RationalWiki:Technical support

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Fix it! Fix it! Fix it! Fix it! Fix it! Fix it! Fix it! Fix it! Fix it!

Herein goeth anything regarding the technicalities of the wiki

  • Problems with accessing/editing the wiki
  • Problems with MediaWiki/HTML/CSS/Javascript/etc.
  • Questions about RW's configuration/extensions/servers/etc.
  • In short, anything tech-y goes here

External links:

Semi-frequent updates about RW's technical status are available at RationalWiki's blogspot.
To view or suggest changes to configuration files and MediaWiki extensions, see RationalWiki's GitHub.


Users with Tech rights: Special:ListUsers/tech
Users with root on the servers: David Gerard (dgerard@gmail.com), Tmtoulouse, and guest Tim Starling.

If your IP is blocked from editing as an open proxy: You need to go to your provider about it. The lists we use are xbl.spamhaus.org, dnsbl.tornevall.org, all.s5h.net. If your IP is on one of these lists, then your provider has a serious problem they need to resolve. We cannot get your ISP out of the blacklist.

Upgrade status[edit]

The MediaWiki 1.27 upgrade is done. This was done in a bit of a rush, so some things are broken.

RandomSelection (#choose) is evidently broken, I'll fix that shortly. Fixed

Intercom was broken in an annoying way, messages could not be dismissed, so I disabled it. I should be able to re-enable it within a few days.

Wigo3 is also broken for the same reason (sajax_do_call), but is apparently less annoying in its brokenness, so I'll leave it enabled while I fix it. Fixed

There's a log entry suggesting that some DPL instances were broken by the migration to MariaDB 10.0.

createbox, flashmp3, sort and topicon were removed on purpose.

If you logged in and changed your password before the timestamp of this comment, you may get a second password expiry prompt when you log in for the second time. Just ignore it and use the same (new) password.

That's all the issues I know about right now. If other things are broken, feel free to note them below.

Tim Starling (talk) 11:15, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

To help with prioritisation, please add a comment to the relevant section below if you think an issue is important and should be fixed before the other things. -- Tim Starling (talk) 09:05, 29 June 2017 (UTC)


The up and down vote thingies on the WIGOs don't seem to do anything now. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 16:07, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

WIGO voting has some kind of bork going on. I vote something up and the green bit disappears. All the most recent WIGEAUX are showing zero votes. BicyclewheelToxic mowse.gif 13:51, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
Multi poll (mainly used in the pointless polls) is broken as well, it's impossible to vote. Christopher (talk) 15:25, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
Is it just me or are the vote thingies (WIGOs) broken? -- Onychoprion (talk) 16:07, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

I noticed that for the past week or so, the upvote and downvote buttons don't work on WIGO and To-do submissions. What's going on? Blitz (Complaints Box) 22:10, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

Resolved: Should work now, except for slider votes which I'll fix at some later time. -- Tim Starling (talk) 05:25, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Doojang for adding next poll number is borked[edit]

It seems to work now, but the doojang for automatically adding and incrementing the vote code no longer works. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 03:29, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

The thing that would insert the next poll number is borked.-DiamondDisc1(talk) 20:06, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

You mean the gadget? Christopher (talk) 20:10, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Non-secure login (SSL cert)[edit]

When one logs in, and when one changes one's password, one is forced to use a non-encrypted pathway (http rather than https). What gives? Bongolian (talk) 04:27, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

this was mine, need to set up SSL in front of the new Varnish (which we are running through). I have a book to get ready for release in 3 weeks, but will try to find a few hours for this - David Gerard (talk) 12:19, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

Spam and vandal issue[edit]

Here are more suggestions (copied and pasted from Mediawiki) of blocklists:

  • fSpamlist - fspamlist.com
  • StopForumSpam - stopforumspam.com
  • Sorbs - sorbs.net
  • SpamCop - spamcop.net
  • ProjectHoneyPot - projecthoneypot.org
  • Bot Scout - botscout.com
  • DroneBL - dronebl.org
  • AHBL - ahbl.org

If the spam gets hellish than this mw:Extension:Moderation may be a good idea. ClickerClock (talk) 05:59, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Atleast one type of bot seems to be getting through account creation at the moment, so the potential to these lists interest me greatly. Could also be related to our current CAPTCHA (or lack of it)? Tim would know. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 11:03, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
The spam bot got pass ReCaptcha NoCaptcha (our Captcha) and our honeypot. It's a very advanced bot. I would add mw:Extension:SpamBlacklist to our server to block spam URLs. ClickerClock (talk) 03:04, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
Can't we already block span URLs with the abuse filter? What can the spam blacklist do that the abuse filter can't? Christopher (talk) 18:55, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
Oops. Spamfilter comes preinstalled on this version of Mediawiki. ClickerClock (talk) 08:50, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
mw:Extension:SpamDiffTool is a mediawiki extension that makes editing Spam Blacklist easier. Spam Blacklist is like Abuse filter but focused on stopping spam. ClickerClock (talk) 09:22, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

@Tim Starling: @David Gerard: Of the above, fSpamlist, Sorbs, SpamCop, and DroneBL seem good. Not so for StopForumSpam, AHBL, ProjectHoneyPot, and Bot Scout. Thoughts? Herr FuzzyKatzenPotato (talk/stalk) 12:15, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

FCP what's the all the spam all of a sudden? Is it due to the MediaWiki update? KoiDevelopment (thanks, Love!) 01:17, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Obsolete and deprecated gadgets (sticky)[edit]

Lots of gadgets are out of date and should not be running. ClickerClock (talk) 06:59, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

Like userrights.js ClickerClock (talk) 08:07, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

Resource Loader[edit]

Gadgets added to ResourceLoader: Hotcat works!, Edittop nope, UTCliveclock nope, dropdownmenus nope, searchFocus works!, exlinks nope, ClickerClock (talk) 07:30, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

UTCliveclock now works! ClickerClock (talk) 07:37, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
exlinks now works! ClickerClock (talk) 08:07, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
added moremenus. moremenus nope! ClickerClock (talk) 08:24, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Navigation_popups added to Resource Loader. removeAccessKeys added to Resource Loader. wiked added to Resource Loader. Navigation_popups nope. Wiked nope. Access keys nope. ClickerClock (talk) 07:53, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
What does resource loader do? Christopher (talk) 12:32, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Mediawiki 1.26 and onwards require gadgets to be loaded through Resource Loader. mw:ResourceLoader is a better way to deliver javascript to readers and editors as it's faster and gives browsers only the javascript files that it can actually run. ClickerClock (talk) 12:42, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
I see, thanks. Christopher (talk) 12:58, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Resource Loader

  • Hotcat ✅
  • searchFocus ✅
  • UTCliveclock ✅
  • exlinks ✅
  • new: moremenus I shouldn't be added new gadgets when most of our gadgets are broken.
  • Navigation_popups ✅
  • removeAccessKeys ✅
  • wiked ✅
  • CommentsInLocalTime ✅
  • FixedUserbar ✅
  • FixedUserbar2 ✅
  • edittop ✅
  • fakename ✅
  • userspaceLink ✅
  • sandboxLink ✅
  • userrename ✅
  • purgetab ✅
  • subpages ✅


  • AjaxPatrolLinks- obsolete
  • userrights- obsolete
  • dropdownmenus - outdated
  • Gadget-JSL - outdated
  • LongEditSummaries- obsolete

Apparently it messes up archiving if there isn't a timestamp at the end. (The above stuff is ClickerClock not me btw). Christopher (talk) 12:58, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Oh, I thought there could be a timestamp anywhere. But that was the previous archive bot. BicyclewheelToxic mowse.gif 18:10, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Tbh it's been too long since I read archivebot.py. More importantly, we just manually archive technical support threads. The FCP Foundation (talk/stalk) 18:14, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Error 503[edit]

Error 503 Backend fetch failed

Backend fetch failed

Guru Meditation:

XID: 46334979

Varnish cache server

ClickerClock (talk) 11:49, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

@Tim Starling: @David Gerard: Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 17:46, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
@ClickerClock: have you had this issue again? Herr FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 03:11, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
Paging @ClickerClock: FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 22:43, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
ClickerClock vanished on the 9th of July, went from making over 50 edits a day to nothing. Christopher (talk) 10:02, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

"About RationalWiki" broken.[edit]

And.... It seems that the about page is now broken:

[INSERT REQUEST CODE HERE] 2017-07-13 06:08:18: Fatal exception of type MWException

PD: Psst.. HTTPS ;)

agucova 06:12, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Please do not redact the thing you are calling a request code. -- Tim Starling (talk) 00:07, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

Halp! Redirects are turning into numbered lists![edit]

  1. On a whim, I tried to add a redirect of Gary Kilgore North to Gary North, only to find the thingamabob that parses numbered lists is now taking precedence over the whirligig that parses redirects (and makes them actually, ya know, redirect).
  2. #REDIRECT [[Gary North]] I tried first, using the very syntax the click-to-insert pane gives you (in fact by clicking there), and then I tried changing the space in the [[in-wiki link]] part of it to an underscore, then making "REDIRECT" lowercase, then finally even removing the extra line the editor always adds in by default (even when editing a page that has had it specifically removed; one is given to believe it was never really saved into any other page either, especially when going by byte counts).
  3. No dice.
  4. Here's where it gets weird, (as well as very goat,) though: I managed to demonstrate that the problem can manifest in an otherwise healthy redirect when it is changed and then remade as exactly what it was before, but this was only after fully blanking the page; the partial edit earlier didn't trigger it when I changed it back before the full-blanking test.
  5. Weirdest of all, I managed to restore the G.O.A.T.S. redirect with a manually edited Undo, not even a Rollback! And then when I checked the page's edit history again, it said the undo had actually removed something, something, something that was only a single byte (and not a zero-width character, since that would show up in ya common tinker-y "press Home then tap the right arrowkey until you hit the end of the line (and then tap it a few more times for good measure and finish it with a leftward tap)" test).
  6. While writing all this, I managed to suss out the problem with the help of the file-comparing function of my favorite code editor ever (the most popular freeware editor, Notepad++). The click-to-insert pane, however, definitely still needs to be changed, and this probably isn't the only insertable that doesn't work anymore. Kinda hoping you can have some fun figuring it out too, but you can ask me if you need to.
  7. ~ 13:30, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
MediaWiki:Edittools has "<charinsert>#REDIRECT&nbsp;[[+]]</charinsert>". According to mw:Extension:CharInsert, <nowiki> should be used around spaces, rather than replacing them with &nbsp;. Do I get a prize? -- Tim Starling (talk) 02:52, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
Let it be noted that ugggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggh. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 22:35, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
@Love: Can you confirm that #REDIRECT now works? FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 23:05, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
Bravo! Have a cookie! ~ 23:28, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
No rest for the wicked-awesome, though; O Great Hairy Feline Tuber, thoust's use of the ping template had no effect on either my "Your alerts" or "Your messages" counters, and left nothing in mine Special:Notifications log. In this very log, however, I do see a ping by Christopher. Maybe it's all in the capitalization? ~ 23:42, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
@Love: Now? FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 01:57, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
Nadda. The template does say that it's redundant when linking to their userpage, so does this do anything, at least? ~ 17:43, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

"RW" should be a namespace alias for project space[edit]

$wgNamespaceAliases['RW'] = NS_PROJECT;

Needs to be added somewhere. Christopher (talk) 18:25, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

You often have config suggestions -- here's how to implement them:
[1] Go to RationalWiki's GitHub (see top of this page). [2] Click rw-config. [3] Click RWSettings.php. [4] Click the pencil icon (top right, next to Raw-Blame-History). [5] Edit the code (either in Github or [recommended] in a text editor like Notepad++) to include your code somewhere. [6] Add a summary. [7] Click "create a new branch". [8] Click commit changes. [9] Click commit changes on the next page, too.
And you're done. Someone managing the GitHub will merge your request; someone will shell access will implement it on the wiki. Fuzzy. Cat. Potato! (talk/stalk) 22:39, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
Also: Consider adding equivalents like
$wgNamespaceAliases['CP'] = NS_CONSERVAPEDIA;
, if you think of any others. The FCP Foundation (talk/stalk) 22:41, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
Ok, never used GitHub before, the main problem is I don't know any PHP. "CP" wouldn't work because it would conflict with an interwiki. Christopher (talk) 15:19, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
Neither do I. But since you're following the format of the manual, it's hard to go wrong. FuzzyCatPotato of the Horny Apes (talk/stalk) 18:07, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

The second after I proposed the change I realised I probably did it wrong but I've created a pull request. Christopher (talk) 19:57, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Special:ProtectedPages is broken[edit]

When I try and use this page this message (or something similar) comes up:

Internal error

[34f7892f1a5a4dcc619cf39f] 2017-07-21 15:28:42: Fatal exception of type "MWException"

Christopher (talk) 15:29, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

@Tim Starling: Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 18:07, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

First attempt at SSL! STILL TEST ONLY[edit]

Gets an A- in Qualys' tester!

Current issues:

  • Still haven't got certbot behaving. Renewing 12 (!) domain name variants every three months will be a massive PITA because Linode's DNS management is for shit. Definitely need this in pace.
  • The wiki still defaults to http:// - that's a config issue in LocalSettings.php. We don't want to change this until go-live.
  • Lots of mixed content warnings - should be changed to protocol-neutral URLs where possible, left if not

(I couldn't figure nginx and I know Apache so I just used a minimal Apache setup in front of the Varnish. Should be able to cope.)

Now to work on certbot ... - David Gerard (talk) 14:14, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

OK I think I've got this working. We can start making stuff default https at your leisure. When I say "we", I mean "someone other than me", because I gotta get back to book stuff. BUT WE HAVE SSL AND I'M PRETTY SURE IT AUTORENEWS!
You'll get redirected to http:// pages a bit and may have to enter https:// in the address bar manually. But you should mostly see a solid green lock. If it's a mixed-content lock, hit F12 and find what's being served in plaintext. Fix. Repeat.
There's also X-Proto-Header: for requests that come in via SSL - this will be useful when we wanna go live with something to auto-redirect all http requests to https.
I also fixed our DNS and edited the apache conf on apache3 so that our alternate domain names all still work. You can get here as any of: rationalwiki.org www.rationalwiki.org rationalwiki.com www.rationalwiki.com rationalwiki.net www.rationalwiki.net ru.rationalwiki.org www.ru.rationalwiki.org ru.rationalwiki.com www.ru.rationalwiki.com ru.rationalwiki.net www.ru.rationalwiki.net - the ru names go to ru.rationalwiki.org, the others go to rationalwiki.org.
- David Gerard (talk) 16:10, 22 July 2017 (UTC)
It logs me out every time I save an edit. Then I can only log back in by following the link above. BicyclewheelToxic mowse.gif 17:42, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Ping misbehaving[edit]

I'm not sure what the issue is or why is occurs, but sometimes {{ping}} does not notify a user. Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 17:22, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Been logged out, RW won't let me log in[edit]

Bicycle Wheel here. I've just ben unlogged by the system,now it's not accepting my log in. What's gone wrong? (talk) 17:27, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

I see you've managed to log in but for future reference what did it say when you tried to log in? Christopher (talk) 17:41, 22 July 2017 (UTC)
it said: "There seems to be a problem with your login session; this action has been canceled as a precaution against session hijacking. Go back to the previous page, reload that page and then try again." in a pink square. My username and password are there but it won't accept them. And as you can see it's done it again. (talk) 17:46, 22 July 2017 (UTC)