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Wikitravel:Travellers' pub

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

Wikitravel ownership

This isn't an announcement board, but as a common gathering spot, I figure it's be a good place to point out a bit of news that might otherwise slip under people's radar: is now owned by Internet Brands, and is going to be managed by Evan and Maj - still as an open-content travel guide - as employees. IB also now owns World66, another open-content travel info site. See Wikitravel:Internet Brands for more info about what this means for us, them, and the other them. - Todd VerBeek 12:55, 24 April 2006 (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)

Problem displaying location hierarchy after a redirect?

Umea redirects to Umeå. If you follow the link for Umea, the first line of text after the title is "(Redirected from Umea)," but on Umeå, it's "Scandinavia : Sweden : Norrland : Umeå." Shouldn't this line also be present after following a redirect? Philbert2.71828 15:37, 7 June 2006 (EDT)

  • You might argue that it "should" be there, but this is how it's designed to work. :) What's happening is that the "redirected" message takes over the on-screen slot that the breadcrumbs otherwise would use. - Todd VerBeek 18:01, 7 June 2006 (EDT)
I'd like to revisit this. I can't believe there isn't an easy solution... like moving one of them down a "slot" or appending the redirect message to the crumbs. Has it been bug reported? OldPine 16:01, 29 July 2006 (EDT)

Where do I find the Wikitravel logotypes?

Hm, where do we keep the Wikitravel logotypes? I would like to use it in a template...but I do not know where to find the logo, anybody? Riggwelter 03:54, 12 July 2006 (EDT)

The main source is at Image:Treatment.svg. At least, that's what I typically use. --Evan 08:45, 21 July 2006 (EDT)

Is there any way to get an RSS feed of a particular article? 10:02, 24 July 2006 (EDT)

German go-between report

The report for July or whatever can be found here shared:Wikitravel Shared:German Wikitravel Liasion Report for August 2006. I made it two days early, because I won't have time in August due to Wikimania. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 03:07, 28 July 2006 (EDT)

Budget/mid range/ splurge?

This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under 10¢
Mid-range 10¢-$100
Splurge Hock a kidney

Just noticed someone shifting a hotel listing around on the Preston article based purely on what quality it is. I know that hotels are arranged price wise, but what are the borders for budget/mid/splurge? I can't find it in Wikitravel:Accomodation_listings! -- Tim 09:23, 2 August 2006 (EDT)

They're what an article writer says they are, and correctly so. A dollar figure that gets you something "mid-range" in city A, representative of "middle America," may get you something incredibly lavish in a third-world city, and may get you a bunk with a broken lightbulb in Moscow. The important thing is that the articles on the respective cities define what Budget, Mid-range and Splurge mean for that city. The existing templates, etc., do a poor job of conveying this; let me take a crack at it. As for the Preston article, edit wars happen everywhere ... -- Bill-on-the-Hill 09:34, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
BTW, I suggested Template:Eatpricerange a while ago to make the limits clearer. If adopted, obviously the same idea can and should be extended to places to sleep. Jpatokal 09:38, 2 August 2006 (EDT)

Use of the admin "rollback" functionality

The "rollback" button for admins is a hugely useful tool, but it unfortunately does not provide any way to indicate why an edit is being rolled back. That's not a problem for things like obvious vandalism, but in other cases it really would be nice to know why an edit was rolled back - even a simple note like "revert - see Wikitravel:External links" provides more explanation to a user than just "Reverted edits by (Talk); changed back to last version by". I'm guilty of over-using that button as well, but it would be really, really helpful to others if admins made an effort to do at least one of the following in cases where the reason for a rollback isn't blatantly obvious:

  • Use the more manual Wikitravel:How to revert a page process and provide an edit comment explaining why the change was reverted.
  • Leave a note on the article's talk page explaining why the change was reverted.
  • If multiple changes by the same user are being reverted (and the changes are not vandalism) either provide an edit comment by using the manual revert process for at least the first revert, or else leave a note on the user's talk page explaining the reason for the revert.

This is just a suggestion; feel free to ignore as always, but I do think it would be very helpful to others. -- Ryan 15:21, 3 August 2006 (EDT)

I've made this request before, but would it be possible to modify the "rollback" functionality to give admins the option of including a comment? I can see the use of an explanation, but I'm going to be cleaning up a lot less junk if I have to go through the non-admin process for most fixes. I do try to leave a note if the edits are made by a registered user, but it seems less likely that explanations will reach the ears of "drive-by" editors. -- Jonboy 15:28, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
I agree about this... I wonder if we should start collecting these ideas on an Wikitravel:Administrator handbook? --Evan 15:32, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
I like that idea, as long as we keep an eye out for the slippery slope of making Admin-stuff too "in-crowd" ish... Maj 15:44, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
Having the option to specify a reason for a revert would be helpful. And to be clear, I'm not proposing that admins do any more work than a normal user, I'm just asking that unless the edit being rolled back is something like "asdfasdf Bob is gay and I rule!" that at least one indicator of why the edit was rolled back is given. Most registered users start out anonymous, and if an anonymous user adds a link to their favorite nightlife guide and that contribution is then rolled back without comment that user is unlikely to contribute here again. However, if either the rollback comment OR a note on the article or user talk page refers the user to Wikitravel:External links then the user may realize that they are still welcome to contribute, but that in this case we just don't link to external guides.
And yeah, a Wikitravel:Administrator handbook would be useful for explaining how to use things like rollback, block, delete, etc. I don't think it would be any more "in-crowd" than any other page that explains Wikitravel functionality, provided everyone has access to read and edit the page. -- Ryan 16:10, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
Agree with Ryan on all counts. For that matter, I think an Administrator Handbook would be useful as a tool to help non-admins understand just what the admins are doing/can do. However, it's not necessarily the most "urgent" thing to work on; no opinion on that. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 20:09, 3 August 2006 (EDT)

Just done a map, took a while to find the wikitravel logo to put in it, but found it in the end. Any chance of uploading the SVG version of it (if it is not already on here) or completing the appropriate link on Wikitravel:Common map symbols#Wikitravel logo. -- Tim 18:12, 9 August 2006 (EDT)

Wikitravel get-together

Recently, Evan and myself were discussing several Wikitravel related issues when he asked me about my thoughts about starting a Wikitravel get-together for spring or summer 2007. (It’s kind of like Wikimania, but without all the nerds. :) ) I had the same idea so we began tossing several more ideas about such as; where it should be held and the purpose. The purpose would be brain-storm a few new ideas about Wikitravel, take a break from reality, and to pry ourselves from the computer. We only had a few ideas about where the first location should be - New Orleans or Puerto Rico.

The next day, Maj, Evan, the little Wikitraveller, and myself were walking to the subway station and we discussed the idea again. It seems to me that Maj likes the idea and I believe she had suggested Puerto Rico. She pointed out that the location should be somewhere with a favorable exchange rate for everyone traveling there.

I would like to get this started and planned so that we can make enough preparations for the Wikitrip. I’ll start a shared:Wikitravel Shared:Get-together page later (or we can use Wikitravel:Meetups), but I think we’ll need to hammer out if there would be enough support for the idea, first. We already have three people willing to start a meet up and maybe that’s enough.

Suggestions for locations are welcomed, but please keep in mind:

  • The destination should easy enough for all Wikitravellers to get to. (I.e. The middle of a desert, where camels are the only mode of transportation isn’t the easiest place to get to.)
  • The destination should be fairly cheap or moderately price to accommodate travelers from far off galaxies.
  • The Wikitravel article about the destination ‘’should,’’ but not necessarily, be an article that needs improvement so we can make the destination’s article our CoTW while there.

Does anyone have suggestions, comments, questions, or want to give me money? -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 02:29, 14 August 2006 (EDT)

You're reinventing the wheel again, see Wikitravel:Meetups. =) At any rate, it's a neat idea, but I don't think Costa Rica qualifies as "easy to get to" unless you're already in the Americas — from here in Singapore the fastest possible route would take 35 hours of non-stop travel and that's assuming I transit twice in the US. Evan & Maj aren't going to like this, but I'd suggest somewhere in Canada. Jpatokal 02:38, 14 August 2006 (EDT)
I think this is supposed to be much different that just a simple meetup. For one we're all going to be seeing each other for more than an hour-and-a-half. Two the cost of this meetup is significantly higher than a couple of beers at a bar somewhere. As for Costa Rica it was only a suggestion and if we have to we could even go to "USA North." I'd even suggest somewhere Southeast Asian or on North or Central America's west coast. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 02:45, 14 August 2006 (EDT)
The world is big and we have Wikitravellers all over its surface; we're not going to find a spot that's easily accessible for everyone. Fortunately, Wikitravellers are self-selected as people who'd be willing to do a big trip. That said, I think it'd be great to go through some kind of nomination process on Shared, do some voting, and come up with a good venue.
It'd be great to do a meeting that featured travel -- that is, part of the whole point of being there would be to do some travelling and travel writing, with maybe a few hours of sitting in a room with each other and chatting. --Evan 12:30, 14 August 2006 (EDT)
I'm looking forward to seeing as many Wikitravellers as possible, but there's no where that's great for everyone. I think the feeling is that we should aim for a different region of the world each year, starting with North America this year. I'm all for the crazy out-of-the-way places, but it's just as annoying for US residents to leave as it is for others to get in... That said, I think Quebec City could be in the running (though my original suggestion was Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico)... But I'm sure we can find some consensus for something fun and interesting... Maj 12:37, 14 August 2006 (EDT)
People can use hospitality exchange to cut down on hotel costs, in case the meetups are taking place in more expensive countries.
Actually, right now I'm working on some kind of content syndication from Wikitravel into CouchSurfing (with edit links directly to Wikitravel). I will also try to get the OpenID stuff into the CouchSurfing Wiki I just set up, and then finally into CouchSurfing. I hope many more CouchSurfers will start to contributing here as well. Guaka 22:09, 15 August 2006 (EDT)
Maj hit it: no one location will be great for everyone. If this goes down in the heat of summer, one of those big parks up north that Andrew mentioned would be a nice break. The Atlantic Provinces are worth exploring, but I'm open to expanding my horizons. SHC 22:32, 15 August 2006 (EDT)
I finally got the shared:Wikitravel Shared:Get-together up, but its far from finished and I'd appreciate edits and revisions. Thanks. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 23:11, 16 August 2006 (EDT)


Thought I'd let folks know that Copyscape [1] is a useful tool to track copyvios - both ways. — Ravikiran 14:59, 14 August 2006 (EDT)

Convention and Visitors Bureaus

Do we already have a cooperation page about working with Convention and Visitors Bureaus? If not I really think we should start one. I've been discussing with several CVBs over the past few days the possibility of relicensing images and text under CC-by-SA 1.0 to help improve our coverage of various articles.

For the most part some people have expressed an interest in trying to do this, but once some of them learn I edit Wikitravel for fun and that I'm not being paid a huge amount of money by IB (IB couldn't afford me, anyway) I run into some hesitation. If we had a CVB relations page I could get much more work done.

Also, how do I go about discribing my relationship with IB? I think having a the CVB page would help with this, because some CVBs like Detroit's won't be of much help to anyone unless they have "verified credentials." Doesn't my name at the bottom of a hundreds or thousand pages count as credentials?

Anywho, any one have suggestions, comments, insults, or "verified credentials" I can borrow? -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 03:19, 16 August 2006 (EDT)

I like this idea, but we have to make sure that we stay fair through it all. Plus, if we did use info, I would like to think that it would be treated in a similar way to the CIA Factbook imports - we use it as a base and then work from it, rather than letting it be the article. Would be very useful for images though. Tim 19:04, 17 August 2006 (EDT)
Yeah, I totally agree. Promotional material will be good as a base but will probably not have the traveller-to-traveller point of view we need. --Evan 20:55, 17 August 2006 (EDT)
Andrew, you're a community leader and an volunteer administrator for the Wikitravel project. If you need a referral or reference, please ask and Maj or I will send an email or make a phone call to whoever needs it. I think it would be great to start a Wikitravel:Tourist Bureau Expedition, like the Wikitravel:Education Expedition.
Now, that said, can I make a couple of suggestions? First, it may be useful, rather than asking people to give us X, Y, and Z, instead say that you'd like to come in and give a presentation about the project and how it works. You could go in to the office, talk about the site's background and goals, and then walk through the site showing user pages, traveller's pub, talk pages, etc.
You can talk about the site as a resource for sharing information. It's a zero-cost distribution system for them to get correct and up-to-date information out to the entire world. And, you might mention, well-informed tourist information professionals who are respectful of our goals and culture are treated with respect by the community. Emphasize what Wikitravel could do for them. You could reference some of the cool tourism professionals who are contributors to the site, like User:PatLurcock from the South Georgia Island.
Then, you could walk them through some of the really good star articles and guide articles, especially articles about places nearby and/or the same size. Then you could navigate to their city or region article, and say, "Our coverage of City X isn't so great, but I went to a great place for breakfast this morning, and I'll just add it in right now." Or, "The new children's museum just opened, and I'll add that." And you can add in the listing right there. If they get the idea and get into it, you could let them make some changes or add a listing. You could show them how to make a user account and log in. It might also be cool to demo how to upload a photo and put it on the page.
Finally, you can remind them that our licensing is very important -- it lets small businesspeople, publishers, Web site owners, etc. depend on their ability to safely redistribute the data. If they decide to upload photos or add text from existing sources, they must clear the rights with the copyright holder. (This gets the idea in their head that they could do this, without asking them to do it!)
I think by emphasizing individual contributions, rather than a wholesale release of materials, you'll do a lot better. And, really, I think we'd much rather have one or two regular contributors from inside a CVB than a one-time transfer of photos or whatever. --Evan 20:55, 17 August 2006 (EDT)
Evan, thanks for the suggestions. I tried a different approach with the Windsor (Ontario) CVB. The new approach reflects much of what you suggested.
I took the approach of explaining what Wikitravel is, the potential of Wikitravel and the CVB collaboratively working together, and that I wanted the CVB's help with rewriting the Windsor (Ontario) article.
This apporach has proven to be potentially more productive than my first approach of saying: "I would really appreciate if you could give me X, Y, and Z, which will help with our coverage of your city, state, or region and may in turn boost tourism."
Instead saying: "I'd appreciate if you and your organization would look at this article make some suggestions about what sights, activities, and restaurants should be listed and described on this article or better yet if your organization would write the article the readers get a local expertise it could mean better coverage of your city and in turn more people may be interested in visiting this particular destination. I'd appreciate if before you edit read over this policy page which will make you experience easier."
After taking that approach the Director of Tourism for the Windsor CVB replied to my original email and she's ageed to edit the article and ask other staff members to do the same. She's is looking for staff members to walk me around the town next weekend, has prepared an itinerary for me and is scheduling a few events for me. I do like the idea of Wikitravel:Tourist Bureau Expedition, which will help encourage CVBs to contribute instead of doing the one-time transfer. It would also need to note the most important policy pages like how to MoS a listing. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 01:07, 18 August 2006 (EDT)
I've got the basics started for the Wikitravel:Tourist Bureau Expedition, but I think we should instruct a CVB professional here for the first time on how to write a listing.
I have a question, though. Should we use a coverall listing tage to prevent errors like this: <listing name = "Attraction name" address = "Address" directions = "directions" phone = "+91-22-2222-1234" email= "[email protected]" fax = "+91-22-2222-1235" url = "" hours = "9 pm -5:30 pm" price="Rs. 50 for entrance">Stuff about the attraction.</listing>  ? If so, why does <listing> seem not to work? -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 13:18, 18 August 2006 (EDT)

IsIn for other language editions

How do I get this working for the Spanish language version? Copying the code in the template is not enough, apparently. Texugo 02:57, 18 August 2006 (EDT)

Car rental company listings

I noticed today that added 7 car rental agencies to at least Dallas, Ft. Worth, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver and Atlanta, giving phone and URL for only one of them. As I recall, the list was given twice on each page, once under Get in and also maybe under get around. Probably useful info for the traveller (in one iteration), but I wonder if we really want this info in every city or airport city. Would it be better (or is it already covered) in a travel topic article or in some other way? If not, I'm inclined to want to get the other toll free numbers and URLs and paste the info over the listing given. OldPine 20:29, 18 August 2006 (EDT)

All seven of those are nationwide companies and are probably availble in all the major American airports. Maybe it would be better to just put them on the United States page. Texugo 05:47, 19 August 2006 (EDT)
To complicate it, the company for which info was given is not national. They operate in five states in the southern US and Washington (state). OldPine 08:59, 19 August 2006 (EDT)

Staying signed in

I'm using Firefox and I'm having more and more problems staying signed in. As it stands, I get signed out as soon as I try to edit something. What is going on? Why does Wikitravel lose the session data so often? Texugo 05:21, 19 August 2006 (EDT)

I had the same problem with Firefox and IE 7. I think it has something to do with the server running out of space. I've fired off an email to the sysadmins at IB and to Evan's cell phone around 5:20 (EST), a little more than an hour ago. -- Sapphire
Thank you. One more thing too, maybe related-- I can't use Special:OpenIDLogin or Special:OpenIDConvert. It always says "The OpenID you provided is not allowed to login to this server." Texugo
No problem. I've sent another email noting the problems you've noted and the problem with OpenID. -- Sapphire
It was the same problem; it's fixed now. --Evan 08:22, 19 August 2006 (EDT)
Thanks for fixing the sign-on thing! The OpenID thing still does not work for me however. Texugo 10:32, 19 August 2006 (EDT)
Why don't you drop into #wikitravel and we'll step through it together. --Evan 10:51, 19 August 2006 (EDT)
I'd love to but I'm at the bar at the moment, heh. I followed the directions on the help page but it didn't work. I really want it to work though, since I'm always working with 5 language versions... Texugo 11:11, 19 August 2006 (EDT)

First edit, feedback appreciated

I've just plunged forward and done a major overhaul of the Dalian page. As this is my first go at editing on here I'd appreciate any feedback that could be offered. The major problem at the moment is that the article is far too long (61k). The standard solution is to subdivide into districts, but I'm not at all sure that Dalian is a prominent enough city to warrant subdivision. That tends to suggest that some of the detail should be trimmed down or removed, so I'd appreciate ideas from those not familiar with the city as to what is or isn't likely to be useful. The other issue is that I created maps for the city, but found that the central area was too big to comfortably fit all the detail on one map. I've created a "Maps" section at the bottom (I'll probably add a public transport map and maybe district map later) but I'm sure there must be a more elegant solution, I'm just not seeing it yet. --Paul. 14:23, 21 August 2006 (EDT)

Hi Paul, nice work! There's some feedback on the article talk page, but I just wanted to answer the district question here -- it's not really a matter of 'prominence' but what's going to be useful to travellers. If there's enough going on in each area, then it's probably easier for travellers to think in terms of districts rather than have to deal with an unmanagable list of places to go, eat, etc. Again, nice work! Maj 16:27, 21 August 2006 (EDT)
Hi, thanks for the positive feedback! Thinking about it dividing into districts is probably the best way to go about it, especially now I've finally found a map showing the district boundaries. I'm working on the maps at the moment, when they're finished I'll get started on the article. Thanks again for the comments. --Paul. 22:43, 22 August 2006 (EDT)

Consistency between language versions

As a contributor who spends lots of time translating things between language versions, I would like to know where the community stands. What are our standards with regard to consistency between language versions, particularly with regard to the manual of style? I am all for keeping the formatting as similar as possible, for the same reasons we try to adhere to a standard within this local wiki. I am recently having an argument however, on the Portuguese version. There are a very small number of articles on that version which make use of graphics such as ratings symbols for hotels (the star system) and restaurants (little dinner plates), as well as colorful symbols for the hotel listings (TV, AC, Pool, etc.). To me, they look tacky when used in an article, and as only a small fraction of the Portuguese articles use them, I've been removing them when I come across them. This is not the point however. I want to know if cohesion between language versions is among our goals, or if each version should be allowed to develop their own manual of style as each community sees fit. )Texugo 22:55, 21 August 2006 (EDT)

Every Wikitravel version does its own thing, as long as it sticks to the basic goals and can agree on internal consistency (so this symbol thing is something that should be sorted out there first). For example, you'll see that listings in the Japanese version look radically different from any other Wikitravel version, because a comma-delimited string is just not appropriate for a language typeset in blocks. Jpatokal 23:27, 21 August 2006 (EDT)
Agreed, but I'd add that unnecessary variations are a bad idea. If a principle for readability is good for pt:, say, it should be good for nl: or sv: or whatever. Variations that depend on culture or orthography are a good exception, but exceptions should be the exceptions to the rule, not the rule. That all said, there's been discussion here before about using more graphics in listings, but I'd like to do this in a unified way (using Wikitravel talk:Listings). --Evan 06:35, 22 August 2006 (EDT)

Valid values for government type

Do we have any policy on that matter? I am asking this because incidentally, I have Belarus on my watchlist (I must've been doing some minor edit there) and recently somebody changed the government type to «Democratic social state with the rule of law» (from «Dictatorship», which I believe was taken from the CIA factbook). I reverted it because it's neither democratic nor «with the rule of law» and then the user in question changed it back to «Republic». And he's right with this, because as long as there's still president Lukashenko, not «emperor Lukashenko» or some other fancy title. it's not a monarchy. But I feel it's deeply uninformative for a potential visitor. What do you think? CandleWithHare 17:14, 25 August 2006 (EDT)

My view is the traveller comes first. Since it's just a couple of words, it should be words which convey the most acurate description of the government as can be wildly simplified into a couple of words. The goal of these few words is to convey the most accurate meaning to the traveller, not appease people with doctorates in political theory. If there are complexities the traveller should understand, put them into the Understand section. -- Colin 17:24, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
Agree with Colin that TTCF, but a lot of noise is being generated right now (largely by one peculiar zealot) over nuances of language on government type, and it would be nice to lay this to rest so that people can get back to doing what's important here. Wikipedia has a good analysis of this question, with some definitions that are useful in practice. Candle, to get back to your specific case, I'd recommend letting the government form in Belarus (in which I have traveled, btw) stand as "Republic" but making sure that relevant oddities -- if and only if they affect travelers -- are highlighted in appropriate places in the article. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 17:33, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
My point is that there's a big difference between Republic of Belarus and, say, Republic of Ireland and the description should reflect that. I think that it would be most fruitful for Wikitravel to stick to the descriptions used by the CIA (ie. dictatorship in this case). Such information is relatively unimportant for a travel guide but it nevertheless shouldn't be misleading if it's present. I saw it being changed, I felt it was wrong, I wanted to have a second opinion if something should be done. But if you say keep, let's keep it. I'm not a zealot and I couldn't care less about Belarus. CandleWithHare 17:58, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
From a purely legalistic perspective, the difference between the two is not large. From a practical perspective, you are correct, it's enormous. And that's what the text of the article is for: in the appropriate sections (Understand, Cope, Respect, etc.), put in the things that make it clear what those differences mean to the traveler. I too couldn't care less about the Belarus article (and have no desire to go there again), but one should do the things that drive the project forward. My main interest is in avoiding a Wikitravel:Edit war as seems to be happening with some other "republics" of dubious legitimacy. That's not what we're here for. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 18:28, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
I don't think we need to worry about heading off an edit war yet -- these are just occasional nuisances at this point. The kind of person who offended by political descriptions and "corrects" stuff is a lot like the kind of person who gets offended at lively descriptions [2] [3] and deletes them. Generally, a serious person stays around and discusses these things, and the drive-by corrections can be easily reverted. Let's wait until there is an edit war before forestalling this. For now, let's stick to what helps the traveller and keep the quickbar a quick and comprehensible read. -- Colin 20:05, 25 August 2006 (EDT)


I am transferring the Template:hasDocent to swedish Wikitravel under the name Wikitravel:Guider. The current english text is:

<rdf> <{{PAGENAMEE}}> dcterms:spatial <urn:x-wikitravel:en:{{PAGENAMEE}}> . <urn:x-wikitravel:en:{{PAGENAMEE}}> wts:hasDocent <{{{1}}}> . </rdf>

This should, in its swedish adaption, be:

<rdf> <{{PAGENAMEE}}> dcterms:spatial <urn:x-wikitravel:sv:{{PAGENAMEE}}> . <urn:x-wikitravel:sv:{{PAGENAMEE}}> wts:Guide <{{{1}}}> . </rdf>

My question is now: the wts:hasDocent part is translated to wts:hasGuide. Is this correct, and what does the wts: bit do? German Wikitravel has this template text:

<rdf> <> dcterms:spatial place:{{PAGENAMEE}} . place:{{PAGENAMEE}} wts:hasDocent Benutzer:{{{1}}} . </rdf>

The german word indicates that the wts: bit does not have to be translated. Well - I am confused, mainly due to the lack of knowledge about rdf and creation of templates like these. Riggwelter 13:38, 26 August 2006 (EDT)

Question moved to Wikitravel Shared:Technical requests. Riggwelter 16:20, 26 August 2006 (EDT)

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 kicked the spam bot's as*!

A spam bot that Ryan had blocked for 6 hours went on blitzkreig of EN, Shared, and several other language versions, however, I, almighty and all-knowing created a localized spam blacklist identical to the English version's Wikitravel:Local spam blacklist. I've effectively stopped the spam bot, for now. All versions have the same protection, but each list should be automatically as users manually update the lists to protect against various spam attacks. Any of you programmers want to make an attempt at a bot that keeps all the blacklists updated? -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 18:30, 31 August 2006 (EDT)

OpenID Login problems

I still can't get my OpenID thing to work. When I go to either Special:OpenIDConvert or Special:OpenIDLogin, I type en:User:Texugo and I get the error message that says "The OpenID you provided is not allowed to login to the server." I'm working on 6 language versions now, so I really want this to work! Texugo 22:56, 3 September 2006 (EDT)

I really want it to work for you! B-) You can't log in to en: with an en: OpenID. You should pick one of your Wikitravel user accounts as your "home" account (I assume English), and then do the following for each of the other accounts. I use Spanish as an example, but you should be able to extrapolate:
Your es: account has now been converted to use OpenID -- you won't have to do that process again. Now, each time you go to es:, you should do the following:
That should log you in as Texugo. If it asks you to set up a new nickname, there's been a mistake -- you should cancel out and try again.
Let me know if this works. I'm in transit today, but I can be on IM tomorrow to do this step-by-step with you. --Evan 00:29, 4 September 2006 (EDT)
Ok. Thanks for that, it does work I suppose. It really only saves me from logging into the English version though-- I thought it would allow me to sign in once and then be universally signed in for all converted pages, but I still have to sign in to each version separately, except for (now) the English version. Hmph.. Any changes in the works?Texugo 01:32, 4 September 2006 (EDT)
Wha? You should only have to sign into the English version -- then go to Special:OpenIDLogin to sign in to to the other versions on those wikis. Yes, I plan when I come back to add a cookie so that if you're logged in on your "home" version, but not on one of the other versions, it will automatically log you in. --Evan 08:48, 4 September 2006 (EDT)

Annual events

Which section should recurring events and public holidays in a destination go? I think travellers might be interested in knowing about annual events, such as the Cannes Film Festival or Mardi Gras, if they want to visit the destination during that time (or alternatively stay away to avoid crowds). Should there be a separate section for this ("Events"), or could this be part of another section (a more general "When to go" perhaps, which could also include information about the climate and such)? --Jopo 05:12, 5 September 2006 (EDT)

Wikitravel:Where you can stick it says that festivals go under "Do". Nationwide holidays are usually placed under "Understand#Holidays" in the country guide. Jpatokal 18:19, 7 September 2006 (EDT)

Unannotated Lists

There is a strange rule: "Unannotated lists of pool bars, karaoke joints, nightclubs etc are useless and will be reverted." Therefore all Unannotated list of Hotel, Restarurant, Cultural and Sports Centres, Taxis, Car Rentals etc should also be removed. Is this true?

If you mean your encylopedic lists of places in Jakarta, then yes it's true. The goal here is to write a travel guide. A travel guide needs some listings. A travel guide is not a phone book containing all listings. Once sufficient base level of unannotated listings have been added, it is unhelpful to add any more listings which do not contain descriptive text. -- Colin 00:03, 8 September 2006 (EDT)
There is some necessary selectivity to a travel guide that you don't get in a city guide. I don't think there's a Jakarta Open Guide yet, but there probably should be, and that's where comprehensive listings should go. --Evan 05:20, 8 September 2006 (EDT)
Is there any rule about the ratio between Unannotated entries and annotated entries? How long will unannotated entries remain on the website? I will receive help from IHRA, ASITA, KADIN etc next week. I hope ALL MEMBERS of IHRA, ASITA, KADIN etc will put informations on the wikitravel page.
See Wikitravel:Goals and non-goals number 7:
Produce a Yellow Pages of restaurants, hotels, or bars for a city. City guides should certainly include information for travel-related companies, but these should be kept at a useful number. Think of a friend from out of town asking you where they should go -- you wouldn't list all 200 possibilities, but 5-10 options for a particular type, budget, or part of town.
So please pick the good ones: 5-10, no more. Jpatokal 16:23, 8 September 2006 (EDT)
This rule is too restrictive. How do you expect that a large city with more than 5 millions of people have only 5 or 10 good bars, restaurants, hotels etc? Population (within city limits): Shanghai (14,608,512) Mumbai,12,691,836, Karachi (11,624,219), Buenos Aires (11,574,205), Delhi (10,927,986), Manila (10,444,527), Moscow (10,381,222), Seoul (10,349,312), Sao Paulo (10,21,295), Istanbul (9,792,428), Lagos (8,789,120), Mexico City (8,657,50), Jakarta (8,540,121) etc. What about large number of high class restaurants, hotels in London, Paris, Swiss etc? IMO the number should be up to 10 in a small city (less than 1 million people), up to 50 in medium size city (up to 5 millions people), and 100 in larger cities. HOW the business association/owners CAN HELP, if their business IS NOT ON THE LIST? How do they choose 5 members from more than 100 members? A better rule: If the business owners does not provide the information within 3 months, their data will be deleted.
No, you're kind of wrong. A city of five million normally should be broken down into several districts. Districts guide articles are the place where restaurants, hotels, and fine grained information belongs. See - Wikitravel:Huge city article template and Wikitravel:District article template. I have very little knowledge about Jakarta, but shouldn't it be broken down into districts, unless all five million people are squeezed into a very small (and cramped) quarter. -- Sapphire 01:10, 9 September 2006 (EDT)
The population density of Jakarta (June 2006): 11360 people/square km. In central Jakarta district, the population density is 18292 people/square km.
Ai, nevermind about deviding up the city into districts if it would hinder the traveller, because we have to remember the Wikitravel:The traveller comes first and that's the same reason why we don't list all 4,000 restaurants in Jakarta on a single page. I sure wouldn't bother using a guide if I had to pick from 4,000 restaurants to eat at. I might as well get a phone book and pick something at random. From my point of view having no more than 10 restaurants in under each section of the "Eat" header is great because it makes my life, the traveller's, so much easier. -- Sapphire 01:18, 9 September 2006 (EDT)
I agree that unannotated lists are useless and we should concentrate on listing and describing the few places a traveller would need to know about. However, I consider the suggested 5-10 rule much too restrictive. e.g. For Zhuhai, a city of 1.5 million or so, we list half a dozen Chinese places, the one Indian one, a couple of Thai, a couple of pizza places, some other Western ones, total about 15 restaurants. To improve this, we'd add more places, bring it up to 25 or so to give the traveller a better choice. Knocking it down to 5-10 would be silly. On the other hand, we don't list all 6 or 8 Thai places in town, just two good ones with convenient locations, and we don't even consider trying to list all 2,000 or so Chinese places. This is as it should be. Pashley 03:25, 9 September 2006 (EDT)
It's not 5-10 total, it's 5-10 for a particular type, budget, or part of town. So Jakarta or Zhuhai, undistricted, could support about 30, with 10 each in Budget/Mid-range/Splurge. Jpatokal 05:33, 9 September 2006 (EDT)
Don't forget suburbs around Jakarta: Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi etc. Please keep the listing as STATUS QUO for 5 days. Give time for ASITA, IHRA, KADIN etc members to give informations about their business.
Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi etc already have their own articles. Jpatokal 06:17, 9 September 2006 (EDT)

Restaurant Classification

If you want to eat at a foreign country, the first thing you discussed with your family or your friends is the TYPE of the restaurant, not the price. People prepare/save large amount of money for overseas vacation. My suggestion:

1. The classification of restaurant should be based on the style/taste: American (hamburger, hot dog etc), Latin American (Mexican, Argentinian etc), European (Italian, Spanish etc), Asian (Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern etc), African, and local dishes.

2. For price classification: at the end of each entry, there is an information: "Price: budget" or "Price: moderate" or "Price: splurge".

You might want to look at Wikitravel talk:Listings, where we're planning a new structured listing format, and Wikitravel:Restaurant listings. --Evan 15:18, 8 September 2006 (EDT)
I agree with template, but other templates are missing now. Perhaps someday it will be possible to create automatic input for certain industries: Template:Eat for restaurant listings, Template:Drink for bars and clubs, Template:Sleep for hotels and Template:See and Template:Do.
Uh... please look at the Wikitravel talk:Listings page. You can do this now with <see>, <do>, <eat>, <sleep>, ... tags. --Evan 16:49, 8 September 2006 (EDT)
In certain cities, searching for information about the menu, price of the food can be dangerous to your health. If you try the food, it maybe contaminated with dirty water/bacteria/stale ingredients/illegal preservatives (formaldhyde)/illegal food coloring agents (rhodamin, metanil etc) and you will be poisoned/get diarrhea/gastroentritis and forced to stay in bed for several days. If you asked about the menu and the price, the owner will be angry because he suspected that you are a spy from the competitors. The best way is to bribe the waiter for a xerox copy of the menu and price list. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)
I do not dispute the veridicity of this claim, but what can we do about that? Note also that it would be quite a difficult statement to insert into some article, I do not see a reasonable way of warning the reader without violating NPOV. Johann.gambolputty 04:43, 18 September 2006 (EDT)
This is not a warning for reader, but a suggestion for people who want to write a review/collecting data. Related question: how do they collect data from hundreds of bars without getting liver disease/drunk (from beers/wine)/diarrhea (from fruit juices)?
"Many travellers report becoming ill after eating here. Stay away!" strikes me as NPOV if it is true. So does "Utterly brilliant restaurant — excellent food, reasonable service, low prices. Pashley 05:06, 18 September 2006 (EDT)

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)

Policy about advertising

I have come upon this excerpt when browsing through for the first time:

  • Hotel Cairoli , Via Cairoli, 14 cap 16124 Genoa - Ph. +39.010.2461454 - Fax +39.010.2467512 [2]. In the heart of Genoa, which, with its splendid Pallazzi dei Rolli was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July of 2006, the Hotel Cairoli is located on Via Cairoli, just a short walk from the Museum of the Risorgimento, the Aquarium, the Bigo and the Porto Antico. Singles Room from 55€, Double from 75€.

Now, this looks STRONGLY like advertising. What is the policy about this? I could not find a page or a guideline about this, but I'd like to have someone with me before editing to something like

  • Hotel Cairoli, Via Cairoli 14 CAP 16124 Genoa - Ph. +39.010.2461454 - Fax +39.010.2467512 [2]. Situated in the historical center of the city and close to the Museum of the Risorgimento, the Aquarium, the Bigo and the Porto Antico.

And I would cite the UNESCO thing only once when describing the city itself. In particular, I would avoid prices. Johann.gambolputty 10:51, 17 September 2006 (EDT)

  • I'd keep the prices; that's somehing a traveller needs to know. I'd also keep the UNESCO mention; that's interesting. I do think toning it down by removing "splendid .." and knocking out "just a short walk .." is good. Is this hotel listed in Grand old hotels? sounds like it should be. Pashley 10:59, 17 September 2006 (EDT)
  • Correcvtion; as I read the above, it as saying the hotel was a UNESCO site. A bit of web search to check; turns out it is the nearby plaza that is. So no need for it in hotel article, I now agree. Web search also revealed the text is a copyright violation from the hotel web site [4], so it definitely needs rewriting. Pashley 11:04, 17 September 2006 (EDT)
Ok, then I will reformulate that. Johann.gambolputty 11:14, 17 September 2006 (EDT)
I kind of like it as is. This is a travel guide, not an encyclopedia. If there's any change at all I'd just make "its" into "near the". -- Mark 08:38, 18 September 2006 (EDT)
Yes, please see Wikitravel:Accommodation listings. There's probably too much promotional language -- see Wikitravel:Don't tout -- and most of the facts in the description should be noted elsewhere in the Genoa article. --Evan 08:50, 18 September 2006 (EDT)
What is the limit for hotel details? Is it allowed to upload 1 image of the hotel? What about resort hotel on a beautiful island?
The current short listing format doesn't really support hotel images. On Japanese Wikitravel, on the other hand, you can attach one picture to each hotel, and something similar may be implemented here too if the Wikitravel:Listings idea takes off. Jpatokal 13:06, 19 September 2006 (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 [5] 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)

Hotel Classification

When tourists choose hotel for their holiday, the first thing they are looking for is the location of the hotel. If a hotel is slightly more expensive than other hotels, but have a good location, the tourist will choose to stay in the hotel. My suggestion: beside the price, use the hotel's location/district/sub-district/zip code for classification of hotels.

  • Zip codes and sub-districts would likely be meaningless to most travellers. For large cities, the hotels are already listed by district. Within a district or a small city, maps can give location information, and comments like "very central", "next to the train station" or "near the beach" are useful in hotel listings, but I do not see the point of using location as a classification scheme. Pashley 10:13, 19 September 2006 (EDT)

National Park Service Copyright Notice

Thought I'd found the ideal map in the public domain, but then I noticed the copyright. Just an err or a right they can assert? OldPine 19:11, 19 September 2006 (EDT)

For the most part the NPS maps are public domain, however, they occasionally use images and maps from private photographers/cartographers, which are copyrighted. Kind of sucks for us, but an email or phone call can usually provide good results. -- Sapphire 20:09, 19 September 2006 (EDT)
If it was from an outside photog/cartog it would have their copyright on it. This appears to have the copyright of a gov't agency on it, which is just wrong. I'd guess the agency didn't know what it was doing and blindly slapped a copyright on it. But it would be nice to email the NPS to clear it up before uploading it here. -- Colin 20:21, 19 September 2006 (EDT)
Be careful. It is only works produced by a federal employee in the course of his or her official duties that are not entitled to copyright. The US Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights that are transferred to it by assignment or any other means. Since NPS and other agencies frequently put work out to contract, it is entirely possible that the NPS legitimately holds copyright to the image.SHC 06:48, 20 September 2006 (EDT)

Trimming, Pastry, Ice Cream

Is it possible to trim this discussion page? (obsolete topics, resolved problems etc).

During long travel, it's better to buy bread, cakes from local pastry (delays, stranded etc). There are excellent ice cream shops in certain cities. The pastry and ice cream shops are not restaurant nor bars. Is it possible to add a new category "Pastry & Ice Cream" under "Eat", beside "budget, mid-range, splurge"?

I don't think it makes sense to add an entire heading to every guide we have. I've usually put dedicated snack shops under "Eat#Budget", and places that offer coffee etc under "Drink". Jpatokal 12:53, 20 September 2006 (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?