Last modified: 2011-03-13 18:06:34 UTC
Hello Wikimedia Tech friends: When I went to http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?
title=User_talk:GordonWattsDotCom&diff=18607836&oldid=18576721 I then clicked on "Newer edit →,"
and I moved from the Revision as of 16:29, 11 July 2005 (SlimVirgin posted a message) to what was
CALLED the "Current revision," but in fact, it was signed at 22:01, 11 July 2005 (UTC) by
[[User:Matthew Stannard|Matt Stan]]. I knew this was wrong because I had seen my edit history,
which showed that Matt had made an two edits in a row, apparently correcting or adding something.
So, I went to my edit history and compared the two version -to see if Matt had anything new to add;
He apparently clicked twice or something, and the next entry was the same except for one minute
later. THIS time, I missed nothing, but this type of error troubles me. Three questions: (1) What
caused the problem; (2) What is the likely solution; (3) When Wiki servers store successive
versions, do they have to store the whole page (using LOTS of memory), or, instead, do they store
merely the "changes" and "reconstruct" the newer versions from an "older version" plus a "revision"
database, which would be smaller, but prone not unlike putting all your eggs in one basket
(the "old version"), which has a downside: What if the basket cracks: Your eggs fall out.
My apologies if question 3 is not exactly on topic, but (A) I'm curious; and, (B) If we all
understand how the thing works, then it can help us (me included) to being able to move towards
solutions more quickly, if we use this knowledge right. Thx, --GordonWattsDotCom AKA Gordon Wayne
Watts, Lakeland, FL, USA
Resolving this as WONTFIX.
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?diff=next&oldid=18630537 shows the crux of the issue. It would seem that either Matthew submitted an edit that contained ~~~~ twice or the server had a hiccup. Either way, because the two versions were different, the server logged an additional revision. Yes, rather wasteful in this instance, but better to have more revisions than missing ones. This really isn't the kind of thing to worry about memory usage-wise, however. As for the more general question asked in this bug, yes, every revision stores the full text of the page.
Certain checks for edit conflicts and duplicate submits have been reported in various other bugs or have been resolved since the filing of this bug. Thus I'm resolving this as WONTFIX as there really isn't anything actionable here.
In the future, technical glitches of this sort would probably best be reported first to the technical village pump <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)>.