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Future plans


You may have noticed that the wiki was overridden with spambots over the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately this happened just as I was flying off on holiday. I was able to block account creation on my phone over hotel wifi but this didn't stop the existing accounts and the huge amount of spam pages they'd created from overwhelming the site, causing the hosting company to suspend it. Sorry for the inconvenience or confusion that this caused, it really couldn't have been more badly timed for my ability to fix it.

Everything's restored now, including the ability to create new accounts. I've upgraded MediaWiki from version 1.25 to 1.26, upgraded all extensions - including spam blacklists - to their latest versions, installed a spam honeypot on the site and switched us over to NoCAPTCHA, which is supposed to be the best spam prevention option going (especially as Are You A Human is discontinued from the end of the month).

I also have paid for spam blocking options to investigate if we're still seeing spambots getting through after these changes, but I want to get a baseline of how much spam we get over a week before I start evaluating those.

Huge thanks to frameacloud for doing a valiant job of blocking spambots and deleting their edits, I personally deleted 508 pages, all of which were from spambots already blocked by frameacloud. When I came to purge the deleted pages from the database, over 5000 were identified as deleted since the last spam attack.

And thanks to everyone who works so hard on making the wiki such a valuable resource!

All the wiki functions and extensions should continue to work as normal and all spam should be gone, but if you find any problems then please contact @nonbinaryorg on Twitter or reply here with a description of what's going on. If there are any past bug reports that I've not got around to fixing, now's the time to remind me. I did finally manage to get the imported 'Module:' pages to stop showing up in Random Page.

- Quarridors (admin) 01:29, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

Historical comments

The spam problem is now resolved. All spam pages and accounts have been deleted, as have any unused legitimate accounts and any pages that weren't associated with a user or linked from the site tree. This has reduced the size of the site by 2.1GB! Spam prevention measures have also been installed to (hopefully!) prevent this happening again.

I added all pages in the site's tree hierarchy to relevant categories. I then used this list to generate a list of 96 legitimate page titles, page ids. From these pages and their revisions I generated a list of all 13 users who'd ever made legitimate edits. Calls for users to check their accounts bumped this list up to 16 users. I then deleted all the pages and users that weren't in those lists and ran maintenance scripts to remove all the orphaned revisions, remove all the unused files and re-generate the logs and indexes.

In order to prevent the spam problem happening again, I installed the newest version of the ConfirmEdit extension with the Asirra (cat and dog photos) captcha and configured this to only appear for user registrations and bad logins. I also installed the BadBehavior extension with default settings. Please comment here if you have any problems with either of these extensions.

I realise the accessibility of captchas is very poor and will prevent users of some assistive technologies or with certain impairments from registering for the site. However, any existing user can create a new account for a friend, and administrators can be contacted through Twitter and Facebook (and soon through the upcoming forums) to create accounts on demand. Hopefully in the future we'll come up with an accessible solution that doesn't require these steps.

- Quarridors (admin) 16:04, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

There appears to be some spam pages when I click random. should we bother dealing with those?

- Franki 23:09, 22 March 2012 (GMT)

There's hundreds of spam pages being added a day, can we get some blacklisting going on? this blacklist extension coupled with this cleanup tool should go a long way to helping here.
--Kaerast 11:23, 7 May 2012 (CDT)
There are now 2GB of spam pages in the database, which is ridiculous and unmanageable, I'm looking into desperate measures for stripping them all out. It may involve exporting all the good pages and their revisions onto a fresh MediaWiki install then installing all the spam prevention extensions and measures going, however I'm trying the cleanup tools first, thanks for the links and sorry for taking over a month to sort this out.
--- Quarridors (admin) 11:34, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

A note about purging wiki spam

I'm midway through purging all the bad content from the wiki. Unfortunately there's 2GB of registrations and edits in the database now so it isn't sustainable to simply delete the spam, it needs to be fully purged from the database. It may be necessary to completely delete the wiki, re-install and then restore the legitimate pages and users only. Unfortunately doing this will likely lose preferences like watched pages and the like, it should however maintain edit history.

So far I've locked down the wiki so no new accounts can be created (except by administrators) and only users who have made legitimate edits in the past have been given editing rights.

I've created a list of what I believe to be all the legitimate pages currently on the site including redirect pages, talk pages, files and categories:

(List removed)

From that list, I've used Special:Export to produce an XML file with all the page contents and history for 111 legitimate pages, and from that I've extracted the following list of legitimate users who created or edited the above pages (plus a couple more I know are real people):

  • Avory
  • Davidsarah
  • DLB
  • Franki
  • Harleybond
  • Hound
  • Jenalex
  • Jeyradan
  • Kaerast
  • Lottiotta
  • MarilynRoxie
  • Mxzirself
  • Quarridors
  • Raibean
  • Suffix
  • けつ

Please rest assured that I'll try every approach possible to avoid reinstalling from scratch, but whatever approach I take will involve removing all the pages and users that are not on the above lists.

If there are any legitimate pages or users you're aware of that are missing from the above lists, please add a note here (if you're able) or contact an administrator via @nonbinaryorg on Twitter, the nonbinaryorg Facebook page or the nonbinary Tumblr before they're purged.

- Quarridors (admin) 00:41, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Migrating Practical Non-Binary Wikia

Migrate over the Gender neutral titles information from Lottiotta's Practical Non-Binary Wiki

Quarridors, do you mean just the info about titles, or just the info about the companies that accept or don't accept the titles, or everything, or something else I've missed? :)

- Lottiotta 06:53, 2 January 2012 (CST)

I think it would be great to move over all the information contained in the other wiki so it's hosted somewhere that isn't covered in ads, pooling our resources :)
- Quarridors 13:07, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. :) I will start moving it over, and I'm happy for other people to join in if I get distracted. Yes, ads, blarg!
- Lottiotta 07:53, 2 January 2012 (CST)

I'm about to attempt to start moving things over. I'm not really sure where to put it, though I feel it should go somewhere in Practical Resources, so I'll leave it as an orphaned page for now and if someone feels like they know where it should go then they can link everything up, I guess? It will be called... Errrrrrrrm... Recognition (UK). Rename it if it's terrible!

- Lottiotta 12:25, 26 January 2012 (CST)


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- Quarridors (admin) 02:02, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Clear tag?

I'm making Nonbinary celebrities and the images are stacking up in an annoying fashion. I am not very expert in wikis so I went searching and it seems that on wikipedia if you type { { clear } } without spaces it forces a break. It doesn't work in this wiki though. Might it be possible to add it somehow?

- Lottiotta (talk) 05:27, 15 February 2014 (CST)

It turns out that you can import templates directly from Wikipedia, I tried to import just Template:Clear and it worked, although I seem to have accidentally imported far more than I intended to, whoops!
I've updated the Nonbinary celebrities page to include it. Let me know if there's any problems, and so sorry for the delay. I've been out of the country and then trying to catch up on life after returning.
- Quarridors 22:06, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
That is totally brilliant, and the celebrities page looks much better now! Thank you so much. :)
- Lottiotta (talk) 16:47, 28 February 2014 (CST)

I would like a how-to section

One that teaches us how to do categories and subcategories, tags, general formatting stuff, etc. Unless there's already somewhere online that has all that sort of thing?

- Lottiotta (talk) 07:57, 15 February 2014 (CST)

The wiki uses standard MediaWiki so their help pages should hopefully be helpful
- Quarridors 22:18, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll bookmark it. Maybe this link should go somewhere obvious here in the nonbinary wiki? I don't know where though.
- Lottiotta (talk) 16:49, 28 February 2014 (CST)

On templates and infobox templates

I really we think we need to import the Infobox template and the Person template from Wikipedia to here, if possible. It would be nice to add a parameter with option for pronouns and such.McLennonSon (talk) 15:37, 10 December 2014 (CST)

Translating the wiki content into French

Hi, I would like to start translating the content of the wiki ito French to make it accessible to French-speaking people who are not comfortable with English. Is that a project you would be interested in and would there be a proper way to do it? I could start by creating URLs pages looking like, starting with a main page (and then re-creating the whole page tree mimicking the tree of the English pages), but I'm wondering if it's possible to have a "Other languages" menu on the left as on Wikipedia to have direct links also.

- Arr 09:24, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

This is definitely something we'd be interested in, thank you! Leave this with me over the weekend and I'll look into whether there's a MediaWiki extension that supports translations, then I'll let you know what seems to be the best way to proceed.
- Quarridors 11:08, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
That's great! Thanks for taking a look into this.
- Arr 12:39, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
OK it appears that the Multilang extension stopped being maintained and doesn't support the wiki version we're on now. There is the Translate extension though, which puts the translation versions under the particular pages so for example for the Agender French translation. Would that work or do you think the French version needs to be able to have its own pages that aren't the same as the English articles?
I also found this article about MediaWiki's multi language plans, and asked for advice on Twitter.
- Quarridors 21:09, 28 February 2016 (UTC)
It does look like a working solution. I'm thinking about two things:
  • having URLs with French words would be more appealing for sure (I personally like to know from the URL what the content of the link will be about).
  • more importantly, the choice of this Translate extension looks good if you want to translate text based on a reference version (English). There will be some difference between English and other languages of course (pronouns, etc), but that's the deal with translations. But, there is the question whether you wish to open the contributions to this wiki to people not writing in English or if you want to keep the content between languages exactly similar. If a French speaking contributor wishes to edit the French version, they probably won't be able to do it without modifying the English version, or it will mess up with how the extension works, right? (I had a look at the KDE wiki using the extension like here).
For the work I want to do here, it doesn't make a difference for me since I wanted to start by translating the content that is already online, and that I can edit both languages if necessary. It's more about what you would like the wiki to be that is at stakes here :)
- Arr 09:22, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
I've done more research and this does seem to be the only viable option for extensions, the others that work the other way around are discontinued. There's a bundle of language-related extensions that might make things easier but it's still based on Translate. The next thing to do is probably research other multi-lingual non-Wikipedia MediaWiki sites and find out how they do things - the first one I thought of was AVENWiki - turns out the French version there is a totally different MediaWiki install under a similar URL - English version page vs French version page note different extensions, the Recent Changes pages also differ. Multiple wiki installations on one site may be the most simple solution from a technical perspective (although it would mean all security patches I install from now on have to be done multiple times, one for each language install). We'd also need moderators for each language's wiki, or existing moderators would have to check multiple wikis. Hopefully this is a 'if you build it, they will come' scenario. What would be your preference given all this?
Unfortunately all my wiki maintenance efforts are currently going into spambot prevention, back-and-forth with antispam tech support and clearing up after the large amount of spambots that are still making it through our multiple sets of defences. Because of that, and all the things I'm behind on due to the hours going into the spambot problem, I'm not sure when I've going to have time to get this all set up. Really sorry about that.
- Quarridors 02:17, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
I do understand the effort wiki maintenance needs, and having separate wikis look like a lot of extra work without being sure it will be useful/required. So we can start with the Translate extension, and see how it goes :)
Also, don't hesitate to tell me if I can help in any way with the spambots problem or elsewhere where work is needed.
- Arr 10:45, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
Hello, just dropping by to say I'm still up to do this translation work if/when you have time to setup the wiki.
There is still the possibility of starting a new "space" with a tree with pages in French in case that's a solution to not eat your time. Anyway, the last thing I want is to look like putting pressure or anything, just saying I'm still there when it is ready ;)
- Arr 10:49, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
Hi, the spam and vandalism problems seem to be under control now. I've been looking into best practices for running multiple wikis on the same server with the same extensions and settings, there seem to be lots of options and quite a lot of set up work required, but it all looks possible (assuming I can make subdomains on this hosting): Multiple wikis sharing common resources
If you're up for writing the initial content and doing the moderation, I can have a go at setting up a French version of the site and give you admin rights. Right now my priority for this weekend is getting a very delayed podcast episode out, so it's likely to be next weekend at the earliest.
Once this has been done, it should be a lot easier to add new wikis for other languages.
- Quarridors 17:39, 28 May 2016 (UTC)
Hi, that's great :)
I've already translated the Main page, the FAQ, the Transgender page and the guide for journalist for a start.
I'm ready to start translating and populating the pages, and outreaching to people who would like to help translating the wiki.
- Arr 16:44, 7 June 2016 (UTC)