Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

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Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Jon Robson
This may be controversial but hopefully there is logic in what I'm about to see.

I just took a look at Cologne Blue and there are a huge host of CSS
issues. It makes me wonder if anyone is actually maintaining it. All
the other skins seems to render nicely. Coordinates overlap the header
and the Echo button is overlapping other text. It just looks shoddy
[1].

Firstly is anyone actively maintaining it for Wikimedia sites?
Secondly, how widely used is it on our production Wikimedia wikis?

I suspect it would be a good idea to at the very least move it into
its own extension and possibly disable it on some Wikimedia sites or
all Wikimedia sites.

From my personal opinion, the less skins we have to maintain on
Wikimedia sites on the better, and if no one actively cares or uses a
skin then it is silly to invest time in doing so...

[1] http://imgur.com/hNZAFUb,bRHdhCS

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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Tomasz Finc-2
A good time to revist

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Turning_off_outdated_skins

and re-run

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Turning_off_outdated_skins/stats

--tomasz

On Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 2:10 PM, Jon Robson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> This may be controversial but hopefully there is logic in what I'm about to see.
>
> I just took a look at Cologne Blue and there are a huge host of CSS
> issues. It makes me wonder if anyone is actually maintaining it. All
> the other skins seems to render nicely. Coordinates overlap the header
> and the Echo button is overlapping other text. It just looks shoddy
> [1].
>
> Firstly is anyone actively maintaining it for Wikimedia sites?
> Secondly, how widely used is it on our production Wikimedia wikis?
>
> I suspect it would be a good idea to at the very least move it into
> its own extension and possibly disable it on some Wikimedia sites or
> all Wikimedia sites.
>
> From my personal opinion, the less skins we have to maintain on
> Wikimedia sites on the better, and if no one actively cares or uses a
> skin then it is silly to invest time in doing so...
>
> [1] http://imgur.com/hNZAFUb,bRHdhCS
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l

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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

MZMcBride-2
Tomasz Finc wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 2:10 PM, Jon Robson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Why is Cologne Blue still in core?
>
>A good time to revist
>
>https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Turning_off_outdated_skins
>
>and re-run
>
>https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Turning_off_outdated_skins/stats

Tomasz' links are relevant, but it's on the associated talk page that
there's a hint of the real reason this happened: Cologne Blue was
originally slated for execution, but MatmaRex (an active developer)
stepped up and agreed to maintain it.

Stats would be helpful here, though I disagree with the general premise:
most of the old skins were fine to kill because they sucked, they weren't
used very much, and/or they weren't maintained. However that does _not_
mean that we should only have one or two skins. Instead, the skinning
system should just suck a lot less: it should be easier to add or remove a
pre-made skin, it should be easier to customize a skin (site-wide), it
should be easier to create a new skin, it should be easier for users to
change their skin, and any additional skins we ship with MediaWiki should
be more attractive and should cleanly support extensions.

In addition to unfairly limiting user choice, site configurability, and
site customizability, the current skins system also encourages confusion
between Wikipedia and non-Wikimedia wikis. In other words, if it weren't
so dreadful to change MediaWiki's skin, there would presumably be reduced
user confusion. As it is, almost every MediaWiki wiki looks the same.

MZMcBride



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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Trevor Parscal-2
It might be easier to revamp the skin system if there were fewer skins to
port.

- Trevor


On Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 6:48 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Tomasz Finc wrote:
> > On Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 2:10 PM, Jon Robson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> Why is Cologne Blue still in core?
> >
> >A good time to revist
> >
> >https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Turning_off_outdated_skins
> >
> >and re-run
> >
> >https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Turning_off_outdated_skins/stats
>
> Tomasz' links are relevant, but it's on the associated talk page that
> there's a hint of the real reason this happened: Cologne Blue was
> originally slated for execution, but MatmaRex (an active developer)
> stepped up and agreed to maintain it.
>
> Stats would be helpful here, though I disagree with the general premise:
> most of the old skins were fine to kill because they sucked, they weren't
> used very much, and/or they weren't maintained. However that does _not_
> mean that we should only have one or two skins. Instead, the skinning
> system should just suck a lot less: it should be easier to add or remove a
> pre-made skin, it should be easier to customize a skin (site-wide), it
> should be easier to create a new skin, it should be easier for users to
> change their skin, and any additional skins we ship with MediaWiki should
> be more attractive and should cleanly support extensions.
>
> In addition to unfairly limiting user choice, site configurability, and
> site customizability, the current skins system also encourages confusion
> between Wikipedia and non-Wikimedia wikis. In other words, if it weren't
> so dreadful to change MediaWiki's skin, there would presumably be reduced
> user confusion. As it is, almost every MediaWiki wiki looks the same.
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Jon Robson
> It might be easier to revamp the skin system if there were fewer skins to
> port.

Touché.

So.. so 2 questions
1) would anyone have any objections to moving it out of core and into
its own extension?
2) would anyone have any objections for turning it off on Wikimedia wikis

FWIW, having a single skin in core would actually be a good thing for
skin development. Currently writing a skin outside core is difficult -
I found this in the development of the mobile skin. Having a leaner
codebase in core would actually encourage better organisation to make
things. skinStyles is a great example - if your skin is not in core,
you can't use it.

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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Trevor Parscal-2
I support moving it to an extension and enabling it on deployed sites as to
avoid an disruption in service for the users of the skin.

- Trevor


On Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM, Jon Robson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > It might be easier to revamp the skin system if there were fewer skins to
> > port.
>
> Touché.
>
> So.. so 2 questions
> 1) would anyone have any objections to moving it out of core and into
> its own extension?
> 2) would anyone have any objections for turning it off on Wikimedia wikis
>
> FWIW, having a single skin in core would actually be a good thing for
> skin development. Currently writing a skin outside core is difficult -
> I found this in the development of the mobile skin. Having a leaner
> codebase in core would actually encourage better organisation to make
> things. skinStyles is a great example - if your skin is not in core,
> you can't use it.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Risker
In reply to this post by Jon Robson
On 11 March 2014 15:21, Jon Robson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > It might be easier to revamp the skin system if there were fewer skins to
> > port.
>
> Touché.
>
> So.. so 2 questions
> 1) would anyone have any objections to moving it out of core and into
> its own extension?
> 2) would anyone have any objections for turning it off on Wikimedia wikis
>
> FWIW, having a single skin in core would actually be a good thing for
> skin development. Currently writing a skin outside core is difficult -
> I found this in the development of the mobile skin. Having a leaner
> codebase in core would actually encourage better organisation to make
> things. skinStyles is a great example - if your skin is not in core,
> you can't use it.
>
>

Speaking from a user perspective, having all of 4 skins available (really?
4? That's a lot?) does make a difference in differentiating which
nearly-identical wikis one is working on, particularly if one or more of
the wikis involved are non-public ones.  Aside from Vector and Monobook,
though, I don't see a reason why they can't be extensions, as long as
they're still in the preference lists.

I strongly urge maintaining Monobook exactly the way that Vector is
maintained: it's the clear favourite of the most active users, it's
still faster after years of improving Vector, and it handles a lot of
accessibility issues much better than Vector (particularly for the visually
impaired, according to those editors I know who have to deal with this).

Risker/Anne
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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Trevor Parscal-2
I don't think anyone is suggesting removing or even moving Monobook. I
think we are more talking about assigning effort more proportionally to
preference of users. Cologne Blue is not the clear favorite of any group of
users that we know of.

- Trevor


On Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 12:36 PM, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 11 March 2014 15:21, Jon Robson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > > It might be easier to revamp the skin system if there were fewer skins
> to
> > > port.
> >
> > Touché.
> >
> > So.. so 2 questions
> > 1) would anyone have any objections to moving it out of core and into
> > its own extension?
> > 2) would anyone have any objections for turning it off on Wikimedia wikis
> >
> > FWIW, having a single skin in core would actually be a good thing for
> > skin development. Currently writing a skin outside core is difficult -
> > I found this in the development of the mobile skin. Having a leaner
> > codebase in core would actually encourage better organisation to make
> > things. skinStyles is a great example - if your skin is not in core,
> > you can't use it.
> >
> >
>
> Speaking from a user perspective, having all of 4 skins available (really?
> 4? That's a lot?) does make a difference in differentiating which
> nearly-identical wikis one is working on, particularly if one or more of
> the wikis involved are non-public ones.  Aside from Vector and Monobook,
> though, I don't see a reason why they can't be extensions, as long as
> they're still in the preference lists.
>
> I strongly urge maintaining Monobook exactly the way that Vector is
> maintained: it's the clear favourite of the most active users, it's
> still faster after years of improving Vector, and it handles a lot of
> accessibility issues much better than Vector (particularly for the visually
> impaired, according to those editors I know who have to deal with this).
>
> Risker/Anne
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Jeremy Baron
In reply to this post by Risker
On Mar 11, 2014 3:36 PM, "Risker" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> differentiating which
> nearly-identical wikis one is working on, particularly if one or more of
> the wikis involved are non-public ones.

Do you have specific requests for how to differentiate them?

Either for a whole wiki (could be in main common.css) or your user (your
own common.css)

-Jeremy
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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Isarra Yos
In reply to this post by Trevor Parscal-2
On 11/03/14 17:26, Trevor Parscal wrote:
> It might be easier to revamp the skin system if there were fewer skins to
> port.
>
> - Trevor

But that completely ignores the primary users of non-Vector skins -
third party users who have developed their own skins. Every time the
skinning systems changes, their skins break and it adds yet another
blocker for them upgrading. Now this wouldn't be a problem if it were a
one-time thing to fix up the system in general, but it isn't - it
happens almost every other version, and usually for quite little things.
It's like, oh hey, everything broke again. Now we need to redo it all.
Again.

The number of skins is not a blocker for revamping the skin system.
There will always be too many skins to port. The blocker is that to
revamp the skin system, it needs to be done well enough to justify
breaking the skins in the first place, however many there are, and that
is a whole lot harder.

-I

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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

James Forrester-4
On 11 March 2014 13:10, Isarra Yos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 11/03/14 17:26, Trevor Parscal wrote:
>
>> It might be easier to revamp the skin system if there were fewer skins to
>> port.
>>
>> - Trevor
>>
>
> But that completely ignores the primary users of non-Vector skins


​Sure, because they aren't in MediaWiki core.​ Trevor's point is that there
are four skins to fix *in the same commit* as fixing the skins system, and
this would be a lot easier if there were instead three, or two, or one.

In fact, this is the *reason* we stopped adding new skins to MediaWiki
core, and instead they're treated like extensions and sysadmins are
expected to pay attention to breaking changes.

The wider question about fixing "once and for all" the changes to skins is
out of scope for this discussion, and would involve some serious thought,
but that's something that can be done regardless of whether Cologne Blue is
in core. It'd just make it easier.

J.
--
James D. Forrester
Product Manager, VisualEditor
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

[hidden email] | @jdforrester
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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Isarra Yos
In reply to this post by Jon Robson
On 11/03/14 19:21, Jon Robson wrote:

>> It might be easier to revamp the skin system if there were fewer skins to
>> port.
> Touché.
>
> So.. so 2 questions
> 1) would anyone have any objections to moving it out of core and into
> its own extension?
> 2) would anyone have any objections for turning it off on Wikimedia wikis
>
> FWIW, having a single skin in core would actually be a good thing for
> skin development. Currently writing a skin outside core is difficult -
> I found this in the development of the mobile skin. Having a leaner
> codebase in core would actually encourage better organisation to make
> things. skinStyles is a great example - if your skin is not in core,
> you can't use it.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l

Aye, it should be an extension. All the skins should probably be
extensions - I'd argue that even the default one should be implemented
as an extension. Ship it with the main tarball, have it included by
default, but keep it as an extension so it's all still modular. It would
make working with them so much easier.

And it'd also make it easier for people to make new skins, since that
way they'd have a sane default to use as a template. Vector as is is
anything but sane.

-I

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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

James Forrester-4
On 11 March 2014 13:17, Isarra Yos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 11/03/14 19:21, Jon Robson wrote:
>
>> It might be easier to revamp the skin system if there were fewer skins to
>>> port.
>>>
>> Touché.
>>
>> So.. so 2 questions
>> 1) would anyone have any objections to moving it out of core and into
>> its own extension?
>> 2) would anyone have any objections for turning it off on Wikimedia wikis
>>
>> FWIW, having a single skin in core would actually be a good thing for
>> skin development. Currently writing a skin outside core is difficult -
>> I found this in the development of the mobile skin. Having a leaner
>> codebase in core would actually encourage better organisation to make
>> things. skinStyles is a great example - if your skin is not in core,
>> you can't use it.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikitech-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>>
>
> Aye, it should be an extension. All the skins should probably be
> extensions - I'd argue that even the default one should be implemented as
> an extension. Ship it with the main tarball, have it included by default,
> but keep it as an extension so it's all still modular. It would make
> working with them so much easier.
>

​+1​

​J.
--
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Product Manager, VisualEditor
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Isarra Yos
In reply to this post by James Forrester-4
On 11/03/14 20:16, James Forrester wrote:

> On 11 March 2014 13:10, Isarra Yos <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 11/03/14 17:26, Trevor Parscal wrote:
>>
>>> It might be easier to revamp the skin system if there were fewer skins to
>>> port.
>>>
>>> - Trevor
>>>
>> But that completely ignores the primary users of non-Vector skins
>
> ​Sure, because they aren't in MediaWiki core.​ Trevor's point is that there
> are four skins to fix *in the same commit* as fixing the skins system, and
> this would be a lot easier if there were instead three, or two, or one.
>
> In fact, this is the *reason* we stopped adding new skins to MediaWiki
> core, and instead they're treated like extensions and sysadmins are
> expected to pay attention to breaking changes.
>
> The wider question about fixing "once and for all" the changes to skins is
> out of scope for this discussion, and would involve some serious thought,
> but that's something that can be done regardless of whether Cologne Blue is
> in core. It'd just make it easier.
>
> J.

Because they aren't in core, my point is that people forget they exist
at all. They shouldn't do that.

But yes, having to fix them all in one commit is silly. More on that
elsewhere.

-I

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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Jon Robson
If people forget they exist I would say that equates to no one cares
about them and no one maintains them.
If this is true, we are doing a disservice to our users by providing
these skins to our users.



On Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 1:20 PM, Isarra Yos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 11/03/14 20:16, James Forrester wrote:
>>
>> On 11 March 2014 13:10, Isarra Yos <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> On 11/03/14 17:26, Trevor Parscal wrote:
>>>
>>>> It might be easier to revamp the skin system if there were fewer skins
>>>> to
>>>> port.
>>>>
>>>> - Trevor
>>>>
>>> But that completely ignores the primary users of non-Vector skins
>>
>>
>> Sure, because they aren't in MediaWiki core. Trevor's point is that there
>> are four skins to fix *in the same commit* as fixing the skins system, and
>> this would be a lot easier if there were instead three, or two, or one.
>>
>> In fact, this is the *reason* we stopped adding new skins to MediaWiki
>> core, and instead they're treated like extensions and sysadmins are
>> expected to pay attention to breaking changes.
>>
>> The wider question about fixing "once and for all" the changes to skins is
>> out of scope for this discussion, and would involve some serious thought,
>> but that's something that can be done regardless of whether Cologne Blue
>> is
>> in core. It'd just make it easier.
>>
>> J.
>
>
> Because they aren't in core, my point is that people forget they exist at
> all. They shouldn't do that.
>
> But yes, having to fix them all in one commit is silly. More on that
> elsewhere.
>
> -I
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Isarra Yos
On 11/03/14 21:21, Jon Robson wrote:
> If people forget they exist I would say that equates to no one cares
> about them and no one maintains them.
> If this is true, we are doing a disservice to our users by providing
> these skins to our users.

Developers forget some users exist. They forget use cases exist. It
happens. It does not invalidate them. We should not be alienating our
users, whoever they may be, for lack of consideration.

We should instead consider things first and THEN alienate them, of course.

-I

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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Trevor Parscal-2
By making all skins extensions it would also force us to make a few new
APIs which are needed to no longer have skin extensions be second-class
citizens.

This should happen.

- Trevor


On Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 2:38 PM, Isarra Yos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 11/03/14 21:21, Jon Robson wrote:
>
>> If people forget they exist I would say that equates to no one cares
>> about them and no one maintains them.
>> If this is true, we are doing a disservice to our users by providing
>> these skins to our users.
>>
>
> Developers forget some users exist. They forget use cases exist. It
> happens. It does not invalidate them. We should not be alienating our
> users, whoever they may be, for lack of consideration.
>
> We should instead consider things first and THEN alienate them, of course.
>
>
> -I
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Jon Robson
+ 10000 to what Trevor just said.

Isarra, developers make a _decision_ to forget some users exist. This
is why Wikipedia doesn't support IE5. I am suggesting a decision that
we forget that users of Cologne blue exist. Although it might seem
harsh to the 98,541 readers but justified. It's just not getting any
attention by users or developers.

Based on the numbers on
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Turning_off_outdated_skins/stats - my
personal view is if a skin isn't used by more than a million people we
shouldn't be supporting it on Wikimedia wikis. This would actually
mean just keeping Vector and Monobook. I for one would actually give
more attention to Monobook in my testing if this happened.

Can someone who is able to please run the stats for
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Turning_off_outdated_skins/stats
again?

On Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 3:45 PM, Trevor Parscal <[hidden email]> wrote:

> By making all skins extensions it would also force us to make a few new
> APIs which are needed to no longer have skin extensions be second-class
> citizens.
>
> This should happen.
>
> - Trevor
>
>
> On Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 2:38 PM, Isarra Yos <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 11/03/14 21:21, Jon Robson wrote:
>>
>>> If people forget they exist I would say that equates to no one cares
>>> about them and no one maintains them.
>>> If this is true, we are doing a disservice to our users by providing
>>> these skins to our users.
>>>
>>
>> Developers forget some users exist. They forget use cases exist. It
>> happens. It does not invalidate them. We should not be alienating our
>> users, whoever they may be, for lack of consideration.
>>
>> We should instead consider things first and THEN alienate them, of course.
>>
>>
>> -I
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikitech-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>>
> _______________________________________________
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* @rakugojon

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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Isarra Yos
In reply to this post by Trevor Parscal-2
On 11/03/14 22:45, Trevor Parscal wrote:
> By making all skins extensions it would also force us to make a few new
> APIs which are needed to no longer have skin extensions be second-class
> citizens.
>
> This should happen.
>
> - Trevor

Quite so. Think hitting on some of this could be a viable gsoc project?

-I

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Re: Why is Cologne Blue still in core?

Risker
In reply to this post by Jon Robson
On 11 March 2014 18:48, Jon Robson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> + 10000 to what Trevor just said.
>
> Isarra, developers make a _decision_ to forget some users exist. This
> is why Wikipedia doesn't support IE5. I am suggesting a decision that
> we forget that users of Cologne blue exist. Although it might seem
> harsh to the 98,541 readers but justified. It's just not getting any
> attention by users or developers.
>
> Based on the numbers on
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Turning_off_outdated_skins/stats - my
> personal view is if a skin isn't used by more than a million people we
> shouldn't be supporting it on Wikimedia wikis. This would actually
> mean just keeping Vector and Monobook. I for one would actually give
> more attention to Monobook in my testing if this happened.
>
> Can someone who is able to please run the stats for
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Turning_off_outdated_skins/stats
> again?
>
>

Ummm.  Readers only get Vector, unless they create an account, log in, find
their preferences, and make a conscious decision to choose another skin -
something almost no reader will do.

Editors, it seems, chose Monobook 2:1 over Vector as of this time last
year, when there were many other skins; that is, they make the conscious
choice. (I also think there's something really wonky about the "power user"
numbers.  There's no way there are less than 15,000 users active in the
last six months with over 1000 edits across all of the projects.)  There's
a lot of value in paying attention to Monobook.

Risker/Anne
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