UESPWiki:Administrator Noticeboard/Archive 4

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


Server Connection Limitation

I've added a new module to the web server to prevent a single, or a few sites, from monopolizing most or all of the site's connections. Basically the current web server can accept up to 50 simultaneous connections (limited by memory). If a misbehaving client (whether on purpose or not) requests many pages in a short period they can easily take up half of these connections. This begins to create a backlog and eventually you end up waiting for a while to access a page or receive a time out (as some may have noticed happening recently).

I've set it up with settings that seem to work (IP 165.228.129.12 is currently spidering or trying to download all content as I type this) but I want to make sure it does not interfere with regular users. If, over the next few days/weeks, see any missing/broken content let me know. If you do trip the limit you will be denied access for that resource, whether be it a whole page, an image, or part of a page. Just doing some random browsing now and I don't notice anything but keep an eye out for things just in case.

Thanks... -- Daveh 22:08, 12 April 2007 (EDT)

I did notice one thing related to this since I set it up. On pages with multiple images (like Oblivion:Merchants) if you reload the page, or its a page you haven't visited before, then some images are not loaded. After some tweaking I've changed the settings such that images are not currently included in the concurrent connection limitation and it seems to be working fine now. Later I can add a bandwidth throttle to just images to prevent someone from monopolizing connections or bandwidth for the images.
Other than that though everything else seems fine. -- Daveh 10:26, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
I have noticed that sometimes pages are shown without the menus on the left and no stylesheet. Could this be related? --DrPhoton 11:46, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
It certainly could be. I recently changed it so it should ignore image/skin data so if you are still seeing this let me know. You can also try forcing a page reload or clearing your cache to check for this problem. -- Daveh 12:25, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
I had the settings wrong originally but they should be correct now (as of last evening) to ignore all images, stylesheets, and JavaScript files when counting the concurrent connections. Current limit is 5 and I may play with this up/down as needed. There was one IP last night that was attempting to download every page again and the site was managing just fine. -- Daveh 14:12, 17 April 2007 (EDT)
(Hi everyone, just hopping into your seemingly rather exclusive circle, hope you don't mind) I wonder if that behaviour might also occur from clients using firefox with fasterfox-extension as that is pre-fetching aggressively. If i guess right, then maybe it's a good idea to leave a remark about it on some prominent location. Even better would be some detection-mechanism like dnsstuff.com uses, that displays a warning to the client and blocks access automatically. Oh well, just an idea... (Yeah right, I got that one, because I got that very warning some days ago myself...) BTW, talking about ideas, how about modifying the "Random Page" link on the left menu so that it first leads to a intermediate page, that allows the user to narrow down a section? "Random Oblivion Page", "Random Morrowind Page" and so on. Would make that one much more useful in my opinion, especially for inspiration purposes. Just my 0,02€...Micromegas (How does that time-stamp thing work? Too stupid to figure that one obviously)
I'll check out the faster-firefox mod and see how it manages. I can, and should, create a custom 503 response page which is served when the concurrent limit is reached to notify people of the reason.
To create a timestamp+username just use four tildes (~~~~) at the end of the edit. The Wiki will automatically convert this to the current date plus your username when you save the page...like this: -- Daveh 14:09, 17 April 2007 (EDT)
Ok, that's easy. Thx. Here's a link to the suspected culprit: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1269 Micromegas 15:11, 17 April 2007 (EDT)
This morning (GMT+1) I access the Recent Changes page withput problem, but when openning more pages in other tabs of IE7, I got and Error 503. Refreshing didn't help and I've been unable to access the site. Now, midday (GMT+1), I've been able to open the pages, but got one 503 which when refreshed loaded the page without stylesheet again. Hope this helps debug the problem ;) --DrPhoton 07:01, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
This is probably the same issue that Nephele had due to hanging connections. If you check out [1] and look for your IP address in rows that are gracefully finishing ("G", I see one of yours at the moment). What happens is sometimes connections don't terminate properly and hang there. Get enough of these and you'll hit the concurrent connection limit. It is a bug in the Wiki or Apache and I'm not sure the best way to get around it but I'll consider the possibilities. -- Daveh 09:15, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
And as in the cases that I was having trouble with, the hanging connection is being caused by a diff done on a large page (in this case, my fault for the large page... another one of my big data dumps to a sandbox page). I'm guessing that perhaps all of our problems with hanging rss feeds, even going back six months or more, might be caused by this basic problem of trying and failing to do large (>20 kB) diffs. --NepheleTalk 09:56, 18 April 2007 (EDT)

More Server Tweaks

Just a quick update on a few server changes that have happened or are in the process:

  • Tweaked the Apache server settings to gain as much performance as possible. Will likely continue to change settings and then monitor the site for several days to see what happens (good or bad).
  • Am playing around with serving static content (files, images) with Lighttpd to gain more performance. Its been serving all Wiki images and Oblivion map images for a few days now. See File Server for more details.
  • I've added some basic Site Statistics from the past year or so showing site traffic. Useful to see how its grown and what we might need to do to accomodate for future growth.

As you can see from the statistics the site's traffic has increased noticeably in the past few months and we were approaching the limit of the server with the previous settings. MY hope is to optimize settings and squeeze out as much performance as possible with the current hardware. Upgrading the server is a definite possibility but is not a trivial task and will require my complete attention for a week or so. There is also a good chance we're at a traffic peak which will slow down in the coming months like it did after Oblivion's release.

From the changes I've made this week it seems to have improved things at least slightly. The site status page seems to show more open connections on average. RAM and CPU usage has also dropped slightly.

There are bunch of other server maintenance stuff I intend to work on over the next few weeks, at least when I'm not travelling. As usual, if anyone notices anything out of place, strange errors, that are repeatable just let me know here or on my talk page. Keep in mind that since I'm working on the live site when I apply changes there may be minor 'hiccups', (server restarts, etc...) that are only temporary. -- Daveh 21:11, 18 April 2007 (EDT)

Wiki Upgrade to 1.10.0

I finally had time to upgrade the Wiki to the latest quarterly release, 1.10.0 (thanks Nephele for reminding me occasionally). While things appear to be working in general there's a good chance a few things here and there will be broken so let me know if/when you find something. -- Daveh 22:13, 14 May 2007 (EDT)

Cool beans, though I noticed one problem right away. Any table given without a class now has a white background instead of the transparent, background-matching tan we've been using. Example:
header header
stuff stuff
This includes the MediaWiki:Edittools that appears at the bottom of the edit screen, so it's quite noticable. I'm guessing some line in the CSS files went back to the default Wikipedia colors. Hopefully this can be fixed? --TheRealLurlock Talk 22:47, 14 May 2007 (EDT)
Confirmed, getting the same white background. --AlbinoMudcrab 22:50, 14 May 2007 (EDT)
Yah, noticed this too. Should be fixable when I (or someone) has time to track it down. -- Daveh 23:08, 14 May 2007 (EDT)
Well, don't look at me - CSS is still a mystery to me. Another weird difference I noticed is that when you create a new page without putting anything in the Edit summary, it creates a summary for you, by copying the beginning lines of the page text. Given that the vast majority of pages on this site begin with a template of some sort, you're going to get a lot of ugliness like this in the history. I mean, I suppose if I remember to put something in the Edit summary that won't happen, but more often than not, the name of the page is self-explanatory enough that I don't feel it needs one. I can see how this feature could be useful in spotting spam/vandalism on a site of Wikipedia's scale where new pages are created every few seconds. But we've been doing a pretty good job of that without it - pages created as spam/vandalism are typically spotted and deleted (or blanked/Speedy Delete-tagged if the spotter was a non-Admin) within 10 minutes, tops. If this is an optional feature, I would vote in favor of not having it, though I'll let other people speak out in its defense if they see a reason to keep it... --TheRealLurlock Talk 23:24, 14 May 2007 (EDT)
Table background color is fixed.
More automatic edit summaries (only if one isn't provided by the editor) are indeed a new feature. I'd say having an edit summary is always more useful than having no edit summary, even if the edit summary is just template ugliness in alot of cases. But at the least I'd like to wait a few days about making any decision about changing that option, and see how the system works for a bit.
Another new feature are the numbers on the recent changes page like (-74) or (+114). Those show how many bytes were changed by the edit. --NepheleTalk 23:35, 14 May 2007 (EDT)
Yay! Another quick save by Nephele. Although thinking about it, if it hadn't been for that glitch momentarily being on the site, I would never have noticed the extra table-formatting that I removed in my last edit of Shivering:Split, but oh well. Glad to have it back to normal. I did notice the byte-change feature added. Wasn't surprised by it, as I've seen it on Wikipedia for weeks now. I suppose it's a good way of spotting when somebody makes a drastic change like blanking a page or filling it with spam links. Again, not something we've ever really had a problem detecting without the feature, though I don't have a problem with that. I do think that the new-page auto-summary is a little bit iffy, though. If it were smart enough to take the first text after the template, it'd be one thing, but this will just look ugly the way it is now. Or I could try remembering to put something inane in the edit summary even when it should be self-evident what the page is for... Just seems like it creates more of a hassle than it should. --TheRealLurlock Talk 23:44, 14 May 2007 (EDT)
These are nice changes and everything seems to be working fine, exept for the fact that now all my edits are no longer marked as patrolled and I don't see the "Mark edits I make as patrolled" option under 'My Preferences' on the 'Editing' tab. Could someone fix this please? --DrPhoton 08:26, 15 May 2007 (EDT)
Hmm, I'll look into this and see why this feature is missing, whether intentional or not. I may just need to update the Patrollers extension. -- Daveh 10:57, 15 May 2007 (EDT)
Update: I'm not sure why the auto-patrol feature was removed but it seems that any edits I make are automatically marked as patrolled. Are other Sysop or patrollers seeing the same thing? I assume it is now associated with the user's level but haven't looked into it much further that that. -- Daveh 19:52, 16 May 2007 (EDT)
My edits are also still being automatically marked as patrolled. But under My Preferences -> Editing there is no longer a check box labeled "Mark edits I make as patrolled". It used to be there for both admins and patrollers, but disappeared with the upgrade. --NepheleTalk 20:46, 16 May 2007 (EDT)
OK, I did some research and there have actually been some significant changes to how patrolling works.
The issue here is that 'autopatrol' has been turned into a user right that is assigned to a group of users (instead of being a user-by-user setting in the preferences section). By default it is given only to the groups 'bot' and 'sysop'. That means that to fix the problem a line needs to be added to LocalSettings.php that looks like:
$wgGroupPermissions['patroller']['autopatrol']      = true;
The other interesting change I noticed is that the database now keeps track of what patrollers do, so you can now see who patrolled what. For example this lists all the patrols I've done since the upgrade. Also, if you look on the history of any page you'll see a "View logs for this page" link that now shows all the patrols done on that page (again, since the upgrade only). --NepheleTalk 14:13, 17 May 2007 (EDT)


Another vanished feature is the ActiveUsers page, which is no longer listed at Special Pages and cannot even be accessed directly. --NepheleTalk 12:51, 15 May 2007 (EDT)

I temporarily removed this due to the SpecialPage.php outputting a bunch of error messages. It turned out to be unrelated but I'll wait until I fix the error until I restore the Active Users entry. -- Daveh 13:19, 15 May 2007 (EDT)
One more change introduced by the upgrade: multiple left-aligned thumbnails now stack vertically, instead of being placed in a horizontal row next to each other. See for example Help:Images#Multiple Thumbnails (the text of which is now wrong: left and right are symmetric) or Oblivion:Wendelbek#Maps. I can't see anything about this on the wikipedia help pages (which still claim that images work the old way), but it probably means that sets of images will now need to be placed into an invisible table in order to be arranged properly. --NepheleTalk 17:14, 15 May 2007 (EDT)
Looks like this was a change in 1.9 in the main.css file of the MonoBook skin. I've reverted it for now (one or two comments) but if this breaks anything else let me know. It seems that Wikipedia currently works the same way...you can't align thumbnails on a single line without a table or gallery.
Also fixed the minor issue with SpecialPage.php and added Active Users back in there. -- Daveh 20:50, 15 May 2007 (EDT)
Actually, the right-aligned images now behave the way left-aligned images do, which is a change from previously. I'm not complaining, though - that's definitely a good thing. Was annoying having to create tables to do that in the past. Only problem is if it has any unintended side-effects. I don't think it will affect any existing pages, but you can never tell with these things... I'll change the Help:Images page to reflect this. --TheRealLurlock Talk 22:15, 15 May 2007 (EDT)

User Page Obscenity

Please could an admin take a look at this user page? It contains obscenity and racism but I'm not sure whether or not editing user pages is permissible - especially given (relatively) recent events. I'm especially not sure as there appears to have been at least one admin-initiated reversion to this page, although it was undoing even more obscenity. In case you're wondering, I noticed it because of the NeedsImage category. Rpeh 08:53, 10 June 2007 (EDT)

See a similar question at UESPWiki talk:Vandalism#Reverting Question. It's what uniblab chose to have for his user page and doesn't, in my opinion, break any (unwritten) rules about allowed content on the site. Or at least, not to the point where it justifies altering a user page. --NepheleTalk 10:08, 10 June 2007 (EDT)
If the word 5h1tty (leet-speek to avoid filters) and his comments about the Jews don't contravene administrative policy, it's time to change the administrative policy. The Michael Jackson comment is also inappropriate here, whatever one's feelings for the man. My first instinct on seeing this page was to blank it. I've read about the Aristeo controversy and so thought I'd better at least post a notification first. But I have to say that at some point I'm just going to blank it and hang the consequences. It is unacceptable for this to be present on a site of this nature. Rpeh 12:38, 10 June 2007 (EDT)
First off, I'd like to point out that Shitty is not filtered. In fact, the only filter we employ is a spam filter. Now, about user pages, it has always been our policy to not worry about content that has been posted by a user to their own user page, even in cases of profanity (see the Wrye-Aristeo edit conflict: [2], [3], [4]). Now, I agree that Uniblab's page could be seen as racist, though personally, I don't think that "Please provide proof that Jews are responsible for all wars in the Talk page" is a direct attack on Jewish people. It was meant as a joke, and in the context of the page, I think it is easily identifiable as a joke. The same goes for the Michael Jackson comments. I highly doubt that Uniblab wanted to offend anyone. Therefore, since Uniblab is no longer around to make a decision on what he is going to do, I am going to remove the comment about Jews and the comments about Michael Jackson.
On the wider issue of editing user pages, I think we should handle it as we do user names. We don't allow racial statements in them. and thus we shouldn't allow them on user pages. My opinions on languages and sexual comments are a bit different. Obviously, neither should be used in articles, but in the user and talk areas, we are a bit more lax about such things. I don't think that words themselves cause any harm, as long as they are not directed against a certain person or group. Personal attacks aren't and never should be tolerated on the UESP. I feel that racism falls into this category. Still, I am against making the UESP a nanny site. Any 13 year old has heard fuck, shit, ass, sucks before. --Ratwar 14:08, 10 June 2007 (EDT)
Thanks Ratwar. I agree with you that the comments were meant to be a joke, and if anything warning the user about a poor sense of humour would have been the best thing to do, but since Uniblab's last comment was in January I brought it up here. I also agree with you about making this a nanny site, but when a page contains almost nothing but - potentially - offensive material, I think a line needs to be drawn. Oh - I didn't mean this site filtering things out. If I'd been surfing at work (not that I ever do such a thing) it's possible our web filters would have brought the page to the notice of my boss. I know some places do such things so I thought I'd play safe.
Lastly, I don't suppose you can take the 'Requires Image' template off? That just bugs me! Rpeh 15:12, 10 June 2007 (EDT)
I think removing the Requires Image temp would be over stepping our boundaries. --Ratwar 19:55, 11 June 2007 (EDT)
If I upload a picture of my teenage sister in a bikini can I remove it? Just kidding. Okay, apologies all round if I appeared to come on a bit strong on this one. I honestly believed (and still do) the page needed editing and was a bit surprised that this wasn't an immediate consensus view. I think we're just a bit more sensitive on this side of the pond where (possible) anti-Semitism is concerned. I do think there's a reason for taking the 'Requires Image' template off, albeit a minor one. It shows up on the Pages Requiring Images page, which leaves a slight blemish on the site's completeness. However, if you guys and gals are happy with that, it's good enough for me. Thanks. Rpeh 12:32, 12 June 2007 (EDT)
It would be possible, albeit slightly tricky, to replace the Needs Image tag used on the page with the actual alert box, and make it look exactly the same, but leave out the inclusion in the Needs Image category. I've done things like that before and I'm sure I could again, but the question remains - how important do we think this is? There's also the case of various people who've used the Template:NPC Summary on their user pages, which generally creates links to a bunch of non-existant categories and pages, since that template is not intended for use in the User namespace. If people think that Uniblab's page needs changing, then those probably would as well, and where do we draw the line? At any rate, I'm of the opinion that messing with other people's User pages - even inactive users - can be a rather risky business. First of all, by default, any change to a User or User talk page causes an e-mail to be sent to the user in question, so even if they're not active, that may get their attention, so we can't just assume that they won't notice. (That mistake has been made before, with disasterous results.) Secondly, User and User Talk pages for inactive users are very unlikley to be visited by anyone, so it's a pretty minor problem. Admittedly, it does become more noticable if it appears in Category pages, which may be the reason this has been brought up twice. I think the best course of action is to bring it to the user's attention by mentioning it on their Talk page, or failing that, by sending an e-mail, explaining the reason you wish to change it. All in all, it helps keep the peace a lot better than just changing stuff without permission. --TheRealLurlock Talk 00:25, 13 June 2007 (EDT)
While it looks offensive at first glance, closer reading indicates that he was deriding nutso comments about Jews and Michael Jackson. And it was probably done in the space of five minutes while testing templates. Essentially we're looking at the random scrawlings of a teenager. While I understand that some people will find it offensive, I don't think it's that big a deal, and given our desire to avoid nanny-ism, and give people more leeway on their user pages it should probably have been left alone, where hardly anyone would have even noticed it.
If there really had been a racial rant or a prolonged sexually offensive diatribe, that probably would have warranted action IMO, but this did not get near that. --Wrye 16:54, 10 June 2007 (EDT)
Wrye, I agree with you, and if Uniblab was an active member, I would definitely not dealt with the issue so unilaterally. The way I see it is that it doesn't matter either way, as it is a joke. Therefore, it doesn't hurt any of us to change it, and it may help some people be less offended. I don't think Uniblab would want his user page to become the center of a discussion on the wiki. --Ratwar 01:48, 11 June 2007 (EDT)

Archiving and Vandalism Subpage

I've archived older topics and moved vandalism topics to a UESPWiki:Administrator Noticeboard/Vandalism (which is a little long to type, but UESPWiki:Vandalism was already in use. Good argument could be made for moving it instead to UESPWiki talk:Vandalism.) Anyway, might could use some further ordering since we tend to have different incidences of same spammer. --Wrye 16:39, 22 June 2007 (EDT)

I'm getting no "sponsored links" at the moment. Is there a problem with the ads? --RpehTalk 04:02, 24 June 2007 (EDT)

You've lost the ads and you're complaining? ;) I'm still seeing them show up on every page. --NepheleTalk 12:11, 24 June 2007 (EDT)
The thought didn't escape me when I made the original post! They're back this morning. I was just worried in case the site was losing its money supply. --RpehTalk 03:26, 25 June 2007 (EDT)


Forum Moderators

Not sure if this is the right place or not but here goes. I have been a Helper-Mod at the forums for a few months now, and lately it seems I'm the only moderator at all. I have contacted Quiglesigles who suggested I speak to Magnus. I have also sent an e-mail to Daveh with no reply yet to this subject. Magnus replied that I should try getting the attention of the wiki admins or pop into the IRC channel to make myself more known. The use of the wiki editting process and IRC is not really my cup of tea. I have been a member of the Forums since November 2006 and it seems to me that traffic has picked up(for the better). I started my own thread in the general forums to see what the forum community thought about me becoming a Full Moderator. http://www.uesp.net/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=4006 Though there wasn't a huge response to it I belive that that is mostly due to users sticking to the forums that are more pertinent to their personal tastes. Both Quiglesigles and Magnus have said that it would be OK with them but as Magnus suggested I should bring the conversation to the wiki admins. What I am asking is; to become Full Moderator and possible get a few helpers or a couple full moderators that will be active on a daily basis so as to help the forum community as a whole. Bear forum Helper-Mod 24.230.188.173 20:48, 25 June 2007 (EDT)

For better or for worse, the wiki-editing community and the forum community don't overlap too much here, so the wiki admins don't really play a role in who becomes a forum moderator. About the only useful thing I can say is that Bear was really helpful about pointing out a problem with a blank page a while back. Based on that he'd get my vote :) But it's ultimately up to Daveh to make the call and implement any changes. For that, you may just need to wait until the next window of opportunity when Daveh is in between trips and has a chance to check what's been going on. Next time I notice him in IRC, I'll point this out to him.
Also, I gather that Obliv4PS3/Most Honored Listener would like to become a helper-mod. So if I get a chance, I'll pass that on to Daveh, too. --NepheleTalk 22:11, 25 June 2007 (EDT)
The forums are still running??? --Wrye 22:50, 25 June 2007 (EDT)

Much appreciated, Nephele! Yes Wrye, the forums are still runnning, lol! Actually, I think it is running quite well. We have a good core group that have been active for awhile and newcomers most every day. Activity has really picked up compared to when I first became a member, there can be up to a couple of pages of threads and 100 or more posts in a day. A bit much for one active person (with limited controls) to keep a good eye on. That is the reason for my request. I understand about being busy so taking the path that I have and following the suggestions of Quiglesigles and Magnus seemed the right course. Bear forum Helper-Mod 24.230.188.173 20:59, 26 June 2007 (EDT)

I just received a request from codex to become a moderator. He has been an outstanding member on the forums even longer than I have. With him, Most Honored, and myself moderating on a daily basis things should be OK for the moment. It would be nice if there was an admin who was a bit more readily available, as well. Like I said before I understand that Daveh is busy, but with the excess traffic lately the forums need help. June 2007 has seen the most users online record broken twice, and that with Quiglesigles, Magnus, and Vook inactive. Thanks Again Bear 24.220.136.136 17:22, 29 June 2007 (EDT)

Thanks for the update. I haven't forgotten about the request, it's just that Daveh seems to still be on travel. And at this point, when he does get back there are going to be quite a few things on his todo list.... --NepheleTalk 18:25, 29 June 2007 (EDT)

thanks again! I'm sure Dave has plenty to do. :) Bear 24.230.188.173 19:44, 29 June 2007 (EDT)

OK, I just talked to Daveh and I see that you (Bear) and codex are now listed as moderators, and Most Honored Listener is a helper-mod. I hope that helps! --NepheleTalk 20:06, 29 June 2007 (EDT)

That should help a lot! Thanks for your help!! Bear 24.230.188.173 22:17, 29 June 2007 (EDT)

Image Copyright Question

Would it be a copyright violation to use an image, out of someone's Photobucket account, that I just found in a Google image search? There's no logo or copyright symbol or anything, although I'm assuming that's irrelevant. Giamgiam 23:01, 2 July 2007 (EDT)

The Photobucket terms of service state that the user retains their rights, although Photobucket automatically obtain a license to use any image uploaded. The would seem to mean you can't just take images off there. If you want to use the image, you could always email the user and ask permission, or if it's a game image, try to recreate it. --RpehTalk 04:33, 3 July 2007 (EDT)
Technically, if the image is just a straight screenshot from the game (without 3rd-party mods), then the only entity who holds any rights to it is Bethesda. However, using another person's screenshot is sort of bad-form, even though they didn't have the rights to it to begin with. I don't think it's technically illegal (or at least any more illegal than posting your own screenshots), but it might be kind of rude to do so without their permission. --TheRealLurlock Talk 07:53, 3 July 2007 (EDT)
I agree that even if legally the screenshot is copyrighted by Bethesda, it doesn't really seem appropriate to take an image that somebody else created and upload it as your own image. I'm sure there are probably a few screenshots on the site that have just been copied from other sites without asking permission; editors are not required to disclose where/how they obtained an image. But it's not the recommended way to obtain images, especially when there are many editors here who are willing to create quality screenshots themselves. --NepheleTalk 10:41, 3 July 2007 (EDT)


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