explain xkcd:Community portal/Technical

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Welcome to the Community Portal. This set of pages is used to discuss how Explain xkcd works, and is divided into five sections. Please use the table below to find the most appropriate section to post in, or post in the miscellaneous section. You can view all community portal sections at once here.

Community portal sections

Proposals (post)
Ideas to improve the wiki's design and organization.

Technical (post)
To discuss technical issues.

Coordination (post)
To coordinate content editing and maintenance tasks.

Admin requests (post)
User problems, changes to protected pages, etc.

Miscellaneous (post)
Messages that do not fit into any other category.


[edit] We need more maintainers

I'm moving a thread that Davidy22 started on my talk page. The gist is, we need more people with server-side access (especially mediawiki-savvy ones) so we can properly deal with several issues that have been plaguing the wiki for a while now, most notably spam, but also the image scaling problem, a possible extension for proper comments, clean urls, etc. Below is the original thread, please comment. --Waldir (talk) 17:56, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Could you set the permissions so that all anon users have to pass a captcha to edit? The spam has gotten obscene, and they've stopped posting links, so our current detection mechanisms aren't working anymore. Davidy22(talk) 08:21, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

I would love to have the ability to tweak the wiki more thoroughly, but currently Jeff's the only one with server access. To be honest, I am not terribly familiar with server-side mediawiki management, so I haven't asked Jeff for access, but it's clear we can't be dependent on a single person to do all the mediawiki config (and Jeff probably knows even less about mediawiki than I do). Are you by any chance acquainted with server-side mediawiki maintenance? I think we could present a good case for having someone else with access to a dev/prototype instance of this wiki on Jeff's server so we could at least experiment and tell him exactly what needs to be done. Thoughts? --Waldir (talk) 17:40, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree that we need more people that are empowered to actively fight spam. I think that we ought to promote Davidy22 to administrator also, so that he can delete pages and block spammers/vandals as he notices them rather than letting them pile up until yourself, IronyChef, or myself notice that there's work that needs done.
What I think we should do is break out rights into more groups than simply administrator and bureaucrat. I think that's too big of a jump, and that there should be some gradiation. I think we should add a moderator (mark pages as patrolled and rollback ability (as much as it's a sledgehammer when you really only need a ball-peen hammer)) position.
I think we also need a spam fighter position, but that might not be possible to implement. It should be a position that allows the person to delete pages with 1 or 2 edits (page creation, marked as spam, maybe as high as 3 or 4 for the bots that repeat edit certain pages) and block users with 1 or 2 edits. The real problem there is how to grant those super-powerful abilities without allowing them to lose their mind and go crazy and destroy the wiki. Of course, if we don't catch it early enough there's going to be those IPs that manage to get to six edits, and those will have to be squashed by a full admin. We will also need a way of tagging those spam accounts so when a full admin passes by they will also know to ban the IP address after a spam fighter has deleted all the pages it created.
Finally, we also need a more active bureaucrat so that we don't have to bug Jeff to promote admin's as well as future moderators and/or spam fighters, and recognize bot accounts as bot accounts. We also should find someone knowledgeable to help Jeff (and maybe he has little helpers) to maintain the actual server. I've done some PHP work, but I've never touched anything deep inside a wiki (I like Ruby and Rails much more). This is my first time gaining admin status on a wiki, so I have no idea what the extra dials and levers do/mean. I look up on the MediaWiki manual and Wikipedia help pages things that I think should be possible, and often times pages exist in places about doing these things, but I'm nowhere near being called knowledgeable. After I finish up some IRL work I'm currently tied up in, I intend to set up a VM webserver on my computers and run a mediawiki install so I can learn how to work (and not break) things without putting explain xkcd in jeopardy.
Another really wordy post from, lcarsos_a (talk) 22:01, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
From what I know, a moderator user group is possible, but not the spam fighter one. Then again, too many hierarchical levels may be too much for such a small body of regulars. Implementing the moderator group is easy, mw:Manual:User rights has the details (the "ninja" example and the "list of permissions" section should be enough for putting together the configuration commands to be added to the wiki's LocalSettings.php).
As for bureaucrats, I think it makes sense but it seems to me that Jeff only takes longer to perform changes that affect the server, as they understandably may take longer or be more complex (or break the wiki!). Bureaucrats' only difference from admins is that they can promote/demote other users, and this Jeff has been doing without delay, so perhaps there isn't a need for more bureaucrats at the moment. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
We do need more sysadmins (people with access to the server), though, for sure. This is a little tricky as none of us is comfortable enough to confidently make server changes in a mediawiki install. Jeff, how about putting the wiki in source control and giving two or three people access to it, so that any wrongdoings can be easily reverted? You could setup a git repository in the server and we could fork it locally to our machines, make tests and push the commits to the server repo whenever they're ready. --Waldir (talk) 17:20, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
This is good stuff. I'm down with promoting more admins for spam fighting. If they screw stuff up we can demote them if necessary. I really haven't found a spam fighting extension that I think will be the best possible solution. I'll keep looking as it may be a combination of things. Server access is much more complicated as it is not even my server and it is shared hosting. I think that would be best to be accessed just by me. --Jeff (talk) 19:10, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Regarding the server, I understand -- your position seems reasonable. In any case, I've been looking for extensions that may help taking some workload out of server actions and make more stuff configurable via the wiki itself. I'll report back if I find something usable.
On another note, how do you feel about promoting more bureaucrats? I suggest Lcarsos who's been consistently active for the past few months. --Waldir (talk) 12:47, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Personally I'd kind of like to go and make some changes myself. Come up with a nice short url pattern and set it up. Upgrade the wiki. etc... Dantman (talk) 02:44, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

The shorter URL is being looked into, although Mediawiki strongly advises against it. As for upgrades to the wiki, monetary donations towards Jeff so he can buy better bit for the server would be appreciated. Davidy²²[talk] 03:06, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
MediaWiki does not advise against it. Half the code currently running short URLs in core was written by me. Same for the new standard for rewrite rules in the new guides. And the tool to automatically generate the config needed to apply short urls to a wiki. Short URLs are not advised against.
We do however strongly advise against installing a wiki in /wiki. Because you do not want to create /wiki/$1 style paths while your script path makes scripts look like /wiki/index.php.
In this case my plan would be to move /wiki to /w then come up with some other short url pattern like /e/$1, some other path, or maybe /$1.
And setup some 301 redirects to redirect from the old urls to the new ones.
And upgrading the version of MediaWiki so that it doesn't have security holes doesn't require server replacement. Dantman (talk) 07:09, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Ohwait, software upgrades. Uh. I knew you were talking about that. Yep. Definitely. The wiki recently had issues with running out of hard drive space, so that was all that was on my mind there.
Also, I thought you had been referring to this. Whoop. Well, you could leave Jeff a message at his talk page to get server access. Davidy²²[talk] 08:05, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
I strongly support this. It's been far too long since we decided we'd want the short url scheme (/$1 seems like the best option since it would be simpler/cleaner and allow http://explainxkcd/1234 to point to the correct comic without any extra rewrite rules). While you're at it, I'm sure many would appreciate a look at the current situation with image resizing, which doesn't seem to be working for some reason. Installing Extension:Comments would be awesome, too, as well as Extension:Contribution Scores (live example). I'll ask Jeff to take a look at this thread. --Waldir (talk) 20:07, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Dantman (talk) email me and I'll get you set up with whatever you need. All the suggestions sound good to me. --Jeff (talk) 00:10, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Also, the Contribution Scores are up. I'm not even top 10 all time, I need to step up my game. Comments will take more work as it needs its own database. --Jeff (talk) 00:10, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Awesome! I did some styling changes to make it more interesting :) Let me know what you guys think about it! --Waldir (talk) 20:32, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Holy crud, what did you do when the wiki started to have almost double my lifetime score? Davidy²²[talk] 23:57, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Hahahah :P I'm pretty sure I cheated a little, IIRC there was an image renaming operation for which I used mwclient ;) --Waldir (talk) 03:22, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Sort by numbers in categories

I noticed that in Category:Comics all comics are sorted correctly by numbers; but not in any subcategory. (I didn't really get the explanation of how it works on the comics page.) How to fix this? -- St.nerol (talk) 10:40, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

The comics template uses a template called num4 that turns the number in the comic number field into a four-digit number. That's then passed as a parameter to the category link, and the comics category page sorts articles by those four-digit numbers instead of their actual names. If we wanted to do the same for other categories, we would have to type them all out as [[Category:Politics|0200]], or whatever the comic number is. I would rather wait for mediawiki to come out with an in-built feature to solve this. Davidy22[talk] 11:28, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Is there a reason that the template applies that directly to Category:Comics and not as a default sortkey via DEFAULTSORT? – Philosopher Let us reason together. 12:10, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Good thinking. Using DEFAULTSORT oughta make it work for all categories. I'll give it a try. --Waldir (talk) 15:37, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Resize

I haven't been here (to edit) for a while, but have we still not addressed the bug that doesn't allow image resizing? I know most of us don't have access to that kind of lower-level coding on the site, but I think it's a bit of a notable issue that we can't display comics smaller than their actual size. TheHYPO (talk) 14:24, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Take it up with User:Jeff, but I suspect that adding your voice to the already insistent roaring that images are broken isn't going to inspire much change. lcarsos_a (talk) 18:08, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Incidental Ads

as ive noticed i think you should check if someone has embeded some of your links with ads really annoying please fix

--TheWeatherMan (talk) 14:00, 23 January 2013 (UTC)TheWeatherMan

Do you have any specific examples of this? By the way, using punctuation, capitalization, spell check, and complete sentences are more likely to get someone to help you. lcarsos_a (talk) 18:10, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
There is known malware (both adware and viruses) that makes Wikipedia look like it has ads. This wiki uses the same wiki software, so perhaps that malware affects our site too? – Philosopher Let us reason together. 05:42, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

[edit] /wiki/

Now that explainxkcd redirects straight to the wiki, could we take the /wiki/ out of the url? I'd also like the wiki's edit log to be purged to clean out the history and forget about past spam, but that's probably wishing for too much. Davidy22[talk] 04:06, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

But seriously, could the /wiki/ go? It'll screw with the spammers for a day or two, at the very least. Davidy22[talk] 11:37, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Newbie questions: Comic dates, previous-and-next-comic buttons

Just created the my first page, 220: Philosophy, but I could use a little guidance. How do I find the date that an xkcd comic was originally posted, and how do I rig up the previous-comic and next-comic arrows on a page? (Actually, I've noticed several pages that should have the arrows but don't.) Ekedolphin (talk) 11:19, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Those arrows will automagically insert themselves when you make the adjacent comic explanations. There *is* a little backstage magic that needs to be taken care of, but we can do that for you. Davidy22[talk] 11:40, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
    • OK. How about the dates? Ekedolphin (talk) 11:41, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Click on "All Comics" in the navbar on left-hand side of the site. The dates are in the form YYYY-MM-DD. Davidy22[talk] 11:56, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
The comic template checks for the existence of the numerical redirect for the comic before and the comic after. If it finds the page to exist it will display the next/previous button as appropriate. So, by creating the redirects listed on the List of all comics (third column, only worry about the number and title links) future pages will automatically get the links created. Redirect pages look like #REDIRECT [[####: Comic Title]] and that's it (here is a link to the redirect page with redirect disabled so you can look at the source to see what I'm talking about). That's all that needs to exist on the number and title redirects. If you feel up to creating them yourself, feel free, otherwise someone else goes through occasionally and mass adds all the missing redirects. lcarsos_a (talk) 17:55, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Error message

I've been getting this error message a lot the last cup'o days. When trying to access a page; when trying to save changes on a page. Any ideas on why? I'm getting it on both chrome and firefox.

Database error
A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was:
(SQL query hidden) from within function "Revision::insertOn". Database returned error "1142: INSERT command denied to user ::'dbo423085716'@'' for :table 'text' (db423085716.db.1and1.com)".

St.nerol (talk) 22:54, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Every once in a while I get a SQL error being reported, but usually I can simply F5 and the page comes up. Every once in a while it seems like the server load is just so that somebody gets lucky enough to see the server error out. I don't think there's much we can do about this, other than move the wiki onto a more powerful server. But, there are no ads on this site, there is no revenue model, just a very kind person paying for hosting that keeps this site up. I'm more than willing to overlook a few hiccups for the continuing availability of explain xkcd. lcarsos_a (talk) 07:12, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I get those too, but St. Nerol was talking about something that happened recently with the server running out of hard drive space and throwing SQL errors every time someone tried to make large edits. I had to find Jeff on twitter because I'd get SQL errors when I tried to edit his talk page. He's looking into history deletion plugins, to clear out our vast archives of deleted spam and obsoleted prototype comic templates. Davidy²²[talk] 08:10, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Install a caching reverse proxy to handle heavy load

According to returned headers, this server runs from Apache directly. I would recommend setting up a reverse caching proxy in front of Apache to handle high traffic load (like, e.g. current load). The one I use is nginx (http://nginx.org/) -- admins, drop me an email if you need help setting it up Fry-kun (talk) 21:38, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

The standard software to use is either Squid or Varnish. Nginx is a bit too much of a webserver to be configured in the way MW needs iirc. Although nginx would help with serving the static assets. Unfortunately there will be a need to switch to a proper server first. The site seems to be hosted on shared hosting. Dantman (talk) 04:59, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I had gotten burned before with both Squid and Varnish but Nginx had always kept my systems alive. It's extremely lightweight and works great to fix these kinds of problems. But, of course if it's a shared server where you can't use it, it won't help... Fry-kun (talk) 16:35, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Nginx is a great webserver. It'll serve out static pages much better than Apache. But the issue here isn't the webserver. It's PHP and all the work that the database needs to do on every request. Switching webservers won't get rid of that issue. Using squid/varnish a proper reverse proxying cache will allow complete pages to be cached and served directly to readers bypassing the webserver, php, and the database entirely on some requests. That'll reduce the load the site has to cope with. Dantman (talk) 23:47, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

[edit] A couple of enwiki features implemented

I have "imported" {{disambig}} and the related category for the one page it was needed for (to avoid having a page that was uncategorised :-) ).

I have also created {{unsigned ip}} (and converted the one use of {{unsigned}}) and applied it for a handful of existing uses of {{unsigned}}. It hardly matters, but then it's also only three more characters to type for new uses.

Importantly, however, I implore you to consider including the second datestamp parameter when applying either template -- it's actually the more useful information. I know it's a pain to convert times back to UTC, but, hey, most of you don't have to deal with a half hour timezone :-) Mark Hurd (talk) 16:19, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Urrggh, there's an option to make UTC the default display time. The template oughta be a little more automated, mebbe filling the time in automagically with five tildes if no date field is entered? The time will be a bit off when editors fill in the unsigned templates, but it'll be close enough to the actual value. Davidy²²[talk] 23:59, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
No, especially while there's existing templates to adjust, where the "default" datestamp would be way out. If someone wants to fix a lot of the existing usage, setting their timezone to UTC is the simplest option. Mark Hurd (talk) 09:14, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

[edit] I've removed "add a comment!" from Discussion heading

This thread has been moved to The proposals board.

[edit] Need password reset

Sorry to bother you all, but I seem to have lost the password to this account and don't have an email set (which requires the password). I'm still logged in thanks to the "remember me" feature but after 30 days I'll lose access. This isn't fixable at the MediaWiki level; someone with access to the server mysql or whatever will need to change something. Is there such a person I can email with? Splainr (talk) 03:05, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

I assume your browser isn't remembering it for you? Mark Hurd (talk) 03:08, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
Oh wow that was fast. Nope, neither Firefox not OSX keychain access know what it is. Splainr (talk) 15:18, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure how to solve that problem, but I know account usurpation has been done for the single-login transition in Wikimedia wikis, so technically it should be doable. --Waldir (talk) 23:04, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

See mw:Manual:Resetting passwords. --Mormegil (talk) 11:59, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Analytics

Recently I found out about WikiApiary, an interesting site that collects analytics from mediawiki wikis. I added explain xkcd. Check the stats that have been collected so far: http://wikiapiary.com/wiki/explain_xkcd --Waldir (talk) 00:03, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

[edit] "External" hotlinking enabled to confirm issue with other car.jpg

FYI I have enabled "external" hotlinking to this wiki's own images to show File:other car.jpg can display correctly. See further notes about that issue here. Mark Hurd (talk) 14:32, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

If the problem is lack of thumbnail generation, it should display correctly even without hotlinking, simply by using the original size, e.g.
other car.jpg
I'm not sure why it doesn't. In any case, this image hotlinking thing reminded me, would it be a good idea to use the images hosted at XKCD.com and only upload variants to the wiki (e.g. those at Category:Helper comic images) and images Randall for some reason deleted from the server (e.g. images with typos)? This would reduce the load on the explainxkcd server and provide a better experience for viewers since xkcd is already optimized for high loads and actually openly provides the image urls for hotlinking. --Waldir (talk) 15:01, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Seeing as User:Daddy's upload has fixed the wiki always attempting to display the thumbnail version (which still don't work), I have disabled the "hotlinking" again.

Mark Hurd (talk) 11:32, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Redirect from explainxkcd.com/1234

It would be really cool if http://www.explainxkcd.com/<number> redirected to the explain page for that number. That would allow people to get to the correct explanation by simply adding explain to the comic url.

If you are willing to do this, all you would need to do (assuming you run apache with mod_rewrite enabled) is put the following in .htaccess in your web root:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^(\d+)/?$ /wiki/index.php?title=$1 [R,L]

-Sionide21 (talk) 22:28, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Yeah! I'm waiting for this. But admins seems to be rare here.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:44, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
And it seems we both could help...--Dgbrt (talk) 22:47, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
There are several admins here (in fact, I am, too), but what you are looking for is the sysop, the one with access to the server. Admins can delete/protect/undelete pages and block users etc. Jeff is the only one that can change MediaWiki configuration or url rewriting... --SlashMe (talk) 17:08, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your information, so I will try to talk to Jeff. BTW: Can you edit the main page? I still miss a link to the incomplete comics on the top.--Dgbrt (talk) 17:52, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
At the top of the main page, there is a section that says "We have collaboratively explained 1189 xkcd comics, and only 33 (3%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!". The word remain is already linked to the list. --SlashMe (talk) 19:16, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
I was talking about the 97% comics. There are still many incomplete pages and we have a category here on that.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:36, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Just did it; everyone: feel free to change the sentence, I'm not a native speaker. --SlashMe (talk) 21:07, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
THANKS! I'm also not native English, I'm German. But this wiki is a great challenge to get more practice, even much more as if talking to common English natives.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:27, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
This is something I want to do, so I'm putting this on my page, so I remember to add it to the .htaccess. I'm not super familiar with the .htaccess rules, can I have this along with the other rules I have in my htaccess file? --Jeff (talk) 15:17, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that rule will work alongside other rules --Sionide21 (talk) 19:28, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
I've fixed this on our new host. (I actually had the rule in there already, I just had it in the wrong order.) I'd love to promote this feature a bunch. Any ideas how? --Jeff (talk) 02:33, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
A sitenotice oughta do it. Davidy²²[talk] 03:43, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Woohoo, finally!!! Now if we could just have clean URLs too, that'd be swell! ;) --Waldir (talk) 05:02, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Incomplete – motivation

Is it possible to fix (or is there already) a way to add a motivation with the "incomplete"-tag? I tried {{incomplete|the title text needs explaining}}, which made "edit it" in the banner link to the uncreated page "the title text..."... ––St.nerol (talk) 12:16, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

You can use the {{notice|Your text...}} template:
Ambox notice.png Here is my notice.
--Dgbrt (talk) 17:30, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! I think that ideally most incomplete-notices shold carry a note on what's missing, but we aren't there, so this'll do for now. ––St.nerol (talk) 10:21, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Unable to Edit

I cannot edit this latest comic's page. When I hit edit a screen appears which says "This page has been protected to prevent editing." I've never edited before, but I'm annoyed by the improper use of the word candid. "It would be candid and unrealistic" would be better off in that sentence if candid was removed. How do I make it so I can edit the page, so I can remove this affront to the English language?

I believe you are trying to edit the main page. You can click "Latest comic" in the left sidebar or the "Go to this comic" button in the top right corner of the grey box to go to the actual page for today's comic. Davidy²²[talk] 16:42, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
That was the problem, thanks.--Holcma01 (talk) 17:07, 1 July 2013 (UTC)


On iPad and iPhone browsers, the banner ads obscure the top of the page. This covers up some of the useful buttons up there, like LOGIN for example. The workaround is to refresh the page. Because the banner ad is the last thing to load, you have a brief window of maybe three seconds to find and click the link you need. Gardnertoo (talk) 20:24, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Fixed. --Jeff (talk) 21:12, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Bookmarklet for jumping to explainxkcd.com from xkcd.com

I wrote a short bookmarklet for jumping from xkcd.com to explainxkcd.com. Bookmarklet form:



javascript:var match = window.location.href.match(/\d+/);
var suffix = match ? '?title=' + match[0] : '';
window.location ='http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php' + suffix;

If you're on a numbered xkcd page, it will go to the accompanying explainxkcd.com page automatically. If you're on the xkcd.com home page, it goes to the explainxkcd.com wiki home page. Mattflaschen (talk) 17:30, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

To add this bookmarklet to your browser:

  1. Copy the bookmarklet javascript (*not* the decoded version)
  2. Using your browsers bookmark manager, create a new bookmark
  3. Give the bookmark a meaningful name -- e.g. ExplainXKCD
  4. Paste the javascript in for the bookmark URL
  5. Save.

( -- Tomh (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~))

[edit] Database Error

I have NO IDEA where this should go, but http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=1011 has the content

Database error A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was: (SQL query hidden) from within function "SqlBagOStuff::set". Database returned error "1142: INSERT command denied to user 'dbo423085716'@'' for table 'objectcache' (db423085716.db.1and1.com)".

Just thought I should report it.

OOPS forgot sig. 00:13, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Edit: This has been fixed randomly. Never mind then. :X

[edit] mw:Extension:SyntaxHighlighter

Could we maybe enable this? It would be helpful for some of the programming-heavy comics' explanations, e.g. today's one.PinkAmpersand (talk) 17:02, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Done, PinkAmpersand. --Jeff (talk) 19:57, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

[edit] It's not taking me to the main page

If I type explainxkcd.com, it redirects me to http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki which just shows a directory listing, rather than taking me to the main page (as I assume it's supposed to). chridd (talk) 02:07, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Thaat's not supposed to happen. I'm on it. Davidy²²[talk] 06:49, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Is it fixed for you now? Davidy²²[talk] 06:55, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes chridd (talk) 14:46, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Logo in upper left corner missing

The logo in the upper left corner is missing, probably because of a wrong redirect. The logo should be at http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/skins/common/images/explainxkcd.png, but this link takes me to the main page. The icons in the edit toolbar are missing, too, probably the same problem. You should exclude all \.png$ queries from redirects. -- 10:09, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Fixed that. Sorry about that, it was an overzealous htaccess. Thanks! --Jeff (talk) 15:45, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Sidebar ad overhangs content in Firefox 25.0

The sidebar ad on each page overhangs the content frame slightly when I view this site in Firefox 25.0 on a Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit pc. I have started Firefox in safe mode with all add-ons disabled and it still happens. Site looks fine in IE 11. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Have you tried hitting control-shift-R, or clearing your cache? That sounds like Firefox is disregarding part of our CSS for whatever reason. I'm running a very similar setup and I'm not getting these problems. Try giving it a wee bit of time and trying again. Davidy²²[talk] 17:27, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
What's your monitor resolution and size of your Firefox window (maximized, 50/50 split, etc)? lcarsos_a (talk) 18:24, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm really sure that scaling isn't the issue, I made the sidebar width definite. I'll check it again. Davidy²²[talk] 19:06, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
The sidebar has a fixed width defined at the CSS style sheet. Press F5 or CTRL-R to reload this style sheet. This happened to me in the past too. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:14, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I changed the defined width to pixels instead of em, in the annoying edge-case that a browser uses a weird default font width. Davidy²²[talk] 19:24, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
It looks fine now.-- 06:08, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Connection problems

Whatever the new hoster does cost, you should get your money back. Sometimes the page doesn't load at all, or the menu is missing after the browser did finish after one or two minutes. The performance here is still annoying. That cloud seems to be a dead cloud. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:33, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

It's easily more performant than our old service, and it holds up far better to traffic. I am inclined to say that it's a region specific issue, and I'll submit a ticket for that, but they've worked far better than flat shared hosting for the time that we've been using them. Davidy²²[talk] 00:01, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
More detail: The message is an Error 522 (Connection timed out).
  • You (Browser, Working) <-> Amsterdam (CloudFlare, Working) <-> www.explainxkcd.com (Host, Error)
In December the CloudFlare did belong to Frankfurt. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:35, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm having still major problems to connect, only this this silly error message. ...and then it does work again. Still strange.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:58, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Today I've been getting a lot of these errors with Cloudflare. (London-based CloudFlare, in my case.) "Error 522 Ray ID: 2587581d8b8a350c • 2015-12-21 23:25:22 UTC" is just one of the IDs. Not sure if you'd prefer another bit of the page info, instead, but the Ray ID looked unique enough to pinpoint debug info in the background.) The suggestion is made that the web server is too busy at something or other. Anyway, just so you're aware.
I had a look here, first, to see if anyone had mentioned anything (and found the above), so apologies if I'm not posting in the best bit of the best page. 23:44, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
It seems to be an occasional regional issue that cloudflare has with us. When I go to our server directly our site is still up, so something between us and cloudflare is failing. Not sure what though. Davidy²²[talk] 03:40, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Wrong IP address shown

All edits by IPs (well, at least all I checked, including my own edits) are recorded using IP addresses of CloudFlare (, and some other ranges), i.e., it's not the address of the client, but of the server. This seems similar to [1]. -- 09:05, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

That's something we're working on, but current limitations with our provider are making things sow for us. When they give us what we need, we can do it. Davidy²²[talk] 16:59, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Hmmpf! I just noticed this twelve months later and it's still the case... Mark Hurd (talk) 01:59, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Uurrrp a couple of holdups happened, I need to do this at some point. Davidy²²[talk] 04:54, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I just noticed it as well 04:20, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
CloudFlare is already providing the Real Ip address -- there are mods for Apache https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/203656534-How-can-I-set-up-Apache-mod-CloudFlare- and Nginx https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/200170706-How-do-I-restore-original-visitor-IP-with-Nginx- or you can just pull it from the X-Forwarded-For HTTP header which proxy servers (like CloudFlare) typically puts the client IP address. 04:25, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

[edit] 1337 leads to...? =

Current and latest comic page, 1337, unusually has a "Next" before there's even any 1338 page. (It points to 1337.) As a lowly IP, I don't feel I ought to delve too deep to see if it's a page template issue (possibly because "1337" is both a past title and the current number, maybe, although not too sure if that'd work out) or just because of manual editing. But bringing it to general attention. (It may of course be an issue that does not even last beyond Wednesday, and comic number 1338's arrival, even without intervention.) 13:40, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

D'aww, and I wanted to be lazy too. I'll get to fixing it, an IP took it to himself to add stuff to the comic template and he removed the auto-hiding buttons. Imma fixy. Davidy²²[talk] 17:42, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I did revert some edits on that issue here, so for the first point it should work again. In general: The main page should not be affected like this and the test environment is called: Sandbox. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:43, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
The issue was fixed three hours before your autorevert. This is getting excessive. The next time you autorevert a large edit without testing or making an attempt to fix things yourself, expect a three-day ban. Davidy²²[talk] 22:41, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

[edit] No confirmation email?

I requested an email for confirmation when I registered. I got nothing, not in spam filter, not in trash, and definitely in not my inbox.

Today, I requested another confirmation email. Again, nothing has appeared.

Is it me? Is it my shampoo??? Enquiring minds want to know.... Thanks. Karenb (talk) 22:45, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Confirmation emails? What, are we a five-star hotel now?
Jokes aside, is this a thing you really need? You should be autoconfirmed after editing for a while without getting blocked, but if you can put forward a good reason why we should add this in, I'll do it. Davidy²²[talk] 00:54, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Not blocked! Trying to authenticate my email, which I thought was an automatic process. Does that feature not work? That would certainly explain the lack of autoresponse.... Cheers. KB Karenb (talk) 01:35, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Because the people visiting here are probably the people that should see this

After the server upgrades mentioned in the sitenotice, de.explainxkcd.com should exist. I'm not publicizing it yet, just want to get it up and work out implementation details before it goes fully live. Pls dun test during the downtime, there'll be plenty of time for that after it's live. Davidy²²[talk] 01:14, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Ok, so our server doesn't actually have the required dependencies to complete the upgrade, so that was slightly fruitless. Sorry about any downtime or inconvenience caused, I didn't add the German wiki again because I'm looking set up the parallel wikis on an up-to-date base. Sorry again for any inconvenience that may have caused, I'll make sure to be better prepared next time, and maybe actually succeed in performing the upgrade next time. Davidy²²[talk] 02:02, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Does anyone have image of Black Hat saying to Cueball "It's 'cause you're dumb" ?

Guys, does anyone has this image? I'm hosting Russian xkcd fanpage here - vk.com/xkcdoff and if someone would post it it would be very helpful. --KOTYAR (talk) 22:40, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

I actually can't find it either. Shame, I liked that old thumbnail. I could probably photoshop up a new version if you really want one though. Davidy²²[talk] 04:53, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
explain xkcd blog header image.png
Just going to the explain xkcd page and following the first historic (internet-archived) link allowed me to extract the requested "header-image.png" (the corresponding image URL on the current site gives nothing anymore... thank you, Internet Archive!). Which I uploaded to the wiki here, for convenience and because it's part of this wiki's history, in a way, and also, cool. Smile - Cos (talk) 10:39, 16 April 2014 (UTC) (PS: also, facebook.com/explainxkcd/photos/10150144122985214; but JPEG.)

[edit] expxkcd.com redirect not up-to-date

By adding "exp" at the beginning of the URL one can easily switch from xkcd.com/1234 to expxkcd.com/1234, which redirects to the corresponding explanation here, and that's nice. But right now, expxkcd.com redirects to 1355 (at least for me), instead of 1356, the latest comic. Wouldn't it be better if expxkcd.com redirected to the Main Page instead (as does correctly explainxkcd.com)? - Cos (talk) 10:55, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

expxkcd is actually a thing that user user:grep was so kind to purchase and handle for us. I can forward this on to him for him to resolve, and give him the rewrite rules we use if he needs them. Davidy²²[talk] 11:12, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Nice, thank you for the quick forward to the right place. - Cos (talk) 11:31, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, the reason for that is that right now, I update it manually, which is obviously a really bad idea. I plan to change this pretty soon. I don't want it to go to the main page because the main page doesn't show the discussion, and comes along with all the other, regular main page stuff. Any rewrite rules wouldn't hurt, Davidy22. greptalk12:04, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Hrm. Ours rules point towards the main page. We have no automatically updating page that always redirects to the latest comic, but you can use Mediawiki hooks to append the contents of the page Template:LATESTCOMIC to the end of our URL. Davidy²²[talk] 23:44, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't understand. My BOT will upload the next comic on time, unless it's some new chaos by Randall a BOT just can't handle. The LATESTCOMIC template is updated and so it seems only be an issue on that damn Cloud Service Cache. Even Randall's pages are affected. At "What-if" I still have to use <CTRL+R> to get the latest content. --Dgbrt (talk) 00:26, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
We're talking about a different thing related to shortened URLs. Davidy²²[talk] 02:24, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
That is an interesting idea, however I just made a script that automatically adds 1 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I could have it grab the number from your page and do this once a day at something like 00:10 EST (because Randall sometimes does things on other days), that's a possibility as well (other times / intervals may also be done if you wish/want). greptalk04:34, 02 May 2014 (UTC)
Our LATESTCOMIC page and Randall's xkcd json page should both have up-to-date comic numbers for you to pull. Ours is probably the better one to pull since your site is linking to us. Davidy²²[talk] 06:30, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
The script now checks Template:LATESTCOMIC every 30 minutes to see if the comic has changed or not. If you wish, I might be able narrow this down to 11PM->6AM (for 30 minute checking) and then have it check every two hours at other times or something similar to that (if systemd.time has a way to do it) greptalk12:13, 09 May 2014 (UTC)
I still do not see that problems. Please touch this wiki as less as needed, this is still the best choice. But there is still a big problem on the cache, an update on a picture lasts many hours. Some statements in "LocalSettings.php" should work, if not this wiki version is buggy. Problems should be solved at the cause and not be overridden by some additional scripts. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:51, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
We have ample bandwidth for a bot that only checks once every half-hour. The image caching issue is irrelevant to the current topic. Davidy²²[talk] 03:45, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Explain xkcd upgraded to version 1.19.17

Woo! Davidy²²[talk] 17:59, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

The header seems to have broken, there is no longer a link to the explanation in it. 22:00, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Which header are you talking about? All the links I can think of still seem to work. Davidy²²[talk] 02:13, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
It fixed itself shortly after I mentioned it. It was the incomplete explanation, the link to 428 was bold, but not a link. 04:48, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

One of the ads is broken.


0100011101100001011011010110010101011010011011110110111001100101 (talk page) 04:33, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Ooh, thanks for catching that. Should be fixed now. Davidy²²[talk] 17:08, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Nice :) But is this update a preparation for an upcoming update to one of the latest versions, or are we limited to 1.19 for some reason? I'm asking because 1.19 is only supported for a few more months, and also because with newer versions we'd have access to some niceties -- for example, after version 1.20 the PAGESINCAT magic word accepts parameters, which would allow the count of explained comics in the main page to work using less hardcoded hacks. --Waldir (talk) 16:08, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Prior attempts to update the wiki have been prevented by the realization that Lunarpages doesn't give us quite as much control over our server share as we thought we had. Checking again, they seem to have upgraded the version of PHP on our server since we last attempted and failed to run one dumb update script, which should mean that it'll work next time we try it. The wiki also has quite a bit of user effort invested into it now, and I'm a little less ready to jump into .0~.3 releases than I would normally be on my own machine, so I upgraded down the LTS path that I knew would be safe. After the first ill-planned attempt, I've been eyeing the 1.23 LTS line for the next major jump, but I'm certainly not stepping into it while it's still relatively fresh. Davidy²²[talk] 17:08, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable. Thanks for the details. I'll be looking forward to the next update :) --Waldir (talk) 18:52, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Just wanting to offer, I use ARP Networks for hosting, you should check them out if you want more control. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Hum, there's an option. I'll keep that in mind. Davidy²²[talk] 04:35, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
It wasn't me that posted that comment. But surprisingly enough anon and I have the same first two bytes in our IP addresses. Congrats on the version upgrade. lcarsos_a (talk) 05:31, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Why does the site say I'm blocking ads when I'm not? I do use AdBlock Plus, but it's turned off for this site. Screenshot here. And while I'm here, that "unblock us" text has an error- the first "and" in the second sentence shouldn't be there. NealCruco (talk) 01:51, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

The text only appears when the ads fail to load. The error message actually says noscript, which means that the Javascript that the ad box uses to fetch images isn't running. How long has this been happening for you? Davidy²²[talk] 04:35, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
It just started. I came over here as soon as I noticed it. NealCruco (talk) 19:07, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Have you recently made any changes to your browser? Does the problem persist when you hit CTRL+SHIFT+R? Davidy²²[talk] 12:43, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Nope, no recent changes. And yes, the problem persists when I hit Ctrl+Shift+R. NealCruco (talk) 14:04, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
I am genuinely puzzled. The message tells me that something is causing your browser to fail to load/run the Javascript that makes the ad render and report stats, so the problem could be anything that can cause that: noscript, outdated browser, experimentation. I don't know anything about your setup, and it works on my test machines, so I can't tell currently what's wrong. Davidy²²[talk] 03:10, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Do you have privoxy installed on your machine? (this is a long shot) lcarsos_a (talk) 00:24, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

[edit] If anything broke, complain here.

There's a banner that says: The wiki has been updated to stable mediawiki version 1.19.17. If anything broke, complain here.


The following have broken: Cars My previous computer A railroad train Condoms Etc.

None of which has anything to do with this website.

The banner should be made more specific before Randall sees it and does a comic mocking it.

Or not. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Well, there's always that one guy. Fixed. Davidy²²[talk] 05:05, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't see how you could have fixed that one guy. Throttled, eliminated, insulted, blocked, etc. But not fixed. Walenc (talk) 16:29, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
See sense 6 here: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fix#Verb :P 02:13, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
i bet you think yer so clever. just watch me take the site down. Davidy²²[talk] 04:35, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Misc Request... (|< < Prev Comic Next > >| format)

I usually browse in a very small window and the menu buttons split kind of strangely (http://i.imgur.com/wPE7szZ.png). Would it be possible to replace the spaces with nonbreaking spaces? -- 15:13, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Annoyingly, the spaces that are giving you trouble can't be changed because they're text string inputs, and Mediawiki has no regular expression markup yet. Every other instance of formatting-critical spaces has been changed to non-breaking spaces though, thanks for the heads up! Davidy²²[talk] 18:13, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
I think I fixed this by adding a space between the buttons. Unfortunately, this only works as long as the comic is not as wide as the button bar. I guess this is because of the surrounding table. --SlashMe (talk) 20:15, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Not receiving password reset emails

I've forgotten my password, and password reset is not working for me. I went to Special:PasswordReset, and had it send me a reset email. However, I have not received the email. I am sure that I have an email associated with my account, and it's confirmed. 08:38, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Tested, password reset emails seem to work for me. Have you checked your spam folder? Davidy²²[talk] 18:04, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I checked in Gmail in "Mail & Spam & Trash", and it still doesn't find it. I tried a fresh reset, so we'll see if that comes through. No luck after a minute or two. 04:59, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

[edit] TOR Captcha

Hi, I use TOR. To access your website, cloudfare has made it such that I have to enter a captcha. This is very inconvenient, as your site is not the only one doing this. Can you please fix this issue? You should be able to see a guide here: https://tor.stackexchange.com/questions/599/cloudflares-captcha-screen-insurmountable . Thank you for taking the time to consider this. 11:34, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Is it better now? Davidy²²[talk] 13:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, no. I still get the captcha. What did you try doing? 22:09, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Set the threat level threshold way up. Any further steps into cheap botnet territory. For your security, you may want to reconsider the nodes through which you're operating through. Also, why do you need to use Tor to visit us? Davidy²²[talk] 04:17, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Ah, okay, thanks, now I'm not getting the captcha. As for why I'm using Tor, I don't need to, but I'd rather do so just to be anonymous. I wouldn't have written if it were just your site, but since Cloudfare has made captchas the default setting for Tor, the internet is starting to become near unusable. So that everyday people aren't scared away from using Tor due to the perceived complexity of daily browsing, whenever I have to enter a captcha, I try to contact someone at the site to ask them to change the setting. 06:52, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Upgrade to the latest MediaWiki version?

I think we should start trying to maintain a regular upgrade schedule of some sort. 6 months ago was the last time we've upgraded, and I think we should upgrade again. The impetus for this change would be for translation features, plus other multilinguality efforts that require the new versions of MediaWiki. Localization efforts should be put into place, and the translate feature would work well for that. Chess (talk) 01:53, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Plans to upgrade only include LTS releases. That said though, the recent and unintentional server downtime was actually the result of a setup for a coming mediawiki upgrade, among other things. The plan is to upgrade to 1.23 sometime in the coming months, during the weekend after a satisfactory number of bugfix releases. We're very interested in setting up translations, although mediawiki in it's current form already supports translation; the extensions you linked are mostly quality-of-life additions. It's been delayed because the plan is to eliminate all incomplete comics first so that translators have a solid base to work from. Davidy²²[talk] 02:42, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Can I just be nitpicky and say that we last upgraded about 3.5 months ago, not 6? Thanks. NealCruco (talk) 03:17, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Fix HTTPS access

explain xkcd is using Cloudflare which recently enabled HTTPS for all users, but when accessing it via HTTPS it returns error 521. In order to fix this in addiction to the solution steps proposed by CloudFlare check if SSL settings are correct. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

On it Davidy²²[talk] 18:51, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

HTTPS is working now, there just some mixed-content warnings, mostly on style tags which being active mixed content are blocked, but it's still a good improvement as it's possible to have more privacy when browsing explain xkcd. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Whoever has server access, can they try changing $wgServer (Manual:$wgServer) to use a protocol relative url? As the manual page says, you may also want to set $wgCanonicalServer to a fully-qualified url (hopefully defaulting to https). Behrat (talk) 04:17, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Done. How's it now? Davidy²²[talk] 08:42, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
Much better! The styles and scripts are loaded now, and the page looks good. It's still not completely green https because it's loading some images over plain http, but my browser at least appears to be allowing them for now. If you want any more suggestions on technical issues, let me know. I currently maintain my own mediawiki installation with full https, cloudflare, and short urls. Behrat (talk) 20:27, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Huh. Is it the ad images? The comic pictures *should* be also done over https, no? Davidy²²[talk] 07:10, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, one of them is the ad images (http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/lunarpages_160x600.jpg). Most of them are from MediaWiki:Common.css, so you could just change all the urls on that css page to protocol-relative. The only other one I see is http://i.creativecommons.org/l/by-sa/3.0/88x31.png, which I think is set at $wgFooterIcons, but I'm not sure. All of them appear to be accessible over https, so just changing the links should work. Behrat (talk) 01:13, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

If I replace xkcd with explainxkcd I get a very ugly CSS-less page in Chrome on Win7. If I change the https to http, the page works 06:07, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Can you provide more information about your setup? Test a different browser? Unable to reproduce. Davidy²²[talk] 11:56, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
I can reproduce in Firefox. This is due to the mixed content blocker. Usually, it should only block active content (scripts) and maybe warn about passive content (stylesheets), but at least in Firefox, it is configurable to block both. But I cannot see why the stylesheets shouldn't be served via HTTPS.
Currently, the styles are referenced absolutely (http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/...), but they should rather by referenced domain-relative (/wiki/...) or at least protocol-relative (//www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/...). --SlashMe (talk) 16:29, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

[edit] RSS feed issue

When attempting to access the feed for this wiki I'm told "Sorry. No feed found." Is there some way that the feed can be restored to the satisfaction of Feedly? Could it be due to some validation issues, or should I consider changing my news reader? Pmw57 (talk) 23:08, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Huh. The feed updates automatically with a script that I wrote a while ago, I'm very sure it passed more than this the last time I checked. Fixed a few things, left the one about the date because that's a pain to fix, and one that I can't figure out for the life of me. I think I fixed the line that was causing the actual problems though. Should update on feedly now. Davidy²²[talk] 01:52, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Hallelujah - the feed was mixed in with other geeky material and it only took me nearly 8 months to notice that nothing was coming through from here anymore. I'm premature with my thanks though. The RSS link in the navigation pane to the left still doesn't want to be understood by Feedly. By contrast, other feeds such as for latest changes can be picked up. Pmw57 (talk) 02:04, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Hrm. Sent an email to feedly about it, Just tested and I'm having similar issues with feedly. Davidy²²[talk] 02:17, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
It seems it's not just Feedly. When I use Chrome's RSS Feed Reader, that too also tells me "No posts here yet" followed by the an ever helpful "Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp" Pmw57 (talk) 02:33, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Could it be that it's just not valid XML? I see that it ends at line 236 with </item> with no other closing tags, for example. Pmw57 (talk) 03:18, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Ohwait a minute, the auto updater rips old entries off the bottom and that's where there's supposed to be a closing channel and RSS tag. well. Davidy²²[talk] 07:19, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

It's good to know that the cause is now known - I'll let you (or someone else with the authority) get on with fixing things up :-) Pmw57 (talk) 07:46, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Hullo. It's not perfect that only one specific formation of the URL works, but it's a start. Davidy²²[talk] 08:01, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
You sir do God's work - and that coming from a Dillahunty-following Atheist is saying something. Pmw57 (talk) 08:11, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

My reader has been refusing to process the feed for the last few days. I finally un-busied enough to poke into why. When I looked at the source at /rss.xml I saw:


	<title>1561: Water Phase Diagram</title>
	<pubDate>Thu, 06 Aug 2015 21:51:11 -0700</pubDate>
	<guid isPermaLink="true">http://www.explainxkcd.com/1561</guid>
	<description><![CDATA[<h2>1561: Water Phase Diagram</h2><p><a href="http://www.explainxkcd.com/1561">http://www.explainxkcd.com/1561</a></p>]]></description>

I'm thinking that the script is broken. I could pro'ly come up with something workable, given the access. --Ericm301 (talk) 16:50, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

What on earth is happening here I don't even know. The script seems fine, I repaired the RSS file again manually. See if it malfunctions again today. Davidy²²[talk] 01:22, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Script is behaving very strangely. Today's update warped the feed file in a weird way, this doesn't usually happen. I'll test it on my machine to see what's happening. Davidy²²[talk] 13:56, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

It was fine for a minute (that must have been your edit), but now it's broke again. --Ericm301 (talk) 19:53, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Alright, I figured out what was going on with the feed. There was a bit of code I had in the update script that trimmed off the last entry of the RSS file and when I recreated an empty file for the feed after the inexplicable wipe, I forgot to turn it off so it was still shaving off the end of the file. This time it should be working. Davidy²²[talk] 07:34, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] "Known appearances" character infobox fix?

Currently, "Known appearances" in the characters infobox is broken as for some pages, when the character's category serves as it's own info page. (e.g. Category:Red Spiders, Category:Sharks, Category:Squirrels, Category:Barrel etc.) Can this be fixed?--17jiangz1 (talk) 11:21, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Fixed it myself. Just use template "Infobox character 2" instead of "Infobox character" when the character's category serves as it's own info page.--17jiangz1 (talk) 14:55, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Comic 1505 (30 March 2015) isn't properly showing up, I think?

Excuse me if I'm being a n00b, but 1505 is posted, and the page is extant, but it's not showing on the Main Page yet. Is this supposed to happen, i.e. waiting for someone to put some content on the page, or did something break somewhere...? Again, sorry if I've just committed a massive derp. 04:38, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Should be showing up now. Davidy²²[talk] 09:38, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] rendering problem ?

To me, right now, with Windows Firefox 37.0.1, 625: Collections looks like this:

communityportal technical 1504 collections.png

There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the source text.

Here's the Main Page in Internet Explorer 8:

communityportal technical 1504 mainpage.png

This is affecting everything? Or just me? Pesthouse (talk) 03:31, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Okay, somebody was messing with Template:w. I reverted it to the previous editor's version, seemed to fix things. Pesthouse (talk) 03:46, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

On that note, they made a similar template that links to rationalwiki, but didn't use it at all in any pages. Huh. It's not even a very significant site. Davidy²²[talk] 05:52, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
The IP preferred the Rationalwiki article on Poe's Law to the Wikipedia version, I guess.
User:452 did not approve. Pesthouse (talk) 07:57, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Given the fact that he broke Template:W, and didn't seem to know what he was doing, I undid his other edits, sorry if this was inappropriate. -452 (talk) 17:51, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Main Page

When categories are added to the latest comic, the Main Page is also categorized in those categories.--17jiangz1 (talk) 13:42, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

The most obvious solution would be to put the categories inside <noinclude> tags, on every page. -- 143 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
That's ugly and labor-intensive though. I think there's something we can do with string matching to fix it in a better way. Davidy²²[talk] 03:35, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

[edit] #cscore doesn't work with #expr

I can't use cscore with expr on my userpage.--Forrest (talk)10:30, 01 May 2015 (UTC)

[edit] 1545 page severely broken?

The very tail end of the raw page source (using Internet Explorer) is


...and then stops, obviously unfulfilled. (I also snipped everything up until that unique-looking Redirection data, for brevity.)

Compare that with the equivalent snippet from an adjacent page:


...and then continues with a working rest of the page. (Also snipped, but this time both before and after. I've kept it short while imagining I've given enough to ID the precise breakpoint though.)

Same problem encountered when using "Next" link from 1544 or "Previous" link from 1546. Page http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/List_of_all_comics itself suffers the exact same error. (Last wgVariable listed in LoaC page is "wgSearchNamespaces":[0], instead, but still similarly ends after apparently the same close-script and open-script flagging point.)

Does not go wrong in Mozilla-based browsers also on this machine (Firefox, Seamonkey). Page sources for 1545 look exactly like the above 1544 snippet, as expected, with no obvious funny characters or 'Little Bobby Tables' anomalies, SFAICT. In case it's a spurious downloading error that has ended up being cached, I've also "shift-refreshed" in my browser to force download.

Utterly Baffling me, but FYI in case it's something someone needs to know about, although I'm hoping it's just local strangeness and not anything actually of significance. 04:33, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

Opened in Internet Explorer 11, it seems to appear for me. Are any site features being impacted by this bug? Davidy²²[talk] 15:44, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
Nothing I was previously familiar enough with to spot an adverse effect. Note that http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1545:_Strengths_and_Weaknesses - the link I tried to get from the LoaC page (but only just now tried in non-IE!) works perfectly. Even while the "/1545" (i.e. 'RedirectedFrom') version of the page continues to be truncated. I can only assume that (despite attempts to force things anew), it's buggily-cached iteration.
Hang on, that gives me an idea. Which works. I changed the 1545 page (change labelled as "Troubleshooting" in history) and... it opens perfectly. Removed change (should probably have self-reverted, in hindesight, but suspect it'd be fixed anyway) and no further issue. "List of all Comics" page still as broken (because I haven't forced it to update, and am not inclined to 'interfere' with it), but I shall check again after 1547 forces its own changes upon it. Otherwise, consider this closed. Sorry to bother you.
TL;DR; problem solved. Pretty much proven to be not even a site issue, I now think. 21:38, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
Ok, FYI, once 1547 'Solar System Questions' finally appeared, I check "List of all comics" page. First of all a lot of "Waiting for page..." (uh oh), but then force-refreshed page (in the way that didn't work previously) and it loaded correctly. C'est finis. 15:02, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

[edit] 881 loads as "database error"

With this content: Database error A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was: (SQL query hidden) from within function "SqlBagOStuff::set". Database returned error "1114: The table 'objectcache' is full (db423085716.db.1and1.com)".

No other page gives me this error, just 881.-- 19:42, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

I just got this on 564 22:44, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Database error

I can't see Category:Interactive_comics (1114: The table 'objectcache' is full (db423085716.db.1and1.com)). 00:18, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] RSS missing

Hey it looks like there's an issue with the rss feed, when you browse to the url on the right it just displays an empty page, not sure what's going on. Eluvatar (talk) 14:19, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Huh, in the last few hours the rss file was inexplicably wiped. I've restored the base of it, the bot should start populating the feed with new comics, but old ones are gone. Davidy²²[talk] 16:49, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Extra Comics

In extra comics, the header of the comic has "Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "{"." such as in The Rise of Open Access. Forrest (talk)13:32, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

 Done - It was because 0 was created, so the logic that #ifexist:0 should be false failed. I changed it to default to -2 when number is not present, which will work as long as no one creates -1! Mark Hurd (talk) 11:15, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Explanations for all -4 comics!

The main page header now contains this text:

We have an explanation for all -4 xkcd comics, and only 23 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

I'm assuming this is a bug. -- Okofish (talk) 01:00, 15 September 2015 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

 Done It was a temporary artifact due to recent categorization changes. It's now fixed. Thanks for the quick report :) --Waldir (talk) 01:14, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Discussion pane missing on comic 1592?

After checking the Discussion tab to make sure there was a Discussion, I thought that someone had removed the {{comic discussion}} tag, and went into full-page edit to put it back. But it's there. Maybe it's just me, maybe it's just temporary, but FYI in case it isn't. 15:06, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Fixed. --SlashMe (talk) 16:21, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Captcha

Captcha not appearing at all. Can't edit pages without turning off security settings (which were set to default). Chrome and "Edge" on Windows 10. Both yell at me about some components of the page being insecure. 15:48, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

Same issue with other browsers. reCAPTCHA won't load from an "insecure" resource when the wiki is accessed over HTTPS. TisTheAlmondTavern 15:07, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Oooh, I see. Alright, I'll get to fixing it now I know what the problem is. Davidy²²[talk] 01:00, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Slight bug in the editing panel, when asked what webcomic we're talking about, it cannot be in all caps, it must be strict lowercase, despite appearances on xkcd.com. Could someone take a look at it? 00:54, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

It took me several months to figure out that "this wiki" is named "explain xkcd" and not "explainxkcd". I spent those months answering two questions every time the "what's this wiki's name" question appeared (when I missed the answer, a different question appeared).--Jojonete (talk) 09:06, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
I was sure both answers were correct, but never attempted to type explainxkcd, just in case. 12:44, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

[edit] wiki server clock has drifted - about 13 minutes fast

As I type this, it is exactly 07:42:45 UTC. Pesthouse (talk) 07:55, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

And thus timestamps here are 12 or 13 minutes off. Pesthouse (talk) 07:59, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

I see the same thing: 15:41:00 UTC now.... Nealmcb (talk) 15:54, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Huh. I'll look into it, when I get back home. Davidy²²[talk] 23:19, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Currently it's 20 minutes fast. It's 21:00 UTC and it shows 21:20 (UTC). Xhfz (talk) 21:20, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Sorry bout the delay, was busy for a long bit, should be fixed now. Davidy²²[talk] 21:44, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Currently it's 8 minutes fast. It's 20:56:00 UTC and it shows 21:03 UTC. 21:03, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

do we not have ntp on the server or something, gonna reset the clock again when i get back home. Davidy²²[talk] 00:33, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Happening again: it's 11:33 UTC and the server has 11:48 UTC. 11:49, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

Fixed again, and I'm gonna have to check our NTP installation. 06:37, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
Alright, changed some things, this shouldn't happen anymore. Davidy²²[talk] 06:38, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

The clock is about 13-14 minutes off again. It's currently 13:49 UTC. –TisTheAlmondTavern, 13:36, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

[edit] Discussion template resources apparently missing

As co-header (right-margin hugging text) to the Discussion section on all pages (or at least as many as I've just visited - and on multiple browsers, just in case...) I'm getting the following, with the <>-tags being my own descriptive additions:

<redlink>File:comment.png</redlink> <validlink>add a comment!</validlink> ⋅ <redlink>File:Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif</redlink> <validlink>refresh comments!Discussion</validlink>

Looks like the PNG and GIF files concerned have been removed, or the links in the Discussion template broken/incorrectly redirected.

(Sidenote: The character between the "add a comment!" and the "File: Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif" that I've copied here verbatim (so doubtless appears correctly for everyone else who reads this) is an 'I don't have this character on my machine' character, for me, which is obviously entirely my fault for not downloading additional fonts that I'd need. From cursory investigation, it appears to be essentially the same as "·", Alt-0183, or HTML code '&middot;', which would render on my machine and yet (if changed) shouldn't break on those where it currently works. For your consideration, but not as vital.) 06:30, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

ETA - Delving around further, Category:Pages with broken file links seems to indicate it is a widespread problem at server-side, and not somehow solely my own (except for the Sidenote issue!). And suggests a simple way to check that the issue is fixed (when suddenly the category is nowhere near as 'full'), and then discover any related ones that might need fixing (like the special Star Trek Into Darkness alternate version of the Discussion template). 06:57, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
Huh. I have a feeling I know what caused this, I'll get right on it. Davidy²²[talk] 16:23, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
I've seen some more of these cases, e.g. on explain xkcd:Community portal. I think these images are from Wikimedia Commons, maybe that integration broke somehow? --SlashMe (talk) 16:33, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
i don't know what is even happening, the images seem to be fine now but they still show up as broken file links Davidy²²[talk] 02:04, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Update captcha text?

The text above the posting captcha says “type the two words” but reCaptcha often doesn't use two, and they're often not words. Example: http://i.imgur.com/TdM5n5O.png

Maybe we could change it to something like “type the text”?

P1h3r1e3d13 (talk) 23:44, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

So, the reCAPTCHA captchas are entirely provided by Google. If there's an error in it, it's likely Google's fault and a bug report should be sent in that direction instead. Davidy²²[talk] 00:23, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
I noticed that before. It's not a bug in recaptcha, but rather in ConfirmEdit, file ReCaptcha/i18n/en.json to be exact. --
Oh huh, hadn't thought of that. I'll fix that up then. Davidy²²[talk] 19:45, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Stylesheets not working?

It doesn't look like any of the site's CSS is loading for me. I have tried purging, adding useskins to the URL, and clearing my browser's cache, and webpage content remains in Times New Roman with no special styling. Headers and bold spans of text are bold, list items are bulleted, buttons are button-y, templates and my signature display with HTML-style-attribute-level CSS, and so on, but that's the extent of it. Is this a belated April Fools' joke, or has something gone horribly wrong between the servers and my eyes? ~AgentMuffin

I made a similar post earlier -- it seems to have vanished down a black hole. I linked these screenshots: [2] [3]
Note that there are no ads either! This could get to problem-level very fast. KangaroOS 01:28, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
There are actually still ads, they're just shoved right at the bottom of the page. mysqld is clocking in at 40% cpu load, and mediawiki seems to be going into fallback mode and skipping stylesheets which is about what I'd expect from an april fools comic. Davidy²²[talk] 01:31, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
Ah, figured it was some sort of server overslow. For a while there I was getting a 503 error. KangaroOS 01:36, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
Well, perhaps you don't need another note about this, but I noted the 'stylesheetless' appearance myself, just now. Except that it is styled, partially. (When I choose to view by Style "No style", it's even more not-Styled!) Could be because a subset of styles aren't being loaded (so that the ones that are still loaded can only be identified from their enforced absence), but looks like you have this as much in hand as can be expected, so just FYI... 04:13, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
Have you tried switching the server off and back on ? ;-) Jokes apart, are there really so many users continuously polling ? It could be just a case of stale open connections. Really, a reboot might not hurt (although it may kill-off few sessions and you may get some angry posts, but at this point, it might be worth the try) Edit: Sorry, I was messing up the formatting while replying. I'm trying to fix it. But at this point, does it really matter? :P 04:21, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
Alright guys, still having trouble with the load, but I've put a quick temporary hack in place to get the css working again for now. Fonts are a little off, I'll deal with that soon. Davidy²²[talk] 08:09, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
Did a little more work on things, styles should be working again but it's not great on the back end. I'm going to do some rooting around to see what went wrong. Davidy²²[talk] 00:07, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Cool.. This is pretty good. We're almost there.. The only things I can notice that are off are - (1) Category list at the end of the page (2) Contents block at the beginning of the page and (3) Edit buttons for individual sections. By the way, I'm curious, what exactly was broken ? I didn't expect you'd have to fix things here. I expected that since the issue was caused by excess server load, it would return back to normalcy automatically once things settle down a bit in couple of days after the offending comic was more or less explained. 03:32, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
A script responsible for picking user preferences and integrating css from pages like Mediawiki:common.css was failing to complete because of server load, so I gave it a helping hand and just had it insert a static stylesheet instead. I almost certainly missed a few spots though, because the wiki does not look right. Davidy²²[talk] 04:43, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

(resetting indent) Yes, things are still off. The text "Jump to: navigation, search" is at the top of every page, but it's useless because it links to stuff already at the top of the page. Edit summaries aren't italicized, the edit boxes don't use the whole window width, links are underlined, section edit links are too big, etc. I put the Wayback Machine to good use, and found the below set of archived pages, all using the proper style. Compare them with the current appearances of the pages, and you should see most, if not all, of the issues I've seen.
Main Page | My contributions | The "edit" page for comic 1486 --NealCruco (talk) 21:50, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

Is here nothing to be done about the missing styles? The tables still look horrible and there is not help when editing, for instance for signature etc. Colapsing of tables etc. also won't work which is a mess for some of the long explanations and tables Kynde (talk) 11:56, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

HotCat also seems to be not working for adding categories. Forrest (talk)13:18, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, load.php is failing so all gadgets and user scripts are unavailable. :-( Mark Hurd (talk) 14:42, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
Alright, figured it out. It was a deal with file permissions, not sure how those got changed on April 1st. Davidy²²[talk] 18:59, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Comic navigation buttons

You know, the buttons that look like the ones on the xkcd site. Shouldn't they also highlight like the xkcd site? I thought maybe it was due to the above CSS issue, but the links to archive.org make it seem like it's just never worked.

It just seems to me that, if we're going to go that far in mimicking the actual buttons, we should probably also mimic their a:hover settings. Shut off the box shadow, change the background to white, and the link color to #6E7B91.

I've tested the following CSS, and it appears to work:

li.plainlinks:hover, .no-link-underline > li:hover {
 	background-color: #FFF !important;
	box-shadow: none !important;
	-moz-box-shadow: none !important;
	-webkit-box-shadow: none !important; 
li.plainlinks:hover > a > span, .no-link-underline > li:hover > a > span {
	color: #6E7B91 !important; 

Trlkly (talk) 09:14, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

Seems like a decent addition. Thanks! Davidy²²[talk] 18:52, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Captcha trouble

For about an hour, I wasn't able to edit a page or create an account when I was trying to, because the captcha was missing. I'm not sure if it was problem on this site or captcha but I thought I'd mention it. --Anqied (talk) 08:34, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Recaptcha appears to work for me currently. Does it work now? It seems like they may have just gone down temporarily. Davidy²²[talk] 20:52, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm not certain this is the same issue, but I was just having a problem with the captcha for unregistered users trying to edit a page. I figured out that it's because you were trying to serve the captcha through HTTP even though the page was on HTTPS, so my browser was blocking the captcha. Changing to HTTP "fixed" the issue, but that shouldn't be the solution. 16:45, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

[edit] wrong IP

My edition was attributed to, whereas my real address is according to [4]. Wikimedia sites (Wikipedias, Wiktionaries...) recognize my IP address properly. Someting strange is going on here. 22:40, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Just a heads up that your website is incorrectly identifying the IP address of visitors as being from the CloudFlare server that is serving the page content to them. It would be best practice if you could explicitly look for the field "REMOTE_ADDR" rather than "X-FORWARDED-FOR" as the former is unaffected by the use of intermediate proxies. PS My IP address should begin with 131.111. IP addresses beginning with 141.101 belong to Cloudflare London. 21:08, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Captcha does not appear

I am not a registered user (I just haven't bothered to make an account), so I have to complete a Captcha before saving any of my edits. However, I've found numerous times that the captcha does not show up when I hit [Save page]. The line of text introducing it ("To help protect against automated edit spam, please type the word you see in the box below:") shows up, but the no actual captcha and thus no saved edits. Is this a known issue with Chrome? I managed to circumvent it by using IE (I assure you, it was the only other browser available), but I would much prefer to be able to edit explain xkcd pages in Chrome, my usual browser. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

What plugins do you have installed on chrome? Do you have Javascript enabled? I'll see what can be done if you have them off. Davidy²²[talk] 20:45, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
I just figured out the problem and successfully edited a page. I too tried IE after Chrome but still encountered the issue... to my consternation I noticed a new icon in the address-bar, 'Blocked content'. (Apparently recaptcha is treated similarly to a pop-up.) Interacting with this new button made the captcha appear. I am in Chrome adding this comment, and after finding the similarly-functioning/corresponding button here, all is well 18:39, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
Hmph, I am likely a completely different user from the foregoing, but our IP addresses are similar and both reported as from Cloudflare in TX. 18:42, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Wanted files

Special:WantedFiles: 41 file is linked but nonexistent.

Some on talk pages, user pages and project pages, but here is a list of those in main namespace:

  1. File:Apatosaurus scale mmartyniuk wiki.png
  2. File:Apidae - Eucera sp. (male).JPG
  3. File:Louisae.jpg
  4. File:Wet kookaburra 6674 Crop Edit.jpg
  5. File:MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft.jpg
  6. File:Bee orchids, Aller Brook Local Nature Reserve - geograph.org.uk - 833516.jpg
  7. File:Synhalonia nest 1.jpg
  8. File:Butterfly Voters View.jpg
  9. File:Fusca estacionado.jpg
  10. File:Ophrys apifera flower1.jpg
  11. File:Galilean moon Laplace resonance animation.gif
  12. File:PalmCellTower.jpg
  13. File:746 telephone in red.JPG
  14. File:Candidate Higgs Events in ATLAS and CMS.png
  15. File:Tommy Wiseau.jpg
  16. File:Google maps auto.jpg
  17. File:Velociraptor dinoguy2.jpg
  18. File:Acrocanthosaurus skeleton (1).jpg
  19. File:Vraptor-scale.png
  20. File:Alces alces elan trophee chateau Tanlay.jpg
  21. File:DBCooper.jpg
  22. File:Rick Astley - Pepsifest 2009.jpg
  23. File:Anonymous emblem.svg
  24. File:Eas new.svg
  25. File:John Cage and Michael Bach in Assissi 1992.jpg

I could not find why they were deleted and it's hard for me to argue for their presence in the articles. Being a newbie here, I would like to ask those who knows better to either undelete files, or upload them again, or delete file mentions from the explanations. Thanks --Ата (talk) 15:47, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

I tend to clean up after myself, don't recognise these file names. I believe these happen when files get moved, feel free to cut dead file links wherever you find them if you find them unnecessary.Davidy²²[talk] 02:38, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] 827/1721: Business Idea

See 1721#Trivia. Randall has accidentally named both 1721 and 827 "Business Idea". He fixed it by renaming 827 to "My Business Idea". I tried to reproduce by renaming the file and wiki page for 827, but it now shows the old comic on both pages. Maybe CloudFlare caching? And idea (that's not a business idea) to fix this? --SlashMe (talk)

Cloudflare takes a little time to update changes to an image. For immediate results, you can create an image under a different name and use that while you wait for the old one to update. Otherwise, it should update within a few hours. Is it good for you now? Davidy²²[talk] 14:48, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, it was resolved after a few hours. --SlashMe (talk) 20:25, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Mobile CSS

I've accessed this Wiki on my mobile device more often than previously and I couldn't find any discussion about this. Honestly, 50% of the reasons I'm adding this topic is about the discussion, the rest is about making it easier for people with narrower screens. I understand that I am a new member on this Wiki and that altering Mediawiki:Common.css has site-wide effects (and I'm sure that there are some templates that won't agree with some of the options we have, even some tables, such as the one on 893: 65 Years#Trivia, will break a very narrow design).

OK. Let me just ramble on about this, then. =) There are some obvious (but not necessarily easier) options for mobile devices. MediaWiki lists a few Skins and Extensions. Not having ever had access to a Wiki's server, I have no idea how nerve-racking that is (or if it even makes sense for this Wiki). Even more obvious to some - and even harder to implement - is a mobile app (that I wouldn't use anyway).

So, to bridge the time until maybe something more effective comes along, we could try to add some CSS ourselves. I'm no expert. But here are my thoughts.

  • This is about all devices with narrow screens, not just phones. Let's say anything under 600px width is considered narrow.
  • Most obviously, the font size should be affected. This has negative consequences for anything with fixed font size. And anything we forget. Basically, the sidebar, the search and anything else on top of each page can be massively smaller depending on the screen and fixing that won't be as easy.
  • Of course we could disregard the sidebar, or rather, push it to the bottom (which is easy, it's artificially placed on the left instead of the bottom). There are a number of reasons why a lot of people wouldn't want that. One of those reasons is that the ads would basically disappear for anyone who doesn't scroll down. We would have to figure out where else we can put it, on the top maybe. On the plus side, we could have the entire width of the screen just for the article.
  • Another thing that breaks the design regularly: comic images. We could make them fit. The navigation might be more challenging.
  • There's a whole lot of paddings and margins to get rid of.
  • Maybe make the search box a lot bigger?

A short snippet for the comic images and for the font:

@media handheld,screen and (max-width: 600px),screen and (max-device-width: 600px){ /* because some mobile browsers like to work with a higher resolution than the resolution of the screen */

font-size:initial; /* resetting font to full size */

td > img{ /* maybe add a class for the table in Template:comic */
max-width:100%; /* make image fit into box */


I don't know... What do you think? Oh, also, Mediawiki says this can be added to Mediawiki:Mobile.css but I guess that is for extensions? We'd probably have to add that to Mediawiki:Common.css if we ever want to add it. Ret Samys (talk) 16:21, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Getting on a plane soon, but I'll take a look at this when I get off and get moved in again. Davidy²²[talk] 14:07, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

[edit] HTTPS Links Back to XKCD Interfere with Random Button

(I've moved this from "Proposals" to here, now realising this is the proper location.)

The Links back to the comics that are present just above the comic itself on the wiki pages (and adjacent to the next and previous links) provides an HTTPS link back to XKCD. However, this interferes with users who want to click that link, and then click random - because c.xkcd.com does NOT support HTTPS, and thus clicking random after returning to xkcd from explainxkcd via the button on a comic's article does not work. These links should be switched back to HTTP.

--9000 volts (talk) 22:53, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

What makes you suspect c.xkcd.com does not support SSL? It features a perfectly valid wildcard certificate from GeoTrust (currently valid from Dec 14 00:00:00 2016 GMT, so it should already have affected you), although it's different from the multi-site certificate from Fastly used on the comic and what-if.xkcd.com and, yet again, different from the Let's Encrypt ones used on the blag and store.
On the other hand, there is a compelling argument for HTTP links: Most interactive comics break with HTTPS. –TisTheAlmondTavern, 14:19, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
I can't reproduce the issue with random comics, but the benefits of using SSL for links to a site that stores no user data probably don't outweigh the issues that some people seem to be having. Changed. Davidy²²[talk] 22:34, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

[edit] "Retry for a live version" and stuff not responding

Every now and then, I'd just be browsing around the site, then all of a sudden I'd run into an issue with it saying that there was an error with the explainxkcd.com host and that I would need to wait for the servers to restart. This is happening rather often for me, but goes away quickly. Sometimes, it happens on my own wiki pages too... weird. Other times, things would just freeze. Is it something on my end, or is it with the site? --JayRulesXKCD (talk) 14:05, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

[edit] Support for timezones?

I live in the timezone PST, and because of that, the clock seems to be ahead of my time by about 7 hours and 40 minutes. Can someone add support for different timezones? For example, at my time of posting, it is 7:56 PM on March 8, 2017. The time the wiki thinks it is is shown on my signature: 625571b7-aa66-4f98-ac5c-92464cfb4ed8 (talk) 03:40, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

You can actually set your own time zone. Go to Preferences->Date and Time, and there should be a time offset option for you to pick your time zone. Davidy²²[talk] 07:36, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
The thing is, I do have my time zone set to PST, but on the wiki it is still showing up as the wrong time. 625571b7-aa66-4f98-ac5c-92464cfb4ed8 (talk) 15:24, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Oh, the timestamps recorded in signatures are in UTC for everyone. That doesn't change, because it makes it easier to follow the timeline of a conversation in a talk page. Davidy²²[talk] 17:24, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Uhhh, the timestamp isn't UTC at all. My latest BOT upload was 06:02, 8 March 2017 CET or 05:02, 8 March 2017 UTC and it is recorded here as 04:45, 8 March 2017. So we still have an offset 17 minutes to the past. That's an old problem.--Dgbrt (talk) 18:33, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
It is UTC, server inaccuracy doesn't change the time zone, it just makes it inaccurate. Davidy²²[talk] 19:13, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
And even if you don't like me for this: The server time is currently UTC-00:17 and not UTC. This odd offset confuses users. But I know nobody can change this.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:36, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

[edit] Mailserver-problem

I tried to reset my password today, but there is a problem with your mail-server: The sender-adress of your password-reset-mail is [email protected], but the (sub-)domain vps.explainxkcd.com does not exists, and so the eMail is rejected by my mail-server (and most others too). Could that please be fixed? Thank you very much. --DaB.

[edit] When did InstantCommons get disabled?

I was just about to add some photos of the ISS transiting the sun to today's explanation, but saw that it's no longer possible to just enter the names of Wikimedia Commons photos and for them to render. I know of at least one explanation—1400—that previously had such images, but now just has redlinks. I presume that at some point someone must have disabled $wgUseInstantCommons in the config settings. May I ask what the reason for that was? And is there any chance that that could be reverted? Obviously there aren't a lot of articles where it makes sense to have Commons images up, but IMHO it's a useful feature to have for the rare occasion where it makes sense, like with today's comic. PinkAmpersand (talk) 21:20, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

[edit] Wikipedia template stopped working

Some time ago the template used for links to Wikipedia stopped working correctly. If you see here link to Halloween on Wikipedia, it works again: Halloween. --JakubNarebski (talk) 22:21, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

Known issue, there's currently an anon doing boring vandalism. -- 22:37, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

[edit] CAPTCHA does not work for HTTPS visitors

I am a fervent believer in encrypting everything (I am the crypto nut in 1269: Privacy Opinions), and have configured the NoScript plugin to force the use of HTTPS instead of HTTP for all sites that aren't on a special list in my configs. Hence, I tend to visit sites on HTTPS that most people visit on unencrypted HTTP, discovering all the bugs in people's HTTPS implementations in the process...and this site is not exempt from the bugfinding.

In order to edit pages, you need to enter a CAPTCHA. However, the script that makes this captcha work is fetched from Google over unencrypted http (the src tag in the script specifies http: not https:). When I visit this site over HTTPS, the use of active content served over unencrypted HTTP onto an encrypted page causes Firefox to have a spasm and block the script. Since Google fully supports HTTPS, the script's src tag should just be changed to say https: instead of http:, and that SHOULD fix it. Better yet, omit the protocol at all, and do something like:

src="//www.google.com/recaptcha/(rest of url)"

Most modern browsers will interpret that as "fetch www.google.com/recaptcha/(rest of url) over the same protocol used to serve this page."

(Sadly, NoScript is not smart enough to fix this by itself and just change the script's src to https: client-side...) 11:12, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

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