Wikinews:Water cooler/technical/Archive/13

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  • Special:AbuseFilter is being rolled out on en.wikipedia, see Announcing the Abuse Filter. Additional info at mw:Extension:AbuseFilter. I think this would be very beneficial on this project as a preventative measure against vandalism, and should be implemented. Thoughts? Cirt (talk) 03:33, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - I see no reason not to start this right now - it's a great tool that will immediately help out against vandalism. Cirt (talk) 03:33, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose (but treat my vote as an abstain/neutral in any vote counting). I think it would be a good idea to wait and see any issues that wikipedia might have before rolling it out ourselves. I'm always suspicious of these types of things, as they are never perfect, and can be really harmful when they don't work as intended. Its not like we're having major issues with vandalism anyways. (however, I'll support if wikipedia has success with it). Bawolff 04:36, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Voting is evil. I'm with Bawolff, let's see how en.WP does with it. The issue with the other wikis you mention is we can't dip in and see their discussion/teething troubles. --Brian McNeil / talk 06:46, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
It is also now live on the English Wikisource [1]. Cirt (talk) 06:58, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Update: Looks like it is working pretty well already at en.wikipedia. Cirt (talk) 11:48, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment Do we really need this? This seems overkill for a small wiki like ours, where we rarely get more than a few vandals a day. Any vandalism/bad edits can easily be reverted manually, it's not like we have so much that we can't get to it all in time. I can see how the filter would be useful at some place like the English or Russian Wikipedia, where there are too many edits per hour to monitor them all on recent changes, but here, that's not an issue. Consider my comment a neutral vote in any !voting/poll. Tempo di Valse ♪ 22:27, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
I think there is much more to be gained than any potential problems (which I have not seen yet at other wikis using it). It basically prevents an edit from being made. It's been in use now for a bit at en.wikipedia and seems to be doing well there. Cirt (talk) 07:48, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm still a bit hesitant on this -- most high traffic pages are either protected from editing altogether or have separate draft/stable pages, meaning that 99% of vandalism will not be visible to the reader anyway. Then again, I guess it wouldn't really hurt to have the filter installed, just as an extra precaution, if it has been found to be reliable on other wikis. Tempo di Valse ♪ 15:14, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Note that filters can be set to just warn the user about the edit and let them save anyway. This actually seems to deter quite a lot of edits, presumably vandalism. Voice of All (talk) 01:25, 31 March 2009 (UTC)


AbuseFilter has now been live for a while over at en.wikipedia, as well as multiple other wikis. I think we should consider it for this project. Cirt (talk) 19:46, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Support - Per my comments, above. Cirt (talk) 19:47, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support good enough for me [but no auto-blocking option, only if it warns/logs things]. Bawolff 05:15, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support with the conditions bawolff (talk · contribs) says above. Calebrw (talk) 03:31, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support as long as the autoblock function is disabled. The machine should only warn and log things. Tempodivalse [talk] 13:43, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Done. Enabled. See Special:AbuseFilter. I added some from q:Special:AbuseFilter that have already been tested and work pretty well. Cirt (talk) 09:19, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Collaboration on user page?[edit]

Why is there a 'collaboration' on user pages, as opposed to a talk one? Is this a bug? Has it already been noted? Computerjoe (talk) 19:39, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

The "collaboration" tabs appear in all namespaces. I don't know why they called it that, most WMF wikis have it as either "talk" ( or "discussion" ( tempodivalse 19:43, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
It's a bug that has to be addressed then. It'd be great if it could be different in different name spaces. Computerjoe (talk) 21:50, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Hm, not sure it's a bug, I think this was intentional. Apparently one can change the name of the tab from MediaWiki:Talk. (A whiles ago the tab was named as "talk"; a few years ago it got renamed to "collaboration", it seems.) tempodivalse 21:53, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Can it be changed though for different namespaces? Can one namespace have a different tab than another? We'll see. [2]. Computerjoe (talk) 22:00, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Umm, whats the issue, they're synonyms. we collaberate with people on their talk pages Bawolff 00:59, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
That's rather forward of you, Joe. Submitting a bug without consensus that it is even a bug. --SVTCobra 01:30, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry. I presumed it was a bug. Whilst you perhaps do collaborate on a user talk page, it is in my opinion not the most appropiate description. At any rate, it would be interesting if Mediawiki supports it and if it doesn't, that should be addressed for other wikis, even? Computerjoe (talk) 20:29, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Ah it is possible, excuse my ignorance. Anyone think it should be implemented here? Computerjoe (talk) 18:57, 23 April 2009 (UTC)


I've created a new template for cautioning people about posting inflammatory remarks - {{flamebait}}.

I am wondering if it should have some magic in it to be as-is for on Comments: pages and also function as a warning on a user talk page if in that namespace. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:36, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Could there be some kind of box around it? --SVTCobra 22:12, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
The way it is used at Comments:Iran_executes_woman_despite_stay_of_execution doesn't seem appropriate and seeing it there - in context - makes it look like we censor opinions (or on the verge of doing so) ... That's just my view of it. --SVTCobra 02:01, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Collaboration/talk consistency[edit]

At the moment, pages have a 'collaboration' tab for accessing the talk page. Yet, at the top right the list of links refers to 'my talk'. I'd like a straw poll on reverting 'collaborate' back to 'talk'. --Brian McNeil / talk 06:43, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Comment -- To me the collaboration tab makes sense with Wikinews' principal of having editors collaborate on works. To change it doesn't make sense to me. Changing it too talk seems might confuse users who what to talk about the story, not it's technical aspects, like OR notes. Calebrw (talk) 03:28, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment -- I suggest have collaboration for all talk pages except user talk, which should be talk. This is possible. See [3]. Computerjoe (talk) 09:18, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment I agree with Calebrw, "collaboration" in this sense might be more appropriate. It would, perhaps, be a good idea to change the user talk namespace to "talk", which is more appropriate for user pages. Tempodivalse [talk] 13:41, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment I don't really see that much of a difference one way or another - however I'm concerned that using talk or discuss will get people confused in relation to the comment namespace. Bawolff 21:09, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Query on accreditation[edit]

I have a question about Reporting news and photos. How would I go about getting a Wikinews credits press pass or an AP pass? I have searched and noticed that there is not a accredited reporter in the pacific northwest (Washington state). Any help would great be appreciated. Thanks, Lytle

In most cases accreditation is only granted when you have shown understanding of the policies of the wiki. The page to request accreditation is here, but it would be best to write some articles first. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:44, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Article export[edit]

I've seen mention here and there about options to print from Wikipedia, does anyone know about this. As I understand it you can get a PDF of an individual article, or a collection of articles as a book.

Something that does that has potential for use by Wikinews. I see no reason why you couldn't request a PDF of the leads and all the stories for the last 3-4 days - if we can make a column-formatted PDF then we have resurrected the print edition.

A second option with something like that would be exporting Wikinews content as HTML. Say you want the whole article to stick on a blog - if there is an easy way to do that and it adds appropriate credits/links to Wikinews it'd be good. If the book/print an article stuff can't (or won't) be changed to do the HTML export is there some way we can feed an article title into something on the toolserver that spits out all the components to quickly post an article on a blog? --Brian McNeil / talk 11:42, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Links: w:Special:Books, w:Help:Books, Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Disabling_.22create_a_book.22 and m:Extension:Collection. Calebrw (talk) 23:52, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
HTML export to blogs is an interesting idea, I think its definitly worth looking into. Could you give an example of what you mean? Bawolff 00:06, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Even if we can't use the on wiki pdf features for creating print edition (It seems as if columns aren't generally supported) - we might be able to use the software behind it ( ) to help with the print edition. Bawolff 03:12, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
since pedia press prints wiki-books, I wonder if there is some possibility of making a say monthly print edition, and having it mailed to people. Bawolff 03:12, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Oh, that is an interesting idea. Calebrw (talk) 21:18, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Edit summary[edit]

I just noticed that in the edit summary of an article, the word 'poop' is showing up, automatically: *(diff) (hist) . . Talk:Passengers on Air France Flight 447 sent text messages to family members before plane disappeared‎; 10:23 . . (+883) . . Adambro (Talk | contribs | block) (→Speedy delete: new section) (poop)

I have never seen this before and have no idea ho it got there. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 15:33, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

It's something to do with the abuse filter. Must be an error in the filter. Alternatively, I suppose it could be an assessment of my comments. Adambro (talk) 15:35, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
LOL well then it thinks the same of mine :-P I also note that sometimes I get a big red warning when I click save that says I am making non-constructive edits. Happened at least 3 times between you and I, that I can see. Weird. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 15:38, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
It is an Abuse Filter rule added by cirt (talk · contribs) --Brian McNeil / talk 15:41, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, just trying to figure out why it doesn't work. None of the edits that triggered it recently involved any lines being removed. Adambro (talk) 15:42, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
And we certainly didn't type the word into any of our edits, let alone anything else that would be considered abuse. And as I write this, I get the warning again...well this time because I mentioned the word. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 15:45, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
I've disabled the filter for now, as it's clearly wonky. Looking over the hit log for that filter, it's been logging edits from Adambro and DragonFire. I'm not good with wiki-markup, but someone should check the filter parameters to see if anything is wrong. Tempodivalse [talk] 15:51, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Reasonably confident that I've fixed this now. It was previously using "removed_lines > 10" but the removed_lines variable doesn't return a count of the number of removed lines, it returns the text of the lines removed. I've changed it to (edit_delta <= -500) which means if the edit results in more than 500 characters being removed then it will be triggered. On our recent edits, the word "poor" would be triggering it since it obviously contains "poo". This part of the filter perhaps needs further refinement but it should be better now than it was. Adambro (talk) 15:55, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I think this filter was designed by Mike.lifeguard, I emailed him about this thread. Cirt (talk) 19:32, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Comment: Actually, according to the Abuse Filter history [4], I did not create this filter, it was created by Bawolff (talk · contribs). Cirt (talk) 19:34, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
I think the problem was in the part Tag the edit for further review, where it said tag as "poop". I have switched this filter to log only for now. Cirt (talk) 19:35, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure why that would be a problem. Doesn't all that do is to tag the edit in RC? In which case that isn't a problem providing the filter conditions are set correctly. Adambro (talk) 19:45, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

I'd recommend using a better tag if you wish to use tagging. Plastering "poop" all over is probably worse than plastering "possible-vandalism" all over, or something equally innocuous. Equally, looking for "poo" is probably way too specific to be useful. I'd recommend folding this check into a more general vandalism filter - filter 6 would be a good candidate. Mike.lifeguard | @meta 20:12, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, that was me - when i hit the test with the last 100 edits button, it said it didn't match anything - so i thought it was good - I should be more careful. Bawolff 00:47, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Bawolff (talk · contribs), for the clarification. For the time being, it is set to log only, to double check. Cirt (talk) 01:05, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Thats probably what i should of done in the first place, especially considering I'm not very familiar with the extension. Basically what happened is i reverted this edit, and thought, that should be something that new-fangled abuse filter should catch, and tried to make a new filter to catch such edits. It obviously did not work as intended. Bawolff 02:01, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Generally it's best to only put filters live instead of log only at first, if they have had zero issues on other larger active wikis. So you could try to find one at en.wikipedia that does something similar. Otherwise, log-only is best to start when trying out brand new untested stuff. Cirt (talk) 02:05, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

SineBot (talk · contribs)[edit]

I guess the treads about SineBot have been archived (or I couldn't fine them) so I will just announce that SineBot seems to be back and running after a two month absence. --SVTCobra 01:37, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Yay! Cirt (talk) 01:54, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
That's good to hear. It's still somewhat haphazard, though, as it seems to miss lots of unsigned posts from the Comments: namespace. Still, it's better than nothing. (By the way, Bawolff recently archived all the old wc threads as the page was starting to get verrry long. Check the archive for the old sinebot thread.) Tempodivalse [talk] 01:59, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it terminated soon again, but since late June 27, SineBot seems to be up again. Lets hope it lasts. --SVTCobra 01:07, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Why is it so dodgy? Dotty••| 07:16, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Malformed {{archive}} template defacing hundreds of pages[edit]

Way back in June 2007, user:Brian went through and changed something in the {{archive}} template on several hundred articles using AWB. Unfortunately, in doing so he placed a space before the template, causing a big, unsightly brown box to appear on all pages he edited. I've gone through a few of those pages removing the space, but it will take a very long time to manually correct all of them. What I'm wondering is: would it be possible to have a bot detect pages that have the malformed template and fix them? Tempodivalse [talk] 02:33, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

I believe that the problem was with cspurrier's bot, rather than BNZ's fixes if you look at the article's history. The following regex may help potential botmakers fix it article.replace(/^\ (\{\{[aA]rchived?\}\})$/m, "$1") (or if your editing with some semi-automated tools). Sorry, I don't have enough time on my hands to turn that into a bot of some sort. Perhaps one of the pywikipedia bots allows running regexs on articles or something. Bawolff 06:16, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Highlighting need for review in RC[edit]

Is there some way to highlight by colouring the 'review' links that appear in recent changes when someone edits a sighted article? If not on-wiki, then how would this be implemented in MediaWiki - part of flagged revs? Part of what builds RC, some combination, or...?--Brian McNeil / talk 17:06, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Got one easier for you. Goto your Preferences. Click "Gadgets". Check "Become notified when an article is tagged with {{review}}...". Click Save. Now you'll know _all_ the time. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 21:46, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
While i do like Shak's idea better (I'm biased though...) To answer the original question: its possible using css. However I can not find any edits with this review link you speak of, however everything else has class attributes, so i assume it does to. Bawolff 04:21, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Pick a published article that appears in RC, go to its history, and mark the top revision as unapproved. Then go back to RC and look for the (review) text. I do not mean {{review}}. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:42, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, i must be blind. first time i tried that it didn't work. The review link is in a span with class mw-fr-reviewlink. Thus, the following css will highlight it yellow: {background-color: yellow;}
I'm not really sure exactly how you want it highlighted, but we can style it in almost any way imaginable (bolded might also be a good choice). The above css could be put into your personal css, a gadget, or into the site css if there is enough support. Bawolff 23:55, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

<unindent>Post-it yellow highlight sounds about right - these pages don't usually end up dotted all over RC as people keep on top of re-reviewing. --Brian McNeil / talk 18:43, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Done Bawolff 07:44, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Google News Problem[edit]

As this shows, Google News currently syndicates our User pages, User_talk pages, Collaboration pages, even our policy pages turn up if you search the right phrase. I think it's a shame that a search to see if your favourite Norwegian popstar named "Mickaelson" is in the news, instead suggests I visit the Wikinews page where User:Mickaelson discusses his favourite music. I know it's Google's problems, not our own - but can we somehow alert them and suggest they find a way to ignore URLs with "User" or something in them? Sherurcij 00:35, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

And, as this shows, these pages were added to their archive a long, long time ago. This is not currently a problem unless we want to start mucking about getting things de-indexed. I don't mind passing on a simple set of criteria of pages that should not be indexed, but is it that important? --Brian McNeil / talk 00:46, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I'd think that, left untended - it gives an unprofessional look for Wikinews and risks us being de-listed. So yes, I'd think it's of at least medium importance. And the fact my name hasn't been added to any new Wikinews pages in the past week doesn't prove anything. If somebody Google Searches "Latvia", we don't want them finding our "Talk:Latvian monarchy declares martial law" page, nor our User:LatvianHobbit1138. Sherurcij 01:40, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Its not really being left untended. From what I understand its a past issue, and no new pages will be indexed incorrectly. Bawolff 02:59, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I have just noticed this, and I am pretty sure that this is a new problem. I have often done searches which would have brought up Wikinews talk pages; today is the first time I have seen it. This doesn't look good at all.
Is there a page which describes the current integration method between Wikinews and Google News; I see Wikinews:Syndication and Wikinews:Community Mirror, and lots of previous discussions[5]. I am surprised there is not a page which describes the technical details of how Wikinews interfaces with Google News. John Vandenberg (talk) 04:50, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Just for you: Wikinews:Google news Cheers. Bawolff 06:47, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, i misunderstood the original comment. Your searching google news archive - where there appears to be an issue. I thought you were talking about normal google news, where there is no issue. The google news archive seems to be crawling through all our content, and adding some content that is not news. and appears to be doing it on a continuing basis (better linkyy] look at the dates) perhaps some sort of email would be warranted. Bawolff 06:57, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Gosh I feel special. Thank you very much. So that explains how there is no problem the normal syndication. Now we need Google News Archive to remove everything except for namespace 0, and maybe the Portal namespace? John Vandenberg (talk) 07:44, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I have emailed someone at Google news with the link Bawolff provided. BCC'd to scoop. Reminds me need to get other languages in the index, I have a strong suspicion that interlanguage links could help our ranking in the results quite significantly. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:12, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Hi, I noticed that DRAFT copies of articles are also finding their way into results (before they've been properly vetted) and hence mirror sites may use defective copy if they scour this content (eg may be a copypaste). I can't see a way of adding this comment to the water cooler, so I'll post it here. Please feel free to copy this text elsewhere as appropriate or point others here:

I run an Apache web server and (fwiw) I have a few lines of defence against this sort of thing:

  • edit robots.txt in the web document root to exclude all user agents (crawlers and bots) from indexing certain pages and specific problematic user agents from indexing any pages. You can use a pattern match with some user agents like google, but not others. This works for those user agents that don't simply choose to disregard robots.txt.
  • if that fails, I can set up pattern-based rules in my Apache security module to do things like redirect the browser or crawler to another page (301), issue a page not found (404) or a forbidden (403) response; etc.
  • I can also use rewrite rules in the web server configuration to change the web address so that only my preferred addresses are reached eg changing "" (which can lead to penalties for duplicated content) to", and so forth. Google also recognizes "rel=canonical" to suggest the address they should use when indexing content.
  • if all else fails, I can block specific ip addresses altogether or from accessing specific pattern-matched content. I always let them see robots.txt.
  • and occasionally emails work, though they tend to be simply ignored, for example when an algorithm in msnbot had it requesting a fresh copy of my newsfeed every 20 seconds and ignoring my server's response of "not modified" (304).

Hope this is of use. Esowteric | Talk 09:46, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Need a search to back up the assertion that draft articles are actually being indexed and not served up to you just because you're logged into Wikinews when you click on a link from Google news. And... To edit this discussion use the [edit] link next to the subsection header. You may have to navigate to the technical section of the water cooler prior to doing this. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:55, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
  • User raised this on talk and used the main Google engine as an example. So this is not a problem, Google news is what is important and the main index should continue to have all pages in it. Talk, Draft, Comments, etc. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:14, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Looks like the issue is in eminently safe and capable hands (sorry, I hadn't seen this thread), so ignore the above. On my own tiny server I have the luxury of being able to sort such issues out as close to source as possible ("front end first"), and it's easy for me to simply add a robots noindex tag and Cache-Control header to any pages I need based on a simple pattern match (by hacking into the php configuration code of the application). Making sure that caching proxies don't cache content served up to logged-in users, for example, is something that needs fixing at source at the application level, not way down the line at, say, google. Esowteric | Talk 10:37, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Bawolff's generalised description of Google news indexing is probably worth a read, however the issue has a long history here. We want virtually everything in the main index; the exceptions are things like Mediawiki: and Special: pages, diff pages, histories, and probably a few other things I've not thought of.
Google's news index, is an entirely different animal. previous attempts to get listed there were dropped or declined due to lack of editorial control. Flagged Revisions was the obvious solution, but a few tweaks were needed to meet Google's indexing rules.
For technical details, the Wikimedia Foundation is effectively a hosting provider. There are limits on what changes we can get in place to suit us. MediaWiki extensions will not be included until they pass a security audit by WMF people (Brion VIBBER the CTO manages this). What you might call infrastructure - the wiki farm and associated Squid caches have to remain a standardised configuration. This is not apparent if you're only managing one or two domains on a server, but scale to hundreds and you must simplify configuration to minimise risk of error. Thus you're looking at configuration tweaking being done by means of extensions to Mediawiki and hacks being out of the question. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:55, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Many thanks for the explanation and clarification, Brian. Esowteric | Talk 15:23, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

having pages in category default sorted by {{PAGENAME}} not {{FULLPAGENAME}}[edit]

currently if you put a category on a template, the template will be by default sorted under t (for template). Similarly portal pages are put under p for portal, and so on for other namespaces. We generally override this with using [[category:whatever|{{PAGENAME}}]] on non-main namespaced pages. enwiki has recently switched so that categories are sorted by the name of the page, not the name of the namespace. I think this is a Good Idea. I think we should do that here. (See mw:manual:$wgCategoryPrefixedDefaultSortkey and discussion at en 'pedia village pump for more details). Thoughts, and by thoughts i mean {{support}}/{{oppose}} so we can show community concencuss (or lack thereof if thats the case). Bawolff 06:23, 16 June 2009 (UTC)


These are not namespaces. These example pages would be in the main namespace because the prefix does not match a configured or reserved namespace. --Brian McNeil / talk 18:27, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Brian. Just checking. Calebrw (talk) 21:10, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

bugzilla:19404. Bawolff 08:01, 26 June 2009 (UTC)


  • I Support gay marriage, as long as both chicks are hot. Er... wait. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:35, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, wut brianmc said. :P - Cirt (talk) 07:37, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. This seems like a good idea to me. People should be able to marry who\ever they want. Wait, not that's not what were talking about...well, whatever. Calebrw (talk) 21:11, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Support who am i to get in the way of someone's happiness. Bawolff 00:00, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Would those who voted on this please go to the entry on bugzilla and vote for this there too. --Brian McNeil / talk 18:49, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
DoneCalebrw (talk) 03:33, 10 July 2009 (UTC)


Can someone make it so there is a space between Central and America in the sidebar regions section. The same for MiddleEast, NorthAmerica and SouthAmerica. Thanks! Dotty••| 12:03, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Done--Brian McNeil / talk 12:08, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
wink Thanks Dotty••| 12:14, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Fundraising banner ... again[edit]

Could we consider hiding or at least making smaller the "Thank You From Wikipedia Founder Jimbo Wales!" notice? It, and the page it links to, screams "WIKIPEDIA" all over it. (Now that the fundraiser's official over, the wmf folks probably shouldn't squawk about us hiding the thing.) Tempodivalse [talk] 02:35, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

I would agree to strive for another design. But it doesn't feel okay to simply remove the banner. I believe it is important to say "thanks you" to our donators. They saved our asses this year again, that's the least we can do for them. Dodoïste (talk) 13:26, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but this banner strongly implies that Wikinews is part of Wikipedia. We have enough difficulty distinguishing ourselves from the encyclopedia as it is, something like this is the last thing we need, imo. Tempodivalse [talk] 15:17, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Fundraiser is done, we can do what we like. I say we suppress it; in fact, I'd like us to issue an apology to our readers. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 15:48, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Like "We apologise to our readers for having to put up with this nuisance for the past two months"? :-b On a side note, I've been w:WP:BOLD and suppressed the thing. Devs probably won't complain now that the fundraiser is officially done. Tempodivalse [talk] 15:52, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't being (entirely) flippant with that. Unpopular as it might make me with the powers that be, I really do believe that it did damage our reputation. We have both a right and duty to publicly apologise for that and explain that we had our hands tied. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 15:57, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  • "Wikinews apologises for the crass and culturally insensitive fundraising advertising imposed by the Wikimedia Foundation." --Brian McNeil / talk 17:02, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Are you proposing that Wikinews begin apologizing for things, Brian? Is this the first thing it has ever occurred to Wikinews might deserve an apology from Wikinews? How many apologies do we anticipate Wikinews will be offering in the future, especially with regard to its own activities? MGodwin (talk) 19:14, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Mike, I was not about to put this in place. It was my expression of how I felt the fundraiser had been handled with regard to sister projects and their different cultures. There have been repeated calls by Wikinewsies to adjust site CSS or introduce Javascript to remove or replace the banners in use. On the understanding that this would be reverted by Foundation staff I have worked to ensure this did not happen and conflict between the Wikinews community and the foundation was kept to a minimum during the fundraiser. I appreciate the small WMF staff have a hell of a lot to do and don't need distracted with this. I made sure it was technically possible for regular contributors to easily suppress the banner without a blanket removal. However I do not like the manner in which you have, accusatorilly framed this. Wikinews and its contributors had absolutely no say over the content of the banner, the expiry times on cookies used to return to the full-sized banner and force people to see it. If an apology is being issued over this it has absolutely nothing to do with any content or opinions expressed by Wikinewsies on Wikinews; it is what was imposed on the project by the charitable organisation relied upon for hosting. Quite different from what you seem to imply would also require an apology on the project's behalf. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:43, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Your comment makes little sense, Mike, but actually we take editorial responsibility very seriously and issue {{correction}}s from time to time. And yes, your little bit of gratuitous fucking us around once a year is the only issue I have ever seen and anticipate in the forseeable future that falls outside of the main namespace that requires an apology. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 19:43, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Someone is fucking you around? By raising money that keeps your operation running? How's that work, exactly? As for apologies, well, if you think Wikinews has never done anything that needs apologizing for, please give some thought to why someone who has to defend the Foundation and all its projects may feel compelled to disagree. Furthermore, if you really feel that you have been fucked around, why not simply move Wikinews to some other organization that won't burden you so deeply as the Foundation, in your opinion, has done? (I want to suggest, as gently as possible, that anyone who thinks the Foundation is fucking them over by raising money that keeps their project alive should give some thought to how they would operate without Foundation affiliation or support.) MGodwin (talk) 20:58, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Nobody said you shouldn't raise money. We just said you should not imply we are part of Wikipedia. In fact, I'm sure I speak for the project when I say that if devs really have no time to prepare indivisual versions of the banner and landing page we'd be happy to help out. The consistant implication that we are a division of Wikipedia fucks us around by destroying our hard work to bust out our own identity. I'm sorry you equate freedom of the press with making it harder to defend the WMF, but perhaps you should consider sticking your neck out to help defend the freedoms. Ultimatly, though, I accept that your role means you can only request this, not do it without permission.
I am concerned that someone who makes a living by argueing could not establish these facts from this conversation.
I don't want to split from the WMF; that would make me very sad. I'd like them to work with us, though, instead of trying to force something upon us. You'd probably get more donations if you did. Not much, but every bit helps with charity. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 21:07, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
"...if you think Wikinews has never done anything that needs apologizing for..." Actually, Wikinews tries to be as accountable as possible for mistakes. We always apologise where we've made massive errors in our articles, for instance look at Category:Corrected articles and {{correction}}. This is something I've yet to see any other WMF project do.
Again, we're not saying that you shouldn't raise money. I think that fundraising is a very important task, and I'm happy the foundation received all the money that it did. My gripe is about how this fundraiser has been run. I wouldn't have minded at all any of the banners that were used, if they actually mentioned the correct project, or at least Wikimedia in general. Plastering "Wikipedia" all over the place does nothing to help the problem that so many non-WP projects are facing, and in particular Wikinews: distinguishing ourselves from the encyclopedia and developing our own identities.
Lastly, I - and I hope I speak for the community at large - have no intention or desire or splitting from the Foundation. It would be a sad day if that happens. We want to work together and be friendly as much as possible, but please understand that you haven't made it very easy for us to cooperate by not listening to us and forcing things upon us. Tempodivalse [talk] 21:51, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
It's not that we don't appreciate what the foundation does for us; we do. Our annoyance comes from the fact that Wikipedians fuck us over at every opportunity (as they do with all smaller projects, but especially with us. Cause all that news they do is *totally* appropriate content for a freaking encyclopedia, right? And it's not like they're slowly, purposefully squeezing us out of our own niche, right?). From our perspective it often appears like the people at the WMF are giving Wikipedians incidental help in their apparent quest to destroy us — and maybe a little nod of approval at the same time. Maybe that isn't your intent, but because they're larger than us you seem to cater to their every whim, even when it is excessively detrimental to Wikinews and other small projects. In addition, I think that it suffices to say that your (again, apparent) bad attitudes, arrogant posturings, and general unwillingness to even acknowledge that we exist doesn't exactly ingratiate you to us. So forgive us if we sometimes sound like bickering whiny children to you... but frankly you lot at the foundation often come across the same way to us:P. Gopher65talk 00:28, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Fundraiser isn't over and it was politely requested we turn it back on. As much as I hate it, I have. Just leave the fucker, it'll go away eventually. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 19:15, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
    Um, the fundraiser is over, the Jimbo thank-you note says so itself - the WMF reached its US$7.5m goal. Why can't we remove the notice? I don't really mind its appearance, but its text - and the linked page - strongly suggest that we're a part of Wikipedia. I actually think this is damaging to our reputation. If you're going to leave the thing up, at least use the correct project name for heaven's sake. Tempodivalse [talk] 19:22, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
    Look, I'm not in charge of it nor am I a fan of it. Hell, I was the first one out of the gate to want to CSS the bloody thing out of existance... But I was informed that the fundraiser (so far as the banner staying/going) isn't over and asked nicely to put it back up... so I did. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 19:24, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Message from the evil Cary, representative of the Foundation Hi! Wikinews is on Wikimedia's servers. The fundraiser is going to be over soon. None of the projects are autonomous from displaying the central notice, and using CSS to hide it is a no-no. This isn't personal. Cary Bass (talk) 19:50, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  • We've noticed it isn't personal. That's the whole problem. We are part of Wikimedia but the banner would have the public fooled into thinking we were in fact part of Wikipeda. Perhaps if you corrected this mistake yourself we wouldn't feel the need to do it for you. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 19:53, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Is it not at all possible to, in future, have the notice not scream Wikipedia in our faces? Like is there not a way to tailor it so that it doesn't seem all-about-wikipedia, or hint that the projects are all part of Wikipedia? Some people may get the wrong idea, or cause people to be turned off because of undue confusion. Calvinhrn (talk) 19:57, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
%!#@$ fundraiser. I'm half tempted to go to 3RR over this, but I know that's not going to win me any friends. Could we have a compromise, perhaps use a different banner in its place that isn't so wikipedia-centric (and link to a more project-neutral donation page)? Tempodivalse [talk] 20:00, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
That's all I've ever wanted. That's all any of us ever wanted. In the absence of anyone fixing it, though, we've several times moved to get rid of it, at least until someone listens. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:13, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec with BRS) There is nothing that can be done about this year's banner which will be gone in a few days. I happen agree that the customization on a per-project basis was severely lacking, and I dearly hope this will be better addressed next year. I'm asking for patience in getting through to the end of this one; and let's aim for having the non-Wikipedia project voices heard for the next one. Cary Bass (talk) 20:16, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I for one will agree to shut up and go away if you can be held to that, on the agreement that if it doesn't happen we can remove it - or just edit it ourselves - next year. That seems like a fair enough deal to me. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:19, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Just a note, I've whined about this at feedback page, although I doubt what good it'll do, especially in light of Bastique's above comment. Feel free to jump on the bandwagon though. Tempodivalse [talk] 20:21, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
<- Guys, we know who Cary is and what he does. You can hold him to $40 a barrel for oil, just as well as you can hold him to "better customization" for next year... It aint gonna do jack shit, it isn't his fault nor is he incharge. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 20:22, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Then maybe he shouldn't claim to be a "representative of the Foundation" if he isn't actually allowed to represent it. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:30, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Just because he represents them doesn't mean he's god (now on commons he's a god, here he's just a general) of the WMF. Go get Sue to promise you what you want, then you can hold her to it and know that it will mean something. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 20:37, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Hmm... Maybe we should. I still say that if I was tasking someone to represent my org I'd trust them to speak for it, or at least to call back to whoever can and then relay that back as a middleman. But whatever, if we can all write a whinge and then parcel them Sue-wards maybe we'll get some kind of agreement between us and them. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:52, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  • The central sitenotice is built into the WMF's MediaWiki configuration as a trivially-disabled option. Any administrator doing so does not violate any in-writing policy of the WMF. I have suggested such be written into policy instead of spreading the idea that you might be reverted by someone acting on behalf of the Foundation. At absolutely no point has anyone in the employ of the Foundation stated explicitly to me that an office action would be taken to revert banner suppression. However, it has been very strongly implied and the "threat" has been widely spread among Wikimedians to reinforce this meme and persuade communities to self-police on the banner staying in place. There is nobody actively working towards the goals of the Wikinews project opposed to the WMF attempting to raise funds; people know it is vital that there is money to keep the servers running and do some software development. But, this is not Wikipedia! (Insert comments about SPARTA! here). --Brian McNeil / talk 20:34, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Obviously, this central notice fiasco is a grave injustice against Wikinews. There is only one solution, we must secede from the union. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 20:37, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

I'd rather they listened to us and we worked together to produce something we can all agree on. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:52, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I've extracted a verbal commitment from the fundraising team that we're going to better address the concerns of the non-Wikipedia projects. There were a lot of mistakes with this year's fundraiser and unfortunately the priority of the fundraising team and developers were fixing other mistakes. I'm certain that the improvements made to this year's fundraiser over last years, means we'll have more options for customizing messages for indivdual projects. Cary Bass (talk) 21:17, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break[edit]

  • Brian has a point. There is, AFAIK, no written policy that says projects should not remove notices locally, and there doesn't seem to be any legal grounds for forcibly keeping the banner up (m:Office action doesn't seem to apply here). I guess if I really wanted to be a pest about it, I could try wikilawyering it... Tempodivalse [talk] 21:55, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Is that a good idea? I'm trying to exert as much goodwill; and yes, there is no written policy but I don't see the need to test this at all. Cary Bass (talk) 22:18, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  • It does actively harm the project. If it's about to end I'll lay off, but I won't revert if Tempo feels enough is enough. And if this happens again next year, expect war. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 22:24, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Rather than promise war, if you feel that Wikimedia Foundation fundraising burdens you so, why don't you simply propose secession? I'm sure the WMF Board of Directors would be happy to spin off any project whose contributors find the association with WMF fundraising burdensome. Then you could do your own fundraising, set up your own infrastructure, even sell ads, if you like? When I was a newspaper editor, it was clear to me that there were only three models for supporting journalism -- ads, subscriptions, and charitable donations -- you would have the autonomy to decide which of these models you want to use, and if you wanted to raise funds without having banner solicitations, why, then you could try that and see how that worked for you. Believe me, nobody at the Foundation wants to impose an affiliation on Wikinews if Wikinews feels pained by the association and wants to depart for greener, less burdensom pastures -- no need to fight a war for freedom if you can have freedom from WMF just by asking for it. MGodwin (talk) 19:59, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Hooza! We shall call ourselves the Confederate Foundation! --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 20:04, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
You have this amazing love affair for the idea that I want no banners whatsoever. Perhaps you should read my comments and figure out what this whole discussion is all about. I can only hope it is sheer laziness that prevents you from reading/understanding the discussion, because otherwise you are incompetent to the point of being unable to do your job - which does not match what I have heard of your ability, which I am told is quite high - or a liar. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:10, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
With such a high degree of personal charm, I bet you'd be a hell of a fundraiser. Certainly your understanding of what works as a fundraising banner is unique. You seem to believe it is more important that the fundraising banner address your emotional needs than that it is that the banner raise, you know, money. That is an unusual approach -- perhaps it would work for you on the independent project that you should feel free to start. I'm sorry to have to speak so bluntly to you, but this whole business of declaring war is frankly ridiculous, and you should be ashamed of it. There is no need to declare war -- if you want to be independent, it seems likely that the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees would be willing to let Wikinews spin off as an independent project. MGodwin (talk) 20:23, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Why not stick 'Wikinews' or even 'Wikimedia' where it says 'Wikipedia' and use the matching logo and be done with it? That will raise no less money. As I've said many times, if there really is no time to do it, we'll help out. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:28, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
"You seem to believe it is more important that the fundraising banner address your emotional needs than that it is that the banner raise, you know, money..." Um, I wouldn't exactly call using the correct project name, instead of implying that all non-WP projects are sub-wikis of Wikipedia, a purely emotional reason. To draw an example: if the banners had all read "Wikinews" across all projects instead, I bet the folks working at the encyclopedia would not be happy about that, would they? It's the same thing here. It would have hardly taken any effort to use a project-specific name (or heck, even use "Wikimedia" everywhere instead if they wanted to save time), and if the devs/fundraising team didn't have time enough to do it, I'm sure the community would have been happy to help. Tempodivalse [talk] 21:08, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Um, Mike, did you actually read any of the above comments? We are not against banners or fundraisers. At all. It's the project-inappropriate content of said banners that we're opposed to. And seceding from the WMF, I'm sure, is the last thing the community wants to do. Tempodivalse [talk] 20:17, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
You are perhaps missing my point, Temodivalse. If you are so painfully imposed upon by the WMF and by your association with the fundraiser, why *don't* you want to secede? MGodwin (talk) 20:23, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Seceding is far too extreme; it would be a headache to fund Wikinews without the help of the WMF. I'd be much happier if we could work out our differences with the Foundation before considering going through such drastic measures. And don't get me wrong, I do appreciate all that the foundation does for us and overall feel it's a net benefit that we're with them. It's just things like these that make the community upset. Tempodivalse [talk] 21:08, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Hi, check out today's office hours. Although the answers didn't completely satisfy everyone, it's now written down, on record, that we want the non-Wikipedia projects to be happy as well as Wikipedia. I am giving my personal pledge to be more vocal next year about bringing Wikinews (and the others') concerns, and Rand has stated that he wants this to happen. Now we have a several discussions to point to, please help me keep this in the forefront in time for next year's fundraiser. Cary Bass (talk) 20:29, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
That's great! I hope this will be something we can move forward from now that we have some common ground agreed upon. Ultimatly our goals are the same: we all want a successful fundraiser. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:31, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
This is a step in the right direction; I'm glad that we're trying to learn from our mistakes now and moving on. Tempodivalse [talk] 21:08, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Wanting something to happen is not the same as making it happen. Also, Mr. Bass, your statement seems rather vague. How exactly will you satisfy the concerns of Wikinews and all of its sister projects? Why don't you just let us design our own fundraising banners? After all, this is a wiki, and all contributors ought to be able to design our website. Benny the mascot (talk) 22:39, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • When is the fundraiser going to end? We might be able to put up with the thing for another few days, but I, for one, would seriously considering suppressing the centralnotice if were kept up for a week or more. (Ideally, I think we should design our own project-specific notice and use it in place of the boilerplate, but if it's coming down within a few days it's probably not worth the effort.) Tempodivalse [talk] 22:35, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I find it quite ironic that contibutors to a wiki are not allowed to assist in improving the website. Benny the mascot (talk) 22:45, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  • YIPEEEEE!!! Banners have been taken down at last, good riddance. (Sorry, couldn't resist. :-b) Let's just hope this fiasco doesn't recur next year. Tempodivalse [talk] 00:42, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • The end-result of this debacle has seen me resign from the Communications Committee and give up access to the press queue in OTRS. I assume I will retain access to the Wikinews queue in OTRS, and that our community trusts me to handle the few emails that come in there. I mostly bit my tongue throughout the fundraiser, despite the formulation of messages that I felt was inconsiderate; I apologise for perpetuating the 'rumour' that an office action would be taken if any administrator acted to block the central sitenotice. I am very disappointed at how pervasive this idea was and, that it took a small spat between the Wikinews community and Mike Godwin to clarify this.
As every regular contributor to Wikinews knows, I will speak my mind, with words of my choosing, as and when I consider it appropriate. I've never done office politics – when that gets in the way of doing the job properly I'll say what I think is appropriate; understandably there is concern among WMF staff that such forthright attitudes may be mistakenly associated with the Foundation and taken as semi-official. Self-censorship is too high a price to justify retaining privileged access to WMF staff.
I'm glad the fundraiser is over and I'm glad it raised the needed money; however, this self-same "cultural insensitivity" towards sister projects occurred in the 08/09 fundraiser and I challenged it then. It is an enormous setback to Wikinews' efforts to build an identity distinct from Wikipedia; perhaps next fundraiser the sisterprojects will be left out altogether. After all, they're only about 1% of the traffic with most going to Wikipedia. If Wikipedia-specific messages are expected to generate the majority of donations I have no problem with that – as long as that is the only place where such messages are displayed. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:18, 7 January 2010 (UTC)