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I thought I would take a minute to explain to you why I have introduced changes to this template. One reason for changing the templates is to improve accessibility for visually impaired users using a screen reader. Whenever a screen reader encounters a dot, it calls out the word "dot". The material presents as a lot of tiny disjointed paragraphs rather than a list. With the new mark-up, the screen reader will announce that a list is coming, and then will proceed to read out the items on the list. Application of the hlist class is about presenting the material as actual lists, which helps not just people with vision issues, but those viewing the site using phones and other non-traditional devices. Search engines also will read lists better.
The use of the dots is now deprecated, and have been since August. Each dot requires the application of a template, and templates are expensive, as they increase server load. There are limits as to how many templates can be placed on a page. Application of the latest method, using listclasses and bodyclasses to create the lists, results in a reduction in post-expand include size of 18% and a reduction in template argument size of 25.6% on this template. This is a substantial improvement that will lead to quicker load times for pages and a better experience for our viewing audience.
The transition has not been trouble free; some kinks have had to be ironed out, and there may still be a ways to go. However, we have the templates displaying adequately in the two latest versions of the problematic Internet Explorer (IE8 and IE9), and we can't hold back development of Wikipedia for older, buggy browsers. There will be a story about this in the next issue of The Signpost. A bit of the stretchiness of this template was caused by the image, so I have reduced its size. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Sincerely, -- Dianna (talk) 18:32, 20 November 2011 (UTC)