UESPWiki:Administrator Noticeboard/Archive 30

A UESPWiki – Sua fonte de The Elder Scrolls desde 1995
Semi Protection
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.

File upload and thumbnail creation broken

I was just trying to upload a new version of SR-icon-spell-Vampire Bane.png to go with the other spell icons I made, but I get the following error message: The file you uploaded seems to be empty. This might be due to a typo in the filename. Please check whether you really want to upload this file. The file is very much not empty. It may have been too large at first - it was just over the 2MB limit but I reduced it and it still wouldn't upload. Also, when I tried to purge the page, the thumbnails were all replaced by blank grey with another error message: Error creating thumbnail: convert: WriteBlob Failed `/tmp/transform_9bacd9-1.png'. Did I break something? Or was there something else already broken? Either way, it needs to be fixed. TheRealLurlock (talk) 05:05, 13 November 2012 (GMT)

Sounds like the drive is probably filling up with temp files again. If Dave doesn't notice this soonish, you may want to post to his page or send him a direct e-mail. Robin Hoodtalk 05:58, 13 November 2012 (GMT)
Yeap, earlier on I encountered the exact same error message as you TRL. And me being a regular image contributor find this rather annoying xD. Hope this is fixed soon, thanks :) ~ Psylocke 06:01, 13 November 2012 (GMT)
It took me a while to track it down (I was looking in the archives, but it's not there yet), but if you "Show" the "Fixed Issues" at the top of this page currently, the second- and third-last bullets are talking about this exact same issue when it happened a couple of months ago. Robin Hoodtalk 06:08, 13 November 2012 (GMT)
Seems to have resolved itself overnight, unless somebody fixed it and didn't say anything. The really weird part is the person who reported this issue before just so happens to be the same person who uploaded the original version of the file I just replaced, and it was around the same time, too. Is it possible these files are located in a shady spot on the server? Like a drive that's heavily fragmented or needs to be replaced? Server drives can go bad just like any others. I just wonder if this is maybe a symptom of a larger underlying problem. TheRealLurlock (talk) 11:59, 13 November 2012 (GMT)

() It's baaAAAaack. Got a whole new batch of load screens to submit, but it won't let me do it - just get this error every time. Any idea what fixed this problem the last time? TheRealLurlock (talk) 15:13, 12 January 2013 (GMT)

I changed the temp directory for ImageMagick from /tmp to /imagetmp a week or so ago as /tmp is a fixed partition and was very quickly filling up. I'll do a quick check and make sure it is setup as needed or if a certain cache needs to be updated. Perhaps some parts of the app are using different temp paths for some reason (/tmp should no longer be used if it is setup correctly). -- -- Daveh (talk) 15:22, 12 January 2013 (GMT)
Testing a file upload and re-upload after restarting the Apache server on content1 and I didn't run into this issue. Can you try again and see if you encounter it. I think the first time you encountered the issue it was due to a full temp drive which shouldn't happen anymore but I'll keep an eye on it. -- -- Daveh (talk) 15:31, 12 January 2013 (GMT)
Okay, we seem to be back in business. Is this going to continue to be a problem if a lot of uploads happen in the near future? Not sure if it's worth looking into dedicated hosting for just the images to keep this issue from occurring again... TheRealLurlock (talk) 15:39, 12 January 2013 (GMT)
We already have a dedicated server for the images (files1.uesp.net) which has plenty of free space for the foreseeable future. The issue is simply the temporary disk space that MediaWiki/ImageMagick uses for upload and thumbnail transforms on each of the content servers. The servers came with a relatively small //'tmp' (2GB) which can fill up relatively quickly especially since it is used for a variety of other things. I think the latest upload issue is a just a hiccup when moving the image temporary directory (assuming it is anyways unless it happens again). -- -- Daveh (talk) 15:50, 12 January 2013 (GMT)

Proof Read News

Can someone proof read the UESP Starts the New Year Withs its First Employee news piece and edit as appropriate. I'm not good at writing about myself in the third person. -- -- Daveh (talk) 15:26, 4 January 2013 (GMT)

I took a stab at it. --Xyzzy Talk 22:14, 4 January 2013 (GMT)

Broken Images for Deletion

Jak brought my attention to the fact that we have a few known broken images on the site, like MW-map-Balmora.jpg. Once I'd found one, I was able to find a whole bunch more. Unless someone can think of a good reason to keep these, can I suggest that an Admin delete either the whole page or the specific broken image, as appropriate. I can't Prod/Speed a specific historic image, and while not huge, the list of affected images isn't small, either, so I figured a post was the way to go. Here's the list of affected images—in some cases, it just shows "No Thumbnail", while in others, we get an error message.

Robin Hood  (talk) 06:23, 9 January 2013 (GMT)

What is the reason to delete the "No Thumbnail" cases? Does it cause problems anywhere? The reason to keep it would be the general reason for not deleting stuff - keeping the history of the file. --Alfwyn (talk) 15:36, 9 January 2013 (GMT)
I was mostly concerned with the ones that look truly broken. I'm not entirely sure why some appear broken and others only show "No Thumbnail"; I didn't look into it that deeply. In most of the "No Thumbnail" I looked at, though certainly not all, there's a re-upload with the same or similar summary, so the ones with no thumbnail are probably redundant anyway. Robin Hood  (talk) 22:25, 9 January 2013 (GMT)
The Balmora map is the only one for which there doesn't seem to be ANY non-broken version. I probably have that file on my old computer somewhere still, but it might take me a while to dig it up, since that machine is currently not working. We've got a temporary replacement for it in place so it's not too urgent, but I'd ask that at least that one not be deleted on the off-chance that it still exists somewhere on the server and the link can be reconnected somehow. If not, I'll try tracking it down, but it unfortunately may be lost to the aether... (Incidentally, how did you get that list? I assume you didn't just sit around for hours looking at every image on the site for that. What I'm curious about is if we know for sure that this is really all of them or if there might be even more somewhere.) TheRealLurlock (talk) 00:01, 10 January 2013 (GMT)
What can I say? I was really bored and I thought it might be fun to check out all 25,000 image pages! Okay, no, seriously, in the database, they all have an empty image name in the oldimages table. There were actually 28 of them, but MW-creature-Rat.jpg is duplicated. Jak mentioned that page being merged, so presumably that's where the duplicate comes from.
As far as being on the server, they don't appear to be, but it's hard to say with certainty, since there could be some kind of minor naming issue or something of that nature. I believe there's a script that looks for orphaned server-side images; I'll do some research and see if I'm correct about that, and if I can get it to do a dry run without actually changing anything. Robin Hood  (talk) 00:19, 10 January 2013 (GMT)
The Balmora map images can still be found: first version, second and third. --Alfwyn (talk) 15:28, 10 January 2013 (GMT)
Good find! I've replaced the one on File:MW_Map_Balmora.jpg with this one. (I believe the 2nd and 3rd versions are identical - I recall that it was re-uploaded after some complaints that it didn't work for some people, which may have simply been server issues at the time.) The 1st version is way too low-res to bother keeping, but now the link is just a blank white page, even after a hard-refresh, so I can't even attempt to delete it. (I'd like to move the working one into its place for naming consistency, but can't do that until the old one is deleted.) TheRealLurlock (talk) 16:49, 10 January 2013 (GMT)

() One thing I've noticed about the rest of these missing images is that they all seem to have the same uploader, date of upload and file-size (also dimensions where available) as the version immediately after them, which means that they were all very likely the exact same image, which the uploader resubmitted for whatever reason (most likely because it didn't appear to load properly the first time, which is a common symptom of server lag or something like that - there's been a few times where the drive was just plain full so new uploads were impossible, might be related to that as well.) In most cases the upload time differs by no more than a few minutes. So I think it's probably safe to say that these files can be deleted, since a theoretically identical file was uploaded by the same person shortly after in every case. TheRealLurlock (talk) 16:59, 10 January 2013 (GMT)

Let's hold off on this for a bit. I've started looking into these some more, and have been able to completely fix one and mostly fix File:MW-creature-Rat.jpg. Now that I have some idea what's going on, I may be able to fix some of the others as well. Robin Hood  (talk) 00:49, 11 January 2013 (GMT)
I wasn't about to start deleting them all. Mind you, none of the images that are missing seem to be the current ones (with the exception of the Balmora one that's now been fixed), so it wouldn't be a huge loss, especially if most of them are simply duplicates. The rat picture seems to have been another exception - none of those are two in a row by the same uploader. But nearly(?) all of the rest do appear to just be re-submissions of the same file, so would be completely unmissed if they were deleted. TheRealLurlock (talk) 03:56, 11 January 2013 (GMT)
Okay, at long last these are done. Thanks first of all to Jak Atackka, who was looking for something to do and was able to help out with finding the files and moving them where they needed to be. That made the other half of the job, updating the database and dealing with oddballs, much faster and easier. Also thanks to Eric Snowmane, who was able to track down this half-remembered post that I couldn't find, which explains where a lot of these issues arose from (though not all). Later tonight, I'll look over that post and another one he found in the process to see if they bring up any additional issues that might need looking into.
Now, that just leaves us with one remaining issue: most of the files listed above now contain exact duplicates caused (we presume) by failed uploads. I'll leave it up to the admins to figure out whether one of those duplicates should be deleted or not. I think in most cases, there are only two, so it may not be worth an Admin's time, and of course there are the points above about not deleting things unnecessarily, since some do contain different edit summaries or what have you. The one exception to this is SR-npc-Skuli.jpg, which contains five duplicates. Since only one of those was broken, I have no idea why there are so many. Given that four of them have no edit summaries, I'd propose deleting those four and just leaving the one that actually does have an edit summary. Robin Hood  (talk) 00:07, 16 January 2013 (GMT)

Another Request

Can an Admin please semi-protect {{Parameter Check}}? It's already well into the Top 20 most-used templates, and I imagine it'll climb higher than that by the time we're done. Robin Hood  (talk) 06:52, 9 January 2013 (GMT)

Done! --Krusty (talk) 08:03, 9 January 2013 (GMT)

Upgrade to 1.19.3

If you can read this then the main Wiki has been upgraded to 1.19.3. Since it was a minor version upgrade it didn't take too long and a lot the previous work on upgrading to 1.19 made it easier. With a little more work and organization even major upgrades shouldn't be the headache they once were. I'd like to upgrade to 1.20 or 1.21 in the next month and try to keep closer to the current release of MediaWiki. If you notice any bugs or issues just let me know. -- -- Daveh (talk) 15:53, 10 January 2013 (GMT)

I noticed there seems to have been an interesting change to the sortable tables feature when using rowspans. I just changed the list on Morrowind:Threads of the Webspinner to use a sortable table, using rowspans for NPCs with multiple items. Now, though, when you click one of the columns to sort it, rather than keep the rowspan'ed cells together, it automatically duplicates them on each row as needed. In this case that's actually not a bad thing, but I'm not sure if this might have negative effects on other tables. (Also not sure what it'll do with colspans, should look into that, as we had an issue with those before where it would sort by the wrong column.) TheRealLurlock (talk) 17:56, 10 January 2013 (GMT)

Search Upgrades

I've started to play with Lucene search and other search improvements on the Dev Wiki and need some ideas/feedback on what sort of search features/design we should have.

  • Auto-Complete -- Seems to work fine but may need to be tweaked due to our multiple game/namespaces.
  • Suggest -- Lucene will suggest/spell check search terms relatively intelligently.
  • Namespaces -- While it works better than the current search it will likely have to be tweaked a bit to work better with our namespace/game system.
  • Search Location -- Currently our search box is on the left and a common suggestion from the user survey was to move it to the upper-right where most other Wikis have it. This is completely separate from the back-end search changes but might as well bring it up now.
  • Performance -- Its impossible to gauge as the dev server is relatively slow but it should be similar or faster than the current search. I'll have to test performance once I get the final Lucene setup finished.

Comments and other search releated suggestions welcome. Setup was relatively straight forward and now that I've gotten most of the "gotchas" figured out getting it working on the live site won't take long depending on how much customization of the search is needed. -- Daveh (talk) 21:29, 15 January 2013 (GMT)

It all sounds good, boss man, but there is one thing on my mind. I actually prefer our search box on the left, rather than in the top right, because with the page tabs, the user navbar thingy (User-Talk-Prefs-COntrib-Etc), and the search box all up there, I am concerned that it has a chance of becoming crowded. --Snowmane(talkemail) 22:20, 15 January 2013 (GMT)
I like on the left as well. Moving to the upper-right would require a skin change to move those links to tabs as on the other wikis. Another option is adding a search box at the bottom of the very page or making the left toolbar slightly wider. -- Daveh (talk) 00:51, 16 January 2013 (GMT)
A search bar at the bottom of pages would be cool, IMO, especially when you can't be bothered to scroll back up the crazy long pages like this one or the CP.
I have one question. More of a curiosity. What would widening the toolbars do if it were widened? Aside from be wider? I don't really see how simply widening it would make that much of a difference with regards to the search bar? And, it needs to be explained in the kind of language that a Kindergartner (KG is the typically the very first year of school for the 4-5 year olds, for the non-Americans :P) can understand, because when it comes to web design, I am one of the easiest people to confuse lol. --Snowmane(talkemail) 01:17, 16 January 2013 (GMT)
My thought was that the text in the search bar is on the small side so making the sidebar wider would have a wider search bar and thus be easier to see/use. I've also been thinking of CSS/JavaScript menus for the sidebar which may work better with a slightly wider bar. Just a thought and it wouldn't be a large change anyways. -- Daveh (talk) 02:30, 16 January 2013 (GMT)
The search bar looks the same size as the one on the side of wikipedia (I think you need to be logged in to see it), so I don't think there's any real need to increase the size of it. They both handle larger names the same, except wikipedia's has the suggested links appearing as you type. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 02:35, 16 January 2013 (GMT)

() Two things the old search did (now disabled for about half a year), was being namespace aware (that is typing a name and press go would get you to the page if it existed in the current namespace) and having a nicer mask in the advanced search, sorted by games and having just one global talk space flag - making it easier to use. Anyway, having played around a bit with the old code, that would need some serious cleaning up. The energy might be better used to customize Lucene search. Even uncustomized it appears to be an improvement over the current situation to me. --Alfwyn (talk) 12:10, 16 January 2013 (GMT)

Yes, I'd like to have something more namespace aware. The old search code doesn't work at all after the upgrade to 1.19 and it would probably be easier to start the customization from scratch. If the raw Lucene search is better than the existing one I'll probably do it in two steps: upgrade to Lucene and then add the namespace search features. Getting a better mask than the current sea of checkboxes would go in the first step and shouldn't be that difficult. -- Daveh (talk) 13:10, 16 January 2013 (GMT)
Update -- I've made the sidebar slightly wider and changed the search box format (removed buttons and made it more like the Wikipedia search field). I think this works and looks much better. Next step is getting the namespace check box array to look better.... Note that you may need to do a forced complete reload of the dev site in your browser to update the skins. -- Daveh (talk) 15:58, 16 January 2013 (GMT)
I've played around a bit with it on the dev wiki, and I've got to say all of the changes so far look awesome, and they seem to work really well. I'd definitely still love to see the advanced search look a little prettier, but the improvements to regular searching are fantastic. I like the changes in the search box format, with no buttons and the little magnifying glass icon to get to advanced search.
As for where the search bar is placed, my personal preference is to keep it where it is now. I don't particularly like the idea of moving it to the top right, but if we do, a good place for it would be right above the line which says "The UESPWiki – Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995" (basically, where the [edit] link is if you have the " Enable section editing via [edit] links" box checked in the Editing tab of Preferences, or right next to it). It wouldn't interfere with the tabs at the top of pages, or with the user links at the top right, but (as Snowmane noted above) it could get crowded. You also mentioned having a search box at the bottom of the page. Did you mean moving it there, or putting it there in addition to the placement at the top? If you mean in addition, this could be useful. — ABCface 17:01, 16 January 2013 (GMT)
I agree, this looks excellent. I'm not overly keen on the wider sidebar, but if we implement it then I can live with it. Can I make a proposal? If at all possible, having the "Advanced" link (when searching) open a drop-down menu rather than taking you to a new page would be nice. This isn't that important, it would just be a nice thing to have. • JAT 17:24, 16 January 2013 (GMT)
The sidebar is only 20-30 pixels wider, the same as Wikipedia at the moment, and can be tweaked as needed. I'll probably make it at least 10 pixels wider than the original. I'd like to do a fancier menu option but I think I'll start with the basic options like it is now and work on the fancier drop-down menu later. I'd rather get the new search up and running as quickly as possible as its been half-broken for a while now. -- Daveh (talk) 19:26, 16 January 2013 (GMT)
I think the box itself looks great. As far as location goes, I'd suggest we leave that to the skin itself to decide, and just tweak the CSS files as necessary so that other skins like Vector are actually viable options on the site. I'd enjoy doing that, but given Jak's greater knowledge of CSS, I also suggested he might want to take it on. So far, neither of us has found the time.
I really like the overall design of the new search mask, though I have one minor quibble, and it's entirely an optical illusion: because of the increasing number of entries as you move from left to right, it gives the illusion that it's "drooping" on the right. I'm not sure how you've formatted it, but perhaps something like putting a thin box around it, or a solid background on the titles, might help get rid of that illusion. Of course, if I'm the only one experiencing this, then I'm good with "it's all in your head". I can probably add some code to my CSS page to alter it for me only. :) Robin Hood  (talk) 20:17, 16 January 2013 (GMT)
I know what you mean about it "drooping" and it wasn't done on purpose. It just came about by grouping namespaces by game and putting the more used/recent ones on the left. If someone can suggest a better looking organization or design I'm all ears. -- Daveh (talk) 21:16, 16 January 2013 (GMT)

() Update 2 -- The "advanced" check-box options are done and appear to working along with the new "talk pages" option. At this point unless there are other comments on things as they stand I'm ready to start moving the changes to the live site. Other changes, in particular the custom namespace handling, are large enough to work on separately or minor enough to not matter for the most part. Getting a stand alone Lucene index up and running on the main database is a bit of work including testing so it may be a few days until its actually ready to go live. -- Daveh (talk) 23:35, 16 January 2013 (GMT)

It's a personal preference issue, just nitpicking, so I can just adapt to if it's not modifiable, but is the search box dependent on the increased width of the tool bar? I'm not a fan of how wide it is, since there is so much empty space in the toolbar, since most of the words for the links don't even get halfway across the toolbar's width. --Snowmane(talkemail) 23:45, 16 January 2013 (GMT)
I like the advanced screen now. Just having it that much closer to the title bar and the line underneath (was that there before?) eliminates the droop effect. Robin Hood  (talk) 23:48, 16 January 2013 (GMT)
I think the advanced screen looks great! Also, I didn't comment specifically about the width of the search bar box before, but I love the change. I also noticed that the width of the drop down options varies according to what's listed, and I find that to be a nice feature as well. I'd love to see these changes go live the way they are now and have the custom namespace issues be ironed out later. — ABCface 00:15, 17 January 2013 (GMT)

() Update 3 -- The new search look and index is up and running on the live site now. The index updater is not now working (silly file permission error) and I'm not aware of any other problems. You may need to reload pages for the skin changes to take effect (I'm not sure how to force a change other than what I've already done). If you notice any search issues or problems just let me know. I'll be monitoring the load on the index for the next few days to make sure it is handling things fine. -- Daveh (talk) 15:47, 21 January 2013 (GMT)

It doesn't offer any Skyrim or Dragonborn pages when you type into the box from an article. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 01:12, 22 January 2013 (GMT)
I get Skyrim and Dragonborn results. What are you searching for and what are your user search preferences set to (which namespaces)? Can anyone else replicate this issue? -- Daveh (talk) 02:57, 22 January 2013 (GMT)
In my preferences I have it set to search in every namespace, and using "Raven Rock" as an example (has Lore, Bloodmoon, and Dragonborn pages), I only had Lore, Bloodmoon, and their respective talk pages returned, plus the result for the Raven Rock Mine.
And, complements on the search bar. I seldom use it, since I've used the site to the point where I can manually type a URL faster than I can search it, so this is the first time using it since launch, and save for the issue with the Skyrim and Dragonborn search results, it's a very nice upgrade from what it used to be :) ES(talkemail) 03:09, 22 January 2013 (GMT)
(edit conflict) They come up after you hit enter for the advanced search, but they don't display in the auto options. Anything from High Hrothgar to Delphine to Ulfric Stormcloak for Skyrim, Miraak to Tel Mithryn for Dragonborn. My preferences have "all namespaces" ticked and all front namespaces ticked (Skyrim, OB, MW, AR, DG) and pages from those other namespaces are offered. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 03:12, 22 January 2013 (GMT)
Strange...it all works for me. The only way I can *not* get the results in the "auto" search is to disable All Namespaces/Skyrim/Dragonborn in my search preferences. I'll check and make sure people's preferences haven't become corrupted. You can try manually updating/saving your search preferences again and see if that works. What browser/system is everyone that is seeing this problem using? -- Daveh (talk) 18:26, 22 January 2013 (GMT)
I'm having display problems with the new search bar, at least I think it is related to the changes to the search bar, as I have only noticed it today. I am finding that sometimes the search bar appears in the left column of the page as expected, but the rest of the main menu items are vertically shifted down the page to align underneath the content of the current page. I have to scroll right down to the bottom of the page if I want to click on a main menu link. If it helps at all, I am using Firefox v18.0 for Ubuntu as my web browser, and adjusting the zoom or the screen resolution does not fix the problem. Darictalk 03:20, 22 January 2013 (GMT)
Sorry, ignore this. A purge of my browser cache fixed this problem. As Daveh says above, "You may need to reload pages for the skin changes to take effect". Darictalk 03:29, 22 January 2013 (GMT)
Hmm, I can't seem to get stuff in the Dragonborn namespace to display in the auto options either, though I am getting plenty of Skyrim options. — ABCface 03:37, 22 January 2013 (GMT)
Firefox. I checked every possibility and only one thing worked, logging out. The issue is still there after logging back in. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 18:40, 22 January 2013 (GMT)
Same. Firefox 18.0.1, logged out, changed my preferences, logged back in, still can't get Dragonborn stuff to come up in the auto options. — ABCface 18:43, 22 January 2013 (GMT)
Okay, now this is weird. Yesterday it was working perfectly fine - it showed Skyrim and Dragonborn results just fine. However, now I'm not getting any drop-down menu with search suggestions whatsoever. Logging out does not fix this. Safari 4.1.3
And fantastic job, Daveh! This is very good (at least while it works), and once we work out the kinks, we'll all be very happy with this. • JAT 18:54, 22 January 2013 (GMT)
Online is affected too. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 22:46, 22 January 2013 (GMT)

() Search Issue -- Can someone having issue with search results try the following links:

They both should be the same with the following content:

<pre style="width:; white-space:-moz-pre-wrap; white-space:-pre-wrap; white-space:-o-pre-wrap; white-space:pre-wrap; word-wrap:break-word; ">["Miraa",["Dragonborn:Miraak (NPC)","Dragonborn:Miraak's Robes","Dragonborn:Miraak (class)","Dragonborn:Miraak (item)","Dragonborn:Miraak","Dragonborn:Miraak's Staff","Dragonborn:Miraak's Sword"]]

It might have something to do with Squid caching the search results incorrectly for some people. Just a wild guess but I have no other ideas. -- Daveh (talk) 15:19, 23 January 2013 (GMT)

The links are the same. To clear up the issue I tested it on Firefox, Opera, and Chrome. If I log out, DB:Miraak appears in the dropdown menu. If I am logged in, the only Miraak that appears is a User:Miraak. It seems that something in my user preferences is bugging this, and I'll have a good look at that. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 19:01, 23 January 2013 (GMT)
Do the link results have any Skyrim/Dragonborn content or is that missing? Can you post the results when your are logged in with the Miraak results missing? -- Daveh (talk) 20:11, 23 January 2013 (GMT)
The problem lies somewhere with the "Search in all namespaces" feature. As soon as I turn that on, the DB results disappear in the drop-down. The links both continue to show DB results, though, as expected. Note that I still had DB selected in my list, so clearly something in the search all feature is actually overriding the list choices entirely to exclude DB. Robin Hood  (talk) 21:50, 23 January 2013 (GMT)
Dave: I've just been researching this, and while I can't find anything clearly related, I do notice that lsearch-global.conf is missing the Dragonborn talk space (147) in "all_talk" at the bottom. I don't suspect that's the problem here, but I thought I'd mention it. I haven't made the change, since I haven't been involved in setting lucene up and don't want to risk breaking something. Robin Hood  (talk) 23:23, 23 January 2013 (GMT)
I tried those two links and they look exactly the same. When logged out, I get the Miraak results in the auto options. When logged in, the only result I get for typing in "Miraak" is User_talk:Miraak. To clarify, I tried this with the "Search in all namespaces" checkbox ticked, as well as with it unchecked (having both Dragonborn & Dragonborn talk checked as part of that list). So while there might be an issue with that checkbox, that's not the only issue.
I haven't had the issues with getting Skyrim options to appear like Silencer's having, but I am also having issues getting anything from the Online namespace to appear (so for me, it's just no DB and no ON). — ABCface 00:46, 24 January 2013 (GMT)

Search Upgrades Edit Break 1

How exactly is the drop-down (auto-complete?) feature meant to work? I and others have gotten something very strange when typing in just "sr:". What shows up in the dropdown is Skyrim:1=Imperial, 2=Stormcloak Supporter, which leads here--a faction which uses those ranks. I don't know how that ended up redirecting there, or if it should show up in the dropdown box, but it is odd. Vely►t►e 23:58, 25 January 2013 (GMT)

Interesting, that doesn't show up in my list of options at all. I get File:SR-icon-logo.jpg, Oblivion:S'rathad's House Key, Oblivion:S'razirr, Oblivion:S'rathad, and three more File options. I'm not having an issue with things coming up in the Skyrim namespace in general, so that's not what's causing the difference. — ABCface 00:07, 26 January 2013 (GMT)
Did you add the colon after sr? Vely►t►e 00:14, 26 January 2013 (GMT)
Ah, didn't notice that. When adding the colon, I get the same result as you. — ABCface 03:52, 26 January 2013 (GMT)

IP Block

User:77.93.2.81 has recently made a nonsense edit to an unused userpage. Looking at said IP's talk page, I noticed that he/she has previously been blocked for disruptive editing. Perhaps another block might be in order? ThuumofReason (talk) 18:26, 16 January 2013 (GMT)

It's done, but thanks for pointing it out ;). eshetalk 18:34, 16 January 2013 (GMT)

Restrictions on YouTube links

This will be a very controversial proposal, but given the latest trends, it's worth putting on the table. I will say up front that I hate the concept, and I want to actually let the spam bots post for a while unrestricted so that I can see if this trend continues, but they've taken to using YouTube links for the purpose of spamming the site.

They are obviously not stupid, and the programmers have realized that they can use a perfectly legitimate website to push their spam through the filters, and while I believe that YouTube links do have some minimal value on the talk pages to prove a point, the fact of the matter is they aren't posted really often for a legitimate purpose (at least that I've observed), so if the spamming via YouTube links continues or gets worse, I would like to propose, not the outright blocking of the links, but stricter restrictions on how a link can be posted and what needs to be done to stop them from being posting maliciously for spamming purposes. Although, at the same time, if it came to defending against a bad spam wave or allowing newbies and numbers to post external links freely, I'd vote for the former.

I can already hear the voices in my head of people saying this is a dumb idea and that the numbers and newbies deserve the same posting rights as others, but what would it hurt if we put a restriction on YouTube links, such as being AutoConfirmed, which would require your many days named and your number of good edits, or at least adding it to the Abuse Filter to the effect of "Due to an increase in spamming activity with YouTube links, they have been temporarily added to the spam filter, and posting links to external sites for the purpose of spamming the site is vandalism and a bannable offense. Are you sure you want to continue?"

AGAIN: This is merely pushing ideas around and getting everyone talking just to have a vague idea of how to handle the spambots if this trend of posting YouTube links continues, and I am in no way endorsing preventative measures at this time, since it's a trend that I've only observed in the last few days and as of now isn't a really severe issue... Yet. --Snowmane(talkemail) 22:22, 16 January 2013 (GMT)

To me, auto-confirmed is the logical choice here. As Snowmane points out, it's rare that any user posts a legitimate YouTube video, and rarer still that it would be one of their very first posts. I believe the Abuse Filter could handle that, but Jak would have to comment on that, as that's been his project. Robin Hood  (talk) 02:55, 4 February 2013 (GMT)
If I may give this conversation a little push to see if it can properly be kicked off and revisited? We still have spambots using YouTube links, and we still don't get enough legitimate uses to necessitate the free posting of them. Snowmane(talk) 07:31, 20 March 2013 (GMT)
I'd agree with this. I just blocked 12 YouTube spammers, which is the most I've had to do in one sitting in a long time. I see that Krusty got a bunch of them too, likely the same MO. Honestly, I'm all for saying that non-auto-confirmed users shouldn't be allowed to post any external links. It only takes, what, a week and 10 posts or something? I don't think it's at all unreasonable to require a minimum edit count before allowing external links. As long as we make the warning message clear as to why a post is being blocked, newbie users should be able to understand that it's just a means of preventing abuse. Very few sites I've seen would allow you to post things like that on your first day. It just makes sense to put a reasonable buffer on it. Oh, and if possible, really we should be timing the age of an account by the date of its first post, not the day it was created. The spambots are smart enough to create an account a week ahead of time before actually posting in order to get past such waiting periods. That loophole needs to be closed. — TheRealLurlock (talk) 12:26, 20 March 2013 (GMT)
A compromise. As youtube links have legitimate uses, a separate filter for them, with a message/warning tailored specifically for it. It would do exactly the same as the General External Filter, but with a tag of just "Youtube link added". Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 21:26, 22 March 2013 (GMT)

A link got me into "abuse log" - I am not happy

That's it, I added link to a file in http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim_talk:Block#Important_but_not_answered, and it gave me two entries in abuse log, although, well, "abuse" is something bad, and I do not think block effectiveness research is so retarded and evil... << filter 2 >> made me slightly sad... And I want to be removed from its logs. Sergio Morozov (talk) 20:28, 19 January 2013 (GMT)

Wikipedia has the exact same thing, and many established editors are in the abuse log files, myself included. The filter simply asks you to confirm that you know what you are posting is safe, otherwise it is abuse. It tags it not as abuse, but as "possible spam", this perhaps we can modify to something such as "unknown external link". As far as I know logs cannot be removed. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 21:08, 19 January 2013 (GMT)
Sergio: Just to follow Silencer, I am all over the abuse log because I upload appropriate external links from time to time. The messages need to be reworded. --JR (talk) 21:38, 19 January 2013 (GMT)
Sergio: You cannot be removed from the log. (Well, perhaps, but it would be very time-consuming.) However, all it really does is tell us "possible link spam" next to your edit. The vast majority of edits caught by Filter 2 are spam edits. Unfortunately, every now and then there is a legitimate edit from a user that gets caught up in it, and we apologize for the inconvenience. Being in the log doesn't mean anything bad for you--you won't get blocked, warned, or anything else bad. It doesn't affect your account. Don't worry about it :)
JR: I agree with you, a sentence should perhaps be added to the beginning, saying "Links for the purpose of discussion are acceptable; however, [...]" Vely►t►e 23:28, 19 January 2013 (GMT)
OK then. Your answers are very comforting.Sergio Morozov (talk) 09:12, 20 January 2013 (GMT)

History Merge or Delete

Can I suggest an admin merge the histories of User:D521/Sandbox2 and User:Whispend/Sandbox2. It looks like the user was renamed and a couple of pages were left over. Alternatively, it may make sense to just delete the D521 version. Whispend himself hasn't edited since the end of September, so I'm assuming asking him whether to delete or merge is probably not going to be answered. Robin Hood  (talk) 05:54, 20 January 2013 (GMT)

The D521 sandbox info was already copied by Whispend into the article it was intended for here. So nothing major would be lost through deletion. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 12:33, 20 January 2013 (GMT)
I agree that deleting would not lose anything important, I proposed the page for deletion. --Alfwyn (talk) 14:45, 1 February 2013 (GMT)

Skyrim:Dragon

Lockdown/Ban needed here. An IP kept changing the spawning level. All indicators suggest otherwise and the IP was asked to explain before editing again. IP refused to explain and eventually resorted to blanking half the page. Action is needed here. I suggest a lock on the page to force the IP to explain as there were other reports of different levels until the game data was obtained. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 01:09, 28 January 2013 (GMT)

I've put a lock on the page for 2 weeks for non-autopatrolled users ~ Dwarfmp (talk) 01:28, 28 January 2013 (GMT)

Gadget Issue

A few people had notified me via e-mail that the Gadgets weren't working. It appears they are still broken by the wiki's Memcached setting which was why they were still working on content3. I've turned the Memcached settings off temporarily to let the Gadgets work while I try to narrow down the issue. Note that I'm working overseas for the next 2 weeks and so have limited time for site things...mainly making sure nothing critical breaks. -- Daveh (talk) 19:02, 29 January 2013 (GMT)

Block needed?

Ip address 64.64.165.42 vandalized the Kalthar page 4 times. They were blocked last year for vandalism. Should they be warned again before being blocked again? --Xyzzy Talk 03:26, 31 January 2013 (GMT)

Given that it's a user that's vandalized the site before (and has been warned and blocked for it within the last year), I've gone ahead and put 6 on them to stop them from continuing to vandalize the site before an admin can block them for a reasonable length of time. ES(talkemail) 03:29, 31 January 2013 (GMT)
Can an Admin get on this and give the user a (very) long block. They have vandalized again, after three blocks. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 23:30, 31 January 2013 (GMT)
Blocked for a year. —Legoless (talk) 23:36, 31 January 2013 (GMT)

Database Maintenace

Just a heads up that sometime today there will be a short period where the wiki/forums will be locked while I switch the primary database from db1 to db2. A hard drive on db1 is failing and needs to be taken down for maintenance. The lock time should be minimal (5-10 minutes) and I don't expect any other service interruption. -- Daveh (talk) 07:23, 1 February 2013 (GMT)

Assuming this edit works then we're now running off of db2. If you get any errors or issues in parts of the site let me know. It is either due to a password/permission error on db2 or if I missed switching a service to use db2. -- Daveh (talk) 09:57, 1 February 2013 (GMT)
db1 has been repaired and once its database replication has caught up I'll be switching it back over as master which will entail another short period of read-only locks for the wiki and forums. In the meantime the hourly lag issues are due to the Lucene index updating each hour on db2. At the moment there isn't much that can be done as db2 is the only database server running (content3/db1 are behind in replication). -- Daveh (talk) 09:38, 5 February 2013 (GMT)

Update -- I'll be switching back to using db1 as the master in the next few hours which will require some short wiki/forum lock time. -- Daveh (talk) 07:09, 8 February 2013 (GMT)

We should be back to normal now with using db1 as the master. -- Daveh (talk) 08:07, 8 February 2013 (GMT)

I got a question for you guys

Am I aloud to use the word bitch on my user page or do I have to remove that from my page, it's been bugging the crap out of me not knowing this thanks --Candc4FTW (talk) 14:53, 8 February 2013 (GMT)

As long as "language" is within reason it's pretty much okay. If someone had a problem with it you most likely would have been contacted by now. eshetalk 14:56, 8 February 2013 (GMT)
Thanks also I most likely should of put this elsewhere, and I also was not swear myself It was a direct qoute from borderlands 2, off topic but if anyone plays borderlands 2 on xbox live pop me a name on my talk page--Candc4FTW (talk) 15:01, 8 February 2013 (GMT)

Skyrim:Patches being vandalized

This page has been vandalized with nonsense three times in the last two days. It might need some form of protection, partial, or temporary. Darictalk 09:58, 13 February 2013 (GMT)

Thanks, Daric. I'll look into it. FYI, please feel free to go ahead and leave users a message when you undo edits like that. If it looks more like an experimental edit, you might consider a notice instead of a warning. Sometimes it's pretty clearly vandalism, though, so a warning is appropriate in those cases. Thanks again! eshetalk 14:36, 13 February 2013 (GMT)

Archive Protection

Well, I got tired of scrolling through my talk page and decided to archive it, following these steps. The final step was to apply for semi-protection here, so... I am! :) --Vulpa 01:12, 15 February 2013 (GMT)

User archives aren't usually protected. I'm not sure if this is out of neglect, or if there's a reason for it. —Legoless (talk) 01:21, 15 February 2013 (GMT)
Huh. :/ Well, as I said, I'm just going by those steps. I'm totally fine with foregoing the last one. :P Thanks, --Vulpa 01:26, 15 February 2013 (GMT)
I don't remember where or why we were discussing it, but I do remember a discussion about not protecting user archives...I'm thinking maybe in conjunction with whether or not the bot should protect them? Anyway, I remember the point being made that user archives are almost never altered out of any misunderstanding, usually only for legitimate reasons like de-linking, so there was little point in protecting them. Robin Hood  (talk) 02:24, 15 February 2013 (GMT)
Does this warrant a change on the Archiving Guideline page then? Because people (like me) who need step-by-step guides could (like me) get confused. (Like m-- JK :P ) --Vulpa 02:27, 15 February 2013 (GMT)

Help

The pictures for Miraaks page are low, the front page is also broken, could you guys fix this? I would do it myself but I'm very new here and don't know how to upload images— Unsigned comment by Herma-Mora (talkcontribs) at 11:45 on 18 February 2013 (GMT)

I checked the page, and it loads fine for me. As for the images being "low" (I assume you mean low resolution), they seem ok to me. --Xyzzy Talk 17:25, 18 February 2013 (GMT)

Filtering Recent Changes by a custom list of Namespaces

I have just noticed two small problems simultaneously. The first is only a minor inconvenience. The link to setup the custom list of Namespaces on the Special:RecentChanges page is pointing to the wrong place. It looks like the Preferences:Recent Changes tab has been renamed since the Special:RecentChanges page was last modified.

Secondly, and more importantly, there is no list of Namespaces to select from, on my Preferences:Recent Changes tab, to be able to create a custom list with. There is a list on my Preferences:Search tab, but not on the Preferences:Recent Changes tab. This means that I cannot use the custom list to filter Special:RecentChanges by a selection of Namespaces anyway. Darictalk 13:59, 19 February 2013 (GMT)

Yeah, this feature seems to have been killed in the last upgrade. I know I was using it before to ignore the Skyrim namespace when everybody had the game but me. I tried to do the same for Dragonborn when it was only available on Xbox, but it wasn't available. Didn't say anything at the time because it was only a minor annoyance, but it'd be nice to get that working again. Preferably before ESO comes out, because that's another huge thing I'll be ignoring for a while (unless they select me for the beta). On a related note, I'd also like to be able to hide minor edits on user contribution pages (specifically my own), so it's easier to keep track of the bigger things I've done recently. (My minor edits often tend to involve doing the same small thing to hundreds of pages, so it pushes all the more interesting stuff down the list.) TheRealLurlock (talk) 14:31, 19 February 2013 (GMT)
Hmm, speaking of features being killed-- is this the reason I don't see my little "page" and "user" drop-down tabs anymore? --Vulpa 01:33, 20 February 2013 (GMT)
No, that's unrelated. The gadgets are being affected by something else. Dave's recent fix has restored them, though you'll need to tick all your boxes again. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 01:40, 20 February 2013 (GMT)
Okay, got it. Thanks! :) Returning to original conversation here in 3, 2, 1... --Vulpa 14:29, 20 February 2013 (GMT)

Image stats overriding

I previously uploaded new versions of this and this. However, they have the same stats of the previous version. Any idea what went wrong and how to fix it? ~ Dwarfmp (talk) 12:13, 21 February 2013 (GMT)

The first broken re-upload seems to be File:DB-place-Sun_Stone.jpg (20 February UTC). Additionally parts of several deleted images resurfaced [1]. Newly uploaded images are fine. --Alfwyn (talk) 12:41, 21 February 2013 (GMT)
I don't know why they're broken, but purging the individual image pages fixes the image stats. Robin Hood  (talk) 22:52, 21 February 2013 (GMT)

Cannot add external links

I can't edit my own sandbox due to linking to external sites (Wikipedia) for references. After entering the CAPTCHA code, I have to wait a long while only to get "Could not open socket". Could someone grant me the rights to link to external sites (no, I'm not planning to spam our wiki) or at least add a few trusted sites like Wikipedia? --Roger (talk) 18:27, 21 February 2013 (GMT)

Wikipedia links can be done via [[wikipedia:pagename]], that shouldn't trigger the external link thing - that will still need fixing though. --Alfwyn (talk) 18:34, 21 February 2013 (GMT)
I was getting the same thing as an anonymous user just now along with a few other strange oddities that likely only I noticed. These may have been due to a setting change in our firewall. I made another small tweak and it appears the time-out error has disappeared for me so give it another try. If you still have issues just let us know. -- Daveh (talk) 18:42, 21 February 2013 (GMT)
Thanks, I no longer have these issues. --Roger (talk) 18:52, 21 February 2013 (GMT)

Blocker?

Hey was going to see about getting blocker status and was told to post here. Lord Eydvar Talk|Contribs 06:37, 26 February 2013 (GMT)

I don't see why you need blockuser. We currently aren't dealing with that much besides spam resulting in blocks. See the block log for evidence of this. Secondly, permanent blocker status is generally reserved for a patroller. While exceptions can be made, it would be easier to make the exception if there was a clear reason for the request. I don't see any obvious reason for this request besides a wish for more rights based on your recent contributions including a request for Userpatroller (which was granted) and a request to become a full patroller two days later. I apologize for assigning a motive to it if I'm wrong, but I had to as your request didn't offer an argument of your own for why you would want to become a blocker.
With that said, I'm going to say that there isn't any necessity in fulfilling the request under normal reasons for someone becoming a blocker (an emergency or the applicant being a patroller). --AKB Talk Cont Mail 01:19, 27 February 2013 (GMT)
Yeah you're more or less right, I would've applied for userpatroller long ago had i know the requirements were only 100 edits total, I misread it at 100 content namespace edits which i didn't hit til recently. By the time I realized that I qualified for Userpatroller I had also met the requirement for full patroller so applied for that too. Other than that I applied for blocker because I've noticed recently that at the times I'm on in the early morning in my area there rarely is anyone on who can block the spambots that seem show up around 3-5am EST so thought that I could be helpful in blocking them until an admin got on for the day and could finish dealing with them. Lord Eydvar Talk|Contribs 01:25, 27 February 2013 (GMT)
I used to think the same way about blocking spammers, but there is no need to. They rarely make more than one edit. Blocking spammers temporarily doesn't really do us any favors. It just requires us to also keep an eye on the blocker report list to clear it of the initial block. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 01:29, 27 February 2013 (GMT)

() Ah never thought of that, I still am not sure if I agree with Silencer removing my application for full patroller as I would've just applied for that if I had noticed at the time of my userpatroller application that I could apply for it. Lord Eydvar Talk|Contribs 01:31, 27 February 2013 (GMT)

If you want to actually apply for full patroller, you need to have an explanation of why you would like to be patroller. You just added your name and that's it. If you need some examples, the patroller nomination archives would be a great place to start. Jeancey (talk) 01:37, 27 February 2013 (GMT)
I kind of understand Silencer's rationale here. There's a big difference between userpatrollers and recent changes patrollers, and not just with regards to privileges. Even if your application had remained up there, I'm not sure that it would have garnered the necessary support. Generally, only people with long histories of good, solid contributions (and lots of them at that) are accepted as recent changes patrollers. Even people who have been on the site for a while and know how things work pretty well aren't always the most qualified to be full patrollers (I'm a pretty good example of that myself :-/). If you really want to be a full patroller, my advice to you would be to familiarize yourself with the way things work here- get known to the regular editors and make a bunch of good content edits. If you do that for a while, you'll be much more likely to gain the support of the community when it comes time to vote on your nomination. And as Silencer said, understanding the duties will also help you decide if you're right for the job (or rather, if the job is right for YOU). Hope this helps! :-) ThuumofReason (talk) 20:40, 28 February 2013 (GMT)

Auto-blocking of spambot accounts?

A quick look at the recent changes page just now showed that out of the last 50 edits, 48 of them were account creations, all of which followed similar naming conventions - conventions which have historically been used by spam accounts on this site. I was thinking, is it really necessary to wait for them to post the spam links before blocking them? Can't we just block them right now and be done with it? I'm just thinking out loud, since I'm aware that this might inadvertently lead to some messy discussions about blocking policy that are probably better avoided. Thoughts? ThuumofReason (talk) 20:21, 28 February 2013 (GMT)

(edit conflict) There have been approximately 90 new accounts created in the last half hour (around 3/4 a minute). They all follow a previously identified spam account name creation; a normal 1st name, gibberish letters (eg. hjcnja), then a normal surname. I think account creation needs blocked for a day or so until this is identified. If an admin could possibly check the IPs and see if it is one IP creating them all (i.e. a bot) then one IP block would suffice and account creation unblocked. I don't think I'm being too harsh as the sheer number of new accounts like this is franky ridiculous. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 20:24, 28 February 2013 (GMT)
That's what I was thinking. I normally wouldn't bring this up, but like you said, when it gets to be this ridiculous, it makes me think that there has to be a more efficient way to do things. ThuumofReason (talk) 20:27, 28 February 2013 (GMT)
I also support an immediate emergency blocking of account creation, and has a heads up, at the IRC's request, I've pushed Daveh an email to review this and push any buttons he needs to in order to make it work. ES(talkemail) 20:33, 28 February 2013 (GMT)
The IPs for many of these aren't logged...I'm not sure if that's normal behaviour or if they're using some kind of trick to bypass the CheckUser logs. Either way, the ones that are logged are coming from all over the place, and have different user agents (aka browsers). Presumably, it's either a network of bots, or it's a single bot that's changing IPs and spoofing the user agent. Since the account creation seems to have died off, I'll let Dave make the final call on whether or not to block it temporarily. Robin Hood  (talk) 21:13, 28 February 2013 (GMT)
Yeah, I was considering whether we should consider adding a policy for new users - "Due to the influx of spam accounts, we ask that you please choose a meaningful username. Don't just mash random keys. If your account name looks like a spambot, you may be preemptively blocked." I was doing some preemptive blocks back when we were getting those super-obvious ones (things like "1-bank-refinance-3", etc.) I'd like to do the same to these, but it's a bit harder to positively identify them without blocking potential legit users in the process. And for the most part, they haven't actually been posting anything, so either the spam filters are doing a very good job, or these bots have some other as-yet-unrevealed nefarious purpose. (They may simply be monitoring Recent Changes in order to determine suitable targets for other bots? Not sure how these things work...) — TheRealLurlock (talk) 21:37, 28 February 2013 (GMT)
The abuse filters have blocked around 900 edits so far today. So they are doing a very good job :P Jeancey (talk) 21:52, 28 February 2013 (GMT)

() We've talked about this before, and I think the most productive route would be to implement a range block for the IPs these are coming from, assuming they're all coming from a couple of easily identifiable ranges. This idea was brought up before, but since I have no experience doing range blocks I left it open for someone else to try. Blocking every new suspicious-looking account, however, seems like a massive waste of time to me. Most of the accounts created actually don't spam the site, as far as I can tell, and unless account creation has some kind of impact on the servers that I don't know about, I don't see how they're hurting anything. I think it's a more efficient use of our time to improve the abuse filter, improve the account creation process (a better version of captcha? Email verification?), and block spammers and nonsense bots as we catch them in action. eshetalk 23:54, 28 February 2013 (GMT)

As I understand it, there IS e-mail verification for new accounts, which the bots are either actually doing, or they've found some hack to get around it. As for captcha, there's pretty much no captcha that circumvents the common crowd-sourcing tactic of copying the captcha images to another site (promising free porn or whatnot) and getting actual humans to solve them remotely without knowing it. The only thing I can think of that might help that we're not already doing is to somehow randomize the order of the fields in the new account creation screen, so it's not predictable to a bot which fields are where. (A legit new user would only see this screen once, so the difference would not be noticed.) I know there are sites that use this technique, but I don't know what's involved in setting it up. — TheRealLurlock (talk) 00:07, 1 March 2013 (GMT)
You do not need to verify an email when you create an account on the wiki, TRL. I gave the wiki nothing when I made Jo'Sakhar a while ago. Just the name, pass, and captcha, and I was good to go. And, I seem to remember hearing something about most of the spambots having verified emails a while ago in a discussion about them. So, unless that's change, or I heard wrong, which is likely, knowing me, I would think that email verification alone would be a rather ineffective. ES(talkemail) 00:19, 1 March 2013 (GMT)
(edit conflict) Unfortunately, they're not coming from any particular IP ranges, either. As a possible solution, I've installed a super-simple extension on the development server that adds an extra checkbox to the account creation form that just says "Click here if you're a real person." You can see that here. It's possible that the bots already have logic for checks like this—it wouldn't be that hard to implement—but since it's a custom solution rather than a prepackaged one, my hope is that even something this simple might fool them. If not, then we have the option to make the check more complex or just scrap the idea altogether. It uses all standard wiki coding techniques, so it's unlikely to break in future updates. (And if it does, like I said, it's super-simple—it won't be hard to redesign if we need to.) Robin Hood  (talk) 00:22, 1 March 2013 (GMT)
I don't know if the Asirra mediawiki extension would be of interest. Looks like it gives you a few pictures and tells you to click on the cats but not dogs in order to verify humanity. Still in beta phase, but it looks good to me on the test page. Hovering over an image enlarges it, too. The images aren't always the same, either, since it uses images from a huge database. Here is the Microsoft page (as opposed to the mediawiki wiki page above). Vely►t►e 00:44, 1 March 2013 (GMT)
I can't believe I forgot this until now, but over at Wikipedia they had problems with a vandal named "Willy on Wheels" years and years ago. Eventually he got to be so much of a problem that they warned everyone making new accounts that they reserved the right to ban anyone with a similar name or who was suspected of being a Willy on Wheels sockpuppet. The warning was posted in clear view when it was time for an account name to be made, that they should avoid not naming it in a similar way or they could be instantly banned. They eventually decided not to mention Willy to discourage imitators, but I would assume the policy still stands. Maybe TRL's suggestion about adding a similar warning for new users is worth thinking about. ThuumofReason (talk) 16:46, 1 March 2013 (GMT)

Archive Protection

Hey just set up an archive, could I get it protected. Thanks Lord Eydvar Talk|Contribs 08:53, 4 March 2013 (GMT)

User talk page archives aren't normally protected, only article talk page archives. The reason is that user talk page archives aren't often edited by accident, where article talk page archives are. Robin Hood  (talk) 08:58, 4 March 2013 (GMT)
Okay good to know, first time doing an archive so followed the directions exactly. Lord Eydvar Talk|Contribs 09:02, 4 March 2013 (GMT)

Helping me Promote A charity event / Guinness world Record

On the 12th of March myself and my brother will be attempting to break two Guinness World Records.

We are breaking the records for longest time playing A role playing Game (which will be Skyrim).(The current record is 47 hours and 14 minutes) and longest time playing a Survival horror series.

We are attempting the record inside the Wulfrun shopping centre, in Wolverhampton (UK)

Any help advertising or promoting the event would be fantastic as we are also hoping to raise some money for the Make-A-Wish foundation uk

Thank you Adambendell (talk) 14:13, 4 March 2013 (GMT)

A little more information: Their website gives more information along with their charity. I think a front page news article would good and I may decide to donate a little money from the site as well. -- Daveh (talk) 15:06, 4 March 2013 (GMT)
Dave tipped me onto this and I want to say this is fabulous! I will definitely support you. I'm also putting a shout out and link to your charity page on our social media pages, as well as an announcement on the forums. Best of luck and keep us updated! --Avron the S'wit (talk) 15:17, 4 March 2013 (GMT)
I'm surprised the previous record is only 2 days. You hear stories about these Korean super-otakus playing games for a week straight and literally dying from it. I guess the Guinness people weren't watching for those cases. What are the rules, exactly? Do they allow bathroom breaks? Can you work in shifts? Otherwise it'd be pretty uncomfortable having to sit on a bucket or wear a colostomy bag inside a public mall... — TheRealLurlock (talk) 01:48, 5 March 2013 (GMT)

They allow a 10 minute break for every consecutive hour of continuous play, and no you can't work in shifts it has to be done by one person. Adambendell (talk) 07:10, 5 March 2013 (GMT)

I've had an idea today.

For every £1 or $1.5 someone donates they get one vote for a characteristic for my character for example: Name, Gender, Race, Right arm, Left arm, armour or robes, and difficulty.

And i'll put the choices into a pot and just before or the night before depending on the amount of donations I'll post a video or do a livestream showing me picking the choices.

You can pick as many as you like just make sure it's clear and how many for each characteristic , and leave the comment to me or on the donation page. Adambendell (talk) 15:57, 6 March 2013 (GMT)

Cathartis has set up a livestream of the GWR run, and a link to it can be found on Adam's LiveStream account, in case anyone wants to post anywhere about the actual stream happening. Snowmane(talkemail) 12:03, 12 March 2013 (GMT)

Concatenate accounts?

I noticed User:Dawn making some valuable and thoughtful contribution to the Combat page, including testing, etc. And there's a question on User_talk:Dawn about adding an IP history to the newly-created account. Can/do we do it? --JR (talk) 06:04, 5 March 2013 (GMT)

Doesn't really matter, IP history deletes itself on a timer for un-registered users. It's missing about years of history. Dawn (talk) 06:26, 5 March 2013 (GMT)
In theory, with a lot of database massaging, you might be able to do it, but in practice, no. There are already a lot of issues to take into account just when renaming a user; merging them would be even more complex and prone to problems. For example, what if one is blocked and the other isn't? What about differing rights between the accounts? For IP users, do all the edits belong to the same user or are some of them actually from someone else? Sure, you could address these with enough programming, or enough human involvement, but I think it's probably preferable to "just say no". ;)
Dawn: No history is ever lost, even for unregistered users. The only thing that expires is the Recent Changes time, which I believe is currently set to 30 days. Using the IP mentioned on your talk page, you can see the full history for that IP here. (And looking at similar IPs, perhaps this was also you?) Robin Hood  (talk) 07:32, 5 March 2013 (GMT)
Oh that's also me. I guess my ISP changes my ip address every once in a while. Dawn (talk) 07:49, 5 March 2013 (GMT)
Yeah, they do that. You actually usually have to pay good money to get a static IP address. :) Robin Hood  (talk) 08:24, 5 March 2013 (GMT)
Some of us help make "subjective/gray area" calls on how much faith to place in an edit based on an editor's history. It can/should also be considered if a user ever wishes to go through a nomination process. Just using Dawn as an example, I think it could be useful, then, for people to identify their history on their user pages maybe, and if they want to. For nomination purposes, I think we should be able to decide how much weight to place in statements like "All of (these) are also mine." --JR (talk) 05:17, 8 March 2013 (GMT)
both are calgary ip adresses, one stopped edits in jan 12, other started in jan 18, and i like to use the phrase "for your undo of my edit in blahblahblah" but it's still missing edits from when i was playing oblivion a lot and i don't really want any nominations Dawn (talk) 05:33, 8 March 2013 (GMT)

Troll

This IP is clearly a troll in my eyes. It started off with some clear vandalism, then moved to adding not-so-subtle undertones of sexual acts to places. And when a half-valid edit was made (again with the sexual speculation) which I tidied up, it moved to remove profanities from direct quotes. The style of the edits clearly marks the IP as knowing exactly what it is doing, which is trolling the site. I ask for a ban (suggest about a week). Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 17:09, 9 March 2013 (GMT)

Yeah I agree with The Silencer completely, this IP is pretty much trolling us for fun and should be shown the door. Lord Eydvar Talk|Contribs 17:26, 9 March 2013 (GMT)
The user in question has been blocked for a week.
For future consideration Silencer, referring to a user as a "vandal", "troll", or any other number of names helps them on their path. While you may consider them to be these things, and they may meet the definition of a troll or whatever word you want to use, it's best not to use the word, ever. It helps glorify them in their eyes and can convince them to continue. This is especially important when the user in question is paying attention to your reaction (as was the case here). By feeding the user with your negative reaction through edit summaries and posts on this noticeboard you are encouraging the behavior. Instead, it is best to just remove vandalism with an edit summary more along the lines of "Reverting Nonsense" as that gives less encouragement. Likewise, a more neutral and less personal reaction here also helps. This is even worse when you actually provide a personal response to a user who is causing issues (like this), as they aren't going to see your response and stop, it only eggs them on more.
Likewise to Eydvar, your second warning on this user's talk page was redundant as we don't warn twice over short intervals, but also not helped when the user removed it and you readded it with your all caps response to the removal of the warning. This user is unlikely to care about policy regarding the removal of warnings, so it would of been better to say something along the lines of "Reinstating notice".
So to completely clarify, even if a user could be considered a vandal or a troll, don't call them that. Furthermore, don't encourage them by reacting in any way that might make them willing to continue. I've seen you do this a number of times (mainly by using the edit summary "(Undo revision number [X] by user [Y] vandal)"), so I know that this gets to you, but it doesn't help the issue if you respond the way you here. This isn't a criticism, just advice on how to deal with this situation as I have dealt with this many times in the past and it can be a bit hard to figure out what I find to be the best possible response. I had the same issue in the past with myself and other users, and I do not like seeing this mistake repeated as it's no easily avoided. It's best to not encourage this behavior by providing an emotional response to actions like this. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 18:12, 9 March 2013 (GMT)
I find your comments a little "off", considering that the official warnings use the word vandalism. If someone vandalizes something they are a vandal, and I cannot fathom why calling them a vandal should be discouraged. Also in an edit summary what do you suggest I call it when I revert vandalism or nonsense? I call it what it is, if it provides the vandal with encouragement that's their issue, a simple block will soon stop them. The IP was clearly watching the history (it made a reference to one revert summary), so adding an additional plea to stop, in friendly language is perfectly valid, and excuse me for getting a little involved in an issue that took place over 2 1/2 hours with no sign of an admin stepping in to stop the spiral. I despise people who vandalize and getting involved personally when trying to protect the UESP from such, is no reason for admonishment. In fact if I see it elsewhere I would encourage it. Taking a neutral tone only applies to cases where the issue isn't clear cut. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 18:28, 9 March 2013 (GMT)
AKB was providing the same advice we have given to users here for years. Behaving in a professional, respectful manner helps far more than it hurts, and I've discussed this same issue with you before. People make bad-faith edits to UESP all the time; this doesn't mean we're under attack, or that those bad-faith edits are ultimately going to hurt anything, or that feeding the trolls actually does anything to "protect" us. AKB was very clear that his comment was not meant to be "admonishment" but rather advice, and actually completely valid advice, so...probably best to just consider his comments and leave it at that. eshetalk 18:52, 9 March 2013 (GMT)
There is a difference from referring to an action as vandalism than labeling a user as a vandal. One is merely noting something as an undesirable edit, the other feeds the user as you are personally connecting the edit to them (not that it wasn't already, but it further instigates the situation). This isn't their problem, this is our problem. If a user is trying to create issues, encouraging them only creates more issues for us. As for what you should call it in your edit summary, you may notice I already provided a recommendation in my previous message. Either way, you answered your own question. "Revert Vandalism" or "Revert Nonsense" works fine as it is less encouraging.
A personal plea is not going to help this type of situation. If a user has decided they are going to be obstructive, a single line like your "please stop with adding sexual conotations to everything" is not going to convince them to stop. A user who is purposely doing irrational things like vandalism is not going to be convinced by any reasonable argument on your part, so it is best not to argue at all. Once again, this only encourages them. Furthermore, there was multiple cases of administrative reaction provided roughly an hour after this user started editing (see here). Your claim that no one else was dealing with this was simply not true. If the situation truly grew out of hand, it would of been dealt with swiftly.
You may despise this kind of user, as does everyone else here, but vocalizing your hatred so loudly does not help the situation. Vandalism should be treated like any other edition, as calmly as possible. As for encouraging other users to react this way? Talking about specific vandalism and specific users is virtually always a bad idea. Every time I have seen it, it has not helped the situation. It does not matter how clearly a user can be classified as vandal or not, you cannot act differently than you normally would with any other editor or editions as it is considered a victory for the user who is causing the issue. Treating it as if it's 'business as usual' is the best response for this situation.
And lastly, I am not trying to single you out or in any other way treat you as if you did anything wrong. Vandalism is one of the hardest things to get 'right'. I've asked for help with dealing with it many times in the past, and about how to respond to it. This is what I have found to work, so I merely was trying to pass it along as you seem to be making a mistake I have before. If it came off as anything other than that, I apologize for offending your sensibilities. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 19:02, 9 March 2013 (GMT)

() If you feel there's any logic in here that I can understand take it to my userpage. This doesn't need to be on the admin board. If in the future you feel strongly enough about this issue message me, I don't understand the logic here, if there is any, so I can't take any action over it. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 19:18, 9 March 2013 (GMT)

Range Block

If any Admin feels comfortable doing so, can I suggest a range block on 74.63.64.0/18. Looking at that range (if you've got the CIDR range gadget turned on, you can see those addresses here), with the exception of a few edits a couple of years ago, every edit we've had from that range has been vandalism or block evasion. It's also identified and blocked as an open proxy on Wikipedia. Robin Hood  (talk) 01:51, 10 March 2013 (GMT)

I'm a bit hesitant to do this as Mxk101 appears to be in this range, from which he occasionally edits anonymously. However, I (and probably many others admins considering its history) have wanted to deal with this range in the past, so I'm for it overall. For consideration, part of this range has been blocked before (see archived discussion). Also, this range includes all IPs from 74.63.64.0 to 74.63.127.255 I believe (here's a calculator to check determine that). As the need isn't immediate, but it most certainly is desirable, does anyone else have any thoughts on blocking this range? We don't have a policy on range blocks as we rarely do them, so further feedback would be nice. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 14:02, 10 March 2013 (GMT)
Doesn't a range block only affect anonymous IP editors? I thought anyone with an established account would not be affected by such a block provided they remained logged in. Not sure about that though. — TheRealLurlock (talk) 14:07, 10 March 2013 (GMT)
You're of course correct that blocking an IP shouldn't affect an account, but it seems to be Mxk101 likes to edit anonymously on occasion. It was just a minor concern for another user's preferences that I thought worth bringing up. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 14:18, 10 March 2013 (GMT)
I only edit anonymously whenever I can't access my account, which at the time I couldn't. And yes, that edit on my user page was indeed me. But that's my only edit for that range. Mxk101 (talk) 14:25, 11 March 2013 (GMT)

() With Mxk101 clearing up the only thing stopping this (thanks for that!), I've blocked this range for two years. If we hear a peep out of it again after that time is up, it's easy enough to reinstate. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 00:55, 16 March 2013 (GMT)

Lore content question

I have been told that events that happen in game have no relevance on the lore page that covers such events as information that contradicts in game actions from a developer interview is more popular than reporting the facts of events in game. Is this an accurate break down of this wiki? — Unsigned comment by Honney Boy (talkcontribs) at 21:51 on 9 March 2013

That is not what you were told, and you know it. In case anyone is interested, this is the discussion in question, for you to peruse at your leisure. Jeancey (talk) 04:58, 10 March 2013 (GMT)
I am asking the admins. Your actions in this matter are confusing to me. — Unsigned comment by Honney Boy (talkcontribs) at 22:00 on 9 March 2013
If you look in the history of the article, at least two admins that I noticed have already commented. Since we now have a link to the discussion for everyone to link to if they want to debate it, I would ask that you keep the discussion on that article—it confuses things when discussions get split across multiple pages. Robin Hood  (talk) 05:21, 10 March 2013 (GMT)
I don't know who the admins are, or anything like that. I just want to know if popularity makes right. If so, then I have no reason being on this site.— Unsigned comment by Honney Boy (talkcontribs) at 00:10 on 10 March 2013
One of the key principles of a wiki is consensus. Popularity doesn't make things right, but if you're the only one espousing your view and everyone else disagrees with you, then you either have to convince them that what you're saying is correct, or at least convince them that it's worth mentioning in addition to what's believed to be correct. Robin Hood  (talk) 08:14, 10 March 2013 (GMT)

Abuse filter (external links)

If any admins feel up to it after looking at todays spam, it may be worth the "false positives" that the abuse filter occasionally threw up for external links. The filter in question, Special:AbuseFilter/2, was changed a short time ago. Now Jak has been notified on his talk page, but I'm posting here because an admin may be looking for some sanity :P. All that needs done (if you choose to do it) is to copy and paste the text scored out on the left onto this line (& !("autoconfirmed" in user_groups)) in the filter. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 02:43, 13 March 2013 (GMT)

As I noted on my talk page, I went ahead and reverted the change. The double posting wasn't really necessary, though - odds are, whoever is willing to make this change already has my talk page on their watchlist ;) • JAT 04:19, 13 March 2013 (GMT)

Display error with commas in links

I'm not sure what caused this problem.

When I input this:

[[SR:2920, Sun's Dusk, v11|]]

[[Skyrim:Charwich-Koniinge, v2|]]

[[Dragonborn:Thirsk, A Revised History|]]

[[SR:Revenge, Hired Thugs|]]

The links should automatically fill the brackets to say this:

2920, Sun's Dusk, v11

Charwich-Koniinge, v2

Thirsk, A Revised History

Revenge, Hired Thugs

But instead they fill in like this:

2920

Charwich-Koniinge

Thirsk

Revenge

The commas seem to end what is shown, which is a little inconvenient. I'm not sure what caused this, and it doesn't really break anything, but it would be nice if someone could look into it. Vely►t►e 17:27, 16 March 2013 (GMT)

That's a wikimedia thing. I believe it was intended for locations, which often have similar names, so you disambiguate [[Zawiya, Libya|]] it will show as simply Zawiya in the text. I'm not sure that there is anything we can do about it. Jeancey (talk) 17:43, 16 March 2013 (GMT)
Jeancey got it in one. It's a feature intended to allow users to automatically rename links (read about that feature here). The most obvious recommendation is to just write it out the long way as the software is working as intended, from what I see. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 18:05, 16 March 2013 (GMT)
Parts of that feature are very useful. It also cuts off at other punctuation, such as parentheses. So I can type:
[[Skyrim:Pacify (effect)|]]
and I get:
Pacify
Which in most cases is what you wanted. I agree that we don't usually want that with commas, but I'm not sure how easy it is to get one and not the other. — TheRealLurlock (talk) 18:28, 16 March 2013 (GMT)
Out of curiosity, I just had a look at the MediaWiki code for it, and it's completely hard-coded. The only part that's not hard-coded is what constitutes a legal character in a title, and I really don't think we want to turn a comma into an illegal character. :) Sure, we could re-write the code, but that's not a route I would choose to go, as it makes updating the wiki that much harder. (For the PHP programmers out there, it's all done in pstPass2() in includes/parser/Parser.php.) Robin Hood  (talk) 18:37, 16 March 2013 (GMT)
Nonsense, you half-bot people must know how to fix it! What else are you getting paid for?
Thanks for looking at it... now we know. Oh well. At least nothing's broken :) Vely►t►e 19:00, 16 March 2013 (GMT)

Block Appeal for Rosalia Nightsong

Per our Blocking Policy, I'm notifying the community of Rosalia Nightsong's block appeal. The appeal is quite long, so for now, I'm leaving it on the talk page itself. Our Blocking Policy is a little unclear on the subject of what should be discussed on the user's talk page vs. what should be discussed on the A/N. I know in the past, there's been some copy-paste nightmares every time the relevant user wanted to respond to something to bring it back here to the A/N. For the sake of simplicity, I'd like to suggest that we avoid that by having the discussion on Rosalia's talk page where she/he can respond as needed. Robin Hood  (talk) 08:19, 19 March 2013 (GMT)

Bot Spam

This is mostly just my own curiosity, so don't feel obliged to respond before other more pressing matters, admins. :) Anyway, doing the slight amount of unofficial patrolling I am, I wondered-- is it possible to find a bot's source and, I dunno, shut it down? Or do we just weather it until its owner decides they're bored and quit? (In case you're wondering, this question arose from me repeatedly seeing new accounts with spammy pages that all follow the same sort of template ("Hi, I'm so-and-so and this is my [link]", with a lot of seemingly-badly-translated nonsense in between)). --Vulpa 02:24, 20 March 2013 (GMT)

Most modern bots change IPs fairly frequently, so tracking them down is pretty much impossible. Even blocking them can sometimes be difficult. If you notice a pattern, though, the best thing to do is report it here, and one of the people who take care of our spam filters can add that pattern to the filter. Robin Hood  (talk) 02:34, 20 March 2013 (GMT)
Okay, thanks for the response. As for patterns, I have noticed the one above-- A rambling paragraph on their userpage that seems to have had a bad run-in with Google Translate, ending in a spammy link. The usernames are also fairly similar-- short, with just a FirstnameLastname thing. You've (or another admin) has already deleted some of them, so I'm sure you're aware, but I thought I'd make sure. :) --Vulpa 21:27, 20 March 2013 (GMT)
Every link I've seen has been leading to youtube videos. Minor EditsThreatsEvidence 22:08, 20 March 2013 (GMT)
Yeah, that's what I noticed as well, and commented ↑ up above ↑. We can't reasonably block ALL YouTube videos, because there's a chance they might be relevant. But I'm not going to encourage their behavior by clicking on those links and giving them hits. I see a rambling non-relevant spiel by a first-time poster with a mysterious link at the end, I block on sight. I would again repeat my plea that we make it impossible to post external links until you're auto-confirmed. A 10-edit limit before being allowed to post potentially malicious links is hardly unreasonable. The only limit I think we have now is a time-limit, which doesn't work because the bots have figured out that they can just create a bunch of accounts and let them sit for a week or so before posting to get around it. We need to both limit link-posting privileges by edit count, and limit auto-confirmation by time from first post, not account creation. I can't think of any other way of keeping these things down that wouldn't have serious negative repercussions for all users. — TheRealLurlock (talk) 01:39, 21 March 2013 (GMT)
Time plus edits or Email autoconfirmed. Daveh confirmed last summer that the majority of the spammers have autoconfirmed status via email. I think the solution is to only allow autoconfirmed users to post links, after the email autoconfirmation is removed (ie, you cannot use email to be autoconfirmed, it can only be done via edits). Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 01:45, 21 March 2013 (GMT)
That makes sense, but if spammers aren't posting actual links, they'll still end up posting URLs to said links, so I don't think targeting the links will do much good. We'll remain targets as long as we're not serious about stopping the problem. I still say the answers lie in restricting anon privileges and making account creation more difficult. If it were up to me, new arrivals would be submitting resumes and writing samples before their account would be activated, and there would be an "anon page", the only place where IPs could make suggestions, ask for help, and complain about how they've been forced into a wiki ghetto. I'm exaggerating a bit (maybe), but the point is, I don't think the repercussions from more stringent security measures that TRL alluded to would be as serious or inconvenient as we've been treating them, and trade-off must be considered. Minor EditsThreatsEvidence 18:40, 21 March 2013 (GMT)

() I agree with Minor Edits. If we don't get serious and take serious action, they'll continue to find ways to circumvent the system... What I wonder... In addition to making registration slightly harder, is it possible to set up a way where a user (or group of users) gets to decide at the last second whether the account can go through? A little message after the registration process to the effect of "Thank you for registering your account on UESP, however, there is one last step you must take. In order to finish registration an administrator needs to review and approve or deny your request to complete account creation. We apologize for the inconvenience, but it's to preserve the site against spammers and accounts who may abuse the wiki. Your account will be processed at an administrator's first convenience.", then a little notice showing reasons why the creation could fail, such as the pattern being predicable as possible spam bots, names that are inappropriate, etc?

In absolute honesty, I think my idea is simply that... An idea, and one that is more than likely near impossible to implement, but the idea itself is good at least, that we need more control over who can actaully create an account. Humans would be far more reliable than machines at catching these things, because the bots are always improving and always circumventing machines, which wouldn't be able to keep up without excessive maintenece, whereas a user would be able to act on the spot. ES(talkemail) 19:09, 21 March 2013 (GMT)

While I see a lot of interesting ideas floating around, I think included a manual approval step in the registration process would be far more effort than the couple of seconds it takes to delete and block a spam account, and I still disagree with the idea of banning anonymous users entirely. We easily see more beneficial edits from anonymous users in a day than we see spambot (or even vandal) activity, and the tradeoff isn't worth it at all.
I think disallowing external links for non-autoconfirmed accounts is a great idea. From what I've seen, at least, most bot accounts post immediately or not at all, so that 10 edits/4 days period might really help. I also think we need to dig into the issues we're having with the abuse filter; unless I missed something, it should be blocking the links those bots are posting, but it just hasn't been working lately. eshetalk 19:48, 21 March 2013 (GMT)
To answer an earlier point, e-mail confirmation does not grant autoconfirmed status—you still have to get the requisite number of edits and days passed—so autoconfirmed filtering makes a lot of sense.
Also, yes, it's possible to have an account confirmation process. ConfirmAccount does exactly that. My main concern with that is that we would need to have a reasonable number of people who were willing to confirm accounts on a regular basis. (In case you only skim the intro, permission to confirm accounts can be granted to non-bureaucrats as well.) Given that we already don't keep up with the patrolling, and we've got Eshe deleting images she's proposed for deletion on a regular basis (which is not the preferred course of things), I think that adding more duties for people to perform would likely get backlogged or fail outright.
As a very quick hack, there's the "yes, I'm a real person" checkbox that I mentioned in this discussion (see example on the dev wiki). It may only work until someone clues in that account creation isn't working and programs around it, or they could already have some kind of detection logic built in, but it might be worth a try to see if it cuts down on the fake account creation. Robin Hood  (talk) 20:37, 21 March 2013 (GMT)
To be fair on Eshe deleting her own tags, we only have a small handful of users who have the delete privilege, so given that she tags a lot, it's something that can't be helped if she ends up deleting her own every so often, unless you can scrap up a few worthwhile RfAs to help the load, which save for Eshe deleting her own tags, doesn't seem to be necessary. And, her images aren't quite so undesirable as spam accounts always being made. And, since non-bureaucrats can Confirm accounts too, what if that was a right given out to patrollers (or at least the most senior of patrollers, if by default is undesirable, which is likely) in addition to administrators and 'crats. It might be a little more hassle, but on the plus side, unless the bots get really creative, we can cut out damn near all of them, hopefully, and the load would be spread out so that we have a pool of users who can read and click for even just a few at a time.
Of course, I don't anticipate anyone sharing my interest in the extension, I just wanted to express my own interest. ES(talkemail) 20:57, 21 March 2013 (GMT)
I'm not sure I like the "manual account confirmation" idea - it sounds like just as much work to confirm accounts before they post vs. blocking them after they post. Actually more work, since you'd be doing a confirmation check on both legitimate accounts and spammers, whereas with the current step we only have to do it for spammers. The biggest downside is that there's spam on a user page almost nobody will ever look at for maybe a couple hours. There's got to be a more effective automated solution to the problem that doesn't require a whole team of people dedicated to preventing spam by hand before it happens. I could see bringing on a couple admins, but I don't think it would really solve the problem, just spread it out among more people. There's a software solution to this problem, there must be. I know Wikipedia has an army of its own bots in place that monitor recent changes and can usually identify and report spammers almost immediately. That might be worth considering. But unlike WP (which receives thousands of edits per second), we don't have a reporting problem - no spam ever lasts more than a few minutes without being tagged by someone, and it's almost always deleted and blocked within a few hours of creation. One model I think works well is that used by Stackoverflow. You gain more rights the more reputation you earn. If you equate reputation with edit count, you could squash spam almost completely. No external links period until you have at least 10 edits and 4 days, starting the timer at 1st post. (That last part is critical, otherwise it could create an account silently 4 days in advance and then post 10 edits + spam all at once.) Even if a spammer figures out that it needs 10 edits and just makes 10 junk edits prior to posting a link, it couldn't post that link until 4 days after the first such edit, by which time somebody would've noticed 10 junk edits and blocked it before it even had a chance. Problem solved. The only way any spam could get through that is if somebody took the time to manually make 10 edits that look legit enough to make it past all the patrollers. It'd be no longer even worth their time to try. Maybe they'd even just give up (not likely, but one can dream...) — TheRealLurlock (talk) 02:28, 22 March 2013 (GMT)

() (Gosh, I had made this comment in a thread above that was almost identical to this one, so I've just moved it down here, where I was intending to put it originally.)

As someone who has fairly recently been on both sides of this argument (see here and here), I agree that something needs to be done to prevent these bots. My initial outcry against the blocking of outbound links, as a new user, probably would have been tempered by a clearly defined policy that outlined how I could gain sufficient trust from the UESP community to be able to spam post my relevant external links. However, it took quite some time before I achieved such "autoconfirmed" status, and even then it wasn't "auto" in any sense of the meaning, as I ended up asking Snowmane about it on IRC initially, who pointed me to Krusty, who in turn suggested that I request Userpatroller status rather than Autoconfirmed. Now I can happily spam post my relevant external links without being challenged by the Spam Filter (twice) every time, and there is peace in my world. What I don't understand is, if it was so difficult for me before then to post links, having to face the dreaded Captcha twice for each post that contained external links, why, oh why, are these bots finding it so easy to get past the Captcha? Darictalk 23:33, 21 March 2013 (GMT)

Captcha is pretty much old-and-busted now. Savvy bots will copy the Captcha image onto other sites, promising free pr0n or something like that, and actual humans will solve them without knowing that their answer is also being reused by the bot on the original site. Captcha was nice while it lasted, but sneaky crowd-sourcing techniques like that have pretty much rendered them irrelevant, unfortunately. — TheRealLurlock (talk) 05:04, 22 March 2013 (GMT)
That makes sense, TRL. I quite like the suggestion that Vely made in the previous discussion about this, of using the Asirra mediawiki extension. I assume we could replace the pictures, so that instead of "click on the cats but not dogs in order to verify humanity", we would have something like "click on the sabrecats but not dragons in order to verify humanity". A little more Elder Scrolls related. But I do see the problem. Do we attack this issue at the point of registration, or at the point of posting, or both? Darictalk 05:21, 22 March 2013 (GMT)
Ah, ignore my suggestion about "Elder Scrollerizing" the Asirra images. They are drawn from a database provided by Petfinder.com, which wouldn't be that bad, but the project itself is something to do with M$ and you can guarantee that they wouldn't allow us to use the code with our own images. Darictalk 05:30, 22 March 2013 (GMT)
Not to mention Asirra's database of pet-images is ginormous. To try and replace that with ES-related images we'd need thousands of them, possibly millions. I believe we currently have what, ONE picture of a Sabrecat, and maybe a dozen or so dragons? Bots would crack that in no time at all. — TheRealLurlock (talk) 13:07, 22 March 2013 (GMT)

IP block needed

Utilizador:175.42.94.151 has been vandalizing pages by putting "Hello. And bye" on them despite having been warned. Ad Intellige Mecum loqui 12:46, 30 March 2013 (GMT)

This was a bot and has now been blocked accordingly ~ Dwarfmp (talk) 13:14, 30 March 2013 (GMT)


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