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MediaWiki feature requests and bug reports/Archive1.3

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Archive 1.3 includes features and bugs that will no longer be relevant once MediaWiki 1.3 is released.

Copy this page[edit]

It would really be helpful to have a function "copy this page." This is much like "Move this page" except that the results are two exact pages with different titles, with full history.

If we have this function, we have less worry about potentially violating GFDL by copy-and-pasting a text from one page to another in some or most of the following cases:

  • spilit an article
  • archive some talk
  • use format schemes from wikiprojects
  • use boilerplate text by copy-and-pasting (not via msg: or subst:)

If this function can be used interlingually, that would also help for translation and image copying.

For security concerns, it may be okay to limit this function to logged-on users. And to reduce the database load, it may be okay to limit this function to sysops when the page has more than X number of edits. (X being some appropriate number that I cannot estimate properly - I remember when someone renamed en:Village pump, which gave a pause to the server).

This is an idea discussed and supported at Japanese Wikipedia.

Tomos 20:45, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I can see how this could be useful, but I think it has a lot more potential for abuse where people do a "fork" of the article just for the title. Dori | Talk 22:30, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)
This will be possible in 1.3 as sysops will be able to export and import pages, even between wikis, with the full history. Angela 08:48, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Quickbar alternatives[edit]

I'd like to have some alternative to the Quickbar; sometimes I have it on and sometimes I turn it off to save the space on the screen, but then there are some things that I can't get to -- for some of them I have made bookmarks on my usual computer, but I don't always use the same machine. Possibilities include a quick way to turn the Quickbar on and off, and another way to show the stuff that's in it. (A third alternative is to put a copy of the Quickbar on my own home page -- kind of a kluge, though) 16:55, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Most of the page specific quickbar stuff is usually at the bottom and top of the page. I'd like to see more of it there always. The generic quickbar stuff works quite well as either a browser bookmark or a user page link. IMHO that works fairly well. --Ssd 06:14, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)

You can overwrite the quickbar with whatever links you want in 1.3 using customised css and javascript pages. Angela 04:00, 3 May 2004 (UTC)[reply]

Diffs page: alleviating colorblind discrimination[edit]

People have suggested above doing strikethroughs for diff deletions and underlines for diff additions. Seems to me this is clearly a better system than the current, especially since I'm colorblind and can rarely detect the red words in the current diff scheme. At the very least, there should be a prefs option to change any red highlighting to some other foreground/background pattern. -- 12:45, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The new version of Mediawiki about to come online (Version 1.3) uses the utility diff3 to alleviate the problem of edit conflicts. This program could also be used to produce a rather more friendly display of diffs for the DIFFs page. --Phil 14:09, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
As of 1.3, the colors of diffs will be based on the stylesheet instead of hardcoded colors[1], so people will be able to change the colors in their own stylesheet if they know how to do that. Angela 08:57, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I guess a colour blind-friendly stylesheet could be supplied in preferences. MrJones 15:30, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Left side bar[edit]

Does anyone else think that it's a bad idea to have Protect this page RIGHT NEXT to Discuss this page? --Dante Alighieri 15:36, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

It's in a slightly different place in the new skin. Maybe that will help? See the test wiki. Angela 09:02, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Color vision problems with stub links (brown links w/o underlining)[edit]

I can't see the difference between the brown text used for marking stubs and normal text. Since stub links aren't underlined, I can't use that mechanism either. Will there be some method in the 1.3 Mediawiki software that might help me? Is there something there right now? I did a quick look and couldn't see anything. Thanks. Catbar 02:22, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

If it hasn't already been done, we can probably add a little stub link icon next to stub links for 1.3.
In the meantime, you can hack it up yourself by setting your browser to override it with a custom user stylesheet. A quick hack:
a.stub {
	text-decoration: underline !important;
	color: blue !important;
a.stub:after {
	content: " [Stub]";
	color: red;
That makes stub links more or less match regular links, but have a bright [Stub] marking following them. The exact way to set up a user style sheet will vary from browser to browser but should be in the preferences somewhere. (I'm not sure what browser you're using; unfortunately the above bit with the after content doesn't work with IE 6.0, but you can change the formatting on the main link as desired.) --Brion VIBBER 05:46, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Ok, I haven't tinkered with stylesheets lately, but I've been looking for a reason to work with them again. This is a good one. Thanks for the info! Catbar 11:00, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yes! Your solution worked very well. I tailored the code a bit to compensate for my limits; it's a big garish, but I want the stubs to leap out at me. The color 'orange' with no special background color also worked well, and was not so unconventional. Here's what I finally used.
a.stub {
	text-decoration: underline !important;
	background-color: rgb(0,0,0) !important;
	color: tan !important;
a.stub:after {
	content: " [Stub]";
	color: red;
I'm using Internet Exporer 6.0, so the :after tag didn't work, as you noted. I'll leave it in - perhaps it will work for future browsers I'll use.
Getting IE 5 and 6 to use the style sheet was quite easy. The IE Menu Tools>>Internet Options>>General>>Accessibility has a User Style Sheet option "Format documents using my style sheet". I pointed it to the file containing the above code, and the stubs now scream at me. It's very quick to deactivate, too, so if I want to show someone the Wikipedia in all its natural glory, it takes me about five seconds to turn off.
Thanks again! Catbar 22:24, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Make upper and lower navigation bars identical[edit]

It would be much easier if the nav bars at the top and bottom of every page had the same links. As it is now, "Main Page | Recent changes | Edit this page | Page history | Printable version | Disclaimers" are in the top nav bar, while "Edit this page | Watch this page | Discuss this page | Page history | What links here | Related changes" are shown in the bottom bar.

It is very annoying needing to scroll to the bottom of a long article in order to discuss it, or having to scroll to the top of an article in order to see recent changes.

Darrien 11:14, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

See testWikipedia. The new skin has no links at the bottom. Angela 13:05, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
It would be even better if it had the same links both top *and* bottom.
Darrien 04:38, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)
You can do this in 1.3 using javascript to duplicate the links from the tabs at the top to the bottom. See test:User styles. Angela 04:00, 3 May 2004 (UTC)[reply]

the Protection/Unprotection button[edit]

There should be a verification screen after clicking on "Protect this page" and on "Unprotect this page" that says "Are you sure you want to do this?" The protection button is right next to commonly used buttons, and once in a while the mouse misses the intended target. -Kingturtle

This was annoying and easy enough that I gave it a shot myself. It should be in the next verion, and you can try it on Test. Dori | Talk 16:01, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Edit summary on diff page[edit]

I would find it useful to see the edit summary on the diff page. This would only make sense (I think) for a diff between two consecutive versions. --Spikey 20:30, 10 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Right now (as far as I can tell) the edit summary line is only listed on the history page. It would be nice if it was also listed on the diff page. Then maybe I could remember what made me think this diff would be interesting. --Ssd 03:34, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I agree that would be useful. In fact, I agreed so much I coded it. :) You can see it running on Test. Angela 08:14, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)

{{PAGENAME}} [edit]

This would be very useful for stuff like the copyvio boiler plate, as well as for templates for complex subjects. Zocky 23:08, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I agree. That would be neat. --Maveric149 05:32, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)
What you really want is recursive variable expansion, coupled with a few more variables to make it more useful. Currently no variables are expanded inside SUBST text. Also, you want the ability to pass extra parameters to MSG and SUBST, which will be subsituted for $1, $2 etc. -- Tim Starling 23:31, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I've added {{NAMESPACE}} and {{PAGENAME}}...try at Test. Dori | Talk 04:30, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Way cool! --mav

Hide links in article(s) option for wikipedia[edit]

While obviously the linked nature of wikipedia is one of it's great strengths, it would be nice to be able to turn off links, as their formatting can be distracting (i.e. pig-ugly) if you are reading a long article with many links. It would just need a toggle (turn off links|turn on links).

Does this sound like a good feature-request? If so, would this be something specific to wikipedia or should I post to the wiki sourceforge feature request location? -- Tomandlu

In 1.3, you will be able to set your own stylesheet, so you can choose not to have any link formatting. You can choose not to underline them currently in special:preferences. Angela 16:46, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Alternatively, you'll be able to have them just a shade or two different from the main text; still useful but without the jarring colour change. MrJones 15:46, 2 May 2004 (UTC)[reply]

Diff page[edit]

  • Display diffs like MS word - red strikethrough for deletions, red underline for additions. If Bill can do it...
YES! WakkaWiki has this and I love it. Most nonprogrammers from what I've seen are confused by Mediawiki's diffs. People now are already familiar with a word processors' "Track Changes" function which does redlining of deletion and underlining of additions. Please consider this or make it as a configurable option. --Ryanknoll 19:36, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
This is a good way to display changes, I agree. The current way is servicable, though, so perhaps other things should be addressed first. MrJones 18:13, 2 May 2004 (UTC)[reply]
I think you can change this in your user stylesheet in 1.3, so instead of highlighted green, you could tell it to be underlined red or whatever instead. Angela 04:00, 3 May 2004 (UTC)[reply]

Links to stubs not underlined[edit]

I use IE 6.02 SP1 on Windows 2000. I have the "underline links" set to "hover". All this works fine...except for the brown "stub" links, which for some reason don't get underlined when I hover the mouse over them. Not a big problem, but odd...

-Anthropos 04:15, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
They show up that way for me too (Mozilla on Linux) so I think it is by design. Dori | Talk 04:40, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Or it could be an explicitly set CSS style which doesn't vary with :hover. I should look at the WP style sheet(s) some time. MrJones 18:13, 2 May 2004 (UTC)[reply]