Battlestar Wiki talk:Think Tank/CSS Layout

Discussion page of Battlestar Wiki:Think Tank/CSS Layout
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I don't understand; what is this and where can I see an example? --The Merovingian (C - E) 18:09, 10 July 2006 (CDT)

The most basic define is: Cascading Style Sheets. Language used to describe how an HTML document should be formatted. So all you would have to do is:
{| class="infobox"
| This is an info box...

and the "CSS File" has an "infobox" define with different style parameters. So you don't have to know CSS, all you have to do is the "class". Also the CSS "package" includes a design update of some of the elemsnts of the "layout". Like the Left navagation area, default colors, etc, etc. --Shane (T - C - E) 18:17, 10 July 2006 (CDT)

Well okay, but what I see on the Hangar Bay thing doesn't look like a massive redesign: am I looking at the right thing?--The Merovingian (C - E) 18:43, 10 July 2006 (CDT)
Look at the footer, the left navagation (the icons will not show because it's not on the main "root" yet. The Yellow links where "My Talk" is. The Yellow Tabs. The Editing and New Article Creation look different. The Prefences look different. Red no longer exists, unless it's a non created page. Stuff like that. There are very few artiles that have been created, but there are no images on that wiki.

Alot of the changes you can not see unless you create a dummy account on the Hangerbay. --Shane (T - C - E) 19:53, 10 July 2006 (CDT)

I have two major problems here.

  1. I'm personally quite fond of monobook, and I don't care for the redesign featured at the hangar bay; and although an intense design critique could improve it, I don't think it's worth our energy. The leads to my second point:
  2. Monobook, and other projects which we inherit from the MediaWiki project, are worked on and approved by large groups with more design sense, creativity, and enthusiasm than we can ever hope to muster on our small corner of the internet. To think otherwise strikes me as hubris. This is one of those situations where I vastly prefer deferring to other experts rather than trying to do something ourselves.

--April Arcus 19:56, 10 July 2006 (CDT)

I agree. I like what we already have, and it would be a lot of energy for a comparatively minor change. --The Merovingian (C - E) 19:59, 10 July 2006 (CDT)
Forget to mention... there is a second skin that is int he Monobook colors with the same design. --Shane (T - C - E) 20:06, 10 July 2006 (CDT)

I think that the reason this proposal looks weak, is because Shane is not displaying the power of CSS. Switching to CSS is an investment in the future. It would make lay-out design changes MUCH easier after adopting it. If all info-boxes look as they do because they're labeled "infobox" in the HTML (as generated by MediaWiki), then should we want to change how they look, we can change it in one place and they all get updated. So, that's, maybe, not so spiffy. Here's the catch; to me, the selling point. We also have an "infobox" description in the monobook css file that tells infoboxes how to look. A user picks which CSS file they want to use in preferences (this is, actually, already how the different "skins" work, it's just a matter of personalizing the CSS files referenced in prefs).

I don't agree with Peter (GASP!) that we should let the experts handle this one. Our needs are different from those of Wikipedia at times and so it would behoove us to decide for ourselves on some things. I, personally, think this is one of those things. There are a lot of common lay-out elements we user over and over that could be standardized and centralized into the CSS files.

Also, it is my understanding that the CSS files are editable via the Wiki interface. I'll have to do some more research, but I think, if we know the name of the file, we can edit a page of that same name and that information gets appended to the page (so there'd be one page like this for each skin). I may be misunderstanding this, however.

What would make me feel better about this proposal is:

  • No change in aesthetics being tied to moving to CSS. That's a separate argument.
  • Equal treatment of CSS for other skins (I.e. we should personalize all the css files).
  • More research into whether or not the css files can be edited via wiki interface. This is, I think, very important.

Also, Shane, would you provide a link here (for quick reference) to the css file you're working with so that those of us that can read css can scan through it? Thanks. --Day (Talk - Admin) 14:58, 11 July 2006 (CDT)

i'll dig up the link. -- Shane (T - C - E) 15:33, 11 July 2006 (CDT)
The use of CSS isn't at issue - MediaWiki already produces very clean markup which can be styled practically at will. --April Arcus 15:37, 11 July 2006 (CDT)
Yes, Peter, but most of our styling is done in-line, which doesn't lend itsself to standardization. For instance, all the places where color is specified in-line need to be given classes and those classes added to each .css we have. Maybe I'm entirely misunderstanding Shane's proposal and I need to make my own to this purpose. --Day (Talk - Admin) 16:56, 11 July 2006 (CDT)
I understood that Shane wanted to replace our current default skin outright with the version on display at the hangar bar. I agree that inline styles in templates should be done away with. --April Arcus 17:33, 11 July 2006 (CDT)
This is the "CSS" file being used right now on the Hangerbay: Now all the elements Above the line:
 * Custom Elements for Battlestar Wiki "Design"; These do not appear with MediaWiki Default

are the MediaWiki "tags" with the BSG Colors. Everything below are customs tags to "objects" and styles we have created from the "main page" redesign and other misc. custom elements already created on this wiki. Shane (T - C - E) 15:42, 11 July 2006 (CDT)

Thanks for the link, Shane. I'll look over it when I get the time. --Day (Talk - Admin) 16:56, 11 July 2006 (CDT)

Monobook example[edit]

The monobook example is looking a LOT better. Kind of have to squint your eyes and imagine what it'd look like with images. Also, the more artistic/interface minded might pipe in if you have any color scheme suggestions. Engineers always end up doing far more interface work than they really ought to. The light blue was a suggestion based off of some of wikipedia's pages.--Steelviper 11:19, 12 July 2006 (CDT)


When: 6 days from now... --Shane (T - C - E) 13:56, 18 July 2006 (CDT) Support Reached: CSS be installed or BW:CSS be created to show examples of code before it gets installed; Edit pages that matter

  1. Joe Beaudoin Jr. - Support I support the creation of BW:CSS, but Oppose the installation of the Hangar Bay style as default. (This doesn't mean that it shouldn't be included in the choices via the user preferences page, but as default, I'd rather K.I.S.S.) We also have people on dial up to consider as well. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 21:30, 19 July 2006 (CDT)
  2. CalculatinAvatar - Support BW:CSS, use of classes with formatting defined in CSS over in-situ formatting Oppose change of default theme (for now, at least) --CalculatinAvatar(C-T) 04:15, 24 July 2006 (CDT)
  3. Day - {{confused}} How can we support or oppose something that is multiple choice? I would Support a project page for working on the CSS use on this site. I would Oppose installing the CSS as it stands over at the demo site. --Day (Talk - Admin - SotS) 02:22, 19 July 2006 (CDT)
  4. Mercifull -
  5. April Arcus - Comment: What are we even voting on? A new default theme? Which is it?
Comment:Currently a lot of our "style" elements are hard coded, which makes using different themes more difficult (since the boxes and lines and text end up with their hardcoded style which can clash badly with the theme, making things ugly at best and illegible at worst). If we better define our CSS code (not only in the theme, but also in using the CSS classes instead of hardcoding the style) it'd be easier to install/use different themes. For example, it'd be nice to be able to use a theme like Wikipedia's vanilla monobook, but at present some of our text areas and messageboxes VERY difficult to read using that. So the project could help outline what kind of changes would need to be made (to templates to use the CSS, to articles in order to remove any hardcoding and use the CSS classes). So it's not really so much about changing the default theme, so much as changing how we currently implement the default theme (and better allowing for other themes).--Steelviper 14:57, 20 July 2006 (CDT)
I have no objection to that, but I'm not sure that's what everyone else is voting on, or what Shane asked us about. --April Arcus 15:38, 20 July 2006 (CDT)
  1. Spencerian - Neutral. I sometimes get my eyes in a twist over the high contrast of our red on black theme. It would be nice to go to the "white" Wikipedia style (provided we don't break existing appearances on articles) as a second option, but to give everyone a list of several possible color styles? This is a wiki, not an episode of "How Do I Look?". --Spencerian 15:11, 26 July 2006 (CDT)
  2. Steelviper - Support I like the project page idea. This is an inherently abstract project, and having a place to lay out some example code, etc., would benefit it. A possible big win (long-term). --Steelviper 06:42, 19 July 2006 (CDT)
  3. Support A project page to show benefits. --FrankieG 06:59, 19 July 2006 (CDT)
  4. Support - We can always have this "style" installed also. --Shane (T - C - E) 13:03, 19 July 2006 (CDT)

Very Important[edit]

Please check out the Hangerbay. I got images to work so you can see it with some flare. :) --Shane (T - C - E) 12:29, 5 August 2006 (CDT)