Wikinews:Water cooler/technical/archives/2012/July

Accredited reporter email update

As cautioned regarding, email is now transitioning to Vexx hosting in Amsterdam.

I've generated random passwords for all the new accounts, and emailed them to the old ones. You have around 36 hours to retrieve any emails stored on Godaddy which you wish to retain.

As soon as forwarding accounts (for example, scoop) are properly set up on Vexx, I will re-point all Main eXchange DNS records at Vexx and mail will cease to be delivered to Godaddy.

A number of bounce messages resulted from the initial mailing due to full mailboxes. If I hear from people who're in that situation, I will forward passwords elsewhere. Otherwise, I'll list those who've not kept up-to-date on email and we can discuss de-accrediting. Many of those whose accounts bounced have, already, left the project and email was left in-place as a courtesy. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:30, 2 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • Incoming email is now being directed to the Amsterdam hosting.
If you're puzzled by the webmail login, ask. It is fairly straightforward; you've a selection of webmail clients to choose from. If you know one, you can set it as default. Otherwise you can give them all a go and see which you like.
The good news is that SpamAssassin is up and running on the server. If scoop continues to pull in a pile 'o shite, then I'll lower the threshold for rejecting stuff. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:12, 3 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Haven't messed with the new e-mail yet, but it's on my list! Bddpaux (talk) 19:41, 7 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Weather checker??

Anybody fooled with this recently?? Wikinews:WeatherChecker  ?? Bddpaux (talk) 19:40, 7 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]


Was looking at Portal:United States.........why are articles that have been not-ready'd hitting into the feed list? Bddpaux (talk) 03:06, 9 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

In general we don't restrict the category/portal lists to stable pages, because they often want to include stuff from before flaggedrevs. Though presumably any most-recent list for the US won't have anything pre-flaggedrevs. --Pi zero (talk) 12:16, 9 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]
On category pages, I agree stablepages shouldn't be used. But portals, I think, should. They are where we'd have 'alternate' main pages should article volume merit such. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:44, 9 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Good point. --Pi zero (talk) 13:49, 9 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I suspect there's hundreds of infoboxes don't have stablepages in their DPLs. That could be a bit more work to fixup. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:25, 9 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Oh, infoboxes. That's another thing that needs doing. We've got a template {{topic cat}} that can pretty much be used for all article categories (though I've still some ideas to improve it further), but the infoboxes are basically all custom jobs (and the portals suck, of course). --Pi zero (talk) 14:39, 9 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Fixing infoboxes will be ... tiresome. But, it will allow us to set up a massive demo of a little obscure bug in FlaggedRevs/cacheing. I'm sure you've seen the "changes pending approval" message on articles where there aren't any pending approval. My guess is that's caused by someone viewing a copy of the article before the underlying changes are approved.

Portals, kill 'em all? --Brian McNeil / talk 15:26, 9 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]


As mentioned in the above discussion, infoboxes are a 'tad' messy, as are any still-unredirected-to-the-category Portal pages.

Anyone who has set up a new infobox or, at a more low-level, fiddled about setting up a DPL will know some of the code is a bit ... ick. So, hide the complexity and document stuff is how I'm going to approach this monster of a problem.

Step one is {{Infobox-DPL}}. Can anyone see any cases, likely to be widely-used, which the template does not cover in a clearer manner than the low-level DPL syntax. Or, is anyone unclear on the documentation and would like it expanded with more examples?

I've even built in the flexibility to consider horizontal infoboxes with multiple columns.

The next task, as I see it, is to nail down clear definitions for types of infoboxes, and the other major components of infoboxes.

So far I have

  • Countries
  • Regions
  • Topics
  • "Edge cases"

for types of infobox.

And for components I have:

  • Header
  • Articles (this is what Infobox-DPL is for)
  • Graphic(s)
  • Contribute links
  • More information

The last three of these being optional.

Anyone see any important components, or types of infobox, that I've missed? --Brian McNeil / talk 12:29, 11 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]


In terms of editors' this still a valid part of the project>>>>>>>>>>>> Wikinews:WikiBureau United States? Bddpaux (talk) 00:43, 9 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • An overly-optimistic idea, which fell flat.
TBH, I think there are huge swathes of the project namespace with stuff like that.
I think creating Wikinews:Obsolete projectpages, moving stuff like the WikiBureaux into sub-pages of it, and making pages like the one you mentioned redirects to Wikinews:Obsolete projectpages would be the best thing to do for these. That 'master page' could list all similar/related pages and why these things haven't worked out, or are "before their time" (by which I mean that a WikiBureau may-well prove useful if we've, say, 2-3 contributors per state in the USA and people are listed by their interests; then, if a story you want to cover crops up in another state someone closer to the action can get photos, interview affected locals etc.) --Brian McNeil / talk 11:39, 11 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]
OK, got it......and really, the Wikinewsie (e-mail, blog and workspace wiki) is really enough. We don't want to spread our gathering places out too thinly. Bddpaux (talk) 02:39, 15 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]



Am I the only one not receiving e-mail/unable to log on at Also what's up with this? --William S. Saturn (talk) 16:07, 23 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

The account was suspended due to problems with an experiment (re a dropbox for Paralympic coverage). --Pi zero (talk) 16:34, 23 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]
What about e-mail with cpanel? Does that not work either? --William S. Saturn (talk) 17:24, 23 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]
My guess would have been that it wouldn't work, and trying it just now it doesn't appear to work for me. I'd still not gotten around to reconfiguring my email client after the move from godaddy, so nothing sent to my wikinewsie email since then is stored locally by my client, meaning if we don't get that account back at some point it's all lost to me permanently. I'm not happy about it. --Pi zero (talk) 17:48, 23 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • It's all down. They took exception to use of Dropbox, which was clogging up the server as I'd set it up. This was the response, suspend the account. I'm still running round in circles with support. Two escalated, and marked as "critical" tickets and over 96 hours of downtime.
Methinks it's time for good journalists to go to Iceland. :P --Brian McNeil / talk 11:13, 24 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • I've poked and prodded thru the Vexxhost site, and put in a far more lengthy 'rant' (which will become another ticket):

Subject: Account suspension - service downtime now exceeds 96 hours

To Whom it May Concern:

Until this weekend past, I've been perfectly happy with Vexxhost. Any minor issues have been promptly looked at by support staff, your package prices are excellent, and I've found the response times of my hosted services good - far, far better all-round than the truly atrocious service I had with Godaddy.

With two of the accredited reporters (which I operate the services for) having obtained press accreditation for, and access to, the 2012 Paralympic Games in London I asked what tools would aid them in their reporting once they arrive from Australia.

Dropbox was highlighted as a tool which they can easily use to get images, audio recordings, etc. shared with article fact-checkers and reviewers.

Installation of this on the shared hosting where resides appears to have overloaded the server with-regards to the AUP *and* a blanket assumption of guilt applied in that this is a file-sharing application.

There are two open tickets *somewhere* in the system related to this - but now disassociated from my login email (xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx). I can no longer see if there is a single point of feedback from your tertiary support team (or, as you refer to them - Tier 3). I've approximately 20-30 other reporters globally unable to access their email, cannot access the dozen-or-so responses to Freedom of Information requests from the British Government I am working on, and - most frustratingly - all 1st line support are allowed to do is tell me the ticket is escalated and being worked on.

All it takes is 5 minutes to re-enable the service and since Dropbox clearly overloads the shared resources, plus risks being automatically assumed as being used for illegal file-sharing, I won't be using it on Vexx servers.

This email should be taken as a clear indication I will stop payment on the invoice due for the 29th of this month if the issue is not resolved by close of business today. I will then be in touch regarding retrieval of confidential, under-our-copyright, data. As I am advised, there is clearly no doubt that you possess and are preventing our access to such - the service continues to accept inbound email, but simply denies all access to retrieve such.

I suppose the apt rhetorical question would be: Is it a good idea to really irk a bunch of journalists?


Brian McNeil Wikinews Accredited Reporter/Project Administrator and Bureaucrat.

As I say, I can but rant. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:02, 24 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Works for me as well.--William S. Saturn (talk) 18:04, 24 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Good. I've de-flagged this discussion. What comes next is making sure that is an awful lot harder to get hit with again.

I'd planned to take a small-ish VPS with, and that'll allow me to sort out Laura's Dropbox usage (it's a good idea, if not a free tool). That can act as a dedicated wikinews/wikinewsie toolserver

The most-worrying thing was email being taken in by the shared hosting account on vexxhost, but not actually being available to us. I don't ever want to see that being the case again.

What, on principle, should move to Iceland to take advantage of the IMMI is anything nonpublic. That's email, we can have a backup non-Iceland-based secondary MX server to ensure nothing is lost. The Journo's workspace ( should hop over there too. Public-facing stuff is far less-important. I'd certainly be keeping the existing hosting for a couple of months parallel running. It could-well end up serving as the backup MX and fallback for public-facing stuff (Editors' blog etc).

Where I'm most-concerned is actually hardening the image installed on a VPS machine. After that, there's the "snaglet" of going to https: We'd need a certificate, and the cheapest single-domain one I found was Comodo at US$36.99/year (cheapest wildcard - covers https://* - US$139.00). --Brian McNeil / talk 19:09, 24 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Direct-to-Commons gadget

During the photography workshop at the weekend, it was mentioned that deWP have tweaked things so that users are automatically sent to the Commons description page for images, instead of a 'nonexistent' local description page.

This seems like it'd be something sensible for us too. We tell people they can copy our content, and the safest images to copy are on Commons.

Here's the links Raymond provided:

--Brian McNeil / talk 11:10, 24 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]


Y'know, many moons ago, I sort of knew the answer to this question: I see loads of gadgets/tools that list Java script.....but once I "see" the Javascript code, what do I do with it??? I'm supposed to paste it somewhere but where??? I normally use Chrome, by the way. --Bddpaux (talk) 05:16, 31 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]