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Blocking a reverter

Mate, please have a look at and the reverter's talk page and tell me whether you think a three-day block was too harsh or not harsh enough! (PS - I'm sorry to see that bushfires are now affecting Canberra.) --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:32, January 23, 2020 (UTC)

Well, I was thinking of being much harsher than that, but I don't really know how to get through to someone like that. (Canberra has had smoke has hanging around for months, and has had the worst air quality on the planet some days. We have just had rain come through, headed by a destructive hail storm. But it looks like, ʾin shāʾ Allāh, we are not getting the fires in town). Thurstan (talk) 20:33, January 23, 2020 (UTC)

Template:Portable infobox person shows a lot of work, but do we want people creating pages with it? Somebody did it a few days ago. Is there an easy way to convert that to full SMW? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 20:53, February 3, 2020 (UTC)

We certainly don't want people using it directly, since it sets no properties: it is for use by {{showfacts person}} for display. The recent example looks like fiction to me, and I intended to delete it after a while. If you can find some real documentation for it, we could keep it. It shouldn't be difficult to convert. Thurstan (talk) 21:28, February 3, 2020 (UTC)
Good. I've put a warning on the template and queried the article. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:07, February 5, 2020 (UTC)

Another one - and you may have missed it. Is there a way to stick a flag in that template so that it pops up on a watchlist when used improperly? Or - better - could you tweak it so that it doesn't display when used outside the proper context? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:25, August 6, 2020 (UTC)

And - I missed that one; portable infobox writer!! --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:32, August 6, 2020 (UTC)

I have been carefully ignoring what look like more "fan posts" (as opposed to genealogy). I don't think we can stop the template being used, but a bit of DPL will find improper use. Thurstan (talk) 21:31, August 6, 2020 (UTC)

Script errors

Iloilo has not come over well from WP. See where I tried to cut out the worst bits - but could you apply your expertise to the script errors? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:06, February 5, 2020 (UTC)

I think we are in for a hiding for nothing. As you would know, one of ways the young studs earn their spurs on Wikipedia is revamping the {{Convert}} templates, especially now that there is scripting, so we are very out of date. However copying the Lua modules directly from Wikipedia doesn't work, since our implementation of the script is deficient. Several of our regular contributors (of little technical know-how) have been copying templates and modules from Wikipedia with gay abandon, so a lot of our templates are now broken. I have not worked out how to debug the scripting, so I have generally given up trying to fix it. Thurstan (talk) 05:33, February 5, 2020 (UTC)
Fair enough, now that I look at Category:Pages_with_script_errors. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:38, February 5, 2020 (UTC)

"Not to be confused with..."

Please see whether Liberty, Texas needs something done to its hatnote that we can easily do. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:16, February 16, 2020 (UTC)

I have added a new parameter to {{Distinguish‎}} to mimic Wikipedia (theirs has been reworked to use Lua). Please keep your eye out for anything I have broken in the process. Thurstan (talk) 04:57, February 17, 2020 (UTC)
I have opened the first half dozen pages that link to it and seen no irregularities, even at - so you are probably OK. Thanks for the effort. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 21:58, February 17, 2020 (UTC)


I had been having fun with that - moved most of the lines to the wrong headings. Genius didn't seem to notice. (|:-D ----- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:41, March 18, 2020 (UTC)

Well, I noticed a double redirect amongst that lot, and decided it was time to clean it up. Thurstan (talk) 21:18, March 18, 2020 (UTC)

Don't have the mw:InstantCommons option on my wiki

Hi and good evening Thurstan, i looked at my wiki and tried to find an option that enables images from Wikimedia Commons but it is not there. So i am wondering of where i can contact any central wiki administrator to inform them that on my wiki the mw:InstantCommons option is not enabled. --Matthewb531 (talk) 03:09, April 1, 2020 (UTC)

We are talking about wikia a.k.a. Fandom aren't we? I would send an e-mail to the "support" link at the bottom of the screen, asking for it to be enabled. Thurstan (talk) 03:29, April 1, 2020 (UTC)

Asking for InstantCommons to be enabled

Hello and Good morning Thurstan, i am ready to send an email to fandom about enabling InstantCommons on my wiki. When you said today to send an e-mail to the "support" link at the bottom of the screen, do i go to "contact us"? --Matthewb531 (talk) 15:07, April 1, 2020 (UTC)

Yes, that would be the spot I think (it is years since I did this). Tell them the name of your wiki, and ask if the option can be enabled. Thurstan (talk) 20:53, April 1, 2020 (UTC)
Hi, re Alice Whittle, I found her in the !901 Census with her Mum Hannah, sisters Grace, Mary

and Elizabeth. Couldn't find her in the 1911 Census but did find a Marriage Record for Alice Whittle m Ernest Smith, Father named James Whittle. There are two possible Children Dorothy b. 1914 in Bolton and Walter b 1915 in Chorley, both Counties of Lancashire?? I don't know if this is any help to identify if this matches what her Great Great Granddaughter's information but would love to know if I'm on the right track! Atleast one sibling ended up in Canada, Brother Edwin and more than likely brother Thomas as well but I still have to confirm this. Good Hunting. Lynne Down. 04:44, April 5, 2020 (UTC)

Notes not showing

John Swan (c1832-) has a screenful of children notes but there's no sign of them in the display. What have I done wrong? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:51, April 6, 2020 (UTC)

SMW seems to have trouble parsing notes and sources at times: for example, if you use the Wikipedia "cite" templates the notes won't show. I think the root problem is something about the HTML tags. You could try without the "pre" tags. Thurstan (talk) 10:34, April 6, 2020 (UTC)
Thank you. OK now that I have moved the pre section to the talk page. Then a slightly different problem comes up 6 days later! --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:48, April 13, 2020 (UTC)

Children notes not showing but their refs are

Please look at my new page Hugh Ottes Swynford (1340-1372) and see if you can work out why the children notes are not displaying for me. Tomorrow will be quite early enough - I'm off to bed. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:35, April 12, 2020 (UTC)

Thank you for dealing with it. Now please see the new page Help:Notes and sources and offer your expertise to improve it. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:36, April 13, 2020 (UTC)

Another birthday

And you celebrate by doing boring useful stuff that Andrei used to do. Great work! I hope you and your friends and family are all keeping clear of COVID-19. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:29, April 19, 2020 (UTC)

Well, we are not in lockdown, but we are "social distancing", so it is mostly sitting around in front of the computer. Luckily we are not very social. Thurstan (talk) 20:17, April 19, 2020 (UTC)

Ancestors' birth nations

Can you give me an idea of why my friend is not showing all of the birth nations that his ancestors are? Not even the warning triangles that some of them have. SMW limitation? I have re-edited them all the way down from Rob Roy. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:00, April 24, 2020 (UTC)

Well, John Drummond (1796-1871) shows them all, but his son Alexander (Old Sandy) Drummond (1839-1930) does not. Does a "null edit" of "Old Sandy" fix him? If you get him right, continue with each generation down. I see no reason for it not to work, it works for thousands of other "descendants" of Charlemagne. Thurstan (talk) 06:02, April 24, 2020 (UTC)
Thank you. I was sure I had done that to all of them successively but I must have had another senior moment at Old Sandy and not edited him. At least now I can show Grant that a Familypedia page can do at least two things that a Geni page can't. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:37, April 24, 2020 (UTC)

Good work

But too fast. I was coming back to fix that footer, where I had just seen that my stupid laptop had done a double-click so that the brace got killed while I was deleting the redundant line below. I hit Edit and flipped down and was incredulous to see it fixed. Vigilance!

I've been disambiguating Halifax links. Several dozen. One might hope that a decent-sized city in England that gave its name to others would have the single word in WP, but not this time.

--- Robin Patterson (Talk) 07:27, May 2, 2020 (UTC)

Looking at my wiki

Since you wanted to look at my wiki just to check, here is the link Ethnic diversities of Argentina Wiki. It does include the svg type by the way. Though i did manage to rename any image from svg.png to svg but image itself goes blank and it would not work. So then i tried to upload that is svg when the file is svg.png but that i don't like that. For me to upload any svg file is not easy. Anyway, i really would like to know how to upload any svg file just like the users here uploaded svg files. For example, these images below are svg not svg.png.--Matthewb531 (talk) 16:29, June 2, 2020 (UTC)

I have just uploaded w:c:ethnic-diversities-of-argentina:File:Thurstan.test.svg from a random svc file I had, and it seems to have worked (do you think it worked?). Can you give me a link to one of the svg files that you have uploaded that doesn't work? Thurstan (talk) 22:31, June 2, 2020 (UTC)

Link to the image

Here is the link File:WPVG_icon_2016.svg.png, though at times i tried renaming svg.png files to svg but that would do such a thing. Renaming that file to svg on my computer to upload it on my wiki but the image on my desktop goes blank. Once again, the link will take you.--Matthewb531 (talk) 00:03, June 3, 2020 (UTC)

That image shows okay to me. Thurstan (talk) 05:24, June 3, 2020 (UTC)

United States

Could you update the government official section of the United States page? The page currently has government officials listed who served during the Obama administration.

Please note that our geographical pagenames follow Wikipedia: please don't monkey with them. Thurstan (talk) 20:26, July 5, 2020 (UTC)
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