Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub

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The Travellers' Pub is the place to ask questions when you're confused, lost, afraid, tired, annoyed, thoughtful, or helpful. To start a new topic, click the "Add topic" tab, so that it gets added at the bottom of the page, and sign your post by appending four tildes (~~~~)

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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.
QA icon clr.svg

NEW APP! Wikivoyage offline on your Android[edit]

Wikivoyage on your phone! Get it from Google Play Store now!

  • 100% offline
  • Works out-of-the-box
  • Whole world, only 918MB including maps/images
  • Click on a POI to open it in your GPS app

Please report any bug. This app has a huge potential: Once the app is rock-solid, it might become a way to attract new editors to Wikivoyage. But first we need your feedback! Currently known issues: 1) Welcome page is broken 2) Articles have no table of contents 3) Large images/maps are off to the left Syced (talk) 06:58, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

Do the dynamic maps also work in offline mode? If so then that would be a nice feature. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:07, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Yeah offline dynamic maps would be awesome, unfortunately the Kiwix engine does not support that yet. At least we should embed a "frozen" version of the dynamic maps. For now, the best is to generate a GPX file for the area using before leaving home. Syced (talk) 07:57, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Ah, so basically it just holds static maps (images) if they exist?
Actually given that we have the geo-coordinates of listings, perhaps we can just leverage the mobile Google Apps... --Andrewssi2 (talk) 09:44, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Clicking on a listing opens your favorite maps app. But showing all listings on a single map requires either implementing a GPX algorithm in Kiwix, or using "frozen" maps. Syced (talk) 06:08, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Dynamic to static maps within Kiwix[edit]

This problem has been solved by the amazing people at Kiwix per [1]. That means a static version of our dynamic maps will be in the files :-) Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:39, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Reading the bug report, it doesn't say that it will render Dynamic maps into Static maps. It just says that it will use Static maps if the 'staticmap' attribute is used. AFAIK this attribute is not used very much. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:40, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I was emailed by the lead of Kiwix who said he fixed it and the dynamic maps should be there as static in the July edition. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:20, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
If correct then that would be very interesting. The same technique could generate Static maps for our print view as well. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:01, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Andrewssi2 is correct, we have to create/maintain staticmap attributes on our side. Kiwix will include a static map only when there is such a staticmap attribute. I wrote the DoraStone script for this purpose, but unfortunately a bug on my machine prevents me from using it. Anyone willing to become the project leader for that script? Thanks! Syced (talk) 07:30, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Looking at the underlying code this gives maps in Kiwix {{Mapframe|35.66262|139.73060|zoom=16|height=540|width=520|staticmap=POI-Roppongi.png}} This does not {{Mapframe|49.513611|-115.768611|zoom=12}}
We need a bot to create and add the static maps. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:51, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
This also raises another question for existing static maps which is going to be contentious. Once all the static maps are generated then there will be no way to determine whether the static map was hand crafted or automatically generated with the technique above.
This is problematic because I would assume we would run the bot every month to regenerate all maps from their dynamic counterparts, regardless of whether the original was handcrafted...
It would effectively mean the end of hand crafted static maps. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:45, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
So, if something like Adirondacks#Towns and villages links both a static and a dynamic map for the same region (dynamic maps don't cope with dividing a region very well), won't any script think the hand-drawn map is just another random image which can safely be ignored, and not part of the {{mapframe}}? K7L (talk) 03:59, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes this would only pertain to "mapframe"
I assume that this one is hand drawn [2]?
We just need a way to stipulate which mapes are hand drawn and which are automatically created and simply give preference to the hand drawn ones.
This could be done by adding a new parameter to mapframe like "staticmapauto" which works like staticmap but only if staticmap is not filled in. That is were we would place the auto generated static map links Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:28, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
This discussion seems rather important to be hidden in this sub-discussion. I have raised a new discussion here: Wikivoyage_talk:Dynamic_maps_Expedition#Future_of_static_maps_with_autogeneration.3F Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:26, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Status usable and above; again.[edit]

If you look at Wikivoyage:Article status and the list provided there, you will see, that there are disproportionately few regions and countries in one of the two higher categories. As a matter of fact Singapore as the only "star country" is dealt with rather like a huge city, so we could argue there are no star countries in the actual meaning of the term at all. the recent guidification of Germany is the result of a lot of hard work, that interestingly enough changed very little about the article itself but greatly improved coverage on places like North Hesse. Now I somewhat understand the rationale that in order to make something "star" or "guide" there has to at least be some coverage on the ranks of the latter beneath it. But this creates strange situations rather very often. While Nauru was the first country to get "guide" status, places like Germany or France whose coverage has probably a lot more value to the traveler are usable or were "outline" until recently. Is it even possible to get a country to guide status without lots and lots of work (whereas elevating a city to guide status can be done in a couple of days at the most)? Or does it only work for small countries that don't need to be further subdivided? And bearing all that in mind doesn't it shine a different light on our stubby outline bottom level regions? Maybe we should put the same note that we put on itineraries there as well, that the article will be deleted within such and such if no further content is added. Printed travel guides sometimes mention the name of a place within a normal text or only say that a place exists. Of course we are not necessarily bound by the same limitations, but maybe instead of a bottom level region that links to twelve stubby outline articles on hamlets nobody has ever heard of, we could transform those into articles that cover the whole region as one? In short the whole issue is complicated and I hope this is the right place to raise it, as I would like to draw attention to something which I see as good intentions going horribly wrong. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:43, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Thousand Islands was converted in this manner, it was originally intended as a sub-region of Northern New York even though there's nothing under it but a handful of under-1000 population villages, parkland, cottages and a few once-impressive castles which are not large enough for their own individual articles. It is now a bottom-level destination which doesn't align well with the structure above it (as it's divided by an international boundary) and the only sign it was ever a pointless sub-region is the bizarre inclusion of a "Talk" section.
That said, the itinerary-style "this will be deleted if it doesn't expand beyond outline in a year" position is hard to justify, given our reticence to delete real places. Maybe United States of America should be deleted if Washida County (Oklahoma)#Connect doesn't improve in a hurry, maybe not. Most likely, it would just make things more difficult for the next person trying to fix the issue, as they'd have to start over from zero. (Admittedly, we *did* delete Underground Railroad once, but that's a hopeless basket case of an itinerary which, almost by definition, will never be complete.) At some points, New York State is a mess of subregions inside regions inside a region that vary from comprehensive to empty shells or utter rubbish, much of it created to avoid more than 7+2 cities per region. That is likely preventing a federated state-level page from being guide, star or anything else as we have great coverage at both ends (Buffalo/Rochester and NYC) and widely-variable coverage in the middle. Nonetheless, if some of the subregions are empty shells or placeholders just to list more articles beneath them, we should merge, not delete, as these are nominally real places. K7L (talk) 18:21, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps Underground Railroad should be converted into a travel topic? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:43, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Well I think the bottom-up approach is harmful if the bottom is empty. It may be in some cases that our bottom level regions are "rotten boroughs" just like the British constituencies of the early 19th century where 20 people got 2 representatives because their hamlet used to be important in 1256. But I think in most cases floor level subregions were created because the "technically existing places" within it were getting "too many" (even though most of them were stubby outlines) and now we have to bear the cross of trying to fill something that is mostly empty in reality. I know that it is not an easy issue to fix, that's why I raised it here to get input from as many people as possible. Maybe thousand-islandification of a bunch of rural floor-level sub-sub-subregions is a good idea.... Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:57, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
I personally think that articles about small and unimportant places should be merged as far as possible. One article about a region is much better than a collection of stubs. On the other hand, it is often difficult to find the best way to split things into articles before you starting writing about a region. But I think it is perfectly fine to put information into the region article and transform all its constituent destinations into redirects. --Alexander (talk) 14:42, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I think this is really two separate topics. No stubby bottom-level region should be keeping any country of significant size from being a Guide or a Star. The United States of America was recently promoted to Guide despite hundreds of problematic region articles. Powers (talk) 14:52, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Yet many people protested we were "moving to fast" when Germany was made guide, because Middle Franconia could have a bit more content. Seeing that while we do have way way way too many outline cities, there are quite a sizable number of cities and districts that have reached "guide" status or above, whereas for countries we have one star, that is actually a huge city. One guide about a small country (Nauru if I am not mistaken) and two countries whose promotion to guide came only recently after an effort to do exactly that, mostly from a "letter of the law" standpoint. For regions it is even worse. We have uncountable bare outlines (which we should deal with, one way or the other) and only one star region, Bali and twenty guide regions, mostly in the Asia-Pacific area. One of which Northern Territory has a redlink "other destination" by the way. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:22, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
To compare Nauru and Germany, I would say that it makes sense that Nauru (a smaller country with less attractions) would be easier to promote than Germany (assuming that both countries had knowledgeable contributors). I don't see an issue there. Some countries are larger than others. Some countries have more tourist attractions than others. Likewise, it was easier to get Singapore to guide and star status. What is the issue? As far as I know, no nation has dissolved as a result of not being a star article on Wikivoyage, and there is nothing logical about saying that France or Germany must be given guide status before Nauru. No nation or region has any privilege over another. If you are arguing that the content in the Nauru article is all fluff and not useful, then you should propose the demotion of Nauru not the promotion of Germany. I don't think anyone would oppose a star region simply because there are a few stub/outline articles at the lowest level. Personally, I'd rather see stubs and outlines than haphazardly merged content that is often seemingly placed at random into other articles, making them difficult to locate. If the region is directly above the lowest level, then I don't see a problem with mentioning that although some articles below remain outlines they are not among the major destinations of the region and that coverage is in fact quite stellar if that is the truth. There is nothing wrong with just letting outlines be. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:48, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
For all I care the "small country that has guide status" could be Vatican City. For some reason it is Nauru. And what I want to say is that our criteria are either laughably lenient for small countries (they don't have to get hundreds of subregions with thousands of cities in them, sometimes needlessly complicated by the love for redlinks some regions seem to have) or ridiculously strict for big(ger) countries. If you look at Germany and the places that immediately come to mind (Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt) our coverage on these places already serves the traveler well. If you think about Nauru most people's initial reaction would be "Is that an actual place?". I think the issue is one of a cat biting its own tail. Of course the immediate subregions are somewhat important. However, the major cities (and in some cases the major "other destinations") are more important to most travelers. Most travelers don't go to Delaware, they go to New York City. Currently our criteria make Northern Delaware out to be more important for the status of the US than Manhattan which is - quite frankly - ridiculous. I don't have a quick fix and the last thing I would want is for Nauru to lose its probably deserved status (heck had somebody made the effort to bring Tuvalu up to guide, I would now be bashing that place instead), but I do think that something about the current system is broken and needs to be fixed. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:07, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

(indent) Don't the regional articles only need to be at usable status? That's not such a high bar. I still don't understand why you think Germany or the United States deserve privilege over smaller countries? Vatican City is a compact city-state. It's smaller and has less attractions than any single top 9 city in Germany. Why is it "unfair" that it is easier to promote Vatican City than the entire nation of Germany or the even greater United States where each state is like a country? Also the idea that because Germany receives more tourists than the Pacific Islands that they should be held back on that basis? Looking at the Nauru article, it looks rather scant and probably could be moved to usable, but it must be on the grounds of its own content; It is offensive to use arbitrary criteria such as "Germany receives more visitors and is more well known and is just overall a better country than Nauru/Tuvalu/(any Pacific Island Nation) therefore, those nations should never have a higher status than Germany".

Your point about the Delaware subregions may be valid, but I really cannot see why you think it would be at all reasonable to establish some sort of anti-Pacific Island Policy to disallow status upgrades even when, as you say, their higher statuses are "probably deserved". If it's not about content, it just seems prejudicial. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:37, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

It could be Kosovo for all I care. The entire point I am trying to make is that small countries by virtue of being small (in fact Vatican City is a "city" in our hierarchy) can get to higher statuses more easily than bigger countries. Which appears to be counter-intuitive as well as counterproductive. I mean, there is no rule over at WP that says an article can't get one of their status thingies if it links to a sub-par article. The word "outline" means to me, that while it may be apparent where this page could be going (it is "lined out") there is not all that much content present. Now, you can't really argue that that's the case for all of the regions and countries that are currently classified as such, mostly due to some of their subregions having an issue. Heck the whole continent of Europe is supposedly an outline. Whereas Antarctica is "usable". There is no systemic bias for or against countries in any specific part of the world (though you could argue, that there is actually systemic bias against the US as there appear to be more bare-outline subdivisions and small places nobody has ever heard about) but there is a systemic bias in favor of small countries. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:05, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
So, in theory, Grand Bruit could be promoted were we to catalogue absolutely everything in that particular ghost town, but getting Trans-Canada Highway beyond "usable" is going to be 8030km (plus all the alternate routes) and uphill both ways? K7L (talk) 17:08, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Just an aside: Rome/Vatican is a district article, not a city article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:15, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Of course it is easier for smaller countries to get to a higher status level. For example I think the current content the Nauru article is close to 100% of what can be written about the island unless we start listing plumbers and painters. Actually I expanded the article a while back using Italian WV, Wikipedia and other online sources and whatever travel-relevant stuff I could find I added to the article. So of course the article is a guide. In the same way, listing all ten things that are potentially of interest to a traveler in a small village brings it up to guide status but listing just ten random things in Manhattan would maybe not make that article even usable.
But it's far from impossible to get countries to guide or star status. Actually now when I look closer at the requirements it's surprisingly easy to get a country to Guide status. (1.) The article itself should look tidy and give readers information about culture, prominent attractions etc. (2.) The articles —18 at most— listed in Cities and Other destinations need to be Usable or better, roughly having some useful info in Get in, See, Eat and Sleep. (3.) The immediate subregions (usually not more than ten) have to be at usable status. This means that the most important city and other destination have to be Usable and some attractions and ways to get in should be mentioned. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’d be several countries at usable or outline level that could be upgraded to guide level right now.
Star status obviously has more strict requirements — we need to remember that out of 20000+ articles we have about 20+ stars. For this (1.) a country article needs to be perfect and all the destinations and subregions have to be guides or better. The latter means that (2.) each subregion of the region should in itself be in a good shape, (3,) the 10-18 cities and other destinations listed in each subregion should all to be usable and better and (4.) the regions below should be at least usable ie. have one usable city and other destination and mention attractions and ways of getting in.
What I’m saying is that in order to turn USA into a Star article it’s not necessary to dive down all the way to the subregions of Delaware (but a bit of work on regions higher up in the hierarchy is still required) ϒpsilon (talk) 21:01, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
So might it be a good idea to start a "country guide status expedition" to check which country comply with "letter of the law" interpretation for usable or guide status and promote / demote them accordingly and/or set in motion the appropriate mechanisms to do the work that needs to be done to do so? I for one would gladly sign up for that. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:58, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
(unindent) It was mentioned that for purposes of the status of the United States of America article, Northern Delaware is more important than Manhattan. This is incorrect.
First, I should point out that the U.S. article has been promoted to Guide, correctly, despite the fact that Northern Delaware (and, indeed, many subregions of states) are at Outline status.
Second, let's look at the criteria for Star (not even Guide, but Star). For a country, that means all of its subregions and linked cities must be at Guide status. That means (for purposes of this discussion) Mid-Atlantic and New York City must be at Guide status. For Mid-Atlantic to be a guide, New York City and Delaware must be Usable. (But we already require NYC to be Guide, so that's redundant.) For Delaware to be Usable, there is no requirement that Northern Delaware be any status at all; it could be a Stub and Delaware could still be promoted to Usable if it met the other requirements. For New York City to be a Guide, however, Manhattan has to be at least Usable.
So, we can see that in order for the United States article to be a Star, Manhattan has to be at least Usable, while Northern Delaware need only be a Stub. Thus, Manhattan is more important than Northern Delaware for determining the U.S.'s article status.
-- Powers (talk) 00:02, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
For the United States of America to be a star, New York State has to at least be usable. You've been telling us since we moved here in 2012 that it is not because a few pages under it aren't up to snuff. NYS is therefore still languishing in outline status. Delaware is also not usable in its current state, although that may be for reasons other than the hollow shell county-level subregions. Certainly, articles being held back in rank because of issues on lower levels are an issue, although "just barely usable" for NY and DE might be enough to prevent those states holding the country-level article back. (I haven't looked at every state, my guess is the results will be widely variable, as always.) K7L (talk) 00:55, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Isn't part of the problem also that while you can (technically) make a city usable in no time by giving it a rough "get in" section (Interstate X and Y run through town. The next airport is in Z from where you can take Interstate X) and one listing each for "eat" and "sleep" whereas regions have to have much much more just to be considered "usable"? Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:12, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Close. This supposedly "usable" article for an "adventurous voyageur" must contain some way to get in, something to see or do, somewhere to eat and somewhere to sleep. Four listings would cover it. Content barely meets Wikivoyage:What is an article? Usable nonetheless. Personally, I'd usually prefer to wait until each section of a destination page contains some usable information (and preferably not CVB promotional copypasta or badly-misformatted content) before marking a page 'usable', but the actual criteria set the bar really low for a city/locality to be "usable". Region pages are an entirely different ball of wax, as we hold them back unless the primary destinations under them are usable. All that's holding Grand Bruit back is a lack of somewhere to eat (the place is a ghost town) but getting New York State out of "outline" status looks to be a multiyear task? K7L (talk) 17:01, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
A multi-year task, yes, because Peter isn't here to get Adirondacks up to Usable. Would you like to take a stab at it? Or is it your contention that having a crappy Adirondacks article is no reason to consider the NYS article less than usable? Powers (talk) 19:56, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if Peter knows that W. Frank and his associates all currently have indefinite bans. Nurg (talk) 00:28, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Dunno, but Adirondacks doesn't look unsalvageable - even if Lake Placid, Lake George, Saranac Lake and Malone are the only towns under it to fare any better than "outline". w:Adirondack Park seems to have good info which could be used to fill out Adirondacks#Understand? Maybe New York State can be spared instead of giving up and redirecting the state to Joisey (which is usable). K7L (talk) 19:43, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Is there a tool for finding short or extremely short articles that basically only consist of the standard section headings? If so, we should maybe find them and either delete, merge (if there is even a single sentence to merge) redirect or fill them with content. Bare outlines do no good for anybody. Especially not for the voyager. Maybe just maybe this would also reduce or altogether eliminate some forms of page creation vandalism... Or at least make it more easily detectable as bare outlines become a rarer sight. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:02, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

A set of lists of articles without custom banners sorted by size was produced last November. I expect that a lot of the articles that are so short that there is not much content is in Wikivoyage:Banner expedition/Banner suggestions - List 7, but this will include also loads of good short articles. AlasdairW (talk) 21:43, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
There's also Special:Shortpages, but it tends to fill with disambiguation pages which are short but perfectly valid. Special:Preferences has an option to show links to stubby/no-content pages (below a size threshold) in a different colour. Neither is ideal. K7L (talk) 22:44, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
When talking about "guides" for states and other large areas, I think we need to keep in mind that rules like "all regions must be usable" are a product of our own policy-making. In the case of countries, for example, this rule sometimes means that we have coverage far better than any commercially printed guidebook, and still voluntarily put a mere "usable" qualification on it.
For a region to get up to usable status, the most important of its sub-regions also must be usable, and if there's a level under those, more usable subregions under them. And with our breadcrumbs often already well-developed, the guide status of large countries is often indeed held back by not-yet-usable low level regions. Articles everyone would agree are not that important, but which are often plentiful when the country is large and developed. What we might need to do, rather than change the whole way we deal with regions and breadcrumbs, is give ourselves some leeway in providing guide status to countries etc, when perhaps not all regular criteria are met, but we can agree that it's as good a guide as any commercially printed one. JuliasTravels (talk) 08:59, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Well if we can and should go against the plain text reading of the letter of the law of our policy, why don't we just change the plain text of our policies? I do think most people here agree to some degree that Redford (New York) should not hold any article back in getting a better status and neither should Sauerland-Siegerland (which is not really an organic region to begin with) but it still crops up every time we try to elevate the status of a country. The amount of work and effort that is needed and the amount of time that is spent on discussing minutiae of a imho partially outdated and misguided policy are staggering. There once was an argument against creating a certain type of airport article (which to be fair would be a category of a handful at best) along the lines "how could this ever become a star?". Well now I ask the same about country articles "How could they ever become a star?" Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:17, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Because the policy is quite fair enough for the large majority of regions, and for small countries too. It's mostly countries, where it falls short, and then only really the countries and very large regions where we have good coverage on almost all places of interest to travellers. We're only really talking about a few dozen articles where things are that complicated, I think. I say we should give such articles, like the US and Germany, the benefit of the doubt. Large country? At least as good as a commercial guide? That's a guide to me. The fact that country articles are very very hard to bring to star status is an inherent result of our system. I don't find that very problematic, and it's good to have a few really high standards :) The fact that we advertise our great coverage of some countries as "usable" instead of "guide" is much more misleading. JuliasTravels (talk) 14:17, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I had previously made a suggestion that it might be useful to have two statuses for region/country articles - one for the article content and one for the complete region/country - which I think would make more sense and be more useful for both users and editors who currently struggle with the fact that a very complete article might be tagged as "usable" because an obscure destination article in its hierarchy is incomplete. Essentially "This article about the USA is at guide status. Our overall coverage for the USA is at usable status", or something similar to that. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:38, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
That's an option, and I'd be fine with it. Although it's probably still too pessimistic about the value of our total coverage for a traveller. Say I'd buy a RoughGuide or LP for the USA; would our total coverage be less usable than that book? If not, I feel it's perfectly correct to just call our USA article a guide, without any devaluation. Just my opinion though. JuliasTravels (talk) 14:55, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I would be strongly against making any change to policy based on what is essentially a fallacy. I don't believe any extant guide is being unfairly held back due to some obscure destination that hasn't been sufficiently developed. Can we have some concrete examples, please, with explanations of how the great-grandparent article is being held back, rather than off-hand references to tiny hamlets that aren't really affecting much of anything? Powers (talk) 16:21, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I suppose our barely-usable Adirondacks park article holding back the entire state as {{outlineregion}} would be the obvious example. This is the sort of thing that makes any comparisons between WV and printed guidebooks awkward. The commercial publication will be consistent - whether good or bad; if it's a paragraph for every town and small city, it stays at that predictable level cross-province, cross-state or cross-country. WV varies from very extensive, detailed coverage to merely skeletal rubbish and back pseudorandomly. Buffalo are all herded and in place, Rochester and the Finger Lakes well in hand, Syracuse usable but nothing special, Rome (New York) a pointless outline created just so they could have a separate article from Utica, Albany is likely adequate and NYC is a well-polished Big Apple. Huge variation, and that's just one beaten path through one state. That's just looking at city-level pages, bring the endless pile of region and subregion pages into this and many are Central New York-like skeletons with just a list of cities or counties (and counties are usually the wrong size to be useful divisions to us, as they are one or two cities and a few villages). How does one evaluate the quality of coverage of a country as a whole, if the constituent pieces are, well, "all over the map" in terms of development? K7L (talk) 16:43, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Adirondacks is a top-level subregion of New York (state), and one of the most important thereto. If it's in poor condition, then how can we be said to have a usable guide to the state as a whole? Powers (talk) 17:33, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Adirondacks is not great but adequate. Admittedly, it's an odd special case as it's a subregion (because of Lake Placid, Lake George and Saranac Lake being under it as small incorporated villages within the park boundary), it's a major state park and it (presumably the park itself) is one of the listed destinations. Certainly, if every "top-level subregion of New York (state)" can hold the whole state back, it might be best to give up now as there are a pile of intermediate regions and subregions between NYS and its individual destination cities, many of which are just 7+2 lists of cities and towns with no other real content, and they only seem to be increasing in number. If this were just about Adirondack chairs, NYS might be usable right now, or very close to it. K7L (talk) 17:41, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Let's not forget that while this discussion as such seems to be a major drain on resources, it gets some article that (for whatever reason) gets chosen as the example a lot of attention and improves our coverage of the place. I think the Adirondacks are a problematic place insofar as they are mostly rural, positively huge but still contain a couple of places people heard of (and be it only for a certain Ice Hockey game). We have a tendency to do badly for places that are not easily organizable into cities and districts. Plus if I am not mistaken, there are also a couple of bodies of water within the park which does not make matters easier. That being said, I think in New York state and elsewhere a large amount of the county level articles will have to go. Either by merging or by redirecting or by treating them as if they were a single city. No guide, printed or on any other medium (including stone tablets and DVDs) covers every tiny speck on the map and some guides cover some places in a couple of lines tops. Whatever happened to the advice to cover some places only in the "go next" section of the next nearby destination we do cover? Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:28, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I get the general thrust of your argument. I'm not sure whether I agree with it. But on your specific point on [[Rome (New York}]], it isn't part of Utica, so I don't think it's pointless for it to have its own article; it's just that no-one has posted enough information in it. I had thought New York City was still Usable, but I see that it's a Guide, so big congratulations to those who made that possible! Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:46, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) At the moment, I believe Adirondacks can and should be upgraded to Usable, which allows New York (state) to be Usable. Perhaps we can discuss a more clear-cut case instead. Powers (talk) 01:09, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

No objection to taking these "usable". As Ontario is still usable with Algonquin Provincial Park and one park island at outline (but all other main cities and other destinations usable or better), holding NYS at "outline" now seems a bit excessive. That said, this example was illustrative of how the specific location placement of one weak article in the hierarchy can have a huge impact on how severely its 'unusability' propagates up the chain. Rome (New York)#Sleep is blank, so the destination article is not at all usable; no one cares as that holds back only Central New York, a skeletal subregion on which nothing actually depends. What would happen if instead Saranac Lake#Sleep were missing or unusable? It's a tiny place (pop 5000, a sixth the size of small-city Rome NY) but the Adirondacks are parkland and Saranac is the largest teeming metropolis in that geographically-huge region (which says little, as Lake George has 4000 people and Lake Placid about 3000, all of these are tiny; the area is otherwise protected parkland). Saranac Lake at outline therefore could readily pull Adirondacks down to outline, and because Adirondacks is a huge state park (and not just another pointless subregion for the pile) it's an important "other destination" in New York (state) and listed among "Other destinations" in the parent Mid-Atlantic region. Mid-Atlantic *must* be usable for USA to be guide, so if the next editor who came along were to knock Saranac down to outline and consider Adirondacks to be an important "other destination" in the Mid-Atlantic region, in theory that could pull the region and the entire country down a notch for want of a good bed for the night in a tiny pop-5000 village in a 19 million person federated state. It's hypothetical, but simply returning Saranac Lake to outline could be more damaging to the nation than leaving Montana at outline (the current status quo, which nonetheless allowed the Republic to survive in better-than-usable condition to see another day). Why? Montana's placement in the hierarchy makes it less important to the USA than Alaska. All of this is based on articles which have either recently changed status or are ready to be changed; the outcomes are hypothetical but entirely plausible. The results can be quite counter-intuitive and hard to follow at times, but this seems to be the way things work because of the way our complex article status system is structured. K7L (talk) 16:41, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I couldn't have said it any better. And I guess similar issues are keeping Europe (and many of its countries) at outline as well... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:04, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
The theoretical problem of our system is quite clear. Still however, we're probably talking about a (few) dozen articles that are unnecessarily held back in practice, if that. Rather than changing a policy that works well enough for our thousands of region articles, I suggest we use common sense and consensus to just promote that handful of articles. If there's too much fear of overruling policy, we could even add a line in our policy about the possibility of an exception per consensus, when an article technically doesn't fully meet our criteria, but is clearly a good guide in practice. We only need a real policy-changing discussion if the actual problem would apply to many articles. So far, there's no actual list. JuliasTravels (talk) 17:20, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
So if this is a minor issue that only crops up in rare cases, why is Mexico an outline? Why is Switzerland? Why is Poland? Why are all continents except Antarctica and Oceania? Why is Sweden an outline and why is China? Why is Nicaragua usable and Costa Rica not? And that's not even getting into regions... I do think the issue is anything but minor... Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:50, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Why shouldn't they be? What is your basis for the contention that we ought to, at this moment in time, have outstanding guides, up and down the hierarchy, for every country on the planet? Of course that's our eventual goal, but perhaps you've overestimated the number of people contributing here.
Anyway, K7L, I think perhaps part of the problem here is the occasional use of a Region article as an Other Destination at higher levels of the hierarchy. If we strictly kept those O.D's to Parks and Cities (that is, leaf-node articles), the perceived difficulty of getting a Country article to Usable would disappear. Would you agree with that assessment?
-- Powers (talk) 18:38, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
It's not necessarily that our coverage on those places is bad, it is more often than not that the rules prevent us from upgrading them and showing how great our coverage on those places really is. Does anybody here really think the article on Antarctica serves the voyager better than that on Europe? If you do think so, I would like to hear your reasoning. If you do not think so, why does the article status not reflect that? It appears as if in our current system we inherently discriminate against places with "more in them" be it in terms of touristic interest, number of visitors or number of destinations. Which is imho all too bad, because those places are naturally the ones people will search for first. Not Nauru or Antarctica. Wouldn't it be great if at some point in the (not too distant) future, we could feature a "country of the month" or something to that extent? While we do have outstanding coverage on some cities (and even - dare I say it - a very small number of rural destinations that are handled in some "creative" way), our coverage on countries is just as good, yet not recognized. Anyway, I do think I made my point... Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:46, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
It's only natural that places with more stuff in them are harder to improve. Consider two cities: one with a couple of hotels, two big attractions, and a handful of restaurants; and a large city with dozens of each and public transit and nightlife. The latter will be harder to elevate in status simply because it has more stuff to write about. There's no reason regions and countries shouldn't suffer from the same natural disparity. Powers (talk) 23:38, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Because this status box is right on every article page (not on the talk page, Wikipedia-style) and is voyageur-facing, it's unclear what the intention of a broad "This region travel guide to Canada or Mexico is an outline" disclaimer is intended to accomplish; is it a warning to the voyager that the information is too badly incomplete to be relied upon, or is it simply maintenance categorisation for use by the small minority of Wikivoyageurs actively editing and generating new content? A box on a region article also doesn't make clear what exactly is be fixed; it might be something on the page itself, it might be something one or more levels down the hierarchy. At least Talk:New York (state) had a good list where you said what was holding the page in outline status from 2012-2015, but most of the others don't indicate what's wrong. It's manageable for bottom-level destinations (nowhere to sleep in Rome is clear enough) but the only way to see why Mexico is an outline is to click through the whole enchilada. K7L (talk) 17:42, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Not to mention that it is irritating. Just like the "this page has some issues" that the majority of WP pages seem to have nowadays... If a high level article is an "outline" I as a reader am constantly looking for errors and what is missing, and that is clearly not in the best interest of our readers and not in the best interest of the page as it discourages using our guides and making them useful... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:52, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I should think we would want to have our readers looking for problems (and, hopefully, fixing them). Powers (talk) 19:34, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
We don't want our readers getting the impression are bad or unreliable, especially when they are demonstrably not. That's the issue more than one person has had with the "this page has issues" tag on WP.... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:57, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

I think the articles being held back because of some outline destination perhaps really should be held back. If Adirondacks is an important parkland people might want to visit and Saranac Lake is one of the biggest places over there, not giving any advice on where to sleep is not good (I see the article is fixed now).

As Europe was mentioned above and the Nordic countries one of the lacking parts, I checked whether it would be easy to fix. It turned out there is nearly no information on Sweden's national parks (also Gotland is an outline). The Nordic countries is an important part of Europe and nature is one of the big attractions over here. Could we say we have adequate coverage if e.g. Laponia (said to be the largest wilderness in Europe) is an outline?

We do have good coverage on Europe for most visitors, but the question is what status we want to advertise if some key destinations are outlines (if it really is some tiny place that is holding a country back, wouldn't that be easy to fix?).

--LPfi (talk) 12:03, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

If I look at a page and see This article on Montana is an outline with a mountain of problems that doesn't tell me what's wrong. Is it the page itself (a safe assumption on WP, which doesn't tag pages as bad due to issues on a subtopic on some other page, but not necessarily here)? Is it the major cities (they look OK)? The subregions (maybe, but a subregion shouldn't hold a parent in outline, even if it is an issue at higher levels like promotion of usable pages to guide)? The "other destinations" (which look pretty bad, and a couple even red-link)? The list of small towns, places like Glendive (again a mess, but not enough to pull the whole state down)? One has to wade through multiple articles and multiple levels of article to even try to guess what's going on, and even then it isn't clear which are the "important" destinations and "principal cities" that can make or break an entire federated state. Montana's parent (US Rocky Mountains) had two states out of four in "outline" status, with no explanation as to what was wrong in each. This system is confusing enough for seasoned Wikivoyagers, how on Earth is some random user reading this for the first time to guess what is meant by "Montana is an outline"? K7L (talk) 13:01, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
One problem is that the outline template, saying one could help, links to Geographical hierarchy, Outline articles, Article templates, Where you can stick it, Plunge forward and How to edit a page, but not to the criteria. Those are found by following a link in the last paragraph of the second linked page ("outline") and clicking the right item in the second list.
Having the "you can help" text link specific instructions would make doing the appropriate changes much easier. I am not sure what page should be linked as the main instruction page. For the problem discussed, the criteria are important, but perhaps some of the other pages could prominently link to those and have better general instructions. If the problem is not the page itself, but some of the linked pages, one could list a few key problem destinations in the template itself:
This [region article] is an outline and it or some of the linked pages needs to be improved. Please plunge forward with e.g. [[some key outline]] or [[some other key outline]].
When most listed destinations are fixed somebody should evaluate what still needs to be done. If all problem pages are listed, this should be noted "Please plunge forward with X and Y, which are the last to hold this guide back at outline status".
--LPfi (talk) 18:54, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
I'd wondered if a 'bot script could follow all of the dependencies on lower-level articles and generate a skeleton of a table like the one LtPowers had on Talk:New York (state)#Destination article statuses but it doesn't look feasible. A usable region "has links to the region's major cities and other destinations (the most important of which must be at usable status or better), and a Get in section describing all of the typical ways to get there. The most prominent attractions are identified with directions." That raises the question to determine what is "important" or "prominent", which must be done manually at every level of the hierarchy. That could be a hugely time-consuming process; Canada is outline because, while British Columbia, Ontario and Québec are usable, many smaller provinces are not. It would take much further iteration to determine what's wrong with each province (or group of provinces or territories, as some are clustered into subregions to keep this to nine) as this requires navigating multiple levels and guessing which subtopics are "important".
The Montana example I'd mentioned is odd as removing things might get it to "usable", in a manner fully consistent with policy. The subregions only need to be "outline". The major cities need to be usable; what's there now is a list of nine main cities (which are usable) and many small towns (mostly articles of poor quality). Blow away all but the nine main cities (as Wikivoyage:Avoid long lists says they belong in the subregions anyway) and the article just improved. The "other destinations" are a dog's breakfast. Glacier and Jellystone are guide, or "smarter than the average bear", but the list of individual towns at the Yellowstone park gates is largely rubbish. Discard it. Lewis and Clark Trail is an outline itinerary across multiple states, which could be moved out of "other destinations" to some other section. Most of the other "other destinations" are small national parks which might not even meet Wikivoyage:What is an article? as city-sized or region-sized entities that need a park article - move them to "Do" or to their respective villages. Voilà, nine cities and two other destinations which are actually usable and a bunch of rubbish holding the state back has been swept elsewhere. Not particularly obvious to anyone without a good rules lawyer on retainer (what? you expect to reach 'usable' just by removing stuff?) but entirely technically valid. Neither a random new user seeing "this region is an outline" nor an automated process would've seen that coming, as there's more to this than just following the tree to see if the foundation roots are usable.
Usability of regions in Wikivoyage is confusing and hard to follow. There's no easy way to get a list, for every outline region, of which pages are holding that region back. K7L (talk) 00:33, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Alright; lots of good arguments are being made. Now let's get back to Hobbitschuster's core point that we might reconsider: while our coverage of many countries is still incomplete, many of them are in practice usable for a large part of the travellers that head there. Perhaps we shouldn't talk about the whole system of promoting articles, but rather about changing the wording and criteria for making a country usable. I do think there would be a lot of merit to upgrading rather well-developed country articles with missing regions or towns that see relatively few travellers. That said, I don't think all examples mentioned by Hobbitschuster would qualify. For any country article to be usable, I think all nine cities and all other destinations should be usable, plus a good bunch more. And that should be a full list, not a stripped one, in order to allow travel choices. In my mind, that would bring us to the same usability as many of the thinner commercially printed guides aiming at the huge numbers of 2 or 3 week highlight holidays - and then we would still only call it usable. Most of the articles mentioned by Hobbitschuster (like Sweden, Poland and Costa Rica) still wouldn't qualify, but it would make it much more feasible to get them there. JuliasTravels (talk) 09:42, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

I think the usable status is the core issue. Especially a the country level. If some places cannot easily be promoted to it, we may need a more concentrated effort... Costa Rica for one is really the place in Central America where "everybody" goes... Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:31, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
JuliasTravels, maybe you could help me understand the point a little better. What is it about the status of some other page (e.g., a city page) that makes me unable to use this page (e.g., a country page)? I've just looked at Montana, and I'm pretty sure that – using only that page, and the primary sources it links to – I could find a way to get there, find something to eat, figure out something to do or see, and figure out that a lot of people go camping there (that's when you stay in a really cheap motel, right?  ;-) .
If saying that an individual page is "usable" is not meant to indicate people are "able to use" that page, but instead that people are able to use a whole bunch of related pages, then perhaps we need a new term of the art for this concept, like "Good topic" or "Developed cluster". WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:23, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Our guides are hierarchical and recursive. Our guide to Montana includes all of the articles "beneath" it in the hierarchy.
JuliasTravels, your proposal is the same as the current requirements for Usable status for Countries, and more restrictive than our current requirements for Regions.
-- Powers (talk) 19:38, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Subheading to make reading and contributing easier[edit]

I just made this sub headline to make it easier to find the bottom... If I am not mistaken, the extreme points of the debate are on the one hand those who say "only the article at hand itself should matter" for usable or any other status. And on the other hand there is the (maybe just theoretical) extreme position of "Every article on levels of the hierarchy beneath the one in question has to be at least as good for the top level article to be promoted"... I see reason in both arguments and most likely the end result (if there is any change in policy at all) will be in the middle of the two, but I tend more towards the first extreme... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:42, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

I also tend towards the former. I'm mostly thinking about a practical-editing issue: It would be nice to have "the page status" reflect the status of "the page", rather than "the page and all sub-pages" (or sub-sub pages), so that it's easier to figure out which page actually needs work. Also, it seems illogical to say that Page X is 'bad', despite being obviously in great shape, because there are problems on Pages Y and Z.
However, I like the idea of being able to identify a topic that is well-developed, beyond the individual page. That's an advantage to the current approach. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:53, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
One possible solution to that would be two status designations, one concerning only the quality of the page at hand and the other concerning the overall coverage... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:09, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
It isn't even "X is bad because there are problems on Pages Y and Z." It's X is bad, and we're going to leave you to guess what's holding it back. Maybe Y is the important "other destination" that's blocking the 'critical path' while Z is a subregion we don't care about; maybe it's the other way around. Have fun trying to guess which ones are "the region's major cities and other destinations (the most important of which must be at usable status or better)" and which really don't matter. K7L (talk) 16:43, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I've taken a Dominion Day look through the top-level Canada articles and posted status at Talk:Canada#Destination article statuses, following the basic.format from the NYS list. Ouch. Half of the provinces (and none of the territories) are 'usable', although the nine main cities are in good shape. If I understand correctly, Terra Nova and Yoho National Parks at 'outline' are doing more harm to Canada than Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the three Maritime provinces and the three territories being unusable? K7L (talk) 19:20, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Not to step on anybody's toes, but how relevant are the territories really in the great scheme of things? From what I know areas are "territories" that are mostly vast expanses of empty nothingness that are furthermore rather remote. At least that's the case for Caribbean Nicaragua and as far as I heard the same is true for Arctic Canada, isn't it? As for the "other destinations"... Are they really important enough to be listed at the country level? But thanks a bunch for the work; I hope we can get continental Anglo-America (yep, that's a grand total of two countries) up to guide soon ;-)Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:38, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
It's not just the territories, which are way off the beaten path... as many provinces are at 'outline' as at 'usable', and those are relevant. Nova Scotia is not Nunavut. The "other destinations" tend to be large national/provincial parks, ghost towns, Disney-size amusement parks, pioneer villages, individual UNESCO sites, gaping canyons, landmarks, mountain ranges and geographic features like Niagara Falls. They're usually not major cities (or they would be listed there instead) or the upper level of subregions (which already have their place) - regions randomly taken from further down the hierarchy and park articles are the obvious candidates, with possibly the occasional itinerary. What else is one to put in "other destinations"? Nonetheless, a badly-written national park article, linked at country level, could (according to the criteria) do more damage than an entire "outline" province. K7L (talk) 23:01, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Yeah I guess Novia Scotia is kind of important. Not least because it was one of the first territories in today's Canada to be settled and one of the founding provinces... I think other destinations should not be regions at the same time. If something is listed as a "other destination" it should be a "city" with unusual properties (thousand islands or islands like Sylt) a park or some other place that is neither a city in the traditional sense nor a region according to WV. Hobbitschuster (talk) 09:41, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I like the idea of two separate statuses – one for the page at hand, and one for the general collection. Among other benefits, it would help contributors know whether the 'problem' at Canada is actually at Canada, or if that page is fine and the 'problem' is at one or more pages that it links to. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:13, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Whatever the solution may be, I am in favor of making the rationale for this specific status of this specific page clearer at all pages, especially "outlines" high up in the regional hierarchy... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:24, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I can't say I like the concept of multiple statuses, unless it's phrased as one. While it makes sense to somehow upgrade countries or regions that de facto meet most travellers' needs, even when they don't fully meet our criteria, we shouldn't pretend an Tuscany guide can ever be a good guide (or even usable) without a usable article for Pisa, Florence and Lucca. Yes, it's useful to know where the flaws are, but even a star region article will still have not a single listing to eat or sleep (as per our policy), and people don't plan trips to Tuscany without picking more specific destinations. JuliasTravels (talk) 18:56, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Some people do. When going to some places (Nicaragua for one) I like just going to a place and looking at a couple of places to stay and eat before committing. (Of course pre-booking is not necessary unless it is semana santa high season). So I would probably only need a couple of listing in total to get a feel for what's on offer for what prices. They are however essential for places where pre-booking is the rule (Germany for one). And as to "star regions" we really can't tell what they are supposed to look like, as Bali is currently the only entry in this category and will probably be for a long time hence. The same goes for star countries which currently is a category of one (Singapore). This is partly why I keep raising the issue and why other are also looking for some reform to the letter and or interpretation of policy... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:08, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I think we're kidding ourselves if we separate the status of a region / country article from the usability if its main destinations. Sure, a seasoned traveller outside of high season may not make a single reservation, but we've always contained that a destination needs a few listings to be "usable". As far as I'm concerned, that few listings rule for the major destinations within a region must remain a bare minimum for any region article to be called usable. I also don't think that's where the problem is. My point is that we don't need to create two statuses for one article to mention the weak points. We should make a judgement call on whether or not our coverage of a region is good enough to be called usable or guide status. I'm perfectly fine with a coverage being called "guide" level when some less popular sub-regions are outlines. It's not okay to solely judge a region status on the region article itself, though. JuliasTravels (talk) 19:39, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
My main point of contention with the current policy is its inherent fuzziness. While we now have (thanks to the good work of, among others User:Traveler100 and User:LtPowers) Lists of what is needed for certain status upgrades for articles about - say Germany or Canada - there is really nothing but guesswork for many other articles. Add onto that that some of our articles would long qualify for higher status yet still sit at outline (as evidenced by my recent foray into the status of districts) and you got yourself confused readers and contributors, which imho should never be the result of anything... best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:48, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I would say our coverage on Tuscany would not be good with just the page Tuscany being good. I think this is exactly what our criteria are reflecting. I think few people go to Nicaragua without wanting some information on specific towns (although seemingly some do), so our criteria make sense. The problem is the less than perfect wording in the templates and our not keeping track of where our coverage is lacking.
For the latter, I think anybody trying to get a page upgraded and finding some criteria not fulfilled should have a way to state their findings in an obvious place, either in the template itself or at the talk page. If this can be done with a bot, it would help a lot, but as we are evaluating the guides by hand, stating what we do find would be very little extra work. We only need a (semi?)standardized way to do it.
--LPfi (talk) 19:48, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I like to have coverage for Nicaragua before deciding where to go. I don't need hotel listings. If I see in the article on Rivas that most people only pass through (and from my own experience with good reason given what is close by), I won't plan more than one day there, tops. However, I won't need any number of eat or sleep listings which are - for good reason - emphasized in our current criteria for cities. But evaluating every hamlet in North Hesse to ascertain whether our coverage on Germany merits this status or another is quite frankly not useful to anybody. Especially as most often the narrowest and hardest to fulfill interpretation of our article statuses are applied... I think I am repeating myself, but the number of outlinecountries is a bug, not a feature. We just have to see where the bug is. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:54, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Again, find an outline country whose coverage -- including subarticles -- is worthy of being called "usable" and we can talk. Without specifics, we're just going in circles. Powers (talk) 23:15, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I think we're talking past each other. On the one hand, we have multiple people saying, "I personally can wikt:use this page, all by itself, to plan a trip, so it's kind of silly to say that this page is not 'usable'", and you're saying "Show me a page whose subpages meet the criteria, even though your whole point is that the state of the subpages is irrelevant to whether you can use this page". WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:59, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

JuliasTravels, it should be easy to phrase the status in a single line: "This is {a decent} page in {an incomplete} topic." Swap in whichever status is most appropriate for those two words.

Hobbitschuster, would you be satisfied if the higher level areas were required to declare, on their talk pages, exactly which subpages were keeping the page at outline status? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:59, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Powers is right, we should talk specifics. Say, for example, Italy. Several major destinations and the regions are still at outline, but then again, there are so many major destinations in Italy that we still have plenty of information to plan a month long trip through the country without needing another guidebook. Is that a relevant example for a country coverage that could be called usable, even if it's a far way from being guide status? JuliasTravels (talk) 09:32, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes I would say having the pages say - at least on their talk page - what exactly the issue is is certainly a step in the right direction. Hobbitschuster (talk) 09:53, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Well part of the problem is that Outline status is the default. It may not mean that there is a deficiency to be identified; it may simply mean that no one has looked to see if it satisfies the Usable criteria yet.
As for the Italy example, I don't see how you can call the guide Usable when Lake Como is still at Outline. If any of the other Outline destinations are not essential, then they should be removed rather than hold up the promotion of the Italy article. Powers (talk) 23:40, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
What do you think about spamming all such talk pages with a note explaining that the page needs to be reviewed, and either the status changed or a list of deficiencies posted on the talk page? It might help us identify how many (or how few) of the pages are wrongly categorized, and it would encourage people to make the list that Hobbit and others need. It might also stimulate discussions about whether Lake Como is actually critical. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:46, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps a script could generate part of this sort of chart? It couldn't guess which individual park is able to hold back a state as that's an arbitrary call as to what's "important" and "prominent", but it could do some of the 'grunt' work of going down the list of cities, subregions and other destinations to retrieve the status of each, generating a skeleton of the chart. The details of determining what's wrong with each subpage at 'outline' would still be left to humans. K7L (talk) 15:59, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I like that idea. Though I don't know about its technological feasibility. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:19, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

I like the incentive "Outline" status gives people to fix linked articles — particularly when there's some kind of chart showing their status and what improvements should be made. However, I would ask you to consider what a reader not schooled in Wikivoyage lingo thinks when seeing the "Outline" status on an article. And then the question is, is there any way to split the difference here, so that readers don't think the article is completely shoddy or unreliable and editors have an incentive to continue to improve linked articles? Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:23, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with you, Ikan, but I'd settle for getting one of these two problems fixed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:46, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Right now, the incentive to fix linked articles exists. The problem is to find a way for the incentive to remain when the other problem is dealt with. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:35, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
The incentive to fix linked articles is broken, as it arbitrarily imparts a very skewed vision of the importance of a subtopic based on its position in the hierarchy. An outline Terra Nova National Park might be able to hold all of Canada in outline while an outline Newfoundland and Labrador might not? Why? The park is linked directly in "other destinations", the province is buried under another subregion, Atlantic Provinces. If you want a bunch of large parks fixed, but everything else languishing at outline, the incentive to do this exists. K7L (talk) 18:53, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
One problem is when you can fix an article by removing a link to an important (but not that important) destination. When whether to keep it is a judgement call, that judgement should not be influenced by technical rating issues. --LPfi (talk) 20:30, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
None of our ratings are objective; judgement calls are always necessary. Part of that judgement is determining whether a subarticle is important enough to the destination to affect its rating. If Terra Nova is not important enough to Canada for it to affect Canada's rating, then it should be removed from the Other Destinations list. If it remains on the OD list, then it is, prima facie, important enough that it should have an effect upon Canada's rating.
To answer Ikan's query (what a reader not schooled in Wikivoyage lingo thinks) I would point out that none of us actually knows. If the status templates don't make it clear that the rating applies to the entire travel guide, not just to the single page on which it's located, we can look at alternative wordings. But I don't know that we should take that as an article of faith without further evidence.
-- Powers (talk) 21:00, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
The reasoning that any destination article that shouldn't hold a country guide back from being usable (we're not talking guide!) should be removed from the list doesn't make any sense to me. Why would that be so intrinsically connected? I can't think of many countries where there aren't 9+9 destinations worth mentioning, and where those shouldn't all be usable to call the article a good guide. It seems odd to pick only 4 or 5, suggesting that this is a country with few real sights, only for technical rating issues.
To get back to the specific example of Italy, I might agree with you if the Lake Como article would not exist. There's quite a lot of info though (enough to be usable for an adventurous traveller in fact: it's treated as a region article, but there's plenty of listings to eat and sleep in the Como area, just spread over the different sub-destinations). There's loads of info on other Italian destinations. Many cities are guide level. I've travelled to Italy at least half a dozen times. Our coverage is not yet as good as my LP's, but it is in fact much better than my several 15 euro handbooks that most Dutch people use when heading there for their 3 week holiday. So yes, I still think Italy easily deserves usable status. I also think it's important that any reader who sees our guide doesn't get the impression that the coverage is too poor to use, and thus closes his laptop and orders another guide book. All that said, I'm not sure how much influence these statuses at the bottom actually have, but that's another discussion :-) JuliasTravels (talk) 09:57, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That appears to be yet another problem with our current policy: its ambiguous wording. While it talks about "the most important" other destinations, many people take it to mean all of them... Which of course makes reaching usable and above more difficult still. Hobbitschuster (talk) 10:53, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

The Wikivoyage:Country guide status guidelines require all of them; Wikivoyage:Region guide status talks about "the most important". Perhaps that's where you're getting confused?
I'm afraid I still don't see how JuliasTravels can say that an article is vital enough to a country's travel guide to be listed among the nine Other Destinations, but yet not important enough to be considered when evaluating the quality of said guide. The whole point of the Cities and Other Destinations sections is to provide shortcut links to the country's most important destinations. Why would we then turn around and say, "well, this is important for a traveler to Italy, but you don't need the article"? Powers (talk) 00:07, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Often, the decision of which nine "other destinations" to include at country level is itself an entirely arbitrary one. Is Terra Nova National Park more or less worthy of Canada#Other destinations than Gros Morne National Park? Would opening every provincial and national park article (including Anticosti), picking nine usable (or better) ones and dropping them in place of the current list magically make Canada usable? There are a huge number of parks in Her Majesty's largest Dominion, nine of them somewhere must be usable. K7L (talk) 17:17, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with JuliasTravels. A country can have interesting destinations that are worth mentioning in the 9 Cities and 9 Other destinations, but I don’t think that means they’re all vital to the guide being useable — particularly with the national parks, islands and what not that make up Other destinations. Using Canada as an example (sorry, I don’t know enough about Italy to continue with that example), I would think only Banff National Park, Jasper National Park and Niagara Falls (Ontario) (of which the last isn’t even listed) would be the only “other destinations” that need to be useable for Canada. Waterton Lakes, Terra Nova and Algonquin are all beautiful spots but I don’t think they have the importance or visitor numbers to warrant holding Canada back from being useable if they were the reason for it.
Another way to look at it would be if we don’t think all nine cities and other destinations of a State, Province or other region need to be useable for the parent region to be useable, why are countries different?
BTW, are there any conclusions from all this discussion? The points that stand out to me are:
  • some people think the current way of determining the status of a region is not working well
  • to address that, we could:
    • rate region pages based on the content of the page only
    • have two statuses, one for the page and for the coverage of the subregions and destinations
    • change the way region status is determined
    • do nothing
  • additionally, listing the status of a region’s subregions and key destinations plus reasons for why a region is being held back on the talk page is helpful, particularly if it could be automated in some way
Does that cover it? -Shaundd (talk) 04:14, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I think that more or less covers it fair enough. Now we would have to find any sort of consensus or decision. I think the status quo ain't cutting it. As an aside Netherlands is now guide... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:24, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I like the two-status solution, but if we want a single status, could the rules for Usable (and only "Usable") be made less dependent upon linked articles?
I don't think that it's possible to list reasons why a region is being held back on the talk page automatically. It might be possible (for someone else) to write a script that makes a list of all linked articles and their statuses, and to post that list on the talk page. Then someone could manually determine which of these actually matter. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:46, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
So... Before this discussion dies a slow death yet again. What should we do? Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:55, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That depends, Hobbitschuster. Can you write me a bot that spams all the talk pages with a list of linked pages and their (alleged) status? I think it should create a list more or less like this:

Linked pages as of 13 July 2015

and then leave a note explaining that people should determine which of these were important enough to affect page status, remove any that aren't, and make a list (maybe in a template in the talk page's header) that identifies which linked pages are adversely affecting the page status. If the bot can exclude links that are unlikely to be relevant (e.g., only pick links from certain sections), then that would reduce the work that interested individuals need to do.

Secondly, I think we should contemplate some changes to templates like {{Outlinecountry}}. For example, if we want to hold good pages back based on subpages, then we might change "This country travel guide to ____ is an outline and needs more content" to say "This country travel guide to ____ has been rated as an outline because either it or some pages it links to need more content". Moving to either a two-status solution or to a page-itself approach would require manually reassessing all of the pages (which would be easier to do if we had lists of pages). WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:55, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Unfortunately I am almost a functional an-alphabet when it comes to computer science... However, I think we could greatly reduce the complexity of the bot if we make it access only the "Cities" and "other destinations" sections. We might still have to do something by hand in the rare cases where we list "towns" instead, but that does not appear to be the main problem. Also the bot should probably be able to access the "Regions" (even though they are not needed for usable) and their respective statuses... Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:50, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Which non-city-state country can get to star?[edit]

With Germany, the USA and the Netherlands now countries whose size exceeds 20 square miles and 10 000 people and which are rated at guide and efforts at places like Canada to reach a status upgrade in the foreseeable future, the question has to be raised which country should become our "model" for a country that is not in essence a "huge city" (like Singapore) to become our first star country. While I do think all sublevels being guide (which means for example in the case of Germany that North Hesse at outline can hold the starnomination of the country back, because it holds Hesse at usable at best etc.) would be too much to ask, we should establish what our letter of the law policy means in actual fact. (Another example, any of the islands of Hawaii is able to "block" a starnomination of the USA...) Anyway, I think we can get a "real" (not city state) star country before the year is out. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:08, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't mean to take this discussion on another tangent, but the statement that "any of the islands of Hawaii is able to "block" a starnomination of the USA", presumably because Hawaii is a top-level region rather than a second-level region like most other states, runs counter to the longstanding principle that every guideline on Wikivoyage should be applied using common sense. Hawaii is a top-level region because it's an isolated island in the middle of the ocean, and its subdivisions should carry no more weight than those of any other USA state. Hopefully we don't need to pre-pend all of our guidelines with "remember to use common sense in the application of this guideline", but I fear that the culture here is becoming too focused on the "letter of the law policy" when it is the spirit of the law that has always been the most important thing. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:35, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's unreasonable to expect state subregions to be at Usable or better for the U.S. to get to Star. Powers (talk) 00:46, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:21, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Not all states are top level subregions of the US. Texas and Hawaii are, for example, whereas Alabama is not (it being a subregion of the South). Therefore, Alabama has currently - if we follow the letter of the law which somebody is guaranteed to do - as much importance for the overall status of the US as any of the immediate subregions of Hawaii, Texas or Alaska including Arctic Alaska. And if we raise the spirit of the law versus letter of the law argument, the "constitutional originalist" argument of "if you don't like policy, change it" will surely be raised, whatever its merits... Anyway, I just wanted to raise the issue, whether we can get one of our current guide or even usable countries to star any time soon Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:24, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Maps - tools lab is down[edit]

  • see Details here. Thought everyone should know this and hopefully they will not have any difficulty restoring systems etc. -- Matroc (talk) 21:56, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
It was down all day yesterday but thankfully it's now partially back. The Mapnik layer still doesn't load. ϒpsilon (talk) 08:12, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
And once again no maps. ϒpsilon (talk) 14:26, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I have changed the server address to Now the full-screen maps works. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 19:25, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Thank you Joachim! - Matroc (talk) 20:38, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Vielen Dank! I'm doing some work on the districts of Seoul and the absence of the map functionality has been really annoying. ϒpsilon (talk) 20:44, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I have temporarily changed the template mapframe. Please check spelling. - Template will be reset when WMF tiles server is back online. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 04:42, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

Labs are up and working since yesterday morning, but the map tiles remain unavailable. Mey2008, Syced or perhaps someone else, do you have an idea whom to ask? I believe it will not recover by its own. --Alexander (talk) 11:05, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

The tiles server is also running again. I have reset the temporarily modified templates. --- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 11:25, 22 June 2015 (UTC) gives me "504 Gateway Time-out nginx/1.4.6 (Ubuntu)" and the {{mapframe}}s are also timing out after a very long delay. K7L (talk) 17:17, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Seems to be working OK now. Syced (talk) 02:51, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, still lacks zoom level 17 for the colored Mapnik layer. Some other Mapnik zoom levels have partially gaps. Well, wait and see. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 14:55, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
@Atsirlin try running "php unzip.php" on tool labs in case the map scripts needs an update. (I think you have the access if wikitech:User:Atsirlin is the same user as you.) If that fails, since I don't monitor that tool so often, would you give me a ping? --Zhuyifei1999 (talk) 14:35, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Zhuyifei1999, I have access, but the problem is not on our side. The Wikivoyage tool runs smoothly, but it fails to get Mapnik tiles from some other repository on And I don't even understand where this repository is, and who may be responsible. So annoying... --Alexander (talk) 17:03, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Checking the page source and Mey's comment below shows as the source, but the host is undocumented. Searched "tiles" instead and found wikitech:Nova_Resource:Maps. cURL'ed all the instances and found maps-tiles3 gives the same output as So very likely the admins on wikitech:Nova Resource:Maps are who to find. --Zhuyifei1999 (talk) 03:53, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

I hear that this is resolved, but it's possible that a few files were lost. wikitech:Incident_documentation/20150617-LabsNFSOutage says that they had to restore from week-old backups. (I don't know much about this, but I can help you figure out who to ask if you need more help.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:53, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

The Wikivoyage scripts are restored properly. The problem is the map tiles server. This applies to all users, even Wikipedia. It lacks all the tiles to the zoom levels 3, 6, and 17. This only applies the https addresses: e.g. But even in other zoom levels are missing several tiles. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 05:12, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
WMFLabs provides no more map tiles since June 26. I have therefore provisionally replaced the three layers "Mapnik", "Mapnik b&w" and "Hill shading" by similar external provided layers. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 15:35, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
WMFLabs layers are back again. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 17:56, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

WT links in Wikipedia[edit]

I just noticed a link to WT in Wikipedia (here) and I guess there are many others. I unfortunately have no time to fix them right now, but any volunteer for the task? That's one of the only easy ways we have to increase WV traffic, so not doing it would be a shame.

  • Go to and for EACH language's wikipedia (there are many):
  • Find the search box, type "wikitravel" in it and type Enter
  • Ignore any article which is actually about Wikitravel itself
  • Open each article that contains a link to WT
  • Find and click the Edit button or press Alt+Shift+e
  • Press CTRL-f and find the WT link
  • Find the equivalent article on WV
  • Replace the WT URL with the WV URL

Please let us know as an answer here what languages' Wikipedias you have processed, so that work is not duplicated, thanks a lot! Syced (talk) 06:18, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

I suggest to use this link for the second step (using the equivalent link for each language). --Andyrom75 (talk) 06:41, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Sorry to ask the question, but does our status as a sister project allow us to do this?
I would guess that under normal circumstances Wikipedia wouldn't appreciate a website changing the links of a competitor to their own. I hope that I'm wrong in this instance. Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:49, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Such changes have been already performed in the past in thousands of occurrences in several languages, and if I'm recalling it correctly, it has been discussed here on en:voy as well.
Briefly, (just for example) if an article of a city mention the WT external link as a source of information, it can be easily substitute it with the equivalent in the same language adding maybe the one related to the official language of that city (e.g. in fr:w Moscow article, the WT link could be replaced with the fr:voy and maybe ru:voy ones). Clearly, be sure that the page exists and use internal wikilink instead of external links that between sister projects doesn't make a lot of sense.--Andyrom75 (talk) 07:47, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
This was likely done once, a couple of years ago. See Wikivoyage talk:Search Expedition. Many of the WT links which were left behind are on talk or project pages, where changing other people's comments was likely deliberately avoided. Certainly, WP doesn't want links in articles to point to an external, commercial site where that site merely mirrors content already in one of WMF's own projects, as that sort of external link is spammy. They also wouldn't want a wiki or other user-editable content cited as a reliable source for anything, so the only place these should occur in actual articles (other than the pages about WV and WT) is in "external links". K7L (talk) 16:12, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I would still be quite upset if somebody did such semi-automatic link changes in my home wiki (at least if I were not active here). Changing external links to sister project links providing the same information should not controversial (in articles), but if the WT article is more complete or contains some key information absent from our article, then it surely is. --LPfi (talk) 12:16, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
There were a rare few languages which were problematic because they didn't fork during the main WT to WV transition; Japanese was one, so links to WT in that language were often left alone. User boxes claiming "user so-and-so edits on Japan WT" were the usual issue, although some other rarely-edited languages were affected. K7L (talk) 12:51, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
I looked through en.wp's list. There were very few in articles, and even fewer that should be converted. Either it was pointless spam (usually claiming to be a reliable source) or a link to WT was actually required (e.g., for copyright/license attribution). WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:24, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
It seems sv-wp has quite a lot of links (in the External links section). Was that one of the problematic ones? The normal sister project links should go to the Swedish versions of the projects (where most pages are stubs), so the voy:en links probably have to be treated (although not formatted) as normal external links. For destinations where our version is at least as good as WT changing the links should be no problem, as long as the edit summary is adequate, but I suppose WT can be better in some cases. Does anybody have a bot that could see whether any substantial edits have been done on WT after the fork? --LPfi (talk) 20:51, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
I see no need to have a bot look at WT, as any links to sv: which were left unchanged were likely missed by mistake. Swedish was one of the first half-dozen or so languages for m:Wikivoyage#Creation, so there's no reason to keep a link to basically the same content on a competing external project. Finnish is one of the problem ones (like Japanese, there is no WV) and maybe Swedish was presumed (inadvertently and incorrectly) to be part of that same issue? Certainly, any of the languages which were created on WV late (such as Chinese) are worth verifying to make sure the external links were changed to point here. K7L (talk) 21:25, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
"On a competing external project" with an antipathetic attitude toward the WMF and a history of real-world legal antagonism, no less. That's a salient point that, IMO, overrides any comparatively minor concerns about tampering with WP article content (a line of thinking that smacks of article ownership issues anyway). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:55, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
I changed thousands of WT links to WV links more than a year back. I cannot figure out how to write in the other direction and therefore did not do Persian and Arabic. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:27, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Anyone with RTL experience and willing to do this? user:Saqib maybe? :-) Syced (talk) 06:54, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
What is RTL? I'm travelling by the way. --Saqib (talk) 11:41, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
"Right To Left". The interaction between words with Latin characters (such as most URL:s) and neighbouring text in Arabic & al is quite confusing for those not used to it. --LPfi (talk) 13:55, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
Sure, will do. Please let me know what to do. --Saqib (talk) 04:40, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Basically go to Wikipedias that have RTL languages and search for Wikitravel. Arabic only has a couple left [3]. Likewise Farsi [4] and Hebrew [5]. Replace these links with WV ones if possible. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:58, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Doc: Sorry for late response as I'm travelling these days. So please check if this is that you want me to do? --Saqib (talk) 13:49, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Outline districts[edit]

As you might have noticed, I have taken a look at this page on WV and promoted some of the districts to usable level, that were clearly worth promoting. This enables us to see those districts that are really problematic and approach the issue accordingly (redraw district lines or add listings). Now I am far from done and probably won't ever work my way through three hundred-ish pages on my own, but I don't say you should stop what you are doing now to come help me. Just a general reminder, that you can and should check whether the status of a place (especially for bottom level places like districts) is still up to date and to change it accordingly. It is really not all that much work, if you are working on the page anyway and greatly helps identify pages with real problems. Best wishes. Oh and ps: Should I have promoted a district erroneously please revert. I tried to err on the side of caution, but one or two errors might have occurred. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:57, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for doing this - it's good to keep them up-to date; especially considering the criteria for some of our features. --Nick talk 22:34, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
No problem. I think sometimes a district that is too empty for too long might point at a need to redraw district lines.... Not always, maybe even not in most cases but sometimes.... Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:40, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

I have now had a look at all or at least most of the outline districts. There are some 200 still left at outline status. Maybe in a year or so reevaluating them (and the ones newly created in the time since than) may be in order. Furthermore some of the districts sitting at "outline" could well have been promoted to guide right away, but I wanted to avoid such a potentially controversial move. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:29, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your work Hobbitschuster. I have a feeling that many of the currently 13,702 outline cities (about half of all Wikivoyage articles) are also at least usable status. I was clicking on some random articles and found that Adrogué for example should probably have its status upgraded. Gizza (t)(c) 09:01, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
I have the same feeling, but looking through all of them would probably be a task for more than one person... Maybe there should be an "Expedition:Outlinecities"? Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:51, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Spelling in articles that mention places in the US and British Commonwealth cultural spheres alike[edit]

There have recently been issues about spelling (I myself am probably not entirely innocent to say the least). Our general policy appears to be rather straightforward at first glance (though it has by no means been without controversy, again I am not innocent on that front). But now I think there may be an issue that does not have a good solution either way.

While I favor American spelling on the account of it being slightly more phonetic and less "French" in the spelling of "center" and "flavor", the thing I favor more is internal consistency. So if an article is spelled entirely and consistently in British English (even if that goes against policy) that is fine with me.

However, there remains the issue what we do with travel topics or itineraries or other articles that cover countries where British spelling applies and other countries where Websterian English applies. Say for example an article about travel related organizations/organisations from Australia and the US. If we spell stuff British in the parts that are about the Commonwealth and American for the parts that are about America or her allies, the overall consistency and uniform "feel" of the article is lost (no small thing in a well written article, if you ask me) if we apply one spelling throughout the advocates of the spelling we did not chose will be (understandably) angry. How do we extricate us from this quagmire? Or is this a total non-issue that only a handful of users even notice, let alone care about? Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:03, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

I was under the impression that our site favored U.S. English unless a clear-cut, unambiguous case could be made for some other dialect. If that's true, then it would seem to me that any article that dealt with multiple different dialect areas would default to U.S. English. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:17, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Mostly a non-issue. See Wikivoyage_talk:Spelling#Suggestion. Also Emerson: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, ...". Pashley (talk) 00:28, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
If the article is started in British, Australian or Canadian English, I see no strong reason to change that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:00, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
But what if an article didn't start in any specific variety per se but was written by more than one author in more than one dialect to begin with? And if consistency were unimportant, why not start spelling everything with our very own spelling? After all, some newspapers in Germany actually did that when they disliked some of the changes to the German orthography that were made starting in 1998. Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:03, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
If some spelling variant or destinations using one of them dominate, then a person copywriting should probably use that. Otherwise using US spelling or the variant one is confident with should probably be OK. This is hardly a big issue, unless somebody starts searching for this kind of articles and changes them according to his preferences also where some other variant would be the natural choice. --LPfi (talk) 16:20, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

Happy Fourth of July to all Americans around here[edit]

While I am not an American and probably something like half the regulars here aren't either, I still wanted to wish the United States Happy Birthday and by extension all those who celebrate it a nice day. Have a good one! —The preceding comment was added by Hobbitschuster (talkcontribs)

Freedom of Panorama in Europe in 2015[edit]

Please read the article on Wikimedia, this EU proposal may affect photographs we can use on Wikivoyage. Although the page does not make it clear why the non-commercial clause would cause problems. --Traveler100 (talk) 10:06, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

Local uploads should be no problem, but one has to be prepared to transfer images from Wikimedia Commons because people there are very eager to delete things without ever looking at the file usage and thinking about consequences. --Alexander (talk) 11:34, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
Non-commercial is a problem because our guides are intended to be used commercially, as are all Wikimedia projects. Powers (talk) 15:19, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
In some cases we can use fair use provisions, but these do not allow keeping a public collection for possible use. The images we now use can perhaps be moved here, stored locally and stay in our articles, but I cannot upload photos without inserting them in an article. When I write an article I will not be able to choose from not yet used images, as those will be only in private collections – and possibly not even there, if people doubt they will come to any use and therefore (in some specific cases) do not make the effort needed to get a good image. --LPfi (talk) 16:43, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
The current fair use provisions (in Finland, supposedly in much of EU) allow using images in news and when writing about a work. I think there is no way to use the image of a building just as illustration – except that buildings are subject of the freedom of panorama. One might get by by telling something about the architecture, but maybe not, and I do not want to consult a lawyer every time I want to insert an image or change the prose. --LPfi (talk) 16:51, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
In short the proposal sucks and who ever proposed it clearly did not have the best of the majority of Europeans in mind... Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:36, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
LPfi, I would be surprised if those were the only possible fair use provisions. In the U.S., at least, so-called 'editorial' use of images is allowed for just about any publication, including travel guides. Powers (talk) 22:58, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
I think the related provision in Finnish law is restricted to scientific context, critics and "vid redogörelse för dagshändelser" (approximately: when discussing current matters). The last provision means newspapers are quite free to use any images, but travel guides can hardly use it. I cannot find any provision relevant to us. The law in Finnish and Swedish and a translation to English can be found at Commons:Copyright rules by territory#Finland. --LPfi (talk) 15:49, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Speaking to Powers' earlier comment, what the WMF really ought to do (whether or not this legislation passes) is to complement Commons with an integrated search functionality to help users browse images that are hosted locally on each of the various wikis. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:06, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Let's wait what really happens on Thursday and how it develops. It has been and still is more imortant to mark your own photos with the proper FoP template "FoP-Germany", "FoP-Austria" not only in European countries. I am about to add it even to my old WT images. -- DerFussi 07:51, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
PS: There are still more than 7.000 images to be checked, e.g. if there is FoP or not c:Category:Files moved from wts.oldwikivoyage to Commons requiring review :) :) -- DerFussi 07:54, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Time to call your Members of European Parliament! Freedom of Panorama would make things so much easier for everyone. It also has no drawback: seriously, do architects earn their life by collecting a few cents for each picture used in a book or on a website? This makes everyone's life miserable for nothing. Syced (talk) 01:47, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
Apparently mobilization has helped avoid this nightmare. We still need to fight to bring Freedom of Panorama to France and other countries that do not have it. Syced (talk) 08:46, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes. Fortunately. Let's fight it to spread out the FoP all over the world. :) -- DerFussi 09:56, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
There are a couple of related questions, which are as as important. Among them is the rights surrounding works in museums and private collections. Historic photos from most of the 20th century cannot be used if you do not know the author, and public domain works cannot be used as illustrations unless you get a public domain photo (taking it yourself is often prohibited). I cannot even publish my own passport on Commons, as I do not know who the photographer was (I doubt they earn much on people coming back to get more copies twenty years later). --LPfi (talk) 20:07, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
I'd be surprised if the photographer retained a copyright on passport photos. It's a work for hire, and in many cases you're given the physical photograph and the implied right to do whatever you need to do with it. Powers (talk) 01:24, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
I would guess (but I am no international copyright expert) that a photo of yourself, that is by definition not a work of art (passport photos have to follow rather strict rules) should be yours to do with as you please. Now the passport itself might be another thing, but not for copyright reasons, as some countries are really strict about passports technically never being any private person's property... Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:53, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
Passport photos are not works, but photos are covered by rights similar to copyright (50 year from creation in EU). There is no such thing as the US "work for hire" in Finnish legislation, and copyright does not follow the physical copy per se. It could, by implicit contract, such as probably when handing over your camera to a stranger, but I would not count on such an interpretation in this case. The Finnish copyright law explicitly gives you the right to make copies of "photographic portraits" in some specific contexts, such as to illustrate articles of yours (unless specifically disallowed by contract). The section would be unnecessary if implicit copyright transfer were the norm. Legally you should contact the photographer and ask for permission to make additional copies – and Commons is strict with nobody caring not being sufficient licensing. --LPfi (talk) 13:54, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Consensus for deploying the new banners extension[edit]

Hi all,

We are about to deploy Sumit's new banners implementation to Wikivoyage English. As the Wikimedia rules stipulate, we need this discussion to show that the community approves the deployment. So, please voice your approval or disapproval below, thanks a lot! Notes:

  • At first the extension will only target a handful of test pages. So nothing will break overnight because of the deployment.
  • A demo is available, there are still a few minor bugs that should be fixed in the next few days, but we should not wait until everything is 100% perfect, as the deployment paperwork process will take some time. We will iron out the last details on test pages here.

Thank you! :-) Syced (talk) 10:03, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

I am obviously in favour of deploying this extension. Syced (talk) 10:05, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
The new menu drop downs look really good! I'm concerned about the following however:
1) There is still no menu in the mobile view (tested on Safari on an iPhone 6). Is there plan to introduce?
2) The banner on your test page is very blurry on a Macbook Pro Retina with the Safari browser. The same banner used on Asia looks fine. Therefore this looks like a significant bug. (The Chrome browser is fine for both your test page and Asia.
Personally I'd prefer all significant bugs get fixed before installing, because... well I work in software and I just know it is easier to fix before than after :) --Andrewssi2 (talk) 10:39, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
Are there any changes beyond the drop down menu? (which I am heavily in favor of, btw). Hobbitschuster (talk) 10:56, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
From the project page, it seems that Wikidata integration is more flexible (you can specify which Wikidata item to bind to) and a wider range of sizes is supported (not quite sure how it works, but I'm happy to get higher resolution banners) Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:09, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
What about the categories created with the current template for tracking usage of custom and default banners? --Traveler100 (talk) 11:18, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

I get an image with low resolution and without any menus (Opera on Debian desktop). Does the functionality rely on specific settings (javascript etc.), perhaps on a site other than the visited one? --LPfi (talk) 14:34, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

When returning to the page the menus had appeared. Really slow? Still 320x46 image. --LPfi (talk) 14:37, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
Like User:Andrewssi2, when using the Safari browser the banner looks like something taken with a decade-old cell phone camera. The dropdown menu works fine. On Firefox the banner looks normal. ϒpsilon (talk) 17:58, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
Well spot LPfi, thanks! Reproduced and reported at Syced (talk) 07:28, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

A few points from my side:

  • The review before deployment will still take time, till when I'll keep resolving issues. With respect to workboard, I'm left with this major task on TOC. However, an important part is capturing issues that I might have missed, so feel free to add more of them if you find, the earlier, the better. I've already created a task here to explore the blurry banners issue raised above. I'll add more if needed.
  • Categories for banners is tracked here.
  • Banner without menus as stated above will be resolved by the above mentioned task(T103569).
  • On a final note, I'd like to bring your attention to the task T105033 which talks about banners on narrow mobile screens and explores some options. That task is just an initial discussion on the issue and currently not part of the plan. So views on that task will help improve and take forward the issue of small banners on screens as small as 320px width.

Thanks for the feedback!--Sumit.iitp (talk) 21:23, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

So is this command intended to be placed in the existing pagebanner template and then we build round it the category logic and additional icons? If so any issue with the name of this function being the same as the the template? Also documentation use two different spelling for banner. --Traveler100 (talk) 20:11, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing out the typo, it is now fixed! Syced (talk) 08:39, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
This looks good. Just a couple of comments from me:
  • The text in the drop down menus can be hard to see (it clashes a bit with the underlying text) -- maybe we should have less transparency in the menu bar once this is implemented (I'm not sure if it's still relying on the local CSS or if it's part of the banner extension)
  • I'm confused as to how it gets banners. Looking at how the extension is used on the demo page, it seems a user just provides the name of a Commons image; but the project page makes it sound like it's coming from a Wikidata property. Can the extension handle both? -Shaundd (talk) 13:49, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Hello! Regarding categories and clash with existing pagebanner:
Thank You!--Sumit.iitp (talk) 19:43, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Rare system of five stars discovered[edit]

Greetings, kind sirs. Astronomers have discovered a very rare system of five connected stars: a pair of closely linked stars - binaries - one of which has a lone companion. It is the first known system of its kind and our company intends to build a magnificent Five Star Hotel there. We are confident that your fine initiative of creating a Wikipedia-sized compendium of advertisements for individual hotels in random locations is a brilliant one and look forward to spamming adverts for Five Star Hotel to every destination in entire galaxies. Once you see our new hotel, you will understand. A mere 250 light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major, the luxurious Five Star Hotel is mere steps away from dining, shopping, museums, tacky souvenir stands and random chunks of stray asteroids, ideal for every class of business and pleasure voyager. You'll love our friendly staff and beautiful sunsets, with often no fewer than five Suns of different brightnesses lighting up the landscape. We also offer discounts to frequent fliers on Star Alliance, the world's largest global space shuttle alliance, Our fine collection of bizarre incidental fees has won industry awards for originality from major trade publications three years running, and Five Star Hotel intends to build on this fine legacy. A beacon of hospitality across the universe, Five Star Hotel is worth the 250 light-year detour for the scenery alone and we welcome the opportunity to speak very highly of ourselves here. User:FiveStarHotel 15:40, 8 July 2015 (UTC) —The preceding comment was added by K7L (talkcontribs)

The who with the what now? Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:53, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
K7L seems to be annoyed at the touts again. Powers (talk) 00:03, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I still don't see, what this is supposed to be good for here at the pub. Probably a joke, but I seem to not get it. Yeah, touts are annoying, but why all this effort to connect touting to the newest advancements of astronomy... Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:08, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, a joke. Someone finds five stars and immediately builds a hotel on them, as a play on rating systems and the over-used "five star hotel" boast. K7L (talk) 14:27, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Well it seems to conclusively prove that Germans have their sense of humor surgically removed in early youth ;-) Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:01, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Can we save this for the next April Fool's Day? It might be a lot of fun. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:43, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
I had fun reading it! It is an inside joke which will probably not be understood by non-editors and people who have not fought with spam, so the perfect place for this joke is a pub discussion :-) Syced (talk) 08:02, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
I thought there already was a joke article about some place like Sodom or something that was written in typical toutese... wasn't there? Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:28, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Wikivoyage:Joke_articles/Atlantis#Sleep ϒpsilon (talk) 12:58, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Plunging forward?[edit]

Bon is in Chad. Thats all i know. Should i plunge forward or wait for your help? --Gol929 (talk) 13:02, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Look at WP how many inhabitants the place has (and what other things there are, e.g. museums monuments or the like) and ask yourself whether it deserves an article. The mere existence of a place is not sufficient for it to get its own article here. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:04, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
See pcv for a history of this user's contributions, or for a description of the user they are impersonating. I have blocked this account for two weeks, just as past accounts have been blocked. Note that Wikipedia tends to apply indefinite blocks to this user when they are identified. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:43, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. And sorry for my "spamming" more than one user page, I at first did not recognize the pattern and thus should have alerted you Ryan... Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:28, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
It's always better to err on the side of caution to avoid misidentifying a vandal, particularly since the most difficult vandals are those whose edits are hard to distinguish from confused newbies. There is definitely no need to apologize for requesting assistance from others. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:33, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Okay. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:07, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

FCO: Tunisia[edit]

For reference: ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 14:07, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

I recently added some info about the risk of terrorism in Tunisia to Tunisia#Stay safe. Should we add a warning box? ϒpsilon (talk) 14:24, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
A warning box seems appropriate, yes. JuliasTravels (talk) 11:00, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Special home page for the offline app[edit]

The normal Wikivoyage home page is too crowded and fast-changing for our offline Android app, instead here is the home page I am about to embed in the Kiwix-based app. Feel free to improve that page, thanks! :-)

Travel vs travelling in travel topic titles[edit]

The title of Travelling with pets was recently changed to Travel with pets, as user Hobbitschuster feels it's a shorter and catchier title. I think most similar articles (Travelling with children, Travelling around the Schengen Area, Travelling during Ramadan etc.) use the full verb and it seems cleaner to name them consistently. If anyone has a preference for one or the other wording, please join the conversation at Talk:Travel with pets. JuliasTravels (talk) 18:19, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Segway tours[edit]

In recent times several touts have added their segway tour onto our city articles (the last one for Florence was just reverted by me). They are contrary to our WV:Tour policy, right? Should we update the wording to explicitly exclude segway tours? Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:56, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

The old "Activity listings" page (since consolidated into WV:Listings) used to include an image of Segway Tours as an example activity. I think things like Segway Tours, "haunted" tours, pub crawls, and related activities that pop up are a borderline case - I usually leave them unless the listing is particularly touty or there are a bunch, but the main "value add" of those sorts of activities is that you've got a guide instead of doing things on your own, thus running afoul of the "traveler could fulfill the substance of the tour independently" guidance, so if it's a listing in an article that already has tons of sights and activities (like Florence) then pruning the borderline listings seems fine. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:26, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
I think there should be some sort of enforceable policy. If there is a "use your own best judgement" policy, you and I and most of the regulars around here will probably be fine with it, but a tout whose listing got reverted will probably become angrier than (s)he would have been anyway... Especially if a segway tour is listed in one city and reverted in another. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:29, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
The value-add for Segway tours is the Segway training and usage. In my experience, the sightseeing portion is secondary. =) Powers (talk) 01:29, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
So it appears that we do not in fact have consensus as to whether segway tours are to be reverted on sight or not. Am I getting this right? Imho especially policies that call (implicitly) for immediate reversion (e.g. don't tout and WV:tour) have to be as clear as is humanly possible. There should only be the smallest of grey areas. As almost all major towns have some sort of segway tour (I see them almost weekly in Dresden and I am not even looking for them) this is a potentially huge gray area... Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:26, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Banners extension: all reported bugs have been fixed. Asking again for consensus[edit]

Thank you for all the feedback about the new banners extension! Sumit worked hard for 10 days, and now all bugs you have reported have been fixed! You can try it here:

This extension is essential to having Wikivoyage display correctly on mobile. It is important that we deploy it well before Sumit's GSoC is over, so that it can be tested in real situation and fine-tuned correctly. For this, we need everyone's consensus below. Deployment will start with a few test pages. Due to paperwork it takes time before consensus and actual deployment, so we would greatly appreciate your cooperation to move forward. Thanks! :-) Syced (talk) 04:09, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Support Syced (talk) 04:09, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. --Alexander (talk) 13:11, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Pashley (talk) 13:18, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Ibaman (talk) 13:41, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Gizza (t)(c) 02:12, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment - I opened in an iPhone 6 emulator and the banner image is still the 2100px image. Is that expected? I thought part of the functionality was to have smaller banners downloaded on smaller screens? For reference the banner image source that I saw was the following:
<img src="" srcset=" 320w, 640w, 1280w, 2560w" class="wpb-banner-image">.
Otherwise what I saw in my limited testing looks good. -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:38, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for reporting this! What browser version do you use? In particular, we will have to check whether it supports srcset. For browsers without srcset we just send the default (big) image, a choice which is actually up for discussion. Syced (talk) 10:22, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
I saw the issue using the most current version of Chrome after using the developer tools to change my user agent to iPhone 6. I use this method for testing different mobile browsers frequently at work. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:27, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Well spot! I see that Sumit fixed that bug this morning, thanks for reporting! :-) Syced (talk) 10:24, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Andrewssi2 - The main thing is that the new template is not worse than the existing one. I would say start the paperwork, but WOSlinker 's bug should be addressed first. Fixing Ryan 's bug will give this a massive benefit over the existing template. Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:42, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, if the mentioned bugs can be fixed. Thanks for the hard work, Syced and others! JuliasTravels (talk) 09:13, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, thank you for the effort! Danapit (talk) 17:36, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the huge support! WOSlinker's issue has been addressed at and will soon be updated. The issue of a large banner raised by Ryan is a well identified one on browser versions which have poor support for srcset. If "srcset" is supported it loads a responsive image, otherwise goes for the largest banner image as a fallback. Ryan, can you comment, if possible on with steps to reproduce the issue or something like a screenshot?--Sumit.iitp (talk) 10:18, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Is "srcset" supported on mobile devices? A low resolution banner on good desktop screens will make a bad impression, but a large banner on mobile devices will be a huge usability issue when bandwidth is low or costly. --LPfi (talk) 11:21, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

Thank you everyone! The "paperwork" has now started, with the Mediawiki Admin team performing a security review which will probably take around two weeks. That will leave us around a week before Sumit's GSoC ends, which is quite short, so everyone is still encouraged to play with and report any bug. Cheers! Syced (talk) 05:28, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Dynamic maps[edit]

Hey All. We appear to have an issue with the dynamic maps. They call tile from mapquest which means that the user's IP is exposed to a third party which is not allowed per our privacy policy. Thus I have been informed that some layers of the dynamic maps need to be turned off.

Now the good news. WMF is putting together its own tiles which should be available soon. If you are interested in helping they are looking for front end java script developers. [6] Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:44, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

This is extremely annoying. At the moment, we do not include any tiles from mapquest automatically. We only call them if the user decides to do so by switching the tiles manually, which is perfectly in line with the privacy policy because the tiles section contains clear information on which tiles are from the WMF-controlled servers, and which are not.
However, the tile server on is extremely unreliable, and most problems with the dynamic maps are caused by overloads and down-times of this server that is, unfortunately, beyond our control. WMF should establish a reliable and complete tile server before making any complaints or forcing us to switch off certain tiles that we do need for making our travel guides useful. --Alexander (talk) 13:46, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Previously (ie yesterday) when I went to Cranbrook it automatically pulled tiles from mapquest without me selecting it. Now I need to select mapquest before it will load from their. That seems a reasonable compromise to me User:Atsirlin and hopefully enough for those involved with maintaining privacy. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:48, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Hi Alexander, could you show me the usual process for enabling tiles from mapquest? Is this an option in {{Mapframe}}? Thanks! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 16:56, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Go to a page with a map, for instance Amsterdam/Binnenstad#Get in. At the upper-right corner of the map, there's an icon with a stack of layers, which brings up a menu. From that menu, various tiles can be manually chosen by the user. K7L (talk) 17:05, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 17:53, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
@Atsirlin:, I agree 100% - this is very annoying indeed, and I hope the new OSM-based tile server, hosted in WMF production cluster, will be available within a few weeks - Max and I are working on it every day. --Yurik (talk) 23:17, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
On a side note, apparently this issue has been discussed on meta before. --Yurik (talk) 23:17, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, we have discussed it, and I thought that our current solution (tiles from external server not loading automatically) is fine with everyone. Nice to know that someone is working on the new tile server. Thanks for the effort that you put into it, and I look forward to seeing it operational! --Alexander (talk) 11:24, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Request for feedback & testing: listing editor v2[edit]

How to enable the new listing editor
Listing editor in two-column mode
Listing editor in single-column mode

I've been spending some time in recent weeks on a rewrite of the listing editor, and it's now at the point where wider feedback and testing would be very helpful. Any logged-in user who is interested can test out the new listing editor by doing the following:

  1. Click on the "Preferences" link at the top right of any page.
  2. Click on the "Gadgets" tab on the preferences page.
  3. Uncheck the "ListingEditor" box under the "General" heading (do not skip this step - the old & new listing editor cannot be run at the same time).
  4. Check the "ListingEditor2 (beta)" box under the "Experimental" heading.
  5. Click the "Save" button at the bottom of the page to save your gadget settings.
  6. Go to any article and add or edit a listing using the new listing editor.

Changes in the new version:

UI Changes:

  • The listing editor dialog box and its fields will now expand to fill up more of the available screen space, allowing listing fields to be edited without the need for scrolling.
  • The listing editor dialog box will now more cleanly collapse from two columns to a single column on very narrow screens.
  • Standard fields that have pre-existing values will now always be displayed. As an example, when editing a "sleep" listing that has existing "hours" data, "hours" will appear as an editable field in addition to the standard "checkin" and "checkout" fields.
  • The current listing editor suppresses the "fax" field in the listing editor dialog since it is seldom used; the new version additionally suppresses "alt" in order to make better use of screen space. Note that if either field has a pre-existing value then it will not be suppressed.

Functional Changes

  • When editing a listing, users can now enter an edit summary and mark an edit as minor.
  • The listing editor will no longer automatically delete unrecognized attributes like "phoneextra" or "wikipedia". See MediaWiki talk:Gadget-ListingEditor.js#Extra fields.


  • Multi-paragraph listings are now editable, and newlines will be automatically converted to <p> tags so that the listing displays properly per mw:Help:Lists#Paragraphs in lists.
  • If there is a failure that prevents saving the listing, the listing editor dialog will re-display with all of the user's changes intact so that no work is lost. Additionally, submissions should no longer fail if the user's session expires (due to the use of mw.Api#postWithToken). See Wikivoyage talk:Listing editor#Error adding listing.
  • Other minor fixes.

Feedback and bug reports would be much appreciated - if you don't like something, want to see additional changes, etc please comment. If you are reporting a bug, please be sure to state what browser and OS you're using and how to reproduce the problem (article & listing you tried to edit, what action you took, etc) since if I can't reproduce the issue it will be much harder to fix. There is some work remaining to make the code easier to customize for other language versions, and a few bugs that exist with the current listing editor still exist with the new listing editor (example: User:Wrh2/Sandbox#Content field & equal sign), but I think that this version is close to being ready for widespread use. Thanks in advance to anyone willing to provide feedback. -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:09, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Just wondering if price could also have the $ symbol listed as well? I know that it's easy to find on a keyboard but just thinking it would be nice to have it included along with the others. -- WOSlinker (talk) 10:31, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Is it technologically possible to have some things that are the same for huge geographical areas or just one city automatically appear in a listing? E.g. the national currency (e.g. any listing whose breadcrumbs is within the US automatically gives USD for the price) the local area code (I have to only enter the local number without the local area code) or the country code (e.g. all listings in Nicaragua automatically give +505 at the beginning of their phone number whereas all those in Germany automatically give +49). Furthermore something that may (or may not) be an issue is that in Germany for example some cities have more than one ZIP code. The ZIP code is needed as part of the address, but currently addresses only include street name and number. Wouldn't it be a good idea to have a field to enter (non default) ZIP-codes? After all, some GPS devices work better with them and the postal service requires them. Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:33, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
There is no such thing as a "German ZIP code", short of resuming a US military occupation there. Zone Improvement Program™, ZIP™ and ZIP+4™ are (or were) trademarks of the US Postal Service.™ K7L (talk) 13:21, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
I know, but most non-Germans don't know what the hell a "Postleitzahl" is. And it is functionally the same thing as a ZIP-code. I was (trying to) use it as a generic term, just like not everybody requesting a "Kleenex" will be outraged when getting the generic knock-off... Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:31, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
"Post(al) code" will be an uncontroversial generic term, I think. :-) Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:08, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
I shall keep that in mind for future reference... Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:55, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Wondering if it would be useful to also store this type of data on Wikidata? Or store it entirely their and then all languages of Wikivoyage could pull from a single source? We could have a bot initially move it over. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:52, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
That might run into compatibility issues. While de-WV is currently wondering about a similar issues, over there they don't use listings but rather "vcards" which work differently (and confuse my humble self to no end). While I do think that having listings (or most of the information contained in them) stored in Wikidata is a good idea and should be the end goal, some cross-language compatibility seem to be more pressing. But as I am not a technical expert of any kind, I may well be much mistaken... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:00, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
I would imagine that each place would be stored as an item. These items would then have multiple properties. These properties would than be individually pulled from Wikidata and presented by each language how they wish. Thus if en likes a certain 8 properties in a certain format and de likes 10 properties in a certain format both languages could get what they wish while still using wikidata. At least that is my understanding. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:13, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
@Jmh649: Regarding wikidata, see meta:Wikivoyage/Lounge#Wikidata for listings! for current status on efforts to move listing information to wikidata. There are a lot of issues to resolve, both from a technical and a process standpoint, so sharing listing information remains something that is unlikely to happen in the near future.
@WOSlinker: Regarding adding the "$" symbol, that should be easy enough if it is something people would like to see. Ideally we should have more currency symbols available, but there is limited space in the dialog UI, so suggestions/mockups for implementing a drop-down or similar UI element might be useful.
@Hobbitschuster: Regarding automatically loading country-specific data like country codes, that would be a great feature but isn't straightforward to implement - determining the country requires traversing the category hierarchy, which would make the listing editor much slower, and would also require a lot of additional logic. It's an excellent idea, but in the interest of getting the current updates live without having to do significantly more development work it is probably something that is better handled as a future feature request instead of in the current update.
Regarding adding zip code as a listing editor field, that would require a consensus to add that field to the listing template - if the template is changed then it would be easy to add support in the listing editor, but if it's OK I would ask that changes to the template be moved to a separate discussion so that this discussion can stay focused on the current updates to the listing editor. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:20, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Sure. I wanted to just raise those points as "nice to have" for the next upgrade/update... And as I sadi, my technical understanding of these matters is limited at best. If any of them can be done without too much work or wasting resources, I am all for them. Otherwise, there are bigger marine vertebrates that harken the pan ;-) Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:43, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Always bigger fish to fry! ;) - Matroc (talk) 03:46, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Just wondering if the country could be determined with code as below (with some added error checking and a little more code to work when on the actual country page as the code below only works on subpages of the country)? Anyway, it would be better as a feature for v3 rather than delaying v2.-- WOSlinker (talk) 22:07, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
var level1 = $("#contentSub a:nth-child(1)").html();
var level2 = $("#contentSub a:nth-child(2)").html();
var level3 = $("#contentSub a:nth-child(3)").html();
var country;
if (level1 == 'Asia') country=level3;
if (level1 == 'Africa') country=level3;
if (level1 == 'Europe') country=level3;
if (level1 == 'Oceania') country=level2;
if (level1 == 'North America') country=level2;
if (level1 == 'North America' && level2 == 'Central America') country=level3;
if (level1 == 'South America') country=level2;
Possible future reference if data is in Wikidata then one should be able to retrieve Calling Code from there or go to actual Wikidata country record and retrieve it as well (may be a long way off yet) - as usual there may be an issue with timing/parsing that might present a problem - Matroc (talk) 03:46, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
I use the 'alt' field very frequently; is there any way we can retain it? Powers (talk) 00:07, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
This edit restores the alt tag - the only downsides are that the listing editor will take up slightly more vertical space, and it may be more daunting for new users who see more fields to fill out. I don't feel strongly either way as there are good arguments both for displaying or suppressing the lesser-used fields. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:00, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
I, too, am strongly in favor of retaining "alt". -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:13, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
The "alt" field is probably more often misused to repeat the name of a hotel or insert some promotional text about it than it is used correctly, such as by giving the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, or Arabic name (for example) for a hotel or restaurant or its former name, but it is a useful field sometimes and is probably better to retain. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:53, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Keep the alt field - Matroc (talk) 03:46, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Since there is a lot of work and discussion about Wikidata - For future version? - I believe that a Wikidata ID field could be added - Matroc (talk) 03:46, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
I think alt is useful for displaying the names of POIs in both English and the local language; the first so the reader understands what it is, and the second for sign and conversation reference. James Atalk 13:11, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Some extra requests:

  1. Can we make Name a mandatory field?
  2. Can we apply a Regular Expression checker on the Email field?
  3. Can we reduce the width of the Latitude and Longitude fields?
  4. Can we have a regular expression to recommend keeping the length of the values of Latitude and Longitude fields to 4 decimals?
  5. Can Type be the first field on the form?

Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:57, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback. Name isn't actually a required field in all cases (see Template talk:Listing#Name is mandatory or not?), but the current listing editor does require that at least one of name, alt or address be non-null. Similarly, for very small places lat/long coordinates of up to 6-7 significant digits (within a foot) might be appropriate, and many GPS databases and mapping services (including return data at higher precisions, so I think we should be cautious about being too prescriptive (see also w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Geographical coordinates#Precision guidelines). A checker on email makes sense and I'll add that to the TODO list. As to moving the "type" field, if others want to see it moved it's an easy change, although personally I would think we might want to de-emphasize it since it is something that is set automatically based on section type and unlikely to change. -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:40, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Simple email address validation has now been added - invalid emails can still get through, but it will catch common errors, which I think is better than trying to get too fancy and accidentally blocking a valid email. The current validator just looks for "something@something.something", with the only stipulation being that "something" must not be an "@" or whitespace - this means that an email address like ".@..." would get through, but again, I think letting a bad email through is preferable to accidentally blocking good emails. Feedback and testing appreciated as always. -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:09, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
I tried the new editor yesterday and today, it is Wonderful! Especially great to see that it fixes the session issue, no more losing carefully written text in an old browser tab :-) What else to ask... link to Wikidata item and pre-filling of lat/long/name/alt/website/image from this Wikidata item? :-) (National Art Center sample) Syced (talk) 02:44, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Feedback Round 2[edit]

First, thanks to everyone who took time to provide testing & feedback. I think most of the above comments have been addressed, with a few items moved to WV:Listing editor#Feature requests to be considered in the future, but there are (I think) two remaining suggestions from the thread above that would benefit from additional comment:

  1. Should the list of currency symbols also include "$"?
  2. Should the "type" drop-down be the first field on the form?

Regarding #1, there is limited space for currency symbols, so while adding just one more is probably fine, it would be good to get an idea of whether people want to use the limited space for the "$" symbol or if we should just leave things as they are. If anyone has an idea for a UI that would allow more symbols to be included as options, via a drop-down or other UI, and is willing to create a mock-up then I can look into making a bigger change. Longer term, Hobbitschuster's suggestion about figuring out how to display the currency symbol appropriate for the country being edited is a good one.

Regarding #2, making the listing "type" field the first item in the editor is an easy change to make, but since listing tag type should almost always match the section type it seems like an equally valid argument could be made for leaving the listing type drop-down where it is, or even suppressing it altogether. Comments would be appreciated.

If I've missed something, or there are additional bug fixes or changes to make, please add them below. Thanks in advance! -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:45, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

I have to add, that in some countries there is a "parallel currency" (usually the dollar, but in some cases the Euro) that is used for the price of many high value goods, such as hotels geared towards international visitors, whereas other things (say food) are (at least officially) priced in the national currency. As those countries tend to have high inflation and prices in the parallel currency are more stable, it might make sense to treat them as if their inofficial currency was in fact the official one. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:54, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
It does make sense, and we do :-) See Wikivoyage:Currency for the relevant policy. JuliasTravels (talk) 09:53, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
@Ryan; thanks for all this work, it works perfectly well for me. As for your questions: 1) I don't mind the "$" sign to be included. The real issue remains of course that our selection of currencies there is almost random, and the listing editor has no link to all the other symbols one would need. Not that I know how to improve that :-) Hobbitschusters long term idea to display per destination is a good one indeed. 2) I would leave the type-dropdown exactly where it is. It's handy to have to fix wrong listings, but it's not something you want people to directly mess with if they open a listing in the right section. I imagine that >95% of the time, it should not be used. JuliasTravels (talk) 10:03, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. Given that there is at least lukewarm support and no objection I've added the dollar sign to the list of currency symbols. I've got a bit more work to do to support some features used in other language versions, after which the new listing editor should hopefully be ready to go live. Further feedback and bug reports are of course still much appreciated. -- Ryan • (talk) • 03:28, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with the addition of the dollar sign, simply because not everyone uses an American-style keyboard that has the dollar symbol at easy access. While I'm happy to leave it at that, you could say we're missing a few other important ones, such as the Indian rupee (₹), but let's await another solution first. Furthermore, I think the type field sits nice where it currently is, for the reasons mentioned above. James Atalk 11:00, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Discussion that may be of interest[edit]

On Jimbo's talk page Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:33, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to create PNG thumbnails of static GIF images[edit]

The thumbnail of this gif is of really bad quality.
How a PNG thumb of this GIF would look like

There is a proposal at the Commons Village Pump requesting feedback about the thumbnails of static GIF images: It states that static GIF files should have their thumbnails created in PNG. The advantages of PNG over GIF would be visible especially with GIF images using an alpha channel. (compare the thumbnails on the side)

This change would affect all wikis, so if you support/oppose or want to give general feedback/concerns, please post them to the proposal page. Thank you. --McZusatz (talk) & MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 05:07, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Suggestions for banners on small screens[edit]

I'm putting forth a list of suggestions given at T105033 to solicit views on the experience of banners on very narrow mobile screens (typically 320px wide). Since banners are optimised for desktop screens, it might be good to look at these alternate solutions which could be incorporated in the developing extension and act as an improvement feature(Note that this is a parallel discussion which would not stall the ongoing work on the extension): The few options available for banners on very small screens are:

  • do nothing
  • a mobile specific parameter that loads a different file on a mobile screen (and an associated Wikidata property)
  • not loading banners at all (this will require care to ensure the img is not unnecessarily downloaded) in portrait mode (but show them in landscape)
  • adjusting the styling in some way. e.g. banners only
  • splash screen upon entering.
  • a coordinate parameter which specifies a focus area allowing you to clip a larger area and limit

Let me know if a new enhacement is worth introducing to improve the experience of banners on screen dimensions mentioned above.Thank You!--Sumit.iitp (talk) 10:13, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

I am not sure that one needs banners on such small screens. In my opinion, the old mobile view (each section collapsed in the mobile view and expanded by clicking on it) was close to ideal. Then banners are simply not needed. --Alexander (talk) 10:55, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm completely for banners on the mobile view. Mobile usage will exceed desktop usage in the future (It probably already has) and we need to move with the times.
I'd also say that mobile screens are not typically 320 pixels wide. My iPhone 6 is far beyond that with its retina screen. Ideally a scaling solution should be employed. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 12:38, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
My suggestion would be not to disable banners based on whether a user agent is a mobile device or not, but to consider disabling based on screen size. If someone is connecting from a 320px screen then a banner is probably a waste of space and bandwidth, but as Andrewssi2 notes, someone connecting from a mobile device like an iPhone 6 has a screen resolution higher than some desktops. Insofar as the new banner extension can send different images based on screen resolution, if possible I'd suggest sending no image at all for resolutions below a certain minimum. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:40, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
If you speak German; a similar discussion is currently taking place on German WV (which currently has no banners whatsoever) and the current consensus seems to be "no banners for mobile". There also seems to be a consensus against default banners over at de-WV.Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:09, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Ryan; simply saying "no banners on mobile" is ridiculous, but saying "no banners if the window resolution is less than X pixels" is perfectly appropriate. On a 320-pixel-wide display, a 7:1 banner image would be about 40 pixels high. Too small to make out anything useful in most cases. Better not to waste that valuable screen real-estate. Powers (talk) 21:27, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
No banner below a certain minimum resolution seems the best solution indeed. While there's always an image and thus some information, banners mostly serve an aesthetic purpose. If you can't do it right, it has the opposite effect anyway, plus the waste of space. JuliasTravels (talk) 09:29, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Large banners with images are essential to travelers learning more about their destinations. Many travelers won't carry big laptops with them, and will want to learn more about destinations on their phone. Also agree that mobile usage will exceed desktop, and in many countries it already has. I think "a coordinate parameter which specifies a focus area allowing you to clip a larger area and limit" is the most scalable solution. KHammerstein (WMF) (talk) 20:13, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
How exactly is the banner "essential" to learning about a destination? Powers (talk) 23:33, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Maybe not the definition of 'essential', but banners have equal value with the other images for presenting an article. Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:38, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
No-one is disputing the added value of a good banner, and everyone agrees that when screen quality allows, it's great to have them on mobile too. When having to scale it down to a tiny one like on a 320 px screen, however, that value is pretty much gone and the image will become something undistinguishable. That's at least the concern people here have. You seem to feel that's not an issue, KHammerstein (WMF). Perhaps you can create an example to show how a coordinate parameter with a specified focus area would still have good value for the reader. Realistically, this focus area would have to be random. Setting the best focus area for all banners by hand, only for those tiny screens, which will become ever less relevant, seems like a bad way to spend our man power. Do we have any statistics about how many users visit the site on small screens? JuliasTravels (talk) 09:10, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Wikimedia has some overall stats (I used June 2015), and if we assume that Wikivoyage has a similar traffic profile to the other Wikimedia sites (and that assumption can be challenged, although I can't think of a reason why they would be different) then we can see that 30% of visits were on an iPhone/iPad and another 15% were from Android devices. 47% of visits were from Windows and Mac machines, therefore mobile is in fact very close to overtaking desktop.
I can't see stats on the version of the device being used (i.e. iPhone 3G v iPhone 5) but these stats show the Android versions being used, and it seems almost nobody browses Wikimedia with a version older than 'Ice Cream Sandwich' (Version 4) that was first used in devices from 2012. Based on that I would say extremely few devices are used that have 320px or 480px width screens.
However to be balanced, we are excluding potential 'feature phones' that are popular in China, India and elsewhere. For example the Nokia Asha feature phone only has 240 pixels width. Andrewssi2 (talk) 12:34, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Wikivoyage talk:Listings thread[edit]

Please give your opinion at Wikivoyage talk:Listings#Listings without addresses, concerning whether it's OK for people to post listings of language teachers or instruction without any location beyond one or two names of towns in the listing, or whether such listings should be deleted as touting. I feel that it's important to resolve this question, on which our policies seem ambiguous at best. Thanks a lot, everyone. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:31, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

poimap2.php is 404?[edit]

Go to any random page, click the map icon at the upper-right corner and get sent to somewhere like ... which gives a fat HTTP 404 error. I'm seeing this on every page. K7L (talk) 23:03, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Might have something to do with a new tile server in process? server address is different (not = Matroc (talk) 04:00, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Looks like it is being corrected as my markers are now working correctly. - Matroc (talk) 04:10, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
The server address '' has failed due to problems in the files system. I have changed the address back to '//'. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 04:11, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

What does a Healthy Community look like to you?[edit]

Community Health Cover art News portal.png

The Community Engagement department at the Wikimedia Foundation has launched a new learning campaign. The WMF wants to record community impressions about what makes a healthy online community. Share your views and/or create a drawing and take a chance to win a Wikimania 2016 scholarship! Join the WMF as we begin a conversation about Community Health. Contribute a drawing or answer the questions on the campaign's page.

Why get involved?[edit]

The world is changing. The way we relate to knowledge is transforming. As the next billion people come online, the Wikimedia movement is working to bring more users on the wiki projects. The way we interact and collaborate online are key to building sustainable projects. How accessible are Wikimedia projects to newcomers today? Are we helping each other learn?
Share your views on this matter that affects us all!
We invite everyone to take part in this learning campaign. Wikimedia Foundation will distribute one Wikimania Scholarship 2016 among those participants who are eligible.

More information[edit]

Happy editing!

MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 23:42, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Creating an inter-language link seems not to work properly[edit]

Hi there, while preparing an article on the greek Mount Olympus in the german language WV, I wanted to check, whether the English branch has more information then me - it only had a stub article. So I thought it might be helpful to link to the german language article manually, as the mountain is simply called "Olymp", and an english speaking person might not know about this. So I tried to link from "Languages", everything looked fine until there was an automatic check for other languages (Wikidata repository) which I should conform, then I encountered an error message ("Error: $1. Details Attempted modification of the item failed", maybe you check this - so I cannot be helpful, kind regards from Switzerland Martin - Mboesch (talk) 20:12, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

@Mboesch: It looks like you want to link voy:Olympos_National_Park with voy:de:Olymp_(Nordflanke) by making the interwiki link at d:Q12876760, which I just did. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:33, 1 August 2015 (UTC)