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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


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,, 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.

Subsection link (sticky)[edit]

Toicon-icon-stone-pin.svg This section is pinned and will not be automatically archived.

What extension does Wikipedia use to get the subsection links next to each subsection title? Fuzzy "Cat" Potato, Jr. (talk/stalk) 13:39, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

What r u talking about? ClickerClock (talk) 04:45, 10 September 2017 (UTC)
I think Fuzzy means the "§" link that appears next to the headings, that links to the anchor for that heading. (once again, memorising the ASCII code for section signs comes in handy!) —Kazitor, pending 08:28, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

@FuzzyCatPotato, yall happy now?

See the main article on this topic: Goat § What to do with a Goat and a stool

Encyclopedia § EtymologyWikipedia See the Wikipedia article on Encyclopedia § Ancient times. —ClickerClock (talk) 05:24, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Not what I meant... I mean, that's really good :) But I recall there once being a § link next to the actual sections on a page. I'm not sure where it went. —Kazitor, pending 05:35, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I have no idea what you mean. —ClickerClock (talk) 05:44, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
Like, on the page there is a heading that says "Subsection link (sticky)". Next to it, either before or after the "edit" link, there was a single, grey "§" link that appended the appropriate anchor to the URL, e.g. §. —Kazitor, pending 06:13, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
Screenshot? —ClickerClock (talk) 12:34, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

Subsections playing up (sticky)[edit]

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I've seen this a few times, it was this revision and the wikitext seems normal. Christopher (talk) 09:33, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

The error occurs when a subsection is immediately before the end of a page. I'd bet that this is a result of the MediaWiki upgrade, but I've really no idea. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 17:06, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
And as these edits should make clear, this only occurs on certain pages. It could also be a template -- maybe something didn't close a div or a span and it's fucking with the subsections. FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 17:07, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
This is not a result of the recent upgrade. This has been an issue for years.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 17:09, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Content dumps (sticky)[edit]

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All of the internal links to backups on RationalWiki:Content dumps fail. Also, what is the status of @David Gerard's port? Bongolian (talk) 02:15, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

yeah, they're all old. No, haven't pushed that forward at all, sorry - David Gerard (talk) 12:27, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
@David Gerard reminder to do this -- might be convenient to do on same day you take elections live FuzzyCatPotato of the Smelly Assflys (talk/stalk)

I made some dumps and uploaded them to -- Tim Starling (talk) 12:07, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

Thank you, @Tim Starling! Bongolian (talk) 17:54, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

2019 software upgrade (sticky)[edit]

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  • Modernize Rationalwiki with things invented since 2017 (MediaWiki 1.27).


n.b. OATHAuth gives users the option of using two-factor authentication.

Other things to do at the same time:


  • Setup a template to enable WikiSEO descriptors and an edit filter to avoid direct use.
  • Check that everything we already have won't break.


  • Wikis, specifically Wikipedia, have several new features that weren't around when the site was last upgraded. The notable upgrades include Scribunto, a Lua template engine which is supposedly faster and easier to use (it allows for some advanced templates to be copied from the wikipedians who know how it works anyway). MobileFrontend and it's skin, which switches the sites reading view on mobile devices to a "mobile compatible" mode (users can switch back), it does make pages significantly easier to read on mobile devices. TemplateStyles allows per-page or per-template css styles, it uses a sanitized set of css rules to avoid security issues, this can be used to enable @media queries for templates to display differently on different devices. 'Thanks' is the extension which gives you the option to ping people for an edit, it is kinda optional but practically all other wikis have it. And finally, WikiSeo allows for a template which invisibly controls how a page displays when shared on social media, you can specify a description and image which, using semantic meta markup will be used by facebook/google/etc instead of a pretty random looking link.

Comments, feedback, ideas and support/oppose of the proposed thingys welcome. — Dysk (contribs) 15:54, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

Nerd's comments[edit]

I'm all for modernizing our infrastructure, as long as what we already have do not break. I really like the "Thanks" template. I first saw it on Wikipedia a couple years ago (when someone thanked me) and have used it occasionally ever since. The "Timeless Skin" looks like something the gods would approve. The Multimedia Viewer is something I almost always forget we don't have because it is so intuitive.

Sorry if this is implied, but most of it is too technical for me. Will this upgrade include the visual edit gadget? I have been using it on Wikipedia for a quite some time now, and I love it! Finding the appropriate templates, citing sources, editing equations, changing photographs or illustrations. Amazing!

While we are at it, does this proposed upgrade include the template that automatically converts units for you? It looks like this on Wikipedia. If you typed {{convert|1|mi|km}}, the output would be 1 mile (1.6 km). I find this template very convenient. Nerd (talk) 18:42, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

The list I presented doesn't include Visual Editor. Although to be clear the main reason I left the Visual Editor thing out, is because it requires a very complicated additional setup so may be better suited as another task. However, the convert template would be made possible with Scribunto which I have listed up there, so that is included. — Dysk (contribs) 22:26, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
@Dysklyver I see. The visual editor can be a little resource-intensive. Thanks! When will this upgrade be implemented? Nerd (talk) 03:01, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
I hope sometime this year, if everyone agrees and it gets organised properly. — Dysk (contribs) 14:22, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
It's only February, but there is no harm in getting started early. How to get organize ourselves for it? Nerd (talk) 16:18, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
We need to finalize a set of things we want, get general agreement for it, and ideally test it all works on a test wiki, before then asking for it to be deployed, bearing in mind that Tmtoulouse/David Gerard are the operations people. The main thing is not to break the wiki, and the other thing is not to add things that will be there by default that everyone hates. — Dysk (contribs) 16:37, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── How about setting up a sub-page, "2019 upgrade" for bullet point items, etc. for the implementation. – Dbz (talk) 00:30, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

I hate the "visual edit gadget". Palaeonictis Fossil beds 10:20, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

@Dysklyver Last time I check Trent Toulouse was a university professor. (David Gerard appears to be a programmer and book author.) This means we can potentially get this done before summer is out. Nerd (talk) 22:47, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

@Dysklyver Why hasn't this been done yet? What exactly is the problem? Damn. BlackWhite Speak 22:39, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
A combination of laziness and procrastination. Somebody needs to figure out if certain existing extensions would work nicely with the proposed new software. — Dysk (contribs) 23:31, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

The visual editor is amazing for doing proper citations, which is a big problem on RW from what I can see (too many bare URLS). However I understand it is a large task. Debunky (talk) 02:03, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

The time approaches[edit]

I did the last MW upgrade, and I expect I'll do the next one too, some time in the near future. MW 1.27 is EOL so it needs to be done so that we can continue to receive security upgrades. I'd be comfortable installing the WMF-deployed extensions Dysklyver proposed above, specifically CategoryTree, CodeEditor, MultimediaViewer, OATHAuth, Scribunto, MobileFrontend, TemplateStyles, Thanks and the skin Timeless. I think VisualEditor is a reasonable stretch goal, if you want that.

Instead of WikiSEO, which is unmaintained and not in Gerrit, I would suggest OpenGraphMeta, which is in Gerrit and is written by a well-known author, or PageImages, which is simple but WMF-deployed.

The servers also need to be upgraded to Ubuntu 18.04. I'm thinking about the order of operations. Traditionally you do the OS upgrade first, so that you're more likely to have the dependencies needed by the new MW version. Linode's volume feature is now out of beta and available in Newark, which opens up some new possibilities for the kind and number of instances.

If anyone wants to help, the number one thing that needs to be done is to test the RationalWiki-specific extensions against MW 1.31 and to update them as needed. They are all in RationalWiki's GitHub, but nobody has ever submitted a pull request against them despite their comically bad state. Note that I moved Wigo3 to Gerrit, so the GitHub version is outdated and non-canonical. Wigo3 is the best of RationalWiki's extensions. -- Tim Starling (talk) 11:22, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

This is great. I won't specifically comment on the OS and how the load balancing works since I don't deal with that here, but as far as the extensions are concerned;
The rationale for WikiSEO was to generate descriptions for Google Search, and to get our articles to display previews on social media and chat applications, as a Wikipedia article would do if linked. Now it seems to me that OpenGraphMeta will generate previews for Facebook and presumably most social media sites, however it occurs to me that we could benefit from also installing Description2 from the same author to get the Google Search descriptions which are currently rather lacklustre.
I am not personally bothered about VisualEditor either way, since from a technical viewpoint it needs that additional Parsoid service I think it would be an optional thing to do if you think that isn't too hard to setup and maintain. I don't know how the mob would consider it, I believe it is still generally a good extension but older editors hate using it, heh. :)
Otherwise, all good. :) — Dysk (contribs) 12:49, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Just think about how you want to spend my time, in priority order, and I'll think about how far down the list I want to go. What do you want more: VisualEditor or, say, analytics? Apparently Robert Lazar is the most popular article on this wiki. Is that something you want to know? Does that make you want to improve it? -- Tim Starling (talk) 13:52, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Most important things on this list would be MobileFrontend and it's associated skin. And in my personal opinion analytics is better than the Visual Editor. The rest is good to have but also easy-ish to install so not a huge concern I suppose. — Dysk (contribs) 20:17, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Hell no to Visual Editor. Oxyaena Harass 22:46, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
I'm with Oxyaena on that.   — Jeff G. ツ 12:19, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
I think the main thing we can be said to need is something that works on mobile without looking like a web page for ants. I realise this is not a tiny thing of course - David Gerard (talk) 14:37, 8 July 2019 (UTC)
I'm going to second Dysklyver and David Gerard on prioritizing MobileFrontend. The main reason I created an account here (which I just now finally got around to doing) is to request a proper mobile view. I'm not picky. I just want *something*! (I don't particularly care either way about any of the other MediaWiki extensions under discussion.) TMqWQfNP9zx2FbrA (talk) 11:59, 2 November 2019 (UTC)

History merges disabled[edit]

See RationalWiki:Saloon_bar#History_merges_disabled - David Gerard (talk) 23:10, 27 August 2020 (UTC)

You might want to link to the revision of that post being made since once the Saloon bar gets archived, it'll be more difficult to access that section as time goes by. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 23:14, 27 August 2020 (UTC)

Firefox/Android phone[edit]

Formatting of RW by the latest version of Firefox on my Android phone is buggered up. It doesn't seem to handle multi-column well + other issues. Firefox claimed that they're working on upgrades already because of complaints. WP seems to format OK. Bongolian (talk) 01:33, 28 August 2020 (UTC)

Add Inferno Bot to Echo blacklist[edit]

Could someone add User:Inferno Bot to the Echo blacklist on MediaWiki:Echo-blacklist. All that needs to be done is add a single line that's just "Inferno Bot" (no user link needed). It stops people from getting mentioned when a talkpage is archived, which could clog up the notifications list. Sirius (dog star / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png) 15:26, 28 August 2020 (UTC)

Done. Nerd. Nutty Roux (talk) 19:12, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. Came across it while messing with notifs in MW and testing how the system works. Sirius (dog star / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png) 19:20, 28 August 2020 (UTC)


The other WIGOs (e.g. WIGOW) have more padding around the fancy title box. Specifically, the CSS rule is "padding: 0.2em 0.6em". Could someone with access to the site CSS make it so WIGOE has the same padding? — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 19:19, 29 August 2020 (UTC)

Fixed. Sirius (dog star / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png) 22:26, 29 August 2020 (UTC)

Site notice requested[edit]

Somebody is trying to change the community standards. The community ought to be made aware of it-Hastur! (talk) 21:32, 29 August 2020 (UTC)

There should be a sitenotice, yes. Sirius (dog star / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png) 21:37, 29 August 2020 (UTC)


I think we can probably get rid of the Telegram link on the sidebar. To my knowledge it was set up without the approval of the mob, and is now largely inactive. Also someone on Discord was saying they joined it and they saw homophobic videos and coronavirus conspiracy theories there (I joined it and saw the same). --RWRW (talk) 11:03, 6 September 2020 (UTC)

since I have admin on the telegram I just removed the insane german who posted it. and ye it could use some more mods if anyone is interested. Afaik all the social media was setup independently of the wiki itself but that doesn't mean it isn't useful in increasing ratwikis Internet profile. — Z 11:13, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
Personally I have no real interest in being a member there (Discord is more than enough for me frankly) but yeah, finding other people to keep an eye on it would be another potential solution. --RWRW (talk) 12:04, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
Indeed, this works vice-versa of course. Not everybody on Telegram uses Discord, or wishes to use it. — Dysk (contribs) 12:51, 6 September 2020 (UTC)

The Saloon Bar is apparently indexed[edit]

Would anybody mind it if I added __NOINDEX__?-Hastur! (talk) 19:28, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

I don't mind. — Godless Raven SDAPOe logo.svg talkstalkwalkbalk 🌹 Flag of Europe.svg 20:18, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
Could I ask why the Bar being indexed is a problem? Sirius (dog star / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png) 19:59, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with that. Oxyaena Harass 20:07, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
Less fears about BoNs spamming links, no unwanted scrutiny/embarassments-Hastur! (talk) 20:18, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
No, the Saloon Bar often grows too large and without Index it will be hard to track sections.—Tuxer (talk) 22:04, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
Tuxer are you thinking of NOTOC? If so that's a different function. — Dysk (contribs) 23:09, 11 September 2020 (UTC)

Orphaned fork pages[edit]

Something should be done about fork pages appearing in the list of orphaned pages. Tulpa001 (talk) 03:59, 14 September 2020 (UTC)

Checkuser/IP checking[edit]

As discussed on the moderator noticeboard (RationalWiki talk:All things in moderation#Checkuser/IP checking), it has been requested that someone with root access remove the capability of techs to have a workaround for checkuser. The elimination of this capability would remove some drama and suspicion, at least going forward. Bongolian (talk) 19:35, 16 September 2020 (UTC)

@David Gerard @Tmtoulouse. --RWRW (talk) 22:16, 16 September 2020 (UTC)

MediaWiki 1.35 released[edit]

A relevant gander. This is an LTS release. Notably, this provides a PHP implementation of Parsoid, which means we can use VisualEditor by upgrading to this version (although additional changes to configuration files may be needed?). Sirius (dog star / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png) 20:27, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

Common filename page protection[edit]

Unless anyone objects, I'll be protecting File:Unnamed.jpg to mod-only later today (thereby preventing anyone from uploading a file under that name). Doing this because "unnamed.jpg" is the filename some browsers use when copying image data to the clipboard and the name itself already gives away that the name isn't indicative of what's in the image. This hopefully will make sure that filenames are at least a bit more descriptive. @Bongolian any objections? (Asking you since you're an active mod and I technically can't protect pages to mod-only). Sirius (dog star / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png) 10:02, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

Seems reasonable to me. Bongolian (talk) 17:42, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

Small YouTube embed not working on Saloon Bar[edit]

For some reason, this doesn't render at all in the saloon bar. Rockford the Roe (talk) 06:34, 4 November 2020 (UTC)

You sure? It renders fine for me in the saloon. Sirius (dog star / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png) 10:06, 5 November 2020 (UTC)

Turning RW to dark mode[edit]

I'd like to ask if it's possible to turn RW to dark mode through sandbox or something. That is to say, if invert black and white colors. I know there's a browser extention to make it a default, but I'd prefer a local solution, since I fear an app might fuck things up for some other site and I prefer the white backround and black font on some other sites. I quite often go to sleep with my computer on and forget to switch from RW to my naturally dark desktop (usually because I'm way too drunk by then). And it the light from the monitor reduces my ability to sleep. Knight CommanderIn ServiceTo HerGoatness 18:45, 14 November 2020 (UTC)

Assuming you use the default theme (Vector) or Monobook check Preferences -> Gadgets -> User interface tweaks -> Dark theme. I tried it once but personally wasn't a fan, maybe you'll have better success. Sirius (dog star / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png) 19:26, 14 November 2020 (UTC)
I'm using Monobook, so that worked. Thanks! I'll see if I can get used to it. Knight CommanderIn ServiceTo HerGoatness 19:34, 14 November 2020 (UTC)
Sigs look like shit, but I guess win some lose some. Knight CommanderIn ServiceTo HerGoatness 19:35, 14 November 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, doesn't work like I wish it would. Nowhere close. Guess I have to try and learn to collapse to desktop before I go to bed. Knight CommanderIn ServiceTo HerGoatness 23:02, 14 November 2020 (UTC)

Racist and/or any other kind of bigotted trolling[edit]

why is there not a block reason for this? AMassiveGay (talk) 12:19, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

Excellent question. I had to click on "Other reason" and then type in "Racist troll" several times in the past week when blocking a racist troll who kept coming back under new user names. Blocking racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic trolls should be quicker and easier to do. Spud (talk) 12:57, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
Can someone (on phone rn, so I can't do it) move this to RW:TECHSUPPORT. The reasons are handled through an interface page, so I can add the reason when I get home. It's a tech issue. Sirius (dog star / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png) 14:05, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
Because some "muh free speech" and "BUT THIS IS RATIONALWIKI" trolls think that bigotry and harassment and general toxicity should be allowed on this site because of what some long gone users who edited this site before the culture wars of the 10s thought would be a good idea. Look at RW then, and look at it now. These people want to drag this site back to the hellhole it was in the 2000s. Oxyaena Harass 14:37, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
@Spud and AMassiveGay I have added the following new block reasons:
  • Excessively offensive edits.
  • Long-term trolling.
  • Harassment of other editors. (renamed from serious harassment for more clarity)
I also splitted out the unacceptable username block reason into it's own category, given how often this happens:
  • Unacceptable username (disruptive)
  • Unacceptable username (offensive)
  • Unacceptable username (impersonating existing editor)
I also added a new joke block reason:
  • Throwing beer around in the bar
I hope this helps a bit. Offensive edits is on 3.14 months, long-term trolling and harassment are infinite block reasons. Unacceptable has infinite block suggested.
I also protected the interface page in question to moderators/techs only. This comment is also a notice of that. Any mod who disagrees on that is free to change the protection. Sirius (dog star / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png) 19:48, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
Also, Oxy uh... no. We revamped our blocking policy earlier this year to make it both more in-line with our dropdown list and our stated goals as a project/community standards. The latter has led to a few cases where our existing blocking reasons just weren't really complete enough. Block reasons are free to edit, they can be updated at any point without needing superuser intervention. Sirius (dog star / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png) 20:04, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
@Sirius Excellent! Thanks a lot. Spud (talk) 01:48, 18 November 2020 (UTC)


All of my edits are being marked as spam. Atlantid (talk) 14:13, 22 November 2020 (UTC)

@Sirius Would you mind altering the filters so as to allow this person to post? If there's a problem we can always just change them back or whatever. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 15:24, 22 November 2020 (UTC)
The filters are getting this guy because he is mentioning Smith. Atlantid is Smith's username and this is a another impersonation sock-puppet by Mikemikev impersonating Smith. I havn't been on this website in a while but I see loads and loads of socks from these guys in the block log. Its tiring! Johns (talk) 15:58, 22 November 2020 (UTC)