# Difference between revisions of "Talk:Main Page"

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## Anonymous users and spam

Should we consider disabling anonymous editing to reduce spam? Do we feel that anyone is likely to particularly want to make anonymous contributions? Personally, I'd like it because it would stop me making edits while logged out, but it would also mean much less despamifying. A CAPTCHA extension may also be useful, but there are valid points against it. See also Mediawiki manual: combating spam. -Taepha 07:29, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Proactive or Reactive? Unless it becomes a real problem, I think it's better to react to it case by case. If it becomes a major issue then is the time to consider proactive solutions. As far as I know we've only had one instance? Zexium 10:33, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Rather a few more than one, and I'm a big fan of proactive. ;) See Special:Log/block for a list of IPs we've blocked (most are spammers, and some committed multiple instances of spamming). It also seems to be getting worse. I've blocked eight IPs today, not that doing that helps. I'm currently protecting (making user-editable only) pages after a few attacks, as once the bots start on a page, they won't stop. Special:RecentChanges seems to be filling up with spam and spam fixing. -Taepha 10:56, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
ns and whois lookups suggest that these may be botnets. Whether knowing this helps or not I don't know. Zexium 11:47, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Yesterday I would have agreed with a reactive stance; today we got a whole bunch of spam dumped on us. I had thought that the spam bots were naively targetting direct links from the main page (makes sense - they have less computational work to do that way), in which case simply protecting all links from the main page would have worked nicely. Unfortunately, today's aren't following that pattern.
For now, I've pre-emptively protected the main page - it's a very obvious spammer target, and I'm slightly surprised it hasn't been hit already.
In the long run, we want a solution which:
• Will stop most of the spam (I doubt we can stop all of it)
• Won't discourage people from just coming along and editing.
To that end, I think it's possible to use captcha without being heavy-handed about it - one of the common wiki captcha options is to require it for edits made from non-confirmed accounts which are attempting to insert links to 'unrecognized external sites'. This would have blocked all the spam we've had so far, with a pretty minimal effect on legitimate edits (especially if 'discworld.atuin.net' is a 'recognized external site'), so would be pretty much ideal. That would get my vote.
--Chat 17:33, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Happy to agree, although do I even have a vote anyway :) Zexium 17:57, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
A low level captcha would be a good approach. We will have to make some sacrifices which may discourage random editing, but that's unavoidable if we want to stop the spam. We could add a limited protection and if that doesn't stop the majority of the vandalism we could step up to a higher level. Using captcha on adding external links would not solve every problem though, as there seems to be a lot of gibberish vandalism. Rehevkor 19:32, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm for the captcha option as well; this is getting ridiculous. But looking at the history I do see a few legitimate edits by anonymous users, so it doesn't seem the right thing to block anons entirely. --Ilde 19:56, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Blocking anons entirely should never be an option. But we will probably have to limit it in some way. Rehevkor 20:14, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

As an aside, I managed to get the files pointed to on wiki.ubuntu.com by the linkspan (which were malware aimed at windows, what a surprise) removed, and hopefully ubuntu.com web admins will be improving their own security .... maybe it's worth remembering for an incident like this that other websites might be affected and we may be in a position to warn them too ..... Zexium 00:33, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

I know what might be useful. If the wiki could announce recent changes using an irc channel on taffyd.sydmud.com. Probably just a flight of fantasy though. Zexium 13:36, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

There's always the RSS feed:
feed://discworld.imaginary-realities.com/w/index.php?title=Special:RecentChanges&feed=rss
-Taepha 23:57, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

We're getting pounded with spam again; I've had to block 9 IPs in the last 48 hours :(

Any progress on the CAPTCHA issue? --Chat 09:40, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Maybe instead of a CAPTCHA, etc., we could do what TV Tropes does: disallow edits from non-logged in users, but have a default "anonymous" login (with the username and password shown in the "You need to log in to edit" message). Would that be an easier thing to set up? It seems to work well for them. --Ilde 23:37, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, wasn't that fun. I've just finished dealing with a very large spam influx - I think I've blocked/deleted/protected more IPs/pages today than the sum of all block/delete/protected by everyone previously.
My analysis of the pages hit suggests that the spambots are all following the same algorithm:
1. Start at main page
2. Follow any link to another page
3. Follow any link from that page to another page
4. Edit and spamify
In other words, all pages hit are within two links of the main page. Unfortunately, this encompasses a vast number of pages. I've pre-emptively protected all the pages that are immediately linked from the main page, but there are simply too many for me to deal with all the second-degree links.
If we get much more spam on this scale, then we're going to be overwhelmed, so I think the case for installing some kind of anti-spam extension is becoming urgent.
--Chat 18:17, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I hope to god that was a one off. I don't envy you having to deal with that. Further measures to stop spam will be essential is it continues on that level. Rehevkor 01:18, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Woe, looks like the spam bots got into the Special:WantedPages list and started creating many of those with spam. :(

If there's a large proportion of the spam on pages in talk and research namespaces like it seems to be, perhaps disallow anonymous users to create talk or other namespaces pages?

Otherwise if they target uncreated pages, maybe a bot could make stubs? --Frazyl 23:45, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Nah, looks like they're still following the 'two links from the front page' algorithm. They got to all those weapons through Main Page->Wanted weapons->* This is also why they hit talk/research a lot. There are simply too many potential pages for a bot to stub, and the spambots don't seem to care whether the page already exists or not, so creating them would be largely pointless in any case.
--Chat 23:53, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Urgh. Well, I've removed the red links from wanted weapons, so hopefully that will help nip some of it in the bud. --Ilde 00:37, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
ETA: Links are back, and those pages are now all protected. For future reference, I did this by using find and replace to turn all the page names into links starting with http://discworld.imaginary-realities.com/w/index.php?title=, having the title in the middle, and having &action=protect&mwProtect-level-create=autoconfirmed&mwProtect-reason=preemptive at the end. That makes it so that the correct protection level is selected and "preemptive" is given as a reason, and all you have to do is click confirm. Probably the easiest way to do a bunch of these without actually writing a bot for it. --Ilde 03:33, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

To bring up the CAPTCHA issue again, I think this extension would work great and be a big help. It appears to only trigger when an edit includes an external link, and it has an audio version for accessibility. I'm not sure, but it seems we might even be able to create a whitelist of allowed sites, too, since the extension it's based on lets you do this. Whitelisting Kefka's site would probably take care of most legitimate anonymous edits with links. --Ilde 06:14, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

I think it would be fair to add a captcha of some kind, especially if it's only there when adding links to outside the wiki (possibly user registration too?) and if we can exclude Kefka's site, the priest wiki, the Tm wiki and the Discworld Mud web site we shouldn't need to see it very often. We can always add more sites to the white list too.
This should nicely prevent sudden deluge of spam edits when they find more pages for whatever reasons.
Semiprotecting pages being rather limited, time consuming and preventing valid unregistered users to edit pages doesn't make the status quo all that glamorous.
--Frazyl 06:43, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good. Spam is starting to get silly, need to do something about it. Rehevkor 12:37, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

## Archiving

The main talk page was getting pretty big, so I've archived the old bits off.

The process for doing this is:

• Archive talk pages when you start seeing the "WARNING: This page is X kilobytes long; some browsers may have problems editing pages approaching or longer than 32kb. Please consider breaking the page into smaller sections." message when editing them.
• Move any sections which have not had edits within the last 30 days to the archive page.
• The archive page is called 'Talk:pagename/Archive X', where X is 1, 2, 3, etc.
• Put the {{talkarchive}} template at the top of each archive page.
• Put (or update) the {{archives}} template at the top of the main talk page.

--Chat 17:25, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

## Viewing figures

Just thought you guys might like to know - unique daily visits to the site for the month of December 2009 broke 1,000 - we hit 1,001, as a matter of fact.

For interest, here are the figures for the past few months:


Mar 2010        1104
Feb 2010        1212
Jan 2010        1114
Dec 2009 	1001
Nov 2009 	919
Oct 2009 	796
Sep 2009 	676
Aug 2009 	540
Jul 2009 	398
Jun 2009 	279
May 2009 	165



Great work everyone - many thanks for your continued work in making this wiki a great resource for DW players everywhere! Drakkos 21:54, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

January 2010 hit 1114 unique daily visits, FWIW. Drakkos 00:21, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
February 2010 : 1212
Interesting. Increasing fairly consistently. Rehevkor 13:31, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

## Quest pages

What's the plan for the quest pages to remain in sync? That is, quests are duplicated on several pages, odds are modifications on one page won't be made on all of them unless everyone is aware that the quest is also present on another page.

I thought that maybe there was a wiki thing in place so that sections from one page came from another or that they mirrored each other but apparently not. Not sure if that's something that actually exists. Anyone know?

Barring that, should we remove duplicate quests and replace some of them with links? Or some other way to keep all the quest text in sync?

I came up with some ways to handle the issue:

• Make a page for every quest, the other pages link to the quest page. Downside is there will be lots of pages.
• Put all quests on one page, then the other pages link to the section of the quest. Probably a bad idea because the page would be too big.
• Make sure each quest is only on one page and that other pages are only links. Would need to decide on a level (domain/area/city) which would hold the real quest text.
• Add comments in the source of duplicated quests that the other version needs to be updated as well. People could miss that though.
• Insert idea here.

Or does everyone feel quests duplicated on several pages is no big deal after all? Frazyl 22:31, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

The third one would be easiest, but... eh. The first one is probably the best solution (possibly we could even stop using hidden text), but I don't like that they would then show up in Special:Random. They do currently, but it's not especially important because 1)there are comparatively few of them, and 2)spoilers are hidden and mostly below the fold anyway. There are only 1,234 content pages currently, so if we added a few hundred quest pages they'd be a significant portion of that. Maybe if we had a separate namespace ([1]) for them? Then they wouldn't show up randomly. --Ilde 02:23, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
A separate namespace sounds good especially if it allows us to show the text unhidden. As it turns out Special:Random also excludes redirects, so we could add redirects from the normal namespace for pages people might search or we want to link to... Probably only entry pages with warnings like Category:Quest pages and Unofficial_Quest_Solutions. --Frazyl 02:53, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I actually like the hidden text as it enables me to uncover the mystery line by line if required (for example if I get stuck just because I cannot figure out the right verb, "exacto" comes to mind...). --Gunde 23:19, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

So, will someone create a quest namespace for quest articles? Or should we put them in the research namespace?

The primary advantage of a quest namespace is that this will stop quest pages appearing in Special:Random, which can send someone who doesn't want to be spoiled to a quest page and it will stop them appearing in default search (happens when the article doesn't exist) Special:Search, which will reveal the context of the search, that is unhidden quest info.

--Frazyl 18:31, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

AFAIK, creating a new namespace requires editing the server's LocalSettings.php; as such it's something that only Drakkos can do, so you should speak to him.
Please don't move quests into the Research: namespace - that will end up polluting Research: with things that aren't research, and we don't want that.
--Chat 22:45, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

## Sidebar

I've just spotted that the contents of the sidebar (that's the bit on the left with navigation/search/toolbox) can be changed.

Does anyone have any suggestions for things they'd like to see added/removed from it?

FWIW:

• I think we should probably do away with current events and random page - the former isn't really used; the latter I doubt gets much use either, and causes some problems on its own (quest spoilers, spam portal).
• Adding status to the sidebar sounds like a good idea.

--Chat 21:39, 14 May 2010 (UTC)