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117878Re: Pain at Vim Tips wiki

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  • Tony Mechelynck
    Sep 30, 2010
      On 01/10/10 04:19, John Beckett wrote:
      > So everyone can share the pain, here is advance notice of what
      > Wikia are planning for the Vim Tips wiki http://vim.wikia.com/
      > Wikia have several large wikis (much larger than ours), with
      > often young participants. Wikia want to boost kiddie
      > participation, which leads to more page views on wikia.com (they
      > don't care which wiki, so long as it's at wikia.com), and longer
      > visits. More page views and longer visits lead to much greater
      > advert revenue.
      > Wikia will switch all wikis to a new "Wikia" skin on November 3.
      > Other skins will NOT be possible (any preference settings will
      > be ignored).
      > The new skin features:
      > - FIXED WIDTH article content of 660 pixels.
      > - No sidebar on left.
      > - New 300 pixel wide sidebar on right with gee-whiz crap.
      > - Bar at top to encourage visits to other wikis.
      > - Floating bar at bottom ("Share" etc).
      > - Silly "edit section" buttons and some other nonsense.
      > - Probably more I don't know about.
      > The font size is much smaller than previously to compensate for
      > the 660-pixel fixed content width.
      > The good news is that not-logged-in users used to see a 300x250
      > pixel advert block at a random place in the article. That advert
      > will now be at the top of the new right-hand sidebar.
      > Some non-info is here:
      > http://community.wikia.com/wiki/The_new_look
      > http://community.wikia.com/wiki/Blog:Wikia_Staff_Blog
      > There is a lot of community dissent, and people from several
      > wikis are talking about moving to another hosting service.
      > However, Wikia know that such talk is largely hot air because
      > hosting that is free and reliable and supported is hard to find.
      > Also, Wikia will retain any existing content causing tremendous
      > confusion for readers (which is the "official" wiki?), and the
      > new site would have a hopeless Google ranking, probably forever.
      > John

      I notice that the "official" reason for removal of the Monaco skin is
      that "it is too complex" and that "elements on a wiki page could collide
      with each other in unexpected ways". That didn't prevent them from
      removing my beloved CologneBlue skin, already some time ago. OTOH I see
      a lot of talk about removing the Monaco skin, but the Monobook skin
      (which is supposedly "simpler") is totally left unmentioned. I'm
      crossing fingers and knocking on wood in the forlorn hope that this
      skin, at least, will remain as an option for logged-in users, but I
      won't mention it on that staff blog lest they become conscious of its
      existence and take it away too. (I already needed to re-opt-in to it
      twice after my login cookie had expired.)

      From what you're saying, I suppose that even if we found some other
      hosting space, installed Wikimedia software on it (and "our" choice of
      Wikimedia skins), and then migrated the existing wiki pages while
      deleting all old pages one by one in the process, some
      "well-intentioned" wikia meddler admin would quietly restore everything
      from history...

      The problem with anything you get for free is that it's worth not one
      cent more than what you pay for it. The bottom line (as in "balance
      sheet", no pun) is that whoever puts up the cash also sets the policy,
      and the poor bloke who's in it for the free ride has no say in it

      Best regards,
      Spark's Sixth Rule for Managers:
      If a subordinate asks you a pertinent question, look at him as
      if he had lost his senses. When he looks down, paraphrase the question
      back at him.

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