> > 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.

Sounds great. And as we discussed, the Commons front end could really do
with work too.

> 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.pdf&page=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.

Well, we have to start somewhere, even if it's an improvised solution. But
Wikimedia needs to pull its finger out at some point ... rather than
spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on new bureaucratic jobs,
creating an administrative gravy train to spend the public's donations, the
movement should invest in upgrading its interface, which is the most
visible and important part of what it does.

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.
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