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Pain at Vim Tips wiki

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  • John Beckett
    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
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 30, 2010
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      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

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    • Ben Fritz
      ... I mostly agree that the changes look annoying, but I kind of like the sound of 2 changes coming along with the bundle: 1. Space in the side bar to showcase
      Message 2 of 11 , Sep 30, 2010
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        On Sep 30, 9:19 pm, "John Beckett" <johnb.beck...@...> wrote:
        > So everyone can share the pain, here is advance notice of what
        > Wikia are planning for the Vim Tips wikihttp://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_lookhttp://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 mostly agree that the changes look annoying, but I kind of like the
        sound of 2 changes coming along with the bundle:

        1. Space in the side bar to showcase new pages (one of the biggest
        complaints I keep seeing about the wiki is that new pages are not
        shown as obviously as they were on the old tips site)
        2. "My Tools" floating button at the bottom, where you can bookmark
        various commonly-used parts of the wiki. Granted, I could get this
        same feature with normal browser bookmarks, but maybe it will turn out
        useful.

        I am starting to wonder if we'll be getting new skins forced on us
        every few months from here on out. It sure seems like that's been the
        pattern so far.

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      • Tony Mechelynck
        ... 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
        Message 3 of 11 , Sep 30, 2010
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          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
          whatsoever.


          Best regards,
          Tony.
          --
          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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        • Raúl Núñez de Arenas Coronado
          Hi John :) Well, I find these kind of changes plainly rude. And yes, I know that sometimes it is the price you pay for having a good, free, reliable service,
          Message 4 of 11 , Oct 1, 2010
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            Hi John :)

            Well, I find these kind of changes plainly rude. And yes, I know that
            sometimes it is the price you pay for having a good, free, reliable
            service, but I still can't help thinking the same: rude.

            --
            Raúl "DervishD" Núñez de Arenas Coronado
            Linux Registered User 88736 | http://www.dervishd.net
            The revolution will not be televised

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          • John Beckett
            ... No, after November 4 there will be NO chance of Monobook or any other skin working, other than the new Wikia skin. There is one exception. Monobook will be
            Message 5 of 11 , Oct 1, 2010
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              Tony Mechelynck wrote:
              > 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.)

              No, after November 4 there will be NO chance of Monobook or any
              other skin working, other than the new Wikia skin.

              There is one exception. Monobook will be kept for Uncyclopedia,
              a parody of Wikipedia: http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/

              > 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...

              Yes, Wikia will simply revert any attempts to significantly
              remove material, so they own us completely.

              John

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            • Joe
              ... Well, hopefully the kiddies this attracts can contribute some Vim scripts. Because the world needs more script kiddies, right? Wait... -- You received
              Message 6 of 11 , Oct 1, 2010
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                [09/30/10] @ 7:19PM PDT, johnb.beckett@... wrote:
                > 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.

                Well, hopefully the kiddies this attracts can contribute some Vim
                scripts. Because the world needs more script kiddies, right?

                Wait...

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              • Oivvio Polite
                Just out of curiosity, how was the decision made that the vim wiki should be hosted at wikia? Wouldn t be natural for a project of this size to have a wiki
                Message 7 of 11 , Oct 4, 2010
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                  Just out of curiosity, how was the decision made that the vim wiki
                  should be hosted at wikia? Wouldn't be natural for a project of this
                  size to have a wiki completely under its own control?

                  oivvio

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                • John Beckett
                  ... Some history of the wiki is available here: http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/Vim_Tips_Wiki:About While the Vim Tips wiki should be hosted on a system completely
                  Message 8 of 11 , Oct 4, 2010
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                    Oivvio Polite wrote:
                    > Just out of curiosity, how was the decision made that the vim
                    > wiki should be hosted at wikia? Wouldn't be natural for a
                    > project of this size to have a wiki completely under its own
                    > control?

                    Some history of the wiki is available here:
                    http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/Vim_Tips_Wiki:About

                    While the Vim Tips wiki should be hosted on a system completely
                    under our control, it was decided at the time (early 2007) that
                    relying on a private system operated by a Vim enthusiast may
                    lead to long term problems if that enthusiast were hit by the
                    proverbial bus. Indeed, the whole Vim mailing list ground to a
                    halt for several weeks in 2007 when the hosting server suddenly
                    became unavailable (that's why we are now on Google Groups).

                    I have recently received a good offer of free hosting, but now
                    we have the additional problem that forking would cause, in
                    addition to any concerns regarding buses.

                    John

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                  • Ben Fritz
                    ... I personally like the fact that we don t need to worry about the heavy spam filtering, server security, server maintenance, version upgrades, etc. I like
                    Message 9 of 11 , Oct 5, 2010
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                      On Oct 4, 4:33 am, "John Beckett" <johnb.beck...@...> wrote:
                      > Oivvio Polite wrote:
                      > > Just out of curiosity, how was the decision made that the vim
                      > > wiki should be hosted at wikia? Wouldn't be natural for a
                      > > project of this size to have a wiki completely under its own
                      > > control?
                      >
                      > Some history of the wiki is available here:http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/Vim_Tips_Wiki:About
                      >
                      > While the Vim Tips wiki should be hosted on a system completely
                      > under our control, it was decided at the time (early 2007) that
                      > relying on a private system operated by a Vim enthusiast may
                      > lead to long term problems if that enthusiast were hit by the
                      > proverbial bus. Indeed, the whole Vim mailing list ground to a
                      > halt for several weeks in 2007 when the hosting server suddenly
                      > became unavailable (that's why we are now on Google Groups).
                      >
                      > I have recently received a good offer of free hosting, but now
                      > we have the additional problem that forking would cause, in
                      > addition to any concerns regarding buses.
                      >

                      I personally like the fact that we don't need to worry about the heavy
                      spam filtering, server security, server maintenance, version upgrades,
                      etc. I like having a team of (presumably paid?) support people that
                      can come to our aid when needed. The changes that are coming are, in
                      my opinion, mildly annoying but not a big deal. I was far more upset
                      by the ads that popped up and floated across my screen a few times,
                      and those were gone within a week. I'm willing to put up with a few
                      minor annoyances for the stability, availability, speed, and relative
                      ease of working with the wiki.

                      I'm not picky, and I have no deep-rooted loyalty to Wikia, but in my
                      opinion they are still doing a pretty good job and provide us a
                      valuable resource.

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                    • John Beckett
                      ... Yes, these are important points. I have mentioned them in the past but my irritation may have caused me to overlook them now. Another issue is liability:
                      Message 10 of 11 , Oct 5, 2010
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                        Ben Fritz wrote:
                        > I personally like the fact that we don't need to worry about
                        > the heavy spam filtering, server security, server
                        > maintenance, version upgrades, etc. I like having a team of
                        > (presumably paid?) support people that can come to our aid
                        > when needed. The changes that are coming are, in my opinion,
                        > mildly annoying but not a big deal. I was far more upset by
                        > the ads that popped up and floated across my screen a few
                        > times, and those were gone within a week. I'm willing to put
                        > up with a few minor annoyances for the stability,
                        > availability, speed, and relative ease of working with the wiki.
                        >
                        > I'm not picky, and I have no deep-rooted loyalty to Wikia,
                        > but in my opinion they are still doing a pretty good job and
                        > provide us a valuable resource.

                        Yes, these are important points. I have mentioned them in the
                        past but my irritation may have caused me to overlook them now.

                        Another issue is liability: It is extremely unlikely that
                        anything bad would ever happen, and I wouldn't worry about it,
                        but it is nice that Wikia would be the first stop for anyone
                        with a legal complaint.

                        It looks like the bottom line of the new Wikia skin is that the
                        font will be considerably smaller to fit text into the fixed
                        660 pixel width, and there will be more fluff.

                        John

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                      • Tony Mechelynck
                        ... We-e-ell, if I get bothered enough by it I may try adding some CSS rules more to my taste within a section of my SeaMonkey userContent.css wrapped in
                        Message 11 of 11 , Oct 6, 2010
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                          On 06/10/10 02:21, John Beckett wrote:
                          > Ben Fritz wrote:
                          >> I personally like the fact that we don't need to worry about
                          >> the heavy spam filtering, server security, server
                          >> maintenance, version upgrades, etc. I like having a team of
                          >> (presumably paid?) support people that can come to our aid
                          >> when needed. The changes that are coming are, in my opinion,
                          >> mildly annoying but not a big deal. I was far more upset by
                          >> the ads that popped up and floated across my screen a few
                          >> times, and those were gone within a week. I'm willing to put
                          >> up with a few minor annoyances for the stability,
                          >> availability, speed, and relative ease of working with the wiki.
                          >>
                          >> I'm not picky, and I have no deep-rooted loyalty to Wikia,
                          >> but in my opinion they are still doing a pretty good job and
                          >> provide us a valuable resource.
                          >
                          > Yes, these are important points. I have mentioned them in the
                          > past but my irritation may have caused me to overlook them now.
                          >
                          > Another issue is liability: It is extremely unlikely that
                          > anything bad would ever happen, and I wouldn't worry about it,
                          > but it is nice that Wikia would be the first stop for anyone
                          > with a legal complaint.
                          >
                          > It looks like the bottom line of the new Wikia skin is that the
                          > font will be considerably smaller to fit text into the fixed
                          > 660 pixel width, and there will be more fluff.
                          >
                          > John
                          >

                          We-e-ell, if I get bothered enough by it I may try adding some CSS rules
                          more to my taste within a section of my SeaMonkey userContent.css wrapped in

                          @-moz-document domain(wikia.com) {
                          }

                          which is the (Mozilla proprietary) way of specifying style rules for use
                          only on a specific domain (and I'd add !important on all of them of course).


                          Best regards,
                          Tony.

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