Cunnan:Village pump

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In Medieval villages people would gather at the Village Pump to discuss those items that were important to their lives. On Cunnan the Village Pump serves a similar purpose: Giving users a place to meet and discuss current events, policy and content.



Content on Wikipedia

Those who remember when Cunnan appeared on a list of sites who used Wikipedia data incorrectly will be amused to note that several Cunnan pages have been transported to Wikipedia. Branle, trobar ric and pastourelle among others have all been taken across. In fact their page on the Branle was not correctly attributed. Conrad Leviston 11:28, 26 April 2007 (EST)

Instrumental Music

I'm sure most SCA performers memorize their music in the best traditional fashion, but for anyone who doesn't have frequent contact with other jongleurs I have suggested on the Instrumental music page that it might be helpful to post music in abc notation because

  • it is human-readable with a little practice
  • there is an extensive software base to produce hardcopy, edit, and play MIDI renderings
  • there is already a huge resource of music in abc notation readily available

-- 00:32, 1 April 2007 (EST) aka Kittybriton

Spam flood

As anyone who looked at Special:Recentchanges today probably noticed Cunnan was the target of a group of spam bots who touched a large number of pages. The domain the bots were spamming has now been added to the antispam filter.

I've been through all the touched pages and have edited and saved the most recent useable version of each. Unfortunately, the spam bots unwittingly hit a bug in the software which means that the the page revisions before each of their edits have most probably been corrupted. If anyone feels like spending an hour helping to cleanup then they should go through my edits for the day and check that the page revision I restored each article to was optimal (i.e. the second most recent revision in most cases).

Cunnan's software has been upgraded so that the database corruption wont occur again even if the spam bots return. Tobin 23:35, 8 Oct 2005 (CDT)

  • Hmm, it just happened again. I believe I have got rid of the spam, but it was done using multiple "machines" so it wasn't worth my time blocking everyone. Also some pages were hit multiple times. Rollback only works for the last action on the page, including rollbacks, so some of the fixes had to be edits. Nasty! I understand Tobin's problems the first time. - Cian Gillebhrath 09:53, 22 Oct 2005 (CDT)
    • Three cheers for Cian! Thanks for doing the dirty work Cian, the fact that you and Tobin have done this is much appreciated. Given that this is the second time this has happened maybe it's time that we adopted a policy of only allowing editing for people who have logged in. It's not a foolproof defence I know, and it makes us feel less welcoming, but it would save a lot of aggravation. Conrad Leviston 20:55, 22 Oct 2005 (CDT)
      • The most nasty wiki spam bots use a mixture of accounts and anonymous edits (the attack today and the first major attack are both examples of this). Forcing people to register only inconveniences humans. I've updated the anti spam filter to include the <div> id that the recent spam attacks have all included. Hopefully this will catch future attacks from this bot. - Tobin 04:57, 5 Nov 2005 (CST)
      • The two attacks I have "cleaned up" today all targetted the same files but the second one created blank pages. I wonder if they were doing so for a purpose? I blocked the repeating URLs which sometimes actually used a username. Cian Gillebhrath 19:40, 11 Dec 2005 (CST)
        • I've added some things from today's spam flood to the anti spam filter. If things stop working someone should tell me. -- Tobin 05:51, 12 Dec 2005 (CST)
  • FYI the France page is currently showing up as uneditable due to the spam filter --Simoncursitor 02:41, 8 Dec 2005 (CST)
    • I know, I'll remove that site from the anti spam filter when I've got time to do a general cleanup -- Tobin 05:51, 12 Dec 2005 (CST)
  • I'm getting sick of not being able to properly use the word special-ist (without the hyphen) because it includes cial-is (without the hyphen). I seem to use the word (and it's relatives) quite a bit. Is there any way we can still exclude the pharaceutical (because that trick is working nicely thankyou), but allow certain words that contain it? special-ist special-ism, special-ists, special-istic etc. Tiff
    • Oops, my bad. I'll change the anti spam filter to require a non-letter character on either side for a match. Should happen after I'm back from work today. Have people noticed any other false positives? -- Tobin 13:15, 12 Jan 2006 (CST)
      • Should be fixed now. The new rule for c*alis is [^A-Za-z]c*alis[^A-Za-z] (with the * replaced by the appropriate letter of course). -- Tobin 01:43, 13 Jan 2006 (CST)
  • I was unable to add a link to the Bordescros website hosted by www . freewebs . com / bordescros because of the spam filter. Can this be made an exception please.--MasterWill 06:49, 16 Mar 2006 (CST)
    • I've removed freewebs from the spam filter. - Tobin 00:15, 24 Mar 2006 (CST)
  • Not quite a flood this time, but the same pages have been attacked by the same sort of spam from various different "users". Is there anyway we can combat that sort of spam (other than the manual power of moderator's fingers) ? I have been banning the users for 2 weeks, but it really is pointless if they just come back with a new "name" the next day. Is it possible to prevent people/bots using usernames that are in the format of URLs (eg. - Cian Gillebhrath 08:49, 23 Jun 2006 (EST)
  • I've just enabled two things that should help reduce the amount of spam we're getting. The first is proxy blocking using SORBS. This may catch a few legitimate users but that's unlikely (and if it does, well, they shouldn't be accessing the internet via an open proxy anyway). The second is Captchas for any edit which adds a URL to a page or changes an existing URL. For the time being the captchas are simple maths problems, e.g. "38 - 6 =" or "12 + 0 =". I'm going to e-mail Del about the possibility of having the software required for image captchas installed on chiara (Cunnan's server). There may still be a few spammers which get through but this will stop the stupider bots and most non-humans. - Tobin 19:39, 22 July 2006 (EST)
    • Just a minor thing about Captcha; when you come to the maths problem, and there's a link that should point to some information about why it's there/what it is, the link is broken. I think this is because it's supposed to be linking to the wikipedia article, but instead it's linking to cunnan?

- Asfridhr, who has been too lazy to log in.

Protected Pages

  • I have just protected a couple of pages that have been repeatedly hiit by a spambot. These pages are woman and convent. I will try to remember to remove the protection once that particular spambot has given up. Conrad Leviston 22:22, 25 Jun 2006 (EST)

Branle Dance Broken

I've found that the page for the Branle dance is broken, both from searching for it and from the link for the dance page.

branle looks fine to me. Conrad Leviston 22:17, 25 Jun 2006 (EST)

I have tried it again and it's still not working. Specifically, I'm getting this 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 "MediaWikiBagOStuff:_doquery". MySQL returned error "1062: Duplicate entry
   'cunnan:messages:Currentevents' for key 1 (localhost)".

I am using Mozilla Firefox, the latest version (if that might make a difference).

  • I can't interpret the technical stuff (I'll leave that to others, who i hope will log in soon), but it's working fine for me too, on a recent version of firefox. Maybe this is a timing issue - Conrad Leviston and I are in the same timezone, and may be logging in a quieter time of day than you useage-wise. Have you checked 10 minutes, or even an hour later? We've had occasional errors related to server overuse.Tiff 19:15, 27 Jun 2006 (EST)

Software Upgrade

Cunnan has been upgrade to version 1.6.8 of the Mediawiki software. If anything appears broken or acts weirdly mention it here so that someone can look at it. It's worth noting that there have been major changes to the database including conversion to UTF-8 encoding. This should have worked but some special characters may be messed up. You can help Cunnan by fixing them as you find them. - Tobin 19:12, 12 July 2006 (EST)

All the unusual characters are out. I know that you've changed a couple of the AE ligatures on AEthelmearc, but there are lots of other characters such as the Forme of Cury recipes, and the Exeter Book riddles. I seem to recall last time this happened you were able to do a fix without editing every single item. Any chance of doing that again? Conrad Leviston 22:46, 12 July 2006 (EST)
No, sadly, the newer version of the software requires the database to be in UTF-8. I'm at a loss as to why the conversion didn't work. I'm going to have another look at it in the morning but I'm not sure if it can be easily fixed. If it can't be then will just have to bite the bullet and fix problem pages manually. - Tobin 23:21, 12 July 2006 (EST)
Congrats on the upgrade! I hope you'll now be able to implement some of the extensions that help to address the wikispam issues. At mine, we ended up simply having to force a confirmed email address before editing, which unfortunately meant no anon edit at all, but since they only account for 1% of our contributions (besides spam) we went ahead with the plan. As far as you UTF-8 issue, I think it either has to do with PHP or with going from an early 1.4 version all the way to 1.6 in a single jump. I'm also working on the rest of the kingdom devices and their populace badges where I can. --Thorgrimr of Dragonsspine 11:11, 13 July 2006 (EST)
Why don't we just change them all to the accented letters etc to the &; forms, e.g. Æ and è They are charset independent. - Cian Gillebhrath 16:34, 13 July 2006 (EST)

Navigation links

The links in the sidebar to Current events and Cunnan:Site support aren't used for much at present. Does anyone have a suggestion for something they might be replaced with? I might send Del an e-mail asking if collecting donations to go towards the cost of hosting is possible. - Tobin 13:49, 13 July 2006 (EST)

weird characters

Hiya after a long time. I noticed on two pages, I was getting something weird - black diamonds with question marks in them. I believe in both cases they took the place of special charchters, like an e with an accent mark on top of it. I am using Firefox. Sabine 06:19, 28 July 2006 (EST)

Known problem. The database should have been converted to UTF-8 during the most recent upgrade but something went wrong. I haven't had time to try and fix it yet. - Tobin 11:41, 28 July 2006 (EST)

Content police :^)

I believe that one of the policies for Cunnan is that it is not to be used by groups as an archive that their own webpages/newsgroups can't manage. Therefore I am watching the pages for Bloodstone Keep Origins Ch 1 and Bloodstone Keep Origins Ch 2. If too many of these sort of pages occur, we might have to make a policy edict about them. - Cian Gillebhrath 09:46, 10 August 2006 (EST)

As they currently read the Bloodstone pages are OK, in my opinion. As long as they are only documenting events that have happened I don't think it's an issue. Planning events or using Cunnan as a genreal archive would be out though. The articles should probably be merged under a better title though. - Tobin 13:48, 14 August 2006 (EST)
I'm not sure about these articles. They don't strike me as conforming to either the style or the content standards we should have in place here. I respectfully suggest that "Bloodstone Keep Origins" should more appropriately be an off-site webpage with links from the Bloodstone Keep article. Paul Matisz 09:57. 21 August 2006 (EST).
As far as style goes, I agree with you. It is my own personal bias, but I think that Cunnan should aim for neutral point of view, non-personal accounts. I personally think that this level of content is great. I would love to see this much detail on every SCA group. Conrad Leviston 23:29, 19 October 2006 (EST)

Page of the Month

You know, I think we could do with a new pages of the month.--User 144 14:30, 7 October 2006 (EST)

I agree, but what one?--Thorgrimr of Dragonsspine 23:41, 7 October 2006 (EST)
You can always add new proposed pages to Cunnan:Page of the Month (see bottom section). As to editting the actual Main Page, it just needs us mods to get to action since we are the only ones who can change it. - Cian Gillebhrath

Sorry I haven't been updating it. I promise that if nobody else does anything I'll get to it for November. In the meantime, like Cian says, please put any good pages you see (or write) on the Cunnan:Page of the Month page. Conrad Leviston 23:23, 19 October 2006 (EST)

How Do I ... ?

"create" a Category ? We have a number of "wanted" ones, which could probably do with some attention, especially as the "wanted" ones show up on the list of "categories" without a hint that they are, in fact, inchoate ?? -- Simoncursitor 19:10, 16 October 2006 (EST)

I don't quite follow you, but I'll try and answer your query. If you edit the category to give it a possible description, then it will be able to show you what articles have been placed in that category. If that description is no longer accurate once you see the category's members, then either change the description or change what is in the category.
If you want to start a brand new category, just put [[category:NEWCATEGORYNAME]] somewhere on a page that is a suitable member for the new category. - Cian Gillebhrath 11:35, 17 October 2006 (EST)
Fine, so it's just a matter of describing the category. Good, can do that. Thanks, Cian. -- Simoncursitor

Proposed genocide

Arising out of the above (and an attempt to do some categorising of my own work (thanks, User: Cian and others for your help in times past -- as you know them better than I, please continue) I have noticed that we have a goodly number of categories with only 1 article in them, and I was proposing to carry out a cull, especially targeting those where the category and the article are, effectivly, the same thing. Given that what I do, a more experienced admin can reverse, does anyone want to stop me before I start, or shall I hack away (discreetly) and allow restoration as wiser heads see fit ? -- Simoncursitor 22:05, 20 October 2006 (EST)

Not everything needs to be in a category. Personally, I think that there are too many, and some pages should not be in a super- and a sub-category , e.g. category:people (medieval) and category:monarchs (medieval). So you have my secular blessing if it makes you comfortable. - Cian Gillebhrath 17:10, 23 October 2006 (EST)
I disagree on the category/sub-category thing. If I am looking for weapons for example, I would like to have the opportunity to narrow it to pole weapons, or archery for example, should I wish. Sub-categories provide opportunities for finding articles more readily and also to include more inclusive article groupings.--User 144 09:47, 27 October 2006 (EST)
I meant that William the Conqueror should be in category:monarchs (medieval) but not also in category:people (medieval), which the monarchs category is also a sub-category of. - Cian Gillebhrath 09:55, 27 October 2006 (EST)
If someone is browsing for people in the 11th century, but fails to find the monarchs category they will miss an important part of the people of the medieval era if they are grouped separately. Classification begins a the top and branches down in an inclusive, nor exclusive genus/species, IMHO.--User 144 09:59, 27 October 2006 (EST)
Well, I've started the process anyway, and will csrry it through as best I can. -- Simoncursitor
New one... category:cooking and category:food, which one should be a subcategory of the other? Does it matter? Should they both be each other's subcategory? What about category:recipes? - Cian Gillebhrath 11:35, 22 November 2006 (EST)
I believe that cooking should be a subcategory of food (as not all food needs to be cooked but cooking always involves food), and recipes should be a subcategory of cooking.--User 144 16:44, 22 November 2006 (EST)

ON an allied topic, I note that the category "people - modern" includes both mudane and SCA identities. Is it worth opening a category: "people -- personae" to distinguish ? Or is that too much faff ? -- Simoncursitor 00:49, 30 November 2006 (EST)

Definition of category:people (medieval)

Umm, so now we are deciding that the medieval world ends at 1500? I'm afraid that that date is as vague as saying when the Renaissance starts. I think that we need 3 or 4 main categories: people (ancient)= -600AD; people (medieval) or people (period) = 600-1600AD ; people (modern) or people (post-period) = 1600AD -. I have no problem with the term medieval being used for the entire SCA period for the purpose of this category. - Cian Gillebhrath 11:54, 26 February 2007 (EST)

  • There are many and varied viewpoints on when the end of the Middle Ages occurs. However, IIRC not one goes past 1517 as the end of the High Middle Ages (many have it ending during the middle of the 15th century). If Cunnan is meant to be a reference, then it should follow the standard definitions. Are we intending to change the definitions of other terms in order to provide further confusion to readers--User 144 17:15, 26 February 2007 (EST)
  • Well, what I was trying to indicate was that I really don't care if people were from the middle ages or the renaissance. I just want to know if they were pre-period, in period, post-period or SCA/recreationist and I would like the categories to match that. While yes, Cunnan is trying to not just be an SCA reference, it does at least have a formally defined finishing date for its concept of "period". The conventional "epoch/era" terms don't. - Cian Gillebhrath 10:07, 27 February 2007 (EST)
    • Well there are over a hundred pages categorised as people (medieval) that would need to be changed to people (period). I think it would be easier if we gave a definitive time frame for these times periods instead. It would certainly be much more expedient. How about 500-1500 Medieval, 1500-1750 Early Modern, 1750-1800 Industrial Revolution, 1800-Present Modern?--User 144 16:20, 27 February 2007 (EST)


Excuse me, I think I'm in someone else's discussion, but don't know how to do ANYTHING. I want to know how to ASK A QUESTION. I got to "Cunnan" [I want to know what it means, too.] because I wanted to find out why the names of SCA people are often preceded by "THL" but I can't find an explanation for what it stands for. I also wanted to find out about "the Enchanted Ground". And actually, I want to know if there is a correct procedure for posing a question when the search button brings no results. I'm sure interrupting somebody's discussion is not the way. If anyone reads this, I'd be very grateful to find an answer here next time I look. Thank you all. (I'm hunting for an SCA contact near me, but haven't found one yet [Barcelona]. Thank you again.

This is as good a place to ask queries like that as any other place. I will try to direct you to the appropriate pages:
Hope that all helps - Cian Gillebhrath 11:54, 13 November 2006 (EST)

Thank you all - I'm the original uneducated enquirer. I think you have all answered everything. Except I haven't found anybody in Barcelona, yet. (I speak Catalan, but not Castilian, and I'm not very interested in the Spanish-speaking middle ages... I'd rather use my French or even struggle with Latin. So I'm hunting for some Catalan anachronists.) Thanks. Sorry to be anonymous, but I'm not anybody, yet.

Proper adjectives and proper nouns

Okay, this is a linguist talking. The word "French" has a multitude of meanings and ways in which it is in the English language. As a noun it refers to a language and a group of people (a nationality). As an adjective, it refers to things associated with the group of people or the country France or the language, e.g. a French castle, the French language, his French wife, a French verb. That is how things work in the English language for the word "French".

Up til now, Cunnan has restricted the page French to only be for the language. I have made sure that any links for the people etc have always been [France|French]. Likewise was done for [England|English], [Germany|German] etc. The article with the proper adjective is only for the language.

AlexandreDavigne has started adding a disambiguation section to English and French. This does not sit well with me. I feel that it doesn't need a disambiguation section. It doesn't need a disambiguation anything. If you want to know about the Germans, you go to Germany. If you want to know about the French, you got to France. If you want to know about specific French, you go to Frank or Gaul etc.

I thought it would be best to ask the rest of you before I undid Alexandre's otherwise fine work. If you have disambiguations for one proper noun/adjective, we will (for consistancies sake) have to add them to all. Do we really need such disambiguations? - Cian Gillebhrath 11:12, 8 November 2006 (EST)

Given the way that English works in common usage, I'd suggest that if disambiguation is deemed unneccessary (or simply redundant), then at the very least a link to the appropriate section be included with an appropriate explanation. I can see a case to be made for either approach, but I think just leaving it unaddressed is begging for folks like me to step in and cause this kind of conversation to happen:-) AlexandreDavigne 12:00, 8 November 2006 (EST)

I personally dislike pages with multiple definitions. I would prefer to see an italicised headnote along the lines of This article refers to the French language. For other uses of the word French see France and kissing. This of course is a matter of personal preference and I am happy to go for what most people feel is better. Conrad Leviston 22:55, 13 November 2006 (EST)
That would work for me - -I just think that leaving it unaddressed is not a particularly good idea; if I (or many folk, I suspect) enter "the French" in the search box, I would expect to find an article about the French people. As I say, your solution works for me (although I don't particularly dislike mutliple definition pages. I don't really care one way or the other). AlexandreDavigne 00:14, 14 November 2006 (EST)


For at least the second time we have been spammed by someone using a graphic claiming to be from WwW.The-SaboTage.Org and a graphic called rozetgd2.jpg. Is there any way we can filter out any edits that include these terms or file? - Cian Gillebhrath 10:04, 28 February 2007 (EST)

Yes, it can be added to the spam filter. I'm about to dash off to work but I've put it on my to-do list. Should happen late tonight, early tomorrow. - Tobin 14:20, 1 March 2007 (EST)
Can we add user IP I am back tracking the damage they did. : Carlos Nieto de Andrade 12:58, 28 March 2007 (EST)

The Ampersand Bandits

For a number of weeks Cunnan has been hit by vandals from a variety of URLs that seem to be deleting any content following ampersands, as well as modifying non-English alphabet characters (which often need to updated anyway). Is there any way we can stop this happening? - Cian Gillebhrath 10:32, 14 June 2007 (EST)

Ha! take a look at the log for tonight (June 16th)! Barony of Rowany vandalized at 21:27, corrected at 21:27, and Vandal banned at 21:28. Rather like potting grouse on the wing, what? User:Paul Matisz 2007-06-16 21:39EDT