Hello everyone! I want to start a conversation with the Wikia Community about a family of extensions I call "tabbing" extensions. A tabbing extension is a tool that divides page content up into tabs instead of H2 and H3 sections. See the image to the right for an illustration of what I mean.
At this time, Wikia has three tabbing extensions in our codebase. All three have some strengths and honestly all three have some fundamental flaws. I believe it is in Wikia's best interest to begin consolidating these extensions into a single extension - whether that means simply dropping support of the other two, re-writing significant portions of one extension, or trying to start from scratch all together. From a support and usability standpoint, it makes little sense to continue to try to fix each extension piece-by-piece.
So, an overview of what Wikia currently offers:
- Tabber - Pros: Allows the content within the tabs to live within the same page. Allows for multiple tabs. Cons: Little customization ability for tabs. Can not set different default tab. Does not accept template parameters.
- TabView - Pros: High levels of customization for tab design and tab functionality. Cons: Requires the content of the tabs to be stored on other pages, which makes maintenance difficult. AJAX methods are archaeic, which is leading to poor performance and even some browsers stopping to render the tool.
- HeaderTabs - Pros: Third-party extension maintained by very active code reviewers. Simplest syntax and allows for linking directly to a tab. Cons: Configuration is mostly done on the backend level, so users would have to file a support request for design changes to be made on a wiki-by-wiki level. Needs tweaking on Wikia end to function, we only have it available on internal test wikis at the moment.
So ... in terms of discussion, here are a few questions:
- What extensions do you use on your wiki?
- What do you like about the way your tabbed pages are designed? What ways do you find yourself limited with the same extensions?
- Do you have a unique way you try to use these extensions? Do you use in an infobox? Or a navigation template?
- Is there a "wishlist" you have for tabs?
While I can't promise we can meet every feature request or remove every design flaw of these extensions, gathering user feedback will genuinely help us determine in what direction we want to go with tabbing extensions, so please give us all the thoughts you have about the matter. Tabbing is a great way to share information, especially with smaller and smaller mobile devices that make long pages bothersome, so we want to ensure we can support a productive extension that will meet user demands as devices and information display methods change over the coming years.