Forum Talk:Technical Issues

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Revision as of 09:41, 11 May 2022 by Pat Palmer (talk | contribs) (if you have not already saved your User Contributions from the old server, please do so by 5/20 (or lose them))
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Technical Issues

Discussion area for all technical issues, including non-content templates, server issues and extensions (bug reports/outages: this form)

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Cannot yet create articles with subpages

It is not yet possible to create a new article with subpages. We are still looking into this. It requires code from an ancient extension that no longer works with the upgraded software. If we cannot get that going in the near future, we will have to look into a new way of grouping the subpages for articles in the future. For now, please just wait until we figure out what to do. Sorry for the inconvenience. And it is possible to create new articles now without subpages. Pat Palmer (talk) 11:09, 18 March 2022 (CDT)

I like the new software. Keep up the good work. David MacQuigg (talk) 11:42, 20 March 2022 (CDT)
Thank you, David! Sergei Chekanov led the effort, and John Stephenson helped with testing. I'm so grateful to them both. Pat Palmer (talk) 15:29, 20 March 2022 (CDT)

Logging in: underscores required in username

When I log in, I cannot use a space character but must use an underscore in my username: "Mark_Widmer" The old site used to allow the space character. Mark Widmer (talk) 15:43, 19 March 2022 (CDT)

This is probably fixable by someone more expert than I but we'll need to live with it for now, sorry. Pat Palmer (talk) 09:06, 24 March 2022 (CDT)

images from the wikimedia commons

I found, recently, that the Citizendium will directly use images from the wikimedia commons. They don't have to be downloaded and then uploaded here. Has this always worked, or is this an improvement coming from the recent software upgrade? Should I worry about images I did import? Cheers! George Swan (talk) 07:02, 23 March 2022 (CDT)

Until now I hadn't been aware that this was possible. It turns out to be a default setting on more recent versions of the wiki software. It's called 'InstantCommons' and you can read more here. We have no rule for or against this. See also this thread. John Stephenson (talk) 07:29, 23 March 2022 (CDT)
To do it, add code like this to a page: [[File:Wikimedia-Commons-filename.jpg|thumb|Caption of a picture from Wikimedia Commons embedded in this Wiki]] Pat Palmer (talk) 09:33, 25 March 2022 (CDT)
  • Here is an argument in favour of porting images... I believe instances of File usage, like the following, will only point to citizendium-local uses of the image when the image has been explicitly ported.
File:The PM-15, a Defiant class patrol vessel the USA gave to El Salvador, in 2021.jpg#File usage.
Cheers! George Swan (talk) 17:07, 26 March 2022 (CDT)
  • Currently, if I am not mistaken, the Citizendium has a more modest cap to the maximum size of images than the commons. This would be an advantage when accessing a large image, still hosted on the commons, over accessing a modest sized copy, hosted here.... I think this changes my mind to favouring keeping the instant commons feature turned on. Cheers! George Swan (talk) 16:45, 3 April 2022 (CDT)
George, the size cap was raised a bit on the new server.Pat Palmer (talk) 12:10, 17 April 2022 (CDT)

Issues with existing subpages articles

Much of the code from the old wiki for subpages is kaput. If you want create a subpage which is currently empty, DO NOT click on the subpages header to open it. Instead, explicitly put the subpage title onto the end of the browser's the URL, like this (a link to a Related Articles subpage): . I hope we'll eventually get this fixed, but please be careful in the meantime. Pat Palmer (talk) 09:04, 24 March 2022 (CDT)

As I said before - thanks to everyone who has worked hard on the upgrade!
Cheers! George Swan (talk) 10:29, 24 March 2022 (CDT)
We have found it is possible to add subpages to an article manually, but it's cumbersome. Unless you know all about that, just ask me to do it for you in the meantime. Pat Palmer (talk) 11:23, 25 March 2022 (CDT)

SubPageList3 extension enabled

You can place a list of all subpages into an article which has them. This code does it: <splist sortby=title liststyle=ordered showpath=no />. See the test article Doggie for an example. More details are at Pat Palmer (talk) 10:00, 24 March 2022 (CDT)

save your User Contributions (offline) from the old server

In case people haven't noticed, User contributions from before the software upgrade in Mar 2022 are now lost. This was unavoidable since we had to re-create user accounts. See the item below for how to save your User Contributions list offline for future reference. Pat Palmer (talk) 14:20, 24 March 2022 (CDT)

old server available for a limited time

The old server is up and running again, and will be available for you to look back in for a limited time at It will die on May 20 of this year. Note that the certificate is wrong, so you will need to click past the browser warnings and tell the browser to accept the risk and continue. The one thing you might want to look at in the old server is your past user contributions. To do that, go to your User page and then look in menus at the lower left for "User Contributions". Set it to show 500 items, then save each page on your desktop. For those articles you are interested in, to get them back on your watchlist, you'll need to make a tiny edit on each article here in the new server. The old server will only be up for a few more weeks. Also, watch out--certain links on the old server will send you to this new server. Pat Palmer (talk) 07:44, 25 March 2022 (CDT)

I've been going through my contribution history on the old server, to verify and complete a list of all the articles I started. One of the articles I started Huzaifa Parhat, was deleted, when an editor claimed he was adequately covered in other articles. George Swan (talk) 12:15, 25 March 2022 (CDT)
Well, the Detainee Treatment Act closed off habeas corpus appeals for guantanamo captives. It substituted a narrow and complicated alternate appeal process. Nevertheless, some captives, including Parhat, started to have their cases reviewed under this process. Parhat was the only individual to complete this process, and so I don't think he can be adequately covered in Uighur detainees in Guantanamo as that editor claimed. George Swan (talk) 12:15, 25 March 2022 (CDT)
Am I correct that deleted material, like this page, can only be restored by using the old server? George Swan (talk) 12:15, 25 March 2022 (CDT)
George, we did bring over the article histories, so I think you can find old article versions via that. But you can't find old User Contributions from the User's page that occurred from before the migration. Pat Palmer (talk) 12:57, 25 March 2022 (CDT)
I think this will mean that no articles deleted, prior to the upgrade, can be restored once the old server is retired. Have I got that right? George Swan (talk) 13:58, 25 March 2022 (CDT)
Seems like. This is the kind of thing leading us to pay for the old server for a few weeks. You can restore it on the old server and copy it over--up until May 20. I hated losing anything but the software was so outdated, we are lucky to be able to upgrade at all. Pat Palmer (talk) 15:06, 25 March 2022 (CDT)
  • I know the upgrade cost people - you, John, and some other people, two or three weeks of late nights, and, I imagine, a bunch of unpredictable, stressful, problems. So, thanks for all that hard work. I know I said that before.
Because it was deleted I need to ask if someone who has administrator authority on the old server could restore it, there. I am probably the sole contributor, so if I cut and paste it to the new server there should be no attribution worries.
Thanks! George Swan (talk) 17:36, 25 March 2022 (CDT)
Restored on the old server. John Stephenson (talk) 18:17, 25 March 2022 (CDT)
  • John the email I got telling me the old server would be available said to look for it at. That URL brings me to the new server. Is the old serve available, on 2022-03-28? Should I try a different IP address?
Thanks! George Swan (talk) 13:02, 28 March 2022 (CDT)
As stated in the original post, the OLD server is at until May 20 of this year. Note that the old server has a pink SiteNotice on every page. The IP address you had is for the new server, and that is a bad way to go it. Go in to the new server at Pat Palmer (talk) 16:30, 28 March 2022 (CDT)

session timeout while editting

I am repeatedly encountering an annoying timing problem when I edit pages. If it takes more than maybe 1 minute for me to compose my edit while the Editor is open, saving the edit fails with the following error message: Sorry! We could not process your edit due to a loss of session data. You might have been logged out. Please verify that you're still logged in and try again. If it still does not work, try logging out and logging back in, and check that your browser allows cookies from this site. And then when I save the page again after this message (because the Editor is still open), the changes are lost. This is happening to me numerous times in an hour. Has anyone else experienced this? Pat Palmer (talk) 08:57, 28 March 2022 (CDT)

Yes, much the same. Fortunately, experience on Wikipedia long ago got me into the habit of copying the text onto the computer before trying to save it on the wiki. Peter Jackson (talk) 04:27, 1 April 2022 (CDT)
Actually, the same only in effect. I don't get the message. Instead it just logs me out. Peter Jackson (talk) 04:30, 1 April 2022 (CDT)
Well, I should say I didn't notice any such message. The system also seems to log me out if I don't do anything for a while, and/or go to another window. Peter Jackson (talk) 04:37, 2 April 2022 (CDT)
Or maybe sometimes if I just go to a different page here. It's hard to say without a lot of tedious controlled experiments what the actual determining factor(s) is/are. Peter Jackson (talk) 04:42, 2 April 2022 (CDT)
I remember we had this problem on Wikinfo. Maybe User:Fred Bauder would remember how it was solved. Peter Jackson (talk) 04:46, 4 April 2022 (CDT)
Now it's happened again I can confirm there's no message as above, just one saying restricted to Users. Peter Jackson (talk) 04:15, 5 April 2022 (CDT)
Peter, I will work on this when I can. Pat Palmer (talk) 11:56, 7 April 2022 (CDT)


Because we've lost the automatic creation of articles with subpages, at least for now, I've tried to document how to do it manually. For those who try it out, please comment or improve this article: CZ:Creating_an_article_with_subpages

Template transclusion

At General election (UK) there's a table of parties headed as of 2017, but in fact I've been keeping the transcluded template pretty well up to date. I went to the source text to try to change the heading but can't find it there. Peter Jackson (talk) 04:24, 1 April 2022 (CDT)

Do you meant this page? Template:UKHouseofCommonsStateoftheParties-tablerows I needed to follow a couple of template calls to find it. I fixed the missing footnote link in it, and it looks like the headers can also be changed there. Pat Palmer (talk) 09:33, 2 April 2022 (CDT)

As it happens, it later occurred to me that that particular template is inappropriate to that article: we want a table of results for a general election, preferably the most recent one (figures at United Kingdom exit from the European Union/Timelines, but need formatting), not the state of the parties now. Peter Jackson (talk) 04:45, 4 April 2022 (CDT)

(Mostly) New Feature list

Here are some (mostly new) features available since the upgrade of the wiki in March 2022:

  • Help:Cite is a Help file for creating references on article pages.
  • Cite This Page shows you exactly all the ways to cite an article from this wiki.
  • Instant Commons lets you instantly use photos from Wikimedia Commons.
  • Link Suggest shows you possible local article links when you are editing and enter [[ .
  • Poem allows you to display and style verse.
  • Popups shows summaries or /Definition page when you mouse over live links.
  • SubPage List 3 will list all the subpages of an article.
  • Syntax High Light will add syntax coloring and line numbers to code snippets of most programming languages.
  • ZWI Export lets you submit your best articles to The Encyclosphere's experimental database of encyclopedia articles, which can be searched using either EncycloReader or EncycloSearch.
I've had a quick look at the last, which is interesting. A thought: nothing immediately visible about subpage clusters; as our subpage system will sometimes result in main articles that aren't self-contained, we might like to sit down and think about this once you've sorted out all these technical glitches. Peter Jackson (talk) 04:44, 6 April 2022 (CDT)
That's a content issue, to go in that forum in due course. But there are some technical questions here, which can be answered when someone's got time.
What is it that's exported:
  1. a static copy of the page as it was at that moment
  2. or a dynamic transcluded mirror which will follow subsequent changes here?
My previous experience of "export" suggests 1.
If we export 2 pages, one of which has a wikilink to the other, does the link in the resulting Encyclosphere go to
  1. the 2nd page in ES,
  2. the 2nd page here,
  3. an ES search or disambiguation page,
  4. or nowhere?
There's mention of passwords. Does each of us who wants to use this need their own, or will we have a collective one. Peter Jackson (talk) 05:18, 11 April 2022 (CDT)
Similarly, what does the system do with subpages templates? Peter Jackson (talk) 04:54, 12 April 2022 (CDT)
As far as I am aware, a one-time copy of the page contents gets sucked into the Encyclosphere experimental database (which is served by two experimental clients right now, EncycloReader and EncycloSearch). Any author who has made an edit on an article can submit that article, and it remains unchanged over on Encyclosphere until resubmitted. A later planned version of the extension will enable site administrators to export all articles, or all that meet certain conditions, in this way. There will likely also be an option to export articles automatically whenever they're updated. Note that Sergei Chekanov, the admin who did the bulk of the migration work, did the upgrade work for Citizendium in return for allowing us to test his ZWI plugin for Encyclosphere (so Larry helped set this collaboration up). For more details, please message Sergie directly (or leave a query on his Discussion page). Pat Palmer (talk) 11:59, 12 April 2022 (CDT)
There is a password for all of Citizendium which is embedded in its setup files on the server, and authors don't need to know that password to use the extension. It would be ideal to submit some articles, wait a few minutes, then look in the EncycloReader and EncycloSearch clients and report issues to Sergei. I know it grabs some text off the article to display in search results, and this was not being done in an ideal way a few weeks ago (i.e., they were reaching a few characters into the article, I guess to avoid any busywork we have at the top of articles, to grab text, and so the starting text displayed by searches was sometimes odd and not that helpful, as it mostly missed the opening sentence of the article itself. I report this once; but that's the KIND of thing they need to hear about so it can be improved. Pat Palmer (talk) 12:03, 12 April 2022 (CDT)
As for your other questions, I don't know the answers. Sergei would know. But he is not an active contributor on the wiki so it will be necessary to go to his user page and (probably) email him to get details. PS - Encyclosphere is Larry Sanger's current project. Pat Palmer (talk) 12:06, 12 April 2022 (CDT)
If they want us to contribute, they should come to a public forum and explain without needing to be asked privately.
I've just tried samples on the 2 search engines mentioned above. My impression without a thorough exploration is that they already have our articles without our having exported them. Peter Jackson (talk) 05:46, 14 April 2022 (CDT)
Just want to clarify that you can always RE-submit any article already submitted, and that will update the contents over on Encyclosphere within some reasonable period of time (allowing for caching to subside).Pat Palmer (talk) 12:13, 17 April 2022 (CDT)
That would seem to imply that, if WP signs up, only one version of their article can be on ES at a time. If there's feuding over there between different factions for control of an article, that might seem to defeat the objective of ES. Peter Jackson (talk) 05:43, 19 April 2022 (CDT)


Are currently not displaying in clickable form (copy-paste?). Peter Jackson (talk) 04:14, 5 April 2022 (CDT)

I am going to repeat myself

I am going to repeat myself... Thanks to everyone who worked hard on the server upgrade! George Swan (talk) 19:54, 5 April 2022 (CDT)

Thanks, George! Kudos to Sergei Chekanov, John Stephenson, me and all of you "beta testers". Pat Palmer (talk) 17:11, 6 April 2022 (CDT)

On the bright side

the problem we had with "no information available" on Google Search seems to have been solved. Peter Jackson (talk) 05:20, 11 April 2022 (CDT)

Traffic to the wiki has also improved, no doubt as a result of the better searchability of the newer software. Pat Palmer (talk) 10:40, 11 April 2022 (CDT)

how to restore image file detailed descriptions, and what licenses are available

We recently noticed that all the images, while present on the new server, are missing their descriptive and license data. We are trying very hard to mass-retrieve this information, but in case we cannot, please take a look at images on articles that you care about and manually update the descriptions as per the following instructions. Pat Palmer (talk) 10:40, 11 April 2022 (CDT)

We have discovered that the old information IS present on the new server and can be retrieved with a copy-and-paste operation to re-insert the original license and description into the File: page for images where it's needed. Click on View history and click to view the first item listed (upon import in Mar 2022). If you go into Edit mode on the original page, its contains text looking something like this:

== Summary ==
|description =
|author = Ed Pheil
|copyright = Elysium Industries
|source =
|date-created =
|pub-country =
|notes = Elysium Industries MCSFR (Molten Chloride Salt Fast Reactor) - Ed Pheil @ TEAC10
|versions =
== Licensing ==

It will be necessary to copy and paste this original text back into the latest File: page in order to restore the original description and license info for the image. Pat Palmer (talk) 12:04, 17 April 2022 (CDT)

We have been lax in enforcing image licensing due to lack of staff, but be aware that images lacking appropriate license information are subject to removal from the server. Also, not all available licenses are shown in the drop-down list during Upload. Authors can manually edit in (after upload) any one of the PD licenses from MediaWiki:Licenses by placing the license string in curly braces underneath the "Licensing" section. If permission was obtained from the copyright holder, it can be attached by putting a copy of the email or permission letter in a /Permission subpage of the File: page.Pat Palmer (talk) 08:46, 20 April 2022 (CDT)

the archiveurl field of the cite templates

I'm used to filling out an archiveurl field in {{cite}} templates. That didn't seem to be working here, so I fell back to putting the bare-url to the archive between the {{cite}} template and the closing </ref>.

But then, today, when I worked on Solomon_Islands#References, I saw some archive links were being rendered. Can someone explain this?

Cheers! George Swan (talk) 17:55, 18 April 2022 (CDT)

Old server dying on 5/20; go save your User Contributions

The old server is at but will die on May 20. If you have not yet saved your User Contributions from the old server, consider doing so. Just go to the old server, then your User page, and click on User Contributions. Save each page as a web page. User contributions did not make it to the new server because we had to start all the accounts over again. This is because the old server used PostGreSQL and the new one uses MariaDB (MySQL), which is more standard, but over the years, those two databases diverged in how user accounts were stored. Anyway, last call to save your User Contributions off-line. Pat Palmer (talk) 09:41, 11 May 2022 (CDT)