Discworld & Pratchett Wiki:Mended Drum/Archive 7

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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.

Annoying Scanners & Attackers

Wiki went down for a bit this morning due to a someone scanning or mirroring the site. CPU spiked to 100% and disk activity went from nil to 3GB/sec within 1 minute. Needless to say, the site crashed... --Osiris (talk) 15:18, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

Maybe "Discworld Wiki" decided to take it all at once? --Old Dickens (talk) 17:49, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

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)
This continues to be a problem; AgProv just ran into it. Image files since 8 Jun can't be inserted as we've been used to doing. See Special:ListFiles. --Old Dickens (talk) 15:10, 27 July 2017 (UTC)   Syntax copied directly from Mediawiki Help:Images doesn't work on the newer uploads; it produces the error message above. --Old Dickens (talk) 17:08, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

--I'll get to it. Wife's 9 months pregnant so I've got a ton of distractions at the moment. --Osiris (talk) 01:48, 29 July 2017 (UTC)

This should be fixed. --Osiris (talk) 20:59, 29 July 2017 (UTC)

It was, but it's back, just in the last couple of weeks. --Old Dickens (talk) 15:16, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
Now upload works, but Delete doesn't. --Old Dickens (talk) 04:06, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
Deletion of what? images? files? pages? Can you walk me through the steps to recreate the issue? --Osiris (talk) 04:10, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
Delete image. go to the file list and try to delete the most recent (marked "test"). Error deleting file: Could not create directory "mwstore://local-backend/local-deleted/p/i/g". --Old Dickens (talk) 16:23, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
And...uploads work now but still can't create a thumbnail (see User talk:Jagra). --Old Dickens (talk) 21:11, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
Thumbnails - check. Delete - check. Book and Character templates still a mess. --Old Dickens (talk) 03:10, 16 October 2017 (UTC)


Misuser:MASS VANDALISM wasn't kidding. I wonder if Move should require higher permission. --Old Dickens (talk) 16:07, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
Persistent bugger, too. I hope something can be done (preferably causing a lingering, painful death). --Old Dickens (talk) 15:23, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
...and he's back again. I got him at the first page this time but it's getting tiresome. --Old Dickens (talk) 17:23, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

Yea I'm gonna have to do an update. --Osiris (talk) 05:13, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

Well, that didn't work. User:Slashkamr is highly suspect but hasn't done anything yet. --Old Dickens (talk) 15:49, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

Something seems to be broken...

....if you try to register with an e-mail address:

[59181f6c] /mediawiki/index.php?title=Special:UserLogin&action=submitlogin&type=signup&returnto=Discworld+%26+Terry+Pratchett+Wiki:About Exception from line 304 of /var/www/html/wiki.osiris-web.com/public_html/mediawiki/includes/UserMailer.php: PEAR mail package is not installed Backtrace: #0 /var/www/html/wiki.osiris-web.com/public_html/mediawiki/includes/User.php(3885): UserMailer::send(array, MailAddress, string, string, NULL) #1 /var/www/html/wiki.osiris-web.com/public_html/mediawiki/includes/User.php(3862): User->sendMail(string, string) #2 /var/www/html/wiki.osiris-web.com/public_html/mediawiki/includes/specials/SpecialUserlogin.php(314): User->sendConfirmationMail() #3 /var/www/html/wiki.osiris-web.com/public_html/mediawiki/includes/specials/SpecialUserlogin.php(219): LoginForm->addNewAccount() #4 /var/www/html/wiki.osiris-web.com/public_html/mediawiki/includes/specialpage/SpecialPage.php(379): LoginForm->execute(NULL) #5 /var/www/html/wiki.osiris-web.com/public_html/mediawiki/includes/specialpage/SpecialPageFactory.php(503): SpecialPage->run(NULL) #6 /var/www/html/wiki.osiris-web.com/public_html/mediawiki/includes/Wiki.php(285): SpecialPageFactory::executePath(Title, RequestContext) #7 /var/www/html/wiki.osiris-web.com/public_html/mediawiki/includes/Wiki.php(588): MediaWiki->performRequest() #8 /var/www/html/wiki.osiris-web.com/public_html/mediawiki/includes/Wiki.php(447): MediaWiki->main() #9 /var/www/html/wiki.osiris-web.com/public_html/mediawiki/index.php(46): MediaWiki->run() #10 {main}

Might be putting a few folks off joining! Indulgence (talk) 23:20, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

Yep. I don't get quite the same error message, but "PEAR mail package is not installed" seems to be a problem. --Old Dickens (talk) 04:50, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
An OS update broke part of the wiki. That's okay it made me site down and upgrade the wiki anyway. Sadly, the upgrade broke the lspace skin. I'll be working over the next few days to fix that. --Osiris (talk) 03:42, 15 October 2017 (UTC)


So the wiki was down all day today, I knew about it this morning but wasn't able to work on this until I got home tonight. I had the wiki's database server in the wrong pricing tier and it blew through the budget for the billing cycle so things shut down. I've got things straightened out now though so everything is in the proper place at the proper price. --Osiris (talk) 03:02, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

Morag's fate

She's a buzzard owned by Nac Mac Feegle, especially by Hamish, although in "Monstrous Regiment" she's owned by Corporal Buggy Swires. However, in she's still with Nac Mac Feegle in "The Shepherd's Crown". What's her fate then? That's pretty important to me. --Ves (talk) 15:43, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

The obvious answer is: nobody knows. The next point is that this is not the place for content discussion, so I'm copying it to Talk:Book:The Shepherd's Crown. --Old Dickens (talk) 23:40, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

Spam filter...again

Somebody noticed that the spam filter doesn't work on the page titles. --Old Dickens (talk) 23:04, 15 May 2018 (UTC)


Has anyone looked at stuff like wikipedia:Template:Cite book and wikipedia:Template:Cite web and thought about converting them over to here? I looked at them and they are extremely bloated and over-complicated with code-spam on Wikiped, and in fact I saw that someone else already tried to make Template:Cite web years ago in an aborted attempt, it doesn't work and no one is using it, so I tried to mark it for deletion ( but there is no proper category or template for that either :) )

I looked in the history of Wikipedia's versions to find the old-school simple template versions of them without all the pages of code-spam but the 2008 version can't be used here because it triggers the spam filter ("Spam protection filter - The text you wanted to save was blocked by the spam filter. This is probably caused by a link to a blacklisted external site. The following text is what triggered our spam filter: display: n0ne") ( I HAD TO EDIT THIS OUT OF THIS PAGE MESSAGE EVEN :) )

I then copied their 2006 version of {{Cite book}} but this doesn't seem to work on Book:Discworld's Assassins' Guild Diary 2000 and I see the


tags visible on the page because I guess those aren't added to the mediawiki version Lspace has or something? :(

I think if these were added however possible it'd add a lot to pages, to be able to easily see where stuff is sourced from

wikipedia:Template:Webarchive is also really good because most websites aren't around a few years later (Link rot) --Rise Up Against the Ribbon (talk) 12:12, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

Time for an upgrade?

Is it time to upgrade to the latest version of the wiki software? Also, how about requiring all new accounts, and I really mean new ones, to have a valid email address specified.--Myrtonos+@

Please, no more "upgrades"! We haven't recovered from 2017. As for requiring email addresses, we want to encourage new contributors, not threaten them with spam. --Old Dickens (talk) 17:02, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
Note that nearly all internet forums do require email addresses.--Myrtonos+@ 02:41, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
An upgrade will be coming. To many security holes not to do so... Just not sure when. --Osiris (talk) 03:08, 10 February 2019 (UTC)

Emporium images

The Discworld Emporium will allow use of their published material with the acknowledgement "© Discworld Emporium". Thanks to Discworld Emporium --Old Dickens (talk) 04:25, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

Miner sign up issue

when signing up i noticed a mishandled ampersand it displayed as & on screen on the screen that you enter your sign up details on (unsigned comment by Feldegast 22 Jun 2020)

How odd. I just noted (see my user page) that that problem had disappeared after some years. I can't guess why you have it now. Also, please add new entries to the bottom of the page (and sign your posts). --Old Dickens (talk) 03:27, 22 June 2020 (UTC)