# explain xkcd:Community portal/All

Welcome to the Community Portal. This set of pages is used to discuss how Explain xkcd works, and is divided into five sections. Please use the table below to find the most appropriate section to post in, or post in the miscellaneous section. You can view all community portal sections at once here.

Community portal sections

Proposals (post)
Ideas to improve the wiki's design and organization.

Technical (post)
To discuss technical issues.

Coordination (post)
To coordinate content editing and maintenance tasks.

User problems, changes to protected pages, etc.

Miscellaneous (post)
Messages that do not fit into any other category.

This is the single-page edition of the Community portal. Conversations are transcluded here, so following this page will not follow the conversations.

#  Proposals

At the moment, browsing through the explanations using the previous and next buttons is interrupted whenever there's an explanation missing.

I think adding a page with the strip fr all of those with a short message like "no one has explained this yet, want to give it a shot?" would make the wiki easier to browse through and will get more strips explained faster.

I don't think that would happen. If suddenly it was much easier for people to skip over pages that had no explanation, I think they would do exactly that, skip right over it. On the same side of that coin, If suddenly there are no longer any red links on the List of all comics then everyone perusing that page assumes that all the comics have been explained and don't need to contribute any more. It's astonishing how quickly an embedded red link gets an explanation page created simply to get rid of the red link.
Secondarily, many of the pages created recently aren't being created with their numerical and titular redirects. Without the numerical redirect, the comic template can't find that there is a previous/next comic to link to. Every once in a while somebody will go through and try to notice all the pages that don't have their redirects created but it's an unscientific process that only happens occasionally. If we could get every joe blow that comes in and vomits up a poorly done explanation to create the redirects I wouldn't be quite as annoyed at their lack of show-don't-tell-manship. But, since they can't be bothered to put the date in the comic template, I doubt we'll ever get people to create the redirects.
TL;DR: No more red links, no more work gets done on the back catalog.
--lcarsos_a (talk) 14:28, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

##  xplainkcd.com

When I first saw this site I thought it should definitely be at xplainkcd.com or at least redirect from that url 115.166.22.158 (talk) 12:45, 3 January 2013 (UTC) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I like that idea! --Waldir (talk) 13:28, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
Yeah! If it's possible, it would be cool! At least as a redirect. -- St.nerol (talk) 15:46, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
Not technically the same thing, but I just took http://expxkcd.com. More explanation is given on the website itself. greptalk05:10, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
We do that with explainxkcd.com as well, but yay shorter URLs! Mind if I use that for our social media links? Davidy²²[talk] 06:45, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I had no idea that you did that, but sure, go ahead! If you want, I can change any DNS records if you wish to have it go directly to you guys. greptalk07:16, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
In case you were wondering, I just did the following: ^/([0-9]+)(/large)?/?$ greptalk07:25, 29 March 2014 (UTC) Hrm. We're just matching with ^(\d+)/?$. You can keep ownership of the URL if you want, unless you have traffic concerns or whatever and you want us to handle it, which we're very capable of doing. Davidy²²[talk] 08:47, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

I have made http://www.xkcd.ga and http://www.xkcd.tk both forward to http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page. Is this ok? 17jiangz1 (talk) 08:49, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

##  Section style and usage

I am new here and I'm trying to get up to speed with the culture. I have a few questions about how and where to use sections (== this ==). I am more willing to go with (and enforce) whatever norms there are here, but I have not seen them actually discussed.

1. Is it OK to create sections in Discussion pages? I have been told no, but there are many examples extant of this usage in this Wiki and indeed in Wikipedia.
2. Section title case Wikipedia's style guide recommends sentence case, not title case. There are many title cased section headers here.
3. Links I do not have a reference for this but it seems to me putting links in section code (== [[this]] == ) is bad form.

Last note -- it's understood if these bylaws have not yet been written. I can see that a few of you have made a huge personal investment to make this Wiki what it is today, and that is a credit to you all -- this is awesome! As a long-time aficionado of xkcd I applaud your work and look forward to further collaboration. --Smartin (talk) 04:15, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

As a general rule, we stick to the standard format that existing pages follow, with an optional trivia section below the transcript. Some zealous editors like to add other sections though, which tend to be for the most part unneeded or redundant. If something you want to add doesn't help to explain the comic in some way, but the inclusion of which would somehow still add to the page, *and* it doesn't fall under the trivia category, a new section is warranted. This isn't the case most of the time though, so editors usually fold the content of extraneous sections into "Explanation" or "Trivia." We have no policy on links in titles, and they're allowed so long as they are appropriate; the link is useful and can't be folded into the section itself. And we use title case for titles cuz it just makes sense. Davidy22[talk] 05:08, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
We generally do not (or at least, discourage) use sections on the talk/discussion pages for explanation pages. This is purely for looks. The comic discussion section of the explanation page looks/feels wrong if there are level 2 section breaks in the transclusion. Also, if the Table of Contents starts showing up on a page, such as on Click and Drag the sections created on the talk page also show up in the TOC. This gets confusing, and this is why we prefer not to use them on explanation talk pages. Everywhere else we follow standard wiki format and do use sections on the discussion pages.
Personally, I think that links in section titles looks wrong, but I choose not to be the dictator of style in this matter. :p
Please feel free to make edits. The worst that happens is someone reverts your edit. If it's a big enough issue and/or you don't seem to be learning from what people are fixing about your edits someone will leave a comment on your talk page. That's it. We might leave a nasty-gram in the edit summary, but oh well. We only ban for malicious intent. Honestly working to better the wiki is good, even if sometimes we grumble about it.
--lcarsos_a (talk) 07:00, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Oh, I just looked at your talk page. I completely forgot that that happened. Don't worry about it. Learning the ropes is part of the experience. Do make edits, and if they're wrong, we'll nudge you in the right direction. lcarsos_a (talk) 07:18, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

I have been moving some trivia sections to directly below the explanation, in order to make it more consistent, and easier to survey and maintain. Often the dividing line between trivia and explanation is not entirely clear, and in articles without a trivia section the end of the explanation very often contains trivia-like information. (e.g. 1155: Kolmogorov Directions) -- St.nerol (talk) 10:13, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

### Title case doesn't make any sense

At first sight title case in titles just makes sense. However title case never makes sense. It's worse than all caps. Besides, only Americans and children like title case. 190.96.48.48 20:04, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

##  Protip

Anyone for adding Protip as a Comic series. I have found five so far: 653, 711, 1022, 1047 and 1156. (There are also a few comics with a protip title text.) -- St.nerol (talk) 10:25, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

I think that qualifies as a recurring topic (thus worthy of a category), but not as a series, where you can see a clear sequence. In fact, My Hobby has the same limitation, for what I suggest it to be removed from Category:Comic series. --Waldir (talk) 11:42, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Seconded. Looks general and common enough to be a category. Davidy22[talk] 14:57, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Okay, great! Do you think that the ones with a "protip:" title text should be included? Besides, I think I might be the one responsiple for moving My Hobby from Comics by topic to Comic series. I felt that all the My Hobby comics were about different topics, but maybe i've got to narrow an interpretation of the word "topic". -- St.nerol (talk) 15:31, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Can you link to the protip-in-title-text comics?
As for My Hobby, note that categories aren't mutually exclusive. They can be in the "my hobby" topic, and each of them further categorized as appropriate: music, math, etc. Makes sense? --Waldir (talk) 03:45, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
I just searched for protip in the xkcd search bar. Here: 1084, 427. And yes, makes sense. I've moved My Hobby back to "by topic". -- St.nerol (talk) 12:06, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

##  Category: Sports

How about creating a new "Sports" category? Ekedolphin (talk) 15:31, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Well, maybe. Everyone aren't so keen on new categories here. Which comics are you thinking of, for a start? –St.nerol (talk) 20:32, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
We definitely need to reach an agreement as a community on when to create new categories. Something simple like a minimum of 3 (or, say, 5) existing comics. Since we're already at the proposals' portal... what do you guys think about that? --Waldir (talk) 21:44, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
My opinion: Five would be enough to qualify. Ekedolphin (talk) 09:31, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
I vote for four. But it should also be a reasonable thing to categorize, like sports, not like "sports with Cueball containing at least three anagram words". Wich sholdn't be a problem. :) But the best name choice could be tricky sometimes. e.g. "Film & television", Film & TV", "Film", "Films", or "Movies"? –St.nerol (talk) 12:59, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Agreed, five should be enough to create the category without having to discuss it. - Cos (talk) 00:50, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
OK, let's start with 588, 1092, 904 and 1107. Should be able to find a few more. Ekedolphin (talk) 05:00, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, it's a broad subject so there are probably several more. -St.nerol (talk) 12:59, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
I found another one, sort of, in 929 (although it hasn't been explained yet). Should I get the ball rolling (no pun intended) on setting up the category? Don't wanna do it unilaterally and get yelled at.  ;) Ekedolphin (talk) 06:18, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
I think you should. On a wiki, getting stuck in discussions which die without a conclusion, to the point that motivated people give up without having done anything, is definitely counter-productive, and phrases like Wikipedia:Be bold are here to remind us of that. Seems like people agreed that you could, and after a while nobody said that you shouldn't, so I'd say do it. - Cos (talk) 00:50, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

##  Category: Sex

I think we should also create a Sex category. There's no doubt we can find more than three examples. I'll start looking for them and post the ones I find in here; again, I don't wanna create a large category by myself without community consent. Ekedolphin (talk) 09:20, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Same as above, do it. Oh, already did; well, all the better. - Cos (talk) 00:53, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

## New character

As per Talk:1178: Pickup Artists, the character with hair has appeared in quite a few comics now, and he's starting to become a recurring character. Shall we go ahead with inaugurating him into our list of regular characters, and what name shall we assign him? Current candidate names include Hairy and Harry. Anyone? Davidy²²[talk] 00:07, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

I like Harry :) --Waldir (talk) 01:04, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Cos made a point in the discussion on Talk:1178: Pickup Artists that Hairy is directly descriptive, whereas Harry is not obvious to visitors. On the other hand, not all names are descriptive (Danish) and I think this wiki is entitled to create some xkcd-in-culture, and not just describe. And Harry is quite funny.
I wonder: has Randall ever called him anything at all in the transcript? –St.nerol (talk) 21:52, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, he's not named in a any official transcripts, but he's already called Harry in quite a few comic explanations. Then again, I do like having a more descriptive name for him. Shall we hold this up to a vote? Davidy²²[talk] 23:29, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
I think we should wait a little for a few more viewpoints to crop up. Also, can someone link to some more comics he's been featured in? I've got 1028: Communication, 1027: Pickup Artist and 1178: Pickup Artists. –St.nerol (talk) 23:41, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
I actually like what that anon said: Curly. Second choice: Hairy (being descriptive, a la Black Hat, Beret, Cueball, etc.) While there's talk about in-culture, we've done that with the names Cueball, Beret, etc. It's my opinion that the only names that should be "real" proper names are those that are named in the comic. Megan, Miss Lenhart, etc. Danish (as is discussed below) isn't truly a proper name, but you could argue it's a meta-description (one attributed by Black hat.) So that's my vote: yes for Curly or Hairy, no for Harry. IronyChef (talk) 05:21, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
That's right, Danish is not descriptive, but 1/ that name was suggested because the character was called that way in the comic, which is a tiny bit like a name given by the author (at least more than Harry which we have completely made up), and 2/ in that case it's hard to find a descriptive term: use something that revolves around her black hair (her only descriptive feature), and you easily mix up with Megan; the only graphical difference is that her hair is long, but what kind of name can you make out of that?
For this new character, I suggest Hairy because it comes as the easy solution with every advantage: descriptive, easy to understand, and it's not ugly... I actually see no reason to resort to a made-up name like Harry.
Cos (talk) 22:29, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Alright. So the discussion's been had, and the most oft recommended name appears to be Hairy. All in favor, say aye. If more than 1/3 of editors agree and we have more than 6 votes, Hairy it is. Davidy²²[talk] 05:58, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
1. Aye Davidy²²[talk] 05:58, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
2. Aye Guru-45 (talk) 06:14, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
3. Aye to Hairy. IronyChef (talk) 15:43, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
4. Aye. Harry would be a nice nod to the fact that he's actually hairy, but indeed it's better to avoid inside jokes. --Waldir (talk) 17:05, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
5. Aye. I'm convinced! –St.nerol (talk) 17:52, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
6. Aye. Hairy. lcarsos_a (talk) 20:52, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Hooray! We now have a Category:Comics featuring Hairy, with four pages already! Does anyone feel compelled to create "Hairy", with a brief description and a nice profile pic like the other characters? –St.nerol (talk) 22:58, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

##  Ambiguous characters

I've been thinking about the problem of the ambiguity of characters. "Is this really Cueball even though he has an eye and half a nose?", "This is very likely not x." "Darnit, these arn't Cueballs, these are Randall and his friends!", and so on. The character ambiguity is standard for xkcd (not less so in the early ones), and comes from the very loose or "free" way Randall uses his characters to be whatever he needs at the moment. It's simply often impossible for us to know whether he had e.g. "Cueball" or himself in mind, when drawing a particular comic (and I'd say: probably often both).

I want to suggest that we in general have a likewise rather loose policy towards including characters in the categories for the comics. So that reasonably ambiguous cases should be included in e.g. (does she have a ponytail?) This is not because I believe this or that to really be this or that; I just don't believe in objective truth (here!). I feel that when doing research :) on a character, the borderline cases are often the most interesting ones, and you want to be able to find them through the "Comics featuring miss x"!

I came to think this through now, when I wanted to (and did) list two comics with Miss Lenhart (?) where she was drawn but not named. Any thoughts on this in general? Other case studies? –St.nerol (talk) 21:17, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

My take has always been that Cueball, for example, has not been a specific character. There is not a cueball, per se, distinct from any other cueball... indeed, there are several comics with several cueballs in-frame, and that is the point. I see the cueball character as a wildcard character (pun intended) ready to stand in for anybody (and not necessarily just Randall; I think those readers who suggest "this is Randall" are missing the point; he's way more META than that...) Megan, while slightly less generic, still remains the female wild-card significant-other, while Curls seems to be a not-significant-other female used to illustrate a relationship that is transient. Other characters come and go, and when it's important to visually distinguish them from others in the frame, they're given additional characteristics, to wit Hairy, Ponytail, etc.
Unfortunately, that viewpoint is not commonly held, so I daresay I'm in the minority here.
-- IronyChef (talk) 14:18, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

##  Note at the top, about the server error

This thread was moved to MediaWiki talk:Sitenotice

##  Category: Flowcharts

Hello, the line "Randall has made use of flowcharts before." in today's comic explanation made me want a flowcharts category to navigate into...

As it didn't exist, I proceeded to create it, but as the log says, lcarsos deleted such a category in November, saying "Insufficient differentiation from Category:Comics with charts, diluting the depth of comics tagged charts".

I don't agree with that, and I think we could profit from such a subcategory. I found those pages fitting it:

So? - Cos (talk) 10:59, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Weell if you're willing to take charge of the category and personally make sure it's added to all relevant comic explanations, go ahead. The usual objection to making new categories is that we admins can't remember all the categories when we're reviewing new explanations, but it's K if you're willing to take up that responsibility yourself. Davidy²²[talk] 11:17, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
OK. I did it without waiting for further replies, because I think it will be especially profitable today (to viewers).
It doesn't seem a big issue to me if the correct category is not added when a new explanation is made: a passing editor will do it later on... But hey, I'm OK with taking special care of adding pages to this category.
Cos (talk) 12:28, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
I just want to add that Cos' view is indeed the appropriate way to work in wikis: there is no concept of a single author for a page, category, or piece of text, and the workload is meant to be distributed among several editors: it is not necessary that any single editor remembers all existing categories, or knows the wiki markup by heart, or knows how to work with all the features of mediawiki, etc. The reason why wikis can be edited by anyone is precisely a recognition that there *will* be errors and any page can be improved somehow. That reasoning against categories should, IMO, be abandoned, or at most only kept as the opinion of some editors. --Waldir (talk) 22:00, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Isnt there a page which lists all the categories? If not, there should be one, and it should be accessible to all. Such a page could be useful when trying to quick-add categories to comics. 117.194.83.155 13:43, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, there is. Special:Categories. Davidy²²[talk] 14:07, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Of course, there's a gazillion of 'em, over several pages, so I understand any reluctance to add new categories (having just suggested a new one myself which I feel is justified, but knowing that the upkeep needed may be the key point of contention so remaining philosophical about it).
A solution perhaps to carry over from another locale that I frequent is to have a "Categories of Character" page, a "Categories of Object" one, perhaps "Categories of Event", and a "Categories of Publication". For each new comic someone can easily check the shorter Character categories list against those present, the Object list against itemsin use, Events, etc, and of course the Publication one has the "Tuesday Comic"/equivalent, and other date-based ones (although isn't that automatic from templated creation? ...never added a comic, but would imagine it is). After that it's a trawl through the miscelania categories (perhaps a meta-category just for them?). But, yeah, a lot of work to set up. Wouldn't wish it on anyone who wasn't already willing to do it, and I remain an anon-IP person right now so can hardly commit myself as volunteer maintainer of this. 178.98.31.27 17:20, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

This does move it to above the line, and the rule stops early. Undo my change if that's more bothering than when the TOC is displayed as "add a comment!Discussion"...

I don't know how to automatically treat level 2 headers as level 3. That may be why Discussion was a level 1 heading earlier. Mark Hurd (talk) 11:16, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Actually I now noticed there was a short edit war at {{comic discussion}} over whether it should be a level 1 heading, just for this reason. User:Waldir seems to have conceeded... Mark Hurd (talk) 11:25, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
No edit war, hence no (intentional) concession. I reverted a change once, and didn't notice the change being re-implemented by another user. In any case, it is irrelevant now since we actively discourage using headers in talk pages precisely so that they don't display in the TOC for the main comic page, where the discussion page is transcluded to (see the discussion above). This might not scale well for comics that generate lots of discussion. It might be worth discussing our customs (and perhaps write them down somewhere) before performing such changes. What do others think? --Waldir (talk) 11:49, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

##  Time: The Table

Right now on the page 1190: Time, we have a whole bunch of tables in the form image-time-hash. The tables take up heaps of vertical space and all have to be collapsed to even be remotely traversible. I propose that we aggregate all the images into one table after Time ends, like so:

The hash values aren't really a part of the comic, they're gibberish for the most part and they take up space that could be used to compact the table, as shown above. Even if we are conservative and make the table only five columns wide to account for smaller screens, we've divided scrolling time by five and eliminated much of the need for annoying collapsed tables and section headers for each day. Constructing the table shouldn't be particularly hard either, as all our current data is in nice regular tables with clear patterns that are easy enough to parse through.

I'm putting this here because the organization of the frame entries would be unintuitive and difficult to change from the edit window, which would make it a poor choice when we're still expanding it and don't even know how long the comic will continue for. It's merely a space-saving trick for after we're sure that the comic is over. Davidy²²[talk] 09:26, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Oh and it'd be really nice if other people could also upload images if you're awake and a new one rolls by. There's gaps in the image record every time I wake up, and I dun likey. Davidy²²[talk] 11:34, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
Good work so far; go ahead make it better! :) –St.nerol (talk) 08:34, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

## Featured Explanation, and Archival?

• Wikipedia has featured content. Now that we are close to reaching the goal of all comics explained, I think it makes more sense to have a "featured explanation" which would serve as a sort of a marker for a complete and good explanation. Many comics, and almost all charts are not fully explained/not a good quality explanation.
• We should set up archival of discussion of the most discussed pages, like this one. Its not very pleasing to see comments from July 2012 still lying around here. It becomes hectic at some point.

Just my 2 cents, feel free to discuss. Cheers, 117.194.88.180 13:36, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

We dedicate this wiki to explaining xkcd, and we do actually have a featured comic feature; it changes every week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and we usually manage to fill out the explanation for it within an hour or so of it going up. The most recent comic tends to be the one that most people visiting the wiki care about, so we give it prime space on the front page so they can find it easily. xkcd updates frequently enough that there isn't really that big of a time window for us to feature an article on our front page. Also, we're a volunteer project with quite a bit less manpower than Wikipedia.
We do need to archive talk pages though. Some of these are getting ridiculously long. Davidy²²[talk] 14:04, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Davidy22. Archiving topics can be done by anyone, by moving resolved threads to the portal section's corresponding talk page. We could start with the threads marked "✓ Closed". Waldir (talk) 17:42, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
The reason I asked for a "featured explanation" was because many of the comic explanations we currently have are sub-par, and we're almost at our initial goal of explaining all comics. A "featured explanation" would drive our editors towards the goal of having complete and good explanation towards all comics, and would allow us to know which explanations need elaboration.
P.S. My definition of complete explanation would be - To have a good explanation, To have all categories relevant, To link to any comics related and To explain any technical portions of the comic.
117.194.82.49 07:45, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
That message on the front page is going to link to all the pages marked by the incomplete template. If you find an unsatisfactory explanation, please mark it with {{incomplete}} Davidy²²[talk] 07:54, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
By my definition, I think all comics will be incomplete. An incomplete template will be focused more towards improving the worst explanations, while a featured one will be to improve the best ones. Since we already have the former, we should focus on the latter. Just my 2 cents. 117.194.85.82 06:55, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

##  Split the list of all comics

List of all comics is getting larger and larger, which makes it hard to read and hard to edit. How about splitting into parts, say List of all comics/1-1000, List of all comics/1001-2000, etc., or something to that effect? --Waldir (talk) 17:39, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Done. 117.194.88.176 10:03, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Great job, thanks! Waldir (talk) 11:09, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
And I've added back List of all comics (full), which allows, for example, listing all comics by alphabetical order.Mark Hurd (talk) 17:29, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Moved from Talk:Main Page –– St.nerol (talk) 08:06, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Are they generating significant money? The ones I see are pretty sleazy looking and/or scammy - "Power Companies Hate this Device! - click here to break the laws of thermodynamics!" and "Debt relief program click here to lose more money". How much money are they generating? Can you set any selections to remove the sleazy ads? J-beda (talk) 18:30, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Do we have sleazy sidebar ads? Since when? Thanks Google Chrome and AdBlock, I had no idea! –St.nerol (talk) 07:47, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
People give 20$a pop to get a bunch of clicks on explainxkcd, and Jeff uses that money to buy a faster server with a hard drive that doesn't have less space than a public toilet with an elephant in it. It'd be really nice if you didn't turn on adblock, the money is appreciated. Davidy²²[talk] 08:47, 14 April 2013 (UTC) It's a question of me not turning it off specifically every time I visit this site. More importantly, I do think people would be more likely to click the "donate" if it weren't irrelevant ads around it. –St.nerol (talk) 19:29, 14 April 2013 (UTC) Generating money is a great thing. Getting "20$ a pop to get a bunch of clicks" is a bit unclear. Do the ads only generate revenue when clicked on? So EXKCD only gets money when someone actually falls for the sleazy ads? I know lots of people do not like Google - but at least their adsense stuff is relevant to the content of the website, which might generate some legitimate traffic for a legitimate advertiser.... J-beda (talk) 11:48, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Welllll, I didn't pick the ad supplier. You could bring it up with Jeff if you want, I think he picked the ad provider on basis of which one had a mediawiki plugin or something. If you can link Jeff to a quick and easy way to put adsense on mediawiki, he should change it quickly enough. Davidy²²[talk] 14:21, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
And I also gather then that they are only a temporary thing? -- St.nerol (talk) 08:27, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Until we can buy a server that doesn't poop itself every time a new comic is released, the ads are staying. If you want them to go away sooner, throw more money at Jeff. Davidy²²[talk] 09:25, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
The ads are crap. For sure. Wish I didn't have to run them, but I don't trust donations alone to hold up continually some better hosting. The ads really don't bring in that much $. I had google adsense before, but Google shutdown my adsense account for unnamed reason after 1 week. This new ad service is way sketchier. If you all think they don't have a place here, I'll ax 'em. --Jeff (talk) 16:02, 24 April 2013 (UTC) Thanks for the info Jeff. How much ad money are we talking about? Is it calculated on how many ads are displayed or how many are clicked-through? How close to the goal is the server fund? How about a Kickstarter campaign for the server?$10 gets your name on a thankyou webpage or something like that. J-beda (talk) 17:32, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
It ain't much, last I looked it was $2 or$3 in 2 weeks. I believe it is based on clicks, it is not nearly as clear as Google adsense. I'm not really interested in doing a Kickstarter. I think the donations will cover the initial start up, I just want to be able to cover the monthly costs as well. A few things are still up in the air. --Jeff (talk) 16:24, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
Can you find a way to show the donations and ad income on the site, to make it transparent? ––St.nerol (talk) 15:30, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
How about a donation amount that you'll take to turn it (the annoying unethical scummy ads) off for a year? Give me a dollar value and I might step up for the good of us all! J-beda (talk) 16:28, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

##  Economic transparency

I think this is very important: How can we make the donations and ad-income transparent, so that we all can see when and how much money is coming in, and how far we are from reaching our goal? – St.nerol (talk) 00:35, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Sounds fine to me, I think I can put something together. --Jeff (talk) 15:52, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Hi, may I bump this issue? Or maybe you have done something, and I missed it? Anyway, I would still appreciate it! –St.nerol (talk) 17:43, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Numberssss. I'll get on with it, just need less homework and a few more numbers. Davidy²²[talk] 07:54, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

I would like to respectfully file a complain. I find the banner advertisement of background checks distasteful. Benjaminikuta (talk) 05:10, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Hey Benjaminikuta - I am the one who approved those ads. But, since you have filed a complaint about them, I have gone ahead and removed them. Thanks. --Jeff (talk) 12:52, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

I thank you. Benjaminikuta (talk) 03:36, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

##  Using <nowiki></nowiki> in transcripts to improve accuracy

In the transcripts, [[lines]] are being changed to [lines] in order to avoid auto-linking. Why not just surround these with <nowiki></nowiki> tags and avoid the problem entirely? --Epauley (talk) 04:18, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Because it takes less time to type and single brackets are just as readable as double brackets to visitors. It's also a bit more readable in the editor. Davidy²²[talk] 09:55, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

##  Category: (Barred/banned from?) Conferences

I come here after realising I erroneously posted (in reply) to the Main page Talk, being anonymous (or at least IP-only) and without a list of qualifying articles to support me, just yet, but still wish to put forward the above category before I forget. There's no apparent equivalent, that I found, but it's definitely a recurring meme. I should be back (named or otherwise) with my suggested list of members, if someone else doesn't get there first, but I thought I'd start with the placemarker. 178.98.31.27 16:41, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Ok, so I got the bee in my bonnet and spent a few minutes actually looking into this. Revising "Barred from Conferences" (actually more often "Banned" or even "Thrown out of"/equivalent) to just "Conferences", the subset of comics that I can easily find that are involved is *153, *177, *365, *410, *463, *541, 545, 685, 829 and 867, but I'm sure there are more recent ones that I didn't spot/recall. One alternative title to "Conferences" is "Presentations", and I'm sure if I'd searched for that I'd have found more potential candidates (less some that might exit the renamed category). The asterisked ones do deal with being barred/banned/thrown out/etc, making it still a suitable category in its own right, IMO, but I'll leave it up to your combined musings to decide. 178.98.31.27 17:07, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
I add 690 to the list. --Chtz (talk) 08:12, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Great suggestions! I created Category:Public speaking and Category:Banned from conferences. I also added Wikipedian Protester to the mix, of course :) --Waldir (talk) 21:59, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

##  Strip Title

For someone who commonly browses explainxkcd in place of xkcd, and hence often see the strips for the first time here rather than the parent site, I find it somewhat odd that the 'Title Text' is so poorly displayed given how critical it can be to the strip.

I propose that, while retaining the given name (perhaps moving it top left), the title text be enlarged and relocated to being over the strip as originally intended. 175.41.133.18 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The title text is placed very well at bottom of the image.--Dgbrt (talk) 07:20, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
I would have to agree with Dgbrt, it's placed nicely at the bottom, and there is no need for it to be moved. My reasoning is that you never actually read the title text first, you read it last. Making it text-align: left; does not make sense, because the image is centered (just like on xkcd.com). I also believe that there is no need for it to be re-sized, mainly due to the fact that it is slightly larger than the title text (for me, at least). greptalk05:18, 08 September 2013 (UTC)
Plus, if you hover over the image, it's the same as on xkcd.com greptalk06:13, 08 September 2013 (UTC)
I also agree with Dgbrt and Grep. The title text is kind of a bonus and should not be emphasized more than on the original page. On the original site you only see it before the image, if you have very slow internet access (or very fast eyes) --Chtz (talk) 08:06, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

##  Sections in talk pages

Is there a reason why there are no sections in talk pages? It is not a very big deal, but especially for longer talk pages it would make editing be much handier, especially when using the preview function (not having to find the section every time). Also it automatically adds a description to the history (thus makes it more easy to look for certain edits, or decide by just looking at the Special:RecentChanges, if a comment should concern you. --Chtz (talk) 08:01, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

When discussion pages are transcluded by the comic discussion template, section headers carry over from talk pages and bad things happen. Using ; to denote headers instead of equals signs works well, and doesn't share transclusion pain. Davidy²²[talk] 08:04, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

##  references

Any chance we can add cite.php to this wiki? Most pages don't need it, but some comics take on a life of their own and being able to add reference tags would be really helpful for those. LadyMondegreen (talk) 01:33, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Cite has been added to the wiki. Thanks for the suggestion! --Jeff (talk) 01:35, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

##  Stylized writing

I understand that this wiki isn't as formal as wikipedia or sites like that but it seems that there are a few questionable practices:

1. The use of questions - when a non-rhetorical or unnecessary question is entered into the explanation.

2. Extremely painted/biased view points - when there is obvious bias in the tone of the explanation of the contributor, in other words; a lack of neutrality.

3. Extreme repetition/rehashing - the explanation restates things and makes for a long and tedious read when a more straight-forward explanation is possible and clearer.

4. The general informality - "This one's an easy one" "This is simple" "this one's straightforward" "You're an idiot for not understanding this one" etc.

5. Many other practices that make the explanation hard to read, difficult to understand, or plain ugly.

I know that there are disparaging view points on how a comic should be explained, but please let's clean up the site a bit, acknowledge each view point and report on all of them and then tighten up the sloppy writing. Carry out arguments in the talk section, not the explanation. Perhaps we could first try to say the majority view point on the interpretation and then write the alternate explanations, of course this would bring up the debate on which is the majority explanation. Either way, more complete, logical explanations should be given more credence. --Lackadaisical (talk) 00:25, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

I agree with 2-5. 1, on the other hand, is sometimes useful and can contribute the to explanation, although 1 is still a very good point. I would say that you should edit it to have "arguments in the talk" be a 6th point as well. Unfortunately, though, we are not all logical, comic-understanding machines here, so minor deviations of these rules are still to be expected. But I think that overall, these are good rules, even if 2/3 are sort of part of 5.
I understand the use of questions in certain parts. And it was probably better to put the others as sub-categories to five but I wanted to show some common things that can be easily fixed. I know that some explanations require a lot of text and extensive research because of the abstract subjects Randall deals with and that it's difficult to be completely standardized but I think it would be good for us to try to come up with some general things to try to avoid to help the explanations "flow" --Lackadaisical (talk) 00:25, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Most of that isn't intentional, it's just an awful lot of labor to copy check all the explanations. I've been going through all the current articles and fixing consistency issues, the worst being wrong transcript/title text/dates and the most benign being wikilinks, spelling and trailing spaces. I'm at 682 so far, but my next pass will be on actual language and content, and it'll probably take longer. It takes a while though, and you can totally work on improving language in articles if you want to. Some explanations were pulled from the old blog, some were written and just got lost in the changelog. Copy editing everything we have so far is a very labor-intensive job, and the only way to really deal with it is to knuckle down and do it, or form a wikiproject and hope to heaven that visitors feel charitable enough to join in on it. I'd *probably* push to finish up all our incomplete articles first though, just because that's more directly related to the purpose of the site; tone and style probably comes second to having correct explanations. That doesn't mean you can't do it yourself, it's just that I'll probably only dedicate the subheader on the main page to one project at a time and our current biggest bugbear hasn't been solved yet. I could put up a sitenotice to see if that speeds the process up any. I'll do that when I get back home. Davidy²²[talk] 03:31, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

##  Easy redirect to comic?

I've been thinking, and there is one thing that would make navigating to the explained comics easier. My method of browsing is I'll see the comic on xkcd.com first, and if there is something curious about it that I don't quite understand, I'll come here. Sometimes it can be a bit troublesome, going to the homepage and then navigatiing to the right comic. Not too bad, but I'd like an easy way to go direct. So I was thinking, what if you had a redirect such that if you typed in, for example, www.explainxkcd.com/505, you would get redirected to http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=505:_A_Bunch_of_Rocks. That would mean that you could get to the comic just from adding an "explain" to the start of the xkcd.com URL. I don't know if that is at all possible, but it would be pretty handy if it happened. Thoughts? Alcatraz ii (talk) 03:01, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

That's actually already on the to-do list. I'm testing it right now and we should have it up soon. Davidy²²[talk] 04:02, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Awesome :) Alcatraz ii (talk) 03:26, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Whoop, forgot to mark this as complete. Davidy²²[talk] 04:37, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Done! Copy this and drag it to your bookmarks bar: |javascript: var url = document.URL; document.location = url.replace('xkcd.com','explainxkcd.com');| 173.245.52.29 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
The feature requested here has also long since been implemented. Davidy²²[talk] 22:20, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

##  Increase support via prominent display of copyright and license for text submitted to explainxkcd

But I found nothing on most pages of explainxkcd about copyright or licensing, and it discouraged me from contributing or donating. Finally, as I was writing this proposal up, I found a link on the editing page here: explain xkcd:Copyrights - explain xkcd saying that "The Explain XKCD wiki is generally licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license (CC-BY-SA-3.0)". That notice should be more prominent on the site, with at least a link on each page. Nealmcb (talk) 15:27, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

This should be mentioned at the main page, including a reference to the xkcd origin.
BTW: NO DOUBLE SPACES after a sentence. Are you US guys still using a typewriter? It's not rendered at a web page and stupid like Gallons, Miles, Foots, and much more unique US behaviours. But that's just a joke beside.
The licence hint is much more important, you are just correct.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:12, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Added a creative commons icon to the footer of the page, next to the powered by mediawiki button. Davidy²²[talk] 22:16, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

##  New Comics Bot

Would there be need for such a thing? 108.162.231.52 Synthetica

Nice idea, I never thought about that before. I will do some tests on existing comics to check if this could reduce the current number of error posts for a new article. When that is ready and working I will talk to some admins. My bot account DgbrtBOT was originally intended for 1190: Time picture uploads, but I never have used it because Time was over. Creating the new pages should be easy in general, avoiding errors will cost some more work. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:31, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
If you can get dgbrtBOT to do that, that'd help us an awful lot. It'd allow us to get rid of the ifexist cases in template:LATESTCOMIC as well, since the bot could change automatically that whenever a new comic goes up. It'll also help us get new comics down almost the moment they pop up, since the bot could sample several times a minute until a comic is posted. So long as it gets the general pattern right so that we have a correct page set up, we're good. An admin can come in sometime later to clean up categories and image urls and other piddly easy-to-fix details. Davidy²²[talk] 20:54, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
I will work on this next weekend, just local scripts and no updates here. I also will talk about my results before any automatic updates will be activated. My first focus is on creating the new pages in the general pattern, LATESTCOMIC and also the page "All comics" are maybe a bonus later. And of course all my scripts will be open source.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:44, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
The first version is ready and I will test it at my local wiki. If everything goes well I could activate it for Wednesday (2013-11-13). LATESTCOMIC and "All comics" are on my roadmap, but first I want produce correct new pages here. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:00, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Righty ho. Here goes. Davidy²²[talk] 20:36, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Even when my automatic local wiki test did fail today, just a damn wrong password, I will activate the bot here for Wednesday. It will only run from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM UTC. You will not see my possible updates at Special:RecentChanges unless you click Show bots at the top of that page. LATESTCOMIC and "All comics" are not covered, but this is at my TODO list until this test will be successful. Give me a GO or NO-GO for this test.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:49, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Easily a GO, I'll be ready to clean up if anything goes wrong. Davidy²²[talk] 22:08, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
So be ready on Wednesday for the clean up. My worst case is it simply does not work, second worse scenario is still that I could delete some contend already posted here, but I'm trying to avoid this. Huston, the countdown clock is counting. I'm joking about this because I really want to be confident about this BOT or ROBOT or uncontrolled action here.--Dgbrt (talk) 00:28, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
The bot can't do anything that I can't reverse. I can even restore a backup from an hour before the bot's edits if it manages to break the database. How quickly does it poll xkcd, by the way? Davidy²²[talk] 07:53, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

First live test here (comic 1289). Please delete this page: Simple_Answers:_1289. Since my local wiki did not provide this templates I could not see this error before. In general the bot will update pages differ to any existing pages, but when it is not changed no update will happen. I'm fixing this errors at my script and do a second test here soon. I want to see it's producing correct pages until the bot will do it's work when I'm sleeping.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:31, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Ok, test are done here, BOT is scheduled for the next update. Polling is every five minutes on Mon, Wed, and Fri from 04:00 until 08:00 UTC. Let's see how it will work.--Dgbrt (talk) 23:08, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Couldja ramp that up to once/twice a minute, push the start time back by an hour, and the end time by a few hours? Also, is it possible to terminate it once it finds a comic for a certain day? Davidy²²[talk] 01:45, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
It worked! Though it posted the comic 5 minutes past post time. We has technology now, we can afford to poll faster and closer, yeah? Davidy²²[talk] 05:32, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Uhh, it worked... I will increase the polls when I'm more confident about the release times. Today it was approx. 05:00 UTC (GMT) or 01:00 EST (Randall's time zone). Looks like he is still at daylight saving time, would have been 00:00 EDT. The polls will be increased to one minute when I'm sure about the Standard Release Time (SRT). Next steps for the next update on Friday are:

The "All comics" page.
The LATESTCOMIC template.

--Dgbrt (talk) 19:54, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

The LATESTCOMIC template is included for the next run, it just simply has to return a number. But it's still the most critical part because if it does not work the Main Page is broken. I will change this to a better solution using that IFEXIST syntax soon. The list of all comics is still at my ToDo list. --Dgbrt (talk) 22:06, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
The desired content of the LATESTCOMIC template should be just the comic number. If we can get out of having to poll multiple IFEXIST statements to find the latest comic, that would be a fantastic boon to our server performance. Davidy²²[talk] 04:43, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
OK, it did work today so I will not change this. Next step is the list for all comics.--Dgbrt (talk) 11:10, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Next run will include an update on the "All comics" page. I'm crossing my fingers. When this update is also successful I will document my Bot at the Bot user page User:DgbrtBOT. --Dgbrt (talk) 22:15, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Oh, I forgot this detail: The bot is starting at 00:00 EST (RLT - Randall local time), which is 04:00 UTC and 05:00 MET for me. It polls every 5 minutes until 23:55 MET (22:55 UTC, 18:55 RLT) the main page until a new comic is found. I do not poll the comic number because I want to avoid 404 message logs at the servers.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:30, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Something went wrong there. That's gonna need fixing. I am enjoying the looks of the apparently faster polling though. Maybe you could also set the start time to 00:00:05 EST to catch the on-time xkcd releases within ten seconds? Davidy²²[talk] 05:33, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Uh, what a mess. I will do some more tests at my local wiki. At the next time I will do a check against the number from the LATESTCOMIC template, only the next number will be processed. The test against my local history did fail because of some cleanups after testings.--Dgbrt (talk) 08:18, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't like mess. So the BOT got many more checks before posting here but the bot was starting at 05:00 local time for me. I'm really asleep at that time. The mess here was covered, but I do need another GO for the next attempt. Otherwise I will just do a test to my local wiki.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:35, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

No GO so far, my next test will run only at my local wiki.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:16, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

My script is here: explainXKCD_update. At my current test "explainxkcd.com" is commented out and "localhost" is active. Since I don't like mess and the bot does act while I am sleeping the next update must be done manually here. I'm hoping the bot will be ready for the next update on Friday.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:15, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Bot is ready for Friday, everything went smooth at my last local test today. The bot did find the latest comic at 04:05 UTC and all essential pages were properly created. So I will activate it for this site again. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:57, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Bot did work as expected. So I name it release 1.1337, the next planed release will be 2.1337 (beta) because of this two issues:

• "Include any categories below this line." will be removed because it doesn't make any sense any more.
• BETA: I want to use the full template features at List of all comics, just ensuring that the pictures are working properly. No need for this at the most comics, but the BOT doesn't cover all possibilities on corrupt file names like we have had in "Pi vs. Tau". The picture was without that dot. My bot just shows the real link it did upload here.

I'm pretty sure we will have some issues on this bot, but for general pages it should work. So the bot will be active on Mon,Wed,Fri from 0:00 EST (or EDT) every five minutes until it did found a new comic, on success the bot does not poll any more.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:51, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Aww, it's a bot. It doesn't need to rest or take time off to do other stuff. It can totally poll once or more times per minute. Also, if you set the start time to a few seconds after midnight, Randall time, when he uploads a comic on-time, you'll get it within a few seconds as opposed to having to wait for the next polling. As for the image names, maybe you could convert spaces in the comic name to underscores, compare the two comic names you have and use that to decide which version of the template to use? Davidy²²[talk] 23:08, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I have to avoid that the bot is running twice, Internet Timeouts and more. And the comics are also published later sometimes. Look at my release 1.1337, release 2.1337 will be later, Maybe I should start at 2 minutes after 0:00, but let's see right now how the bot does work. --Dgbrt (talk) 00:38, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Uhh, what a huge discussion here. The bot will get a major update soon: Scheduler does start it once and until a comic is found and uploaded it here or an other limit is reached (maybe the end of the day) the bot will poll by a small delay. But every poll is still an entire download from the main page, When a new comic is found bot stops.

Why, you could use http://xkcd.com/info.0.json, right?108.162.231.52 07:38, 2 December 2013 (UTC)Synthetica
The BOT performs perfect and I prefer to analyze the original page. A title text like the one from today (a text showing a link) will be covered in the future.--Dgbrt (talk) 10:35, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

A great enhancement would be also covering a new comic like 1190 Time was. I'm looking forward on this, some ideas, it does require a complete analyse of the page and then finding some strange content. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:05, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

##  Require description for 'incomplete' tags

I've been trying to fix some of the incompletes, but several explanation pages I've come across are tagged incomplete without any reason given. The reason should be a required part of the tag. --173.245.52.223 03:35, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

This incomplete tags are just older than the recent change of that template. Current adds require a description, but it's not easy to figure out all that old reasons. If someone does find a reason, please just add it. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:22, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

##  Should there be a subwiki to cover the shop links that appear above the comic?

The current one (as of writing) is [1] but this is a different than the usual, and there was also a third in between these. Rsranger65 (talk) 06:00, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Those are very ephemeral. They aren't going to exist for very long, I don't know how valuable it would be to archive that stuff. We could probably do it, but having to figure out another naming convention and all for advertisements doesn't appeal to me at the current moment. If you can flesh it out, I'd love to see how you think we should do it. Davidy²²[talk] 07:24, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

##  New Character

OK, I think we need a name for the character with a goatee and glasses in comics 435: Purity, 796: Bad Ex and 964: Dorm Poster as well as possibly others. Edit: oh and I suggest Goatee and Glasses Guy, but I'm open for suggestions Edit 2: also in 826: Guest Week: Zach Weiner (SMBC) Halfhat Halfhat (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~) edit 3: Another sighting 954: Chin-Up Bar Halfhat (talk) 16:57, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

In the transcript, he is called "Person with Glasses and a Goatee" --Jeff (talk) 15:39, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
"Glasses Guy", "Goatee Guy" are both probably descriptive enough! --Jeff (talk) 15:41, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

##  What If Comics

Hi, I was thinking, maybe at some point we should do the comics in the What If? section, like this one. Halfhat (talk) 20:01, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Start creating the pages for them! --Jeff (talk) 15:36, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
I think I can start creating one or two pages for What If, if that helps... Daniel Carrero (talk) 16:14, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
If nobody has any problem with it, I'm gonna give it a try later. :) Daniel Carrero (talk) 13:14, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I thought they were already pretty self-explanatory though. Also, how are we gonna organize and present them? Davidy²²[talk] 16:31, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I totally agree with David: Read the entire What-If page and follow the links provided by Randall. No one of us can do that better in depth. But an overview page for this site is maybe not a bad idea, we just need a proper link here — a link at the main menu on the left. Translations to other languages are just another issue. --Dgbrt (talk) 22:37, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I was thinking of an overview, summarizing the contents and discoveries of each what if page. Not to mention, we could also organize what if pages by categories, such as physics/love.
Would you like me to post here an example of what I would write? That way we can decide if it's worthy of creating an actual page. Daniel Carrero (talk) 12:53, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Adding pages for What If? posts would be very helpful. Although the articles themselves are obviously self-explanatory, there are almost as many subtle references, running gags, and in-jokes in What If? posts these days as in the comics themselves.

I often visit explain xkcd when I feel like I'm missing an inside joke or a pop culture reference in a comic, and it would be very helpful to many people (especially those from other cultures/subcultures) to have the same service. For example, today's What If? contains multiple allusions to the Superman Movie, a running Citation Needed joke, and a whole comic that is a not-so-subtle dig at Elon Musk and the Hyperloop. It would be awesome if the community here at explainxkcd could tackle stuff like that. Anonymous 20:05, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

I agree. I don't understand the mouseover text on the first image in "Snow Removal", for example. Benjaminikuta (talk) 22:57, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

##  Transcripts

The whole point of the transcripts is to have those who are unable to view images to still be able to read the comic, right?

Then why is it required to stick to strictly official transcripts, where sometimes rewriting them slightly would make them flow better or otherwise get the ideas across better? I've tried rewriting a few, but they get reverted. I think that having easier-to-understand transcripts would be more important than strictly following official transcripts; what do you think? (For a few examples, see this edit and this edit. Zowayix (talk) 17:38, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

We use the original transcript to try and deduce original author intent if it's unclear from the image. I remember one comic where Beret Guy was off in the distance and it was difficult to distinguish him from the image, but the official transcript said it was him. We don't stick to the original transcript if it's obviously wrong, or it has typographical errors: see Laser Scope. Those edits seem to be mainly targeted at language and clarity, and should be fine. Davidy²²[talk] 23:06, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Would it be helpful to have another (optional) section for expanding on the official transcripts? I too think it could be helpful, especially for complex images (such as 1079/United Shapes [2]). Or does supplemental description belong in the Explanation sections? Cheers. Karenb (talk) 23:00, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Naaah, how many people even know there's an original transcript? If the original is wrong, change it. If your additions begin to verge on explanatory, move eet to the trivia/explanation sections. Davidy²²[talk] 00:52, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

##  "Characters in this Comic" section

Should there be a "Characters in this Comic" section in each comic explanation? (I feel like this should be longer but don't have anything else to say.) Z (talk) 23:33, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

There is a Category section at the bottom of each comic. Just scroll down and you will see any character belonging to a specific comic. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:50, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

Hi As there are already other comics with explanations even though they are not part of the number system. This one does not seem to have any yet: http://xkcd.com/radiation/ And as it is very alike the Money strip (the unexplained of the week) so I think it should be explained as well. If you agree please add it as I'm not sure how to do that.

Best regards

Kynde (talk) 18:47, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

There should be a link in each comics explanation page somewhere linking to the comment section for the relevant comic on /r/xkcdcomic or reddit.

The reddit comments page isn't that close to what we do though. If this is more popular, we'll do it, though there'll need to be a fair bit of post-hoc editing since I don't think there's a standard URL scheme for all the past comics. Davidy²²[talk] 03:15, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

##  Not insulting new users

I am writing a response to a vulnerability assessment. I have included a link to http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/936 noting that it contains a good explanation of the relative security of passwords vs passphrases. I just noticed that the top of that page contains "Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb." Looks like I'll have to find a different site to link to. --Pascal (talk) 17:33, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

I agree. While I'm sure it can seem cute or funny in various circles, that text has always seemed immature and inappropriate to me, and I'm sure to many folks we'd like to invite to the site. I suggest that it be changed. Nealmcb (talk) 19:52, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

##  Category: Wishes

Several comics now exist that talk about wishes - probably more. Should there be a category for this? Z (talk) 23:22, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Doesn't seem significant enough. If you promise to maintain the category you can make it yourself, although it will be cleared out if it gets neglected as new comics are released. Davidy²²[talk] 15:20, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Is there an RSS feed (or some equivalent) of Explain XKCD available? It's helpful for those using feed readers, and superior to the primary XKCD RSS since there are explanations and the mouse over text is transcribed for the lazy. Thanks 108.162.219.154 08:24, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Why yes, we do! It's the regular new pages log that all wikis have. It's a little ugly at the moment, and sometimes junk gets in there when a bot chucks spam at us, so a nicer feed is in the works, but the linked one should do you excellently for now. When the nice one is done, you'll see it in the sidebar below the "Help" button. Davidy²²[talk] 11:31, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

A fair amount of effort has gone into categorising the comics, and at the moment it isn't particularly obvious how to browse by category. Is this worth doing? Pudder (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Space on the sidebar is on a premium. I dunno, I'd probably be against it, but I want to hear what other admins say as well. Davidy²²[talk] 16:45, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

##  Alternate realities what if would benefit from a wiki entry

The what if entry from the end of November 2014 providing excerpts from alternate reality what ifs would benefit from an explain page. I suspect these may have been typos that have been made into jokes, but some of the humor might not be apparent to all. I doubt I have access (or maybe know how) to set it up myself.

Made it. Check out What If: 120: Alternate Universe What Ifs. 17jiangz1 (talk) 09:10, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
We don't actually have a structure for what if pages in general, so I'll have to take that down, but when we do we can make pages for every what if. Davidy²²[talk] 09:57, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

##  Secondary URLs?

I have made http://www.xkcd.ga and http://www.xkcd.tk both forward to http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page. Is this ok? 17jiangz1 (talk) 08:50, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

While we probably won't advertise them because we can't guarantee the uptime of third-party URLs, and they add an additional redirect layer and lack our shortened URL features, you're free to purchase and link URLs to us independently. We are not owned by Randall and as such cannot claim to actually be xkcd, so I'm not hugely comfortable with you using the plain name "xkcd" to link to us; a url in the format http://www.xkcd.[TLD] should by rights link to the main xkcd site, but no trademark claim has been made or likely will be made, so you should be fine with doing whatever you want to do with URL redirects Davidy²²[talk] 09:57, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

##  LaTeX (Or MathML, TeX) support?

In the most recent comic at the time of posting, there was use of formulae, being:
Fgravity = G m1m2/d2
Fstatic = Ke q1q2/d2
There are probably many more comics using formulae that cannot be rendered properly without the use of LaTeX or something. The help page on Wikipedia says that the following should work:
$F_{gravity}=G\frac{m_1m_2}{d^2}$
$F_{static}=K_e\frac{q_1q_2}{d^2}$

Provided that one has to set
$wgUseTeX = true; in LocalSettings.php. Is there any reason for this to be disabled? If there is, is there any alternative? —141.101.106.95 21:18, 20 February 2015 (UTC) The wgUseTeX flag was deprecated in mediawiki 1.18 in a move to simplify base mediawiki and move niche features into seperate plugins. I vaguely remember this being requested in the past, can't find any evidence of me implementing it. I'll try it now, see what stopped me last time. Davidy²²[talk] 01:12, 21 February 2015 (UTC) Ah, there's a bit of configuration work to it and I was busy at the time probably. I'll put it on the growing to do list on my userpage. Davidy²²[talk] 01:20, 21 February 2015 (UTC) ##  Merge Cueball & Rob At the risk of posting this idea too many places and annoying everyone, I would like to propose that we consider merging Cueball and Rob and redirecting Cueball to Rob, much as Cutie now redirects to Megan. The most common name given for a Cueball-like character in the strip is "Rob". Like Megan, he is not always named. Also, like Megan, Rob tends to have distinct characteristics such as being a nerdy alter-ego to Randall (e.g. 1168: tar) just as Megan often is the appearance given to comic representations of Randall's wife (see 1141: Two Years, before hair loss). Megan and Cueball appear to have a relationship (e.g. 159: Boombox) and Megan clearly hangs out with Rob in ways not inconsistent with adventurous couples (e.g. 782: Desecration). Finally, comics that feature both Black Hat and "Cueball" seem to depict them as friends and possibly roommates. However, we learn in 1102: Fastest-Growing that Black Hat's roommate is named "Rob". In short, I believe if 159: Boombox had called "Cueball" "Rob" we would've rewritten both Cutie and Cueball to redirect there. Because we learned that "Cueball's" name is actually Rob much later (I think the earliest occurrences are 647: Scary, and 716: Time Machine; the first time he is seen with Megan in a capacity that might indicate a relationship is 782: Desecration). Djbrasier (talk) 19:05, 11 March 2015 (UTC) As I answered your comment on 1496: Art Project Rob is already listed as part of the category for Comics featuring Cueball: and this is listed as the first entry when going to the page for Category:Comics featuring Cueball. Cueball is such an integral part of explain xkcd that I do not think any other users wish to change. Also the 9 incidences with Rob is maybe a specific person and at the time Randall did not think to give him any features. Also Cueballs have no specific behavior as you allude to. Neither has Megan. You can always find several Cueballs and Megans that behave a certain way. But then you can find many other comics where they behave the opposite way. Thus Rob and Cueball should not be merged. Also there are several comics with more than one Cueball. And here we have this problem: It is typically the first who writes the transcript who decides who of the Cueballs (or Megans) he feels represents the "real" Cueball. However, there is no real behavior of Cueball. So who should decide. I could change all these transcripts so it becomes the other character who becomes Cueball, because I think that the first transcriber did it wrong. And this is why in a comic with more than one Cueball (where neither is called Rob or the like) neither of the two should be called Cueball. It would still be in the category with Cueball, because that is just comics with a Cueball like character no matter how many. But they cannot be named Cueball and friend or Rob and friend (unless Rob's name is mentioned!) They could be called Cueball 1 and Cueball 2, but then guy or man would be better. I know several places have comics with two Cueballs where someone has designated one of them Cueball and the other friend of foe etc. But this should be corrected so none of these are called Cueball. Same should go for more than one Megan. But this is very rare, and I have only found one other than Art project and here only one Megan had any lines. The problem with different opinions on which Cueball is which came for the first time up with Megan in Art project: The two Megan-like characters was first named (left to right) Megan and Danish. Then unidentified girl and Megan. Then Megan and unidentified girl, then two Megan like girls with short and long hair and finally you reverted it to my first change away from Danish to unidentified girl and Megan. (I can live with that as there is difference in hair length and behavior). But as far as I see it Cueball is not Rob as well as Megan should have continued to be called Cutie (but I would not like to change that now, as I have grown fond of Megan). But at the time the change was done I believe it was wrong. The same fondness for the name Cueball also makes me sure that no one else would wish to call him Rob, even if that is as much his name as Megan is Cuties... --Kynde (talk) 21:57, 11 March 2015 (UTC) My argument is that it is inertia and sentiment ("fond of Megan") that prevents an objective, equal treatment here. Djbrasier (talk) 22:47, 11 March 2015 (UTC) Also, regarding the analogy made above to Danish. I am fine with a nickname when Randall hasn't named a character. So she was "unidentified girl" and then became "Danish". But, when we named her "Danish", we went back to "Journal 1" and other places and renamed her. My proposal is that we should go back through and rename "Cueball" as "Rob". Alternatively, we should reinstate "Cutie" for cases in which it is not clear that a character is "Megan" per se, but just Megan in her "everywoman" capacity. Djbrasier (talk) 00:00, 12 March 2015 (UTC) I'm not sure how to post a poll, but I see the following options: 1) Status quo: Cueball for all unidentified males without distinct characteristics (e.g. hats), Megan for all shoulder-length brunettes. Rob only for named Cueballs. Multiple Cueballs in a comic mean one is named Cueball and others get named "Friend", etc. 2) Symmetry 1: Cueball/Rob stays as is. Unnamed brunettes get named "Cutie". "Megan" like "Rob" is reserved for comics in which a name is used. 3) Symmetry 2: Megan stays as is. Rob is the default for indistinct males. "Cueball" page redirects to "Rob" (as "Cutie" now redirect to "Megan"). 4) Expunge all Cueballs from multi-Cueball comics: Basically the status quo, except that in comics with multiple Cueballs none are named "Cueball" and are just all given names "Man 1", "Man 2", etc. I am ambivalent regarding options 2 or 3. I could live with 1 if there is consensus for it, but I don't like it. 4 is a disaster in my mind and gains nothing. Djbrasier (talk) 22:47, 11 March 2015 (UTC) We are probably the only one who reads these post...? But anyway as is clear I'm for 4. Which has been used several places already.´I can live with 1. I think 2 and 3 are disasters. Also it would be completely confusing for those who have used this page for many years. Why do you bring this up now? Is it because of the multiple Megan comics, or have you just signed up here, and dislike that it doesn't follow the rules you would have expected?--Kynde (talk) 20:19, 12 March 2015 (UTC) I suggest instead that we create a category for multiple Cueballs, so it is easy to explain why the Cueball is not a specific character, and thus can never be Rob (except when it is clear from the text), or be expected to behave a certain way. And in reverse we make a Named Megan category so it is easy to find the few (three?) where she has been named. This by the way has nothing to do with the other suggestions, so I might just do that to get an overview. --Kynde (talk) 20:19, 12 March 2015 (UTC) It seems more consistent to me to use Cutie for all unnamed "Megans" and reserve "Megan" for named comics. Thus, Rob is a Cueball and Megan is a Cutie. Djbrasier (talk) 13:30, 13 March 2015 (UTC) I've read through some of your discussions (Here, Kynde's talk page, Art Project discussion), and thought I might put my thoughts forwards. Essentially we have three questions here: 1) Should we merge Cueball and Rob, and rename all Cueballs as Rob? 2) Should we rename all Megans as Cutie, except where she is explicitly named? 3) Once questions 1 & 2 are answered, what do we do where the 'same' character appears multiple times in one comic? • I understand the objective argument for renaming Cueball to Rob, however I'm unconvinced of the importance of being entirely objective, and I can't imagine Cueball being renamed to anything other than Cueball. • I think its fairly clear where the Cueball label has come from, even if it might not be immediately obvious to some. Even if readers don't make the link between Cueball's head and a cue-ball, it is quite a generic label, which I think fits well with the transient every-man nature of Cueball's usage. • There is something far more specific about the name Rob, which suggests that he is the same character every time. The origin of the name isn't obvious, which I think would be likely to cause confusion. This brings me to conclude that for me, the answer to Q1 has to be that Cueball should stay as Cueball, unless explicitly named something else. The question of changing Megan to Cutie is one where I am less confident. Following the arguments I've made above, the outcome has to be that we rename to Cutie unless specifically named Megan, however I am not entirely convinced. The name Megan has a history, there are surely lots of people who now know her as Megan, what do we really stand to gain from all the work of changing to Cutie? I would also suggest that the name Cutie may not be accepted well by those with strong feminist views. As far as multi-character comics, I don't have time right now, but I will come back later and add my thoughts. Now that we've only got a few incomplete comics, we've had to resort to discussing renaming characters!--Pudder (talk) 15:07, 13 March 2015 (UTC) I agree with the reasons for keeping Cueball and Megan. And also that Cutie is such a loaded word, that it should never have been used anyway. This I did not immediately think about, but Cutie sounds like something from either a porn movie, or else a Bond Babe... Like the phrase from one of those movies: "Hello, I'm Plenty..." Then we should have to find a third name. And everyone here knows her as Megan. --Kynde (talk) 13:24, 15 March 2015 (UTC) I have created the Category:Multiple Cueballs to locate them and to show how often there are more than one. Feel free to add any I haven't found yet. --Kynde (talk) 09:45, 16 March 2015 (UTC) I think Rob is Black Hat's roommate and Megan's boyfriend/partner/husband (see above). The "Cueball" in comics such as 159: Boombox and 542: Cover-Up should, in my view, be renamed "Rob", even though he is not explicitly called that in those comics. Most other "Cueball" comics can stay unchanged. Djbrasier (talk) 00:43, 14 March 2015 (UTC) I have left my reason to disagree also with this on the two comics talk page. --Kynde (talk) 13:24, 15 March 2015 (UTC) In my opinion, it is quite clear that Randall has chosen to name the main male protagonist Rob, for the few occasions where he needs characters to call upon each other, in the same way as he has chosen Megan for the main female protagonist. We should therefore try to overcome our nostalgia, follow Randall, and call the common male protagonist Rob. The problem with multiple cueballs can most often be resolved by identifying the protagonist, from the first-person narration or the general perspective. Thus, in 525: I Know You're Listening Rob is the comic's "I", to the left. In 1110: Click and Drag, Rob is obviously flying with a balloon. In 610: Sheeple Rob is arguably the guy in the foreground facing us. Non-Rob "cueballs" we could refer to as "friend" "man", etc. In this way roughly half of the "multiple cueballs" would be resolved. I think I can live with a few unclear cases, like 220: Philosophy. St.nerol (talk) 12:22, 19 March 2015 (UTC) A featureless character has been specifically named Rob in 9 comics, compared with 968 'Comics featuring Cueball'. I believe it is fundamentally flawed to assert that because a featureless character is named Rob in less than 1% of appearances, that all featureless characters should therefore be assumed to be Rob. As I've discussed above, I think that Rob strongly implies a specific person, whereas Cueball is a vague 'everyman' character. I feel it would be a huge error to change all Cueballs to Robs.--Pudder (talk) 17:37, 19 March 2015 (UTC) The problem with that logic is that "Megan" is only named in a small number of comics (fewer that "Rob"). So we should have a different name for an unnamed generic female. Cutie is fine, but if people perceive that as sexist, then another name, maybe "Cuegirl" or "Brunette" would work. (Side note: I doubt "Cutie" would be perceived as sexist and there's history there.) What I do find sexist is the fact that there is asymmetry between male and female "everyperson"s. In sum, I would say there is at less evidence to support naming Megan-everywoman "Megan" in all cases as there is to name Rob-everyman (here called "Cueball") "Rob" in all cases. Asymmetry here ignores the fact that Randall clearly intends his name to be "Rob" and also that we are using a proper name for everywoman but a contrived name for everyman, while creating an artificial distinction between Rob and Cueball and smearing out any possible distinction between Megan-everywoman and Megan-properName. Djbrasier (talk) 13:18, 27 March 2015 (UTC) As I put in my earlier comment (see above), I do agree that the logical conclusion is that Megan should no longer be named Megan, and should have an equivalent generic name. As an aside, I'm quite partial to your suggestion of Cuegirl. I disagree with your assertion that "Randall clearly intends his name to be Rob", and I think that is the central point of this discussion. I don't believe that there is anywhere near enough evidence to assign a specific name to what I believe is a generic character. If we want to go for formal logic, consider the syllogism "Some non descipt characters are called Rob, there are many non-descript characters, therfore all non-descript characters are called Rob". The conclusion simply does not follow. --Pudder (talk) 14:22, 27 March 2015 (UTC) Great, I vote for Cuegirl & Cueball :: Megan & Rob! Djbrasier (talk) 01:31, 31 March 2015 (UTC) I agree with Djbrasier's and St.nerol's arguments, and I too feel that the arguments against dealing with this in an objective, symmetrical and logical way seem mostly based on nostalgia. Either we agree that a few named instances of the everywoman are sufficient to generalize to the (vastly more numerous) unnamed instances, and apply the same standard to the everyman, which is only consistent (and even more justified in the case of Rob since he is named in more comics than Megan), or we decide that the extrapolation is unjustified and we revert the Cutie-->Megan merge. The alternative --having double standards and deciding things based on historical baggage and emotional attachment rather than rationality-- makes no sense for followers of the comic that literally invented nerd-sniping! I'd also add that, as a non-native speaker, "cueball" doesn't ring any immediate bells unless the connection to cue balls is pointed out explicitly -- so actually Rob works even better as a generic name than Cueball. We have already agreed previously that clarity is better than cleverness when we named Hairy, forgoing the less obvious alliteration "Harry", so I vote we use the name Randall actually gave us, let go of our attachments to a creation he never endorsed, and honor our collective nerdiness by doing the logical thing: apply our standards uniformly and adopt Rob the same way we adopted Megan. --Waldir (talk) 06:09, 10 April 2015 (UTC) I've already put my thoughts forward above, so I won't repeat the same ground I've covered, other than to say I believe it would be a mistake to turn all Cueballs into Robs. While I will admit to having some nostalgia for the name Cueball, that isn't a major facet of my argument. I believe that any generic name is better than a specific name. Call them Stickboy & Stickgirl if you want! I know there are a fairly significant number of contributors and visitors who do not have English as their first language, but I don't believe that is a reason to choose a specific name, rather than a generic name, even if the origin of the latter isn't immediately obvious to all. It would be interesting to know whether each of us sees Cueball as always being the same person, or Cueball *is* Randall, or Cueball is just a changeable everyman. To me, he is a changeable everyman, who I guess may represent or be based on: Randall, his friends, family or acquaintances, famous people, someone he saw in the street, or a completely made up character used to fill a specific role in the comic. The reason I argue againt merging Rob & Cueball is that the Cueball I see is this morphing and fluid character, and to use a specific name to tie him down to being the same character all the time runs completely counter to that. --Pudder (talk) 08:31, 10 April 2015 (UTC) Understood, and sorry for mischaracterizing your argument (the nostalgia part does butt the discussion though). I suppose I would be somewhat ambivalent to either have Rob+Megan, or Cueball+Cutie -- Cuegirl doesn't work because she has hair :) --, in the interests of reason and symmetry. But I lean slightly towards Rob+Megan because those are names Randall actually gave us, while anything else is our own invention and thus has no claim to legitimacy other than popular support. Particularly, while I understand your concern about shoehorning the various personality traits the Cueballs show in different comics into a single persona, that doesn't seem to have been a problem for Megan -- not to mention real people are indeed complex and multi-faceted beings (or "morphing and fluid", to use your terms) rather than one-dimensional caricatures. Heck, even Black Hat has his romantic side! :) So in light of that, I don't think we have to worry about ruining Cueball by naming him Rob -- if anything, that'd add more depth to him as a character! --Waldir (talk) 16:35, 10 April 2015 (UTC) I'm still very much against changing things here. Call it nostalgia, but there are many users who will never read these arguments, who one day comes back and cannot find Megan or Cueball, and will ask who the heck are Cuegirl/Cutie. I'm completely with Pudder on the problem with giving Cueball the name Rob. It just doesn't make sense. I agree that we have a inconsistency with Megan. But then everyone who uses this page a few times, becomes familiar with that name. However the main problem with all your great ideas is this. Who should correct the either 984 pages where Cueball is mentioned because he is a part of it (and all the other pages relevant to him or where he is exactly mentioned because he isn't part of the comic) and/or who should do the same for 487 comics (plus loose pages) for Megan. Unless those in favor for changing the names will do this, then the discussion is moot. It is already clearly stated in the relevant pages that these two characters are generic and that they have been named but a few times. So what more can we do unless someone is willing to use several days to change this back. I sincerely doubt you can keep the correct syntax if you just try a brute force replacement? There are so many interconnecting links etc. --Kynde (talk) 13:21, 25 April 2015 (UTC) I completely disagree with merging Cueball and Rob. Rob has Emily and Lisa as girlfriends, and Cueball has Megan. Rob also lives a more action-filled and stereotypical life compared to Cueball. --Youforgotthisthing (talk) 13:14, 15 April 2015 (UTC) I think the main stances here are clear: •Keep as is •Rename Cuball to Rob •Change Megan back to Cutie/Cuegirl Since keeping it status quo wouldn't change anything and is asymmetrical, I'll go over the others: •Rename Cueball to Rob- Arguments: Randall gave him this name; It would offer symmetry to Megan; If the Cutie -> Megan logic is to be followed (as she was changed once named in the comics) then Cueball should be Rob; even though cueball is a generic everyman name, Rob seems more like a name you could give anyone and would be more recognizable to non-native English speakers. •Change Megan back to Cutie/Cuegirl- Arguments: It would cause symmetry again, letting her have an everywoman name; nostalgia for Cueball; Megan is not always the same character, so she should not always have the name Megan I happen to agree with the idea of merging Cueball and Rob, but I'm not closed to the idea of Cutie/Cuegirl. The main problem is that these characters are typically interchangeable everymen/everywomen and there can be more than one in a comic. So another question is what we should do for multiple Cueballs/Robs. In my opinion, we should have all the comics with more than one depict them as Man 1, Man 2, etc. --Sensorfire (talk) 17:04, 20 May 2015 (UTC) ##  How to fit explanations of new classes of xkcd-related mysteries into the site: what-if, t-shirts, posters, special comics etc. I suggest that the explain xkcd page should explain how this site is laid out, and what sorts of things are explained here besides the online numbered xkcd comics that come out three times a week. For example, there is the A Smarter Planet series, and there are ideas for explaining some of the What-If series. I'd like to add my explanation of the XKCD Greek t-shirt, with mathematical, scientific and engineering uses for greek letters and perhaps some other t-shirts, posters and the like. But I can't even figure out how to find non-numbered-comic-explanations, without going thru the entire Special:AllPages listing, which includes a huge set of unnumbered aliases as well as the numbered ones. I've taken a stab towards that by editing the About page to point to some categories (and to start with a little overview), but since I'm just poking around, I might have missed some things. Nealmcb (talk) 19:40, 23 March 2015 (UTC) ##  Link to "Special pages" on main page I think there should be a link to Special:SpecialPages on the main-page--17jiangz1 (talk) 11:55, 29 March 2015 (UTC) Special pages is a default feature in every mediawiki installation. It's also in the sidebar of every page, and it's not relevant to xkcd. Why does it merit space on the main page? Davidy²²[talk] 18:56, 29 March 2015 (UTC) ##  Science comic Should the Science Magazine comic be added? http://m.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/58.full Mikemk (talk) 03:14, 4 April 2015 (UTC) I think that would be a great idea. Could there be other copyright rules when the comic has been published on Science? It there anyway to find out if Randall also has a link to it from (or has it on) xkcd? As he has done with the other Extra_Comics. And how do we create such a page, if there can be no link directly to xkcd (at the top of the comic)? --Kynde (talk) 13:24, 30 April 2015 (UTC) ##  "what if?" section? I would like to start a new "what if?" section explaining and discussing what if pages.--17jiangz1 (talk) 06:08, 8 April 2015 (UTC) Why does it need to exist? The main xkcd comic needs it, because Randall tends to be obtuse at times, but the what if articles are sourced and written out already. Supposedly, they're already explanations to questions sent in to Randall. Why do we need to explain explanations? Davidy²²[talk] 06:29, 8 April 2015 (UTC) Explaining them indeed seems unnecessary, but we could certainly catalog and summarize them. --Waldir (talk) 16:38, 10 April 2015 (UTC) The images on what if? also have title texts that could further be explained, and we could organize what if pages by categories, as well as provide summaries. There are also subtle references, running gags, and in-jokes in What If? that should be explained.--17jiangz1 (talk) 08:44, 11 April 2015 (UTC) This https://what-if.xkcd.com/120/ is a example of a what if that could do with some explanations.--17jiangz1 (talk) 08:47, 11 April 2015 (UTC) That's one of 135 what-ifs, and it's entirely self referential and can be figured out by reading the rest of the archive. The substance of the majority of pages is going to be incredibly thin, Randall doesn't tend to leave much for explanation. Comics that are simple one-shot images are our least used pages for good reason, and the what-if images pretty much all fall into that category, or are used to illustrate Randall's point that he makes in the immediately preceding paragraph. We could archive/catalog all the what-if pages and be a second archive button for the series, though there's a little less value to that than the archiving we did for Time and Externalities because there's already an archive along the same lines on the main site. Davidy²²[talk] 19:14, 11 April 2015 (UTC) I think the main value we could add is a summary (TL;DR style) of each entry, in a short Q&A format. --Waldir (talk) 12:13, 13 April 2015 (UTC) If we are going forward with this, is there anyway to find the date in which the what if was first published?--17jiangz1 (talk) 09:01, 11 April 2015 (UTC) At the bottom of the page, there's an archive button. Click that. Davidy²²[talk] 19:14, 11 April 2015 (UTC) Nk22 (talk) 11:52, 20 April 2015 (UTC) Well, fact is, the what if? page is much, much larger now. ##  Userscript Hello there, just wrote a simple userscript that adds an 'Explain' button to the original xkcd.com You can run it via Greasemonkey, Tampermonkey and other similar plugins :) Magazovski (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)  Yeah, there's a few of these floating around. In the future, could you use an imgur link instead of uploading stuff like that to the wiki? Thanks. Davidy²²[talk] 18:02, 21 April 2015 (UTC) So maybe explainxkcd should host & maintain one of them? --Magazovski (talk) 09:30, 22 April 2015 (UTC) Why would we host an image hosting site? Davidy²²[talk] 23:17, 23 April 2015 (UTC) He means we could host and maintain a userscript to help our fans get here from xkcd.... Nealmcb (talk) 14:36, 9 May 2015 (UTC) Hum, that's not a bad idea. I'll put it on the list of things to do. Although, if they're already here, why do they need a userscript to help them get here? Davidy²²[talk] 00:34, 11 May 2015 (UTC) For people who mainly view the comics through the official site, but sometimes need an explanation of the comic. --Pudder (talk) 09:23, 11 May 2015 (UTC) ##  Updating the incomplete comic of the day Currently, I think the incomplete comic of the day should be changed more often (i.e. daily), since the incomplete comics are piling up, and most users aren't seeing the notice, as it is dismissible.--17jiangz1 (talk) 11:40, 22 April 2015 (UTC) While I agree that the comic of the day could be changed more often, I wouldn't say that the incomplete comics are piling up. Over the months I've been active here, the number of incomplete comics had fallen considerably. In fact if you check the comics which are still marked as incomplete, most of them are one where a significant effort would be required to complete them. For example the large comics (Money, Time, Congress) or dynamic comics (Externalities, Click & Drag, Pixels). --Pudder (talk) 15:32, 23 April 2015 (UTC) Yeah. Of the 15 incomplete "pages," only 10 of them are actual comics that need the attention, and the full count is still dropping. I've been keeping it on single comics as of late because the remaining actual incomplete comics have been cycled through ~3 times already, with no significant effort made on them, because they're such monumental pieces of work. Making the message dismissable is by design, we are a service first and foremost, we're not trying that hard to make visitors do our work for us. Davidy²²[talk] 23:17, 23 April 2015 (UTC) ##  Infrequently recurring minor charachters Should we just group all of the characters that are not of enough significance to warrant their own character page into a single page (i.e. Other Minor Characters)? --Forrest ― 17jiangz1(talk)02:58, 09 May 2015 (UTC) See comic 1000 for a sample of what this entails. Also, what value to we stand to provide by cataloging every unique character that has appeared in xkcd? Does it help us explain the comics any better? Davidy²²[talk] 11:32, 9 May 2015 (UTC) #  Technical ##  We need more maintainers I'm moving a thread that Davidy22 started on my talk page. The gist is, we need more people with server-side access (especially mediawiki-savvy ones) so we can properly deal with several issues that have been plaguing the wiki for a while now, most notably spam, but also the image scaling problem, a possible extension for proper comments, clean urls, etc. Below is the original thread, please comment. --Waldir (talk) 17:56, 25 November 2012 (UTC) Could you set the permissions so that all anon users have to pass a captcha to edit? The spam has gotten obscene, and they've stopped posting links, so our current detection mechanisms aren't working anymore. Davidy22(talk) 08:21, 25 November 2012 (UTC) I would love to have the ability to tweak the wiki more thoroughly, but currently Jeff's the only one with server access. To be honest, I am not terribly familiar with server-side mediawiki management, so I haven't asked Jeff for access, but it's clear we can't be dependent on a single person to do all the mediawiki config (and Jeff probably knows even less about mediawiki than I do). Are you by any chance acquainted with server-side mediawiki maintenance? I think we could present a good case for having someone else with access to a dev/prototype instance of this wiki on Jeff's server so we could at least experiment and tell him exactly what needs to be done. Thoughts? --Waldir (talk) 17:40, 25 November 2012 (UTC) I agree that we need more people that are empowered to actively fight spam. I think that we ought to promote Davidy22 to administrator also, so that he can delete pages and block spammers/vandals as he notices them rather than letting them pile up until yourself, IronyChef, or myself notice that there's work that needs done. What I think we should do is break out rights into more groups than simply administrator and bureaucrat. I think that's too big of a jump, and that there should be some gradiation. I think we should add a moderator (mark pages as patrolled and rollback ability (as much as it's a sledgehammer when you really only need a ball-peen hammer)) position. I think we also need a spam fighter position, but that might not be possible to implement. It should be a position that allows the person to delete pages with 1 or 2 edits (page creation, marked as spam, maybe as high as 3 or 4 for the bots that repeat edit certain pages) and block users with 1 or 2 edits. The real problem there is how to grant those super-powerful abilities without allowing them to lose their mind and go crazy and destroy the wiki. Of course, if we don't catch it early enough there's going to be those IPs that manage to get to six edits, and those will have to be squashed by a full admin. We will also need a way of tagging those spam accounts so when a full admin passes by they will also know to ban the IP address after a spam fighter has deleted all the pages it created. Finally, we also need a more active bureaucrat so that we don't have to bug Jeff to promote admin's as well as future moderators and/or spam fighters, and recognize bot accounts as bot accounts. We also should find someone knowledgeable to help Jeff (and maybe he has little helpers) to maintain the actual server. I've done some PHP work, but I've never touched anything deep inside a wiki (I like Ruby and Rails much more). This is my first time gaining admin status on a wiki, so I have no idea what the extra dials and levers do/mean. I look up on the MediaWiki manual and Wikipedia help pages things that I think should be possible, and often times pages exist in places about doing these things, but I'm nowhere near being called knowledgeable. After I finish up some IRL work I'm currently tied up in, I intend to set up a VM webserver on my computers and run a mediawiki install so I can learn how to work (and not break) things without putting explain xkcd in jeopardy. Another really wordy post from, lcarsos_a (talk) 22:01, 29 November 2012 (UTC) From what I know, a moderator user group is possible, but not the spam fighter one. Then again, too many hierarchical levels may be too much for such a small body of regulars. Implementing the moderator group is easy, mw:Manual:User rights has the details (the "ninja" example and the "list of permissions" section should be enough for putting together the configuration commands to be added to the wiki's LocalSettings.php). As for bureaucrats, I think it makes sense but it seems to me that Jeff only takes longer to perform changes that affect the server, as they understandably may take longer or be more complex (or break the wiki!). Bureaucrats' only difference from admins is that they can promote/demote other users, and this Jeff has been doing without delay, so perhaps there isn't a need for more bureaucrats at the moment. Please correct me if I'm wrong. We do need more sysadmins (people with access to the server), though, for sure. This is a little tricky as none of us is comfortable enough to confidently make server changes in a mediawiki install. Jeff, how about putting the wiki in source control and giving two or three people access to it, so that any wrongdoings can be easily reverted? You could setup a git repository in the server and we could fork it locally to our machines, make tests and push the commits to the server repo whenever they're ready. --Waldir (talk) 17:20, 5 December 2012 (UTC) This is good stuff. I'm down with promoting more admins for spam fighting. If they screw stuff up we can demote them if necessary. I really haven't found a spam fighting extension that I think will be the best possible solution. I'll keep looking as it may be a combination of things. Server access is much more complicated as it is not even my server and it is shared hosting. I think that would be best to be accessed just by me. --Jeff (talk) 19:10, 19 December 2012 (UTC) Regarding the server, I understand -- your position seems reasonable. In any case, I've been looking for extensions that may help taking some workload out of server actions and make more stuff configurable via the wiki itself. I'll report back if I find something usable. On another note, how do you feel about promoting more bureaucrats? I suggest Lcarsos who's been consistently active for the past few months. --Waldir (talk) 12:47, 4 January 2013 (UTC) Personally I'd kind of like to go and make some changes myself. Come up with a nice short url pattern and set it up. Upgrade the wiki. etc... Dantman (talk) 02:44, 23 March 2013 (UTC) The shorter URL is being looked into, although Mediawiki strongly advises against it. As for upgrades to the wiki, monetary donations towards Jeff so he can buy better bit for the server would be appreciated. Davidy²²[talk] 03:06, 23 March 2013 (UTC) MediaWiki does not advise against it. Half the code currently running short URLs in core was written by me. Same for the new standard for rewrite rules in the new guides. And the tool to automatically generate the config needed to apply short urls to a wiki. Short URLs are not advised against. We do however strongly advise against installing a wiki in /wiki. Because you do not want to create /wiki/$1 style paths while your script path makes scripts look like /wiki/index.php.
In this case my plan would be to move /wiki to /w then come up with some other short url pattern like /e/$1, some other path, or maybe /$1.
And setup some 301 redirects to redirect from the old urls to the new ones.
And upgrading the version of MediaWiki so that it doesn't have security holes doesn't require server replacement. Dantman (talk) 07:09, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Ohwait, software upgrades. Uh. I knew you were talking about that. Yep. Definitely. The wiki recently had issues with running out of hard drive space, so that was all that was on my mind there.
Also, I thought you had been referring to this. Whoop. Well, you could leave Jeff a message at his talk page to get server access. Davidy²²[talk] 08:05, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
I strongly support this. It's been far too long since we decided we'd want the short url scheme (/$1 seems like the best option since it would be simpler/cleaner and allow http://explainxkcd/1234 to point to the correct comic without any extra rewrite rules). While you're at it, I'm sure many would appreciate a look at the current situation with image resizing, which doesn't seem to be working for some reason. Installing Extension:Comments would be awesome, too, as well as Extension:Contribution Scores (live example). I'll ask Jeff to take a look at this thread. --Waldir (talk) 20:07, 23 March 2013 (UTC) Dantman (talk) email me and I'll get you set up with whatever you need. All the suggestions sound good to me. --Jeff (talk) 00:10, 24 March 2013 (UTC) Also, the Contribution Scores are up. I'm not even top 10 all time, I need to step up my game. Comments will take more work as it needs its own database. --Jeff (talk) 00:10, 24 March 2013 (UTC) Awesome! I did some styling changes to make it more interesting :) Let me know what you guys think about it! --Waldir (talk) 20:32, 24 March 2013 (UTC) Holy crud, what did you do when the wiki started to have almost double my lifetime score? Davidy²²[talk] 23:57, 24 March 2013 (UTC) Hahahah :P I'm pretty sure I cheated a little, IIRC there was an image renaming operation for which I used mwclient ;) --Waldir (talk) 03:22, 25 March 2013 (UTC) ##  Sort by numbers in categories I noticed that in Category:Comics all comics are sorted correctly by numbers; but not in any subcategory. (I didn't really get the explanation of how it works on the comics page.) How to fix this? -- St.nerol (talk) 10:40, 22 December 2012 (UTC) The comics template uses a template called num4 that turns the number in the comic number field into a four-digit number. That's then passed as a parameter to the category link, and the comics category page sorts articles by those four-digit numbers instead of their actual names. If we wanted to do the same for other categories, we would have to type them all out as [[Category:Politics|0200]], or whatever the comic number is. I would rather wait for mediawiki to come out with an in-built feature to solve this. Davidy22[talk] 11:28, 22 December 2012 (UTC) Is there a reason that the template applies that directly to Category:Comics and not as a default sortkey via DEFAULTSORT? – Philosopher Let us reason together. 12:10, 1 January 2013 (UTC) Good thinking. Using DEFAULTSORT oughta make it work for all categories. I'll give it a try. --Waldir (talk) 15:37, 1 January 2013 (UTC) ##  Resize I haven't been here (to edit) for a while, but have we still not addressed the bug that doesn't allow image resizing? I know most of us don't have access to that kind of lower-level coding on the site, but I think it's a bit of a notable issue that we can't display comics smaller than their actual size. TheHYPO (talk) 14:24, 21 January 2013 (UTC) Take it up with User:Jeff, but I suspect that adding your voice to the already insistent roaring that images are broken isn't going to inspire much change. lcarsos_a (talk) 18:08, 23 January 2013 (UTC) ##  Incidental Ads as ive noticed i think you should check if someone has embeded some of your links with ads really annoying please fix --TheWeatherMan (talk) 14:00, 23 January 2013 (UTC)TheWeatherMan Do you have any specific examples of this? By the way, using punctuation, capitalization, spell check, and complete sentences are more likely to get someone to help you. lcarsos_a (talk) 18:10, 23 January 2013 (UTC) There is known malware (both adware and viruses) that makes Wikipedia look like it has ads. This wiki uses the same wiki software, so perhaps that malware affects our site too? – Philosopher Let us reason together. 05:42, 15 February 2013 (UTC) ## /wiki/ Now that explainxkcd redirects straight to the wiki, could we take the /wiki/ out of the url? I'd also like the wiki's edit log to be purged to clean out the history and forget about past spam, but that's probably wishing for too much. Davidy22[talk] 04:06, 28 January 2013 (UTC) But seriously, could the /wiki/ go? It'll screw with the spammers for a day or two, at the very least. Davidy22[talk] 11:37, 30 January 2013 (UTC) ## Newbie questions: Comic dates, previous-and-next-comic buttons Just created the my first page, 220: Philosophy, but I could use a little guidance. How do I find the date that an xkcd comic was originally posted, and how do I rig up the previous-comic and next-comic arrows on a page? (Actually, I've noticed several pages that should have the arrows but don't.) Ekedolphin (talk) 11:19, 28 January 2013 (UTC) Those arrows will automagically insert themselves when you make the adjacent comic explanations. There *is* a little backstage magic that needs to be taken care of, but we can do that for you. Davidy22[talk] 11:40, 28 January 2013 (UTC) • OK. How about the dates? Ekedolphin (talk) 11:41, 28 January 2013 (UTC) Click on "All Comics" in the navbar on left-hand side of the site. The dates are in the form YYYY-MM-DD. Davidy22[talk] 11:56, 28 January 2013 (UTC) The comic template checks for the existence of the numerical redirect for the comic before and the comic after. If it finds the page to exist it will display the next/previous button as appropriate. So, by creating the redirects listed on the List of all comics (third column, only worry about the number and title links) future pages will automatically get the links created. Redirect pages look like #REDIRECT [[####: Comic Title]] and that's it (here is a link to the redirect page with redirect disabled so you can look at the source to see what I'm talking about). That's all that needs to exist on the number and title redirects. If you feel up to creating them yourself, feel free, otherwise someone else goes through occasionally and mass adds all the missing redirects. lcarsos_a (talk) 17:55, 29 January 2013 (UTC) ##  Error message I've been getting this error message a lot the last cup'o days. When trying to access a page; when trying to save changes on a page. Any ideas on why? I'm getting it on both chrome and firefox. Database error A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was: (SQL query hidden) from within function "Revision::insertOn". Database returned error "1142: INSERT command denied to user ::'dbo423085716'@'74.208.16.155' for :table 'text' (db423085716.db.1and1.com)". St.nerol (talk) 22:54, 18 March 2013 (UTC) Every once in a while I get a SQL error being reported, but usually I can simply F5 and the page comes up. Every once in a while it seems like the server load is just so that somebody gets lucky enough to see the server error out. I don't think there's much we can do about this, other than move the wiki onto a more powerful server. But, there are no ads on this site, there is no revenue model, just a very kind person paying for hosting that keeps this site up. I'm more than willing to overlook a few hiccups for the continuing availability of explain xkcd. lcarsos_a (talk) 07:12, 23 March 2013 (UTC) Yeah, I get those too, but St. Nerol was talking about something that happened recently with the server running out of hard drive space and throwing SQL errors every time someone tried to make large edits. I had to find Jeff on twitter because I'd get SQL errors when I tried to edit his talk page. He's looking into history deletion plugins, to clear out our vast archives of deleted spam and obsoleted prototype comic templates. Davidy²²[talk] 08:10, 23 March 2013 (UTC) ##  Install a caching reverse proxy to handle heavy load According to returned headers, this server runs from Apache directly. I would recommend setting up a reverse caching proxy in front of Apache to handle high traffic load (like, e.g. current load). The one I use is nginx (http://nginx.org/) -- admins, drop me an email if you need help setting it up Fry-kun (talk) 21:38, 26 March 2013 (UTC) The standard software to use is either Squid or Varnish. Nginx is a bit too much of a webserver to be configured in the way MW needs iirc. Although nginx would help with serving the static assets. Unfortunately there will be a need to switch to a proper server first. The site seems to be hosted on shared hosting. Dantman (talk) 04:59, 27 March 2013 (UTC) I had gotten burned before with both Squid and Varnish but Nginx had always kept my systems alive. It's extremely lightweight and works great to fix these kinds of problems. But, of course if it's a shared server where you can't use it, it won't help... Fry-kun (talk) 16:35, 27 March 2013 (UTC) Nginx is a great webserver. It'll serve out static pages much better than Apache. But the issue here isn't the webserver. It's PHP and all the work that the database needs to do on every request. Switching webservers won't get rid of that issue. Using squid/varnish a proper reverse proxying cache will allow complete pages to be cached and served directly to readers bypassing the webserver, php, and the database entirely on some requests. That'll reduce the load the site has to cope with. Dantman (talk) 23:47, 27 March 2013 (UTC) ##  A couple of enwiki features implemented I have "imported" {{disambig}} and the related category for the one page it was needed for (to avoid having a page that was uncategorised :-) ). I have also created {{unsigned ip}} (and converted the one use of {{Unsigned}}) and applied it for a handful of existing uses of {{unsigned}}. It hardly matters, but then it's also only three more characters to type for new uses. Importantly, however, I implore you to consider including the second datestamp parameter when applying either template -- it's actually the more useful information. I know it's a pain to convert times back to UTC, but, hey, most of you don't have to deal with a half hour timezone :-) Mark Hurd (talk) 16:19, 13 April 2013 (UTC) Urrggh, there's an option to make UTC the default display time. The template oughta be a little more automated, mebbe filling the time in automagically with five tildes if no date field is entered? The time will be a bit off when editors fill in the unsigned templates, but it'll be close enough to the actual value. Davidy²²[talk] 23:59, 13 April 2013 (UTC) No, especially while there's existing templates to adjust, where the "default" datestamp would be way out. If someone wants to fix a lot of the existing usage, setting their timezone to UTC is the simplest option. Mark Hurd (talk) 09:14, 14 April 2013 (UTC) ##  I've removed "add a comment!" from Discussion heading This thread has been moved to The proposals board. ##  Need password reset Sorry to bother you all, but I seem to have lost the password to this account and don't have an email set (which requires the password). I'm still logged in thanks to the "remember me" feature but after 30 days I'll lose access. This isn't fixable at the MediaWiki level; someone with access to the server mysql or whatever will need to change something. Is there such a person I can email with? Splainr (talk) 03:05, 15 April 2013 (UTC) I assume your browser isn't remembering it for you? Mark Hurd (talk) 03:08, 15 April 2013 (UTC) Oh wow that was fast. Nope, neither Firefox not OSX keychain access know what it is. Splainr (talk) 15:18, 15 April 2013 (UTC) I'm not sure how to solve that problem, but I know account usurpation has been done for the single-login transition in Wikimedia wikis, so technically it should be doable. --Waldir (talk) 23:04, 16 April 2013 (UTC) See mw:Manual:Resetting passwords. --Mormegil (talk) 11:59, 15 May 2013 (UTC) ##  Analytics Recently I found out about WikiApiary, an interesting site that collects analytics from mediawiki wikis. I added explain xkcd. Check the stats that have been collected so far: http://wikiapiary.com/wiki/explain_xkcd --Waldir (talk) 00:03, 17 April 2013 (UTC) ##  "External" hotlinking enabled to confirm issue with other car.jpg FYI I have enabled "external" hotlinking to this wiki's own images to show File:other car.jpg can display correctly. See further notes about that issue here. Mark Hurd (talk) 14:32, 21 April 2013 (UTC) If the problem is lack of thumbnail generation, it should display correctly even without hotlinking, simply by using the original size, e.g. I'm not sure why it doesn't. In any case, this image hotlinking thing reminded me, would it be a good idea to use the images hosted at XKCD.com and only upload variants to the wiki (e.g. those at Category:Helper comic images) and images Randall for some reason deleted from the server (e.g. images with typos)? This would reduce the load on the explainxkcd server and provide a better experience for viewers since xkcd is already optimized for high loads and actually openly provides the image urls for hotlinking. --Waldir (talk) 15:01, 21 April 2013 (UTC) Seeing as User:Daddy's upload has fixed the wiki always attempting to display the thumbnail version (which still don't work), I have disabled the "hotlinking" again. Mark Hurd (talk) 11:32, 22 April 2013 (UTC) ##  Redirect from explainxkcd.com/1234 It would be really cool if http://www.explainxkcd.com/<number> redirected to the explain page for that number. That would allow people to get to the correct explanation by simply adding explain to the comic url. If you are willing to do this, all you would need to do (assuming you run apache with mod_rewrite enabled) is put the following in .htaccess in your web root: RewriteEngine on RewriteRule ^(\d+)/?$ /wiki/index.php?title=$1 [R,L]  -Sionide21 (talk) 22:28, 7 June 2013 (UTC) Yeah! I'm waiting for this. But admins seems to be rare here.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:44, 7 June 2013 (UTC) And it seems we both could help...--Dgbrt (talk) 22:47, 7 June 2013 (UTC) There are several admins here (in fact, I am, too), but what you are looking for is the sysop, the one with access to the server. Admins can delete/protect/undelete pages and block users etc. Jeff is the only one that can change MediaWiki configuration or url rewriting... --SlashMe (talk) 17:08, 8 June 2013 (UTC) Thanks for your information, so I will try to talk to Jeff. BTW: Can you edit the main page? I still miss a link to the incomplete comics on the top.--Dgbrt (talk) 17:52, 8 June 2013 (UTC) At the top of the main page, there is a section that says "We have collaboratively explained 1189 xkcd comics, and only 33 (3%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!". The word remain is already linked to the list. --SlashMe (talk) 19:16, 8 June 2013 (UTC) I was talking about the 97% comics. There are still many incomplete pages and we have a category here on that.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:36, 8 June 2013 (UTC) Ah, I see. Just did it; everyone: feel free to change the sentence, I'm not a native speaker. --SlashMe (talk) 21:07, 8 June 2013 (UTC) THANKS! I'm also not native English, I'm German. But this wiki is a great challenge to get more practice, even much more as if talking to common English natives.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:27, 8 June 2013 (UTC) This is something I want to do, so I'm putting this on my page, so I remember to add it to the .htaccess. I'm not super familiar with the .htaccess rules, can I have this along with the other rules I have in my htaccess file? --Jeff (talk) 15:17, 22 October 2013 (UTC) Yes, that rule will work alongside other rules --Sionide21 (talk) 19:28, 27 October 2013 (UTC) I've fixed this on our new host. (I actually had the rule in there already, I just had it in the wrong order.) I'd love to promote this feature a bunch. Any ideas how? --Jeff (talk) 02:33, 30 October 2013 (UTC) A sitenotice oughta do it. Davidy²²[talk] 03:43, 30 October 2013 (UTC) Woohoo, finally!!! Now if we could just have clean URLs too, that'd be swell! ;) --Waldir (talk) 05:02, 14 November 2013 (UTC) ##  Incomplete – motivation Is it possible to fix (or is there already) a way to add a motivation with the "incomplete"-tag? I tried {{incomplete|the title text needs explaining}}, which made "edit it" in the banner link to the uncreated page "the title text..."... ––St.nerol (talk) 12:16, 10 June 2013 (UTC) You can use the {{notice|Your text...}} template:  Here is my notice. --Dgbrt (talk) 17:30, 10 June 2013 (UTC) Thanks! I think that ideally most incomplete-notices shold carry a note on what's missing, but we aren't there, so this'll do for now. ––St.nerol (talk) 10:21, 11 June 2013 (UTC) ##  Unable to Edit I cannot edit this latest comic's page. When I hit edit a screen appears which says "This page has been protected to prevent editing." I've never edited before, but I'm annoyed by the improper use of the word candid. "It would be candid and unrealistic" would be better off in that sentence if candid was removed. How do I make it so I can edit the page, so I can remove this affront to the English language? I believe you are trying to edit the main page. You can click "Latest comic" in the left sidebar or the "Go to this comic" button in the top right corner of the grey box to go to the actual page for today's comic. Davidy²²[talk] 16:42, 1 July 2013 (UTC) That was the problem, thanks.--Holcma01 (talk) 17:07, 1 July 2013 (UTC) ##  Banner ad placement On iPad and iPhone browsers, the banner ads obscure the top of the page. This covers up some of the useful buttons up there, like LOGIN for example. The workaround is to refresh the page. Because the banner ad is the last thing to load, you have a brief window of maybe three seconds to find and click the link you need. Gardnertoo (talk) 20:24, 26 July 2013 (UTC) Fixed. --Jeff (talk) 21:12, 25 October 2013 (UTC) ##  Bookmarklet for jumping to explainxkcd.com from xkcd.com I wrote a short bookmarklet for jumping from xkcd.com to explainxkcd.com. Bookmarklet form: javascript:var%20match%20%3D%20window.location.href.match(%2F%5Cd%2B%2F)%3B%0Avar%20suffix%20%3D%20match%20%3F%20%27%3Ftitle%3D%27%20%2B%20match%5B0%5D%20%3A%20%27%27%3B%0Awindow.location%20%3D%27http%3A%2F%2Fwww.explainxkcd.com%2Fwiki%2Findex.php%27%20%2B%20suffix%3B  Decoded: javascript:var match = window.location.href.match(/\d+/); var suffix = match ? '?title=' + match[0] : ''; window.location ='http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php' + suffix;  If you're on a numbered xkcd page, it will go to the accompanying explainxkcd.com page automatically. If you're on the xkcd.com home page, it goes to the explainxkcd.com wiki home page. Mattflaschen (talk) 17:30, 19 August 2013 (UTC) To add this bookmarklet to your browser: 1. Copy the bookmarklet javascript (*not* the decoded version) 2. Using your browsers bookmark manager, create a new bookmark 3. Give the bookmark a meaningful name -- e.g. ExplainXKCD 4. Paste the javascript in for the bookmark URL 5. Save. ( Tomh (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)) ##  Database Error I have NO IDEA where this should go, but http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=1011 has the content Database error A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was: (SQL query hidden) from within function "SqlBagOStuff::set". Database returned error "1142: INSERT command denied to user 'dbo423085716'@'74.208.16.155' for table 'objectcache' (db423085716.db.1and1.com)". Just thought I should report it. OOPS forgot sig. 67.175.58.94 00:13, 23 September 2013 (UTC) Edit: This has been fixed randomly. Never mind then. :X ##  mw:Extension:SyntaxHighlighter Could we maybe enable this? It would be helpful for some of the programming-heavy comics' explanations, e.g. today's one.PinkAmpersand (talk) 17:02, 27 September 2013 (UTC) Done, PinkAmpersand. --Jeff (talk) 19:57, 28 September 2013 (UTC) ##  It's not taking me to the main page If I type explainxkcd.com, it redirects me to http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki which just shows a directory listing, rather than taking me to the main page (as I assume it's supposed to). chridd (talk) 02:07, 31 October 2013 (UTC) Thaat's not supposed to happen. I'm on it. Davidy²²[talk] 06:49, 31 October 2013 (UTC) Is it fixed for you now? Davidy²²[talk] 06:55, 31 October 2013 (UTC) Yes chridd (talk) 14:46, 31 October 2013 (UTC) ##  Logo in upper left corner missing The logo in the upper left corner is missing, probably because of a wrong redirect. The logo should be at http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/skins/common/images/explainxkcd.png, but this link takes me to the main page. The icons in the edit toolbar are missing, too, probably the same problem. You should exclude all \.png$ queries from redirects. --108.162.254.177 10:09, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Fixed that. Sorry about that, it was an overzealous htaccess. Thanks! --Jeff (talk) 15:45, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

##  Sidebar ad overhangs content in Firefox 25.0

The sidebar ad on each page overhangs the content frame slightly when I view this site in Firefox 25.0 on a Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit pc. I have started Firefox in safe mode with all add-ons disabled and it still happens. Site looks fine in IE 11. 173.245.56.79 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Have you tried hitting control-shift-R, or clearing your cache? That sounds like Firefox is disregarding part of our CSS for whatever reason. I'm running a very similar setup and I'm not getting these problems. Try giving it a wee bit of time and trying again. Davidy²²[talk] 17:27, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
What's your monitor resolution and size of your Firefox window (maximized, 50/50 split, etc)? lcarsos_a (talk) 18:24, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm really sure that scaling isn't the issue, I made the sidebar width definite. I'll check it again. Davidy²²[talk] 19:06, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
The sidebar has a fixed width defined at the CSS style sheet. Press F5 or CTRL-R to reload this style sheet. This happened to me in the past too. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:14, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I changed the defined width to pixels instead of em, in the annoying edge-case that a browser uses a weird default font width. Davidy²²[talk] 19:24, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
It looks fine now.--173.245.56.79 06:08, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

##  Connection problems

Whatever the new hoster does cost, you should get your money back. Sometimes the page doesn't load at all, or the menu is missing after the browser did finish after one or two minutes. The performance here is still annoying. That cloud seems to be a dead cloud. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:33, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

It's easily more performant than our old service, and it holds up far better to traffic. I am inclined to say that it's a region specific issue, and I'll submit a ticket for that, but they've worked far better than flat shared hosting for the time that we've been using them. Davidy²²[talk] 00:01, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
More detail: The message is an Error 522 (Connection timed out).
• You (Browser, Working) <-> Amsterdam (CloudFlare, Working) <-> www.explainxkcd.com (Host, Error)
In December the CloudFlare did belong to Frankfurt. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:35, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm having still major problems to connect, only this this silly error message. ...and then it does work again. Still strange.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:58, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

##  Wrong IP address shown

All edits by IPs (well, at least all I checked, including my own edits) are recorded using IP addresses of CloudFlare (108.162.192.0/18, 173.245.48.0/20 and some other ranges), i.e., it's not the address of the client, but of the server. This seems similar to [3]. --108.162.254.160 09:05, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

That's something we're working on, but current limitations with our provider are making things sow for us. When they give us what we need, we can do it. Davidy²²[talk] 16:59, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Hmmpf! I just noticed this twelve months later and it's still the case... Mark Hurd (talk) 01:59, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Uurrrp a couple of holdups happened, I need to do this at some point. Davidy²²[talk] 04:54, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

##  1337 leads to...? =

Current and latest comic page, 1337, unusually has a "Next" before there's even any 1338 page. (It points to 1337.) As a lowly IP, I don't feel I ought to delve too deep to see if it's a page template issue (possibly because "1337" is both a past title and the current number, maybe, although not too sure if that'd work out) or just because of manual editing. But bringing it to general attention. (It may of course be an issue that does not even last beyond Wednesday, and comic number 1338's arrival, even without intervention.) 141.101.99.7 13:40, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

D'aww, and I wanted to be lazy too. I'll get to fixing it, an IP took it to himself to add stuff to the comic template and he removed the auto-hiding buttons. Imma fixy. Davidy²²[talk] 17:42, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I did revert some edits on that issue here, so for the first point it should work again. In general: The main page should not be affected like this and the test environment is called: Sandbox. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:43, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
The issue was fixed three hours before your autorevert. This is getting excessive. The next time you autorevert a large edit without testing or making an attempt to fix things yourself, expect a three-day ban. Davidy²²[talk] 22:41, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

##  No confirmation email?

I requested an email for confirmation when I registered. I got nothing, not in spam filter, not in trash, and definitely in not my inbox.

Today, I requested another confirmation email. Again, nothing has appeared.

Is it me? Is it my shampoo??? Enquiring minds want to know.... Thanks. Karenb (talk) 22:45, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Confirmation emails? What, are we a five-star hotel now?
Jokes aside, is this a thing you really need? You should be autoconfirmed after editing for a while without getting blocked, but if you can put forward a good reason why we should add this in, I'll do it. Davidy²²[talk] 00:54, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Not blocked! Trying to authenticate my email, which I thought was an automatic process. Does that feature not work? That would certainly explain the lack of autoresponse.... Cheers. KB Karenb (talk) 01:35, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

## Because the people visiting here are probably the people that should see this

After the server upgrades mentioned in the sitenotice, de.explainxkcd.com should exist. I'm not publicizing it yet, just want to get it up and work out implementation details before it goes fully live. Pls dun test during the downtime, there'll be plenty of time for that after it's live. Davidy²²[talk] 01:14, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Ok, so our server doesn't actually have the required dependencies to complete the upgrade, so that was slightly fruitless. Sorry about any downtime or inconvenience caused, I didn't add the German wiki again because I'm looking set up the parallel wikis on an up-to-date base. Sorry again for any inconvenience that may have caused, I'll make sure to be better prepared next time, and maybe actually succeed in performing the upgrade next time. Davidy²²[talk] 02:02, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

## Does anyone have image of Black Hat saying to Cueball "It's 'cause you're dumb" ?

Guys, does anyone has this image? I'm hosting Russian xkcd fanpage here - vk.com/xkcdoff and if someone would post it it would be very helpful. --KOTYAR (talk) 22:40, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

I actually can't find it either. Shame, I liked that old thumbnail. I could probably photoshop up a new version if you really want one though. Davidy²²[talk] 04:53, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Just going to the explain xkcd page and following the first historic (internet-archived) link allowed me to extract the requested "header-image.png" (the corresponding image URL on the current site gives nothing anymore... thank you, Internet Archive!). Which I uploaded to the wiki here, for convenience and because it's part of this wiki's history, in a way, and also, cool. - Cos (talk) 10:39, 16 April 2014 (UTC) (PS: also, facebook.com/explainxkcd/photos/10150144122985214; but JPEG.)

##  expxkcd.com redirect not up-to-date

By adding "exp" at the beginning of the URL one can easily switch from xkcd.com/1234 to expxkcd.com/1234, which redirects to the corresponding explanation here, and that's nice. But right now, expxkcd.com redirects to 1355 (at least for me), instead of 1356, the latest comic. Wouldn't it be better if expxkcd.com redirected to the Main Page instead (as does correctly explainxkcd.com)? - Cos (talk) 10:55, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

expxkcd is actually a thing that user user:grep was so kind to purchase and handle for us. I can forward this on to him for him to resolve, and give him the rewrite rules we use if he needs them. Davidy²²[talk] 11:12, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Nice, thank you for the quick forward to the right place. - Cos (talk) 11:31, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, the reason for that is that right now, I update it manually, which is obviously a really bad idea. I plan to change this pretty soon. I don't want it to go to the main page because the main page doesn't show the discussion, and comes along with all the other, regular main page stuff. Any rewrite rules wouldn't hurt, Davidy22. greptalk12:04, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Hrm. Ours rules point towards the main page. We have no automatically updating page that always redirects to the latest comic, but you can use Mediawiki hooks to append the contents of the page Template:LATESTCOMIC to the end of our URL. Davidy²²[talk] 23:44, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't understand. My BOT will upload the next comic on time, unless it's some new chaos by Randall a BOT just can't handle. The LATESTCOMIC template is updated and so it seems only be an issue on that damn Cloud Service Cache. Even Randall's pages are affected. At "What-if" I still have to use <CTRL+R> to get the latest content. --Dgbrt (talk) 00:26, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
We're talking about a different thing related to shortened URLs. Davidy²²[talk] 02:24, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
That is an interesting idea, however I just made a script that automatically adds 1 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I could have it grab the number from your page and do this once a day at something like 00:10 EST (because Randall sometimes does things on other days), that's a possibility as well (other times / intervals may also be done if you wish/want). greptalk04:34, 02 May 2014 (UTC)
Our LATESTCOMIC page and Randall's xkcd json page should both have up-to-date comic numbers for you to pull. Ours is probably the better one to pull since your site is linking to us. Davidy²²[talk] 06:30, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
The script now checks Template:LATESTCOMIC every 30 minutes to see if the comic has changed or not. If you wish, I might be able narrow this down to 11PM->6AM (for 30 minute checking) and then have it check every two hours at other times or something similar to that (if systemd.time has a way to do it) greptalk12:13, 09 May 2014 (UTC)
I still do not see that problems. Please touch this wiki as less as needed, this is still the best choice. But there is still a big problem on the cache, an update on a picture lasts many hours. Some statements in "LocalSettings.php" should work, if not this wiki version is buggy. Problems should be solved at the cause and not be overridden by some additional scripts. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:51, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
We have ample bandwidth for a bot that only checks once every half-hour. The image caching issue is irrelevant to the current topic. Davidy²²[talk] 03:45, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

##  Explain xkcd upgraded to version 1.19.17

Woo! Davidy²²[talk] 17:59, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

The header seems to have broken, there is no longer a link to the explanation in it. 173.245.56.154 22:00, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Which header are you talking about? All the links I can think of still seem to work. Davidy²²[talk] 02:13, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
It fixed itself shortly after I mentioned it. It was the incomplete explanation, the link to 428 was bold, but not a link. 173.245.56.154 04:48, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

One of the ads is broken.

0100011101100001011011010110010101011010011011110110111001100101 (talk page) 04:33, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Ooh, thanks for catching that. Should be fixed now. Davidy²²[talk] 17:08, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Nice :) But is this update a preparation for an upcoming update to one of the latest versions, or are we limited to 1.19 for some reason? I'm asking because 1.19 is only supported for a few more months, and also because with newer versions we'd have access to some niceties -- for example, after version 1.20 the PAGESINCAT magic word accepts parameters, which would allow the count of explained comics in the main page to work using less hardcoded hacks. --Waldir (talk) 16:08, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Prior attempts to update the wiki have been prevented by the realization that Lunarpages doesn't give us quite as much control over our server share as we thought we had. Checking again, they seem to have upgraded the version of PHP on our server since we last attempted and failed to run one dumb update script, which should mean that it'll work next time we try it. The wiki also has quite a bit of user effort invested into it now, and I'm a little less ready to jump into .0~.3 releases than I would normally be on my own machine, so I upgraded down the LTS path that I knew would be safe. After the first ill-planned attempt, I've been eyeing the 1.23 LTS line for the next major jump, but I'm certainly not stepping into it while it's still relatively fresh. Davidy²²[talk] 17:08, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable. Thanks for the details. I'll be looking forward to the next update :) --Waldir (talk) 18:52, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Just wanting to offer, I use ARP Networks for hosting, you should check them out if you want more control. 173.245.56.154 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Hum, there's an option. I'll keep that in mind. Davidy²²[talk] 04:35, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
It wasn't me that posted that comment. But surprisingly enough anon and I have the same first two bytes in our IP addresses. Congrats on the version upgrade. lcarsos_a (talk) 05:31, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Why does the site say I'm blocking ads when I'm not? I do use AdBlock Plus, but it's turned off for this site. Screenshot here. And while I'm here, that "unblock us" text has an error- the first "and" in the second sentence shouldn't be there. NealCruco (talk) 01:51, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

The text only appears when the ads fail to load. The error message actually says noscript, which means that the Javascript that the ad box uses to fetch images isn't running. How long has this been happening for you? Davidy²²[talk] 04:35, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
It just started. I came over here as soon as I noticed it. NealCruco (talk) 19:07, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Have you recently made any changes to your browser? Does the problem persist when you hit CTRL+SHIFT+R? Davidy²²[talk] 12:43, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Nope, no recent changes. And yes, the problem persists when I hit Ctrl+Shift+R. NealCruco (talk) 14:04, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
I am genuinely puzzled. The message tells me that something is causing your browser to fail to load/run the Javascript that makes the ad render and report stats, so the problem could be anything that can cause that: noscript, outdated browser, experimentation. I don't know anything about your setup, and it works on my test machines, so I can't tell currently what's wrong. Davidy²²[talk] 03:10, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Do you have privoxy installed on your machine? (this is a long shot) lcarsos_a (talk) 00:24, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

##  If anything broke, complain here.

There's a banner that says: The wiki has been updated to stable mediawiki version 1.19.17. If anything broke, complain here.

So...

The following have broken: Cars My previous computer A railroad train Condoms Etc.

None of which has anything to do with this website.

The banner should be made more specific before Randall sees it and does a comic mocking it.

Well, there's always that one guy. Fixed. Davidy²²[talk] 05:05, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't see how you could have fixed that one guy. Throttled, eliminated, insulted, blocked, etc. But not fixed. Walenc (talk) 16:29, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
See sense 6 here: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fix#Verb :P 173.245.56.154 02:13, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
i bet you think yer so clever. just watch me take the site down. Davidy²²[talk] 04:35, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

##  Misc Request... (|< < Prev Comic Next > >| format)

I usually browse in a very small window and the menu buttons split kind of strangely (http://i.imgur.com/wPE7szZ.png). Would it be possible to replace the spaces with nonbreaking spaces? --173.245.56.202 15:13, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Annoyingly, the spaces that are giving you trouble can't be changed because they're text string inputs, and Mediawiki has no regular expression markup yet. Every other instance of formatting-critical spaces has been changed to non-breaking spaces though, thanks for the heads up! Davidy²²[talk] 18:13, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
I think I fixed this by adding a space between the buttons. Unfortunately, this only works as long as the comic is not as wide as the button bar. I guess this is because of the surrounding table. --SlashMe (talk) 20:15, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

##  Not receiving password reset emails

I've forgotten my password, and password reset is not working for me. I went to Special:PasswordReset, and had it send me a reset email. However, I have not received the email. I am sure that I have an email associated with my account, and it's confirmed. 173.245.54.174 08:38, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Tested, password reset emails seem to work for me. Have you checked your spam folder? Davidy²²[talk] 18:04, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I checked in Gmail in "Mail & Spam & Trash", and it still doesn't find it. I tried a fresh reset, so we'll see if that comes through. No luck after a minute or two. 108.162.216.71 04:59, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi, I use TOR. To access your website, cloudfare has made it such that I have to enter a captcha. This is very inconvenient, as your site is not the only one doing this. Can you please fix this issue? You should be able to see a guide here: https://tor.stackexchange.com/questions/599/cloudflares-captcha-screen-insurmountable . Thank you for taking the time to consider this. 141.101.104.60 11:34, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Is it better now? Davidy²²[talk] 13:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, no. I still get the captcha. What did you try doing? 108.162.216.87 22:09, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Set the threat level threshold way up. Any further steps into cheap botnet territory. For your security, you may want to reconsider the nodes through which you're operating through. Also, why do you need to use Tor to visit us? Davidy²²[talk] 04:17, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Ah, okay, thanks, now I'm not getting the captcha. As for why I'm using Tor, I don't need to, but I'd rather do so just to be anonymous. I wouldn't have written if it were just your site, but since Cloudfare has made captchas the default setting for Tor, the internet is starting to become near unusable. So that everyday people aren't scared away from using Tor due to the perceived complexity of daily browsing, whenever I have to enter a captcha, I try to contact someone at the site to ask them to change the setting. 108.162.216.82 06:52, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

##  Upgrade to the latest MediaWiki version?

I think we should start trying to maintain a regular upgrade schedule of some sort. 6 months ago was the last time we've upgraded, and I think we should upgrade again. The impetus for this change would be for translation features, plus other multilinguality efforts that require the new versions of MediaWiki. Localization efforts should be put into place, and the translate feature would work well for that. Chess (talk) 01:53, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Plans to upgrade only include LTS releases. That said though, the recent and unintentional server downtime was actually the result of a setup for a coming mediawiki upgrade, among other things. The plan is to upgrade to 1.23 sometime in the coming months, during the weekend after a satisfactory number of bugfix releases. We're very interested in setting up translations, although mediawiki in it's current form already supports translation; the extensions you linked are mostly quality-of-life additions. It's been delayed because the plan is to eliminate all incomplete comics first so that translators have a solid base to work from. Davidy²²[talk] 02:42, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Can I just be nitpicky and say that we last upgraded about 3.5 months ago, not 6? Thanks. NealCruco (talk) 03:17, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

##  Fix HTTPS access

explain xkcd is using Cloudflare which recently enabled HTTPS for all users, but when accessing it via HTTPS it returns error 521. In order to fix this in addiction to the solution steps proposed by CloudFlare check if SSL settings are correct. 173.245.52.138 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

On it Davidy²²[talk] 18:51, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

HTTPS is working now, there just some mixed-content warnings, mostly on style tags which being active mixed content are blocked, but it's still a good improvement as it's possible to have more privacy when browsing explain xkcd. 188.114.99.35 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

When attempting to access the feed for this wiki I'm told "Sorry. No feed found." Is there some way that the feed can be restored to the satisfaction of Feedly? Could it be due to some validation issues, or should I consider changing my news reader? Pmw57 (talk) 23:08, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Huh. The feed updates automatically with a script that I wrote a while ago, I'm very sure it passed more than this the last time I checked. Fixed a few things, left the one about the date because that's a pain to fix, and one that I can't figure out for the life of me. I think I fixed the line that was causing the actual problems though. Should update on feedly now. Davidy²²[talk] 01:52, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Hallelujah - the feed was mixed in with other geeky material and it only took me nearly 8 months to notice that nothing was coming through from here anymore. I'm premature with my thanks though. The RSS link in the navigation pane to the left still doesn't want to be understood by Feedly. By contrast, other feeds such as for latest changes can be picked up. Pmw57 (talk) 02:04, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Hrm. Sent an email to feedly about it, Just tested and I'm having similar issues with feedly. Davidy²²[talk] 02:17, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
It seems it's not just Feedly. When I use Chrome's RSS Feed Reader, that too also tells me "No posts here yet" followed by the an ever helpful "Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp" Pmw57 (talk) 02:33, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Could it be that it's just not valid XML? I see that it ends at line 236 with </item> with no other closing tags, for example. Pmw57 (talk) 03:18, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Ohwait a minute, the auto updater rips old entries off the bottom and that's where there's supposed to be a closing channel and RSS tag. well. Davidy²²[talk] 07:19, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

It's good to know that the cause is now known - I'll let you (or someone else with the authority) get on with fixing things up :-) Pmw57 (talk) 07:46, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Hullo. It's not perfect that only one specific formation of the URL works, but it's a start. Davidy²²[talk] 08:01, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
You sir do God's work - and that coming from a Dillahunty-following Atheist is saying something. Pmw57 (talk) 08:11, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

##  "Known appearances" character infobox fix?

Currently, "Known appearances" in the characters infobox is broken as for some pages, when the character's category serves as it's own info page. (e.g. Category:Red Spiders, Category:Sharks, Category:Squirrels, Category:Barrel etc.) Can this be fixed?--17jiangz1 (talk) 11:21, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Fixed it myself. Just use template "Infobox character 2" instead of "Infobox character" when the character's category serves as it's own info page.--17jiangz1 (talk) 14:55, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

##  Comic 1505 (30 March 2015) isn't properly showing up, I think?

Excuse me if I'm being a n00b, but 1505 is posted, and the page is extant, but it's not showing on the Main Page yet. Is this supposed to happen, i.e. waiting for someone to put some content on the page, or did something break somewhere...? Again, sorry if I've just committed a massive derp. 173.245.56.189 04:38, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Should be showing up now. Davidy²²[talk] 09:38, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

##  rendering problem ?

To me, right now, with Windows Firefox 37.0.1, 625: Collections looks like this:

There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the source text.

Here's the Main Page in Internet Explorer 8:

This is affecting everything? Or just me? Pesthouse (talk) 03:31, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Okay, somebody was messing with Template:w. I reverted it to the previous editor's version, seemed to fix things. Pesthouse (talk) 03:46, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

On that note, they made a similar template that links to rationalwiki, but didn't use it at all in any pages. Huh. It's not even a very significant site. Davidy²²[talk] 05:52, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
The IP preferred the Rationalwiki article on Poe's Law to the Wikipedia version, I guess.
User:452 did not approve. Pesthouse (talk) 07:57, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Given the fact that he broke Template:W, and didn't seem to know what he was doing, I undid his other edits, sorry if this was inappropriate. -452 (talk) 17:51, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

##  wiki server clock has drifted - about 13 minutes fast

As I type this, it is exactly 07:42:45 UTC. Pesthouse (talk) 07:55, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

And thus timestamps here are 12 or 13 minutes off. Pesthouse (talk) 07:59, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

I see the same thing: 15:41:00 UTC now.... Nealmcb (talk) 15:54, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Huh. I'll look into it, when I get back home. Davidy²²[talk] 23:19, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

##  Main Page

When categories are added to the latest comic, the Main Page is also categorized in those categories.--17jiangz1 (talk) 13:42, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

The most obvious solution would be to put the categories inside <noinclude> tags, on every page. 143 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
That's ugly and labor-intensive though. I think there's something we can do with string matching to fix it in a better way. Davidy²²[talk] 03:35, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

##  #cscore doesn't work with #expr

I can't use cscore with expr on my userpage.--Forrest ― 17jiangz1(talk)10:30, 01 May 2015 (UTC)

#  Coordination

##  Issue dates

Hi Jeff,

As i'm creating pages I struggle with the issue dates of comics. I've added a comment to all pages that contain the (unknown/incorrect) dates. Is there a way to research those dates? --Rikthoff (talk)

[4] if you mouse over the comic name, it will have the date. --Jeff (talk) 18:26, 3 August 2012 (EDT)

- if you mouse over comic name in "Archive" section of xkcd.com. Older comics(1-44 or so) might be found in livejournal archiveB. P. (talk) 18:35, 3 August 2012 (EDT)

Should we consider using "2012-08-03" style dates and letting localization "do the right thing"? Most pages so far use "August 3, 2012" style dates, with a few incorrectly doing "August 3rd, 2012"... Presumably the template could do the localizing/localising...--B. P. (talk) 18:39, 3 August 2012 (EDT)

The date is also available with the JSON API, which I'm going to use for the import. I use {{#dateformat: year-month-day}}, MediaWiki should figure out the correct way to display it based on your preferences. --SlashMe (talk) 18:47, 3 August 2012 (EDT)

Moved from User talk:Jeff. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:15, 4 August 2012 (EDT)

##  Date?

How do I find the date a comic was first posted (to put in the comic header here?) TheHYPO (talk) 12:26, 3 August 2012 (EDT)

Moved from Talk:Main Page. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:43, 4 August 2012 (EDT)

Original posting date is listed on xkcd's [archive page] as hover-text for each post. The first 44 comics are all listed as 2006-01-01. Many of these were previously posted on the [livejournal site], and some dates can be found/inferred by checking there.--B. P. (talk) 17:49, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

##  To do list

I suggest a todo list to be added here so newcomers will have an idea of concrete things they can do to help. I'll start by moving some items I've been collecting on my user page. Feel free to add more :)

Things to do

• Complete all entries from the List of all comics
• Special:WantedPages lists pages that have links to them but haven't been created yet.
• More topics that could be covered here besides the comics themselves:
• the xkcd irc channel (and its wiki)
• the xkcd blag
• the xkcd forum
• other sites explaining xkcd ([5], [6], [7], [8], maybe invite members+content of the other wikis in once we're established?)

Maintenance

• Redirects should be created from the "File:number.png" format to the "File:title.png" format.
• categorization (make sure these lists are empty):
• building the web of links:
• other
• Special:DoubleRedirects
(Took a chunk out of these the good ol' fashioned way, but there's got to be a wiff of Perl or Python to automate this... ? -- IronyChef (talk) 14:44, 9 August 2012 (UTC))
Well, there's mwclient, a Python interface to the mediawiki API which I've used to move the comics to the new names. We could certainly create scripts to perform maintenance tasks and share the snippets here on the wiki. Automated tools will be useful while we establish standards early on. If you'd like help getting started, let me know. --Waldir (talk) 19:40, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
• convert wikipedia links to the {{w|Lorem ipsum}} format
• use lowercase xkcd everywhere on the wiki (see How do I write "xkcd"?)

There are more maintenance reports at Special:SpecialPages, for inspiration :) --Waldir (talk) 06:45, 6 August 2012 (EDT)

I'd love one of these "To Do" lists for admins as well! :) I'm always forgetting what I need to do! --Jeff (talk) 02:35, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
There actually isn't much to do that needs admin permissions around here. Right I can think of only a handful of admin-specific tasks:
Maybe others will have other items to add to the list, but for the most part, the things that need to be done are available to all editors: adding the missing comic explanations, describing characters, categorizing, etc. --Waldir (talk) 19:13, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Checking the above lists, here are the current stats:

Just a FWIW or TWIMC. :) -- 173.245.51.210 16:11, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

The time-related pages can be fixed trivially. The wanted categories are kinda impossible to clear up, as userpages are typically off-limits to everyone except the owner of the userpage, unless they're a spambot. We've made pretty good progress on everything else though. Davidy²²[talk] 16:43, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
The wanted categs can be cleared up by creating them, and adding them to the categ hierarchy. I'm just not familiar enough with said hierarchy. -- 173.245.51.210 17:09, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

##  Date categories

I'm not sure the "Comics by month", by weekday, etc. Will be much useful, unless for those interested in running some stats. It might be more interesting to have specific months, such as Category:Comics from May 2011 and so on. What do you think? --Waldir (talk) 06:45, 6 August 2012 (EDT)

That was actually next for me: #time:year-month, but I wanted to study the globalization implications. I prefer over-categorizing rather than under-categorizing, since it's comparatively cheap. The assumption is that categories are the same as tags on the old site, and that mediawiki affords us some extra ways to automatically categorize pages in addition to the manual forms starting to emerge (by character, by subject, etc.) To paraphrase an old prof: you can't study what you don't measure; I've been wanting to see if, for example, Monday comics deal certain subjects, while Friday comics deal with another, etc. Not everybody's cup of tea, but of value perhaps to some, and insanely cheap to support both mentally and for the software. -- IronyChef (talk) 13:51, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

I also used it to find some date typos for Saturday/Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday comics, which should usually be empty - except for some early entries from livejournal... --B. P. (talk) 21:50, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

It does make it look a bit messy down by the categories... maybe we can skip one or two of these date categories, if people don't still find them useful? St.nerol (talk) 21:22, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

##  Page names

I think we should use the comic number and the title as the page name. Like so: "112: Baring My Heart". This would allow comics to be sorted by order in categories, but the pages would still have human-readable names for those of us who don't memorize all xkcd comic numbers ;) Thoughts? --Waldir (talk) 07:23, 6 August 2012 (EDT)

I agree, for another reason: for instance YouTube could be either the title of a page explaining how YouTube is referenced in xkcd, or the title of the explanation for comic #202 (titled "YouTube"). I don't know if I'm being clear here, but as we do not control the titles of the comics, that could create confusion with other pages. So using something like 202: YouTube would ensure disambiguation without being really complicated or awkward... And actually prefixing the comic title with its number seems quite relevant to me.
Additionally, that would solve potential problems such as Exoplanets: comic 786 or 1071?
Cos (talk) 14:33, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Beat me to the punch; agreed. Numbers are unique and sequential, but not altogether that meaningful. Names are meaningful but (as we've seen) not unique. Some combination of both would be called for. We'd need to have the plain numbers redirect to the new topic (some double-redirects would need to be fixed up?) and the names would too (with at least one disambiguation page for now, and who knows: maybe more to come?) -- IronyChef (talk) 13:55, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Following up on the YouTube discussion above, I'm wondering if we should leverage namespaces more: main:topic is implicitly xkcd:topic (ie main:YouTube discusses the xkcd comic, while ref:YouTube is the place where the pop-culture reference of YouTube is discussed.) Either that, or some other name decoration, such as YouTube Explained, or ... -- IronyChef (talk) 13:59, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. Number and the name together. --Jeff (talk) 16:08, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Looks like we have consensus. I'll move the pages (I've been meaning to learn how to use mwclient anyway :D) --Waldir (talk) 18:01, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Done, all current pages have been moved. However, I am not sure whether we should keep a space after the colon. What do you guys think? Should it be "112: Baring My Heart" or "112:Baring My Heart"? --Waldir (talk) 18:20, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Also, I just realized MediaWiki doesn't allow colons in image Filenames. One solution could be using something like File:786. Exoplanets.png or File:786-Exoplanets.png, but then perhaps we'd have to change the pages name too, for consistency? I'll try to investigate what is the reasoning behind this restriction. --Waldir (talk) 18:50, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Ok, it seems like it's a matter of setting $wgIllegalFileChars = ''; in LocalSettings.php (because it is set as $wgIllegalFileChars = ':'; in DefaultSettings.php). Jeff, could you do that please? --Waldir (talk) 19:13, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Nevermind, we will probably use a different naming pattern instead. --Waldir (talk) 20:05, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
I guess this is my bad for not ciming in on this discussion earlier, but I frankly think that the #: Name is a worse way of doing it just for the reasons of system resources. #:Name is fine from a user standpoint with the caveat that # and Name both redirect to #:Name. The problem is that this requires 2 redirects minimum for every comic, and the redirect itself takes a bit more time for each article to load, and (as I understand from wikipedia and its dislike of double redirects), every redirect adds to the system load. So if every article lookup by users (who will undoubtedly type either the number or the name, but rarely both) is a redirect, the system load is going to go up.
As an aside, assuming Jeff is able to install the Cite Extension to add citation referencing (and even if he doesn't), I was expecting to try to create some sort of template in the concept of {{cite comic}} where you could basically pass a single variable (e.g. the comic number) and it would create a proper citation for that comic. Similarly, this naming format will perhaps require a template something like {{comicno}} with a comic number field just to create a quick link that is visibly appealing and links properly to the comic with that number. (ie: {comicno|18} would produce a link like "Snapple" or something). I'm wondering though if anyone has any coding ideas for how we might accomplish this other than the hardcode all the titles into a template. TheHYPO (talk) 19:26, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
PS: I did some mild digging on another wiki, Star Trek's Memory Alpha wiki, and although all of its episode articles are now titled "episode title (episode)" to avoid disambiguation, which allows you to an episode template by calling the title (which template appends "(episode)" to every entry), they DO have a title-display template: Template:Titles - with a template subpage for every single episode setting out how the mouseover text should be displayed. It would be possible to do such a template for xkcd just so that comic numbers can be crossreferenced to titles... TheHYPO (talk) 20:30, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
(Hoping this is the right number of colons for proper indentation... ;-) Redirects are one thing, and while probably resulting in possibly two page serves (isn't it really just two hits to the db?) they're natively supported by mediawiki. Even so, if performance is proven to be a real (not just conjectured) problem, can we do something clever, perhaps, with transclusion? Either the number transcludes the title, or vice versa? Might be a case of pre-optimization, though; in the back of my mind, it seems that the rendering engine puts as much effort into transcluding to expand templates as it would to expand a redirect in situ: either case is just a query to the DB to expand the contents of said item. (Enough rambling; anybody have any concrete metrics on this?) -- IronyChef (talk) 06:23, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Hi folks. Just thought I'd state that redirects are completely safe. They don't add any noticeable loading time for the users and the extra resources used by the server are so minor that it's akin to the resources used to type a character in notepad. Pages are also aggressively cached (by default, anyway). If you're interested, the way redirects work in Mediawiki isn't like most other sites handle redirects. It's not loading a page that makes you load another page. Rather, all content is stored in an SQL database. The content is stored under a certain name (eg, "#: Hello World!"). A redirect simply tells Mediawiki to look for the content under a different name. Slightly more work for the server (don't worry, they can handle it), but the page is delivered to the user in roughly the same period of time (if we want to be technical, the page will be slightly larger, due to the "Redirected from whatever" line added to the page (which is mostly there for the purpose of making it easier to fix incorrect redirects). I don't have metrics, but can assure you that it's almost no difference in the end result. 09:11, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

I've been thinking about this some more, and I believe we should choose a different pattern for the page names.

• First, use another separator between comic number and name, since colon is forbidden in files. A simple alternative would be "Comic title (number)", as in Michael Phelps (1092). This would additionally allow us to use the pipe trick when linking to a comic, since content in parenthesis is automatically stripped out: [[Michael Phelps (1092)|]] results in Michael Phelps. Another effect of this is that by dropping the colon naming scheme we would remove ambiguity with the namespace system, which also uses colons to separate namespaces from pagenames.
• Second, we should probably follow IronyChef's suggestion above and move them to a specific namespace, such as Comic:Michael Phelps (1092). Other namespaces could be added for more topics, such as Character:Cueball, xkcd:Randall (or Meta:Randall), Topic:Velociraptors, etc. Not only we would be able to generate lists of pages without resorting to categories (which have to be added manually), but we would get lot's of "Random X" for free (random comic, random character, random topic, etc.)

What do you guys think? --Waldir (talk) 14:29, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

P.s. - Proper category sorting of the comics would be dealt with by the {{comic}} template, which would also pad the numbers with zeroes to ensure 100 comes after 2, etc.
+1 on the parens... (but does that mean my recent double-redirect-fixups have been for naught? (grin)) ... I couldn't put my finger on it and didn't articulate it earlier, but the fact that colon needed special attention by the software left me a bit uneasy (there must be a reason for them doing that, like namespaces perhaps) so using parentheses-es-es (as long as we close them properly) seems more the mediawiki way. -- IronyChef (talk) 15:03, 9 August 2012 (UTC) (I know you folks don't like my propensity to (over?)categorize, but [[Category:Parentheses]] is just too irresistible... ;-)
I think, that all of this seem unnecessary complication to me. I don't see any problem with the current system. I think something like 1092: Michael Phelps flows well, is quite readable and easy to insert "as is" in the text (see the links to other comics in 1048: Emotion for instance). As I understand, we would want the image files to be titled exactly the same way as their corresponding article; why, where is the need for that? (to me the simplest way, and most relevant maybe, would be to name them exactly as they are on xkcd.com; maybe with a prefix, like "xkcd - ", so that it cannot mess with other existing images such as from Commons).
I don't see the point of creating namespaces such as "Character", "Topic", etc.; what is the problem with Beret Guy, Randall Munroe, Velociraptors, and such? with namespaces one will have to put each topic in one box (and one only), where will you put things like Stick figure or My Hobby or any other thing that will pop up without clearly belonging to one of these boxes? just give up! :-)
About the "Random X", I like the idea that on xkcd.com, you can get a random comic (because that's all what is there), but in here you can get a random whatever: you may get a comic explanation, a character, a topic or anything, because in here there is all that.
I don't think the colon in the comic page names will pose any problem, it cannot mess with anything as long as it is preceded by a number only.
In the end, I think that adding the number in the comic page names was a good choice, because there would have been real issues otherwise, but for now I would say : "don't fix what is not broken", KISS, and "just give up". :-)
Cos (talk) 16:14, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
I have to agree with this. The existing page names are fine in my book, and I don't see any benefits of renaming them all (again). Concerning the random, though, I mentioned an extension in proposals that would allow us to choose a "random page in a category". I don't really care one way or another about character topics. Seem like a lot of maintenance when we don't even have a quarter of the comics explained yet, but whatever. Concerning the image names, I think that simply using the same name as it appears on xkcd is fine. Images are a bit of a "backend", that people don't usually search for (rather, they'd search for the comic and find the image on that page). As well, since all images are hosted on xkcd, they won't be any file name conflicts amongst the comics. 18:04, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Good points (and puns!), all of you. I'd like to address a few specific points (I'll highlight the key takeaways for your convenience):
• I still prefer parenthesis for the simple reason that colons mess with the concept of namespaces (not that it has any effect on the software, which can cope quite well; I'm speaking from a user point of view). Besides, one of the reasons I proposed for having the number first was automatic category sorting, but that backfired (cf. #2 vs. #100).
• Re rationale for having image files titled like the comics is that it would allow automatic image inclusion via the {{comic}} template. However, having the prefix is not crucial for that (hadn't thought of this before), so I'll go ahead and remove my suggestion above to allow colons in filenames.
• Note that there's no problem with "conflicts" with Commons images: an image uploaded here simply takes precedence regarding an image uploaded to commons under the same name (e.g. File:Irony.jpg vs. commons:File:Irony.jpg). That said, while external conflicts aren't a problem, internal ones are (e.g. Exoplanets). That, coupled with the "it's just a backend" point made by Omega, is a good argument to use the original filenames (also, less overhead when uploading a new comic)
• I understand the argument against a single primary way to classify a page using namespaces. The category system is more flexible as it allows many-to-many relationships. However, I must point out that the examples you give are no problem at all: Meta:Stick figure and Topic:My Hobby ;) So I'm still not convinced that using custom namespaces is a bad idea or a lost cause or that it won't scale up well. Besides, it makes it very clear what a reader will find on that page (explainxkcd.com/wiki/Topic:Velociraptors is a pretty self-explanatory url). And again, it allows us to use the random feature that is natively implemented on mediawiki, rather than an extension. And "random whatever" is still available, of course :)
• IronyChef, by all means, please create Category:Parentheses :D
--Waldir (talk) 20:05, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
If we're going to use the numbers in the titles, it seems logical to have the number come first so that comics are essentially sortable by number rather than alphabetically by title; although this probably can be taken care of by changing the sort title, thoug this could be tedious.
I don't support new namespaces for comics and characters and whatnot. I don't see what it adds to the wiki, and it just makes the links to each comic page even longer (no one will EVER correctly search for Comic:Snapple (18) on their first attempt).
I am not claiming to be an expert on redirects. My comment was based on wikipedia pages like Wikipedia:Double redirects where it clearly suggests in the lead that double redirects "waste server resources". I assume this applies (at to a lesser degree) to single redirects. They may not be needless waste like double redirects, but they they do use resources. Granted wikipedia has far larger servers and much more traffic, so it may be more relevant to them than here, but it still would appear to be a resource issue; Database queries are still resource hogs, even if they are simple ones. Not suggesting they aren't safe, but if every comic load is basically a redirect, that is still two queries every time instead of just the occasional one. I'm fine with it; I'm just pointing out the issue. TheHYPO (talk) 16:20, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
The reason that double redirects are bad is that linking a redirect to another redirect (a double redirect) causes the first redirect to simply display the content of the second redirect (rather than actually redirecting the page). This appears as simply an arrow and a link (a soft redirect). It uses more system resources because an actual page has to be loaded and displayed, forcing the user to manually click the link and display the proper page (whereas a single redirect would load the correct page and display it). So in other words, a double redirect forces two pages to be loaded, while a single redirect only loads one page, more or less the same as if you went to the actual page title. 21:35, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Also, regarding the sorting argument for using numbers first: I was the one who originally proposed that, but I overlooked the fact that sorting won't work unless we use padding (e.g. "0001: Comic title"), which is kind of a hack. MediaWiki supports category sort keys natively, so we should be taking advantage of them rather than relying on a specific page title format to achieve the same effect.
As for the namespaces, I think I've presented my arguments for that above; let me know if any of them are unclear. I accept that one may disagree with them, but not that there aren't any benefits. Note that nobody will correctly seach for whatever page title we use, unless we use only the numbers as the final title, which I think we all agree is not desirable. --Waldir (talk) 11:25, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the double-redirect explanation, Omega. To Waldir; I think people would also correctly search for Comic Titles, at times. Some more than others, for sure. But if you are on XKCD reading a comic that has a title printed, and you want to come here and read the explanation, You would most likely search for either the number or the title that is displayed at xkcd.com. That said, if it's not a resource hog, and we can find a GOOD way to create links to comics easily (ie: I can type in {explain|123} and actually get a proper looking link to that comic's page, I'm cool with that. I really think it will add a lot of time to the edit process to have to manually type in 123: Title for every link to another comic. TheHYPO (talk) 14:32, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

##  Comic Display - another new template

I see that the latest comics have changed over to {{comicbox}} from {{comic}}. This might be in response to today's tall narrow comic. I don't see any recent discussions about the {{comicbox}} template. We really need to come to some form of consensus on the comic display issue. I am really not a fan of the {{comicbox}} template, as I arrive at the homepage today and I don't understand what I'm seeing. There is no indication that the text on the right is the Explanation. I wasn't sure if part of it was title text or not. I figured it out, but it's not the easiest thing to see. I also don't think the navbuttons jutting right up against the top of the comic display box looks good.

Eithe way, where I'm going with this is that I think we need to come to a consensus on the form and template used for comic pages. If we choose comicbox, or comic or some other template, it's all good; but we should be editing ONE template to get it working and looking the way we want; rather than bouncing between many templates and creating new ones. TheHYPO (talk) 16:26, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, I was really confused at first, and scrambled through the discussions trying to find what happened. To be honest, I'm more of a fan of the {{comic}} template, with the explanation under a header explaining so. Not to mention with {{comicbox}}, I'm suddenly unsure of what to do with the transcripts. For comparison, here is the {{comic}} template, while here is the {{comicbox}} template. At any rate, no matter what template we're using (I personally prefer {{comic}}, but don't really care that much provided all comics use the same template), I agree that we need some kind of consensus to determine how we're formatting the page. 21:31, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Ditto on the confusion (augmented by the confusion of finding where the pertinent discussion has gotten off to; they seem to slip from page to page between visits... ) Anyway, I'm guessing this is a de-gustibus matter, but regardless of the respective virtues of either template, to my eye the template today's comic was changed to has a couple cosmetic shortcomings:
• The typeface is larger than normal. Just a personal preference, but it should be scaled 100% vs adjacent normal wiki text; readers can change the level of zoom if that's too small. Also,
• the image is vertically centered, so in the case of a disproportionately long explanation (like today's) it appears too far down the page; it really needs to be top-aligned, with the title text close underneath it. Further,
• for this vertical layout, there's a lot of wasted vertical space when the explanation is so much longer than the image. Rather than having two rigid columns, have we considered float:left or float:right style attributes on the image, so that whatever text is left flows to fill the entire space below the image?
Finally, to tie this all up with a bow, (and perhaps raising an issue that may have been raised before; I don't recall, because of the shifting locations of discussions hereabouts) ... Is there a need for images to always be shown at 100% size, especially for the more extremely sized ones? Seems to me that the images here really only need to fulfill a refresher role, and clicks through the image should take the reader to the full-sized image on xkcd.com. Legally, I know we have the right to host the images here. But morally, it seems like we shouldn't be taking too much traffic away from xkcd.com as it is RM's bread and butter. Our value-add is the in the form of explanations: long as we can visually tie these explanations with the comic (by having something bigger than a thumbnail, but somewhat smaller than full size, especially for odd-shaped ones) I think we're on the positive side. Thotz? -- IronyChef (talk) 05:23, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you on all points, although I'm really not a fan of having the text either beside or under the comic. I'd rather it be the same in all cases. In which case, having the text beside the comic won't do, as wide comics wouldn't be very supportive of that. Also, if the explanation is considerably longer than the comic, it just looks a bit strange to me. Float left/right would fix that, but would be a bit harder to implement with the title text (eg, if the title text and image are inside a float left div, does that div have a fixed width or does a long title text push it over?). All in all, I'd rather the text always be below the comic. It's consistent and less problematic. Regarding the size of comics, I'd rather we use the full size in all cases except the "large" comics (defined as the comics that are shown at a reduced size on xkcd itself, such as 1079: United Shapes). Why? Because when I'm reading an explanation to a comic I don't understand, I'm constantly referencing the explanation with the comic itself. Having to open a new tab each time would make that a bit less convenient. 06:38, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
For visual experimentation, I've made the theoretically uncontroversial changes of text size (it's now expressed as relative percentage rather than absolute px) and I made the image top-aligned, so comics like xkcd 1093 show the image near the top of the explanation, despite the explanation being many multiples of that image's height; we can change that back if we don't like them. There are other changes I'd like to make (see above) but I'll wait for general agreement on that (not to mention which template to use.) -- IronyChef (talk) 15:39, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
To respond to all of the previous comments; I echo IronyChef's thought - I built into {{comic}} an imagesize attribute because I believe that the comic should be a managable size on this site; generally not more than say 400px; this creates a "click to enlarge" link which takes the user to the imgae's page. Although I previously thought that a balance needs to be kept because people may start coming to the wiki to read xkcd in the first instance instead of xkcd.com, I also agree with Omega's point that it's potentially unfair to Randall to entice traffic away from xkcd.com. This strengthens my belief that larger comics should be kept to a reasonable size.
Not sure if I said it in this thread, I think we have to look at the purpose of the box itself. In my eyes, the box is designed (like an infobox) to basically show the user the basic facts. Not user-added material or encyclopedia text. The box, in my view, is there to present all of the info about the comic that actually comes from xkcd. The image, the alt text, the title, date and number. Adding the explanation in the box basically makes the explanation look official as part of the comic. The primary content of this site is the explanations. If anything should go under proper wiki-format headers, it's that (in my opinion). The transcript is technically official content, but as I've said elsewhere, in my view, the transcript is secondary info that the comic already contains; it doesn't need to be in the infobox. IronyChef has indentified and fixed a lot of my minor cosmetic issues with the comicbox template, and there are others I don't like either (the title font is a little too weak and the top of the box is touching the bottom of the nav buttons. Don't like those, but again, easily fixable).
I also think while there may be instances like the "Forget" comic which is a list-form comic where having a long vertical list explanation works, a long vertical list is often harder to read and follow than a full-page-width explanation. (even "Forget" has each line of explanation end up being several lines long in {{comicbox}} format.) Worse, the potential to want to fit in the box may limit users from adding to explanations which we shouldn't encourage. If the explanation is twice as long as the comic, there's nothing wrong with that, and it shouldn't look bad by going inside the template. I appreciate the attempt that the verticle comicbox makes to not waste space (using the two-column method) but I don't think this is the way to do it. I think shrinking the comic (and accepting that there will be space on either side) is the best way. As I say, 375px or 400px seem like logical limiters for most comics. This is explainxkcd, so you shouldn't have to scroll way down to get to the explanation. I too sometimes like to view the comic and explain at the same time to check notes as Omega suggests, but I can do that by control+click or shift+clicking the image to enlarge, and comparing in separate windows by tiling them or just switching back and forth - with a larger comic, you'd have to scroll up and down to read both the comic and the explanation anyway. I find I lose my place in the text when I do that. alt+Tabbing for me generally is easier to keep my place in both windows.
The one thing from {{comicbox}} that I do like is that the box is shaded slightly bluegray. I like the separation that creates; on the other hand, xkcd.com has comics posted on white; does it hurt the integrity of any comics to have them posted on blue-grey instead of white? I'd consider changing the background of {{comic}} to a blue-gray (though perhaps lighter than the one on comicbox) if people like that. That's my thoughtsTheHYPO (talk) 15:10, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── {{ComicBox}} just got a major redesign. It looks more like {{comic}}, but with the addition of a vertical comic mode. Also, bear in mind that {{comic}} doesn't use white for the background. For comics like "Forget", take a look at Forget comicbox. Looks ok? 15:27, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

As noted on explain xkcd:Community portal/Proposals#Comic Templates, there is no need to start a new thread there there there is already a thread on the topic here (which you've posted to). Also, if your post was "which template should we use when?" it's not really a "proposal" for the proposals page, and better fits here under coordination.
That said, I thought this topic was fairly well resolved. Jeff endorsed {{Comic}} in the #Header_template discussion on this page, and this subsequent discussion seemed to resolve as well with no real consensus that a change from {{comic}} was necessary or beneficial. I don't see the benefit of continuing to build new templates that basially duplicate existing templates with one extra function (vertical mode). That could have been built into the existing template, if it were deemed necessary.
I personally think there are still pluses and minuses to doing things vertically; It looks a little cluttered to have the comic up on one size and the explanation on the other. If you don't have a high-resolution desktop or you want a non-maximized window, there may not be much space for the explanation which may end up with two or three words per line and be hard to read and annoying. "Forget" was a comic featuring a long list; this made for a very long listed explanation. Most long comics will not have explanations longer than the comic, and we'll have a lot of whitespace to the right of the comic. It just looks cluttered to me. I like having the navbar centered above the comic, not the page (and also in the enclosed comic box). That's personal preference though. I think the better design for vertical comics (is just to reduce their size and put them in the standard box. They otherwise take up too much space. TheHYPO (talk) 16:48, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
• I am not a fan of the discontinuity that comicbox creates as the explanation runs longer than the image. I also feel that we should focus on improving the existing {{comic}} instead of further developing new templates. - Shine (talk) 21:38, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

##  Template for New Comics

To clarify, I'm not talking about a template like {{comic}} or {{comicbox}}, but rather a form to cut/paste for new comics. I'm rather new to large editing of MediaWiki pages, so I'm interested in learning of better ways of doing things.

Recently, I've been copy/pasting User:Blaisepascal/newcomictemplate to set up the basic form of the page, then editing the various sections. This ensures I get the major bits. I still have to copy/paste the transcript from xkcd.com, fill in the {{comic}} template, and make the number and title redirects by hand.

Is there a better way? Is there anything my template is missing? Blaisepascal (talk) 14:06, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

I've created a ruby script that can be given a comic number and it will spit out a text file with the comic template filled out, the transcript, and the comic discussion template. I've finally gotten it to the point that it is usable, so that's why I'm talking about it. It still doesn't pull explanations from the blog, but that's a whole ball of wax in and of itself. I'm on Linux so it's easy to run it and have it spit out files, I assume on Windows if you have ruby installed there is a way to run ruby scripts from the command prompt. Can't tell you where things will pop out, probably in the directory you run it in, but I haven't tested it on Windows yet. I'm also continuing to work on it, so don't assume that any version you download is the final product. Oh, it also spits out the redirect line you put in the number and title pages so you can just copy/paste that.
I made it because I was going to drive myself insane making hundreds of pages without some kind of automation. lcarsos (talk) 07:24, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
{{create}} was created as a template for the comic list so that it could be autoloaded into comics by linking from List of all comics. That functionality doesn't seem to be working, unfortunately. For that reason, I added a "transcript" of the create text as documentation on that template. If you goto {{create}}, you will find a template for new comic creation. TheHYPO (talk) 20:20, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

##  The name of the ponytail character

I remember the community having a name for the female ponytail character (I don't recall if there is a male ponytail character, but in the interest of being complete). Was it simply Ponytail?

In any case, she seems to recur enough to deserve her own Category:Comics featuring ... page. But I don't want to go create it without knowing what we can agree on is her name. So, pony (wow, didn't intend that pun) up your 2 cents. lcarsos (talk) 17:28, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

This comic http://xkcd.com/322/ calls a ponytail'ed female Joanna. Is this the same character as ponytail? She might be different. Community input please. lcarsos (talk) 01:26, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
It sounds plausible. Few of the characters are named, and it looks like Ponytail (compare, for example, Elaine Roberts as an adult, who has light hair, but doesn't wear it in a ponytail). The one concern is that in 322, she is clearly acquainted with Black Hat, and in 405 she appears to be friends with Danish, yet Black Hat and Danish don't know each other -- unless he tracked her down via Joanna... Blaisepascal (talk) 04:41, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

##  The name of Black Hat's girlfriend

Black Hat has a girlfriend, introduced in 377: Journal 2. She has thicker hair than Megan, and is seen (in 405: Journal 3 to be friends with Ponytail. Is there community-accepted name for her?

No, not yet. She seems to have a personality similar to Black Hat himself --Jeff (talk) 15:48, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't really want to create a "Category:Comics featuring Black Hat's girlfriend" if there is a better solution, that's all. Blaisepascal (talk) 15:57, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
In my own head I've been calling her Summer because she looks like how Randall draws Summer Glau (not a good argument, granted), and in some of the comics she shows up she reminds me of Summer's characters. lcarsos (talk) 17:41, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Or we could call her Dearest or Darling or Danish http://xkcd.com/515/ lcarsos (talk) 20:32, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
OK, I've gone with Danish. Blaisepascal (talk) 22:18, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
P.S. I love you for that. You have my eternal respect. lcarsos (talk) 22:35, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Also, now someone needs to update the Characters nav box to include Danish. lcarsos (talk) 22:51, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

I found the template on my own (aren't I a grown up professional?) and updated it. lcarsos (talk) 22:53, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

##  Can we turn off page creation for non-logged in users

I'm not very familiar with mediawiki, so I don't know if this would be hard or not. But, it would stop the drive-by spam attacks (the ones that don't create accounts anyway, such nice bots).

My secondary goal in doing this would be to get ‎72.252.145.183 and ‎207.204.86.3 to make accounts so that there is a way to get a hold of them, give them some feedback, and have them stop adding/spamming spurious categories. Both of them are creating pages with poor/non-existent explanations, sections for the transcript but missing the transcript, haphazardly adding pre-existing categories and adding tons of one-off categories which do nothing to enhance explain xkcd.

lcarsos (talk) 19:02, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Tag any such comics with {{Comic-stub}} and you or someone else can fix it ^^--Relic (talk) 00:01, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
I guess you succeeded then ;) I have learned from my mistakes that I made as an anon (take a look)
Why didn't you post on User talk:72.252.145.183 or User talk:207.204.86.3 (IPs have talk pages too)? I would have noticed it on either of them. It made me think that this community was more hostile than Wikipedia, which I also have an account for --Btx40 (talk) 21:14, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

##  Tagline categories!

It finally struck me that there's that great line sitting top-right on the xkcd site. Yes the tagline. So, I've created pages for Language, Romance, Math already existed. But, I don't have time right now to go hunting down examples of Sarcasm. Can I enlist the help of all the beautiful editors here to go tagging crazy? (Ok, not crazy like insane, but please do comb through everything for these) lcarsos (talk) 19:47, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

##  Image updates on xkcd

Once in a while, Randall changes the image of a particular comic (usually after someone here spotted an error!); for instance, that is the case for xkcd 1122 on Electoral Precedents. It would be nice to still be able to see the original image(s) here as well as the updated version, as the discussion usually references the previous version(s) and therefore sometimes doesn't make sense without the original image in those cases. Also, consider this as a mild suggestion to update the mentioned image on its explanation page. Sorry if I've put this in the wrong place... --Jay (talk) 14:54, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

For these most recent comics, someone usually uploads the version that goes public at midnight, and then corrections are uploaded on top of that. As part of the MediaWiki software, you can click on the image, which will take you to its file page, which allows you to see all the versions of the image back to its first creation. I, personally, am not sure if it's possible to link directly to a previous version, but it is there at least.
Unfortunately, due to an image resizing bug, (that we all hope is being worked on, but it's been months with no progress and no word of work or progress, so hope is dwindling) for larger images you won't be able to see it, until you click on the broken file link which will just take you to the image.
Hope that helps some. --lcarsos (talk) 16:35, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

##  The Great Spam Attack Of Thanksgiving 2012

I believe I have now dealt with all the spam that has accumulated on the wiki. I've gone through Recent Changes and personally checked every anonymous edit since 5 this morning, and looked through every new page created. If I've missed something, please edit the page and put {{spam}} at the top. Thank you to all the new editors that stepped up and went to work in the trenches while the rest of us were off stuffing our faces. I think special thanks goes out to St.nerol and TheOriginalSoni. I believe what happened is, the first major attack was met with a tepid response of about a month's temp block for all the IPs. But this time, for the flagrant vandalizers they are now on an indefinite ban.

Please, as you continue to notice spam or vandalization, use the {{spam}} template, or add Category:Pages to delete to the page (in the event that it's a newly created page). Leave a comment in your edit summary about vandalization clean up and someone with the power to, will deal with it.

--lcarsos_a (talk) 06:38, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Marked a wee bit that you missed. Typical, I take a day-long trip into China and an unholy mess of spam happens. May I suggest captchas for all anonymous edits for now? I would also like to get all the explanations done, or at least the ones from the blog, so that we can get the /wiki/ out of the URL to throw some of the spammers. The wall-of-text spammers all seem to include links to spam on other poor abused wikis, and I've noticed that all of those wikis also have a /wiki/ somewhere in there URL. It probably won't stop the new anon spammer, but we could probably restrict page creation to registered users only once we're done filling in all the old XKCD pages to cull those twats out too. Davidy22(talk) 09:27, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
I have again dealt with the second wave of spam this Thanksgiving holiday (in the U.S. It's the only thing I can think that would be the cause.) and protected a few pages that seem to be repeat targets. If this is any indication of what major US holidays are like we need to get the administration (*ahem* Jeff) to delegate more controls to more users, and more A.I. spam fighting than we currently have (none). There has to be tricks that Wikipedia is using to fight spam. If we get this much, I can't imagine what the wikipedia servers have to daily stand up against, they must have spam fighting tricks, and not just hordes of people that can delete new pages that anonymous spam bots create. lcarsos_a (talk) 07:13, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia has cluebot, which looks at page blanking and text insertion by anonymous users and reverts suspicious behavior automagically. I could ask cluebot's creator if we could lift the code for use here. It'll be like XERXES.ai, except it'll look for spam instead of spelling errors. Davidy22(talk) 07:16, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Aight, so Cluebot runs off a core engine with a dataset of previous vandalism to work from. We can set the files up on a raspberry pi or something, leave it running and connected to the web and feed it a backlog of past spam to teach it what to look for. Gonna do it after this hellish pile of work is over, unless someone wants to ninja me again. Davidy22(talk) 07:50, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Cluebot sounds like a wonderful thing to have around here. When I have free time I might try to develop a basic bot that catches the basic kinds of spam and vandals we see here. (Spammers create a user account, create a random page and link to a random page on the internet; Vandals almost always leave an 18 character mixed lower/upper alphanumeric comment and are anonymous, that's unique enough it should be easily catchable)

## Trivia and transcript placement

The placement of the trivia sections are not consistent on the wiki; sometimes they are placed above the transcript and sometimes below.

The trivia sections are often fun to read, and a good complement to the explanation. On the other hand I have a hard time imagining people coming here to read transcripts (I remember someone suggested collapsable boxes for them). I'm afraid trivia sections below the transcript "disappears" and sometimes won't be noticed at all (especially if the transcript is long). Therefore I propose that trivia sections should follow the explanation, and that the transcripts should be at the bottom of the page.

Another reason for this is that the dividing line between explanation and trivia is not always clear. The end of the explanations tend to accumulate trivia-like information. The natural thing is to just "crop off" a trivia section, where deemed appropriate, and not to move stuff to and fro around the block of transcript. –St.nerol (talk) 15:15, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree that trivia sections, if present, should come before the transcript. By the way, I think this thread would be more appropriate for the Coordination section of the community portal. If you agree, please move it there. Waldir (talk) 16:32, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Moved from Proposals to Coordination! –St.nerol (talk) 23:02, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
If an explanation contains trivia, that's an issue with the trivia being in the wrong place. Trivia is supposed to contain information that's only tangentially relevant to the comic at hand, and should be kept to the end of the page to keep the rest of the page free of clutter. Also, the comic discussion is at the bottom of every explanation page, but that doesn't seem to have deterred anyone from finding in. We could fix up some kind of collapse box for the transcripts though, since they do tend to be unneeded for most comics. Davidy²²[talk] 00:16, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Alright, I've done a mockup for what the transcript collapse box could look like. It's in our sandbox, like?Davidy²²[talk] 01:16, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
It looks good!
I'm not sure it is so easy to differentiate between tangentially relevant, more relevant, and explanatory information. I think there will always be a hazy zone of borderline examples. (By the way, should the explanation/trivia division be based on how relevant the information is, or on how explanatory it is?)
Now that we're getting a collapsible box; where should we place it? I still don't think it is logical to have it between explanation and trivia (if present), but it will matter less. Maybe we should move it up to the top again? –St.nerol (talk) 10:24, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Trivia in most wikis is reserved for all the junk that doesn't add value to the main purpose of the article. In our case, that would be information that doesn't serve to explain comics, which is what people who visit the site come here looking for. The transcript is useful for cases where an image is ambiguous or easily mistaken, although it's not entirely needed for every comic. If the trivia section ever contains anything that enhances the comic explanation more than the transcript does, it's in the wrong section.
The transcript template is probably going to have to get OK'ed by all the other editors round here before we make it a thing. It's quite a big change to make, and we'll have to change every existing page if we want to add it. We'd probably put it where we usually put the transcript if we do add it in though. Davidy²²[talk] 10:44, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I hope that the other guys turns up and says something too. Still, the trivia/transcript placement is not standardized, so we need to decide together what's more natural.
• Do we want the transcript in a box?
• Do we want it on the bottom of the page, or directly below the explanation, or on the top of the page?
It is a borderland between explaining a comic and giving background information, connections to other comics, etc. There's no borderland between those and transcript. Also, all trivia sections I've seen so far has enhanced the explanations more than the transcript. (Probably because I didn't feel need to read it). –St.nerol (talk) 16:10, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
If one actually needs/wants to read the transcript, one presumably wants to compare it directly with how the comic looks. That would be the good reason to place the box close to the comic. –St.nerol (talk) 16:12, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry I dropped off the face of the planet for a while there. The run up to Spring Break nearly killed me (that's not as figurative as you'd think). I'll write a proper response in the morning, or late afternoon, after I've had enough sleep to recover from ~2 weeks of ~3 hours of sleep a night. lcarsos_a (talk) 08:58, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I think that Trivia belongs at the bottom of the page. We didn't start with putting transcripts on the explanation page, so there isn't a law passed down from the founders to let us know how to slaughter our sheep as sacrifice (wait, that's something else). However, in keeping with Wikipedia's tradition, we put tangentially related information into its own category at the bottom of the page.
What defines tangentially related? Well, most of our editors seem to have a good grasp on it, so I didn't think it was necessary to spell out hard and fast rules. I think the group of people that read xkcd frequently are also prone to become draconian, pedantic, rules lawyers, so I hesitate to suggest that we need to impose too much more structure than what we can glean from Wikipedia's many years of existence. This is how I categorize it:
• The explanation, which is the main point of the site, should explain all cultural, technological, mathematical, scientific, visual, and linguistic gags that Randall includes.
• The transcript, which helps to ensure that people aren't mis-reading the comic. This is also valuable for accessibility, as blind people cannot read images (not yet, OCR isn't that good), which is why I think Randall should publish transcript data as he posts the comics. So, I support the creation of a transcript when the comic first posts, but about a week later someone should go back and replace it with the transcript that Randall publishes so that anything we interpret incorrectly will be corrected.
• Discussion. Since we transclude the discussion onto the explanation page anything that comes up as a result of the comic will often be commented on here. E.g. "Did you guys see Reddit blew up after Randall called them out in this comic? [link]"
• And lastly trivia. My template test for this one is "Is this really important trivia, but it doesn't add one hoot to the explanation? Then it should go here." What jumps to my mind every time I think of this is Click and Drag. That is a prime example of a trivia section. It doesn't explain the comic, but it is meta-information about the comic.
Why last? Because if the community cares about the points of trivia someone will bring it up. So that content already exists on the page. Duplicating that and putting it up higher makes no sense. What's even worse is having an Explanation, content directly about the comic; Trivia, an interlude with some information that's fun to know and you can stump people at xkcd meet-ups but otherwise useless; and Transcripts, which is directly about the comic again.
I would say that Trivia should actually go at the bottom of the page, but the transclusion of the discussion page makes that ugly to my eye. But it should go underneath the Transcript. Not all of the world are "fully functional" "Average" (capital 'A' Average) and "Normal" (capital 'N' Normal) humans, and consideration needs to be spent on them. And the transcript is more relevant information about the comic than any trivia is. If there is trivia that is more relevant than the transcript, it should be worked into the explanation. If a transcript gets long and you believe scrolling is a tedious, laborious task that only proto-humans had to deal with, then add a __TOC__ (the TOC is ugly because of the comic discussion template, which is another discussion) underneath the comic template.
--lcarsos_a (talk) 12:02, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the transcript could be integrated into template:comic, instead of being a separate template, and use a softer and more neutral color (light gray, for example) in the heading. Apart from these details, I agree with the collapsing of the transcript, and being collapsed, its placement isn't really problematic. Right under the comic sounds ok to me. --Waldir (talk) 02:04, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I think this would be a good option. If the transcript were in the comic template, such that it was comic image, title text, transcript, this would be a good option for screen readers, so that the explanation would be read after the transcript. I am quite in favor of this. lcarsos_a (talk) 12:02, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I made a couple of halfhearted attempts at doing that box integration, but it's not as easy as copypasting it into the right place. Will get it done when I'm less busy. Davidy²²[talk] 13:29, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

##  Trivia section for the early comics?

I noticed that the early xkcd comics that were posted on livejournal sometimes have no real explanation (since there is really nothing much to explain), but feature a separate trivia section that mentions the original order, an alternative title text and/or a quote by Randall. Number 7 is a good example for it. I was wondering if it were not more practical to integrate the trivia section into the explanation text. Of course, it is strictly speaking not an explanation of the comic's contents, but other explanations give meta information about the comic as well. As somebody in the section above has already mentioned: It is a thin line. I think, a separate trivia section only makes sense when there is 1) a full explanation of the comic that would otherwise be cluttered and 2) the trivia section contains technical meta information that does not add to the understanding of the comic (see 1110 for example). I think it more to the point to remove the trivia sections for the early comics altogether, but I thought I ask before anybody has to revert everything ;) -- LotharW (talk) 12:40, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

That's still trivia that should probably stay in the trivia section, although the explanations for those comics do need work. Even if it's just to inform that reader that the earlier xkcd comics were more doodle-y than modern xkcd. Davidy²²[talk] 22:53, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

##  To all Admins: IP User pages

Since IP addresses are often dynamic the IP user pages should stay empty. If a user wants a user page he just can sign in here and there is no problem with links to former IP posts. Editing IP user pages produce just chaos.--Dgbrt (talk) 17:44, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

You're assuming that because some IP addresses are dynamic, we should bar IPs from creating userpages. For one, that's not true and User:50.151.2.168 has been editing from the same address for a good half year. We cannot force IPs to do anything; see WP:HUMAN. IPs necessarily forfeit admin candidacy and the ability to edit semi-protected pages because of security concerns, but that's the extent of their restrictions on this wiki. User:76.117.247.55 is a rather good example of an established IP with his own userpage on mainline Wikipedia. Also, WP:PAPER can likely be applied here; the disk space that a single redirect page takes up is insignificant, and mediawiki is designed to still perform well with many pages in it's database. Davidy²²[talk] 18:15, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
I did know you would do an answer like this. But I still fully disagree on this, an IP user is still dynamic and if those users don't like to sign in here they should not have user privileges.--Dgbrt (talk) 16:58, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
The only answer I have to that is WP:HUMAN. Our IP users are just as valuable as our registered ones, and they are privy to all benefits that regular users receive except ones that could become problematic with shared IP addresses, like admin candidacy/privileges. That IP has edited from their address for longer than many registered users stay active. IPs are human too. Davidy²²[talk] 19:22, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
As someone who prefers not using an account here, I fully agree with David. 173.245.62.222 08:17, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

##  "Its Cause Your Dumb"

I'm interested in moving away from this tagline. Originally it made sense in our old blog logo in which it was Black Hat saying it, but now out of context it sounds way more condescending. I know people like it, but I don't think it is necessary to sit on the top of every page. --Jeff (talk) 16:38, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Adding the thumbnail of Black Hat back in would be trivial. We can either add it back in, or cut/change it entirely. I'm fine either way, though I did enjoy the old tagline. Davidy²²[talk] 19:54, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb. is still great. Black Hat is just telling the truth. But this and the "explainxkcd.com/X" should be moved to the bottom of the header.--Dgbrt (talk) 20:29, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
I'd like to see Black Hat saying it, but maybe at the bottom of the logo instead. Halfhat (talk) 20:40, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

##  Transcript Section

I've not been able to find any real sort of guideline which says what we do and do not include in the Transcript. From the explanation for Strip 1322: Winter, how much "action" should we be notating in the Transcript. There comes a point when the Transcript becomes a Script and can be used to reenact the strip. If this was the original intention, then perhaps we should state that somewhere. I suggest any text, in English or otherwise should be included either verbatim or described, and other symbols which are not directly related to the actors, such as music notes, charts, graphs, and other objects which significantly affect the plot of the strip. Obviously some good judgement should be exercised and there may be exceptions which crop up. I'd like to hear other comments and views, thanks. Jarod997 (talk) 14:00, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

The transcript should be detailed enough that a blind user can tell what happened in the comic. It's there to tell people what happened in the comic image if they were otherwise unable to tell without the transcript. Davidy²²[talk] 16:35, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Aha! Thanks for clearing that up. Is that posted anywhere? Jarod997 (talk) 21:05, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
It‘s somewhere in the old discussion where the standard page layout was determined. If you dig through old community portal topics, you‘ll probably find it. Eventually. Davidy²²[talk] 06:35, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

##  We need a name for the "Total Douchebag"

I did say it [here] but I think it was the wrong section and I got no responces any way he appears in and [435], [796], [826 (guest week)] and [964] possibly more. I got a good pic of him too.Halfhat (talk) 19:35, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Something smug sounding like Beyond Hat would be good.Halfhat (talk) 19:41, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
If he shows up in another comic, I'll start a vote to add him. The name "douchebag" has been contested and changed in the past by various anons for justified reasons and I'm sure there's less judgmental names that we could give him, like Goatee. Davidy²²[talk] 22:44, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

##  Undocumented Feature

Why is the daily incomplete explanation still 1305: Undocumented Feature? At this point, the explanation is complete, and it's been the daily incomplete for several days, if not weeks. Z (talk) 18:52, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Oh, damn, I've been a bit busy recently. I'll get that started again. Davidy²²[talk] 20:20, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

##  Should we have a category for comics with secret messages?

Should we have a category for comics with secret messages? Like 1005: SOPA. Ausr (talk) 16:32, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

How many of them are there? Categories need to apply to a decent number of comics before we make them. Davidy²²[talk] 22:36, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

##  Incomplete explanation of the day - Template changed?

Has the template of the "incomplete explanation of the day" box changed?

I'm sure the title of the incomplete page used to be a link, but now it appears in bold, and not a link... Pudder (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It'll look like that if you're on the page that it links to, or if mediawiki messes up. Davidy²²[talk] 16:42, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

##  Incomplete Explanation of the Day needs updating

For the last few days, the IED has been set to 887: Future Timeline, when the page has already been set to complete. Is there a specific person in charge of IED, or could I just go ahead and change it whenever I see that the page has been completed? I'm not entirely sure if this is the correct section of the Community Portal for this question, but I would like to know. Kirdneh (talk) 18:05, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Uh, I do the changing there. I don't do this usually, but I actually think the tag should be readded; the original reason if I recall correctly for the tag being there was that the big ol' table of predictions listed in the comic wasn't complete, and the roots for each one aren't obvious to everyone reading; see the one on 32 bit timestamps, which means little to people unfamiliar with Unix timestamps. Davidy²²[talk] 21:28, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

##  Requesting a Third Opinon on 1317: Theft

There are two competing interpretations of 1317: Theft (see the end of the discussion for details), leading to its being marked incomplete. Could some other editors take a look? 108.162.216.191 14:15, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Two unresolved questions. First, is the character in the comic Randall or Hairy? Second, is the character show the victim of identity theft or the perpetrator? Djbrasier (talk) 18:51, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

##  Most character pages are missing infoboxes

Please add them if possible. There are two types of character infoboxes currently, "character infobox" for when the category page is "Comics featuring Name"; while "character infobox 2" is for when the character page serves as its own category page. 17jiangz1 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Looks like someone's discovered us! There are several accounts with spam userpages already: User:VereGrube253, User:Sharon0H, User:RAndra, User:KathrynMwy, User:Ffmdcyz, and User:Pimarsolek23. What should we do with these? I'm all for deleting the advert and blocking the user, but I didn't want to do that without input (esp. from Jeff). --Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:59, 4 August 2012 (EDT)

• Cold shoulder for spam. Jeff should give the final say, but I'll up-vote shutting down spam users accounts... and a policy statement that lays out the rules, such as user pages are for contributing to xkcd-related discussions. Off-topic subject matter must find a home elsewhere. In the meantime, perhaps roll back the spam, post an announcement on the problem user page, and mark protected. Thoughts? -- IronyChef (talk) 03:14, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
• Delete and block. And some plugin (or whatever) to keep them from signing up. Spambots don't read announcements. --SlashMe (talk) 03:31, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
• Delete the userpages (and spam edits) and block indefinitely. A vandal might be someone having fun but who can be converted into an editor if nurtured, but a spammer definitely has an agenda and we should have no hopes for them. Also we might need some captcha extension (I'd suggest using the ReCaptcha option). --Waldir (talk) 03:53, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
• Delete and block. Spam cannot be tolerated. Captcha sounds good. Are they edits to actual comic pages or new pages? If someone wants to actually advertise, they can come to me. --Jeff (talk) 12:38, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
From my experience taming spam in small wikis in the wild, spammers tend to use all sorts of techniques, from using different accounts to upload images (since there are more restrictions on that than on editing pages), to creating the pages in their user namespace and then moving them elsewhere, to creating the spam pages directly, to adding/replacing links in existing pages... --Waldir (talk) 12:51, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
Do you know if there are any good anti-spam bots out there that could be persuaded to add this wiki to the list they patrol? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 16:20, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
I don't know much about anti-spam bots, but if they work roughly as I think, I'd prefer us to try out extensions + user intervention before resorting to bots. I'd like to know generally how efficient automatic (trigger-like, rather than continuously or regularly running bots) can get at preventing spam. We should start with captchas. Then, if needed, we can add more: Bad Behavior looks interesting, and we can always restrict editing to registered accounts, coupled with email confirmation or OpenID. But these steps should be taken one by one, as needed, so we can measure what works and what doesn't. --Waldir (talk) 17:15, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
Is this spam? User:BoyceX9 --Jeff (talk) 16:40, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, so far they've been following the same pattern. Introducing themselves (with a completely different name from the account name), praise the wiki, say they wanna help... then ramble about "them" and "their" work, culminating with one or more links to commercial, shady-looking sites. --Waldir (talk) 17:25, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Done Ok, ReCaptcha is enabled. I believe I set it for all non-bots, non-admins on 'addurl', 'createaccount' or 'badlogon'. --Jeff (talk) 12:42, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
• Can the extension be configured so it will only be applied to "new" users or accounts with an edit count of less than, say, 5? While I'd understand a captcha on the first few edits, after that, it gets annoying quickly, particularly when you get captcha like this. 09:35, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I tend to agree. I've been an editor in several small wikis where spam also needs to be kept under control, and never "upgrading" past the captcha level does get annoying after a while. I suggest the captcha to be disabled for autoconfirmed users, and users who have a confirmed email (mw:Extension:ConfirmEdit#Configuration for details). Autoconfirmed status depends on a user performing a given number of edits, and having an account older than X days. Both are zero by default; I suggest setting them to 5 edits and 3 days (around 250 000 seconds). Here's how to do it. --Waldir (talk) 11:32, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes. I'll edit it. --Jeff (talk) 18:19, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Seems like editing is disabled for anonymous editors. I think that keeps away a lot of drive-by editors who could be enticed to later create an account, while spammers have no problems creating accounts, as we've seen. Therefore, this restriction does more harm than good, IMO. if it makes the idea any more bearable, Captcha could be enabled for all edits by anonymous editors, even if they don't add links. --Waldir (talk) 21:23, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Ok - anon edits has been enabled. I changed captcha so that all registered users don't get it on edits. Hopefully that makes it easier on everyone. --Jeff (talk) 02:32, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Is there a procedure for alerting admins of spam accounts? I've seen them slammed down quick enough, but if there's anything I can do to help? Blaisepascal (talk) 21:12, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Add {{Spam}} to the top of the page. 22:38, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

##  Let Me Know

Admins - Please let me know if any of the changes that you request aren't done correctly or if something needs to be changed back. Obviously, this is my first wiki hosting experience and I'm learning as I go along. I couldn't do it without you all and it is already far beyond my wildest dreams. Keep it up! --Jeff (talk) 15:53, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Just a quick nod of appreciation for all your efforts! -- IronyChef (talk) 14:22, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Same here. No matter how much I like to praise the merits of MediaWiki, setting it up for many common needs is undeniably still very user-unfriendly. I'm glad we're all supporting each other around here. --Waldir (talk) 16:25, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Very nice.  :-) --Philosopher Let us reason together. 02:57, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

##  "Edit this explanation" link on main page

On the main page, there's a link to "edit this explanation". However, it's hard coded to point towards comic 1091, not the most recent comic, as the template does. Instead, that link should be a part of the template, so it can point to whichever comic the template is displaying (the latest). Of course, an admin would be required to do this, as the main page is off limits to other editors. 09:27, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it needs to be fixed. However, an edit link has to point to the actual page, not the redirect (the number), so we first need a way to automatically update the title of the last comic. User:TheHYPO suggested a template listing all comic titles and corresponding numbers, but that would still need to be updated manually whenever a new comic is added. I'm not sure there's a good solution for that. Perhaps that link could say "edit", but simply point to the comic page where editors would have to click the edit tab. Does that sound ok? --Waldir (talk) 11:32, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the above suggestion to have it link to the comic page. I find myself trying to click the comic name/title on the main page and expecting it to go to the wiki page for the comic instead of to xckd.com. This would provide at least one way to go to the comic page. Plus, some people may want to comment instead of edit the description. That said, we might want to consider renaming it to something else, like "Go to this comic" but more witty.--DanB (talk) 15:26, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Ok, temporarily changed to a plain (non-edit) link. Awaiting wittyness for definitive deploy :P --Waldir (talk) 15:41, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Thus, the temporary becomes permanent. Such is life. --DanB (talk) 13:42, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

##  Incorrect redirect

Either I, or whoever created the page (If it's me, I sincerely apologize) have created a 1024: Never page, which is wrong. I've moved it to 1042: Never, but there's still a redirect in place. Can someone, or if you'll tell me how I'll do it, delete that redirect page? I hope this is the right space to be posting this. lcarsos (talk) 03:57, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Done :) Also, I moved the thread to the appropriate discussion page (Admin requests) --Waldir (talk) 09:35, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

##  Main page: Error in counter

I noticed the counter for the number of missing comics on the Main Page was off. Looking into it, the equation is missing a parenthesis. It currently says {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-3}}, but should correctly be {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-3)}}. The reason for this is that {{PAGESINCAT:Comics}} will return 3 higher than the actual pages, as it counts subcategory. Thus why we're subtracting three. However, the missing parenthesis make it so we're subtracting (from the latest comic), the number of pages including those three pages, then subtracting those three pages again, thus making it 6 off. The parenthesis make it so we're subtracting the pages in the category without those three subcategories. If that doesn't make sense, just grab a calculator and subtract the latest comic from the number of comics the main page says we'll have, and you'll see it comes up six short. 08:44, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Good catch! I'll fix that :) --Waldir (talk) 11:38, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually you could also remove one from the current computed total, since there's no comic 404 (unless you imagine a page explaining the joke about that). - Cos (talk) 16:16, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I was in fact planning on adding a 404: Not Found page with just such an explanation.
Actually, if you view the source of xkcd 404 it *clearly* states: "<title>404 - Not Found</title>" :) I also added some more color to the 404 page (including a date and title). 403 was posted on March 31 and 405 was posted on April 2, so 404 would have been April 1, although really April 2 in keeping with the M/W/F posting schedule. Squeezing it in-between was an even better joke.--B. P. (talk) 19:06, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Perfect, so nothing to change in the counter. (how on Earth did he manage to get that 404 fall on April Fool's day...?) - Cos (talk) 19:03, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
He didn't. By his standard M/W/F posting order, comic 404 should have been posted on 4/2/2008. He posted 405 on that date instead. There isn't a 404 page on xkcd.com. The HTML title element isn't from a special page he created for the comic. The page you get for the 404 page is the custom 404 error page for the xkcd.com site. Check out [9], you'll get exactly the same page. In fact, if you check out [10] and look at the actual http status code returned, it's 404, not 200 as you'll see for other pages with actual comics. It's not an actual April Fools comic, it's just plain missing. Blaisepascal (talk) 19:38, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Ah, but it is. Granted, he did skip the number 404, but not by accident, and that is the joke. Gotta love Randall: he's so meta ! -- IronyChef (talk) 14:23, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree it's a joke, and intentional. However, I think it's pure coincidence that it fell around April 1st. I think Randall would have done the same 404 joke even if it had fallen on June 31st instead. The joke itself is rather subtle, since people just looking at the site wouldn't see it, and people following the RSS feed wouldn't have seen it. The comic numbers don't appear on the pages themselves, just in the URL. The only people who will see it are people who are obsessive about looking at the comic numbers. Blaisepascal (talk) 14:55, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, I still like the April 1 explanation better...  :) The whole "Posting comic #404 on Tuesday April 1 and making it look exactly like a regular xkcd '404' page" makes a much better story... Much better than "He accidentally skipped #404 and it just happened to have been around April 1, boy that could have been a good comic opportunity, too bad he was just clumsy and didn't realize the potential inside jokes the techies would have read into it..." --B. P. (talk) 20:16, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
The explanation above holds true: Randall went straight to 405 on his regular schedule, and xkcd 404 really does return an HTTP 404 result code. But that technical explanation aside, there is no doubt that Randall deliberately chose to do so, so xkcd 404 is an AFD joke, even if he never put (virtual) pen to paper to do so. As far as comic scheduling goes, you might say we got a freebie. BTW, there have been other instances of Randall modifying his schedule, the tribute to Steve Jobs being another example IIRC, so the MWF rule, while fairly stable, is not inviolate -- IronyChef (talk) 14:23, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

##  What

Any reason the Main Page was moved to explain xkcd from main page? I moved it back.
Any reason the templates aren't working?
WTF?
--Jeff (talk) 02:27, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Something seems to have gone seriously wrong? Earlier, I was redirected to a non-existent version of a subpage of an old blog-style explanation. And now I'm getting "500 Internal Server Error" warnings when I try to use Special:RecentChanges to see what's happened lately. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 04:12, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, for one of the problems, something seems to be forcing template titles to begin with a lowercase letter? Which is weird, because all pages, including templates, begin with a capital letter. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 04:18, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Here's what broke the templates: the change requested at User talk:Jeff#wgCapitalLinks. When we link templates, we've been using lowercase letters in the template links, relying on the software to be smart enough to know we meant the capital version. So {{xkcd}} and {{Xkcd}} would refer to the same template. The change to wgCapitalLinks allowed page names to begin with small letters, but at the same time made the software think that {{xkcd}} and {{Xkcd}} were different pages. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 04:33, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi guys, sorry about that. Mea culpa.

The main page was moved because then people reaching the wiki would see as first header the actual name of the wiki, rather than the generic mediawiki "Main Page". I assumed it would be an uncontroversial move, mut apparently I misjudged that.

As for the templates, it is only one instance of broken links due to the change to make links case-sensitive. This is mostly visible for templates because due to their very nature, they're used in many pages. We just need to move them to the lowercase titles (or create redirects from those, depending on which version is preferable as canonical; for instance, I moved {{Xkcd}} to {{xkcd}}, but {{Yesno}} to {{YesNo}}). The links couldn't be fixed prior to the configuration change because the software would point us to the capitalized version whenever we tried to access the lowercase version; a move wouldn't work as the target would be assumed as the same page.

I have no idea what broke Special:RecentChanges. Perhaps it was unrelated, or perhaps it was a hiccup as the software regenerated all internal links? I have no idea. It seems to be working now, anyway.

Again, sorry for the confusion. I hope you'll all understand it was a necessary hurdle to get over if we want to be accurate about capitalization issues (Xkcd vs. xkcd, S/keyboard/leopard/ vs. s/keyboard/leopard/, etc.) --Waldir (talk) 08:42, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

For the love of god, can we please undo this change? I'm completely unconvinced that case-sensitive first characters is beneficial for the wiki. There's a good reason that the default is case-insensitive (bearing in mind this only applies to the first character). If the concern is "automatic capitalization", there's ways to override the page title, where needed (for example, Wikipedia's page on iPods). However, case insensitive pages means linking and creating pages is now more complex. For what? For a handful of pages that need the first letter to be lowercase? The only pages I can think of that need that is the page on xkcd itself. Templates don't matter much, but if we're counting them, then there's the {{xkcd}} template (note: would need to be surrounded by noinclude tags, to prevent renaming every page the template is used on).
Now, why am I so venomously opposed to this change? Look at it this way: Explain xkcd (the "main page") and explain xkcd are entirely different links. At the time of writing, the all-lowercase alternative, which normally should work fine, does not. Why is that? because of this change. I'm sure that ten seconds after the first person reads this, we'll have a redirect there (I'm not going to, as if the change is reversed, god knows what will happen when two different pages are suddenly considered the same page), but that's not the point. The point is the sheer difficulty this change just created. If a page author forgets to create a redirect to a properly cased page (in the vast majority of cases, the page should be in sentence case. "xkcd" is one of the very few possible exceptions, and Randall himself stated that "Xkcd" is fine). Anyway, back to our author with his newly created page. We'll assume he's familiar with Mediawiki, and links to his page from another page. But he links in lowercase, as most links will likely be (the page on wikipedia is technically "Cabbage", but unless the word is at the beginning of a sentence, we'll be typing "cabbage"). Our page author, however, is confused. His link is coming up as a red link, even after triple and quadruple checking his spelling. Raaaage quit. And all for what? So one or two pages can be lowercase?
There's a very good reason why Wikipedia keeps this default on. In fact, multiple reasons. User friendly, practical, low maintenance... And the reasons to support case sensitivity? Pretty much nothing, since rare instances where a lowercase first letter is required can override the title with magic words. I know we aren't Wikipedia; we don't have their rules for consensus (though I wish we did), nor do we have their community, their careful array of checks and balances, and distributed rights. Yet, I think that such an incredibly controversial change without any consensus and without any real benefit doesn't suit this wiki at all. I ask that we undo the change or at least discuss it in depth. Come on, folks, this is rewriting an entire language because you couldn't spell one word. 09:33, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
And now the main page has been renamed to "explain xkcd" (in all lowercase). The project namespace is also in lowercase. Yet, we still use the traditional "File" and "Template" namespaces (I don't think you could change their casing without editing Mediawiki's PHP files, though). In other words, moooore inconsistency. Can we puleeeeze sit down and discuss these changes? Can anyone name one reason to use case insensitive titling versus page title overrides on the one or two pages that actually need them? It's generally accepted that articles in media use "sentence case" (eg, "Case Sensitivity", not "case sensitivity"). Also, to be specific, this change only applies to the first letter of page titles, which are normally case insensitive (to ensure ease of use). Other letters are by default case sensitive (eg, "Hello world" is always a different article than "Hello World"). This is actually partially a technical issue (most programming languages, PHP included, are case sensitive). 09:52, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
I think you're seeing this move as way more impacting than it is. Note that while on Wikipedia most of the pages cover topics that are objects or concepts for which it makes sense to write them down in lowercase, here the vast majority of pages are comic explanations, whose titles are capitalized (sentence case) anyway. Even several of the non-comic pages are always capitalized (the characters, Randall...), with the exception perhaps of topics (My Hobby, Velociraptors...) and a handful of others that might not be occurring to me right now. In total, these should be a fraction of the comic pages, and redirects can easily be created for them. Files are lowercase in virtually all original filenames from xkcd.com, and currently the occurrences of uppercase in their first letter derive primarily from copying the title from the file page. Now, files are lowercased so copying will pose no problems. Templates have also been moved to the lowercase versions, with redirects when appropriate, since most people use them in lowercase anyway.
As for the name of the wiki and project namespace, that's a completely different issue, and it was agreed on via discussion, and endorsed by Jeff, to be "explain xkcd" (all lowercase). This happened several days ago. Then, yesterday I moved the main page to that title, because I assumed it would be uncontroversial, as that is the wiki's name, and we don't have a header or anything, so it would serve as the primary heading of the main page, rather than mediawiki's generic "Main Page". Apparently that reasoning didn't resonate with everyone, so I'll move it back to "Main Page" for now. --Waldir (talk) 20:20, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
But you still haven't explained a single reason why this change was beneficial. The handful of pages that "needed" a lowercase first letter could easily have slapped a magic word onto the page to override the title. I'm still only thinking of two pages that would ever need a lowercase first letter (xkcd and Template:xkcd). We effectively just nuked every page to make those two pages a little bit more... fluid? What? And for the name of the main page, I do support calling it "Explain xkcd", although I don't see what it has to do with the whole uppercase versus lowercase discussion. The casing is inconsistent everywhere I see it. The explainxkcd website has a header in all lowercase, but then references the site in several other places as "Explain XKCD". At any rate, I fail to see the problem with "Explain xkcd", as sentence case has historically been used for page titles, particularly on Wikipedia. It's also much easier to borrow from Wikipedia's policies when naming and styling pages, as the vast majority of xkcd fans are likely also Wikipedia supporters. Why change what's not broke?
I'm just rather annoyed that one or two people are making every major decision without taking the time to discuss the pros and cons. Can we please sit down and discuss changes with consensus before we implement them, rather than having to argue about them after it's already done? 20:42, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm with you Omega on the discussion factor. Lets do that going forward to make sure we discuss any changes before they go in. Is the lowercase v uppercase still an issue now? Will reverting it break things all over again? --Jeff (talk) 16:07, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

##  Wrong File Names

Comic 1077: Home Organization has a bad image link. It's pointing to File:Home organization.png (lowercase 'O' in organization) which is a redirect to the correct page at File:Home Organization.png (Capital 'O'). AFAIK files are supposed to be first letter capitalized, the rest lowercase. Should the image be moved to the lowercase page? Please advise as to how to continue. lcarsos (talk) 23:09, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

I found another one. 1076: Groundhog Day. Same deal. File:Groundhog day.png is trying to redirect to File:Groundhog Day.png lcarsos (talk) 23:12, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Done: I moved both images to the lowercase versions and edited the comic pages.
Please use the original filename when uploading comics (i.e., lowercase and underscores), even though MediaWiki replaces underscores with spaces. Also, when creating the comic page, use the original filename, MediaWiki will again replace underscores to find the file. The advantage is that we will be able to replace the images with direct links to xkcd.com if this should become necessary or desired. --SlashMe (talk) 14:22, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Some clever person has gone and tagged a bunch of pages that have this issue Category:Pages with broken file links lcarsos (talk) 17:11, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Done --SlashMe (talk) 20:18, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I swear I've fixed this page before, but 1054: The Bacon the image is now broken using the new style. File:The bacon.png needs to be moved and cajoled to work right. Also, there's a few redirects that should be deleted The bacon and 1054: The bacon. Thank you for your work, you are amazing. lcarsos (talk) 22:42, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Again,  Done. I don't think the redirects will hurt someone, so I keep them in place. --SlashMe (talk) 06:55, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

##  MediaWiki:Talkpagetext

I would advise that an admin edit the MediaWiki:Talkpagetext message with something like wikipedia:MediaWiki:Talkpagetext, or more precisely like the message in bold on several talk pages, about signing comments.

That would avoid having to put it on top of every talk page, while also avoiding a not-so-nice message for somebody who came there just to read the comments.

Cos (talk) 16:11, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

So? Up? This does not seem a complex or controversial change to me...
There, I can make it even more simple for the lazy busy admins: here is a suggestion for the content of that system message: :-)
'''This is a talk page, so please add ~~~~ to the end of your comments to include your signature. Thanks!'''
Obviously, I would gladly do it myself if I could.
Thanks! - Cos (talk) 15:58, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
How's that? --Jeff (talk) 16:23, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
:-D sorry, I can see that I unintentionally left a trap in my suggestion, this would have been better:
'''This is a talk page, so please add <code><nowiki>~~~~</nowiki></code> to the end of your comments to include your signature. Thanks!'''
About your version Jeff, I'm not sure the links to Wikipedia are really useful, especially since talk pages here are not exactly like on Wikipedia: on WP their only use is to talk about the corresponding page and not its subject, here they can also serve to talk about a comic which is the subject of the corresponding page. And if you choose to keep these links, then two of them need a double "wikipedia" prefix ([[wikipedia:Wikipedia:Signatures]]).
But that WPlinks remarks are no big issue anyway, the current version basically does the job so thank you for that.
Cos (talk) 17:06, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I stole that right from MediaWiki... whoops. Ok, how about now? --Jeff (talk) 17:54, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Looks fine for me :-) . If you want you can replace "the signature button at the top of the page" with ([[File:Button sig.png]]), but that's as you prefer. Thanks again! - Cos (talk) 18:57, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

##  New Page Creation Guide

Hey folks. Is there a guide for creating new pages, now that frequent users have had a little practice and the templates seem to be settled in? If not, anyone want to volunteer to start one? I've just been copying the latest comic and erasing its content. Perhaps we can start the guide by providing that. It should also be linked from the main page in the section encouraging people to add comics. --DanB (talk) 13:55, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

• I support this. Two pointers: I have a page called User:Blaisepascal/newcomictemplate which has an empty template for a new comic, including an {{Incomplete}} at the top, all the major sections (Explanation, Transcript, Trivia), and the {{Comic discussion}} at the bottom. I use it to simplify getting the format right. Lcarsos has also written a Ruby script which will, when given a comic number, will fill in the newcomictemplate with all the information which can be grabbed from xkcd.com (the number, name, date, image name, title text, and Template), as well as the redirect string. All that needs to be done before copy/pasting into explainxkcd is to proof-read it, add appropriate wiki links, and add an explanation. I think a guide should point out tools like this. Blaisepascal (talk) 14:51, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
A few more tips, remember that the Wiki software doesn't recognize single returns as new paragraphs, there needs to be a whole line between things you want to show up on different lines. And in transcripts, the Wiki software things anything enclosed in double brackets — e.g., [[ — is obviously a link so some other page on the wiki. Most people are deciding to simply take out the second bracket.
Finally, as you are going through, if you are using Jeff's explanations from the blog, please go through and edit the sentences to not include personal pronouns, e.g., "I". Since anyone can edit (nearly) every article here, there is no 'I' and there is no 'we' if you are referring to anyone who's edited the article. We is referring to human beings in general on this wiki, and it would have to be a very special case to mean anything more exclusive than that. lcarsos (talk) 15:36, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the tips. Exactly the kinds of things I think should be in a guide, more specific for this site than Wikipedia's Editing Tutorial is. --DanB (talk) 19:48, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I've started work on exactly that document. I'm currently keeping it at User:Lcarsos#Formatting. If people think this should be moved out to a real page I'll do that. Just tell me what people think a good name would be. lcarsos (talk) 20:10, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

None of the changes that Jjhuddle have made have been for the better. He has reorganized talk pages to fit his own formatting guides, removed perfectly good paragraphs from explanations, refuses to take constructive criticism, refuses to link to his user account in his signature, more often than not forgets to sign his posts, and is being a minor menace. lcarsos (talk) 20:05, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Done --Jeff (talk) 16:22, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I might step into what is not my business here, but I can't help thinking that was a bit harsh.
Looking into his contributions, I see several changes that were perfectly constructive, maybe awkward sometimes, but usually in good faith "for the better". Sure there were mistakes as well, such as discussion reformatting or weird signatures, but (in my opinion) that's really no big issue, and on the whole asking here to ban him without first, for instance, warning him about that, seems pretty rude to me. Also lcarsos, where on earth did he remove perfectly good paragraphs from explanations?? the closest that I found was this, and frankly that can arguably be interpreted as an improvement (actually I would have done it as well).
So I don't know, maybe it's better to act quickly without thinking too much, in order to avoid lengthy, time-consuming debates; that was just my 2¢, do whatever you want with it.
Cos (talk) 17:45, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I assumed that lcarsos has dealt with JJ Huddle over these issues and had finally brought it to us, but I'll leave that for lcarsos to answer. --Jeff (talk) 17:50, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Let me give you a kind of chronology.
His first attempt at creating a page was actually quite good, his explanation needed a little work to explain things that people might miss, rather than tell what is on the page, but that is a common mistake in enough English classrooms, that I'll write that off entirely. His second page, made 5 days later, was a step backward.
• Separate Title Text section despite using the {{comic}} header
• Discussion section despite using the {{comic discussion}} template on his first attempt.
• Explanation was better used as a transcript than as an explanation, when there was a perfectly good explanation that existed on the blog, all he had to do was copy and paste.
The last of which is what spawned my first post on his talk page. A rather long "welcome to the community post" offering some helpful (that's me talking about myself, somebody double-check me User talk:Jjhuddle#Welcome, and a little constructive criticism) tips. That was a week ago.
After that he fell off my radar until yesterday, I was doing some minor clean up when I stumbled on a talk page that had been completely revised to use bullet points. I delved into its history and found that it was him at fault. That spawned the second of my entries on his User talk:Jjhuddle#Do Not Change talk pages which was, admittedly, tersely worded. But I did note, that he had not posted a response to my first post. He must have seen the banner that one of the pages on his watchlist (His talk page) had been changed. But didn't post a response, he's been chatty enough elsewhere on the wiki (creating talk pages to ask where the new comic is; and inserting into actual pages, things that should have been in the talk page, which he did but was too impatient to wait for an answer), so I concluded that he wasn't going to take this seriously.
His changes to comic explanation pages usually replaces other words, not that they are better wordings, but that they are replacements: Michael Phelps, Hypochondriac's Nightmare, Vows. In both Clinically Studied Ingredient and Nightmare, he writes "It is not known..." which suggests that he should instead open it up to the community in the Talk page until it is decided, and an edit can then be made, once it is known. TheHYPO dealt with it in short order in Ingredient.
I had refreshed the Vows page when I noticed the talk section was done in bullet points rather than indentations, and the first line of the article (which had survived many edits) was gone. After checking the version history and seeing that Jjhuddle had been on both pages, I checked his contributions more thoroughly. I found that every talk page he had been on after 8 August he would go back and revise it to use bullets, despite the indentations working perfectly well to illustrate the threaded conversations (and in at least one case breaking them: Crazy Straws Talk, note the response to Erenan's post). Including the Star Ratings Talk Page where he literally added the "please sign your comment" banner and revised it to bullets, but never left a comment, and didn't add even meager signatures.
Then I undid the changes to both Vows pages. Having now looked through most of his edits, I felt that it was time to put a stop to his shenanigans. That is when I created the post on this page.
Was it harsh? Yes. All banning is. Was it rude? Probably. But so has his conduct been to the community. His kind of loose-cannon enthusiasm hasn't hardly benefited this wiki, and I bet that if he was allowed to continue, the majority of his edits would be undone. In a philosophy class I took, we had a debate about at what point a laundry list of grievances becomes actionable. We never did nail down an exact number (is that even possible in a philosophy class?) but we decided that everyone has their own instinctual limit, and should act on it rather than wait.
Cos, I suppose I should have said "removes/replaces content without adding anything more" instead of "removed perfectly good paragraphs", as it allows what I've discussed to be included in that umbrella.
lcarsos (talk) 22:55, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Spam bot replaced Template:W with spam content. Please block IP.

On a related note. what is the best way to signal to admins/moderators an IP address that needs to be blocked for destructive/spam edits? lcarsos (talk) 18:05, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

## (Temporarily) Turn Off Anonymous Edits (please)

We've had 50 anonymous destructive/harmful edits since the beginning of this slew. I think because of the popularity of 1110 the site is getting more attention than usual. Maybe if anonymous edits are turned off through the weekend that might get us through the storm. Please and thank you.

The full list for those that care:

2012-09-20
2012-09-21

--A haggard undo-er of mischief lcarsos (talk) 22:15, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Sorry - just getting to this now... how does it look now? Still garbage coming in? --Jeff (talk) 12:25, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Just an FYI... it seems that the worst of the vandalism happened during the days when xkcd 1110 was current, and we had a bunch of anonymous vandals, though that has declined again. My only reservation on blocking anonymous edits is that outside of this exceptional window, most anonymous edits, by far, are of the good kind. (Right now, my only grouse in the Angel of Death category is that one person who registers with a Chinese name, and puts jibberish pages with links to some Mulberry bag outlet store...) What would seem more effective is being able to block where external links go to. Linking to xkcd.com or wikipedia.org seem reasonable, but anything else should be disabled, or at least requiring an admin's approval... Thotz? In conclusion, I will say a big tin star to Lcarsos, and the whole cast of regulars, in keeping the content here free of vandalism! (I've got to get myself one of those graphics, and post it on the appropriate user pages...) -- IronyChef (talk) 14:43, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

##  Feynman?

Feynman (both in living and zombie form) probably deserves an entry in the character navbox template doesn't he? 128.250.152.198 02:21, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

That's two comics out of 1200+. Three if you count the song. Not quite enough yet. Davidy²²[talk] 02:27, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
If that's the criterion, then we need to get rid of Brown Hat. Djbrasier (talk) 19:30, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

##  Job Interview (Electric Soup)

The soup is clearly being poured out of an electric socket. This "electric soup" is probably not a reference to the alcoholic brew favoured by Scottish tramps, but more likely to the virtual nature of the company. Sulis (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Hey, go here Talk:1293: Job Interview‎ for discussions. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:58, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

##  Is there a similar, transcripted service for The Oatmeal?

Hi everyone - this site is a real gem, I've sent it to a friend of mine who can't read XKCD because she's blind. The transcripts on this site are a real boon!

Does anyone know if there is a similar service for The Oatmeal? I've searched and searched, but found nothing so far.

Thanks :)

Jeff

As far as I know we are kind of unique in the web comics world. I think we get away with it because Randall publishes all his comics as Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial. We liberally link back to xkcd, and we don't make a penny (The ads are just to cover server expenses, because wikis and the databases that support them get big when you're covering a body of work like xkcd). I haven't looked into the copyright Matt uses for the Oatmeal, but he seems like a cool enough guy to not kill a community transcripting effort of his comics. lcarsos_a (talk) 20:32, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

##  what if 103: Vanishing Water - comics

Please explain the 2nd and the 4th comics from http://what-if.xkcd.com/103/

"Just tried to sail my boat over land, because I didn't learn from that kid in the Zephyr." (who's the kid from Zephyr?)

"A third time?" (maybe whales were dropped twice before in other what-ifs?) Daniel Carrero (talk) 21:57, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

"A third time?" is a reference to a whale falling twice in "Hitchiker's guide to the Galaxy". Been a while, so I don't remember the details of how this fit in, but the second time it happened to the whale, he thought "Not again" or something along those lines. Djbrasier (talk) 18:49, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Raises the question of if we should explain jokes imbedded in What If comics. Djbrasier (talk) 18:49, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

##  Discussion usage

Am I being a killjoy in feeling that the discussion section should be mainly limited to discussion on improving the explanation, gathering consensus and that type of thing. Specifically, the discussion for 1418: Horse is quickly turning into every man and his dog posting a sentence in the style of the comic, which doesn't really add anything to the page other than clutter.

Personally, I'd just delete most of them, but I think I might be turning into a grumpy old bugger... --Pudder (talk) 20:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

The discussion is also there for just talking about the comic. Those guys aren't wildly off-topic, there's no need to clamp down on what they get to talk about. Davidy²²[talk] 17:44, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Yep, I must just be grumpy and draconian! Lesson learned --Pudder (talk) 20:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Since the header for the site current contains a graphic link to the store that promises that Randall probably won't ship you a bobcat, it seems to me that probably ought to be preserved and explained somewhere. 173.245.56.189 17:45, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

##  XKCD at LanguageLog

Arnold Zwicky (of the well-known linguistics blog Language Log) has put together a list of linguistics-related XKCD strips, here: http://arnoldzwicky.org/the-language-of-comics/comics-lists/xkcd-cartoons/ I thought it might be appropriate for a copy of the list (maybe a category) to be created from it. 199.27.133.79 03:48, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Category:Language Davidy²²[talk] 04:39, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

##  Bookmarklet

Hello there, I've created a little bookmarklet (https://ginkobox.fr/shaarli/?a77vQw) and I thought it might be useful for someone out there.

When launched, it adds the 'explain' before xkcd.com and the browser loads the explainxkcd page. I've tested it only on Firefox.

##  Is there a RSS feed for What If?

Is there a RSS feed for What If?--17jiangz1 (talk) 11:59, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

No, because we cover the comics. Davidy²²[talk] 18:57, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

##  My User Page

Can someone help me with my user page? I can't seem to remove the large space on top.--17jiangz1 (talk) 07:43, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

The only solution I've found is to remove the contribution scores (data6=...). Not sure what exactly is triggering this bug. --SlashMe (talk) 21:02, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
I am receiving "Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ""." for {{#expr: {{formatnum:{{#cscore:17jiangz1|pages}}|R}}/{{formatnum:{{NUMBEROFARTICLES}}|R}}*100 round 5 }}--17jiangz1 (talk) 05:46, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Bump?--17jiangz1 (talk) 06:48, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

##  What-If

It hasn't updated for 2 weeks. why?--17jiangz1 (talk) 06:50, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Looks like they're on hold for a few months (Until July 14th). Too bad, I enjoyed them. (Look at the top of the What-If page) --Zman9600 (talk) 20:24, 6 May 2015 (UTC)