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Wikitravel:Travellers' pub/May 2009

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Admin action needed[edit]

Somebody is having fun on our expense moving lots pages. please stop this vandal. --Rein N. 09:14, 2 May 2009 (EDT)

Blocked and reverted. Mediawiki's pretty good these days at reverting even attempted redirect loops... Jpatokal 09:24, 2 May 2009 (EDT)

What does Wiki Travel use to Create the add listing popup forms?[edit]

Ive searched and searched for this and cannot find what it is that is used to make the really nice looking forms that appear when you click on an "add listing" link at the side. Is this something available as an extra for mediawiki or was it coded especially for wikitravel/Appreciate any help and im hoping that one of the admins know the answer —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

This was written specifically for wikitravel, primarily by me. KevinSours 17:45, 7 May 2009 (EDT)

Is there anywhere on Wikitravel for odd useful hints?[edit]

for example: "if you are in Japan in Golden Week and have no reservations, try a Toyoko-inn in a town which isn't in your guidebook". [Comment added by David Fremlin.]

It's case-by-case. Your example would go in Japan#Sleep. LtPowers 08:16, 5 May 2009 (EDT)
Thanks, I've done that. [DHF]

Travel News[edit]

Just a reminder to everyone to please help with updating the news. You don't even have to read lots of stories, simply spending a few minutes browsing can spot ones which might affect travelers. You should read the news to begin will give you a better understanding of the world and consequently better understand where you travel. Just spend 5-10 minutes browsing some news websites and then 5-10 min. adding some stories to Travel News (copy the new items before saving, then paste them to the main page). My favorites are: BBC News, France24, & Fox News. A few others that you might want to check out are: Reuters, CNN, Al Jazeera, & RIA Novosti. —The preceding comment was added by AHeneen (talkcontribs) .

Do &s in titles break pages?[edit]

I ask as I've noticed there is a merge candidate named Free wifi in Brighton & Hove but when I click on the link I get taken to "Free wifi in Brighton". I've tried a couple of things to get around this, and tried it in both Firefox and IE, but have found no way of getting to the real article. Is there a trick to this, or can an admin move the page, or does it need a more brute force method to get the page to be viewable? Nrms 23:56, 10 May 2009 (EDT)

Short answer is "yes", ampersands cause problems. Long answer is I remember coming across another article with the same problem but I don't remember if I was able to do anything about it. LtPowers 08:02, 11 May 2009 (EDT)
Okay, I was able to move the page (and its talk page) to Free wifi in Brighton and Hove. I deleted the original page and its talk page. The trick is, when you go to the delete page, the URL says "". I had to change that to "", and it worked. Similar trick with the move operation. LtPowers 08:07, 11 May 2009 (EDT)

Smartphone apps[edit]

Hi. My name's Jon Evans. I'm planning to write a Google Android and (subsequently) an iPhone app that would allow people to easily add to WikiTravel directly from their smartphones - but obviously I don't want to reinvent the proverbial wheel. Do such apps already exist?

The advantages are hopefully obvious: people will be able to write about where they are, rather than relying on memory, and will very easily be able include both on-the-spot pictures and GPS coordinates. (Though it's easier to type on a computer than a smartphone, obviously, so I'm also planning to have a "remind me to write about this place later" feature.)

I'm a software engineer turned adventure traveller turned novelist (see my web site for far more than you ever wanted to know about me) doing this partly for fun, partly to shake the rust off my software skills.

Thanks for any advice/help. Rezendi 15:14, 12 May 2009 (EDT)

A few apps along these lines have been built, but I'm sure they could use your help! See Wikitravel talk:Offline Reader Expedition. Jpatokal 23:36, 12 May 2009 (EDT)

Sleep template[edit]

A question was asked in the nl:pub about the Sleep template.

How can we use those templates in our wikitravel version? --Rein N. 06:14, 14 May 2009 (EDT)

Which template? --Peter Talk 09:58, 14 May 2009 (EDT)
The one that results in: * <sleep name="" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price=""></sleep> and so on.--Rein N. 10:34, 14 May 2009 (EDT)
You mean the clickable links at the bottom of the edit window? You can import those to :nl by copying the content from MediaWiki:Edittools to nl:MediaWiki:Edittools. --Peter Talk 10:47, 14 May 2009 (EDT)
Thanks, --Rein N. 11:07, 14 May 2009 (EDT)

listings: examples of de-touting and summarizing[edit]

I just realized that to de-tout a larger percent of long and flowery listings I see in my watchlist, I would find very helpful to have a reference Wikitravel: page with a few examples for each of Eat/Sleep/Drink/Do of "before" and "after" de-touting by our gurus of de-touting and summarizing, ideally with a short explanation of why the resulting few words were decided as the best to describe the given establishment.

Anyone else interested in creating this kind of "how-to" page for would-be detouters? --DenisYurkin 15:18, 16 May 2009 (EDT)

I think that Wikitravel:Don't tout does a good job of explaining what we do and don't want, and points to other useful pages too. Getting a listing to read well and accurately describe the establishment is kind of a work of art, not so much a formula – cacahuate talk 21:39, 16 May 2009 (EDT)
I think an example or two could be helpful. Business owners/promoters often really do seem clueless as to how to write a proper hotel description for a travel guide, even after reading the policy. When they do censor themselves, the descriptions wind up just as useless. I'll try to save some "good ones" next time I clean up after my friends. --Peter Talk 22:00, 16 May 2009 (EDT)
Thanks, Peter! Overall, I initially meant a guide to de-touting janitors like myself, but now I agree, for business owners it could be helpful as well. --DenisYurkin 03:42, 17 May 2009 (EDT)
There are a bunch of "detouts" in this dif [1]. Perhaps one of them might be a good example? I'll try to look for more. --Peter Talk 19:13, 24 May 2009 (EDT)
Here's another [2]. --Peter Talk 04:57, 8 June 2009 (EDT)
To start with, I copied "before" and "after" into this page: User:DenisYurkin/Detouting. What we need now is:
  • remove non-changed listing fields (like phone numbers and business hours)
  • organize it into a table(?) to make comparing easier
  • (?) provide an explanation for most arguable removals/rewritings of text (where it may be non-obvious for a novice editor reading the page)
  • more ideas?
--DenisYurkin 08:43, 22 July 2009 (EDT)

Sharing pictures for use on Wikitravel[edit]

I've been making a few edits to the Wikitravel guide for Kyoto and I observed that the "Central Kyoto" section under "See" could use a few more pictures. I have some photographs that might fit the bill, but I'm a little protective of my personal travel album so I'm unwilling to release any of them in their original form under Wikitravel's prescribed licences. On the other hand, I'd be glad to release smaller, substantially resized versions (say, 800x600 or less) under the prescribed licences or even turn them loose into the public domain, provided I can keep full copyright over the original versions.

So here's the question: if I release reduced-size versions of my photographs under a CC-BY-SA compatible licence (or into the public domain) for use on Wikitravel - and with the full understanding that anyone can do anything with them in accordance with those licences - will I retain full copyright over the originals?

Many thanks. --Diego de Manila 02:34, 21 May 2009 (EDT)

If you are wary of reuse, i'd encourage you NOT to release anything to the public domain, but yes to other question - you only grant permission to reuse the said image, and you can clarify under the license section that you are only granting permission to reuse the low res version. There is an example here:
And thanks for info on my Kyoto Railway map btw, I'll try to get that updated soon. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 05:46, 21 May 2009 (EDT)
Thanks for the advice and the very helpful example. I'll think twice about releasing anything into the PD, but the prescribed licences now look like a viable option. --Diego de Manila 08:29, 21 May 2009 (EDT)
I'd still recommend you release the full-sized pictures (at least 3000x2000 or equiv), since 800x600 is too small to be used in print, and we'll just have to dike 'em out once the day comes for Wikitravel Press to create its Kyoto guide.
FWIW, I used to think the same way you did, and only uploaded dinky little 800x600 versions here. Then I realized there was no reason not to share (is your pic worth more gathering dust on a hard disk, or being shared with the whole world via WT?), CC-licensed my entire photo collection some 10+ years in the making, and am slowly and painfully upgrading my old pics here as I stumble into them. Jpatokal 09:18, 21 May 2009 (EDT)
I checked out your pictures and noticed it says copyright at the bottom and clicking on the "copyright" says: "All text, pictures and code contained within these pages and their subsidiary servers are copyright 1996-2003 Jani Patokallio. Personal use is generally OK but credit me for it, anything else requires permission. Link freely but only to addresses under (see the tech notes for an explanation), otherwise the links can and will be broken." That doesn't say/resemble CC. AHeneen 20:55, 21 May 2009 (EDT)


Going through the recent changes and noticing that 9 of 10 new users are spambots, could we/IB add a captcha to the process of creating a new account? AHeneen 20:26, 21 May 2009 (EDT)

Good idea. Should be easy to do using either of these: Jpatokal 03:22, 22 May 2009 (EDT)
Man, those bots are out of control. I've mailed IB about this. Jpatokal 06:19, 22 May 2009 (EDT)
I could see having a captcha for account creation, or if things got worse and worse maybe even for edits from unregistered accounts, but I'd hate to make the average registered user go through that for every single edit. Texugo 00:42, 10 June 2009 (EDT)
My intention was simply to add a captcha for new accounts. AHeneen 15:19, 10 June 2009 (EDT)

Wikitravel logout[edit]

Is it just me or does Wikitravel sometimes log you out, even right after an edit? edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 17:14, 22 May 2009 (EDT).

Isn't just you. Happens for me too. Weird. — Ravikiran 03:52, 10 June 2009 (EDT)

Pointer to discussion[edit]

I posted a question last week at Wikitravel talk:Article templates#Talk on non-region/country articles. Would appreciate any input. LtPowers 10:21, 23 May 2009 (EDT)


I know it's going to sound really weird but I think the site is a little more complicated than it looks. I have a really important question and have been reading every page I could. Finally decied to ask, and it's probably because of my poor tech skill, but could anybody please tell me how to post a question? Not by editing another one that already exists, but creating a new topic. It says at the bottom of the page, but I cannot find it. 06:26, 26 May 2009 (EDT)Banu81.214.7.120 06:26, 26 May 2009 (EDT)

Your best bet is to go to the top of a discussion page and click the "+" tab, right between "edit" and "history". =) LtPowers 09:17, 26 May 2009 (EDT)

Wikitravel maps question help[edit]

Hi there! I'm trying to make a map similar to Pittsburgh's road map by PerryPlanet for Portland (OR) but I have come to an obstacle. Maybe it's just a silly issue but i am very new to the program. Anyways Portland has an interesting river geography, with islands and everything. So I am using the Wikitravel template and tracing from OpenStreetMaps, and using water. Well the water has a darker layer around the edges, like turquoise-teal, which is fine, but I'm going around an island, and when they meet back up they're two different things now I suppose and there is a big line in what would be the middle of the river and it looks retarded. How do I fix this? edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 15:17, 26 May 2009 (EDT).

Why is this website written as if every tourist were white?[edit]

It is. You can't deny this; take a look at Germany#Stay safe and the section about Turks/Arabs. Also, I didn't know Russians were non-white, that's news to me (and offensive).

Not only this, my problem with this site is that none of it is sourced. Unlike Wikipedia, there seems to be no sourcing whatsoever. This is potentially critically important on a travel site where people may have printed off a document. One bit of vandalism to a route number and it could cause serious problems to people.--Clyde Cash 18:33, 1 May 2009 (EDT)

I am a complete mixture, I look kinda like Tiger Woods if I was to give an example of what I was like racially but taller, broader and more muscular; I was born to an African American-Mexican American father and a Russian-American mother and I have lived in Scotland for 8 years, and my girlfriend is British Chinese. Please don't assume things. I also have Asperger syndrome.--Clyde Cash 18:41, 1 May 2009 (EDT)
Well, since I can't deny this, I will have trouble responding to your point. But this website is actually written by some 50,000 people, so it must just be that we've succumbed to group think on a very large scale. More to the point though, if you see something that you think can be improved, plunge forward and fix it yourself!
Regarding sourcing, have you ever seen a travel guide that provided footnotes? We try to keep things fair, and the "proofing" mechanism that wikis provide (anyone can correct any error) is generally a lot more foolproof than trusting some drug dealer's second hand information. [3] --Peter Talk 18:57, 1 May 2009 (EDT)
The Stay Safe section of the Germany article certainly could use some editing. Would you be interested in giving it a shot, Clyde? LtPowers 19:03, 1 May 2009 (EDT)
Lest anyone be confused, Clyde is engaged in a silly bit of provocation that doesn't really warrant a response unless you're really bored — and in that event, stimulating alternatives such as alphabetizing your socks might still be preferable. Gorilla Jones 19:05, 1 May 2009 (EDT)
Couple comments to this. I'm trying to familiarize myself with Wikitravel. On the Buenos Aires page I thought there were sections that were irresponsibly written and I also thought sourcing might police the situation, though reading the Style differences note, I agree with the approach. I don't think this comment is not worth (limited) discussion though. I'm not sure how differences in reporting will play themselves out. As for me, I have taken LtPowers invitation to heart and tried to fix inconsistencies, contradictions and so on. Hopefully my efforts will be appreciated rather than annoy.--EKMSID 02:12, 4 July 2009 (EDT)

Well, I can't say to speak for the whole of Germany, I've been there several times. I've also been to Romania and Bulgaria several times, and Finland as well. The problem is with sourcing. Wikipedia relies on accurate sources for every statement. This site, it has NONE of that. None whatsoever! It's bullshit if you believe people should go printing off articles and some person entering bullshit could make people change their route I mean WTF? That shit is not on.-Clyde Cash 19:40, 1 May 2009 (EDT)

We are not Wikipedia. Check out Wikitravel:Welcome, Wikipedians#Style differences, which explains how we are different. If you don't trust our travel guides without references, don't use them. Plenty of other people do. LtPowers 21:45, 1 May 2009 (EDT)
But seriously. Please show me a travel guide that lists sources. And what sources would we list anyway? Have you actually thought about it? Should we list the local phone book as a source for each hotel listing, Rand McNally for every set of directions we give? Texugo 01:15, 1 August 2009 (EDT)
Or we could all just stop beating around the bush and say to clyde that if you don't like the way things are written here and you do not want to plunge forward and make changes, then maybe you should leave and find a different website. Simple. Joshuadrooney 05:25, 18 August 2009 (EDT)
Sorry, but I just read this and I fail to see how one could include sources in a travel guide? Eh, what are people supposed to do? The street scape of Prague is a must see... please refer to this for proof? I mean, that's a nonsense comment. LikeThatWillHappen 21:28, 10 October 2009 (GMT)

My problem is that nearly every article assumes that the reader will not like the local cuisine because it is too spicy/salty/sweet/ethnic for them and goes on to recommend a whole bunch of "western" fast food chains. Even for culinary meccas such as Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore. I love how Lonely Planet's guide to Beijing says, "There's a lot of Starbucks, we'll leave it up to you to figure out where they are." Rickvaughn 22:24, 23 October 2009 (CST)

In general, I agree, but there are exceptions. I live in China and mostly eat Chinese food. When I travel to Yangshuo, I want the guide to tell me where the good Western food is. In Hong Kong, I'm looking for the Indian places, since there are none where I live. If I visit Beijing, I'd like to know where to find good coffee. (For me, Starbucks does not qualify.) Also, there are places where Western fast food may be a good option, see the last paragraph of China#By_plane_2 for example. Pashley 00:01, 24 October 2009 (EDT)
Actually, Singapore doesn't have a single "western" fast food chain listed. It has a couple of local chains offering local food, and it does have a bunch of good Western restaurants, because most travellers start yearning for familiar food after a few solid weeks of nasi goreng or pad thai...
I do agree, though, that Wikitravel's food coverage is generally pretty weak, and I make a point of trying to improve it whenever I can. Jpatokal 09:43, 24 October 2009 (EDT)
The reason WikiTravel is good is because it contains LOADS of information and people aren't scared to add their anecdotal information to it. If a page says something like "The train between Algiers and Oran is fast but use 1st class because 2nd class is overcrowded" I'm glad that they've told me the train is fast and second class is overcrowded in some peoples opinions: if I don't mind overcrowded trains, I will use 2nd class anyway, but its interesting to read someone's opinion. The same with the food, its nice to hear someones opinion and very informative, but at the end of the day everyone has different standards, and this is not a problem. If you think this website is too 'posh' for you, read it with a pinch of salt! There's a wealth of great information to be inferred from this site by ANYONE of any social background. Unnachamois 12:21, 17 February 2010 (EST)