Intent to move section edit links over to the left

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Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Aryeh Gregor
Ref: <http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1629>,
<http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProjekt_Usability/Test_Februar_2006>

From the latter, we have

"Two users who started their first-time editing with a paragraph
instead of the whole page were not confused by the syntax. However,
they were faced with another problem: The location of the "Edit" links
seemed to relate them with the paragraph above, not the one below.
Therefore, when clicking the "Edit" link below "Geschichte", they
expected to see the heading "Geschichte" and its contents. . . .

"This expectation was not met, instead "Weblinks" appeared in the
editor window. They were confused, did not know what to do. Finally,
both participants deleted (!) the existing and valid text, and started
to add their own text."

We've known for well over a year now that this is a problem.  I would
like to finally fix it.  Specifically, I intend to remove the
editsection float style, so it's at the beginning of the section line,
to the left.  The alternative is to have it as the German Wikipedia
does, with the section edit link on the right of the header; however,
this a) is kind of annoying as the link jumps around, and b) requires
a change to the document structure (admittedly just a reordering of
elements, but it may well break some fragile stuff regardless).  It
does arguably look better, though, and that could be done instead
(opinions?).  A comparison of the three styles is available at
<http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Simetrical/Edit_links_comparison>.

Before this goes into effect, it would be only courteous to inform
existing wikis about it and the reasons for doing it.  I'll prepare a
little message and get someone with bots everywhere (Yurik?) to post
it on all the wikis' MediaWiki talk:Common.css pages, I think, before
I commit it, and so well before it goes live, along with instructions
on how to reverse it preemptively if desired.

Are there any objections to this?

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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Aryeh Gregor
Er, this seems not to be showing up correctly in the archives.  I just
got the first line, which reads a little impolitely as the entire
post.  Can people confirm if the whole thing went through okay?

On 6/25/07, Simetrical <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Ref: <http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1629>,
> <http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProjekt_Usability/Test_Februar_2006>
>
> From the latter, we have
>
> "Two users who started their first-time editing with a paragraph
> instead of the whole page were not confused by the syntax. However,
> they were faced with another problem: The location of the "Edit" links
> seemed to relate them with the paragraph above, not the one below.
> Therefore, when clicking the "Edit" link below "Geschichte", they
> expected to see the heading "Geschichte" and its contents. . . .
>
> "This expectation was not met, instead "Weblinks" appeared in the
> editor window. They were confused, did not know what to do. Finally,
> both participants deleted (!) the existing and valid text, and started
> to add their own text."
>
> We've known for well over a year now that this is a problem.  I would
> like to finally fix it.  Specifically, I intend to remove the
> editsection float style, so it's at the beginning of the section line,
> to the left.  The alternative is to have it as the German Wikipedia
> does, with the section edit link on the right of the header; however,
> this a) is kind of annoying as the link jumps around, and b) requires
> a change to the document structure (admittedly just a reordering of
> elements, but it may well break some fragile stuff regardless).  It
> does arguably look better, though, and that could be done instead
> (opinions?).  A comparison of the three styles is available at
> <http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Simetrical/Edit_links_comparison>.
>
> Before this goes into effect, it would be only courteous to inform
> existing wikis about it and the reasons for doing it.  I'll prepare a
> little message and get someone with bots everywhere (Yurik?) to post
> it on all the wikis' MediaWiki talk:Common.css pages, I think, before
> I commit it, and so well before it goes live, along with instructions
> on how to reverse it preemptively if desired.
>
> Are there any objections to this?
>

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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by Aryeh Gregor
On 6/25/07, Simetrical <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Ref: <http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1629>,
> <http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProjekt_Usability/Test_Februar_2006>
>
> From the latter, we have
>
> "Two users who started their first-time editing with a paragraph
> instead of the whole page were not confused by the syntax. However,
> they were faced with another problem: The location of the "Edit" links
> seemed to relate them with the paragraph above, not the one below.
> Therefore, when clicking the "Edit" link below "Geschichte", they
> expected to see the heading "Geschichte" and its contents. . . .
>
> "This expectation was not met, instead "Weblinks" appeared in the
> editor window. They were confused, did not know what to do. Finally,
> both participants deleted (!) the existing and valid text, and started
> to add their own text."
>
> We've known for well over a year now that this is a problem.  I would
> like to finally fix it.  Specifically, I intend to remove the
> editsection float style, so it's at the beginning of the section line,
> to the left.  The alternative is to have it as the German Wikipedia
> does, with the section edit link on the right of the header; however,
> this a) is kind of annoying as the link jumps around, and b) requires
> a change to the document structure (admittedly just a reordering of
> elements, but it may well break some fragile stuff regardless).  It
> does arguably look better, though, and that could be done instead
> (opinions?).  A comparison of the three styles is available at
> <http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Simetrical/Edit_links_comparison>.
>
> Before this goes into effect, it would be only courteous to inform
> existing wikis about it and the reasons for doing it.  I'll prepare a
> little message and get someone with bots everywhere (Yurik?) to post
> it on all the wikis' MediaWiki talk:Common.css pages, I think, before
> I commit it, and so well before it goes live, along with instructions
> on how to reverse it preemptively if desired.
>
> Are there any objections to this?

I bet this ends up less user-friendly and intuitive than leaving it where it is.


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by Aryeh Gregor
Yes, whole thing arrived fine here.

On 6/25/07, Simetrical <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Er, this seems not to be showing up correctly in the archives.  I just
> got the first line, which reads a little impolitely as the entire
> post.  Can people confirm if the whole thing went through okay?
>
> On 6/25/07, Simetrical <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Ref: <http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1629>,
> > <http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProjekt_Usability/Test_Februar_2006>
> >
> > From the latter, we have
> >
> > "Two users who started their first-time editing with a paragraph
> > instead of the whole page were not confused by the syntax. However,
> > they were faced with another problem: The location of the "Edit" links
> > seemed to relate them with the paragraph above, not the one below.
> > Therefore, when clicking the "Edit" link below "Geschichte", they
> > expected to see the heading "Geschichte" and its contents. . . .
> >
> > "This expectation was not met, instead "Weblinks" appeared in the
> > editor window. They were confused, did not know what to do. Finally,
> > both participants deleted (!) the existing and valid text, and started
> > to add their own text."
> >
> > We've known for well over a year now that this is a problem.  I would
> > like to finally fix it.  Specifically, I intend to remove the
> > editsection float style, so it's at the beginning of the section line,
> > to the left.  The alternative is to have it as the German Wikipedia
> > does, with the section edit link on the right of the header; however,
> > this a) is kind of annoying as the link jumps around, and b) requires
> > a change to the document structure (admittedly just a reordering of
> > elements, but it may well break some fragile stuff regardless).  It
> > does arguably look better, though, and that could be done instead
> > (opinions?).  A comparison of the three styles is available at
> > <http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Simetrical/Edit_links_comparison>.
> >
> > Before this goes into effect, it would be only courteous to inform
> > existing wikis about it and the reasons for doing it.  I'll prepare a
> > little message and get someone with bots everywhere (Yurik?) to post
> > it on all the wikis' MediaWiki talk:Common.css pages, I think, before
> > I commit it, and so well before it goes live, along with instructions
> > on how to reverse it preemptively if desired.
> >
> > Are there any objections to this?
> >
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Aryeh Gregor
In reply to this post by George William Herbert
On 6/25/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I bet this ends up less user-friendly and intuitive than leaving it where it is.

Why do you think that, given the usability study's result?

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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Jens Frank
On Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 10:01:22PM -0400, Simetrical wrote:
> On 6/25/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I bet this ends up less user-friendly and intuitive than leaving it where it is.
>
> Why do you think that, given the usability study's result?

There was already a change after the user study. The edit link was not
placed in the same line as the heading of the next section, but before
it. This was indeed very confusing.

Today, the edit link is in the same line, and I think there's no need to
change that.

Regards,

        jens

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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Sebastian Moleski
In reply to this post by Aryeh Gregor
On 6/26/07, Simetrical <[hidden email]> wrote:

We've known for well over a year now that this is a problem.  I would

> like to finally fix it.  Specifically, I intend to remove the
> editsection float style, so it's at the beginning of the section line,
> to the left.  The alternative is to have it as the German Wikipedia
> does, with the section edit link on the right of the header; however,
> this a) is kind of annoying as the link jumps around, and b) requires
> a change to the document structure (admittedly just a reordering of
> elements, but it may well break some fragile stuff regardless).  It
> does arguably look better, though, and that could be done instead
> (opinions?).  A comparison of the three styles is available at
> <http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Simetrical/Edit_links_comparison>.
>
> Before this goes into effect, it would be only courteous to inform
> existing wikis about it and the reasons for doing it.  I'll prepare a
> little message and get someone with bots everywhere (Yurik?) to post
> it on all the wikis' MediaWiki talk:Common.css pages, I think, before
> I commit it, and so well before it goes live, along with instructions
> on how to reverse it preemptively if desired.
>
> Are there any objections to this?


As long as you implement it in a way that still allows the edit link to
appear just to the right of the heading (the "German Wikipedia way"), no
objections here. Ideally, this would be configurable so that each project
and each user can set up their own defaults.

Sebastian
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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Aryeh Gregor
In reply to this post by Jens Frank
On 6/26/07, Jens Frank <[hidden email]> wrote:
> There was already a change after the user study. The edit link was not
> placed in the same line as the heading of the next section, but before
> it. This was indeed very confusing.
>
> Today, the edit link is in the same line, and I think there's no need to
> change that.

Well, it's true that my CSS fiddling did move down the edit link
slightly, but frankly, I doubt it's enough.  Think about it: there's a
clear line *under* the link.  If you look at it, it looks like it
belongs to the section above, separated from the one below by a
horizontal rule.

We could all ask our wiki-ignorant friends what they think.  That's
about what a usability study consists of, after all, just a little
more thorough.  :)

On 6/26/07, Sebastian Moleski <[hidden email]> wrote:
> As long as you implement it in a way that still allows the edit link to
> appear just to the right of the heading (the "German Wikipedia way"), no
> objections here. Ideally, this would be configurable so that each project
> and each user can set up their own defaults.

There should be no change at all in how the German Wikipedia way works
either way we go, although I'll check that out firsthand before
instituting changes.  Those using the current default can preserve it
with a one-line addition to MediaWiki:Common.css, and likewise for
individual users.

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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Jens Frank
On Tue, Jun 26, 2007 at 01:08:39AM -0400, Simetrical wrote:

> On 6/26/07, Jens Frank <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > There was already a change after the user study. The edit link was not
> > placed in the same line as the heading of the next section, but before
> > it. This was indeed very confusing.
> >
> > Today, the edit link is in the same line, and I think there's no need to
> > change that.
>
> Well, it's true that my CSS fiddling did move down the edit link
> slightly, but frankly, I doubt it's enough.  Think about it: there's a
> clear line *under* the link.  If you look at it, it looks like it
> belongs to the section above, separated from the one below by a
> horizontal rule.

That argumentation suggests that the heading belongs to the above
section, too. I think the line is not seen that way by our readers.

> We could all ask our wiki-ignorant friends what they think.  That's
> about what a usability study consists of, after all, just a little
> more thorough.  :)
 
I'll ask some colleagues who aren't wiki editors and will tell you
tonight about the results.

> On 6/26/07, Sebastian Moleski <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > As long as you implement it in a way that still allows the edit link to
> > appear just to the right of the heading (the "German Wikipedia way"), no
> > objections here. Ideally, this would be configurable so that each project
> > and each user can set up their own defaults.
>
> There should be no change at all in how the German Wikipedia way works
> either way we go, although I'll check that out firsthand before
> instituting changes.  Those using the current default can preserve it
> with a one-line addition to MediaWiki:Common.css, and likewise for
> individual users.

Different behaviour for different wikis is a very bad idea. That would
be confusing. The edit link should be placed in the same way on all WMF
wikis.

        jens

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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Sebastian Moleski
On 6/26/07, Jens Frank <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> >
> > There should be no change at all in how the German Wikipedia way works
> > either way we go, although I'll check that out firsthand before
> > instituting changes.  Those using the current default can preserve it
> > with a one-line addition to MediaWiki:Common.css, and likewise for
> > individual users.
>
> Different behaviour for different wikis is a very bad idea. That would
> be confusing. The edit link should be placed in the same way on all WMF
> wikis.


They already are different. I also remember quite well how strongly dewiki
users reacted last year when the edit links suddenly appeared in a different
place than from what they used to. There was also extensive discussion about
where the edit links should go and there was even some talk about doing a
community-wide vote on it. If the edit link position were standardized
across all wikis you can be sure that this will happen again. People tend to
get irrate when someone external messes with their habits.

As to the confusion different positions may bring: the question was raised
because of usability concerns meaning the solution proposed here is meant to
address new users who aren't familiar with the softwaree's interface or its
functions. Chaning the edit link position addresses that by making the
relationship between the links' position and their function more intuitive
to new users.

My guess is that it's not anywhere near typical for new users to be active
in multiple wikis so that different edit link positions wouldn't affect
them. Once they have gotten used to the interface and might consider
venturing out to another wiki (most likely Commons, my guess), they might be
surprised that the links are at different places but I highly doubt they
will have problems operating them. Of course, empirical data would be
preferable here too.

Sebastian
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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Andre Engels
In reply to this post by Aryeh Gregor
2007/6/26, Simetrical <[hidden email]>:

> On 6/26/07, Sebastian Moleski <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > As long as you implement it in a way that still allows the edit link to
> > appear just to the right of the heading (the "German Wikipedia way"), no
> > objections here. Ideally, this would be configurable so that each project
> > and each user can set up their own defaults.
>
> There should be no change at all in how the German Wikipedia way works
> either way we go, although I'll check that out firsthand before
> instituting changes.  Those using the current default can preserve it
> with a one-line addition to MediaWiki:Common.css, and likewise for
> individual users.

If you are going to change this anyway (though I would not think it
necessary), I think it would be esthetically more pleasing to use the
German Wikipedia method rather than to go all the way to the left as
you propose.

--
Andre Engels, [hidden email]
ICQ: 6260644  --  Skype: a_engels

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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Jim R. Wilson
Does this discussion include a modification of Monobook's main.css for
MediaWiki distribution world-wide? or is it limited to how WMF sites
operate?

( If it's the latter - as I suspect - then I have no opinion )

-- Jim R. Wilson (jimbojw)

On 6/26/07, Andre Engels <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> 2007/6/26, Simetrical <[hidden email]>:
>
> > On 6/26/07, Sebastian Moleski <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > As long as you implement it in a way that still allows the edit link
> to
> > > appear just to the right of the heading (the "German Wikipedia way"),
> no
> > > objections here. Ideally, this would be configurable so that each
> project
> > > and each user can set up their own defaults.
> >
> > There should be no change at all in how the German Wikipedia way works
> > either way we go, although I'll check that out firsthand before
> > instituting changes.  Those using the current default can preserve it
> > with a one-line addition to MediaWiki:Common.css, and likewise for
> > individual users.
>
> If you are going to change this anyway (though I would not think it
> necessary), I think it would be esthetically more pleasing to use the
> German Wikipedia method rather than to go all the way to the left as
> you propose.
>
> --
> Andre Engels, [hidden email]
> ICQ: 6260644  --  Skype: a_engels
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Danny B.-2
Hello.

I'd like to throw in my thoughts and ideas about editlinks I had some time ago. They are based on suggestions from users I'm continuously receiving:

The current style has couple disadvantages:
1. In certain cases (depending on other right floating objects on page) editlinks mingle around and sometimes stick together on one place therefore it is impossible to realize which one belongs to which header. (http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bo%C5%BEena_N%C4%9Bmcov%C3%A1#D.C3.ADlo http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicole_Vaidi%C5%A1ov%C3%A1 http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro#Zaj.C3.ADmavosti http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistrovstv%C3%AD_Evropy_ve_fotbale_2004#.C4.8Ce.C5.A1i_na_turnaji etc. in 1024*768)
2. When using wide displays, editlinks are pretty far away from headlines and together with the situation when paragraphs are short, it may be hard to follow the line and say which editlink belongs to which header.
3. The top-right place is the less usual place to place this kind of link, therefore people may think it belongs to previous article, since bottom-right is much more usual place for this.

Now:
* The current editlink style is, that it has constant size regardless the size of header. Therefore sticking the link to header on same line causes kind of odd look.
* The current way of inserting of editlinks to page is against semantics (it's being inserted inside the header tag).
* Since the editlink is inserted within a header, it's harder to manipulate it, if the user wants to do some customization.
* There's no editlink for intro (section 0) of page.
* The editlink is pretty big (has the same size as text, while eg. tabs are smaller).

So I've been playing with that regarding to what's been said above and got to some proposal how to deal with editlinks. The playground is on http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Danny_B./Edit_links_comparsion and the final proposal is on http://tools.wikimedia.de/~danny_b/demos/editlinks.html , since it requires some changes in MediaWiki code which renders the page (check the xhtml source). Because it is just for demo purposes to illustrate the idea, it has been tested in Firefox and IE only and using Monobook. But there's no problem to do more testing and style setting if the idea will be well received.

Advantages of the proposal (in no specific order):
* The editlink is now on the place where there are no doubts of what section it belongs to (the reliability of this can be yet higher when changing the label from "edit" to "edit the following section" or something like that)
* The visual behavior is now much easier to customize, if you want to do so (you can place the editlink now pretty much wherever you want around the header using CSS only) since it's independent on header
* It allows adding of editlink for page intro (section 0), which is pretty old request in Bugzilla btw.
* Correct semantics of headers
* More correct semantics of section anchors
* No odd look caused by different font sizes on the same line

Questions, comments and suggestions are welcome.

Thanks.


Danny B.

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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Jim R. Wilson
Hi Danny,

I agree with most of your observations - especially regarding the semantics
of putting the edit link inside the header tags.  However,

> and the final proposal is on
http://tools.wikimedia.de/~danny_b/demos/editlinks.html<http://tools.wikimedia.de/%7Edanny_b/demos/editlinks.html>

I don't like that much at all :(  To me, putting the edit before the header
seems even more likely to confuse people (thinking that the edit link
belongs to the previous section)

Of all the suggestions I've read so far, I like the "German way" the best
(putting the edit link immediately to the right of the header which it
edits).  This seems to be consistent in principle with the line of action
tabs at the top, and wouldn't suffer from the right-floating issues which
can misalign the edit links.

Just my two cents.

-- Jim

On 6/26/07, Danny B. <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hello.
>
> I'd like to throw in my thoughts and ideas about editlinks I had some time
> ago. They are based on suggestions from users I'm continuously receiving:
>
> The current style has couple disadvantages:
> 1. In certain cases (depending on other right floating objects on page)
> editlinks mingle around and sometimes stick together on one place therefore
> it is impossible to realize which one belongs to which header. (
> http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bo%C5%BEena_N%C4%9Bmcov%C3%A1#D.C3.ADlo
> http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicole_Vaidi%C5%A1ov%C3%A1
> http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro#Zaj.C3.ADmavosti
> http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistrovstv%C3%AD_Evropy_ve_fotbale_2004#.C4.8Ce.C5.A1i_na_turnajietc. in 1024*768)
> 2. When using wide displays, editlinks are pretty far away from headlines
> and together with the situation when paragraphs are short, it may be hard to
> follow the line and say which editlink belongs to which header.
> 3. The top-right place is the less usual place to place this kind of link,
> therefore people may think it belongs to previous article, since
> bottom-right is much more usual place for this.
>
> Now:
> * The current editlink style is, that it has constant size regardless the
> size of header. Therefore sticking the link to header on same line causes
> kind of odd look.
> * The current way of inserting of editlinks to page is against semantics
> (it's being inserted inside the header tag).
> * Since the editlink is inserted within a header, it's harder to
> manipulate it, if the user wants to do some customization.
> * There's no editlink for intro (section 0) of page.
> * The editlink is pretty big (has the same size as text, while eg. tabs
> are smaller).
>
> So I've been playing with that regarding to what's been said above and got
> to some proposal how to deal with editlinks. The playground is on
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Danny_B./Edit_links_comparsion and the
> final proposal is on
> http://tools.wikimedia.de/~danny_b/demos/editlinks.html , since it
> requires some changes in MediaWiki code which renders the page (check the
> xhtml source). Because it is just for demo purposes to illustrate the idea,
> it has been tested in Firefox and IE only and using Monobook. But there's no
> problem to do more testing and style setting if the idea will be well
> received.
>
> Advantages of the proposal (in no specific order):
> * The editlink is now on the place where there are no doubts of what
> section it belongs to (the reliability of this can be yet higher when
> changing the label from "edit" to "edit the following section" or something
> like that)
> * The visual behavior is now much easier to customize, if you want to do
> so (you can place the editlink now pretty much wherever you want around the
> header using CSS only) since it's independent on header
> * It allows adding of editlink for page intro (section 0), which is pretty
> old request in Bugzilla btw.
> * Correct semantics of headers
> * More correct semantics of section anchors
> * No odd look caused by different font sizes on the same line
>
> Questions, comments and suggestions are welcome.
>
> Thanks.
>
>
> Danny B.
>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Mark Clements (HappyDog)
In reply to this post by Danny B.-2
"Danny B." <[hidden email]> wrote in message
news:[hidden email]...
>
> Advantages of the proposal (in no specific order):
> * The editlink is now on the place where there are no doubts
> of what section it belongs to (the reliability of this can be yet higher
> when changing the label from "edit" to "edit the following section"
> or something like that)

Actually, I had no idea whether the links in the 'final proposal' belonged
to the paragraph above, or the paragraph below.

To me, it would be better if they went alongside the section head, and
ideally there would be some sort of javascripting to highlight the area they
apply to, to make it doubly clear.

I have posted a crude UI mock-up [1] of how I would envisage the edit links
working.  The icon (an 'e' in a circle) is just a crude example - in
practice we would want something a lot nicer and non-language-specific.  The
blue highlighting in the mock-up indicates how we could highlight the
section to be edited when the mouse moves over the link.

[1] http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Image:EditLinks_Suggestion.png

- Mark Clements (Happydog)







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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Aryeh Gregor
In reply to this post by Jens Frank
I'm pleased by all the comments and ideas.

On 6/26/07, Jens Frank <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I'll ask some colleagues who aren't wiki editors and will tell you
> tonight about the results.

And I'll ask some non-wiki editors too.

> Different behaviour for different wikis is a very bad idea. That would
> be confusing. The edit link should be placed in the same way on all WMF
> wikis.

That's an issue for the Foundation to decide, if it wants to.  I
suspect it will maintain its usual attitude of deference to the
communities' wishes unless *maybe* some community decides their
Wikipedia should be hot pink and loaded with animated
background-images.

On 6/26/07, Andre Engels <[hidden email]> wrote:
> If you are going to change this anyway (though I would not think it
> necessary), I think it would be esthetically more pleasing to use the
> German Wikipedia method rather than to go all the way to the left as
> you propose.

I actually agree, but it is kind of annoying how it jumps around, at
least if you aren't used to it, and it would require a reordering of
the document structure.  I guess I'd narrowly prefer this option.

On 6/26/07, Jim Wilson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Does this discussion include a modification of Monobook's main.css for
> MediaWiki distribution world-wide? or is it limited to how WMF sites
> operate?

There is no difference in terms of stylesheets for WMF sites and other
MediaWiki sites, and I am in fact a MediaWiki developer, not anything
specifically related to Wikimedia wikis.  The point is to increase
usability of MediaWiki out of the box.  It will be applied to the CSS
of all skins, if it is applied (I'd still like to specifically ask
Brion to sign off on it).

On 6/26/07, Danny B. <[hidden email]> wrote:
> * The current way of inserting of editlinks to page is against semantics (it's being
> inserted inside the header tag).

I know, that was my stupidity.  I tried to fix it later, but that
broke styles/scripts and got reverted.  :(  I still hope to restore it
to a more sensible state at some point, maybe in a one-time general
document structure cleanup (making TOCs non-tables, changing the
<h5>/<h6> sidebar headers so headings nest properly, . . .).

> So I've been playing with that regarding to what's been said above and got to
> some proposal how to deal with editlinks. The playground is on
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Danny_B./Edit_links_comparsion and the final
> proposal is on http://tools.wikimedia.de/~danny_b/demos/editlinks.html , since it
> requires some changes in MediaWiki code which renders the page (check the
> xhtml source).

Hmm . . . I don't know.  It uses up vertical space, which isn't great.
 Also, I would put the edit link under the section title, not above
it.  It does have the advantage that it's pretty clearly related to
the section, not just the section title, but overall I'm not sure I
like it.  I do agree with most of the rest of your points, except that
I don't see anything aesthetically displeasing with the German
positioning of the links.  They could be made a bit smaller, perhaps,
and some kind of top-section edit link would be good.  The latter
would be easily doable in the German style, with just [edit top] after
the page name . . . but that might be too prominent and confusing to
new users, plus we don't have the automatic /* summaries */, so I
don't know if it would be useful overall.  So overall I'd be
conservative and just go with what the Germans have.

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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Daniel Cannon
In reply to this post by Aryeh Gregor
On 6/25/07, Simetrical <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Why do you think that, given the usability study's result?
>

What the usability study found, to my understanding, was that MediaWiki was
not particularly newbie-friendly; that is, its usability among new users was
low. That said, MediaWiki surely has a steeper learning curve than most
webware; however, it has a large group of power users who have found the
various "oddities" of the software that confuse new users to be quite useful
in increasing their productivity. By analogy, the modality of vim often
confuses the hell out of new users to that software, yet it has become a
feature that experienced users simply could not live without. Vim is never
going to do away with its modal editing to become more "user-friendly";
similarly, I do not favor the idea of sacrificing the expert usability of
MediaWiki to make the software more friendly to new users. Such a change, I
fear, would certainly do just that--confuse expert users and hinder their
productivity with the software.

Furthermore, editing should truly always be second to the content produced
through that editing--that is, _readability_ should take precedence over
_usability_ (in the sense of its usability to editors). I would find this to
be a change that, though it may make certain elements of editing more clear
to users, would cause a major aesthetic "hiccup" in the appearance and flow
of pages, lending nothing more than a distraction from the content. Such a
problem is avoided relatively well by the current placement of the link, and
any other proposed placement would certainly have to consider and address
this problem

I personally would object to such a change, and I do not feel any change to
be necessary; however, I'm more than willing to discuss and experiment with
this and other options. If you could perchance provide some samples of this
change, preferably on complex pages with multiple images, tables, and
templates intermingled with text, that could certainly help to gauge the
degree of my objection. I would, however, strongly caution against making
large, breaking changes on the basis of this single usability study without
considering the possible repercussions of such changes outside the context
of the points addressed by the study.


--
Daniel Cannon (AmiDaniel)

http://amidaniel.com
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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Jay Ashworth-2
In reply to this post by Aryeh Gregor
On Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 09:44:54PM -0400, Simetrical wrote:

> We've known for well over a year now that this is a problem.  I would
> like to finally fix it.  Specifically, I intend to remove the
> editsection float style, so it's at the beginning of the section line,
> to the left.  The alternative is to have it as the German Wikipedia
> does, with the section edit link on the right of the header; however,
> this a) is kind of annoying as the link jumps around, and b) requires
> a change to the document structure (admittedly just a reordering of
> elements, but it may well break some fragile stuff regardless).  It
> does arguably look better, though, and that could be done instead
> (opinions?).  A comparison of the three styles is available at
> <http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Simetrical/Edit_links_comparison>.

I came late to this, but I really *do* prefer link to right over link
to left.  I think that the esthetics of not indenting the header are
more important than the fact that the link will "jump around".

It doesn't, actually, jump around.  It's always at the right end of the
header.

Cheers,
-- jra
--
Jay R. Ashworth                   Baylink                      [hidden email]
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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Danny B.-2
In reply to this post by Jim R. Wilson
A small, but important notice about the "German way":

German way isn't visually bad, but it has one big disadvantage: I am 99 % sure, this rendering can't be done together with correct semantics. Which means there is no semantically correct or nearly correct combination of tags and CSS you can use for creating of this style. That's actually why I threw in my solution proposal, which I played with for pretty long time during which I faced these problems. (Some more info coming in following replies.)

Therefore I guess, we have to decide what to prefer: clean and reusable code or fancy visual rendering.

On the other hand I'd be so very pleased to see any correct solution of this, if it exist.


Kind regards


Danny B.

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Re: Intent to move section edit links over to the left

Jay Ashworth-2
In reply to this post by Daniel Cannon
On Tue, Jun 26, 2007 at 12:23:02PM -0600, Daniel Cannon wrote:

> What the usability study found, to my understanding, was that MediaWiki was
> not particularly newbie-friendly; that is, its usability among new users was
> low. That said, MediaWiki surely has a steeper learning curve than most
> webware; however, it has a large group of power users who have found the
> various "oddities" of the software that confuse new users to be quite useful
> in increasing their productivity. By analogy, the modality of vim often
> confuses the hell out of new users to that software, yet it has become a
> feature that experienced users simply could not live without. Vim is never
> going to do away with its modal editing to become more "user-friendly";
> similarly, I do not favor the idea of sacrificing the expert usability of
> MediaWiki to make the software more friendly to new users. Such a change, I
> fear, would certainly do just that--confuse expert users and hinder their
> productivity with the software.

Huzzah!

What You See Is All You Get, indeed.

> I personally would object to such a change, and I do not feel any change to
> be necessary; however, I'm more than willing to discuss and experiment with
> this and other options. If you could perchance provide some samples of this
> change, preferably on complex pages with multiple images, tables, and
> templates intermingled with text, that could certainly help to gauge the
> degree of my objection. I would, however, strongly caution against making
> large, breaking changes on the basis of this single usability study without
> considering the possible repercussions of such changes outside the context
> of the points addressed by the study.

On this front, my only comment is "test it on a Blackberry".  :-)

Cheers,
-- jra
--
Jay R. Ashworth                   Baylink                      [hidden email]
Designer                     The Things I Think                       RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates     http://baylink.pitas.com                     '87 e24
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