User talk:RobLa

From electowiki

If you have comments to me, and you don't mind making them publicly, please choose "Add topic" in the tabs above. If you wish to make a private comment to me, please send me an email ( or choose "email this user" from the "Tools" on the left. The comment sections below are in forward chronological order, with the "#Links" section containing comments from 2005, and newer comments after that.


Re: Links not working as you were expecting; I wasn't sure whether we were wedded to the "Electowiki" name. "Project" is a hard-coded default that will always go the "project" page/namespace. Therefore if we added a page at Electowiki:FAQ, then changed the namespace to "Electoarama:", Project:FAQ would automatically change to Electorama:FAQ. That's why I added the links like that. -- (unsigned 12:07, 24 January 2005

Blanked spam pages

Nothing shows up in Recent Changes, but I see that there are two slightly active sysops, you and Homunq. As you might know, I have WMF sysop experience, and I have the bit on some other wikis. I could do some cleanup, like those blanked spam pages, besides if I'm here for that, I might also contribute to some voting systems articles, I have a bit of knowledge and experience there.

I could also create a delete template, for some other admin to use, but ... I thought I'd ask for the sysop bit.

Captcha should be implemented, I'd say, the regular captcha, if possible. I'm sure you know a hundred times as much as I on this. I think that people with regular election methods interest could be encouraged to use this wiki.... --Abd 20:14, 15 October 2012 (PDT)

User account migration

Would it be a good idea for you to message everyone on the old wiki through the email system and encourage them to create accounts on this one under the same username? So they take over their existing user pages, as in (talk) 03:42, 1 January 2019 (UTC)


Is Electowidget still a part of this wiki? Kristomun (talk) 11:46, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

Electowiki in other languages

User:RobLa, what are the options for translating various articles into other languages, so that more readers can access them? I'm somewhat familiar with Spanish, and would be interested in translating several articles if the interface is simple enough. BetterVotingAdvocacy (talk) 04:57, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

The typical way to do this on a wiki of this size is to append the ISO language code (see for an example). However, I don't think that the content and structure of this wiki is yet mature enough to do a competent job with translation. I could be wrong though. Have you made any edits to the articles on Spanish Wikipedia yet? I would feel more comfortable branching out into Spanish if we had the help of a seasoned editor from Spanish Wikipedia (and you could become that editor, even if you aren't a seasoned editor yet). -- RobLa (talk) 05:08, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
I can start building experience in doing work on Condorcet articles on Spanish Wikipedia and then report back after some time, sure. Also, I've uploaded several images here that have English text, and can easily change them to other languages if desired, but what would you suggest as the best way to link the various images together? Can an image have different language-versions, or should the modified image be uploaded under a separate title? BetterVotingAdvocacy (talk) 05:21, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Wikimedia Commons policy is to use SVG whenever possible for images so the text can be easily translated. See [1] for instance. — Psephomancy (talk) 03:44, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, Psephomancy! Yup, this is the correct answer. -- RobLa (talk) 04:07, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
I've done a good deal of work on the Spanish, Italian, French, and a few other versions of Wikipedia since we last spoke. See [[2]], [[3]], [[4]], etc. which I (User:GreekApple123 on Wikipedia) created. A few of my translations (mostly into Chinese) have been deleted, or (for German or other languages) slapped with "translation needs improvement" tags, but I feel reasonably comfortable with the languages I cited above to start editing in them here. I only plan to translate a few of the articles in Electowiki to start off with, and for those articles I do translate, only some part of them, so you need not worry about the alternate-language versions of the wiki being flooded with hard-to-fix errors by me. So, are you comfortable with this, and if so, how would I get started? BetterVotingAdvocacy (talk) 00:57, 12 May 2020 (UTC)
I'm not comfortable yet, and I won't be for at least six months. It's going to take more than a couple of weeks for you to become a seasoned and trusted editor on eswiki, frwiki, itwiki, ptwiki, nlwiki, or zhwiki. Barring an influx of new, multi-lingual editors who the Electowiki community trusts, it's no guarantee that a clean, six-month track record on any one of those wikis is going to build the necessary level of trust on Electowiki, since very few of us in the current community speak the languages associated with those other wikis.
You mentioned: "A few of my translations (mostly into Chinese) have been deleted, or (for German or other languages) slapped with 'translation needs improvement' tags". Was this one of the translations: w:de:Copeland-Methode? I'm very tempted to send a note to the editor who deleted that article and better understand why that particular article was deleted. It would appear from the history of "wikidata:Q5168347 (Copeland's method)" that User:GreekApple123 was responsible for making the interlanguage link to the deleted article. My hunch is that this is one of the new articles you were talking about that was "slapped" with a "translation needs improvement" tag.
I am deeply appreciative of the people who review and refine the ample prose on this wiki. I think that Electowiki has been improving over the past year, after the prior years of stagnation due to the login issues. But I fear that adding new languages is going to make review much more difficult, since I fear that English prose is being added faster than the current community can review it. Can we review this in late November 2020, after you (and others) have had a chance to establish yourselves as trusted editors in those communities? -- RobLa (talk) 03:01, 12 May 2020 (UTC)
I only just now found out from checking your link that they deleted the German translation I made for the Copeland method. Bummer. Anyways, I made a translation of the Smith set article into Chinese which got deleted; that's the main one. The "translation needs improvement" was added to the Smith set article translation I made into German.
Anyways, I am okay with waiting until November, or really any time before or after that, to bring this discussion back up again, though I myself am probably not going to have done enough translation work by that point to become a trusted editor. For now, if you're okay with it, I might add links to some articles saying "Here is a draft translation of this article into these languages:" linking to user pages with translations; that should be a workable solution for now. BetterVotingAdvocacy (talk) 03:22, 12 May 2020 (UTC)


I've added a preamble to this talk page. I've also created a topic called "#2020-05-18", which contains the comment you are reading now.

If you'd like to add a new topic, please give it a title that you add via Wikitext. If you don't do that, I'll be forced to give your new section a title, and you may not like it. -- RobLa (talk) 05:15, 19 May 2020 (UTC)


I started a conversation about COI at Electowiki:COI. Please join it at Electowiki_talk:COI. -- RobLa (talk) 23:55, 20 May 2020 (UTC)


I have a lot to say about identity. But maybe we should have a conversation about it over on User_talk:RobLa/identity. I highly encourage y'all to create User:wheeeee/identity pages. (at least, User:wheeeee should create one). -- RobLa (talk) 00:49, 21 May 2020 (UTC)

Recent changes is no longer working.

It seems that the "Recent changes" page now errors out with "Invalid value was provided for loading Structured Discussions content". Could you investigate? Kristomun (talk) 12:16, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

It's working for me (as of this writing). Are you still seeing a problem with it? If so, the next step will be for one of us to drop a note in the Miraheze bug tracker describing how to reproduce the problem. -- RobLa (talk) 16:51, 16 July 2020 (UTC)
It works if I'm logged out, but I get the error if I'm logged in. I checked on both FF and Chrome. I also can't seem to log in to phabricator: it says my username is invalid. Kristomun (talk) 17:09, 16 July 2020 (UTC)
Sorry it's not working for you. Remind me to file a Phabricator task for you tomorrow if you don't hear anything back sooner. -- RobLa (talk) 20:17, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
I'm just going to test a hunch: could you try doing the following steps? The steps:
  1. go to an incognito window in your browser ("Incognito" in Chrome, "Private Window" in Firefox)
  2. Visit this URL (but don't close the private window):
  3. Now log in (still in your private window)
  4. See if it's still broken
This might help us diagnose the problem. I'm still going to file a Phab task for you, but I'm curious... -- RobLa (talk) 21:04, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
Hey, I think I found the cause of this but either my internet gave up on me or IRCCloud and Discord both went down. I updated the Phabricator ticket Rob opened and will take it as a sign I should sleep. Those with issues should change there max days shown in RecentChanges down to a smaller amount and I will have a look in the morning. Thanks, RhinosF1 (talk) 21:36, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
Assuming I was meant to visit the page from the private window, what I get is this:
Central user log in
No active login attempt is in progress for your session.
Return to the previous page.
So it seems to still be broken! Kristomun (talk) 10:30, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
That is a completely separate issue that is probably to do with incognito blocking cookies. The easiest fix for Special:RecentChanges is to lower the max days shown via Special:Preferences. RhinosF1 (talk) 15:33, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
The issue is now Fixed. RhinosF1 (talk) 15:48, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
Yes, that did it. Thanks! Kristomun (talk) 19:16, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
RhinosF1 - thank you! -- RobLa (talk) 19:57, 18 July 2020 (UTC)

Strange message when editing as anonymous

This is the message anonymous users get when trying to edit articles:

"You do not have permission to edit this page, for the following reason: You must confirm your email address before editing pages. Please set and validate your email address through your user preferences."

But anonymous users don't have email addresses or user preferences, so shouldn't the message instead be telling them to log in? Kristomun (talk) 15:44, 19 October 2021 (UTC)

An email address is required to edit this wiki. The email address can be for a provider that ensures anonymity for their users. All that we ask here at electowiki is that the editor provide an email address. -- RobLa (talk) 06:05, 20 October 2021 (UTC)
I understand that. What I mean is that the "permission denied" message when you're not logged in suggests that you set your email address in your user preferences, but there's no user preferences if you're not logged in. So something along the lines of "please verify your email by creating an account or logging in" would be more informative. Kristomun (talk) 12:40, 20 October 2021 (UTC)

Database query bug

It seems that some search patterns makes the database consistently err. For instance, try to search for "abc- def" without quotes ( This produces an exception of type "Wikimedia\Rdbms\DBQueryError". I'm not sure where to submit this bug report, so here it goes :-) Kristomun (talk) 19:00, 24 November 2021 (UTC)

Thanks for reporting this, User:Kristomun! I've relayed it on to the Miraheze folks using the bug tracker: -- RobLa (talk) 08:47, 25 November 2021 (UTC)
An update: the bug is actually a problem with MediaWiki that Miraheze isn't in a good position to fix. Here is the upstream bug report: , which was filed in 2019, but according to one commenter, it dates back to 2014. Wikimedia isn't likely to place a high priority on the issue, because it doesn't affect the Wikimedia wikis (since none of them use the MediaWiki default search engine), and Miraheze isn't likely to switch to the same search engine that Wikimedia is using, because configuring and maintaining that search engine requires completely different skills than just using the search component that comes with the standard MediaWiki database. That impasse is likely to last a while. -- RobLa (talk) 20:18, 25 November 2021 (UTC)

Monroe method

Something's up with the Monroe's method article: it doesn't render TeX or inline cites but instead dumps them as plaintext. Is this a Wiki bug? Kristomun (talk) 19:09, 18 January 2022 (UTC)

Not sure, and I'm a little busy right now. You're more likely to get a timely response over on meta:Community noticeboard. In the meantime, I'd be delighted if you joined me at one of my "Tuesday at Two" events on Whereby ( -- RobLa (talk) 22:10, 18 January 2022 (UTC)
I've been kept from doing so lately, but I'll see if the opportunity presents itself next time. In any case, thanks for bringing it to my attention :-) Kristomun (talk) 13:31, 19 January 2022 (UTC)

Thanking in recent changes?

Would it be possible to have Thank links on user contributions on the Recent changes page to thank users for their edits without having to go to the page's history first? Kristomun (talk) 08:28, 22 April 2022 (UTC)

Hi User:Kristomun, I'm not sure what you mean. This sounds like it's probably either a Miraheze or a MediaWiki feature request. See meta:Request features to request features from Miraheze, or perhaps keep an eye on the "Electowiki:Feature requests" page (a.k.a."Project:Feature requests" page) for other suggestions. -- RobLa (talk) 23:53, 22 April 2022 (UTC)
That's a good point. I'll try there, but to explain my suggestion: I wanted to give thanks to Kevin Venzke for showing that Symmetrical ICT does not pass FBC. So I thought that the natural way would be to click a "Thank" link on the recent changes page. But there is no such link; to give him thanks, I have to go to Symmetrical ICT, then to its page history, and then there's a thank link for each change. This seems a bit roundabout compared to just having such a link on the recent changes page. Kristomun (talk) 09:03, 23 April 2022 (UTC)
Ah, now I understand what you're asking for; thanks for the explanation! That would be a change to the extension itself (see "mw:Extension:Thanks"), though there's also a hacky self-service way of changing it for yourself. As I discovered on the talk page for the extension, someone else also requested the "thanks" link in 2021, and were pointed to the bug tracker (Phabricator) for the project with a link to task T90404 "Add Thank link on Recent Changes pages" filed in 2015. If you're really feeling dedicated, it would seem that someone else wrote a user script to do this: "w:User:Enterprisey/rc-thanks.js". That user script should work on electowiki, but no warranty is expressed or implied. In short, you're not alone in wanting that functionality, and can even use MediaWiki's userscript functionality to get it. -- RobLa (talk) 01:00, 24 April 2022 (UTC)

EM issues

Something seems to be up with the election-methods list. If I try to send messages to it, they just disappear into the void (don't get posted) and I can't access my user settings or ask for a password reminder - it just gives a 500 error. Could you check if something has happened to the server? I sent a mail to you but I'm not sure if that arrived either. Kristomun (talk) 22:25, 31 August 2022 (UTC)

Hi Kristomun, your email arrived (and I just responded this evening; sorry again for the slow response). -- RobLa (talk) 02:50, 1 September 2022 (UTC)