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Re: Pain at Vim Tips wiki

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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 1 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.
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      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 2 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.

        --
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        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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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