HTTPS now easier on WikiFur, Flayrah & Yerf

Remember when we added HTTPS support a year and a bit ago? It turned out to be a little too complicated for most people to get running.

Now we've simplified with the help of free certificates from StartSSL. These cover the English and Russian WikiFur, as well as Flayrah and the Yerf Historical Archive.

If any other language projects wish to enable secure access, they are welcome to request it; I didn't want to use our supporters' hard-earned money on getting a certificate for *, but individual domains can be added.

GoDaddy DNS issues and workaround

A recent DNS outage at GoDaddy may cause and to be inaccessible because your browser cannot turn the name into an address.

We have these names set to be cached for a week to avoid precisely this kind of situation, and expect GoDaddy to be back up before long - however, if you find this issue affects you, you can place the following lines temporarily in your hosts file (or equivalent) to restore service:

Be sure not to keep them in there beyond the outage, as our IP address may change.

P.S. The DNS outage also took down - not because it doesn't resolve, but because it is over its bandwidth limit.

What's a furry convention? Google knows . . .

Looks like Google has figured out all the best furry conventions:

Furry convention top refererences

It's cool that it's drawing from our pages to help users narrow down their searches, as well as Wikipedia and the Open Directory's furry conventions category (maintained by WikiFur curator EarthFurst). Even better, we're typically the second or third results.

Still, I have to wonder what's next - will their vans turn up for the fursuit parades?

P.S. Check out WikiFur's furry convention map - newly updated! (Yes, you can edit it.)
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    amused amused

WikiProject Furry needs your help!

Remember Wikipedia? Yeah, there's life outside WikiFur, and WikiProject Furry has been set up to maintain the roughly 100 articles about furry-related topics on the Big Wiki.

However, the project has recently fallen quiet - and as usual, the ravages of Deletionism threaten what has been built over many years. The list of furry conventions has already suffered severe loss from a lack of sources, and articles on recognized furry comics like Endtown and Jack face demotion or deletion if they are not improved. There are likely many new topics which could also be covered there, if proper material can be found and organized.

Please take the time to drop by and help ensure that furry topics remain covered - and, if articles cannot be saved, consider merging them into WikiFur, being sure to add the {{Wikipedia}} tag to give credit. (We might consider doing this anyway - after all, if Wikipedia has better coverage of furry topics, we have some explaining to do!)
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    busy busy

PHP 5.4 upgrade (finally) complete; performance++

My apologies to users for the two hours of downtime tonight! While upgrading the server to PHP 5.4 (a new version of the software which powers MediaWiki), a configuration error caused the central script processor to be left at 5.3. This didn't work so well when the database access modules had been upgraded . . .

Page rendering should now be much faster (~15%). Memory usage has also decreased dramatically (~70Mb vs. 120Mb after a clean start).

In the next month or so, we'll be rolling out MediaWiki 1.19 (which brings the benefits of 1.18; we are currently on 1.17.4).

A reminder for those going to Califur: the UMA awards ceremony is at 4PM on Saturday. I expect a strong turnout of WikiFur supporters!
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    exhausted exhausted

WikiFur nominated for Ursa Major Award - vote today!

The Ursa Major Award nominees are out, and WikiFur is on the ballot (along with our news partner Flayrah, formerly WikiFur News).

In six years, nobody has even attempted to challenge our position as the fandom's reference work, and I think this is a good measure of how well we fulfill that role. No other site has done more to get accurate information about furries out there. Every day we serve over 7,000 unique visitors to our English edition alone (and another ~2,000 in other languages), and our editors manage an average of 100 edits. We've reached out to furs across the world, creating editions in 20 languages, bringing together editors from all segments of the fandom. Flayrah has likewise been successful in the two years since its renewal.

If you think this deserves recognition, now's the time to vote! All furry fans may vote, regardless of involvement in the nomination phase.
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    hopeful hopeful

Filters upgraded to combat recent wiki-spam innovations

Those of you watching WikiFur's recent changes this week may have noticed an influx of spam. There's a new program out which automates spamming to an unprecedented level. We currently get about one attempt to spam every minute, and I only expect this rate to increase.

It will always be possible to post spam if you are determined enough; however, I have enhanced our filters to ensure that the level of spam remains manageable. Editors are welcome to join us in #wikifur-edits to monitor recent changes.
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    geeky geeky

Scholarships available for Recent Changes Camp 2012 in Canberra

Do you edit from a land down under - or somewhere nearby? Are you interested in connecting with and learning from other editors? Why not visit Recent Changes Camp 2012, to be held January 20-22 by the University of Canberra!

Travel scholarships may be available for qualified participants, but time is short; if you are considering applying, please do so as soon as possible - ideally within 24 hours. (WikiFur editors in good standing, feel free to quote me as a reference.)