Mailing List Archive

Changes in colors of user interface
Hey,
With the deployment of 1.29.0-wmf.5 which just finished on all wikis,
several changes were made in user interface colors.
* Gray boxes (TOC, Wikitables, catlinks, thumbnails, elements in history
etc.) has changed from #f9f9f9 as background to #f8f9fa and #aaa as border
to #a2a9b1. [1] This change is almost not noticeable but in order to keep
consistency between all elements of a wiki page, change such usages in your
Mediawiki:Common.css (for example for infoboxes).
* Search results border and background colors also changed and this one is
also not noticeable. [2]
* "You have new message in your talk page" notification color has changed
from #f9c557 to #fc3 (yellow). [3] This change is noticeable.

These all are parts of works ongoing by WMF designers and engineers to have
a standard UI [4] using standard colors picked from Wikimedia color
palette. [5]

Using consistent colors helps users have better experience and strengthen
branding. Also these colors have passed WCAG standard for accessibility
(for color blind people). Lots have been done already. Such as content
translation [6] wikipedia.org portal [7] [8], mobile frontend [9], Echo
email notification [10], Deffered changes [11] ORES review tool [12],
disambig icon [13] [14], WMF wiki main page [15] and a lot more.

So I recommend you to use the color palette [5] as much as possible.

I must explicitly note that I did a little and I don't think I can talk on
behalf of UI-standardization team :)

[1]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/324534
[2]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/324549
[3]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/324161
[4]: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/tag/ui-standardization
[5]: Wikimedia color palette: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/M82
[6]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/321609
[7]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/322831
[8]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/325057
[9]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/317746
[10]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/323554
[11]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/323558
[12]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/320341
[13]: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Disambig.svg
[14]: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Disambig_gray.svg
[15]: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Home

Best
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
Hi Amir,

Were these changes discussed in advance with Wikimedia communities on
mailing lists, village pumps, etc? I am thinking particularly of template
designers and maintainers, who may have coordinated their work with the
previous color scheme. It seems to me that Wikimedians should be given
plenty of notice that color changes like these are proposed, and should be
given ample opportunity to comment on them before they are rolled out, but
this is the first that I recall hearing of these changes. I would go so far
as to say that there should be an RfC before making changes like this to
community wikis.

Also, it seems to me that there should be a period of a few weeks between
the commitment to make a change like this and the implementation of a
change so that Wikimedians whose work is affected have an opportunity to
prepare for changes.

I'm not going to push for a rollback of this change unless I hear a lot of
community voices saying that this particular set of changes is a problem,
but I would hope that changes like this would be communicated and discussed
widely in the future and that an RfC would be undertaken before making
these kinds of changes to community wikis.

Pine


On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 4:45 PM, Amir Ladsgroup <ladsgroup@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hey,
> With the deployment of 1.29.0-wmf.5 which just finished on all wikis,
> several changes were made in user interface colors.
> * Gray boxes (TOC, Wikitables, catlinks, thumbnails, elements in history
> etc.) has changed from #f9f9f9 as background to #f8f9fa and #aaa as border
> to #a2a9b1. [1] This change is almost not noticeable but in order to keep
> consistency between all elements of a wiki page, change such usages in your
> Mediawiki:Common.css (for example for infoboxes).
> * Search results border and background colors also changed and this one is
> also not noticeable. [2]
> * "You have new message in your talk page" notification color has changed
> from #f9c557 to #fc3 (yellow). [3] This change is noticeable.
>
> These all are parts of works ongoing by WMF designers and engineers to have
> a standard UI [4] using standard colors picked from Wikimedia color
> palette. [5]
>
> Using consistent colors helps users have better experience and strengthen
> branding. Also these colors have passed WCAG standard for accessibility
> (for color blind people). Lots have been done already. Such as content
> translation [6] wikipedia.org portal [7] [8], mobile frontend [9], Echo
> email notification [10], Deffered changes [11] ORES review tool [12],
> disambig icon [13] [14], WMF wiki main page [15] and a lot more.
>
> So I recommend you to use the color palette [5] as much as possible.
>
> I must explicitly note that I did a little and I don't think I can talk on
> behalf of UI-standardization team :)
>
> [1]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/324534
> [2]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/324549
> [3]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/324161
> [4]: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/tag/ui-standardization
> [5]: Wikimedia color palette: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/M82
> [6]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/321609
> [7]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/322831
> [8]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/325057
> [9]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/317746
> [10]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/323554
> [11]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/323558
> [12]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/320341
> [13]: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Disambig.svg
> [14]: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Disambig_gray.svg
> [15]: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Home
>
> Best
> _______________________________________________
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> Wikitech-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
Hey,
If a community dislikes a change they can instantly override it using
mediawiki:common.css. In that case, no one would forces them to change it
back.

But these changes are too small to notice and even smaller to dislike. For
example no one is trying to change blue to red, But we changed a certain
shade of blue to another shade that you are more familiar with and seen in
other places. That's why for small changes we never got negative feedback.
We are doing this to give users better experience by using familiar colors.
It's really hard to see any objections overall.

Best

On Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 10:03 AM Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Amir,
>
> Were these changes discussed in advance with Wikimedia communities on
> mailing lists, village pumps, etc? I am thinking particularly of template
> designers and maintainers, who may have coordinated their work with the
> previous color scheme. It seems to me that Wikimedians should be given
> plenty of notice that color changes like these are proposed, and should be
> given ample opportunity to comment on them before they are rolled out, but
> this is the first that I recall hearing of these changes. I would go so far
> as to say that there should be an RfC before making changes like this to
> community wikis.
>
> Also, it seems to me that there should be a period of a few weeks between
> the commitment to make a change like this and the implementation of a
> change so that Wikimedians whose work is affected have an opportunity to
> prepare for changes.
>
> I'm not going to push for a rollback of this change unless I hear a lot of
> community voices saying that this particular set of changes is a problem,
> but I would hope that changes like this would be communicated and discussed
> widely in the future and that an RfC would be undertaken before making
> these kinds of changes to community wikis.
>
> Pine
>
>
> On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 4:45 PM, Amir Ladsgroup <ladsgroup@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Hey,
> > With the deployment of 1.29.0-wmf.5 which just finished on all wikis,
> > several changes were made in user interface colors.
> > * Gray boxes (TOC, Wikitables, catlinks, thumbnails, elements in history
> > etc.) has changed from #f9f9f9 as background to #f8f9fa and #aaa as
> border
> > to #a2a9b1. [1] This change is almost not noticeable but in order to keep
> > consistency between all elements of a wiki page, change such usages in
> your
> > Mediawiki:Common.css (for example for infoboxes).
> > * Search results border and background colors also changed and this one
> is
> > also not noticeable. [2]
> > * "You have new message in your talk page" notification color has changed
> > from #f9c557 to #fc3 (yellow). [3] This change is noticeable.
> >
> > These all are parts of works ongoing by WMF designers and engineers to
> have
> > a standard UI [4] using standard colors picked from Wikimedia color
> > palette. [5]
> >
> > Using consistent colors helps users have better experience and strengthen
> > branding. Also these colors have passed WCAG standard for accessibility
> > (for color blind people). Lots have been done already. Such as content
> > translation [6] wikipedia.org portal [7] [8], mobile frontend [9], Echo
> > email notification [10], Deffered changes [11] ORES review tool [12],
> > disambig icon [13] [14], WMF wiki main page [15] and a lot more.
> >
> > So I recommend you to use the color palette [5] as much as possible.
> >
> > I must explicitly note that I did a little and I don't think I can talk
> on
> > behalf of UI-standardization team :)
> >
> > [1]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/324534
> > [2]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/324549
> > [3]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/324161
> > [4]: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/tag/ui-standardization
> > [5]: Wikimedia color palette: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/M82
> > [6]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/321609
> > [7]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/322831
> > [8]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/325057
> > [9]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/317746
> > [10]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/323554
> > [11]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/323558
> > [12]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/320341
> > [13]: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Disambig.svg
> > [14]: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Disambig_gray.svg
> > [15]: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Home
> >
> > Best
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > Wikitech-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> Wikitech-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
2016-12-09 10:53 GMT+02:00 Amir Ladsgroup <ladsgroup@gmail.com>:
> But these changes are too small to notice and even smaller to dislike.

Amir, I believe you've been a wikimedian for too long to really
believe that. No change is to small to be disliked by one or more
people!

>> It seems to me that Wikimedians should be given
>> plenty of notice that color changes like these are proposed, and should be
>> given ample opportunity to comment on them before they are rolled out, but
>> this is the first that I recall hearing of these changes. I would go so far
>> as to say that there should be an RfC before making changes like this to
>> community wikis.

Totally agree. It's not a question of how small/large such a change
is, it's a question of collaboration and mutual respect. Which was
lacking, yet again :(

Some communities will miss these changes completely just because they
had already overridden the old values in Common.css, most likely for
historical reasons. A heads-up would have allowed them to decide on
whether to go with the upstream changes or stick with the current
layout.

I call again on the staff and volunteers that work on the frontend to
be announce changes well ahead of time and as widely as possible.

Strainu

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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
On Fri, 2016-12-09 at 23:56 +0200, Strainu wrote:
> Totally agree. It's not a question of how small/large such a change
> is, it's a question of collaboration and mutual respect. Which was
> lacking, yet again :(

While I'm not sure if "UI Standardization" is defined as a product in
WMF, I'd hope that in the future
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Technical_Collaboration_Guideline
will generally be helpful (which welcomes feedback).

The project's workboard can be found at
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/tag/ui-standardization/ and it is
linked from https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_User_Interface

> Some communities will miss these changes completely just because they
> had already overridden the old values in Common.css, most likely for
> historical reasons. A heads-up would have allowed them to decide on
> whether to go with the upstream changes or stick with the current
> layout.

Regarding a heads-up, would it have helped to have these changes listed
in https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech/News/2016/49 ?

Cheers,
andre
--
Andre Klapper | Wikimedia Bugwrangler
http://blogs.gnome.org/aklapper/

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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
Hi Amir,

While I think that you are well-intentioned, you may be underestimating the
effects of small changes that are done on a large scale. I believe that
color changes to the UI are not urgent changes, and there is every reason
to do widespread communication about proposed changes (*not* the week that
changes are rolling out, but instead two to three months in advance), to
provide opportunity for discussion, and to provide a buffer time period
between the finalization of the decision and the execution of the change.

Perhaps an organizational change that would be helpful here is assigning a
Community Liaison to the the WMF Design team to help that team with
communications and rollout plans.

Also, perhaps it would help my project if I had a meeting with someone from
the WMF Design team to get a better sense of what UI changes to expect over
the next 24 months. I am working on help videos for Wikimedia content
wikis, and I would like those videos to reflect the real-world environment
to the extent possible. Is there a particular person on the Design team
that you would recommend that I contact about setting up a meeting?

Thanks,

Pine


On Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 12:53 AM, Amir Ladsgroup <ladsgroup@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hey,
> If a community dislikes a change they can instantly override it using
> mediawiki:common.css. In that case, no one would forces them to change it
> back.
>
> But these changes are too small to notice and even smaller to dislike. For
> example no one is trying to change blue to red, But we changed a certain
> shade of blue to another shade that you are more familiar with and seen in
> other places. That's why for small changes we never got negative feedback.
> We are doing this to give users better experience by using familiar colors.
> It's really hard to see any objections overall.
>
> Best
>
> On Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 10:03 AM Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hi Amir,
> >
> > Were these changes discussed in advance with Wikimedia communities on
> > mailing lists, village pumps, etc? I am thinking particularly of template
> > designers and maintainers, who may have coordinated their work with the
> > previous color scheme. It seems to me that Wikimedians should be given
> > plenty of notice that color changes like these are proposed, and should
> be
> > given ample opportunity to comment on them before they are rolled out,
> but
> > this is the first that I recall hearing of these changes. I would go so
> far
> > as to say that there should be an RfC before making changes like this to
> > community wikis.
> >
> > Also, it seems to me that there should be a period of a few weeks between
> > the commitment to make a change like this and the implementation of a
> > change so that Wikimedians whose work is affected have an opportunity to
> > prepare for changes.
> >
> > I'm not going to push for a rollback of this change unless I hear a lot
> of
> > community voices saying that this particular set of changes is a problem,
> > but I would hope that changes like this would be communicated and
> discussed
> > widely in the future and that an RfC would be undertaken before making
> > these kinds of changes to community wikis.
> >
> > Pine
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 4:45 PM, Amir Ladsgroup <ladsgroup@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hey,
> > > With the deployment of 1.29.0-wmf.5 which just finished on all wikis,
> > > several changes were made in user interface colors.
> > > * Gray boxes (TOC, Wikitables, catlinks, thumbnails, elements in
> history
> > > etc.) has changed from #f9f9f9 as background to #f8f9fa and #aaa as
> > border
> > > to #a2a9b1. [1] This change is almost not noticeable but in order to
> keep
> > > consistency between all elements of a wiki page, change such usages in
> > your
> > > Mediawiki:Common.css (for example for infoboxes).
> > > * Search results border and background colors also changed and this one
> > is
> > > also not noticeable. [2]
> > > * "You have new message in your talk page" notification color has
> changed
> > > from #f9c557 to #fc3 (yellow). [3] This change is noticeable.
> > >
> > > These all are parts of works ongoing by WMF designers and engineers to
> > have
> > > a standard UI [4] using standard colors picked from Wikimedia color
> > > palette. [5]
> > >
> > > Using consistent colors helps users have better experience and
> strengthen
> > > branding. Also these colors have passed WCAG standard for accessibility
> > > (for color blind people). Lots have been done already. Such as content
> > > translation [6] wikipedia.org portal [7] [8], mobile frontend [9],
> Echo
> > > email notification [10], Deffered changes [11] ORES review tool [12],
> > > disambig icon [13] [14], WMF wiki main page [15] and a lot more.
> > >
> > > So I recommend you to use the color palette [5] as much as possible.
> > >
> > > I must explicitly note that I did a little and I don't think I can talk
> > on
> > > behalf of UI-standardization team :)
> > >
> > > [1]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/324534
> > > [2]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/324549
> > > [3]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/324161
> > > [4]: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/tag/ui-standardization
> > > [5]: Wikimedia color palette: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/M82
> > > [6]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/321609
> > > [7]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/322831
> > > [8]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/325057
> > > [9]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/317746
> > > [10]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/323554
> > > [11]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/323558
> > > [12]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/320341
> > > [13]: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Disambig.svg
> > > [14]: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Disambig_gray.svg
> > > [15]: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Home
> > >
> > > Best
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > > Wikitech-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > Wikitech-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> Wikitech-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
Hi,

On 12/09/2016 01:56 PM, Strainu wrote:
> 2016-12-09 10:53 GMT+02:00 Amir Ladsgroup <ladsgroup@gmail.com>:
>> But these changes are too small to notice and even smaller to dislike.
>
> Amir, I believe you've been a wikimedian for too long to really
> believe that. No change is to small to be disliked by one or more
> people!

<https://xkcd.com/1770/> seems pretty timely!

-- Legoktm

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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
Hi!

> <https://xkcd.com/1770/> seems pretty timely!

Or this one:
https://xkcd.com/1172/ :)

--
Stas Malyshev
smalyshev@wikimedia.org

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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
While I appreciate the attempt to be funny, I am not amused in this case.
Surprise UI changes could, for example, result in thousands of dollars'
worth of instructional videos becoming instantly out of sync with the
real-world user experience. Also, users who may have spent considerable
time perfecting their templates may be surprised to find that they need to
make changes to keep the templates in sync with other changes to the UI.
The problem isn't so much that the UI was changed, as that it was changed
without notice and consultation. This isn't funny.

Pine


On Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 5:07 PM, Stas Malyshev <smalyshev@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> Hi!
>
> > <https://xkcd.com/1770/> seems pretty timely!
>
> Or this one:
> https://xkcd.com/1172/ :)
>
> --
> Stas Malyshev
> smalyshev@wikimedia.org
>
> _______________________________________________
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>
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
Hi,

On 12/09/2016 05:25 PM, Pine W wrote:
> While I appreciate the attempt to be funny, I am not amused in this case.
> Surprise UI changes could, for example, result in thousands of dollars'
> worth of instructional videos becoming instantly out of sync with the
> real-world user experience. Also, users who may have spent considerable
> time perfecting their templates may be surprised to find that they need to
> make changes to keep the templates in sync with other changes to the UI.
> The problem isn't so much that the UI was changed, as that it was changed
> without notice and consultation. This isn't funny.

Well, I was specifically responding to Strainu's comment that "No change
is to small to be disliked by one or more people!" which seemed to be in
jest too.

But I think you're significantly over-exaggerating the costs of this UI
change, and changes in general. MediaWiki's UI changes literally every
day when localization messages are updated, reworded, or added. Special
pages are re-organized to be made more intuitive, toolbars re-arranged,
etc. If you're making instructional videos, colors *barely* changing
seem like the least of your problems in terms of becoming out of date.
The VisualEditor project has a script that automatically generates
localized screenshots of the user interface so the user manual stays up
to date, I don't know if any solution has been worked out for videos yet.

-- Legoktm

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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
Pine, please chill for once.
On Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 5:40 PM Legoktm <legoktm.wikipedia@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> On 12/09/2016 05:25 PM, Pine W wrote:
> > While I appreciate the attempt to be funny, I am not amused in this case.
> > Surprise UI changes could, for example, result in thousands of dollars'
> > worth of instructional videos becoming instantly out of sync with the
> > real-world user experience. Also, users who may have spent considerable
> > time perfecting their templates may be surprised to find that they need
> to
> > make changes to keep the templates in sync with other changes to the UI.
> > The problem isn't so much that the UI was changed, as that it was changed
> > without notice and consultation. This isn't funny.
>
> Well, I was specifically responding to Strainu's comment that "No change
> is to small to be disliked by one or more people!" which seemed to be in
> jest too.
>
> But I think you're significantly over-exaggerating the costs of this UI
> change, and changes in general. MediaWiki's UI changes literally every
> day when localization messages are updated, reworded, or added. Special
> pages are re-organized to be made more intuitive, toolbars re-arranged,
> etc. If you're making instructional videos, colors *barely* changing
> seem like the least of your problems in terms of becoming out of date.
> The VisualEditor project has a script that automatically generates
> localized screenshots of the user interface so the user manual stays up
> to date, I don't know if any solution has been worked out for videos yet.
>
> -- Legoktm
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
May I just say if the time ever comes where MediaWiki developers have to
submit an RfC, coordinate with local wikis of numerous different languages,
and wait weeks for community feedback and consensus for minor UI color
changes, then all development would have been brought to a halt. It is that
kind of bikeshedding and red-tape that often makes enterprise software
development so cumbersome and loathed.

Honestly, I don't even think this change needs to be announced. If wikis
are overriding their own colors using common.css, then it is their due
diligence to make sure their custom unsupported code keeps up to date with
the base MediaWiki software.

*-- *
Regards,

*Tyler Romeo*
0x405d34a7c86b42df
https://parent5446.nyc

On Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 9:32 PM, Steven Walling <steven.walling@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Pine, please chill for once.
> On Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 5:40 PM Legoktm <legoktm.wikipedia@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi,
> >
> > On 12/09/2016 05:25 PM, Pine W wrote:
> > > While I appreciate the attempt to be funny, I am not amused in this
> case.
> > > Surprise UI changes could, for example, result in thousands of dollars'
> > > worth of instructional videos becoming instantly out of sync with the
> > > real-world user experience. Also, users who may have spent considerable
> > > time perfecting their templates may be surprised to find that they need
> > to
> > > make changes to keep the templates in sync with other changes to the
> UI.
> > > The problem isn't so much that the UI was changed, as that it was
> changed
> > > without notice and consultation. This isn't funny.
> >
> > Well, I was specifically responding to Strainu's comment that "No change
> > is to small to be disliked by one or more people!" which seemed to be in
> > jest too.
> >
> > But I think you're significantly over-exaggerating the costs of this UI
> > change, and changes in general. MediaWiki's UI changes literally every
> > day when localization messages are updated, reworded, or added. Special
> > pages are re-organized to be made more intuitive, toolbars re-arranged,
> > etc. If you're making instructional videos, colors *barely* changing
> > seem like the least of your problems in terms of becoming out of date.
> > The VisualEditor project has a script that automatically generates
> > localized screenshots of the user interface so the user manual stays up
> > to date, I don't know if any solution has been worked out for videos yet.
> >
> > -- Legoktm
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > Wikitech-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> Wikitech-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
2016-12-09 1:45 GMT+01:00 Amir Ladsgroup <ladsgroup@gmail.com>:

> I must explicitly note that I did a little and I don't think I can talk on
> behalf of UI-standardization team :)
>

I think this sentence might have the wrong colour shade, thus it avoided
the focus of mind of some folks. That's why poor Amir now gets all the
complaints, but to punish the messenger of bad news is so ancient that we
can find examples in earliest mythologies. So is it worth to recolour it
together?


--
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
​For reference, these are the changes being discussed:
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/F5022813


1) Significantly larger changes than this are happening all the time (the
OOUI-ification of old forms, for example), without anyone noticing, so it's
pretty clear people are reacting to the announcement here and not the
actual change.

There is nothing wrong with not paying attention to something well outside
your work area, and people should not be excluded from a discussion topic
just because they are new (or casual) to it, but please consider how it
creates an unhealthy community dynamic when people are criticized for
announcing changes which would otherwise go unnoticed. There are already
too many developers who avoid this list because they find it too stressful
or time-consuming. One of the costs of transparency and open coordination
is that discussions can get easily overwhelmed by a bunch of random people
with strong principles but relatively little idea of what's going on
(that's why wikis are so strict about canvassing, for example); it's a good
mental habit to ask "would I have gotten involved in this discussion
eventually even if it wasn't announced in a mailing list?", and if the
answer is no, consider just moving on.


2) There was once a project to create a free encyclopedia, where every
change had to be discussed and agreed on with half a dozen groups of
stakeholders. It was called Nupedia; it produced a hundred articles in
three years, while its offshoot Wikipedia did well over a hundred thousand.

It probably does not take a thousand times longer to discuss an article
with various gatekeepers than it takes to write it. But it's sufficiently
demotivating that people won't even try; instead they find a project where
their contributions are welcome and not buried in red tape. Software
development is not magically exempt from the same coordination costs that
affect article writing. Please be mindful of unintentionally creating an
unwelcoming environment.

It's not fundamentally different with staff members, either. They have more
time, but that time is bought with donor money, which needs to be spent
responsibly. Designers spending their time videoconferencing with every
interested user on whether they plan to change the shade of the new message
bar to a slightly different yellow some time in the next two years is
probably not what most donors have in mind when they support the movement.


3) When you are asking people to do more early planning and announcement
and discussion, you are asking them to do significantly more work. It's not
a free lunch; they need to cancel some tasks they would otherwise have been
able to do, and spend time writing emails and getting translations and
setting up discussions instead. More discussion means less features.
Sometimes that's a reasonable request; sometimes not. Please consider which
one it is, before asking.

This time it falls squarely into "unreasonable", I think. Exactly what
would an early announcement achieve? Delay producing the videos by half a
year just to make sure the brightness of the ToC border is not 5% off? Or
is "discussion" an euphemism for "veto power" and we should keep our
website less accessible to readers with visual impairments so that the
tutorial video colors are accurate?

Documentation decays; it's a sad fact of life. Developers are acutely aware
of that, since they need to produce and maintain a lot of it. No one likes
it, but there is no reasonable way to prevent it. Halting software
development so that documentation can stay up to date is certainly not one.


4) On a more constructive note, there *is* a reasonable way to reduce
template maintenance burden: make LESS available to template editors so
that variables such as "ToC border color" can be shared between MediaWiki
and userland code. I filed T152832 about that.
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
On Sat, Dec 10, 2016 at 12:37 PM Gergo Tisza <gtisza@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> ​For reference, these are the changes being discussed:
> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/F5022813
>
> It returns permission error to me

<snip>
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
On 10 December 2016 at 19:07, Gergo Tisza <gtisza@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> For reference, these are the changes being discussed:
> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/F5022813

Is there any reason this is being discussed on a File compared to a task?
Is there any reason security has been changed on this file? (It's not
a security or a internal staff matter etc)

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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
On Sat, Dec 10, 2016 at 1:17 AM, Amir Ladsgroup <ladsgroup@gmail.com> wrote:

> It returns permission error to me
>

Uh, fixed. Looks like Phabricator keeps files private as long as they are
not associated to any task.
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
2016-12-10 11:07 GMT+02:00 Gergo Tisza <gtisza@wikimedia.org>:
> For reference, these are the changes being discussed:
> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/F5022813
>
>
> 1) Significantly larger changes than this are happening all the time (the
> OOUI-ification of old forms, for example), without anyone noticing,

Agreed. However, these changes do not apply to millions of articles.
It's a question of scale and visibility.

> it's pretty clear people are reacting to the announcement here and not the
> actual change.

That's one way to put it. I would rather say that we reacted to yet
another slip-up in communication from the Foundation. Why is it so
hard for you guys to push the information to wikis?


>
> There is nothing wrong with not paying attention to something well outside
> your work area, and people should not be excluded from a discussion topic
> just because they are new (or casual) to it, but please consider how it
> creates an unhealthy community dynamic when people are criticized for
> announcing changes which would otherwise go unnoticed.

I don't think an RFC was needed, but:
1. an announcement on this list with a phabricator number would have been nice
2. an announcement *on wiki, before the deployment* was mandatory.

The rest of your mail does not seem related to this particular change,
so I'll respond separately.


2016-12-10 1:43 GMT+02:00 Andre Klapper <aklapper@wikimedia.org>:
> Regarding a heads-up, would it have helped to have these changes listed
> in https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech/News/2016/49 ?

Yes, with a follow-up in /50. Do note that the text in /50 is
insufficient, you
might want to add something like what Amir said: "in order to keep
consistency between all elements of a wiki page, change such usages in your
Mediawiki:Common.css (for example for infoboxes)." That's because not all
TechNews readers can deduce action items by themselves.

HTH,
Strainu

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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
I just want you to stop there

On Sat, Dec 10, 2016 at 2:07 PM Strainu <strainu10@gmail.com> wrote:

> That's one way to put it. I would rather say that we reacted to yet
> another slip-up in communication from the Foundation. Why is it so
> hard for you guys to push the information to wikis?
>
> Why is this related to WMF? A volunteer developer changed a color and it
got confirmed by another (probably) volunteer. If it wasn't in the Tech
news. It was my fault but what is WMF role and what does "another slip-up"
here means? Do you really want to compare this to something like
MediaViewer rollout?

Best
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
2016-12-10 12:48 GMT+02:00 Amir Ladsgroup <ladsgroup@gmail.com>:
> I just want you to stop there
>
> On Sat, Dec 10, 2016 at 2:07 PM Strainu <strainu10@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> That's one way to put it. I would rather say that we reacted to yet
>> another slip-up in communication from the Foundation. Why is it so
>> hard for you guys to push the information to wikis?
>>
>> Why is this related to WMF?

For 3 reasons:
1. While MW is open source, what gets deployed on the WMF servers is
the legal and moral responsability of the Foundation.
2. The WMF has an 8-person "Community Liaisons" team that is dedicated
to "inform the communities during the whole process of development of
said software, and facilitate its adoption." [1] For me, that means
that they should be the ones that make sure that changes that impact
million of pages don't get left out, even if the developer forgets to
notify anyone.
3. The average wikipedian does not seem to make the difference between
volunteer developers and employees of the WMF (this is a personal
opinion and I might be wrong).

> Do you really want to compare this to something like
> MediaViewer rollout?

MediaViewer, VisualEditor and many others, yes. But not in the sense
that this was as bad as those, rather that the WMF missed another good
opportunity to establish trust and prepare for the next big feature.

Small, almost invisible changes are the best time to practice and
experiment with notifications and to gauge the community response: how
many communities actually made changes to Common.css? How many needed
to make changes? For the ones that did not make the changes, was it
because they did not have the knowledge or because they missed the
memo? Etc, etc, etc... This way, we (the "tech abassadors"), you
(developers) and them (community liaisons) can all be better prepared
for the next big deployement.

Strainu

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Liaisons

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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
On Sat, 2016-12-10 at 19:49 +1000, K. Peachey wrote:
> On 10 December 2016 at 19:07, Gergo Tisza wrote:
> >
> > For reference, these are the changes being discussed:
> > https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/F5022813
>
> Is there any reason this is being discussed on a File compared to a task?

Did you click the link? There is no discussion on a (Phab) File instead
of a task. Tgr only documented what's being "discussed" in this thread.
Tgr could have also posted the screenshot on some random other site.

> Is there any reason security has been changed on this file?

I don't understand or see where "security" (?) was changed. Or how
that's even relevant to this thread.

andre
--
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http://blogs.gnome.org/aklapper/

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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
On Sat, 2016-12-10 at 12:57 +0100, Andre Klapper wrote:
> > Is there any reason security has been changed on this file?
>
> I don't understand or see where "security" (?) was changed.

Mea culpa. I should have read all the other messages in this noisy
thread first. :-/

Indeed, "Phabricator keeps files private as long as they are
not associated to any task."

andre
--
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http://blogs.gnome.org/aklapper/

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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
On 10 December 2016 at 01:25, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:

> Surprise UI changes could, for example, result in thousands of dollars'
> worth of instructional videos becoming instantly out of sync with the
> real-world user experience.


Given the incredibly minor nature of this change (as you can see from Amir's
thread on the village pump
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#Reopening_discussion_about_aligning_colors_with_Wikimedia_color_palette>),
your example is absurd. Small changes such as these would not even come
close to invalidating instructional videos. If the changes were larger,
then I am sure there would've been significantly more advance notice.
Amir's actions seem perfectly appropriate to me in this case; if anything,
I would say an announcement wasn't even required and that he went above and
beyond in doing so. Let's not punish him for that.

Thanks,
Dan

--
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Lead Product Manager, Discovery
Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
On Sat, Dec 10, 2016 at 3:19 PM Strainu <strainu10@gmail.com> wrote:

For 3 reasons:
1. While MW is open source, what gets deployed on the WMF servers is
the legal and moral responsability of the Foundation.

They have responsibility but it's limited.

2. The WMF has an 8-person "Community Liaisons" team that is dedicated
to "inform the communities during the whole process of development of
said software, and facilitate its adoption." [1] For me, that means
that they should be the ones that make sure that changes that impact
million of pages don't get left out, even if the developer forgets to
notify anyone.

It's not correct. community liaisons can't check every patch to see if it's
going to impact users (and most patches have effect on users, even
indirect). They built a protocol and told developers to inform them when
they think the change is going to impact users *significantly*.

3. The average wikipedian does not seem to make the difference between
volunteer developers and employees of the WMF (this is a personal
opinion and I might be wrong).

It's horrifyingly wrong. Lots of stuff is being done by either volunteers
or staff in their volunteer capacity. You need to correct this view. not to
blame WMF, right?

Best
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Re: Changes in colors of user interface [ In reply to ]
2016-12-11 12:13 GMT+02:00 Amir Ladsgroup <ladsgroup@gmail.com>:
> On Sat, Dec 10, 2016 at 3:19 PM Strainu <strainu10@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> For 3 reasons:
> 1. While MW is open source, what gets deployed on the WMF servers is
> the legal and moral responsability of the Foundation.
>
> They have responsibility but it's limited.
>
> 2. The WMF has an 8-person "Community Liaisons" team that is dedicated
> to "inform the communities during the whole process of development of
> said software, and facilitate its adoption." [1] For me, that means
> that they should be the ones that make sure that changes that impact
> million of pages don't get left out, even if the developer forgets to
> notify anyone.
>
> It's not correct. community liaisons can't check every patch to see if it's
> going to impact users (and most patches have effect on users, even
> indirect). They built a protocol and told developers to inform them when
> they think the change is going to impact users *significantly*.

Then perhaps we need to define "significantly" to include changes that
affect every single article on every single wiki we have. If that's
not significant, I don't know what is. People claimed in this thread
that your change was "almost invisible". But if just 1:1,000,000
pageviews causes someone to notice the change, in just a month, your
change will have affected over 15,000 people. That's singnificant,
IMHO.

Where is this protocol you talk about laid out?

>
> 3. The average wikipedian does not seem to make the difference between
> volunteer developers and employees of the WMF (this is a personal
> opinion and I might be wrong).
>
> It's horrifyingly wrong. Lots of stuff is being done by either volunteers
> or staff in their volunteer capacity. You need to correct this view. not to
> blame WMF, right?

Wrong. It's just not realistic to expect 70.000+ editors distributed
in hundreds or thousands of wikis to understand free software
development, deployments and versioning. For them, it's "the
developers" who "break the site" and that's all they want (and need)
to know. The details need to be abstracted by someone, and the WMF is
the best positioned entity to do that. I think this is already
addressed, though, since that's the role of the community liaisons.
It's just a question of how much can those people do - I ask more from
them, others want less.

Since we got to this point, I would also like to address Tyler's email
from yesterday, because it shows a similar lack of understanding of
how non-technical communities use MW. He talks about red-tape
slowing-down development, but forgets (or does not realise) that
constant tweaking to the website is in itself red-tape for smaller
communities, as it takes away valuable resources from other tasks:
most Wikipedias simply do not have a web developer with admin rights.
Also, throwing the responsability of maintaining Common.css up to date
solely on the communities without providing a minimum of heads-up and
guidance ("I don't even think this change needs to be announced")
might look like a smart thing to do, but in the long run it turns
pitilessly against the developers, as it results in even more
technical debt that they need to address when developing new features.
I think the team working on global gadgets might have some interesting
stories on this process :)


>
> Best
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