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Note: This topic has been unedited for 1498 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not add to unless it really needs a response.

I'm a sysop on the Genealogy Wiki. One of our users has reported an article dissappearing from the Wiki. I checked, and can find no obvious reason for it to be AWOL.

The search function turns up the following

William COWAN (1750-1809)‎ (37,023 bytes)
2: ...loat:right;padding:5px;border:0px solid;">|left]]</div>
6: The content of this page contributed by: Margie Cowan
11: ...&GSdyrel=all&GSst=45&GSob=n&GRid=7073051& William Cowan's DAR Marker], Maryville, Blount Co., TN
16: ...rior to 1756. Many think that his father was John Cowan, though the basis for this is not clear. It is wo...
25: .... It is reasonable that one or the other could be William's father. (See "Research" below).

Note that there is an article for William Cowan (1750-1809), and it contains 37kb of information....which makes it a moderately hefty artic.le. yet, when you click on the link provided by the seach you get

William COWAN (1750-1809)
There is currently no text in this page, you can search for this page title in other pages or edit this page.

The empty article above shows no history, The Deletion log shows no history

Is there something that we're overlooking? Is this a problem unique to this particular article? Is there a possibility that we have other articles AWOL?

How do I recover this article?

Bill 13:26, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Hello Bill, thanks for reporting this issue.
This article had an unusual (invisible) character at the end of the title, and the new MediaWiki obviously is more sensible to such things, so the page wasn't accessible without a fix.
The page is back now, see William COWAN (1750-1809) :-) Greetings --rieke 15:00, 2 April 2007 (UTC)


HI Reike

Thank you for finding that problem so quickly! We had looked at it internally over the weekend, and had no ideas a'tall. Glad that it turned out to be a bug in the MediaWiki, and not, say some clever spammer, or an unresolable problem.

By the way, on another matter, could you explain again why <BR\> is better than <BR>?

<br /> is compatible with HTML and XHTML (HTML adapted to XML). <br> only is compatible with HTML. Idem with <img ... />, <hr />, <meta ... />, etc. --Ciencia Al Podertalk-@WikiDex 18:01, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Also, Thanks, I appreciate the feedback, but <BR> works on the wiki now, why is it that we need to worry about XHTML compatibility? Enough so that we should be scrubbing this? That's really why I didn't understand a suggestion previously made by Reike. Don't have a problem with implementing, just don't understand the need. Bill 18:43, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Standards are standards, not following them means more people diverge and when a standard isn't followed the point of the standard is defeated. The point of W3C standards is to provide a common ground where viewing one site following standards will display the same in every browser you visit it in. I think I found two decent links on google for the subject [1] [2]. But the DOCTYPE we output is XHTML so it's obvious that if we're going to tell browsers that we're writing in XHTML that we write in XHTML. It's actually not that hard to do. Technically if we tell a browser that we're using XHTML and we don't follow it the browser should reject the site. ~Dantman(talk) tricks Apr 3, 2007 @ 04:35 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. The key point being that Wikia is using XHTML, not HTML. For purposes of global comatibility we need to change coding accordingly. Most of us out here in the hinterlands are NOT programmers. We may have picked up some rudimentary programming along the way but that doesn't mean we understand what's obvious to professional programmers. After all, were just trying to use the beast. Understanding its care and feeding is pretty much secondary to most of us. As long as the horse pulls the plow, we're happy. What you are telling me is that sometime in the future the horse may not pull the plow. So we need to change. That is perhaps unfortunate, because the coding to insert things like breaks was ugly enough already, and somewhat interfers with the text creation. I'll look forward to the day when the editing page is more like what you see with a word processor---with all of the coding nicely hidden away so it doesn't get in the way, and non-programmers don't have to pay it any attention. But thank you very much for your kind explanation. It was very clear and helpful. Bill 12:16, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
There are Wiki systems with WYSIWYG editors like that. Though I don't find a system like that adequate because of the whole thing with html elements. I just did a test, but it appears that MediaWiki is actually using the replacement I was hoping for. It appears that something along the lines of /<br[^>]*>/, or whatever they use, is replaced with <br /> in the html output. ~Dantman(talk) tricks Apr 3, 2007 @ 14:42 (UTC)
Ah!. Then the conversion is taken care of automatically, and we don't need to do a wholesale search and replace? Bill 15:45, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Yup, that makes be feel better about using <br> in articles instead of <br /> because it's cleaner to read. Though, when absolutely possible you're supposed to avoid all use of the br tag. A simple blank line takes care of creating a new paragrah, plus using br can break flow. ~Dantman(talk) tricks Apr 3, 2007 @ 16:43 (UTC)
Good! We'll take that into consideration. And thanks again for the enlightenment. Bill 17:00, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
@ Bill: I already answered this question to you in December, maybe overseen, hm? :-) --rieke 21:06, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but I didn't understand why this was necessary since it worked with the existing system. The point I needed to know about was that it would eventually be necessary to ensure browser compatibility. But of course, the last point that there's a filter of some sort that makes these adjustments seems to render the problem moot. Bill 23:41, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
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