Proposal to change default skin to Timeless
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.
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.
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?
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.