[Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

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[Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Federico Leva (Nemo)
MZMcBride, I agree with you, but let me split out one thing:

On 20 August 2014 04:09, MZMcBride wrote:
> the one complaint I _never_ hear is that
> Wikipedia has a readership problem.

Then you'll hear it from me.

First, let's make one thing clear: the reader doesn't exist; it's just a
rhetorical trick, and a very dangerous one. For more:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Stupidity_of_the_reader

Page views, however brute a concept, exist; and I think they're telling
us we do have a readership problem. For it.wiki, in the last year I see
a suspiciously similar decrease in desktop pageviews and editing
activity (possibly around –20 %). It would *seem* that every user
converted to the mobile site is a step towards extinction of the wiki.
Long story:
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:The_sudden_decline_of_Italian_Wikipedia>
        The page above is just a collection of pointers that I probably won't
be able to pursue in the coming months, to study an unprecedented
collapse of editing activity and active editors on it.wiki. However,
there /are/ several things worth looking into and we do have a huge
problem (or several).
        Can anything be done about it? I don't know. In its brief history, WMF
software development has always been irrelevant for the increase of
editing activity and reach. Let's hope for a counterexample.

Nemo

P.s.: Yes, this message is focused on one small thing only. That's just
about what we are/were already doing, while most opportunities lie in
what we're not doing, see the sister projects and [[strategy:List of
things that need to be free]]; we like to think otherwise, but our free
culture projects are still very marginal.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Strainu
2014-08-21 9:30 GMT+03:00 Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]>:
It would *seem* that every user
> converted to the mobile site is a step towards extinction of the wiki.


That is an excellent point Frederico. In addition to the inherent
difficulties of editing on small screen, especially large articles and
the "we know better approach" discussed in detail in the last weeks,
there is also the problem of navigating between articles - the mobile
website arbitrarily skips some elements visible on desktop, such as
navboxes and significantly alter some infoboxes because "it doesn't
look good". This makes it difficult to just browse the Wikipedia (thus
finding mistakes that you might want to correct) and encourages
searching for the information, which means going right on target

Hopefully the future announced at Wikimania, "no more mobile team, but
mobile in every team" will solve some of these problems. It's just a
matter of when will this future be.

Strainu

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Andy Mabbett-2
On 21 August 2014 10:31, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
> the mobile
> website arbitrarily skips some elements visible on desktop, such as
> navboxes

I've noticed this; and other deficiencies (such as no "did you know"
on main page, not even as a link to a subpage).

> and significantly alter some infoboxes because "it doesn't
> look good".

I'd not noticed this; can you give examples, please?



--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Risker
In reply to this post by Strainu
On 21 August 2014 05:31, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2014-08-21 9:30 GMT+03:00 Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]>:
> It would *seem* that every user
> > converted to the mobile site is a step towards extinction of the wiki.
>
>
> That is an excellent point Frederico. In addition to the inherent
> difficulties of editing on small screen, especially large articles and
> the "we know better approach" discussed in detail in the last weeks,
> there is also the problem of navigating between articles - the mobile
> website arbitrarily skips some elements visible on desktop, such as
> navboxes and significantly alter some infoboxes because "it doesn't
> look good". This makes it difficult to just browse the Wikipedia (thus
> finding mistakes that you might want to correct) and encourages
> searching for the information, which means going right on target
>
> Hopefully the future announced at Wikimania, "no more mobile team, but
> mobile in every team" will solve some of these problems. It's just a
> matter of when will this future be.
>
>

Well, now.  Here's a classic example of what is sometimes called a "first
world problem".  I know that, even on desktops, the more infoboxes and
navboxes and succession boxes on an article (regardless of article length),
the longer it takes to load.  On a slower desktop collection, some really
large, complex articles sometimes time out.

I went to look at some of those same articles using my smartphone with the
"desktop" option turned on.  Many of them timed out without fully loading;
others took several minutes. There was a very, very noticeable difference
in load time between the mobile view and the desktop view.  And that was in
North America with fast, very good connection on an up-to-date phone. Many
of our editors and readers don't have this kind of infrastructure available
to them.

So - we know there is a definite cost to having all these "navigation aids"
in articles.  We need to justify their use, instead of simply adding them
by reflex.  So here is where analytics teams can really be useful:  tell us
whether or not these navboxes are actually being used to go to other
articles.  If they're widely used to leap to the next article, then we need
to find ways to make them more efficient so that they're suitable for
mobile devices.  If they're hardly ever being used, we need to reconsider
their existence. Perhaps this becomes some sort of "meta data" tab from
articles.  The current format isn't sustainable, though.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Neil Babbage
Editing via the mobile view is made more painful by the use of navboxes, tables and complex templates of any kind. Even the {{cite}}  template can occupy several lines of the display on a mobile device making it hard to discern the text. Maybe Wikidata will solve some of this by shifting the creation of navigation links (for example)  out of article editing and into metadata maintenance. I've not tried working on Wikidata via a mobile device so can't comment on its accessibility

Neil

---- Risker wrote ----

>On 21 August 2014 05:31, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> 2014-08-21 9:30 GMT+03:00 Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]>:
>> It would *seem* that every user
>> > converted to the mobile site is a step towards extinction of the wiki.
>>
>>
>> That is an excellent point Frederico. In addition to the inherent
>> difficulties of editing on small screen, especially large articles and
>> the "we know better approach" discussed in detail in the last weeks,
>> there is also the problem of navigating between articles - the mobile
>> website arbitrarily skips some elements visible on desktop, such as
>> navboxes and significantly alter some infoboxes because "it doesn't
>> look good". This makes it difficult to just browse the Wikipedia (thus
>> finding mistakes that you might want to correct) and encourages
>> searching for the information, which means going right on target
>>
>> Hopefully the future announced at Wikimania, "no more mobile team, but
>> mobile in every team" will solve some of these problems. It's just a
>> matter of when will this future be.
>>
>>
>
>Well, now.  Here's a classic example of what is sometimes called a "first
>world problem".  I know that, even on desktops, the more infoboxes and
>navboxes and succession boxes on an article (regardless of article length),
>the longer it takes to load.  On a slower desktop collection, some really
>large, complex articles sometimes time out.
>
>I went to look at some of those same articles using my smartphone with the
>"desktop" option turned on.  Many of them timed out without fully loading;
>others took several minutes. There was a very, very noticeable difference
>in load time between the mobile view and the desktop view.  And that was in
>North America with fast, very good connection on an up-to-date phone. Many
>of our editors and readers don't have this kind of infrastructure available
>to them.
>
>So - we know there is a definite cost to having all these "navigation aids"
>in articles.  We need to justify their use, instead of simply adding them
>by reflex.  So here is where analytics teams can really be useful:  tell us
>whether or not these navboxes are actually being used to go to other
>articles.  If they're widely used to leap to the next article, then we need
>to find ways to make them more efficient so that they're suitable for
>mobile devices.  If they're hardly ever being used, we need to reconsider
>their existence. Perhaps this becomes some sort of "meta data" tab from
>articles.  The current format isn't sustainable, though.
>
>Risker/Anne
>_______________________________________________
>Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Yaroslav M. Blanter
In reply to this post by Risker
On 21.08.2014 14:26, Risker wrote:
> On 21 August 2014 05:31, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
...

>
> I went to look at some of those same articles using my smartphone with
> the
> "desktop" option turned on.  Many of them timed out without fully
> loading;
> others took several minutes. There was a very, very noticeable
> difference
> in load time between the mobile view and the desktop view.  And that
> was in
> North America with fast, very good connection on an up-to-date phone.
> Many
> of our editors and readers don't have this kind of infrastructure
> available
> to them.
>
> So - we know there is a definite cost to having all these "navigation
> aids"
> in articles.  We need to justify their use, instead of simply adding
> them
> by reflex.  So here is where analytics teams can really be useful:  
> tell us
> whether or not these navboxes are actually being used to go to other
> articles.  If they're widely used to leap to the next article, then we
> need
> to find ways to make them more efficient so that they're suitable for
> mobile devices.  If they're hardly ever being used, we need to
> reconsider
> their existence. Perhaps this becomes some sort of "meta data" tab
> from
> articles.  The current format isn't sustainable, though.
>
> Risker/Anne
> _______________________________________________

For me the conclusion would be not that we should drop them altogether
in the mobile version (most of them are useful navigation means after
all) but that the mobile version should be improved to parse them and to
present them as a piece of plain text, not as a template.

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Risker
On 21 August 2014 09:18, Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 21.08.2014 14:26, Risker wrote:
>
>> On 21 August 2014 05:31, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>  ...
>
>>
>> I went to look at some of those same articles using my smartphone with the
>> "desktop" option turned on.  Many of them timed out without fully loading;
>> others took several minutes. There was a very, very noticeable difference
>> in load time between the mobile view and the desktop view.  And that was
>> in
>> North America with fast, very good connection on an up-to-date phone. Many
>> of our editors and readers don't have this kind of infrastructure
>> available
>> to them.
>>
>> So - we know there is a definite cost to having all these "navigation
>> aids"
>> in articles.  We need to justify their use, instead of simply adding them
>> by reflex.  So here is where analytics teams can really be useful:  tell
>> us
>> whether or not these navboxes are actually being used to go to other
>> articles.  If they're widely used to leap to the next article, then we
>> need
>> to find ways to make them more efficient so that they're suitable for
>> mobile devices.  If they're hardly ever being used, we need to reconsider
>> their existence. Perhaps this becomes some sort of "meta data" tab from
>> articles.  The current format isn't sustainable, though.
>>
>> Risker/Anne
>> _______________________________________________
>>
>
> For me the conclusion would be not that we should drop them altogether in
> the mobile version (most of them are useful navigation means after all) but
> that the mobile version should be improved to parse them and to present
> them as a piece of plain text, not as a template.
>
>
Many of these templates have over 100 links in them; a surprisingly large
number have "subtemplates" built into them.  I'm having a hard time seeing
how adding all those links at the bottom of an article is actually going to
help that much. Unless we have some evidence to confirm this information is
actually useful to readers -seriously, this is a community-designed feature
targeted at readers as opposed to editors - it's probably time to rethink
what indirectly related information on our article pages is made routinely
available.  We want people to use our information, not give up because it
takes too long to load.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by Risker
On Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 7:26 PM, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 21 August 2014 05:31, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> 2014-08-21 9:30 GMT+03:00 Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]>:
>> It would *seem* that every user
>> > converted to the mobile site is a step towards extinction of the wiki.
>>
>>
>> That is an excellent point Frederico. In addition to the inherent
>> difficulties of editing on small screen, especially large articles and
>> the "we know better approach" discussed in detail in the last weeks,
>> there is also the problem of navigating between articles - the mobile
>> website arbitrarily skips some elements visible on desktop, such as
>> navboxes and significantly alter some infoboxes because "it doesn't
>> look good". This makes it difficult to just browse the Wikipedia (thus
>> finding mistakes that you might want to correct) and encourages
>> searching for the information, which means going right on target
>>
>> Hopefully the future announced at Wikimania, "no more mobile team, but
>> mobile in every team" will solve some of these problems. It's just a
>> matter of when will this future be.
>>
>>
>
> Well, now.  Here's a classic example of what is sometimes called a "first
> world problem".  I know that, even on desktops, the more infoboxes and
> navboxes and succession boxes on an article (regardless of article length),
> the longer it takes to load.  On a slower desktop collection, some really
> large, complex articles sometimes time out.
>
> I went to look at some of those same articles using my smartphone with the
> "desktop" option turned on.  Many of them timed out without fully loading;
> others took several minutes. There was a very, very noticeable difference
> in load time between the mobile view and the desktop view.  And that was in
> North America with fast, very good connection on an up-to-date phone. Many
> of our editors and readers don't have this kind of infrastructure available
> to them.
>
> So - we know there is a definite cost to having all these "navigation aids"
> in articles.  We need to justify their use, instead of simply adding them
> by reflex.  So here is where analytics teams can really be useful:  tell us
> whether or not these navboxes are actually being used to go to other
> articles.  If they're widely used to leap to the next article, then we need
> to find ways to make them more efficient so that they're suitable for
> mobile devices.  If they're hardly ever being used, we need to reconsider
> their existence. Perhaps this becomes some sort of "meta data" tab from
> articles.  The current format isn't sustainable, though.

If we're talking about navboxes, they are navigational and I agree the
software should replace them with something else, or drop them
entirely, if it helps rendering performance or the UI design.

I'd be interested to hear of examples of infoboxes that are being
altered by the mobile view.  I expect it being done for overly complex
parts of some infoboxes.

While we're talking about the first world problem, I have first hand
experience that the MediaViewer is a backwards step for people on
dialup (e.g. people in regional Australia who rarely get the telco
promised maximum of 28.8kbit/s) or on crappy mobile connections (which
is most of Indonesia, fwiw, where many people use a _desktop_ or old
laptop connected to the internet via 3G modem or their mobile phone).

Sure "they" can disable it with their preferences, but to get to that
they need to download the MediaViewer software and *while* the image
is downloading at a much higher res than it would have previously,
figure out to scroll down, and press the 'Disable Media Viewer' link.

*But*, that only works on the normal website.  On the mobile website,
I cant figure out how to disable the Media Viewer.  To check I wasnt
missing something, I asked someone at the Wikimedia Indonesia office
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:CentralAuth/Beeyan) to try to
disable it on his phone, and he couldnt work it out either.

Go to:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_Protection_Act_of_1970

Scroll down to the "Tennessee Walking Horse" photo and click on it.
As far as I can see it has downloaded the 200+KB photo, and I may
either close the MediaViewer or go to the page on Commons.  There are
no other options.
We can't figure out how to disable this.  Even after logging in on the
mobile site, there is no preference to disable it in the Settings.

If you click the Details button to return to go to Commons, only a
70KB photo is shown, which is what used to occur.

--
John Vandenberg

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Yaroslav M. Blanter
In reply to this post by Risker
On 21.08.2014 15:24, Risker wrote:

> On 21 August 2014 09:18, Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 21.08.2014 14:26, Risker wrote:
>>
>>> On 21 August 2014 05:31, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>>  ...
>>
>>>
>>
> Many of these templates have over 100 links in them; a surprisingly
> large
> number have "subtemplates" built into them.  I'm having a hard time
> seeing
> how adding all those links at the bottom of an article is actually
> going to
> help that much. Unless we have some evidence to confirm this
> information is
> actually useful to readers -seriously, this is a community-designed
> feature
> targeted at readers as opposed to editors - it's probably time to
> rethink
> what indirectly related information on our article pages is made
> routinely
> available.  We want people to use our information, not give up because
> it
> takes too long to load.
>
> Risker/Anne
>

Right, and if the feature is not useful for readers (and I do not see
how it is useful for editors, except for making the pages looking nicer)
it possibly should not be there at all. But I do not think that just
ignoring it in the mobile version without any relation to the "desktop"
version is a good direction to follow.

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Peter Southwood
I find navboxes useful as an editor, and frequently use them to keep track of the related articles I edit. I would prefer to keep the functionality, but would not have a problem with it being opt-in.
Cheers,
Peter

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Yaroslav M. Blanter
Sent: 21 August 2014 03:29 PM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

On 21.08.2014 15:24, Risker wrote:

> On 21 August 2014 09:18, Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 21.08.2014 14:26, Risker wrote:
>>
>>> On 21 August 2014 05:31, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>>  ...
>>
>>>
>>
> Many of these templates have over 100 links in them; a surprisingly
> large number have "subtemplates" built into them.  I'm having a hard
> time seeing how adding all those links at the bottom of an article is
> actually going to help that much. Unless we have some evidence to
> confirm this information is actually useful to readers -seriously,
> this is a community-designed feature targeted at readers as opposed to
> editors - it's probably time to rethink what indirectly related
> information on our article pages is made routinely available.  We want
> people to use our information, not give up because it takes too long
> to load.
>
> Risker/Anne
>

Right, and if the feature is not useful for readers (and I do not see how it is useful for editors, except for making the pages looking nicer) it possibly should not be there at all. But I do not think that just ignoring it in the mobile version without any relation to the "desktop"
version is a good direction to follow.

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Isarra Yos
In reply to this post by Risker
On 21/08/14 13:24, Risker wrote:

> On 21 August 2014 09:18, Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>
>> For me the conclusion would be not that we should drop them altogether in
>> the mobile version (most of them are useful navigation means after all) but
>> that the mobile version should be improved to parse them and to present
>> them as a piece of plain text, not as a template.
>>
>>
> Many of these templates have over 100 links in them; a surprisingly large
> number have "subtemplates" built into them.  I'm having a hard time seeing
> how adding all those links at the bottom of an article is actually going to
> help that much. Unless we have some evidence to confirm this information is
> actually useful to readers -seriously, this is a community-designed feature
> targeted at readers as opposed to editors - it's probably time to rethink
> what indirectly related information on our article pages is made routinely
> available.  We want people to use our information, not give up because it
> takes too long to load.
>
> Risker/Anne

Man, I forgot how over the top some projects get with their navigation
templates. But what Yaroslav said might actually provide a good
guideline - if they CAN be reasonably simplified, then the templates
themselves are probably reasonable. If not, they need to be fixed.

Just hiding them isn't the solution - the templates themselves need to
be made more realistic, because while they may be a bit overwhelming on
the desktop (I mean, I looked at [[red]] and was overwhelmed by the
bottom of the page), the issues they present on mobile devices should be
a real incentive. But if you just hide them, that removes the incentive
to fix them up. That doesn't make much sense to me.

-I

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Andy Mabbett-2
On 21 August 2014 17:08, Isarra Yos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Man, I forgot how over the top some projects get
> with their navigation templates.

Perhaps the answer is to refactor them as separate pages to which
mobile (and even desktop) pages can use a single link?

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Magnus Manske-2
Or, have them filled from Wikidata. Then, {{Infobox}} would be all the
wikitext you need. This could also help to "abstract" infoboxes to load a
placeholder/hint on mobile, then loading the box on request (click).

Well, one can dream...

Magnus


On Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 6:45 PM, Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> On 21 August 2014 17:08, Isarra Yos <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Man, I forgot how over the top some projects get
> > with their navigation templates.
>
> Perhaps the answer is to refactor them as separate pages to which
> mobile (and even desktop) pages can use a single link?
>
> --
> Andy Mabbett
> @pigsonthewing
> http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Steven Walling
On Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 11:04 AM, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]
> wrote:

> Or, have them filled from Wikidata. Then, {{Infobox}} would be all the
> wikitext you need. This could also help to "abstract" infoboxes to load a
> placeholder/hint on mobile, then loading the box on request (click).
>
> Well, one can dream...
>

This would be ideal I think, since it would allow for more responsive
styling without resorting to ugly hacks specific to infobox markup.

So far as I can tell though, there is one major blocker to this: edibility.
People need to be able to update the infobox data without leaving Wikipedia
and being sent to Yet Another Wiki. This is potentially doable in
VisualEditor I think, but is hard or maybe impossible to do with any
elegance in wikitext.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Yaroslav M. Blanter
On 21.08.2014 21:17, Steven Walling wrote:

> On Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 11:04 AM, Magnus Manske
> <[hidden email]
>> wrote:
>
>> Or, have them filled from Wikidata. Then, {{Infobox}} would be all
>> the
>> wikitext you need. This could also help to "abstract" infoboxes to
>> load a
>> placeholder/hint on mobile, then loading the box on request (click).
>>
>> Well, one can dream...
>>
>
> This would be ideal I think, since it would allow for more responsive
> styling without resorting to ugly hacks specific to infobox markup.
>
> So far as I can tell though, there is one major blocker to this:
> edibility.
> People need to be able to update the infobox data without leaving
> Wikipedia
> and being sent to Yet Another Wiki. This is potentially doable in
> VisualEditor I think, but is hard or maybe impossible to do with any
> elegance in wikitext.
> _______________________________________________

Another problem, at least for the time being, is that connection to
Wikidata is still slow (I feel it even with very good Internet access),
and eventually will impede slow mobile connections. I hope this is
curable though.

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Michael Peel-2
In reply to this post by Andy Mabbett-2

On 21 Aug 2014, at 13:03, Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 21 August 2014 10:31, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> the mobile
>> website arbitrarily skips some elements visible on desktop, such as
>> navboxes
>
> I've noticed this; and other deficiencies (such as no "did you know"
> on main page, not even as a link to a subpage).

I thought this was set in the source code for the main page, see:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:MobileFrontend#Configuring_the_main_page
which would mean that this could easily be fixed if there was consensus. However, that documentation may be out of date, since I can't spot any mf- ID's in the enwp main page?

Thanks,
Mike


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Andy Mabbett-2
In reply to this post by Magnus Manske-2
I was talking about navboxes, not infoboxes.

On 21 August 2014 19:04, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Or, have them filled from Wikidata. Then, {{Infobox}} would be all the
> wikitext you need. This could also help to "abstract" infoboxes to load a
> placeholder/hint on mobile, then loading the box on request (click).
>
> Well, one can dream...
>
> Magnus
>
>
> On Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 6:45 PM, Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> On 21 August 2014 17:08, Isarra Yos <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> > Man, I forgot how over the top some projects get
>> > with their navigation templates.
>>
>> Perhaps the answer is to refactor them as separate pages to which
>> mobile (and even desktop) pages can use a single link?
>>
>> --
>> Andy Mabbett
>> @pigsonthewing
>> http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
>>
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--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Strainu
In reply to this post by Andy Mabbett-2
2014-08-21 15:03 GMT+03:00 Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]>:
> On 21 August 2014 10:31, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> and significantly alter some infoboxes because "it doesn't
>> look good".
>
> I'd not noticed this; can you give examples, please?

It seems this is not the case at en.wp, but take a look at how
infoboxes (and especially coordinates) are displayed at ro.wp and
fr.wp for [[:ro:București]]/[[:fr:Bucarest]]. There might be some
underlying HTML problem that causes the box to move left, but what's
the deal with the decimal coordinates? I thought we were trying to
save bandwitdh?

2014-08-21 22:56 GMT+03:00 Michael Peel <[hidden email]>:
> I thought this was set in the source code for the main page, see:
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:MobileFrontend#Configuring_the_main_page
> which would mean that this could easily be fixed if there was consensus. However, that documentation may be out of date, since I can't spot any mf- ID's in the enwp main page?

Last edit to the main page on the subject is 31 May 2013. I haven't
tried, but I would guess it's out of date.


2014-08-21 16:24 GMT+03:00 Risker <[hidden email]>:
>>> So - we know there is a definite cost to having all these "navigation
>>> aids"
>>> in articles.  We need to justify their use, instead of simply adding them
>>> by reflex.  So here is where analytics teams can really be useful:  tell
>>> us
>>> whether or not these navboxes are actually being used to go to other
>>> articles.  If they're widely used to leap to the next article, then we
>>> need

You mean on the desktop? Risker, why not talk to Erik Zachte directly
and see if he can do anything withing the privacy policy's boundaries?

>>
>> For me the conclusion would be not that we should drop them altogether in
>> the mobile version (most of them are useful navigation means after all) but
>> that the mobile version should be improved to parse them and to present
>> them as a piece of plain text, not as a template.
>>
>>
> Many of these templates have over 100 links in them; a surprisingly large
> number have "subtemplates" built into them.

You both have a point. I'm sure there are some ways that the HTML code
can get semantic information in order to determine the main links from
such a box and display them.

I'm glad Frederico brought this up (even if it might not have been his
original point, and I apologize for hijacking his thread). If people
agree that the mobile version needs to be "smarter" in deciding what
to parse from the page, we can log some enhancements and push on the
wikitech list to have them at least considered, if not prioritized.

Thanks,
   Strainu

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

Maryana Pinchuk
In reply to this post by John Mark Vandenberg
On Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 6:29 AM, John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]>
wrote:

>
>
> *But*, that only works on the normal website.  On the mobile website,
> I cant figure out how to disable the Media Viewer.  To check I wasnt
> missing something, I asked someone at the Wikimedia Indonesia office
> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:CentralAuth/Beeyan) to try to
> disable it on his phone, and he couldnt work it out either.
>
> Go to:
> https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_Protection_Act_of_1970
>
> Scroll down to the "Tennessee Walking Horse" photo and click on it.
> As far as I can see it has downloaded the 200+KB photo, and I may
> either close the MediaViewer or go to the page on Commons.  There are
> no other options.
> We can't figure out how to disable this.  Even after logging in on the
> mobile site, there is no preference to disable it in the Settings.
>
> If you click the Details button to return to go to Commons, only a
> 70KB photo is shown, which is what used to occur.
>

Hi all,

A few points of clarification on MediaViewer and mobile. The Mobile Web
team built a custom image-viewing experience for users accessing Wikimedia
projects on phones and tablets; we're not actually using desktop
MediaViewer. The mobile implementation loads a size of the image adapted
for the viewport (which may be larger than the screen size due to retina
support). It does not load the full-size image unless that image is very
small. Users accessing the mobile site via Wikipedia Zero or from lower-end
no-JS phones/browsers go straight to the file page.

Performance and bandwidth are definitely things we think about a lot. The
Zero team is currently experimenting with different thumbnail compression
ratios for mobile users who access the site via Wikipedia Zero carriers, in
order to keep bandwidth impact minimal. Based on the outcome, we're
considering using extra compression in the mobile media viewing experience
for all users, though we'll need to study the caching implications, because
it could potentially make performance worse but bandwidth better.

Making sure the default experience works well for both high-end and low-end
device users is a much higher priority on mobile than creating layers of
opt-in/out preferences, because people use mobile differently from
laptops/computers and complex preference screens are difficult to navigate
on a smaller device. We do already have a preference to turn images off
entirely on the mobile site for users who want to save bandwidth; adding
more granular options to this is not something we're considering at this
time, though it's entirely possible that we may revisit this in the future.

--
Maryana Pinchuk
Product Manager, Wikimedia Foundation
wikimediafoundation.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reader, who doesn't exist

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Federico Leva (Nemo)
Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:
>First, let's make one thing clear: the reader doesn't exist; it's just a
>rhetorical trick, and a very dangerous one. For more:
>https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Stupidity_of_the_reader

This essay looks fascinating. I hope to read it soon.

>Page views, however brute a concept, exist; and I think they're telling
>us we do have a readership problem. For it.wiki, in the last year I see
>a suspiciously similar decrease in desktop pageviews and editing
>activity (possibly around –20 %). It would *seem* that every user
>converted to the mobile site is a step towards extinction of the wiki.
>Long story:
><https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Permalink/9380388>
> The page above is just a collection of pointers that I probably won't
>be able to pursue in the coming months, to study an unprecedented
>collapse of editing activity and active editors on it.wiki. However,
>there /are/ several things worth looking into and we do have a huge
>problem (or several).

I don't know enough about the Italian Wikipedia to comment on it
specifically. But generally I think it's important to re-emphasize that
correlation and causation are distinct, as are readership and editorship
rates. The two items of each set can be interrelated or connected
sometimes, of course, but we need to make sure we're drawing accurate and
appropriate conclusions.

At <https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=62811#c10> Jared
Zimmerman writes, "We have a reader decline, its backed by hard numbers,
any creative solution for bringing more readers and contributors into the
project should be seriously discussed without being dismissed out of
hand." There's substantial discussion in the subsequent comments.

Let's temporarily accept the premise that pageviews suddenly drop from 20
billion per month to 1 billion per month. The easy argument is that we'd
save a lot of money on hosting. But unlike most of the Internet, Wikipedia
doesn't rely on advertising. Why does it matter how popular we are? Does it
affect donation rates? Does it affect editorship rates? I'm not sure how
much of this we know. It's increasingly clear that much of the rest of the
Internet _is_ different: it doesn't require much thought of participants,
it's user-focused, and it's built on the idea of selling (to) people. This
difference in how we want to treat users, as collaborators and colleagues,
rather than as clients or customers, will permeate the site design and
user experience and that's okay.

If the number of pageviews suddenly drops, for whatever reason, what
happens next? The most likely "worst case" scenario seems to be a
reduction in annual donations, which results in a smaller staff size
(sometimes referred to as "trimming the fat" or "optimizing"). There's a
lot of talk lately about the imperiled future, but we could end up with a
smaller, more decentralized Wikimedia Foundation staff in what some would
consider one of the least desirable outcomes. Eh.

MZMcBride



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