Wikipedia:Mediawiki 1.3

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New Skin is not working well[edit]

I notice that the skin in Chinese WP has been updated, but it seems that, it makes even the "Standard" one not work well. The external links are the biggest problems: their source codes are just displayed there! some source codes do not work, like this one "<a class=internal href='/wiki/Wikipedia:首页'>维基社群</a>" which should be link to the Community Portal in Chinese WP, but i just see the source codes; pics with hyperlinks have ugly borders...  :-| --哈越中 (talk) 18:32, May 28, 2004 (UTC)

There are still quite a few bugs being ironed out. See m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports, which is wher new bugs should be reported. Angela. 19:04, May 28, 2004 (UTC)
That's not a bug, it's a feature :) Just change all the MediaWiki: pages that use HTML to use the wiki syntax. Dori | Talk 19:42, May 28, 2004 (UTC)
What?? Is it a feature or a bug or is Dori joking? now I am confused... olivier 19:50, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Well, it's a consequence of a new feature, although breaking existing installations without warning could be construed as a bug, in my opinion. Basically, the MediaWiki: messages are now parsed as wiki pages, rather than being included (more-or-less) directly in the HTML; so the full set of wiki markup will work, but previous messages using HTML markup will show up broken. - IMSoP 15:34, 30 May 2004 (UTC)


Subscript in captions[edit]

Is there a way to add subscript to text being used in a caption? I'm trying to get a few numbers as subscripts in the caption for the Spirometry article. It just shows the wikimarkup being used: e.g. <sub>3</sub>

Any help appreciated

--Prisonblues 21:06, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

I think formatting in image captions is one of the features being added in the 1.3 release - whether subscript will work I'm not sure (and haven't time to test right now, somebody just threw a plastic bottle at me :-/) - IMSoP 22:51, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
Seems to work at test.wikipedia.org. Niteowlneils 01:34, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Russian accents warning[edit]

Now that we have Verdana as our default font, the accents in Russian words will appear in the wrong places (due to the "Verdana bug").  Do not attempt to move accents — simply switch Wikipedia skin to "Standard". — Monedula 19:13, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

I must strongly disagree. We can't expect the casual reader to make an account, log in, and then set their preferences so that the stress-indicating accents won't be in the wrong places. We need to remove them. The aren't actually necessary. We don't put accents in other languages unless they are a normal part of the printed language. -- Thanks, BCorr|Брайен 19:21, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
It's silly to remove something simply because your pet font cannot render it correctly. — Monedula 10:44, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Let me explain again. It's not about my "pet font." The aren't actually necessary. We don't put accents in other languages unless they are a normal part of the printed language. We can't expect the casual reader to make an account, log in, and then set their preferences so that the stress-indicating accents won't be in the wrong places. -- Thanks, BCorr|Брайен 23:41, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
Accents are an integral part of Russian writing — although they are added only when it is necessary to indicate the place of stress.  So every system that pretends to support the Russian language must also support the combining acute accent.  And exactly because the casual reader does not have an accout here, the default skin must be such that everything displays OK (which is not currently the case). — Monedula 22:52, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Is there no consideration of changing over to a less stupid font? I notice that Verdana doesn't include all the diacritics for transliterating indic langauges, either. And those are quite necessary. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 19:32, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Exactly! A less stupid font! Heheh! --Menchi 02:01, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

A concrete illustration:
English: fóobar
Russian: фо́обар

Non-Verdana font works correctly:
English: fóobar
Russian: фо́обар

The Russian version incorrectly displays the acute accent (stress mark) over the second о rather than over the first (when using Verdana font).

It seems pointless to argue whether this is "necessary" for Russian, since there are other languages where combining diacritics are essential, as others have pointed out. Verdana has to go.

Curps 04:26, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

New Skin Icon?[edit]

With the new monobook skin, several of the links have a curious little icon next to them. The icon is a box, with an arrow exiting to the top right. Can I ask: What is the significance of this icon?--Fangz 19:34, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure, but I think it was a transitory mistake. With the MonoBook skin , my navigation menu now has a small box bullet point icon before each item. The box + arrow icon now appears following external links, so I guess its meaning is clear. -- Solipsist 19:52, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
External links have icons by default. You can change this in your user stylesheet. Angela. 20:13, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh! Help! Change it back! I liked the old version better... --Quagga
To change it back, go to Special:preferences, click on "skin" and choose "Standard". However, I recommend you give it a chance for a week or so first. It takes time to get used to something so radically different, but you might love it if you give it a chance. I've seen it for a while as it has been on test for a few months, and once you get used to it, it is an improvement. Angela. 20:13, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Sans-serif fonts, bleah. And it really is too small, at least on my Mac Mozilla. Who makes these decisions anyhow? Would it help to recruit some design professionals? I still haven't gotten over the ugly borders around my pretty stamp images - carefully set up a white background to go with a white page, and boom, they're all wearing prison gray. Stan 22:44, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Sans-serif fonts are easy to remove. Just add
body {font: x-small serif; }
to User:Stan Shebs/monobook.css. You might need to increase the font if you do this, so also add
#globalWrapper { font-size:140%; }
More details at m:User styles. Angela. 00:30, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Yes yes, I see the gray is gone, now it's just a glass prison :-). Stan 22:50, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Selected anniversaries, namespaces, and links[edit]

Overall I really like the new skin but:

What the hell happened to the automated selected anniversaries section? I thought that the English Wikipedia was not going to be upgraded until the 'variable in template messages bug' was fixed. This really pisses me off! Also, what happened to the background fill color for all non-article pages? The distinction before was a very useful one, now it is vague. So the only difference between Sandbox:maveric149, user:maveric149/sandbox, talk archive:Sandbox would be the tab at the top of those pages. This will only encourage the misuse of the article namespace and lessen the distinction between metadata and content.

I also see that some links to stub articles are showing up as red links for those with a stub threshold set. The new "blue" links have a very hard to read muted color and the external link icon is hideous. This is especially true for [1] wiki ref links in articles. So please:

  • Fix the selected anniversaries bug ASAP.
  • Change the internal link color back to standard blue
  • Change the stub link color back to what it was before.
  • Get rid of the ugly and intrusive external link icon and use the old color for external links.

And don't give me the "you can change your preferences" line since all of the above needs to be default. Also, is it just me or is the default font size way too small? --mav 20:52, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

I have to agree about the link colors and the font. I would be using the Standard skin, except that the link problem I listed above makes it unusable. RickK 21:14, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Change the link colours back to the original please .. Jay 03:19, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

I agree, especially about the font sizes. Wikipedia should be legible to the average person by default. (Size 11 is standard.) I don't understand the issue with the external link icon. Thanks for the new skin, I like it overall. -- Pgan002 05:06, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The problem with selected anniversaries is a different one to the one reported on the 25th. It's a known issue that is being worked on. Angela. 21:48, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Serious Problem[edit]

Aaahh! The links in my navigation box (eg, "Main Page", "Recent changes" "Current events" etc) don't do anything when I click on them in this new fancy-pants design. Are they now using some other type of sripting? Horrified, -- Infrogmation 20:53, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

They work for me. What browser/skin are you using. Does clicking them really do nothing at all? m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports would be a better place to report this. Angela. 21:46, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
And when I look at an article history, why is there now a big grey button with the text "pare selected vers"? Hm, the folks who've been upgrading Wikipedia softwear have as far as I've seen generally done an excellent job, but the latest change is looking to me too buggy to have been set as the new default yet. -- Infrogmation 21:03, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
That should say compare selected versions. Do you have larger font settings that might be causing it? Angela. 21:46, 29 May 2004 (UTC)


Another Standard skin problem[edit]

Tables are way too wide using the Standard skin. For example, when I came to this page, the table at the top of the page spread all the way across my screen and even made me have to scroll right to see all of it. That didn't happen before. RickK 21:18, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Rick, this just the problem I had on the main page in classic. But it's gone now, and I think it was restarting the browser and flushing the cache that did it. I just switched to Cologne Blue right now to test your problem, and both this page and the main page work fine, without being overbroad. I'm using firefox 0.8, but I just tested it in IE and Opera and they're both fine too. Tell me - do the exlinks on the main page show up as actual spelled-out URLs? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:28, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
I just completely rebooted my computer. And I don't have caching enabled. It is still happening. Oh, also, now when I do a section Edit, instead of getting a "=" at the beginning and the end of the section title in the edit summary box, I get "/*" at the beginning and */" at the end. And yes, the exlinks on the main page show up as actual spelled-out URLs, and the tables are too wide. RickK 21:50, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Yes, the worst thing that's happened to me in this new era is wide pages - including this one and the main page. Although, it's not as bad as I first anticipated.
On this page I have a horizontal scroll bar (not nice) however, the section edit links are still aligned with the right hand side of the visible portion of the screen.
I've listed this on the 1.3 bugs page and put a screen shot of my panoramically daft Main Page on a screenshots thing somewhere. Sorry to be vague and unlinking, but I'm not used to navigating around mediawiki and the like and I hope I don't have to make a habit of it. --bodnotbod 15:06, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

Problem with the Cologne Blue skin[edit]

Headers are entirely too large. hd2 levels are larger than the main header of the page. RickK 21:18, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Again, with firefox, opera, and IE I don't see this - h1 headings are (a wee bit) larger, but they're grey (curious, but not a problem). Perhaps this too is a caching problem your end? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:32, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Most issues with design can be fixed in your own user stylesheet. Please see m:User styles. For other problems, see m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports. Angela. 21:41, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
I would argue though that whilst utilising your own style sheet is fine for the regular user, it isn't the best option for the first-timer / irregular non-techy visitor where we should be defaulting to a display format that works without side-scrolls and the other problems that have been reported. Cross-browser compatibility should mean untweaked ... --VampWillow 11:32, 30 May 2004 (UTC)


Template name space?[edit]

See Template talk:NihonG. What's going on? RickK 23:03, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Is there some sort of forum for discussing msg "template" syntax? I'm not entirely sure whether it's that the new version is buggy or that I simply haven't figured out how to make the transition from the old version. (My current favorite problem? {{Template:x}}{{Template:y}} is interpreted as referring to a page named "Template:x}}{{Template:y", owing, I presume, to the new ability to use {{}} directly. See Nirvana for some interesting consequences. (Of course, I imagine the likely response will be: "Why were you using msg: for that in the first place," to which my answer will have to be some enraged gibbering madness on my part about the English wiki's inexplicable non-utf-ness.) -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 23:30, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Okay, using a "|" helps somewhat, but for some reason I'm not quite grokking, it's still unpredictable whether the tag will produce the correct text or just "Template:x"... -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽


New Skin[edit]

Hurray for the new skin! I really like the new skin for the main page and the edit pages. Could we skin this page (which is a sickly yellow) in the new format? -24.199.99.174 02:26, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

I see in the time it took me to post, the Village Pump was newly skinned! Very nice look. - 24.199.99.174 02:27, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

I tried to log in from home with two different browsers and I got some kind of creepy new skin and I hate it. I had to go across the street to a machine where it remembers me. I could not log in at home -- not only that, one of the browsers would not even display the "log in" link, and the other had it crammed way up in the corner and it did basically nothing. The latter was Internet Exploder 5 on a Mac with 9.2.2 ;Bear 04:19, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Please report bugs at MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports or sourceforge. Angela. 04:24, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
I cannot. I can't log in at home, or do anything at all, on any of my machines. I have to go to the fire station, which is where I am now. Somebody else please handle this report for me. Thanx. ;Bear 21:05, 2004 Jun 2 (UTC)

[hate the new skin]. We used to be going forward, and now in one fell swoop we managed to create a look that's worse than that of the very first Wikipedia.--Branko.

The new skin looks terrific! Bravo on a job well done. Quadell (talk) 15:14, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

I hate the new skin, but by setting preferences to "Nostalgia" I got something that at least dumps that almost unreadable font. However, whatever happened to being able to get to "My Contributions"? I can't seem to find it now. -- BRG 16:57, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

Link colours[edit]

I like the new skin but the link colours all look the same. Luckily, theres an easy fix: Go to <User:yourusername/monobook.css> and enter

/* standard link colors */ a { color: #0000FF; } a:visited { color: #7F007F; } a:active, a.new { color: #FF0000; } a.interwiki, a.external { color: #3366BB; } a.stub { color: #772233; }

and save and shift+f5 to refresh. Bensaccount 03:54, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Neat - thanks! --mav 04:33, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. My eyes were starting to hurt. --Jiang 06:14, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks from me too! This was the one flaw in this beautiful skin. (Maybe it's just that I'm "color-blind", I don't know.) Now it's all fine. -- Jao 18:16, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks from me too! - Robin Patterson 22:07, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

See m:User styles for more details on what you can change. Angela. 08:12, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for that too! - Robin Patterson 22:07, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Now done for my other languages too, thanks; but I'm not bothering to tell my "bowser [sic] to get the new version"


So yet again another problem[edit]

When I go to Current events, the calendar is spreading across the whole of the page. The pink table (deaths in May, etc.} is spreading across the whole page. The supposedly hidden notes ("<!-- To archive this page at the beginning of the month, see Wikipedia:How to archive Current Events --> ", "<!-- Election sections are for up-to-date articles about current or recently concluded elections. Once articles are updated with results, they are moved to the results section.) --> ", "<!-- NOTE: PLEASE LOG NEW EVENTS IN THE PRESENT TENSE. THANK YOU! --> <!-- PLEASE ALSO PROVIDE LINKS TO NEWS STORIES AFTER EACH ENTRY, NEWS STORIES WITHOUT LINKS MAY BE REMOVED. LINKS TO STORIES MUST BE IN ENGLISH. --> ", etc. are displaying. These problems were not happening the last time I logged in to Wikipedia. What's going on? RickK 06:08, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

It looks ok to me, though I just fixed a similar thing on ja:. The HTML comments had to be removed from ja:Wikipedia:Recentchanges before it would work, but I don't see why this would affect a normal page like Current events. Angela. 08:22, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Fine here, too (IE, Opera, Firefox, and Mozilla, all on Windows, and the same plus Safari on Mac).
James F. (talk) 12:16, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Categories howto?[edit]

How do categories work? I want to understand subcategories (and any other related goodies). Lupin 12:02, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

See m:MediaWiki User's Guide: Using Categories. We probably need to start drafting some policies on this...
James F. (talk) 12:18, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
What about subcatgories? Lupin 12:22, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Put a link to the parent category in each of the child categories (e.g. Category:British monarchs has a link to Category:Monarchs which itself has a link to Category:People
What should we do for now? Should we categorise in the most specific subcategories only, or categorise in both general categories and specific subcategories. Eg. For Isaac Asimov, should we put him in People, Author, Scifi Author and Americans, or should we just put him in SciFi Author?--Fangz 15:38, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Catagorize to the most specific catagory possible. →Raul654 19:01, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Category placement: At the top (before the article proper) or at the bottom (along with the interwikis)? Bottom placement seems preferable to me (same reasons as with the w:xx's), but maybe I'm missing something. Hajor 18:58, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Hajor - top placement makes it easier to change them in the future, should catagories change. Interwiki links generally don't change much, so bottom is preferred. →Raul654 19:01, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

And a simple English-language "category" link is certainly less likely to scare off a random monolingual anon editor than a list of strange foreign words at the top of the article text (which was, IIRC, the chief reason for sending the interwikis to the bottom). Even so, I still think there's a case to be made for all the "non-text" meta-information at the end of the article (ctrl-end in most browsers). Why the placement question in the first place? As you can see here, it seems that in monobook the formatting can be broken if the article starts with a table straight after the Category. FWIW, Hajor 19:37, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia:Categorization and Wikipedia talk:Categorization. I believe category tags should be at the end, just before the interwiki links. Angela. 04:26, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

  • I vote for placement at the end, too. For casual readers (which are most readers) the category tags are likely to be just useless distraction.
    If the tags are to stay at the top, at least place it above the article's title (like the interwiki links), to avoid the large gap between that title and the first paragraph.
    One category per article will force misclassifications; ideally some articles belong to two or more categories. But if multiple tags are allowed, then they definitely should go at the bottom.
    Jorge Stolfi 04:23, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Moved to bottom now (guess you noticed already). -- Gabriel Wicke 00:10, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Stylesheet discussions[edit]

Where should discussions regarding the look/feel/layout of Wikipedia go? 217.159.81.197 13:11, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports is getting a lot of attention. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 13:24, 30 May 2004 (UTC)


Dislike new skin's font[edit]

Listen, this has probably come up a dozen times, but it's buried somewhere on the Villiage Pump page where I can't find it easily. Sorry, but I really don't like the new skin. It's a beautiful design, really, tabs, etc but the font is killing me. If you look at the word and for example I see the letter d with much thicker walls than the letter a, and the ns walls are much thinner than both. As a result, the text of an article seems to vibrate under these conditions. Maybe I'm doing something wrong here. I have Firefox running in a Windows XP system. Do I have to download a special font or something? Please, browseing wikipedia is getting me punch drunk over here. Trust me, I'm usually more coherent than this.

Windows 2000 Mozilla 1.6 on LCD 1024x768 and I think the font is fab and I do not experience the above problem! But I have always favoured sans serif fonts. Paul Beardsell 17:13, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

I personally just use the classic skin. Meelar 17:15, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I have just found that preference setting. So no one has reason to complain. Paul Beardsell 17:26, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Having a preference setting is no excuse if the default is broken on some systems—most users of Wikipedia are not going to have a login or set site-specific preferences. That said, I don't experience the poster's problems on my machine (Mozilla/Linux and Moz/Mac). —Steven G. Johnson 19:03, May 30, 2004 (UTC)
It's also inexcusable to make people tweak a preference in order to be able to look at words that require characters not included in Verdana in order to be spelled properly. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽
Verdana is actually the fallback font - try installing the open source Bitstream Vera fonts. Personally I find them a tad thin on Windows, but fine on Linux. TRS-80 20:43, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
It looks simply lovely on my system (Mac OS X 10.3.3, Safari 1.2.1). I don't know what the font is--presumably Verdana since that is installed and Vera is not—but it's gorgeous and highly readable. What characters are missing, by the way? I haven't noticed any. Dpbsmith 21:58, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I have to agree, I find the new skin and features to be fantastic. Far more professional looking, and easier to use. I think the developer's deserve a lot of credit, yet I only seem to be seeing complaints. Obviously constructive criticism is useful, but shouldn't there be a page for praise of the new software too? --Chopchopwhitey 22:25, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I've set my preferences to the 'standard' skin. But I'm surprised the default is a sans-serif font. I thought there was a broad understanding that serifs help readability and that sans-serifs are better for short texts such as headings/headlines. --bodnotbod 22:53, May 30, 2004 (UTC)
Try IPA in Unicode and see how many characters Verdana can display. Personally I think the new skin is fine -- it just needs a different (or changeable) font. -- ran 13:19, Jun 4, 2004 (UTC)
I think the new skin is beautiful, I've always liked the look of Verdana, although this talk of misplaced accents and missing characters worries me. btw Bodnotbod, I always understood the general understanding was that serif fonts help readability on paper, and that sans-serif fonts help readability on screen, as the serifs don't really help on the low resolution of the average computer display. --Stormie 01:53, May 31, 2004 (UTC)
Is the average computer display low resolution? --bodnotbod 02:29, May 31, 2004 (UTC)
Compared to paper, absolutely!!! Some example figures: 72 dpi for a computer monitor vs 1200 dpi for a computer printer vs 3386 dpi for photo scanning. - Nunh-huh 02:41, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
Yes, I suppose that's true. I seem to be in the minority with my standard skin bearing ways. And I got forewarning of future problems my old fashioned style will have when I tried to introduce a new editor to the wikipedia and had to bear in mind he would be looking at a different screen to me when I was explaining how to edit the page (less obvious, some feel, in the new skin than the old). --bodnotbod 15:17, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

Heck! I have just installed the Bitstream Vera fonts on Windows 2000 and using Mozilla 1.6 now I have the weirdnesses complained of by the poster of the original para of this section. I will uninstall - returning to Verdana. Paul Beardsell 03:44, 31 May 2004 (UTC)


The (current default) font is terrible under both Mozilla and IE on my Windows 2000 box. It's pixilated almost to the pint of being unreadable in both the italic variant and whatever text decoration sis used to indicate a link. Honestly, using this new format makes Wikipedia look ugly and -- more importantly -- makes it far less usable to unregistered users who can't their preferences to something else.

I realize that a lot of effort must have been expended on this, and I don't mean to denigrate the effort, but, I'm sorry, this change just doesn't work. orthogonal 08:22, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

Also, in preferences, what's called "Standard" is what I think of as what wikipedia looked like prior to the "upgrade" to the new skin. orthogonal 08:32, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

An example of what I'm talking about can be seen here:

Problems with the new wiki look


Could someone please please make Verdana the default, and throw out this Bitstream thing? I'm using Firefox 0.8 w/ Windows XP Home, and the rendering of the font is terrible: The characters are just very uneven. I tried to change my personal style sheet, but to no avail. Micha 03:38, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

On my machine, a RedHat Linux 9 box, the font also looks not very nice. It is not pixelized, as others complain above, but the tracking is far too wide for my taste. (But I do like the other features of the new skin). Sanders muc 16:02, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I've changed the default to 'sans-serif'. -- Gabriel Wicke 16:16, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, that is much better. And it's better like that anyway because everyone can change their browser setting to their preferred sans-serif font. -- Micha 22:43, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
As it turns out Safari doesn't support this, but those users can still use something like body { font-family: Verdana; } in their user stylesheet. -- Gabriel Wicke 00:15, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
IE also cannot change the sans-serif default (it always uses Arial). — Monedula 10:35, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Categories[edit]

When you check your watchlist, you know how it tells you "Users have made X edits in the time period selected"? That number is up about 25%, at least for me. Meelar 17:15, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Old version?[edit]

Is there someplace running the old MediaWiki version, where I could compare how things are being formatted? I think I've noticed some changes that don't seem desireable. Niteowlneils 17:34, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

You could perhaps look at the list of Sites using MediaWiki, most of which are probably running some flavour of 1.2 - you could play around in their respective sandboxes and/or do a lot of previewing. - IMSoP 00:54, 31 May 2004 (UTC)


Categories formatting[edit]

At Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and Chiang Kai-shek, for example, the catgories tag is pushing the image inward and creating whitespace. How can this be fixed? --Jiang 19:22, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

The weird thing is that when you load an old revision, it formats it nicely. But only when loading it from history. -- Cyrius| 19:43, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
See MediaWiki_1.3_comments_and_bug_reports - as a workaround you can either move the image to the left, or move it to the second paragraph. andy 19:45, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Leaving an empty line between the Category and the table/image worked for me. Hajor 19:53, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
In which article? In El Salvador (the one you last edited) it is still broken. Maybe you are not using the new Monobook skin? andy 21:52, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm actually switching back-and-forth between new Monobook and old Standard (monobook is a bit light and small for my rheumy myopic eyes), but as it stands now, El Salvador is rendering correctly in both. Opera 7.23 / Win 98SE. Hajor 22:52, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Of the 5 browsers I test with, Opera 7 is the only one that has never shown me the "right images shifted left" problem. Niteowlneils 17:17, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
El Salvador looks like crap on Netscape 7 and Firefox, but fine on Opera, IE, and Mozilla. Gotta mention browsers. Niteowlneils 17:23, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
moving the image to the left of lower is not an option. it's hideous that way. they need to fix the tag so it doesn't do this. --Jiang 04:47, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

Empty link by itself doesnt work for me. Two br tags seems to do the trick, but a large border around the tag remains. --Jiang

Categories are now at the bottom of the page. -- Gabriel Wicke 00:16, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)


User style showcase[edit]

How about a place where wikipedians can showcase their custom user styles, and comment on others? I for one, would like to show off my minor modifications to MonoBook and ask for some feedback (and a fix to why the search buttons suddenly look bloated in Camino...). kelvSYC 04:28, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

I agree. We could end up with a page full of different skins...yay! Wyllium 06:51, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
So, are you going to? -- Cyrius| 06:52, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I went and started one at Gallery of user styles. Dori | Talk 13:56, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

Category discussion where?[edit]

Overall, i like the category scheme. Is there a place to discuss the new category scheme? To me it looks like a lot of the List of ... articles become redundant with the category scheme. Also, is there a suggested system for common schemes, e.g.:

  • CountryName
    • History of ...
    • Economy of ...
    • People of ...
      • Artists of ...
      • Actors of ...
    • Literature of ...

Is it possible to format the listing of the sub-categories and the contained articles? Finally, how much introduction text is suggested for a category scheme? One line like e.g. Category:Harry Potter, none like Category:Films, or a lengthy introduction that makes the category more like an article like Category:Japanese culture (made by me for demonstration purposes)? -- Chris 73 | Talk 04:56, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

Start at Wikipedia:Categorization. I have a feeling there will be technical improvements made to categories once everything else is shaken down: one thing I'd like to see is something like redirects so that "Composer" and "Composers" aren't two separate categories. - Nunh-huh 05:49, 31 May 2004 (UTC)


New default skin -- float right image placement[edit]

First off, let me say that I like the new default skin very much. But, when I view Mount Vernon (plantation), the top two right-floated images are positioned near the middle of the page. This compresses the text to the left into a very narrow column that makes reading difficult and leaves a large white space to the right of the images. I'm using Mozilla 1.5. Are others seeing this? If so, is this really intended? Bill 11:42, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

I think that the bug discusssed at meta:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports#Categories list and right-aligned images at the top affects Mozilla-based browsers even if the categories list is empty. Please contribute to the debate there. --rbrwrˆ 15:16, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
The article is not currently assigned to any categories and was last updated in Jan 2004. I see the same issue with Mozilla 1.6. RedWolf 16:42, May 31, 2004 (UTC)
Even if the category list is empty, it's still there, with height and width. I promise you. I have seen it (div id ="catlinks") in the DOM Inspector and with the Firefox Web Developer Extension. It has a width of 34% and has a paragraph in it with non-zero top and bottom margins. --rbrwrˆ 17:15, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
It's no longer there if there are no categories. -- Gabriel Wicke 16:29, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Let's start a poll about Wikipedia font policy[edit]

The proposed "law" for Wikipedia font policy is this:

  • The default Wikipedia skin must use the browser's default fonts only

The reason for this is that prescribing a particular font will almost certainly lead to incorrect display for some languages (as is the case with Verdana).  It's important to be nice, but it's much more important to keep Wikipedia readable. — Monedula 20:12, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

  • You have my vote. -Rholton 22:07, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
Do you mean the font only on the English Wikipedia? If not, please hold the poll on meta:, not here. See Wikipedia:polling guidelines first though. Angela. 00:32, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Very few people ever visit Meta.  And most of the people who do the other languages work also here, in the English Wikipedia.  So there is nothing wrong to discuss it here — especially because I suspect that the skin designers never look at the other languages at all. — Monedula 07:59, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Wrong on both counts. If a feature will affect more than one wiki, then it must be discussed on neutral ground. --mav 08:47, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Hell yeah. The default skin (and the other skins!) should specify only 'serif', 'sans-serif' etc. — and not any specific fonts. Even Internet Explorer nowawadays respects and allows user configurability of standard fonts so there is no excuse not to use it. Anárion 09:38, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps even the 'serif' and 'sans-serif' are superfluous.  Those who prefer sans-serif fonts can simply set them as the browser's default.  And all the other skins (non-default, user-selected) may use any fonts they like — if one skin does not work, just try another.  But the default skin must work always. — Monedula 01:00, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • That (i.e. specify 'serif', 'sans-serif' only) or use fonts available by default on IE and Mozilla (i.e. Verdana, etc). Paul Beardsell 10:08, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
    • Ah, that's a slippery slope. "We don't need to worry about X because it's included by default." Quiz questions: a) What is the first version of the Windows family of operating systems that included Verdana? b) Does Mac OS X 10.3.4 include Verdana? How about Mac OS X 10.1? How about Mac OS X 8.6? c) Is Verdana one of the "TrueType core fonts for the Web" that Microsoft offers for free? d) Does Microsoft still offer the "TrueType core fonts for the Web?" for free? e) Does Microsoft offer them for free-as-in-freedom or only for free-as-in-beer? f) Is Verdana available by default in Linux? g) Solaris? h) Lindows? I can't answer these questions quickly and accurately off the top of my head. Therefore, I can't make an informed judgement of whether Verdana is an acceptable default. Dpbsmith 18:41, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

as t

I'd like to ask a question. No one seems to be able to answer me. Today the font of monobook was changed, and the result is absolutely ugly for me. When I asked why it was changed, I was answered there was a poll. Now, when I asked where the poll took place, I never had any answer. I come around, and I find these nice comment about the english wikipedia being the only reasonable place to discuss this because 1) noone goes to meta and 2) everyone comes to en in the end.

And that is so unfortunately true. When I want to find how a decision was taken without asking us, I indeed come here, and find my answer. So, my question is : where did you hide this poll ? :-)

SweetLittleFluffyThing

There has been no real poll, but only a lot of complaints.  (And check your browser settings.)    — Monedula 10:43, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Axing Series Boxes[edit]

With the new category feature, god willing, a number of Article Series Boxes are going to go the way of the dodo shortly. Hopefully, a very large number. Do we have some protocol in place to handle these? Are they just going to flood VfD? Are we going to leave a lot of them around? Can we temporarily create some deletion level between speedy and VfD for redundant boxes? Snowspinner 21:15, May 31, 2004 (UTC)


Bug reports[edit]

At the top it says don't report bugs here. People are, however, doing so. Is this OK really? If I don't have to go over to some other namespace to do so I would rather not. --Nevilley 21:02, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Do as we say, not as we do! ;-) Seriously, though, the main developers of the software find it much easier if all the bug reports are kept in one place - preferably at sourceforge, which has specially-designed software for tracking them. Pages have been set up on meta as a compromise, because feedback is genuinely useful, but people were reluctant to use sourceforge - at least that way you can use the software you're used to. Leaving it elsewhere is essentially laziness (or OMTWA?), and is likely to result in the report being lost and forgotten. - IMSoP 21:41, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for that. To be honest my worry was just that - that by leaving a comment there, on the meta, I had actually helped it to be lost/forgotten. However, the thing I was moaning about has indeed been fixed, so maybe the system really DOES work, yippee! Thanks. :) --Nevilley 22:22, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
There is no guarantee developers will read this page, and as the village pump is often archived, problems and suggestions are very likely to be lost if made here. Please use m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports or sourceforge. Angela. 22:37, 30 May 2004 (UTC)


Two categorization questions[edit]

See the history of John Kerry. The questions below pertain to the categories I added there before they were removed by another user. LuckyWizard 01:24, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Ugly categorization?[edit]

One of the reasons the links were removed was that they made the page ugly by pushing the table off to the side. What should be done if categorization makes a page look ugly, as happened with the John Kerry article? Should the categories be removed, or should the page be rearranged slightly to make it non-ugly? I feel that the page should be rearranged slightly; what's the point of categories if they don't include everyone who should be included? (Of course, the ideal solution would be to reprogram the software to put the category links elsewhere; the sidebar, below the interwiki links, seems the best place. But what do we do until someone does that?) LuckyWizard 01:24, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm removing them when they screw up the page formatting or seem dumb. There needs to be a lot more thought put into what is starting to look like a rather bad idea. I'm seeing categories on subjects with possible lists of just a few articles (examples: "shield volcanoes", "Hawaiian volcanoes". What is the point of that? You can link more effectively with a list in the article or under "see also" —or writing a paragraph about the category with links. Category seems to me to be a busy work that has all the same problems experienced at Wikipedia with the endless production of lists. Great, now we have made it easier to develop worthless lists. Forward Wikipedians! - Marshman 01:53, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Hopefully the page formatting issues should be being dealt with to make them less problematic. I do agree that there has been a bit of a 'mad orgy of categorization' going on in the last couple of days. Everyone experimenting with a new feature, I suppose.
Categories have some purposes, mostly the replacement of simple dumb lists. They are NOT good for smart lists that have information about each item, or grouping. However, given their current unreadable format (space seperated paragraph rather than e.g. bulleted list) they don't even replace simple lists very well. —Morven 02:59, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

Red category links?[edit]

Another reason the links were removed was that one of them (Category:American major party presidential candidates) did not yet have a page, and was therefore a red link. Is it OK to add redlinked categories to articles? I can't see why category links should be removed just because they're red links; after all, part of the Wiki idea is that people can come along, see the red links, and create the article. Why should it be different for categories? (Also, I had already seen other redlinked categories. Another point is that I might have created the category myself, were it not for the fact that it was midnight.) LuckyWizard 01:24, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

If there's no technical reason not to, just add them. They will be added soon enough and linking to them brings attention to them. If the category name is off, someone should come along and correct it. - Centrx 03:31, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)


How to know the latest happenings[edit]

I've been going through the comments at m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports regarding the new skin. Many comments suggest a revert to the standard skin and then go further one step at a time. But I don't get to see any replies to these comments from any developers/admins. Is anything being done, where are the decisions being made, where to know the latest ? Jay 07:08, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

No, nobody reads those comments.  Our designers have lost all contact with both the real and virtual worlds. ☺ — Monedula 08:07, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Don't know if that's meant to be sarcastic, but the developers do look at them, and many bugs have been fixed. There simply aren't that many developers, so one can't expect every bug report to receive a reply (especially since many reports are duplicates as people don't bother to check the page and the resolved issues subpage). Dori | Talk 17:11, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)
It is same as usual - only the bad things get their publicity, but noone notices all the things which already work in the new version. Same as Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress is so long and often frequented, but Wikipedia:Great editing in progress went dormant so fast, I just want to use the opportunity to thank all the developers who almost never get the attention except when things go wrong. I am sure in one or two weeks all the important glitches in MediaWiki 1.3 will be solved. andy 20:13, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I second your comments. Jimbo has just announced June 1 as Brion Vibber Day on the mailing lists, in recognition of the fine work he and the other developers have done on MediaWiki 1.3 Pcb21| Pete 07:18, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Happy Brion Vibber Day, for yesterday :) Dysprosia 07:22, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Gallery of user styles[edit]

The Gallery of user styles is open for business. If you have a cool skin, please share it with your fellow Wikipedians. Dori | Talk 07:23, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

  • Ah, great idea. blankfaze | ?? 16:02, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Vote on artificial languages[edit]

Please vote: Meta:Artificial languages equal rights Thanks! --Timwi

Sign your edits, and don't make big spammy pink divs. They're ugly. 137.99.17.26 17:53, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Two Category Questions[edit]

Wow, I like Categories. What a great idea. It might even replace all the List articles when it's working properly.

However I see some problems. First is that we don't have any kind of policy on how to use them, and no help on how to use them, or indeed a discussion page on how to create a policy or a help page. (I may be wrong on these, in which case feel free to point me at these pages).

Also we already have several duplicate categories (playwright and dramatist, writer and author). We need to work on resolving these; in the long term this is probably a job for the Help and policy pages.

In the short term, does anyone have a script that will move all articles in one category into another? In the above example I would like to move dramatist (the shorter category) into playwright (the longer). Can we do this automatically?

DJ Clayworth 15:28, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

You're in luck; see Wikipedia:Categorization for discussion and policy. If something needs to be merged, bring it up in there. There's been plenty of discussion in #wikipedia on irc.freenode.net as well. grendel|khan 17:49, 2004 Jun 1 (UTC)
Thank you. DJ Clayworth 17:56, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Category links[edit]

Is it just my browser or is the category link on George VI of the United Kingdom screwing up the layout of the page, making the picture appear in the middle? I've tried everything to get it to line up properly, and the only thing that seems to work is to remove the category tag. Any hints? - Chrism 19:25, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

I've now mived the picture down a bit to prevent the clash between it and the category link. Annoying but its the only thing that works so far. - Chrism 19:33, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)
It's also happening on Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and god knows how many other pages throughout the wiki. - Chrism 19:37, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)
See also Pictures, Categories, and so forth above. andy 20:02, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Mediawiki Update?[edit]

Hmm... were things just recently changed? The text size on every page suddenly got very small and some comments on WP:RFA aren't parsed correctly. The # and : signs by my comments and those of one other user aren't converting to indents/lists. Is this just something on my end?  – Jrdioko (Talk) 00:01, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It seems like this is a result of the nowiki tags in our signatures. I'll hop over to meta and mention it.  – Jrdioko (Talk) 00:11, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Update: There is now a bug report at sourceforge on this issue.

This appears to have been fixed.  – Jrdioko (Talk) 21:24, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Passing | in a Template parameter value[edit]

I'm trying to pass a vertical bar as part of a template parameter for a piped link to put into a wiki table being generated by the template. How do I do it? There is minimal documentation in the roadmap article on templates. For example, I want to do this

{{Template:something|name=test| topo=[[National Topographic System|NTS]] 83N/03}}

If I don't try to escape the vertical bar somehow, the "NTS]] 83N/03" is being treated as another parameter it seems. I've tried || and a \| without success.

RedWolf 03:41, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

The same problem came up at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject Tree of Life without satisfactory resolution. Someone on IRC suggested trying the #????; entity for '|' but I couldn't get this to work. This would be an extremely useful feature, so I guess we need to file a bug report. Pcb21| Pete 07:23, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
See also Meta:MediaWiki_1.3_comments_and_bug_reports#Use_of_'|'_in_templates. Don't know if it was reported to sourceforge already. andy 07:25, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

If you simply want the vertical bar to be displayed, just use &#x7c;. However, if you want to pass a piped link that it turns into a link, forget about it. RedWolf 22:30, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

Wonderful. That seriously messes with some of our plans for taxobox templates... although there are plenty of other lossages in templates that make them not worth itfor taxoboxes anyway. - UtherSRG 15:59, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Category Links[edit]

I give notice that I will delete every one of these "Category" links I see so long as they have the effect of creating a huge white space on the right side of the page and pushing everything else to the left. If people think these links are valuable (which I don't), they should find a way to add them without causing such distortion of the page. Adam 07:29, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Boy, that's a reasonable and patient response to a problem. -- Cyrius| 07:35, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
This is how one gets results around here. Adam 07:43, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
At the risk of saying the obvious, I should point out that our developers are working hard to fix the problem, that it will probably be fixed in the near future, and that all those category tags you remove(d) will have to be replaced once the problem is quashed. →Raul654 08:04, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
Do some research if you're using Monobook, alternatively, change your skin. Dysprosia 08:11, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The first thing I did following the switch to 1.3 was to switch my skin to 'standard', which is the old wikipedia UI. Also, it seems to suffer from none of the problems that have everyone so upset. →Raul654 08:20, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
You might also apply the fix mentioned in Pictures, Categories, and so forth above - this is the third time this topic is discussed on VP now. andy 09:11, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

When will you people grasp that an encyclopaedia is for readers and not for a cabal of computer nerds? I don't know what a "skin" is, and I don't know, or want to know, how to redesign or reconfigure my screen. Nor will many other readers and potential readers. Nor should we have to do so just because we want to read an encyclopaedia article. I do know that the "Category" links make the pages look very ugly, and until this is fixed I will delete them, at least when they are installed at articles I have written. Adam 09:33, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

If a temporary fix for the nerds is available, then the time until that fix will make it into the default stylesheet for everyone can be measured in hours or maybe days, depending on how much busy our developers are and which bug they consider most severe. Granted, it looks ugly, especially if a picture or infobox is involved, but removing legitimate contents just to circumvent a temporary problem is IMHO not the right way to go. andy 09:41, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Totally agree with andy. Also, the fixing of the category takes about as long as removing the category tab, so you might as well just fix it. -- Chris 73 | Talk 12:05, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Less time, especially given the number of pages affected. Take a look at mine for an example (be warned, this problem is not the only thing it does :-). You should AFAIK be able to copy it but not edit it. --Phil | Talk 13:39, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
I take the opposite view. We should not let the default view (i.e. the view seen by the majority of our readers) look ugly unless there is a specific short-term time when it is going to look ok again. I note on the mailing list that our lead developer said it wasn't a bug, but a problem with right-alignment. Given the sheer number of pages I expect something will be done though. Pcb21| Pete 15:22, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Wow. Good way to get blocked for vandalism. And use the Standard skin. Everything looks fine to me. RickK 20:09, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

OK well I will refrain from deleting the links since I am assured that someone is working on fixing the formatting problem they cause. Could someone please explain what a "skin" is? Adam 23:53, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Adam: A 'skin' is the basic appearance of Wikipedia pages (font, colours, layout, etc.). You can change your skin by first clicking on 'Preferences' (top right), then on 'Skin' (somewhere in the middle). You can then choose a skin (one of Standard, Nostalgia, Cologne Blue and MonoBook). I had precisely the same problem as you with categories. It turned out to be a problem with the 'MonoBook' skin. I fixed it by changing my skin to 'Standard'. Good luck! --Auximines 10:44, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia Homepage with the Monobook skin[edit]

I just switched to the Monobook skin, and I see a <!--> at the bottom of the home page (as if someone messed up a comment). I did not have this problem with the Cologne Blue skin. I apologize if someone has already reported this and is working on it. I see the error in both Mozilla and IE. Also, is there a better forum for problems like this that can only be handled by admins? - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 14:47, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

This should have had nothing to do with the skin. It was simply something that was put on the page in an edit (by mistake I presume) and I just removed it. Dori | Talk 15:15, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
cough That was me. I was trying to purge the cache, but didn't notice that I got the syntax wrong.--Eloquence*


Sysop editable wiki-wide stylesheet[edit]

Thanks to Gabriel Wicke, sysops can now add a stylesheet for their wiki using MediaWiki:Monobook.css. The content of these stylesheets should be similar to the user stylesheets. I have used this feature to increase the font size on the CJK wikis, as requested on wikitech-l. Stylesheets for the other skins and configurable javascript will be implemented soon. See m:User styles for examples of the kinds of things which could go in these pages. -- Tim Starling 03:05, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

Is there a possibility for sysops to change the monobook.css on request? e.g. on de:Wikipedia there should disabled the "text-transform:lowercase". the argument is: in an encyclopedia the correctness is more important than the design!
This is a great improvement (as is the vast majority of 1.3b - thanks, btw, to all those who contributed). Some questions and comments:
  1. is this monobook.css served instead of the system's default one, or as an adjunct to it? (I think an adjuct would be better, allowing it to override only necessary things). Ah, I just checked Tim's change and I see it's adjunctive (ahem), so good :)
  2. CSS is powerful, but flakily supported. It'll be very easy for folks to change something that messes up some other browser. So I think we need some kind of procedure (sigh, I know, don't we have enough already) for making sure changes are checked by a reasonable set of browsers before they get committed to the "live" version. It's like the main page (for which have quite a lot of process) only moreso - I'm not worried about people changing fonts and colours and stuff (that can be easily reverted), but it's all to easy to try to tweak layout and make stuff move to strange new places (offscreen, hidden under something, clipped badly) or cause other rather serious effects.
Thoughts? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:44, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Skin is...[edit]

Could someone please tell me what a skin is? Adam 04:41, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

See Skin (computing). In short, a skin is the way your browser (or any program) formats its output. If you don't like the new Wikipedia look, you can change the current skin. Go to your preferences (at the top-right under your username), click "skin" in the left column, and select "standard" (the old wikipedia "feel"). →Raul654 04:48, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

You can change your Skin at your Preferences. There are 4 skins. --Menchi 05:38, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Skins and customization[edit]

Standard skin should be the default. Let users change the preferences to any other skin they want. Customization is for getting comfortable with the user interface, customization is NOT for making an unusable user interface usable. The latter is what the developers and admins seem to be suggesting nowadays.

customization = usable -> better
customization NOT unusable -> usable

What is the level of usability is debateable, but it should satisfy the majority. For a website, the default browser behaviour is a good guideline. Refer Usability testing to check if the new Wikipedia format passes the test. It has a line that says "A common mistake that designers make, for instance, is to focus too much on creating designs that look "cool", but compromise on usability and functionality."

Jay 05:35, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Category links again[edit]

At Apostle Titus, the box containing the Category link overlaps the caption to the photo. This should be fixed or deleted. Adam 05:21, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I've got a simple one-line user CSS stopgap fix for this in Monobook.
#catlinks { clear:both; }
This causes the category box to force itself below the image. I've tried it in several different browsers and it worked in all of them. Haven't checked to see if it screws up anything elsewhere though. -- Cyrius| 06:24, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Why does this need to be brought here instead of to the article's Talk page? RickK 19:10, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

Because it's actually a general problem. It should turn up on any page where a floating image is taller than the text. -- Cyrius| 21:52, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Categories marked as "stub"[edit]

I notice someone has applied the msg:stub message to Category:WikiHolidays; I can only assume that this is not the only case. Category descriptions are highly likely to be short (and hopefully sweet): is there really any point in marking them as stubs? --Phil | Talk 09:11, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

Someone took care of it by removing the tag. Seems a correct thing to do to me. - Bevo 15:47, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

special:categories[edit]

<irony>wow</irony>


Customizing en stylesheet[edit]

Since many people have complained about the style, and since now we have the option of fixing it at least for the entire english wikipedia, I think we need to have a discussion and possible some votes, and fix the major problems. As far as I can tell the biggest changes that people are irked about are:

  1. Font
  2. Color of links
  3. External link icon
  4. Color of non-main namespace pages

How about Wikipedia:MonoBook styling for the discussion? Dori | Talk 15:22, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

I suggest it is discussed at MediaWiki talk:Monobook.css rather than creating a new page for it as this is the talk page of the place where the changes will occur. Angela. 16:36, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
That makes sense to me - we should discuss it where it will actually be changed -- sannse (talk)
OK, neither of these places currently exist. I'll start an entry at the place suggested by Angela; I have been *very* confused and frustrated by the tab labels at the top of the page bodies, and I (a) am a fairly sophisticated user and (b) am already familiar with WPedia. Elf | Talk 16:47, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Next question: Where do we say what we *like* about the new interface? Here, or at MediaWiki talk:Monobook.css, or at m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports? Elf | Talk 17:32, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Search page[edit]

What the <bleep> happened to it? Where's the Yahoo Search, and, more importantly, where's the 'if you think you know what should be on this page, click here' link?!? Niteowlneils 15:39, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I think it's because $wgUseDatabaseMessages were temporarily disabled as a bot is running and updating things in the MediaWiki namespace. It should be renabled soon after that is done. Dori | Talk 15:47, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)
It's almost done now. See [1] and [2] -- Tim Starling 15:51, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

message redirects don't work.[edit]

It would have been nice if User:Template namespace initialisation script had first editted all pages so that {{msg:foo}} became {{foo}} and then went and moved all the MediaWiki message to the Template namespace, instead of just moving the messages to the new namespace.... Redirected messages do not work! All taxonomy pages that were using messages in the taxoboxes, and many, many, many other pages with the now redirected messages are b0rk, b0rk, b0rk! I'm very disappointed. - UtherSRG 16:05, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Don't look now, but I think the script is going after those next. →Raul654 16:09, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)
Weirdnesss: It's inconsistent, too... Take a look at Three-striped_Night_Monkey (not b0rken) and Night monkey. Very strange! - UtherSRG 16:26, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Not sure what's going on yet, but MediaWiki 1.3 certainly does support redirects in templates, regardless of whether you use {{msg:foo}} or {{foo}}. If you make a trivial edit to the page and save it, the problem goes away. The really weird thing is that it's displaying the contents of the MediaWiki namespace page, when it's meant to check the Template namespace page first. Perhaps it is some kind of link table issue. -- Tim Starling 17:05, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)
W00t! (Ok... don't ask... I'm in a weird mood...) Kewl... now I just have to do is hunt 'em all down and squash 'em! :( - UtherSRG 17:18, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
As I expected, that's not fun. There's got to be a better way..... - UtherSRG 17:26, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The problem is the linkscc table, which wasn't updated correctly by my script. I've disabled the use of that table for now. -- Tim Starling 17:39, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)


Selecting images with templates.[edit]

I must be doing something wrong over at Template:Mancala 2x6. I expect to be able to use it like {{Mancala 2x6|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12}} since the appropriate image names are defined. However, I end up with this, where it claims it cannot find images I know exist. Could someone suggest the correct way to do this? - Kevin Saff 20:59, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

See also on meta - but I can see you already noted it there. andy 22:19, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)



error[edit]

Every time I go to a new page, I get a pop-up message saying "A runtime error has occurred. Do you wish to debug? Line [16, 17, or 18] Error: addcss is undefined". Meelar 21:15, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Which browser are you using? That's a javascript DHTML call (I'm surprised any of that stuff is portable). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:34, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Try clearing your cache. If it still happens, please report it at sourceforge. Angela. 21:43, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
I get the same error, but for line 18 only. --Jiang 22:55, 29 May 2004 (UTC)


Hey, guess what?[edit]

Even though I don't have caching enabled in my preferences, I cleaned it all out anyway and my problems went away. RickK 21:54, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

It wasn't your browser cache, or media wiki's "cache articles" setting that was at fault - the squid will still keep a copy of the stylesheet(s) regardless, until you (well, someone) does a shift-reload, which makes the browser send special "no-cache" lines in the HTTP request (and thus making any intermediate caches get up off their ass and go fetch everything fresh). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:58, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Can someone guide me through this process? I use IE6 and am, therefore, unworthy of assistance - I realise that. But have pity. --bodnotbod 15:09, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)


Table caption formatting?[edit]

Hi, I'm using Mozilla 1.6 on Debian Linux (testing), and the formatting of table captions doesn't seem right any more on with the new MediaWiki (which I otherwise think is beautiful).

See, for example, this table — even though the caption is specified as align=bottom, it appears at the top. Moreover, the caption is has the same margins as the rest of the text, so it is indistinguishable from an ordinary paragraph (whereas previously it was narrower, to match the table). Is this a problem with that particular table's code, or is it a bug in MediaWiki? —Steven G. Johnson 19:07, May 30, 2004 (UTC)


Form completion box[edit]

It seems since the new skin was implemented that the form completion dropdown box does not appear directly below the original box I am typing in but may be elsewhere on the page.

My OS and browser stats:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040206 Firefox/0.8

SD6-Agent 22:12, 31 May 2004 (UTC)


New skin[edit]

Hi. My name is Eddie. I am a junior in high school. I use this website often for research and personal education. I really hate this new system. I find the lettering really difficult to read. I hate having to saerch around for buttons that aren't where they used to be. Can ypu please switch back to the old way? Thanks alot. Eddie.

If you like the old style, sign in, go to your "Preferences" page, and set your "Skin" to "Standard". - Nunh-huh 22:30, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Replied (the same) on his talk page. →Raul654 22:31, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

Yay for CSS customisation[edit]

I love the new customisability, right? I was glad to be able to switch the personal toolbar from the top (ugly) to the side. But ONE THING nagged the hell out of me. For that specific menu, the links wouldn't underline when you hovered over them (coz they weren't supposed to when they were on top). It just annoyed me. So I went digging and found the little codebit that's responsible and now my links underline when I hover over them. Hooray! blankfaze | •­•

    1. p-personal li a:hover { text-decoration: underline; }

Customizing en stylesheet[edit]

(Repeating this post as it's important to leave on the pump for more than a few minutes) Since many people have complained about the style, and since now we have the option of fixing it at least for the entire english wikipedia, I think we need to have a discussion and possible some votes, and fix the major problems.

Discussion at MediaWiki talk:Monobook.css Dori | Talk 23:31, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)


Search Box Design Problem[edit]

I like many things about the new default style (MonoBook). For example, it removes some unnecessary clutter from the top of the page. But I would like to raise an issue with the main page design: the search box. Search from the main page is the most popular way to access content on WikiPedia, as far as I know. Therefore, the search box should be very conspicuous on the main page. It should be at the top (maybe center top), under the welcome message, and probably labeled "Search" with large font. I realize that the search box fits nicely in the navigation column, but some browsers (such as W3m and Lynx) render the column at the bottom of the page. Ideally, the it would be at the top of every page for consistency. If we come to a consensus that it must be in the column, it should be just below the WikiPedia logo.

It should have only one button, unless there is a good reason to have two buttons, which I don't yet know. Currently, there is a Go button and a Search button. If there are two buttons, the distinction between them should be clear. (Tooltips can help with that.) As noted elsewhere, it is poor design to make the buttons flat, because it is not immediately obvious that they are buttons; preferably they should be standard browser buttons. -- Pgan002 06:18, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

If Internet Explorer and Mozilla users can not tell that Go and Search are buttons, do we really want them contributing? Just joking. I personally prefer the flat buttons, and users of more esoteric buttons are competent enough to compensate, I presume. Their flatness makes them gives them and the Wikipedia some distinction from the rest of the web's rabble, and makes the buttons consistent regardless of Operating System. However, that IS quite the nuisance having the box appear at the bottom of the page in some text browsers. Does it do it with Links as well? -- AquaRichy 23:18, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)
There are two design issues: the flatness and the non-standardness. Flat buttons are accepted to be bad UI design, as far as I know, because they provide little visual cue that they are something to be pushed. As for standards, is it better that WP buttons are branded, or that they appear like the buttons the user is used to? I believe the consensus in the UI community is the latter. But even if we agree that there is a good reason to use non-standard buttons, they can still be raised non-standard buttons. --Pgan002 01:49, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Yes, Links also renders the search box at the bottom of the page. I can't see why this happens. --Pgan002 01:49, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

An open letter[edit]

I am very frustrated with Wikipedia right now. The suddenness of the conversion, the lack of warning of its occurrence, the attitude that more features is better, and the new look-and-feel all bother me.

Yes, yes, I could just change my personal skin and be done with it...but there are many reasons why that would not fly as a solution. How can i help new users or be an effective admin if i don't know the new skin? If aspects of the new skin confuse me or look ugly to me, won't they do the same to new users? If I am going to continue as a member of this community, then I need to keep up with the advances of the interface. With all that said, there are some very specific changes I want done to the default skin:

  • the font - use the user's default font
  • the white background - give the background a slight shade, like there was before
  • the tab placement - that info should be on the side, not on the top
  • the search box placement - the search box should be on the top, and prominent, not lost on the side
  • Links - underline them

Other things I'd like to see changed, but aren't crucial:

  • the BOOK image - remove the background image; it is a distraction
  • the boxy look - the two-toned body look is hideous, IMHO

I am upset at the way this new version came upon us. I didn't see a press release or an announcement (maybe they existed, but I never saw them). From my point-of-view, the upgrade simply happened one day. It just appeared. Now, new users are forced to witness a beta-version, and beginning users are stumbling trying to change their skins. My time editing has vanished; instead, my time is taken up by learning how to edit my skin and by teaching others how to do the same. I ask you...if so many people are changing their skins, isn't that telling us something?

Another thing...I have trouble with this notion that more features means better. There is such a thing as TOO MANY features. Let me remind you that the essential characteristics of Wikipedia are that it is an encyclopedia, it is a wiki for anyone to use, and that it contains open content. Having an overabundance of features is NOT essential to our cause.

I feel tremendously frustrated with Wikipedia this week. I hope things can get worked out. Part of me feels like bailing to a different wiki encyclopedia.

Sincerely, Kingturtle 21:03, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Any one knows who are the people responsible for the new look and feel of Wikipedia ? We can hunt them out directly rather than shooting in the dark and hoping someone to take notice of the complaints. 203.195.204.132 07:26, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Wikipedia now imposes its will on its readers?[edit]

Why has Wikipedia overridden readers’ default font and highlighting selections? Do you really think ‘you’ know better than all your readers? I used to enjoy reading Wikipedia articles; they are now in a font that is painful to read—and every linked term now has a forced, ugly, and distracting underline.

(And please do not suggest that readers should edit their .css file on every Wiki they use; that is impractical. A separate profile for every web site is not sustainable!)   quota

Yes, Wikipedia is a malicious entity, run by some kind of secretive organization of web designers who aim to make things difficult on everyone.
Seriously, though, any good browser will let you override site-specified fonts, and for that matter, practically every other visual attribute of site presentation. That's the nice thing about CSS! You may want to join in the discussion of MediaWiki comments and bug reports, layout design, the monobook skin, and skins in general, among others; participating in the existing discussion on these issues is more likely to bring about change than simply complaining about it. -- Wapcaplet 19:39, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)
You can use one stylesheet across all wikis by dropping @import url(http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=User:You/Monobook.css&action=raw&ctype=text/css); in the secondary wiki's Monobook.css. Then you only have to edit the en version. -- Gabriel Wicke 11:48, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I think the fans of the new cutesy-but-less-readable font are missing the point. The experts can change CSS stuff any time they want. It's the ordinary folks who don't invest major portions of their lives to learn all the intracacies of the latest browser styling fads that are left to squint at this unannounced, unvoted-upon, fait-accompli change. (I won't even dignify the idea that one should change one's default browser fonts just to make Wikipedia look nice with an indignant response. Or have I just?) ☺ -- Jeff Q 04:33, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Watchlist link in side navigation[edit]

Why is it gone? I want it back. --Jiang 05:04, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It's at the top, I agree that the my contribs and it should be in the toolbox instead (/me waits for someone to mention the custom stylesheet). Dori | Talk 05:07, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
You can do it with a custom style sheet ;-). You are told how at m:User styles. I am loving the new flexibility. Pcb21| Pete 07:20, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Ditto. Plus these hotkeys are a godsend. I'm at least 53% more efficient. --Chopchopwhitey 07:23, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
A godsend, yes... but slightly annoying, since some conflict with IE's menus. In particular, Alt-E (Edit in WP, Edit Menu in IE) and Alt-A (View Article in WP, Favorites Menu in IE). Also, while they automatically perform their function in Firefox (For Linux, at least), IE just moves the focus to the proper button; i.e. I have to hit Alt-L and then enter to view the Watchlist. Also, one more issue - hitting Alt-E to do something in the Edit menu has destroyed some of my edits in Firefox, thanks to the site automatically reloading the Edit page. Perhaps some alt-links like Alt-E should be disabled on the edit page? --Golbez 20:00, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)


MonoBook[edit]

Uhh, my mono book skin just stopped working, I was seeing the pages raw. I switched to Cologne and everything is fine. Is someone working on the monobook css right now? - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 17:54, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)

Today, I've seen image rendering problems with both Monobook and the Standard skin. Especially at Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates - Bevo 19:44, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
All seems to be working fine for me (NS 7.1/XP). blankfaze | •• 22:26, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)mono
It seems to be an inconsistency with the Mozilla Firefox browser. I just tried IE 6, and it renders OK with that browser. With Firefox, I'm getting some of the images chopped off (renders left-side only) in the thumbnailed presentation. - Bevo 22:46, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Ditto. See ongoing thread at m:MediaWiki_1.3_comments_and_bug_reports#Layout_of_tables.2C_images -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:50, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. Mozilla Firefox rendering seems much better this morning. - Bevo 12:47, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Gabriel fixed the CSS, which seems to address the firefox-specific problems. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 12:54, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Unfortunately, it seems to be broken again in both Standard and MonoBook skins for FireFox 0.8 - Bevo 15:29, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)


About the new skin[edit]

This might be rather late but, why exactly was it decided to change the skin. and why was no-one told about it before it happened?. Personally I find the new skin quite hideous, it hurts my eyes reading it, I've had to go back to using the old one. I think this might be quite off-putting for readers. What does anyone else think? G-Man 19:58, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I am not very knowledgeable about how things work at en. But at Japanese Wikipedia, someone caught that info. on IRC, and reported it to the wikipedia embassy page, with links to pages like meta:Skins. Perhaps there is a similar flow of news here?
Also, in case you want to comment this skin and other features, here is a convenient place meta:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports. I don't think it is too late. Tomos 20:57, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)
It's been floated about for a long time (mostly mentioned off-handedly), but ever since it was put on test it should have become widely known as most of the features there eventually make it onto the 'pedias. I think the new skin looks better, but it's not just that. It's a whole new system that allows for better customizing the look. This one was supposed to inspire a new skin that would be based on the new system. Dori | Talk 22:55, Jun 10, 2004 (UTC)
One thing I have noticed about the new font is that capital I and lower case L look the same: IlIlIl. nroose Talk 04:50, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Please see Talk:French Revolution, where a Village Pump discussion pointing out an external link bug was moved.


Math symbols[edit]

Is it just me, or are some math symbols appearing as squares in the Monobook skin? For example, the right arrow (→) appears as a square, which renders some articles, such as domain, codomain, and range, difficult to read (although note in these articles I changed the inline math expressions that involved a right arrow into LaTeX---revert to earlier versions to see the squares). I think the sans-serif font is to blame. I don't believe sans-serif font supports a right arrow symbol. I think we should change the default font back to a Roman font or at least a font which supports all the math symbols the articles use. What does everyone think? –Matt 22:37, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

On the other hand, I see the right arrow appears correctly on this page, so perhaps it is just my computer... –Matt 22:38, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I just checked those pages on Firefox 0.8, IE6, and Opera 7.51, all on windows XP, and the previous versions (before your laTeXification) all render properly (if somewhat anaemically). I don't doubt you've seen a problem, however, but perhaps it's the usual stylesheet-caching issue, or something. Do a ctrl-f5 or shift-reload, sacrifice something cute to Legba, and don't worry. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:39, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I've seen similar square-box problems numerous times, even with the old layout, always when viewing Wikipedia pages under Mozilla on Linux, presumably due to font problems. It would be helpful if Matt would specify an OS and browser. (In-line math seems to have switched over to a serif font, although the font-size now clashes with the body text.) —Steven G. Johnson 15:53, Jun 13, 2004 (UTC)
I've tried both IE5.5 and IE6 under Windows ME. In both cases, I see squares in some places (such as the articles cited above) but the correct math symbols in others (such as the village pump). –Matt 01:08, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Actually, the square-boxes seem to appear randomly now. I used to be able to see the right arrow above, but now it appears as a box. –Matt 01:11, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I'm on Debian GNU/Linux running Mozilla Firebird 0.8 and I see no problem with the symbols. - Centrx 20:21, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Does anyone know of any ways to solve this problem? Preferably without changing skins, so as to simulate what someone from the outside (i.e., look up an article without an account) would see. I have tried flushing my cache and history, to no avail. Currently, for me, the &middot;, &rarr;, and &minus; have appeared as squares. Matt 11:00, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Is it still a problem today? (Looks fine to me using MonoBook.) - Bevo 22:30, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Problem with media wiki editor[edit]

I am facing a problem with media wiki editor after including poll extension. Level 2 Headline does not works.Plz help if any one have some idea

poll example is as <poll> question ? ans1 ans2 ans3 </poll>