User talk:Ioneill

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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)


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; 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 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: 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 (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)