smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

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smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

James HK
Hi,

I'm calling for some opinions on replacing the "old" Vector skin on
smw.org with something fresh. Stephan in his relentless pursuit of
making MediaWiki more usable to non-Wikipedia users created the
Chameleon skin [0] which seems more suitable to those who want to use
MW/SMW in different environments.

SMW no longer tries to be a product that seeks to fulfil requirements
from either WMF or Wikipedia to be used as encyclopaedic semantic
content management (that's now the job of Wikidata/Wikibase) therefore
using the "Vector" skin somehow appears to be outdated by trying to
look like the good old Wikipedia site.

Furthermore, MW 1.24 (to be released soon) made some changes on how
skins are deployed [1] and it might be a good time to say farewell to
the "old" skin and rediscover SMW's identity by changing its
appearance.

[0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon
[1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.24#Skins_no_longer_loaded_after_upgrade.3F

Cheers

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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Markus Krötzsch-2
Hi,

Good idea. Chameleon is great (also because of the nice Bootstrap
styling that becomes available on all pages). I am using it right now to
build a site (to be published soon).

A big advantage with Chameleon is that most customizations happen in CSS
or by inserting HTML into the page through configuration files. so there
are fewer dependencies on how MW does their skinning in PHP -- assuming
that Chameleon is always updated to support this properly.

My only concern would be that Chameleon is still classified Beta. It
would be good to know if we can hope for future support for this if we
switch now.

Cheers,

Markus

On 16.10.2014 19:52, James HK wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I'm calling for some opinions on replacing the "old" Vector skin on
> smw.org with something fresh. Stephan in his relentless pursuit of
> making MediaWiki more usable to non-Wikipedia users created the
> Chameleon skin [0] which seems more suitable to those who want to use
> MW/SMW in different environments.
>
> SMW no longer tries to be a product that seeks to fulfil requirements
> from either WMF or Wikipedia to be used as encyclopaedic semantic
> content management (that's now the job of Wikidata/Wikibase) therefore
> using the "Vector" skin somehow appears to be outdated by trying to
> look like the good old Wikipedia site.
>
> Furthermore, MW 1.24 (to be released soon) made some changes on how
> skins are deployed [1] and it might be a good time to say farewell to
> the "old" skin and rediscover SMW's identity by changing its
> appearance.
>
> [0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon
> [1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.24#Skins_no_longer_loaded_after_upgrade.3F
>
> Cheers
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Comprehensive Server Monitoring with Site24x7.
> Monitor 10 servers for $9/Month.
> Get alerted through email, SMS, voice calls or mobile push notifications.
> Take corrective actions from your mobile device.
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> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/semediawiki-user
>


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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Stephan Gambke-2
Well, I plan to maintain the skin for a while yet, not least because I
use it myself.

I want to finally release a version 1.0 this weekend. Should have done
that a long time ago, but always put it off. There is one major issue
left that I want to fix before, which is the un-responsiveness of the
navbar. Should not be too hard to do, somebody recently sent me some
code I think I can use. :)

There are some rough edges left, but they are mostly related to
styling of special pages and the like and should be easy to fix
(patches welcome).

Cheers,
Stephan

On 17 October 2014 10:40, Markus Krötzsch <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Good idea. Chameleon is great (also because of the nice Bootstrap
> styling that becomes available on all pages). I am using it right now to
> build a site (to be published soon).
>
> A big advantage with Chameleon is that most customizations happen in CSS
> or by inserting HTML into the page through configuration files. so there
> are fewer dependencies on how MW does their skinning in PHP -- assuming
> that Chameleon is always updated to support this properly.
>
> My only concern would be that Chameleon is still classified Beta. It
> would be good to know if we can hope for future support for this if we
> switch now.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Markus
>
> On 16.10.2014 19:52, James HK wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> I'm calling for some opinions on replacing the "old" Vector skin on
>> smw.org with something fresh. Stephan in his relentless pursuit of
>> making MediaWiki more usable to non-Wikipedia users created the
>> Chameleon skin [0] which seems more suitable to those who want to use
>> MW/SMW in different environments.
>>
>> SMW no longer tries to be a product that seeks to fulfil requirements
>> from either WMF or Wikipedia to be used as encyclopaedic semantic
>> content management (that's now the job of Wikidata/Wikibase) therefore
>> using the "Vector" skin somehow appears to be outdated by trying to
>> look like the good old Wikipedia site.
>>
>> Furthermore, MW 1.24 (to be released soon) made some changes on how
>> skins are deployed [1] and it might be a good time to say farewell to
>> the "old" skin and rediscover SMW's identity by changing its
>> appearance.
>>
>> [0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon
>> [1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.24#Skins_no_longer_loaded_after_upgrade.3F
>>
>> Cheers
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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>> Monitor 10 servers for $9/Month.
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>>
>
>
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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Krabina Bernhard
+1 for chameleon

Bernhard

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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Stephan Gambke-2
In reply to this post by Stephan Gambke-2
One more thing worth considering: The Bootstrap framework is not
designed to support as extensive a range of browsers as Vector. [1]
"Bootstrap is built to work best in the latest desktop and mobile
browsers, meaning older browsers might display differently styled,
though fully functional, renderings of certain components."  They do
not even officially support any Linux browsers, although
"Unofficially, Bootstrap should look and behave well enough in
Chromium and Chrome for Linux, Firefox for Linux, and Internet
Explorer 7". And as far as I can tell, that's true.

And we can still keep Vector or MonoBook available in the preferences
so that users behind corporate firewalls who are not allowed to
upgrade their IE beyond version 6 have a fallback.

[1] http://getbootstrap.com/getting-started/#support

On 17 October 2014 11:58, Stephan Gambke <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Well, I plan to maintain the skin for a while yet, not least because I
> use it myself.
>
> I want to finally release a version 1.0 this weekend. Should have done
> that a long time ago, but always put it off. There is one major issue
> left that I want to fix before, which is the un-responsiveness of the
> navbar. Should not be too hard to do, somebody recently sent me some
> code I think I can use. :)
>
> There are some rough edges left, but they are mostly related to
> styling of special pages and the like and should be easy to fix
> (patches welcome).
>
> Cheers,
> Stephan
>
> On 17 October 2014 10:40, Markus Krötzsch <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> Good idea. Chameleon is great (also because of the nice Bootstrap
>> styling that becomes available on all pages). I am using it right now to
>> build a site (to be published soon).
>>
>> A big advantage with Chameleon is that most customizations happen in CSS
>> or by inserting HTML into the page through configuration files. so there
>> are fewer dependencies on how MW does their skinning in PHP -- assuming
>> that Chameleon is always updated to support this properly.
>>
>> My only concern would be that Chameleon is still classified Beta. It
>> would be good to know if we can hope for future support for this if we
>> switch now.
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Markus
>>
>> On 16.10.2014 19:52, James HK wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> I'm calling for some opinions on replacing the "old" Vector skin on
>>> smw.org with something fresh. Stephan in his relentless pursuit of
>>> making MediaWiki more usable to non-Wikipedia users created the
>>> Chameleon skin [0] which seems more suitable to those who want to use
>>> MW/SMW in different environments.
>>>
>>> SMW no longer tries to be a product that seeks to fulfil requirements
>>> from either WMF or Wikipedia to be used as encyclopaedic semantic
>>> content management (that's now the job of Wikidata/Wikibase) therefore
>>> using the "Vector" skin somehow appears to be outdated by trying to
>>> look like the good old Wikipedia site.
>>>
>>> Furthermore, MW 1.24 (to be released soon) made some changes on how
>>> skins are deployed [1] and it might be a good time to say farewell to
>>> the "old" skin and rediscover SMW's identity by changing its
>>> appearance.
>>>
>>> [0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon
>>> [1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.24#Skins_no_longer_loaded_after_upgrade.3F
>>>
>>> Cheers
>>>
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Comprehensive Server Monitoring with Site24x7.
>>> Monitor 10 servers for $9/Month.
>>> Get alerted through email, SMS, voice calls or mobile push notifications.
>>> Take corrective actions from your mobile device.
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>>> [hidden email]
>>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/semediawiki-user
>>>
>>
>>
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>> Monitor 10 servers for $9/Month.
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>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/semediawiki-devel

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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Stephan Gambke-2
Hi.


On 17 October 2014 16:40, Cavila <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Would like to try it out, but there's a bug in the installation process (the
> git file from Git cannot be cloned using Composer).

Is that the actual error message (Google did not find it)? And
following the instructions on [1] at what point exactly did you get
stuck?

Stephan


[1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon#Installation

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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Stephan Gambke-2
Could you try
 composer require --prefer-dist mediawiki/chameleon-skin "~1.0"

Apparently composer uses download from git by default for development
versions (which are the only available versions of Chameleon right
now).

On 17 October 2014 20:56, Cavila <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Stephan,
>
> It's step #5, which fails with the following error message:
>
> "[RuntimeException] Failed to clone
> https://git.wikimedia.org/git/mediawiki/extensions/Bootstrap.git, git was
> not found, check that it is installed and in your PATH env. 'git' is not
> recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch
> file."
>
> There is no page with that URL, at least no such page that can be visited
> using a browser, so could there be a typo?
>
> Best,
>
> Cav
>
>
>> From: [hidden email]
>> Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:49:50 +0200
>> Subject: Re: [Semediawiki-user] [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old"
>> Vector skin?
>> To: [hidden email]
>> CC: [hidden email];
>> [hidden email]
>
>>
>> Hi.
>>
>>
>> On 17 October 2014 16:40, Cavila <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > Would like to try it out, but there's a bug in the installation process
>> > (the
>> > git file from Git cannot be cloned using Composer).
>>
>> Is that the actual error message (Google did not find it)? And
>> following the instructions on [1] at what point exactly did you get
>> stuck?
>>
>> Stephan
>>
>>
>> [1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon#Installation

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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Krabina Bernhard
In reply to this post by Stephan Gambke-2
Hi,

regardless of the skin used, I think it's worthwile to have a look at some sites we should aim to match regarding their appearance, e. g.

http://www.drupal.org/
https://wordpress.org/
http://www.joomla.org/
https://www.atlassian.com/

cheers,
Bernhard

----- Am 17. Okt 2014 um 11:58 schrieb Stephan Gambke [hidden email]:

> Well, I plan to maintain the skin for a while yet, not least because I
> use it myself.
>
> I want to finally release a version 1.0 this weekend. Should have done
> that a long time ago, but always put it off. There is one major issue
> left that I want to fix before, which is the un-responsiveness of the
> navbar. Should not be too hard to do, somebody recently sent me some
> code I think I can use. :)
>
> There are some rough edges left, but they are mostly related to
> styling of special pages and the like and should be easy to fix
> (patches welcome).
>
> Cheers,
> Stephan
>
> On 17 October 2014 10:40, Markus Krötzsch <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> Good idea. Chameleon is great (also because of the nice Bootstrap
>> styling that becomes available on all pages). I am using it right now to
>> build a site (to be published soon).
>>
>> A big advantage with Chameleon is that most customizations happen in CSS
>> or by inserting HTML into the page through configuration files. so there
>> are fewer dependencies on how MW does their skinning in PHP -- assuming
>> that Chameleon is always updated to support this properly.
>>
>> My only concern would be that Chameleon is still classified Beta. It
>> would be good to know if we can hope for future support for this if we
>> switch now.
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Markus
>>
>> On 16.10.2014 19:52, James HK wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> I'm calling for some opinions on replacing the "old" Vector skin on
>>> smw.org with something fresh. Stephan in his relentless pursuit of
>>> making MediaWiki more usable to non-Wikipedia users created the
>>> Chameleon skin [0] which seems more suitable to those who want to use
>>> MW/SMW in different environments.
>>>
>>> SMW no longer tries to be a product that seeks to fulfil requirements
>>> from either WMF or Wikipedia to be used as encyclopaedic semantic
>>> content management (that's now the job of Wikidata/Wikibase) therefore
>>> using the "Vector" skin somehow appears to be outdated by trying to
>>> look like the good old Wikipedia site.
>>>
>>> Furthermore, MW 1.24 (to be released soon) made some changes on how
>>> skins are deployed [1] and it might be a good time to say farewell to
>>> the "old" skin and rediscover SMW's identity by changing its
>>> appearance.
>>>
>>> [0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon
>>> [1]
>>> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.24#Skins_no_longer_loaded_after_upgrade.3F
>>>
>>> Cheers
>>>
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Comprehensive Server Monitoring with Site24x7.
>>> Monitor 10 servers for $9/Month.
>>> Get alerted through email, SMS, voice calls or mobile push notifications.
>>> Take corrective actions from your mobile device.
>>> http://p.sf.net/sfu/Zoho
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Semediawiki-user mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/semediawiki-user
>>>
>>
>>
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>> Monitor 10 servers for $9/Month.
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>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/semediawiki-devel
>
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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Markus Krötzsch-2
On 20.10.2014 09:05, Krabina Bernhard wrote:
> Hi,
>
> regardless of the skin used, I think it's worthwile to have a look at some sites we should aim to match regarding their appearance, e. g.
>
> http://www.drupal.org/
> https://wordpress.org/
> http://www.joomla.org/
> https://www.atlassian.com/

You are right. We really need to up our game there a little in terms of
professional appearance. Looking at these very professional websites
(and taking into account how much time it takes to do such a thing
properly), we need to think about how to implement this. We do have a
number of powerful components available (Chameleon, all the Bootstrap
basics, I also have some not-yet-released extra code to use further
Bootstrap features on the Wiki), but it will still be work to use that
on our site (change table-based layouts on wiki pages; choose fonts,
colours, images, and textures; style key elements; redesign site
navigation to go with a collapsing menu, ...). How could we best move
forward to put this into practice, ideally before the end of this year?

Cheers,

Markus


> ----- Am 17. Okt 2014 um 11:58 schrieb Stephan Gambke [hidden email]:
>
>> Well, I plan to maintain the skin for a while yet, not least because I
>> use it myself.
>>
>> I want to finally release a version 1.0 this weekend. Should have done
>> that a long time ago, but always put it off. There is one major issue
>> left that I want to fix before, which is the un-responsiveness of the
>> navbar. Should not be too hard to do, somebody recently sent me some
>> code I think I can use. :)
>>
>> There are some rough edges left, but they are mostly related to
>> styling of special pages and the like and should be easy to fix
>> (patches welcome).
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Stephan
>>
>> On 17 October 2014 10:40, Markus Krötzsch <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> Good idea. Chameleon is great (also because of the nice Bootstrap
>>> styling that becomes available on all pages). I am using it right now to
>>> build a site (to be published soon).
>>>
>>> A big advantage with Chameleon is that most customizations happen in CSS
>>> or by inserting HTML into the page through configuration files. so there
>>> are fewer dependencies on how MW does their skinning in PHP -- assuming
>>> that Chameleon is always updated to support this properly.
>>>
>>> My only concern would be that Chameleon is still classified Beta. It
>>> would be good to know if we can hope for future support for this if we
>>> switch now.
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>>
>>> Markus
>>>
>>> On 16.10.2014 19:52, James HK wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>>
>>>> I'm calling for some opinions on replacing the "old" Vector skin on
>>>> smw.org with something fresh. Stephan in his relentless pursuit of
>>>> making MediaWiki more usable to non-Wikipedia users created the
>>>> Chameleon skin [0] which seems more suitable to those who want to use
>>>> MW/SMW in different environments.
>>>>
>>>> SMW no longer tries to be a product that seeks to fulfil requirements
>>>> from either WMF or Wikipedia to be used as encyclopaedic semantic
>>>> content management (that's now the job of Wikidata/Wikibase) therefore
>>>> using the "Vector" skin somehow appears to be outdated by trying to
>>>> look like the good old Wikipedia site.
>>>>
>>>> Furthermore, MW 1.24 (to be released soon) made some changes on how
>>>> skins are deployed [1] and it might be a good time to say farewell to
>>>> the "old" skin and rediscover SMW's identity by changing its
>>>> appearance.
>>>>
>>>> [0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon
>>>> [1]
>>>> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.24#Skins_no_longer_loaded_after_upgrade.3F
>>>>
>>>> Cheers
>>>>
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Comprehensive Server Monitoring with Site24x7.
>>>> Monitor 10 servers for $9/Month.
>>>> Get alerted through email, SMS, voice calls or mobile push notifications.
>>>> Take corrective actions from your mobile device.
>>>> http://p.sf.net/sfu/Zoho
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Semediawiki-user mailing list
>>>> [hidden email]
>>>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/semediawiki-user
>>>>


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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

david mason
In reply to this post by James HK

Hi all,

Maybe I am running with this, but it would benefit the community to make these efforts generally reusable.

I understand SMW is no longer trying to fit into the Wikimedia universe, but it still honours the MW approach of edits and source being human parseable and benefits from ongoing MW enhancements. And using the same skin as Wikipedia immediately lets people know they are on a (real) wiki and certain important functionality will be present. Though generally most people don't know or care, some core editors may; one one project I switched to a decent menu based skin and had to switch back due to outcry. For me I want to help people craft knowledge and having the facilities up front is helpful.

On the other hand, MW's skin is pretty uninspiring. But moving away from it means you lose access to the usability initiative and other enhancements that use core MW components. It would be a substantial disadvantage for SMW sites to not be able to easily use these enhancements, and make them harder to maintain.

One mitigation could be to lightly adapt the mobile skin. This would solve multiple problems in having a less clunky appearance yet also helping SMW support mobile users.

I realize it's political but if there is an objective for the WM organization to work with related efforts, maybe some MW designers could collaborate on this project.

As well as fitting into a progression plan with VisualEditor and WikiData, which I know many people are interested in (access control being the other point where SMW can't really compare to peer efforts).

Finally, for the sake of efficiency and consistency it would also be good to have the skin share appearance and functionality with the SMW extensions such as semantic forms. And I am among many people who are extending SMW using Javascript and we'd like to be able to connect with existing components as much as possible.

If there is an effort to raise funds for this my company could contribute some.

Thanks!

David



On 20 October 2014 04:02, Markus Krötzsch <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 20.10.2014 09:05, Krabina Bernhard wrote:
> Hi,
>
> regardless of the skin used, I think it's worthwile to have a look at some sites we should aim to match regarding their appearance, e. g.
>
> http://www.drupal.org/
> https://wordpress.org/
> http://www.joomla.org/
> https://www.atlassian.com/

You are right. We really need to up our game there a little in terms of
professional appearance. Looking at these very professional websites
(and taking into account how much time it takes to do such a thing
properly), we need to think about how to implement this. We do have a
number of powerful components available (Chameleon, all the Bootstrap
basics, I also have some not-yet-released extra code to use further
Bootstrap features on the Wiki), but it will still be work to use that
on our site (change table-based layouts on wiki pages; choose fonts,
colours, images, and textures; style key elements; redesign site
navigation to go with a collapsing menu, ...). How could we best move
forward to put this into practice, ideally before the end of this year?

Cheers,

Markus


> ----- Am 17. Okt 2014 um 11:58 schrieb Stephan Gambke [hidden email]:
>
>> Well, I plan to maintain the skin for a while yet, not least because I
>> use it myself.
>>
>> I want to finally release a version 1.0 this weekend. Should have done
>> that a long time ago, but always put it off. There is one major issue
>> left that I want to fix before, which is the un-responsiveness of the
>> navbar. Should not be too hard to do, somebody recently sent me some
>> code I think I can use. :)
>>
>> There are some rough edges left, but they are mostly related to
>> styling of special pages and the like and should be easy to fix
>> (patches welcome).
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Stephan
>>
>> On 17 October 2014 10:40, Markus Krötzsch <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> Good idea. Chameleon is great (also because of the nice Bootstrap
>>> styling that becomes available on all pages). I am using it right now to
>>> build a site (to be published soon).
>>>
>>> A big advantage with Chameleon is that most customizations happen in CSS
>>> or by inserting HTML into the page through configuration files. so there
>>> are fewer dependencies on how MW does their skinning in PHP -- assuming
>>> that Chameleon is always updated to support this properly.
>>>
>>> My only concern would be that Chameleon is still classified Beta. It
>>> would be good to know if we can hope for future support for this if we
>>> switch now.
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>>
>>> Markus
>>>
>>> On 16.10.2014 19:52, James HK wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>>
>>>> I'm calling for some opinions on replacing the "old" Vector skin on
>>>> smw.org with something fresh. Stephan in his relentless pursuit of
>>>> making MediaWiki more usable to non-Wikipedia users created the
>>>> Chameleon skin [0] which seems more suitable to those who want to use
>>>> MW/SMW in different environments.
>>>>
>>>> SMW no longer tries to be a product that seeks to fulfil requirements
>>>> from either WMF or Wikipedia to be used as encyclopaedic semantic
>>>> content management (that's now the job of Wikidata/Wikibase) therefore
>>>> using the "Vector" skin somehow appears to be outdated by trying to
>>>> look like the good old Wikipedia site.
>>>>
>>>> Furthermore, MW 1.24 (to be released soon) made some changes on how
>>>> skins are deployed [1] and it might be a good time to say farewell to
>>>> the "old" skin and rediscover SMW's identity by changing its
>>>> appearance.
>>>>
>>>> [0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon
>>>> [1]
>>>> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.24#Skins_no_longer_loaded_after_upgrade.3F
>>>>
>>>> Cheers
>>>>
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Comprehensive Server Monitoring with Site24x7.
>>>> Monitor 10 servers for $9/Month.
>>>> Get alerted through email, SMS, voice calls or mobile push notifications.
>>>> Take corrective actions from your mobile device.
>>>> http://p.sf.net/sfu/Zoho
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Semediawiki-user mailing list
>>>> [hidden email]
>>>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/semediawiki-user
>>>>


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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

James HK
Hi,

> I understand SMW is no longer trying to fit into the Wikimedia universe,
> but it still honours the MW approach of edits and source being human
> parseable and benefits from ongoing MW enhancements. And using the same
> skin as Wikipedia immediately lets people know they are on a (real) wiki

Whether SMW fits into the "Wikimedia universe" is being decided by its
users which over the years had different requirements and objectives
and therefore is not always placed well in the MW development cycle or
MW mainstream.

> that use core MW components. It would be a substantial disadvantage for SMW
> sites to not be able to easily use these enhancements, and make them harder
> to maintain.

SMW is fully independent of any skin (as far as I'm aware of) but of
course some query result formatter requires more detail when it comes
to skin support than others but this doesn't relinquish any
functionality of SMW-core.

> One mitigation could be to lightly adapt the mobile skin. This would solve
> multiple problems in having a less clunky appearance yet also helping SMW
> support mobile users.

One reason to choose the Chameleon skin is that it opens a path to
build responsive elements with a "standard" on smw.org without relying
on the WMF's MobilFrontend extension.

> I realize it's political but if there is an objective for the WM
> organization to work with related efforts, maybe some MW designers could
> collaborate on this project.

This is what Stephan did and not being too tightly coupled [0] to MW
or its environment has other advantages (follow semver versioning,
support different release cycle, have proper dependency support etc.)

> As well as fitting into a progression plan with VisualEditor and WikiData,
> which I know many people are interested in (access control being the other
> point where SMW can't really compare to peer efforts).

Using SMW-core with VE should not pose any issue but I'm not sure
about SF and VE. Access control was never a real focus of either SMW
or MW.

If people want to access WD data via SMW then this has to be done as
an extension and is not planned as part of the SMW-core. In case you
want to use the Wikibase software then you don't need to use the SMW
software and visa-versa (at least I couldn't find any reason as to why
someone want to install both).

> Finally, for the sake of efficiency and consistency it would also be good

On a more general note, SMW as a software (aside from its logo) does
not have any appearance but of course the "product" SMW has an
appearance in form of its website smw.org.

Users of SMW are diverse and no longer stand for a single "I want to
be look a Wikipedia" user group therefore SMW as a product has to
change to represent those groups and attract other potential users.

Honestly, the current website can not be used to make a product
statement, it serves as pool that hosts and collects documentation.

> to have the skin share appearance and functionality with the SMW extensions

SMW-core is skin agnostic therefore sharing any skin specific details
would divert from the current policy. It does come with some CSS rules
but those are SMW specific and unless someone can point to where this
is not the case, SMW-core should work on any skin.

> such as semantic forms. And I am among many people who are extending SMW
> using Javascript and we'd like to be able to connect with existing
> components as much as possible.

I'm not sure on how extending SMW with Javascript fits into the
discussion to replace the skin on smw.org.

If people are really interested in supporting SMW as product platform
then I would expect community members to appoint themselves as sponsor
to drive the discussion, help to transform content (rewrite templates
etc.), and bring the website into a position that would invite users
to browse the site.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coupling_(computer_programming)

PS: As far as I understand, the user of smw.org would be able to
switch to the "old" Vector skin as registered user.

Cheers

On 10/21/14, david mason <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Maybe I am running with this, but it would benefit the community to make
> these efforts generally reusable.
>
> I understand SMW is no longer trying to fit into the Wikimedia universe,
> but it still honours the MW approach of edits and source being human
> parseable and benefits from ongoing MW enhancements. And using the same
> skin as Wikipedia immediately lets people know they are on a (real) wiki
> and certain important functionality will be present. Though generally most
> people don't know or care, some core editors may; one one project I
> switched to a decent menu based skin and had to switch back due to outcry.
> For me I want to help people craft knowledge and having the facilities up
> front is helpful.
>
> On the other hand, MW's skin is pretty uninspiring. But moving away from it
> means you lose access to the usability initiative and other enhancements
> that use core MW components. It would be a substantial disadvantage for SMW
> sites to not be able to easily use these enhancements, and make them harder
> to maintain.
>
> One mitigation could be to lightly adapt the mobile skin. This would solve
> multiple problems in having a less clunky appearance yet also helping SMW
> support mobile users.
>
> I realize it's political but if there is an objective for the WM
> organization to work with related efforts, maybe some MW designers could
> collaborate on this project.
>
> As well as fitting into a progression plan with VisualEditor and WikiData,
> which I know many people are interested in (access control being the other
> point where SMW can't really compare to peer efforts).
>
> Finally, for the sake of efficiency and consistency it would also be good
> to have the skin share appearance and functionality with the SMW extensions
> such as semantic forms. And I am among many people who are extending SMW
> using Javascript and we'd like to be able to connect with existing
> components as much as possible.
>
> If there is an effort to raise funds for this my company could contribute
> some.
>
> Thanks!
>
> David
>
>
>
> On 20 October 2014 04:02, Markus Krötzsch <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> On 20.10.2014 09:05, Krabina Bernhard wrote:
>> > Hi,
>> >
>> > regardless of the skin used, I think it's worthwile to have a look at
>> some sites we should aim to match regarding their appearance, e. g.
>> >
>> > http://www.drupal.org/
>> > https://wordpress.org/
>> > http://www.joomla.org/
>> > https://www.atlassian.com/
>>
>> You are right. We really need to up our game there a little in terms of
>> professional appearance. Looking at these very professional websites
>> (and taking into account how much time it takes to do such a thing
>> properly), we need to think about how to implement this. We do have a
>> number of powerful components available (Chameleon, all the Bootstrap
>> basics, I also have some not-yet-released extra code to use further
>> Bootstrap features on the Wiki), but it will still be work to use that
>> on our site (change table-based layouts on wiki pages; choose fonts,
>> colours, images, and textures; style key elements; redesign site
>> navigation to go with a collapsing menu, ...). How could we best move
>> forward to put this into practice, ideally before the end of this year?
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Markus
>>
>>
>> > ----- Am 17. Okt 2014 um 11:58 schrieb Stephan Gambke
>> > [hidden email]:
>> >
>> >> Well, I plan to maintain the skin for a while yet, not least because I
>> >> use it myself.
>> >>
>> >> I want to finally release a version 1.0 this weekend. Should have done
>> >> that a long time ago, but always put it off. There is one major issue
>> >> left that I want to fix before, which is the un-responsiveness of the
>> >> navbar. Should not be too hard to do, somebody recently sent me some
>> >> code I think I can use. :)
>> >>
>> >> There are some rough edges left, but they are mostly related to
>> >> styling of special pages and the like and should be easy to fix
>> >> (patches welcome).
>> >>
>> >> Cheers,
>> >> Stephan
>> >>
>> >> On 17 October 2014 10:40, Markus Krötzsch <
>> [hidden email]> wrote:
>> >>> Hi,
>> >>>
>> >>> Good idea. Chameleon is great (also because of the nice Bootstrap
>> >>> styling that becomes available on all pages). I am using it right now
>> to
>> >>> build a site (to be published soon).
>> >>>
>> >>> A big advantage with Chameleon is that most customizations happen in
>> CSS
>> >>> or by inserting HTML into the page through configuration files. so
>> there
>> >>> are fewer dependencies on how MW does their skinning in PHP --
>> >>> assuming
>> >>> that Chameleon is always updated to support this properly.
>> >>>
>> >>> My only concern would be that Chameleon is still classified Beta. It
>> >>> would be good to know if we can hope for future support for this if
>> >>> we
>> >>> switch now.
>> >>>
>> >>> Cheers,
>> >>>
>> >>> Markus
>> >>>
>> >>> On 16.10.2014 19:52, James HK wrote:
>> >>>> Hi,
>> >>>>
>> >>>> I'm calling for some opinions on replacing the "old" Vector skin on
>> >>>> smw.org with something fresh. Stephan in his relentless pursuit of
>> >>>> making MediaWiki more usable to non-Wikipedia users created the
>> >>>> Chameleon skin [0] which seems more suitable to those who want to
>> >>>> use
>> >>>> MW/SMW in different environments.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> SMW no longer tries to be a product that seeks to fulfil
>> >>>> requirements
>> >>>> from either WMF or Wikipedia to be used as encyclopaedic semantic
>> >>>> content management (that's now the job of Wikidata/Wikibase)
>> >>>> therefore
>> >>>> using the "Vector" skin somehow appears to be outdated by trying to
>> >>>> look like the good old Wikipedia site.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Furthermore, MW 1.24 (to be released soon) made some changes on how
>> >>>> skins are deployed [1] and it might be a good time to say farewell
>> >>>> to
>> >>>> the "old" skin and rediscover SMW's identity by changing its
>> >>>> appearance.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> [0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon
>> >>>> [1]
>> >>>>
>> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.24#Skins_no_longer_loaded_after_upgrade.3F
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Cheers
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> >>>> Comprehensive Server Monitoring with Site24x7.
>> >>>> Monitor 10 servers for $9/Month.
>> >>>> Get alerted through email, SMS, voice calls or mobile push
>> notifications.
>> >>>> Take corrective actions from your mobile device.
>> >>>> http://p.sf.net/sfu/Zoho
>> >>>> _______________________________________________
>> >>>> Semediawiki-user mailing list
>> >>>> [hidden email]
>> >>>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/semediawiki-user
>> >>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Comprehensive Server Monitoring with Site24x7.
>> Monitor 10 servers for $9/Month.
>> Get alerted through email, SMS, voice calls or mobile push notifications.
>> Take corrective actions from your mobile device.
>> http://p.sf.net/sfu/Zoho
>> _______________________________________________
>> Semediawiki-devel mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/semediawiki-devel
>>
>

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

david mason

thanks for the response James, that clears a lot of things up. 

I'm aware of coupling issues and wouldn't suggest creating any dependencies. What I'm trying to say is offering a developed skin could be a good advantage for users to enhance their sites too. Sites that use SMW are also part of the product (in the sense referred here) so just like Google's Material push, the consistency "out of the box" would help as well as developing an association. Committing to Bootstrap is a strong choice, but some of its components combine functionality which people would like to take advantage of, and the style could be quite different than other places in the site. Considering this helps to make the look and feel process easier.

With regard to extending SMW with Javascript, it's not exactly a skin specific issue, though perhaps worth considering in context of building on Bootstrap, generally when creating this kind of extension which might start with the straightforward API it can be quite a diversion to go to the extension level, though it's otherwise an area with many opportunities for contribution (thinking of facet browsing and visualization in particular).

With regard to using WikiData, I've often wanted to be able to pull in a current list of countries, industries, etc and within the 'semantic' idea that SMW originally defined itself by this would be a worthwhile emphasis. Outside the scope of a skin though. (=

David

On 20 October 2014 21:51, James HK <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

> I understand SMW is no longer trying to fit into the Wikimedia universe,
> but it still honours the MW approach of edits and source being human
> parseable and benefits from ongoing MW enhancements. And using the same
> skin as Wikipedia immediately lets people know they are on a (real) wiki

Whether SMW fits into the "Wikimedia universe" is being decided by its
users which over the years had different requirements and objectives
and therefore is not always placed well in the MW development cycle or
MW mainstream.

> that use core MW components. It would be a substantial disadvantage for SMW
> sites to not be able to easily use these enhancements, and make them harder
> to maintain.

SMW is fully independent of any skin (as far as I'm aware of) but of
course some query result formatter requires more detail when it comes
to skin support than others but this doesn't relinquish any
functionality of SMW-core.

> One mitigation could be to lightly adapt the mobile skin. This would solve
> multiple problems in having a less clunky appearance yet also helping SMW
> support mobile users.

One reason to choose the Chameleon skin is that it opens a path to
build responsive elements with a "standard" on smw.org without relying
on the WMF's MobilFrontend extension.

> I realize it's political but if there is an objective for the WM
> organization to work with related efforts, maybe some MW designers could
> collaborate on this project.

This is what Stephan did and not being too tightly coupled [0] to MW
or its environment has other advantages (follow semver versioning,
support different release cycle, have proper dependency support etc.)

> As well as fitting into a progression plan with VisualEditor and WikiData,
> which I know many people are interested in (access control being the other
> point where SMW can't really compare to peer efforts).

Using SMW-core with VE should not pose any issue but I'm not sure
about SF and VE. Access control was never a real focus of either SMW
or MW.

If people want to access WD data via SMW then this has to be done as
an extension and is not planned as part of the SMW-core. In case you
want to use the Wikibase software then you don't need to use the SMW
software and visa-versa (at least I couldn't find any reason as to why
someone want to install both).

> Finally, for the sake of efficiency and consistency it would also be good

On a more general note, SMW as a software (aside from its logo) does
not have any appearance but of course the "product" SMW has an
appearance in form of its website smw.org.

Users of SMW are diverse and no longer stand for a single "I want to
be look a Wikipedia" user group therefore SMW as a product has to
change to represent those groups and attract other potential users.

Honestly, the current website can not be used to make a product
statement, it serves as pool that hosts and collects documentation.

> to have the skin share appearance and functionality with the SMW extensions

SMW-core is skin agnostic therefore sharing any skin specific details
would divert from the current policy. It does come with some CSS rules
but those are SMW specific and unless someone can point to where this
is not the case, SMW-core should work on any skin.

> such as semantic forms. And I am among many people who are extending SMW
> using Javascript and we'd like to be able to connect with existing
> components as much as possible.

I'm not sure on how extending SMW with Javascript fits into the
discussion to replace the skin on smw.org.

If people are really interested in supporting SMW as product platform
then I would expect community members to appoint themselves as sponsor
to drive the discussion, help to transform content (rewrite templates
etc.), and bring the website into a position that would invite users
to browse the site.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coupling_(computer_programming)

PS: As far as I understand, the user of smw.org would be able to
switch to the "old" Vector skin as registered user.

Cheers

On 10/21/14, david mason <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> Maybe I am running with this, but it would benefit the community to make
> these efforts generally reusable.
>
> I understand SMW is no longer trying to fit into the Wikimedia universe,
> but it still honours the MW approach of edits and source being human
> parseable and benefits from ongoing MW enhancements. And using the same
> skin as Wikipedia immediately lets people know they are on a (real) wiki
> and certain important functionality will be present. Though generally most
> people don't know or care, some core editors may; one one project I
> switched to a decent menu based skin and had to switch back due to outcry.
> For me I want to help people craft knowledge and having the facilities up
> front is helpful.
>
> On the other hand, MW's skin is pretty uninspiring. But moving away from it
> means you lose access to the usability initiative and other enhancements
> that use core MW components. It would be a substantial disadvantage for SMW
> sites to not be able to easily use these enhancements, and make them harder
> to maintain.
>
> One mitigation could be to lightly adapt the mobile skin. This would solve
> multiple problems in having a less clunky appearance yet also helping SMW
> support mobile users.
>
> I realize it's political but if there is an objective for the WM
> organization to work with related efforts, maybe some MW designers could
> collaborate on this project.
>
> As well as fitting into a progression plan with VisualEditor and WikiData,
> which I know many people are interested in (access control being the other
> point where SMW can't really compare to peer efforts).
>
> Finally, for the sake of efficiency and consistency it would also be good
> to have the skin share appearance and functionality with the SMW extensions
> such as semantic forms. And I am among many people who are extending SMW
> using Javascript and we'd like to be able to connect with existing
> components as much as possible.
>
> If there is an effort to raise funds for this my company could contribute
> some.
>
> Thanks!
>
> David
>
>
>
> On 20 October 2014 04:02, Markus Krötzsch <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> On 20.10.2014 09:05, Krabina Bernhard wrote:
>> > Hi,
>> >
>> > regardless of the skin used, I think it's worthwile to have a look at
>> some sites we should aim to match regarding their appearance, e. g.
>> >
>> > http://www.drupal.org/
>> > https://wordpress.org/
>> > http://www.joomla.org/
>> > https://www.atlassian.com/
>>
>> You are right. We really need to up our game there a little in terms of
>> professional appearance. Looking at these very professional websites
>> (and taking into account how much time it takes to do such a thing
>> properly), we need to think about how to implement this. We do have a
>> number of powerful components available (Chameleon, all the Bootstrap
>> basics, I also have some not-yet-released extra code to use further
>> Bootstrap features on the Wiki), but it will still be work to use that
>> on our site (change table-based layouts on wiki pages; choose fonts,
>> colours, images, and textures; style key elements; redesign site
>> navigation to go with a collapsing menu, ...). How could we best move
>> forward to put this into practice, ideally before the end of this year?
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Markus
>>
>>
>> > ----- Am 17. Okt 2014 um 11:58 schrieb Stephan Gambke
>> > [hidden email]:
>> >
>> >> Well, I plan to maintain the skin for a while yet, not least because I
>> >> use it myself.
>> >>
>> >> I want to finally release a version 1.0 this weekend. Should have done
>> >> that a long time ago, but always put it off. There is one major issue
>> >> left that I want to fix before, which is the un-responsiveness of the
>> >> navbar. Should not be too hard to do, somebody recently sent me some
>> >> code I think I can use. :)
>> >>
>> >> There are some rough edges left, but they are mostly related to
>> >> styling of special pages and the like and should be easy to fix
>> >> (patches welcome).
>> >>
>> >> Cheers,
>> >> Stephan
>> >>
>> >> On 17 October 2014 10:40, Markus Krötzsch <
>> [hidden email]> wrote:
>> >>> Hi,
>> >>>
>> >>> Good idea. Chameleon is great (also because of the nice Bootstrap
>> >>> styling that becomes available on all pages). I am using it right now
>> to
>> >>> build a site (to be published soon).
>> >>>
>> >>> A big advantage with Chameleon is that most customizations happen in
>> CSS
>> >>> or by inserting HTML into the page through configuration files. so
>> there
>> >>> are fewer dependencies on how MW does their skinning in PHP --
>> >>> assuming
>> >>> that Chameleon is always updated to support this properly.
>> >>>
>> >>> My only concern would be that Chameleon is still classified Beta. It
>> >>> would be good to know if we can hope for future support for this if
>> >>> we
>> >>> switch now.
>> >>>
>> >>> Cheers,
>> >>>
>> >>> Markus
>> >>>
>> >>> On 16.10.2014 19:52, James HK wrote:
>> >>>> Hi,
>> >>>>
>> >>>> I'm calling for some opinions on replacing the "old" Vector skin on
>> >>>> smw.org with something fresh. Stephan in his relentless pursuit of
>> >>>> making MediaWiki more usable to non-Wikipedia users created the
>> >>>> Chameleon skin [0] which seems more suitable to those who want to
>> >>>> use
>> >>>> MW/SMW in different environments.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> SMW no longer tries to be a product that seeks to fulfil
>> >>>> requirements
>> >>>> from either WMF or Wikipedia to be used as encyclopaedic semantic
>> >>>> content management (that's now the job of Wikidata/Wikibase)
>> >>>> therefore
>> >>>> using the "Vector" skin somehow appears to be outdated by trying to
>> >>>> look like the good old Wikipedia site.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Furthermore, MW 1.24 (to be released soon) made some changes on how
>> >>>> skins are deployed [1] and it might be a good time to say farewell
>> >>>> to
>> >>>> the "old" skin and rediscover SMW's identity by changing its
>> >>>> appearance.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> [0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon
>> >>>> [1]
>> >>>>
>> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.24#Skins_no_longer_loaded_after_upgrade.3F
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Cheers
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> >>>> Comprehensive Server Monitoring with Site24x7.
>> >>>> Monitor 10 servers for $9/Month.
>> >>>> Get alerted through email, SMS, voice calls or mobile push
>> notifications.
>> >>>> Take corrective actions from your mobile device.
>> >>>> http://p.sf.net/sfu/Zoho
>> >>>> _______________________________________________
>> >>>> Semediawiki-user mailing list
>> >>>> [hidden email]
>> >>>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/semediawiki-user
>> >>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Comprehensive Server Monitoring with Site24x7.
>> Monitor 10 servers for $9/Month.
>> Get alerted through email, SMS, voice calls or mobile push notifications.
>> Take corrective actions from your mobile device.
>> http://p.sf.net/sfu/Zoho
>> _______________________________________________
>> Semediawiki-devel mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/semediawiki-devel
>>
>



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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Markus Krötzsch-2
In reply to this post by James HK
Hi,

On 21.10.2014 03:51, James HK wrote:
...
>
> PS: As far as I understand, the user of smw.org would be able to
> switch to the "old" Vector skin as registered user.
>

Let me come back to this, since this is also important for planning the
transition. The key question is:

  Can we use Bootstrap components independent of Chameleon?

To make the in-page content fully responsive, we will need to use a grid
framework like the one in Bootstrap. Many other nice components exist
(tabs, carousels, etc.). If it is possible to use these with Vector as
well as with Chameleon, then the transition is much easier and we could
offer both skins alongside each other.

Markus


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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Tom Hutchison
In reply to this post by James HK


------ Forwarded Message ------
From: "Tom Hutchison" <[hidden email]>
To: "Markus Krötzsch" <[hidden email]>
Sent: 10/21/2014 12:02:10 PM
Subject: Re[2]: [Semediawiki-user] [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the
"old" Vector skin?

>On 10/21/2014 3:49:08 AM, "Markus Krötzsch"
><[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>Hi,
>>
>>On 21.10.2014 03:51, James HK wrote:
>>...
>>>
>>>  PS: As far as I understand, the user of smw.org would be able to
>>>  switch to the "old" Vector skin as registered user.
>>>
>>
>>Let me come back to this, since this is also important for planning
>>the
>>transition. The key question is:
>>
>>   Can we use Bootstrap components independent of Chameleon?
>>
>>To make the in-page content fully responsive, we will need to use a
>>grid
>>framework like the one in Bootstrap. Many other nice components exist
>>(tabs, carousels, etc.). If it is possible to use these with Vector as
>>well as with Chameleon, then the transition is much easier and we
>>could
>>offer both skins alongside each other.
>Of course anything is possible, the question to answer, is it
>practical? There would be a need to add Bootstrap CSS and/or JS to the
>Vector skin.
>
>What is at odds is the design aspect of the page content. "Mobile
>first" is the new catch phrase of today. Vector isn't "mobile first" so
>the two skins will always be at odds with each other from day one.
>Bootstrap 3 is mobile first as compared to Bootstrap 2. There will be a
>need to strike a balance, how far do you take the actual content(wiki
>markup) layout for each skin? DIV containers will have to become the
>norm for wrapping pieces of page content if you want to take advantage
>of mobile responsiveness. Even MW MobileFrontend has this, mf
>selectors.
>
>There is also the issues of MW's core using tables for some of its
>output. SpecialPages isn't to bad since it is 2 columns. Category pages
>are a different story because they output in a 3 column table. Another
>consideration is the HTML sanitizer in MW core. Frameworks require some
>sanitized HTML tags and IMHO MW is behind because the sanitizer is
>stripping out valid, safe HTML5 tags.
>
>I have done a lot of work on the Foreground Skin[0] over the past year.
>Some may know it is already used on WikiApiary[1] using SMW as well
>many other wikis using SMW or not. Foreground uses Foundation instead
>of Bootstrap, here is a good comparison[2]. Each framework has their
>strengths and weaknesses. The biggest weakness both will share, will an
>update cause backward compatibility issues.
>
>Just my thoughts.
>
>Tom
>
>
>[0] https://github.com/thingles/foreground
>[1] https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/Main_Page
>[2] http://responsive.vermilion.com/compare.php


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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Stephan Gambke-2

FWIW, I'd see responsiveness as a nice bonus. From the first mail I did not get the impression that it was a hard requirement.

Regarding the result formats being displayed in a mobile friendly way, I'd see that as the result format's task. In fact, in particular the examples on the help pages should be shown as they are without highly sophisticated formatting applied. Everything else would mean to deceive the user.

And, since "mobile first" is indeed the new catch phrase, the new smw.org being in principle mobile friendly might actually get result format developers to think in that direction as well.

Regarding Bootstrap coexisting with Vector I got mixed results in the past. There are several issues. First, I have never actually tried to use the Bootstrap extension without a dedicated skin. It should work, but probably not without some fixes. Then there is the issue of running MW's Less compiler in parallel to the one used by Chameleon. Again, in principle it should work. Finally there is the issue of commonly named HTML classes between Vector and Bootstrap.  I don't have an example right now, but I am sure that there are some overlaps. However, it could well be that the result still looks acceptable.

Lots of uncertainties, but I'd be willing to work on them, not least because they are not only relevant for smw.org, but in principle for any wiki using Chameleon.

Cheers,
Stephan


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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

James HK
In reply to this post by Tom Hutchison
Hi,

>>I have done a lot of work on the Foreground Skin[0] over the past year.
>>Some may know it is already used on WikiApiary[1] using SMW as well
>>many other wikis using SMW or not. Foreground uses Foundation instead
>>of Bootstrap, here is a good comparison[2]. Each framework has their

The Foreground and Chameleon skin both have dedicated advantages over
the Vector skin. The Chameleon skin and its required Bootstrap
extension deploy unit tests [0] (I admit I sweet talked Stephan a bit
to make it happen) so we are able to run tests over the MW life-cycle
to see whether functionality is broken for a recent MW version.

The current MW skin infrastructure can not standalone and therefore
requires the usage of a specific interface in order to harmonize with
MW hence the unit tests to verify that the interface is working as
expected.

[0] https://travis-ci.org/wikimedia/mediawiki-skins-chameleon

Cheers

On 10/22/14, Tom Hutchison <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> ------ Forwarded Message ------
> From: "Tom Hutchison" <[hidden email]>
> To: "Markus Krötzsch" <[hidden email]>
> Sent: 10/21/2014 12:02:10 PM
> Subject: Re[2]: [Semediawiki-user] [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the
> "old" Vector skin?
>
>>On 10/21/2014 3:49:08 AM, "Markus Krötzsch"
>><[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>>Hi,
>>>
>>>On 21.10.2014 03:51, James HK wrote:
>>>...
>>>>
>>>>  PS: As far as I understand, the user of smw.org would be able to
>>>>  switch to the "old" Vector skin as registered user.
>>>>
>>>
>>>Let me come back to this, since this is also important for planning
>>>the
>>>transition. The key question is:
>>>
>>>   Can we use Bootstrap components independent of Chameleon?
>>>
>>>To make the in-page content fully responsive, we will need to use a
>>>grid
>>>framework like the one in Bootstrap. Many other nice components exist
>>>(tabs, carousels, etc.). If it is possible to use these with Vector as
>>>well as with Chameleon, then the transition is much easier and we
>>>could
>>>offer both skins alongside each other.
>>Of course anything is possible, the question to answer, is it
>>practical? There would be a need to add Bootstrap CSS and/or JS to the
>>Vector skin.
>>
>>What is at odds is the design aspect of the page content. "Mobile
>>first" is the new catch phrase of today. Vector isn't "mobile first" so
>>the two skins will always be at odds with each other from day one.
>>Bootstrap 3 is mobile first as compared to Bootstrap 2. There will be a
>>need to strike a balance, how far do you take the actual content(wiki
>>markup) layout for each skin? DIV containers will have to become the
>>norm for wrapping pieces of page content if you want to take advantage
>>of mobile responsiveness. Even MW MobileFrontend has this, mf
>>selectors.
>>
>>There is also the issues of MW's core using tables for some of its
>>output. SpecialPages isn't to bad since it is 2 columns. Category pages
>>are a different story because they output in a 3 column table. Another
>>consideration is the HTML sanitizer in MW core. Frameworks require some
>>sanitized HTML tags and IMHO MW is behind because the sanitizer is
>>stripping out valid, safe HTML5 tags.
>>
>>I have done a lot of work on the Foreground Skin[0] over the past year.
>>Some may know it is already used on WikiApiary[1] using SMW as well
>>many other wikis using SMW or not. Foreground uses Foundation instead
>>of Bootstrap, here is a good comparison[2]. Each framework has their
>>strengths and weaknesses. The biggest weakness both will share, will an
>>update cause backward compatibility issues.
>>
>>Just my thoughts.
>>
>>Tom
>>
>>
>>[0] https://github.com/thingles/foreground
>>[1] https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/Main_Page
>>[2] http://responsive.vermilion.com/compare.php
>
>
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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

thingles
On Oct 21, 2014, at 3:05 PM, James HK <[hidden email]> wrote:

The Foreground and Chameleon skin both have dedicated advantages over
the Vector skin.

I couldn’t agree more with the above statement and I’m excited about this conversation. I think Semantic MediaWiki adopting a new skin with a modern look & feel and modern features would be a nice change and allow Semantic MediaWiki to better show it’s capabilities. In my limited experience whenever people see Vector they think Wikipedia (for good reasons, one of the largest and greatest sites on the Internet). When I show people my sites using Foreground they have a different reaction, largely positive and pleasing.

As one of the maintainers of Foreground along with Tom let me take a moment to advocate for using Foreground. Let me be very clear that I have nothing negative to say about Chameleon. I haven’t used it myself so I can’t speak to it’s advantages or weaknesses. I admire that it uses Travis-CI and has unit tests as well as it’s support for composer, both things that are on our backlog for Foreground.

Foreground is built on the Zurb Foundation framework. As such it has a feel similar to Foundation. It uses the Foundation grid, and brings with it nearly all of Foundations capabilities. Foreground has gained a good amount of traction. According to WikiApiary there are 48 wikis using Foreground as their *default* skin [1] and 174 wikis in total have Foreground installed. This makes it the 7th most popular skin used on MediaWiki sites [2]. The Foreground project on GitHub has gathered 30 stars along with 8 contributors and 54 closed pull requests [3]. 

Foreground also has an active wiki that highlights itself, this can be enhanced by anyone to further document it’s capabilities [4]. There is also a relatively active mailing list for Foreground [5] (although the archives are currently broken on the web).

I believe key to Foreground’s continued success are some of the wikis using it. WikiApiary is built on Foreground and uses Semantic MediaWiki extensively, the 2nd largest Semantic MediaWiki site online [6] (as tracked by WikiApiary which we know there are at least 2 very large Semantic MediaWiki sites not tracked, so make it 4th). WikiTranslate also uses Foreground as does the Joomla Documentation wiki [7].

Also importantly Foreground CSS has actually been modified to deal with many Semantic MediaWiki result formats and Semantic Forms fields as well.

Again, take all this as one of the maintainers of Foreground advocating for it’s use and not against other options.

Thanks for reading and for considering!

Jamie




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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

thingles
In reply to this post by Tom Hutchison
On Oct 21, 2014, at 12:21 PM, Tom Hutchison <[hidden email]> wrote:

The biggest weakness both will share, will an update cause backward compatibility issues.

As you all think through this skin change I do think it’s worth highlighting this issue. The traditional idea in MediaWiki of a user choosing their own skin falls apart if you move to a theme that fully supports a CSS grid. Historically MediaWiki sites tend to use tabling for layout (ugh) and in order to make things responsive you need to use the CSS grid. Once doing this, your markup will have div’s and classes in it that Vector doesn’t support. This makes things really wonky if you try to use Vector.

As an example, see:



This is also why the install directions for Foreground actually specify the directions for disabling other skins.

When I switched WikiApiary to Foreground from Vector there were a couple of users that tried to continue to use Vector by selecting that as their preference, but it just doesn’t work.

There is a philosophical item here. I’m fine specifying the skin/theme for the site and think that the benefits are worth removing the users right to change the skin. Just worth noting.

Jamie



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Re: [Semediawiki-user] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Tom Hutchison
In reply to this post by James HK


On 10/21/2014 3:05:36 PM, "James HK" <[hidden email]>
wrote:

>Hi,
>
>The Foreground and Chameleon skin both have dedicated advantages over
>the Vector skin. The Chameleon skin and its required Bootstrap
>extension deploy unit tests [0] (I admit I sweet talked Stephan a bit
>to make it happen) so we are able to run tests over the MW life-cycle
>to see whether functionality is broken for a recent MW version.
>
>The current MW skin infrastructure can not standalone and therefore
>requires the usage of a specific interface in order to harmonize with
>MW hence the unit tests to verify that the interface is working as
>expected.
Both[0][1] can be found under the 2.0 Milestone[2] for the v2.0 release
of Foreground. :)

Tom

[0] https://github.com/thingles/foreground/issues/124
[1] https://github.com/thingles/foreground/issues/123
[2] https://github.com/thingles/foreground/milestones/2.0


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