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User talk:IBAlex

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Revision as of 19:07, 26 November 2013 by IBAlex (talk | contribs) (Besoins d'aide ?)
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Here are archived discussions on my Talk Page.

Fixed image widths

I was a little concerned about this edit of yours

It's great to add some pretty pictures but I think you need to remember that all our casual readers have their page width reduced by the adverts that appear on the right and many may have slow connections or narrow screens.

That's partly why we have these policies: and and this advice: Wikitravel:How_to_add_an_image#Sizing

What do you think are the chances of this proposal being implemented: Wikitravel:Travellers'_pub#Default_image_sizes_in_Thumbnails?

I've only changed the specification of the lead image, but you may want to consider removing the fixed width of 400px from the other images in our Singapore article after you have read the references above - especially as Singapore currently has star status, meaning it should comply with all our current policies!. --118dot93dot73dot30 15:10, 1 March 2013 (EST)

IT is looking at Wikitravel:Travellers'_pub#Default_image_sizes_in_Thumbnails proposal. personally, i think it's a great idea. Thanks! IBAlex 15:13, 1 March 2013 (EST)
Thanks for the quick response and I will keep my fingers crossed that this is quickly implemented. --118dot93dot73dot30 15:17, 1 March 2013 (EST)


The spam filter does not allow me to create a template to facilitate the display of panorama style images on small screen widths. Here is the code which needs to replace the current truncated code:

<includeonly> <div class="thumbinner"><div class="overflowbugx">[[File:{{{1}}}|{{{2}}}|alt={{{alt|}}}|{{#switch:{{{3}}} |thumb |thumbnail |frame |border={{{1}}} |#default={{{3|}}}}}]]</div>{{ #if: {{{3|}}}|<div class="thumbcaption">{{Magnify icon|link=File:{{{1}}} }}<!-- -->{{{3}}}</div>|}} </div></div></includeonly> <noinclude> This template is intended to add a panorama type image with a slider, caption and an "enlarge" widget </noinclude>

Thanks for your anticipated assistance. --118dot93dot73dot30 20:55, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Hi! Thanks! I tried to create this template but didn't manage to do that. I copy and pasted the code to Template:Panorama, is that what you were asking for? Thanks again! IBAlex 21:02, 5 March 2013 (EST)
I've had to revert your edit because it was not formatted properly. The problem is that the spam filter does not even allow me to show you the correct code here. Perhaps you can check the filter and see the code that I am trying to add?
I need to add style="overflzw:autz;"> just after the current part (that I managed to add) that says: <div class="overflowbugx" where the two occurrences of the letter "z" for Zulu expressed in code format are replaced by the letter "o" for Oscar. --118dot93dot73dot30 22:24, 5 March 2013 (EST)
That's the filter that prevents from using "Wikiv****e"....sorry :) IBAlex 20:15, 6 March 2013 (EST)
I don't think so. (That one's "Salem's Lot", I think). Why should the spam filter object to "overflow" and "auto" separated by a colon in a line of code? --118dot93dot73dot30 21:40, 6 March 2013 (EST)
If this helps in any way, here is what I see when I examine your edit at the Abuse Filter Log. IBAlex 13:23, 7 March 2013 (EST)
Yes, that was an earlier attempt of mine that had some unnecessary explanatory commentary that was not really needed. In that case, the spam filter did the job it was designed to do. However, in that instance it highlighted the 'spam" that offended against the rule. However I still can not use the offending phrase "(censored) overflow:auto" because it offends against the rule:

-> 'style( )*\=( )*(\"|')?overflow( )*\:( )*auto'

Can you find this edit to your user page in the log? --118dot93dot73dot30 16:39, 7 March 2013 (EST)

I see right now that the problem was not with the Abuse filter but with the [Wikitravel:Local spam blacklist|Spam Filter]. I removed the 'style( )*\=( )*(\"|')?overflow( )*\:( )*auto' phrase and this let me add the code to the Template:Panorama. I did this in good faith and now I am only wondering why this phrase was on the black list before. I would hate to do something that will harm WT.
Please let me know if with this template we can already put panoramic pictures in the articles. Thanks! IBAlex 18:32, 7 March 2013 (EST)

We made it, Alex! You can see the (working) result of the new {{panorama}} template here: User:118dot93dot73dot30/Test & here; I'm particularly gratified to see that the width of the displayed panorama box reduces its width automagically (at least with my XP and Linux Firefox browsers) if the window or tab width is decreased. Try it!

That overflow phrase can be powerful, so, if you are unable to assign any special editing privileges to me, it might be wiser to restore the local spam filter to what it was now we've got it working. It will be difficult and tedious for me to introduce new templates here if I keep running into this sort of problem, though... --118dot93dot73dot30 19:04, 7 March 2013 (EST)

Congratulations! Very good job! I'm happy that we can have panoramic images now on WT! IBAlex 21:47, 7 March 2013 (EST)
I restored the blacklisted phrase, thank you for suggestion! Which other templates are you thinking of creating?
I'll just create them if and when I find them useful. For example, I just got rather fed up using a lot of repetitive HTML when I have been trying to modify and clarify tdf a bit so I've just created Template:ol for colouring the good exemplars olive. Since your spam filters are so ferocious and restrictive it will not be possible to create anything really complicated or useful - unless you want to create a special category of users trusted not to spam you... --118dot93dot73dot30 22:06, 8 March 2013 (EST)
The filters are much needed here on WT as they help us fight spam and vandalism. Feel free to reach out to me anytime you have problems with them. I am here to help. As for now we are not thinking about creating any additional special category.
We highly appreciate your contributions here, thank you!
Congratulations! Very good job! I'm happy that we can have panoramic images now on WT! IBAlex 21:47, 7 March 2013 (EST)
I restored the blacklisted phrase, thank you for suggestion! Which other templates are you thinking of creating?
I'll just create them if and when I find them useful. For example, I just got rather fed up using a lot of repetitive HTML when I have been trying to modify and clarify tdf a bit so I've just created Template:ol for colouring the good exemplars olive. Since your spam filters are so ferocious and restrictive it will not be possible to create anything really complicated or useful - unless you want to create a special category of users trusted not to spam you... --118dot93dot73dot30 22:06, 8 March 2013 (EST)
The filters are much needed here on WT as they help us fight spam and vandalism. Feel free to reach out to me anytime you have problems with them. I am here to help. As for now we are not thinking about creating any additional special category.
We highly appreciate your contributions here, thank you!

I'm afraid your filters are making it impossible for me to do any useful work here.

Check the filter logs for my recent edits that were forbidden please.

Just now I wanted to test a new article title display format to avoid the problem of having a very thin lead paragraph squeezed between an infobox and a table of contents but was stopped again.

Please replace display:THWARTED with display:nOVEMBER(no space between the 4 letters and don't use the capitalised parts of the NATO spelling alphabet)oSCAR(no space between the 4 letters and don't use the capitalised parts of the NATO spelling alphabet)nOVEMBER(no space between the 4 letters and don't use the capitalised parts of the NATO spelling alphabet)eCHO, wherever it occurs below, and then substitute the proper code for the current first line at South Island/Title Template, please:

{{DISPLAYTITLE:<span style="display:THWARTED">{{FULLPAGENAME}}</span>}} --118dot93dot73dot30 18:45, 11 March 2013 (EDT)

Please would you favour me with a reply to the above request? --118dot93dot73dot30 19:11, 13 March 2013 (EDT)

I'm getting a little frustrated that my efforts to drastically improve the look and feel of our articles are getting thwarted by the lack of a reply - it's been a week now. --118dot93dot73dot30 15:16, 17 March 2013 (EDT)


hi, would it be allpwable for me to create a bot that could HTML scrape and so update opening times, prices, etc. to keep the site up to date?-- 14:46, 29 May 2013 (EDT), thanks for the message! Can you please elaborate more on this idea? What would the bot be doing exactly? Thanks :) IBAlex (talk) 14:50, 29 May 2013 (EDT)

ja: spambot filters does not work well

Hi, this is Shoestring of ja: (sorry for not to respond you so often).

It seems that your spam filter on ja: does not work at all recently, and we can't those new spammers, as you can see the recent change list of ja:.

Would you help us again?--Shoestring (talk) 16:38, 10 July 2013 (EDT)

Hello Shoestring! Thank you for your message! Of course, I would gladly help you. I just need to know the phrases and words that I should set up the filters for? What is the pattern that the spammers on JA Wikitravel use? What works for EN Wikitravel might not work for JA Wikitravel. You can send me a list for all the phrases that the spammers use via email [email protected] Just to let you know, the abuse filters on JA WT stopped 38 spammers in the last month.
Also, I just wanted to follow-up with the bugs that you reported a while ago to us. Everything works fine now? Please let me know. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 18:09, 10 July 2013 (EDT)
Hi Alex, thank you for your response. Would you please filter the keywords I listed here ?
Please tell me when you completed filtering. Then I will delete those words from my list and add new words accordingly. Thank you for your help.
Speaking of the bugs, we still have some malfunctions such as displaying index, some templates (especially when we log in).--Shoestring (talk) 04:43, 16 July 2013 (EDT)
Thank you, Shoestring! I will be adding them in the next couple of days and will let you know once I'm done. Regarding the bugs, when you say malfunctions with index do you mean the first point you are making here? Which templates you are experiencing problems with? I would need to know the details so that I can report it to Tech. Thank you a lot! Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 20:51, 16 July 2013 (EDT)
Shoestring, I have just set up the filters for the phrases you gave me. If there is anything else, please let me know. Also, could you please get back to me soon to tell me if there is less spam on JA WT. i would like to know if the filers worked. Thanks! IBAlex (talk) 15:17, 24 July 2013 (EDT)

Hi, Alex. Thank you very much. With your help, spam attacks seem to be declined dramatically for these couple of days. On the other hand, recently we got several types of advertisement-like spam pages (such as real estate, health-promoting, personal loan, entertainments etc. So I tried to pick up the related key words on my spam bot key words list, every time when those pages were made. So would you please add those words on your black lists when you have times?

Speaking of bugs on ja:, yes, those I mentioned before does not normalized so far. Is there any problem not just your programs but the types of browsers (for your information, I use I.E. regularly)? --Shoestring (talk) 21:52, 27 July 2013 (EDT)

Excuse me, I noticed the fact that some of the information on my preference tugs had been back to its default status, along with your program update. And since the preference tugs were malfunctioned, I didn’t notice how to fix them. So, the index and "Months template" problems are solved.--Shoestring (talk) 05:45, 28 July 2013 (EDT)
I'm happy to hear that there is less spam on JA WT now. I will be looking at the filters on Japanese Wikitravel and will get back to you.
Regarding the bugs, should I understand that everything is fine now? Thanks! IBAlex (talk) 19:15, 29 July 2013 (EDT)

Intermediate level between outline and usable for countries

Hi again.

Continuing the issues about Jordan. I do believe that a status between "outline" and "usable" should exist for countries, for, with the requirements of the usable, almost all countries have remained to the "outline" status.

This is not fair, for it places the same status in common tourist destinations (Greece, France, Germany and most of Europe etc which have lots of places to be completed so if 99 cities are complete and 1 isn't they are marked as outline) while also awards that status to destinations like Chad for which there will almost never be an upgrade to "usable". Or, the "usable" status is given to places with 1 or 2 towns just because there is nothing to write more.

I do believe that the status must be awarded while taking into consideration the country's tourist status, or we could create such a tourist status. Status could also combine country safety or accessibility, for example it's almost impossible to have a complete "Get in" for London, for there are thousand ways to get in and constantly changing, whereas having even one reliable "Get in" for Equatorial Guinea would be enough for the section to be considered complete. WindowsNT (talk) 06:25, 4 August 2013 (EDT)

Thank you WindowsNT for carrying on with the discussion! I agree with you- let's discuss in more depth the [Wikitravel:Article status| article status]]. Instead of creating a new status I would suggest to redefine the current ones that we have. It stays that In general, useable articles are not really complete articles, however. They may not offer many options for where to eat and sleep. They may not contain much information about nightlife or shopping, for example. Or they may be lacking much helpful information about the destination in general, or nearby destinations. This prevents them from being considered true "guide" articles. Therefore, maybe we should upgrade all the countries that are classified as "outlines" into "usable" articles? That is just a suggestions. I would encourage you to start a discussion about it on the Travellers' Pub and see what other users in the community think. Together we should come to some conclusions. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 14:40, 5 August 2013 (EDT)

Images from Flickr

Hello, i see there is a possibility to upload the pictures from Flickr to Wikitravel Shared, how to do that "technically" also is clear, just some aspects of the whole procedure are not clear to me: can i upload the picture (with "some rights reserved", CC-BY-2.0) similarly like from Wikimedia Commons, or should i click "request to license" first on Flickr page, then wait for reply and so on? I'm not a member of Flickr and generally didn't deal with it before. --Local (talk) 06:25, 21 August 2013 (EDT)

Very good question! You can upload to WT Shared only those pictures from Flickr that have Creative Commons license and the content can be used commercially. Therefore, in search results on Flickr, please check "Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content" AND " Find content to use commercially" and then click Search. Then, as you know, please use our standard Upload page on Shared and insert the Flickr wikimarkup for the "Summary" section, i.e. {Flickr|title=|description=|photographer=|photographer_location=|photographer_url=|flickr_url=|taken=}}{{Location|}}. I hope that it is more clear now. Let me know if you have any questions. Cheers! IBAlex (talk) 13:28, 21 August 2013 (EDT)
Thanks, i thought that i have to check "Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon" ...:) , so i assume i don't need "request to license"? Some pages have this button, some doesn't (i have searched correctly). I uploaded 2 photos for "testing" - this and this, if something wrong you can delete them, or i will edit if it will be necessary. If everything OK i plan to upload some 10 (+/-) photos from Flickr. --Local (talk) 16:10, 21 August 2013 (EDT)
Local, if you plan to modify the picture before uploading it to Wikitravel Shared, then you should check Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon in your search results as well. If you are not planning to change it, then no need to check that box.
Both pictures you upload are fine. You attributed them correctly. Thank you! Looks like our Wikitravel Vilnius article is going to look really nice! Cheers! IBAlex (talk) 19:25, 21 August 2013 (EDT)

Thank you!

Thanks for the kind words! Happy to help! Awiseman (talk) 19:34, 29 August 2013 (EDT)

Removing info on Kolyma highway

Hi Alex, I'm KCharles, I wrote a lot of the original material on the Kolyma highway. Thanks for adding some more info - did you go there recently? I was wondering why you removed some info as well, like locations of local airports. I'm reasonably keen to leave the warnings I wrote in - part of the reason the fatality rate for foreigners is only a few percent is that unprepared dreamers are kept away! Kcharles (talk) 20:26, 4 September 2013 (EDT)

Hi KCharles! Nice to meet such an experienced Traveler! First of all, thank you for creating Kolyma highway article and for all your contributions so far! Good job! I edited the article based on the email I recently received from one of our Wikitravelers. He asked us to update the article as some of the information was bot accurate anymore according to him. Here is what he wrote: This entry is seriously outdated, although probably correct when written – the decade of the gangs is long over, gold mines are actively opening (so stores are open selling basic food in a number of widely-spaced places), police are in evidence in larger towns and the government is upgrading the highway and bridges on a grand scale along the entire Yakutsk to Magadan stretch...etc. I basically summarized all what he wrote in my edits. The user drove the highway from Yakutsk to Magadan a few weeks ago and that's why I considered his insights valuable. KCharles, if you think something should be added/ edited/ deleted, please Plunge forward! We would be happy to see your additions!
Unfortunately, I don't know the Kolyma highway. Would be great to do it one day, I'm just not sure if I'm brave enough:) I have tried, however, couchsurfing (I saw your intro on the user page) and I had great experience!
KCharles, we are looking forward to seeing your edits here! Share with us your travel experience. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 18:09, 5 September 2013 (EDT)


Hi, thank you for helping with the Can Tho article. As you can see in the history, I wrote most of the article and feel a bit bad that you accuse me of touting. I also helped to get rid of spamming on a number of Vietnam related articles. Your critic now is that I use first pronouns and that is why you revert to an older incorrect version and get rid of sights of interest - a Pagoda - I added? Why don't you help to improve the text? Please reply on my talk page. Mario Behling (talk) 21:31, 9 September 2013 (EDT)

Thank you Mario Behling for your prompt reply! Please have a look at my response.
We appreciate your help with reverting spam however we have certain guidance on Wikitravel, one of them saying not to use first person pronouns. See my message for more details. Thanks! IBAlex (talk) 13:54, 10 September 2013 (EDT)

False Accusations on Barcelona talk page

Hi Alex, I hope summer is treating you well! A new user going by the name of Filby33 who has admitted to "trying to include [their] business as an option for travellers on this page but with no luck" has just made some pretty egregious false accusations about me being the owner of one of the Walking Tour listings, on the Barcelona talk page. I suspect this is the same user who has been spamming their walking tour on the Barcelona page under several now-blocked usernames including Barcelona and Blanca. I'm not sure what the protocol is for these kind of personal attacks and false accusations on WikiTravel, but I don't want to get involved with this user as they are clearly upset that all of their attempts to tout their business on WikiTravel have failed and they have chosen to take it out on me as a result simply because I was involved with the discussions about that section. I'm not even the one who started the discussions on Walking Tours and Bike Tours, I simply responded to the topics you had created and participated in them to the best of my abilities, and those discussions were open to all participants. I also didn't request to be put in charge of the Walking Tours (and Bike Tours) section, that's something you asked me to keep an eye on and which I was happy to do. So I'm not sure why this user is going after me. I think every single one of my edits and contributions to the Barcelona page (all of which are open for anyone to see) speak for themselves and I don't want a known and blocked spammer tarnishing my reputation or my contributions here. I don't like being put in this uncomfortable position where my reputation is put into question, so for the record, I want to state here unequivocally that I am not in any way, shape, or form affiliated with any walking tour (or any kind of tour or business listed anywhere on WT for that matter), nor do I have any other account on WT, and all my additions, edits, and recommendations on WikiTravel are my own personal opinions based on my own experiences as described. As you will recall, I've made a very significant and varied number of contributions to the entire Barcelona page that directly lead to it becoming the May Destination of the Month on WT, yet you don't see this user mentioning any of that in their diatribe against me. So I'm not sure why this user has a personal issue against me other than the fact that I was one of several users who did not allow them to spam their commercial listing, but I stand by every single one of my recommendations, edits, and discussions on WikiTravel, the Barcelona page, and the Walking Tours and Bike Tours section, all of which have been scrutinized by you and the community. Also, please note that when this user added their accusation to the Barcelona talk page, they removed almost the entire discussion you and I had regarding Bike tours, so you may wish to revert their edit to recover that entire discussion we had (although I wouldn't be surprised if this user also ends up accusing me of owning one of the Bike tour companies for having been involved in that discussion as well!). Could you please look into this serious matter and resolve it as soon as possible? I look forward to hearing from you and thanks in advance for your help! Cheers! P.S. I haven't forgotten about your request to add some pics from here, I've just been away on summer holidays! ;) BarcelonaExpert (talk) 16:37, 13 September 2013 (EDT)

BarcelonaExpert and Filby33, thank you for you messages. We can discuss the topic here. BarcelonaExpert, I am sorry for the accusations that you must have read on the Bacelona Talk page. I looked at your contributions and I truly appreciate all the edits you added, among others information about the city, tourist information offices and transportation. Those are the kind of edits we would like to see on Wikitravel. Information that benefits the traveler.
Filby33, please know that BarcelonaExpert helped us a lot with defining which tours we should leave. From the whole discussion with BarcelonaExpert I concluded that Joseph is not working for any tour company and is not trying to promote his business. I believed that his insights are true and have Wikitravel's best in mind. However, I would like you to know that your opinion matters here as well, even though you are not as much of a "trusted user" as BarcelonaExpert is. Having said that I am sure that BarcelonaExpert would have no objections if we remove Orange Donut Tours from Barcelona page. Tours and business offers are least valuable info that we would like present in our guides so I have no reservations doing it.
I hope that this would cool down the situation a bit. All the best to both of you! IBAlex (talk) 19:11, 13 September 2013 (EDT)
Alex, thank you for clarifying that you have concluded I do not work for any tour company and that I’m not trying to promote a business here. I don't object to you undoing any of my edits that you genuinely feel do not add value to travellers. In fact, as you know, with all the discussions we've had in the Talk page of the Barcelona page, I've always given you the final decision and let you take the edit action you felt was correct since you have a lot more experience than I have.
Having said all of that, I do strongly object to you undoing any of my edits solely because a "new" user, blocked spammer, and admitted business owner made false accusations about me. How can you on the one hand conclude I am "not working for any tour company" and am "not trying to promote [my] business" (thus agreeing with me that Filby33's accusations against me are false, which they are completely), and yet at the same time comply with this user’s implicit demands and completely undo my contribution that this user is referencing which you and the community had agreed was valid (together with the inclusion of Runner Bean Tours and 360 Running Tours)? In the discussions regarding the Walking Tours, you literally stated to me, "I agree with every word you wrote here! All the tour listings we have on Barcelona page now were carefully chosen.", and now this new user shows up with these accusations which you agree are false, and yet you suddenly completely change your mind and no longer believe one of my contributions benefits travellers? All because of the words of a completely new user? Is that all it takes now to have any of my contributions undone? Unfortunately, your actions are contradicting your words, and that now puts me in an even more uncomfortable situation of having to explain my past contributions since this user without a shred of credibility has obviously influenced you against one of my contributions. I am completely baffled -- after all the work we’ve done together -- how you could take any action as a result of the words of a completely new user, blocked spammer, and admitted business owner regarding the contributions (that you agreed with!) of a person who has improved the Barcelona page as much as I have for the past half year.
I also strongly object to you re-adding those false accusations against me to the Barcelona talk page, thus allowing my reputation here to continue to be tarnished, and inviting a person you now believe to be spreading false accusations about me to continue to “discuss” this matter here, as if they have any shred of credibility after everything they have done.
So, since I now feel forced to explain my past contributions, allow me to be absolutely clear for the record: Filby33’s is (falsely) accusing me of being a “she” and of being the owner of Orange Donut tour. I added that listing on 7 March 2013 as part of a very large edit that also saw my inclusion of the 'Cavalcada de Reis' festival. So am I now going to also be accused of running that festival by the organizers of a competing festival, and will that edit also be undone? This was not my 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or even 6th edit, it was my 7th edit as I was new to WikiTravel and was adding as much valuable information as I could the day I joined, excited with the prospects of contributing valuable information to an international guide about my beautiful city for visitors from all over the world to read. I added this Orange Donut tour because I had personally taken the tour and personally found it valuable, for the reasons I later stated here, where I specifically mentioned
"With regards to the Walking Tours, although I am a native of Barcelona, I was curious enough about these "tours" to go on a few of them (they're free after all) to see if they really do add any value to this beautiful city of mine or are just a "tourist trap" with superficial information you can get from any guide book. To my surprise, the Walking Tours I took that were listed in this article were quite substantive, specialized, detailed, and professional, and I actually learned quite a bit that I did not know about before. So I would imagine that if I -- as a native -- learned quite a bit on these tours, it would be incredibly difficult for a tourist or visitor to "fulfil the substance of the tour on their own". The main reason for this, I feel, is due to the specialization of the tours (at least the ones I took). These weren't generic tours about Barcelona in general, these were highly-focused tours about specific areas / history of Barcelona. For example, I took Runner Bean Tour's tour specifically about Gaudí's architecture, and although almost every Barcelona native knows the basics about Gaudí, I learned quite a bit of historical context surrounding his architecture and motivations as we visited each of his major accomplishments around the city. I also took Orange Donut Tour's tour of the historic Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, and felt like I was taking a fun history class and was pleasantly surprised to learn about legends tied to some of Barcelona's oldest buildings that I had never heard of before even though I've walked past them literally hundreds of times (to be sure the tour wasn't making this up, I actually researched the legends after the tour and they were all true). If I had never heard of those legends and historical anecdotes after decades of living in Barcelona and learning its history in school, then I don't see how a visitor would be able to do or learn that on their own from just walking around the Gothic Quarter as they would get lost before they even had a chance to consider what they were looking at, let alone legends, anecdotes, and historical events that aren't written anywhere on the streets or in any guide book I have seen. Last but not least, I also took the Picasso tour offered by Discover Walks, and was also surprised at the level of specific details and historical context regarding Picasso and his roots in the city that I never knew about before despite Picasso's status as a world-renowned and famous 20th century artist. So as you can imagine, the sheer amount of specific details these tours offer would fill pages and pages of information if it were all to be listed on WikiTravel, so I think they certainly supplement this article quite well (as they should if they are to be listed). In other words, these aren't generic sight-seeing tours, they actually add value beyond what any guide book or map can provide, and I've even recommended them to some of my local friends here as a fun way to learn things they've never known about the city they've been living in for so many years."
I had taken the tours before I joined WikiTravel as an editor. It was during the time that I took the Runner Bean Tours and the Discover Walks tours -- which I had learned about on WikiTravel (again, before becoming an editor) -- that I also learned about and took the Orange Donut walking tour. When I became an editor on the Barcelona page, I already knew Runner Bean Tours and Discover Walks were listed there as that's where I had learned about them, but the Orange Donut tour was not, so I simply added it since I had found it valuable like I did both the Discover Walks and Runner Bean Tours.
In that same discussion we had about Walking Tours that you had initiated, I came up with 4 specific criteria (on top of the WikiTravel criteria) to determine which Tours to keep and which to remove:
So, based on my experience, I would be even more strict than the WikiTravel criteria and the "litmus test" I would recommend to help determine which tours to keep and which to remove are the ones that not only meet the WikiTravel criteria you linked to, but that also meet all of the following additional criteria:
1) They offer a tour specializing in a specific area of Barcelona, not a general tour that just takes you around the city for some generic sight-seeing.
2) They are independent and not a European-wide organization, so you know they are run by locals and specialize only in Barcelona.
3) They actually have a listing with positive reviews on TripAdvisor to ensure they are established and not a fly-by-night tour.
4) They focus only on providing tours, with no other side-businesses, so you know the tours aren't just being used to upsell other services.
The only tours that happened to meet that very strict criteria were 3: Runner Bean Tours, 360 Running Barcelona, and the Orange Donut tour in question. So am I now going to also be accused of owning Runner Bean Tours and 360 Running Barcelona as well for recommending that they stay listed due to meeting the criteria above, and will they also be removed?
Moreover, I used that same criteria upon your request to figure out which Bike tours to keep, and I recommended 6: "Biking in Barcelona", "Bornbike Rental & Tours", "Budget Bikes", "Deviant Bikes", "e-bikerent", and "Terra Diversions". Am I now going to also be accused of owning and running all 6 of those Bike tour companies, and will they all be removed as well?
Furthermore, on the SAME DAY I added the Orange Donut tour to the article, I also:
1) added Pompeu Fabra University to the "Learn" section, so am I now going to also be accused of working for Pompeu Fabra University (to attract international students) by some Professor at a competing University not listed on WikiTravel, and will that edit also be undone?
2) added the Telefèric de Montjuïc Cable Car to the "Exotic transport" section, so am I now going to also be accused of working for that Cable Car company by the disgruntled owners of the competing Funicular de Montjuic, and will that edit also be undone?
3) added the 'Cavalcada de Reis' festival to the "Festivals and events" section, so am I now going to also be accused of working for that festival by the organizers of a competing festival, and will that edit also be undone?
4) added a link to the homepage of the Port of Barcelona to the "By sea" section, so am I now going to also be accused of working for the Port by the owners of the competing Barcelona El Prat airport, and will that edit also be undone?
5) added 7 Tourist Offices in the "Visitor information" section, so am I now going to also be accused of working for the Tourist Office (to promote my city) by some official of the Tourist Office in Madrid, and will that edit also be undone?
Do you see where I'm going with this and why your knee-jerk and unilateral actions have me so concerned? Does this mean that next time a known and blocked spammer and admitted business owner accuses me of having nefarious intentions with any of my edits, you're going to immediately undo them as well, no-questions-asked like you did this one? In choosing to side with an anonymous and blocked spammer, you have diminished my standing and undid my contributions for the wrong reasons, thus undermining my credibility with the community. That’s what I find so troubling and upsetting, particularly after all the hard work I've put into the article. Had you told me you had analyzed any of my contributions and personally found them not to be helpful for the traveller and then undid my edits, I would have been perfectly fine with it and completely respected your decision. But to do it simply because an angry blocked spammer and business owner made false accusations about me is unacceptable to me because it means any of my edits can be held hostage by anyone at any time for any false reasons they invent and you will just go right ahead and immediately undo my contributions without asking any questions. Therefore, what's the point of me contributing to WikiTravel anymore if that’s all it takes to have any of my contributions undone?
Furthermore, the fact that you would actually give a platform here and invite a blocked spammer to continue to make these false accusations about me without any evidence other than a single edit half a year ago that I made when I was new to WT and was adding A LOT of information across-the-board, and an edit which I subsequently explained the reasoning for openly in the article talk page and which you agreed with, is just completely unacceptable to me. I can't imagine anyone in my position being OK with what just happened. For all I know, this user Filby33 has a personal quarrel with the owner of this Orange Donut tour and is using my name in vain to enact revenge on the actual business owner by getting their tour delisted from WT, at the expense of my reputation and credibility on the site, which you invited them to continue expressing.
So, in conclusion, I personally couldn't care less if you add, remove, edit, shame, or even scorn the Orange Donut tour or any of my many, many other additions to the Barcelone page. Just do it for the right reasons, not because an anonymous spammer on the internet made up a convoluted conspiracy theory without any real evidence whatsoever just because they're upset that they couldn't spam their business on WikiTravel. In other words, please don't take action against any of my edits because you feel the need to "cool down" a disgruntled business owner and blocked spammer, do it because you genuinely feel my contributions do not add value to the traveller. In this case, however, I find it very difficult to believe that you've suddenly changed your mind 180 degrees from previously agreeing with this contribution to no longer finding it valuable to travellers, and I can only fathom that you are undoing a contribution of mine solely to appease a blocked spammer who has never contributed anything to WikiTravel other than obvious attempts to tout their own business. How in the world is that supposed to make me feel like a valued member of this community?
To be further clear beyond any shadow of a doubt, my problem isn't with the subject of your removal (e.g. the Orange Donut tour), but with the reasons for your removal of one of my contributions. As far as I'm concerned, it could have been any of my contributions, such as the addition of the Pompeu Fabra University I added on the same day, which if you would have suddenly removed it without consulting me or the community solely because a known Professor from a competing University was accusing me here of running that University, I would have reacted in this exact same way. I would imagine anyone else in my position would have as well. Imagine if I did that to you! So how am I supposed to continue contributing here when you have such little regard for my contributions that you are willing to undo any of them just like that?
Alex, you once told me my contributions to the Barcelona article were one of the main reasons it had won Destination of the Month in May of this year and that you were "so happy to have [me] here". Well, you've just undone all of that by allowing a “new” user, blocked spammer, and admitted business owner to influence and manipulate you in this way and then give them a platform here to continue to make false and libelous statements about me and ruin a reputation I have worked very hard to grow and maintain with this great community. To say I am deeply disappointed is a huge understatement.
How in the world am I supposed to continue to contribute to WikiTravel with this newfound fear of not knowing which past, present, or future edit of mine will be held hostage by a disgruntled business owner who is unhappy that they are unable to spam their site on WikiTravel? This is a very sad day for me and my involvement in WikiTravel. -Josep. BarcelonaExpert (talk) 23:08, 13 September 2013 (EDT)
Josep, thank you for voicing your feelings here. I'm sorry to hear that such a trivial case made you so upset. Please know that your contributions to Barcelona page are very much appreciated and nobody is going to remove them. Nowhere in this conversation have I accused you of being a tour owner. I'm also not "siding with the spammer" but simply listening to everybody in this community. This is normal that issues like that arise when you work in online communities that aim to reach a consensus. That's why choosing to remove the Donut Tour listing from the Barcelona page was simply the best solution here.
Instead of getting upset, I suggest letting it go and cooling off. I'm going to repeat it again- you made great contributions to Barcelona page and that was the reason I chose Barcelona as May DOM. Thank you!
Since there is no need to hold grudges, I strongly encourage you to keep on contributing to Barcelona page. All in all, you're the Expert.
Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 20:13, 18 September 2013 (EDT)
Alex, the fact that you would call what happened here "trivial" tells me you did not understand my concerns at all. The removal of the Donut tour listing itself is trivial. Your reasons for doing it, however, are not! You claim a "consensus" was reached, when there was no such thing, so I don't understand why you are making that up. In fact, the exact opposite is true. A consensus had already been reached just 4 months ago by you, W. Frank, and myself to determine which tours to leave and which to remove, yet now you come along and single-handedly change all of that as a result of a single user with no credibility whatsoever making false accusations. Due to these obvious discrepancies, please answer the following:
1) Since when is a false accusation from a SINGLE "new" user / blocked spammer / admitted business owner a "consensus"?
2) Why did you say 3 months ago "Thank you BarcelonaExpert for taking time to explain the decision that was made by the community. I agree with every word you wrote here! All the tour listings we have on Barcelona page now were carefully chosen." and then suddenly completely change your mind after an admitted business owner made accusations you AGREED were false?
3) Why did you undo the consensus reached by you, W. Frank, and myself so QUICKLY (within just a few hours!) solely based on the false accusations of a single known spammer and admitted business owner?
Please answer all 3 questions above as I'm still trying to wrap my head around why you did what you did and sided with a business owner so quickly (a business owner, I might add, who you've never heard back from after they made their false accusation and who never added anything of value to WT!)? Did I do something to you or to anyone else here that caused you to spite me? If this is about the new pics of Barcelona you had requested from me, I already mentioned to you that I was away on summer holidays and haven't had time yet to do them but that I would get to them as soon as possible. But I need to fully understand your reasoning for doing what you so brazenly did because I simply cannot continue participating here if you -- as an Admin -- will take false accusations from a single spammer, call it a "consensus", and then use it as justification to start undoing any of my edits. BarcelonaExpert (talk) 05:58, 19 September 2013 (EDT)
Joseph, as I stated above tours and business offerings are least valuable info that we would like present in our guides. Our guides should be "self sufficient" and present information about how to get to a destination, what to see, where to eat/ sleep, etc. That's why removing Donut Tours should not be a problem. There is no need to get so defensive about it. It's better to devote our time to constructive edits.
Again, none of your edits is being questioned here. We appreciate your help! Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 20:40, 19 September 2013 (EDT)
Except that you didn't undo an edit of mine for those reasons, you undid my edits simply because a business owner and known spammer made false accusations against me. Had you undone my edit for the reason you just mentioned above, then you would have removed ALL tour listings in the article. But you only removed the one I contributed, and only after a false accusation was made against me. So you didn't do it for the reason you just stated above. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why you did it. You did it simply because a business owner and known spammer made false accusations against me. That's the ONLY thing that changed between the time when you first agreed with my edits a few months ago and then suddenly undid them now just a few months later. I cannot make my concerns any clearer, yet you refuse to actually understand or address them, preferring instead to keep repeating the same boilerplate response about tour listing and making this about the Orange tours that I couldn't care less about other than the fact that they were one of my many contributions and the specific one you chose to undo for no valid reason. Therefore, I will need to request that another Admin get involved in this matter as the sudden change in your behavior and highly suspicious timing and lack of logical reasoning for undoing my edits makes it next to impossible to collaborate with you in the future. The lack of respect you have shown for the time I have volunteered here -- by undoing my hard work as a result of false accusations and without any logical reasoning -- is completely unacceptable to me. And instead of admitting you made a mistake in "changing" your mind about the tours so quickly and reacting so impulsively to a false accusation and without consulting the community to obtain a consensus, you continue to justify your rash actions with reasons that -- frankly -- don't make any sense within the context of the long discussions we've had on the Barcelona page. Hence why I need to bring in another Admin to review my edit history, our discussions on the Barcelona talk page, the false accusation made against me, your immediate reaction to it, this discussion here, and your strange behavior since the accusations were made against me. A behavior that is becoming more and more bizarre with every new response from you, with you now calling me Joseph instead of Josep, which you already know is my Catalan name. BarcelonaExpert (talk) 06:06, 24 September 2013 (EDT)
Alex, I see that you have now proceeded to also remove my recommendations of "Runner Bean Tours" and "360 Running Barcelona" from the Barcelona page that I had based on the list of strict criteria I had spent hours working on as per your request, thereby single-handedly completely undoing the entire consensus we reached on the Barcelona Talk page (and which you completely agreed with in May) regarding the tours. Heck, you yourself had even recommended in the Barcelona talk page that "360 Running Barcelona" be listed and yet now you remove it just because I had also recommended it be listed due to it meeting the strict criteria we had discussed. This has gotten ridiculous. I am now convinced you are not the same person I was speaking with here just 5 months ago and that I am either being trolled or someone has hijacked the IBAlex account. No stable person has such a sudden, single-handed, and drastic change in personality and opinions in less than half a year. Since you (or whomever is controlling your account) have started undoing all my edits and recommendations that you had specifically requested and even commended me for, feel free to go through my entire edit history and just remove all my contributions (starting with the Bike tours). I will not stand for being trolled and disrespected in this way, where my assistance is requested, provided, accepted, and agreed with only to be suddenly and completely denied and undone with no justification or consensus just 5 months later by the "same" person. Good luck keeping valuable, knowledgeable, and intelligent contributors and volunteers here with that kind of bipolar, dictatorial, and contradicting attitude. BarcelonaExpert (talk) 10:49, 5 October 2013 (EDT)

Kamalbe Spanish School Edits

Hi Alex,

Sorry about the touting didn't really know what I could and couldn't put on. When you undid the edits though you reverted the link to the listing of our school back to a broken link. I just want to fix that link. It's this one:

Kamalbe Spanish school and cultural learning centre [23] (Broken & Incorrect Link) tel(502)54888 317

We have erased the link from the second listing and put it with the first description of our school. I hope this is okay. Thanks!


Yes, David, everything looks fine now! If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 16:14, 18 September 2013 (EDT)


Hi Alex, Trying to get back involved again :) I used to be a fairly regular patroller and flagger of spam (was nearly nominated for the Admin team) but then changes in work meant I had less time to pop on. About to have a big change in work/life soon though so hoping to have some more time to get back on here. Nrms (talk) 05:25, 19 September 2013 (EDT)

Nrms, great to hear that! Welcome back! Would be great if you could help us here on Wikitravel! The site "attracts" many spammers currently because of the overall high traffic we get (350K visits daily!). If you would like to become an admin in the future, I would be very happy to give you the privileges. Let me know if you are interested. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 20:45, 19 September 2013 (EDT)

Hi, you undid the additions/changes I made today, adding links to our site,, but ...

Hi,You undid the additions/changes I made today, adding links to our site,, citing the rule against secondary sources. However, since we are the original and only site that publishes the complete bus schedules of Ecuador, covering more than 200 bus companies and cooperatives, we actually are the primary source of this information. (The bus companies update their information directly with us, and most of them don't publish this information themselves or anywhere else -- nor does the government, any tourist board, etc.)

Moreover, the information is completely free, and really indispensable for travelers. When talking about catching buses in Ecuador, to any of the cities for which there are listings on WikiTravel, it's misleading and a disservice to the readers to not mention that the bus schedules are, in fact, available(and where).

I hope you'll reconsider the mention or linking of this primary resource for Ecuador travellers.

Thanks, Keith Parisella, Editor and Publisher [email protected]

Hey Keith! Thank you for reaching out to me and asking about your edits. We appreciate that! Wikitravel accepts links from official tourist offices and government websites, or official websites of business establishments. Our goal is to keep External links to a bare minimum. Adding your website's URL to multiple destinations in Ecuador would breach our policies, sorry. I hope you understand that. We wish you all the best! Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 20:06, 24 September 2013 (EDT)

Matching vs different region names in raster image and text

Hello. I have a star now :D . But still have some questions. Was going to edit some basic aspects on LT page, specifically Regions. I now have investigated the “page history” and see and know what was added by whom and why. The point is that one of the regions is Suvalkija (Suwalszczyzna) and the template was added in 2010 where it is named as Sudovia. I was going to replace Sudovia with Suvalkija but the template is a raster image, I’m not going (and don’t want) to modify it. So if I modify the text, the image won’t match it. So it’s not good. I also see that initially it was a text “Sūduva or Suvalkija - southern and south-western region” added by some employee of official Lithuanian travel site in 7 August 2007‎. The order of the names (Sūduva vs Suvalkija) in this case does not bear any meaning, I suspect that later it was simply maintained as the editors didn’t know the difference and actually it was not relevant. First, on Wikipedia LT the name is Suvalkija, and the raster image has no names. Same about EN article. Second, to put it short, it still is a same region of Suwalszczyzna, its norther half (LT) and southern half (PL), and especially now when border is almost nonexistent it actually “works” as same historical region. And all international travelers who are traveling, say, from Berlin to Helsinki, must pass this narrow “neck” of Schengen zone in any case and by any means of transport, and they do that as if it was an empty space. I sometimes come across some questions, something like “could anybody tell is there something to see somewhere near Kalvarija or Suwalki as it would be convenient to stay for a night, blah-blah-blah, but I only find that Suwalki is industrial town and there is nothing around, huh?” If they knew everything in advance, they could plan their trip in more detail and that long way between Vilnius and Warszawa would not be the waste of time. I suspect that ALL English language guides ignore this region as none of native English-speakers have a clue about it. WT can be a precedent. Others later will start to use it as a source :D . But it would be reasonable that one could see that this is a 1 region divided between 2 countries, I mean, it would be more comprehensible for average readers. It’s annoyingly long distance from 1 capital to another and if there was certain info about existence of “at least something” in between it would be useful for many. Now if you check what to do in Podlachia or in Sūduva – there is nothing. Empty space. I maybe will add later some basics on Sudovia, but how about the possibility to change the name to Suvalkija? I already added the hint on LT page that there are routes from LT to PL (offered by tourism office in LT), similarly Podlachia page can be expanded (among other things) by adding some hints, say, like on this Polish site (very nice in my opinion), or some very basics like here. At least better than nothing. But first I want to clarify what to do with Suvalkija vs Sūdovia, can I switch them in the text? Then existing internal links may not work. --Local (talk) 08:03, 24 September 2013 (EDT)

Yes, you surely deserved to be given a barnstar! Thank you for your message. The topic is very familiar with me as I'm Polish (Did you know?). Please help me understand the issue better. I see that Wikipedia calls this region either Suvalkija or Sudovia [1]. Why should we then change Sudovia to Suvalkija? Do you maybe have an official governmental website that says what's the official name? That would be helpful.
Suvalkija (or in Polish Suwalszczyzna) is a beautiful region, full of lakes and forests. We call it in Poland " The lungs of Poland" because it's so green:)
Looking forward to your response. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 20:19, 24 September 2013 (EDT)
Well, where are you from you tell in your user page, should it be a secret? :D . About the name: Wikipedia (both EN and LT) calls it Suvalkija (in the title) and provides also other names. "Suvalkija or Sūduva" in the beginning is mentioned because both names are used as synonyms in various sources (i.e. one can come across the one name in one sentence and another name in another sentence, especially if the text is a literal translation or just written by the lithuanian). The only reason why people don't like the name Suvalkija is because it is a product of Russian Empire, i.e. it is Suwałki Governorate. I too like more the name Sūdovia, but never used it in my life, everybody say Suvalkija, therefor there is a certain attempt to change it (because people don't use it and because it is a work of Russian Empire). But the name Sūduva is misleading, like Wikipedia says, "the term Sudovia is ambiguous as it is also used to refer to the ancient Sudovian-inhabited areas, which stretched much further south". Well, Wikipedia has certain rules, i.e. not to reflect certain point of view, provide written sources (what if they are written on the paper only?) and so on, it somehow in this case describes the confusion and maintains it at the same time :) . So, the name Sudovia was not so wrong during the years of Russian Empire, Sudovians lived in its southern part, Poles could rightfully call it Sudovia, just there is no reason for them: Sudovians were the Balts like Lithuanians; for Lithuanians it's sort of expression of solidarity with a tribe which once was ally against crusaders, just that. All inhabitants of lithuanian half of Suvalkija actually were either Nadruvians (pure Prussians) or Nadruvians who assimilated with lithuanians or just new-comers from Lithuania. So this name is romantic but has nothing to do with reality. When modern suvalkians like to identify themselves with Sudovians, it is something like they are willing to associate themselves with the tribe which is respected by them, and disassociate from the heritage of Russian Empire. But this area also was under the rule of Kingdom of Prussia (the name Užnemunė comes from this time), which actually also made significant impact which can be observed even today, same about the period of Suwałki Governorate. The railway network was built during that time, it made a serious impact on the development of this particular region, towns that previously were practically unknown became rather significant points with the railway stations. One can dislike, but Suwałki Governorate, as an actual region, exists, while Sudovians ceased to exist centuries ago. Suwalki town itself, for example, became industrial town only during the time of Russian Empire. Well, same would happened under the rule of anybody (Germans, for example), industrialization was an attribute of that time. What i want to say is that those "other names" are internal peculiarities of Lithuania, i think that regular travelers from abroad neither need to know all that stuff, nor they are able to digest it, nor it is interesting to them. Nor relevant :) . For those who want to know details, the Wikipedia is quite sufficient. Actually, to some extent Sudovia would be similar thing as, say, Iowa in the US: are the residents of Iowa indians? They saw indians only in the movies, however they live in Iowa :) . This is not an identical situation, but somehow similar, at least americans have only the one name for this state :) .
So, now i don't know how about the "official governmental website that says what's the official name", to me Wikipedia article looks sufficient, it provides the link to this source which also is sufficient to me, it won't change people's preferences anyway :) Nothing can change it :D . Practically, the only difference now between too halves is a different currency which is the reason why lithuanians periodically invade Polish half annoying locals to some extend, but increasing profits of traders :D. Well, i think we should focus on nature and historical objects here, and concerning the name (the change of it) you tell me the decision. I myself do not need neither one nor another one, nor am i a suvalkian. My idea is to sort out the mess at least here, there is plenty left in other LT related articles :D . Somehow english sources does not make difference between relevant info, irrelevant info, jokes and impressions of strangers from the outside (i'm talking about LT only). So thats all so far. Thanks for your help :) --Local (talk) 03:47, 25 September 2013 (EDT)
Thanks for all the details! I appreciate your input! It makes all sense what you are saying. I also did some research simply by checking how many search results Suvalkija and Sudovia have and it turns out that Suvalkija has 3 times more searches. It just shows that the term is more popular and more established. So what we should do now is change the article name and upload a new version of the map. With changing the article name there is no problem however the map might be more difficult. I looked for an alternative map that says Suvalkija and NOT Sudovia on Wikimedia Commons but no success. In this case I recommend reading Wikitravel Mapmaking Expedition and probably drawing a map. Do you think this is something you could do? Looking forward to your answer. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 20:21, 25 September 2013 (EDT)
Well, i edited but failed to make an "edited copy on the same page", somehow it's too difficult for me to digest that. The instruction tells "You can still manually download content and then reupload content after editing with an external program", but whether "reupload" means same as "overwrite" or does it means to "upload with a different name"... one should know english properly, so not my case. In any case i failed to "overwrite" and uploaded with the different name - here. Edited some other things too: removed totally irrelevant Chernyakhovsk and added Sovetsk instead, also added railway via Suwalki, and added Suwalki itself, also added Grodno as it also is relevant. Also added missing national park of Curonian Spit and 2 missing centres of 2 regions: Marijampolė for Suvalkija and Telšiai for Žemaitija; added Šilutė for Lithuania Minor as it operates as a centre of this region, although the actual centre is Klaipėda of course. Centres of other regions were added previously. --Local (talk) 06:26, 26 September 2013 (EDT)
And what next? --Local (talk) 09:29, 28 September 2013 (EDT)
Hey! I used the map you uploaded and I added it to Lithuania article. Please have a look. I had to upload it as a separate file because I couldn't upload a new version of this file. I believe that the reason was that the files have different extensions- "PNG" and "SVG". I hope that now everything looks fine:) Let me know if there is anything else I can help with. All the best, IBAlex (talk) 15:57, 30 September 2013 (EDT)
I now see what i didn't notice previously: that file on the article before the edit was in png format and it was cropped, while svfg file is larger and, as far as i understood, can't be neither cropped nor modified in some other way (i mean its size and shape), and the svg one has margins that are supposed to be cropped. I have both svg and png on my computer and can upload the cropped png file. I see i can remove some minor inaccuracies that are still left, and then upload the final version of the png file. My question is - is it ok to upload as a regular image (map in particular) to Wikitravel Shared and then to add it to the article? Or the procedure should be somewhat different? In any case i can upload the edited PNG file to Wikitravel Shared and you then can verify it and add to the article, is it OK? I just don't like those "transitional" files in my list of uploads, it's sort of rubbish, could they be deleted after all, or something? --Local (talk) 03:45, 2 October 2013 (EDT)
So I have edited svg file already and also exported it as png file and then cropped it, and have both on my computer. Some inaccuracies that i edited now: Trakai NHP location was wrong, Kernavė was in a wrong region, added missing and relevant railway to Minsk (but left all railways added by previous editor, he added also all inoperative railways, but that's OK, they physically exist) and also added Vištytis RP (i have described it in the article) which represents most valuable environment of Suvalkija, so now every region has some NP or RR which represents it, every region has its centre in addition to the largest city of the region (like Klaipėda which is a 3rd city and therefore is too international to represent the region), so that's why i've added Utena in Aukštaitija region, while Panevėžys was added by previous editor. If that's OK i can upload both files (svg and png). Just how about the procedure itself? --Local (talk) 06:34, 2 October 2013 (EDT)
Local, sure, please add the files and send me the link so I can have a look at them. Cheers! IBAlex (talk) 16:03, 7 October 2013 (EDT)
Here is SVG file for editing, and here is PNG file for upload. Added to the article. If possible, this map and this one should be deleted. So if all is OK can i just edit the name (Sūduva vs Suvalkija) in the text, isn't there some unknown difficulties/restrictions or something? --Local (talk) 05:50, 8 October 2013 (EDT)
Great job! Thank you! I just deleted the 2 files that you mentioned. Now of course, feel free to edit the article accordingly. Cheers! IBAlex (talk) 13:40, 8 October 2013 (EDT)
Failed :( . If i change Sūduva to Suvalkija, it turns red as if it was a link to non-existing page, at the same time when i want to edit Sūduva page i can edit only the text but don't see how to change the title. I feel free - but how to edit the title?? --Local (talk) 17:20, 9 October 2013 (EDT)
Ok, done! I moved the Sūduva page to Suvalkija and I changed the title regions section] on Lithuania page. I hope that right now everything is perfect:) Cheers! IBAlex (talk) 18:23, 9 October 2013 (EDT)
Thanks. Good :)
You previously was asking about some official governmental website that says what's the official name of the region - here is a website of Lith parliament, the page that describes the Suvalkija region. You can see what form of the name is used. I added it as external link to the name of Suvalkija on Suvalkija article, in the very beginning (and added some basics). It would be better if there was some separate website dedicated to it, but there is no such thing. I think that this external link could be useful also in case somebody decide to start a discussion as for "why", "where are the evidentiary material", etc. But if it's not suitable for WT you can remove it. --Local (talk) 16:52, 10 October 2013 (EDT)
Great! Thanks for the link and for keeping things reliable on Wikitravel! We appreciate that! Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 16:57, 10 October 2013 (EDT)

Good morning

Good morning IBAlex,

Please do something to the Captcha feature (if possible, change or upgrade the software), because there are recent mass-created spambot accounts and pages kept appearing in the past few days and the creation of such spambot accounts and pages does not totally stop.

It is believed that the spambot accounts and pages are created by the same IP address / person.

This is to keep Wikitravel in maintaining a spambot-free environment. —The preceding comment was added by Timothyhouse1 (talkcontribs)

Hello Timothyhouse1! Thank you for leaving me this message. Yes, I realized that we've been getting many spam recently. We're looking now at different prevention methods: blocking proxies, installing additional extensions and improving abuse filters. Hopefully this will help. As for now, me and other admins try to clean the spam as soon as possible. Our goal is to keep Wikitravel spambot-free as well. Thanks again for bringing this topic up. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 16:37, 30 September 2013 (EDT)

listings in tour companies

then how to i add listings in tour companies can you please suggest me —The preceding comment was added by Odysseytravels (talkcontribs)

Hello Odysseytravels! Thank you for your question. I looked at your contributions and I can explain you why your edits were reverted. First of all, we do not add Listings to our policy pages. Policy pages provide guidance how to edit Wikitravel. Listings should be added to actual city articles about destinations. Second of all, your listing was very promotional and the content was actually copied from your website which breaches our policies. This was all outlined on your Talk Page by one of our admins. Lastly, your listings doesn't comply with our External links policies. We don't add listings for tour operators that offer air tickets, hotel reservations, car rental, passport and visa services, incentives and conferences. Please know that Wikitravel is a guide written by Travelers for the Travelers and should not be used for promotional purposes. I hope that this explains the "spirit" of this travel guide. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 18:35, 9 October 2013 (EDT)


Hi there. I am Посланник Импиратара

Hey! Why all those nonconstructive contributions on Russian Wikitravel? IBAlex (talk) 17:47, 15 October 2013 (EDT)
Well, I'm a vandal) But I do not want to continue vandalism, I calmed down. Lololol okay (talk) 17:50, 15 October 2013 (EDT)
Sorry, I will have to block you temporarily here as the risk is too high for me. Please take this time to read though our goals and policies here. IBAlex (talk) 18:01, 15 October 2013 (EDT)

Conceptual question about the content of paragraphs

Hello again. I have a rather abstract question regarding the content of some sections of the city articles, say the section "Get out".

I'll give a concrete example to illustrate it: was reading about Vilnius and noticed several places listed at the end (in "Get out" section). If we extrapolate that to, say, US capital Washington, D.C. those places would be NYC, Chicago, LA, Las Vegas, Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon. Of course, one CAN get out from Washington to all of those places, and even further, say to Warsaw or Vilnius, but is it sane to list them?

And when i read about Washington i see that one can "get out" to (specifically) Northern Virginia, Baltimore and some obscure places in Maryland; even NYC is not mentioned which is perfectly sane in my opinion. And when i read about Vilnius or any other lith town (even a crappiest one), the section "get in" always is talking about the airports (non-existing in some 50-100 km radius) and how one should "get in" into some crappy village from, say, London or Frankfurt, as if it was the article about the "Europe's inaccessible holes" and not an article about a concrete place in a concrete country, which is supposed to reach first (as such) and only then one is supposed to "get out" somewhere else. Similarly about "get out" section: as if the article about Santa Barbara should list info that you are able to "get out" to Hong Kong, Tokyo, NYC and Mexico city, as if it makes some sense. Or maybe it does make, maybe my understanding of a concept is wrong?

First, the Vilnius article is a "Usable" one. So i'm afraid to spoil something. Second, i have a habit to respect the effort of others, eg most of Vilnius "Get out" info was added by this user, who btw was editing Washington DC article too. Other users (and admins too) were improving the spelling, syntax, formatting and so on, and now i'm going to delete it to hell and to add some unheard and unpronounceable names of places even not marked on a globe, even on a map of Baltics, and even on any map included to any english language guide on LT. The only ones who aware about them are residents of eastern LT (because they are popular destinations), but why some brits in Britain should care about such things? So i'm pretty sure, that someone simply listed names that can be found everywhere, including any english-language guidebook or article, and simply completed the empty space. And it's "usable", of course, any info is usable, it only depends on how the user is able to use it :D . So my abstract question, in short, is whether i can disrespect and ignore the effort of native english speakers and add some more adequate list of places (and probably some descriptions as for "how" and "why") which, however, probably won't be in good english, and this is a serious weakness in my opinion. I like clean and fluent language (any language), so some "others" would be supposed to improve it, but i suspect it won't happen. My few attempts to ask others to do that failed, finally it ended up in twisting the meaning of the text which i'll have to sort out again, and again the language will remain crappy. Is it worth the effort? --Local (talk) 12:18, 1 November 2013 (EDT)

Local, please know that section "Get out" is not opposite to section "Get In". It is not intended to be a section about how to find the best transport out of town. Here we provide the information about nearby destination, neighbouring cities or day-trip ideas. Therefore it seems to me that many Get Out sections of cities in Lithuania should be rewritten. We cannot provide too far reaching destinations in section Get Out. What I noticed from my experience is that those are usually locations within 100km (of course there are exceptions to that). I think that Get out section in Washington D.C. article meets these criteria.
It would be great if you can work on the Get Out section for Lithuania cities. I suggest first starting a discussion about it on the respective article pages instead of deleting the info it to hell and leaving it with some places even not marked on a globe as this would definitely not benefit the traveler.
Also, where possible, please use the English names of the cities as this Wikitravel is read by thousands of people from around the world.
I hope this helps. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 20:17, 5 November 2013 (EST)
Yes, thanks, it helps, you confirmed my suspicions. Nearby destinations, that's what i was thinking.
As for unheard names i slightly exaggerated, everything can be found on any proper map and any guide of lithuanian origin; however not on, say, british "inyourpocket" (though there now occur exceptions too: more and more unknown names are included). May i include eg in Vilnius "Get Out" section a destination called Molėtai Lakeland (lithuanian name is even unnecessary in this case), it is a recreation area around Molėtai town, full of so called homesteads, popular for wild camping near lakes, canoeing etc, easily reachable by car, in other words it's like some sort of Mikołajki in Poland, just smaller. I'm asking because neither Molėtai town nor the area does not have internal link (and the articles respectively), and probably does not need to. Molėtai itself is not of interest. For the area one have to get a map with those lakes (around 200 total) and roads, and for the homesteads (to stay, to eat, to rent a boat) one have to get a list of them in order to choose from.
So, in essence, a separate page is not very relevant, just one should be pointed to the right direction. And Molėtai lakeland is a right direction, but it is not an official region or something, it's rather a nickname. The external link i provided is dedicated specifically to it and created by Molėtai municipality department. It opens in LT language, there is an EN button, after clicking it there is menu at the top, one of the links is "tourism". I think it's sufficient. So what if i delete 5 destinations out of 8 (all 5 are further than 100 km, mostly 300-400 km away from Vilnius and they all have their separate pages on WT) and add some other 5 (+/-), one of them would be Molėtai Lakeland? And they all will have external links, is it OK? I mean, i won't delete everything, and i won't start discussion, as there actually no what to discuss about, there are several places that everybody knows, and those who don't know they can't tell anything meaningful. Deleted names won't disappear, they are just the main cities and resorts by the sea, they are appropriately linked and have separate pages on WT. I just want to get your confirmation that this is not against the rules, and, maybe, some important notes or something.
Of course i try to use english names (or provide translations if they can be useful) and try to spell LT names correctly, as sometimes simplified versions turns into another name or word, it may be difficult for someone who will try to search for more info using such simplified name as a key word. So i'd want to avoid discussions as for what to delete or leave :) . Any lithuanian will tell "go on, there is nothing to discuss about", any aware foreigner wouldn't argue, and i actually know why those remote destinations were added: some can argue, "come on, LT is so small, what's difference 30 or 300 km, it only depends on speed..". But you have explained, there is a difference, and i totally agree with you :) . If we put my previous expressions aside, may i edit this way without starting a discussion ? :) I predict that such discussion wouldn't be meaningful nor efficient and would last for decades... If it was Italy or Spain, then maybe it would make sense, but now...
I actually could change the lists of "Get out" in all LT articles very quickly, there is nothing special, except that most places would have external links (or no links); descriptions would be left for later. --Local (talk) 17:33, 8 November 2013 (EST)

Ideas for improving Wikitravel

Chat? It seems like you're an active admin and staffer here. I have a few ideas for improving the user experience and community at this site. What's the best way to have a conversation with you about that? Koavf (talk) 02:08, 3 November 2013 (EST)

Hi Koavf! Thank you for your message and for your great contributions to Wikitravel! I'm very happy to have you here. Yes, I'm an active admin who tries to help other Wikitravelers and help this site grow. I would love to hear your ideas on how we can improve Wikitravel. As you mentioned in one of your previous messages, Wikitravel is one of the highest ranked wikis in Alexa and we have thousands of readers. My goal is to make Wikitravel a better site for all our users.
You can write me an email at [email protected] so that we can talk more about Wikitravel. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 16:09, 4 November 2013 (EST)
It would be a good way for users to share their travel experiences, instead of writing pages of articles or in the first person.-- 19:07, 19 November 2013 (EST) (Livroturistico)
Alô Livroturistico! Nice to get a message from you! How are you doing?
Users are encouraged to share their travel knowledge but should avoid making it too personal and should not use first person pronouns (ex "I"). The reason for that is that Wikitravel articles have multiple authors and should not reflect opinions of just one user. We used to have a website called "Wikitravel Extra" that worked similar to a blog where users were sharing their personal travel experience however the page became inactive as people preferred to edit Wikitravel, instead of Wikitravel Extra. I hope that this clarifies things. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 19:13, 19 November 2013 (EST)
Accurate. This chat (if created) will be a tool of communication between the typed as if local comments were: ' I don 't recommend this place because it is ugly ', ' I found the local exotic ', ' does anyone know if is violent? '... and the Extra had only By the english version and this chat (in my vision) can be as comments on the blog, where one can log by facebook, Twitter, Google... to comment and wikitravel's account to edit pages.- 19:37, 19 November 2013 (EST) (Livroturistico)
Livroturistico, I'm not sure if I fully understand you...
If you suggest creating chatrooms this would mean changing completely the nature of this website. We would need to have a broader community discussion about it first. All the best, IBAlex (talk) 20:04, 19 November 2013 (EST)

Besoins d'aide ?

Bonjour IBAlex j'ai effectué une demande de statut sur Wikitravel en français ; fr:Wikitravel:Nominations d'administrateurs#FrankyLeRoutier je pourrais ensuite vider cette page ; fr:Catégorie:Pages à supprimer que je remplis, je pourrais aussi créer de nouveaux filtres pour limiter le spam sur le projet francophone. Cordialement. FrankyLeRoutier (talk) 13:59, 24 November 2013 (EST)

Rebonjour voici un autre exemple ; [2] où je pourrais être utile. Amicalement. FrankyLeRoutier (talk) 16:17, 24 November 2013 (EST)
Salut FrankyLeRoutier! Thank you for your message! We actually have a French administrator- PierrB- who you can communicate with. He told me that you have contributed to French Wikitravel many times recently. He also mentioned that you are pretty new on FR Wikitravel. How long you have been with us? Amicalement, IBAlex (talk) 20:51, 25 November 2013 (EST)
Rebonjour, je suis actif depuis le 13 octobre 2013, aussi il y a cette liste de demande de suppression ; [3]. Amicalement. FrankyLeRoutier (talk) 21:42, 25 November 2013 (EST)
Thank you! Are you active also on Korean Wikitravel? We have an active administrator there as well- IBPark- I will notify her about it. Amicalement! IBAlex (talk) 14:03, 26 November 2013 (EST)

Thanks for the kind greeting

I wanted to say thanks for the kind greetings on my talk page. I does make one feel welcome and want to return. --jeffmcneill (talk) 07:31, 25 November 2013 (EST)

That's great to hear! We're happy to see your edits on Wikitravel! Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 13:52, 25 November 2013 (EST)

Thank You

Thank you very much for your compliments. They really make me feel welcome to this community. Public transportation is a deep passion of mine, and I'm glad to see that my knowledge and contributions are appreciated. Checkmatechamp137 (talk) 21:34, 25 November 2013 (EST)

Yes, we're very happy to have you in our community! Thank you! IBAlex (talk) 13:34, 26 November 2013 (EST)

I don't agree with your edit

Health care and dentists are included, but legal service is not? Even your message says: "and other businesses useful to travellers". Ask a Chinese Lawyer is a public service, not a business - and one very useful to travelers. For example, on taxes, visa issues, tickets, etc. It is a legitimate listing and I think it should be returned to the guide immediately.

I think you need help understanding what I am saying... Too bad there is not forum for that. —The preceding comment was added by Jinlong0908 (talkcontribs)
Jinlong0908, thank you for your message! I would gladly explain you why your listings were removed from our guide. First and foremost, you added the same generic listing to multiple pages on Wikitravel which is against our policies. Wikitravel is not yellow pages and we don't want to list the same place many times. You can read that in our policies for business owners. Second of all, I don't believe that listing lawyer firms on Wikitravel would benefit the traveler. Information about tickets and visas is provided in our guides. And when a traveler faces issues in a foreign country he should contact his embassy which we also list in our articles. Last but not list, Where you can stick it policy page doesn't list "legal services" but it lists healthcare and dentistry. Therefore, I ask you not to add your listings about legal services to our articles again. We encourage you however to contribute constructively. If you have any more questions, please let me know. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 13:52, 26 November 2013 (EST)

Link to bus map of Hanoi

Why did you remove my link to detailed roadmap of Hanoi ? All other links like and are not external? Only mine, which is 10 times more helpfull? —The preceding comment was added by Vladkras (talkcontribs)

Hello Vladkras! Thank you for your message! Your link was removed because it breaches our External links policies. Please read the section What not to link to and you will see that we don't list map services. I left only official links to Hanoi Public Transportation website. Please keep in mind that Wikitravel policy is that external links should be kept to a bare minimum as we want to create a self sufficient guide. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 14:02, 26 November 2013 (EST)