Talk:Main Page

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Hey you two. I'm sure you both noticed my most recent modification to the template. Since our best traffic comes from these kinda web2.0 networking sites, I've added a quick bookmark this button to the site to try to promote people to share the site. Not sure if its in the best location I figured it should be somewhere prominent, I was thinking floated right next to the main header, but when it was there I didn't notice it. Any suggestions? Don't like the idea feel free to tell me :). --Brian 23:50, 12 January 2008 (CST)

maybe put it on the right hand side rather than left? --Cat 09:28, 13 January 2008 (CST)

I agree with Catxx, right side.

Also since we're talking about the look of a page. Do you guys feel that the Contents box is making the pages look messy and empty, even when set to hide? See random page Toxotes jaculatrix as an example. Personally it would look at lot better if it was top right.

BTW Brian did you see my note about the categorize template?

--Quatermass 11:16, 13 January 2008 (CST)

i agree about the contents box, may look better if it's further up, but do you not mean top left so it matches up along the top with the information box? --Cat 11:26, 13 January 2008 (CST)

Hey, I moved the bookmark button to the right hand side. For the contents box, you can remove it by includeing


in the file. I will see what I can do about moving it farther up. One thing I would like to do is move the Fish Data template to the bottom of the pages, that way on a search the users doesn't see the template syntax in the results. I'll look into it after my lab report tonight. --Brian 12:05, 13 January 2008 (CST)

Changes 10/14


The standard template system was revamped to make life easier to maintain. This is a COMPLETE rework of the display logic.

Goal of Changes

My secret :) I just want SMW Data on more of the pages.

General Template Changes

The profile boxes now change colors and potentially background based on fish/plant and fresh/saltwater. (If we don't like this we can change it)

I know the black used for the freshwater isn't great... but aquarium pictures don't fade out like open water pictures. If anyone can find properly licensed photos that will look better let me know.

Template:Fish Data

  • Added the |temperament parameter. Understood values are:
    • Peaceful (p,peaceful)
    • Semi-Aggressive (sa, semi-aggressive)
    • Aggressive (a, aggressive)
    • Highly Aggressive (ha, highly aggressive)

Template:Invert Data

  • Just a wraper for the Fish Data template, it simply changes all refereces from fish to invertebrate.
    • You could get the same effect by adding '|type=i' to the Fish Data template, but using Template:Invert data will be more portable

Template:Coral Data

  • Updated tempalte to work with new template system and SMW.
  • All old Template:Coral Profile pages are out of date

Template:Plant Data

  • Updated tempalte to work with new template system and SMW.
  • All old Template:Plant Profile pages are out of date

There are bound to be problems

Let me know. I'll be removing the DB_COMMIT plugin, so if you see that text pop up let me know.

Bookmarks are for marks

Bookmarks. One key. Lynx. Bookmark [P]age or [L]ink? If I use just about anyone else's browser, their favourites will be empty or full of microsoft junk that I remove, because I can reach it from elsewhere in their OS. If they were suckered into version seven, then they won't even be able to change their startup page. Those were the days. Lynx over shell. I can get it for windows, but it simply can't be as peppy over PoinToPoint, nor do I hav a local newserver, anymore.

Your bookmarks script is a pop-up. I disable pop-ups by default and allow them for specific sites. I won't bother making it permanent, because I hav no idea what might make those sites popular. Give me a clue on a separate page, and I might check it out. Some people hav an empty favourites jar on their computer because I removed the Micro$oft junk from it.

If a job isn't worth doing, then it isn't worth doing well. (780) 472-7827.

The bookmark code is, its not for adding the bookmark to your browsers its for submitting pages to social networking sites. --Brian 10:51, 6 May 2008 (CDT)

Thinking about an API

Hey guys,
I have been thinking about creating an pseudo API for the site. Essentially taking the data sent to the profile variables and storing it/updating it in a database. Then giving out read-only database access to anyone really. Two reasons for doing this:

  1. I'm all for making our information more public for the purposes of education
  2. With all the stuff in a more accessible / readable database, it would be easier to search for something specific (aka we can make an actual fish search, rather then the article search).
  3. As of late I've been hired to make a few facebook applications, I figure I can make something cool if I can figure out a name.

Any thoughts? --Brian 06:27, 2 February 2008 (CST)

I think it's called a guest shell account with tight access to structured query language: GSAWTATSQL, or maybe "Jee i SAW a TAT Serving Queries on Land in the citadel" (780) 472-7827

For the purposes of duplicating this site, its entirely possible to give a user non-write access to the database, and the same goes for mirrors. However I had something different in mind. --Brian 10:48, 6 May 2008 (CDT)

ooo i don't fully understand but the words sound good!--Cat 06:51, 2 February 2008 (CST)

Sounds like a nice idea Brian, It may have slipped your mind, but have you looked at the 'Template:Categorize' yet? The temperature section is still not working. I can't see what is wrong with it. --Quatermass 08:10, 2 February 2008 (CST)


FYI To all...

I will be upgrading my dedicated server soon to a faster and larger box. This site will be one of the first to be sent over for various reasons. There shouldn't really be any down time, but you never know. Just giving fair warning. --Brian 14:05, 2 May 2008 (CDT)

Nice. I've been carrying out regular weekly backups of the site every Saturday.

--Quatermass 14:14, 2 May 2008 (CDT)

I know I get e-mails every time about a suspicious process every time :)

--Brian 14:45, 2 May 2008 (CDT)

Attempt 1 last night... failed. Trying again tomorrow (night) --Brian 01:14, 3 May 2008 (CDT)

In that case I'll start backing up key articles. Jourdy288 10:33, 6 May 2008 (CDT)

The transfers has been done. Thanks for the concern. --Brian 10:39, 6 May 2008 (CDT)


Could we have a link to the main breeding page please :-) what does eveyone think? Adam2307 10:28, 26 May 2008 (CDT)

there is a link in the "aquarium guides" section. there's only so many links that can be in the navigation section, too many will be mind boggling. --Cat 12:35, 26 May 2008 (CDT)

The Great Server Transfer of 2009

So I tired to make the transfer last night, got the content and last night's database over there but then other shit went nuts.... so I'll be trying again in a few days.

--Brian 01:25, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

So I moved a bit faster then I thought. Let me know if you find any problems. --Brian 14:26, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

My FTP access to the site no longer works. :-) --Quatermass 16:58, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Oh that, I havn't installed the ftp server as I am doing it all via ssh. I'll e-mail you and we can set it up. (I don't remember the password). Or if you prefer ssh let me know. --Brian 17:49, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

So I have figured out why the kernel keeps panicking, the httpd instances are not dying when they are supposed to so it is causing out of memory issues. Sorry for the downtime. --Brian 22:38, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

I think I found and disabled the error. Should be good now *crosses finger* --Brian 00:59, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Announcements, changes, and errors

So first thing first. ImageMagik (The program that makes thumbnails) is having issues and causing the server to crash while its making thumbnails. The guys in the wikimedia irc channel gave me a patch, but that just made it crash faster. Until they get online today I'll just keep an eye on it.

So, I upgraded the MW install, and with that comes a nice and fun new functionality. Previously the {{DISPLAYTITLE:<title>}} would change the title of the page displayed to the user, but only change case. It was used for making the page PH titled pH. Now it can be used to completely change the display title.

Template:Fish Data now changes the page title to Common name (Scientific name). This change is mostly to help search engines and people identify the page contents. Overall it should help the search functionality on the site. If common name or sci. name are left blank in the template the default behavior should be used.

This change doesn't effect the way you link to a page, or the way its identified in the back end. It is strictly a cosmetic change.

Comments? Questions?

--Brian 14:24, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

So I'm going to do some updating of the template system again. Should be little to no changes to the visual aspect, I just want to make stuff easier to maintain. If/when I break something let me know. --Brian 16:05, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Alright so the goal of this current template change is to make the Fish Data template used for everything, just changing the |type=?? will have it change all of the appropriate references. Right now the following types are recognized (followed by the keywords that are recognized)
  • Fish - f
  • Plant - p
  • Coral - c
  • Amphibian - a/amphibian
Should I add more? The ultimate goal would be to use the same template for every page, making it easier to update. I'm going to work on misc stuff as well today. --Brian 16:32, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Constant Crashing Issue

Alright I'm still fairly sure the issue is IM, unfortunately since I can't reproduce the error its really hard to diagnose. I decreased the memory limit to 50M per PHP instance. That won't fix the constant crashing issue, it should just prolong it. I need to catch one in the act and get a stack trace going on it.

On vacation, I'll be back at home in a week or so.

--Brian 00:49, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I've been rebooting the server every few days and it seems to be when images are uploaded as far as I can guess. I guess you've looked at the memory requirements of mediawiki and follow their guidelines?

--Quatermass 08:49, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

So I have made a small change meant to reduce the damage of downtime, and increase the speed overall. I installed a varnish server on ip, this server sits between our users and the workhorse webserver. It caches all requests to the site, and serves them if it can without bothering apache.

My main reasons for installing it

  • When the site goes down, it will continue serving pages, currently the cache is 5GB, so it should be able to serve the entire site from the cache to anon users.
  • Its much, much faster when the pages are in the cache, when they are not its not noticeably slower.

The user can't have any cookies from the site, other then the google analyics cookies. This means anyone using the fourms, or who is logged in won't be served cached pages.

Pages *SHOULD* auto-purge when they are edited..... --Brian 03:08, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Very nice. Seems to work too. From the UK side of the pond the site definitely seems quicker when I don't log in! So if the main server goes down, I'll not notice until I try to edit a page or log in right? --Quatermass 15:07, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Correct, and we could potentially add a cache over on that side of the pond for speed. And to answer your question, sorta. If your logged in you are served all 'fresh' pages. You can tell whats getting sent from the cache and whats getting sent as fresh by downloading a addon to snoop on headers (, Look for the header: "X-Cache: MISS " or "X-Cache: HIT", a hit is content served from the cache and a miss is content served from the backend.

If there are ANY cookies (if you visit the forums it sets extra cookies) other then the google analytics cookies you will always get content from the cache (so clear your cookies). We could fix this by moving the forums to something like, since the cookies are not shared. There may also be an option to turn cookies off in SMF.

Not all the content is currently being cached, namely the stylesheets and most images. I need to investigate why but for now if the backend goes down the content will be delivered and about half the styles. You can test it by rebooting the server and checking out the main page. --Brian 23:56, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Updated: All of the images should now be served from the cache, as well as all of the stylesheets / Js... so the site should be fully browsable by a non-logged in user if the backend goes down. --Brian 06:07, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

I've got a script running on my PC monitoring the site for downtime every 2 hours. So I can reset it quickly if need be. --Quatermass 15:31, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

New Look Wikipedia

I see Wiki's had a major facelift I guess a major upgrade of MediaWiki will be needed to get this ourself? --Quatermass 15:09, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Correct, Its not so much a major upgrade, just the incremental upgrade. I think Mediawiki releases once a quarter, next upgrade we can have access to the new layout. --Brian 23:47, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

I will be updating a bunch of extensions & the main MW software soon, it may or may not have the new skin :) --Brian 15:27, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

The wiki is upgraded to 1.16, this counts as my test edit. I'll look into the new skin soon. --Brian 17:57, 31 July 2010 (EDT)

Look updated, you can change it back (or to another one) by editing your account preferences. --Brian 19:23, 1 August 2010 (EDT)

I don't know how much of a pain it would be, but would it be possible to update VC too? Don't know when the last time it had a wiki update was. Thanks! --Cat 17:12, 2 August 2010 (EDT)
I'm going out of town tomrrow, but remind me on Monday and i will take care of it. --Brian 13:54, 5 August 2010 (EDT)

New Look, New Template?

So a while back I was trying to upgrade the look of the Fish_Data template, I'm going to take another crack at it with this new layout an would love any input :) --Brian 13:54, 5 August 2010 (EDT)

Database Objectcache crash

Last night the objectcache table crashed. It is not the first time its done this. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the table is crashing because it is using MyISAM, which has poor concurrency support. The fix for this would be for me or Q to log-in and 'repair' the database (it only takes a few seconds). These errors occur because of high traffic and just bad luck. I am looking into converting the DB to something that has better support for concurrency (Innodb) but the conversion looks to be a handful. --Brian 19:13, 14 June 2010 (UTC)


"Our forum can be found here." No it can't, can someone with the appropriate rights to edit fix this? Kthxbai :) Huw Powell 03:14, 12 March 2011 (EST)

Done --Cat 12:29, 12 March 2011 (EST)
Thanks Catxx! Huw Powell 01:01, 13 March 2011 (EST)

Time to move

Alright I am tired of the slowness that has been RackSpace cloud as of late. We are moving back to a dedicated server with SL where this will really be the only site. Things will break, just report em to me and I will take care of them. Expect rsync to go down again and I will of course forget to re-enable it. I will be configuring the server today and tomrrow and the move will be on Saturday or Sunday.

When I start the move I will put the wiki in read-only mode, and turn it off on the new server, so you will know when you are looking at the new page.

Q and Cat will get admin access to the server like usual after it gets setup. --Brian 10:16, 21 April 2011 (EDT)

Of course VC is cumming too :), I'll update MW while I'm at it too. --Brian 10:25, 21 April 2011 (EDT)
I was about to ask if VC was included hehe! What timezone will the move be done in? If it's in GMT early morning, which would be evening for you, that'd be fantabulous. We would wake up to a glorious new server haha! --Cat 10:28, 21 April 2011 (EDT)
I'm doing Easter with my parents on Saturday, I may stay up to try to get it done when I get home that night. I'm also going to (probably) switch from MySQL so we stop having DB crashes. --Brian 11:23, 21 April 2011 (EDT)
The bulk of the files have been moved, the DB will hopefully get moved tomorrow (or to-) night and then I will refresh the files. --Brian 14:57, 22 April 2011 (EDT)

Sounds like fun. Glad I came to check out this edit, since talk:main wouldn't normally grab my attention... but then I haven't weaned you fine folks over to using The_Aquarium_Wiki:General_chat for things like this (since this isn't about the main page). Cheers and best of luck with the transition! (Will the IP address change and have to propagate? Oh yes of course, I see, we'll get the old site until the IP gets to us. Nice work.) Huw Powell 00:47, 23 April 2011 (EDT)

Move on 7/11

So I was getting really tired of SoftLayer, so we moved again. Lets see how it goes here. Let me know when stuff breaks. I you see this your on the new server.

Looks like file uploads are broken

It looks like its not detecting MIME types...

Suggestions for Main Page

Some suggestions for the main page:

  • add links for some of the other big areas of the hobby like water chemistry and equipment
  • move all editing/contributing links into one place (e.g. Editor ToDo and Templates)
  • merge the links on the top right (Freshwater fish, Freshwater plants, etc..) into the main "Browse the Aquarium Wiki" area (many are duplicates)

If you think these are reasonable I can create a temporary page with the suggestions included.

(This is a great site. I can't believe it isn't referenced more - at least it isn't in the saltwater forums I read.)

Brian Low 17:34, 6 January 2012 (CST)