All posts by Lewis Cawte

Support and Sessions

As we enter Spring, we want to provide a quick update on a few rather important recent changes.

Ever since we updated to MediaWiki 1.28 in December, users have been reporting session and cookie issues, caused by a change in MediaWiki core relating to authentication and session storage. The appropriate tasks are filed in Phabricator as T144 and T154. We’ve changed the backend storage for sessions at ShoutWiki and we are now confident in saying we have fixed these issues.

Anyone still experiencing problems is advised to clear any cookie and session data for ShoutWiki in their browsers. We would like to remind users that while most ShoutWiki sites are available over HTTPS, that HTTPS is not supported for wikis, and there are a number of issues with the setup. The current HTTPS set up was for testing has not yet been disabled. If you have been using HTTPS, please cease to do so, and ensure you clear all Strict Transport Security (STS) headers and cache for ShoutWiki from your browser.

You should notice any session issues clearing up after following these steps have been completed. Anyone still having session issues is encouraged to provide details on the linked tasks.

The second item we would like to comment on is our support infrastructure. We’re currently experiencing issues with the contact form (Special:Contact) and how Google handles emails sent through it, affecting the amount of emails making it into the support ticketing system.

Due to changes in Google’s anti-phishing detection, we are currently having to manually force many support tickets through into the system. You should receive an automated message when this has been done, however, you may experience delays due to this.

It is strongly advised that users email us directly at support @ shoutwiki.com to ensure a ticket is opened as soon as possible. If you have not received an automated message from the system, your ticket has not been processed. Please do not create a Hub forum as we will not be changing any wiki settings from Forum posts.

We understand that this is in no way ideal, and we are currently working on trying to solve this issue. Thank you for your cooperation!

#MissingType and Mistakes

This week’s update focuses on the rather noticeable unsuccessful MediaWiki 1.27.0 which we’ve previously talked about here on the blog, and the important #MissingType campaign.

For a summary of what happened, we’ve embedded a copy of our Facebook apology.

We’ve learnt from the mistakes from this episode and we have been working on adding in a testing environment to our setup to stop future repeats of this. We’re also taking steps to make sure we tell our users what a problem is in future.

As some of you have noticed, we’re missing letters. We’ve decided to take part in the #MissingType campaign, which promotes blood donation by moving the letters of the three letters of the major blood groups – A, B and O. (We do know we missed the wide scale campaign, but the work is never done!)

Earlier today, I personally took part and donated my own blood for the first time. The process usually takes less than an hour and most people can become blood donors. In the UK, there are over 3000 different venues across the country.

First time blood donation. #giftblood #missingtype

A photo posted by Lewis Cawte (@lcawte) on

For those in the UK, signing up is as simple as going to blood.co.uk. For those in the US, see the Red Cross Website and for those in the rest of the world, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cresent Societies website will help you find information about your country.

Sign up, #GiftBlood and help save a life today.