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Wikitravel Shared:Travellers' pub/Archive 2008

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Help Please

can somebody refer to here Tech:Move table of contents to right side on Hebrew version it's been a long time Orel zion 10:15, 13 January 2008 (EST)

Sidebar links - any suggestions?

Can anyone help with this: en:Wikitravel talk:Phrasebook template#Sidebar links to Wikibooks / en:MediaWiki talk:Sidebar#Sidebar link to Wikibooks for Phrasebook articles - ? ~ 00:09, 21 January 2008 (EST)

Sorry to be a pain, but just giving this a quick bump. Any help would be much appreciated. ~ 00:17, 25 January 2008 (EST)

Contributor Gallery

Could soemone set it up so that one could view a contibutors inventory of photo's as a gallery, like Gallery of new photo's. It would make for a much easier viewing and search. 2old 09:34, 24 January 2008 (EST)

Corporate interest??

Today, Cacahuate pointed out that Wikitravel, yet AGAIN, is slowing down. I concur. Sometimes, I just cannot be *ss*d to do things, because it takes ages for the pages to load, reload, etc. And that is not the only thing that makes me both angry and worried about what's going on with the world's best travel guide. I would like to ask the following questions:

  1. Has Internet Brands lost all interest in Wikitravel? If not, where are you?
  2. Why aren't you, as in IB, present and participating in the discussion here on Shared - which the only place for those things to happen?
  3. Why do we not get any news about your plans for Wikitravel?
  4. Why don't you do something about the horrible technical backlog? Have a look at the open bug reports!
  5. What's new about the possible merger of Wikitravel and World66?

I'd like to point out that if you do not do something about this, Wikitravel will lose contributors, and the first to leave will most likely be long-time users like myself. The moment the users leave, the site will die and you will lose money. We, as in your contributors, are an asset. Work with us! Riggwelter 14:50, 16 February 2008 (EST)

Agree with the above... it feels a little like nobody gives a shit anymore... Evan isn't around any longer... and while for a second there was Kevin, etc, we haven't seen any progress or updates since many of those things were talked about. Overseeing the site is perhaps a larger job than IB initially realized... Evan was taking care of a lot, and I can at least speak for myself in saying that his presence here is sorely missed. The only thing I've noticed being implemented recently is the WTP ads, which while I'm happy things are going well for WTP, I'd like to see similar attention and priority kept on our website. As mentioned above, my biggest issue right now is the speed of the site... it's been slow for ages now... and if I recall is was something that IB installed to monitor page traffic or something or other that slowed it down in the first place right? If that's the case, then get frickin rid of it!!! Until you're willing to invest the money in speeding up the site to compensate, and then some. – cacahuate talk 19:45, 17 February 2008 (EST)
PS, It took about 20 seconds to save the above comment, at least, and it often gets much worse than that. – cacahuate talk 19:46, 17 February 2008 (EST)
I have had the same complaint about uploads. And, I wonder about this:If you go to and do a speed test on your ISP you may find that downloads are coming in at 6,054 KBs and uploads are at 481 KBs, or at least mine does. They do not provide the same speeds for uploads as well as downloads. While this may not be the problem, I thought it worthy of mention. I'll bet many of you know more about this than me, and I would welcome comments on it. 2old 11:43, 18 February 2008 (EST)
I emailed the above text to:General manager John McGanty - User:Redondo. E-mail: john.mcganty at I am sure he will respond. 2old 15:53, 18 February 2008 (EST)
Good initiative, but I seriously think it has gone way too far if we have to e-mail the site support people. Something as basic as site speed is something they should do something about without getting complaints from the users. But, if they spent about an hour a day on any Wikitravel site, participating in the discussion and the work, they would be instantly aware of any problems. We are not amused. Riggwelter 16:51, 18 February 2008 (EST)

Well, what's the deal? :en has seemed faster today, enough so where I've actually been able to do some work, but still no response? Sometimes I really wonder about IB—wondering stoked by their incommunicado ways... --Peter Talk 22:39, 20 February 2008 (EST)

Especially interesting considering that I emailed John, Kevin and Beenish on Sunday with links to the discussions, and none have replied on the site or via email. I share Riggwelter's lack of amusement – cacahuate talk 00:45, 21 February 2008 (EST)
Just tried a round of patrolling on :en, and wasn't as lucky as Peter... still slower than shit – cacahuate talk 01:23, 21 February 2008 (EST)
Well, I have emailed General manager John McGanty and left him a voicemail message at IB today. 2old 11:50, 21 February 2008 (EST)
Well done. I hope something happens really soon. Reactions like this is regrettable but fully understandable. Riggwelter 15:05, 21 February 2008 (EST)

Sorry it has taken awhile to post here. We have been working on the problem and hoped to come on once we fixed it. Our tech team did an analysis of the performance of the application and database servers, and determined that while the database server is performing fine, the application server has been maxing out. Our tech team will come on to post more detail on that.

We bought and configured a second application server and deployed it earlier this week. However, there have been some problems with that implementation which have prevented it from going live. They are working on the problem this morning. I'm optimistic this will go live shortly, but will hold off setting an exact time to avoid any false promises. The expectation is that this should fully solve the problem. If it proves to be only a partial solution, we will order a third application server to further handle the load.

Thank you for your patience on this. I know the site has been frustrating recently, and we hope to get this fixed completely this week.

Also, we have hired a person who is going to be responsible for daily involvement on Wikitravel. We have been remiss in not being more present here on Shared, and she will be remedying that. She just started and we'll introduce her later today.

I'm also meeting today with our tech team to come up with a better process for responding to bug notices and other tech requests. We need to be doing a better job on this, and we will. Redondo 12:53, 21 February 2008 (EST) copied from Tech:Site slowdown by Riggwelter 15:10, 21 February 2008 (EST)

IB has appointed two "community leaders" before, and neither of them [1] [2] ever managed to contribute much more than their own user pages. Let's hope that the third time's the charm. Jpatokal 14:19, 23 February 2008 (EST)
Ongoing information on the progress of the site slowdown may be found here. 03:10, 27 February 2008 (EST)

Spammers beware

Starting somewhere around october 2007, sv: started to get new users with mysterious and very similar user names like MonelTviel, TabocOacre, EltorLaacl, RacolOract and ChicaDomtr. It did not take that much to realise that we had some sort of warming up session for spammers going in. So, user names with this strange setup have been blocked. However, spammers now use IP addresses from the IANA namespace or open proxies to fill sv: with spam. The spam is mostly the same kind of stuff which leads us to deduce that the amount of actual spammers is probably low. This is annoying, and I recommend you to be vigilant. We revert pages and, in some cases, block the addresses for up to a year. This might be the right way to do things, or the wrong way. I believe that one way of solving this annoying issue would be to adopt the same method Wikipedia has to prevent spammers from the automatic registering of various user names, i e some sort of code that has to be entered while signing up/in. Perhaps something for our developers? No tech request added yet - it would be nice to get your view on the issue. Riggwelter 17:14, 18 February 2008 (EST)

GFDL and Attribution-Sharealike question

How is it with GFDL licence - I found a suitable picture in Wikipedia Commons that is under GFDL 1.2 or later (has Template:GFDL template on it) but when uploading file - the licenses combo box contained GFDL only inside "Multiple licenses" with Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 or Attribution-ShareAlike any version..

Is it ok to upload the file and which licence should I choose?

Touko vk 02:12, 22 February 2008 (EST)

Hi Touko, unfortunately, our licensing is not compatible with GDFL, so we only allow images that are dual licensed with a CC Attribution-ShareAlike license. Please see Wikitravel:Why Wikitravel isn't GFDL for more information. --Peter Talk 13:57, 22 February 2008 (EST)
Wikipedia, the Free Software foundation (authors of the GFDL) and Creative commons are working on a new version of the GFDL which will be compatible with CC-BY-SA and are looking to publish something real soon. If the Wikipedians agree to migrate to the new license then it should be a lot easier to share stuff with them. 15:15, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

Database errors galore

Is that over with? New servers? Where are we? --Peter 23:23, 22 February 2008 (EST)

Hmmmm. It now seems like most of the site is running pretty fast BUT there are some pages that won't load no matter how many times you refresh. See en:Dallas, en:Denton, en:Brisbane, etc. The error returned says "1016: Can't open file: 'text.MYI' (errno: 145) (". Pretty irritating since Dallas and Denton have been my pet projects of the last few days. User:Texugo 23:41, 22 February 2008 (EST)
This looks like a familiar, and really obnoxious problem. Clear the cache of the page in question, and the error message will go away. To do so, type
into your site address bar and hit enter (for other pages, replace Dallas with the article title). My hunch is that we'll have this problem for a bit for every single page anyone tried to access while the DB server was down. --Peter Talk 00:15, 23 February 2008 (EST)

OpenID Question(s)

I currently login using my OpenID URL and WikiTravel knows me as "RageEar". I have configured my own web site to be a delegate for my OpenID at However, when I login using the URL, WikiTravel sees me as a different user and assigned me a new user name. I was expecting that I would be logged in as my username "RageEar", which is associated with the OpenID

Am I running into expected behavior or is something not working properly? RageEar 10:47, 23 February 2008 (EST)

Tech Requests

Are ignored.

Last week I filed another two, feeling pretty confident that no one would so much as comment on them (to let me know whether someone will fix them, or if there is something I could do to help make them happen, etc.), and lo, they've sat completely unanswered. One of them was created with the edit summary, "new open bug, that would take only 5 min. to fix!" And it really should only take 5 minutes, it's just correcting a typo to which I do not have access.

The other is a feature request that should be extremely simple and quick to implement, and I believe would be very useful. If it's not easy to implement, the very least I would expect is that someone from the IB team would respond, saying, "actually that wouldn't be feasible because of X."

The only explanation I can come up with for why these requests go ignored is that IB has decided not to address them—that, basically, no one cares until the point of open revolt (e.g., the site slowdown wasn't even commented on (or even noticed?) until a "janitorial strike" emerged). That's bad.

My patience has run out, and I'm voting no confidence in the technical support framework. Can we extend root access to nominated Wikitravel users, so that people who actually care about the site can process tech requests? --Peter Talk 13:37, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

We hear you.
I am sorry for the frustration. I will pass along your feedback to the tech team here. We have not decided not to address requests. Our team is backed up with other technical issues, but I'm gong to get some information and will check back in. I truly thank you for your patience and dedication to this community.JuCo 14:13, 12 March 2008 (EDT)
I will be watching Open Bugs and Feature Requests much more carefully and getting issues into the pipeline. Thanks again for your patience.JuCo 20:17, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

I second Peter's concerns, and I really hope you guys will pay more attention. I hesitantly returned to the site since you fixed the speed, but that was hardly my only concern. The seeming loss of interest lately in the site by IB is worrisome. You really shouldn't wait until the long term users are ready to bolt before taking action and paying attention. What happened to a few months ago when the Kevin's were around and working on new ideas for the site and responding to some tech requests? Are they both still on staff? Are they just busy with other IB sites? What gives? – cacahuate talk 01:01, 13 March 2008 (EDT)
Understood. You guys have been very patient as we work everything out. Thank you and I'm sorry that you have felt neglected. The tech team and I are working hard to make sure you don't feel that way anymore! And yes, that means I'm working with the Kevins.JuCo 12:14, 13 March 2008 (EDT)
I am into the Open Bug Reports and working every week with tech to facilitate the flow of info between you and them and vice-versa. I am open to ideas for how to better track these Open Bug reports...maybe a discussion on the Open Bug Reports page? JuCo 21:31, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
What you've been doing last couple of days is great... if you guys just keep an eye on special:recentchanges to watch for new things popping up, and get a grasp on Category:Open bug reports and Category:Open feature requests then I think we'll be in a good place... once we wade thru the backlog on those last two pages ideally we'll only have a small handful of things on them at any given time and it will be easier to stay on top of new ones and manage those 2 pages. I'm glad that the "top bugs" page is useful too, but it's only really relevant right now because there's so many open bug reports and feature requests that we developed a separate place to draw attention to a few... but really we should just get thru the backlog and make the actual pages only consist of a few  :) we're making progress though, keep up the good work – cacahuate talk 22:41, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for the kind words, perhaps posted right before a downage we experienced this morning! Fortunately, tech jumped on it quickly and had it resolved in less than an hour. That's all a testament to the ongoing struggle with site performance that the tech team here is wrangling with. But yes, we're trying to get a better handle on bug reports and requests and really figure out the level of need in order to be able to prioritize. I'm starting a discussion over on Category:Open bug reports so we can shake this out together.JuCo 14:17, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

Related changes feature

This new feature is really useful! --Peter Talk 14:06, 21 March 2008 (EDT)


I posted regarding adding AdSense to the site on this page, in case anyone wants to add to this conversation: Redondo 22:27, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

Photo credits

I have noticed it seems frowned upon to add the photo credit under a photo on Wikipedia and here as well. I am not sure why, but in any case, as a contributor of photographs, I expect my name to at LEAST appear when a photo is clicked upon. That was not the case with the following photo (, which was moved here from wikipedia. Can't you ensure that they don't have to click yet again on a tiny link in order to figure out who took the picture?? Shouldn't the file information appear every time they click on the photo? Seems like that's the true spirit of Creative Commons licenses requiring attribution. --Raffikojian 00:36, 31 March 2008 (EDT)

I started a feature request herecacahuate talk 03:29, 31 March 2008 (EDT)

This seems as Tech:Copy image descriptions from shared. -- Sergey kudryavtsev 04:13, 31 March 2008 (EDT)


Is prohbited by copyright issues a text-based logos uploading to Wikitravel Shared? -- Sergey kudryavtsev 17:00, 1 April 2008 (EDT)

In general, yes. Jpatokal 02:18, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
In the wikimedia projects a logo using interpreted as a fair use of copyrighted graphics. But a text-based logos is not copyrighted by US law (see Template:PD-textlogo at Wikimedia Commons) and interpreted as a public domain. -- Sergey kudryavtsev 03:55, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Wikitravel does not allow fair use. Can I ask what logo you want to use and why? There is generally no need to use logos of other companies on Wikitravel. Jpatokal 07:27, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Of course you can. ;-) This is Saint Petersburg Metro logo -- a slightly rounded letter "M" (see here). A other metro systems have a similar logos (e.g. Berlin U-Bahn have a thick letter "U"). Also McDonalds have a "M" and so forth... This symbols need for nonresidents to find easy entry in metro, cafe etc. at the real world. -- Sergey kudryavtsev 16:51, 2 April 2008 (EDT)


OK, who else here thinks that the google advertising placed on this site SUCKS ? 09:11, 2 April 2008 (EDT)

Yeah, it is a little irritating. I've suggested this: Tech:Disable AdWords for logged-in users. Jpatokal 10:38, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Don't get too excite by ads. Life is not a free ride and this is a great canvas for work by all contributors. 2old 11:56, 3 April 2008 (EDT)
Yes, Internet Brands supports Tech:Disable AdWords for logged-in users and will be working toward offering it. JuCo 14:21, 3 April 2008 (EDT)
I don't mind the ads as such. But I do mind the fact that the page sometimes gets messed up because it doesn't fit between the ads to the right and the menu to the left. That is very annoying... 00:57, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
I agree with, see e.g. messed up photos at section "Достопримечательности" of my ru:Санкт-Петербург/Центр. Before advertising turning on it seems fine. -- Sergey kudryavtsev 03:39, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
Problem reported by Texugo here. Riggwelter 04:06, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
Wow! I was looking at the Ohio page on WT today and found [3] in the Google ad. I must say, I have never seen that site before, but it does add a new opportunity for adventure in Ohio that I had not considered for Wikitravelers. 2old 11:32, 26 April 2008 (EDT)
That site is blocked by the filter here in Saudi Arabia, but odds are it's prohibited by Google's content policy as well. Jpatokal 03:16, 27 April 2008 (EDT)

What Google advertising? I use Firefox ;-)

I visited our Swedish site today and this is what I found (translated to English): "Travel guides: Download our travel guides for Swedish towns from Eurotourism, free of charge!". This was in the Google adds.

On Swedish wikitravel we work really hard to explain to our contributors that we are the travel guide and that they should not link to other guides. This add doesn't really help, I think. Akteacher 01:15, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

Interwiki bot

There are many Wikitravel language versions by now. Is a bot for a maintence of interwiki links functionated at Wikitravel? -- Sergey kudryavtsev 03:33, 11 April 2008 (EDT)

Yes, see en:User:DorganBot. It's not very automatic though, I think User:Dorgan has to start it manually... Jpatokal 04:01, 11 April 2008 (EDT)
Ok. I will add ru-links in only en-articles and vice versa. And i will expect that en:User:DorganBot make all remained work instead of me. -- Sergey kudryavtsev 04:23, 11 April 2008 (EDT)


I just wanted to send out a big thank you and congratulations to the Wikitravel community. As you may have seen on the Main Page, Wikitravel has been nominated for a 2008 Webby Award! The site is up for a Webby in the Travel category as well as the "People's Voice" category. This is a testament to all the hard work you do and the strong spirit of collaboration you foster here on Wikitravel. So, congratulations! And don't forget to vote! JuCo 20:12, 14 April 2008 (EDT)

Great news! I have updated the site notice. Riggwelter 04:33, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

Editing disruption 4/17/08

The site will be undergoing a little work at 7AM PST on 4/17/08. Cached pages won't be affected, but editing will be. It's anticipated that the work wil last 1 hour. Thank you for your patience! JuCo 21:38, 16 April 2008 (EDT)

The maintenance may end up taking a little longer than previously planned. We will be serving from cache in the meantime so any non cached pages (or pages not in cache) will be unavailable. KevinSours 10:15, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
We're done. The site is now on Mediawiki 1.11.2. We don't anticipate any problems as a result of this, but if you notice anything, please point it out. KevinSours 11:16, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
I'm getting spurious table of contents boxes on various pages that shouldn't have them, eg. the notice after reverting an edit...? Jpatokal 12:30, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
I'm not personally seeing this. As a guess, I cleared the memcache cache. If that doesn't fix it can you provide detailed steps to reproduce? 13:29, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
It seems to happen every single time I revert any edit on any language version. I can't give you a reproducible link though, because you can only revert any given edit once... Jpatokal 23:48, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
Can you give me the list of steps you took to produce the error? An example of what I mean is.
I'm not clear, at this point, on exactly what it is you are doing. 17:31, 18 April 2008 (EDT)
Revert, the admin function. Not undo. This isn't really a high-priority bug, as this is visible only to us admins.
Also, it happens only when I revert content pages (not talk pages). I presume that Mediawiki somehow assumes/remembers that the page is an article that should have a table of contents, and thus renders it. Jpatokal 13:10, 19 April 2008 (EDT)
Are you referring to the link on the history page labeled "rollback"? It really is helpful if you include at the very least the page you starting from and the link you clicked on to get the process started. It's really easy to waste a lot of time looking at the wrong thing because there are lots of similar features and confusing terminology (note that the mediawiki docs on "revert" at describe something very similar to what I list as the example above). KevinSours 12:27, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
Yes, the rollback function, accessible from edit differences & history pages. --Peter Talk 18:05, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
I see this too – cacahuate talk 00:50, 20 April 2008 (EDT)

Vandalism on fr

Hi, fr has a very persistent vandal at the moment, 7-8 pages that are being edited every few minutes. Is there any way for one of the other-language WT admins to block anonymous edits to the affected pages? Julien would normally do so, but he doesn't seem to be logged in at the moment and my poor attempts to manually revert changes can't keep up. Thanks, WTDuck2 (also not currently able to log in to shared using Open ID - just not my day!)

I see what you mean -- unfortunately only the users listed here have admin rights on fr. Jpatokal 22:19, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
I tried to add some URLs to fr:Wikitravel:Local spam blacklist, but it didn't seem to be working. I guess it will work if admin of fr: creates fr:MediaWiki:Spamblacklist. -- Tatata 12:51, 18 April 2008 (EDT)

Tech:Interwiki links to shared

This issue seems as completed. Can i close it? -- Sergey kudryavtsev 10:29, 18 April 2008 (EDT)

Not quite done, see issue KevinSours 19:00, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

Google AdSense sensitivity... or not?

Our ad policy clearly states that the ads should only be travel-related. This works fine, most of the time, but sometimes it gets just silly, probably because of Google's filter settings. Today, sv: has had ads for language classes of little or no use to a swede, ads from companies offering to restore your hard drive, how to give away a brunch as a gift, and, perhaps the most ridiculous of them all: ads linking to an online directory with search criteria for stock brokers! This needs to be looked into ASAP, because it is a breach of our own policy and is completely counterproductive. Welcome here to discuss the issue. Riggwelter 10:31, 12 May 2008 (EDT)

Let's discuss in one place: Talk:Advertising_policy#Google_AdSense_sensitivity..._or_not.3Fcacahuate talk 18:59, 12 May 2008 (EDT)

Esperanto version in trouble

Anybody take a look at the :eo version recently? It's a disaster. The multilingual stats showing 1094 edits this week caught my attention, and lo, there's nothing there but ongoing wild spambot havoc. Cleanup looks extremely difficult, as this appears to have been going on for a long time unmonitored. IB should definitely disable all anon editing for the :eo version, and should consider taking it offline if we can't figure a way to get it back in shape. --Peter Talk 00:56, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

I've notified Evan, who's the only admin on eo, but evidently he has better things to do. So yes, I'd support either disabling anonymous edits or locking it completely. Jpatokal 03:49, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for the heads up. The tech team will be disabling anon editing on :eo. Thanks. JuCo 19:49, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
It's still suffering from terrible spam. --Episteme 15:15, 1 June 2008 (EDT)
Spam blacklist does not seem to be working on eo:, because of missing eo:MediaWiki:Spamblacklist. JuCo, can you create the MediaWiki page on eo: same as shared? And please protect the blacklist from anon edit. [4]
Of course, above is not needed after disabling anon edit. But it will be needed for enabling anon edit in the future. -- Tatata 04:05, 2 June 2008 (EDT)
We've disabled anon edit and will be creating the Mediawiki page to enable edit in the future. Thanks! JuCo 21:16, 2 June 2008 (EDT)

Now the spammer has moved to it:, ca:, pt: etc. --Episteme 09:12, 13 June 2008 (EDT)

Our tech team has temporarily disabled anon edits there to combat this. Thanks for the heads up!JuCo 19:07, 13 June 2008 (EDT)
I'd encourage you to re-enable anon editing for :pt — there are three engaged administrators there who should be able to handle spammers. --Peter Talk 00:21, 14 June 2008 (EDT)
& btw this might be useful: → Janitorial audit, June 2008. --Peter Talk 18:53, 16 June 2008 (EDT)
Anon edits don't seem to have been disabled in it:, which is still exposed to continuous spamming. --Episteme 05:51, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Please help, we have a big spammer on it: Thanks -- 16:56, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

Software upgrade/ MediaWiki suggestions idea

I have the files for the newest release of MediaWiki should you people want them, and I also suggest we get the CheckUser extension installed, plus Makesysop, for safety and security reasons. It's a good idea. Feedback is welcomed. --Sunstar 14:55, 2 June 2008 (EDT)