RationalWiki:Technical support

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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.

Content dumps (sticky)[edit]

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

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 FuzzyCatPotato of the Unpopular Gurus (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)

MediaWiki 1.35[edit]

RationalWiki has been upgraded to MediaWiki 1.35. Please report any problems you see. -- Tim Starling (talk) 05:11, 12 June 2022 (UTC)

The voting system on the WIGOs is completely dysfunctional. And, the image cache is still a bit bonkered. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 05:19, 12 June 2022 (UTC)
The WIGO thing should be fixed in a minute. Please be more specific about the image cache. -- Tim Starling (talk) 05:28, 12 June 2022 (UTC)
The most obvious WIGO issue is fixed. Votes should update now. -- Tim Starling (talk) 05:34, 12 June 2022 (UTC)
Before the upgrade, some image thumbnails weren't being generated, e.g. the information icon used in message boxes. This was still happening immediately following the upgrade, but appears to have fixed itself now. Thanks, —cosmikdebris talk stalk 16:07, 12 June 2022 (UTC)

The database server briefly ran out of space in its root partition because of a problem with the queries VandalBrake was using to determine the most recent deleted revision contributed by a user. So for now, I have commented out that feature. -- Tim Starling (talk) 05:51, 12 June 2022 (UTC)

The search box is not autocompleting. Maybe it's a problem with not having completed reindexing and will fix itself? Bongolian (talk) 07:29, 12 June 2022 (UTC)
ElasticSearch needs to be upgraded. -- Tim Starling (talk) 07:43, 12 June 2022 (UTC)
I upgraded ElasticSearch, but it is still broken. Index updates are not working. The job runner seemed to be stuck in a loop in curl_multi. I think I will upgrade/rebuild the Apache server next, maybe that will fix it. The current server has libcurl 7.58 which is probably not well-tested against a relatively recent Elastic client library. I disabled search updates to unstick the job queue. -- Tim Starling (talk) 11:36, 12 June 2022 (UTC)
I made a new MediaWiki server with Ubuntu 22.04 and PHP 7.4, and I'm running a search rebuild on it, as well as two job queue threads (necessary because search rebuild queues a lot of jobs). Maybe it's working. -- Tim Starling (talk) 10:45, 13 June 2022 (UTC)
This is fixed now. -- Tim Starling (talk) 11:02, 14 June 2022 (UTC)

I seemingly have the power to edit the edit filter. I won't try it out, but something needs to be fixed. Plutocow (talk) 08:18, 12 June 2022 (UTC)

Thanks Plutocow, this should be fixed now. Please review Special:ListGroupRights for any other incorrect permissions. -- Tim Starling (talk) 10:28, 12 June 2022 (UTC)
Holy shit, Tim starling MVP. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 14:49, 12 June 2022 (UTC)

I'm getting blanks on all pages while running Firefox 100.0.2 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Seems like a CSS or Javascript issue, because the page content appears for a split-second before disappearing, but it's still in the page source. Chromium 102.0 works fine (it's what I'm using to write this). (talk) 16:31, 12 June 2022 (UTC)

I don't know if it'll help at all to find the problem, but in the hope that it does, the website is working normally for me running Firefox 101.0.1 on Windows 11. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 17:48, 12 June 2022 (UTC)
I'm using Firefox 100.0.2 and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. RW is working fine for me. LongStylus (talk) 19:28, 12 June 2022 (UTC)

Why are you only upgrading to 1.35 when 1.38 is available? Duncan from Teflpedia (talk) 11:39, 13 June 2022 (UTC)

Stability reasons; 1.38 is not an LTS release. 1.35 is. 1.38s support ends fairly shortly after 1.39 comes out (the next LTS). By contrast, 1.35 is supported until the end of 2023. Anyway, thanks a lot Tim! -- Techpriest (talk) 19:26, 13 June 2022 (UTC)
That, and the fact that this upgrade has been in progress since 1.35 was current. Actually, since 1.34 was current. I had more than a week of work invested in migrating all the extensions and testing them against 1.35, as of a year ago. So it was a choice between completing the upgrade or starting over. Everything is in GitHub and the vast majority of the work required no special access to the servers, so if you feel like the time I'm putting in to this is not enough, you can always do it yourself. -- Tim Starling (talk) 23:55, 13 June 2022 (UTC)
Thank you, Tim! Bongolian (talk) 04:20, 14 June 2022 (UTC)
Say "Thank you" nicely @Duncan from Teflpedia Scream!! (talk) 11:28, 14 June 2022 (UTC)
Thank you nicely. — Unsigned, by: Duncan from Teflpedia / talk / contribs

Can we have Page Previews enabled? It would make browsing more convenient. Daemonspudguy (talk) 03:06, 14 June 2022 (UTC)

Some images seem to be displaying inconsistently. For example "File:Information icon.svg" when used in Template:Draft displays fine on some pages for me but not others. E.g., it fails to appear on Draft:Spinster.xyz, but appears on Draft:Statement; both pages have identical use of the Draft template. Bongolian (talk) 04:36, 14 June 2022 (UTC)

I think that's my fault, I see what happened there. I'll wipe the parser cache so that those pages are re-rendered. -- Tim Starling (talk) 12:08, 14 June 2022 (UTC)
OK, looks good now. Bongolian (talk) 16:37, 14 June 2022 (UTC)
Bout time that the UI improves. TranslationForAll (talk) 16:31, 14 June 2022 (UTC)

Email notifications from the watchlist seem to have stopped or been delayed since about 10 hours ago. Bongolian (talk) 20:45, 14 June 2022 (UTC)

The notifications problem was fixed previously by David Gerard by manually running runJobs.php manually. Maybe this needs to be done again? Bongolian (talk) 18:57, 17 June 2022 (UTC)
The job queue on the old server (apache4) keeps getting stuck in curl. This was the problem I was having with search index updates, which I temporarily fixed by setting up a new server (apache5) with PHP 7.4 and running the job queue on that. Your original report possibly reflected broken outbound mail on apache5. But apache5 didn't have images and so was polluting the parser cache (per your report at 04:36), so I switched the job queue back to apache4. The next thing to do is to permanently migrate to apache5, including reattaching the images volume. This will require a brief period of downtime. -- Tim Starling (talk) 03:50, 18 June 2022 (UTC)
Can't access recent changes. Is it just me? Scream!! (talk) 22:44, 14 June 2022 (UTC)
Got it but ...? Scream!! (talk) 22:46, 14 June 2022 (UTC)

The navigation box templates seem to have broken in the recent update, with them only displaying pages outside the mainspace. Plutocow (talk) 17:21, 17 June 2022 (UTC)

There's a mandatory migration pending for cache3, deadline is June 24, so I'll do that at the same time as switching the apache servers. The site will be down for a few minutes starting shortly. -- Tim Starling (talk) 03:58, 18 June 2022 (UTC)

When it came back up, the site was very slow due to CPU exhaustion on the new server (apache5). I checked the most obvious things but eventually resorted to resizing the instance to 4 CPUs, which took a surprisingly long time (8 minutes). Now we're up and looking OK, but I'll continue to look into why it's using so much CPU time. I think InstantCommons is at fault. -- Tim Starling (talk) 05:04, 18 June 2022 (UTC)

I was told by Trent that RW has to horizontally scale due to traffic. SimilarWeb shows this wiki gets nowhere near the anonymous traffic needed to horizontally scale (unless it ran on a potato) or require professional Mediawiki people to work on it. Seems the wiki would benefit from a basic tech team. But thanks Tim for upgrading and Trent for taking the initiative to do so, it works great Neiltyson1fan (talk) 18:38, 19 June 2022 (UTC)

I'm very late to the party (nor have I seen it), but I'm still very happy that this long-overdue upgrade finally happened. Here's hoping that the next upgrade would be less chaotic, thanks again Trent! PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 00:32, 20 June 2022 (UTC)

A little configuration change remains needed, see #DPL error in Contents page., to unbreak pages like RW:Contents that use heavier DPL calls than navigation generally does. I can't see the configuration, but I'm guessing it was always left at the default value, which would explain it. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 12:38, 23 June 2022 (UTC)

I made a big change to article, but filter tells that it's suspicious and doesn't let me publish it.[edit]

I just edited article about "argumentum ad populum", but it got marked as suspicious and filter doesn't let me publish it. I think that this edition can be helpful. What should I do? — Unsigned, by: Pytorch64 / talk / contribs

Try making the edit as several shorter edits instead. Initial edits that make large changes to pages are generally viewed as suspicious. Bongolian (talk) 20:44, 15 June 2022 (UTC)
The fact that we have a filter completely preventing large contributions from new editors is ridiculous. Christopher (talk) 17:28, 18 June 2022 (UTC)
@Pytorch64 I've made the filter less strict. If you try making the edit now it'll work, unless someone else reverts me. Christopher (talk) 17:32, 18 June 2022 (UTC)

Math rendering errors[edit]

Although the <math> tag is now rendering formulas correctly with the upgrade, there is a problem when the tag appears on a page with the {{Mathnav}} template. When the tag and the template both appear, calls to the tag only give an error message:


For example see Draft:Central Limit Theorem, which does not have the template and renders fine. Also see Standard deviation, which shows the error messages. Removing the template at the bottom of the page eliminates the error messages. Bongolian (talk) 19:44, 17 June 2022 (UTC)

Should be fixed now. Apply ?action=purge to any affected pages. -- Tim Starling (talk) 09:04, 18 June 2022 (UTC)
Looks good. Thanks!

New extensions[edit]

The following extensions were installed: CategoryTree, Description2, OpenGraphMeta, MultimediaViewer, TemplateStyles, Thanks, OATHAuth, Scribunto, CodeEditor. Also the skins MinervaNeue and Timeless.

These installations were all trivial, I didn't do any configuration. Looking through the previous discussion, I think MobileFrontend is the only extension left to do. As discussed, we have Description2 and OpenGraphMeta instead of WikiSEO. VisualEditor is complicated and controversial. -- Tim Starling (talk)

Looking sharp! Just a tiny problem... for some reason the left side of the Main Page is awkwardly positioned in the Timeless skin, and the colour is gone, and the right side seems to be randomly squished for certain articles which are displayed on the left (File:RationalWiki Timeless Skin.png). Any way to fix this?𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 05:22, 19 June 2022 (UTC)
@Sqrt-1 If you go to the main page on Vector and add debug=true to the URL like so, then right click one of the coloured boxes and click "inspect" from the context menu, you can see all the CSS rules that apply and where they come from. For example "inspect" on the grey box might get you into a td or th, but if you go up to the enclosing table, there is a background property with selector .mp_left_inside. There is a source link which takes you to a specific position in a load.php response, then you can scroll up and see the comment "MediaWiki:Vector.css". That's a hint that the rule is in MediaWiki:Vector.css, which is specific to the Vector skin. If you want a rule to apply across all skins, it should be in MediaWiki:Common.css. -- Tim Starling (talk) 23:32, 26 June 2022 (UTC)
Can minevra be default for mobile users? 2600:387:9:3:0:0:0:B3 (talk) 01:09, 27 June 2022 (UTC)
Sure BoN, but that's MobileFrontend's job and it's probably going to take a couple of hours to set it up. -- Tim Starling (talk) 01:08, 28 June 2022 (UTC)

DPL error in Contents page.[edit]

In our RationalWiki:Contents page, the DynamicPageList extension is being called several times, and it shows the following error when the page tries to list pages from more than 4 categories.

Extension:DynamicPageList (DPL), version 3.3.4: Error: Too many categories! Maximum: 4. Help: increase $wgDplSettings['maxCategoryCount'] to specify more categories or set $wgDplSettings['allowUnlimitedCategories'] = true; for no limitation. (Set the variable in the wiki's LocalSettings.php configuration file.)

Is it possible for us to increase the 'maxCategoryCount' or set 'allowUnlimitedCategories' to true? Or would that blow up RatWiki servers or something?𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 05:31, 19 June 2022 (UTC)

Such options also existed for the older DPL v2 extension used before the upgrade. @Tim Starling, there is a difference for the default settings: "allowUnlimitedCategories" was on by default in v2, but is off by default in v3. If it feels better to keep a limit nowadays, an alternative could be to double "maxCategoryCount" to 8, I think that would be enough for current and likely also future uses (but I'm not completely sure there's no monster DPL call on some weird page). --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 13:50, 21 June 2022 (UTC)
I increased maxCategoryCount to 8, but then RationalWiki:Contents took 29 seconds to render, mostly waiting for the DB. You should consider deleting the page since it does pose a risk of downtime. -- Tim Starling (talk) 23:44, 26 June 2022 (UTC)

User:Inferno Bot[edit]

It seems to have broken shortly after the recent update (last edit was the 17th). Can someone look into this? Plutocow (talk) 00:43, 26 June 2022 (UTC)

Yeah, taken care of. Needed to update the codebase. Next time please report issues with Inferno on my talkpage instead, that way I get notified immediately. -- Techpriest (talk) 20:28, 26 June 2022 (UTC)


Is it possible to implement here the Template:Listen that exists on Wikipedia? Bongolian (talk) 02:31, 28 June 2022 (UTC)

Vandal catcher not working properly[edit]

The vandal catcher (RationalWiki:Vandal catcher) is not working properly. It is reporting the full list of recent changes rather than just the changes that were not patrolled. It seems like the argument(s) to Special:RecentChanges are not recognized. Bongolian (talk) 07:19, 29 June 2022 (UTC)

It appears that the hidepatrolled=1 parameter in {{Special:RecentChanges|limit=500|hidepatrolled=1|days=90}} is broken.
I tracked down an issue in mediawiki that may have something to do with our problem, but investigating the issue requires console access to the server. Maybe @Tim Starling can take a look as his schedule permits?
For the time being, you can set up a filter in Special:RecentChanges to hide patrolled edits like this, then bookmark that page. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 23:15, 29 June 2022 (UTC)

Template:Logfal doesn't work anymore[edit]

In Template:Logfal, all categories appear blank. It used to work before. - Linneris (talk) 12:09, 2 July 2022 (UTC)

Should be fixed now. There was an argument in the template that might have been ignored in the previous Wiki version but that seemed to suppress non-funspace links in the current version. Bongolian (talk) 15:46, 2 July 2022 (UTC)
Thanks! - Linneris (talk) 17:47, 2 July 2022 (UTC)
Actually, the old Template:Navbox specified the main namespace in a way that's no longer recognized. Several other templates using it, not only Template:Logfal, showed too few things (sometimes none). That's now fixed.
It used to be that adding a line for namespace Fun in a template like Template:Logfal made Fun selected in addition to Main, but after the wiki upgrade it became the only namespace instead. I first changed the templates using Template:Navbox, but after looking more closely I thought it was better to make that main template work like 04:58, 8 July 2022 (UTC)before instead, so I made that change too. But I thought there was no point undoing the smaller change to the other templates, since it makes no difference. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 19:29, 2 July 2022 (UTC)

Blacklisting altox[edit]

A considerable part of the spam we've been facing for the last few days link to their site. I think we should blacklist their name. GeeJayK (talk) 17:56, 2 July 2022 (UTC)


Response has been sluggish for the past hour or so. Is there a DDoS going on? Bongolian (talk) 17:57, 4 July 2022 (UTC)

Seems to be better now. Bongolian (talk) 18:29, 4 July 2022 (UTC)
Currently having extreme sluggishness. Bongolian (talk) 05:03, 8 July 2022 (UTC)
Same. I also got a 503 server error I think. LongStylus (talk) 05:08, 8 July 2022 (UTC)

Magic links not working[edit]

@Tim Starling It appears that magic links, such as the magic link to Special:BookSources attached to an ISBN, are not working since the latest upgrade. MediaWiki says that this is disabled by default after MW 1.28. Could this be enabled at your next maintenance time? —cosmikdebris talk stalk 14:11, 15 July 2022 (UTC)

The Special:BookSources link worked for me. I entered an ISBN and got valid links to websites for the ISBN. Bongolian (talk) 16:39, 15 July 2022 (UTC)

Is it jsut me or did the spambots get more aggressive since June?[edit]

2600:387:9:3:0:0:0:4F (talk) 20:31, 31 July 2022 (UTC)

Internal error on the 2018 Archives section from the Articles For Deletion page[edit]

Thought I'd report this. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 17:27, 1 August 2022 (UTC)

Yes, this error is still happening (RationalWiki:Articles for deletion/Archive 2018). Other AfD archives do not give this error message. Bongolian (talk) 18:15, 28 September 2022 (UTC)

Board of Trustees election[edit]

Can someone start the voting process on this? It's pro forma since there are only 2 candidates, but it's been a month since campaigning officially ended. Bongolian (talk) 16:55, 18 August 2022 (UTC)

Past practice has been to ping @David Gerard and ask him nicely to set up the poll. I don't see any need to bother him or Tim since there are only two candidates for two positions. Why not ask the mob to declare the vote closed? —cosmikdebris talk stalk 22:11, 18 August 2022 (UTC)
I think last time it was pro forma people wanted to hold the vote anyways but I might be misremembering. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 01:00, 19 August 2022 (UTC)
yeah, if there's two positions and two nominees then the election is finished and there's no reason to do makework with the server etc - David Gerard (talk) 14:13, 24 August 2022 (UTC)
I can never remember how to change the system message. Can someone tell me how, or just remove the current message? Bongolian (talk) 17:24, 24 August 2022 (UTC)
I'll take care of this. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 17:51, 24 August 2022 (UTC)
I think I have all the relevant pages updated here. If I missed anything please let me know.
I also updated the foundation's web site. Since Oxy departed I am the only one who has permissions there. We should look for another volunteer or two to back me up there. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 19:06, 24 August 2022 (UTC)
What technical skills are required? Bongolian (talk) 21:22, 24 August 2022 (UTC)

MathML rendering problem[edit]

Page [[Fun:Mathematical fallacies]] is filled with error messages:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle A=B}

When I put large parts of the page between <!-- and --> the remaining lines render correctly, but this seems only to depend on the number of commented out math expressions, not on which particular expression has been removed. Can someone with more experience with MathML take a look at this issue? blobcat (°U°) 10:31, 25 August 2022 (UTC)

Possible server errors on the Russian side of RW[edit]

Someone is reporting specific server error messages on the Russian RW.[1] It might have something to do with the fixes that were addressed by David Gerard in March of this year (RationalWiki:Technical support/Archive24#Our Russian site). Bongolian (talk) 19:13, 5 September 2022 (UTC)

Yeah it was me. And if someone need help with translating bug report or testing or something I can help. We really need fix this errors, thnx. Who can do that? Holger (talk) 02:10, 7 September 2022 (UTC)
Most likely, @David Gerard. Bongolian (talk) 02:20, 7 September 2022 (UTC)
I'll have a look this evening - David Gerard (talk) 14:28, 7 September 2022 (UTC)
How it's going on? @David Gerard (We need working search on site to editing page references) Holger (talk) 15:23, 8 September 2022 (UTC)

Reverting vandalism on Southern Strategy identified as harmful?[edit]

A page on the wiki called "Southern Strategy" has been vandalized to say something like "I will beat you to pulp" multiple times, yet when I try to revert it it thinks that I'm harmful and trying to vandalize the page. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Probably a quirk of the edit filter tagging anything that removes a significant amount of characters on a page as vandalism. Plutocow (talk) 02:02, 8 September 2022 (UTC)

Weird accounts[edit]

So, I checked the User Creation Log and it occured to me that recently alot of accounts starting with "Verona", "Svetl" & "Igor" were created. Just thought I'd let you know. They look suspicious to me (like something that the edit filter should pick up (accounts that get banned for being "blackhat SEO Spammers" or "Clear spam/bot accounts" (I think it's the latter one (bot accounts))). Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 09:57, 21 September 2022 (UTC)

The accounts don't actually seem to be doing any edits, so they're not obvious spam. Bongolian (talk) 15:31, 21 September 2022 (UTC)

Tried to create an AfD, need help?[edit]

I created this page: RationalWiki:Articles_for_deletion/Laird_Shaw. Not sure how to format/create it properly. BUFO (talk) 23:09, 23 September 2022 (UTC)

I have fixed the formatting of the AfD for you. For future reference, see the 4-step instructions at the top of RationalWiki:Articles for deletion. Bongolian (talk) 04:21, 24 September 2022 (UTC)

Page won't load[edit]

moved from Talk:Modern Science in the Biblecosmikdebris talk stalk 02:39, 25 September 2022 (UTC)

for some reason the page isn't "working right now" (talk) 02:21, 25 September 2022 (UTC)

I got a 500 error on this page, and did a couple of edits to see if I could snap it out. It's back now, but I got a "Error 503 Backend fetch failed...Guru Meditation: XID: 425538927" error on saving my latest change. A transitory error? Not sure what the source of this error is. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 02:39, 25 September 2022 (UTC)

worked for a while but it won't load again (talk) 04:17, 26 September 2022 (UTC)

A minor annoyance[edit]

For whatever reason, Andrew Wommack still shows up in Special:DeadendPages. And a number of fork pages are still in Special:LonelyPages, in spite of User:Christopher/Not so lonely. Is there a reason they're not working? Plutocow (talk) 02:43, 25 September 2022 (UTC)

New MediaWiki LTS release[edit]

MediaWiki 1.39, the next LTS, will be released in November. Just letting the sysadmins know, you may want to upgrade @David Gerard @Tmtoulouse @Tim Starling (though I guess the latter probably already knows). Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 14:49, 30 September 2022 (UTC)