OrthodoxWiki:News/Archive 1

From OrthodoxWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Nov 15, 2011

Friends, I've spent the last couple days migrating OrthodoxWiki to a new server (running Ubuntu Oneric Oncelot) and upgrading the various wikis to the newest version of MediaWiki. I have wanted to do this for a long time, but kept putting it off since it was a major project. Thanks to the dev team at WikiMedia, the upgrades went pretty smoothly, except that there were a lot of character encoding issues to work through.

Unfortunately, some users may find that their usernames are illegible. If you are having trouble logging in, send me an email at info@ (this domain name) with your registered email address and username and I can reset this for you. (As far as I can see, this mostly affects users who were using Eastern European character encodings such as CP1251. I apologize for the trouble -- I fought valiantly, but was not able to get this resolved.) We are running in a stricter UTF-8 environment now, which means better things for the future.

If you find bugs -- I am sure there are a few still lingering -- let me know. In Christ, — FrJohn (talk)

Email sending is now fixed. I've also added SPF and DKIM records to ensure deliverability. - Nov 17
Subsequent fixes and updates (-Nov 19):
  • ImageMagick for thumbnails
  • AJAX search
  • APC caching
  • Compression and browser caching (mod_deflate and mod_expires)
  • Sitemaps generated
  • Robots.txt revisions
  • www rewrite fix
  • Some extension fixes
  • PHP Pecl Internationalization extension
  • Future database updates set to InnoDB and UTF-bin
Updated from beta to 1.18 release (-Nov 29)

April 3, 2011

New Wikis: We now have an Italian language OrthodoxWiki at it.orthodoxwiki.org, and a Tagalog (Filipino) OrthodoxWiki at tl.orthodoxwiki.org. Please help with interwiki links (it and tl) as you are able! FrJohn

March 5, 2009

Alexej Veselov has launched a German-language Orthodox wiki site at orthopedia.de. Check it out.

May 26, 2008

Some of you may have noticed that pages have not been editable for the past twelve hours or so, and once in awhile something else odd might have popped up. These anomalies were the due to moving OrthodoxWiki and all related sites to a new server. We have more RAM available now, and you should see a performance increase. Let me know if you see any residual strange behavior! — FrJohn (talk) 16:12, May 26, 2008 (UTC)

April 7, 2008

I'm please to announce today the launch of, OrthodoxWiki en français. If you speak or can read French, pay a visit and lend a hand. Fr. Julian (Inistea) is the main contact for the French wiki. — FrJohn (talk) 02:14, April 8, 2008 (UTC)

April 3, 2008

Wow! It's been a long time since an update here -- I guess this means everything has been going along pretty smoothly. We have had some downtime lately -- it seems Apache crashes when we get too busy. I've just implemented a new cache system, which I hope will help ease things up a bit. We could go for more RAM, but that means a larger expense for hosting -- let's try this first. Hopefully you'll notice some performance increases as well. — FrJohn (talk)

As of tonight, all wikis have been updated to MediaWiki 1.12 and all current extensions have been tested for compatibility. — FrJohn (talk) 09:48, April 5, 2008 (UTC)

May 26, 2007

Several new extensions have been installed, including a Google Maps extension with an integrated map editor. This has been a feature requested for a long time, but previous versions had trouble with our spam blockers. This extension also features a cool map editor, available through a link on the edit page.

Also, as you can see on my talk page, I've installed an extension that adapts Hivelogic's fine email Enkoder for wiki use. This makes it possible for users to post their email addresses on user pages (if they are so inclined) without fear of certain death by spam -- the evil bots only see a jumbled mass of characters (try a "view source" on my talk page to see what I mean. Details about how to use the extenion are available here.

Finally, you can now search specifically for external links at Special:Linksearch - check it out. — FrJohn (talk)

May 23, 2007

OrthodoxWiki has been migrated to a new server -- a speedy semi-dedicated box provided gratis by Orthodox Internet Services. This should improve performance quite a bit, and eliminate some of the persistent database connection issues we've been having, as well as give us a lot of space to grow and allowing us to do some cool things with our root access.

There are a lot of changes already in place. Things are now more "clustered" - each localized wiki shares the same settings files, interwiki links, extensions, and main scripts. We've also moved to a new globally distributed anycast DNS system, which means quicker and more robust domain name resolution around the globe.

All sites have been upgraded to MediaWiki 1.10, and most of the databases are now fully unicode/UTF-8 (the rest will hopefully follow soon). In the interest of internationalization, "OrthodoxWiki.org" will still work for this site, but it's official name and internal URL will be "en.OrthodoxWiki.org"—it will remain, for the moment, the master site for user logins—if you have an account at EN, you will be able to use it on any sister site (except for BG at the moment).

Finally, I'd like to announce the OrthodoxWiki Commons, a central repository for image storage across all of the various localizations and sister sites (again, with the exception of BG, since that is being hosted in Bulgaria). Along with this, we've introduced the ability to upload multiple files at once, and (for sysops) the ability to upload from a web address. We hope that this will help streamline things in the future, as well as provide as space (like Wikimedia Commons) for images which may not be included in an article, but which may be one day or have some independent value.

Look for more changes and improvements soon. Your feedback is always welcome. — FrJohn (talk) 15:07, May 23, 2007 (PDT)

Additional notes:

  • Login cookies now work across all localizations - not only can you use your OrthodoxWiki username on all sites (except BG), but once you're logged in to one site, your cookie is good for all of them.
  • There have been some minor CSS fixes, which should help make things look a little better when editing a page.

February 23, 2007

Downtime: - We experienced a lot of downtime today due to the current host changing the PHP configuration. (We're not hosted at OrthodoxInternet at the moment because of the particular requirements of the recent versions of MediaWiki). In the process of recovery, MediaWiki has been updated to the latest version (9.3), and some of the extensions have been broken. Now that the English site is back up, we'll work on getting the other localizations up as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience. We're also in the process of searching out other hosting options in order to have more control over what happens on the server and also to increase performance.

November 6, 2006

Another project is set to launch - OrthodoxSearch (now OpenSearch compatibile!) is search-site powered by Google and focused on Orthodox websites. Sometimes it helps to be able to search within a more refined subset of websites. If anyone would like to help me with this project, please leave a note on my talk page or send me an email. Thanks, — FrJohn (talk)

November 3, 2006

Server trouble! OrthodoxWiki was recently migrated a new server in order to upgrade our MediaWiki installation, but unfortunately, the new host was having some issues with database connectivity. So, we're at a new location - maybe temporarily, maybe not! In any case, it's good to be back up. The localized sites (ar, ru, and ro) should also be back up shortly.

One result of this change is that the database has been upgraded to MySQL 5. This is great, but you may see a few odd issues with UTF-8 encoded text (i.e. characters in other languages) in the English-language version. Just fix it if you see anything odd. Thanks.

November 2, 2006

New Localizations

Localizations in Arabic, Romanian, and Russian now in ALPHA stage. This means that some interest has been shown by users, and the sites have been setup in order for construction to begin.

A lot of work remains - the basic pages listed at OrthodoxWiki:Localization have not been translated. Until then, these sites won't be "official" OrthodoxWiki sites. Besides this requirement, each site will need to show that at least one user can serve as site editor, preserving OrthodoxWiki's approach across language boundaries.

A couple other notes: these localizations have been tied into OrthodoxWiki's user and image database, which means you can login their with your OrthodoxWiki username and password. Also, you can use images from OrthodoxWiki in articles there (or they will be picked up when importing articles).

If you're up for the task (i.e. if you have knowledge of Arabic, Romanian, or Russian), please jump in! You can add articles on any of these sites as normal. We also need localized logos, so if you're good with photoshop, let me know. Comments and suggestions are welcomed!

Search Tools

In addition to these, we've made available a new search page which ties into Google to search all OrthodoxWiki locations (and, in the future, related projects). You can see it live at http://search.orthodoxwiki.org. Also, OrthodoxWiki is now OpenSearch compatible - if you're using IE7 or Firefox 2, you'll see a little indicator light up in your search bar when you navigate to the site. Of course, we still have our old Firefox search tools available too.

October 31, 2006

We've successfully completed a move a new server, which has allowed us to update to the latest stable version of MediaWiki (1.8.2).

October 21, 2006

Two new localization projects are underway. Help wanted! If you'd like to join the effort to create an Arabic- or Russian-language OrthodoxWiki, jump to the discussion pages from the OrthodoxWiki:Localization page.

September 9, 2006

Email confirmation is now required to edit pages on OrthodoxWiki. This is an extra security measure to prevent vandalism. Please be assured that your email address will be kept private. As always, your public face in OrthodoxWiki is as revealing or as anonymous as you choose to be.

This won't affect most of our contributors, but a few faithful editors will find themselves locked out until they confirm their emails. If this applies to you, sorry I couldn't grandfather you in!

August 17, 2006

As of today, we are asking that people do not post articles on the site that do not fit our default (GFDL-CC) copyright license. Instead, these can find a home at OrthodoxSource. Images for use in articles may still be uploaded if they do not fit this criterion and a good GFDL-CC alternative cannot be found, but should still be clearly marked. Public Domain/CC images will be given more explicit preference, however.

Also, from now on, only images in standard formats—jpg, gif, png, svg—may be uploaded on OrthodoxWiki. All other filetypes should be uploaded to OrthodoxSourceFrJohn (talk)

August 9, 2006

OrthodoxSource, a sister project to OrthodoxWiki, is currently in alpha stage. One purpose behind this project is to keep OrthodoxWiki focused on being an encylopedia. OrthodoxSource will be a place for collections of things: archives, images, articles, and other relevant files of all sorts. If you're up for pioneering, please register over there and help out. On this end, pages that would be more appropriate for the other site can be marked with the Transfer template, which will land them in Category:Articles for transfer.

Also, the MediaWiki intallation has been updated to version 1.6.8.

August 3, 2006

Two citation extensions have been installed. One allows in-text citations to be collected together in a group as footnotes. (For details, see meta:Cite/Cite.php. For an example on Wikipedia, see w:Irish_bog_psalter.)

The second (meta:Cite/Special:Cite.php) adds a special page (Special:Cite) which offers cut-and-paste citations in a number of formats to OrthodoxWiki pages, and also adds a "Cite this article" link in the sidebar "toolbox" on every page in the main namespace.

June 10, 2006

Dear OrthodoxWiki friends and visitors:

I'm happy to announce the first localized extension of OrthodoxWiki. ПРАВОСЛАВНА ЕНЦИКЛОПЕДИЯ "ДВЕРИ" - a Bulgarian-language edition - is set to officially launch on Sunday, June 11, 2006. What a blessing it is for us, on the great feast of Pentecost, to participate in "the gift of tongues" in our own humble way!

Konstanin Spirov has been leading this effort. He is assisted by his team of editors of Dveri.bg and a number of other people interested in helping with the wiki. It's very exciting to see a group of people with a passion for Orthodoxy who also understand the concept of a wiki. We are grateful to all of them for expanding our borders and look forward to collaborating with them in the future!

Konstantin sent in some pictures of their June 7th meeting (picture includes Dveri editors and other people interesting in helping with bg.owiki). — FrJohn (talk)

May 24, 2006

In terms of system maintance and upgrades, we've been coasting on the flurry of maintenance work that took place last November. Today, I've finally upgraded the wiki to the newly released MediaWiki 1.6.6, which offers a few new features, security updates and so on - nothing too dramatic.

November 28, 2005

In order to better comply with Wikipedia's GFDL licensing policy, we are asking all users to revisit any articles they've imported from Wikipedia to make sure that we satisfy the attibution requirement. Wikipedia:Copyright states that "a direct link back to the article satisfies our author credit requirement."

Although this is often already provided, in other cases, there is simply a note in the history. Ideally, the link back to the original article would be the permalink to the version imported (these can be discovered by going to "history" and then clicking on a revision date), but, since Wikipedia does not require this, neither will OrthodoxWiki, especially in cases where it would take a lot of effort to retrace steps to the original version. Any discussion about this should take place at OrthodoxWiki_Talk:Copyrights.

November 26, 2005

OrthodoxWiki is launching an ambitious initiative to organize all the images on the site. We will need your help! What we'd like to to is stamp all the images with appropriate image categories. These automatically become photo galleries! Please see OrthodoxWiki:Photo galleries for details. Thanks!

Update: Image galleries are now available at Category:Images. There is much more work to be done!

November 23, 2005

OrthodoxWiki finally has an explicit privacy policy in place, prominently linked from the page footer. Your feedback is welcomed and appreciated.

November 21, 2005

The OrthodoxWiki Promotional Store is now open! We're advertising it as "a great place to do your Christmas shopping." We don't expect to make much money on the merchandise offered here for sale, but we wanted to be able to provide another way to promote our work here. (If the profits are large enough, Fr. John might get a free mug out of this.) Please contact Fr. John if you have any comments or suggestions.

We've also announced a revised default copyright policy to the effect that all new edits and submissions will be dual licensed under the GFDL and CC Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 licenses by default (unless explicitly stated otherwise). We have also rolled out more detailed "click-through" language in order to make it easier to republish the content under the terms of the licenses. If you're willing to reissue your prior edits under this new policy, please add "{{acceptrevised}}" to your user page. This could make things much simpler in the future! Thanks.

November 20, 2005

  • We've had some talk recently about a patron saint. I would like to go ahead and ask St. John of Damascus to fulfill this role for us. As a great apologist and compiler of Orthodox teaching, he offers an inspiring example for OrthodoxWiki. He is recognized as a teacher and revealed as a saint throughout the Orthodox world. Please join me in asking him to be present with us, and to guide and inspire our humble project by his prayers. Fr. John
  • Hotlinking (pulling OrthodoxWiki images directly into another site) has been disabled to forestall abuse, but a few sites have been grandfathered in. Please see OrthodoxWiki:Hotlinks for details. Direct links to OrthodoxWiki images from other websites are now redirected to OrthodoxWiki:Image links.

November 16, 2005

I'm pleased to announce that User:HappyGrevling has won the OrthodoxWiki:Logo Contest with his Image:SealLogo1.gif submission. Thanks to Zander and to all who participated!

November 7, 2005

We're happy to announce some feature enhancements for those users who spend a good deal of time on OrthodoxWiki:

We've also added a list of keyboard shortcuts on the Tools and hacks page and outlined a variety of search possibilities on OrthodoxWiki:Searching.

We're also requesting nominations for a patron saint for OrthodoxWiki. Please help us!

November 6, 2005

We've recently added a number of MediaWiki extensions to help us deal with persistent spam problems (see OrthodoxWiki:Vandalism#Anti-spam_measures for details). Additionally, OrthodoxWiki now has the ability to pull in and display external RSS/RDF and Atom newsfeeds -- see Category:Newsfeeds for more information and examples.

October 31, 2005

We've recently added a Roadmap of where we think OrthodoxWiki is headed. Your feedback is welcomed on the discussion page. Also, we've issued some guidelines for dealing with automated vandalism and are looking into some other possibilities to protect ourselves more in the future.

October 26. 2005

We successfully completed an upgrade to the new version of the MediaWiki software, albeit with some downtime. Also, the end of the OrthodoxWiki:Logo_Contest was announced -- we won't be accepting new submissions after November 15. New stats will be posted soon on OrthodoxWiki:Statistics.

October 18, 2005

A Bulgarian-lanaguage OrthodoxWiki is now in active development. We hope it will be ready for launch be about Christmastime. For more information, please contact User:Constantine.

September 10, 2005

Attention! The OrthodoxWiki Logo Contest is now open!

September 8, 2005

Recently, I've recently become aware of a number of other related wiki projects which are based on MediaWiki, just like OrthodoxWiki:

I like WikiKto's bright colorful design. Maybe we could take it as an inspiration for the future? With that in mind, does anyone who is keen at graphics want to donate some time to making OrthodoxWiki sparkle? I found some alternative skins are available here, but maybe it'll be sufficient to take some inspiration from the Wikis above. To this effect, I've lifted the nifty Mozilla-specific CSS from WikiKto which rounds the corners of the boxes on the site. If you're viewing with IE, you're missing out!

I've also added InterWiki Links for WikiKto and CopticWiki to make cross references easier.

- Fr. John 12:50, 8 Sep 2005 (EDT)

July 15, 2005

An official IRC channel has been created for the OrthodoxWiki. The channel is a place for live discussion about work on the wiki. Please feel free to use it as an addendum to wiki discussion via article talk pages.

Our channel is registered through freenode and classifies as a primary, on-topic channel because it is used to primarily talk about official work on the wiki. We are further classified as a Web Media channel, as we are an online community reference site. You can find out more about freenode at their frequently asked questions page.

For information about how to use IRC, please see the Community Portal.

June 8, 2005

We had a few hours of downtime on the site tonight after phpsuexec was set up on the server. We've had a problem locating the exact cause of the incompatibility in the mediawiki script. Because of security considerations, we won't be taking suexec off, so we will have to figure out how to make things work. In the meantime, we've moved OrthodoxWiki to another server that does not have phpsuexec installed at this point. Once we get things straightened out, we're planning to move it back -- but that part should be invisible to the users. As of now, everything is up and running as before.(You'll just notice that change from "www" to "www2" in the url. This is temporary.) Sorry for the inconvenience! - Fr. John 23:39, 8 Jun 2005 (EDT)

June 1, 2005

Competition! This just in from http://en.rian.ru/culture/20050601/40451742.html by way of Fr. Joseph H.:

MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - An electronic version of the Orthodox Christian Encyclopedia will shortly appear on the Internet. A resolution was made on that score as three bodies of the Orthodox Christian Encyclopedia ecclesiastical research center-the Observation Council, the Council of Trustees, and the Public Council-held a joint session in Moscow, May 31, His Beatitude Alexis II the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia chairing.

Information, references and the latest news will make a greater part of materials from the encyclopedia to be offered for free access on the sedmitza.ru, Internet portal of the Orthodox Christian Encyclopedia ecclesiastical research center.

"The electronic versions will appear as the encyclopedia volumes come out in book form," said the Patriarch.

Offered to the conferees was an electronic version of Volume One, which concerns Russian Orthodox Church history.

Ten volumes of the Orthodox Christian Encyclopedia have come out of print for now. The edition is expected to comprise thirty or so.

May 5, 2005

Christ is Risen! OrthdoxWiki has received permission to use many of the icons and images from www.OCA.org. They can't give blanket permission though, since some of the images on there are copyrighted to a third party. To obtain permission for a particular image, please send a brief request to both "tocmed at hotmail dot com" and "tocmed at aol dot com". If approved, please include Template:oca on the image's page by including the following text in the "Summary" field or when you edit the image's entry: {{oca}}. Many thanks for their contribution to our website beautification effort!

April 21, 2005

Because of a recent spam attack which was automated, used multiple IPs and cost one of our Sysops more than half an hour of his life, we've restricted editing to registered users. This also means that those of us who have been lazy, editing without logging in, will have to make sure we're cookied.

March 28, 2005

Dr. Carl Rasmussen of Holy Land Photos has granted OrthodoxWiki permission to use images from his website. Here is the response received from Dr. Rasmussen, who answered my email inquiry on March 28, 2005:

Yes, you may use the images as requested up to a maximum of 100 images for your site and with the direct links, etc. that you mention in your email.
I hope this will help you in your very worthwhile project. If 100 images is not enough, please contact me again with further information.

A template has been created for all images that are imported from the site. Be sure to include it when you upload the image by including the following text in the "Summary" field or when you edit the image's entry later: {{hlp}}

Rdr. Andrew

March 26, 2005

OrthodoxWiki was moved without incident to a new server.

March 24, 2005

Be sure to check out the new How to write a great article page for piles of helpful tips and guidelines for making sure that OrthodoxWiki articles continue to be what our reputation is already proclaiming them to be.

Additionally, we welcome all our newly registered editors. Our total count is now over 50!

Rdr. Andrew

March 4, 2005

Holy Transfiguration Monastery of Brookline, Massachusetts, has granted OrthodoxWiki permission to use the icon images from their website. Here is the response received from Fr. Parthenios, who answered my email inquiry:

As long as credit is given as you describe, permission is granted. God help you in your pious endeavours.

A template has been created for all images that are imported from their site. Be sure to include it when you upload the image by including the following text in the "Summary" field or when you edit the image's entry later: {{htm}}

Rdr. Andrew

February 3, 2005

In case you haven't noticed, we have a new design for the Main Page! Besides being prettier and easier to use, it should also make things a bit easier to maintain. The feasts of the day are dynamically loaded (just New Calendar at this point), and there are also multiple modular sections.

Another section that should be updated regularly is the Featured article. If you'd like to suggest a page to be featured, let an admin know, and we'll take a look at the article and perhaps give it a listing on the front page.

Rdr. Andrew

January 13, 2005

The fine folks over at St. Isaac of Syria Skete have given OrthodoxWiki permission to use the icon images from their website. Here is the response received from Stan Kain, their marketing and website manager:

We do not mind if non-commercial websites use "some" of our icon images.
We do always appreciate a credit or mention and/or link to our website.
May God bless your good works!

A template has been created for all images that are imported from their site. Be sure to include it when you upload the image by including the following text in the "Summary" field or when you edit the image's entry later: {{skete.com}}

Rdr. Andrew

January 11, 2005

There's now a whole new category and set of articles dedicated to vestments. There's plenty of work there to be done expanding the current articles and adding some new ones. See vestments for links that need filling, and consider tracking down some usable images, as well. Also see the related Category:Liturgics.

A whole new set of possibilities is opened up at Holy Scripture, as well. We'll need articles on every book of the Bible and some fleshing out on the main article itself.

Thanks for all your work so far!

Rdr. Andrew

January 7, 2005

Merry Christmas! Blessed Theophany! Happy New Year!

Work continues apace, and massive expansion is occurring in multiple categories, thanks to our multiple new contributors. In the past few weeks, we've significantly simplified and organized the Main Page, which should make the site a good bit more usable and attractive. Additionally, for examples of some of the more developed articles we've been working on, see: Mount Athos, Lindisfarne, Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, Autocephaly, St. Tikhon's Orthodox Monastery (South Canaan, Pennsylvania) and Iona.

We're also working on the individual days on the Church Calendar, with much more to do! Take a look at the numerous categories on the Main Page (or go to Special:Categories), click around, and see what needs doing. Please also stop by Orthodox Church and Ecumenical Councils to flesh out the content in these central articles, and definitely pop in to Category:Saints, Category:Monasteries, and Category:Jurisdictions to see the growth in those areas.

We're currently still adding to the OrthodoxWiki:Style Manual, but its essential structure and a lot of the basic content structure for OrthodoxWiki are now in place. A lot remains to be done on the meta-side of things, however, especially on the Help section.

Thanks to everyone who's helped out so far, and please be sure to bring your friends.

Your lowly sub-sysop,

Rdr. Andrew