YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Wikitravel:Travellers' pub

From Wikitravel
Revision as of 01:16, 12 April 2013 by 118dot93dot73dot30 (talk | contribs) (De-Sysop?)
Jump to: navigation, search

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 (ie dormant for a month or more) that could or should be moved to another 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, leave it alone — it's better to spend your efforts on those that you do know where to place.

New administrators nomination

We have a new nomination for the administrator on Wikitravel. Please have a look at Administrator nominations. Best, IBAlex 20:34, 3 December 2012 (EST)

Improvement Ideas

We are planning to revitalize Wikitravel and our community! In 2013 we would like to improve technicality and usability of the site and we are open to any ideas! Please let us know of any new features you would like to have on WT and share with us your suggestions on how to make Wikitravel better. I am not talking about any particular pages, this is an open question for improvement ideas. What are the features and functionalists you would like to see on Wikitravel? Please write them below. Firstly we will be upgrading the software, afterwards we will work on improving the functionalists, step by step. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. kind regards, IBAlex 16:33, 25 March 2013 (EDT)

Please enable the API. I would love to use Wikitravel with my iPad App (Wikipanion) 06:24, 14 January 2013 (EST)
Thank you for your suggestion! We will be working on that! IBAlex 16:33, 25 March 2013 (EDT)
I know this is going to come across as very snippy - but I really think it important that IBadmins should read this page at least at the beginning and end of their working shift and leave some sort of reply - even if it's only a holding reply (so as not to create a bad impression). If you read down, you will see that many topics are still waiting an authoritative reply, and if you are sincere about wanting to "revitalize Wikitravel and our community" this task is probably at least as important as welcoming robot spammers and then deleting their accounts... --118dot93dot73dot30 18:40, 22 March 2013 (EDT)
The topics that are waiting for replay are all suggested by you, dear User:118dot93dot73dot30. Again, we would first do the upgrade and then start working on all the ideas you suggested- Default image sizes in Thumbnails, Template:Panorama, Renovating our Listing format. thank you for your patience and cooperation. Kind regards, IBAlex 16:33, 25 March 2013 (EDT)

Policy on free-riding tips

I got some second thoughts about deleting tips on how to evade a station entrance fee in Stockholm-Arlanda Airport: Link to change log What is Wikitravel's policy for riding transports, or entering venues, without a proper ticket? Is it a no-no, or are there circumstances when such information is allowed? /Blist 19:12, 23 December 2012 (EST)

There is an Wikitravel:Illegal_activities_policy. AlasdairW 19:14, 26 December 2012 (EST)
Based on the above policy I'd say it's clear that info should be deleted. It could be argued as acceptable e.g. if there's an official requirement to pay for a ticket but everybody ignores it and it isn't controlled or sanctioned - falling somewhat loosely under "Where police or public corruption mean that the written law of the land differs substantially from the practise of law enforcement." Maaaybe applicable in this case if all local U-30 people do it. Berserk 23:36, 26 December 2012 (EST)
Related is Gävle, where I saw the need to point out that burning the Gävle Goat is illegal, since the goats have been burnt down by foreign travellers, who were deceived by locals to commit the act, with legal consequences. /Blist 15:50, 27 December 2012 (EST)

Star Articles

Many articles on Wikitravel are very well developed and serve as a great source of information for many Travelers. We should nominate the best ones as Star Articles and feature them on the Main Page. I nominated Bangkok today. Please let me know what you think and if you have any other candidates. IBAlex 15:23, 14 January 2013 (EST)

New Main Page

We have updated today the Main Page and added a fully new section with Top Destinations. Right now we are featuring Top Destinations 2013 and Top Ski Destination. We would like to change this section frequently and we are open to your ideas for future top places around the world, for example:

  • Top Beaches
  • Top Hiking Places

What are your ideas? Please let us know. Thank you! IBAlex 13:10, 18 January 2013 (EST)


Interestingly, we have the option to book hotels for the moon with the orbitz booking tool. 19:12, 11 February 2013 (EST)

Hi! Thanks for notifying us! I'm afraid this option will have to be disabled soon :) Cheers! IBAlex 19:21, 11 February 2013 (EST)

Default image sizes in Thumbnails

Currently, all unregistered users (and those logged-on, registered users that have not bothered to change their preferences at

  • My Preferences > Appearance > Thumbnail size

from the default)
view thumbnails at the (relatively small) default width of 180px

Since this default was set 10 years ago, connection speeds have typically increased (and prices reduced) worldwide.

I would, therefore, like to suggest that the default size be modestly increased to 250px and the pick selection be changed from:

$wgThumbLimits = array(


$wgThumbLimits = array(

The relevant variable in LocalSettings.php on the server in which to set this range of thumbnail size options is, I think, $wgThumbLimits. (And see also in the Manual's FAQ, How do I change default user preferences and $wgDefaultUserOptions].)

Does anyone disagree and, if so, why? --118dot93dot73dot30 01:10, 15 March 2013 (EDT) 19:10, 28 February 2013 (EST)

Grrrrrrreat - it seems everyone is either asleep or in full agreement with the above proposal.
IBadmins: please would you indicate how long it will take to make this change? --118dot93dot73dot30 19:18, 13 March 2013 (EDT)
Currently we are working on upgrading the website and we are using fully our IT resources. The upgrade is the priority. Once we accomplish that I can assure you that we will resolve the issue with "Default image sizes in Thumbnails". Thank you for your understanding! Warm regards, IBAlex 21:08, 13 March 2013 (EDT)
That's terrific news! Can you indicate what sort of "upgrading" we can expect - or is it all top secret?
I'll ask you again in a couple of weeks if you're not able to give an indication now. Thanks! --118dot93dot73dot30 11:20, 13 March 2013 (EDT)

Template:Panorama now seems to work

- but use it sparingly until we sort out the image defaults above. (There may be a case for having just a tiny thumbnail on the main article pages with a link to a subpage of the main article containing any panorama images to save hassles for roaming mobile users and those on other slow/expensive connections)... --118dot93dot73dot30 19:21, 7 March 2013 (EST)

What image defaults would you suggest? I checked Milford Sound page and the image is too wide. Would love to fix it together with you. Cheers! IBAlex 20:07, 8 March 2013 (EST)
I've suggested them in the section immediately above this one.
When you say "too wide", what do you mean exactly, please? Do you mean that there is no slider visible below the image window or that the image window does not size itself according to the page width or that the image window overflows the left or right hand gutters? If any of these, could you specify your operating system and browser versions and whether you have right hand advertising switched on or off in your user preferences, please? --118dot93dot73dot30 22:13, 8 March 2013 (EST)
Thanks for replying. I meant that the image window does not size itself according to the page width. I tried to edit the Milford Sound page and when I changed the parameters to 900px, it looked better. I understood that above you were suggesting the default image sizes in thumbnails, not panoramic images, is that right?
I am using Windows 7, Mozilla Firefox and I have the ads turned on. Thank you! Warm regards, IBAlex 14:15, 11 March 2013 (EDT)
How bizarre! Can you upload screenshots, please?
What happens with Chrome or IE Explorer?
Yes, the sub-section above is not concerned with Panorama images. However, I may have to stop trying to improve the look and feel of your pages if the spam filters keep obstructing me. It is very important that a look and feel is developed which is attractive and easy to read for unregistered users and that also allows you to keep your current width of adverts (that you depend on for monetising this site) so that your technical support and development can be financed. --118dot93dot73dot30 19:00, 11 March 2013 (EDT)
BUMP: I know there have been some great changes in your life recently, User:IBalex, but please can you favour me with a response to my queries above so I can move on with re-coding if necessary? --118dot93dot73dot30 19:20, 13 March 2013 (EDT)
That's how the page displays on my screen
I have uploaded the picture to show you how the panorama picture displays on my computer. Right now I have to scroll to the right. Yes, I got the same results on the other browsers. I opt that we keep the panorama pic parameters in a way that it sizes itself according to the page width.
If you experience problems with Abuse Filters, please let me know. Thanks! IBAlex 21:04, 13 March 2013 (EDT)
Screenshot of English Wikitravel's Milford Sound page showing the slider of the new Panorama templated view box on a narrow screen (note the usual "enlarge" widget at the lower right hand corner and the fact that the caption text has wrapped to a second line)

Unfortunately you have not taken a screenshot of your whole screen (and, more especially, your screen width), but I have a strong suspicion that you are using a relatively wide screen (or at least one wide enough to display the whole width of the wide panorama and, therefore, you have no slider to pan left or right. What happens when you reduce the width of your tab or window and do you have an "enlarge" widget visible at the bottom right?

Screenshot of same section of our Milford Sound page showing how the whole view box (when using the new Panorama template) expands to fit the whole width of the page on a wider screen (note the usual "enlarge" widget at the lower right hand corner)

I am enclosing two screen-grabs of how things look on typical laptops or notebooks (as opposed to wide, desk-top monitors). Please try reducing your tab/window width to a narrow width and report here what happens.

If you continue to have further problems, I will need full details such as screen size in pixels, and all your preference settings including what skin you are using and whether you have adverts and Orbitz switched on or off... --118dot93dot73dot30 04:09, 14 March 2013 (EDT)

Emergency phone numbers

I have made a start on adding the unified emergency phone number to the quickbar of about a dozen English speaking countries that have a unified common number but there are still a couple of hundred to go... --118dot93dot73dot30 04:59, 12 March 2013 (EDT)

For those who are interested in helping, this is an example of the type of edit that needs to be made (obviously the actual number or numbers will change between countries! --118dot93dot73dot30 17:49, 22 March 2013 (EDT)

Linking to Encyclopaedia Britannica articles

Because we want to develop our own travel related content here (and also because travellers may be reading a printed version or off-line), we do not link to secondary sources here on the web's most read travel guide.

However, we are not (and will never be) an encyclopaedia. We have a different aim and focus and a different tone. Our ability to use primary sources is one of the great strengths of our travel guide - nothing in Wikipedia is going to beat our ability to utilise the insights of people who have visited a destination recently - the conundrum comes in distinguishing which anecdotes we can rely on from those that are self-serving or mendacious and unfair.

I think we should consider giving our readers free access to any of Britannica's 120,000 articles directly from this web site with special types of in-line links.

IBadmins: You might want to ask your IT department to engineer special types of visually distinctive links brief instructions here, or we can just slightly change our policies so that when our readers click through the special type of in-line link to Britannica from our articles, he or she will be able to view the complete article—even those that normally require a subscription to read—as a free sample.

For example, to link to the Britannica Online article on Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson from our own Nelson (New Zealand) article, the Britannica article URL is

Our HTML code then might look something like <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="">Viscount Horatio Nelson<img src="" border="0" width="14" hspace="3" vspace="2" /></a> and display a little like:

Whw thistle.jpg Viscount Horatio Nelson

(I've prepared a normal xl here without the logo in a version of our Nelson (New Zealand) article).

Note: This code will link users to the article on the publicly accessible Britannica site Readers that they recognize as members of a college or library that subscribes to Britannica will have the same experience as a paid subscriber to the public site with full access to the entire site in an advertising-free environment. Readers that are not members of a subscribing institution will still be able to access the full article, however additional content may be restricted and users may be served advertising.

Please note that, for readers that do not have access via a subscription, that the link will be to the full Britannica article only when the page holding the link is hosted on a Web Server. When you test this page on your local machine, it will still lead to the truncated version of the article. This is not an error, and when the same page is put on a Web Server it will still work as intended. --118dot93dot73dot30 17:10, 16 March 2013 (EDT)

Renovating our Listing format

One of the great things about this travel guide is how easy we have made it for casual editors to both wt:add a listing and then update it as information like opening hours or prices change.

However, currently businesses have a perverse double incentive not to use these great XML style listings, since that way they get to retain an obviously

and avoid that (baffling)

  • Non-clickable black name in bold without arrow symbol, 3 Example St, +65 1234 5678, [1]. But with footnote style, meaninglessly incrementing number doohickey right at the end .

Please could the IT department make it a top priority to change this style so that the name="?" tag field becomes BLUE anchor text with the clickable arrow symbol directly after it in an identical way to the non-XML style listings?

Please also remind them to implement HTML code similar to <a target="_blank" href="">Example Motel</a> in both styles so as to make the hyperlink open in a new window/tab so that a return to our great travel site is as easy and fast as just closing the spawned window or tab.

At the same time, they could activate the geographical co-ordinate information. --118dot93dot73dot30 02:00, 17 March 2013 (EDT)

Joke article for 2013

Hello! April Fool's 2013 is coming up! Let's choose this year's joke article. Any suggestions?:) You can leave your comment here IBAlex 20:03, 14 March 2013 (EDT)

How about Isla Nubla in celebration of the re-release of Jurassic Park in 3D? Ibrshao (talk)


Is User:Tyen a bot ?

He/she/it never replies and seems to be able (Special:Contributions/Tyen) to make 12 boilerplate welcoming edits to 12 separate user pages inside 60 seconds!

Don't we have a policy that bots should be named and "owned" by a human being? Why can't I find any mention of this (eg: at Wikitravel:Bots) ? --118dot93dot73dot30 19:29, 18 March 2013 (EDT)

These are two genuine questions that I would really like simple answers for; presumably Yes and/or No.
It would also be nice to receive responses to the earlier issues. --118dot93dot73dot30 14:51, 21 March 2013 (EDT)
User:Tyen is not a bot. Cheers! IBAlex 15:10, 21 March 2013 (EDT)


I appear to have been accidentally blocked and can only edit by logging out. Can anyone help? I have edits I need to make to my user page. User:LtPowers

Also, my user page is protected, so I can't edit it. It still states that I'm an administrator. LtPowers 15:26, 22 March 2013 (EDT)
I'm sorry to hear about these difficulties.
I can't think of a better place to publicly leave a message like this. However, you might try leaving a message on their user talk pages to either User:IBobi or User:IBAlex or both; I know they are both active IBadmins here, just in case it's slipped their attention.
Have you notified your resignation at Wikitravel:Administrator nominations ?
(Later) Good news! I see that your are no longer listed as an administrator here: and User:IBobi seems to have already made the necessary adjustment to your user page. Is your complaint that you can not edit your User talk page? I assume that you are able to edit in other namespaces (since you seem to able to edit in the "Wikitravel" and main article namespaces)? --118dot93dot73dot30 16:38, 22 March 2013 (EDT)
Ugh, I forgot what it was I wanted to change! No, actually, I wanted to remove the Docent information on my user page, but with it protected I cannot. I did not resign my adminship, it was removed. Contrary to policy, I believe, but I never did get an answer on that one. LtPowers 16:53, 22 March 2013 (EDT)
Mmmm, looking briefly at some edit histories, I have a strong suspicion that this is something you will need to take up directly with User:IBobi who was the original blocking/protecting IBadmin. For what it's worth, I do agree that it is not appropriate for you to be listed as a Docent when you are unwilling to undertake that job. Looking on the bright side, I see from your User talk page that you have not been troubled with too many requests that you have needed to decline recently.
Since it seems the original problem is now obsolete (and the continuing problem with not being able to edit your own User page is probably better resolved directly with User:IBobi) would you have any objection to my now archiving this topic as having been dealt with? --118dot93dot73dot30 17:09, 22 March 2013 (EDT)
Great news! User:IBAlex is on the job and has now edited your user page appropriately. --118dot93dot73dot30 17:12, 22 March 2013 (EDT)
Why wasn't the user simply allowed to edit their own user and user talk page? Doesn't that ever cross your mind as a simple solution?

Wikitravel upgrade - read-only mode for a few days beginning Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Hello all, We're excited to announce that Wikitravel will be upgrading its software next week. In order to migrate Wikitravel's extraordinary database of travel information, we'll be putting the site into read-only mode starting Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 (PST) and running for about three days. No edits will be possible at this time. When we come back, we'll be better than ever. Please let us know if there are any questions or concerns, --IBobi 17:36, 22 March 2013 (EDT)

Fantastic news!
Will you be able to attend to some of the topics that need an answer further up this Pub page, or will they have to wait a while longer, please? --118dot93dot73dot30 17:41, 22 March 2013 (EDT)
Hi, I would like to know which local time you based on. Monday 3/25/2013 of UTC? Or EST or PST? Also, I want to know the approximate starting time.
Since I want to notice ja: wikitravelers the correct information as well as possible, your corporation is very much appreciated.--Shoestring 21:47, 22 March 2013 (EDT)
An excellent point, Shoestring!
Perhaps the upgrade would be a suitable time to change the signature timestamps from the historical and East Coast of the US-centric EDT and EST over to UTC so that they match those in the edit summaries, histories, and everywhere else? After all most of the world is probably a bit confused by the East Coast's Summer times, and UTC (or "Zulu" time) is what the US military and scientific community use. (Please note that I have manually edited my timestamp to this message so that it is UTC (known by many Americans as Greenwich Mean Time or GMT) --118dot93dot73dot30 02:25, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Dear Wikitravelers! The upgrade is planned to start Tuesday afternoon PST. Thank you for your cooperation! IBAlex 23:27, 22 March 2013 (EDT)
Dear community! The upgrade was finished successfully! Please feel free to plunge forward and contribute to the articles! Thank you! IBAlex (talk) 20:39, 28 March 2013 (EDT)
Where can we read about the changes that were made, please? -- 10:11, 29 March 2013 (EDT)
What a pity that the opportunity was not taken to change the signature timestamps over to UTC so that they match those in the edit summaries, histories, and everywhere else! After all most of the world is probably a bit confused by the East Coast's Summer times, and UTC (or "Zulu" time) is what the US military and scientific community use. --118dot93dot73dot30 10:15, 29 March 2013 (EDT), that's a very good question! Please see here. IBAlex (talk) 12:06, 29 March 2013 (EDT)

Changing the title of a page

Earlier today, this guy Gold Membership Only changed the title of my itinerary "Alexandria to Cape Town by train and bus" to "LOL U NOOBS". I saw that he actually did a LOT of vandalism today and that his account got deleted and he is now banned until the year 9999. But, how do I change the title of my itinerary back?Travelgeek (talk) 12:55, 7 April 2013 (EDT)

Hi Travelgeek! All is taken care of now. The title of the page is again Alexandria to Cape train and bus. We are truly sorry for the what happened. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 12:00, 8 April 2013 (EDT)
I hope you don't mind but I have moved this page back to what was its original title: "Alexandria to Cape Town by train and bus"
Incidentally, while trying to counter similar damage to our Rome article I encountered the difficulty that I do not have sufficient privileges to delete a vandal's newly created nonsense page. I think you know me well enough by now to know that I have the traveller's interests at heart, so would you flip the relevant bit for my account, please? --118dot93dot73dot30 20:12, 8 April 2013 (EDT)
118, thanks for moving the page to Alexandria to Cape Town by train and bus. Your help is very appreciated. Thank you! Which newly created vandal pages do you have in mind? I thought I deleted all of them today. Regards, IBAlex (talk) 20:18, 8 April 2013 (EDT)
I think you got most of the main namespace pages. However, since we are usually in different time zones, there will be times when I can catch things quicker - especially all those spam user pages created just for self-promotional purposes: --118dot93dot73dot30 20:33, 8 April 2013 (EDT)


Previously I've been told that Tyen is not a bot. However I can get no reply from him/her/it and now is mistakenly blocking IPs.

Additionally, I find Tyen's substitution of the signature of an IBadmin misleading and a breach of UUTP

In case this user continues to be uncommunicative, what is the current procedure for revoking admin privileges, please? --118dot93dot73dot30 21:05, 11 April 2013 (EDT)