Trains portal/Did you know

Hi, re this edit: please see Talk:Metropolitan Railroad#Switch to electricity. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 16:51, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Administrators' newsletter – July 2018

News and updates for administrators from the past month (June 2018).

  Administrator changes

  Gogo Dodo
  AndrevanDougEVulaKaisaLTony FoxWilyD

  Bureaucrat changes


  Guideline and policy news

  • An RfC about the deletion of drafts closed with a consensus to change the wording of WP:NMFD. Specifically, a draft that has been repeatedly resubmitted and declined at AfC without any substantial improvement may be deleted at MfD if consensus determines that it is unlikely to ever meet the requirements for mainspace and it otherwise meets one of the reasons for deletion outlined in the deletion policy.
  • A request for comment closed with a consensus that the {{promising draft}} template cannot be used to indefinitely prevent a WP:G13 speedy deletion nomination.

  Technical news

  • Starting on July 9, the WMF Security team, Trust & Safety, and the broader technical community will be seeking input on an upcoming change that will restrict editing of site-wide JavaScript and CSS to a new technical administrators user group. Bureaucrats and stewards will be able to grant this right per a community-defined process. The intention is to reduce the number of accounts who can edit frontend code to those who actually need to, which in turn lessens the risk of malicious code being added that compromises the security and privacy of everyone who accesses Wikipedia. For more information, please review the FAQ.
  • Syntax highlighting has been graduated from a Beta feature on the English Wikipedia. To enable this feature, click the highlighter icon ( ) in your editing toolbar (or under the hamburger menu in the 2017 wikitext editor). This feature can help prevent you from making mistakes when editing complex templates.
  • IP-based cookie blocks should be deployed to English Wikipedia in July (previously scheduled for June). This will cause the block of a logged-out user to be reloaded if they change IPs. This means in most cases, you may no longer need to do /64 range blocks on residential IPv6 addresses in order to effectively block the end user. It will also help combat abuse from IP hoppers in general. For the time being, it only affects users of the desktop interface.


  • Currently around 20% of admins have enabled two-factor authentication, up from 17% a year ago. If you haven't already enabled it, please consider doing so. Regardless if you use 2FA, please practice appropriate account security by ensuring your password is secure and unique to Wikimedia.

Sent by MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 19:22, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Help me

I was global blocked 6 days ago, I contacted Wikia Saff about lifiting the ban or having a shorter block, that was 4 days ago (96 hours), they haven't contacted me about the block, do you know a Staff member on Community wikia that can unblock me or make my block shorter, I need help please.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 15:55, 29 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

I don't know offhand as I usually don't participate in block discussions, but will see what I can find out. Slambo (Speak) 15:58, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Thank you sir, I have no idea what's going on and I can't leave messages on message walls because that has been blocked as well, anything you can do to help is great.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 16:01, 29 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

What username did you use? Searching for "Typhuss999" brings up comments you left yesterday with @Redrose64:, but I don't see anything else yet by that or directly relating to the IP in your sig. However, I'm only looking through en right now, so that is a limiting factor... Slambo (Speak) 16:11, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

When you talk to Wikia Staff, please tell them that I am truly sorry about my actions, that I feel really bad about it and that I will not do it again, I miss editing on my wiki, working on Star Trek stories with my friend, Drangonboy546 and fixing pages on my wiki which I need to do by the way. What do you mean by limiting factor?.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 16:16, 29 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

I don't have a direct connection to any staff members, and since I can't find the discussion of the block (which is why I was searching for usernames and IP addresses based on the information you have given me so far), I don't have a frame of reference for what happened to cause the block to be imposed. By "limiting factor", I meant that my searches so far have been limited to the English language edition of Wikipedia. Slambo (Speak) 16:28, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Reason given: "This username or IP address is prevented from editing across the entire FANDOM network due to vandalism or other disruption. If you believe this is in error, please contact FANDOM.

The blocker also gave this additional reason: Violation of the Terms of Use..

  • Start of block: 11:02, June 23, 2018
  • Expiry of block: 11:02, June 23, 2019

I uploaded Star Trek porn pictures to a wiki called:Slave Samantha Carter Wiki. It was a dumb thing to do in the first place and having that wiki online as well. I am really sorry about it.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 16:29, 29 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

You still could go to Community wikia and leave a message to a staff member about my block on a message wall, help me on my behalf.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 16:36, 29 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

That explains why I can't find anything here on Wikipedia about the block. Fandom is completely separate from Wikipedia. I am not involved in Fandom in any way, so I am sorry to say that I will not be able to help much if at all since my only interactions with you have been entirely within this discussion on my talk page. The best message that I could leave for any staff member is that you contacted me expressing remorse. Slambo (Speak) 16:45, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Do you have any friends that are staff members, that could help?.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 16:47, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Unfortunately, no. I don't know any, and I don't know if any of the other admins or editors I've interacted with on Wikipedia are. Slambo (Speak) 16:54, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Ok, are you still going to leave a message to a staff member about me, could you leave a message now please.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 16:56, 29 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

I will try to find the best contact and tell that person that you contacted me to express remorse. Slambo (Speak) 17:00, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Thank you, that would help a lot.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 17:01, 29 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

  • Slambo: this user has been asking basically the same question of various people on English Wikipedia. I have tried to explain that it is nothing to do with us (see my user talk page), but they still persist. Perhaps they should be blocked here too, per WP:NOTHERE. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:09, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, I guessed that there may have been more messages but didn't see any beyond what I noted above. Slambo (Speak) 18:38, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Slambo, can you please leave a message on a staff member's message wall today, I want to be unblocked today.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 23:03, 29 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999 Here is a staff member from that wiki:

Got so into the project I was working on today that I lost track of time. Good thing I didn't have any other appointments. Looking into this further now. Slambo (Speak) 23:18, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Thank you.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 23:21, 29 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

The policy pages that I can find all state to use the contact pages to appeal a block. As I am an uninvolved editor there (I don't know anything about you other than what you've written here), and since I don't have a Wikia username, I can't fill in the specific form for you. I am also not convinced that a direct message to the person you linked to would be fruitful, primarily because the policy pages say that it needs to be taken up with the specific administrators who were involved and I don't see anything connecting him to this incident. I don't have access to the administrator discussions there to find the absolute best person to contact. As far as I can tell, the best person to message would be the administrator who invoked the block, and I don't have that name. Slambo (Speak) 23:42, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

I don't know the name of the administrator who invoked the block, it was just Wikia Staff as far as I know, I don't know what specific administrators who were involved in the block.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 23:56, 29 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

So how are you going to help with this if we don't know the name of the administrator who invoked the block?.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 23:59, 29 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

Why don't you just make an account on community wikia and find out the name of the administrator who blocked me.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 00:07, 30 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

Maybe, the name of the administrator who invoked the block is Rappy 4187, he is the one who deleted some of the Star Trek porn pictures on the Slave Samantha Carter Wiki, does this help Slambo?.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 10:25, 30 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

Wikipedia is not a Wikia support site. I will provide this, and this only: Wikia has a page called Help:I have been blocked. Have you read it? Have you tried the suggestions that it provides? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 10:45, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

Yes, it didn't help, I contacted Wikia Staff 5 days ago and they haven't responed yet, your suggestion doesn't help me at all and I can't post messages on message walls on community wikia to stafff members, because that is also blocked.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 11:05, 30 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

If Wikia Staff would contact me and unblock me I wouldn't leave anymore messages here, you wouldn't have to talk to me if they just unblock me. If Wikia Staff doesn't contact me, I have no idea what's going on with my block and that I want the block to be lifted.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 11:20, 30 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

After more reading and searching around on Wikia, and using my experience on Wikipedia as an admin since 2005, the form linked above that you've already used is the best place and method to send feedback about the block; it must be done by the account that was blocked and not by another account. The person who deleted your edits is not necessarily the admin who invoked the block. That name should be in the message that you received describing the block. I have tried to find any information about the block beyond what you have included above and was not able to locate any discussion where I could participate. Leaving messages for random admins and staff members will not help your case. Creating a login by another user for the sole purpose of sending further messages about this case is known here on Wikipedia as meatpuppetry and is exceptionally likely to get that new account immediately and indefinitely blocked as well with no change to the original block status. I have assumed good faith in your communications and looked for the best way to help, but as noted a few times above, Wikipedia is not associated with Wikia.
The conclusion of my research into this issue is that there is no admin or staff member to whom it would be appropriate for me to send a direct message about your block, and I do not see an appropriate page on which to note that this discussion occurred. Feedback about the block needs to be made by you through the appeal form, which you have already done. At this point, my best advice is to be patient. The text you provided above says that there is an expiration date on the block (yes, the block is for a full year, and that may feel like a long time right now, but it is not a permanent block). You are not the only user that has been blocked, the admins have a lot of work to do in properly and fairly administering all blocks. Save the data that you were going to add to articles on Wikia for when the block expires, then go back to editing when you are able.
I'm sorry, and I sympathize with your desire to improve the content on Wikia, but I cannot help you any further on this issue. Slambo (Speak) 15:07, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

That's it, your advice is to wait a year (365 days), I don't think so.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 16:16, 30 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

What about my wiki, bad users will come and mess up pages, I can't wait a year its too long and who will protect my wiki while I am blocked?.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 16:18, 30 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

If Wikia Staff really cared they would have left me a message on my wall on community wikia about my block, I'm in the dark about my block I can't wait a year or they could make my block a shorter block.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 16:35, 30 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

I have been blocked for a week now, I think that is long enough and I can't take it anymore no editing on my wiki, I'm worried that bad users will come to my wiki and mess up pages, Wikia Staff should think about that and there is no reason why I can't be unblocked today. I'm also watching my wiki like a hawk for bad users, I can't stop them if I am blocked and sometimes the other amdins aren't there maybe Dragonboy546 but he goes to work. I am also a content moderator on the Arrowverse Wiki, I have work there that needs to be done.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 16:49, 30 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

I do sympathize, but as I said above, this issue is beyond my ability to help. The best advice now is to be patient. I can only say that if vandalism occurs there, it is up to the administrators and other editors there to deal with it. I have no connection with administrators at Wikia and have not found a suitable discussion there about the block or your concerns about vandalism on which I can reference our discussion.
So far, your editing here on Wikipedia has only been to try to find someone who is willing to help (specifically in messages to Redrose64, TBM10 and Sannse), at least one of whom is also a Wikipedia administrator. I have gone farther in investigating this issue than any of the other editors you have contacted and after careful consideration have concluded that I am not able to help any further.
I am afraid that I have to remind you that you are approaching the limits of Wikipedia guidelines, specifically those of disruptive editing and not being here to build an encyclopedia. Civility is one of the five pillars of Wikipedia.
Please be patient and trust that your message via the block appeal form has gotten to the right people.
Slambo (Speak) 16:56, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

Ok, sorry, I just don't like this, being blocked and unable to edit my pages on my wiki and working on Star Trek stories with my friend. Sorry sir.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 16:59, 30 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

Thank you for understanding. It is frustrating when you are not able to work on a project you love. I will keep an eye out and see if anything else pops up. Slambo (Speak) 18:11, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

Ok, thanks.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 19:37, 30 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

Can you go to Memory Delta wiki and give Dragonboy546 the link to my User talk:2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA page, so I can talk to him.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 21:14, 30 June 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

So, do you know anything about my block yet?.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 11:56, 1 July 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

I can't take this anymore, I can't edit on my wiki, I want this to be over and to be unblocked so I can work on things.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 15:36, 1 July 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

I really can't take much more of this, I can't edit on my wiki , work on my stories or make pages, Wikia Staff should just unblock me right now, no more waiting and they should leave me a message. I can't be patient anymore, its been 8 days since I have been blocked and its been 6 days since I contacted Wikia Staff about my block, no reply yet from them.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 21:52, 1 July 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

Do you have any idea how I feel every day, when I see my account say BLOCKED, all I can do on my wiki is read pages and stories, I can't work on my stories, make pages or go on chat, I feel sad and upset. I feel like that the Wikia Staff don't care.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 23:55, 1 July 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

So you haven't heard anything new about my block from Wikia Staff.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 13:42, 2 July 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

So you don't know anything yet.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 19:15, 2 July 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

I can't do this anymore, I can't be patient any longer, I hate all this waiting and I should get my reply now, I don't like being kept in the dark about my block and Wikia Staff will not contact me, I feel like that they don't care or they would have contacted me by now and stop playing this waiting game with me. Can you find a admin here who does know a member of Wikia Staff, so we can talk about the block.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 19:37, 2 July 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

I know a Staff member, Brandon Rhea, from the Star Wars fanon wiki, he could help, he could unblock me.--2601:540:8200:D52E:1C81:4DC2:CFC6:BC95 (talk) 11:28, 3 July 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

Shoretrooper TK-32028, a user from the Star Wars fanon wiki, left me a message on my wall and asked why I was blocked, I would have aswered him but I can't post messages on walls, why did he ask me that and why does he care about my block.--2601:540:8200:D52E:1C81:4DC2:CFC6:BC95 (talk) 15:30, 3 July 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

First of all, messaging me a couple times per day is not going to make things happen any faster. I have not made any progress in researching this further, mostly because I have been concentrating on work since Saturday. Editing on Wikipedia is not my profession, it is my hobby; last Friday was a rare day off of work that I could use for personal projects. I am an independent professional photographer. Summer is my busy season. I had photoshoots and photo editing to meet deliverable deadlines this week in addition to client meetings and other paperwork for my business. Today is a holiday in the U.S., but I still have another photoshoot that I am preparing for this morning, then I will have to work on editing those photos for delivery to the client; I have more meetings tomorrow and Friday and am preparing for a class I'm teaching on Saturday morning before going to another wedding with more work that evening. Next week also has more meetings and more photoshoots.
I have not forgotten about your question, and I am not ignoring you. I just don't have the time to spend all day every day diving deep into administratrivia on a site where I am not an active participant. Besides, there are numerous other sites that serve as repositories for fan fiction, so there are other places where such stories can be uploaded and maintained.
A terms of use violation is one of the more serious violations on user-generated content sites. I am not optimistic that we will be able to do very much, especially after seeing some of the comments on your wall about copyright misuse. And as mentioned above, messaging seemingly random admins and staff members is not an effective procedure for an appeal. The best advice I have is still to be patient. Slambo (Speak) 12:31, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Be patient, I have been doing that but this waiting I hate it, Wikia Staff could unblock me today and its a holiday today, they could be nice and do that. I don't want to work on stories on other sites. I have been blocked for 11 days now, that is long and you don't know what it is like to be blocked, I can't work on my stories, all I can do is read and that is not fun, it gets old after awhile.--2601:540:8200:D52E:A925:B4D4:90E5:A61C (talk) 13:38, 4 July 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

How long do you except me to be patient for, I don't have time to wait a year to edit again on my wiki or other wikis, I have been blocked for 13 days now and I can't wait any longer, you don't have any idea what it is like to be blocked, do nothing but reading pages and stories, no editing at all.--2601:540:8200:D52E:78B0:F4DB:51C5:6CAA (talk) 18:25, 6 July 2018 (UTC)Typhuss999

We probably won't learn anything more, but there is now a discussion started on the Wikipedia Administrators' noticeboard about our interactions here. Slambo (Speak) 21:25, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #011, 10 July 2018

We now have 97 participants.

Be sure to welcome our newest members, BrantleyIzMe, Coffeeandcrumbs, and Nolan Perry, with warm regards.

Work is proceeding apace. We have 2 major thrusts right now: converting the intro sections of portals, and building the components of the one-page automated model...

Converting the intro sections

We need everybody, except those building software components, to work on converting intros. If you have AWB, definitely use that. If not, then work on them manually. Even one a day, or as often as you can muster, will help a lot. There are only about 1,000 of them left to go, so if everyone chips in, it will go pretty quickly. Remember, there are 97 of us!

The intros for most of the portals starting with A through F have already been converted to use the {{Transclude lead excerpt}} template.

The standard wikicode for the automated intro that we want to put into place looks like this:

{{Transclude lead excerpt | {{PAGENAME}} | paragraphs=1-2 | files=1}}
{{Box-footer|[[{{PAGENAME}}|Read more...]]}}

That works for most portals, but not all. For some portals it requires some tweaking, and for others, we may have to use a different or more customized approach. Remember to visually inspect each portal you work on and make sure that it works before moving on to the next one.

Be sure to skip user-maintained portals. They are listed at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Portals#Specific_portal_maintainers.

AWB tips

I've started an AWB tips page, for those of you feeling a bit overwhelmed by that power user tool. Feel free to add to it and/or improve it.

Portal automation

We have some very talented Lua programmers, who are pushing the limits of what we can do in gathering data from Wikipedia's various namespaces and presenting it in portals. Due to their efforts, Lua is powering the selective transclusion core of our emerging automated portal design, in the form of selected article sections that rotate content, and slideshows.

To go beyond Lua's limits, to take full advantage of Mediawiki's API, we are in the midst of adding another programming language to the resources we shall be making use of: JavaScript. The ways that JavaScript can help us edit portals to boost the power of our Lua solutions, are being explored, which will likely make the two languages synergistic if not symbiotic. Research is under way on how we can use JavaScript to make some of the portal semi-automated features fully automatically self-updating, in ways that Lua cannot. Like gathering random members from a category and inserting them into a portal's templates as parameters. Once the parameters are in place, Lua does the rest.

If you would like to get involved with design efforts, or just keep up on them, see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals/Design.

When should we start building new portals?

Well, not at the present time, because building portals is quite time consuming. The good news is that we are working on a design that will be fully automated, or as close to that as we can get. And the new design is being implemented in the portal department's main portal creation template. This means, that not only will portals update themselves, their creation will be highly automated as well. That's the nature of templates. You put them in place, and they just... work.

What I'm getting at here, is that it would be better to wait to build lots of new portals until after the new design is completed. Because with it, instead of taking hours to create a new portal, it will likely take minutes.

That does not mean we should be idle in the meantime. The main reason most of us are here is because it became apparent that portals were largely unmaintained and had grown out-of-date. This had become so apparent that a proposal was made to delete all the portals and the portal namespace to boot. That makes our main objective in the short term to improve all the existing portals so that the community will want to keep them—forever.

Building lots of new portals comes later. Let's fix up the ones we have first. ;)

And on that note, I bid you adieu. Until next newsletter, see ya 'round the WikiProject.    — The Transhumanist   12:32, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #012, 15 July 2018

We have 97 participants.

Getting faster

Automation makes things go faster, even portal creation. One of the components Certes made was {{Transclude list item excerpt}}. I became curious about its possible applications.

So I worked out a portal design using it, the initial prototypes being Portal:Kyoto (without a "Selected pictures" section), and Portal:Dubai (with a "Selected pictures" section). Then I used Portal:Dubai as the basis for further portals of this type...

I was able to revamp Portal:Munich from start to finish in less than 22 minutes.
Portal:Dresden took about 19 minutes.
Portal:Athens took less than 17 minutes.
Did Portal:Florence in about 13 minutes.
Portal:Stockholm also in about 13.
Portal:Palermo approx. 12 minutes.


To see, and to show, what may become feasible via automation.

It now looks highly feasible that we could get portal construction time down to a few minutes, or maybe even down to a few seconds.

The singularity is just around the corner. :)


When using the {{Random slideshow}} template to display pictures, be sure to use the plural tense in the section title: "Selected pictures". That's because slideshows don't show up on many mobile devices. Instead the whole set of pictures is shown, hence the section title "Selected pictures", as it fits both situations.

In case you are curious, here is a list of the portals so far that have a slideshow:

Progress on intro conversions

The intros for most of the portals up through the letter "O" have been converted, using this wikicode:

{{Transclude lead excerpt | {{PAGENAME}} | paragraphs=1-2 | files=1}}
{{Box-footer|[[{{PAGENAME}}|Read more...]]}}

Where the pagename didn't match the article title for the subject, the title was typed in.

Most of the portals that do not contain {{/intro}} or {{{{FULLPGENAME}}/Intro}} have not yet been processed.

About a thousand portals use the method of selective transclusion for the intro section. That's about two-thirds. That means we have one-third of the way to go on the intro section conversions.

Much more to come...

So much has been happening with portals that I can't keep up with it. (That's good). Which means, more in the upcoming issue. Until then, see ya 'round the project. Sincerely,    — The Transhumanist   08:47, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

Assistance in making new wiki page

I've been working on a wiipedia page for the history of South African railways which can be seen here:

I am struggling to find information on large parts of it, do you have any tips how to do so? The page is kind of a mess with notes all over the place for future use, but scouring the internet and academic archives seems to turn up nothing on large parts of the rail network.

Cheers, ( SailingOn (talk) 16:19, 16 July 2018 (UTC) )

First off, that's a great start to a high quality article. And it looks like you've already started a copy in the drafts namespace, so my next thought was already taken care of.
We had another editor who was active in researching South African railways, but he passed away earlier this year. He had contacted a number of historians and experts directly and used that information in the rolling stock articles that he created and updated. However, the sources that he then cited, even with copying the entire text of emails onto the associated talk pages, were more akin to original research than the verifiable reliable sources that are more preferred here.
Some of my favorite online resources for reference materials are Google Books, (and the Open Library project there) and It's likely that you've already searched through Google Books and requires a subscription, so it is less often used as a resource for article creation and citations. As an admin here, I was granted a subscription to help further build the encyclopedia, so if you see a newspaper article mentioned, I can probably get you a copy of it. The next places to contact are the historical societies that specialize in the areas you are researching. Your profile page doesn't say where you are in the world, so I don't know what libraries may be near you. I'm in Madison, WI, and the Wisconsin Historical Society has a superb library here that is open to the public, and is heavily used by genealogists for their massive collection of genealogical resources. Perhaps the Historical Railway Association of South Africa or the Railway Society of Southern Africa would be able to help.
Slambo (Speak) 12:38, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #013, 18 July 2018

I got overwhelmed IRL (in real life) during the production of issue #12. So, here is a catch-up issue, to help bring you (and me) up to speed on what is happening with portals...

By the way, we still have 97 participants. (Tell all your friends about this WikiProject, and have them join!)


One cool feature of some of the geographical portals is a panoramic picture at the top of the intro section.

Check these out:

The Portals WikiGnome squadron is busy adding panoramas to geographical portals that don't yet have one. Feel free to join in on the fun. See task details at Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals#Add a panorama or skyline to a geographic portal.

Caveat: avoid super-huge pics, as they can cause portal scripts to time-out. Please try to keep picture size down below 2 megabytes. Thank you.

Auto-populated slideshows

Speaking of pictures...

We now have two slideshow templates. You may be familiar with {{Random slideshow}}, in which the editor types in (or copies/pastes) a list of pictures he or she wants it to display.

Well, now we have another template, courtesy of Evad37, which accepts one or more page names instead, and displays a random image off of the listed pages. So instead of listing dozens of files by hand, you can include a title or three to be scanned automatically. It even lets you specify particular sections.

The new slideshow template is {{Transclude files as random slideshow}}.

Here's a sample, that grabs images from a single page:

Selected motorcycle or motorcycling pictures

New Template:Box-header colour

Speaking of new templates, here's another one!

Also from Evad37, we have a new component for starting section boxes, that is color configurable, and that bypasses the need for box-header subpages altogether. It is {{Box-header colour}}.

For color support, see Web colors.

For the discussion in which this was inspired, see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals/Tasks#Colour combinations for accessibility.

(In case you didn't notice, the slideshow box above uses this new template).

BTW, don't forget to close your box with {{Box-footer}}.

Where are we on the redesign?

The answer to this question is quite involved, and would fill this page to overflowing. Therefore, this subject, including a complete update on where we are at and where we are going with portal design, is covered at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals/Design.

Where are we on portal conversion?

An AWB pass to convert intros on the portals has been completed. The pass couldn't convert them all (due to various formatting configurations, etc.).

All but about 170 portals now have introductions selectively transcluded on the base page. Not counting manually maintained portals, that leaves about 70 portals that either need their intros converted, or they need an intro.

Next, we'll be converting the categories sections!

What's the plan, man?

The course of action we have been taking goes something like this, with all steps being pursued simultaeneously...

1) Design a one-page automated portal model

2) Convert existing portals to that design (except those being manually maintained)

3) Remove subpages no longer needed

4) Develop further tools to empower editors working on portals

Later, when the tools are up to the task, filling in the gaps in coverage (with new portals) will also become practical.

Are we caught up yet?

Probably not.

Who knows what our programmers and editors have dreamed up while I was writing this.

See ya again soon,    — The Transhumanist   11:09, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #014, 27 July 2018

Development of design continues, full speed ahead...

Excerpt slideshows are here!

Can you say "paradigm shift"?

Now, in addition to picture slideshows, we have slideshows that can display excerpts. Portals are not just for topic tasting anymore. Now they can be made useful for surveying Wikipedia's coverage of entire subjects. This gives a deeper meaning to their name. Hmmm. "Portals"... Doorways to knowledge.

Portal:Lithuania was redesigned using excerpt slideshows. Check it out.

For those of you who cannot wait to test out these new toys...

We have not one, but three excerpt slideshow components to pick from:

{{Transclude excerpts as random slideshow}}

For this one, you specify the page names where the excerpts are to be extracted from.

{{Transclude list item excerpts as random slideshow}}

This one accepts source pages from where the page names are gathered from list items. Then an excerpt from one of those pages is displayed. The selection of what is included in the slide show can be limited to a specific number from the collection (of the page names gathered), and that selection is renewed from scratch each time the page is purged.
For example, if you specify Template:World Heritage Sites in Spain as a source page, the slideshow will cycle through those sites. Now you don't have to type them in one-by-one. This greatly reduces portal creation time.

{{Transclude linked excerpts as random slideshow}}

Same as above, but gathers links instead of just linked list items.

Panoramic banners

{{Portal image banner}} displays a panoramic picture the width of the page, and adjusts its size, so it stays that way even if the user changes page view size. And it accepts multiple file names, so that the picture displayed randomizes between them each time the page is visited/purged.

Give resizing the page a try:

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

You can now balance section boxes


Reptile types
Amphibian types


Reptile types
Amphibian types

Notice how the box bottoms line up. That readjusts even if you click the slideshow buttons.

The template used for this is {{Flex columns}}.

By the way, when you include more than one box in a column, any left over whitespace in that column is divided between them.

Box-header colour

You may have noticed the new {{Box-header colour}} template used above. It lets you pick the color locally (right on the same page). Before, this was handled on a subpage somewhere.

Testing, testing

Now that we have lots of toys to play with for making cool portals...

Don't forget, that the majority of views of Wikipedia these days are from mobile devices. We need to make certain that portals display well on those. So, remember to check your work on portals in mobile view mode...

To see a portal in mobile view mode, insert a ".m" into a portal's url, after "en", like this:

If you discover problems in a portal you can't fix, report them on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals/Design.

Until next time...

Have fun.    — The Transhumanist   01:00, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #015, 31 July 2018

Now that we have lots of toys to play with, it's play time!

Here are some fun activities to use our new toys on...

Fun activity #1: put the improved panorama template to use

Would you like to travel around the world? Well, this may be the next best thing...

Here's another fun toy to play with: {{Portal image banner}}

To see what it looks like, check out the panoramas at the tops of the following portals:

The task: There are many geography portals that lack panoramas. Please add some. Please keep the file size down below 2 megabytes, and keep in mind that you may find quality banners at commons: at less than 200K (.2 megabytes). Good search terms to include with the place name are "banner", "cityscape", "skyline", "panorama", "landscape", etc.

Related task: There are also lots of geography portals that have panoramas used as gaudy banners (with print or icons splattered across them) or that display them in some random location on the page. In many cases, those pages would be improved by displaying the panorama as a clean picture at the top of the intro section, like on the examples above. This works best with banner-like panoramas. Please fix such pages when you come across them, if you believe it would improve the look of the page.

Taller images might be better suited displayed further down the page, or in the "Selected images" section.

Note that {{Portal image banner}} supports multiple images, and displays one at random upon the first visit, and each time the page is purged.

Fun activity #2: install "Selected images" sections

That is, image slideshows!

Over 200 have been installed so far. Just 1200 to go. (Be sure not to install them on portals with active maintainers, unless they want you to).

The title "Selected images" reflects the fact that not all images on Wikipedia are pictures, and encompasses maps, graphs, diagrams, sketches, paintings, pictures, and so on.

The toys we have to work with for this are:

{{Random slideshow}}


{{Transclude files as random slideshow}}

The task: Using one of the above templates directly on a portal's base page, replace static "Selected picture" sections, with a section like one of these:

Selected images
Selected images

The one on the left uses {{Random slideshow}} (which accepts file names), and the one on the right uses {{Transclude files as random slideshow}} (which accepts source pages from which the filenames are gathered).

The above section formatting is used on many of the pages you will come across, but not all. In those cases, use whatever section formatting matches the rest of the page.

Note that you may come across "Selected picture" sections done with {{Random portal component}} templates. That template call is the entire section. Replace it with a section that matches the other sections on the page, and put the new slideshow inside that.

For example, in Portal:California, this code:

{{Random portal component|max=21|seed=27|header=Selected picture|subpage=Selected picture}}

was replaced with this code:

{{/box-header|Selected images|noedit=yes}}
{{Transclude files as random slideshow
| Culture of {{PAGENAME}}

And the new section blended right in with the formatting of the rest of the page. Note the use of the {{PAGENAME}} magic word. Plain article titles also work. Don't feel limited to one or two page names. But be sure to test each slideshow before installing the next one. (Or if you prefer, in batches - just don't leave them hanging). Report technical problems at the Portal design talk page.

Fun activity #3: upgrade "Selected article" sections

These sections, where unmaintained, have gone stale. That's because 1) the excerpts are static, having been manually copied and pasted, and 2) because they lack automatic addition of new entries.

They can be upgraded with:

{{Transclude random excerpt}}


{{Transclude list item excerpt}}


{{Transclude linked excerpt}}

All three of these will provide excerpts that won't go stale. The latter two can provide excerpt collections that won't go stale, by providing new entries over time. The key is to select source pages or source sections that are frequently updated, such as root article sections, mainstream lists, or navigation templates.

Where will this put us?

When the above tasks are completed for the entire collection of portals (except the ones with specific maintainers), we'll be more than half-way done with the portal system upgrade.

Keep up the great work.    — The Transhumanist   19:18, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

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