UESPWiki:Administrator Noticeboard/Archive 11

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This is an archive of past UESPWiki:Administrator Noticeboard discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page, except for maintenance such as updating links.


Wiki DB Switch

I've switched the UESP Wiki to use the db1 database server (again). While everything seems fine let me know if you notice anything abnormal you notice over the next few days. There should be a small increase in site performance though I doubt it will be noticable. -- Daveh 10:11, 11 November 2008 (EST)

The site's maps (Oblivion, SI, and Morrowind) also need access to the database -- or else there are problems like this. I've edited the map code to point to the new db1 server instead of localhost. But it looks like the "maps" user in mysql doesn't have permission to access the database remotely. For now, I've implemented a temporary fix (accessing the DB using the same user as the wiki), but a better longterm solution would be to re-enable the "maps" user. --NepheleTalk 18:13, 11 November 2008 (EST)
Overall performance definitely seems to be a touch better. On some pages (like the Wanted Pages list), the improvement has been huge: it's gone from taking some 20s to load down to about 2s. –RpehTCE 05:25, 13 November 2008 (EST)

A's List Move? Please Vote

We've beaten this issue almost to death before, but then walked away from the not quite corpse. Time to end it one way or another. Please vote on UESPWiki_talk:Authored_Lists#November_2008_Discussion. --Wrye 02:10, 27 November 2008 (EST)


Language issues

After some recent experience concerning PLRDLF's images, I've discovered that when the "Language" section, under "Preferences" is set to a language other than english, this will take effect on the Special:Upload page. For example, when it is set to German, all images will have a "Beschreibung" section, instead of "Summary". If an administrator could fix this, then please, could one do so. If not, then I think we'll have to contact Daveh.

There may be other similar problems encountered when changing the language from the default, but I am led to believe that this is a unique case. Firstly and most simply because we have no history of similar problems. Secondly, because whilst "Summary" is changed to "Beschreibung", "Licensing" is not changed to "Lizenz", which is what would be used on a german wiki (As can be seen in this example. - Game LordTalk|Contribs 14:12, 30 November 2008 (EST)

Okay, I think I found out how to change it, (Admin-only link: [1]) but I'm not sure if I should - If I change it for German, I'll have to change it for the 150+ other languages the site supports as well to be consistent. Given that the site is entirely in English, it's probably a safe assumption that pretty much all of our visitors are literate in English. There's actually very little benefit to be gained by changing your language under the Preferences window. A very few pages have their links changed, and the buttons at the top and in a few other places are translated, but all of the actual content remains in English as it was written. My advice is that if you're fluent enough in English to get any benefit at all from this site, then you can probably live with the button at the top saying "edit" instead of "bearbeiten". --TheRealLurlock Talk 15:14, 30 November 2008 (EST)
I don't think we'd have to change it for every single language that the wiki supports. Only the languages that Elder Scrolls was translated into would suffice. The ones I can think of off hand are: German, French, and Italian. There are probably others and we could probably also get a list from Bethesda if necessary. If this list then turns out to be too long, then I say we only do it for the most probable languages. Or even, only the languages which we know cause current problems. This is currently only German, but if we notice another problem later, then an admin can quickly step in and fix it. - Game LordTalk|Contribs 17:03, 30 November 2008 (EST)
Well, I checked out French, Spanish, and Italian, and they all have the same problem - I'd guess that any language other than English would as well. If this is any indication, we'd need to also do Russian, Czech, Polish, Swedish, Greek, Hungarian, Chinese, Japanese, and Finnish. Adding in any nations represented by Users from Known Countries, and you'd have a bunch more. The question is: is this the only thing that causes a problem for international users? Or are there others we just haven't encountered yet? I'm actually slightly concerned because some system messages (like the official copyright violation notice directly below the edit window) have been changed from the default, and point at a different license than the default, and these have only been changed in the English version. Thus if you view the site in a different language, you're actually submitting under a different license, because we haven't changed the text in other languages. Not that this is likely to be a problem, but it is cause for alarm. How many other places do we have official notices that have been changed from the default but only in the English language version? And what are the legal ramifications if some editors are seeing a different legal message than others? --TheRealLurlock Talk 18:01, 30 November 2008 (EST)
Even if another solution would be preferable in the long term, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't just change the page right now, given that we know we have one editor with his preference set to German who is uploading images. It takes 10 seconds of an admin's time to change that single page, versus countless unnecessary edits to go back and edit every image after PLRDLF has uploaded it. I'd rather have our editors spend their time making constructive edits on the site than wasting their time doing unnecessary busy work. Therefore I've gone ahead and changed the german-language page. --NepheleTalk 01:38, 5 December 2008 (EST)
Also, for anyone who is wondering, I can't see any reason to be concerned about licensing/copyright for readers who choose to select a default language other than English. The site's copyright is established by the statement "All content is available under the terms of the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License" at the bottom of each page, plus the "cc (some rights reserved)" icon at the bottom left. Those are identical even if you select a different default language (at least, assuming that French and German are representative of how the wiki treats other languages). The Privacy Policy, About, and General Disclaimer links all still lead to the appropriate (english-language) pages. Most of the text that appears under the edit box is the same, english-language text ("Any changes will be visible as soon as you save the page..."). Immediately under the edit box is a chunk of text that is translated into your selected language, but that text is still valid for UESP. In particular, it does state, in german/french, that all contributions are licensed under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License, and points to our standard UESPWiki:Copyright and Ownership page for details.
In short, I think it is safe to say that no matter what language you choose to use when viewing/editing the site, it is still clearly and unambiguously stated that the content is licensed under the correct license. --NepheleTalk 18:25, 5 December 2008 (EST)


Please help

I tried to activate my email section and even had a conf 'sent' to me several times, i even tried changing the caps in my listed email to see if that was the problem. No, before you ask, I have no blocks on my emails except that some things go to spam and no nothing is in there either.

side note... whew that was an interesting convo to start the page off and I do hope all is settled now and VoR realized his 'voice' was little more than passing wind and with the same olfactory effect, IMHO! *LadyPegasus - There are no wrong choices in life, only different paths we choose to take. 13:50, 4 January 2009 (EST)

There are no filters on outgoing email addresses at UESP's end. The only UESP-caused email problems that I'm aware of have been caused by server configuration issues, in which cases all outgoing email messages were disabled. However, at the current time, UESP is definitely sending out email messages. Therefore, I doubt that the problem is beind caused by UESP. In at least a couple of other similar situations, the problem ended up being either that the email address had been entered incorrectly or that AOL was filtering the messages as spam. So, sorry, but I'm not sure there's anything that can be done at UESP's end. --NepheleTalk 16:25, 18 December 2008 (EST)

I have my email address set as a macro, or hotkey, so it is not being entered incorrectly. May I suggest perhaps a redundant entry for this to help for others that may have done it this way? As I said, I am aware that AOL sometimes filters for spam but I have checked that folder each time and there is still nothing there. I have even checked my email address yet again and it is correct. Either way, it does not solve my problem so may I ask if there is a way you can manually set it for me? Thank you for your time and efforts in this *LadyPegasus - There are no wrong choices in life, only different paths we choose to take. 13:50, 4 January 2009 (EST)

Except that I don't know what to do to solve the problem; I don't know what to suggest to other people. As I understand it, this is a system-wide spam filter that AOL has put in place, completely out of the control or visibility of AOL users. You have no ability to see what messages are being removed by this spam filter. From my point of view, it is a problem introduced by AOL that needs to be fixed by AOL; UESP can't do anything to fix email filters put in place by internet service providers.
And I can't manually set the email address. I'm quite sure that the wiki database is saving the email address that you have entered (confirmed by the fact that the address appears when you later go back to your preferences). "Manually" setting the entry will not change the email address from what is already there. Even somehow figuring out how to manually confirm your email address would only cause more problems. The confirmation says that email can successfully be sent to your email address. At that point, the wiki will email you updates; other editors can send you email; you can request that your password be emailed to you. I don't think any of those features should be enabled if, in fact, the destination email address won't work. --NepheleTalk 14:55, 4 January 2009 (EST)
You can manually set an email-adres with the following extension: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:EditUser
Otherwise, edit the database. :) Mraedis 16:17, 4 January 2009 (EST)
Except that's not the problem. The email address is in the database. How is editing the email address going to change anything? --NepheleTalk 16:54, 4 January 2009 (EST)
Woops, wrong extension. http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:ConfirmUsersEmail There you go. Mraedis 09:29, 5 January 2009 (EST)
And if I'm wrong again I misread hopelessly. :/
Except, as I already said "I don't think any of those features should be enabled if, in fact, the destination email address won't work." --NepheleTalk 12:05, 5 January 2009 (EST)

From what I read in the second listing he gave, if this idea works, it will indeed send me a new confirmation email. There should be no legitimate reason why these emails are not being received and it is possible that a different 'type' of email will work when these do not so I am going to ask that it be done ( it needs a certain level of admin authority to do so). If I do not get one this way, I will not set the email options if you wish, I simply want to find a way to maybe get it to work correctly. I have not had this problem with other wiki sites. If all else fails I will use a non AOL addy although I prefer not to as I do not use those often enough to be of much use to me here.*LadyPegasus - There are no wrong choices in life, only different paths we choose to take. 17:42, 5 January 2009 (EST)

I just manually confirmed your e-mail through the database. Let me know if it doesn't work. If the admins feel the "ConfirmUsersEmail" extension would help I can install it. -- Daveh 12:37, 1 February 2009 (EST)


FIELD_OTHER bot

Just thought I'd post something about this bot for the record. So far, most of these IPs have had one edit each, with two exceptions. Except for one of them, every IP has created posts with "FIELD_OTHER" as the subject line. (The ones that did multiple edits also did gibberish subject lines, but opened with a "FIELD_OTHER".) I haven't done an IP trace on these yet, though I doubt it will tell us anything helpful. Anyhow, if somebody wants it, here's the list of IPs so far: (add more as they occur.)

  • 24.77.29.63
  • 82.11.152.23
  • 65.190.14.113
  • 79.99.43.128 (2 edits)
  • 71.239.157.66
  • 201.6.3.241
  • 68.193.137.137
  • 70.64.254.82
  • 85.234.133.252 (4 edits)
  • 217.167.7.6
  • 196.25.52.36
  • 156.26.37.220
  • 194.204.64.75
  • 203.113.137.169
  • 89.187.135.24
  • 211.136.253.234
  • 91.121.28.188 (did not follow usual M/O, may be a different bot.)
  • 221.13.32.99 (2 edits)
  • 190.216.249.4 (3 edits, didn't start with FIELD_OTHER, possibly different bot)

--TheRealLurlock Talk 10:10, 17 December 2008 (EST)

If this persists there seem to be ways to prevent it. See this for example. I don't believe we currently use the $wgSpamRegex Wiki variable. -- Daveh 11:09, 17 December 2008 (EST)
I don't really understand what posting a list of these IPs is supposed to accomplish. We already have such a list, at Special:Log/block -- every block listed as "Nonsense bot", which is pretty much every block made in the last day. The list happens to be substantially longer than the list posted here (46 at the moment in the block log versus 18 here), and also is more useful (for example, it provides automatic links to the IPs' contribution history). So why should we start a manually-created, incomplete list? Furthermore, information on how many edits were made by each IP doesn't seem useful: it's really just an indication of how quickly the IP address was blocked. Of course an IP only made a single edit if it was blocked ten minutes after making that edit. And, again, the information is incomplete, since it is not going to include any nonsense talk pages created by IPs, all of which are being speedily deleted and therefore don't show up in contribution histories. I also don't think that posting any new IPs on the list is going to help block the IPs any more quickly. At least from my point of view, I'm going to see the IP more quickly in the Recent changes list, where there's a convenient "block" link next to the IP's name; having to pull up this discussion just adds a couple of extra, unnecessary steps. So, unless someone can explain how this list is helping the process, I'm unlikely to be adding any IPs I block to the list. --NepheleTalk 13:38, 17 December 2008 (EST)
I was going to do more (post trace results for the IPs, add contribs links, etc.), but I was pressed for time this morning. (The list doesn't go back further than yesterday because that was all that was still showing in my Recent Changes page.) I just know that we've done this sort of thing in the past with bots that post over an extended period of time - it helps keep track of all the IPs used by a given bot, as opposed to all IPs that have been blocked. These can then be used to track down and maybe report the bot to whatever authorities there might be that would care (not that I think there's much anyone could do, but it's worth a look) and to see if any pattern develops (all IPs being in a certain range, for example, or originating from a single geographical region - doesn't seem to be the case this time, but it doesn't hurt to look.) One pattern I did see is that the edits tend to occur in threes - 3 IPs in a row post nonsense on random pages. Not sure how that could be useful, but it seems to be a distinguishing feature of this bot.
Anyhow, this post was really intended more as a opening to discuss the recent bot activity, and it still serves that purpose. If that thing Daveh suggested is not too difficult, it might be worth looking into, as these attacks do appear to be happening with increased frequency lately. I still think my earlier suggestion of somehow requiring captcha for the first 5 or so edits from any new IP would be a very effective way of preventing these from occurring (without placing TOO much of a barrier for new editors). Of course, I still don't know if there's an easy way to do that, but it seems like there should be... --TheRealLurlock Talk 16:51, 17 December 2008 (EST)
I think it was only ever done before when no admin was around to block the offending IPs and the posters (myself included) didn't realise that it wasn't all that much help to the admins (this battle now immortalised as The Nineten Spam Battle thanks to Somercy is the one you're probably thinking of).
For the moment, I'm with Nephele: there's no point listing IPs here. There's nothing that can be done about this kind of attack since it almost certainly comes from a zombie network beyond the control of any one ISP.
As far as the captcha idea is concerned, why don't you post the results of the research you've done into the different possible methods? It's been quite a while since you suggested it so I'm sure you've found something by now. –RpehTCE 17:05, 17 December 2008 (EST)
How about this? I know nothing about PHP, so that's the best I can do. Presumably that code could be modified to check the number of edits for an anonymous account so that it only happens when it's less than X. But I leave the programming research to people who actually know something about it. I just don't think it should be that hard to implement this... --TheRealLurlock Talk 18:05, 17 December 2008 (EST)
BTDTBTTS. –RpehTCE 18:17, 17 December 2008 (EST)
Did you actually read the link I posted before dismissing it out of hand? Because I wasn't suggesting we go back to using ConfirmEdit. I was pointing out some code that somebody used with ConfirmEdit which according to this should probably work with reCAPCTCHA as well. Again, I don't know PHP, but when reCAPTCHA's own page suggests changes that can be made to the ConfirmEdit.php file, I think it's safe to assume that they function in a similar manner. --TheRealLurlock Talk 19:05, 17 December 2008 (EST)
The bot just hit Nepehel's user page. That's quite a coincidence.76.179.191.245 19:19, 17 December 2008 (EST)
Indeed it is. I'm still waiting for him to post a picture of his teenage sister in a bikini on Uniblab's User Page. --Tim Talk 19:24, 17 December 2008 (EST)
Lurlock, did you even look at what would be involved in making the change to do what you proposed before posting? Of course I read the link, which is how I knew that it had already been looked at in the past. I was subtly making the point that you saying, essentially, "someone should look at this" is of no help. Absolutely none. I've looked into it, I know Nephele has, and I'm pretty sure Daveh has too. You're therefore talking to the two people who wrote bots for the site and the guy who runs the whole shebang. So merely posting a link is just going to annoy people. If you have some concrete suggestions, please make them. So far, Daveh has made one suggestion that seems sensible, but in general it looks like we're on top of it. –RpehTCE 19:49, 17 December 2008 (EST)
This is exactly why I don't usually post suggestions like this. Every time I do, you knock it down and belittle me. I'd appreciate a little more civility here. You first give me a backhanded insult (no subtlety about that) for not doing the research, and then when I do post a link, you put me down again - with just an acronym that basically says nothing - how am I supposed to know what that means? (I know what the acronym means, but I don't know what you're trying to say by posting it.) I've said numerous times that I'm not a PHP guy, so maybe the people that DO know PHP should be the ones doing the research? Don't make this my responsibility just because I had the idea. And when I post a link to code, don't just shoot it down with no explanation. Tell me why it won't work or don't say anything. You've been flatly pooh-poohing every idea I've had for several months now, and it's really getting to be annoying. --TheRealLurlock Talk 00:33, 18 December 2008 (EST)
You keep posting ideas that haven't been thought through, that's why. You added the prev/next params to the book header (unnecessary) and then half-finished the job of implementing them. You added Morrowind-specific parameters to the generic template before you added them to the Morrowind one, which is just incredible. This whole topic was started because you didn't think about the list that's maintained by the block log. And what's worst is that you're only doing all this to boost your edit count. I'm not going to quote the line from IRC that you used, but it makes it pretty clear that's your intention. I'm getting really annoyed at seeing your personal schemes being inflicted on the site with no discussion and no thought. You're supposed to be an admin, which means understanding the principles of consensus.
Your post basically said that you'd done your part with the suggestion and you couldn't understand why nobody had done anything about it. The acronym was a link that pointed out the extension you'd just Googled had already been tried. You hadn't investigated it, you hadn't done any research to see whether the add-in could be configured to do what you want, you just posted the link with a "job done"-style comment, leaving it to somebody else to see what was required.
I could go on. But I'll stop pooh-poohing your ideas when you post one that's worth the bandwidth it consumes. –RpehTCE 04:34, 18 December 2008 (EST)
I'm going to respond to these accusations one by one: 1.) The prev/next parameter in the book header? I stopped adding them becuase you complained about it and I wanted to get some consensus before continuing to do so. Nobody else commented on the discussion, and I moved onto other things, but that was my intent. 2.) Adding MW-specific parameters to the generic tempate was done because the types of pages I was using it on were all small, minor locations which were the exact original intention of that template, but a few MW parameters were still needed on these pages. (There are probably some OB-specific ones that could be added as wel). I was considering using it on other pages and retiring the game-specific templates, but I didn't do so because I wanted to get consensus before making such a major change, and I did post such a suggestion in a public location. 3.) I was documenting the activity of a vandal bot. This has been done in the past, and we never had any discussion saying we're not doing it anymore because you can just look at the Block Log. This was just following precedant for how similar issues have been done in the past. 4.) I'm doing this to boost my edit count? That's just ridiculous. If I made any such comment, it was purely in jest. 5.) As for this whole link to ConfirmEdit stuff goes, I'll just state one more time: I know nothing about PHP. Thus telling me to do the research when I have no knowledge base to start from is a pretty ridiculous request. I found some code which according to reCAPTCHA's own site would work with either extension, and posted it so that those with a working knowledge of PHP could have a look at it and see whether it could be adapted to our needs. Obviously, I lack the skills to do so, which was why I was making the information available for those who can. But all I get is a harsh dismissal and baseless accusations. All in all, I don't see that anything I've done has been all that controversial, but you seem to have developped a personal vendetta against me for some reason, and it's hurtful. --TheRealLurlock Talk 09:23, 18 December 2008 (EST)
Rpeh, we are clearly NOT on top of this problem. If we were, we wouldn't have to be reverting the vandalism, we'd already have it stopped permanently. And I'm with TRL, I've noticed you constantly bashing many of his ideas. DaedryonTCE 00:39, 18 December 2008 (EST)
On top of simply means it's not overrunning the site, which is what is happening on some other wikis. –RpehTCE 04:34, 18 December 2008 (EST)
Ok, I see your point, but regardless, like I said earlier, you need to lay off insulting Lurlock now, as he's proven you wrong at all stops, and even proved that what he was doing with the MW stuff was stopped because of your complaining. I'm starting to see a pattern with you Rpeh, and I'm thinking I'd like to see you de-sysopped. DaedryonTCE 15:00, 18 December 2008 (EST)
Daedryon, if you think you can turn a disagreement between two admins to your advantage, you are sadly mistaken. You were banned from IRC because you almost caused all UESPusers to be banned from it. Your attempts to make amends by swearing at another user and insulting them just made things worse. If you continue to spread falsehoods about the events, I will post the full logs of both your behavior and the fallout it caused. –RpehTCE 03:11, 19 December 2008 (EST)
Posted a reply to the above on Rpeh's talk page DaedryonTCE 20:54, 19 December 2008 (EST)


Proxy Vandalism

Just throwing this out there, just as an idea...perhaps we should get someone to visit Proxy.org, go through each Proxy (or as many as possible), find out what the IP of each one is, and perma-block it. It's already been done on several Wikia-run Wikis, and I've seen much lower vandalism rates (at least 1 vandalism in 2 days). I know this seems like alot of work, but I think Wikia might have used a team of people, or even a program to go through and block each Proxy's IP. DaedryonTCE 00:37, 18 December 2008 (EST)

We've done it before - the first time we had a major bot attack (you think this is bad, this is nothing compared to before...), Nephele found a list of open proxies and put blocks on all of them. I forget how many, but it was a lot. Since then, we've added certain tools that severely limit the power of spambots (Captcha required for posting links being the most effective so far), but since the current bot isn't posting links, these measures don't work against them. (It's probably trying to post links, but those edits are being blocked by the Captcha.) The problem with blocking large numbers of IPs is that many IPs are dynamic, and shared by many people, so we might end up blocking large numbers of legit posters as well as the spammers. Anyhow, I'm sure we'll come up with something. And the spammers will find a way around it, and we'll do it again. Such is life on the internet. --TheRealLurlock Talk 00:44, 18 December 2008 (EST)
Yes but these IP's on Proxy.org aren't dynamic, as far as my knowledge goes. They are/were specifically designed for getting around blocks on Wikipedia, getting around school blocks on MySpace or Facebook, etc. I doubt they'd be used for regular internet purposes...although once I did have my IP (while using Bell Sympatico) change to an IP with a page full of warnings on Wikipedia for vandalizing porn related articles...hm...guess this will require some delving into to figure out if they are dynamic... DaedryonTCE 00:53, 18 December 2008 (EST)


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