Is it possible to accidentally overwrite files of others?

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Nikolaus Hold
Posts: 10
Joined: 13 Jul 2016 10:47

Is it possible to accidentally overwrite files of others?

Postby Nikolaus Hold » 02 May 2018 09:07

Yesterday I called the page Frisch gesungen (Friedrich Silcher) and tried to view the PDF file of the edition of Juliane Claudi, CPDL #19903. Instead I got to see the PDF file of CPDL #48364.

A check of the source code shows that the file names are very similar, though not quite the same:

[*]{{CPDLno | 48364}} [[Media:Silcher_Frisch_gesungen.pdf|{{pdf}}]]
[*]{{CPDLno | 19903}} [[Media:Silcher Frisch gesungen.pdf|{{pdf}}]]

Are the spaces possibly automatically replaced by underscores?

Is it possible to overwrite or overlay a file of another user?

So far, when uploading files I never paid any attention, if the file name already exists. I have relied on that, if necessary, I would possibly get an appropriate error message.

Do I always have to check in advance whether a file with the same or a similar name already exists? And how is that to be done?

A request to the administrators: Please make Juliane Claudi's PDF file accessible again.

choralia
Site Admin
Posts: 2613
Joined: 05 Mar 2006 19:57
Location: Rome, Italy
Contact:

Re: Is it possible to accidentally overwrite files of others?

Postby choralia » 02 May 2018 20:54

Nikolaus Hold wrote:Are the spaces possibly automatically replaced by underscores?

Yes. The MediaWiki software automatically replaces spaces with underscores in filenames, page titles, etc.

Nikolaus Hold wrote:Is it possible to overwrite or overlay a file of another user?

Yes. However, when a file with the same names exists, the upload form displays a warning, unless the "ignore all warnings" option is selected. Files are never actually overwritten: the previous version is archived, and it can be restored if necessary.

Nikolaus Hold wrote:Do I always have to check in advance whether a file with the same or a similar name already exists? And how is that to be done?

The check is done automatically, provided that the "ignore all warnings" option is not selected when uploading the file. Pay attention to any warnings displayed.

Nikolaus Hold wrote:Please make Juliane Claudi's PDF file accessible again.

Done. Your edition in lieu of Juliane Claudi's edition may still be displayed for a while, until the cache expires. I renamed your edition, and updated the link of CPDL#48364 accordingly.

Max

Nikolaus Hold
Posts: 10
Joined: 13 Jul 2016 10:47

Re: Is it possible to accidentally overwrite files of others?

Postby Nikolaus Hold » 03 May 2018 10:00

Thank you for the help and the detailed answers.
I confess that I had no idea about an "ignore all warnings" option and did not notice any warning when uploading.

Still, I find it surprising that I can replace others' files. I know: on a wiki users control each other. This is no problem with the text of the websites, where the content is immediately visible to the unaided eye. For files linked only by icon, changes will go unnoticed until you view them. And even then, the change is probably only noticed by those who were involved in the creation. (It's different, of course, if you look explicitly at the list of file versions, but who does that usually?).
So I'm going to use personalized filenames in the future as a precaution.

choralia
Site Admin
Posts: 2613
Joined: 05 Mar 2006 19:57
Location: Rome, Italy
Contact:

Re: Is it possible to accidentally overwrite files of others?

Postby choralia » 04 May 2018 07:07

It seems that in 2009 we (CPDL admins) decided to activate a function that restricts the re-uploading of files to the same user who uploaded the file originally (and to admins, of course). Than the function was de-activated (and it is still de-activated) for some reasons that I haven't been able to trace so far. I'm asking other admins about that. We may possibly re-activate it.

Max


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