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


If your IP is blocked from editing as an open proxy

  • You need to go to your provider about it. The lists we use are xbl.spamhaus.org, dnsbl.tornevall.org, all.s5h.net. If your IP is on one of these lists, then your provider has a serious problem they need to resolve. We cannot get your ISP out of the blacklist.

Subsection link (sticky)[edit]

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What extension does Wikipedia use to get the subsection links next to each subsection title? Fuzzy. Cat. Potato! (talk/stalk) 13:39, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

What r u talking about? ClickerClock (talk) 04:45, 10 September 2017 (UTC)
I think Fuzzy means the "§" link that appears next to the headings, that links to the anchor for that heading. (once again, memorising the ASCII code for section signs comes in handy!) —Kazitor, pending 08:28, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

@FuzzyCatPotato, yall happy now?

See the main article on this topic: Goat § What to do with a Goat and a stool

Encyclopedia § EtymologyWikipedia 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]

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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. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (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. Mʀ. Wʜɪsᴋᴇʀs, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 17:07, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
This is not a result of the recent upgrade. This has been an issue for years.—Hamburguesa con queso con un cara Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 17:09, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Content dumps (sticky)[edit]

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All of the internal links to backups on RationalWiki:Content dumps fail. Also, what is the status of @David Gerard's archive.org port? Bongolian (talk) 02:15, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

yeah, they're all old. No, haven't pushed that forward at all, sorry - David Gerard (talk) 12:27, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
@David Gerard reminder to do this -- might be convenient to do on same day you take elections live Fuzzy. Cat. Potato! (talk/stalk)

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

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

2019 software upgrade (sticky)[edit]

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  • Modernize Rationalwiki with things invented since 2017 (MediaWiki 1.27).


n.b. OATHAuth gives users the option of using two-factor authentication.

Other things to do at the same time:


  • Setup a template to enable WikiSEO descriptors and an edit filter to avoid direct use.
  • Check that everything we already have won't break.


  • Wikis, specifically Wikipedia, have several new features that weren't around when the site was last upgraded. The notable upgrades include Scribunto, a Lua template engine which is supposedly faster and easier to use (it allows for some advanced templates to be copied from the wikipedians who know how it works anyway). MobileFrontend and it's skin, which switches the sites reading view on mobile devices to a "mobile compatible" mode (users can switch back), it does make pages significantly easier to read on mobile devices. TemplateStyles allows per-page or per-template css styles, it uses a sanitized set of css rules to avoid security issues, this can be used to enable @media queries for templates to display differently on different devices. 'Thanks' is the extension which gives you the option to ping people for an edit, it is kinda optional but practically all other wikis have it. And finally, WikiSeo allows for a template which invisibly controls how a page displays when shared on social media, you can specify a description and image which, using semantic meta markup will be used by facebook/google/etc instead of a pretty random looking link.

Comments, feedback, ideas and support/oppose of the proposed thingys welcome. — Dysk (contribs) 15:54, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

Nerd's comments[edit]

I'm all for modernizing our infrastructure, as long as what we already have do not break. I really like the "Thanks" template. I first saw it on Wikipedia a couple years ago (when someone thanked me) and have used it occasionally ever since. The "Timeless Skin" looks like something the gods would approve. The Multimedia Viewer is something I almost always forget we don't have because it is so intuitive.

Sorry if this is implied, but most of it is too technical for me. Will this upgrade include the visual edit gadget? I have been using it on Wikipedia for a quite some time now, and I love it! Finding the appropriate templates, citing sources, editing equations, changing photographs or illustrations. Amazing!

While we are at it, does this proposed upgrade include the template that automatically converts units for you? It looks like this on Wikipedia. If you typed {{convert|1|mi|km}}, the output would be 1 mile (1.6 km). I find this template very convenient. Nerd (talk) 18:42, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

The list I presented doesn't include Visual Editor. Although to be clear the main reason I left the Visual Editor thing out, is because it requires a very complicated additional setup so may be better suited as another task. However, the convert template would be made possible with Scribunto which I have listed up there, so that is included. — Dysk (contribs) 22:26, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
@Dysklyver I see. The visual editor can be a little resource-intensive. Thanks! When will this upgrade be implemented? Nerd (talk) 03:01, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
I hope sometime this year, if everyone agrees and it gets organised properly. — Dysk (contribs) 14:22, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
It's only February, but there is no harm in getting started early. How to get organize ourselves for it? Nerd (talk) 16:18, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
We need to finalize a set of things we want, get general agreement for it, and ideally test it all works on a test wiki, before then asking for it to be deployed, bearing in mind that Tmtoulouse/David Gerard are the operations people. The main thing is not to break the wiki, and the other thing is not to add things that will be there by default that everyone hates. — Dysk (contribs) 16:37, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── How about setting up a sub-page, "2019 upgrade" for bullet point items, etc. for the implementation. – Dbz (talk) 00:30, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

I hate the "visual edit gadget". Palaeonictis Fossil beds 10:20, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

@Dysklyver Last time I check Trent Toulouse was a university professor. (David Gerard appears to be a programmer and book author.) This means we can potentially get this done before summer is out. Nerd (talk) 22:47, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

@Dysklyver Why hasn't this been done yet? What exactly is the problem? Damn. BlackWhite Speak 22:39, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
A combination of laziness and procrastination. Somebody needs to figure out if certain existing extensions would work nicely with the proposed new software. — Dysk (contribs) 23:31, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

The visual editor is amazing for doing proper citations, which is a big problem on RW from what I can see (too many bare URLS). However I understand it is a large task. Debunky (talk) 02:03, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

The time approaches[edit]

I did the last MW upgrade, and I expect I'll do the next one too, some time in the near future. MW 1.27 is EOL so it needs to be done so that we can continue to receive security upgrades. I'd be comfortable installing the WMF-deployed extensions Dysklyver proposed above, specifically CategoryTree, CodeEditor, MultimediaViewer, OATHAuth, Scribunto, MobileFrontend, TemplateStyles, Thanks and the skin Timeless. I think VisualEditor is a reasonable stretch goal, if you want that.

Instead of WikiSEO, which is unmaintained and not in Gerrit, I would suggest OpenGraphMeta, which is in Gerrit and is written by a well-known author, or PageImages, which is simple but WMF-deployed.

The servers also need to be upgraded to Ubuntu 18.04. I'm thinking about the order of operations. Traditionally you do the OS upgrade first, so that you're more likely to have the dependencies needed by the new MW version. Linode's volume feature is now out of beta and available in Newark, which opens up some new possibilities for the kind and number of instances.

If anyone wants to help, the number one thing that needs to be done is to test the RationalWiki-specific extensions against MW 1.31 and to update them as needed. They are all in RationalWiki's GitHub, but nobody has ever submitted a pull request against them despite their comically bad state. Note that I moved Wigo3 to Gerrit, so the GitHub version is outdated and non-canonical. Wigo3 is the best of RationalWiki's extensions. -- Tim Starling (talk) 11:22, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

This is great. I won't specifically comment on the OS and how the load balancing works since I don't deal with that here, but as far as the extensions are concerned;
The rationale for WikiSEO was to generate descriptions for Google Search, and to get our articles to display previews on social media and chat applications, as a Wikipedia article would do if linked. Now it seems to me that OpenGraphMeta will generate previews for Facebook and presumably most social media sites, however it occurs to me that we could benefit from also installing Description2 from the same author to get the Google Search descriptions which are currently rather lacklustre.
I am not personally bothered about VisualEditor either way, since from a technical viewpoint it needs that additional Parsoid service I think it would be an optional thing to do if you think that isn't too hard to setup and maintain. I don't know how the mob would consider it, I believe it is still generally a good extension but older editors hate using it, heh. :)
Otherwise, all good. :) — Dysk (contribs) 12:49, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Just think about how you want to spend my time, in priority order, and I'll think about how far down the list I want to go. What do you want more: VisualEditor or, say, analytics? Apparently Robert Lazar is the most popular article on this wiki. Is that something you want to know? Does that make you want to improve it? -- Tim Starling (talk) 13:52, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Most important things on this list would be MobileFrontend and it's associated skin. And in my personal opinion analytics is better than the Visual Editor. The rest is good to have but also easy-ish to install so not a huge concern I suppose. — Dysk (contribs) 20:17, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Hell no to Visual Editor. Oxyaena Harass 22:46, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
I'm with Oxyaena on that.   — Jeff G. ツ 12:19, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
I think the main thing we can be said to need is something that works on mobile without looking like a web page for ants. I realise this is not a tiny thing of course - David Gerard (talk) 14:37, 8 July 2019 (UTC)
I'm going to second Dysklyver and David Gerard on prioritizing MobileFrontend. The main reason I created an account here (which I just now finally got around to doing) is to request a proper mobile view. I'm not picky. I just want *something*! (I don't particularly care either way about any of the other MediaWiki extensions under discussion.) ThisIsMyRealName (talk) 11:59, 2 November 2019 (UTC)

Visual Editor[edit]

Please enable Visual Editor. It is such a better experience than source code editing, especially for adding references. Hmmph (talk) 19:27, 29 November 2020 (UTC)

I disagree. People who edit using visual editor when knowing wikitext are monsters, but it does help bringing new good faith edits from new users. In my opinion, it is certainly something that should come.The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 03:37, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
Then I am a monster. Hmmph (talk) 17:46, 6 December 2020 (UTC)
Visual Editor comes with 1.35, whenever we get around to that - a proper PHP version it seems, functional, well-integrated and with seven years' development - David Gerard (talk) 20:23, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
The PHP version is a reimplementation of "Parsoid" in PHP. Parsoid is a wikitext parsing service that VisualEditor highly relies on. I wouldn't necessarily say it says much about the stability of VE. Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 20:45, 12 December 2020 (UTC)

In general I would advocate hewing to Wikipedia's general look and feel as much as possible in terms of standard MediaWiki extensions. Most of the more controversial ones can be disabled in one's user preferences, and maintaining some degree of consistency makes it easier for Wikipedia editors to get up and running on RationalWiki. — ThisIsMyRealName (talk) 22:31, 4 June 2021 (UTC)

Running a Beta Subdomain?[edit]

The MediaWiki update thread has been largely dormant in terms of actually progressing with the updates. It seems like the sticking point is that the various custom extensions in use have to be tested against the new version to make sure that the new version doesn't break any of them. However, it seems like it wouldn't be possible to test the extensions against the new version of MediaWiki without actually installing it first, which creates a kind of chicken-and-egg problem.

My suggestion, then, is... would it be possible to install a separate MediaWiki instance, located at, for example, beta.rationalwiki.org, that would run off the same backend database? That way, the primary frontend would remain the outdated version of MediaWiki that is known to (more or less) work properly, while intrepid users could choose to run the beta frontend, with a specific eye towards identifying any broken extensions.

You could probably also implement some sort of cookie-based redirect for users to be able to opt in to automatically using the beta frontend whenever they visit the site (e.g. from a DuckDuckGo search result), but I don't know what would be involved in doing that.

You would probably also want to set up some sort of "beta portal" explaining the purpose and scope of the beta frontend and including places where beta users can report bugs.

@Tim Starling you seem like the person who would be in a position to do something like this. Is there any specific way I could help move this process along? – ThisIsMyRealName (talk) 22:26, 4 June 2021 (UTC)

This already exists https://test35.rationalwiki.org/wiki/Main_Page, although evidently it wasn’t well advertised. Christopher (talk) 22:32, 4 June 2021 (UTC)

Vandal bin logs use the wrong language[edit]

They appear to use the language of the person who did the binning, not the one of the viewer. See original example and tests. Don’t remember this coming up before, could be a new issue since @Tim Starling fixed it to work with the newer mediawiki (don’t know if we’re using the newer version or not). Christopher (talk) 14:00, 28 May 2021 (UTC)

Only be an issue with language shared by the blocking function (“autoblock disabled” etc) because vandal bin exclusive language (parole etc) isn’t ever translated. Christopher (talk) 14:09, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
We're still on 1.27 fwiw. The upgrade hasn't occured yet (check it on Special:Version). Techpriest (talk) 15:50, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
Yeah if the wiki as a whole were upgraded we’d know, I wasn’t sure if the main wiki uses the old or new version of he vandal bin extension. Christopher (talk) 15:59, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
It’s an issue on the test wiki as well Christopher (talk) 16:02, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
In the MW 1.35 version, I've completely removed the options list from the log, so this is not a problem anymore. Per Christopher's request, I removed everything related to vandal binning IP addresses. -- Tim Starling (talk) 06:09, 1 June 2021 (UTC)

Another vandal bin issue - you can bin and patrol people whilst blocked[edit]

Doubt that’s intentional. Christopher (talk) 22:34, 29 May 2021 (UTC)

We could probably just change
$wgVandalBrakeConfigRemoveRights = [ 'move', 'skipcaptcha', 'rollback' ];
$wgVandalBrakeConfigRemoveRights = [ 'move', 'skipcaptcha', 'rollback', 'vandalbin' ];
in the PHP code. JJPMaster 23:13, 3 June 2021 (UTC)
Haven’t checked but $wgVandalBrakeConfigRemoveRights surely governs what rights are removed when you’re binned, not what rights are removed when you’re blocked. Not letting binned people access the bin would be a bad idea. Christopher (talk) 23:20, 3 June 2021 (UTC)
(EC) Does this only apply to sysops who are blocked, or to all users who are blocked? If it's the latter than it should definitely be fixed; if it's the former than while less problematic, it would still be great to patch it (since many bugs occur when a sysop is blocked, e.g. not having their talkpage comments show up as patrolled). --Goatspeed. Watch meCircularREmail2.gifasoningPrototype lab 23:21, 3 June 2021 (UTC)
Non-sysops can’t bin/parole people anyway. Christopher (talk) 23:23, 3 June 2021 (UTC)

Rename account[edit]

Can my account be renamed to arp242? It's what I use pretty much everywhere these days. I think MediaWiki should have some facility for this – or at least, I was able to rename my account on Wikipedia after filling in a form. Thanks! Carpetsmoker (talk) 17:56, 5 June 2021 (UTC)

We have a dedicated page for this: RationalWiki:Requests to change username. I don’t think it’s linked from anywhere prominent though. Christopher (talk) 18:00, 5 June 2021 (UTC)
Ah cheers, I missed that. Thanks! Arp242 (talk) 18:01, 5 June 2021 (UTC)

Unable to download rebutr plug-in for Chrome[edit]

I’ve been trying to download the rebutr plug-in for Chrome, but each time I click on the “get the plug in button” (or the hyperlink below it which is specifically for Chrome) it doesn’t respond. I’ve even tried it on different devices, but still no response. Does anyone know what might be wrong here? I’ve tried contacting rebutr via the “contact” link (at the bottom of their webpage) but this resulted in a failed attempt to transfer me to a new page i.e. a webpage that wouldn’t load. I know this isn’t directly related to RW but I figured at least one person on RW must use rebutr, and may have some suggestions ... In any event, I would be very grateful if someone could help shed some light on this issue for me. Cheers. —LeucippusTalk 20:57, 1 July 2021 (UTC)

Scrapped it. Rbutr appears to be very dead since about 2017. It's not related to RW operations directly and seems to have been added originally by FCP who probably used it. Techpriest (talk) 09:15, 2 July 2021 (UTC)
@Sirius Thanks for responding and for the info. Shame, it seemed like a useful tool. Do you know of any alternatives?LeucippusTalk 22:37, 2 July 2021 (UTC)
At risk of being snarky: Media literacy and Google-fu. Techpriest (talk) 15:18, 3 July 2021 (UTC)
On the contrary, your snark is welcome! My Google-fu skills do need improving! If I had better Google-fu skills, my research would improve and I wouldn’t have to rely on rebutr for finding rebuttals; to clarify, I use DuckDuckGo, however I imagine Google-fu search skills will transfer over-to DuckDuckGo since it uses the same search space. Additionally, If you don’t mind my asking, would you care to expand your answer on areas for improvement in Media Literacy and Google fu? (i.e. just in summary, please don’t think I expect you to give an in-depth analysis). LeucippusTalk 18:21, 3 July 2021 (UTC)
Sorry about my stupid previous-response (I’ll leave it up for reference and posterity). I misunderstood your comment: media literacy and Google-fu should already provide one with the relevant skill-set. Prior to finding (a now defunct) ‘rebutr’, I was already using journal search engines (e.g. Google Scholar, ResearchGate etc) to look for rebuttals—so in future—I’ll aim to improve my ‘google-fu’ skills, so as to optimise my research. I don’t know if you thought I wanted to use rebutr because I couldn’t be bothered to use media literacy skills to rebut items of interest, because this isn’t the case: my interest in using rebutr was in finding academic research that rebuted or challenged other academic research, and since words like ‘rebut’ or ‘dispute’ may not (and often don’t) occur in titles, key words, abstracts etc., I thought rebutr offered a helpful and convenient tool for finding conflicting research. Do let me know if I’m wrong about this though: can ‘Google-fu’ skills enable one to find rebuttals or disputes of academic research? e.g. a rebutal of a Google scholar article by another Google scholar article. LeucippusTalk 23:29, 3 July 2021 (UTC)

Intermittent 503 Errors[edit]

Today, I'm getting intermittent 503 errors accessing the site. They seem to reliably go away by closing the site and reopening it in a new tab. Something about varnish. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 22:24, 13 July 2021 (UTC)

I'm getting the 503 varnish errors now, too. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 23:21, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Me too. I’m getting a 503 varnish error that reads “Backend fetch failed”. LeucippusTalk 23:39, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
I'm getting that too. Also for a while I couldn't vote on stuff at WGIO, which I'm guessing is a consequence of server issues? --RWRW (talk) 23:59, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Ha! Just got a 503 error when trying to open "Intermittent 503 Errors". Scream!! (talk) 00:46, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
I got that yesterday. Just now, I'm getting longer than normal search response time. Bongolian (talk) 17:45, 14 July 2021 (UTC)

Mobile view[edit]

Copied from RW:ATIM.

Wikipedia and a bunch of other wikis have it - it displays a different screen on Mobile then on computer. I find that quite helpful as I used to edit from mobile quite a bit on those wikis([1][2][3], as just a few examples), and who does it on RW sometimes, I find it annoying to have to read it like a computer which it isnt desgined for and it would be much easier if I could just edit on a mobile based interface. Is there anyway we can make that happen? Also please tell me if I put this in an incorrect location and if it belongs somewhere else. --Gale5050 (talk) 23:47, 24 July 2021 (UTC)

1) Wrong place. This should have been posted here: RationalWiki:Technical support. 2) Already answered many times: we have limited technical support at the underlying software level, and software is currently undergoing upgrades. Bongolian (talk) 00:05, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
@Bongolian Moved to correct spot.Gale5050 (talk) 20:25, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
Bongolian answered your question completely. We need a site upgrade to do this and then we need to configure the site to support this. The former is the big deal and we're still waiting for a migration. (Tim started the process on a test wiki but from what I gather it might as well have stagnated into obsoletion). Techpriest (talk) 20:38, 25 July 2021 (UTC)

Install OATHAuth for 2-Factor Authentication[edit]

That one extension that allows 2FA with Authy or Google Authenticator. Exaskliri (talk) 13:18, 8 August 2021 (UTC)

Would be nice, but... yeah we'd need to update the server first and you know how that's going. Techpriest (talk) 13:44, 8 August 2021 (UTC)
I don't know how that's going. Exaskliri (talk) 14:09, 8 August 2021 (UTC)
It's not going well. This site is run by truly lazy absentee landlords who can't relinquish control and whom its users lack the sense to boot. — Unsigned, by: 2600:1007:B0D9:D42A:1546:3A72:622B:ECD4 / talk

How have you utilise daycolours in background?[edit]

I want to transplant {{daycolor}} to my MediaWiki website like this screenshot. But I found nothing in Common.js. Have you done this without JavaScript? How could you do this? — 物灵 (talk) 03:19, 24 August 2021 (UTC)

Check the edit page. Daycolor highly relies on parsing the magic words for the current date and parserfunctions. So... "how could you do this without JS" -> Parserfunctions. -- Techpriest (talk) 09:33, 24 August 2021 (UTC)

Account creation spam[edit]

Hundreds of spambots accounts are being created on a daily basis here and already represent most of the recent changes page. Isn't there anything we can do (a better captcha maybe?) to prevent this spam on the user creation log? GeeJayK (talk) 14:08, 24 August 2021 (UTC)

I feel like we really need Checkuser and to update MediaWiki for this to happen. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 14:29, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
Again, limiting account creation per IP within a certain timeframe would be a good idea. Plutocow (talk) 15:56, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
CU is a last resort IMO. There are reasons for it but at the same time do keep in mind that a lot of RWs "identity" is based on the fact that we do extend this kind of privacy to our users. If the techs really want it, keep in mind that I'll push for a very extensive discussion and debate. I don't want this to be some quiet backroom vote because it will affect every user on the site. Surely we can resolve this in other ways first? @Plutocow unforutnately this doesn't appear to be possible with our current setup. -- Techpriest (talk) 18:03, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
I agree with Techpriest. There has been consistent opposition to CU on RW over the years even with an evolving user base. Bongolian (talk) 18:08, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
I've supported CU before, but I'm not sure anymore. I understand that many users want to keep their identities hidden and even if I believe it would be better in long term I respect these users enough (indeed, I remember one of our new trustees saying that they wouldn't browse this site anymore if we ever adopt CU). Nonetheless, can we discuss other forms to deal with the spam? Apparently they use the same logic (ie. a first name, a surname and two numbers). Is there any way to blacklist these? GeeJayK (talk) 18:14, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
We always opposed Checkuser and should continue to do so. I don't suppose I'd be missed but I'd quit if CU was enabled as would several others. I suggest blocking creation of accounts with two or more numbers in them. Scream!! (talk) 18:37, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
Around 40 accounts in 10 minutes. This is getting ridiculous. Maybe it's just a troll playing with us. GeeJayK (talk) 19:34, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
At this point, we should just lock account creation for a couple days. Plutocow (talk) 19:54, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
Checkuser is a terrible idea, something we’ve been consistently opposed to for the site’s entire history. We’re not going to enable it because of a minor annoyance it’s not even well-equipped to solve.
The vast majority of these accounts aren’t even tripping the edit filter, presumably stopped by captcha. Christopher (talk) 20:27, 24 August 2021 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The edit filter has been blocking these things like crazy, and clearly autoblock is not doing a damn thing. A couple are even managing to slip past the filter. This seems like some kind of bot farm or potential attempt at a DDoS attack. We should temporarily lock the account creation before it does any real damage. Plutocow (talk) 20:46, 24 August 2021 (UTC)

Looks like your garden variety link spam bot to me. Some of the phrases ("Friends call him Manuel", "I'm Karlene Ruck", etc.) are Googleable as spam on other Wikis. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 21:45, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
It's an SEO bot farm, same as usual. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 21:50, 24 August 2021 (UTC)

Removed telegram[edit]

This is a bit of a small notice, but I have removed the Telegram group from the sidebar. It's entire contents consisted of a single Tiktok and Rockford the Roe asking for staff. Given that a dead RW community on Telegram has been squatted in the past by homophobes and conspiracy theorists (here), I opted to go slightly ahead of the curve on this one. Given how dead it is, I didn't think it would need a vote but I'm recording it here for posterity. -- Techpriest (talk) 11:51, 27 August 2021 (UTC)

Seems reasonable. Bongolian (talk) 16:24, 27 August 2021 (UTC)

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.[4] 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)

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)

Patio spammer[edit]

Can someone please edit the filter so it can stop the patio SEO spammer? This spammer keeps getting past the filter, and considering that it constantly uses similar words such as "patio", "furniture store", and "NJ", it should be easy to stop. Plutocow (talk) 20:09, 11 September 2021 (UTC)

Inactive tech[edit]

User 142․124․55․236 is an inactive tech. Monet talk 08:57, 15 September 2021 (UTC)

Search downtime Oct 1[edit]

Our hosting company Linode is migrating our search1 server to new hardware. This will be at 04:00 UTC on 1 October. You should just see searches failing while it migrates the disk data - David Gerard (talk) 14:52, 18 September 2021 (UTC)

Did they give any ETA for how long the migration will take? -- Techpriest (talk) 18:00, 18 September 2021 (UTC)