Talk:Main Page

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This page is for discussing the Main Page only.

This is not a place to ask general questions.

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Redesigning the Main Page[edit]

In response to Acagastya's comments about redesigning the Wikinews Main Page via sandbox, here's my draft redesign. Compare that to the other (ugly-looking) one just for brainstorming. --George Ho (talk) 12:53, 13 May 2017 (UTC); clarified. 12:55, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

I created another draft. Almost the same outlook, but the coding is different. I'd like to copy and paste the whole code, but that may interfere the archive coding. --George Ho (talk) 13:05, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Compare the coding to that of Wikibooks and Wikisource. --George Ho (talk) 13:12, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

What is changed (all told), from the current main page? --Pi zero (talk) 13:16, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
In the latest working draft, I separated the {{Main page header}} from the table. Therefore, it can be free to grow taller or smaller or wider. Also, I eliminated class="the_table" as unnecessary; class="the_table" has borders outside the whole Main Page, so eliminating it would eliminate the borders. I broke one table into two tables; between two tables is the {{Main page portals}}. Also, I separated the "{{sisterprojects}}" and "{{Wikinewslang}}" sections from the table. However, I put the projects section above the languages one. --George Ho (talk) 13:29, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Almost forgot: In the first draft I did, I changed ! into | to de-bold the header. Even separating the header from the table also de-bolds the header. --George Ho (talk) 13:34, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Evidently, you did not work out why we really require the classes and ids you removed. For the mobile site, (which, by the way, is really good. I assume SGN designed it. Thanks a lot) it gives the feel of the five articles published recently, and one button to create the articles how it should be. Your edits (1) (2), on the other hand, added the "Welcome to Wikinews", "Donate" and other links, "Latest News", "Continents", "Categories", "recent interviews", "Original reporting", "About Wikinews", "Wikinews's best work", "Sister projects", "Wikinews in other languages" and other information which a) makes the mobile site looks congested b) should not be on a mobile site. Mobile site should me carefully designed to provide most important information (news, for a news website) and minimise clutter.
acagastya 13:49, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
It also messed up with the alignment of the lead articles.
acagastya 13:50, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Compare the mobile sites of Spanish, French, Russian Wikinews with Portuguese. And then with Catalan to see the difference.
acagastya 14:00, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Not surprising that tinkering with the main page is tricky; it's complicated markup. A general remark on the concept of decoupling different elements: it could cause strange things to happen under varying screen-size conditions.

I'm leery of making the header taller; it seems to me Wikiversity and Wikibooks don't have the same interest as Wikinews in making the header very slim (vertically). On the other hand, as pointed out, Spanish Wikinews does have a much taller header; I think I like getting straight to the current articles, though I can see how one might want to emphasize various more general facilities of the site. Perhaps that is something to revisit as we get other infrastructure improvements on-line that are now in development, so there are more interesting things to link to. On a related note, I'm working slowly on a major overhaul of our archives splash page (for the curious, User:Pi zero/Archives).

Btw: no page-specific CSS page for the main page. MediaWiki:Common.css/Main Page. The specific CSS for the main page is in MediaWiki:Common.css. --Pi zero (talk) 14:27, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

One month later[edit]

I was thinking, pi zero. How about going to mw:Project:Support desk or wmf:Staff and contractors#Technology and ask for help? Would that be okay? --George Ho (talk) 10:04, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

There are certain things to be taken care of, and asking someone who doesn't know what are the problems, restrictions, limitations, conditions (...) will not be a good idea. You can ask them to share design templates, but I strongly believe that if we are going to redesign it, it must be done by someone who knows about this project from the inside.
acagastya 10:41, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
I contacted Eloquence, the creator of the Wikinews Main Page, about this discussion. Tempodivalse (talk · contribs), the one who redesigned the page into this one of previous versions, is no longer active. I may contact others more by looking at history logs. --George Ho (talk) 16:07, 29 June 2017 (UTC); see below, 16:38, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
My err. I realized that ShakataGaNai did this version of the Main Page, while Tempodivalse redesigned most of it before ShakataGaNai. --George Ho (talk) 16:38, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
@George Ho: There's a lot of history you're missing. Eloquence and Tempodivalse each played huge, political parts in the history of the project. Neither is involved now. Both have complicated histories here, in Tempo's case I'd even say fraught. I've actually talked to Tempo in recent times, though, which is not the case with Eloquence. (Tempo doesn't go by Tempo anymore, though.) --Pi zero (talk) 17:04, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up about Tempo. If neither party is willing to be involved in the project, who else inside can redesign the Main Page? --George Ho (talk) 17:07, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
So I got the email. Not that we don't all stand on each other shoulders as we build, but yes the current main page design was mostly my re-work from 2009. So the design is going on 8+ years old. I took the initiative at the time to overhaul the homepage completely and it's stuck. For a very very long time. I also noticed that a number of the other language WN's picked up the design (and/or their own modifications there of). Honestly, I think you guys should go crazy. Rip it apart, rebuild it, make it better, throw out what sucks. You're not going to offend me and I don't think you're going to offend any of the other team - especially since most of us from that era are terribly inactive. Also keep in mind the version of Mediawiki and what was supported at the time (hell, what web technology was supported at the time) was VERY different to what ya'll got now. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 16:52, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Pi zero and Acagastya, I found Wikinews:Main Page/Test. Therefore, we can work on redesigning the Main Page in the "Test" subpage. Also, after some reworking, we can no longer use {| and |} anymore. Meanwhile, I found out Harej did some coding on the Main Page table, but the guy is inactive for two year. Thoughts? --George Ho (talk) 21:52, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

Also, I found this: Wikinews:Sandbox/Main Page compact. --George Ho (talk) 22:07, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

@George Ho: At one time or another, many folks have tinkered around with redesigning the main page. Some went further with it than others. Some were more serious than others, and that didn't always correlate with how far they went with it; I recall we once had a troll who got into that game. I think if one really wants to do it, the place to start is why. What does one want to accomplish? For my own part, left to my own devices, so many things have much higher priority I'd likely never get to it, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't help out with a well-thought-out concept. But I'm interested in an overarching purpose. --Pi zero (talk) 23:44, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
The place to start is... "why". Hmm... Here goes. What's the purpose of redesigning the Main page? I'll get to that later. Now, I shall explain my early purpose of redesigning the Main Page. I initially thought about redesigning the desktop version of the Main Page. The big grey solid border looks ugly. The font of headlines and subheaders looks less attractive. The font looks dull and bland. And all that. At least the icons look timeless. Then again, it's all about appearances. I do not know what viewers want, but thousands of users see what's on the Main Page every day. Indeed, the Main Page displays something published and newsworthy because... the project is news-oriented. Also, it is the facet of the project. Therefore, I figured that users also want a good-looking Main Page on Wikinews. Maybe if redesigned, the users would be awed and surprised, and the redesigned Main Page would attract/gain more views.

However, I only thought about desktop viewers until I realize back then that mobile users matter also. This changed or expanded my purpose of redesigning the Main Page. The mobile version has all five leading stories. I have wondered how to redesign the coding of the Main Page without affecting the mobile version and mobile users. Also, I figured that the Main Page can rely less on coding basics and more on more complex coding that is more mobile-friendly and more supportive of older browsers, like <div></div>. Then again, I mostly thought about desktop users. Other parts of the Main Page are not shown on the mobile view due to bandwidth and all that.

My current purpose of redesigning the Main Page I will explain now. Moments ago, I realize that sandbox and test pages do not display the Main Page coding in "mobile view". Therefore, I have decided to put the desktop users first for now and figure out how to redesign the Page and test the changes out for both desktop and mobile view. If the changes don't work well for the mobile view of the Main Page, we can rewrite the coding over and over until the mobile view is displayed successfully. Thoughts? --George Ho (talk) 00:37, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Almost forgot: I plan to create User:George Ho/Main Page and have it used for testing. Alternatively, I can try existing sandboxes, like Main Page/Sandbox3, Main Page/WideSandbox3, Main Page/Sandbox4, Wikinews:Sandbox/Main Page compact, or Wikinews:Main Page/Test. --George Ho (talk) 00:41, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
@George Ho:
  • "I figured that the Main Page can rely less on coding basics and more on more complex coding that is more mobile-friendly and more supportive of older browsers, like <div></div>." This sounds daunting. Is there documentation somewhere about how to write stuff for older browsers and mobile view and such? It's disturbing to think that the wiki table markup, which I would have thought was meant to provide an especially robust and widely client-compatible facility, might instead have been added to wiki markup and then effectively abandoned (which seems almost like deliberate sabotage of wiki markup).
  • If those other pages don't produce the same mobile view, why not? What is the governing principle? --Pi zero (talk) 01:10, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
--Pi zero (talk) 01:10, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
I found meta:Help:HTML in wikitext. Also, external links can provide the instructions on writing the codes. I might provide more if you need more. --George Ho (talk) 02:40, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I found out that mobile versions of Sandbox and Test subpage may not display the exact code of the current revision of the Main Page do not display well there. Maybe using Sandbox for testing doesn't work well in mobile version. --George Ho (talk) 23:47, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

Intriguing discussion about Wikiversity's Main Page is worth reading: v:Wikiversity:Colloquium#Main page learning project. --George Ho (talk) 04:47, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

Follow-up to the Mancester Arena bombing[edit]

In response to the Manchester Arena bombing at a concert by Arena Grande, there is going to be a concert, featuring Grande and other celebrities, including Take That, Coldplay and Justin Bieber. Is this worthy enough to go in Wikinews? I would think it is. The tickets for this concert sold out in a few minutes, as was broadcast on the BBC Radio Four news tonight (June 1 2017). Vorbee (talk) 19:33, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

@Vorbee: If you're interested in writing something for Wikinews, I'd recommend looking through WN:PILLARS (it's a compact overview of what we do), then WN:WRITE is a good tutorial on how to write a first article. --Pi zero (talk) 19:36, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

Selecting stories as leads (June 2017)[edit]

Seems that there have been disagreements on ordering the stories as leads. I thought that 200 deaths is a huge number, but Afghan deaths story is considered the top story. Meanwhile, the Anime expo and the posthumous marriage thing (well, I created it) are considered bigger stories than the death stories, especially in the mobile version. While the "Original report" is great, I am uncertain whether it surpasses the Sri Lanka one. Well, I don't know what readers would like to read first. --George Ho (talk) 08:55, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Maybe I'll switch the Sri Lanka and the marriage story. How's that? Therefore, the Anime expo is still the second lead. --George Ho (talk) 09:01, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Number of deaths is not an issue. Neutrality must be reflected on the main page as well. But ORs are kept higher in the list, and the other reason to keep that article about Sri Lanka in the fifth due to its length. Lead articles are not the order in which the articles were published. And it should not be monotonous.
acagastya 09:59, 4 June 2017 (UTC)
I rearranged the leads, and the changes were accepted. --George Ho (talk) 19:46, 4 June 2017 (UTC)
I seriously thought about rejecting that swap. I almost did. There's a different truck-related incident in the news now, though, so I figured making the other article less prominent might reduce confusion. And even so I almost rejected it, on grounds that the publishing reviewer had made a different call. --Pi zero (talk) 20:03, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Acagastya, would you like to review the lead selections please. Thanks. --George Ho (talk) 08:48, 12 June 2017 (UTC)