The user experience doesn't have to be better on Mercury, it just has to be usable, good enough for a user to navigate through it and find what they want (the Druid page is). Portability is all about doing this, making pages Mercury-ready on the back end while not affecting the front end. Right now the FFXIclopedia is not, but there's no reason it couldn't be.
If nothing else, once you make your wiki portable, then you can safely say that any problems with the user experience are now solely the fault of FANDOM and not your own. Anything wrong with the site on Mercury at that point will be FANDOM's responsibility alone, and the FFXI community will be justified in blaming the host.
The Portability team would be happy to help with this, to make the area page redesign you showed here, and any other designs you come up with, Mercury-ready, replicating the back-end code without losing much or any of what makes the pages readable.
Hey Haldarn. I'd just like to correct a few misunderstandings here.
First of all, the idea that the Mercury skin is unsuited to handling data required for videogame wikis is untrue. While it is obviously more complicated to handle than just prose and lists, it is definitely not impossible with the right design. If you look at w:c:finalfantasy:Behemoth (Final Fantasy XII) or even a more complicated w:c:finalfantasy:Behemoth (Final Fantasy VIII), you'll notice that all the data is displayed fine for both desktop and mobile users. This of course is one wiki out of several. You can also find examples on other wikis -- such as w:c:wowwiki:Druid -- where you'll see that data can be organized and can display correctly, making it easy for readers to find the information they need from a page.
Secondly, your solution of "just ask users to display full site on Desktop" is an impractical solution. Right now, FANDOM's numbers find that the vast, vast majority of articles being read on mobile devices are done with the mobile skin. Mobile users also have very different expectations to desktop users, which is why optimized skins are preferable (in this case Mercury), and also why the solution of just forcing desktop version is ineffective. Keep in mind here that Zenoxio is a single logged-in user, and the majority of visitors to your site will not be logged in nor will they file a complaint here; you won't have time to message each of these users and tell them to "just switch to full desktop mode on your phone", they'll simply look elsewhere to find what they're looking for, which would be a shame as it'd mean all the work the editors of FFXIclopedia put into the wiki goes to waste. All that plus technical reasons that make this extremely difficult on a case-by-case basis means it's simply not something FANDOM is going to pursue.
The problem is not with the data itself that needs to be displayed, but how that data is being organized. Use of MediaWiki tables is fine, but use of tables for controlling layout is ill advised practice not only for mobile, but also for desktop. It may at this stage appear tempting to just resign the mobile site to being a lost cause, but there are ways to improve usability for people like Zenoxio in future.
In the linked example for FFXIclopedia here, you'd be better off using templates to store the Description/Connections as they are now, and if the templates were classified as "Design", then they'd display fine on both screens. For the infobox, converting the infobox to use the PortableInfobox tool will solve the problem on both screens and won't sacrifice the desktop display if the CSS is done to replicate the original design.
This is far from an impossible task, it will just take manpower (or probably botpower) to figure out how to redesign some templates to display on both. We (the Vanguard/Portability team) will be happy to help assist in any way possible, and I'm here if you have any questions.
SuperRobot9338 wrote: @Technobliterator
Also, addressing your earlier point where you called me a conspiracy theorist for just speculating, remember that was mere speculation and wasn't intended to be an insult to Fandom or a rage post, just an off-hand reflection of my fears in general.
There's offhand reflection of fears about trends you're noticing in recent updates, such as:
As Fandom moves towards becoming a centralised, corporate, and bland site more like Facebook, and less a mosaic of vibrant and dedicated communities passionate about their content, I fear the worst for Wikias. No longer is this website hosting myriad sites, each a self-dependent community about their topic, but rather simply a giant megacorporation that believes a wiki about Sushi should always look and feel just like a wiki about Runescape, and that it should be indistinct from anything else.
and outright conspiracy theories, like:
It looks like the ultimate goal is for all wikis to look exactly the same, except for different colours.
Note the key difference. In your first post, you express a concern - one I would argue is completely unfounded and still a silly concern to bring up in response to "hey look, here's a new header, you can add your image in it now, you just can't break it with JS or CSS", but you highlighted a trend and why you feared it. In your second, you made baseless predictions about the future.
Also, even if you hadn't made said concerns. Why do you think posting "all wikis are becoming the same corporate trash, they will soon look identical, Staff doesn't care about us" is likely to convince anyone at Fandom? Do you expect them to read your posts and go "welp, he got us! He caught our evil plot! Guess we better reverse everything now and give them more CSS tools..." Have you ever been sympathetic when a user, or a group of users, on your wiki argue that the admins "don't care about the users" and then try and tell other users to not listen to the admins, perhaps telling them to vandalise pages?
SuperRobot9338 wrote: The question about CSS is: Why not?
I already answered and gave the same answer Fandom Staff have given before. The response I got was, "I don't trust that answer, why would that turn advertisers off?" Perhaps Fandom Staff can elaborate more on this if you need them to, but in my case, since they're working for a business that has to constantly speak to advertisers daily and I'm not, I'll take their word for it. And since Modernization is all about reducing the number of ads on pages, which I'm all for, I absolutely do not want to obstruct it or slow it down - which many Central users seem keen to do.
Also, Technobliterator, if you call cogent arguments rage posts and blatant conspiracy theories without any evidence again I'm leaving this thread to you and the rest of the actual rage posters.
If you think comments such as "I wouldn't be surprised if we eventually lost all CSS because <insert reason here>" is not a conspiracy theory, you are welcome to leave this thread. If Staff hated CSS and customization so much, they could have forced all Portable Infoboxes to use the Europa skin, instead they gave them the option to use CSS through themes. They could have chosen the image in the top nav for each wiki, instead they let us choose our own. They could have forced every wiki's Discussions to use the same set of rules, instead they let us set our own rules.
Need I go on? Customization is core to giving each wiki its own identity, but the page header is key to making the wikis still feel consistent. Therefore it makes sense for the header to be more limited. However, we can't even have that conversation. Because before users discuss whether they should be able to customize the header, or question why advertisers want the page header to be consistent, they post conspiracy theories and rage posts.
(Yes Fandom Staff doesn't care — that doesn't mean we'll shut up. Has that ever happened in a protest? Actually, give sources this time instead of calling people trolls and whining children.)
If Staff didn't care, they wouldn't make this thread and explain why they're limiting navigation below a certain level, because they wouldn't care enough to explain why they're making changes. They also would have forced Message Walls on all wikis, and would have stopped adding features to Portable Infoboxes. To be honest, I don't think they should bother making threads like this. Their users will give them no respect nor time irrespective of what they do, and will just post rage post conspiracy theories.
(In addition, when you call one wiki more successful than another actually cite stats and view rates and the like instead of assuming that Fandom Wikis are always more successful unless they barely exist. Also, Unencyclopedia is extremely popular on Fandom — no other wiki has Fandom allowed this level of customisation.)
My goal is not to change anyone's mind, because no one's mind can be changed. Everyone is convinced that all CSS is eventually going away, that every wiki in the future will look identical, and that Modernization, Portability or whatever are all part of a conspiracy theory to restrict all forms of customization, Fandom Staff don't care about their users, and the like that I've all heard before. It's all you'll ever find on Central, and it's very tiresome to read.
If you people think bombarding threads with these conspiracy theories and rage posts will get Fandom Staff to listen to you and cave into your demands, even though it has never once done so any time in the past decade, then by all means keep at it. If you think that running a site like Fandom is so easy and Staff are so stupid that they haven't implemented your obvious solutions, then by all means create your own wikifarm. If not, find constructive ways to make your case that CSS is needed in the top nav.
I don't see any major examples of "bloated CSS".
I find that hard to believe.
We have brought constructive criticism if you look around the middle of the page — it's only after you posted that it's degenerated into flaming.
Please explain how your post earlier on this thread, in which you practically just spout conspiracy theories about how we're losing customization and turning into some "corporate blob" instead (you got 8 kudos for doing that, so you know your audience at least) is constructive criticism.
Unencyclopedia + Fallout Wiki + League of Legends Wiki + Dota 2 Wiki + Dayz Wiki + … you get the point.
Uncyclopedia was barely a Wikia wiki in the first place - when it was, it used a different skin. It also has very low viewership regardless as the wiki is basically a gimmick.
Fallout Wiki on Fandom is far more successful than The Vault which moved off-Wikia. If League of Legends Wiki ever split off-Wikia, it didn't work, the Fandom League of Legends Wiki has excellent viewership. Dota 2 Wiki was never part of Fandom to begin with.
So no, I don't "get your point". Of the wikis that split off of the Wikia host, only WoWpedia and Kingdom Hearts Wiki seemed to have done so successfully. WoWpedia because Blizzard linked to the new host, but even still WoWWiki has its viewership. Kingdom Hearts Wiki because us, the Final Fantasy Wiki - hosted by Fandom still - links to it instead of to the Wikia one.
Once again you're using the Strawman Fallacy — whenever anyone disagrees with you, you compare their criticism with whining.
I'm not really interested in debating those who disagree with me. I came here to call out the whining on Central that is completely counterproductive and will not help improve the site at all. I've seen it for the past several years, and I'm aware that my posts here won't change peoples' minds.
SuperRobot9338 wrote: @Technobliterator:
Please give examples of them clearly stating how CSS customisation will inevitably harm wikis and reduce page views...
See my response above - there is plenty of rationale.
Meanwhile, you continue to compare actual criticism with "whining", and disliking Fandom's reduction in the agency of individual wikis (which after all, could move to another host) with flaming. Such an eloquent argument. Everyone that was just providing cogent points, ~SHUT UP! YOU'RE ALL 9-YEAR-OLDS IF YOU ARGUE WITH THE SITE HOST!~
I don't. Actual criticisms are often very legitimate - but they are lost in the whining. Like I said, the typical Central response to any, even minor, loss of customization is a resounding ragepost, is conspiracy theories about how it's all an evil plot to make every wiki look the same, and often without even considering the other point of view. You may say, "well, they didn't consider our point of view either!" But yet when they open threads and see responses like this, they're not going to be able to consider your point of view because they will have to read through so many hate comments (often not fun) before they do that. We need more reasonable, constructive criticism of Fandom before we're going to be able to work with them.
btw, the "lmao we can just move host" threat often turns out to be a hollow threat. Very few of the wikis that moved off-Wikia ever surpassed them, because they do not have the same search engine advantage.
In addition, Tech, you are being highly inconsistent. On one hand you're saying CSS and JS = unworkable, the other hand you're saying that CSS and renaming NavBar text is "reasonable". Can you provide a clear platform?
No I'm not. I'm saying that renaming navbar text sounds very reasonable because it won't significantly alter how the navbar works, will still allow it to feel familiar across different wikis, and have no potential to break it. I'm also saying that feedback like that is much more reasonable and is much more likely to receive a response, and consideration, from Fandom Staff. I know that if I were staff, I would be more willing to work with and respond to something like that, than "OMFG staff taking away customization, everyone go move offsite!!!!!!!"
DEmersonJMFM wrote: I don't like customization being limited. One of the biggest issues I have here is they refused to establish the extent of the ban on CSS/JS. I get prohibiting JS to drastically change the nav's behavior, but CSS seems pretty harmless to me.
This has been explained before - the new page headers are supposed to be consistent across the entire site, same with the very top bar and the footer. This helps users move across the different wikis as they become a much more familiar experience to them, and more important, prevents certain wikis from adding bloated CSS that makes the header appear unreadable. Some wikis make decent use of CSS, but others just add fancy fonts and gradients just "because they can" and ruin it, which drives readers away. Fandom also explained that it is because advertisers want a more consistent page header across the site before targeting some ads at wikis - while you may think "boo, advertisers", this actually means pages will have fewer ads overall in favor of a few high quality ads. Keeping the bloated smaller ads which often slow pages down is more likely to drive readers away.
Everything else can still use CSS, and even the top header still allows you to add a picture - so for those who aren't CSS savvy, it's technically more customizable than before. Also, the design of the top nav, which most people agree is infinitely better than the old one, is what most customized top navs looked like anyway. So it's not like this is some evil plot to take away customization from the entire wiki, it's literally just for the page header.
Then you philosophically disagree with Fandom Staff. I would think both Fandom Staff and most users would want their work to reach the broadest number of people possible (albeit for different reasons - obviously for Fandom there's a monetary incentive and for users it's to feel pride in their work). But after having explored a lot of the wikis and seeing how some of them just follow bad practices when they're allowed to, personally I think that customization should be more limited. I believe that every wiki should be allowed to have its own identity in terms of appearance, and a few nice pieces of functionality, but that beyond that, shouldn't be given so many tools that they can break their own wikis.
I just wish at least CSS and renaming the text in the Explore menu (e.g. Random page to Randomizer) was still permitted. If these customisations were still permitted, I would've completely support the new page header.
That's JS, but something like that sounds reasonable. You may be able to get Fandom Staff to be more lenient there.
Ursuul wrote:If you cared to read the replies, you’d see that most of these comments have cogent points & are not simply knee-jerk reactions to titles.
And none of them respond to the content at all. It's just "q_q customization going away", then whining about a slippery slope and how customization makes wikis special. I'm fairly sure Fandom Staff know that that's the case, but as the thread stated, there are very clear reasons why CSS and JS, as well as fourth/fifth level navigations, do not make sense anymore (btw, it's extremely easy to make a font for a wiki and use CSS to prevent the font affecting the top nav or the bottom of pages).
Of course not, but do you not see how, when you fail to interpret the other point of view, and basically rage post about customization just because of the removal of one feature, you will rarely ever receive a response? This is standard Community Central practice, they flip out over the removal any tiny customization feature lost, even if they demonstrate very clearly how said feature is actually a detriment to the wiki, and entitled users complain about "no, we'd rather keep it and drive readers away, also remove all ads and let us remove the Fandom banner". After this, they collectively barrage a thread with dozens of responses (often including flaming), whine about some "corporate dystopia" in which Fandom has control over everything, and turn around and claim they have "community support" and that therefore staff should give into their (often unreasonable) demands.
It's happened every time for the past few years and it's why I wish Fandom didn't even announce things to Central and just went ahead and made the changes anyway. You're not going to get any constructive feedback here.
Gotta love Central sometimes.
I'm sure Staff would have less of a problem addressing (sometimes legitimate) feedback and concerns a lot more if you read beyond the title of their threads.
rediculous conspiracy theory, what a joke. that is based off trends from before and adds up, i have no idea what the end goal is but from the looks of it doesn't involve a whole lot with wikis; that i can tell you. I'm also sure that PI is acceptable when its BREAKING templates on pages as of current. not to mention as Fandyllic said, you won't be able to reconstruct like for like replacements. either way, we have moved from wikitext which was standard mediawiki to now XML tags (call it what you want).
Yes, it is a ridiculous conspiracy theory. You have no evidence to back up your "staff wants to take over all aspects of wikis and remove mediawiki!!!!!!!!!" claim, and no, "trends" and "adds up" is not evidence. Portable Infoboxes are not some nefarious plot to take control away from local communities. They are a tool that provides standard syntax for every infobox across the network, allowing any new community to easily set up their own infobox, and then very easily style it with CSS, separating code for content from code for presentation. This allows infoboxes created for the desktop skin to work easily on non-desktop skins by using standard syntax that can more easily be interpreted than custom code. And no, it actually is very possible to create like-for-like replacement with PI, or if not, infoboxes that are such a close match that it makes zero difference. I have done it before, and it's been done throughout the network (most obvious example being how Star Wars' infoboxes are basically identical in appearance compared to before).
if staff truly wants to take over all aspects of the wiki plantation, they are free to do so and at the cost of editors simply giving up. if the goal is to eliminate the wikis for something else, they are best to simply notify to give us time to leave with full database and image dumps.
These are ridiculous conspiracy theories and totally irrelevant to the discussion, not that I ever understood the "q_q staff are taking over infoboxes" argument anyway when PIs are just as customizable as non-PIs while being much better at loading and not requiring users to spend hours coding a metatemplate. Seems like a worthwhile sacrifice for something far more beneficial to the communities who can't code their own metatemplate and even better to those who can.
But could also prove useful in a lot of cases. For instance, w:c:starwars:Template:Battle has three width settings based on one parameter, but would likely benefit from being able to change its width. I am sure there are several other examples (such as some on my wiki) that would find this beneficial as well.
That seems best to me. The ability to add more than one theme to
theme and separate via | or ; seems best. It may be preferable to set it to ; though, since if
theme-source is supposed to be able to add multiple themes, then separating the new theme out by | will make it think it's a new template parameter.
I love this idea as well. While doing Vanguard work, I've come across quite a few wikis which would probably benefit more from this than they would from CSS themes (though I still think CSS themes work in 9/10 cases).
Is there any chance that the width of an infobox could be controlled this way? Like, width, width-source?
Stupid question but, does this mean that tof the two themes set, one absolutely must be optional, and you cannot set two default themes?
This would be a really amazing change that we'd benefit a lot from, so I strongly support.