Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub

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Experienced users: Please sweep the pub

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.
  • A question regarding a destination article should be swept to the article discussion page.
  • A discussion regarding a policy or the subject of an expedition can be swept to the policy or expedition discussion page.
  • A simple question asked by a user can be swept to that user's talk page, but consider if the documentation needs a quick update to make it clearer for the next user with the same question.
  • A pointer to a discussion going on elsewhere, such as a notice of a star nomination or a request to comment on another talk page, can be removed when it is old. Any discussion that occurred in the pub can be swept to where the main discussion took place.
Any discussions that do not fall into any of these categories, and are not of any special importance for posterity, should be archived to Project:Travellers' pub/Archives and removed from here. If you are not sure where to put a discussion, let it be—better to spend your efforts on those that you do know where to place.
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Hohenems[edit]

Just last week, I was in Hohenems, Voralberg, Austria, for the 2019 World Gymnaestrada in Dornbirn. I had tried to book a hotel in Dorbirn but the whole city was fully booked. So I booked a hotel in nearby Hohenems instead and travelled by train to Dornbirn.

I just noted that there isn't an article about Hohenems on WikiVoyage. Should I start one? And if so, how do I go about it? JIP (talk) 00:14, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

Feel free to start one. See Wikivoyage:Plunge forward. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 00:46, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
I created Hohenems for you. For future reference, just click on the redlink, then above the editing window you can click on the type of article (city in this case) to add the necessary headings in one click. Ypsilon (talk) 16:15, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
I have also added a pagebanner. Let me know if the image in the banner does not represent Hohenems. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:20, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
Great achievements there, guys - but will someone add actual content, or should this go directly to VfD? :) -- andree.sk(talk) 08:46, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
I looked through Wikimedia Commons and added what look like prominent attractions. The Jewish Museum there looks interesting. I've never been to Hohenems though, so a confirmation of what I added would be nice. The article still needs a lot of fleshing out though. --Mbrickn (talk) 18:23, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

Flags and coat of arms[edit]

Is it okay if we can add flags and coat of arms to articles? SpinnerLaserz (talk) 20:36, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

I'd say 'no'. This isn't Wikipedia. Flags and coats of arms may be interesting, but are not important to travellers. In most countries, the observant traveller will figure out what the flag is pretty quickly. The coat of arms is just trivia. Ground Zero (talk) 21:18, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Depending on the individual situation, it could be a matter for 'Respect'. We all know examples, and don't need to go there now, but there are certainly some cases when a traveller knowing the meaning and use of a particular flag can help grease the wheels in certain places.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:31, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
By the way, French Wikivoyage has the practice of using flags/COAs alongside the article's name, as part of the pagebanner. I quite like the look, though wouldn't advocate us copying.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:35, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Could this be a travel topic? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:49, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
"There are also some cases when a traveller knowing the meaning and use of a particular flag can help grease the wheels in certain places" -- I don't know know what those cases would be. There would also be cases where knowing a country's national anthem/flower/sport/head of state would be useful, but if we include everything that may be possibly of use or interest, we end up with too much information, and not enough focus on travel information. We don't even include the national language(s) in the infobox, which is far, far, far more useful information than the flag. Why are we talking about adding flags before talking about adding languages? Because a small group of people love flags, that's why. I'm one of them, but I don't want to inflict my geeky hobby on Wikivoyage. Let's focus on what travellers need instead of adding cruft to our country-level articles which are often long and unwieldy. Ground Zero (talk) 22:01, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Well, I didn't want to get into examples, but since you've asked (well not really, but...): when and where is the Confederate flag "appropriate"? How may a traveller behave around people waving the neutral Catalan flag or the pro-independence one? What do the uses of the Union Flag, the Tricolour, or the Red Hand mean in Ulster? (I do not want answers to these questions or a discussion of the issues raised here - they are just examples). As I wrote, they could be a matter for 'Respect' in certain cases, i.e. where a traveller could put their foot in it by being ignorant. In those few cases, it would be useful to have an image or description of the flag in question.
Please re-read the thread. Nobody has proposed adding flags to every country article's infobox at the expense of flowers or languages, nobody has even specifically asked to focus on country articles over region / city pages.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:19, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough. I read that into the discussion because the original question provided no specifics. I can see there being a reason to include a flag where it is an issue of staying safe,, such as your examples, but not as a general practice for countries, regions, cities. The matter should be handled on a case-by-case basis, not as a general discussion. Ground Zero (talk) 22:45, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
I can agree with that.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:48, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
When you arrive in a country you may start to see the flag on signs, sometimes starting with the signs directing people to different immigration queues. Technically it is only the traveller's own home country flag that he needs to recognise, but I see no harm in introducing the flag in country articles. However as flags are used for political purposes, we should only do this on country articles, and only where the official recognition of the flag is clear. Flags for cities and other regions have more chance of being controversial, and so I don't think we should show these. AlasdairW (talk) 23:03, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Flags that are culturally significant should be mentioned. A US history article should explain the Flag; otherwise, waste of time, unless it is a respect issue. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 00:47, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I agree with Ground Zero. In the vast majority of cases a traveler doesn't need to recognize flags (except one's home country flag or maybe the flag of a protecting power), and I foresee this starting unnecessary debates about countries with limited recognition and subnational regions that we treat as countries. When there is a specific issue that travelers should be aware of, it can be discussed on a case-by-case basis, as is already done at United States of America#Respect. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:54, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
I also agree with Ground Zero. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:24, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
We actually used to have flags and coats of arms in the pagebanners, just like French Wikivoyage still does. I don't remember where the discussion was to remove them but I'd would rather have kept them and would certainly not object to reinstating coats of arms or at least flags for countries. The flag is the first thing you see when arriving into a foreign country (or for an island or entity with a strong local identity, the local flag), so I can't understand why they need to be censored from our articles. Ypsilon (talk) 04:47, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Should we have debates about which flag to use for Kashmir? Do we use the flag for Transnistria? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:10, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
We don't need to have a flag for all articles, though, for example there is no flag that could represent Central Europe. So if there is a flag that could represent the whole Kashmir region (flown both in India and Pakistan as of the present day), it could be used in the Kashmir article, otherwise not. Our articles for the Indian and Pakistani parts of Kashmir would of course have their own flags if such flags exist (e.g. this one for Azad Kashmir, just as in its Wikipedia article).
The Transnistrian government has defacto control of the area called Transnistria, regardless that no UN member has recognized it as a country. We correctly state that in the article, which is breadcrumbed directly under the Balkans instead Moldova. So I find it logical to use their flag in the Transnistria article. Ypsilon (talk) 08:04, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree that we should go on a case-by-case basis if we want to add flags. Not every article has to have all the same features. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:21, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If you ask me, I don't mind having flags in the country articles, but it should not be in the sub-national articles, with a few exceptions such as Hong Kong and Puerto Rico. However, the question this raises is what do we do with disputed areas? That is a hole we probably do not want to go down into since it will probably result in heated and travel-irrelevant political debates. The dog2 (talk) 02:22, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

Agreed. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:14, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
I oppose including flags in any article, for this reason. It's enough to have a global policy of recognizing all reasonably stable de facto independent countries as simply countries. Including their flags provides another level of recognition totally unnecessary in a travel guide. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:54, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree to have flags but only in the infobox on the country level. OhanaUnitedTalk page 19:45, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I think it is a bad idea. While country only sounds ok, the definition of country itself is unclear. Kosovo? Somaliland? Far better to leave those arguments on wikipedia where the belong. --RegentsPark (talk) 20:22, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Update on the consultation about office actions[edit]

Hello all,

Last month, the Wikimedia Foundation's Trust & Safety team announced a future consultation about partial and/or temporary office actions. We want to let you know that the draft version of this consultation has now been posted on Meta.

This is a draft. It is not intended to be the consultation itself, which will be posted on Meta likely in early September. Please do not treat this draft as a consultation. Instead, we ask your assistance in forming the final language for the consultation.

For that end, we would like your input over the next couple of weeks about what questions the consultation should ask about partial and temporary Foundation office action bans and how it should be formatted. Please post it on the draft talk page. Our goal is to provide space for the community to discuss all the aspects of these office actions that need to be discussed, and we want to ensure with your feedback that the consultation is presented in the best way to encourage frank and constructive conversation.

Please visit the consultation draft on Meta-wiki and leave your comments on the draft’s talk page about what the consultation should look like and what questions it should ask.

Thank you for your input! -- The Trust & Safety team 08:03, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

Listing editor showing currencies instead of content[edit]

  1. Go to Wakayama#By_bus
  2. Click "edit" on the Willer Express listing
  3. Observe that the content is "USD EUR GBP AUD CAD CHF KRW", instead of the content you would see by editing the source.

Reproduced everytime on Firefox 68.0.1 Ubuntu. Thanks! Syced (talk) 11:09, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

Wikivoyage API?[edit]

Does the Wikivoyage have an API for everyone to use?--✈ IGOR ✉ TALK?! .WIKIVOYAGER ! 13:23, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

The generic wikimedia API... -- andree.sk(talk) 19:10, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

Fog...[edit]

Currently a stub in Severe Weather... Is a wider article giving explanations and possible regions where it occurs viable? If not I won't start one.ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 18:17, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

I don't think it could really support its own article. It's a hazard, albeit a relatively minor one with the application of common sense, and it's certainly not a tourist attraction! By all means expand the fog section of the Severe Weather article, if there's anything else to say.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 19:16, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
Severe weather is a lowercase on the second word, if you need to link to it in future. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:33, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
I believe we also have Air pollution, which is a relevant topic. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:52, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Spam blacklist[edit]

Could somebody please tell me how to find our blacklist for touts and spammers? I have triggered the filter several times tonight trying to add the website of a taxi firm to Farnborough. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:24, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

It's funny — I've been doing some wikidetective work lately and your edit summary actually made me suspicious. Then I realized! Maybe I need to stop over-thinking Wikivoyage problem editors?? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:32, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist --Traveler100 (talk) 06:06, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

New tools and IP masking[edit]

14:19, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

Medical Museums and collections?[edit]

I note that we don't yet have an article on Medical collections and related musuems that are open to the public.

A quick web search found a few UK based ones, but I was sure there were some anatomical collections in Europe as well.

Would Medical Museums and collections be a viable topic? Assuming someone was able to write an appropriate introduction. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 07:30, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

Probably. You could include anatomy collections, such as the preserved (skinless) bodies at https://bodyworlds.com/exhibitions/#permanent WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:06, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't know if this is relevant, but there are several landmarks related to John Snow in London. For those of you who don't know who he is, he is often considered to be the father of modern epidemiology, as marked out the home addresses of cholera patients on a map and was able to trace the source of the epidemic using that data. The dog2 (talk) 03:26, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
Shameless plug for the UB Museum of Neuroanatomy in North Buffalo. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:38, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
I'd probably just call it Medical Museums and explain in the article that it includes anyplace with significant collections. The "and Collections" makes the title unnecessarily long. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:05, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
Alternatively, since we already have a Museums article, I could suggest creating a new section in that article that can be branched off into a separate article once it gets too long. The dog2 (talk) 15:03, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
Not sure it'd be a good idea to start listing individual museums in that article. Powers (talk) 02:31, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
That's what I was thinking... Does anyone want to start writing a lede for an article, to scope it? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 17:46, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

Replacing the climate graph with Template:Climate data[edit]

As everybody knows, a year ago the climate table was replaced with what most people here thought was the best thing since sliced bread: the current climate graph.

Myself I prefer to read the information from a table rather than the current graph setup. Not to mention that it often creates additional whitespace in the articles (or pushes down things like photos and dynamic maps below it), as mentioned in Template talk:Climate, and at that talk page some people also have found it not mobile friendly, not web browser friendly, sunlight and sea temperatures not showing up, and one commenter found it overall strange displaying temperatures and precipitation on the same chart. The concerns have gone unadressed.

Now I don't actually have a problem with the graph... as I've simply moved over to using the data in Wikipedia articles for climate information whenever I've needed it for working on climate sections in articles, looking for which months a destination would be suitable to feature on the Main Page and otherwise. In Wikipedia, as you probably know (example), the data is in a tidy table instead of along a set of rectangles going up and down. The colors, which according to some are not too aesthetic, actually show the information in a larger context (shades of red, orange, beige for temperature, different shades of blue for precipitation days etc.) so you can visually compare climate charts from different cities and regions. In the current version you can really only compare months in the same chart (same city) "at a glance". User-friendliness, information at a glance and such were the reasons to move over to the current table.

I've at a few occasions thought about opening a discussion to import the Wikipedia climate template, but never found time (also I know nothing about coding and the technical side of templates). But now, RogueScholar has started such a discussion and also implemented the WP climate table in a test article (Venice), plus it has previously existed in at least one other article (Las Palmas).

Granted, the whole thing is bigger but it can be collapsed (talking about collapsable templates, one thing that could be worth bringing over from Russian Wikivoyage is the collapsable dynamic map). Perhaps not all sections in the Wikipedia table are necessary to use here but I guess not all of them need to be used (also in the current climate table we have the options of adding sea water temperature and whatnot). But again, there are a lot of options in that template that a traveler could find useful like UV radiation (sunny locations), rainy days in each month (tropics and other rainy places), and sunshine hours (frequently overcast/foggy locations, far northern and southern places).

Thoughts? Ypsilon (talk) 18:23, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

The chart version also came from WP, from w:Template:Climate chart, which is used on over 1000 pages (although w:Template:Weather box is used on 16000).
Personally, after living with it for almost exactly a year, I still hate the chart. I strongly prefer the climate table that it used to be: it's much easier to read and interpret, and doesn't suffer from weird problems of not fitting properly on mobile devices, overlapping bars for temperature and precipitation, difficult problems scaling the Y-axis, etc. It even has horrible display problems on its own documentation page, FFS!
I would be very happy to return to any table-based format rather than the chart. Whether that's the old table, or a new one with colored backgrounds in each cell like Template:Climate data, I don't have a strong preference. I do think it's better as a sidebar item than a huge inline chart. The new one takes up a lot of space, even with text size reduced, so it should be trimmed down. Most places only have avg high and low temps (no mean) and rainfall height (not days), with some adding snowfall height, and I think the sets of data the old table supported are generally enough for a travel guide; anything else like UV index or days of rain can and should be conveyed in prose. Displaying converted temperatures in parentheses probably contributes significantly to the width; it would be better to use the abbr mouseover from the old incarnation, or use a "show conversion" link that either drops down to reveal the converted table like the current chart does, or simply a toggle for °C/°F that replaces the numbers in the table with the one you click. --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:59, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
In the end, the graph template can be fixed/extended too - just saying... Or you can even copy-paste the html code and adjust the few broken graphs. Or overlay them manually with additional 'facts'. -- andree.sk(talk) 19:12, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Graph for me, in the spirit of 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. Whatever you guys decide, just don't argue with "it often creates additional whitespace". The table pushes the whole article and visually completely splits the "article flow" (like the embassy table, that is now hidden in most articles)... I'm not sure what's to hate about the graph, but I may be skewed, because I look at such a graph every day in a weather forecast app. -- andree.sk(talk) 19:12, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Like User:Andree.sk, I prefer the graph. While I really like those tables you mean, Ypsilon, I don't think all the information is necessary for the traveler — in most cases. If a place has an exceptional weather statistic not revealed in the graph, then I think it would be OK to use the table. The graph wasn't perfect originally but nowadays I think it looks quite good, and modern, in our articles. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:11, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I much prefer the graph status quo, though certainly concede that they have issues that should be resolved. Going back to tables just because a relatively new template has some bugs seems a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:08, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes. I think the graphs are connecting and will connect better with travellers than big, complex tables will. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:02, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Wikivoyage:Don’t tout red linking[edit]

Why is it doing that? This is showing up as a red link on my iPhone 6S. Does it red link for you? Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:25, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

For the same reason it's a pain in the neck to italicize or bold-ify text when editing on my phone: because iPhones default to curly quotes, but the apostrophe in Wikivoyage:Don't tout (and those used to denote bold and italic text in MediaWiki markup) are straight. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:46, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, that's terrible, isn't it? Couldn't we create a redirect to fix that problem? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:01, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, it’s terrible for iPhones to edit “defectively” by default. And since we can’t expect people to all somehow change what their iPhones do, it’s imperative to fix the problem in MediaWiki markup. Or should I simply stop editing every time I am without my laptop and/or without Wi-Fi? That’s not a solution, but at present, others not on iPhones will have to do followup edits after me... Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:35, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
@Ikan Kekek: Thank you - you inspired me to finally seek out a solution to this problem. On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Keyboard and then turn Smart Punctuation off. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:15, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
Done. Now, if I could only find an easy way to place my cursor in the middle of any word on my iPhone... Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:13, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
That issue with the cursor is literally one of the most annoying features of Apple products. Fortunately, 'my' iPad -belonging to my former employer - 'had to' be returned last week (oh, the pain!) as part of moving on to a new job.
I've made the redirect, as we should do our best to make Wikivoyage compatible with all operating systems. Off the top of your heads, can anyone remember any other policy page titles with an apostrophe, that may default to the fancy curly type on iOS? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 08:52, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
What about Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub? How does that work with the other kind of apostrophe? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:54, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
Wikivoyage:Travellers’ pub. It was redlinking, but not anymore.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:07, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Thundering! Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:53, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
The "wrong" versions of "Don't tout" and "don't tout" should also be redirected. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:15, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

If you want to do this comprehensively, then there are about 325 titles in the mainspace (including redirects) and 39 in the project space (including four redirects). I'm not sure that every single one of these needs a redirect from curly quotes. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:54, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

I would say that anything in articlespace can be redirected as and when it's needed. It would make sense to do the policy pages, however.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:45, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:31, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

page creation error with visual editor[edit]

Not sure of the cause of the problem but there is an error with creating pages in visual edit (not wiki source) mode. Change to visual editor, if you are not using it, create a new park article then change back to wiki source mode and look at the page in edit. It is not adding template for pagebanner but some code of page banner. Anyone know where the error is? --Traveler100 (talk) 19:34, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

I'm not sure. Is it an issue a user can fix after s/he has created a page? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:00, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
This problem still exists. Difficult for a new contributor to understand how to edit in wiki source mode. At the moment I am editing new articles to fix the problem. --Traveler100 (talk) 13:10, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
True. Let us know how things are as the issue progresses. If this is still a problem in a few days, we definitely need to take some action. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:34, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Is Honiton a good example of the kind of issue you're facing? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:41, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes and Zakouma National Park would be another example. Try yourself, create a page with test name (you have the right to delete a test page later) while in visual editor mode, then switch to wiki source editor mode and look at the page in edit. --Traveler100 (talk) 13:53, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

"Don't visit" list...[edit]

Do we have a summarised one , based on Warning boxes?ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:19, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

I wouldn't support such a list. As a travel guide, we among other things present safety information - and then leave it to our readers to choose whether to go to Country or Region X,Y or Z or not. To put it another way, this is a travel guide, not a "don't travel" guide. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:09, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Ikan's concerns, but for maintenance purposes see: Category:Has_warning_box and Category:Has warning box with out of date warning. A warning box may only be on an article for a few days to warn of an industrial dispute, or for several years as a result of war, and I don't see any value for the reader in a manual list. AlasdairW (talk) 21:15, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Warningboxes are good, but they do not mean that a tourist must not visit a place. We don't want to get too negative about warnings. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:35, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Hear, hear. I sometimes wonder whether we go too far with some warnings. We should not forget that, while most editors here are Westerners, we are writing for a global audience of people who can read English. For example, few Westerners (but not none) might be planning trips to Iraq at present, but for people from culturally similar neighbouring countries, visits to parts of Iraq are likely much less daunting, and it is not our place to discourage them from going. Nurg (talk) 09:35, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes, though it's better to be on the careful side than not. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 10:38, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
I don't think Wikivoyage should ever be warning people not to visit a place, but we should absolutely let readers know if a major government advises against visiting a place. If the UK Foreign Office says "don't go there", that is important information for readers to consider making their own decisions. But we don't need a separate list. Warning boxes are sufficient. Ground Zero (talk) 12:07, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree completely, and you said it better than I did. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:33, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────To reference the previous discussion about the USA article, I would say that government warnings not to go to a place in and of themselves are not grounds for us to put up warning boxes. Whether you like it or not, even Western governments sometimes issue such warnings for political reasons, so the determining factor should be what the situation on the ground actually is. If it is a war zone, we should have a warning box saying that it's a war zone. If gay people are likely to be lynched by the locals, we likewise should have a warning box saying that. But the mere fact that the British government issued a warning not to go there is not sufficient grounds for a warning box. And so, to the point of this thread, no, there should not be a "Don't visit" list. Warning boxes in the destination articles are sufficient. For instance, I put a warning box in the Uganda article stating that extreme homophobia is rampant, but if a gay person wants to visit Uganda despite that, it is not up to us to stop him from visiting; he still has every right to make that decision for himself. The dog2 (talk) 22:05, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

It seems a consensus has been reached. Thanks.ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 07:11, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Warningbox[edit]

I added the following to the top of the Japan article to warn of a coming cyclone:

{{warningbox|According to [https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/western-pacific/2019/tropical-storm-fourteen?map=forecast Wunderground's hurricane forecasting] and their [https://www.wunderground.com/wundermap Wundermap], a tropical cyclone is headed for southern Japan and will strike within the next several days. Be cautious if you plan to visit southern Japan.}}

It is displaying as just WARNING: {{{1}}}. Why is it not working? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:06, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the syntax problem is, but I think you should add a date to the text. What does "in the next few days mean" to the reader? I'm finding text that was added in 2005 that tells readers what has happened "in recent years". It's not helpful. Ground Zero (talk) 14:14, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
I'll do that — but first, my goal is to get the warningbox working. I will add a date to the Florida cautionbox. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:15, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
If you go to the Florida article, you will see that I have upgraded it to a warningbox. That is because I do not think the cautionbox allows you to add a "lastedit" paramater. (At least, I didn't see any mention of one at Template:Cautionbox.) --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:45, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Fortunately, Template:Cautionbox gave me the answer to the original question. I needed to add a "1" for the second parameter, like this:
{{warningbox|1=According to [https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/western-pacific/2019/tropical-storm-fourteen?map=forecast Wunderground's hurricane forecasting] and their [https://www.wunderground.com/wundermap Wundermap], a tropical cyclone is headed for southern Japan and will strike within the next several days. Be cautious if you plan to visit southern Japan.}}
I have also added the day the warningbox was updated to the article. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:48, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Most of the time, if you want to record some information in a MediaWiki template (MediaWiki is the software we use), but you don't need it to show up in the article, you can use any old made-up parameter. Templates normally ignore unknown parameters, but any editor who looks at the wikitext will see it. This is useful for adding dates, explanations, etc. that will only matter to another editor. It's good that these boxes support |lastedit= but if they didn't, you could write something like |date= or |note-from-me= or whatever you liked for the convenience of other editors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:35, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Or use a parameter name you would like to have supported. If lastedit isn't recognized and you use it, editors will see it (it not showing up may of course cause some confusion), and when the template is edited to support it, the date shows up as intended. The ignoring unknown parameters also causes the need for "1=", explicitly stating a parameter should be treated as a positional one, as otherwise everything up to the "=" that happens to be in the parameter text is treated as a parameter name. --LPfi (talk) 06:22, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
I tried date= because I thought it did what lastedit= actually does. Could we make date= a valid parameter, with the same effect as lastedit, so it is easier to remember what is the name of the parameter when using it? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:15, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
It's possible to do this; we would create the other name as an "alias" for the parameter. Then you could use either name, with the same result. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:38, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
I think that's the best thing we can do. However, I don't know all that code, so could you please do it if it's not too hard? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:30, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Mapframe problems[edit]

What's wrong with the maps at Bicol and Calabarzon? They just show up as white for me, in both Firefox and Safari. —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:28, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

@Mx. Granger: They are empty: just {{mapframe}} with no geocoordinates. —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:33, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Hm. Calabrazon is empty too but does display for me. Maybe lacking info at Wikidata? —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:33, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
@Koavf: I don't think the lack of geocoordinates is the problem—many articles, such as Negros, have mapframes with no geocoordinates but still display the map just fine.
Oddly enough, Calabarzon now displays for me too, though I'm sure it didn't 15 minutes ago. —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:36, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Most of the dynamic maps seem to be broken currently, probably some wikimedia server outage... -- andree.sk(talk) 05:40, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
The problem is because of broken mapshapes. The shapes are added by a JavaScript script which had to load external data. If one of these data is broken the script stops working. That's why the map is empty. The script stop is a known problem. I tried to get the mapshape data manually, and I got the response: "password authentication failed for user \"kartotherian\"". This should not happen. --RolandUnger (talk) 06:19, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
The mapshapes in those articles showed white for me as well. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:23, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
It seems that the problem is now solved. --RolandUnger (talk) 13:01, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Guide for new editors[edit]

I had an idea today that we could create a page with project page links organized for new users. This wouldn't be the same as the standard welcome message on talk pages, as it would take several different Wikivoyage project pages and arrange them from least advanced to most advanced. A new editor can go through each project page one by one, like a tutorial. I have created a start at User:SelfieCity/Tutorial that can be expanded and improved.

The idea is that we could link new users to this to aid them in learning how to contribute, and more importantly, become an informed member of our community. It's along the lines of ThunderingTyphoons! idea of having mentors, which never really got underway but did result in the creation of the Arrivals lounge. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:28, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Seems like just one more page to confuse people with an unclear hierarchy. The front page already has a bunch of links to WV:Plunge forward, WV:Arrivals lounge, WV:How to edit a page, etc. WV:Welcome and WV:About also point to quite a few pages.
I doubt too many people on any wiki read much of anything before they start trying to contribute. However, the problem here is that there are quite a few pages that are all cross-linked without much hierarchy. Maybe that just means we need to add a navigation sidebar to WV:Welcome and several other pages, so that alongside the wall of text there's a nice blue box to show that there are other pages worth looking at, and organize them into a sensible order. --Bigpeteb (talk) 16:40, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
My concern is that quite a few of our new editors start editing articles, hardly ever participate in any discussions, and often just fade away. We need some kind of route to making these people active in the community so they can hopefully become patrollers and administrators. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:21, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Hello
Have you heard about the Growth team work? They've created some small tools that help newcomers to make their first steps.
So far, 3 features are available:
  • Help panel: allow newcomers to find help and ask questions while they edit.
  • Welcome survey: learn what topics and types of edits newcomers are interested in.
  • EditorJourney: learn what workflows newcomers go through on their first day.
A fourth feature will be available when those 3 are deployed: Newcomer homepage.
Those features have been developed for Wikipedias, but could work on your wiki. They would be a good addition to your tutorials. I let you browse those links and if you think it would work, please ping me back.
Best, Trizek (WMF) (talk) 19:10, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Venezuela mapshape[edit]

Not all of Venezuela is showing up on the dynamic mapshape. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:30, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

I have checked, and it is still not working. Should a Phabricator entry be created? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:05, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Just checked one of the missing mapshapes with help of the OSM Relation Analyzer. At least this one is a closed contour in OSM. So the problem seems to be related to the Kartographer extension.--Renek78 (talk) 20:06, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

"Most incidents don’t kill you or cripple you"[edit]

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-09-04/world-s-most-dangerous-countries-to-travel-to-aren-t-that-scaryJustin (koavf)TCM 00:13, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

Thank you for linking to this article, which at first I would have dismissed; however, it gives insight to an aspect of world travel I normally wouldn't give a second thought. I wouldn't take the whole article as Gospel, but I would certainly consider much of it, as it is written well by someone who obviously has vast travel experience. I'm not sure we can apply this information to Wikivoyage articles, but I think we can apply it to our attitudes when we edit here. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 00:22, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes, but continuing the earlier "Don't visit" discussion: those government advisories have an immediate practical effect, because your travel insurance will have a standard clause excluding any cover for travel against such advice. So a turned ankle or cardiac collapse would be all at your expense, ruinous if it came to a medevac. Grahamsands (talk) 12:16, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
I think that only applies to the most stringent warnings, and even then the results may not be total cancellation. I looked at one policy which said that it would not pay for "political evacuations" if there were warnings of political unrest, or medical conditions caused by some travel-warning-related things (e.g., injuries from acts of terrorism, Ebola if your home country said not to go there because of Ebola). I got the impression that they were concerned about the "Avoid unnecessary travel" and "Do not travel" levels, rather than the "Exercise caution" level. I didn't see anything that suggested that they'd deny coverage if you sprained your ankle in a museum; the limits seemed to be focused on warning-related reasons. They seemed more concerned about Pakistan and Afghanistan than in places with milder warnings, like France, Germany, and Mexico. But they were willing to give me a quote for Afghanistan anyway, so there must be something they're willing to cover there. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:21, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
That's very interesting. I'll reply a bit on a tangent, but our experience with medical insurance in the U.S. would cause us to be a bit cautious in assuming that a company that claims to insure something absolutely wouldn't try to weasel out of paying anything if needed. In other words, the fact that someone gives you a quote for Afghanistan in no way proves they'd pay out if you needed that. But I'll take your inference that they are at least suggesting they would. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:02, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
True. In fact, I'd expect them to try to weasel out of as much as possible. It could be that, in practice, the Afghanistan quote would cover only "lost luggage" or something similarly trivial. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:38, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
Back-tracking to Justin's article, another consideration is that upgrades to warnings get shouted from the rooftops, but downgrades pass quietly by. At some point in recent weeks the UK has put almost all of Lebanon into green, including Baalbek and Byblos which were long red. The world won't notice until the country's tourist agency launches a charm offensive to win back its lost trade. Grahamsands (talk) 22:04, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
That's a very interesting thought. On that note, could we include a dynamic map, somewhere on Wikivoyage, showing which areas of the world are "green" and which are "red"? Perhaps it could be included in Stay safe or a similar article. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:43, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
That is a massive job, and a huge oversimplification of a complex issue. For example, at the moment I would happily travel to Hong Kong if I arrived on Monday and left on Thursday, but I would want to avoid being there at the weekend, as protests generally occur at then. Unless you can create a bot to read 5 or more government travel pages daily and update the map accordingly, we should leave this to others. AlasdairW (talk) 17:13, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

Problem with Dubrovnik banner[edit]

Hi all, I made a mistake in Commons by overwriting a picture with a cropped version, which was then used as the page banner for Dubrovnik. Later I reverted my mistake, created a whole new copy and linked to this one in the article. But somehow the original version of the picture is still shown in the article. Anybody knows why? --Renek78 (talk) 08:46, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

I have sorted it. There was a syntax error in the pagebanner on Dubrovnik ("File:" was included), so it was fetching the banner from Wikidata, which still had the old entry. I have updated both the page and the WD entry. AlasdairW (talk) 15:01, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Ah, stupid mistake! Thanks, AlasdairW!--Renek78 (talk) 15:33, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
When I (originally) added the new pagebanner, I simply copied in the filename from the earlier image and did the Commons/Wikidata work. It probably would have been wiser to let Renek78 do the work, but 1) I didn't want to seem lazy and 2) I'm impatient some of the time. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 19:58, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
You did nothing wrong at all, Selfie City. 100 percently my mistake when I created this page banner in Commons and then making a syntax error in Wikivoyage. Thanks for plunging forward regarding the banner. --Renek78 (talk) 07:36, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Quality ratings on mobile[edit]

I've been browsing WV on mobile a bunch recently, and one thing I've been missing is the quality ratings (star, guide, outline, etc.) at the bottom — they're a really useful piece of context that helps me discern whether to treat what I'm reading as authoritative collective wisdom or the musings of the one editor who's ever been to the place. Would it be possible to add these to the mobile edition? Sdkb (talk) 05:18, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

They're not missing on my mobile browser (Chrome). The template only displays in a basic text format, but it's still enough to know what level an article is. Which browser are you using? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 06:49, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
I see the text when you expand the Go next section. As you say just text, we need to look at having some form of box boarder around the text in mobile mode. --Traveler100 (talk) 07:26, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm now in mobile mode on a desktop computer, and I am using the Firefox browser. The status information is showing up with a border as well. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:09, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Oops, silly me, I just didn't think to expand that last section. I guess ideally the box should appear outside that section, as it's not part of "Go next", but that's a more minor issue. Sdkb (talk) 16:06, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

Hacks for keeping clean clothes on the road[edit]

https://www.latimes.com/travel/story/2019-09-02/readers-laundry-tips-clean-clothes-travelingJustin (koavf)TCM 16:57, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

Tea urn (or sterile rubbish bin) + water + detergent. Leave your clothes suspended from a taught rope in there while driving. It worked for Steinbeck, though he did have an enormous custom van and so plenty of space.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:23, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
Any useful information should be added in hygiene and body care or laundry. Gizza (roam) 00:35, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

Maps instability[edit]

There are ongoing issues with the sliding maps at the moment. Site administrators are working on it. Until they are resolved, those maps may take more time to load or fail to load completely. Thank you for your understanding and sorry for the disruption. More info available on the linked ticket. --JCrespo (WMF) (talk) 09:30, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for the note, JCrespo (WMF). WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:15, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
Wow, that takes quite long, JCrespo (WMF). Any news?--Renek78 (talk) 20:49, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
FYI, I noticed that the maps work well if the zoom is set to 14. Anything else and they don't render properly. For now, I'm setting zoom to 14 even where it is not totally appropriate. --RegentsPark (talk) 20:59, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Chenies Manor House[edit]

w:Chenies_Manor_House - Grade I, Ocassional opening, so worth mentioning as a See item, I'm not sure if it belongs with Amersham/Chesham or given repsective distances with Rickmansworth/ Chorleywood.

I'd like some thoughts on this.

Also does anyone else on Wikivoyage, have a list of Grade I buildings in the UK with public opening? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 19:32, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

The posttown is listed as Rickmansworth, so if all other things are equal (distance, ease of access from the population centre - the website mentions no bus service so it's presumably only accessible by car), put it there.
Wikipedia has lists of Grade-I listed buildings by county, though does not mention whether they are open to the public.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:06, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
There's (is/was) a Bus (https://bustimes.org/services/103-high-wycombe-beaconsfield-amersham-watford), that runs along the Amersham/Chalfont/Rickmansworth main road, It used to stop outside the Garden Centre. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 20:35, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
Rickmansworth looks the closest, and the 103 bus from there goes nearby (15 mins walk) hourly. AlasdairW (talk) 20:36, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
Added a listing. If someone wants to add the bus details, feel free. Should probably add a paragraph concerning the village more generally, It's too small for it's own article. ShakespeareFan00 (talk)
Related:- Where to put a Garden Centre? It's not linked with the Manor House in any way. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 20:52, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
Not sure Wikivoyage is the place to list garden centres. If for some reason it's relevant to travellers, then the Buy section.ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:17, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
I did add the one at Wendover, previously, but might remove it if the policy is aginst adding them generally, given it's nothing special, apart from the specialist food outlet. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 21:48, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

Policy on "chain-pubs"...[edit]

In my local area, I've had some good meals out in some local pubs, However, a few of them are chain-pubs, and so I'm reticent about adding them as listings, preferring to add independents. Do we have a policy about semi-chain outlets?

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 21:02, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

I believe you're looking for WV:Boring. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:18, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
I find chain pubs are less "chained" than chain shops or restaurants. They usually have some local character in the decor and some beer from a nearby brewery, even if much of the menu is the same as the other end of the country. They also tend to serve food later than most independents. As a result I often list them as places to drink or eat. AlasdairW (talk) 23:15, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
I think if it's just a local chain, we might consider things differently - say there are 5 good pubs in a local chain. Or, for example, there are several Rischart bakeries, a few with cafes, all in the Munich area, and they're great! Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:12, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree with that. Sometimes, a restaurant will have three or more locations within a region, and they do not feel like McDonald's or Burger King at all. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:36, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
I believe we've always allowed localized chains to be listed however, it's best to only list 1 per article so it doesn't look spammy. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:13, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Just to redirect the conversation back to the question, "chain pub", even with local character, doesn't necessarily mean local chain. Wetherspoons is by far the largest national pub chain in the UK. 98% of the food and drinks menu, including prices, is the same, whether you're in Inverness or Islington. But the buildings themselves are often characterful local landmarks, and there are usually 3-5 local beers or ciders available on tap. These are probably worth listing. Some other chains, like Greene King or Marston's are owned by a brewery, so the drinks range is the same in every pub. They may be worth listing if the building is notable, or the local competition is limited, but not worth it otherwise. Others still are pretty much glorified family restaurants - e.g. Hungry Horse and Beefeater, but the food is always terrible and you'll always find a better boozer elsewhere. Not worth listing unless it's the only pub for miles around.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:49, 16 September 2019 (UTC)


Another "chain-pub" in the UK would be : Brewers Fayre (Whitbread), not sure how much variation you get in what's served.ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 08:22, 18 September 2019 (UTC)


On a tangentially related subject...[edit]

...I think we need to make it clear on that policy page that WV:Boring does not apply to "Sleep" listings. Every city and town of wiaa-compliant size can be expected to have at least a few locally-owned mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, and bars - but independently-owned hotels are an entirely different story, a miniscule segment of the market by comparison to chains. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:24, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

I agree, and I think your suggestion should be implemented as soon as consensus is established here. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:59, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Agree, otherwise we'd had to delete pretty much all big hotels (those are almost invariably part of national or global chains), accounting for a huge number of beds in each city. Ypsilon (talk) 17:44, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
This is not true everywhere: I was amazed by the lack of chain hotels in New Zealand outside of Auckland and Wellington -- not even local chains. By I expect that it is very true in the U.S., and agree with the proposal. Ground Zero (talk) 19:22, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree with the proposal to exclude sleep. I would also say that WV:Boring should not apply to anywhere that there is only a few places to choose from. If a burger chain is one of only four places to eat in town then we can list them all. AlasdairW (talk) 19:44, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
As I said previously, I would prefer venues with a local/independent character were what's added rather than 'adverts' for major chains the traveller would generally recognise anyway. Also per a comment in Cuisine of Britain and Ireland there are a few local mixed take-away outlets worth avoiding even if they are nominally independents. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:24, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
(Aside): The focus on Wikivoyage is the traveller, Would there be any scope on Wikivoyage (or a different wiki) for a shopping guide scoped more at within region vistors/locals as opposed to tourists/travellers? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:29, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
A different wiki, sure. Not Wikivoyage, though. See Goals and non-goals. You could reuse Wikivoyage content on such a hypothetical wiki, of course.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:33, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
If anyone else would be interested in prototyping/developing such a wiki, leave a note on my talk page. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 08:30, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
@ShakespeareFan00: You can try looking at Localwiki. —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:10, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
Although it may be obvious, maybe would say that WV:Boring does not apply to public transport. I see no reason for preferring the small bus operator over the main city or national network, and there is no problem in having loads of listings for Amtrak, National Express or Intercity. AlasdairW (talk) 22:28, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
I note that WV:Boring i.e. Boring places talks about stores, restaurants and bars, not about transport or hotels. Hotels are still places, so they might need to be explicitly mentioned. I'm plunging forward and adding a paragraph. Revert if discussion is still needed or the wording is bad. --LPfi (talk) 08:36, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

Do we need to discuss massive changes on sites?[edit]

Unfortunately, I have experienced that some of our contributors here massively change the (new) pages of other authors and thereby prevent further development of a page (current example Anastasiopolis). If the person making the changes knows the area well and can contribute important knowledge, that's ok. But in my (old fashioned?) opinion such a thing should be discussed before the change are made in the respective discussion side. I find that a matter of polite interaction with each other. What do you think, what is common behavior here? DocWoKav 15. Sept. 2019

Are these edits what you mean? Those edits are not destructive; there's nothing "massive," as you say in the title of this discussion, about moving content from one article to another, if that change is sensible. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:22, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, if you've placed a "See" listing in a city article for a nearby location and then someone moves it to "Go next" because that nearby location already has its own article, that's pretty much an open-and-shut case per our policy on geographical hierarchy and there's really not much to discuss about it. My suggestion is rather than getting defensive about the content you've contributed being altered or demanding that every little change be litigated on talk pages - which would grind the development of our content to a halt - you should instead get comfortable with the fact that this is a wiki, and people's contributions are subject to redaction or deletion at any time. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:30, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

The word "exotic", and making assumptions about our readership[edit]

I just saw two recent edits that included this word: "exotic wildlife" in Bangladesh and "exotic restaurants" in Yongin, Korea. I don't like that word, because it means "strange and foreign to you", with the implication that "you" are a white person from somewhere in what's called the "West". But in 1975 Tokyo, where white people were scarce, unlike today, and white 10-year-olds were so rare that when my parents took me to the zoo, all the Japanese families seemed to be asking to take a picture with me such that I felt I was the animal on display, I was the "exotic" - not to mention when I then went to the rural Malaysia of those days, where people stared, pointed and said "Orang putih!" ("White person!") But that's not the default meaning of the word. Korean food is not "exotic" to me and neither are tropical flora and fauna, because of my own experiences and travels, and to some people, the word is likely to be insulting. I don't think it's useful on a travel site with a worldwide readership, and I think the word should be on "words to avoid", as long as we choose to maintain that page. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:12, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

Yes, although it is more "use with care" rather "avoid completely". I think that it is acceptable to use it to describe how locals view something. "The inhabitants of <remote fishing village> regard hamburgers as exotic, but scallops are everyday food." AlasdairW (talk) 14:44, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
And what about stuff that is out of place for where it is? So Tresco Abbey Garden in the Scilly Isles has a frost-free microclimate right by the gulf stream, allowing the mass cultivation of plants (such as bananas, cycads, birds of paradise etc) which are exotic - to Cornwall. The word is meaningful in that sense (indeed, I think exotic is a botanical term, albeit a Eurocentric one).--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:06, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm with AlasdairW and ThunderingTyphoons!. The word is culturally insensitive in some contexts, but too useful in other contexts to be proscribed. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:10, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree with all of you, but I think virtually all the words on words to avoid are really "think carefully before you use". Perhaps we could discuss a clearer name for that page. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:43, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I think it was André who made the point a while ago that "Words to avoid" doesn't actually mean "words which must never ever be used", even if sometimes we treat the page that way. Whether it was him or not, we would do well to remember it.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:41, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I've put that in the relevant paragraph of that page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:07, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Ikan Kekek because our audience is not, and does not need to be, concentrated completely in the supposedly "non-exotic" countries. For example, certain kinds of birds are considered exotic, and that opinion can be shared universally by identifying those birds' various colors; therefore, I would say that exotic birds are an exception to Words to Avoid. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:28, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I made a brief entry in wta, also discouraging usage of "exotic" as a euphemism for striptease and such. /Yvwv (talk) 23:33, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I support the idea of renaming the page. Maybe Wikivoyage:Words to watch, which is close to what Wikipedia calls their equivalent. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:35, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
I reverted Yvwv's advice to avoid "exotic" with reference to striptease, as that particular aspect was never put up for discussion. Please don't alter the wording of policy documents in ways that have not been vetted by consensus. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:20, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree that the page should be moved to a title that better describes what it's about. The problem is, some of the phrases on that list, like "look no further," qualify as touting and therefore should never be used — we don't want people thinking those phrases are allowed in certain circumstances. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:46, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
Granger, despite the "Words to watch" title, the English Wikipedia has regular problems with editors claiming that it's a list of banned words. This problem probably can't be solved in the title, unless we try calling it something like "Words that might be okay sometimes, but are probably not a good choice in most cases, so you're going to have to be thoughtful and use your judgment every single time". WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:23, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

[unindent] We could probably find an exception, but this can always be addressed in specific entries in the article. By the way, I think it's much clearer to call a bird colorful than exotic; I wouldn't know an "exotic" bird was colorful. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:16, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

I think Hong_Kong_to_Kunming_overland#Understand (which I wrote) and the intro to Southwest China (not me) are exceptions; even most Chinese find these areas exotic, and foreigners certainly do. Pashley (talk) 15:23, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
Isn't that for the same reason - in this case, that most Chinese people are Han and that many border areas such as this are populated by many non-Han people, who thereby feel strange and foreign to the Han who dominate them? I think it's fine to say that Han Chinese or Chinese people from other parts of the country find the area exotic, but a context should be given (it probably is - no time for me to check right now). Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:40, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I think flora/fauna is not that controversial. Who would be offended by pointing out that Madagascar has exotic wildlife? In Pashley's example, the metric is given that it is exotic compared to the rest of the nation. Seems like Hawaii; from a continental American perspective it's "exotic" with its completely different culture, climate, flora/fauna, and landscapes. Without context or parameters, I would agree that the perspective is typically Western (rather than "white"), although I don't think just because some people are well-traveled and want to flaunt it by saying nothing is exotic to them that the word is not meaningful. I'm not sure how prolific the word's usage is, and I would agree that there are times it's not appropriate, but the reverse of the "It's offensive because it singles something out as different" argument is that "exotic" denotes that something is different in an appealing and enticing way. It's a positive word, certainly in the travel context. More than being "offensive", I think it can be a bit fluffy in some contexts, but I agree with others that the term is not altogether bad or unworthy of use. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:58, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
I've argued in the past, and continue to feel, that an even better option than renaming Wikivoyage:Words to avoid would be getting rid of it entirely. In general, I think we should not be in the business of language-policing our editors. By that I mean that if anyone comes across a passage that could do with better wording, they should absolutely edit as they see fit, but it should be on a purely case-by-case basis rather than systematic or enshrined in policy. Most of the exceptions to that rule, i.e. words or phrases that are never appropriate under any circumstances whatsoever, either fall under Captain Obvious (racial slurs, for example) or Don't Tout (the examples SelfieCity mentioned upthread, for example). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:19, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
User:ChubbyWimbus: I obviously disagree with you and have explained why. It has nothing to do with my "flaunting" anything. But that said, if you described Hawaii's flora and fauna as "unique, and appealingly exotic to visitors from the Continental United States and other mainly temperate countries", or some similar phrasing, that would be fine with me, keeping in mind that there are loads of Japanese people who visit Hawaii. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:00, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
It does appear that most of the complaints about the words on our list are covered in the "Don't Tout" article. It doesn't list the words, but it certainly lists the sentiments that you could still use to justify changing/deleting the same words/phrases. Maybe our words to avoid list isn't really very useful. I have seen edits that seem to be referencing that list (or maybe just the idea of being succinct) that I have felt were made at the detriment of "lively writing". I doubt we'd be losing much by deleting the list altogether. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 02:35, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
I think CW has it pretty much exactly right, and re: Ikan's comment above, why would someone say "unique, and appealingly exotic to visitors from the Continental United States and other mainly temperate countries" when they could just say "exotic" and treat the other words as redundant? In point of fact, that's a perfect example of what I'm talking about re: wta doing more harm than good. When systematically proscribing a word means you have to expand a one-word phrase to sixteen just to get your point across, we need to rethink whether it's a good idea to systematically proscribe words. (And IMO that's equally true whether they're banned outright or merely considered "words to watch".) -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:06, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

[unindent] Since Hawaii is a group of islands, its native flora and fauna are unique, a more meaningful word than exotic. That said, if you really insist on using "exotic" about Hawaiian plants or, like, birds, that's not as bad as using the word for tropical Asian flora and fauna that are familiar to a very large number of people. Whether we have an official "words to watch" list or not is not going to change the views I have expressed above, and I'm a bit annoyed at the tone of your last reply. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:14, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Andre, you've made your case for scrapping WTA on many, many occasions. Other than ChubbyWimbus I have yet to see anyone won over to your way of thinking. There are still many editors involving in refining the list, so I don't think we need to discuss it again now, but if you want to start another thread on its talk page, you can, of course. Ground Zero (talk) 07:17, 22 September 2019 (UTC)