Nov
27
2006

EN Wikizine – number: 51

Technical news
  • [Anti-Autoblock] – When a sysop blocks a user, they can specify that any IP addresses used by the person they are blocking also be blocked. Unfortunately, these blocked IP addresses do not show up in the block log, which can sometimes cause unexpected IP addresses to be banned. So if for whatever reason you want to make sure that an IP addresses or range does not get blocked as a result of the auto-block feature, there is a new feature known as the whitelist that will prevent this from happening.
    Add them to your local [[MediaWiki:Autoblock whitelist]] page to do so.
  • [XFF] – AOL is a very large Internet service provider (ISP) in the USA. Because this ISP’s users are assigned to a relatively small number of proxy servers, it is difficult to ban individual AOL users without banning large numbers of other AOL users. However, changes by AOL are helping to solve this problem. The proxies that AOL uses are now providing the real IP address of their users, and the Wikis are now configured to use that IP address when blocking a user of AOL. This system is already in use for users of several other ISPs.
  • [Autosummary] – The developers recently added a new feature to the Wiki software. This feature automatically includes a summary in the edit summary box if none is provided and certain criteria are met. The Wiki software will generate edit summaries for basic things like creating a new page (New page: ‘new text’), turning a page into a redirect (Redirected page to target), blanking a page, and replacing all text on a page with new text (Replaced page with ‘new text’). These edit summaries can be helpful in catching vandalism by anonymous IPs unfamiliar with Wikipedia and who do not use edit summaries.
Request for help
Politics
Foundation
Community
Media
Stats
  • [The Stats are Back] – After several weeks without them, the Wikimedia statistics provided by w:en:User:Erik Zachte are back. And updated up to 2006-10-31.
  • [Small survey] – On the local village pump of the Dutch Wikipedia, a small survey was announced to the community. 70 people have answered the questions, this is a low turnout so this study should be considered informal. Results are: 38% agree that Wikipedia is more of an obsession than a hobby. 53% say they are spending more then 10 hours a week on Wikipedia. 56% say that vandal fighting is their primary activity on the Wiki. 61% say that they are also active on other language Wikipedias. 48% are also active on other Wikimedia projects (such as Wiktionary or Wikibooks). Of those, 75% are active on Commons. 86% of users are male. The largest user age group was the 26 to 35-year-olds, with 26% of the responses. 55% of users are single. 49% have attended a university.
  • [en.wp] – The English Wikipedia has reached 1.5 million articles. The milestone article was Kanab Ambersnail, an article about an endangered snail species.
  • [de.wp] The German Wikipedia has reached 500,000 articles! The 500,000th milestone article is Janina Korowicka, an ice speed skater from Poland.
Other news
  • [FYI on Wikizine] – In general the Wikizine is a weekly newsletter. However, that does not mean it always has to be this way. Extra or special editions can be sent out. The purpose of Wikizine is to inform you, the reader, of relevant news, not to simply fill an edition up solely to get it published. So if there is no real important news a certain week, no Wikizine will be sent out. Of course, Wikizine is a volunteer effort too, which means the staff could just be on vacation or particularly busy one week. This can happen too. 
 Did you know …
.. how to scare new people away from your wiki?

A classic strategy is to run a bot that gives every new user an automatic, warm personal welcome on their talk page, in the form of a gigantic colorful template full of helpful Wiki links. Another good way is to put a big vandalism warning template on that newbie’s talk page when they make a little mistake in the process of trying to figure out how the system works. And perhaps the best way to scare a newbie away is to give a warning for vandalizing the Sandbox page. 

Quote

 

I really didn’t foresee the Internet. But then, neither did the computer industry. Not that that tells us very much, of course – the computer industry didn’t even foresee that the century was going to end.   —  Douglas Adams (1952 – 2001)

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