Wikinews:Water cooler/assistance/archives/2009/November

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Wikinews Importer Bot blocked

Please see here. Yes, I blocked the bot. It's posting the wrong stories under the wrong dates and has been for some time. Recently it suddenly caught up and I thought it was fixed, but no, it started doing it again. Check out w:Portal:Current events. Bot operator Misza13 said the bot itself was working fine some time ago, so I'm guessing it's up to us to track down the problem. So... Anyone know where we go next? Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 13:16, 8 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

/me looks into it. Bawolff 18:41, 8 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
For some reason the importer bot is not updating the page. Why this is occuring, I'm not sure, but i tried to change a couple things that might be causing it.
  • Caching. The page is based on a template in a template, based on a parser function. All the levels of indirection could cause the bot to get a cached version of the dpl perhaps (but thats inconsistant with the &action=purge the bot uses)
  • Something weird to do with the <noinclude>. The pages on wikinews the bot uses, uses weird noincludes, but that shouldn't make a difference. However this shouldn't really matter.

Other possible issues:

  • Vector maybe? As far as i can tell, that should not matter.

So I tried to change these things, maybe it'd make it work (unsure). Bawolff 19:58, 8 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Scratch that. I don't think those changes will do anything —The preceding unsigned comment was added by bawolff (talkcontribs)
Well we should really get this fixed soon, as it feeds into w:Portal:Current events. Cirt (talk) 20:10, 8 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
We're working on a new theory - bot operator disspared off the face of the earth, and his bots dissapeared with him for a short time period. It may or may not work now.Bawolff 20:19, 8 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
The trouble started before he left; that was how he could tell me the bot itself seemed to be okay. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:20, 8 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Seems to work now. Bawolff 20:24, 8 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Has the bot been unblocked and is this back to normal? Cirt (talk) 05:50, 11 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, the bot has been unblocked. No, it still doesn't work. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 07:24, 11 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Looks like it is working for me. Cirt (talk) 07:51, 11 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Are we looking at the same w:Portal:Current events? There is no way South African Vipers win Singapore Rugby Sevens is hot off the press today, yet the bot claims it is the latest article. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 18:11, 11 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Ah, someone must have edited it post publish, changing the DPL output. Cirt (talk) 21:02, 11 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Eh, no. It was like posting every article from that date as 'todays'. However, since last I commented here it's done another run, and that one worked. Fingers crossed it keeps working now. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 00:40, 12 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
It is certainly not working today. Wrong articles once again. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 18:59, 12 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The issue at hand

Just to clarify. The bot is not posting wrong articles, it is just not upating the templates. Portal current events works as follows

  • There is a template, all articles wikinews published today, another one, all articles published yesterday, and so on up to 6 days ago.
  • w:Portal:Current events uses {{#time}} to write the current date, and than includes the template, articles published by wikinews today
  • Bot does not update templates
  • Portal:Current events assumes that the template all articles published by wikinews today is up to date, where really it was last updated several days ago. All articles published today as of several days ago, is really all articles published several days ago. This template is transcluded under todays date. Thus it looks like the bot is pulling the wrong articles, where really the bot just is letting the all articles published today template become outdated.

Bawolff 21:11, 13 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

[1] = seems not to be a problem with the bot... Cirt (talk) 02:23, 14 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
(this is based on stuff i determined after writing the above) Actually its sort of is -ish - its a problem with DPL that the bot should take into account. We cache dynamic page lists (which is a bad thing in general as the caching method isn't paticularly good, and stale content can easily get served up. However it stops the servers from commiting suicide, so thats a good thing) The bot should take this into account. historically the bot added &action=purge to the url, but when it switched to the api, it stopped doing that. (or at least this is my current theory on what is happening). Compare [2] when logged in, and when not logged in. When not logged in, that page shows (or at least for me) shows the latest news as of november 5th. when logged in it shows the actual version. Some other queries [3] seem to avoid this problem in both cases. Bawolff 02:31, 14 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Appers to be working now. Everyone give Misza13 a big wiki-hug. Bawolff 05:37, 15 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Please see the talk page of this article. We need some outside opinions on whether this article is {{newsworthy}} enough for publication. I'm advertising the discussion here to get a bigger audience. Tempodivalse [talk] 04:17, 11 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Questions to help with Wikimedia Strategy

Hi, good people of Wikinews.

I've come over from We're interested to know two things about how you work here on Wikinews.

First, do you have any competitions? On en:wp there are quite a few different competitions that seem to help motivate editors to do good work and more of it.

Here's an example:

More can be found at:

Does Wikinews run anything like that?

Also on en:wp there are a number of WikiProjects which help editors to bond as smaller communities within the larger one.

Here's an example:

More can be found at:

Can you point to any sort of sub-communities within Wikinews which help editors bond as a smaller group within the project as a whole?

Answers to these questions will be valuable to us as we work on Wikimedia Strategy. I will be grateful for any information you can provide. --Bodnotbod (talk) 18:22, 25 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

TempoDiValse ran a writing competition earlier this year (or was it last year?), I believe, but that's the only competition I've seen. There's Wikinews:WikiBureaux, our equivalent of WikiProjects, but they don't seem to get much use, unfortunately. Dendodge T\C 18:31, 25 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
We don't have much in the way of contests, IIRC we've only had four or so to date. I ran one in March this year (user:Tempodivalse/Writing contest). Probably time for another one soon. Tempodivalse [talk] 18:38, 25 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Over the years there's been at least three big writing contests. I won a cash prize in one. For all we don't really have subprojects, we have a small, tight-knit community such that makes the psychological 'bonding' benefits of WikiProjects redundant. All the regulars know each other, and we have a good friendly atmosphere which allows people to come in and quickly fit in. Ive watched both Dendodge and Tempo from above arrive and come to fit in here - that seems to be a good motivation to people.
Seeing as it's motivation you're after, with Wikinews most of it comes from work satisfaction. You have around 48 hours after the event to create a fully fledged article, totally complient with every policy. The reward? You feel you've achieved something; the work appears on the main page and is syndicated by Google News. Those are the biggest motivators on WN. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 18:44, 25 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
We've had several contests (typically about one per year). Some of which have had cash prizes (however typically the cash prize was not the motivator). Some of them (paticularly the earlier ones) have substantially boosted the article count. Most are modeled on meta:IWWC2. We also had meta:Wikinews design contest, but it didn't really work that well. People tried to create things like Wikinews:WikiBureau Australia in a similiar spirit to wikipedia wikiprojects, however we currently are not of a size where such sub-projects are beneficial, and such sub-projects tended to suffer from a loss of interest. I geuss you might be able to call WN:AW a sub-project. Bawolff 19:39, 25 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • I ran/funded one of the previous writing competitions; the amounts of money were quite small, but it was enough of an incentive to get some people to put the extra effort into becoming better contributors and more able to enjoy the "competition" with other writers. Specialisation, such as Bureaux or Projects? Not really, the community isn't large enough for long-term specialisation. The Australasian contributors who did manage that for a year or so have all ended up with less time in their lives (college &c.) --Brian McNeil / talk 21:56, 25 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for your responses thus far. That's all very useful information. I have some follow up questions; what are your thoughts with regard to community health? That's to say, are your best editors content with the set-up here? Or are there ongoing frustrations with certain things that you would like to see resolved, even to the point that some committed contributors have already left the project? --Bodnotbod (talk) 16:25, 26 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Our "community health", I think, is quite good. No major contributors have retired in the recent past, and those that did retire usually did so due to real-life personal issues, not due to a dispute here. Most users seem pretty content with how things are run; we're quite drama-free and there haven't been any serious disputes for months (ArbCom has only been used twice in its entire history). Tempodivalse [talk] 17:42, 26 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
The "community health" is reasonable - not great, just reasonable. There is a need for at least a doubling of the regular contributor base before I'd say we've a good, healthy community. The biggest frustration most people see is getting WMF developer time; personally, I hope the fundraiser brings in enough to hire at least two more developers. I'd nominate our own bawolff (talk · contribs) for that, he'll admit to being new to a lot of the codiing, but he "gets it" about the project's needs and is fairly quick to respond to suggestions. If we could clone him a couple of times....
The other developer-related issue is that, to some extent, enwn is happy to be a guinea pig for late-beta stuff. We got Flagged Revisions after dewp ran their trial; we were asking for it before they got it, there was the perception that giving it to enwn was a convenient way to test out under different usage conditions. That can happily be overlooked because we had the ear of a couple of developers for the first couple of months with the extension and tweaks were forthcoming in short order. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:02, 28 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Cricket articles

I am not sure about Wikinews supporting sports catagory I have mainly created this account on adding ongoing Cricket Tests or any matches. Just as the one which was between Ind and SL which India won. It was also their 100th win. Do you think such articles are permitted in wikinews? --Discovery (talk) 11:03, 28 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, articles on sporting events are most certainly permitted. Category:Cricket exists for you to categorise the articles in, and there are a number of templates to help standardise formatting. Dendodge T\C 11:18, 28 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, as Dendoge points out, there's a category, the sport has been covered in the past. Have a look at the more recent articles in the category to get an idea of how to present stuff, and give it a go. What might be most disheartening is the time constraints of Wikinews; you really want to get an article on a match up within 12-24 hours of its end, and effectively 90% done. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:51, 28 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]