M3P:To Do list

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This is a list of things to do for admins/sysops only. Editing on this page is locked for general users, but recommendations for things to add to the list are welcome via the To Do list Talk Page.

  • Items marked URGENT need immediate attention. (Ideally, we should avoid having more than 2-3 items marked this way.)
  • Items marked ongoing do not need immediate attention but someone is working on them regularly.
  • Any items that don't have an 'urgent' or 'ongoing' tag are desirable actions that need attention whenever possible.
  • Items marked DONE have been completed and action point/s will need to be archived soon.


Inaugural Symposium (ongoing)

Audio from Symposium (DONE)

I'm working on this. --Toni Sant (talk) 07:34, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Individual files with audio recordings from the symposium have now been created and are all set to be uploaded into the wiki. --Toni Sant (talk) 17:02, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Images from Symposium + Conference (ongoing)

Michael Bugeja has several images and Winston De Giorgio has uploaded his to Picasa. These need to be uploaded to the M3P wiki. Perhaps this will be easily facilitated through the new MediaWiki Upload Wizard. See also Uploading Files section - below. --Toni Sant (talk) 13:29, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Uploading Files (ongoing)

MediaWiki has launched a new Upload Wizard for the Commons. (see also: [1] and [2] ) Can we adopt this for the M3P asap? --Toni Sant (talk) 13:25, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

As from the Wizard for multiple uploads launched a couple of years ago on Commons, there's this tool too for us to consider when uploading large numbers of files at once: Commonist --Toni Sant (talk) 13:05, 30 June 2014 (UTC)


Uploading Images (ongoing)

File uploading works, but right now I've limited allowed to gif, jpg and png just to see how things go. I've blocked executables and things described as 'application/octet-stream' in MIME type. These settings can be tuned as appropriate and have been extracted out of standard LocalSettings. A quick check of this file will let you see where this new info is stored (should be safe in event of upgrades). Stephensd 14:03, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

I'll give it a whirl in the next 24 hours or so. Thanks! --Toni Sant (talk) 17:42, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
All seems to be working fine with image uploads. (Robert) Longo has uploaded an old image of Mirage and I've uploaded the Għanja tal-Poplu logo, which I've also inserted as a thumbnail on the appropriate page. --Toni Sant (talk) 15:13, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm seeing about having the files we had already uploaded replaced now that the upload path has been changed...but there seems to be an error being generated now instead of thumbnails, so I'll make a note of that as a separate action point below. --Toni Sant (talk) 11:53, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Thumbnail generation error (ongoing)

Whenever a new image (or other type of file) is uploaded, the wiki used to generate a thumbnail (for images but not for audio files) until the upload path was fixed a couple of days ago. No you get an error that says: Error creating thumbnail: Unable to run external programs in safe mode. I had a look at http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Safe_mode but this is something I'm not too comfortable messing with on my own. The image thumbnails are created by ImageMagik but I'm not sure what the deal is for audio files. You can see an example of the error in the Gallery of new files. --Toni Sant (talk) 11:53, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Previous error was sorted out...but there's still no thumbnail (no error) for MP3s. Perhaps it's just a matter of uploading the appropriate thumbnail into the respective folder, using the ogg set up (test included in gallery of new files) as a guide. --Toni Sant (talk) 10:48, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Uploading TIF

Steve Borg is exploring the possibility of uploading TIF image files. The upload is not a problem, but the display probably required some interaction with imagemagik or something like that to conver to a format that can be displayed/viewed through web browsers without special plugins. Here's an example of what a TIF upload looks like right now. --Toni Sant (talk) 12:31, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm not so sure that we should focus on the TIF format before we consider an image uploading policy. In essence, TIFs can only really be viewed in a web browser if they are rendered as JPGs first, or a local viewer/plug-in is available at the client side. I'm bringing this up again, because Steve uploaded another TIF recently and asked why there's no preview for such files and/or they're not rendered in his browser on the wiki. --Toni Sant (talk) 09:31, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Handling PDF

User:Noel D'Anastas has uploaded several PDFs of his newspaper articles. We need to consider how these will be displayed in the. Is it just a matter of setting up a mime for pdf? Or do we need to install an extension like PdfHandler? --Toni Sant (talk) 09:31, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Uploading Audio (ongoing)

I'm about to finish editing the audio files from the inaugural symposium today and I think it's probably better if we actually upload these through the wiki rather than directly to a folder on the server via FTP. Darren, I think all that needs doing is to add the MIME-types for audio files just like you did for the images. If you don't mind, I'd rather you do it, so there's only one of us at a time working directly on the settings files. Thanks. --Toni Sant (talk) 15:17, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

OK, let me know specific video formats so I can identify correct MIME and extensions and I'll get to it. --Stephensd 14:52, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
So far I only have MP3s. So perhaps we could just start with that to keep things simple. Thanks. --Toni Sant (talk) 15:43, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
The following are now enabled: png, gif, jpg, jpeg, avi, mpg, mpeg, mov, m4v, ogg, wmv, mp3, mp4, ogg. Some MIME type and file extension checking will take place. You should also notice that upload from external URL is now also switched on. We can see how this one floats... Stephensd 16:34, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
The 4MB file size limit is going to be a problem with audio and video files. The 8 files I have from the Inaugural Symposium range from 5MB to 21MB each. I just tried uploading the smallest one and the upload quite at one point and simply refreshed the page without an error message that I could see. Is there an easy way to adjust the maximum file size allowed for certain types, or shall we just raise the limit to 25MB on everything for now? --Toni Sant (talk) 17:00, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Stephensd 17:24, 1 November 2010 (UTC) the sizing is universal for all download, but also depends on what our server's PHP upload limits are. I'll check and see if I can alter them: addendum. hosting config had max uploads set at 2M. This is now upped to 32M Stephensd 17:24, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

I tried upload a 5MB mp3 file again after the max uploads set was upped to 32MB but the upload appeared to time out and without any error message I was simply reverted to a blank form. --Toni Sant (talk) 17:51, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I've upped the stream default timeout from 60 to 300 secs to see if this will help. I've also made a couple of smaller under hood php tweaks to reflect the fact that this is a production server. We shouldn't be getting warning messages of the sort that showed up on the index page till this morning. Stephensd 12:59, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
this is now getting silly. Lots of PHP tuning plus some work trying to get some useful error info out of the server is resulting in nothing. At one stage I was getting the upload returning 500 errors, but with no indication why. And the server error logs giving no clues. Now back to Toni's blank screen problem. It works for uploading PDFs, for example (which I tested), but looks like a size problem for very large files (say 10M+) Stephensd 17:14, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I managed to upload an mp3 file that's 11MB. Here's the file page: but for some reason it has uploaded to a folder called images here: Media:M3p-launch-toni-sant.mp3 - it may be just a matter of setting an appropriate upload folder/location. Still, it's good to see that the timeout on uploads seems to be working fine. Once you tell me that all is sorted I'll upload more. --Toni Sant (talk) 21:16, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
The upload functionality points to a single upload location for everything. And this was set as /media/images when the focus was just on getting image data up there. Because mediawiki sorts things into 'buckets' inside there for more efficient searching, inter alia, I don't want to change the file path now as I will break the items that are currently in there. The directory name might just be one of those legacy bugaboos we'll have to live with now, as it doesn't really affect the user experience. As an aside, I wonder if my travails (of quite a lot of) today were caused by patchy network performance on campus rather than server config. Stephensd 23:14, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Mmm... I think there are still few enough uploaded files that we can fix file path. There's only one file that was uploaded by someone who is not DS or TS. I'd rather we do this now than live with it in perpetuity as a legacy bugaboo...as much as I like the word bugaboo! As for the patchy network performance, you may very well be right. --Toni Sant (talk) 13:22, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Ok, upload settings changed. files go into /media/wiki now. The old file space is moved to /media/legacy/wiki so that anything uploaded is not destroyed. Anything in the uploads would now have to be re-upped though. But, ss you say, there are few enough images for this not to be serious, I think Stephensd 23:29, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Great, thanks! Now, I've upped the stream default timeout from 300 to 450 600 750 900 secs because I've been unable to upload files that are larger than 19MB...but still to no avail. You simply get a blank page if the upload hits the timeout. I looked into this a little and found some interesting info on the MediaWiki manual at http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Blank_page#You_see_a_Blank_Page but when I adjusted the "memory_limit = 32M" from the default 20M on LocalSettings.php it still didn't work. Not sure what to do next, so I've stopped. We clearly need to find a solution for this because there may be other files this big in the future that we want to handle through the wiki, plus I still have 3 audio files from the inaugural symposium to upload. --Toni Sant (talk) 18:19, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I've altered the memory_limit to 64M in php.ini, just in case. I've also been slightly more liberal with execution times etc. to see if this helps. Stephensd 17:34, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I tried to upload a 19Mb file but still got the blank error page after a couple of minutes. I also tried uploading via a URL from http://ia700200.us.archive.org/2/items/M3pInauguralSymposium/4-m3p-launch-albert-bell.mp3 and received what looks like a timeout error: "The site took too long to respond. Please check the site is up, wait a short while and try again. You may want to try at a less busy time." Given that it's a Sunday night I don't think that the problem is coming from a busy network. It's still some setting on our wiki. So, it would seem that we're stuck. --Toni Sant (talk) 20:39, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually we're not stuck and after contacting the appropriate support person/s it now seems that this is a hosting issue. We are therefore going to explore alternative hosting arrangements for the wiki. Having the main wiki on a shared hosting account was never a long-term solution anyway. I'm also creating a new "to do" item called Hosting Migration. --Toni Sant (talk) 16:48, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Embedding Media Files (DONE)

Once we've sorted out the file uploading issue, we'll need to see how to embed a play button or something like that through one of the media handling extensions, unless MediaWiki has a default function for that sort of thing. I've tried to look into it, but I may be looking in the wrong places because I haven't managed to find anything about this, other than the fact that wikipedia seems to use a template to handle audio files: there's Listen and the simpler looking Audio. --Toni Sant (talk) 21:16, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

The Listen template is (sort of) installed. It was a pretty involved process (if you look at the Recent Changes for Jan 11 you'll see why). The other issue is that embedding the Listen template only gives embedded playback with .ogg files. MP3's are another matter entirely but at least look a touch tider, which is why I've had a quick look at the [3]. This is now installed but not tested at all as yet. Stephensd 18:20, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Provisionally completed Stephensd 11:01, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Welcoming/Orienting New Users (URGENT)

We need to figure out how to generate an automated welcome message on people's user talk page whenever a new user registers. In going about this, special attention needs to be given to the following:

  1. the text for this welcome message needs to be written, based on similar one's I've experience on my Wikipedia User Page. Another example of a different style of Wikipedia welcome message appears here.
  2. a welcome email with similar details and not just saying hello is sent to the address associated with the individual's account.

From a technical perspective, this can only really happen if we install an extension called New User Message. --Toni Sant (talk) 17:16, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

This has been implemented, at a very basic level, which is great! The main issue to address now is the need to link to Help:Contents rather than the Mediawiki general help page. --Toni Sant (talk) 07:54, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

Help Section (ongoing)

  • Tony Grimaud was originally working on this back in 2010 and 2011. Joe Julian Farrugia started revisiting the help section in 2016.

Contact Page & Emails (ongoing)

See Talk:Main_Page#Contact_page_and_emails

Events Calendar (ongoing)

Discussion at M3P_talk:Current_events#Using_an_extension_for_an_Events_Calendar indicates what Tony Grimaud is suggesting we need to do. Next action is probably to look into installing the appropriate extension.

  • adding a test event:

Stephensd 15:56, 29 October 2010 (UTC) : update 17.57 install sort of working but having some teething issues. For this reason have disbled extension till Monday to work on further. Toni S is aware of these issues

  • Enabling Events is still breaking things quite horrendously and am not quite sure why yet, as everything seems properly configured. I guess I'm missing something tht will, in retrospect, seem blindingly obvious Stephensd 17:22, 1 November 2010 (UTC)


Gadgets (ongoing)

  • I keep coming across Wikipedia (only?) tool called Twinkle. We need to explore whether this is available for our MediaWiki installation and what function it has in aiding us with common maintenance tasks, or whether it's just an anti-vandalism tool.--Toni Sant (talk) 11:37, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • From my work with my UG students on Wikipedia I've discovered that there's a whole set of pre-installed gadgets that users have access to as a tab in their user preferences. Twinkle is one of these gadgets, but an even more impressive one is called HotCat, which seems to me like an essential gadget for us provide for all M3P users. --Toni Sant (talk) 13:37, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
  • This requires the Gadgets extension to be installed. The first quick go I had was not a success. All the pieces are there right now, just not switched on. Stephensd 23:16, 19 October 2010 (UTC)


Maltese Characters (DONE)

See also Talk:Main_Page#Special_characters_(settled)

Needs testing, but CharInsert extension installed and additions made to Common.css and Edittools. Stephensd 16:20, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I tested it in a message to you and it seemed to work fine, so I'm marking this DONE now, even though there may be further discussion later about the location of the feature in terms of optimum usability considerations. --Toni Sant (talk) 17:29, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Look and Feel (ongoing)

See Talk:Main_Page#Look_and_feel

WPTouch skin for mobile devices (ongoing)

Added WPTouch skin and tweaked slightly. This is now working with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devies (tested using iPad, XCode tools + Safari 5 developer tools). However, the "Welcome to M3P banner" does cause some issues with mobile skin - it's a touch too wide Stephensd 16:18, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

The WPTouch skin looks quite nice at first glance! I'm trying to think about what's the best way to fix the "Welcome to M3P banner" issue. Right now this is happening because there are fixed values on certain cells in the table that generates that banner. I'm also wondering if we should have a different main page since we don't really have any navigation controls other than any links on the given page in the current version of the skin. Oh well, at least we now have a nice mobile skin that kinda works. Thanks Darren!! --Toni Sant (talk) 17:13, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Collapsible Tables a la Wikipedia (ongoing)

I'm looking into this, particularly because I'd like to use it on the Mużika Mod Ieħor show list and the 2010 MMI Listeners' Picks Poll. My first order of business will be to see if the required javascript is already integrated into common.js (and the respective common.css). If they're not there, I'll obviously need to create a technical help/note page on the M3P wiki to make sure that this amendment doesn't get lost completely when MediaWiki is updated. --Toni Sant (talk) 16:27, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

It turns out that the required javascript is entered into MediaWiki:Common.js and the respective styling into MediaWiki:Common.css so it's all safe from being rewritten whenever MediaWiki is updated. I've made it work, and it all works fine, on the 2010 MMI Listeners' Picks Poll. The only thing that I'd still like to tweak is the styling for the sortable button, even though this is a slightly different issue. Once that's sorted I'll mark this task as done. --Toni Sant (talk) 10:41, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

URLs & Permalinks (ongoing)

See Talk:Main_Page#URLs_and_Permalinks

  • This is awkward (see Case Sensitivity), and also needs to be considered with the wikipedia sensitvity rules, which are:
    • Case insensitive first char. toni sant=Toni sant (search is also case insensitive, except for the way to Go button deals with caps in middle of words, apparently)
    • At all other points, case sensitvity applies. so DOG != dog (the former may be an acronym, for example) and Toni Sant != Toni sant

Weird, huh? There is a hacky solution available, but I really don't want to go there...

I'll report back on performance in the coming days. Meanwhile I've downgraded this from urgent to ongoing. --Toni Sant (talk) 17:44, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Alternative punctuation

I'm wondering whether we should also consider a similar solution to alternative punctuation. For example see: Mind’s Eye Dub and Mind's Eye Dub. Subtle difference, but one that can be lethal for a link. --Toni Sant (talk) 16:00, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

See also

Facts about "To Do list"