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User talk:IBobi

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Information.png   Welcome to Wikitravel Shared, IBobi!

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Riggwelter 20:53, 12 July 2011 (EDT)

About the roadmap[edit]

Hi IBobi, I saw you delete two tickets from the roadmap. I cannot see that the tíckets have been either closed or commented on by IB, so I reverted your edit. If the tickets are closed, please comment each ticket and then close them before deleting them from the roadmap. It takes some time to understand in whoch order things need to be done, but Rome was not built in a day. Riggwelter 20:53, 12 July 2011 (EDT)

Thank you -- I will check it out. --IBobi 20:14, 13 July 2011 (EDT)

  • Sorry, still not good enough. Please go to the original two tech requests and explain why you "will not do". Those are two very reasonable requests, especially the one about blocking IP ranges. Notice that on that one IB's previous explanation didn't actually match up with what was being requested. texugo 22:48, 19 July 2011 (EDT)

See my edits, Texugo. We are in the process of looking into those issues. If there is any movement, I will report it to you.--IBobi 20:15, 29 July 2011 (EDT)

Subtle message[edit]

Here. texugo 11:08, 2 August 2011 (EDT)

Lovely. Everyone loves a vandal, right? Thanks for taking care of that, Texugo, it is appreciated. --IBobi 19:49, 2 August 2011 (EDT)

Arabic Wikitravel[edit]

Wikitravel Shared:Travellers' pub/Archive 2010#Runaway spam on ar:. Arabic Wikitravel currently consists almost entirely of spam, and I don't think any active users have administrative rights to do anything about it. I would be happy to volunteer, but someone at IB would need to enable my account since there are no active users on that language version with authority to do so. I've nominated myself at Wikitravel Shared:Administrator nominations. -- Ryan 22:46, 3 August 2011 (EDT)

Thank you for volunteering, Ryan -- I have listed my support. What consensus is required in order to confirm you?--IBobi 13:05, 4 August 2011 (EDT)
The current process is 14 days of nomination and "The nomination has been given the support of the community, including at least two other administrators". I'll leave a note on this page again when that time period has elapsed - thanks for looking into this. -- Ryan 13:37, 4 August 2011 (EDT)
The nomination period for User:Texugo for Portugese Wikitravel and myself (User:Wrh2) for Arabic Wikitravel have concluded their 14 day period. Since we don't have any active bureaucrats on Portugese or Arabic Wikitravel it will require someone from IB with appropriate permissions to update the rights for those accounts, so if someone could do so it would be greatly appreciated. I've written out the steps for updating user rights at Administrator's handbook#Bureaucrat privileges. -- Ryan 18:02, 21 August 2011 (EDT)
Working on this -- will let you know when it's resolved, thanks Ryan.--IBobi 18:19, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
Thanks. If it takes more than 3-4 days to complete the request then the nomination for Hindi Wikitravel will have surpassed its 14 days as of 27-Aug, so at that point all three accounts (pt:User:Texugo, ar:User:Wrh2 and hi:User:Wrh2) could be updated to bureaucrat privileges. I saw that User:IB-Dick made himself a bureaucrat on en: today, so it would seem that he knows how to update permissions. -- Ryan 18:40, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
Yep -- we went through that process yesterday. FYI My request includes your Hindi nomination.--IBobi 20:17, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
Hi IBobi - has there been any update on this? Arabic & Hindi Wikitravel are a mess and definitely in need of some attention. Thanks! -- Ryan 20:11, 29 August 2011 (EDT)
Have not heard back from Dick on this yet; I'll ping him & will let you know when these are done.--IBobi 20:59, 29 August 2011 (EDT)
Any update yet from Dick? In addition to a home page that is nothing but spam links, there's one particular topic on Arabic Wikitravel that currently consists of over 74,000 spam revisions with a few hundred new ones added weekly, so I'm understandably excited about (finally) being able to do something to fix the situation :) -- Ryan 19:05, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
Budgeting time for Dick to login to the :ar version, this should take no more than 1 minute. --Peter Talk 19:35, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
This is completed -- please check your status, Ryan. Congrats and thank you!--IBobi 12:34, 2 September 2011 (EDT)
Thanks, looks good. I'll see what I can do about getting those sites cleaned up. -- Ryan 13:38, 2 September 2011 (EDT)

My compliments...[edit]

...for doing a good job so far, in my opinion the best effort so far from IB. The climate here might be a bit rough for some time, until the community thinks IB is working with it (and vice versa) to make the best travel guide there is. One more thing: I noticed you added the feature request Tech:Add booking tool to WT to the roadmap but as the link is red, there do not seem to be a formal request. If you add it, I think it will be a good place to continue the discussion. Cheers, Riggwelter 13:28, 10 August 2011 (EDT)

Thank you, Riggwelter -- it is much appreciated, believe me. I understand if it takes a while to start winning hearts & minds here after the past couple of years. Hoping to get some of these tech remedies done very soon.--IBobi 20:04, 10 August 2011 (EDT)
Thanks from me as well. While there is obviously a long way to go, it's clear that things have improved since your arrival, and your efforts are appreciated. It can be a tough crowd, but you're fighting several years of bad experiences with IB so please understand that people are very much in the "hoping for the best but expecting the worst" mindset (myself included) and it will take a lot to get past that. That said, it's a good group of people here with a great variety of skillsets, so please continue to listen to the opinions expressed and let everyone here know what we can do to help improve things. -- Ryan 01:46, 25 August 2011 (EDT)

Valued contributors unable to use Wikitravel at all[edit]

Some of our most important editors are completely unable to use Wikitravel, with "compliments" from the complete negligence by IB tech support over the past four years. Please see en:Pub#I_seem_to_be_blocked_from_editing.

You may need to refresh that page after loading, or go directly to the history to see Felix's most recent comment [1], which I am unable to get to display even after purging the cache, owing to this site's unbelievable and obviously unacceptable chronic caching problems. --Peter Talk 00:03, 15 August 2011 (EDT)

Thanks for the heads-up, Peter -- I have posted there and am now aware of the issues; I'll have a discussion with Dick tomorrow.--IBobi 16:30, 15 August 2011 (EDT)
For what it's worth I also sent an email to tech at wikitravel dot org last night with a screenshot of the new "squid" server error. I haven't seen that error again today from my browser, but a script I run that retrieves data from Wikitravel is failing with gateway errors about ten percent of the time today, so it's clear that at least one of the Wikitravel machines is having some problems. If there's anything that can be done to help debug this new issue I'd be happy to do so. -- Ryan 17:07, 15 August 2011 (EDT)
Ryan, thank you for this... I really can't comment on whether this is something new tech issue wise, but from your description it sounds like it might be. Let me get hold of the appropriate persons and see what's what; if they indicate they could use further help/info, I'll ping you, ok?--IBobi 17:34, 15 August 2011 (EDT)

Site outages[edit]

Hi IBobi - it would be hugely helpful to people on this site if you could provide an update on what's going on with Wikitravel and (apparently) other Internet Brands sites over the past 24 hours in the Pub when you get a chance. It looks like most Internet Brands sites dropped off the internet for a long period yesterday, and while it seems reasonably stable right now, Wikitravel has also been experiencing some new issues as referenced above and here. Thanks! -- Ryan 09:57, 17 August 2011 (EDT)

Hey Ryan, Yes, we were offline for about 7 hours yesterday. Unfortunately there was no way to message the community at the time; I have asked in one or two places what the best location for a central Site Issues Reporting area would be. I need a page I can go to, and the community can go to, where outages and problems can be reported adn everyone knows where to look first. Any ideas?--IBobi 20:33, 17 August 2011 (EDT)

Image issues[edit]

Hi IBobi - in the past 2-3 days something has changed on the servers that is causing permission errors when working with images, and is preventing upload and modification of images. See Tech:Permissions errors with images. This is a fairly serious problem that should be extremely easy for someone with server access to fix (simply fix the folder permission), so could you raise it with the support team there? Thanks! -- Ryan 11:42, 19 August 2011 (EDT)

I raised it with tech. I'll let you know what they say, thanks Ryan.--IBobi 14:32, 19 August 2011 (EDT)
Geez, this is an extremely urgent, serious problem-- the principal functions of Wikitravel Shared and all capacity to add new images to any article anywhere have all been broken for several days now. How much longer do we have to wait on this?? texugo 23:32, 19 August 2011 (EDT)


Some of the items on the roadmap that were scheduled for August and/or September 2011, particularly the Mediawiki upgrade and anything that can be done to address site performance/timeouts, could probably use a status update - I left a comment at Talk:Roadmap#Schedule that would benefit from any info that you or anyone else from IB could provide. -- Ryan 01:39, 9 September 2011 (EDT)

Thanks Ryan -- Sepetember is evaporating at a ridiculous clip indeed. I'll try to get some good info up in the next several days re: Mediawiki & performance.--IBobi 15:27, 9 September 2011 (EDT)

Urgent attention needed[edit]

en: is practically unusable at the moment. See my two recent bug reports here on Shared and my comments in the Traveler's pub. This is a serious emergency situation. texugo 12:14, 18 October 2011 (EDT)

Reported to tech and being adressed. Appears to be IE 8 related.--IBobi 12:57, 18 October 2011 (EDT)


What would need to be done to get CAPTCHA enabled for:

  1. All user account registration on all language versions?
  2. All anonymous edits on all language versions?

By my count it looks like there are already 30+ spambot users that have registered today on shared, and we are deleting dozens of pages each day from the English and Shared language versions created by bot-created users. Similarly, while English and shared appear to require CAPTCHA for anonymous editing, this has not been enabled on all language versions. -- Ryan 17:39, 21 November 2011 (EST)

This is an update we have been waiting to do until after Mediawiki, as we believe it may resolve itself then. We have the site running on the current version of Mediawiki internally right now. As soon as we can, we will be enabling it externally so that a number of Admins can test functionality before we push it live.--IBobi 21:29, 21 November 2011 (EST)
As of 9:45AM this morning there have been 20 spam accounts or user page spams on shared, and it seems to be getting worse each day. Any chance of expediting the CAPTCHA implementation? -- Ryan 12:45, 28 November 2011 (EST)
I second that on French WT. That'll help us for patrolling. Thanks! Joelf 01:48, 30 November 2011 (EST)
47 spambot accounts as of 8:45 this morning. I know you probably think that users of this site do nothing but complain, but please understand how frustrating it is to be spending 10-15 minutes every morning cleaning up after spambots when IB could make a simple configuration change to solve the problem. -- Ryan 11:47, 3 December 2011 (EST)
Ryan, JoelF: I feel the frustration and understand where it's coming from; the CAPTCHA request that's been made is reasonable to me and I have spoken about it with tech. We're in the midst of upgrading MW, as I posted above, and will not be making configuration changes while that is going on, so as to isolate any trouble that appears on the site to the upgrade process.
In addition, we will have more resources in the new year to throw at problems and requests. Just hang in there with the spammers for a while longer. If the MW update doesn't resolve the issue, we will find another way to do it.--IBobi 12:53, 5 December 2011 (EST)
65 spambot accounts and pages to clean up this morning. The configuration change to enable CAPTCHA would take what - at most thirty minutes to implement and test? I realize that this is just another rant and that it has been made clear that the issue will (possibly) be resolved when the new version of Mediawiki is launched in August/September in October in the new year some time early next year, but please understand that while I've tried to give IB the benefit of the doubt in the past, at this point it would be naive to believe that IB is either interested in or capable of successfully managing the Wikitravel content and community. -- Ryan 12:54, 17 December 2011 (EST)
Ryan, we realize this is a major issue and very much appreciate the extra effort that's being put forth to clean up after the spambots; but making a change to the site's configuration during a major transition to a new software platform is a great way to mess up that transition -- and therefore all of Wikitravel -- in a big way. I guarantee you, when the new version of Mediawiki is online on the live site, the Captcha issue will be addressed.
The best thing the admins can do to ensure that this happens soon is to continue helping us beta test the staging version of the site, so we can work out the bugs to the point where we're confident that we can bring the new version online with little upset to the live site. I hope that the level of care we're taking with this upgrade -- another longtime tech request from the community -- shows that we are interested and capable of successfully managing Wikitravel.--IBobi 12:49, 19 December 2011 (EST)
Ryan, we have a great new PM here on Wikitravel; he enabled this today: --IBobi 14:06, 20 December 2011 (EST)
Thank you. -- Ryan 16:00, 20 December 2011 (EST)


I know you guys are still waking up, but would you please be able to give us an update on re-enabling CAPTCHA for registration and anonymous editing. The spam deluge over the past couple weeks has overwhelmed less-watched language versions, and is a distraction and time-waster for :en and :shared janitors. --Peter Talk 13:00, 2 July 2012 (EDT)

Hey Peter, this has been tested and listed as active across all language versions; if you're still not seeing the recaptcha messages, can you list your browser & version and the steps you're taking to create accounts or post anon edits and not getting the recaptcha?--IBobi 15:27, 2 July 2012 (EDT)
I didn't go through and test all sites for anon editing (since checking registration is quicker). But I just audited all versions' user registration pages, e.g., Shared's [2], and the vast majority still don't have CAPTCHA enabled: shared, ar, de, fr, he, hu, it, ja, ko, pl, pt, ro, ru. The method is simple—just go to that language version's registration page. If the CAPTCHA message is missing, it is not enabled. --Peter Talk 16:14, 2 July 2012 (EDT)
OK: if you are logged in and create a new account, you do NOT see the reCaptcha, which is a bug -- because you should not be able to create a new account if you are logged in! I will have this fixed. That explains why this has been so hard to resolve -- you were logged in when you went to create a new account, and I was not.--IBobi 19:05, 2 July 2012 (EDT)
I made sure to be logged out and tested :ro, and indeed, it looks like all systems are a go. --Peter Talk 19:48, 2 July 2012 (EDT)

On a somewhat similar note, could you just quickly update us (before the weekend) on the status of several new (and more important than others) bug reports. Just a note that you've seen them, and whether the cause is known and whether action is in the works. I have listed them in my own idea of gravity, with the most worrisome/novel at the top:

  1. Tech:Some special pages broken
  2. Tech:Database lock timeout
  3. Tech:Zero Sized Reply error
  4. Tech:Image caching
  5. Tech:System thinks I am logged out

Thanks! --Peter Talk 18:03, 6 July 2012 (EDT)

For the most part, I expect a number of these to resolve when we switch cacheing methods on Monday. It specifically will address the various Login issues and probably Image Cacheing and Zero Sized Timeout too, since those are squid related. I don't know if Special Pages are affected by this, but I've reported the issue today (first I've seen that happen since the upgrade as I've been using several Special pages lately myself).
Database Lock Timeout has been pending from tech for a week, so they're aware & working on this already.
Also, basic performance -- especially editing -- should improve with this change as well. No downtime is expected.--IBobi 19:37, 6 July 2012 (EDT)

why did you block me?[edit]

Hi, why did you block me on the English Wikitravel? I am not a spam bot. In fact, I have been blanking pages created by spam bots. Could you please unblock me? Thanks. 16:25, 23 August 2012 (EDT)

Hi, I apologize for mistakenly blocking you. We appreciate the fact that you have been blanking spambot pages. I misunderstood the writings in your user page as being spam. I encourage you to write something about yourself so that other contributors can get to know you and contact you. Have you considered creating a user account so you get credit for your contributions and many other advantages? If you need help, check out Wikitravel:Help, and if you need some info not on there, post a message in the travellers' pub. I look forward to more contributions! IBobi talk email 18:13, 23 August 2012 (EDT)

Well done[edit]

So, I have seen your crusade against spam accounts over the past days. Well done! Unfortunately, I assume you will see a lot of that for some time, but the best thing is to block, revert and forget. When you delete spam, make sure you delete the contents of the page on the delete page too ("The contents of this page was..."). If you delete whatever is in the contents "box", it does not show up in Recent changes, which is a good way of giving the troll as little (extra) attention as possible.

I would also like to draw your attention to this page, where I have put a (re-)application. Riggwelter 07:16, 27 August 2012 (EDT)

Thank you Mattias -- that's a great suggestion and I'll begin doing that immediately. I did see your note on Bureaucrats; I think in the near future we should open a dialogue about Bureaucrat accounts on Wikitravel. Can you tell me what your point of view is on the reason there are Bureaucrats, what privileges are used, when and why? From my research, it looks like they are very very seldom used, and only ever to promote users to Admins. Am I correct, or is there another use for them? As a side note, I assure you in no way was the change from Bureaucrat to Admin meant as a demotion or a slight to your or any other Bureaucrat's work on Wikitravel. It is merely a policy issue I have begun to wonder about. Thank you again,--IBobi talk email 17:35, 28 August 2012 (EDT)
The bureaucrat is, like the administrator, a community-appointed "official" with the following main tasks:
  • to promote users to administrator or bureaucrat status
  • to add the administrator, bureaucrat, bot, account creator, or reviewer user group to an account
  • to remove the administrator, bot, account creator, IP block exemption, or reviewer user group from an account
  • to rename user accounts
Even if the tools aren't used very often, it it still an important function that (just because of the community-affecting administrative possibilities the bureaucrat rights bring) should be put in the hands of carefully selected community members following our standard nomination procedure on each and every language version. Of course, the same goes for censors, stewards and IP checkers. It is all about trust, and this is the way many MediaWiki sites work already, so people are accustomed to it and expect it to be this way. The reason the tools aren't used very often is because we haven't got that far yet - we seldom appoint new administrators, we seldom run bot scripts, etc etc. As Wikitravel grows, this will of course change, so you simply need to have bureaucrats on each langauge version, and if you are an administrator or bureaucrat on a language version, you should be it on Shared as well. That philosophy has worked fine so far and should, in my opinion, not be changed. Riggwelter 08:30, 12 September 2012 (EDT)
Given that it has worked well in the past, I see no reason to change it in the future. At the moment, the admin community is in a state of flux, and we've made internal adjustments to account for it. That included removing some privileges from community-nominated WTers who are no longer active, admins who have retired from the site, etc. We can certainly explore reactivating community bureaucrats as the community changes and more longtime WTers are nominated. At present, there is little need, since the host is actively administering the site with the help of community admins. Let's revisit in the future.--IBobi talk email 11:58, 13 September 2012 (EDT)
I agree that there are a lot of changes going on, but in order to remove admin rights from retired admins/bureaucrats, we need to change the policy first, to allow for it to be done at all. I raised the issue myself last year, even if it wasn't really leading anywhere at the time. Even though the community is small these days, I do not think the usual consensus philosophy should be set aside, and that includes the nomination or denomination of bureaucrats or any other user rights. I have some bureaucrat work I'd like to do on sv:, and I am not too happy about being demoted without prior hearing. I appreciate it wasn't your intention, but that is how I perceived it... it's like having the community lose faith in you. Riggwelter 16:39, 13 September 2012 (EDT)
I can appreciate that. At the moment, the way to think about it is that the highest community-appointed post is Administrator. If there is any Bureaucrat work on any version that you would like done, I'd be happy to do it. Just let me know. Thanks, Mattias.--IBobi talk email 17:03, 13 September 2012 (EDT)
What do you propose we do with the policy? Riggwelter 13:50, 16 September 2012 (EDT)
I'd like to see how long this transitional period lasts before making any real changes in policy. Hopefully we can move forward quickly.--IBobi talk email 15:59, 16 September 2012 (EDT)

why am i blocked again?![edit]

I was blocked on the english wikitravel again. I was trying to remove vandalism and blanking the spam page en:BoehmBuckman504, but then I got blocked automatically by User:Abuse filter. Please do not block me for trying to improve wikitravel. 12:03, 31 August 2012 (EDT)

Sorry about that -- I have unblocked you!--IBobi talk email 14:13, 31 August 2012 (EDT)

Site notice[edit]

Would it be possible for you to enable site notice on sv: so our admins can edit it? The notice we have now is outdated and needs replacing. Riggwelter 11:06, 12 September 2012 (EDT)

I doubt IBobi will uninstall the SiteNoticeEditDisabler extension. You'll have to ask IBobi to change the notice for you. 22:21, 12 September 2012 (EDT)
Can you post what you'd like the sitenotice to say and we will change it?--IBobi talk email 11:47, 13 September 2012 (EDT)


IBcash seems to have been given administrator rights, apparently without going through the nomination process. What are your thoughts on that? Riggwelter 13:50, 16 September 2012 (EDT)

Lucia is a Community Specialist here at Wikitravel and has been asked to patrol the site on a regular basis. She's using the tools she needs for that effort, and has been apprised of Community policies on administering the site. If there are any issues with her activity, I hope you'll let us know!--IBobi talk email 16:02, 16 September 2012 (EDT)
Yes, there is an issue, actually. She deleted the Main Page on the English Wikitravel recently, which makes me wonder if she is capable of using the administrator tools properly. sumone10154(talk) 18:12, 16 September 2012 (EDT)
Weeks ago, and a simple oversight, corrected immediately. Everyone has a learning curve :)--IBobi talk email 20:34, 16 September 2012 (EDT)
Deletion of the main page isn't exactly a simple oversight. And 5 hours isn't exactly immediate. You say there are about 7 million unique visitors per month, which is about 50,000 visitors in 5 hours who are affected, probably confused by the disappearance of the main page. sumone10154(talk) 23:07, 16 September 2012 (EDT)
Sounds about right. You're welcome to patrol edits; it might have been caught faster with you on board, or possibly it would not have happened. Anyway, lesson learned.--IBobi talk email 01:26, 17 September 2012 (EDT)
The issue I have is that IBcash hasn't been through the nomination process. So, she hasn't been approved by the community. Riggwelter 04:02, 17 September 2012 (EDT)
The site needs daily moderation. I encourage everyone to pitch in!--IBobi talk email 13:20, 17 September 2012 (EDT)