User talk:GavinRobinson

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Welcome, and thank you for all your contributions in discussion and data, it's already been so helpful! --Mia (talk) 09:52, 3 November 2014 (PST)

Let me know if the infobox and caching changes help or not - I'll keep tweaking if necessary. --Mia (talk) 16:31, 6 February 2015 (PST)

Do you know of any specialist mediawiki hosts? I'm thinking of just funding a (slightly) better server myself as I know it must be frustrating when things are slow. Ultimately I'd like to find funding to take the project further but a short-term fix is better than nothing. --Mia (talk) 08:01, 2 June 2015 (PDT)

You're right that improving performance is a high priority. I suspect that in its current state the site will put off new volunteers, and I assume having a larger community will make a better case for funding. I don't know of anyone who particularly specialises in mediawiki. I use Ariotek for hosting Wordpress blogs and have run a private mediawiki on their servers. Prices are reasonable for what you get, and performance and support are good. Their shared hosting is now on cloud servers that guarantee each account a certain share of resources. When they first switched to the cloud setup they had some problems (now fixed) with PHP/MySQL sites going slow because the server had an arbitrary limit on the number of Apache processes even when nothing else was over the limit. I wonder if that could be part of the problem here, because the more Lua scripts are called from a page, the worse it gets, while pages without infoboxes are saving very fast. In any case, better hosting would be worth having.--GavinRobinson (talk) 11:56, 2 June 2015 (PDT)
Thanks Gavin! I'll have some time free from the middle of the month so I'll have a look then. There's also a new version of MediaWiki out which will presumably be stable by then so I'll be upgrading that too. I'll give you plenty of notice though! --Mia (talk) 09:25, 3 June 2015 (PDT)

re 'which tasks most need to be added to How you can help (too many/too complicated could be overwhelming)' - agreed! Would grouping them by time or skills required help? --Mia (talk) 05:22, 12 June 2016 (PDT)

Yes, that's a good idea. I think the difficulty roughly coincides with the priority. After personal narratives and related media, the next most important and next easiest thing is adding other sources relating to a unit, especially references to war diaries and transcripts of war diaries, but also printed histories and websites. After that, there's improving the command structure data for each unit, which takes a bit more work and knowledge. Then improving the pages that explain what each type of unit was takes more time and research. Finally we need expert advice on the things neither of us know much about (eg countires outside the USA and British Empire). I think those are the main ones, but I need to investigate some other tasks to see how big they are and how far they can be automated. Some of the things I had on the list before turned out to be much smaller than I thought so I just did them. Manually creating new unit pages isn't a priority now as we've got lots so people should only do that if there's something they want to add to a unit page straight away and we haven't got it yet.--GavinRobinson (talk) 08:03, 13 June 2016 (PDT)

What do you think about changing the text 'This page was automatically created using data from series WO 95' to something like 'This page was initially automatically created using data from series WO 95', so it's clear that that's only the beginning. Also, we could tweak the final line to something like 'You can edit this page to make it more useful. Please help to improve the page by adding or correcting facts, and citing reliable sources.' --Mia (talk) 12:22, 15 January 2017 (PST)

Good idea. I've made the changes you suggested to {{wo95import}} and they'll be working their way through the job queue now. I'm hoping to completely replace that template with a more detailed way of tracking the completeness of pages. I'll put some suggestions on Template talk:Infobox military unit later. --GavinRobinson (talk) 09:14, 16 January 2017 (PST)
Great, thanks! --Mia (talk) 04:33, 19 January 2017 (PST)