Forum:Remove arbitrary MediaWiki:Sidebar requirements

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Forums: Yew Grove > Remove arbitrary MediaWiki:Sidebar requirements
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This thread was archived on 7 January 2019 by Cqm.

On MediaWiki:Sidebar, which is used for displaying the sidebar on the left of the page, there is a requirement of "Please maintain four links per section". This was not there when the Monobook skin was available on Wikia, and was only added since the fork (I believe originally by Iiii I I I). It has been used as an argument against keeping pretty useful links (such as Special:NewFiles) on the sidebar by some people, which doesn't really seem justifiable to me. I propose that:

  1. We get rid of the dumb "Please maintain four links per section" requirement. I'd care more about quality over quantity, and if we have to remove or change links just for the sake of sticking to this arbitrary requirement then it feels pretty dumb to me
  2. We add Special:NewFiles back to the sidebar (superseding the new gadget MediaWiki:Gadget-newFiles.js which purely adds that one link to the sidebar and is a very pointless bit of JS honestly) because it's actually a very useful link, especially for finding newer images that have flaws/require retaking or transparency


Support both - jayden 22:13, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

Aye to both - Keeping things looking neat and even is nice but not if it interferes with something useful. Degenret01 (talk)

Support both - Bronze dagger.png: RS3 Inventory image of Bronze daggerElven CoreRSDragon dagger.png: RS3 Inventory image of Dragon dagger 22:35, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

Strongly oppose - It seems like the only issue here is the NewFiles link, which is back in the sidebar by default for editors and is linked in RecentChanges as well. I don't see the point in also showing it to anons or throwing off the height of the menu in reader mode. Iiii I I I 23:03, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

The NewFiles link is loaded in the sidebar using JS, which means that people without JS don't see it, because of this arbritrary requirement for having 4 links in each section. Also, I don't really care about throwing off the height of the menu in reader mode, all it'll do is add a few pixels to the height... really not a big deal at all jayden 23:09, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Same line of thinking: Recent changes, discussions, what links here, page information, browse properties (which even the average editor doesn't use), why show any of this to anons when they don't use them. The only argument being made here is based on aesthetics. Practicality should take precedence, and as Jayden says in the above comment, having it load in as JS isn't an ideal solution. iN008talk 23:21, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Because the majority of what you mentioned is under the "Tools" section, at the bottom (least priority to anons). HaidroH rune.pngEagle feather 3.pngCandle (blood red).png 1XqyDNM.png Crystal triskelion fragment 3.pngHazelmere's signet ring.png 00:37, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Support both - Per above comments from Jayden and myself. iN008talk 23:21, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

Support 1-ish, Neutral/Comment 2 - I can definitely see where ix7 is coming from, it does make it look aesthetically nice, but the hard requirement of 4 per section is a bit excessive. I think limiting it to between 3-5 maybe, the an extra line/space honestly doesn't look too bad in reader mode, anymore would start to annoy me though. As for 2, I'm actually supportive of hiding extraneous links for anons who don't need it. That said, I'm not too familiar with how affecting the JS issue Jayden mentioned would or wouldn't be. Superiosity the WikianQuick chat button.png : Sup bro 23:32, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

Support both - Per nom. Achievements Coelacanth0794 Talk Contribs 00:32, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Support both - dDbvitC.pngScuzzy Betahib8CAd.png 00:35, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Oppose both - Keep it to four because of reader mode. If one section gets a fifth then there's just extraneous whitespace. I don't see why NewFiles needs to be in the sidebar - who even clicks it? What anon or beginner editor would need that link there? Why not NewPages too? HaidroH rune.pngEagle feather 3.pngCandle (blood red).png 1XqyDNM.png Crystal triskelion fragment 3.pngHazelmere's signet ring.png 00:37, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Anyone who does anything related to imagetaking, tagging filename items with templates or categories, and people who wanna see what the new items and characters from recent updates look like, off the top of my head. Do you honestly not use it? Achievements Coelacanth0794 Talk Contribs 00:42, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
I know I don't. I can't recall using it this year. cqm talk 12:36, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
I use it often. As do others it seems. There are a lot of equally helpful links we could add there jayden 13:53, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Neautral - I see the reasons for not having more than 4, but equally I dislike seemingly arbitrary requirements. If there were 5 links per section, reader mode would look fine as far as I can tell. Are there other links that could be added to balance it out? Implementing it as a default gadget is pointless as it just circumvents the limit and makes it more confusing to figure out where the link is comming from. As such, I wholeheartedly oppose adding links via default gadgets. I'm also wondering why the tools section in reader mode is 2 links shorter than normal mode. cqm talk 12:36, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

It's a clusterfuck honestly, adding links there with JS is confusing and unnecessary when core MW supports it. jayden 13:53, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
If we agree doing so is a mess, why was it done in the first place? cqm talk 14:03, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
I don't know the specifics, I imagine the reason the gadget was made is so that people who wanted to keep 4 links per section could disable it. Gaz made the gadget, not sure who or what prompted him to jayden 14:10, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Support both - Farming-icon.png Salix of Prifddinas (Talk) Prifddinas lodestone icon.png 14:32, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Comment - I don't get the issue. The second I can't pretend to understand, but seems like something the involved people could sort out amongst themselves. The first I haven't seen any situation where this has actually caused an issue apart from having a link for Special:NewFiles, again this seems like overkill for this one issue that should have been resolved informally. In the absence of it causing any problems, I am happy for Iiii I I I to continue to maintain the aesthetics of things like this as he sees fit. I would agree that having an even number of links per section looks better. If there's a wish for more links to be added then it could always be 5 per section of have a new section added. I would however argue that having a huge load of links that make it harder for users to actually find the things that are actually relevant to them. Magic logs detail.pngIsobelJTalk page 17:36, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Support both - Fishing cape.png Kate the HuntressQuest.png 17:43, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Comment - I originally brought this up because “New images” was removed and I used it a lot as I mainly work with images. I don’t mind it being 4 per section by default per Haidro, but let it be customizable if possible, or at least have some toggles for Recent uploads/Recent Edits/Batch Upload, etc... things that some editors use more than the others. Meeeeerds msg 18:32, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Comment - The ideal scenario would be to let there be a default list of links for the sidebar, and users can customise that themselves, unless that is not doable without JS, in which case, ignore my comment. Fishing cape.png Kate the HuntressQuest.png 18:36, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
That’d be great, for now I keep my own “sidebar” on the bookmarks with the pages I mentioned and others. Meeeeerds msg 18:38, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Neutral - The appearance on the sidebar with each item being an equivalent amount of links is appealing. Having a set amount is something I am against, but allowing one set to be five where the other are four doesn't look great to me. It offsets reader mode's dropdown and I do personally use the New files link on the sidebar more than using the RecentChanges navigational text on that special page. Utilizing javascript would have been fine if it wasn't a global gadget for all users for different links. Instead we should look at such a feature as being done with an opt-in within preferences. However, I do want to keep the new files link on the sidebar without the need for personal javascript or a gadget to load it. The only section that would have a potentially different amount of links each time would be Tools since it is based on the rights for the given user. In the current display, ignoring that one section is at five links, it could be worse like the sidebar of Bulbapedia with little separation. - Ryan PM 00:49, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

Support both - Lol, what. Most wikis I've seen have what they need on the left side, regardless of the amount. This is a wiki, we provide information, the sidebar is for useful links and I don't think it's okay to trump usefulness with aesthetics. IF ANYTHING, maybe have a limit to the amount of links per section to justify having an actual section. I don't particularly find the amount of links per section pleasing to the eye, it's hardly noticeable since every link is a different length and has different capitalization... sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 03:56, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

Support-ish 1, support 2 - First of all, it's great to see the Policies link on the sidebar. Navigating the RuneScape namespace without it makes for a confusing experience imo, especially for new users. Reading through the thread, it surprises me to see that there are regular editors that barely/never use New Files, given that I use it every time I hop on the wiki. I guess that shows the difference in how we edit - most of my edits are in the File namespace but that's obviously not the case for everyone. I disagree with the idea that having New Files in the sidebar is of no use to unregistered users. Viewing recently uploaded images gives a rough idea of the wiki's conventions for taking/uploading images (e.g. using .pngs for in-game shots, naming conventions) that might go missed by an unregistered user making an account to upload an image. In my case, having the New Files link and seeing images being uploaded was what motivated me to make an account and contribute in the first place. I do get where Iiii I I I is coming from though, there's no doubt having the same number of columns per section looks better in reader mode. That's also why I only kinda support 1. I think a limit to the number of links isn't in and of itself bad, since too many links would eventually hinder usability but I think the value of having New Files on the sidebar, even for unregistered users, is more important than aesthetics in this case. Mining cape (t).png Rune14 (talk) Mining cape (t).png 08:31, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

Soft Support Both/Comment - Personally, I understand the pleasing symmetry of 4 links per section but I don't think having a section with more or less than others is unbearably hideous if the links are useful (although I don't know anything about the reader mode issue). I say soft support because, in the end, I am fairly neutral and it doesn't make a big difference to me either way. However, my ideal solution twould be (if possible and as mentioned above by others) to keep the sidebar as is by default and allow it to be customised. Is there a solution where we could add a "Custom" section at the bottom with 4 "user choice" links to match the other sections?  RS AdvLogMyles Prower  Talk 16:54, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

Support both - Talk to Kelsey 18:47, 4 January 2019 (UTC)

Support both - RuneMetrics icon.png Tyler JarretTalkLight animica.png 20:43, 4 January 2019 (UTC)

Support both - Srylius (talk) 20:52, 4 January 2019 (UTC)

Suggestion - What about the possibility of removing the "Editing" section from the navbar in Reader mode? That way we can add more editing centric links there without disturbing the appearance for readers in reader mode? svco4bY.png3Gf5N2F.png 03:03, 5 January 2019 (UTC)

I get the intent but I think the arbitrary requirement is dumb regardless because it’s clear that we might want to put more than x amount of links on other sections too. Reader mode isn’t really a problem here, there’s ways to get around that without preventing people from properly customising the sidebar jayden 03:08, 5 January 2019 (UTC)

Support both - iN008talk 15:24, 5 January 2019 (UTC)

Support both - New Files was also called New Images I believe and it was above "the wikian" which bothered me a bit in the beginning due to muscle memory. Meeeeerds msg 15:47, 5 January 2019 (UTC)

Closed - There is consensus to remove the requirement of 4 links per section and add Special:NewFiles to the sidebar. However, given the original reasons for the limit, I've modified MediaWiki:Sidebar to request that, where possible, admins altering it try to keep it balanced to ensure it doesn't end up lopsided in reader mode. cqm talk 15:08, 7 January 2019 (UTC)