UESPWiki:Administrator Noticeboard/Archives/Templates et al

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Templates et al

Apart from fixing a few goofs, can I suggest that we all avoid editing templates—and anything else that's heavily transcluded—for the next several days until our Job Queue returns to a fairly low number? We had it down to around 4,000 the other day, which is already fairly high, but there's been edits (sometimes multiples) to several widely-used templates recently that've brought that number back up to 18,000. I think we need to let it get back down to normal ranges before we do any more significant template edits and then keep our eye on it afterwards as well. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 06:41, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

There isn't really a significant reason to postpone editing templates. Either the job queue spikes at one time or it is at a relatively high level for a long time. I don't think there is much reason for concern. –Elliot talk 06:48, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, we spent over an hour with me trying to explain why job queues that were lagged by several days and pretty much doubling in size every day were bad and Elliot insisting that I was wrong and accusing him of being an idiot. I'll let someone else explain why a severely lagged job queue is bad, because clearly my limited understanding of it wasn't enough to convince him, so he's openly explicitly stated to me that he's ignoring my above suggestions and is off to make the problem worse by editing some more templates. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 07:45, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
First I would like to quote policy: "Statements made by other contributors in IRC should not be quoted." And I have every right to ignore your suggestion. But here is my thought process in layman's terms:
  1. The job queue is low, but there are templates that need editing.
  2. People edit the templates.
  3. The job queue increases from said templates.
  4. After a period of decreasing in the job queue, it rises slightly from minor template tweaks.
  5. No more edits need to be made to templates (outside of maintenance), the job queue decreases.
We are currently in phase 5, so that is why I don't see this as an issue. There is no need to freak out since there are no outstanding templates to be edited. There will always be fluctuating within the job queue. If we freak out each time it gets somewhat high and stop all template editing, then we are essentially being "retroactive", which is bad. Should try avoid editing the massive templates? Perhaps, but I don't see it is a dire situation. –Elliot talk 08:04, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I did not directly quote any statements. The only thing I did more than vaguely allude to had to do with actions you had indicated you were about to take on-wiki...which are public actions. I did not see that as a violation of privacy in any way. If indeed we're in phase 5, then no significant edits need to be made (other than fixing the issues with Lore:Main Page), in which case whether my understanding of a lagged job queue is correct or not, the point is moot, since templates will not be significantly edited and our job queue will indeed decrease. That was not my understanding of where we were from our discussion, however.
In any case, I believe it would be helpful to both of us if someone could explain (or link to an explanation of) why job queues remaining high for long periods of time is or is not a bad thing and what, if any, remedial actions are appropriate during these times. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 08:26, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
18,000 is pretty high for the job queue but it's still not a big deal. I've seen UESP's queue hit 25,000 before without there being any problems. Our job queue tends to stay higher for longer because of a tweak Nephele got Daveh to make back in August 2007: the wiki now runs one job for every hundred page views rather than every single one.
I've kept a close eye on the job queue because of the work I've been doing. It has varied between about 3,000 and 8,000, and it was only last night that it spiked. It'll be back down again before long. –rpehTCE 09:15, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, rpeh. It'd be nice to know exactly what the effects of a high job queue are, though. I know it delays updates of transclusions, but more specific examples of how this affects a wiki would be useful. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 09:28, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

(<=) My last post seems to have been the source of some... contention off-line so I feel I should expand a bit.

The job queue is now over 27,000. That's high for UESP and it's my fault: I copied a template from Wikipedia and it doesn't work well here. As a result, Content1 is pretty much locked and it's also locking other things and so the queue doesn't decrease. My bad. I assumed an established WP template would be fine everywhere but it clearly isn't. I'm not mentioning which one because it's pretty clearly a good way to screw up the site and I'd rather not advertise the fact. I've emailed Daveh to get him to restart content1 (as well as fixing the template, obviously) and that should sort things out.

Now. A high job queue isn't a big deal. Our Special:Statistics page links here, which states that "In off-peak hours, it might be a few hundred to a thousand. During a busy day, it might be a few million, but it can quickly fluctuate by 10% or more." (my emphasis). After a certain point, editing templates makes no difference. The job queue is a list of pages that need re-creating, so there's an absolute limit of 63,038 as I type. In that light, editing the same template over and over again simply keeps the same pages in the queue. It doesn't expand the queue any further. I'm a bit worried that our queue is only going up at the moment but I've already explained why I think that is so I'm not too worried right now.

Daveh, Nephele (or Nx if he's still around) can give you a better explanation, but I believe this is at least reasonably accurate. –rpehTCE 23:34, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, that's correct AFAIK. Still, it's a bad idea to use a high use template as a sandbox since continuous editing will prevent the job queue from decreasing, and the job queue will be filled with unnecessary jobs if the edit is reverted (i.e. vandalism, edit warring, testing stuff etc.). Nxtalk 07:05, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Very true - I should have made that point. And I see we've over 40,000 now. Something doesn't appear to be clearing... –rpehTCE 08:44, 14 December 2009 (UTC)