Bhamwiki talk:Messageboard/Archive 2014

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This is an archive of discussions from 2014. For other archived discussions, see Bhamwiki talk:Messageboard archives. Current discussion is at Bhamwiki talk:Messageboard. If you wish to expand on a topic here, it's best to open a new topic there and link to the prior discussion.

Individuals epiphany

I had an epiphany about the "Individuals" section of the year pages. We've been inconsistent with how we use them, and I'm as guilty of that as anyone. Here's my current thought on how it should be used. Please feel free to point out all the holes. People who get positions related to the Birmingham District should go under the appropriate Events sub-section (e.g. mayors in Government, principals in Education, pastors in Religion). Birmingham-related people who get important positions elsewhere (e.g. Condoleezza Rice becoming Secretary of State) go in the top of the Individuals section (above the sub-sections). People arriving in the B'ham area also go there. Births, graduations, etc. remain as they are, of course. --Lkseitz 06:52, 31 December 2013 (PST)

  • That sounds like a good idea to me. --Dystopos 07:41, 31 December 2013 (PST)
    • I really don't understand what you're saying we should do. Again, dim bulb... --Wheresdib 08:11, 31 December 2013 (PST)
      • Not necessarily you. I'm known to make leaps without explanation, assuming people will make the same leap without context. On the pages for each year, sometimes things like "John Smith succeeded James Jones as pastor of Local Church" have been put in the Individuals section (between that header and the Births sub-header). But other times it's put under Events/Religion. I'm saying that if Local Church is in the B'ham District, always put it in Events/Religion, not Individuals. OTOH, if local boy John Smith became a big-time bishop of some far away place for 50 years, stick that in the Individuals section. Things like "[Future dept. store chain founder] Jake Johnson moved to Birmingham" stay in the Individuals section. --Lkseitz 11:58, 31 December 2013 (PST)
        • And if you're like me, you'll do whatever comes to mind when you're doing it and hope that Lee comes around later to repair inconsistencies. --Dystopos 12:27, 31 December 2013 (PST)
          • Thanks to my OCD, such is my lot. :-) --Lkseitz 08:19, 2 January 2014 (PST)

2014 BBVA Compass Bowl

I have some decent pics that my wife took with the "real" camera on Saturday. What sort of shot would you prefer that I upload to the new article? We were on the Houston (home) side, and the stands on the Vandy side were pretty full. We have some shots of game play, as well as the bands. If you have no preference I'll just pick what I think is the best one and post it soon. --Wheresdib 09:27, 6 January 2014 (PST)

  • That'll be great. Whichever you think is most descriptive of the event. --Dystopos 09:33, 6 January 2014 (PST)

Another resource

I discovered a new resource for information: the Alabama High School Football Historical Society. Besides team records and coach bios, they also have some information on high school enrollments that might be handy. --Lkseitz 13:21, 9 January 2014 (PST)

10,000 articles

So, is the goal to have 10,000 articles on the site before our 8th anniversary? I noticed our founder seems to have been creating more new articles than normal lately. --Lkseitz 13:49, 9 January 2014 (PST)

Statistics 2014

Red links

As of January 29, 2014, there are currently 38,961 wanted articles with 74,869 links to them (red links). (The majority only have one link to them.) The front page says we have about 9,797 articles, meaning we're 20.09% complete. The last time I did this (January 24, 2013), we were at 9,107 articles with 36,583 wanted ones (19.93% done), so we made some progress even though we added 4,032 red links. (Note that wanted pages represent any topic which "could" have an article, not just those that "should" or "probably will" have articles.) --Lkseitz 09:00, 29 January 2014 (PST)


"WikiFactor" is a measure of a site's popularity, derived by finding which is the last page (on Special:Popularpages) to have 1000x the number of page views as the number of its ranking.

Our wikiFactor is now 34, up from 31 in mid-April 2013. --Lkseitz 09:00, 29 January 2014 (PST)

2014 anniversary

  • Our 8th anniversary is one month away. Do we have any plans yet? --Wheresdib 22:01, 15 February 2014 (PST)
    • I scouted Carrigan's Pub and came to no conclusion. That is all I have accomplished. --Dystopos 15:13, 16 February 2014 (PST)
      • March 15 is a Saturday. Does early that evening (around 6:00) work for everyone? --Dystopos 13:06, 17 February 2014 (PST)
        • As of right now, March 15 will probably work for us. --Wheresdib 15:22, 17 February 2014 (PST)
          • Ooo, should have looked at the calendar sooner. We have things afoot that weekend, but I might be able to come solo. --Lkseitz 06:58, 18 February 2014 (PST)
            • Attendance is mandatory, but the date can be flexible. Let me know what's best. --Dystopos 13:44, 18 February 2014 (PST)
  • Trattoria is packed wall to wall until the food runs out. Cosmo's sounds good to me. I also looked at Sweet Tea, but they don't have a breakfast menu any more, just cafeteria lunch. --Dystopos 15:54, 1 March 2014 (PST)
    • Works for us! What time? --Wheresdib 20:22, 1 March 2014 (PST)
      • Are we still on for Cosmo's (as opposed to Cosmos) on March 23rd? If so, what time? --Wheresdib 15:33, 10 March 2014 (PDT)
        • Yes. Let's say noon to noon-fifteen. I'll make a FB event for it now. --Dystopos 18:37, 10 March 2014 (PDT)


  • Did anyone get a group picture?, and do we have an official attendee list? I know most but not all who attended. --Wheresdib 12:43, 26 March 2014 (PDT)
Photo from Bhamwiki's 8th Anniversary brunch at Jim 'N Nick's. Seated (L-R), User:Morriscivitas, User:Chivon Morse, User:Dystopos, Linda Weeks, J. D. Weeks, User:Alarob, Valerie Sawyer, Amy Bannick Griffin, User:Wheresdib, Dorothy Seitz, User:Lkseitz, User:Dre & Betsy Pate. Not pictured: Photographer Eric Hawley and User:Anbdesign1, In the far background, Vulcan.
    • Thanks for coming, everybody! Sorry about the planning snafu. I think it worked out. --Dystopos 20:08, 28 March 2014 (PDT)
      • Ah this shows why I did not know about the group pic, apparently I wasn't paying attention. Thanks as always for a great time with great food! --Wheresdib 03:34, 29 March 2014 (PDT)
        • Just noticed how good lookin' ya'll are. --Dystopos 17:21, 4 June 2014 (PDT)

Historic maps

So, while the page says this page is copyrighted by UA, the actual maps are from the U.S. Geological Survey. Doesn't that make them works of the U.S. Government and therefore in the public domain? --Lkseitz 07:57, 19 February 2014 (PST)

Downtown grid

So, is this street grid table worth working on further, or am I wasting my time? Some of the text is supposed to be rotated 90 degrees, but it's only implemented in select browsers at the moment. The final product would have it rotated in more. In other words, if it doesn't look good in your regular browser, try another. --Lkseitz 13:17, 4 June 2014 (PDT)

  • On the one hand I think it's pretty awesome and I hate to discourage you. On the other hand, I think its limitations are inevitably in the foreground. Someday we'll want to show the city limits on there, and then the Smithfield grid, and then curves and overlay districts and… and.... Is there a possibility of having an image map which accomplishes the same thing? Is that another Mediawiki upgrade issue or just not our language, I don't know. --Dystopos 17:21, 4 June 2014 (PDT)
    • I should mention I've been mentally preparing to start an article on the arrangement and subdivision of Birmingham Blocks. --Dystopos 17:22, 4 June 2014 (PDT)
    • Ugh, I just looked at it on a smaller monitor. I knew it was big, but the smaller monitor really hurts the layout. And I'm acutely aware of the limitations. For example, you'll note that Park Place is missing. That was one of the major things I decided not to tackle before getting feedback. I think it's simply too big to work.

Yes, it's possible to use an imagemap, I just lack any sort of artistic skills to create an image for it. (And I don't think Google's going to let use a Google Maps screenshot.) A quick check shows that the ImageMap extension is bundled with MediaWiki starting with 1.21. We're only on 1.10, so we would either have to install it or upgrade.

Speaking of blocks, I worked at one point to do a table for those. I discovered they're too complex to make a generic template, but we could do them on a one-by-one basis. Use that link above and go back to the January 2011 version of the page to see them. They don't have to be as big as what you see there. That was just a result of my starting with the generic version for all possible addresses. --Lkseitz 20:33, 4 June 2014 (PDT)

Downtown Homewood streets

Okay, how about this one? It looks good in every browser I've viewed it with, even on my phone. I even got that weird angle for Lynn Boulevard. (But anybody got Safari?) The purpose of these maps is simply to have a visual representation of the street layout of the area, not be geographically correct. Think of it as a subway map; good for figuring out how to get somewhere, but not so good for geocaching. :-) As far as individual buildings, I only marked those that take up entire blocks. Sadly, Independence Plaza does not fill its entire block, at least not as I've broken the map down here. (Actually, Our Lady of Sorrows doesn't either, but the map is so geographically out of whack in that corner I figured it was close enough.) --Lkseitz 06:32, 13 June 2014 (PDT)

  • Looks cool to me. Does it go on one page or as a template on lots of pages? --Dystopos 09:23, 13 June 2014 (PDT)
    • Hmmm, good question. It's mainly designed for the not yet written Downtown Homewood page (although I think most of the links I've created have been named Homewood Central Business District). I suppose it could potentially go on all the pages of the streets featured, but it's probably too big for that. So I guess just the one. --Lkseitz 14:11, 13 June 2014 (PDT)
      • Yes, probably too big. I could see a cropped-down version of it on the SoHo article, maybe, but I'm not sure the purpose in that case. --Dystopos 14:23, 13 June 2014 (PDT)

Main Page typo

For the Joe Langston blurb, "veterans" should be "veteran". --Wheresdib 13:10, 21 July 2014 (PDT)

  • Thanks! --Dystopos 14:17, 21 July 2014 (PDT)

Code for Birmingham


  • We suffered a mysterious outage most of yesterday. With Dreamhost's help I "restored" the site to the most recent back-up, which was supposed to have been less than a day, but turned out it was 13 days. The database didn't lose anything, but if you added any images during that period, they may need to be re-uploaded. --Dystopos 14:22, 5 August 2014 (PDT)

drug relapse

  • A mysterious hack has been reported where once again polls to the Bhamwiki database are having links to pharmaceutical sites inserted as they are reported back to bots. Matt Sheets hasn't found the problem, but has created a clean mirror of the site on a fresh installation of the current version of Mediawiki. Should be able to replace the main installation soon. I expect he'll re-download the most current database, but you may want to save your work as a text file until this is accomplished just in case. --Dystopos 08:11, 30 September 2014 (PDT)
    • Current plan is to disable log-ins beginning at 8:00 PM CDT in Saturday, October 4 and make the switch then. Hopefully back up and running with current software not too long afterward. --Dystopos 14:20, 1 October 2014 (PDT)
      • I went ahead and upgraded to the current version. I have no idea if I solved the drug problem. I'll assume that if Matt needs to re-install, that we can use the most recent database. I see a few errors generating thumbnails. I think that's fixable by editing LocalSettings.php, but I'm not messing with it just yet. Let me know if you see anything else. I also need to figure out how to put this page back on the sidebar. --Dystopos (talk) 20:20, 7 October 2014 (PDT)
        • I think the thumbnail error is actually pretty serious. I see it's failed for both images uploaded since coming back online (yours and mine). From the error, my best guess is that either the path for thumbnails in the settings doesn't exist or the permissions aren't allowing the site to write files there. Probably the latter since it's displaying some but not others.--Lkseitz (talk) 05:29, 8 October 2014 (PDT)
          • That does seem to be the case, but people have reported solving the problem by modifying LocalSettings, so I imagine Matt or I will be able to solve it. If it's going to be me, I'll need to get my courage back up. If you'd like me to send you the file, I can do that. --Dystopos (talk) 07:38, 8 October 2014 (PDT)
            • I'd be happy to look at it, but I don't know if I can help or not since I've never set up MediaWiki myself. OTOH, another set of eyes might help. --Lkseitz (talk) 19:39, 8 October 2014 (PDT)
              • Well. That wasn't so bad. The line $wgTmpDirectory = "{$wgUploadDirectory}/tmp" needed to be changed to $wgTmpDirectory = "{$wgUploadDirectory}/temp"; because the subdirectory of /images was /temp and not /tmp. I've done things, but it still makes me sweat. --Dystopos (talk) 20:37, 9 October 2014 (PDT)
                • Huzzah! --Lkseitz (talk) 06:49, 11 October 2014 (PDT)

Portal fixed

On the plus side, the upgrade has allowed us to get the Sustainability Portal working correctly! --Lkseitz (talk) 20:09, 8 October 2014 (PDT)

  • Cool beans. Now to apply for a grant to hire a sustainability portal manager intern or something. --20:38, 9 October 2014 (PDT)

Birmingham link on the main page

Shortly before the upgrade, I noticed something. There's no link to the Birmingham article on the Main Page! Given the name of the site, I think we should have a link to that article front and center. Ideally, starting from there, a user should be able to eventually reach any article on the site (without having to go through category pages). I'm sure that's probably not possible at the moment, but it's (yet) a(nother) goal to have. --Lkseitz (talk) 06:57, 11 October 2014 (PDT)

New style for days

Do I assume we/Dystopos are/is going to slowly convert all the day entries to having split births and deaths? --Lkseitz (talk) 05:04, 12 November 2014 (PST)

Vulcan and Vulcan Park categories

Working with the Vulcan entries, it seemed Vulcan and Vulcan Park needed separate categories. The question I had problems with was which should be the parent of the other. I ultimately decided to make Category:Vulcan Park the child of Category:Vulcan. This was because the statue pre-existed the park. Or, in other words, the park exists because of the statue. I've thought about it too much at this point to know if that's counter-intuitive or not. The more important thing, I think, is that people should now have an easier time finding both entries while perusing the categories. --Lkseitz (talk) 07:03, 27 December 2014 (PST)

  • My inkling is the reverse. Vulcan Park is a bigger thing that encompasses the statue, as well as the Lone Pine Mine and a fireworks show, etc. I'd make the comparison to the Birmingham Museum of Art category, which includes much older artifacts within it. --Dystopos (talk) 12:49, 27 December 2014 (PST)
    • Okay, I reversed them. --Lkseitz (talk) 05:13, 24 April 2015 (PDT)
      • So, the statue is in the Vulcan category and the Fairgrounds category, but the Vulcan category is a branch of the Vulcan Park category. I suppose that works, since he's now a feature of the park. --Dystopos (talk) 06:10, 24 April 2015 (PDT)
        • Fixed. Thanks. --Lkseitz (talk) 08:49, 25 April 2015 (PDT)