Review and deploy Timeless skin
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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
fr.wikipedialocal consensus@DerecksonAugust 2017

Related Objects

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

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)Aug 16 2017, 12:51 AM
Dereckson added a comment.EditedAug 16 2017, 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.EditedAug 17 2017, 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.Aug 19 2017, 1:46 AM

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

MGChecker updated the task description. (Show Details)Aug 21 2017, 11:48 AM
stjn added a subscriber: stjn.EditedAug 21 2017, 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.Aug 23 2017, 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.EditedAug 23 2017, 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.

Is Timeless ready for enwiki, or should enwiki have to wait until it's added as a preference on all wikis?

TheDJ added a comment.Aug 23 2017, 8:38 AM

@Jc86035 that would be up to en.wiki at this point in time.

Jc86035 added a comment.EditedAug 23 2017, 8:49 AM

@TheDJ I have started a discussion on WP:VPT (not an RFC although one could be started soon).

@Jc86035 Why do you want to include an unhandled feature in the largest wiki? I believe that the Wikimedia should prohibit any skins besides the default. Some authors will create design of the articles for new skin. And this design will differ from the way it looks in the skin by default.

Jc86035 added a comment.EditedAug 23 2017, 12:40 PM

@Iniquity That's why I wanted to start the discussion, to gauge if the community thinks it's a good idea. Prohibiting non-default skins isn't going to happen in this decade or the next or the one after, since some editors who began in the 2000s (decade) are dearly attached to Monobook and will never use Vector or anything else.

We already have two very different default skins (Minerva and Vector) to design for, so odd article design isn't likely to be a huge issue, especially since Vector's CSS page is only 44 lines long. The body width will be narrower on some screens, but this is probably a good thing since it will dissuade Timeless-using editors from e.g. stacking images and sidebars on both the left and right of the text.

TheDJ added a comment.Aug 23 2017, 9:01 PM

@Iniquity I keep saying this to editors, but apparently it's a hard concept to grab: Not any author should ever make assumptions about the layout of the page, no matter if it is Vector, monobook, mobile (minerva) or Timeless. You get left and right and that's about it.

Not even left and right :)

Beginning and end, maybe.

TheDJ added a comment.Aug 23 2017, 9:21 PM

haha, thanks :)

Wasn't it planned to deploy Timeless to the wikis with consensus some days ago?

The next wiki is fr.wikt

Menthe added a subscriber: Menthe.EditedSep 3 2017, 10:30 PM

Hello everybody,
I want to report a new local consensus for the French Wikipedia :
https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia%3ASondage%2FTest_Timeless
The motion for deploy timeless in Wiki Fr was adopted it unanimity !! It's Wonderfull !
I hope you will take the necessary steps to deploy it as quickly as possible !!
Thank you !! Bye !

Paladox updated the task description. (Show Details)Sep 3 2017, 10:37 PM
Paladox updated the task description. (Show Details)
Paladox updated the task description. (Show Details)Sep 3 2017, 10:39 PM
Paladox updated the task description. (Show Details)Sep 3 2017, 10:46 PM
Framawiki added a subscriber: Framawiki.EditedSep 11 2017, 5:36 PM

Hello everybody,
I want to report a new local consensus for the French Wikipedia :
https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia%3ASondage%2FTest_Timeless
The motion for deploy timeless in Wiki Fr was adopted it unanimity !! It's Wonderfull !
I hope you will take the necessary steps to deploy it as quickly as possible !!
Thank you !! Bye !

As mentioned above by @Menthe, frwiki community has given the go-ahead to deploy this beta functionality.
Are there any problems blocking this deployment ? Do you allow me to deploy this in SWAT in few days ? Do we deploy for others wikis and commons at the same time, or one after another ?

Change 377310 had a related patch set uploaded (by Framawiki; owner: Framawiki):
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Enable Timeless on frwiki

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/377310

As mentioned above by @Menthe, frwiki community has given the go-ahead to deploy this beta functionality.
Are there any problems blocking this deployment ? Do you allow me to deploy this in SWAT in few days ?

Yes, you can SWAT this.

Yes, you can SWAT this.

Since there's no Morning SWAT today (?), scheduled for tomorrow 18:00 UTC (20:00 UTC+2).

I think there is no necessity anymore to wait to deploy for the other skins. I could perpare a patch adding Timeless to the remaining wikis with status so someone can merge it soon.

Change 377310 merged by jenkins-bot:
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Enable Timeless on frwiki

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/377310

Mentioned in SAL (#wikimedia-operations) [2017-09-13T18:12:08Z] <niharika29@tin> Synchronized wmf-config/InitialiseSettings.php: Enable Timeless on frwiki T154371 (duration: 00m 50s)

Framawiki updated the task description. (Show Details)Sep 13 2017, 6:22 PM
Framawiki added a comment.EditedSep 13 2017, 6:26 PM

Timeless woks well on frwiki. I'll see if there are any major returns.
If there is nothing special, I propose to deploy next week the next 5 wikis (especially commons and dewiki) unless someone does it before (@MGChecker).

Change 377864 had a related patch set uploaded (by Framawiki; owner: Framawiki):
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Enable Timeless skin on 5 wikis

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/377864

greg removed a subscriber: greg.Sep 13 2017, 8:58 PM
Dereckson updated the task description. (Show Details)Sep 18 2017, 12:05 PM
Doror updated the task description. (Show Details)Tue, Sep 26, 6:46 AM
Doror added a subscriber: Doror.

@Isarra @Framawiki I suggest we do the deployment just before or after a SWAT window, so we let the SWAT full time for other changes.

When is the best for you?

Paladox added a comment.EditedTue, Sep 26, 2:09 PM

@Dereckson or @Isarra hi, i am wondering could you start the local consensus on the en wiki for deployment there please?

Isarra added a comment.EditedTue, Sep 26, 3:03 PM

If you need me around, I recommend anything that's not US evening. Or next monday/tuesday. Other than that I'm not sure it matters too much.

@Dereckson or @Isarra hi, i am wondering could you start the local consensus on the en wiki for deployment there please?

I thought that the plan was to try this skin on some of the wikis outside of the pedias to see how well it worked, and what needed tweaking for showtime. And to facilitate that some communities went through their consensus many months ago and are still waiting to do their targeted trials.

Now people are trying to get these limited resources off to undertake consensus on other wikis? Can we just go with the plan around getting these functionality trials undertaken? Supporting enWP will just suck resources.

I don't really understand this argumentation. The worst thingg that can happen is that the skin doesn't work completely on an wiki and someone will fix it within a timespan of some weeks. As it is just an optional feature I don't see any problem there. It isn't like there would be any guarantee that this skin works perfectly.

Change 377864 had a related patch set uploaded (by Framawiki; owner: Framawiki):
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Enable Timeless skin on 5 wikis

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/377864

Added in deployments table for European Mid-day SWAT in Monday.

IKhitron added a comment.EditedTue, Oct 17, 12:45 PM

Change 377864 had a related patch set uploaded (by Framawiki; owner: Framawiki):
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Enable Timeless skin on 5 wikis

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/377864

Added in deployments table for European Mid-day SWAT in Monday.

Hi. What's up, it's already Tuesday? Thank you.

Whenever the window for those wikis winds up being, could someone give me a heads up beforehand so I can be sure to be around to fix stuff? (Note: I'm back in the US now, and only awake this week between 15:30 and 3:30 UTC and I make no guarantees about being coherent or understanding a thing about what's going on even during those hours because I'm still apparently sick, but if stuff happens before then, I can also just deal with it once up, or stuff. If you don't actually need me around, that's great too. Thank you for bearing with me. I would like to stop being sick now.)

Isarra added a comment.EditedTue, Oct 17, 8:11 PM

I submitted another grant proposal regarding getting financial support for Timeless: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:Project/Isarra/Post-deployment_support

Technically the community comments period closes today, but I've been really sick over the past two weeks and wasn't able to work on it or get word out until now, so I'm just telling all y'all now. What this means is that there is no guaranty that any input provided after today, or any changes subsequently made, will be factored into the decision to fund it, but if you can get it in within the next week, it's most likely to still apply. Nonetheless it will all be appreciated and used, so please comment, raise any concerns, and help me to work on this and get a better idea where we all stand. Even if it doesn't help this grant specifically, it is likely we may be able to use feedback/comments/support for justification for funding from other sources, or to help guide the work in general with or without funding.

I'd also appreciate it greatly if folks who speak french and whatnot could go let the relevant wiki communities know as well.

Can someone add this to en.wikipedia as an optional skin please. ~~~~

Can someone add this to en.wikipedia as an optional skin please. ~~~~

To this point in time there has been the request to point to a local consensus at the wiki for where it is being requested.