RationalWiki:Technical support

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
This page is automatically archived by Archiver
Archives for this talk page: <1>, <2>, <3>, <4>, <5>, <6>, <7>, <8>, <9>, <10>, <11>, <12>, <13>, <14>, <15>, <16>, <17>, <18>, <19>
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: see Special:ListUsers/tech
Users with root on the servers: David Gerard (dgerard@gmail.com) and Tmtoulouse

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.

Subsection link (sticky)

What extension does Wikipedia use to get the subsection links next to each subsection title? Fuzzy. Cat. Potato! (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's W.svg 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)


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. The FCP Foundation (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. The FCP Foundation (talk/stalk) 17:07, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
This is not a result of the recent upgrade. This has been an issue for years.—(((CheeseburgerFace))) Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 17:09, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Content dumps (sticky)

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 Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk)

Auto-refresh button for recent changes

Should we add an auto-refresh button to the recent changes log? @Psl361 has created an excellent piece of code to enable us to do it. Seeking mob consent for whether we should ultimately add it or not. Palaeonictis Fossil beds 16:33, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Not unless you also update the site to version 1.30 or newer if you don't mind. NekoDysk 23:45, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

dark mode

Various people have been asking to implement a "dark mode" for Rationalwiki, you can:

NekoDysk 15:01, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

2019 software upgrade


  • 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. NekoDysk 15:54, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

Nerd's comments

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. NekoDysk 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. NekoDysk 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. NekoDysk 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. NekoDysk 23:31, 15 May 2019 (UTC)


I'm getting 503 errors like crazy. What in the name of all that is perverse is going on? Is there a site update that I'm unaware of? Is some script-kiddy impotent again? What? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 17:50, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

There's something wrong with the varnish cache. It seems to be intermittent, but if it persists then go poke @David Gerard so he can poke the servers. NekoDysk 18:01, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

Example error for reference:

Error 503 Backend fetch failed
Backend fetch failed

Guru Meditation:
XID: 88849978

Varnish cache server
that's when apache3 overloads. I need to restart it at some point, so it gets a free Linode upgrade - David Gerard (talk) 13:37, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
actually I should probably schedule that sooner rather than later, we're doing something that hammers the shit out of our CPU - David Gerard (talk) 00:16, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
Don't think I didn't notice the sly insult, @GrammarCommie. :p Palaeonictis Fossil beds 15:08, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

I fucking hate certbot

and I have ONE DAY to make our certs renew or everything breaks! No pressure ...


I'm thinking Varnish is actually being dumb for some reason. But I don't see how, because the port 80 call is handled only by nginx and HOW THE HELL CAN IT PASS REQUESTS TO A BACKEND IT'S LITERALLY NOT CONFIGURED FOR and wtf - David Gerard (talk) 13:39, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

According to dig there is an rationalwiki.org. 299 IN AAAA 2600:3c03::f03c:91ff:fe7a:f3c3 although this doesn't say why it is happening. NekoDysk 13:53, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
yeah, I just hit it over the head and forced a correct DNS entry. Certs renewed! Let's see how it goes - David Gerard (talk) 17:03, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
Congratulations. xD NekoDysk 18:56, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
sysadmin haiku:
It's not DNS
There's no way it's DNS
It was DNS
- David Gerard (talk) 00:18, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Section link fail

It may be that this is not fixable, but when one uses a section link to a section that follows a lengthy collapsed segment, the link takes one to the end of the page rather than to the appropriate section. An example is: QAnon#Inciting violence. Bongolian (talk) 19:16, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Works fine for me. :shrug: (Chrome on Linux) NekoDysk 20:26, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Browser specific behavior. The onload->javascript collapse->locate and scroll to anchor pattern versus the onload->locate and scroll to anchor->javascript collapse pattern. There's no technical solution possible that you could reasonably expect to implement server-side. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:29, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
I went and removed the collapse templates. Of course this could still be a problem on talk pages. NekoDysk 20:35, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
(ECx2 BONGOLOIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN)Piles of trash that people might want to see, but also sit between the article section and reference material like external links is something of a special case. I'd say that this particular situation maybe warrants a subpage? Or... a transclusion? We're different from wikipedia in that we sometimes collect piles of garbage that cranks produce. Presumably there, all included information is relevant and prosaic. Having it uncollapsed is kinda ugly. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:43, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
A subpage would probably be wise. I doubt a transclusion would do anything much. I suppose technically it could be a sub-article, maybe. NekoDysk 20:46, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
The advantage of keeping it on the page rather than on a subpage is for search indexing if nothing else. Perhaps move it to a footnote? Bongolian (talk) 20:49, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Sounds like a good compromise. NekoDysk 20:53, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

How do you rename an account?

Someone made an account with an asinine name, how can I rename it? Public School Girl (talk) 03:42, 28 February 2019 (UTC)

You need to be a tech or a mod to do that, sorry. We could assign naming rights to sysops, but to do that would require a vote, and this isn't the place to do that. Palaeonictis Fossil beds 04:25, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
If you need to rename an account, you can always ask one of the mods or techs. RoninMacbeth (talk) 04:34, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
Renaming trolls to joke names is the one thing I miss about being a mod. Avida Dollarsher again 10:39, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Blacklisting links

Is there anyway to blacklist links that will keep an edit from happening? That weird bot keeps spamming the same thing, seems like it would be better to just not allow what it keeps pushing rather then keep cleaning up after it (since its just SEO juicing) Revolverman (talk) 23:43, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

I can, and do, blacklist link patterns where appropriate. However the links being spammed do change on an ongoing basis, and we don't have the manpower to maintain a blacklist of every undesired link or domain. A few pages out of every hundred get through, but this is because filters are not perfect. NekoDysk 23:57, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Ahh, gotcha. Well, gotta go back to deleting Swedish porno, or whatever the fuck those spam links are. Revolverman (talk) 00:00, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

Downtime for upgrade, probably Saturday

RationalWiki:Saloon_bar#RW_Server_Upgrades_-_will_involve_1-2hrs_downtime - any comments there plz - David Gerard (talk) 20:26, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Maybe we'll get lucky and this evil site will never come back up, and creationism will finally win. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:40, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
Good news, you're just imagining this! - David Gerard (talk) 13:39, 6 April 2019 (UTC)


Could someone please change the styles for WIGO CZ to point to the new page title (NIGO CZ)? Thanks — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 21:24, 2 April 2019 (UTC)

@Pythoncoder I assume this is what you were looking to be done? NekoDysk 14:28, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
Thanks — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 23:02, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

Upload Excel file

I wanted to upload the datafile for this, since right now it's hosted on the personal website of the author (and may disappear next year), but I can't upload xlsx files:

".xlsx" is not a permitted file type. Permitted file types are png, gif, jpg, jpeg, webp, svg, xcf, mp3, pdf, djvu, ttf, eot, woff, flac, mkv, mov, mp4, oga, ogg, ogv, wav, webm.

Could xlsx be added to that list? And perhaps some other common document formats as well? Thanks! Martin (talk) 23:10, 5 April 2019 (UTC)

Basically probably no, because allowing most filetypes is a security nightmare. You would be better off saving it as a pdf and uploading that instead. NekoDysk 14:34, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
And in particular xlsx is a known security risk. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:08, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
It doesn't convert to PDF very well because of the column sizes. I can export to CSV I guess, but .csv or .txt aren't in the whitelist either. Martin (talk) 08:02, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Okay so maybe if you strip the formatting or something. But essentially you have to work in our existing filetypes, or use a third party archiving service. NekoDysk 14:16, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

Suggestion (spam-stopping idea no.391)

Would a 'make one edit on an article (not being your own user page) within (10 minutes)' filter-bot reduce the amount of time people have to spend dealing with the shoals of spam-accounts? Anna Livia (talk) 17:49, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

A slightly more advanced and multi-tiered set of spam filters was implemented by me several months ago with a not dissimilar idea in mind, building on the ones we had before created by FCP and others. It's blocked something like 2000 spambot instances by now (see Special:AbuseLog) but of course spammers do get through, since the filter lacks actual intelligence and is thus limited. There is a balance between perhaps affecting real users with it and blocking more spam, I am fairly happy with it's performance so far but would probably not want to make it's rules much tighter. NekoDysk 19:34, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
This would be more having the usernames do something within a reasonable time (ie slightly more useful than a Captcha box-ticking) - and might include 'inappropriate word checker' for identify 'look-at-me(being banned from RW)s.' It might also pick up the occasional 'scrambled name' (followed by intended name creation).
(The worst I get up to are occasional weak puns, and 'dislocating a table with a misplaced or mis-moved character.') Anna Livia (talk) 14:08, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
Oh I see, I don't think that is possible, technically speaking. NekoDysk 15:09, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
'Category of things which are useful but not practical' :) Anna Livia (talk) 15:47, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

Embed tweets etc

Currently we can embed youtube videos. Would it be possible to embed tweets? Avida Dollarsher again 10:42, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

It might be a matter of updating the site to a newer version of MediaWiki I`m afraid, but tbh that's only a guess. Dr. Ox quack specialist 11:03, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
There is no easy way to embed tweets and we would need some new extension to do that as it's not a Mediawiki core feature. However, we could import wikipedia:Template:Tweet for a similar effect. NekoDysk 11:39, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
That'd be ok. Avida Dollarsher again 12:31, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Alright, working on it. NekoDysk 13:02, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
@Dysklyver, @Avida Dollars A problem with embedding tweets is that tweets are not as a rule automatically archived by archive.org. Unless the embedding software also pings archive.org to archive the tweet, it means we could get a lot more dead links without recourse to replacing them to archived links. I view direct links to tweets on mainspace pages to be very poor style because of this. Links to tweets on mainspace pages should always be to an archived version in my view. Bongolian (talk) 17:20, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
@Bongolian Theoretically the template (not really an embed as such) could insist on an archive link and display an error message if one wasn't supplied. Thereby encouraging people to archive tweets when using them here. NekoDysk 18:19, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
@Dysklyver: Good idea.   — Jeff G. ツ 16:31, 19 May 2019 (UTC)