Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub

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Keeping the pub clean is a group effort. If we have too many conversations on this page, it gets too noisy and hard to read. If you see an old conversation (i.e. a month dormant) that could be moved to a talk page, please do so, and add "{{swept}}" there, to note that it has been swept in from the pub. Try to place it on the discussion page roughly in chronological order.
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Any discussions that do not fall into any of these categories, and are not of any special importance for posterity, should be archived to Project:Travellers' pub/Archives and removed from here. If you are not sure where to put a discussion, let it be—better to spend your efforts on those that you do know where to place.
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Contents

Tackling the large number of outline articles[edit]

Currently we have a large number (over 14,000) of articles tag as outlinecity. Some of these articles are lacking information, while others have enough information to be usable but need bring up to date. Although a monumental task to address all of these, I would like to propose an expedition to try and reduce this number and increase the quality of article on Wikivoyage. The idea is to pick a bottom level region and improve all the location (city/park) articles below it. This provides a clear, focused and achievable activity. I have tried a few myself in the past couple of months; takes more time than you would first think but the end result is rewarding. Draft expedition in my user space, if others think this is an idea worth pursuing I will move it into the Wikivoyage:Expeditions area for others to refine the idea. --Traveler100 (talk) 12:20, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Well we have got the number of outline cities to below 14000 for the first time in a while. But I guess my next goal is going to take some time :-). --Traveler100 (talk) 19:19, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I've wondered if there might be a way to automate some of the work of populating empty articles, for example by using a bot to pull in a few hotel or restaurant listings. I'm guessing there would be license/copyright issues if we were to (for example) grab the contact information for the top three restaurants and hotels for a destination from Tripadvisor, but are there any other options that might allow us to automatically fill in some articles without the need for manual updates to 14,000 articles? I'd be willing to write a bot if we can figure out some guidelines. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:35, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Not sure I like the idea of automating adding new listings. A lot of the articles have enough information to be usable articles, they just need the listings checking and cleaning up. One of the tasks that does take time is correcting bad web links, either changed address or the establishment is closed. Do we have tools for listing broken external links? Also could we automate checking to TripAdvisor, Yelp and Google to see if a restaurant/hotel is marked as closed (I am finding quite a lot of them)? Another cool thing to be able to do would be extract coordinates of listing automatically or semi-automatically, this is also a time consuming task. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:43, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
User:Koavf created a list of broken links back in April - http://dmoztools.net/wikivoyage/ - although it is probably fairly out of date by now. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:38, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
@Wrh2: For what it's worth, I didn't make the tool originally, just initiated the conversation about those links. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:45, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
After sorting out the articles of Pembrokeshire, the whole of Wales now has less than 100 article with Outline status. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:17, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

DotM, page view stats, and a potential problem with (and solution to) the Main Page carousel[edit]

A little while ago I got curious about how much an article's page views are affected by being featured on the Main Page as a DotM, OtBP, or FTT. I did some research on the page view statistics of recent featured articles (go to View History on any article and you'll see a list of "External Tools" just above the most recent revision; Page View Statistics is one of them) and a clear pattern emerged: DotMs get a higher bump than OtBPs, which in turn get a higher bump than FTTs. I suspect this is because when you go to the Main Page, the DotM is the first of the featured articles to scroll through on the carousel. This strikes me as giving an unfair bias to DotMs in favor of OtBPs and FTTs. My question is, is there any way to tweak the coding of the carousel to randomize which of the three featured articles pops up first? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:36, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

It would probably be possible to have it initialize and immediately scroll to a random banner ([1]). If there is interest I can put together a test. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:54, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Thats a good catch Andrew. Ryan, I wonder if it possible to have a carousel which shows banners all of the feature guides at the same time. Lets say 30% of images shows of each banner and when one hover over one of the three banner, it gives full banner image as well the text. Hope you got it. --Saqib (talk) 02:01, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
Saqib, that would be a lot of work to implement, so unless there is widespread interest in such a solution it is more than I'd like to take on right now. -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:11, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
BUMP. Can we get folks' thoughts on this, please? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:48, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree it would be fair to give each of the three featured articles the same visibility and would support randomizing the starting point of the carousel. If I understood Saqib correctly, he's thinking of something like the Cover Flow of Mac OS and iOS — I'm not sure if it would be an improvement and if it's very difficult to build too, let's keep the layout as it is (and just randomize the starting point). ϒpsilon (talk) 15:12, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
BUMP again. I realize this isn't the most pressing issue in the world, but it seems to be an exceedingly easy fix, and I think we'd be remiss to let this issue fall off our radar screens. How about this: does anyone actively object to randomizing which featured article comes up first in the carousel, rather than having DotM always be first? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:44, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, just go ahead and do it. I think lack of objection is clear. Powers (talk) 03:10, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes Done -- Ryan • (talk) • 07:21, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Ah, sorrry I didn't contribute to the discussion before, I totally missed. I think it is a very good idea and thanks for implementing it! I find it quite witty how when the main page is uploading, the banners re-organize themselves quickly in search for a randomized configuration. Danapit (talk) 08:26, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Events at Wikivoyage:Tourist Office[edit]

Apologies if this message should go on a different page. This isn't exactly a user ban issue, and Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress is a ghost town, so I figured this was the most appropriate well-trafficked page for it.

There's an extremely stubborn anonymous vandal who, over the past few weeks, has continually posted and reposted a spammy off-topic message in the Tourist Office regarding some video produced by CNN. Ryan and myself have been doing a pretty good job reverting the vandalism when it happens, but the user's persistence makes me wonder whether an Abuse Filter might get the job done more efficiently. As you can see from this diff, there's a lot of very specific words and phrases in the boilerplate text that keeps getting reposted (i.e. "CNN Deltalina") that we could almost certainly blacklist without catching too many false positives. Can I get some support for this?

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:12, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, I support it. But if Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress is a ghost town, that's a problem. Enough people, especially admins, should be checking recent changes to see posts on pages like that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:23, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
BUMP. Just reverted another instance. Can some more users comment on this, please? I'd really like to get this issue taken care of. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:35, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Support. Or should we politely answer the person's questions as well as we can and give him/her the e-mail address to CNN's complaints department? :) ϒpsilon (talk) 20:42, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
We can do both, if you like ;) A filter seems very appropriate. JuliasTravels (talk) 21:23, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Blacklisting "CNN Deltalina" for some time sounds reasonable, I would say. Nicolas1981 (talk) 06:25, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd say we should blacklist a number of different word combinations just to be safe - while largely made up of boilerplate text, the message has changed slightly from iteration to iteration (i.e. this one, which ends in "And by the way this video is related to travel" as a response to the edit summary of an earlier reversion of the vandalism explaining that the Tourist Office is for travel-related content only). I have no knowledge of how to construct an Abuse Filter, but it looks like we have a solid enough consensus to put one into action at this point. Would someone who knows what they're doing like to volunteer? (Andrewssi2?) -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:15, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
@AndreCarrotflower: I've edited abuse filters on other MediaWiki wikis (e.g. WikiIndex) and I have some familiarity with regex. If no one else steps up and you think I'd be okay with the tools, I'll do it. —Justin (koavf)TCM 17:47, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Looks like no one else is going to bite, Justin. Does anyone object to having him set up a filter: Ikan, Ryan, Ypsi, Julias or Nicolas1981? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Go ahead. ϒpsilon (talk) 15:14, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I didn't comment earlier because it seems to me that this user rarely turns up and is easily handled with the rollback button, but I have no opposition to using the spam blacklist or a similar tool so long as we don't accidentally block any good edits with whatever approach is implemented. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:43, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I already said upthread that I was OK with a filter. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:40, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea. Good luck Justin and let me know if you want any help. Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:34, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Since this seems to have stalled, I just went ahead created the filter (number 20) and tested.
Presently it is very simple, only disallowing edits to the Tourist Office page that contain 'CNN Deltalina'. I agree with AndreCarrotflower that a combination should be tested for, however I'm nervous to blacklist 'CNN' and 'Delta' since both are legitimate terms for travel.
Please provide suggestions for other terms to detect, or otherwise just let me know when the vandal is back :) Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:18, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
AbuseFilter I didn't realize that my userrights had actually been changed until just now. I'm happy to help as well. —Justin (koavf)TCM 23:34, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Well the abuse filter is now created and running, so not really anything to do technically now. Further work required is to refine the key word detection, and discuss what those key words should be. (i.e. catch this user's edits, but not 'legitimate' users) --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:27, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
A belated thanks for setting the filter in motion, Andrewssi2. In looking back at the relevant edits, it looks like the user changes the wording a little bit from instance to instance, which might make it hard to identify specific phrases to blacklist (was this intentional?) For example:
  1. the first time he showed up, he mentioned the narrator of the video was wearing "pointy heels (2003-2012)", which was edited in the most recent instance to "old squeaky black pointy heels (Early 2005-Late 2012)"
  2. a description of continuity errors in scenes of the plane describe it as "a B-777-200LR in the interior and a Crj-900 on the exterior", which later changed to "a 777-200ER in the interior and a old colored CRJ-200 on the outside"
  3. in the conclusion, the vandal said the video would need to be deleted by July 2015 and reshot in an A330-300, but the deadline was later shifted to June 19, 2015 and the new plane changed to a 777-900 EER.
I would recommend adding all or part of the following phrases to the filter: "Why don't she tell us her travel tips right away", "instead looking at her body", "They need to reshoot this CNN video", and "0:27 into the", which are common to all variations of this message. "Red uniform", "pointy heels" and "777-200" are also possibilities, but perhaps slightly more likely to generate false positives.
There are also two additional instances ([2], [3]) of a separate spam message by the same user (the messages have to do with airline safety videos, are written in a similar style, and reversions are met with angry retorts in edit messages). These two messages both contain the words "Madtv" and "lacklusterios" (sic), both of which phrases might also be added to the filter.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:11, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Slower than Wikitravel in the Philippines[edit]

You guys should know that for the last week or so, it's been nearly impossible to contribute due to crawling servers. Annoyingly, the inferior Wikitravel hasn't shown the same problems. --112.198.90.214 05:12, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Very strange, it is very fast in Japan... thanks for letting us know! Could you please install Firebug in Firefox then press "Network" in Firebug, then load a Wikivoyage article, then take a screenshot and post it here? Example: https://i.imgur.com/lCc5InE.png That would help us identify what is going wrong. Thanks for your feedback! Nicolas1981 (talk) 05:28, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Under what circumstances can this happen? Personally I experienced issues accessing WV in Mainland China in 2013, including very slow response times (Wikipedia as a whole was being blocked intermittently at the time) . I don't see ISP's in the Philippines doing anything like this... --Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:01, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Ph ISPs don't censor but I could believe they'd try to save some pesos. Well, it seems to have repaired itself to a degree or two now, but both WP & WV were unusable for more than a week with the same message about waiting for mediawiki.bits or some such. I wrote down the actual message at the time, but couldnt posdt it after waiting 2h for this page to load. Do you have a bug report email address? I can't see one posted prominently...--112.198.90.214 09:38, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
If it affects WP as well, and if it's waiting for bits.wikimedia.org, then it sounds like a Wikimedia routing/network issue that affects access from the Philippines. Because of the bigger pool of users at WP, you would be best to report it at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical). If you have no luck there, try Wikipedia:Bug reports and feature requests, which explains how to report problems at Phabricator, Wikimedia's newish bug reporting system (which hopefully deals with tech problems other than just bugs). I sympathise, because I have experienced similar problems in the past, and it is difficult to report slow access using a site that itself is subject to the problem. Nurg (talk) 20:32, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
That's the one: bits.wikimedia.org !
What do you think of having an email address featured to report these kinds of problems? --49.151.114.202 13:41, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
I see no real need to encourage communication per email. Of course such bugs are very unpleasant and it's good that people report issues. However, this is a wiki. There's Phabricator or - for those who find that too unfamiliar or complicated - simply the travellers' pub. Chances of getting an answer or (better yet) a solution are much better on-wiki, where any report gets far more eyes on it than an email would. JuliasTravels (talk) 22:08, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Tbose are all valid points, Julia, but lose sight of the main point that I've had to wait 3 days again for bits.wikimedia.org to settle down again b4 I could write this. You're not going to get better Ohiljlppines artkcles with these obstacles. Also, when i use my Globe mobile I keep getting weird messages about Andrew Carrot blocking and send him an email but, again, no email address! --222.127.250.223 05:46, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for posting this information, 222.127. I'm sorry that you're dealing with these problems. I'll tell the Ops team about this. Problems with bits.wikimedia.org don't usually last so long. In the meantime, it might be helpful to have information about whether it affects only Wikivoyage, or if it affects sites like Wikipedia: or Wiktionary:, too, and whether there are times of day that are better or worse. (For example, a while ago we had a problem with the English Wikipedia being slow in the eastern United States, but only in the evening and only on one large ISP—just when everyone got home from work.) Thanks, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 07:05, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Also: if you can't reach anyone on wiki or find a better way to report a problem, you can e-mail me. I can't really fix technical problems, but I can forward e-mail messages.  ;-) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 07:10, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
And just 16 minutes after sending that message, Faidon the Awesome has set up a temporary patch and started the process of getting permanent corrections made to the upstream providers. This problem was probably affecting most or all of the Philippines plus some other users in the region, so the Operations team sends grateful thanks for your persistence in reporting it. If it comes back, then please let me (or them) know. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 07:35, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Listings as CSV, OsmAnd[edit]

New extracted Wikivoyage listings data is available: .CSV to check/hack listings, .OBF to display listings in OsmAnd, .OSM to integrate with OpenStreetMap data. Enjoy! Nicolas1981 (talk) 13:50, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for new .csv file... I have found it very useful in the past for some checks etc.; however, there is an issue in that not all articles are using the listings templates and unfortunately that information would not be represented in the .csv file... To correct this would probably be a very large undertaking indeed... Matroc (talk) 03:40, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Transforming all POIs to listings templates is indeed a large undertaking, but like banners we will make it, little by little (banners are currently at 32%). It should actually be faster than banners, because it is fast to do for small destinations, whereas banners are more difficult for small destinations. Personally I transform into templates every time I see a not-yet-template POI. If you want to help with this, that would be great! Cheers! Nicolas1981 (talk) 04:04, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Looking for feedback on my funding proposal to work with UNESCO[edit]

Hi all

I’m looking for feedback and endorsement for my Wikimedia Foundation PEG grant to be Wikimedian in Residence at UNESCO. I’d very much appreciate if you would have a look, I want to include as many different projects and languages as possible and creating sustainable connections between existing Wikimedia contributors and some of UNESCO's 380+ partner organisations. The most relevant goals to Wikiviyage are:

1. Train UNESCO and its partner organisations to contribute to Wikimedia projects: Provide UNESCO and its partners with the skills, tools, resources and connections to contribute to Wikimedia projects in a meaningful, measurable and sustainable way. To integrate into the Wikimedia community both online and by matching them with local Wikimedia organisations and volunteers for in person support and collaboration. The project will create and improve content receiving 100,000,000 views per year on Wikimedia projects, educate 1000 people in over 200 organisations to learn more about Wikimedia projects. This will include 500 newly registered users trained to contribute to Wikimedia projects and 500 articles formally reviewed by experts.
2. Make content from the archives of UNESCO and its partners available on Wikimedia projects: This project will facilitate the upload of 30,000 images, audio files, videos, data and other content to Wikimedia projects from UNESCO archives (24,000 images), UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and other sources including 10 organisations changing their content license to be Wikimedia compatible, a completed pilot project is outlined in the Goal section.

The release of images of World Heritage sites is probably the most relevant to Wikivoyage , I ran a pilot project that resulted in the images found in the Wikimedia Commons category Images from the archive of UNESCO, here are a few of them:

I'm working towards this as an example for other UN organisations to emulate, if you think this is a worthwhile project please click this link and click the endorse button. If the project is funded I hope we can work together.

Many thanks

Mrjohncummings (talk) 06:20, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

I endorsed; this seems like a great opportunity for all. Not all images may be usable on Wikivoyage (e.g due to our reluctance to use photos with recognizable individuals on them), but still it will be a wealth of great, high quality content. And that's just our side of the story; it's also great to see Unesco's work get more attention. I encourage everyone here to read and endorse. JuliasTravels (talk) 13:07, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
At a first glance it sounds like a fantastic project. UNESCO World Heritage sites, Creative Cities, Global Geoparks, Intangible Cultural Heritage and Biosphere Reserves are all worthwhile travel destinations. WV could probably get a lot from such a project in the form of pictures and other material, not to mention new and knowledgeable contributors especially from parts of the world where our coverage is weak. ϒpsilon (talk) 14:00, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

This would be amazing. Jdlrobson (talk) 14:38, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

I finally got around to looking through the proposal. The photographs you present from the UNESCO Archive are stupendous. I think this is an exciting project, because it will add a lot of quality and quantity to the documentation of currently under-documented areas of the world. And the benefits for Wikivoyage are obvious, because we clearly will have more high-quality photographs to choose from in articles about some remote places, and maybe in particular, UNESCO World Heritage sites, as User:Ypsilon mentions above. Of course, the proposal is much broader than that, but I clearly see the mutual benefit for UNESCO and Wikimedia sites. Good luck! Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:28, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Encouraging socializing with groups of local residents that share a common interest[edit]

Any traveler whom has ever stayed at a different state or country for an extended period of time knows how hard it could be to make new friends in a different city or country - especially if you are at a foreign country.

For this reason, I feel that our city guides are still missing a section that would help our readers find prominent websites which organize face-to-face meetups where a traveler can participate in the meetings of various local like-minded people, and hopefully maybe even gain some good new friends as a result.

Websites such as Meetup.com have definitely become prominent in the recent decade - especially in the United States and major English speaking countries in the west - as the means by which a group of complete strangers whom shares a common interest would find each other and organize get-togethers.

So far I've created this draft, to which I added the section "Socialize with local groups that share a common interest" in order to try and exemplify what I mean exactly (I would completely agree that links to other websites are needed (beside the ones to Meetup.com), and that we should probably also re-edit the text (English is not my native language and therefore my text is very likely to have some mistakes).

Do you support or object adding a similar section (which would maybe be worded differently)?

ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 07:43, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Do any other travel guides or sites associate themselves with meetup sites? What would we gain from associating ourselves with that particular site, which probably won't link to us? The reason we don't allow external links for sites that aren't primary references for listings is that we used to have arguments about which secondary site should be linked, and I don't want that kind of argument to be repeated with meetup sites. Also, not to be paranoid, but we wouldn't want to be legally liable if someone met up with another person because we facilitated that, and got raped and murdered. So those are some concerns. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:49, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think information about meetups is appropriate as a new subsection in our city guide template – both for the reasons that Ikan cites, as well as because the phenomenon simply isn't popular or widespread enough that there would be any information to add in most cases. However, I think this might work very well as a travel topic, where we could compare and contrast the advantages and drawbacks of each individual resource, and also include a section on safety. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 13:21, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
That's a good point. Traveling to meet people is clearly something people do. There are also people who swap couch space in strangers' houses. So those could be travel topics. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:02, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Sure, it could work as a travel topic, though I wouldn't support a separate section in individual guides for meetups. ϒpsilon (talk) 14:14, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that the meetup site given is suitable for listing in part due to the security concerns that Ikan raised. However we maybe could list WMF meetups if they are regularly happening in a city e.g. meta:Meetup/London. Otherwise we should only list meetups when they happen regularly at a single venue (generally in drink). A travel topic may also be useful. AlasdairW (talk) 14:58, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Travel topic sounds fine, and regular, concrete opportunities that might interest travellers in particular destinations can be listed in the relevant listings (drink or do). I wouldn't support a dedicated section in templates either, for the reasons given and because I fear in practice they'll mostly be filled with a lot of advice from Captain Obvious about meeting people, plus links to the same few external websites (like this meetup.com) in many articles. I also wouldn't support listing WMF meetups, as they are of no more interest to average travellers than most other clubs or meetups and are typically in the local language too. JuliasTravels (talk) 15:35, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

I understand that including websites like Meetup.com for encouraging socializing with groups of locals with a common interest would be a big shift from the common practice in traditional travel books, and that many here might be afraid that such websites could lead someone to be raped or murdered. Well, first of all one could argue that a Wikivoyage guide by itself that covers a region where there is a significant ethnic based conflict could be used by "bad people" to lead someone to his/her death either way - for example, a "bad guy" could for example edit the Hebrew article about the West Bank and recommend to the Hebrew speakers specific places to eat or sleep at while in practice his real intention might be to lead Israeli-Jews to places that would be dangerous for them. I am sure that there are many similar examples.

Regarding Meetup.com specifically, although I assumed there is going to be a considerable opposition to adding links to websites such as meetup, I still think that adding links to Meetup.com or to websites that do the same and are as popular, might be very useful for our LONELY travelers especially since Meetup.com has become the de-facto most popular website of this kind on the web - especially in the United States - and since I know many travelers whom are looking to incorporate meeting locals and trying to make friends into their travels (and usually going to the businesses we recommended in the "DO" sections doesn't help one make actual friends you are likely to meet again). I also think that when our readers would join such groups in public places they should be much safer than for instance going to people's houses (couch surfing) or using various friend match websites which would match them only with local individuals. In my opinion, the safest and most efficient way to get to know friendly locals while still being safe is meeting a big group of locals with a common shared interest and meeting them at public areas. I am sure that there are additional websites that help do the same thing, and therefore I was thinking we should devote such a section to all the most popular websites the help enable this in a safe and friendly way. ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 18:31, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

I just added the following notice to my draft "Please note, for safety reasons, we recommend going to meetups only if they are scheduled to take place at central public places and are attended by many participants." ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 18:46, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm afraid this idea is a non-starter, because the content would be essentially identical for every article in which it appeared. There is no need to link to Meetup, or any other site, because a reader interested in such gatherings can simply go to meetup.com and enter the location to which she will be traveling. A link from us provides very little value. Powers (talk) 19:09, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
I think the point that Meetup is a useful resource for travelers is a good one, and it is also something that is outside of the scope of Wikivoyage. We've had discussions about similar sites, and the problem has always been trying to draw a line between "good" external links and spammy ones - what if we had a template that could be added to the bottom of articles that allowed inclusion of a pre-selected list of links to approved external sites? For example, if we decide Meetup is a resource that is widely used, outside of the scope of what Wikivoyage would support, and a valuable asset for travelers, then we add support for it in the template; if we don't add support for a link in the template then there would be no way to include it. Here's an example I threw together:
The UI and wording obviously needs tweaking, and the list of included sites would need significant discussion, but that gives an idea. And yes, I just opened that can of worms. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:56, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
I think we need to stay away from linking to commercial sites whenever possible, especially when presented in that format. It flies in the face of the WMF's goal of facilitating the free exchange of unbiased, user-generated information. Our philosophy has always been to include information on our own site rather than linking to it externally, and the way to do that is by making meetups into a travel topic. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:13, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
I think it is great to make suggestions for adding more relevant content to our site, but this is really out of scope. We don't have to be the sole source of every single piece of potential information that people could use when they travel, and if someone wants to look up something specialized such as local groups then they can just google it, look it up on Facebook, Meetup or any one of hundreds of sites.
As mentioned earlier in this thread, it would make a good travel topic article. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:23, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Andrewssi2, I understand quite well your suggestion to only have all the information about this option in one separate travel topic article, nevertheless, I am also aware of the fact that if we'll concentrate all info regarding this aspect of traveling in one guide and refrain from making this information widely available throughout the website, most of our readers won't ever become aware of the safe and efficient possibility available to them in the 2010s to to make quality friendships with locals during their trips or long stays at New York City, Sydney, Stockholm, New Delhi, Beijing, Tel-Aviv, etc. ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 21:51, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Sure, but we can extend that argument everywhere. For example, should we link to AirBnb in every 'Sleep' section because it is a proven way to find accommodation and maybe make friends?
Wikivoyage is in many ways a 'traditional' web site that is perhaps quite behind the curve in terms of digital media. We do nevertheless need to be careful around linking to external commercial sites and services. Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:57, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
I am not sure about having a list of "approved" secondary sites because this would tend to be global rather than local ones. On occasion I have wanted to add a secondary link, but it has almost always been to a region specific one. For instance, a local newspaper may have a column about meetups and clubs in the area. An analogy would be only allowing listings of chain hotels. AlasdairW (talk) 22:05, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia which allow linking to external sites actually strongly discourage linking to sites that require registration so I agree with those who are not in favour of linking to meetup.com, tripadvisor and other similar sites. --Saqib (talk) 21:40, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Saqib, in the case of Meetup.com the fact that everyone has to have a registered account (and using a real photo of yourself is encouraged) + the fact that all group organizers must make monthly payments in order to create and run their own groups (and that new groups are inspected and approved always only after 3 days), actually helps keep perverts, creeps, psychopaths, internet trolls, scammers, and other dangerous individuals out of these social initiatives (as they usually rather stay anonymous and not pay), unlike let's say classifieds websites such as Craigslist in which anyone could immediately post information about various social get-togethers without even having a registered username or anyone approving their posting beforehand. ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 22:21, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that a site like meetup.com can do any serous checks in 3 days on groups signing up. A sporting club looking to become affiliated to the national body is more likely to take 3 years to get their membership approved - with national officials visiting the club, reviewing the safety plans etc. AlasdairW (talk) 22:47, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

It seems that the central problem with adding external links on Engvoy articles to prominent commercial sites that might benefit our reader tremendously (such as Meetup, Facebook, TripAdvisor, etc.) is one - if we allow this in some instances, sooner or later Wikivoyage would take part in significantly raising the web traffic to web sites that are going to earn more money as a result. And it seems that for many of the Wikivoyage community members this fact leads them to refrain from doing so no - matter - what (even if the travelers would have a significant benefit from the existence of those links). ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 22:32, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

To what degree travelers truly benefit from information available on commercial sites is an open question. Wikivoyage's noncommercial status and lack of vested interest in including or excluding any particular bit of information ensures that nothing gets in the way of our focus on the best interests of the traveler. The same cannot be said for sites like Tripadvisor or Meetup, whose ultimate goal of turning a profit for their owners compromises the integrity of their content (at least in theory). This is precisely why we favor including content here rather than linking to it from elsewhere. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:41, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
I understand this but still think that it would be a mistake to completely hide essential information from users just because it is available on very prominent commercial websites. ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 22:47, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
(Response to numerous comments above):
  1. There seems to be a belief that external links are evil or bad in some way, particularly if they link to commercial sites. It's worth remembering that Wikivoyage used to be hosted by a commercial entity. If a resource is valuable to travelers, ideally we should have some way to make the traveler aware of it. Our currently restrictive policy was born out of an inability to distinguish "good" external links from "bad" links, but if we can link to a subset of agreed-upon "good" links then that makes our guides better. Note that it's a valid point to say that we shoudn't link to a site because it isn't travel relevant or because it duplicates functionality that we should have on Wikivoyage, but the blanket argument that links to commercial sites are bad strikes me as detrimental to our goal of producing the best travel guides possible.
  2. To the argument that a commercial site might become evil, if it does we remove the template link and all links to it disappear from our site. The point is that this would be a curated list of resources.
  3. Third, I'm not sure how many people have tried to use Wikivoyage guides to plan a trip, but my experience during a recent trip to Turkey and Africa is that our guides aren't up to the task when you're unfamiliar with the place being visited. Until we can provide user reviews in our listings, a tool like Tripadvisor is essential. Similarly, being able to link to other resources for things like event listings (i.e. nightly events, not the annual events we currently include in our guides) would also greatly improve the utility of our guides.
  4. Finally, yes, someone can use Tripadvisor (or another resource) without it being linked from our guides, but when visiting another country it often isn't obvious what tools are used prominently in that destination. If Wikivoyage provided a curated set of resource links it would be a benefit to travelers. Even for guides to places that a traveler is familiar with, having a bookmark to the relevant Meetup page or event guide is a useful service to the traveler.
There are plenty of reasons for opposing links to other sites, but I think we need to remember that the goal is to produce free, complete and up-to-date travel guides and not cling to the status quo just because we've had a very restrictive external link policy in place in the past. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:55, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
I completely agree with Ryan. The core group of editors at Hebvoy (there aren't a lot yet) has for a long while supported the option of adding prominent links to TripAdvisor to HebVoy articles, in order for our readers to make better decisions while traveling, although we haven't done so yet, mainly because the focus has been on other more important tasks so far. Has any other edition of Wikivoyage widely added links to prominent pages on TripAdvisor? (we might be able to form a better opinion about such an option by examining what specific other editions have done on this respect). ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 23:46, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
With regards to Ryan's post, it sounds like there is a meta discussion to be had around external linking. Do we have have enough basis so far to create a specific proposal discussion around this? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:49, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Compromise suggestion[edit]

Make new like-minded friends while in Toronto

Read more about how travelers could make use of modern online tools to meet and socialize offline with groups of people in Toronto that share a common interest.

Instead of my original suggestion, we could just add an infobox to the "Do" sections of cities that would have an inner link to an extended guide that would cover this travel topic (making it a travel topic article was actually supported by some of the people whom rejected my initial suggestion). All I want is for our readers to be aware that such an option even exists (there are many lonely travelers out there). What do you think of this option? ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 01:39, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

My concern would be that we would need to add that box to a vast number of articles and it would crowd out images and infoboxes that might be of more value. In addition, putting the same box on numerous articles dilutes the value - once you've seen one, you ignore the rest, so we've then used up some of our valuable screen real estate for a box of limited value. If we were going to go with an approach like this one then I'd suggest a short, standardized one-liner listing, similar to w:Template:Wikivoyage-inline, although (obviously) my first preference would be the more generic resources template as outlined above. -- Ryan • (talk) • 03:49, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Ryan, I think that you better start a separate discussion about Tripadvisor and similar sites. It is a serious issue, and it should not be compromised by the weird proposal of linking to someone's favorite website that is not relevant to 99% of travelers. By the way, do you plan to complete and officially release your essay at some point? --Alexander (talk) 04:36, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
That's even more horrible. Imagine that we have such infoboxes for Meetup.com, Couchsurfing, five major car rental companies, Tripadvisor, booking.com, and what else? Of course, Skype. One can call via Skype from any point in the world, so why not mention Skype in every article? --Alexander (talk) 04:36, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Alexander. I am totally fine with travel topics about meetups while traveling or about couchsurfing, but I am opposed to having any kind of link to a site like meetup.com in any article other than a single travel topic dedicated to discussing using meetup sites while visiting places. This is a travel site, not a social media site, and I don't want to make it a social media site.
As for linking to Tripadvisor, if we do that, we might as well forget about making a travel guide on this site, because the information is already there, so why bother putting in the effort to make a free, non-commercial site here? We might as well give up if we're going to do that. The only way I could possibly change my mind about this is if Tripadvisor agreed to link to this site in exchange for us linking to them, and anyone is welcome to propose that to them - it could be great if it were ever to happen - but my guess is it'd be a cold day in Hell before that happens. And I'd be way more willing to countenance indiscriminate inline linking to our sister sites like Wikipedia than any linking to Tripadvisor, because Wikipedia (and Wiktionary, etc.) are fellow Wikimedia sites with the same non-commercial, copyleft policies. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:06, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

For me, the main point is that we should not link to the same resource from many articles. The mentioned site is (probably – I do not know the site) totally appropriate for a suitable travel topic. If the problem is that people do not find our travel topics, then we should link those instead: start any section with a link to the main travel topic page (Sleep: {{Sleep}}, Do: {{Do}} etc.).

The second point is to have information about how to meet "local like-minded people". The main problem is that the information would be different depending on the reader's mindset. Sometimes there are local resources suiting many travellers (such as a listing of local clubs), and we should perhaps encourage adding that type of info.

--LPfi (talk) 09:03, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

I pretty much echo what both Ikan Kekek and LPfi said. Meetup.com and similar sites should at most be mentioned in a single travel topic only, not linked to repeatedly from every destination. And I'm surprised we're even discussing linking to Tripadvisor for the very reason Ikan mentions; we'd not only be offering free advertising for them and admitting that our site is not complete, we'd be diminishing our chances of becoming complete by sending people elsewhere for the basic information we should have but don't. I think it would pretty much defeat the logic of our external link policy too; if we linked to Tripadvisor, why not link to LP, why not just link to all our competitors, including the thousands of smaller, specialized, local sites which offer complete information where we do not? Texugo (talk) 10:20, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
With regards to Tripadvisor specifically, I would argue that user reviews are outside of the current scope of Wikivoyage, yet they are a necessity when planning a trip. Like Lonely Planet or the other book publishers, our guides help to understand the options and narrow them down, but even in a star article (I'm looking at Hiroshima#Sleep, since it's the first one on the Star articles page) there is no way to know if our listings are out-of-date, just one person's experience of a bad night, an over-enthusiastic write-up from someone who hasn't visited other places in the city, etc. There may be multiple ways to overcome that problem - linking to user reviews hosted elsewhere is just one option - but my recent experience in trying to use Wikivoyage for trip planning is that even our best guides are insufficient and that more information is a necessity. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:42, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that we should be linking to Tripadvisor, except in travel topics and maybe a page of resources for editors. There are other review sites, and the idea is that people do put a brief review in the description here. However I do see some advantages in linking to destination specific secondary sites. This could be the local school which has produced a guide to the city's history, or a walking club which has produced guides to city trails. These are the kind of sites that travellers might not find in a quick search. To start with, we might restrict secondary links to non-commercial sites, and specifically exclude any that offered booking. We have listings for mountains to climb which have no details of the route and there are no links because there are no primary sites to link to (WP links were removed). AlasdairW (talk) 22:03, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Linking to destination-specific sites of utility is appealing, but then we run into the problem of vetting for quality. Powers (talk) 15:56, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Topic for immunization certificates[edit]

I just deleted a WP link for "carte jaune" from the Madagascar article. I figure that if we need to explain what this document is, it's important to international travelers and should be explained somewhere on this site. Is it? If so, where? And if not, I think it probably should be, and then we can link that wherever appropriate. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:24, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

I believe they mean the Yellow fever vaccination certificate. ϒpsilon (talk) 15:42, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
I was assuming they meant a yellow card that's internationally recognized and can show various vaccinations. I have one that I used in the 70s for travel to Malaysia and India, among other places. Yellow fever was only one of the vaccinations listed. I haven't traveled anywhere for decades where I was required to show a record of vaccinations, though. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:46, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually, didn't Ryan visit Madagascar recently? He should probably know about what kind of certificates are required. So far I haven't visited any country where any kind of vaccination certificate would be required. ϒpsilon (talk) 16:14, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
There were a few countries in Africa that required proof of yellow fever vaccination so I got into the habit of keeping my vaccination card in my passport. According to the CDC, proof of vaccination is required in Madagascar only if you are arriving from a country where yellow fever is present, so someone flying through Kenya might be required to have been vaccinated. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:26, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
I went to Madagascar last year and was not asked for anything but my passport. Nicolas1981 (talk) 03:33, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Are listing templates a problem on mobile phones?[edit]

Please have a look at this conversation and this article history. If the listing templates make it difficult to edit from some mobile phones, what kind of workaround could be done? Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:53, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

I find any kind of template editing a pain on mobile. Especially in this project. When you are travelling time is scarce and templates slow things down. The keyboard is optimised for plain text. Curly braces on android are found by clicking the 123 button then the = sign. Same for the '=' symbol - so that's three clicks away. So using a template for listing anything becomes a more painful experience. I'm a pretty advanced user so I can do it - it is just a pain but I worry various users just won't be able to find the right buttons and risk deletion. I worry at the risk of presentation we might be losing drive by editors/putting off editors. It might be worth running some user tests on the wikivoyage project to understand whether this is really a problem rather than go on my assumption. E.g. ask a sample of random people to add a restaurant to the page. Maybe User:ARipstra (WMF) might be able to help with that. In my particular situation I was worried if I didn't use the template i would be a nuisance and it seems when I did (with missing fields) apparently that also risks reversion. Jdlrobson (talk)

One has to customize listing template(s) for the Visual Editor. Then you should choose simple "Edit" (not "Edit as wiki-text") in the settings menu of the editor window in the mobile version. Separate fields for each parameter will appear, and you won't have to type curly brackets or '=' symbols any more. --Alexander (talk) 15:47, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Currently on my phone using the mobile view I'm not seeing the "add/edit" listing links. Have other language versions solved that problem? If not, and if no one beats me to it, I can take a look at the problem in the next couple of days. On a related question, does anyone else find the regular (non-mobile) listing editor to be a bit small? Currently the font size is configred for 90% of normal, so at a minimum I'd suggest bumping that up so the font size is at least the same size as the rest of the site. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:08, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I believe that if you're opted into beta features on the regular mobile website (not the separate mobile app), then you can switch to a limited version of VisualEditor. Look for a gear-shaped settings icon on the upper right, and choose "Edit" instead of "Edit source". I used the mobile site to make this minor edit to a template (in Firefox on my Mac, even though it says that it's a mobile edit). I didn't see any way to insert a new template, though. It might be possible to copy and paste an existing one, and then edit its contents.
User:Maryana (WMF) is the product manager for the mobile website, and she was in Nigeria back in December. I wonder if she has tried editing Wikivoyage from any of her mobile devices. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:01, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Shouldn't using the listings buttons on the editing toolbar obviate the need to type curly braces? Powers (talk) 15:58, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. That's a rather convenient/cross-platform/safe way to add listings. Maybe some editors don't know about this button? Personally I have only recently started using the buttons, I would always copy/paste or rewrite as I am always a bit reluctant to use non-essential JavaScript gadgets. Nicolas1981 (talk) 07:11, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

So far as I can tell from reading mw:Extension:Gadgets, to enable the listing editor for phones and other mobile devices we would need to update MediaWiki:Gadgets-definition and change the "ListingEditor" line to include targets=desktop,mobile, for example:

ListingEditor[ResourceLoader | default | dependencies=mediawiki.util,jquery.ui.dialog | targets=desktop,mobile] | ListingEditor.js | ListingEditor.css

To make the listing editor text the same size as the rest of the site, we would just need to remove the font-size: 0.9em from the #listing-editor style in MediaWiki:Gadget-ListingEditor.css.

Enabling the listing editor seems like it could greatly improve mobile usability, assuming that the JS works on most modern phones. Having a slightly larger listing editor box should assist everyone, mobile and non-mobile. Anyone care if I give those two changes a try? The changes can be easily reverted if there are any problems. -- Ryan • (talk) • 07:46, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

I increased the font size in the listing editor, but enabling the listing editor for mobile generated a dependency error on jquery.ui.dialog, so I had to revert that change. -- Ryan • (talk) • 06:09, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Cricket, Handball, Aussie rules Football, Gaelic games[edit]

We now thankfully have articles on Rugby football and American football, which is imho a very good thing as sport is a huge part of a country's culture and can be a reason to travel all by itself. There is however no article concerning the above mentioned sports. While Australian Rules Football is dealt with somewhat in the Australia article (I am not the judge of whether that is enough), our coverage on Cricket and European Handball is lacking. Now, I know a little about Handball (that is team or Olympic Handball for the non-European reader) and might be willing to start an article, it will be hard to get it past outline for me alone (I don't really know where most teams are at, which leagues besides Germany, France and the Nordic countries are the best etc.). I know nothing however about Cricket. I think there are some contributors here from Pakistan, India or the UK, if I am not mistaken, who might know a little about that...? Your help would be much appreciated. And yes I have raised the issue of our coverage of sports earlier, but there seemed to be no comment - besides the creation of the aforementioned articles - so I decided to raise it here. I hope that is ok. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:30, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

'Australian Rules Football' could be a travel topic, but it is mostly popular in the Australian state of Victoria (Melbourne) so it is indeed adequately covered there for now.
One concern I has for sports articles in general is that if you have contributors who are somewhat 'fanatical' then they tend to use a long of technical terms that would be hard to read and understand for a traveler unfamiliar with that sport. The whole point being that if you are a true Rugby/Cricket/whatever fan, then you are probably not going to read the Wikivoyage article for guidance anyhow. If you can make Handball an accessible travel topic for a American traveler to Europe then great! --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:54, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Old House in Tallinn[edit]

Apologies if this is in the wrong place.

I recently added a listing for Old House Hostel in Tallinn at Uus 26. There seems to already be a listing for Old House at Uus 22, but it's about apartments, not hostel rooms. I was unable to find anything at Uus 22 on the Old House website. Their apartments seem to be located at Rataskaevu 16, on the opposite side of the Old Town. I have been only once to Old House, in the hostel at Uus 26, two and a half years ago. What is the situation here? Do they have premises at Uus 22 or not? Should the listings be merged? JIP (talk) 19:52, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Hi JIP! If there is no 1-day accommodation at Uus 22, then the listing at Uus 22 should be deleted. Could you please do it? Thanks for caring! Nicolas1981 (talk) 03:09, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
That's too strict a standard. Surely, a place with a week's minimum stay would serve many visitors, and in fact, Wikivoyage:Apt has the following standard:
Apartments or cabins must be available for rentals of one week or less Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:55, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Already fixed per Talk:Tallinn#Old House. ϒpsilon (talk) 09:58, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

What to do with list of ski resorts?[edit]

I've been working on Downhill snowsports (a general guide) and Snowshoe (guide for a specific resort). I couldn't find much guidance on the latter... obviously if there's a ski resort that's part of a large city, its information should just go there, but it seems like a lot of ski resorts are far enough removed that the only thing around for many miles is the ski resort and a few inns and restaurants for budget-minded travelers who don't want to stay at the resort. So giving it its own article makes sense to me.

My question is, right now Downhill snowsports contains a long list of "ski destinations". Some of these are individual resorts like Vail and Breckenridge, but others are just entire countries like Romania.

I can see a strong argument for keeping a list, as you really can only ski in particular places. But should it be moved to a separate page? Do you have any other advice for how to clean it up and prune it? --Bigpeteb (talk) 22:06, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

I raised the same issue at Whitewater sports. In Downhill snowsports it seems any resort you would go to from abroad is meant to be listed, not only some especially noteworthy places, as I suggest for the former. I think separating the list from the main article would do little good, but pruning will be needed at some point.
There is no use linking country articles with no mentioning of snow sports. I think some countries are linked now because there are good ski resorts, but none described in our articles. A short paragraph in the Do sections could be added for those, (red)linking to a few top resorts.
As the Colorado and Montana sections show, the list will soon be a mile long. We could have separate lists in articles by country, such as Winter sports in Switzerland and Skiing in Lebanon, where also country specific issues can be handled (also extraregions, such as Swiss Alps could be used). For some regions downhill sport destinations can be handled in general articles, but having a large section on snow sports in, say, USA or France, is hardly ideal.
--LPfi (talk) 09:41, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

No data dump since last year[edit]

Data dumps used to get generated every 2 weeks, but since July 2014 the frequency has started to fall down dramatically. Currently, the last dump is from 42 days ago. I am a bit sad as I have improved/added a lot of content recently while preparing my trip, and I won't be able to benefit from it using Kiwix/OxygenGuide/OsmAnd offline tools. Data dumps are one of the reasons why we forked from WT.

Any idea why? Is it inevitable, and if not where I should ask for the frequency to be restored to about a dump every 2 weeks? Cheers! Nicolas1981 (talk) 03:49, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

I guess someone on Wikimedia would be better placed to answer your question, since we at WV don't (I believe) have any control over this process.
That said, monthly data dumps seem like an OK frequency to me, although I wonder where January 2015 went to. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:34, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I know that, currently (within the past month) we've had some issues with the dumps servers which may be why but I will poke ops to see what the issues are with the wikivoyage dumps in general as well. Jalexander-WMF (talk) 20:48, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
A new dump has just appeared, right in time before my trip tomorrow :-D Nicolas1981 (talk) 04:59, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

List of articles containing non-templatified POIs[edit]

New: This page is a list of articles with POIs that do not use the template format.

There is probably a number of false positives, and some places might better be left as prose.

Nonetheless, your help templating all of the obvious ones would be very appreciated, as listing templates are much more expressive and reusable than prose. Thanks a lot! Nicolas1981 (talk) 07:04, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

For anyone interested in this type of cleanup, I've updated the custom auto wiki browser settings so that AWB can be used to automatically convert text listings to templated listings. It definitely generates false positives that need to be manually corrected, but can save a significant amount of time when performing this fairly mundane task. -- Ryan • (talk) • 07:11, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Nice! I guess the ideal is to use my list and your AWB settings in combination :-) Nicolas1981 (talk) 07:31, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

VisualEditor News #1—2015[edit]

18:30, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

"Comprised of"[edit]

I saw an article this morning about a Wikipedia initiative to get rid of the term "Comprised of"

I noticed User:Helenabella has already made a start here.

I don't really have a strong opinion on this style either way, but it seems acceptance of this style is not universally accepted by WP. Are we comfortable with this wikignome initiative? Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:24, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

The changes made on Wikivoyage so far have all been to change "comprises of" to more appropriate wording, which is an appropriate cleanup since "comprises of" is incorrect grammar. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:29, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
@Andrewssi2: When it comes to our copy here, the two most important things are keeping it interesting for readers (which occasionally means colloquial or somewhat non-standard language) and making our copy different from Wikitravel. Honestly, the latter should be the number one priority at this site because it will significantly effect our SEO. If someone changes these "comprised of"s, then that's a good thing. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:34, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Good thing in my opinion. Gnomes also often improve the wording. The only thing that would be negative would be changing the tone to make it sounds encyclopedic, which is not our goal. Nicolas1981 (talk) 03:03, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I would strongly oppose any such initiative. First of all, we have bigger fish to fry here. Second, and more importantly, just because Wikivoyage has joined the WMF family does not mean we need to be a clone of Wikipedia. And one of the things that makes editing Wikivoyage fun for me is that editors are given a wide latitude to write in their own style, within a framework of standards and guidelines that is designed to be as generalized and unobtrusive as possible. The last thing we need at Wikivoyage is to import to our site the petty, picayune, heavy-handed grammar-Nazism that's made Wikipedia such a drag. For that matter, it bears emphasizing that "comprised of" is actually perfectly grammatically correct; ergo, what's going on at Wikipedia is little more than one overbearing user imposing his personal taste on the whole site by fiat. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:40, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Also, regarding differentiating ourselves from Wikitravel, I've said it before and I'll say it again: SEO should never be the primary reason why we do anything at this site, at least in terms of altering our content. I would much rather slow down the inevitable and ongoing demise of Wikitravel a little bit than compromise the quality of our product. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:52, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I think I agree with Andre on this. Even if I do prefer "consists of" for stylistic reasons, this seems like a really petty thing for us to worry enough about to dictate in policy. I mean, this is practically on the level of coming up with a policy about oxford commas or double negatives — that is, a practice that may not be technically correct grammar but is wide-spread enough that the vast majority of users won't notice either way. PerryPlanet (talk) 05:36, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think we need to micro-manage this sort of edit unless someone is bothered by the change. These types of edits are harmless, and if someone feels strongly that "comprised of" should be changed (or any other copyediting matter) and wants to change it, so long as no one is hugely attached to the original text it seems a bit petty of us to tell them not to do it. Where I would say we need to take a stand is if someone wants to codify a style guide for these sorts of trivial copyediting matters, or if someone else disagrees with the changes being made - an example of the latter would include past efforts to change English to British spelling (or vice versa) where concerns were raised about inconsistent spelling across articles.
Overall we want to encourage contributions, and if an editor is making harmless changes I don't see any value in telling them to stop. -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:51, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Ryan - as I see it, this has little if anything to do with discouraging users from making constructive edits, nor frankly even with a preference for one wording over another. Copyediting articles on a case-by-case basis to improve the flow of their wording happens all the time on Wikivoyage, and rightly so; however, any crusade to completely eradicate a perfectly grammatically acceptable turn of phrase based on nothing more than one individual's subjective opinion of what constitutes appropriate tone does not constitute constructive editing, and in fact would be heavy-handed and would fly in the face of the democratic, consensus-based approach that's fundamental to the policy of our site. Particularly when such a change is effected on a "one size fits all" basis without regard to context: certainly "comprised of" will not be the optimum wording everywhere it crops up, and sometimes it may even be downright inappropriate, but the context in which it is used is different in literally every single instance. There's absolutely no way to believably argue that "comprised of" is never acceptable under any circumstances. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 06:30, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
The word 'crusade' actually sums this up for me. I was not suggesting banning these edits in anyway, just remaining vigilant against 'single purpose' edits that do not further our mission in any way in either quality or substance, and frankly make the experience less fun for other contributors. ( see the various incarnations of user 118 )
Also in response to Justin, I don't see changing every instance of this term making any real impact to our SEO. Adding more original content will always be more effective. Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:43, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Where I have concerns is when "democratic, consensus-based approach" is used to mean minor issues have to be agreed-upon in advance - we want users to plunge forward. When there's disagreement we should discuss it, but so far as I can tell no one has any disagreement with the edits that have been made, the concern is that a change might be made that is "downright inappropriate". If someone wants to make edits that seem pointless to me, but that are important to that user, it's counter-productive of me to object unless I disagree with the substance of the change; only if I have a disagreement would it be appropriate to ask the user to stop. -- Ryan • (talk) • 06:45, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
@Andrewssi2: No doubt. The best thing is a lot of new, good content. But that is hard to come by. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:45, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
"Comprises of" is incorrect and should be changed. Editing out "is comprised of" is another matter and a totally silly thing for people to waste their time on, in my opinion. I use "is comprised of," and I don't support the tyranny of Strunk & White. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:56, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Ryan - I don't see making indiscriminate, context-ignorant changes to our articles' wording on a sitewide basis as a "minor issue". Particularly not when the justification for said change is a half-baked, poorly-thought-out statement of position that's not even official policy of the wiki it was written on, let alone this one. And particularly not when said change is instituted by someone with no prior contribution history and who didn't even bother sounding out the Wikivoyage community's thoughts on the matter beforehand (maybe because anything approaching consensus has so far eluded him/her at Wikipedia?) -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:50, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Ikan Kekek is quite correct when he mentions the grammatical incorrectness of "comprises of". It's fine to change instances of that phrasing, but in my opinion we should quickly revert any alterations to otherwise appropriate instances of "comprised of". In addition to being astoundingly bad Wikietiquette, it sets a bad precedent vis-à-vis the importance of consensus and the relationship (or lack thereof) of Wikivoyage's policies to the policies of other WMF sites. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:54, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I would strongly oppose "quickly reverting" edits solely because someone has changed one type of phrasing to another, and would potentially revert the revert. Yes, such edits seem silly to me, but clearly they are important to the person making the change. A revert would be justified if someone disagreed with the substance of the change, but absent such a disagreement there is no justification for reverting that edit. We've got a small enough editing community as it is without shrinking the tent further by excluding editors who make edits that others perceive as trivial. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:25, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Andre seems to have taken a firmer stance on this than I'm willing to. I should probably clarify that I don't really have a problem with an individual user editing out individual instances of "comprised of" (unless said edits disrupt the conversational, informal tone we look for in our guides), since I don't really have a strong opinion either way. Like Ryan said, if it's important to that user, I say let 'em at it; no need to micro-manage. My concern is that, as administrators, I wouldn't want us to give backing to some sort of wider initiative to change all instances of the term, since I believe that would give it the weight of policy.
The original question asked was "Are we comfortable with this initiative?" My answer is that I'm not going to get in the way of it (unless it starts posing problems), but I don't really want to lend it my support either. PerryPlanet (talk) 23:02, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I use "comprised of" frequently, so perhaps I'm taking this a bit personally. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:14, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I am not sure if you folks are aware - but there a few editors on english wikipedia whose edit history shows that they spend most of their time simply trawl through spelling and minor grammar issues by hand for years to try to clean up... As we have a much smaller domain here in comparison, I think that certain words and phrases may be a problem - if we already have a '[4] words to avoid' in this project, which includes phrases as well - why not consider such a list as an advisory as such, and use it as the point of where we can place such phrases... It is in effect an advisory, not specific 'prohibited list', and that may balance the various concerns made above sats (talk) 00:35, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) Most of the entries in our "words to avoid" section are buzzwords notoriously used by touts and destination marketers. There is very little if anything on that list that's proscribed for reasons of style. The editing culture that has evolved at Wikivoyage simply doesn't place a great deal of importance on issues like that, at least as long as no full-fledged grammar errors rear their heads. Now if minor grammar issues get more attention on Wikipedia, fine and dandy, but a culture clash arises when an overzealous Wikipedian comes to Wikivoyage and starts upsetting the apple cart based on a wrongheaded assumption that what flies at Wikipedia flies here.

And of course, there's a whole other issue too as to whether this anti-"comprised of" effort really "flies at Wikipedia": a quick look at the user talk page of the campaign's mastermind shows quite a bit of strongly worded opposition from other Wikipedians, and even The Guardian is calling the whole thing out for the nonsense it is.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:09, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Oxford is the first source I've seen that claims "comprised of" is standard English; most other sources say it's non-standard. A very good reason to avoid it is because self-antonyms are confusing. The only reason it even became a thing is because people confused it with "composed of". Powers (talk) 03:24, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree with User:PerryPlanet's point of view. I don't see the point in editing out instances of "is comprised of," but I don't see a reason to be greatly attached to the phrase, either, so if someone wants to edit out instances of it, so what? And why are we spending so much time discussing it, especially if it isn't happening here as of yet? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:00, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
That escalated quickly. There are two types of 'comprises of' that seem to crop up here. One is 'comprises' v 'comprises of', which looks to be up for debate (for those who actually have an opinion). The other is far more clear cut - 'comprises' where 'features' (or similar) is intended. In this case, the words have different meanings. Apologies if the grammar edits bothered anyone - I try to push through a few best practice edits 'wether'/'weather', 'their'/'they're'/'there' et cetera where I can, as it's a tiny contribution I can make on my lunch break. Helenabella (talk) 01:42, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your edits and for weighing in here, Helenabella. I apologize if my vehemence put you off. Copyedits to fix grammatical mistakes (and general Wikignoming) are of course always welcome here at Wikivoyage. But the anti-"comprised of" campaign seems quite controversial at Wikipedia, so in my own opinion it would be preferable to gauge the opinion of the Wikivoyage community before importing it here. Admittedly, you have not altered any instances of "comprised of" here yet, but given the fact that you cited w:User:Giraffedata/comprised of in your (AFAIC uncontroversial) edits to instances of "comprises of", it seemed to me like an issue worth addressing. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:03, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
To me — natively a speaker of Canadian English but one who has lived abroad much of his life and worked with a lot of Brits & Aussies — "comprised of" is completely normal and correct English. I'd need a lot of convincing to even entertain the notion that eliminating it might make sense.
On the other hand, I've been both an ESL teacher and an academic editor at various times and am really picky about (some) grammar issues. Wearing that hat, I'd say misuse of "comprise" is a rather common problem. In particular, "comprises of" is, as someone points out above, invariably an error. (At least in standard English; I see it fairly often in articles on India or Pakistan & wonder if it might be normal in their English.) To me, it is an obnoxious & irritating error, and eliminating it wherever it occurs would be a useful bit of gnomish work.
I tried a search for "comprises" and nearly every instance I saw would be better without that word. In most cases it could just be replaced with "includes". As for "comprises of", it can just be replaced with "is comprised of" to get a grammatical sentence but often some other rewrite would be better. Pashley (talk) 15:40, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Having now read this whole section, I now seriously doubt that "comprise" is even a word. Imho: If the changes do no harm let us just keep them if there is a controversy we address that than. But we should not imho form a policy or anything either way. The use of British v. American English already causes enough controversy and sometimes headache (I for one usually change the pseudo French spelling centre and metre (as well as theatre) whenever I encounter them, but that may be because the German spelling follows the American). However I usually don't edit an article just to switch from one variant of English to another and neither would I advise to do that on the comprise issue, but to each his/her own. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:56, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Hobbitschuster: wikt:comprise. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:20, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
It's notable that the usage notes in the Wiktionary article that I linked mention that the definitions of the word "comprised" that are at issue here are "often considered incorrect" in formal language, but "are usually informal" and "becoming increasingly common in nontechnical literature, while American Heritage Dictionary and Random House Dictionary state that it is an increasingly frequent and accepted usage." This recalls the difference in tone between Wikipedia and Wikivoyage: while Wikipedia's encyclopedic tone makes it arguably understandable to edit out instances of "comprised of", the phrasing lends itself well to the informal tone of the language we endeavour to use at Wikivoyage. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:24, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I was (in part) referring to the theory that a word sounds less and less like a real word the more you use it in a debate about it. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:46, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree (also native speaker here), I don't see what the problem with this phrasing is, if it's used correctly. To use an example sentence from dictionary.com:
  • "The advisory board comprises six members." Correct.
  • "Six members comprise the advisory board." Correct.
  • "The advisory board is comprised of six members." Correct (according to multiple dictionaries and common usage). This is the passive form of the previous sentence.
  • x "The advisory board comprises of six members." Incorrect. "Comprised of" would also be incorrect.
I'd be in favor of removing the last usage, but not any of the others. --Bigpeteb (talk) 02:07, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
First, I completely agree with Perry ([5] above) in that I don't want to give an official blessing that would encourage seemingly pointless copyedits, but I also very much feel that it's counter-productive to stop someone from making edits that he feels are valuable solely because I think the edit is pointless (so long as that contribution is also harmless). That said, the "comprised" debate has caught the attention of the wider world, and I thought it was amusing how the outside media views these sorts of changes: [6]. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:05, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Of Bigpeteb's examples, the second strikes me as problematic because the word means the exact opposite of what it does in the first example. That can lead to ambiguity. Powers (talk) 02:19, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Raja Ampat[edit]

This article is exhibiting some odd behavior. It shows up in the search of destination articles without IsPartOf, despite the fact that it has that template, and it shows in this search of non-destination articles with pagebanner, even though it is correctly categorized as a destination article and should therefore have been ignored. It's been this way for at least a week now, and I've tried purging the cache and all, but I can't seem to figure out what the problem is. Anyone have a clue? Texugo (talk) 17:17, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Traveler100, any ideas? You seem to be good at these things... Texugo (talk) 17:17, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Strange, on first look I do not understand it either. --Traveler100 (talk) 17:37, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
The results on that category scan tool show a page size of 12486 bytes, while the article history shows 15047 bytes. I'd guess there's maybe a hidden unicode character in there somewhere that is interfering with the category parser, but that's just a guess. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:39, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I tried deleting and undeleting the page, and it seems to have resolved the issue (so far at least). Texugo (talk) 13:14, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Earlier I had gotten rid of UTF-8 hidden character and fixed a few other characters - I did notice that the searches above still had the Feb 9 edit date when I tried searches after Feb 9. The information appeared as not being updated - I think deleting and undeleting forced the data to be updated... Good job! -- Matroc (talk) 21:34, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Wikimania[edit]

Wikimania 2015 will be in Mexico City this year. If you are interested in attending, please sign up. There are some free scholarships available to cover the cost of round-trip travel, shared accommodation, and conference registration. Scholarships are "merit-based" rather than "need-based"; the selection criteria appear to be all about what you do for the movement. I believe that any active contributor except people who have paid positions (e.g., most Wikipedians in Residence) are eligible. To apply for a scholarship, please fill out the application form at https://scholarships.wikimedia.org/apply The scholarship application deadline is this Monday, 16 February. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:03, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Anyone interested should do so, the Wikivoyage presence in Hong Kong in 2013 was good, but unless I am mistaken, London 2014 was a lost opportunity for 'voyage' promotion. It would be really good to see 2015 a revival. sats (talk) 00:58, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Would be great to have some Wikivoyage guys around in Mexico. I did a presentation together with James in Hong Kong. But unfortunately I have to free days left this year to attend the Wikimania in Mexico. If somebody needs some information or help for a presentation or sth. lease let me know. -- DerFussi 07:56, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Next year i am going to keep some days off for the conference... --DerFussi 08:07, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
It would be great to encourage more Wikivoyagers from Latin America. The heaviest editing of articles tends to be in Europe/North America, so more representation in that part of the world would be welcome. Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:30, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
For that matter, es.voy really could use a shot in the arm. The community there seems to be not much more than two or three semi-regulars. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:36, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Where's the rest of Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub/2014 archives?[edit]

Where's the rest of Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub/2014 archives? The page that I wikilinked to only goes to 9 September 2014. Peaceray (talk) 05:32, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

As you may know, material from the pub is only archived if there are no appropriate talk pages to sweep it to. I've done most if not all of the pub sweeping for the time period at issue, and the answer is that there was simply nothing that needed to be archived rather than swept. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:47, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Archivers usually leave a edit comment indicating the new page of the swept discussion. Just look through the (admittedly long) history of this page. Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:26, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Filenames for DotM/OtBP/FTT banners[edit]

When uploading banner images for DotM, OtBP or FTT, it's important to make sure that the filename of the locally hosted banner is different than the filename of the source image on Commons. The reason for this is that we're required to link to the source file at Main Page/Photo credits, but when two files have the same name, the MediaWiki software automatically assumes any links refer to the locally hosted one. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:38, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Listing editor flickering[edit]

Since about a week, whenever I edit a listing and move the mouse to the Description field, the dialog's size changes, and the field moves a bit, making it impossible to actually click inside the field. I have to click a field before and then use Tab to reach it. Anyone having the same problem? Could it be due to the recent font size change? Firefox 35.0.1 on Ubuntu Linux. Nicolas1981 (talk) 09:05, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

The timing matches the font size changes. I'll take some time after work to see if I can reproduce and find a fix. Are there any other problems? -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:25, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
I just tried editing a few listings in the Culver City article using Firefox 35.0.1 on Ubuntu, but didn't encounter any issues. Is there a specific listing you're trying to edit that is causing this behavior? If you're seeing it everywhere, can you upload a screenshot, or something else that might help to narrow down the problem? -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:20, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
It happens for every article. I will try to take a video, probably not before e few days though. Nicolas1981 (talk) 10:42, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Information about events[edit]

Would it be a good idea to add information about annual events to Wikivoyage articles? There's three events that immediately come to mind: The Helsinki Samba Carnaval here in Helsinki, Finland, the World Bodypainting Festival in Pörtschach am Wörthersee, Austria and BoundCon in Munich, Germany. I visit them all regularly (although BoundCon not so often as the other two). Which of these would be worth mentioning? How does one add information about annual events anyway? JIP (talk) 20:47, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

The Do section of city articles is where we put events. Feel free to add any event you wish. ϒpsilon (talk) 20:58, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
If I might take a minute or two to shamelessly promote my own work, you might want to have a look at the "Festivals and events" subsection of the Buffalo district article (especially Buffalo/Downtown#Festivals and events) as a model. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:22, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
If these are events that attract a lot of international visitors, then they could also be listed in the relevant monthly or topic page at Calendar of events and festivals. AlasdairW (talk) 23:38, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
The World Bodypainting Festival in particular attracts people from all over Europe, sometiems even from outside Europe. BoundCon mostly attracts people from Germany and the neighbouring countries. The Helsinki Samba Carnaval usually only attracts Finns. Any passing foreign tourists attend the event, but I'm quite sure no non-Finns visit Finland just to see the carnival. JIP (talk) 22:16, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
It's totally a good thing to list a festival a visitor might enjoy if they were there, but wouldn't travel overseas just to go to. One of the most enjoyable things I did with my brother on a trip to Italy was to happen upon a Festa dell'Unita' in Rome. We probably wouldn't have gone there on purpose, but that's just because we didn't know how much fun it would be. A listing for Feste dell'Unita' would be a great idea. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:34, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
In a similar vein I'd suggest that if there are notable sports teams (soccer) being in most cases the most obvious, but other sports shouldn't be overlooked if they have a local following to not only mention their "rowdy fans" in the stay safe section, but also when their home games are held (day, months and frequency) and if they have any special events. like this: "The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns play American football on roughly every second saturday afternoon in a season running roughly May to September with October playoffs. Admission is circa 10€ and the atmosphere is usually very friendly with even fans of the rival team welcomed" Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:48, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

"Last edited" date for listings[edit]

In trying to use Wikivoyage guides on a three month trip last year, one of my frustrations was that listings were often hugely out-of-date, but there was no way to know if a listing was added to an article one week ago or ten years ago. I wrote an essay with some suggested fixes, one of which was to add a "last edited" date to listings that would display as follows:

  • El Rancho Hotel & Motel, 1000 E. Highway 66, ☎ +1 505 863-9311. This historic Route 66 motel has been the site of numerous film productions over the years, and today offers an upscale lodging and dining option for travelers. Blah blah blah... (last updated 04-Oct-2013 | edit)

There has been some discussion on this idea already, and it seems like there might be interest in having this feature available subject to the following constraints:

  1. We would add a new field named "lastedit" to Template:Listing that can be used to indicate when a listing was last updated. The input format for this field will probably be something like "lastedit=2015-01-15", and the output will then be "15-Jan-2015" (generated by adding {{#time: d-M-Y|{{{lastedit}}}}} to the listing template).
  2. The listing editor will be updated to automatically populate this field whenever a listing is added or updated ({{#time: Y-m-d}}). People who prefer to edit wiki syntax directly would also be able to add/update this field by hand.
  3. "last edited" would only be displayed in listings when there was a non-empty value present, so this would have no effect on existing listings until those listings are updated.
  4. A category will probably need to be created to track listings with invalid dates, similar to what we do already with issues like Category:Listing with phone format issue.

I think this would be a very useful addition for users of our guides, and there has been some support for the idea expressed already, but since it's a change that would affect most of the articles on the site it obviously needs wider discussion. Concerns raised so far include the issues that displaying this field might make some of our guides look more out of date than they actually are in cases where places don't change much, and that it might look cluttered for listings that are just name + address. Advantages (beyond giving readers an indication of listing freshness) include an indication for editors that listing data needs to be checked for accuracy when the "last edited" date is far in the past. Suggestions, comments, support, or opposition? -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:13, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

I very much support this idea. Making sure that listings are kept up to date or their outdatedness is visible to the traveller. Remember: the traveller comes first. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:44, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
The idea is good but as you say too many would have dates that have not change for a long time but are still valid. How about just doing for listings with no web page and also highlighting listing with web links that are giving error such as page not found. --Traveler100 (talk) 18:49, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't support that limitation. If a hotel was updated 7 years ago, even if the address, telephone number, URL and description are still valid, the rates would have changed. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:07, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

I see two weak points of this proposal. First, standard edits that are done without the listing editor will not generate the date. Second, an arbitrary edit of a listing does not mean that all information in this listing has been updated and checked. One should probably try the automatic implementation and see how it works, yet we could keep in mind the simple and straightforward alternative of adding the date (year) manually after the price, because prices are most likely to change from year to year. This will guarantee that dates are added consciously. --Alexander (talk) 19:17, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

If we institute this proposal, I think it should be allowed for editors to update the "last edited" date upon verifying that existing information remains true, regardless of whether or not any change has occurred since it was written. That might be an answer for those who are concerned about how many outdated listings readers might encounter in a given article. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:51, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Basically I think this is a very good idea and with the smaller text for the date as in Ryan's example, it doesn't really look cluttery to me. Sure, it might look a bit awkward with a bunch of several years old listings, but again this should be a signal for the reader that here's an opportunity to do a valuable contribution. We're a wiki and everyone (new and old users) can check up information, and update and fix things! We could perhaps also have a maintenance category for listings that haven't been edited in say 3, 4 or 5 years.
The problems would be those which Alexander just presented — that the date wouldn't be updated when not using the listing editor (for instance, I very seldom use it) and that the listing would be timestamped also when someone is just e.g. copyediting it. ϒpsilon (talk) 20:25, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
The timestamp can also be updated manually, not just through the listing editor. (Sure, not everyone is going to do this when manually editing, but if you update a listing then you are taking some responsibility for its quality)
I would actually really like to see this new attribute added to the listing template. It does not have to be visible on the rendered article page for now, but why not try and capture this important piece of data if we can? Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:04, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I think we should give this a try. I also agree with Andre’s point above about allowing editors to update the “last edited” date if they’ve verified the info is correct but nothing has changed. I think part of what Ryan is getting at is a reader doesn’t know if the listing is still accurate — so if someone makes the effort to verify the info, the listing should reflect this otherwise the reader won’t know it’s been recently verified. -Shaundd (talk) 00:09, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
In the same spirit as the "Closed?" checkbox that people can easily use to report a closed restaurant, how about a button that anyone can click to indicate that they've just been at this restaurant and found the listing info to be correct? Nicolas1981 (talk) 02:28, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Responding to several comments above, I agree that the fact that using the listing editor for a simple copyedit will trigger the "last updated" date to update is a problem, but I think capturing this information is still an improvement over the status quo, and it's something we might be able to mitigate in the future by providing a "minor edit" checkbox in the listing editor, or perhaps only updating the "last updated" date when substantial updates are made (I think that's out of scope for the initial version, however - first let's just try to get something implemented and functional, and see how it goes). Regarding comments about updates made directly via editing the wiki syntax, it's straightforward enough to add or update a "lastedit=2015-02-15" field to a listing by hand, and since it's mainly experienced editors that are updating listings by hand then I suspect that's a step that many editors would start using. Finally, to Andre's point about just updating the date for listings that are still up-to-date even if the existing data hasn't changed, we can definitely make it clear in the documentation that updating the "lastedit" date as a way to show that the information was verified accurate is acceptable. -- Ryan • (talk) • 07:52, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the date of the last edit is a valuable information, and should be recorded, as well as presented (also including the risk that changes were just cosmetical). I like the form suggested above. Regarding editing without the listing editor, maybe a little date stamp icon could be added to the vw editor, that would generate the date code with today's date. Danapit (talk) 08:11, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
I think this is worth trying, and if we hate it later, we can always revert it. Overall I like the proposed look and functionality.
Ryan, this might be more complexity than you want (especially for the first version), but to reduce visual clutter, could the date be shortened to just the year, at least for older listings? If the answer is "2008", then the exact date doesn't matter much. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:17, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
I am in favour of recording the date that a listing was edited using the listing editor, but I think that we may need to think a bit more about how it is displayed. To readers who are familiar with our site an update 10 months ago may look recent, but those who are more used to other sites may think that 10 weeks ago is stale. Also different travel information ages at different rates - a listing of a public park or statue from 50 years ago could still be accurate, but often half the places to eat have changed after 5 years. AlasdairW (talk) 23:23, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Instead of displaying the exact date (which is too much information), how about just displaying "updated 3 years ago" or "updated 2 weeks ago"? JavaScript time humanization libraries are tiny and widely available. I believe we should be very liberal when truncating, better display "1 year ago" or "2 years ago" than "1 year and a half ago", because the half does not bring much value and make the text longer. Nicolas1981 (talk) 06:17, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

If I'm reading the above discussion correctly it sounds like there is support for this idea, although some further refinement will need to be pursued, including Nicolas1981's idea about displaying descriptive text ("updated 1 week ago") instead of a date, and the issues raised about minor copyedits causing the "last updated" date to make a listing look more accurate than it might actually be. LtPowers also raised a concern about articles potentially looking cluttered, but indicated he would need to see more examples to make a final judgement. Assuming there is general agreement for moving forward with a test I should be able to put an implementation together this weekend, which would then allow us to move on to discussing changes to the initial implementation. As WhatamIdoing notes, if people dislike the feature once it is in action then a simple template change will make it is easy to switch off. -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:32, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

The changes are now live. Feedback appreciated, particularly if anything seems to have broken. -- Ryan • (talk) • 06:45, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Amazing. Looks good to me. For the record. I've no opposition implenting it. --Saqib (talk) 06:58, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Great! Just tested it... :) Danapit (talk) 13:00, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Would it be difficult (or unclean) to include a checkbox for (not) changing update date? This would partly solve the copyedits changing update date issue. I am not sure what wording should be used, though. --LPfi (talk) 13:48, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

If this proves to be something worthwhile, I would highly suggest that we incorporate some sort of verification timeline into our Star article status requirements for star articles to remain stars, for example verifying listings every 3 years or risk losing status (or at least get tagged as potentially outdated). Having these dates will make it easy for us to keep our stars in check and most importantly, ensure that they're still star-worthy. Otherwise, our stars become articles that LOOK nice at first glance but are in fact riddled with problems. As a sidenote, I hate that the first thing I see in the mobile version at the top of articles is when it was last updated. Very unattractive and leads to the false impression that everything is outdated. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:13, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Next steps[edit]

There are a few enhancements that have been suggested related to the "last edited" change:

  1. Do not automatically update the "last edited" date from the listing editor for minor edits - suggested by several people.
  2. Instead of "last updated on 21-Feb-2014" display as "last updated 1 year ago" (possible ranges would be "last updated today", "last updated 1-6 days ago", "last updated 1-4 weeks ago", "last updated 1-11 months ago", and "last updated 1-infinity years ago") - suggested by Nicolas1981.
  3. Include a shortcut in the editing toolbar to insert a valid "last edited" date when editing listings by changing the listing template syntax directly - suggested by Danapit.
  4. Various policy updates for use of this field, including changes to star article criteria, etc - suggested by several people.

Of these four, #1 seems to be the one that generated the most discussion above, so what about adding a "minor edit" checkbox to the listing editor that, if checked, would flag the edit as a minor edit and not update the "last edit" date? The tip for this box in the editor UI could note that it should be checked in cases where an edit is just fixing typos or make other changes that do not reflect the current status of the business/attraction. As to items #2-4 (and anything else people want to see), further discussion is probably needed to ensure that people have had a chance to weigh in. Are there other changes/enhancements that people would like to see? -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:23, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

I'm not going to suggest anything since I don't have any opinion but for the record its important to endorse worthwhile stuff. So here I support #1. We need minor edit check box and I will go with "last updated 1 year ago". Having icon in editing toolbox is also good idea and yes I liked the proposal of User:ChubbyWimbus that we need such a verification mechanism for star guides to make sure they remain up to date. I hope such a mechanism is not difficult to implement for Ryan. BTW, I hope people may not misuse this system and false update each and every listing. --Saqib (talk) 17:59, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
I can endorse #1 and #3 and agree with the need for further discussion on #4. For #2, I feel strongly that we should go even further - if this is going to be repeated a gajillion times across the site, it needs to be as absolutely short as possible, so I'd also drop "last" and the whole "ago" thing and go with simple three-letter month abbreviations plus year:
  • Spam Heaven +1 (972) 555-5555. Cozy restaurant where everything is made of Spam, including the napkins. Try the house Spam martini! (updated Jan/2015 |)
  • Bob's Butt Bar +1 (806) 555-1234. Butt-themed bar and grill. The patio has a panoramic view of Buttville municipal landfill. (updated Jul/2018 |)
Something like that. Texugo (talk) 13:40, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not so sure about this proposal for a minor-edit checkbox for the listing editor. Certainly those of us who use the MediaWiki platform regularly are familiar with the concept of "minor edits", but what about inexperienced users? I think it's just as likely that newbies won't bother to check the minor-edit box - either because they don't notice it, don't realize why it's important, or don't feel confident enough to make the judgment call of whether or not their edit is minor - and we'll end up not really being any closer to answering the question of which listings were updated recently enough to be accurate.
What we need to do is first decide - assuming it can never be made 100% accurate - whether it's more desirable to have some listings that are accurate display as if they hadn't been updated in a long time, or the reverse; to have some old listings display as if they were newly updated just because of a minor copyedit. If we decide the former, then maybe the "last edited" feature should be opt-in rather than opt-out, and the checkbox should be for edits that do update the "last edited" date.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:36, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
What about instead of a "minor edit" checkbox, having a "Verified Current Info" checkbox that is unchecked by default and included only for updates (adding a new listing would still automatically set the "last edit" date to the current date). If that box was not explicitly checked then the "last edit" date would not update. That should address the concern about the "last edit" date being an opt-in field and would ensure that the date would only update when a user explicitly stated that the info was current in order to trigger an update. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:46, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, "Verified current info" definitely sounds more informative (to a new user) than "minor edit". I prefer Texugo's version of how to write the date rather than "xx-yy days or months ago". ϒpsilon (talk) 16:05, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I also support "Verified current info". Texugo (talk) 17:21, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

There seems to be support for moving forward with a "Verified current info" checkbox in the listing editor as outlined above - does that seem like a correct interpretation of this discussion? Also, how about changing the "last updated" text to be shorter per Texugo? Rather than "updated Jan/2015", I would suggest that we use "updated Jan-2015", which I think is a more standard date format. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:08, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Sounds good. Will there be some regex to enforce the format? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:36, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Category:Pages with parser function time errors will now capture any pages that have an invalid #time entry. I'm not sure how we could use a regex for validation - the listing editor adds or updates the timestamp automatically, so someone using the listing editor would be unable to enter an invalid value, and for people who edit wiki syntax directly we don't currently perform any validation on the input aside from executing the spam blacklist and the abuse filter. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:00, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Slash or hyphen, makes no difference to me. Your version is fine, Ryan. Texugo (talk) 02:16, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I think either seems redundant, in Swedish I'd use a space. Would "Jan 2015" be wrong in English? --LPfi (talk) 09:44, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I've updated Template:Listing to now use the shorter "updated Feb 2015" instead of "last updated 23-Feb-2015". -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:06, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Does it need to show an update when someone simply copy edits the listing? I guess there's no way to filter for that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:41, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Ikan Kekek , do you typically copy edit with the listing editor (dialog box) ? I personally do not, although other editors might do it this way... Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:52, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
No, I edit the article or a section, but I think I've noticed that whenever I copy edit a listing, it shows up as updated. Maybe I'm misreading it, though. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:05, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
The "last update" date only changes if the listing's "lastedit" value is changed. The listing editor updates that automatically (see point #1 above for a proposed change), and the skeleton listing templates created by the buttons in the edit bar will also populate that value in the new listing skeleton, but the only other way to change it when modifying a listing is to explicitly change the value. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:21, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Just to say that I quite like the implementation. The last updated date is visually understated (in a positive way), yet accessible enough that someone can easily find it if interested. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:00, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Wikileaks: Italian Wikivoyage community possibly going to implement the same mechanism but they're considering to display "last edit" next to price field instead of at the end of listing. --Saqib (talk) 14:31, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not about to go there and attempt to join that discussion, but if I were, I'd point out that the price is not the only, nor necessarily the most important, thing to be updated. Texugo (talk) 17:16, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

A query about tone and mythology[edit]

A recent edit to Mid-Atlantic has reminded me of a small concern I've had. This edit took a piece of mythology that we, with tongue in cheek, treated as truth. There's another article (which I can't remember right now; User:Ikan Kekek might) where I recall a clearly and obviously satirical lede has been neutralized to include all sorts of caveats and disclaimers, totally ruining the tone in the name of pedantic accuracy.

I believe both instances were originally written by User:Peterfitzgerald, who isn't around to defend them anymore.

My question is this: is it necessary to be scrupulously accurate at all times, or does our Wikivoyage:Tone policy allow some leeway for hyperbole and satire?

-- Powers (talk) 18:49, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't remember the other article, but it could easily have been about Thailand, given that there's an occasional IP user who likes to edit out any humor or conversational tone in articles about that country and make them sound as stiff-upper-lip-British as possible. I do agree with you on hyperbole and satire. That historically has been one of the strengths of Lonely Planet guidebooks (I haven't bought or read one in a long time, but I remember them back to the 70s). I don't think the edit you point to ruins anything, though. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:54, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
In general, I agree with you, Powers. Local lore, true or not, is part of what makes a destination unique, and absolutely should be shared with travellers. (I agree that Hobbitschuster's edit should remain standing, though.)
As for the other half of your question: I'm unsure what article you're referring to in your original post, but I think there's absolutely a place on Wikivoyage for obvious satire (and I certainly hope we're reverting those IP edits to the Thailand articles as violations of Wikivoyage:Tone). However, anything that's reasonably likely to be mistaken for the straightforward truth should probably be modified, and any disputes over whether a particular bit of satire is obvious should, as usual, be brought up for discussion on the respective talk page.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:19, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
As I am the one that made the edit in question let me just say this: I agree that the tone should be lively and sometimes even tongue in cheek (the English language lonely planet still does that, the translated guides are less funny, at least in German, which is one of the reasons I prefer the English version) However, I do think that credible false information or information that might be considered true by some shouldn't be spread around lightly. Yes it is a funny story that e.g. the streets of DC were built to confuse invading armies, but I think we should at least mention that this is most likely untrue. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:33, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree that "According to a popular urban legend" is needed here, if not I would just either take it at face value, or know it is myth and in that case my image of WV's credibility would decrease a little bit. I personally don't enjoy LP's style, it is written for people of a particular culture/country who understand in-jokes and references to US TV shows of the 70s that most of the English-reading world has never seen. We should strive to be more accessible, as our goal is more universal. Humour is great, let's just make sure articles stay understandable for non-natives. Nicolas1981 (talk) 02:50, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

It's bugging me that I can't remember the article. I want to say it was an American city, and the lede extolls the city's place in American society in an exaggerated way, but caveats were added out of a fear that we would look "silly" for treating the information as factual. Powers (talk) 02:42, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Update coming: global user pages[edit]

Per m:Tech/News/2015/08, it looks like starting tomorrow, if you have a user page at meta:, that user page will be displayed on all Mediawiki wikis unless you have created a local user page - read more at mw:Help:Extension:GlobalUserPage. The concept seems to be similar to how images work now - [[File:SomeImage.jpg]] will load the version from commons unless a local file with the same name exists. The new global user page functionality should be a useful feature for everyone whose home wiki isn't envoy, although I expect we should be ready for a lot of deletion requests for local user pages once this feature goes live. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:28, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

It's possible that Pathoschild may be running his bot to delete pages on user request, since otherwise people would have to request deletion across 800+ wikis. --Rschen7754 04:46, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing this out, Ryan. I had completely forgot I had a meta user page. It gave me a chance to fix some outdated links. -Shaundd (talk) 04:47, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Further question about events[edit]

There is an event in Padasjoki, Päijänne Tavastia, Finland called Nakukymppi, where people run or walk 10 kilometres nude. It is free of charge, not very formal or serious and has been mentioned in the Finnish media several times. I would add it to Wikivoyage, but Wikivoyage doesn't have an article about Padasjoki in the first place. Should I create one just to mention this event? JIP (talk) 21:28, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Also, there is FinnCon, Finland's biggest and most famous sci-fi convention, and the only major sci-fi convention in the world to be completely free of charge. However, there isn't a single place it's held in. It varies annually, between Helsinki, Turku, Tampere and Jyväskylä. How should it be added? JIP (talk) 21:35, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Regarding the first thing: Do you have or may there ever be put enough in the eat sleep do or see section for it to merit an article? If yes: plunge forward! If no ask yourself the question: can you sleep there? That is (or used to be) the primary rule of determining what is and what is not an article. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:37, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
There is a hotel in Padasjoki, a couple of kilometres away from the event site. I've never actually slept there but I've visited it several times. Other than that, I don't know of any services in Padasjoki. There is a car service station with a restaurant and a bus connection to Helsinki, also a couple of kilometres away. That's all I know of the whole municipality. But from what I've seen of it, it's full of beautiful Finnish rural scenery. JIP (talk) 21:42, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
I would say: Go ahead than. If others disagree, let them have a vote for deletion. We have after all articles on places like Hahn Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:13, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, absolutely start the article. At worst, a decision might be made later to merge it with some other article, but the information you put up will remain. And it seems to me, the scenery would be enough of a reason for an article - see whether you can find beautiful photos on Commons to post thumbnails of. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:20, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
How do I create a new article on Wikivoyage anyway? I know how to create a new article on Wikipedia, I must have created thousands, not all of which survive, but on Wikivoyage the articles seem to be strictly structured with a defined sequence of sections. Is there a tool available or do I have to do everything myself? JIP (talk) 22:21, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Everything by yourself :) But I'm sure other's will help you fill in any gaps if you ask. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:23, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
There is a tool where upon creating a new article you can select e.g. "city" which gives you the template. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:43, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
In terms of FinnCon, I would add it to the country level article in the 'Do' section : Finland#Do Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:22, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
JIP, you can use {{smallcity_skeleton}} or click the "City" link on the create-new-page page. Powers (talk) 02:05, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Article created for Padasjoki (Finland) - reformat/structure as desired - Matroc (talk) 03:04, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I added information about Nakukymppi and Lomakeskus Telaranta. The latter was a bit hard to find on Wikivoyage's map, because according to Google Maps, it's located right at the shore of lake Parlammi, but according to Wikivoyage, lake Parlammi doesn't exist. It shows the much smaller lake Musta Parlammi on the other side of the road though, so I'm pretty sure I was looking at the right place. JIP (talk) 17:00, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Policy on listing a hotel that is opening soon[edit]

I was wondering what the policy is for listing hotels that are opening soon. Would the community prefer the listing only be added after people can stay in the rooms or would the fact they are taking reservations for when they do open be enough to say they are open? VerbInteractive (talk) 13:05, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure if WV has a policy for that. However this discussion has some good points. Personally I would rather not add a hotel or other business that hasn't opened yet. ϒpsilon (talk) 14:08, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I would think that when they start accepting reservations would be the ideal time to start listing (but never before). If they're accepting reservations it means that they can be contacted, and that readers could therefore use the information in planning their trip. Texugo (talk) 15:26, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I have been operating on the assumption that hotels shouldn't be listed until they're open, because until they open, no guest can describe them, and therefore, we are left with only the say-so of the hotel itself and people associated with it - and even, as in this case, when the person wanting to post the listing has an unimpeachable record of operating in good faith, there is no possibility of a check on the claims he'll post until the first guest actually stays in the hotel. What do you all think of this reasoning? I can see two counter-arguments: (1) It risks being unnecessarily unfriendly to business owners wanting to list their hotels; (2) listing a significant hotel when it's not yet open but is accepting reservations is a service to the traveller. We should make a clear decision on this, because it will come up again in the future. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:15, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, some reasonable points. I suppose I'd be reluctant to list "Pousada ABC" or "Joe's B&B" or "23rd Family Owned Hotel in Town" before having someone go stay there and check it out, but I'd find it counterproductive to prohibit listing a new Holiday Inn/Ibis/Four Seasons or other chain that tends to have widely established and recognized quality standards, especially in a destination which doesn't have many options in the given class, or doesn't have many options, period. Texugo (talk) 17:52, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
So how would we formulate a policy around that? How would it be worded? "Unless a hotel is part of an established chain with a clear track record of quality control, do not list it until the first guest has stayed there"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:08, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd be in favor of avoiding listing businesses that aren't yet operating. In addition to the reasons Ikan cited, opening dates are often delayed, and these sorts of listings are almost always added by the business owner and thus will probably not reflect the opinions of travelers. I'm not sure that I would advocate for an outright prohibition on such listings, but a guideline such as "unless there is a specific reason for doing so, if a business has not yet opened it is best to wait to add it to a Wikivoyage article until it is actually operating" would make sense to me. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:21, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I think that form of words is problematic if we decide to make listings of not-yet-opened hotels exceptional, because an easy rejoinder is that facilitating reservations for travelers is a "specific reason." Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:21, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia makes a distinction between policies (this is how things should be) vs. guidelines (this is best practice). In this case I think a guideline is sufficient - while I don't think we want to encourage listings for businesses that aren't yet open, I also don't think we should revert someone who adds a single listing for a restaurant that they're excited about but that isn't opening for a couple of weeks. It's not a matter that I think we need to be too concerned about, but in specific instances where someone disagrees with an addition, putting a guideline in place would provide justification for addressing the situation. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:37, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I would also find an exception that proposed guideline necessary for Walt Disney World resort hotels. Powers (talk) 00:40, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if a "use your judgement" rule might be better than a simple yes/no rule. It might be helpful to identify factors for consideration, such as:
  • How soon it will open (next week is good, two years from now is bad)
  • Whether it's possible to predict the quality (reputable chains are good, inexperienced owners are bad)
  • Availability of alternatives (if it's one of two hotels in a remote area, then list it; if it's one of thousands in a large city, then don't)
Do you think that would that be helpful, without being too prescriptive? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:11, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Do we have examples of businesses being added too early and causing a problem? Have there been many cases like this? Just wondering how big the problem has been so far. Nurg (talk) 02:52, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
The usual problem is businesses adding themselves in some sort of self-serving manner. This is true both for new and existing businesses. That said, there are occasionally times when a venue under construction is worth a mention. An attempt to rebuild a previously-existing venue after a disaster (such as the Musi-Café in Lac-Mégantic) may be notable, the flurry of construction which precedes world-level events like an Olympic Games or FIFA World Cup usually transforms the host community in some manner which affects the traveller, the construction of a 100+ room waterfront hotel in some tiny Clayton (New_York)#Sleep (pop 2300) sized village without an existing large hotel changes the character of the village enough to be worth a mention. Usually, if it's noteworthy, there's information somewhere other than from the venue's proprietor (for instance, the project is large enough to be covered by local media as hard news). K7L (talk) 22:47, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't see a need for a policy. Nurg (talk) 09:21, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Help needed for small fixes[edit]

About 30 double-redirects need fixing: User:Nicolas1981/Syntax_checks#Double_redirects

Please remove lines you fix. The same page also lists invalid URLs and emails that need manual fixes. Thanks a lot! :-) Nicolas1981 (talk) 05:04, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

User:Revibot should fix most double redirects automatically, so people probably won't have to fix these manually. It looks like Special:DoubleRedirects hasn't updated in a few days, which is probably why the existing double redirects haven't yet been updated. -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:07, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
I went to Special:DoubleRedirects and fixed 32 double redirects - Matroc (talk) 07:01, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Is Revibot set up to automatically fix these problems? If yes, every how many days? 32 double redirects don't appear overnight I guess. If you anyone could check Revibot settings that would be wonderful, thanks a lot! :-) Nicolas1981 (talk) 02:49, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
And thanks to Matroc for fixing the problem for now!
I don't run the bot, but the bot user page indicates that it runs four times a day (it runs on numerous wikis, and the contribution history shows very regular updates). The bot is dependent on Special:DoubleRedirects, however, which only seems to update every few days. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:56, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Question about map markers[edit]

Someone recently changed the entry for Nakukymppi in the Padasjoki article from "do" to "event", and somehow that seems to have caused the marker for it to disappear from the map. Clicking the entry's marker in the listing still zooms in to the correct place on the large map, but even that doesn't actually show the marker. Is this a bug or by design, seeing as the event is still over three months in the future? JIP (talk) 18:05, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Probably discovered a limitation on template. Is still at status experimental and probably needs to be added to the map marker algorithm. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:13, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
For proper automatic numbering is missing "type=do" in the template:event. Or "{{event | type = do | .... }}" must be entered in the source article text. But I'm not an expert on templates. The numbering for the dynamic map I will adjust later. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 06:27, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

April Fool's article 2015[edit]

Discussion moved from Wikivoyage talk:Joke articles since we usually have this discussion in the Pub

A little under six weeks until the day we've been waiting for the whole year ;). So let's hear some suggestions. How about Time travel? South Park or some other fictional place? A planet? A dish? A web site like last year? Trololo? Some place we invent from scratch? Or should we be so boring that we feature some place that exists for real but has a fun name?

BTW in Next year above it's suggested that there'd be more than one joke article for the April Fools day. So what would you think of having not only a joke DotM, but also a joke OtBP and joke FTT? ϒpsilon (talk) 15:59, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

It's possible that we'd have both an FTT and a destination, not sure if we'd have all three (unless there's some obvious thing to replace OtBP - on the beaten path? off the bike path? maybe not...) K7L (talk) 23:07, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
I've moved this discussion to the pub since we normally figure out the April Fool's Day article there, and it will get more attention. For suggested ideas, Wikivoyage talk:Joke articles#Nominees has a lengthy list of ideas from 2013. As to doing three articles, I think we should concentrate on one, and only do three if enough people contribute to the first one that three looks like a viable possibility. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:00, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
So finally the planning started. Thanks for initiating it YPSI. I agree with Ryan, we should concentrate on only one and we should go with the nominees presented last year. --Saqib (talk) 17:51, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
I still think Wonderland would make a fine article. Keep in mind when selecting a topic that it's necessary to be able to get free images to illustrate it. Powers (talk) 18:59, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Woo! I've been looking forward to this! I love the idea of a Time travel travel topic; I myself was going to suggest The Future, and I think that would fit really well in Time travel. I tend to prefer the more abstract concepts to the cultural references. PerryPlanet (talk) 20:09, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Nominees[edit]

Anyone may add nominations for the April Fool's 2015 article(s) to this table in alphabetical order. Anyone may add their name into the "Supporters" column for as many nominees as desired. Note that the selection of an April Fool's article is NOT a vote, but having a clear indication of which ideas have been proposed, and which are strongly supported, is a useful tool for focusing the discussion.

Proposed article Supporters Notes
w:Land of Oz LtPowers, AndreCarrotflower, Nicolas1981 Public domain illustrations available (examples)
w:Springfield (The Simpsons) Images from the TV show cannot be used under the CC-SA license
Time travel PerryPlanet, ϒpsilon, Ryan, Saqib , Traveler100, Danapit, Bigpeteb, Half past, Nicolas1981 Can be illustrated with a variety of motifs (for this topic just our imagination is the limit!), so there are plenty of free photos on Commons we can use
w:Westeros
w:Wonderland (fictional country) ϒpsilon, WhatamIdoing, LtPowers, Danapit, Nicolas1981 Plenty of public domain illustrations (examples)
w:Westworld
w:Whoville Danapit Some illustrations available (here)

Result: Deadline is over. Outcome is Time travel. --Saqib (talk) 10:03, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

How do you figure? It's not a vote, remember? The poll was just supposed to focus the discussion. Powers (talk) 16:23, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Obviously I know its not a poll. It has been made clear above. We're supposed to start work on article from now on as a month left. So what do you think is the outcome? Wonderland ? --Saqib (talk) 16:27, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
There is no outcome, because there has been no discussion of the poll results. Powers (talk) 16:28, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure where the one month deadline came from, and I agree with Powers that asking for any further comments or feedback prior to declaring "deadline is over" would have been the proper way to proceed, but since there was fairly overwhelming support for "Time travel", and since User:K7L has already made a good start on Wikivoyage:Joke articles/Time travel, I am in favor of moving forward with that. With that said, if a pattern develops where future discussions are summarily declared "over" without any advance warning, that would be a cause for significant concern. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:03, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Pardon for being so hasty and declaring the outcome but it didn't crossed my mind that we're supposed to further discuss on the outcome even if one gets majority votes. As for deadline, last year we started working on article before arrival of March. We had a whole one month to work on the article but due to lack of interested volunteers, a month time wasn't enough. This discussion was started a week earlier so I thought one week time was enough for voting. But yes, I missed to state the deadline in advance notice. Anyways, I take back my declaration of outcome and look forward to see discussion if anyone want to begin. --Saqib (talk) 22:15, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't see the existing start on time travel as precluding Oz and Wonderland; one is a travel topic, the others are destinations. K7L (talk) 01:58, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Are you familiar with Beijing?[edit]

Beijing is a megacity with more people (> 20 million) and more history (>2000 years) than most countries. It's many times the size of major European capitals. Comments are requested about how Beijing should be organised into districts. The main three districts for visitors are Dongcheng, Chaoyang and Xicheng. They range from 1 to 3 million people, 40 to 480 sq km. Districts are administrative in nature, not so obvious for tourists and they don't have a commercial core. If you've visited Beijing you'll remember how vast it was, so what sort of organisation would have suited your travels here? Several options to move forward can be found on the talk page at Talk:Beijing. Travelmite (talk) 12:19, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

National Register of Historic Places[edit]

Would it be appropriate for there to be an article here on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)? Or would linking to the Wikipedia article be better? Sites on the NRHP are definitely of interest to travellers, imho. :) --Ebyabe (talk) 19:26, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

I think an article that describes what constitutes a national historic place, and provides an overview of some highlights, would make for an interesting travel topic (see also WV:Other ways of seeing travel#Travel topics), although a full list of every place on the registry is probably better suited for Wikipedia. Plunge forward and start an article, and even if it doesn't work out then the content can always be merged to another place. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:32, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Also, loads of countries each have their own similar organizations and lists. It's doubtful we'd want to have scads of articles to cover each one individually. Texugo (talk) 19:57, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
w:National Register of Historic Places says there's "...more than one million properties on the National Register, 80,000 are listed individually". o.O
The NRHP could make an interesting travel topic, but it needs to be realized in some other way than as a list. For a comparison, UNESCO World Heritage List consists of about 1,000 sites... ϒpsilon (talk) 20:12, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Honestly, I think it might be more useful to have travel topics dealing with specific historic interests (e.g. Civil War battlefields, Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, WWII historic sites, etc.) than one for the NRHP as a whole. The NRHP is just an official designation to incentivize the preservation of historic places, it's incredibly broad (both in terms of historic interest and the fact that there's literally thousands of places on the list) and has little bearing on traveller experience (my impression is that most NRHP sites are private buildings with a plaque stuck on the front), unlike, say, the National Parks, where you have rangers and visitor centers and special brochures and so forth across the whole system. PerryPlanet (talk) 20:13, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Agreed with Texugo, Ypsi and Perry. The NRHP has 85,000 individual listings - the one-million figure Ypsi cited includes "contributing buildings" located within registered historic districts, whether or not they're historically significant in and of themselves - but that's still far too many listings, and makes for far too broad a field for any such article to cover, to be of much use to travellers at all, as a travel topic or in any other format. About the only way it could be addressed is as a list, which places it far more squarely in Wikipedia territory than in ours.

If you really want to build a travel topic around a subject like this, though, a better bet might be National Historic Landmarks. A nomination as a National Historic Landmark is widely viewed as being a step above a listing on the NRHP on the scale of historic distinction; in fact, it's the highest level of honor the U.S. government can give to a historic building or place. So, as opposed to 85,000 NRHP listings, there are only 2,500 NHLs, of which about half are publicly accessible. A curated overview of NHLs, including perhaps a few dozen of the most important ones - or perhaps categorized by the reason for their importance, i.e. as archaeological sites, for their history, for their architecture, etc. - might make for a workable Travel Topic.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:31, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

It is a demanding task, but I suggest you go through each item, locate the nearest article (This map of all Wikivoyage articles can help), and add it as a listing in the "See" section if that section does not already contain enough listings. Of course, don't add the item if it is inaccessible or looks boring :-) Be sure to mention in the description what it is and how interesting it is for a traveller. Cheers! Nicolas1981 (talk) 03:14, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I doubt we want the whole NRHP. Many things are on there just because they're old (usually 50+ years) and some local group bothered to do the historical research to get them listed. That old house, whatever its historical value, might not be worth including in WV if it isn't open to the public (or, in some cases, no longer there). The list is also ridiculously huge and broad-ranging. Wikipedia has an active NRHP WikiProject which has created a huge number of articles (being on the historic register usually infers enough reliable sources exist to establish notability for an encyclopaedia page) but one article usually equals one building or a list of sites in one county. The NRHP (national parks department) website does take a few specific themes (such as the Underground Railroad or Route 66) and create itineraries with about a hundred sites (or fewer) from each - that might be manageable - but the entire database list? Uh, no. K7L (talk) 04:03, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
There are similar lists for other countries, aren't there? How do we deal with them? Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:40, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Certainly there's the w:Canadian Register of Historic Places (directory of 17000 sites from multiple lists), and most places would have a national list and/or provincial and local lists - often running in parallel. For instance, Melborne would maintain a w:Victorian Heritage Register (2200 sites) for that Australian state. The US state lists often overlap NRHP as it's state historical agencies which submit the nominations which go into NRHP,; sometimes a local designation gives a limited protection against demolition which the national listing does not provide. These lists can be a source of information, if the historical sites are open to the public and someone would travel to see them, but I can't imagine listing every old house that happened to get a spot on one of the historic registers in the same way we seem to list every national park. The "let's visit all 2200 sites on Victoria, Australia's register" itinerary would be too large to be useful or manageable. Even the w:National Historic Sites of Canada (965 sites) would have to either be reduced by narrow criteria for inclusion or broken into small, regional trips - although it might be a good checklist to see if anything notable and publicly-accessible has a "see" or "do" listing in its home village. K7L (talk) 18:57, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
The equivalent in the United Kingdom would be Listed Building. However I see this designation as being primarily a planning issue - if my house is a listed building I might need to apply for permission before fitting double glazing or other small alterations that would not normally need planning permission. There are far too many for a list to be useful - there are 4800 in Edinburgh alone. However it might be useful having a paragraph at the country / state level (or in a travel topic) explaining the local system, as the listing can be useful for finding out about specific buildings - the register for Scotland provides information on the history of each building. This is a useful resource for travellers that are curious about an old building that they see. AlasdairW (talk) 15:56, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Map marker going off the map[edit]

I recently added Ravintola Kaisaniemi to the Helsinki/Central article, because I think the restaurant is in central Helsinki. But the map marker goes just very slightly off the map. In the default zoom level, you can't see it. But if you zoom out just one level, it can be seen at the northern edge, just a bit north from the central railway station. Walking from the railway station to the restaurant takes less than fifteen minutes. What should be done? Leave it as it is, zoom the map out a bit by default, or move the restaurant to another subpage of Helsinki? JIP (talk) 20:39, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

It's a quite normal problem with the dynamic map, discussed on countless talk pages, and there's really no good solution. If one sets the zoom level to one higher, there will be a sea of plusses. :P The good thing is that as the map is dynamic you can move it just like Google Maps or whatever (or look at it in fullscreen). ϒpsilon (talk) 20:45, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure about how it is for the first time user, however I believe most WV'ers assume that some POI's are out of sight on the map. In the example you use it seems that there is a "sea of plusses" at zoom level 13, 14 and even 15 so doesn't make too much difference :) --Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:03, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I hesitate to bring this up because it's controversial in some corners of WV, but you could also manually customize the dimensions of the mapframe (by default it's set at 420px by 420px). Template:Mapframe has a breakdown of how that's done. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:17, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Nice article! Maybe it could use more pictures, for instance pictures of food in the Eat section? I took the initiative to rezize the map as it contains a high number of POIs. Nicolas1981 (talk) 02:19, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
For the record, I've twice (Talk:Helsinki#Districts Talk:Helsinki#Further_districtification) suggested the current Helsinki/Central to be broken up into 2-3 districts but it was opposed on the talk page. ϒpsilon (talk) 05:30, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I have uploaded some pictures of food in restaurants in Central Helsinki to Commons. I could perhaps try to add some of them to the page. JIP (talk) 10:54, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Please do not equate a map window with the entire dynamic map. I prefer to show inside the map frame only the important touristic center. Not the whole city or district. POI's outside automatically will be marked with light blue semi circles on the map frame edges -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 14:06, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Headings covered by map[edit]

Enlarging the map on Helsinki/Central (see above) had the effect of getting headings covered by the image (when the browser window is narrow enough; tested with iceweasel/firefox and Opera on Debian/Linux). I have seen the phenomenon before in other articles.

There seems to be something weird about how headings and images interact. The running text is pushed down if there is too little space to the left of an image, but the headings are just wrapped word by word and the word endings (if too long) get hidden behind the image, not pushed down. Probably there is some CSS code that does not take headings in account, and could allow a neater solution.

--LPfi (talk) 10:07, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

For one thing, that header is pretty long for a WV header. I'd prefer to see it shortened to either "Waterfront architecture" or "Kruununhaka and Pohjoisranta", rather than squeezing all that in there. You can always put the missing info into the first line of prose there. Texugo (talk) 11:32, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Header shortened. ϒpsilon (talk) 11:43, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
OK, but the problem is only exaggerated with long headings, short ones do not solve it. With my current window size I only see the "S" of See. --LPfi (talk) 12:33, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Does this happen to all images, or just dynamic maps? Does it happen only here at Wikivoyage or also at other sites (the English Wikipedia, or any of the others)? WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:45, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
If your window/screen is so small that a typical image will smash a three-letter header, shouldn't you probably be viewing the mobile site anyway? Texugo (talk) 12:44, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I typically adjust the browser window to suite typical Wikimedia layout. When an image, like here, is much wider than typical images, the text column becomes narrow. I have no problem with short headings by images of normal size (even long headers are no problem if the images are below the heading, as they normally are).
I will do some experimenting when I have more time. Am I alone with the problem? Don't you have it if you make the window narrower (as in allowing two parallel windows)?
--LPfi (talk) 11:40, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Dynamic maps everywhere[edit]

Right now when I browse WV, I always need to have another tab with Google maps open. I often find myself on a page with no clue where it is (other than its country). Its difficult to visualize where things are with just static image maps. Dynamic maps are just much more usable, especially when trying to quickly visualize the sub-regions, some of the 'go next' pages mentioned, or jumping from things on the map to other WV articles.

I think a long term project of WV should be to replace static maps with dynamic maps. If we can then overlay on top of this things like directions and all the WV listings, it would make WV and all its listings so much more usable.

Any thoughts? Magedq (talk) 00:26, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

You might want to have a look at WV:Dynamic maps Expedition, particularly the "Current stage: PoiMap2 broader deployment" section, which may address the points you've raised. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:36, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
As long as they are reasonably up-to-date, static maps should not be removed. Feel free to add dynamic maps to articles that you feel would benefit from one :-) Having both a static map and a dynamic map is good I think, it is even better than having only a dynamic map, as they can focus on different scale/areas, for instance a static map for the historic center and a dynamic map for the whole city, including landmarks in the suburbs. Automatically inserting dynamic maps in all articles is an option, and actually it is what the French Wikivoyage has done last year (although they put it in their infobox, while we don't use infoboxes here). For each article with no dynamic map we could generate one and put it in the Get Around section, the map would be useful as it shows the destination's streets layout, even in cases where no POIs have coordinates. Let's wait for everyone's opinion about this :-) Nicolas1981 (talk) 02:10, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I believe in substituting dynamic maps for static ones when the dynamic map is obviously more easily readable only. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:35, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it should be out of question to replace static maps with dynamic ones once they become outdated to a certain degree. On the contrary, I would regard that as an inevitable concession to the reality that our community simply doesn't have enough members experienced with static mapmaking to handle the level of upkeep required by all the Wikivoyage articles that have them. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:17, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I also believe a move towards the acceptance of Dynamic Maps is the pragmatic way forward for this site to engage a broader set of contributors. At the same time I do understand the position of those Static Map people who have put in a lot of effort crafting those static maps and would feel slighted if those same maps are dumped as soon as they become ever so slightly outdated. Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:20, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I think there's a clear difference between a sightly outdated static map and a hopelessly outdated one, and the threshold a static map has to cross before it's justifiable to start talking about replacing it with a dynamic map is certainly debatable. But as to your point about the hard work of static mapmakers, to cater to whose who cry foul about their maps being replaced would run afoul of a fundamental wiki principle regarding ownership of articles. The good of the project has to come first - and in the long run, like it or not, static maps are dinosaurs. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:28, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
As long as User:Saqib is here and willing to continue with his great map-making, static maps will continue to exist. He can update them, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:30, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Is he alone up to the task of ensuring that all the static maps on Wikivoyage are kept up to date, though? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:32, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't know. How many of them are there? Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:40, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Do you mean city/district static maps or region static maps? I imagine there are a few hundred region maps (every country, plus many states and provinces), probably fewer city/district maps. I still draw static region maps and can fix them up if someone points them out. City/district maps, on the other hand, I usually leave to dynamic maps since I feel they're almost always a better option. -Shaundd (talk) 05:25, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Also User:LtPowers makes static maps. Even I do it to some extent, but like Shaundd I always use dynamic maps for pointing out attractions in cities and city districts but static maps for regions and city districtification. ϒpsilon (talk) 05:37, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
(This has been discussed already before.) Anyways for the record, I'm in strong favour of static maps for regions and big cities (districtification). I know still there're plenty of regions/big cities articles out there without a static map, but it is because either the article is very outline so there's really no need of a map or lack of sources (boundries issues) from which a map can be traced. For instance, Athens missing a districtification map because I couldn't able to find a source from which I can trace the map. For cities/districts, offcourse dynamic maps are better as of now giving that we have lack of map making team. In-fact, Karachi using a dynamic map. With that being said, I'm always available to help out with maps if I get request. --Saqib (talk) 09:28, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

(reindent) Yes, I probably should have specified that everything I have said above pertains to bottom-level destinations only. Country, region, Huge City, etc. maps are obviously a whole other kettle of fish. Static maps are ideal in those circumstances because what the map depicts is itself a lot more static - a country officially changing its borders, or the Wikivoyage community deciding on a new regions scheme, is obviously a much rarer occurrence than a business closing its doors or a new listing being added to a city article.

Still, as it pertains to bottom-level articles, I stand by what I said above about static maps: obviously at this point dynamic maps are much more commonplace for districts and non-districtified cities, but there are still some that have static maps, and those that do are crippled to a significant extent by there being a much smaller number of editors capable of updating them. The fact that static maps are disproportionately well-represented among Star articles, supposedly the best work we have on this site, is especially concerning.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 13:06, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Okay, I would say we should have static maps for star articles atleast, even if they're districts. Star articles should have both (dynamic as well static maps). WHY? There're plenty of reasons. And I'm more happy to update the maps of star level articles and we should create a project page somewhere to list the star articles that need map update. I'm happy to work on them. --Saqib (talk) 13:28, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
If there are plenty of reasons, please offer them. I should think a dynamic map would be rather redundant on, say, Walt Disney World/Epcot. So long as our dynamic maps are horribly jumbled collections of plus signs and numbers obscuring street names and POI labels, locked into a north-up orientation, and lacking the flexibility to include things like insets and legends, static maps remain essential.
I once again have to strenuously object to the completely unfair characterization of maps as things that only "a much smaller number of editors" are "capable of updating". Our map paradigm was designed under the principle that anyone can edit them, just like our articles are. Just like nearly everyone is capable of updating articles, nearly anyone should be capable of updating maps.
To address the original point of the thread, I would point out that we can never hope to duplicate the functionality of Google Maps. We shouldn't even try. What we could do, if it would be useful, is place a "vicinity" map in the Go Next section that shows the relationship of the destination to nearby destinations mentioned in that section.
-- Powers (talk) 01:03, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Replace the words "capable of updating" with "interested in learning how to update" and/or "interested in putting forth the effort to update when the same thing can be done on a dynamic map in a fraction of the time", and the essence of what I said remains the same. No matter how much effort we go to in scolding people for not being interested in learning the ways of static maps, the fact remains that our community is made up of volunteers who are under no obligation to do or learn anything - and there aren't very many of us to begin with. Given that, some concessions to reality are in order. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:15, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
With respect to the point about a "vicinity map", the dynamic maps already do that - click on the third icon ("POIs <-> destinations") and you'll get a map that shows all articles in the immediate area, and you can click on any marker to view that article. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:37, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
This should definitely be more prominent! Have been looking for something like this for a while Magedq (talk) 04:19, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I tested this out. When I click that icon, all I see are a mass of unlabeled blue markers. I can hover over some of them to see what city they refer to, but that's tedious. And others are so close together that they do not show up as individual markers. A hand-crafted map would be much more readable and usable. Powers (talk) 16:43, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
The zoom / scroll functions and the direct jump to each neighboring article, you forgot to mention. - How can you do something like this with static maps? -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 19:11, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
While dynamic maps are obviously a sore subject for a few people, for the vast majority of users the dynamic maps seem to be a highlight of the move to Wikivoyage. Mey2008, I don't think you and the others who maintain this functionality get thanked nearly enough, so many, many thanks for the work you do on this feature - today we have over 1500 articles with maps that would likely not otherwise have them, which is a massive usability win for our site. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:30, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Direct jumps can be implemented with imagemaps, if deemed necessary -- but keep in mind that the text list would appear in the article right next to the map. I'm afraid I don't see how zooming and scrolling serve to solve the problems I pointed out. A well-designed static map can tell the user at a glance what it would take these dynamic maps several seconds or minutes of scrolling zooming and hovering to find out. Powers (talk) 18:35, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
An imagemap is no alternative. First you need to check all neighboring destinations whether an article already exists. A monotonous and tedious task. Then you have to manually detect hundreds of pixel coordinates and dozens of polygons. This lasts many hours. A single mistake makes the whole map unusable and caused extensive search. - To create a dynamic map is only required {{mapframe|zoom=auto}}. That's all. The only (logical) precondition is that some listings with coordinates should be available. - Try this once on my test page [7] and you will be amazed. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 06:47, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

I'd say nearly all articles should have a dynamic map; that just needs geo co-ords added. Just doing the city gives a map, then if there are co-ords in listings, it improves. Co-ords can be added even by someone like me who has approximately the same ability with graphics as the average turnip and is not much interested in learning more. For example, I added a lot to Suzhou and Dumaguete.
Then some should have a static map added. Of course a good static map can be better than the dynamic ones if someone has the time & skill.
I think there are some open problems with dynamic maps. One is that many people do not set zoom= when they insert co-ords; this can give a map of an island or region that shows far less than the whole thing, or a city map that shows only the center. Another problem, I think, is that the map icon, off in a corner of the screen, may not be noticed by readers; I'd like to replace it with MAP. Pashley (talk) 01:53, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Agreed about noticibility. I consider myself a regular user, and always wanted there to be maps, but never knew that button existed. I'd say that the map should even be displayed by default, with a button to expand to full screen. Magedq (talk) 04:19, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the map icon is not noticable. Even when I have told friends about a page here and that there is a map, unless I point at the icon on their screen new users don't recognise it. Changing it to "MAP" and / or adding it to the left menu would be good. AlasdairW (talk) 15:33, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

About maps[edit]

The Amana Colonies are on the northeastern edge of Iowa County in Iowa.
The Amana Colonies are in east central Iowa.

Magedq, I'm curious about the kind of information that would be really useful to you. So I'd like to offer an example, and see what you (or anyone else) think. I've been working on Amana Colonies. It's a collection of historically important villages in the US. I added a dynamic map that's been set to show each village. Would one of these two maps be helpful to you? (I was thinking that it could be placed in the ==Get in== section.) Or do you want something more detailed, e.g., with highways and cities marked? WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:56, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

For me browsing this page, the US map is the most useful because I have no clue where Iowa is, so I want to be able to place villages on a map I know. But I definitely am not the normal/expected(?) user for this page. Would it be someone who regularly drives through the area? Then maybe one with roads/highways would be most useful. This is why dynamic maps make so much more sense to me, especially if it can be simple to jump between layers and get to the info that you're specifically looking for. Magedq (talk) 05:13, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
You definitely should not give a map of the entire US, showing where the entire state of Iowa is, in an article about the Amana Colonies. I think the locator map, showing the whole county, is modestly useful, but I wouldn't include that, either. What's really needed is a road map, showing how to get there. So I ultimately agree with Magedq about a dynamic map for the larger area, in addition to maps of each village — unless you'd prefer to make a clear static map, showing the placement of the different villages and roads between them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:59, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Karakoram Highway[edit]

Itinerary specialists, I need your comments at Talk:Karakoram_Highway#Guide_status. --Saqib (talk) 13:19, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Bulleted points look weird in Safari[edit]

Click to enlarge

Since more than 24 hours, bulleted points on WV articles look weird in the Safari browser. The point has shrunk and moved to the left and down. Another odd thing is that they look normal when using Firefox. Anyone else (Mac or iOS users, obviously) seeing this? ϒpsilon (talk) 18:26, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't see any problem using Chrome, but the issue you're seeing may be a CSS bug in the latest Mediawiki release (mw:ediaWiki_1.25/wmf18), which was pushed yesterday per meta:Tech/News/2015/09. Someone else may know where to go to check and see if there is an existing bug report. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:02, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Just to confirm, yes I see the same thing with Safari on Yosemite. (I also just use Chrome as my default browser) --Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:33, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Me, too Safari. Having same issue since yesterday afternoon. --Saqib (talk) 12:51, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Availability map server[edit]

The availability of the map server is bad. Wikipedia uses the same server and it's the same problems. - I get every 15 minutes an email when errors occur (www.my-cronjob.de). Here are the messages today:

times status
27.02.2015, 07:04 not ok (500)
27.02.2015, 06:47 not ok (500)
27.02.2015, 06:33 not ok (500)
27.02.2015, 06:15 ok (200)

However, I do not have access rights to the wmflabs server. Maybe an admin is interested in such messages to help out? - Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 07:07, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Labs is having problems recently: https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/labs-l/2015-February/003429.html Nicolas1981 (talk) 08:51, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • We have indeed; sorry for the inconvenience. Over the past two weeks we suffered a hardware failure followed by a mysterious failure of the host where the virtual machines were moved to. All told, parts of labs had some six hours of outage over the past couple of weeks. We're hard at work increasing our redundancy. MPelletier (WMF) (talk) 21:19, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Visual appeal for Districts lists, by reusing banners[edit]

Dear all,

Most of the "Districts" sections of our region articles don't look very attractive (example), even though they are probably the most-read part of Wikivoyage (someone travelling to Tokyo would probably spend a lot of time on Tokyo's districts list, going back and forth and using it as a table of contents). So, I made this small prototype showing a first wild idea of how we could reuse article banners within region articles. As a first shot, I blurred banners a bit and reduced their opacity, then applied a blurred shadow below the text.

Advantages:

  • Gives a visual image to each article of the region. This visual image is the same on the article itself, which helps readers associate and remember the destinations they have browsed more easily than by name alone
  • In some cases, the image can give an idea of what the article is about (ex: Taj Mahal)
  • More colorful and visually attractive than plain text
  • Further differentiates WV from WT

Drawbacks:

  • Takes more bandwidth
  • Arguably makes the text less readable
  • Unbalanced if an article misses a banner. Resolution: Enable only if ALL articles have a banner
  • Development cost

What do you all think? Cheers! Nicolas1981 (talk) 10:31, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Hmmm, it doesn't look bad. What about colorcoding for the map? And if we use the banners, the map couldn't be just right of the banners, it could only start below, right? Danapit (talk) 10:47, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Nicolas1981, thanks for always coming up with unique ideas. Unfortunately, I can't really get behind this one for several reasons:
  • it would make the Districts section unnecessarily different from the similarly structured Regions/Countries/Cities sections, unless of course we applied it to all such list sections, in which case there would be an even more excessive amount of:
  • the more or less permanent situation where some articles are styled one way and others are styled another, which works against our consistency of article structure;
  • the banners create a fixed listing height, wasting space if not all available lines are used but eliminating the possibility of being longer than that;
  • as Danapit points out, it would preclude having the districts color-coded on the map and prevent the map from ever being placed alongside the districts, as it currently is in most articles.
Also, fuzzed-up and covered with text like that, you can hardly tell what some banners are supposed to be a picture of anyway (like the second and last one in your example), and I think this may add more confusion than recognition. Texugo (talk) 11:35, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Especially in "going back and forth and using the list as a table of contents", the bandwidth issue is real (my browser seems to often download the pages over and over in that use, unless I use tabs), as is possible rendering speed and links moving as images are loaded. The unattractiveness of the example, I think, mostly has to do with the extra links (couldn't that be fixed by having them in a list last of first in each district listing?). It is not very pretty, but functionality is the most important in the suggested use – and I don't think the bannerized version necessarily is more attractive, it is more about whether or not you like a "graphical" touch. Some hints making it more easy to remember which district is which would be good, but I am not sure the banners are the thing people associate with the district and remember. I think good descriptions go a long way on that point. --LPfi (talk) 13:24, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
You might want to make a full prototype in your user space? I always want to know how the districts are geographically located next to each other and I'm unsure how this proposal would impact that. Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:16, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd agree with some of the concerns raised about bandwidth and making such a large visual change for just one section of one type of article, but I like the idea of adding more visual appeal to articles. Perhaps such an effort could be combined with some of the existing discussions about making the map link more prominent and obvious, as well as the existing efforts with page banners, and an expedition could be started to figure out how to broaden our existing templates to produce some non-text visual flair. Sadly I have the style sense of a rock, but if anyone was interested in starting an expedition to explore options for improving the look of our articles I would be happy to contribute some ideas. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:41, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Would also be interested in a visual flair expedition. Visual appeal is where WV really lacks in comparison to published guide books. Magedq (talk) 01:11, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Ugh, no thanks. One, there is no problem with the "Districts" section as currently configured. Secondly, even if there were, this is not the solution to it: ugly, garish and (as already mentioned) a bandwidth hog for those on slow or unreliable connections. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:26, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

It's basically a nice suggestion and I don't think the row of banners look that ugly (though the blur could perhaps be omitted, just like in the banners for featured articles on the main page). But it would generate a whole lot of problems which others have already brought up. To implement this successfully, we'd need to rethink the layout of the districts section. And should we use the default banner for articles that don't have one? That wouldn't look very good. I'm sorry to say but I think the amount of work required outweighs the benefits. ϒpsilon (talk) 21:41, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't like this. Sorry. I appreciate the effort, but I find the result ugly. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:28, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

The suggestion by Magedq for a style expedition is interesting. An anonymous user created this experimental template recently that seems to be trying to address this (although not clear what future this particular initiative has). I believe there is a lot that can be done to enhance WV visually with standard web styles (CSS) that would differentiate us a lot from both WT and wikipedia. Does anyone else support a visual style expedition? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:31, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Looks like you linked to the wrong article? Magedq (talk) 04:41, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
What do you think about using a different image altogether, without writing text over it – just a little thumbnail-sized "icon" (about the same size of the color-coding boxes, which could be made narrower) of some relevant feature? For example, the district with the fish market would get a tightly cropped picture of a fish for sale, the district with a train hub gets a picture of a train, the one with the Imperial Palace gets a photo of the palace, etc. It would add some visual appeal but not introduce accessibility issues and should limit bandwidth. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:12, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Russian Wikivoyage already does something similar to what WhatamIdoing is proposing for region articles. An example can be seen at ru:Эстония#Регионы. -- Ryan • (talk) • 06:17, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I cannot find where it has been archived, but it has been only a very very short time ago that someone proposed something very similar and we discussed it. And the same objections apply. To have it look good you have to: have an acceptable image, croppable to the same size, for every single item, with just the right amount of text beside each one so that it doesn't leave blank space between the text block, but not so much that it puts blank space between the images. And you'd still have to figure out where to put the map that usually accompanies these sections (putting it to the right will squeeze text between 2 images, putting it below the whole section is disadvantageous to the reader). All of that is already quite a bit of work just for one article. Then, since we have always had a single consistent article format that every article follows, if we were going to implement this, we'd have to do it site wide. To do so, you have to do all that work for every Districts/Cities/Countries/Regions section in every article, which would be an unthinkable amount of work. There might be some out there willing to throw out the consistency of article models in order to allow for things like this to be implemented piecemeal, in effect allowing for multiple article formats to flourish willynilly, but as far as I'm concerned, there'll be a huge fight before we throw out consistency between articles. Texugo (talk) 13:34, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Texugo, we don’t have a “single consistent article format that every article follows”. There are common headings and subheadings, but there is variation in them from continent, to country, to subregion, to huge city, to small city, to district. Another example is maps and the region list template. Some guides have maps and some don’t. Some regions and huge cities have region list templates and some don’t. The Regions map expedition would have struggled mightily if we were told at the start no posting maps until it can be done consistently across the site. And I’m not advocating tossing aside our article structure — I think it’s important to have consistent sections — but I think we need to be more flexible in our approach to how those sections are presented. Some changes can’t be implemented all at once.
Generally speaking, I like the idea of what Russian Wikivoyage did (reusing banners in the region/district list not so much) although I do agree with some of the issues Texugo raised (acceptable images, what to do with the map). I think it’s worthwhile to explore it and anything else that could help in a visual style expedition. I’m not convinced our current style (for example) of one-liner listings of varying lengths in an encyclopedic format is better than having a bit of extra white space between lines if we feel a more visually catching style will make WV more reader-friendly. -Shaundd (talk) 21:58, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
As for consistency, I respectfully disagree. Sure, the differences you mentioned exist, but as I see it, those boil down to a matter of the presence/need/absence of information. While maps and their accompanying color-coding add functionality and information, this would be a difference of another caliber, akin to introducing a competing listing format, one which requires so much work with every implementation that it has little hope of ever reaching even half our articles, and for no other reason than the fact that some people like a certain style better. This would simply be either introducing an unprecedented optional style, purely for the sake of whoever wants to spend the time to give their favorite articles that style, or inventing an extraordinary amount of work for nothing more than paltry and debatable stylistic advantage. Texugo (talk) 11:27, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Readership at two years[edit]

Readership/pageviews appears to be increasing per Similarweb

  • 4M for WV (internal data gives 9.7M) [8]
  • 11.4M for WT

Congrats to all involved. Still some work to do to attract greater readership... Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:32, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Nice! We certainly have a sizable readership, let's continue adding content :-) Nicolas1981 (talk) 02:35, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Did you notice that the headline number is actually -24% readership (February 2014 - February 2015) ? I'd be interested in more data that would provide yearly averages. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:54, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Andrewssi2, the data in Doc James' link shows that there was an unusual spike in readership in February 2014. Comparisons between last month and January 2014, or December 2014 vs. December 2013, both demonstrate the increases in readership James is talking about. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:55, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Marina / Sailing guide: as a seperate wiki, or on Wikivoyage?[edit]

Dear all,

I'm starting a discussion on metawiki to create a new wiki orientated towards sailing related information, like marina guide and sailing area guide. I'm unsure if this should be in a new wiki, or if would be better as a section of wikivoyage. This post is to ask contributors of wikivoyage about their opinion.

please find the page of the proposal here and comment: Proposal for a new WikiSailing —The preceding comment was added by Nounours77 (talkcontribs)

Given the name, Wikivoyage, it would seem natural for this site to host a sailing guide. I'd certainly welcome it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:15, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
It does seem natural, although the amount of object in the proposal (e.g. 40,000 marinas. 100,000 - 300,000 POI's and natural harbors) makes me wonder how it could be accommodated inside WV if realized in full? What would be the impact on existing articles? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:23, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I would suggest that there be a separate sub-site reserved for sailing and linked directly to the front page. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:31, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) re: Andrewssi2 - I think there would be strenuous objection if sailing content started out by creating articles for a vast number of individual marinas and POIs, but I could definitely envision something similar to Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay, where a general sailing guide to an area is slowly sub-divided as the content warrants additional articles. As with anything here, I think the key is to start out broadly, rather than creating dozens or hundreds of mostly-empty skeleton articles in the hope that they'll be fleshed out later. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:33, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I was thinking the Diving articles would be the closest in terms of this. It should be noted that Diving doesn't actually exist in a 'sub site' but rather a series of 'ad-hoc' additions (and no offence intended by that categorization).
My limited knowledge of the subject would suggest that the number of Marinas in Australia alone would probably be too much for one article, so how that could be split and structured for a global view would be interesting to understand. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:43, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
We have an article at Cruising on small craft. There was an expedition aimed at building more, Wikivoyage:Cruising_Expedition, but it seems to have gone inactive. Pashley (talk) 01:37, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Sounds interesting! Please start with like 1 or 5 articles so that we can work out together what is the best way to structure information. Also, don't forget to sign your posts ;-) Nicolas1981 (talk) 02:38, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

[Global proposal] m.Wikivoyage.org: (all) Edit pages[edit]

MediaWiki mobile

Hi, this message is to let you know that, on domains like en.m.wikipedia.org, unregistered users cannot edit. At the Wikimedia Forum, where global configuration changes are normally discussed, a few dozens users propose to restore normal editing permissions on all mobile sites. Please read and comment!

Thanks and sorry for writing in English, Nemo 22:32, 1 March 2015 (UTC)