Help:Notes for admins
|Help:Main page||Notes for admins|
This page outlines basic instructions and tools for wiki admins. All Team Kodi members are admins (If you don't have access, poke Ned about this) and should have access to these tools, but please use them responsibly and with due caution. The way Mediawiki works, changes are applied live and right away.
Help:Notes for system admins - Some options for the wiki are configured in the localsettings.php file on SRV1, which requires terminal/server access. For security reasons only a few members of Team Kodi have such access. However, most things can be changed by any wiki admin via the web interface, as described below.
1 A little background
|Who runs the wiki? Who's in charge?|
A long time ago, from best I can tell, the original "XBMC Manual" started out as a PDF document that was copied to the wiki. This was done with the intention of keeping things up to date, and it probably worked for a while, but the wiki quickly outgrew the original document structure it was based on. This lead to many pages being outdated or even redundantly written, among other issues. The mediawiki software was also outdated for a while and a massive spam issue forced the Team to block public account creation. There weren't any instructions for how to go about doing this, so very few accounts were ever made and things got even more outdated.
In 2011, I (Ned Scott) was invited to join the team since I answered a lot of questions on the forum and expressed interest in helping out with the wiki. Previously, I was heavily involved in Wikipedia for a few years and was very familiar with the software. I figured I would just be helping out, but little did I know that no one really knew what was up with the wiki, and no one else was really interested in working on it. I was basically given the keys and told "have fun" :D
Since then the spam and user creation issue has greatly improved, and the community is a lot more involved now. Other members of Team Kodi are now fairly active in maintaining the wiki and help out with various ideas. We've restructured most of the content to be easier to browse, updated many technical portions of the wiki to help users contribute with ease, and other improvements. There are still areas that need a lot of love and attention, but we're in far better shape than we were during those "dark wiki years".
Team XBMC/Kodi has never really had a formal leadership structure, and typically "who's in charge" is whoever is available to work on that area. I've been making most of the major organizational decisions on the wiki, but I don't consider myself to have any more or less authority than any other member of Team Kodi. I can be very opinionated, even argumentative at times, but that's just my personality and not me trying to assert authority over anyone else.
The whole point of this section on this page is to basically encourage other admins/Team Kodi members to be as active as they want. Even with the community being more active, this isn't a one man job for organization and administrative tasks. More importantly, no part of the Kodi project should depend on just one or two people, incase those people ever have to take time away from the project or move on to other things. Most of the decisions about wiki organization and administrative are not controversial, and the discussions about them (even the "heated" debates about issues) are often fun and full of creative ideas. Don't be afraid. By reading this page you've basically become one of us now. There's no turning back. Give into the darkness... err wait, what was I talking about?
So yeah, if you're not sure about something, feel free to ask me (again, I'm Ned Scott). Don't shy away if you have new ideas or even criticism for the way things currently work. The wiki manual exists to serve the project, not egos. The very nature of a mediawiki means it thrives on multiple contributions, ideas, and collaboration. Heck, even if you're not an admin but you bothered to read this page (for some reason), then I'm probably very interested in any feedback you might have.
These pages allow you to change the interface of the wiki. Like normal pages, they contain a history of all changes made to those interface settings, and you can even revert a change you make if it is a mistake, or view how something looked in the past. All users can see these pages, but only admins can make changes.
- MediaWiki:MenuSidebar - contains the links/formatting for the global side menu.
- File:Logo.png - To change the sidebar logo, upload a new version (135x135px) on this page.
- Special:AllMessages - These pages allow nearly every text string on the wiki to be configured. Most are set to the default, but you can filter the list by "Modified" to see anything customized for our specific wiki.
- MediaWiki:Common.css - Most of the CSS classes are defined here
- MediaWiki:Sitenotice - Display a global message on the top of every page, like when a new version is released.
2.1 Custom wiki skin
At least two different "skins" have been made for the wiki to make it look consistent with the main site at http://kodi.tv . Both skins are actually installed and you can try them out by changing your skin in your user-specific settings (Special:Preferences). Neither are enabled by default because the version 1.19 of MediaWiki is too old for either skin to function properly.
3 User accounts
3.1 Approving and creating accounts
Currently we use a system where users request an account and an admin approves that request. This is mainly just an anti-spam measure and not meant to regulate who can edit or not.
See Help:Confirming accounts for details.
Both admins and non-admin users can also make additional accounts, either for themselves (like when running a wiki bot) or on the behalf of other users. A user simply goes to Special:UserLogin and clicks on "Create an account" while logged in. This allows existing users to vouch for other users without having to wait on an admin. Anyone who does this for another person should be sure to ask that the new user change their password ASAP.
3.2 Making more admins
Admins can make other users into admins by using Special:UserRights. For the time being, please only make other Team Kodi members into admins. Chances are that if we can trust them with full admin access then we probably want to invite them to the team, anyways.
The options are granular, but normally you just want to select administrator, (most of the common admin functions), bureaucrat (allows a user to grant or remove user rights) and check user (allow admins to see IP addresses for spam checks).
3.2.1 Other options
Widget editor - allows people to make widgets without being an admin. All users flagged as admins already have widget access, so you don't need to worry about that. Because this allows people to inject raw HTML into wiki pages, this is only something admins should have access to.
Patroller - this is an old way to help prevent spam. It's not really needed anymore, thanks to the ConfirmAccount feature, but the idea is you can manually mark someone as having their edits as "patrolled". Admins can look at Special:RecentChanges, select "hide patrolled edits", and see edits by brand new users. They can then mark individual edits as patrolled. Marking someone as a patroller means you've seen them edit and you pretty much are 100% sure that they're not a spammer, and their edits will automatically be considered "patrolled".
bot - this marks an account as a wiki bot. An automated program that does lots of boring edits that are automatically filtered out of Special:RecentChanges. The program interfaces with the wiki as if they were a user, hence this flag to mark them as a bot and not a normal user.
3.3 Blocking and banning
In the unfortunate event that a user must be blocked, please consider a temp block before a permeant block, just as you would for the user forums or other account areas. Specific pages can also be protected as an alternative to blocking an entire account, in the event that there is a dispute over a specific page's content.
Since spambots have been pretty much stopped dead by the account request system, this really isn't used much anymore, but manual URL banning can be done using these pages. URLs can also be whitelisted.
The master blacklist is taken from Wikimedia's global list (meta:Spam blacklist), then additional entries are applied from the English Wikipedia (wikipedia:MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist), and finally our local black/white lists are applied to that:
5 Further reading - Deleting pages, protecting pages, etc
Since this page only scratches the surface of the wiki admin tools, be sure to check out the MediaWiki manual for additional details. This includes instructions on how to delete pages (or restore, as even deletions are not permeant unless specifically purged), projecting pages from being edited by non-admins, and more.