Information icon.svg Results for the 2023 RationalWiki Moderator Election have now been posted. Thank you for participating in this election, and congratulations to the winners!

RationalWiki:Technical support/Archive10

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This is an archive page, last updated 3 April 2014. Please do not make edits to this page.
Archives for this talk page: , (new)(back)

Talk page archive broken[edit]

I've tried to set up Pibot to archive Talk:9/11 conspiracy theories, but it seems that the slash in the title confuses the template - Pibot did archive a lot of threads at Talk:9/11 conspiracy theories/Archive1, but the template on the main talk page doesn't detect it and displays a message indicating that the main page is an archive. The root cause seems to be MW interpreting it as a subpage (BTW, why subpages have been enabled for mainspace?) - the talk page is treated as a sub-page of Talk:9.--ZooGuard (talk) 08:32, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Ping? Any help with this? --ZooGuard (talk) 12:08, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Ping? (Mostly to prevent this from being archived like some other unresolved issues.)--ZooGuard (talk) 17:43, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Ditto.--ZooGuard (talk) 10:32, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
I will look into this this afternoon. Easy fix if my suspicion is correct. Re: subpages. You can't disable them. Why would you want to? They seem useful to me. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 12:22, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Seem to be running afoul of the spam filter[edit]

First, I'm a n00b to rational Wiki ( but not wiki's in general) and I'm moving an anti-vandal tool over here from W*pedia. I can move everthing except the javascript file that runs the rest of the tool. I keep gettting a message that says I'm running into the anti-spam filter. It didn't give me much hint as to what it saw that it didn't like. It did suggest that I look at my links, I've updated all links so they're looking here. I did check for any link that started with "wiki" as I suspected it didn't like that and changed it, but I still got the spam filter. The actual (unchanged) code is over at it's original home User:Lupin/recent2.js on w*pedia. I'm not him, but I use his tool regularly and find it very simple to use. So, any ideas what's getting the spam filter's attention ? (I have changed the links up top (in my monobook) to point back to my id and I have imported all the rest of his script here in my directory with the file names the same, except for it having my name.  DeadMan Wonderland   13:44, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

I don't know if it'll make any difference but I've changed your user rights to autopatrolled. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 13:51, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Genghis Khant, I appreciate that. The spam filter is still catching me. Any ideas ?  DeadMan Wonderland  

What are you actually hoping to achieve? Filtering on naughty words strikes me as breathtakingly pointless on RW - David Gerard (talk) 14:20, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
It doesn't automatically filter that out, it checks for it and alerts me to possible vandalism, it's up the human operator to decide if it's vandalism or not :)  DeadMan Wonderland  
Why are you doing this? I can see and edit Edit Filters, but let me honestly ask you what leads you to believe anyone with tech rights is going to go through your code looking for offending keywords? I'm sure not. That aside, we don't have enough of a spam problem to justify a script running for more than a few days in the last several years. Thanks for wanting to help, but your efforts are better spent on something else. This is, of course, just my opinion. Perhaps someone else has insight on this you'll like better. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 14:44, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Essentially, this tool allows me to see and remove vandalism. That's the whole object of it. Since I. myself, can't look at the spam filter (if I can, feel free to post a link, I'll check it myself, with no complaining ) to see what's triggering it and make the adjustment needed. However if you belive you don't need any anti-vandal tool here, no problem, just say so, I'll nonimate all pages inovolved for deletion. (I run this on Wikipedia quite a bit to remove vandalism from a lot of areas over there:) )  DeadMan Wonderland  
I guess I also find it odd that someone who just created an account is doing this while knowing very little about this wiki. Ho hum. Do whatever you want. I'm just an opinionated asshole here. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 16:02, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

The following, with an "f" added at the end of it, trips our spam filters. - <a hre Hipocrite 14:51, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Hipo, I'll take care of that offline and re-load without that portion.  DeadMan Wonderland  
Ok, got passed the spam filter. I'm working out some kinks in it right now. Thanks for your assistance !  DeadMan Wonderland  

Thank you !! =[edit]

Thank you for your assistance in pointing out what the spam filter was catching. I was able to get the anti-vandal script to work:

Anti vandal.jpg

Credit where credit is due, the original author is Lupin over at Wikipedia, I just altered it to work here .

Please be aware , there's still some issue with the templates it uses, so it's not yet reasdy for prime time, but pretty soon it will be. If you'd like to beta it, just import the script called recent.js ( from my usespace right here in your monobook , refresh , then check your toolbox for "Fitler recent changes", "All recent chagnes" ..etc... Click on "All recent changes" to start.

Once again...thank you for your assistance !!!  DeadMan Wonderland   15:54, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Update - the templates are fixed, the rollback works, it's ready for your pleasure !!  DeadMan Wonderland   16:17, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

One more question[edit]

You know that message that pops up when you edit your monobook about refreshing your cache. It needs to be changed for chrome. It's stating that Chrome's cache can be cleaned with Ctrl+Shift+R. That's no longer accurate (I'm using Chrome ) the new keys for it are Ctrl+Shift+Del. I assume sysops or devs only can change that message, so this is just a heads up. Thanks !  DeadMan Wonderland   16:17, 11 October 2013 (UTC)


Is it broken? clicking on "read more" or section headers gets you, well me at least, a blank screen. Scream!! (talk) 00:36, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

I've also noticed the blog's predilection for pooping out whenever you actually click on something. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:25, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
Looks fantastic to me. David's Wordpress skin is gorgeous. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 04:37, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
Apache shitting itself. I have no idea what's going on and neither do Linode. I've set up an automatic Apache restart every five minutes. Kicks in whenever Akismet is enabled, but without Akismet we'd drown in spam - David Gerard (talk) 07:53, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
Thought it might be my (Android) tablet but it's the same with Chrome on Ubuntu. Just a blank screen on clicking "Read more >"or section header.
OOPS! just tried again (seconds later) & it's OK this time. HALP! Scream!! (talk) 10:03, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Problems with MediaWiki's navigation bar[edit]

MediaWiki's left-side link bar has reverted to the default, fresh-from installation links, to the puzzlement of noobs. Any idea what broke it?--ZooGuard (talk) 15:04, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm having this problem too.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 15:21, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm not saying it was chemtrails, but it was chemtrails. Something had conniptions. Trent fixed it by the bludgeon method, i.e. rebooting. We're also getting hammered on the FEMA concentration camps article - David Gerard (talk) 22:36, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Article Name Change[edit]

I wanted to know how I could change the name for an article of mine, WAKE UP, to simply 'wake up'. The capital letters, it was pointed out, seemed excessive.--TokenSkepticMagician (talk) 22:57, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Use the page move function. It will either be a standalone tab at the top of any page you can move or in a drop down if you're using the JavaScript gadget. There's no harm in leaving a redirect if the redirect title is sensible. -Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 14:08, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks!!----TokenSkepticMagician (talk) 23:50 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Template variables are frakked[edit]

I have to specify 1=, 2=, or whatever the number is instead of just using |. –Aleksandr Ehrenstein ЯR 16:25, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

What has happened to the 'whats going on in the world...' section[edit]

What has happened to the 'whats going on in the world...' section

When I click on the link, a page comes up stating 'no data recieved'. Is this a problem at your end or at mine.

I am on Google Chrome.



Hey, Genghis, I see the WIGO normally in my ancient FireFox. Puzzlesome... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:33, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
I just moved this here from an inappropriately created Forum page. It's not me. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 09:47, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Is there anybody here, or is rational wiki just a big conspiracy — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs ...


US-American Thanksgiving and Buy Nothing Day are a appearing on RC week early. Either that, or I have 10 people coming over for a turkey dinner tonight, and not next Thursday. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 13:33, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

I'd noticed that, too, but assumed at the time it was Canadian Thanksgiving or something. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 18:09, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
It would perhaps be more worrying if it were, as then the notice would be over a month late! - GrantC (talk) 18:26, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

My watchlist[edit]

I just uselessly added a page to it.

Seriously, fix this. My watchlist hasn't worked for a year or so and all I get in response is "um, duh" and "maybe you watch too many pages".

It's about time this "feature" worked again. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:42, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

That's not as obviously wrong an answer as you think. MW is extraordinarily database intensive. The computing resources required to compile a list of tens of thousands of watched pages in a relational database are not trivial. I have no idea what the database schema looks like, but I suspect MW is looking at more than just a few tables. Short version: David or Trent might answer whether MW simply declines to undertake very resource intensive tasks if it can't render a page within a reasonable amount of time. Or something like that. That's how I'd design a product to make compromises to ensure a minimally decent user experience. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 19:26, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
What's actually happening is that PHP is running out of memory trying to process Human's watchlist. There's something weird in Human's config - it's not just his really huge watchlist (I copied the list to Divabot's account and it didn't crash MW). I have NO FUCKING IDEA what's going on in there - David Gerard (talk) 23:08, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
David, do you still have that copy? Since during the "fix" process, my watchlist got wiped from the wiki. Can you email it to me? I'll reload it a few hundred pages at a time and keep testing along the way. I appreciate all the efforts to repair this problem on all your parts. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:00, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Gmail and the NSA are forever. Emailed back to you - David Gerard (talk) 11:19, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I believe I have fixed it. We can chat off wiki if you want David about what happened. Tmtoulouse (talk) 23:13, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Cool. I'm surprised MW can even do that. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 23:27, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
The gist of it is, that it was a memory issue but in the end it turned out to only tangentially realted to the watch list. As its a possibly repeatable error I don't want to provide too many details publically. Tmtoulouse (talk) 23:31, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Please do email me the details :-) - David Gerard (talk) 14:37, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Patrolling edits[edit]

How can a BON mark an edit as "patrolled"? What's the point of having red bangs--a sign that an edit might need a look--if the least-known type of editor can get rid of them? PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 14:47, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

... that's ridiculous. Gotta be something odd in our config - David Gerard (talk) 14:57, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for giving it a look... PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 15:31, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Do we even want patrolling? Is this useful? I'll ask on the Saloon Bar - David Gerard (talk) 19:13, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I think the problem is that the logs are giving the name of the user who made the edit and not the user who patrolled it. Peter mqzp 22:36, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Thansgiving day evening[edit]

I am getting very slow load times and some odd advertising popups. I am checking my systems for bugs is there a problem at rationalwiki ? Hamster (talk) 06:16, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Advertising popups isn't (or shouldn't be) us. My first guess is that it's you - David Gerard (talk) 11:03, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Metatag to stop Google from using the DMOZ description[edit]

I also posted it in the Sallon Bar, but it may have been overlooked: In short, "NOODP" needs to be added to the robots metatag, or to another metatag specific to Google.--ZooGuard (talk) 12:56, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Nice one! There are several meta tag extensions, in varying states of repair. I've enquired on mediawiki-l what's a good one for this job - David Gerard (talk) 14:17, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Slow wiki is slow.[edit]

Anyone else seeing slow page loads? PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 03:28, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

A bit sluggish at times this evening, yes. Once or twice I've clicked away to something else before the load completed. I don't have patience to wait for a timeout. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 04:30, 5 December 2013 (UTC)


Not much to be done but wait it out.Tmtoulouse (talk) 06:36, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

I've seen it slow, but it always loads in due course - David Gerard (talk) 12:19, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Maybe you're the slow one, eh Foster? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 14:23, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Doin' alright now. Last night, less so. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 14:43, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Things always seem worse at night. Except when they're also terrible during the day. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:31, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

So the slowness last night came around the time that this BoN was vandalizing the wiki; I just had another bout of slowness when it was editing again. Prolly nothing, but interesting, perhaps.... PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 15:09, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Who linked to us this time? Compro01 (talk) 16:19, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Multiple sources, but the likely root cause was reddit here. For our tumble weed article: [List of scientists who became creationists after studying the evidence]. (talk) 17:13, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Upgrade to the software kind of removed the custom features of the editing page[edit]

Like wigo vote wraps and stuff. Any plans to get them back in or am I missing something? [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 18:49, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

What specifically do you mean? The "click here" to put vote tags around WIGOs worked for me just a little while ago - David Gerard (talk) 19:02, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
It didn't work for me yesterday and I noticed the interface was new, so thought it was an update or something. Turning off the beta features seems to be part of the solution somehow, not sure what else might have fixed it. [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 16:33, 7 December 2013 (UTC)


Is anyone else having caching problems? I need to do a hard refresh every time I visit a page. Is this something we can tweak in Squid? Occasionaluse (talk) 19:25, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

$wgLogo = Rwlogo_santa.png[edit]

RW Christmas.png Popular demand... Sterilesig.svgtalk 03:15, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Thankfully I'm in the US (leeching off Wikimedia's net connection) so can reasonably demur; you'll have to bug Trent. (Anyone from RW in SF? Bet I won't have time to see you!) - David Gerard (talk) 20:07, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Reference glitch[edit]

There's a common occurrence on articles (ie. Capitalism or Republican Party) having the first source hidden (see the HTML) from the Footnotes list and redirected to the second. It seems to be related to the placement of templates/photos. Osaka Sun (talk) 06:17, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Can you explain this a little more please? I'm looking at the source but I don't see what you mean. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 07:00, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
This has come up before, though it's been a while, so even I'd forgotten about it.
When a reference is placed in front of a template that uses DPL, MediaWiki breaks the ref numbers, assigning the same number to two different references. See this article. Check out both references, and you'll notice that while the first one is properly numbered [1], clicking on it brings up the second footnote in the list, which has been inexplicably misnumbered as [1].
You can avoid the problem by moving DPL-using templates so they come before any references (just ignore the edit summary in that example; I misstated what I was doing — it should say "putting a quote above the navbar breaks the reference numbering", not vice-versa). Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 10:14, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Mission Change Proposal Blocked as "Chinese spam"[edit]

I tried to post a proposal on the forum discussion about amending the mission, but my action was "automatically identified as harmful" and blocked after being identified as "Chinese spam." I have no idea what that means. The One They Call Mars (talk) 04:44, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

It got caught by an aggressive filter I had turned on because something slipped through the cracks on another I've been monitoring. Short story: you can go add your edit if you wish. I apologize for the inconvenience. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:58, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

yellow box wigo thing[edit]

It seems the latest update has disabled this, and possibly removed the option of enabling it again. I've looked under all the preference tabs, and I have not seen the option. If it isn't too much trouble, could we get the option back? It was useful for the longer WIGOs, when you aren't sure where they begin or end.--"Shut up, Brx." 23:35, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

The gadget preference page seems to have been lost, but if you're desperate do this. Peter mqzp 23:53, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Request Filter Editing Rights[edit]

I think I have a way to stop the user page linkspam. Zero (talk) 15:52, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

You can post your strategy here. The spammers aren't all that sophisticated — I doubt they're following this page so they can adapt behaviors. I've stopped the "Hi I'm Anna and I like eating mangos" spam. There is another strain that I don't see any pattern in that would distinguish those edits from legit ones. What do you see? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 16:10, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
I read this. I have the feeling I could adapt the first option a bit like this:
(!("autoconfirmed" in user_groups) & (user_editcount <= 1))
& (action == "edit")
& ((article_articleid == 0)|(length(added_links) >= 1))
& (article_namespace == 2) /* User space */

And that would immediately zap those who throw in a link in a userpage but edit nothing else. Probably easier than looking for a linebreak. Zero (talk) 16:22, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Good idea. I will add that filter and put it in log mode for a while to see how it works. I'll post the results in a few days. Thanks much. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 20:06, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
How's this working out? Zero (talk) 15:35, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
It seems like a good solution. It's better than the hack I put together. It missed something but I couldn't batch test it after Goonie deleted it so haven't been able to test more, but I think it's good. Thank you. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:54, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Some items are slipping through now it seems. Wonder what is making them special. Zero (talk) 15:25, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Edit filter false positive[edit]

User:Bloomingdedalus keeps getting blocked by the edit filter for some reason. I unblocked him once already but it then instantly reblocked him. I don't know how to fix this permanently. Any ideas? Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 10:14, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

It just happened to User:Tony Sidaway also, same problem. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 10:21, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm on it. Should be fixed. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 14:43, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I wrote the original version of that filter. I wonder what's causing it to be on the fritz lately. Zero (talk) 15:02, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I misplaced some parentheses :-) Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:35, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Looks good. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 17:32, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Another edit filter rule?[edit]

Can someone somehow add this to the edit filter? See Special:Contributions/‎ for the reason why. A condition like "a BoN posting a few keywords specific to that text" should be enough.--ZooGuard (talk) 11:39, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Lots of that guy's stuff is caught by a good filter Nx wrote. Looks like he mutated a little. I will write a regex for some of the new terms but I suck at it. Anyone here good at regex? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 11:52, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
I think that checking for the names the text is trying to promote should do the trick.--ZooGuard (talk) 12:00, 20 January 2014 (UTC)


Please ... Scream!! (talk) 23:53, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, what did happen to the gadgets?--P3A58NT86 03:22, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I am not Human[edit]

When I click My Watchlist I get a completely blank web page. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member Moderator 10:23, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

I bet it's the same problem - David Gerard (talk) 17:37, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I only add pages that I have edited/moved to my watchlist and I don't think that I've done that many unique ones. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? Moderator 11:00, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Checking Special:Watchlist/raw I have 3274 1916 entries. Redchuck.gif Генгисpillaging Moderator 14:14, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Watch out, they "fixed" mine by emptying it. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:52, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Special pages not loading[edit]

Lately, every time I try to load my watch list, any page history or my contributions list, the site seizes up on me and it won't load. Everything else seems fine. Anyone know anything about this? The Moose (talk) 07:37, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Inactive User Purge[edit]

The idea's kinda crossing my mind here since I see a lot of sign ups with no edits associated with them. Is there functionality within MediaWiki to purge a user who signs up but never edits? Like, after a month just knock them off? Zero (talk) 14:58, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

It's not clear this achieves anything at all - David Gerard (talk) 17:33, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Shorten query times. That's about it. Zero (talk) 20:23, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Spam acccounts, maybe. But PalMD and other old-timers can go years between visits. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 21:14, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
There was a three month gap between me registering at Wikipedia and making an edit. SophieWilderModerator 21:21, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
People might use an account solely to have a watchlist. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 21:27, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
First, we should turn off account creation at night. Then during the day when a new user registers, we can ask them to prove they are human. Occasionaluse (talk) 21:59, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Should we then proceed to block them regardless of what their answer is? - GrantC (talk) 22:02, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
(EC)Terrible idea, people may live in different time zones. (If it was sarcasm, consider yourself irritatedly squinted at.) Nullahnung (talk) 22:04, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Say if they have no edits or watchlist. It was more a suggestion than a real fleshed out idea. Zero (talk) 22:07, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I say we block the IPs of potentially conservative users from viewing the site. Then we can work on our essay Best New Rational Words and translate Origin of the Species to remove irrational bias. --Marlow (talk) 22:14, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I think we'd run out - as far as I can tell, the number of new rational words halves every century - David Gerard (talk) 22:30, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Don't forget about our project to debunk supernatural numbers. There's no evidence the supernatural exists! Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 10:23, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
OH MY GOD YOU'RE TT! - David Gerard (talk) 16:16, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm guessing that filtering editing rights successfully stopped the spammers from being able to complete their "create account, click to user page, add spam" script correctly, and they're now just ending the process at stage two. Just looking at Recent Changes there are a lot of FirstnameGarbledsurname spam accounts being created and instantly abandoned. --Gurneyslade (talk) 09:33, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Search Engines and the Intercom[edit]

I just Googled "Before it's news" and while RW was the top result (apart from the site itself), the result I got was this:

Before It's News - RationalWiki's_News‎
Nominations for the 2014 RationalMedia Board of Trustees election are now open. Please go here to nominate users and review who the candidates are.

That's not very good. Is there any way of excluding obvious search engine crawlers from getting the Intercom? Heresiarch (talk) 14:20, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Yes, you could omit it for browsers with whatever user agents, but who cares. At all. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 14:29, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Why don't you care? You want the best possible summary to be returned so users will visit your site. The Intercom is unlikely to supply such a summary. Heresiarch (talk) 14:35, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
The thought occurs that you think this only affects the Before It's News page. It doesn't. It will affect any page that has the intercom up for anonymous users when the search engine crawler loads it. That could mean even front page articles get pointless summaries. Heresiarch (talk) 09:34, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
It seems to depend on the quality of the article: if you Google for "" and time-limit the results to those pages updated in the past week, all of those articles will include the Intercom header (which can be confirmed if you view their Google cache copy), but very few of them have it quoted in their Google snippet. It seems to be the shortest stub articles that have the problem, presumably because Google is struggling to determine which section is best to quote. If the article was padded out and mentioned the phrase "Before It's News" a couple more times I think Google could probably get a handle on it. --Gurneyslade (talk) 11:09, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
I padded the BIN article out yesterday, and the Rationalwiki result for "before it's news" now quotes the opening sentences of the article. --Gurneyslade (talk) 08:33, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
The article's definitely a lot better, but there's no intercom to pollute search results at the moment. The same problem will probably recur next time there's something up there. Heresiarch (talk) 08:55, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
No? The "Nominations for the 2014 RationalMedia Board of Trustees election..." box is still showing up on every page, for me, and the Google cached version of the Before It's News article includes it. --Gurneyslade (talk) 09:22, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
This is the result of suppressing the default site description that Google was pulling from Because RW does not provide a description "meta" tag, Google simply takes the top of each page.
I suggest simply adding a "description" tag with the appropriate text. Will that work for pages that are not at the top domain address? Since the Google thing required manipulating meta-tags, the infrastructure should be already in place.
Or the intercom message can be shoved to the bottom of the page, like the left-side navigation box - it's kept in position by CSS.--ZooGuard (talk) 15:00, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Gone Really Slow![edit]

S L O W loading - horribly slow - just today (5th) Scream!! (talk) 23:40, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Tech blog post. We were getting absolutely hammered - David Gerard (talk) 09:47, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Who is in charge of RationalBeta?[edit]

Who is in charge of the testing wiki? It's getting filled with spam.--ZooGuard (talk) 11:28, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Probably just needs the abuse filter (assuming it has one) updated to match ours. The filters against user page spam in that pattern were set up here fairly recently. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:20, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, but the section title was not a rhetorical question. Who owns the domain? The Foundation? Is the site in use? If it is, it could use a database sync, and perhaps the techs can test MW upgrades and patches there first.--ZooGuard (talk) 14:09, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
It's an RWF domain, its purpose is testing new MediaWiki software. It's basically not doing anything right at this moment - David Gerard (talk) 16:00, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Odd occurrence[edit]

Not sure how big of an issue this is or could become, or what the cause could have been, but I was trying to make myself a bot when the user rights change didn't work (as shown in the link). Thus, I had to make myself a bot twice in a row for no apparent reason. Any ideas what could've happened and/or if it's a concern? Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 11:34, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Problems at ru-rw[edit]

Hello! Here we have "Database error". It put in appearance today when I renamed ru:user:Bertran/Бред into ru:user:Bertran/Delusion. Note that Cyrillic titled subspace pages in user namespace when hitting it return similar error long enough, but this isn't so critical.--Mr. B 11:44, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

There is a broken edit. The page is working correctly without it: [1] (3-day restriction).--Mr. B 22:27, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Has someone set an edit filter to "kill"?[edit]

Captcha fail for new users: "If you are seeing this instead of your message, type 2= before your message." That is, a messagebox without a message.

New users complain they can't edit pages. I created a test account to this end. Pass the captcha, you get a message box with that in it. Giving the new account "autoconfirmed" doesn't help either.

Before I dive in with a spanner ... has someone just set an edit filter way too harsh? - David Gerard (talk) 18:38, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

At least none of them have tripped up the proximity mines yet. - Grant (Talk) 18:48, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
New account created, no problem. Old FireFox, linux fedora. Flux gate gamma (talk) 19:01, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
We have a few edit filters that are set to "kill," specifically our anti-nazi troll filters and some of our spam filters. Is there any more technical information you can give that may help figure out which one it might be? Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 19:10, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I found my test account unable to post anything. I'll just try again ... - David Gerard (talk) 21:24, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Hello, test account here! - Divatest (talk) 21:27, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Right. The test account could add text here. It couldn't create its own userpage, with any text I tried - it seemed to pass the captcha, then get the message I quote above - a Template:Messagebox with no message - David Gerard (talk) 21:28, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I've edited several pages and created a userpage without any issues so far. - Dog-Shaped Robot Buddy (talk) 22:25, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
have you looked at the permissions for your test account ? Hamster (talk) 22:32, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I just tried to de-red my user page with the text "Consider a piece of steel 25% the size of a Swingline staple." and got the stop sign with "please type 2=" message. Two tries of that, no joy. Flux gate gamma (talk) 00:24, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Isn't it Filter 24? I'm not versed in the coding for these things, but from the notes it looks like it's supposed to stop any new account creating their own userpage before making other edits. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:41, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Yep. Just tried a test account: you can't create a userpage until after editing a mainspace page. This seems like cutting off our nose to spite our face. It's pretty normal for prospective editors who've made the decision to create an account to want to post something about themselves, or anything else they choose to put on their userpage, before engaging with articles. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:52, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Right you are. Random article page edited, de-red succeeded. Flux gate gamma (talk) 01:03, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
That sounds like not a good idea for a filter. I can see the idea - stopping one variety of spambot - but at the very least, the messagebox has to tell people how to actually get around it. We do need contributors not to be instantly repelled and think they're not allowed to edit. Who put it into place? - David Gerard (talk) 14:05, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
24 trips when a new user has no edits AND attempts adding an external link. Were you tripping it, you'd also be asking to be unblocked. I'll check the logs for the rest of them. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 14:51, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
24 was checking a disjunctive incorrectly. It should only act on the first edit creating a page in userspace that contains an external link. Should be working correctly now. I don't want the message box telling the user what to do or spammers would do it. It's kept us spam free for months and there aren't many false positives. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:14, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
I think we may have just not heard about them - it's an error very like something is just broken - David Gerard (talk) 15:59, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Aaaaand it works! Thank you! - Divatest (talk) 16:08, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Ya, the filter was incorrectly checking whether someone was adding an external link to their userpage or creating a userpage. They're different things, eh? We should permit one's first edit to be to his userpage. The compromise is prohibiting that first edit from including a link. I was surprised to see that there was only one false positive in the last 3 weeks. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 16:17, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
There would have been at least two in the past couple of days: the user reporting this, and my test. How did you count one in three weeks? - David Gerard (talk) 21:29, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
I assumed the people tripping it yesterday were you geeks. Anyhow, it looks like it's behaving. I'm a truly great developer. No problems with my code. At all. So good. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 22:14, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Anyone who suggests otherwise will be banned by the edit filter. - Grant (Talk) 18:52, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Complete substitution of templates?[edit]

Is there a way to "subst:" a template in a way that also expands all embedded templates until only normal wiki-code remains? I'm asking because of Template:Welcome in particular.--ZooGuard (talk) 12:25, 15 February 2014 (UTC)


Is it me, or RW is slower than usual?--ZooGuard (talk) 21:39, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

As you typed that we were getting hammered, so yes. Bottleneck was MySQL again, actually doing a lot of work. We're thinking about how to expand things; mediawiki-l suggests a box just for MySQL with an arseload of memory - David Gerard (talk) 15:52, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Unable to fix an error on Michael Savage Meatballs section, due to filtered words.[edit]

This discussion was moved to talk:Michael Savage. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:05, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
That's one of my filters. I'll look into it. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 09:26, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
I will re-program the filter when I get the chance. It needs a new rule format added to it, and that will take some time to do and test. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 09:31, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
The issue is that the Troll-B-Gone filter (and all edit filters, really) are blind when it comes to discerning what is a well-intentioned edit. Therefore, the words "faggot" and "Fag" were filtered when some vandal(s) decided it would be really cool to throw them about as an anti-gay slur. That filter has remained active and disrupted a few instances since when somebody tried to perform said action. Unfortunately, the filter cannot discern the fact that the edit to the Savage page was trying to be useful, and thus disallowed the edit based on the merit of the words alone. There's not much that can be done for such false positives, other than for us to extend our apologies for the inconvenience or disable the filter. In this case, that filter has prevented a lot of headaches, so I am disinclined to go with the latter. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 10:00, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
&#102;&#97;&#103; renders as fag - David Gerard (talk) 13:57, 20 February 2014 (UTC)


Is there a filter to catch new users creating links on the first edit ? have a look at User talk:Ben898‎; Hamster (talk) 08:11, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Yes, but it was limited to the userpage namespace. This is the first instance of spammers using their talkpages, so I've added that namespace to the rule. Thanks buddy. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 13:27, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
User:RandiP35xqnviv = what if anything should I do with these if found ? Hamster (talk) 18:58, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Just delete them. I'll check and see why that one got through. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 19:33, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Upgraded to 1.19.10, please test[edit]

I've just upgraded English RW to 1.19.10 - please just check stuff doesn't do anything weird. I did this by a fairly drastic method, involving creating a changes list by semi-automated methods. Hopefully I didn't do anything conceptually ridiculous; I can roll it back easily enough. Please kick all your favourite bits of the wiki - David Gerard (talk) 11:30, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

"Preferences" seem to have changed. In particular the one for seeing a bit of a page or diff when hovering over it on RC etc. Scream!! (talk) 13:37, 14 January 2014 (UTC)(copied from Salkoon Bar)
The same as above, but longer: In the Preferences, the "Gadgets" tab is gone, including the ones I used. :( (The clock, editing the "zero section", etc.) --ZooGuard (talk) 22:22, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
hurm. sounds like the devs did something "helpful" - David Gerard (talk) 08:42, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
HotCat is completely gone. Some of my /vector buttons no longer work, but I can work on fixing that on my own. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 09:20, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
The article rating/prioritising gadget is gone. So it's not all bad news. SophieWilderModerator 10:03, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Fucking thing. I'll try to have a poke at it this evening - David Gerard (talk) 17:33, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Any progress with gadgets and signatures?--ZooGuard (talk) 11:27, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Sig weirdness?[edit]

Heven't toyed with my signature in months, just signed a Welcome post in the usual manner, it rendered as {{SUBST:PSALsig}} 13:45, 14 January 2014 (UTC) . PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 13:46, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Had the same problem. I guess mediawiki has stopped putting the signature text through the parser or something before shoving it in to pages with the latest update. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 14:38, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
By default, MW doesn't permit templates from anywhere but template space. I suspect the upgrade overwrote the mod Trent or Nx made permitting transcluding from userspace etc. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:05, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Oh yours isn't in userspace. Beats me. - Nutayay
Seems to fix itself after a while -- the sig I made at the top of the thread was wrong, now it's right. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 15:15, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like Nutty Roux — mostly wrong, but so very very right. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:56, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't work at first, but the next time it gets saved it fixes itself. Allow me to demonstrate (check the history): Peter mqzp 22:35, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
I think this behavior makes it more likley that people will rage and thus we should keep it. Hipocrite 17:00, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
What seems to happen is that when I sign ~~~~ it gets my signature from my Preferences and posts the raw code for that. Only when the page is edited again does the {{subst:MySig}} transclude the actual MySig file. So what used to be a single step now requires two. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 14:44, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

My signature stopped working when everyone else's started working again. Any ideas? WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:04, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Bugzilla:23172, the patch probably still applies. -- Nx / talk 21:15, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

PS, my sig is borken.[edit]

Yup. Wasn't me, must have been one of you tech monkeys. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:53, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

It's not just you. It is the "SUBST" from your preferences; first the raw text of your sig is posted and if you have a SUBST then it is only after the page has been saved again that it is transcluded. So a page needs to be edited twice for it to work. Several people have complained but the wiki-gnomes are still asleep. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. Moderator 10:35, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
The other option is not to use SUBST at all. Human, if you change your signature preference from (I presume) {{SUBST:User:Human/sig}} to just {{User:Human/sig}}, it should work. But it will transclude the /sig page as a template rather than posting the code from it. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:52, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Why should I have to change anything that I was not alerted to? Screw the techs, let them get it right. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:27, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Mine's been doing the same, so I've drop the SUBST. However I have a vague memory that direct, rather than substituted, sigs cause a much higher... something or other (I don't speak tech monkey) to the server or bandwidth or witchcraft in a box that makes the site run. -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 08:00, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Wasting CPU cycle according to Nx. I doubt that anybody else cares much. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:34, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Remote code execution vulnerability[edit]

You should probably upgrade to 1.19.11: -- Nx / talk 21:12, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Yyyyessss - David Gerard (talk) 23:55, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

MW 1.19.11, subst:signature patch[edit]

I just upped us to MW 1.19.11 and reapplied Nx's patch for subst signatures. Could people please see if this makes any difference to the sig subst problem?

As for gadgets, I'll poke random things and see what happens - David Gerard (talk) 19:29, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Sigs don't seem to be working still. Peter mqzp 20:22, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, batbuggery! So much for the patch - David Gerard (talk) 20:36, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
The patch should work, just tested it on a clean 1.19.11 install. -- Nx / talk 21:35, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Sig is broken. Please fix. Or email us with the fix to apply. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:28, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
There is nothing to fix. The patch works. -- Nx / talk 09:36, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Testing. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:55, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
The "patch" is ugly, but I guess it makes us look less stupid once there has been a subsequent edit. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:56, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
So anyway, Nx, you are wrong. How can I fix my sig to comply with the current version? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:57, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
You misunderstood. The patch works. I don't know why it doesn't work on RW. Maybe it wasn't applied properly. I can't help you with that. -- Nx / talk 08:37, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
What happens right now is that when I sign, it's half broken (it says SUBST human sig cruft), once another edit is made it "heals". How can I fix my sig to make it work properly? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:39, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
You can remove the SUBST part to make it work normally. It's what I did. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:32, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Stubby! That's what I call "technical help". ħumanUser talk:Human 01:46, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

The Gadgets don't seem to be showing up[edit]

Just checked my user preferences, and I noticed the Gadgets tab doesn't show up. We still have the definitions page, so we should be seeing something, so I'm not sure what's going on. Arcane (talk) 00:41, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Side effect of the same MediaWiki update that botched the signature templates. I'll move this section to the appropriate place to prevent auto-archiving. This page isn't managed very well.--ZooGuard (talk) 11:53, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
Oh, and in case it's unclear, I also feel the lack of gadgets, especially the "zero section" editing link and the easy way to purge pages. Not to mention HotCat.--ZooGuard (talk) 15:56, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

"Holocaust trolling" error… what?[edit]

Okay, so I was on the "Family Values" article, and I pointed out that Rush Limbaugh had been divorced/remarried four times. As I am a new user, it asked me for the captcha kinda thingy, which I entered (correctly, I believe). It then said that my action was automatically seen as harmful, and was "holocaust trolling". What's going on? Cal McCallum (talk) 01:05, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Just so you know, my edit was as follows-
"Also worth pointing out is the fact that a certain [[Rush Limbaugh|notable conservative radio host]] who has made a lot of noise about this subject ::<ref></ref> has also been remarried four times. <ref></ref>"
I also tried to do it again, but to no avail. Why? Cal McCallum (talk) 01:09, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
That's the edit filter again. It's been making a lot of false positives lately. Hold on one sec... Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 01:15, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
I made you autopatrolled, which I think will fix it? I dunno. Post back here if you're still seeing the problem. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 01:20, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
Nah, still saying the same thing. Cal McCallum (talk) 01:32, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
Sorry about that. We had another onslaught of Neo-Nazi vandal attempts last night, so I re-enabled it and forgot to turn it back on. It needs a rules format change, which I haven't had time to work on. However, for now, it is disabled so go ahead and try one more time. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 01:46, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
So, just curious, which word set it off? 666.666.666.666- Hail Satan 10:51, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
I'd tell you, however, that filter is set as not viewable to the public for a reason. If I told people what criteria are in that filter, then the Nazi vandals would know how to go around it. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 19:07, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
Okay, fair enough. 666.666.666.666- Hail Satan 23:00, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Are we ever ...[edit]

... gonna get the "Gadgets" back in preferences? Scream!! (talk) 15:09, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

If I can work out WTF happened in 1.19.4->1.19.10 - David Gerard (talk) 15:44, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Forbidden /w/index.php[edit]

A couple of times in the last day or so I've gone to log out while viewing a user contributions page and got "Forbidden You don't have permission to access /w/index.php on this server." There have been a few other types of action that bring on this message, but I forget the specifics. Might be special pages, such as history diffs, with similar behavior...

Going somewhere else, such as the Main page, fixes things so I can log out gracefully. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 04:51, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

This will probably be the dance of the servers yesterday, as we tried to get the second one to see all the files that were on the first. We have a bodgy workaround, should be more functional now - David Gerard (talk) 09:09, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I figured as much. Not a game-stopper for me, will wait and see... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:56, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
The workaround doesn't seem to work for me. I get the same error message when trying to edit certain articles. No ideas which. E.g., the article on Hovind sueing the wiki triggers it, the article on homosexuality doesn't. Yesterday I also got 403 errors when trying to look at contribution or block logs, or when rolling back edits (the rollback went through, but a 403 error page loaded for me). Octo8 (talk) 18:52, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like a cache in the way, serving up an old result. What are you editing on, who's your ISP, etc? - David Gerard (talk) 20:11, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
I am unable to edit the new lawsuit article or its talkpage. Running Chrome on Linux, big corporate American ISP. TeenageWasteland (talk) 20:53, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Works for me now, OTOH. Running Firefox on Ubuntu, 1&1 Germany as ISP. Octo8 (talk) 20:56, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
I just ran into this one myself. I also tried it after clearing my cache, and I tried it on my laptop browser (which has never loaded RW before). For what it's worth, I'm in Ontario (Canada) and my ISP is TekSavvy (using Rogers infrastructure). - Grant (Talk) 21:19, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Does it occur only when your logged in? Does logging in or out fix it? Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:25, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
The first time I attempted to edit, I was logged in. When I tried on my laptop, I didn't bother logging in first. Logging out and back in again on either machine made no difference, even when clearing my cache between each attempt. I was briefly unable to log in again as well (receiving the same error), though that happened only once before I got through successfully. - Grant (Talk) 21:32, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
I still couldn't edit the talk page of the Hovind suing article, so I logged out and I could. I had to clear the cache before I could login again. Now after login/logout and cache cleared things seem to work fine. Octo8 (talk) 22:25, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
I logged out/in and cleared my cache again, and this time the problem appears to be solved from what I can tell so far. - Grant (Talk) 22:31, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Scratch that. The issue occurred again the third time I clicked the "Edit" button. - Grant (Talk) 22:32, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have experienced it too on some articles. The thing is, when I switch to editing those articles on my phone, it works fine. When I go back to my laptop I get the 403 forbidden issue again. Nullahnung (talk) 02:04, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Aaaaand I just saw it myself. If I wasn't at w*rk right now I'd dive in and see what various logs said ... but I'll keep trying to invoke it - David Gerard (talk) 12:13, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
I got a 403 forbidden this morning when trying to mark an edit patrolled and when clicking a red link. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:24, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Run RW on Nginx for a faster, more reliable performance and save money[edit]

I saw David's recent message (hey David) to the Mediawiki list about server speed issues and I sent him some replies but I didn't get any responses back. So I am posting my messages here for him and for others as well. You guys don't need 4 or 5 virtual machines and $3,600/year in donations or more if you're running NGinx instead of Apache.

About a year ago I was having CPU problems with Mediawiki while running Apache on a shared server. This was a reply I received from one of the knowledgeable people on the list:

 I run a wiki an order of magnitude larger than yours on a 2GB Linode. You
 should have no issue on a $20/mo 512MB Linode provided you're running a
 modern PHP stack.
 My recommendation is NGINX, PHP-FPM with APC and the built-in mediawiki
 file cache. If you're not getting the performance you want you could also
 run Varnish or set up a separate Linode for memcached. You could also
 place the wiki behind Cloudflare if you're serving a lot of media files on
 page, if not I don't think it would be beneficial.
 (name withheld)

NGinx is superior to Apache in certain ways (see performance comparison) and can service Mediawiki websites a lot faster and more reliably under bigger traffic loads. Our site is now using Nginx on our site and we have no CPU issues even under higher than average traffic. Please note that the person above said his wiki was orders of magnitude bigger. So instead of Apache, please use Nginx and PHP-FPM with APC and make sure the Mediawiki File cache is enabled. Here's how to set up NGinx for Mediawiki. I predict you can run Rational Wiki easily on one $40/month Linode machine (2GB ram) which will only cost $480/year. Do this and monitor the performance. RW's traffic is increasing according to Alexa so the sooner this is done the better.

If you need help in completing this setup, please ask people on the list. I will be glad to provide additional advice or with his permission I can give you the contact of the person who sent me the message I quoted above and he could also be of help. --Df5611 (talk) 18:31, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Have you read this? A single 2GB machine could not possibly handle upwards of 1000 connections per second. A single testimonial like this could not convince me of the reliability of your proposal. (Incoming argument from authority) In my experience as a developer of network infrastructure applications, allocating a single meg of RAM to each person is going to have the system drop like crazy. Zero (talk) 19:29, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't think your correspondent knew what he was talking about, though feel free to try it out and get back to us. Mediawiki's problems are all to do with its atrocious "parser." It's basically the only web app in the world that's CPU bound. Swapping out the webserver isn't going to do much to fix that. It's possible you could do something clever by creating a hotspot version of PHP that cleverly optimised the mass of regexp lurking at its core, but it'd be much easier just to fix Mediawiki. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:46, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I am always willing to explore all options, but as others have pointed out the trick to getting things to work under higher and higher traffic load seems to be sticking as my layers as we can to limit the need to ever run any mediawiki functions. Hence the MULTIPLE layers of caching we have implemented. Tmtoulouse (talk) 19:51, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
This is the general answer for MediaWiki - David Gerard (talk) 12:11, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Zero, yes I have seen the link. Have YOU seen this performance comparison link that I posted before? Do you think it proves nothing or that people's own successful experiences with MW and Nginx mean nothing? On this page see the 3rd graph for failed requests for Apache and none for Nginx. Here are some quotes from NGinx's "Why use it" page. This one is about concurrent connections:
Both [Apache and Nginx] are capable of serving a huge number of requests per second, but Apache's performance start decreasing as you add more concurrent connections whereas Nginx's performance almost doesn't drop!
That is directly relevant for 700 connections/second, right? How's this quote:
I ran a simple test against Nginx v0.5.22 and Apache v2.2.8 using ab (Apache's benchmarking tool). During the tests, I monitored the system with vmstat and top. The results indicate that Nginx outperforms Apache when serving static content. Both servers performed best with a concurrency of 100. Apache used four worker processes (threaded mode), 30% CPU and 17MB of memory to serve 6,500 requests per second. Nginx used one worker, 15% CPU and 1MB of memory to serve 11,500 requests per second.
Did you say 1000 requests per second? Here's more evidence:
Both servers are capable of serving a huge number of requests per second, but Apache’s performance start decreasing as you add more concurrent connections whereas Nginx’s performance almost doesn’t drop!
And more from Web Server Performance Comparison (dreamhost):
Nginx clearly dominates in the raw number of requests per second it can serve. At higher levels of concurrency, it can handle fewer requests per second, but still can serve double what Lighttpd does (which was already doing nearly 4x what Apache was able to do).
Make sure you see the graph on that page. Apache is dark blue and Nginx is light yellow. See the huge difference? In particular see the X-axis at 1000 for the number of concurrent connections.
And more evidence:
The difference under a low load is negligible, but with 25 concurrent users, Nginx was noticeably faster than Apache.
What more evidence do you need? All evidence points towards the possibility that using NGinx instead of Apache will result in better (not perfect) performance, a faster site that can service more traffic using less hardware.
In order to claim that NGinx would have the same performance as that of Apache, you would have to provide counter evidence. Personal opinions dont matter.
I never said MW was perfectly written. Here's how to setup NGinx for Mediawiki. If you guys don't want to try a new method because you dont know how to or dont want to bother trying, or because of whatever reason, so be it. --Df5611 (talk) 22:01, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
I see one testimonial from the company who wrote the server itself regarding mediawiki (bias is obvious). Then I see a bunch of other empty benching and connection tests. I'm incredibly skeptical of this approach. That being said, I'd entertain the idea if I had the dump of the database from RW at hand. Zero (talk) 22:13, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

At present the bottleneck appears to be MediaWiki's fat arse, not Apache's. I am tempted to use fcgi, 'cos it keeps memory use under firm control and fails a bit more gracefully when overloaded - with MediaWiki running in fcgi, the nginx and Apache setups are much closer and one can then compare the overhead of the web server itself, and move from one to the other more easily (since you'd need to do that step for a conversion anyway). But nginx is certainly an option for serious consideration, as well as the l33t h0tn3ss - David Gerard (talk) 12:16, 5 March 2014 (UTC)