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Wikitravel Shared:Travellers' pub/Archive 2011

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In need of a substitution script for listing tags on pt:

Listing tags were partially implemented on pt: a while back with a translation of the wizard interface but without translating the actual tag names or attributes. Now I know how to translate those and I think it would be best to do so, but the problem is now that lots of those tags have been inserted in articles-- if I make the translations on the MediaWiki attribute pages, all the existing listings will immediate stop working, and there is no way to search and change the tags manually because the search engine (apparently) ignores things within brackets <>, not to mention the fact that there are a lot of them and changing them manually would be extremely tedious. If we had a substitution script to go through all the articles and change some strings like "<eat" to "coma", "name=" to "nome=", "address=" to "endereço=", etc. it would solve this problem and I could go ahead and complete the tag translations so that everything works again and so that users would be more likely to use tags in the future. However, I know absolutely nothing about writing and running scripts. Would anyone like to work with me to create a script for us? Or, can anyone think of a different solution to this problem (i.e. a way to make the system accept tags and their attributes in both English and Portuguese)? Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Texugo 10:58, 21 February 2011 (EST)

wikitravel administrators attention

Sorry, I don't know how to contact an administrator, so I am writing here hoping to be the right place. In this page, under "Avvertenze", I think something is wrong. I think Wikitravel is a website where people can find information about different countries in the world and I think is very useful, but some kind of comments like this:

"la cina è una spietata dittatura comunista. in cina non tenere discorsi di tipo antigovernativo e non criticate negativamente il regime. non partecipate a manifestazioni politiche antigovernative. IN CINA NON é AMMESSA LA LIBERTA DI PAROLA ( E MOLTI ALTRI DIRITTI ) e la pena di morte è prevista e attuata per moltisimi reati anche economici e politici. la polizia cinese fa uso della tortura anche contro i dissidenti .in cina esstono i campi di lavoro quelli di concentramento. NON improvvisatevi praticanti e o sostenitori del falun dafa ( i praticanti sono vittimedi incarcerazioni torture deportazioni e disumane uccisioni )in cina non esiste la presunzione di innocenza e a volte le umiche prove sono confessioni estorte sotto tortura. da notare che l ' ex presidente cinese è stato denunciato in 15 stati per genocidio e crimini contro L' umanità."

is very misplaced. I think all comments must be placed in the socio economic policy of a country context, otherwise becomes pure propaganda, and I think this is not good.

I apologize for my bad english.

tanks for your attention.


Hi; you'll probably have better luck at it:Wikitravel:Bar dei viaggiatori. Very few of the participants here on shared can read Italian. LtPowers 09:02, 25 March 2011 (EDT)
I think the Italian admin are traveling, they are not on their post, it seams. --Rein N. 20:48, 4 May 2011 (EDT)

Licence for Image:Bockwindmuehle Winsen (Aller) IMG 5969.jpg

I have transferred this image from Wiki Commons where it has been released by the author for any purpose, providing it's attributed. I've put that in the image summary, but there doesn't seem to be the equivalent licence template on Wiki Shared - I've picked the nearest one instead. Can we create the additional template? --SaxonWarrior 02:30, 11 May 2011 (EDT)

I don't know what template you mean; you didn't link the source file at Commons (you can use [[:commons:File:blah blah.jpg]] to do so) so I don't know how the original was licensed. LtPowers 09:06, 26 May 2011 (EDT)
It's okay. I've found the right licence now and it matches Wiki Commons. Sorry for troubling you. Here's the Commons link for info: commons:File:Bockwindmühle Winsen (Aller) IMG 5969.jpg --SaxonWarrior 14:45, 26 May 2011 (EDT)
You didn't catch my hint. You need to link the source file at Commons on the image description page here at Shared. =) We have to know where the file came from in order to verify the license! LtPowers 19:36, 2 June 2011 (EDT)

Unable to upload new image

I want to upload an upgraded image, but the option is not available for the specific file
MV Princess Elizabeth general arrangement plan.png
Any ideas?

Cheers, Pbsouthwood 05:02, 30 May 2011 (EDT)

Categories not displaying

I can't seem to get Category:Maps of Cameroon to show up in Category:Maps of West Africa. I tried purging the cache, and I've triple-checked the template syntax, but no luck. Does anyone know what is happening? --Peter Talk 13:50, 15 June 2011 (EDT)

Image cache problem (I think)

I have now uploaded an amended version of the Romania regions map three times and the old version remains in place. I have tried purging cache and waiting a significant length of time, but same problem. --Burmesedays 12:04, 19 June 2011 (EDT)

I see the updated version. Did you try refreshing your browser window after purging the cache? Also, a way to force the new image to load when displayed as a thumbnail is to change the size of the thumb by, say, a pixel. --Peter Talk 16:41, 19 June 2011 (EDT)
Thanks for the tips Peter and both worked. It is a concern though that after so long the old version still shows routinely at both EN and shared.--Burmesedays 06:47, 20 June 2011 (EDT)

Odd user names

So, since mid-June, it seems we have had a number of new users. However, if you look at some of the contributions, it's just nonsense and always targeted on their own user page. I have only checked this briefly, but I think it began somewhere around mid-June with Evildecoy39 and then it has just been going on. The names are very similar to eachother. How should we deal with this? I am tempted to "shoot, dig and shut up", with the danger of actually blocking a serious user. Riggwelter 12:52, 11 July 2011 (EDT)

The pattern of user creation followed immediately (1-2 minutes or less) by an advertising user page is clearly a spambot - I got accounts with exactly the same user names and advertising on another site that I manage until I enabled CAPTCHA. Until IB can enable CAPTCHA here on shared the best way to deal with this seems to be to delete the user page and permanently block the spambot account as this particular bot will return and re-use previously created accounts. -- Ryan 19:26, 11 July 2011 (EDT)
I have created a template which may be put on the bot's talk page to identify it as a bot. Also, I am redirecting the user page to the talk page to help identify the bot. Riggwelter 08:32, 12 July 2011 (EDT)

Missing image files

For some reason, I'm finding some of my image files missing. The images show, but the file link at top left is red, and the page itself (with the summary and licensing information) is missing, despite being in the revision history below. Is this true for anyone else? See Image:Novgorod Oblast map2.png. --Peter Talk 10:57, 13 July 2011 (EDT)

Deleting images

I'm trying to delete some images I have uploaded. The usual delete tab doesn't appear here. I'm an admin on wikitravel:en but it seems I don't have the same powers on shared. I'd rather not have to go through the whole vfd process if I can avoid it. - Cardboardbird 09:01, 27 July 2011 (EDT)

As admin on en:, you should have the same rights on Shared. Enter an application here. Riggwelter 11:27, 9 August 2011 (EDT)

Site outage

Yesterday the site was down from approximately 10:15am PDT until 5pm PDT, with scattered windows of access in between. We anticipate the site will be stable going forward, but please alert me if you experience any downtime. In the future, when it is possible to post to WT and alert the community to such site issues (for instance when there is scheduled downtime, unlike today), where is the best place/what is the best method to ensure that the community is kept up to date with what's going on? I would like to establish a single page where everyone knows to post/look for issue reports real-time. Here in the Pub? Here: Here: 17:47, 17 August 2011 (EDT)

The pub is probably the best place for general announcements, and in the case of scheduled outage notifications the admins can then place a note on MediaWiki:Sitenotice so that it appears on the top of every page.
Also, while any updates on site status are appreciated, I think all regulars are aware that the site was down for some time - what might be more helpful was any postmortem on what caused the outage. People are generally forgiving if the causes are external (DoS attack, etc), but it would also be nice to know if there are problems with hardware, load, software, etc. -- Ryan 22:05, 17 August 2011 (EDT)
This was straight up nasty DDOS and affected IB widely.--IBobi 14:16, 18 August 2011 (EDT)

Error when uploading images

I get the following error when uploading images. "Internal error. The upload directory (public) is not writable by the webserver." Anyone having the same issues and an idea what to do? --globe-trotter 19:59, 17 August 2011 (EDT)

Same error right now. --Burmesedays 23:39, 17 August 2011 (EDT)
Me too! --Dblasin 19:47, 18 August 2011 (CDT)
Still not possible to upload anything today, for me. Justme2 06:24, 19 August 2011 (EDT)
It also causes thumbnail errors when we want to use the images uploaded on shared around 13:00 to 14:00 on 17th August (and some other files, as well). --Shoestring 07:49, 19 August 2011 (EDT)
I sent above messages to the bug report as a new request .--Shoestring 09:45, 19 August 2011 (EDT)
I have raised the issue with tech -- thank you for reporting. I will message when I hear back from them.--IBobi 18:08, 19 August 2011 (EDT)
Same error for me: I cannot update the map of Vietnam. Joelf 22:09, 19 August 2011 (EDT)
I am trying to upload a cleaned up version of [[Image:Map_of_Birbhum.jpg]]. The upload page just hangs and the thumbnail on the RHS of (the existing page image) page does not resolve "Error creating thumbnail: convert: unable to open image `/var/www/html/': Permission denied." The page also does not display properly, running off the RH margin and truncating. If left (loading) for an extended period of time it does eventually load an image page...the old pre edit image appears. Bit frustrating. -- Felix505 11:38, 20 August 2011 (EDT)
The problem has prevented me from uploading new maps and I am getting complaints from local divers who know I have been surveying new sites. At least now I can tell them why I am unable to upload. I thought it was a development of my gateway timeout problem, but it looks like it is a completely different issue. It would be interesting to know what the error message actually means. Cheers, Pbsouthwood 01:58, 21 August 2011 (EDT)
Still not working for me.Pbsouthwood 12:59, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
It's now been five full days (three business days) with severely crippled image functionality on Wikitravel. This looks like something that should have a simple fix - can anyone from IB provide any insight into what is taking so long to get this addressed? Is it more serious than just a simple directory permission issue? -- Ryan 17:54, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Even in light of the dismal standards set, I am truly blown away that IB has basically allowed Shared to go down for a week without even addressing the issue. --Peter Talk 19:10, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Peter -- see my comment above from the 19th? This issue has been in process with Tech since then; I am assuming "Shared being down" is the image upload issue we're discussing here -- if not, please bring it to my attention if there is another larger issue with Shared that I am missing. Thanks,--IBobi 14:42, 23 August 2011 (EDT)
The fact that you consider acceptable your casual bullshit answer of "I have brought this up with Tech," followed by a week of no action on this serious issue, is worrisome. Explaining openly what this "process" is, and why it is taking so long, would be an appropriate and professional follow up in dealing with the online community for which you are ostensibly serving as a liaison. --Peter Talk 16:55, 23 August 2011 (EDT)
I realize it's frustrating to wait for a bug to be resolved, but for now at least, this is the way it's done. The issue gets reported, I see the issue reported, I report it to tech. In this case, that happened on Friday the 19th. I posted that I had reported it and would report back when I heard more from them. Yesterday, on the 23rd, I did just that, as I found out which technician was working the problem and that a solution was hopefully imminent.
I am the tech liaison, not the tech -- I can only report what I hear from them, and the more time I spend asking them "what's going on" so that I can come back to the OP and say "they're still at it," the less time they have to actually work on it.
At some level it just comes down to a waiting game while the technical department does its thing. In the future we hope to have even more resources available to respond to these issues, but we work with what we have and ask for your patience meanwhile. In this case it was under 2 business days from being reported to tech to a resolution. From the time it was reported on Top Bugs until resolution was under 3 business days.
I'm not convinced that we have the best possible method in place for reporting and responding to bugs. I welcome any and all suggestions to revamp this process.--IBobi 18:03, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
Same error. No word on a resolution? Bernoullies 08:12, 23 August 2011 (EDT)

I have updated this issue here: If this is in fact a duplicate bug report, can the dupe request by Shoestring, above, be removed to avoid confusion?--IBobi 13:07, 23 August 2011 (EDT)

Please see the update here: --IBobi 15:15, 23 August 2011 (EDT)

Well, I was just able to upload a picture. I do agree that the way this has been handled is very worrisome. Honestly, I wasn't aware that Wikitravel is a for-profit thing these days. I thought it wasn't when I first started coming here. If there's this little interest for the site among its owners, I do wonder what its future will look like. I don't mean to be disrespectful to IBobi, who is probably way more sympathetic to this project than the rest of his company, but does anyone actually have copies of all the content on Wikitravel? Just in case the whole thing goes down one day and no-one at this company can be bothered to bring it back? Justme2 16:45, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
Hi, Justme2. We need to be as realistic as possible about the time it can take to resolve bugs sometimes. We have a tech department responsible for many sites. Triage of which needs are the most important is a daily struggle. Obviously there are times when issues will sit for a while. But when issues are true showstoppers, like this one, I need to know as soon as possible what the issue is, how widespread it is, and as much technical detail as I can get to report it to tech and get it resolved. To that end, I have updated the page where *all* bugs need to be reported ( with my email address, so that someone can contact me directly in the event of a critical site problem. We will get better that this, but I need your help. Thanks again for reporting this.--IBobi 18:18, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
Your replies and obvious wish to make things better are appreciated, IBobi. However, to me this doesn't seem a problem of reporting, but of standards and ambitions. Few self-respecting websites would find a 3 day resolution acceptable, for a functionality outage as important to their project as uploads is here. Two or three days for a problem like this just clearly says: "not a priority". And I get that, from your company's perspective. But its sad. If your company really does lack resources, it would make sense to /include/ the community more instead of less, also in tech stuff. That's how that other huge wiki project became what it is today. Justme2 18:35, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
To be clear, Wikitravel is not a for-profit entity—it's a collaborative project that we all own. As the owners of Wikitravel's content, we are not collecting revenues for anything, so I don't think Wikitravel can be truly considered for-profit. Internet Brands—the site host and the owner of the Wikitravel trademark—is.
Don't worry—all content throughout all language versions and Shared is backed up, despite IB's refusal to provide or even acknowledge requests for data dumps, which violates the spirit of our ShareAlike license. So don't worry, if IB pulls the content, or is abusive to the point at which the community is ready to leave, we have that option. Attempts by IB to block the external backing up of the site would be a pretty clear precipitating cause for a full fork. --Peter Talk 18:54, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
Justme2, in fact this particular issue was a bit of both: reporting and ability to serve results quickly. But in my view, mostly reporting. If a WTer had sent me an email explaining how big an issue this was on day 1, I'm confident this would have been resolved last Friday, or Monday at the latest. This is not to lay blame *at all*; we have a process that, as I said, on both ends is not ideal, but we're working on making it better. If email isn't something that the community feels comfortable with, some other method can perhaps be devised. But let's keep working it before we decide anything is a lost cause, for crying out loud. There are no lost causes here -- just solutions waiting to be found.
Also please keep in mind that the day before this issue was reported, IB was effectively down for the day due to a widespread DDOS attack. We were not exactly at our most responsive in the next day or two.--IBobi 19:24, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
Regarding a backup, as Peter said there are a handful of mirror sites out there and at least one full backup site (updated weekly) that contains all article & image history, so if ever went away the content won't be lost. That said, the best-case scenario for everyone who has contributed to this site over the years is a healthy, with a full-time staff, large data center, fat pipe to the internet, and a happy relationship between IB and the community that will keep things running smoothly under the existing domain. Obviously the current site performance, issues over the past years with tech support, and potential advertising changes are a concern, but provided those can be addressed and there aren't any significant changes in policy that chase away users we will hopefully all be contributing to this site five years from now. -- Ryan 22:04, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
@IBobi, okay, that sounds promising, since faster reporting is an easy goal to achieve. I'm quite sure that no-one will object to the use of email for emergency notifications, as long as the following discussions take place here. I do not at all consider this a lost case, and a better is and must be the goal. So no worries, I think in principle you'll find lots of support in any effort to make that happen. Still, I find it reassuring that all this hard work and great material is stored somewhere, just to be sure :-) Justme2 04:01, 25 August 2011 (EDT)
Awesome. And as the actual personal relationship, if you will, grows between myself and the WT community, that's when the reporting/response process really will start cooking. I need to learn your ways here and we'll get a feel for each other's proclivities.
With regard to the data, I'm 100% confident that our tech department has a handle on keeping it secure and is committed to ensuring its availablility to all. WT has a way of worming its way into the hearts of some of the people here at IB, who consider it a real feather in our cap (past foibles notwithstanding). With the new dev resources being dedicated to it, I expect it to be treated that way going forward.
I do not have details for publication at this time, and I'm sure we're a few months out on this, but I had a very interesting discussion with IBWes and my manager on Monday regarding the hardware that supports WT. It was enlightening and encouraging. In conjunction with a Wikimedia update, it's possible we'll see a radically improved WT, performance and feature-wise, in 2012. Believe me, I will keep the community posted on this, as I'm excited about it.--IBobi 17:33, 25 August 2011 (EDT)

Require registration for editing WT

Eliminating anonymous edits Tech:Require registration for editing Wikitravel has been opened for discussion.--IBobi 20:47, 19 August 2011 (EDT)

Google Reverse Image Search

As a supplement to TinEye for searching potential copyvios, Google's image search also has a reverse mode now: click the camera icon at the right side of the search box, then paste in a URL or drag in an image. It's also good at finding similar pictures, which is useful when a file uploaded here has been cropped or text added on top. -- D. Guillaime 00:46, 1 September 2011 (EDT)

Deleting a category

I made this category by a wrong name. I couldn't move it to the right name, thus I made a new category. How can I delete the wrong one? --Kulmalukko 10:54, 1 October 2011 (EDT)

I took care of it for you. texugo 11:35, 1 October 2011 (EDT)
Thanks. --Kulmalukko 12:08, 1 October 2011 (EDT)

URGENT - en: is broken, currently unusable

Something happened to en: just now. Recent changes doesn't display anything unless you change the number to be displayed, and then loses your user preferences. Then, when you try to edit a page, the edit box on the edit page has shrunk to only 2 lines tall, making it practically unusuable. These are urgent problems that should be taken care of immediately! texugo 12:09, 18 October 2011 (EDT)

We are on this -- thank you for reporting, Texugo.--IBobi 12:56, 18 October 2011 (EDT)

This sounds like exactly the same issue as en:Pub#Preferences Reseting?. Restoring user preferences should fix the problem, but it's unclear why people's user preferences have been randomly resetting. -- Ryan 15:47, 18 October 2011 (EDT)
It magically restored itself after 20-30 minutes. I didn't mess with the user preferences at all, but I doubt there is an option there to have Recent changes show "0 changes in the last 0 days" or to flatten the edit box into a mere 2 lines of space. As Peter pointed out, it wasn't a browser problem either. I use Chrome by default, but after the problem cropped up, I checked Firefox and IE and got the same thing there as well... Whatever the problem was, it is back to normal now, and I hope not to see this happen again. texugo 23:07, 18 October 2011 (EDT)
Those are both user preferences - see the "rows" and "columns" settings on the "Editing" tab and the "days to show" and "number of edits to show" on the "Recent Changes" tab. The exact same thing has happened to me three times in the past month where those values mysteriously set themselves to zero, and updating my preferences resolved the issue. -- Ryan 23:36, 18 October 2011 (EDT)
Thanks, Ryan -- I have reported it as such to tech.--IBobi 20:12, 19 October 2011 (EDT)
I still have this problem. --Globe-trotter 18:35, 7 November 2011 (EST)
It has not been resolved as to why preferences are randomly resetting; we're updating the Mediawiki version on the site and thinking that will resolve this. Meanwhile you can reset those settings to your satisfaction in your profile.--IBobi 19:16, 7 November 2011 (EST)

New Galician Wikitravel Expedition request

  • Four volunteers have stepped forward to create the Galician_Wikitravel_Expedition. While no administrators are elected, I, as the person who started this Expedition, will act as go-between for Galician. As a matter of fact, my first question is where do we nominate candidates for administration and who awards that status.
  • Another question concerns the translation of the basic pages of the site: where do we create them?
  • Finally: where and when can we apply for the creation of the Galician Wikitravel Expedition? Xosé 11:25, 28 November 2011 (EST)