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:: Still not? I rest my case... -- [[User:Nils|Nils]] 12:50, 13 December 2006 (EST)
:: Still not? I rest my case... -- [[User:Nils|Nils]] 12:50, 13 December 2006 (EST)
:::I'm also interested in the issue of SQL data dumps.  I'm supprized that this isn't attractting more attention.  Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 is good, but how much use if you can only access the work from the de facto owner?  If anyone succeeds in getting a dump, please leave a note here.  Thanks. [[User:|]] 23:37, 31 May 2007 (EDT)
:::I'm also interested in the issue of SQL data dumps.  I'm supprized that this isn't attractting more attention.  Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 is good, but how much use if you can only access the work from the de facto owner?  If anyone succeeds in getting a dump, please leave a note here.  Thanks. [[User:Keithonearth|keithonearth]] 23:46, 31 May 2007 (EDT)
== Azerbaijani Wikitravel Language Expedition ==
== Azerbaijani Wikitravel Language Expedition ==

Revision as of 03:50, 1 June 2007

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'. Also, 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 Bug reports page instead.

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



Keeping the Pub clean is a group effort. If we have too many conversations on this page, it gets too noisy and hard to read. If you see a conversation that could or should be moved to a talk page, please do so, and note the move here.

Stuff that's been moved:

Also, see the Travellers' pub archives for older archived discussions.

Please sweep the pub

So, the TP has been getting kinda crowded and messy. I'd really appreciate if we could all make an effort to clean up a bit by moving discussions to places more appropriate or deleting discussions that have reached their conclusions. It's a tedious job, but like most, it's easier if we do it together. --Evan 16:44, 20 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Should we sweep this out? -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 03:20, 16 August 2006 (EDT)
Ugh, this place is getting messy and this is the one page I hate to attempt to organize. Anyone want to take a stab at cleaning it up? -- Sapphire(Talk) • 18:29, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

Equivalent of wikipedia's reference desk

Is there currently an equivalent of a reference desk in wikitravel? Andjam 01:13, 25 May 2006 (EDT)

Sort of: some destinations have docents, but in general feel free to post questions to talk pages and someone will try to answer! Majnoona 22:42, 27 May 2006 (EDT)
It might be cool to start it, though! I like the idea. Wikitravel:Information kiosk, maybe? Or just Wikitravel:?, like the road signs ? --Evan 10:48, 1 June 2006 (EDT)
Or how about Wikitravel:Concierge? Concierge means keeper of the keys and that's essentially what anyone volunteering for that job would be. - Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 04:50, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
This seems like an excellent idea, and I'm surprised discussion of it has flagged. May I rekindle? One question for Evan and/or other programmers: does the architecture support creation of "Concierge" as a user type similar to "Admin" without significant revision? If so, discussion of just what a Concierge can do, and how to help them do it, seems like the next step. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 13:59, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
Bump. Anyone interested in this idea? — Ravikiran 08:45, 16 February 2007 (EST)

Search plugin for Internet Explorer 7 / Firefox 2

An OpenSearch plugin is available at Note that search with non-ASCII characters does not work on Firefox 2 unless you add <InputEncoding>UTF-8</InputEncoding>. --Episteme 16:22, 30 August 2006 (EDT)

InputEncoding is now supplied. Plugins for other language versions are also available. --Episteme 10:40, 31 August 2006 (EDT)
I can see two search engines available to add: "Wikitravel (en)" and "Wikitravel (English)". Which of these is more kosher? :-) --DenisYurkin 17:01, 25 November 2006 (EST)

Numerous things...

I have a few questions/comments/idea. Is there a place with all the pages listed? Are the pages supposed to include history about the places? Because I've seen very few that have it. And my idea is... some kind of rating system for places. Maybe on the discussion page for each place, we could have the people that have been there give a 1-5 star rating of the locale and give reasons why. That way people know what others think about the place and see if it would be a good place to visit. Andrew 00:00, 17 September 2006 (EDT)

  • There are lists of Itineraries and Travel topics and Wikitravel:Namespace index. I don't know of a list for destination guides, but they are linked by a hierarchy of geographical tags. If you start from a high level of that hierarchy, say a continent article, it should have links to things below.
  • I think history is a bit of a slippery slope. There often should be some, to orient the traveller, help him or her appreciate what he or she sees and perhaps avoid offending people. On the other hand, there's no need to give detail that would just clutter s travel guide; leave that to Wikipedia. Also, discussing history often invokes controversies we should avoid getting tangled in. We may need to warn travellers of these, but need not analyse them or take sides. "Just the facts, ma'm".
  • I like the idea of pointing out good places to go, but doubt that star ratings are the way to do it. The country, region or state/province articles should have links to the best places, with a bit of comment. Itineraries like A week near Hong Kong or One month in Southeast Asia can point out good places within an area and routes between them. Pashley 02:34, 17 September 2006 (EDT)
See Special:Allpages for a list of all Wiki pages. Some' history about a place is probably fine (it goes under the "Understand" heading), so long as the principle of Wikitravel:The traveller comes first is followed - as Pashley noted, we're writing travel guides, not an encyclopedia, and an article that goes into too much detail is sure to be trimmed, but many of the best articles do provide some background about a place. As to rating destinations based on their "travel worthiness", I have a feeling that may be a tough sell - it's very difficult to come to a consensus on such things, and I'm personally a bit uncomfortable with the idea of having to say (for example) that Philadelphia is a "4" while Cleveland is merely a "3". -- Ryan 02:56, 17 September 2006 (EDT)

True. I did mean only a bit of history. I have seen a few places, though, that simply don't have any. I'll try to find them and fix them. Your opinions on ratings? True, I accept that. Not the best thought on my part. So naming some more interesting places under itineraries would be the best way to go about saying which places are good to visit? Thanks for feedback! Andrew 22:16, 20 September 2006 (EDT)

Nice discussion, and it's come up a couple of times. I think the history of a destination should be the bare minimum to help you understand the cultural and linguistic state of the place. Especially if historical events play a part in the museums, attractions, or things to see or do in a place, it makes sense to outline those historical events briefly. Digging overly deeply into branches of history that travellers won't have first-hand (or second-hand) encounters with is probably too much information. --Evan 23:54, 20 September 2006 (EDT)
I absolutely concur with Evan on brevity in History sections; Wikipedia ("WP") and other sources will usually provide more exhaustive and authoritative information for those folks that like to research before they go. We should be short and pithy with the encyclopaedic type content and concentrate on those areas that WP can't (and won't, due to WP policy constraints) cover. The History type sections can usually have just a Wikified link and we should concentrate on the up-to-date practical stuff.
Star ratings in a formalised way are offensive for locales and inevitably will lead to edit wars and arguments. (They may be useful in warning of a "Five Star mugging risk" or a "Three Star toilet" in an unformalised figure-of-speech way.)
Star ratings in a formalised way may be something to consider for our articles themselves, though.
...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 09:18, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
You may want to look at Wikitravel:Article status. As far as history, I think we agree although I don't think of Wikitravel as the travel adjunct to Wikipedia, but as an independent project to create travel guides (see Wikitravel:goals and non-goals). Long historical treatises that don't enhance the travel experience are dead weight in a travel guide. --Evan 12:09, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
Gaimhreadhan, we have an article status as Evan points out, but those are for the quality of the articles, not for the destinations they cover. As for Wikitravel rating places or hotels or restaurant, we do not have a system yet, but there will soon be a sister site launched where travellers can review and rate places. I will leave Evan to reveal more details, because I have no idea how much I should at this stage. — Ravikiran 12:54, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Wikipedia fork, Citizendium

From Slashdot, 16 September:

  • "Larry Sanger, first editor-in-chief of Wikipedia, plans to fork the project. In Berlin he announced the start of Citizendium — the citizen's compendium. Main differences: no anonymous editing, and experts will rule the project. Members of Wikipedia were not amused."

The wiki is not up yet, but there is a home page [1] and several mailing lists.

How does this affect us? Methinks we need a {{Citizendium}} tag at least. I want it mainly because I'm in China and, unlike Wikipedia, Citizendium isn't blocked here yet. Pashley 02:25, 18 September 2006 (EDT)

Citizendium also doesn't seem to have any articles yet. One possibility for the firewal problem is to have our "Wikipedia" interwiki link point to a local Special: page, which in turn redirects you to a Wikipedia mirror of your choice (or wikipedia, by default). --Evan 08:52, 18 September 2006 (EDT)
They've had a pilot project running for a while, opened for public viewing today. Pashley 16:19, 25 March 2007 (EDT) Pashley 16:21, 25 March 2007 (EDT)
Citizendium doesn't appear to be an actual fork of Wikipedia... more like a tine, borrowing a little (at least for now), but otherwise starting almost from scratch(!). It may be a while before it's complete enough for us to assume that it even has articles for most Wikitravel destinations; at present it has only 16 (seemingly random) articles in their geography category that correspond to ours. Between the lack of common content, and CZ's lack of content overall so far, I think we should treat them as distinct resources, to be linked to separately. (BTW, the fact that their "experts" began editing the article for the UK with an argument over whether the article should instead be called "Great Britain" is not a good omen, methinks.) - Todd VerBeek 18:38, 25 March 2007 (EDT)
Have they changed their strategy then? When it was launched it was supposed to be a "progressive fork". — Ravikiran 23:49, 25 March 2007 (EDT)
Change of strategy. Apparently the prevailing opinion was that expert authors would be more eager to write their own articles rather than proofread existing Wikipedia articles. Of course the WP articles are still available for cribbing if any CZ author chooses, and many CZ articles had already been based on WP articles when this course-change was made, but that won't be the default. - Todd VerBeek 15:00, 26 March 2007 (EDT)

Given that Citizendium is now clearly distinct from Wikipedia, and will probably grow to have articles worth linking to, in the interest of fairness I've created Wikitravel:Cooperating with Citizendium. The details about how to link back and forth still need to be worked out. - Todd VerBeek 09:16, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

West page

There are pages on Central, North, South, East, but there is no West page. Can someone create the page? What about northwest, southwest, southeast, northeast?

What the hell was this about? — Ravikiran 06:43, 16 February 2007 (EST)
If no one can remember what this was about, I will just remove this rather than archive something without any context. — Ravikiran 12:55, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
If I were more paranoid, I would guess that this is someone trying to drive me insane. The existence of pages called "Central", "North", etc. annoys me to no end, because they are not actual place names and thereby ignore our naming conventions. - Todd VerBeek 18:42, 25 March 2007 (EDT)

Cities along highways

I wonder if there's a reasonable way to add a category to a city that's on a road. It would let the traveler have a list of places along their trip. For example, I occasionally travel up TX-35 from Seadrift to Houston and there are lots of interesting things on the way to see. I'm sure someone could do a lot with IH-10 or the like. Jordanmills 20:54, 24 September 2006 (EDT)

When Wikitravel:Tags is fully implemented I could see the tag template to be a possible solution. -- Sapphire 21:06, 24 September 2006 (EDT)
One way to deal with this is to do an itinerary for the trip along that highway. Khyber Pass is one example; Route 66 another, and I think Australia has several. This is not always the best solution, or even appropriate, but worth considering. Pashley 01:44, 25 September 2006 (EDT)

<drink> tags

Is this still an experimental feature? I notice it's used in some places (in particular, the Montreal page). The thing is, the external links are unpacked, which I know is not the intent of the Wikitravel:External links policy. I can't do anything abou this as long as the link is inside the <drink> tag. Will the display change as the feature develops? --Dawnview 06:33, 26 September 2006 (EDT)

Yes, it's a known bug, see shared:Tech:Url field of listings should be autonumber or word. --Evan 08:16, 26 September 2006 (EDT)
I personally think it looks a lot better that way. It's a lot more useful if you have to print out the guide and take it with you, too. I still don't get the policy about packed external links (that is, why it is the way it is). Jordanmills 10:51, 26 September 2006 (EDT)
Good point. My thinking (from somone who never prints out the Wikitravel pages) is that if you can get to an internet cafe to visit some website, you can just as easily get to Wikitravel and click on the link, right? That's what I always do. I should try printing out a guide article though, I'd probably miss less. Though I think the idea of the policy is that you should be able to print out a guide and never have to look stuff up on the internet. --Dawnview 14:41, 26 September 2006 (EDT)
The problem with assuming that people can follow the links from Wikitravel is that there's no guarantee that the printed version will be the same as the online version, and so no guarantee that the link will be accessible without trawling through the history. --Paul. 13:18, 1 October 2006 (EDT)


Wikitravel:Milestones mentions getting all CIA factbook imports edited away. I think all the external links sections are gone. I've been hitting "random page" and finding breadcrumbless articles to fix, but that works poorly now; most articles have the navigation hierarchy breadcrumbs. Is there a way to search for all articles without breadcrumbs? Maybe we could fix them all and declare another milestone. Pashley 21:26, 26 September 2006 (EDT)

I think all the external links sections are gone - two left: Buying or renting a car in Australia#External links -&- Hitchhiking in Europe#External links ~ 05:43, 27 September 2006 (EDT)
I dont think we'll ever be completely breadcrumbed - people will always create articles and leave them without the isin, so it's probably not worth putting on the milestone page! Tim 17:51, 30 October 2006 (EST)
Just curious; why not put the isIn tag in the blank page template? --justfred 18:46, 30 October 2006 (EST)
I just did that for the blank region template because I was getting tired of writing it in myself. Hopefully not a problem! --Peterfitzgerald Talk 20:05, 10 April 2007 (EDT)

Doubts about plagiarism

Any time I see a huge block of information written in an article, I assume there is a decent chance someone has cut and pasted it from somewhere, and I usually delete it or rewrite the information if I find it has been copied from Wikipedia or from an official government or primary business website. However, I'm finding large portions of some articles, Mexico for example, on more than one travel agency website (not Wikitravel mirrors), and I started wondering whether it was a Wikitravel contributor who copied from one of them, or if perhaps they copied it from Wikitravel and put their own copyright on it? How are we to know the difference and what are we to do about it? Texugo 02:34, 27 September 2006 (EDT)

Not a single response? Texugo 05:14, 5 October 2006 (EDT)
The check for plagiarism has to be done immediately after the content is posted, otherwise things get difficult. (You can try to check when the page was last changed via your browser's "page info", but this is useless for any high-tech site with dynamic pages.) Of course, you could always try sending the potential offender a mail telling them to comply to license conditions and seeing what happens... Jpatokal 06:44, 5 October 2006 (EDT)
Agree with Jani. Not so much here, but on Wikipedia, I've had the experience of writing prose for an article, then doing a Google search on keywords (sometimes a few days later) that revealed that that same prose was showing up on copycat reference articles that aren't mirrors. If you can't check the timeline quickly and/or conclusively, you'll never be clear on who has lifted text from whom.
That said, most of the people who contribute here on a regular basis have certain quirks of style that identify their writing, despite the partial homogenization that the MoS imposes. There are parsing tools out there that can check for these quirks and assess the probability that a given piece of prose was written by a particular author whose quirks have been established. Just for grins, you might look into those and play with the texts that trouble you; let us know what you find. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 09:44, 5 October 2006 (EDT)
Typically I look into the history of the text. If the text has been edited by different people at different times, but appears in more than one place as it appears in Wikitravel, odds are stronger that those other sites copied Wikitravel than that multiple contributors worked together to make an exact copy of some other site.
If you see a copy of Wikitravel guides that doesn't give credit to contributors and note the license, add it to Wikitravel:Non-compliant redistribution. Send an email notice to the site in question, too. --Evan 11:14, 5 October 2006 (EDT)

University of Place

What contact info should we provide when listing universities and other institutions of higher learning? I normally give the address, phone number, fax number, and email for the admissions department since the admissions department is normally the department in charge of arranging visits. Does it make sense to give the admissions office's contact info over another department? -- Sapphire 17:54, 28 September 2006 (EDT)

Some of us are intinerant teachers and would be more interested in the recruiting office. Give the web address if there is one. Pashley 20:59, 28 September 2006 (EDT)

Not a Travelogue

So one of the non-goals of wikitravel is to be a personal travel log (or, one of the goals is to not be a log, or . . . well you get what I mean). Where does a more in-depth personal experience with something mentioned on an article belong? Say, I went to a brewpub listed in an article and felt like describing the local beers I tried, discussing the pub, etc. Does that belong here? I would guess that it does, in reasonable amount, and that it should be placed in the relevant article's discussion page. Is there consensus on this subject? Jordanmills 21:47, 30 September 2006 (EDT)

We really don't have a place for the information you are talking about. If you want to add a few comments about items that are good (or bad) on the menu, that would be okay, but we don't want first person references and it should be brief. The "discussion" page is for discussing how the article should be composed and not information about the location. What I mean by that is we would use that page to discuss the content, but not include content. Some like this page... general discussion and talk. Hope that helps. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 22:38, 30 September 2006 (EDT)

I think that this is an important question and I'd like to see more discussion on this. My thoughts follow:
  • Yes it is true that currently we do not have place for such information. Of course you're allowed to use the first person there, and you are allowed to mention your personal experience at particular restaurants, but only as a way to discuss the guide. For example, if an article gives a restaurant high praise and you just had a crappy experience there, it is perfectly okay to mention this in the talk page, but it is even more preferred to go change the article yourself. The theory then is that those who preferred the earlier version may object on the talk pages and then you are supposed to discuss the change.
  • However, I think that both from a traveller's point of view and from the point of view of making a travel guide, there is something unsatisfactory about this. For one thing, the two edits might be months apart and the original editor might not even be watching the page. Instead of a consensus or a debate about exactly which areas a restaurant scores and where it sucks, it will end up reflecting the views of whoever edited it last. Essentially, we end up losing valuable information.
  • From a traveller's point of view, personal reviews and experiences are a valuable service that Wikitravel is not providing right now. I see the value of a travel-guide style "name, address, phone number, 2-3 lines about the place", but I also see the value of reading about other travellers' personal experiences. Also, many people who may not be comfortable plunging forward and editing a travel guide would be comfortable writing about their own experience in the first person.
  • The same goes for a personal travelogue too. Some people have used their user spaces to plan out journeys and record their experiences, but our policies frown on such use. We are supposed to convert travelogues into rather impersonal "itineraries".
  • The point I am getting at is that both for retaining users and for enriching the guide we need a space for the personal experiences of users. Users who are not comfortable writing travel guides can hang out at places where they can review and discuss restaurants, and write travelogues, and those who are interested in the guide can mine those experiences to build the guide.
  • The good news is that this will probably happen. One of the goals of the merger with World66 was exactly that. Unfortunately, in all the hullabulloo about being "sold" to Internet Brands, we ended up not discussing this at all. Evan and Maj haven't yet discussed what is going to happen on that front, but I hope they do so soon. — Ravikiran 03:09, 2 October 2006 (EDT) (P.S. Also see this [2])
Crappy - good experience. For a tourist from Italy, perhaps the spaghetti from local branch of pizza hut is horrible. But for a local reviewer, the same spaghetti is the best Italian food in town.
Just a follow up on this discussion-- feel free to email User:Maj directly if you'd like more information on the "personal travel" site we're developing. Ravikiran pretty much nailed every reason for creating this type of space and we're really excited about seeing things move forward! Maj 11:49, 10 October 2006 (EDT)
There's a request for comments and a link to the (now public!) beta site on shared here. Just in case some folks haven't seen it. Maj 18:10, 30 March 2007 (EDT)


I added some information about the weather and climate in Ko Chang and Antalya. There is a template(not used in those articles) called Climate, where do I put an explanation and the article template of it? Or is it a good idea at all, or should I not work on it any further? --Adestro 10:28, 2 October 2006 (EDT)

I like the look of it, but I'm not sure how to use it. Jordanmills 07:58, 9 October 2006 (EDT)
I think this could be useful for travellers, but I wouldn't have it at the top of the page... Maybe at the bottom? This is where there will be a tags box, or in the understand section... -- Tim 18:54, 26 November 2006 (EST)

Anecdotes or interview subjects wanted for story on Wikitravel

I'm writing a piece on Wikitravel for JetStar's inflight magazine, and am looking for Wikitravellers who can say, in their own words, why Wikitravel is the greatest thing since sliced bread or tell some funny anecdote regarding how it's helped them on their travels. Please drop me a line at [email protected] if interested. Jpatokal 02:18, 3 October 2006 (EDT)

Sultan Temple in Solo

In the "See" section of the previous version, someone mention "Sultan Temple". I can't find this place in Solo. Where is the location of "Sultan Temple" in Solo? Thanks.

Problem with West Midlands, advice appreciated

I'm currently working on a map of the West Midlands (part of what will hopefully become a full UK map), and have run into a significant problem, namely that there's two West Midlandses. The West Midlands listed on here is the common, everyday sense of the term, ie the region made up of the five counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire. The problem comes with the fact that West Midlands also refers to the administrative area made up of Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton and the surrounding towns. This page illustrates the problem quite nicely, listing the local councils in the West Midlands area, with the West Midlands being one of the listed sub-regions, and there's also a map here. So we've got a West Midlands in the West Midlands. Naturally this presents problems both on the technical side (IsIn) and the confusion side. So I'm not sure what to do about it.

Do I go ahead and move the current West Midlands to something like West Midlands region and use to old West Midlands for the sub-area? Another option is to ignore it and use the old pre-1974 map (here's a map of the old boundaries, compare with [3], which would solve the problem but would be out of keeping with other urban regions (like Merseyside ). Or I could rename the smaller West Midlands area, but all I can think of is the horribly unweildly "Birmingham, Black Country and Coventry". Or just move Coventry to Warwickshire and make a "Birmingham and Black Country" region. The other solution is to move all of the larger regional stuff to Midlands, but I'd really rather not do that as the West and East Midlands are really quite distinct areas. Basically I can see a lot of options but none of them seem completely satisfactory, so I figured I'd ask for advice here in the hope that someone else has faced similar problems and can offer advice. --Paul. 10:58, 12 October 2006 (EDT)

Would Wikitravel:Disambiguation pages help? West Midlands (region) and West Midlands (county) (or whatever it should be called), with West Midlands being a disambiguation page?--justfred 12:10, 12 October 2006 (EDT)

That makes an awful lot of sense. The only reason I was hesitant is because I thought having region in the title was frowned upon but looking more closely at Wikitravel:Article naming conventions I guess it should be ok in parenteses. The only remaining issue is the confusion of having the West Midlands in the West Midlands, but most people will probably be able to understand "West Midlands (county) IsIn West Midlands (region)". --Paul. 17:11, 12 October 2006 (EDT)

Phillipine Passport Certification Transwiki

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask about this. I'm from Wikibooks, and we have a module there about how to get a certified copy of a Philippeans passport. The Wikibooks community has determined that the artical should be deleted, but some people have suggested that perhaps the material would find a suitable home here. The original author of the page cannot be contacted.

The page will probably be deleted from our servers within a week. If people here would like to save a copy of it, you can do so within that time. If not, that's alright too. Thanks. -- Whiteknight (Wikibooks) 09:35, 19 October 2006 (EDT)

That's not really very relevant for us either, and what's more, we can't use the content here without the original author's permission as the licenses differ. Jpatokal 09:49, 19 October 2006 (EDT)
Thanks for the reply. I hate to delete content if there might be another home out there. But I guess this isn't the right place either. --Whiteknight (Wikibooks) 19:42, 23 October 2006 (EDT)



Can images at wikimedia commons be used at wikitravel. If so, how? --Soman 10:05, 28 October 2006 (EDT)

No, they can't. However, if (and only if!) the license is PD or CC by-sa, you can copy them over to shared:Wikitravel Shared, which is "our" version of Commons. Note that GFDL, fair use etc images are not allowed. Jpatokal 10:33, 28 October 2006 (EDT)

Vacation Travel Guides Content Approval

My question to you guys, is that we would like to provide this content to WikiTravel if we could post a link back to the original source. What do you think?

Below are some examples so you see: (forget everything at the bottom of the guide, that’s something I added on, so just look at the main content excluding the bottom links they do not go with it)

View Maui Vacation Travel Guide

View Key West Vacation Travel Guide

View Kissimmee Vacation Travel Guide

View Gatlinburg Vacation Travel Guide

View Hawaii Vacation Travel Guide

What do you think of these and do you think we could essentially contribute these and a lot more to WikiTravel? I am not completely familiar with WikiTravel and I didn’t mean to bug you but would rather contact you as I see you edit information then just spam the wiki page for each city asking for help.

Please get back with me or forward me to the correct location and how to submit.

Thanks and have a great day!

The above is from User:Richhoward and his user page covers the licensing issues. I think we should try to work out how to use these contributions, but there are problems in relation to policies like Wikitravel:Don't_tout and Wikitravel:External_links. Pashley 09:53, 14 November 2006 (EST)

No other comment, and no contributions from the user, in some months. Can someone who knows Hawaii take a look and work out if there's valuable stuff there? Mostly advertising, but some of it might be worth taking or linking to. Pashley 23:39, 25 May 2007 (EDT)

The problem is that form of attribution he's requesting doesn't fit with the ex-links policy. He gets a gold star for being a nice guy by asking rather than spamming, and even though the statement on his user page technically authorizes us to start copy-pasting and attributing the source only in the edit summaries (i.e. no links), I don't think we should. - Todd VerBeek 09:38, 26 May 2007 (EDT)

Why is there a page on the web that is completely linked to Wikitravel? Is this OK? It is not current but it is much of Wikitravel cached. See it here.

See also Wikitravel:Mirrors
It looks like they are compliant. Take a look at [[Wikitravel:Wikitravel:How to re-use Wikitravel guides]. Maj 20:11, 15 November 2006 (EST)
Other than the main page there is no attribution, and there are no links to author information, so I don't think they actually are compliant... -- Ryan 20:19, 15 November 2006 (EST)
I did some whois research and the company that owns that domain is Low Key Media.
4645 Orchid Lane
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55446
I've got their email too ([email protected]). I'm going to send them an email about getting attribution together. It'll be a pain in the ass for them attribute since that's old material they're using and they'll probably just want to import the new material with attribution attached.
As a side, can Maj or Evan tell us where Internet Brands stands on using its resources for ensuring violations of the CC-by-SA license are resolved? -- Sapphire 20:40, 15 November 2006 (EST)


What's the best place to propose and discuss the use of hCard and Geo microformats in Wikitravel? Pigsonthewing 07:39, 25 November 2006 (EST)

Have a look at Wikitravel:RDF and Wikitravel:RDF Expedition. -- Ryan 13:21, 25 November 2006 (EST)
Thanks. I've also caught up with Evan's work on microformats. I hope that Wikitravel:Microformats, which I've just created, will be useful. Andy Mabbett 16:02, 25 November 2006 (EST)

RSS feeds of page-histories

Would you like to be able to subscribe to RSS (Atom) feeds of the edit histories of your favourite Wikitravel pages? Then vote to add hAtom to the change log of media wiki pages! Andy Mabbett 17:12, 25 November 2006 (EST)

Some ideas

Im sick of always having to log into wikitravel share, then log in here by copying and pasting the user page thig through open ID. How can I make it so i dont have to do that? I have Firefox, apparently it has password remembering, Could that help?

Also I find the help articles confusing as some really confusing thing (actually i find [| uncyclopedia's]help articles less confusing. Would it be possiable to format them in some sort of heirachy? or a single page that you can print out so you know what code does what? Im sufficing on finding a page I like and copy and pasting the bits I want, then changing the words. I cant seem to find useful information.

What is all this attribution share alike nonsense about. I cant be bothered reading that rubbish. I just want everyone to use my infor for everything. What do I use for that?

Also when I upload images there is something telling me to add a tag, which I consequently don't understand and thus ignore. Your help section is so very confusing. Maybe collaboration of the month could be to fix it. Apart from being scattered to the four corners in random amounts the problem with help is that there is no entry level explanation. Maybe "beginner" Learning and advanced would help. Right now its like teaching someone words in Hebrew then expecting them to create a grammatically correct sentence, The knowledge gap can in some case on wikitravel be just to large. Im nopt sure ill ever get the hang of it its so cronic.I can only contribute effectively if i know how

Mesipisian 05:02, 2 December 2006 (EST)

Ya know, I've also found the help files a bit hard to navigate around in. Perhaps there should be a Wikitravel:Documentation Expedition to help us organize efforts toward making it better. Of course any one of us can kick off the project.
Two cool things to put right up top and front would be:
  1. Don't worry about doing it "right". Just go ahead and put content somewhere, others will fix it up.
  2. The license is really important. Really.
Anyhow, I guess one of us is going to have to Wikitravel:Plunge forward and get the docs started. -- Mark 05:48, 2 December 2006 (EST)

Data Dumps?

Is it possible to get SQL Data Dumps of wikitravel like we can get from wikipedia [4]? It would be nice to be able to download wikitravel [5] for offline consumption using Tomeraider or similar. -- Futaris 15:03, 5 December 2006 (AEST)

In theory, yes, see Wikitravel:How to re-use Wikitravel guides. However, nobody has even actually succeeded in obtaining one... Jpatokal 01:09, 5 December 2006 (EST)
Still not? I rest my case... -- Nils 12:50, 13 December 2006 (EST)
I'm also interested in the issue of SQL data dumps. I'm supprized that this isn't attractting more attention. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 is good, but how much use if you can only access the work from the de facto owner? If anyone succeeds in getting a dump, please leave a note here. Thanks. keithonearth 23:46, 31 May 2007 (EDT)

Azerbaijani Wikitravel Language Expedition

Hey everyone, I am trying to start an Azerbaijani (Azeri) language expedition. Please tell me what you all think about this. -- —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Cupcakecommander (talkcontribs)

Sounds like a great idea. Go for it! -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 03:23, 5 December 2006 (EST)

Travel agencies

Due to my edit war over linking to a travel agency on the Uzbekistan article I need to ask the community: is there a place for listing and linking to travel agencies on Wikitravel? If so, where do these listings belong?

I could argue for either side, but I feel that it's something we shouldn't pander to because we're not Yellow Pages. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 20:50, 8 December 2006 (EST)

Hi Sapphire, If you want to be fair then why did you allow to put links to (Travel agency) and (another travel agency)? They are in direct competition to Let's treat everyone fairly! If you allowed one then you have to do the same for others or not at all! I think you have to respond to my comment! Waiting for the response! Furkat Ayrum Internasional Limited ( —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Furkat (talkcontribs)
I've removed Advantour's website too because that link was in violation of our policy. If I were you, I'd make a case as to why we should include travel agency information on Wikitravel, rather debate about fairness. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 21:17, 8 December 2006 (EST)
Post scriptum: There is not a link to on the Uzbekistan article. There is a link to, but per policy this looks like a legit link because it is the primary (official) link for Uzbekistan Airways. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 21:23, 8 December 2006 (EST)
I confess to putting the Advantour site there some time ago! I did it after I heard a case of someone in the UAE being conned $500 for visa support by an Uzbek 'travel' company. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I understand it should not be there now.Davidbstanley 18:28, 13 December 2006 (EST)
Regarding tour links... I've think a company that provides tours is a primary source if they give the tours themselves. If they just sell tickets to someone else' tour, then they are just a travel agency and should be deleted as any non-primary source. Because it's so difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff in this area, I have a profound hate for all tour listings. -- Colin 13:57, 9 December 2006 (EST)


Dear Andrew!

Thanks for your response! It was not I think we sort the case out. I think it is a waste of time why we should or should not list travel agents. The main thing is keep it nice, clear and neutral!

Have a nice morning!

P.S. I would not mind if you could refer to my company( as a reputable one. It has recently opened a new office in London. We are expanding to China and Russia soon. I would be very greatful for that!

It has been our policy to only link to "Official" travel sites (see: What to link to). I am sure your company is very reputable and provides an excellent service to your clients. That is not being questioned. I might also mention that decisions are made here by the community and not my an individual. (see: Consensus) We all do our best to cooperate in seeing that our policies are followed and I know that Andrew is doing that in this case. So, what you are dealing with here is a policy that is set by the community of "all" users on Wikitravel, not just one person and if policy is changed, it will be a decision for all users of Wikitravel. (see: Wiki information) This said, we may on occasion miss removing a external link for a non-official site. When those are found they are removed. We do our best to be fair and if there is a conflict we do our best to get a consensus from the community. I hope you understand we do not favor any travel agency over any other. You are welcomed to add some information about your agency on your talk page and we encourage you to add valuable content to our guide. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 06:30, 9 December 2006 (EST)


Alternative license for photos for user pages?

I wonder how people would feel about different, more restrictive licensing for images that are only to appear on individual user pages. I have a few shots showing my ugly mug (maybe better left unshown, actually...) that I wouldn't mind using to illustrate my user page, which however I would prefer not be used for commercial purposes. There are other folks here whose portraits do appear on their user pages; do you feel the same discomfort as I do, or is my discomfort misplaced? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 18:28, 16 December 2006 (EST)

I don't actually feel the same concern, and having had my photo on my user page for more than three years without (known) abuse, I'm not feeling any more concerned.
I wouldn't be absolutely worried if there were slightly less liberal licensing for some images on user pages, but I'd like to make sure that content that's in the guides themselves remains 100% mutually compatible. What we'd lose with this is a single, clear, simple set of rules for licensing content from this site; the main thing we'd gain is having more personal interaction.
One thing we've done with the new Crossroads site is had much more variable licensing -- from All Rights Reserved to Public Domain (although we favour licenses compatible with W66 and Wikitravel, of course). Since XR content doesn't really need to integrate that well, it doesn't seem like such a big issue. I wonder if you'd feel more comfortable building out your XR homepage and linking to it from your Wikitravel one? --Evan 22:14, 16 December 2006 (EST)

We are Time's "Person of the Year"

I thought this was interesting and should pat ourselves on the back for our contribution to the global community. Time Magazine has named "You" the person of the year, due in large part, to the global community has begun to sharing information and how it's being distributed. See this Time Magazine article. Time says: "It's a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It's about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia... It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.

The new Web is a very different thing. It's a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter. Silicon Valley consultants call it Web 2.0, as if it were a new version of some old software. But it's really a revolution. "

I remember that it was only 6/5 years ago when it was nearly impossible to find useful information on the internet and the only way to find out who exactly Nixon, Stalin, or Aristotle were was either to take your high school or college history and philosphy teachers' words as fact or to read over the limited materials at your local library. Now, though, the ordinary man with a beer belly can contribute his knowledge with Stephen Hawking. Simply amazing. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 23:40, 16 December 2006 (EST)

Weird modern religious structures

Take me to your cheerleader

So one of my many strange hobbies is visiting modern but extravagant religious structures, preferably bizarre ones built by dodgy cults: a few poster children include the Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya in Rangsit, the entirety of Guinsa and the Akshardham Cultural Complex here in Delhi. I'd like to tie these together as a Travel topic -- but can somebody think of a title that is descriptive and won't get me a fatwa? Modern religious structures is too bland and could include your neighborhood church... Jpatokal 03:20, 18 December 2006 (EST)

Cult architecture?
One man's cult is another's sect... and if (say) the Roman Catholic Church were to start building UFO reception centers like the Dhammakaya guys do, I'd be all for including them on the list. Jpatokal 04:08, 18 December 2006 (EST)
"Seeing unusual religious structures"? Leaving open the question of whether the structure is unusual, or the religion... -- Bill-on-the-Hill 09:30, 18 December 2006 (EST)

MediaWiki Templates

I posted this on the MediaWiki_talk:Sleep page but I figured I'd post here and get more coverage. I'm running into issues where lots of hotels have both local and toll free numbers. I would guess that it's most useful to the traveler to list the toll free, but it would be better to list both. Especially since (at least in the USA) toll free number holders have the option to prevent calls from the local area to reduce charges. Jordanmills 14:11, 30 December 2006 (EST)

Never mind, I just found the tollfree property. Jordanmills 14:17, 30 December 2006 (EST)

Disambiguation pages considered useful

This tragi-comic story [6] (tragic for the person concerned, comic for everyone else) serves as an object lesson in the usefulness of diambiguation pages. — Ravikiran 05:56, 31 December 2006 (EST)

Wow! That is really interesting! Thank you for posting it. We do need to be very careful. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 08:46, 31 December 2006 (EST)

Should I worry about this?

This has probably already been brought up, but I'm new here and I can't find any info on it so...

You know when you edit pages and it says "WARNING: This page is ?? kilobytes long; some browsers may have problems editing pages approaching or longer than 32kb. Please consider breaking the page into smaller sections." Well, I see this on almost every article with sufficent content, including stars, but I don't see anyone bringing it up. Is this something I should just ignore? PerryPlanet 13:52, 3 January 2007 (EST)

Yes, you should ignore it. Evan, could you up the limit to 100k or so? Jpatokal 21:49, 3 January 2007 (EST)
Could you add a request on shared:Technical requests? --Evan 01:23, 4 January 2007 (EST)

Movie source?

What about creating Special:Moviesources, doing the same thing as Special:Booksources? I tried typing a movie ASIN in the booksource page, but it didn't work... not that we want to advocate flooding articles with book and movie suggestions, but sometimes there are some really relevant ones... Cacahuate 10:03, 15 January 2007 (EST)

I would vote for having a max of 3 books (literature, not guidebooks) plus a max of 3 movies on a region somewhere in the end of article. It would really help to understand local culture and to fall in love with the region even before you're there. I would love to have such suggestions, for example, for regions like Alaska, Tashkent, Kyrgizia, Morocco, Istanbul, Athens, Vietnam, Algeria. I've seen in Slippery Slopes that we don't like to do anything with books or music or movies, but I'm not sure we should be that radically conservative. --DenisYurkin 04:29, 11 February 2007 (EST)
I'd support a Wikipedia-esque "References In Pop Culture" section in which to note a location's use in a movie or book. For instance the New Zealand article would mention Lord of the Rings and Boston's article would have mention of say The Departed and so forth. Using advice from movies on the other hand seems like it could end in peril and arguments.
--Euphemism 01:35, 22 February 2007 (EST)
I wouldn't support ones that just reference a place in Pop Culture. I think it would likely just be a mention in the "Understand" or "Cope" section, and only in really useful obvious cases... we don't want to reference things just for the sake of having a list, but there's times when something is really relevant, like a hugely popular travelogue for a certain place, etc. See Afghanistan#Read. "Dark Star Safari" by Paul Theroux should probably be listed in East Africa since it's a popular route and most that are doing it are reading or have read it. Or "The Sheltering Sky" for Morocco. Just really classic, obvious choices... - Cacahuate 02:21, 22 February 2007 (EST)
I do believe you've converted me. After some thinking and reading I realized that if it has no relevance to traveling then it has no place here
Euphemism 22:07, 26 February 2007 (EST)

Lesbian And Gay Travel Info

First of all I would like to mention that I am a complete Wiki NewB - so please feel free to inform me if I am asking questions in the wrong place or generally making a mess of things - I will try not to be offended :)

I thought that a small piece in a countries entry about it's gay and lesbian policies might be helpful to some visitors to WikiTravel. It could be concidered vital info for those visitors and could prompt more detailed info to be made available in other areas such as regional and city guides etc.

I could start with info about New Zealand where I lived most of my life for instance, and I am sure that every region has at least one contributor who is has knowledge on this subject. Even non-gay editors are likely to know the law/attitudes in their own country.

Off subject - I will try to help fill in some of the general info that has been requested about New Zealand's South Island over the next few months. I can see that it is sadly lacking in some areas.

Again, please inform me if I don't do things in the correct way. I may be new to Wiki's but I am not not new to the internet and have developed a thick 'cyber skin' over the years :)

Check out Wikitravel:Information for gay and lesbian travellers which covers the basic policy of what we really do want to cover and where to put it. Also Gay and lesbian travel covers some of the travel topics and pointers that could be of help.
The "Stay Safe" section is pretty important for many reasons, but it often lacks content. For example it's only recently that we added warnings for countries where Homosexuality is punished with death -- a pretty serious omission. We appreciate any contributions you have on this topic!-- Colin 22:04, 15 January 2007 (EST)

OK - I see a point - but are you not limiting the Wiki?

I got the idea that a Wiki should strive to be "a point of reference for all people' - ask a question and hopefully the Wiki will have the answer.

To quote a paragraph from one of the links you gave - "Finally, there are any number of different kinds of travelers who may have special needs -- senior travelers, travelers with children, disabled travelers, etc. Having different sections for each would make the destination pages unnecessarily cluttered, and would probably cause some duplicate information.".

The Wiki, I thought was to make as much information as possible available to as many people as possible.

The script that makes a Wiki possible leaves the options open to create simple links to info for gay, disabled, single female etc travelers. So why not? :)

Rather than make a page "unnecessarily cluttered", its making more info more relevant to more people - --Damian 22:59, 15 January 2007 (EST)

What info do you think is lacking? Only things that are exclusive to a particular country should go on that country (or city) page, everything else can go in one of the pages that Colin mentions above. Beyond specific safety info that is specific to that destination and isn't just common sense, and the occasional hoppin' gay bar listed in the drink section, what else is specific to g&l's that doesn't apply to everyone else? Cacahuate 23:55, 15 January 2007 (EST)

I am not sure what you are saying? - "Only things that are exclusive to a particular country should go on that country (or city) page"

That seems very odd. Every Country, City or Region has a template that makes sure there is info that is consistent with the site as a whole. Thats very noble - but I am also gay, unfit and my partner is/was in a wheelchair. Maybe you cant cover all those scenarios on one page, but why restrict WikiTravel to just 'able bodied 18-30 heterosexuals'?. I would have thought that the whole concept of a Wiki demands that all persons have a say in its production.

Again - the alternative is a Wiki for Gay travelers, disabled travelers, single females etc etc - the format is available here on 'WikTravel' for all of that to be covered - its just a simple link. Its such a simple thing to do - who here doesn't know what the rights of a disabled traveler to your city center is? You can share that info or not.

Yes, nobody's arguing with anything you just said. Maybe I was just being overly helpful in trying to point out to put 'general' info about GLBT travel into the Gay and lesbian travel topic page, and info that is specific to a certain destination on that page.
Regarding your above comment about the comment about cluttering up pages with all of those sections, if there's something very relevant for one of those groups then list it in the appropriate place on the page. The policy is simply saying not to create an entire section in an article for one of those groups. For instance, in Sudan you can be executed for homosexuality, so that's something you would want to mention in the "stay safe" section on the Sudan page. West Hollywood may have a hotel that is "gay friendly", so if that's relevant then mention that in the hotel's description, but there's no need to create a whole section of "gay friendly hotels", since heterosexuals likely stay at those hotels too.
But enough talking in generalizations, add some stuff you think is relevant, and if anyone disagrees or things it belongs in another place then we can talk about a solution then!  :) | Cacahuate 05:20, 16 January 2007 (EST)
Our policy for information for gay and lesbian travellers is that we want to have such information included in the main guide articles for a place, not spread out over several different articles. There are a lot of reasons: firstly, about 98% of what gay and lesbian travellers are going to do, they'll do the same as anyone else (go through customs, ride the metro, see the museums). There would be a lot of unnecessary duplication and redundancy if we had separate guides for gays and lesbians. Second, it's very easy to tag bars, restaurants, and hotels as gay-friendly, without separating them into a different section or guide. Most such establishments will also cater to other people, too. Thirdly, wiki works best when everyone is working on the same article -- not working on umpteen little personal articles.
That all said, I think that if there's some location that has so much information specific to one particular sub-group of travellers (travellers with children, senior travellers, disabled travellers, gay and lesbian travellers, women travellers) that it overwhelms the "general" destination guide with information that may not be useful at all to travellers not in that group, we may want to consider moving that info to a separate travel topic. We already do it with fields of pursuit, like Literary London and Off-road vehicles in California. I think we'd have to be careful to keep information synched with the main destination guide, however. --evanp 08:46, 16 January 2007 (EST)

LOL - and I'm off..... "How to p#s$ off the natives in one ez lesson" :)

I will leave the whole L&G thing for another day - I have spent most of my life in New Zealand so perhaps my time would be better spent at least starting the stubs for some of the amazing places we have down their :) Looking forward and beyond - Damian

Two-step confirm process for adding a page to your Watchlist

I don't know where else to comment on this, but the two-step process for adding a page to my Watchlist that includes a confirm step is a real PITA in my opinion. I've never seen this on any other wiki. BlankVerse 05:25, 16 January 2007 (EST)

True, but it's difficult to avoid technically. This site uses a an extension called Cache404 which basically makes everything a flat page until you edit it. As you can imagine this really cuts down on bandwidth required, but has the disadvantage of making it impossible to set the watch/unwatch tab correctly when the page is rendered.
We've talked about a couple of solutions, but the one we're using for now is the two-step process. I suppose another way to do it would be to build a little javascript per user with containing a function that takes a page name as an argument and returns true if the page is on the watchlist or false if not.
That would be quite a project though, so for now this is how it is. -- Mark 09:41, 16 January 2007 (EST)


Swept in from Today's Log has anyone been to Akumal,Mexico lateley?

Taipei and everywhere else in Asia

Can someone tell me if Taipei and everywhere else in Asia show display street names in the local language and English? I think I've found the address for Taipei 101, but I have a hard time believing the Republic of China's addresses are displayed in English. If not, how does one go about deciphering the addresses from the local language to English, especially since a lot of travel guides display the addresses in English? -- Sapphire 18:42, 9 February 2007 (EST)

Most Asian countries have street signs in their own language along with a romanized version (I say romanized as opposed to English because rather than translating the word say for, say, road, it might just be transliterated i.e. Instead of the sign saying Ginza Road (a famous thoroughfare in Tokyo), the sign might read Ginza Dori - dori being the Japanese word for road. However, Taipei does not use this system, with all it streets signs baring the English suffix road, street, lane or alley). In less developed countries the use of romanized versions of street signs may be limited to the capital and used only on major thoroughfares, but in places like Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and major Chinese cities etc, all streets signs have a romanized version. As for the world's tallest building, it is so famous in the region that a letter just addressed to Taipei 101 with no street, country or city would find its way with no trouble. Hope that answers your question. WindHorse 20:01, 9 February 2007 (EST)
Of course, in many Asian countries street addresses are next to useless, because street signage is woeful to nonexistent (eg. India, Indonesia) or because streets literally have no names (eg. Japan). For example, in India addresses tend to look like "Gurgaon, XYZ Colony, near IFFCO Chowk, behind MGF Plaza, opposite Maruti showroom", and in Japan they look like "Komaba 4-6-29-508" (my actual former address), where the numbers represent (in this case) district, block, building, apartment. Incidentally, there is no "Ginza-dori" in Tokyo, although there's a district called Ginza and it has a named street called Chuo-dori. Jpatokal 06:05, 10 February 2007 (EST)
Sorry for the bad example, I'd forgotten that the official name for that street in Tokyo is Chuo-dori. I appreciate the correction. WindHorse 12:26, 10 February 2007 (EST)

let's help to find an original author

I would propose to implement a tool that helps to find original author of any given piece of article.

Why: Many of us editors deal with improving someone else's content written some time ago. When we're in doubt, we have three options:

  • edit the content with a belief that our version is better then it was (and hope its author will raise a discussion if there's some disagreement*)
  • move out a questionable piece to article's Talk page for discussion (and hope that its author will come back some day to the article's talk page for discussion*)
  • just remove a piece considering it misleading, for example (and hope that its author will notice the removal and raise a question if he disagrees*)

I marked all items with * as they only apply to the articles without regular editors who watch for article credibility relying on their local expertise.

This scheme works fine when (a) most of valuable content is brought in be regular editors, or (b) if every region has an active expert who raise question immediately on any disputable edit. However, neither (a) nor (b) for most regions is true, in my experience.

My proposal is to recommend editors to contact authors when they're about to edit/remove something they don't understand or otherwise feel that discussion would help to find a more objective and balanced view on a questionable topic. To contact--at least leaving a short comment to original author on User's talk page, if not dropping a email. The only question is how to find who was the author of piece in question--it's a headache to do manually every time, but see How below. l Such a practice will give more retention of and respect for occasional editors whos life is not so much about travel to spend few hours a week just to patrol their edits, and result in better return visitors rate we editors all really need at Wikitravel. Hopefully it will even add more regular editors having local expertise on specific regions.

How: OK, here's the point. All we need is a tool which searches over previous editions of the article for a last change of a piece in question. I.e.:

  1. have a text area where you can paste in a piece you'd like to find original author for
  2. on submit, just find a latest version of this article where this piece does not appear. This will give you exactly the last edit for this piece
  3. if the version found is just the edit of the piece you still need, go ahead manually copying the previous edition of the piece, and repeat step 1--until you find a change in question (and its author).

Voila! Objections? --DenisYurkin 06:33, 11 February 2007 (EST)

I think you are overlooking some problems:
  1. As far as the community goes, my only concern would be that if I move or edit a paragraph, I'd prefer not to be asked about the content as if I wrote it.
  2. The Wikimedia database is not deltafied. You would have to retreive every version of the file when processing this command.
  3. If a vandal deletes a section and it is later restored, the software would need to account for that
  4. This sounds like a huge server load. Expect the feature to be disabled on large Wikis like Wikipedia and Wikitravel.
-- Colin 23:25, 11 February 2007 (EST)
I'm not sure I understand why this is important. It seems much better to simply put a note on the Talk: page saying what you're doing and why, if you think it could be controversial. If the original author is going to object, it's likely other people will object, too. I think your plan puts too much reliance on the ownership of editors of their own work, which is something I'd rather discourage than encourage. If wiki editors have to ask permission of original contributors before changing any text, we're going to grind to a standstill. All authors have given their permission to make changes; it's part of the social contract of wiki. --Evan 12:40, 11 February 2007 (EST)
Maybe I have too much experience of editing regions which have no frequent watchers with local expertise, but my reality is:
  • too often I leave a question on some other's piece that doesn't get any reaction for months (and I wish I could contact its author if it was easier than manual full scan of all edits)
  • too often I find that my edits were reverted or distorted in meaning without any notice, neither on article's Talk page nor on my own User_talk page.
  • in events of both sorts I wish I am (or editor after me is) able to get in touch with the original author.
I don't think it will slow down the process much if, along with doing my edit over someone's contribution, I leave a short notice to the person who written the previous version of this specific piece in the rare cases I'd like him to be aware of. Even mentioning his username on edit summary would make things easier, seriously.
Don't take me wrong, I don't advocate that every edit should be performed with a procedure like this. Nor do I propose to ask any kind of permission--only to notify or ask a question when I need to. --DenisYurkin 17:26, 11 February 2007 (EST)
If it's that rare, why can't you do the research to identify the original author manually? On occasion I have done that so I could yell at someone for a really bad Wikipedia contribution, or so I could check their other contributions for similarly bad edits, and it wasn't that difficult. It'd be even easier here, where articles generally have fewer edits and editors. - Todd VerBeek 20:28, 11 February 2007 (EST)
To turn to really practical things for a while:
  • in the last month when I published my experiences on Hungary and its regions, I left about two dozen of questions. Roughly half of them is still without answers. I travel to 3 or 4 destinations a year, and I think every new destination will give me at least the same numbers. I do value my time to do a manual scan for every question left without answer, and I'm looking for some way to save time without compromising objectivity of articles. I like IBM slogan "Machines should work, people should think" :-)
  • if I bring in a patch for MediaWiki that just implements the feature I vote for here, what are the chances it will be accepted from wikitravel's philosophy point of view? (ie. if we ignore technical issues on incorporating it for a while, and only count ideological objections/support of the community)
--DenisYurkin 22:37, 11 February 2007 (EST)
  • I still don't see why you can't use your watchlist to watch for answers to questions you've asked. Once a week, look at this URL and skim for the word "Talk". Not exactly time-consuming or difficult.
  • My philosophical objections boil down to the belief that Wikitravel articles (or segments thereof) belong to the whole editing community, and discussions about them should take place in a community forum. Saying, "Hey, Todd, about what you wrote..." on my user Talk page treats it like a collaboration between you and me, which it is not. - Todd VerBeek 16:25, 12 February 2007 (EST)
On 1: yes, I can--as I can perform manual scan over previous versions in the second scenario. It's takes some time, every week. I value my time, and I value my contribution--and I believe my proposal allows me to have more of both, not to seek compromise of choosing one.
On 2: this scheme, mentioned around here many times, works well for articles that have at least 2 knowledgeable editors at any point, not counting author of potential edits. For the countries/regions I'm involved in editing recently (Hungary, Morocco, Cyclades of Greece), this is just not the case--most of the time there's no single editor with local expertise available to discuss change or even to be sure new edits are basically OK. At least, that's my experience. --DenisYurkin 16:57, 12 February 2007 (EST)
I've sometimes wished for the ability to do this on Wikipedia, so I could go yell at someone for a particularly bad bit of misinformation or general stupidity they added, which I find lingering in an article. Which is why it's probably for the best that the feature doesn't exist. :) As for the more constructive purposes suggested here... isn't that what watchlists are for? If someone wants to be "notified" about changes to articles they feel some "ownership" of (I have a bunch of those), they can check their lists periodically. On the other hand, I've had to scale back my involvement here in recent months so I can focus on other things, and I definitely don't want people e-mailing me about some tidbit of prose I wrote when I was bored a year ago and hitting "Random page" a lot. - Todd VerBeek 14:16, 11 February 2007 (EST)
(reindented your comment) Todd, but would you prefer that someone notify you via your personal Talk page (or at least leave a note on the article's Talk page) instead of just removing a piece you've written a year ago (and you still believe it's true)?
Checking the Watchlist is really time-consuming if you contributed to a much-edited article, like Berlin or Athens or Budapest, not to mention country-level articles. I don't have any measurements in hand, but I think that 20-50% of edits are brought in by occasional or even one-time contributors, peope who took a printed copy with them for a once-in-a-lifetime trip, contributed an edit or two upon their return, and don't have much time every week to check every edit followed in their watchlist. But I do believe that the next time they visit Wikitravel for another guide, they get a feeling that their contribution is respected and valued--and their opinion really counts, if they are notified of controversial edits or invited to discussion related to their contribution. --DenisYurkin 17:26, 11 February 2007 (EST)
They are. By looking at the Talk pages for the articles on their watchlist. If they aren't concerned enough to do that, then they probably don't care enough to want to be bugged about them. You seem intent on making people pay attention to these things, rather than letting them decide how much attention to pay. The examples you cite of people not responding to comments on Talk pages don't indicate a problem to be solved; they indicate the actual level of ownership people feel about the edits they've made. These editors have chosen to let their contributions be edited (and possibly deleted) by anyone on the Web, and not to check on them. If there's some kind of special question about some information I wrote that you believe is controversial: OK, leave a note for me on my Talk page. But for most of what I've written: please, no. Leave a comment on the article's Talk page if you think your edit warrants discussion; if I care about what I've written on that page, I'll see your comment there... but if I don't, that's my choice. And really, that's what article Talk pages are for: a public place to discuss the contents of the article. After all, the person who originally wrote the sentence you're removing isn't the "owner" of it; the person who replaced an adjective in it three months later, the person who rephrased it to be more fair two weeks ago, and even someone who looked at it and agreed with it... they each have just as much reason to be asked about removing it. As for the problem of people editing your text without notifying you, as long as notifying the original author is voluntary (which it has to be), there's no way we can fix that. If you care that much about your contributions, you have to police them yourself: use your watchlist. - Todd VerBeek 20:28, 11 February 2007 (EST)

Article Request for comment Peer review

Many articles are mostly compiled by one person that put a lot of effort into it. Often this person will want some feedback on the work that (s)he has done. Currently the only real way of getting that feedback is by nominating the article as a star (as I did in the case of South Africa). Maybe we need a wikitravel:RFC page where contributors can request feedback on the work they have done. After the normal 14 days this feedback can then be archived to the article's talk page. We might also want to make this RFC process a requirement before an article is nominated for star status. -- NJR_ZA 00:35, 15 February 2007 (EST)

Wikitravel:Requests for comment? -- Ryan 00:51, 15 February 2007 (EST)
Not quite what I have in mind, Wikitravel:Requests for comment is for wikitravel related RFCs, I'm thinking of somewhere a user can ask for feedback on specific articles. -- NJR_ZA
Isn't it for any article in any time when we need comments on it? What's the border between "mostly compiled by one person" and the world of other cases? --DenisYurkin 04:17, 15 February 2007 (EST)

Scratch this, I'll come back re rephrase the question when I have thought about it some more. -- NJR_ZA 05:53, 15 February 2007 (EST)

Umm... Why did you scratch that? I think it is a valid question. It does not really matter whether the article was written by one person or many. If you intend to work on the article to improve it, there needs to be a place where you can solicit feedback. The thing is, till the article reaches a certain stage, it is rather obvious what needs to be done to improve it. If an article is in the outline stage, it is obvious that the various sections need to be filled out. It is when the article starts looking good that it needs the fresh/more experienced eyes to point out the flaws. Wikipedia has a process of peer reviews and it is now a norm that an article has to go through peer review before it gets featured. It's probably a good idea to introduce a similar thing here too, but I had this idea of tying it with article status.
Right now, the article status criteria are well-defined, but there is no organized way to make sure that an article actually has the status it deserves. I wanted to tighten the process so that we start going through a peer review before an article gets the "guide" status. My vision for guide and star statuses is slightly stricter than what's written as policy. I think of a "guide" level article as one that you'd consider acceptable in a printed guide if you were paying for it - just as you wouldn't accept typos, formatting variations, violations of the MoS in a printed guide, we shouldn't accept them in a guide article. A star is a sort of an award for the article. In a star, you'd look well-written, enjoyable and lively prose. You'd look for "completeness". So I want the peer review process to focus on the technical details, while the star nomination process to focus on the softer aspects. The other difference is that the peer review process is negative - if no one objects and no one gives fixable feedback, the article goes through and becomes a guide, while the star process is positive - i.e. unless that the consensus says that the article is a star, it is not a star.
The reason I held off on all this is that I really want Wikitravel:Listings to get off the ground before I push this. Once it gets into production, we should make it mandatory for all guide articles, and it will be a pain to redo the process for all the nominated guides. — Ravikiran 09:54, 15 February 2007 (EST)
I was thinking along the same lines, but your description above states the idea a lot clearer than what I did. Waiting for the listings to be completely ready is probably a good idea, that way we can do it right first time round. -- NJR_ZA 10:17, 15 February 2007 (EST)
We seem to be working around similar ideas in a few different conversations, but all seem to be leaning towards tightening up the guide/star statuses, and finding ways other than nominating for star status to get feedback on articles... have you guys read the conversation that Bill started - Wikitravel_talk:Star_articles#Star_Potential - I still don't know what the bigger picture answer is, but it will be nice if we can continue to define what guide/star articles are in more detail... and these other potential processes to help get them there I think are good ideas... Ravikiran, I agree with you about Guide Status articles, they should already be near perfect... and Star is for those that are absolutely excellent in every way, and probably even better than what LP, etc's coverage would be. Maybe the first step is further defining those statuses... for instance, should Guide articles be required to have maps? LP wouldn't print a guide without them, unless it's a tiny destination that doesn't need one... - Cacahuate 15:31, 15 February 2007 (EST)
About maps - I forgot to mention that. Ideally, it would have been part of guide requirements (as it is a "technical requirement") but I propose that it be an exception to the rule, as making maps is hard, we will end up with very few guides and most importantly, this one requirement will overwhelm all the others. — Ravikiran 01:03, 16 February 2007 (EST)

A gentle reminder

There are now a lot of new regular users, including new admins. I just thought I'd point out that there is a page called Wikitravel:Ways to help Wikitravel that lists out how you can help Wikitravel. In particular, I'd like to draw your attention to the first item that lists some useful pages like Special:Orphan pages that give you something to do when you are in the mood for boring maintenance work to pass your time. — Ravikiran 06:27, 16 February 2007 (EST)


Just bringing up something I've noticed in the deletion discussions, I see the words "according to wikipedia" rather a lot, and wonder why we have to treat it as the number one factual account of everything? I get the distinct impression that's the case anyway. MiddleEastern 07:09, 14 February 2007 (EST)

Well, since Wikipedians like to create articles for every stupid place and thing imaginable they're a good measure for deciding if a place is noteworthy. I.e. if Population-of-Three Town in Jumbobo doesn't have it's own article, then we can say with some certainty that the place is not noteworthy. Of course, this isn't always the case, but it's normally a good measure. -- Sapphire 06:36, 16 February 2007 (EST)
I'd quite like to call them sad... but I'd probably be killed, I was once actually blocked on Wikipedia for asking an administrator why he seemed to spend 18+ hours a day watching the encyclopedia... --MiddleEastern 09:19, 16 February 2007 (EST)

distribute Star articles in a printed form?

Recurring to the early-years idea to distribute Wikitravel articles in a printed form (and thus findind new contributors, not only helping people to travel smarter): have anyone tried to distribute articles in Star status? They are definitely the best candidates to start... Maybe start talking to the hotels and cafes that we recommend in those articles? --DenisYurkin 19:00, 26 November 2006 (EST)

If we're not ready yet to start doing specific talks with specific hotels, what about helping those wikitravellers who may have good contacts with some hotels? Can we encourage them to talk about distribution, and have some place at Wikitravel where they can ask for help/we talk on policies etc etc? Or the plan is just dramatically different? ;-) --DenisYurkin 04:35, 11 February 2007 (EST)

BUMP :-) --DenisYurkin 18:01, 13 February 2007 (EST)

Personally I don't care either way if they ever get distributed in printed form... I think they're most handy as an online guide that you can print last minute and have the most up to date version. But even if the goal is to print them someday, I think we're still in the stage of needing to write them instead of what to do after they're written, for the most part - Cacahuate 11:26, 16 February 2007 (EST)
I would vote for ReleaseEarlyReleaseOften here--even if we start only with a few articles which are already Guides or Stars. Otherwise the feedback reward for the community remains in too distant future, and noone believe it will ever happen--while we keep referring that "we ultimately write a printed guide, not really so much an online guide". --DenisYurkin 12:12, 16 February 2007 (EST)

ToDo for articles

I know this is recurring topic, but I'd like to make another iteration.

Right now we have at least 3 ways of listing what still needs to be done on article:

I believe things will be easier if we merge them in a single locaton--both to add attention of editors and go away from inconsistency and outdated lists. Personally I'd like ToDo section on talk page to become that location, but that's a biased opinion :-)

Opinions please? --DenisYurkin 04:06, 23 February 2007 (EST)

These serve different purposes. The CotW info is to coordinate a special limited-time activity, the Star slush pile is to explain to people why an article wasn't designated a "star", and a ToDo list... to be honest I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of this is, because it's pretty much what the Talk page is all about. What exactly is the problem here that needs solving? - Todd VerBeek 08:49, 23 February 2007 (EST)
But ultimately all three help future editors to find how specifically they can contribute to improve the article (when they don't feel like reading the whole article, or when they're residents not always understanding what is still missing from traveller's point of view). Asking those editors to browse over 2-3 sources for that purpose takes more efforts from them than necessary, in my opinion. --DenisYurkin 18:27, 23 February 2007 (EST)
No, they don't. CotW applies only for the duration of that week. The Star slush pile is only for historical reference so people know why a nomination failed; it is not a list of things currently needing work. If an editor cares enough about an article getting Star status, she can - and should - examine it herself to see if everything (not just the problem areas last time) meets the criteria. I don't really like the idea of a to-do list in the first place. For example, a formal list might discourage inexperienced editors from making improvements that aren't on it. Finally, I don't see how creating a special to-do list is going to make it easier to edit articles, since it would only work if editors all maintained that as well as the article itself (and they won't). So I agree with you on one point: asking editors to browse two sources to figure out what needs to be done to improve an article is too much. So let's stick with one: the article. Any gaps or deficiencies an editor notices there are things she is invited to fix, and if she can't see anything that needs fixing, I don't think a to-do list is going to help her much. - Todd VerBeek 11:24, 24 February 2007 (EST)
This is the first (but probably not the most prominent) reason why we need ToDo lists:
Wikitravel talk:Manual of style#Requests for information in article content
--DenisYurkin 06:11, 4 March 2007 (EST)

Todd, I think you are right that we need some standard explanation in such sections--mentioning something like this:

  • todo list does not pretend to be a full list of things to be done--please plunge forward and do whatever you feel would make the article better
  • still, the list is aimed to connect those having local knowledge (but not realizing yet which part of it can be helpful for travellers) with those travellers who need(ed) specific knowledge from their experience
  • please remove anything from the list once it's done (whether done by yourself or when you find it was done earlier by someone else)

With a standard explanation covering the above points (but more precise, of course), I believe most of your concerns will be addressed. --DenisYurkin 16:12, 4 March 2007 (EST)

Copyrighted Geo data

I just realized that some websites have copyright notices on geo data and I guess this is relevant to other fields and data (i.e. climate data, which has caused some pain for getting data for non-US places for use with templates I worked on). I've always been under the impression that you can't copyright facts/data. I.e. if I used a website that is not free (in our sense) I can still copy and paste the data published, because they are facts. I.e. no one can deny that Zakopane (or at least a specific section of it) lies at Latitude Foo and Longitude Foo. Is it ok to use this info, since they are facts, or at least I hopefully consider them to be? -- Sapphire(Talk) • 17:32, 27 February 2007 (EST)

I know that some database vendors have claimed copyright on their collections of data, but individual bits of data - like long/lat coordinates for a location - are simple facts and cannot be copyrighted. - Todd VerBeek 10:59, 4 March 2007 (EST)
I think I can say with authority that you are correct in all the english speaking jursidictions, Todd. [Although in some jurisdictions an original layout or ordering or presentation can automatically acquire protection and, of course, API's such as Google's are protected in most jurisdictions...]
...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 12:42, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

Article with official name containing a /

I have an article Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park that contains a / as part of the official name. Is there any way to escape that / so the name is treated as one rather than Ai-Ais with subarticle Richtersveld Transfrontier Park? --NJR_ZA 09:37, 5 March 2007 (EST)

You might be able to use <nowiki>xxx</nowiki>, not sure thought, try it out :-) --MiddleEastern 16:39, 5 March 2007 (EST)

Log out times

It seems to me that I can barely finish an edit without needing to log in again. Is there any way to lengthen the time before automatic log out? --Peterfitzgerald Talk 17:19, 5 March 2007 (EST)

Ahem. I'm sure this isn't too much of an issue for admins who are patrolling and moving through a lot of pages quickly, but the quick automated log out times are really frustrating when you are working between uploading images on Shared and researching new content for articles—or, for that matter, doing work on wikitravel while ostensibly busy at the workplace. I find I have to log myself back in about once per hour--is there any way to lengthen this time or to stay logged in? This was my main gripe when I got started here and it's developed into a full blown peeve. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 18:20, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
Hmmm... for some reason I used to get this a bit more before, but now I can stay logged in for days... I haven't had to re-login for like 2 weeks now. Including on Shared, and on Hindi. Does it have to do with the browser? I don't think there's an auto-logout feature on here, is there? I use Safari, and it's been great... and I don't think I have to relogin when using Firefox either, it seems alright too... Not sure what the problem is then... – cacahuate talk 21:03, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
it plagues me on multiple computers (macs, pcs...) and on Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Netscape. :*( --Peterfitzgerald Talk 21:15, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
Sometimes when I know I will be logged out before I save an edit I click the "Show preview" button, which seems to keep me logged in longer than normal and if you need to click it again... go ahead. It seems to work for me. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 21:37, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, I do that and I try to keep refreshing my watchlists, but you can see how this might develop into a peeve. As it was, despite my best efforts, I had to log myself back in today to en & shared well over a dozen times. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 21:39, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Thank you for your cordial and helpful welcome

on my user talk page! I realise it was probably a bot, but nevertheless I wish to thank and congratulate you for taking the time and care to create it.

I shall now wizz off (as you suggested) to the pub to ask for assistance on changing the position of the ToC on pages. [Drop me a line if you ever think you'll be in Glasgow...]W. Frank 08:38, 7 March 2007 (EST)

It wasn't a bot. Sapphire is Andrew H., who is very much a human, and you are really welcome here. This is the right place to ask questions, but about the position of the ToC on pages, right now the position is that users can't personalise, because we cache for performance reasns. Most people are unhappy about the amount of whitespace it consumes, but at some point in the past when it was changed so that the ToC came up on the right, outside the main body, it caused a major storm. Now the issue is being discussed in the talk page of Wikitravel:Table of contents location, but the discussion has been dormant for some time, and there have been no changes on them. — Ravikiran 08:51, 7 March 2007 (EST)
Thanks pal! You've saved me starting a redundant thread (I was very worried about the ugliness of pages and waste of trees caused by all that white space but I guess the predominant ethos here is an 'american' attitude to resources). W. Frank 09:07, 7 March 2007 (EST)
Congratulations Ravikiran on your recent wedding! May you both be blessed! W. Frank 09:11, 7 March 2007 (EST)
I'm a bot!? -- Sapphirebot 13:51, 1 March 2007.
Resistance is useless. You, too, will be assimilated. J-bot-okal 12:47, 8 March 2007 (EST)
If you are, then I'd like to report some bugs in your shiny deletion button algorithm. -- Colin 15:00, 7 March 2007 (EST)
Those have already been reported and solved, I think. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 15:10, 7 March 2007 (EST)
Thanks Frank! — Ravikiran 22:19, 7 March 2007 (EST)

Appropriate to have sleep section in country page?

The reason I ask is that someone has duplicated (part) of the 'sleep' entry I made in the 'Nelson' section into New Zealand. Surely it is inappropriate to have a 'Sleep' section for a whole country (unless it is very tiny or lacking in possibilities to lay one's head)? W. Frank 09:07, 7 March 2007 (EST)

The sleep section for countries and regions is not for individual listings but rather to provide an overview on the accommodation in that particular area. Check out the Japan article to see a good example of what that section should look like. -- Ricardo (Rmx) 09:25, 7 March 2007 (EST)
Thanks for that clarification, Ricardo. I see that there have been quite a few jokers running around on New Zealand since I left my original message. I have just deleted the italicised section of this text:
In New Zealand, armed police are a media event (unlike gangs). Although all police officers are trained to handle firearms, these are normally only openly worn when the situation requires such weapons, such as an armed offender. Traditionally, New Zealand police only carry batons and offender control (pepper) spray. However, first response patrols will generally have recourse to weapons locked away in their vehicle. They don't really hesitate to do this and are known to run along the policy lines of a Dead criminal is better than a talking victim. but bribes should never be offered openly to police officers; this will make your situation worse, not better. In fact, offering a bribe is an excellent way of getting a free tour of a New Zealand prison, court room and police cell, not to mention deportation. But sexual favours are considered the exception to this rule
Hey, Frank, G'Day! Stop being sneaky and sign your posts, you old weasel! When are we going to see you in Omeath again?
(the Grandchildren are off to Singapore, Cebu and Nelson early next month so you could stay in your usual room)
...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 12:36, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
I think you should keep your voice down in here, G - you don't know who's listening (grin). Since when did they make you an open directory editor?W. Frank 10:40, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Wikitravel dating service?

Can anyone tell me what the heck this[7] is? --Peterfitzgerald Talk 15:59, 9 March 2007 (EST)

Hey! Cool! This takes the word "community" to a whole new level! -- Sapphire(Talk) • 16:15, 9 March 2007 (EST)
Ok, seriously, I think they're trying to piggyback off of us thereby increasing that site's Google rank. They say the content is available under GNU FDL. How exactly did you find it? -- Sapphire(Talk) • 16:17, 9 March 2007 (EST)
I was trying to use google to find any wikitravel pages regarding my automated logout times question ;) --Peterfitzgerald Talk 16:21, 9 March 2007 (EST)
Are you using Internet Explorer 6? -- Sapphire(Talk) • 16:32, 9 March 2007 (EST)
No, I've been using a current version of Firefox. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 18:47, 9 March 2007 (EST)
Their motto (like ours): the Traveler Comes First.™ - Todd VerBeek 18:03, 9 March 2007 (EST)

Javascript errors?

Wikitravel seems to be throwing a javascript error: "wgBreakFrames is not defined" (wikibits.js, line 51). I'm getting this on both firefox and IE, and so I don't think it's a problem at my end.  ;-) --Tinkerer 02:15, 10 March 2007 (EST)

Creative Commons 3.0

To everyone,

Creative Commons just launched the 3.0 versions. There are some interesting and, I think, better features about the overall 3.0 license. I.e. 3.0 licenses can be relicensed under other licenses with the same spirit. See Creative Commons by-ShareAlike 3.0 and the Creative Commons website for the nitty gritty. Once I read over everything I'll consider relicensing all of my contributions under possibly the 3.0 license, or something more recent. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 03:56, 10 March 2007 (EST)

New Itineraries

After a trip, I've started several new itineraries — two for routes I followed, Yunnan tourist trail and Overland Kunming to Hong Kong — and two for other routes, Overland to Tibet, and Burma Road. Comments and contributions solicited.

Some more specific questions arise, though. One is a naming convention for overland itineraries. This has been discussed before, at least at Talk:Overland from Singapore to Shanghai and Talk:Istanbul to New Delhi over land. Should "Overland Kunming to Hong Kong" have a "from" inserted? Or should "Overland from Singapore to Shanghai" have it removed? Should "Istanbul to New Delhi over land" be changed?

Another is how to choose directions for itineraries. I wrote it as "Kunming to Hong Kong" because that is the way I travelled it, but "Hong Kong to Kunming" would fit better as a component in "Overland to Tibet". Do we need a policy, or just a suggestion, that says itineraries should be written from the better-known or more accessible end, travelling toward the other end?

There's also an open question about whether we need some sort of hierarchical tag for itineraries. Or for Travel Topics. isIn is fine for destinations, but what about itineraries. "Singapore to Shanghai" has several parts; should they link to it? How? "Overland Kunming to Hong Kong" could be part of one route in "Overland to Tibet"; should there be breadcrumbs for that?

Just using isIn — "Overland to Tibet" isIn Asia, "Overland Kunming to Hong Kong" isIn China, Yunnan tourist trail isIn Yunnan — might be better than nothing, but it does not seem to be the Right Thing. Pashley 04:32, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

Personally, I favour the briefer alternative of "Overland Hong Kong to Kunming" with the convention you suggested of from the better-known or more accessible origin to the lesser-known or less accessible destination.
However, there may need to be exceptions to this. For example, the Routeburn Trail in South-West New Zealand is best walked from the Glenorchy end to The Divide (on the Milford Road) because walked in that direction, one is warmed by the sun in the early morning and shaded from its glare in the afternoon by the prevailing topography...
...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 08:58, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

TOC placement template

The history of TOC placement is a long and sordid affair on Wikitravel, but Evan has been working on a solution that should eliminate many of the whitespace issues (shared:Tech:Table of contents makes too much whitespace). In the mean time some users have begun using Template:TOCleft. Articles that use this template look much better than those that don't, but there may be some conflicts with Evan's solution, and I'm not sure we want to have the precedent of allowing any editor to modify something as fundamental as the TOC on a per-article basis. My preference would be to wait for Evan rather than modify TOC placement on a per-article basis, but perhaps others have an opinion, so discussion begun... -- Ryan (talk) 20:07, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

I confess to being one of the users that has been trying to save some paper at print time (and prettify articles in the process - but beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and others, of course, may disagree with my aesthetics).
When I first edited on Wikitravel (anonymously, some months ago) I found that {{TOCleft}}
did not work. When it started working I (wrongly?) assumed that the issue of custom ToC placements had been decided upon.
Obviously I will agree to desist from custom ToC placements if someone would be kind enough to give me a firm timeline for Evan's solution (or a place to track progress) since Template talk:TOCleft hadn't been created at the time I wrote this...
...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 09:35, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
I'd love to get this done and launched. I'm tired of dealing with the ToC placement. Please, if folks have comments, please make them on the shared: discussion page. --Evan 12:13, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Please forgive my ignorance, (there is currently no text on shared: discussion - was it archived somewhere?) but several users have directed me here to the Pub to discuss this - who is that (blank) page shared with?...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 20:06, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

What Evan meant is that anyone who is interested should add to the discussion on the shared site article at shared:Tech:Table of contents makes too much whitespace. -- Ryan (talk) 20:09, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, Ryan! I've left a comment at shared:Tech:Table of contents makes too much whitespace. (I had to sign my comment manually since my log-in doesn't seem to work there; I was reluctant to create a new log-in since I assume there must be a way to use my Wikitravel log-in there too?)...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 20:46, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
You assumed wrong. You'll have to create a new account for Shared, however, you can then use OpenID so that you'll be logged into en and shared at the same time. See the log in screen for more details. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 21:53, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
Andrew, you are wrong. You can use OpenId to import all your details from Wikitravel to Shared. Linking is just an additional feature if you already happen to have already created an account on Shared. — Ravikiran 22:16, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, I just remembered that. I've been waiting for an OpenID un-converter because I'd rather have my other IDs tied to en:, rather than to shared so I've been doing it the old way. Anyhow, to use OpenID shared:Special:OpenIDLogin. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 22:43, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
No, I'm afraid the OpenID login is broken at shared...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 12:13, 27 March 2007 (EDT)

Graffiti wall

I'm using the graffiti wall to print some devanagiri. Upamanyuwikitravel( Talk )( Travel ) • 00:28, 29 March 2007 (EDT)

Done. I'v reverted it to the last version. For some obscure reason, MS word does not support devanagiri so I printed it out from the graffiti wall. I might use it later for the same purpose. Upamanyuwikitravel( Talk )( Travel ) • 05:45, 29 March 2007 (EDT)

Chimney Rock spamming

I've got the following message to the email address I've published at my user page:

From: Laura Essay [[email protected]]
Under the information about Chimney Rock, you have forgotten to mention that great little gift shop,souvenit shop, snack shop, campground that right there. It is located 1 tenth of a mile before you actually get to the rock. It is a great place that deserves to be mentioned. For more information go to: (snip)

Is the same was sent to many others, I think the addresses were collected by a bot, not manually. Is there any meaningful way of preventing that? Actually, this is the second or third case of email like this (previous were about other articles I also never contributed to).

Normally I don't worry about publishing my email address, as I have efficient spam filters. But I'm not sure this one was very mass :-) --DenisYurkin 10:40, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

So, question: was that message sent to several others? It seems like an unlikely thing to make a spam bot for. There's (obviously) no way for anyone to get your email address from Wikitravel unless you put it on your user page. My guess is that this was more of an innocent mistake than a concerted spamming effort. --Evan 11:05, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
Yes, first question is whether it was sent to anyone else here. --DenisYurkin 12:34, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
I didn't get anything. It looks like just confusion on the part of a user - I occasionally get emails telling me that some information is wrong on an article, blasting me for missing information about a place, asking for vacation ideas, etc. I think people are just clicking on one of the names at the bottom of a page and then using the "email this user" link, so this sort of thing is fairly harmless. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:40, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

Next stop option

Hi, I'm new here, and I got an idea to help travellers, but couldn't find anything resembling it (this post might belong to suggestions of features or an idea section?):

What I'm looking for is a feature like the one on the bottom of this page from wikipedia [8]. It should make the viewer able to easily go to the next (available) article on a particular transport route (Bus/Train/Ferry). Maybe even see the distance (in length or time).

The one on the page is just made ad hoc by someone, but the idea is nice.

Why I miss it: When you plan a trip on a train/ferry, you would like to know what the different stops have to offer, but if there is no page for that specific railline/ferry route, the only way to find out soething about it's stops is by manually looking for every city on the railmap.

E.g. On the Irkutsk page is only listed that trains go from Moscow or Vladivostok. It would be nice to mention the nearest important stations Taishet, Novosibirsk and Ulan Ude, but even nicer with a small box saying Trans-Siberian Railway on the top and containing:

... | Novosibirsk | Taishet | Irkutsk | Ulan Ude | ...

Instead of having to do this for every town, it would be perfect to just be able to make a list of station somewhere.

Something like this - just nicer, and not in an infobox.

Trans-Siberian Railway nearest stops:
... Novosibirsk Taishet Irkutsk Ulan Ude ...

Clcow 02:45, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

The problem is that most places aren't neatly laid out on a line like the Trans-Siberian: what's the "next" stop from Tokyo or Chicago? But the "Get out" section is intended to provide the traveller some nearby choices for continuing their trip. Jpatokal 03:26, 7 April 2007 (EDT)
Well, in the US I guess it could be used for the interstate highways, but true, in countries and cities with several options it might just add to more useless info. I'm just thinking that in less infrastructurally developed countries, the number of railroads or mayor roads are small, and this could be an easy way for a traveller to check up on places én route to his destination. Clcow 03:05, 8 April 2007 (EDT)
Regarding the Trans-Siberian route: If you can read/translate German definitely check out the German language guide, which is simply awesome. Without looking at it, I think it does list everything in order, or at least all the major stops in order. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 03:59, 7 April 2007 (EDT)
Thanks, I was actually just using it as an example (I figured it easier to relate to, than ferry routes in Greenland), but I might check some of the German info and merge it with the English. I'll have to do it on paper at some point anyway, might as well do it here.

Traveling by Bike

Hi, I'm going to be traveling Europe, and I'll be doing it almost entirely by bike, so I was curious whether there are bike trails in various areas. If someone knows about bike trails for various areas, I think it'd be nice to see more of this, because I find it hard to find cycling path information for Europe. All the areas I've been reading so far didn't have much of anything about cycling, anyway (Norway, France, Italy). 21:48, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

Denmark is recommendable for bikers. Drivers are used to bikes everywhere, thus its generally safe. Mayor Cities have biketrails along their roads and on[9] you can find guides to the biking routes across the country. - Maybe I should add this info to the page. This page (in Danish) has links to all of europe, btw [10] Clcow 03:31, 8 April 2007 (EDT)
Yes, please do. -- Mark 03:34, 8 April 2007 (EDT)

Road designations

I'm not sure where a section should be inserted, or if I should declare style policy with at least some attempt at consensus, but it would be nice to have something. I posted the below to the MoS discussion page:

I can't find any other place discussing it, so I'll just kind of stick it in here. I've been using (at least in the US articles) what I think is the official designation system. Interstates are prefixed with "IH-", Non-interstate federal highways are prefixed with "US-", state roads are prefixed with "SH-" (I had to kick myself several times to stop using the prefix "TX-", which we Texans know isn't really official, but use any way), and others that might not be so popular across the country (I really don't know), like County Road ("CR-" here), Farm-to-Market Road ("FM-"), and Ranch Road ("RR-") are just spelled out. I wouldn't mind having a stated consensus on this though, especially with "FM-" (In Houston, at least, if you ask for "Farm to market road one nine six zero", you'll get a blank stare about half the time, but everyone knows of "FM ninteen sixty").

But I'm not familiar enough with even the whole US to tell which road types are widely known, and which just stick in my head. Please comment on the following list:

  • Interstate Highway "IH", widely known
  • US Highway "US", widely known
  • State Highway "SH", widely known
  • Farm-to-Market Road "FM", somewhat known
  • County Road "CR", mostly local
  • Ranch Road "RR", mostly local

Jordanmills 13:36, 10 April 2007 (EDT)

In my experience, interstates are always prefixed with "I-", and state highways vary by state (e.g. here in Michigan they're prefixed with "M-"). I don't think most people would understand "IH-" or "SH-". "FM-" and "RR-" are completely foreign to me, but if that's what the designation for a particular road is, so be it. The bottom line is that roads should be identified to by whatever name people use for them. - Todd VerBeek 16:40, 10 April 2007 (EDT)
I've seen it mostly as "IH-", but a quick look at the NHS web site [11] (which, I guess, is about as official as it gets) shows their regular use of "I-". I'd venture to say that your usage is more correct here. While I've also seen "SH-" and "SR-" used interchangably, the DOT/FHA also uses state-specific abbreviations for state highways and state routes. Additionally, there is apparently some difference between a "U.S. Highway" and "U.S. Route". Though I can't wade deep enough into the paperwork to figure out what it is. I may have dug myself too deep here. Jordanmills 18:44, 10 April 2007 (EDT)
Talk:United States of America#Road Nomenclature. I think we should have a Manual-of-Style entry for countries (or at least the major ones) describing our writing conventions. The country MoS would cover addresses, phone numbers, and highway stuff. The MoS for a country would not override the project-wide MoS, of course. -- Colin 17:30, 10 April 2007 (EDT)
Oh goody, link and discussion. I think country-specific MoS entries for country-specific naming conventions sounds like a good plan. Jordanmills 18:44, 10 April 2007 (EDT)


Someone recently added a link to AA meeting info to the "Drink" section of an article, and while there's an obvious logic behind that, I'm wondering if this is information we want to include. I can see AA info becoming hard to maintain, and perhaps better handled by Alcoholics Anonymous itself. But on the other hand, it's obviously useful to many travelers. If we do include info about AA meetings, is this the best place for it or would the "Cope" section be better? - Todd VerBeek 17:15, 10 April 2007 (EDT)

if we do, i say put it in the drink section... then maybe they won't drink in the first place and won't have to "cope" with themselves in an AA meeting the next day... – cacahuate talk 00:31, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
I don't think it's really relevant to travel, and not a slope we want to take on. IMO it's better to leave it out. Jordanmills 00:37, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
I'd leave it out altogether. It may be useful for a few travellers but it's possibly too fine grained for Wikitravel. Otherwise, maybe use the Stay healthy section. -- Ricardo (Rmx) 08:20, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
I wouldn't put it on the city page, because that it just too much to keep up (in the small the town I live in there are at least three churches that have weekly meetings). If anything, I think I'd put it on the "stay healthy" section country page. -- Fastestdogever

Slate article

There's a not-very-positive article on Slate by someone who tried traveling (in Thailand) using only web resources (primarily Wikitravel). His main criticism is that Wikitravel is missing information and too "neutral". - Todd VerBeek 07:57, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

Todd, do you live in a cave? Just kidding. 8) -- Sapphire(Talk) • 08:12, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Yes, I do. I tried getting out once, but couldn't find a decent online travel guide. :) - Todd VerBeek 08:22, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Good article and I think we should pay some attention to it. The writer has a very valid point, our Be Fair rule can sometimes cause us not to give quality, useful information. --NJR_ZA 03:49, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

Phone number spam

We seem to have a spammer on some of the Indian pages adding his phone number (9-831031895) to all listings and in some cases replacing existing numbers with his number. Seems to be same one that was adding www . ttmi2 . com entries. Is there any automated way to blacklist a number? --NJR_ZA 15:33, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

Or worse, it might be his ex-girlfriend's number...I hope we can blacklist it. -- Ricardo (Rmx) 15:47, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
OK, there seems to be more than just the one number that looks suspect. I'll keep a list here something to work off:
* 9-831031895
* 2-2442051
* 2-2492716
* 9-339424307
* 2-4551491
I have found least 20 articles that seems to be affected so far.

--NJR_ZA 16:12, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

I added a dash after the first digit of these numbers. With them intact, no edits to this page could be made. Of course, the spammer could do the same thing. Sigh. Jordanmills 17:07, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Thanks, was just about to come back and do the same as the spam filter blocked this edit of mine. I have cleaned up one or two of the articles, but am running out of time here and will have to look at the rest tomorrow. It's a bit of a mess to clean up as some of the changes are old and he did not add them in any single simple edit. --NJR_ZA 17:14, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Coolness. I'll see if I can find some time tonight to poke around. Jordanmills 18:27, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Can we do a mass revert of this dork's changes? Here's an IP with a lot. I just got the bright idea to collect his other IPs, so I'll list 'em here. ... never mind, there's a lot. It looks like he comes from and Please advise if the following is possible: block all IPs in those ranges from editing, get a list of all changes made by those IPs, give 'em a quick one-over to make sure we're not removing useful content, and undo all those changes. Jordanmills 18:53, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Here are some more numbers I've seen this spammer using:
* 6-9443695
* 3-2953360
Unfortunately, the spammer has added a good deal of content that may or may not be legitimate - a lot of resort entries. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 19:01, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Yeah I noticed that too. But there's generally nothing listed but the name and the spam number, so I'd consider it dubious info at best. I don't know how I'd go about looking up the info to verify, either. Jordanmills 20:56, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Looks like he stopped. Maybe we got all his numbers, or he got tired of paying for new ones. Yawn. Jordanmills 18:01, 14 April 2007 (EDT)


I don't think Evan posted this, yet, because he was having trouble with the wifi in SJ, but don't answer any emails requesting credit card information from an email purporting to be affiliated with Wikitravel. This is a scam and several emails were sent out to Wikia users. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 21:55, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

Add a counter to articles?

Hello, I'd like to know if it would be possible to add a counter to Wikitravel articles, so that editors could see how many times a particular page has been viewed. Would this be possible? Any interest? SONORAMA 09:29, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

I'd second that suggestion, if it is feasible. I haven't been able to find any statistics on article views, which would be useful and interesting. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 09:34, 1 May 2007 (EDT)


Just in case you haven't seen todays Logbook -- Wikitravel has won a Webby! Congratulations! Maj 10:11, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

Excellent! I have added it to the news section on the main page. --NJR_ZA 11:27, 1 May 2007 (EDT)
So where do we put our trophy? - Todd VerBeek 13:39, 1 May 2007 (EDT)
I'd love to put it on the Main Page, but maybe we could put it on Wikitravel:Webby Award 2007? --Evan 14:08, 1 May 2007 (EDT)
Hmmmm, personally I'd like to see it somewhere more prominent than on an obscure page like Wikitravel:Webby Award 2007, can't we put it in the disclaimer bar at the bottom or somewhere on the Main Page? That logo will make people sit up and take notice of the site if they're just passing by and that could increase the number of edits we get, which is a good thing! -- Tim (writeme!) 15:19, 1 May 2007 (EDT)
How about we put it on the Main Page for a few days, and we put something in MediaWiki:Sitenotice (which makes a banner across the top of every page) about it? And let's have a page dedicated to the award to link to, too.
Can someone who's got better Main-Page-editing-chops than myself put it on the front page? --Evan 15:31, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

I've uploaded a couple of images to choose from. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 15:54, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

I've added it to the news item for now... long-term handling to be determined. - Todd VerBeek 16:11, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

Since Wikitravel is certain to win additional awards as time goes by, I've started Wikitravel:Awards. I think we should link to this from somewhere on the Main page, and if not there certainly from the Project page. Suppose we were to change the opening blurb to "Wikitravel is an award-winning project..."? - Todd VerBeek 08:30, 2 May 2007 (EDT)

Advice for road trip across USA


My family are planning on a road trip next year from St. Paul, Minnesota to San Francisco. Any advice on good sights to take in? ~~John.

Hi John. You might try posting in the forums on Wikitravel Extra. (here's s shortcut to staring a new forum discussion: [12])I'm sure plenty of people will have suggestions... including me! Thanks, Maj 08:23, 2 May 2007 (EDT)

Renaming Login UserID

Hi Everyone,

Just joined the other day - I know this might be slightly silly, but never-the-less, I would like my username to be RomanT, and not Romant.

Who would I drop an email to - in order to have them fix it up for me?

Thank you.


If he doesn't see this here, leave a message on User talk:Evan, and he can take care of this for you. - Todd VerBeek 10:21, 3 May 2007 (EDT)

Mexican national parks

At present there are several articles on archaeological national parks in Mexico up for Wikitravel:Votes for deletion. A challenge is that it's hard to decide which of those articles qualify as "exceptions" according to Wikitravel:What is an article? that justify a stand-alone article rather than including the information in the article for a city or region. This issue is complicated by the fact that the United States National Parks -- for which our articles are far better developed at this time -- aren't handled in a very uniform way, as regards the size, significance, remoteness, etc., required to justify a stand-alone.

It would be nice if somebody could do a Mexican National Parks uber-article to parallel the US one, but first, I've tried to start a discussion on Talk:United States National Parks to see what lessons might be learned and applied to the incipient Mexican article. Please stop by and offer an opinion. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 09:51, 8 May 2007 (EDT)


Can we IP ban them?

Please see Wikitravel:How to handle unwanted edits for more on how we like to deal with stuff like this. Thanks. Maj 16:19, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
thanks looked for something like that but didn't see it

Table of contents

Well, the new table of contents looks great, I think. The only problem I see is that it now appears at the top when viewing differences, pushing the differences over so that one has to sidescroll to see everything. Can we suppress the TOC when viewing differences, as we did before? Or simply push it down below the differences into the article where it would normally appear? 17:43, 10 May 2007 (EDT)

Issues related to the new ToC are being discussed here. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 21:27, 10 May 2007 (EDT)

Attribution Question

Most articles say "Based on the work by ...." at the bottom of the page. I've just added a page (Hsipaw). Why doesn't it say "Based on the work by Wandering?" --Wandering 12:54, 16 May 2007 (EDT)

Because it says "This page was last modified 16:17, 16 May 2007 by Wandering." Once the next person edits it, your name gets moved into the "Based on..." list. Jpatokal 13:06, 16 May 2007 (EDT)

Thanks! All is now clear :-). --Wandering 13:14, 16 May 2007 (EDT)


Coming out of RecentChangesCamp Montreal (RoCoCo) in May 2007 there was a sense that there is an opportunity to "brand" the edit button on wikis in the same way that the little orange radio waves icon is used to indicate a feed. This diffuse impulse is trying to coalesce here:

Thoughts? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Brandon CS Sanders (talkcontribs)

I think it's a great idea... I voted over there, and will keep an eye on how it develops. – cacahuate talk 15:23, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
Very cool idea, it will be nice having a recognizable button on all wikis. Have voted and added my comments there. --NJR_ZA 01:31, 24 May 2007 (EDT)

Climate and average monthly temperature data

Climate is important information for new travelers. Has average monthly temperature and maybe rainfall data for locations been considered for inclusion in Wikitravel pages? Do we have suggestions or guidelines for this? --Rogerhc 16:43, 22 May 2007 (EDT)

Hey, cool timing. I just blogged about this. Yes, explaining the climate for various locales has been a goal of ours for quite a while, but I've been especially interested in it. I recently designed Template:Forecast, which you can see in action on the Chicago guide. Also, I add a lot of data for national parks since the NPS was kind enough to do all the work. Hit me up and we can do some collaborating. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 17:34, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
I created an average (monthly) temperature table at Wuhan#Climate to see what it might look like. I scraped the temperature data from (legally, I think, because facts are not copyrightable). I also referenced that source so folks can verify the numbers and easily find more Wuhan climate detail. Should climate data presentation be a Wikitravel Expedition? --Rogerhc 20:51, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
I would definately say it should be an expedition. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 21:09, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
3... 2... 1... launched*———> Wikitravel:Climate Expedition ——— Rogerhc 14:04, 23 May 2007 (EDT)

Applying for a passport

I have to replace my passport and while I've applied for a passport before I wasn't quite sure if my passport was damaged enough so that I'd be required to re-apply in person and pay the more expensive fees or if I could simply use a renewal form and pay the $67 fee, plus the expedited fee.

After trying to get hold of NPIC for an entire day I decided to stay up all night and wait until 06:00 then call (earliest possible time I could get a hold of an operator). I finally got a hold of someone and they saved me about $70 by telling me to do the renewal form.

This is going somewhere... just give me a second. Now, also with the new border crossing rules that require a passport when flying to/from 'them who are up north', Mexico, the US' Caribbean passports are likely to needed by several million more Americans than the previously 5 - 6 million who applied annually. Also, since by the end of January next year a passport will be required at all land/see/air crossings within the US the need for passports is going to sky rocket. (Might this be a conspiracy to get drunk co-eds to party in the US, rather than Cancun? One can only hope so.)

Anyhow, should we have an article that'd explain the process to apply for a passport? I'm on the fence about whether or not the scope should be expanded, but I definitely think it'd be useful for those of us with those 'what the **** does that mean?' scenarios. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 05:25, 24 May 2007 (EDT)

I was in line at the post office a few days ago thinking the same thing. I'm curious if the application process is similar in other countries as the U.S. (fees, wait time, etc). Also, it would be great to cover what would happen if I am out of the country and I lose my passport. -- Fastestdogever 10:13, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
An article about passports could be useful, but I'm not sure how much we can generalize about them. Certainly the "how to get one" information is going to vary dramatically by citizenship. - Todd VerBeek 11:11, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
The article should concentrated (and be titled?) to cover only US passports, which are thoroughly byzantine to apply for and have completely ridiculous waiting times. Jpatokal 11:22, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
Agreed about the waiting time, but I've never found the application process particularly byzantine. My renewal last year was quick and (just kidding) easy enough. Or is it getting ridiculous for new applications? In any case, topics such as passport privacy/security (e.g. RFID chips) and what to do if you lose it, are international in scope.
We should make sure to mention that there is no such thing as a World passport [13]Ravikiran 11:31, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
I would very much appreciate some information regarding how to get a Sealand[14] passport. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 13:14, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
This is cool. I wasn't expecting any support, let alone general support for the idea. So where do we go from here? A generic Passports article? A US-centric article titled US Passports? The current waiting period for an American passport is 14 - 17 weeks, if you don't spring for the additional $60 to get it expedited, which is rather byzantine, especially since you have to send off your birth certificate.
The Germans apparently only need to go to a city hall, tell someone they need one, and... poof... they have one. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 21:12, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
I'd suggest a travel topic article on Passports and visas. US passports are a section. Countries with odd visa requirements (e.g. Saudi Arabia does not have tourist visas, Tibet needs permits, ...) get another section that is mostly one-liners with links. Pashley 00:08, 28 May 2007 (EDT)
But doesn't information about countries with odd visa requirements go in those countries' articles? - Todd VerBeek 13:47, 28 May 2007 (EDT)
I don't think it makes much sense to have a passport page. Most countries have fairly detailed directions already available on the web, and it seems to be informationally inefficient to have it reproduced here. At best, a link to the passport page would be enough. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wandering (talkcontribs)
The US State Department has a lot of information, yes, but if it covered the situations I ran into then I wouldn't have proposed the idea here. By having the information here we can give travelers quick access to information they'd need that the State Department wouldn't be able to give them unless they called NPIC precisely at 06:00. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 19:30, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

Site slowdown

Site painfully slow -- saving edit sometimes takes minutes or even times out on now. Is this due to increased traffic or something else? Maybe Webby Award traffic? Anything being done to fix this? :-) --Rogerhc 17:04, 25 May 2007 (EDT)

I haven't noticed serious speed problems lately, though of course it's never as fast as it should be. :) The site's traffic stats [15] don't include the past week yet, but I don't see a huge spike since the Webby awards :( so I don't think we can blame any speed problems on that... just on the ongoing increase in traffic (roughly doubling since a year ago). - Todd VerBeek 17:38, 25 May 2007 (EDT)
I've noticed serious performance issues too. We're talking ten to thirty seconds to load a page, like recent changes or editing an article. Jordanmills 20:14, 25 May 2007 (EDT)
I have definitely noticed this problem as well on multiple pcs and internet connections, although I can't say it has taken full minutes to load any pages. On shoddier wireless connections, I time out often for Wikitravel, but not for other sites. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 22:17, 25 May 2007 (EDT)
Yep me too... not painfully slow usually, but I've certainly noticed a fairly big difference in the last few weeks or so. – cacahuate talk 03:56, 26 May 2007 (EDT)
Ok, actually sometimes it's painful – cacahuate talk 02:04, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
Another me too. It can be several seconds to get to the home page. I usually go though my watch list looking at differences, which can also take several seconds per page. - Davidbstanley 04:46, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
I'm in China with a fairly slow connection. The site has usually worked reasonably well for me, but often quite slow. Lately it seems worse, but not by much. Pashley 06:07, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
So, I think there are two issues: one is that we've added Google Analytics code to each page, and I think that's why you get a delay when the page is almost loaded. I'll see if I can make that work better, and if not we can remove it.
I vote for getting rid of Google Analytics. I have noticed pages sticking on that on this and other sites. Davidbstanley 17:03, 29 May 2007 (EDT)
Second, we've got a lot of traffic. Internet Brands has an account with Akamai and we're looking into offloading the work of distributing images and static files (.js, .css) through their very fast caching network. That should probably perk up the response time quite a bit.
After that is in place, we're going to look at throwing some hardware at the site to speed it up. --Evan 12:50, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
I have discovered that throwing a hammer at a server tends not to produce the desired performance improvement. But then, I may not have hit the right spot; optimization is tricky work. - Todd VerBeek 13:00, 27 May 2007 (EDT)

shared:Wikitravel Shared:30 May 2007cacahuate talk 21:18, 31 May 2007 (EDT)

Need help with it:

Italian Wikitravel is under attack from what seems to be a distributed bot network; any help very welcome. --Evan 22:02, 25 May 2007 (EDT)

I just took a look and it appears that the crisis is over (at least for now)? - Todd VerBeek 09:20, 26 May 2007 (EDT)

Watchlist problems

The automated mechanism by which pages get "added to watchlist" seems haphazard. Although I have my preferences set to automatically add pages I create to my watchlist, only about 9 out of 10 new pages actually get on my watchlist. I've had to go back an add a lot of pages for which I am the only editor, and I just noticed this happen with the most recent new page I made, Udmurtia. Anyone know what's going on? --Peterfitzgerald Talk 13:13, 26 May 2007 (EDT)

I haven't noticed that, but while we're on the subject, can we revive the 2 step confirm process conversation too? What's stopping us from using the single watch/unwatch button like Wikipedia does? – cacahuate talk 14:54, 26 May 2007 (EDT)
Wikitravel pages are actually written to the server's hard disk the first time they're read; everyone gets the same HTML the server. This makes for a very fast response time (not lately, but usually). We do some JavaScript tricks to put your name, talk page, admin buttons, etc. onto the page. It's a pretty crafty system.
One thing we don't do is twiddle the "watch/unwatch" button based on whether the current page is already in your watchlist. I think the two-step process is worth it, compared to the speed savings and complexity of working out another solution. --Evan 12:54, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
Okie dokie – cacahuate talk 00:26, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

Proposals to change Washington (state) geographic hierarchy

There are a couple of proposals open to change the geographic hierarchy for the articles about Washington (state), USA. One is a proposal to make San Juan Islands a top-level region. One is a proposal to eliminate counties from [the] hierarchy. Follow the links to the respective sections on Washington's talk page to contribute your opinions. One useful bit of information would be: do any other states or provinces use counties (or other regional political divisions) in their article hierarchy? How well does it work? Answers to the proposals sections please. Thank you! JimDeLaHunt 21:02, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

Template approval process

Hey there! So I'm just thinking, based on several past conversations and some Star article nominations, would it make sense to have a Template rating system/status? I don't think it's worthwile having multiple levels or anything, but something as simple as "approved template" or "star template", which would make it easier in the future when evaluating a Star nomination. I don't think we're close to having any Star countries, but if we were, as an example, it would be nice if we'd already come to a consensus about Template:Regionlist, and that's it fully hashed out and has met its potential for the most part. Then a Star country would be required to use it, and we'd feel confident that the template was based on a reasonable consensus. The same would go for the new Climate templates, or a bus timetable template on a city page. ??? – cacahuate talk 22:31, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

I think this would be getting more bureaucratic than we need. If a template gets used widely without anyone undoing it, that's de facto "approved" status, via wikiconsensus. When people stop messing with it, it's a "star". And if we want to require a country article to use (or not use) a particular template, then we revise the Star criteria (or Guide criteria, or however strongly we feel about it) to say so. (P.S. A bus timetable template? I'd go around undoing it.) - Todd VerBeek 22:54, 29 May 2007 (EDT)