Fortnightly update – 1 September 2012

Hi,

We have decided to start posting more frequent updates to keep you informed about what we are currently working on to make ShoutWiki a better place.

Recent updates

A security release for the MediaWiki software was announced on 31 August, and we have updated all ShoutWiki wikis to this new version, 1.19.2.

As we mentioned in our previous blog post, we have an instant database dump feature. This is accessed by the stewards of a wiki via the wiki’s Special:Statistics page. The database dump format has now been changed from SQL to XML due to popular demand.

There was a bug with Special:MultiUpload which returned an error saying that the upload had not been done, even though the uploads were done. This was the reason this extension was taken offline for a brief amount of time. This has now been fixed and MultiUpload is now accessible again.

All requested wikis have now been reimported. All other wikis have been removed from the database, leaving their domains to be available. We still have the database dumps so if you still want a wiki to be reimported, it’s still not too late to ask. Let us know!

We’ve also deployed a new feature, the Babel extension, to all of our wikis. This extension provides the ability to indicate what languages you speak on user pages. You can see this extension in action on Jedimca0’s ShoutWiki Hub user page. The related bug ticket is bug #178.

What are we currently working on?

We are almost finished on a new extension, SiteWideMessages. This feature will allow staff to send messages to all users on ShoutWiki giving you updates or any other news about ShoutWiki.

We are also working on an on-wiki problem reporting system called ProblemReports. This extension lets users submit problems on pages for other users and administrators of the wiki to see and attempt to fix. This feature is almost ready to be deployed, pending some CSS fixes.

A new minor feature we have implemented is that founders of a wiki from now on will get a talk page message explaining them the best things to do to get their wiki started as well as what to do if they need help with their wiki. This feature will affect only newly created wikis.

We also have a new staff tool, called RenameWiki, which allows renaming wikis (changing their subdomains).

And as always, we fixed plenty of minor bugs, such as:

  • the spam filter not displaying the word/URL/phrase that it blocked (the “Array” bug)
  • an issue with the Hope premium skin toolbox code
  • ShoutWiki’s global notices showing up in external search engine’s results
  • {{Special:Editcount/Some user}} displaying wrong results (global edit count instead of local edit count)
  • better support for right-to-left languages, such as Arabic (ar), in Eminence, Hope and Monaco skins
  • even better anti-spam tools
  • fixed references to nonexistent images on Monaco’s CSS files, in Internet Explorer specific styles
  • upload-by-URL option shown on Special:Upload for users who are not allowed to use the feature (bug #201)
  • and lots more!

Last year, we had our own IRC server which, unfortunately, had to be shut down. We are currently looking into bringing this online again so that users can make IRC channels for their wikis.

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions regarding these features, as well as what we could do to make ShoutWiki even better! If you have a great idea for a feature, a suggestion or just general feedback, let us know — either in the comments section of this blog post or via the contact form.

BugZilla

Some of you may have noticed that BugZilla, our bug reporting website, was offline for a while. After the server maintenance on August 4th, we were able to bring BugZilla back online.

Please report any and all software bugs you may come across to on our BugZilla to help us in getting them fixed and improving ShoutWiki!

—-
On behalf of the ShoutWiki staff,
– Solar Dragon
ShoutWiki Customer Support Team

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