Forums: Helping Hand > New layout

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So it's apparent now that Wikia is preparing to lay out a new format over the course of the next month. I've already switched my personal settings to use the new format so as to familiarize myself with it and figure out what aesthetic changes need to be made. I figure we should have a forum thread regarding this change and what we should do in anticipation and reaction to it.

One thing I'd like to see, other than reformatting the templates (a work which I am already underway at), is to see if we can somehow incorporate the old logo if at all possible. While the new banner is functional and looks good enough for government work, our old logo has a bit of pizazz that is frankly missing now. I'm not an expert graphic designer so I'm afraid such work is beyond me, but that's my first suggestion.

Any other thoughts?

Niirfa-sa 02:42, October 21, 2010 (UTC)
I was (un?)fortunate enough to have been in the beta testing for the new layout and used it for quite a while. I have two big issues with it.
  • The page no longer fills the entire screen. This has the effect of making everything look scrunched up and frustrating to read.
  • The bar at the bottom is incredibly annoying. If you use your browser's search function to find something halfway down the page, it will put that last line at the bottom of the screen. Unfortunately, the bar covers it up.

I'm hoping that the moderators can fix these two things. I have no professional experience using CSS, but I've been using it personally for years and am more than proficient with it, if you could use the help.

Cronje 03:41, October 21, 2010 (UTC)
One addition to make: when viewing a page like Cormyr in Chrome, using the new layout, the first line of text actually spans the entire width of the content area, overwriting the top of the template. Only the first line of text is affected, and this happens regardless of whitespace in the article between the template and the first paragraph.

I have tested this in Internet Explorer 8, and it does not have the same problem. I have not tested it in Firefox or IE7.

I don't know what causes this or how to fix it.

Fw190a8 21:53, October 21, 2010 (UTC)
To add to this a little, I'm afraid it's the new style of infobox causing the problem. It happens on {{Creature}} and {{State}} but not on {{Person}}, which has not yet changed to the new style.
Fw190a8 22:02, October 21, 2010 (UTC)
Another thing, I'm afraid. Now that the content area is much narrower, some of the references at the bottom, despite being written smaller than regular text, flow onto two lines, which does look quite messy. See Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun for an example.

I'm wondering if we can make a policy, when creating citation templates, to only use the last name of the author, so [[Ed Greenwood]] would become [[Ed Greenwood|Greenwood]] (not much saving there!) and [[Brian R. James]] would become [[Brian R. James|James]].

Also, allow a maximum of three authors. If a book has more than three authors, list two, then write "et al" so it would be something like [[Ed Greenwood|Greenwood]], [[Brian R. James|James]], et al.

It would be a big change to our existing templates, yes, but would help the articles look tidier in the new skin, and not something we would have to alter all in one big go.

Fw190a8 22:35, October 21, 2010 (UTC)
I think that display error must be a Chrome thing. It looks fine in Firefox as well.
Cronje 23:07, October 21, 2010 (UTC)
I primarily use Opera and it looks fine, so it probably is a Chrome thing, but I'll see what I can do about it. Internet Explorer gets priority for any kind of source code update due to its ubiquity but Firefox usually comes a close second, with Opera, Chrome, and Safari tending to get left behind in the dust. So it's not that big of a surprise that Wikia hasn't tested this fully for Chrome.

But I'll definitely look into it though.

Niirfa-sa 01:06, October 22, 2010 (UTC)
Chrome, according to StatCounter, was 11% of the global market share over September 2010, so potentially 11 of every 100 people are seeing this issue. Opera definitely does get left behind in the dust, but the other two are high enough to be of concern, especially Chrome.

It's unlikely to be a Chrome-specific problem since both Chrome and Safari use the webkit rendering engine, so I'd say it's very likely that the latest version of Safari is affected too.

If you can find any reason for it, it'd certainly be worth putting in place a fix!

Fw190a8 10:10, October 22, 2010 (UTC)
Just tested it with Mozilla's Flock and SeaMonkey browsers, and the error shows up there as well.
Cronje 10:43, October 22, 2010 (UTC)
I made a minor edit over at {{state}}. Can anyone confirm that works for them on the browsers in question? It appears to when I use Chrome, but I want to be sure before implementing it in other templates.

This would probably also be a good time to point out that the old templates also have several noticeable problems with displaying unfilled data in the new skin.

Niirfa-sa 19:52, October 22, 2010 (UTC)
Looks perfect in Firefox, Flock, and SeaMonkey.
Cronje 20:23, October 22, 2010 (UTC)
I don't know if this is related to the changes Wikia is making, but for the last week, I've had trouble staying logged in to this wiki. I have to log back in roughly every twelve hours, despite having it set to remember my login/password.
Cronje 03:28, October 23, 2010 (UTC)
I can't say I've had the same problems here, but given that all the changes are going on right now, it would seem likely to be related to that. Not a problem to log in each time, right, unless you forget the password?
Fw190a8 12:17, October 24, 2010 (UTC)
Does anyone know how to find out what pages link to each other? I was using that feature on the old template now it is missing. On the old template it was at the bottom of the page below the history link.
Lethalox 14:08, October 25, 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it's now under "My tools" in the bottom right! Confused me, too.
Fw190a8 14:12, October 25, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Is the "Featured users" link under the Community menu broken for anyone else?
Lethalox 18:32, October 25, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, it's broken for me too.
Niirfa-sa 19:28, October 25, 2010 (UTC)
Do we need "Featured users"? Have we ever used it? It might be better just to ditch menu items like that and keep it simple.
Fw190a8 19:38, October 25, 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't seem absolutely necessary, no. On that note, do we want to keep "editor's picks" too? That seems like it would be nice but I'm not sure we have enough active admins to make it worthwhile.
Niirfa-sa 19:43, October 25, 2010 (UTC)
I would argue for simplifying the whole navigation system. And widening screen.
Lethalox 19:55, October 25, 2010 (UTC)
Seconded, though that might need to be a long-term goal as Fw and the few other admins have a lot of other things on their plate at the moment.
Niirfa-sa 20:27, October 25, 2010 (UTC)
Long term: improve the help system, and make sure people get to the help system. There are still far too many people uploading images without sources and just arbitrarily making edits with no referencing. They'll be fixed, of course, but the less fixing by hand we're doing, the more improving the wiki we can do! That's a subject that deserves more detail in another thread though, I reckon.
Fw190a8 23:04, October 25, 2010 (UTC)
On that note, I'd propose (if it's possible) taking Wikipedia's approach and making it impossible to add articles unless you're signed in. Editing pages, to me, is okay, because sometimes it's a quick fix. But I think we've all seen several instances where some unregistered user A) creates an unsourced stub or B) creates an article that's purely vandalism.

I don't even know if that's an option though.

01:08, October 26, 2010 (UTC)
It's probably an option. We get that so infrequently that it's not really an issue just deleting the articles that are created as acts of vandalism. The most damage is done, for me, when people change information or add new information to articles and they don't leave an accurate, specific source. For me, that information might as well be made up, with no way to verify it, and if that's done by anonymous users, there's no point leaving something on the talk page, because the user won't receive a notification email and will probably never see it.

We shouldn't stop anonymous users editing, because like you say, it contributes much towards the grammar and spelling on the wiki, and we don't need verifiable sources to accept spelling corrections. We just need more anonymous users to realise that firstly we'd like them to register in order to give them pointers on how to edit, and secondly we don't want unsourced submissions or images uploaded with no copyright information.

Fw190a8 22:05, October 26, 2010 (UTC)
So about this new format. Does the Wiki no longer show us the history? We can't go back and look at each version of a page from day one? Or did the 'page history' button just move somewhere on the screen? And what about the 'What links here'? That feature is also gone?
They're in the "my tools" section in the lower right corner of the screen. Not exactly obvious if you're not used to the old way of doing things but you get used to it pretty quickly. History is also found in the upper right where it says "last edited by" (you can click on it to get more results).
Niirfa-sa 08:33, October 27, 2010 (UTC)
So it looks as though they've made the skin mandatory, as it was set to the layout as I logged in a few minutes ago. They seem to have removed the Skins tab from the Preferences, so I can't even change it back. *sigh*
Cronje 18:08, November 3, 2010 (UTC)
Actually, that's only half true. It looks like a new Site Layouts section was added to the default preferences tab. I'm only seeing the new layout and Monobook, however. No more Monaco.
Cronje 18:12, November 3, 2010 (UTC)
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