Talk:Main Page/Archive 20

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Yay for monobook :-) A mainstream press story on wikipedia some time back (think it was CNet) started off with "its home page has a web design from the early 90s" or something like that. I guess they can't say that any longer :) Its going to take a while for my relflexes to adjust to the new postions edit link and other links, but I'm sure it'll be worth it. Arvindn 18:48, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Wikipedia redesign

Hey, it's really cool! A great improvement over the previous design. That said, I have a few suggestions that I think might improve on these changes.

  1. The Wikipedia logo looks to be a transparent GIF antialiased against white. With the new background in shades of gray, there's some ugly fringing going on here. The logo needs to be redone against the new background or (ideally) changed to something that's not quite as ugly.
  2. Why no margin on the sides and top of the page? Disconcerting.
  3. Body text is rendered in Verdana, but headings appear to be in the browser's default sans-serif font; this should be corrected.
  4. Not enough spacing between paragraphs, so body text is muddied. I would suggest either double-spacing paragraphs (as before) or adding a first line indent.
  5. Bright red color for links to nonexistent articles is jarring and calls too much attention to phrases that don't deserve it--maybe a dark gray would be better?

I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place for comments, so I apologize in advance if this is out of place. I'd try to fix these problems myself if I knew how. Ideas?

-- Wikisux 18:55, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Just adding on to your last point, if a link to a nonexistant article is clicked once, it takes on the same color as a visited existing article. That can be quite irritating. Would be nice if that could be changed as well. Aside from that, good job to all those involved in the re-design. Yardcock 07:59, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]
strong agreement on both counts, re: the red links. I hadn't quite put my finger on why those links bother me so much, but this is why. +sj+ 08:15, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]
Consider it a strong moral obligation to start the article once you've clicked the red link ;). Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 10:01, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Sans-serif fonts: almost as bad as the International System of Units

Eww, ewwww, EEEEWWWW! Sans-serif fonts are so very twentieth century. They look lazy, as if the typographer couldn't be troubled to finish them; and besides, they make the baby Jesus cry. Unfortunately, changing the main page has broken the main page in the traditional skin, making the entries much too wide for a single screen. -- Smerdis of Tlön 19:01, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Old Design still stored in squids

The old page layout is still stored in the squids for common articles, but accessing a less-popular entry yields the new design.

Generated HTML on the Main Page

From the main page:

<small >Note: <em><a href=""
 class='external' title="Meta:Wikimedia servers">New server computers</a> 
are being added to the site over the next few days and Wikipedia may occasionally
 be unavailable for a few minutes at a time during this process.</em> </small >

is extraordinarily poor markup, when the page content suggests that

<small >Note: <em><a href=""
 class='external' title="Meta:Wikimedia servers">New server computers</a> 
are being added to the site over the next few days and Wikipedia may occasionally
 be unavailable for a few minutes at a time during this process.</em> </small >

would be more appropriate. Result: lots of unnecessary whitespace on the main page. -- The Anome 19:11, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]

I can´t see the links anymore!

Sorry, but I liked the old style better because with the new style the links just dont show up.

Yea, and that underline-only-on-mouseover thing is a gimmick that I do not like. 00:49, 31 May 2004 (UTC)[]

New skin: possible bugs

  • "Justify paragraphs" option doesn't work
  • Two newlines in the wikitext puts two <p>'s in the html. (Feature?) This results in extra whitespace in a lot of articles.
  • Keyboard shortcuts interfere with mozilla's

Arvindn 19:17, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]


Kudos to the printing stylesheet, but here's another bug to add to this possible bugs list:
  • Rendering cuts off page for the main page on both Safari (1.2.2) and Mozilla (1.6)
Robert 21:57, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]

In Opera, on the main page, the bottom footer bar doesn't render properly (looks correct when using IE though). The text is mal-aligned, and actually covers the GUN FDL logo, making it unreadable at parts. I put a screenshot up at:


New skin -- YAY!

Very nice work, whoever you are. Now if you can bring the same clean lines to the edit page, that would be appreciated. The one thing I did like about the Cologne skin was the clear color difference between visited links and unvisited/expired links. While dark red may not be necessary for visited links, it needs to be a little more distinctly not blue. Perhaps the green that was previously used for external links? Denni 20:06, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Some comments

  • I agree with the above comments that the sans-serif font gives us a rather 1970s feel. I prefered the traditional serif font on aesthetic grounds but I suppose I will get used to this one.
  • I also agree that the colour of the links is too recessive. A brighter blue please.
  • Greek and Cyrillic appear no longer to be readable, but this may just be due to the fact that I am using someone else's computer.
  • The spacing between lines in photo captions is too big, making them much too "deep," relative to their width.

Adam 20:01, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]

I definitely like the old Standard skin better, but to each her/his own. But in resetting my preferences, I had some thoughts:
  • Will the "Standard" skin keep that name, or will I need to go back to my preferences menu & find its new name & reset my preference?
  • I noticed some breakage in the "Nostalgia" skin. Should I report that at the Sourceforge site? Or should I wait a day or two for the changes to work their way thru the system? (BTW, it might be nice to have a link no the front page when the software is being updated to lead users directly to that URL.) -- llywrch 20:08, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]

I'm browsing with Firefox, and I get a javascript error "Error addcss is not defined". Also the links for my user page at the top are hidden behind the logo. Can anyone confirm? For what it's worth. I like sanserif, but the font size (x-small, scaled 123%) is an odd way of defining too small. Zeimusu 23:27, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]

New Skin and Uploaded Images

Is there some way to fix it so horizontal rules separating sections don't interfere with photographs, diagrams and such? Some tend to run right through images and their captions. Gerald Farinas 20:37, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]

  • Thus it has always been, if you use wikicode. The only workaround I've found is to use html line breaks to force the offending line below the image. Denni 20:51, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Wikilinks in the new skin

The wikipinks in the new skins are very very very unnoticeable, unless the curser is just over them. This undermine the whole existence of the Wikipedia. The underline should always appear, or another way should be found in order to distinguish simple text from a wikilink.

eman 21:26, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I'll second that. I'm just not using the new skin. Meelar 21:26, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I'll third that. I would very much prefer a more legible default skin. I find this rather difficult to read. Two Halves, who should log in using a different skin from now on.
And I fourth that. ~ FriedMilk 23:12, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I agree that the links need to be a little more distinct. Upping the blue value of the linked text would help, and adding a bit of magenta to the read-link color would also help. I dislike underlining - I find it interferes with the legibility of the text and makes the page look cluttered. Even though Wiki is not paper, I still want it to look like paper as far as text presentation is concerned. Denni 22:19, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Yes, changing the color of the links for the written articles would help me greatly. At this time, it is so much easier to see the red links (to suggested articles) than it is to see the blue links. Underlining is not a big concern to me at this time. There are other interface tweaks that I would appreciate, but I will discuss these elsewhere. Yours with wikilove, Two Halves

Serif fonts are easier to read

Given that this is an encyclopedia with some very long articles, I suggest altering the new design to use serif fonts, in alignment with other similar comments. Serif fonts are easier to read in long blocks of text -- see the wikipedia entry on typeface, in the categorization criteria section. There are numerous studies related to human factors that support the better readability of serif fonts. Robert 21:37, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]

More sophisticated studies suggest you will find serif fonts more readable if you learned to read serif fonts, and you will find sans-serif fonts more readable if you learned to read sans-serif fonts. Though studies about readability of fonts on paper do not necessarily generalize to reading on a computer monitor... I imagine somewhere there's a place where one could customize this preference... (either within Wikipedia or on your browser). - Nunh-huh 21:46, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]
The majority of web users don't have antialiasing enabled, which makes sans-serif fonts much easier to read than serif. Arvindn 05:48, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I much prefer a sans font. Just reading the heavily serifed monospace on this edit page is enough to make me pull my hair. I quite like Helvetica, and Verdana/Arial/whatever it is works for me too. Denni 22:24, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

While I prefer serif fonts in books and sans serif fonts look pretty ugly on tree most of the time, the resolution of computer displays just isn't up to it. Serif fonts are really difficult to read on such a low-resolution device. Better use simple sans serif fonts. The same applies to antialias; it just makes things worse; displays aren't up to lots of detail, better keep things simple.

the old layout...

I liked the old layout better, but I'm sure I'll get used to it soon. :)

I the new lay-out. Not just is it dog uggly, it has all kinds of little imperfections (aliasing of the logo, boxes of which the surrounding line is broken, boxes that bump into each other), by setting the font-size it shows perfect disdain for all its visitors (what is wrong with not setting the font-size for the body text?), and it's a severe regression of the pro-web interface Wikipedia used to sport. Now it just likes the so-manieth corporate web site by people who don't get it.

Not to mention that the tabs seem stolen from Plone/Zope, and badly stolen at that.--Branko

I also detest the new layout. It is disgustingly twentieth-century, and, like the man above states, excruciatingly corporate. To make matters worse, the lack of serif fonts only complicates this dilemma, not to mention making the site hard to read. I beg of you to revert back to the original. --Esquire

The new layout is awful. Extremely busy, corporate and the table kludges (or the equivalent in CSS) break in a thin (~700px wide) browser window, creating extra horizontal scroll bar and everything, making it inconvenient to read when the text flows out of the browser.

Too much White, too many squared boxes, please return the colour to the picture boxes

the boxes have corners, some should be round. The tabs above "article", "discussion", etc, should have round corners. the font is not the best. In the article the area of pictures, is pretty terrible, the boxes of images should have some color, like a lite orange.... Some articles that were pretty cool, now they seem awful and amateur :-(

I'm starting to get used to the font. give a nice color to the images boxes in the articles and it will be fine... -Pedro 08:47, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Layout again

Pretty please, do let the main body of articles be in a serifed font. Unserifed fonts are fine in headers, but they strain the eyes, if they occur in blocks. There is a reason why Times Roman has withstood the test of time (See Ransom note effect, which isn't an article but should be). Io 23:57, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]

While I agree with with you, I'm uncomfortable with how you cite your sources. Perhaps you could write that article, or at least a stub? -- llywrch 00:02, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I agree, paragraphs should be in serif and headlines in sans-serif. Fredrik 00:06, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]
This is a matter of taste. I don't have sources. Io 00:12, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]
PS: Except for every human being I have ever known , of course. Io 00:17, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Ugh--please not Times New Roman, which is a hack of a print typeface meant to make it marginally more screen-readable. If it were up to me I'd set Wikipedia's body text in Georgia, which was designed specifically for use on low-resolution devices like computer screens (large x-heights, clearer bold) and looks simply beautiful when used properly.

FWIW, common wisdom used to be that sans-serif fonts were easier to read than serifed ones when it came to onscreen text, due to computer monitors' limited resolution being unable to render serifs subtly enough. I doubt it's still true today, what with all our fancy technologies like subpixel antialiasing and the like.

-- Wikisux 00:25, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

As I'm reading this in Arial(?), I can at least definitely state that I would prefer to have the text in some serifed font. Georgia vs. Times vs. Bookman? I'll let the experts figure that one out. But computer screen resolution has become so good in the last few years, that you can readily use the rules of visual presentation of print and transfer them to the screen. In any case, isn't it a maxim of Wikipedia, and probably Open Source altogether, that you put something out and technology will catch up? Io 00:36, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

I very much would like a serif version of the monobook skin; I'm struggling today with changing it by customization, but after chaning to serif I have to go through the whole skin and change spacing, margins etc. Please add a serif variant of a next-generation skin. ✏ Sverdrup 12:27, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

More comments

  • It seems that virtually everyone prefers a serif font.
    • Let me be the lone dissenting voice then :-) I can't stand serif and have infact disabled serif fonts in my browser.
    • I also prefer sans. I don't mind a light serif font, but most are too heavy. Times? Gaaah!
  • Everyone also seems to agree that the links are not prominent enough. They should be in a bright blue. In fact the lack of colour is very puzzling - why are we suddenly so dull and monochrome? What is that ugly grey swirly thing in the background?
    • That ugly grey swirling thing is an open book. It's what I first noticed when I bumped into the new skin, and I quite like it.
    • When reading articles, I find the color contrast between links and text distracting. I like the unobtrusive color.
    • I agree there should be link-color preferences, with the default being somewhat more prominent. +sj+
  • It is very irritating that there is no Edit button at the foot of the page, as there was in the old design. Please fix this.
    • There's an Alt-e keyboard shortcut, which might partly address your issue.
    • Definintely agree. *please* add this back into the default layout, especially since there's no shortage of space at the foot of the page. +sj+
  • Is the style junta taking notice of these comments? Is Wikipedia a democracy? Adam 03:30, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]
    • More like an anarchy :-) It is probably more effective to post skin-related comments to wikitech-l. Arvindn 06:04, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]
  • I'm pro-serif myself. Books have historically been in serifed font, before those wizards of the previous century mucked it up, and, besides, sans-serifed font makes us look too much like all those other Internet "encyclopedias". It took me a moment to realize I was looking at the real Wikipedia, and not one of our copycats. Rickyrab 15:24, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The "ugly grey swirly thing" is a book. See the full image. You can change the fonts and link colors in your own stylesheet. See m:User styles. You can add an edit link at the bottom. See m:User styles/bottom tabs. Any other problems, see m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports. Angela. 04:12, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]
Just a note -- having to change your stylesheet on every WP is a pain; having to create a user account (and figure out how to config those prefs) is non-trivial; and I also really miss color. The Standard skin needs to be maintained until many more of these issues wash out... +sj+ 08:27, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Angela, thanks for your comments. I still think there should be an Edit button at the foot of the page, since that is where most readers will be when they decide to edit the page. On the general look of the page, encyclopaedia readers do not expect to have to reconfigure their screens very time they visit. This seems to me to be yet another example of the privileging of producers over consumers which is at the heart of most of Wikipedia's problems. Adam 06:34, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Please don't override the user's choice of font: that way they can have either serif or sans-serif as they wish. -- The Anome 07:56, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

I Liked it the old way. Please change it back. This is awful. 14:43, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I feel very unhappy looking at the new layout as well. I like wikipedia for it's content, and would therefore like a layout and font that is default easily readable and does not force me to choose another browser, choose different fontsizes, or choose different settings in the site's preferences (it seems I can restore the normal look by choosing standard skin in my preferences, but for how long?).

About the serif and sans-serif dilemma: I've looked at these through quite a few browsers, and more often than not serif becomes ugly at smaller font-sizes (as with the new look). However, rather than changing to sans-serif to restore the readability, I would have preferred normal fontsizes for the main text. If there would be any small print (in navigational links or menu's) somewhere on the page, sans-serif would be advisable for those pieces of text.

I hope my standard skin setting will enable me to never see this mess again, so that I can forget about it all together. I noticed however that the main page in standard skin had changed to some sort of multi-column layout which forced me to scroll to the right, which would seem to indicate that something is amiss with the standard skin as well. --Kornelis 22:42, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

What's going on?

Who's monkeyed with the program? The Main Page no longer fits onto the screen - and there's no way to make it fit. Graphics aligned right now sit left. Tables (such as Wikipedia:Multilingual statistics) have gone crazy. Has my browser gone awry, or has the program gone crazy? Does anybody know what's going on? David Cannon 03:46, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

I had that problem once too. Try hitting refresh or hard refreshing (control+F5). →Raul654 03:51, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]
Thank you, Raul. It works now! I'm wondering whether what you've told me could be posted as a brief warning on the main page, so that anybody else encountering the same problem will know what is going on and what to do about it. Again, thank you for telling me. David Cannon 12:30, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]
The main page is very broken on the Standard skin. See this screen shot (beware, large) that I took for the myriad of things going wrong. Many other pages are exhibiting similar behavior: images go all over the place, and text that should follow the bottom linkbar are coming before it. Generally the whole appearance of the Wikipedia is broken, but I suppose that's a rant for another place. P.S., what's with showing the url after the external link. Bleh. &#151;Ed Cormany 01:53, 31 May 2004 (UTC)[]
  • I strongly object to the new design, as many of you seem to, and I second most the objections that have been made above. I'll probably get used to most of these changes over time, but not the unserifed font, which I absolutely can't stand. Are we likely to get any feedback from the people who run the site on this issue? If there really is a wide consensus that the community would prefer a serifed font, surely they'll give in and revert?

Main page image

Is that squiggly thing the Prime Minister of Iraq? Non-alignment between text and images is a chronic Main Page problem. Adam 06:34, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Standard Skin

Please make this page work properly under the standard skin! right now it's doubly wide, and the external-links-inside-mediawiki-msgs expand in a very funny way (see bottom of page). +sj+ 08:32, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Yes, I've got the same problem (doubly wide page under the standard skin) too. Please help!


Language bar

With the new skin, "other languages" shows up on the left "navigation" area toward the bottom. Shouldn't this be true on the Main Page as well, to establish consistency across the interface. dml 13:02, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Colour scheme

The colours of the "Featured article"(pink) and "ITN"(violet) do not go well with the rest of the skin, however the "Category" section (blue) is okay. How about changing at least one of the colours- either pink or violet? KRS 16:02, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]


I would prefer the blocks on the main page to have the same width. I don't see any objection to this, and this would add more symmetry to the main page.--Georg Muntingh 18:21, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

What about the side bar? The featured article and selected anniversary sections also need more space. --mav 00:16, 31 May 2004 (UTC)[]
A fixed width (as the page is now) biases the page against anyone with less than perfect eyesight (like this senior citizen) because if you zoom into the page to get the text large enough to read, half the page disappears and you have to scroll horizontally to see the rest of the page. Down with all fixed widths! GreatWhiteNortherner 17:42, 31 May 2004 (UTC)[]
That is one reason why I created the table-free Main Page. --mav

Current number of articles

Sure would be nice to have a comma in that 6 digit number that is the current number of articles. nroose Talk 18:26, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

I'm not so sure - some people like separators like that, some don't; and in some countries (but perhaps no English-speaking ones) a comma would be a decimal point, which is why some people use a space instead. Personally, I think it can be helpful in really long numbers, but anything less than 7 digits it seems a bit wasted. More importanly, that number is automatically generated, so inserting a separator would require a change to the software to work out where to put it - not difficult, but don't hold your breath amongst the fixes and enhancements to this new version. - IMSoP 21:27, 30 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Image links

A lot of images now seem to report "There are no pages that link to this image" when there really are links. The first one I noticed was Image:Airspeed Oxford.jpg which is used in Airspeed Oxford article - there are many more. --Keith Edkins 06:59, 31 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Seems OK now. --Keith Edkins 11:14, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Go to any blank page, quite literally, and it's listed as being under "Category:war". This isn't good. -- user:zanimum

Are you sure? I don't see any category tag on blank pages. Angela. 05:46, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
It was, at least. Not when you are in the editing text box area, but on the actual "Wikipedia does not have an article..." page. -- user:zanimum
It doesn't seem to be any more, in any case. --Camembert

All pages link

The Special:Allpages link is blank; can I take its link out of the main page until it's updated? --MerovingianT@Lk 02:58, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

Special:Allpages/€ works though. Maybe that could be linked to, or is there an index page that could be linked to? Angela. 05:46, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

White spaces around images on Main Page

I've noticed (in Internet Explorer at least) that the images have white spaces around them, clashing horribly with the coloured backgrounds of the sections. I suggest changing the sections to paler backgrounds until this bug has been fixed. See the example I have prepared at User:Mark/temp. - Mark 06:49, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

background change

What hapoened to the back ground of wikipedia? When was it changed to gray and why? Also I've come accross a few pages unchanged and I was wondering if that was deliberit. The new back drop looks to cold and steril. Vital component

I agree. It makes me sad now to visit WP pages. Please, if you insist on having a background image, make it lightly colorful (pastels, perhaps) and with a white or lightly-colored base shade. +sj+


Your page containing the meaning for the portuguese word desenrascanço is circulating on the internet, but there is a lack of accuracy in it, and the definition is rather insultuous to portuguese people. "Desenrascanço" is presented as the main characteristic of the portuguese people, that are referred as ignorant and under developed. The word is described as synonym for lack of planning and ignorant way of doing things, when in fact it means that one is able to solve an unexpected problem without panic. "Desenrascanço" is the contrary of "narrow mind". I can refer to you several situations that hapenned to me abroad, that explain very well what "desenrascar " means, where you can see that a portuguese presence avoided a panic situation. I hope you clarify this definition, taking into consideration not to insult the portuguese people.

C. Cordovil

CNN Anniversary

According to its website, CNN made it broadcasting debut on JANUARY 1, 1982, NOT JUNE 1, 1980! I've taken the liberty to correct this on the CNN page, add it to the "JANUARY 1" and delete it from the "JUNE 1" page.

I'm not sure what your source is, but CNN did indeed begin broadcasting June 1, 1980 (see [1]). It was "CNN2" (now known as CNN Headline News) that began broadcasting on January 1, 1982 (see [2]). I've reverted your edits. --Minesweeper 23:37, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

white outline around images

Why is there a white (uncentered) outline/border around the images on the main page? Latitudinarian

I'm getting my duct tape!!!

The Ariel font?! Ariel is horrible, IMHO. --MerovingianT@Lk 22:09, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

Now that's more like it, but I still miss good ol' Times New Roman --MerovingianT@Lk 22:21, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)