RationalWiki:Technical support

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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 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.

Content dumps (sticky)[edit]

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

All of the internal links to backups on RationalWiki:Content dumps fail. Also, what is the status of @David Gerard's archive.org 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 Slutty Hybrid engines (talk/stalk)

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

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

New MediaWiki LTS release[edit]

MediaWiki 1.39, the next LTS, will be released in November. Just letting the sysadmins know, you may want to upgrade @David Gerard @Tmtoulouse @Tim Starling (though I guess the latter probably already knows). Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 14:49, 30 September 2022 (UTC)

Add new permissions to the tech user group[edit]

Recently, I've had to edit sitewide CSS (see MediaWiki talk:Common.css). I couldn't edit it, but fortunately I was able to add myself to the default interface administrators user group. Looks like the permissions for this group were set back when editinterface allowed you to edit sitewide CSS, JS and JSON.

I request that the sysadmins add editsitecss, editsitejs and editsitejson to the permissions for the tech user group. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 08:37, 9 October 2022 (UTC)

Regex not working[edit]

So, in the edit filter, if I type in "P1UT0C0W", from what I understand it's supposed to cover "Plutocow", "Plut0c0w", "PIutocow", etc., and it was working like that for a while. Now, it seems like "P1UT0C0W" only covers, well, "P1UT0C0W", and allows any other combination to slip past (as I, and several vandals, have just demonstrated). I don't know if this is something that broke in the most recent MediaWiki update, but it seriously needs to be fixed.

Also, as a side note, it would be useful to be able to see deleted contributions in the "Examine Past Edits" feature. Plutocow (talk) 17:26, 13 October 2022 (UTC)

@Plutocow Can't be MediaWiki, given that we haven't updated yet, the new LTS isn't out. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 18:05, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
MediaWiki was last updated here on 12 June 2022. I'll check the filter hits from around that time, but that may have been when the filter stopped working like it did previously (I do remember seeing a number of accounts from the past few months that should have been prevented from registering by the filter). Plutocow (talk) 18:13, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
The brackets and periods seem to be doing their job, so it's weird that the numerals aren't working. Regardless, I'll go over the filter to replace the numerals for now. Plutocow (talk) 00:58, 8 November 2022 (UTC)
That’s because 1 = L = I etc isn’t regex, it’s a seemingly wiki-specific thing called ccnorm. You need to specifically invoke it with the filter, but it does seem that to be broken even if you do. Christopher (talk) 01:03, 8 November 2022 (UTC)

RW loading times[edit]

Has anyone else experienced slow waiting times? My lag is insane. I think I might have to leave until it's resolved. Andrew5 (talk) 21:15, 19 October 2022 (UTC)

Oh dear - please don't go my love. Acei9 21:35, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
Sorry - I'm moody as fuck. Carry on. Acei9 21:51, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
It seems to be loading at a reasonable speed again. Andrew5 (talk) 22:58, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
RW loading times are sometimes a problem on my end as well, like just right now, as well as when Andrew left the comment. I'll leave a timestamp here in case the loading issues are related to certain times of the day. Plutocow (talk) 16:08, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
This seems to be a part of a more general problem that's been around ever since the last MediaWiki upgrade. This is number one on my list of discussion topics for the next Board of Trustees meeting. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 16:11, 21 October 2022 (UTC)


I've set filter 57 to block without warning for today, some spam network has been creating accounts all day and just carefully avoiding the block after the warning by editing different pages every time or just trying to spam their userpage once. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 16:30, 21 October 2022 (UTC)

Could we hide the newuser log from recent changes? It is pretty clear the bots are using IPv6, so blocking accounts to restrict the underlying IP's account creation does next to nothing, and it's not like anyone can really stop them without access to other tools. Eventually, those bots will get blocked by the edit filter, so it's not like they'll be able to pollute RW with nonsensical spam, but the constant account creation makes recent changes completely unreadable. I propose we create a new user right for the newuser log and assign it to *, so everyone can see it, but it won't be included in recent changes. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 21:20, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, I noticed earlier that we were getting bombed with spam accounts. Vee (talk) 21:21, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
It's been going on since 05:01 UTC (I think, based on the edit filter log), it's pretty insane. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 21:24, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Pinging the sysadmins: @David Gerard, @Tmtoulouse, @Tim Starling Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 21:27, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
I don't really want the user creation log to be hidden from RC, as it makes it possible to catch e.g. Mikey socks before they can do anything. If the spam account creation gets truly horrible, we can disable account creation for a short bit. Plutocow (talk) 21:45, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Plutocow is right. We get too many intentionally offensive usernames being created to make hiding new accounts a good idea. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 21:48, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
There's a new account being made every 2 minutes. Disable account creation for a few days, fuck. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 21:51, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Using the edit filter to disable account creation is a (to my knowledge) unprecedented measure with potential to hit good-faith editors looking to edit the wiki without wanting to reveal their IPs. Compare that with just hiding the log from recent changes. I don't think this would make Mikemikev's life any easier. When he signs up to wandalize, while it is true he often uses obvious usernames, he sometimes doesn't. Doesn't make a difference anyway, as he doesn't take long to immediately reveal himself. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 22:27, 21 October 2022 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It's been done once before, to stop a TOR spammer or something like that I believe. Also, Momotaro was Gorilla lover/Kamen rider saber, not Mike. Plutocow (talk) 22:33, 21 October 2022 (UTC)

Huh, so there's someone else that cares about mike other than himself. Doesn't really change anything for me, I still heavily dislike doing that kind of stuff. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 22:34, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
So this is what we'll do every time an account spammer appears? Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 23:16, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
I think this is a stopgap measure for a bad situation. This wasn't just the usual rate of spam accounts being created; we were literally being bombed with spam accounts so that it made monitoring recent changes a real pain in the ass. Vee (talk) 23:31, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
I personally have not seen the spambots get this bad in my time here. This is an exceptional circumstance that needed an exceptional response. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 23:32, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
If someone with a /64 block of IPv6 addresses (the most common setup) decides to mess around and run spambots against this site, they can force us to disable account creation as is. Disabling account creation and telling people to contact sysops is not useful, due to the sheer number of inactive sysops here, and that contacting them requires either already having an account with an email or writing on their talkpage, revealing to everyone your IP address (because you cannot create an account), and either the password of your new account (if you don't want to reveal your email, the sysop has to tell you the password somehow) or your email address (so that the server may auto-generate one and send it to that user's email). That's my biggest problem with this Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 23:38, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Should only be for a day or two, although I agree the "contact a sysop" bit doesn't make sense. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 23:40, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
That's a day or two too much in my opinion. I won't delete that filter given that people here are in favor of using it as a temporary measure, but I'll be monitoring the filter log and disabling it the moment the bots give up. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 23:47, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Honestly, in the interest of opsec, I quietly implemented the filter as a temporary measure. The error message says to go to the tech support page, which I thought was sufficient. I'm not really liking the big ol' site banner to alert such usernames as "Voldemorecock", "Wh0rrey potter", and "Whоrrey potter" (who tried to create these accounts after I enabled the filter), or the dozens of spambots. I don't think anyone gives a shit except for Ken, the vulgar trolls, and spambots if we turn off account creation for a few hours. Cheers, —cosmikdebris talk stalk 23:45, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
You never know, a potential editor looking to fix a typo, or add some funny link, may be locked out by this, and move on and never think again of this site. That's how I started in the wiki!. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 23:52, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
This should be a temporary measure. We'll all be watching the logs to see if there's any decrease in abuse. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 23:58, 21 October 2022 (UTC)

Server errors on the Russian side of RW[edit]

Someone is reporting specific server error messages on the Russian RW.[1] It might have something to do with the fixes that were addressed by David Gerard in March of this year (RationalWiki:Technical support/Archive24#Our Russian site). Bongolian (talk) 19:13, 5 September 2022 (UTC)

Yeah it was me. And if someone need help with translating bug report or testing or something I can help. We really need fix this errors, thnx. Who can do that? Holger (talk) 02:10, 7 September 2022 (UTC)
Most likely, @David Gerard. Bongolian (talk) 02:20, 7 September 2022 (UTC)
I'll have a look this evening - David Gerard (talk) 14:28, 7 September 2022 (UTC)
How it's going on? @David Gerard (We need working search on site to editing page references) Holger (talk) 15:23, 8 September 2022 (UTC)
Dear @David Gerard we still have all of this problems :) Holger (talk) 04:24, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
May be somebody else can help, @Tmtoulouse, @Tim Starling, @David Gerard? I feel intrusive, but I also feel helpless. Holger (talk) 12:25, 6 November 2022 (UTC)

<math> sometimes not working[edit]

See eg infinity or relativity. The categories that are meant to catalogue this sort of error (Category:Pages with math render errors and Category:pages with math errors) don’t seem to be up to date, probably caching issues. Christopher (talk) 14:34, 4 November 2022 (UTC)

See also The Equation of Creation. This page renders dozens of big red math errors, throws a "503 Service Unavailable" error, or a 500 error. Clearly, something about the math extension is making the software very ill. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 15:19, 4 November 2022 (UTC)
Would this be something only capable of being fixed by the sysadmins and not by the techs then? Vee (talk) 16:24, 4 November 2022 (UTC)
This is almost certainly a server-side issue so the system admins are the only ones that can address it. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 16:25, 4 November 2022 (UTC)
Good to know I'm not the only one having this problem. My latest edits were supposed to have some equations. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 01:07, 8 November 2022 (UTC)

This appears to be what's breaking one of our gold pages (see "page still won't load") below. Maybe relevant: https://www.mediawiki.org/w/index.php?title=Topic:Uo3kkmmop1jj9vhw&topic_showPostId=v2pfwaghxx0fmu0c, https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Topic:Tqkr5mdviskc8fmk Christopher (talk) 00:01, 14 January 2023 (UTC)

The problem here is from what I can tell that the Math extension (which gives us these tags) just offloads all rendering functionality to a service named Mathoid. By default its apparently meant to call a Mathoid service deployed by the Wikimedia Foundation, but this doesn't appear to be working properly. This has been broken for a while actually (2 years or so), just not in any way most people would notice; if you had your Math rendering settings set to PNG with SVG fallback you'd be able to get it rendered without using Mathoid. In Mediawiki 1.32, Mathoid became required even for the PNG renderer (...few words begin to describe how much disdain I have for the WMF to offload this sorta thing to services they control but that's neither here or there). As for how to fix it; barring deploying our own Mathoid + RESTbase instance, I have absolutely no idea. We could set the upstream URL to a different RESTbase instance? -- Techpriest (talk) 17:03, 14 January 2023 (UTC)
Some people in the linked thread were saying that switching from wikimedia (the default) to wikipedia resolved their issue. You'd add the following line to RWsettings:
$wgMathFullRestbaseURL = 'https://en.wikipedia.org/api/rest_v1/';
Christopher (talk) 21:34, 14 January 2023 (UTC)

Constant onslaught of spam accounts[edit]

Is there any way to prevent the spammer from creating constant alt accounts? It seems like a username filter would be in order, although they seem fairly creative. Currently their behavior seems to consist of either mass account floods or editing using proxies/Tor and utilizing CSS fuckery. SwampFox (talk) 06:09, 7 November 2022 (UTC)

The only solution is blocking account creation for a few minutes, as autoblock doesn't stop Tor nodes from creating accounts. Preemptively blocking a few potentially problematic Tor ranges could potentially work, but would require a vote. Overall, currently our filter is the main option against the account spammers. Plutocow (talk) 14:59, 7 November 2022 (UTC)

Confirmation email[edit]

I can't seem to receive the confirmation mail for confirming my e-mail address. I have waited and tried resending it a couple of times throughout the past week and a half, checked that I wrote the address correctly and checked again and it's in order. The mail also didn't get caught in spam, I checked junk mail. Does anyone have any idea what may be wrong, or any tech who could help out? Thanks Christopher for kindly pointing me here by the way.ConverginglyRational (talk)

No problem
You seem to be experiencing quite a specific issue. I just entered an address on a sock account (the same email I use for my main) and the confirmation email was sent in seconds, so it’s not that the whole system is broken. Christopher (talk) 14:54, 7 November 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for checking, I don't know exactly what the problem was, but I just tried it with another gmail address that I'll be using for this now then and now it worked no problem. So it's all in order now.ConverginglyRational (talk) 15:19, 7 November 2022 (UTC)

Archive bug[edit]

Something seems to be failing with the Template:Talkpage. On the Talk:Haggard's Law page, there are no archives listed, but one exists in the usual place (Talk:Haggard's Law/Archive1), and the Talkpage template has no special parameters that it would be expected elsewhere. The "new" link recognizes the existing archive. Bongolian (talk) 01:18, 1 December 2022 (UTC)

It looks like the problem occurs on pages that contain an apostrophe in the name. I tried inserting {{talkpage}} on the Talk:Roko's basilisk page and it has the same problem. Bongolian (talk) 05:18, 9 December 2022 (UTC)
This is a longstanding issue. Christopher (talk) 11:39, 15 December 2022 (UTC)
I have fixed the problem with those pages that I could easily find that have a talk page archive and have an apostrophe in the name. I used as a template the workaround that was present on Talk:Roko's basilisk. I searched through Category:Eponymous laws and RationalWiki:Technical support/Archive21#Archive links not working for any page with an apostrophe in the title. Bongolian (talk) 03:53, 7 February 2023 (UTC) Also Category:Logic. Bongolian (talk) 08:12, 7 February 2023 (UTC)

Page still won't load[edit]

Modern Science in the Bible still won't load properly 2600:4040:475E:F600:FDAF:CC06:F30B:CE04 (talk) 03:24, 1 December 2022 (UTC)

Even earlier versions won't load,[2] but there's an archived version from March of this year that can be read.[3] Bongolian (talk) 03:39, 1 December 2022 (UTC)
Deleting and restoring the page seems to have fixed the issue. Christopher (talk) 11:49, 15 December 2022 (UTC)
The issue has returned. Should we take it out of rotation for display on the main page in the meantime? Christopher (talk) 23:21, 13 January 2023 (UTC)
Might have something to do with the </math> tags. They don't work properly on other pages, displaying an error message (see above). You don't get the error message on this page, the equations display normally. Christopher (talk) 23:37, 13 January 2023 (UTC)
This appears to be it. Compare loading times for a copy of the article before and after nowiki-ing all math tags, if the before even loads at all. Christopher (talk) 23:52, 13 January 2023 (UTC)

Vote buttons don't work[edit]

The vote buttons don't seem to work on the To Do List page. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 14:27, 15 December 2022 (UTC)

They work fine for me. Christopher (talk) 15:28, 15 December 2022 (UTC)

Attempted to create article, kept getting blocked by edit filter[edit]

I tried to create the following article but the edit filter blocked me and said I’d triggered the “Blackhat SEO Spammer” filter, whatever that is.

The article would have been titled XYZ, and the text would have been:

''Xyz.com.au'' is an Australian neo-Nazi website with a trollish tone very similar to [[The Daily Stormer]], having headlines like “Argentina’s Aryan Super Soldiers Beat Negroes In World Cup Final”. Perhaps the most insidious thing about XYZ is that, unlike most hate sites, its domain name is relatively innocuous and gives no hint about what the site is actually like. So, in theory, a person could click on a link to XYZ and not know what they were getting into, thinking it was perhaps a legitimate news site. XYZ was the subject of [https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/07255136211008605 an academic paper] published in 2021. Not to be confused with “eXamine Your Zipper”. Although the thought of Nazis who always have their flies undone is kind of funny, in a twisted sort of way. ==External Links== No, we’re not linking to that site.

Not sure why it tripped the filter, but maybe someone could look into it. Feel free to create the article yourself if you can figure out how to solve the problem. Zippper (talk) 01:18, 1 January 2023 (UTC)

You should try making it as a draft first. The issue is that you're a brand-new account trying to make a page with links, and we get a lot of spam accounts that make articles just to place spam links. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 01:26, 1 January 2023 (UTC)

Search failure[edit]

Autocomplete does not work on searches, and I'm currently getting a search failure message for searches on pages that don't exist. The message is, "An error has occurred while searching: We could not complete your search due to a temporary problem. Please try again later." No list of pages with partial matches is returned, as was the case previously. Bongolian (talk) 18:44, 13 January 2023 (UTC)

Have the same problem, though I was the only one /-The brick wall (talk) 19:37, 13 January 2023 (UTC)
That makes three of us. Ray of Sunshine (talk) 20:00, 13 January 2023 (UTC)
search1 rebooted earlier, and service elasticsearch didn't auto-start. I started it and I'm getting search results now! - David Gerard (talk) 22:07, 13 January 2023 (UTC)
also set it to auto-start on boot (systemctl enable) - David Gerard (talk) 22:46, 13 January 2023 (UTC)
Looks good, thanks! Bongolian (talk) 00:32, 14 January 2023 (UTC)

PNG image rendering failure[edit]

There seems to be a general problem with PNG image rendering failing, perhaps related to the <math> failure noted above. The was the case with File:PiZZa2.png for example, which appeared on the Pizzagate page until I replaced it with a JPG equivalent. Bongolian (talk) 08:22, 1 February 2023 (UTC)