Difference between revisions of "User talk:Ioneill"

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::Hi, I have done some coding. Please have a look at [[Marspedia:Captcha]]. If you give it a try: Please keep the original files in a safe place and restore them if something goes wrong. I have not tested it. The additional code should pop up a captcha if the first character of the text is changed. This is only a simple check.  Once it is working, we will enhance it step by step. Good luck! --[[User:Rfc|Rfc]] 08:51, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
 
::Hi, I have done some coding. Please have a look at [[Marspedia:Captcha]]. If you give it a try: Please keep the original files in a safe place and restore them if something goes wrong. I have not tested it. The additional code should pop up a captcha if the first character of the text is changed. This is only a simple check.  Once it is working, we will enhance it step by step. Good luck! --[[User:Rfc|Rfc]] 08:51, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
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:::Hey Rfc. I've managed to spend some time looking at the code and it's looking good. From what I understand, the thinking behind this should work really well - I hope it will be really effective against the botnets. When I free up a bit more time over the coming weeks I hope to learn a bit more about captchas, perhaps I'll be able to help out should the need surface. But for now, I'll be watching in anticipation to see how successful this method it. Great stuff! -- [[User:Ioneill|Ioneill]] 03:55, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Revision as of 19:55, 25 January 2008

Hi Ian, it's good to actually see content starting to appear.

I'm unaware of how much you already know about MediaWiki the Marspedia software, so please bear with me if you already know some of the following.

There are a few templates you should look at, you can see two of them on my Marspedia User and User_talk pages for instance. I also added two User-boxes to your User-page. You can call those with {{User Marsp Sysop}} {{User Marsp Server Admin}}

Those would called using:
{{Go to exodictionary user}} {{Go to exodictionary user talk}}

{{Go to lunarpedia user}} {{Go to lunarpedia user talk}}

{{Go to marspedia user}} {{Go to marspedia user talk}}

{{Go to scientifiction user}} {{Go to scientifiction user talk}}

I also made that Create Category button into a template, that can now be called with {{CreateCat}}, this should simplify some tasks.

If you don't like the names of the templates you can move them, this also creates a redirect to the new name from the old name for backwards compatibility. Just don't delete the original names, and please don't delete the "Go to" templates, we have a few people who want to be active on both sites, but only maintain one user page. They only work if the user has the same name in both wikis by the way. I'm still in the process of importing some of the templates to the other wikis, but please feel free to register on the others and use the templates to help you maintain just one user page.

You can create hanging indents with colons (:)

You can sign your comments using ~~~~, this inserts your user sig along with a time and date stamp in UTC. If you really want to do it manually you can do so, using -- [[User:Ioneill|Ioneill]] hh:mm, dd Month yyyy (PST), but we don't recommend that as it leads to confusion, as I found out when I started using (BST) and confused a bunch of people. Another variation is to sign it without the time and date stamp with ~~~.
If the lines of text are short and wont run off the page, you can put
them in a box by leaving a leading space at the start of the line.

Most other stuff is on the edit bar, the S is a spell checker, I hope to add more to that edit bar in the coming weeks as people tell me what they need. -- Mdelaney 03:04, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Sidebar - Navigation section

Just wondering which of these you find least useful:

  • Category Tree
  • Category List A-Z
  • Index

Personally I don't use the second one all that much, but I have found it useful on occasion. Both the second and third ones are available via "Special pages".

I'm just trying to shorten the menu a little, unlike on Lunarpedia where I'll deliver a devastating blow to the menu in the near future. That one has 29 items in it. -- Mdelaney 22:02, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree, the Category List A-Z is least useful - for now I am always using the Category Tree. I think the Index will come into more use once more pages appear as we'll need a quick way of over viewing the whole of the wiki. I'm also keen to make the menu system as simple as possible, so anything that seems superfluous I think we can dispense with. Thanks for all the pointers above, they will come in useful for anyone needing a poke in the right direction -- Ioneill 22:36, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

User and User_talk pages on other wikis

Ian, I suggest you protect your User and User_talk pages on the other wikis, otherwise wombles will edit them and leave messages there. The User pages are protected from anonymous editing (they can only be edited by the user or someone with sysop or higher permission) but not the User_talk pages. -- Mdelaney 00:37, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Mike, I will protect them - forgot about looking into that :-) We will triumph over the wombles! Cheers -- Ioneill 00:40, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Emm, I meant the other way. Protect the User_talk pages on Lunarpedia and Exodictionary and leave the User_talk page on Marspedia unprotected. But protect all User pages of the non-talk variety. Unless you want to be completely unreachable to non sysops. -- Mdelaney 02:19, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Mediawiki Imports

If you haven't already read Marspedia:Wikipedia_Import you should. It does make life easier. But....
Wikipedia is a dependency nightmare!
I tried to import a template to Lunarpedia earlier, it only had 2 dependencies. Or so I thought. But one of those dependencies had 17 dependencies, each of which had 4-7 dependencies. Admittedly there was some overlap, but I still would have had to import about 20 templates just to get one to work.
Don't let the Wikipedia mess suck you in. -- Mdelaney 21:52, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Hey Mike, yes, I noticed that dependency - when I was adapting the "Leave me a message" box, even tat was linked to 3 templates! I squished them all into one when I put it on Marspedia, but if there's a call for small box templates I'll include the dependencies. Everything is looking superb by the way. I'm hoping to have a flurry of new content in the next few days. Everything going to plan people will take our lead soon and begin submitting in droves... -- Ioneill 18:17, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

They're taking their time. But it took Lunarpedia a couple of weeks to kick off. Maybe when the easter breaks are all over, if they're not already. -- Mdelaney 20:00, 13 April 2007 (UTC)


Attacks

Lunarpedia and Marspedia: IP addresses are temporary. That said, I'm looking to see if there may be value in increasing the time from 1 week to 1 month, if some of these are lasting long enough for a longer ban period to make sense (don't want collateral damage when someone else gets this IP and wants to constructively contribute at some point in the future, completely unaware that their IP at that moment was previously used for destructive activities when someone else had it; 216.23.162.164 was still a zombie IP in a previous attack, so let me note to ban that one for longer). This specific, malicious attacker is using a small botnet. The trick is to keep the IPs of its zombies banned. I have a script I created for banning the IPs. Let me see if I can get it up so that others can try using it. It requires Python to run and creates a local html file. -- Strangelv 23:07, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Script up at [1]. now using it...-- Strangelv 23:42, 10 October 2007 (UTC)


Exodictionary, Exoplatz, and Scientifiction.org: The neverending deluge of Chinese SPAM is beyond my ability to control. CAPTCHAs are effective against this attacker, but Mike has not been able to find time to apply it and the machine with the passwords I need to do something drastic is not yet back up and running. I'm thinking of preventing new account creation or even redirecting the domains to Lunarpedia until CAPTCHAs can be installed. 8\ -- Strangelv 23:07, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Contents from Wikipedia?

Hi Ian, should we copy information about Mars from Wikipedia on the large scale? Even whole articles? To me it seems it makes not much sense to have any information twice, but on the other hand we do not know when valuable information in Wikipedia vanishes. May be we should move the information instead of copying from Wikipedia to Marspedia, leaving only a small and compact Mars article in Wikipedia, along with a link to Marspedia. I think, this would encourage some Wikipedia writers to put marsian information into this project. I am unsure about the relation of the two projects. Reading Marspedia:Wikipedia_Import does not really answer my question. Best Regards Rfc 06:28, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi Rfc, just so you know, Wikipedia and Marspedia are two independent projects, we have no affiliation with Wikipedia. The only wikis we administer are Lunarpedia, Exoplatz, ExoDictionary and Scientifiction. Therefore, we can copy information from Wikipedia, but we certainly cannot remove any in preference for a link to Marspedia.
We are actually looking into the Mars article situation, there are some advantages to exporting the "Mars" page on Wikipdia to Marspedia, but we then risk Marspedia becoming a "copy" of Wikipedia. If we do copy any articles from Wikipedia, we MUST use the {{wikipedia}} template, as used here: http://www.marspedia.org/index.php?title=GFDL:Eccentricity and be sure we abide by the GFDL Licencing. As you can see from the Wikipedia articles listed in Marspedia, individuality is lost somewhat. So, generally, yes, we can import (or copy and paste) public sources (aka Wikipedia), but we have to be very careful not to violate any licencing laws and be sure to reference ALL external meterial.
Marspedia is hopefully going to be a huge and comprehensive encyclopedia of Mars eventually, so any articles on Wikipedia will be dwarfed in time. I see what you mean about duplicating articles, but in the aim of being unique on the web, we should strive to produce as much "original" work as possible. I hope that was of some help. Cheers, Ioneill 00:56, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi Ian, yes this answers my question, and I agree with it. Too, I would not feel very comfortable with many {{wikipedia}} templates. So, let's write our own articles, and make it to Mars, eventually. I am happy with the Marspedia idea this way. Thanks and Cheers! Rfc 08:35, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Minimizing duplication of effort

We seem to be accumulating a lot of pages about launch vehicles, but I'm slightly worried about duplication of effort with Exoplatz, Lunarpedia etc. Wouldn't it make sense to have detailed info on launch vehicles and providers on Exoplatz, and maybe have a single page Marspedia listing launch vehicles that would be useful for Mars missions? (I guess the same goes for rocket engines too). Peter 17:02, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi Peter, I think most of the launch vehicles mentioned on Marspedia have some involvement with Mars missions. However, the one I had just uploaded in "Emerging Technology" is experimental and may have a use for Mars missions (in my opinion). Also, the Delta IV article, although not currently linked to Mars missions, has obvious advantages for the hauling of heavy equipment bound for Mars. I do agree with your point about perhaps shifting some articles to Exoplaz, but I think it's equally important to generate unique articles on Marspedia too. As for duplication, this should be kept to a minimum, but I don't see anything wrong with having one article on Marspedia with a distinct "Mars" twist with a backup, generalized article on Exoplaz. Creating a list of launch vehicles used for Mars missions would be really advantageous, but the content for that list should be on Marspedia mainly. Hope this is of some help and makes sense (had a late night) :-) Ioneill 21:06, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
For the time being it may be best to keep these things on Marspedia and Lunarpedia, at least until we can finally deal with an ongoing out-of-control situation on Exoplatz, Exodictionary, and Scientifiction.org (which needs to be pointed to by Exofiction and probably renamed accordingly). Sorry for the inconvenience. --Strangelv 00:19, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Wanted pages versus Needed articles

Hi Ian, I find the Wanted pages very helpful to find out, what nonexistent pages are most wanted by other articles. However, I can not really see the use case for the Needed articles, though it is prominently placed on the side bar and on the front page. Also, it seems to be empty. What is the purpose? Rfc 10:45, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi Rfc, I can see your issue. But the wanted pages and needed articles are two separate entities. Firstly, the "wanted pages" are a list of links on existing pages that lead nowhere and look like this. As you say, this is really useful as you can have a "display all" list of "missing" pages.
This is different from the "needed articles" (usually referred to as the "List of Lists"). This list was created by the developers and by the directors of the Mars Foundation (mainly) to "steer" the efforts of Marspedia. These lists are the "desired" articles we would like to see being created. All the lists were created by hand and doesn't really reflect the current content on Marspedia. So, in summary:
  • Most useful: Wanted Pages - Pages that are linked to in Marspedia, but do not exist yet.
  • Least useful, but desired: List of Lists - Desired articles we would like to see and may not exist yet (I say may not as the lists need to be updated manually). Refer to this list to see which direction in which we hope to see Marspedia moving in.
Thanks for pointing this difference out, I think we need a better link to the wanted pages section on the front page :-) Will do that now -- Ioneill 21:35, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I have overhauled the introduction of List of Lists. There seems to be some redundancy with Category:Bootstrap_lists. But there are also differences: The advantage of List of Lists is the involvement of empty lists. The advantage of Category:Bootstrap_lists is the automatism. The problem with Category:Bootstrap_lists is all entries will be "L" entries.

How about the following rearrangement:

-- Rfc 08:59, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

The List of Lists of Needed Articles is a concept I developed at Lunarpedia as a short to medium term tool for helping to get needed articles indicated for bootstrap purposes (and has proven to be the most useful such effort on Lunarpedia). The execution of the concept was largely quick and dirty (with some tidying over time) and the start of the Marspedia list of lists was to take the Lunarpedia one and and rip out hopefully all of the entries that didn't really belong on Marspedia's list. As you're the first Marspedia regular to do any work on it, it's presently missing a great deal of needed entries.
The main value of the category right now is to keep the bootstrap articles categorized (every article on the site should have a place in the category tree (this rule is Mike Delaney's doing) -- even quick and dirty badly formatted bootstrap lists that are destined to become legacy historical curiosities that served their purpose already).
Why I don't like empty lists is a matter of thought process. If you're brainstorming for types of articles, you can quickly browse for missing links for bootstrap lists and create a few. When a list is empty, you don't know it's useless until you click on it hoping to find at least a short list of article ideas and see that you can't do what you'd hoped to do without changing gears first.
Another point in defense of the status quo is that adding 15 entries to the main list is easier than creating 15 empty lists. I have generally only done one task at a time -- adding needed lists to the main list, creating new lists from the main list, adding to lists, or creating articles (not that I've had enough time to do the latter -- when I have time to work on the wikis I'm usually too occupied with overhead tasks to actually do articles) -- if no one else actually finds it convenient to do things this way that could be an argument for substantially modifying the concept.
I hope this helps explain my thought processes and why it is the way you found it. By all means think of ways to improve it or maybe make the originally (and so far still) intended way to use it less difficult to figure out. Until I created the bootstrap list tag, people on Lunarpedia kept tidying up the lists and categorizing them for general use. 8)
As for the categorization problem, that's a function of the template doing the categorization. I can think of two solutions that preserve the 'List of' name scheme: one is to manually categorize each article (as was originally the case), and another is to figure out how to get the template to automatically do the likes of [[Category:List of Articles on Lovecraftian Lullabies|Lovecraftian Lullabies, List of Articles on]]...
Simpler in execution would be your suggestion to change to a naming convention that doesn't have this problem, but what is one that wouldn't have a risk of colliding with the name of a content article or some other potentially needed site infrastructure? I suppose one advantage of Marspedia's List of Lists of Needed Articles is that any major conceptual changes won't be too much work to implement -- unlike on Lunarpedia. While any innovations that are devised here may not be feasible to do on Lunarpedia, they could be transferred to Exoplatz, which is mostly at the moment content that was originally on Lunarpedia buried in a sea of stuff added by a Chinese botnet I can't prevent from successfully attacking right now.
As always, thank you very much your your efforts, attention, and ideas!
We probably should move this thread to the List of Lists talk page. --Strangelv 12:38, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

SettlementIndex

Hi Ian, there is the following problem with the {{SettlementIndex}}: It has an impact on the "What links here" function, resulting in a too big listing mutually. Yet, I have no idea to avoid it. -- Rfc 11:27, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Hey Rfc, I've just tried to replicate what you describe, but I can't seem to find the problem. I went to template:SettlementIndex and clicked "What links here" and it seems to work fine. I tried it on a page with the template used, but again, no problem. Which page did you experience the error? -- Ioneill 18:46, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
For example, when I click "What links here" on the Energy storage page then I get a list that includes a lot of pages that do not really link to Energy storage. The Democracy page, for instance, does not actively link to Energy storage, but is listed. Same with Immune system, etc. I find this confusing. This effect obviously comes from the generated links within the "Manned Missions to Mars" box shown on all pages with the {{SettlementIndex}}. Is this wanted, or is it an unwanted side effect? How about changing the Template:SettlementIndex to a contents of only categories? -- Rfc 09:54, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I see your problem. To be honest, I didn't realise this template would screw up the "linked to" operation. I will have to look into this and possibly simplify the template (as you say, perhaps make it a category only template). Will also try getting info on how wikipedia gets around this problem. Thanks for pointing this out! -- Ioneill 18:26, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I've done some research for you, it looks like the same issue exists in Wikipedia. See for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Whatlinkshere/Coronal_loop for the page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronal_loop. The bottom solar template produces links in the "What links here" list. I think this is inavoidable, except for producing templates with a minimum of links. Do you use the "What links here" option a lot? I must admit, I use it only very rarely. --Ioneill 20:19, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I sometimes use it to check the relation between the pages. There is some idea of relation in my thoughts, and I find this feature quite comfortable to check this idea against the existing network. The problem is not urgent at all. It is just something I stumbled on. Cheers:-) -- Rfc 07:00, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
OK, sounds reasonable. I will try to think up any alternatives to the "What links here" function can still be used. Perhaps there is some tag that can be used in the template to disable inclusion in the "linked to" list... I'll have a look. Let me know if you find anything out ;) --Ioneill 08:39, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Blocking?

Hi Ian, the frequent vandalism on Exobiology and Category:MER images seem to require temporary blocking those pages for everyone but registered users. What do you think? Wishing you Merry Xmas! -- Rfc 09:02, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

plagiarism?

The new article Mars- A Brief History of Exploration seems to be an unlicensed copy from [2]. It looks as if this copy was made with good intentions, but probably we have to remove it. Any other idea? With best wishes for the new year! -- Rfc 13:38, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I have just been editing that - the only problem is, we have had members of MarsDrive adding stuff in the past, so this might be the author of the article adding his MarsDrive article. The Foundation have several contacts in MarsDrive, so I'm hoping the article was added by one of them. I will look up the IP address and see if we had them logged the last time. Otherwise, I'll message MarsDrive and ask them if they added it themselves. For now I'm going to make sure it is well-referenced so visitors know it's not Marspedia-original! Which MarsDrive page was this on? I'll ref the correct url then ;-) Best wishes to you too for the New Year! I hope you're having a wonderful festive holiday! -- Ioneill 13:43, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
The URL is "http://www.marsdrive.com/news/mars--a-history-and-a-future.html". I had a great party with my wife and friends, with firework etc., and now my alcohol level is back to normal (=0). In the evenings, when the weather is clear, Mars is brightly gleaming in the evening sky ... -- Rfc 14:09, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
If you believe there's any measurable risk that it might be something that isn't released by its author to the public domain, please slap a {{PD Violation}} tag across the top of it immediately, lest someone takes us up in good faith on it being public domain and uses it in ways inappropriate to the actual permissions granted (if any) by the author. -- Strangelv 12:49, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Got it, will do just that ;-) -- Ioneill 18:25, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

gibberish from bot net

Hi Ian, it looks like the problem can not be solved by only blocking certain IP addresses. The bot net may be growing, and we can not block the whole internet eventually. I was thinking of different means to solve the problem. First we can write a bot that does exactly what you and I are doing, i.e. reverting and blocking. (see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Henna/VF) This may help us to do it more efficiently, but still the history is messed. A better solution may be some additional software on the Marspedia server, checking all input texts for pattern of gibberish and popping up a captcha in case of pattern matching. Yet, I do not know whether or not it is possible to add such a piece of software. If you see a chance then I probably can help to do some programming. -- Rfc 07:54, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Hi again, I have found someone (Brion Vibber) who should know quite a bit about captchas and mediawiki software plugins. He is one of the Wikipedia software developers. The hint I have found is on http://lists.jboss.org/pipermail/jbossws-commits/2007-June/002502.html. May be you are already in contact with him, so I do not want to double bother him. -- Rfc 09:28, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Lunarpedia and Marspedia have CAPTCHAs set up: this is why they're not completely overrun like the other three wikis. They're set up to allow unharassed all anonymous posts that don't include a URL, thus the room for this particular miscreant to go the extra klick to successfully be obnoxious for nothing more than the sake of obnoxiousness. If you ask Mike Delaney he may be able to remember how to adjust it to be more inconvenient for people who are anonymously contributing actual content and corrections.
I should probably post the python script I've been using to block IPs from all five wikis with some documentation on using it, as I've been too sidetracked and other issues to run it with sufficient regularity. Do either of you have Python set up? -- Strangelv 13:52, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I am used to C/C++ programming, but python should be easy enough. The logic I have in mind is something like this: IF ((the inserted text is at the beginning of the page) AND (the new text does not contain spaces)) THEN {popup the captcha} . -- Rfc 14:32, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I'll be interested to see the code for sure, as for playing with it, i think I'll leave it to the pros for now ;-) -- Ioneill 18:34, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Alas, what I have is pretty crude and unprofessional (it's not exactly a user-targeted applet -- just enough work and tinkering to get the job done). Look here and cringe. It's also not at all dynamic and isn't an extension. It requires admin access, a list of all the IPs and usernames, and a bunch of clicking... -- Strangelv 11:07, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Hi James, this looks like a piece of software for creation of links to show up in your browser. When you click on the links it performs some blocking commands to the addressed wikis. Am I understanding this correctly? Instead, what I have in mind is some piece of software plugin, running on the Marspedia server, not on your client PC. This plugin should prevent the malicious edits, before they are saved to the database. Are you (or Ian) in contact with a MediaWiki developer? If not, do you mind if I contact Brion Vibber on this? -- Rfc 12:28, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Hi Ian, thanks for blocking User:202.84.17.42, but I am in doubt about the sustainability. Sooner or later the bot will douplicate itself to other computers and will strike again with a different IP address. What do you think about my proposal (see above)? -- Rfc 07:11, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Hi Rfc, Sure, I can't see a problem with your proposal, but you'd have to clear it with one of the guys at the top and get their view. I do admit to being a little inexperienced to be playing with software for catching bots, and I'm not certain about what you'd need if you were to start developing codes on a wiki like Marspedia. Try dropping James a message to find out more about his progress with the wiki - I think both James and Mike are developing something as we speak, they might welcome some input. My immediate concern at the moment is to try to get some more contributors to Marspedia - will be nice to get a group of active people to submit content, like Lunarpedia. Don't think there are many people out there supporting Mars settlement! Shame really. Loving your new content by the way. The open questions are a great idea as it brings people into the discussion. All we need now are the people! -- Ioneill 11:45, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that is my concern too, just as you probably read. As far as I know the younger generation is not that much interested in space travel, whereas the Star Trek generation is engaged with a hundred terrestrial problems in their families and occupation. Okay, I will let you know what I can do after contacting one of the developers. Cheers! -- Rfc 12:20, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
After asking Brion on Wikipedia I've got some information about how to setup an extension for combating spam: [3], with captcha: [4]. That's a lot to read and dig into. I will try to find out, what we can do with it. --Rfc 10:20, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Hi, I have done some coding. Please have a look at Marspedia:Captcha. If you give it a try: Please keep the original files in a safe place and restore them if something goes wrong. I have not tested it. The additional code should pop up a captcha if the first character of the text is changed. This is only a simple check. Once it is working, we will enhance it step by step. Good luck! --Rfc 08:51, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Hey Rfc. I've managed to spend some time looking at the code and it's looking good. From what I understand, the thinking behind this should work really well - I hope it will be really effective against the botnets. When I free up a bit more time over the coming weeks I hope to learn a bit more about captchas, perhaps I'll be able to help out should the need surface. But for now, I'll be watching in anticipation to see how successful this method it. Great stuff! -- Ioneill 03:55, 26 January 2008 (UTC)