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Forums: Index > Help desk > Broken boxes and links


(Recent readers of Forum:Problems with info templates and/or Forum:CategorySelect probably know this. Others may not have known where to look. "How you may fix it" is a new paragraph below.)

What you may see[]

If you see a page with otherwise neat boxes half shattered and extended with unwanted cells, or links that have the closing brackets in a new line so that they don't work as links, the page may have suffered from the effect of "CategorySelect" (or category tagging) on our info page template.

Probable cause[]

CategorySelect, which was introduced by Wikia a few months ago, moves to the end of a page (after a "newline" - called "Enter" on my 10-year-old keyboard) any category it finds. The resulting newline adds unwanted newlines to every "get" template that tries to use the page; that produces unwanted cells in tables and expressions that are supposed to be links but aren't links because there's a newline before the closing brackets. That directly affects every article that has an info page - about 6,000 and growing.

Wikia agreed to our request that CategorySelect be turned off here. That was OK until Wikia rolled out its nice new Rich Text feature, which unfortunately included CategorySelect (and does not leave Rich Text users the option of turning off CategorySelect). When we saw what was happening, we asked Wikia to disable Rich Text until they could fix the problem.

If Rich Text is unchecked in your preferences, that may be because Wikia has now responded to the request that it be turned off here.

I suggest that, if any pages you have been working on have the broken appearance, you check your contributions - every info page, not just the new ones - since about 19 June to see what's at the bottom in "edit" mode. In order to see the categories, you need to have "Disable Category Tagging" checked in your Preferences (which requires that you not have Rich Text enabled).

How to kill the CategorySelect bug[]

The bad ones will have <noinclude>[[Category:Info pages]]</noinclude> in the bottom line. Move the category link up a couple of lines to sit just before the previous </noinclude>, and delete the noinclude tags and anything else left at the bottom - everything after the "end comment" tag (-->). Change the colon to a hyphen and the square brackets to curly brackets, then "home" to the start of the line and hit Backspace once (or twice if necessary) so that the "noinclude" moves up to the previous line right against its last character. The result should look a bit like this:

                    <!--delete all blank lines following this one or you will see 
extra lines when you do Get's! --><noinclude>{{Category-Info pages}}</noinclude>

Save the page and look at the article. Once the info page is fixed, you probably need to do a trivial edit to the article before it will fully incorporate the corrections.

If you see the same breaks on a page you have not been working on, please check the info page just the same; you can get to it via one of those "Edit info" links at the bottom of a box.

Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:28, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

At Robin's request, I took a look at this. I think we want our users to take good advantage of the new editor. The new editor will not cause problems with such esoteric pages if the category declarations are buried in a template, so that means either converting these cat declarations to use something like {{Category-Info pages}} or they need to be made part of {{Info table person}}. In either case, a bot run would be needed to make this switch. Instructions for how to do this using AWB may be found at Help:AutoWikiaBrowser#Simple_example. -~ Phlox 00:25, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
Problem is now being tackled on a couple of fronts, including the revised instructions above (based on that new template). — Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:01, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Since you don't have a computer that can do the AWB run, shall I have PhloxBot do it? -~ Phlox 08:05, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Thurstan has started bulk changes. He may be keen to have help from someone else with the right equipment (so that Phlox and PhloxBot can continue with valuable things that only they can do). — Robin Patterson (Talk) 14:50, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
That's great. Someone give him a cookie. It is such a relief not to have all our bot eggs in one basket. -~ Phlox 16:22, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I keep "flip-flopping" about doing this. Obvious "pro" is that people (particularly the anonymous "drive-by" editors) will not break the info pages. The "con" is that if we are planning a grand "bot run" to convert all info pages to SMW, then this is wasted effort, and all we need do for the moment is repair any info pages that get broken. I get the impression that most of my "drive by" contributors are not noticing whether or not they have broken anything with their edits anyway. Thurstan 03:09, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Upgrade of info pages is dependent on what we learn from the Yew upgrade, which is on hold until there is a clear majority in favor of it. I would just go ahead and fix the cat problem as I described. It can't hurt to do it. If it is a hog on your computer/internet time, it is no problem for me as I have a fast connect and and some idle machines to throw at it. -~ Phlox 22:14, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I would prefer that you do it: I certainly have the machine, but like most Australians, I have a monthly download limit, and I have no idea whether this would blow it. Thurstan 22:25, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
When I was living in NZ 5 years ago, I was of the opinion that they would abandon that business model. I have since come to the conclusion that they may never, because the providers there and in Oz do not have to compete with cable companies, who have unused bandwidth that they can make available virtually at no cost to them. Now cable companies here have figured out how to max out their bandwidth, but now must compete with fiber optic companies who are offering insane speed with no limits. Personally I think that at least 40gig per month should be mandated as a citizen's right. It is not a luxury, it is a national asset to guarantee information flow between knowledge economy workers. Sure, some may use it for downloading movies, but from a macro perspective any restriction on information flow is inherently a bad thing. Folks in Tehran need no reminders of that. I'll set phloxbot running on it toute de suite. ~ Phlox 17:35, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
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