explain xkcd:Community portal/Admin requests

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Admin requests

Welcome to your mother's basement! Problems requiring assistance from an admin. User problems, changes to protected pages, more user rights etc. (+post)

List of Admins:

Contents

Discussion Area[edit]

Adverts[edit]

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. Omega TalkContribs 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. Omega TalkContribs 22:38, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Let Me Know[edit]

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)
One question. I can't upload a file(no permission). Is it possible to get permission, or can you upload the picture for me? It is the alternate cover for what if(contains a t-rex chasig cueball). -Klyxm

"Edit this explanation" link on main page[edit]

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. Omega TalkContribs 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[edit]

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[edit]

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. Omega TalkContribs 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.
I have added a 404 page. Since the comic is non-existent, it isn't titled "Not Found", so I decided against creating a 404: Not Found page, or a Not Found redirect. Blaisepascal (talk) 18:40, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
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 [1], you'll get exactly the same page. In fact, if you check out [2] 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[edit]

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. Omega TalkContribs 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). Omega TalkContribs 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? Omega TalkContribs 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[edit]

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[edit]

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 Button sig.png ([[File:Button sig.png]]), but that's as you prefer. Thanks again! - Cos (talk) 18:57, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

New Page Creation Guide[edit]

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.
Also, please, please, please, please, please, add links to Wikipedia. Simply encase the word in {{w|My Phrase}} and the {{w}} template will pick it up and link to that article in Wikipedia. Be sure to click the links you are creating, sometimes Wikipedia's links are awkwardly case sensitive, and conversational capitalization will take you a "No page exists with this title" and won't give you any hints about the page you are looking for. If this happens use {{w|Conversational Capitalization|conversational capitalization}}. The first is the name of the article, the second is what will show up in the generated anchor tag.
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)

Please ban User:Jjhuddle[edit]

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)

Please block 94.23.1.28[edit]

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)[edit]

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
  1. Template:W
  2. User:Joe Green
  3. 1093: Forget
  4. explain xkcd:Community portal/Miscellaneous
  5. Talk:626: Newton and Leibniz
  6. explain xkcd:Community portal/Proposals
  7. Category talk:Comics from June
  8. User:Lcarsos
  9. Talk:1038
  10. explain xkcd:Community portal/Technical
  11. User:Lcarsos
  12. User:Enginesoul
  13. explain xkcd:Community portal/Proposals
  14. User talk:Medotcom
  15. User:Waldir
  16. User:Jeremyp
  17. 1093: Forget
  18. User:BKA
  19. Talk:1097: A Hypochondriac's Nightmare
  20. User talk:81.3.214.199
  21. 1093: Forget
  22. explain xkcd:Community portal/Miscellaneous
  23. User:Klamann
  24. User:IronyChef/TestKitchen
  25. Category talk:Electric Skateboard
  26. 1093: Forget
  27. Category:Pages with too many expensive parser function calls
  28. User:IronyChef
  29. 1093: Forget
  30. explain xkcd:Community portal/Proposals
  31. explain xkcd:Community portal/Proposals
  32. 1093: Forget
  33. explain xkcd:Community portal/Proposals
2012-09-21
  1. 1093: Forget
  2. explain xkcd:Community portal/Proposals
  3. 131: Fans
  4. 1073: Weekend
  5. Talk:1094: Interview
  6. 118: 50 Ways
  7. explain xkcd:Community portal/Proposals
  8. 11: Barrel - Part 2
  9. User:Waldir
  10. Template:google custom
  11. Template:outdent
  12. 1: Barrel - Part 1
  13. User talk:Jtorba
  14. 140: Delicious
  15. User:Yirba
  16. 140: Delicious
  17. 1093: Forget

--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)

Object Cache[edit]

Hi Admins - The reason the site was down was the Object Cache database got to be over 1 GB in size and took down access to all databases, so needless to say, this cannot happen again. I've got but $wgMainCacheType set to CACHE_NONE. Is there anywhere else I can turn off the caching to the database? Jeff 12:34, 27 September 2012‎ (UTC)

Minor change to protected page[edit]

Hi - new here... I wanted to correct the text for comic #1153 (to change 'apparent paradox' into 'paradox', since the word means 'apparent contradiction') but the page is locked (I get 'This page has been protected to prevent editing' on the Source page). Is there some magic I'm missing, or have you blocked all pages due to malicious hacking? -- Yinna (talk) 07:09, 30 December 2012‎ (UTC) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Hi, I don't mean to question your intelligence, but were you by chance on the main page, and not on 1153: Proof? I don't see any protections on the explanation page itself, but we definitely have the main page locked down due to the number of spam bot changes we'd have to fix if it were not. The Main Page just has a view (called "transclusion" in wiki terminology) of the comic page, so if you were trying to edit the main page, it wouldn't have helped much because the actual text of the explanation is on the explanation page. If that's not the problem, do write back so we can get to the bottom of this. lcarsos_a (talk) 07:34, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

MediaWiki:Captcha-addurl-whitelist[edit]

I'm not sure why I had to solve a captcha for adding an external link in this edit, but perhaps this can be fixed by adding www\.explainxkcd\.com to the captcha whitelist. --132.230.221.144 10:28, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

 Done, thanks for reporting. Let me know if it solves the issue. --Waldir (talk) 05:15, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Test Seems to work. Thank you! --132.230.221.144 08:28, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Comments out of date on comic page: solution[edit]

I've added my comments to discussion page of comic 191, but they don't show up on the main one. Can you guys hint on what I've done wrong? Thank you in advance. - E-inspired (talk) 16:24, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Now it's happening to 954 as well :( - E-inspired (talk) 16:47, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Never-mind, figured it out myself. I had to click out of date fix on the main page of the wiki, though not sure why - E-inspired (talk) 18:51, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Mediawiki caches page transclusions, which is how we get the talk page to show up on the explanation page, and the latest comic on the main page. The cache eventually refreshes itself, but, if you want it to show up right away you can do a little url hacking to add the argument &purge=true onto the page the transclusion is occurring on. lcarsos_a (talk) 18:55, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Mr. Lcarsos for such a great explanation, I will be sure to use it next time. - E-inspired (talk) 19:48, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Actually, although adding &purge=true will likely work for other reasons (because adding &anything will avoid your own cache, let alone others) the correct thing to append is &action=purge. You know it is correct because it is removed afterwards, where as &purge=true is not. Mark Hurd (talk) 18:03, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Captcha help[edit]

Hey,

The page Special:Captcha/help tells people to contact an administrator if the captcha is "unexpectedly preventing you from making legitimate contributions". I just recieved a captcha asking me what the first name of XKCD's writer is. Now I know that most fans should know his name by now, you really can't expect every visitor or editor to this site to remember that, and in many cases a visitor won't know that sort of information at all.

I respectfully request that you arrange for that question to be removed from the list of captchas that appear for us IP users.

Thank you. --69.119.250.251 00:44, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Oh, sorry, I actually contacted a beauraucrat when you posted your first message on my talk page, but I forgot to respond to you. That question *should* be pulled now. Davidy²²[talk] 12:26, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Okay, thanks.--69.119.250.251 13:44, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Scareware ads[edit]

I don't know how much control you have over the ads that appear on this site, but ads for companies that push "scareware" (blinking "Spyware on your system! Spyware on your system!) should be rejected if possible. The programs these companies try to scare you into downloading and installing are typically some kind of malware, and usually you have to pay for them, adding insult to injury (or is it injury to insult?) --RenniePet (talk) 01:12, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

The ads aren't something that wiki admins can control. Changing them requires server access, so Jeff is the person you ought to talk to. In any case, related discussion is occurring here. Waldir (talk) 17:35, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Admins - Help me...[edit]

I do own a Gold Medal here and I do not care.

This Wiki is fun and I like it. But I also did stuck on some discussions no one else does follow.

So I will edit here in the future but STILL at the first time I'm trying to be kind. And also since I am only a human, I will be wrong sometimes.

So, admins help me for advice or I just will continue on my own.

--Dgbrt (talk) 22:13, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Thumbnails - Admins help us...[edit]

There some config...php tricks to solve this broken thumbs, maybe I can help. Further more: I just only want to help. But it sadly seems we have no acting admin her anymore. --Dgbrt (talk) 22:01, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Just tell me if there is a solution possible or not.--Dgbrt (talk) 20:47, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Hey, Slashme, lcarsos and I are all still-active admins round here, and Waldir's an infrequently visiting bureaucrat. What do you mean by "broken thumbs" exactly? Davidy²²[talk] 00:01, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Check this picture File:Cueball Walk 1360-1378.png and click the previews at lower resolution. You will get an 404 error (not found). But this feature would be helpful for embed large images at some pages. There must be something wrong at the "LocalSettings.php" file. Maybe this does help: Thumbnails not working.--Dgbrt (talk) 17:46, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Not having server access, I can't determine the problem, but it has something to do with automatic thumbnail creation because I have manually created the 100 pixel thumbnails needed for the File History of File:Elaine Roberts.png and File:escher wristband.jpg by hitting thumb.php?f=Elaine_Roberts.png&width=100 and thumb.php?f=escher_wristband.jpg&width=100.
So that is the short term workaround for specific thumb sizes. Mark Hurd (talk) 15:17, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
I've created all the thumbnails referred to by File:meteor showers.png. The only extra points to make are the File History thumbnails aren't just 100 pixels wide, and to get the archived thumbs (for older file versions) you need to add {timestamp}%21 prefix to the file name and &archived=1 after.
This is based upon the URL rewrite rules listed here. Mark Hurd (talk) 15:52, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Please delete this page[edit]

Please remove subaddressing from my account email user:tbc[edit]

I requested a password reset, but I forgot that my account still has an old email registered: [email protected] My ISP, pcisys.net née divide.net, disabled subaddressing during an email upgrade earlier this year. If a sysop could update that email to removed the plus sign so my account email is [email protected], I will be able to reset my password. Note that I am logged in from my iPad to write this, but since I need my password, which I have forgotten, to change it, I'm stuck. – tbc (talk) 13:38, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure if you're still here. But, there is nowhere in the admin interface to change a user's email address. You'd need someone with access to the server, and felt confident writing their own sql statement to edit it. Try sending an email through the wiki to Jeff. He'd be the only one with the proper access to help you. lcarsos_a (talk) 17:23, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, lcarsos. My problem is now solved. – tbc (talk) 05:31, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

BOT access[edit]

Hi, I did register a new account DgbrtBOT and I request BOT access for this. Right now I will do only manual uploads for mass sessions, the advantage will be that this uploads are hidden at the default "Recent changes" page. Before I'm using real bots I will test them at my local MediaWiki, because creating a reliable BOT is not easy and will be very careful on this.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:58, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Sorry to keep you hanging for so long. DgbrtBOT has been added to the bot group. lcarsos_a (talk) 16:34, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks, my request was mainly for picture uploads to 1190 Time, but maybe I will use this feature in the future. I will be careful, first tests will be done at my local TestWiki.--Dgbrt (talk) 18:36, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Where are all the admins?[edit]

Currently no admin seems to be active here on a regular basis. That's bad. There is SPAM content which needs a delete action, I only can remove some content, but it's still at the history. And who does clean up the cache when this page will have the next outage? Maybe I can help.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:04, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Useless pages[edit]

Please delete:

--Dgbrt (talk) 11:55, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

disallow read access to server[edit]

Starting from this url http://explainxkcd.com/wiki/ the scripts and other files on the server can be read directly over the internet.

This could pose a security risk.

Doh! Fixing that now! Thanks. --Jeff (talk) 12:04, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Done. --Jeff (talk) 16:45, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

New board is still not working properly[edit]

Board is slow because many images like this from the visual editor [3] (just leading to the main page) and even the logo at the top most left is not working any more.--Dgbrt (talk) 18:31, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Can you provide a screenshot? Davidy²²[talk] 20:56, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
I can't because it's working again. And a screenshot would not help much, you just can see some broken pictures. My first statement here did contain all the essential informations. I'm still not sure if that load balancing does work very well, but right now it does.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

Non-registered posting[edit]

I think there's a problem with non-registered posting, my IP address as shown with the 4 tildes is NOT the IP address I'm posting from... 173.160.112.53(real) vs 173.245.55.215(Tildes)

This is your problem, the logs here just document the sender IP. Maybe your provider uses some proxy technologies. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:31, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Uh, we're on it. Wrangling with lunarpages a bit, they're being slow to give us SSH access for whatever reason, and thy borked ftp too. Well, at least they're still faster than our old provider. Davidy²²[talk] 23:07, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Please delete this templates[edit]

Please delete this:

A playground should be somewhere else.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:47, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Unused, undiscussed. Easy deletions. Davidy²²[talk] 23:08, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

And there is a page Exoplanets with no need, we have Category:Exoplanets instead.--Dgbrt (talk) 23:03, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

That page is linked to by the list of all comics pages, in the comic names columns. Davidy²²[talk] 03:11, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh yes, you're right. --Dgbrt (talk) 08:13, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Category:Browsers[edit]

Please delete this category Category:Browsers and the discussion page. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:10, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Done Davidy²²[talk] 22:37, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for help! I can only do a request, and it seems I am still only getting a response by only one admin. No Lcarsos or any one else. That's bad. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:04, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Change to explanation for #1322[edit]

Just a minor change but the page is locked... the bit where it says "It is cold, the pond is frozen...", wouldn't it be more to the point to say "The sky is blue, ..."? Blue being implied from the word cold. -- ‎Guyon (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Page is locked? That shouldn't be the case. Try editing again. Davidy²²[talk] 08:57, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
It says "This page has been protected to prevent editing." --Guyon (talk) 16:49, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
You might be clicking edit from the Main Page. Try clicking 'Go to this comic explanation' and then click edit. Unless that's not your problem. lcarsos_a (talk) 20:02, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I've tweaked the message that users get when trying to edit a protected page; hopefully that will help reduce confusion for new users. --Waldir (talk) 18:27, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

User Michaelrandolph[edit]

User:Michaelrandolph is spamming here.--Dgbrt (talk) 12:57, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

So he is. Quite well hidden too. Dealt with. Davidy²²[talk] 17:19, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

New user access[edit]

I signed up because I wanted to correct/enhance today's explanation, which seems to me to have missed the point. However, I don't have and "edit" tab, and the "view source" tab says the source is protected. Do I have to do something else to gain access? (I did confirm my e-mail.) -- Keating408 (talk) 22:05, 19 February 2014‎ (UTC) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Every explanation page on the wiki is editable by anyone, including people without accounts. It sounds like you're trying to edit the main page. While it looks like the main page is the explanation page for the latest comic, we actually transclude it there as it's probably the thing that most visitors want to see when they visit us. In the upper right hand corner, there should be a button that says "go to this comic explanation." If you can't find it, the "Latest comic" button in the sidebar also takes you there. Davidy²²[talk] 22:22, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I tweaked the tooltip that shows up when you hover the view source link. Unfortunately I can't configure it to show a custom message for the main page only, but I suppose that's the protected page that most people attempt to edit (and that most new users are exposed to, anyway). Hope that helps :) --Waldir (talk) 18:19, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

New admin[edit]

Hi guys,

I've noticed Dgbrt is the 3rd most prolific user on the site, and has consistently been very active. What do you think about giving him admin rights? --Waldir (talk) 18:35, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

I have some thoughts on this, but I'd like to hear what Davidy22 thinks. Dgbrt is indeed a prolific editor, but I think quite a few of his edits are to put the incomplete tag on articles that other people think are finished, or edit skirmishes (if not edit warring) with other editors. I would like to see him make an effort to expand explanations rather than tersely stating that an explanation is incomplete in his eyes. I am very much aware that English is not his first language, and he writes English better than I do German. He is quite good at keeping editors honest when an Americanism slips into an explanation that makes it harder for the international community to understand the explanation, let alone the comic. But at the same time, it's frustrating to be chided so tersely about so fine a point.
I don't want to turn this place into political bullshit territory though. Dgbrt has contributed at least as much as I have. I don't want to think that my judgment in this matter is clouded by a sense of "us old boys" know what's best, but realistically it might be. He certainly has as much chops as I did and (if I may speak for him) Davidy22 did when we were made admins.
I reserve my vote until I hear what Davidy22 has to say. lcarsos_a (talk) 20:21, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Certain portions of his contributions are incredibly valuable, like the auto-update bot. We also need an active admin for the upcoming German translation wiki, and he's pretty much the best choice for that. On the other hand, rollback privileges come with adminship, and he has a habit of doing things like this and this, reverting a substantial amount of a new contributor's work because of errors that could be fixed in a matter of minutes, as well going slightly off-track in discussions with editors at times. He does seem competent though, and I feel like his communication issues with editors probably stem from his English proficiency, which won't be an issue when he's adminning the German wiki. Pointers to WP pages and experience should clear up the rest. I'd probably give it a bit more time, or wait until the German wiki launches, but that's just me. Davidy²²[talk] 21:59, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, guys. To be clear, I had no strong opinions either way, besides acknowledging the volume of his contributions, and started this discussion specifically so that the decision to grant him or not the admin tools was explicit and not made by default. Now, after reading what you both say, indeed the vague impression I had, that his editing style is often less cautious than ideal, was confirmed. I think we all agree that a gentler, less impulsive editing style would be desirable before adminship is considered. Particularly, a little more restraint in actions that may be considered somewhat aggressive (such as reversion of substantial edits) is important, since the (psychological) hierarchical divide that adminship creates would exacerbate the effect of such actions even further, especially in new users. Given that he himself (afaik) hasn't requested admin rights, I believe these observations will be useful for his future contributions, and as guidance towards the adminship path in case he eventually decides to request the tools. --Waldir (talk) 07:43, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Hold up. We're doing what? A German translation? That's FANTASTIC! Go the people who are organizing that! lcarsos_a (talk) 07:49, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Hrm. Maybe I should be talking to other admins more. In a few weeks, I'm planning on setting up a parallel wiki to this one, akin to the different language wikis that Wikipedia does. I've been planning this for a while, the incomplete explanation of the day things is supposed to polish up all our explanations so translators can just translate and they don't have to figure the comics out all over again. I decided on German because a) Jeff told me it it's our second biggest source of unique visitors, b) German words are very long and it'll be a good stress test for our layout and c) We need an admin there, and we have both an existing German admin and a very prolific, if not slightly abrasive editor to fill the role. I'm also going to finally run that upgrade to a newer version of Mediawiki that we should have done a while ago. Davidy²²[talk] 08:01, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Yay for new mediawiki version :) Also, I can vouch for User:SlashMe, I know him personally and he's a smart, technically competent and dependable person. Not sure he will have a lot of time available for explain xkcd though.
Regarding the German wiki, are you planning to use the Translate extension? It helps distribute the burden of translation over several people by allowing the translation of one paragraph at a time, it automatically calculates translation completion percentages, etc. On the other hand, here's what its authors have to say about content translation:
"The way the Translate extension splits up a page into paragraph sized units does not leave too much freedom for translators to change the content. This is usually a good thing and is ideal where continuity and consistency of content across languages is desired. It can be worked around, but in principle this way of doing translations is not generally suitable, for example, for Wikipedia articles, which usually are totally independent of each other. Even if they originally start as a translation from a different language, they usually begin living their own independent life from the original version. With Translate, the original page is always the main version, and new content cannot be developed in translated versions."
...so that's something to keep in mind. Besides, I'm not sure it works across different wikis. --Waldir (talk) 16:52, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Hrm. I'd like to do some variation on that, because I really want people to be using the original explanations as a base, but xkcd can sometimes use idiomatic language and it may be necessary to add paragraphs to explain things that might be specific to the English language. That extension looks pretty useful though, and it's probably better than my gameplan of "tell editors to copypaste the English version and go from there." Davidy²²[talk] 17:35, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
You knows me personally? No offense, but I don't think I've met anyone of you before. ;-)
You're right, I don't have the time I'd like to have for editing here, but I still have my watchlist and follow the discussions. (If you look at 1143, you'll know what keeps me busy.) I have thought about giving up my admin rights, since I rarely get to edit something, but I cannot let go. Also, I still have my bot account, which has currently nothing to do, but who knows what is to come?
When the German Wiki is ready, I can try to help over there as much as possible (I'm better at writing German texts, it takes ages for me to express myself in English). But I'm not sure about translating per paragraph, I like the independent Wikipedia style. --SlashMe (talk) 22:50, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Oh, sorry! I thought you were User:Slashme but I see now I hadn't taken capitalization into account :) --Waldir (talk) 23:06, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi guys, I've had not much time the last few days so I'm seeing this discussion the first time today. I never thought about to request an admin status here — which would be different belonging to a German page — but Davidy²²[talk] is the only real active admin here. Maybe we do need more, fighting against Spam is just one example.

  • I would like to focus on German translations, that's really not easy even only on layout. My local Wiki tests still contain many red links.
  • If there is a schedule for that German page I would work on that much more — meaning no time to act as an admin here.
  • And be sure: An admin job is different to a general user – I know about this in many other situations.
  • BTW: My BOT is still working as expected by me. If Randall does an update the BOT could not handle nothing happens here. But if a classical layout is presented it will be here on time.

Just a few thoughts on my first reply here.--Dgbrt (talk) 23:47, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Potential Edit War; we want to resolve it before it starts[edit]

Hello, Admins? User DgBrt and I are having trouble on the article 1292: Pi vs. Tau. At the rate we're going it's going to turn into an edit war and nobody wants that.

I believe the page should look like this: http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=1292:_Pi_vs._Tau&oldid=63007

Dgbrt believes the page should look like this: http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=1292:_Pi_vs._Tau&oldid=63021

I figure: who better to resolve this than the admins? 199.27.128.65 02:51, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

hrmgrglrgl admin powers should be reserved for moderation and dispute resolution, cuz using our powers to force what we think should be in a page doesn't necessarily lead to better pages. I was gonna leave you two to your own devices since you were managing to conduct content-focused discussion on your own.
Uh, usually we take title text headers out of pages that don't strictly need them. In this case, the section dedicated to the title text seems long enough to merit it's own header. The math seems straightforward enough, and the stuff in the explanation looks relevant enough. Maybe solicit help from a passing user or try to talk more about it. Davidy²²[talk] 03:14, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Ohh, some days not online here and so I did miss this discussion. Not a single reason at my statements are answered by this IP. I'm trying to keep the explains as simple as possible; there is really no need for some hundred numbers at a special title text section. And you can be sure I'm not on an edit war, I'm just looking straight forward to an better explain for non math people, maybe just curious about the language. The PAU page doesn't explain the essentials as it should be have done. --Dgbrt (talk) 22:46, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Templates[edit]

It's still hard to figure out all the existing templates here. We don't need this personal ones here:

  • Template:line
  • Template:endline
  • Template:endbranch
  • Template:midbranch
  • Template:beginbranch

We don't need this; </div> is even shorter than Template:endline. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:39, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

I'll look at where they're used. A bit busy at the moment, should be done by the weekend. Davidy²²[talk] 21:44, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
This was only created by User:‎Daniel Carrero for using at the transcript for 1350, I tried to bring this transcript back to a TRANSCRIPT. this templates are not used anywhere. Many chaos here...--Dgbrt (talk) 21:50, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
It's true that I created those templates. I see they got deleted a while ago. I have experience in programming MediaWiki templates but I'm new here, so I'm sorry if I did anything wrong.
When I created those, I believed that the Transcript section of 1350: Lorenz would have a complete (or as complete as possible) tree of all the possibilites of storylines of the comic in question. When I started editing the page, said all-encompassing transcript was already in development, with a number of storylines already in place by other users.
This was quickly escalating and becoming more complicated: to follow a single storyline, one would have to scroll down a lot and they would likely have trouble looking for the next panel amidst of a sea of different panels. At the moment, that big version is at 1350: Lorenz/Transcript. (It's far from complete.)
Somebody else at the talk page had the idea of implementing hide/show buttons in the text to navigate the transcript, so the templates I created did exactly that. One would navigate the text the same way one would navigate the comic.
Basically, they work this way:
{{beginbranch}}
These stupid tiles... I'll just play one more game.
{{midbranch}}
(text to hide/show)
{{endbranch}}
Granted, with a lot of branches the code might look difficult to read anyway, but it would be difficult with or without the templates. Also, granted, while Template:beginbranch and Template:midbranch had meaningful codes, Template:endbranch is just "|}" and nothing else so it looks kinda useless at first sight. But that's only because the final code would be consistent and easier to read that way than if it were this way, with "|}" in the last line:
{{beginbranch}}
These stupid tiles... I'll just play one more game.
{{midbranch}}
(text to hide/show)
|}
Personally, I like the idea of leaving the all-encompassing tree at the separate page (assuming we would have that tree in the first place), much like the list of collected images from the comic is at 1350: Lorenz/Images, not at the 1350: Lorenz itself where they would use too much space. Daniel Carrero (talk) 00:59, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Ah, didn't know that. So things are fine then? Davidy²²[talk] 01:45, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
If there's not any problem, I'd still like very much to add hide/show functionality to the all-encompassing tree that is now found at 1350: Lorenz/Transcript. To enable me to do that, please restore Template:beginbranch, Template:midbranch, Template:endbranch, Template:beginline and Template:endline. (even though endbranch and endline only have </div> and |}, respectively, for the reason I stated above). There's no need to restore unused redirects like Template:line, I just created them while I was figuring out a good name for the final templates. (sorry for the beta garbage) Daniel Carrero (talk) 07:03, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Certainly. Done. Davidy²²[talk] 09:29, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you! Daniel Carrero (talk) 10:23, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

SPAM[edit]

Please delete this page The best way to Pick the Right Steam Irons. I did remove the content so far. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:00, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Common.css[edit]

Please add the following code to the end of the protected page MediaWiki:Common.css:

/* Collapsible tree in [[1350: Lorenz/Transcript]] */

table.branch span.collapseButton
{
   float: left;
   margin-left: 0px;
   margin-right: 3px;
}

It is a cosmetic change to the template I'm creating for the transcript of 1350: Lorenz/Transcript.

(Specifically, it moves the hide/show button of Template:beginbranch to the left. Results can be seen at User:Daniel Carrero/Sandbox, though this sandbox page could probably be deleted later.) Daniel Carrero (talk) 12:07, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Wait, can't you just put that in a style tag in the template? Why do you need something in the sitewide css for that? Davidy²²[talk] 16:13, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
No, as far as I know. I'd also prefer using a style tag for those things (editing a protected page is a pain); that what I've been doing until now. (Template:beginline and Template:beginbranch have their own CSS styles for margins, text alignment and other stuff). But the fact is the show/hide button (<span class="collapseButton">[<a id="collapseButton3" href="#">show</a>]</span>) is created automatically for a table with collapsible class (<table class="collapsible">) and I don't have access to the code of the button itself. Daniel Carrero (talk) 16:29, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
We don't need this chaos here. I did revert the transcript of 1350: Lorenz to the explainxkcd standard, a complete transcript isn't possible at all. Further issues do belong to some explain but not to the transcript. And additional, we don't need that templates no one understands. Similar issues were handled without in 1190: Time in a simple way. --Dgbrt (talk) 18:55, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Dgbrt, are you some sort of admin/leader here? I see you are basically giving orders and I'm not being sarcastic or anything - if you are expected to make decisions here I can respect that, no questions asked. Other than that not just I, but other people were working towards a more complete transcript and you just reverted our work.
I have one question: You mentioned 1190: Time but it does have a full transcript full of collapsible text. (full page is 215.749 characters) So why's it any different than a possible 1350: Lorenz with a full transcript full of collapsible text? Lorenz is in its initial stages, I bet if we got all the storylines at the moment, it would even be remarkably smaller than Time, even though Lorenz has the potential to become much bigger in the near future.
(P.S. Sorry if my request about Common.css above was too troublesome or anything, it's not that important to have the [show/hide] button at the left side, it just helps because it'd be closer to the actual line of text, but one can live without it)
Daniel Carrero (talk) 23:37, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I actually suspect that the text in the comic isn't ever going to truly settle, which would make transcribing the entire thing difficult and require a fair amount of maintenance. At least, I think that's what dgbrt meant. I'm actually more inclined towards the explanation being a technical explanation of the comic, because I'm not convinced that it'll ever be possible to fully and properly document the transcript. We can try in a separate transcript page, and good luck if you want to try that. We have a full transcript for Time because that comic didn't have potentially infinite generated dialogue paths.
The table class is called leftAlign. I added it because that sounds like something that could be generally useful, but branch is a very specific name that ties the function of the class to your specific use-case.
Dgbrt isn't an admin, I am. He's just a prolific user. I probably should have been more specific the last time I gave him a warning about clearing chunks of other people's work. Did you manage to restore everything in Lorenz/transcript? Davidy²²[talk] 07:15, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm working here for pages that should be readable by readers not that euphoric like some uploaders here are. 1190:Time was different because that transcript was just straight forward, what isn't true for Lorenz. And I just did mention Time because collapsed parts could be done without new templates. Please keep this site simple as possible. --Dgbrt (talk) 22:31, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I understand, Davidy22. Yes, I managed to restore everything under Lorenz/Transcript. Just one more thing:
Initially I didn't see the format of 1190: Time, but it turns out that even though Dgbrt disapproves of having a full transcript of Lorenz, I agree with him that the format of Time is (even obviously) better than what I had in mind. (using divs directly in the page, rather than tables within templates).
Since I still would like to keep the full transcript of Lorenz, to ease things up a bit I copied the format of Time into Lorenz/Transcript. It's much more intuitive how to edit the page, especially now that I managed to automatically indent the whole thing. David, can you do this small edit in MediaWiki:Common.css to reflect that? (table.leftAlign span.collapseButton becomes div.leftAlign span.mw-collapsible-toggle).
div.leftAlign span.mw-collapsible-toggle
{
   float: left;
   margin-left: 0px;
   margin-right: 3px;
}
I hate to contradict myself after having asked you to restore the templates, but the truth is as I said, if we use this system they are not needed anymore. One can safely delete Template:beginbranch, Template:midbranch, Template:endbranch, Template:beginline, Template:endline and also Template:lorenz.
Daniel Carrero (talk) 22:44, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but templates can be "safely delete" is just some of the chaos I'm trying to prevent here. I'm using a local Wiki at my own computer for tests, because everything here is open to the public. Please consider this and understand why I'm trying to keep this page as clean as possible. I do not act against any user here, but I try to keep this site in a way that all readers will understand. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:56, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Done. Dgbrt, mediawiki is a little more robust than you seem to make it out to be, it'll survive. Davidy²²[talk] 08:17, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't like chaos. A new user (GREAT findings and investigations) is adding many templates, most of them had to be deleted later. And please consider the effects on this CSS-Style changes to other pages here. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:58, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
WP:FAITH, WP:BITE. Also, read the CSS if you don't trust it. Davidy²²[talk] 22:43, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
There is still a big misunderstanding. I do understand CSS-Styles, one change and it could affect other pages. But my major point was about the TEMPLATES, is every user here welcome to create it's own ones? Please do not focus on CSS, I'm talking about the TEMPLATES in the background. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:27, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, every user is allowed to create any pages except in namespaces that are protected by default (i.e. the MediaWiki namespace). That's what it means for this site to be a wiki: not only the content, but also the structure of the site itself is collaboratively built (this is pretty much how we set up this wiki from day one, btw). Of course, this liberty needs to be balanced by common sense: if anyone has reasons to believe the complexity, correctness or usefulness of the new pages aren't adequate, they're free to raise the issue for the community to discuss (as you've done here). As Davidy22 mentioned above, it's crucial, if we want to maintain a healthy community, to be nice and welcoming to newcomers, and assume good faith from contributors. We don't need an overly restrictive policy except for obviously useless edits (e.g. blatant spam). --Waldir (talk) 23:28, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Starting my reply on left. I'm happy about any new user — or, should I say worker — at this Wiki! So, let's talk about the content and keep the adds to the TEMPLATE section as small as possible. I just want to keep this site simple for new editors. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:30, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Template:1360/list[edit]

I did remove this template Template:1360/list from 1360 because most editors do not understand — it's even not correct. The bad content is copied to the explain section and the transcript got a major rework by me. We don't need a template — used in explain AND the transcript — like this. And again: Most people do NOT understand. Please delete this template, the comic page will be still fine.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:38, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Since it's been folded into the explanation, done. Davidy²²[talk] 21:21, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. But there are still many major issues at that comic. I did clean up the transcript again but I still have NO idea for fixing the explain. Still looks bad, a reader should be able to understand AND to post some enhancements.
  • First: There are NO numbers at the picture...
  • Second: That content I just did move to explain it still wrong or incomplete.
I do aim on non destructive works here, but sometimes I have to realize that I have been wrong...
But nevertheless I'm sure to be not wrong on this issue to get the page readable but also editable.
If users asking how to edit, that's not nice. I can't explain how to edit those templates so there is just no need here for this.
--Dgbrt (talk) 22:59, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

User:PenelopIQK‎[edit]

The user User:PenelopIQK‎ is a spammer and should be banned. I did delete the content but I can't ban someone. Admins please help. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:14, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Done Davidy²²[talk] 18:23, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Adding a new gadget[edit]

I would like to request that a new gadget, called "Purge action", be created with the code I have in my user space. This would entail:

This would be really useful because it provides a convenient way to purge a page, which comes up a lot when working with templates (including the discussion page transclusions on every comic page).

Thanks! APerson (talk!) 18:47, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

This seems like a feature with very narrow application, too narrow to add a new interface button that doesn't do anything for most users. You can use the custom javascript feature in the "Appearance" tab of your preferences if you want to use the feature yourself. Davidy²²[talk] 06:10, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
It's not an interface button; it's a gadget that produces an interface button and that can be enabled in the preferences. The purge feature has a whole lot of applications, including updating template transclusions, turning redlinks into bluelinks when a page is created, and updating subpages. These are very useful for power users, as well as other users who work with page creation or templates. In fact, one of the first things I did when I created an account here was looking through mw-prefsection-gadgets for the purge tab. So, to conclude, it doesn't add anything to anybody's page—except for those who turn the gadget on. APerson (talk!) 18:47, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
Here's an example of where this gadget could have been put to a good use: this discussion, in which the user could have used the proposed gadget instead of being told to use the &purge=true "hack". Such a purge of the comic page is necessary to update the transclusion of the talk page after almost every edit to every comic's talk page. APerson (talk!) 00:33, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough, added. Davidy²²[talk] 05:21, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you! APerson (talk!) 14:09, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

" Despite all their peceived superiority and claimed belief "[edit]

Don't know if it's considered a big deal around here but it seems like User:Mulan15262 only exists to troll atheists. 199.27.128.142 22:25, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

That's one statement of opinion out of six comments that user has made here, which dispels your complaint that it's the only reason that user visits the site. I will only ban if a user's comments get personal, which User:Mulan15262 has yet to do. Davidy²²[talk] 23:50, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

revert and protect XKCD 1450?[edit]

Hi! The edit http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=1450%3A_AI-Box_Experiment&diff=79655&oldid=79653 deleted a large amount of attempted technical explanation by me, on a page previously marked "incomplete" and requesting help explaining Roko's Basilisk. Pesthouse's version violates the "Be nice" rule and repeats a false Internet meme about LessWrong.com being a hotbed of Roko's Basilisk believers.

I suggest reverting the large edit by user Pesthouse, back to http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=1450:_AI-Box_Experiment&oldid=79653.

There's a large amount of Internet drama about Roko's Basilisk, and it's nearly certain that if not protected this page will be further vandalized or subject to edit wars. I suggest protecting the page after the reversion if it seems that the content is then satisfactory, or as good as it can be given background Internet drama.

I am the one who last edited the pre-Pesthouse version and contributed most of the content deleted. I tried to make it as accurate as I could given constraints of relevance and space. I also fleshed out the discussion of the main comic 1450 with relevant references such as to the "Thinking Inside the Box" paper. I tried to be a good Wiki citizen while contributing to the previous version of this page, as I hope a view of http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=1450%3A_AI-Box_Experiment&diff=79653&oldid=79634 shows, and I apologize in advance if I violated any local norms in doing so. I can be reached at [email protected] for questions. -- Eliezer Yudkowsky

I couldn't be less enthusiastic about the turf war that appears to be happening in the page, but it looks like someone's already taken it upon themselves to revert Pesthouse's changes. I've protected the page to stop any more of this from happening, because I really don't care for the squabbles of another site coming over into here. Davidy²²[talk] 17:32, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Today's comic[edit]

The edit tab of todays comic isn't appearing for me and I have a (somewhat) major contribution I'd like to add I just opened my account so I was wondering if there's a time limit? -- Icarus (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Hum. There shouldn't be. Can you provide a screenshot? Davidy²²[talk] 23:49, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

"Randall Monroe"[edit]

In the explain xkcd page, someone misspelled Randall's last name as Monroe. Can someone fix that? Thanks. 173.245.56.189 04:35, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Done Davidy²²[talk] 09:37, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Everyday's incomplete explanation of the day is 1127: Congress. Help us fix it![edit]

Is it me, or is the 'incomplete page of the day' banner stuck on 1127: Congress? Nk22 (talk) 13:27, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Of the remaining incomplete comics, I was cycling through them in the past and they weren't getting better because they're all a piece of work. I'm getting busy now, and it's not really worth it to keep cycling through the remaining ones. I honestly expected this to happen when I started this thing, although my original plans involved setting up a new initiative, something along the lines of wikipedia's large projects. So currently, I'm just leaving it on one at a time until the current one gets done. Davidy²²[talk] 23:22, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Page deletion request[edit]

Please delete the page User:17jiangz1/signatureworkaround as I don't use it anymore. Forrest ― 17jiangz1(talk)10:04, 01 May 2015

Sorry, actually don't delete the page.--Forrest (talk)10:22, 01 May 2015 (UTC)

[edit]

Hi! I blocked your ads and thought I would donate $5 to compensate and clicked on PayPal at the bottom. No luck.

"Sorry — your last action could not be completed

If you were making a purchase or sending money, we recommend that you check both your PayPal account and your email for a transaction confirmation after 30 minutes.

If you came to this page from another website, please return to that site (don't use your browser's Back button) and restart your activity.

If you came from PayPal's website, click the PayPal logo in the upper-left corner to return to our home page and restart your activity. You might have to log in again." ‎141.101.104.143 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Thanks for the tip. It looks like you timed out or something, but I'll tell the guy the paypal account belongs to in case it's something on our end. Davidy²²[talk] 11:04, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
This was broken. Thanks for the heads up. We are working to fix it now. --Jeff (talk) 19:05, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
The donate link should be fixed now. Thanks for the heads up! Davidy²²[talk] 03:16, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Please block User:Weatherlawyer[edit]

User:Weatherlawyer writes inflammatory comments such as [4]. Fortunately s/he hasn't posted since 1 Feb 2015. Xhfz (talk) 21:35, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Really? There is a reason I will not turn off adblock.[edit]

I use adblock most of the time to remove obtrusive ads and improve page load time. Naturally, whenever I visit the site, I see something in the sidebar that says:

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

I do find the site to be useful... So I turned off my blocker.

And the first ad I saw was for a NSFW webcomic. Mildly offensive, and definitely not welcome in my browser.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's "obtrusive"? Maybe you need to check the adverts more thoroughly next time... ‎162.158.255.54 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I think I know which one you're talking about, but can you provide a link to it? We approve advertisers based on initial ads, then let them run free with ad submissions and they seem to be taking that as license to submit ads that break with our guidelines later on after they've been approved. I'll get in touch with the guy, see if we can get this straightened out. Davidy²²[talk] 21:19, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Why am I seeing the NoScript message?[edit]

I'm using Firefox 46.0a1; I don't have NoScript or AdBlockPro in my addons. Also I restarted in safe mode which disables all addons and I still get that message.

On the other hand, I don't see any ads on your site so if there are any (I see others have mentioned some) they're getting blocked somehow but I have no idea how.

Any thoughts/theories?

Stu -- ‎TrueFalcon (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The noscript message appears when your browser fails to run the javascript that loads the ad images. I made the somewhat dangerous assumption that because the javascript was fairly simple, any browser it failed on must be blocking it. I'll have to read through it again. Davidy²²[talk] 04:18, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

CAPTCHAs[edit]

How are the current CAPTCHAs supposed to work? They are really easy to bypass if you target the wiki directly, and a simple bot can input the right answer every time if it is preprogrammed with the current phrases. It would be better to just use existing APIs. Google's reCAPTCHA is really good: https://www.google.com/recaptcha/intro/index.html -- ‎Jonsku99 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The captchas were put in place to ward off a certain kind of bot that crawls wikis and creates spam ad pages. It uses a simple bundled mediawiki plugin with a few predefined questions that we hoped would be easy enough for anyone visiting this site. We could probably switch to recaptcha fairly painlessly, though we've never needed something harder than the simple questions we have in place currently before. Davidy²²[talk] 20:41, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, we had easy captchas in place before, but apparently people can't be trusted to not spam, so I'm switching it to reCAPTCHA now. Davidy²²[talk] 02:26, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Alright, changed a few things, tightened the captcha requirements up a little. Davidy²²[talk] 02:56, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
It says "To help protect against automated edit spam, please type the two words you see in the box below:", but there aren't two words all the time. I just got a single number to type. --SlashMe (talk) 20:46, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Wait, aren't you an admin? How did you get a CAPTCHA? Also, yeah, the spam kept happening when I turned it on and google's analytics for reCAPTCHA show a lot of brute forcing. It might not be as solid as I'd hoped. I'm open to and looking for alternate CAPTCHA options. Davidy²²[talk] 00:13, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
Private browsing window ;-)
I'm not against recaptcha, I just wanted to point out that the explaining sentence doesn't always match the captcha. Recaptcha comes with a label, so you might want to remove the one from MW. --SlashMe (talk) 01:37, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

New comic posted today[edit]

Hi admins,

There was a new comic posted today, so the Latest Comic needs to be updated to this one: 1642: Gravitational Waves. I'm in the process of creating the article. Thanks, Natg 19 (talk) 19:06, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Huh, that's early. The bot will usually start trying to update at the time that Randall usually uploads comics, but he decided to be early today so the bot's not gonna check for the new comic for another 11 hours or so. Davidy²²[talk] 19:13, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
It appears like this is a special comic to commemorate the discovery of gravitational wave signals. Natg 19 (talk) 19:18, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Creating user page and first post to comic discussion[edit]

I've had an account for a while, but have done very little editing. However, I'm unable to create pages which means that I can't create a user page, and I'm unable to contribute the first comment to a new comic as I get the error Permission error: You do not have permission to create discussion pages.

The second problem could be solved by having the bot create the comic discussion page even if it's just with some placeholder content, but I don't really have a good way to fix the first. Do I need an admin to do so, or is it automatically unlocked after some amount of time and/or editing? Veleek (talk) 07:25, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

Whoops, forgot to make the page. We turned that off due to a recent spate of spam, I'll contact dgbrt to ask him to make the bot make blank talk pages. Davidy²²[talk] 07:53, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

A garbage page for removal[edit]

Because I'm not familiar with all the maintenance protocols on this wiki like I am on Wikipedia, I have to ask here for someone to delete the page 2000. Thanks! 108.162.219.80 16:06, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Deleted. Thanks for the report! Davidy²²[talk] 22:53, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Please delete a file and a redirect.[edit]

Please delete File:Please delete-Tic-Tac-Toe-O-6-4.png and File:Tic-Tac-Toe-O-6-4.png. The correct contents is in File:Tic_Tac_Toe-O-6-4.png. Demro (talk) 18:40, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

Done Davidy²²[talk] 19:27, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

History and Organization.[edit]

This is an unusual request - please bear with me as I explain!

I've been interested in the "Plan 28" group - who are trying to build an actual, for real implementation of Babbages Analytical Engine. Every red-blooded computer geek should now be thinking "Wow! What I wouldn't give to be able to work on THAT project!".

The trouble is that Babbage left us with around 7,000 pages of drawings with cryptic annotations in his own made-up language. Plan 28 managed to get high-resolution scans made from them and employ a small team of paid engineers to try to figure them all out. Sadly, after several years - they aren't getting far with decoding them. Plan 28's reaction to that is to try to raise funds to employ a few more people...but (IMHO), it's not enough and it's not going to work...so their project will, without doubt, fail.

My suggestion to them was to set up a Wiki and dump the 7000 pages there - and simply crowd-source the effort. Readers (and especially, explainers) of XKCD will now be jumping up and down yelling "WELL, DUH!".

The London Science Museum are a predictably stuffy organization - and they "own" these documents from the 1850's and the digital scans of them - and they haven't made them available online - even though they are out of copyright. They (and the Plan 28 guys) are talking about the difficulty of setting up such a thing and the problems of paying someone to administer it...and the time taken to decide how best to do this...and...zzzzzZZZZZZ. (Did I mention "stuffy organization"?)

(OK - I'm getting to the point now, I promise!)

But I know a group of wildly enthusiatic people] - who took a large corpus of treasured documents that have been released with "open" copyrighting - who are doing EXACTLY the kinds of things (annotating, explaining, cross-referencing, discussing) that need to be done with Babbage's documents.

I should mention that I have no ties to any of the organizations involved here - I'm just a casual observer in all of this who is in the top 2000 contributors to Wikipeda and who has no less than four instances of MediaWiki on his personal server!. I want to try to persuade the London Science Museum to dump their treasured documents into a Wiki and let us start "explainBabbage.com" in a manner closely analogous to explainXKCD.com.

So (finally!) here is my question:

Can you give me a description of how explainXKCD got started - how it's administered - what mechanisms are necessary to keep it on the rails - and how much effort and money the "owner" of the site has to put in to keep it like that.

Basically - I need to convince the museum folks that this can be made to work at minimal cost in their time and zero cost in money.

(If you'd prefer to email me - I'm at <[email protected]>)

Thanks in advance for ANY help/advice/for-christ-sakes-don't-do-THAT stuff you have to offer!

SteveBaker (talk) 01:01, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

Sorry about the late reply, you might not be checking for a reply here so I emailed you. Davidy²²[talk] 06:23, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Many thanks for your help! To avoid further cluttering your admin page with my ramblings, I replied in email. Thanks! SteveBaker (talk) 13:17, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

Delete my talk page[edit]

Can someone please delete my talk page so it'll be a red link? Thank you. Mikemk (talk) 20:01, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

Done Davidy²²[talk] 21:18, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

Permission to create my user page[edit]

I would like to create a user page for myself: [[5]], but I don't have the permission to do so. How can I create and edit my user page? Luc (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Because spammers decided we can't have nice things, all new users must have had their account for at least a week and made a minimum of 10 edits to pages before they can create any new page. Write a few transcripts, or comment on a few more comics to get your account cleared through the anti bot trench.Davidy²²[talk] 01:46, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Ok, will do. Thanks! Luc (talk) 02:59, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
...I'll comment on this thread as well because I'm getting close to 10 edits... Spammers must be a big thing here to even disable user page creation! Chloroplaster (talk) 16:06, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Making spam user pages was one of the actual primary channels that spammers used, every spam account did it first thing and it was the first thing that got restricted. Davidy²²[talk] 15:28, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Talk page on comic 649: Static[edit]

I wish to post a comment to the discussion for comic 649: Static, but the page has not been created yet and I do not have permission to do so. I wish to post a reference to comic 730: Circuit Diagram. Thank you for your assistance in this endeavour. -- PikminCreator (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I'll make the page now. Davidy²²[talk] 18:52, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Talk page for 283[edit]

There's no talk page for comic 283: Projection, and new users don't have permissions to create talk pages. I'd like to add something to the talk page for that comic, so could someone create the talk page for me? Misson20000 (talk) 01:50, 6 August 2016 (UTC) misson20000

Done Davidy²²[talk] 02:20, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

Help with personal page[edit]

Hi.. umm... I'm a newly registered member of the Explain XKCD wiki. I don't want to mess anything up, but i couldn't find any other way of contact. I've run into a little problem. I can edit pages and other places of the wiki (including this), but for some reason I can't edit my own page. I need to let people know who I am on this wiki, but I can't do that since I don't have permission to edit my own user page. Can one of you guys please provide me with an answer on how to fix that? Thank you. - JayRulesXKCD

Because of spam issues in the past, new users have to exist for at least 10 days and have made 10 contributions before they are allowed to create new pages on the wiki, including user pages. Also, avoid posting to the top of talk pages in the future and use ~~~~ in the future to sign your comments. Davidy²²[talk] 03:51, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

please fix my error[edit]

I added a trivial comment to a page (357: Flies). Unfortunately I didn't understand that I was editing the existing text, rather than just adding new text, so I inadvertently deleted the existing text.

Please reinstate. Apologies for the newbie error. 108.162.241.123 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Done. Note that everyone can view the pages history and restore it. --162.158.86.11 23:23, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Damn, beat me to it. Thanks anon. Davidy²²[talk] 01:57, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Troll: 108.162.216.128[edit]

Special:Contributions/108.162.216.128 is just trolling around and even impersonating other people on disc pages (like this). Please ban. Thanks. --141.101.104.140 17:57, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Done 16:59, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

Possible Sock Puppet Army[edit]

Someone with admin rights and spam-fighting skill should check the user creation log. It looks like someone is creating multiple accounts. - Frankie (talk) 10:16, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

They're automated spam accounts, I know the pattern pretty well. They're trying to create spam pages and failing because of settings I've turned on. One day someone'll write a captcha these guys can't solve and I can lock them out of making accounts too. Davidy²²[talk] 16:59, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

Permission request[edit]

May I please have permission to upload images and create my user and talk pages? Also can you please turn off CAPTCHA for me? JSalsman (talk) 06:17, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

Due to spam reasons, users have to have an account for at least a week and have made 10 edits without getting banned before they can edit without captchas and create pages. Looking at your edit history, you've actually just made your 10th on comic 1732, so you should be able to edit freely from now on. Davidy²²[talk] 17:14, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
David, I am concerned about user JSalsman aka Special:Contributions/172.68.35.73. In particular, the edit to #1132 appears to be vandalism, and he has repeatedly added implausible statements to #1732 despite Talk requests for explanation. - Frankie (talk) 17:38, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Becoming autoconfirmed gives him regular user priviledges. The process exists to weed out bots, not people. Edit warring is a different issue, and you should bring it up to an admin if you have concerns about it in the future. From the looks of it though, the graphs linked do seem a bit terse, and wiki image links with an actual explanation are probably preferred to a link to an imgur album. Davidy²²[talk] 20:47, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Thank you both! I am happy to resolve the question through discussion before replacing the edits in question, but I intend to do so unless they are proven wrong or merely unlikely. And I will upload the images once I get off mobile at my desk.... JSalsman (talk) 02:07, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Your captchas to edit pages don't work[edit]

have been trying to edit one of the pages on this wiki. It wants me to "type the word below" into a box, but neither the word nor the box is visible to me. I'm a noscript use but I've unblocked all the scripts on the page in question, I still have no success. Wherever the word and box are supposed to be for me they get covered up by the editing options toolbox above the pane containing the text of the page one is editing. I edited a page on herea few weeks or months back without issue, this must be a recent change causing this. And as a note the captcha WORKS on this page, but not on comic 711's edit page. 141.101.98.175 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

That's very unusual. Every edit page should use the same CAPTCHA service and edit layout, and it seems to still work for me. Can you provide a screenshot and more information/test it in another browser? Davidy²²[talk] 20:39, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

incomplete Explanation updated[edit]

It looks like the incomplete explanation project page and explanation of the day need to be updated. There are no longer any parody comics listed in the incomplete explanations category. I double checked the most recent edit to 141 and it looks like the issue was addressed. -- CrazyBob (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Thanks for the notice, changed. Davidy²²[talk] 20:39, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

Possible bot accounts[edit]

Please check this: Special:Log/newusers. One new user today like AldaSchiller01 is ok, but then KlaudiaZ96 AlizaLycett PrinceHooks TommyKohl741 ArnetteFrewer4 and more in this manner at the same day. And the days before look very similar. All with no contributions here anyway. I'm sure there is a BOT testing to resolve the captcha! I think disabling an IP after a few failed attempts should solve this problem. Maybe there is somewhere a log about that failures, that should look much worse. And in general that's useless traffic on this wiki. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:47, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

There's no hacking happeing here, those are spam accounts made by a botnet. We've had issues with them before, which are mostly resolved now. It's very difficult to prevent them from creating accounts, because they have so many source IP addresses and I'm not going to do an IP range ban. We've already seen that there are bots are pretty good at smashing the CAPTCHA, it just cuts the torrential flood of unsophisticated bots. The captcha should shut out after enough failures already. Davidy²²[talk] 01:52, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Ohh, I would call it hacking because that accounts can do bad things. Maybe disabling the account creation feature in the API.php helps ($wgAPIModules['createaccount'] = 'ApiDisabled';). See more here: Mediawiki. If it doesn't help we should look for a better captcha protection.--Dgbrt (talk) 13:21, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
That's just not what hacking is though, account creation by API is already blocked and alternative CAPTCHAs have been cracked because the spammers are motivated. Permissions have resolved the issue already. Davidy²²[talk] 03:50, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Fixed title. If you're using 3 exclamation marks for a simple bot report, then maybe you need to take a second and take a deep breath. I work for a webhosting company and we log 6+ million of these a day across our clients' account. ReCaptcha was known to be hacked eons ago anyway. Been reported anyway. Look up a few paragraphs. --172.68.78.70 12:13, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Google for that new accounts (haven't done so far) but I'm sure you will find a profile for this site. I also work on webhostings AND mail servers... The first simple trick is still just tell them: Wait a minute... BOTS mostly still don't understand.
Nevertheless I will never understand why you Americans do include a second space after a sentence in your writings no one can see... Unless you see the source... (BTW: Back on my watch list)--Dgbrt (talk) 01:01, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

These spammers are starting to get annoying by filling up the entire recent changes section with accounts that have NO CONTRIBUTIONS, as can be seen here: spam accounts.PNG

Is there no solution to this? Is it possible to make it so that any account without any contributions after 24 hours will be deleted?

#1810[edit]

In the "WeChat" line, the "it's" should be "its" 108.162.245.250 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

When you can post here you can fix this on your own. You are welcome. A non admin --Dgbrt (talk) 23:58, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Why the insecure favicons?[edit]

When I load one of our wiki pages over HTTPS (e.g. this one), all the resources come down the HTTPS pipes, except for the favicons:

Why? Could these be fixed? 141.101.107.180

Minard's map for 657[edit]

Could someone import [[File:Minard.png]] from Wikimedia Commons (or otherwise set it up so it can be inlined)? It'd be very helpful to inline it in 657 as it provides the historical/graphical context for the comic. Thanks. JohnHawkinson (talk) 03:31, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Huh. So, I gained the ability to upload it (presumably my account became old enough) and I did so, but it does not seem to have worked properly. The full-resolution version exists, but the lower resolution (and more usable) versions do not. E.g. [[File:Minard.png|740px]] just gives text, no image. Is this somehow...expected? Should I just upload a smaller version? Or is it because it's a PNG rather than a JPEG [?] and should I discretize its cosines? Thanks. JohnHawkinson (talk) 15:13, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

No comment page has been created for 1834[edit]

Please create one.

Please remove this picture[edit]

This picture isn't CC-BY...: File:Crude Infectious Disease Mortality Rate in the United States from 1900 Through 1996.gif. I've removed it from this page: 1520: Degree-Off. --Dgbrt (talk) 10:48, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Done --SlashMe (talk) 13:18, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Please block 188.114.110.46[edit]

Reason: Massive vandalism.--Dgbrt (talk) 14:07, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

Special:Contributions/188.114.110.46 ---- maowtm talk con  14:54, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

Done. Sorry, I haven't seen this until now. --SlashMe (talk) 23:00, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
I fear one day isn't enough.--Dgbrt (talk) 23:12, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
The problem is that with most ISPs, you'll get a new IP every day. --SlashMe (talk) 23:26, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

Please protect all templates[edit]

No IP should be able to change any template here. Vandalism on single pages is still bad enough.--Dgbrt (talk) 14:11, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

I did protect Template:!, but I don't know if it's possible to protect entire namespaces at once. If so, it probably has to be done in the configuration, so I wouldn't be able to. Any other important templates? --SlashMe (talk) 23:00, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
Please check all edits here: Special:Contributions/188.114.110.46. And according to Special:ProtectedPages the Template:incomplete was "semi protected" but that wasn't enough. Some other pages are "fully protected", but I don't know the difference.--Dgbrt (talk) 23:12, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
I just checked his edits. The semi-protection was set up by me a few minutes ago, as you can see in the page's history. Semi-protection prevents anonymous (i.e. IPs) and newly registered users from editing, full protection prevents everyone but administrators from editing. See also 285: Wikipedian Protester. --SlashMe (talk) 23:26, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
Uhh, there is Template:incomplete and Template:Incomplete which explains my confusion. Do we need both? If yes, then there are probably more lower and upper versions for other templates.--Dgbrt (talk) 23:38, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
The latter is just a redirect to the first. Should be cleaned up, but it's only used a few times. --SlashMe (talk) 23:49, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
Protecting all pages in the namespace requires server access, setting flags such as $wgNamespaceProtection and so on. See https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Combating_vandalism --108.162.241.172 02:42, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

The childish IP has found a new target: Template:LATESTCOMIC. Please protect this too.--Dgbrt (talk) 15:58, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

It seems like automatic semiprotection of the Template namespace would fit well with this wiki. How hard is it to find someone with file-level write access to the MediaWiki config on the server? Is it worth my figuring out the correct incantation for that result? JohnHawkinson (talk) 16:30, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
That would be Jeff. --SlashMe (talk) 13:27, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

More templates need protection: Template:Infobox/row and Template:infobox --Dgbrt (talk) 15:17, 25 August 2017 (UTC)

Done--SlashMe (talk) 22:14, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for watching this. --Dgbrt (talk) 22:30, 25 August 2017 (UTC)

And one more: Template:comic discussion --Dgbrt (talk) 15:12, 29 August 2017 (UTC)

Please allow user creation of pages (or talk pages).[edit]

Right now, even if I'm to create my own talk page User talk:Maowtm, it says "There is currently no text in this page..., but you do not have permission to create this page.". ---- maowtm talk con  14:15, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

This is disabled intentionally, as there are a lot of spambots trying to do exactly this. I will create your user and talkr page, so you can edit them. --SlashMe (talk)
Dgbrt was faster for the talk page :) --SlashMe (talk) 23:26, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
Please do that for me, too. Quillathe Siannodel (talk) 15:23, 1 March 2021 (UTC)
Done. – Yfmcpxpj (talk) 02:14, 18 March 2021 (UTC)

Please remove this redirect[edit]

I've moved the picture File:Russells Teapot.png to File:russells teapot.png (all lowercase as always). The first one (uppercase) now contains a redirect but is not needed anymore.--Dgbrt (talk) 16:16, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

Done. --SlashMe (talk) 13:27, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Please remove these pages[edit]

Please remove 1866: Russel's Teapot and Russel's Teapot. The correct spellings are here: 1866: Russell's Teapot and Russell's Teapot and the content was already moved. --Dgbrt (talk) 15:11, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Done. --SlashMe (talk) 21:09, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

LocalSettings.php[edit]

Please set "$wgUseInstantCommons = true;" in LocalSettings.php. We have still pictures with red links here. --Dgbrt (talk) 15:39, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Solved. We now can embed pictures from Commons like local files. The link [[File:DBCooper.jpg|thumb|Cooper]] shows the picture from Commons because it doesn't exist here. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:57, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

Page creation permission[edit]

I want to upload a picture for a comic discussion (and later another one for the article). The discussion picture I could just replace with a link to an external uploading page, but not the article picture. Could I please get page creation permission? Fabian42 (talk) 07:31, 25 August 2017 (UTC)

I'm not an admin so I can't give you permissions. But when you can provide an external link I can help. And in a discussion an external link is always enough. --Dgbrt (talk) 14:30, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
I'm planning to make more edits to this wiki in the future, so page creation permission for me would in general be helpful. Is this here even the right place to ask for it? Or can I contact someone directly? Fabian42 (talk) 14:35, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
This section is OK, I'm watching it and our rare admins probably too. But you can also talk to people at their talk pages. Your low permissions are deliberate, after a specific number of edits you will be able to do more. This is because spammers are always a big problem on an open page like this.--Dgbrt (talk) 15:14, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
As Dgbrt said, these permissions are granted automatically, but I think after a certain time. Try again in a day or two. --SlashMe (talk) 22:16, 25 August 2017 (UTC)

2 things that would be cool[edit]

First, a feature to see all time score if you are not in the top 50.

Also, https://explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/explain_xkcd:Explanation_Completion_Project lists the wrong (pun entirely intended) incomplete explanation. -- DPS2004 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

You are new but admins are rare here since many months. So read my (non admin) reply:
  • Please do not forget to sign your comments. It's much easier when others can see to whom they are talking.
  • This wiki does not need a "all time score". This wiki needs good explanations, who is doing this is not much relevant.
  • At explain xkcd:Explanation Completion Project the "current incomplete explanation" is indeed wrong (funny because it mentions 1731: Wrong) but the number of incomplete comics is correct. Just check the Category:Incomplete explanations for all of them. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:35, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

Please help end this argument[edit]

162.158.155.26 is adding trivia sections just because a comic references another comic. I think the extra sections are unnecessary, he / she thinks that they should be there. It's getting quite annoying, and if you check his talk page you can see what I mean... We might not be able to agree on something, so can one of the admins take a look at it if we can't resolve this issue on our own? I feel like it would be better if an admin took a look at it, as you guys are obviously more experienced than us. Thanks! Herobrine (talk) 12:23, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

Since no admin is here I will give an answer: In general it's easy, in the Explanation-section the comic has to be explained while the optional Trivia-section may contain things of interest but doesn't belong to an explanation. And by this meaning I've created several trivia sections in the past, but I didn't when there was only a small reference at the bottom. Nevertheless as an example the "Table of Names" in 1970: Name Dominoes should be trivia because it doesn't explain anything belonging to the meaning of the comic. But I don't touch that because the table was more important to the editors than understanding the rules of Randall's domino game. And I don't touch that because others would disagree in this special case. --Dgbrt (talk) 14:01, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the info Dgbrt! Herobrine (talk) 05:08, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Oh, also, editing others' posts?[edit]

There are many talk pages with extremely long URLs, which make the explanation zoom way out (sometimes the comic is only like half of its original size), and the words in the explanation are too small to read. I've shortened them, and the links still go to the right websites, but I had to edit posts left by other users to do that. So, can I like do that or not? There are also talk pages were people posted things without leaving their IP or account with the ~ thing, how are we supposed to correct that? Herobrine (talk) 03:16, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Please give an example to the "extremely long URLs". I will check. --Dgbrt (talk) 14:11, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Every user should sign comments in talk pages. I add the templates {{unsigned|USERNAME}} or {{unsigned ip|x.x.x.x}} when it's not signed. You are welcome to help. It then looks like -- dgbrt (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~) or 127.0.0.1 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~) instead of this: --Dgbrt (talk) 14:11, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
For example, 503: Terminology has a big picture in the comments section (don't know how to deal with that), and I have already collapsed a long URL in 1943: Universal Dreams. And as for the unsigned posts, thanks for letting me know about the template. Herobrine (talk) 05:13, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
In general I think your screen resolution is just too small. Or is it your browser? My technical answer is this:
  • For pictures in talk pages a simple link should be sufficient. Instead of [[File:GoogleMapsOverlay503.png]] you can write (a preceding colon does the magic, the text may be omitted) [[:File:GoogleMapsOverlay503.png|Optional text]]. But click this internal link File:GoogleMapsOverlay503.png you than have to click again to see the picture. This is because of some broken image features in this wiki. I'll put this on a new Admins ToDo list. But as I said, a link to an image is enough in a talk page.
  • The mega URL to the 6 candidate earthquakes was bad and your edit correct. A text starting with http:// or https:// and others are rendered by this wiki as a clickable link and lazy people don't care about the layout. A proper link is instead [http://example.com/aloooongtext/numbers/nobodycanunderstand TEXT EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS]. The first blank separates the link from the text (here capitals) which is shown to the reader. Editing a link in this manner doesn't change the intent of the writer and is very helpful for readers.
I'm hoping this helps. --Dgbrt (talk) 12:41, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Requesting File Uploader Privilage[edit]

Hi! I am a new user here but I've noticed that comic 1969 needs to have a copy of the "green plugin" and "broken picture" (note that both Chrome and Firefox are open-source so they can be safely taken). I have edited other pages in the meantime. I hope that you consider this but I understand if you wouldn't give that privilage bue to my recentness. - Oe (talk) 12:26, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

After a small amount of edits you will be autoconfirmed and get the privilege. --Dgbrt (talk) 14:14, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

reCAPTCHA needs updated to v2[edit]

As of April 4, 2018, reCAPTCHA v1, which is what the site currently uses, has been shutdown. Thus, any reCAPTCHA requests now come back as valid. The site needs updated to reCAPTCHA v2. See here for more. Creepy Jeff (talk) 14:52, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for your info. This is a known issue but we have to wait for an admin with server access. --Dgbrt (talk) 14:24, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

It's done. Dgbrt (talk) 13:53, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

Watchlist[edit]

I'm not sure if it's supposed to happen, but apparently whenever I edit a page it is automatically added to my watchlist, and I have to remove it, which is quite annoying. Can you guys fix it? -- Herobrine (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Since the latest update some default user preference are changed. Just go to "Preferences" -> "Watchlist" and deselect "Add pages and files I edit to my watchlist". --Dgbrt (talk) 12:18, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
Besides the preference mentioned ny dgbrt, there's also a checkbox below the editing window asking whether you want to watch this page. --SlashMe (talk) 14:34, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

Category for deletion[edit]

Please delete Category:Social interactions. (which is not Category:Social interactions). It appears to have been created in error. For now, I've redirected it to the correct category. Sensorfire (talk) 23:44, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Damn typos... Thanks for help, it's done. --Dgbrt (talk) 09:31, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

CSS class for Template:notice[edit]

Hi, can someone from the admins please add a class attribute to the 'notice' template? I use custom stylesheets in my browser, but I can't nicely change the looks of the templates without such an attribute. 172.68.51.226 14:09, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

I don't like to change extensions because when it gets an update all changes are gone. But for customizing styles you also can use the ID "siteNotice" for that DIV tag. --Dgbrt (talk) 13:00, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
Hmm, unsure what you are talking about. The 'notice' templates are just a table with inlined CSS rules, no DIVs with IDs anywhere I can see. 172.68.50.196 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Please don't forget to sign your comments. You should have provided this link: Template:notice. I thought about the sitenotice. Unless it's overwritten by a parameter named class you now can use the class "notice_tpl". Maybe that helps. --Dgbrt (talk) 13:25, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
Youre the best! Thanks! 172.68.50.196 17:19, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Non-creatable user page.[edit]

Although I have made various edits and have been a member for about 5 days now I still have not been autoconfirmed, and can therefore not make my userpage. Furthermore, I have to keep solving CAPTCHAs which is really annoying. Please help. Kwonunn (talk) 22:34, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

And of course right as I post this I go to see if I can do anything to fix it myself, and suddenly it works... Weird. Anyway thanks! Kwonunn (talk) 22:37, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
It seems your "userpage" is highly important to you. This wiki mainly focuses on explaining comics, I hope you will do too. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:40, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
I'm sorry for making it seem like I care alot about my userpage. I understand the goal of this wiki, and have been working on explaining comics left and right. Kwonunn (talk) 16:59, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

Please block 108.162.246.95[edit]

This IP seems genuinely interested in maintaining the site, and has some positive changes like removing needlessly gendered language. That said, they also use the hard-r n-word consistently in the summary section when reverting vandalism. I know I haven't contributed to this page before but seems to me that using such a slur five times in a single day is enough to warrant at least a talking to. - BobbingPebble (talk) 06:09, 08 February 2019 (UTC)

Sorry for my late answer. The IP addresses belong to a proxy and not a specific user, thus blocking one IP wouldn't help. --Dgbrt (talk) 17:56, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

SOON THE TRUTH WILL BE REVEALED[edit]

I’ve seen this message a lot lately, along with anti-Semitic conspiracy theory vandalism. I would just like to request something to be done if possible. Along with general vandalism, I’ve also seen “Stop violating my free speech”, “Nobody cares, snowflake”, “JEW SHILL” in the incomplete tag, and more. I’m not sure what this is, it seems to be coming from different IPs, and is a hassle all around. EDIT: I’ve been looking at some of the profiles doing it, they all had a few grammar edits for months, before suddenly chiming in with the same themes and message. I don’t know why, if it’s hacking or just one guy, or what. Netherin5 (talk) 17:35, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for your report. This is a problem at all open communities, and when this happens it's up to everybody to keep an eye on it and do the proper changes. Single pages can be protected, but that's not what we want at an open Wiki. And read the section just above, IP addresses do not belong to a specific person. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:05, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
So is there no policy or means for blocking destructive users? I just removed anti-Semitic material from today's comic. Elusis (talk) 16:31, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
Users can be blocked but not anonymous IPs. Since this is an open Wiki (like Wikipedia) only single pages can be protected so that only registered users or, even more restricted, only admins can edit. In general it's up to the community at this Wiki to keep the content "clean", but since it's a problem lasting for a couple of weeks I'll follow the recent changes more closely. I'm sure we can handle this.
BTW: Please do not delete the entire incomplete tag, just change the content. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:34, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
I think this is bad enough that it is worth semiprotecting the current comic's article, at least for a few days or until this dies down or both. Of course this may push vandalism elsewhere. (Or maybe we could increase the captcha degree?) JohnHawkinson (talk) 03:13, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
The latest comic is always the article with the most current edits done by registered users and IPs likewise. Semiprotecting would result in losing half of the editors. A CAPTCHA is used to determine whether or not the user is human and more steps would also annoy all the other editors with no account. There is no proper way to protect pages by a program, blocking phrases is possible but at the next comic Randall uses the same... --Dgbrt (talk) 19:42, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree with all of the above. It's a balance between pain for legitimate editors and appropriately frustrating the vandals and improving the site's quality for real users. I would say that the the pain of the current incident justifies a bit more pain for editors who choose not to register. (On the other hand, the vandalism has not continued at the pace I had expected it to). I'm not sure what you mean by "but at the next comic Randall uses the same," but maybe it's best not to explain. Thanks. JohnHawkinson (talk) 19:57, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
It's over now, but it's not over forever. It happened in the past and will happen again in the future. But this wasn't really vandalism, other users still were able to add useful content. Nonetheless removing that nonsense over and over is highly annoying. And my last remark in an example: A future comic about youtube comments containing exactly the same phrase is always possible. How do we know if a sentence is valid or not? Automatically blocking some phrases would destroy that explanation. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:29, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
We would know because, in that relatively unlikely case, an editor would post here on the Admin noticeboard that their legitimate edit was being blocked, and then an administrator would confirm that it was appropriate and remove the block. Easy enough. JohnHawkinson (talk) 21:09, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
Just reverted it again from 2120: Brain Hemispheres https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=2120:_Brain_Hemispheres&oldid=170698. If possible, a block for 162.158.106.6 (https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Special:Contributions/162.158.106.6) might be helpful. PvOberstein (talk) 18:39, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
One incident today, it's still annoying but also not that much. I've deleted your text from that "user" page because it isn't a user page. This IP can be used by many other people not signed in because it belongs to a proxy server farm we use to reduce the load on our own server. Check this WHOIS excerpt:
NetRange: 162.158.0.0 - 162.159.255.255
CIDR: 162.158.0.0/15
NetName: CLOUDFLARENET
Because it looks like it's always the same address I believe that this specific IP serves for a region in the world with not much more other visitors here, but there are maybe other explanations. Nonetheless it doesn't belong to a specific user. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:02, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Even though the IP doesn't belong to a specific user, it seems that only this specific user has been attempting to edit from it recently, so the collateral damage from blocking the IP would be limited. Especially where the result of the block is that a would-be editor would need to register and then could edit, rather than being fully blocked at all times. In any case, doesn't it make sense to put up some (escalating?) warnings on the IP's talk page, just as would be done on Wikipedia? ("Please refrain from making unconstructive edits to Wikipedia. Your edits appear to constitute vandalism and have been reverted.", "Please stop your disruptive editing. If you continue to vandalize Wikipedia, you may be blocked from editing", "You may be blocked from editing without further warning the next time you vandalize Wikipedia."). Putting us in a place where we have given fair warning about a block is a much better position to be in, even if we ultimately don't go ahead with a block. And the collateral damage by showing a warning to innocent users from the same IP is pretty minimal. I didn't see what was on the talk page that you deleted, so maybe I'm missing something (also puzzled why it was deleted rather than reverted). Thanks. JohnHawkinson (talk) 20:37, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
This isn't a war and thus there is no need to accept "collateral damages". A proper action would be protecting the page against unsigned users, but one single bad edit does not legitimate such a protection. And BTW: The latest comic is explained really bad. Isn't it better to focus on this rather than fighting on one annoying dumb editor (only one today)? And one more: Wikipedia is blocking IPs but if that editor uses a VPN or his/her ISP provides dynamic IP-addresses this also doesn't help. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:20, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Hey, we got bots.[edit]

About ten accounts labeled “(fill-in-the-blank) review” we’re just created. Almost certainly bots, given that the fill-in-the-blanks are usually products. I suggest removing them. Netherin5 (talk) 11:45, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

More of them, now they’re posting.

Please block Krishna12[edit]

Please block Krishna12 for spamming links to external sites and vandalism. Herobrine (talk) 10:26, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

New accounts[edit]

As mentioned by Netherin5, recently there have been a lot of (fill in the blank)review accounts created, and some are vandalizing pages. Kinda similar to that Quickbooks company a while back with a lot of banned accounts. I'm wondering if it would be possible to add a new rule that shows up when creating new accounts? Maybe "Account names cannot contain advertisements" or something similar. Also, those accounts need to be banned, regardless of whether they've vandalized pages or not. Herobrine (talk) 06:51, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

For some reason they seem to be really attracted like moths to the talk/discussion page of 2133. Is it possible to protect it from freshly registerd users?
Also, as far as I know their purpose is not to make people use the links they post, but to increase the rating of their webpages for search engines, by having many inbound links. Do they achieve this when their posts are just reverted? Wikis do track all changes, so the link is still "there" in the history...Lupo (talk) 08:19, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

Spam in discussion section for #2139[edit]

See: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=Talk:2139:_Email_Settings&diff=173008&oldid=173006

Request File Upload[edit]

Hi,

I got a screenshot on 4/22/2019, 2:24pm, of the search mentioned in Randall's that went up a little late that day, showing the bicycle wheel as the first result.

Could you either give me permission to create new pages, so that I can upload the image, or upload it for me?

- IPFS when my laptop is running: https://ipfs.io/ipfs/Qmf1a9NFFAcgWRUe45Ueg4FggXTUAd9BHMgEqWp23izchU

- imgur: https://imgur.com/a/8nHemgW

Thanks.

Looks like another spammer[edit]

I happened to click on the recent changes button instead of the random page button (because the random button on xkcd seems broken AGAIN), and from 1:30 to 14:53 GMT (around 9:30 pm to 10:53 am EST), someone made, like, thirty accounts. Should someone keep an eye on them?

Please block user 162.158.106.102[edit]

In 2148: Cubesat Launch, this user made some anti-Semitic/conspiracy edits. https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=2148:_Cubesat_Launch&diff=prev&oldid=173813 172.68.211.244 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Scroll up a bit and see the "SOON THE TRUTH WILL BE REVEALED" section and the one above that. Dgbrt has a detailed explanation regarding this vandal. Herobrine (talk) 08:48, 12 May 2019 (UTC)

Randall's new book HOW TO-- attempting to reach out to Admins[edit]

There is a very good chance that I am not doing this correctly, so I apologize in advance. I work for Riverhead Books, the publisher of Randall's forthcoming book HOW TO, and I'd like to get in contact with the admins to discuss some possible pre-publication opportunities. If you are at all interested, please reach out via email to [email protected] Thank you, and apologies again! -- Riverheadbooks (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

If this is legit (which I'm not sure of), that sounds like a very interesting opportunity. It would be interesting to see which e-mail was used to create the account Riverheadbooks. @Jeff @Dgbrt What do you think? --SlashMe (talk) 08:33, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

Protect 538: Security[edit]

Someone finds it very funny to constantly change wrench to wench in 538: Security. I think it has even be edited on all the comments. Can that page please be protected? --Lupo (talk) 06:20, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

No tweets since December[edit]

@explainxkcd hasn't tweeted since late last year. I tried asking Jeff on Twitter DMs, but then I saw he hadn't tweeted since 2016. Is he still around? I am trying to figure out how many hits the main page gets per day on average. 172.69.23.87 20:10, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

Mistake in transcript of comic # https://www.xkcd.com/2205/ from September 20, 2019.[edit]

The transcript shows the equation in the cartoon as:

d=2π(r1*r2)/2

The expression shown in the cartoon is actually:

d=2π(r1+r2)/2 { = π(r1+r2), the twos cancel each other}.

The arithmetic mean of the two radii is:

R = (r1 + r2)/2

If the authors meant to say the geometric mean of the two radii, the expression would be:

R = SquareRoot(r1*r2)

However, Randall may have been testing the viewers attention by using the letter "d" in the equation shown in the cartoon. The equation he wrote in the cartoon corresponds to the circumference, C of a circle of mean diameter D where

C = π D, and

D = 2 R = 2*[(r1 + r2)/2], so that

C = 2 π [(r1 + r2)/2].

Thank you, G. A. Miranda

I fail to see your point. The transcript is correctly noting what Randall has written in the comic. That is all the transcript should do. Maybe the explanation should include what you write? But not the transcript. Kynde (talk) 10:45, 29 October 2019 (UTC)

Made new account, no "user page"?[edit]

Just joined the wiki proper after viewing it for years, but for whatever reason my user page and talk pages are both redlinks and I can't figure out how to put content in them. Am I missing a step, or is there something going on under the hood that I was too impatient to wait for? Menoshe (talk) 22:08, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

User:Menoshe My understanding is that new accounts don't come with a user page or talk page by default (this is the case on Wikipedia as well). It should be possible for you to click on the redlinks to create your user page and talk pages, though. Ahiijny (talk) 14:01, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
I put an explanation on your Talk page. - Frankie (talk) 12:28, 3 December 2019 (UTC)
Hi Menoshe, in addition to Frankie's instructions, there is a new page explain xkcd:Autoconfirmed users, which mentions that you need 10 edits under your belt, as well as being a member for 3 days (also mentioned here, but says 1 week), then you will become an "autoconfirmed user" and gain the permission to create your user page. – Yfmcpxpj (talk) 02:32, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

[edit]

Under the comic that was up when these new adds began appearing in the middle of the text there is the following section in the discussion: Google Adds. Please see this,a nd try to keep adds in the side bar, as to not loose users! Kynde (talk) 10:39, 29 October 2019 (UTC)

I just noticed this as well 😕 Did something change? Ahiijny (talk) 14:05, 29 October 2019 (UTC)

Edit War Policy?[edit]

Is there an official policy for resolving edit wars? https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=977:_Map_Projections&action=history - Frankie (talk) 19:44, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

Block spam user 30x30_Total_Transformation_Review[edit]

Would it be possible to block/ban user 30x30_Total_Transformation_Review (their contributions) for spam ?

Thanks :) AlexRNL (talk) 09:44, 27 December 2019 (UTC)

 Done --SlashMe (talk) 21:49, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
Thanks! AlexRNL (talk) 21:34, 3 January 2020 (UTC)

Accidentally released my IP address, is it possible to get rid of an edit?[edit]

I know is a weird request but it somehow logged me out while I was editing the page for comic 1815 and now my IP address is in the edit history. Can the edit be undone and deleted? Thanks. --DoubleDenial (talk) 11:55, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

No need to do that. If you look up the IP address, you will find out that it will belong to cloudflare, as all IP adresses which are shown here, as any edits are rerouted that way. --Lupo (talk) 15:17, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

explain_xkcd:Editor FAQ[edit]

Please consider to protect this page. —162.158.88.92 06:24, 22 February 2020 (UTC)

Problem user[edit]

User:Zooph Special:Contributions/Zooph -- Every single contribution is page blanking, spamming random text, etc. He also uploaded nonsense files, overwriting existing comics. --108.162.216.54 23:29, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

A Couple of Issues[edit]

1. Google seems to have changed something in AdSense again, and the ads have been appearing in random positions again since December, 2019. This page might have a solution? It's been quite a while, and the ads are still broken. 2. New site called xkcd.wtf is blatantly stealing/scraping explanations from our site and posting it with a new theme. Not sure if it's a mirror or just Ctrl+C Ctrl+V. Is this even legal? Herobrine (talk) 09:33, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

Protect page[edit]

Please could someone protect the Category:Incomplete_explanations page? It has been the target for lots of spam adverts recently and I see no reason why this page should be editable. AlChemist (talk) 10:46, 13 April 2020 (UTC)

sockpuppet alert[edit]

By chance at Special:RecentChanges, I noticed this huge spate of new accounts being created more or less all at once:

Now, there's a chaaaaance those are all legit, but someone might want to keep an eye on them... —Scs (talk) 14:03, 8 June 2020 (UTC)

Ads appearing within articles[edit]

Since October 2019 the site has had a problem with ads appearing within articles, first discussed at Talk:2220:_Imagine_Going_Back_in_Time/Ads. I believe several users attempted to contact the admins about them before they went away on their own (including at least one section above on this very page). However, the ads returned starting from the beginning of April 2020 and don't seem to have gone away since then.

Could someone look into this? The site is borderline unusable without an ad-blocker at this point. Arcorann (talk) 08:50, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

It's nearly October 2020, so we're approaching a year with this issue still unresolved. Is this just how the site is going to be now? Opalmagpie (talk) 19:16, 22 September 2020 (UTC)

Altering Username[edit]

I just created an account here, and it seems that the first letter of my username was automatically capitalized. If capitalizing the first letter is necessary, is it possible to edit my username so that the "k" is capitalized so that my username is "NK1406?" I know that this is a rather petty question but I do find it slightly annoying.

How to advertise-- advertise bidding link doesn't work[edit]

Hi-- I'm looking to advertise with you in the near future, and at the bottom of the following page, the link for bidding gave me a not found error. Is there an updated link? How to advertise? Thanks!

https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/explain_xkcd:Advertise_Here

Project Wonderful, the advertising network described on the Advertise Here page, shut down in 2018. There is discussion about the new exclusive advertising deal on the talk:Advertise Here page. Explain Xkcd would very likely find itself in a better situation if there was a new mechanism for advertisers to propose better deals (e.g. bid on space) compared to the current exclusive deal. --Mwarren (talk) 14:54, 18 June 2021 (UTC)

Incomplete Transcripts[edit]

On the main page, it notes how many are incomplete. However, that is only the incomplete explanations; there are many more that have incomplete transcripts (around 70ish). can we/could you change it so that it lists the total incomplete transcripts and explanaitons? -Donthaveusernametalk

The new welcome template takes care of that.The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 06:13, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

Please ban Kazvorpal[edit]

https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/User:Kazvorpal Back during the COVID series, Kazvorpal did a large number of very politically motivated edits. His user page shows a great deal of political bias as well. I feel like the community would be better off without him.162.158.75.165 09:13, 7 November 2020 (UTC)

Can you provide some examples of inappropriate edits (links to diffs)? – Yfmcpxpj (talk) 00:46, 8 November 2020 (UTC)

https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2275:_Coronavirus_Name

" The mortality rate in China is only relevant if one lives in an area with a primitive socialized health care system. As with SARS, it won't turn out to have a significant death rate among people infected in the US who are not elderly or immunocompromised. Perhaps, in fact, a zero death rate outside of that high risk group. « Kazvorpal (talk) 21:32, 3 March 2020 (UTC) @kazvorpal your comment is inappropriate for several reasons, including "primitive" and deprecating socialized medicine. Since there've already been deaths among the small group of known cases in the USA, it's way too early to calculate mortality rates here. Cellocgw (talk) 16:24, 4 March 2020 (UTC) There is nothing inappropriate about pointing out the primitive nature of the poorest provinces of China, nor the very factual failures of socialized medicine. As for the US, there have been no cases of someone dying here who was actually infected here. And there's no reason to believe that when they do occur, the mortality rate will turn out to be much worse than the flu. « Kazvorpal (talk) 04:31, 8 March 2020 (UTC)" " Let's inject a little sanity here: Trump's "talking point" about it being no on par with the flu is, for once, correct. Most people who are infected have mild symptoms, or none at all. In fact, that's how it's suddenly turned out that the spread is so much greater than previously reported: Because most people never even know they have it. Given this, the mortality rate is a tiny fraction of what was previously reported, perhaps 0.3% instead of 3%. And it was only ostensibly 3% in a primitive region where some people still have dirt floors, and almost nobody is willing to deal with their socialized health care system except in an emergency. Therefore most of the infected were not showing up for treatment, only those in serious trouble. In fact, the vast majority of those who have died are elderly or immunocompromised, exactly the same group who are killed in the tens of thousands each year by the flu, in the US. So no, this has been a tempest in a teapot, stirred up by the unscientific CDC in order to pad their budget, the way they do periodically with a new fake pandemic threat. SARS, West Nile, bird flu, h1n1, and ebola...no competent epidemiologist would ever seriously have expected those to become a threat in the US, or anywhere else outside of primitive regions. But the CDC has continued to redouble their unearned budget on this fraudulent fearmongering. As I learned when consulting for such ilk in DC, "Fear Equals Funding". Oh, and no, 90,000 cases only make it a "significant disease" in the way that another coronavirus, the common cold, is significant. It's not significantly dangerous. In fact, it really is just a strong kind of common cold. « Kazvorpal (talk) 21:32, 3 March 2020 (UTC)"

https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=2275%3A_Coronavirus_Name&type=revision&diff=188000&oldid=187999 "The point is that because of all the coverage of the Coronavirus all other world problems are pushed to the back of peoples mind. And considering that the virus is likely not really that bad, most people recover faster than from the flu, this is a lot of fuss for nothing. " "Covid-19 typically has much milder symptoms that a flu, and with zero lethality for young people and very low for peiple up into their 60s. It is though somewhat more contagious than a flu, and is more dangerous to old people and people with respiratory problems to begin with. But so is the flu, and this Corona season, will most likely see many more death caused by the flu than by Coronavirus. But society does not go into overdrive every year during the flu season..." https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/User:Kynde also is problematical.

Spam by "Knit cap"[edit]

The user "Knit cap" has made an account 24 hours ago and is making nonsense or destructive edits since then. Can someone please do something against that? Fabian42 (talk) 13:22, 9 December 2020 (UTC)

Their edits so far should be cleaned up now. Some were actually helpful, but most weren't or also randomly deleted other parts on the way. Fabian42 (talk) 13:32, 9 December 2020 (UTC)

Non Numbered Comics?[edit]

I was looking at the explanation for "Syndication" and was wondering if there were any other comics with no number.

Yes, there are other such comics, such as XKCD Marks the Spot. Such comics can be found at Category:Extra comics.The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 04:23, 22 December 2020 (UTC)

Sad Comics page deletion[edit]

Several users objected to the sad comics page (/https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Talk:Sad_comics) as being the work of a single editor and having very little basis in fact. Deletion was suggested in May 2019, but nothing was done at the time. Since then, the page has not improved. I believe it is time to delete it. HisHighestMinion (talk) 22:23, 24 December 2020 (UTC)

Discussion page for Category:Furries[edit]

There is no discussion page for furries, and creating one would allow a more centeralized place for discussing the topic, allowing resilution of some argumentes I have seen. Wikieditor431 (talk) 18:29, 22 January 2021 (UTC)Wikieditor431

Can't create my own userpage[edit]

Are users on this Wiki required to have some level of confirmation to edit their own userpages? Elli (talk) 10:44, 11 March 2021 (UTC)

To create, yes. To edit, no. (You actually need that level of confirmation to create any page.) I'll create it for you. Danish (talk) 23:38, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
Oh never mind, someone already did :P Danish (talk) 23:39, 11 March 2021 (UTC)

New Character Section[edit]

Hello, I created a thing for Beret Girl and was wondering if it was allowed. If it is, could you add it to the little character table thing? Thanks! --Char Latte49 (talk) 23:06, 11 March 2021 (UTC)

Added. Also created the relevant category and added the pic to the character images category. Danish (talk) 23:37, 11 March 2021 (UTC)

Deletion of test file[edit]

Can someone please delete File:BeretGirltest.png? I made it to test a different Beret Girl pic but don't have permission to delete it. Danish (talk) 23:46, 11 March 2021 (UTC)

I added it to the category Category:Pages to deleteThe 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 17:40, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
Thanks Danish (talk) 17:41, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
Done. --SlashMe (talk) 13:26, 9 April 2021 (UTC)

Removal of "incomplete" tags[edit]

I have noticed that User:1337-PI has recently removed most "incomplete" tags without adressing the issues mentioned in the respective tag. While in some cases I would agree to that removal in most cases I think this should be reverted en masse. I don't want to ignite an edit war, thus I'm posting this here. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 11:54, 19 March 2021 (UTC)

I agree. I've started going through their edits Danish (talk) 22:59, 19 March 2021 (UTC)

Oops, my template is redundant.[edit]

At the time I made Template:Date, I did not know about ~~~~~ or changing your signature in preferences. Now I know. Please delete the template. {)|(}Quill{)|(} 13:51, 19 April 2021 (UTC)

Done. Also, it's common to use --~~~~ (with two dashes) as your signature. --SlashMe (talk) 21:03, 16 May 2021 (UTC)

Systematic sabotage[edit]

It looks like User:Beanie seems to be systomatically sabotaging entries. Their work should be removed in bulk.

^ unsigned comment...

Beanie has made a lot of good edits. Anyone want to point out a specific entry which got sabotaged?

ProphetZarquon (talk) 16:51, 15 June 2021 (UTC)

New Bot Access[edit]

Hello, I've created a new account (TheusafBOT), which I plan to use for automatic page creation if DgbrtBOT stops working. The source code can be found at https://github.com/theusaf/explainxkcdbot. I have already tested it with a private Wikimedia server. Currently, the bot is not turned on.

Just wondering, are the _2x images okay to be uploaded and used, if the imagesize field is specified at the non-scaled image size, or is there a reason this wiki prefers the standard size?

Also, is there a specific time zone that should be used for the dates?

theusaf (talk) 05:17, 14 August 2021 (UTC)

We still need to complete some explanations like this one:[edit]

I think we should change the banner to show a comic that's still incomplete, like Hoverboard or somthing. Sure (talk) 21:38, 30 August 2021 (UTC)

Perhaps even have the banner show a random comic with the incomplete tag? EvilGeniusSkis (talk) 02:37, 9 September 2021 (UTC)

Spam in a talk page. Not sure what the rules on removing it are.[edit]

I noticed spam in Talk:217:_e_to_the_pi_Minus_pi And I don't know if I am allowed to delete it, or does a mod/admin have to? If I am allowed to delete it, do I have to leave a "spam was here, deleted by:______________" note? edit forgot to sign EvilGeniusSkis (talk) 02:31, 9 September 2021 (UTC)

Spadvervandal?[edit]

I just reverted an edit (see https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=Talk:2545:_Bayes%27_Theorem&diff=221272&oldid=221271 for this) that I edit-conflicted with, and then repasted my Talk ramble afterwards (darn, missed the ((unsigned)) tag I meant to add to the prior editor's work...), rather than silently squash it with a full copy of all the original. No sign that they did any other edits (cursory glance only) but I may have missed/not yet been able to see, any other blatant attempts. As an ip, hoping this is the best way to immediately respond to this, in the hot coincidental moment of discovery. 162.158.159.125 08:15, 24 November 2021 (UTC)

Might be worth a (Semi-?)Protect status....[edit]

...or at least keep an eye on this obviously attractive bit of potential advertising real-estate: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=Facebook&action=history (And it's truly scary the number of 'named' accounts you keep getting. I mean, I'm happy to contribute as an IP only, but there's a huge number of never-used accounts being created every day. Just sayin'!) 172.70.85.227 21:30, 27 November 2021 (UTC)

Map Age Guide no longer marked "incomplete"[edit]

Can we change the message at the top of the page to stop referencing #1688? It's not clear what more could possibly done to make that explanation more "complete", especially since no sub-section is marked "incomplete" anymore.

Can't create my own userpage 2[edit]

Yeah no, can't create userpage. Nor can I create my custom css page. Radish (talk) 19:27, 11 January 2022 (UTC)

It that still a problem Radish? Sometimes you need to be member some time before you can create a new version. Kynde (talk) 16:23, 14 January 2022 (UTC)

Are there any active admins left on Explain xkcd[edit]

Seems like you have all abandoned the page? If not please comment in my talk page Kynde (talk) 16:30, 14 January 2022 (UTC)

Out of 10 admins, only 4 have made contributions during 2021 (none in 2022 yet): User:Waldir, User:Jeff, User:Lcarsos and User:SlashMe (following my own signature:) Lupo (talk) 18:13, 14 January 2022 (UTC)

Request for semi-protection of 2611[edit]

User:X K C D, created hours ago, is repeatedly adding =This is the last xkcd comic.= right before ==Explanation== in the page 2611. Can we block this user or semi-protect 2611? Thank you. WriterArtistCoder (WriterArtistCoder) 22:03, 25 April 2022 (UTC)

They also edited the xkcd page stating that a disaster happened today. A website does not blow up like that without someone noticing. Btx40 (talk) 22:13, 25 April 2022 (UTC)
IMO, no point. Smells like the same vandal who was page-blanking within the last 24-hours. Both made "I'm doing stuff!"-type posts to admin pages (I reverted the other, I'm removing this one in this edit). Attention-seeker whose boredom and basic patheticness may just move to some other vandalism tomorrow (with a fresh account, probably). In the meantime, we just deal with all bad-faith edits, as usual. 172.70.162.147 23:33, 25 April 2022 (UTC)

[edit]

I'm done vandalizing. 🎄 (talk) 22:42, 28 April 2022 (UTC)
Plainly not done vandalizing. Now doing it to the new current comic as well as other comics to just be a pest. Mapron01 (talk) 23:12, 29 April 2022 (UTC)
If you want my unasked-for opinion, as one who has undone her fair share of vandalism over time, I think our best weapon is the community. A few times I've gone to do that and been told it's already been reverted (no ideas how many times it's happened the other way).
I don't want to give the numpty involved any clues as to what to do to make themselves even more of a pest, but a few of the solutions being proposed would hurt our combined response more than their vicarious pleasures. And that's all I feel I can say over a necessarily open channel like this, but it'll have to do. 172.69.79.223 10:10, 30 April 2022 (UTC) (Yes, an IP user, but you'll take it in the spirit that's intended, I hope.)

That is not the vandal's IP address, and it should NOT be blocked. Please see Talk:Main_Page#Set_up_X-Forwarded-For_for_correct_IP_address_reporting. BytEfLUSh (talk) 10:33, 30 April 2022 (UTC)

request for block[edit]

Got a troll: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Special:Contributions/162.158.107.84 --Trublu (talk) 08:17, 3 May 2022 (UTC)

User vandalizing rapidly[edit]

Hello - the user linked below is rapidly vandalizing a number of pages. They should be blocked and their contributions reverted. Thank you!The link may not be working but their username is X. K. C. D. and you can see my reverts of two of their edits in my contribution history. https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Special:Contributions/X._K._C._D.

Seconded. I've been going through and reverting some of their changes manually but it would be great if the admins could systematically revert all of their changes. As of this message they are still vandalizing the pages at a rate of ~15 pages every few seconds. The pages vandalized are random in order, and the character count (i.e., how many "craps" are being added) seems somewhat random as well. The character count varies with mean 245508.6, median 244880, and standard deviation 2065.2 based on the last few minutes of edits, which may make it difficult to block changes based solely on edit character count. Jrfarah (talk) 22:46, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
From the bot code, it looks like if the site went down for even a few seconds, the bot would stop working. I'm going to try to DoS the site for a minute or so. 108.162.245.215 22:52, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
The solution should just be to block this user. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 22:52, 3 May 2022 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

DECRAPPING CODE:

<div style="display: none">crap crap </div>

When you're undoing the vandalism: Add this ↑ at the BEGINNING of every page, before all the other source code!(edit: Hopefully this code isn't needed anymore, as the vandalism is reverted.)

On multiple pages, it seems that the user X. K. C. D. has been vandalizing, replacing proper pages with content that just says "crap" thousands or more times, and this is being a very big pain to those who just want to read the explanations. I have been reverting these changes, but it would be much better if an admin were to block these types of edits or the user. Examples include 736: Cemetery and 737: Yogurt. It also seems to be relatively recent, as they appear at the top of the recent changes page. Edit: forgot to sign: ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 22:51, 3 May 2022 (UTC)

I've also been reverting, but this entity has vandalized literally hundreds. Any admins still active? Nitpicking (talk) 22:48, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw, thanks for helping out, I tried to find anything else, but this user seems to only be spamming, and they don't have a talk or user page yet. Also wondering if admins are still active. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 22:57, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
this is getting a smidge ridiculous, even if the admins are completely inactive you'd think there would be something in place preventing a user from making 26 250kb replaced-page-with edits in the same minute. is the captcha even working? (they're a script kiddie, btw: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/User:X._K._C._D./common.js ) --172.70.114.229 22:55, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
Why is running scripts even allowed? Besides, I'm sure someone could build a bot to combat scripts THIS simple... ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 22:57, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
I'm also wondering why scripts are enabled, and how the CAPTCHA is not preventing this. What is even the point of having a CAPTCHA if it does not stop this exact behavior? Nothing in the vandal's script is even attempting to evade the CAPTCHA. Jrfarah (talk) 23:17, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
Further edit: this user is editing at this very moment, pages I just reverted are being vandalized again. SOMEONE SOLVE THIS! ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 23:00, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
Can confirm. Page I reverted <30 minutes ago (https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1758:_Astrophysics) has been re-vandalized.
This is insanely fast, I also wonder how he bypasses the captcha when the script doesn't even do anything about the captcha Jmc1994 (talk) 23:05, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
 : Possible that this page (https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=Talk:1014:_Car_Problems&diff=231795&oldid=231794) is the origin; user X K C D writes "(Being autoconfirmed is fun! No CAPTCHA to slow me down! Can I run a bot?)" yesterday. Indicates multiple accounts. Jrfarah (talk) 23:21, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
The bot just crapped on this page. Can someone tweet at @explainxkcd? Nitpicking (talk) 23:19, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
My attempt to warn about this was slowed down by the fact that I had to complete a CAPTCHA. The irony is tasteless. Jrfarah (talk) 23:20, 3 May 2022 (UTC)

What possible reason could anyone have for crapping on the pages? >:(

I genuinely have no idea, probably because they felt like vandalizing the page due to auto-confirmation Jmc1994 (talk) 23:28, 3 May 2022 (UTC)

Wow, more than half of comics have been vandalized. 172.70.131.106 23:32, 3 May 2022 (UTC)

I- w t f. We need a counter-script. I have contacted a friend of mine who is insanely good at coding (no response yet) about a counter-script. This is definitely a problem we can solve, but having admin would make it so much simpler. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 23:34, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
I think I know how to fix it: Make articles fail to edit when there's a space after the whole article content Jmc1994 (talk) 23:37, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
<div style="display: none">crap</div> at the top of each page should stop it.172.70.131.106 23:38, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
Won't this simply make the 'crap's invisible? The problem still remains of the contents of the page being missing. Jrfarah (talk) 23:41, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
No, that would be put at the top of an uncrapped page to make the bot think it had already been crapped and leave it alone. 172.70.131.106 23:49, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
I see, brilliant. Jrfarah (talk) 23:50, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
I put it on the latest comic a couple hours ago, and it hasn't been crapped since then. 172.70.131.106 23:52, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
I'll start adding it to the pages I revert as well. Jrfarah (talk) 23:58, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
A page with the de-crappifer was re-crapped: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=1758:_Astrophysics&action=history deeply unfortunate, I wonder why it didn't work. It did seem to slow it down. Jrfarah (talk) 00:22, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
RESOLVED ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 00:37, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
That works, one way to revert changes might be pretty close to the original script, just with edits for reverting changes and detecting the username. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 23:39, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
Requesting 10 random pages yields only 2 that have not been crap-ified. We can't manually keep up with the bot. Reversions we make are undone in minutes. Jrfarah (talk) 23:40, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, it's too fast. Luckily its only the actual comic pages... We also need a banner that says the pages are vandalized (like the "we still need to complete" ones. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 23:42, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
It appears that the user account has been deleted. I can't seem to access even their empty page anymore. Now if only we could get rid of the common.js page...but the user seems to have multiple accounts so I don't even know how effective this would be. Jrfarah (talk) 23:44, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
How typical. Running away. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 23:45, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
No, the account hasn't been deleted; the bot just crapped its own user page. 172.70.131.106 23:47, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
Looking at the page: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Special:Contributions/X._K._C._D it says "User account "X. K. C. D" is not registered." which would suggest the account was deleted. Jrfarah (talk) 23:51, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
You missed a period. https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Special:Contributions/X._K._C._D 172.70.131.106 23:54, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
Aw nuts, you're totally right. My bad. Jrfarah (talk) 23:56, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
We need a proper talk page for this. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 23:45, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
Fully agreed. We also need a way for the admins to be notified about something like this sooner. We seem to have very little power beyond just manually changing the pages back. Jrfarah (talk) 23:48, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
Also need to monitor recent edits page in case one of their alt accounts tries as well. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 23:47, 3 May 2022 (UTC)

Less than 1000 comics remain. :(

Added
crap
(de-crappifier suggested by 172.70.131.106) to this page since we got crapped again. Jrfarah (talk) 00:00, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Also, while I was doing this, site briefly 503-ed. Not sure if caused by the bot spam, or the suggested DOS to disrupt the bot. Jrfarah (talk) 00:02, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
I'm the one who suggested a DOS. I tried it (never thought a DoS could be used to try to help the site being DoSed), and it slowed the bot down for a while (never stopped it). I made it 503 more than normal temporarily, so one bot would probably have been stopped. Apparently the vandal has multiple tabs running the bot. Also, even if we did take the site down long enough to stop all the bots, the vandal would probably just restart them after the site came back up. If the 503s recently were from a DoS, it wasn't mine. 172.70.131.106 00:11, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Much appreciated, even if it didn't work, that's helpful information. Jrfarah (talk) 00:13, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
As a side-note, this site regularly 503s, for me, even in normal times. Not even just in the hot half hour when a latest comic is perhaps receiving most interest.
Being there in the initial outbreak (I reverted tens, maybe even 100 or so, of pages until I was warned by an edit-page top that a page already was reverted and I could see others were reverting) I was amazed that I only got a couple of these. So it's clearly not something of a DOS (and inadvertant DDOS from the reverters) in reality, just internal failings. Unless there's a lot of Read-Only (e.g. scraping) activity at normal times that uses up server processor cycles/etc.
Unfortunately, the vandalism cycle we just saw was of a kind that I had feared the moron concerned would eventually resort to, and always a risk. Nice to see the community (and, thankfully, at least one administrator) capable of stepping up to counter it. Nice to know you all, even if just as random strings/semi-random numbers on a screen. 172.70.86.44 10:05, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
The DoS wasn't a slashdot-effect-style accidental DDoS; it was an actual intentional HTTP request flood denial of service attack that I ran against the wiki that I used to try to crash the bot. (The bot had a bug that makes it stop completely until it is manually restarted by the vandal if the wiki goes down for even a second or two.) My attack did take the site down and almost certainly did crash the bot, but as soon as the attack ended, the vandal restarted the bot. (We were hoping the vandal was leaving the bot running unattended, but it turns out they were actively monitoring it.)
The attack I attempted was a simple page request flood from Termux on my Android phone, but it did actually make the site 503 for almost every request for several minutes. It almost certainly would have taken the bot down completely had the vandal left it unattended, but that was not the case. Vandalism stopped while the site was inaccessible (obviously), but quickly started again after my phone froze, stopping the attack. I didn't have access to a laptop or desktop at the time; I probably could have kept the site down longer with a "real" computer. (BTW, it's a bit concerning that an attack from a single phone can take the site down, even for a few seconds; an admin should probably look at that as well.) Regardless, given the manual intervention by the vandal, I would have had to keep the site down long enough for an admin to block the bot in order for my attack to actually work, but the site being down would have kept the admin from doing anything or asking me to stop. Because the bot wasn't running unattended like we had hoped, a long-term attack would have done more harm than good. 108.162.246.212 05:08, 5 May 2022 (UTC)

The de-crappifier has failed on at least one page: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=1758:_Astrophysics&action=history Jrfarah (talk) 00:21, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Uh oh ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 00:23, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
No, it didn't fail; it just needs to be the very first thing on the page (that was after the comic template) 172.70.179.20 00:25, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Great catch, that's my bad. I fixed it on the pages I implemented it incorrectly (including this one). Jrfarah (talk) 00:28, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
I tried putting the code with a space after "crap" as well in case, not sure if it really matters. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 00:31, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Also this is possibly unrelated, but since when were there only 785 xkcd comics... https://explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 00:23, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

It's just counting all of the ones in the category, which is a dwindling number given the vandalism. PaintspotInfez (talk) 00:26, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Ah, ok, thanks. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 00:31, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

After the bot stops, how long will it take to fix everything? 172.70.179.20 00:29, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

There seem to be ~10 of us actively aware of this and running interference. It takes about 30 seconds to revert a page, so naively we might think 2613 pages x 30 seconds / 10 people ~ 2-3 hours, likely spread out over a day. Hopefully the admins can step in and simply revert all the edits from all of the accounts associated with this nonsense. Jrfarah (talk) 00:32, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
I have a friend working on a script that may be able to fix this. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 00:33, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
A script would be amazing. Without a script or admin help, we may very well spend hours fixing everything, only for our mystery troll to create a new account and start the process all over again. That would be the most tedious possible hell. Jrfarah (talk) 00:41, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Isn't it possible to protect/lock pages once uncrapped?

Probably ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 00:58, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
I believe it needs to be requested, though. Since the admins aren't here, that's the problem. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 01:01, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

The vandal has adjusted their bot to deal with our uncrapping code. I'll see if I can make an uncrap script, but no promises. 4D4850 (talk) 01:04, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

I see the adjustment you're referring to, in Revision as of 00:53, 4 May 2022. But why does this negate our uncrapping code? Also side note, very distasteful that the vandal apparently has not had enough fun or wasted enough time. Jrfarah (talk) 01:10, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
They changed their bot to look for two craps in the beginning of the text, and our current one has only one crap, meaning it doesn't work with the newest version of their bot. 4D4850 (talk) 01:15, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
That's so...crappy. Jrfarah (talk) 01:45, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Is there any way to find contact information about the person who is running the bot?Anonymouscript (talk) 01:12, 4 May 2022 (UTC)


Looks like they might be blocked: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/User:X._K._C._D./common.js Jrfarah (talk) 01:47, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Contributions show no new edits from the bots in the last ten minutes: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Special:Contributions/X._K._C._D.Jrfarah (talk) 01:48, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
I think the admin is rolling back the changes; the number of crapped explanations has dropped from 85% to 61% in the last few minutes. Big thanks David! Jrfarah (talk) 01:53, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

As of 10:20 PM EST, 3 May 2022, random sampling shows less than 10% of pages vandalized (2/30). Worst of it seems to be over.

Number of comics not vandalized: 2680

Now, why is the "All comics" category missing 4 comics. What is an easy way to check which they are.Soulus (talk) 02:35, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Off the top of my head, I know that there's a skipped comic number that makes the latest comic number actually off by one as a count of how many comics there are. Going to be a while till we find the other 3 though Davidy²²[talk] 03:00, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
I actually found all 3, doing an one line edit refreshed them into the category. Since each page in the category has 200 entries, you can just check that the comic number of the first comic in each page ends with a '1'. If it ends with a '2', then the missing comic is in the previous page of 200. With two columns per page you can narrow it down to 100.
I'm very confused about the last missing one, each page has 200, there are 13 full pages, and the last page has 14. That equals 2614, but it still says 2613. Oh well. Soulus (talk) 04:48, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Thanks so much to everyone that helped, there is now a page for this (in case you haven't seen). ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 13:01, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

NEW VANDAL USERNAME ALERT, NEW VANDAL USERNAME ALERT. User: Ex Kay Cee Dee. sorry to be the bearer of bad news. 172.69.69.250 17:24, 4 May 2022 (UTC)Bumpf

De-vandalized pages[edit]

Please put in numerical order and with timestamps in UTC.

  • 1 - 17 (AS OF 5-4-2022, 00:57 UTC)
  • 100 - 150 (AS OF 5-4-2022, 01:04 UTC)
  • 641 - 650 (AS OF 5-4-2022, 00:46 UTC)
  • 740 - 742 (AS OF 5-4-2022, 00:46 UTC)


I wrote a quick script in Python that goes through every XKCD and checks if its been crapped. It makes a list of the ones that need fixing (with URLs) and outputs them as a text file. Here's the script: https://pastebin.com/6Wz7wtFN. I'm running it now and I'll update when it returns an actual percentage crapped. Feel free to use to measure our progress. Jrfarah (talk) 00:57, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
nice ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 01:02, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
The script finished--"1979 found, corresponding to 75.7 percent." That's pretty terrible. Over 3/4 of the site defaced. Jrfarah (talk) 01:04, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
BRUH ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 01:05, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Pretty much :( Jrfarah (talk) 01:07, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Saying "Users: You can help combat this!" is just encouraging people to waste their time. We *really* shouldn't be encouraging people to battle with a bot, unless they have a counter-vandalism script, at least until the bot is banned. Therefore, I'm going to edit it. Soulus (talk) 02:01, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

I generally agree with this; I think the best thing we can do is characterize the problem. It's futile to try and out-edit the bot while it's still running. That being said, if people are editing anyways, it's good to a) keep track of what's been fixed and b) let them know to add the one-liner at the top that seems to dissuade the bot. Jrfarah (talk) 01:06, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Yeah. Link this page (with the section included (https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/explain_xkcd:Community_portal/Admin_requests#De-vandalized_pages)), but asking them to help is a bit much. Just let them know about the problem. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 01:07, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
I like the banner, and thanks for updating it with the count. Is there a way to link this discussion in the banner as well, so people can get caught up on what we know/don't know? Jrfarah (talk) 01:11, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll reword it with a link rather than deleting it. Soulus (talk) 02:01, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Much appreciated! Jrfarah (talk) 01:38, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Eventually we'll want to cut that link because it's not strictly related to the actual comic Davidy²²[talk] 03:00, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Fair point! Jrfarah (talk) 17:33, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Hello! I'm a relatively new user, and I have next to no coding experience, so I'm essentially useless in this situation, but I'd like to help. Is there anything I can do? - WhimsicalUsername

Looks like things are getting sorted. But once everything gets back to normal, check out the "Incomplete Explanations" list and help us fill some in :) Jrfarah (talk) 01:54, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Okay, will do. And I'm amazed at how fast you guys fixed this, I love this site and hadn't realized how much work it takes to keep up. - WhimsicalUsername

Also check out HERE to help.

It seems that Davidy22 has stopped the bot. Time to start mass reverting, guys. Soulus (talk) 02:01, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Thanks so much to everyone that helped, there is now a page for this (in case you haven't seen). ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 13:01, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

An invisible "Crap" at the start of many pages.[edit]

Now that the vandalism has been resolved, there are a number of pages with a stop-gap solution of <div style="display: none">crap</div> at the start of the page.
This code created an invisible word "crap" at the start of the page, which is silly, and likely confusing for people who use screen readers.
Is there a simple method for searching for which comics contain these divs?

I would also like to suggest that we acquire some more regular admins & just more in general, to avoid this stuff in the future. Soulus (talk) 04:18, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Follow-up, absolute hero Davidy22 is currently removing those div tags. Big ups to them. Soulus (talk) 04:35, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Going to have to be a little more active than I have been in the last few years to figure out a regular to promote, been a long while since the last promoted admin Davidy²²[talk] 04:39, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
We have been missing you those last 4,5 years Davidy22. Also Dgbrt disappeared more than 3 years ago. Since then no admin has been active until today. Great you are back. Hope we can find a solution. Was first made aware of the crap right now. But yesterday we had different spam on the front page... No idea if this was related? Kynde (talk) 09:15, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Word it's nice to see you still around. Still reading around the logs to see what went on these last few days. Davidy²²[talk] 13:43, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Thanks so much to everyone that helped, there is now a page for this (in case you haven't seen). ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 12:59, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

User creation log[edit]

Hello everyone! I know this has already been said, but it was lost in the recent vandalism crisis. There is a large influx of generic usernames (probably sockpuppets) being created, many with the same "first-name/last-name/number" format that is also seen on reddit bots. I worry that we are under another attack, possibly from the same person or some of the many recent vandals. I have seen a couple posts about this but no real attention. If there is some reason (e.g. the wiki has a built in name autogenerator like many video games) please tell me. -- Mushrooms (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I actually remember this pattern well, back when I was active there would be an endless stream of spam accounts that would create a new account, create a user and talk page filled with ads and replace the body of some pages with ads too. If they're only getting as far as user creation then it looks like they haven't evolved to being able to get past the anti-spam measures that I set up five years ago. They're all automated ad bots, if they haven't gotten better in five years they probably aren't breaking through any time soon. Davidy²²[talk] 13:43, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
As a long-time editor/monitor of the site (albeit never bothered to get an account, as you can see) I can confirm that the tsunami of (mostly) never-used generic accounts has been like that for... a long time. (Continuous tsunami? That's just a flow, right?) It always dominates any glance at the Recent Changes page (when it isn't covered with fallout from the Bot vandalism, as today), though handily compressed into a single long entry per day-boundary.

I did an analysis, once, of the various names and I think I identified at least three different pseudorandom-name templates in active use, but I wouldn't know many different backends shared a common root of formatting (e.g. the FirstLastNumber one) or how many single 'attack systems' were equipped with differing families of variation.

I was going to do a frequency/interval/seasonal breakdown, which might have revealed any interleaved or simultaneous poking in, but I think I found something else to draw my totally undeserved interest before I got that far... ;)
Anyway, nice to see that the tsunami/flow is (probably) just a lot of intercepted fire-and-forget interactions, not saving up 'valid' logins for some indeterminate time in the future. Could be worse. 172.70.86.64 14:24, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
There's actually a couple of different patterns to the ad spam. I could drop the barriers for a day if you're morbidly curious enough to want to see what the name patterns you're looking at correspond to, or the maybe deletion log still catalogs the couple thousand of spam pages I deleted, but that's probably buried under 5 years of admin activity in between Davidy²²[talk] 14:47, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Some more strange accounts are being created, with usernames in the format of four random letters followed by "Naipt". For instance: ZoobNaipt, KrdoNaipt, PrxxNaipt, XcroNaipt. Vandalbane (talk) 19:05, 5 May 2022 (UTC)

Something like that (either <changingstring><staticstring> or vice-versa, but a different Static one) was a pretty dominant pattern during my analysis (me=172.70.86.64, above). The changing string was a non-trivial incremental change (beyond "aaaa","aaab","aaac",etc, but not far off, maybe implying the gaps were being used in account-spamming elsewhere, or that failed here for trivial but random reasons), but there's no obvious sequence in the current flock (maybe a more cryptographic progression, or just rand()ed).
As to seeing what the dropped barriers reveal, Davidy22, not too keen on that (at least not just for that reason) but I may well deep-dive the historical stuff when I have time. I already planned to refresh my memory of the old analysis. Maybe I can even extract more insight (with hindsight...) from the black box mysteries that are the account-spamming machines. Just for fun! 162.158.159.121 19:45, 5 May 2022 (UTC)

checkuser (from explain xkcd:Crap)[edit]

Does this wiki have checkuser enabled? It might be able to highlight if this guy has any other accounts. Schiffy (Speak to me|What I've done) 14:38, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Hmm. This needs to be checked. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 16:56, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

[edit]

- idk how to use wiki but can confirm Ex Kay Cee Dee is griefing loads AlphaTwo (talk) 17:31, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

- Grrrrrrr. >:(

Crappy vandal seems to be back[edit]

The vandal described at explain_xkcd:Crap seems to be back, now using the User User:Ex_Kay_Cee_Dee A block may be appropriate

I mentioned this on the info page and but I'll also reiterate here: publicizing the code for the bot and basically giving a tutorial for what it does and how to use it may have been a tactical mistake. Jrfarah (talk) 18:02, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

That's probably true. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 19:27, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Over six hundred comics have been re-vandalized. Jrfarah (talk) 18:21, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Not a—f***ing—again. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 19:27, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Can you re-post the monitor? ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 19:34, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Gah you beat me. https://explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=User:Ex_Kay_Cee_Dee/common.js here's the script. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 19:26, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
I also noticed that Ex Kay Cee Dee seems to be marking the revisions as patrolled, as seen here. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 19:49, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Just got how the new troll account got confirmed. They did a bunch of tiny edits on the Crap explanation page, adding crap and then reverting it, something like 5 times, until they got confirmed so they could run the bot. 172.70.55.6 21:45, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

We could just up the auto-confirmation requirements, but that wouldn't really help. We could also build a detector that sees if a random substring inside the article is repeated more than X times in the new edit, do not allow the edit. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 15:25, 5 May 2022 (UTC)
While that would stop attacks we have seen, you can be sure that this would immediately be counter-countered, etc.
I know what I'd like to detect/block (actually, several things, like a broad-spectrum antibiotic) that might kick in for this and various other vandal-plans.
But I'm not going to give the culprit any clues what to aim to get around in advance of those who can do something hopefully coming up with something like this in a timely fashion. I will just trust that anything I cannot help with will be worked out anyway, if/when needed doing in future. 172.70.86.64 23:00, 5 May 2022 (UTC)
I was just going to take away $wgAllowUserJs and bump the autoconfirm limit, getting autoconfirmed status is still manual and having to spend an hour doing captchas on accounts that have to cook for longer should make it a lot less fun to get restarted Davidy²²[talk] 03:27, 6 May 2022 (UTC)

New Vandal (from explain xkcd:Crap)[edit]

User Ex Kay Cee De is using a similar, but obfuscated bot. I think we need a counter-bot that undoes the last change to a page if it has been crapped. If someone can analyze it, here is a link to the code: [[6]]. Can anyone explain how to undo an edit with a bot so someone can create a bot account, or even better, just make their own bot? 4D4850 (talk) 19:14, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Ugh yes, this is getting really annoying. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 19:29, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
It would be good to have an admin nearby... --Trublu (talk) 19:31, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, I asked on Davidy22's page whether we could have some new admins to increase the time covered by admins. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 19:35, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Try using de-obfuscators? I'm doing that right now. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 19:41, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
don't have time to do that myself, but quickly parsing through it it appears to be the same logic as yesterday, only now it appears he is checking for a lower case e, the parent function is even still called vandalize - u/kuros_overkill
He's back - I've just reverted about 10 and he's crapified 100 in that time. Can he be blocked? Kev (talk) 20:07, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

I would try to write a counter-bot, but I'm more experienced in Java and not JS- and even then I'm still learning. Sorry :( Lunar DM (talk) 20:52, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

I am 4D4850's IP (see below for evidence), and I've implemented and am running this. 172.70.130.121 21:02, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

decrapification idea[edit]

Idea for decrapification (i dont really know js or wikicode so idk if this is feasable) but maybe have a bot that reverts all current pages that have the word "crap" in them more than say, twice in a row? 172.70.110.121 19:59, 4 May 2022 (UTC)Bumpf

That should work, although the vandal could fairly easily change the word from "crap" to "poop" and bypass that. Maybe if the size changes by more than 50% in a single edit, revert? 172.70.126.221 20:19, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
there was a script posted to the r/xkcd that would just go through the user edits and undo them. I don't have time to updated it for the new user, or verify that it actually works, but if someone wants to take a stab here it is: https://www.reddit.com/r/xkcd/comments/uhtikr/comment/i78l092/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3 - u/kuros_overkill
I am the IP of 4D4850, and I have implemented this. I know you're unlikely to believe me, so at User:4D4850/common.js you will find this code exactly:
var cssSelectorForEditTextBox = 'textarea'
var cssSelectorForSaveChangesButton = '#wpSave'
var cssSelectorForMainContent = '#mw-content-text'
var cssSelectorForEditLink = '#ca-edit > span:nth-child(1) > a:nth-child(1)'
var cssSelectorForHistLink = '#ca-history > span:nth-child(1) > a:nth-child(1)'
var links = document.links

function unvandalize() {
    if (window.location.href.includes('edit')) {
        // The current page is an "edit" page
        // uncrap it
        document.querySelector(cssSelectorForSaveChangesButton).click()
    } else if (window.location.href.includes('history')) {
        // the page is crapped and we are in hist
        undo();
    } else if (document.querySelector(cssSelectorForMainContent).textContent.indexOf('{') !== -1 || window.location.href.includes('common.js')) {
        // The current page is a regular "read" page, but it has already been uncrapped or is common.js
        // Go to a random page
        window.location.href = 'https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Special:Random'
    } else {
        // The current page is a regular "read" page, and it has been crapped
        // Go to its "hist" page so it can be uncrapped
        document.querySelector(cssSelectorForHistLink).click()
    }
}

function undo() {
    toUndo = links[14]
    toUndo.click()

}
unvandalize();

It is currently running. EDIT: It now doesn't depend on spaces or the word crap. 172.70.130.121 21:00, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Nice. Now if only we could counter the original script... (continuously crapping then un-crapping is a solution, but not the best) ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 21:15, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
and he just put two spaces between each crap to try to get around this script, and it looks like he pulled the timer, changed setTimeout to document.body.onLoad. u/kuros_overkill
Bot is now displaying new behaviour, crapping pages that were scrapped previously. And at the very end adding .;'"?!

Do we have enough admins?[edit]

Do we need people like me to volunteer to support the site by becoming an Admin? How many admins are there?

First: if you want to volunteer to being an admin, you need an an account (you may, but since you didn't sign), two, you need to be trustworthy (again, not saying you aren't). There are currently ten admins (see the top of the page), but only one is active. ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 20:07, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Three, I have to remember the etiquette around ~s Kev (talk) 20:08, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
lol ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 20:27, 4 May 2022 (UTC) (i feel like a signature is too much for this simple of a reply lol)
Aren't you supposed to sign EVERY reply? It's just four tildes 172.70.178.115 01:57, 5 May 2022 (UTC)

Behaviour to look out for/ ban[edit]

I was doing some thinking and remembered somehing I saw this morning, which is how the new account got auto confirmed. Over on the Crap explanatory page, they added crap, then reverted, then reverted their revert and so on, until they got confirmed.172.70.55.6 21:51, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

There's new vandal behaviour, the current comic is being reverted to a Nostalgia Critic one. On reversion, anonymous user is reverting back to it. Kev (talk) 23:03, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

I started a new page and I don't know what to do[edit]

I spotted a new comic and the bot hadn't added it yet so I did but it isn't appearing in the next/previous and I didn't read the article on starting a new page and I think I broke it I'm scared I'm ok if you boot me off the site jusp please fix the page. SqueakSquawk4 (talk) 23:28, 6 May 2022 (UTC)

Don't worry, people can fix these things (are fixing, have been fixing, will have been already intending to fix, etc) and it's always a big thing to do your first New comic edit (or so I observe!)
And good-faith edits with even massive errors in aren't a bootable offence. I mean, if they were, there'd be no editors left and the IP range 0.0.0.0-255.255.255.255 would probably also be blocked! :P 172.70.85.177 08:22, 7 May 2022 (UTC)
...and talking of massive errors, somehow I squished the following. (I got no edit-conflict warning! Perhaps because I edited the pre-midnight revision of the page. Whoops.) Reinstating. 172.70.90.211 08:41, 7 May 2022 (UTC)
Making the page gets us most of the way there, full instructions at User:DgbrtBOT. Davidy²²[talk] 01:57, 7 May 2022 (UTC)

Impersonator to be dealt with?[edit]

Currently just one (undone) vandalism under the name ("VandaIbane", with capital I for the l).

https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Special:Contributions/VandaIbane

The 'true' Vandalbane seems to be an ad hoc helpful soul's throwaway account, don't know if they were specifically targetted because of a handful of actual counter-vandalism edits, or far more randomly.

It may be just a one-off variation on past stupidities, or it might be a tactic angling to be employed more widespread. The more you know, right? Couldn't think of a better place to mention it than here, however. 172.69.79.153 23:11, 7 May 2022 (UTC)

Banned Davidy²²[talk] 01:40, 8 May 2022 (UTC)

Ongoing vandalism[edit]

There appears to be a ton of vandalism going on right now from someone in the 108.162 IP range (exact address is changing continuously). I'm currently trying to revert their edits. JBYoshi (talk) 19:47, 8 May 2022 (UTC)

The IP ranges seem to have changed; it looks like the user is proxied through Cloudflare, so IP bans may not help. Some personal attacks have also begun, so I'm stopping reverting those edits in hopes that the user will get bored. JBYoshi (talk) 20:08, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, we can only revert when there's IP vandalism, upshot is it takes them longer to commit vandalism than it does for us to revert because presumably they never get the captcha cleared. Davidy²²[talk] 01:17, 9 May 2022 (UTC)
Is this whoever impersonated the sole active administrator and changed mainpage? I discovered I don't have enough privileges to revert that page. Nitpicking (talk) 11:06, 11 May 2022 (UTC)
The main page is protected and if anyone's been using my name, I missed the edit. The only way you can edit the actual main page is by being an actual admin. Did you mean the comic that was transcluded onto the main page at the time? You can follow the link to edit that page, which you probably do have permission to edit. Davidy²²[talk] 11:26, 11 May 2022 (UTC)

VANDAL[edit]

vandal alert! 162.158.107.30

Ongoing vandalism by 👖🔥[edit]

Is there some way admins can just say "revert all changes by the user "👖🔥" that don't cause a versioning conflict with later changes"? Or at least delete the account? It's still running rapidly, I can't keep up trying to manually revert the page replacements.-- 162.158.146.175 (talk) 17:59, 11 May 2022 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Hi, Maybe we can right so anti vandal code?-- 162.158.146.175 (talk) 18:32, 11 May 2022 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Blocked and reverted —theusaf (talk) 18:50, 11 May 2022 (UTC)
Trial by (pants on) fire, it seems... Congrats on your promotion (and Kynde, etc) and you're doing a good job! Had to stop my own effort when I saw you had got in there already in several cases I was trying to revert. I'll keep an eye out for any remnants. (I presume you nullified the common.js... It got scrolled off the bottom of the changes list I had been working from. And I can't do anything about it myself so I'm not going to go looking for it again.) 172.70.86.44 18:56, 11 May 2022 (UTC)
I was just coming to ask about this, then I realized that the moron was already blocked so it was probably just a matter of time. Thanks Theusaf! Is there anything I can do to help in this and future incidents other than just reporting them?--Twisted Code (talk) 19:07, 11 May 2022 (UTC)
Unfortunately, reporting and reverting them are currently the only things you can do. I'm trying to look into a more permanent solution, however. —theusaf (talk) 19:10, 11 May 2022 (UTC)
how badly (or often) do normal users need to be able to upload highly obfuscated JavaScript files to their user sub pages? or make user names that consist of only emojis? those would be my first 2 thoughts. Well, and obviously it wasn't the most sophisticated edit either...--Twisted Code (talk) 19:27, 11 May 2022 (UTC)
I would assume that most of those are choices made by MediaWiki and can't be changed individually for each wiki. But it would be good if I was wrong and an admin could disable those features. Shockeray (talk) 19:37, 11 May 2022 (UTC)
Maybe, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's just the opposite of that considering how useful such access control features would be on Wikipedia (or any other major user of the software). This isn't an isolated problem as far as wikis go.--Twisted Code (talk) 20:14, 11 May 2022 (UTC)
It looks you mass reverted them before I even made it to 50 theusaf. XD At least I can feel like I helped. Shockeray (talk) 19:16, 11 May 2022 (UTC)

Can we please get a block?[edit]

162.158.107.30

i mentioned it earlier but they did a new wave

IP bans are a bit problematic because they change, hit bystanders etc, for IPs the main deterrent is how it takes the IP user 10 minutes of captcha solving to commit vandalism that is almost instant for an admin to clean up. Davidy²²[talk] 07:53, 16 May 2022 (UTC)
Even as the IP who undid the prior version of the Memo Spike Connector (plus recognise the comments on 28/Apr and 8/Apr as mine, and possibly other reverts of that nature that I didn't bother to write anything 'witty' for), I am still tempted to support a semi-protect of that exact page. It's obviously being revisited by the same external IP-type person/script, even if it's not a consistent IP for the sakes of any blocking. I think someone has also occasionally attacked Redirect pages with similar (useless) "Improve your webtraffic" spam with not even a means to take them up on the offer¹, as both myself and others have revoked those changes a number of times. ((¹ - I mean, if it's true ad-spam, it's useless. Could just be plain vandalism/tester-code that happens to use ad-like text in its replacement process. Hard to tell which.))
But, in general, I would find it awkward if an 'Ex Kay Cee Dee'-type spammer could still do nasty things but lazy ol' me (never bothering to get an account, despite being on here for years) could not undo it... at least upon that specific page and others of its kind. I of course flatter myself that I'm the only one who would bother (very much proven wrong, recently!) and I have no good reason not to announce myself properly with a named-account, really.
...but this is my long-winded opinion, for what it's worth. Not that you need take much notice of it. I support what's best as a whole, and if you somehow square that circle and it leaves me on the wrong side of the boundary then I'll work on where that leaves me. Just sayin'... 162.158.34.221 11:28, 16 May 2022 (UTC)

"The author of xkcd" just crapped all over a page: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1907:_Immune_System Nitpicking (talk) 02:09, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

Not just there, but already sorted by now (and by then, I think, but don't know when you spotted it and then how long it took to respond) and mostly reverted before I even realised it had happened. Good community! Including the necessary and proportional admin response/mop-up. Makes me glad to be on this particular corner of the webosphere. 172.70.85.211 11:18, 17 May 2022 (UTC)
Sorted by me, in fact, before I came here. By posting in this section I was requesting that the offending account be blocked. Nitpicking (talk) 12:17, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

Probable serial spammer[edit]

See: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=California&action=history

Currently (as I write) two superficially similar spam-attempts (two different named accounts, which I found were created 16th May and early on 18th May, in advance of either attempt) used to replace the usual redirect. Conceivably could continue with further accounts they have recently created, and not dissimilar to other occasional title-only-redirect-page rewrites, but uncommonly close in time. Not my first revert being unreverted, though, so could just be a co-inky-dink... (Yeah, right(!))

Apart from the banishment of the accounts involved (probably to no ultimate effect, as they're likely one-shot disposables) I don't know what to suggest except to progressively add extra protections to the redir-page(s) that get hit by this, which could be a near-sisyphean task in its own right and still leave the remainder open to meddling (or closed to all useful editing too!). But I checked the details anyway, and so this is just a courtesy FYI unless you're already likely to investigate the "four changes, zero characters changed" article history for yourself, without needing my pointer to it. 172.70.162.155 19:43, 18 May 2022 (UTC)

Oh, actually, these are the spam bots. Only two versus the sheer number that sign up, might have gotten lucky on the captcha.Davidy²²[talk] 10:42, 19 May 2022 (UTC)

Another spammer[edit]

Looks like we have another spambot User:Explain xkcd server admin (edits), who is putting "crap crap crap" on all the pages, probably using a script. Need a block and then a mass revert. Natg19 (talk) 21:57, 20 May 2022 (UTC)

Looks like they are using this script : User:Explain xkcd server admin/common.js. Natg19 (talk) 22:02, 20 May 2022 (UTC)
How does that bypass the captcha? 172.70.206.89 01:08, 21 May 2022 (UTC)
That user's been blocked now (as of 2:45, shortly before this was written). Time for clean-up! But we clearly need a better longterm solution that allows us to be proactive rather than reactive, which is difficult but probably not impossible. It occurs to me that a rather unpleasant solution that should hopefully work somewhat would be to never disable the captcha. Ncpenguin (talk) 02:50, 21 May 2022 (UTC)
I stated it at the technical portal, but that doesn't seem to get much attention nowadays, but one solution would be to add mw:Extension:AbuseFilter. In any case, I've written an extremely crude script that should expedite things by allowing for one-click undos and adding one-click "revert" buttons onto contributions lists (almost like a poor-man's rollback); see explain xkcd:Community portal/Coordination#One-click undo script for reverting vandalism for more details. CRLF (talk) 03:10, 21 May 2022 (UTC)
I feel like the troll has been thwarted for now, as all of their recent attempts at registering an account have resulted in a speedy block, and all their IP contributions are undone quickly. I think captcha for all users will be more annoyance than it is worth. I really do hope the abuse filter plugin is installed, as I think it will further throttle the most blatant vandalism we have been seeing. Also, is there any way to prevent users from adding scripts that can edit pages to their commons.js page? Vandalbane (talk) 05:06, 26 May 2022 (UTC)

"Crap" vandal is likely back[edit]

User:Xray_Kilo_Charlie_Delta is vandalising pages and has a vandal script in their commons.js page.

N.B. Troll now blocked.

N.B.2. Troll evaded ban and is harassing me using IP address 172.70.130.245. Vandalbane (talk) 02:41, 24 May 2022 (UTC)

Please protect[edit]

Please protect Template:Citation_needed, high-visibility template that the troll seems to have found and vandalized. Vandalbane (talk) 02:29, 24 May 2022 (UTC)

Blocked IPs[edit]

Three IPs are currently blocked. They need to be unblocked, because IPs here are not tied (or even necessarily correlated) with users due to the reverse proxy. They typically don't affect the intended blockee, but they do affect helpful users. Anticrap (talk) 20:29, 24 May 2022 (UTC)

It does make sense that we shouldn't block the IPs since they don't actually impede the vandal, but are there any actions we can take against the troll when they edit while logged out? Vandalbane (talk) 01:46, 25 May 2022 (UTC)
I don't think it's possible to do anything but revert. IPs are slowed down by the CAPTCHA, so one autoconfirmed user should easily be able to revert an IP's edits almost immediately. One solution would be to get rid of the Cloudflare proxy, but that would make the site even more vulnerable to DoS than it already is. Anticrap (talk) 16:48, 25 May 2022 (UTC)
Another solution, which would probably be unpopular but might help, would be to require accounts for editing. That way there's always an account to block, although blocks could still be circumvented by creating new accounts. The account creation process would at least slow trolls/the crapper down. Anticrap (talk) 17:00, 25 May 2022 (UTC)
I personally think the trolling isn't quite severe enough to where we'd do something that drastic. I feel the best course of action is to revert the troll, block their accounts, and try to avoid feeding them.
Also, why are we vulnerable to DoS? Vandalbane (talk) 00:31, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
During the First Crap Attack (before I had an account), I tried to stop the crap bot by DoSing the site (there's a bug in the crapbot that makes it stop until it's manually restarted if the site goes down for even a few seconds), and I was able to take it down for several seconds with a single bash command running on my smartphone. (It did disable the bot while the site was down and for a few seconds afterwards, but then the operator apparently restarted it.) For obvious reasons, I won't share the command here, but it was fairly simple. I didn't really "exploit" anything, I just overloaded the server. Anticrap (talk) 02:28, 26 May 2022 (UTC)

Protection against administrators?[edit]

What would happen if an administrator started crapping? How much damage could they do? --172.70.178.27 16:29, 25 May 2022 (UTC)

They could block anyone who tried to undo their crap, including other admins. They could also protect pages after crapping them. IIUC, only Jeff could help at that point, because all the other admins would be blocked but he has server access. Once he came along, he should be able to block and desysop the crapper, unprotect all the pages that the crapper-admin protected, and then reverting would be like it always is. Let's avoid this scenario. Anticrap (talk) 17:18, 25 May 2022 (UTC)
See Special:ListGroupRights. Admins have unblockself which means that admins could unblock themselves to continue to revert vandalism (though of course a rogue admin could also unblock themselves too). CRLF (talk) 03:37, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
Oh yeah, you're right. So it wouldn't be *too* catastrophic, but still much worse than a regular user crapping. BTW CRLF, would you mind looking over the changes I suggested at explain xkcd talk:Crap? Anticrap (talk) 03:46, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
@Anticrap: I will take a look. CRLF (talk) 18:11, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
I think our admins are trustworthy, but just in case, it could be a good idea to remove that permission, as admins have gone rogue before on other wikis. Vandalbane (talk) 04:40, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
I wouldn't remove unblockself from all admins. At most I would make two classes of admins with and without that right. Not having that right just means victory for the fastest blocker. A rogue admin would just need to block all other admins (e.g. while everybody is offline) to became the sole admin.--Pere prlpz (talk) 18:16, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, it'd be more dangerous to remove that IMO. The way enwiki does it is that blocked admins can only block the admin that blocked them (if that makes sense), so the worst that could happen is a deadlock where all admins are blocked, but I'm not sure how that's implemented (can't see anything obvious on its ListGroupRights.) CRLF (talk) 18:19, 26 May 2022 (UTC)

I just got promoted to admin together with two others. None of the old admins are active. Davidy22 has been back for a short time and managed to get us three new admins promoted. I'm quite sure it is none of the admins that are responsible for this crap. You can check our rights here Kynde (talk) 20:17, 26 May 2022 (UTC)

I did a little "interview" with the troll, and they told me that they have an account here that they use for constructive edits and vandal-fighting. I don't think it's likely, but it is remotely possible we have a rogue admin. Vandalbane (talk) 20:51, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
I agree. I doubt they meant an admin account, but the possibility is concerning. Hopefully we convinced them to stop. Anticrap (talk) 20:56, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
Much to my chagrin, I came back a little while after the "interview" to see that they had restarted the crapper. Fortunately they were blocked by then, but cleanup still had to be done. I hope they don't return again, if they do, I might try again to open a dialog, but some people just can't be reasoned with. As for the admin situation, it's good we have more than one admin, and if anyone has any evidence that the crapper is actually an established user, it should be presented and we will deal with it. Vandalbane (talk) 21:01, 26 May 2022 (UTC)

Vandalbot is back[edit]

Vandalbot is back under the username User:Donald Trump. Vandalbane (talk) 17:11, 26 May 2022 (UTC)

I was allerted on my talk page and have blocked the user now. And seems all his crap has been uncrapped already? Kynde (talk) 20:08, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
I just looked at his edits. He made one edit 6 days ago. Then today he made 8 edits where he made one and then reverted him self. I guess the time and the number of edits was enough for him to get started with crapping. He was active fora bout 2,5 hours and managed 5050 edits. More than one every 2nd second for that duration. I have no idea how other people revert it just as fast, guess they also have bots? Kynde (talk) 20:35, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
They use User:CRLF/OneClickUndo.js. (Unfortunately I couldn't because I'm not autoconfirmed yet.) Apparently the crapper used the same code to info all of their edits (not just their uncrap edits), which both dramatically increased the disruption and prevented much clean up while the bot was running. Anticrap (talk) 20:43, 26 May 2022 (UTC)

Vandal spambot is back. Again.[edit]

The spambot that keeps vandalizing pages with the word "crap" repeated thousands of times has come back. This time it seems to be under the name Donald Trump. We're going to need to put up more effective defenses against this kind of vandalism, as they're evidently not deterred by the current methods this site uses to deter vandalism. At least do something to prevent singular users from making several very large edits very quickly. I prefer to read xkcd via this wiki and am getting quite annoyed by the spamdalism. -- TinyDeskEngineer (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Current rate seems to be about 20-50% vandalized. Ncpenguin (talk) 17:55, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
Should be stopped for now...Kynde (talk) 20:14, 26 May 2022 (UTC)

Is the vandalism bot reverting anti-vandalism edits new?[edit]

The new contributions page is being flooded with reversions by the spambot. Has it done that before? -- TinyDeskEngineer (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

That's new behavior. The crapper seems to have modified an anti-crap tool and used it to revert decrappers. It makes decrappification a lot harder. Anticrap (talk) 20:18, 26 May 2022 (UTC)

HELP[edit]

Vandal is back, and WHY IS THIS PAGE COVERED WITH A GIANT IMAGE?!?!?!?! ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu Tᵃˡᵏ 19:24, 26 May 2022 (UTC)

the file should be edge cake.png but I can't find that anywhere. UH OHH172.70.38.41 19:29, 26 May 2022 (UTC)Bumpf
Seems like it was inserted but then when used it lagged to disappear just as when an image is changed it takes some time before the new version is up. I have blocked the latest crap account Donald Trump after I got a message about him. Hope it was also him that was responsible Kynde (talk) 20:00, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
Seems that one of his actions was to edit signature template pages, adding that image. Hopefully, these changes have been reverted. -- Theusaf (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
And the image links to the log out page. If I had to guess it was the person who keeps coming back to vandalize all of the pages. I have no idea what advantage that would give them, but it's the most obvious answer. User:Tiny Desk Engineer

Client-side security[edit]

I think the common.js changes will, long-term, do more harm than good. The crapper could bypass them in ways that would also prevent us from seeing the bot code. I don't want to give the crapper any ideas, but it is possible. Not trying to hinder crapping using site JS won't prevent them from doing that, but it would avoid encouraging them do do it. Anticrap (talk) 20:25, 26 May 2022 (UTC)

The best solution to this in the long term, in my view, is to install the edit filter extension. It can thwart the crap vandal, as well as another recurring IP vandal I've seen around. Vandalbane (talk) 20:57, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
Yes, that is definitely a good idea. Anticrap (talk) 21:00, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
Says the person who now has another permabanned account after creating a common.js page with the spam script that didn't do anything and tried to cover it up by blanking it. Davidy²²[talk] 18:25, 27 May 2022 (UTC)
How exactly should we thwart this guy then? Just ban new accounts? Or should we take proactive measures? Vandalbane (talk) 21:07, 27 May 2022 (UTC)

Crapping[edit]

How did Afkzoa crap without a common.js page? 172.70.178.47 18:51, 27 May 2022 (UTC)

The common.js file is actually kind of just a convenience that can be replicated with browser tools which they figured out how to use after they got another account banned when common.js stopped working. I did make some other requests to jeff alongside flipping the wg js flag, he just switched that one flag to false because that was easy probably, can ping again. Davidy²²[talk] 18:56, 27 May 2022 (UTC)
In that case, since they can just use other ways to run the crapping script I don't see the point. I really do think the best way forward is to either install AbuseFilter or otherwise set up a workflow that lets us quickly go from recent changes monitoring to an admin blocking. CRLF (talk) 21:20, 27 May 2022 (UTC)

Please block[edit]

Please block User:The_password_to_all_of_my_accounts,_including_this_one,_is_either_lobilo_or_p and User:Crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap_crap as they are extremely likely to be sockpuppets. Vandalbane (talk) 20:42, 27 May 2022 (UTC)

And User:Father_and_daughter_incest_sex While False (talk) 22:21, 6 June 2022 (UTC)

Spambot account[edit]

User:MonikaForeman16 replaced a redirect page with promotional content. Vandalbane (talk) 01:12, 29 May 2022 (UTC)

  • sigh* this crapper/spammer/vandal is getting really obnoxious. 108.162.246.154 01:29, 29 May 2022 (UTC)
I don't think it's the crapper. There's been some bot creating lots of accounts, you can see them at the new user log. There's been some discussion on the accounts further up on this page, and they seem to be spam accounts that are trying to create and replace pages with promotional content. The accounts rarely edit, even though this one did. Our antispam measures usually stop them. Vandalbane (talk) 01:36, 29 May 2022 (UTC)

Oh, okay. It still doesn't make any of it any less... crappy. 172.70.131.128 02:08, 29 May 2022 (UTC)

Questions about reporting users[edit]

I noticed yet another account User:Dαvidy22 which is obviously trying to impersonate an administrator (notice the greek alpha 'α' instead of lowercase Latin 'a'). This is obviously an attempt at impersonation and likely a sockpuppet.

I'm looking into more constructive ways to report new troll accounts, and I'd like some help from an admin or established user as to how to handle troll, spam, and impersonation accounts. I don't want to clutter this noticeboard, so I'm wondering if having a single thread or page to report users would be more efficient. I also don't want to feed the trolls, and so I'm also thinking about if there are any situations where simply doing nothing and waiting for a block is a better choice. Thanks, Vandalbane (talk) 03:04, 29 May 2022 (UTC)

An admin userpage can also get an admin's attention and some of the admins have less cluttered talk pages than this page. An admin will probably catch spam when it happens though. Davidy²²[talk] 03:23, 29 May 2022 (UTC)
I know a vandal-account did this quite severely, a few weeks ago, and it was reverted, but cleaning up (archiving, maybe, to a suitable sub-page) all non-outstanding issues might be an onodous but streamlining task. Ideally, it should be an admin doing it (now we have several active, which is better than having none...), especially if the archive area is intended to be just straight 'copy of what was removed' for whatever reason (solved/insoluble/not a solvable problem/not even a problem/no longer an issue/CNR/whatever). Anyone wishing to resurrect such a discussion they find is current can ask for it to be retransposed back, in various ways.
You could go to town on the classification system (put all "Please block+delete this vandal account" requests in their own historically-recording page?) or just ad-hoc them to whatever single bit-bucket you apply to any/all of the more open Community Portal pages that have so many old bits to them (this section is number 173 on this very page, according to the URL above, and is that zero-rooted even?) that still deserve to be searchable through, but are unlikely to be wanted to be (directly) commented upon very much at all.
Big task, of course. But a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, etc. So just a suggestion. 172.70.162.147 04:11, 29 May 2022 (UTC)
I'd personally advocate for moving all old threads to an archive to clean things up. As for the vandal accounts, a special page for reporting vandals makes sense, but it would need to be done in a way that avoids feeding the trolls.
And, while we're here, I might as well point out User:Crappificator. Vandalbane (talk) 16:59, 29 May 2022 (UTC)

In the latest User Creation Log summary, there are a number of 'not just a failed Spam account' names, I see. Including, but not limited to:

  • Bane, bane, vandalbane! <- Inspired by you, again, VB. I'm sure you're flattered...
  • Randall9344‎ <- Could just be a 'NameDigits' coincidence, but I doubt it!
  • Δονε κραππινg‎ <- A probably insincere use of hellenic script, in a message many an xkcd reader will effortlessly understand.

(...you know, the seeming ease of creating an account here is probably one of the reasons I've never bothered with one myself, even after years of (hopefully positive) contribution... Perverse, I know. Says more about my default mindset than the situation, however.) 172.70.91.128 19:57, 30 May 2022 (UTC)

Two of a small series of vandalisms on the same page done by an imposter account (looks like 0xD0B5 character to visually fake the "e"). FYI. The two current changes it did (a vandalism and correcting errors in the vandalism) are reverted, together with subsequent ASCII art insertion that certainly doesn't work on my screen, but maybe does in the originator's own choice of font... But obv. the account is eminantly bannable. 172.70.91.82 18:34, 31 May 2022 (UTC)

New idea for the trolls[edit]

I'm having a talk with the trolls that have been showing up recently in the hope that I can help redirect them away from vandalism. If anyone thinks this is counterproductive or out of line, please inform me. Vandalbane (talk) 02:18, 30 May 2022 (UTC)

Insofar as the (personally presumed) single person behind the Crapping and various sideline puppets (almost certainly the three I just mentioned in the above section, but I'm not welded to the conviction that it's the one person, or even that all those behind everything I think might be are actually all truly disrupters), I think the conversation we had with (presumedly) that same person under the 'Donald' identity and the subsequent willingness to still mess things up, 'just because', shows that there's not much hope of useful dialogue.
Just like "include <foo> in your edit-summary and I won't revandalise it again" never really was honoured, and it was soon obvious that it was more of a mistake to presume it might.
I don't think it is necessarily counter-productive, but I'd bet good money that it will at least be non-productive. I'd happily let you continue (not that I'd have any authority, or even enough of a convincing presence, to stop you) but I think it'll be ineffective whilstsoever the stroked ego(s?) of the other end of the conversation don't find a more interesting hobby. 162.158.159.43 20:17, 30 May 2022 (UTC)
So, during a conversation with User:Bane, bane, vandalbane!, the crapper appeared on the now-deleted talk page, verified their identity by logging into an old account and editing its talk page, and claimed that the User:Bane, bane, vandalbane! was not them. If the crapper is sincere, then we have two distinct trolls. I've also noticed IPs editing articles to insert meme references (e.g. Nostalgia Critic, "amogus", "thrembo", "sojyak", "quandale dingle"), and I suspect that these IPs may be related to last night's disruptor. I'm not really sure if we have multiple trolls, or one multifaceted troll. I feel that as long as all the trolls are blocked, it doesn't matter too much.
About User:Δονε κραππινg, I posted some advice to the troll (or trolls) on the same now-deleted talk page, but when I went to sleep, there was no acknowledgement of my advice, and in the morning the page was gone, so I have no idea if they ever read it. They may have seen some truth, or they may be trolling us again. If the troll is present, and did read my advice: Please do keep your word. If the troll won't listen, I'll go back to ignoring them, as tempting as debating them can be. I don't want to make trolling more fun.


TL;DR: The person I spoke to last night might not have been the crapper. The crapper themself later showed up, and I tried to give them advice, but it might have been deleted before the crapper saw it. There might be more than one troll, but maybe not. The crapper indicated they're done trolling here, I'm hope they're sincere. Vandalbane (talk) 21:04, 30 May 2022 (UTC)
And a troll showed up saying they'd quit their activities if this page is deleted. I guess that particular troll isn't convinced. wI'm a bit sad, but not surprised. Vandalbane (talk) 22:43, 30 May 2022 (UTC)

Is there anything else we can do to prevent vandalism?[edit]

There's been quite a significant uptick in vandalism recently, and I don't feel we have any effective tools to combat it. I believe one of the biggest issues here is due to the way logged-out editing works on this wiki. Blocks are completely ineffective at slowing vandals, and IP editors can vandalize with basically nothing we can do to thwart them other than revert-warring. Is there a better way?

There's been some discussion of installing AbuseFilter, but I'm not sure anything became of it. We could disable logged-out editing, but that would likely be counterproductive as we get lots of legitimate contributions from logged-out users. If there's a way to switch to location-based IPs, we could rangeblock problematic users as well as proxies. Does anyone have any ideas? 162.158.78.145 16:11, 1 June 2022 (UTC)

Maybe something could be set up where you can't do more than, say, 1 edit every 20 seconds? It would make certain tasks annoying, but perhaps it would also be possible to make it so some users don't have that limit? 172.69.69.207 14:12, 11 July 2022 (UTC)

Rollback[edit]

Does the rollback permission exist on this wiki? Vandalbane (talk) 17:00, 1 June 2022 (UTC)

Admins have rollback privileges, a role for it could be helpful to give to regular users to make reverting the spam a bit easier Davidy²²[talk] 17:02, 1 June 2022 (UTC)
This discussion was also started at the technical portal.. anyway, you'd need a sysadmin to modify the config variables (mw:Manual:User rights). CRLF (talk) 03:59, 2 June 2022 (UTC)

Is he done?[edit]

Is he User:Δονε κραππινg? Riolu The Furry (talk) 14:04, 14 June 2022 (UTC)

What does that mean? 172.70.131.128 21:05, 15 June 2022 (UTC)
??? 172.70.210.49 23:35, 24 August 2022 (UTC)

Comic page "Lightning Distance" causing MediaWiki errors[edit]

I don't know exactly what's happening, but every time I try to view the page for the xkcd comic under that name, I get a message about an internal MediaWiki error. This happens consistently when either visiting the page via search or by clicking the Random Page link, and presumably in all other situations as well. Something about the contents of that page might be what's causing that error. --Tiny Desk Engineer (talk) "My user page can't be vandalized if it never existed" 20:26, 20 June 2022 (UTC)

Okay, it seems like the comic "Trig Identities" is also doing that. Huh. --Tiny Desk Engineer (talk) "My user page can't be vandalized if it never existed" 21:43, 20 June 2022 (UTC)
Checked "Lightning Distance" for myself. No obvious errors for me. (From version history, it's the latest one time-/change-stamped as (cur | prev) 18:02, 2 June 2022‎ Theusaf (talk | contribs)‎ m . . (5,929 bytes).)
I did note, on scanning down the perfectly acceptible page, that the Talk/Discussion inclusion had a lot of formulae in it (not yet chevked Trig Identities", but I can imagine the same might be true there too). Is something like MathML in use, and that failing in your case (but not mine)? Just an idea...
Though how it would not like you, when it likes me, sounds more like something tied to your user account (and not tied to the 'generic' one that I'm using as a not-logged-in person). 162.158.159.87 22:49, 20 June 2022 (UTC)

Please redirect What if? to what if[edit]

@Heading re [7]. 172.70.211.36 13:23, 14 July 2022 (UTC)

Done Kynde (talk) 08:00, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

More reports[edit]

July 20, 2022: The site has obviously been vandalized with an offensive, racist post. It needs to be purged ASAP. -- [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]]) (please sign your comments with ~~~~) This guy is spamming the site. I'm doing what I can to stop him, but he needs to be banned. -- [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]]) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Things have been done, but obviously the bored idiot with no life wanted to feel needed in the world for another 15 minutes. 172.70.162.5 20:59, 20 July 2022 (UTC)

Protect Latest Comic[edit]

In an edit war with a vandal. I think he's proxying my IP or something, since his edits seem to be coming from the same IP as mine. 108.162.245.131 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

You're both(?) proxying through the same gateway, more like. As you can see, there's always those ready to undo anything stupid that's done. 172.70.85.115 23:19, 20 July 2022 (UTC)
Could we get 2648: Chemicals semi-protected or something? It would stop the IP user from inserting the Nazi propaganda and racism for a while. (Yes, I know that I'm an IP user too and so I would be blocked from the page, but it would be worth it to slow down the vandal.) --172.70.131.164 05:28, 21 July 2022 (UTC)
And please do it fast. 172.70.131.164 06:38, 21 July 2022 (UTC)
I have semi protected for one day, to only auto confirmed users. Also I blocked the IP for three days. Not sure this will help anything? I have also tried to contact Davidy22 as he knows more about what to do. Kynde (talk) 08:11, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

Seems to be still going on. It might be worth it to keep the latest comic extended-protected, or even full-protected if that fails. 162.158.79.120 20:39, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

Something is seriously broken[edit]

Relatively simple edits are being silently discarded, not just while attempting save, but preview and show changes too. Help! 172.70.214.185 21:04, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

There’s some edit protection going on right now, due to spammers. Make an account and you should have more luck 172.70.130.91 00:41, 22 July 2022 (UTC)
That worked, thanks. Mad props for fighting the good fight. I wish I could explain face to face to the vandal how much this site means to me. Liv2splain (talk) 02:32, 22 July 2022 (UTC)~
Welcome aboard :-) Kynde (talk) 12:18, 22 July 2022 (UTC)
If anyone else is having trouble with their edits being silently discarded, can you explain what kind of edits you made that got removed? theusaf (talk) 02:21, 22 July 2022 (UTC)
Figured out the problem, should hopefully not discard valid edits anymore —theusaf (talk) 02:25, 22 July 2022 (UTC)
Cool I had the problem yesterday and thought it had to do with my semi protection of the newest comic, and removed it. But that was not the case. I found out that if I edited a section it failed, but if I edited the entire page it worked. Does this makes sense to you Theusaf? Kynde (talk) 12:18, 22 July 2022 (UTC)
Yeah. I had written some code to try to prevent some of the spam, but didn’t take into account that you could edit sections, etc. That code has been removed —theusaf (talk) 13:54, 22 July 2022 (UTC)

Convert to real X-Forwarded-For IP addresses?[edit]

Can you admins do the https://serverfault.com/a/526551 thing so you can block by real IP addresses and ranges? 172.70.211.134 15:45, 22 July 2022 (UTC)

That is out of my league. But maybe some of the other clever admins may know what if that can be used? Kynde (talk) 17:07, 22 July 2022 (UTC)

Install anti-spam programs[edit]

I think it’s time to install some sort of automated anti-spam programs that can catch these spammers fast.172.70.130.91 06:30, 24 July 2022 (UTC)

I don't want to be disrespectful, but it seems that the current set of admins lacks the collective time or ability to upgrade Mediawiki/MySQL and install widely available anti-vandalism and anti-spam measures. But you have perhaps the most technically inclined, supportive, and motivated audience you could hope for here. Why not use the main page top banner to ask for expert Mediawiki volunteers or if that doesn't work, funds to hire such a consultant to upgrade blocking and filtering tools or a new hosting solution if needed? I believe you'd be surprised with the extent of community support you can muster, and manually chasing vandalism is becoming tiresome. 172.70.211.90 07:28, 24 July 2022 (UTC)

I've been chasing jeff for months now because he's the only one with access to the server. I know he's alive and still active online, but he clammed up partway through the previous wave of heavy spam and the email chain is just 20 of my own emails, I'll get through eventually. Davidy²²[talk] 18:10, 24 July 2022 (UTC)
@jeff_underscore tweeted four days ago. Would it help if we launched a Twitter campaign to get him on board with a server update fundraiser, or something? 172.70.214.43 03:36, 25 July 2022 (UTC)
Anyone with the skills and experience should tweet him to take him up on his offer, IMHO. 162.158.118.39 04:12, 25 July 2022 (UTC)

Real name (and not username) displayed in Active Users box???[edit]

I noticed that I was one of the most active users in the last week, which is neat. I also noticed that the name listed in the Active Users box, while linking to User:GreatWyrmGold as expected, displays my real-world, legal name. I find that somewhat distressing. I notice that I'm not the only one who has this issue; at time of posting, I see two other real-world legal names that don't match their users' respective usernames in the Active Users box.

Is there anything we can do about this? Some admin we can contact? At least an explanation for why my legal name is showing up? Because it doesn't seem ideal.

P.S. I did take a screenshot of the issue. I considered uploading a version of that with all legal names redacted to demonstrate the problem, but I can't actually figure out how to do that. (Despite editing this wiki a fair bit, I'm not very good at it.)

There's a space in "Preferences" for your "Real Name". Have you filled that in? Elizium23 (talk) 00:13, 4 August 2022 (UTC)
...huh. Wonder when I did that. GreatWyrmGold (talk) 22:09, 5 August 2022 (UTC)

My wiki is being crapped[edit]

My wiki (which I unfortunately can't link to for privacy) is being very severely vandalized, with edits identical to the "crap" vandalism here. I remember that the crap code was published here for use by anti-crap-bot developers, and that several developers published their own anti-crap bots, but I can't find either the crap code or the code to any anti-crap bots. Are either of those available anywhere? 141.101.76.231 03:14, 5 August 2022 (UTC) Those efforts were mostly ineffectual edit warring against the bot. The measure that actually dealt with the issue was increasing the autoconfirmed edit requirement to edit without being captcha'd from 10 to 50 so that the vandal would have to spend half an hour solving captchas before they can start the bot up, and banning their new accounts liberally. Just make it enough of a waste of time to start the bot up versus the amount of time it takes for you to clean up so that they give up. This script[8] that comes with mediawiki should revert everything that a vandal did in one shot after you ban an account. Davidy²²[talk] 09:59, 5 August 2022 (UTC)

Okay, thank you. So there's no way to stop/slow the crapping without inconveniencing humans? 172.70.131.12 17:23, 5 August 2022 (UTC)
You can make it more of a challenge (or worth less) to edit a given behaviour, and less so for acceptable ones. If there's an apparent panacea published then you can be sure that any determined vandal will then deliberately change their attack to avoid being caught/cured by it, because some people are just like that. But it's easier to deal with 'bot issues (per adaptation).
I don't know of your Wiki has the same volume of spam-worthy accounts, but we have arious obviously auto-generated names (of various formats) that get created and then never (successfully!) post anything, and that's thanks in part to some mildly inconvenient roadblocks to prevent what appears to be fire-and-forget spam code that some organisation(s) have clearly decided should perpetually target wikis such as this. And very little of it gets through (maybe once or twice in a blue moon, ignoring some of the other types of spam that seem to have a manually-controlled method of posting). At the expense of minor inconvenience to someone like me, and less than that to someone who bothered with a legitimate account on a regular basis and hasn't red-flagged themselves in any way.
So, swings and roundabouts, as it were. Without knowing where your Wiki is, can't begin to guess if there's any more specific advice we could give, jt'll depend a lot on what kind of (non-vandal) user userbase you have, for one thing. 162.158.34.217 18:59, 5 August 2022 (UTC)

I still can't edit my user page[edit]

I still can't edit my user page. How many more pages must I edit to get auto-confirmed? ColorfulGalaxy (talk) 14:21, 6 August 2022 (UTC)

I've created your user page for you. You can find the requirements for auto-confirmation at explain_xkcd:Autoconfirmed_userstheusaf (talk) 17:35, 6 August 2022 (UTC)

Basic punctuation standards[edit]

Can we please have some agreement that ." is better than ".? 172.71.150.29 07:08, 24 August 2022 (UTC)

That would depend.
When asked "How do you deal with endquote punctuation in quoted speech?" he answered "Yes," with a definite nod of his head, "I would always try to put the punctuation before the quote."
...that is how I was taught to do it, <mumble>fumphty-fumph</mumble> years ago, and when it is clear quoted speech (with 66s, 99s) then that's probably best. Except when it might confuse, but then a rewrite (or clearly indicated paraphrase/part-quote) might be useful. You'll note I example-quote 'wrongly' in some places below, to accomodate other factors. Like an exclamation point as a feature of the holding sentence that makes no sense at all to be translated to within the quoted sentence(-fragmant).
On the other hand providing "a set of words", with no clear quotation to them, ellicits no such compunction.
...it gets a bit hazy, because a partial quote of a real full sentence (or an incomplete/incompleted quote) could go either way. But I would not consider "a set of words," to be sensible.
If you give a "list", "spread" or "set" of singular terms then no, or even compounded ones if they are ultimately the "be-all" and "end-all".
...noting that I might personally single-quote in this case (I know not why I have adopted this principle, exactly), though I've often seen such things changed by others and it may be more contested than even the terminator punctuation. I might say that the 'true' difference is whether it is a definite "literal", insofar as meaning, or somewhat 'ad hoc', 'foreignish' or just plain constructed.
But this is just my opinion. And, regardless of my preference to quote-punctuation ordering, I've seen several recent occasions where paren-punctuation ordering was totally off (IMO). Either "...at the end of a sentence (an aside.)", which should have been "... (an aside)." instead, or "(As a whole aside of its own)." for which it must surely be "(As ... of its own.)"
Now, obviously too much ()ing is awkward, especially if nested, but I prefer the clearer in/out indication than other methods — like the mdash — which seem to be the favoured method by some editors — and, even more confusingly, often without spacing both sides. (Like "...by some editors—and, even more confusingly..."! Looks more like a hyphen, despite "—” and "–”-users changing hyphens-used-as-dashes to one or other of the dashes to try to differentiate them.)
Ultimately, though, the people here will have learnt (or redeveloped) their own typographical standards over a wide range of educational eras (or under teachers/mentors whose own learnt-preferences might themselves be several decades passed into history) and with additional localisation/localization complications as well. I tend to agree with you (with caveats as mentioned) but it won't be universally acceptable. 172.70.85.13 21:34, 24 August 2022 (UTC)
Better? No. Correct (at least in American English)? Yes. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 13:25, 28 September 2022 (UTC)