[EM] Electorama wiki requires login to view????

Rob Lanphier robla at robla.net
Tue Jun 11 22:04:03 PDT 2013

On Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 8:19 AM, Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com>wrote:

> The electorama wiki is an important resource for communicating about new
> methods. It allows linking to or searching for canonical definitions of the
> methods we like to discuss here, and that many of us hope to promote for
> real-world use. I just noticed that it has been set to not display pages
> except to logged-in members. That is a serious problem, in my opinion.

Hi folks,

Mea culpa.  It should be available again for all readers.  Anonymous
editing is off still.  Additionally, accounts need to be approved now.  I'm
planning on opening it up such that pretty much anyone can approve anyone
else, so that will lower the barrier a little bit.

A postmortem for those that are interested.  I made a couple of big
1.  Did a "routine" upgrade on the weekend of June 2, not realizing that
Dreamhost had set me up for a major upgrade (1.16->1.19).  Only after Mike
Ossipoff mailed me personally did I notice that it screwed up.  I got
things marginally working a few days later (June 6th-ish?), making
read-only mode work.

2.  I did some more work this past weekend to set things up a little
better.  However, there was a rather simple thinko in my configuration
changes this weekend, and combined with a lack of testing as an anonymous
user, meant that I failed to notice that I had set it that way.

Next time, I'll mail here as I start major work, so you know what's up.
 Additionally, I'll try to post progress updates here:

Responding to Abd's points: We're operating under very different parameters
than, say, a Wikimedia-operated wiki like Wikiversity.  In particular, we
don't have the infrastructure to deal with user creation spam.  There are
big advantages to sharing spam fighting resources with Wikipedia.

As Abd points out, I do work for the Wikimedia Foundation.  That means I
*should* know what I'm doing, but it's not like I singlehandedly run things
there.  There's plenty I don't know, and so there will be a lot of this
that will still be a learning exercise for me.  I may ask for advice from
folks at work at some point but (my boneheaded maneuvers the past couple
weekends notwithstanding), I've got a pretty good handle on what I'd like
to do next.

I did nuke a lot of deleted revisions.  I've done that before and may well
do it again.  It was all unquestionably spam, and there was a *lot* of it.

Regarding keeping user accounts around:  we started with nearly 4000
accounts, of which only 50 have made non-spam edits.  Almost all of the
rest are bot created spam accounts, most of which were created in the past
six months.  It makes it difficult to find the legitimate users when
there's such an overwhelming sea of spam accounts.  They need to go.  The
accounts I'm deleting are all accounts that either have made no edits, or
have made only spam edits.  I might accidentally delete accounts where no
edits have been made, but watchlists have been set up, or some other legit
use.  I'm trying to keep an eye out for that (I've found one case where
that seems to be true).  I'm doing the tedious route for now partly because
I don't want to nuke all 3950 accounts for fear of sweeping up a few legit

I'm also planning on cleaning out a bunch of the logs, too.  None of it is
terribly helpful.  It's going to be 3950 x 3 entries of "delete and merge",
assuming I don't just clean it up directly in the database, which I may yet

Anyway, that's what's up for now.  More info hopefully this weekend.

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