Talk:Main Page/Archive 15

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Main page topic archiving

Great new front page! Can we archive the subject mentioned in "Did you know..." and "Featured article", so that we don't repeat topics too quickly. Either archive the actual paragraphs of text used, or even just the topics in a list. -- user:zanimum

Perhaps they could be listed on their respective MediaWiki Talk: pages - archiving the whole text seems a little redundant, though, since we'll have a Page History for each one. - IMSoP 14:04, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

EMERGENCY

I just moved over to a eMac (about 2003 or so), in another room, with IE 5.2 on it. The left hand side toolbar has completely disappeared, down to the very bottom of the page, every page. Did someone change the software for Wikipedia, because it's not just the main page that has changed. -- user:zanimum

Did you try a shift/control reload? Dori | Talk 14:20, Feb 24, 2004 (UTC)
Yes, then tried on another eMac with IE 5.2, then on an iMac, IE 5.1.6. Tried logged in and logged out on both, no prevail. Only 2% use macs, but this still is a major problem. Any one else have a mac? -- user:zanimum
Yes, but I'm using Netscape, and the new page shows just fine. BTW, more than 2% use Macs. Those are the sales numbers, but any Mac user knows that an LCIII will still function as a useful machine long after a 386 has become landfill (and poor landfill at that...)
Also Mac (G4--2000 or so) with Netscape 7. Looked fine a couple of hours ago. Won't be back there to try with IE until this evening. Elf 21:29, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

It's getting better for every revision!

But I believe it can still be improved upon:

  • The text at the top ought to attract more attention - it is easily overlooked right now. Maybe increasing the text size somewhat and change the background color - maybe switch with the left column since that one is big enough to catch the eye anyway.
  • The 'Featured article'-section is somewhat big. Maybe use a smaller picture and display the 'recent features' in smaller fontsize.
  • The same for 'recent days'.
  • It is not at all clear from the first view you get that there are other, closely related 'pedias in other langauges. My suggestion would be that a reference is given not only to the number of articles in the english 'pedia there are, but also to the number of articles in all the 'pedias. That would not take much extra space, and it gives a hint to non-english new visitors that there is a chance that they might find interesting articles in whatever language they preferrably speak (or read). (Think one could be that nice to them, right?) So after "...in the english version", add "...and xxx,xxx articles in total".
  • The 'Browse wikipedia by topic', well, I think it is also too big, but I don't know how to improve it...

But overall - a nice piece of work! Mikez 14:23, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

It is getting better with each revision. The simplification is good, as is the edition of links to browse my topic and other languages. I think overall it is much better than the previous main page because it advertises Wikipedia much better and divides the encyclopedia stuff from the community stuff. ChrisG 21:28, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Revert; Layout break

The Browse Wikipedia by topic link disturbs the layout for me in Camino 0.7 (Moz/Gecko). It does not serve much purpose anyway, so I'd like a different solution. —Sverdrup(talk) 14:32, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Thanks eloq. —Sverdrup(talk)
If you mean
People were complaining that they had to vertically scroll forever to get to the category section. I agree that that was annoying so I added, and then readded the link. --mav
I personally think it looks ugly because it creates a lot of whitespace, and that the damage of this ugliness outweighs the gain of having to press a button rather than scroll (for a bit, "forever" is a small exagerration!) in order to get down the screen. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 15:07, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)
It is just one line of whitespace above the link. If you can think of a better placement of the link then please say so. --mav
Inside the yellow box, where Eloquence just moved it to, is better than below the yellow box, which is where it was when I made my comment, particularly as the "please comment on new main page" will go away fairly shortly. Of course your question supposes that I think there should be a link at all, which I don't, but other people apparently do (or at least they've said they don't like scrolling) so I'll live with it. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 15:35, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Great frontpage, remove extra sentence, hide action bar

The new frontpage (2004-02-24) is great! It lets you go deep into the content, and just asks you to come back to see what's new.

I think the text "From Wikipedia, the Free..." under heading should be removed from main page. The same idea is stated just above and just below it. Besides, it takes vertical space unnecessarily.

There are three columns side by side: two in the page, and one in the left side action bar. I feel the action bar should be off by default, as most of its functionality is available in the links on top of every page. Tero 14:49, 2004 Feb 24 (UTC)

Awful!

Please! Bring back the old page! The new page provides more information, but at the cost of the beauty of the old page. Don't let this change be permanant. Auric The Rad 15:14, Feb 24, 2004 (UTC)

Hi Auric,
could you be more specific in describing what you don't like about the new Main Page?—Eloquence 15:46, Feb 24, 2004 (UTC)

I wouldn't say it's awful (alil' disconcerting, but change always is). Overall I like it [initial impression] ... but the pics are distracting to me (YMMV on that though). I'd just suggest that you put the text in and leave out the graphics [ppl can see them in the article] ... Sincerely, JDR 15:49, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

We can't please everyone. I thought the old homepage was one of the ugliest on the internet, *anything* would have been an improvement on it. And lack of line-height made it not worth trying to follow links on it, because I would often end up with a page whose link was one line above or below the one I tried to click. (This is still an issue with the left nav bar on cologne blue - could we have a typical 140% line height please?)dramatic 01:50, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I liked the previous one much, MUCH better!

I don't want the text of a featured article (or any other, for that matter) on the main page. Same for the news. The previous one, with just a concise lists of featured articles, news items etc. was much better.

The whole thing is starting to look like one of those evil portal sites, that try to be everything but end up being nothing but clutter. The old page had everything it needed, with almost no scrolling required. This is much to long, and the useful information gets lost between news and other useless stuff. WikiPedia is not a newspaper and neither should it be one. rschroev 15:24, Feb 24, 2004 (UTC)

Hi,


Have you seen Wikipedia:Plain vanilla main page? We're trying to find ways to offer different layouts to different people, I think you might be in the target audience for that one.—Eloquence 15:46, Feb 24, 2004 (UTC)
I just checked it out. I think it's better than the new page, but not as good as the old one. I liked the news, featured articles, recent deaths etc.; but I liked the fact that those were just simple lists. It's easy enough to click on them to get more info, and since the new servers are installed it's fast enough too.
Nope, the new mainpage actually doesn't try to be everything; we actually split off the Community Main Page and are now less (but also more of the same) than before —Sverdrup(talk) 15:48, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Well yes and no. There is both more and less on the new page... more that I don't want to see (on the main page), and less that I want to see, or don't mind to see. I like:
  • A short page, so I can see (almost) everything that's on it at one glance. More useful things at the top, less useful things at the bottom. It doesn't matter that much of stuff that is less important or changes not that much can only be seen by scrolling.
  • Lists of recent additions, news, recent deaths, ...
  • Community stuff, though I don't mind for that to be on an other page
I don't like:
  • A long page, because inevitably stuff that I am looking for can only be reached by scrolling down.
  • Clutter, because it means I can't find the stuff I'm looking for at one glance.
  • Intro's to articles, news, ... . They add very little (since the same information can be seen by clicking the link) and attribute to the clutter mentioned above. They can be very useful on a news site, but that is not what Wikipedia is.
Case study: quite regularly I visit the main page. With the old page, I looked at the lists at the top of the page. Often there is something I hadn't seen before; if it's something that looks interesting, I go visit that page. With the new page, I have to scroll all the way down and scan the page to see if there's anything new and interesting. Overall the old page attracts me to visit it frequently, while the new one doesn't. At all.

Too Much Stuff at Once

Simply put.. there is too much content showing at once on the front page. The previous layout was simple and provided the gateway to what viewers may want.

Current events / In the news (Main page) / MW:Itn

Hmmmm. I'm a little confused regarding the update process and coordination between the Current events page, the "In the news" part of the Main page and the Template:In_the_news page. For instance, the Morocco earthquake item of 24 February existed in three versions as of this writing (1815 UTC the same day). Shouldn't all updates be propagated in the order described at the top of this page? Bad coordination of this process is detrimental to the professional impression Wikipedia should aspire to make on its readers. --Wernher 18:22, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Yellow box has become too big

The yellow box has become too big because of the browse wikipedia by topic addition. One can barely see the top of the featured articles/news items/ photographs section(my resolution is 800x600 I think) without scrolling. This defeats the whole purpose of a happening main page. KRS 18:29, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Too Tall, Too Much Text

It's a good first stab at a new approach, but I think it introduces some problems which impair its usefulness:

  • Too tall. I'm on a 17" monitor at 1280x1024 resolution and I have to scroll to see part of "Did You Know..." as well as all of "Browse Wikipedia by Topic" and "Wikipedia in Other Languages". Overall I'd say the height of the feature boxes should be cut roughly in half.
  • Too much text per topic. I'd rather see a very short summary (10 words max) of any individual topic. The 20-30 word summaries are too long for me to scan the page and decide whether I want to follow any links, so I may as well skip the whole thing. With the old Main Page I'd just see the entry and think, "Hmm, I wonder what that is?", click on the link, and find out. Much more efficient and effective. For instance, I'd trim the "In the news" section as it's shown at this moment to:
Even then, it seems distracting to have links to relatively generic items (like US President) which distract from the news item (Federal Marriage Amendment). The bullet points should strive to focus on one link.

-mhr 18:42, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I'll vote for the old page. The new Main Page is too busy; this saeems contrary to what might be the purpose of a Main Page. If we want to feature Julius Caesar a simple link is enough for those who are interested. In consideration of those with slow connections, there should be no pictures on the Main Page. Eclecticology 18:49, 2004 Feb 24 (UTC)

Since I am on a dial-up connection -- & probably will remain on dial-up for the forseeable future -- I'd rather not see graphics; one reason I like the front page to Google. I found the old version (by this I mean what I saw on the front page 23 February) far better for my purposes than what is there now: it has too much text, requires more scrolling to access links into the site, & the pictures don't impress me enough to want to endure the added download time. But from all of the praise, I expect to see sound & animated gifs added in the near future. :-( -- llywrch 18:52, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Animated gifs. Snerk. We're not desperate. That said, I believe that making the following changes will dramatically reduce the "too long"/"irrelevant" complaints:
  1. Remove obits and holidays
  2. Integrate the functionality into news and day in history, respectively
  3. Move did you know to right side, beneath news.

This page could be a remarkable engine for promoting Wikipedia's growth. I think it's very important that we not revert to the Old Main Page. The pictures and the design direct and catch the eye. The old version was an initially unintelligible sea of links. jengod 19:09, Feb 24, 2004 (UTC)

I strongly disagree. The new version misdirects the eye, making it not at all clear what the relevant info is. The number of links on the new version needs to be cut down substantially to be useful, since many of them are ancillary to the specific information being highlighted. -mhr 21:44, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)
No no no... a number of people like are having complaints with the new layout, and much of the proposed changes make it even worse:
  • please LEAVE the obits and the holidays, but keep them SHORT. Those are exactly the things I want to see. You can also leave Julius Caesar and Aristide, but with a MUCH shorter text. I prefer only the link, like it was before; that's enough to catch interest, and more info can easily be had by following the link.
  • The pictures and the design DON'T catch my eye, they only confuse me.
I admit it's better if I maximize my browser so it occupies the full 1400 pixels of my screen, but I shouldn't have to do that, and most screens aren't even that wide. Please please pretty please restore the old layout.
-rschroev

Proposition

We could change the margins from 55/45 to 50/50 and swap "day in history" with "Holidays". Not enough stuff on the right currently. (we might want to just add more to right since the stuff is "happening now" on the right as opposed to the left where all the stuff happened a long time ago. Perl 19:10, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Good good. jengod 19:40, Feb 24, 2004 (UTC)
Changed mind. Right is too crowded. jengod 19:41, Feb 24, 2004 (UTC)

Someone throw out that Obituaries link already. —Sverdrup(talk) 22:43, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Did it work OK before the fiddle? YES, Does it work Ok now? NO.

If it aint broke......... Tweaking design is fine, providing the site isn't compromised. I now have to scroll down to the bottom of every page to see/use what was previously the left hand column. Bordering on unworkable. Moriori 19:21, Feb 24, 2004 (UTC)

What happens if we put the "Browse by topic" on the left and the various features on the right? Then you won't need to scroll down for either (at least not for whatever features we put on top), nor will you need a hotlink in the intro box. -- Toby Bartels 20:24, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Out of all things in the universe two dictators on the main page. As for one of them philosopers used to say "Caesar non est ultra gramaticos" - (Ceasar ist not above the grammar rules. You should be ashamed for the intelectual prostitution in the world which will not be less free the picture of the turtle.

Well, I'm the one who choose to put the caeser article up. I can't help the other one. As for freeing the turtle... um... yea. →Raul654 21:02, Feb 24, 2004 (UTC)

I gave it a day to try to get used to the new format, but I can't help thinking we lost something. In particular, I think the page is weaker for having moved the Wikipedia:About, Village pump, What our critics say about us, etc. pages from the front. Hiding them on the Community Main Page dilutes the chance to celebrate what makes the Wikipedia special. Rossami 21:36, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Also, the pictures struck me as slightly cheesy. Can't say why I had that unfavorable emotional reaction, but I did... Rossami

Wikipedia:About is linked from every page. Wikipedia:Village pump is linked from Wikipedia:Contact us, which is also on every page. If you try to integrate everything that is now on Wikipedia:Main Page into the frontpage, you end up with what we had before -- a mess of links, none of which provided any information about where they led besides the title. The old Main Page was mystery meat navigation, this one is much more user friendly.—Eloquence

My opinion: the new Main Page is trying to steer Wikipedia away from the realms of a smaller web-community project to a mainstream audience. Trivia and big pictures are more likely to attract a casual user surfing through than a comprehensive page of links designed for those already hooked. I'm missing that community section being on the front page, as the community is at the heart of Wikipedia, and this is something we should be pointing out to all visitors. --Kwekubo 21:56, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

We need to appeal to a wide audience. That's part of how we can hook new users. The community main page is readily available. If you feel the need to see the community section right away when you start, bookmark that page. --Michael Snow 22:16, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Obituaries link on the Main page

Looks like the mini-obits are now gone from the Main page, leaving the link captioned "Obituaries". If we keep it this way we need to go back the that "recent deaths" caption for the link, as we noted during prototying of this page that the link points to articles, not obituaries. Bevo 23:05, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

"Today in history" or "A day in history"

How about "{{today for UTC}} in history" e.g. "26th February in history"? Mr. Jones 18:43, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

My vote is for the first one. -- Tim Starling 00:38, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)

<AdamBishop> I'm sure I missed this discussion...but why is it "a day in history" and not "today" or "the day"?
<Xirzon> AdamBishop: mav thinks we can't keep it up to date
<AdamBishop> well if it's not up to date as "the day", it's not up to date as "a day," so what's the difference?
<Xirzon> AdamBishop: I was referring to "today". "The day" .. hmm .. looks ugly to me
<TimStarling> you should call it "today in history"
<TimStarling> that way it makes sense
<Xirzon> Well, I called it that
<Xirzon> but I'm not inclined to get into an edit war about it
<TimStarling> "a day in history" doesn't mean anything
<Imran> today in australia isn't today in america
<TimStarling> I understand this
<TimStarling> as do most people in Australia
<TimStarling> it's perfectly reasonable for "today in history" to actually be yesterday in history, people in other time zones will understand
<AdamBishop> but "a day in history" could mean "any random day in history"
<Xirzon> AdamBishop: change it to "today" if you want. I'll support you
<TimStarling> as long as it's changed at midnight UTC not some large negative time zone
<AdamBishop> well I don't want to get in an edit war about it either :)
<Xirzon> then stop whining ;)
<TimStarling> that's alright, I'll get into an edit war
<Anthere> Tim ?
<TimStarling> someone's got to do it

YI, I think the reason it was "A day in history" instead "Today in history" is that today is relative. It's Feb 25 UTC, but it's still Feb 24 in many places...so "a day" covers that. jengod 00:44, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)
Since I live in UTC+11 and constantly communicate with people all over the world, I can assure you that I understand this point. "A day", however, is an awkward way to express this concept. It's interesting (if slightly irrelevant) to note that the actual time the given events occurred is ambiguous in the same way. An event that occurred on February 25 according to the history books may have actually occurred on February 26 in an eastern time zone. -- Tim Starling 00:51, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)

Mav, can you please point me to the initial discussion on this issue? I looked in 3 or 4 places but I couldn't find it. -- Tim Starling 00:56, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)

What's wrong with Historical anniversaries or Events in history? Both are terms used elsewhere in WP....I particularly like the first. Are these agreeable to anyone? Jwrosenzweig 00:58, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Fine by me -- Tim Starling 01:03, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)
Talk:Main Page/Test. The day is being featured so the wording seems fine to me. So does "Events in history" and "Historical anniversaries" for that matter. But "Today" is both too relative and will be expected to be turned over exactly when a new day arrives. Best to not give those type of impressions. --mav 01:04, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Where can/should I post my suggestion of Historical anniversaries, which I'm liking more as I think about it? Is this the best forum? Jwrosenzweig 01:12, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Any change to the main page, regardless of how trivial, requires you fill out Form 27-1 - Main Page Change Request. Note that you will require a photocopy of your drivers license or similar form of identification, witnessed by a JP. Notification of the wiki community should take place by advertisement in the "legal notices" section of the major newspapers. After a period of 21 days of discussion, a vote will be taken. The change may be made if there is an absolute majority in favour. -- Tim Starling 01:22, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)
Ha, ha Tim. Jwrosenzweig - just go to Wikipedia:Events in history. See also Wikipedia talk:Events in history#Merge with Holidays - good or bad?. --mav 02:00, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Bwah! I'm saving that text on my user page. Hee. jengod 02:31, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)

I don't like the new page as much. The thing I really liked about the old page is that I could see everything and a glance and then beat down into the topics that were of interest. Now you have to navigate around to find things that might be of interest. I have been using Wiki as my Start Page because it gave me so much in one glance. I already miss it! Scott

Merging "Events in history" with "Holidays"

See [1]. --mav 02:03, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

French main page

Has anyone taken a look at the French main page? They've redesigned as well, but it seems much less busy than our current main page. The French page was the inspiration for the original redesign a while back. The French page keeps the topic categories up high where they are easily visible, and it also retains many of the "community" links for regular editors. I'm mixed about our new page. It's nice to have context for all the featured articles, but it seems like a bit of overkill. The addition of images is nice. As things currently stand, however, the "welcome to wikipedia" message—the most important item on the page— seems to be lost in a maze of current events, et al., and the font size for that box keeps shrinking. Just some thoughts... Minesweeper 02:53, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)

Welcome is the first link on this page and there is a very easy to find and use link to the cateogory section. See above for a link to my proposal to make this page less busy with a minimum of change. --mav

Euro-Americo centrism!

The next round of Featured Articles really must be on stuff outside Europe and North America. The narrow cultural focus of the present lot is very conspicuous. Adam 04:03, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Hear hear, something Adam and I can agree on. :) But seriously, the conversion of the main page from reference page to a "portal" (shivers!) means there's a whole lot of issues we need to watch for when choosing the features. I can imagine the new front page turning off international visitors if they think it's just another CNN/NYTimes/BBC/Guardian, Euro-American news site. Fuzheado 04:10, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I've already written it. It's going to be Oxyrhynchus. →Raul654 04:58, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)


You can't readily say that the Feat. articles section is Eu-Am centric when we've only seen three different feats. Over time, I think featured articles will be a nice aggregate of all our comprehensive articles. (and this group may ofcourse be partly Eu-Am centric.) —Sverdrup(talk) 08:40, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Alternative at Main_Page/Temp10

I have tried a variation- Main_Page/Temp10 - where the encyclopedia is at the side for easy access unlike the present version which links from the main yellow box. It can be much better if it is formatted, I don't know much about layout guidelines. The advantage in my version is that the encylopedia gains importance. (Someone else has referred to the French main page, they seem to have a similar idea)KRS 05:11, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC) P.S. I also think that because my layout is asymmetrical, it is more interesting and aesthetic KRS 05:32, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I think that section is vastly overrated. Many of these links don't lead to proper overview articles anyway.—Eloquence 05:25, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)
If it is overrated, it should live upto the overrating. An encyclopedia has to make this better.KRS 05:32, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Not necessarily. Magnus Manske has just checked his final category system code into CVS. This will make the current links largely obsolete, and we might be able to do with just 10 or so top category links (the category system supports subcategories).—Eloquence 05:36, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)
Great! Could we end with system like Yahoo's cathegory index?
Forseti 07:38, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
KRS's version is quite good, and if you think about it, there will be much more coherence and solidarity with other language pages. Right now, with the portal concept, none of the different front pages (across languages) will look the same because it's all open-ended with "features". It would be nice to have at least a strip of topics which is consistent and serves what people come to encyclopedias for -- reference. Fuzheado 07:31, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
If you want to use Britannica or Encarta as a reference, do you use a topical index? Or do you just look up words? Most people use encyclopedias to look up terms, and Wikipedia is very good for that (in spite of the embarrassing fact that we still have to rely on Google as our search engine). The topical index is confused and inconsistent, and not very helpful in locating subjects you want to learn more about. An encyclopedia is not a book, you don't browse it front to back. You look up things.
But likewise you could ask if while using Yahoo as pointer for websites you use cathegory system or just searchbox. Most people probably use searchbox, but I doubt that cathegory index is without reason there.
Forseti 07:47, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
The current dynamic section provides far more interesting venues of exploration, and I already find myself using them. It evokes emotions by putting individual subjects into context, and thereby elicits sustained interest. It creates a desire to actually visit the frontpage for purposes other than clicking around randomly. The previous "Selected articles" section had similar goals, but was not very good at achieving them because the links were castrated and without context or emotion. You never knew where you would wind up. While some people may like mystery meat, I find it unhealthy to prescribe to all our visitors.
The real reason some people dislike this page is that they dislike emotions. They want to use Wikipedia without being "distracted" by powerful influences such as pictures and useful summaries. That is the typical attitude of an academic or an intellectual. However, that attitude is completely mistaken when it comes to distributing knowledge to the general public. In order to do so effectively we must evoke emotions, powerful emotions even, and connect them with the information which we transport. We should not manipulate the reader, instead we should evoke emotions by putting matters in a familiar context, and elaborating on them from there. But emotions are not inherently bad, they are necessary to create new memories.
An academic will always be curious and interested in reading about new things, they get a positive emotional response (a "kick") from the act of learning alone. A single word is more than enough to motivate them to read 20,000 characters of pure text. Most people do not function that way and we must do our best to reach these people. The truth is that even most academics, when they allow themselves to, will enjoy the experience more if it is enriched. It is just that they have become used to all emotionally enriched content being inherently of less value, so when they see a "portal" they fear that the content that looms behind that door is going to be dumbed down or even grossly wrong.
It is up to Wikipedia to prove that this is not necessarily so.
Yes, this is a "portal", an entry page to explore the encyclopedia, as opposed to searching for individual terms. This is a very valuable function, in fact necessary function for us to fulfill our mission of not just accumulating but also spreading knowledge to our readers. We are not just archivists. We are encyclopedists.
I fail to understand your criticism with regard to other languages. The category structure is far more complex than the structure of the dynamic section. It will be far more easy to create a consistent dynamic section on all Wikipedias than it is to create a consistent categorization scheme. Just because they all look similar doesn't mean that there's high structural similarity.
I hope that the other languages will soon be ready to build their own portals, and I hope that it will eventually be realized by all that such a portal is indeed of higher importance than a mere structural grid. That doesn't mean that the grid is useless, but it shouldn't occupy the front spot and take away space that could be used to get people interested in knowledge.—Eloquence 08:11, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)
You have brought out an interesting point regarding emotions vs intellect. I fully agree with you. However, right now, the main page leans too heavily on glamour. What I was trying to achieve is like a middle path . Glamour, emotions and topicality are important and therefore have a larger width and more space for pictures. And more readability when compared to what exists now( with equal column widths). However, what is regular and constitutes the core or underpinning should not be neglected, it should also be accessed, though not too conspicuously. So I have a smaller width and smaller font size. I have personally looked at many categories from the main page, I am sure that many others would do too. And on an asethetic note, 2 equal width columns look too boring.KRS 09:40, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
See response below at the end regarding categories

Yellow box updated

I've changed the yellow box into a table, right-aligned the "Browse", "Languages" links, and added a text-only link. In Mozilla the top box is now slightly wider than the other boxes, I haven't been quite able to figure out the cause of this.—Eloquence 05:27, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for adding the text-only link. Optim 05:39, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Sandbox editing rate

Ever since the new Main Page has gone live, the Wikipedia:Sandbox editing rate appears to have more than doubled. I attribute this to the new "experiment" link which goes directly to the editing window. This should also alleviate concerns that the new Main Page is less effective in communicating the open nature of Wikipedia.—Eloquence 05:33, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)

I do applaud linking directly to Sandbox. That's great. But there are still many concerns about the new design of portal vs. reference/community. Fuzheado 07:32, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Main page images should link to relevant article

Visitors would expect that clicking the image would take them to the article that the image belongs to. Linking to the image description page is uninformative and confusing. If it is not too difficult to change this behavior, it would be nice to change it. Arvindn 09:07, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Yep, this is a problem, and yep, this talk page is busy. See Talk:Main_Page#Usability_problem a bit up, I posted a temp solution there. —Sverdrup(talk) 09:34, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Move "Plain vanilla Main page" to "Main Page (text only)"?

As I and Eloquence point out on Wikipedia talk:Plain_vanilla_main_page, this page should really be in the article namespace as Main Page (text only). Any objections to me moving the page there? --Lexor|Talk 09:33, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Done. --mav

MediaWiki messages for encyclopedia topic list, language pages and sister projects

Also I created a MediaWiki message: Template:wikipediatoc which can be reused for both the Main Page and Main Page (text only). I suggest we could do the same for the language pages and the sister projects, to complete the modularization of both the Main Page and the "text only" Main Page. --Lexor|Talk 09:33, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Good idea - I put it in. --mav 10:10, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
For some reason Template:wikipediasister doesn't want to include properly. On my browser (Galeon/Mozilla under Linux), I start seeing HTML markup inline after I save the page? Do you have the same problem? --Lexor|Talk 10:21, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Was fixed by mav by including regular links, thanks. Although I'm not sure exactly why this didn't work. One for the developers. --Lexor|Talk
All this modularization is very good, but since the msg-tags now aren't shortcuts we should try to give them systematic and descriptic names. There is no (noticable) limitation to lenght of msg name and limitation in the use of caps, but looking at the current examples there seems to be :P
Right now we have on the main page: {{msg:feature} } {{msg:dih} } {{msg:itn} } {{msg:dyk} } {{msg:Wikipediatoc} } {{msg:Wikipedialang} }. A few more and noone will keep them apart. As I said: they are not shortcuts, why not give them descriptive names?
—Sverdrup(talk) 10:40, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I agree, that's why a tried to give mine slightly longer names, with the "Wikipedia" prefix to make them standout as being messages about modular content related to the 'pedia. I suggest itn -> wikipedia_inthenews, dih -> wikipedia_datesinhistory or somesuch. --Lexor|Talk 10:59, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Yellow box removed

On Jamesday's suggestion I removed the yellow box around the top paragraph. He pointed out that a box makes it look like an advertising banner and therefore likely to be ignored. That seems to be a valid point.—Eloquence 09:59, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)


Personally I think the new main page looks great... but I showed it to my brother, who uses the pedia occasionally as a reference, and he preferred the old version. His reasons were entirely different to mine, and equally valid, which I guess just goes to show that you can't please everyone all the time. He said the extracts were just fluff and the bit he wanted was the (alas nonexistant) search engine, or failing that an Index.

He did make one good point though - if we are going to have a seperate community main page it needs to have its own link in the sidebar. He also thinks that the 'Wikipedia by topic' link should be there too, and he thinks there should be a text-only version of EVERY page (he assumed the text-only button would disable pictures for the entire pedia, not just the front page. KJ 10:34, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Proposal of new design/skin

See new discussion page at Talk:Main Page/New Design

Graphical Article Counter

Shoot me down if I haven't searched enough of the archives to answer this myself.

What do people think of having a graphical article counter like this for the total number of en: articles and perhaps also total all-languages articles? - Gaz 12:51, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure why you think it should be graphical. Also, is an up-to-date article count really that important? As long as the count is updated periodically it will be pretty accurate, and there's always the statistics page. --HappyDog 12:56, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
We already have an up-to-date article count. The count on the main page is dynamic, and up-to-date. Include a count on any page by doing {{NUMBEROFARTICLES}} which looks like: 6,396,201. Perl 15:10, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Self-promotion of Wikipedia mainly (thats why the current counter is on Main Page), and graphical because it looks cool. - Gaz 14:14, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Nope, it looks so - nineties-ish. As it is now, you can put any wiki formatting on the number, which is much better. 6,396,201—Sverdrup(talk) 15:48, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

While I'm here, why is the main page called Main Page? - Wouldn't "Welcome" be more appropriate? - Gaz 14:14, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

ROTFL - Forseti 14:41, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)


Timezone Sensitivity?

A challenge to the team developing this page: How difficult would it be to present the correct date for the visitor's timezone? Since W is served from California, most visitors will experience some times when the date they see is "yesterday's". Here at GMT+13 (NZ + Daylight time) I see yesterday for 21 hours of each day. Given that there are a number of date-sensitive features, I think this would be worthwhile. The tricky bit is getting the info to php - This rules out using javascript, but I realize that reverse DNS would put too much load on the server. The compromise might be to adjust dates for logged in users only, with their timezone stored in preferences. dramatic 21:29, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The correct date for the person's timezone is not possible. But we can and should state which timezone we use. Today is {{CURRENTDAYNAME}}, [[{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}]], [[{{CURRENTYEAR}}]]; it is now {{CURRENTTIME}} ([[UTC]]) -> Today is Monday, October 18, 2021; it is now 13:25 (UTC) Not sure where to put it. WP is served from Florida now, BTW. --mav 21:36, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)


Mav, I don't agree with 'impossible' - plenty of forum software manages to display all dates adjusted to the user's timezone - done server side based upon a preference stored in the user's profile. Just don't repeat the mistake of some systems which limit the adjustment to +/-12 hours. dramatic 22:18, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Updates to the selected anniv section are done by humans and only one version of each MediaWiki page can be displayed at one time. --mav

I see yesterday for 21 hours of each day Nope. The servers of wikipedia run by UTC. And problem is, do we want to show the correct date? We cannot for example serve different historical anniversiaries to different people the same time, so the anniversiaries would be out of sync with the date showed. — Sverdrup (talk) 21:33, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I stand corrected: I see the wrong date for 13 hours of each day in summer and 12 hours in winter.
I would hope that the anniversaries and holidays functions are being handled in such a way that the datasets don't have to be redone each year - i.e we are building up a pool of 365 entries for each. Then, the data can simply be called with a date parameter.dramatic 22:18, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Why is this an issue? We don't say "This day in history" so why do you expect to see that? See: Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries--mav
Actually, a set of [[MediaWiki:{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}]] pages might not be a bad idea...
James F. (talk) 04:38, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Holy shit!!! It works!! I created Template:February 26 and referenced it via {{msg:{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}}_{{CURRENTDAY}}}} to get:
{{October_18}}
Is that cool or what? In fact featured articles can do this too. That way both sections will get updated automatically every day so long as a MediaWiki page was previously created for that day. This is awesome! --mav 06:38, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Let's just use it for the anniversaries for now and see how it works out. I think for the featured article having a single page with a single history might be more convenient.—Eloquence 06:43, Feb 26, 2004 (UTC)
Very cool, mav, it seems the {{-thingies} } can nest after all. — Sverdrup (talk) 10:10, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)