Talk:Main Page/Archive

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Effective immediately, pages will only be shown in the people tab if they have an image. In cases where no image can be found, use person.gif (Person.gif). -- Robin (talk) 22:37, 2 July 2017 (IST)


The aim remains to showcase the best of Wikispooks content, for people who are new to the site. (Regular visitors and editors can use Special:RecentChanges


Any thoughts on the following ideas would be welcome:

  1. Removing all Stubs from the front page
  2. Moving the "" tab to the left and making it the top one by default
  3. More information about the pages, such as the page description

-- Robin (talk) 04:54, 5 September 2016 (IST)

  1. Agreed - but a separate stubs tab towards the RH end would be good.
  2. Not sure about this. If Edits excludes Stubs, then it is a good indicator of current content activity. Whereas the rated pages will remain relatively static.
  3. Good in principle but some descriptions are multi-line so general appearance may be a bit irratic. Suck it and see I guess.
--Peter P (talk) 10:04, 6 September 2016 (IST)
  1. ✓ Stubs are now gone (more or less) from the left most 7 tabs. The SMW formatting takes a while to be processed, so very new pages (white "doc" icon) may be stubs.
  2. ✓ OK, the "" tab stays as #2, to keep the coverpage changing.
  3. Two possible ways to handle information overload are:
  1. A tooltip
  2. A fixed # leading characters
-- Robin (talk) 10:25, 9 September 2016 (IST)



I've just added the "7/15/25/35 Items/Page" options as a bit of a quick and dirty stop gap. I tried 40 or more and that was too much for Mediawiki to deal with:-(

  • For those pages with descriptions, a tooltip would be good, but I don't know whether that is possible within Mediawiki.
  • The 'Twitter' tab still has a lot of whitespace.
  • Tab choice: Data on which tabs were the most popular could be useful, but since that is a clientside decision, that's not available.

--Robin (talk) 10:56, 15 August 2015 (IST)


It improved since last year, but I'm still not entirely happy with it... I just reduced the number of results returned for each tab from 15 down to 12, primarily to decrease loading time. I'm pretty happy with the format, but I'd value thoughts on how to improve it. I'm thinking about the following changes:

  • Larger images - since they are not really identifiable at the moment. I just upped them from 26 to 30px.
  • (Re)moving the class icons - since they look odd next to the images.
  • Rethinking which tabs are needed, since they all slow loading time.
  • Removing at least one of the strips above the tabstrip
  • Using some of the semantic data (e.g. Property:Description) to provide some information either as a tool tip, or on the page itself

I still almost never use the front page (too bandwidth heavy, too slow). As last year, ideas welcome. Robin (talk) 19:35, 23 June 2015 (IST)

Reduction of the number of results will have negligible impact on the page load time. That said, 12 does look more 'in proportion' on the current page geometry/layout - IMO.
  • Larger images do look better
  • I'm agnostic about the class icons
  • If simple(ish) to do, a useful interim measure which would greatly reduce page load time, would be to execute only the 'Latest Edits' query on initial page load; then execute any others as, when and if selected. I still intend to install an html reverse proxy which will dramatically impact on the current page load time, but there are some tricky technical issues involved so an interim measure would be useful. It would also be useful to have a Further results link at the bottom of each Main page list.
  • I agree the info-box strips above do need a re-think
  • Over to you on the last idea, which again would be a solid useability enhancement.
--Peter P (talk) 11:03, 24 June 2015 (IST)



I've just refactored the source code for easier readability. In the process I've lost the orange (easily reinstated, but actually prefer just blue. I was never convinced orange was a good match:) but deliberately left it otherwise unchanged for now. However, since it's SMW based, adjusting the content should be a breeze. Issues to work on:

  • Lack of images
  • Inclusion of relative junk (e.g. Test/Main-page-panels - visitors don't want this)
  • Lack of structure (people, events, etc. all jumbled together, in a way this reflects the software structure, which doesn't interest people, not the semantic content which does)
  • Lack of details
  • Quite a lot of space used up - seems not good for small screen devices
  • Annoying "File:" at the start of the list of files
  • Lack of excitement?

This is not an exhaustive list. I never use the main page. I wonder what it would take to make it helpful for me. I note a test page which includes image/video...

Robin (talk) 05:28, 27 June 2014 (IST)

I use Feedly pro as my RSS reader. I scan a vast number of articles every day and tag maybe a dozen or so as worthy of proper review - reduced to maybe 6 on reading. I would like to be able to display the linked titles of those tagged article - probably on the Main page but certainly linked from there. Since I include new WS pages in the reader, tagging those would result in links to them too. I'm bogged down in the technicalities and may cry help --Peter P (talk) 06:55, 27 June 2014 (IST)
I'd also like to be able to put a simple bit of linked text on the main header where the site maintenance warning goes, in order to draw attention to some other cause du-jour. For example Denis Rancourt is a long-standing colleague who has just lost his 3 year long defamation case for a cool $1 million - See here. I want to link to that appeal. I'd like to be able to have the space blank or to show an appropriate link with brief detail and be over-ridden by the site maintenance warning when necessary - Simply!!! --Peter P (talk) 07:06, 27 June 2014 (IST)


Redesign Coverpage for greater appeal?

How about "Latest People", "Latest Events" etc. ... Images would also be good. If it's SMW based, that should be fairly easy to recode this? Robin (talk) 11:24, 25 April 2014 (IST)

I'm happy for you to have a go at it Robin. It is getting a bit long in the tooth and your mods are always an improvement. I have a number of projects bubbling and too focused on them, plus content to be able to contribute much by way of redesign - also the server techie challenges take up more time than I like. --Peter P (talk) 11:39, 25 April 2014 (IST)
That is impressive. I like it. I do a lot of Twitter posts and am considering an RSS feed of them on the Main page, together with a picture box to utilise along similar lines to the current video one. I'll maybe experiment with both when I can --Peter P (talk) 17:45, 26 July 2014 (IST)
I'm happy to leave any/all redesign work to you. I'll jump in as and when, either with edits, tweeks and suggestions but you are better at both coding and design then I. A few observations:
  • I'm happy with just the blue too. I have a vast collection of icons that repeat in 4 different colours and that's what prompted the original design; thought it a bit clever - then :-)
  • Junk - agreed
  • Structure - currently based mainly on NS's + edits of Main NS - Seemed logical at the time but could be much better
  • I have a few different display devices and current layout is reasonable-ish on all of them. I never use a smart-phone sized one. I guess they are becoming more important and should be considered. However, there's a fine balance between cluttered and pleasing appearance - judicious use of blank space does contribute to the latter IMO but present layout hardly optimal. One other thing that stands out like a sore thumb is that the Footer/Policy section runs right off the rh edge on my lower resolution screen. I've been meaning to fix it by having it either use smaller fonts and/or more depth but its a bit complex and I keep shying away.
  • How to get rid of "File"? - must be a doddle
Visitor stats show that main page is always among the top few page visits every day, though with less average time spent there. It IS therefore important even as it is. My main concern is content. I'd prefer to spend 99% of my WS time on it. To that end I've been frustrated at NOT being able to show video and pics with links on main page. I want to be able to draw quick visual attention to a burning topic du-jour, changeable quickly and easily without getting bogged down in coding every time its changed. That's what MPTest is about. I'll re-hash it using the new Main Page code, then feel free to dive in and tear it to bits (ie improve it) --Peter P (talk) 06:41, 27 June 2014 (IST)


Suitability for Small Screen Devices

I have a netbook and this page is way too big for it, so I'm trying to compress it so it doesn't need as much scrolling. Basically, it's a war on white space. Another trick is to link the images. By default, the mediawiki behaviour is unhelpful here - people like linked images and expect them to go somewhere. At the moment I'll leave the actual content untouched, though I reckon the links are of varying importance. -- Robin 05:56, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

More... =

How about putting the 'More...' links under the images in a floating

in the top right corner of each section, so that it doesn't use up vspace? -- Robin 06:10, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
All good stuff Robin. I must also get around to u/grading the Mediawiki software itself because the latest versions are focussing on portable device compatibility and other 'uasabilty' stuff quite a bit. --Peter P 10:30, 23 March 2012 (UTC)