User talk:Peter

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Nurse Nayirah

Just wanted to say thanks for linking to the wiki page which I had expanded. Good luck with WikiSpooks...seems like an amusing project.Small 01:15, 20 July 2011 (IST)

Thanks for heads up Small. Comments, observations, input/authorship even, from Wikipedia-savvy people always welcome. We do not seek confrontation but we KNOW the site rationale stands scrutiny. --Peter P 11:37, 21 July 2011 (IST)

Critically important info missing from Finders Keepers article

Customs agents links with right-wing extremists

Some very important and highly relevant information is missing from McGowan's article.

The basis of the article is a series of US Customs reports written by ss/a Ramon J Martinez. These reports describe investigations into a group known as The Finders, carried out primarily by Martinez and ss/a Bob Harrold.

These reports are the only 'official' documents in which an original investigator, (ss/a Martinez), claims to have been told; "...the investigation into the activity of the Finders had become a CIA internal matter. The MPD report has been classified SECRET and was not available for review. I was advised that the FBI had withdrawn from the investigation several weeks prior and that the FBI Foreign Counter Intelligence Division had directed MPD not to advise the FBI Washington Field Office of anything that had transpired". Martinez does not name the person whom he claims to have told him this. Martinez was to have met with the primary investigator from the MPD, Detective Bradley, but says "he was no available". Martinez describes the source of this info only as "a third party" i.e., someone who was not personally involved in the investigation.

Ramon J Martinez was at one time the best friend of Patriot militia zealot Mark Koernke.,9171,134327,00.html

"Koernke did manage to attract a few friends. One of these was Ramon Martinez, then an upperclassman and now with the U.S. Customs Service in Washington. "The majority opinion was that he was nuts to have around," Martinez says now. "But I saw it differently. I saw a guy with his own way of doing things." Martinez enjoyed Koernke's intellect, his ability to talk at length about history or classical music". "Koernke first came to most Americans' attention when it was reported that he was wanted for questioning in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing. That turned out to be misleading. Stories that he had faxed an announcement of the bombing to a Congressman before it occurred, and that Timothy McVeigh once acted as his bodyguard, died on the vine; the fbi confirmed that he was not a suspect. In fact, say observers, Koernke's influence on the radical right, while less tangible, is more pervasive. The militia movement prides itself on being "unorganized," spontaneous and unburdened by a national structure. Yet it does have opinion leaders, and Koernke is one of the most vocal".

Mark Koernke was an associate of Patriot militia zealot and habitual satanic panic promoter Ted Gunderson. They did far-right conference presentations together.

"Koernke was one of several anti-government speakers scheduled to address the five-hour "taking our country back" conference at the Palm Springs Hilton resort. In all, organizers said, more than 600 people attended at $12 a ticket, with about 200 watching on closed-circuit TV in a separate room because no space was left in the ballroom" "Among the speakers who appeared before Koernke was scheduled to take the podium was Ted L. Gunderson, a former FBI agent and self-proclaimed satanic expert, who told the crowd that the government is using last month's bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City to "arouse the American public . . . to further erode our liberties and destroy constitutional rights."

For many years, Ted Gunderson was the most ardent evangelist for Martinez' Customs report and sold copies of his commentary to it, linking the CIA to satanic child abuse and mind control generated multiple personality disorder.

In 1994, Martinez received official reprimand for intentionally causing a person under investigation to become aware of that investigation.

"By letter dated December 7, 1994, Customs informed Martinez that it proposed to remove him from his position because he had improperly disclosed case information to a close co-worker of an individual under investigation, knowing that the information would be disclosed to the individual. On July 5, 1995, however, the agency mitigated Martinez’s penalty, by reducing it from a removal to a five- day suspension without pay and reassignment to the position of Physical Security Specialist, GS-080-13, in the Security Programs Division".

ss/a Robert "Bob" Harrold is openly a Patriot zealot, no different than Koernke or Gunderson.

"Posted by Robert Harrold at Thursday, April 22, 2010" "ROBERT (BOB) HARROLD II 1704 Lotus Lane El Centro, CA 92243 Folks stationed at RAF Bentwaters; lived in Woodbridge, Felixstowe, RAF Woodbridge between 1956 and 1959. Dad transferred to Bunker Hill AFB, Indiana, in 1959. I graduated Bunker Hill HS in 1960. Dad then transferred to Barksdale AFB, Shreveport, LA, in 1960; I enlisted in the Air Force and spent 4 years, 1960-64. Attended Louisiana Tech College, 1964-70. U.S. Customs Investigations, Special Agent, from 1970-93, in New Orleans, LA; U.S. Virgin Islands; Jacksonville, FL; SSA, HQ Customs, Washington DC, D.C. Field Office, Herndon/Reston, VA; Resident Agent-in-Charge USCS Internal Affairs, Calexico. Retired in 1993 and became a manager of a local PC sales/repair store, Calexico, CA. 1993-95: Self-employed/PC Service/Repair. 1995-98: Network Administrator Contract w/Immigrations. 1998-2000: Vocational teacher/PC repair-basic web pages, getting teacher’s credentials and PC tech with local school system. Hobbies: Designing web pages, reading, target/pistol shooting, beer tasting…" --Fantasypopper 03:13, 23 August 2011 (IST)

Backup size!

What happened to the backup size? 5GB is a lot! Robin (talk) 17:18, 15 December 2013 (GMT)

Oops. I'm ultra-cautious with major software upgrades. Generally install to a new directory then copy the images and extension directories, leaving the ALL the old stuff in place - just in case - 'till all apears to be OK. The old ones from the last couple of upgrades to both SMW and MW are still there and not specifically excluded from backups. I'll delete then so the size should reduce to well below 3 Gb next time w/e. --Peter P (talk) 17:33, 15 December 2013 (GMT)

SMW Robin (talk) 09:35, 17 December 2013 (GMT)


Missing images

Hi Peter P, some images have disappeared and been replaced by this type of message on for example Rössing Uranium Mine:

"Error creating thumbnail: convert: no decode delegate for this image format `/tmp/magick-XX5lHdYB' @ constitute.c/ReadImage/503. convert: missing an image filename `/tmp/transform_ac83a9276dd5-1.jpg' @ convert.c/ConvertImageCommand/2800."

Is there something I can do to fix the problem?--Patrick Haseldine (talk) 14:46, 16 January 2014 (GMT)

Hi Patrick. It's an internal image manipulation issue. Nothing you can do. I'll get around to installing/tweeking whatever is required to fix it. Just the sort of thing that needs reporting too. Thanks --Peter P (talk) 15:44, 16 January 2014 (GMT)
That's fixed the Rössing Uranium Mine image, thanks Peter P. Now it's Dag Hammarskjöld. Has the problem something to do with the umlaut over the 'o' (ö), I wonder?--Patrick Haseldine (talk) 21:57, 16 January 2014 (GMT)
It might be. Having successfully uploaded a duplicate with a different name and no umlaut, I've established that is NOT a strange subset of the .jpg format. But testing also uncovered two other hidden problems (directory permissions and file upload settings) - both now fixed so I'm still not sure. I'll get to the bottom of it tomorrow --Peter P (talk) 22:16, 16 January 2014 (GMT)
Umlauts removed from images on the Dag Hammarskjöld and Pentti Väänänen‎ pages: problem solved!--Patrick Haseldine (talk) 17:25, 17 January 2014 (GMT)

plans to standardise template parameters

Just to let you know that I'm planning to standardise the Object Templates having gotten tired of |start for some and |Start for others. Although it should all end up under the hood (i.e. Form:) as far as most people are concerned, I can't abide such messiness and so the sooner the better for standardisation. I shall probably be hitting the Special:ReplaceText in a day or so, probably replacing |Start with |start (and all the others from the Book, Document, Website templates) though it's a close call. FWIW, it would be slightly more convenient if the items were in separate namespaces (because of how the ReplaceText GUI works) but I haven't foreseen any real problems as is. Most of the templates will be broken for a while, but unless the server is busy with other stuff, I shouldn't think it'll take long. Robin (talk) 14:13, 22 January 2014 (GMT)

That's OK Robin. Also, see my message at Form talk:Document --Peter P (talk) 14:22, 22 January 2014 (GMT)

Special:ReplaceText broken?

I've tried to replace "|comment" with "|description" more than once over the last few days for all the files in the Property: namespace but it hasn't happened. No error message reports, it just doesn't do it. Any ideas? Robin (talk) 06:41, 31 January 2014 (GMT)

Sorry. No ideas beyond isolating the problem. I've updated to the latest stable version to start. Does it manifest in other NS's or just 'Property:' --Peter P (talk) 07:32, 31 January 2014 (GMT)
A thought - It's just possible that the "|" character is problematic. It is a one of just a few special characters when using Regex searches, But I would have thought some kind of error message - or pre-execution warning would be given. --Peter P (talk) 10:26, 31 January 2014 (GMT)

Attribution question?

Forgive me if this was covered in the FAQ or another guideline and I missed it -- what do you recommend we do to honor the rights wikipedia contributors continue to hold to have their intellectual contributions honored, when a wikipedia article is ported here? Geo Swan (talk) 17:41, 14 February 2014 (GMT)

Use Template:PageCredit or Template:WikipediaOrigin. The latter is probably best for Wikipedia but either will do. Usually put close to the bottom --Peter P (talk) 18:35, 14 February 2014 (GMT)
  • I am not going to so much or a purist here that I try to tell other contributors how to attribute. There is a wrinkle to consider when using a controversial wikipedia article that is about to be deleted as a basis for an article here -- if the wikipedia article is deleted, then no one can look to the contribution history there to honor the wikipedia contributors right to attribution. That other small wiki I mentioned has a button that could be labelled fetch wikipedia article. When it fetches it, and puts it in a sandbox, it records a snapshot of the contribution history on the talk page (Here is anexmple.). It is a very handy feature. I tried to emulate the process manually, when the article I was porting had already been deleted, and I was using a userified version. The handy feature there only copies articles in article space, and does not copy from Template: namespace, File: namespace, User: namespace, or Category: namespace space. After screen-scraping the contribution history requires an reformatting edit per entry in contribution history to look right.
I think I am going to make sure I record a complete list of the off-site contributors, when I port articles.
Did I read that, like the Citizendium articles here can have additional subpages beyond talk? If that is the case maybe there could be a subpage just for recording a list of contributors from wikipedia, or from where-ever the base of the article was ported from? Geo Swan (talk) 23:08, 14 February 2014 (GMT)
See WikiSpooks talk:Importing From Wikipedia --Peter P (talk) 07:29, 16 February 2014 (GMT)

SMW Video display

I finally got round to the "template" output format, which was the tool for the job for dynamic picking up of templates. Some proof of concept code grew into an almost working system, which you can see from Test and the related subpages (plus also Template:MainPageVideo2‎). In brief:

  • Having multiple videos living one page is a mess as far as SMW is concerned, so ...
  • SMW forced me into good coding habits again - one video, one page, one unique page title to keep things clear
  • these can then be sythesised into a single page by an #ask statement, in the same way that the mainpage is built

The advantages are that (like timeline events), this is pushing content away from being tailored for specific ends, and towards a generic format which can be mixed and matched anyway which way, and will need no specific maintenance.

There are a few minor points such as links to video archive etc. which you should be able to tailor as required.

  • Protection needs to be at least thought about, but unless this becomes an issue I'd be inclined not be too concerned on this - so few editors anyway.
  • The biggest drawback is the inability to have links in descriptions. I'm pretty sure there is a PHP variable which can be changed to permit this. Might also be get roundable with some fancy template coding, but this feels like the wrong way to do it.
  • Currently, I've left the mainpage and archive as they are.

To move forward with this, the first thing I would recommend would be to date the videos and give them unique pages. Then build a suitable SMW query for each archive section - i.e. "/archive" "/archive/2014/11" ... there's no reason why if couldn't be more complex in future, but no hurry on ththen replace existing score. I recommend just tidying up the existing stuff for now.

I understand that this may seem like more work for little cosmetic gain (actually, until the links in descriptions issue gets fixed, a net loss). However, it can be seen as part of the larger project of fixing a format for audio/video material that is compatible with Template:Document - so that videos etc. appear as per normal in SMWDocs, on the coverpage list of documents etc. i.e. Build a stable platform on which to build more fancy stuff later, one which takes minimal effort to maintain/update, will probably be a good move in the long term. Robin (talk) 18:33, 3 September 2014 (IST)

Give me a day or two to have a good look.Meanwhile none of the archive or front page videos are working. Revert until fixed? --Peter P (talk) 20:56, 3 September 2014 (IST)
I don't like leaving broken high traffic pages - Main Page is always near the top - so I have reverted the MainPageVideo template changes. Latest code is saved in new page Template:Test/MainPageVideo. I agree the thrust of what is proposed but am immersed in Maps and content right now. Same with the timeline events. I've thought about that a lot. Even got well on the way with a half-way house re-write myself before abandoning it. The biggest problem was being able to retain a link back to the particular timeline page being worked on. I feel quite strongly that we should avoid breaking what already works whilst developing. I know that neither the FP videos nor timelines are optimal in their implementation but. they DO work and are attracting quite a lot of attention. So best to develop and debug, AFAP, alternative implementations of both, then roll-out --Peter P (talk) 06:36, 4 September 2014 (IST)
Also worth bearing in mind: The videos are only links to external content, whereas the main page pics are hosted content. From the point of view of ease of changing the main page, I would prefer to avoid having to edit it every time. I have considered a separate template to handle the editing with the main page simply calling it (like Main-Banner and Main-Header) but have stumbled on how best to then include the content in the archive pages without making an already tricky process even trickier - FWIW --Peter P (talk) 06:44, 4 September 2014 (IST)

SMWing videos

I see you're splitting up the videos, one per page. Seems like a good move. I've just given Template:Video an upgrade. The may one day be merged with Template:Document, but no hurry on that - for now, adding the normal parameters such as subjects would be a step in the right direction. The difference between hosted content and remote content is important operationally, but not as far as metadata.

I envision monthly archive pages as being no more complex than a single template call. This could look at its title e.g. "Archives/2014/07" and build a search query from that, then display the results. So readers would see more or less what they always used to, e.g. a list of videos from that month, but with only a line of code behind it. Another template could be written to create annual archives, if required. Of course, they can only displaying the SMW data associated with each separate video - explaining my adding of SMW parameters sooner rather than later. I haven't published any videos and don't have much spare bandwidth, so have only added the most obvious parameters - there may well be others that would work well. Robin (talk) 12:13, 6 September 2014 (IST)

I've done a revised archive Main Page/Videos using a single SMW query. It displays 10 video pages just now with a footer link to view more (standard SMW query behaviour IOW). Also updated the Main page video so no editing now needed to display a new one - Yippee! It all seems to work OK so I'll delete those old archive pages. I've made the template assign each page to a new category to facilitate displaying 'edit with form' - also done a rough and ready form which I used to add the pages. I too thought about other Property params whilst in the middle of creating the pages - Subject - is probably the most urgent right now so I'll add that to the template and edit the most obvious video pages to include it. I've also put a link to the form below each video; it makes adding serial videos that much easier. I'll get on and do something similar for the Main Page Pics too. Good stuff with the decode links BTW - I'd simply never get around to doing something like that. It does show as gobbledegook in the factbox but I'm not too bothered about that and think we should consider hiding the factbox by default anyway. Additional selection options for the archived videos can be considered as-and-when. It is now about 1 minutes work to add a new video whereas before it was 3-4 minutes plus another 20 mins every month for the new page - make-work I think its called --Peter P (talk) 12:34, 6 September 2014 (IST)

Link coding limitation

As I partly suspected, |subtext was not the core of the problem. If I read it right, it is a weakness in the link encoding system. It can probably be fixed to support "|" later, but for now, it only supports [[...]] and [...] links. So no [[ ... | ... ]] links at the moment. Subject to that limitation, I think it's working as documented. Robin (talk) 09:36, 13 September 2014 (IST)

That's fine Robin. Thanks. I was tearing my hair out with it. I intend to put up a page with a list of available forms for data entry and to link to it from (probably) the 'Contributors panel at the top of the Main Page. Disciplined use of forms and their associated templates makes for much better assignment of properties - especially for new users. Any input on that idea before a start welcome --Peter P (talk) 10:10, 13 September 2014 (IST)


The "|subgroups" parameter is strictly for groups within groups, or groups controlled by groups - why is why I just undid your revision. As to why United Nations/Security Council/Vetoes didn't show up as a subpage in the infobox of United Nations/Security Council, well that's a good question. I'm on the case. Robin (talk) 13:29, 29 September 2014 (IST) Sorted!


I have been experiencing complex Email issues for some time now. As part of my researches, today I noticed that Wikispooks reportedly also has email issues. See for example here or here. I'm not sure how serious this is, or whether de-listing is possible/worth the trouble. Robin (talk) 10:47, 8 October 2014 (IST)

Those problem-reporting links are a function of my registering for testing purposes when trying to get the Dovecot IMAP server working a few months ago. I gave up on it in the end. The SMTP server works fine though and I have it redirecting mail for to (ie a different hosted account). I can do the same for you if you like. However, I'll have another go at getting the Dovecot server working; also a webmail client (Squirrelmail or similar) so that we can confine email to a server over which we have full control. I got your test email and replied to it a couple of hours ago --Peter P (talk) 11:26, 8 October 2014 (IST)


Nice one. I'll keep you posted by email --Peter P (talk) 09:05, 25 September 2015 (IST)