IP matches he will be banned at WV. Cheers! IBobi (talk) 14:14, 20 March 2018 (EDT)