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15:36, 3 May 2020 Amire80 (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
11:14, 29 April 2020 Stjn (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
15:23, 28 April 2020 Wladek92 (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
14:54, 28 April 2020 Nike (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
11:40, 28 April 2020 Tacsipacsi (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
05:55, 28 April 2020 Amire80 (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
18:11, 24 April 2020 PiefPafPier (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
16:42, 24 April 2020 Obsuser (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
13:31, 24 April 2020 Tacsipacsi (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
07:48, 24 April 2020 Nike (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
18:11, 23 April 2020 Kghbln (talk | contribs) Comment text edited  
18:11, 23 April 2020 Kghbln (talk | contribs) Comment text edited  
18:10, 23 April 2020 Kghbln (talk | contribs) Comment text edited  
17:45, 23 April 2020 Kghbln (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
16:47, 23 April 2020 Tacsipacsi (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
21:35, 21 April 2020 Tacsipacsi (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
16:44, 20 April 2020 Raymond (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
12:34, 20 April 2020 Amire80 (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
12:26, 20 April 2020 Winston Sung (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
12:25, 20 April 2020 Winston Sung (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
11:58, 20 April 2020 Rail (talk | contribs) New reply created (Reply to Proposal to change default skin to Timeless)
11:41, 20 April 2020 Nike (talk | contribs) New thread created  

Proposal to change default skin to Timeless

I'm considering changing our default skin to Timeless. My reasons are:

  • Timeless has responsive design which works better on mobile devices (we get quite a few visitors from mobile devices, but not that many users), unlike the Vector skin. E.g. Google search has started penalizing sites which do not work well on mobile.
  • I like Timeless and I have been using it here for a while. Most glitches with Timeless have been fixed by now.

Notes:

  • Manually set skin preferences would not change, and Vector would still be available as a choice.
  • Other option would be to install MobileFrontend extension, but that has not been tested and could break quite a few things.
  • Vector is going through modernization, so it could get better mobile support in the future.
  • Also tracked in phab:T248064

Please let me know what you think.

Nike (talk)11:41, 20 April 2020

Personally I would stick to the Vector skin (thus I'd appreciate installing MobileFrontend and Minerva skin for better mobile support anyway) but I don't see anything against Timeless as the default skin. Do whatever you want.

Rail (my talk | contribs)11:58, 20 April 2020
 

I would like keep using the Vector skin.

Winston Sung (talk)12:25, 20 April 2020
 

The design of the Timeless skin is good, maybe we can add it as an option in user preferences.

Winston Sung (talk)12:26, 20 April 2020

It's already in the preferences, and you can enable it.

Amir E. Aharoni (talk)12:34, 20 April 2020
 

I never used Timeless in a prodction system. So I changed here to Tineless and will try is the next days...

Raymond16:44, 20 April 2020
 

I also use Timeless here for a while; I hardly noticed the site notice about this thread… The font size is the same on Vector as well, but on Timeless it quickly gets covered by the top toolbar as I start scrolling. I think you should use the default font size so that users have a chance to notice it.

On-topic: I’m quite conservative, so even though I personally like Timeless, I’m not sure if the majority of the users do so. Also, the visual similarity to Wikipedia is IMHO more important than search engine optimization—are there users at all who come here from Google? This project is a rather background one, so I expect 99% of the users to come here from the translated projects’ sites (or experienced users using this wiki’s OpenSearch engine, arriving right to the message to translate).

Glitches: I still found three of them on Special:Translate for first sight.

  • “Translate” link in the More toolbox (on the right on wide screens). This is the default tab on Vector, which appears in the place of the Article tab. It’s visually needed on Vector and Monobook, but makes no sense on other ones like Timeless, Modern or Cologne Blue. I’m not sure technically how, but it should not be there on Timeless.
  • Language statistics, Message group statistics and Export. These three links are in the top right corner, all with default icons. This way the icons don’t have much purpose, but it’s particularly annoying on narrow screens, where only the icons appear, so the only way to tell them apart is by analyzing the URL, which is far from being user-friendly. I think this is a release-critical bug in terms of making Timeless default for all (often inexperienced) users.
  • Message documentation on mobile. Because of the narrow screen, the message documentation pane and the translation pane overlaps on mobile. The documentation pane can be collapsed, but only one-by-one for each and every message, while often it doesn’t contain any information. Maybe it could be fixed by switching to a vertical layout on narrow screens. This should only display the message documentation by default, not the translation helpers (other languages, machine translation etc.), again to save space, which could be expanded if needed. Also maybe remembering the state between messages would be helpful.
Tacsipacsi (talk)21:35, 21 April 2020

Thanks for the feedback. Regarding your point about message documentation on mobile, isn't that same problem also present in Vector?

I'll look into the two other glitches.

For translators, you are right. But developers looking for alternatives come via search engines.

Nike (talk)07:48, 24 April 2020

No, the message documentation windows (just like the user boxes mentioned below) have no such issues on mobile with Vector—since Vector is not responsible, mobile browsers use a so-called “virtual viewport” as a self-defense, which is much wider than the actual screen width (see Using the viewport meta tag to control layout on mobile browsers on MDN). This means that the text is maybe unreadably small, but at least the layout is not broken. Of course, this situation is much improved by the introduction of Timeless if Tux is made work well with narrow viewports.

For SEO: I see. This is a tough decision, however, as I still think that keeping consistency with Wikipedia is important, but I agree that letting developers find this site is just as important.

P.S. What about the site notice? Is there a reason not to increase its font size?

Tacsipacsi (talk)13:31, 24 April 2020

Regarding issues 1 and 2 (the navigation tabs), I see no easy way to fix it. I am not skilled enough to make distinct icons for them. I considered moving them elsewhere, but I have no control over where (filed Phab:T251258).

Regarding the 3rd issue, it would fall under Phab:T146134. Unfortunately I don't think I can fix it without re-doing the UI with a more responsive grid system, which is a lot of work.

Nike (talk)14:54, 28 April 2020
 
 
 

I also noticed that my user page looks not-so-perfect on a narrow screen: the Babel boxes become 100% wide if the screen is less than 480px wide, while the other user boxes don’t. I think the best solution for this issue is installing mw:Extension:TemplateStyles and creating a responsive TemplateStyles subpage for {{Userbox}}.

Tacsipacsi (talk)16:47, 23 April 2020
 

+ 1 for Vector. EDIT: I abstain because of "Manually set skin preferences would not change, and Vector would still be available as a choice.", i.e. if you all agree on Timeless ... which should I stand in your way. :)

[[kgh]] (talk)17:45, 23 April 2020
 

I don't like new skin and I think it should not be used as default (neither for new users). One reason is that it is more intuitive for Wikipedia editors to see same appearance here as it is on Wikipedia (Message, Discussion – Read, Edit, View history / More; What links here is moved to the right and was always to the left etc.). Also, Timeless skin is not full width. One thing I like with the proposed skin is that it is more interactive than current standard one (buttons).

Obsuser (talk)16:42, 24 April 2020
 

Good reasons, no objections here.

PiefPafPier (talk)18:11, 24 April 2020
 

I changed my skin to Timeless after seeing the ad.

It's mostly fine, but there are some issues. The most significant is perhaps this: The ULS control for changing the UI language is hidden under the user menu. It's not a thing that people often do once they settle on a language they want, but initially choosing the language for new users may become challenging.

Amir E. Aharoni (talk)05:55, 28 April 2020

Probably language selection should be part of the registration process. This not only overcomes this issue in case Timeless wins, but also, more importantly, makes even more users aware of the possibility to set their interface language. (And don’t be shy to tell all issues you found, so that Timeless will work as seamlessly as possible.)

Tacsipacsi (talk)11:40, 28 April 2020

It already is a part of the registration process, and I notice that a lot of people don't actually do it and stay with English, not just as the language in which they use the site, but also as the only language they know :/

Amir E. Aharoni (talk)15:36, 3 May 2020
 
 

I just use Vector on laptop with extended display for my translations, comparing pages, viewing reference pages and so on , so that I dont really use my tablette for that. Nothing against, till my environment remains available.

ChristianW (talk)15:23, 28 April 2020
 

I like that Timeless is truly responsive, but I really do not like its design. If the skin by default was changed to Timeless, I would switch it back. It might be a good test as to see which pages are responsive or not (and need TemplateStyles / CSS changes), but I feel like that should be mostly a power-user thing.

I also feel like, with its Wikimedia colours being displayed quite prominently in the design, it doesn’t make much sense to use the skin as it is for a project that isn’t, formally, one of Wikimedia projects. But maybe I am reading too much into this and the only effect of the change would be ‘huh, skin is different from Wikipedia/Wiktionary/etc.’, since many people will probably not associate those colours with Wikimedia.

stjn[ru]11:14, 29 April 2020