RationalWiki:Technical support/Archive23

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This is an archive page, last updated 17 March 2022. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Spam on the test wiki[edit]

I just checked the test wiki (which, unsurprisingly, doesn’t seem to have been checked by any users for a while) and there’s a few posts by a spammer there and I don’t seem to have any ability to remove it or similarly ban the user. Is there anyone here who has the required authority to do these actions on the test wiki? LeucippusSalva veritate 01:21, 4 September 2021 (UTC)

I removed it now. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 08:59, 11 September 2021 (UTC)
... and now you have the test-wiki rights I were given, too, in case it happens again or you want to try something out. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 09:03, 11 September 2021 (UTC)
Thanks. LeucippusSalva veritate 15:27, 11 September 2021 (UTC)

Add language-code subdomains (and homepages)?[edit]

I know RationalWiki is primarily in English, but articles on other languages do exist. Wikipedia uses subdomains with an ISO 639 language code (e.g. en.wikipedia.org or de.wikipedia.org) to divide Wikipedia into separate "Wikipedias" for each language. I'm not sure how RationalWiki currently manages articles in languages other than English, but at the very least the default URLs for English-language RationalWiki articles do not start with en. as they do on Wikipedia.

One approach to adopting Wikipedia-style subdomains could be setting up subdomains for languages in which RationalWiki currently has articles, and then automatically redirecting raw rationalwiki.org URLs, e.g. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/RationalWiki to the .en subdomain, e.g. https://en.rationalwiki.org/wiki/RationalWiki. This seems to be the behavior Wikipedia uses, where, e.g. https://wikipedia.org/wiki/RationalWiki redirects to, e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RationalWiki, though which Wikipedia language the redirect uses may be contingent on other factors.

The main benefits of using language-code subdomains would be that:

  1. Using the en. subdomain for English-language articles would emphasize the multilingual nature of RationalWiki;
  2. Using other language subdomains, e.g. es. for Spanish, would allow RationalWiki to have Main Pages for languages other than English;
  3. Using the same URL schema as Wikipedia could facilitate the use of MediaWiki features such as the "Other Languages" page (e.g. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/RationalWiki#/languages);
  4. Using the same URL schema as Wikipedia makes it easy to switch between the websites if you want to compare articles; and
  5. Using subdomains rather than country-specific TLDs eliminates the need for registering additional per-country domains (as well as categorizing by language rather than by country).

As a general idea, how does this seem? If it seems both feasible and advisable, what might be involved in implementing it? — ThisIsMyRealName (talk) 12:16, 10 September 2021 (UTC)

The Russia subdomain already exists.[1] It is the only language other than English with a sufficient mass of articles to warrant a subdomain. Bongolian (talk) 16:54, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
What about redirecting to en.rationalwiki.org for English-language articles?
Even if there is extremely limited coverage for certain languages, there are still certain benefits (see above) to putting articles in those languages on language-specific subdomains in order to match the MediaWiki convention. If the coverage is small enough not to warrant a Main Page in a given language, the base domain could redirect to either an index or just the English-language Main Page, at least until an editor in that language requests to create one.
Again, one reason to build out this infrastructure is to encourage further multi-lingual contributions. Not having the infrastructure to begin with just creates a chicken-and-egg problem that gets in the way of achieving "sufficient mass" in the first place.
ThisIsMyRealName (talk) 19:48, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
A problem with that is that each language subdomain needs to be patrolled by at least one person who preferably has some fluency in the language otherwise it will fill up with spam — The recent changes on the subdomains don't percolate out to the main domain. Bongolian (talk) 20:00, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
Sorry I took forever to respond, but, yeah, that does sound like there would some administrative issues to figure out along with the technical ones. On a related note, I just noticed that RationalWiki has an article on "NaturalNews" (no space), while English Wikipedia has its corresponding article listed under "Natural News" (with a space). — ThisIsMyRealName (talk) 18:49, 24 October 2021 (UTC)

First-party "Dark Mode" support?[edit]

There's been an open feature request on WikiMedia for first-party Dark Mode support for over a decade, but little progress seems to have been made on it, due to, as far as I can tell, bureaucracy.

The suggested workaround is for individual users to use a browser extension such as Stylus with the CSS overrides created by Volker E.. I have this setup for *.wikipedia.org, *.wikimedia.org, *.mediawiki.org and *.rationalwiki.org, and it generally works on all these websites.

The two main disadvantages of this "workaround" are that:

  1. It requires the end user to know about it, rather than "just working" when the end user has Dark Mode enabled on their device;
  2. Because it uses a CSS @import, the override CSS takes a second to load, and consequently the website flashes white (i.e. with the original CSS) each time a new page loads; and
  3. Because it depends on a browser extension, it may be difficult or impossible to use on some mobile browsers (regardless of whether the MediaWiki mobile layout is used).

There is at least one MediaWiki extension that adds Dark Mode support to a MediaWiki instance, but I have zero experience with it, so I can't comment on the setup process or its compatibility. It may involve essentially setting up the Volker E. CSS override on the instance backend, which could solve the three problems listed above. Ideally it would support the @prefers-color-scheme CSS media feature in some capacity, which would make Dark Mode to some degree automatic on systems that support this property.

Could the people involved in the technical means for MediaWiki extensions investigate this feature? It would be nice to have. — ThisIsMyRealName (talk) 12:41, 10 September 2021 (UTC)

We have a dark mode gadget. I'll admit it's visually pretty horrid though (it's mostly just color inversion from what I can tell). If you want, you can make your own (custom CSS is easy enough to set up for testing - just go to common.css) and link it here so one of us can set it up as the new dark mode gadget theme. -- Techpriest (talk) 15:34, 11 September 2021 (UTC)
Hi @Techpriest—Sorry it took me a second to get back to you. I just tried testing my tweaked version of the Dark Mode I linked using my common.css, and the version I have there looks basically fine to me. If you want, you could try testing it in your own common.css, and if you don't run into any other problems, you could apply it globally.
There's an inline comment in the CSS linking to the GitHub Gist where I put the Dark Mode version of the logo; you can download the PSD version if you want to modify the masking between the inverted and non-inverted parts of the logo, and if you do apply this CSS globally you should host the Dark Mode logo on RationalWiki rather than linking to the GitHub copy.
I'm not sure what you mean by a "gadget". The CSS I've been testing just enables automatically based on the OS/browser preference using the CSS selector @media prefers-color-scheme: dark. If you do have a toggle button of some sort, I would recommend having the default setting be deferring to prefers-color-scheme, with an option for individual users to be able to override their OS/browser setting, rather than requiring users to toggle Dark Mode manually.
ThisIsMyRealName (talk) 20:52, 24 October 2021 (UTC)
No problem. Yeah a gadget is basically a toggle we have in the settings (go to Special:Preferences, Gadgets tab) to enable it. It allows us to load small bits of css and javascript on every page if the user enables it. Anyway, when testing it, it seems to look fine? As for deference to prefers-color-scheme, this is something I'm not 100% on. The disappointing thing is that a lot of browsers don't really have an easy toggle for prefers-color-scheme unless we use Inspect Element to force it on. Both Firefox and Chrome (the two main browsers I consider worth testing) both determine this at the OS level, rather than providing easy toggles. This is... less than ideal as you might've guessed. Anyway, I think the logo works fine. Unless you want to do a few more modifications, I'm planning on replacing our current dark mode gadget with this. -- Techpriest (talk) 21:47, 24 October 2021 (UTC)
Hi again @Techpriest,
Regarding prefers-color-scheme, for basically all browsers that support it, this setting is inherited from the operating system, and the main difficulty is when someone is using an operating system that doesn't provide the setting to the browser in the first place. The main examples I know of are older versions of Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, as well as certain Linux shells that use a per-application dark mode, rather than a global one. (I'm not terribly familiar with Android, but my understanding is that it does support prefers-color-scheme in more recent versions.)
Therefore, providing an override toggle rather than an absolute toggle (or, ideally, a three-way choice of defer, light, and dark) would allow the supermajority of users on browsers that support a user-specified global OS dark mode to see the CSS matching their already-specified dark-mode preference without having to log in. And in general this preference (or toggle) should be in a prominent location like the "Tools" sidebar, and it should use a cookie to store the preference if a user is not logged in, so that non-registered users can take advantage of it.
Again, Dark Mode is an accessibility issue, and because of this, the "safe" option should be the one that respects existing user preferences, rather than forcing them to go through a rigmarole of registering and digging through the settings on every. single. site that they visit. As someone who uses Dark mode 24/7, I find it deeply annoying to have to register and dig through the preferences on every website, rather than having websites respect the fact that my browser is already telling them that I want a Dark Mode UI.
The main issue with the override toggle is that there isn't yet a widely available one-size-fits-all way for websites to implement it, so it takes some JavaScript knowhow that I personally don't have, and any existing templates for doing so may have licensing conflicts, though this is less of an issue for deployment than it is for publishing. An example that seems to have the functionality I'm strongly proposing can be found here, though it will need to be adapted to MediaWiki; you will probably want to use the CSS I provided rather than their boilerplate filters; and you'll need to figure out the best way to put the toggle into the interface (again, I suggest the sidebar).
ThisIsMyRealName (talk) 22:25, 24 October 2021 (UTC)
defer is considered deprecated. Anyway I'm looking through stuff and it seems its possible but it'll turn quite messy. I'll see if I can get it working. -- Techpriest (talk) 12:25, 25 October 2021 (UTC)
Hi @Techpriest — I'm not sure what you're referring to with defer being deprecated. Do you mean prefers-color-scheme: no-preference? I was referring to a more abstract concept of "deferring" being, you know, actually using the value of prefers-color-scheme rather than ignoring it.
That is, the three preference options presented in the user interface would be:
  • "match system theme" (the default, i.e. respecting the value of prefers-color-scheme),
  • "force light mode" (i.e. ignoring the value of prefers-color-scheme), and
  • "force dark mode" (also ignoring the value of prefers-color-scheme).
Far from being deprecated, prefers-color-scheme is quite new: Safari, Firefox, and Chrome all only started supporting in in 2019. Anyway, you can read more about the intent behind prefers-color-scheme at the W3C draft specification, and you can find more commentary from Google here.
I've been methodically explaining Dark Mode and prefers-color-scheme to people for the past six months or so, and it never ceases to surprise me the extent to which people simply do not understand how it works. I ended up creating a form letter that I send to webmasters, but it's still quite an exhausting process. — ThisIsMyRealName (talk) 06:47, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
P.S. apologies if pinging you in a salutation comes across as at all aggressive. I don't have strong understanding of how notifications for comment threads work on MediaWiki, as opposed to how they work on, say, mailman or GitHub. My understanding is that if you ping me, it will make sure that I get an email notification, whereas just following the page means I have to visit RationalWiki in order to check my messages. (There are probably complicated user preferences around this.) So please feel free to ping me if it will help make sure I see your response in a timely fashion.

Edit Filter Requests (Pinned)[edit]

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

If you see someone spamming links and so forth and would like one of the techs to do something, report it here. E.g., if some spammer keeps linking to "bigdick.cum" creates a bunch of usernames that are all variations of "Smegma" or something like that, let us know here CorruptUser 20:57, 8 November 2021 (UTC)


Can an edit filter be set up to block 'AlexRanking' in light of recent sock attacks? Andrew5 (talk) 16:00, 13 October 2021 (UTC)

Already did... CorruptUser 16:22, 13 October 2021 (UTC)
You can probably block a ton of Mikey's impersonations too, especially if you could block usernames that block both e.g. "Michael" and "Prescott" from being used in the same username. Plutocow (talk) 16:26, 13 October 2021 (UTC)
I could block a ton of trolls by adding the letter "e" to the block filter as well. "Michael" is a common name, not blocking it. CorruptUser 16:37, 13 October 2021 (UTC)
No, I'm only advocating blocking usernames that both contain "Michael" and "Prescott", not ones that contain only one of them individually. Same with the other people Mikey impersonates. Plutocow (talk) 16:46, 13 October 2021 (UTC)
I think the edit filters support regex, using that will allow you to require both names to block. For instance:
Should block various combinations of "Michael" and "Prescott" in the name, but won't block "Michael" alone (or "Prescott"). PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 16:48, 13 October 2021 (UTC)
Which would work until he creates "MikalPreskot". CorruptUser 18:21, 13 October 2021 (UTC)
Which at least is not a direct impersination. Plutocow (talk) 18:34, 13 October 2021 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"Karajou" may need to be added to the filter as well. Plutocow (talk) 22:49, 18 October 2021 (UTC)

Keep in mind that persistent vandals stick to one theme for a time, then change the pattern. Blocking any one pattern while many others are possible simply results in another being used. So I think it's best to limit filtering to more general-purpose offensive names. Otherwise it simply results in a long list of vandal memes being compiled in filter-list form. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 23:06, 18 October 2021 (UTC)
Well, there are ways around this type of issue as well (range-blocking VPN IPs for a short time if someone like Ken is abusing them, which would require Checkuser of course, and Bayesian/neural network bots to auto-block based on patterns ala Cluebot NG). Not exactly something I imagine will happen here, in a site that doesn't even have mobile mode in 2021. :p PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 00:59, 19 October 2021 (UTC)
Alright, I'm loving some of the edit filters I've altered lately, even added a new one. Just love seeing spammers get flustered when they can't figure out how to spam... CorruptUser 19:40, 28 October 2021 (UTC)


Can an edit filter be set up against “bald”? It’s been plaguing RW recently and needs to end. I don’t see too many false positives but just in case TPA can be kept on during blocks.Andrew5 mobile (talk) 10:55, 19 October 2021 (UTC)

mass delete[edit]

does one mass delete/revert a trolls contributions? i sure it can be done but not seeing an option for it. AMassiveGay (talk) 08:48, 19 October 2021 (UTC)

There are MediaWiki extensions to make it easier. "Nuke" is bundled with the software but not enabled on RW. It allows quick deletion of all pages newly created by a user or IP. Could save some clicking to enable it. --ApooftGnegiol (talk)
There's no good "mass revert" option available with the most known extensions, it seems. And the most complete possible alternative solution, which is to use a moderation system where edits are only added after being accepted, would be far too large a change.
The "Nuke" extension seems a good way to reduce frustration from trolling at least a little, though, and I think such frustration is the main cause of bad sysop decisions when it happens. Making it easier to delete newly created pages with fewer clicks when many are made can seldom be abused in any big way, looking at page creation patterns on this wiki. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 13:03, 19 October 2021 (UTC)

The (capture) (/capture) thing does not work.[edit]

BeardOfZeus (talk) 01:34, 26 October 2021 (UTC)

Just instead of the () in the title it is instead <>. BeardOfZeus (talk) 01:35, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
It's been broken for a long time now, just use archive.today for any Conservapedia captures. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 13:38, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
Where is this listed? -- Techpriest (talk) 21:13, 9 November 2021 (UTC)
AFAIK <capture> depended on various bots, most recently CaptureBot4 which stopped running in 2016. Christopher (talk) 23:46, 9 November 2021 (UTC)

Purely functional programming languages[edit]

This discussion was moved to RationalWiki:Saloon bar.

Walrus spam[edit]

Can someone update the filter to stop this guy? Since they only make the same handful of edits across multiple pages, it should be easy. Plutocow (talk) 00:23, 1 November 2021 (UTC)

Oh and can someone temporarily protect my userpage? The vandalism there has been pretty intense.American time change coming up November 7, Andrew5 (talk) 00:39, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
Done, let us know if you want the protection to expire or if infinite autoconfirmed is fine. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 00:44, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
I think infinite is fine, my alternate account is also autoconfirmed. American time change coming up November 7, Andrew5 (talk) 00:45, 1 November 2021 (UTC)

I would like to add an essay onto this site.[edit]

I have attempted to create an essay called Essay:How special idealised memes could be understood as quantum locking. however I was told not to create this essay because it had a "excessively long title". Did I do something wrong? If I did then I apologise. 87317 (talk) 04:51, 3 November 2021 (UTC)

It's an anti-spam measure. Just wait a couple of days and edit the mainspace a handful of times, and you should be able to perform the edit. Plutocow (talk) 05:17, 3 November 2021 (UTC)
Even better, I just created the page, so you should be able to edit it now. Plutocow (talk) 05:18, 3 November 2021 (UTC)
Thank you. 87317 (talk) 05:20, 3 November 2021 (UTC)

Tech needs tech help[edit]

Hey, other techs, what's the "namespace" of the SB, or how would I find that out? I want to add it to our filters, to prevent vandalism. CorruptUser 05:46, 13 November 2021 (UTC)

Not a tech here, but it's a simple one. It's mentioned in Help:Namespaces. It's a "RationalWiki" namespace page. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 10:07, 13 November 2021 (UTC)

New here, new to wiki editing, contribution on talk page got caught in the spam filter[edit]

Hey, I just tried to make a contribution to Talk:Vaush and got bounced by the spam filter twice. Is there a way mods can look it over to see what I did wrong. Sorry I'm new to all this and don't want to cause problems. Bookchinwegohard (talk) 01:00, 27 November 2021 (UTC)

You set off the "spamming articles" filter for post size. Split your post into two. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 01:15, 27 November 2021 (UTC)
For the record, it has now been fixed about a month ago by LGM. Andrew5 (talk) 17:28, 29 January 2022 (UTC)
This is now happening to me on every edit, no matter how small (except for here). 2A00:23C7:99A4:5000:5042:8129:936C:31DA (talk) 16:14, 22 February 2022 (UTC)
I've been in the edit filter today, I'll check I haven't borked things. Queexchthonic murmurings 16:22, 22 February 2022 (UTC)
Think I found the mistake, should be fixed now. Queexchthonic murmurings 16:24, 22 February 2022 (UTC)
That did it. Thanks. 2A00:23C7:99A4:5000:5042:8129:936C:31DA (talk) 16:28, 22 February 2022 (UTC)
This error seems to have popped up again. 2A00:23C7:99A4:5000:5576:1934:DC1B:D1C (talk) 08:50, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
I can't find anything awry in the filters this time - it might just be that you're hitting one of the blocked terms I've set up to slow down persistent vandals. There's not much I can do about that without leaving us lots of extra clean-up to do. Rewording might work around it - I can confirm that nothing in the filters has changed since successful edits earlier from your IP. Queexchthonic murmurings 11:39, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
It appears to only be happening on some pages (Henry Kissinger, for example), but in that case it seems to be flagging all edits (the one I was making was extremely minor). 2A00:23C7:99A4:5000:E9F0:A63:A013:E54D (talk) 13:47, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
I found it - it's an issue that wold have been around a while, apparently, but only certain text would trigger it. Pretty funny in hindsight. Should be fixed now. Queexchthonic murmurings 14:02, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
Yep, that worked. Thanks again. 2A00:23C7:99A4:5000:A41F:817A:C6BA:3E46 (talk) 20:36, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

Problem uploading image[edit]

What does it mean when I get this error message uploading a file?

Could not store file "/tmp/phpFEcPcZ" at "mwstore://local-backend/local-public/5/58/ABC.png".

I get no other error messages, and I tried changing the file name, file type, and file size, but still get the same message. Bongolian (talk) 19:30, 30 November 2021 (UTC)

It seems to work now. Bongolian (talk) 03:12, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
I am having the same problem Acei9 21:58, 1 December 2021 (UTC)

Not sure where else to put this but...[edit]

If you want to prevent a Commons image that is excessively inappropriate from appearing on the wiki, make it redirect to an image that we do know about. I just uploaded File:Blocked commons image.jpg to collect these sorts of images and keep track of them. Do note that if an image redirects on commons, you will need to change the non-redirected name, otherwise it will still override. -- Techpriest (talk) 19:56, 23 December 2021 (UTC)

Perhaps a good idea, but there are plenty of such images to choose from on commons, so maybe it's not so effective in this case. It seems to be a popular hobby for exhibitionist/people with nothing better to do. Bongolian (talk) 20:16, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
It's mostly meant against a counter for spammers to prevent them from using the same image. As for commons, on their site they have their own policies on the matter. -- Techpriest (talk) 21:24, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
That is actually one of the more amusing WP pages, with two double entendres, one intentional and one perhaps unintentional. Bongolian (talk) 21:34, 23 December 2021 (UTC)

Trying to upload timelapse image[edit]

First issue is the upload limit being too restrictive, 10 mb or so. I had to scale it down to 9 mb, kinda bleh, but finally, I ran into a Could not store file "/tmp/phpwfLCgz" at "mwstore://local-backend/local-public/9/97/NASA_Climate_change_1950_-_2020.gif". issue. Image looks like this, trying to update this image, since the world has gone only more blood red since 2013, now nearly a decade ago. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 22:04, 23 December 2021 (UTC)

Fixing double redirects[edit]

Sorry to ask, but anyone with (1) a pet bot (2) who is on friendly terms with user:Bob M please help us fix the double redirects on Teflpedia?


I don't think you need special bot permissions to run a bot there.

Much appreciated. Duncan from Teflpedia (talk) 12:33, 27 December 2021 (UTC)

Can one of the techs patrol the vandalism in the Saloon bar?[edit]

Seriously, I can't patrol it because of the CSS shit, and I can't just roll it back because people have edited since then. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 02:15, 29 December 2021 (UTC)

I don't see why you need a tech specifically. It looks to me like this was already fixed. Am I missing something? Bongolian (talk) 02:20, 29 December 2021 (UTC)
I patrolled that one. The trick is to view the page source, search for the text "Mark as patrolled" and then execute the hyperlink there. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 02:37, 29 December 2021 (UTC)
@Cosmikdebris Thanks. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 05:10, 29 December 2021 (UTC)

How to reuse a reference?[edit]

What's the code I have to do to re-use a reference? Would make refs look cleaner on articles I am copyediting like 2018 midterm elections. Andrew5 (talk) 23:04, 2 January 2022 (UTC)

For repeating references, see: Help:References#Repeating references. Also see the style guidelines on references: Help:Manual of style#References. Bongolian (talk) 00:22, 3 January 2022 (UTC)

Cannot delete section of article[edit]

I have deleted the content in the "New Zealand" section of Atheism because it was no longer true. When I try to delete the heading I'm blocked because "Your action matched the edit filter: Section blanking". I'm told to come here, but not told what to do here. Maybe I'm blocked because I've only recently joined RW?? Munfr (talk) 04:19, 5 January 2022 (UTC)

It's the edit filter.....again... now time for me to yell at CorruptUser again. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 04:22, 5 January 2022 (UTC)
@Munfr I've given you the autopatrolled permission, so this shouldn't be a problem for you anymore. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 14:39, 5 January 2022 (UTC)
Thank you. Munfr (talk) 20:33, 5 January 2022 (UTC)