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So, UseMod is pretty straightforward to modify and configure. What should be changed? -- Xyphoid

Just wanted to fling some thanks at you for restoring the ? next to unused links -- and thanks also for the anti-spam measures -- and super-duper thanks for taking over as admin. You rock. Just one question about wikicode changes: would there be any way to re-implement the old line break signifier (\\)? Better yet, would there be any way to implement it on top of the BR tag (so that either \\ or the BR tag would work)? If this is at all difficult, don't bother -- it would just be helpful for the many old pages where the double backslashes haven't been changed to BRs, as well as quicker to type.
~ Shataina
Heh, the ? is a default wiki setting - I didn't realise it was turned off previously. I've only tweaked the usemod defaults slightly. This line break signifier, is this something that was working on DaveWiki, or older than that? It's probably a usemod setting, I'll have a look. Xyphoid
The ? was turned off? Wow, that's bizarre. I thought it was a mistake in the UseMod upgrade or something, since it's so useless. Is there some reason I'm missing that you wouldn't want to be able to identify unused links at a glance? Seriously, I'm curious -- it a problem for anyone? I can't believe it would be turned off for no reason. ... Anyway, \\ was the way to make lines break until Dave upgraded to a new UseMod version or something (same time the ? was turned off, incidentally). It was a long time ago and people have learned to love BR and all the new / well-maintained pages use it, so it's probably better left unchanged unless you can set it so both BR and \\ work.
~ Shataina

PS: shouldn't the admin log in? ;)

PPS: Incidentally, are you going to appoint an assistant admin? It's been suggested a few times.

PPPS: Where are you? Is the wiki's time zone set to yours? irrelevantly curious
Yeah, it's a straight setting. I haven't even tried all the settings yet, so there's probably all sorts of other things that could be tweaked. I can't see any reference to \\ as an end-of-line statement in the code; it appears \ as a final character joins two lines together, but that's it. I'll put it on the list to add in anyway. And I forgot to log in at home, whoops...
I'm located in New Zealand, so the server time's NZ time. As for an assistant admin, what kinds of things do you see them doing? In my view the admin role for a wiki is basically server wrangler, rather than any kind of authority position. Xyphoid
The admin idea came up because of the spam problem on the old wiki, which I suspect this one will inherit at some point, as well as several episodes in which the wiki was down for weeks or months and no one could fix it because no one could access the inner workings. The general idea is that if there's more than one person with the admin password, there's more chance that there will be someone online to deal with banning spammers / trolls / weird tech issues with the wiki / whatever whenever such things come up. I don't think anyone envisioned it as an authority position at all -- more like a spare maintainer who could help the owner (or whatever you like to call yourself) out, and keep the wiki running smoothly 24-7. It's impossible for you to be around all the time, and you might be able to use some help, and spammers / whatever are best dealt with as promptly as possible, etc, etc, etc. I was thinking JackT might be a good "candidate" for the "position", for obvious reasons.

Nother question: I seem to recall seeing a way to delete pages when I was sniffing around the UseMod site -- does this wiki have a way set that we can use to delete pages? This would be useful for a number of reasons, not least of which the many phantom links that were made into pages by spammers and shouldn't exist. Also, there was a really excellent idea thrown out at Discussions/WikiSpam -- someone suggested that we have a way to mark a spammed page as neither an edit nor a minor edit but rather as a "correction", which would be a hypothetical option that would remove the last edit from RecentChanges (and, if applicable, revert it back to its previous-to-spam position on RecentChanges). I have no idea how feasible this is, but since you seem so competent and obliging, I figured I'd note it just in case.
~ Shataina
UseMod is fairly easy to change for trivial things like adding simple markup options. The double-backslash is not part of the standard distribution, but is a two or three line patch that was popular at at least one point. I run several wikis off a modified copy of UseMod, to which I have added the double-backslash linebreak, substantially improved and expanded table support, automagic generation of a complete index, several bug fixes, and greater modularity in that the main file does not need to be changed at all for any configuration purposes whatsoever, with this pushed off to a stub file that loads the main library instead. It also describes the changes that have been made to it, such as on this page, even including a link where it publishes its own source code. Feel free to take a look at it, and to ask me for help integrating any features you want to adopt. � Mapache

Party? Where? .......... Oh. ~ Grandmasta

Speaking as someone who fears change, I oppose the changing of the default color scheme. I like these wiki colors. They are very familiar, very comforting. However, I fully endorse and support people who want to make and distribute new CSS files, or even get a little CSS workshop up and running for those who (for some baffling reason) don't like the black background and whatnot. - EJGRgunner

There exist people who don't like black?
~ Shataina highly puzzled
I vote for a colour & font change. White and yellow on black makes my eyes hurt. There's a reason most websites have sans-serif fonts and dark colours on light backgrounds - it's much less tiring for your eyes. - Voidstate
I suggest a book on design, BEFORE & AFTER: PAGE DESIGN by John McWade. It is a great book that can also be used for web design. It talks about font style and color uses. As for the multiple admins. Maybe, it can be one admin and several moderators. The job of the moderators would be to control the spam. I think the original design should be kept though to honor the person that created it and took time to promote it. It is hard giving away something you create and nurture it and then watch someone else change it. Keep up the work Xyphoid - Savare
I like these colours, but I know how some people feel about white on black. Still... if you're going to change colours, it should really be a setting, not just a change. I know that's a heck of a lot more work, so I wouldn't suggest it until the spam-fixing solutions have maybe had more effort on them... but if you eventually do want to change colours, I put my vote in for some sort of selectable scheme method.
-- Darloth
I've started a list of CSS sheets for making the wiki prettier at CSSWikiSheets. Just load one of them. - telgar

(copied from WelcomeToExaltedWiki) Greetings Xyphoid. You might want to think about moving the wiki from the PERL based usemod to PHP basedlike PHPWiki, You might want to check it out. I am sure that you want to avoid the crippling spam that took down the old site. So, that is my suggestion to you. However, if that is not an option, then you might want to read , I am just trying to be helpful to you to preserve the wiki. If you have questions you can contact me at If you also need help securing the wiki, I would be more than happy to help out.
~ Savare

I've used phpwiki before, and in fact I'm much more familiar with PHP than perl - the main downside to switching as I see it, though, is migrating the markup. Because there's a *lot* of content here, and the userbase knows usemod's markup syntax, I'm reluctant to change things.
As for spam, I'm working on it - I've already implemented redirection of external links (from the first page you mention), though by a coincidence Google just announced a better solution at - if you put rel="nofollow" into the A tag, Google will ignore the link for PageRank purposes. I've got a few other plans, but it'll take a while for Google to index this site and spam to hit anyway. I'm interested in comments on this!
I tried setting up phpwiki to make an initial mirror for this site, as I too prefer databases and and vastly more familiar with php than I am with Perl. That said, phpWiki was, err, junk. At least 1.2 was, maybe they got things together in 1.3. Regardless, the only feature we absolutely need is subpages, the rest of it can be coped with, eventually. -Xeriar

And the spamming starts. can we just ban this person, regardless of other anti-spam measures, as I think they were a problem before the site moved? As for the color scheme, I don't see it as a problem although actually telling people about ccs files would be nice as I have been a wikizen here for a couple of months but only just now discovered them.

We should appoint a few extra admins, mayhap? -Xeriar
Do we have to block the spammers? That was fun! ~ G, slinging his spam rifle over his shoulder
Personally, just to be safe, I would think that four or five extra admins would be ideal -- spammers would then be blocked right quick -- although it may be tough to find that many people who actually want the job ....
~ Shataina
All we really need is a few people with the ability to ban ips. Even if it's a hacked together secret, password-protected php script that lets a few knowledgable and trustable entities modify the root .htaccess file for the wiki, or some similar list the wiki code itself reads, if it can be easily accessed. -Xeriar
Regarding multiple admins, giving people admin powers basicly involves havong a couple of extra options, deleting pages, locking pages or the entire wiki and banning ip addresses. It's not that big a deal really, I would suggest that several members of the community who feel sufficiently able are given admin rights. You then have a much larger chance of catching the spammer and stopping him before to much damage is done. - JackT

Banned 220.191.46.* for the moment. Bloody hell, that was fast. I'll look at the admins thing early next week. Usemod uses a disk list of ip masks to ban - I think there's a web interface to it, but I haven't finished reading the docs yet. I'm off to a rpg convention this weekend, but I'll endeavour to get net access to check on the required bannage. The real hassle with banning is that it's so trivial to work around it. Xyphoid

I've been looking at a lot of antispam solutions - redirecting links obviously doesn't work, except as a longtime disincentive. Here's some I like:

  • one-click 'revert all changes by this IP'
  • prevent non-approved users adding hyperlinks to a page. The edit would be rejected, preventing spammers defacing the pages at all.
  • tweak the edit page URL's automatically to prevent tools having any effect. For example, embed today's date in the edit form as a hidden tag, and require that it be provided for an edit to be valid. We diverge slightly from default usemod, rendering ourselves immune to tools that are designed to work with it.

Also: I had a look at the access logs for the spammer. It looks like they were doing it by hand - the spam took place over a ten minute period, if they're using a bot it's deliberately hugely throttled. The referer was: .com/search?q=%22Edit+text+of+this+page%22&num=20&hl=zh-CN&lr=&newwindow=1&start=200&sa=N

So, we know how they're identifying targets - this specific text. I've changed that now... Xyphoid

Just out of curiosity, does that patch also nullify the benefit to the PageRank of pages that wikizens deliberately link to? I'm assuming the answer is yes, and if so, is there anything we can put in a given link (like another A tag maybe ...?) that would nullify the nullification? Although then again, I guess spammers can do that just as easily ... so we might as well just nullify the usefulness of all PageRank across the board ... kind of seems like a shame, though. I wonder if we could have one unpatched page that was non-editable by random users that listed various Exalted links that deserve good PageRank? I guess that's a lot of trouble to go to, though, since an admin would have to maintain it and take link submissions or something ....
~ Shataina also did some reorg and put randomly placed comments in their relevant conversation blocs

So, some things about the default CSS style:

  • The textcolor does not change on diffs, displaying as whitish text on a pastel background. Telgar's and my styles both deal with this, because there is a way to detect whether text is in a diff block and change its color. This should be in the default style, though.
  • Diff box colors are hardcoded, which is simply bizarre.

- willows

Is there any way to get the wiki-search function to work better? It ends up timing out roughly 80% of the time for me, no matter how fast my connection or computer is. I'm not sure what the mechanics of it are -- perhaps it has such a rough time because the wiki is so big and heavily-used -- but maybe we could, say, replace it with one of those nifty Google "search within this site" things? Those always seem to work.
~ Shataina

I use firebird (yes, that's right, fireBIRD!!! I much prefer the old name, even if installing plugins is a pain) and it works fine, although very, very, very slowly. Perhaps it's just that many people have their timeouts set too low? Maybe I have a generous ISP or something, I've no idea, but I can confirm searches work fine-but-slow on this earlier version of Firefox.
-- Darloth
It's possible. Do you know how I can increase my timeouts on Safari?
~ Shataina

Anchors don't seem to work anymore, at least not the way they're set up (e.g. on UserPages) -- any way to fix the existing anchors and / or implement a new working protocol?
~ Shataina

Anchors do work, just differently. To create an anchor it is still [#AnchorName] the way it always was, but to link to it you use [PageName/SubPageName##AnchorName Link Text]. - helpful Moxiane
Aha. Thank you. How come we use off-wiki links to link to anchors rather than interwiki links?
~ Shataina
No idea. But using the [[...]] format with anchors doesn't work. *shrug* It's better than the old way, where you have to provide a full web-address for the anchor, so I don't mind. ^_^ - ignorant Moxiane

Er ... sorry to get back to this, but anchors still aren't working for me. The funny thing is that if I set up the link and then link to it from off-wiki, it works -- e.g. if I go to by entering the web address by hand, it works fine. But if I try structuring it as you suggested, it doesn't work, and if I try to structure it like an interwiki link, it doesn't work, and if I use an off-wiki link to try to direct to the link that worked fine when I entered it by hand, that doesn't seem to work either. (Shataina/ManseCreation demonstrates what I'm talking about.) Any suggestions?
~ Shataina
Okay, it seems to work when I link to it using a complete off-wiki link that replaces the hash signs each with a %23. Who knows why.
~ Shataina
Hmm... yeah, it's not working for me either now. But it does at work. I use IE there and Firefox at home, which suggests that this is more of a browser issue than a site issue. Could it be that there is something IE6 can do that Firefox can't? - aghast Moxiane
No idea. I don't get much chance to use anything but Safari .... Does IE6 correctly process my edited anchors (the ones that use %23s rather than #s)?
~ Shataina who moved Darloth's comment because it was evident he was talking about a previous issue
And people sneer at me when I ask them if Firefox is as compatible as IE. ~ G, who was made to hate Firefox after his first run-in with its download manager
I personally love firefox and have been using it since i think 0.61. The settings for the Download Manger are kind of odd and could use some reprogramming. But otherwise, it is a much more powerful and less exploited web browser. As for compatibility, IE has lots of unusual quarks that forces things to work right when they shouldnt and things that shouldnt work do. But the Geko engine in Firefox is a a version behind. Firefox 1.1 will have the Geko 1.8a6 build. So when that happens, it should fix the anchor issue. - Savare

I decided to help you with the link corrections for 'lensmen' and every now and then I get a message about Internal Server errors. You might want to check logs around 02/10/2005@5:00pm EST. - Savare

New anti-spam feature! If you add too many URL's to a page at once, your edit will be rejected. Let's see how this one goes - from looking at the logs of the recent spam jobs, it's definitely being done by real people over a period of time. Now, they'll be forced to do their editing one link at a time, which should make it uneconomic. Fingers crossed. - Xyphoid, 28 Feb

A GREAT idea. Honestly, that will be a serious blow to the spammers. Just out of curiosity though, what is the limit on how many links that can be posted?
That's probably not something he wants to make easily obvious. -dissolvegirl guesses.
True, but the only thing that concerns me is that someone's edit may be rejected if the number is low. Another question, does it count Wiki links or just outside links?
--DarkWolff, who still thinks it's a great idea.
Outside links only. --dissolvegirl
Great, then we have nothing to worry about. Thanks dissolvegirl.
Well... unless you're like me and collect links from around the Net... but, honestly, even if I have a dozen or so, and I have to add them one at a time, it's a small price to pay to stop the Wiki being spammed! Yay Xyphoid! - Nikink
So I love this new antispam tool, but it occurs to me that it does rather mess around with anchors as they're currently set up. If you get some free time and / or have any ideas on this, Xyphoid, it would be nice if there was a way to format anchors as interwiki links (this would also mean that anchors, when clicked, wouldn't have to go through the Google redirect, which isn't crippling but is vaguely annoying).
~ Shataina
Just a reminder of something that could need changing - the Wiki doesn't properly close

tags. Just look at the soruce code of a page, there are no

tags at all. Resplendence
This would be because the

tag is unclosed. There isn't a

tag. - Moxiane
Incorrect, I'm afraid. In the old, HTML standard, the

tag did not need closure; in the current XHTML 1.0 standard, it does. -- JesseLowe

Well, shit. Shows how out-of-date my HTML knowledge is, doesn't it? ^_^ - Moxiane
Had a look at this - the wiki just replaces all blank lines with <p>. Replacing that with
doesn't seamlessly fix things, compare [1] with [2]. The wiki produces totally horrid HTML - it's certainly nowhere near XHTML, and it's a long way from doing so. - Xyphoid
I see. Can you get it to skip that and embed all lines that aren't formatted as anything else in <p> and

tags? I have no idea how much you can control these things... Resplendence
Hah - I got hit by the antispam thing trying to add those links. - Xyphoid
Dayuum, Moxiane, you be oldskool in da H to da T to da M to da L, yo! ^_^ New HTML and XHTML standards require all tags to be closed, even "single" tags like <img>, which is closed like so <img />. I stare at HTML code all day long, so you should trust me on these things. :P Resplendence
I have to say, I'm not really interested in the epic task of moving Usemod's markup to valid XHTML. Fixing things that actually impede y'all's use of the site, that's more motivating. How does [3] look to you people? The
solution renders with a lot of extra whitespace to me. Xyphoid
Far too much whitespace... though I suppose that could be changed easily via CSS. - szilard

Just a little plea regarding the To Do list re: "alter default colours?"... Pleeeeeeeaaaaaase? Or just give us an option which isn't white on black? Maybe black on light grey? Just something with less eye-blindingness? When I look away from my screen I can still see the wiki. -Okensha who is, admittedly, photosensitive

Check out CSSWikiSheets. - Xyphoid
Thank you! I love you! *hugs and runs away to change colour scheme* -Okensha

It looks like Google's redirect truncates URLs. For example, if you go to using bracket-links, you actually end up at instead. I noticed this when I was attempting to link to a post by one of the writers in an discussion. - Raindoll

Fixed, I was being a dork and forgetting to deal with ampersands. -Xyphoid

Bare URL's ( with no brackets) in pages now work differently. They aren't autoconverted into URLs. Image links are automatically displayed as images as before. However, they *are* checked by the spam filter, so adding a whole lot of bare links to a page will be rejected, even though they won't be displayed as links. -Xyphoid 6 May 2005

To Do:

  • figure out server time zone
  • \\ should render as <br>
  • fix table support?
  • alter default colors?
  • Do a search for 'lensmen', and fix all the links pointing to the old site.