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Proposal to implement new framework for main page[edit]

We've had our fun. Now let's get back to business. The fonts were a joke (obviously), but the proposal itself is quite genuine.

After an extensive discussion exploring the general idea of redesigning the main page, a general consensus has emerged that a radical redesign is not a viable short-term goal. But the underlying framework of that design has proven to be a potent foundation on which any future design can be built, and replaces the aging layout practices of 2006 to bring it more inline with today's layout recomendations.

With that in mind, we would like to replace the underlying layout with this new foundation. Several advantages include:

  1. Flexible layout which allows future modifications to be implemented more easily.
  2. Responsive design; sections will stack instead of being pushed off-screen. This also makes the page more mobile-friendly (for those prefering desktop view on mobile).

Other then that, the main page should look very familiar. Some older version of Internet Explorer may show a small gap between colored sections, but that is a small trade-off, as the flexibility of this design is more future-proof then the current layout. Please test the page in any way you can, under any platform, and report any bugs.

Main page with new framework

Please state your opinion below. Edokter (talk) — 01:20, 2 April 2014 (UTC)


  1. Support The benefits of using this framework are many. Especially the fact that it eliminates tables and makes the whole thing easier to modify, and therefore, other incremental proposals would be easier to pass. It is a strong improvement over the current design, and it has been developed over the course of many weeks. The differences between the current main page are almost non-existent, except for a few behavioural changes which can be explained. --NickPenguin(contribs) 01:10, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
  2. Support assuming we can get the IE11 bug below fixed, and any other browser compatibility issues fixed. Glad to see this finally happen! Legoktm (talk) 04:03, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
  3. Support and looks great in Windows 8.1. All the rest are just software tweaks. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 04:06, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
  4. Support. Very well done, though as per Legotkm all compatibility issues should be checked and fixed. If they can't be fixed they should be documented and this poll restarted - it may still be worth going ahead but we should be clear of about any problems.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 14:24, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
  5. Support. A great start. Worth it for the responsive aspect alone. — Pretzels 21:44, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
  6. Support Tested on latest Firefox and Chromium on Arch Linux with no issues. Note that I'm using Arimo as my default sans font and Tinos as my default sans-serif font, so my results might not be representative of Firefox and Chrome using other defaults (e.g., DejaVu Sans or Arial) on Arch Linux. Cloudchased (talk) 03:10, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
  7. Support. Looks good in Safari on my Mac.--Aschmidt (talk) 00:42, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
  8. Support subject to full testing. Big improvement. Suggest use of automated cross-browser testing tools (example). (talk) 14:50, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
  9. Support Looks great in Chrome. I'm all for making things easier to modify, which will better allow for improvements to be made to the Main Page in the future. –Prototime (talk · contribs) 22:29, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
  10. Support with full testing, of course. I've been following this proposal since it was on the village pump; it's a great improvement on the back end. Novusuna talk 21:01, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
  11. Support. It's practical and looks nice. Please don't implement until you've tested it on mobiles, tablets and desktops with all the popular operating systems and browsers. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 21:47, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
  12. Support Doesn't look all that different on Firefox. Gizza (t)(c) 11:33, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
  13. Strong Support with a condition I would Strongly Support this proposal if it is properly and thoroughly tested. Otherwise I will oppose the proposal until it is tested. I am assuming that it will be tested thoroughly here as I can't see a reason why it won't be. Zell Faze (talk) 20:31, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
  14. Support Provided you test vigorously on mobile devices and make it responsive like you say. Also please kill all use of the nomobile class in the process so that the mobile site shows all the content the desktop site does. That would be a great step in the right direction. Happy to be of assistance in helping with mobile optimisation in any way - please keep me involved in this process. Jdlrobson (talk) 20:37, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
  15. Support its obviously going to need a lot of testing but a responsive system seems the way to go and is very current in the web-design world. Will it actually apply to mobiles don't they get a separate skin?--Salix alba (talk): 05:52, 18 April 2014 (UTC)


  1. Layout fails catastrophically in IE 11. Can't really be considered for deployment until this is fixed. (talk) 02:51, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
    Can you provide a screenshot? --NickPenguin(contribs) 03:13, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
    Sure, see [1]. The page is about a million miles wide, and most or all of the missing content appears way off to the right somewhere. (talk) 03:25, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
    Confirmed. Not million miles, but lines don't wrap on IE11. Materialscientist (talk) 03:38, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
    I can't see the screenshot; it looks like the image was removed. Edokter (talk) — 10:49, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
    I don't know why the image has disappeared. Even so, to fix and test it someone will need IE 11 anyway, so will be able to see for themselves. (talk) 11:09, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
    I fixed the wrapping issue, but I cannot see if the boxes still align at the bottom (they should though). Edokter (talk) — 11:28, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
    Everything looking good to me now in IE 11. Thanks for that. (talk) 11:59, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
  2. Oppose, strictly because this proposal is premature. I'll support the change after all of the necessary testing (across various browsers and operating systems) and troubleshooting have occurred.
    Has accessibility via screen readers been checked at all? (Note that the 2006 main page redesign initially broke functionality therein — something that we should explicitly seek to avoid repeating.) —David Levy 14:51, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
    It is an illusion to think we can put up a page that is entirely bug free without subjecting it to some form of testing. This poll is one such form. Already, one bug has been remedied (by actually simplifying the implementation). This is the testdrive, so I think it's not entirely fair to oppose on that ground. As for screenreaders, the framework is fully complient, but some parts need work. The banner is one piece still using a table splicing up a list in three columns. I'd much rather see that changed, but as I understand it, this proposal calls for an exact 2006-look, so my hands are tied here. Edokter (talk) — 17:21, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
    It is an illusion to think we can put up a page that is entirely bug free without subjecting it to some form of testing.
    Agreed. There appears to be no dispute that further testing is needed. That's why I regard this poll as premature (if it's needed at all).
    This poll is one such form.
    I see great value in the discussion. I don't see value in asking users to "support" or "oppose" the deployment of code that clearly isn't ready to be deployed.
    Already, one bug has been remedied (by actually simplifying the implementation). This is the testdrive, so I think it's not entirely fair to oppose on that ground.
    What, if not the existence of serious bugs, would be an entirely fair reason to "oppose"?
    I've stated that I'll support the change after all of the necessary testing and troubleshooting have occurred, so if you prefer to think of my response as conditional support, that's fine. I just don't feel comfortable placing it in the "Support" section, as that doesn't describe my current position accurately.
    As for screenreaders, the framework is fully complient, but some parts need work.
    Has testing occurred? (The 2006 code was supposed to be fully compliant, but we learned after its deployment that the headings weren't read properly — a problem that hadn't existed beforehand.)
    The banner is one piece still using a table splicing up a list in three columns. I'd much rather see that changed, but as I understand it, this proposal calls for an exact 2006-look, so my hands are tied here.
    My main concern is that new flaws not be introduced. But as I commented previously, I personally didn't expect your reworked code to replicate the current output exactly. If improvements to the underlying infrastructure necessitate that the page's appearance be approximated, I'm fine with that. I suspect (but can't be certain) that the community would agree, so that might be a sensible poll question. —David Levy 21:44, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
  3. Oppose, for now - the new code shouldn't go live until the bugs are worked out and reliability has been proven. Until then, swapping out the underlying structure should not even be considered. This proposal is premature, but the design warrants further development. Please resubmit the proposal after the design has undergone an adequate error-free testing period. Three months of glitch-free operation should suffice. The Transhumanist 22:58, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
    I am left wondering: glitch free to which userbase? All users, or only certain configurations? How can we determine that the userbase uses the page daily, and experiences no glitches for a three month period? --NickPenguin(contribs) 03:33, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
    The same userbase that Wikipedia has now. It should work at least as well as the current main page. To the extent that it doesn't will determine the size of the flood of complaints you'll get when you put the new code in place. The Transhumanist 04:49, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
  4. Oppose, The new fonts look awful. I do not like this at all. In all honesty I find the new framework to be repellant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:26, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
    You appear to have misunderstood the nature of the change proposed above, which is unrelated to the typeface change discussed below. —David Levy 02:21, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
  5. Oppose - for now at least - because on Ipad each box (TFA, ITN and so) takes the whole screen in length, even though there's enough width on tablets to show two columns of items and it's how the current MP is displayed (with only one row, it's too much unnecessary scrolling down). For some reason, the second box is also DYK instead of ITN, and we've in all discussions wanted ITN to be the second most important item after TFA. All browsers are affected. Cenarium (talk) 18:21, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
    I've lowered the threshold for collapsing a bit. How does it look now? Edokter (talk) — 20:19, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
    It's the same. Here's the suggested version, as you can see there's also an issue with the header box. And when you scroll down you see DYK first. The current main page is here for comparison, and it's almost identical to the PC version. Cenarium (talk) 21:33, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
    Reduced treshold to 800px screen width. I don't have an iPad to test, so I hope this should suffice. Edokter (talk) — 22:30, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
    On my iPad I have TFA with DYK underneath, both full width, in the green box; and ITN with OTD underneath, again both full width, in the blue box. Stephen 11:42, 15 April 2014 (UTC)


  • It seems slightly spacier than the existing version (viewing in the latest version of Mozilla Firefox) and the column balance is somewhat different. More space is needed in the left column between TFA & DYK. I quite like the behaviour at narrow widths, but I'd suggest cutting to the single-column format at a slightly narrower width. Espresso Addict (talk) 01:24, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
It may or may not be considered a bug, but with my font size at 26, the words "Technology" and "All Portals" in the upper right extend out of the rectangle that starts at "Welcome to Wikipedia". It looks funny but it still works that way. Firefox 28.0 Windows 8.1 1920x1080 pixels Art LaPella (talk) 05:50, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Where has it been established that "a general consensus has emerged that a radical redesign is not a viable short-term goal"? Was there an RfC that was closed with a determination that this is the consensus? A straw poll of some sort? A count of comments with diffs so the count can be verified? --Guy Macon (talk) 06:57, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
  • When you've been trying to get consensus on something for over 5 years, and failing, is it fair to say that it isn't a viable short-term goal? And are you really prepared to oppose this change on the basis that it isn't some bigger change? (talk) 17:38, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Broken on Dolphin Browser 10.2.8 (no wrap, just lots of white space on the right) on Android 4.1.2 but works fine with Chrome 33 on the same device (Droid Razr Maxx HD. Looks great in Firefox 28, Chrome 33, & IE 10 on Windows 7. --mav (reviews needed) 14:14, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
    • Can't win 'em all... I don't know if you have JetPack as well, which is a heavily hacked version of Webkit. Though I intended it to be mobile-friendly, it is primarily a desktop page. Edokter (talk) — 15:02, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Many people (including me) use desktop layout on tablets. There is no reason to use the mobile version on a tablet-sized screen with a fast WiFi connection. In my opinion it really ought to work with the major Android browsers. (talk) 17:29, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
I also use Dolphin on my phone, perhaps you are experiencing the same layout problem; the box for TFP has the text to the right of the picture, making that box stretch right, and all the other boxes have the bottom text (Archive, start a new article, nominate an article) justified right, so it stretches those boxes too. This could be solved by modifying the TFP box so that the text wraps under the picture at lower resolutions. --NickPenguin(contribs) 03:40, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Can you provide a screenshot of some kind? Edokter (talk) — 17:23, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Broken on Chrome for Android, tested with a Nexus 7. See these screenshots: 1, 2 --Nicereddy (talk) 07:04, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
    • That's not so much broken on Chrome, as it is blroken on Mobile view. It seems inject divs that break the layout. Not sure if I can control this. Should definitely be fixed in MobileFrontend. Edokter (talk) — 10:38, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Android with Dolphin browser on a Samsung tablet looks fine in mobile and desktop formats.
    Android with Samsung's default browser on a Samsung tablet looks fine in mobile and desktop formats. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 21:52, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Pinged wikitech-l to let them know about this discussion. I've asked if they have any sort of browser testing framework that we could use here and if they would be willing to let us use it. I think good testing would go a long ways to making everyone worry less. Zell Faze (talk) 20:27, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Some thoughts about re-designing the Front Page:

  • Why? This, in a word, is my initial response: it doesn't appear to be broken, so what needs fixing? While this may sound flippant, there is a deeper point here: if there is a reason for changing it -- other than "it's the same old layout we've had since 2006" -- you need to make that argument to attract support for changing it. (Maybe there are good reasons for this; I honestly don't know.)
  • The primary changes I see are (1) getting rid of the gutter down the middle, & (2) adding a box to encourage people to edit. The first is a matter of design, & isn't a matter I believe anyone could seriously object to. The second, on the other hand, could be used to draw more input into this redesign process: instead of an RfC about redesigning the front page (which is too vague of a proposal to incite much interest for or against), it's a specific improvement that people can form an opinion for or against. (And it would tie into the perennial attempts by the Foundation to improve the numbers of active editors.)
  • Will this new format be adopted by the other Wikipedias? If not, is there a risk of losing brand cohesiveness? (I apologize for using that bit of trendy jargon, but it does touch on an important issue: all Wikipedias need to have some uniformity in appearance in order to overcome their diversity of language; there needs to be a way for people to think of them togther.)
  • Any change, no matter how good, will result in a certain amount of negative reaction. Like it or not, most people don't like change. The best way to handle it is to start a campaign to announce the change, once it has been decided upon. And not just on en.wikipedia: I figure a change in the front page of one of the 10 most popular websites is news the media will be interested in reporting.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't change the Front Page. (Beyond my initial response, I don't have a strong opinion on the matter -- except to hope I receive notice when it happens ahead of time.) I'm simply saying there are matters to consider to make any change successful. -- llywrch (talk) 16:46, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Vote - Previous font discussion[edit]

Not sure where the previous font discussion has gone; at least leave the link to the vote here on the village pump. —Neotarf (talk) 06:04, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

This is where it went. While it may have been a bit angry and full of curse words, I disagree that it was 'crap'. It was feedback like any other, nothing particularly invalid about it, we're trying to make the user interface 'better' aren't we? Cathfolant (talk) 04:44, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Beyond the fact any discussion of this here is in the wrong place (even if you want to complain here on wikipedia, it's still the wrong place and always was and complaints here were never going to get much attention from anyone), you realise that removing that was beneficial to those opposed to the changes rights? :::
If the first thing someone sees are those dodgy posts, it's rather easy to assume most people complaining are of similar ilk and therefore not worthy of any attention. In reality some people concerned about the changes have some good points and can do without being associated with that poster.
Or to put it simply, if someone can't learn that shouting, a continual stream of curse words and bringing up the Nazis, Satan, Zionists and the CIA doesn't improve your feedback and can't even find the right place to complain, they shouldn't have any expectation their feedback will stay.
Besides all that, seeing the horror of the OPs complaint may be enough to make people think the problems with the changes are so minor in comparison perhaps it's not even worth commenting on.
In fact, reading their comments more closely are we even sure they are genuine? I'm starting to think it may have been trolling or mockery, perhaps even by someone who supported the changes (or more likely didn't give a damn).
Nil Einne (talk) 12:01, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

They are genuine and true. The forced font denies our freedom of font's choice.--FoureychEightess (talk) 14:11, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Here here, we want Comic sans!--Lerdthenerd wiki defender 18:29, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
bring back the way it looked before the change. (talk)

I want to see the people who unilaterally decide on these changes sent on formal change management training, for several years. It's obvious that right now they have no idea how introduce even great new ideas. HiLo48 (talk) 23:01, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

I believe the discussion goes here. (Unilateral??) Art LaPella (talk) 05:01, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
It's obvious that most of the unhappy people were completely unaware of the proposed change. That, by definition, is bad change management. HiLo48 (talk) 05:13, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I dunno, I can't remember the last time a major website asked my opinion, or even warned be before a redesign. APL (talk) 14:32, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Most websites aren't user generated either. --Khajidha (talk) 17:08, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Offhand I can think of the Guardian and Facebook, both of which had prominent "Try out our new design" banners in the run up, allowing users to get used to the changes and to comment if they felt strongly. If the new design had been as poor as Wikipedia's was, they would certainly have realised very quickly from the feedback and been able to change it.
One of my trade papers has also recently changed its design - they started off with some of the sister titles that came within the main paper, and only after those had been running successfully with the new design for a few months did they do the same for the main paper. For a few weeks the old masthead was shown "peeling off" and the new masthead with more modern type was revealed underneath, which meant that the redesign didn't have any "shock" value and didn't induce an instinctive negative reaction.
So that's three examples of how to do it properly. I can't think of any websites that suddenly changed to a significantly inferior design without any warning at all, on the whim of a tiny minority of users. -- (talk) 08:32, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Neither can I. I'd be able to think of at least one, if that's what had happened here. The new design is objectively, measurably more readable for the vast majority of people, and deals with actual readability problems which were so common that people didn't really think twice about zooming in every time they wanted to read a Wikipedia article. That the response has been "I personally find it harder to read", from heavy users of Wikipedia who presumably have very high reading skills, and "It changed, and I liked the old style" from heavy users of Wikipedia who could have easily been following Signpost and Village Pump proposals, says a lot. I'm an IP editor, and so don't receive Signpost or get notified about much, but even I had read the page describing what was changing and why before this change was implemented. If other editors actually care about this stuff (beyond complaining), they could have been aware of it too. (talk) 11:27, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
It's completely impossible to make everyone aware of a proposed change. Strangely, the number of people who complain about not having had advance notice doesn't really seem to change depending on whether it was advertised through repeated spamming sitenotices, central notices, watchlist notice, central discussion links, endless repeated village pump spam, direct user interface modification spam, mailing list spam, etc., or barely mentioned at all in advance. Even stranger, there are approximately the same amount of complaints even when the change was made by the community as a direct result of clear consensus. Strange. --Yair rand (talk) 08:52, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't believe that. We all notice Wikipedia's requests for donations, and opportunities to vote. there was nothing of the kind about this. Have those responsible for introducing change here done formal change management training? HiLo48 (talk) 09:27, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
No, we don't all notice these things. It's been a couple of years since I noticed a fundraising banner. Last year, when people were talking about the new design, I had to search through pages on Meta just to find out what it looked like.
Running banners doesn't stop people from complaining that they weren't notified. I've had conversations with people that run like this: "There should have been a watchlist notice!" "You mean like the one in this diff from last month?" "Yes, exactly like that! Why didn't they run that?"
Some of this is technical: If you have a very old computer or if you don't have Javascript enabled, some of these notifications don't display (others can't be dismissed). If you set your language to en-gb, or to anything except plain "English" for most en.wp-local messages, most of them disappear. Some are cookie-dependent.
Some of it is non-technical: "displaying" and "being noticed" and "being remembered" are three very different steps. I've got a pretty serious case of banner blindness for watchlist notices at en.wp. Anyone who's busy, sleepy, or otherwise distracted might physically see the notice, but not remember having seen it a week (or a month) later when the change happens. This problem with forgetfulness isn't specific to banners: A couple of months ago, we had a round of "How dare people change this without telling me" followed by "Funny, but these diffs from last month show not only them telling you about this proposal, but you making suggestions on how to do it". I'm certain that s/he honestly didn't remember the earlier discussions/notifications. There are a lot of moving pieces here at the English Wikipedia. People can't remember everything they're told (or even that they say or do). Until we're willing to make access to the site conditional upon publicly acknowledging receipt of the notice, we will always have people who didn't get the message and/or don't remember getting the message. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:34, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
That's not a reason to give up telling people. It's a reason to try harder. Use every platform possible. HiLo48 (talk) 23:16, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
So that other people will be annoyed by constant message-spam? That's the practical result. When discussions or announcements are advertised in multiple platforms (or repeatedly), then the people who do read and remember the messages are upset.
There really is no perfect solution. A level of announcement that is barely enough to impinge upon the consciousness of one person is intolerable spam for the next person. "More" is not necessarily better, especially because message overload means that fewer messages are noticed or remembered (talk to any highway engineer about why putting up extra safety signs harms safety). A more rational solution is to target your message delivery according to both the importance (more for big changes, less for minor ones) and the people who will likely notice and care. That means watchlist notices for things that primarily affect dedicated editors, VPT and meta:Tech/News announcements for things that primarily affect template editors, CentralNotices for major changes that affects casual editors, etc. And no matter what you do, you have to assume that some editors will not remember the announcement. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:08, 11 April 2014 (UTC)


Congratulations on having twins on the main page. Much easier than that merry-go-round during the US election years ago. Simply south ...... discombobulating confusing ideas for just 8 years 10:44, 12 April 2014 (UTC) If anyone is wondering, I am referring to featured articles.

Shh! Don't mention the United States! I did, but I think I got away with it! (talk) 02:54, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
What about Gibraltar? Or Lugo?! Bring back the old ones I say!--Somchai Sun (talk) 08:32, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Ia, Ia, Lugo F'taghn MChesterMC (talk) 15:25, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Play the MP game.

Click on random page until you find 'an obscure topic with a short article' and develop it until it features on the MP. Alternatively - a group each gets 'a little list' of obscure topics and attempts to get as many as possible onto the MP/achieving a portal on the topic etc. (talk) 14:22, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

horrible histories[edit]

How come this is a FA? It looks to me to be a thin promotion for the show. I see no positive reception and the article is basically saying how good the show is. Is there really no negative source about it? There needs to be some balance. Beerest 2 Talk page 00:52, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

I mean no poor reception. The historical accuracy seems to have a lot of "In the defence of the show..." I think the Reception section could use some negative critique. Mostly because right now its a big giant wall of "this rox". Beerest 2 Talk page 01:37, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

April 17th[edit]

I would like to propose a small edit, but an edit nonetheless. Perhaps it would be better to have "Evacuation Day" link to the actual page for it, rather than a list of Syrian public holdiays? DFliyerz (talk) 21:16, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Evacuation Day (Syria) has a big orange maintenance on it, and is also a stub. Per the rules, either one of those conditions disqualifies the article from being included. howcheng {chat} 21:45, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I've cleaned up the article a bit and removed the tag, but it's still a stub and I'm probably too late anyways. Isa (talk) 23:36, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I was wondering about this as well. Also, wouldn't a more appropriate place for this comment be Wikipedia talk:Selected anniversaries? -- Kndimov (talk) 01:40, 18 April 2014 (UTC)