Knowledge Base changes

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

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This page has been created for several reasons.

  • It would be nice to have a place where new editors can introduce themselves and meet existing editors.
  • It would be good to allow new editors to safely propose content changes (minor or major) prior to implementing them.
  • It would be good to have a central location to discuss the style, content and organization of this Knowledge Base. (Some of the ideas in Talk:Knowledge Base can be migrated here, leaving that page solely for discussion of the front page article itself.
  • This page was an attempt to address incidents that have occurred on the KB where some groups of editors have been unaware of major changes being made by other groups of editors.

This page is the primary place to announce new suggestions. Whenever possible, issues should be discussed in a more appropriate place, such as the discussion page of the article or category that the suggestion affects. Once suggestions are resolved, they are moved to Knowledge Base changes/Archive.

You can request somebody create an article at Requested articles .


Screenshots - confusion?

I'm worried about us posting screenshots of dialogs to describe how to do something and some poor granny trying to actually click on buttons in the screenshot. What can we do about this?--Np 16:59, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't think there is much we can do to prevent people from making silly mistakes, except maybe to add something like "Sample image: do not click" to each screenshot ..... it's funny, because I've tried using scroll bars on screenshots myself, on occasion :-D Alice 19:44, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Application specific articles

I've noticed a recent trend towards having more articles be application specific. My first impression is that this seems to be due to

  • Recent awareness that you can include screen shots in the article. Creating_a_new_Firefox_profile_on_Windows and Corrupt_localstore.rdf for example are articles that at one time would have at least been written to cover both Firefox and SeaMonkey, and might have also covered Thunderbird.
  • Frustration over the density and problems in navigating an article that cover many applications, such as Profile_folder
  • Mozilla's plans to create their own knowledge base, using migrated Firefox articles from mozillaZine.

I've frequently pushed for Thunderbird specific versions of some articles, including one for Profile_folder but I have mixed feelings about this trend. There are some cases where it makes a lot of sense to address multiple applications in one article. I'm also concerned over what effect this has on whether editors who tend to focus on browser specific articles will continue working on the mozillaZine knowledge base after Mozilla creates their own for just Firefox. Thoughts?

As an aside, does anybody object to my creating a calendar category? Tanstaafl 22:28, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I can see advantages in combined application articles such as Profile Folder. One reason being, the same files may be used in different application profiles (in some cases they can be copied over directly, as with mimeTypes.rdf and bookmarks.html). Firefox users are in the majority, though, and it's hard for editors who don't have experience with Mozilla Suite or SeaMonkey to include it in articles. I use SeaMonkey about as often as I use Firefox (and I still have Mozilla Suite installed as well) so I try to include SeaMonkey where possible, such as in plugin articles. In the case of Changing media handling behaviour I've included screenshots for both Firefox and SeaMonkey. Regarding Mozilla's plans to create their own knowledge base, using migrated Firefox articles from mozillaZine, when that happens and if my contributions are no longer needed for Firefox articles because Mozilla folks have taken them over and restrict new articles to selected editors, I can always go over to SeaMonkey and start fixing up that KB a bit. Alice 00:39, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
I think combined application articles are good when the info provided only differs slightly, for example by a single menu sequence. In profile folder, about half the article doesn't apply to any given user. Creating a new Firefox profile on Windows was created not to avoid mentioning SeaMonkey, but to avoid the "but if"s, "except if"s , and "you can also"s that plague the profile manager article.--Np 01:41, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Removing obsolete information

I notice that some articles, such as Multiple_SMTP_servers_-_Thunderbird have multiple sections for obsolete versions. I suggest we add a rule of thumb that such text should be removed if its for a version thats more than two major releases ago to In-house_style . i.e. since Thunderbird is at keep the text about 1.5 or later but dump the 1.0.x text if it simplifies the article. Tanstaafl 01:18, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree about removing obsolete sections, especially if the "obsolete" part is long and uninteresting. I think though, that e.g. in about:config articles, the lines "Applies to Mozilla since 19980425" or "Applies to Firefox since release 0.9" etc. can stay. -- Tony 02:06, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Tanstaafl 10:37, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

I have no problem with the rule about removing obsolete information but I don't think it belongs in the In-house style article, which mainly covers things like commonly used terms, formatting and punctuation, tables, and other style issues. I think that a rule about removing obsolete information is more about keeping KB articles technically accurate and up-to-date and would fit better in the Rules and guidelines article, which already includes a "Quality" section and "Technical information" subsection. I think that the "Removing obsolete information" paragraph would fit in better there, either as a subsection of "Quality" or as a separate section. Alice 12:32, 11 February 2008 (UTC) P.S. I added a section to Talk:In-house style for discussion. Alice 13:04, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

If we did move it the Quality section doesn't seem appropriate - its own section would be the best bet. We have text about how to make an article more usable in both articles, so I guess its really a question of whether you think it falls in to the guidelines or the look consistent camp. I prefer the current location, but it doesn't really matter. I have no problem with you moving it after waiting a couple of days to see if anybody else has a opinion. Tanstaafl 13:54, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
OK, I'll wait a few days. I'm also copying your reply to Talk:In-house style#Keeping_this_article_about_style with a link to this discussion for the background. Alice 14:15, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Prep for switch to new web site

We're getting closer to switching to the new web site. Kerz has stated he'll enable automatic account creation when we switch. See this thread for more details. He has created a subforum for the knowledge base, so we won't be limited to just talk pages and this article when discussing some issues. He has offered (in the moderators forum) to move a small number of threads to the new web site if they're identified ahead of time. However, given the recent history of lost accounts and the fact nobody has started to make a list of the threads I suggest we assume the worst, and start migrating information in any referenced threads into the article. It will also give us a chance to make the information more up to date and easier to find/read. After the move we can update any links to dedicated discussion threads for extensions/themes. Does this seem reasonable?

I notice Alice has converted the request for comments template in preparation for the move. Any other changes that we should think about? Tanstaafl 01:19, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

In the "Request for Comments" template, I switched from forum thread link to MozillaZine Site Discussion forum since I assumed that links to the main forums (Firefox, Thunderbird, Site Discussion, etc.) would be redirected to the corresponding new forum. (We also link to the MozillaZine Site Discussion forum at MozillaZine_Knowledge_Base:About#Commenting_on_articles). Once we switch to the new forum, we could link that template and the About page directly to the new Knowledge Base subforum. But, I'm not so worried about that. You said, :I suggest we assume the worst, and start migrating information in any referenced threads into the article. What do you mean by "referenced threads"? We have many, many references to forum threads in KB articles. You don't mean that all those references will be lost, do you? I have an entire web page of useful threads that I reference quite a bit: (I haven't updated it since August 2007, but I do update it from my bookmarks!). Alice 01:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
You have two hundred and forty six links on that page, and some of them are for pretty long threads. I have difficulty seeing Kerz move all of them, especially if several other people have long lists that don't overlap that much with yours. Your guess is as good as mine what will actually happen, but nobody has even started to compile a list in the five months since the beta of the new web site was first available, and its called a "grand forums restart" for a reason.
My impression is that there aren't many references to threads in Thunderbird articles, and most users in the Thunderbird forums point to articles rather than old threads. I'm going to start replacing some of the references in the Thunderbird articles as a precaution, but it wouldn't be a disaster if we suddenly lost access to those threads. I'm basically trying to suggest contingency planning for Firefox and SeaMonkey, which are much more vulnerable. Tanstaafl 05:21, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
You have two hundred and forty six links on that page There are probably more, since I've just updated my mozforum page. I don't care if the threads are carried over to the new forums, I just don't want the linked pages to "disappear" altogether (then I'll have to depend on google's cache or the wayback machine to get that content). I really hope that all those threads aren't lost. Besides the KB, other sites link to our forum threads, notably Bugzilla reports. If I can find the time, I'll try to go through some KB articles and see what information in linked forum threads should be incorporated into the KB (some are simply references to justify the information given in the KB, e.g., forum references in the Problematic extensions article). Alice 14:43, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to assume that links to threads in KB articles, Bugzilla, google groups, newsgroups, etc., will not be lost.... that they'll be archived and available for "read-only" access. Maybe you can confirm, but that's how I understand it, based on the following Nov 3 2007 post in the new Site Discussion forum, by "steviex"
It looks like Threads that are reposted here need rewriting to remove any HTML formatting, and replace it with BBCode.... Any links back to the old board should be OK, as I would guess that the archived posts would be viewed with phpBB 2, in the old format.
...Even so, it wouldn't hurt to prepare for the worst and incorporate as much information as possible into KB articles, instead of depending on forum links. I created a new Problems printing web pages article that used to be just a forum link in the Issues with Firefox article, with that in mind. Alice 18:39, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

KB articles to update for the new website

  • KB articles that tell people to post KB requests or feedback to a specific thread, including Create_a_knowledge_base_account and Special:Userlogin.
  • KB articles that link to a specific forum, such as MozillaZine Site Discussion, may not be redirected properly and may need updating to the new Site Discussion forum or to the Knowledge Base subforum on the new board.
  • Rules and guidelines links to and that page may no longer exist after the move, so we'll either need to update the link or edit the article to summarize those rules.

All articles in the Category:MozillaZine_Knowledge_Base_organization should be reviewed for needed updates. If I find any articles outside of that category I'll post them here. Alice 13:08, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Use of color

A discussion was started asking for for opinions on using color in KB articles. Please post any comments to Talk:In-house style#Use of color. Alice 22:40, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Using external sources and references in KB articles

I've moved the discussion about using content from other sources and referencing certain material to Talk:Rules_and_guidelines . Tanstaafl 08:38, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Copyright/License problems

I suggest we think about adding a short "Copyright/License problems" section in Rules_and_guidelines that sets peoples expectations on what they can legitimately copy/modify. I'm splitting this out as a separate topic from "Using external sources and references in KB articles". Please discuss this at Talk:Rules_and_guidelines . Tanstaafl 08:32, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

In-house style: Special formatting

There is a current discussion about whether to change the In-house style guidelines for special formatting for folder and file names and paths. It has been suggested to use italics instead of monospace font for folder/file paths. Also under discussion is whether to add a new guideline covering when and how to format preference names; bold text has been suggested. Please add any comments to the In-house style discussion page under Use of monospace font for path folder and file names and Preference names. Alice 15:11, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Consolidate show hidden files and directories information

Its been archived after Show_hidden_files_and_folders was created. Please continue the discussion about the article and how to use it at its talk page. Tanstaafl 08:55, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Using AMO links instead of author's website whenever possible

Asked in Talk:Updating_add-ons: A question though. Some of the pages here link to AMO, others to the author's website. Is there a rule of thumb to be followed here? I answered that I don't see a rule in Rules and guidelines and that I've been using links wherever possible, for security reasons and because the install will go through seamlessly from AMO while installing from another site may trigger a yellow message bar, asking the user to allow the site, unless the install link actually goes to AMO. Should there be a rule to use AMO links for add-ons whenever possible, if an AMO link can be found? If no one has any thoughts on the matter I'll just assume that no rule is needed and it can be left up to whomever is editing a page. Alice 01:45, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I'd say use AMO links unless there are good reasons to the contrary; but circumstances may vary: for instance, sometimes the author's site offers a more recent version, either a test version or the latest release not yet uploaded to AMO. On the whole though, I believe using AMO links when possible is a good rule of thumb. -- Tony 07:56, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I posted a link here in Talk:Rules and guidelines. Let's wait a a few days for more comments then, if no one objects, I can add a short "Add-on links" paragraph under Rules and guidelines#Article content, simply saying, As a general rule, link to (AMO) whenever possible, instead of linking to the author's website or elsewhere, unless you have a good reason to use an alternate link. Alice 17:56, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Alice. I didn't think to post the question here. I agree with everyone else here -- AMO should be it. --LoudNoise 20:37, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Rules and guidelines#Add-on links section added. Alice 15:37, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Extension listings in the Knowledge Base

A request for a KB account from an extension author

This brings up an interesting question. I assume that we don't want the KB to become a marketing tool. However, why does Adblock and Chromedit have articles in the KB? Should they be removed?

This isn't meant to suggest that the folks behind Adblock or Chromedit are doing anything shady.

--LoudNoise 17:41, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Adblock also includes information about Adblock Plus. ChromEdit and Keyconfig extension have their "own" KB articles (not sure if there are many more) and Linky is basically a redirect already. (There is another article, MozBackup, which is a Windows utility, not an extension, but I think the same idea applies). We could redirect some or all of those articles by replacing the content with links to AMO (or to the author's webpage, if an AMO link is not available). Another option would be to rename those articles, for example, "Adblocking extensions" (the Adblock article is already about Adblock and Adblock Plus) and "Configuration extensions", which would include "ChromEdit" and "Keyconfig extension" as subsections. Just a thought, but that way, we could flatly prohibit articles specific to any particular extension, and the original article name would still "work", and the redirect to the new article name could still be "listed" by keeping the category listing. Thoughts? Alice 00:48, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. -- Tony 01:45, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Sounds terrible to me. Tanstaafl 02:19, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
We can start by renaming Adblock to "Adblocking extensions" and renaming ChromEdit to "Configuration editing extensions" if no one objects. I'll add a note to the discussion sections of those two articles, then wait a few days. I took a closer look at Keyconfig extension and that would need major editing to trim it down, since it also includes two "spin-off" articles. I'm just concerned about stepping on toes when it comes to limiting KB articles about individual extensions. After all, MozillaZine does provide an Extensions and themes forum where individual extension authors give support. Alice 02:06, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I object. Please see my later comments. Tanstaafl 02:19, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
We should at least consider adding to Rules and guidelines a new rule (under Article content) prohibiting creation of any new KB articles about individual extensions, or at the very least prohibiting any article that is clearly intended to "market" an extension. We should then add to Pages voted for deletion any new article that some extension author decides to "market" by creating a KB article. (Someone actually created a Marketing category awhile back, and it was quickly deleted [1] What do other people think? Alice 00:48, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
For blocking content there is also already this stub article Removing unwanted content on webpages and ChromEdit is also linked to from Editing configuration and Editing configuration/Manual editing. The others that I had in my notes (checked an old backup) no longer exist or have been moved already (All-In-One_Sidebar, SessionSaver). --Dickvl 20:21, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I would vote for this- "prohibiting creation of any new KB articles about individual extensions" . I would have some problems with deciding if an article was "clearly intended to 'market' an extension". After all, most extensions are created to fulfill something that the author feels there is a crying need for. Enthusiasm might be mistaken for marketing :).--LoudNoise 21:28, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I would think that it is acceptable to put a link in an External section at the bottom of articles that are related to the extensions if such articles already exist. Adblock Plus can link to Removing unwanted content on webpages and Chrome Edit Plus to Editing configuration and Editing configuration/Manual editing and remove the originals --Dickvl 21:40, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I like Dickvl's suggestion. Organizationally it makes good sense. Someone is obviously looking for a solution for a particular problem at the point. It might make sense to have a new header, something like "Extensions", where folks could list links to reliant extensions. This would be fairly easy to police and allow extension authors' some exposure if they wanted it.
Another reason to ban extension KB articles. Imagination the fun to be had if some of the Conduit Toolbar folks decided that the KB needed an article about their useful toolbar. By not allowing extension articles we can neatly sidestep all sort of issues. --LoudNoise 22:01, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I added a section under Talk:Rules and guidelines#Prohibiting articles about individual extensions proposing a rule prohibiting new extension articles, with a link to this discussion. What about saying.... In the past, KB articles had been written about individual Mozilla application extensions (e.g., Adblock). To avoid a situation in which extension authors create new KB articles to promote or "market" their own extensions, no new article about any specific extension will be permitted. If you create such an article it will be subject to deletion. Too much? Alice 02:02, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Dick and LoudNoise, do you want me to simply redirect Adblock to Removing unwanted content on webpages? I added a link to Adblock there (it only had Adblock Plus) so I would go along with that. Also , If I understand right, you want me to redirect ChromEdit to Editing configuration? I also replaced the ChromEdit link there with the AMO link and added a condensed version of the rest of the article content. (Another option is to simply leave the Adblock and ChromEdit articles as they are, but place them in the Category:Redirects. I already placed Linky in the Redirects category.) Alice 02:02, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Popular categories are probably malware/spyware scanning/removing programs and form fill extensions and media download extensions (not sure if that one should deserve space in the KB). There are often questions of the forum about these and linking to a stub KB article is easier than posting the full link every time. Then only the KB article needs to be updated and forum links that come up with a search point to a KB article with the current programs and extensions. --Dickvl 22:21, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't know about a separate "media download extensions" article.... we already link to such extensions in Video or audio does not play#Add-on solutions... but go for it. Same with "Form fill extensions" (see below, on #Malware scanning and removal tools). Alice 02:02, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Quick question Dick. Stub articles does not seem to shed a good light on stubs. Are you talking about one of the category pages?--LoudNoise 18:33, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm missing some of the context of this discussion. I haven't seen authors creating articles about thier extension as being a real problem. Please point me to several examples where somebody wrote an artcile about thier addon, and highlite which ones were inappropiate. I see lots of referrals to the adblock and chromedit articles in the forums, they serve a real need. If an extension is popular having a article you can point to is very useful. We need to distinguish between shameless self-promotion and articles that help users. I wrote Importing folders for example (which documents how to install and use ImportExportTools) because I got tired of rewriting the same text when trying to help somebody who didn't know how to import a mbox file and wasn't computer literate. You can't rely upon AMO or the add-on author to do that sort of hand-holding.
I think its counterproductive to rename the Adblock article. Its tough enough for many people to find the appropiate article already.
The whole idea of something like the Mozbackup article is that its on a wiki, so users can contribute to it. Why in the world do you want to eliminate that by pointing people to AMO (which has terrible documentation, and whose web site keeps going down hill) or the authors web page instead? Tanstaafl 02:19, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Both the ChromEdit and Adblock articles simply state that both are useful programs and here is where to get them. Both of these items could be added (if the info isn't already there) to the articles that deal with chrom editing and ad blocking. Since these are not necessary why bother having them? Since there is the possibility of abuse why not have a policy of not allowing KB articles about specific extensions? --LoudNoise 17:25, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
1. That is over-generalizing from 2 cases. Keyconfig_extension and Keyconfig_extension:_Thunderbird for example have lots of information. I suggest you argue with Rod Whiteley if you think the time and effort he spent on them was a waste of time.
2. I already gave one example of a article about an extension where the information was useful, and you couldn't get it by just pointing to AMO or the authors homepage. I'm currently working on a webmail add-on article because it will make it easier to handle common questions about it. Pointing to the dedicated thread or the authors home page doesn't meet most users needs.
3. Its not clear it would solve a real problem (so far it seems to be just a potential problem), and the proposed solution would prevent users from contributing information to help other users. Any restrictions should be proportionate to the potential harm. We already have a mechanism for dealing with inappropriate extension articles - voting to have it deleted. We haven't had to do that yet.
4. It overlooks the possibility that it can be useful if the author of a popular add-on created an article. Ausdilecce has several popular Thunderbird extensions that require a lot of knowledge how to use/customize. His web site is gone and nobody has been able to reach him for years. Think how useful it would have been if we had encouraged him to write some articles on his add-ons rather than having that information scattered through threads that the average user can't find. Having users polish and contribute to the article would have improved the quality, and probably encouraged him to provide more raw information that users would clean up....
5. We haven't evaluated "lesser" alternatives such as a MARKETING_FLUFF template that could be used if somebody thought an article was just a marketing tool and/or a rule that add-on authors can't write an article about thier own add-on.

Whatever is decided is fine by me. I am certainly not married to the idea. --LoudNoise 20:28, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

The question of what to do about new articles by extension authors has come up again. See Talk:Forward. Alice 02:27, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Malware scanning and removal tools

Dick, you mentioned in the extensions listing discussion, that Popular categories are probably malware/spyware scanning/removing programs..... An article about spyware and malware scanning and removal tools, with links to security forums, would be a great help for people whose Mozilla applications are showing malware-related symptoms, maybe under the Category:Privacy and security (which already includes an Antivirus software article)? It could include links to other articles that talk about malware issues such as Firefox.exe always open and Unable to search or add new engines. Alice 02:16, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

The Firefox.exe always open is very special (Poison Ivy) and the other two articles I know of (Popups_not_blocked#Spyware_on_Windows and Unable_to_search_or_add_new_engines#Spyware_and_malware that mention malware are not easy to find. Recently there have been a lot of occurrences of Vundo and doing a malware scan with some programs never hurts. I wasn't aware of the Antivirus_software article (it says that it is for Tb and Moz Suite, shouldn't that also mention SM?). I think that Category:Privacy and security would be a good place for such an article (maybe something for Daifne?). --Dickvl 03:36, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the Antivirus software article should also mention SM but that's a given when an article refers to TB/Mozilla Suite. As for the Firefox.exe always open article, it could use a link to a new "Malware scanning and removal tools" article so that less experienced users can find a forum that can help them with malware removal. It would be great if Daifne could write such an article but you or anyone else could, too :) Alice 20:18, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Antivirus_program_claims_Thunderbird.exe_has_a_virus has links to several anti-virus scanners. It and the proposed spyware/malware removal article should link to each other. Tanstaafl 03:08, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Please keep in mind the big fuss we had in Antivirus_software where one person turned it into a soapbox against using anti-virus software. Lots of people have strong opinions about which tools to use, and may also write disparaging comments about certain vendors such as Norton/Symantec. I suggest the article have a short section setting expectations on whats acceptable. Tanstaafl 03:08, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

The suggested new "Malware scanning and removal tools" article hasn't been written so I added a separate Check for malware section to the Standard diagnostic - Firefox article for now, to centralize the information for Firefox users which is now spread among many different articles. Alice 22:24, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Using the new SeaMonkey category

A new Category:SeaMonkey was created awhile back, which went under my radar ;-). I was thinking, why not use this new category to track SeaMonkey 2 articles for now? I started a Discussion page here: Category talk:SeaMonkey Alice 14:36, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Special:Userlogin needs copyediting

Log in/Create Account has the following problems:

"Please ignore the preceding paragraph, its hard coded text displayed by the wiki software thats its awkward to get rid of."


Delete sentence since there is no preceding paragraph. (If some paragraph should be there that is hidden, correct sentence as follows: "Please ignore the preceding paragraph; it's hard-coded text displayed by the wiki software that is awkward to get rid of.")

"A knowledge base account is not meant to ask for help or to discuss your problem - post in the forums instead. We're not run by or formally associated with Mozilla, though they do link to our web site on their support page. We're a independent user community site. If you want to report a bug or gripe about how something works (enhancement requests are legitimate bug reports) use Mozilla's bug reporting system ."


"A knowledge base account is not meant for asking for help or for discussing a problem you're having - post in the forums instead. We're not run by or formally associated with Mozilla, though they do link to our website on their support page. We're an independent user community site. If you want to report a bug or gripe about how something works (enhancement requests are legitimate bug reports), use Mozilla's bug reporting system."

"A knowledge base account is available for the asking, the only reason for this process is to help combat spam. The account will let you edit or create articles on our wiki. You don't need it to read the articles."


"Anyone can get a knowledge base account. The only reason for the registration process is to help combat spam. The account will let you edit or create articles on our wiki. You don't need an account to read the articles."

"If you have a MozillaZine forum account its recommended you request a knowledge base account in the Moderation / Spam / Registration / Login Activation Requests thread. Please mention what username you'd prefer. Otherwise you can send a email message to mozillaZineKB AT gmail DOT com to request a knowledge base account. You'll usually get a reply within 24 hours if you use the thread. If you send a email it will typically take at least a couple of days."


"If you have a MozillaZine forum account, it's recommended you request a knowledge base account in the thread Moderation / Spam / Registration / Login Activation Requests. Please mention what username you'd like. You can also send an email to the address mozillaZineKB AT gmail DOT com to request a knowledge base account. You'll usually get a reply within 24 hours if you use the thread. If you send an email, registration will typically take at least a couple of days."

"You must have cookies enabled to log in to MozillaZine Knowledge Base."


"You must have cookies enabled to log in to the MozillaZine Knowledge Base." --American Finn 07:53, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

The sentence about the preceding paragraph is due to "Don't have a login? Create an account." text that everybody used to be able to see. Something changed, now you only see it if you're already logged in as a SysOP.
I deleted the paragraph and updated the rest of the text. Some of it follows your suggestions. Next time please add italics in your comment to highlight the existing text. Tanstaafl 18:25, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, but you missed quite a few spelling, grammar, and vocabulary errors. It would have been better to simply copy my copyedited version and then add your changes, and it wouldn't have hurt to thank me for my work. The reason i didn't use italics was that i originally used them to highlight the mistakes and changes, but i decided to leave them out so that my corrected text could be simply copied and pasted and so that minor corrections like punctuation would hopefully not be left out. Only corrections of major problems are in bold below; there are corrections elsewhere too.

A knowledge base account is not meant to ask for help or to discuss your problem...

=> "A knowledge base account is not meant for asking for help or for discussing a problem you're having with a Mozilla product..."

web site

=> website (or Web site)

The account will let you edit or create articles on our wiki. You don't need it to read the articles.

=> "An account will let you edit or create articles here, but you don't need it to read the articles."

If you have a MozillaZine forum account its recommended that you request a knowledge base account in the Moderation / Spam / Registration / Login Activation Requests thread in the MozillaZine Site Discussion forum. Please mention what username you'd prefer. Otherwise you can send a email message to mozillaZineKB AT gmail DOT com to request a knowledge base account. You'll usually get a reply within 24 hours if you use the thread. If you send a email it will typically take at least a couple of days.

=> If you have a MozillaZine forum account, it's recommended that you request a knowledge base account in the Moderation / Spam / Registration / Login Activation Requests thread in the MozillaZine Site Discussion forum. Please mention what username you'd like. You can also request a knowledge base account by sending an email to the address mozillaZineKB AT gmail DOT com. You'll usually get a reply within 24 hours if you use the thread. If you send an email, it will typically take at least a couple of days. --American Finn 14:13, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

I made some edits based on the above (I first had to hunt up Create a knowledge base account which says, The reason for the confusing text at Special:Userlogin is because we can only change part of it, by editing MediaWiki:Loginprompt.). Alice 15:21, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. It's getting better, but at least these still need to be corrected:

A knowledge base account is not needed to ask for help or to discuss your problem...

=> "Please do not create or use a knowledge base account to ask for help or to discuss your problem...

or => "A knowledge base account is not meant for asking for help or for discussing a problem you're having with a Mozilla product..."

If you send an email it will typically take...

=> "If you send an email, [comma] it will typically take..." --American Finn 17:06, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

History category

A new History category was added based on a discussion here: Talk:Counts#Article_title_and_categories. Alice 21:20, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Use of categories

We seem to use the following policies in categorizing articles:

  • If its added to an Issues category, make certain its also added to a non-Issues category.
  • Use Thunderbird, Firefox etc. as catchall categories when you can't find a more specific category.
  • Don't add every article about an application to the category named after the application (the catchall category).
  • Use restraint in how many categories you add an article to. Most articles only get added to one non-Issues category for that application.
  • Don't create version specific categories.

Should we update the categorizing section in the rules?

New editors frequently don't know any of the rules or unwritten conventions. We've deliberately downplayed having to learn anything before editing an article, accepting the cost of more experienced editors occasionally having to clean things up in order to encourage new editors to participate. That seems to work well since most editors just edit an existing article.

It doesn't work as well with categories. We've occasionally had problems with new editors creating duplicate categories and recently had a problem with one adding many Thunderbird articles to the Thunderbird category (the catchall category). I've also noticed there is somebody who keeps creating version specific calendar and calendar issue categories. That is inconsistent with what we've done for every other application but hasn't caused any real harm. However, somebody else might start mimicking that for Firefox, Thunderbird etc.

Its been on Kerz's (the site owner/admin) to do list for over two years but someday he will make the changes necessary so that all users can edit articles without having to sign up for an account. Some of the trade offs we make today won't work so well when that happens. Is there anything we can do to minimize problems without discouraging new editors that will help us be ready for that?

I read the MediaWiki article on modifying user rights. Other than Kerz almost everybody is either a user or a Sysop but one possibility would be to have Kerz restrict what the user group could do and create another group (meant for experienced editors that read the rules) that lets them do what everybody can currently do. If we want to use that type of approach to solve the problems that will occur when every registered forum user automatically gets a knowledge base account it would be a good idea to implement it beforehand, when its easier to learn from any mistakes.

I noticed the article listed a autoconfirmed group (registered accounts at least as old as $wgAutoConfirmAge and having at least as many edits as $wgAutoConfirmCount) that might be a useful way to automatically add people to an experienced editor group. I haven't figured out yet whether or not we have that group yet, Special:Specialpages doesn't list anything about groups.

However, you could also argue that if Kerz doesn't install the new software for several more years all it would do is make things difficult for new editors that want to write an article (have to jump though yet another hoop).

Opinions? Tanstaafl 23:29, 5 August 2009 (UTC)