Discworld & Pratchett Wiki:Mended Drum/Archive 4

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This is an Archived Discussion Page. If you wish to comment on any of these threads please do so at Discworld & Pratchett Wiki:Mended Drum. All new threads should be started there. Thank you.


I didn't get a confirmation e-mail, although I seem to have an account. Did anyone get the e-mail? --Old Dickens (talk) 16:00, 27 September 2012 (PDT) It works now. --Old Dickens (talk) 18:50, 29 September 2012 (PDT)
Oh wow...I just noticed that this version can display the ampersand in the title! --Old Dickens (talk) 16:32, 27 September 2012 (PDT)


Spam here already! How do they even know it exists? --Old Dickens (talk) 09:16, 6 October 2012 (PDT)

Funny thing I just discovered, I can prevent new users from creating new pages. They will have to wait a set number of days unless they confirm their emails. Now i just need time to implement it. --Osiris (talk) 11:03, 6 October 2012 (PDT)
Is it not written: "We live and learn"? --Old Dickens (talk) 20:56, 6 October 2012 (PDT)

Strange goings-on back at the original wiki: no editing, apparently. A sign of progress, I trust. --Old Dickens (talk) 18:33, 7 October 2012 (PDT)

He backed up the site and sent it to me. He disabled edits because any new edits wouldn't get moved over to the new site --Osiris (talk) 20:14, 7 October 2012 (PDT)

...and it's driving the spammers MAAAAAD! Over 250 today and the day's not over. I don't feel up to that; I hope there's some way to purge or re-start the user list. --Old Dickens (talk) 14:42, 9 October 2012 (PDT)

I wouldn't bother, none of those new users will show up here since they're not included in the database backup that Sanity gave me. --Osiris (talk) 22:13, 9 October 2012 (PDT)

We now have the best part of a thousand spammer accounts arranged in one long neat unbroken list. I'm wondering if there is any way of simultaneously highlighting and deleting them all with two or three clicks of a mouse? (Select all to a certain point on the list and then hit block and delete, ideally, once each..) This would be so satisfying.... AgProv (talk) 11:12, 13 October 2012 (PDT)

On this wiki a spammer has to pass two steps before they can make an edit. First they must pass the capcha, sadly some to them can do that. Second they must verify their email address, very few seem to be able to pass that second test. I wouldn't worry too much about deleting spam accounts. I plan to develop a script that will run monthly to clean them up. Basically, any user which hasn't confirmed their email after 30 days gets deleted. --Osiris (talk) 12:04, 8 November 2012 (PST)
Oh. It was sort of fun shooting them individually, seeing the terror in their beady little eyes... --Old Dickens (talk) 14:37, 8 November 2012 (PST)
Feel free to shoot away, just don't worry if you miss. --Osiris (talk) 13:39, 9 November 2012 (PST)

Starting over

The notice at the top isn't available for editing or I'd fix the spilleng; anyway, there are some more bits missing:

  • discussion pages
  • categories (the list is there but not the page itself, heading and comments)
  • The de: links (The Czech version seems to be gone anyway)
  • and especially the wiki.lspace link

Other questions:

  • Will there be a custom skin, wallpaper?
  • Why is my ISP address different?

If there's a chance of losing any of this material, might we know what so we could download as much as possible while it's available? I've done my own stuff and some bits of history but there are many discussion pages I'd hate to lose, back issues of the Mended Drum, etc.--Old Dickens (talk) 15:35, 15 October 2012 (PDT)

I do have everything, i just need to get it working properly. RL issues have gotten in the way. I wouldn't edit this too much since I may replace quit a few pages. Also, the cabal will be updating the wiki.lspace.org link soon. --Osiris (talk) 19:15, 15 October 2012 (PDT)
BTW The spammers can create users all day long but they cant post anything without email verification. --Osiris (talk) 20:06, 17 October 2012 (PDT)
So one verifies his email, WTF! --Osiris (talk) 10:36, 18 October 2012 (PDT)

Amazon Outage

Since this website is now hosted on the Amazon Web Services cloud, any outage to Amazon will affect us. Hence the brief outage today. I don't think Amazon is back up to full capacity yet though since the server is still super slow. --Osiris (talk) 19:44, 22 October 2012 (PDT)

Spam Accounts

Hopefully, ReCapcha will continue to block the creation of spam accounts. It's been 15 minutes and no new accounts were created but I was able to create a test account.

BTW: You shouldnt see a capcha if you have an account and have confirmed your email. If ReCapcha continues to work well, I may allow anonymous edits again. Next item on the TODO list. Image files... --Osiris (talk) 20:17, 26 October 2012 (PDT)

It seems about 99% effective so far. --Old Dickens (talk) 16:09, 27 October 2012 (PDT)

Just a reminder, unless a spammer manages to authenticate it's email address that person cannot post. Very few of the spammers are managing to authenticate. The rest just create accounts that I delete every few months. You don't really need to delete all of them unless you really really want to. --Osiris (talk) 16:01, 29 January 2013 (GMT)

There is now a list of about a thousand: the few legitimate contributors hardly matter to the total. Several have posted since the update. --Old Dickens (talk) 23:25, 29 January 2013 (GMT)
Surely it would make sense to simply prevent spammers from creating accounts in the first place. Allowing to fill the database up with bogus accounts is counter-productive and the number of spam accounts that are created on this site each day is surprisingly high. See below re my suggestion. --CelticWanderer  talk | contribs | email 21:46, 6 June 2013 (GMT)

Hi all, just thought I would mention that I was quite amazed at the number of spam accounts being created on a daily basis here. This happened to me a while back on my own wiki before I changed my methods to combat it. I currently use ConfirmEdit with QuestyCaptcha to combat spam accounts etc. and since then I have not had a single spam account created! Why? Because it uses questions that you create to be used at the 'create account' stage. The account creator has to answer a question, which is random every time the page is refreshed. I have six questions on my site and one is really easy: 'what is the name of this wiki?' etc. I have five other questions relating to the subject matter of my wiki of varying levels. You can make them as easy or as difficult as you like (although I would recommend quite easy for novice readers of Discworld like myself) and this is pretty much the most effective way to combat 90-95% of spammers, especially bots who cannot understand the question option, therefore can never create a spam account.

Of course if a human was persistent in creating an account to post spam across this excellent site they could, especially if they are knowledgeable about Discworld, but in general people could work out the answer to a question by reading the information on this site. However, this is incredibly rare. Well, it is for my wiki anyway.

All you have to do is install the extension, think of a selection of questions (and include their answers) and add it to the localsetting.php file like this:

require_once( "$IP/extensions/ConfirmEdit/ConfirmEdit.php" );
require_once( "$IP/extensions/ConfirmEdit/QuestyCaptcha.php");
$wgCaptchaClass = 'QuestyCaptcha';
$arr = array (
       "A question?" => "An answer!",
       "What is this wiki's name?" => "$wgSitename",
       'Please write the magic secret, "passion", here:' => 'passion',
       'Type the code word, 567, here:' => '567',
       'Which animal? <img src="http://www.example.com/path/to/filename_not_including_dog.jpg" alt="" title="" />' => 'dog',
);
foreach ( $arr as $key => $value ) {
       $wgCaptchaQuestions[] = array( 'question' => $key, 'answer' => $value );
}

I don't even bother with recapture as it just wasn't effective against bots any more.

If the nice admin folk here haven't utilized it before then I would certainly recommend it. It worked for me --CelticWanderer  talk | contribs | email 08:40, 6 June 2013 (GMT)

We used QuestyCaptcha last year in the original version. It slowed them down for about two days until their program learned the answers (I assume). My original idea was to use Discworld-specific questions and change them when necessary. It was pointed out that this might exclude not only newbies, but complete strangers from some link in left field who could still make a contribution. It's all engineering...and politics. --Old Dickens (talk) 19:39, 7 June 2013 (GMT)
What questions did you use where bots could figure out the answers? Generally speaking they are not that sophisticated. Questions shouldn't be mathematical, too simple or too complicated so I guess it is difficult to say what would be considered as decent question that both veterans and newbies alike can answer. I think the questions should be Discworld specific and worded in simple English in such a way that the answer can easily be found on this site. Changing the questions when necessary, maybe every six months, is a good idea.
I do, however, agree with you that using this extension might exclude newbies. I look at it this way, anyone who is serious in joining and contributing to the site (which are the people you want to be attracting here anyway) will be keen enough to find the answer/s to the question/s they are posed with.
Giving it another try has to be an improvement on the current situation, which is far from ideal. I certainly would prefer to put more time into improving a site instead of dealing with spam accounts and vandalism. --CelticWanderer  talk | contribs | email 20:30, 7 June 2013 (GMT)

Just checking the RecentChanges again and the number of spam accounts being created on this site is crazy. Since last night (GMT) there have been 50 new spam accounts. How do you guys put up with this madness? I have noticed the admins spend a bit of time deleting these accounts and all this action is making the RecentChanges difficult to view. So, I checked my Watchlist and for some reason it is showing changes that shouldn't be there, see new section at bottom of page for more about this issue. --CelticWanderer  talk | contribs | email 16:50, 10 June 2013 (GMT)

Here's an interesting development. go to Special Pages and then to Users and Rights/Active User List. Two names are mentioned there as active users - Parent7Kettle and Taiwan5kettle. both have only one edit to their name - in both cases they vandalised the Main Page, deleting it completely and repalcing with spam. As they were still listed as "active", I attempted to merge and delete. But in both cases it was impossible to do so. I went through the merge/delete procedure and got this error message:

Database error A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was: (SQL query hidden) from within function "DatabaseBase::update". Database returned error "1062: Duplicate entry '0-0-Main_Page' for key 'wl_user' (127.0.0.1:3307)".

I am wondering if these might be the trojan hoses allowing other spammers to enter and set up fake accounts? AgProv (talk) 09:28, 18 June 2013 (GMT)

Files Work Again!

FYI: Pictures are back to working again. Also, sorry for the outages, first a slight hiccup because of a hurricane and then I got called away while in the middle of upgrading the hardware profile. --Osiris (talk) 22:09, 2 November 2012 (PDT)

External Links Work Again!

...you might boast about these things a little. --Old Dickens (talk) 20:45, 3 November 2012 (PDT)

The link from Doubleday's Terry Pratchett site is still wrong, though. --Old Dickens (talk) 09:55, 10 November 2012 (PST)

Moving In

So are Talk pages going to be uploaded or are we starting anew?--Zdm (talk) 23:25, 5 November 2012 (PST)

Eventually, I'm having a small problem bringing up the copy of the system that Sanity gave me. That combines with real life considerations means I havent had the time to spend on it. --Osiris (talk) 10:40, 6 November 2012 (PST)
I was just worried about what might happen if I created one and then the old one was added in later. --Zdm (talk) 14:56, 6 November 2012 (PST)
Keep a copy. I've made a couple of new entries, but on the basis that they might disappear. --Old Dickens (talk) 15:03, 6 November 2012 (PST)

The dense Cloud seems to have lifted; I've had smooth communication for a while now! --Old Dickens (talk) 17:41, 6 November 2012 (PST)

I increased the size of the server and fixed an email issue. --Osiris (talk) 18:37, 6 November 2012 (PST)
Excellent, I had an issue with saving edits take five minutes and then fail to save but that no longer seems to be happening. I am also really glad that we have the little signiture button on the top of the editing screen again, it is really convenient. --Zdm (talk) 21:52, 6 November 2012 (PST)

Hello

I just wanted to introduce myself; I'm Joe, I was kind of active on the old wiki but since the wiki's been refreshed I'm going to try and be a lot more active! If there's anything I can do to help ten please drop me a note! --Krysophrase (talk) 03:58, 7 November 2012 (PST)

It is good to see that people are making their way to the new wiki, also, what was your name on the old wiki?--Zdm (talk) 07:41, 7 November 2012 (PST)
I was called ArchchancellorJoe on the old wiki but I decided to change to my general internet name. -- Joe (talk) 05:39, 9 November 2012 (PST)

Blocking IP's

Please do not block IP addresses. This site is now behind a load balancer so the site sees everyone coming from the same IP address. The load balancer was necessary to avoid having to have the Cabal update domain records when I resize the virtual server. --Osiris (talk) 13:18, 18 November 2012 (PST)

Quick question:

Is anyone else having difficulty uploading files (jpeg artwork) or is it just me?

Also, I may be slow on the uptake here and I'm sure nothing's actually been lost, I'm sure the Main Page on the old site said we had over 3,000 articles/entries. This one tells me we only have 1,707. But nothing of primary importance seems to have been lost? (All the Discussions, yes, but rather lose those than the main entries.) Is it just a different way of counting things? AgProv (talk) 14:36, 1 December 2012 (PST)

I noticed that too. My thought is that it comes from losing the discussion pages and most other special pages such as the Catagory pages. Also it appears that not all pictures transferred correctly, many of the ones with symbols such as 'Ã' seem to be giving errors.--Zdm (talk) 15:07, 1 December 2012 (PST) (Also is anyone else unable to paste text into the editor?)
Yep, I get a "Fatal exception of type UploadStashFileException". I mentioned the wonky counter before. (I just pasted the error message there.) --Old Dickens (talk) 16:37, 1 December 2012 (PST)

My recurring error message is Could not create directory "mwstore://local-backend/local-public/a/a3". AgProv (talk) 07:49, 8 December 2012 (PST)

Try now. I changed something and managed to upload a file. --Osiris (talk) 08:06, 8 December 2012 (PST)

Hey, thanks! Works perfectly, although the artwork (just a bit of amusing whimsy. Is Matt Smith still around?) came out a lot bigger than I anticipated! AgProv (talk) 08:38, 8 December 2012 (PST)

I would also like to see the Small Gods Question talk page fixed even if the other talk pages aren't. --Zdm (talk) 19:42, 1 December 2012 (PST)

I wasn't aware of that issue. I'll try working on it tomorrow. --Osiris (talk) 20:39, 1 December 2012 (PST)

1,524 articles today, despite having added at least twenty. Most strange! AgProv (talk) 01:43, 8 December 2012 (PST).

...aka the Fred Colon Memorial article counter? --Old Dickens (talk) 05:34, 8 December 2012 (PST)
How about 4,159. Apparently, Sanity had this setting configured differently. --Osiris (talk) 07:27, 8 December 2012 (PST)

4,159 now... hey, that's an interesting plug-in! AgProv (talk) 07:47, 8 December 2012 (PST)

It seems pretty clever; it doesn't include any redirects or other extraneous pages that I can see. It matches the count in "Oldest pages". --Old Dickens (talk) 16:19, 12 December 2012 (PST)
It's a kind of Magic --Osiris (talk) 21:49, 12 December 2012 (PST)

Lspace Skin

The old default skin is available in your preferences area. I haven't forced everyone over to it because it needs a few fixes in the sidebar. --Osiris (talk) 11:21, 2 December 2012 (PST)

It only works in the preview, though; I can't save the setting. In fact, I can't save any setting. --Old Dickens (talk) 11:40, 2 December 2012 (PST)
I get a message saying my changes were saved but nothing actually happens.--Zdm (talk) 13:37, 2 December 2012 (PST)

New Rant

It seems slightly odd that absolutely no one from the foundation of the wiki remains active (except perhaps Death, who remains at the German Discwiki). OK, DaibhidC has chimed in a few times; not really active. The denizens of afp who thought it up in the first place have been conspicuously absent. The few of us on the staff now have remained since the second generation, but it seems we dwindle and rely on AgProv's input more than ever.

Why do we:

  • not attract more useful contributors?
  • not retain useful contributors (we've had many come and go)?
  • not attract better illustrations, as AgProv just mentioned?

The current rough look and missing pieces of the wiki are another hindrance but the problem goes back years. Many of us have done good work over several years to produce a comprehensive and often amusing source of information but we seem to lack something in marketing.

One on my issues is that for some reason I always expect a small group of new contributors to join after Terry publishes a new book but for some reason they never materialize. Another thing is that when one searches 'Discworld wiki' we are pretty far down on the list, even lower then another wiki that has only 500 or so articles. This may be partially because of the site move but it defiantly isn't helping us. --Zdm (talk) 22:22, 14 December 2012 (PST)

I don't find that problem with searches. If you Google the characters in the current 'Recent changes' this wiki comes first or second, generally. Major characters and names with other Roundworld meanings will have more competition and may push us down the list. Googling 'Discworld wiki' shows us on the first page, following only Wikipedia. This is part of why I wonder about the shortage of contributors. --Old Dickens (talk) 07:54, 15 December 2012 (PST)
Many of the google searches I have done have shown this site to be at the top or at least near the top of each page. Wikipedia didn't even come up top when searching for 'Discworld wiki', this site did. So, I am guessing since your posting in December last year, this site's ranking has improved since then. I have moved my wiki several times and each time it took a little time to get back to the (or near) the top of google searches.
Regarding the "rough look and missing pieces" hindrance, this is something I have been fighting with and have only in recent months changed the look of my wiki. I preferred the look of the Vector skin when that was released in version 1.16 but even now I find it quite dull so I slightly reinvented the Vector skin for my own needs just by changing some css. Aesthetics are very important! If people don't like the look of the site instantly for whatever reason they will not use it. This I have learned and so tried to make my wiki more inviting, which I am still working on but I'm definitely getting there. --   CelticWanderer      talk        contribs        edits     07:54, 7 June 2013 (GMT)
Regarding "why do we not attract more useful contributors", has anyone considered starting a Twitter feed or a Facebook page? I am sure you have. I don't use either as I have no use for them but millions of other people do and there must be a lot of Pratchett and Discworld fans out there using both. If you want to get a wider audience that doesn't simply reply on web searches, this might have to be the way to go. What about the Terry Pratchett website and asking for permissions to use illustrations fro there? Is anyone on their message boards spreading the word? --   CelticWanderer      talk        contribs        edits     09:00, 7 June 2013 (GMT)
The "rough look", of course, was in the early development; we have the old green skin back now and everything works except histories and foreign-language links, I think. The Terry Pratchett site has fixed its link recently and I would expect that to send more visitors. --Old Dickens (talk) 19:59, 7 June 2013 (GMT)

As Zdm mentioned, Talk:Book:Small Gods is one of the wiki's best efforts; how do we advertise that and reproduce it? --Old Dickens (talk) 04:39, 2 February 2013 (GMT)

TODO List

I should have some time to work on the wiki here in the next week since I'm off work. Of course, that can change at the whim of the lady and kiddo. So what's the top items you think are missing and that i need to work on? --Osiris (talk) 23:47, 22 December 2012 (PST)

I am still unable to save any preference changes and I would like to see the Small Gods Question talk page restored. Those are the only major thing I can think of right know. --Zdm (talk) 00:05, 23 December 2012 (PST)

The only thing that comes to mind is (perhaps selectively) restoring the Discussion pages, if this is at all possible. Currency, Sock Under The Mattress, and the one about everyday economics of Ankh-Morpork, all had interesting discussions going and additional notes, as I recall. AgProv (talk) 03:37, 23 December 2012 (PST)

  • ALL the discussion pages (well, nearly all; a few seem to have wandered off.)
  • Page histories : probably not possible.
  • Other language links (de:)
  • The Help namespace (mostly Help:Editing)
  • Whatever is wrong with the templates. The templates are also mostly free from gibberish and editing themselves again, except the cover look-up from Amazon in the Book Data template. It still doesn't work and leaves an unsightly swath of code across the top. I can remove that but it leaves the image off-center and the box too wide. --Old Dickens (talk) 16:00, 27 January 2013 (GMT)
  • User preference settings.
  • A minor oddity: the contributors appear in code, or just as the universal IPA in the Gallery of new files, although they're correctly identified in the individual File: pages.

And what have you done to the poor spammers, by the way? There don't seem to be any legitimate sign-ups either. --Old Dickens (talk) 07:30, 23 December 2012 (PST)

Also it would nice to have the old Mended Drum archives back. --Zdm (talk) 09:32, 23 December 2012 (PST)

I have those myself. I can put them up again if Osiris can't extract them. --Old Dickens (talk) 10:10, 23 December 2012 (PST) They're there now. --Old Dickens (talk) 12:42, 27 December 2012 (PST)

Also the getting started guide is still missing. It is the only major red-link on the main page that I can see. --Zdm (talk) 14:05, 23 December 2012 (PST)

Also done. --Old Dickens (talk) 12:42, 27 December 2012 (PST)


Merry Christmas: Here's most of the old wiki up and running. Still no access to anything in the Book namespace though. --Osiris (talk) 13:15, 25 December 2012 (PST)


I hadn't noticed that Death joined us back in January (wie gehts, Jens). If there's a problem connecting the de: links he might be able to help. I'd like to lose those red links. --Old Dickens (talk) 01:21, 2 April 2013 (GMT)

New element

...and happy Hogswatch and Hogmanay. Hoo! This is getting confusing. I guess you mean there's no Book namespace in the "old wiki" (gods know why), but then in the "old wiki" there's a Talk page for "Bergholt Stuttley Johnson' but no actual page (likewise 'Broomstick'; of course it was only the Talk pages we were missing). Will it be possible to assimilate the Discussion pages into the "new wiki" or will we have to do that manually, as noticed or required? Casual viewers certainly can't be expected to find a nested "archive" wiki. --Old Dickens (talk) 16:56, 25 December 2012 (PST)
I have some archives and Talk pages copied here, but I need to know whether it would be useful to paste them up now, or would that just get in the way of a general restoration? --Old Dickens (talk) 17:30, 25 December 2012 (PST)

Talk pages have been imported.--Osiris (talk) 19:21, 25 December 2012 (PST)
Very impressive. --Zdm (talk) 20:04, 25 December 2012 (PST)
...what he said. --Old Dickens (talk) 20:19, 25 December 2012 (PST)

Go here to export and here to import --Osiris (talk) 20:24, 25 December 2012 (PST)

Weird. Talk:Bibliography exists but Talk:Book:Title doesn't. --Old Dickens (talk) 21:08, 25 December 2012 (PST)

Here are the BOOK pages... And the BOOK TALK pages... --Osiris (talk) 07:41, 26 December 2012 (PST)

Things are looking up, but Discussions for Soul Music and Thief of Time seem to be missing (both significant, I would have thought). --Old Dickens (talk) 11:36, 26 December 2012 (PST)
Neither of those are in the database. --Osiris (talk) 07:52, 27 December 2012 (PST)

They're baaack!

Speak of the devil and in crawls a spammer under just the common IP address. How did that happen? --Old Dickens (talk) 16:54, 27 December 2012 (PST)

Reverted his vandalism but I don't seem to be able to delete the bugger - keeps going to an error page. Can you help?AgProv (talk) 17:01, 27 December 2012 (PST)

You can't do anything to the spammer: it's just the common IPA that everyone converts to for reasons known only to denizens of the H.E.M. The question is how he got to edit at all without an ID. I just tried and just submitting an email address won't do it, you have to be logged in. --Old Dickens (talk) 17:25, 27 December 2012 (PST)

My fault, for some reason people cant confirm email addresses at the moment so I was trying to find the cause and opened everything up for a few minutes. --Osiris (talk) 18:45, 27 December 2012 (PST)
Sneaky buggers. --Old Dickens (talk) 19:05, 27 December 2012 (PST)

ref, user Gigano: not only the wrong language but totally irrelevant too. I ran his blathering through the Babylon translator and it comes out as Thanks to its type design each even smallest room in our flat may become not only interiors functional, but above all pleasant).I'd put it in better English if I could be bothered, but I'm not. Can't see that as being Discworld-relevant, somehow! AgProv (talk) 12:59, 8 January 2013 (GMT)

Is it just me or are account creations not showing up in the recent changes?--Zdm (talk) 04:26, 9 January 2013 (GMT)

Account creation is broken. I still haven't figured it out yet either. I manually activated TC01's account. --Osiris (talk) 13:23, 9 January 2013 (GMT)

A toast

At the year's end, I suggest that our little band has made it to Florida, if not the stars.
I propose a Brindisi (surely you have a glass of something handy at this time of year) to the Founders,
Osiris, those who have hung in over the long drive, and all the valuable contributors over seven years.
Here's to us, and the return of auld acquaintances and the arrival of article 4000.
Happy Hogswatch, Happy Hogmanay, Bonne Année, Gelukkig Nieuwjaar, l'chaim and lang may yer lum reek!
Old Dickens - Editor Quia Nemo Vult ... 31 Dec 2012

Database Crashed

Sorry for the outage, the db crashed when i wasnt looking. FYI: You can reach me at disc@osiris-web.com anytime to let me know of issues with the site. --Osiris (talk) 17:01, 2 January 2013 (PST)

Yay! You probably had to go back to work today and I empathise, but spare a thought for those of us snowbound in the frozen north with nothing else to do. --Old Dickens (talk) 17:33, 2 January 2013 (PST)

Crude remedy for messy templates

Not as good as fixing the stupid template, but to remove the weird code in place of the unused "photo" field, use "Blank.jpg|". See Bashfull Bashfullsson. --Old Dickens (talk) 00:53, 9 January 2013 (GMT)

Question re editing/previewing

Hi! I've just noticed when I was setting up a new entry: I went to the Preview screen as usual to proof-read the piece and to seek to eliminate any glaring crass compositional errors, as you do. This is probably a case of All-Discworld-Slow-On-The-uptake syndrome, but I've realised the one thing you cannot preview in this screen is the Category. Therefore you can't see until you've saved the page is whether the details for Category are correct. it'sonly when it comes up as a redlink that you realise it isn't - I had a frustrating time with <<Category: Discworld Flora & Fauna>>, for instance. I don't suppose there's any way this can be amended? Cheers. AgProv (talk) 22:22, 12 January 2013 (GMT)

Ah, the new-style preview at the top of the box, no. It doesn't allow you to carry on editing, either; I don't see the use of it. The same old preview button at the bottom beside "Save page" works the same as ever. --Old Dickens (talk) 22:39, 12 January 2013 (GMT)

Back in business?

A tentative hallelujah for new users confirmation. Who's still out there? --Old Dickens (talk) 04:57, 26 January 2013 (GMT)

Looks like Vandals 11, Contributors 0 so far. --Old Dickens (talk) 15:55, 26 January 2013 (GMT)

Also, I was about to delete the dead link to "Biers" in the sidebar, but I wondered if there were some reason for it. ?

Turns out there was a bug in the 1.20.1 version of MediaWiki that recently got fixed in 1.20.2. So I upgraded. As for Biers, I don't care about it. Did you notice the default skin changed? And user preferences work again. --Osiris (talk) 05:51, 26 January 2013 (GMT)
I don't care if nothing works after this, we have the old skin back and that deserves a little party. :) --Zdm (talk) 06:37, 26 January 2013 (GMT)


Discworld Diaries?

Hi, I wanted to ask about the Discworld Diaries (Assassins, UU, Reformed Vampires etc) Is the information in them considered cannon?

I have several of these and they have extra information not detailed in the books, such as a Ramtop kingdom which has embraced the Way of the Cospolite (and even the Black Cult that worship her evil neighbour Mrs Golightly), they name the Vampire Count that Greebo ate as a bat, and the previous Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography who was eaten by Thunderlizards on Mono Island.

Let me know if you'd like any of this added,

regards

--Dromandkass 27 January 10:43pm GMT

As an example, Mr John "Not-A-Vampire-At-All" Smith first appears in the Vampires' Diary, as does Pamela Betty von Jones: they cross over to Thud! as the vampire committee pressuring Vetinari and Vimes to add a vampire officer to the Watch. Alice Band's first appearance was in the Assassins' Guild yearbook: she crosses to the opening chapters of Night Watch. There are so many examples of information passing over from the Yearbooks to the novels that it's a pretty safe bet to assume it can be treated as canonical! Even more - but as I know to my cost, not all - information from the yearbooks has been copied over to the Companions. Would you have the Assasins' Yearbook, dromandkiss? I'd love to see the incidental info in that in more detail! Cheers AgProv (talk) 22:36, 27 January 2013 (GMT)

I think we've always assumed that anything with The Author's name on the cover is canon (note spelling), even if it might have been Stephen Briggs or others' idea; we rely on The Discworld Companion and The New Discworld Companion, we've wikified them for years. --Old Dickens (talk) 01:34, 28 January 2013 (GMT)

Thanks for your response, I'll start adding information from the diaries. The ones I have are: Unseen University, Assassins, Thieves, Post Office, Reformed Vampires & Lu Tze's book of enlightmement, but I don't have the Fool's or the Watch. I don't know why they didn't make more of these, there were plenty of groups they could have used (Seamstresses, Beggers, Times etc) it's a pity they stopped. Perhaps they weren't selling very well, but it's hard to get them these days, and most now sell online for more than they were worth when printed! Regards --Dromandkass 29 January 2013 11:03pm GMT

Picture Rules?

Do we have any official rules on which pictures can be uploaded and used and which can't? (copyright, artist request, ect.) Also is there a list of artists who have allowed their pictures to be used? --Zdm (talk) 05:13, 28 January 2013 (GMT)

The accepted rule on copyright is that to use a picture, it requires the explicit and preferably written permission of the artist first. I have retained emails and PM's from artists I have contacted on deviantArt and other sites so that documentary proof exists and can be cited in the event of subsequent inquiry. Most artists are absolutely pleased for their work to be used here - if you ask nicely - so long as they are credited, a link is put up to their website or dA (or similarly hosted) gallery, and of course a rider is added about it not being copied on without permission nor used for commercial gain.

"Public domain" images are acceptable if used and do not require permission - my adaptations of currency notes that have been reproduced here and there, for instance.

There is also a rule about "fair usage" - ie, if part or all of a copyright image is used in the context of an academic argument or critical discussion. For an example, refer to illustration on the Alice Band page, where "fair usage" would justifiably apply to both illustrations as they are cited to demonstrate a point about the character's origins.

Of course, any member of this site who posts their own artwork - Matt, puggdogg, me - has implicitly given consent by posting their own intellectual property here, although this is of course protected from copying on by the same copyright protocol!

And, as Old Dickens has pointed out, it is common courtesy to get the artist's name exactly right in the credit...whoops...

I'm not sure about the provenance or right-to-use of screen grabs from the various Discworld animations, though. I note there's a Dibbler illustration on his page that is taken direct from the animation of Soul Music. If we can't justify "fair usage", this may need to be taken down. Votes on this? AgProv (talk) 08:25, 28 January 2013 (GMT)

We've gotten along for some time using fairly small and low-res versions as have others. I'd say we continue as always and if an artist objects we'll take it down (no one ever has). They should be at less-than-photo resolution and modest size even as uploaded (the full version being available for download by anyone, not just the size in the article. Credit should always be given, of course. I think some of that is missing. --Old Dickens (talk) 23:09, 28 January 2013 (GMT)
Is it not written: "everything works if people are reasonable"?
I had a think about "credit should always be given". If AgProv has gone to Jennifer Babcock and been granted permission to publish her drawing, it's probably polite to credit her; people who write, though never so cleverly, don't sign their work in a wiki or get credit outside the History. Why do contributors of graphics get special consideration? Because they're scarce. We've had dozens, maybe a hundred valuable contributors of text. The list of signed-up, volunteer contributors of useful graphic art is very short. --Old Dickens (talk) 00:36, 30 January 2013 (GMT)

Quite pleased with myself... I've been schmoozing various artists I know or have encountered, and got a really nice picture for the Quoth the Raven page today. (Thanks, Jen! I know you promise yourself you'll properly start reading Pratchett one day. Given your academic speciality, I may send you a thank-you copy of Pyramids c/o your university. You'll either love it or hate it. I'm guessing "love."). with a bit of luck, there will be more guest artists on the way, one or two of whom may even sign up and contribute. you never know...AgProv (talk) 00:14, 30 January 2013 (GMT)

Carry on, you silver-tongued devil! --Old Dickens (talk) 00:36, 30 January 2013 (GMT)

Another issue comes up with this picture is that it is no a screenshot of the movie, it is a picture of a prop from the movie, with no photographer credit given. How do we deal with situations where we don't know who took/created the picture? Also there are some other pictures from here that I would love to use, specifically the ones of Terry with the clacks tower signs but I'm not sure whether 'fair use' covers them or not. Even Wikipedia's rules don't seem to entirely cover this situation. Also the We-r-Igors picture here is amazing. --Zdm (talk) 05:32, 30 January 2013 (GMT)

I share your concern over use of the Pin Exchange image, as it seems to have been lifted from the PJSM site, who have a very large warning notice up saying they will pursue breaches of copyright and unapproved re-users of their imagery. I have emailed them to request permission (see below) and we will see what reply comes back, if any. Until then I thought it was prudent to take down the Pin Exchange picture - at least temporarily, until formal permission is or is not given. Their FAQ page suggests they will be sympathetic, though!

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hello, If I can introduce myself and humbly beg a favour. I and several other Pratchett obsessives run, manage and edit the Discworld and Terry Pratchett L-Space Wiki, which we intend to be as complete an encyclopaedia of all things Pratchett as we can manage. We currently have over 3,500 entries and we hope not to stop here!

(link to Main Page)

We are currently looking for illustrations to accompsny our articles. Mindful of your intention to protect your copyright, we do not want to infringe or cause offence. But please could we humbly ask if we can use images of your products, with your permission, to accompany our work? We are expressly not for profit nor in it for commercial gain, just performing a labour of love for Terry and his works. I stress that any use of your images will be accompanied by a full credit and a redirect link to your site - please view this as free advertising, as the Wiki comes up on the first page of many Google searches and draws attention from around the world. We are proud of our creation and naturally wish to source only the highest quality illustrations. Your wishes will naturally be respected if you do not want us to use your material.

With very great thanks


, posting as "AgProv".

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

On my wiki I take copyright seriously and always try to cover myself by using the appropriate templates for image use. For an image that was 'taken', for want of a better word, from a website I use the 'Somewebsite' template, which states:

"The editor who uploaded this work found it on a website or in a publication where the current copyright status is unconfirmed. This means the image may be in breach of certain copyrights even if the editor thought it to be in the public domain. This license can be used while the status of this work is determined by the editor, whose responsibility it is to ascertain the correct license. This tag should be removed when an appropriate license is in use.

If any image using this license infringes on copyright law please contact us and we will, with proof from the copyright holder, remove the work immediately with our sincere apologies."

Would something like this be any use for the Pin Exchange image? --   CelticWanderer      talk        contribs        edits     08:20, 7 June 2013 (GMT)

Also, if you create a wide selection of templates you should be able to cover various different permissions that are granted by artists. This is my short list of licenses that I use. I would certainly wouldn't mind helping you guys out there. --   CelticWanderer      talk        contribs        edits     08:25, 7 June 2013 (GMT)

Technical difficulties are temporary; do not adjust your shorts

The dreadful slowness seems to have returned. --Old Dickens (talk) 01:23, 9 February 2013 (GMT)

I haven't downsized the server. I'll have to look at log files to see if we're under higher then usual spammer load. --Osiris (talk) 04:08, 9 February 2013 (GMT)

Architecture Change

I've drastically changed the architecture of the backend system to more easily allow me to scale resources to demand. If you see any issues or wierdness please let me know at disc@osiris-web.com. --Osiris (talk) 19:54, 10 March 2013 (GMT)

Uploads?

I can't upload a file. The message is: Could not create directory "mwstore://local-backend/local-public/8/82". --Old Dickens (talk) 23:59, 20 March 2013 (GMT)

Looks like I still had a permissions issue from when I moved the image storage to Amazon S3. I've applied the proper permissions now and was able to upload a file. --Osiris (talk) 02:11, 21 March 2013 (GMT)

Is there still an issue with image uploads? Or are the permissions set to deny newbies from uploading images and creating pages until they have reached a certain number of edits? I only ask as I wanted to upload an icon for my talk page template and I get the following: You do not have permission to create new pages. --   CelticWanderer      talk        contribs        edits     21:45, 7 June 2013 (GMT)

Oddity

Now, how can User:Konsumencerdas vandalise my user page on the 6th after having been deleted on the 3rd? ... --Old Dickens (talk) 04:20, 6 April 2013 (GMT)

Downtime

Expect some downtime this week while I apply security updates to the wiki. Not sure when yet though. --Osiris (talk) 20:30, 15 April 2013 (GMT)

unfortunately, I'm a victim of all the flooding in Illinois. No time for maintenance right now --Osiris (talk) 13:19, 21 April 2013 (GMT)

Archive

I just noticed that the old wiki complete with histories is still available at AffordablePrawns. I don't know how to copy them, but you can look things up. --Old Dickens (talk) 13:55, 17 April 2013 (GMT)

Bummer! It's gone; he just has a link to this one now. --Old Dickens (talk) 00:16, 5 September 2013 (GMT)

Forensic?

This might be something or it might be nothing. I expressed a suspicion some time ago that one spamming tactic being used here is for somebody to register as a legitimate user, allay any suspicion by making one or two legitimate-looking entries, and then use that legitimate site membership as a doorway to introduce spam. I believe I've found evidence of this. User Lonna7626 made a strange but obviously human change, just about legitimate in context (a very vague comment about the locker-room incident between Angua and Sally), to the Angua von Uberwald page, recorded in the history, which was deleted by a later user. Lonna7626 reappeared today with a spam posting in German extolling the virtues of Viagra and posting a link to a dubious chemists' site. I don't know if this is useful intel for Osiris, but it's another angle on the way these people are operating. AgProv (talk) 09:06, 23 April 2013 (GMT)

And if true, there's not really anything i can do about it. Now back to my unscheduled flood vacation. --Osiris (talk) 16:23, 23 April 2013 (GMT)

Hope you're not too badly afflicted by the floods! Just think... you could be living in Ankh-Morpork and the river in question might be.... AgProv (talk) 22:53, 23 April 2013 (GMT)

1.20.5 Upgrade

The wiki was upgraded tonight and I'm playing around with the capcha settings. Every edit should now require a capcha. --Osiris (talk) 01:36, 8 May 2013 (GMT)

Spam & Moderation

I'm seriously considering switching this wiki to a review/moderation model. Here's the extension I'm considering implementing.

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension%3aFlaggedRevs

Specifically, once a user has had a few edits reviewed, they will be added to the autoreview group so that they don't need to have approval for modifications anymore.

Thoughts?

--Osiris (talk) 18:05, 29 May 2013 (GMT)

Sorry, I don't know if I understand through the jargon in the Mediawiki page. I'll need explanations as well as AgProv, I suspect. It doesn't sound as if it will reduce traffic in Recent changes or the User list. I guess I can't tell if it will save more trouble than it costs. --Old Dickens (talk) 23:30, 29 May 2013 (GMT)
Ok here's another thought, new members can't create new pages until theyve made X number of article changes that werent reverted??? --Osiris (talk) 17:42, 31 May 2013 (GMT)
This doesn't always work as sometimes people cannot offer anything new to an existing article that improves or extends it in any way. In that case, especially if they are new to the subject, they will never be able to contribute on a wider scale and therefore don't come back to the site. --   CelticWanderer      talk        contribs        edits     08:36, 7 June 2013 (GMT)

Wait a minute...

the page title has lost the ampersand again. That was fixed! --Old Dickens (talk) 23:34, 29 May 2013 (GMT)

I still see an ampersand. --Osiris (talk) 14:54, 30 May 2013 (GMT)
...and not an "amp"? --Old Dickens (talk) 21:54, 30 May 2013 (GMT)
looks fine to me --Osiris (talk) 17:40, 31 May 2013 (GMT)
Curious. On my computer or my wife's with Windows 7 it shows the code rather than the symbol, as it used to in the old version. An ampersand shows normally in the page or listed in a category, but page titles show & amp ;. While looking for examples I also found I couldn't search in the Discworld & Pratchett Wiki namespace: content, users, categories, but not D & PW. --Old Dickens (talk) 23:30, 31 May 2013 (GMT)

I'm still having this problem, whichever computer or browser. Can everyone else really create and see an "&" in a page title without the "amp;"? --Old Dickens (talk) 00:38, 5 September 2013 (GMT)

No I still have the "amp"--Zdm (talk) 04:04, 5 September 2013 (GMT)

Oh, good; it's not just a curse that follows me around. Funny how it comes and goes and some don't seem to have the problem. --Old Dickens (talk) 21:35, 5 September 2013 (GMT)
It doesn't matter if I use the & amp ; form or import an ampersand from Windows character map or use the Wikipedia form "%26", it comes up the same way. --Old Dickens (talk) 22:27, 5 September 2013 (GMT)

It looks as if it's in the PHP rather than the wiki. See php.net:htmlspecialchars. I have no idea if there's a need for it elsewhere or why it's changed back and forth. Googling turns up other examples of the problem like CBC radio's "Quirks & amp; Quarks". --Old Dickens (talk) 22:48, 6 September 2013 (GMT)

I'm locked out!

There seems to be a spanner in the works in the permissions area. Usually I can log in, but I get chucked out again as soon as I try to edit. I get permission error as well as a notice that I must have cookies enabled (which of course they are, as usual). Sometimes I can get in one edit. --Old Dickens (talk) 13:35, 4 June 2013 (GMT)
It's intermittent: it was ok for a while but now it's back. --Old Dickens (talk) 16:44, 4 June 2013 (GMT)
Same bs today: can't log in, log-in comes and goes, no permission, no cookies...--Old Dickens (talk) 22:11, 5 June 2013 (GMT)
Pfui. I thought resetting the modem was going to work, but no, same rotating error messages. --Old Dickens (talk) 00:17, 7 June 2013 (GMT)
But then, I find I can just ignore many of the error messages, go back and do it again. It just takes twice as long. Gremlins. --Old Dickens (talk) 00:36, 7 June 2013 (GMT)
Definitely gremlins. Everything works normally today...so far.--Old Dickens (talk) 02:16, 8 June 2013 (GMT)

I'm continuing to have permission problems. Shame really as I have had plenty of spare time today and I can't get on with creating new templates that I think would be helpful to the site. (signing without my other signature as not to incur the wrath of those higher up the food chain!) --CelticWanderer (talk) 14.54, 9 June 2013 (GMT)

Contact us page

I was wondering if you could implement a contact us page for those who would like to, for instance, contact an admin if they have a question prior to registration or, like myself, have registered, have verified my email address but now cannot use the wiki's internal mail system. Frustrating, especially as it says my email address has not been verified, when it has. I don't know if this has been mentioned elsewhere but having a contact us page would be helpful for such instances (as I have tried to contact admin without luck). My contact us page is simple but effective and anyone who has question, concern or general comment can get in touch by clicking on the mailto: link that opens up the user's own default email client.

Is this something you could possibly implement in the near future? --   CelticWanderer      talk        contribs        edits     20:44, 7 June 2013 (GMT)

User rights

Apparently the restriction on page creation is installed, but how should one become a creator? Drakon467 has created a page already; Bs75660 has three months of useful minor edits; Sdornhoff and Sharlee show more than ten edits each.
The rules will also need to be explained to new members {linked in the Main Page and included in their confirmation e-mails?) --Old Dickens (talk) 14:26, 9 June 2013 (GMT)

I think something needs to be set in stone in a clear, concise manner and shown in obvious place. Tell us what new members can or cannot do on this wiki and if we cannot create new pages to start with (which is a good idea to prevent any unnecessary spamming and vandalism), we should be notified that we have to make a minimum of, for instance, at least five edits before page creation is allowed.
I think this should be included in a user's talk page when they create their account. I use the New User Message extension, which displays a welcome message of your choosing on the user's talk page. The user can make any necessary changes to their talk page later by simply editing it should they wish but at least it will inform them of what they can and cannot do on this wiki. Here is an example of a user page on my wiki that was created using the above mentioned extension. --CelticWanderer (talk) 15:56, 9 June 2013 (GMT)

I was just looking at the user rights list and see that Old Dickens is the only person (apart from the other admins) who can create pages. Is this right? Why have emailconfirmed and autoconfirmed options if they aren't being used effectively? I have confirmed my email address but I don't appear in the email confirmed list. And I have made 30+ edits (all be it mostly here and my own user pages) over the last three days. The only reason I can think of having the 'creator' user rights option is for admin to physically give a user the appropriate permissions to create pages upon proof of their usefulness as an editor. If this is the case then fair enough, it's a good idea but can we please be notified from the start so we know where stand. I hope to be of some use to this site but at the moment with the permissions as they are I feel what I can offer is limited. --CelticWanderer (talk) 16:15, 9 June 2013 (GMT)

Those groups are just a couple days old. I've been configuring autopromotion to make users implicit members of these groups. --Osiris (talk) 19:12, 9 June 2013 (GMT)

Quotes (again)

copied from Archive 3
Sorry if this has come up before (I couldn't see it anywhere) or if I'm in the wrong place, but I think it would be a good idea to have quotes at the top each article. There are two main reasons: 1) Demonstrates a bit about the character in the purest form... 2) Gives us an excuse to quote Pratchett, who's amazing quotable. One wiki I've seen do this is Wookieepedia (e.g. here), although there are many others. I imagine the quotes would look something like this:

"Blahblahblah."
? Rincewind, The Colour of Magic

Only handled by a nice template. Harry Blue5 20:15, 16 August 2011 (CEST)

This would be a great idea to implement and I am surprised it hasn't been introduced already. I wouldn't mind coming up with a template for it. --CelticWanderer  talk | contribs | email 15:26, 9 June 2013 (GMT)
Are there any objections to this? --CelticWanderer  talk | contribs | email 16:32, 10 June 2013 (GMT)

A category main page, perhaps?

Is it just me or does anyone else sometimes find the categories page a little bland? Ok, as an alphabetical list this does its job more than adequately but has anyone considered having a categories main page (a sort of landing page, top level page or contents page for categories) and linking it to the sidebar for easy access. This is something I implemented a while back on my own wiki and I find it a useful tool for browsing the entire site via categories. Is this something you would be interested in implementing here? --CelticWanderer  talk | contribs | email 16:29, 10 June 2013 (GMT)

Does anyone have any objections to this? --CelticWanderer  talk | contribs | email 08:55, 12 June 2013 (GMT)

Watchlist issue

My Watchlist is showing actions that shouldn't be there. I use the watchlist because RecentChanges is so overpopulated with newly created spam accounts making it awkward to find the genuine stuff. But, I seem to have Old Dickens merge/delete actions appearing, as shown below:

(User merge log); 14:49 . . Old Dickens (Talk | contribs) User NormanHil (7968) merged to Anonymous (0) ‎
(User merge log); 14:49 . . Old Dickens (Talk | contribs) Deleted user: NormanHil (7968) ‎
(User merge log); 14:09 . . Old Dickens (Talk | contribs) Deleted user: ErickaJQV (6047) ‎
(User merge log); 14:09 . . Old Dickens (Talk | contribs) User ErickaJQV (6047) merged to Anonymous (0) ‎
(User merge log); 14:03 . . Old Dickens (Talk | contribs) User PaulinaCl (7963) merged to Anonymous (0) ‎
(User merge log); 14:03 . . Old Dickens (Talk | contribs) Deleted user: PaulinaCl (7963) ‎
(User merge log); 14:03 . . Old Dickens (Talk | contribs) Deleted user: JerriFTE (7959) ‎
(User merge log); 14:03 . . Old Dickens (Talk | contribs) User JerriFTE (7959) merged to Anonymous (0) ‎
(User merge log); 14:03 . . Old Dickens (Talk | contribs) User ElissaMae (7945) merged to Anonymous (0) ‎
(User merge log); 14:03 . . Old Dickens (Talk | contribs) Deleted user: ElissaMae (7945) ‎
(User merge log); 14:02 . . Old Dickens (Talk | contribs) Deleted user: BritneyBo (7942) ‎
(User merge log); 14:02 . . Old Dickens (Talk | contribs) User BritneyBo (7942) merged to Anonymous (0) ‎
(User merge log); 14:02 . . Old Dickens (Talk | contribs) Deleted user: WillisVFO (7887) ‎

I would like to see only the pages I have added to my watchlist; is this happening to anyone else? Any suggestions how to correct this? Thanks. --CelticWanderer  talk | contribs | email 17:00, 10 June 2013 (GMT)

Little administrative problem

Offing so many spammers in one go gave a real sense of achievement. I also have an uneasy feeling that when I went into autopilot on the delete button, User Sharlee (7070) might have been legitimate, as on reviewing, he/she made a couple of insightful edits to the Unseen University page. (Deep sense of "whoops") I may have deleted them in error. Is it possible to get a second opinion on this and restore them?AgProv (talk) 23:31, 17 June 2013 (GMT)

Sharlee certainly had several legitimate edits, but I can't see anything to do about it. There's no unmerge function or undo in the logs that I can find. Oh, Osiris!...--Old Dickens (talk) 00:06, 18 June 2013 (GMT)
too late. Nothing can be done. Sorry guys I'm getting married next week so I haven't been around much. --Osiris (talk) 04:39, 18 June 2013 (GMT)

Mazel tov, Osiris! There's got to be a better way... I'm ashamed to say while I've deleted a thousand spam accounts, two legitimate users have been deleted in error too, in the last week. And in the last month three thousand spam accounts have been created and are yet to be dealt with. That error rate is just too high (I've left fulsome apologies where I hope they'll be seen. Wish I had their email addresses so I could apologise in person. are these stored anywhere?) While I've cleared out all the spam accounts beginning with "A" and a good few of the "B"'s - as well as routine demolition of new ones as they pop up - I'm now hideously aware that mistakes will inevitably happen and I do not want to make any more. So tonight I've just identified a few known legitimate users who still have to make an entry on their user pages and left temporary messages there, so they show up blue in the user list and are less likely to be deleted in error. but there has to be a better way around this. Otherwise I'd keep on zapping through the B's....AgProv (talk) 00:18, 22 June 2013 (GMT)

Re: Sharlee

So, if Sharlee is viewing, she(?) will have to sign up anew with our apologies for allowing AgProv to operate a vehicle on the internet while ratted. (If the old name doesn't work, add an "e".)
--Old Dickens (talk) 00:26, 19 June 2013 (GMT)

Sharlee appears to have made further edits on the 19th June - I merged her in error on the 17th. So that's heartening. I have left an apology message on her userpage. AgProv (talk) 22:04, 20 June 2013 (GMT)

Sharlee turned out to have an account on the Official Terry Pratchett forums. I sent her an apology and invitation to rejoin via PM. Aldibibable (Rob from Dudley) has an account on Wikipedia; there can't be two people with that username, so I sent him an apology and POM via Wikipedia so he's aware. I think the situation is rescuable...AgProv (talk) 00:43, 22 June 2013 (GMT)

You-Tube

Just discovered there's an anti-spam filter in place that prevents new links being made to You-Tube. Does this mean all old you-Tube links are now dead, and need to be edited out? and/Or that it's no longer possible to link to any external site? Ah well, i suppose it's necessary...AgProv (talk) 18:22, 26 June 2013 (GMT)

Was there an old You-Tube link? Without being able to remember one, I'd say I could do without them. --Old Dickens (talk) 00:16, 27 June 2013 (GMT)

Clever buggers

from discussion in User talk:AgProv...

So, Parent7kettle and Taiwan5kettle have found a foxhole in the database where they can't be killed. We haven't heard from them directly, though, since 8 Jun. DortheaM3 is a bit different: shows as "not registered" and "Invalid old user name" but still appears in the history by name, not as "Anonymous". AgProv may refer to the same account I found that had been deleted three times; we also saw Sharlee re-enlist under the same name. I can put up with the re-registering, the alternative seems worse, but DortheaM3 and the kettle brothers seem to point out serious holes in the perimeter. . --Old Dickens (talk) 00:10, 27 June 2013 (GMT)

Just a thought, why don't you try registering under the DorotheaM3 username and see what happens? If you can register then I smell a bug in the logging. Maybe deleting the account again would clear it. If you can't register than rather than a bug I detect a rat. Manwe (talk) 18:17, 27 June 2013 (GMT)

Atempted to re-register DortheaM3 but an error appeared in the confirmation box - this appears to be down at present.AgProv (talk) 13:20, 19 July 2013 (GMT)

also noted: User:Darrington07 is in the same category as the Kettles.AgProv (talk) 15:09, 11 July 2013 (GMT)

Check out User:Kristophe for another non-standard spammer - apparentrly deleted twice before but has returned twice with the same name! AgProv (talk) 15:21, 14 July 2013 (GMT)

Also, please monitor User:Moist von bigwig. Ambiguous case: They registered on 16th July, but have so far made no contributions. The name does not follow the usual spammer pattern - for one thing there are spaces between the three parts of the name and the name is a clear pun on a Discworld character. This suggests a legitimate Pratchett fan, but it's puzzling as to why they've made no contris yet.AgProv (talk) 07:09, 19 July 2013 (GMT)

Another interesting one. User:DaniellaEstes. I deleted and merged this account at 22:10. Yet a couple of minutes later at 22:12, the same user pops up and makes a spam edit. Is there a time-lag operating here? AgProv (talk) 21:20, 19 July 2013 (GMT)

And User:CarltonC77 was not registered, not in user list, couldn't be merged but had a User talk page. --Old Dickens (talk) 14:21, 15 August 2013 (GMT) Likewise User:CindieWhite86‎. --Old Dickens (talk) 23:39, 15 August 2013 (GMT)
User talk:GwenArndtrtb‎ appeared two minutes after I deleted GwenArndtrtb‎. --Old Dickens (talk) 01:30, 20 August 2013 (GMT)

Speaking of spam

Can I ask what I am meant to do if I find spam? For example I just came across User talk:JamalChap while taking a glance in recent changes. I have blanked a couple of pages in the past, but I don't want to seem like I am trying to play admin. Are you guys happy with us as users removing links or do we need to report or what? Manwe (talk) 18:04, 27 June 2013 (GMT)

I think it's safer if you don't: one of us at least is patrolling every day and we'll have to do the deleting anyway. The only way you could make a difference is if we mistook the article for your work and passed over it. --Old Dickens (talk) 22:14, 27 June 2013 (GMT)

Capcha Questions

ReCapcha obviously isn't working so I'm thinking of switching back to the question system. Anyone want to take a shot at developing questions and answers that we can use that are Pratchett related?

I suggest e-mailing these rather than publishing them here. --Old Dickens (talk) 15:46, 7 July 2013 (GMT)

On another note, e-mail wont be working for a few days. Too many spammers signed up with bad email addresses so Amazon SES kicked us out due to the high bounce rate. Very Frustrating!

--Osiris (talk) 05:16, 7 July 2013 (GMT)

They're definitely out of hand today. --Old Dickens (talk) 21:40, 9 July 2013 (GMT)
Any progress on this file? Did you get the questions? --Old Dickens (talk) 21:53, 18 July 2013 (GMT)

Any news on this?--Zdm (talk) 17:53, 10 August 2013 (GMT)

Friendly fire

i think I've solved the problem of inadvertently deleting bonafide users whilst snuffing spam accounts at speed. I went to "special pages - user list - show by user contributions" and narrowed it down to twenty or thirty users who have all made legitimate contributions since the new wiki opened for business. I physically checked their contribution records, deleted a couple of spammers who'd slipped through the net, and blue-lined the rest so they show blue in the user record. One or two appeared "borderline" and I'm not too happy about them (well, not 100%). "WikiShaper334" has made one short , valid, contri, but the name is too like a typical spammer name.... and one other, who I sense posted once, might have got miffed his not-very-good first contri was deleted on patrolling and hasn't come back since. If others could check out User:WikiShaper334 and give a second opinion? Thanks! AgProv (talk) 15:02, 11 July 2013 (GMT)

We can't complain about the contribution to Goblins: maybe he's a spammer in his spare time, but he hasn't done us any harm (yet). --Old Dickens (talk) 21:51, 18 July 2013 (GMT)

The (rare) joys of spam reduction

Sometimes the machine-generated Spammish is almost too good to delete, but I force myself.
The cheery greeting "Decent to achieve you!" broke me right up. --Old Dickens (talk) 19:18, 9 August 2013 (GMT)

Blessed Relief

QwestyCatcha with relevant questions was installed 31 Aug at 17:00 GMT and has eliminated the SEO/spam vermin completely for the first day. Let's hope they can't find a way around this one anytime soon. Old Dickens (talk) 18:33, 1 September 2013 (GMT)

General Question

It seems that only the book The Colour of Magic has got a plot summary. Is that by design or has no one simply written a summary for the other books? --Ssalogel (talk) 21:34, 9 September 2013 (GMT)

Eric, Soul Music, Hogfather, Carpe Jugulum, The Fifth Elephant, The Truth, Night Watch, Going Postal and Thud! all have plot sections as well. I feel that TP writes the plots pretty well, myself, but there hasn't been any rule for or against them. --Old Dickens (talk) 22:40, 9 September 2013 (GMT)

Filtration

The Spam Filter doesn't allow the word "h*listic", as in Dirk Gently's H*listic Detective Agency, making editing of the first section of Book:The Last Continent/Annotations difficult. It's the first time I've found a banned word. --Old Dickens (talk) 21:55, 10 September 2013 (GMT)

Also "B*eber" (as in Justin): not a likely problem, but I stumbled on it, too. --Old Dickens (talk) 02:11, 15 October 2013 (GMT)

Rising from the ashes

We're back after a week's impromptu hiatus. None too soon: I fear it's too late for me to get a life.
What was that in aid of? --Old Dickens (talk) 20:53, 20 September 2013 (GMT)

Search problem?

Pardessus Chatain Pursuivant appears in College of Heralds but does not appear in a search except where linked in Book:Feet of Clay/Annotations. Is that a general problem? --Old Dickens (talk) 01:54, 2 October 2013 (GMT)

Missing Persons

What's become of our AgProv, then? He hasn't been seen around Fanfic.net either: I fear he may have fallen into employment, or worse. --Old Dickens (talk) 02:28, 6 October 2013 (GMT)

I was wondering that myself. --Zdm (talk) 04:45, 7 October 2013 (GMT)

I'm back. Employment got in the way, as you rightly surmised. Had to reassess my priorities and spend less facetime on line... There is, however, the beginning of a crossover between the Discworld and The Big Bang Theory over on Fanfic. I was looking at the many, many, personality quirks present in Sheldon Cooper, Raj, Howard and leonard and thinking - where have I seen people with similar academic qualities before? And after discounting UEA Norwich and Pryfysgol Owain Glyndwr, I was left wondering. If HEX had a reason to send Ponder Stibbons to Caltech, what sort of cross-fertilisation of minds might occur? Add his particular "penny" to make contact with the girls and we have the nucleus of a tale...

By the way, I was dreading looking at "Recent Changes". But it doesn't seem too bad. Who's been putting in the hard work?

AgProv (talk) 21:14, 3 November 2013 (GMT)

Deccan Ribobe, again

Here's a conundrum. I have (technically) the power of a Bureaucrat, but no moral authority. I spent about two years campaigning against the blather and bloat and grafitti that threatens to make the wiki as relevant as a Justin Blieber forum and got no support. The consensus was that anyone should be allowed his opportunity to put his tag on the wall, never mind the readability or authority of the wiki. We have since lost most of our valuable contributors and standing with search engines (although this might also be blamed on disruption by spam attacks and a change of host).

I always felt that a wiki was a community effort, and there was no point in my (or anyone else's) imposing a single preference and this seemed to be the opinion of the founder, Sanity. Now, however, there is no community, no active staff beside myself and no hope in sight. Bloat advances and no one volunteers to improve the wiki rather than expanding it.

We have depended on the prodigious input of AgProv for many years, but he's disappeared, along with other clever if less voluminous contributors. I doubt if I could keep up physically with onslaught of grafitti artists without help: is there no one interested in improving the project rather than just adding his two cents' worth? --Old Dickens (talk) 02:07, 15 October 2013 (GMT)

Honestly, in the last year I've gotten married, changed jobs, been expecting a baby, lost said baby :( and several other items which have kept me super busy. All I've done lately is check for spam and make sure the system is still running. --Osiris (talk) 12:14, 15 October 2013 (GMT)
I would be around more but school stuff suddenly came out of no where and so far has shown no sign of stopping. Hopefully in a few weeks stuff will slow down and I will be able to spend some time on here. --Zdm (talk) 04:49, 18 October 2013 (GMT)