Festipedia:The Den

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Latest comment: 7 years ago by Heritagejim in topic New User Accounts - Spam

This page is for general discussions about the wiki. It is named after The Den at Boston Lodge.

If there is a more specific talk page for the topic you wish to discuss (e.g. the talk page for an individual article), please post your comments there. This page is for discussions about subjects affecting the whole wiki.



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Caption formatting[edit]

I have started to "improve" look of captions at bottom of picture - see Carriage 38 for example. This again will be an "as edit" change --Keith 2007-11-16T17:24:15

Places and Lineside Features - aka FR Locations[edit]

I have standardised the format for the FR and WHR Stations and Locations pages.

In doing this, I have got rid of the anomaly called "Places and Lineside Features", which was a very early page. Wheras before there was a redirect from "FR Locations" to "Places and Lineside Features" it is now reversed, and slowly I will remove mention of "PaLF" --Keith (talk) 2007-12-17T19:57:16

Have also instigated similar in Carriages, Wagons, Loco's. Bulk of original text has remained as was --Keith (talk) 2007-12-18T10:21:17

The small request...[edit]

irrelevant spam removed --Keith (talk) 2008-7-14T14:18:57 (UTC) more irrelevant spam removed --Keith (talk) 2008-8-8T19:27:10 (UTC) more irrelevant spam removed --Keith (talk) 2008-8-13T15:00:29 (UTC)

Block log[edit]

I was interested to note that the blocks placed on spamming IPs are short term, as little as one month in some cases. Is there a reason for not making them permanent please?


We don't have any formal policy on this. However, dynamic ISPs change frequently, particularly with AOL users - two successive requests from the same user may show different IP addresses. Even static IP addresses are reassigned. I don't want to block innocent users. It is also the case that vandals tend to go away when blocked, even if the block is relatively short. I therefore tend to go for a period that I think will be sufficient to deter the particular spammer. I will admit it does also depend how I'm feeling that day! --Peter Harrison (talk) 19:34, 16 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Improved searching[edit]

On Wikipedia there is now a feature whereby, if typing in a search entry, it starts displaying entries which start with those letters. Would it be possible to have that feature here? Tony E. (talk) 15:30, 5 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We've already got it! Type in a character and pause - a list of pages starting with that character should appear, although it might take 2 or 3 seconds. Type in some more characters and the list will be pages starting with those characters. The speed is a little variable. Sometimes response is well under a second, sometimes it takes a few seconds. I'm afraid that is down to our hosts - nothing I can do about that --Peter Harrison (talk) 18:52, 5 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So we have! Thanks Peter! I'll have to learn to type slower when searching! Tony E. (talk) 17:29, 6 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Festipedia versus the robots[edit]

Looking at today's activity on the Tan y Bwlch talk page, I am of the opinion (and have suspected for some time) that the porn spam links we are bedevilled with are coming from automated rather than human sources, most likely hijacked machines. Having a fresh batch of links added within two minutes of me removing a set and highlighting the offending IP, for instance. If so, methods aimed at humans are not going to stop it, and we appear to have got on to some kind of list of vulnerable sites. Assuming this works anything like email addresses known to spammers (there is no way of ever getting off their lists, so the only answers are to change address or make defences more robust), how do we defend Festipedia and its integrity? Given the frequency of the attacks and the seriously dodgy nature of some of the links posted (while I haven't followed them through there are some that look not just "specialised" but actively illegal), is there really any alternative to restricting edits to known and trusted users only? I am of course aware of the philosophical objection to doing this, but the fact at the moment is that our defences are not fit for purpose.

Addition: note the history of behaviour by today's offending IP:


Although I can't trace Recent Changes entries back to Nov 26th as there have been over 500 alterations since then, it looks very much as if the spamming machine has started its nonsense again immediately after expiry of a one-month ban. With all deference to Peter H's comments about the possibility of banning "innocent" IPs if we try longer bans, this looks like an example of where this doesn't work. If an IP address is banned permanently and is innocent, it should generate a complaint from a human that can be investigated easily enough.

A further note on the behaviour of the bot claiming to be posting from it replaces its links every 14-16 mins with a fresh set, so there appears to be no point in our trying to edit the affected page until this bot is banned.

Ben Fisher (talk) 16:07, 27 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Apologies for the delayed response. I've been keeping away from the PC over Christmas. I have banned this IP address again. At the time of writing, this is only a 1 month ban but I intend to increase it to a 3 month ban. A further offence will then lead to an infinite ban. I have reverted the affected page to the most recent version and added the links it was using to our spam blacklist. I will also protect the page since this particular bot seems keen on attacking this page. The thing I find frustrating is that these bots attack talk pages to try and improve the Google rank of their websites, but our talk pages are ignored by Google. I have some more steps planned which may help but our current protection is similar to that used by Wikipedia. The main thing they've got that we haven't is an army of administrators watching the site. --Peter Harrison (talk) 17:01, 27 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry to keep coming back to this, and Peter's efforts are valued and appreciated, but our defences are simply not working (well enough), as the garbage keeps coming from fresh IP addresses and is clearly not coming from a legit user whose ISP uses dynamic IP as opposed to static. Given that not all the garbage is harmless, do we have tougher defences available and if so, is it time to implement them? Ben Fisher (talk) 20:31, 4 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ditto Ben's comments. I don't understand the "dynamic/static" IP jargin, but I know that, for instance, each morning when I log on (having unplugged overnight) I get a new IP. Tackling vandalism by blocking IPs could be a never-ending task. Tony E. (talk) 07:39, 5 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That means you have a dynamic IP address, Tony. A static IP means you always get the same IP when you log on. I agree that blocking IPs can be a never ending task. One of the problems at the moment is that I can't lock one of the pages being attacked due to a bug in the software. That will be fixed in the next release which I hope to have finished shortly. Experience elsewhere indicates that stopping anonymous users from editing simply results in them creating accounts to attack the wiki. So, what can we do...
Looking at Wikipedia, they actually have a number of defences we don't, including:
  • An army of users and administrators fixing pages and blocking attackers
  • Bots which check for obvious signs of abuse and reverse them
  • A "patrol" mechanism which helps those users looking for abuse to find edits which haven't been checked
Adding the patrol mechanism would take some time, so isn't likely to happen quickly. In any case, given the relatively low number of edits we receive it probably isn't worthwhile. Bots, however, are more interesting. The main ones fighting vandalism seem to be ClueBot and VoABotII. These are automated scripts running on external machines controlled by ordinary users. MediaWiki has the ability to mark users as bots which gives them additional rights compared to normal users and also means their edits are marked as bot edits. I don't currently have support for bots built in to FestWiki but it is worth considering. Even without support in FestWiki, it should be possible for someone with time available to produce a suitable bot. The source to ClueBot is available on Wikipedia at User:ClueBot/Source but would need some modifications before it was used on Festipedia. Anyone want to have a go? --Peter Harrison (talk) 09:50, 5 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am starting to wonder if it would be worth making the registration process to get edit access human verified, and not immediately enabled, in the way the FR Mailing List is. I realise that this will be more work for the administrators, but how many genuine new editors do you get in a month? Given the mount of spam that the site seems to be getting. I have almost given up on the Recent Changes RSS feed as it contains so much rubbish. --Edward Harris (talk) 11:36, 4 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Trading names - template update?[edit]

I assume the following line from the top of almost all pages is buried quite deep in a template:

"Visit the Festiniog and Welsh Highland (Caernarfon) Railways and the Welsh Highland Railway (Porthmadog)"

I'd suggest that this be updated to the current trading names, as two of the above are no longer in use, thus:

"Visit the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, and the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway"

The links to festrail.co.uk and whr.co.uk would remain as at present, of course.

--Ben Fisher (talk) 14:08, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's actually in MediaWiki:Common.js. Fixed --Peter Harrison (talk) 13:21, 11 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Image Location data[edit]

There are now 5 extra fields available in the ImageCaption template enabling a record of the photo location to be included

These can be entered using the following format (all are optional)

|latnorm = 53:03:57.26N
|lonnorm = 04:00:41.15W
|latdec = 53.06599
|londec = -4.01141
|osgr = SH653539

and appear as

Latitude 53:03:57.26N = 53.06599
Longitude 04:00:41.15W = -4.01141
Grid Reference SH653539

in the file. Instructions have been updated in the discussion file

Locomotive Pages[edit]

Hi there,

A suggestion - could a information box along the lines of that now developed for Carriage pages be developed for locomotives? The carriage database is now very well formatted and pretty comprehensive - and locomotives are left a bit of a mess still. No doubt this is because of the large amount of information available on the locomotive fleet elsewhere, however I do feel that some form of universal formatting would improve the wiki significantly.

Also on locomotives, some formatting guidance is needed as I feel these pages should not only contain each locomotive's history, but should also be used to record continuing developments, availability etc.

Thoughts please. Bruce

Dont forget, you can date stamp your comments here by typing --~~~~ (2 dash and 4 tilde)


Point 1 - yes we can - I have emailed a baseline to you, and I will assist in designing a new one to cover locos.
Point 2 - only a suggestion.....
Depends on how much you want to input. Base idea is to open the narrative with a brief description as the loco stands, currentyly. Then possible the history design of, and construction of loco., notable acheivements etecetera --Keith (talk) 13:40, 16 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Just had a look at the Merddin Emrys page to discover that what I had in mind does already exist but is not yet in widespread use! Shall therefore make a start on reformatting other pages to suit unless there are objections!

Bruce --14:32, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Categories (June 2015)[edit]

So here is another "talk portal". Pasting in what I wrote on the other one ([1]):

"I have made a start on a comprehensive category system from the fragments I found. Don’t know if anyone here felt a need for it, but chances are that once in a while a reader from outside might find it convenient. (As long as it’s maintained, that is. The neglect in that respect was what fuelled me…)

Of course much more could be done, maintenance and personal priorities apart. (And those articles I didn't find apart.)

For example, in line with what’s outlined here [2], a number of cross-FR/WHR (etc.) categories could be subdivided for each company (etc.); rolling stock categories could be subdivided for items hired or borrowed, historic discarded, historic still here, modern likewise; etcetera.

I think (almost?) all the articles not about persons (and not behind-the-scene technical) have a category now. Or more, since many subjects are relevant in more than one context. The many short notices about persons are best gone through by someone who knows the region and its people.

Among the uncategorised articles, I have come across some duplicates, either discarded and forgotten or started by someone who didn't know there was an article on the subject. I've also found (and marked, at least when I've remembered it) a number of unmarked stubs, some on rather central subjects.

Both of which may go to show the importance of maintaining the structure of a wiki. (To whomever might be interested.)" --IP (talk) 19:39, 22 June 2015 (UTC) - - IP (talk) 19:39, 22 June 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Festipedia - Areas of interest[edit]

I notice that recently several pages have appeared which I, and others, consider to be outside the scope of Festipedia e.g. incidents on the LNWR Blaenau branch. Should we have limits to the area of interest? If so what should they be?

My suggestion is that Festipedia is limited to the FR and all its narrow gauge connections. We seem to have accepted history of the quarries. We would therefore include the WHR and all its predecessors including the Gorseddau and Moel y gest lines. The top end would include Rhiwbach Tramway and the Festiniog & Blaenau .

Any comments? Heritagejim (talk) 09:37, 29 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New User Accounts - Spam[edit]

I was wondering if the festpedia should have an account authorisation step to stop the spam edits to it. Possibly just a time delay on the account activation would be enough to deter them.

Given the area of interest of the festpedia is rather small, the number of potential contributors to it that have not previously registered must by now be quite small!

Also I notice the "Please use this link start a new topic for discussion. Thanks." link at the top of the page doesn't seem to work, if you click the "New Section" tab it seems to use this link: https://www.festipedia.org.uk/w/index.php?title=Festipedia:The_Den&action=edit&section=new

Edward Harris (talk) 14:10, 26 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would agree with Edward but it is really up to Peter as to what he can do and what he feels about restrictions. I get the impression that he thinks it is best to control Spam in other ways.Heritagejim (talk) 14:17, 26 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Robert Williams[edit]

I am trying to research my family from Garn Dolbenmaen my Grandfather's name was James Oscough Jones, he lived at Longert as a child but unfortunately unable to find his birth record to date. I have a Will of Ann Jones of Longert Garn and it states that Robert Williams of Boston Lodge near Portmadoc Works Manager and the sole Executor. It also states within the Will that he was Ann's cousin.

Can anyone help me with more information on Robert and his role as Works Manager at the Boston Lodge.

Regards Jeanette email jes_krs@yahoo.co.uk.

Harbour Station - Pre Preservation[edit]

It is great news that Bachmann is going to produce a model of Harbour Station to go along with their OO-9 equipment.

They are offering the models with either green or red doors and trim. I have contacted Bachmann about the colours, they said these colours were used in the preservation era. They had no idea what colour was used on the doors and trim pre-preservation. Do we know what colour was used?