Vector is a MediaWiki skin and extension that was developed in 2009 with the goal of increasing accessibility. It became the default skin for MediaWiki in 2010 (in SVN change 66383).
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It is one of the first in a series of steps undertaken by the Wikipedia Usability Initiative, to create a more welcoming, understandable and usable website interface for readers and novice editors, in an effort to increase participation in editing among the public.
What has changed?
Not that much. The most visible to many people will be the visual changes of course. Different tabs and a moved searchbox. There is also a new toolbar and recently the Search results page has changed. All this is part of the first stage of the Usability Initiative and is called Acai. The skin will change several more times before the end of the project, and other elements such as the toolbar are also only the start of changes to come. See for instance the ideas for Babaco, the next step of these changes.
Did I ask for this?
No, most likely not. But change is not bad; Wikipedia will have to evolve and there are bound to be some things you might not like. Therefore there is a Beta period and a Feedback form, so that you can tell what you like and what you hate. Do remember however that there is no perfect design, for all users. The monobook design is very "utilitarian" and optimized for editor usage. It can however also be cluttered, "busy", and confusing to readers. The Usability initiative is trying to strike a balance between both groups of course, but not everyone will be satisfied. Be aware however, that editors can always use CSS and JS extensions to change the interface to their hearts' content.
- Feedback form for feedback on the Beta.
- Usability wiki for project feedback
- Bugzilla for technical issues.
importScript('User:YourName/monobook.js'); into your vector.js.