User talk:Kotra/archive

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The content below is archived for posterity. Please do not edit it. Instead, start a new discussion at User talk:kotra.

Welcome to The Portland Civic Wiki. This is an unofficial wiki of Portland. This wiki is meant to help enable the citizens of the Portland Metropolitan Area be able to better connect, take part in, and improve their communities. So welcome; poke around, edit, try some stuff out, and have fun. Thanks. Michael

Great Logo!

Nice work on this! Best, MarkDilley

Thanks! It's not necessarily final, so let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement. -Kotra 02:21, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Re: Welcome

Thanks for the encouragement, Kotra! I'll probably be adding a lot of historical details when I get the time... the sort of stuff that might be a little too specific for Wikipedia. If I'm available on Jan. 6, I'll try and come to the Wiki Wednesdays! Khris.soden (talk) 01:59, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

(replied at User talk:Khris.soden) -kotra (talk) 19:39, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm glad you're liking what I've been doing! I'm happily free from my office this weekend, so I'm hoping to add quite a bit more content! Khris.soden (talk) 19:42, 26 December 2009 (UTC)


Can you provide advice regarding categories? I've been wanting to develop that tag, but I'm not very familiar with Wikis. Specifically, I'd like to include neighborhoods into a category, but I don't know how.

  • Actually, I think I figured it out. Any advice would still be appreciated!
Ok cool Khris! Here's my reply I wrote already, in case you find it useful. Categories are sort of confusing at first but simple once you figure them out (I've actually been figuring them out just today, making a few mistakes by making unnecessary redirects and such as you might have noticed). Basically, all you have to do is add [[Category:Foo]] (where "Foo" is anything you want) to a page, and the wiki places the page into that category, "Foo" in this case. Once you've saved your change, you can then click the category link at the bottom of the page (labeled "Foo") to see what other pages are in that category. If it's a redlink, you can also write a little blurb on the category page explaining what goes in that category, or even make that category a sub-category of another category by doing the same thing on the category page. I hope that isn't too confusing, but it probably is the way I said it. -kotra (talk) 06:34, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Kotra! That was good information... I'm very new to all of the coding, but I'm really excited to be working on this project! Khris.soden (talk) 19:55, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, wikicode is not very intuitive. I will start a help page on this. -kotra (talk) 02:30, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Oops, forgot to mention, I did that: Help:Categories. -kotra (talk) 17:13, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Discussion template

Riffing off your discussion template here - thanks! Best, MarkDilley

Neat! I made that for this wiki so people could better advertise discussions that need input, sort of like Centralized discussion on Wikipedia. Glad to see it being used! -kotra (talk) 17:12, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

scary transclusions

for InterWiki and image trnasclusions - Manual:$wgEnableScaryTranscluding ~~ MarkDilley

Hmm, not sure what the goal was with this one, but see my comment about InstantCommons before -- perhaps another way of going about the same thing? -Peteforsyth (talk) 08:25, 28 July 2010 (PDT)

reply about Wikipedia etc.

Hi kotra, sorry for the belated reply to your comment on my user page. I fully agree about your concern about Wikipedia articles being subject to subtle influence by persistent POV-pushers (I'd say, either by carefully-planned execution, or as an accident of the editing process, in different cases). Freshly back from Wikisym, my first thought is that it might be a good idea to engage in some dialog with a researcher about this; I suspect a formal study would be a good step both in getting a clear grasp of how this works, to do some thinking about what to do about it; and also, just in raising awareness about the issue.

By the way, some Wikimedia Foundation folks will be in Portlnad this week for OSCON, and I'm suggesting they visit the Monday Meet. Hopefully you'll get the chance to meet some of them, they're great folks. -Peteforsyth (talk) 20:23, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

No problem Pete. Regarding research, I think that would be useful, but I don't know if I have the time/energy to coordinate it with a researcher. Wikipedia has become less of a serious pasttime for me lately, more of an occasional hobby (doesn't stop me from whining from the sidelines though ;) ).
I look forward to meeting them! Thanks for connecting them to us. -kotra (talk) 18:31, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Dave's Media Wiki Updates

Hey Kotra,

Didn't check my email (thus didn't see your message) until I had already installed the latest Media Wiki beta (mediawiki-1.16.0beta3.tar.gz), which apparently duplicated your efforts from a few hours earlier. Sorry.

Right now I'm having issues getting the pics to show up in the new installation. Moved over the images directory from the old version, but no luck. Will try to investigate later.

In the meantime, I'll keep "live" the installation I just did and let you decide whether or not to roll it back. Hopefully you'll spot something (regarding the no-show images) that I'm missing.


-dave myers

PS: The rollback directory on the server (the version of the site that was live before I installed the beta code) is this: portlandwiki.orgBK

Thanks! Responded in email. -kotra (talk) 08:25, 20 July 2010 (PDT)

Two things--

You've probably noticed, but I see two issues with the site:

  1. When I go to I see a redirect from "Portland Wiki" to "PortlandWiki" -- rather than being fluidly redirected there. (I suspect there's a MediaWiki page or a config file somewhere that needs to be updated to just contain a direct link to "PortlandWiki" -- but I don't know where it is!)
  2. Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood lead to 404 errors -- I think it must have something to do with the "." in the name, because all other pages (even redirects to those) appear to work fine.

Thanks for working on removing the extra /wiki/ in the URL :) -Peteforsyth (talk) 08:19, 20 July 2010 (PDT)

Thanks Pete!! I got both of these issues fixed I think. You're right, it was all controlled in the ".htaccess" file in the root directory, which I had altered to make the short URLs work. But I used some code that broke "."s and ":"s in page titles (and apparently made the main page "Portland Wiki", still scratching my head on that one), so I used a different method, and it seems to be working now.
Yeah, the /wiki/ was gone before now actually (since last November or something when I made the switch) but I just updated the version of MediaWiki to the new beta (so we can use the Vector skin as a basis for PortlandWiki's skin, as well as so we can get the new WikiEditor editing interface). In installing the new version of MediaWiki we had to redo all the changes we made over the months, and I guess I didn't do the "Short URL" thing the same this time. One problem we were having before today was that &s in titles didn't work... that's fixed now though!
Anyway thanks again! If you see any other issues please drop me a line. -kotra (talk) 08:49, 20 July 2010 (PDT)
Oh sorry, I thought I had replied to this! That all sounds great. Thanks for doing all this! I just made a software suggestion at the "community portal" too. -Peteforsyth (talk) 08:24, 28 July 2010 (PDT)

two points

Hi Kotra, first I didn't know what baseline did :-) second, I need to be convinced of the project space - wonder if it is a better function for larger wiki. Best, MarkDilley

Oh. Well, we've been using project space for most of the project pages, like PortlandWiki:About, PortlandWiki:Introduction, PortlandWiki:Administrators, etc. I think it's important to have some consistency with the namespaces before the wiki gets big enough that there are name conflicts, but you could be right. We can talk about it at today's meeting? -kotra (talk) 10:32, 9 August 2010 (PDT)

Wikipedia 10th Anniversary Party

Hey Kotra, I just threw this together real quick, will do more on it and the wikipedia page as more information becomes available/I have time. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on pages on PortlandWiki to link this page from? I figure after the event, we can leave the page up and have it be about the event that happened, maybe throw some photos up and whatnot. Feedback appreciated. Thanks -Travis (talk) 22:30, 3 January 2011 (PDT)

Great ideas! I went ahead and added the signup option we talked about on the official page, hope that's ok and feel free to revert it of course. As for links to the PW page from other PW pages, I could only think of one, on Wikis, which I added. I may think of more tomorrow when I've had some sleep. If so, there will be more at Special:WhatLinksHere/Wikipedia_10th_Anniversary_Party:_Portland! Photos would definitely be a great addition to the page after the event. -kotra (talk) 00:42, 4 January 2011 (PST)


it seems possibly useful! :) Michael (talk) 22:56, 19 January 2011 (PST)


Kotra: The following is in the localsettings file for future reference as we try to troubleshoot this thing:

  1. added by kotra 2011/3/4:
  2. modified by dave 2011/3/4
  3. Source:
  4. require_once("$IP/extensions/WYSIWYG/WYSIWYG.php");
  5. $wgGroupPermissions['*']['wysiwyg']=true;
  6. $wgDefaultUserOptions['riched_start_disabled'] = false;
  7. $wgDefaultUserOptions['riched_use_toggle'] = false;
/* Here's what the issue might be to get the WYSWYG to work:
Installing the WYSIWYG extension manually on top of Halo extension (v1.5.2)
* MediaWiki 1.16.0
* Semantic MediaWiki 1.5.2
* Halo extension 1.5.2


test -- 03:01, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Monday Meet

Nice chatting with you tonight. Thanks for the tips and all. - Sam

Tuesday's News Blurb

Great news blurb today, Kotra! -Dave

Thanks. I was worried it may have been too editorial. -kotra (talk) 19:12, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Template:Public documents

Hey Kotra, would you mind taking a look at this template: Template:Public documents? I attempted to modify your Template:Copyrighted content and apply the new public documents version of the template here: Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. Can't seem to get it to work. Thanks! -Dave 19:58, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

thanks for the feed back on rave and taboo ;)

I won't use br tags any further. :)

business cards?

I'm starting to do some investigative reporting. That involves going to actual businesses and asking them questions for PortlandWiki. Are there any thoughts about having business cards to hand them?

New Page Feed

Holy smokes, Kotra!

I was just thinking along similar lines last night, and made a note to ask you about how to do something like this. Planned to follow up first thing this morning, but you already beat me to it.

The slight difference in what I had in mind was to create a "teaser" feed of some of PortlandWiki's more notable pages, or pages we want to highlight. But seeing your new pages feed, my thought is that perhaps we can do both. Waddya think?

- dave myers 16:35, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Guess my timing was good! Sure, that sounds great. If these "more notable pages" could be determined by something automatic, like the longest pages, or most linked to pages, or most visited pages, we could use one of the existing Special pages for those criteria and just use its RSS feed to populate an automatic feed. The details of how to get these feeds working is on Widget:Feed (it's one of those great things that came with Semantic MediaWiki, with just a little setup on my part).
If you were thinking it would be more human-selected, that could work too. Sort of like the existing "featured articles" section on the homepage?
Doing both that and the "new pages" feed sounds good to me. -kotra (talk) 02:52, 10 April 2011 (UTC)


Thanks for the thanks :) -- Matthew


I've added a page called Pikia which is a initial name of the for-profit arm of I would like to make an official call for the charter on the homepage, let me know if that's a good idea. --Matthew (talk) 11:07, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Oops, sorry for not responding until now. Sure, that sounds like a good way forward to me too. Who ends up being a part of it will eventually depend on how it would be structured as a business, but either way it will be good to see who is interested. -kotra (talk) 06:31, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

search bar idea


New search bar idea, as an effort to start looking for new ways to present the top content while hightlighting the search bar. I'm pretty sure I can build it from the parts, though I don't now how to add the search field in the wikimarkup. Of coarse it would be nice to make it stretch with the page too.

Looks really nice! I like where you are going with this. We should sit down sometime and just hack away at implementing something like this. Since this would be part of the new skin/interface (I assume?) and not just something that goes inside every page at the top (like the sitenotice), it would require us to work in the HTML/CSS/PHP of a skin. It's something I have a little experience doing with Portland Wiki Wednesday Wiki, but some of it would be new for me. Are there any evenings or weekend days you'd want to sit down and frown at a screen for a couple hours with me and maybe Dave? -kotra (talk) 02:36, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Glad you like it. This particular search bar would be for the homepage only, and for use within our current skin. I wanted to see if I could bring out the search feature and summarize the site notice in a graphically interesting way. I suppose a version of it could be used for site-wide notice, though not as overt. Maybe a dark grey. Again, this is before the skin redesign. There's a whole part of design work that has to do with ongoing improvement of content templates, and that will work in concert with the new skin/c-wrap. I would like to meet as well with an eye toward hammering it out. Weekends are great for me. Saturday or Sunday.--Matthew (talk) 04:36, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Most definitely. That makes sense to me. When we do redesign the skin, I do think we should make the search bar in the header larger and more prominent. So once that is done it might make the search bar on the main page redundant. But until then that won't be an issue and I think having it prominent on the home page in the meantime (and maybe afterwards as well) is a great idea. Here at WikiWednesday I showed your design to Dave and Mark and they like it too.
Saturday is good for me. How does 2pm or so sound? I'm happy to meet at the The Mezz, Red and Black, or anywhere else you like to hang out that has wifi. If the weather is good we might even consider meeting at Pioneer Courthouse Square, which has wifi. What do you think? -kotra (talk) 02:37, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Glad there was some discussion at WW, I actually went to the Mezz last night without thinking of checking the page. I'm in the NW, so when I heard it was SE I decided to just head home. My preference is Powell's tech because of its quietness, but I also like the mezz, because it's roomy. 2am is fine, did you have an agenda? Was it production for the search bar or something else? I only ask because I use a different laptop for graphic stuff. --Matthew (talk) 16:41, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah we've been meeting at the Green Dragon on Wednesdays. We may meet at Red and Black (close in NE) next time. Powell's tech is good but I think I will be hungry and I'm not sure if they allow us to bring in food. So I'd prefer the Mezz. I'll go ahead and let Dave know by email since he wants to come too.
No agenda, but yeah, mostly the search bar unless you'd rather work on something else. I was thinking we'd spend a few minutes discussing it and then you could prepare the graphics (mostly done already I'm guessing) while I started coding it up. If either of us ends up waiting on the other, there are plenty of other things to do as you know! Dave could work on some extensions or something else on my to do list or whatever else he wants to work on, and give us input throughout the process. It's good to have people to bounce ideas off of. Looking forward to getting some great work done! -kotra (talk) 20:26, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Alright, Saturday 2pm @ Mezz then.--Matthew (talk) 21:43, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
See you then! -kotra (talk) 01:52, 29 April 2011 (UTC)


sorry about that Dave, I did a brief check and it seemed not to be in use. Best, MarkDilley

No sweat, Mark! If this discovery resolves some of the anomalies kotra and I spotted yesterday evening, I'm overjoyed. :-) -- Dave Myers 13:25, 24 May 2011 (PDT)
PS - I'm going to copy kotra on this response to alert him that we may have discovered at least part of the database issues we were struggling with... WikiMaster (talk) 13:25, 24 May 2011 (PDT)
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