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Talk:What's new, questions and answers

From Wikimedia Usability Initiative

Please feel free to add further questions or comments you'd like to see explored on the Usability Initiative Questions and Answers page.

Will these changes go into MediaWiki?

A question I can't find the answer to is: (when) Will these wonderful changes find their way to MediaWiki? Especially the new editing toolbar and upcoming changes to editing in general. If this isn't the place to be for this question, where would it be appropriate? 06:58, 30 March 2010 (UTC)Reply

The Vector skin is part of MediaWiki and will be included in MediaWiki 1.16, which should be released soon (an early version of it was in 1.15 as well). The toolbar, dialogs, and generally all the other things we've developed and are developing are not in MediaWiki itself but in the UsabilityInitiative extension, which can be downloaded from SVN. --Catrope 15:58, 31 March 2010 (UTC)Reply


the above page has the search in the sidebar. how does it get to the upper right? this makes this wikimedia message unclear. 15:58, 31 March 2010 (UTC)Reply

Vector doesn't support the SEARCH module in it's sidebar system, but it always places a search box in the top right. Trevor Parscal 18:37, 31 March 2010 (UTC)Reply

Hebrew Wikipedia's opinion

I can't speak on behalf of all of the Hebrew Wikipedia, but according to the survay in the Hebrew village pump, there is a clear consensus (not even one opposition) towards sticking to the monobook skin and not changing over to vector. I was wondering wether or not it is possible to indeed stick with monobook if a global change occours. see discussion: [1], where you can see all the Against [changing over] opinions. yoni, 16:07, 31 March 2010 (UTC)Reply

What are the specific issues the community has with switching over to Vector? We would rather have projects display Vector and enable the enhanced features by default, but we should understand the issues first. Would it be possible to summarize the main points? Also, this spreadsheet captures the retention rates for individual projects. Howief 22:24, 5 April 2010 (UTC)Reply
Main points are (as i understand it): (1) Frequently used tabs have been moved to a menu (protect, delete, move, etc.). This is a drawback - click menu, search for wanted option with or without mouse, then another click - instead of simply clicking tab. If this can be fixed by custom JS, this is simply not an efficient way of doing things (i.e. changing source code only for it to be changed back using user-side script). (2) The new toolbar might be more new user friendly, but for more experienced users (after all, users dont stay new all there life), key and frequently used buttons are stashed in menus, instead of being in plain sight. (3) The new tool bar is missing many of our custom buttons and it is not clear how we can add more. (4) If the tabs are removed from menu and put in plain sight again, and we use the old buttons by default, the only changes are actually only the different styling of pages. I'd not call this a usability initiative as it decreased the usability rather than enhanced it, and in fact is only a skin change (if indeed above-mentioned issues are taken care of). (5) I guess it's also a matter of taste. Some users simply prefered the familiar (to editors and to readers) monobook style. (6) From my point of view, it's a headache to fix all help pages, help templates, help images, how-to videos (!), site JS and personal JS, updating site messages. It just seems like a lot of work for a not-so-much usefull new skin.
As to the spreadsheet, it does not reflect the real use and popularity of the site. (a) Many new users opt in, dont opt out, but are not active. How many active users have opt in but not out...? (b) users are under the impression that this transfer will be forced upon us, and so they might as well start getting used to it. (c) the survay conveys the real and true popularity of the beta version - 0% in the Hebrew Wikipedia. All those who use it, use it because of reason mentioned in b, as shown in the rationals giv in the survay. Yoni, 17:33, 7 April 2010 (UTC)Reply
From reading your post, it seems most of your concerns apply to experienced users, but you don't seem to have much of a problem switching anonymous users to Vector. Note that even if the default skin on hewiki is switched to Vector, individual users will still be able to opt out and go back to Monobook easily (two clicks). This may be something to consider. ---Catrope 18:30, 7 April 2010 (UTC)Reply
Yoni indeed does not represent all users of he.wikpedia, but his complaint and Catrope's reply to it demonstrate a very important point: The developers of Vector seem to assume that it is fine to alienate experienced users while they make changes that are supposed to bring new users. This assumption is completely wrong.
Besides, we all know that shortly after the full switch Vector the developers will deprecate Monobook and give proper support only to Vector, so the possibility to switch to Monobook is a very temporary remedy. So i switched to the beta very early, but not because i think that it is necessary, but because i understood that it would be forced on me anyway.
Let me reiterate it again and again: I complain in every possible forum about the changes not because i am opposed to them in principle or because i disrespect the developers. I complain because the changes introduce particular significant technical problems and because they show that the foundation and the developers seem to not consider the community's opinion important enough. --Amir E. Aharoni 08:28, 19 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
Another reason why the spreadsheet above is not accurate (or is not being interpreted correctly) is the assumption that it represents a true sample of mediawiki users. There is a major selection bias going on. The only people represented in that sheet are those who Decided to use the beta. It is not surprising that out of a group where 100% of the members are the kind of people who will go through the trouble to try a beta there is a high percentage of people who will continue to use it. In fact I would say that a retention rate of only 80% is a sign of more work needing to be done. If everyone who has used a wikimedia project for the last...(I cant remember when you said you started the beta and I can open the article page without navigating away from the edit tab because you disabled the "right-click, open in new tab" functionality...see below)...however many months, then one would expect that a fairly large number of people who like the idea of a new wikilook have had a chance to see it. If a full 20% of them then decided against using it what do you think the percentage of those who will op-out after having it forced on them will be? I would very much like to see those numbers. Don't get me wrong I think adding usability for new users is a fantastic idea, I just think the current version of "Vector" is not ready for full-time yet. Cheers, Colincbn 14:47, 11 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

And this is much like Simple English Wikipedia's opinion. Although I have not raised this at our "Village Pump", in discussion with many of the active users, a clear majority agree with staying with monobook. Is this an option? Yes or no, I don't need a long post on how Beta is so much better. Griffinofwales 01:10, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Reply


Are we going to make an effort to translate this page soon? Bastique 02:11, 7 April 2010 (UTC)Reply

We should. But I want to capture more questions and answers based on the feedback from Commons, before inviting translators to translate the page --Shuhari 19:56, 7 April 2010 (UTC)Reply

More information about Vector et cetera

Why aren't things like the retention rate posted in more highly visible areas on-wiki? It would be nice if we could get a nice page going in one centralized location about a topic rather than scattered across Metawiki, Usabilitywiki, Commonswiki, and then talk pages therein of those content pages that deal with Vector. 07:39, 28 April 2010 (UTC)Reply

The summary page of the beta retention rate is found here. This page was referenced many times via blogs, but perhaps the pointers need to be planted in Meta and Commons as well. Please point the inquiry to this page. --Shuhari 00:01, 29 April 2010 (UTC)Reply

Skin-independent user scripts and styles

Is there any chance of getting rev:63300 (and rev:63338) deployed before the default skin is changed on more projects? I'd been kind of hoping that it would've made it into the live branch at its own pace by now, but since it hasn't, this would seem like an excellent time for it. --Ilmari Karonen 00:33, 7 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

Comment on this page

The section "Where did the watch tab go?" refers to "the arrow mentioned above", but I don't see any earlier mention of an arrow. 20:51, 7 May 2010 (UTC)Reply, you will need to be logged in to see the star. It appears in the top right-hand toolbar with the "Read", "Edit" and "View History" buttons are. I've edited the section to make it clearer. :) Neobenedict 19:52, 11 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

large type

Are there any projects that actually use this feature? The enWP deprecates it, and I have almost never seen it used there except very occasionally for effect in talk pages--something that is not actually necessary, given we have bold and italics. The button takes space, which could be used for something that actually has a function. DGG 15:05, 9 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

Will we be able to keep the old theme?

I'm surprised this hasn't been asked yet, and it's probably a very retarded question, but will we be able to use the old Monobook skin? I absolutely hate the new theme and I hate that every community I visit is getting a UI change (ex. YouTube, Steam) and won't let us keep the old one. Cody574 03:15, 11 May 2010 (UTC) Wikipedia pageReply

Yes the original theme is permanent, you can simply revert back to it whenever, like I'm assuming most users plan to do. It's answered in the FAQ so go over there and check. Indigochild777 03:43, 11 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
D'oh, I just glanced at the FAQ and didn't see that the first time. Cody574 22:30, 11 May 2010 (UTC) Wikipedia pageReply

Printing pages with tabular data

When printing wiki pages that have information in tabular form, like for example lists of song titles in an album, the borders of the table are no longer printed. What happened, this is a really bad change... Unsigned Comment by Have you tried using CSS to add a border to the tables? For example: border:1px solid #000000;. Also, please remember to sign (with ~~~~) your comments. Neobenedict 19:57, 11 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

Discussion Section Should be a Forum, not a Wiki

While it makes sense that the page be a wiki, it does not really make sense that the discussion page be a wiki. I propose that the discussion tab be changed to a forum type format, where people make posts, and can reply to posts. This will help organize the discussion, as people can reply to each other's posts. --WisTex 12:22, 11 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

This feature is already being developed. It is called LiquidThreads. You can read about it here: mw:Extension:LiquidThreads. --Amir E. Aharoni 13:32, 19 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

Right clicking on Page, Edit, History, Discussion etc. No longer allows multi-tab editing/reading, Why?

Right clicking any of the header tabs, i.e. history, talk, etc.,used to allow you to open those pages in a new browser tab (or window for that matter). So you could quickly switch back an forth between a talk page and the article under discussion for example. Now you can no longer do that. Is there a reasonable justification for this obvious loss of functionality? Colincbn 14:15, 11 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

What your describing should not be the case. What browser/OS are you using? Howief 23:40, 11 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
I am using Internet explorer v8.0 (and please refrain from telling me to install a new browser that will load up a bunch of new services at my start up, I.E. has the most market share of any web browser and MediaWiki needs to understand that) and win7 64bit. When I right click on the Page, Discussion, Edit, History etc. tabs I get the "back, forward, save background, etc" menu instead of the link menu to open up in new tabs or whatever. This happens on IE 7 on my other system as well. I know that others have reported this issue also as some people mentioned it in the "retention rate" spreadsheet linked above. (Edit: My Sig, I was not logged in) Colincbn 06:03, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
I am now checking on my Win XP system and I get the same problem in IE 8.0 on this OS as well. So it seems that you still have some work cut out for you. Colincbn 06:18, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
I am using Internet explorer v8.0 (and please refrain from telling me to install a new browser that will load up a bunch of new services at my start up, I.E. has the most market share of any web browser and MediaWiki needs to understand that) and win7 64bit. When I right click on the Page, Discussion, Edit, History etc. tabs I get the "back, forward, save background, etc" menu instead of the link menu to open up in new tabs or whatever. This happens on IE 7 on my other system as well. I know that others have reported this issue also as some people mentioned it in the "retention rate" spreadsheet linked above. (Edit: My Sig, I was not logged in) Colincbn 06:03, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
I am now checking on my Win XP system and I get the same problem in IE 8.0 on this OS as well. So it seems that you still have some work cut out for you. Colincbn 06:18, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
I too am on IE8 and the right-click context menu does not have the "Open", "Open in new tab", and "Open in new window" options. Strangely, clicking the wheel on my mouse still works as the "open in new tab" option, but this is a feature I discovered by accident quite recently and I doubt a large proportion of the user populationare aware of it. Creating new tabs and windows is an essential part of the way in which I use Wikipedia.
(edit) As for general comments:
  • It really seems IE users are left out of a lot of developments. A majority of the gadgets make no provision for IE users. Changes are made without much notification which sometimes break something for IE users (for example, something happened recently which caused IE8 users to experience problems with the edit box scrolling randomly, see Bugzilla 22983). There then goes the usual "Oh! we'll have to check that on IE". Do no developers use IE?
  • I really don't like the proposed Vector skin and would probably switch straight back to Monobook, unless there was a very good reason to use Vector. Astronaut (talk) 16:56, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for letting us know. The details are very helpful. This is something we'll definitely need to fix. I'll keep everyone updated as to when we can get this resolved. Thanks for your patience. Howief 17:36, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
@Astronaut, thanks for the middle button/wheel tip! I didn't know you could do that either. It still works and opens up a new tab in Vector for me as well. I hope the added info helps in your dev process Howief. Cheers, Colincbn 01:16, 13 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for reporting this, it's been filed as bug 23490. --Catrope 08:18, 13 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
Please expedite this "bug": it is a significant usability problem. Editors routinely open two or more simultaneous views of article, discussion, history, and edit screen. While there are workarounds, many people are unfamiliar with them, and rely of the standard right-click features for links. Thanks! ~ Ningauble 17:57, 15 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
Someone working on this? What's the status? -- 22:07, 14 June 2010 (UTC)Reply
The status of bug 23490 was "Resolved/Fixed" in July, but I have reopened it because it is still not working in IE7. ~ Ningauble 15:44, 18 September 2010 (UTC)Reply

"arrow mentioned above"

What arrow? -- 16:06, 11 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

Beta Users: What should we do now?

I'm in the beta program. Should I switch it off now? Maybe you want an option in the exit survey to indicate that's what we are doing. . . Jwy 00:25, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

If you're using the beta right now and like the new features, there's no need to do anything. Howief 00:58, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
Are the English beta and the newly rolled out stuff the same thing? 02:12, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
Yes. -- 17:41, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

Additional topics reminder

  • Toolbar customization

more later

Will IP users be able to keep the old look?

I never used an account, and don't plan to (philosophical reasons more or less, not the point here). Will I still be able to keep using the old, much less confusing layout? Another thing, where did the "add section" for discussion pages go? -- 06:30, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Anonymous users cannot change their preferences, they're stuck with the defaults. If you want to keep the old skin, you'll have to create an account. The "add section" link didn't go anywhere, at least on usabilitywiki, I see "Add topic" to the right of "Edit" as I'm typing this. --Catrope 08:13, 13 May 2010 (UTC)Reply
Bummer. -- 09:14, 13 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

Excessive whitespace when editing

I know it was done on purpose, but is there any way for a user to make the edit window usable again? This 150% line spacing is really annoying. 06:16, 15 May 2010 (UTC)Reply