Review and deploy Timeless skin
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Assigned To
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Authored By
Paladox, Dec 31 2016

Description

Hi this is a feature request, but could we add Timeless to the wmf wikis please?

Timeless is modern skin whereas vector does not look modern.

Communities queried

WikiDiscussionStarted byDateResultDeployed
fr.wiktionarylocal consensus@DerecksonFebruary 2017
fr.wikinewslocal consensus@Mattho69February 2017
fr.wikiversitylocal consensus@DerecksonMarch 2017
commonslocal consensus@IsarraMarch 2017
en.wikisourcelocal consensus@IsarraMarch 2017
fr.wikisourcelocal consensus@TptMay 2017
he.wikisourcelocal consensus@Amire80August 2017
he.wikipedialocal consensus@Amire80August 2017
de.wikipedialocal consensus@MGCheckerAugust 2017

Related Objects

There are a very large number of changes, so older changes are hidden. Show Older Changes

Change 344789 had a related patch set uploaded (by TheDJ; owner: Dereckson):
[mediawiki/tools/release@master] Add Timeless skin

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/344789

Change 371519 had a related patch set uploaded (by TheDJ; owner: TheDJ):
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Add Timeless skin to test and mediawiki

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/371519

TheDJ added a subscriber: TheDJ.Fri, Aug 11, 7:18 PM

I revived and prepped the config patches. I hope these are all the patches that would be required.

greg added a comment.Fri, Aug 11, 8:13 PM

Annnnnnnd, here we go.

I'll have a talk with @Isarra to determine the ideal time. We can then
probably book a window before or after EU SWAT.

Nope, we're doing it now! It's happening now!

Oh :) Solved so. Congrats.

Change 344789 abandoned by Legoktm:
Add Timeless skin

Reason:
Oops sorry, I created a separate change and merged it.

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/344789

Well, there's still a chance it goes horribly wrong. I don't thiiiink it will, but...

Change 371519 merged by jenkins-bot:
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Add Timeless skin to test and mediawiki

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/371519

Mentioned in SAL (#wikimedia-operations) [2017-08-11T20:36:55Z] <legoktm@tin> Started scap: Deploying Timeless - T154371

Mentioned in SAL (#wikimedia-operations) [2017-08-11T20:42:05Z] <legoktm@tin> scap aborted: Deploying Timeless - T154371 (duration: 05m 10s)

Mentioned in SAL (#wikimedia-operations) [2017-08-11T20:46:01Z] <legoktm@tin> Started scap: Deploying Timeless (try 2) - T154371

Mentioned in SAL (#wikimedia-operations) [2017-08-11T21:40:11Z] <legoktm@tin> scap failed: LockFailedError Failed to acquire lock "/var/lock/scap.unknown-but-probably-mediawiki.lock"; owner is "legoktm"; reason is "Deploying Timeless (try 2) - T154371" (duration: 00m 00s)

Status update: The Timeless skin has been deployed to mediawiki.org/testwiki/test2wiki.

Pending no show stopper bugs, we can enable it on a few of the fr. projects in the middle of next week. @Dereckson, @Isarra, does that sound like a good idea?

Legoktm updated the task description. (Show Details)Sat, Aug 12, 3:41 AM

macro-deployed

Legoktm: Sounds good to me, but it'll be up to Dereckson or whoever to properly announce it. As much as we're surrounded by french speakers here, I'm not sure they'd be quite the right ones for this for the most part.

Or we could start with commons for maximum fallout.

Because I love testing things with RTL, I proposed making it optional on the Hebrew Wikisource.

Wargo added a subscriber: Wargo.Sat, Aug 12, 6:31 PM

@Amire80 Offer it to the community starting a village pump discussion?

@Isarra We could prepare a tech news notice to announce it will be deployed
there, and so could be tested there, and I'll open a section to the target
wikis' village pump announcing it's deployed the deployment day too.

Amire80 updated the task description. (Show Details)Sun, Aug 13, 4:41 AM

@Amire80 Offer it to the community starting a village pump discussion?

Already started :)

MGChecker added a subscriber: MGChecker.
Amire80 updated the task description. (Show Details)Mon, Aug 14, 10:36 AM

@Amire80 Offer it to the community starting a village pump discussion?

Already started :)

The response in both Hebrew Wikisource and Hebrew Wikipedia has been overwhelmingly positive till now, so whenever you're ready, it can be deployed as a non-default preference.

Thanks!

Amire80 updated the task description. (Show Details)Mon, Aug 14, 10:38 AM
Dereckson updated the task description. (Show Details)Mon, Aug 14, 1:20 PM

Timeless skin can also be deployed on the French Wikinews as an optional preference. Thanks ☺

MGChecker updated the task description. (Show Details)Mon, Aug 14, 6:54 PM
Dereckson added a comment.EditedMon, Aug 14, 10:38 PM

The four French have been notified we'll deploy this week ("Wednesday or Thursday") the theme.

I'll follow-up as soon as possible when we have the exact timeslot.

We do that in SWAT or in a dedicated window just before or after SWAT?

MGChecker updated the task description. (Show Details)Mon, Aug 14, 11:39 PM

The four French have been notified we'll deploy this week ("Wednesday or Thursday") the theme.

I'll follow-up as soon as possible when we have the exact timeslot.

We do that in SWAT or in a dedicated window just before or after SWAT?

Hebrew, too?

With this rate of requests coming, I'd say that if no big complaints are coming in the couple of weeks after the initial deployment batch, it should just be added to all sites as a non-default preference.

Change 372087 had a related patch set uploaded (by Dereckson; owner: Dereckson):
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Enable Timeless on four French wikis

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/372087

Change 372087 merged by jenkins-bot:
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Enable Timeless on four French wikis

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/372087

Dereckson added a comment.EditedWed, Aug 16, 12:07 AM

On fr.wikisource:

Change 372092 had a related patch set uploaded (by Dereckson; owner: Dereckson):
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Don't deploy Timeless on fr.wiktionary for now

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/372092

I can't activate it on any of them, neither by url param nor by user setting. If I try it on mediawiki.org, it works as expected.

Change 372092 merged by jenkins-bot:
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Don't deploy Timeless on fr.wiktionary for now

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/372092

Mentioned in SAL (#wikimedia-operations) [2017-08-16T00:38:31Z] <dereckson@tin> Synchronized wmf-config/InitialiseSettings.php: Enable Timeless on three French wikis (T154371) + Fixes for Wikidata: Remove wbq_evaluation logging, Update Wikidata property blacklist ([[Gerrit:367913]] and [[Gerrit:370846]]) (duration: 00m 53s)

Dereckson updated the task description. (Show Details)Wed, Aug 16, 12:51 AM
Dereckson added a comment.EditedWed, Aug 16, 12:53 AM

I can't activate it on any of them, neither by url param nor by user setting. If I try it on mediawiki.org, it works as expected.

You tested at 00:32 UTC, it has been deployed a 00:38 UTC. Meanwhile, it was only available on mwdebug1002 a little bit after 00:03 UTC (see https://wikitech.wikimedia.org/wiki/Debugging_in_production for context): before to deploy on the live cluster, we test it in a canary server, then if all is well, we sync it to the whole production servers (which we did at 00:38).

I've notified fr.wiktionary we need someone with sysop access there to tweak with them the on-wiki CSS code.

Not sure that I understand this: what's the reason that the deployment is halted?

Per https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionnaire:Wikidémie/août_2017#D.C3.A9ployement_de_Timeless it seems that existing on-wiki custom CSS conflicted with Timeless.

... OK... but the whole point of this non-default deployment is to find such problems, isn't it? If it's not default, and it's enabled only by adventurous early adopters, does it hurt anybody?

And does it block to further wikis? I wouldn't be surprised at all if there are more local CSS problems on other wikis with Timeless, and with other skins :)

I have not seen what happens, but the worst case is that the interface gets so messed up that users have trouble reaching the Preferences page and changing their skin back. (The page Special:Preferences has all custom CSS turned off for this reason, but if you don't know how to get there other than typing the URL this can still be problematic.) Perhaps folks just erred on the side of caution here. This should not block other deployments, I think.

In this worst case, @matmarex, you can start without preferences, but check the ?useskin=timeless there.

keep in mind WMF is breaking scripts at each code deployment
leaving a train of grumpy power users

maybe engage with this community?
maybe we need a script help desk to corral the cats?
(only for the fireproof)
but the best scripts might be candidates for incorporation

@Slowking4: Generalized incorrect statements do not help bring a discussion forward. Please see https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Phabricator/Etiquette - thanks.

@matmarex, yeah, we definitely could have deployed it as was; I just totally forgot at the time what was actually causing the problem and was too tired to think it through. So caution. But it's safe to deploy as is, no problem. Would also make the on-wiki config change easier to sort out to actuallly have it there, too.

Anyway, er, should we go ahead and do all the others next week tuesday, or what? Looks like the dewp discussion closes then too.

Isarra added a comment.EditedThu, Aug 17, 4:00 PM

I mean, do fr.wiktionary and all the rest then, +/- dewp.

dewiki will be done at Monday, 21st, so it will be just in time. Looks quite positive by now!

dewiki will be done at Monday, 21st, so it will be just in time. Looks quite positive by now!

Can hewiki and hewikisource be done at the same time?

The issue with fr.wikt was basically just an on-wiki config thing exacerbating a really stupid general bug (T173525). It's probably not the only one that could use some adjustments, though, so I went ahead and requested global interface editor rights so I can maybe just fix these sorts of things as we go in the future (at least on projects I understand at all).

Base added a subscriber: Base.Sat, Aug 19, 1:46 AM

~90 % approval at dewiki, looks like it can be deployed there.

MGChecker updated the task description. (Show Details)Mon, Aug 21, 11:48 AM
stjn added a subscriber: stjn.EditedMon, Aug 21, 6:40 PM

Was feedback from WMF Design team on this topic (T158012) met and resolved? I get the urge of the volunteers to develop something that is more modern-looking than the current skin, but I think it is fair to say that in the terms of design this new skin is lacking, to say the least. The choice of colours is completely groundless, skin does not use current conventions on typography (WMUI style guide or typographic refresh) and generally looks like a regression even from Vector.

If there is an intention to have this skin enabled as a preference globally at some point, the proper examination of its stylistic qualities is absolutely needed. This is 2017, we should not add any more skins on the basis of ‘having volunteers to maintain them’ (like it is currently with Modern, another skin that needs major local stylistic improvements to make it work with newer features, like indicators), all current and future skins should ideally be legitimately good from design standpoint and that includes having professionals involved in the design process. This honestly seems rushed in outsider’s view.

This comment is left as a feedback to latest Tech News issue, because people like to argue that having a mention in Tech News about a feature justifies its future roll-out globally without asking for feedback more directly. I am not trying to stop some communities from enabling this feature.

Browser: 2345 Browser (Chrome 47.0.2526.108)
The layout is not fine when switching to Chinese interface on the top right corner.


But curiously, after clicking the notification button, the layout turns alright. But things will be not well after opening a new page again.

Another suggestion: add a floating TOC on the right side, like what happens on Baidu Baike.
screenshot

@Alexander_Misel: Can you please file separate issues as separate tasks? See https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/How_to_report_a_bug - thanks!

Was feedback from WMF Design team on this topic (T158012) met and resolved? I get the urge of the volunteers to develop something that is more modern-looking than the current skin, but I think it is fair to say that in the terms of design this new skin is lacking, to say the least. The choice of colours is completely groundless, skin does not use current conventions on typography (WMUI style guide or typographic refresh) and generally looks like a regression even from Vector.

If there is an intention to have this skin enabled as a preference globally at some point, the proper examination of its stylistic qualities is absolutely needed.

I'd save "absolutely needed" about making a globally default preference. Making it available globally a non-default preference doesn't require too much review, although I'd appreciate every comment from professional designers (I'm not even a developer of Timeless; just an enthusiastic early adopter).

This is 2017, we should not add any more skins on the basis of ‘having volunteers to maintain them’ (like it is currently with Modern, another skin that needs major local stylistic improvements to make it work with newer features, like indicators), all current and future skins should ideally be legitimately good from design standpoint and that includes having professionals involved in the design process. This honestly seems rushed in outsider’s view.

Doesn't seem rushed to me.

It's about balancing between maintaining a stable site and trying new stuff. With Timeless till now this balance was pretty OK. It has bugs, big and important bugs, and they can be fixed, but having it deployed on more sites increases the chance that they will be fixed, and that more bugs will be reported.

Was feedback from WMF Design team on this topic (T158012) met and resolved?

Tasks have been filed, yes, and were documented on T158012. Much was brought up, however, so it may take some time to fully address it all in the final design. If you feel like anything in particular was skipped over, I recommend adding a specific task for it.

I get the urge of the volunteers to develop something that is more modern-looking than the current skin, but I think it is fair to say that in the terms of design this new skin is lacking, to say the least.

Thank you.

The choice of colours is completely groundless

That's pretty much how colour design works, yes, though it's usually not completely groundless. Primary colours were based on mwui (the UI versions of WMF colours at the time). Others (many of the greys) were simply made up on the spot as placeholders. Please add any specific comments/issues to T131992.

skin does not use current conventions on typography (WMUI style guide or typographic refresh)

The typography in Timeless is directly based on the 2014 Typography Refresh. Bear in mind, however, that much of that had to be removed from Vector over the following years due to causing various bugs, and for similar reasons its use here has also needed modification in order to maintain consistent metrics across the various fonts/layouts. More work is also needed to ensure proper behaviour across languages/scripts.

and generally looks like a regression even from Vector.

Okay. Please file tasks about specifics.

If there is an intention to have this skin enabled as a preference globally at some point, the proper examination of its stylistic qualities is absolutely needed. This is 2017, we should not add any more skins on the basis of ‘having volunteers to maintain them’ (like it is currently with Modern, another skin that needs major local stylistic improvements to make it work with newer features, like indicators), all current and future skins should ideally be legitimately good from design standpoint and that includes having professionals involved in the design process. This honestly seems rushed in outsider’s view.

> initial design began in 2013(?)
> skin was made in 2015
> discussions about deployment to pilot wikis started 2016
> purely optional skin, with no existing plans regarding making it a new default, let alone globally so
> "This seems rushed"

Okay.

@Isarra <3 and 🐐 for your work here and your ability to tolerate abuse weakly veiled as constructive criticism.


@stjn please try to keep in mind that these @names and avatars you see on phabricator are human beings who are typically volunteering their time and energy to make the Wikimedia movement better. Feedback is always appreciated, but please be more constructive. As a concrete example, "skin does not use current conventions on typography" is constructive; "in the terms of design this new skin is lacking" is not. The first statement is measurable and can be proven or refuted. The second is subjective opinion and phrased in an inflammatory manner. I don't want to start a debate that hijacks this ticket, but I'm tired of seeing unwarranted abuse in phab tasks and elsewhere in our communities.

stjn added a comment.Wed, Aug 23, 12:04 AM

I'd save "absolutely needed" about making a globally default preference. Making it available globally a non-default preference doesn't require too much review, although I'd appreciate every comment from professional designers (I'm not even a developer of Timeless; just an enthusiastic early adopter).

I disagree. We already have too many legacy skins, we should not create an environment for more future legacy skins on Wikimedia sites. The whole point of ‘Turning off outdated skins’ was in freeing developers here and in local communities from having to accommodate to the wishes of a small handful of active users.

Volunteer-developed skins tend to be left after the volunteer leaves, like current Modern which I have already mentioned, so having and listening to feedback from WMF Design team ensures that this skin would not be a one-person project and there would be willingness from future developers/designers to support its development. Even Monobook, which is used by quite a lot of people, did not have any updates to it in the last decade and is not used for testing before deployments (IIRC, there were quite basic bugs almost with each new major feature on Wikimedia sites).

The typography in Timeless is directly based on the 2014 Typography Refresh. Bear in mind, however, that much of that had to be removed from Vector over the following years due to causing various bugs, and for similar reasons its use here has also needed modification in order to maintain consistent metrics across the various fonts/layouts. More work is also needed to ensure proper behaviour across languages/scripts.

Personally, I would prefer having current Vector font stack, at least for headings. Times New Roman is not the font we should use for most of our users (i. e. on Windows) by default.

purely optional skin, with no existing plans regarding making it a new default, let alone globally so

Thank you for confirming this. The original response was left on the premise that this skin will someday be enabled as a preference in each project, which happens quite a lot with projects on Phabricator. I will try to leave more specific feedback in some of the tasks you’ve mentioned (although I think that would be repeating points from Nirzar’s feedback) and I regret that some of the things that were in the original comment could’ve rubbed the wrong way, that was not my intention and, honestly, I sympathise with your cause quite a lot.

The whole point of the original response was in ensuring that this development will go through professional feedback (and will follow it) and proper discussions in local communities before there would be an effort to enable it as a default feature. I read the existing feedback from Nirzar and thought that images in the latter slides would give this skin a much better look (with some changes, such as having a proper sidebar).

I don't want to start a debate that hijacks this ticket, but I'm tired of seeing unwarranted abuse in phab tasks and elsewhere in our communities.

To clarify why some things were said the way they were said,
a) The current power balance between Phabricator and communities expects people who are not frequent visitors of this platform to expect the worst when it comes to new experimental features and future deployments (as it was framed in Tech News). And the developers here (at large, I am not talking about the developer of this skin) like to justify the lack of concern from frequent visitors as a carte blanche.
b) I do not think that mentioning your opinion is inflammatory. I do not think that right now the skin looks good, it is my (subjective) opinion. I voiced this opinion without discrediting the author or their efforts, moreover, I said (in emphasis) that I do not have any problems with individual communities enabling this skin and my feedback mostly concerned the future and the possibility of having it as a global feature.

Johan added a subscriber: Johan.EditedWed, Aug 23, 12:13 AM

(as it was framed in Tech News)

Tech News mainly referred to the communities mentioned in the description of this task. My apologies if this was confusing – my fault, in that case.