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Wikitravel:Travellers' pub

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The Travellers' pub is the place to ask questions when you're confused, lost, afraid, tired, annoyed, thoughtful, or helpful. Please check the FAQ and Help page before asking a question, though, since that may save your time and others'.

Please add new questions at the bottom of the page and sign your post by appending four tildes (~~~~) to it, but otherwise plunge forward!

If you have a question or suggestion about a particular article, try using talk pages to keep the discussion specific to that article.

If you are having a problem that you think has to do with the Mediawiki software, please post that on the Technical requests page on Wikitravel Shared instead.

If you want to celebrate a significant contribution to Wikitravel by yourself or others, Wikitravel:Celebrate a contribution may be the place you are looking for.

Please sweep the pub

Keeping the Pub clean is a group effort. If we have too many conversations on this page, it will get too noisy and hard to read. If you see an old conversation (i.e. three months after the last comment in that discussion) that could or should be moved to a talk page, please do so, and note there that it has been swept in from the pub.

  • A question regarding a destination article should be swept to the article discussion page
  • A discussion regarding a policy or the subject of an expedition can be swept to the policy or expedition discussion page
  • A simple question asked by a user can be swept to that user's talk page, but consider if the documentation needs a quick update to make it clearer for the next user with the same question.
  • A pointer to a discussion going on elsewhere, such as a notice of a star nomination or or a request to comment on another talk page, can be removed when it is two months old. Any discussion that occurred in the pub can be swept to to where the main discussion took place.

Any discussions that do not fall into any of these categories, and are not of any special importance for posterity, should be archived to Wikitravel:Travellers' pub/Archives and removed from here. If you are not sure where to put a discussion, let it be—better to spend your efforts on those that you do know where to place.

Templated See and Do listings

Hi there. I'm only a new 'WikiTraveler', but am a seasoned Wiki-editor with many years experience. I am hoping to make some big contributions to this site, but something has been bugging me lately. I find that the See and Do listings on some articles can get very messy and disorganised. I think if we were to organise this information into a template/table, this would be much better for viewers to decipher information from, and also improve the quality of our articles.

This has been proposed many years ago at Wikitravel_talk:Attraction_listings, but with little discussion or progress. It seems many other language WikiTravels do it. See here for a Japanese example. I understand we use WikiCode tags, and it could take a long time to convert every article to a template format. One option is to keep the WikiCode we use, but change how the system organises the info within the tags; from a jumbled text wall, to an organised table format. This would allow for a total revamp across the board, yet with minimal effort.

Any other thoughts, ideas or comments? Thanks, JamesA 08:56, 11 May 2012 (EDT)

One of the reasons the wikicode tags were used was to add the "edit" links to make it easier for non-technical contributors to add and edit listings. As far as I'm aware there would be no way to achieve similar functionality using templates. -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:30, 11 May 2012 (EDT)
Maybe this is just me... I feel like the Japanese presentation is a bit over the top, but I'd be quite happy just to add a bit more formatting to the current presentation. Just a bit of italics here and there, that kind of stuff. Most English-language print guidebooks do this, and I think it aids readability and makes it easy to spot when a listing is missing a piece of info. --BigPeteB 14:18, 11 May 2012 (EDT)
Our listings already use bold and italics. LtPowers 18:50, 11 May 2012 (EDT)
We do have a great system for adding listings. This system can easily be kept. What would be changed is where that information goes. There has to be a page somewhere (probably a MediaWiki: page) that organises the listing into the format it currently is, with the bold font, italics, etc. From a glance at this page, it seems User:IBobi handles the wiki's technical stuff, so maybe he would know how to change it.
The Japanese format does take it a step overboard with all the colours and pictures. We could always have a much more toned down version. I just feel the way it is now is really messy. Look at the opening times on the first listing here; it's all over the place. A possibility could be just to add more bold/italics/underlines, or even put some information on separate lines or dot points. Does anyone want to have a go at fixing it up? JamesA >talk 04:28, 12 May 2012 (EDT)
Yes, I know they already use some bold and italics... I was saying I think they could use a little more. --BigPeteB 10:15, 18 May 2012 (EDT)
Well, to be honest, I wouldn't know how to change them. But a good start would be creating a mockup. Wikitravel talk:Listings would be a good place to discuss the mockup once you create one. LtPowers 19:26, 18 May 2012 (EDT)
I certainly wouldn't want to see the listings become as colorful and complex as the ones on the Japanese site and I like the tag system we have now, but I think some minor tweaking couldn't hurt - putting the opening hours and the price info in italics, to further distinguish them from the description of the place, would really tidy up the presentation (whether this can actually be done I don't know, but I'm just throwing that out there). I really wouldn't want to see any more bolded text in the listings - as of now only the name of the place is bolded, and I like that because it highlights it and makes it easier on the eye when you're scanning an article looking for a specific listing. PerryPlanet Talk 10:31, 19 May 2012 (EDT)
We could make the phone number blink! LtPowers 13:35, 19 May 2012 (EDT)

Moving the hours to a separate line could be really useful. I think we could make them more readable:

Current version:

  • International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, +1 202 393-7798, [1]. 9AM-5PM or 9AM-6PM daily, last admission one hour before close. D.C.'s newest hot attraction's principal claim to fame among locals is the extraordinarily long line that usually winds out the doors (not to mention the high price tag). Its popularity, while a bit disproportionate given all the other great free museums in town, is not unwarranted—its exhibits are interesting to anyone even marginally interested in espionage and Cold War history, and it also has a great exhibit tailored specifically to kids. Adults: $20, seniors: $15, children (5-11): $15, 4 & under: Free.

Another idea:

  • International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, ☎ +1 202 393-7798, 1.
9AM-5PM or 9AM-6PM daily, last admission one hour before close.
D.C.'s newest hot attraction's principal claim to fame among locals is the extraordinarily long line that usually winds out the doors (not to mention the high price tag). Its popularity, while a bit disproportionate given all the other great free museums in town, is not unwarranted—its exhibits are interesting to anyone even marginally interested in espionage and Cold War history, and it also has a great exhibit tailored specifically to kids.
Price: Adults: $20, seniors: $15, children (5-11): $15, 4 & under: Free.

Good idea to take a fresh look at this. We'll have to wait until we have functional tech support, or the ability to do our own tech support, before we can implement this, but it's good to figure out what we want in the meantime. --Peter Talk 15:55, 19 May 2012 (EDT)

That's great, Peter! The separate lines makes it much easier to read the information, instead of it being a jumbled mess. Most travel guides do organise the info how we do it now, (all in one long spiel, rather than spaced out) but that's just because they need to fit all the info into a specific number of pages. We have much more room than books, so it makes sense that we make use of it and make the info easier to read for viewers. I'll do some perusing and see if I can find out how to edit the backend stuff. JamesA >talk 07:05, 21 May 2012 (EDT)
Excellent suggestion! Atsirlin 07:15, 21 May 2012 (EDT)
If anyone wants to have a go searching for how to modify the backend code that configures the layout, here may be a good start. That's a list of all the technical MediaWiki pages that can be tweaked. Some pages have the prefix "listing", which might be somehow relevant. But don't take my word for it; the page we need might not be there. JamesA >talk 09:02, 21 May 2012 (EDT)
Keep in mind that, despite the prevalence of mobile options in the modern era, making guides that can be easily and cheaply printed out is still one of our explicit goals. LtPowers 20:17, 21 May 2012 (EDT)
It is entirely possible to change the format for a printed guide, much like we do now for URL formatting. --Inas 20:27, 21 May 2012 (EDT)
Is that feature custom to Wikitravel, or a feature of MediaWiki? LtPowers 13:35, 23 May 2012 (EDT)
The alternate formatting for printable version is a MediaWiki feature. All it does is use a different (css) stylesheet for formatting. I'm pretty sure MediaWiki allows more of these stylesheets to be configured as preferences too. So in my understanding you could easily have a different style for printing than you have for online display, so we shouldn't let the printing bit constrain our thinking too much. After all, our online display currently has no URLs, so is inherently unsuited for printing. --Inas 19:29, 23 May 2012 (EDT)
There's been a week of inactivity, so is everyone content with just implementing Peter's version for the time being? There's no colour or pictures, simply a few extra lines and spaces, and it should be possible to keep the Printable version as-is. After implementation, we can re-discuss if there's any issues. I did a little search around to find the code we need to edit, but it's very complicated. It looks like Ajax and CSS were used, which is only editable by site admins/IB. The Listing Editor's code is here. The formatting of the listing is here. Original discussion here. While we're at it, we should add the 'email' option to the editor, which has been long missing. I guess we should file a tech-request then? JamesA >talk 23:21, 29 May 2012 (EDT)
Given the complexity of the change and the expansiveness of its effect, I'd prefer to see more discussion before we go making major changes. LtPowers 13:35, 30 May 2012 (EDT)

I would also like to see some more discussion on this before making a change. Listings have a variety of completeness and length of information, so depending on what is there, the above proposal could easily produce a very lopsided-looking listing like this:

Super awesome museum about butts. Great for people who have butts or would like to find out more about butts.
Price: Free.

texugo 15:16, 3 June 2012 (EDT)

Is there a code that we could use that would only implement the multiple-line layout when a certain character/word count is reached? Sounds complicated to implement, though. JamesA >talk 05:42, 4 June 2012 (EDT)
That would result in an ugly (I think) situation with listings appearing in a random combination of the two formats. I think we would have to either go whole-hog, as ja: has done, or just leave it alone.texugo 12:53, 26 June 2012 (EDT)

A lot of links to this site have been posted in articles about various Chinese cities. I doubt this is an official airport site, but I'm not completely certain. If it's not, all such links should be deleted. Ikan Kekek 22:02, 25 May 2012 (EDT)

At the bottom of the page of are various advertising links to hotel booking sites and tour guides, there is also a statement of "Power by Lutu ltd.", whose own website states that:
Lutu Inc. is the one of the domestic company in China, which fully committed in the business of China Hotel Online Booking Service.
These links coupled with the .com rather than .cn top level domain suggest a commercial, rather than government, site.
The Civil Aviation Authority of China has a website at 10:57, 3 June 2012 (EDT)

Deletion of user and talk pages

Every time I'm monitoring the Recent Changes, I notice new users creating accounts then pasting some huge advertising spiel on their user/user talk pages. I understand advertising is completely disallowed, but are these pages meant to be outright deleted? If so, it may help if we had a template for 'Speedy deletions'. All the pages with the template would be put into a category where admins would just delete them without discussion, as they are blatant breaches of guidelines. Template:Vfd seems to only cover deletions that require discussion and consensus. I'll go ahead and create the template in the few days, if there are no objections, but wanted to also notify admins of the idea.

On an unrelated sidenote, I think the pub is definitely in need of a sweep of items that are at least 3 months old. Any objections to that? JamesA >talk

I've created Template:Delete and Category:Speedy deletion candidates. Please add it to your watchlist/userspace, admins, so you can keep an eye on it. :) JamesA >talk 08:11, 3 June 2012 (EDT)
I don't think a separate template is needed as the VFD tag should be sufficient, and if a speedy deletion is warranted the nomination can state as much. However, for spambot-created pages no nomination is needed unless the page is overlooked - per Wikitravel:Deletion policy#Speedy deletion obvious candidates don't require a nomination as it adds extra overhead for nominating and archiving discussion ("New pages that are plainly spam and that qualify for speedy deletion will be deleted as soon as they are noticed by an administrator, and therefore do not need to be listed on the votes for deletion page. If such a page remains for more than 24 hours, add it to the nominations page as a way to ensure that it isn't overlooked."). -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:15, 3 June 2012 (EDT)
Yes, such user pages should be deleted, and I delete them whenever I see them. Ikan Kekek 18:20, 3 June 2012 (EDT)

The pub definitely needs more brooms! Please don't simply sweep everything into an archive, though. Discussions should be swept to the most relevant talk page, per the little sweeping guide at the top of this page. --Peter Talk 12:55, 3 June 2012 (EDT)

I didn't think it was necessary to list advertisement articles on the VfD page because, as Ryan said, it would involve extra nomination processes and archiving when discussion shouldn't be required. I considered letting an admin know on their talk page, but quite a few new pages popped up. Also, I'll sweep some old dust out of the pub later when I get a chance :) JamesA >talk 03:45, 4 June 2012 (EDT)

Introducing the Wikitravel API

Hey there. Just wanted to mention that I've gone and created an API for Wikitravel, for people who want to use Wikitravel data in other projects. It renders pages as hierarchical JSON objects, with wikimarkup rendered into simple HTML, and includes lists of subpages, geocoding of listings with addresses, etc. There's also a search API and the ability to search for pages and listings near a particular latitude and longitude. Please note, however, that it's very much a beta release; any feedback, suggestions, or bug reports would be most welcome! Rezendi 12:48, 4 June 2012 (EDT)

Mediawiki upgrade scheduled for 06-June-2012

Site will be READ-ONLY for up to 2 days while the upgrade is occurring.

If there are edits you'd like to make, please do so asap.

When the new site comes online, it will be on new hardware as well. Bug reporting is available here:

If for any reason you need to contact me, I can be reached on my Talk page or my email address paul.obrien at Thanks!--IBobi 14:07, 4 June 2012 (EDT)

Delayed until 06-June-2012--IBobi 19:11, 4 June 2012 (EDT)
Upgrade complete. Please report issues at 19:02, 7 June 2012 (EDT)

Eratic readings since crash at 5. Juni 2012 in German Wikitravel

Seit dem 7. Juni 2012 werden auf der Deutschen Seite von Wikitravel Informationen zu Sehenswürdigkeiten, Gastronomie und Unterkünften nur noch zum Teil angezeigt. Auch die Darstellung am Beginn eines Artikels hat sich zum Nachteil verändert. Die Hauptseite hat einen aktuellen Stand vom 22. Juni 2011, also fast ein Jahr alt. Auch die Artikelinformationen sind veraltet. Interessierte neue Autoren springen sehr schnell ab und gehen zu Wikivoyage über. Dort werden sie herzlichst begrüßt und aufgenommen. Bei Wikitravel werden sie von einen nicht mehr aktiven Administrator gefrustet, der ihre Beiträge ohne Begründung löscht, anstatt ihnen Hilfe anzubieten.

Man bekommt den Eindruck Wikitravel ist gestorben und wird nicht mehr gepflegt. Es ist seit Januar 2012 kein aktiver Administrator mehr tätig. Die Wahl für neue Administratoren ist mangels Interesse gescheitert. Wie soll es weitergehen?

Please answer at the German Travellers' pub-Site. -- Knut 04:32, 8 June 2012 (EDT)

Upgrade to 1.17 complete

Hi all,

As you can see, we have completed the initial stage of the upgrade of the MediWiki software to v1.17, the most current version available when the upgrade began in November.

This has been an enormously complex endeavor, due to the huge size of the Wikitravel database and high level of visitor activity, as well as Wikitravel’s highly customized MediWiki version, consisting of a great many plugins.

The next phase is now in progress: bug reports and fixes. Inevitably in an upgrade of this size and complexity there will be bugs. They’ll be addressed as they are reported; the process started this morning.

Once we are convinced the new site is stable and fully functional, we’ll be able to tackle feature requests and bugs that were reported previously but that we could not address before the completion of the upgrade, and new feature requests that are just now available with this version of the software, such as InstantCommons. And now that the upgrade past 1.15 has been completed, future upgrades to 1.19 and beyond can and will be done in a far more efficient and timely manner.

Wikitravel is now running on a completely new hardware platform. When the cacheing process is complete, we expect significant increases in performance and stability compared to the previous version of the site. We also have a larger and more experienced technical team to address the needs of the site.

What this amounts to is a Wikitravel that is dramatically improved from a technical standpoint than it has been for the last few years. Coupled with the renewed community engagement between members and Wikitravel’s steward, Internet Brands, we have a recipe for longterm success with the technical aspects of the site, the ability of administrators to patrol edits, bug reporting and resolution, ease of contribution by writers, and above all usability for travelers around the globe.

Wikitravel would not be possible without the dedicated community of administrators and writers whose content and curation have made it the preeminent travel destination anywhere. We are very happy to have completed this hardware and software upgrade, and look forward to continuing to evolve the site, in partnership with this community, in the years to come.

We appreciate your patience and support during these last few months, as we have renewed our efforts to improve the site and energize the Wikitravel community. And we thank you for all you have done, both before and during Internet Brands’ stewardship. With nearly 2 million edits to almost 80,000 pages; over 70,000 registered users; and 7 million monthly visitors, there has never been a travel resource like Wiktravel. It is massive. It is unique. And it’s getting better by the day.

--IBobi 21:36, 8 June 2012 (EDT)

I sincerely hope at least the bugs that affect security will be fixed within a few hours. If you don't have a safe new version of the software, isn't it better to prevent editing until you do? Yes, performance is a huge issue, but the inability to block spammers is untenable. If I can suggest something for the next upgrade: You need software that recognizes obvious spam, because depending on volunteers to manually delete spam and block spammers is not likely to withstand the efforts of more and more spambots. Thanks, and sorry if I sound peeved, but spammers have been operated unblocked for several days now. All the best, Ikan Kekek 05:29, 11 June 2012 (EDT)
Hi Ikan, I am told the first round of bug fixes will be deployed in the next 24 hours. We've been working on site stability over the days since the update, and I am working hard to ensure that spam remediation -- including blocking users -- is prioritized. We know the manual removal of new spam accounts is arduous in the wake of this upgrade, and it is much, much appreciated by everyone. If I hear anything sooner, I will update here. Thank you,--IBobi 13:09, 11 June 2012 (EDT)
Does anyone else have an opinion on locking edits until the user blocking feature can be restored?--IBobi 15:06, 11 June 2012 (EDT)
I think we've been able to keep up with the spambots thus far, but it should definitely be a priority to get user blocking working again before the end of the day - at present we would have limited ability to deal with high-volume vandals, for example, and it's inevitable that they'll show before long. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:48, 11 June 2012 (EDT)
Any update on bug fixes? It's been five days since the upgrade went live, so any info on when (for example) user blocking will again be working would be very useful. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:10, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
When the far more serious issues such as those above have been dealt with it would be good to see a longer edit summary window return, that new short one is quite frustrating. cheers -- felix 13:14, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
I think that is user-selectable, Felix?--IBobi 15:26, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
  • Hi iBobi, I cannot find any setting in the user prefs, is it somewhere else? -- cheers felix 22:38, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
First set of bug fixes are coming tomorrow a.m. (June 14), and will include blocking. Thanks for your patience and greater efforts at patrolling edits necessitated by this week-long tool outage!--IBobi 15:26, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
Lots of fake Ikan Kekek usernames just created: [2]. Time to prevent all edits by new users, or just shut down Wikitravel, period, right now. We won't like the results of allowing unblockable spammers and vandals to continue to run rampant, and we can wait till tomorrow (or whenever your bug fixes are actually operational) to start editing again. Ikan Kekek 20:50, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
  • If this sort of thing is going to continue unabated then lock down editing access completely until proper administrative functionality is restored. The world will not stop turning if editing functions are missing for a while, it might irritate or alienate a few new or casual editors who might run up against an editing block, but that is better than having the whole thing turned into a time consuming spam riddled and vandalised mess.--felix 22:38, 13 June 2012 (EDT)

en: has been unbelievably slow the last couple of days, far more than other language versions.texugo 11:02, 14 June 2012 (EDT)

I agree that IB should lock editing on :en, except perhaps for admins, until blocking functionality is restored. That this hasn't been fixed yet is troubling, and it cannot wait. --Peter Talk 11:15, 14 June 2012 (EDT) Looks like blocking functionality is back, although I haven't tested other language versions. Loading the block page is slow as a Ghanaian cook, though. --Peter Talk 11:44, 14 June 2012 (EDT)
Over on pt:, I'm starting to think that the spam blacklist isn't doing its job-- I put some domains in the list the other day, and I see today that they are still being allowed to be posted. Has anyone checked this here on en:? texugo 11:22, 14 June 2012 (EDT)
Blocking has started working on pt: too. texugo 12:30, 14 June 2012 (EDT)
It works on ru:, but many other things still do not-((( Atsirlin 15:33, 14 June 2012 (EDT)

Patrolling problems

I still am not able to mark many articles as patrolled. This is a problem that seems to randomly apply to some articles and not others, but it's been consistently a problem with perhaps 1/2 of unpatrolled articles at any given time since the update. What happens is that the articles show up in the "Recent changes" list as needing patrolling, but when I open them, there is no button to patrol them. That's not because anyone else has patrolled them: When I refresh the list, they still show up as unpatrolled. And if I edit them, the resulting version also shows up as unpatrolled in the "Recent changes" list but generally still does not have a patrol button when I open it. I am using Firefox 13.0.1 in a Windows XP environment, if that matters. Ikan Kekek 18:25, 24 June 2012 (EDT)

Same thing here. I believe the "Mark as patrolled" button doesn't appear when there is more than one edit to the article. Opera 12 on XP. Jjtk 04:21, 25 June 2012 (EDT)
At least for administrators (but I thought for all registered users?), it should, and used to before the upgrade. Ikan Kekek 04:40, 25 June 2012 (EDT)
It did, it broke after the upgrade. Jjtk 04:53, 25 June 2012 (EDT)
I haven't had any problem patrolling edits. LtPowers 11:42, 25 June 2012 (EDT)
Using "enhanced recent changes" from the preferences (which consolidates edits to the same article) I'm also unable to mark multiple edits as patrolled, although they can be patrolled singly. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:49, 25 June 2012 (EDT)
I've been using those enhanced changes. Ikan Kekek 17:51, 25 June 2012 (EDT)

This is now fixed, so we can get back to the beat. I have noticed that, on occasion, the marked as patrolled link is hiding at the bottom right of the page (as with new pages). I don't know why, but it shouldn't be a big deal, if people know about it. --Peter Talk 13:55, 6 July 2012 (EDT)

Breadcrumb Navigation not working on fr:

Hi, thanks for the upgrade. However the breadcrumb navigation on fr: seems broken. It works on en: and nl: and I don't see any modification in Template:IsPartOf. Any idea? joelf

It seems fixed now. Thanks IB people! Joelf

OpenID not working

Also, login on en: using OpenID from fr: and URL fr:user:joelf doesn't seem to work either. Thanks for your help. joelf

Take a look at wts:Tech:Upgrade_to_MediaWiki_1.17#1.17_UPGRADE_BUG_REPORTS. --Peter Talk 14:44, 18 June 2012 (EDT)

cannot reach Shared

Shared seems to be completely down or something. I cannot reach it at all... texugo 10:23, 18 June 2012 (EDT)

And now I get this message when I try to reach an image page on Shared:
A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was:
(SQL query hidden)
from within function "LocalFile::upgradeRow". Database returned error "1205: Lock wait timeout exceeded; try restarting transaction (wikitraveldb1-new)".
texugo 10:40, 18 June 2012 (EDT)
No problems here. Maybe it's fixed? LtPowers 13:16, 18 June 2012 (EDT)
Now I can get to the Shared main page, after a considerable wait, but I still can't reach the page I want to change: [[3]]. texugo 13:50, 18 June 2012 (EDT)

Amtrak logo for routeboxes - fair use?

I would like to integrate American rail travel into our routebox navigation, but first I need to come up with some 100x25 route icons to use. Obviously I could come up with some generic train symbol to use, but ideal would be to use Amtrak's wave symbol on the left with the route name on the right. The Amtrak logo is trademarked, and I do not know if this would constitute fair use, or if not, whether it would be desirable enough to attempt to get permission to create such derivative icons. Does anyone have an informed opinion on this? texugo 10:29, 19 June 2012 (EDT)

I definitely think it would be permitted under Fair Use, per usage at Wikipedia. The problem is, though, that we don't allow copyrighted images under Fair Use ;) I agree, though, that it would be a shame not to use it—maybe we could come up with some other justification? --Peter Talk 10:37, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
Hmmm.. Do you have any ideas on that? texugo 11:20, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
None at present ;) In the meantime, how does this look?
AMTRAK Vermonter icon.png
--Peter Talk 11:30, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
Looks good enough for now. Can you toss me an .svg file so I can change the text for other lines? texugo 12:00, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
Voila --Peter Talk 12:27, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
We would need to modify policy in order to make use of the copyrighted logo. One option might be to use Amtrak's old logo (wikipedia:File:AmtrakLogo.png), which I would argue is uncopyrightable. Other than that, just stick with the wordmark in appropriate colors, as Peter did. On another note, how do we work train routes with routeboxes? Do we link all destinations, or only those at which the train actually stops? (Tangentially, I would suggest creating a combined icon for routes with a lot of overlap like Empire Service/Maple Leaf.) LtPowers 14:56, 19 June 2012 (EDT)

OK, thanks. I took what you did and made a mock-up icon for each train line they have. I just updated the same .svg you uploaded. Please have a look and tell me what you think! texugo 22:49, 19 June 2012 (EDT)

LtPowers, that's a good idea about making combined icons for routes with overlap-- can you suggest exactly which ones might need that?
We should only link the destinations at which it stops-- it does no good for a traveller to know that some train passes through without stopping where they are. We have already implemented the main train lines pretty well for our Japan articles. You might want to have a look. texugo 22:55, 19 June 2012 (EDT)
It wouldn't do me much good to look at Japan because I'm not familiar with the geography of the area. =) I also don't know exactly which routes overlap; I know that Empire Service and Maple Leaf are the same except for Maple Leaf going to Toronto, but beyond that I'm clueless. LtPowers 13:09, 20 June 2012 (EDT)
By the way, I re-exported your Northeast Express icon from the SVG to fix some font sizing issues, but I'm having trouble forcing the thumbnails to regenerate. LtPowers 13:24, 20 June 2012 (EDT)
In the northeast corridor, it would probably be useful to have combined icons for Vermonter/Acela/Northeast Regional. The Vermonter and Northeast Regional share all the same stops (I believe) from D.C. through NYC before splitting. The Acela follows the same route as the Northeast Regional (and hence the Vermonter through NYC), but makes fewer stops. --Peter Talk 13:27, 20 June 2012 (EDT)

I don't understand why we would see using the Amtrak logo as ideal. Surely that sends us down a slope of wanting to use each railway system logo around the world. There are literally hundreds of these, and some are going to want to enforce their trademarks. Stick to generic, I say. --Inas 00:52, 22 June 2012 (EDT)

Problems with the search/go function

There seems to be something wrong with the search function. No matter what I type in there the search result is always the same:

"No such special page You have requested an invalid special page. A list of valid special pages can be found at Special pages. Return to Main Page."

Has it something to do with the software update?

Ypsilon 05:18, 26 June 2012 (EDT)

Ypsilon, you beat me on time ;-) I have the same problem and can't search for articles. Jc8136 05:27, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
I just had that problem while looking for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Of course, when I clicked the list of Special pages, it wasn't there, yet I found it by going to an off-site web search. Ikan Kekek 05:39, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
I emailed IBobi and started a bug report at Shared:Tech:Search/Go not working on en:. texugo 10:24, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
Go was working fine (that is, if you typed an article name exactly) until recently; I suspect they broke it when they were trying to fix Search. LtPowers 10:25, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
This is too important a problem to let readers sit in the dark about, so I have updated the SiteNotice to direct people to... Google. --Peter Talk 12:39, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
Nice move. I can't believe they won't even respond for something so important. Oh, wait.. yes, I can. texugo 12:48, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
I've reported this to our tech team. Please keep in mind that we are on the US West Coast and will generally be able to respond to issues according to that time zone difference; it's just morning here. Thank you,--IBobi 13:22, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
Now it's working again. Thanks! Ypsilon 07:18, 27 June 2012 (EDT)

Let's be clear. Go is working, but Search is still not working properly. Currently it does perform a search, but it spews forth every resulting page in its entirety in raw text form. Try searching for "New York" and see what I mean. texugo 10:12, 28 June 2012 (EDT)

What's the desired result for a search?--IBobi 13:43, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
It should return a list of results with only a 2-3 line excerpt of the article content (not including wiki markup) from the beginning of each result's article.texugo 13:52, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
My understanding is that this is the way MW 1.17 handles search results; it is fundamentally different from the old 1.11 version.--IBobi 15:44, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
OK, so we have altered the way search displays so that it is a small 2-3 line digest of each result; the raw code as part of the results is a different matter, and we're looking into it.--IBobi 16:12, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
FYI once we change this for all users, you can still go to your settings and go to the default setting if you want to see the full article in your search results.--IBobi 16:32, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
Can anyone verify that wiki markup ("raw text") was not displaying in the search results of the old version before the upgrade? Apparently the appearance of this markup is a bug with the MW software that they are aware of --IBobi 16:34, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
I may be mistaken about the part about not showing raw text. Another thing though, I do think that the search used to default to content pages only, not everything all mixed with talk pages, user pages, etc. Please compare with the search on pt:, where everything seems to be working as it did before. I cannot really imagine a situation in which a user would find it useful for the entire article to appear on the results page in one giant block like that. It's ugly and often requires one to scroll quite a bit between result listings.texugo 18:00, 28 June 2012 (EDT)


<removed by LtPowers>

Please add your information to the Litang travel article (click on the link, as the search function seems to be broken) because future travelers to the town will look for it there, not here. You should also boil it down to a few sentences. Ypsilon 08:10, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
No, that is improper advice. Wikitravel:Avoid negative reviews. LtPowers 10:23, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
Yes, but I looked at the entry for the guesthouse out of curiosity and they weren't the first ones to complain about the service and the cleanliness. Googling the place gives even more negative reviews... And I guess there aren't very many places to choose from in the town, and according to the description it's centrally located too. So IMO this is one of the cases where travelers should be warned. Ypsilon 08:09, 27 June 2012 (EDT)
I removed the positive listing from the article. I would think that if they are using the internet to find accommodation, and they come here and aren't satisfied with any of the other 6 options we do list, then they would be fairly likely to look elsewhere online and encounter said negative reviews. You won't find commercial printed wasting space with such negative reviews either.texugo 11:55, 27 June 2012 (EDT)

InstantCommons now enabled

Here's a bit of a bright spot in our messy upgrade: InstantCommons is enabled! This means you can add images from Commons to Wikitravel articles without having to re-upload them here. All you need do is add a thumbnail as usual (e.g., [[File:Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.jpg|thumb|270px|Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery]]). It will then show up properly in the article, and will have a shadow page of sorts here (e.g., File:Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.jpg), analogous to how our software handles images from Shared.

To see this in action, check out Arlington (Virginia), to which I just added 10 Commons images, without the huge amount of work that used to entail! --Peter Talk 23:05, 26 June 2012 (EDT)

Awesome, super useful. Now, what is it that we don't have that allows one to directly display an .svg file on WP? If we had that functionality too, we could more easily import route icons without having to open them in Inkscape, save a .png, and upload it to Shared. Is that something we can get enabled here? texugo 23:27, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
Ooh, good point about route icons. (It will still be important to export maps to PNG, for the purpose of allowing translation layers within SVGs.) Yes, we have the capability, provided we can get IB to add two lines to the config file... The instructions are here [4], and I assume the renderer to use would be rsvg, as that is what the WMF projects all use. --Peter Talk 00:35, 27 June 2012 (EDT)
Let me see what I can do.--IBobi 13:46, 27 June 2012 (EDT)
Should be done guys -- can you test?--IBobi 13:31, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
I'm not seeing any difference. When an .svg is put in an image tag, it simply shows the filename as a link, e.g. Eden Center map.svg. texugo 14:20, 28 June 2012 (EDT)
Well color me surprised! I assume our image use policies will not change as a result? It might make it more difficult to enforce, though. LtPowers 09:01, 27 June 2012 (EDT)
I suppose the main policies that will see changes are just about which files should be uploaded to Shared, and which to Commons. I think it is probably worth keeping our maps hierarchy separate. There also may be cases in which we want to use files locally that Commons doesn't consider free enough for global use (pictures of statues, for example). --Peter Talk 11:12, 27 June 2012 (EDT)

I just tried to add the coat of arms of Zeeland to the province article, but unfortunately, they forgot to turn on svg support. I hope they fix that soon! :-) --Kim Bruning 01:28, 14 August 2012 (EDT)

Are we using __TOC__ <div> </div> __TOC__ <div> </div>

I have seen this mark-up in a couple of articles today, are we using this image floating mark up here? -- felix 01:34, 27 June 2012 (EDT)

It's a bug with the listing editor, introduced some time today. See shared:Tech:Listing editor adds TOC tag. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:54, 27 June 2012 (EDT)

Edited 1.17 upgrade bug reports to reflect fixes

I have edited the to reflect what's been fixed & what's pending, as well as a number of clarifications that are needed for tech.

You'll also notice a parenthetical number next to many of them e.g. "(175)" -- this refers to the internal technical problem report assigned to each and will help us track them.

If you see "Fixed" next to an issue you reported, please test it; if it's resolved, remove your bug from the list. If it is unresolved, please explain.--IBobi 15:22, 28 June 2012 (EDT)

We have addressed and fixed all bugs reported since the 1.17 upgrade. Please review any you have reported and if they are still occurring, report them on the upgrade page (and unmark them as "resolved" or "fixed") and we'll readress them.--IBobi 19:44, 10 July 2012 (EDT)

Shared down?

I currently can't seem to reach much of anything on Shared except the main page. Recent changes, the pub, random images, etc. all either time out or return a SQL error. What is going on there? texugo 15:43, 29 June 2012 (EDT)

Something is wrong. I got the database error (shared:Tech:Database lock timeout) on the recent changes page a few minutes ago, but it seems to be working now. The spider I run that attempts to keep a backup of images has been getting error responses on nearly every request (after ten minutes of waiting) since late last night. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:06, 29 June 2012 (EDT)
I have been editing Shared all day with no issues. There was a minor access blip on Shared and the regular site for a few minutes early this morning, but it's been fine since.--IBobi 19:08, 29 June 2012 (EDT)

semi-problem logging in

I seem to be able to log in, and when editing my changes are saved under my name, but while navigating it keeps saying "Log in / create account" in the upper right corner, instead of "Justme - My talk - My preferences" etc. As soon as I start editing I do see all those account-related options. Does anyone know why that is? Justme 12:09, 1 July 2012 (EDT)

Yup, chronic problems with caching. This particular problem has been around for, yikes, something like 5-6 years, but is rearing its ugly head a little extra post upgrade. IB claims to be looking into it, as you'll see here. --Peter Talk 13:38, 1 July 2012 (EDT)
Oh, I see. Hadn't encountered this specific bug yet. Thanks for the quick reply. Justme 14:12, 1 July 2012 (EDT)

Get Out is on the way out

Hi folks... if you haven't seen it, we've got a poll on options to change the name of our "Get out" sections to something less confusing. This will be a widespread change, so we want as much input as possible on it.

The discussion is at Wikitravel talk:Article templates#Get out, again. After you read the discussion, check out the poll at Wikitravel talk:Article templates#Approval vote. For each of the options listed in the table, if you would be willing to accept that option, sign just your name with three tildes (~~~) in the second column, and increment the vote total in the rightmost column. If you are not willing to accept an option, simply don't sign in that row.

As of right now, "Go next" is acceptable to seven of the nine people who've voted, followed by "Move on" and "Onward" at five each.

-- LtPowers 15:07, 1 July 2012 (EDT)

As a somewhat minor contributor, have no objection to changing the section title to something better. Would suggest the new title consider that the section may be used by folks also looking for nearby sites to visit on day-trips while using the main locale as a base. Hennejohn 18:01, 5 August 2012 (EDT)

Moving to Wikimedia

There is a fairly advanced plan to launch a new copy of Wikitravel under the wing of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, who operate Wikipedia. This would get rid of the ever-increasing ads, solve many of the technical problems the site has faced in the past 6 years, and the proposal has near-unanimous support among administrators. jpatokal 23:20, 1 July 2012 (EDT)

As something of an anticipatory note, I would encourage curious Wikitravellers to avoid discussing other travel wiki projects on Wikitravel. While such a move by Wikitravel's admins would clearly affect this site, I think it is more appropriate to keep discussions at the relevant site. If you have other questions or want clarification, you can always contact me or any other admin from WT via talk page or email—ideally through Wikimedia Meta, not Wikitravel. --Peter Talk 13:11, 2 July 2012 (EDT)
I have reverted User:IBobi's deletion of this section. While I am not in favor of using Wikitravel as a vehicle to "promote" a fork, our policies do not allow the removal of others' good faith comments. Our practice has never been to whitewash the existence of other travel guides, as evident by the existence of Wikitravel:Fellow traveller Expedition—we have always actually supported others' work in the Creative Commons especially. Moreover, previous forks (Wikivoyage in particular) have been discussed at length over many years at Wikitravel, as they obviously have been relevant to this community, and were not subject to deletion. An IB employee violating our policies to remove users' comments seems highly inappropriate. --Peter Talk 16:30, 2 July 2012 (EDT)
With the support of other admins Ryan and Peter, I have removed the link to a competing travel site. The rest of this comment stands for the moment while a policy against fork discussion is drafted.--IBobi 20:16, 2 July 2012 (EDT)
I supported removing the links, Ryan did not comment. --Peter Talk 20:22, 2 July 2012 (EDT)
Oh right -- that was LTPowers--IBobi 20:39, 2 July 2012 (EDT)

(undent) My view: Discussion of the Wikimedia fork, including links to said fork, is and should be allowed on Wikitravel, and Internet Brands' ham-fisted attempts to censor this discussion should be reverted on sight.

We have, as far as I can tell, a *completely unanimous* consensus in favor moving to Wikimedia: the Meta RFC is up to 63 in favor, and I haven't seen a single WT user not on IB's payroll say that they would prefer to stay with IB, thank you very much. So if this community is in favor of discussion, site notices or whatever, it's silly to claim that this is against Wikitravel's "rules" somehow -- the rules exist to serve the community, and the community's will is clear. (Compare this with the Wikivoyage fork, which only had support from a small minority at the time.) jpatokal 20:52, 2 July 2012 (EDT)

The distinction may be subtle, and lost on some, but Wikitravel is not the same thing as its admins. If that were true, then forking WT would make the new site WT. And clearly that is not the case. WT has a right and an obligation to protect itself against self-destructive behavior, like a fork and loss of admins, even if a lot of admins "support" that destruction. There are 7 million travelers a month that also make up the Wikitravel community, and they are decidedly ill-served by this fork. They are the silent supermajority. It is necessary in the course of this discussion to separate one's own interests from the interests of the Wikitravel project, and if you cannot do that, then recuse yourself from this discussion. If you are acting in the best interests of this project, you must refrain from supporting that which undermines it, on its very pages.--IBobi 21:06, 2 July 2012 (EDT)
Will you be separating your own interests in these discussions as a current IB employee? I have no idea what this has to do with Jani's own personal interests, on the other hand. --Peter Talk 21:21, 2 July 2012 (EDT)
That I am aware of, it is clear to 100% of admins that the best interests of this project lie in getting out from under IB's thumb. There is no "silent supermajority"-- those users have no loyalty to this particular URL, certainly not as much loyalty as the long-time admins here have displayed. Your "supermajority" will gladly follow the content to whatever ground is most fertile for keeping it fresh and growing.texugo 21:26, 2 July 2012 (EDT)
What I know, Peter, is that someone who is encouraging Wikitravel's admins to leave Wikitravel does not have Wikitravel's best interests at heart.--IBobi 21:31, 2 July 2012 (EDT)
My interest since 2004, which has driven me to contribute more on this site than anybody else (literally: check your edit stats), has been our mission statement: "Wikitravel ( is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide.". And the consensus is that it's in the best interests of this project to move to a new home. jpatokal 21:35, 2 July 2012 (EDT)
Wikitravel is just the name. All of us have the project's best interests at heart. They just do not happen to coincide with IB's money-centric interests.texugo 21:34, 2 July 2012 (EDT)
Well, what User:IBobi wrote above is true: only 64 users have expressed their support for the fork. If the result is that the community splits in two, then this would be a disaster for both projects. And if the result is that there will be one project with only admins and another project with no admins, then this would also be a disaster for both projects. And if all editors go to the new site while the readers stay on the old site (or vice versa), there would also be a disaster. If the Wikimedia move is going to work, then there would really have to be an almost 100% support for the move amongst both readers and editors. I'm seeing parallels with how some projects try to move away from Wikia, but the content remains on Wikia, so the community is split in two, being a disaster for both projects. I really hope that there won't be a similar disaster with Wikitravel. [Note: I am writing mainly as a reader of Wikitravel. I rarely edit here, but I am more active on some Wikimedia projects. As you can see, I even have a red name in my signature.] --Stefan2 10:28, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
There have been many issues with projects splitting off from Wikia due to their corporate greed (I've experience it first-hand). Unfortunately, majority, but not all, have been utter failures. But I think this is a very different situation. The Wikimedia Foundation is huge, much larger than Wikia or Internet Brands or any tiny site trying to go independent. This fork isn't about going alone; it's about moving to the WMF with all their resources, expertise and genuine passion. JamesA >talk 06:12, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
iBobi, if you believe that it is only the administrators who wish to fork, then we should invite the regular users and viewers of Wikitravel to join the discussion and voice their opinion. I'd propose adding a note to MediaWiki:Sitenotice alerting all visitors to the fork discussion; then we can get the ideas and opinions of all editors, instead of just administrators and IB employees. JamesA >talk 10:26, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
"Silent supermajority"? Richard Nixon say what? Gorilla Jones 15:29, 4 July 2012 (EDT)

(undent) Wikimedia has today given their assent to hosting the fork, subject to community consensus at the RFC. Now's the time to go chip in here: Requests for comment/Travel Guide. And to those new to the whole story, here's a little background. jpatokal 08:16, 12 July 2012 (EDT)

Please remove the two links you have posted to external competing travel sites (one at the top of this section and one at the bottom) as well as the link to your personal blog.--IBobi talk email 13:40, 12 July 2012 (EDT)
I have removed your links for violating the external link usage policy.--IBobi talk email 14:20, 12 July 2012 (EDT)
IBobi, I would strongly encourage you to reconsider doing that, as I don't think it is serving you, IB, or the future of this site very well. I have restored the links you removed, and would advise you to seek a broader community consensus before undertaking more of what is widely considered censorship. (Please also take a look at my response to you on my talk page.) --Peter Talk 17:31, 12 July 2012 (EDT)

If citing a policy violation and correcting it with a routine edit that any user can conduct (or revert, as you have shown) is censorship, then what is not censorship? Blanket claims of censorship are unfounded, and irresponsible of anyone who is aware of the nature of this discussion, or of this host's history over recent years, and I'll happily listen to any examples you care to cite. We do not and will not interfere with the editorial content of Wikitravel (which is the clear implication of this outrageous claim).

That said, there is no written policy on using Wikitravel to host discussions of forks like the WMF proposal, or any other processes that are damaging to Wikitravel and its users. There also is no policy to prevent an admin or group of admins from discussing the sabotage of the servers upon which this site runs. Does that mean everyone should sit back and fiddle while Rome burns? At some point, lack of policy is not an excuse to fail to take action. The previous host of this project reserved the right to act unilaterally when necessary in order to best serve this site. We have not taken that step, though it is within our rights and responsibilities as project stewards to do so.

I realize this is a tricky issue and has not really been discussed before (though it certainly ought to have been when the WV precedent was set). There are clear conflicts of interest at play here, given that a number of the admins who are defending this discussion have supported the fork and would like to see the discussion continue for that reason. Ideally they'd recuse themselves here, as at least one of them has already done.--IBobi talk email 18:25, 12 July 2012 (EDT)

IBobi, here's the disconnect:
"there is no written policy on using Wikitravel to host discussions of forks like the WMF proposal, or any other processes that are damaging to Wikitravel and its users"
Discussing a fork is emphatically NOT "damaging to Wikitravel and its users". It may, however, be damaging to Internet Brands. In the open source world a fork discussion is a way for users to raise concerns, and if there isn't an agreeable resolution to go out and try to address those concerns on their own; a fork is often the best way for a community to improve things, as shown by projects like or LibreOffice. You have elsewhere used the analogy that allowing discussion of a fork is like allowing use of Wikitravel for "discussing ways to sabotage the servers upon which this site runs", and the fact that a fork equates to an attack on the site's infrastructure is a telling sign that there is a major, major disconnect in how IB as a corporation understands what Wikitravel is. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:36, 12 July 2012 (EDT)
[edit conflict] There are clear conflicts of interest at play here—Under that argument you should recuse yourself ;) Policy is interpreted by the group, and our community has a history of interpreting and enforcing policy in ways that directly contradict our personal opinions. But policies are determined by community procedures, and two of the relevant ones are: a) looking at practice over time—how we have coordinated in reaction to situations, and b) soliciting opinions. Thus far everyone either disagrees with you regarding policy interpretation, or in my lone case, thinks you might have a case. But having a case doesn't mean you win.
I'll toss out one last encouragement to take another look at my talk page responses, because I honestly don't think you helping anyone with this. Not yourself, not IB, not WT's admins, not anyone interested in what is going on. You do seem to be helping the project fork move along, but as I've said, that's not a goal of mine to the exclusion of all the work I do and continue to do here. --Peter Talk 18:39, 12 July 2012 (EDT)
The clear way that this discussion damages our users is that there are 7 million of them who will come here next month and the month after that, looking for the best travel content, and regardless of what the admins supporting the fork wish to do, those users are ill-served by a drop in the curating of this site.
There is indeed a disconnect, and it is between WT the project and WT the site. There is huge overlap, but they are distinct. My interests lie equally with both, while an admin who supports this fork and supports discussing it here is quite clearly concerned with the project alone. At any rate, your candor and insight are appreciated.--IBobi talk email 19:33, 12 July 2012 (EDT)
You are entirely correct in your assertion that WT the project and WT the site are distinct. WT the project is the collaboration of the contributors, including the admins, registered users, IP editors and general non-contributing users, and the support and hosting of the site, whereas WT the site, is where the project is currently hosted, along with the commercial interests of the owners, and ownership of the name. The IP users and non-contributing users will follow the project or stay with the site as long as the site provides them with value. The admins and registered users are concerned primarily with the project and are in essence, the spirit of the project. Where they go, the project goes. They can not be coerced, only persuaded. So far there is little evidence of convincing persuasion going on. If IB wants to keep the majority of the project, they will need to show the project why it is to the project's advantage to continue in an environment where there has been a constant struggle between the values of the project and the values of the site. The question then becomes: Is damage control feasible or is the relationship broken beyond repair.
The content is another distinct entity, which is neither the project nor the site, as it is not owned by either. Both project and site are free to use the content within the constraints of the licence, just like anyone else, and what they want to do with it appears to be diverging. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 05:58, 14 July 2012 (EDT)

Wikitravel still glacially slow?

Does anyone else feel that the site is basically just as slow as before the MediaWiki upgrade? This is the one thing that I most hoped the upgrade would fix, but it seems to me that things load just as slowly as before, especially here on en:, where I get to wait 15 seconds or more for even important pages like Recent Changes. texugo 12:16, 3 July 2012 (EDT)

It took just over a minute to load the diff of your edit from the recent changes page for me. While the slowness could be due to any number of reasons, there was some suspect editing activity earlier today (see User talk:Pranavk) and there has been a known Linux issue affecting many, many servers since 30-June - see (that issue affected my home server and slowed it down massively). No clue whether either of those issues have any relevance to the current problems on Wikitravel, but something has definitely made things significantly slower lately. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:39, 3 July 2012 (EDT)
WT is running on a brand new set of servers, one of which was replaced shortly after the upgrade was complete. Today the replacement machine was down for a short period of time but all is well now. What sorts of read/edot speeds are you experiencing yourself?
Also FYI on Thursday 7/5/2012 we are switching to a new cacheing service that ought to result in improved overall performance (read & edit) and several bug fixes.--IBobi 19:14, 3 July 2012 (EDT)
WT remains slow espcially when loading pages or initally starting to access WT. It's better compared to yesterday but still pretty slow compared to history.Jc8136 09:10, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Things have been faster for me by a factor of about ten since late yesterday afternoon. Prior to that I was seeing page load times of up to a minute and occasional timeouts. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:35, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Wikitravel is operating just as quickly, if not moreso, than Wikipedia for me. LtPowers 10:29, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Agreed. Seems to have returned to normal here too. texugo 14:12, 4 July 2012 (EDT)

A project for anyone who wants to help

I've been playing with Special:LinkSearch, which I assume to be a new feature since the upgrade, since I've never noticed it before. At any rate, it makes it pretty easy to spot hundreds of links which are not permitted in the main namespace by our external links policy. After eliminating a few dozen of them, I decided to appeal for help from anyone looking for something to do. Here are a few of the searches I tried:

Anyone bored? texugo 23:19, 3 July 2012 (EDT)

tex, not today but i have a conference upcoming, where i'm going to be definitely need to look busy ;-) Jc8136 03:15, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Tex, it ain't easy to find the links. I tried Yerevan and i see Troll Pub but it has not The search for Facebook results nothing. Jc8136 03:21, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Nifty tool! Several of the above searches might turn up legitimate links, though. Facebook, MySpace, and even Wordpress are more commonly used as websites for obscure little guesthouses than you might think. --Peter Talk 03:31, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Agreed. I think we should alter slightly the policy to include the possibility of a blog or fb page being allowed when they are the only official web presence of a business. Jjtk 03:50, 4 July 2012 (EDT)

What if the future looked like this?

Three separate discussions about allowing Facebook links, web/email format, and redesigning our templated listings format have got me thinking how we can update or modernize the way we present our information, and I've come up with a tentative proposal. It's really less a proposal and more just me throwing some ideas around, so I'm open to debate on any of the multiple points this will introduce, but I think the general idea is worth considering. Before I lay out the proposed changes though, I'd like to make some points and detail some reasoning behind the proposal.

  • Social networking as contact information - Since WT started, social networking has grown drastically in importance as a means of communication, in some cases being now more important than phone numbers or emails, and surely in all cases more relevant than telegram fax.
    • Facebook - As the Facebook discussion points out, many establishments have only Facebook as their web presence, and consensus seems to be leaning towards allowing them in such cases. Even for those who have also a normal website, Facebook may provide a more convenient way of contact for travellers, since a huge portion of our users also have Facebook accounts.
    • Twitter - Hasn't been discussed, but since Wikitravel has started, Twitter has taken over the web, and many many establishments have a twitter account, many users are bound to have accounts, and Twitter makes a more convenient avenue of communication for some than phone calls, full emails, etc. Twitter is especially popular with smaller accommodation owners, local restaurants, bars, music venues, and recreational activity providers, and even many mainstream attractions such as museums and festivals have an account.
    • Skype - Many smaller restaurants and accommodations (e.g. hostels) have Skype accounts which would provide travellers with a free international phone call or text consultation. I know that I, for one, would be far more likely to call via Skype to book a room at a foreign destination than I would to call international long-distance via landline.
  • Grouping all contact information - Within a listing, contact information should all be grouped together. As an aside, I will throw in the bold assumption that fax info can be eliminated as a now-outdated mode of communication unlikely to be used by travellers. For the purposes of this proposal, then, contact information will be taken to mean:
    • Address, including directions, if any
    • Phone number
    • Official website
    • Email
    • Facebook business page
    • Twitter
    • Skype

Accepting the above definitions as reasonable and assuming we can set up the templates to do what we want, the tentative proposition is simply this:

  • We separate all the contact information, either into a separate column on the right or on a fresh line under the rest, leaving the lead to go directly from the name into the description, followed by hours and price.
  • In the contact info part, the address and phone number are written out. Everything else gets just a small linked icon unless you print the page.

Template fiddling, spacing, which icon to use, how images are incorporated into such sections, etc. can all be worked out later, but I made mock-ups of a couple of layout ideas. I tried to include examples with an assortment of information quantities to approximate how it would look with the completeness of an average article. Anyway, I'd like to call for your general comments and opinions, so... what if the future looked like this? :

texugo 17:39, 4 July 2012 (EDT)

I don't know how to artificially display our standard bullet points and cannot make functioning icon links, so please use your imagination. Also, if you know how, feel free to mess around with the messily-coded mock-ups and/or make new ones, but please do so on a different page so these will be here for others to look at.texugo 17:54, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
I think these are some good ideas. I'd support the removal of 'fax', but I notice you've also removed 'alt' phone. A lot of Asian/African countries have multiple phone numbers, due to unpredictable landline connections. Some smaller businesses also give the option of mobile or landline; whichever is cheaper, or working. Therefore, I think that should stay. Facebook, Twitter and Skype accounts are a good idea, but we'd need to be careful about linking to "official" accounts, and not someone's fanpage. I'm leaning towards something along the lines of Mock layout 1, as it separates the information into where it belongs, whereas the others shove things like trading hours, price and descriptions. Mock layout 3 could be good if the left column was widened. One option could be automatic column width, so that if the left column gets a lot of text from things like directions, it would be wide, whereas if all it had was titles, it'd be narrow. But very nice work overall. JamesA >talk 06:45, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
FWIW, I didn't intentionally leave out alt phone numbers. I just didn't think of them because they're are very rare in the vast majority of articles.texugo 08:42, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I made a similar proposal at Wikivoyage/de at our lounge. Of course we implemented do, see and eat tags, but we use mainly a template named vCard. A template is more flexible and could easily be changed without programming. We use a template master to make the data entry simple but I hope that new Mediawiki versions will have its own graphical tool. By the way I prefer the first variant. --Unger 01:41, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I agree with your assessment of the third mock up and have widened the left column somewhat. I also think that one would look slightly better if both the telephone number and the icons were on the same line but with the number left-aligned and the icons right-aligned (but still in the first column), instead of taking up two separate lines. texugo 11:39, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I cannot speak to the prevalence of fax as means of communication in certain areas; it seems like it might still be used in some places, but I can't say for sure. Is there any harm in leaving it? Phoneextra is also useful for TDD/TTY numbers, though those are also going by the wayside. LtPowers 12:26, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
The only harm it does is to work against economy of space. I just have a hard time imagining that more than the rarest of travellers would even consider sending a fax to make a dinner reservation or inquire about hotel vacancies these days, especially to/in a foreign country. Even in Asian countries where they are still more common, I think they are mostly used for inter-business purposes.texugo 13:13, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I work in many countries. Fax really has died over the last 5 years, so I do not think it is a problem to drop it completely. If absolutely necessary somewhere, it could be put in as part of the text. I like mock up 3! However, I am not convinced of the value of adding Twitter. There is a risk of too many icons littering a page.Davidbstanley 11:27, 6 July 2012 (EDT)

For fax (along with alt, checkin/checkout, and several other tags), I think we should just nix it from the listings editor, but keep it available if someone in the know wants to add it, for the relatively rare exceptions that would see them as useful.

I think adding facebook/twitter information is the right way to go, as businesses put out a lot of really useful information through both. Hopefully we could create something more generic, though, to include other microblogs and personal social networking page sites. (Evan [5] hasn't yet dethroned Twitter, but I'm bullish on destroying Facebook [6].) I can't comment on skype—haven't yet worked it into my travel bag of tricks.

Texugo, I really like your first mockup—awesome stuff! It would be good to make the hours stand out even more, though, as they are arguably the most important reference information we include. Maybe italics? Or color?

Unger, does your template work with the listings editor? Keeping the listings editor will be crucial if we ever do launch into the yesteryear age of online editing... --Peter Talk 16:04, 5 July 2012 (EDT)

I'm poking around (PD icons), and found some that either would be great looking imported as is, or which I could edit a bit. For urls, [7] is pretty nice. I could fix up one of these to make it look a little tweetier [8] [9], and could try to fix one of these for social networking profiles [10] [11]. Our email icon is fine, but these are a bit snappier [12] [13]. Adding an hours icon (basically any clock) could be another good way to highlight the ever-important hours field. --Peter Talk 16:20, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I'm also partial to mock-up 1, and I totally agree about italicizing the hours. I've gone ahead and done that on the mock-up, and it works well to set that info apart from the description. As to icons, I'll get back to you on that, but I was basically just shooting to find ones that have the same background shape (couldn't find one for Skype). I'm leaning toward making the icons for facebook, twitter, and skype clearly indicate what they are though and wouldn't really like to use a generic that doesn't at least indicate something similar to their own icon. I like the idea for a clock icon, and I considered using one to replace our little phone symbol. It would be nice to mock up some stylistically matching sets of all the necessary icons since they'd always be sitting next to each other in random combinations. Anyway, choosing specific icons would be its own discussion if consensus gets behind this idea.texugo 16:53, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
One thing I'm noticing is that the price info can get a little lost at the end of the hours line (which can vary wildly in length). Perhaps move it back to the end of the description, and bold it? Or we could have the price range follow a more eye-catching dollar icon? --Peter Talk 17:49, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I like the layouts, Mock Layout 3 makes the address easy to find in a list of places, which is good in larger cities where maybe I am looking for somewhere to eat in the North side of the city. However I am not so sure about generally adding Facebook and Twitter links. If a business uses Facebook as its main internet presence then this can just go in place of a web address. I would not expect to look at Twitter as my first contact with a business, more as a way of staying in touch with somewhere that I already use. There may be the odd exception like an airport that tweets departure information, but then I think that we should take the trouble to say what is being tweeted. Unless devices are common that can only look at Facebook / Twitter and not web pages, then I think that the traveller should be directed to whatever is the best first point of contact and can then find other links from there (which helps to avoid getting fan pages added).AlasdairW 18:54, 5 July 2012 (EDT)

Here's a bored half hour's worth of icon work from someone who probably isn't too good at this kind of thing... Anyway, they are of even width & height, and conform in a very loose way to our usual color scheme!

Mouseworldicon.png Atsignemailicon.png Thisisnotatweeticon.png Socialnetworkicon.png Thisisnotaskypeicon.png

Like 'em? FTS? Suggestions? Anyone want an SVG of this? --Peter Talk 19:13, 5 July 2012 (EDT)

I appreciate the effort, Peter, but I gotta admit the icons don't mean anything to me. A couple I can figure out with some concentration, but icons like these need to be immediately recognizable to be useful. LtPowers 22:24, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
I'd disagree with that sentiment, if not the criticism of the icons, since you can always just hover your mouse over an icon to see what it's about. In any rate, our current footnote looking things aren't immediately recognizable! --Peter Talk 23:22, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
Case in point! [14] --Peter Talk 00:56, 27 July 2012 (EDT)
  • Facebook I am concerned about the concept of Facebook linking. To include Facebook potentially opens a quite large can of worms in regard to patrolling. We have had plenty enough problems with, and email addresses. Especially in the 3rd world many providers use common domain email addresses, or use them as a back up secondary email address.
    In some regions (especially the Indian sub-continent) every time someone changes one of these addresses they need to be checked to ensure it is not a hijack attempt. This phenomena is particularly common in the Indian articles but appears elsewhere as well. It has occasionally been suggested we should eliminate these common domain email addresses from the articles. This is not practical as many quite legitimate and substantial providers use them. It would be unfair to a large body of providers and disadvantageous to travellers to eliminate them. Unless the provider is well known to the patrolling editor, or the common domain email address is published on the providers website or another authoritative source then it is often difficult and time consuming to determine legitimacy. Sometimes an extensive examination of edit histories is required to determine the bona-fides of the editor changing or adding the common domain contact.
☯To add Facebook listings to this mix seems to be asking for more trouble. Though it is of course understood that many traders do use Facebook accounts I have noted many Facebook accounts appear to be name holders, similar in a way to registering a common domain name email address, or a domain name similar to that of a trader or product, and then sitting on it either to block use of it or to gain some advantage by selling it or using it to divert business to someone other than the principal business.
☯Perhaps we need to consider if FB is really even accepted as a formal communication vehicle, or is it more one of tagging and maintaining existing customer connection through often vacuous self promotion. I have also noticed that for many small operators a common domain email address and a Facebook account is their only web presence. Anecdotally it appears that Facebook does not work well for many third world tourism providers. Many small operators tell me they do not believe it provides them any tangible business opportunity and it is email, SMS, Telephone, Skype and positive Tripadvisor recommendations and referral that are far more important to their activities
☯The previous discussions concerning FB seem to have hovered over the idea of 'business' Facebook accounts being linked. For those who might use a Facebook account in replacement of a business website we must consider if they are really likely to use a revenue account with FB, it seems unlikely, therefore we are setting ourselves a near impossible task of assessing the 'commercial' relevance of individual FB accounts that may be associated with a business operator. There is also the issue of inactive FB accounts. Some people tire of the medium and neglect it, so if we link to an account such as this we are potentially adding a dead end contact.
☯Perhaps our endeavours would be better applied to ensuring the existing contact methods are accurate rather having our efforts diverted into an added burden of further account verification demands arising from FB and Twitter accounts and the questionable virtues of supporting a commercial opportunity for either IB, Facebook or Twitter arising from providing such links in the articles and then patrolling them for consistency and legitimacy.
☯I am unconvinced of the benefit to the project and not at all keen to commit my own time toward refining a potential revenue stream derived from FB clicks or the data mining and correlation models operated by FB and Twitter.
☯I am raising this here as I note the Wikitravel:External links guideline on this has been modified recently. Perhaps this requires a little more scrutiny, especially in regard to the potential outcomes in regions with a history of contact hijacking and also in regard to our own participation in developing the Facebook and Twitter commercial models by facilitating WT linking.
  • Twitter seems to be reliant upon an always-on connectivity, this is irrelevant to much of the world, I think we should be wary of viewing the world through a lens narrowed by the hype of always-on connectivity. Also I wonder why we are allowing these 3rd party commercial links into the body of the article, we should not forget the core function of enterprises such as FB, it is to collect, collate, control and commercially disseminate data for commercial gain, it is not a benign vehicle of communication.
  • Skype linking is a different thing, I thoroughly support that and it would be good to see a listing field added to the standard format asap. As for adding an icon for that, great idea. Skype is a service commonly used and very popular with travellers.
  • Alt phone this should stay as it is essential to list more than one phone contact in some regions and PABX systems are rare in many 3rd world environments, I don't think it requires an icon though.
  • Fax is difficult, some still use it for payment authorities and many banks and insurance companies will insist on faxing documents and will not accept email communications, having the number readily at hand in a WT article may assist the traveller in circumstances such as these so maybe it should remain as listing text detail, but not have an icon. --felix 23:41, 6 July 2012 (EDT)
I certainly agree with negative sentiments regarding Facebook. But, small businesses—even those that have a real webpage—often update their personal facebook page with important information more frequently. In my endless search for details belonging in listings, I often cannot find hours information for small boutique restaurants, or current event listings for nightclubs or rock venues without looking into their Facebook page. Microblogs, such as those on Twitter, are a similar deal for finding current events. --Peter Talk 12:36, 7 July 2012 (EDT)

Shared repository message

When you visit an image page on en: for a file hosted on shared, you get a message that "This file is from a shared repository. Visit it's file description page.." etc. When did that message turn into a hot pink eyesore? Can we change it do something a little less jolting? texugo 23:35, 5 July 2012 (EDT)

Yes, that was my handiwork at MediaWiki:Sharedupload-desc-there ;)
It should be at least a little jolting, though. --Peter Talk 00:18, 6 July 2012 (EDT) It should be better now 00:34, 6 July 2012 (EDT)
What's really interesting, though, is that Commons images are getting a different message (example: File:Rosslyn Panorama 00092.jpg), which copies the image licensing and attribution information! That message is MediaWiki:sharedupload-desc-here. Now how do we get that functionality for our own shared repository...? --Peter Talk 00:20, 6 July 2012 (EDT)

It's quiet, a little too quiet

Did I miss a holiday today or something? The only time I've seen so few edits in recentchanges has been on Christmas! --Peter Talk 23:05, 7 July 2012 (EDT)

Some of the more prodigious editors seem to be missing today. And the number of contributions seem to generally have been lower since the upgrade - some folks probably wandered off temporarily due to various upgrade bugs and should return as things stabilize. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:28, 7 July 2012 (EDT)
Maybe. It's weird though—I just patrolled the entire day's edits in 15 minutes. --Peter Talk 23:45, 7 July 2012 (EDT)
I suspect I'm not the only one who sees little point in working on WT while we wait for the hammer to drop... jpatokal 22:55, 9 July 2012 (EDT)
Regardless of outcomes, I still want things in good shape here. The fact that I cannot block bots or delete pages right now frustrates that desire. --Peter Talk 01:48, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Am I the only one then, who repeatedly could not reach Wikitravel, today and yesterday? I got the "Wikitravel has a problem" message. Maybe others had the same. Justme 08:39, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
There were scattered outages yesterday due to the cacheing change reported on Shared. Are you still having trouble editing? I made an edit with no issue.--IBobi 14:53, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
I can edit with Chromium on the same PC, and Firefox on a different pc (same IP, different Firefox version), so I guess the issue is with Firefox 3.6.24? --Peter Talk 17:01, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Sounds likely. I'm on FF 13.0.1, so it's just possible some new updates left your ancient version behind finally?--IBobi 17:06, 10 July 2012 (EDT)

Peter, tech recommends you remove ALL cookies and hard refresh; it may have cached something wonky. They're looking into potential conflicts with that FF version.--IBobi 17:26, 10 July 2012 (EDT)

I'm able to edit as normally as of this evening EST! --Peter Talk 18:42, 12 July 2012 (EDT)

Suggestion: Guidelines for Accommodations (price)

During my trip to (Southeast-)Asia I experienced often the situation that the budget and mid-range section where totally mixed up. Maybe it would be good to have a rough guideline for each place to sort the accommodations according to the price. —The preceding comment was added by Askingcat (talkcontribs)

Every Sleep section should have a Template:Sleeppricerange nearby. If one is missing, maybe you can add it! LtPowers 09:12, 8 July 2012 (EDT)
Is that true? Should every sleep (and eat) section have one? Because most of our star articles don't, I think. --Peter Talk 10:49, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Well, every bottom-level (leaf-node) article. At least, that's what I thought. LtPowers 13:03, 10 July 2012 (EDT)


Hi! I'm new to Wikitravel (in the meaning of adding information). I would like to make suggestion, although probably it was discussed before on this page. I think it will be very convenient to have GPS coordinates near titles of places, especially in the See section. When I go to new place, usually I print relevant Wikitravel page and having coordinates there will be very helpful. Also it could very helpful to have linked appropriate Google map to the article, but probably it is out of scope of the project.

While I understand the nobody is able to add magically coordinates in the one moment, it would be nice to mention this somewhere in guidelines (if it is not yet) --DixonD 10:27, 10 July 2012 (EDT)

You can find more information on the topic at Wikitravel:Geocoding. If you have ideas as to how those coordinates can best be displayed and utilized, please leave a message on the talk page! LtPowers 13:05, 10 July 2012 (EDT)
Also see Wikitravel:Geographical data and metadata. For adding geo data to listings, that's actually pretty easy, so long as they are properly formatted with our listings tags. For a completely random example, look at Slough#See and click on the edit link at the end of the listing. In the listing editor that comes up, you can enter the coordinates into the lat and long fields.
We used to have the ability to use special:mapstraction to pull up a Google Maps view of the article destination, but that doesn't seem to be functional now. In any rate, it wasn't that helpful, and probably just distracts from our mapmaking goals, which stress keeping the maps on-site, so that articles are easy to print and use on the go. In the not-yet-foreseeable future, one of our goals is to auto-generate maps of our listings on maps imported from OpenStreetMap, which shares our CC license. --Peter Talk 13:30, 10 July 2012 (EDT)

Bugs, feature requests, and the future of Wikitravel

Please view and comment on this section on Shared Bugs, feature requests, and the future of Wikitravel.--IBobi 20:46, 10 July 2012 (EDT)

Thank you. --DavidCary 12:43, 21 July 2012 (EDT)

Lost discussion

I can't for the life of me find the discussion in which we were talking about having the ability to up/down-vote and to mark-as-correct listings, with a trusted class of reviewers and editors. Does anyone know what happened to it? --Peter Talk 16:25, 11 July 2012 (EDT)

I think that was Wikitravel:Business listings reliability Expedition. The discussions are mostly on the talk page. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:33, 11 July 2012 (EDT)

Support for email notification?

Please see Enable Email Verification and Notification and add your X to the Roadmap if you like it.--IBobi talk email 19:58, 12 July 2012 (EDT)

Today, email notifications have been enabled. The feature defaults to "off" so you will not receive any until you switch it on and confirm your email in your User Profile.--IBobi talk email 13:45, 27 July 2012 (EDT)

FYI for those not following Shared, this changed basically has disabled email without notice for all users who registered prior to 27 July 2012. To re-enable yours, use Special:ConfirmEmail and be sure to update your email preferences to enable only those notifications that you actually want.
This is a big problem, though, in that the vast majority of our past and present users are not following pub discussions, and will not know that their Wikitravel email functionality has been disabled. Please also see wts:Tech:Enable Email Verification and Notification. --Peter Talk 18:54, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
It looks as though this issue has been fixed, and that email is working fine once more. --Peter Talk 23:55, 6 August 2012 (EDT)

Spam Page

I'm moving a discussion from my talk page here to see if anyone else has seen these error messages or experience the same problem. Ryan also posted this to Wikitravel talk:How to handle unwanted edits#Important - blocking spambots.

You're shown as the author of User:Chen47vk7, which is a spambot page. Any idea what's going on? Is this another upgrade bug? -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:09, 14 July 2012 (EDT)

When I tried logging in earlier, I got a message that (I think) said something about being prevented from logging in to prevent account being compromised or something like that. The time of those edits is about the time I logged in (or tried to). I'm on a public wi-fi network...maybe that has something to do with that? AHeneen 16:15, 14 July 2012 (EDT)
You're the second "normal" account I've seen today that had a spambot page created. It may be an upgrade bug, but if you see that message again can you copy it and add it to this thread? -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:01, 14 July 2012 (EDT)
Screenshot 1

Today after clicking the "log in" in the upper right, then entering my username & password and hitting enter, I got the screen at right. I think what I did on the 14th was re-enter my password at this screen, after which I got the message I mentioned about being compromised or something like that. This time I clicked the WT image in the top right to return to the homepage, where I was still "logged in" as this spambot (?). I just closed the window (my Firefox setting is to clear cookies when exiting) and came back to WT to log in...without incident. These two instances are the only two times I've ever seen this browser should accept cookies. Using my home internet this time. Maybe this is a bug. (BTW:Message is in a grey box because I highlighted it to copy/paste, but then decided to capture a screenshot with the message still highlighted). AHeneen 05:49, 16 July 2012 (EDT)

Screenshot 2
I got the log in error message in the second screenshot when I tried to log in today...the same one I got the first time. Happened in the same way as the last two times: clicked on "log in" from WT homepage, entered by username & password on the following page and hit enter. Again, notice that I appear to be logged in as a spambot. This time I entered my password on this page and clicked "log in", but checking my "user contributions" it doesn't look like any spam edits have been made by my account. AHeneen 22:39, 16 July 2012 (EDT)
There was a bug fixed in Mediawiki 1.17.2 that apparently would allow a script running on your machine to "steal" session information - if you're on Windows, do you run a virus scanner? Otherwise you might want to try clearing cookies and see if the problem goes away. Alternately, it's possible that a malicious Google ad or something similar could be stealing session info via the aforementioned bug. For what it's worth I reported the problem to IB and requested that they upgrade to the latest bugfix release. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:58, 16 July 2012 (EDT)
Screenshot 3
I was adding another comment when you added yours. I do run a virus scanner and like I said in the first post, my browser setting are set to delete cookies when the browser is closed (just double-checked this). Should this be moved to the pub for others to comment on? So after making the last comment, I went to my watchlist to patrol recent edits and got the message shown in the third screenshot while making a couple edits. After logging back in, I checked my contributions, but no spam edits made by my account. Since the upgrade, I seem to get logged out of my account anywhere from 15-45 minutes after logging in (a rough guess) and this happened 20 minutes after logging in (based on difference between timestamps on the images' metadata). AHeneen 23:04, 16 July 2012 (EDT)
It probably wouldn't hurt to give this issue wider exposure in the Pub since it hasn't just been your account - I just deleted a spambot page credited to User:AndreCarrotflower. I've also raised this issue at Wikitravel talk:How to handle unwanted edits#Important - blocking spambots. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:15, 17 July 2012 (EDT)

So has anyone else seen this or seen these error messages? AHeneen 01:28, 17 July 2012 (EDT)

Yes, I was receiving them after last Monday's caching server upgrade (at least I think that's what it was), and received them July 9th-12th. I only received them in one browser on one computer (Firefox 3, Ubuntu 10.04). On the 13th I was able to edit again as normally. I didn't report on site because it was too much of a pain to edit! --Peter Talk 00:43, 18 July 2012 (EDT)
I've been getting these messages every time I've logged in since the 14th. Upgraded from Firefox 13 to 14.0.1 today (on Windows 7 SP1, for what it's worth), but that hasn't changed anything. Only the first time this happened were spam edits "made" by my account. AHeneen 02:12, 18 July 2012 (EDT)
I got it today for the first time. LtPowers 14:53, 18 July 2012 (EDT)
We are working to implement a security patch this week. Thank you all.--IBobi talk email 15:10, 18 July 2012 (EDT)
No hurry, since you're a spambot yourself now. (Oh, the irony!) jpatokal 09:34, 24 July 2012 (EDT)
Jani, just placed the irony on IBobi's talk page. It would be ironic if it wouldn't kill Wikitravel rather soon. It's really sad to see the project unfold on its own. If anyone needs arguments against IB, then we show this discussion. Jc8136 09:41, 24 July 2012 (EDT)

The MW 1.17.2 patch was deployed early this morning Pacific time. Please let me know as soon as possible if it has not addressed the spambot issue and the deletion problem. If earnest attention to and resolution of a MW software bug is an "argument against" the host, Jc, I really don't know what to tell you. A patch this size cannot be deployed hastily, lest the functionality of the site itself be jeopardized.--IBobi talk email 13:20, 24 July 2012 (EDT)

When we have big problems affecting the integrity of the site, I think Wikitravellers' patience with IB's business hours wanes. We work around the clock, around the globe to maintain some semblance of wikidignity on a site that is hard for me to even edit, still. It took around 5 minutes to load this page's history and then the diffs since my last visit just right now. --Peter Talk 18:00, 24 July 2012 (EDT)
Sorry it's been slow today, Peter; as I mentioned in earlier notes regarding the upgrade that occurred today, site speed will be slow because it's a patch to the entire site, which then requires some time for the cache to rebuild. This is a huge site, and there's no way around it. Upgrading takes a temporary toll on site speed -- it has nothing at all to do with it being IB that made the upgrade. It's a software bug with MediaWiki that we needed to resolve.
Some things just take time. It wasn't business hours that caused the week delay; it's our care in ensuring that the upgrade would be done well and would not compromise the site. We go from investigating the issue, to investigating a solution, to putting the solution on a staging server, testing it there, then putting it into production on the live site here. Hopefully you understand, and thank you for your help in reporting and resolving this.--IBobi talk email 18:12, 24 July 2012 (EDT)
According to recent changes "I" have just created a new account called User:Rdidonato41... one of many probable spam accounts. And as I said on shared before, I still need to reload almost every page (half of the time not even that works, I have to go back one page and forwards again to get the page.) /insert swearing word of your choice/ Ypsilon 02:20, 30 July 2012 (EDT)

Cache was fully cleared yesterday (as you could see from slowness); this should have propagated all changes made since the patch last week. Please report if spambot spooling issue persists.--IBobi talk email 18:09, 31 July 2012 (EDT)

Was my account taken over? In the morning I couldn't edit and got a message that I was blocked for spamming. Jjtk 07:54, 1 August 2012 (EDT)

Same thing happened to me yesterday. I also noticed that Travellers' Pub was missing from the nav bar, and when I tried to edit a page, I got the message below...

You do not have permission to edit this page, for the following reason: Your IP address has been automatically blocked because it was used by another user, who was blocked by Ikan Kekek. The reason given is this: Autoblocked because your IP address has been recently used by "Hdfs9f2qb". The reason given for Hdfs9f2qb's block is: "Spambot" • Start of block: 08:49, 2 August 2012 • Expiry of block: 08:49, 3 August 2012 • Intended blockee: You may contact Ikan Kekek or one of the other administrators to discuss the block. Note that you may not use the "e-mail this user" feature unless you have a valid e-mail address registered in your user preferences and you have not been blocked from using it. Your current IP address is, and the block ID is #10618. Please include all above details in any queries you make.

I was unable to email User:Ikan Kekek because my email address was no longer registered. When I tried to re-register, I got the following message...

Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information.

Good news is that I was allowed in again today, and able to re-register my email. Jnich99 01:32, 3 August 2012 (EDT)

We have a solution we'd like to implement on the spambot spooling accounts issue; please see Spambots and the comments from Ryan and myself. Weigh in if you have any information or opinion. We'd like to do this soon.--IBobi talk email 14:24, 7 August 2012 (EDT)

Spambots are doing more than just creating accounts from existing non-spambot accounts. They look to be making edits with others' accounts too. See Special:Contributions/Faust38 and his/her user log [15], who has a good, normal edit, plus a spam edit for insurance accompanied by a user creation for a spam insurance account.
This is so awful, and isn't getting fixed. I'm starting to feel like it's time to make a final back up of data (or use the last one and manually integrate the good changes since) and to pack our bags. --Peter Talk 11:05, 9 August 2012 (EDT)

Editting on iOS?

I can't seem to edit pages when using my iOS device. Am I missing something? It seems to work fine when using Android... -- Tim 08:25, 17 July 2012 (EDT)

What issues are you having specifically? Have you been able to edit on iOS in the past, and only having the problem recently? It could be related to the recent MediaWiki upgrade. Personally, I can edit using my phone (HTC Windows Phone) JamesA >talk 08:30, 17 July 2012 (EDT)
I've not tried editing on iOS before so I'm not sure if it's a new thing or not. When viewing any page on either Safari or Chrome, after clicking to see normal versions of the pages (as opposed to mobile versions) it will show up the "edit" links - but then if I click on it, I get the edit page but back in the mobile version, but the wiki code isn't in a text box which you can edit. Hope that makes sense... -- Tim 09:01, 17 July 2012 (EDT)
Okay, so now it's kinda working now. I'm using Chrome on iOS and when trying to edit it still takes me back to the mobile version which is formatted differently and can't be edited. But with Chrome there's a "request desktop version" option which shows the normal desktop version of the page and allows you to edit as normal. It's still a bit of a hassle though. -- Tim 15:38, 17 July 2012 (EDT)
I have the same problem on Android as well. If you want to edit, you can't let the site know you are on a mobile device, otherwise it keeps flicking back to it. --Inas 21:47, 17 July 2012 (EDT)

User page exists but user account not registered

I was going to blank and protect a User page that has been subject to numerous spam edits and deletions. When I went to edit it though, I got the following message:

"User account "xxxxx" is not registered. Please check if you want to edit/create this page."

Has anyone seen this message before? It seems odd that it recognizes the page as a user account but the account is not registered (and that my editing would register it). - Shaund 10:42, 21 July 2012 (EDT)

Editing the page would not register the user account; the warning is there because it is usually not desirable to create a page in the User: namespace without an attached account. LtPowers 14:21, 21 July 2012 (EDT)

How do I move pages?

How are pages moved? I tried to move Sigtuna to Sigtuna and Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, without result. Thanks in advance. /Blist 20:14, 22 July 2012 (EDT)

Moving pages appears to be broken at the moment, please see shared:Tech:Move feature not working on en:. However, in that specific case, I would not move the page, as airports usually do not get their own articles; you could set up a redirect from Stockholm Airport or Stockholm-Arlanda Airport to Sigtuna instead. — D. Guillaime 20:26, 22 July 2012 (EDT)
That's a thing to discuss at Talk:Stockholm. /Blist 14:10, 23 July 2012 (EDT)
So, is there any hope that the bug will get fixed? /Blist 19:13, 25 July 2012 (EDT)
The ability to move pages seems to have been restored as of July 31. Eco84 14:51, 31 July 2012 (EDT)
That redirect would be entirely out of bounds. Sigtuna is a town and thus a perfectly normal title for a travel guide. Stockholm-Arlanda Airport is an airport which happens to be situated in the county of Sigtuna. Riggwelter 10:14, 23 August 2012 (EDT)
Does Stockholm-Arlanda Airport justify an article on its own? Wikitravel:What is an article? is unclear; the examples provided are larger than Arlanda. /Blist 20:41, 24 August 2012 (EDT)

IB vs community decisions

All the admins on the Finnish Wikitravel -- that would be me and fi:User:Trsqr -- have decided to support the fork at Wikimedia and publish a sitenotice stating so. IB has reverted this three times now, as in IBobi's opinion "The host is responsible for the site, and has decided that the sitenotice is not to be used for that purpose and that purpose only."

So, I'd like IB to explain which Wikitravel policy justifies this behavior, and I'd be most interested in hearing what other users think about the situation. jpatokal 07:06, 25 July 2012 (EDT)

That's probably a question best addressed on Shared, since it seems to be a site-wide contention. LtPowers 14:51, 25 July 2012 (EDT)
Agree with LtPowers. I think openly supporting a fork may be a step too far on a site notice, but linking to the discussion and asking for users' opinions is crucial I believe to achieve IBobi's desire of involving the whole community. JamesA >talk 08:47, 26 July 2012 (EDT)
I'm not interested in politics around here, but IB owns the site and rightfully has control over issues outside the "wiki" community rules. We don't allow links on destination pages to unofficial websites for destinations (even if they are good) or to guidebooks (which usually have much more content than our WT pages), so why should a link to a fork be posted in the sitenotice? The point is to add content to Wikitravel, with the goal of having a "free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable worldwide travel guide"...not links to other sites for content. Linking to a fork goes against the basic rules/tenets/goals (whatever they're called) of Wikitravel, which were agreed to a long time ago. Having these discussions should be allowed on talk pages or the pub, but placing the link in the site notice goes way too far. Just my two cents. AHeneen 01:38, 27 July 2012 (EDT)
AHeneen: IB only owns the Wikitravel trademark and hosts the page. The content is not owned by IB as it is cc by sa. See how other pages uses our content. I'm very disappointed with the total lack of interest from IB in the well-being of this site. We have outstanding technical issues from 2009 that they didn't start to work on! I think the fork is needed to force IB to a decision that they either complete abandon that page or finally start to solve problems and not create new ones. The current handling of the spambot issue imho indicates that they are not interested in maintaing the page and that they willfully allow the content to be corrupted by spambots etc. In the interest to protect the content of thousands of users, we should develop a new page as fast as possible. Yes, the long discussed goals are strechted but either we go down in the current set or we try to set a basis for a new page with a host/owner that actually cares about the well-being of the page. Jc8136 04:49, 27 July 2012 (EDT)
Andrew: I don't believe anyone linked to the WMF discussion in the site notice; the contentious link is to a Travellers' Pub discussion, which ought to be perfectly allowable, don't you think? LtPowers 12:06, 27 July 2012 (EDT)
LtPowers -- the WMF link has appeared in the sitenotice more than once, and had to be reverted by me. In any event, linking the fork discussion on WT in the sitenotice, then linking from there to the WMF page serves the same purpose. Again, I prefer not to deal with this issue unilaterally -- and have never done so before -- but in the case of the misuse of the sitenotice, the needs of this site needed to be addressed. The sitenotice is for site issues, and in this case it is clearly differentiated from the project. If my reasoning is not agreed with, I hope it is at least understood; in conjunction with no clear consensus on changing the sitenotice, even from the WT admins, I consider this a settled issue. Thank you,--IBobi talk email 19:41, 27 July 2012 (EDT)
Having the discussion is ok. Putting a link to it in the site notice is not appropriate. I understand & agree with what IBobi has to say. AHeneen 21:48, 27 July 2012 (EDT)

Itinerary advice - Erie Canal

I'm currently writing the Erie Canal itinerary article, and I'd appreciate some input regarding whether I'm on the right track or not. I've never written an itinerary article before and I want to make sure it's starting out okay before I get too far into it. Please comment on the article's talk page. Thanks! LtPowers 20:31, 25 July 2012 (EDT)

Nowiki tag broken?

Tried to use the nowiki tag in Wikitravel:Currency without desired result. Is there an alternative? /Blist 08:41, 27 July 2012 (EDT)

It works on wiki markup and HTML tags, but it seems it's not working on HTML entities like &nbsp; and &ndash;. I don't know if this is a bug or expected behavior. Fortunately, there's an easy workaround; the &amp; entity produces an ampersand, which you can use to write out the entity without having the character display. (See the source code for this paragraph for examples.) LtPowers 12:06, 27 July 2012 (EDT)
wikipedia:Help:Wiki markup#Nowiki indicates that this is expected behavior of the <nowiki> tag. LtPowers 12:13, 27 July 2012 (EDT)

Arctic and Traveling in cold weather

Started two new topics. I would appreciate contributions and cross-links. /Blist 14:53, 29 July 2012 (EDT)

Cache rebuilding today

We have deployed a code update that will require the site's cache to rebuild today, slowing performance until the cache is again whole. Usually this takes a day, give or take, with performance steadily increasing to pre-update levels. Early in this process, it's possible you will see a 503 error. Thank you--IBobi talk email 13:35, 30 July 2012 (EDT)

Not only have I seen a lot of 503 errors; I also keep getting the following error message when attempting to save text I wrote in a user's talk page that previously was empty:
Internal error
Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information.
What is that junk, and why is that message being shown? The site is also slower than I've ever experienced other than times when it was impossible to edit at all. Ikan Kekek 04:41, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
Which user page are you trying to write on? I can take a look and see if it can be reproduced; but today I am seeing site speed beginning to approach page loads of 3-4 seconds, and I have not seen that particular error.--IBobi talk email 13:32, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
User talk:Danielfeihu, for example, but I got that message repeatedly while trying to edit the Travellers' Pub, too; other user talk pages; and when trying to delete a spam user page. And the site is still almost unbearably slow. Are you using various different browsers, or only IE? For the record, I use Firefox 14.0.1Ikan Kekek 04:54, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
OK, now I've logged out, deleted _all_ of my cookies, cleared my cache, logged back in, and _Still_ get this same error message when I try to edit a user talk page, such as User talk:Edralin. This is very annoying, because it's important to inform touters of why and how they're running afoul of Wikitravel rules and guidelines. Ikan Kekek 05:29, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
Do you see interwiki links and the link at the top of the page to Wikitravel:Votes for deletion on Special:RecentChanges? I was seeing that behavior yesterday until clearing all cookies, cache, etc. One guess as to why some people are having issues is that IB has at least one bad server in their cluster, and if you have the bad luck to hit it then the site behaves poorly (note that most modern clusters will try to keep users on the same server, so if you hit it once you're stuck on it until you force your way off). -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:09, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
I do now, but I didn't yesterday. My last edit to this page, below, took, but I got an "internal error" message after hitting "enter" to post it. Very strange goings-on on this site, quite a lot of them, and it's been going on on and off for a long time now. Ikan Kekek 16:10, 3 August 2012 (EDT)

Servers are being rechecked. If there's any slowness in one of them we'll pull it from the cluster and replace it. Note that I'm not seeing error reports from other users at this time.--IBobi talk email 13:41, 3 August 2012 (EDT)

Please read the following discussion in my user talk page: [16]. How is it that blocking spambots is causing so many innocent users to be blocked? This is _really bad_! Ikan Kekek 16:06, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
RE: performance issue, we did find a couple of servers running slower than the rest, and those have been fixed. We should see a site performance boost as well as the reported missing links issue resolution.
I replied to the blocking issue on your page.--IBobi talk email 16:50, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
And I replied to you.
I continue to be unable to put text onto currently empty user talk pages. I get the "internal error" and then have been able to confirm that no text was added. (At least when I post to the Travellers' Pub, despite the "internal error" message, my edits are currently showing up.) Are you working on that bug? Ikan Kekek 17:05, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
Wikitravel's speed is finally back to normal, but I continue to be unable to add text to currently-empty user talk pages. For example, when I tried to add a welcome/thanks message to User talk:Nicho Pratama, I got the same damn "internal error" message, and I have confirmed that my edit did not go up. Do you understand why this annoying bug is happening? Ikan Kekek 16:41, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
And I got the "internal error" when posting the reply above, but at least the text I added showed up here. Ikan Kekek 16:45, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
This site has gone feral, I just made an edit, entered it in under the last appearing contribution from Ikan ( Ikan Kekek 05:29, 3 August 2012 (EDT)). Then after several attempts to get the newly edited page to load I cannot see my recent edit, then noticing the content looked different I found it way up the page, I have now moved it down. Note the time line incongruous date stamps to illustrate this anomaly in caching behaviour. It is rather frustrating having to click away for at a page an extended time to get it to load. When I loaded the edit again it did the same thing again, everything below Ikan's earlier edit, including my subsequent 2 edits had again vanished requiring a further forced page reload to bypass the caching. Very messy! -- felix 13:49, 5 August 2012 (EDT)
(the moved edit) Last few editing sessions I have to make multiple attempts to load an article page in standard (read) view. Generally an entirely empty page is displayed, Anyone know what this is all about? -- felix 13:40, 5 August 2012 (EDT)
Yeah... since over a week it's more of a rule than an exception to get a blank page. Reloading doesn't help but going one page back and one forward to the page you wanted to open seems to do. XP Ypsilon 00:42, 6 August 2012 (EDT)

Over the weekend, tech has been looking into whether this is a cacheing issue or a problem with a particular type of edit. They're still working, and I'll update as I get more information. Thank you,--IBobi talk email 14:00, 6 August 2012 (EDT)

Can someone create an actual bug report (or reports) of the issues mentioned here? We'd like a central repository, rather than some remarks on the Pub, some on various Talk pages, that the technicians can refer to and respond. A great place to link the new bug page(s) is Top Bugs.--IBobi talk email 15:02, 6 August 2012 (EDT)
I added Spambots. Other issues I see reported here that need bug reports added to Top Bugs are:
1. Internal Error/Inability to put text into empty Talk pages, reported by Ikan
2. Edits appearing out of sequence (?), reported by felix
3. Last few editing sessions I have to make multiple attempts to load an article page in standard (read) view. Generally an entirely empty page is displayed. Reloading doesn't help but going one page back and one forward to the page you wanted to open seems to, reported by felix and Ypsilon
Any others? And is anyone else seeing these behaviors, or just the one individual who's posting them?--IBobi talk email 19:51, 6 August 2012 (EDT)
I don't see see it on English, but almost every edit I make on shared reports "Internal error" with the message "Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information.". The edits have been saved every time, but this sounds like the same issue others are reporting. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:21, 6 August 2012 (EDT)
I spoke too soon - the same error just occurred on English Wikitravel while trying to save the above edit. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:21, 6 August 2012 (EDT)
I just got this error when trying to post a new section in the pub. I got the internal error, so went back and resubmitted, only to find the section was saved twice with a duplicate. This is particularly bothersome. ...And now as I try to make this post and correct the duplicate, I've encountered a 503 about 10 times and very slow loading times. JamesA >talk 05:56, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
Still happening for me, I never get error messages but do need to 'reload' pages, it occurs both when viewing and when editing/previewing.--felix 15:11, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
Hmm, I spoke too soon. I clicked on [Save page] for the edit above and while it ground away trying to upload that edit I went off to another page I had got bored with previously whilst waiting for it to load, there I found this instead of the anticipated page at Bangalore Latest revision as of 20:02, 6 August 2012
Error 503 Service Unavailable
Service Unavailable
Guru Meditation:
XID: 1096408257
Varnish cache server
So I copied the error message and came back here to make this enthralling discovery known to others, and clicked again on the edit link for this section of the now loaded Pub page. But I was thwarted, my recent edit I had just seen with my own eyes on the displayed Pub page was not in the edit pane, the last edit viewable there was that of JamesA >talk 05:56, 7 August 2012 (EDT).
So I reloaded the page again then again clicked to edit, this time the copy and markup was there, so here I am to share this astounding information and there (above) is the Error 505 message. So I guess that indicates I am also now getting error messages as well as blank pages on page read, and page edits and edit previews. And all this has probably taken more time than to patrol a day of 'watched' articles.--- felix 15:33, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
Also I might add I have seen paint dry faster than it takes a page to load here--felix 15:38, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
Editing here is like trying to grab smoke with your hands, it is almost impossible and now I am also getting "Sorry! We could not process your edit due to a loss of session data. Please try again. If it still does not work, try logging out and logging back in.". I am giving up.--felix 16:25, 7 August 2012 (EDT)

Ryan, JamesA, felix, ypsilon, Ikan: since you are all reporting some version of a cacheing error -- or at least an inability to edit/getting a message when editing -- can you report the exact behavior you are engaging in when these errors occur? Also, where geographically you are? Our error logs are not showing the errors you are reporting. Nor has anyone (including me, who makes many edits per day on WT) internally seen these errors lately. So, any information you can provide so that we can troubleshoot this would be helpful. Thank you!--IBobi talk email 17:36, 7 August 2012 (EDT)

I am using an Indonesian ISP (PT Telkom Indonesia) 125.167.XXX.XXX. The problems are occurring on loading a read page, an editing preview and an edit. I somewhat tired of editing after the "Sorry! We could not process your edit due to a loss of session data" message repeated a few times. I did log out and logged back in and completed that edit. Following that I continued with an other edit on a different article, the article's read page loaded after my edit but registered no change to the article and no record of the edit available on the history page. I then back-paged to the previous edit pane view page (this then re-displaying the unresolved edit content again), clicked on [Save page] again and the edit subsequently resolved correctly. Now I will no doubt have to endure another trip on the mystery tour when I attempt to resolve this note on the Pub page. Also when logging in it takes me three page load attempts to get the login to occur. I just clicked on the side bar link for the Main page whilst in the read view of the Pub page, it took 5 reload prompts (from the address line) before the page started to load. The cache and cookies had been cleared and the browser 'reset' since the previous session reported in the posts above. (Postscript - Yes as I suspected I am repeating the experience and this edit is also requiring some revisits to get it to happen)..-- felix 18:32, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
I'm in Melbourne, Australia. I got the 503 about ten times, and it took me about 20 minutes to save the above post. The page loaded forever, and would timeout to a 503. Eventually it finally did save the edit, but my screen went blank and there was no confirmation. Like felix, it's getting to the point where I'm not going to bother editing and posting here because it's far too much of an effort. JamesA >talk 02:16, 8 August 2012 (EDT)
Cacheing issues should now be resolved. You should no longer see any 503 errore. Please report if you see any *other* errors though.--IBobi talk email 15:19, 8 August 2012 (EDT)
It took 4 page reloads to log in from WT:Recentchanges page. Still broken from where I am looking at it. I am not going to try any edits in addition to this one, it was maddening the last time I was here and a complete time suck. Maybe when it is fixed I will try again.I am not going to tempt fate looking to see if the 503 error is still going to pop up on my screen, oh, here something new ... clicking on the tides at, or any other html shortcuts on the editing page makes the page move up to the top, no effect on the edit pane content, nothing appears there, just the 'jump' upwards of the page display--guess I will just type in the 4 tides. -- felix 18:42, 8 August 2012 (EDT)
  • Oh, so that was fun, the Save page click gave this "Internal error Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information." -- type the tides again as the shortcut is still inactive --felix 18:42, 8 August 2012 (EDT)
  • That gave "Edit conflict: Wikitravel:Travellers' pub" . I will try again. -- felix 18:42, 8 August 2012 (EDT)
  • Well that didn't work either, lost all the content then then backed to a page that displayed it, but the Save page button was inexplicably missing from under the edit content pane, trying again...this is a bit like yesterday, glad I am remembering to copy the page edit content each time ...-- felix 18:42, 8 August 2012 (EDT)

That is very strange! I'm wondering if you are having some local browser issue too? Which browser & version are you running felix?--IBobi talk email 20:18, 8 August 2012 (EDT)

I just encountered the Internal Error/wgShowExceptionDetails error as well when editing on Shared, under Firefox 13.0, as well as when first saving this comment on :en. — D. Guillaime 00:41, 9 August 2012 (EDT)
Hi iBobi, just logged on so I could leave this note, 4 page reloads got that done. I am using Safari browser for mac, Version 5.1.7 (6534.57.2). I can now click on the Sign your name: ~~~~ (on talk pages only) link again, and also the nonwiki markup short cut (as per this edit content.-- felix 15:07, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
  • The edit did not resolve, after a drawn out period this message appeared:
"Internal error"
"Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information."
felix 15:16, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
  • Next attempt failed (Edit conflict) -- felix 15:16, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
  • Then back paged, added the detail above, got another edit conflict, clicked on the EDIT link at the page head, trying again. --
felix 15:16, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
I then logged out and came back using FireFox and a German proxy server and viewed the edited Discussion page.


Still using Firefox 14.0.1 (mac) and a US based proxy server I then uploaded this edit. Page loads took a very long time as can be seen by the time stamps. --
felix 15:32, 10 August 2012 (EDT)

Thank you, felix -- all of that specific info is enormously helpful, and I am making sure tech sees all of it. Please keep updating us on your progress; dramatic changes have been made to cacheing, and we continue to work at it.--IBobi talk email 15:31, 10 August 2012 (EDT)

Well now that edit finally loaded I am able to view the page, and see my edits, and Ibobi's recent addition. However a very odd standout feature of all my (recent) edits is that they all have the same time stamp, even though I used different browsers and came at WT from from two entirely different IPs seperated by a lot of ocean. The edits from the Firefox browser and the US based proxy IP were incredibly slow, much slower then would be anticipated merely from proxy relaying, and of course certainly did not occure at the same time as the prior edits, that is decidedly strange (using Firefox and IP in Germany for this edit
felix 15:43, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
  • It is notable that the error messages and the edit conflicts are not occurring, the edit conflict occuring earlier when using Safari (mac) and an Indonesian IP apparently arising from the WT server accepting the edit but providing an instruction to the browser to display and error message, that provided and a subsequent edit being made it is then not recognised as a new edit but is seen as an 'Edit conflict" even when the content is changed. This edit is from Firefox and IP, significant delays can be attributed to proxy relaying, but not entirely to that alone. --
felix 15:54, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
  • So then I reviewed my recent edits an thought I might fix a couple of typos and comment further on the time stamps. But whilst still using the Firefox browser and a French IP I got this error message:
"The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because it uses an invalid or unsupported form of compression."
"Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem."
So still using the Firefox browser (mac) and after a long page load and edit pane load I am back. Please note my last edit ( felix 15:32, 10 August 2012 (EDT) ) in the series of edits with a 15:32 time stamp. When that resolved I logged out and waited for the page to reload. Having viewed it and gained assurance I was indeed logged out I then opened my Firefox browser and set out to load the WT page using a proxy server, I viewed the page, then logged in, having logged in I loaded up an edit page, this all took a nice long time, then I wrote my edit and clicked on the EDIT button, that took also tokk a noticable extended time to resolve to a displayed page. Yet astoundingly the result of that edit had the same time stamp (felix 15:32, 10 August 2012 (EDT)) as the previous edit using a different browser, and a different IP and at a much earlier time. The WT/IB server appears to be applying time and date stamps appropriate to a US east coast setting, ie 12 hours behind my own physical location. So this is not an anomaly arising at my end, is IB using mirror servers that are perhaps experiencing a time setting conflict between each other and then having difficulties resolving page loads and edits.--
felix 16:46, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
"The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because it uses an invalid or unsupported form of compression."
"Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem."
  • I am going to try with a different IP to upload this edit.
  • Please note the non-sequential time stamps in my edits above. The multiple edits with the same date and time are explained by my pasting the previously un-resolved edit (saved to my computer) into the new edit attempt with an additional later edit content appended below. However they are not sequential, at least one edit displays a time stamp prior to the ones above it. iBobi, perhaps check that all the (IB) servers are running on the same clock and calender time. Those were the earlier edits from just the one single IP in Indonesia and whilst using the Safari (mac) browser. Uploading this edit from a Swedish IP
felix 16:24, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
So still using the Firefox browser (mac) and after a long page load and edit pane load I am back. Please note my last edit ( felix 15:32, 10 August 2012 (EDT) ) in the series of edits with a 15:32 time stamp. When that resolved I logged out and waited for the page to reload. Having viewed it and gained assurance I was indeed logged out I then opened my Firefox browser and set out to load the WT page using a proxy server, I viewed the page, then logged in, having logged in I loaded up an edit page, this all took a nice long time, then I wrote my edit and clicked on the EDIT button, that took also took a noticeable extended time to resolve to a displayed page. Yet astoundingly the result of that edit had the same time stamp (felix 15:32, 10 August 2012 (EDT)) as the previous edit using a different browser, and a different IP and at a much earlier time. The WT/IB server appears to be applying time and date stamps appropriate to a US east coast setting, ie 12 hours behind my own physical location. So this is not an anomaly arising at my end, is IB using mirror servers that are perhaps experiencing a time setting conflict between each other and then having difficulties resolving page loads and edits.--
felix 16:42, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
  • Came straight back to correct a typo, no server error, so that means only the "Content encoding" error has happened with the Firefox browse. Uploading and logging out of this browser now. --
felix 16:46, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
Back again after logging in using the Safari browser (mac). No problem logging in or loading view page or edit section page. Bit slow but consistent with previous performance, however seemed a bit quicker. Now lets see if the times are progressive and if the edit will take.--
felix 16:52, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
  • ^^^^ Well I got an error message and an edit conflict -- below is a cut and paste of what should have displayed after the edit above, not this edit point should be following the copy "click section edit etc..." --
felix 17:02, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
Back again after logging in using the Safari browser (mac). No problem logging in or loading view page or edit section page. Bit slow but consistent with previous performance, however seemed a bit quicker. Now lets see if the times are progressive and if the edit will take.--felix 17:02, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
  • Well it did not work, I got this:
"Internal error"
"Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information."
  • So I will try again after copying all this to my clip board as no doubt I will need to come back in from a page view, click section edit etc...--
felix 17:02, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
  • As per detail shown at ^^^^ the edit did not work and has been pasted in above, being rather tired of this I am now going to drive a crowbar through one of my feet for some fun as just about anything would be better than this time wasting nonsense. I really do hope the IB IT people are paying some attention and I have not just been wasting my time doing this. --
felix 17:02, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
  • That one worked without complication, just really slow. Logging out now--
felix 17:05, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
Look at the time stamps on the edits displayed on the page and compare with the editing history page list of edits, the time stamps there are sequential but display different time stamps to individual edit's own signature time and date stamps. Left hand is maybe not talking to the right hand?? --
felix 17:22, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
More of the same:
"Internal error"
"Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information."
Further edit conflicts/cache anomalies
felix 18:36, 10 August 2012 (EDT)

Is this perhaps a new editing enhancement, if so it is unappealing... From an attempt to edit an article :

  • "Session failure"
  • "There seems to be a problem with your login session; this action has been canceled as a precaution against session hijacking. Go back to the previous page, reload that page and then try again".
  • "Return to Main Page". -- felix 17:40, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
This was then followed by the error below when trying to upload the edit above...
  • "Internal error"
  • "Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information"
  • Followed by an Edit conflict page.
So I guess the problem is ongoing, I had to reload over 10 times yesterday to get a page to load. -- felix 17:48, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
If I click on the "patrolled" Mandarmani&action=markpatrolled link it loads:
  • Session failure"
  • "There seems to be a problem with your login session; this action has been canceled as a precaution against session hijacking. Go back to the previous page, reload that page and then try again".
  • Return to Main Page".
  • To 'Undo' and 'Edit' frequently requires multiple reloads of the page. Multiple attempts, edit conflicts and other anomalies are plentiful. -- felix 18:12, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
Hi felix -- did you mean to post these repetitive remarks? There seem to be 3 sections you just posted with somewhat different content, but beginning essentially the same way. I just want to be sure to accurately report what you're experiencing.--IBobi talk email 19:06, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
Hi iBobi, well I guess that illustrates the problem in a way. When I went to read your own recent addition I could not see either your content, or my own from earlier today. When I force reloaded the page I could. What appears to be happening with some of the edits is they actually do upload, but either do not or cannot be loaded into a viewable page. These (repeated content) edits are arising from the ones that have generated the Session failure errors and Internal error pages. When the new content fails then the edit is attempted again. The outcome is often an Edit conflict. This is apparently being generated in the instances when the edit has actually loaded into the system, yet still cannot be viewed, no doubt due to a caching problem. So, I cannot see it, I have an error message suggesting it has most likely failed and hence try it again, then arriving at an "Edit conflict". What you are seeing on the page is the outcome of my saving the edit in anticipation of it not uploading and the content becoming 'lost' and then when the edit fails I have reloaded the edit page, still cannot see the previously edited content in the edit pane and so have pasted it back into the edit pane from my clipboard. Then later I find repeats, yesterday I cleaned some of them out afterwards and replaced that removed content with a 'marker', this can be reviewed in the Histories if you are interested. I am not going to give myself a case of the head-spins going back through the histories again and trying to work out exactly which edit has done what , it is just too confusing. I tried yesterday thinking I could use the edit history page time stamps as a guide, then I saw they were seemingly entirely different to the time and date stamps appended to the displayed text. I makes editing a very tiresome process and it is difficult to ensure that edits are uploaded. --- if it looks odd it is because it is 'odd and highly frustrating. As it has started to fill up the page it might be an idea to archive it now. I am going to remove the repeated block so it is representing the error messages in the sequence, the messy version can be viewed in the histories if anyone wants to look at it.-- I hope this helps as it is both frustrating and time consuming, it is also filing the page with rubbish edits. Really I should have been writing a log of the entire thing offline as trying to describe it in sequential edits is impossible due to the problem itself. It is really quite maddening.If there is repetition in what still displays above it is because the problem repeats and I am documenting it, look carefully, one describes the outcome of editing on the Mandarmani article, another is the effort to report that here, and then a subsequent one attempts to report the failure of that edit, and onward. No doubt when I try to upload this there will be more. I am not going to log them though it is like banging my head on a wall.-- felix 21:16, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
Understood. We are only seeing this reported for you and one other (above), so we're considering if this is possibly geo-related. We'll keep plugging away at it, and thank you for your efforts here, they're invaluable. I'm just sorry this has been so frustrating for you.--IBobi talk email 21:31, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
I, and others, have stopped reporting bugs because there are too many, it makes my head hurt to think about them further, the "work" you guys do to fix them seems to just involve either ineffectually turning off really important, basic functionality like... email, API, etc., or just creating new bugs for us to report. Progress is only towards the abyss. I've given up editing.
It is disappointing, though, that I am unable to email User:Cayla, who is our docent for Winnipeg, since I had questions for Cayla about an upcoming trip. It's (one of) the same problem(s) that Felix reports: submit on the emailuser form generates Internal error. Set $wgShowExceptionDetails = true; at the bottom of LocalSettings.php to show detailed debugging information. --Peter Talk 03:53, 15 August 2012 (EDT)
Ha! I get the message when I submit these edits as well. But at least they go through, unlike my email. --Peter Talk 03:54, 15 August 2012 (EDT)
Hi iBobi, I do appreciate that there is a lot to sort out at the moment, and that is a rather arcane series of edits above, but if you look back through them you will note the following:
1. I have encountered the same problem using entirely different browsers
2. Others are reporting the same error messages and are to the best of my knowledge in entirely different parts of the world
3. Inorder to clarify the geo issue I accessed WT through a proxy server system and thereby attempted a series of edits using entirely different IPs to access WT, from different countries
4. The time stamps showing appended to the edits on the Pub page and the Pub History page are in variance, apparently there is more than one clock and the clocks are set on different times in relationship to GMT (UTC).
5. This problem endures and I also note it effects the WT email facility.
I have been aboard vessels in distress at sea on a couple of occasions and know how worrying it can become when the decks appear to take longer and longer to clear with each new wave that comes across them. I have often found myself in the engine room at times like that as inevitably something always seems to go wrong in there at the worst possible time. It can also be one of the hardest places to get back out of if the deck becomes permanently wet. I will be just quietly sitting this one out at the rails now.-- felix 15:29, 15 August 2012 (EDT)
How wonderful! I managed to log in... as Vietnam.visum or something like that with the Safari browser and cannot logout - I get just blank pages, even when trying to load the main page. With Camino I get that red error message box when I try to log in. I have pretty much the same to say as felix above except that I don't get that many error messages but instead empty/blank pages. We're obviously both Mac users if that may help. Vietnam visum 07:45, 16 August 2012 (EDT) (Ypsilon)
This is ridiculous. It seems like I'm "Vietnam visum" when using Camino as well. Vietnam visum 07:48, 16 August 2012 (EDT)
Are you saying you have logged in as yourself, but are actually logged in as a different user? That can't really happen. I wonder if you have two accounts, or are sharing a computer with another user, and you actually logged into their account.--IBobi talk email 14:56, 16 August 2012 (EDT)
Yes. And it is not the first time but fourth or fifth that I'm logged in as someone else. For the last couple of weeks when I log in with my user name and password I usually get just an empty page when I hit "login" (or sometimes I get the red error box). When I then reload the Main page it usually looks like I'm normally logged in (with my real user name) but this time the text in the upper right corner said "Vietnam visum". The first time this thing happened - a month ago - I wrote about it on Shared's Travellers pub [17] and saw that AHeneen also had experienced the same problem. For me Wikitravel worked quite well before last month's update but after that it hasn't. And no, I have just one account and I'm not sharing the computer with anybody else. Might it be that you have a bug in the part of the new Mediawiki software that handles the login requests and matches user name and password or in the database where the passwords and user names are stored? (I'm not an expert on this stuff). And I'd like to ask Ltpowers, Ryan and other regular users: have you experienced anything like this or is it just us WT users outside the USA? 02:16, 17 August 2012 (EDT) (Ypsilon)

Spammers and other weirdness

These look like the same user: User:Riyas786, User talk:Riyas Ahamed, and in fact, they are currently the sole contributions of [18]. Shall we block that IP? Ikan Kekek 05:36, 6 August 2012 (EDT)

Geographical hierarchy advice

I'm working on improving all the articles related to Bangladesh, beginning first with major tourist sites. However, I'm having issues categorising specific sights into articles. Say for example, Somapura Mahavihara, ruins of a Buddhist temple. According to UNESCO, it is in the tiny village of Paharpur. That village is probably too small for an article, so I could put it in a "Badalgachhi Upazila" article (upazila means county), but again, it'd probably be the only attraction. The next level up is Naogaon District, which could easily get a few sights and attractions, and have hotels/restaurants dotted all over the place. But then does the administrative capital of the district, "Naogaon", get its own article? I'm finding it all very confusing, and want a clear-cut idea of how to subdivide the country so I can filter the information well. Thanks guys, JamesA >talk 05:38, 7 August 2012 (EDT)

My thought is that the traveller comes first, so you should deal with this in whatever way you think will be most helpful to a visitor. If a decision is made later to change things, fine; at least you will have put up the information. Ikan Kekek 06:45, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
The real answer is simply that it is confusing. The destinations that we have best figured out how to break down and organize are huge cities, for example, Chicago, which have districts for small, dense, and commonly understood regions like the Loop as well as large, less dense areas that we have decided here to group together for convenience, like Chicago/Southwest Side. I think that we would ideally apply this same logic to basically everywhere, leaving no gap and no overlap at the bottom level of the hierarchy.
In your example, I might guess that a Rural Naogaon District article and a Naogaon (city) article would suffice to cover the whole area? Those would then be linkable from Rajshahi Division. That might look a little unusual, but that's a consequence resulting from the fact that Wikitravel hasn't figured this part out very well yet. I did something sort of similar at Montgomery County (Maryland) as a potential exemplar, although it has considerably more subdivisions than what I just recommended—you'll know the particulars of this situation better. --Peter Talk 13:02, 7 August 2012 (EDT)

MediaWiki API not working

Not sure if it's intentional or some side effect of recent upgrade, but gives me:

MediaWiki API is not enabled for this site. Add the following line to your LocalSettings.php


If it's intentional, shared:How to re-use Wikitravel guides should be updated. If not, can someone fix it? Thank you 03:43, 10 August 2012 (EDT)

See also shared:Tech:Mediawiki API Disabled‎. -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:42, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
Let me look into it; what's it used for?--IBobi talk email 13:28, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
See The Mediawiki API is a tool for people to programmatically access the site. The benefit to end-users is that it's easier to use the API instead of parsing HTML pages, and the benefit to IB is that the API is far less resource-intensive than full page generation would be. I'm sure spambots are probably exploiting the API (as they exploit anything available to them), but it's a tremendously useful tool for non-spammers, too. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:39, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
If it is being used by the spammers, I'm not sure how much luck we'll have getting it re-enabled right now if this was part fo the anti-spambot effort.--IBobi talk email 13:44, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
Not having this functionality is a dealbreaker for me in terms of contributing to Wikitravel - I use it to keep a mirror of the site. I understand that there is concern about spam, but the API was enabled until yesterday, and disabling it has had little impact on spam volume. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:04, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
I understand that it is decreased functionality, but there are two spam issues we're trying to lock down. One is the volume of spambots being created, which is something I'm not sure there is a solution to within MediaWiki -- the openness of creating user accounts without email verification, the ability to make anon edits, etc. Other than manually deleting them, how do you handle that? The second issue is the reason Peter keeps blocking himself: he thinks spambots are exploiting MW to use existing accounts to spoof new spambot accounts. O think I see evidence that it has happened in the past, and that's what we're trying to address right now, and I'm guessing is the reason the API was changed. If that's the way to fix this, I don't know what other option we have. Do you have a suggestion?--IBobi talk email 14:17, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
Please check with your tech team to find out if disabling the API is permanent - I assumed it was just a test, but if that's not the case I'd like to know as soon as possible. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:30, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
It should be possible to make API read only -$wgEnableWriteAPI • 15:01, 10 August 2012 (EDT)
This is following a very distressing pattern of "fixing" problems by creating bigger ones... without even fixing the original problem. --Peter Talk 00:01, 11 August 2012 (EDT)
The spambot deluge continues, seemingly worse every day. Now we also edit with the knowledge that our work is no longer being backed up by anyone other than IB, whom honestly no one trusts to preserve the data if they decide it no longer suits them to do so. I have no idea why I should continue contributing here. --Peter Talk 09:25, 11 August 2012 (EDT)

We're working to resolve the spam issues that you and other admins have reported, Peter, and this is one method to try to diagnose what is happening and resolve the issue. I know you're not suggesting we do nothing? This API has only existed for a month or two, so it seems unlikely that it's a make or break feature, right? As to your commentary on some sort of need to preserve data outside of WT (?), or an implied motive to lose data (?), not sure what that means, but I can assure you no data has been lost, nor could I even conceive of a reason to deliberately do so. Can you explain? --IBobi talk email 16:47, 12 August 2012 (EDT)

The MediaWiki API was introduced in v 1.8.0 and set by default "working" ($wgEnableAPI=true;). The API was working also in times of Wikitravel v 1.11. The statement "This API has only existed for a month or two" is incorrect because this option is default. A lot of services use the API including search engines. The most important feature are the autocomplete search suggestions ($wgEnableMWSuggest=true; default false) which are only usable with enabled API ($wgEnableAPI=true;) and enabled AJAX ($wgUseAjax = true;). This feature is used by all modern mediawiki sites. Disabling this API feature did not solve configuration failures. At least it is possible to set the read only flag. --Unger 09:46, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
Look at all the spam user pages in "Recent changes." I'm calling uncle! I simply refuse to waste my time deleting previously-deleted spam pages for free. Fix your damn problem. Your software needs to block spammers, period. Maybe I'll come back if things get better after a while, but so far, I vote No Confidence in you and whoever is allegedly working with you to ostensibly fix the security problems here. Ikan Kekek 07:41, 14 August 2012 (EDT)

User popup voting re "fork" - highly biased question

I was annoyed that the popup question was so biased. The information provided was not enough to allow an uninformed observer to understand what's going on. I like wikitravel "the way it is", but is that really the question you should be asking the public? I did some googling and found [19] this article which explained it better.

If the popup to be fair and unbiased, it should:

  • Provide information about wikimedia's rationale (as a balance to the negative risk of dilution) - perhaps linking to
  • Ask a proper question - which to my mind revolves around (a) whether users mind having adverts on wikitravel, and (b) whether wikimedia can do a better job.

-- 18:06, 15 August 2012 (EDT)

I'm sorry, there must be some mistake. IBobi has clearly told us that any indication that there's a fork discussion happening doesn't belong on Wikitravel. Surely Internet Brands would not have set up some sort of notification that only hits IP users and informs them about a fork discussion! LtPowers 21:27, 16 August 2012 (EDT)
Agree. I've just voted to the pop-up, but it wasn't clear at all: it does not explain why someone is proposing a fork (or another similar site). And of course, I like what is written in wikitravel, but I do not like, e.g., the ads, and most of all I don't like someone telling that "any indication that there's a fork discussion happening doesn't belong on Wikitravel". - 03:43, 17 August 2012 (EDT)
The poll's question is very superficial regarding the situation. It fails to mention the real situation that active users and the administrators are experiencing. ie, dwindling number of editors, poor technical support, huge number of spambots and fake accounts, etc. A poll would never really be able to accomplish these things without bias, unfortunately. JamesA >talk 22:51, 17 August 2012 (EDT)
Might be good to add some discussion here or at least a link to where discussion is taking place. Having all responses filtered through IB is a concern. And with this poll it appears open discuss is desired. Jmh649 22:53, 17 August 2012 (EDT)

My read on the situation is this:

Imagine a bunch of people at some office decide they might want to paint the office a nice red color. Now those people agree to hold a meeting in one of the meeting rooms. They leave a brief flyer on everyone's desk inviting them to the meeting.

Now Someone goes around and removes all the flyers.

The result, of course, is that the meeting proceeds with only the "red office" supporters present. By unanimous consent, they proceed to paint the office red.

--Kim Bruning 15:37, 22 August 2012 (EDT) I can only assume that the pamphlet remover secretly wanted the office to be painted red.

Is this page relevant? Where would it go?

I'm working with a group of people who need a place to keep a shared list of meditation retreat locations. We are having trouble finding a centralized non-sectarian site for it, so I thought I'd ask if this would this appropriate content for a single page on Wikitravel? There will be fewer than a few dozen locations listed, and doesn't really seem to be appropriate to hide the locations on individual country-pages, since seekers of this page will enjoy seeing all available locations in once place. Where might the page go, and be linked from? Thanks! 10:20, 17 August 2012 (EDT)

You could start an articel for meditation retreat, and have it listed in travel topics. /Blist 15:41, 18 August 2012 (EDT)

Migration of Wikitravel content to Wikivoyage

Experienced Wikitravel admins have asked the Wikivoyage Association for migrating the content of the English Wikitravel wiki to Wikivoyage.

However, starting a migrated wiki on an other site always contains the risk of a community fork. In order to keep this risk as low as possible, Wikivoyage needs to be sure that the migration is supported by the vast majority of the active Wikitravel admins and contributors. Wikivoyage has started a poll and will activate the migrated en: wiki as soon as there is an obvious support by the Wikitravel community. Please participate and show your oppinion in the poll.

-- Hansm 11:11, 18 August 2012 (EDT)

Please, also read Migration FAQ that explains reasons behind this proposal. Atsirlin 12:56, 18 August 2012 (EDT)


It seems like the editing of sitenotices on every language has been blocked, even to bureaucrats[20]. This seems like an attempt to prevent people from announcing the move to wikivoyage, but the sitenotice shouldn't be blocked just for that reason. Alot of the sitenotices on other languages are very outdated and need updating anyway. –sumone10154 22:59, 20 August 2012 (EDT)

Indeed. IBobi has decreed, contrary to long-established practice, that the site notice is part of the "site" that IB owns and not part of the "content" that is owned by Wikitravel's contributors. It seems they have now taken to enforcing that by technical measures. LtPowers 10:39, 21 August 2012 (EDT)

Rogue WT administrator blocking Users, is he blatantly working well outside established Project policies and guidelines?

It appears that in addition to the serious systemic and operational issues effecting this site and the associated travel Wiki project, plus the recent withdrawal of a large number of project participants from normal editing, content creation, site hygiene, administrative and patrolling activities we now have a further problem.
To add to our burdens of spammers, rampant marketeers and vandals we now have a Rogue Administrator operating in out midst.

I have just been banned from further editing with a ban applied to my IP account by this rogue Administrator.
Obviously this was not a very well crafted Ban as I am here posting this, however I have had a ban applied by this Rogue operator.
The person involved is Paul, otherwise known as iBobi, an employee and appointed Internet Brands "Community Manager". There is a discussion concerning the inappropriateness of his behaviour and his apparent unsuitability as a project Administrator taking place on his Talk page. -- felix 02:11, 21 August 2012 (EDT)

I just checked the block log, intending to see why Felix had been blocked and to unblock him if the reason was inadequate. No current block is shown there. There was one but it was (sensibly in my view) undone. Pashley 02:30, 21 August 2012 (EDT)
Thanks for bringing this to attention. It appears the administrator in question never even passed due process to become an administrator, so illegitimately holds the title. I trust the sensible, community-approved admins of Wikitravel will ensure his role is restricted to whatever the community has approved of. JamesA >talk 02:34, 21 August 2012 (EDT)
The block was applied by IBobi, then subsequently removed
01:22, 21 August 2012 Peterfitzgerald (Talk | contribs) unblocked Felix505 (Talk | contribs) ‎
It was first applied by IBobi
01:02, 21 August 2012 IBobi (Talk | contribs) blocked Felix505 (Talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 1 week (account creation disabled) ‎ (Spam solicitations on WT members' talk pages)
The current message appearing certainly states I am blocked, there is not doubt about it, the is a clear unequivocal message and no edit links in the headers. So lets be clear about this, a Block is in place and my IP is disabled on the site. I cannot see it on the Block log either, only it being put on, taken off and reapplied and taken off again, he has been doing it to others as well today. He appears to have become feral. -- felix 02:47, 21 August 2012 (EDT)
  • So that would be a cloaked, feral Rogue administrator... -- felix 02:50, 21 August 2012 (EDT)
@Felix: Paul O'Brien is not an administrator as he was not elected. He is only the representative of IB at Wikitravel. If he would be an elected admin, he would face a User_ban nomination. Jc8136 02:56, 21 August 2012 (EDT)
Thank you for that clarification Jc8136, I think it is important that anyone reading this understands that. This is in a way what I am getting setting out to say with the "Rogue Administrator" commentary. However it should be clarified and understood that he is not actually a Wiki Project administrator in the 'normal' sense of it. He is able to readily access the system because his employer (IB) own the servers upon which this travel Wiki project (currently known a Wikitravel) is hosted.
Really he has currently just become a Troll with administrator level access.
I am quite disappointed, not just for the project but also because I actually thought he was smarter than this. I guess I was wrong. By the way, I am still blocked, it may just be yet another server error, or maybe the Rogue Administrator has a backdoor that stays un-logged.
I sort of imagined they were running the servers out of an old laundry cupboard in their garage so I would be surprised if there was room for a backdoor. Indeed for me there is not even a front door at the moment, I am coming through a split in the formica panelling, not sure where IBobi is coming from.-- felix 03:24, 21 August 2012 (EDT)
Formal access to my account was reinstated at 07:32, 21 August 2012 by Dguillaime Talk (unblocked #12042) following earlier apparently thwarted attempts by WT admins to unblock my account. I was not the only victim of this mischief today. I have no more to say on this, other than to express my thanks to those Project Administrators who were involved in unblocking my account. -- felix 04:35, 21 August 2012 (EDT)

Internet Brands could have chosen to ride out these events and maintain the goodwill of the former contributors, or it could have chosen to stifle dissent and discussion in a futile attempt to delay the inevitable. The two options are mutually exclusive, and it is now painfully clear which one has been chosen. More's the pity. LtPowers 10:38, 21 August 2012 (EDT)

Wow, seems like a lot has happened since the ole' days when I edited regularly. ChubbyWimbus 12:03, 22 August 2012 (EDT)
Feel free to stop by my Talk page for an ongoing community discussion of why those actions were necessitated. Thank you,--IBobi talk email 15:16, 22 August 2012 (EDT)

Database Error

Seemingly every article comes up with "Database Error", and the following text:

A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was: (SQL query hidden) from within function "LocalRepo::getArticleID". Database returned error "1146: Table doesn't exist (wikitraveldb1-new)".

It was working earlier today; glitch, or apocalypse? 19:44, 28 August 2012 (EDT)