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STOWiki talk:Vector skin/Archive01

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This is an archive of STOWiki talk:Vector skin.

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I've already mentioned this elsewhere but I love it. It's more unified and even more of a LCARs feel than the current skin. I'm all for implementation of it. The fact that it will resolve many technical issues is gravy from my perspective. Judging from the preview pages, I'm not sure if my current screen is wide enough, but oh well. I vote in favor of the Vector skin in any event. Rayfire 12:45, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Vector is a variable-width skin. It adjusts to the width available within a certain minimum. (You need at least enough room for the sidebar, the left and right margins, and something reasonable left over for the articles, which is the part that adjusts.) Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 13:03, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Well in that case I really have no complaints. And my compliments to who made it. Rayfire 13:13, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

I don't have much of an opinion at this point. I assume the background will vary randomly? The demo picture of a blue California sky blends too much with the blue buttons. This was obviously a great deal of work for someone (Eyes I assume?) just to give it a thumbs down. It isn't the foreground I am even concerned about. At full resolution I notice a weird granular texture at the very top.

I never cared much for LCARS style to begin with, the yellow and orange is the worst. It is not only difficult on the eyes but I believe CBS has sued companies for even using it. Google was sent a notice to remove the android app "tricorder" from its site. But sometimes all you need to do is ask permission and some companies will respond giving you a fair use agreement. So if someone could generate another preview with a dark background or no background at all, I think it appears very functional.--Sanduku tupu 04:37, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

I chose two backgrounds to test the random background feature and to test article contrast (making sure the text remained readable on the semitransparent black, no matter how bright the background). That's why I picked a light and a dark background. I'm figuring we'll pick different ones for the live site (I don't care for the logos on that Starfleet Academy background anyway). I was hoping the community might contribute some backgrounds, in much the same way that MatthewM has been contributing random banners for our current skins.
And yes, this was mostly my work. Credit for the new logo goes to Zutty, though.
As for the granular texture on top, that could go. I was originally planning on having random numbers up there like in the LCARS-style loading screen in-game, but ending up deciding against it, so there's no longer any need to contrast with a foreground element up there. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 10:25, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Personally I prefer the current skins, which closely mimic the STO in-game interface. MikeWard1701 12:15, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

I love the vector skin better than the current skins. They feel much more modern and trekkish, and as said before, they have more of a LCARS feel to them. I recommend making the switch-over. awesomesocks42 23:13, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

I get laggy scrolling in Steam Overlay or on my netbook. I think it's the new (transparent non-scrolling) background. This will probably worsen when the site goes live (with banner ads). --GregBFM 23:18, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

The headlines for different boxes (e.g., on the mainpage) are too large. decrease the font size. --Akira-sensei 11:41, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Would it be possible to make the menu-system to the left, and the header on top "fixed" so that they are always there, while you scroll down the content in the main box to the right? Makes it rather cumbersome, to have to scroll up every time, if reading long articles. -- Darkthunder 17:23, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Strictly speaking, yes, but there are too many practical problems for this to be a good idea. The biggest is that the sidebar can't be guaranteed to be small enough to appear entirely above the fold, especially on widescreen displays. The number of links in the Operations section can vary quite a bit with your user permissions and depending on what page you're at. Also, the kind of method we'd need to use wouldn't allow it to scroll smoothly; it'd just suddenly reappear when you stopped scrolling. And that's assuming I can get all those elements to move without affecting the page layout anyway. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 12:08, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi, just my two cents: I find the new skin not very pleasing from an aesthetic pov. I know the technical background of why a new skin would be preferable for our host Curse, but I personally feel this would be a step backwards. A flexible width skin is not very readable. Also, I feel the Preview skin tries to do too much at once visually, putting technology before usability (i.e. the large-scale use of graphics with transparency). There are no clear lines, that the eye can follow easily. I'm really sorry, that I'm so outspoken against the design, especially knowing how much time and effort Eyes has put into it and the wiki in the past months. I do not want to devalue any of that work. Regards, --RachelGarrett 20:57, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

I greatly prefer the current one over the proposed Vector skin - the simplistic design and limited palette is actually easier on the eyes and more efficient, whereas there is simply too much going on in the Vector design with the faux LCARS and busy background. --Sumghai 23:11, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Every Star Trek website should have its own feel, its own PERSONALITY. The new Vector skin looks, to me, like a blue version of Memory Gamma. When I come to StoWiki, I want to see something special. The current form is just fine, why fix it if it ain't broke? --awesomebuffalo12 13:31, July 18 2012

Love the look of the Vector set, looks a lot more like the LCARS interface we all got used to in TNG.
I also like ANY change that allows the site to adjust for the width of screens. (Current skin has massive wasted blank spaces on left and right on my 1080p screen)
DazzaJay 07:17PM 24 July 2012 (GMT+10)

Colors[edit source]

The current version is definitely easier on the eyes. I would suggest darkening the blue a little bit more (like the current color scheme/the in-game interface). I have the feeling the menu pops out way too much currently, distracting very much from the main content. --Backyardserenade 13:23, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

I just saw the second demo, looks pretty good to me. Just as long at it is functional I have no problems. Just don't go cloning TOS displays, I don't know how you would do analog readouts anyways. That scope Spock used always gave me a headache. But seriously, the color scheme seems to flow well. --Sanduku tupu 13:49, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
I strongly agree with Backyardserenade, but disagree with Sanduku. I also find high-contrast bright blue/cyan border colors to be harsh on the eyes. Also, please remove the borders from the individual navigation links. They are distracting. I suggest instead having the LCARS "swish bar" extend vertically downward, to provide a background for textual nav links. --GregBFM 23:18, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

As it stands, the header font is too big in some areas; it frequently clips below a header line, and sometimes onto the text below. KarikaCommunicator 12:05, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Agreed with Karika. I feel the header font size is distracting from the content itself.--GregBFM 23:18, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

I find it very difficult to read (particularly the sidebars) and both much too busy and too spread out at the same time. The current designs are far easier on the eyes. --Shadowfist23 02:49, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Being a tech admin on another wiki, I completely understand the administrative desire to go to a new skin that doesn't have to be tweaked so much every time your host makes an update. In principle, I'm not opposed to looking for a layout that will reduce this wiki's tech admin's workload. Unfortunately, the proposed skin ain't it.
I join with Shadowfist23's opinion in its entirety. There are definitely tweaks I personally would make to the current design — I hate, for instance, how the editing area is kept in the same color scheme as the rest of the wiki; the editing box should be light background/dark text with a monospaced font for maximum readability. But the overall design of the current layout is, in my estimation, far superior. It's better that the wiki look like Star Trek Online than Star Trek: The Next Generation. An LCARS design is precisely the wrong visual metaphor for this wiki.
Finally, a variable-width design is a bad idea these days. The site should look more or less the same for someone with a 17" monitor as it does for someone with a 30". Variable-width designs promote little "editing wars" between editors. A person who sees the site at 600px width is very likely to position elements on a page differently than someone who sees it at 1500 px. Far better for unified design to keep everyone's width the same.
If you tried a more literal translation of this current blue-on-blue design, I'd be more supportive. CzechOut 13:09, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
The new scheme is nice but the new look could use come changes to the color to be a bit more like this current scheme. The fonts kinda hard on the eyes as the spacing is huge so if you just want to look at the infobox, your eyes have to fly across the screen. I really like the current tight neat design we have at the moment but if its easier for to host then I'm all for it, just needs to have some changes to make it more aesthetically pleasing. --Admiral Drake 04:10, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

The biggest thing I noticed about the colors of the new scheme, if you compare them to the new, is that they are very flat blocks of color. Looking at the current skin, all of the boxes, buttons, and outlines, have subtle gradients applied to their colors, making them look more professional. The current scheme is much easier on the eyes.

As well, the fonts used in the new skin are (in my opinion) much less attractive.

To be perfectly honest, the current skin bears a marked similarity to the look of the game itself, which is a good thing for a site like this, while the new skin looks more like (no disrespect to the creator) a generic Star Trek fanpage from a number of years ago, back when the web was less graphically intensive.

Plainly put, the current skin just has a more professional look to it, in my opinion. And if the major reason for switching to a new skin was to ease the burden on the tech admins when upgrades are performed, I don't see the problem in building a new skin that would accomplish this, while keeping the look of the current one. Wytecastl 05:14, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Adjustments coming soon[edit source]

I'll work on making the requested adjustments early in the morning tomorrow, and then leave the comment period open for a few more days. I'm tentatively planning to open the vote on Tuesday-ish, depending on response and such. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 12:15, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

All right, I believe that covers the requested adjustments. No screenshots yet, but feel free to use the preview links on the subject page to check it out. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 13:14, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Looks much nicer now. A few comments:
  1. The Search bar and its associated buttons are clipping into the body slightly.
  2. Some headers are still clipping, mostly the g's and y's (not that big of a deal)
  3. The text in the tabs isn't centered, CSS ids pt-login, ca-nstab-* in particular
  4. The tails of some of the g's in the sidebar are disappearing.
I can provide a screenshot if you would like. KarikaCommunicator 14:37, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

On the example System Page the text marked as "missiontext" (for the system description) cannot be identified as such (i.e. no bounding box, indentation). --Akira-sensei 10:01, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

Some further tweaks have been made. Should solve all of these issues, except definitely Karika's 3 (because I'm not sure if this is a bug report or suggestion... the text being right-aligned in buttons with a minimum width is intended) and I can't tell if the changes fixed 4 because I couldn't replicate the problem. (I've seen it once before, though, and I think the line-height and margin adjustment I made will probably fix it since a smaller adjustment had made the tails visible for me. I simply can't verify it.) Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 16:45, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
The Links in the navigation bar on the left do slightly intersect with their bounding box.
AND: By default, the vector skin should stay at the standard display width. Looks horrible when it automatically adjusts to my 26 inch-display... --Akira-sensei 20:30, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm not really liking the font for the headers and the left bar. It looks like the characters do not consistently stop at the same bottom line. As I zoom in and out, for example, the C and n go above and below the same horizontal level as the t and i, at some zoom levels they are the same, at others they are not. The old font didn't exhibit this problem. Also, the font seems to be more crowded at the same zoom level, making it a little harder to read. I don't care for the wide LCARS "bars" on either side of text boxes, they just seem to add distracting visual clutter. The slightly transparent, stippled black background is OK with me. Can the Page, Discussion, etc. buttons be moved up to the ---ONLINE--- horizontal bar? The problem with the g tails can be seen if you zoom out 1 level on firefox. It looks like the top of the button below is erasing the bottom of the g. Richardhendricks 19:52, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Procedural question[edit source]

The vote at STOWiki:Vector skin has been running more or less even since it started. So I'm just wondering what the endgame is here. Is it a simple majority vote, whereby a 16-15 vote for change means we change? Is it an attempt to find consensus, which is not at all the same thing as a majority vote? If it remains basically evenly split, does that mean that — as on Wikipedia — it'll be regarded as "no clear consensus" and therefore no change will occur? Is it something that would take a really resounding "no change" vote to stop, because the technical advantages to change are clear?

What, in other words, are the rules we're playing by? CzechOut 13:04, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm not particularly comfortable with just proceeding with the change on a narrow majority myself. Right now, assuming the vote stays roughly as divided as it has been, I'm tentatively figuring on this outcome:
  • The changeover would be delayed pending some voting and discussion on some specific changes to the skin.
  • The current look of the skin will be saved and released as a gadget (or a few gadgets) that registered users could select in their preferences when the changeover occurs.
  • How we proceed after that will probably depend on whatever comments are raised after further changes to the skin.
But anyway, unless there's a much clearer majority in support by the time the vote ends, I won't be suggesting an immediate change. The exception would be if I got notice we were getting upgraded to 1.19 soon, because that would force us to either switch or fix the current skins' compatibility issues. I don't think that'll happen soon. I think Curse is occupied with another project currently. That said, I've guessed wrong on upgrades before and was caught only being prepared for an upgrade to 1.17, but we skipped that version entirely in the last upgrade. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 13:37, 24 July 2012 (UTC)


Also, I'm not sure, I'm comfortable with the suspicious number of votes from accounts which have no edit history at all (on both sides). We should filter out those, who did not have an account, when the vote started, i.e. consider only the user base. I didn't count the cleaned up votes, but I would think that there might be a clearer majority in favor of the change then. Regards, --RachelGarrett 21:36, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
FYI: The following users have only edited the pages STOWiki:Vector skin, STOWiki talk:Vector skin and/or their own user pages: User:Berthulf, User:Wytecastl, User:CheeseofBorg, User:Aaron mcgrath1, User:Darkthunder, User:Flatline, User:Alex Orange, User:Boby, User:DWolf2k2, User:Magictw77, User:Uberwitcher, User:Pokekid9.
That would leave us with 14 votes in favor of the new skin and 13 against it. Still close^^ --Akira-sensei 20:26, 1 August 2012 (UTC)