Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-27 Thread Erik Moeller
On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 4:41 AM,  birgitte...@yahoo.com wrote:

 You must live in a very simplistic world, but I am afraid it does resemble 
 reality very well. Here are how some various types of things and people are 
 funded. Tool server=chapter. Developers= Mostly WMF but some chapter. 
 Marketing professionals=WMF but no chapter I am aware of. Legal 
 professionals=WMF and chapter.  Administration of fundraising campaign=WMF 
 and chapters. You will not find any bright lines in reality.

Indeed. And given the magnitude and multitude of problems we are
trying to solve as a movement, I think it's absolutely appropriate and
desirable for chapters to undertake, for example, software engineering
projects (I have reservations about infrastructure-hosting projects).
One of the advantages of our open source model is that we already have
to operate under a standard assumption that others may want to make
significant contributions without centralized management thereof, so
we _should_ be able to accommodate chapter-driven software engineering
work.

The Wikidata project is an example of this. What's notable about
Wikidata is not just that it's a very significant scale project
($1.5M in funding), but also that the funding doesn't come from the
classic contribution streams (online donations) but from a network of
funders that Wikimedia Germany brought together. The project would not
have been started or funded without Wikimedia Germany, which really
validates the importance of chapters.

Chapters indeed have the potential to build out a significant presence
to advance engineering and product development, and I'd love to see
more of that in future with regard to underrepresented technical
priorities (e.g. geo-data related functionality, quality management
tools, ProofreadPage style functionality, etc.). In addition to adding
to our overall ability to fund and manage projects, they have the
ability to recruit and build offices in their geographies, potentially
at a much lower salary cost than we do in the SF Bay Area as our
primary HQ.

The one caveat I have is that, if chapters don't contribute, as part
of this process, fully by means of participating in code review and
general MediaWiki development, there's a risk that any such
chapter-driven engineering work contributes to the overall backlog,
and requires adding to a centralized pool of resources. Moreover, a
short term project with limited funding has the potential to also add
to the long term maintenance/improvement burden for WMF.  We're trying
to manage this balance very carefully with the Wikidata project, and
we'll draw a lot of lessons from the project as it continues.

All best,
Erik
-- 
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-26 Thread Ray Saintonge

On 07/25/12 12:48 PM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:


So there were how many years of faffing about before they hired *one guy*
for this project? This is an organisation with a $20m annual budget, now
acquiring umpteen paid chapter officials.

The paid chapter officials are employees of the chapters themselves. 
The best way to bring hostility against your own pet projects is by 
being hostile towards the projects of others. What makes one project 
more deserving than another.


Ray


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-26 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 7:42 AM, Ray Saintonge sainto...@telus.net wrote:

 On 07/25/12 12:48 PM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:


 So there were how many years of faffing about before they hired *one guy*
 for this project? This is an organisation with a $20m annual budget, now
 acquiring umpteen paid chapter officials.

  The paid chapter officials are employees of the chapters themselves.



The money comes from the same pot, as you know. The chapters are funded
from the same donations as the Foundation.



 The best way to bring hostility against your own pet projects is by being
 hostile towards the projects of others. What makes one project more
 deserving than another.



Simplistically, chapters are marketing, while programmers and designers are
product development. Marketing is important, but not more so than product
development. To be fair, the Foundation is hiring product development
staff, and it's not a choice of either/or.

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Job_openings
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-26 Thread Birgitte_sb




On Jul 26, 2012, at 5:33 AM, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 7:42 AM, Ray Saintonge sainto...@telus.net wrote:
 
 On 07/25/12 12:48 PM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
 
 
 So there were how many years of faffing about before they hired *one guy*
 for this project? This is an organisation with a $20m annual budget, now
 acquiring umpteen paid chapter officials.
 
 The paid chapter officials are employees of the chapters themselves.
 
 
 
 The money comes from the same pot, as you know. The chapters are funded
 from the same donations as the Foundation.
 
 
 
 The best way to bring hostility against your own pet projects is by being
 hostile towards the projects of others. What makes one project more
 deserving than another.
 
 
 
 Simplistically, chapters are marketing, while programmers and designers are
 product development. Marketing is important, but not more so than product
 development. To be fair, the Foundation is hiring product development
 staff, and it's not a choice of either/or.
 
 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Job_openings
 

You must live in a very simplistic world, but I am afraid it does resemble 
reality very well. Here are how some various types of things and people are 
funded. Tool server=chapter. Developers= Mostly WMF but some chapter. Marketing 
professionals=WMF but no chapter I am aware of. Legal professionals=WMF and 
chapter.  Administration of fundraising campaign=WMF and chapters. You will not 
find any bright lines in reality.

Birgitte SB
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-26 Thread Ray Saintonge

On 07/26/12 4:41 AM, birgitte...@yahoo.com wrote:

On Jul 26, 2012, at 5:33 AM, Andreas Kolbejayen...@gmail.com  wrote:

On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 7:42 AM, Ray Saintongesainto...@telus.net  wrote:

On 07/25/12 12:48 PM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:

So there were how many years of faffing about before they hired *one guy*
for this project? This is an organisation with a $20m annual budget, now
acquiring umpteen paid chapter officials.

The paid chapter officials are employees of the chapters themselves.

The money comes from the same pot, as you know. The chapters are funded
from the same donations as the Foundation.

The best way to bring hostility against your own pet projects is by being
hostile towards the projects of others. What makes one project more
deserving than another.

Simplistically, chapters are marketing, while programmers and designers are
product development. Marketing is important, but not more so than product
development. To be fair, the Foundation is hiring product development
staff, and it's not a choice of either/or.

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Job_openings

You must live in a very simplistic world, but I am afraid it does resemble 
reality very well. Here are how some various types of things and people are 
funded. Tool server=chapter. Developers= Mostly WMF but some chapter. Marketing 
professionals=WMF but no chapter I am aware of. Legal professionals=WMF and 
chapter.  Administration of fundraising campaign=WMF and chapters. You will not 
find any bright lines in reality.


To this must be added work with the GLAM community. This is largely 
driven by the chapters. Their ability to contact these institutions is 
likely key to opening up access to large stores of material. It would be 
far more difficult to do this as a foreign organization.


Ray

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread Deryck Chan
I think the clear moral of this story is that, as accommodating and
reader-friendly you can be, you just can't make everyone happy.

We should listen to all opinions and suggestions, but expect to decide most
of the time that the suggestions are simply dumb or unhelpful.

On 25 July 2012 16:22, Michel Vuijlsteke wikipe...@zog.org wrote:

 On 25 July 2012 15:57, Kim Bruning k...@bruning.xs4all.nl wrote:

 
  That's default web behaviour. If you want narrower columns, just make the
  browser window narrower.
 
  * If your answer is Some people don't know how to use a browser...
  well...
ARGH
 

 Most people never resize their browser windows.
 If your answer is Most people are stupid and don't *deserve* a better
 reading experience… well, sum, yeah. There's that.


  * Else If your answer is Lets make it narrower for everyone (including
 us
  WIMPs
who *do* know how to use Windows Icons Menus and Pointers) whether they
want to or not.   I KL YOU
 

 It's not about making it narrower. It's about making it *better*.
 Analogy: Let's reduce the amount of words in the lede  Let's make the
 lede better.


  * Else If your answer is better DTPishlayout control in CSS, including
  some sane way to
do proper columnated text: YES YES, 1000 TIMES YES!
 

 Column layout on scrolling web pages doesn't make a lot of sense.
 Some additional DTP-ish layout control in CSS would be nice, sure, but
 that's not the point.


  * Else If other: Ok, go ahead, I'm listening? :-)
 

 Well, see points raised earlier. Making Wikipedia easier to read and use is
 not just mollycoddling lazy users who should know better.

 Michel
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread Deryck Chan
On 17 July 2012 00:46, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:

  I honestly don't understand why it is taking so many years to develop a
  WYSIWYG editor, for example, or a new Commons search function. Honestly,
  people, if you want to create paid jobs, don't inflate the chapter
  structure, but employ and pay a few programmers and designers.

 On 25 July 2012 16:41, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com wrote:

 I don't understand it, so it must be simple. This often turns out
 not to be the case.

 I realised both that it was an incredibly difficult problem, and that WMF
is really serious about getting on with it, when they decided to hire James
F. to take charge of the project.

Deryck
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread Gerard Meijssen
Hoi,
Most people are stupid and they still deserve a great reading experience..
Our aim is to share in the sum of all knowledge with everyone. When people
fail to read Wikipedia.. and they do..  there is a reason to do better for
them. Any effective measure that provides a better experience for all the
different screens helps us share with more people.

Even stupid people deserve to be educated... eh especially stupid people
deserve to be educated ...
Thanks,
  Gerard

On 25 July 2012 17:22, Michel Vuijlsteke wikipe...@zog.org wrote:

 On 25 July 2012 15:57, Kim Bruning k...@bruning.xs4all.nl wrote:

 
  That's default web behaviour. If you want narrower columns, just make the
  browser window narrower.
 
  * If your answer is Some people don't know how to use a browser...
  well...
ARGH
 

 Most people never resize their browser windows.
 If your answer is Most people are stupid and don't *deserve* a better
 reading experience… well, sum, yeah. There's that.


  * Else If your answer is Lets make it narrower for everyone (including
 us
  WIMPs
who *do* know how to use Windows Icons Menus and Pointers) whether they
want to or not.   I KL YOU
 

 It's not about making it narrower. It's about making it *better*.
 Analogy: Let's reduce the amount of words in the lede  Let's make the
 lede better.


  * Else If your answer is better DTPishlayout control in CSS, including
  some sane way to
do proper columnated text: YES YES, 1000 TIMES YES!
 

 Column layout on scrolling web pages doesn't make a lot of sense.
 Some additional DTP-ish layout control in CSS would be nice, sure, but
 that's not the point.


  * Else If other: Ok, go ahead, I'm listening? :-)
 

 Well, see points raised earlier. Making Wikipedia easier to read and use is
 not just mollycoddling lazy users who should know better.

 Michel
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread Thomas Morton
One of the key problems with the interface is that it doesn't do a lot to
seperate editing and reading.

I know the point is to make editing easy - and to encourage readers to
become editors. But realistically most of them will not - and we could do
significantly better in streamlining our anon. front end.

Tom

On 25 July 2012 20:33, Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijs...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hoi,
 Most people are stupid and they still deserve a great reading experience..
 Our aim is to share in the sum of all knowledge with everyone. When people
 fail to read Wikipedia.. and they do..  there is a reason to do better for
 them. Any effective measure that provides a better experience for all the
 different screens helps us share with more people.

 Even stupid people deserve to be educated... eh especially stupid people
 deserve to be educated ...
 Thanks,
   Gerard

 On 25 July 2012 17:22, Michel Vuijlsteke wikipe...@zog.org wrote:

  On 25 July 2012 15:57, Kim Bruning k...@bruning.xs4all.nl wrote:
 
  
   That's default web behaviour. If you want narrower columns, just make
 the
   browser window narrower.
  
   * If your answer is Some people don't know how to use a browser...
   well...
 ARGH
  
 
  Most people never resize their browser windows.
  If your answer is Most people are stupid and don't *deserve* a better
  reading experience… well, sum, yeah. There's that.
 
 
   * Else If your answer is Lets make it narrower for everyone (including
  us
   WIMPs
 who *do* know how to use Windows Icons Menus and Pointers) whether
 they
 want to or not.   I KL YOU
  
 
  It's not about making it narrower. It's about making it *better*.
  Analogy: Let's reduce the amount of words in the lede  Let's make
 the
  lede better.
 
 
   * Else If your answer is better DTPishlayout control in CSS, including
   some sane way to
 do proper columnated text: YES YES, 1000 TIMES YES!
  
 
  Column layout on scrolling web pages doesn't make a lot of sense.
  Some additional DTP-ish layout control in CSS would be nice, sure, but
  that's not the point.
 
 
   * Else If other: Ok, go ahead, I'm listening? :-)
  
 
  Well, see points raised earlier. Making Wikipedia easier to read and use
 is
  not just mollycoddling lazy users who should know better.
 
  Michel
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 4:45 PM, Deryck Chan deryckc...@wikimedia.hkwrote:

 On 17 July 2012 00:46, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:
 
   I honestly don't understand why it is taking so many years to develop a
   WYSIWYG editor, for example, or a new Commons search function.
 Honestly,
   people, if you want to create paid jobs, don't inflate the chapter
   structure, but employ and pay a few programmers and designers.
 
  On 25 July 2012 16:41, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com wrote:
 
  I don't understand it, so it must be simple. This often turns out
  not to be the case.




In the case of the sensible Commons search function Niabot proposed, the
problem did sound rather easy to solve.

From memory, the answer was: Everybody is busy with other stuff. Nobody
has time to look into this. We've got so much to do ...




  I realised both that it was an incredibly difficult problem, and that WMF
 is really serious about getting on with it, when they decided to hire James
 F. to take charge of the project.




So there were how many years of faffing about before they hired *one guy*
for this project? This is an organisation with a $20m annual budget, now
acquiring umpteen paid chapter officials.

Wikipedia is about as user-friendly as Wordstar was in 1985.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread David Gerard
On 25 July 2012 20:48, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:

 So there were how many years of faffing about before they hired *one guy*
 for this project? This is an organisation with a $20m annual budget, now
 acquiring umpteen paid chapter officials.
 Wikipedia is about as user-friendly as Wordstar was in 1985.


Before you start in the usual fashion of assume bad faith and
extrapolate from there, I suggest you do a bit of reading
(mediawiki.org, wikitech-l and *especially* wikitext-l) and find out
what the actual problem was and why this is actually a hard problem.
Here, I'll start you off:

1. No language definition.
2. Huge corpus of existing text in said undefined language that must
continue to work.

Now how about you stop ranting about how everyone must have just been
terrible and come back with a description in your own words of the
actual problem and what you expect would be a good plan of attack on
it. Who knows, you might come up with something new, good and useful.


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread David Gerard
On 25 July 2012 20:44, Thomas Morton morton.tho...@googlemail.com wrote:

 One of the key problems with the interface is that it doesn't do a lot to
 seperate editing and reading.
 I know the point is to make editing easy - and to encourage readers to
 become editors. But realistically most of them will not - and we could do
 significantly better in streamlining our anon. front end.


I would disagree. We need to make it easy for people to hit edit,
and we need to make it easy for them to be able to do something
useful.

(This is why I'm so disappointed the mobile app doesn't do editing,
for example. Or, indeed, some way to take a photo and quickly add it
to an article.)


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread Thomas Morton
On 25 July 2012 21:01, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 25 July 2012 20:44, Thomas Morton morton.tho...@googlemail.com wrote:

  One of the key problems with the interface is that it doesn't do a lot to
  seperate editing and reading.
  I know the point is to make editing easy - and to encourage readers to
  become editors. But realistically most of them will not - and we could do
  significantly better in streamlining our anon. front end.


 I would disagree. We need to make it easy for people to hit edit,
 and we need to make it easy for them to be able to do something
 useful.

 (This is why I'm so disappointed the mobile app doesn't do editing,
 for example. Or, indeed, some way to take a photo and quickly add it
 to an article.)


Yes.

We also need to be understanding of the 99% - the ones who just want to
read.

Our interface should suit the reader - with a prominent prompt to edit.
Which once clicked opens things up into the world of editing Wikipedia.

But if you don't click that prompt then you don't get useless fluff to
distract you.

This all ties back to my view that we don't think of the average reader
enough :)

Tom
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread Andreas Kolbe
David,

Here is a different approach. Ask the Foundation's paid programming staff
if there is ever so much for them to do that other things they know should
be done, or that other people have asked them to do, fall by the wayside;
or how often it happens that project dates slip and deadlines are not met
because they get called off their jobs to deal with something else. Things
like that.

If the programming staff (hello?) say there aren't any significant problems
of that sort, and that having their own staff that they could delegate
parts of their work to would not lead to more things getting done, but
would only result in them sitting around playing cards, I'll shut up about
this.

Andreas

On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 8:56 PM, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 25 July 2012 20:48, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:

  So there were how many years of faffing about before they hired *one guy*
  for this project? This is an organisation with a $20m annual budget, now
  acquiring umpteen paid chapter officials.
  Wikipedia is about as user-friendly as Wordstar was in 1985.


 Before you start in the usual fashion of assume bad faith and
 extrapolate from there, I suggest you do a bit of reading
 (mediawiki.org, wikitech-l and *especially* wikitext-l) and find out
 what the actual problem was and why this is actually a hard problem.
 Here, I'll start you off:

 1. No language definition.
 2. Huge corpus of existing text in said undefined language that must
 continue to work.

 Now how about you stop ranting about how everyone must have just been
 terrible and come back with a description in your own words of the
 actual problem and what you expect would be a good plan of attack on
 it. Who knows, you might come up with something new, good and useful.


 - d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread Michel Vuijlsteke
On 25 July 2012 22:04, Thomas Morton morton.tho...@googlemail.com wrote:

 On 25 July 2012 21:01, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com wrote:

  (This is why I'm so disappointed the mobile app doesn't do editing,
  for example. Or, indeed, some way to take a photo and quickly add it
  to an article.)
 
 Yes.

 We also need to be understanding of the 99% - the ones who just want to
 read.

 Our interface should suit the reader - with a prominent prompt to edit.
 Which once clicked opens things up into the world of editing Wikipedia.

 But if you don't click that prompt then you don't get useless fluff to
 distract you.

 This all ties back to my view that we don't think of the average reader
 enough :)


I totally agree.
With the one caveat that it's both tempting and dangerous to speak of or
design for the average reader.

The average car driver, as the joke goes, wants a car that's fast and
flashy, and comfortable and safe, with a large trunk and room for kids,
that looks sexy, gets great mileage and does 0-90 in however few seconds is
impressive enough. And then you end up with The Homer (
http://imgur.com/PO22S) -- a car that should in theory be everything for
everyone, but in fact is nothing for no-one. :)

And that's why interaction designers develop personas and write scenarios
of use, do mock-ups and prototypes, etc. etc.

Michel
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)

Thomas Morton, 25/07/2012 22:04:

We also need to be understanding of the 99% - the ones who just want to
read.

Our interface should suit the reader - with a prominent prompt to edit.
Which once clicked opens things up into the world of editing Wikipedia.

But if you don't click that prompt then you don't get useless fluff to
distract you.


What exactly is the fluff?
Even the most hidden toolbox links are crucial for reading articles and 
understanding them, for instance WhatLinksHere.
I'm more interested in things which try to get some of that clutter to 
be understood by and useful for readers, like the last modified 
experiment to increase history browsing (despite all the problems, of 
course).


Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread Kim Bruning
On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 09:04:46PM +0100, Thomas Morton wrote:
 
 This all ties back to my view that we don't think of the average reader
 enough :)


What do we want the average reader to do? Who do we want them to be.
Do we want them to be an encyclopedia reader, a wiki editor,
or ... something in between? 

A novel thought that!

I think that every person who comes to take something away, also
has something to bring back in. 

Actually, that's pretty much certain, sooner or later.

An encyclopedia is a starting point for research. Once you're even
just halfway researching your topic, you probably know more than the
encyclopedia does.

This is how I sometimes contributed to wikipedia early on. [1]

Rather than giving up and calling people the average reader, can
we think about how we can get them to give something back?

Sure, we probably can't get 100% of readers to give something back, but we
can definitely do better than the meager fraction-of-1% we have now. 

Our policies/procedures/work-patterns have swung a little too far
encyclopedia-ward. We need to get the pendulum swinging back
wiki-ward for a while.

sincerely,
Kim Bruning


[1] 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Lost_functionalities#Using_wikipedia_as_an_.28anonymous.29_research_tool



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread Kim Bruning
On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 09:48:50PM +0200, Svip wrote:
 Oh and here is a fun fact I have discovered over the years; reading
 large texts of a serif typeface is a lot easier than a sans-serif
 typeface.


See, I'm *not* crazy to think that! phew

That's why I still use the classic skin, it's the only skin that
has serif fonts for body text. :-/

sincerely,
Kim Bruning

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-25 Thread Mike Dupont
On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 5:37 PM, Michel Vuijlsteke wikipe...@zog.orgwrote:

 And we may want to consider if it is really _everyone_ we want
  to edit our articles.
 I don't believe you actually said this.


I would say this is a theme that I have seen on the wikipedia. People dont
have time to take new editors by the hand, for example 12 year old kids who
write articles about themselves are deleted instead of being nicely told to
turn the page into their user page for example, the list goes on and on.
mike

-- 
James Michael DuPont
Member of Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova http://flossk.org
http://flossk.orgSaving wikipedia(tm) articles from deletion
http://SpeedyDeletion.wikia.com
Contributor FOSM, the CC-BY-SA map of the world http://fosm.org
Mozilla Rep https://reps.mozilla.org/u/h4ck3rm1k3
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-16 Thread Gerard Meijssen
Hoi,
It was not a small laptop screen, the screen was big enough...

I blogged about it and included screenshots.
Thanks,
GerardM

http://ultimategerardm.blogspot.nl/2012/07/can-everybody-read-wikipedia.html

On 14 July 2012 19:21, Svip svi...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 14 July 2012 18:12, Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijs...@gmail.com wrote:

  Yesterday I wanted to make a point to a friend. I tried to do it by
 having
  the facts that are sourced in the Wikipedia article read by the person
 who
  did not have the information available. Reading the article did not
 really
  happen because of the problems with the lay-out as presented on the
 screen
  of a laptop.

 That must be a tiny laptop screen.  I really have not experienced
 Wikipedia being difficult to read, and I have read it in _any_
 browser; on phones (both smartphones and non-smartphones); text-based
 browsers; through obscure terminals, and yes laptops and desktops.
 Wikipedia is one of the few websites that actually puts its content
 above its clutter.  Essentially; if you have trouble reading
 Wikipedia, you are going have a lot of trouble browsing the web.

  Wikipedia is the encyclopaedia everyone can edit. Not everybody does
 read.
  It is like the issues with Wikibooks and Wikisource, we care about
 editing
  and the reading is largely a by product.

 Well, I personally think that is the wrong philosophy.  Wikipedia -
 and wikis in general - should be about the readers first, and the
 editors first.  Why?  Because essentially all editors are readers as
 well, and the whole reason we are all here to edit is for someone else
 to read it.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-16 Thread Magnus Manske
On Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 6:43 PM, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:
 On Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 2:15 PM, Magnus Manske
 magnusman...@googlemail.comwrote:

 Well, you asked for volunteers... ;-)

 I started a tool that would let you change the CSS easily. Edit your
 common.js user page and add (pardon the Leif Ericsson pun...) :

 importScript('MediaWiki:Live EriCSSon.js');

 Once that is done, you can use a URL parameter to use any Wikipedia
 page with a CSS stylesheet.

 I also created a demo stylesheet called explosion (as in exploded
 view), which, when used on top of vector on a wide (1600px) screen,
 uses a 900px central text column, with floating infoboxes,
 thumbnails, and TOC on the side. With Live EriCSSon, you can
 test-drive the stylesheet, like so:


 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology?useCSS=User:Magnus_Manske/explosion.css

 And this is what it will look like:


 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CSS_Stylesheet_explosion_demo_Biology.png

 All links to other wiki pages will automatically be extended with the
 URL parameter, so you can browse Wikipedia with the stylesheet without
 having to re-enter it on every page. Note that the original (vector)
 stylesheet will initially show briefly on every page :-(

 If this is something people think useful, I'll add a way to select
 from pre-defined stylesheet catalogs etc.

 Cheers,
 Magnus



 Thanks Magnus, that looks really great. This is exactly the sort of
 alternative page design I was thinking of, and that we should enable people
 to select, especially if they have a large screen -- where the lines of
 text can end up excessively long, pictures become all bunched up, and the
 text flow gets messed up.

 Of course, ideally users shouldn't have to manually edit a .js file to
 obtain this result. They should just have to click a button somewhere that
 will do it for them. Editing .js files is clunky. It's like being back in
 DOS days. A programmer may take something like that in his stride, but most
 people in Wikimedia's target group will baulk at being asked to do
 something like that, and resent it.

If people generate some more CSS files to use with my little tool, it
could be loaded by default. Might need some polishing, though.

There's now a link in the toolbox where you can specify the CSS page
you want in a dialog box; you can even make it permanent (no need
for the URL parameter anymore).

 In fact, I had to laugh the other day, when I read a Wikimedia demographic
 survey. It literally said, two-thirds of Wikipedia editors are not
 programmers. What an odd way of phrasing that!

 http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File%3AEditor_Survey_Report_-_April_2011.pdfpage=19

 Surely, the interesting fact here that most people would have reported is
 the converse, i.e. that one-third of Wikipedia editors *are* programmers.
 That's far more than in the general population, and a huge demographic
 bias. In fact, the page says that only 36% can be classified as techies,
 and that 39% of male editors can program and create their own applications
 (vs. 18% of female editors).

 We need to be a lot friendlier to the non-programming public.

I believe we can do a lot in pure CSS/JavaScript, today, not 2015.
Backend support will, of course, always trump JS hacks in the long
run, though.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-16 Thread Andreas Kolbe
It shouldn't take five years though, should it? And there are dozens
(hundreds?) of jobs in queues, waiting to be done, which can't be done
because nobody is free to do them.



On Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 12:50 AM, Tom Morris t...@tommorris.org wrote:

 On Monday, 16 July 2012 at 19:46, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
  I honestly don't understand why it is taking so many years to develop a
  WYSIWYG editor, for example, or a new Commons search function. Honestly,
  people, if you want to create paid jobs, don't inflate the chapter
  structure, but employ and pay a few programmers and designers.


 I'm no great shakes as a programmer (in fact, I'm an exceptionally lazy
 programmer), but I know why it takes so long to develop a WYSIWYG editor:
 because doing it properly is actually kind of a hard problem. And as the
 Mythical Man Month points out, you can't just keep on adding programmers if
 you want it done faster. Software development teams don't actually scale
 that well.

 --
 Tom Morris
 http://tommorris.org/



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-16 Thread Mark

On 7/16/12 7:43 PM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:

We need to be a lot friendlier to the non-programming public.

I agree that's true, but I'd also be curious how we can do that without 
falling into the trap of the user-friendly, invisible-interface 
ideology, which does it by assuming users are unable to meaningfully 
control computers, and therefore must be fed the correct results by 
experts who know how to operate computers. That way lies just a 
different version of stratification.


I'm somewhat partial to Jeannette Wing's view that computational 
thinking should attempt to decouple minutiae of programming (e.g. 
knowing how to debug C, which can be an expert skill) from the idea of 
being able to critically consider and control computers in the sense of 
executing processes (which needs to be widely available). The idea (as 
Ted Nelson also argued earlier) is to devolve as many tools as possible, 
to whatever extent possible, towards as many people as possible, which 
user-friendliness paradoxically doesn't really do (Lori Emerson has 
been pushing this argument, fwiw).


How that precisely should operate on Wikipedia is a tricky question, of 
course. I would personally like to see us better enable the potentially 
programming public, for one thing, where programming is taken in a 
broad sense.


-Mark


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-16 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 2:24 AM, Mark delir...@hackish.org wrote:

 On 7/16/12 7:43 PM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:

 We need to be a lot friendlier to the non-programming public.

  I agree that's true, but I'd also be curious how we can do that without
 falling into the trap of the user-friendly, invisible-interface ideology,
 which does it by assuming users are unable to meaningfully control
 computers, and therefore must be fed the correct results by experts who
 know how to operate computers. That way lies just a different version of
 stratification.

 I'm somewhat partial to Jeannette Wing's view that computational
 thinking should attempt to decouple minutiae of programming (e.g. knowing
 how to debug C, which can be an expert skill) from the idea of being able
 to critically consider and control computers in the sense of executing
 processes (which needs to be widely available). The idea (as Ted Nelson
 also argued earlier) is to devolve as many tools as possible, to whatever
 extent possible, towards as many people as possible, which
 user-friendliness paradoxically doesn't really do (Lori Emerson has been
 pushing this argument, fwiw).

 How that precisely should operate on Wikipedia is a tricky question, of
 course. I would personally like to see us better enable the potentially
 programming public, for one thing, where programming is taken in a broad
 sense.

 -Mark



Mark, you say knowing how to debug C, which can be an expert skill ... I
hope you are aware that about half of our overall global target audience
wouldn't even know what C is, let alone know how to write something in it
or debug it. I think I understand what you mean with user-friendliness
being potentially restrictive, and I have nothing against some advanced
functions being available to buffs: but that's really the bells and
whistles, which should come after the basics.

Take application software like MS Word – you can do all the basic stuff
just by clicking, and you don't need to know anything about programming
whatsoever. That's the basics. It's what any product that wants to survive
needs to offer. You *can* also program fairly involved macros in MS Word:
that's the bells and whistles. People who are into macro programming will
consider that a vital function, but 95% of Word users will probably never
program a macro in their lives. (If memory serves, later versions of Word
didn't even include the Developer tab with all the Visual Basic functions
in the default installation.)

User-friendliness that will make the programming-illiterate comfortable is
not a trap but an absolute must.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-15 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Sun, Jul 15, 2012 at 7:34 PM, geni geni...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 15 July 2012 14:44, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:
  The way to solve the design issue is to enable third parties to create
  alternative skins that users can install in preference over the default
  ones offered by the Foundation. Surely that's the sort of thing open
  software is about.

 err monobook.css and monobook.js or whatever they are called these days.



Gee. I'd want a webpage that shows me hundreds of different ways Wikipedia
can look – pink, green, yellow, pastel; serious, snazzy, fun or weird;
sidebar left, right, top, or bottom – created by talented designers, where
I can point and click to install the one I like in less than a minute.

Something ... you know ... user-friendly, for non-programmers.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-15 Thread geni
On 16 July 2012 02:51, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:

 Gee. I'd want a webpage that shows me hundreds of different ways Wikipedia
 can look – pink, green, yellow, pastel; serious, snazzy, fun or weird;
 sidebar left, right, top, or bottom – created by talented designers, where
 I can point and click to install the one I like in less than a minute.

 Something ... you know ... user-friendly, for non-programmers.


You appear to be confused as to what open software is all about.

In any case the need to fit around the stuff Wikipedians put in
articles limits the amount of customisation that is possible in a
practical skin.


-- 
geni

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[Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Svip
I love it when people who have no idea what they are talking about,
pretend to know what they are talking about, and then even worse, gets
submitted to Slashdot, because apparently they might know what they
are talking about.  But they don't know what they are talking about.

Person of ignorance in question:
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/07/on-the-ugliness-of-wikipedia/259747/

Megan Garber believes Wikipedia's apparently extreme ugliness to be
scaring away people.  Because, we all know what Wikipedia is about,
it's not about content, it is about layout.  Less text and more
images.

In any case, I just thought I should let you know not to change the
layout of Wikipedia because of this article.  And if any of her
recommendations is taken into account, I may get mad.  I am looking
for a Facebook-Wikipedia hybrid.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Paul Becherer
2012/7/14 Svip svi...@gmail.com:
 I love it when people who have no idea what they are talking about,
 pretend to know what they are talking about, and then even worse, gets
 submitted to Slashdot, because apparently they might know what they
 are talking about.  But they don't know what they are talking about.

 Person of ignorance in question:
 http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/07/on-the-ugliness-of-wikipedia/259747/

 Megan Garber believes Wikipedia's apparently extreme ugliness to be
 scaring away people.  Because, we all know what Wikipedia is about,
 it's not about content, it is about layout.  Less text and more
 images.

 In any case, I just thought I should let you know not to change the
 layout of Wikipedia because of this article.  And if any of her
 recommendations is taken into account, I may get mad.  I am looking
 for a Facebook-Wikipedia hybrid.

The article was an interesting read, and wasn't just about layout; it
had more to say more about *interface*, which is a more general
concept. If there's anything that can be done to increase meaningful
participation by making the interface simpler to use or
better-looking, then why should we not do that? Because we'd rather be
left alone in our own tech-savvy we-know-what's-good-for-you bubble?
Having a simpler, more user-friendly interface doesn't change us into
Facebook overnight. And if it increases actual participation, then I'd
be in favor of it.

Paul Becherer.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Milos Rancic
On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 4:25 PM, Paul Becherer p...@wmnederland.nl wrote:
 The article was an interesting read, and wasn't just about layout; it
 had more to say more about *interface*, which is a more general
 concept. If there's anything that can be done to increase meaningful
 participation by making the interface simpler to use or
 better-looking, then why should we not do that? Because we'd rather be
 left alone in our own tech-savvy we-know-what's-good-for-you bubble?
 Having a simpler, more user-friendly interface doesn't change us into
 Facebook overnight. And if it increases actual participation, then I'd
 be in favor of it.

True. BTW, I see strong connection between sentences Wikipedia is
not, and has no interest in being, Facebook. and Britannica is not,
and has no interest in being, a website -- having in mind that
Facebook is another name for social networking service.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Gerard Meijssen
Hoi,
Yesterday I wanted to make a point to a friend. I tried to do it by having
the facts that are sourced in the Wikipedia article read by the person who
did not have the information available. Reading the article did not really
happen because of the problems with the lay-out as presented on the screen
of a laptop.

Wikipedia is the encyclopaedia everyone can edit. Not everybody does read.
It is like the issues with Wikibooks and Wikisource, we care about editing
and the reading is largely a by product.
Thanks,
  Gerard

On 14 July 2012 17:14, Milos Rancic mill...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 4:25 PM, Paul Becherer p...@wmnederland.nl
 wrote:
  The article was an interesting read, and wasn't just about layout; it
  had more to say more about *interface*, which is a more general
  concept. If there's anything that can be done to increase meaningful
  participation by making the interface simpler to use or
  better-looking, then why should we not do that? Because we'd rather be
  left alone in our own tech-savvy we-know-what's-good-for-you bubble?
  Having a simpler, more user-friendly interface doesn't change us into
  Facebook overnight. And if it increases actual participation, then I'd
  be in favor of it.

 True. BTW, I see strong connection between sentences Wikipedia is
 not, and has no interest in being, Facebook. and Britannica is not,
 and has no interest in being, a website -- having in mind that
 Facebook is another name for social networking service.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Audrey Abeyta
Appearance does affect perceptions of credibility, which should be of
interest to Wikipedia. Recently, I was talking to someone who doubted
Wikipedia's validity. When I asked her if it was because the content can be
edited by anyone, she replied, No, it's the way the site looks.

On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 9:12 AM, Gerard Meijssen
gerard.meijs...@gmail.comwrote:

 Hoi,
 Yesterday I wanted to make a point to a friend. I tried to do it by having
 the facts that are sourced in the Wikipedia article read by the person who
 did not have the information available. Reading the article did not really
 happen because of the problems with the lay-out as presented on the screen
 of a laptop.

 Wikipedia is the encyclopaedia everyone can edit. Not everybody does read.
 It is like the issues with Wikibooks and Wikisource, we care about editing
 and the reading is largely a by product.
 Thanks,
   Gerard

 On 14 July 2012 17:14, Milos Rancic mill...@gmail.com wrote:

  On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 4:25 PM, Paul Becherer p...@wmnederland.nl
  wrote:
   The article was an interesting read, and wasn't just about layout; it
   had more to say more about *interface*, which is a more general
   concept. If there's anything that can be done to increase meaningful
   participation by making the interface simpler to use or
   better-looking, then why should we not do that? Because we'd rather be
   left alone in our own tech-savvy we-know-what's-good-for-you bubble?
   Having a simpler, more user-friendly interface doesn't change us into
   Facebook overnight. And if it increases actual participation, then I'd
   be in favor of it.
 
  True. BTW, I see strong connection between sentences Wikipedia is
  not, and has no interest in being, Facebook. and Britannica is not,
  and has no interest in being, a website -- having in mind that
  Facebook is another name for social networking service.
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Svip
On 14 July 2012 18:12, Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijs...@gmail.com wrote:

 Yesterday I wanted to make a point to a friend. I tried to do it by having
 the facts that are sourced in the Wikipedia article read by the person who
 did not have the information available. Reading the article did not really
 happen because of the problems with the lay-out as presented on the screen
 of a laptop.

That must be a tiny laptop screen.  I really have not experienced
Wikipedia being difficult to read, and I have read it in _any_
browser; on phones (both smartphones and non-smartphones); text-based
browsers; through obscure terminals, and yes laptops and desktops.
Wikipedia is one of the few websites that actually puts its content
above its clutter.  Essentially; if you have trouble reading
Wikipedia, you are going have a lot of trouble browsing the web.

 Wikipedia is the encyclopaedia everyone can edit. Not everybody does read.
 It is like the issues with Wikibooks and Wikisource, we care about editing
 and the reading is largely a by product.

Well, I personally think that is the wrong philosophy.  Wikipedia -
and wikis in general - should be about the readers first, and the
editors first.  Why?  Because essentially all editors are readers as
well, and the whole reason we are all here to edit is for someone else
to read it.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Svip
On 14 July 2012 19:05, Audrey Abeyta audrey.abe...@gmail.com wrote:

 Appearance does affect perceptions of credibility, which should be of
 interest to Wikipedia. Recently, I was talking to someone who doubted
 Wikipedia's validity. When I asked her if it was because the content can be
 edited by anyone, she replied, No, it's the way the site looks.

Really?  Most people I know think the exact opposite.  Wikipedia's old
web style makes it seem like a credible source, rather than websites
with all sorts of useless features, that usually contain equally
useless content.

In short; I don't think there is a problem, at least not a problem
that can be fixed.  I think it is just the natural evolution of the
web and Wikipedia.  I mean, once you have written articles on Stones
and Paper, what more is there really to cover?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Delirium

On 7/14/12 7:05 PM, Audrey Abeyta wrote:

Appearance does affect perceptions of credibility, which should be of
interest to Wikipedia. Recently, I was talking to someone who doubted
Wikipedia's validity. When I asked her if it was because the content can be
edited by anyone, she replied, No, it's the way the site looks.



I've run into this also, but I suspect part of it is self-referential: 
Wikipedia looks like a default install of MediaWiki, and therefore looks 
like many half-assed/uncustomized MediaWiki installs out there. But 
that's because we are (close to) a default install of MediaWiki! Or 
rather, the reverse: the default MediaWiki skin was borrowed from the 
one designed for Wikimedia sites.


I wonder if we'd gain a modest boost in perceptions of our design if we 
just made sure the skin used on Wikimedia sites, and the default skin 
shipped with MediaWiki, were fairly dissimilar in style.


-Mark


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Michel Vuijlsteke
On 14 July 2012 19:13, Svip svi...@gmail.com wrote:


 And I don't think Wikipedia is ugly or lacks user friendliness, which
 is the premise of this article.  And I speak from a reader's point of
 view.


In the words of a far wiser man than you or me: Yeah, well, you know,
that's just, like, your opinion, man. :)

For one thing, Wikipedia is *objectively* ugly, typography and design wise.
It is hard to read -- and that's not talking about the content, it's just
about the form. Sue, you'll get people saying that it's all a matter of
opinion, but the thing is: it's not.

We've been at this laying things out and making readable pages thing
for a couple of centuries now, and there's no dark magic involved.

(Quite apart from the main point, that we make it hard for people to engage
with the content, i.e. edit pages and add stuff.)

And we may want to consider if it is really _everyone_ we want
 to edit our articles.


I don't believe you actually said this.

Michel Vuijlsteke
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Kirill Lokshin
On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM, Svip svi...@gmail.com wrote:

 It is strange to me, that whenever we talk about Wikipedia edit
 activity being down, we never discuss the fact that most of the basic
 human knowledge articles have already been written.


I remember this claim being made when we had 2 million articles, and again
when we had 3 million, and again now that we have 4 million.  It wasn't
correct then, and it isn't correct now -- there are millions of perfectly
basic articles that still need to be written.

Consider, for example, article number 4 million:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izbat_Al_Burj.  It's a city of some 70,000
people -- is anyone really going to claim that this is a specialized
topic?

Kirill
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On Sat, 14 Jul 2012 13:37:57 -0400, Kirill Lokshin wrote:

On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM, Svip svi...@gmail.com wrote:




Consider, for example, article number 4 million:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izbat_Al_Burj.  It's a city of some 
70,000
people -- is anyone really going to claim that this is a 
specialized

topic?

Kirill


This is actually a very good example. The article was started by Dr. 
Blofield who is widely known as geostub creator. I am not going to 
discuss now whether mass creation of geostubs is good or not (this is a 
separate issue where people sometimes express strong opinions), but the 
fact is that most of his articles remain two-line stubs for years unil 
(if ever) they attract somebody's attention. Most of my own activity on 
English Wikipedia is about writing and expanding geoarticles related to 
Russia. In particular, in 2010 Dr. Blofield created one-line stubs of 
all districts of Russia (over a thousand). Those which Ezhiki and me 
worked on are in a relatively good shape, others are just waiting for us 
- it can easily take a decade until this work has been completed. But 
both Ezhiki and I are native Russian speakers and have interest in the 
subject - and in a sense this is a special skill. There is much more 
things to do in English Wikipedia for me, a Russin native speaker, a 
speaker of several other languages, an academic, somebody with a broad 
range of interests - than for a teenager who does not have any special 
skills but feels underappreciated and needs attention. And there are 
many more underappreciated teenagers around than people with my profile.


Returning to Izbat_Al_Burj article - usually a 4Mth article would get 
an enormous attention and a huge number of hits. The fact that it is 
only three paragraphs long at the time I am writing this means - I guess 
- that all information easily available in English is scarce and is 
still there. We are waiting either for a native Arabic speaker with 
access to Arabic literature, or someone who by chance has skiils in 
history, in climatology, in human geography of Egypt - in case there is 
smth special about this city which is not yet in the article. And all 
this, including knowledge of Arabic, I would call special skills.


Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Michael Peel

On 14 Jul 2012, at 14:01, Yaroslav M. Blanter wrote:

 This is actually a very good example. The article was started by Dr. Blofield 
 who is widely known as geostub creator.

Nope. Take a look in the article history - it was created manually by 
User:Mono25.

Thanks,
Mike


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On Sat, 14 Jul 2012 14:28:36 -0400, Michael Peel wrote:

On 14 Jul 2012, at 14:01, Yaroslav M. Blanter wrote:

This is actually a very good example. The article was started by Dr. 
Blofield who is widely known as geostub creator.


Nope. Take a look in the article history - it was created manually by
User:Mono25.

Thanks,
Mike



Oops, indeed, I failed to get the whole history. Sorry for that.

But this only reinforces my point, as Meno25 is a native speaker of 
Arabic.


Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Svip
On 14 July 2012 19:37, Michel Vuijlsteke wikipe...@zog.org wrote:

 On 14 July 2012 19:13, Svip svi...@gmail.com wrote:

 And I don't think Wikipedia is ugly or lacks user friendliness, which
 is the premise of this article.  And I speak from a reader's point of
 view.

 In the words of a far wiser man than you or me: Yeah, well, you know,
 that's just, like, your opinion, man. :)

 For one thing, Wikipedia is *objectively* ugly, typography and design wise.
 It is hard to read -- and that's not talking about the content, it's just
 about the form. Sue, you'll get people saying that it's all a matter of
 opinion, but the thing is: it's not.

 We've been at this laying things out and making readable pages thing
 for a couple of centuries now, and there's no dark magic involved.

 (Quite apart from the main point, that we make it hard for people to engage
 with the content, i.e. edit pages and add stuff.)

I am still not convinced that Wikipedia is any harder to read than any
other website with information.  I find Ars Technica hard to read at
times, same goes for Slashdot or Facebook, for that matter.

I try usually to fix it by enforcing narrow text for the content with
my browser window alone, but I doubt that is the main problem.  Is it
the choice of font?  Is it the font size?  Is it the usage of links in
text and footnotes everywhere?  All I hear is; it's ugly, from a
typography and design perspective, but I have yet to see some concrete
examples.

Furthermore; Wikipedia is not suppose to be a showcase of what CSS can
do with beautiful websites.  It certainly shouldn't contain more
gradients, round corners or other nonsense stuff.

 And we may want to consider if it is really _everyone_ we want
 to edit our articles.

 I don't believe you actually said this.

I did say that, and I stand by it.  There are editors out there,
although well intended, who will create more damage than good.  They
are likely to be people who are limited in technical knowledge
regarding how to edit wikis.  And those who wish to become better,
will certainly be worth it, but they are not everyone.

And let's be honest, I don't think every newcomer is looking forward
to taking an edit war with an established editor.

Fortunately, a lot are already scared away by the Manual of Style and
the wikicode itself.  There are plenty of things to scare people away
from editing Wikipedia before we get to the interface itself.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Svip
On 14 July 2012 19:37, Kirill Lokshin kirill.loks...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM, Svip svi...@gmail.com wrote:

 It is strange to me, that whenever we talk about Wikipedia edit
 activity being down, we never discuss the fact that most of the basic
 human knowledge articles have already been written.

 I remember this claim being made when we had 2 million articles, and again
 when we had 3 million, and again now that we have 4 million.  It wasn't
 correct then, and it isn't correct now -- there are millions of perfectly
 basic articles that still need to be written.

 Consider, for example, article number 4 million:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izbat_Al_Burj.  It's a city of some 70,000
 people -- is anyone really going to claim that this is a specialized
 topic?

I still stand by my statement, because I did not rule out that there
could be more general articles missing, but they would still be far
more specialised than an article on Stone or any capital city in the
world (which by the way is more specialised to begin than an article
on Stone).

And furthermore, while it was quite coincidental that it was article
number 4 million, how often do new articles of this sort occur?  And
how do we convince people that they can still write an article about a
subject we haven't written about?

I don't think we can, because it is hardly excited for most people to
write an article about Izbat Al Burj.  I mean no offence, but that's
how it is.  There are far more people interested in writing on the
Stone article.  Or an article, one might consider to be more
specialised than Izbat Al Burj, such as OR Gates.

Again; I don't believe there is a problem with the amount of editors
on Wikipedia, or at least not a problem we can fix.  It's like the
natural evolution in everything, sooner or later people were going to
stop using telegraphs, because something better arrived.  Not that
something has arrived to replace Wikipedia in purpose, but probably in
interest.  And you can't do anything about that.

But if there is a problem about people being unable to read articles
probably, then we _should_ do something about that.

Oh and here is a fun fact I have discovered over the years; reading
large texts of a serif typeface is a lot easier than a sans-serif
typeface.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread David Richfield
I really really don't get all this talk about Wikipedia being ugly.
To me it's a great example of how text really can move from markup to
a well-laid-out website with a coherent design philosophy. Wikipedia
generates results which adapt to window size very gracefully without
taking the cop-out of forcing all the content to run down the center
of the page in a fixed size. In fact,
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/07/on-the-ugliness-of-wikipedia/259747/
wastes half the page real-estate on my browser, and with the river of
content that's left in the middle, what does it do?  It reserves about
a third of it for ads.  Quite horrible really.

-- 
David Richfield
[[:User:Slashme]]

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Michel Vuijlsteke
On 14 July 2012 23:48, David Richfield davidrichfi...@gmail.com wrote:

 I really really don't get all this talk about Wikipedia being ugly.
 To me it's a great example of how text really can move from markup to
 a well-laid-out website with a coherent design philosophy. Wikipedia
 generates results which adapt to window size very gracefully without
 taking the cop-out of forcing all the content to run down the center
 of the page in a fixed size.


Okay, ugly was a poor choice of words. Ugly is subjective.

Bad typography and poor layout objectively hinders readers. It slows
reading speed and reduces comprehension -- not in some vague well yeah,
that's your word against mine way, but in an objectively scientifically
measurable way.

What Wikipedia does is not really adapting gracefully. It's adding a
padding of 1.5em to the left and right of a block of text that spans the
entire width of any available window (minus the 11em of the left panel).

There's a limit to the amount of text you can put on a line before it
becomes hard to read.

What you're calling a cop-out is not a cop-out at all. The ads, well,
they need to be there for The Atlantic to be able to pay the bills, but
increasing the number of characters per line in the text column would *not*
make the better. To the contrary: the amount of words per line is about
just right. Here, take the test yourself.

This is the article in Wikipedia layout: http://imgur.com/xinFW
This is the article as seen on The Atlantic: http://imgur.com/WH1WT
And this is the article run through Evernote Clearly: http://imgur.com/sH3HJ

Anyone can see, I hope, that the Clearly (http://evernote.com/clearly/)
version is by far the easiest and most comfortable to read. Bigger font. *
Different* font. Contrast less harsh. Fewer characters per line. Margins.
Leading. Kerning.

It's almost funny there's no article about macrotypography on Wikipedia. :)

Michel
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Andreas Kolbe
I do think the Wikimedia sites look dated, and very male, too.

One example I always think of when this issue comes up is Wikifashion:

http://wikifashion.com/wiki/Main_Page

I would love for Wikipedia to have optional skins like that, made by
graphic designers, just like you can have all sorts of bells and whistles
for your browser.

Commons is another project that has a very clunky look. I mean, look at
that main page. This is an image hosting project, for Christ's sake. I
discussed this with Magnus Manske a few weeks ago at a meet-up, and he
showed me how Flickr offers people ways to explore their new content, like
this for example, showcasing recent uploads:

http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/
http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/2012/07/

Here is Pinterest, which also has a real-time format visualising a flow of
images:

http://pinterest.com/

These sites are beautiful to look at. If Commons were properly designed,
its front end would not have hundreds of text hyperlinks, but would show
off its new images.


On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 11:42 PM, Michel Vuijlsteke wikipe...@zog.orgwrote:

 On 14 July 2012 23:48, David Richfield davidrichfi...@gmail.com wrote:

  I really really don't get all this talk about Wikipedia being ugly.
  To me it's a great example of how text really can move from markup to
  a well-laid-out website with a coherent design philosophy. Wikipedia
  generates results which adapt to window size very gracefully without
  taking the cop-out of forcing all the content to run down the center
  of the page in a fixed size.
 

 Okay, ugly was a poor choice of words. Ugly is subjective.

 Bad typography and poor layout objectively hinders readers. It slows
 reading speed and reduces comprehension -- not in some vague well yeah,
 that's your word against mine way, but in an objectively scientifically
 measurable way.

 What Wikipedia does is not really adapting gracefully. It's adding a
 padding of 1.5em to the left and right of a block of text that spans the
 entire width of any available window (minus the 11em of the left panel).

 There's a limit to the amount of text you can put on a line before it
 becomes hard to read.

 What you're calling a cop-out is not a cop-out at all. The ads, well,
 they need to be there for The Atlantic to be able to pay the bills, but
 increasing the number of characters per line in the text column would *not*
 make the better. To the contrary: the amount of words per line is about
 just right. Here, take the test yourself.

 This is the article in Wikipedia layout: http://imgur.com/xinFW
 This is the article as seen on The Atlantic: http://imgur.com/WH1WT
 And this is the article run through Evernote Clearly:
 http://imgur.com/sH3HJ

 Anyone can see, I hope, that the Clearly (http://evernote.com/clearly/)
 version is by far the easiest and most comfortable to read. Bigger font. *
 Different* font. Contrast less harsh. Fewer characters per line. Margins.
 Leading. Kerning.

 It's almost funny there's no article about macrotypography on Wikipedia. :)

 Michel
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Richard Symonds
Maybe if we ran a competition for designers to redesign the wikipedia
mainpage?

Richard Symonds
Wikimedia UK
0207 065 0992
Disclaimer viewable at
http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia:Email_disclaimer
Visit http://www.wikimedia.org.uk/ and @wikimediauk



On 14 July 2012 19:24, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:

 I do think the Wikimedia sites look dated, and very male, too.

 One example I always think of when this issue comes up is Wikifashion:

 http://wikifashion.com/wiki/Main_Page

 I would love for Wikipedia to have optional skins like that, made by
 graphic designers, just like you can have all sorts of bells and whistles
 for your browser.

 Commons is another project that has a very clunky look. I mean, look at
 that main page. This is an image hosting project, for Christ's sake. I
 discussed this with Magnus Manske a few weeks ago at a meet-up, and he
 showed me how Flickr offers people ways to explore their new content, like
 this for example, showcasing recent uploads:

 http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/
 http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/2012/07/

 Here is Pinterest, which also has a real-time format visualising a flow of
 images:

 http://pinterest.com/

 These sites are beautiful to look at. If Commons were properly designed,
 its front end would not have hundreds of text hyperlinks, but would show
 off its new images.


 On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 11:42 PM, Michel Vuijlsteke wikipe...@zog.org
 wrote:

  On 14 July 2012 23:48, David Richfield davidrichfi...@gmail.com wrote:
 
   I really really don't get all this talk about Wikipedia being ugly.
   To me it's a great example of how text really can move from markup to
   a well-laid-out website with a coherent design philosophy. Wikipedia
   generates results which adapt to window size very gracefully without
   taking the cop-out of forcing all the content to run down the center
   of the page in a fixed size.
  
 
  Okay, ugly was a poor choice of words. Ugly is subjective.
 
  Bad typography and poor layout objectively hinders readers. It slows
  reading speed and reduces comprehension -- not in some vague well yeah,
  that's your word against mine way, but in an objectively scientifically
  measurable way.
 
  What Wikipedia does is not really adapting gracefully. It's adding a
  padding of 1.5em to the left and right of a block of text that spans the
  entire width of any available window (minus the 11em of the left panel).
 
  There's a limit to the amount of text you can put on a line before it
  becomes hard to read.
 
  What you're calling a cop-out is not a cop-out at all. The ads, well,
  they need to be there for The Atlantic to be able to pay the bills, but
  increasing the number of characters per line in the text column would
 *not*
  make the better. To the contrary: the amount of words per line is about
  just right. Here, take the test yourself.
 
  This is the article in Wikipedia layout: http://imgur.com/xinFW
  This is the article as seen on The Atlantic: http://imgur.com/WH1WT
  And this is the article run through Evernote Clearly:
  http://imgur.com/sH3HJ
 
  Anyone can see, I hope, that the Clearly (http://evernote.com/clearly/)
  version is by far the easiest and most comfortable to read. Bigger font.
 *
  Different* font. Contrast less harsh. Fewer characters per line. Margins.
  Leading. Kerning.
 
  It's almost funny there's no article about macrotypography on Wikipedia.
 :)
 
  Michel
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Michel Vuijlsteke
Maybe if we used some of our millions to pay for a good designer?

Michel

On 15 July 2012 01:46, Richard Symonds richard.symo...@wikimedia.org.ukwrote:

 Maybe if we ran a competition for designers to redesign the wikipedia
 mainpage?

 Richard Symonds
 Wikimedia UK
 0207 065 0992
 Disclaimer viewable at
 http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia:Email_disclaimer
 Visit http://www.wikimedia.org.uk/ and @wikimediauk



 On 14 July 2012 19:24, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:

  I do think the Wikimedia sites look dated, and very male, too.
 
  One example I always think of when this issue comes up is Wikifashion:
 
  http://wikifashion.com/wiki/Main_Page
 
  I would love for Wikipedia to have optional skins like that, made by
  graphic designers, just like you can have all sorts of bells and whistles
  for your browser.
 
  Commons is another project that has a very clunky look. I mean, look at
  that main page. This is an image hosting project, for Christ's sake. I
  discussed this with Magnus Manske a few weeks ago at a meet-up, and he
  showed me how Flickr offers people ways to explore their new content,
 like
  this for example, showcasing recent uploads:
 
  http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/
  http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/2012/07/
 
  Here is Pinterest, which also has a real-time format visualising a flow
 of
  images:
 
  http://pinterest.com/
 
  These sites are beautiful to look at. If Commons were properly designed,
  its front end would not have hundreds of text hyperlinks, but would show
  off its new images.
 
 
  On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 11:42 PM, Michel Vuijlsteke wikipe...@zog.org
  wrote:
 
   On 14 July 2012 23:48, David Richfield davidrichfi...@gmail.com
 wrote:
  
I really really don't get all this talk about Wikipedia being ugly.
To me it's a great example of how text really can move from markup to
a well-laid-out website with a coherent design philosophy. Wikipedia
generates results which adapt to window size very gracefully without
taking the cop-out of forcing all the content to run down the center
of the page in a fixed size.
   
  
   Okay, ugly was a poor choice of words. Ugly is subjective.
  
   Bad typography and poor layout objectively hinders readers. It slows
   reading speed and reduces comprehension -- not in some vague well
 yeah,
   that's your word against mine way, but in an objectively
 scientifically
   measurable way.
  
   What Wikipedia does is not really adapting gracefully. It's adding a
   padding of 1.5em to the left and right of a block of text that spans
 the
   entire width of any available window (minus the 11em of the left
 panel).
  
   There's a limit to the amount of text you can put on a line before it
   becomes hard to read.
  
   What you're calling a cop-out is not a cop-out at all. The ads, well,
   they need to be there for The Atlantic to be able to pay the bills, but
   increasing the number of characters per line in the text column would
  *not*
   make the better. To the contrary: the amount of words per line is about
   just right. Here, take the test yourself.
  
   This is the article in Wikipedia layout: http://imgur.com/xinFW
   This is the article as seen on The Atlantic: http://imgur.com/WH1WT
   And this is the article run through Evernote Clearly:
   http://imgur.com/sH3HJ
  
   Anyone can see, I hope, that the Clearly (http://evernote.com/clearly/
 )
   version is by far the easiest and most comfortable to read. Bigger
 font.
  *
   Different* font. Contrast less harsh. Fewer characters per line.
 Margins.
   Leading. Kerning.
  
   It's almost funny there's no article about macrotypography on
 Wikipedia.
  :)
  
   Michel
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread Richard Symonds
I have had it beaten into me by the UK Board that volunteers should be at
the heart of everything ;-)

Richard Symonds
Wikimedia UK
0207 065 0992
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On 14 July 2012 19:53, Michel Vuijlsteke wikipe...@zog.org wrote:

 (Well obviously not millions for the design, I meant use some of our
 money. =))

 On 15 July 2012 01:52, Michel Vuijlsteke wikipe...@zog.org wrote:

  Maybe if we used some of our millions to pay for a good designer?
 
  Michel
 
 
  On 15 July 2012 01:46, Richard Symonds richard.symo...@wikimedia.org.uk
 wrote:
 
  Maybe if we ran a competition for designers to redesign the wikipedia
  mainpage?
 
  Richard Symonds
  Wikimedia UK
  0207 065 0992
  Disclaimer viewable at
  http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia:Email_disclaimer
  Visit http://www.wikimedia.org.uk/ and @wikimediauk
 
 
 
  On 14 July 2012 19:24, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:
 
   I do think the Wikimedia sites look dated, and very male, too.
  
   One example I always think of when this issue comes up is Wikifashion:
  
   http://wikifashion.com/wiki/Main_Page
  
   I would love for Wikipedia to have optional skins like that, made by
   graphic designers, just like you can have all sorts of bells and
  whistles
   for your browser.
  
   Commons is another project that has a very clunky look. I mean, look
 at
   that main page. This is an image hosting project, for Christ's sake. I
   discussed this with Magnus Manske a few weeks ago at a meet-up, and he
   showed me how Flickr offers people ways to explore their new content,
  like
   this for example, showcasing recent uploads:
  
   http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/
   http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/2012/07/
  
   Here is Pinterest, which also has a real-time format visualising a
 flow
  of
   images:
  
   http://pinterest.com/
  
   These sites are beautiful to look at. If Commons were properly
 designed,
   its front end would not have hundreds of text hyperlinks, but would
 show
   off its new images.
  
  
   On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 11:42 PM, Michel Vuijlsteke 
 wikipe...@zog.org
   wrote:
  
On 14 July 2012 23:48, David Richfield davidrichfi...@gmail.com
  wrote:
   
 I really really don't get all this talk about Wikipedia being
 ugly.
 To me it's a great example of how text really can move from markup
  to
 a well-laid-out website with a coherent design philosophy.
 Wikipedia
 generates results which adapt to window size very gracefully
 without
 taking the cop-out of forcing all the content to run down the
 center
 of the page in a fixed size.

   
Okay, ugly was a poor choice of words. Ugly is subjective.
   
Bad typography and poor layout objectively hinders readers. It slows
reading speed and reduces comprehension -- not in some vague well
  yeah,
that's your word against mine way, but in an objectively
  scientifically
measurable way.
   
What Wikipedia does is not really adapting gracefully. It's
 adding a
padding of 1.5em to the left and right of a block of text that spans
  the
entire width of any available window (minus the 11em of the left
  panel).
   
There's a limit to the amount of text you can put on a line before
 it
becomes hard to read.
   
What you're calling a cop-out is not a cop-out at all. The ads,
  well,
they need to be there for The Atlantic to be able to pay the bills,
  but
increasing the number of characters per line in the text column
 would
   *not*
make the better. To the contrary: the amount of words per line is
  about
just right. Here, take the test yourself.
   
This is the article in Wikipedia layout: http://imgur.com/xinFW
This is the article as seen on The Atlantic: http://imgur.com/WH1WT
And this is the article run through Evernote Clearly:
http://imgur.com/sH3HJ
   
Anyone can see, I hope, that the Clearly (
  http://evernote.com/clearly/)
version is by far the easiest and most comfortable to read. Bigger
  font.
   *
Different* font. Contrast less harsh. Fewer characters per line.
  Margins.
Leading. Kerning.
   
It's almost funny there's no article about macrotypography on
  Wikipedia.
   :)
   
Michel
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

2012-07-14 Thread geni
On 15 July 2012 00:52, Michel Vuijlsteke wikipe...@zog.org wrote:
 Maybe if we used some of our millions to pay for a good designer?


Won't work. Aside from the wikipedia forever mess that shows how
things can go wrong the En main page is firmly under the control of
the en.wikipedia community and it will change it when it is ready and
not before. Try the ang.wikipedia.org instead.

Common on the other hand is pretty much a lost cause pending a major
rewrite of mediawiki to allow it to act as a more conventional form of
image hosting software.

-- 
geni

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