Festipedia:The Den/Archive 1

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This page is now archived - do not use[edit]

For Current discussion page see Festipedia:The Den[edit]

If you are contributing to the discussions on this page, please make sure you identify yourself in your comments.

Comments are invited on the following possible changes:

  • Making links appear in a colour (probably blue) either as well as or instead of having them in bold
  • Making links to non-existent pages appear in a different colour (probably red) instead of using a question mark
  • Identifying external links through use of a different colour or a graphic of some description
  • Making text in tables appear the same size as text in the body of the article

For Current discussion page see Festipedia:The Den[edit]

Comment from Keith KCB 15/03/06

Colur links & Bold - better than just either I think. Red on non-existant - yes - brings in line with main Wikpedia protocol External - still think there is a need to warn that they are going 'offsite' Tables .... good point

Comment from Kim Winter 28/02/06

I have created a Test Page, which can be located by inserting 'Test Page' in the search box at the bottom of any page.

At the top of this page i have drafted a 'Ffestiniog Railway Steam Lococmotive Availability 2006' table. What do other Wiki contributors think about this table?

Is the content accurate, fair & reasonable?

Will its content or existence upset anybody?

Shall I go ahead and create a separate page & provide a link to it from the locomotives page?

Comment from Keith KCB 28/02/06

*Make title 'non date related' otherwise its out of date next year (!), wiki edit date appears on bottom line anyway  
*Also possibly reduce boxes as per alternate I put at bottom - gives more space

Reply by Kim 28/02/06
I like the improved table layout - thank you - now actioned

I think I will leave the table date related to 2006, as I will be quite happy to do another for 2007 - the Wiki will then store/hold an 'annual record ' of loco availabiity

In the first case, yes to links in colour, but as well as bold please, not instead of.

Text in tables, yes, same size text better.

Cyril Perrier

Comment from Stewart D. Macfarlane

  • Using colour coded for links would help, especially when reviewing previous revisions - is bold a link or just bold?
  • Not sure about the removal of the question mark for non-existent pages. Just making them red would allow the page to be read without question marks detracting from the flow, however by using the question mark should prompt the person creating the link that a destination page should be provided.
  • I think a symbol would be better for the external link
  • Better control on the fonts within table would be desirable.

For the first time tonight (twice on this page) I have been editting a page when some else does a "quick change". Is there any means of providing a notification to the second person into a page that someone is editing it?

Commment from Peter Harrison
Using the technology supported by our host, the best we can manage is to let you know when you click the Save button that someone else has changed the page since you started editing it. The wiki should be doing that already. If it isn't, please let me know.

Another change we could make which I missed off the above list is to stop people from editing the wiki unless they have set up a user name. That wouldn't stop people hiding behind aliases (or even pretending to be someone else) but it would give us some kind of meaningful name.

Comment from Stewart D. Macfarlane
The Wiki is providing a notification when a preview (and probably a save) is requested when another edit has taken place. A paste and copy of block of text was all that was required, but could get fustrating when a complex edit is being carried out - possibly the answer is to save frequently.

Forcing a name to be added in the preferences would help in identifying people - but then how many "qwerty's" would we get editting the Wiki? Can the adminstrator see the ISP or other identification as to where the edit came from (a Demon domain in my case).

Another thought, this time for Wiki:Conventions, regarding the formatting of captions for pictures. I suggest these should include as a minimum title, date and photographer. Descriptor text follwoing the picture can provide further detail.

Comment from Jim Hewett

It appears to me that if we can force users (editors that is) to identify themselves and we already have the power to ban users then we are in a position to fully control the Wiki. Anyone who uses a name which cannot be identified is banned!

Commment from Peter Harrison
Unfortunately we can't ban users by name at the moment. We can ban by host name or IP address but that's it. If someone has set up a user name, we can't see their host name or IP address any more so it becomes more difficult to ban them. I could probably make some modifications to the software but that would take time.

To complicate matters somewhat, some ISPs give the user a different host name and IP address each time they log on. That means the only way of banning the user reliably is to block everyone from that ISP, which would not be a good idea.

My preference is not to lock the wiki down too tightly. I don't want to make it difficult for people to contribute. We haven't suffered much abuse to date. Indeed, since the anti-spam measures were put in place, all I've seen is a couple of pages which have since been removed. There was the attempt to remove bold from the links but that wasn't particularly serious and I have mixed feelings about that one. It could be argued that the person involved was correct in suggesting that the format of links should be determined only by the software.

Looking at everyone's comments it seems to me that we think:

  • Links should be blue as well as bold (that would actually be easiest - making them all just blue would involve extensive modifications to pages in the wiki to remove the bold formatting that was applied by hand)
  • Most people don't feel strongly about links to non-existent pages so I won't do anything about that for the moment
  • Having a graphic to identify external links would be good
  • Making the text in tables the same size as elsewhere would be good
  • Providing greater control over the formatting of tables would be good
  • An update to the conventions to cover captions for photos would be good

Making links blue and making table text match other text can be done by updating the style sheet. Updating the conventions is also easy. I will deal with these items as soon as I get a chance.

There is a patch available for our wiki software which allows you to determine whether the contents of a cell are left aligned, right aligned or centred (at the moment the contents are always centred). I will look into this but I am concerned that the patch as it stands may upset the formatting of some existing pages so I may need to adapt it a bit.

There isn't a patch available for using a graphic on external links so that is going to have to wait until I know Perl a bit better!

Watch this space...

Comment from John Browning

I favour the requirement for contributors (editors) to have a "name". This emphasises the nature of the wiki as a community and I think would tend to make people feel more responsible for their contribution.

Mand you, having said that I note that I made a minor amendemnt to the Deviation page last night from a work computer when I was away on business and appeared as "". Not as personal, is it?

Commment from Peter Harrison (15th March 2006)
Significant update coming soon!

I will be posting an update soon with the following features:

  • Improved table formatting - the update will allow you to specify the aligment of text in a cell (left, right or centred). It will also allow you to specify cells spanning multiple rows. It will not support headers, captions, background colours, text colours, tables within tables, changing or removing the cell borders, specifying the width or height of the table, specifying the height of individual rows, specifying the width of individual columns or specifying the positioning of the table on the page. If anyone feels we need any of these features, use this page to let me know.
  • Improved appearance of blank cells in tables
  • Anchors - it will be possible to put an anchor anywhere on a page. This allows you to link to the anchor so that the page appears with the anchor at the top of the screen. This can be used, for example, to put "go to bottom" and "go to top" links on long pages.
  • Automatic mailto links - any email address included on a page will automatically be turned into a link. Clicking on the link will allow the user to send a message to that email address (similar to the webmaster link on the home page).
  • Table of contents - add a table of contents for a page, generated automatically from the headings on the page. The wiki actually has this feature already for numbered headings but I haven't documented it so far. I will add some documentation and see if I can enable it for unnumbered headings as well.
  • Diacriticals, special punctuation, superscripts, etc. - again, the wiki already supports these but the feature is not currently documented.

Comment from Keith 15/03/06

  • Table formatting - welcome improvement
  • Improve Blank Cells - ? make them blanker??
  • Acnhors - yup - makes a page easier to navigate to, from another page (if thats whats intended)
  • Emails - wiki contributors may not want to hear from users - obviously upto them to include such links
  • TOC's - lets see the current version documented and it can be tried out. We can wait with bated breath for the improved version, but at least we will have had the practice.
  • Dia whats? - lets see the docs and then I'll tell you!!!!

oh yes and how do you thicken this green line below???

Commment from Peter Harrison (15th March 2006)

  • Improve blank cells - they currently appear to be filled in as if the cell isn't really there (difficult to describe without inserting a table which will, of course, look different when I post the updated software...). However, I now see that Kim has used the existing behaviour extensively to create wide borders between cells. I have therefore removed this fix for the time being.
  • Anchors can make a page easier to navigate to from another page. It also allows for navigation within a page
  • Diacriticals - accented letters
  • Green line - correction to my previous comment - the wiki documentation is wrong and didn't tell me that there is an option I need to enable. I will fix it with this update

26/04/06 Zapped two lots of viagra links today. Is there a simple way of deleting a whole page? 'Parks and Gardens' was a new page containing just spam. I've removed the content but couldn't see an obvious way of removing the page itself. AndrewT

Commment from Peter Harrison (27th April 2006)

The simple way of deleting a whole page is to send an email to webmaster@frheritage.org.uk asking me to do it. That functionality is restricted to administrators. Deleting a page also deletes the page history, so there would be too much opportunity for vandalism if the functionality was available to anyone.

Question from Tim Goodspeed (27th April 2006)

Quality or Quantity - Discuss!!

There are some pages of the wiki where in our early enthusiasm we have posted the best pictures and other material that we could find of the subject. As the wiki has developed, other contributors have added content and we can end up with a mix of content improving on the original page. This is mostly an issue with images, I suggest, as by the very nature of the wiki we update and amend the text, but we do not update and amend images, we simply add more.

So, quality or quantity? The more the merrier or should we, by consent of the original contributor, seek to remove any images where a better quality one comes to light at a later date? I notice that Kim has posted a number a photos to illustrate pages and added a note after the images along the lines of 'images to be replaced by a better one if anyone's got one'. (I'm afraid I haven't managed to find any for you yet Kim!!).


Tim ________________________________________

Comment from John Browning 28 April 2006

I agree with you completely, Tim.

The very nature of the wiki allows you to remove as well as add, but I guess we are all nervous about this (as I think we all are even when we change words contributed by another).

How to combine "respect" and "rigour"? It is the same challenge that no commune appears to survive, given enough time.

The wiki is just an electronic commune really, and I think we all secretly are grateful that we do have the presence of a supreme deity even if PHe usually works on the principle of benign non-interference.

John __________________________

Question & a comment from Kim Winter 02 May 2006

1) Question

I have added one of Geoff Plumb's superb slides - with his permisson onto the top of the Test Page.

What page should it go on?

Please feel free to move it to an appropriate page but please leave a link to the page here. I do like to email Geoff Plumb informing him of where on the Wiki we have placed his slides.

2) Comment

I have emailed him today asking his permission for the Boston Lodge slide, which was posted slightly later than the others.

He normally emails me back with a .jpg file which I then load on, but he is a busy person and this may take a few days before I hear from him.

Kim _________________________


Comment from Keith 7:55 pm 02 May 06 I think Kim's reluctance to place Geoff Plumb's pic on the Harbour page, may be because it is getting full. There are already 6 photos there. I would propose offloading the pictures to a picture page, and just leave the history on a front page with the current name, and a secondary Harbour Station (Pictorial Views) linked to it. This idea may need to be done on a couple of other pages if people keep insisting on adding photos. Comments? Update from Keith 8:32 pm 02 May 06 Have split pages as said above (re worded text page and rearranged and inserted Geoffs picture

Comment from Keith 7:59 pm 02 May 06 Can we please keep max size to about 950 pixels wide - saves right hand side being off the page. Also try processing photos to reduce the size (in kbytes) as a large sized photo takes longer to load. Also - where possible please keep photos in dated order. Cheers

A few thoughts on Kieth's comments

Picture size - good idea.

Harbour Station (Pictorial Views) needs (back) linking to Harbour Station . done

Other pages with lots of pictures - Double Heading done but could someone fleshout the text please , Blanche (done and renamed) also done Princess Also created a mini index page (linked from various) Pictorial Views

Thinking about it once there gets more than three or four pictures, is there a means of providing a thumbnail index at the top of the page, which point to the "full size" pictures?


Not completely in favour of Keith's decision to split the Harbour Station pages - Why? It means a reader has to search an extra page, so losing the thread and taking pictures out of context. The proliferation of pages on our wiki is both a source of satisfaction AND a source of frustration - how the h*ll do we keep up with everything being added AND hold down a job and a family??!! :-) Seriously - there have been disparaging comments about the accuracy of information being presented on the wiki. As you would expect, as Archivist, I would prefer rigour over quantity - but I'm not going to ask people to stop contributing, just ask them to be as careful as possible.


Update from Keith 5:00 am 03 May 06

HS (Pictorial Views) now contains all the text as on the original page and therfore doesnt need linking back to original. This also removes Adrians point. There are a number of links all over the wiki, notable on the station guide table, that all point to the text page which is now quicker to load.

Re AGC's 'disparaging comments about the accuracy etc.'. I have been waiting for this (but not the plagarisim bit - which could another lovely discussion). a) obviously we cannot control what is input in that sense, and b) we have even less chance than that (!) of stopping being misquoted. That whole line of discussion, on group, was going to be fraught (?) with problems quoting rough guidelines all over!!!

Update from Kim 8:55 am 03 May 06 (just before starting work)

Thank you Keith for your suggestion.

I favour the idea of splitting photos onto separate pages where we have more than one example.

I do like to see at least one photo, illustration or map per page (a 'picture is worth a thousand words') but where there are more than one photo or illustration then I think we should do as as Keith suggests and create separate pictorial or photo pages with appropriate links.


Update from Peter 9:40 am 03 May 06

I don't think I've ever been called a supreme deity before!

In answer to Stewart's question, there is no automatic facility for generating thumbnails. It should be possible to do it manually by uploading a thumbnail as well as the full size image and then using the syntax for using an image as a link. Unfortunately this seems to confuse the software when using uploaded images. I will investigate this and see if I can work out how to fix it.

Update from Andy Elms 12:40 am 18 July 06

Hi, couple of things

I seem to spend more time deleting spam from the wiki than adding to entries. Any chance of making it a bit more secure, with a proper registration and password login. Although I did find an interesting link for "anorak fetish" on there...

Secondley, much as I appreciate the Geoff Plumb pictures on the site they do seem to be taking over. Geoff does have a fully functioning fotopic site to link to. Just starting up a route page enigmatically titled "The Woods above Cei Mawr" cos Geoff has a picture of it does not really add any more information to the wiki.

But then, my idea of the wiki is to dissminate information. It is also fufilling a useful repository of pre-1939 and pre-1990 photos of the line but the balance seems to be more photographic than factual. What are peoples opinions on this?

Right, must stops whinging and write a caption for the Minffordd Yard photos whilst pretending to work...

AE the SSP

Reply from Keith 18/7/6 19:51

Andy, the idea of passwording has been mooted before, but it removes the concept of the wiki - open information source. As idea was to make it that changes could only be done by registered people - dont know if this was practical, but would remove the problem to some extent whilst not stopping 'real' people doing valid edits.

Geoff Plumb (solely) - only problem I have here is the amount of writeup given for each picture - mostly in relation to source and Fotopic site. - prefer to stick to the Festipedia:Conventions which state Photographs should have a caption giving the title, date and photographer. .

Pictures - General - Yes and No - agree any relevant picture is good - just that sometimes there are too many - a certain page that hasnt been pictorialised yet has 9 photos - and less than 1 pane's worth of data

Comment from Keith 18/7/6 20:21 [#Despamming]Despamming ('now linkified)

Just a quickie on how to despam quickly

Goto View other revisions (not Edit text of this page) on the circles at top click on both circles below when the spamming was done - then click compare Click on the Edit revision x of this page click on save - file is reverted correctly to previous version without having to do it manually

Comment from Ben Fisher, 18.7.6 The spammer(s)

I've recently added a link to the wiki from the WHR Project site but am going to have to remove it unless we can do something about our Mexican friend and the others (or it may be just one using open proxies to fake his DNS). The spam is very un-family-friendly and seems disguised in a way to make the links appear innocuous; and putting users only two or three clicks away from it might be interpreted as in breach of the AUP under which I run my site. It's very useful to have the advice on despamming but it requires human intervention in some form, and apart from the question of availability it's a poor use of our time. I suggest a secure login requirement is the only way to go; it might compromise the open source principle but will make very little real change to how the legitimate editing actually operates.

Comment from Peter Harrison, 19.7.6

Unfortunately the spammer seems to be using a variety of IP addresses, so I can't stop it by blocking IP addresses. I am adding something appropriate to the spam list every time to stop him from reposting the same links but that is only of limited use, especially since the current culprit seems to have a range of domains he can use.

The software we are using does not provide a secure login facility. There is a patch which allows us to insist that anyone posting has a user name, but there are no restrictions on the content of the user name (nor is there any mechanism for checking that the person is who they claim to be). The only password facility provided is VERY weak so I am not keen on using it. In any case, I am aware of sites which attempted to enforce a secure logon but still got hit with spam. These people are very persistent, often using armies of workers in China to crack their way into a site.

There is a patch I can apply which may help which should make it harder for robots to spam us, but I suspect that will be of limited effectiveness. There is another patch available which applies Bayesian filtering - the idea is that I "teach" it what spam looks like and it then blocks any new spam. It won't be 100% reliable (and I will have to "train" it first) but it might be a significant improvement. It is quite a complex patch (which I have to apply by hand) but I will take a look at this when I get a chance, hopefully some time in the next week or so.

Comment from Ben Fisher, 19.7.6

Thanks to Peter for the tech info. Rather than trying to turn the wiki into Fort Knox I'd suggest applying the patch that requires a username. It would (a) remind us to be tighter about using them anyway and (b) require any spammer to at least take some action in order to spam us. That could help put them off in itself, as at the moment we're a completely open target. The analogy is that the car thief goes for the easiest target, i.e. the completely unlocked vehicle.

Comment from Tony Ellis, 20.7.06

Firstly, yes the spam is becoming more subtle, and some would say more offensive.

But I'm here to mention the viewing of other revisions. Sometimes a page has had a lot of recent revisions, and invariably the revisions we are most interested in are the latest ones - i.e. at the top of the list. However, the "compare" button is at the bottom of the list, which is not always visible on the screen where the list is long. Peter, would it be possible to either move the "compare" button to the top of the list, or, as Wikipedia itself does, have one at the top and bottom?

What do others think?

Comment from Peter Harrison, 21.7.06

I am sure that you will all be pleased to hear that, following a crash course in Perl regular expressions, I have now modified the spam filter in a way that should permanently block the spammer who has been attacking us recently provided he continues to use similar domain names to those used in the past. No promises but it should be an improvement. I will apply further measures as soon as I get a chance but, having just accepted a job 250 miles from my current home, this may take a while.

I note Tony's comment on the "compare" button. I have been thinking of changing one of the parameters on the wiki software so that history is held for longer. I'll see what I can do about putting compare buttons at both ends of the list. It shouldn't be too difficult (famous last words...).


Revisiting pictorial pages - John Browning 23/7/06

Having just done some work on the Merddin Emrys page, I am wondering about the merits and methods of managing pictorial pages. When looking at the pictorial version of this page, it can be seen that the photos have been placed at the end of the text that appears in the non-pictorial version. However, the pictures would be much better placed within the text to illustrate the points being made in words. This can be done (and in this case I will do it), but it involves some complicated double work for anyone editing into the pictorial version and as a result, will tend to put more work on the “managing contributors” in ensuring things are up to scratch.

I understand that the rationale for having separate picture pages was in order to accommodate slow download rates for people using dialup, but I am unsure if this is really a problem. Any thoughts?

By the way, is it possible to create a link that takes you to a specific point in a linked page, rather than just to the page in general?

Reply from Keith 06:20 23Jul06

Make the link like so http://www.frheritage.org.uk./cgi-bin/wiki.pl?Wiki_Discussion#Link001

then code into point where you want to link >> == Link001 ==

try this [[1]]

I have only used it this one time so far and that was from an email (the term doesnt have to be Link001 - watever you want.

Pictorial pages:

I started these cos there were a number of pages that were starting to be come so big as people were just filling them with their pwn pix. Then there was the bright idea to duplicate the text as well. My own opinion is that the data page be kept for actual information, whilst the pictorial would be open to just the pix and relevant captions.


Tractive Effort - Ed Harris 23/7/06

Does anyone mind if I remove these figures for the FR Locomotives?

T.E. is a very approximate measurement, and is really only useful when compairing similar locomotives. One of the biggest factors in the sums is the at so-and-so percent Boiler Pressure. This factor is meant to take in to account all the other factors affecting locomotive performance that the other measurements in the calculation don't, such as the effect any super heat will have, the type of valve gear, the wheel arrangement, etc. etc.

I don't feel it's very useful for the FR engines as the useful power of the loco's is determined by many more factors that are obvious from the T.E. value. The FR engines are so different that the figures become meaningless. You can usefully compare a standard Class 4 to a standard Class 5 with it, but you wouldn't compare a fairlie with the Great Eastern Decapod.

Reply from Keith 14:53 22/7/06

Agree entirely, with the added proviso that since the TE was calculated and the source printed, it is highly possible changes have taken place to the engine - more so recently with the oil to coal conversions. Comment - suggest leaving as is, for a couple of days allowing for others to comment. What is really needed is a listing from control on what engines are capable of pulling how many carriages - Stewart is there such a listing?? (again this will only be as current as the day it was issued!)

Peter Harrison, 23/7/06

Actually there is a better syntax to use for linking to a specific point within a page documented in the help system. This avoids having to create a heading and also avoids using the full URL - I am trying to discourage this so that changes of technology will not affect the wiki contents. Take a look at the "Adding links" page in the Help and look for information about anchors.

Reply from Stewart (23:22 23/07/06)

There is an official listing that details the maximum load that each engine can pull. This is programmed into TRACS (the Control Office computer that is linked to TARGIT). TRACS gets upset when a locomotive is given too many carriages to pull. I am in the Control Office at the beginning of August. If I get time, I will check out the info. IT should also be noted that the declared haulage capacities are different between the FR and RhE.

and a Query from Stewart (23:28 23/07/06)

One for Peter about pictures - Yesterday I uploaded my first picture into Wikipedia, I noted that the link to the information page produces a thumbnail using the syntax


. This points to a separate page with the full size picture. For an example check out Crianlarich Station page. If it was possible to implement something similar, it would then help to tidy up some of the pages which are now containing a large number of pictures.

Reply from Andy Elms(14:00 24/07/06)

Regarding the official listing that details the maximum load that each engine can pull. You'll find this in your rule book. Generally, if I remember right, for the FfR its Double Fairlies 12, Ladies and Alco 8, Tal 6, Prince 5, Palmerston 4, Moelwyn 2, Simplex 2. INA, Hebog et al are excluded for obvious reasons.

This is an even blunter instrument than Tractive Effort for comparing locos. It is based on Blodge's general experience and a number of factors - keeping to the timetable is one of the most pertinant. A dry rail / wet rail affects matters further and I believe as a general rule of thumb (though ask in the Lodge for confirmation) in coal firing days these figures were 1 carriage lower. As an example of how rough it is- who can forget Palmerston hauling 6 coaches to Blaenau and keeping to time in January 2005? Alco can haul just about anything over The Cob and I've been informed Prince will happily run at 10mph with the mother of all rakes of slate waggons tacked on the back.

So, yes it could be included but a caveat should be added.

Thumbnails - definitely. Quite easy to get hold of if you're using pictures from fotopic Witness: http://thumbs.fotopic.net/612027000569.jpg Alternatively, editting in Paint isn't rocket science. I'll have a go on some of mine and see what people think


Comment from John Browning on T.E.

Of course, this is a purely notional measure that should not be taken as anything more than a theoretical indication, assuming that the dimensions from which it is derived are correct. The associated commentary should denote this.

Have a look at page NGG16 for some interesting figures that came together at one time and which provide some basis for reflection, however inacurate the measure might appear to be.

I see some merit in having a comparison between the FR locomotives expressed in this way. Perhaps their differences are closer to the 4MT - 5MT range than the 2ft gauge Fairlie - standard guage Decapod range.

Just a thought.


Reply from Ed Harris (18:00 24/07/06)

I would argue that the "Max Carriage Loading" is a better comparison, as it take in to account the ability of the loco to provide the haulage power day in and day out on the FR. Phil Dowse took at least 10 to Tanygrisiau with Blanche once, but the next day about half the tubes were leaking at the firebox end.

Comment from Stewart Macfarlane (19:28 27/07/06)

I do not think the spliting of the Carriage 121 page is a particularly good idea. The rebuild is retaining the IOM Underframe and bogies from its previous incarnation. My feeling it that is should revert to its previous arrangement.

If splitting is to be carried out, the major milestones in its history are:- 1981 - Last "tin car to be built" (all red livery) 1988 - Major bodyworks, experimental seating, fitting of gas fired central heating and push pull fitted ("upside down grey/green livery) -- minor work in 1990? when green/cream livery applied and red diplomat seats installed -- minor work in 2004 when central heating removed 2005 - Major rebuild to service car commenced

I cannot find any pictures of 121 in its first incarnation, however I do have pictures in the early days of its second incarnation.


Comment from John Browning (7:46 AEST 28/07/06)

I agree with Stewart.
Otherwise we will have to split the Hudsons, number 22, and anything else that has been rebodied (or re-framed). A bit like Grandpa's axe really.
And then we'd have to start splitting England engines . . .
Better not to go there.



Comment from Keith 06.30 28/07/06

Rebuild .... Refurbish ..... Reconstruct ..... Renumber ..... (oh and dont forget Regulations - HMRI/HSE etc)

re ducks for cover ....

Mentioning the 5R's there will immediately evoke 'passion' in all directions!! and a problem (at least on 1st 4) on representation on the Wiki!

I think we should leave the carriages as an individual identity alone - it would have helped if the Co. didnt allow reuse of numbers and go with an expanded 100 series with this new policy e.g. 130 Service V. 140 Obs V. 150 Saloons and still could do - look at the original barns numbers. (no discussion here please - put it on egroup! (stir stir)) Given on C121 the frames were ex IOM R7 since 1981 and the bogies for past season were ex C114 - what is real?? and what is not??!!

It all comes down to how the wikpedian wants to enter his information.

C100 v C1000 Agree the way its split, but have added a top liner on C100 page that relates to previous 'owner carriage' and link. C1000 already contains a suitable backlink to C100

C121 Bruce is heavily involved with C121 and feels due to the amount of work gone in to it, it should be classed a new vehicle. Using the indvidual identity idea, I think the rebuilding detail should go on a sub page (C121 Rebuild 2006).


Comment from Bruce 06.30 28/07/06

My reasons for splitting the page were mainly because I felt it was getting to big. I understand that there are political reasons for stating that 121 is a "rebuild" but it is only to the same degree as Taliesin in my opinion.

I would contest you comments about the originality of 121. The bogies are not original - the current ones came from 114 last winter, but they've been swapped so many times lord knows what they were originally from. Indeed never use bogies as indication of original origin... 102 is currently on 105's, 105's is currently on the old 100's, 19 will come back with the bogies from 20.... and so on.

Neither is the frame original, it is from an IoMR carriage so should we be using the number of that vehicle?!

Having spent a good number of hours working on 121 I feel that it should be considered as a new car - stating that it was "rebuilt" does not reflect the number of hours myself and the paid staff have put into it - 95%+ is brand new. I was involved in both the extensive scrapping of the original carriage, and the construction of the new incarnation.

All other rebuilds mentioned still contained part of the carriage built in 1981. Same is true of other items quoted. The current carriage does not contain anything from that 1981 build - the only link to that carriage is the chassis which infact pre-dates 1981.

In addation, Keith mentions HMRI regulations. These apply to design, not construction, no one would argue that 102 and 107 are "rebuilds", but they claim grandfather rights as being built to a (much modified though) historical design (i.e. Pre-1970). Same goes for all the other replicas we have created recently (CRV, C24, Ashbury etc). 121 is the same in my view as the body construction follows the same pattern as the other "barns", but with modifications to fit a different design of chassis. As Both 102 and 100 have wider chassis' than the original barns, the same can be said for them to.

By the same token 100 is "officially" regarded (somewhat tongue in check I'd like to add) as a "rebuild" - it contains the a small decretive piece of the original interior!

Finally, I'd like to add that thought has been given to using one of the currently spare IoMR chassis' for carriage 108, which no one would argue would be a new carriage...

All food for thought.


reply from Keith 16.30 28/07/06

White flag. wave white flag.

As per my previous - we should leave the carriages as an individual identity and concentrate the details found on that page, on the current owner of that number. Old C100 has become C1000 no problem and contains full details of its past life there. The new C121 contains much of the old C121 (or at least as it last ran.) Bruce has made a strong point for leaving it that way. C121 has a link to the Mark 1 page, and I have put an entry in the index for the old page.


Comment from Bruce 17.47 28/07/06

Final comment from me, is I believe you miss understand the bogie situation Keith. C121 gained C114's bogies AFTER it was withdrawn, i.e. the new C121 will will not be as it last ran in that the bogies it last ran with are now under C114.


Comment from Stewart 18:20 28/07/06

We are we are. The issue is what defines the number of a vehicle. We are in the Axe of my Grandfather situation. My feeling is that the pages should have not been split. However I had made strong representations to the management when I first saw the plans that included Service Vehicles that they should be numbered in a new series (i.e. 131, 132, etc). Given the recent major rebuilds of vehicles 105 and 106, and forthcoming rebuilds 103, 119 and 120 we are creating a minefield of when to start a new page and when not to.

100 was easy. The vehicle originally given that number is still in existence, so we have to differentiate.

In the future I can see the new 121 page received old 121 information and vice versa.

I know expect the Wiki to be cluttered up with new pages everytime major work is undertaken - why not 103 when it lost its Barn look and became aluminium clad with those awful windows?

reply from Keith 16.30 28/07/06

Sorry Bruce, my comment on bogies was based on your 06.30 post - didnt know change was after withdrawal. Apologies ........ but the frames are still original IoM!! (jesting-no offence) Stewart - I'll stick to what I said before in that the basic page number covers the current owner of that number. How we represent previous incarnations would be left to whoever is editing - in C121 case, Bruce called it C121 Mark 1 - a precedent that might become the norm in future. I am not envisaging anyone back tracking on other carriages (103), but as you say with the minefield of whats coming, which ever way we go, will not please everyone.

One point which hasnt been mentioned... If we left the previous history on the basic page, and to the rule of keeping in date order, then details and pictures of the carriage as is now, may well only appear on the third page!! ______

comment from John Browning 8:50 AEST 29/7/06

There are many complex and conflicting issues here.

If you are arguing for separate pages, it leads to Carriage 121 (2nd) etc, and that can be managed quite well, for example with the carriage index page sending people the right way.

However, the principles involved need to be able to applied retrospectively as well as prospectively.
Is Carriage 22 the same one as inherited in 1954? - Clearly not (and I don't know what bogies are under it, although I consider this point irrelevant to the discussion).
When it did it cease to be the same vehicle? When it received a new frame? Or when it received a new body? Or only when it received both?
And given the above, does it need to be on two pages, Carriage 22 and Carriage 22 (2nd)?

And then how would you apply these principles to Carriage 15, Carriage 18 or Van 4? If we are content to apply the "fiction" that pre-preservation carriages have continued to exist no matter what, then why not post-preservation ones?

The decision whether or not to split is not a comment on the efforts of those who have been involved in carriage building, whether restoration, rebuild (real or fictional) or new build. It is a decision of convention designed to help contributors and readers to experience some consistency of treatment and not be led astray. The words within any entry should explain the situation and give credit where credit is due.

Could I suggest that where change has taken place as a matter of "evolution" (Coach 22 and, I suspect from what has been said, Coach 121), one entry be used, even though we all know that nothing of the original may remain. The first lines of the page can very clearly summarise the evolutionary stages, and enable people to jump straight to the stage they are interested in through the use of anchor points.

In the case of Coach 100, the old one has been renumbered 1000 and a new one is being created. This obviously warrants a new page. However, my preferences are
1. Not to call it Coach 100 Mark II (which I believe isn't sufficiently clear) but Coach 100 (2nd)
2. To have an index page for Coach 100 that will be used to take you to either one or the other. That could be a purpose built index page, with nothing else on it, or alternatively could be the chronologically first page, using the introductory explanation and links to direct people the right way. I think I prefer the latter.

If you look at the pages for Carriage 100 and Taliesin you can see the bones of how this might be done, although it is not (yet) clear or consistent.


Comment from Stewart 21:29 30/07/06

Thanks to Ed Harris for adding the carriage lengths. One point though, can Ed please setup his user name on the preferences page. Unless of course Laura was carrying out the changes. And yes I can identify Ed from his demon domain.


Reply from Ed

Is that better?

says Keith: yes - Mr Ed. is much better than Mr. locoshed.demon.co.uk !! (groan - sorry)

Comment from Edward Harris 04/08/06

Just a point of nomenclature, I think that carriages have underframes and not chassis. Chassis are only associated with motor vehicles.

What does anyone else think?

Comment from John Browning

Underframe sounds just fine to me.

To All regulars Can I ask you to not update Coed y Bledd if you have read Gylb. Please contact if you need more Keith

I have with some trepidation ventured to add a line for Carriage 10, the Ashbury First Class replica. The original was No.10 and I am firmly told that the replica will be likewise. Would someone care to tidy the entry for No.9, please? As to the Flying Bench, it still bears the number 7, is referred to in the Rule Book as No,12, but I am equally firmly assured that the Rule Book is in error and that it is to be No.11; the number 12 is reserved for the Porthole carriage intended for Queen Victoria. This is all rather confusing, but I do not care to doubt my sources of information, which are highly reliable. Honest, Guv; I had the tip from the horse. Pedr - 17:53 29/8/06

Comment from Keith We have had a short email exchange on this, and all I will say is I know better than to get into a discussion about carriage numbering!!' I am inclined to leave it be until we see the finished product with a number on it.

Documentation of Carriage Construction Comment from Bruce Brayne

More carriages stuff again... I was begining to notice the other day that the pages for Carriages 100 and 121 are getting rather lenghty and had a little thought. At the moment they contain a useful record of how the carriages were (re)built with dates for different stages and such like. However, in the fullness of time these should just give the basic infomation on a operational carriage (like all our other carriage pages).

Should we consider seperating infomation regarding construction to a seperate page and leaving the original pages with simply basic info and a photograph of the finished product? Ditto for future carriages (of which there is bound to be more).

Comment from Keith 16:23 Bruce, I'd be inclined to leave it be for the moment. Until such time as the carriage goes into service. At that point reduce the pix to a much smaller number showing main points. The other pix then might be used on a 'Carriages - Modern Construction' which would contain many of those pics previously used. I will knock up a test page on Test Test Two (old test page) over the weekend to show what I have in mind

Any more comments please

Thoughts from Stewart D. Macfarlane 1 September 2006 (17:02)

My thoughts on 100 and 121 (and possibly 102 if they exist) is to have a (re)build page. This would cover the extensive works that have been underetaken (the same could be applied to the rebuild of 103). That is my suggestion for the way forward.

This however leads me to think about the FR Wiki as a whole. The mediwiki - [2] - engine allows for autogenerated thumbnails which then direct to a full size picture, and I come round to the idea that thumbnails in the text pages directed to full size pictures on their own page is the way to go. This of course requires a lot more thought (and effort). Peter Harrison would need to think about it as it would require the wiki to be migrated to a new engine.

Replying without consulting Peter but the matter will arise at an FRHG C'ttee meeting next week - don't forget that FRHG pays to support the webspace/bandwidth that sustains the wiki. When the wiki was set up Peter H had a job where a colleague was able to help him set the thing up. This has now changed. Peter is a confuser professional, but we should not take his expertise for granted. Unless he can see a real advantage to taking the wiki to a different place I do not see the need.


Thoughts from John Browning 2 September 2006

There seems to be some divergence in ideas about what the wiki is for and what it should contain.

Some seem to want to exclude any level of "detail" or "complication". There have recently been instances of detailed and comprehensive information being "stripped out" of pages in the quest for elegance and simplicity. Others seems to want to follow the implication of the title "Wikipedia" and take it to a more comprehensive if not encyclopaedic level.

Being a historian myself, I see no point in it being seen as a glorified series of web pages which always strives to present the "current" situation and ignores too many of the complications of the past. Having been sponsored by the Heritage Group, it seems this is not in line with its sponsors might wish to see.

As a visitor to the wikipedia I would expect to be able to use it as a research tool. For example, if I want to find out about the van numbered 1 that was running around in 1963, I believe that I should be assisted to do so rather than be frustrated in the attempt.

All this seems to call for some wise and well-accepted conventions that can assist in encouraging coherence rather than disorder.



PS Personally I would support the use of thumbnails and links to full sized pictures if it can be done easily.

Writing as one of the "Owners" of this list - as an FRHG C'ttee member & one of the instigators (self, Jim Hewett and Peter Harrison).

I agree wholeheartedly with John's opinions about page content - NOTHING should be stripped out of a page on the basis of 'style'.

We are NOT constructing a glossy website, we should be recording as much information as we possibly can, for our own benefit and for posterity.

The ONLY justification for removing or over-writing information is to correct matters of fact.

If matters of opinion diverge then the authorship of each opinion should be made clear and ALL points of view should be allowed to remain on the page.

The Wiki has grown beyond the wildest expectations of its instigators but there are times when its 'development' appears to proceed apparently without logical thought and without consultation or discussion - dividing pages, seperating photographs from information, etc. (I point no fingers - this is a co-operative venture) but all adding to the complexity.

I see no problem in a page about a particular subject becoming very long (requiring lots of scrolling) - it just means there is a lot of information about that particular topic!!


Comment from Keith 02 Sep 2006 05:40

Peter has made comment in the past about 'portability' of the system. Doing such is dependant on many things - cost being one - ability is another. Thumbnails do look good for presentation, but this wiki is more for the recording of information, rather than proffesional presentation. Although I would vote for thumbs, I appreciate the problems it would cause.

Re overall content managing. Since the embryonic start last year, there hasnt been a Group policy apart from basics. This has seen it grow haphazrdly, where some pages have 70 revisions, and the WHR stations detail being very spartan! - and where there is more than a marker page, is not much more then current information.

Comment from Peter Harrison 3 September 2006 09:30

Whilst the Mediawiki software is excellent, it uses technologies not supported by our current web hosts. We are restricted to Perl scripting unless we move to a more expensive host. A change in technology would also cause issues with migrating the current data - not insurmountable but we would probably lose some history and encounter some formatting issues. As Adrian says, I was previously assisted by a work colleague who knew Perl. Unfortunately she has migrated to Australia and I am currently coming to grips with a new job. I have been trying to learn Perl but it will be a little while before I feel able to do anything more than apply the patches that are already available for UseMod (the engine we use).

As it happens we are already on the top package offered by our hosts. The next increase in bandwidth will involve migrating the site to another host. However, adding the technology required for Mediawiki involves more than doubling the cost of hosting.

Thumbs are on my list of things to do. Currently this comprises:

  • Possibly change the background to match the main Heritage Group site (not sure about this one)
  • Fix anchor links - they are a bit fussy about white space at the moment
  • Prevent uploads overwriting files already uploaded
  • Sort out problems with searching - try searching for [ if you want to see what I'm talking about
  • Provide a facility to set the size of images and/or generate thumbnails
  • Sort out using images for internal links - the software fails to cope with this at the moment
  • Improve anti-spam measures (I'm not going to give details on this one for obvious reasons)

On the matter of content, I agree wholeheartedly with Adrian. The ONLY justification for removing content is that it is inaccurate, but even then I would prefer to see it corrected if possible rather than deleted completely. If the grammar or spelling is poor, fix it. If the formatting is poor, fix it. If the information is in the wrong place, move it to the right place. I don't have any problems with pages getting very long. That is, after all, what happens on Wikipedia. We should, of course, start to use a table of contents on long pages to assist navigation. The wiki has facilities to make incorporation of a table of contents very easy.

Stewart D. Macfarlane - 3 September 2006 @ 15:13

Been playing around this afternoon - before I read Peter's comments!. Have a look at Stewart Sandbox - 1. This is only meant as a worked example, not as what should happen to the Carriage 121 page, unless we feel otherwise. I have added the <toc> code at the beginning and played around with the formatting. From what I have done at present, a Back to Top or Back to <toc> would be useful in complimenting the <toc>.

My aim has been to produce an exemplar of of what what we should aim for, working within what is available. This is an iterative process, and requires comment from others. I have used Carriage 121 as my subject only because it shows the vehicle (underframe) going through major and minor evolutions. In this instance, comments on formatting and layout will be most useful, although as always factual errors also need to be corrected.

Please feel free to comment - for this specific example, it may be prudent to post your comments at Stewart Sandbox - 1 above the 'Carriage 121 heading, following on from my discussion or other's comments.

If this examplar works, I would suggest it is followed for the Carriage 103 for its rebuild as a Service Vehicle, and to include its various minor rebuilds (losing its hatch; new bodywork; etc.).

Comment from Edward Harris 04/09/06

My understanding is that 103 is to become an "All 3rd Barn" (so no central 1st class comparment in the way 104, 106 and 107 have), rather than a service car. I think 120 is meant to become the next service car.

Stewart D. Macfarlane - 4 September 2006 @ 18:31

In which case 103 when it is rebuilt into an "All 3rd Barn".

Reference Peter's list of 'things to do'.

I would rather we did NOT alter the background of the pages - as a plain page it is more reader friendly.

The only ooption might be to alter the background on any 'locked' pages, if we ever had any, just to distinguish them, but I bet that formatting is an 'all or nothing' option!!

Adrian 04-09-06

Chris Jones 1/10/06

The Flying Bench may have an interesting choice of numbers at the moment, however the rule book is quite clear that it is available for service! So if the wheels have gone, where have they gone to?

Keith 1/10/06

Just a comment on the 'Numbers' 7/11/12 etc. and the bench. Last time I saw it it still had '7' on it. Last copy of rule book seen, said '12'. No offence to either John or Norman, but until Porthole 12 is financed/started then the bench is 12. (I;m sorry but a verbal comment on being wrong is not good enough - the rule book's gospel) Last time in Meanoffern (?), it didnt look like it had wheels - hence comment not in service. However, Chris, if you get your wish, book me a seat!

Chris Jones - to Keith

Your e-mail keeps bouncing anything I send - so, in answer to your question on Ashburys, the photo of LW at Port in 1871 shows 4 Ashburys, 10, 8, ? and (probably )7.I havn't got a picture on which 9 can be identified. I would think it would be better to ditch the carriage 9 page completely and to put a page on Ashburys in with the Bug Box page.

At some point in the 1930s, during the period of FR ownership of the WHR, the carriages on the WHR were painted various pastel shades to "appeal" to travellers. I don't have enough details myself, but would someone like to put a mention on the Wiki, a photo even? And which were the carriages concerned?

By the way, thanks Keith for the links to the Associated Railways, etc.

Tony E. 6.10.06

Tony, photos won't be a lot of use as they are all (to my knowledge) in monochrome!! We know the colours used but, sadly, not the detail of which colour was applied to which carriage - though some educated guesses have been made over the years!

Adrian 8.10.06

Moel Tryfan

Adrian - I had Moel Tryfan listed as an FR-acquired loco while I regarded Russell and the Baldwin as merely "visiting".

I assume that your making Moel Tryfan "visiting" implies that my interpreation is incorrect.


John B 16/10/06

Only that I had not appreciated your subtle distinctions between the three locos! I suppose it depends upon your point of view an upon the timeframe of the qualification. FR acquired MT, by default, but NOT during the period of active use when Russell & 590 were 'visiting'.

I hold to my view tht MT counts as a visitor during its active life!

Complicated, ain't they, these little railways?!!!!


Point taken. This is the current wording on the MT page

"In June 1923, Moel Tryfan was taken into Festiniog railway stock, numbered 11 and the cab and boiler mountings reduced to fit the FR loading gauge. It was used from 1924 to 1936 on the WHR and FR between Dinas and Blaenau Ffestiniog."

What would be your suggested amendments?


Well, MT wasn't taken into FR stock until much later than 1923, probably not until the period of the FR lease, though the modifications were carried out sometime earlier (it is late here and checking dates feels tedious after a long day at work - I've driven about 550 miles today starting about 0530!!) I'll think about details another day!!


The update flagged up on Friday is now live. The Help system will be updated shortly. This update will include documentation on sub-pages - a feature we are using by accident at the moment but which would be useful for archiving old discussions, for example.

I am currently planning one further significant update, although it may end up being implemented in bits. The target is to add the following functionality:

  • Autogeneration of table of contents. This will mirror wikipedia functionality by automatically generating a table of contents for any page with four or more headings. The table of contents would be placed before the first heading. The <toc> tag will remain. If present, it will force generation of the table of contents regardless of the number of headings on the page and will also dictate placement of the table of contents. A new <notoc> tag will be added to allow the automatic table of contents to be disabled for a particular page.
  • Discussion pages. This would provide for a discussion page to be associated with each page of the wiki. Again, this is similar to wikipedia.
  • Info boxes. Wikipedia allows an info box to be displayed at the top right of an article. This could be useful for standard information about, say, locos or carriages. I do not intend to provide all the wikipedia functionality here, just enough to be useful.
  • Formatting improvements. The current page layout is ok but could be more professional. Having got hold of some useful stylesheets, I intend to update our layout to be closer to that used by wikipedia. I will not be aiming for an exact duplicate but there will be a lot of similarity (if I can figure it all out).

Once I have implemented the above changes, it is unlikely that any further radical changes will be made (unless anyone comes up with anything that would be useful). As usual, comments on the above are welcome.

Peter Harrison, 26th November 2006

A picture of Busta included to show the new image formatting in use. The updated format will include larger borders around images.

Further thoughts on the above changes...

  • Formatting improvements. I now have a sample page working in something close to the layout I am trying to achieve. It isn't finished yet but it is turning out to be far easier to achieve a Wikipedia-like look than I was expecting. However, if this is to look right when it is introduced, some minor changes are needed to existing content. These are:
    • Images should be modified to use the new syntax. The image size should always be specified even if it is being displayed at its default size. A caption should always be specified. In most cases, "thumb" should be used as the width. This won't speed up the downloading of pages - Perl isn't as good at processing images as PHP - but it will give a consistent, good looking page layout.
    • Any words that have been used to mark links as external should be removed.
    • Default character formatting should be used wherever possible. If users force the format of, say, links this will result in inconsistencies between and within pages.
  • Help. On completion of the above changes, I intend to put the Help pages into the wiki instead of maintaining them externally as now.
  • Style guide. I intend to add a style guide. I may well use the Wikipedia style guide as a starting point but ours will be MUCH smaller.

If no-one comments on the above, I'll just get on with it!

Peter Harrison, 27th November 2006

Ben Fisher, 03.12.06

We have a new page entitled "Bryn-Y-Felyn". Please could it be replaced by one using one of the more correct spellings - Bryn y Felin, Bryn y felin or Brynyfelin? I'd suggest the first based on current local usage, though the second is probably more technically correct. The hyphens are old-fashioned, the Y certainly shouldn't be capitalised and the end of the name derives from "mill" (melin), not "yellow" (melyn).


Peter Harrison, 13/12/06

Looking at Ben's suggestion above, I'd like to do something about this. Currently the software forces the first letter of every word in a page title to upper case. I can turn that option off but that will give 295 pages with broken links (we currently only have 22). I will consider doing this and fixing all the links with redirects or similar as part of the forthcoming upgrade. If anyone wants to get going on this, feel free - it would be much appreciated!

We currently have 315 pages where the format of links is forced to bold and/or underlined. I want to achieve consistency throughout the wiki. At the moment this isn't a problem as links are bold and underlined by default. However, the style sheet(s) I will be introducing with the next set of changes are different. For consistency, all links should use the style defined by the stylesheet. I therefore need to remove the forced formatting from links. Help with this would also be appreciated. (Done - make that 315 - zero now - all cleared)

Finally, it has become the practise within this wiki for people to indent some links by two spaces (as was at the foot of this page Keith). This works but means that any other text on the same line is in a fixed pitch font. Under the new stylesheets the links will appear in a fixed pitch font in a blue box. Whilst this is ok, I suspect it is not what is ideally required. It might be better to change these links to bulleted lists. (such as shown below now Keith)

Ben Fisher, 22.1.07

Is the spelling "waggon" actually used on the current WHR(C) or indeed (P)? Or is applying it there an unsubstantiated carry-over of a "quaint" spelling peculiar to the FR? I think the latter, indeed applying "waggon" to SAR vehicles or the Criscior ballast hopper looks downright odd to me.

Andrew Thomas 30/01/07

I agree with Ben, but I'd say 'waggon' was 'downright wrong' rather than 'downright odd'.

Kim Winter 01/02/07

I plead guilty to all this.

I think it was Pedr Jarvis on the FR & WHR Yahoo group has posting re the use of 'waggons' on early FR archive correspondence which is why I used the spelling for the early FR 'goods vehicles' pages that I started. I then carried it over for consistency purposes to the WHR pages when I started adding photos of WHR 'goods vehicles.'

I think we could compromise by using waggons on FR pages and wagons on WHR pages.

Peter will need to change headings to WHR pages. I could make a start at the weekend on changing text, captions!

Ho Hum!

What do others think - or do we put this discussion to the Yahoo Groups - that could keep some people going for ages?

Keith 14:23 01/02/07

Compared with the last few days the group is quiet today - thursday - your call Mr W Go easy on the good doctor though - he's just contributed some bird articles, and promise of dry stone walling for the wiki!! lol

For latest discussion see The Den