User talk:Jeff

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 15:52, 31 August 2012 by Grep (talk | contribs) (Short Link Problem Fix?)
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Ambox notice.png This is the talk page of Jeff, the creator of Explain XKCD. If you have a comment about the wiki, please use the Explain XKCD:Community portal.
Use this page only for personal messages to Jeff, of for requests that require server access.


Hi Jeff,

Just thought I'd run this up the flagpole... any thought about installing the ParserFunctions extension? I think this site could benefit from a few templates that would aid in indexing/categorizing the entries as content is migrated, and ParserFunctions would make some really impressive things possible... but installing any extension or not would be up to you.

Also, do you have any feelings about us users creating templates in the Template namespace, which we could use to maintain the content? Just wanted to get your thumbs-up before/if I did something like that. Just want to play nice. Love the site, and the new wiki format.

- PT IronyChef (talk) 03:05, 1 August 2012 (EDT)

ParserFunctions are awesome, yup! --Philosopher Let us reason together. 06:56, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
 Done Yes to both. I have enabled ParserFunctions and Templates sound like a great idea. IronyChef, please send me an email at the address on the blog and I'll make you an admin if necessary to edit templates. --Jeff (talk) 08:03, 1 August 2012 (EDT)


Just wondering what you thought about adding the Variables extension. I'm toying with revising {{LATESTCOMIC}} to not be so expensive (both in terms of template expansion, and ongoing maintenance.) I could do that now, but the wiki would have to re-expand and re-evaluate the same expression about six times, being slightly counter-productive. -- IronyChef (talk) 14:54, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Bugging you again....

Could you take a look at [1] and tell me if I'm thinking in about the same way as you are here? Also, I've brought up MediaWiki:Tagline and Explain XKCD:Community portal, as it'd be cool to have a tagline. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 10:46, 1 August 2012 (EDT)

With you 100% on the File Delete reasons. Thanks. I agree also about having a tagline. What do you think it should be? --Jeff (talk) 11:13, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
Nothing's coming to mind right now. Perhaps someone else will think of something. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 17:54, 2 August 2012 (EDT)

Discussion continued at Explain XKCD:Community portal/Proposals#Tagline.

Automatic Import

Moved to Explain XKCD:Community portal/Proposals#Automatic Import. (Header left to avoid breaking links.) --Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:30, 4 August 2012 (EDT)

Please watch Explain XKCD:Community portal/Administrators' noticeboard

I'd like to ask that the admins consider adding Explain XKCD:Community portal/Administrators' noticeboard to their watchlists. On a similar note, I've just started a discussion there about spammers. -Philosopher Let us reason together. 02:02, 4 August 2012 (EDT)

Images from Wikimedia Commons and SVG

Please set $wgUseInstantCommons = true; in the wiki's LocalSettings.php, so we can use images from Wikimedia Commons without having to reupload them here. Also, I'd be neat if you could enable svg images. Thanks! --Waldir (talk) 04:20, 4 August 2012 (EDT)

 Done, Instant Commons is on. Will need a little more work to get SVG images to work. What renderer to do you suggest I use? --Jeff (talk) 12:05, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
That'll depend on what you have available in your server. They say there that ImageMagick seems to be an acceptable choice, but rsvg seems to be the best one if the dependencies can be sorted out. --Waldir (talk) 13:20, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Search suggestions


could you please set $wgEnableMWSuggest [2] to true? This enables search suggestions for the search field, and often this helps you to skip the search results. --SlashMe (talk) 09:10, 4 August 2012 (EDT)

 Done OK, this is has been added to the LocalSettings. --Jeff (talk) 12:06, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Time zone

Please set the wiki to UTC ($wgLocaltimezone = "UTC"; in LocalSettings.php), as it's the most neutral option for our international community. In any case, each user can choose their time zone in their preferences.

 Done Ok, set. --Jeff (talk) 12:07, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Short urls, site logo, lowercase xkcd

Hi, I'm not sure if you tried it but is a great (and simple :D) tool to implement clean urls with mediawiki. That would make urls much nicer around here.

Also, if you could, please take a look at Explain XKCD:Community portal/Proposals#Naming conventions, where your assistance is needed for some server changes. --Waldir (talk) 15:31, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi again :) just to remind you about the short urls thing. I think it would be great if we could have wiki links in the form "". It might be necessary to move the wiki into a different folder name than "wiki", but that's just a matter of renaming the folder and changing $wgScriptPath in LocalSettings.php accordingly. The link above makes things really straighforward, it should really only take you a few minutes to set everything up.
Another cool thing that could be done is set up a server redirect so that links in the form of would point to the comics in the wiki instead of returning a 404 error (for instance, would point to That way, we could replicate xkcd's own url system for comics and people could simply type and get the explanation for the corresponding comic. This redirect can probably be set up in the hosting company's web interface, but in case it can't, let me know if you need any help. --Waldir (talk) 22:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Hi Waldir - I'll work on the short URL thing. I want that to work for sure. With regards to the redirect, I have been working on it for a while and I have a few .htaccess files and etc that don't work. I'll be grateful for the help on it. Please send me an email if you know how to get it done. This would also allow anyone from to just add explain and go to the comic explanation. Very helpful. Been working on it unsuccessfully for a while. --Jeff (talk) 01:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Ugh, it must be my hosting because I did all of the shorturls correctly it just sent it to a 404 page for the site over and over again. The url seemed to be the right one, but didn't send it to the right location. It should NOT be this difficult. --Jeff (talk) 02:25, 12 August 2012 (UTC)


Hi Jeff! When you have a few spare minutes, please add the following to LocalSettings.php:

$wgCapitalLinks = false;

This allows page titles not to be automatically capitalized by the software, which is important for filenames and for some comic titles such as s/keyboard/leopard/. Cheers, Waldir (talk) 21:34, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

 Done --Jeff (talk) 01:37, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
...and this broke our templates (and maybe Special:RecentChanges?). See explain xkcd:Community portal/Admin requests. Can't we just style the page titles so they appear as though they aren't capitalized when they really are? (As done at wikipedia:Xkcd, using the DISPLAYTITLE magic word (called through wikipedia:Template:DISPLAYTITLE).) --Philosopher Let us reason together. 04:42, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Looks like transition pains would be inevitable. I think everything is sorted out for now. See the Admin requests thread for details. As for using DISPLAYTITLE, I understand the rationale, but this is xkcd and attention to capitalization is necessary in several pages, and I believe we'd rather use a complete solution (so that pages actually have the correct title) rather than hacking what is shown to viewers. In any case, we shouldn't have many problems in the future because of this; People will only capitalize the first letter of a title when it's actually necessary; otherwise, lazyness/convenience makes us all use lowercase everywhere (besides, redirects can be used just in case, such as {{yesno}} → {{YesNo}}. --Waldir (talk) 09:06, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

External Images

Has there actually been a decision on external images? Or is it just to be decided later? --grep:talk:applaud:smite

No decision yet. What do you think? --Jeff (talk) 21:16, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, the whitelisting seems an OK idea. This would help you save space on the servers that you are hosting on, so that's a plus.
I say go for whitelisting.--grep:talk:applaud:smite
Mostly I am wondering because I created a PHP script that creates an image to display the results of a poll (like on the Moving the Wiki topic in Proposals). For my situation any method of something external being placed on this site will work.
I just got an idea... what if there was a group of moderators that check external images and approve them. The more approvals a person gets, the more "reliable" they are considered to be... ? --grep:talk:applaud:smite

Short Link Problem Fix?

Is mod_rewrite installed and enabled?
Are all of the config files (including the wiki one) set up?