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Tech:Upgrade to MediaWiki 1.17

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MediaWiki 1.16 has been released. We're now five full versions behind, at 1.11. Current versions of MediaWiki include very significant security improvements, not to mention the numerous feature additions. Upgrading should be a priority. LtPowers 09:31, 3 August 2010 (EDT)

Note that one feature of 1.16 is "InstantCommons", which allows non-Wikimedia wikis to use Commons files as if they were Wikimedia wikis. THAT MEANS US. That could revolutionize the very way we work here on Shared, letting us focus less on patrolling new images and more on writing travel guides. LtPowers 11:22, 4 October 2010 (EDT)

We are now six full versions behind; the final release of 1.17.0 has been made. LtPowers 11:21, 28 June 2011 (EDT)

I would like to add that an upgrade would provide another new feature: Offline Wiki readers such as Wikipanion+ for iPhone & iPad could access Wikitravel, with support for offline caching. -- 08:33, 5 July 2011 (EDT)

I agree, it's very crucial that the Wikitravel site gets updated. --globe-trotter 13:43, 5 July 2011 (EDT)
Please register a new feature request for that offline issue, OK? Riggwelter 15:36, 14 July 2011 (EDT)

Regarding site performance: We are not sure what the issue is. We think that when we upgrade Mediawiki (slated for September 2011) that will have some positive effect. Another supposition is that the enormous size of the WT database has made indexing very difficult, particularly when making and saving edits. A component of the database’s size is the fact that reverts are available of pages that are years and years old – theoretically all the way back to a given page’s creation. An idea we are floating now is paring down the size of the database by making reverts available back two years. From a community standpoint, we’d really like to know how you think that change might impact your ability to curate. Ultimately, it would come down to trying to dramatically increase site performance at the expense of some historical data; the question being how vital that data really is to the site.--IBobi 21:00, 3 August 2011 (EDT)

I may be wrong, but assuming you're talking about deleting very old revisions then I suspect that would be questionable from a legal standpoint since those old revisions provide credit to the article's contributors as required by the CC-SA license.
Regarding performance, there are a number of sites that have as many or more revisions as Wikitravel and don't face the same performance issues - Wikipedia being the obvious example since it's literally hundreds of times larger - so it would be surprising if the amount of data is the limiting factor. It's probably a dumb question, but is your DBA doing normal maintenance on the database (ie and I'm not a DBA, but with about 15 years of web application development I'd say that one possible explanation for the current issues on Wikitravel could be a fragmented database. -- Ryan 21:27, 3 August 2011 (EDT)
I would say deleting history is a big no-no, both from a legal standpoint and from a curating standpoint, as sometimes it is necessary to delve into the history to determine the origin of something, plus the fact that there are plenty of pages that go for 2 years without being edited, so you'd be essentially deleting all record of how that page came to be. Better take that option off the table now. texugo 22:14, 3 August 2011 (EDT)
See this discussion at
Many revisions of Wikipedia articles are very minor and could be "pruned" from the overall History of article revisions, to leave only the more major revisions. Even if the minor revisions were actually left in storage, perhaps they could be bypassed when listing all other article revisions. However, actually erasing specific revisions from an article might require changing, or reconfiguring, the software behind Wikipedia, the MediaWiki system.
Perhaps 50% of all revisions are hackings/jokes + revert: it's not just the hacking of articles that escalates the total revisions, but the instant reverting that doubles the total revisions to recover from hacking.
If the Wikipedia storage system were altered, over half of all revisions could be erased from Wikipedia servers and no longer listed under the "History" tab of logged revisions:
  • Once a revision is judged to be a hacking/joke, then "erase" rather than revert: the hacked version would be erased from storage and from the logs (at some point).
  • If a single user makes several small consecutive edits to an article in one day, then combine those small edits as one revision.
Again, erasing or combining old revisions might require changing, or reconfiguring, the MediaWiki software behind Wikipedia.--IBobi 13:20, 4 August 2011 (EDT)
Two points:
  1. The article you've pointed to mostly involves purging vandalism and reverts, as well as encouraging users to commit changes less often. The approach you've suggested (deleting revisions older than two years) is very different in that it would eliminate article history that outlines who made contributions and thus would violate the CC-SA license which states that every author must be given credit. Additionally, as Texugo states, that history is valuable in tracking down changes and article development. I really, really don't think purging revisions is a good idea.
  2. I'm highly skeptical that the database size itself is a cause of current problems - even at multiple GB of data, Wikitravel isn't particularly large for a Mediawiki installation. If it hasn't been done, please have a DBA verify that standard maintenance has been done (particularly table optimization) as over time databases get fragmented, indexes get large, and performance suffers. Purging old revisions wouldn't solve that issue.
-- Ryan 15:23, 4 August 2011 (EDT)
I would prefer if discussion of performance be shunted to a different place. I don't even think performance will be the biggest advantage of upgrading, it should not be the main focus of this tech request. LtPowers 10:22, 11 August 2011 (EDT)

An update: we are to begin internal testing of the site using the current (new) version of Wikimedia within the next ten days. We'll test internally until we feel all site features have been preserved, no data have been lost, and the new site is robust enough to go live, hopefully some time in November.--IBobi 20:10, 19 October 2011 (EDT)

Internal testing recently began; I will send another update when we are ready for external testing of the new Mediawiki version of WT.--IBobi 21:36, 21 November 2011 (EST)


MediaWiki 1.18 was just released. See Tech:Upgrade to MediaWiki 1.18. LtPowers 10:55, 29 November 2011 (EST)

IBxAnders: Development Update: 12/19/11[edit]

Adressing the issues reported in this page. Please note that we are unable to resolve the "painfully slow" staging environment issue at this time, we apologize for the inconvenience but still urge you to please help us find and report issues. Thanks. Contact info : [email protected]

FYI that update was from Mike, the new Project Manager in charge of Wikitravel. I remain the main point of contact for tech and community issues.--IBobi 17:05, 19 December 2011 (EST)

1.17 Beta[edit]

If you are part of the Beta test group, please use this area to report issues. A new header for each issue should work fine.

It doesn't look like much WT specific stuff is there. Some of the missing features are pretty apparent. Has anyone from IB actually loaded the main page before they asked "Beta" testers to? if any. I think we need to make a list of all the WT specific mods, because my guess is most will be missing. It is so slow as to be near to impossible to test. I know we can't complain about slowness. But when the Main Page takes a minute to load, it is a bit hard to test. --Inas 23:41, 8 December 2011 (EST)

I will be contacting the members of the first beta group to ask if you will consider doing the second round of testing on the improved beta staging server. If I do not contact you and you wish to participate, please let me know. Thank you --IBobi 15:42, 16 February 2012 (EST)

Sorry, I haven't been active in this since my last trip. The upgrade will be to 1.17, not the current version? --Peter Talk 16:07, 16 February 2012 (EST)
Hey Peter-- yes, it will be to 1.17, which was underway before 1.18 came out in November.--IBobi 18:54, 16 February 2012 (EST)

FIXED 1/10/2012: Interwiki links[edit]

wts, etc aren't being recognised. --Inas 23:41, 8 December 2011 (EST)

This is still a problem - see the staging Main Page, which has the following interwiki links that are not generating any links in the left nav:
 [[wts:Main Page]]
 [[Wikevent:Main Page]]
 [[wikiHow:Main Page]]

-- Ryan 20:52, 11 April 2012 (EDT)

Thank you Ryan - but, I am seeing this as working; the links are showing and linking correctly. Maybe we are not thinking about this correctly and missing some functionality even though it "looks" ok? - [email protected]
This is working today; yesterday it was not. I viewed several pages and did a hard reload at the time and the problem was persistent. -- Ryan 16:00, 12 April 2012 (EDT)

FIXED 1/10/2012: Ad suppression in preferences[edit]

The preferences to turn off ads for logged in users doesn't appear to exist --Inas 23:41, 8 December 2011 (EST)

FIXED 1/10/2012: Sub-pages appear to be missing[edit]

Sub-pages appear to be blank. I haven't tested too many, as it takes a few minutes to bring up one. --Inas 23:41, 8 December 2011 (EST)

I can't load districts, such as Manhattan/Lower Manhattan. They just keep being a white page loading, not going anywhere. --globe-trotter 13:47, 9 December 2011 (EST)

FIXED 1/10/2012: Breadcrumbs don't work[edit]

Breadcrumbs don't work. --Inas 23:41, 8 December 2011 (EST)

FIXED 12/19/2011: RDF isn't enabled[edit]

RDF doesn't work. --Inas 23:41, 8 December 2011 (EST)

FIXED 1/10/2012: Star icon[edit]

The star, OTBP and DOTM icons at the right-top corner of some pages do not appear correctly (e.g. Bangkok, Staraya Russa). --globe-trotter 12:09, 9 December 2011 (EST)

The template that displays those icons was a hack copied from Wikipedia that will probably require updating with the latest Mediawiki skins. I'm not sure that this is something IB would be required to fix, but I'm waiting for a non-login beta site so I haven't seen the beta skin to know 100% for sure that this will be fixable. -- Ryan 17:18, 9 December 2011 (EST)

FIXED 1/10/2012: Left bar[edit]

The bar on the left side is missing some key features, especially the Travellers' Pub. The Community Portal doesn't work. Also, docents, related pages and "other sites" don't show up in this bar when viewing specific articles (WikiPedia, World66, DMOZ, WTS links all don't work, see at the bottom of the page). --globe-trotter 12:44, 9 December 2011 (EST)

FIXED 1/10/2012: Editing bar[edit]

When editing, the editing bar is missing (the bar with which you can select text to be bold, add images, etc.)

Also, the big table of stuff (with clickable attractions, etc) under the edit window is completely missing. --globe-trotter 13:14, 9 December 2011 (EST)

The big table of stuff should be fixable by admins; just edit MediaWiki:Edittools. LtPowers 14:18, 9 December 2011 (EST)

FIXED 1/10/2012: Add listings function and listingified listings[edit]

The [add listing] button beside the See, Do, Eat, Drink and Sleep sections are missing. Also very important: listified listings cannot be edited from within the article! This really must be fixed. --globe-trotter 13:47, 9 December 2011 (EST)

Empty footer[edit]

The footer is empty. The HTML rendered on all pages I checked is:

<div id="footer">
	<div style="clear:both"></div>

-- Ryan 20:54, 11 April 2012 (EDT)

Again - thank you Ryan. I am seeing the footer links and source. We may have a caching issue going on, can I ask you to please CNTRL+F5 hard refresh the page(s) and or append the following to the url in the browser "?cache=no" , as example [email protected]:
This is working today; yesterday it was not. I viewed several pages and did a hard reload at the time and the problem was persistent. -- Ryan 16:00, 12 April 2012 (EDT)

FIXED: Editing error[edit]

I got the following while attempting a test edit of my user page:

Detected bug in an extension! Hook ReCaptcha::confirmEdit has invalid call signature; Parameter 1
to ReCaptcha::confirmEdit() expected to be a reference, value given
#0 /var/www/html/ wfRunHooks('EditFilter',
#1 /var/www/html/ EditPage-
>internalAttemptSave(false, false)
#2 /var/www/html/ EditPage->attemptSave()
#3 /var/www/html/ EditPage->edit()
#4 /var/www/html/ EditPage->submit()
#5 /var/www/html/ MediaWiki->performAction(Object(OutputPage),
Object(Article), Object(Title), Object(User), Object(WebRequest))
#6 /var/www/html/ MediaWiki-
>performRequestForTitle(Object(Title), Object(Article), Object(OutputPage), Object(User),
#7 {main}

-- Ryan 19:23, 12 April 2012 (EDT)