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Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you have no doubt learned of Wikia's new initiative to improve the user experience: Project Darwin. If you haven't, it is essentially a new "evolution" for Wikia's user interface (skin), which is going to be rolled out in stages. The first stage implements a "fluid" layout which adjusts page size according to your monitor resolution - a big change from the current fixed-width pages of 1000px. It also adds a new tool for administrators - an editor for MediaWiki:Wikia.css which includes syntax highlighting and real-time error checking.

As members of the Community Council (essentially beta testers for Wikia's new features), Drkdragonz66 and I have both known about Project Darwin's release for a while. During that time, we have both expressed extreme interest in having Project Darwin tested here at the Call of Duty Wiki to Wikia staff. We believe that the changes it brings are a big step in the right direction for not only our editors, but all of our readers as well, and all of the feedback we can provide will be invaluable in making Darwin the best it can be. Thankfully, Wikia has offered to include us in the next batch of wikis to have it turned on for testing, which should happen in a few weeks - provided the community here is fine with it.

So, my question to every member of our community is: Are you ready to play an important role in the future of how Wikia looks by trying out Darwin? If your answer is yes, I can promise you that you're not making a mistake - this is going to bring some seriously awesome improvements to the wiki.

sactage (talk) 18:05, September 7, 2013 (UTC)

Examples Edit

DiscussionEdit

The original blog post announcing Darwin. link doesn't work at the moment. 18:07, September 7, 2013 (UTC) It's fixed now. 18:13, September 7, 2013 (UTC)
Also I got Council rights while we were in San Francisco, how come I didn't hear anything about this? 18:08, September 7, 2013 (UTC)
Fixed :p. As for your second question - I'll discuss that with you privately. sactage (talk) 18:14, September 7, 2013 (UTC)
Anyway, now for my proper analysis on this. CSS does over my head normally, so I have no opinion on it either way. But the width seems a bit unsettling to me. I have the biggest screen and the content to background ration feels nice, but on Darwin it just looks bloated, as if I've zoomed in too much. I personally feel that Darwin is a bit too much in your face. Another minor issue, the chat window looks broken, you can't scroll though the users that are in chat. Those my first impressions anyway, I'll add more as I see and read more into it. 18:20, September 7, 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I'd like to know, will this change be mandatory, it will it simply be another way to view the Wiki? Since then we'll need to consider a lot more variables when we make things such as backgrounds. 01:09, September 8, 2013 (UTC)
The problem with the chat module will be fixed with tomorrow's release. sactage (talk) 17:14, September 10, 2013 (UTC)

Speaking purely from a width perspective I'd say Darwin is a great improvement. The main reason I never switched to new Wikia format (or whatever they wish to call it) was because of the gigantic waste of space it introduced. Personal Poketape 8-bit Price Emblem flippedPoketape Talk8-bit Price Emblem MW2 22:47, September 7, 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting support Support — I think it looks pretty good. Will this eventually be implemented on all wikis? Joe Copp 03:00, September 8, 2013 (UTC)

Yes, it will eventually be implemented globally. At this time, however, Wikia has not announced their final rollout plan. sactage (talk) 20:06, September 10, 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting support Support — After constantly switching tabs and comparing I don't see any reason not to, it allows the main chunk of the pages to stand out while the search bar and new images are a bit smaller, it works out pretty well. GhKJh.pngP90DeathmanuceaHlB.png20:17, September 10, 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting support Support — Per Deathmanstratos. Everything when compared looks better on the new proposed layout, so I see no reason not to go to it. 4XBy83R.pngAntiScootaTwotalk  20:21, September 10, 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting support Support — Due to Darwin will be mandatory later on, I do not see reasons to halt a test run here. 132527029757.gifArgorrath おしゃべり%E7%95%B0%E8%AD%B0%E3%81%82%E3%82%8A.jpg22:30, September 10, 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting support Support — Per Argo yolo 3lHP1.png yOq1z.png DvSlh.png 19:04, September 11, 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting support Support — per Argorrath. Recon Unit-52 (talk) 19:05, September 11, 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting support Support — Sounds cool. Why not right? Personal AndImBatman Sig imageBats a.k.a Rarity Filly  19:05, September 11, 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting support Support — Sounds good to me  FANMADE_Animated_Derpy_Hooves_desktop_ponies_sprite.gif Sig1.png Sig2.png  23:32, September 12, 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting support Support — Embrace the change. Carb 0 15:31, September 13, 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting support Support — As nom. -- sactage (talk) 12:21, September 23, 2013 (UTC)


Note - Wikia is looking to enable the fluid layout and Special:CSS Tuesday, September 24th, i.e. TOMORROW. Assuming no opposition is shown between now and then, I will give Wikia the green light to go ahead and do so. Please be sure to raise any concerns you may have as soon as possible, so that they can be properly addressed if need be. -- sactage (talk) 12:21, September 23, 2013 (UTC)

Yet another note - Wikia has just informed me that the fluid layout release here is being pushed back to an unknown date, due to some internal issues. I will let you know when they let me know about the new date. -- sactage (talk) 19:09, September 24, 2013 (UTC)

Note Mk. 3 - Wikia has informed me that they will be enabling the fluid layout here today, October 10th, 2013. Please leave any feedback in the appropriate sections below. -- sactage (talk) 11:40, October 10, 2013 (UTC)

Well it's 11:30 PM here, so is it going to be the 10th on a US timescale, or has it been delayed again? 22:32, October 10, 2013 (UTC)
New note, it's now October 12, and I'm not seeing the new layout. What's going on exactly? 21:47, October 12, 2013 (UTC)

Fourth time is the charm? - Wikia informed me that (once again) they wanted to ensure everything was working fine before they enabled the new layout, and changed the release date to Monday, Oct. 13. I meant to note that here on Friday, but didn't have the chance to. I'm sure it will happen... eventually! -- sactage (talk) 18:03, October 13, 2013 (UTC)

Do you mean Oct 14th? It's the 13th today and Monday is tomorrow. 18:08, October 13, 2013 (UTC)
14th. Yes. That. -- sactage (talk) 18:15, October 13, 2013 (UTC)


Enabled - Bert has just informed me that the new layout is live. Please leave all feedback below. -- sactage (talk) 20:56, October 14, 2013 (UTC)


Feedback Edit

Please leave any and all feedback below. This process is crucial to the testing phase - it not only helps Wikia improve their design, but also lets us influence the final product!

The Good Edit

  • It seems good, focusing more on the text part of the interface, especially on 1920x1080. -- laagone (talk)  21:07, October 14, 2013 (UTC)
  • The only difference I noticed on my computer is slightly larger text, which can actually be beneficial in some situations. As of now, I approve of the new skin. 4XBy83R.pngAntiScootaTwotalk  20:27, October 16, 2013 (UTC)

The Bad Edit

  • However, there is a horizontal scroll bar in between the Wikia taskbar and Windows taskbar which slightly confuses me[scrshot]. Also; I would like it if this layout would be optional as in you could select between this or Oasis/Monobook (if that's possible). -- laagone (talk)  21:07, October 14, 2013 (UTC)
    There's no way this is going to be optional - once it's rolled out globally, it is going to replace Oasis as we know it right now. As for the odd scrollbar - I'm seeing this too, and will bother someone from Wikia to investigate personally. -- sactage (talk) 02:47, October 16, 2013 (UTC)
    Temporarily fixed the scroll bar appearing with some CSS - I will still bother an engineer to fix it permanently, though  :) -- sactage (talk) 03:21, October 16, 2013 (UTC)
    Weirdly I'm not getting that scroll bar, on either Firefox or Chrome. Hard to say what the cause is. 23:37, October 14, 2013 (UTC)
    Well, the least I can say it's not resolution or aspect ratio; I briefly tested everything between (and including) 1280x720 and 1600x900 as well and it still showed up. -- laagone (talk)  23:44, October 14, 2013 (UTC)
    Note - it seems that the scrollbar is the result of an A/B test Wikia is conducting - unfortunately, because of that, I can no longer force the scrollbar to disappear for everyone. However, if you are still affected by this and dislike it, you may place
    html.keep-rail-on-right { overflow-x: auto !important; }
    in your wikia.css page to get rid of it. If you are unsure of how to do this, please let me know and I will do it for you. This particular tests ends on Oct. 21st, however, so we shouldn't have to live with it for too long. -- sactage (talk) 19:12, October 16, 2013 (UTC)
  • To me, it still feels a bit too wide. Chances are I'll get used to it in time, but it really does hurt my eyes a bit since I'm more used to the content being more central and not so much in your face, sort of like the difference between a book and a broadsheet. Also the new width has caused a few issues with a few templates, such as the news team template and main page templates, portal in particular. Another issue is the Wiki's background, now that the space is so limited it sort of makes having one redundant, and on smaller screens it can't be seen at all. To be honest I would rather this be an option instead of a replacement. 23:26, October 14, 2013 (UTC)
    I've gotten a bit more use to the width now and it's not so much in ones face. However it does still feel like a jump from a book to a broadsheet. Wouldn't mind it slimmed down a bit. 23:46, October 14, 2013 (UTC)
  • Way too wide for me. --Cataphract_%28Civ5%29.png SlavByzantine_%28Civ5%29.pngTalkDromon_%28Civ5%29.png 14:12, October 15, 2013 (UTC)
    What is "too wide" about it? It doesn't seem like it's going off the edge of your screen or anything - is this just a matter of personal preference? -- sactage (talk) 02:47, October 16, 2013 (UTC)
  • The Source Mode is probably gonna be painful for me to use. It's similar to what Tumblr has, and I didn't have a good time with that. Zombie Rank 8 Icon BOII Kylet357 · talk  14:32, October 15, 2013 (UTC)
    What source mode? Do you mean Special:CSS? If so, that is an admin-only feature. -- sactage (talk) 15:13, October 15, 2013 (UTC)
    Oh, okay then. Didn't know. Can you cross out my 'Bad' note then? I don't know how to in Source :/ Zombie Rank 8 Icon BOII Kylet357 · talk  15:18, October 15, 2013 (UTC)
    I think he means the editing mode. 15:46, October 15, 2013 (UTC)
    Yeah, that's what I meant. Zombie Rank 8 Icon BOII Kylet357 · talk  15:49, October 15, 2013 (UTC)
    I don't understand what you mean, then - how is the Darwin source mode any different from the normal source mode aside from width? Do you usually use RTE? If so, Darwin shouldn't have any impact on which editor (source vs. visual/RTE) is used when you edit a page - if it is doing this, please let me know ASAP and I will bother a Wikia engineer to investigate personally. -- sactage (talk) 02:47, October 16, 2013 (UTC)
  • I can't seem to get the font at like a good setting, I zoom out and its too small or if i zoom in its too big. I had it perfect before Iw5 cardicon soapN7 TC 20:22, October 17, 2013 (UTC)

The Ugly Edit

  • Special:CSS shows all property names in a black font - this blends in with the background, meaning I have to highlight the editor contents to even read what is going on. Pretty much unusable until this is fixed. -- sactage (talk) 03:21, October 16, 2013 (UTC)

The Comments Edit

  • How long is Darwin going to be left on for us? 14:12, October 23, 2013 (UTC)
This community is an "early adopter", the rest of Wikia will get fluid layout soon (specific date still to be determined). So it won't be turned off. If you encounter any problems caused by the changes, please describe them here or let us know in some other way! We're looking into black-on-black issue in Special:CSS noted above. Thanks for your feedback so far, and for your willingness to help out! BertH @fandom (help forum | blog) 21:52, October 25, 2013 (UTC)

Morning! I've just made a quick fix to MediaWiki:Wikia.css to comment out the background CSS, and I've replaced it with the ThemeDesigner version of the same image. This has the benefit of working better for higher resolution screens (the old version showed grey bars at the sides), and helps keep the images in the right location across screen widths. Mostly, it should work basically the same for most viewers. (It was also causing some ad issues, and had the potential to cause other problems.) Kirkburn (talk) @fandom 16:55, October 31, 2013 (UTC)

Closed - Global. Joe Copp 03:22, December 4, 2013 (UTC)

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