ChoralWiki:Operation and implementation issues

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Operation and implementation issues

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Announcements and special topics (most recent first)

Contact with Rafael Ornes


Rafael Ornes, founder and manager of CPDL since its inception has recently replied to an e-mail which I sent earlier today (cc also to Robert Nottingham, Carlos Augusto Mourão, and John Henry Fowler, all of us sysops/admins at CPDL). In addition, Raf and I had a very cordial and informative telephone conversation about an hour and a half ago, in which he told me that he had sent the e-mail reply to me and the above admins, as well as expanding upon some of the information in the e-mail.

The main thrust of his message is that he has been considering turning over all elements of CPDL for many months, having become too inundated by work and family obligations to manage CPDL properly. The backlog for him has grown to the point that he was been unable to do much more than reply to some direct support emails and do absolutely required backups and mainenance.

This has been a very trying realization for Raf to arrive at, and, after almost 10 years of managing CPDL, he feels a deep sorrow over having to let it go.

Raf is giving Carlos and me the necessary login/access information for the CPDL webserver. He commends the active group of admins for working together extremely well. He has offered to help us out and is glad not to have the great pressure overseeing such a large and vital endeavor as CPDL. In our conversation by phone, Raf suggested that we might consider forming some sort of managing committee to do the many things necessary to address current needs of CPDL, such as upgrading the MediaWiki software and extensions, as well as managing the MySQL database directly. I wish to consult with all admins (at least the active ones) as soon as possible, so that we might quickly come to agreement on how best to do all this. We will do everything possible to maintain CPDL, enhance it, and preserve the legacy that Rafael has given to choral musicians through CPDL.

I know many of you will be variously affected by this news. Personally, although I am relieved that we have some guidance and direction in which to proceed, it is with a deep sense of compassion, appreciation, and respect for my friend Raf that I am also saddened by his needing to step back. My best wishes and prayers are with him and his family.

  • Posted by: Choralia 16:02, 24 July 2008 (PDT)

I think these news are very positive for CPDL, even though it's sad that Raf needs to step back. You sysops/admins can count on me as an IT professional as well as to contribute to the budget that may be required to run the operations of CPDL.

As a sign of appreciation for everything Raf did for CPDL, I would propose to highlight his name in the home page, e.g. by adding a "Founder: Rafael Ornes" on the top of the page, or something like that.


  • Posted by: Vaarky 21:41, 26 July 2008 (PDT)

Great idea! I've found myself mentioning CPDL and the Internet alongside penicillin when commenting that it's a great time to be alive. Although it's unfortunate that Rafael doesn't have time to remain actively involved, having some definiteness around his role may help pave the way for other admins to move projects along that were on hold.

Worth updating ChoralWiki:Contact_CPDL with updated phone or e-mail contact info. I flagged it for Cleanup but I'm not sure if someone reads each one or if it waits for volunteers to go through it when they have time--apologies if ths is redundant.

Use of this forum


This forum is for more techincal discussions of ChoralWiki implementation and operation at CPDL, primarily of interest to admins and others doing editing of pages at CPDL. Some topics of a more technical nature or involving CPDL policy from CPDL support, help, and feedback will be moved here.

General topics (most recent first)

Proposal to eliminate file sizes from works pages


Putting in the file size of PDF, MIDI and Source files represents a lot of additional time and bother. Only when the file size is over 100 meg is it really helpful to the user. Bob has suggested that we omit this information, and has started removing the "200 Kb." estimates on my recent postings, which means I can't search and replace this information in the future. I therefore will be omitting file sizes in future postings. This will make Bobs editing job easier, and eliminate the need to update the estimates to real file sizes in the future.

  • Posted by: —Carlos mail_icon.gif 15:26, 23 July 2008 (PDT)

In general I agree with you, John, file size is no longer a very useful information nowadays when everybody has broadband. I think that leaving just page format (A4/Letter) and number of pages will suffice. donations address still valid?

  • Posted by: Vaarky 17:58, 22 July 2008 (PDT)

I mailed a check in April. The post office returned it to me with a yellow label over it saying "Return to Sender, not deliverable as addressed, unable to forward."

The address matches. Has the address changed? Should I resend?


Hi Vaarky. Thank you very much for your generosity and desire to donate to CPDL. Unfortunately, Raf Ornes is currently not involved in the project except when he is absolutely required to be (eg. the crash last year). If you want to get in touch, I suggest you email him, but don't hold out for a reply as he seems to have no time even to reply to emails these days. I have commented out the address on the ChoralWiki:Site support page for the moment, until Raf updates us with a new address. Again, thanks for your donation and I'm sorry that we can't accept it at this time.


Does this problem above signal the end of CPDL as we know it some time in the future ? Is anyone else concerned? It seems we are busy with arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Can't we fix the Bulletin Board system, the "Add Score" script, update the Wiki software, and now we can't accept contributions ? Our work on CPDL is just a crashed disk away from total destruction if no one is steering the ship...

  • Posted by: Choralia 05:47, 23 July 2008 (PDT)

I had the same experience, with my check returned, and I'm very worried about the future of CPDL. An action is in progress by a couple of CPDL administrators to get in touch with Raf. If this attempt does not succeed, I think we should contact the administrator of the server farm where CPDL is hosted, and ascertain that back-ups are regularly made, and somebody can restore them in the case of need. My phpBB3 back-up bulletin board is always available for whoever wants to use it, and it may act as a contact point for our admins should CPDL collapse (that will make this wiki version collapse as well.

  • Posted by: ?Carlos mail_icon.gif 15:01, 23 July 2008 (PDT)

As Choralia said, an attempt was made to contact Raf Ornes 9 days ago, during the spambot attacks (more about it below, under "Administrative remedies ... "). We emailed Raf through 3 different email accounts (CPDL's, personal Gmail and even his Church email) and still no reply. He seems to have shifted his priorities towards other projects lately, and I'm trying to figure out what exactly this will mean for the future of CPDL.

  • Posted by: Vaarky 15:33, 23 July 2008 (PDT)

I did e-mail Rafael back then but got no reply.

FWIW, I think the biggest priority (in addition to reaching him) would be to take a snapshot of CPDL and, ideally, the external score pages that are linked by it too (and then set up periodic updates to the back-ups to stay current).

My husband (I can provide further details in e-mail) is willing to take this on if the admins can provide:
1. consent (required);
2. a sense of the total size (ideally) and what rate of download would avoid causing problems;
3. guidance where possible to avoid reinventing the wheel (he's used MediaWiki but not administered it on a server);
4. a login on the server if that improves things.

Additionally, I'm willing to put up funds to underwrite a different hosting solution if needed (up to the low 4-digits $US per year for at least 5 years) if I can't talk an ISP I know into sponsoring hosting it on their site (they've sponsored projects I've been involved with in the past--I can provide details via e-mail about the ISP as well.

Please drop me a note if you'd like to discuss my husband's info/credentials or the ISP. I just don't want those aspects Googleable if I can avoid it.

Request for extension to Template:Editor


I've just been updating O magnum mysterium (Tomás Luis de Victoria) with the names of the editors from Mutopia (see who have edited this work. Unfortunately, the Editor template cannot take more than one editor in its current state. Would it be possible for someone to extend it in the same manner as Template:Language? I would but it takes me a while to get my head round template code and I know other people are better at it :-)


It's done, Rob! Check the new syntaxes on the template page: Template:Editor. I already applied it to O magnum mysterium as a test.


Thanks a lot, Carlos. That's a great help.

LilyPond icons


I came across this page whilst doing some spam reverting and noticed a few LilyPond icons (Icon_ly.gif) in place of the usual text "LilyPond". What do people think about adopting this icon universally and adding it to the Legend? I've just created Template:extly which outputs an icon with the globe (Icon_ly_ext.png) for LilyPond files hosted externally. I figure, the more icons and less text on score and composer pages, the better.


Hi Rob, I never thought about this before, might be a good idea. The icons for the PDF and MIDI files are quite obvious and universally recognized. I just wonder if people visiting score pages won't be a bit confused at first with icons they don't know yet (I suppose we'd adopt icons for the other sources too, as Sibelius, Encore etc.?), but as soon as they look at the Legend everything would be clear. The ideal would be if we could make the tooltip (that appears when we drag the mouse over the icons) show the program name instead of the link that it shows now.

Administrative remedies to mitigate current (July 08) spam storm?

  • Posted by: Kkroon 20:42, 11 July 2008 (PDT)

An observation that struck me as I was looking through the Recent Changes for pages that needed to be reverted: all of the perps appear to have ten-character usernames, the first and sixth characters of which are capitalized.

Is there any way to use this information to disallow (for example) the creation of userIDs with that format (for the time being)?

Signed, An occasional volunteer who's been annoyed with these spates of Wikispam ever since they started.

Kkroon 20:42, 11 July 2008 (PDT)


Unfortunately, there is no such mechanism for disallowing the creation of UserIDs with a particular format. It is indeed a bothersome situation for all of us, especially admins who try their best to keep up with reverting the spambot edits and blocking] the offenders. When (and if) we ever get a new version of the wiki software, it is hoped that it will come equipped with visual confirmation requirements (such as Capcha) that would prevent a bot from being able to register. In the meantime, thank you very much for your concern and also especially for your help in reverting the spam edits.

  • Posted by: Kurtis 23:42, 13 July 2008 (PDT)

And none of these admins (except maybe Mr. Ornes) can install an extension like ?

Sure, it would cause some administrative overhead -- confirming or declining an account application. Maybe it would help ... but what do I know?

Kkroon 16:37, 13 July 2008 (PDT)


Some other suggestions to implement, in case any of the admins can reach and edit LocalSettings.php: Preventing access and Usercan Hook. With these we could restrict a bit the attacks to fewer pages, by protecting entire namespaces as User:, Category:, ChoralWiki: and Template:.


Unfortunately, only Raf Ornes (User:Admin) has direct access to the database and other system files, hence none of the rest of us admins is able to access and edit LocalSettings.php or install MediaWiki extensions.


Chuck, what if we all wrote to Raf asking him to do something, or at least to grant one of us permission to do it in his place? If he keeps silent even after being warned, then I guess I'll start having big concerns about the future of this project and the time and effort we all put into it.


I'd definitely like to see some Capcha style protection on this wiki so if you've got the time, please go ahead and make your request to Raf, Carlos. It may be prudent to suggest to Raf that you're not expecting instant action, but a short reply which details when he may get the chance to update the wiki software and add the Capcha addon. I'm sure we'd all be please to hear of any reply you get. I'll probably send an email to Raf soon and then write to him every week till I get a reply...


I'll do that, Rob! But I believe the more people write him, the more he'll feel the urge. Should I use the email at his user page or do you know of any personal email he checks more often? Thanks.

  • Posted by: --Choralia 06:16, 15 July 2008 (PDT)

Carlos & Rob, as we discussed via private email in the past, I'm also rather concerned about the future of this project. Please let me know if you want me to also write to Raf. If you don't get any response from Raf, I think we should contact the administrators of the server farm where CPDL is hosted, and find some workaround to preserve CPDL as a significant music asset that cannot be lost. Apparently, the hosting server is ccarh-www-2.Stanford.EDU (IP address, at the Stanford University. Let's consider this as a back-up solution in the case you cannot get in touch with Raf. Regards. Max


Has anyone tried calling Raf at his church? If something has happened to him, they would likely know. His number as published on the church website is (650) 851-8282 x106. I glanced through the church news, but didn't see any mention of him being indisposed or away. I'd be surprised, though, if he was willing to let CPDL fall into disrepair, and clearly the spambot thing is a major problem.

Category:New works added to Template:NewWorks


Some of you have noticed that I modified Template:NewWork so that it, in addition to adding a category of the form yyyy-mm-dd (used by Template:LatestScores and the ChoralWiki:yyyy-mm-dd_Scores pages to provide listings of new editions posted), the template now also places a page in Category:New works, sorted by the posting date passed to the template. This latest feature should make it easy for us to remove "stale" instances of the NewWork template. I have tentatively stated that instances which are more than two years old can be safely removed. Currently there are somewhat over 500 instances of NewWork being applied to editions which are more than two years old. I see that Rob has begun removing such templates, and I shall do more of the same in coming days/weeks (holidays and other things have intervened for my getting much of a start).

My choice of two years was a bit arbitrary (mainly because I was not wanting to offend anyone). If hindsight and the holiday weekend provide any retrospect, it might be that two years could be further reduced, say, to one year. But I'm posting this here to get feedback.

If anyone wants to help pruning the stale instances of NewWork, just New works, click on a page near the top of the list, find the stale template and remove it. It would further help CPDL if you check through any such page for errors, corrections, and any other improvements, such as formatting and proper application (ie. read the instructions) of such templates as Edtions, Composer, Voicing, Language, etc.)


Hi Chuck! To be honest, I don't see much sense in adding to a page something that we know that will have to be removed anytime later. I'd like to recommend a change in the way this template works, adding a bit of "intelligence" to it: we could make it compare the entered date with {{CURRENTYEAR}}, {{CURRENTMONTH}} and {{CURRENTDAY}} and dependind on the results, make it show or not the "NEW" icon on the score page, besides including or not the page in "New work" categories. We'd only have to change the template to also accept the format {{NewWork|yyyy|mm|dd}}, and adding the logic would be quite easy (I can help with that). The best of the worlds would be if we could deal with the date strings in use now ("yyyy-mm-dd"), so that we wouldn't have to remove or edit the stale instances, but I couldn't find on Wikipedia any function that breaks a string in smaller parts :(( Do you know of any?


Hi Carlos. Unfortunately, we don't have the MediaWiki ParserFunctions and StringFunctions. The Template:Switch is a template kludge for the MediaWiki #switch, and I don't see any easy way to kludge other such functions. Without these, it would be next to impossible to implement the scheme you suggest (which we have thought about and wished for before!).


Edit: The follow post is obsolete, the Template:NW having been deleted.

I have created a new Template:NW which is an extension of Template:NewWork which (if it replaces the latter) is backwardly compatible with the latter and which (at least, down the road a year or two) could prove useful somewhat in the way that Carlos suggested above ... albeit it is more primitive than we would like (since we don't have MediaWiki ParserFunctions and StringFunctions here).

I have taken the liberty of replacing {{NewWork|2006-02-19}} in Uno spirto celeste (Giovanni Maria Nanino) with {{NW|2006-02-19|2006}}, so that you can see the result - namely, that the "new" icon does not appear, and the categories 2006-02-19 and New works don't appear either.

On Mein gläubiges Herze (Johann Sebastian Bach) I've replaced {{NewWork|2008-07-08}} with {{NW|2008-07-08|2008}} - and the "new" icon does indeed appear along with the categories 2008-07-08, New works, and a new category 2008.

If NW is used exactly like the present NewWork template (ie. with only the one date parameter in the form yyyy-mm-dd), then NW functions exacly the same way as NewWork does. The idea behind the functioning of NW with its second year (yyyy) parameter is that if the year given (eg. 2006) is two or more years older than the present year, then the template does nothing, as in the Nanino example above. As presently configured, the two year trick has to be updated annually (by adding another |case: yyyy= field. At present the only such field is |case: 2006= (since there are no instances of the NewWork template prior to 2006).

When and if we ever get the MediaWiki update required, the template can be changed to do everything automatically and precisely, but in the meantime, it might be a good idea to change NewWork over to an extension which looks something like NW does. If people approve, I'll probably go ahead and make such a change, although I'll probably have the template not add a Category:yyyy (since it is not really needed).

Your comments are encouraged!


That looks good to me, Chuck. Thanks for your work. Would it be possible to make the deciding factor for the template a little more accurate, ie. make it dependant on not just the year but also the month and day?


Sorry Chuck, I hadn't seen your last message here about the NW template (these bot edits made your reply slip through) when I wrote to you in your talk page. Feel free to move that talk here if you want so. I made that test unaware that you had already offered another solution here, sorry if it looked like I was competing with you, I thought you were still making tests, just as me.


No problem, Carlos. Indeed, my thoughts now favor (at least until we can get the right WikiMedia update) your solution using Template:IsNew. Even though it will require more frequent mainenance, it does offer the finer dependence upon yyyy-mm-dd that Rob asked about above.

I think the biggest question now is just how long do we want the "new" icon to remain on an edition - 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, or what? The current setting for 12 months seems alright enough for me.


Perhaps we could opt for a trade-off between IsNew accuracy and its maintenance frequency: everytime a maintenance is done, IsNew would be set to test for 12 months behind and 6 months ahead. In the following six months, IsNew time range would grow from 12 to 18 months, until a new maintenance is done again. Another option is to set it to already test dates 2 years ahead from now, and every couple of months we'd only have to delete the trailing block of older dates (though I'm not sure whether the extra 365 x2 test entries would affect its performance). In order to make maintenance even simpler, I treated all months as having 31 days, since it doesn't affect IsNew results.

Testing a new set of Link templates


Hi, I know it may sound a bit exagerated, but I started testing 3 new templates to deal with the linking of music files inside composer and score pages. They are {{Link}} (for external files), {{LLink}} (for local files hosted at and {{LLinkAlt}} (for local files hosted at Perhaps it would be better to have just one instead of three, but then I wouldn't be able to shrink the links well. All of them were temporarily applied to Palestrina's page, the differences can be checked here. The advantages would be more simplicity in adding links and smaller page size. In the case of Palestrina, page size was reduced from 46kb to 32kb with them, almost 50%. Please again, have a look and say if it's something worth to keep developing or if it was just a silly idea of mine.


Great work, Carlos! I would suggest that LLinkW (for Williams) is a shorter (hence better) name than LLinkAlt. Also, the three "&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;" are better replaced with " &nbsp; ", and the only other &nbsp;'s should be immediately after the "(" and immediately before the closing ")" ... in other words, between each pair of items inside the "(&nbsp;...&nbsp;)" there should be just one ordinary space. Otherwise, I'm impressed by your work on shortening the Palestrina page ... and ultimately shortening the work of those of us who have to add stuff by hand.

As an additional comment, I would suggest replacing the "&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;''2 editions available''" with " - {{editions|2}}" (and similarly for more editions) as a means of shortening the page, as well as making these additions uniform across the board at CPDL.


Please see my comments on my talk page in reply to Chuck as to why I think using Template:Editions on composer pages as well as score pages is a bad idea.


... And see my reply/comments to Rob's comments on his talk page.

Edit: Note that using the editions template on the Palestrina page has reduced its size from 32Kb to 29.5Kb.

Archived topics

Topics included in an archive are listed below the archive name. Click on the archive name to find the archived postings.

Archive 3

  • Lyricist template
  • Semi-automation now available
  • 'New template - copyright warning
  • How should we handle entries for composite works, where two separate "works" are in the same file
  • How should we handle entries for the second editor
Moved to ChoralWiki:CPDL support, help, and feedback#How should we handle entries for the second editor

Archive 2

  • Nomination for adminship
  • Moving to the new BBS system
  • Add brass to accompaniment cat?
  • New template for formatting of credits in Translations section
  • Uniform sort keys for categorization templates on sheet music pages
  • New add works form

Archive 1

  • Discontinuation of Village pump
  • Making text-translations pages into categories
  • List of current CPDL problems
Moved here from CPDL support, help, and feedback
  • Should we consider setting up a mirror site?
Moved here from CPDL support, help, and feedback