UESPWiki:Administrator Noticeboard/Archive 9

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


Wikia

If you are having problems (and I noticed you did with the google analytics/squid conflict), the offer of free hosting at Wikia is still open. We can handle the problems of caching for you and ensure it won't become a bigger problem as the wiki grows. Please email me at angela@wikia.com if you would like to explore this. We have lots of options open, including custom URLs (like wowwiki.com) and different skins (like marveldatabase.com), 20 different anti-spam tools, and access to google analytics (which we've made work with squid). There would be no problem installing your extensions and the community would remain in control of the content. This page can help to answer others questions you might have about joining Wikia. Angela 14:01, 21 February 2008 (EST)

I've chosen to move this comment to a new section because it is not directly related to the previous topic (e.g., reporting a problem or suggesting a specific fix to an existing problem), and any followup is just going to diverge even further from the previous topic.
I'm also basically confused about the purpose of this comment. If this is an issue that Daveh would like to discuss with the UESP community, I think everyone would be interested in what Daveh has to say, and would be happy to provide Daveh with feedback on any suggestions. But until Daveh makes a statement that he thinks we need to consider a move to Wikia (and for those wondering, he has never made any such statement on the wiki or in any offline discussions that I have had with him about the site), I don't think that a discussion can accomplish anything. Any discussion about server configuration, server maintenance, or site costs has to involve Daveh. Since any decision about who runs (and potentially profits from) UESP hinges upon questions about the server and costs, without Daveh's participation it would just be a dead-end, abstract discussion.
Furthermore, there are countless complications inherent in any implied move to Wikia, none of which are addressed by Angela's comments. It's not really worth starting to list the complications, because, as I just said, I think this is currently a dead-end discussion. But let's just say that there are problems far more fundamental than whether or not wikimedia extensions are available at Wikia.
In other words, until Daveh starts a discussion, I don't think there's any reason for the community to spend any time being distracted by this issue. --NepheleTalk 18:40, 22 February 2008 (EST)
Given the willingness of Wikia to completely and blatantly ignore the terms of CC licensing (as it did when it started hosting OblivioWiki's non-commercial licensed content as a commercial site), I am 100% against any move to Wikia. But as Nephele said, this was an out of the blue distraction. Unless Daveh is actually interested in this, there's no reason to debate it further -- I just wanted to note that some of us have serious objections to such a proposal. --Wrye 22:09, 22 February 2008 (EST)
I've been meaning to post something concerning this but have been terribly busy and I figure my limited time is better spent doing other things on the site. Wikia (Angela and Jim) have contacted me a few times in the past year or so inviting UESP to join Wikia. While I appreciate the offers I have no intention of moving in the near future for a variety of reasons. Personally I'm rather proud of having one of the larger private wikis out there and hope the admins and other editors feel the same way (because I'm far from the top of the list in making the Wiki as successful as it is). -- Daveh 23:58, 22 February 2008 (EST)
Cool! :) --Wrye 00:27, 23 February 2008 (EST)
That's really refreshing to hear, Daveh. Since you hadn't said anything, I assumed that there was really nothing to this proposal from Wikia, but now having heard it from you, I can totally relax about it. --Ratwar 01:00, 23 February 2008 (EST)
I completely agree with Wrye's points about OblivioWiki - it's not the only wiki they absorbed without regard to the licensing - and I also find the way Angela stepped in to take advantage of a small site problem in such a public manner rather distasteful. It's a huge relief to hear that Daveh isn't interested, and I hope that the "near future" lasts a long, long time! –RpehTCE 13:38, 23 February 2008 (EST)
Yep, good that you will be private in the near future *thumbs up* We (from tamriel-almanach.de) got also an offer from wikia to join them but we saw no advantages to move so we will also stay privat. They started after our answer a german wiki on wikia were they copied over 1300 articles from us + images! Now it's closed of course because i had luck to find it during my researches). It sounds strange but i think wikia is currently on a crusade through all the wikis, good that there are still people who resists! Wish the best for you guys that you will stay free. --Deepfighter 09:50, 24 April 2008 (EDT)
Wikia stays a problem, at least in Germany. After the end of the wikia-wiki discribed by Deepfighter, we just have anothe wikia-wiki OblivioWiki that copies images from all sites to find. We've found about 30 images from the Tamriel-Almanach in their Imagelist. During that search I noticed also images from other sites, like uesp, the Imperial Libraray or GamesPlasma. I felt obligated to inform you about this problem. Here the images from uesp, I found their:
[1]
[2]
With best wishes --Killfetzer 17:52, 19 August 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for pointing that out, Killfetzer. Unfortunately, we've been kept busy enough just with the English language wikia sites. Now the german one has been added to my bookmarks, too :| --NepheleTalk 11:24, 22 August 2008 (EDT)
Anybody that knows what the German for "prod" is, please prod the following images on that site that have all been copied from UESP: [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24], [25], [26], [27], [28], [29], [30], [31], [32], [33], [34]RpehTCE 12:23, 22 August 2008 (EDT)
The german word for "prod" is "anstoßen". I saw today that you fixed at least your pictures, he has still pictures from our page...it is a shame what wikia does with his wikis i wrote for one week that we have a problem with on user, but no response arrived from the wikia-admins. The adminstrators of these "cheap" wikis, there are such idiots, most of them don't know how to rule their wikis (of course everyone could create a wiki). *arrghhh* It makes me really angry. But we will fix this somehow. It is good that our both sites work in this case together, so if we find something on other pages from uesp, we will tell you of course like Killfetzer did. And if you need in some cases an german-translation please don't be shy we can help you out with this stuff. Have a good time here and a lot of sucess =) See you --Deepfighter 16:15, 25 August 2008 (EDT)
Nephele had started a discussion ([35]) and I added the names of those images. I went through all the pages that used them and removed the images so their admins wouldn't have to. To be fair, BanjoTooie apologised. Only you know which images have come from your site: I looked through all their images (using Special:Newimages - luckily there weren't many) and then checked out the ones that looked familiar. You may need to do the same. –RpehTCE 16:24, 25 August 2008 (EDT)


Another, maybe useful idea.

Hello,

I am here to propose a new idea (as you can see). Instead of having to go to "Recent Changes", spot an edit, go to the page, look at the history, undo the vandalism, and let the vandal be dealt (did I spell that right<?), to deal with vandalism, is it possible for an admin. to be able to do this? Here it goes, if a vandal/editor goes through a page and types a bunch of noticable curse words on it, or if he/she just blanked the page on purpose, it will show up on their edit description automatically - "Added Censored Text" or something of this sort. This will automatically make this easy for recent changes patrollers and/or editors to spot a vandal on site. Then once you hit a link of some type, it will automatically undo the vandalism. Sound good, bad, ugly, in your thoughts, or am I late in the race and this has already been done and I've never known?

I have posted this here because I assume that an administrator must do this. Please leave feedback. Thank You. --Playjex 17:56, 31 January 2008 (EST)

The edit summary already has several of these features. If an editor blanks a page, the edit summary says so; if an edit replaces a page with new text, the edit summary provides information on the replacement text. And there already is an "undo" link when you view the diff of a page which automatically undoes the edit (admins also have a more powerful "revert" feature reserved for use with clear vandalism).
Trying to go any further than that doesn't seem to me like it's worth the effort. First, the type of changes you're talking about require modifications to the wiki software: such modifications can only be done by Daveh, are difficult to implement, and increase our problems every time we upgrade the wiki software. Second, it's going to be unreliable: either the list of "censored" words is so short that it's not useful or it's so long that it in fact includes many words that are legitimate in various contexts. And such a list will never be able to include all the various misspellings, censored-with-punctuation, and other permutations. Which means that we still will end up relying on patrollers to view the actual edit and make an informed decision about whether or not the edit is legitimate.
So it seems to me like a lot of work that ends up not really changing the current situation. --NepheleTalk 18:47, 31 January 2008 (EST)
Haha, never really thought of it like that, I was in a rush at the time anyway. Thanks for giving feedback though. Have a good night. --Playjex 19:20, 31 January 2008 (EST)


Server-level Problems

Daveh, we seem to have a few problems at this point related to server-level configuration. Several of them appear to indicate that there is some type of caching on content1.uesp.net that is being too aggressive, and is providing cached versions of pages that should not be cached (or that do not correspond to the requested page). Specifically:

  • The problem with category pages mentioned above
  • A persistent problem on the forums where users are told they are banned when they try to login, even though their account is not banned. See for example this topic. This is happening even in cases where the user is using the new forums.uesp.net site name. My guess is that it is actually a caching problem: a cached version of the post-login page is being displayed, instead of processing and creating a newly updated post-login page. This is starting to become a real hassle for forums users.
  • A problem on the forums where a new user whose message is spamblocked cannot subsequently post the message, even after all links have been deleted from the message. Again, it sounds like a potential caching problem where the new request is not being recognized as a different request.

In all cases, these problems have been reported even when requests are going directly to content1.uesp.net, so the problem is not with the squid server. Would it be possible to go through the other levels of caching that are implemented directly on content1 (e.g., memcache? apache settings such as gzip? any others?) and selectively disable those caching systems one at a time? You could then check and see whether this link and this link then provide the same page or different pages, allowing the source of one of the problems to at least be identified.

Another problem is with the Oblivion map being inaccessible when using a firewall, as described at Map does not work properly for me. My guess is that firewalls are having a problem with a request sent to www.uesp.net that then triggers followup traffic from content1.uesp.net instead of www.uesp.net . However, the maps cannot be accessed directly on content1.uesp.net because of the Google Maps API license.

--NepheleTalk 18:42, 11 March 2008 (EDT)

Just a question here, but what does "Cached/caching" mean? The more you ask, the more you learn. Thanks. --Playjex 18:15, 13 March 2008 (EDT)
When you go to a web site, the computer automatically saves information from that page so that it'll be easier to load the next time you go to that page. Unfortunately, you may eventually have a ton of pages saved up. Michaeldsuarez (talk· contribs· email) 19:08, 13 March 2008 (EDT)
For the forums issue I've currently set up a Redirect on content1 to forward www.uesp.net/phpbb to forums.uesp.net, which I should have done in the first place. This should prevent older links from having a cache issue. Whether this fixes anything is another matter...I'm not quite sure how to test it other than waiting to see if anyone else complains. -- Daveh 11:47, 27 March 2008 (EDT)


Music

Discussion moved from my talk page

Well, as you all know as none of you have any idea about, I am a great fan of all types of music - EXCEPT RAP!!!!! Sorry, just had to say that. Anyway, I have and frequently listen to the soundtracks from Morrowind and Oblivion (Don't worry, I avoided Bethesda's money-hunger and transferred the files from the game data folders), and I recently discovered that a modding project has released a masterful re-working of the Morrowind theme. They have no copyright on the track itself, and have it available for download. Could we use this? I think it would be a great idea to offer this track for downloading here. As far as I can see, and I work with DRM (Digital Rights Management) a lot, there is nothing preventing us from doing so. I you want to hear it, I could upload it, or I could give you a URL link. However, if we were to do this (Subliminal Message: we most certainly should), then I could contact the creator, some guy under the name of DragonFly, and inform him of this. Any thoughts? --HMSVictory 12:47, 24 March 2008 (EDT)

I'm no expert on copyright law (talk to Wrye for that sort of thing), so I couldn't say for sure. If Bethesda had released the music for free anywhere, it might be one thing, but the fact that they do specifically sell soundtrack CDs, and separately from the games, makes it seem slightly questionable. While a remix made by someone else may be different from just copying the tracks directly, it's still based on the original, and while that may be okay for an independent site for the composer (though even then it's a bit iffy), I think republishing it here might be pushing the limits. Now, I don't expect that we'd necessarily get in trouble for it, but it may be better just to play it safe. But that's just my opinion. --TheRealLurlock Talk 14:20, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
Well, if you're no an expert on DRM, then I am. Trust me, I've checked through the file itself and there is no protection on it, nor is there a warning. I think this would be a great opportunity. As for copyright, none is stated on the file, nor on the site, nor on the download wizard. My only concern the consent of the author, which is probably the easiest thing to clarify here. The music itself was created on Ejay Orchestral, from scratch, and Bethesda has no rights concerning the track itself. According to American, English and probably Canadian law, any parody/remix/cover or re-creation of a piece of music may be done without the original artist's consent (Nor do they even have to know about it), and unless a profit is made from the production or sale of the track, then no credit must be given to the artist either. As far as my knowledge goes, and that's pretty far, there's absolutely nothing stopping us from hosting the track and making it available for public download. Credit to DragonFly and a link to the Tamriel Rebuilt website is probably a good idea, but hey - we have fanfiction, we have a links page full of unofficial sites, we even discussed fanart, so why not music? --HMSVictory 14:29, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
No, I understand that part of it - but just because there's nothing physically stopping us from hosting this music doesn't mean it's legal and kosher to do so. As for making a profit, we technically are running a commercial website, with ads, for which Daveh receives a certain amount of revenue. So we can't technically say that we're not making any profit off the distribution of the artist's work. As for the comparison to fanfiction and fanart - this doesn't apply because fanfiction/fanart is generally posted by its creator. You can't just go to some other site with fanfiction/fanart and copy it to UESP without the creator's permission, and the same goes for music, I'd say. Perhaps if DragonFly himself wished to post the music it'd be another story, though I'm still not sure if it'd be fully legal if he sampled the original music in order to create the tracks, because at that point it ceases to be a "parody/remix/cover" and becomes a directly derivative piece of work. At any rate, I think this discussion should probably be moved to the Admin Noticeboard, in order to get other people's thoughts on the issue. However, general site policy has been to never copy anything from another site without explicit permission - even other wikis - due to the potential legal complications. You can add a link to the original site on one of the Links pages if you want, that's probably not a problem. But hosting other people's work (in any medium) without their knowledge or permission seems a bit shady to me. --TheRealLurlock Talk 15:58, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
No no no, Lurlock; you misunderstand me. It is definitely legal to offer this file for download on this site. What is not neccessarily spiffy is if we can't get Tamriel Rebuilt to support us in this. Addendum: It does seem odd to me that there aren't files such as this already on the site. Anyway, I've spoken to the developers at TR before about their work, but I doubt they'll remember me. To cut a long story short, DragonFly's permission is the only obstacle in this situation. Concerning the derivation of audio from an original to a parody/remix/cover/etc, there is no point at which legality comes into it, as long as the replication differs in a clear way. Let me give you an example. Listen to Rick James' "Super Freak." Recognise that Ground Bass pattern? MC Hammer directly sampled that from the original recording for his hit single, because he failed in reproducing the sound exactly. MC Hammer, of course, made a profit from U Can't Touch This, and some of the royalties went to Rick James. We will not make a profit from this directly. I don't know about you, but I've never seen an advertisment here that says: "Check out the UESP's cool new sounds for fifty bucks!" I can understand your concern for this, however. I have worked with online music for some years now, and the industry itself has a certain stigma around it. This is why many artists refuse to allow their music to go for sale on legitimate programmes such as Napster or Itunes. They confuse these companies with illegal ones such as Limewire or Grokster. I'll see if I can send an E-mail to the guys at TR. In the meantime, please consider what I have said, Lurlock. --HMSVictory 16:18, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
When MC Hammer sampled Rick James, it's a fair bet he paid for the rights to do so, or at least asked for and received permission. As a counter-example, consider The Verve's song "Bitter Sweet Symphony", which samples the Rolling Stones song "The Last Time". The Verve did NOT get permission to do this, and the Stones successfully sued them, and all royalties from this song now go to the Stones and not The Verve. At any rate, this discussion is beside the point. The real issue here is whether we want to get UESP involved in a potentially thorny legal debate regarding the use of other people's artwork. It's most likely that we could do this and get away with it, but given the possibility that it could get complicated, it's probably better to leave it alone unless we carefully consider all of the possible ramifications of this, something which neither you nor I nor most of the other people on this site are qualified to do. In the end, I'd say the decision should be in the hands of Daveh himself - as he is the one who would directly face the consequences if this sort of thing went bad. --TheRealLurlock Talk 17:05, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
I think the best course of action now is for me to contact DragonFly himself, and see what he thinks. As I said, I've spoken to him before, and he is an avid fan of TES. Legally, we could do it without his permission, but as I'm sure everyone will agree, it'll be better if we get it. Anyway, I know it's besides the point, but under the laws of the UK and the USA, it is legal to: sample an artist's music, change it, publish it as your own and profit from it without their permission. The example you have picked out likely occurred before these laws were introduced. I could take the Oblivion theme, probably now Bethesda's most recognisable piece of music, modify it, muck around with it, and then put it up on the internet for download or for sale on an unofficial website under my name, and all of that would be completely legal. You do not needs the original artist's permission to produce something like this. You don't even have to give them any credit for it. However, it is illegal to attempt to do this while profitting from it without offering any royalties to the original artist. The more similar your version is to the original, the more royalties you must pay. DragonFly, of course, is not making any money from this, and so we need not concern ourselves with this. Anyway, al that aside - I'll contact him and see what he thinks. --HMSVictory 17:20, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
There's a more fundamental question here: do we really want to host it? We've talked about fanart and decided "No" on that one, so why would we want to host fanmusic? A link on the Music page would be acceptable, but I really don't see that we want to host it ourselves at the moment. If we get to the point where we're hosting mods, then maybe. –RpehTCE 17:49, 24 March 2008 (EDT)

Alright, Rpeh. Should I link to the file itself or the webpage, which has a lot of other information, so it might be difficult to find the link? If we choose by the file itself, how exactly would I go about it? --HMSVictory 13:29, 27 March 2008 (EDT)


Scaling PNG Support

Just before the Easter Holidays, there was a discussiong in my talk page between Nephele, Lurlock and myself, about scaling PNGs. I feel that the discussion has somehow cooled off during the holidays and I'd like to reactivate it here. I think it would be quite useful to be able to scale PNGs properly, i.e. maintaining their transparency, for two main reasons: 1) people won't have to upload several different versions of the same image (one for each different size they'd like to have), and 2) if the original image is updated, the wiki will update all sized verisons of that image, again wihtout the need to upload the sized verisons manually.

Implementing proper scaling of PNGs is quite simple. All it requires is a current installation of ImageMagick on the server and a couple of changes to the wiki settings. Instructions can be found here. If there is support for this implementation, we can ask Daveh to do this. --DrPhoton 04:54, 26 March 2008 (EDT)

To me, this already seems to be everything that is required for a request for Daveh to implement the feature; I'm not sure what additionally is needed. --NepheleTalk 00:37, 27 March 2008 (EDT)
OK, I'll ask Daveh then. --DrPhoton 10:04, 27 March 2008 (EDT)
What does "PNG" mean? Only curious so I'll know later. Thanks. --Playjex 12:11, 5 April 2008 (EDT)
Portable Network Graphics; it's a graphics format that allows better color resolution and better transparency than GIF; it's also copyright-free. We have several PNG images on the site; Daveh's graph of site use, for instance, or the icons for various game items. –RpehTCE 12:19, 5 April 2008 (EDT)

Interwiki linking between Tamriel-Almanach and UESP

Question moved to Community Portal.


Archive Protection?

This is something that happens every so often and, whilst it's not a serious problem, I'd rather months-old discussions weren't re-opened unnecessarily. What would you say to putting full protection on archive pages whenever they are created and adding it to the ones that already exist? I'm not hugely bothered one way or the other but it's a thought I just had so I thought I'd bring it up here. Thoughts? –RpehTCE 17:05, 29 April 2008 (EDT)

I think that would be more trouble than it is worth. --Ratwar 17:28, 29 April 2008 (EDT)
Umm... I'd have hoped for a bit more feedback than that. All it would mean is clicking about four more buttons when archiving a page. I can see objections in that it would be overprotective but in terms of work, I don't see a problem. –RpehTCE 18:27, 29 April 2008 (EDT)
I was talking about the work that would be needed for any editor to change the categories on the article or the even create archives. I don't think either of these is necessarily administrator tasks (though we often end up doing them). If we protect them, then people need to talk to an administrator every time they wish to do something with the archives. I see no huge advantage to protecting them, and at least a bit of hassle associated with it. --Ratwar 18:58, 29 April 2008 (EDT)
I'd have to say no as well - there are times when someone might need to re-open an older discussion, and it shouldn't be impossible to do so. Of course, the appropriate action would probably be to move the dicussion back onto the main page instead of continuing the discussion on an archive page. Protecting the archive pages essentially implies that the conclusions of those discussions are now immutable laws, set in stone for all eternity. When in fact, it's entirely possible for new issues to crop up related to those old discussions, which would warrant a re-examination of their results. While I mostly agree that dragging skeletons out of the closet is not usually a good idea, there are times when it makes sense to do so, and I don't think we need to completely disallow that in all cases. --TheRealLurlock Talk 19:02, 29 April 2008 (EDT)
Okay, good points... but we already have warnings at the top of some pages such as this and this. I'd thought that our policy was to disallow edits on archive pages; certainly I've reverted edits on that basis in the past. I'm not trying to shut down older discussions - perhaps a link to the latest talk page on an archive notice would help here? I'm trying to work out what people think should happen and how that relates to what has already happened. –RpehTCE 19:21, 29 April 2008 (EDT)
I don't think we want editors posting to archives; if an editor wants to reopen an old discussion it should be done on the active talk page, with a link to the old discussion or a copy of some of its contents. Nevertheless, I'm not sure that adding protection to archive pages is appropriate. It is an additional step that has to be done by an administrator (two steps in fact: clicking the "protect" tab and adding the appropriate category to the page). It's not a huge amount of work. But on the other hand, it's also not a huge amount of work to click "undo" when an edit is made, and undoing is something that can be done by any editor. Also, there are times when edits need to be made to archives, in particular when pages are moved or links need to be updated. I'd prefer not to turn those tasks into admin-only tasks.
Overall, it doesn't seem like it fits with the existing Protection Policy, and my guess is that it will create more work than it will save. --NepheleTalk 18:21, 6 May 2008 (EDT)
Okay. Good points. Thanks everybody. –RpehTCE 00:56, 7 May 2008 (EDT)


Dagoth Ur, Mad God

I thought I should let you know that I have just reported the user known as Dagoth Ur, Mad God to his ISP, Telstra Bigpond Australia, for continual damage to this and other sites. I supplied them with a small but representative list of URLs that should allow them to judge for themselves just how their user has behaved. In particular, I included the pages where he made threats and used obscenities. I will let you know if I get any response. If I don't hear back in a week or so, I will try again.

I realise this is a big step, and as far as I know, a first for the site. I'm sure most of the people reading this will already be aware of what a nuisance DUMG has been but may be wondering why the normal blocking policy isn't being used. Quite simply, repeated warnings have had no effect and since he has now learned how to get a new IP address whenever he wants, blocking is impractical. Furthermore, even range blocks wouldn't work because Telstra own multiple IP ranges and he seems to be able to switch from one to the other. We'd probably end up blocking half of Australia if range blocks were employed.

In short, drastic times call for drastic measures. I'm sick and tired of seeing him vandalising this and other wikis and this might be the only way to stop it. –RpehTCE 08:19, 11 June 2008 (EDT)

I've heard nothing back so far but I've supplied them with the URLs of a couple more incidents that occurred recently on the Oblivion Mod Wiki. –RpehTCE 09:44, 19 June 2008 (EDT)

Category Move Question

Is there any quick administrator way of moving a bunch of category pages? The various Oblivion Arena people have recently had their faction adjusted to avoid disambiguation issues, so all of the Category:Oblivion-Factions-Arena pages could do with moving to Category:Oblivion-Factions-Arena (faction). Admittedly, there are only 5 members of the faction, but there are a whole host of rank-based category pages in addition to the main category. --Gaebrial 03:06, 18 June 2008 (EDT)

Darn. That wasn't supposed to happen, and I could have sworn it didn't when I changed them last night. The idea had been to start to use the faction altnames, but after a quick check it's going to take far, far too long. So I changed the Arena people back. Far too much hassle for far too little gain. –RpehTCE 04:42, 18 June 2008 (EDT)


AOL IP Addresses

While checking on a recent IP address, I pulled up the user talk page for the IP, and discovered an interesting message. Wikipedia no longer has problems with completely untraceable anonymous AOL users (or problems with users constantly getting warnings targeted at the last person to use that AOL proxy), because wikipedia is using X-Forward-For HTTP headers provided by AOL to properly identify the user's source IP address. It appears that for us to add the same capability, we would need to add AOL (and some other similar ISPs) to our Trusted XFF list -- presumably we already have the basics of XFF recognition on the server, because that feature is what allows all of our IPs to be recognized, even though every single edit gets routed through our squid server. This seems like something that we should enable here on UESP. I'll root around some more to see if I can get more detailed information on what needs to be done to get it added. --NepheleTalk 18:08, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

IP needs to be blocked

212.219.229.3 has repeatedly added nonsense and blanked pages. I have been undoing them but he needs to be blocked --Matthewest TCE 07:20, 8 July 2008 (EDT)

From his targets and MO, I'm guessing that it's DUMG. I'll assist in the cleanup, until Rpeh or another admin pops in and blocks him. --Gaebrial 07:29, 8 July 2008 (EDT)
Now blocked. Sorry about the delay - I was at lunch. Typical. –RpehTCE 07:33, 8 July 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for that. How could you tell it was DUMG? Shouldn't somebody warn him or even block him? By the way rpeh, don't worry, every hard worker needs their lunch! :D --Matthewest TCE 07:35, 8 July 2008 (EDT)
Just guessing, based on the pages being targeted. --Gaebrial 07:36, 8 July 2008 (EDT)
Typical indeed, although i wouldnt say its the latest reincarnation of DUMG, DUMG always edited from an australian IP, but this comes up as a uk adress and it isnt a known proxy, probably just another in the long line of idiots out there--Volanaro 07:37, 8 July 2008 (EDT)


Block an IP?

Multiple nonsense edits have been made by the IP address 203.158.221.227, as well as the IP 88.201.1.20. Both of those IPs have only ever made nonsense edits. Darkle 19:21, 10 July 2008 (EDT)

Blocked both of them, along with 5 others since that. I think we may have to start thinking about ways to protect ourselves from future onslaughts from thes bots. They disappeared for a while, but now they're back with a vengeance. I'd like to again propose what I said before about making IP editors and new accounts go through the captchas for their first 10 posts or so. For a minimal and perfectly understandable annoyance to new editors, we can virtually eliminate these junk edits. It's not that bad yet, but this particular type of bot has gotten pretty nasty in the past, and a small amount of preventative measures would save us a lot of hassle in the long run. --TheRealLurlock Talk 00:11, 11 July 2008 (EDT)
I would most certainly agree. Coming at this from the other end, if I were a new editor, would I be willing to do the captchas for my first 10 edits? For myself, I'd be willing to do them for all edits, but I'm a UESP zealot now. As a newling, I think I woulda been okay with the captchas, especially if there was something under the captcha box saying "this is only because we've dealt with so much vandalism," or something to that effect. But, yeah, I'd noticed the vaffanculo bandits were back... --Somercy 00:18, 11 July 2008 (EDT)
Perhaps 5 Captcha edits are enough to deter the bots? This isn't much more hassle for a new legit editor then many message boards that require you to register and send a validation email, IMHO. BTW, there are two more to block now, 89.28.127.255 and 62.12.137.20. --BenouldTC 21:05, 11 July 2008 (EDT)
It looks like the nonsense bots are using the Special:Random page function, maybe we disable it until there are better defenses in place? This is getting old, fast. --BenouldTC 14:07, 13 July 2008 (EDT)
That seems like a good idea, maybe we should disable it for unregistered users, and do the 5 capatchas, that seems the safest route. After all, an unregistered user is probably trying to find their information & go (unless they have bad intentions) so it won't affect them if they can't use the Special:Random page funtion.-Puddle TalkContribs. 12:46, 17 July 2008 (EDT)
They don't use the Random Page function. They seem to target some pages more than others - that's why we sometimes use :Category:Spam-Blockers|Spam-Blockers pages to stop the bots recreating the pages after they've been deleted. If the bots were using Special:Random the chances of them hitting the same page more than once would be greatly reduced. As for using Captcha for the first five edits... seems like a good idea to me. I'd personally be in favour of stopping anon IPs making any edits; if people can't be bothered registering, do we really think their contributions will have more time spent on them? –RpehTCE 12:52, 17 July 2008 (EDT)

They are definitely not using the Random Page function. User pages, talk pages, image pages, and a bunch of other pages that have been hit by the spambots never show up as random pages -- only "content" pages are included in the random pages function. So shutting down the random page feature isn't only impossible (at least without Daveh's intervention), but it also would have no impact on the spambots.

As for adding 5 captcha edits. First, it would really be helpful if someone could figure out logistically how to implement such a change, and whether it's really possible with our existing extensions or with other available extensions. Unless the idea is feasible, there's no point in dreaming about doing it. And I'm personally not willing to do all the legwork to figure out whether it can be done because I don't really believe in the idea.

Captcha is not a perfect fix for all wiki problems. Using captcha is onerous -- just ask Vesna about her opinions of captcha after she had to go through it for multiple edits. It can take multiple tries to correctly work out what the random characters are. And sometimes it completely fails and just locks out users altogether -- that happened to me the last time I tried to edit on CSwiki. After a dozen tries I just gave up, and I haven't subsequently tried to even edit on CSwiki. So despite idealistic dreams to the contrary, adding more captcha checks will dramatically decrease anonymous edits.

I, for one, believe that allowing anonymous edits is incredibly useful for the site. Unless our regular editors want to commit to carefully reading every page on the site multiple times, there is no way we can replace the effort made by anonymous editors who routinely find obscure spelling, grammar, and factual errors and help to fix them. We have many anonymous editors who take the time to voluntarily make constructive edits to the site, and throwing up unnecessary roadblocks is no way to thank them for their willingness to help the site. If this proposal is really an effort to shut down anonymous editing, then we should instead start a discussion to openly discuss and debate the site's policy of allowing anonymous edits. But if we are going to continue to say that the site supports anonymous editing, we should actually try to support anonymous editing, not discourage it in every other possible way.

On the other hand, yes, the spambots are annoying. But the spambots are not ruining the pages that they edit. Even before someone undoes the edit, the page is still completely functional for any readers who happen to stumble across it. And undoing the edit is really not that much work. So I don't think that extreme measures that will inevitably have negative consequences for the site are necessary just to limit a minor annoyance. In other words, I'd rather hit the "undo" button a few more times a day, instead of trying to find a way to replace the work done by anonymous editors. --NepheleTalk 14:02, 17 July 2008 (EDT)

Okay, I was NOT advocating that we disallow IP editors. I agree that there have definitely been some substantive edits from IPs without registered accounts, and I don't want to curtail that in any way. However, I think that having some precautions for new accounts, such as the 5-captcha idea, is far from unreasonable, and I doubt too many people are likely to be turned off by it, especially if we include a notice on the page apologizing for the inconvenience and explaining first why it's there (I'm sure even newbie editors will be understanding if we explain that it's there for spam-prevention, nobody likes spam), and secondly that they'll only have to do this five times. That's far more reasonable than the restrictions I've seen on some sites, where new users may have to deal with extra hassle for as many as their first 100 posts. As for the captchas not being readable on the first attempt - if that's a problem then we should find a new captcha program, because I'll agree that that's really unacceptable. There are any number of captcha programs out there, some of which are more easily read than others, though I'm not sure how many are compatible with wiki software. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about the core PHP or whatever it is behind these to even make an educated guess. Also, you say that you don't mind having to hit the "undo" button several times a day, and sure, it's not that big a hassle. But imagine if that turns into dozens of times per day, as it did the last time these bots attacked us. Or hundreds, as I've seen on other sites. Between the reverting, blocking, and placing block notices, that minute of your time can mushroom into a serious commitment. I've seen it happen, and it can get pretty bad. A small preventative measure can save us from a lot of work in the long run. --TheRealLurlock Talk 15:38, 17 July 2008 (EDT)
To Nephele, I completely agree, but as TheRealLurlock stated, some spambots are really tricky. I remember my first time with them. To admins with the rollback feature (or whatever you wish to call it) that you use to revert all edits by a user, it may seem a little problem, but for non-admins, such as me, the captcha program would really help us catch our breath, instead of killing our computers by opening new tabs over, and over, and over... Getting back on subject, it wouldn't be much of a hassle, and maybe we could try to find a new way to entice anonymous editors to sign up.-Puddle TalkContribs. 23:46, 17 July 2008 (EDT)
Okay well I assumed that Lurlock already knew of such an extension. If there isn't one already then let's just scratch the idea. With regards to anon IPs, yes I know there is the odd good contribution but those are massively outnumbered by the nonsense that is generally their output. As a random, unscientific test: there are currently 32 uses of the Undo or Revert functions recorded in the last 500 Recent Changes. Of those, 23 (72%) were made by anon IPs. Or to put it another way, anonymous users are nearly three times as likely as registered ones to produce edits that are considered pure gibberish. Let's look another way: There were 82 anon edits in total so that means over one in four anon edits were rubbish. In fact it's more than that because nine of those edits were undone in a batch rather than using the Undo. Taking out the edits that were undone, questions on talk pages and posts to pages like Roleplaying and Glitches and you end up with 11 edits. I'm really not seeing any "incredibly useful" input from anon users.
Nephele, with regard to your edit summary - I'm always happy and eager to read your comments, even when I'm skeptical about what you have to say, but in this case I simply disagree. –RpehTCE 05:17, 18 July 2008 (EDT)


Site Update

A quick update on the admin side of the site since I haven't had time to do much in the past few months or so.

UespPages.png
UespGoogleAds.png
Traffic 
Site traffic has been steadily increasing over the past year (see to the right) and has been higher than ever for a few months now. This is surprising, at least to myself, since I expected the traffic to be constant or decreasing since the last official releases of Oblivion last year, much like what happened after Morrowind and its expansions. Currently we're serving around 1 million pages a day.
Site Load 
With the cache server averaging about 68% cache hits it helps the content server cope for the most part but I'm sure we've all experienced the regular site slow down when the traffic is high. This is simply due to the current content server being overloaded with requests (as far as I can tell anyways). Average site load time on Alexa has gone from 2.5 seconds from before the cache server to a current 1.2 seconds, but I know we can do better.
Upgrades 
August is the first month I should be mostly around so I'll take the time to do as many server upgrades and tweaking as I dare. First, and easiest upgrade, is bumping up the monthly traffic on squid1 from 1500GB to 2000GB or beyond so we don't get hit with big overage bills (for example, 120$ for going 200GB over in July). Next is setting up a dedicated database server (already ordered) to help relieve the stress on content1. As soon as that is done and working I'll revaluate things and possible upgrade the content1 or squid1 server as needed to cope with the traffic we're getting.
Advertising 
So far it has been more than covering the site expenses and I've saved about 5000$ which will basically purchase two servers for the next 2 years (25% discount for a 2 year plan). At the current rate it can easily support 5-6 decent servers and still have enough extra to save some for later.

As usual, catch me on IRC (if you're lucky) or leave a message on my talk page or here if you have other things to discuss. My plan is to get the database server up and running in the next week or two with hopefully no apparent site downtime other than a brief read-only/lock period. -- Daveh 17:07, 1 August 2008 (EDT)

raw data for download?

I've been toying with the idea of creating a local version of this wiki for (my personal) offline reading. Is the raw data available for download, the way it is at wikipedia (database dump and a bunch of xml files)? Has this been debated bvefore? I did look around and din't find anything about it... Clavis0 17:44, 2 August 2008 (EDT)


(Un)Wanted Pages

I've noticed that a large number of the pages listed on Wanted Pages are linked to only from old, archived discussions, many of which are ironically discussions specifically regarding the deletion of said articles. Another good portion of them are pages linked only from the Template namespace, because they have namespace-dependent links on them. Now, the templates we can fix, and possibly should, but it'd be much easier if we could find some way to make such pages be excluded from the list. Ignoring certain namespaces, such as Template, UESPWiki, User and all Talk namespaces - this would go a long way towards rectifying the problem. Also ignoring subpages would help a lot. (Sub-pages should be ignored on a lot of Special pages, Uncategorized Pages, Dead-End Pages, Orphaned Pages, etc. Some of these are pretty well useless due to being flooded with hundreds of /Author, /Description, etc. pages.) I don't know how complicated it would be to implement these suggestions, but we might want to look into it if it's at all possible. --TheRealLurlock Talk 19:55, 11 August 2008 (EDT)


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