User talk:George D. Watson/Main Page

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Copyright violation[edit]

The file File:HSMedicine.svg, among others, is currently in use on this page, with the |link= attribute specified. As the files in question are not released into the public domain, attribution is required. This is normally fulfilled with a link to the file description page, but that's been opted out of. — μchip08 19:48, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Moved from User talk:Dendodge

The following has been moved from User talk:Dendodge.

Article count in header[edit]

I actually haven't even looked at the overall layout of User:Dendodge/Main Page, but (on my way to bed, as I am) I did notice the article count in the header, and have three remarks on it.

  • It forces the main page to be wider than my screen. That's a fail, on technical grounds.
  • Making the number of articles big seems to me to be pure self-aggrandizement — not in good taste.
  • Using PAGESINCATEGORY instead of NUMBEROFARTICLES is playing games with statistics to make us look better, which is contrary to the basic values of the project. (Since I'm sure you can't tell from those words, I'll clarify that I'm opposed to using PAGESINCATEGORY rather than NUMBEROFARTICLES. :-)

--Pi zero (talk) 02:25, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

  • Well, I hadn't considered that. I'll see what I can do to make it fit.
  • I just think it looks too plain without it in big. Most projects embolden it, but since all the header text is already bolded, I had to do something else.
  • I used PAGESINCATEGORY because that only counts published articles—there are a number of mainspace pages that are not articles, such as redirects, esp. to user/project space. I thought PAGESINCATEGORY would give a more accurate estimate.
I'll get working on the width issue in the morning (it's 3:30am—I should be asleep), and I'll wait for you to respond before trying to decide on a course of action for the others. DENDODGE 02:30, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I've taken a look.
  • The width is much better. I can squeeze my browser window down quite a bit narrower before horizontal scroll kicks in.
  • The number, although big, is now shaded, and very close in width to the word "articles" below it, both of which take the sting out of its size. Though I can't actually figure out, looking at the markup code, what makes it shaded.
  • I take the third point back, pleading in my defense that I'm an idiot. Count in category published is a lower number, and is probably the best we can generate dynamically.
The horizontal alignment of the banner tends to make the article count scrunch up against the right-hand stuff, which isn't ideal.
I am, as you'll have noticed, not even trying to take in the whole layout of the page all at once yet; I haven't even tackled the whole layout of the banner yet. As people have discovered, from time to time, when they ask me to proofread stuff they've written, I tend to pick out small details first, and then once I get past them and my victim the author thinks I'm just about satisfied, I start making comments on wider issues.
Here's another specific point. Those region buttons just below the banner, though colorfully attractive, don't seem to me to be performing a function that warrants putting them way up there. The news by region isn't that prominent an alternative view of our content. Besides which, frankly I'm embarrassed by our portal format(s). Since {{topic cat}} we now have much nicer categories than portals, and I'm very slowly piecing together a notion of what is actually wanted for a vastly improved portal format. One of these days/weeks I expect I'll start asking around about certain issues regarding leads on portals, and work up a proposal... --Pi zero (talk) 13:07, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
It's shaded because it links to Special:Statistics—I thought that would make it more useful, and take the "sting" out of its size. The article count doesn't even have to go there, really—it was just the best place I could find to put it. Feel free to suggest an alternative place.
As for the region links, I noticed, looking at most mainstream news websites, that the majority of them have region links up near the top, and I liked the look of them up there—they break up the page a little. Hopefully, by the time we get round to implementing this, the portals will be working properly (with a decent, main page like, layout and a portal MakeLead)—indeed, I intend to eventually create a template and gadget that will make the main page somewhat modular (c.f. BBC). DENDODGE 13:14, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) One problem with the current Main Page is that it detests 800x600. Granted, it's only used by sixty in every thousand users, but it's worth thinking about fixing in the new iteration (it doesn't at the moment ;)) — μchip08 13:15, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
It's used by 0.6%, which is six in every thousand, not sixty. And there are very few websites that work at that resolution, and ever fewer that also look good at more common resolutions. "My" main page goes a little narrower than the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, or Fox (i.e., all the news organisations I tested), so I'm going to mark this as WONTFIX. If you want to play around a little to find a layout that looks good at the resolutions people actually use and at 800×600, feel free. But I don't know how to go about doing that. DENDODGE 13:47, 21 April 2011 (UTC)


Yikes! Just notice you included World in those buttons. Leave that one off; it's a disaster. Portal:World is a cheap knock-off of the main page that doesn't even use Category:World, and Category:World itself is singularly useless, with no meaningful or consistent criteria for what should go in it. Both should eventually be up for deletion, but I've been biding my time while I slowly learn my way around that part of the categorization hierarchy to understand the borderline cases where Category:World gets used, and what should be done instead. --Pi zero (talk) 16:01, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

There's always Portal:Space. --Pi zero (talk) 16:02, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I was going to suggest that I replace it with Portal:Antarctica. DENDODGE 16:03, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Space is much better populated than Antarctica. --Pi zero (talk) 16:21, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I just think having various continents and world regions, and then space, will look silly. Maybe we should stick to the eight we have. DENDODGE 16:23, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I started to say those were, after all, the ones now on the main page, and of course I had to check that and discovered Central America is new. Seems reasonable, though. --Pi zero (talk) 16:36, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I was curious about why Central America was left off—is it considered a subcategory of North/South America or something, or was it just missed? DENDODGE 16:38, 21 April 2011 (UTC)


This looks clean and overall a good rework of the current design. While I think that a complete, 100% from scratch redesign will be inevitable anyway, there is a lot of potential for this design to be extended.

Three things in particular about this design:

  • The article count at the top is ... meh. It might look more in-place in the bottom or something, as it is a nice touch to show what a community-driven project has done, but it's not terribly impressive without context—if kept at the top, maybe "18,### user-written articles" or something?
  • The colors on the region bar at the top don't fit in. We are using Vector right now, which is blue and grey; while that can be boring, a rainbow of colors stands out awkwardly. In addition, I personally find Verdana to be ugly, and as it's only used there, using the default sans font should be fine.
  • Building on that last bit, a serif font for the headlines sticks out and makes us seem more print-newspaper-like. I like serifs, but using it solely there just makes it stick out oddly. fetch·comms 17:12, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I'll respond to each point in turn, to keep things simple:
  • The article count was just something I stuck in for the sake of it—most other wikis have one in the header—and gives a good indication of the size of the project. It's not something I'm particularly attached to, though, and I might find a place for it further down when it comes to redesigning the rest.
  • The colours are already gone—is it better now?
  • I'm just playing around with the leads ATM. I'm not sure that I like the serif font, either—in fact, I'll go take it out now, though I expect the finished product's will look very different anyway (I've never really liked the style we have now).
I'm not sure a drastic change is needed, TBH. I think what we have now should simply be modernised and improved upon, and hopefully made modular. However, I don't really have any special plans for what's going to happen further down the page, so it may end up looking quite different indeed. DENDODGE 20:42, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I really like the integration of the region links and the header, both location- and color-wise (and awesome hover effects). However, it makes a bit of an awkward empty space on the left—dunno if that should be left or something stuck in it (I'm hard-pressed to find something to put in there, though).
  • Too much dark blue. How about a lighter shade to match the Vector skin and our logo?
fetch·comms 02:37, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I was looking at that bit of whitespace, and I couldn't really think what to put there—the problem is, if we fill the gap, the page will develop horizontal scrolling much earlier than it does ATM (which is currently about as narrow as CNN, the BBC, Al Jazeera, Fox, etc.)—I don't really think we should go any wider, and the whitespace doesn't look awful, IMHO. If something has to go there, how about "Today's lead stories" to label the leads below or something?
I considered making it lighter, but IMO that makes it too bright, and slightly garish. I like the idea of having the dark header at the top, since it's something every MSM website has had since its inception. (Besides, I'm using Modern, and—while I regularly check the design in various other skins—it can be difficult to design for anyone other than oneself =P) DENDODGE 09:24, 23 April 2011 (UTC)


Look, it's time for a complete overhaul. This reminds me of 2007 and since we're stuck with Vector, we might as well make the best of it. I like certain elements, but's not enough. theMONO 19:58, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

There's more fiddling to come. So far, I've been focusing primarily on he header—the finished product will be equally sleek all over, I hope. DENDODGE 20:33, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I have conflicting thoughts over this, too. I really would like us to have a much more dynamic and engaging MP design, but MediaWiki was not designed to be a news platform, and we have a lot of limitations. fetch·comms 02:40, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
If we're going to do a complete redesign, might I suggest we get rid of the five article grid system and go for something a bit more fresh. Anyone have any ideas? I have to say, though, I absolutely love the header. wackywace 19:50, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, without reading this I just overhauled lead 1 and changed the arrangement a bit. I'm not entirely sure whether or not I like it yet, but it's an interesting concept, I think. Thoughts? DENDODGE 22:28, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
I like that lead arrangement; I've always wanted at least one lede with a nice big picture on there, because WN doesn't focus enough on pics. I would just suggest not-center-aligning lead one when in that format. I do like what's been done with the bottom, although two gripes: the collapsed boxes look out of place (why not make an extra two-column row and stick the languages/sister projects templates in there?); and the popular articles section looks shoved in an corner, out-of-place, and not very noticeable.
An idea: why not use the tabber interface (like the welcome template) and use that for the topics, so when someone clicks a "Crime and law" tab, for example, it brings up a DPL list of the crime and law articles, and if they click the "Education" tab, it changes to education articles?
fetch·comms 20:09, 24 April 2011 (UTC)


hi I would like to that the most popular articles be moved from under latest news headline down to between write an article and about wikinews please and create links for the news like lead 1 and lead 2 please (talk) 18:57, 20 April 2013 (UTC)