Discworld & Pratchett Wiki:Mended Drum

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Revision as of 15:24, 11 July 2017 by Old Dickens (talk | contribs) (restore)
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 This is a location to discuss non-content matters (what do we do with content disputes, vandalism, etc, what do we want to do with this wiki, and so on).

When We Forget

The whole wiki missed the anniversary of Mr Pratchett's death on Saturday. My excuse is that I'm old and daft; I suppose each has his own. --Old Dickens (talk) 02:51, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

Spam filter again

Now I'm prevented from editing the Main page because of the supposed content "101,502,138,396" (without the commas), which I don't see in the page nor does the the browser's "find" function. --Old Dickens (talk) 03:38, 29 April 2016 (UTC)


Depending on usage, I spend ~$40 USD per month hosting this site. That cost has fluctuated as usage has gone up or down over the years. For example, Terry's passage forced a major resource increase for about a week tripling costs that month. Right now the site is sitting on an AWS T1/medium server which hosts both the database and website.

Originally, I had this site setup pretty slick. It sat on a single webserver using a separate Amazon RDS database server and depending on the volume of requests the site spun more instances up as necessary to scale with traffic. I stopped that because using a database on another server doubled the cost and the wife and I were going though a lean stretch.

I'd like to get back to that setup. It's more robust and I don't have to worry about much maintenance. But we're back in that lean time. So my question to the rest of you is would you object to a small paypal donate button being placed on the site to help defray the costs? Donate or not as you see fit. Thoughts? --Osiris (talk) 01:31, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

I'm up for it, since you say advertising revenue can't be had. I've had near ten years of free entertainment; I don't know how generous the reading public might be. --Old Dickens (talk) 03:36, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
Sounds good, but we'd need to make sure any donate button was clearly enough displayed that any reader could see it, but not so obnoxiously placed as to be annoying. --AnnieBudgie (talk) 09:57, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Go ahead! I'll check the piggybank. AgProv (talk) 11:43, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

No complaints here. Thanks for hosting the site. If I ever do get my Pratchett course running -- not gonna happen anytime soon, I'm in charge of our journalism and physics programs now -- I'll make a donation part of my course budget.Moishe Rosenbaum (talk) 11:47, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Got it up! Checkout the sidebar. --Osiris (talk) 23:18, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

So, how's fundraising going after a couple of months? Has the reading public contributed the first dime? --Old Dickens (talk) 02:33, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

Featured Article

It seems to be ages since a Featured Article was nominated as an exemplar of everything that's right about this site. Can I suggest Guards! Guards! as a candidate? for one thing, it seems to be a rare "completed" book page with no red links leading to empty pages!

...but that's not the stated objective of the Featured Article. It's a request for improvement, not a commendation. The last thing good articles need is attention from bloat fans and graffiti artists.
Since no one ever pays any attention to it anyway, should we change the heading to suggest an exemplar instead? That seems useful and in line with Wikipedia's version, but we'd want to change it a lot more often. --Old Dickens (talk) 15:49, 3 August 2016 (UTC)


I don't know who you are Mr. "" but you won't even see this since you've been banned from the server.

I finally got the time to dig around and look into the systems overall stability. Found out >90% of the traffic is from the same IP in Berlin. One ban hammer later, and things are running smoothly now. --Osiris (talk) 03:21, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

Yay! Best part of being a god is getting to smite the evildoer. (Hmmm, Death's in Berlin, could he...?} --Old Dickens (talk) 03:58, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Doubtful, it resolves to static. . Do you know the address of his site? I can crosscheck it. --Osiris (talk) 15:19, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Just wondering if He and Binky could pay the annoyance a salutary visit; sorry...The Diskwiki's address is at the de: link on the Main Page, of course. --Old Dickens (talk) 15:48, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
So I tried to downsize the webserver and we started crashing again. Seriously, this thing gets scanned constantly. I don't mind googlebot or bingbot but AhrefsBot and SemrushBot have got to go. --Osiris (talk) 05:26, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
I suppose there's no wiki attachment to discourage them? I thought anyone could come up with a new IP address pretty quickly. --Old Dickens (talk) 17:07, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Updated the robots.txt file to ban them. But their documentation states it may take up to 2 weeks before they will respect it. In the meantime, I tweaked the webserver config. When one of them hits the server, they get a 403 Forbidden message. CPU & Bandwidth usage dropped like a rock. For the last 6 hours, this server has been running just fine on a micro sized system at 1/4 the cost of the medium sized one it had to be on before. --Osiris (talk) 20:18, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
2016-12-21 14 20 20-Apache ModStatus PerfStats Sensor Details PRTG Network Monitor (PRTG).png
And we've been stable for a week now! --Osiris (talk) 16:15, 29 December 2016 (UTC)


FYI: I've installed an SSL certificate from the EFF.org provider (LetsEncypt). You can now access this site securely via https://wiki.lspace.org. You may get a certificate error because not all providers recognize LetsEncrypt by default --Osiris (talk) 20:35, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Works for me, once I remember my password. (Russian hackers are everywhere!) --Old Dickens (talk) 21:00, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
in a couple weeks, once i'm sure this is properly setup and stable, i'll force everyone over to the secure side. --Osiris (talk) 21:33, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Harder Spam Filter Problem

We've patched "prĭnter" before, but you can't do it in a link. This is cruel to the Guild of Engravers and Prĭnters and pages like The Truth, but I don't see a solution. --Old Dickens (talk) 16:40, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

That's a shame; I'll try this as a workaround for the problem: Guild of Engravers and Prínters --Jagra (talk) 18:19, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Ah, I missed that one. Handy that it had an alternative already. --Old Dickens (talk) 19:43, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Markup for spacing?

We don't seem to have Wikipedia's "Pad" or "Spaces" templates. Does anyone have a neater way of leaving a space than a string of &Nbsp;?
Strangely, nowiki doesn't work on the real form of that. See source.
Added Template:Pad. --Old Dickens (talk) 15:22, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

Thumbnail errors

Just in the past month, we have this error message for new images (including File:Sliderule.jpg although it's linked and working):
Error creating thumbnail: /bin/bash: /usr/bin/convert: No such file or directory Error code: 127
What's that for? --Old Dickens (talk) 15:22, 10 July 2017 (UTC)