Wikinews:Water cooler/technical/archives/2010/July

Category merge bot?

Do we have a bot with edit protected user rights that could merge the redundant categories Wikimedia and Wikimedia Foundation ?

If so, I will propose a merge at WN:DR

--InfantGorilla (talk) 10:14, 1 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Note there are only two articles in cat wikimedia but not cat wmf:

As for bots to do this, I could probably do it. Bawolff 18:42, 1 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
That is good to know. I will propose it when I have a little time. --InfantGorilla (talk) 18:48, 1 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

"Older News"

Dear Wikinews, I would like to access news that occurred last month. How can I do that? Thanks, Reader —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 04:27, 5 July 2010

Category:June 2010 --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 05:04, 5 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Copy Pasta!!!

Template:Social bookmarks -- Template:Strategic priorities . Noticed this, thought it was amusing. Our influence (even if they dont admit it) grows. Muwahahaha --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 05:03, 5 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Main page displays only its left half, for the right half I have to use my horizontal scroll. Some other pp @ News also display partially this way.

I visit and edit Wikipedia's In The News section [ITN] and other sections of WP and I don't have any display problems there.

I'm using XP Home w/ Service Pack 3 & updated Internet Explorer 7. I have many Security Settings in IE disabled including Java, Java script and all of Active X.

I hope you can help me.

Thanks, (talk) 00:40, 25 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

The current main page design relies on Javascript. See if you get better results with Mozilla Firefox or Safari. --InfantGorilla (talk) 15:02, 25 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
The main page uses Javascript. We promise we won't hurt anything. Also, consider trying a different screen resolution: At lower resolutions, some horizontal scrolling may be experienced. Δενδοδγε τ\c 19:43, 25 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
When I designed the main page, I tested it down to 1024x768. It will scale down without scrolling (I just brought it up in IE8 also). Anything less than 1024, you're out of luck. As for Javascript, Vector relies on it heavily. Our specific main page content does not, though it does use a lot of CSS. In IE8 and IE8 compatibility mode (which is roughly IE6), it is fine. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 20:06, 25 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
To be honest, anybody using all those security features has to expect the Internet to display wrongly. Δενδοδγε τ\c 20:26, 25 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Note, stuff should still look fine without javascript (even the vector stuff, it degrades gracefully - most of the time). Our main page scrolls horizontally on lower resolutions. Increasing your display resolution to 1024x768 should fix the problem. Bawolff 20:31, 25 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks all for your prompt suggestions. (talk) 22:15, 26 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

FYI, I lowered my resolution from my usual 1280x1024 to 1024x768 and that didn't fix the prob. Neither did enabling JavaScript, altho I didn't try them in combination since the res change messed up my carefully balanced deskstop. Anyway, cheers. (talk) 23:03, 26 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Well 1024 is the minimum. Anything above that will work. Since your beyond that, if you have scrolling, it is something on your machine. Either IE7 or some security functionality. Have you tried a real browser like Firefox? --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 23:16, 26 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Ty for your suggestion. As I originally posted, I don't have this display issue in Wikipedia. As for Firefox, I tried it early on and it caused probs. IE has its issues but I think I've learned to neutralize most of them. Most sites on the net display reasonably well w/ my disabled settings. (talk) 18:20, 29 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
FYI, this display issue is directly related to the Text Size setting in IE 7's View: the smaller the text size, the less horizontal scroll is needed to display the entire page. (talk) 18:20, 11 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

New gadget: Show access keys

Hi all. You may or may not know that Wikinews has a load of keyboard shortcuts. Well I for one know they exist, but can never remember what they all are! Luckily I found a bit of CSS that displays them next to the relevant link, and I put it in my user css. But then I thought other people might want to use it, so I made my first Gadget. Tested on IE8, Firefox 3.6, Chrome 5 - all seem to work fine. Note that different browsers work in different ways - see the access keys article or hover over a link to see what combination of keys you need to press. the wub "?!" 18:35, 13 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

This is a neat idea, thanks for sharing! Tyrol5 (talk) 19:47, 13 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I'd note that accesskey's are usually already shown in the elements tooltip, but cool gadget nonetheless. Bawolff

Redirects, reviews, and SEO

Few points here...

  1. Redirects should not be sighted unless they are created as a result of a title change post-publish (I'm looking at you, Diego).
  2. At review-time, there is a need to decide what to do about any redirects.
  3. Does anyone know about current, ethical, SEO? Basically, what could be done on-wiki.

For 2 above, I'm tending towards zapping redirects, but very much dependent on what people think about 3. Remember, Wikinews is not Wikipedia; to be the whole thing boils down to what best increases the visibility of our articles. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:21, 16 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I would guess the Google News algorithms are quite different from Google's normal ones. The order news items are presented in seems to vary a lot, you don't always get the big sources dominating at the top, which is obviously good for us. There's a few snippets of info here, but they all seem rather obvious. Relevant links from Wikipedia articles should be very helpful (afaik interwikis don't have "nofollow" set), getting those up right after publishing has to be a priority. Actively encouraging people to re-use and attribute our content more could help too. What we can do on-wiki I don't know, apart from turning out lots of good-quality content with interesting headlines. the wub "?!" 09:14, 16 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Personally I've always felt that SEO is mostly a load of crap, but thats just me. I do not see what is wrong with redirects. If at one point an article was named something, somebody somewhere might look it up under that title, and if the redirect is not there, they will not find the article, which is bad. What harm do redirects pose? Bawolff 20:01, 16 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Bad redirects are embarrassing. "We dun using bad grandmar". --Brian McNeil / talk 23:50, 18 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Just to follow up, Bawolff; I don't see the point on keeping pre-publish redircts hanging around, they've never been submitted to GNews. It is having that junk in the main Google index I'd prefer to avoid. I do pretty much agree with the wub, it is down to having quality content with good headines. Looking at my last BT story, as seen from GNews uk, it was the top entry for a search for "British Telecom" for over 12 hours. What I really want is to get the new MakeLead widget sorted. I think once we start hitting Portals with leads as well as the main page we'l have certain useful pagerank-enhancing scores. And, yes, the other important point is getting interwiki links (which do not specify NOFOLLOW); links from Wikipedia are very valuable SEO-wise. That's why those pesky spammers keep turning up here. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:38, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • I just found this article, which has more specific tips on SEO. It looks like original content does receive a big boost, so featuring that prominently (as we do) is good. That doesn't mean we should cut back on synthesis articles though, as volume and breadth of coverage produced also factors into our overall rankings.
  • Of the little things, there doesn't seem to be much that we aren't doing already. Putting alt text on images is one minor point, but I was already thinking about having a push for improved accessibility which would include that anyway. the wub "?!" 15:30, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Things to keep in mind:
    • RDF/context tagging does have weight in Google News: note how bloggers are using it.
    • Pre-publish redirects can be helpful - there are occasions when various blogs, forums, etc., link to our developing stories, and tend to do so very very early in their development if they do at all (especially topics like Scientology, abortion, marriage equality.) Keep in mind it costs more (computing time, storage) to delete a redirect than to leave it alone.
    • SEO is a multi-billion dollar industry annually. That means it works in developing/maintaining traffic, even if it's evil and annoying.
    • Bawolff: is it possible to build a gadget which can pop a {{Wikinews|{{{PAGE}}}}} template into en.WP articles? can it also make suggestions of which en.WP articles to do based on something like article title, en.WP-links in the article?
    - Amgine | t 15:56, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Note on having that junk in the main Google index I'd prefer to avoid - Mediawiki uses <link rel="canonical"... to denote redirects, which in theory should stop them from appearing in main google index. Amgine: It is possible to make such a gadget, but I don't think there's much more one can do that would improve upon doing it manually. Last of all, RDF/context tagging - people care about semantic web!!! I find that somewhat surprising. Bawolff 20:59, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
He Said Semantic!
The benefit to the gadget is: contributor clicks on something, gets a list of possible articles and clicks on one... voilá! As opposed to clicks on something, opens section for editing, types {{Wikinews|Title}}. My guess is we'd get a lot more people willing to spam^H^H^H^Hspread wikinews links with the former than the latter. And a summarry of "[[n:User:Username]] added Wikinews link via Wikinews Linker Gadget" is a lot less likely to be instantly reverted than "Add link to Wikinews article." - Amgine | t 21:22, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Newsroom ticker

Why is the ticker on the Newsroom page still broken? --Rayboy8 (my talk) (my contributions) 22:46, 18 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Works for me. Please describe the symptoms. --InfantGorilla (talk) 05:23, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Also what web-browser are you using? Bawolff 05:26, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Why does this link at Wikinews:Requested articles#How to list a page here not produce a formatted request?

Instead it produces just

#REDIRECT [[Template:New page]]

Did I break the page somehow?

--InfantGorilla (talk) 10:23, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I think I've fixed it. Almost a year ago, someone saw that Template:New page/tip was unused —probably they concluded this based on WhatLinksHere— and redirected it to Template:New page. (The link at Wikinews:Requested articles#How to list a page here doesn't show up on WhatLinksHere, of course.) I also guessed that the tip template has been lagging behind the other and updated its header, but I admit I'm less sure that I did that right. --Pi zero (talk) 11:56, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
After some floundering, I reverted the header change; it was just wrong (which seems obvious to me... now). --Pi zero (talk) 12:19, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

  Done You fixed it, Pi zero (and improved it.) Thanks!. Maybe tips will now be better organized. --InfantGorilla (talk) 12:51, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I tried posting a note on the talk page of pages like that. Bawolff 20:51, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
How about a /doc sub-page? (Like 'pedia cough) --InfantGorilla (talk) 07:19, 20 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

pictures being changed on Commons

Is there a way to keep track of changes being made to pictures used on our articles? The ease with which any Commons contributor can change a picture is an WN:ARCHIVE disaster waiting to happen. Benny the mascot (talk) 21:10, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

This is a very long-standing issue. The only real solution is to host the image on en.wn. - Amgine | t 21:25, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
We used to have WN:CT, but no one really looked at it. This actually does not occur very often now a days. Bawolff 21:29, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
What is being "changed"? The only changes that are supposed to happen to pictures uploaded to commons is updates for maps, or touchups for photos. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 21:31, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
See here for an example. Are map updates and photo touchups the only changes allowed in Commons? Map updates are probably going to be a problem for us in the future... Benny the mascot (talk) 21:34, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Maps (paticularly maps showing things like how many countries have legalized gay marriage which can change easily) should probably be copied over. Bawolff 21:42, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I have no clue about the current crop of Commons contributors, but issues we have had in the past have included: 'stock' images (with generic titles) being replaced with dramatically different images of the same subject, especially politicians and airframes for some reason; images being 'improved' in resolution, when the article used the actual image size; deletion of graphic files which have been superseded by svg images; images moved to more-descriptive titles, and the original title redirect eventually re-used for a different image. The biggest problem we have had is image licensing disagreements, for example when am image is located by a wikinews contributor which is appropriately licensed, but the copyright owner later migrates to a more-restrictive license which Commons does not accept - Commons has often simply deleted these images, which is understandable but a real problem for the projects Commons is supposed to be supporting.
In the latter case (or any situation in which the image is going to be moved or deleted on Commons) the best solution would be for the image to be uploaded to Wikinews, which would transparently resolve the problem. For some strange reason this is a huge burden on Commons admins, even though they think it is not at all a burden on Wikinewsies to upload all freely licensed images only to Commons. - Amgine | t 21:52, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Map updates are not allowed at Commons. When they happen, they affect Wikinews and other projects. See Talk:US supports UN gay rights declaration#Edit request --InfantGorilla (talk) 07:25, 20 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Mechanics of doing this

I'm actually sort of doodling with this idea for a bot. It should be relatively simple, actually.

Data initiation:

  • Examine all published articles, parse the raw syntax for [[file: or [[image: tags (didn't mediawiki also use [[media: for a bit?), and build a table of file names used in Wikinews, date the article was published, and an id column.
  • Query the Wikinews API, populating a separate table with filename id, and whether it is present on en.wn or not.
  • Query the commons API, populating a separate table with rows of filename id, uploads/filemoves dates.

If an image is not present in Wikinews, check if any uploads/name changes occurred after publication, and dump a report.

Bot maintenance:

  • cron 1x 24 hours for newly published articles, parse for file tags, append to table.
  • rebuild both the Wikinews and commons tables, to insure most recent changes/uploads are accounted for. (Since each file will still require a single query to check for any more recent uploads/changes, this doesn't actually result in an increase in load.)

Build the same report, but only report changes since last report. - Amgine | t 23:22, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

parsing raw page text is probably not that great as that doesn't catch things in templates, and image syntax is complicated (if we have ever move beyond en, fr has translated image namespace, etc). Media is still used - it give a direct link to the file - media:Example.png. Anyways it should use the api to find all the images instead of parsing wikitext. If we want to do this in real time, its fairly easy to go through the logs at commons, then look at global usage to see whats used on wikinews. Bawolff 23:30, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
<nod> Excellent. What benefit would there be to doing this real-time, since it's currently proposed as a monitoring? - Amgine | t 23:33, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
real-time was wrong word, what i meant if we wanted to just do all the changes one-day at a time instead of doing the entire site each time. Bawolff 23:35, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
<nod> Yes, I thought about that, but I think Commons may have rather a few more edits per day than Wikinews has image files, so it actually ends up being less work to do a per-file query. At least, that's my assumption at this point. - Amgine | t 23:44, 19 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I tried the following query: select distinct count(*) from logging l, globalimagelinks g where l.log_timestamp > '20100717000000' and ((l.log_type='delete' and l.log_namespace=6) or (l.log_type='upload' and l.log_action='overwrite')) and g.gil_to = l.log_title and g.gil_wiki='enwikinews' ;

which should give the files which were either modified or deleted since July 17 that we use. It gave the following results: 163914main_PIA09028_a-516.jpg Nelson_Mandela-2008_(edit).jpg Flag_of_French_Guiana.svg UN-SOGR-supporters.PNG 1_The_Opera_House_in_Sydney.jpg Nuclear_Power_Plant_Cattenom.jpg US-DeptOfJustice-Seal.svg Brazil_State_SantaCatarina.svg Bawolff 00:08, 20 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]