Semi Protection

UESPWiki:Administrator Noticeboard/Archive 13

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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.

More Site Suggestions

Sorry for the number of these "big idea" posts recently -- I think this should be the last set of new ideas (at least for a few months). However, during my immersion in the site's PHP code over the last couple of weeks, I've discovered a couple of other configuration changes that could be useful for the site:

  • Better default category sorting
    • In a nutshell, it should be possible to remove the DEFAULTSORT tags from all of our trail templates.
    • To do this, I'd tweak the php code so that the default (used if no other category sort tag is provided) is no longer {{FULLPAGENAME}} (e.g., "Oblivion:Anga") but is something more appropriate for the majority of our pages, such as {{CORENAME}} {{SORTABLECORENAME}} (introduced above, e.g., "Anga").
    • The immediate effect on the site would be negligible, since we never use the default sort tag right now. However, we should be able to simplify our templates, fix problems with templates providing conflicting sort categories, and we should be able to use DEFAULTSORT tags the way that was intended: only use them on those articles that need special treatment.
    • This was also discussed above, but since it was buried under a lot of technical details there, I figured I'd put it somewhere more visible
  • "Fixing" the Tamriel namespace
    • In a nutshell, make it so that any external links/bookmarks to old Tamriel articles will permanently work -- without us having to keep around the actual old Tamriel articles.
    • Specifically, what can be done is specify in the site configuration files that "Tamriel" is a namespace alias for "Lore". It's the same way that on Wikipedia "WP" can be used universally as an alias for "Wikipedia"; the result is somewhat like a super-redirect that works for the entire namespace. (Also, "Tamriel_talk" would become an alias for "Lore_talk".) I've tested how this works, and it is completely transparent: whether you type in a URL for a page, type in a link to a page, or use the search function, you always end up at the corresponding Lore page. Furthermore, when you end up at the Lore page, it always calls itself a Lore page (even the URL is fixed, i.e., there's a HTML-level redirect that happens, too, if necessary). I tested this on my test wiki, using the exact same namespace configuration as UESP. However, any skeptics can easily experiment on Wikipedia and see how WP works there.
    • Simultaneously, I'd suggest that in our wiki settings, NS=100 is renamed to Tamold and NS=101 is renamed to Tamold_talk. In other words, that we instantaneously transform all of our existing "Tamriel" articles into "Tamold" articles (this is not a bot-type move, but rather a single universal change made to the wiki's lookup tables). I think this would make it much less confusing trying to clean up the old articles. In case anyone is curious, without this renaming, the old Tamriel articles would still be accessible -- "real" Tamriel articles apparently take priority over the Tamriel->Lore alias. But I would be very very uncomfortable trying to delete all of those old Tamriel redirects if there's any chance that a Tamriel link is actually leading to a real Lore article (for example, if you don't refresh the to-be-deleted category, then actual Lore pages would effectively be listed in the to-be-deleted category).
    • Unfortunately I didn't realize this option existed back before we did the Tamriel->Lore move ;) It probably would have made nearly all the bot work unnecessary. But hopefully better late than never!
    • I think we could safely do this change right now; we would still wait until August to actually delete the Tamold articles, just because that's what we said we'd do. The other option would be to wait until August to introduce the alias, i.e., not make any changes until the currently established date. However, I don't see how waiting helps any readers -- why spend a few months telling readers they have to update their bookmarks if in fact they won't really have to in the end?
    • This is also an option to keep in mind for the Review and General namespaces -- we don't actually have to physically keep the namespaces, even if we want existing external links to those articles to work forever.

If these suggestions are acceptable to everyone, I could add these changes into the code that Daveh is about to install. --NepheleTalk 20:07, 25 March 2009 (EDT)

That all sounds good to me, although RoBoT is a bit miffed that the work he did wasn't necessary! The sort order fix is also good - although with {{SORTABLECORENAME}} rather than {{CORENAME}} - unless that's what you mean by exceptions. –RpehTCE 04:13, 26 March 2009 (EDT)
Yes, I meant to say SORTABLECORENAME ;) --NepheleTalk 10:05, 26 March 2009 (EDT)
Daveh just added these changes -- the Tamriel/Tamold change is sitewide; the defaultsort change is only on content1 so far. Another new only-on-content1 feature is that our large categories have been fixed! Compare how the Oblivion NPCs category works on content1 and content2 when you're not logged in -- in particular that the "next 200" and "prev 200" links work on content1 but are useless on content2. --NepheleTalk 00:44, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
I just noticed one thing while playing with the NS* magic words in the sandbox on content1. On UESPWiki pages, those new words return "Project". I know why, but I imagine that should be expanded into "UESPWiki"? –RpehTCE 04:33, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
...and the subspaces don't seem to be working either ([1]). Should I just stop messing around until this all goes out? –RpehTCE 04:45, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
Ugh, I introduced a typo when getting the main and main talk namespaces working, which effectively disabled the mod subspaces. I've fixed that, and I changed the namespace names to be the UESP-specific names instead of the canonical names, so that takes care of UESPWiki/Project and any other cases, if they exist. I also decided to finally get smarter about my testing, by creating some lists of test pages to run through before finalizing a set of edits, which should hopefully minimize stupid mistakes from now on. I've passed the code on to Daveh.
Also, UespCustomCode should be in pretty good shape, so it should be ready for serious testing. Although I can imagine that hitting these problems is frustrating, on the other hand, identifying them early is better -- especially given that it takes a bit of extra time to get any fixes posted. So I'd say test away -- as long as it isn't driving you crazy. --NepheleTalk 12:09, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
It's not frustrating so much as uncertain. I keep wondering whether I've hit a bug or made a mistake. Just to check - it's only UespCustomCode at the moment, right? Not MetaTemplate? Am I right in thinking that needs the MediaWiki upgrade? That's the one I really want to play with! Also, shall we take this whole discussion to the talk page of one of the new extensions? –RpehTCE 12:35, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
Yes, it's only UespCustomCode so far. So that's the NS functions, the #label and LABELNAME functions, and the CORENAME and SORTABLECORENAME functions. I've passed the code for MetaTemplate to Daveh, but he has not yet installed it. See UESPWiki talk:MetaTemplate for details about MediaWiki versions -- the short version of which is that it does not need an upgrade and in fact will not work with an upgrade (yet).
The best way to keep track of what's available is the Special:Version page -- or rather the content1 version of the page. The version of UespCustomCode that Daveh installed yesterday (with category fixes and search fixes) is version 0.4; the latest version with the new NS fixes is version 0.5. Even more importantly, down at the bottom of the version page is a list of all the tags and function hooks added by extensions. The one set of features that does not show up in that list is the full list of new variables (e.g., CORENAME, SORTABLECORENAME, LABELNAME -- although you can semi-infer that they've been added given that the sortable and label functions are listed); the NS variables show up because they can be used as functions (e.g., {{NS_NAME:Shivering}}) as well as variables (e.g., {{NS_NAME}}). --NepheleTalk 14:06, 7 April 2009 (EDT)

I just tested and confirmed that the new default sorting is working -- it's just hard to find examples of pages where it is even being used right now, since the majority of our pages have a DEFAULTSORT tag or a manually-set key. Furthermore, updating a page's sort option is not trivial -- simply purging doesn't appear to work. Nevertheless, the dozen-odd redirects that I edited this morning are all being sorted correctly in the Redirects from Alternate Names category. One notable example is [[Tamold:The Wolf Queen, Book I/Description]]: it's being sorted under "Wolf Queen, Book I, The", whereas all of the other Wolf Queen books and subpages are being sorted under "Wolf Queen, v? ..." So it's clear that the default algorithm is taking effect, but also provides an example of a case where a manual sort key (or DEFAULTSORT tag) is preferable -- automatic algorithms can't figure out everything ;)

We could perhaps start gradually removing the sort tags from trails. I'd suggest, however, just focusing on cases where the sort tags are currently causing problems (I recall a case a month back where there was a problem on a tamriel rebuilt page, perhaps the TR trail and the quest trail conflicting, but I can't remember where for sure). It's likely that a lot of our trail templates are going to be merged/made redundant/deleted when we start updating templates, so all of the template-based sort tags should automatically get cleaned up as part of the general revamping. --NepheleTalk 12:33, 8 April 2009 (EDT)

I can't remember either, but I'm pretty sure you're right and it was the quest and TR trail. I've removed the DEFAULTSORT from the Tamriel Rebuilt trail, but I didn't want to touch the site-wide templates without further discussion. I'm going to suggest that we take all the DEFAULTSORT tags off templates, wait until the job queue settles down, and then check the results. Otherwise, I imagine we'll find several places where pages are being affected by multiple defaults, which will be confusing.
It looks like there are about 150 templates using DEFAULTSORT, so that's going to be quite a bit of work. –RpehTCE 03:07, 10 April 2009 (EDT)
One side effect of the recent change to Tamriel Rebuilt Trail is that old categories such as Category:Tes3Mod-Tamriel Rebuilt-Weapons are no longer used since now the relevant pages instead want Tes3Mod-Tamriel Rebuilt-Items-Weapons... --Gez 11:39, 10 April 2009 (EDT)
Hmm. That's how I think it should be done, but I've changed it back to the old way for now. –RpehTCE 12:22, 10 April 2009 (EDT)

(outdent) You're going to hate me for this, but I have a new suggestion. Some kind of randomize function would be very useful for the "Did you Know?" section of the main page, and may be useful in one or two other places. At the moment, DYK items get added and removed at the whim of editors but they're still all true. If we had a "pick x items from this list" function, they could all be kept and re-used. Something like {{#pickfrom:2|Item 1|Item 2|Item 3|Item 4|Item 5|Item 6}}, which would pick two items from the parameter list.

On a usefulness scale, I know that's right down the bottom, but it has always annoyed me to see perfectly good "did you know"s disappearing without trace. –RpehTCE 14:28, 12 April 2009 (EDT)

Done... at least in my version of MetaTemplate ;) I've added how it could possibly work at User:Nephele/Sandbox/2#Did You Know. The complicationsfeatures I added are:
  • A seed parameter can be used to provide the random function seed. In my example, I'm setting the seed to the current week -- so Did You Know will look the same for everyone on the site, but will change once per week. Reducing the randomness means that if someone posts a comment like "I think that last Did You Know entry is wrong", we have some chance of knowing which entry is actually being discussed. It also means if a reader notices a couple of interesting entries in the DYK list, follows one of the links, then comes back to the main page, the other entries that caught his/her eye are still there.
  • The 5 strangeness is so that if you view the Main Page/Did You Know page you are able to see all the DYK entries; the random 5 entries are only shown on the Main Page. Also, if the pickfrom number is larger than the number of entries in the list, the list is not randomized -- I felt it would make more sense when viewing the full list to have it always be in order.
  • I kept the first four DYK entries out of the pickfrom, as an example of how we might want to treat any new additions to the list. I'd say if new DYKs are added, we want them to appear right away. Once they're "old news", then we can move them down into the pickfrom list. I considered whether to somehow work guaranteed entries into the pickfrom code, but it seemed like more trouble than it was worth.
  • The separator text is inserted between each of the entries. Since wiki trims whitespace in parser functions, the line breaks all get stripped out. '\n' is the default value for separator, so that option doesn't really need to be specified in this case, but I made it possible to change the separator in case it's necessary for any other applications. Plus, the separator text recognizes C-style escape sequences.
Does it look like that would do the trick? --NepheleTalk 02:56, 13 April 2009 (EDT)
Fantastic! That looks perfect. I wasn't expecting you to do it that fast... or even do it at all. My sink still needs unblocking, incidentally ;-) –RpehTCE 03:28, 13 April 2009 (EDT)

DNS Issues

Just in case anyone noticed and was wondering, there have been a few issues with the DNS of the site ( this week which may have resulted in site requests timing out. Nothing to do with the site, the load balancing, or the recent code changes by Nephele. Although I noticed it myself a few times the traffic logs show no noticable drop in traffic or bandwidth so it likely affected only a small number of users over a few short periods of time. -- Daveh 15:40, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

I've been noticing it and was wondering what was going on. At one point, the outage lasted for about an hour; other times, it seems to have been for just a few minutes. Thanks for the info. --NepheleTalk 15:49, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
I'm glad it's not just me. I just had to put a hosts entry in to even reach the site. For windows users who need a workaround, add the line "" to your hosts file, which will be located in your Windows\System32\drivers\etc directory. Remove it again once this is over in case the IP changes. –RpehTCE 16:47, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
Nod...the problem is just the site name ( and all subdomains) don't resolve to their appropriate IPs. Reaching the site directly by IP works fine. At one point was fine but all other subdomains weren't resolving. -- Daveh 17:22, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

Dapel Namespace

I've copied all the articles in the Dapel namespace to a separate Wiki ( so you may delete them as you see fit. There are a few pages with some Oblivion related content which might be useful in the Tes4mod namespace. . -- Daveh 23:17, 6 April 2009 (EDT)

Site Traffic

Just a quick note on recent site traffic. The last two weekends have seen the highest traffic the site has ever seen. Still trying to get stats working correctly on squid1 but Google shows over 596,000 ads shown last Sunday alone, the highest traffic day so far. Actual page views will be higher as that doesn't include any map views or people with ads disabled.

I'm trying to update the statistic tables and graphs with more recent versions if I can get the numbers wrangled up. -- Daveh 23:46, 6 April 2009 (EDT)

An Affiliate Deal Between the UESP and The Elder Stats

Hello. My name is Tom, and I have a question to ask about an affiliate deal between the UESP and The Elder Stats ( I've talked to Daveh about this, and he told me to ask about it on the Administrator Noticeboard since he isn't as active on the site as most of the other administrators are. So, here is my proposition to get The Elder Stats out there so that Oblivion fans all over can have a nice place to share their characters with the world.

I have released a website called The Elder Stats. We have nearly 200 members now, and it's going well. The Elder Stats is a website that allows Oblivion players to post statistics and photos of their characters in Oblivion, and then organizes all of this information into a neat and organized profile for each character. Then, the characters' profiles can be shared easily with players' friends and such. We also have leaderboards, stat comparison pages, and much more. It's a really great website, and everyone who has tried it has told me that they think it's wonderful and well-put together.

Now, since the UESP and The Elder Stats are not in any sort of competition (because the UESP contains information about Oblivion, whereas The Elder Stats allows players to post their Oblivion characters), I was wondering if we could do some sort of affiliate link-back (or maybe "a short front page news item" as Daveh suggested to me)? I know that the UESP is a big website and you may think, "who is this guy to be an affiliate of mine," but I promise you that The Elder Stats is a growing website, and being less than 3 months old, it still has a lot of room to expand.

Since people who are on the UESP might be interested in a website such as The Elder Stats, I thought that it might be nice if we could do some sort of link-back, new post, or whatever you wish to do. I figured that since I worked so hard on The Elder Stats and so many people like it, that it would be a great resource for Oblivion fans to have to post their characters, get help with their characters, and compare their characters to others.

Thanks for reading this comment, and hopefully we can come to some sort of agreement or something of the sort. The Elder Stats is a great website, as is the UESP, and I think that placing a link to The Elder Stats on the UESP would be beneficial to the Oblivion fans who are looking for such a website. — Unsigned comment by TomCat (talkcontribs) on 24 April 2009

Feel free to add a link here. Beyond that, I don't see that there's any need for further integration. –RpehTCE 15:41, 27 April 2009 (EDT)

Blocked Roleplayer4life

Seemed like an obvious personal attack (wiping Nephele's pages) with promises to re-attack from new accounts. So I did an infinite block. Not sure how that fits with blocking policy, but I didn't see other admins active, and figured at least some block was desirable. Please revise as needed. --Wrye 23:20, 2 May 2009 (EDT)

Thanks, Wrye. I'd say it falls under "An editor that personally attacks any member of the community will immediately be permanently blocked." -- especially having just read wikipedia's definition of personal attacks. Or maybe I'm just biased ;)
It might be worth considering blocking the user's IP address, given that all four accounts have used the same IP address. But given his personal animosity towards me, I don't think I should be the admin to make that decision. --NepheleTalk 00:13, 3 May 2009 (EDT)
Agreed. But GuildKnight beat me to it. :) --Wrye 00:48, 3 May 2009 (EDT)
FWIW I think an indefinite block is completely appropriate for this user (and his IP). I don't think any revision is necessary. –RpehTCE 01:02, 3 May 2009 (EDT)

Updating ProtectSection

In the year+ since we started using ProtectSection, the only problems we've had with abuse of the protect tags have all been caused by editors inserting text between the opening protect tag and the top of the article -- either adding a ton of white space to push the protected section down from the top of the page, or else enclosing the entire protected section in a pair of formatting tags.

Therefore, I'd like to propose tweaking the ProtectSection code so that if a protect tag appears at the very start of an article, then inserting any text in front of the protect tag is blocked.

I've gone ahead and made the necessary code tweaks to implement this change. While I was at it, I also effectively upgraded the extension to the current version of the extension -- which means that I've fixed some problems related to editing sections (e.g., it's not possible to use the + button to insert a new section at the bottom of a page containing protect tags). I'm going to pass the code along to Daveh right away, because I'm guessing it would save us all a lot of hassle if this change could be in place before the one-day protection of User talk: expires. Nevertheless, feedback is still welcome. --NepheleTalk 21:02, 6 May 2009 (EDT)

Sounds good to me.--Ratwar 02:31, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
Definitely. I don't like having to fully protect talk pages but it's been the only solution in some cases. –RpehTCE 03:23, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
The change has been made. As long as <protect> is the first thing that appears on a page, it should no longer be possible for non-admins to insert anything in front of the tag. And, as mentioned in my last post, a few other problems with the extension should also now be fixed. If anyone notices strangeness, post a followup; otherwise, I'm taking this off my todo list ;) --NepheleTalk 16:47, 1 June 2009 (EDT)

I volunteer

to making pages for numbers 12, 14, 15, 19, and 21 (On the Wanted Categories list if my definition and the sites definition of "User" is the same. Mine is of course in-game users (Vendors, Quest Givers, misc members)

Notes:I have never done the Temple quests, but I think it would be incredibly easy for me to make the page as I go through it. Telvaani is my chosen house, always has, so I believe I would be the best candidate for making the User page.

Actually, "users" in this context refers to UESP editors/readers who wish to identify themselves with one of these categories. --GuildKnightTalk2me 10:39, 18 May 2009 (EDT)

Sorry to ask, but isn't a category such as that really necessary? — Unsigned comment by Chronic (talkcontribs) on 18 May 2009

Image Layout

At some point in the site's history, a change was made to the site's css files that alters how images are laid out. This change was made directly to the common.css file that's part of the wiki source code -- instead of being made to a more visible location such as Mediawiki:common.css or Mediawiki:monobook.css. As a result it's hard to know now when the change was made or why it was made. The change is somewhat technical, but the bottom line is that it alters the default layout of images on our site and makes it so that images on our site don't behave the same way as default wikipedia behavior. I'd like to propose reversing this change.

The technical details are that for div.floatleft, table.floatleft, div.tright, and div.tleft, the css was changed to specify "clear: none", whereas the default value is "clear: left" (except for div.tright, which is "clear:right"). What that all means is that for default (non-UESP) wiki behaviour, two images with "thumb|left" placed back to back will be placed one under the other on the right side of the page. But right now on UESP, those images will be placed side by side. Whichever way things are set up, the default can always be overridden in specific cases if necessary. For example, "thumb|none" can be used instead of "thumb|left" to make images appear side by side, regardless of these css settings. Or else, tables can be used to force a particular layout.

Although in some ways the default layout is just an arbitrary preference, I think we should revert to the original mediawiki settings for a few reasons:

  • It is the mediawiki default, which means it's what wikipedia regulars expect, and it's what the mediawiki software is designed for (i.e., other image-positioning features assume that clear:left is the default, and therefore are going to provide customizations based on that assumption).
  • More often than not, I think that's what we want on our site. We generally want images to stay lined up against the margin, where they keep out of the way of the main text. We have numerous pages where there are currently image-alignment problems caused by the use of "clear:none" on the site. For example, I just made an edit today to Bloodmoon:Fort Frostmoth to fix image-layout problems. Lore:Dwemer is another example, that I haven't bothered to fix. On standard-width browsers, these pages look OK. But for extra-wide browsers, the images get really messed up -- the dwemer Orrery image overlaps Anumidium by a miniscule amount, and therefore the whole image gets shifted to the middle of the page, squeezing the text and leaving an unattractive empty box by the margin. There are also a ton of pages where the images would be messed up even on standard-width browsers, except we've already done various shenanigans to fix those pages.
  • On the other hand, there are fewer places where we want images to appear side-by-side. At one point, the various creature pages (e.g., this version of Oblivion:Undead) had side-by-side images, but those were subsequently changed to gallery-style images. The only other examples I can think of offhand are the Morrowind material pages, e.g., Morrowind:Dwarven, and Morrowind place pages with multiple maps.
  • Using "clear:left" as the default means that editors don't have to worry about what might happen on other browsers. If side-by-side behavior is actually what is desired, it is immediately obvious to an editor that the layout is wrong using "clear:left" -- for any browser settings. But with our current settings, using "clear:none", editors don't realize that the images that look well-spaced for them are an overlapping mess for other readers.
  • "thumb|none" provides a very easy way to override the "clear:left" setting -- there is no such easy way to override the "clear:none" setting. Also, as just mentioned, gallery tags are another option for getting side-by-side layout -- one that works better if there are more than two or three images being displayed.
  • Many of our image layout problems are caused by combining images from templates (e.g., place images inserted by a place summary template) with supplemental images added in the article itself. Fixing the layout in this case is more difficult -- you can't combine all of the images into a single table. Using the default "clear:left" settings, however, would be a very easy fix.

However, making this change will inevitably cause problems -- because there are currently images on the site that count on side-by-side layout. We can try to look for these cases now and fix them, but it's best to assume that we won't find them all. So does anyone agree that making this change is worth the problems? --NepheleTalk 13:34, 21 May 2009 (EDT)

Well I'd agree that it's always a good idea to keep standard defaults but I'm a bit worried about the extent to which it's going to mess things up. The maps on Morrowind place pages rely on the non-default behavior although that's not very important. I'm more concerned about pages that we don't know about. I'd rather not be getting "helpful" talk page comments like "u guys suck this paige is al messd up" a year after the change.
Having said all that, it's only going to be a one-off hit and if things go really badly it can always be switched back. We may be able to benefit from templates on other sites if we share their defaults, and the argument that the current situation can be emulated but the default can't is a powerful one. On balance, I'd say "go for it", but I hope I don't regret that later! –RpehTCE 14:17, 21 May 2009 (EDT)
What about having one of your lovely bots scan the entire site for multiple consecutive images that don't have the appropriate "thumb|" markings? Would that be possible? Then we'd know all the images that need to be checked and we could drop them into a Category or make a custom page to flag them and delete each one as it's checked. Or maybe even just add "thumb|none" to all images, to be backed out on a case-by-case basis? --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 00:55, 22 May 2009 (EDT)
Bots aren't really practical, alas. Two images placed right next to each other could have the problem, but so could two images with a bit of text between them, or one image placed on a page and another coming from a template. Then again, it also depends on the thumbnail size. The other option would work but I'm not sure it's a good idea as we'd probably end up with a mishmash of styles and it would reduce the benefit of the change. –RpehTCE 02:59, 22 May 2009 (EDT)
Yeah, I figured you might say something like that. :) --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 14:39, 22 May 2009 (EDT)

When I started to follow up on this, I realized that |none doesn't really work as a replacement for |left -- with |none the image is not floated. So instead I decided to make it possible to specify the image's position. Images now recognize a |clear= option, that override the thumbnail's default setting:

  • [[Image:example|thumb|right|clear=none]] is equivalent to UESP's current default for [[Image:example|thumb|right]]
  • [[Image:example|thumb|right|clear=right]] is equivalent to the Mediawiki default for [[Image:example|thumb|right]]
  • [[Image:example|thumb|right|clear=left]] and [[Image:example|thumb|right|clear=both]] are also possible if there's reason to use them.
  • I just used thumb|right as an example here; a clear=x tag can be used with any image, and it will add "style=clear:x" to that image's outermost <div> tag (even if it doesn't do anything useful).

If you want to see an example of the tags in action, see the two images at the bottom of Morrowind:Places (which look exactly the same as they did before -- but you can see the change in the HTML).

I also did a regexp search in the database to find all articles which contain two thumbnailed images back-to-back. I'll go through those pages and add the explicit clear=none parameter to the images. When MW1.14 is available for testing, it will be possible to see the effect of switching the CSS to the Mediawiki defaults. If problems are noticed, or if there are concerns, the clear:none CSS codes can be added back into MW1.14 before the site is fully switched over. --NepheleTalk 01:55, 15 June 2009 (EDT)


After talking with Ratwar and after a look over by SerCenKing and Krusty, I have created a page for the frequently used templates (found here) in a sandbox. I was wanting to know if I can have the go-ahead to make it an actual page. If so, what is the correct namespace to use? UESPWiki? Thanks in advance.

P.S.: Sorry for ebing a pest about this, but I have a lot I want to do and I hate interrupting my tasks! Thank you! --Mr. Oblivion(T-C) 18:45, 27 May 2009 (EDT)

Remember what I told you on your user page? By using each of those templates on the page, you put it in a lot of categories in which it shouldn't be. If, instead, you do something like this...
==Questionable Content==

* [[Template:Incomplete|Incomplete Article]]: <code>{{Incomplete|}}</code>
* [[Template:Quality|Quality Issue]]: <code>{{quality|}}</code>
* [[Template:Cleanup|Requires Cleanup]]: <code>{{Cleanup|}}</code>
: Pages with this template on them will be listed on the appropriate namespace subpage under [[:Category:Pages Needing Cleanup]].
* [[Template:Wip|Work in Progress]]: <code>{{wip|}}</code>
:Placing this on an article will let others know that you are working on it over a reasonable period of time. It will also <snip>
:* editor = name of editor who placed the WIP tag
:* date = date on which WIP tag was placed
And so on...
... it would result in this...

Pages with this template on them will be listed on the appropriate namespace subpage under Category:Pages Needing Cleanup.
Placing this on an article will let others know that you are working on it over a reasonable period of time. It will also place the article into the appropriate works in progress category. The following parameters are optional:
  • editor = name of editor who placed the WIP tag
  • date = date on which WIP tag was placed

... and it will not clutter categories needlessly, plus it would make the page more compact and reduce the need for scrolling. --Gez 20:33, 27 May 2009 (EDT)
I do remember and I did definitely consider this. I made the decision to go ahead and place them on there so editors have the visual thing right there. I will wait for an Administrator to respond before I make any changes. Thanks! --20:51, 27 May 2009 (EDT)
I'd say that the most appropriate namespace is Help.
However, Gez is correct. The article doesn't belong in any of the dozens of cleanup categories to which it has currently been added, and having it appear in those categories will only cause a lot of confusion when editors try to wikify it, or find the unanswered questions, or the to-be-verified information on the page. Furthermore, it definitely does not belong in any of the deletion categories. If it continues to appear in the Speedy Deletion category, it could very well end up getting deleted accidentally, because articles in that category are supposedly ready for immediate deletion, without any further discussion or review.
Having said all of that, however, my opinion is no more important on this question than any other editor on the site. Decisions about what content belongs on the site, or where it belongs, are not the responsibility of admins -- those are community decisions. See, for example, UESPWiki:Consensus. Not to suggest that asking for feedback is unwelcome (and it probably is best to sort out questions about article namespace/name before creating the article, instead of needing to sort it out later and then having to clean up the redirects). It's just that you don't need a stamp of approval from an admin. --NepheleTalk 22:29, 27 May 2009 (EDT)
Okay, thanks Nephele. I will edit it ASAP. I only wanted an administrative comment due to namespace and major control/understanding of categories and templates. I will edit it and go ahead and make the new page. Thanks again! --Mr. Oblivion(T-C) 22:31, 27 May 2009 (EDT)

Morrowind vs Oblivion Parallelism (MOPP)

I was wanting to know if I can an edit on a rather large scale. It wuld consist of matching the Morrowind Quest Boxes with the Oblivion Quest Boxes. Currently, the MW quest titles for the boxes are just floating text, while OB quest titles are represented in a header. I am willing to go though and edit them all so there is consistency on the site. Thanks for the heads up!

P.S.: I moved this here due to recent inactivity of the admins. I wish to start on this as soon as I finish the template page (mentioned above). Thanks. --Mr. Oblivion(T-C) 16:53, 29 May 2009 (EDT)

Server-level Blocks

Daveh made a few changes yesterday that will make it possible for me to help out behind-the-scenes much more than previously. In particular, I now have the ability to do server-level blocks of individual IPs that are doing DoS-type attacks on the site (as discussed originally at Blocking Rogue IPs at the Server, and more recently in posts such as Forum bots). Basically, I can now do one-week blocks of HTTP requests from specific IPs to the site's individual servers (e.g., on content1, where most of the problems have been occurring).

Within the next week (as I catch up with my new capabilities) I'm planning on posting a bit more in the way of details and proposed guidelines for such blocks, both here and on the forums (which are the most affected by these attacks). But in the meantime, I wanted to let everyone know that this is now possible. So if anyone notices that the site (or in particular content1) has become non-responsive, post a message here. Just to be clear: this type of extreme block is not for vandalism or IPs causing problems with edits to the wiki; it's for IPs that are causing problems at the server_status level.

And completely coincidentally, just as I'm finishing up this message, I get my first case. has now been blocked on content1 after making some 30+ simultaneous forum requests, all of which were left to time out and make content1 stop responding. --NepheleTalk 17:14, 1 June 2009 (EDT) and just finished with about 23 connections to content1 each - all for the forums. –RpehTCE 01:03, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
They don't quite fit the typical profile, though -- in particular google doesn't provide a long list of incriminating reports. Also, I've been trying to keep tabs on content1 over the last two hours, and haven't noticed either IP pop again (so at least they're not creating dozens of timed-out connections at a time). For the moment I'm being a bit cautious about blocks (including unblocking the last IP,, after an hour). I'd like to work out a bit more of a notification system (including an announcement on the forums letting users know what's happening) -- just in case. Hopefully you won't have reason to curse my lack of action while I'm sleeping! --NepheleTalk 04:21, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
In case anyone else noticed that the site stopped responding for a couple of 10+ minutes intervals just now... The culprit this time was not a rogue IP. Rather, the problem each time was that (our database server) stopped responding. Once I was able to even login to db1, it was clear that source of the problem is the database backup. One outage was while the backup was creating the uespwiki.sql dump; another 10+ minute outage was while the dhackforum database was being dumped. I can understand why backing up the uespwiki database would require a lock interfering with wiki-related database requests, but it's not so obvious why the dhackforum backup would mess up the wiki.
I remember rpeh pointing out regular site problems at this time of day at some point a while back, but I can't remember where and therefore I can't remember Daveh's response. Nevertheless, I'm wondering whether it might make sense to investigate ways to make the database backup a bit less intrusive. --NepheleTalk 04:47, 4 June 2009 (EDT)
I think we traced the slowdowns to the daily reboot of the web server, and I'd assumed that was still the cause of the problem, since it usually happens roughly as content1 does its cycle. I did notice that the whole server, including content2, went totally glacial earlier today. It seems odd that even a full backup would be locking everything: certainly MS-SQL can do a backup while still processing queries, and I'd be a bit surprised if MySQL can't do that these days. Could a combination of server restarts and backups be causing the problem? –RpehTCE 08:29, 4 June 2009 (EDT)
The db server was supposed to backup daily at 4am (not 4pm). I'll check its time and schedule and ensure things are set correctly. Currently content1 is set to restart the Apache server once a day. Note this is just a web server restart which should be instant and not an actual server reboot. This was setup a while ago to deal with the issue of lingering connections that wouldn't die. If restarting is causing an issue we can try disabling it.
The db backups might lock the entire database depending on how its setup. Locking all databases makes it much easier to restore a slave from a backup. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to speed up backups other than moving from a daily to a weekly backup schedule (which I've been thinking of doing anyways). MediaWiki seems to use a combination of ISAM and InnoDB tables so we can't use the faster mysqlhotcopy rather than the current mysqldump. -- Daveh 11:23, 4 June 2009 (EDT)
The backup is starting happening at 4am, server time.
Thinking about it some more, I realized the problem isn't with any database locks. The problem is that during the backup some server resource is getting completely maxed out -- I'm guessing memory. Because when the problems were occurring, db1 was nearly completely unresponsive -- not just mysql, but all processes (it took a couple minutes just to respond to a login request, a basic command like 'ps -ef | grep dump' took a couple minutes). Perhaps if the number of mysql requests being processed exceeds some number, then memory starts getting swapped, and everything just grinds to halt? From the 'ps -ef' calls that I made during the processing, the number of mysqld processes dropped to about 30 while uespwiki.sql was being zipped, during which time the wiki was functional. But as it dumped dhackforum, the number of mysqld processes climbed to ~150 then ~230, then probably even higher (I switched to 'ps -ef | grep dump' at that point, so I don't know how many mysqld processes there were at the worst). I'm guessing the problem doesn't occur on every single dump (e.g., the six databases in between uespwiki and dhackforum seemed to be dumped without problems; the previous night the site didn't lockup during the dumps). But perhaps some combination of the dump, a couple time-consuming mysqld requests, plus the usual flood of quick requests can add up to be too much? In which case, it might also happen occasionally at other times, if there are enough difficult mysqld requests at the same time. --NepheleTalk 11:57, 4 June 2009 (EDT)
I'm assuming what is happening is that during the backup the dbs are write-locked which means any db write request will be queued (or timeout) until the db is unlocked. I'm also assuming that any read requests will still be honored. If enough write requests get in the queue it may cause a "traffic jam" effect which makes the problem worse. This is just an un-educated guess though.
I'm not sure why the dhackforum db would be causing issues. The uesp_net_wiki5 db is the largest at 4.2GB so is obviously going to take a while to backup but the dhackforum is barely 15MB (the uesp_net_phpbb db is almost 200MB by comparison).
One of my main objectives in the near future is to ensure the site's backup procedures are working correctly and efficiently and this definitely comes under that. I still want to do backups off the master db, if not daily at least once a week. All the important dbs are being mirrored live by backup1 but there is always a risk of a mirrored db becoming corrupted so I don't want to rely solely on that. I'd like to get details on what Wikipedia (or another large MediaWiki) does for backups as this can't be an unknown issue that just UESP is having (a 4GB db is tiny compared to what some people deal with). -- Daveh 15:00, 4 June 2009 (EDT)

(outdent) I don't know if our current version of MySQL supports them, but I see MySQL 5 supports incremental backups. It might be worth looking into that as a way of reducing backup times. Have a once per week (say) full backup and then do incremental backups every other day in the week. Each daily backup will only record the changes made since the previous day so should be substantially smaller and faster than a full backup. It would mean that in the event of a disaster recovery, things would take a little longer to get going, but since UESP isn't a critical system (heresy, I know!) that shouldn't be a big problem.

I'd definitely add my voice to Daveh's statement that mirroring isn't a backup system. There have been a couple of cases fairly recently of major websites being taken down by hackers because they hit one server and the destruction was mirrored over to their backups. Mirroring is a Failover solution, not a backup solution. –RpehTCE 16:15, 4 June 2009 (EDT)

Various random observations:
  • At a first glance, various memory stats look OK (free -m, vmstat, ps aux [2]) -- at least on average, which is basically all I can see right now. If possible, I'll try to run them next time I notice a problem in progress.
  • There are a series of settings in our mysql.cnf for InnoDB tables, all of which are commented out. Should they be uncommented given that the wiki primarily uses InnoDB?
    • In particular, innodb_buffer_pool_size seems important [3]; with the default 8M value mysql might be forcing itself to do disk swapping even when there's no need.
  • There's a log file at /var/log/mysl/mysql.slow.log that logs queries which take longer than 1 sec to process -- but I can't read the contents ;) Might be worth checking to see some details on the slow queries and also to see when they occur.
  • One tip I've seen for mysql backups is to do daily backups from the mirror/slave: lock the mirror, then backup without affecting requests to the master database.
--NepheleTalk 17:48, 4 June 2009 (EDT)
  • We're currently running MySQL 4.0.27 and, looking at the incremental backup docs, appears to support it. We're actually doing the "log-bin" for mirroring purposes I just never associated it with incremental backups. With a few changes we should be able to easily change the backup strategy on the master to take advantage of it.
  • Currently we're doing daily local backups of the databases on both db1 and backup1 (the db mirror). On backup1 we just stop the slave as Nephele suggested. The only issue with backing up on the mirror is the occasional mirror error which stops the mirroring until it is manually corrected (couple of times of a year so far). I've been meaning to change db1 to weekly backups for a while now anyways.
  • I did basic my.cnf tweaking when I setup db1 but I could have easily overlooked things like the innodb settings. Last I checked db1 was doing fine with memory (4GB of RAM and most of it was being used as cache) so tweaking these value shouldn't hurt things. Of course I've also never actually done any explicit performance tests so any increase/decrease in performance would have to be large to be noticed.
  • I've also been meaning to document the backup strategy so it can be critiqued and improved upon (there might be some existing but its terribly out of date).
I'll look into things in more detail this weekend and make changes as needed. -- Daveh 20:59, 4 June 2009 (EDT)
Whatever is happening on db1 has been occurring multiple times per day, and not only when backups are taking place. Each time, both content1 and content2 stop responding for 5-10 minutes (can't even get server-status reports). It's possible that this issue has been going on for some time, and I'd just previously been assuming that any site slowdowns were specific to content1. However, I'm worried it might be a relatively new issue -- I hadn't previously noticed both content1 and content2 freezing up simultaneously.
Unfortunately, I'm having a very hard time getting more details on what's happening on db1 during one of these events, because while one is occurring it is always impossible for me to login to db1 -- the server won't even respond to a login request. When possible, I'll try to keep an open connection to db1 so that I'm not locked out next time it happens.
As for whether any changes recently might have prompted these problems, I can't see anything obvious. The single biggest recent performance change (fixing the file cache on content2) should have decreased db1 requests, not increased them. Similarly with the changes to the search engine -- and most of those took effect weeks ago; the most recent search updates didn't have any real performance implications. The #load and #save functions are the only changes that I can see that would increase the number of database requests, but they're being used in so few places that I can't imagine them having any widespread effect (in particular, #load is, as far as I know, only being used on two pretty obscure pages: Oblivion:Sandbox and Oblivion:Spell Effects -- and even if I purge one of those pages, I don't see any effect on db1).
In any case, I don't think we should be focussing solely on the backups as the cause/solution. I'm thinking they're just one factor that can contribute to or exacerbate the issue, but it's happening even when no backups are active. --NepheleTalk 17:43, 5 June 2009 (EDT)
I think it's related to images. Remember this discussion? I got around the problem by uploading direct to content1, which worked fine in most cases. Since then I've noticed several occasions where pages load but the images on them take significantly longer to appear. I even got significant slowdowns when deleting images. Something is definitely not right with images at the moment. –RpehTCE 02:15, 6 June 2009 (EDT)
I'm not so sure. I just had some ideas about images; I posted details below in a new section since the proposals there won't have any direct effect on db1 performance -- and definitely don't have anything to do with server-level blocks ;)
The $wgHashedUploadDirectory setting does not have any direct effect on db1: db1 doesn't even mount the problem image directory; it never tries to access any of the image files. So delays uploading/reading/altering image files should not cause db1 to lock up. And it's clear to me that in these recent situations, db1 is the source of the problem. content1 and content2 only stop responding to server-status requests because all of the http connection slots are filled -- by requests that are waiting for information from db1. Other than http, however, content1 and content2 are fully responsive -- I can login, command line response times are fast. On the other hand, db1 is practically dead during these events -- nothing is working on db1.
If there is a connection between db1 and images, it seems more likely to me that it's an indirect connection. For example, past image problems triggering corruption problems in the database. Or perhaps even that a wiki process on content2 locks the images table in the database before making an image change, then goes to make the physical change to the file, gets hung up on that change, and therefore leaves a lock in place for much too long, as a result blocking other wiki requests or even deadlocking two requests. Of course, I'll cross my fingers and hope that there might be some such indirect connection, it's just that I'm not ready to abandon other lines of investigation under the assumption that images are the cause.
It would really help to know the contents of /var/log/mysql/mysql.slow.log. It's clear from the timestamp that the file is being updated every time one of these lockups occur. Without knowing its contents, we're really just making circumstantial guesses about which requests are causing problems.
In the meantime, I'm trying to see what status information I can get for mysql. The image tables are all OK -- but I did just find corruption in the logging table. I'll continue scanning table status, and figure out what to about the logging table. --NepheleTalk 15:00, 6 June 2009 (EDT)
My subjective impression so far is that since repairing the logging table, there haven't been any more freezes on db1, and the site seems to be working more smoothly again (even during our Saturday traffic peak). I also just repaired some errors in the forum's database tables; based upon some reports of strangeness on the forums, those errors may date back to May 13 or earlier, and therefore might have contributed to content1/forum slowdowns over the last month. So hopefully we've made some progress (* knock on wood *).
I'll still follow through on the image configuration/reorganization, and getting the wiki software upgraded. I also think it's still worth exploring whether some of the innodb parameters in my.cnf should be un-commented. Other than that, I think this might be going onto the back burner, at least as long as there aren't any more problems on db1. --NepheleTalk 01:52, 7 June 2009 (EDT)

(outdent) Just a quick note that I've changed the UESP wiki backups on db1 from daily to weekly. All other databases on db1 are backed up daily as are all the slaved databases on backup1. I'll see if I can get the incremental backups working easily on content1 so it can still be a daily effective backup but without having to lock the databases for 30 minutes. Or similarily only do a complete Wiki database dumponce a month with incremental inbetween. -- Daveh 21:27, 8 June 2009 (EDT)

Possible Image Fixes

In terms of our assorted problems with images I have two ideas about what we should do:

  1. Change a configuration setting, $wgHashedUploadDirectory, from false to true. I just realized that this one setting could explain a lot of the problems.
  2. Upgrade to mediawiki 1.14. The code relating to images has been nearly completely rewritten between MW1.10 and MW1.14, so I'm not sure it's worth investing a lot of time tracking down a problem in obsolete code.

On the other hand, one implication of my recent thoughts is that our problems on db1 are unlikely to be related to the image issues, at least not directly.

With our current setting of $wgHashedUploadDirectory (false), every image on the site is put into the w/images directory (in our case, that's 12,720 files in a single directory). Even worse, every image thumbnail on the site is put into the w/images/thumb directory (assuming 5 thumbnails per image, that comes out to 60,000+ files). That's just way too many files in a directory, so any attempt to access an image file is likely to take extra time -- and those delays will be magnified on content2, where the directory is remotely mounted. Wikipedia and probably every other wiki with thousands of image uses $wgHashedUploadDirectory=true, and that's also the default value of the setting; with "true", the images are reorganized into 256-odd subdirectories, making the number of images per directory much more manageable.

Unfortunately, the reason why we're using $wgHashedUploadDirectory=false is because changing the parameter is not easy. We started out with "false" as the setting, because that was effectively the mediawiki default when UESP was first set up (pre MW-1.4). Furthermore, as stated on the mediawiki manual page "This parameter should not be changed after the first image or file has been uploaded". If the parameter is simply changed (without any other site changes), the wiki will no longer be able to find any of the existing images on the site. There aren't any pre-existing maintenance scripts that can be used to help convert a wiki from one image configuration to the other. I can't even find any information on mediawiki about how to convert (except for one discussion about converting in the other direction).

Nevertheless, it should be possible to convert UESP, and I think it's worth the effort. What I'd like to propose is:

  1. Temporarily disable file uploads. I'm guessing this would be necessary for at most one day (possibly only for a few hours). Also, during this period, we shouldn't delete any images.
  2. I'll run a script that will copy every image on the site to a new image directory, and place the copied image into the correct hashed subdirectory. This is what will take most of the time; I've already created the script and done test runs of it on my test wiki.
  3. At the end of this process, we will have two complete sets of images: one using the hashed=false organization, and one using the hashed=true organization.
  4. Edit LocalSettings.php on content1 to simultaneously change $wgHashedUploadDirectory to true and change the images directory to point to the new images directory; check and see whether images are still accessible on content1.
    • If there are any problems on content1, the changes to LocalSettings.php can be immediately undone, reverting images to the original configuration.
  5. Assuming everything worked on content1, setup content2 to nfs-mount the new images directory and make the same changes on content2.
  6. Re-enable file uploads and we're done. Eventually, delete the original copies of the images to free up the disk space.

The current size of the images directory is 3.6GB, so we have more than enough disk space (115 GB) to duplicate the entire directory.

If this plan seems acceptable, then the question is just when to do it. I'd prefer to not do it over a weekend, however the start of next week is simply not good for me. So the earliest time that I think would be good for this conversion is Wednesday-Thursday (e.g., start at maybe 8pm PDT Wednesday). Any objections to file uploads being turned off temporarily at that point? Or does anyone feel that problems are so bad right now that I should just start the process right away, even if it means there's a risk of triggering new problems when the site is at its busiest?

(Daveh, if you notice this post, there are a couple steps that you need to do: (a) create a new images directory at /home2 with whatever name you think appropriate; make sure it's got the same permissions as wikiimages (b) export that directory (c) mount that directory on content2. These could all be done right away, or else they could be done right before propagating the change to content2.)

As for the other suggestion, namely upgrading to MW1.14, I'll try to spend some time today doing some of the upgrade preparation. --NepheleTalk 15:00, 6 June 2009 (EDT)

I think I probably speak for most site members when I say "Err... whatever you think best"! As far as I'm concerned, anything that stops the problems we've been having with images is good, and well worth putting up with a brief outage for uploading images.
I assume the upload page can actually be disabled and that we won't have people uploading images that disappear into the ether? –RpehTCE 18:51, 6 June 2009 (EDT)
Yes, the upload page would be disabled. I would set $wgEnableUploads to false for the duration of the conversion, which removes the "Upload File" link from the sidebar, displays an error message if someone finds another way to pull up the Upload page, and makes the wiki refuse to accept any file uploads. All existing images on the site remain completely accessible, however. --NepheleTalk 19:10, 6 June 2009 (EDT)
Possibly worrying too much here, but... my reply wasn't meant to sound dismissive - it's just that I don't know enough about MW/Linux to do much more than defer to your judgment. As for the upload page - I assumed that's what would happen but thought I'd better check. All sounds good to me. –RpehTCE 19:42, 6 June 2009 (EDT)
I've added /home2/wikiimages2 to content1 and shared it to content2 as requested. Disabled file uploads for a few days shouldn't be much of a problem. Preferably include a noteor something on the upload page saying its temporarily disabled and will be working in a few days. I would wait until after the weekend before starting anything. -- Daveh 20:07, 6 June 2009 (EDT)
Oops, I just noticed one small problem: the permission on /home2/wikiimages2 needs to be changed to 775 (so apache group can write to the directory). At the moment, I'm unable to write any of the new files to the directory. --NepheleTalk 23:53, 11 June 2009 (EDT)
Given that I couldn't write the images to the correct location, I basically did a dry run tonight then re-enabled file uploads. The entire copy takes less than half an hour, so once the wikiimages2 directory is fixed, it should take about an hour to do everything properly. --NepheleTalk 01:40, 12 June 2009 (EDT)
Er, should I hold off on image deletions for now? I've noticed the process is pretty sluggish and I don't want to mess with whatever you're working on. –Eshetalk 01:45, 12 June 2009 (EDT)
It's probably better to hold off. It's not that you're messing with what I'm doing; it's that until some of these changes are implemented, you're going to keep hitting the problems that are making these changes necessary. Problems such as image alterations locking up content2, and files only getting partially deleted because content2 is locked up (e.g., the pictures of Eris Senim and Aevnir). --NepheleTalk 01:50, 12 June 2009 (EDT)
Well that would explain some of the strange things I've been running into then! I'll work on it later. Thanks Neph :). –Eshetalk 01:53, 12 June 2009 (EDT)
Images have been reorganized, and we are now using $wgHashedUploadDirectory=true. There are a few quirky workarounds that I took just so I could get the job done now (otherwise it might have been two weeks before I would be able to do this), which means that there are a few more tweaks that should be done eventually. However, any further tweaks can be done without disrupting the wiki.
For anyone who is curious, we had 12,770 files in the images directory, 2595 in the images/archive directory, and 49,070 thumbnails in the images/thumb directory.
If you notice any problems related to images let me know. I'd say if there aren't any reports of problems within the next day or so, then we might as well try image deletion, too, just to see whether it seems to be working any more smoothly (if not, there's still a wiki upgrade to come). --NepheleTalk 15:07, 12 June 2009 (EDT)

Missing Oblivion Easter Egg

Discussion moved to Easter Eggs.

Cookie Problem

I'm suddenly getting the ol' "Loss of session data" error when I try to save whilst logged in. Do we have a problem? 08:21, 9 June 2009 (EDT) (aka, Rpeh)

It was a /tmp on content1 filling up which prevented php sessions from being created. I've moved the UESP wiki file cache to /tmp1/cache (with a sym-link in /tmp/cache) to prevent it from happening again. -- Daveh 08:49, 9 June 2009 (EDT)
Ah! Much better. Thanks. –RpehTCE 08:51, 9 June 2009 (EDT)
Except /tmp1/cache is owned by root and can't be written to by apache. So I've changed LocalSettings.php to use /tmp1/cache1. Any chance you could clean up /tmp1/cache and /tmp/cache (both of which are owned by root, so I can't do anything to them). --NepheleTalk 00:39, 12 June 2009 (EDT)

Mods Map request

I've made a request for some help in developing a mods map for [ORE], that conversation can be found here. It was recommended to bring the discussion here, hopefully to catch the attention of some of the admins who are not actively monitoring the UESP map's talk page. We'd like permission to use images and possibly code from your map in the creation of a mods map. Thanks :) -- 14:55, 18 June 2009 (EDT)

I'm more than happy for tiles I've created to be used elsewhere as long as it fits in with the standard UESP licensing conditions, but the tiles I've made so far won't be of much use to you. If you look at our map, you'll see a big blank space where Frostcrag Spire should be. The same will happen with any of your mods. To get around that you'll need to do the tiles yourself and run the artifact remover over the tiles. At the moment, I'm not prepared to release the code into the public domain for the simple reason that's it far too ad-hoc and hackish. The version of the code I used for the Shivering Isles map killed the OB map and vice-versa - the colours are too different. I spent two solid days trying to get rid of everything on the OB map a couple of weeks ago and it turns out there's still more work to do. I will release the source at some point, but not until it's in a more usable state. –RpehTCE 18:11, 19 June 2009 (EDT)
If by "big blank space" you mean the lack of an actual spire on the tile as opposed to a ruin where the actual ruin itself is visible and not just a marker - I don't think we're too worried about that. The primary purpose is to help players find mods based on location and to help modders find some empty space to place their mods. As far as licensing goes, if you're referring to the section in Copyright and Ownership regarding using materials from UESP, I'm quite certain we can agree to those terms, but I'll redirect the other ORE members involved to that page so that we're all aware of it. Having the tiles would be the biggest help, I believe, since as you say it's taken quite a bit of time and work to get them to where they are and I don't see any reason to make a duplicate effort if it can be avoided. Thanks for the response :) — Unsigned comment by (talk) on 24 June 2009
That's fine then. You might want to look at doing your own tiles for places with mods though. Since you're all modders, the thought occurs that you wouldn't need my program anyway as you can just temporarily remove collision boxes, monsters and other items that make a mark, then resize by hand. Including modded content makes quite a difference - Frostcrag Spire is pretty from above! –RpehTCE 01:01, 24 June 2009 (EDT)
I have an e-mail address where things can be sent, it's ore (at) We really appreciate all the help and resources you guys can give us :) — Unsigned comment by (talk) on 14 July 2009

External Editor

I'm looking at a link to Edit this file using an external application, but the setup instructions are confusing.

"Associate the MIME type application/external-editor in your web browser with" [4] I understand now, I don't like it. How come the PHP file is supposed to be associated with that local perl script? This seems like an complicated and unnecessary hack. Lukish_ Tlk Cnt 00:00, 24 June 2009 (EDT)

I moved this question here (from UESPWiki talk:MediaWiki 1.14 Upgrade) because it's unrelated to the MW1.14 upgrade -- when you posted the question, the site had not yet been upgraded, and was behaving the exact same way as it has for the last three years (at least).
As for the actual question, that's simply how external editing works. I've never used it, and honestly if you want help with how to use an external editor or complaints about why it works that way, somewhere like MediaWiki is probably a better place to start. Other than that, I can't provide much feedback, especially not right now. --NepheleTalk 17:06, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Rename Request

The information about the MediaWiki Upgrade says "Admins can rename users. Not that renaming users is a frequent occurrence, but it seems like a task that can be entrusted to admins." Would it be possible to have my username changed from Rayjquinn to Viroconium? It's something I've wanted for a long time and is a better option than starting a new account (which I should have done a year ago). «Ray♦Quinn» 23:46, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

I'll see what I can do. Just so you know, you may "lose" your past contributions to the site, but I'm not sure. If you're okay with that, I'll go ahead and give it a shot. New buttons, ahoy! –Eshetalk 01:15, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's fine if it happens. I don't have 10,000 edits (or even 30), so it's okay. Thanks Eshe. «Ray♦Quinn» 03:46, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks (in advance!) for following up on this, Eshe. I considered trying to do it myself, then realized it wouldn't be a good test of the new admin capabilities, given that Daveh bureaucrat-ized me a few days ago. Plus, it would be best to give the rename user feature a full test right now while I'm actively focussed on the site's code ;) --NepheleTalk 03:58, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
No problem :). Looks like it worked! It moved the user and talk pages in one fell swoop. Also, it looks like all the past contributions have been reattributed as well! That was fun :D. –Eshetalk 04:05, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Awesome! Thanks again. :D VIROCONIUM 12:23, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Request for Adminship

(moved to User:Timenn/RfA)

Registered Spammers

We've had two "users" in the last several days that have been blocked for spam: "795 buy celebrex" on the 26th and "385 buy propecia" just today. Our blocking policy doesn't really say what to do with registered spammers, but it seemed pretty clear to me that these accounts were created for no other purpose, which is why I've gone ahead with an immediate block in both cases.

I don't know if there's some kind of automated something-or-other making these accounts (it seems unlikely), but if someone more knowledgeable could look into it that would be great. If you look at their deleted page histories, you'll see they've been pretty much identical. I would also appreciate it if others could please be on the lookout for this kind of thing and at least replace the spam page with a speedy delete notice until I come along. Thanks! –Eshetalk 15:56, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

I think it probably is an automated task: The Oblivion Mods Wiki has had "988 buy trileptal", "364 buy cardura‎" and "88 buy capoten‎" and both ours have come from the same ISP in Russia. We could slap a range block on the necessary IPs but that may be a bit extreme just yet. –RpehTCE 16:12, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
To be fair, registered spammers are hardly new to the site, whilst they may not be as common as other types they normally seem to just get the same treatment as any other spammer. Looking over the section covering first offense blocks, i fell a little re-wording may be necessary where the first point states "Editors (or IP addresses)" whilst all other points simply state "An anonymous IP address" quite how having an account should affect a vandals block status i dont quite understand, any thoughts? --Volanaro Talk 16:40, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
The fact that these accounts are somehow being created automatically is a bit worrisome -- implying that a hacker has found a way to circumvent our Captcha system. It could mean that an algorithm has been found to crack the Captcha; or it could mean that a site has been set up where people are being asked to translate our Captchas (e.g., in exchange for a reward, or as part of a fake login process on another site).
Nevertheless, I'm thinking that we should be able to stop this, and simultaneously fix another issue, namely certain overly popular account names (e.g., Gray Fox variants): I could add a username blacklist to the site. A quick search shows at least one extension that provides such a feature. Entries on the blacklist would then be, for example, '^\d+ buy' and 'gr.y fox'; no accounts matching those patterns could be created any more. The list would be editable by admins, so if a new pattern for spambot account names emerges, any admin could add an appropriate new entry. I can't think of any reasons not to add the extension. --NepheleTalk 17:08, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
Correction, admins who know regular expressions! That looks like a good idea. There have been a few other accounts (the M'aiq variants) that have several duplicates so it could be of use. Of course, we have to spot which ones are getting popular in time, but that should be easier now the User Creation log shows up too. –RpehTCE 17:34, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
After a few botched attempts, the blacklist seems to be in place and working. The biggest problem appears to be getting any changes to MediaWiki:Titleblacklist to register on both content1 and content2. It seems that the page needs to actually be saved on each server in order for that server to load the new version. Long-term, I think we need to do some reconfiguration of our memcaches (IIRC, wikipedia only has a single memcache, used by all servers, not a separate memcache for each server), but I'll leave that issue for another day. In the meantime, we'll just need to remember to do a dummy edit or two. --NepheleTalk 20:38, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Patroller Policy Change

I've just updated the policy page on Patrollers. Since administrators have been given the ability to make these changes it seems perverse not to make the change, but if anybody disagrees, this is the place to express that disagreement. –rpehTCE 17:36, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Request Block for

This anonymous user has already been warned and after the fact decided to spam an external link. If you look at his minor contributions and current talk page, you will understand why. Thanks. --Elliot(T-C) 15:27, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Deleting to Restore

You may have noticed I deleted User:Elliot and restored it without the various obnoxious comments left by idiots from Encyclopedia Dramatica (that's a tautology, I know). As this isn't really covered by the deletion policy I thought I ought to post a brief explanation and perhaps start a debate.

Firstly, some of the comments were extremely offensive, and secondly, the large diffs were hurting the server - at one point about half the connections to content2 were getting the recent changes RSS feed. If anybody feels I shouldn't have done this, feel free to restore the deleted edits.

I don't want to start regularly censoring pages, as it's usually better to see the edits vandals made to judge future sanctions. Do we want to use this mechanism for extreme cases? What about special cases such as edits that damage the ability of others to access the site? Do we want to modify the policy or leave it up to the judgment of admins to act accordingly? –rpehTCE 09:29, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Update - several hours later there are still a lot of people downloading the recent changes RSS, so it seems this was a deliberate attempt to slow down the site. –rpehTCE 10:20, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, delete/restore was probably the best course of action in this particular case. Long-term, I'd like to find a way to fix these problem diffs, instead of adding a policy just to cover a software bug. I'd been hoping the bug might have been fixed by the last upgrade, but obviously not. Unfortunately, debugging the problem without again messing up the site might be tricky.
As for the RSS/atom connections, it's unlikely there was anything malicious behind the connections. It's simply the primary symptom of the problem diffs: any attempt to view the diff permanently locks up a connection on the server. The connections you saw several hours later were the same ones you had seen originally (which can be confirmed via the SS column, which ended up reaching values above 56000). The only ways to get rid of the connections are to restart apache or otherwise kill the process on the server, which I did a few hours ago. --NepheleTalk 23:39, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
I believe that if it compromises the server and people's ability to use the site, it should be gone (barring extreme cases). Also, I happened to stumble upon something Wikipedia uses called Oversight. Here is part of the intro paragraph explaining it:
Suppression on Wikipedia (in the past also known as Oversighting) is a form of enhanced deletion which, unlike normal deletion, expunges information from any form of usual access even by administrators. It is used within strict limits to hide the username, revision content, and/or edit summary in order to remove defamatory material, to protect privacy, and sometimes to remove serious copyright violations. When using the suppression function on an edit, it is possible to suppress the text of a revision, the username or IP address of a contributor, and the edit summary of a contribution, or any combination thereof...
It sounds like possibly something we could use for this type of vandalism. The page explains their policies more with MediaWiki holding the extension. I am just throwing it out there, in-case you guys have not seen this. --Elliot talk 20:29, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't going to mention Oversight as I've never liked it. The difference between oversight and what I did is that other admins can still see what I deleted, and indeed those edits show up in a "Deleted user contributions" link on the IPs concerned. With Oversighting... it's gone - you have to go into the database to recover the information. In this particular case, I mentioned it here because although I could stretch the deletion policy under the "site disruption" clause, it's still an unconventional use. I also stated that if any other admin had a problem with my action they could restore the deleted edits, in case anybody wanted a site-wide debate. With Oversight, that wouldn't be an option.
The difference is between "I've done this, and I'm telling you so other admins can check and tell me what they think" and "I've done something, but you can't see what so just trust me". Unlike Wikipedia, we have a very small number of admins, which means that even if sensitive information is posted, it can be deleted and only those few people - as opposed to the thousands on WP - can see it.
In other words, I'd prefer to steer clear of Oversight for now. –rpehTCE
Ah, I see. Perhaps it should just be given to Daveh and Nephele? In any case, I was just making sure you knew about it! :) --Elliot talk 21:48, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Maybe we do need Oversight after all. This is getting tiresome. –rpehTCE 11:14, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

I looked into Oversight just now, but it didn't look like it provided the one feature I was looking for right now (namely the ability to erase user accounts from all logs). However, I'm willing to install it to make it easier to erase revisions from the logs, especially if continued problems warrant it. Given the lack of any type of undo feature with Oversight (short of manually altering the database), I'm not sure whether anyone other Daveh and I should have access to it (since we are the only two people who could fix any mistakes made while using the feature). But I'm open to feedback on that point. --NepheleTalk 05:30, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Namespace Links

I've created aliases for all of our namespaces using their standard IDs -- i.e., the IDs listed on Mediawiki:Uespnamespacelist. Therefore, links such as OB:Jauffre or MW:Creeper are now possible, for those who might find typing the full namespace excessively onerous. Unlike the OB/MW/etc templates that have previously been used for this purpose, there is a minimal CPU overhead associated with the aliases. The only namespaces for which this will not work are MAIN (the software doesn't support aliases for main), TR3, and TR4 (which are fake namespaces).

If there are problems/concerns with this feature, I can easily remove it. On the other hand, if everyone agrees this is better than our existing templates, I think we can propose deletion for many of the templates in Category:Link Templates; documentation such as UESPWiki:Namespaces, Help:Namespaces, and Help:Links would also need to be updated

One other, semi-related question is about our transparent namespace links. For example, if I type [[Archive]] it automatically gets expanded to [[UESPWiki:Archive|Archive]] when I save the page. There's an alternative way this feature could be implemented: have the original [[Archive]] text be preserved when the page is saved, yet still have the link displayed in HTML article as a link looking like Archive. I've already coded up this alternative treatment, and it's been implemented successfully on a wiki at work for a couple months. Therefore, the main question is what would be preferable here. The advantage to the current approach is that you can explicitly see how the link is transformed (although only if you re-edit the page). The disadvantages, in my mind, are that it's more difficult to subsequently edit the link (any typo needs to be fixed twice) and that new editors are generally not aware that the shortcut exists (because they never see it being used on articles). Any thoughts on which approach we should use? --NepheleTalk 22:28, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Would the [[OB:]], for instance, get re-formatted into [[Oblivion:]] or would it stay as [[OB:]]? This is the same thing Wikipedia does with their WP shortcut, I think, and it certainly doesn't seem to be bothering them any, though personally, I sort of like the order imposed by having them all be the same format. I believe [[some link]] would stay as exactly that on Wikipedia, so it may be slightly more comfortable for Wikipedia users when they come here. (I also think it looks cleaner and would therefore prefer it personally as well, but it probably messes with peoples' minds when I advocate consistency in one sentence and then flexibility in the next. <g>;) --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 03:05, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I was about to ask someone about this, since it really works on Wikipedia. I think I will mainly use them in informal settings, such as in edit summaries and in the UESP namespace. Otherwise, I think we should still use Oblivion: and Morrowind: etc. in the game namespaces, otherwise new editors might get confused (as they do with sic). So to recap: Talk namespace, UESP namespace, etc. should use the shortcut namespace entries. Game namespaces should use the full one.
So, what are the shortcuts for Daggerfall, Arena, Lore, and UESPWiki? Thanks for adding this! –Elliot talk 03:19, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
I like it. As long as there's no(t much) overhead then it's a good idea.
Judging from Nephele's post, it looks like the links don't get expanded when you save, but they are expanded when presented to the user, so you get the full link displayed (eg for MW:Creeper).
The other shortcuts are listed on the page Nephele linked to: Mediawiki:Uespnamespacelist. So DF, AR, LO and UESP for those specific cases. –rpehTCE 06:39, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for answering the questions for me, rpeh. One other point worth mentioning is that the aliases work in a lot of places other than just links: in manually-typed URLs; in the search box (e.g., "go OB:Armor"). Also, the aliases are not case-sensitive (no namespace names are). So "go ob:armor" works just as well.
As for recommended usage, I think just saying that the full namespace names are preferred is sufficient. Editors can use the shortcuts if they feel it's necessary (otherwise why have them?), but hopefully they'd eventually be converted into full namespaces. The only "forbidden" action should be converting a full namespace link into an abbreviation. That's my opinion. --NepheleTalk 05:45, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Speaking as an editor who can type Oblivion nearly as fast as OB I still think the addition warrants enough merit for it to happen if there are enough regular editors supporting it. But I'm not comfortable with the change of no longer subsituting shortcuts to full links (e.g. [[OB:Armor]] => [[Oblivion:Armor|Armor]]). The thing I like about all the shortcuts is that they don't show in the actual article, instead it will contain links in only one format. Otherwise you would see a combination of different kinds of formatting, which seem more confusing to me to new editors than one link format.
The new shortcuts will mostly benefit the more active editors, which are likely already aware of them. I agree it might be an idea to better inform newer editors of the shortcuts, but the shortcuts will only start to be helpful if you are editing more articles than just one per day. --Timenn-<talk> 08:48, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I pretty much agree with Timenn and Neph. The only time I really see myself using them is in edit summaries (where it is sometimes hard to fit a link in) and talk pages (for speed I guess), like a mentioned before. I don't think we should use them in any of the articles that contain information (so... like 90% of them). I have been thinking about the use of [[User:Elliot|]] and haven't decided if this should be avoided. –Elliot talk 08:56, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

New Servers

I'm planning on replacing/buying a few servers in the near future. My general plan is:

  • Replace the monthly content1 with a 24-month server (i.e., it is currently billed monthly, paying for 24-months up front gets us a better price)
  • Similarily replace squid1 with a 24-month server, upgrading bandwidth to 100Mbs and 3000GB/month (currently at 10Mbps, 1500GB/month)
  • Possibly purchase db2/backup2 for backup/redundancy purposes (a little overkill to have 2 db servers but mainly to make it easier and quicker to recover from failures)

The main reason for replacing content1/squid1 is to reduce the monthly server cost and eliminate excess bandwidth fees (over 1300$ alone in the past year). If we do this and purchase db2 we'll end up saving about 1000$ per year. See Site_Costs for more details.

If anyone has any other ideas or requests for server upgrades, either a new server or upgrading an existing one, just let me know. -- Daveh 19:54, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Question: Instead of getting a new server for db2/backup2 why don't we just use util1/content3? I mean, weren't we running fine just having two content servers? Besides, the Summer is almost over, we're probably going to lose traffic due to people going back to school and such. Then again, according to site support, we've got enough money to get a little more redundancy. Of course, I'm not a server guy, so I don't really know. --Ratwar 20:46, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
We could, although my "grand plan" is to have content1/content2 solely handle the UESP Wiki content and leave content3 with serving everything else (forums mainly) as well as being the misc/utility server (e-mail for example). Whatever happens I'll be doing things one at a time anyways starting with replacing squid1 and then content1. If anything happens immediately with db2/backup2 it would be next month at the earliest.
Along the lines of your idea though...content3 could probably do everything (misc content, db backup, e-mail, etc...) as all of this is very low load compared to what the UESP Wiki uses. -- Daveh 21:20, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

What I'm going to do for now is purchase the squid1 replacement since that represents the greatest potential savings and is the easiest to setup (250$ for extra bandwidth in July alone). The content1 replacement will be in a few weeks depending on my schedule. There are a couple of options regarding db2 or upgrading db1 (hard drives, RAID, etc...) so whatever happens there will happen in a month or so. -- Daveh 21:40, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Patrolling Style - Elliot

Over the past few weeks I have been concerned at the style of Elliot's patrolling of the wiki. The latest series of edits have brought me to the point where I feel I have to ask the community to consider removal of Elliot's patroller status for a short period.

The latest discussion isn't the only example of style that isn't really appropriate for a patroller.

  • This discussion highlights the difference between Elliot's style and that of a non-patroller (Wolok_gro-Barok). Elliot's replies don't really explain anything to the user but Wolok's immediately give a clear explanation.
  • In this case the poster admits that the information s/he added may not be including; Elliot's response is harsh and dismissive.
  • This is such a horrible post I almost removed it before posting my own response, which solved the problem.
  • This removal of an editor's suggestion was reverted by Ratwar. We both found it an ingenious use of one glitch to fix another.
  • This edit removed potentially useful information. An editor of Elliot's authority should have spotted that the information wasn't included anywhere else on the page and either improved the original edit or linked to the correct page.
  • This reply is just wrong, as a very brief search would have confirmed.
  • (I could supply others but this will do for now)

His style and terse edit summaries have already been discussed on his talk page (here and here), and I know other editors (including myself) have tried to discuss his style with him on IRC.

I should say here that well over 95% of Elliot's edits have been fine, and it's just a few that cause a problem. None of these are bad on their own, but the overall pattern is not good. The net result is that I find myself having to double-check both edits that he makes and ones that he patrols: this is usually used as a criterion to reject a patroller nomination.

I should say here that I'm fully aware my own edit history has sometimes caused... raised eyebrows... from others. The difference is that I have learned from what other people have told me and have changed my style accordingly. Elliot shows no signs of doing this.

Since we have no defined policy, I'm going to suggest a temporary measure with a view to formalising a process in due course. I suggest that Elliot's patroller status be removed for a period of two weeks. After this period his status would be reinstated automatically, hopefully with a better perspective gained.

I'm not calling for a vote at this point. Ideally I'd like to hear other editors' opinions including, obviously, Elliot's. Any actions can be voted on later, should that be necessary. –rpehTCE 20:02, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

I can't say I pay that much attention to Elliot's (or anyone else's) edits, but what I have read of his summaries is often abbrassive and confrontational---two qualities wholely undesirable in anyone in a position of any authority at UESP: it runs the risk of casual visitors and contributors getting a bad impression not only of Elliot, who does indeed contribute many good edits, but of UESP in general. If only for the sake of UESP's image I agree that the pattern you've outlined, rpeh, cannot continue without intervention. As for hat to do about it, a fortnight's revokation seems sensible to me as an emergency measure. Anything else should, I think, be dependent on Elliot's own input. JKing 00:27, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
While some of it doesn't speak well of his diplomatic skill, I've certainly seen as bad out of other Admins and Patrollers alike. As you say, it doesn't reflect well on UESP at large when we're a bit snarky, but it happens. Given that he's only been here for a little over 2 months, I'm not sure he's had time to really absorb the level of diplomacy expected from someone "on staff", so to speak (which may be a good reason to put a minimum time limit in for Patrollers, etc., but that's another discussion). If possible, I'd like to see it taken up with him directly by someone (yeah, okay, so I guess that's probably me) whom he gets along with and is likely to have a productive discussion with, rather than feeling like a bunch of people are jumping on his back about it (as would probably have been the case if there was an IRC discussion, where it may have seemed like one vs. many).
I'm not sure what two weeks would really accomplish. To me, that seems punitive, which is only likely to aggravate the situation. I think an informal agreement for him to only patrol non-controversial edits for a while until he gets the hang of a more diplomatic approach might be more constructive.
Oh and I don't see mention of this on his talk page...I assume you e-mailed him privately about it, to make sure he has a chance to respond? --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 04:14, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Last question first: he was told about it in IRC so is definitely aware.
I ought to make clear that the post was not a spur-of-the-moment response to one series of posts. I'm going to go through a bit of the history to make clear that there has been a lot of effort from several people to resolve this in other ways. I'm not going into full detail because some of the communication was private.
Elliot was given patroller status on 21 June. Almost immediately, I noticed that his style changed from being helpful and friendly to being rather forceful and opinionated. Take these two edit summaries, for instance. The first undo was correct, the second wasn't, but in both cases the edit summary was worrying. A couple of days later I got my first email from another editor expressing their concern. I have had others since.
On 6 July, two weeks after his election, came the Protect Tags incident. This was when I started having serious doubts about Elliot's status. I had a long discussion about it with him in IRC, not just about the policy violation, but about the principal of using special abilities to lock a discussion in which one is a participant. When the discussion ended I was still unsure whether Elliot had understood that point, one that you (RobinHood) picked up on immediately (from your response to Elliot and Nephele on his talk page).
By now, more people were expressing doubts and there were several informal discussions in IRC about how to proceed. Eventually, on 14 July, all the active admins were consulted through email or using IRC, about their thoughts on the matter. This was not, it's important to note, circumventing the site. It was simply a way to canvass opinion and discuss ideas. Any formal discussion would have taken place - like this - on the site. The end result was that one of the admins agreed to discuss the problems with Elliot. In any case, two days later Elliot made this post to his user page and the issue seemed moot. His retraction, less than 24 hours later, re-opened the matter. I decided to see if events had impressed themselves on him and whether this would make a difference.
It didn't. The same style has continued and the same complaints keep coming. Since at least four different people have tried discussing Elliot's style with him, all to no avail, there is a need to try something else. The purpose of a two week removal of status isn't to punish, it's to help the site. Other patrollers will no longer need to check every edit in case it's one that Elliot has patrolled. His own edits will not be automatically patrolled and so will stand out more easily. And hopefully, since all the problems seemed to start when he was made a patroller, the removal might cure the bad style and remind everybody why he was a unanimous choice for patroller in the first place. I'm open to any other suggestions for remedies, but I believe the time for simply talking has long passed. –rpehTCE 07:22, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

What exactly do you want me to say? It was made aware to me through GK, that I was improving and that she was glad that I was trying. And then this states I haven't been improving, so I am rather confused. Again, I never intended to take a malicious tone when I reply, it is just who I am naturally. A month is not enough time to change such behavior (and like I said, GK said I was improving). I could possible dig up everything wrong that other patrollers or admins have done, but I don't feel that is necessary. And with the protect incident. As I said before, I said it was a mix-up of different site policies, to which you replied "Oh rubbish". Within that same conversation, you accused me of lying more. I don't see how that is proactive in any sense of the word. Are we perfect? No. And that seems to be something easily forgotten.

Then we come to the edits which you have dug up. I believe the only reason I stick out is because I am the most active patroller. I make plenty of edits, which allows itself a higher chance to "slip up" or do something wrong. I stick out like a sore thumb due the amount of edits, replies, patrols I make. Yeah, I'm sorry for messing up, but we all do it. Sometimes you are pretty sure you are right about something when you are completely wrong. Guilty. I never said I was perfect, and I don't claim to be. Like I said before, in the real world, I am known for being a smart-ass with a quick whit and silver tongue with an ego to match. Frankly, I find myself doing rather well considering how I am IRL. Am I working on it? Yes, but it is pretty hard changing who you are (and with all the drama the real world carries with it, fighting parents, medical bills racking up, etc.).

I usually come to the wiki for a solace, but as of late, it has become nightmarish. So I actually agree with the two week step-down (or however you want to put it). I think it would be best for me (since I haven't been able to receive any antidepressants as of late). But I won't promise to be as active as ever within that period (or even after, for that matter). Sometimes you have to answer the call of real life, and sometimes it becomes hard to salvage after so much has gone on. The me in real life is actually doing a lot of soul searching (especially with college on the horizon), so perhaps a two week period would be good for me to self-analyze and self-correct. I'm am actually a compromising and understanding person, but it hardly comes across that way unless you really know me, which, unfortunately, none of you have had the chance to do; ergo, I come across as this monster (just ask my teachers in high school, I made people cry with anger by just talking about welfare). But I mean no harm, and I never have.

So, like I said, I am all for the two week time frame. However, I believe Nephele should do the actual action, as she is the most neutral person to possibly do it. Also, I ask that my name be left on the patroller page and the userbox left on my page, since this isn't a removal of my rights but rather a variant of a curb checking (which I am agreeing to). Again, I am sorry for all of the nonsense I have created and hope this can all be resolved, eventually. And I hope I get better in both instances. Thanks. –Elliot talk 10:54, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Edit conflict...
Though I'm one as the supporters for the "talk first, act later" approach, I have been absent the past week, so I can't see well enough if that time has already passed. I do think the examples rpeh posted say enough, giving more would only be admonishing as Elliot is still a respectable editor. It's more that we try to find the precise point that is troubling us. For me it is the attitude towards newer editors, and the dismissal of potentially helpful additions. Let me adress the attitude issue first:
From out point of view it looks like some question are asked over and over again, but from the person who asks the question again it may be his/her first time posting something like that. Does he really ask because he is too lazy to search? I can think of more good reasons: The reader is still uncomfortable with English sites which so much content (i.e. text to read), the reader is not adept at searching (not everyone is adept at that) or the reader did search extensivily, but only encountered dismissals from other editors. I can remember from my days of searching for answer on working with the Warcraft III Map Editor the frustation with finally finding a topic on a message board somewhere with a similar question, on to have the topic started be dismissed with the advice to search the message board for a similar question asked earlier. A regular visitor of the site, who has its posting history in his memory, often forgets how overwhelming the content can be to newcomers.
In other words, I understand the need to blow off steam at IRC from time to time, but don't do it posting it here on talk pages or edit summaries.
The second issue is also worrysome. The challenge of patrolling is judging whether a new addition or modification is sound or not. The problem is that if you take to much time researching every edit, it won't leave you time to do your own work, but sometimes it just comes with the job. It's better to waste too much time, than to dismiss what could have been a brilliant idea only badly worded. --Timenn-<talk> 11:14, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Now adding my reply to Elliot
I understand how you feel most of the patrolling has come down to you, but let me add that this doesn't necessarily mean there are no other patrollers standing by. The fact that a long list is gathering just means that there isn't a patroller standing by at that time. Myself, for example, usually work from the list in one go. If I miss a day, I make up for it the next day.
As for the requirement for perfection. No we don't have it, but we do try to point out a certain pattern in attitude/patrolling style we'd wish to adress. Whether you make mistakes isn't the issue. --Timenn-<talk> 11:27, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Elliot, in our original conversation about patrol tags, that took place only minutes after I had removed them, you didn't mention Wikipedia or policy confusion once, so forgive me if I'm sceptical when that becomes the centrepiece of your argument some weeks later.
I'm not accusing you of being a monster or even of acting in bad faith. In a way, what's happening is more problematic. If you were acting in bad faith there would be no difficulty in acting under existing site policies and issue a warning or a ban. I fully understand you're acting in good faith, but you're doing it in a way that is causing widespread disquiet. Additionally, you always defend your actions even when the problems are brought to your attention. You claimed to understand the point I made about escalating disputes but yesterday's series of edits did exactly the same again, so what has changed? In your final post, you said "So stop making something out of nothing" but if you had followed your own advice the problem would never have occurred and I wouldn't be writing this.
I would love to see you continue contributing to the site because, as I said in my original post, the vast majority of your edits have been great. You will need to start listening to other people, though, and learning from what they tell you. –rpehTCE 11:58, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Okay, so it looks to me like we have an agreement from both sides for a two-week suspension, and hopefully that'll give a little time for everybody to cool off and reflect. (And yes, I say "everybody" in italics because while I certainly see some issues here, I do think they're being blown out of proportion, probably due to the last month of back & forth discussions.)
While it's a little unusual, I understand Elliot's desire to leave the indicators of his Patroller status in place while he no longer has that permission, and I didn't see any complaints at the thought by either Timenn or rpeh. I don't particularly see a reason for Nephele to make the permissions changes, but respecting Elliot's wish for that to be done, I'll send Nephele an e-mail and ask her to make the appropriate change without changing his page or the Patroller page.
And finally, responding to one point of rpeh's, I don't remember wether it was a private e-mail or a posting here, but I clearly remember Elliot saying at some point that there was confusion in his mind around the <protect> tag policy, so at least on that point, I can back him up and hopefully reduce your scepticism. --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 18:06, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
The point is that the claim wasn't made at the time, but that's another matter.
I have no problem with the indicators being left. This wouldn't a removal of status, but a suspension. –rpehTCE 18:29, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

I share many other editors' concerns over Elliot's patrolling style. While this discussion seemed to wrap up rather quickly, I'd like to add a few comments.

Firstly, Elliot's right, everyone makes mistakes. My only request is that when someone points out those mistakes, the editor realize that it is an opportunity to improve themselves and the wiki, it is not someone "yelling at" them.

Next, I am rather concerned about the way he has thrown my name into this discussion, and the way I read his comments suggest a different conversation than the one that actually occurred. I have been in IRC regularly, and after he asked for feedback in the channel on several edits before deciding what to do about them, I told him that that was an improvement, and I was glad to see it; however, his comments seem to suggest that I think he's doing fine, and he is well aware that I do not. I have had numerous discussions with him since the referred-to conversation, all outlining my concerns.

Finally, his comment, "I never intended to take a malicious tone when I reply, it is just who I am naturally." I'm sorry, but that's a cop-out. When editing the wiki, you are not responding to someone face-to-face, where words can unfortunately come out before you think about the repercussions. You are typing, and so it is very simple to not make a post if you can't do it without it being abrasive and/or inappropriate. A few slip-ups, where an editor's "emotions" get the most of them I can understand... not condone, but understand; however, when multiple editors have brought concerns to a person about their patrolling style, it really is as simple as not making the post if you can't do it appropriately.

In summary, I agree with the outcome outlined above. Perhaps the suspension will help everyone, including Elliot, remember why he was nominated and elected in the first place. I also have no problem with the indicators staying in place. See y'all in a coupla weeks!  ;) --GKTalk2me 19:09, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Rpeh: Poor wording on my part. I meant that around the time of the protect tag incident, he'd indicated that there was confusion over policy, but that may have been in a private e-mail - I don't remember. --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 19:57, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
GK, I didn't just throw it around, and then there was a miscommunication on both of our parts. And I wish the regular editors would have talked to me through e-mail and whatnot, instead of having the administrators do it one by one. But that is beside the point.
Nephele, can you do this now? Thanks. –Elliot talk 18:47, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I hadn't taken any action here yet for two reasons. First, it's taken me this long to finish typing up my feedback. Second, I didn't want to rush to take any action. Even now, less than a week has passed, and normally only actions necessary to prevent damage to the site are made so quickly. On the other hand, I don't think Elliot's return to normal status should be delayed either, especially since he clearly hasn't been doing any patrolling since this discussion was started. Therefore, I just changed Elliot's status, but I'm planning to restore his patroller rights in 11 days, i.e., two weeks after Elliot agreed to the temporary change.
In the meantime, I don't think the discussion should be considered closed, since there may well be community members who haven't even had a chance yet to see the discussion. Or others like me who take a while to collect their thoughts. Therefore, I'm hoping some of my slowly-typed feedback might still have some value.
Elliot has claimed that he's being singled out, and I agree that's probably true. However, inherently he's being singled out because of his value to the community. Elliot is currently one of the most influential editors on the site. Everything that I've read suggests that everyone wants Elliot to continue contributing. Furthermore, I think everyone sees the potential for Elliot's role on the site to continue to increase. For these reasons that Elliot's contributions have been noticed and other editors have invested time in providing feedback. If Elliot's contributions were insignificant, they would have been simply ignored -- it takes much less time! Furthermore, the only intention I've seen behind all of the discussions has been to help Elliot improve as an editor, so he can continue to contribute and do so even more effectively -- so he can learn from his mistakes, not make them disappear or atone for them.
However, being influential means mistakes are influential, too. "With great power comes great responsibility" (or some such cliche). Even if only 5% of Elliot's edits need improving, those 5% "stick out like a sore thumb" because of their effect, not their quantity. Over the last month, Elliot has probably been the single editor who has been most likely to influence new editors: his actions (reverting an edit, responding to a question) have directly affected new editors. Furthermore, because he is a patroller, his responses are likely to be seen as representative of the UESP community as a whole. Even if an edit only represents 5% of Elliot's edits for the day, it may represent 100% of another contributor's impression of our site. We only have one chance to make a first impression on any new editor. Which is, in my opinion, why certain edits made by Elliot have come under more scrutiny than many other edits.
It's clear from Elliot's overall record that he wants to welcome new editors to the site. However, these discussions have identified several situations where Elliot's edits have been more likely to have the opposite effect. I think the problem is one of relative priorities. Elliot apparently believes that the integrity of the site is the single highest priority. I disagree; if integrity were so important, the site would not be a wiki (the best way to maintain integrity is to prevent the site from being altered). Therefore, rushing to undo edits just to keep the site clean should not be a priority.
Rather, I believe the highest priority is the community of editors: without people who are interested in contributing to the site, it will stop being a wiki. Site integrity may suggest that a questionable edit should be undone as quickly as possible. However, respect for the contributor may instead suggest that it's better to leave the information in place for a day or a week -- in which case, I think the latter objective should take higher priority. Of course, obscenities and blatant vandalism need to be removed as quickly as possible, but for the majority of the edits made to the site, there will be no harm if they are seen by some readers. In the meantime, we can take the time to make sure we're responding properly to the edit, and to treat a new editor with respect -- assuming new information is correct unless you can prove otherwise (no matter who added the information); providing more detailed explanations if an editor didn't get the first explanation; making sure your actions (not just an anonymous welcome message) show new editors that they are welcome. In the end, the edit may still be undone, but perhaps after the contributor understands why it's being undone.
Finally, I have one concrete suggestion for Elliot, for now or for after his patroller privileges are restored: try waiting 24 hours to make any counter-responses. Some of you might think I fall back on the "wait 24 hour" suggestion too often; however, looking over the incidents that have been discussed, I really think waiting after the initial response would have prevented most of them. Elliot's initial undo or the initial response wasn't noteworthy; it was the subsequent, rapid exchange before anyone else could even respond. Therefore, Elliot, if someone re-instates an edit you undid, wait 24 hours to see what other editors think should be done. If someone doesn't like one of your responses, wait and see whether someone else can explain it better. Or ask someone else on IRC to look at the question/edit/response.
Simply giving time for other editors to get involved can make a huge difference -- for me, or any other patroller, just as much as Elliot. Sometimes an editor might simply not respond well to my style of feedback -- not because there's something inherently wrong with my style, but simply because we all have different personalities, and therefore sometimes two people get along right away and sometimes they don't. If an editor didn't like my response the first time, the chances are that editor simply won't like any response I provide; the editor may just need a different style of response or different perspective, which can be best provided by another patroller. Even if the editor isn't going to like anyone's response, hearing from multiple people ensures that the feedback is representative of the community, not just one individual.
--NepheleTalk 06:26, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Neph for the response. And trust me, I will try to utilize your advice. I admit that I like to rush things (I am extremely impatient a lot of the time), and I agree it is something that needs to be worked on. After some more thinking and time away from the computer/wiki, I will probably slowly come back and make more edits, and they will be better than ever. Thanks again, all! –Elliot talk 12:20, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I think you should keep editing during this "time off". The whole idea is to remove the pressure of being a patroller so you can become more relaxed on the site again. That won't happen if you're not here. –rpehTCE 12:26, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I plan to; I just haven't had enough time to focus in on myself. I'm still observing from outside the box. But don't worry, it won't be too long of a wait. Elliot talk 12:32, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
How do you know he's not Daedryon under a new ISP? 06:33, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, how do you know? 06:52, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) The Admins would be able to tell if it's someone in the same city as Daedryon, unless he's also managed to change cities or find an unknown proxy. Apart from that, the use of language isn't the same. --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 06:54, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Well you might wanna look into this possibility, as I know that Daedryon is no longer in the same city, nay, province anymore. He's left for college in the states. The only problem I see with the possibility of Elliot being a sock of Daedryon is that Elliot is gay, but maybe Daed is just posing as someone else. 06:58, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Also, your perceptions of peoples language is flawed. Anyone can change the way they speak or type. It's not hard to do. Cover all your bases. 07:04, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Elliot isn't Daedryon, but since you share his ISP and location you could well be. You have also vandalised this page in a manner typical of Daedryon. Please don't do it again. –rpehTCE 07:07, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Again, how do you know? I know Daedryon personally. He is no longer in Canada, having left to the United States for college.
Obviously I share is ISP and location, I've lived next door to him for the past 6 years or so, until recently when he left. And also, I saw that Daedryon did that whole Zalgo thing, so I thought I'd try it, and's lame. Not all that fun. So yeah, I apologize for that.
But if I was you, I'd look into Elliot being Daedryon. Just because you say he isn't, Rpeh, doesn't make it so. You're just doing things half assed as an admin because you've gotten lazy. Snap back and do things properly. 07:10, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Would that be the next-door neighbour mentioned on Daedryon's user page...the infamous vandal? I think we're quite capable of policing ourselves without the help of an anonymous editor who is likely either Daedryon himself or his next-door neighbour that everyone on other wikis believes is Daedryon. I think it's probably fair to assume, in light of rpeh's warning, that further edits to this thread will only result in the blocking of your IP address. --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 07:28, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't have blocked him for engaging in a sensible discussion, but he made the decision very easy with that post on your talk page.
I have many reasons for saying that Elliot isn't Daedryon, not least that Elliot has made hundreds of useful posts to this site while Daedryon's activities earned him one of the few perma-blocks we have for named accounts. If I choose not to share them with an offensive BoN, that's tough. –rpehTCE 07:55, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Yeah, that was a rather amusing post, wasn't it? What does "BoN" stand for? I've been trying to figure it out and I'm not getting anything. If it's not suitable for public posting, by all means, reply by e-mail. :) --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 21:17, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

"BoN" = "Bunch of Numbers". Just another way of describing an anon. –rpehTCE 21:53, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Ah, got it! Thanks. --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 22:46, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Several days later

Now that that Elliot's patroller permissions have been reinstated we should continue on this. What are our opinions on it, what does Elliot have to say and what is the commmunity's final decision.

I hate to say it, but I'm disappointed with the results of this entire set of events. I'm not really talking about Elliot in this case. He has made less edits than usual, and seems to have avoided some of the more difficult edits. Which I think worked in his favor. I refer to how these 11 days (not 2 weeks, as I was surprised to learn) have not really been enough to make a good final decision.
Past week few people seem to have been really around to make it seem they have been paying attention to Elliot. Now it's perfectly understandable if you're away for a week, but if you had a strong say about this matter, and then not be around when the actual thing happens I find it strange. Were these days not just a waste of time, and unecessary hindrance for Elliot? Sure we may have been trying to cool down, but you don't cool down by totally avoiding the conflict. I was really under the impression that we could have used this time to work with Elliot in a way we learned to appreciate his good sides again, while Elliot could notice we have not criticised his person, but rather some elements of his patrolling style. Simply avoiding each other simply won't work.

So it comes down to this, has this really helped the case forward? --Timenn-<talk> 20:52, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I actually found/find myself calmer than ever. It was 11 days because I stopped patrolling three days before Nephele enacted the decision. I don't what else there is to say, but I know taking a break from patrolling definitely helped. –Elliot talk 21:04, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Looks to me like he totally misunderstood the idea of the thing by staying away. But not having him around for two weeks definitely improved the wiki. Now we're back to the usual opinion-based deletions made with no checking. Just in the last few hours we've had this and this. How Elliot ever got made a patroller in the first place I really don't know. 03:20, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Both of those examples are provided out of context. The first edit, despite the somewhat opinionated summary, removed an edit that did not conform to the style guide. The second edit was done after the anon who posted it origionally created an account to discuss the issue (their actual comment can be seen here), at which point Elliot placed it back on the article in a manner which conforms to the general wiki style. Shortly thereafter, the User KFM updated his talk page with this, proving that the edit was unnecessary. Eliot then removed the information again. I fail to see how those examples can be considered overly opinionated, nor do I see any evidence that Elliot failed to check the information. -Dlarsh(Talk,Contribs) 03:43, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree — both edits look fine to me. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 04:00, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
And has been banned for being an open proxy and probable troll. --Ratwar 04:07, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
I was not very active during the original discussion (I only discovered it after the whole Elliot/Daedryon discussion), but I understand Timenn's point. Now it does seem to look like we continue on like the whole matter didn't take place. But I do think this has helped the case forward. First, Elliot himself concludes that it really helped him, which is important. Secondly, Elliot seems to realize his sometimes hasty reverts, and makes up for it by adding it again. Therefore, this break, I think, has helped Elliot and the site. However, 3 days (I don't know exactly when Elliot officially became a patroller again) might not be enough to judge that yet. Wolok gro-Barok->T->C->E 10:38, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

UESP E-Mail Server

I've finally got around to setting up the e-mail on If anyone (admins, patrollers, or active editors) wants a email (i.e., just let me know. There is a web interface at and it supports the POP interface (can't send mails through it yet).

Template Protection

I just added semi protection to a few templates and was looking further down the list to see if there were any others that should probably be protected. Given that (currently), even an important template like Template:Place Summary is way down in 50th place on the Most Linked Templates list... wouldn't it just be easier to stop anon edits on all templates?

I'm still not sure which way I'd go if there was a vote on disallowing anon edits to everything, but surely with templates that are used on hundreds of pages at a time, it would be a good idea to stop just anybody editing? It it possible to add semi-protection to an entire namespace, and are there any reasons why it shouldn't be done? –rpehTCE 15:04, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Protecting namespaces can be setup in the wiki's config via the $wgNamespaceProtection setting. Currently only the MediaWiki namespace is protected this way. I can't think of any good reason why Template shouldn't be protected from anonymous edits. -- Daveh 15:30, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Except protecting the entire namespace would mean that /Doc subpages would get protected, too, even though one of the reasons for separating the /Doc content is to make it easier for anyone to improve the documentation, fix categories, etc. Furthermore, new templates shouldn't need to be created that often (especially once we fix the trail template insanity), so it's not as if adding protection manually is a daily task. Finally, we haven't had too many problems with anon edits of templates -- in fact, IIRC, we started template protection in part because editing templates used to have a DoS-type effect, but since we fixed the job rate, that's no longer an issue. So I think protecting the whole namespace would be overkill. --NepheleTalk 16:35, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I take the point, but turn it around: the only reason it's a problem is if a brand new editor wants to edit a template but can't wait 7 (?) days yet it's not important enough to mention somewhere else. In other words: why would an anon ever need to edit a template? –rpehTCE 16:58, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually, having thought about it... I don't even accept the point. Why would an anonymous edit want to edit our template documentation? Any edit somebody wants to suggest can be made on a talk page. The change to sub-pages for documentation was made for performance reasons anyway; not permissions. I simply cannot see any reason why we should let anons edit templates. –rpehTCE 17:04, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
But why not ask the reverse? Why is it needed that we block anonymous user from editing the templates? Nephele mentions that templates are less vulnerable than they used to be, and even then, how many times were they vandalised?
In the end it will make little difference, I think. In that case it would be best to have as few protected pages as possible, to promote the openness of the wiki. --Timenn-<talk> 19:02, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't like protecting too many pages either, but there's a difference between a template and a content page. If somebody vandalises a content page, just that one page is vandalized. If somebody vandalizes the NewLine template, over 2,000 pages are vandalized. Protecting the namespace would just be easier than protecting individual templates, which I still think we ought to do. Or am I being paranoid? –rpehTCE 07:23, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Edit Notices

One thing added by the latest upgrade is configurable page edit notices (second one in that section). The idea is that one can add warnings when somebody edits a namespace or even a page, although my quick tests couldn't get the page stuff working.

I wondered what people thought about adding warnings to the User namespace asking people not to edit pages other than their own, or to sign in if required; and to Mainspace suggesting that people are probably creating information in the wrong namespace. We might, in the future, want to look at adding a notice to other namespaces (probably just OB) asking people not to create TESV pages there. Another suggestion would be to add something to the Help namespace telling people that it's not the right place to ask for help.

This will create an extra note (box, probably, or it won't be seen) at the top of each affected page, which could be annoying, but it might be helpful to new users in that they would be less likely to edit incorrectly, and to established users in that they would have less to clean up.

Thoughts? –rpehTCE 18:20, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

I think it's worth pursuing. Unfortunately with user pages it doesn't seem possible to do a test such as {{#ifeq:{{USER}}|{{BASEPAGENAME}}|...}} (although there's probably an extension somewhere that adds a variable like USER... if someone's willing to dig around), which could make the message especially useful.
However, we also need to keep in mind existing notices at talkpagetext and anoneditwarning (and possibly others), to try to avoid redundancy or message overkill, and also try to maintain some consistency in format, etc.
(I'm guessing your 2nd and 3rd tests didn't work because it's supposed to be "Editnotice" not "EditNotice". From the code, it looks like "Editnotice-2-Rpeh" should be the correct name. While I'm in the code, one other obscure little feature is that for a page such as "Tes3Mod:Tamriel Rebuilt/Book X/Author", it will look for an edit notice at Editnotice-122-Tamriel_Rebuilt, Editnotice-122-Tamriel_Rebuilt-Book_X, then Editnotice-122-Tamriel_Rebuilt-Book_X-Author, and display any or all that are found (note "-" not "/" as separators). So an edit notice will target an entire set of subpages.) --NepheleTalk 22:13, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Image prods

Elliot has {{prod}}'d some images that were recently uploaded by ACGrecor to fill out this page. I agree completely, the images are below the quality we would want, but at the same time, I feel that something is better than nothing. So basically, I don't object enough to remove all the {{prod}} tags and revert the page, but at the same time, I feel I should voice some objection before they get deleted and ask for a second opinion on whether we're better off with poor images or no images. So this is me doing just that. :) Can an Admin please make a decision on this one? Thanks! --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 03:39, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Call me a "deletionist", but I think there should be a minimum standard for "initial" images to include on the wiki (as in, temporary placeholders until something better is provided). I mean, the images basically broke every rule (suggestion?) provided on the Help:Images page. Yeah, we can have some lack-luster images, but these images detract way more than add, in my opinion. Also, this would have to be brought up on a Deletion Review if someone else objects. –Elliot talk 03:48, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't need an admin. The images are not very good but at least they are better than nothing. 08:01, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm with Elliot on this one. We hold text based edits/additions to a higher standard on main articles, so why shouldn't we do the same for images? A poor quality image detracts more from an article than simply having no image at all in my opinion. I see it along the same lines as a section of text that uses the first person in that even though they are trying to add something pertinent to the article, it just makes it look less professional than it did before. -Dlarsh(Talk,Contribs) 18:55, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, Elliot has said elsewhere that he'll write it up on Deletion Review since there's clearly conflicting viewpoints here, so once he's done that, we can all move this chat over there. :) --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 04:25, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
At the current moment, I am waiting to see if Timenn plans on getting better pictures for them in the near future. He has stated that he plans for it (see User talk:Timenn#Images). So as of now, the DR is on hold. –Elliot talk 04:30, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, I was only skimming and must've missed that. --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 04:48, 18 August 2009 (UTC)


With the recent nonsense going on in the account creation, I was wondering if installing ConfirmAccount would be too much? I think that with CA and Oversight, the wiki should be pretty safe. We could also remove CA after awhile until some things chill off. Also, perhaps placing Administrator's, Patroller's, and established user's usernames in the blacklist could help. Thoughts? –Elliot talk 02:56, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Or as a less extensive solution, this could be used. –Elliot talk 03:00, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
How involved would this bureaucracy be? I'm all for preventing offensive user names, but this is a public site that focuses strongly on the community. If something like this is implemented, what sort of delays would there be for new users who truly want to help? I realise that something like this will be disscused at length, but I just thought I'd bring these concerns/thoughts up now. Also, a possible alternative, would there be some way to block certain keywords from being used? I don't know much about programming, and I do know that there are always workarounds, but something like that plus the second option Elliot mentions (preventing the same IP from creating multiple accounts) would, I think, at least cut down on inappropriate account creations. Oh, one other question. Would the second option affect the creation of sandboxes since they are part of the User namespace? Again, I know next to nothing about programming so I appologise if these questions are pointless in the context of this issue. -Dlarsh(Talk,Contribs) 03:16, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
The ConfirmAccount can be used by whoever is set up to use it (bureaucrats, admins, patrollers, etc.), so you shouldn't have to worry about waiting (we could even have some special members use it); I just think this recent activity is a problem especially considering the content of the usernames. There is something called a blacklist that we use to prevent certain words in a username (such as Arch Mage, Gray Fox, etc.). No, the sandboxes wont be affected, since they are for account creation only. –Elliot talk 03:22, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure about ConfirmAccount. I share the above concerns about it being an obstacle for legitimate users. Also to the extent that this vandal simply wants to flood the logs with obscenities (and not actually use the accounts), I'm not sure it would be effective, in that the offensive names would still be logged. Blacklisting might be worth investigating, although probably still not effective in this situation (he'd just change one or two letters).
I have gone ahead and set $wgAccountCreationThrottle to 1 -- meaning only one account can be created from a given IP in 24 hours. I'll change the setting if that's the outcome of this discussion, but in the meantime putting some type of limit in place seems prudent as an emergency measure. --NepheleTalk 05:31, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Deleted Logs

I just took the liberty of deleting the entries detailing the account creations, blocks, and renames from the recent changes log and the activity log. In particular, I think that the main goal this vandal wants to accomplish is to add offensive nonsense to the recent changes page in the hopes that the nonsense then cannot be removed. Therefore, clearing out the information from the logs is likely to be the best way to thwart the vandal. Note that all I've done is remove the log entries -- the blocks are still in place, and the accounts still technically exist (although I'm also going to rename them all). Also I've dumped the sql of the logs so that if it's decided that the information should be restored, I can do it.

I'll look into other options for dealing with this, including the above suggestions. I just wanted to post this information first to explain why the evidence all suddenly vanished. --NepheleTalk 04:02, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm glad to see that they could be taken away! But there are two more in the account creation log dated at 06:00, August 17, 2009. Just a heads up! –Elliot talk 04:16, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm already working on them. --NepheleTalk 04:25, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Okay, cool. Just letting you know. Nephele, I swear you have special powers or something. –Elliot talk 04:29, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Vandal notice

Following the advice listed here, I would like to bring the anon editor, to the administrators' attention. All three of this User's edits at the time of this post have been disruptive to the site (1;2;3) and in the edit sumary for the third example, the User asks to be banned. Given their reaction to warnings, I feel that stricter action on the part of the site is required. -Dlarsh(Talk,Contribs) 19:36, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. User has received a one-week block. --Timenn-<talk> 20:23, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Complaint about a personal attack

As you can see on my talk page, a troll by the name of Priam is flaming me. In fact, he used the exact words "fucking idiot" to describe me.

If you would be so kind as to send the Troll Patrol over there and settle this, I would be quite grateful.Dstebbins 21:03, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

I believe the acute situation has been settled. Priam seemed insistent on his insulting behaviour, resulting in an indefinite block. --Timenn-<talk> 21:53, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Switching to New Content1 Server

I setup the new content1 server over the long weekend and am planning on switching over tonight unless something terrible comes up. There *should* be no disruption from the user/editor point of views other than possibly having to re-login due to the resetting of the php session data. If you notice anything strange tonight or the next few days don't hesitate to mention here or on my talk page. -- Daveh 21:41, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Update: I have switched over to the new content1 and have fixed a few issues but other than things loading a bit slower (which may indicate other issues) everything seems to be working. -- Daveh 22:16, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Two major sources of problems that I can see so far:
  • The ownership of all files appears to have changed during the switch, which is likely to cause various problems. I just changed the group ownership of everything in the phpbb3 directory to apache; prior to that change, the forums were completely unable to load because apache couldn't read several important files in the directory.
  • The IP address of content1 has changed, which means that mysql doesn't completely recognize the new server... I'm not sure where else the IP address needs to be changed.
--NepheleTalk 22:41, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
There's also something strange with the apache settings on content1: any attempt to access wiki pages directly on content1 takes you to EQWiki instead of UESPWiki (e.g., Main Page). --NepheleTalk 16:07, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
The EQWiki thing is probably due to how I've setup the Apache configs on the new content1 (using conf.d with individual config files for each site or module). Its either a typo in a config or perhaps the loading order of the configs.
Note that my home internet decided to stop working on me 2 days ago (first time in 10 years) so it will be a few days before it will be working again. Am checking on the site from work but won't do too much from there unless its a priority. -- Daveh 20:46, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Daveh, content1 defaults to UESP again instead of EQWiki. One other thing is that (a) I've lost membership in the 'uesp' group on content1 and (b) the wiki directories and files are all owned by the 'uespadmin' group, to which nobody appears to belong. If you can't get to it, I should be able to make the necessary changes later today -- but I'm not sure whether that means there are also changes needed for some of your scripts. I'll leave the scripts up to you ;) --NepheleTalk 22:17, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Open Proxies

Have the IPs in the recently deleted discussion (back up a diff or two from this edit) been added to our global ban list? It doesn't take a genius to figure out that most, if not all of them were probably the same person contributing through a variety of proxies. Thanks! —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:27, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Two had already been done; the rest have now been done (now that I could find a few minutes to read up on Tor exit nodes, and now that our friend has been good enough to confirm that blocking the IPs does actually get noticed). --NepheleTalk 22:52, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Nephele! —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 23:52, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Pages Proposed

Hi, I am Nordickie and I have been a "lurker" (someone without a profile on the site) on this site for about 3 years and a avid fan of the elderscrolls series for around 7 years. I most have logged hundreds of hours on this darn site, until I finally joined about a week ago. I am an avid power leveler, and am constantly looking for ways to make stronger characters. So I was surpised there wasn't much of a "power leveling" page. I am aware of the efficient leveling page and the "Making an Awesome Character, and end game optimizing pages" but I felt they were sorely lacking (no offense). I have some expereince with other wiki sites and I was wondering if I could touch these up a little and maybe suggest to at least throw out the idea of combining the pages "Making an awesome character" and "end game optimizing since they seem repetive and disorganized.

Hi! There's no need to ask on the Admin Noticeboard before editing- "be bold"!
A few tips:
  • Use Preview! (a lot!)
  • Consider doing the rewrite in a sandbox so that readers won't navigate to a half-rewritten page.
  • And, of course, don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
The talk page of the applicable article is usually the best place to ask questions, but you can also personally ask an editor on their talk page, or use the Community Portal if it's regarding more than an article or two. Have fun! --GKTalk2me 03:07, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Rpeh, De-Admin Request

Look, I don’t like doing this, but the events of yesterday, it is clear to me that Rpeh is no longer fit to be an administrator on his site. Using the Check User function, I have tied both Rpeh and Calliope to the IP address At 13:59 server time, Calliope made an edit to his user page. At 14:04, Rpeh used the address to protect Elliot’s talk page, and then at 14:06, Calliope was again using the address. Therefore, we can reasonably say that they are in fact the same person. Furthermore, IP logs for both Rpeh and Calliope oscillate between 79.72.*.* and 89.168.*.* on the same ISPs. Once again, this makes it quite clear that Rpeh has been using a alternate account.

An alternate account is not a huge deal, but Rpeh was using his account to attack Elliot 1, and was using proxies as well. In addition to this, he was using his administrative powers to protect Elliot’s talk page 2, and also issuing warnings to both Elliot 3 and his alternate account 4. He also used his administrative powers to run check users on his own alternate account. There is also evidence that this type of behavior has been happening for some time. On the Arena Talk page we can see an anon user ( with a similar IP to Rpeh (89.168.*.*) attacking Elliot, and three minutes later, Rpeh made an edit telling both Elliot and the anon to quiet down.

Personally, I feel that these behaviors are not fitting of an Administrator on the UESP. In fact, I feel that they are gross violations of ethics for abuse of power and just plain lying. As seen by Rpeh’s switch to (probably by rebooting the modem) to deliver warnings to Elliot and Calliope, he was actively attempting to fool the UESP staff. Therefore, I must propose that we strip him of being an Administrator as soon as possible.--Ratwar 06:35, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

There's NO evidence at all. I am absolutely disgusted at this. Overnight I decided I had had enough of the playground this place had become and decided to leave. I post a notice to that effect and within just a few minutes I see my name being dragged through the mud. Did people decide to wait until I'd left because they thought I wouldn't notice? I only wish I'd left sooner. –rpehTCE 06:36, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Oh I see. Please can somebody explain why the Checkuser I ran last night on Calliope produced no matches to any other account and this morning it does? Do you really want me out that much? –rpehTCE 06:39, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
If indeed Rpeh and Calliope were coming from the same IP address from within a few minutes of each other, especially with the back-and-forth, I see that as almost bullet-proof evidence that Rpeh was indeed using Calliope as a sockpuppet. I would, of course, appreciate confirmation from a second Administrator, but if this is the case, I would whole-heartedly support de-adminship. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 06:43, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
(E/C) To respond to just two parts of this rubbish: I semi-protected Elliot's page (briefly) to stop the IP vandalism as suggested by others here. The only reason I got involved was that I saw the problem escalating, and Eshe's message that she couldn't intervene herself. Second, why would I use anon IPs to post idiotic comments on Elliot's talk page and incriminate myself by using the same IP for two named accounts? Somebody didn't think through this frame job very well, did they? –rpehTCE 06:48, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
And while we're at it, blocking me and then starting a discussion that I can't take part in isn't exactly fair is it? –rpehTCE 06:59, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
I've done a brief check. Results.... Rpeh seems to post from two locations (much as I do). One of those has had a stable ip for about three months. The other changes semi-frequently but stays in the bins 79.72.*.* and 89.168.*.* as listed by ratwar. When an ip is used repeatedly, then the checkuser function lists a time range during which it is active. For the range of ratwar's activity, there are only two overlaps with other users (not counting one overlap with his own User:RoBoT). Both of those overlaps are with Calliope. (Aside from, there's also on 8/29-8/30).
On the other hand, Calliope and Rpeh are posting consistently from browsers with different browser signatures. (Ratwar, if you check the user logs, you'll note that the gray text next to the IP is different for rpeh and Calliope.) So posts seems to be coming from different computers (skipping the details, but my best guess is that different computers are involved.) So this would tend to argue against Rpeh == Calliope; however it could also be explained by using different computers at the same location. (Could be done, as could repeatedly resetting the modem, though it would be a hassle.)
Despite the differences in browsers/computers, the ip/time overlaps provide very strong evidence for the same user. And if so, the behavior listed above would be quite bad. Wikipedia frowns strongly on sock puppetry -- especially by admins, who have been summarily de-sysoped for it. While we're not wikipedia, we ordinarily take them as a good guide to our policy.
Please note that I won't be able to contribute much to this discussion. I have a pretty limited amount of Wrye time available these days. Looks like its going to be a mess though. Having been through it before... my sympathies to folks who will be weathering the storm. --Wrye 08:13, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm still evaluating the strong evidence versus the seemingly lack of motivation for such an elaborate ploy to what seems to be a direct attempt to discredit Elliot. I just can't make up a judgement right now, though it might be best to remove Rpeh's admin rights for now.
The one piece of evidence I would like to bring into contempt is that of Arena talk:Arena. Replying within three minutes is not suspicious if one realises that someone who loads the Recent Changes would find that discussion on top. The match of IPs is another matter, that is based on the same evidence with the CheckUser results. --Timenn-<talk> 08:32, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
To save people the effort of checking, I post from two locations: home and work. At home I'm on the Tiscali ISP, which has the 79.72.*.* and 89.168.*.* ranges, and at work, which is the IP I'm using right now. Tiscali hands out IP addresses like confetti - you can see in the Checkuser logs that I've used it do determine my home IP while at work more than one; the logs before the MediaWiki upgrade had many more instances of doing the same. At both home and work I use FireFox unless I'm asked to use something else. RoBoT will show up as something else; possible IE or possible .NET - I can't be bothered to check. I'll leave that for the black hat brigade.
I feel I should also point out that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. By posting CheckUser information publicly, Ratwar has violated the Privacy Policy. –rpehTCE 08:41, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
For the sake of completeness, it's possible to get different browser signatures if you're running two different browsers side-by-side on the same computer (e.g., IE and Firefox) -- which also happens to be an easy way to be simultaneously logged in using two different accounts (I've done it in the past with NepheleBot when I've needed to quickly log in and clear the "you have new messages" notices; I've also done it on the forums, where I use a separate login to do admin-related tasks). It's also possible if multiple computers in the same house are using the same internet connection (e.g., using a private LAN connected to a hub with NAT) -- or even a computer and a web-capable cell-phone in the same house. For any admins interested in an example, feel free to run checkuser on my current IP (, which reports that I've used at least four different browsers all from that same IP -- three of the browsers are from the same computer (two in windows mode and one in linux mode; it's a dual-boot computer), and if you scan for "iPhone" you'll also find my iPhone's browser. If NepheleBot had been active recently, there'd be yet another browser listed for NepheleBot.
Also, I've also independently examined the CheckUser logs and seen the same evidence. --NepheleTalk 08:54, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
In regards to rpeh and Calliope using the same IP, there is, of course, the possibility that they're two different users within the same household or small office, but at this point, I think the discussion is moot.
Rpeh does have a point, though, that posting IP information about someone else violates the Privacy Policy, so can I suggest that the original post be edited and the changes oversighted (or whatever mechanisms we have here...I remember a discussion on it, but not the results). —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 17:45, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Stricken, since Privacy Policy does say "Where it is necessary to limit any damage as a result of vandalism or related activities", which this would certainly qualify as, if true. Since the strength of the evidence is of prime concern here, I think it was reasonable to post the information (though specific addresses could probably still have been avoided).Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 20:10, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, I'm new here so I hope I am not speaking out of turn, but I have been following the recent exchanges fairly closely. Even a cursory look at the contents of their posts will make it clear that Rpeh and Calliope are not the same person, unless Rpeh is a really really great roleplayer. Rpeh and Calliope living or working together is much more likely, given how he seemed to be defending her. He screwed up with Eliot, no doubt about it. Too bad this ended with the nuclear option, with both Eliot and Rpeh leaving. Ninti 18:44, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

The evidence that Calliope and rpeh were simultaneously editing from the same location is, unfortunately, unambiguous. As admitted at the Wikipedia guidelines, nearly all cases of sock-puppetry must rely on circumstantial evidence. However, in this case, all of the evidence leads to the conclusion that Calliope and rpeh are the same person. I believe the intent behind creating the Calliope account was not malicious, and also believe that some of the other circumstances of the situation are less incriminating than may seem at first glance, nevertheless, several prohibited actions were made in relation to the sock-puppet account. As a result, the bottom line is that regretfully I no longer feel that rpeh can be trusted with administrative rights.

In two separate incidents, more than a week apart, both Calliope and rpeh made edits from the same IP address within minutes of each other. Multiple admins have now independently examined the CheckUser logs and confirmed these facts. The IP addresses are not from a public location (library, school, etc.) but rather, by rpeh's own admission, are IP addresses assigned to his home internet connection, and therefore it is not possible for rpeh to be unaware of someone else using the IP address. While there are possible legitimate reasons why two people could share an IP address, in that case, any such connection should have been revealed, especially before rpeh issued warnings related to Calliope's edits. Rpeh could even have clarified the situation when he used CheckUser (at 11:58 PDT, hours before anyone else noticed the issue) and discovered the evidence. Or he could have provided some sort of explanation here on the Admin Noticeboard. By instead refusing to even acknowledge the facts in the case and responding with angry counter-accusations, rpeh has destroyed his opportunity to provide an alternative explanation, leaving sock-puppetry as the only viable explanation.

Even his denials have been contradicted by the facts. For example, the CheckUser logs undermine his claim that "the Checkuser I ran last night on Calliope produced no matches to any other account". Of the 25 IP addresses used by Calliope, rpeh ran followup checks on 2 IP addresses. Those happened to be the only 2 IP addresses used by both Calliope and rpeh, and there is nothing else to connect the 2 IPs -- more than a dozen other IPs were used in the time period between those two. The only conceivable reason why rpeh would be interested in those specific IPs is that he saw the notes next to those IPs stating that multiple users had shared the IP address -- the exact same note that was noticed by other admins and triggered this investigation. The followup checks on those IPs by rpeh would have clearly shown the shared usage, presenting rpeh with the exact same evidence examined now by at least four other admins.

On one other minor point, I wouldn't be surprised if rpeh had not realized that his IP address would be recorded by CheckUser when he protected Elliot's talk page -- and therefore did not realize the incriminating evidence created by that one act. Plus, the details recorded by CheckUser and the analysis of results available increased dramatically during the wiki upgrade: the shared IPs would have been more difficult, if not impossible, to notice if the same events had happened a few months earlier.

Beyond the shared IP addresses, examining Calliope's contributions confirms, in retrospect, all of the other expected signs of sock puppetry:

  • "Precocious edit histories", i.e., unusual familiarity with wiki standards and policies for a new user, including UESP-specific wiki details (our use of namespaces; what is relevant to Lore) that would not have been acquired by editing on other wikis.
  • "Chronology of edits". Beyond the overlapping use of IPs, the overall chronology is also meaningful: Calliope appeared at a time when rpeh wanted to step away from the site (due to offline events that have been brewing for a few weeks and culminated in this unfortunately-timed announcement); and, rpeh's pattern of contributions to the site changed after Calliope appeared (the following day, he started using the rpeh account exclusively for admin/RoBoT-related edits).
  • "Similar writing/editing styles": Calliope's edit summaries and justifications consistently mimic those used by rpeh; a more detailed example is the careful in-game testing of Feet of Notorgo. Plus, the two accounts made identical votes, citing the same basic reasons.

Only "editing identical articles" is inconclusive, and that's simply because rpeh has edited every article on the site, making it impossible to fail that test. Overall, my conclusion is that the evidence is as clear as possible in a sock-puppetry case.

On the other hand, though, I think some of the more extreme interpretations of events are unlikely to be true. Specifically:

  • I don't think rpeh started editing as Calliope for malicious reasons, and specifically I do not think the account was created explicitly to attack Elliot. Rather, I think rpeh wanted to stop visibly patrolling UESP edits, and therefore was using Calliope to do his patrolling (or at least the edit-fixing part of patrolling). Such an account might not be entirely honest, but it would not necessarily be an inappropriate use of an alternative account. It was probably just an unlucky coincidence that Calliope and Elliot disagreed over an edit, at which point events rapidly escalated out of any one person's control.
  • I don't think rpeh is responsible for any of the anonymous edits to Elliot's talk page. I think one of our persistent trolls is responsible -- making multiple anonymous edits to escalate a site disagreement is the exact M.O. of one troll, and that troll has tried multiple times to antagonize Elliot in the past. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this troll has Elliot's talk page on his watchlist, plus it would have been easy to realize on Tuesday that things were heating up and to then wait until Wednesday to jump in as soon as round two started; so the timing of the anonymous edits is, in my opinion, not truly significant. There is absolutely no evidence of a connection between this troll and rpeh.
    • Furthermore, the anonymous edits were responsible for discovery of the rpeh/Calliope connection. The only reason why CheckUser was run on Calliope was to look for a connection to the anonymous edits; discovering the connection to rpeh was an accidental side-effect. Rpeh had no reason to engage in edits that would inevitably trigger the use of CheckUser, and his actions yesterday instead suggest that he was actively trying to prevent the anonymous edits from increasing the visibility of the situation.

Nevertheless, even assuming that rpeh had the best possible intentions when creating the sock-puppet account, there are still several actions that are clearly forbidden by Wikipedia policy:

  • Rpeh twice used his sock-puppet to vote in site decisions, duplicating his own vote (at UESPWiki:Deletion Review/Bloodmoon:Collecting Swords and at UESPWiki:Featured Articles#Yashazmus). Double-voting is expressly forbidden.
  • He issued a warning to Elliot when he himself was one of the two contributors to the edit war. This is also explicitly covered by Wikipedia policy: "Admins are also proscribed from operating a "bad hand" account for the purpose of engaging in editing disputes while at the same time appearing to be a neutral admin dealing with page protection or "three-revert rule" issues on the same articles."

Of course, as pointed out by Robin Hood, this is essentially now moot. On top of which, rpeh's subsequent statements/accusations have eclipsed the original events as far as influencing my opinion. I don't want to further aggravate the situation by rehashing the details, yet based on the previous comments I think this information needs to be clearly stated for everyone's benefit. Perhaps it will help some community members make a bit more sense of these bewildering events; perhaps it will help to rebut some of the specific counter-allegations or the general (and understandable) skepticism.

It's very disheartening, to me personally as well as to the community overall, that UESP appears likely to lose one of its most valuable editors and most respected administrators, but it was rpeh's decision to go down this path, including opting to burn all of his bridges and quit the site. I remain confident that UESP will recover from this unexpected setback, and will continue to flourish and move forward. --NepheleTalk 21:16, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Also, one quick bit of feedback to Robin Hood: I agree that disclosing some IP information was necessary for the sake of this discussion, and such usage is covered by our Privacy Policy. Given that Tiscali randomly assigns IPs that rotate multiple times per day, providing one specific IP address doesn't substantially reveal any more information than providing a range such as 89.168.*.* -- the extra details are random and therefore do not contain meaningful data. Furthermore, there is no easy way to eliminate the information from this article and its history. It's present in each of the two-dozen-plus revisions made in the last 12 hours, so this entire discussion would have to be erased. The text of the discussion could be pasted back into the article, but in the process all of the details of the history (who said what when; the edit summaries; etc.) would be lost. --NepheleTalk 21:36, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Agreed, there's little to be done for it at this point. Also, in regards to the anonymous IP edits you mentioned above, while I initially suspected Calliope, having looked more at Calliope's edits vs. the anonymous IP's, I have to agree that the troll you're talking about is far more likely. The overall style simply isn't the same. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 22:02, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Good analysis, Nephele. Based on that, plus earlier analysis, I also agree that a de-adminship is the correct course of action in this situation. As noted, it's somewhat moot at this point since rpeh has asked for that as well. However, it should be done sooner rather than later.
I'll also second that the site will continue to do well despite this. We've had similar problems in the past and recovered (even fluorished) despite them. --Wrye 22:08, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Rpeh was editing at WikiIndex for the last few days, which can explain some of his recent inactivity here. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 22:40, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree with pretty much everything Nephele has laid out here. I'd like to echo the sentiment that it's unfortunate things came to this point, but it seems like the end result may be for the best for everyone involved.
In light of these discoveries, I would like to suggest that the warning that has been placed on Elliot's page should be removed. While I contend that Elliot should be held accountable for his actions, it seems entirely inappropriate for the warning to stay in place. –Eshetalk 22:55, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
If it needs a seconder, I concur, the warning should be removed. While Elliot's response (the one rpeh warned him of) may have been off-the-mark, I admit jumping to a similar conclusion initially, so I can hardly fault him for doing the same. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 23:55, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
I also agree with Eshe's suggestion that the warning needs to be removed. I've even been in touch with Elliot already about the situation, so he's aware of the unusual circumstances. And thanks, Eshe, for the other followup you've taken care of today. --NepheleTalk 04:17, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
In light of agreement by two Admins (Eshe, Nephele) and a Patroller (myself), I've gone ahead and removed the entire section. There was a response by Ninti there as well, but on its own, it would've made little sense, so everything went. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 05:14, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Nephele, your opinion is well thought out and well researched, and I agree with it. Really, for those of you that doubt the strength of the technical evidence, I'm not sure you really understand exactly how damning this evidence is. I mean, a before and after IP match in a ten minute time period could only be more clear cut if he used the same browser. You aren't going to get better technical proof. The chance of this happening just once is extremely remote, and as Wrye has discovered, it happened twice. --Ratwar 06:48, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
I could go through Nephele's post and refute it point by point but I can't be bothered. I mean, calling our edit summaries similar when most of the time she didn't provide one? I just feel sorry for anybody posting well-researched information from anywhere in England, as they will probably now be linked to me. I know I'm nothing to do with Calliope and I don't care what anybody says in opposition. Whether the IP coincidence came from malice, chance or error (I've certainly had enough "UESP has a problem" messages recently) I don't know and I no longer care.
Of course UESP will continue to flourish, and I really hope it does. I have put real-world months of work into this site and if you think I want that effort to be wasted then you are quite simply wrong. Speaking of wasted work, I uploaded the cleaned and zoomed tiles for the other Oblivion map zones to content1 several weeks ago and I assume they're still there if somebody wants to make the updates to the map code. If not, let me know and you can have them. I also have several pages I was going to add to a new mod sub-site. If anybody's interested you can have those too. That's not finished though.
Due to various off-site issues I was already planning on taking a break; after the incident between Elliot and Calliope I decided to make the break absolute because I knew I was going to keep getting dragged back into being a playground monitor if I didn't. As a result these latest developments don't change my plans very much. The only difference is that now whenever you see a well-researched post removing a VN tag from an article, you can rest assured it won't be me because I will definitely not be editing this site again.
Goodbye. –rpehTCE 10:32, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
Just wanted to chime in, even though it looks like I’m rather late. Sock puppetry or not, the UESP has lost one of its best and most prolific editors. That is a fact, and to be honest, it leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. Not only was Rpeh the very reason I joined the site in the first place, he also took his time helping me out with my stupid questions – as well as doing the same for a handful of other editors – and always managed to run the site with a glimpse of humor, making it more fun to work on this page. While I was prepared to give rpeh the benefit of the doubt (I mean, making a sock puppet to be able to edit more quietly is no big deal – it just went too far), it seems like the evidence is overwhelming, unfortunately. What saddens me about this whole affair is the feeling of “angry lynch mob” that’s been haunting this place for the last couple of days. I mean, come on – it was a sock puppet made by a guy with over 44000 edits! Nevertheless, the result is inevitable and we’ve lost a brilliant editor. Was it worth it? No. So rpeh, thanks for all the good times with the NPCs - you will be truly missed on the project and on this page in general. --Krusty 15:20, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I can agree with the "angry lynch mob" comment, though I'm not about to say it's all been rainbows and flowers, either. As Nephele said in her comments, I think the sockpuppet that went too far was one thing, but his reactions in response to the accusation, whether he was guilty or innocent, were anything but what I would expect from an Admin, and it was that more than anything that made me firm in my stance. There have been other incidents of un-Admin-like behaviour over the past year that have also concerned me, to be honest, and I think I've been fairly open about those concerns as they came up. But in spite of those concerns, there is no question in my mind that rpeh contributed hugely to this site over the years, and I don't mean in terms of edit-count. I will always value his contributions, his help and pleasant IRC banter. I can honestly say that I wouldn't be the UESP editor I am today without his guidance along the way. But whether it was interpersonal differences, stress, or who knows what, I think rpeh no longer fit here as well as he once did. So with that, I'll say a great big thanks to rpeh for all his hard work, and I wish him the best in whatever he chooses to do in the future. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 19:04, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Definitely not an RfA ;)

In light of the fact that we've recently lost one significantly-active Administrator and the fact that the other still has limited use of her hands, is there a need for more Administrators at this point? To be honest, I'm perfectly content as the Patroller I am, but at the same time, I also want to see UESP do well, so if help is needed, I'm willing to go through the RfA process. Opinions? —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 20:31, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Right now I'd rather wait a little bit. I think in the short term the current admins can cover the needs (I'm trying to chip in a bit more). In the long term, we'll probably need to appoint another one, but we want to be very careful about it. After having two admins out of the eleven that have been appointed resign (and 2 of the 9 that have been active since I've been on the site), I'd much rather put in a little more time right now than pick the wrong person with a knee jerk reaction. --Ratwar 20:44, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Per Ratwar. It probably best to wait. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 22:01, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
I also agree with Ratwar. Now is not a good time, regardless of who may or may not be ready. We've got things covered for the short term, especially since things are pretty slow at the moment. –Eshetalk 23:35, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Not a problem. I basically wanted to put it out there that I was willing if there was need, but I don't feel any pressing urge to become an Admin, so consider it a standing offer if things get a little hectic. Oh and Ratwar, I think your count may be off...depends how you look at it (no subtext intended here...this is just me being anal-retentive). To my knowledge, we have indeed only had 2 Admins who've had the privilege removed, but we've also had one who more or less said he was resigning but never had the privileges removed, and 2 others who've stopped contributing at some point (though Endareth has said he/she will return with TES5). —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 03:22, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, the one that basically resigned wasn't going to have his access taken away if he didn't, which in my mind is an important distinction. I did count Endareth and Garrett though in saying that only nine of us have really been active since I've been around.--Ratwar 06:20, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
It was your use of the word "resign" that confused me, but obviously you counted all the same ones I did in the end. Thanks for clarifying my nitpick. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 07:49, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Recent Changes Changes

Last time I spent some time on UESP even non-patrollers could get a list of which edits were unpatrolled. That's no longer the case and makes it much more difficult for people who want to help out to do so. Is there any reason this was changed? Dr Jones 10:26, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure. I just tried logging out to confirm it, and you're right--there's no longer a "hide patrolled edits" option on the Recent Changes page. I'm guessing it has something to do with the recent upgrades. –Eshetalk 15:20, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
The option disappeared after the update - and it is pretty annoying, especially for users trying to keep track and help out (I know this, because I used this feature a lot, before I became a patroller). Any way we can get it back? Krusty 17:46, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I bet Nephele knows :). –Eshetalk 18:02, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I would say maybe... but I am no Nephele. After perusing the extension manuals and upgrade manuals, the only things I could see were Added wlshow=patrolled|!patrolled to list=watchlist and list=recentchanges doesn't check $wgUseRCPatrol, $wgUseNPPatrol and patrolmarks right, which are listed as bugs (so imagine the opposite. So there might actually be a way to do so. –Elliot talk 18:05, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Massive Site Outage

The site has been inaccessible all day, producing only a message saying "UESPWiki has a problem". Was this outage anticipated? Dr Jones 16:00, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Anticipated? Doubtful. Unexpected? No. We have been getting a lot as of late, so we just deal with them when we hit them. Daveh has been working on the servers to upgrade them recently, so a slight bump must have been hit. –Elliot talk 16:07, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
It has happened a few times (3?) since we switched to the new DB server at the start of August so its likely something to do with the new setup. Unfortunately, each time it happened I've been traveling which makes it hard for me to do anything (fortunately, Nephele has been around to get things going again). I've made a few changes and will watch it closely in the near future to see if that solves things or if I can catch it happening. -- Daveh 00:38, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

FYI - I made another account

I just wanted to make an official record of it, considering recent events; I've created another user account (User:GK) and redirected the pages to mine. The main reason is that I want to make sure no one else uses the name, but there a a few convenience-related reasons as well.  :) --GKTalk2me 03:05, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

W2G GK :D Lukish_ Tlk Cnt 04:45, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Questionable User Name

I believe the new user Austin is coosie (created August 22, 2009) falls under the "inappropriate username" catagory based on the definition given here. Dlarsh(Talk,Contribs) 23:47, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. I took care of it. Thanks for pointing it out! –Eshetalk 23:52, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Spam watch

While looking through the User Creation Log, I noticed the user Xiaoyuokok05 (created 9/22/2009), which is extremely similar to the bolcked user Xiaoyuokok01 (created 9/21/2009, blocked 9/23/2009). Given the nature of Xiaoyuokok01's block, I'm not sure if such a similarity would qualify as coincedence. I know they haven't done anything wrong, so this is more of a heads up just in case. Dlarsh(Talk,Contribs) 23:45, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I noticed that yesterday and ran a quick check on them. They're both using the same IP address, so it's probably reasonable to do a preventative block on the other account. I'll take care of it. Thanks for reminding me! –Eshetalk 23:53, 23 September 2009 (UTC)


It's happened a few times recently that IP users have been using TOR to troll on our wiki. Is this something we want to try to block? I found an article about blocking Tor exit points here (PDF), but my network/Internet knowledge is limited to the basics, so much of the article is over my head and I don't know if it would be useful if we do want to try to block TOR trolls. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:56, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

On a related note, I've also been in touch with OverlordQ who designed the "Tor check" for Wikipedia. While he's unwilling to re-design it for, he is willing to give us the code and explain exactly how it works if we want to re-design it for ourselves. Is this something we'd be interested in? The Wikipedia version will double for us if the person also happens to be using Wikipedia, but I suspect it wouldn't work if the person is only using UESP. If we don't take measures to ban Tor users (as we would other public proxies), then we may want to add our own "Tor check" option to the anonymous IP menu. Any thoughts? —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 00:28, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I think such as system would be worth looking into. Since the middle of August, there have been at least five incidents where Tor has been involved in Trolling on the wiki (or at least that's what I gather via manually checking IP addresses. There's already an option for 'Tor Check' in the check user function, but unfortunately, it doesn't appear to work.--Ratwar 03:21, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
He said it was written in Perl, but that it was fairly simple logic and should be easy to modify, so I suspect anybody with any web programming experience would be able to get it up and running. Nephele would probably be able to handle it quite easily, though she seems to be on a bit of a Wikibreak right now. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:46, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I was hoping that Nephele would return and comment on this, since at least the initial post would have been more her domain, I think. In regards to the Tor check, though, should I go ahead and ask OverlordQ for the code? I'm not a web programmer, so I don't know what would be involved in setting up something like that and whether it's something that anybody could host on any server we want, or if this is something that would have to be handled by Daveh/Nephele. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:37, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
I think it would be worth asking for the code, even if it never gets anywhere. If someone knows how to work on it and is willing to do so, then we'll at least have the material ready for them! –Eshetalk 01:53, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Okay, done! Any admins who are likely to work on the project and want a copy of it should e-mail me and I'll respond with a copy of the message once I get it. (Sorry, I won't send it to anybody else, both for safety reasons and because I presented this in the context of us implementing a Tor check ourselves, not freely distributing his source code.) —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 05:54, 22 October 2009 (UTC)


Now that the summer excitement of the database server has passed (well, mostly) I've had time to start something I've been thinking about for a while now: the UESP Blog. Other than the name and a link on the sidebar this is separate from the rest of the UESP so there's no extra work involved for the current Wiki/forum editors/admins. If people think it is appropriate I may also consider adding a front page news article.

The blog is also open to other UESP editors or ES fans that wish to be authors there (just let me know). The only real criteria is that appropriate content matches the UESP guidelines (i.e., in terms of vulgarity/content if would be inappropriate for the Wiki its likewise for the blog).

If you're not into blogging at all (either reading or writing them) feel free to ignore this. -- Daveh 00:25, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Misleading "You have new messages" banner

On User:Dagoth_Ur,_Mad_God's page (a banned user, for anybody unfamiliar with him), there's a fake "You have new messages" banner which leads to somewhere else on the site. It has previously been removed by User:Vallidin and then reinstated by User:Rpeh, I think on general principle. I decided that it really didn't belong, since it would mislead any users who read the page into thinking they had a message, which they would probably then click on and find themselves somewhere they didn't expect, so I removed it last night only to have it reverted by an anonymous Tor user. Being banned, we can't really ask the original user to remove it, so can I ask for a consensus on removing the header? Or if not removing it, altering it in some way to make it patently clear that it's not a real system message. Thanks! —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 19:14, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I've asked it before. Here -> User talk: Dagoth Ur, Mad God#Delete something from his userpage?. But I think my opinion has changed. I don't think many users will stumble across it, and even if they do, I don't think they will get too confused when it leads them to something unfamiliar and be quick to realize it's some kind of joke. Since I don't think it'll cause any problems, I say: Don't remove it. Talk Wolok gro-Barok Contributions 19:37, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
While it's true that not many people will likely stumble across it at this point, it may come up in things like page histories or "What links here" uses. At the very least, I'd like to alter it to read "(Joke) You have new messages...", just so that it's 100% clear to the rare user who does end up there for whatever reason. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 19:53, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I'd rather not do anything to it. I don't like messing with User namespace pages, and it's not doing any harm. I think it's actually pretty clever. Don't let it bother you, I doubt it will trick anyone. Lukish_ Tlk Cnt 23:10, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
It tricked me, albeit indirectly, since I don't usually click on them but jump straight to my own talk page instead. But more to the point, I see impersonating system messages as a form of vandalism in its own right, much like altering a user-page warning. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 23:55, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I think Rpeh's argument earlier on is still valid. You don't have to visit the userpage, and I'd rather not disturb the sleeping dogs. Furthermore, the links lead to seemingly random articles, and not harmful ones. --Timenn-<talk> 14:18, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm really not invested in what happens to this particular page. However, I think it's probably better to leave it alone. There are plenty of things about other users' pages that might be annoying (like layout, wacky colors, whatever), but user pages are supposed to be personal space. If it's not hurting anything, might as well leave it be. For the record, I'm pretty sure it got all of us! And if I recall correctly, DUMG's page is not the only one that uses it. –Eshetalk 22:43, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Okay, well, I'm surprised that nobody at all seems to agree with my POV (apart from Wolok, who used to but no longer does <g>), but it seems I'm massively out-voted on this one, so I'll let it stand. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 00:34, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

One question: Why does a permanently banned user need an userpage for? When an user is banned permanently on other wikis, their user pages are either blanked or deleted. I'm not saying we should become like other wikis, but what practical use can Dagoth's userpage possibly have now? --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 18:37, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Really, why bother? The userpage provides significant history. Deleting prevents editors from checking it, and blanking seems like a non-solution. --Timenn-<talk> 11:44, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Alright. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 17:41, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

UOP changelog summary - wikified

I've been working on a project for Oblivion; as part of that, I decided to take the UOP changelog, sort everything out, and convert it to wikicode. It was going to be part of a wiki, but plans changed and I was left with this folder full of Notepad files. It wasn't until recently that I thought, "Why not give it to the UESP wiki?" So, here I am. Can someone direct me to somewhere I can add it, and then I can make sure everything's up to snuff?

Oh yeah - you can contact me here, or drop me an email: I'll even be happy to hand over the files if anyone wants to look at them. I contacted Qarl about this awhile back, when I first started working on it; he was cool with it, since he and Kivan had stopped working on it over a year ago and no one's touched it since. — Unsigned comment by WalkerInShadows (talkcontribs) on 14 October 2009

I never realised the project was continued upon since previous year. I think it's manageable to cover the list here, if that is indeed OK with the creators. The list would need some better organization though, as it is too long for a wiki article as it currently stands. --Timenn-<talk> 11:49, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I've already got it organized, and it's even done in wikicode, though I might have to make a few changes; I did it for Wikidot. I'm just wondering where to put it.
I might be a good idea to sort them over a few different subpages. Like Tes4Mod:Unofficial Oblivion Patch/Object Placement, and Tes4Mod:Unofficial Oblivion Patch/Graphical Issues.
Though before you start I hope some other editors will add their ideas to this. --Timenn-<talk> 11:39, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Already been done. I've got it spread out over 17 files (there's a LOT of stuff), though some of them could be combined (I have four "Text Fixes" files - Books, Cells, Dialogue, and Quests). If no one has any objections, I'll start adding stuff this weekend, then whoever's interested can sort it out.
Great. Perhaps you can start with a single page, and see how it works out and whether others have any ideas for improvements? Then you can incorporate those in the other pages the first time around. --Timenn-<talk> 15:43, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Oblivion:Glitches Semiprotection

Since there isn't a "Protection Review" page (at least not that I'm aware of), I thought I'd bring this up here. Oblivion:Glitches was semi-protected three years ago to avoid having unregistered users enter a lot of uninformed information (if that's not an oxymoron). At the time, that made a lot of sense, since the game was still new and a lot of things were poorly understood. What's the general feeling about keeping that page semi-protected now? I only ask because we just had a report from an unregistered user because he/she couldn't make good-faith edits to the page. My personal opinion would be to give unprotection a try and re-protect if problems arise, but I don't have strong leanings in either direction. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 09:12, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Three years is long enough ago to warrant an attempt at a trial with Oblivion:Glitches being open to all editors (not just autoconfirmed). Normally pages should only be protected to prevent vandalism. --Timenn-<talk> 09:27, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
While we're at it, perhaps we should review the entire list at Category:Semi_Protection. I didn't look at all of them in detail, but it seems to me that there are at least a few entries there that probably don't need to be semi-protected any more. That said, I think there are some like Oblivion:Generic Magic Apparel that may have more reason to be long-term semi-protected. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 19:24, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
The whole idea of semi-protecting Oblivion:Glitches was that people would post on /Proposed instead. What are you going to do with that? While Aristeo's "solution" to the glitches problem wasn't perfect... or even half decent... don't come up with half a fix in response. 19:59, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
If that were the primary concern, then it would have been fully protected. At this point, I doubt we're going to get too many additions to the page by anons, but if we do, we can always put it back to semi-protection. Still, if you have a better solution to propose, now is the time to do it. After all, TESV will be coming out at some point, and we'll probably face the same issues on its Glitches page as we did originally on Oblivion's. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 20:53, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
You missed my point. I don't like the current solution but if you unprotect the main page, what happens to /Proposed? 20:56, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
It depends on your faith in users...and we have to assume that they're editing in good faith. If all users do as they should, then they'll still used /Proposed properly. If they don't, then we'll re-investigate options at that time. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 21:39, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Sorry... you know why the subpage was created, right? Good faith has nothing to do with it. People can add total nonsense in good faith and the subpage was created to deal with that problem. Registered editors usually took more care. Unregistered ones added anything. The idea was that glitches would be confirmed by experienced editors before being moved to the main page. By and large, that is what has happened. Yes, this solution (introduced by Aristeo with no consultation) has ended up moving the rubbish to /Proposed rather than the main page, but at least the main page now has a collection of relevant, confirmed problems.
If you have TWO pages that anyone can post to, you will end up with chaos on both of them. IF you unprotect the main page, you need to merge /Proposed into the talk page or something like that. Having OB:Glitches, OB:Glitches/Proposed and Oblivion talk:Glitches all unprotected and apparently open for editing is going to be massively confusing. 21:46, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Yes, I understand the logic, and if it's necessary, that's what we would go back to. I don't see the harm in trying unprotection to see if it's still a concern. As I said, I expect we'll need to implement a similar solution on TESV's Glitches page when it comes out, but at this point, I don't think it's likely to be a big concern for Oblivion's. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 22:10, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that a glitches page should be created for at least 6 months after TESV is released or you'll be inundated with rubbish. Well that's likely to happen on every other page anyway, but by creating a Glitches page you're asking for trouble. If OB:Glitches is unprotected, then why not fully-protect /Proposed and have everyone post on the talk page? At least that would be getting back to something like a standard article. 22:14, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Currently we have a better patroller coverage, and if the patrollers are consistent with moving anything unproven off the main page it will work. We probably need to start being more consistent with the Proposed and talk pages. Proposed should only cover those entries that are seemingly correct, while everything in the form of a personal experience should be moved to the talk page right away. --Timenn-<talk> 12:37, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

NewLine Weirdness

Not sure where to post this exactly, but since it's indirectly related to the above post, I figured this was good enough. For some reason, Template:NewLine isn't showing up in the Protected Templates category. At least to me, it appears to be identically structured to Template:Linkable Entry, which does show up. At first, I thought it might be the fact that {{NewLine}} was used in {{TemProtect}} causing some kind of recursive issue, but even after removing that, the problem doesn't seem to have resolved itself. Anybody know what's going on here? —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 20:49, 22 October 2009 (UTC)


I hope this is the right place to suggest this (I figure admins are the only people who can nforce this...) Would it be worth introducing a barnstar policy (like on Wikipedi.a) It would serve as a fun little addition, a nice incentive for editors and a fun way of rewarding regular contributers. Just an idea. Aias 19:52, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Myself, I don't like systems for rewarding people. Seeing the barnstar article on Wikipedia, it only makes me a dread that we will eventually end up with a similar long list of trivial rewards. I prefer to see that if one editor feels he/she should give a reward to another editor, the editor is free to that in his/her own way. --Timenn-<talk> 16:53, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Isn't it about time...?

Why dont you people apologize to Rpeh and invite him back on to the site? You just have to look at the recentchanges page to see how much the site has suffered since he left and its only going to get worse as time goes on. He didnt do anything wrong (Elliot pretty obviously faked the whole thing - look at how he left almost straight after the incident) and although one or two of you are trying to keep things going, your missing your most active editor and it isnt working.

You all used to be friends so why not stand up, shake hands and get on with fixing the site? 21:45, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Quite simply, he chose to leave (although I'm not ignoring the drama around that), but he still has his account here and if he wishes to contribute, he knows he can do so at any time. I doubt that he would get his Administrator status back, but that doesn't stop him from contributing. Also, Elliot didn't have the means to fake much of what happened, so I think we can discount that entirely. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 21:57, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
As Robin Hood points out, I'm not blocked. I can come back any time I want. The fact is that as I have mentioned elsewhere, I don't want to. He should realise, though, that I had stated several times I wanted to get rid of my administrator status, and that even if I did come back I wouldn't want that particular ball and chain back.
While I thank for its comments, it should rest assured that I am quite capable of fighting my own battles.
Every so often I cast my eye over the site, and there are many edits I would test, edit or undo, but I'm sure UESP will continue regardless of how inaccurate it is becoming. –rpehTCE 22:31, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Dropping the Ball on Vandalism Among Other Things


Dropping the Ball on Vandalism Among Other Things

(Note: The following has been re-organized into subsections and may therefore occasionally read a little oddly. Some discussion unimportant to the larger issue has been removed - specifically, the "asked and answered" topic of contacting Daveh and the occasional introductory clause or comment that had no substance of its own.)

So recently, we have had two major attacks on the site: one on the Template namespace (by someone who obviously knew what they were doing) and another most likely by an automated function. The server is still struggling to keep with the edits that took place a while ago, so something must be done in order to prevent this in the future.

I also proposed some revisions to the Deletion Policy that no one has responded to, so I might as well put it here as well.

I know this is a lot to think through, but I have been thinking about this for a long time. Recent events have just spurred me to mention it a little bit sooner. –Elliot talk 19:07, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Auto-confirm Age and Count

Proposal: We could lengthen the current $wgAutoConfirmAge and $wgAutoConfirmCount settings to further hinder the ill-intentioned. $wgAutoConfirmAge is currently set at one day while $wgAutoConfirmCount is currently nonexistent. I believe it would be best to set $wgAutoConfirmAge to 3600*92 (four days) and $wgAutoConfirmCount to something around 20. And with both of these set, a user would have to fulfill both conditions in order to move into the autoconfirmed group. –Elliot talk 19:07, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

: Noticeably, Wikipedia now has a 4-day policy, plus a much harsher policy for Tor users (see here). I have no problems with adopting a similar policy here. One-day was appropriate a few years ago, but as wikis become more common, so does vandalism, and I think that a 4-day policy, while unfortunate, is probably appropriate at this point. I have no particular opinion on the Auto-confirm Count, though noticeably Wikipedia has theirs set at 10 currently, so that may be something to consider. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:01, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it is that harsh, since the only privilege they receive is being able to edit semi-protected pages. This would strengthen the defense for template vandalism. –Elliot talk 01:15, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
One thing I meant to ask is, how is Wikipedia identifying Tor users? If they've got an automated method other than the "Tor check" on the User Contributions page, it could be useful to find out how they're doing it. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 23:40, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I would rather keep to Wikipedia's counts than the ones proposed. I especially feel that 20 edits may be a bit too much. It's not much for established editors, but for new editors it may take a while before reaching it. An editor can perfectly prove him/herself within 10 edits. --Timenn-<talk> 14:51, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I am fine with the 4 days/10 edits setup. –Elliot talk 17:12, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I have no problem with using Wikipedia’s standards, or keeping the same ones we have now. --Ratwar 04:36, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I think we should use Wikipedia's for awhile. –Elliot talk 16:37, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm good with the 4 days / 10 edits policy on this one. –Eshetalk 00:24, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Four days / 10 edits sounds reasonable to me. --GKTalk2me 02:10, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Set $wgAutoConfirmAge to 4 days and $wgAutoConfirmCount to 10 edits. –Elliot talk 02:32, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Creation Protection

Proposal: I think we should utilize the new feature of Creation Protection. Perhaps this could be a parallel discussion with the Protection Policy, but we will see how it goes. I think that pages deleted via prod (perhaps just DRed) should be protected from creation for a lengthy period (I was thinking along the lines of about 6 months) to ensure that we don't have to waste time dealing with what will eventually end the same. If someone really wanted to create the page, then we could have them establish a copy in their userspace; and if an admin deems in suitable, they will allow them to create it.

Also, there are :Category:Spam-Blockers|spam blockers that are also made unnecessary due to this feature. I think they should be deleted and indefinitely salted (something WP uses to define creation protection). –Elliot talk 19:07, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

: Given that the feature now exists, it seems reasonable to use it. Unless I've misunderstood, this essentially fills the same purpose as the Spam-Blocker pages, only it's built-in instead of a workaround, so why not use it? —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:01, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the spam blockers are no longer necessary. –Elliot talk 01:15, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
To clarify, I only meant that we should use this to replace those pages that we've already salted, since it's the built-in method and not a kludge of a workaround; I don't agree that we should salt all deleted or speedy-deleted pages, unless of course there's clear-cut repeat vandalism occurring. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 23:40, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I can't recall any example of where a page was recreated after it had been deleted, other than by a spammer or vandal. I believe we already had something of a blacklist, and I feel it needs only be used to prevent vandalism and spam. If the same page is recreated after it was deleted it can simply be proposed for speedy deletion, and the creator can be advised on the workings of consensus. --Timenn-<talk> 14:51, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
The Elder Scrolls V was created about 2 months after originally being deleted. And guess what? It is sitting there prodded, wasting other people's time. That is why we should salt DRed pages for 6 months. –Elliot talk 17:12, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
If an article is created against consensus, it can be speedy deleted. Marking it and deleting it is easy enough. It doesn't happen often enough to create a system for it. --Timenn-<talk> 14:07, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I still think, that after a deleted page is speedied after an unnecessary creation, it should be temporarily salted. And the spam blockers need to be deleted and salted as well. –Elliot talk 16:37, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I’d be fine using it as a spam blocker, a little bit more iffy on it becoming a regular part of Proposed Deletion. Like Timenn, I don’t see it as a problem, and since we’re supposed to assume good faith, it could be seen as counter to that policy. I just don't see one simple example as a reason to do it to hundreds of pages. --Ratwar 04:36, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Then we will have to add it to the speedy deletion "clause", saying that it is permissible to add a speedy tag to recreated pages. –Elliot talk 00:05, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that is a good idea. It fits almost entirely in the consensus policy already, but making an extra note about it wouldn't hurt. --Timenn-<talk> 12:21, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
If we're having trouble with frequently recreated pages, why don't we just simply redirect those pages to the correct page? For example, 'The Elder Scrolls V' could be redirected to General:The_Future_of_TES_Games. I mean, this would have to be done on a case by case basis, but if a page is recreated, we can only assume that either people want an article on that subject, or can't find the current article on that subject.--Ratwar 16:38, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
It is the case in some instances, but that can't be done for all of them, as you have stated. So it is best to have a policy for all instances. –Elliot talk 20:37, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
That is a good point. I'd be fine with it as long as it only covers pages that need to be deleted twice or more.--Ratwar 21:55, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm okay with using this with pages that are frequently created for spam or nonsense, but other than that I think it would be a little tricky. Besides, if people keep creating an article, we might need to revisit whether we were wrong to delete it in the first place. I'd say clear-cut vandalism/spam/nonsense only, with a...2 month duration or so. –Eshetalk 00:24, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

If it's a speedy delete for spam/nonsense/vandalism, then it makes sense to prevent recreation, but I'd rather not make it a fast rule for all deleted pages. It makes more sense to me to just make a decision as special cases come up. --GKTalk2me 02:10, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I think it would be best to the spam blockers deleted and salted (saves space). I guess someone can propose them for deletion if necessary. And we seem to have a bunch of pages spammed that have the word "Journal" in it (whether it's a key word or just some spammer trying to fool us doesn't really matter), so I think that after 2 deletions it can be salted for about two months. And, we will need to add a clause that states that recently DRed pages (deleted, obviously) are reason enough to be speedy deleted. Any objections or notable issues? –Elliot talk 11:40, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm having trouble finding the discussion, but didn't Nephele implement a similar system earlier? I could recall a blacklist being made for page creation, and some of the spam blockers being deleted (as they were no longer deemed necessary). --Timenn-<talk> 17:03, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I remember something of the sort, but the creation protection was never really implemented (she didn't think that going back and deleting the spamblockers was necessary). I think deleting and protecting them is better as they are listed in Special:ProtectedTitles. –Elliot talk 21:19, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
It should be used but not as suggested. I already killed a number of spam blocker pages (or rather, I nominated them and somebody else killed them) that were no longer needed because of the title filter we have (this is the one Timenn is mentioning - MediaWiki:Titleblacklist). Permanently preventing creation of a talk page is totally wrong and should never be considered. Preventing creation of articles... maybe. But if somebody really wants to create a badly-informed article on TESV, they'll just use a different name (TES5, TES V, TES 5 or whatever). Where it's a page like /index.php/whatever then yes, permanent creation protection is sensible. I like the idea of adding a new criterion to the Speedy Deletion policy though. –rpehTCE 22:39, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I am fine with the first part, but we need to use it for the spam blockers. I am fine with taking the others with a case-by-case look. –Elliot talk 23:05, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

\=> Thanks for linking that blacklist rpeh, that is the one I was looking for. I think we can manage with that list for the more persistent spam titles. --Timenn-<talk> 16:56, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

At the moment, 14 of the 21 spam-blockers end in "/". There's no reason why a page should end that way so adding (I hope) ".*/" to the blacklist should mean those 14 can go.
In general, a rule is preferable over an exception so things that can go on the blacklist should be prefered over protecting individual pages. Whichever admin updates that blacklist should remember the content1/content2 problem - both servers may not update straight away. –rpehTCE 22:41, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm fine with that, but what about the other 7? Creation protection should be used in in the case of the exception. –Elliot talk 22:51, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Certainly. I can no longer see deleted edits but if there was definitely a history of vandalism on those pages, they should have protection applied on an individual basis. –rpehTCE 22:54, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
We need to decide about talk pages. Titles with "journal" have been hit a lot (talk pages), and they are recreated a good majority of the time. I know permanent protection is a bad idea, but I can't see a way around it. –Elliot talk 23:15, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Add .*/ to the MediaWiki:Titleblacklist. Salt the rest of the spam-blockers for an indefinite amount of time. And add a note in the protection policy that salting be used at the administrators discretion. –Elliot talk 11:53, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Deletion Policy - "Contested"

Proposal: This proposition is fairly small and has to do with the word contested: The deletion review is where pages that are contested or potentially controversial are debated. There have been some pages that are proposed for deletion, with the user who created the page removing the prod. This has been viewed as contested before, but I don't really understand why. It is a natural reaction to contest something that you delete. A recent DR was made after the creator contested the prod, and was the only one who contested it. It went to DR and was (nearly) unanimously chosen for deletion. Defining this word will allow for some quicker actions to be taken on the more obvious terms. And the definition I want is that contested implies a challenge from a third party. –Elliot talk 19:07, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

: I can understand the idea behind this, but I can't agree with it, if for no other reason than that it violates the spirit of the "everyone's vote is equal" concept. If we modify the policy at all, I would say that we should introduce an exception to the DR policy that if one admin and another admin/patroller apart from the creator and prodder agree with the deletion, it can be deleted without the need for a DR. This would mean that a minimum of three people believe it should be deleted, at least two of whom have experience with what's normally considered deletable. If others later object, the pages can be undeleted and it can proceed to a full DR. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:01, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
You misunderstood. It only disallows the creator of the page to contest the prod. I mean, of course they are going to contest it. So it would only save time from the inevitable (a deletion). –Elliot talk 01:15, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I misunderstood about the "contested" thing. I consider the creator of the page to be equal and still have an equal vote - you can't just dismiss his/her vote because they're the creator. It's not a given that they'll contest it, though it's obviously more likely. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:34, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
But if they are the only one that contested the deletion, would a deletion review be necessary? –Elliot talk 01:39, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
If it's one person vs. another, then I don't the the creator's vote should be trumped just because they're the creator. If nobody else has commented, then I think opinions should be solicited from other "staff" (as suggested above) or maybe even long-time users and if the creator still disagrees and can find someone else who does as well, then it should go to a deletion review. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:44, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, it won't be one v. one because of the admin deleting the page decides what to do. If they see a problem with it, then they will mention something, and not delete it. –Elliot talk 01:48, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
(outdent) True, but even one vs. two is a slim margin to declare something deletable. It's still essentially trumping the creator's vote. Anyway, I'm off for dinner, I'll let others (hopefully) give opinions on everything, as well as this particular issue. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:52, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
However, you forget that the prod remains up there for 7 days. So by not refuting it, editors implicitly agree with the proposed deletion. But obviously, the defense must show itself explicitly. And that is done by the creator of the page on the talk page. –Elliot talk 06:02, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Robin Hood's statement that "everyone's vote is equal". I prefer to spend a bit more time setting up a deletion review, than to give the creator's the impression he is being overruled simply because he is less experienced. I think changing this would only sour the atmosphere here on UESP. Subtle bureaucracy can sometimes save an environment from changes that are made on the whim of one editor. I'm not saying that all prod's contested by the creator should be turned into a deletion review, but I don't want it to be a policy that another editor has disagree first. The spirit of proposed deletion is that the one who proposed it is probably right, but may have missed something, so another editor can jump in on time. --Timenn-<talk> 14:51, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Where is the implication that this would invoke some form of mild-totalitarianism? Basically it would say this: You want the page kept? Prove to US that it deserves to be kept on the talk page. If the prodder still disagrees, and there are other editors that agree with the creation, THEN can it go to a DR. I am not trying to say that someone's vote is being overruled by just one person. If no one else agrees with the creation of the page, then why would we waste time on a DR? To make people actually give their opinion when the "chips are down"? –Elliot talk 17:12, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I don’t really like the idea of automatically demoting the creator of the page (especially when many are created by new users) to a second class citizen. I mean, the Deletion Review Page is far from clogged as it is as there is only one active deletion review and that is the only Review in about a month. --Ratwar 04:36, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Ratwar on this, there are few enough deletion review snot to be hindered by them. I rather waste a little more time on a DR than not to see it done properly. Deletion Reviews are easier seen by more editors than a remote article, so it's easier for more voices to jump in (and a potential extra defendant). --Timenn-<talk> 14:07, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
It's not really demoting them. It's saying, "If no one else agrees that we should keep your page, then what is the point of keeping it?" –Elliot talk 07:00, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

\=>Hm, swapped a few replies here, as they used to be in a different order. (How could I agree with Ratwar before he made his argument?)

The problem is whether creators of articles will truly feel the way you say. Such pages are usually created by new editors, still learning the tricks of the trade. Taking their opinion on their contributions very seriously can make them feel more welcome. This is different from normal edits, as they can easily be reverted (deleted edits cannot be). --Timenn-<talk> 12:21, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Elliot, the problem I see here is that a 'Proposed Deletion' doesn't really say that no one (other than the author) thinks that we should keep the page. All it says is one editor (or maybe even a few editors) thought the page could be deleted.--Ratwar 16:41, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
The point I am trying to establish is that the person who made the page, rather than remove the prod on the page, state their case on the talk page. If the prodder, any one else, or the deleting administrator agrees with the user, then they can remove the prod. If some people still feel it should be deleted, then they take it to a DR (kind of like the senate in killing the debate). So please, stop implying that I am taking away the (often unused) voice of the page creator. –Elliot talk 20:37, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I still don't like it. There is no need for it as I've previously stated, since the DR page is hardly clogged by anything besides cobwebs. If a deletion is opposed, take it to Deletion Review, or if the opposing side is small, convince them it ought to be deleted.--Ratwar 22:21, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
if the opposing side is small, convince them it ought to be deleted Wasn't that exactly what I said? –Elliot talk
Ummm... Not anywhere that I can see... By that comment I was merely saying that under current policy it is quite acceptable to convince new editors that the page should be deleted without going to deletion review. Only when that fails do you move to a Deletion Review. This both allows the page to be deleted quickly and respects the opinions of the page creator.--Ratwar 00:14, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I can't agree to this. Everyone's vote is equal, so if a reasonable explanation for why someone thinks a page should be deleted does not change the creator's mind, it should go to a deletion review, per our current policy. –Eshetalk 00:24, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I find it dismissive and rather rude to assume that if a deletion is disputed by the page's creator then it's not worth considering their thoughts on the subject. Current policy works just fine. --GKTalk2me 02:10, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I still don't see where you people are coming up with the prospect that they lose heir opinion. Obviously the administrator is going to view their opinion. I still fail to see how everyone jumped to that conclusion...
  1. The page is prodded.
  2. The author makes their case on the talk page.
  3. Other members make their statements for the next 7 days.
  4. If it is going to be controversial, then an editor or admin takes it to a DR. If it isn't, then the admin deletes it.
Basically this cuts down the need for a DR. And also, we should mention that the creator makes their case rather than bluntly removing the tag on the tag itself. –Elliot talk 11:40, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the Proposed Deletion notice invites anyone (it does not limit the people who may do it) to remove the notice if they have any objections, but you propose to change that?
I don't feel happy with that. The Prod is intended for pages that almost automatically go to the grinder. The 7 days is a failsafe to protect the pages that do not deserve deletion. --Timenn-<talk> 17:03, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
What I don't want is an edit war over a small thing like a tag. If we leave it on for 7 days or so while people discuss, it will put the focus on the conversation, and not the tag. –Elliot talk 21:19, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Kind of Agree. There have been several cases where the only person to question a Proposed Deletion tag was the author and it therefore had to go to Deletion Review. There has never been a case where such a contested deletion didn't end up with the page being deleted with a huge majority. I think the best case was the Punching horses page. It ended up with Nephele adding one sentence to an existing article. Nobody apart from the article author had anything to say in defence of the article but the whole process dragged on for several days. Even the addition Nephele made had to be qualified massively to get it away from being a real "good idea". People are always going to defend their articles but in almost all cases, if there's nobody else willing to stand up for that article, it should be killed. Perhaps another addition to the deletion policy would work here? Add a param to the Proposed Deletion template to indicate that the creator has objected. Then the deleting admin will be able to spot a potentially tricky problem more easily and either give the deletion more time, move it to DR or, if there's been no debate on the talk page beyond "I object" - delete it. At the moment a fairly effective way of trolling the site would be to create a dozen basically useless articles and object to all the deletions. Some poor admin then has to create DRs for each. I know that hasn't happened yet, but since this is about picking up the ball, it's worth mentioning. –rpehTCE 22:39, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I think the idea of adding a parameter is a good idea; it should mention on the tag that the author has made a defense on the talk page. I think with no defense on the talk page, then it shouldn't be an issue to deleted. –Elliot talk 23:05, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

\=> Always creating a Deletion Review when a creator objects to a deletion was never the issue. The reverse is what I'm opposed to. When a creator objects to a deletion, it shouldn't automatically lead to a DR, but neither should it ignored by default until someone else opposes it too.

I'm just wondering if adding the extra parameter will only make it more complex, especially considering very few Deletion Reviews have been created after a creator objected. Usually the existence of a talk page should warn the administrator that the Prod might have been objected to. --Timenn-<talk> 16:56, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

It will be more complex, and that's an argument against this. Maybe the talk page is all that's required, but I know from experience it's easy to miss. It'll need a policy tweak though in any case. Maybe... give it one extra week if the creator objects? –rpehTCE 17:03, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, on Wikipedia, they have a "hangon" template that the creator uses to make note of their case. WP only uses it for speedy deletions, but it seems like something we can use as a mold for our own. –Elliot talk 09:01, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Nothing to change. Ask the creator of the article to defend his position on the talk and try to reach an agreement. If nothing is worked out, take it to the DR. –Elliot talk 11:53, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Deletion Policy - Single Active Admin

Proposal: The addendum proposed by rpeh (seen here) should be implemented into policy, rather than having administrators ask for permission to delete prodded pages after four weeks. There may be times when four weeks pass with a backlog of pages that need deleted. I fail to see how this is even minutely controversial. –Elliot talk 19:07, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

: Agreed. If nobody has cared enough to take action after four weeks, then a page should be proddable without a second opinion. In an ideal world, a second admin should be encouraged to approve the deletion, but if everybody's inactive, then the one remaining admin shouldn't feel bound by an inapplicable policy. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:01, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
It's not necessary to change this policy. There is a backlog of around 40 pages at the moment, which is usually much lower. The situation as was then with rpeh is far different than the one currently. I prefer the way two editors have to check a proposed deletion before it can be deleted. If a similar situation arises as the one past Spring, then we can handle it at that time. There is no need to create a policy for it, and I would not agree with it. --Timenn-<talk> 14:51, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
But at the same time, it is not necessary to not change the policy. If this doesn't go through, then I would help the admin by removing the prod and adding it myself, so they can delete it a week later. I mean, it allows for "fishy" behavior if you don't allow something so harmless to be done. –Elliot talk 17:12, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
The small backlog is almost cleared now, with little enough effort of Ratwar and me. Changing this policy will have us lose the concept of deleted articles being reviewed at least twice, and reinforcing the belief that administrators cannot delete articles simply on their own. --Timenn-<talk> 14:07, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
If you think it needs a second opinion, and only one admin has been on for an entire month, then perhaps a patroller can check off the deletion. –Elliot talk 16:37, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, changing the policy in that way wouldn’t really help. I just went through the Proposed Deletion Category and found that all three active administrators had pages that they’d nominated that were about a month old. That is to say that nobody is really deleting pages often. I just don’t see it as a pressing issue. --Ratwar 04:36, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
It may not be pressing now, but it could be beneficial in the long run. Plus, I don't see why not letting patrollers check off on the deletion is a bad idea. –Elliot talk 00:05, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Administrators may be better aware of some of the site's workings to understand which articles are actually still of use. They have been around a bit longer. Sometimes the use of an article is not always very clear (certain redirects, for example). As you say it, a patroller would only check off the deletion as an automatic measure, which is not the intention behind the double-check before deletion. Preventing a single administrator from deleting articles makes sure that no administrator is pursuing his/her own vision of what needs to be deleted without discussing it. You mostly name examples from the time rpeh had to deal with a serious backlog of deletion proposals. As this is no longer the case, I don't feel the need to take these drastic measures. --Timenn-<talk> 12:21, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
So administrators have voice when they are not present? Seems kind of foolish. If there is no one else here, then why would it be such a huge problem, after an entire month, for an admin to delete a page they prodded? If it was so bad, I am sure a patroller would remove the prod if they felt some freak agenda occurring. Elliot talk 20:37, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I fully agree with Timenn.--Ratwar 22:28, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I still don't like the implication that patrollers are unable to decide some things. But, to each his own I suppose. –Elliot talk 23:46, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I'd rather leave this one as is. If there's a serious backlog of pages that for some reason need to be deleted (though I can't think of circumstances where this would happen) and they've been sitting around for several months, I'd say it's okay for the same admin to delete them. I'd prefer if the admin made note of it before proceeding to make sure the community is okay with it first. Really, pages that are marked for deletion aren't hurting anybody if they sit around a little longer than a week, so I don't see a need to define this in policy. –Eshetalk 00:24, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

There's no reason to change a policy that's working. If we must change it, I'd say that it be something along the lines of if the number of undeleted pages are having a detrimental effect on the wiki, then it is reasonable for the same admin that prodded a page to delete it. --GKTalk2me 02:11, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I would be fine with that. (Numbers and set periods of time tend to aggravate people for some reason, rather than concepts...) –Elliot talk 11:40, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I would prefer to propose that the administrator posts a notice first on the talk page, and do deletions after no one has objected for 7 days. --Timenn-<talk> 17:03, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I am open for any implementation of this, because I don't like the current state now. –Elliot talk 21:19, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Well obviously I agree with that one. Ratwar's argument of "I just went through the Proposed Deletion Category and found that all three active administrators had pages that they’d nominated that were about a month old" is irrelevant - the change was suggested when there were pages staying around for months, and even in this case having pages around for over a month is still indicative that a change is needed. Surely we can agree that if nobody has anything good to say about a page inside four weeks, it can be killed? –rpehTCE 22:39, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with rpeh. I don't see how this is a true issue. Administrators shouldn't have a say if they aren't around to say anything. Of course it really isn't a problem now (although there are pages that have been prodded for a month or so now), but it has happened before. It goes into the ex pre facto realm, but I don't see that as a problem. –Elliot talk 23:05, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

\=> So make a notice on the Deletion Policy talk page that you are about the clean up the older articles (older than a month), and will continue if no one has objected after seven days? That has been done before. --Timenn-<talk> 16:56, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes, but there is no policy doing that (so essentially, the admins were wrong in doing so). We just need to add it to the policy page. –Elliot talk 22:26, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. I previously announced that I was going to violate policy, and then did so. The fact that nobody complained about either event speaks volumes though. Timenn is right - the policy should be tweaked to allow such actions, but despite the current good maintenance of the deletion list, I really think this is something that needs doing. –rpehTCE 22:28, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Any administrator wanting to deleting articles that they proposed for deletion must make mention on the Deletion Policy talk page, wait 7 days for no objection, and then delete the articles. –Elliot talk 02:32, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Edit Filter

Proposal: Another possible choice would be an Edit filter, which uses regex. There has been some concern over this, but I am just mentioning it as a possibility. –Elliot talk 19:07, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

: It might be something to consider if vandalism becomes more of a problem, but right now, it sounds like it's probably more trouble to setup and maintain than we could justify. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:01, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
The edit filter is extremely flexible, and my main reason for wanting this is to be prepared for the release of TESV, which everyone knows will be a tad chaotic. –Elliot talk 01:15, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't see it mentioned here or in a quick scan of the link provided, but in a PM, Elliot mentioned that there was a "log only" mode to the filter. If that's the case, it might be beneficial to install this in log only mode and see what it would have blocked and what it wouldn't, then make a decision. In the end, though, there are advantages and disadvantages to such a system, and at least from my perspective, there's no clear argument for or against using it, so I'm neutral on this. As I said above, it may be more trouble than it's worth, but if someone is interested and willing, I won't object, either. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 23:40, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
A definite no here. Regular expressions are a pain to set up if you can't exactly describe what you want to have filtered. Remember that censure practitioners have struggled with this issue for a very long time. Editors will simply come up with a way to break through the filter. A regular expression filter is by no means an intelligent filter, and I fear they would only slow the site down. --Timenn-<talk> 14:51, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
There are more than just 'regular expression' filters. There is a filter that can stop people from editing a certain page until they have a certain edit count (perhaps this is how we protect the templates, eh?). The best thing to do would be to go through WP's filter and see the scope it can achieve. –Elliot talk 17:12, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
The main problem is that we no detailed plan against what we'd wish to set this up. Such filters usually grow very long and tedious to maintain. I also fear for it to slow down the site parser if syntax, or semantic, errors are made in the regular expressions (easy enough to make!). Higher level filters mostly inherit these problems rather than solve them. --Timenn-<talk> 14:07, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I just feel like it is too easily fooled, and could generate false positives. I may be old fashioned in that respect, but I just don’t see the need. --Ratwar 04:36, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I think I should guide people here. Simple ones that are extremely beneficial do something like !("autoconfirmed" in user_groups) & (new_size >= 50) & (article_namespace == 0) & (edit_delta < -5000) & !(user_name in article_recent_contributors) & !("#redirect" in lcase(added_lines)). Hardly difficult in any case. Here is a list of all of them. –Elliot talk 16:37, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I might as well expand upon this idea. With the filter, there is a log-mode and then an action-mode. The log mode allows the edits, but it just informs us of what triggers the filter. This allows for some false positives to be noticed and fixed if the filter were to go completely live. The action mode has some tricks. It can just inform the user that their edit is most likely not a good idea, but it will still let them submit it if they really want to. Other functions stop the edit all together. And it can farther to block a user, but I don't think that is a good idea. This can be used to stop anonymous editors from editing templates. We get a log of edits, a log of changes to the filter, and basically everything you can think of. –Elliot talk 00:05, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Don't you need to upgrade the site to MediaWiki 1.15.1? You don't have a Special:Tags page. Maybe we should wait for User:Nephele since she handles the MediaWiki configuration and MySQL database. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 00:14, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
We are not a wikia, so we don't have (need?) a tags page. Plus, the edit filter can tag edits if we want. And why would we need to be 1.15.1? I didn't find that version in any documentation of the filter. And also, we are 1.14.0. –Elliot talk 00:36, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
What does this have to do with Wikia? Wikipedia has one: wikipedia:Special:Tags --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 00:39, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Most of your experience comes from wikias. I checked OblivioWiki, and it had a tags page. Simple synthesis of information. –Elliot talk 00:45, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
(indent) and wikipedia:Wikipedia:Tags. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 00:48, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Okay? –Elliot talk 00:52, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
No. Browsing through the list I can see various examples of things we don't have to weed through to find false positives. Prohibiting a user from simply stating that he/she thinks a certain bug "sucks", various filters that would give an alert when people are simply writing fan fiction or filters that will never apply to this site. These are all examples I don't want to weed through when looking at all the positives.
And there are questions like who will maintain that list, and must they apply to all users, or only those not autoconfirmed? It may sure look from a cleaner's perspective how all vandalism looks alike, but trying to catch the bulk of it with just enough filters is a tedious job. I for one don't look forward to maintaining it. --Timenn-<talk> 12:21, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

By using certain regex, you can restrict an action to a certain namespace or even a specific page. Fan-fiction should be writen in the User namespace, and "sucks" could be stated on a talk page (when describing a bug, as you've stated). Maybe you should use the filters only for the article namespaces (Morrowind, Oblivion, Lore, etc.) and not use any filters for talk pages and the User namespace. A lot of blanking occurs in the User namespace by the owner of the user page, so you may not want those actions to trigger a response in that namespace. Unfortunately, adding a "Novel(s)" namespace would also mean that you have to modify every filter.

Also, users could use alternative spellings and "leetspeak" to get around the filters. For example, you could easily block "suck". However, a vandal could get around this by using "5uck", and if you block that, they would use "this wiki sux". You would need to write many, many filters.

Yes, it's going to be a tedious job. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 14:19, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

I am shocked that the idea of something being tedious is reason enough to kill it. And plus, I wouldn't mind watching over it. And MDS:
!("autoconfirmed" in USER_GROUPS)
& (article_namespace == 0 | article_namespace == 3)
& (
line1:="\b((yo)?u|(s?h|w)e|they|it?) (5|s)u(ck|x)";
added_lines rlike line1)
& !(removed_lines rlike line1)
I am still learning the Java script part of the regex, but that wasn't so hard (like I said, WP has weeded out many of the pointless filters). I would need out namespace numbers as well, but again, that is easy enough. And limiting fanfiction to the userspace via the filter is absurd... Also, here is another beneficial filter against blanking:
!("autoconfirmed" in user_groups) & new_size < 50 & old_size > 500 & article_namespace == 0  & !(user_name in article_recent_contributors)
& !contains_any(lcase(added_lines),"#redirect", "{{prod}}", "{{proposeddeletion}}", "{{speed}}")
That is why I want to be able to have it for a long time before TESV comes out so we have a functioning filter by then. This won't happen overnight; it requires a lengthy amount of time to build, log, fix false positives, log, and then finish. Also, if you don't want to be a part of it, then don't be. But stating that you personally don't want to do it is a nonsense reason to stop other people. –Elliot talk 20:25, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
(outdent) While it's always nice to have people who are interested and able to maintain things like this, what happens when they leave (NepheleBot and until recently RoBoT, for instance)? Worse, what if there are problems after they leave? I don't rule out an Edit Filter altogether, but I think it should be a last resort that we only reconsider after we see how well any other measures we implement actually work out. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 23:56, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
It can be shut off if I or someone else happens to leave. Or someone else can come up and start working with it if that does happen. –Elliot talk 00:05, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I feel like this is more trouble that it's worth. People who are set on vandalizing aren't going to be stopped by having to pass by another page. Ultimately, I think we'll spend as much (if not more) time setting up and monitoring the thing as we currently spend checking edits without it. When it comes to checking edits, I'd rather have a hu-man doing the work than a script or a bot. –Eshetalk 00:24, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Elliot, if we had any need of it, I could see implementing it. Otherwise, I just don't see the real use of needing to maintain an edit filter, especially if only one person is trying to manage it.--Ratwar 00:34, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Granted, I don't really know the intricacies of this kind of thing; that said, from what I've been told about this, I think it could be handy if we use it in log-only mode. It would just give those of us who care a list of edits that are more likely to be shady. I can't see the harm in it, though I have no desire to use it to give editors messages or disallow edits. --GKTalk2me 02:11, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't seem important, but I advise members to have this in the back of their minds if the edits start to pick up for some reason. –Elliot talk 11:40, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
These are always more trouble than they're worth. I'm not going to link it, but Google the "Scunthorpe Problem" for a good example. No matter what filter you put in place, good faith edits will be denied. TES deals with a fictional world with fictional names. It won't be difficult to stop a badly-written filter from nixing names like Hassiri and Matilde Petit (I'll leave it to you to work out where a badly-written filter would fall down) but there will be something. In an attempt to stop the more obvious spam, Nephele and I added this little list (I claim more credit than the one edit that history gives me - I pointed out the problem Neph was having getting the thing working). Beyond the kind of filter added by that extension... what do you suggest? This wiki documents a set of games that could go in any direction. Any edit restriction you suggest is likely to be something that could come up in a later game - or indeed, a current one. The Media Wiki AbuseFilter extension seems like overkill. If a site the size of Wikipedia only has 72 active filters, many of which have only been hit a few times, it won't be worth the pain of getting it working on UESP.
Having said all that, if someone can come up with a good solution, I'd be happy. I'm not an admin any more so I won't have to fix it when it goes wrong. –rpehTCE 22:39, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
No use for the edit filter as of now. –Elliot talk 02:32, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Namespace Protection

Proposal: My suggestion is that the Template namespace be protected from anonymous editing. I mean, there is essentially no reason for an IP to be editing a template. If it is important, they can simply log in or request an edit be made on the talk page. The simplest way would be to utilize the $wgNamespaceProtection feature on the wiki, which also relies on the $wgGroupPermissions setting. –Elliot talk 19:07, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

: I think that's an excellent idea. As mentioned, unlike article space, there's usually little reason for anons to edit templates. In the rare event that there's a typo or something similar that an anon might normally address, they can contact someone or post on a public talk page about the issue. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:01, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I still think this seems like a good idea, even if anons can't edit the Docs, but if we want to protect all the major templates individually instead, as others have mentioned, it does have the advantage of letting anons edit docs and/or less-used templates, so I'm good with whichever way we want to go. I do, however, strongly advocate that we do something permanent along these lines, whether it's permanent namespace protection or permanent semi-protection for each major template. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 23:40, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
If it is possible to only protect the templates themselves, and not the documentation pages, I think we can apply this. Changes can be requested on the talk page. I believe Wikipedia protects a greater deal of the templates as well, following this reasoning. --Timenn-<talk> 14:51, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't believe there is anything that is so define in its action. I think for this, then we would have to protect each template individually.
I fear that if keeping the subpages still unprotected (the documentation pages) this can't be achieved. We need to protect the templates one by one, as anyone should be allowed to tweak the documentations. It's a one-time job though, as not many templates are being created at the moment. --Timenn-<talk> 14:07, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Most don't even edit the documentation pages, so I don't think that should be a deciding factor. Yeah, it may go against the concept of a wiki, but some wikis don't even allow anonymous edits, so I don't think what we are doing is exactly non-wiki like, especially since it is a defense against vandalism. –Elliot talk 16:37, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Definitely for it. Anonymous IP’s editing the templates are more often vandals than not. --Ratwar 04:36, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I guess IPs practically never tweak documentations anyway. Perhaps it is a liberty we need to sacrifice to make it easier to protect the templates. After all, I was asleep with the latest template attack, so I don't have the bad memories (yet) of cleaning it all up. --Timenn-<talk> 12:21, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that they don't edit them enough (either they are uninterested, or just don't know how). –Elliot talk 20:37, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I'm game. Anybody who needs to edit something as widely used as most of our templates can wait for a seasoned account first. –Eshetalk 00:24, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree that IPs shouldn't edit Template pages, but I don't see why we should prevent them from editing Docs just because it's unlikely. From the way it was explained to me, however, the Edit Filter described in the above section could achieve the protection of Template pages without protecting the Doc pages. If we decide against the Edit Filter, I'd rather just protect the individual Template pages one-by-one. --GKTalk2me 02:10, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
There currently are 110 templates with 100+ usages. So either we protect all of those, or just simply protect the entire namespace. I hardly ever see IPs edit docs, so I really don't think that should be the determinate in this discussion. –Elliot talk 11:40, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
110 pages to protect doesn't seem like much when 5 administrators are working on protecting them. I do believe a number of them are already protected. --Timenn-<talk> 17:03, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
That might be the way to go since we really don't have quick access to the server. –Elliot talk 21:19, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

(u/d)This is something that not even Wikipedia has found necessary. I used to be in favour of it (look back through the admin board archives) but not any more.

A long, long time ago, it was decided (and no, I can't remember where the discussion took place - it'll be on some arcane talk page somewhere) that the most-used templates should be semi-protected and as a result TheRealLurlock semi-protected several templates (on 10 November 2007 to save you searching too hard). I added several more ([5] for instance) on 9 August 2009 on the basis of that policy. If you look back at the history of (for instance) the NPC Summary template, you will see no vandalism caused the protection - it was just a precaution: we wanted to stop vandals hitting our most-used templates. Later on, Nephele split several templates into a code/documentation duo rather than having everything on one page - something I followed up on other templates later. The reason for this is twofold: firstly, it improves site performance. Please consult MediaWiki documentation for full details, but take it from me that performance is better when the site software doesn't have to transclude a mass of documentation every time it uses a template. Secondly, it means the template can be protected while allowing every user to add whatever information he or she feels is necessary to a documentation page. As others have said, most of UESP's templates lack adequate documentation. Timenn proposed a standard that has been followed for newer templates, but older ones are cryptic to say the least. There is no reason why an anon shouldn't add information he or she found useful to the documentation page of a template.

I agree that the most commonly-used templates should be at least semi-protected. With some templates, I'd go further: there is no reason why Template:! and Template:!- should ever be edited. They should be fully protected. Currently, there are many cases where there is no documentation sup-page. In these cases, one should be created, Some templates (<500 uses) aren't worth bothering about as the site will deal with any conceivable backlog: the only reason the latest attack on the Template namespace worked was that most templates had been left unprotected.

There has been a recent attack on the site via templates, and some people have suggested that this implies a prior knowledge of wikis. I hate to point out that this site's sidebar has a link to Special:SpecialPages (why not rename it to "pages that offer easiest ways to vandalise the site" to be even more clear), and that Special:MostLinkedTemplates is one of the pages you get linked to from there. The reason this attack was so damaging is largely down to the views of one admin. I'm interested to see Ratwar's opinion on this matter. He had previously stated that he was opposed to semi-protecting individual templates (I still have those IRC logs): perhaps he would explain his switch to a preference for protecting an entire namespace? –rpehTCE 22:39, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

I am now in favor of protecting the big templates one by one, which will allow talk pages and docs to be edited. –Elliot talk 23:05, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Templates with 100+ uses should be permanently protected (this would obviously include any templates used on said templates). –Elliot talk 02:32, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Rate Limits

Proposal: Another thing we could to is to create a flood control (something often seen on forums), as Ratwar brought to my attention yesterday. We could use the $wgRateLimits function in order to place a limit on anonymous and unconfirmed users (maybe like one edit every one or two minutes). We could even use $wgRateLimitLog in order to keep track of people trying to vandalize the site. –Elliot talk 19:07, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

: I'm not as big of a fan of this, as it discourages anons from correcting their own mistakes when they make them. I wouldn't object strenuously, but I'd definitely vote against if it came to that. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:01, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
This is where the edit filter could be more advantageous (more below). –Elliot talk 01:15, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
In light of further discussion, I have no objections to something with a high enough limit to make it reasonably certain it's a vandal. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 23:40, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't feel very happy about this. I've seen IP editors that were quite busy with editing in a few minutes time, but made good edits. I would rather give them the freedom they need to make their changes and learn the wiki and accept the occasional visit of a vandal. --Timenn-<talk> 14:51, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I forgot to say that it is not limited to 1. See for example: array( 4, 60 ) for a maximum of 4 hits in 60 seconds. We could offer up something along the lines of that. Maybe ( 5, 120) would be a tad better. –Elliot talk 17:12, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
This might be OK if the limit is set quite high, that only a very malicious user or a bot could reach it. I'm with Ratwar on this. --Timenn-<talk> 14:07, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I like the idea. I think Robin Hood makes a good point about anon editors needing to correct their own mistakes. Really the goal here would be to set a limit that would never be encountered by regular editors. I mean, even the prolific anon editors don’t edit 349 times in the space of 39 minutes. Heck, even a limit of 100 edits per hour would have easily slowed down that attack. So I’d be for a high limit such as that. --Ratwar 04:36, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
If you wanted it high... the last vandal was making edits 6 times a minute. So a logical setup would be array( 6, 60 ) for a maximum of 6 hits in 60 seconds. That is actually pretty high. If you wanted, I guess we could make it array( 12, 120 ) for a maximum of 12 hits in 120 seconds or something along those lines. –Elliot talk 16:37, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I think 10 edits in 3 minutes could be good enough. It's rare that you ever find an IP editing something 10 times for a good reason. And, they can just wait until the time is up if it is that important. –Elliot talk 00:05, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps a little more tweaking? 20 edits in 6 minutes time? --Timenn-<talk> 12:21, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
That would be about three edits a minute, which is normal pace I guess. And it would have stopped that latest attack. I guess I want to have for a longer period of time to give administrators enough time to come and see what is going on. It's not a big deal, but I think anything is better than nothing. –Elliot talk 23:46, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I like this idea too. In fact, I'm not sure why we haven't set it up before. As long as we pick a rate that won't inhibit well-intentioned editors, this should be very beneficial. –Eshetalk 00:24, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

My problem is that sometimes I'll set up several responses or edits, proofread 'em all, preview 'em all, then save 'em all... like now... but, meh, for the betterment of the wiki, right? I'll just slow down.  ;) --GKTalk2me 02:11, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
It can be set to not affect admins, patrollers, and regular members. –Elliot talk 02:18, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I also work like GK does, and I can see even regular editors doing so if they're doing something that spans several pages, so I'd suggest rate limits only for non-auto-confirmed members. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 05:12, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
That would be changed in the $wgGroupPermissions, which is rather easy. –Elliot talk 11:40, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah yes, I assumed it would only apply to non autoconfirmed users, but it's good that it is being said. --Timenn-<talk> 17:03, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Timenn has already pointed out that there have been many cases of good-faith editors making several edits within a small period of time. There are better options than simple rate limits. I edit another wiki where a user has written what is called a "Vandal Brake". This lets a set of users (probably admins / patrollers in UESP's case) add other users to a group in which they can only make one edit per minute. I believe that's configurable - if not, I dare say suggestions for improvement can be made. I've asked the user who wrote it and he has no problem with that code being used on UESP. This is a better way to punish actual vandals rather than assuming that everybody who makes edits from an IP is acting in bad faith. If UESP really doesn't want anons, it can disable them entirely. The source code is available here - all credit to Nx. (who is a member of this site, BTW) –rpehTCE 22:39, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
The point would be to have a high rate so only vandals hit the limit. And if an editor is making that many edits, I think it would be best to stop them (that is why we press the Show Preview issue to many editors). –Elliot talk 23:05, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
There's something I forgot to mention here. By setting a rate limit for everybody, there's an implicit assumption of bad faith - and besides, any sufficiently-determined vandal will get around it anyway. Using the Vandal Brake means you start off assuming good faith for everybody and only people who deserve it are put in the vandal bin. –rpehTCE 23:32, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
\=> You will always have the implicit assumption of bad faith. Why are pages protected in the first place? Why are financial records protect? Because you assume that someone might possibly vandalize the page. I think what we would have to worry about is explicit assumptions of bad faith, which are rarely made known. But with the 20 edits in 6 minutes, there is no reason any IP should be doing that much editing. If for some reason they are doing a quick change to many pages, then they can just wait an extra 20 seconds for the period to end, or they can just make one edit every 19 seconds (which is hardly a limitation of the good-faithed editor). I am in favor of implementing both. Since when there are huge attacks, an admin isn't always around. But we would need policy for the vandal break, obviously. Any ideas? –Elliot talk 12:02, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
That doesn't fit in with existing policy: "Unregistered users are to be treated with the same respect as any other user on the site. There have been several very helpful and productive users who choose not to register, and it is entirely their right to make that choice." (UESPWiki:Etiquette#General).
The vandal brake could be given to patrollers or a new group could be set up (there's no reason to restrict options to current groups if it is felt greater granularity is required). It's not as restrictive as a block but still helps minimise disruption to the site, which is the goal here. –rpehTCE 12:22, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's all well and good, but it is essentially untrue. They aren't treated the same. They can't edit semi-protected pages. So while in theory they would be on the same level, in practice they are not. It's nothing mind-numbingly terrible. Some things must be taken preemptively and some things must be taken "reactively", so to speak. We can't take AGF as a no-flexibility policy. You can preach the spirit of the wiki is altered by doing so, but when the integrity of the wiki is targeted on a regular basis by such large attacks, I feel that is what is most important at the current time. –Elliot talk 12:32, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
That's what I don't understand about this whole debate. The wiki is not regularly attacked. It happens once in a blue moon. For some reason there has been a massive overreaction about one or two recent incidents. Much more serious vandalism came from named accounts (Benny220, Xbox, Dienerandamovie, Posiden5665 etc etc). Targeting IP editors is plain wrong. –rpehTCE 12:42, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Hm. You're right about that. Local ministry of truth made me "forget" about those individuals. Besides that, the wiki has been attacked by other means as well, so these rate limits would only stop a marginally small amount of vandalism. I prefer the VandalBrake that rpeh mentioned over the Rate Limit. Obviously its rights should be given to Patrollers as well to let it have effect, as administrators can simply block. --Timenn-<talk> 16:56, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Okay, since I can already see the wheels turning, I won't fight this. We will need to label it as only vandalism though fr the Vandal brake. –Elliot talk 22:24, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I can't support using VandalBrake. As Timenn said, if we just give it to admins, it will have no effect, and I personally cannot agree with giving it to patrollers. They were not nominated and voted for to be given that type of power. As I've said before, I think a rate limit high enough deter Vandals but not real editors is our best solution, and I think such a solution can be found.--Ratwar 22:56, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't know if I like the implication that patrollers are unable to handle a simple vandal brake. It isn't blocking. And last time I checked, a good majority of the time I have to run and go drag an admin to the wiki when a vandal hits (not all the time, but enough to warrant a mention). Giving it to patrollers will allow a quick action response. If they continue to vandalize after that and a warning, then they can be blocked. Essentially, as with other things, I am for any type of implementation of the subject. But I think both would be good, too. –Elliot talk 23:13, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
After thinking about it a bit more, I do think you have a point. That being said, I still think that we need rate limits as well.--Ratwar 23:34, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Ratwar, you weren't elected with CheckUser rights. You had those added later. Adding rights to an existing user group is therefore not a reason to vote against this change. –rpehTCE 00:17, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I have no major issues applying the same rights to regular users as well as anonymous ones, since a "dedicated" troll will undoubtedly try to establish several sockpuppet accounts and then just vandalize through those if IP edits are a problem. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 00:32, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Set $wgRateLimits to 20 edits over 6 minutes and implement the Vandal Brake for both administrators and patrollers. –Elliot talk 11:53, 11 December 2009 (UTC)


Proposal: Another possible thing that could be implemented is giving patrollers the rollback right. Now don't freak out and say I am power hungry or something along those lines. I am fine with either result. But if patrollers are going to be fighting vandalism, having the edge over vandals is extremely beneficial. With what patrollers currently have, they can only revert at the same pace people edit. If they had rollback, they can get the upper hand on vandals (since it marks the edit as patrolled as well, so cleanup is pretty easy). But this really isn't my main proposal. –Elliot talk 19:07, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

There is a feature used on Wikipedia called Mass Rollback. It takes the rollback feature it makes it a tad more powerful (the code can be seen here). It takes every edit by a user that can be rollbacked and reverts it with one click of a button, which is extremely beneficial for massive vandalism efforts (or possibly when a user's edits needed to be reverted based on community consensus). Obviously this should only be used by administrators, even if patrollers are given the right. Yesterday, we had an attack of over 100 edits that each had to be rollbacked one by one. This could simplify this in the future. Although, it opens a window for ever edit rollbacked, so it has to be used with extreme caution. –Elliot talk 19:07, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
This would be useful to patrollers, and not really more of a right than we already have, just a greater convenience. I can see the advantage of Mass Rollback, but I'd suggest its use be strictly limited to administrators. While there are times that an admin is unavailable and a patroller using this might be useful, I think I'd rather see this ability only in the hands of those who've been around for a really long time and have gone through a more-rigorous approval process. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 01:01, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, as I mentioned, the Mass would only be used by administrators. –Elliot talk 01:15, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I see the concerns some people have mentioned, but if we give patrollers "regular" rollback rights, I would suggest that we also make it policy that it should only be used on cases of unambiguous vandalism...not cases where user X is being really annoying and disagrees with us or is posting questionable content. I'm fine if we don't have that right as's really only saving a few small steps. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 23:40, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Mixed feelings here. On one hand, I can't see how the rollback is any different from a person who is fast with buttons and tabs, and quickly revert an edit with the traditional methods. On the other hand, I feel this would invite laziness in editors (I've seen this on other wiki's) as they no longer have to provide edit summaries. Considering how the rollback option is needed so rarely, I think this should stay reserved for administrators. They can block the vandal as well, and can use the rollback option to clean up. Giving this option to patrollers would only speed up the edit wars. --Timenn-<talk> 14:51, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Basically, the rollback summary says: This is vandalism. But it does so without obviously stating it. This means that rollback should only be used on vandalism. In the past there were admins who used it at will, but they were told to stop. No true harm, not foul. So, I don't think the edit summary excuse has any validity within it. And the patrollers could use it were it is not necessarily an edit war. Vandalism takes many forms. –Elliot talk 17:12, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I still fear for it being used in (any form of) edit wars. Rollback shouldn't be used to be quicker than the vandal in reverting, but be an easy tool to clean everything up once the vandal has been blocked. --Timenn-<talk> 14:07, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Definitely in favor of implementing this for Administrators. --Ratwar 04:36, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Okay, then I think we should give mass rollback to the admins. –Elliot talk 16:37, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
What kind of tool is it, actually? Is it a refined function, or a crude script? Remember that someone can always select a user's contributions, and middle click (opens new tab) in the list like hell. A crude script may have some unwanted flaws, but if the tool is refined (tested) then it may do. --Timenn-<talk> 12:21, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
It's a simple javascript tool. I've used it on Wikipedia a few times and had no problems. The only fallback is the new tabs opening, but I am sure most computers could handle it. –Elliot talk 20:37, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Personally, I say we either give rollback to patrollers or we give mass rollback to admins. However, I'm not really crazy about either. Yes, rollback can be convenient, but the only reason it would be actually necessary to have one of these options in place is to revert massive vandalism, such as a bot attack. I'd rather use the rate limit to control this and leave the rollback rights as they are, but I'm not vehemently opposed to this as long as we use one and not both. –Eshetalk 00:24, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure I agree with giving Patrollers rollback, but I'm not dead-set on it either way. Mass-rollback to Admins, however... I don't see the harm in it. I think most of us wouldn't use it, and Admins are/should be trusted to use it only in appropriate circumstances. --GKTalk2me 02:11, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I think the common agreement would be to give the admins mass rollback, which I think will benefit the site in case of future attacks. –Elliot talk 11:40, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
It was suggested to me by another sysop that I overused rollback when I had the ability. I disagree, but if what I considered to be uncontroversial rollbacks turned out to be controversial, it suggests that the ability should be more restricted rather than having it extended. There's no big deal in entering "vandalism" as an edit summary in cases of clear vandalism. Personally, I took my usage of the function from Wikipedia, where rollback is often used for cases other than vandalism. If people believe the way in which I used it was wrong then I apologise. I believe I was acting in good faith but I see that it could be seen otherwise. In general, Rollback should be restricted rather than provided more widely. This site gets far less vandalism that others of similar size. It simply doesn't need the more extreme measures suggested here. UESP has survived far worse instances of vandalism and it's difficult to see any need for increased tools to prevent the current low levels of vandalism from occurring. –rpehTCE 22:39, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
"Wikipedia, where rollback is often used for cases other than vandalism" Yes, and then they have if removed. I think admins should be trusted enough to use the mass rollback. And there is nothing really special about it; it just makes the job a little easier on them. –Elliot talk 23:05, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
No rollback for patrollers; mass rollback for administrators. To use mass rollback, place importScript('User:Elliot/mass rollback.js'); in your monobook.js. –Elliot talk 02:32, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Block Appeal

So, wants to appeal his block. I believe that the case is clear that Rpeh is in fact They share the same ISP (Tiscali UK Ltd), and the anon user displays at least two of the expected Signs of sock puppetry (in this case a Precocious edit history and editting identical articles, mainly Elliot's talk page). He's also harping on policy an awful lot, another known sign of Rpeh. Rpeh has been blocked since Novemeber 20, and the block was already extended once, since he edited from the address on the 23rd. At that time, the timer on Rpeh's block was reset. That is why the block, which was orginally for just a week is still active.

I believe it is clear that Rpeh was using to continue editting the wiki, despite being blocked. Since apparantly reseting his timer has little effect on him, I would also propose that we extend his block for a month, if not longer. That is of course, pending on the outcome of this appeal.--Ratwar 21:44, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

The similarities are way too much to ignore. He targets similar articles, similar editors, and basically brings up the same talk each time he is confronted. And not only that, but there have been multiple IPs autoblocked in response to Rpeh trying to edit with an IP. I agree with the month block extension, and I think that a month should be added each time the block is circumvented, in addition to a reset of the block. –Elliot talk 22:05, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
What exactly do we win by blocking Rpeh month after month after month? If the “evil editor” is indeed Rpeh, it is more than likely that an extended block will force him to keep using IPs, making it even harder to figure out who is who – and in the end win the UESP an award as the most user-blocking wiki on the net. I would much rather have Rpeh being able to speak for himself instead of using all the anons. In short: We can’t block our way out of this crisis, so we might as well try the opposite and see what happens. -- Krusty 22:51, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
We can't treat this any differently just because the accused happens to have a lot of edits. If you don't like the idea of constantly blocking, then you are bowing to child-like behavior by not staying away while being blocked. If you don't like that idea, then perhaps we should range block the entire ISP while he is blocked. Perhaps he will use proxies, perhaps he won't. And what will Rpeh need to say? We are going to talk it out...? –Elliot talk 22:55, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Also, with maintaining blocks when necessary and utilizing some of the features I detailed up above in that mammoth both I am extremely confident that we can handle anything that will be thrown at us. –Elliot talk 23:09, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Note: this appeal seems to no longer be "active," given the user's post here
The way I see it, the most important issue here has nothing to do with Rpeh. First and foremost, we've just suffered from a massive attack made by an IP from the same range as the user in question. Given the amount of trouble we've been from both this range and the network in general, I think a precautionary block on those IPs is warranted.
On the issue of circumventing blocks and resetting timers, I agree with both Ratwar and Krusty, to an extent. There's only so much we can do to "prove" a user is circumventing a block by editing anonymously or through another account. If we can be reasonably sure that a blocked user is attempting to circumvent a block (and this must be a case-by-case guideline), the original block should be reset and the new IP or account blocked for an appropriate amount of time. I agree that there is nothing to be gained by indefinitely extending the timer in such cases. If after a couple of resets it becomes clear that the idea of the block isn't setting in, we should move to an indefinite block, which could always be appealed at a later date.
In this particular case, I would first like to point out that as of the 28th, the protection on Rpeh's talk page has expired and he is more than welcome to make his case there. The first "sock IP" block,, may very well have been someone else impersonating Rpeh. However, given what we believe to be Rpeh's previous actions, this was a "better safe than sorry" situation. This case is less clear, but also seems to be justifiable, given the other reasons to be wary of IPs from this range.
Also, please note that we're currently discussing some things that may help solve problems like this in the future (See #Dropping_the_Ball_on_Vandalism_Among_Other_Things). –Eshetalk 23:56, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree that extending the block on Rpeh serves little purpose if he's circumventing it. And if, instead, it's someone else who appears to be him (whether deliberately or because we're becoming paranoid), then again, the block is ill-advised. To be honest, I'd rather see Rpeh make a fresh start under a new nick and just take things from there, since he does have significant editing experience around here and could probably be a significant asset if he chose to. I'm pretty sure it was him that pointed out the broken redirects from the Lore:Dictionary DR, and that's exactly the sort of experience I'm referring to, since that's not something I had considered until it was mentioned. Nevertheless, I'm not naïve enough to think "Can't we all just get along?" will really work at this point.
Given the continued issues from that IP range, I would suggest a range block. It's possible that that may only instigate more Tor editing, but we'll deal with that if the issue comes back up. Given that the appeal has been withdrawn, even if somewhat ungraciously, I think the appeal itself is really a non-issue at this point, though. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 00:15, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

\=> There is no good proof this IP editor was rpeh. The circumstantial evidence that is present is not good enough to warrant a block. We should not care whether the editor may or may not sound like rpeh, it's not how we should judge other editors. If we start blocking people for these reasons, we lose our objectivity. Let me summarize the similarities and the differences.

Precocious edit history: rpeh has argued for policies more than many other editors, and more frequently as of late. The IP editor has hinted to earlier confrontations with Elliot and Ratwar. Furthermore, the editor has been editing Templates, which are edited more frequently by established editors than new editors. On the other hand, it's not that hard for a new editor to dig up old discussion with Ratwar and Elliot present that refer to similar events. I can imagine that if you are blocked, you wish to do some investigation into the one who blocked you. It's also quite easily forgotten that another wiki, Wikipedia, contains a great deal of regular editors. Those editors are familiar with policies, and would know where to find them on other wiki's. We have had some other editors who pursued the same policies before. The edit history of this IP is too short to truly derive a good profile of his/her knowledge of this wiki's history.

Editing identical articles: As argued before by Nephele, rpeh has made edits to a vast majority of articles of this site. Considering that the IP editor edited Elliot's talk page because it were Elliot's edits that were undone is perfectly reasonably. All the IP editor did was revert a couple of Template edits made by a single editor, and then contacted that editor about it. Comparing this IP editor to rpeh because rpeh has edited Elliot's talk page as well sounds very far fetched.

Knowledge that an obscure article exists: Templates are usually less known than major articles, especially the templates in question. Then again, the Template namespace should be familiar to anyone with experience on editing wiki's. And, more importantly, Elliot's edits were on top of the Recent Changes.

Similar writing/editing styles: This is the most speculative part of the all the signs. You need a good deal of writing before you accurately compare two styles. The phrasing "on this wiki" sounds quite familiar to me. It has been made by various new editors that mistakenly believed we are a part of wikia, or that wikia owns all wiki's outside of Wikipedia. It would not be a slip that would be made by an editor already familiar with this site. On the other hand, since I recognized the phrase, it can be reasoned that rpeh knew it as well, and chose it to mimic a new editor. The immediacy of the hostility towards Ratwar and Elliot is one sign of an earlier history with both. But considering that Elliot bluntly removed the IP's talk page comment, and Ratwar didn't elaborate on the block until he created the section here, I can imagine any editor would be annoyed and started acting in this way. It's nothing new that the blocked editor tries to discredit the one who caused the block.
My point here is that this similarity can be reasoned both ways. It's all flawed reasoning.

Seeing these four points, I feel the evidence is very weak. We cannot judge editors on this kind of circumstantial evidence. That would mean that every editor with this ISP is an immediate suspect, which I don't find a welcoming thought. I think we should try to save the objectivity of this community, rather that pursue this enormous deal of speculation. --Timenn-<talk> 14:14, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Timenn, I respect your opinion, although I find it discouraging. Look, catching sock puppet accounts will always rely on circumstantial evidence. It's just the nature of the game. I laid out my case before, but I'll reiterate with a bit more detail. The IP address in question made Precocious edits to the templates. I checked the Content, Footer, and Header template subcategories and found a grand total of 3 anonymous IP edits (not counting the template attack and the Non-Sense bot). None of these edits were to change a formatting issue on the templates or to revert changes by any editor (established or otherwise). Thus we can say that it is very unlikely for anon users to edit templates, and even more unlikely for them to be reverting established editors. Then he goes on to quote Wikipedia policy on Elliot's talk page, therefore we can surmise that this editor is making highly unusual edits (for an anonymous user), knows Wikipedia policy, and is in an immediate conflict with Elliot. Rpeh would easily qualify for all three of these criteria. The ISP match is a confirmation that it would be highly unlikely for anyone to be framing Rpeh, and it does help to build the case. Now, after the block, it becomes even clearer that Rpeh is behind the anon IP. For example, he bolds the "never had an account on this wikia", so basically he's saying that he's familiar with wiki markup, yet doesn't realize that we are not a Wikia (something that would be quite evident to anyone familiar with Wikia, since we have far less ads). Secondly, he manages to find the Encyclopedia Dramatica entry on the UESP and OblivioWiki with astonishing speed, kinda like he knew where to look.
Really, I believe it is quite clear that the IP address was Rpeh, and recent attacks on the site have dictated that it would be wise to take a more proactive approach for dealing with disruptions caused by rpeh. I do not want to have a repeat of the long argument Rpeh caused on November 20th. I do not want a repeat of the spam attack on November 29th. Those problems will drive established editors away from the site and convince prospective new editors to stop joining. The reason I would like to see a month long block on Rpeh is not because I feel that blocking him will prevent him from editing. I'm not stupid. I merely want the ability to block anonymous IPs that can reasonably be linked to Rpeh (such as this one) before they cause large arguments that hurt the site. I believe that this course of action is the best one for the site. No matter what Rpeh has done for the site, he has become a disruptive vandal, and I plan on dealing with him like one.--Ratwar 18:17, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

The anon did a poor job of pretending to be from Wikia. Wikia accounts are universal, so you only have to create an account once. This anon assumed that you had to register an account per wiki. Also, Wikia uses the silly, ugly Monaco skin, which is totally different from the Monobook skin that UESP is using. Frankly, a person who believes that UESP is a part of Wikia isn't familiar with Wikia. This anon was probably just pretenting to be from Wikia. I find it more likely that this anon sends his time at Wikipedia or even here. It should also be noted that the anon could find all the information he wants about Elliot, Ratwar, template troubles, the OblivioWiki, and the ED article from UESP Watch.

This could be anyone. rpeh isn't the only who knows about wiki syntax, policies, and concensus. Most wiki users have been to Wikipedia, and anyone who knows about Jimbo Wales knows about Wikia. Anyone could rip off information from UESP Watch. This may be a troll trying to pit us against rpeh. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 19:36, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

So basically your theory is that someone hates Rpeh so much that not only are they attempting to frame him, they've actually managed to get a Tiscali IP address, and have been working for about three months on it? You don't believe that Rpeh, who has a known history of using sock puppet accounts is a far more likely explanation?--Ratwar 21:22, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
User talk:Rpeh#Block_Extensions – rpeh explains this better than me. He describes the problems with Tiscali there as well. Yes, I believe that the anon is some sort of prankster trying to cause trouble. These pranksters are called trolls, and the trolls are disrupting the wiki by causing us to argue over things like this. They want to see good contributors go down. It has happened before. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 23:40, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Would rpeh really be stupid enough to say "I'm rpeh and I'm evading your block. Ban him! Ban me!". --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 23:45, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Can I just bring this all back to earth for a second and remind everyone what the base issue is here? What Rpeh has or has not done is not relevant; the issue here is that we've seen a significant amount of trouble lately from a given ISP, and it's come to a point where we're forced to be wary of edits that come from it. Is it an overreaction? Probably. But given that the administrators and patrollers can't be expected to give every second of their free time to be on some paranoid lookout for more vandalism, I think it's better to err on the side of caution until we find a better way to control the problem.

We have to do the best we can with what we have, and arguing over what has been done and things we can't know will do little to help us. I think it's more important to focus on ways to deal with this issue in the future so we won't have another fiasco like this one. –Eshetalk 00:12, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Eshe. I, personally, don't believe this is rpeh. We need to figure a way to stop this vandalism (which is why the above discussion is taking place). –Elliot talk 00:15, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
That's what's being discussed at #Dropping the Ball on Vandalism Among Other Things. User:Ratwar created this sub-section in order to discuss extending rpeh's block. Perhaps we should remove the extension, end this debate, and focus on the anon's vandalism? --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 00:25, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and I am against an extension. –Elliot talk 00:38, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Ratwar, my point behind it was not whether one should believe rpeh was the anonymous IP or not. It's something that is hard to prove either way, and in this case we do not have evidence to support the fact that this IP was rpeh. I agree that we will always have to rely on circumstantial evidence, but even in that we have degrees of verifiability. In the previous case there were IP matches that showed up in the CheckUser function, and longer edit histories to judge.
Having discussion about whether one believes rpeh or not will only divide the editors, and that for a question that can never be truly answered to everyone's satisfaction. If rpeh is innocent, we will be judging him most unfairly. If he is determined to disrupt the site by creating these incidents, as you say, he succeeds when he forces us to act outside of our policies.
It's the believability of the administration that is at stake. We discussed before on how the site should never turn into a place where administrators lead and the other members are silenced when they are too verbal in their criticism. Instead we opt to allow some of the loudmouthed people to continue, to keep the atmosphere alive that everyone should be able to speak their mind. This results in that we sometimes have to let a vandal walk free. --Timenn-<talk> 13:13, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
As mentioned by Timenn, myself, and others, it's impossible to absolutely prove that the anon is rpeh or anybody else. For the sake of the site, I suggest that we treat the vandal and rpeh as two people, regardless of whether or not people think they actually are. Assuming rpeh makes good contributions to the site, as is his wont, then we should by all means encourage him to continue to do so. In the mean time, we should do all that we can to minimize the vandalism and trolling. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 23:52, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, it would appear that I do not have any real support for a longer block, so I will bow to consensus. As for the appeal, the administrators appear to be split. Timenn, if you’d like to take this up to Daveh (per policy), feel free.--Ratwar 01:51, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Ratwar, may I point out that in fact, Eshe hasn't pronounced herself either in favour or against the block, if my interpretaion of her post is correct. This means that in reality the Administrators are not split, since Timenn has stated he is against the block and Eshe has remained neutral. Basically 1-0. Therefore there is no real reason to ask Daveh to handle this.
Rpeh has repeatedly stated his good intentions and by keeping the block in place you are effectively obstructing any positive work he wishes to carry out. The only other thing acheived by the keeping this block is the rising in tension. Since nothing constructive is being acheived by this prolongued block, and given that Rpeh, like anyone, would probably find editing during the weekend easier, may I suggest that it be lifted immediately, given the fact that consensus has been reached? --SerCenKing Talk 17:57, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
There has been no consensus reach on whether the block should be lifted. Plus, even there is consensus, policy states that it is Ratwar's final decision. The block ends Sunday, so I believe that any further conversation hurts more than it helps. –Elliot talk 19:58, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

License Tags

I went ahead and structured some license tags after Wikipedia (found here) since ours were kind of bland and didn't really describe much. I also went ahead and made a few more (mainly the no license or wrong license ones). If no ones has any issues, I will go ahead and update them. And if you think something should be altered, give a shout here. I will change them in seven days if no one objects. Thanks! –Elliot talk 07:02, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

They look good to me! We might want to consider a non-white background, though...something that'll fit in more comfortably with the beige theme we've got. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 07:14, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I went ahead and changed that, and I also removed white space from three of the images. –Elliot talk 07:40, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I like the icons that represent the various aspects of the different licenses. Could you add names to the images, so that if you hover over them you can see a short description of what they represent? --Timenn-<talk> 09:44, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I added the short description offered by the CC license as a hover for the images. –Elliot talk 19:56, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Also, we may want to create the 3.0 versions of the licenses. Some works are only established under that ruling. It isn't the most urgent of actions needed, but it should eventually be made. –Elliot talk 21:02, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I've gotta say, they look better than the previous ones. --GKTalk2me 09:01, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm all fine with the new tags now. --Timenn-<talk> 17:05, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Protected Pages Indicators

I know I have been asking a lot lately, but it is only because I have finally come to the conclusion as to whether or not I should propose some things. So, Wikipedia uses padlock images (such as Padlock.png) to indicate page protection. They use these images (which you can see more of at Wikipedia:Protection policy) on the different types of protections to indicate to the editor of the page's current protection status. This makes it very easy to indicate the current limitations. They use them as page icons, but sometimes as banners for certain pages (mainly images and templates). And in order to add the image, I would make a template with simple instructions such as {{pp|semi}}, which would add the image and the category, so it wouldn't be any more work than we currently do. An example can be seen in my sandbox. –Elliot talk 05:08, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

I like the idea. It's nice to be able to tell at a glance if a page is semi- or fully-protected before you edit it. I can see that being especially useful for anons, who're more likely to encounter problems than confirmed users. We don't have all that many fully-protected pages, after least not ones that a user might reasonably want to edit. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 23:17, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree, it would be nice to have an icon to distinguish protected pages. --GKTalk2me 04:45, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
The icon as extra would be nice. May I propose to rename the template to "Template:Protection" instead? I'm a little wary of all the short abbreviations you see on Wikipedia all the time. Those tags will be noticed by editors editing the article (as they will likely be on top), and they may understand quicker what that template means. --Timenn-<talk> 17:08, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's no biggie. But the next thing to do would be to decide what colors of padlocks we use for what. Wikipedia has gold for full, silver for semi, red for permanent-full (templates etc.), green for move, and black for office (which we could use for records and such). I am not sure the move tag is necessary, but I am fine with either. –Elliot talk 21:10, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Sounds fine to me.--Ratwar 22:57, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Okay, I will start working on the template, but here are the padlocks:

Padlock.png – Full protection
Padlock-silver.png – Semi-protection
Padlock-red.png – Template protection
Padlock-black.png – Site pages
Padlock-blue.png – Section protection
Padlock-olive.png – Move protection
Padlock-skyblue.png – Creation protection

The creation protection padlock is a tad useless, since you can't put something on a page that doesn't exist; therefore, it is more symbolic. –Elliot talk 03:07, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

I have updated all the ones that I can. I am deciding not to use the padlock for section protection, so that one can be symbolic as well. I have asked a few admins to due the full protection, so that should be happening sometime in the next few days. –Elliot talk 07:01, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Seeing these on some of my special pages now... Neat! Thanks. --Wrye 22:39, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

NPC Summary tweak

Can one of you uber-template-editing types have a quick peek at User:RobinHood70/Sandbox2|my sandbox and compare it to Template:NPC Summary just to make sure I did everything right and that nothing's gonna wreak havoc if I make the change to the real template? The only change I made was near the top, putting the inittrail into an ifeq block to have it not initialize if the summary is being used in user space. (Note that the closing }} is at the end of the initial block of addtotrail commands.) Thanks! —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 10:55, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Well the code is right so the template won't bork... but I have a sneaking suspicion that it won't work because of the way the parser functions work. –rpehTCE 11:01, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I think it will be fine. I just looked at some previews of it on a bunch of different pages in different namespaces, and the trail only showed inside the Oblivion namespace. –Elliot talk 11:27, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah - I was misreading it. You get a trail in every namespace except User. I was playing in things like User_talk. It should be fine. –rpehTCE 11:42, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I'll make the change, unless one of you has beaten me to it. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 22:50, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

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)

Vandal Brake

You have to keep in mind two things about the vandal brake. First, for various stupid philosophical reasons I will not go into now, RationalWiki decided not to block users, ever. We still need something to stop vandals, that's why we have the brake (or bin, the nomenclature is a bit inconsistent at this point). But our approach to troublesome users is also different. The point of the bin is to still allow the user to edit - what they use this opportunity for is their choice. At RW, evading a block to revert vandalism for example is not only allowed, it is encouraged, that's why the bin allows one edit every 30 minutes. Additionally, the admins of RW either didn't know that mediawiki could allow blocked users to edit their talk pages or that option was not available at the time, so the vandal bin was better because it would allow a "binned" user to appeal the block on the wiki.

Second, we didn't use memcached (or any other kind of caching) until recently, so wgRateLimits was useless for us (it only works with memcached).

If you use wgRateLimits and blocking, I'm not sure you need VandalBrake. Nxtalk 10:10, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

It was mainly added to give the patrollers the ability to stop vandals without forgoing the admin right to block. We stil haven't tested it, so if we do not need it, I am sure we will get rid of it in time. But we cannot say how it works without at least testing it. –Elliot talk 11:16, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Forgot to reply to this... Yes, rate limiting will stop anonymous users flooding the site but it won't do anything to stop an autoconfirmed user doing it. Most cases of sustained vandalism I've seen have come from confirmed users (Benny220 and Xbox plus their various aliases spring first to mind, Roleplayer4life and his aliases, Granty and his aliases, ImmortalKaine, etc etc etc). The Vandal Brake would allow patrollers to slow down such editors without extending them block rights. That's another key difference with RationalWiki - instead of 350+ sysops, UESP has about 2 active ones at the moment. –rpehTCE 16:23, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, that's unfortunate. And $wgRateLimits works on anyone who doesn't have the noratelimit right, by default this is given to sysops IIRC. The vandal brake uses the same right for applying the 15 second (by default) limit.
Anyway, I've made some improvements to the bin, including making the IP checking stricter so you can't just log into another account from the same IP and edit again, and I've separated the right to bin from the right to block. I've described the configuration options here Nxtalk 18:45, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

I know this is alot to ask...

Hello UESP administrators, my name is King and I am working on a Shivering Isles-specialized wiki and I was wondering if you guys would be ok if I posted a link to your site on my site's homepage. My site's URL is I know I sorta took a little bit of your name but I really admire the UESP site. — Unsigned comment by LSF-King (talkcontribs)

You don't need permission to add a link to UESP. Go ahead. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 16:59, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

A Bot's Life

At what point in a bot's life should it get its own account? I'm just starting to make one with some basic features and test it mostly on my own testing wiki, but also doing read-only work here, like filtering Special:LonelyPages to look for the ones that weren't /Author or /Description pages. It may later become a read-write bot here too if NepheleBot and RoBoT need a friend. UESPWiki:Bots is a tad confusing, because it says I have to have community approval before I start using it, but since I'm just learning how to write one, I can't say what I would use it for. If I'm not making changes at all, just reading or maybe a post or two to a sandbox, should I just keep using my own account? Or should I have a new one just for it? Or is any use at all forbidden until approved? Being new, I don't want to be doing things I shouldn't be. Thanks. Joram 03:24, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

The UESPWiki:Bots page isn't policy. It was proposed and largely ignored so there are no rules for bots at all beyond those established for ordinary users. Personally, I take the attitude that RoBoT is a potentially dangerous tool so I keep as close a watch on it as I can and if (when) it screws up, it's my responsibility to fix it. I don't see any problem with others running bots if they follow those basic guidelines. In any case, it's impossible to prove that somebody is running a bot rather than just making edits very fast.
The only person who can grant bot status is Daveh. It would be a good idea to start using a separate account and get bot status for it before running a task that will generate hundreds of edits - purely to stop the patrollers from tracking you down and beating you to a pulp for flooding Recent Changes. Anyway. This is all just my opinion. –rpehTCE 19:57, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the info.
"get bot status for it before running a task that will generate hundreds of edits - purely to stop the patrollers from tracking you down and beating you to a pulp"
As opposed to, say, the administrators hunting you down for proposing 3000 pages for deletion?
If no one objects, I'll start a separate account for my bot. Bot status can come later when it has something to do and you've had time to get to know me. Joram 20:52, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh I told 'em what I was doing. I think they like the challenge :p –rpehTCE 21:17, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
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