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Wikia's New Style

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An important information has been published by Wikia - please read, and comment on the related Forum: page if you have something to say.

In a nutshell:

  • All wikis will be forced to a version of the Monaco skin as the standard skin. Users can still set a different skin in their personal preferences, but for the rest, it's Monaco
  • More important, ad placement is going to change, and not for the better. Current plan is to have a 300px x 250px big ad box in the content area of articles. If you have something (constructive) to say about that, please voice your concerns and make suggestions. I did.

-- Cid Highwind 12:01, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Effect on MA Edit

The Wikia decision presented above will obviously have some direct consequences on Memory Alpha. While every logged in contributor may still choose to continue using a Monobook skin, every visitor/reader will see Memory Alpha using a Monaco skin starting on June 17.

To avoid any major disruption from this change, a Monaco skin using the general MA style has been prepared by Sulfur and me. It can be seen live on MA/eo (thanks to Hoogamagoo for letting us play there ;)). This skin will go live on June 17, as stated above, so if you have suggestions for additional tweaks, please let us know before that date. Major "features" are:

  • New navigation in the sidebar (top box)
  • Usage of MA colors and graphics
  • Table header design changed to match content area header (blue gradient)
  • Also, it is currently planned to change our sidebars to be 300px wide (images in sidebars will have to be exactly 292px, (Addition after discussion below: and will have to use the "thumb" parameter)). See eo:William Shatner for an example. This can be done because the content area in Monaco is wider than in Monobook, and it should be done to avoid strange text flow if both an ad box and a sidebar exist in the article.

There might be some "side effects" when our current page formatting and the new skin are combined for the first time, so I'd like to upload the new CSS files some time before the final transition. Please expect the standard skin to temporarily change between Monobook and Monaco starting tomorrow. Feel free to add comments here, or eventually let members of the other MA communities know about this (I probably won't be able to contact all of them myself, today). Thanks. -- Cid Highwind 18:46, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Whoa, hang on - where's this sidebar change come from? It creates a large discontinuity between sidebar and thumbnail images, for one thing - the default thumbnail size (for anon users) is 180px, and the sidebar images are now 112px wider than that, instead of a less-noticable 20px (look at NX-class logged out). In addition, what about situations where the full-size images aren't 292px in width? A fair number of magazine, novel and other covers aren't - this will result in them being stretched and pixelated. -- Michael Warren | Talk 12:55, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm assuming the sidebar change is to make the sidebar a better fit for the ad placements to come. If the change does result in stretching and pixelation, then I'm definitely against it. Perhaps we could just move all our sidebars to the left of the articles? Also, is there any way whatsoever that individual wikis can cancel out the ad block? I have a feeling I know the answer to this question, I just thought I'd ask. Definitely look into moving the sidebars to the left, though. --From Andoria with Love 13:15, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
RE: Michael -- It doesn't seem to cause any stretching. See? :D If that top image of Kirk were centered, it wouldn't look that bad, actually. --From Andoria with Love 13:17, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
That sidebar hasn't been adjusted completely yet - the wiki-sidebar class is set at 300px width, but the images in the sidebar are still set at 200px, not the 292px that is being planned. In addition, those images are greater than 292px in width (I'm taking about at full resolution here - the original upload), so wouldn't be affected. Images that are smaller than 292px will be stretched to fit that value. -- Michael Warren | Talk 14:01, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Regarding sidebars: If we do this...

  1. all sidebar templates would of course need to be changed to call 292px images instead of 200px like they do now.
  2. images that are at least 292px in size will be rendered at that size.
  3. images that are smaller than that are supposed to be shown at maximum size, centered in the sidebar. No stretching/pixelation will take place, the Mediawiki backend generally doesn't do that as far as I'm aware.
  4. we should think about replacing "image sidebars", like on NX-class, with either individual thumbnail images (I'd prefer those anyway, regardless of any size change), or at least give them a different CSS class. This suggestion mainly concerns the "real" sidebars in the top right of an article.

As for why I'm suggesting this change, Shran is correct. We will end up with a 300px wide ad in the top right corner of most articles, whether we like it or not. If an article contains a sidebar, this will follow the ad box directly, currently 200px wide. An additional thumbnail image would then have a variable, user-determined size, most of the times 180px. This leads to a very "busy" layout, with the text floating around all the different boxes to the right. Instead, it might be better to let ad box and potential sidebar have the same width. An example can be seen here.

Moving sidebars to the left would be a worse solution, in my opinion, because the right side is where such information is expected. It would totally go against the typical reading flow to have it located on the left side.

Regarding blocking ads: Wiki-wide, the answer is "no" - and has been for some years, according to some page at Wikia Central. Wikia obviously can't control what individual users to, especially if it is something on the browser side - just keep in mind that articles still need to be created in a way to work with visible ads, for all visitors/readers. -- Cid Highwind 14:54, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

That's pretty much the answer I was expecting. Oh, well. :) --From Andoria with Love 15:40, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Cid, your point #3 would be true if infobox images were thumbnails. They're not (there's no |thumb| parameter). They're simply resized images, and are rendered in a much more basic fashion than thumbnails - the backend doesn't know that the width requested is larger than the image's actual width, it just displays it. See the Sandbox. -- Michael Warren | Talk 15:57, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Oops, you're right. However, this is a problem that can be circumvented. If we used thumbnail images in the sidebar instead, those wouldn't scale further than original size. It would then be some lines of CSS code to prevent all typical "thumbnail stuff" (borders, maximize icon etc.) from appearing. The end result would be the same. ETA: this detail is now incorporated in MA/eo's Common.css - see eo:Vikipediisto:Cid_Highwind/ThumbSidebar. -- Cid Highwind 16:29, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Brilliant stuff, Cid. I have no further objection to the change. -- Michael Warren | Talk 16:34, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I have another argument against infoboxes on the left: We haven't seen an actual instance of the 300x250px Wikia ad yet, but, Wikia's mockup makes clear that it will be on the top right. Two 300pxWide boxes on opposite sides will at best make the main article space zigzag, as it flows around a right oriented box at the top, and then flows around another left oriented box lower down the page. and at worst the main article space will have to get squeezed between 2 boxes, if they are at the same vertical level on the page. BAD. And the article's main space should start at the highest, leftmost possible point in the available space. No convention of typography or web design that I have ever seen intrudes something into the top left corner of a page of text. --TribbleFurSuit 16:42, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Cid, I'm assuming thumbnail images in the sidebar can be centered, yes? If not, this really won't work well, lol!
TribbleFurSuit, I agree, sidebars on the left wouldn't look very good, it was just a suggestion. Since Wikia is forcing this change on us to get a few more advertisers they likely don't need, we're trying to figure out ways to make the pages look as decent as possible. I was also trying to figure out a way to keep the info in the sidebar as far up in the article as possible, and moving it to the left seemed a good way to do that... but you're right, it would make the articles look pretty hideous.
For the record, everyone should use NoScript to block the ads as I will be doing. Maybe if they see the ads aren't actually getting through they'll remove them or maybe move them to a less intrusive area of the content area, like the bottom. --From Andoria with Love 16:58, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Shran:Check the MA/eo page again, please... I adjusted image alignment some time after the other changes, so maybe you saw the intermediate result with a right-aligned image. If the problem persists after forcing a reload, something else might be the problem. In that case... we need to talk! ;) -- Cid Highwind 17:13, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Works now, after discussion and further CSS changes. Thanks for bringing that up. -- Cid Highwind 17:53, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Now that the sidebar changes have been put into effect, wanted to point out another apparent bug: the .png images on articles like Dominion and Romulan Star Empire are aligned to the left, despite being set to be centered. The problem exists on both Firefox and IE. Not sure about Opera. Actually, it's not just .png images – see "Conspiracy", Star Trek: First Contact, and Beverly Crusher, among many, many others. Also, as Cobra pointed out to me on IRC, the sidebar titles are blue instead of red as is the norm on MA. Lastly... and I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the sidebar changes or not... but the editing buttons that appear at the top of the editing window are gone. These errors definitely need to be fixed. --From Andoria with Love 04:59, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

OK. Regarding sidebar header color, that is point #3 of the "feature list" above. A blue gradient just seemed to match the whole color scheme so I went for that for the content header, and then reused it for the tables. Hoewever, this has now been changed to a red header. Better?

Regarding images, this is currently the case, because all sidebar templates have not yet been changed to use thumbnail images instead of standard ones. Once the wikicode in the templates is changed from image.jpg|200px to image.jpg|thumb|292px, the images will show up in adjusted size and alignment. This will obviously leave some obscure manual templates (just like some manually created tables will still use an incompatible header design), but will be an opportunity to easily spot those incompatibilities and fix them - preferably by using the available CSS classes this time.

Don't know about the mentioned editing buttons bug - perhaps Sannse knows a thing about those? -- Cid Highwind 08:39, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

The title header color looks fine as either blue or red; I can handle either one. :) Regarding images, rather than ballooning them up to full size, why don't we have some kind of border on the sides of the sidebar, similar to this: [1] Yes, I know that looks like crap, but someone who knows how to do it on the site can make it look prettier (and re-align the text, as well). This way, though, the images won't be huge and in our faces. Perhaps we can even color-code them somehow... but we can discuss that later. What do you guys think, though? Oh, and don't worry about the editing buttons, that was just something on my end. :) --From Andoria with Love 09:03, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
  • What we're basically looking at is [2]. Ugh... Oh, but check it out with the table of contents hidden. Looks lovely, don't it? Leave it to the higher-ups at Wikia to turn the pages on their wikis into utter crap for the sake of a few more dollars. --From Andoria with Love 09:30, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
    • I just found out that NoScript blocks the ad box without leaving any ugly space or anything. So, basically, it'll look as it would without any ads. So, if you don't want the ads, everyone should use NoScript or something similar. --From Andoria with Love 10:00, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I know that the decision to put ads in content space is very ill-received by the users - I know, because I think it is one of the most stupid ideas, myself. However, could we perhaps keep at least this section, where we discuss possible or necessary MA style changes, free of Anti-Wikia rhetoric? Not this whole page, mind you, just this section... :)

Regarding image size in sidebars - perhaps that should be a part of another, bigger discussion about what exactly we need in sidebars, anyway. Having two 300px wide images in portrait format in the sidebar might look overwhelming in smaller resolutions. But, there are tons of solutions for that. Remove one image, try to use landscape format images instead, perhaps even have two portrait images side-by-side instead (the new width would allow for that, but this would make it necessary to actually define a proper format (e.g. 3:4) for those portrait images). In any case, I think those might be better solutions than losing 1/3 of the sidebar area to whitespace. -- Cid Highwind 12:00, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, didn't mean to sidetrack the conversation. The point was really to give people an estimation of what to expect. The remark about Wikia was just an add-on and the NoScript thing was just an FYI. Both deal with the effects on MA, methinks. ;) As for the infobox images, I think I prefer the extra black space as opposed to full-size images. But maybe that's just me. :/ --From Andoria with Love 00:59, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm just noticing this for the first time today, and I really have to say that I am really not keen on how the sidebars take up 40% of the article's width (for example YLT-3609), especially in cases where it looms over a nearby thumbed image...--Alan 04:57, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, I for one am keeping the old Monobook style. I just hate this new Monaco one. It doesn't suit the wiki at all. The drop down menu is plain annoying - if you have to scroll down a long menu and accidently take your mouse off it, you have to start again and the adverts get in the way of the articles. There is more but I won't go on a rant. TrekFan 12:03, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Wow. The new skin is just horrible (and that's if you're using a browser like Firefox; currently, the new skin completely breaks in IE). It's going to be annoying to have to log in every time I just want to read the site. (And I had a little bit of a scare when I kept trying to switch to MonoBook in my prefs but didn't notice the "Let the admins override my skin choice" checkbox and thought I couldn't switch back.) — LCARS 19:06, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I know what you mean. I use Firefox and it looks awful! Bad idea to change it, if you ask me. TrekFan 23:38, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, it is bad, it amuses me, the justification that's used in during this, including the increased log in, when they ignore that the increase log in is so that the now old skin can be used.--Terran Officer 21:15, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

CSS to do Edit

Please add any stylesheet fixes needed to this section. -- Michael Warren | Talk 11:43, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

External links seem to be completely wrong with styling. One click on one external link and they all change to the visited style. – Morder 11:44, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

A few remarks:

  • The logo needs to be centered properly. It's currently sticking to the top center.
  • Is it me, or is the #page_bar text (the actions above the content area) a bit huge?
  • Can we actually style those banner ads? Can they be above the content area, or is this one of those Wikia changes? If they have to be in content space, could we center them?
  • This happens on almost all Monaco skins: is the background of the top bar (with the Wikia logo and stuff) supposed to go behind the content div?

Harry usr tlk 12:19, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

  1. page_bar text is supposed to be bigger than standard - it's an attempt to make people realise that you can edit these pages...
  2. Banner ads stylings are outside our control, I believe.
  3. I believe so - I think it looks quite good.
-- Michael Warren | Talk 12:24, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Highlight ColorEdit

From Forum:Highlight Color.

Is there a way to have a different color other than bright yellow as a text highlight(as on the new pages page)? It is hard to read the white text with that color.

Kind of on a tangent- what is a highlighted page on the new pages page supposed to denote?--31dot 12:16, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

That can be fixed. The question is whether to make it the same colour as the background (thus, no highlight), or simply an easier-to-see colour. I've done the latter on my stylesheet, but I don't use Special:Newpages all that often, anyway.
The highlight indicates that the page hasn't been 'patrolled' - a system we don't use here. -- Michael Warren | Talk 12:24, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your answer. I also noticed the same color on the "Thanks for your edit" popup that comes up. Is this something that I change myself?--31dot 12:33, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Is that the popup that offers you similar articles to edit? -- Michael Warren | Talk 12:35, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it is.--31dot 12:39, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Let me investigate that (I don't use that particular option), and get back to you. It'll probably be a general fix, rather than a personal one. -- Michael Warren | Talk 12:53, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I think I've got it (the popup isn't appearing to let me check). Let me put the change in place, clear your cache (ctrl-f5), and tell me if it worked. The same with the highlight on Newpages. -- Michael Warren | Talk 13:10, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

That's much better. My eyes and I thank you. :)--31dot 15:39, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Gallery structureEdit

The galleries are looking "unfinished". Can we have the "old style" back? The text directly under the images is left sided. I think the middle sided text looks better, too. – Tom 12:31, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Ma newmonacogallery

My gallery style

This is the gallery style I have adapted for my personal stylesheet. It is nearly the same as the old one, with the exception of the final, inner border around the thumbnail. (Ignore the different link colours...) Is that more acceptable? I find it better than the old version, as the removal of that final border makes things look less cluttered. -- Michael Warren | Talk 12:52, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, much better. :) – Tom 13:08, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Will just have to see if others agree before implementing, as it's a more substantial change than others I've been making. -- Michael Warren | Talk 13:13, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
This format is now in place. -- Michael Warren | Talk 14:40, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Realworld ArticlesEdit

I decided to check out some pages with IE since I am using NoScript in Firefox, so I'm not seeing the ads at all. Most of the in-universe articles are okay, but the realworld pages are not loading correctly in IE7. On these pages, loading the ad pushes the entire article down out of range of the first screen if there is a sidebar. If there's no sidebar, then it seems to just push the entire article down so it starts underneath the ad box rather than wrapping the text around it. Is this a ad box formatting issue or is it the realworld tag? —Topher 17:16, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

It does appear to have something to do with the real world tag -- either that, or the custom-made sidebar used in the article. Actually, I think it's a little bit of both, since text with a custom sidebars gets pushed down about the length of the ad box, while text with a sidebar and real-world template get pushed down much further, to where you have to scroll down to start reading the image. --From Andoria with Love 09:04, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
In-universe page error

In-universe page with sidebar on IE

RealWorld page error

Real-world page with sidebar and realworld template on IE

  • Cases in point: the image at the left is an in-universe page with a sidebar. The image on the right is a real-world page with a sidebar and a real-world template. Vulcan also has the same problem as the page on the left, so it doesn't matter if the sidebar is custom or whether it's a wiki-sidebar. The big difference between the two appears to be the real-world template, but both desperately need to be fixed. --From Andoria with Love 09:13, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Shran, test this with your in-universe error: move the disambiguation note after the sidebar code. That may be the cause in that particular instance. -- Michael Warren | Talk 09:16, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
That worked. Still doesn't solve the problem with real world articles, though, and in any event, the bug should still be fixed without us having to go around moving disambiguation notes. At least now we know what the problems are, though, which should help us or Wikia come up with a way to fix it. --From Andoria with Love 07:04, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

What links hereEdit

I've just noticed that a useful "button" disappeared. When I write an article about a person who has no article on MA, I search MA for this name, then I am asked if I want to create an article for this new topic and on the old version I had the chance to see where this unwritten article is linked. Now, I have no chance to see where this new article is linked. There is no "button" for this on the new skin. – Tom 06:44, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Erm... it's in the toolbox thingie below the sidebar. If you're actively editing a page, close the edit hints and tips thing, and the sidebar and toolbox make an appearance anew. -- Sulfur 12:40, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. Sometimes I really think I should wear glasses. :( – Tom 12:54, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

'My Talk' / 'Watchlist' linkEdit

Using Opera 9.50 on Windows XP, three of the links at the top right of the screen don't work properly (i.e. the links to my user page, my talk page and my watchlist). When clicked, they all function as though I'd clicked the 'MORE' dropdown. So I can't get to my watchlist, something I like to do first every time I vist... The 'Log out' link does work, however. Taduolus 13:38, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Anybody got a fix for this? It's driving me mad! Taduolus 20:12, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Table formattingEdit

from Forum:CSS Table formatting, posted here in case I put it in the wrong place.

With respect to the "grey" class for tables, I am suggesting a change to the CSS used for said class. Adding

  • table.grey {border-collapse:collapse;}
  • table.grey th {padding:2px 4px;}
  • table.grey td {padding:2px 4px;}

Tables using the revised class would use the same amount of space, but be cleaner looking and easier to read.

current class="grey"
Ship Registry Series
USS Enterprise NCC-1701 Star Trek
USS Voyager NCC-74656 Star Trek: Voyager
 
suggested class="grey"
Ship Registry Series
USS Enterprise NCC-1701 Star Trek
USS Voyager NCC-74656 Star Trek: Voyager

MJBurrage(TC) 16:54, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Update status - international Edit

The following language versions have been updated to the new skin:

de
Back on Monobook momentarily, pending fix of this issue: some formatting will need to be moved from Monobook.css to Common.css; some additional formatting in Common.css, which might later be merged with the international CSS files
en
See above
eo
OK
fr
OK - some additional formatting in Common.css
mu
OK
sv
OK

WoWWiki tweaks Edit

Perhaps a little late, but since this is a dark skin, you might want to take a look at w:c:wowwiki:MediaWiki:Monaco.css - I've been working on the Monaco skin since April, and there may be some extra fixes on there you might find useful. I just edited your MediaWiki:Monaco.css to fix a create account issue, hope you don't mind. Kirkburn (talk) 16:45, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

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