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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:

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 ( 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,, 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]

What extension does Wikipedia use to get the subsection links next to each subsection title? FU22YC47P07470 (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)[edit]


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. Fuzzy "Cat" Potato, Jr. (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. 32℉uzzy; 0℃atPotato (talk/stalk) 17:07, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
This is not a result of the recent upgrade. This has been an issue for years.—チーズバーガー • めん Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 17:09, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Captcha (edition 94)[edit]

Not a request for help, but pointing out a curiosity: why do I need to do a captcha at work, with a longstanding IP, but not here at home, with a new IP (beyond just ticking "I am not a robot")? Firefox there, chrome here, btw. (talk) 15:11, 18 July 2018 (UTC) (Sophie)

The CAPTCHA is reCAPTCHA, which does its own checks. It's not just ticking a box, I think it looks at mouse movements among other things. I wouldn't be surprised if doing it a lot from home makes it less suspicious of you. —Kazitor Kazitor sig pic.png 22:29, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
The NoCaptcha/ReCaptcha service is supplied by Google. Chrome is Google, Firefox is Mozilla. Anyway Google built a number of identity verification and user tracking features into Chrome which allow it to play nice with Google services where other browsers don't. The NoCaptcha service is tracking your useragent among other things (so it knows your machine and browser), your IP address is no longer a primary factor, to the extent they don't even use it as the primary tracker if they can tag your browser identifier or advertising ID. Google will give you a better NoCaptcha experience if you use their products. (because browser racism)
Google knows that you are not a robot before you even finish loading the page, and contrary to popular belief the checkbox doesn't actually do anything. Your machine and identity details are collected on pageview, and keyboard/mouse movements are being tracked by background scripts, all of which work independently and without the checkbox. Also bear in mind that Google almost certainly knows your home address (they have algorithms to figure it out from your location history), so Kazitor's point about being at home being less suspicious is also a factor, if I travel they will send me alerts about my activity, they are pretty good at that.
In truth there is no reason for the image verification thing they do either, since that is also not used as a direct measure of your humanity, but in fact is training a Google car AI program (it used to be training an OCR program, but thats done now). It's main use is to be difficult for bots to fill out without a background script figuring out its a bot, the images themselves are mainly not relevant, and are cross referenced only against other people for being correct, if all people presented with it gave the wrong answer, Google would accept that, and if the first few people gave the wrong answer, all subsequent users would have to get it wrong in the same way to pass.
The main reason it has the fiddly checkbox is because people feel better about a box they tick than the idea that Google is monitoring their entire lives across almost every website they visit, and that google knows every detail of their device, location, and behaviour. ^_^ This message is approved by Dysklyver Ensign of the Duke of Cornwall.svg (brebmyn) 23:30, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
Since it doesn't seem to be stopping the spambots anyway, do you think it should be replaced with something else? Something not affiliated with Google, hopefully... —Kazitor Kazitor sig pic.png 10:06, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
To be honest the options are rather limited. According to the manual there is something called QuestyCaptcha which asks questions, but it would not take long for spambots to crack this. Wikimedia uses FancyCaptcha which is apparently "used by very few wikis outside WMF if any, probably because of scarce effectiveness." So not promising. I don't think any of the other options are as effective as Google's service.
The only truly effective way I ever found to 'stop' spam was to do what I did on (a much smaller wiki). Which was to use the Google captcha and force all new users to have their edits approved via a moderation tool, except on talk pages. I also disabled IP editing, but that was actually for GDPR compliance and not for anti-spam. I am not sure that this setup would work well here, because it doesn't really cut down the amount of patrolling work much, it's main benefit is that you have a clean site if you aren't their all the time. It might also discourage new people from joining, and discourage people from drive by commenting. ^_^ This message is approved by Dysklyver Ensign of the Duke of Cornwall.svg (brebmyn) 10:52, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
"it would not take long for spambots to crack this" Not true, as the bots aren't specifically targeting this site. I find it's highly effective in most cases to just design your own really simple captcha that the bots don't (and won't) know about. —Kazitor Kazitor sig pic.png 11:15, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
It would probably be a good idea then. Even if only to get rid of the Google spyware service. There's then the question of which to use, I personally think QuestyCaptcha looks good, but FancyCaptcha could be an option also. ^_^ This message is approved by Dysklyver Ensign of the Duke of Cornwall.svg (brebmyn) 12:22, 24 July 2018 (UTC)

Content dumps (sticky)[edit]

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 Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk)

Tried to edit two completely different pages, got flagged as spam both times, absolutely no clue why (closed)[edit]

So I recently tried to edit the pages for Revolutionary Communist Party (USA) and Autism, and got flagged as spam both times. With the RCP page, the edit was very slightly intended to diss the organization, so I figured maybe some disparaging word I used got caught (I’m new to editing so I have no idea how the spam filter works), and maybe the fact that it was an article with many unsourced statements, including the one I was trying to add, may mean the filter was overly sensitive. Then when I tried to edit the Autism page a few minutes later, I added general info about the state of autism research, took great pains to include a reliable source (and to avoid veering away from the source too much in what I said), and STILL got flagged! What could possibly be going on? — Unsigned, by: AspieLeftist / talk / contribs

If you don't mind, can you try to screencap the contents you're trying to add, if the page refuses to save your edits? --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:12, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Resolved: @AspieLeftist Username triggered filter. Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 15:04, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

Editing Without Account (closed)[edit]

I have made some contributions to Catalonia and gave my reasoning in the edit summaries. However, all of it got reverted by a user with no explanation. Did that happen just because I am not logged in? or do I have to notify everyone in the talk page first before changing anything? (talk) 14:54, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

I removed your edit to the article in question because the explanation you gave doesn't appear to be justified in removing referenced content from the article. I suggest you explain your rationale in the article's talk page and back it up with a citation or two. Cosmikdebris (talk) 15:01, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
Resolved: @ moderation issue, not technical issue Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 15:05, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

Restrict userpage creation (closed unless anyone wants to fuck over the n00bs again)[edit]

Basically, edit filter, stop new users making userpages with links, foil spambot, simple. ^_^ This message is approved by Dysklyver Ensign of the Duke of Cornwall.svg (brebmyn) 13:05, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

let me check the filters Herr FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 21:29, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
tldr the filter that just did that got too many false positives (of new uers making a userpage) so we've the more complicated filters that let maybe 1 in 20 slip thru @Dyskyver oʇɐʇoԀʇɐϽʎzznℲ (talk/stalk) 21:29, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
I should probably have a look at the filter sometime then. For future reference I was imagining the following. ^_^ This message is approved by Dysklyver Ensign of the Duke of Cornwall.svg (brebmyn) 01:13, 19 November 2018 (UTC)


namespace "user"


edit contains string "http" or "://"


user less than 10 minutes old
<3 edits
not sysop/autopatarolled



Voter suppression[edit]

I went to the voting booth and it said I've already voted, but I didn't. Help pls ;-; സ്പ്രിഗിന (സംസാരം) (സംഭാവനകൾ) @ 00:11, 20 November 2018 (UTC)

Same here. RoninMacbeth (talk) 00:13, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
I was able to vote, but it seems other users have also experienced this - [1]. --RWRW (talk) 00:22, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
It says I've already voted, but I haven't. Cosmikdebris (talk) 00:26, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
I reported this problem to David Gerard, who thought he fixed it but apparently has not. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 02:26, 20 November 2018 (UTC)

Raw URL rendered at the end of a citation is displayed[edit]

  • If possible, do not display the raw URL that is rendered at the end of a citation.

Per Template:cite book —the raw URL is rendered at the end of the citation.


  • {{cite book|author=Mark Twain|title=Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: (Tom Sawyer's Comrade)|url=|year=1885|publisher=Collectors Reprints Incorporated}}


  • Mark Twain (1885). Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: (Tom Sawyer's Comrade). Collectors Reprints Incorporated.

Rules are defined in MediaWiki:Common.css to control the appearance of citations.

  • Example

The raw URL is rendered at the end of the citation, but is hidden except when printed.

/* For linked citation numbers and document IDs, where
   the number need not be shown on a screen or a handheld,
   but should be included in the printed version */
@media screen, handheld {
    .citation *.printonly {
        display: none;

Dbz (talk) 03:48, 20 November 2018 (UTC)