Wikinews:Water cooler/technical/archives/2009/December

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Please see my question, here [1]. Cirt (talk) 16:10, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Looks like Bawolff answered your query. Tempodivalse [talk] 20:02, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Done. Cirt (talk) 20:10, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Wallmart greeter gadget

Want to greet newbies (if your an editor), go to special:contributions/newbies, look for the dropdown by the search box on vector, click greet newbies, will automatically add {{howdy}} to any new user who does not have a talk page, and has edited somewhat recently. Bawolff 22:36, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

  • This includes *everyone* with a redlinked talk page, like Hottygirl2010 (talk · contribs), I dread to think what repercussions I face for testing another of Bawolff's diabolical creations! :P --Brian McNeil / talk 22:42, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

I like the idea of Wikipedia BUT

Wikipedia is now run by all these moderators who in my own experience and in the experiences of many others, come across as being a pack of cunts running their own pedantic shit head fiefdoms - while we the peasants get our input, corrections and submissions trashed add-nauseum.

So I now tend to regard Wikipedia, as useful - but not the kind of a place or event I want to associate with nor support.

These scribbling pharisees and and their ganging up on people with their rules and banning them and getting their jollies out of fucking with everyone else and their contributions - if you arseholes want Wikipedia all to your very own selves - you can also pay for it.

I like many, many, many other contributors who have left am saying - "You can all go drown, all by yourselves in your own shit - we have better things to do".

You're aware that this is Wikinews, not Wikipedia, right? :-P Tempodivalse [talk] 14:37, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
  • And, because you randomly spam this boilerplate everywhere, you'll end up blocked. Wikipedia is not a soapbox; nor is Wikinews. There is a need for rules to try and make the project content credible by process. You will find more hurdles to that here because we've worked to get the project listed in Google News (alas, somewhat unreliably). There are usually rules for a reason, not all as stupid as my Member of Parliament telling me I could face prosecution for using the word clusterfuck in an email. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:04, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Fundraising notice

Whoever wrote the fundraising notice can't seem to realize that this is Wikinews, not Wikipedia. Can we remove or at least change it? Benny the mascot (talk) 01:31, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

  • There is a gadget in preferences. --Brian McNeil / talk 01:42, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
    • But readers will still see the error in the message. Benny the mascot (talk) 02:01, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
      • I know, I shall whinge appropriately. --Brian McNeil / talk 02:02, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
      • Actually, it's correct; Jimmy did found Wikipedia, he did not found Wikinews. The technically correct version would be "Wikimedia Foundation". --Brian McNeil / talk 02:04, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
        • Yes, but if you "hide" the message, then you see "Wikinews Forever" with the Wikipedia logo in the middle of it. Benny the mascot (talk) 02:06, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
*sigh* The devs still couldn't fix the logo issue, after all these weeks? Oh well, it least the WP logo isn't too conspicuous now. I'm tempted to make it a bit smaller with .css, but the devs would probably complain ... Tempodivalse [talk] 02:22, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
  • If you wish to replace with our logo via CSS I'll beat devs with a stick if they hassle you ;-) --Brian McNeil / talk 02:26, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
    • I think there is enough consensus to change the logo, so I don't see a problem at all. Benny the mascot (talk) 02:37, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

(Unindent) Fuck, I'll do it if someone shows me what to paste where. Let's kill the thing entirely. There need be no consensus; it's the same as our blocking policy - if it's clearly damaging the project, nuke it. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 16:03, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, to remove the notice entirely you should add
#centralNotice {display:none !important;}
to Mediawiki:Common.css. Expect to be hassled by the devs though. Tempodivalse [talk] 16:42, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Done Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 16:52, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Maybe if we keep quiet about this, the devs won't notice. Or we could add some wikicode to their personal .css files to make them think the banner is still up even though it'll only be showing for them :-P Tempodivalse [talk] 17:25, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Funny, but no. Undone by Bawolff. Cbrown1023 talk 23:33, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
lol, that is a good idea. ;) On a serious note, its not a good idea to remove the banner completely. Bawolff 23:39, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Since when did you have the authority to overturn consensus? Benny the mascot (talk) 23:42, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't particularly have authority to do so. Do you mind if we have this conversation on irc? Bawolff 23:47, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
(e/c) I remember the devs said somewhere that fundraising banners aren't subject to community consensus, and shouldn't to be removed locally. I'm kinda tempted to hide the banner again (it's too Wikipedia-centric), but the folks at the foundation would probably give us a hard time. Open to thoughts as to what we should do. Tempodivalse [talk] 23:50, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I can't figure out how to access irc through a smartphone, so no, sorry. Now when exactly did the developers get the authority to override consensus as well? This whole thing just seems totalitarian to me. Benny the mascot (talk) 00:02, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm on IRC right now, and Brianmc tells me it was a board resolution, not just a decision by the developers. But I don't agree with it either ... Tempodivalse [talk] 00:03, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
[edit conflict]Devs don't have authority to override concencuss (Well except in technical situations). wmf: does generally. (It should be noted that neither devs, nor wikimedia officials were involved at this time. However at the beginning of the fundraiser we were instructed not to block the banner). In paticular, we are funded by the wmf. without the wmf there would be no computers to run wikinews. Bawolff 00:12, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
That's fine, but whoever makes these fundraising banners should at least get them right. Benny the mascot (talk) 03:09, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

[unindent]. I agree, this fundraiser had been horrid imo. Bawolff 03:15, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Restart - Constructive solutions

  • Okay... I'll try and work up one tomorrow when I get back from my interview. Someone note the code to substitute in our own Wikicode. I will do some graphics to go in it too. Then I can test on main page talk and we okay our own override that favours Wikinews and raises cash. --Brian McNeil / talk 03:19, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
    There are two things to sort. First, the large banner. Then the small one. Now, for the large one I suggest we say damn the professionals and others. So:
    [Smallish] Wikinews needs your help!
    [Jimboimg] Read Jimmy Wales' appeal
    I'm thinking about doing a customised version of one of the Jimbo headshots (no mad eyes, poss B&W) with some sort of Wikinews logo emboss on it. GiMP experiments required.
    For the small appeal:
    Wikinews [small WN logo] Forever Currently needing donations to keep the lights on.
    Since I'm off to bed shortly, please comment, suggest. --Brian McNeil / talk 04:01, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
That sounds like a good layout. Could we drop the "Wikinews Forever" thing though? IMO it sounds kinda unprofessional. "Wikinews needs your help!" or something along those lines is more suitable. The Jimbo appeal I have no objections to. But, a bigger issue is: would the devs/wmf approve of us using our own banners? They did tell us not to tamper with them. Tempodivalse [talk] 04:11, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I'll link to the discussion here. I imagine doing what I want will take a few hours and I need to get some sleep. If I sleep now I'll not get up for my morning appointment. So, sleep for me will be 10am to around 3pm. --Brian McNeil / talk 05:17, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I recall Bawolff saying some of this might not be substitutable via CSS for Internet Explorer. Well, tough noogies on that; people can easily turn of JavaScript too and I dislike that being relied on to feed to bots. --Brian McNeil / talk 05:29, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
"people can easily turn of JavaScript too" - actually, it's a miracle that some Internet users managed to install it in the first place, and the rest of us consider it more convinient to just leave it be. If it messes with my browser I'll consider it much easier to find a way to suppress the banner on my account than to try and convince my computer to have JavaScript on in one tab and off in another. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 12:29, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Note, i was referring to adding text to something in css is very hard (And only works in moz). We can change the images using css (on second thought not easily). We can substitute the banner using js (and the banner requires js in the first place since somehow it puts less stress on the servers to have it loaded from js) However, its still slightly messy. if we wanted to go that route, it'd probably be better just to hide the banner with css, and put the new banner in the sitenotice. The ideal solution would be to convince the people in charge to change the banner to something more appropriate. Bawolff 01:11, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Also following js will replace wikipedia img in notice with wikinews logo in the collapsed notice:
addOnloadHook(function () {
try { // in case no central notice
var img = document.getElementById('centralNotice').getElementsByTagName('img')
for (var i = 0; i < img.length; i++) {
if (img[i].src === '') {
img[i].src = '';
}catch (e) {}

Bawolff 04:01, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Disabling rollback

Is there a way for me to disable rollback? I don't use it anyway, and I have a tendency to accidentally click the button. Benny the mascot (talk) 01:35, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Not really; but don't worry, most people still manage to accidentally hit it at some point. --Brian McNeil / talk 01:41, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
    Rollback is packaged with Editor status. unfortunately, you can't get rid of one without removing the other as well. Maybe you could use .css to hide the rollback button somehow? i dunno. Cheers, Tempodivalse [talk] 02:23, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Probably yes on the css. I'll look up the class in the moment. Bawolff 00:12, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Add the following to special:mypage/vector.css (if you don't use vector, change to appropriate skin name):
.mw-rollback-link {display:none}

Bawolff 00:45, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks! Benny the mascot (talk) 02:12, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

LQT for Comments: Namespace

For anyone living in a deep, dark cave, there is this cool new extension called LiquidThreads (or LQT for short) that gives MediaWiki threaded comments. We all know that our Comments: Namespace for articles could use some help. Most readers (Anonymous, non-Wiki people) either can't figure out how to post comments, or maim the shit out of our pages every time they do. The answer, for lack of a better one, is LQT. I know not everyone is happy with how LQT does things, but it is the best option we have. The reason we've not pushed for it previously, is that it was too buggy. Well now that has changed. Werdna recently posted that LQT was 'almost ready' to go main stream. I also talked to him briefly and he said we could do this as a pilot 'pretty soon'. If we get it on and it doesn't work out, we can always ask them to turn it off again.

The Proposal In Short: LQT, once 'ready', should be turned on for the Comments: namespace (Only).


  • Question - Could you please provide an example of what the changes would look like? Benny the mascot (talk) 23:44, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Take a look at strategy:Village pump for an idea of how LQT looks like. Tempodivalse [talk] 23:46, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Bug 21956 filled. Vote was 11 support/1 neutral/1 oppose --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 00:38, 28 December 2009 (UTC)


Google news update

[posting this here in case people are curious. those on irc probably know this already]

We discovered today that some of our stories are not getting into google news (originally we thought they stopped indexing us, and panic ensured on irc, but we figured out it was only some articles). This appears to happen when the title (not neccesarily the url) has certain characters in it (double quotes mostly). For example, the following stories were not indexed:

We currently don't have a solution to this (And to be honest, don't really understand the problem). Perhaps Amgine's proposed extension will fix it. Bawolff 01:39, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Hm. This happened at a very inopportune moment, considering that the writing contest is coming up and everything. Has anyone tried contacting Google about this? From what i understand from IRC discussions, the problem is probably on their end and not ours. Hope we can fix this soon, in any case. Tempodivalse [talk] 03:49, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I expect to be told Google is deprecating page scraping for news. Most sites at least feed out decent RSS or Atom. XML is better yet because you can have GNews categorise articles in lots of interesting ways. Also, user custom feeds. It's time to get this done right, refresh the rotating sitenotice until the one for an entry on Bugzilla comes up and *everyone* register an account and vote for the bug. I intend to blackmail the devs into having a comittment to getting us it at least a week before the competition. Ideally, (this might be where you stick in the or else) WikiVoices can tell the good news about us getting software developed and vetted for our use. --Brian McNeil / talk 05:36, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I just got an email (CC for bug) that Erik has put a new WMF dev on our needed bug. WikiBlackmail at work™ --Brian McNeil / talk 06:32, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Note on the most sites have a decent RSS or ATOM feed - Google news does not accept RSS or ATOM feeds for syndicating[2], so that wouldn't exactly help the situation [although it'd be cool for other reasons]. (and our feed setup isn't that horrible, could be better, but its not horrid). Bawolff 11:09, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Further updates: We switched from using ugly hack #1 (JS auto-created redirects in hidden div on main page) to hack#2 (appending ?dpl_id=<some numb> on to the end of urls) after tim's changes to DPL. Well this is less ugly then the previous hack, it would still be much better if google was fed by a site map, as then we can see why any article might fail to be indexed [3], as well as just generally seeming more reliable. Bawolff 08:03, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

  • I've said my piece on the bug. Hacks should be avoided. Google could turn round tomorrow and say "no more scraping, sitemaps mandatory". Then we're screwed again. We, also, still can't have a section for developing stories on the main page. That really hides away the fact that readers can become contributors. I believe the GNSM solution would also allow a plethora of RSS and Atom feeds (per category, per category intersection) that are normal for a news site. With GNSM our resident Javascript hacker, Bawolff, would be able to write a small gadget allowing contributors to custom-build any feed they wanted and there is no reliance on the not-so-reliable Toolserver. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:09, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
For those interested, Bugzilla:21919. Bawolff 20:46, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Google redirects

The peer review gadget isn't creating google redirects. Is there anything wrong with it??? Benny the mascot (talk) 18:47, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes, could use some help please for example at Elvish, Klingon and Na'vi: Constructed languages gain foothold in film. Qapla! Cirt (talk) 18:48, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I'll just create it myself with a random number attached: Article/837041/Elvish, Klingon and Na'vi: Constructed languages gain foothold in film. Benny the mascot (talk) 18:53, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. tlhIngan Hol yIghoj DabommeH!, Cirt (talk) 19:02, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Don't worry about the google redirects, they are no longer needed. (we switched from ugly hack #2 [google redirects], back to original ugly hack) Bawolff 22:43, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Next time, let us know whenever you change something so that we don't have to take drastic measures that are completely unnecessary. Please do not keep us uninformed. The following articles should now be deleted by an available admin:
My apologies, I should have publicized that somewhere (where is a good question, maybe {{wn news}} ). I vaugely mentioned it in the thread above this one, but it was perhaps not very clear. Bawolff 23:18, 28 December 2009 (UTC)