Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)

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Weird log entriesEdit

Totally random question here, came across this by complete accident. What are this user's log entries all about, and why do two of them appear in the log for Frog? [1] Doesn't appear that the user ever edited that page. Home Lander (talk) 03:22, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

Just guessing, but based off the user's contributions, is there a chance they were part of the Education Program? Did removing that leave weird log entries? ~ Amory (utc) 03:38, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
Very plausible. An IP that edited the user's sandbox comes back to Ohio State University. Home Lander (talk) 03:47, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
@Home Lander: yup - those are remnants of the education program extension (here's another example of my own logs of that type). — xaosflux Talk 04:29, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
Another candidate is the article feedback tool. These four log entries correspond exactly with these two actions and these two. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:36, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

Old versions in peachEdit

Editing an old version from Xaosflux


Referring to this question, I am back at the library for the first time since the last response.

On an article where I needed to see a diff to know where to edit, I almost edited an old version. The warning is in peach. However, the normal pink color is used for the warning that only certain people can edit the article. What needs to be fixed?— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 19:46, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

@Vchimpanzee: could you take, annotate, and post a picture of this issue? — xaosflux Talk 20:04, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
Could you tell me how?— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 20:05, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
@Vchimpanzee: Wikipedia:Screenshots of Wikipedia may help. — xaosflux Talk 20:27, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
For example, here is what I see there: File:Editingoldsample20200107Capture.PNG. — xaosflux Talk 20:56, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
That box is the standard warning box color, its background is #FEF6E7. It used to be pinker, but was changed to meet the standard layout colors (c.f. MediaWiki_talk:Editingold#Remove_pink_background) as manually coloring it was causing it to have a pink box inside of that FEF6E7 box and it didn't look very nice. — xaosflux Talk 21:02, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
As mentioned in that thread, we could recolor only this box but someone will need to make a software enhancement to have it include a different selector first. — xaosflux Talk 21:04, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

I forgot about this. I don't have time to do this and the directions I was given don't work but I will need help. Next Thursday I'll be back here.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 22:26, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

File:Editingoldsample20200107Capture.PNG may be the color but I'm not sure. What I see when editing is definitely a shade of orange.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 22:28, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
I suspect that what is happening here is that the two monitors involved have their controls set differently - any one or more of brightness, contrast, hue and saturation will be a factor. Ambient light will also affect how colours on a screen are perceived. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 13:43, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm at another library and the warning is most definitely a shade of orange. It is possible at the other library it was pink and just seemed orange, but this is orange.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 14:36, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
OK, it may just be some monitor settings. For reference:
THIS IS PEACH => ███████████████  Color as background
THIS IS THE BOX COLOR => ███████████████  Color as background
THIS IS ORANGE => ███████████████  Color as background
xaosflux Talk 15:01, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
This is the box color. That is correct. I can call it peach if I want.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 15:08, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Well, now this is weird. Where it says "this is the box color", I don't see anything at home.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 16:23, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
@Vchimpanzee: I added additional examples above with using that color as "background color" like it is in the message. — xaosflux Talk 17:54, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
It is fairly "light". — xaosflux Talk 17:55, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Somehow I can see it now.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 17:59, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Especially with LCD monitors, viewing angle and glare can make a lot of difference. — xaosflux Talk 18:54, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
I forgot to mention viewing angle in my post above, but glare is an extreme case of ambient light. Different monitor technologies (LCD, plasma, LED, CRT etc.) may also behave differently. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:01, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
I know what the problem was. Somehow there's a background color with the list of the three colors. It's close to the normal color but also to the box color.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 22:10, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

Valuable technical tool has gone deadEdit


This tool identified nonfree images included in BLPs and enabled convenient review of those uses. Over the last two years I used it to remove several thousand NFC policy violations, more than 99% noncontroversially, and I wasn't the only editor who apparently used the tool. The tool was active and functioning properly as recently as January 5. I simply lack the technical competence to even attempt to rectify the problem. Could someone with the required skills take a look at this? Is there a convenient way to generate an equivalent tool? Thanks very much. The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo). Treated like dirt by many administrators since 2006. Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong! (talk) 18:54, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

Well, this tool, and several even more widely used, related ones, are working again, and I thank whoever's responsible for whatever repairs were involved. The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo). Treated like dirt by many administrators since 2006. Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong! (talk) 01:05, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Foreign language external link categoriesEdit


Right now, we have quite a few categories featuring foreign language external links appearing to be empty. But, then, they aren't empty.

For example, if you look at Category:Articles containing Norwegian-language text, if you look at "See also", you can see Category:Articles with Norwegian-language external links has 2,870 pages. But if you click on Category:Articles with Norwegian-language external links, you'll find that it is actually empty! If you look at the contents of the category Category:Articles with non-English-language external links, you'll find that almost all of the categories now appear to be suddenly empty!

I was tagging these empty categories for CSD C1 deletion but this is just too many categories of one certain type all of a sudden becoming empty to be real and accurate. There must be some technical problem. I'll stop tagging them and ask if someone can provide an explanation and "fix" this. Thank you. Liz Read! Talk! 02:25, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

I think that this sample editthis sample edit shows the sort of category change that would lead to the "external links" categories emptying out. Note the categories before and after the edit. Pinging Trappist the monk to see if this recategorization is intentional or not. – Jonesey95 (talk) 05:40, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Well, I thought there must be some technical explanation. The situation has already unfortunately led to the deletion of a few external links categories over the past couple of weeks but they can easily be restored once this problem is resolved. Liz Read! Talk! 07:03, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
The right diff link is [2], replacing {{it icon}} with {{in lang|it}} per Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2019 July 5#Link language wrappers. This changes Category:Articles with Italian-language external links to Category:Articles with Italian-language sources (it). See Template talk:Link language#Title of this template and its categories for the category change. {{cite web |language=Italian}} adds the different Category:CS1 Italian-language sources (it). PrimeHunter (talk) 13:02, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
Monkbot/task 15 was approved 8 December 2019 so for the past month has been replacing the variety of templates that use {{link language}} with {{in lang}}. These <language name>-external link categories are populated by {{link language}}. Without any transclusions of that template, no articles will populate the <language name>-external link categories. {{in lang}} uses a new category structure based at Category:Articles with non-English-language sources – a name change because not all of these templates are, in articles, associated with sources that are links.
I see no reason why these <language name>-external link categories should not be deleted. However, the templates that call {{link language}} still exist and editors have not yet unlearned their old habits so until the templates are deleted (see Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Holding cell § To review), articles will be sporadically added to these categories – redlinked categories recreated by well intentioned editors will be an extension (and complication) of this problem.
Trappist the monk (talk) 13:15, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
@Trappist the monk:, @Liz: what about we temporarily soft redirect the "old" categories to their "new" equivalents so they are not red and don't risk being recreated? UnitedStatesian (talk) 15:08, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Doesn't that hide the fact that the old category has content and that the articles in the old category are in need of fixing?
Trappist the monk (talk) 15:12, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
No, since any old category that gets populated would then appear in Category:Wikipedia non-empty soft redirected categories, and I interpret the above that :Monkbot/task 15 would continue to come along and fix the mistemplated articles shortly thereafter. UnitedStatesian (talk) 15:20, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
If code in a template categorises pages that transclude that template, and the template is amended so that the categorisation changes, pages that transclude the template should be placed in the job queue for their cats to be updated. It's been the case for a few years now that these job queue tasks are either processed slowly, incompletely, or not at all. This results in discrepancies between pages and categories.
When a page shows a category name at the bottom, but the category itself does not list the page, go to the page concerned and WP:NULLEDIT. Similarly, if a category lists a page but the page itself does not show the category at the bottom, NULLEDIT the page. A null edit refreshes the link tables so that the association (or not) between category and page are synchronised.
To fix all such pages, use "what links here" for the template concerned, setting it to display transclusions but not links or redirs. Then for every page listed, perform a null edit. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:56, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

Talk:Ferdinand Marcos - missing archive links (gap in numbering)Edit

Talk:Ferdinand Marcos has archives 1, 5, 6, and 7 (for example: Talk:Ferdinand Marcos/Archive 7, but archives 5 - 7 are not shown on top of the talkpage for some reason. Maybe a problem with OneClick archiving or some parameter/syntax problem with the gap in archive numbers, I am not entirely sure. Could someone more knowledgeable with archive parameters check this minor issue please? Many thanks for any help. GermanJoe (talk) 08:15, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

Pretty sure it's simply because the request to Lowercase sigmabot III to archive the talk in this edit erroneously had the counter set to 5 when it should have been 1 or 2. I've moved archives 5–7 to 2–4 and filed the remaining redirects for SD, so it'll all be fine. Nardog (talk) 08:41, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

Strange syntax for categoriesEdit

Has anybody encountered this strange syntax before? What does [[{{ns:Category}}:Line-handling templates]] do that [[Category:Line-handling templates]] doesn't? Milker (talk · contribs) has been doing this on a large number of pages in the last few days. I have asked at their talk page - which has an incredibly low traffic rate, mine was the first edit in over ten years. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:52, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

Nothing as used here, but if you have say a template linking to categories on various language wikis {{subst:ns:Category}} would use the local alias (Kategori: for Swedish, Categoría: for Spanish etc.) for the category namespace instead of the universal Category: prefix. ‑‑Trialpears (talk) 23:13, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
So, since (i) this is the English Wikipedia, and (ii) the namespace Category: works on all Wikis regardless of the local language, can we say that Milker's changes are pointless and perhaps should be discouraged? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:43, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Assuming I'm not missing anything, which I'm fairly certain I'm not: Yes. ‑‑Trialpears (talk) 23:58, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
At the least it means that expression is getting reevaluated on each save, it is useless and will interfere with things like category change bots so should not be used at all. — xaosflux Talk 00:25, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Please revert them all. I suppose you could wait for a few more hours to see if there is a reply to your question at User talk:Milker, but I'm confident the syntax should not be used. Apart from anything else, adding this would lead to an avalanche of people copying the misguided edit thinking they were doing something useful when in fact it just adds confusion. Johnuniq (talk) 02:32, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I agree that this is a bad idea. It will mess up a load of tools suchs as hotcat, catalot, and most bots ... with no evident benefit to offset the downsides.
I just did a quick AWB check of Milker's contribs to see the extent of the problem, but it seems that all uses have now been fixed. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:19, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, I dropped this note and went through their contribs for the last week. Whilst doing this, I noticed that they seem to take extended wikibreaks every now and then, with only 13 edits in the ten years ending 31 December 2019. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 16:28, 10 January 2020 (UTC)


I'm looking for some advice, or maybe a sanity-check, and I pick you all. :-)

Editors have asked the Editing team, for multiple years and specifically during the big consultation about talk pages last year, to enable visual editing on talk pages. Here at the English Wikipedia, there's Template:VEFriendly, which lets people use it. You can also edit the URL to achieve the same goal, at least if your prefs are set to show two editing tabs in the mainspace. (I'm not sure it works under all the prefs options.) But you can't use it "officially".

The Editing team has never been very enthusiastic about the idea. There are a variety of reasons for this, and the one that is most relevant to my question for you is parsing.

Right now, generally speaking, if I screw up the wikitext in one section, then the next section has a chance of being okay. For example, imagine that I add a table in one section, but I forget to close the table. You edit the next section. While pages with these kinds of problems would end up at Special:LintErrors, and (in this case) it will look strange, you can click the [Edit section] button in any subsequent section and add your comment without being affected by my errors (although everything else on the page might still display strangely after you edit the page).

If you edit the page in the visual mode, however, it'll try to repair the damage my incorrect wikitext caused (in this case, by automagically adding the wikitext code to close the table at the very end of the entire page,[3] which is where the parsers [now] say the table actually ends). That's not too bad, but in other cases, you might not like the results. I think that in the worst-case scenario, it could reprocess the entire page as a single string. The only practical solution would be undoing your edit and trying again from your favorite wikitext editor, and maybe cleaning up the wikitext error while you're at it.

What I'd like to know from you all is:

  • In your experience, how often do you suppose serious wikitext errors appear on talk pages? Accidentally unescaped wikitext or template fragments turns up on this page at least occasionally. What about other talk pages?
  • Where does having to revert and try again (or cleaning up someone else's mess) fall on the annoyance scale? Is it more like a minor thing, or more like a serious problem?

Two further points for context:

  1. Even if you all agreed that this was only a tiny annoyance and would almost never happen, the Editing team still might think that full-on visual editing of talk pages is a bad idea. The parsing problem has never been their primary reason for refusing these repeated requests. Telling me that it's fine doesn't mean that anything will change.
  2. The old parser will probably be removed next year. In about a year, Parsoid (which is what the visual editor depends upon) will be used for parsing all edits, no matter what editing system you're using. I understand that this means that the problem of unescaped invalid/unbalanced wikitext is going to affect talk pages anyway. Sometimes I think that maybe a little visual editing would get some these problems identified and cleaned up bit by bit before the switch, and other times I think that I'd rather postpone the inevitable as long as possible.

(Pinging User:Izno, who put a lot of hours into solving problems during the previous round of parser changes.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:04, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

I am not up to date on what VE does at the moment but in the past I have seen it refactor text that presumably was not the target of the edit, say by normalizing template parameters. If there is any chance of that happening, enabling VE on talk would not be desirable. Some people are very sensitive about their comments and certainly would not want them changed as a side effect of another person adding a comment. Johnuniq (talk) 02:37, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
As someone who frequently cleans up article-space problems caused by the beta Visual Editor, my primary concern about enabling it in more spaces is that WMF's developers have not been as responsive as I would hope to bug reports about VE. See, for example, T133874, T162291 (almost three years old), T174303 (2.5 years old), T219627 (almost one year old), T209493 (over a year old, possibly fixed soon), T113717 (over 4 years old), and T143453 (3.5 years old). And those are just from the list of phabricator tasks I am following. I know that the developers are always working on all sorts of stuff, but I find it hard to understand why a beta editing tool that has had some very basic bugs in a stale state for many years would be expanded to a namespace where it will likely cause significant trouble.
I am not enough of a Wikimedia insider to understand the difference between VE and Parsoid, but with respect to "In about a year, Parsoid ... will be used for parsing all edits", if that means that some of the above bugs will spread to all edits, not just to VE edits, I think that there may have to be some serious bug-squashing between now and then if you want to avoid a big blow-up. – Jonesey95 (talk) 03:24, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
VE style doesn't match with wikitext styling, and this can be confusing. For example fire up this page in ve now (link here) and go look at the "How to challenge the decision to remove support for insecure browsers?" section. VE is very unforgiving about mixed list styles that we use for indents and it makes it look like a mess with huge chunks of whitespace. If I was editing there, what should I do there - try to clean it up and it just gets even worse. — xaosflux Talk 03:27, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Even this section has tons of extra white space in the VE viewing mode, or whatever that link is, and I don't think our indenting is out of the ordinary. If that is what talk pages look like in VE, that seems like a show-stopper. – Jonesey95 (talk) 03:53, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
The extra whitespace is partly caused by the single stray : in the middle of your ::-level previous comment. If the aesthetic experience were the main concern, the people who didn't like it just wouldn't use it. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:22, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

My best guesses about the effects of some known bugs:

  • phab:T133874 would only apply if you edited (probably including cut-and-paste rearranging) a template that had previously been added in the non-standard order. That shouldn't be a typical activity on the talk page, and the usual reason to care about the order of the parameters (aside from dirty diffing) is to talk about it, in which case it'd be escaped (and therefore left alone) anyway.
  • phab:T162291 prevents a few links; if you paste content that triggers this bug, you'd see instead of phab:T219627, about getting unnecessary nowiki tags on ISBNs, is similar in its end effect.
  • phab:T174303 doesn't feel important for talk pages, even though it's annoying in articles. Also, the Parsoid-everywhere thing might magically solve that (also phab:T113717 and the old one about people actually copying little blue clicky numbers and thinking that they're copying the whole citation template).
  • phab:T143453 is about people using citoid to generate citation templates (which doesn't happen much on talk pages) and then not checking the content, even though VisualEditor automatically previews the citation before letting the editor move on. But it doesn't corrupt the rest of the page (at least no more than would happen if someone typed that in wikitext now), and as a technical matter, it's not clear to me whether the citoid service ought to be sanitizing input that might look like templates or character formatting, or if the CS1 modules ought to do that.
  • phab:T209493 should be solved soon, and might be another one problem that magically goes away with phab:T54091.

My overall impression is that while some of these are annoying, none of them destroy the whole page. The occasional weird list construction sounds riskier to me. It's one thing to have your own edit go awry; that's what the edit source button is for. It's another thing if your quick comment corrupts the whole page. So I'm putting better support for definition lists on my list, but so far, nobody seems concerned about a high volume of the whole-page disasters that we saw back in the day. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:17, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

I am concerned about making a change through VisualEditor that can trigger a change to be made to other sections. An obvious disaster will hopefully be noticed, though a surprising number of editors seem not to look at the results of their edits, based on errors that get left behind. Anything other than an obvious total page breakdown can be easily missed as editors won't be reviewing the entire page for changes. Reverting and trying again is pretty annoying given there is no guarantee that it won't happen again. An experienced editor might realize that a wikitext error has to be fixed, but even so, tracking a bug down is a huge pain. isaacl (talk) 22:14, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
I don't think the bugs I listed above will break whole pages; my words were in response to Whatamidoing (WMF)'s question: Where does having to revert and try again (or cleaning up someone else's mess) fall on the annoyance scale? My point was (supposed to be) that volunteer WP editors have reported many bugs in VE that cause annoyance and work (many more hours of work than it will take to fix the bugs), and that should not be hard for developers to fix, but those bugs have languished. I worry that similar annoying talk-page VE bugs (not at the page-breaking level, but at the annoying gnome-work level), will similarly languish because they are "minor" or because editors should check their edits before saving, or some other fairy tale. – Jonesey95 (talk) 00:24, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
I was responding to the issues raised in the original post, and following up the message which stated far, nobody seems concerned about a high volume of whole-page disasters that we saw back in the day.. isaacl (talk) 07:00, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
Some changes to the rest of the page are trivial enough that they won't be worth reverting, and some might be helpful, but I'd rather not see any page completely broken. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:17, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Oof, too much credit to me. Anomalocaris probably has spent much more time than I have on linting and probably has a better handle on the first question. I will answer some of the request from what I have observed. (Aside, I will be along to the couple fun Phabricator discussions occurring about a related topic... sometime in the next few days.)

In your experience, how often do you suppose serious wikitext errors appear on talk pages? Accidentally unescaped wikitext or template fragments turns up on this page at least occasionally. What about other talk pages?

Besides misnested font/styled span HTML elements? Rarely.

Where does having to revert and try again (or cleaning up someone else's mess) fall on the annoyance scale? Is it more like a minor thing, or more like a serious problem?

If the problem is systemic (i.e. a script, or bot, or MediaWiki, WP:LISTGAP and related, [or someone's signature]), the most annoying. The occasional typo or missing end tag, not a big deal. If the error is massive, it may prevent users from leaving comments on talk pages, which would be the worst end of the deal, or lead to biting.

The old parser will probably be removed next year.

Parsoid's not ready to handle talk pages or complicated (template) wikitext. (Read mode is okay, but I've seen enough edit mode problems that would prevent saving otherwise-fine wikitext.) Talk pages might get there with the talk project, but I am skeptical about that schedule being valid for all other pages within a year.
--Izno (talk) 01:10, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
So I think I'm going to file the overall response under "lukewarm": we'd expect the occasional breakage, but it's probably not a disaster. I think the team's overall feeling is lukewarm-ish, too, so absent a real push from other wikis, I'm not expecting this to be prioritized. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:17, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

@Whatamidoing (WMF): Back in November I ran a Bot run over about 2,400 pages for the MilHist Project. For each page both the article page and talk page had to be parsed. The Bot reported failures whenever it struck a syntax error on a page. These were almost always an unclosed link or template. Some 11 errors were reported on article pages (0.4% error rate) and 46 (1.9%) on talk pages. Thus talk pages were five times as likely to have syntax errors on them despite being much smaller in general. The annoyance level was high because the errors can be really hard to spot, even with Bot assistance. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 01:14, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Hawkeye7, we're off on a bit of a tangent, but those percentages are not surprising, since articles are watched much more closely and fixed by projects like CheckWiki and various reports, and we have rules against messing with other people's contributions to talk pages. Also, talk pages are not the face of Wikipedia to the world, so errors are less of a problem. – Jonesey95 (talk) 03:24, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Now I really want to know more about your project. I can't imagine why someone would need a bot to parse a couple thousand pages.
If there's approximately a 2% error rate, presumably declining over time (as fiddly bits are found and fixed), then that's not too common (a new editor has a 98% chance of being okay), but still common enough to trip me up about once or twice a week (because I spent a lot more time on talk pages than the typical newbie. The median number of talk page edits during the first week after the first edit appears to be zero).
I think I'd live with this error rate to get, say, better odds that the Reply tool could auto-resolve edit conflicts on fast-moving pages. (I have very much been wishing for that over at MEDMOS these last few weeks. At one point, WT:MEDMOS was longer than AN and ANI combined, and at least the WikEd users were complaining that it was difficult to edit the page.) I don't think that getting the visual editor itself up on a page would be worth a 2% error rate – to me. Others might disagree. As usual, if you disagree with me, or if you can think of a group of users whose experience differs from mine, then I do appreciate hearing what you're thinking. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:38, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
The MilHist Project was cleaning up the pages with incomplete MilHist Project checklists. Over time, this backlog had accumulated into one too large to process manually, so the task was assigned to our MilHist Bot. To Bot assess the articles required parsing them. See Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/MilHistBot 5. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 00:52, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Article watchlist bouncing in Safari on iPad, but not user watchlistEdit

Which seems pretty odd. Doug Weller talk 06:07, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

Stopped. Started last night, stopped after 18 hours. Doug Weller talk 21:23, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Doug, was that on a page with a "Live updates" option? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:40, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
@Whatamidoing (WMF): yes, this is The second time it has happened to me and both times it went away after a few hours. I also had a watchlist with just user and talk pages open which was fine. Doug Weller talk 06:14, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Have you tried toggling the "Live updates" button, to see if that stops the bouncing? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:49, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
@Hatamidoing (WMF): I think I did but I'm not sure - it was hard to do anything with all the bouncing. I'll remember that if it happens again. Thanks for your help. Doug Weller talk 16:52, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Twinke doesn't work on my browserEdit


--qedk (t c) 13:42, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

My twinkle didn't work on my PC. I use the latest version of Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. What should I do? Thanks. Dede2008 (talk) 07:15, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

Dede2008, it seems like you're trying to import twinkle through m:User:Dede2008/global.js which gives a old version which probably isn't working anymore. Could you try blanking that page and checking that twinkle is enabled at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets? ‑‑Trialpears (talk) 07:44, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Trialpears, it worked. Thanks a lot, Dede2008 (talk) 08:49, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

Talk - how to indicate dead keys with Template:Key pressEdit

User John Maynard Friedman asked a question at a Template talk page: How to denote dead keys? I think that's not a good idea, and replied so.

But I also think there may be more points of view, so I invite all interested editors to join discussion.

Template talk:Key press#How to denote dead keys?

--CiaPan (talk) 13:14, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

Not allowed(ish) to accept pending changesEdit

Hi! It is very (very!) rare that I try to review pending changes. The last couple of times I tried, when hitting the "Accept revision" button I got a message saying I do not have permission to do it, which is odd, because I am an administrator. Even stranger, I hit the button a second, and then a third time. The second to read the message better (it disappears too fast, at least for a non-native speaker), the third trying to get a screen shot to show here but... by the third time it worked! Any idea on what is going on? Am I doing anything wrong? Is it a glitch? (using Vivaldi (web browser) 2.8, over Linux openSUSE 42.2 (I think) - Nabla (talk) 21:43, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

I have had this problem a few times.....logout...log back in works for me.--Moxy 🍁 21:53, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Likely phab:T234743 --DannyS712 (talk) 23:38, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, Moxy and DannyS712. So, I am not insane nor is my browser, at least not in this case. - Nabla (talk) 19:18, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

Automated tool to mass move pagesEdit

Is there any tool, script, or bot that exists that can mass move pages from one name to another based on a simple regex? I'm still waiting on consensus but we've found a good 100-200 pages in our Video games wikiproject that were created with not the best title , eg 2019 in video gaming that we are considering moving to 2019 in video games. We'd want to leave redirects behind, of course, and move talk pages over. I know I can request a bot but I'd wanted to see if there's something less needy? for this. I have AWB but I'm not aware of this being a function either. --Masem (t) 01:05, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

Since the number of pages to move is relatively small, this can easily be done with AWB. The number is indeed too small for a bot. (In comparison, TheSandBot was used to move ~35 thousand pages). AWB can mass move pages, you can ask for more info on how to do it at the tool's page or make a request at Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser/Tasks for someone to do it when you're ready. – Ammarpad (talk) 03:44, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
You can use Pywikibot's If that's not something that you are comfortable with, I can run it for you. — JJMC89(T·C) 06:14, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

Pages unwatchlisted after page movesEdit

I noticed a number of pages I had watchlisted — Battle of Mosul (2016–2017), War in North-West Pakistan, Robert James O'Neill, World Trade Center (2014–present), William Boeing, Financial crisis of 2007–2008 — disappeared from my watchlist after they were page moved in the last year. Their redirects remained on my watchlist.

The page stats don't seem to reflect an obvious dip in page watchers, but I can't imagine why I would have unwatchlisted most of these. Am I just imagining things? Mark Schierbecker (talk) 08:52, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

@Mark Schierbecker: The code ( specifies that watchers are duplicated onto the new page, so in theory you should have been watching them. Without more information its impossible to try and track down a root cause, but if this continues to happen please report it as a bug DannyS712 (talk) 09:37, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

Template:Infobox YouTube personalityEdit


--qedk (t c) 13:42, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

Hey all, at Template:Infobox YouTube personality, I'm unclear (and the talk page also indicates confusion from others) on how to properly use the |channel_name= parameter.

I was at Bhuvan Bam and wanted to add a link to his YouTube channel in the infobox. The |channel_name= parameter wants us to add a URL formatted like However his channel URL appears to be formatted like I surmise that YouTube changed the structures of their URL. Can someone please look into this? Should both formats be usable? This is out of my league. Much appreciated, Cyphoidbomb (talk) 20:16, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

There are ID-based URLs and custom URLs. Once you meet certain eligibility requirements, you can get a custom URL. Both can be used to access the channel. isaacl (talk) 20:36, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
@Cyphoidbomb: For channels where the URL is structured like "/channel/xxx", you can use the |channel_url= parameter instead. There is also a channel direct URL parameter which is basically the whole URL. --qedk (t c) 13:28, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Dammit, I'm an idiot. How did I not see that? Thank you . Cyphoidbomb (talk) 13:41, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
No worries, happens to the best of us. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ --qedk (t c) 13:42, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

What I am doing wrong, technically.Edit

I use this kind of reference:


  • In Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, 1963, by Karl Popper.

    De mortuis nil nisi bene: once a theory is refuted, its empirical character is secure and shines without blemish.[1]


  1. ^ Popper, Karl (1963). Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (2002 ed.). London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-28594-0.

I cannot preview the Notes anymore. I can save it, but cannot preview. I can preview and save if I edit the whole article, but if I edit the Notes only, I cannot preview, only save. The same thing happened in another article. I like to not put notes inline. I feel that it clutters the text and it's less easy for others to edit.

Dominic Mayers (talk) 20:02, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

Sounds similar to Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)/Archive_177#fatal error, which was supposedly fixed in phab:T240248. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 20:22, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. It's funny: one can even check the bug here by editing Notes above and trying to preview it. It has to be Notes. If you edit the whole subject, there is no issue. Dominic Mayers (talk) 22:14, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
Should I submit this as a bug somewhere? Dominic Mayers (talk) 22:27, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
@Dominic Mayers: I'm doing that right now. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 22:47, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
@Dominic Mayers: Done, see phab:T242558. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 23:21, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

Problems opening references sectionsEdit

Anyone else been having difficulty opening a ==References== section for source edit? Getting: Error

Our servers are currently under maintenance or experiencing a technical problem. Please try again in a few minutes.

See the error message at the bottom of this page for more information.

Request from via cp3052 frontend, Varnish XID 108358835 Error: 503, Backend fetch failed at Tue, 14 Jan 2020 14:45:59 GMT

Been happening for some hours. Other sections opening OK, can work around by opening whole page. Saves fine.

Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 14:49, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

This is T242558, see section above. – Jonesey95 (talk) 16:04, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
But is it getting resolved? Doesn't look like the ticket has been addressed in two days and reFill 2 is still failing. Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:15, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Help with a Query on QuarryEdit

This is the query I'm trying to modify on Quarry:

It will be run for various 'cohorts' based on number of edits (simply to stop them timing out). The purpose of the list generated is to get a filtered list of editors that might be good people to invite to join WP:NPR.

I'd like to add a couple more criteria for additional filtering:

  • X edits to Wikipedia: namespace in the last N days (like 100 in the last 6 months or something).
  • X edits to mainspace in the last N days.
  • X edits to other people's talk pages in the last N days.
  • X edits to own talk page in N days.

Any help on developing additional code for filtering would be great. Thanks! — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here)(click me!) 23:57, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

You're already querying revision for a count of recent edits. Just add another subquery joining page on page_id=rev_page; that gets you a namespace (WP:Namespaces for the list) and a title. —Cryptic 00:22, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Cryptic, Forgive me, but I am not really experienced in coding (most of the code on the current query was written by others). could you explain in more detail or provide an example of how the lies would look? Sorry! — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here)(click me!) 01:12, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

To limit to a namespace:

AND (SELECT COUNT(*) FROM revision_userindex JOIN page ON page_id = rev_page
     WHERE rev_actor = actor_id
       AND rev_timestamp >= /* whatever */
       AND page_namespace = 0 -- mainspace, from [[WP:Namespaces]]
     LIMIT /* X */) >= /* X */

Someone else's talk page:

AND (SELECT COUNT(*) FROM revision_userindex JOIN page ON page_id = rev_page
     WHERE rev_actor = actor_id
       AND rev_timestamp >= /* whatever */
       AND page_namespace = 3 -- User talk:, from [[WP:Namespaces]]
       AND page_title != REPLACE(user_name, ' ', '_') -- user_name has spaces; page_title expects them to be underscores
     LIMIT /* X */) >= /* X */

SQL questions like these, where the bulk of the question doesn't really have anything to do with Wikipedia, are better suited to WP:Request a query or (if you can endure using Flow) mw:Talk:Quarry, not here. —Cryptic 22:13, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

Also, the LIMIT's in that query aren't really accomplishing anything - the database is still going to count all matching rows instead of stopping after 500 or whatever, which is why it's so slow. You'd want something like
AND (SELECT COUNT(*) FROM (SELECT * FROM revision_userindex WHERE rev_actor_id AND rev_timestamp >= /*whatever*/ LIMIT 500) subquery1) >= 500
for all of those subqueries. —Cryptic 22:24, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

Video embedded at archive.orgEdit

Could anyone tell me if the video embedded here is viewable on most browsers? I was able to view this video in the past at Tourette syndrome, but I am unable to view it now on any of my devices, so am considering whether to delete it? Thanks in advance, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:58, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

Never mind! I found a YouTube from the Tourette Syndrome Association that accomplishes same. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:02, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
FWIW it doesn't work for me without a lot of hoops, it relies on Adobe Flash Player. — xaosflux Talk 16:23, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, Xaosflux; glad to know it's not just me (but I ditched it anyway :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:26, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

Edit countEdit

Why is my edit count in preferences different than here? Interstellarity (talk) 17:46, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

@Interstellarity: XTools counts revisions made by you, going directly off of the database. The system edit count (the one in your preferences) is a running tally that increments with only certain types of edits. For instance, it counts page moves, but it didn't use to. For this reason I generally consider the system edit count to be approximate, at least for older accounts. MusikAnimal talk 18:51, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
@MusikAnimal: What year would you consider to be old accounts? My account was created in 2011. Interstellarity (talk) 18:53, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
@Interstellarity: phab:T163966 happened in June 2017, and as far as I know this is the last change to the "definition" of what constitutes an edit, but I could be wrong. MusikAnimal talk 19:55, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

A single page which won't loadEdit

For some odd reason I can't go to the page Polistes versicolor -it won't load. The history, the talk page, as well as the article in other languages, load fine. If I go to history & click on the latest version, these load and I can edit that, but when I save, the page again will not load. But whatever I've done does show up in the history. Very odd. This is the first time I've experienced this, and I only have this problem on that page. Do others have the same? Eh, maybe someone technical should look at it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Leo Breman (talkcontribs) 2020-01-13T18:05:11 (UTC)

  Works for me @Leo Breman: I just made an edit to the page to refresh it, and it seems fine to me. Try bypassing your cache and reloading. — xaosflux Talk 18:18, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Nope, it still bizarrely won't load ... on Firefox, it works on Chrome. Bypassing cache doesn't seem to help, nor deleting what is in my browser history. The Firefox version is old, but why would only this page not load out of hundreds, if that is the case? Thanks anyway, xaosflux. Leo Breman (talk) 19:31, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
  Works for me. Firefox 72.0.1 64-bit version on Windows 7 (yes, I have to upgrade at some point) with a fair bit of RAM and a spindle disk. Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:58, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Tech News: 2020-03Edit

MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 18:39, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

IPv6 individual and /64 block logsEdit

Issue: difficultly determining blocks in /64 range for IPv6

Description: I was poking around WP:ADMINTOOLS and WP:TOOLS and was wondering if there were any gadgets or features to allow admins or anyone to view block logs of all IPv6s in a /64 range. Currently, you can view the block log for a single IPv6 or the block log for the whole range. The difficulty is that sometimes individual IPs get blocked, but they quickly hop up a new IP in the /64 range and it can appear the IP has no record of troublemaking.

I'd love to see some treasure that lets me quickly see all blocks in a range and even all warnings on talk pages to better assist with the wackamole. Any current tools do this? EvergreenFir (talk) 06:22, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Hmm. I have two /64 nets for my home (actually a /60 delegated from Comcast). So yes, if I had a blocked IP, I could go to a different computer at home and use that. But also ISPs like Comcast will delegate addresses from their own /64 among unrelated customers. It might be that there is a range of addresses for delegating subnets and a range for internal use. You might find two unrelated blocked IPs from the same /64. Gah4 (talk) 06:35, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Definitely possible and it would take inspection to determine if the blocks and edits are related. Still can be worth it. EvergreenFir (talk) 06:46, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
You could look at the range contributions and look at the block logs of each IP (reasonably quick with popups). I know that's kinda hacky but most residential /64's are sparsely used.--Jasper Deng (talk) 06:40, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
I haven't tried popups. I use the range contribs but sometimes there's too many to glance through. EvergreenFir (talk) 06:46, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
I don't know how ISPs do it, but I suspect so. On the other hand, if I really use all 16 of the /64s delegated to me, you will have a harder time finding me. But also, I don't know the distribution of WP users. What fraction of people ever edit a page? Gah4 (talk) 06:53, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
If you view contributions for the range with the mark blocked users gadget enabled, wouldn't any individually blocked IPs in the range show up as blocked? I might be misunderstanding what you're asking for, but for a purely visual cue I think that'd do it. ~ Amory (utc) 10:57, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes, that works, it's what I use the gadget for. Black Kite (talk) 11:17, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
It won't reveal any previous blocks that have expired, though, and it won't reveal the parameters of existing blocks.--Jasper Deng (talk) 12:00, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Like Black Kite, I use that gadget as well but as Jasper says I'm interested in past blocks as well. Also for cases with hundreds of edits on a range, the gadget only works as much as you're willing to dig through. EvergreenFir (talk) 12:16, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

I just dropped a similar question at MusikAnimal's talk page about being able to see the contributions made to a /64 range's (collective) talk pages. --Izno (talk) 16:06, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

One approach for anyone wanting to write a script/tool for this would be to use API:Usercontribs to first get the range contributions. Then for every distinct IP address in the result, use API:Logevents to get its block log, and API:Parse to get the content of its talk page. Present all the output on a single page. SD0001 (talk) 07:20, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
MusikAnimal pointed me to using Special:Prefixindex to get a list of all the talk pages of a particular /64, which seems reasonable to me. --Izno (talk) 16:00, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

This is perhaps a little off-topic, but has there ever been a discussion to add a simple function to the User Contributions page to show all edits made on the /64 range? It seems such a logical tool to offer, and I'm surprised by its absence. Fiddling  with urls on a tiny mobile in order to do this is not easy.Nick Moyes (talk) 10:05, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

@Nick Moyes: When you plug in the IPv6 IP address of interest into Special:Contribs, just add /64 to the end. This has been a feature for a year or two now. (You can do any range you please.) --Izno (talk) 16:00, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, Izno. I do know how to do that, having learnt the trick recently, but it's hardly elegant and darned near impossible to add /64 onto the end of a url whilst on a mobile. You try monitoring Recent Changes for a couple of hours and wanting to check the /64 range contributions of all those IPv6 vandals you've been reverting. Now, if only there were a little obvious button on that page I could tap or click..! I can't be the only one who can see the value of that, surely? Nick Moyes (talk) 17:00, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Nick Moyes, in my experience the guys at WP:SCRIPTREQ would fix that real quick. ‑‑Trialpears (talk) 17:19, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Twinkle & Partial BlocksEdit

With partial blocks now in place on en-wiki, though some of the less clear use-cases are still having the formal policy written up, does anyone know if Twinkle is being updated to be able to place them? Nosebagbear (talk) 12:13, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

I suspect that WT:TW is the right page for that question. :) (which is an awfully fun shortcut!) --Izno (talk) 16:08, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Amory already put it on the feature request list, see [9]. Regards SoWhy 10:55, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm hoping to dive into a simple structure soon this week or next, depending on how busy life gets. In the mean time, little things like "what templates should be used?" are important questions that would be helpful to know. ;) ~ Amory (utc) 17:42, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Is "ScienceNews template" useful - or not?Edit

FWIW - a draft "ScienceNews template" (see copy below) has been created - a recent suggestion (see comments at "Wikipedia:Reference desk/Science#Is "ScienceNews template" useful - or not?") has been made that the better place to post my concern is on "WP:Village Pump" - the "Technical" section seems the best section to me at the moment (simply because I'm most familiar with this section over the years) - but other VP sections may be even better - QUESTION: Is such a template (or equivalent) useful anywhere on Wikipedia? - Comments Welcome - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 20:05, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
User:Drbogdan/ScienceNews (transclusion converted to link after discussion was moved)

This blog-like thing seems like something that, at best, should be an occasional opt-in newsletter for those interested in receiving it. Its use of external links does not match our usual practice, which could be jarring for some readers. Also, the CAPITAL LETTERS should be toned down to match MOS. I think that Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab) might be a better home for this discussion, since it doesn't seem that you have a technical question. – Jonesey95 (talk) 21:59, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
@Jonesey95: Thank you for your comments - and suggestion to post to the "WP:Village pump (idea lab)" - if interested, the post can be viewed here => "VP-IdeaLab" - iac - Thanks again - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 22:17, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

NOTE: a new version (hopefully improved to the better Wikipedia standards) of the template has now been created - and, if interested, may be viewed below and/or here => "User:Drbogdan/ScienceFacts" - Thanks again for all the earlier comments - newer Comments Welcome - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 16:29, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

New updated template version


TEN SCIENCE FACTS (click for => original version)


  1. ^ Staff (2020). "How many stars are there in the Universe?". European Space Agency. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  2. ^ Mackie, Glen (1 February 2002). "To see the Universe in a Grain of Taranaki Sand". Swinburne University of Technology. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  3. ^ Staff (2020). "The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia - Catalog". The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  4. ^ Staff (2020). "Rover Environmental Monitoring Station - Mars Science Laboratory (NASA)". Spanish Astrobiology Center. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  5. ^ Staff (2020). "Mars InSight Mission - Latest Weather at Elysium Planitia". NASA. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  6. ^ Staff (2020). "Martians on Mars found by the Curiosity rover". Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  7. ^ a b Cofield, Calla (24 August 2016). "How We Could Visit the Possibly Earth-Like Planet Proxima b". Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  8. ^ Bogdan, Dr. Dennis (2020). "Calculation - Time to nearest star". LiveJournal. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  9. ^ Fraknoi, Andrew (2007). "How Fast Are You Moving When You Are Sitting Still?" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  10. ^ Kolata, Gina (14 June 2012). "In Good Health? Thank Your 100 Trillion Bacteria". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  11. ^ Novacek, Michael J. (8 November 2014). "Prehistory's Brilliant Future". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  12. ^ Sundermier, Ali (23 September 2016). "99.9999999% of Your Body Is Empty Space". Retrieved 17 January 2020.

Extra coordsEdit

Does anybody know why Kew Gardens station (London) has two sets of title coords? They are clearly different. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:09, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

  Fixed see fix - there were multiple coordinates with the same display configured. — xaosflux Talk 21:23, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict)This just came up at Template talk:Infobox bridge. That template imports coordinates from wikidata without checking whether the article already has coordinates (I don't know if it can), and somehow, the article did not appear in an error category for articles with duplicate coordinates (I don't know if there is one). The workaround is to insert coords into Infobox bridge with display=inline. – Jonesey95 (talk) 21:52, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  Thank you --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 02:05, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Next question: why did the problem version not throw the error {{#coordinates:}}: cannot have more than one primary tag per page? Compare this page. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:38, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Warning: Use of !importantEdit

The in-built annotation for CSS pages is throwing four Warning: Use of !important cautions on User:Jo-Jo Eumerus/common.css. Is that a problem? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 10:22, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

From what I understand, the warning is thrown to alert editors that their code will supersede more specific CSS declarations used which normally is not advisable (since the "correct" way to handle it would be to modify the more specific CSS declarations directly). This is especially important when editing the page-wide theme css file because it can potentially destroy the site for everyone. However, for user-specific stylesheets !important is in most cases needed because the point is to modify the interface despite the more specific declarations, so it shouldn't be a problem (unless you add something like body { display:none !important; }that hides everything  ). Regards SoWhy 10:53, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
The !important annotation is a cop-out: once it's been used for a particular property, it's then very difficult to override that declaration with another rule unless the declaration in that other rule also uses !important. There are no levels of importance. It's normally better to forget about !important and instead increase the specificity of the selector. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 11:49, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Possibly but there are cases in which increasing the specificity of the selector is not possible or feasible. For example, I find text-shadows extremely annoying, no matter where they are used but I cannot know where they might be used, so I included a blanket hiding element in my css to handle that. Which needs !important to work. Regards SoWhy 12:06, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
You have two copies of the .citation-comment {display: inline !important;}. Because there are no hidden cs1|2 error messages, both of those can go away. If you wish to hide all cs1|2 error message or wish to see the maintenance messages, see Help:CS1 errors § Controlling error message display.
Trappist the monk (talk) 12:10, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
citation-comment is output for cs1-maintenance messages as well. --Izno (talk) 16:03, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
@Jo-Jo Eumerus: so short answer: no its not a problem. Long answer see above, if you were writing scripts designed to be used by others this is something worth looking to avoid, for something that is only ever for yourself just keep in mind that "!important" means just that - this rule is more important then what anyone else thinks! — xaosflux Talk 12:12, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Interview template, more than one interviewer?Edit

I'm trying to properly cite this inverview. It has two interviewers, but the cite template has only one slot for an interviewer name. Suggestions? Just comma it out? Maury Markowitz (talk) 15:20, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

I presume that you are referring to {{cite interview}}. Pretty sure that you are mistaken:
{{cite interview |interviewer-last=Fairbairn |interviewer-first=Doug |interviewer-last2=Diamond |interviewer-first2=Sephen L |last=Peddle |first=Chuck |title=Chuck Peddle Oral History |work=Computer History Museum |via=YouTube |date=12 June 2014 |url=}}
Peddle, Chuck (12 June 2014). "Chuck Peddle Oral History". Computer History Museum (Interview). Interviewed by Fairbairn, Doug; Diamond, Sephen L – via YouTube.
When you are having problems with the cs1|2 templates, the best place to discuss those problems is at the link you provided above: Help talk:Citation Style 1.
Trappist the monk (talk) 15:38, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The documentation at {{Cite interview}} says "interviewer: Full name of interviewer(s); separate interviewers with a semicolon (;); wikilink as desired." – Jonesey95 (talk) 15:46, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
The documentation needs to be updated. |interviewer-last=, |interviewer-first=, and their numbered forms, as well as the numbered forms of |interviewer=, are supported. --Izno (talk) 16:05, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I have updated the documentation based on the documentation for the |author= parameters. Error corrections are welcome. – Jonesey95 (talk) 22:18, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Autoblocks and admin accountsEdit

Hi all, I've filed T242902, though feel free to call me a dummy if I've misunderstood how this works. The nutshell seems to be that admin accounts can be affected by IP autoblocks, despite that theyre supposed to have IP block exemption. Writ Keeper  19:04, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

It's been merged to phab:T233441 which was filed last year. In the meantime one can disable the block by just deleting the set cookie. – Ammarpad (talk) 02:28, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

RFD templatesEdit

Some time ago, I raised the issue that Wikipedia's detection tools for uncategorized pages were erroneously and unnecessarily picking up and listing redirects that had been nominated for deletion, because the nomination template was breaking the page's function as a redirect and causing it to register as an uncategorized article — so to resolve the problem, the regular RFD template was coded to automatically include the nominated redirects in Category:Temporary maintenance holdings so that they would be "categorized" and thereby ignored by the categorization tools. However, I'm now starting to encounter unnecessary redirects on the uncategorized pages tools again — the difference being that instead of the regular {{RfD}} template, these pages are tagged for deletion using {{Rfd-NPF}}.

I've manually added a couple of them to the temporary maintenance category to get them off the list again, but it's still unhelpful and unnecessary kludge that preferably shouldn't even show up in the first place — so I wanted to ask if somebody here who's more knowledgeable about template coding than I am could make sure that the Rfd-NPF template categorizes the pages in Category:Temporary maintenance holdings the same as the regular RFD template does, so that the tagged redirects don't clutter up the categorization tools. Thanks. Bearcat (talk) 22:21, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

{{Rfd-NPF}} is a hack that shouldn't exist, just like the rest of the rest of its ilk. * Pppery * it has begun... 22:29, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Then nominate it for deletion. In the meantime, however, as long as it still exists, it still needs to ensure that it isn't causing RFD-nominated redirects to be erroneously detected as uncategorized articles. Bearcat (talk) 22:46, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Bearcat, I've added the category to {{Rfd-NPF}}. Regarding Pppery's comments I would totaly agree that these should be merged with the normal version of the template. The code for {{Rfd-NPF}} is completly different from {{RfD}} and is bound to cause more issues in the future. ‑‑Trialpears (talk) 23:44, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. Just to be clear, I agree that they should probably just be merged with the regular templates — I'm not an expert in NPP process, but I find it hard to imagine a plausible reason why they would need their own separate templates to do the same things that non-NPP templates already do — my only concern was with the notion that their mergeability or deletability would constitute a reason not to actually address the immediate problem. Bearcat (talk) 18:08, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Rangeblocked IP not showing up as blocked in edit historyEdit

Hi all, I have the Preferences > Gadgets > Appearance > "Strike out usernames that have been blocked" tool turned on. I'm looking at this edit history, and the top couple of IPv6s, 2409:4060:393:6db1::18a:b0, and 2402:3a80:a84:a3cc:0:59:f313:2801 (and maybe more as the sock keeps editing) are not showing up as blocked for me, while the other one right under DMacks' edit is. I applied a /64 rangeblock to those IPs, so maybe that's the cause, but it seems like they should still be marked, in an ideal world. Any thoughts? Thanks, you hard-working people! Cyphoidbomb (talk) 02:47, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

The list at Special:Contributions/2409:4060:393:6db1::18a:b0 shows the block, even though it's actually a rangeblock of the /64. I think the mark-blocked gadget only strikes out the IPs under a single-IP block, not a rangeblock. The script at MediaWiki:Gadget-markblocked.js might be the one that does the strikeouts. The history of that script shows a recent change by User:Amorymeltzer. Perhaps he can say if it could be enhanced to strike out IPs covered by a rangeblock. EdJohnston (talk) 03:27, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Is there any way to upgrade the gadget? The strikeouts are so crucial to my ability to gnome sockpuppetry. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 16:07, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

syntax highlighting and user interactionEdit

Is it just me? Win 10, Chrome latest release, pages that MediaWiki renders with syntax highlighting.

Module:Citation/CS1 does not render with syntax highlighting because there is 100k-byte limit (I think). When I click and drag to highlight some code in that rendering, no problem.

Shift to Module:Citation/CS1/Configuration where syntax highlighting is not disabled. Move the mouse cursor over the various elements in the documentation portion of that page and the cursor changes almost instantly as it floats over the plain-text, links, blank space as would be expected. Move over the code, the cursor becomes lethargic, click and drag to highlight some bit of code or text and it takes several seconds for the highlight to appear; mouse cursor is stuck at text-select form until the selection highlights.

Is this just me? Is it some new change to MediaWiki's handling of syntax highlighting? Is it a Chrome problem?

Trappist the monk (talk) 15:57, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Works fine for me on Linux with Firefox 72. It also worked with Chromium 78, but Chromium 79 has the problem you describe. Anomie 12:35, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
No problem for me on Chromium 79 / Ubuntu. Module:Citation/CS1 has syntax highlighting as well. MusikAnimal talk 16:14, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Chrome just updated to 79.0.3945.130. With that update, the problem appears to have gone away.
Trappist the monk (talk) 16:16, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Addition to Special:ImportEdit

Hello! I have started an RfC over at VPP regarding adding commons as a wiki source to Special:Import. Feel free to comment over there! --TheSandDoctor Talk 17:00, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Will the deleted pages all disappear one day?Edit

One of the stranger parts of the deletion policy is WP:PERMADEL:

Deletion should not be used for archiving a page. The developers have indicated that the deleted pages can be cleared or removed from the database at any time.

The first sentence is obvious enough, but I'm not quite sure what to make of the second one. The link goes to this statement made by Brion VIBBER in 2007: Deletion means deletion. The deleted page archives ARE TEMPORARY TO FACILITATE UNDELETION OF PAGES WHICH SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DELETED and are subject to being cleared or removed AT ANY TIME WITHOUT WARNING. I'm finding this surprising. Is it really the case that at some point in the future, the contents of deleted pages will permanently disappear so that not even admins will be able to view them? Or is this only a reference to a some mysterious feature of the early days of wikipedia that's not relevant anymore? – Uanfala (talk) 22:31, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

I've just stumbled upon Wikipedia:Viewing and restoring deleted pages, which does have some technical/historical background, but I'm still completely in the dark. – Uanfala (talk) 22:34, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

It's not very likely, but we could theoretically lose access to deleted edits again. The text of deleted pages/revisions isn't available in database dumps, etc., so if all the copies of Wikipedia's database became unavailable and all we could access was database dumps, we would lose all the deleted edits up until this highly calamitous event. Graham87 07:30, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
My user subpage at User:Graham87/Page history observations contains some examples of the kind of things that can be lost when deleted edits are cleared/nonexistent. Graham87 07:34, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Desktop refreshEdit

Quick note with a couple of related points:

Some of you might be interested in watching the mw:Reading/Web/Desktop Improvements. I heard in a meeting today that their main goals for the next few months are to make the sidebar collapsible, and to do something about the "header" (I think they mean the top of the page). I think that this will only affect people using Vector.

If the usual patterns hold (who else remembers the 2014 Typography refresh project?), whenever this happens, there'll be complaints for a week or two, especially if someone's favorite user script stops working, and then people will have fixed their scripts and adapted, and after a year or two, few of us will be able to accurately describe the changes that were made.[1] I think that people who use the desktop site on a mobile device will be happy about the collapsible sidebar. I have the impression that the header change is meant to be more compact.

My request for you technically minded folks is to keep an eye out for this, because I do expect that any change, no matter how small, will break at least one user script, and It'll be announced in Tech News beforehand, but I don't have the release dates myself.

Also, our community historians might want to take a look at mw:Reading/Web/Desktop Improvements/A History of Wiki Skins. There's an [Edit] button right there at the top, if you see anything that's missing/wrong/unclear/in need of links. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 07:01, 17 January 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ If you're struggling to remember this right now, the 2014 project changed the ==Section headings== to a serif font, changed the font color from true black to extremely dark gray, and added just a little extra leading to Vector. I remembered the switch to serif section headings, but I had to look up the rest. What I will never need to look up is that they briefly broke a whole language with a font-based accident; as a result, I never want anyone to change any fonts again. AFAICT no font changes are planned.

Pop-ups and italicsEdit

I just changed the article on Tim Tolkien to put the italic markup for The Sentinel outside the piped wiki-link, instead of inside. This fixed an issue where the pop-up showed <em> tags around the link. Is this a known bug? All the best: Rich Farmbrough , the apparently calm and reasonable, 13:45, 17 January 2020 (UTC).

I reported it at Wikipedia talk:Tools/Navigation popups/Archive 9#em tags in piped links in 2014 with no reply. PrimeHunter (talk) 15:46, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
The function of interest is parse_inline_formatting(str). With the popup, was the page italicized correctly before your change? --Izno (talk) 16:06, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Edit ConflictsEdit

Hi, I'm getting false "edit conflicts" on most "saves". I'm using Chrome. Any advice please. Graham Beards (talk) 14:49, 17 January 2020 (UTC)