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Should we change STOWiki's current skin to the new Vector skin? (see preview links below)
- Remember, the skin can still be adjusted when it reaches the live site. In fact, members of the community can more easily test their own adjustments when it's here.
- Also note, unfortunately, that at least for the time being, a change to the new skin will mean the old ones will not be available after the change.
|I support changing to the Vector skin.||I currently oppose the change.||I abstain.|
This is a proposed default skin change for STOWiki to a heavily modified version of Vector.
Quick summary: Our current skins (STOfederation, STOklingon, STOborg) are fully custom, meaning their code, styles, and images are all unique. The code being fully custom opens us up to problems during software upgrades we wouldn't otherwise have, and sometimes it creates compatibility issues we can't solve (wikEd, for exmaple, won't work here). So far, I've worked with our hosts, Curse, to fix coding incompatibilities with the software upgrades, but the process has often not gone smoothly, leading to long delays. Also, it takes more time to update the skins and setting up ways for the community to help with this are more difficult. (So far, I've been doing the work myself.)
This modified Vector skin is proposed as a way to solve these problems. With no code changes to the Vector skin, we only have style and image problems, which we can fix without coordinating with Curse. The wiki already provides the tools we need for the community to test changes, and we admins can easily deploy desirable changes. (The sole exception is a small extension that provides a couple small features that can't be done through styles or image uploads, but the extension is non-essential unlike the custom skin code.)
- The new skin is running on sandbox wikis currently. These are links to different types of pages on the sandbox wiki so that you can see how they look.
- Note: a lot of images aren't uploaded to the sandbox wikis (particular faction images). The missing images are not a skin problem.
- The current backgrounds were only chosen to test the random background feature. Please feel free to suggest or upload backgrounds for the final version.
- The original idea behind this skin was to somewhat emulate the game's loading screen shown when loading missions and such.
- Taking community input into account, it was adapted to look more like LCARS blue hybridized with the game's user interface.
- Unfortunately, I failed to find a font with a free and open embedding license that looked like the in-game button font. The font I chose does resemble the other font used in-game, though it has a few quirks.
- Compatibility problems with new versions of MediaWiki fall into two types:
- Coding incompatibilities can be very serious, leading to delays or serious bugs, and can only be fixed with the help of Curse. This make this kind of problem difficult to fix quickly, and it's much more difficult for the larger community to help fix (since it all happens on the backend of the wiki, which we don't have access to).
- Style incompatibilities are, at worst, annoyances. (A common example is white text on a near-white background.) The community can diagnose these problems and then test and deploy fixes without any need of Curse's help. We've typically been able to fix style problems within 24 hours of them being reported.
- Our current skins (STOfederation, STOklingon, STOborg) are fully custom skins, very vulnerable to both coding and style incompatibilities when the MediaWiki software is upgraded.
- Currently, the current skins have both coding and style compatibility issues with the next version of MediaWiki (1.19), but I haven't yet investigated how serious these are or how difficult they will be to fix.
- The modified Vector skin has minimal vulnerability to coding problems (the supporting extension is not essential, nor has the PHP code for the Vector skin been modified), but style incompatibilities are still a risk.
- All known style compatibility problems with 1.19 have already been fixed.
- That said, my 1.19 sandbox still needs many of its extensions updated, and that could potentially introduce a few more style issues.
- This is based on the Vector skin packaged with MediaWiki, the software our wiki runs on.
- This version is supported by a small extension (source code here) that allows us to upload new random backgrounds and provides an embedded font for a more consistent look.
- That said, the embedded font is blocked by the NoScript extension for Firefox if the default setting isn't changed.