Wiktionary talk:Main Page/2009 redesign/Part 1

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English alpha index[edit]

I've simplified the appearance and code for the index. Only tested in Safari/Mac 4 beta, so far. Before and after shown below. Just replace the one line in Wiktionary:Main Page/2009 redesign/header to update. Michael Z. 2009-04-09 16:57 z

Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm
Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz


With title and link to numbers & symbols. Michael Z. 2009-04-09 17:10 z

N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #
I really like your version. The use of word-spacing is brilliant! I'm ashamed I didn't remember about it. I don't think the general index would be all that useful as a link, though. Circeus 19:41, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. It looks a bit odd that the title and line 1 are grouped together, and line 2 spaced out from them. Try this. Maybe “index” needed at all – it's self-explanatory just like the lettered thumb-tabs cut into the edge of a big dictionary, and the link tooltips add more info. Michael Z. 2009-04-09 21:59 z

N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #


I suggest against including a file called P NIS to this page. It could give the wrong impression. --Jackofclubs 18:05, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Honestly, I believe that's just being willfully obtuse. Besides, I personally don't much like the image itself anyway (I had a few ideas for these, but not time right now). Circeus 19:51, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I would have preferred a 3 cent coin. Maybe "newly minted" would have been a funnier description, but I wanted to keep away from the idea that you could coin words here. DAVilla 05:40, 10 April 2009 (UTC)


Looks nice. I don't like "Word of mouth" much as a section header; alongside things like "Word of the day", it isn't immediately clear what it means. Perhaps something like "Discussions" or "Activity" would be better. Also, what's going on right at the bottom with the GNU licence link? The formatting is crazy. Equinox 19:59, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

I was told to keep it as it defeats whatever simple find and replace sites like http://www.thagodz.info/search/dictionary/?title=Wiktionary:Main_Page are doing (though why it's useful I'm still not that sure). Word of mouth -> Get involved? Conrad.Irwin 20:13, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I see; perhaps there are spambots that pick up on that as an indicator of free content they can plaster over cybersquatter domains. Yeah, I like "Get involved" much more. "Discussions" sounded a bit stuffy. Equinox 20:22, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I liked the gimmick of heading every section with a word or language-related expression. :p Circeus 21:54, 9 April 2009 (UTC)


I really like the English index at the top right. What might be a nice addition is a route to other language indices. Perhaps something like "Looking for another language?" with an entry field immediately following, which would take the user to [[Index:input]]. What might be a little simpler to implement is "Looking for another language?." -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 20:37, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

I considered a column on the side similar to what they do at ru:, but ultimately found it impractical. I'll see hw best to integrate a "more languages" links. An entry field would make the header overloaded IMHO, though. My goal is a minimalist design for it. Circeus 21:47, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
How about this for a quick fix? Fancier solution is a pop-up menu in place of the title: selecting a language jumps to that index. Fanciest would be a pop-up menu which swaps in different language without reloading the page, but that might not really improve the usefulness. Michael Z. 2009-04-09 22:12 z

N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z &

English  •  Other languages
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z &

Nice solution. Integrated in the proposal. Circeus 23:04, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Foreign WOTD[edit]

I really like this idea...I mean really like it, as non-English entries are a fairly large component of our project. However, this idea would need some infrastructure and bureaucracy behind it. Perhaps I'll start a BP thread on it, see if I can get some momentum going. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 21:13, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Answered there already. I agree to keep furtehr discussion there. Circeus 21:48, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Discussion is located at Wiktionary:Beer Parlour#Foreign WOTD. --EncycloPetey 18:04, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Updated link. DAVilla

I prefer a separate box for this, perhaps with a globe icon to emphasize visually that it draws from many languages. Adding "Englih" to every English WOTD seems redundant since this is the English Wiktionary. --EncycloPetey 18:51, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

too wide[edit]

It's too wide on my setup - a horizontal scroll bar appears. SemperBlotto 21:50, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

That would occur aroun the ~850px mark (you run 800x600??), because the header input box is a lot of horizontal space that cannot be concentrated (it has a hard-coded length, not sire if CSS can be used to reduce its visual size). This is a limitation of the InputBox extension. The other option is to use floats, but those are a MESS (I originally used them, and promptly gave up). Circeus 23:19, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like it's time for SB to invest in higher res monitor. :P -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 23:22, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
So you only design webpages for people with good eyesight do you? SemperBlotto 08:28, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
One solution would be to move the indices out of the header and give them a bit of space on the right (whether in a box of some kind or not). It's not as though we have a shortage of space. Conrad.Irwin 23:26, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
The search field and and letter index could be placed one over the other, with the letters in a single line. Or the page title could have a line to itself, with the search field and index side-by-side below it. Michael Z. 2009-04-09 23:57 z
My aim was to keep the box at the center of the content section and keep the header as "thin" as possible to allow quick access to the "good" content. I believe that is the box stays, its centered position is non-negociable from a usability point of view. I'm less hung up on the index, though, but I'd rather prefer the header to be as balanced as possible. Alternatively, I think you can use the bodySearchInput id which identifies that box (restrict it with a proper id applied to the header) and reduce the size of the field in the site's css file. Circeus 02:06, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

I see that the inputBox extension has break and width parameters. Adding break=yes will put the button below the field. Width=39 prevents horizontal scrolling for me in Safari/Mac, 1024px window, zoom+1, but I have a custom style sheet. Michael Z. 2009-04-11 15:53 z

Putting "width=39" and splitting the text "Wiktionary, the free dictionary you can edit" into three, instead of two lines (now also matching the index) gets rid of the horizontal scroll on my setup. SemperBlotto 16:18, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Weird. I could have sworn there was no "width" parameter when I looked... Use of "break" is pointless because the button will slide under the input regardless. if we touch only the width, then the maximum one is 30, which is enough to type 15~18 of the wider character, and more than long enough to type the longest usual words (including the longest period in nonagglutinative languages). Circeus 16:37, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
If you use break=yes then the appearance won't change. (I would swear break=yes worked in a preview a short while ago, but now it doesn't)
By the way, I see align:center all over the place, but this does nothing in a properly-behaving browser; the CSS property is text-alignMichael Z. 2009-04-11 17:01 z

Complete index[edit]

Shall this be removed, and rely on the “Other languages” link at the top? Or if we want to stress the multilingualism, then I could rebuild this with links to the much better manually-generated language indexes. Michael Z. 2009-04-09 23:59 z

I'd like to see links to the indices, but then I'm that kind of person. Conrad.Irwin 00:02, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't see why we shouldn't keep there where they already were, personally. Circeus 04:30, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure exactly what you're saying, but the current “Index” box on the home page is lame. It's an excellent demonstration of how we're hacking around the MediaWiki software and not able to really do what we would like to. What kind of dictionary would choose to list the capitalized words in a separate section from the rest? Or mix Polish and Slovak terms in one place, and Ukrainian and Komi in another, because of the alphabets they use? Alphabetize COO, co-operation, and coöperation pages apart from each other? Have an “Accented” index?
I'll put together a version linking to the manually-compiled indexes, which are much, much better. Michael Z. 2009-04-10 04:51 z
If we're going to be linking the manually compiled indexes from the front page, I feel like they should all be updated on a regular basis, not just the 5-10 that currently are. Nadando 05:18, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
We should see about having automated bots for other languages than English. That would be REALLY neat. Until then, I say linking to categories is more useful than indexes. Circeus 05:41, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
It looks like several are updated by User:Conrad.Bot (great job!). I just rediscovered the indexes yesterday, and the best ones are a real pleasure to browse. We really need an effort to generate them systematically.
I've sorted them out a bit, and linked them from a box to replace the current one. The C.bot indexes are expanded, with links to multipage and 1-page indexes below. There's also a hidden list of indexes which seemed too incomplete to link from the home page, but they're all found in the category listing.. Michael Z. 2009-04-10 06:46 z
Crystal Clear app package network.png Languages of the world List

American Sign Language, Armenian, Balinese, Bosnian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, English, Ewe, Filipino, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Greek, Ancient, Haitian Creole, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Lithuanian, Lojban, Russian, Serbian, Shabo, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Turkish, Ukrainian, Volapük

Afrikaans, Aragonese, Breton, Catalan, Chickasaw, Crimean Tatar, Dutch, Fiji Hindi, Hawaiian, Hiligaynon, Icelandic, Inuktitut, Kabuverdianu, Maori, Mapudungun, Nigerian Pidgin, Old Norse, Papiamentu, Pitjantjatjara, Polish, Saterland Frisian, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Tok Pisin, West Frisian

Licence weirdness[edit]

What's with the nonsense below the sister project links: “From en.wiktionary.org, www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html licence?” It seems to be trying to duplicate information and the link in the header. The underline makes it look like a link, but it isn't. Michael Z. 2009-04-10 00:05 z

See my "Comments" section above. Equinox 00:09, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Ah, thanks. I tried to click on it and was annoyed when it didn't work. I tried to read it, but couldn't figure it out. Isn't there some way of fooling the spambots without annoying readers and looking stupid? Make it invisible or position it off the page, or color it like the background. No, scratch that – this “watermark” stinks of copy protection.
What does this actually accomplish, anyway? Why do we have to deface our home page with it but Wikipedia doesn't? Michael Z. 2009-04-10 01:01 z

Another idea[edit]

Nuvola apps knewsticker.png
Yesterday’s News  from March 31

Washington is addressing the problem of coyotes — human smugglers who are largely responsible for illegal immigration across the Southwest border — with a huge buildup of manpower and equipment to make the border less permeable. (John Burnett, All Things Considered, NPR)

About Yesterday’s NewsArchiveNominate a wordRSS feed

Maybe Last Weeks news would be more sensible, to hugely reduce the amount of work necessary. Conrad.Irwin 08:16, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, this is definitely too much work. I would also prefer to say "In the Media" to turn a populist bent, including for instance quotations from recent movie releases or new TV episodes. It really depends on what is desired from whoever might want to take this up. Otherwise, either idea might be a good alternative to Newly Discovered, for days when all the newly discovered terms are vular. ;-) DAVilla 08:47, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

That many Boxes?[edit]

Is everything going to be in these boxes? They don't really suit being everywhere - a less bright color and/or a thinner border might help. Conrad.Irwin 08:16, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

All boxes is a definite no, anything to help is a definite go. I feel like something has to be in white. It could be a "box" just without a border. DAVilla 08:38, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

First complete rough draft, comments and summary of the discussion sor far[edit]

This is pretty close to what I had in mind when I first set off to do this redesign. now that I have the actual design in front of me, I can see several issues:

Comment on the design as is[edit]

Note: please remember that the real design will show a significantly larger portion of the page, as the top header and subpage link will not be there

  • The icons on the right are not really necessary when you have two columns. In fact, they are downright distracting.
  • Uniting the boxes the way wp: does it looks like an interesting option, but feels like following up.
  • As an alternative to using a pale colors for the right-hand box, not having boxes on the right at all, but showing the same content should be considered.
  • I couldn't fit links to other languages index in a way that could have been more visible than the small link in the header, but not overwhelming.
  • Although the introduction of some text between the header and the content could be considered, I'm personally not too keen on it, but I'm not sure quite why.
  • I'd like to find a better way to link to wiktionary:Welcome, newcomers (which we should really move to Wiktionary:About for siplicity rather than doing it the other way around IMHO)

Circeus 17:29, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Summary of above discussions[edit]

  • Do we want to feature specific language indexes on the front page besides English? If so how could this be done best?
  • Design is too "wide" (this can be fixed with CSS on the front page, but not the design page) for 800x600 display.
  • The way the license link is display is very quirky, why is it so? Can it be made more intuitive and logical? Is it really needed?
  • Do we really want to add extra features to accompany English WOTD? If so which? Is this design the best way to incorporate them?
  • How best to avoid "box overload?
  • For language indexes, see #Complete index, above. It may not be ideal, but I think it's an improved replacement for the “Complete index” box.
  • Regarding boxiness: the icons and subheadings do a fine job of separating the sections vertically and flagging their points of entry for a reader – the horizontal rules and tone are not needed for this at all. If an em or em-and-a-half of whitespace was added between the two columns, then maybe the vertical rules and tone would be completely superfluous. (For the best design, keep deleting elements until everything left is absolutely necessary.)
  • The boxes have rules in two colours and two thicknesses, and backgrounds in three colours. The icons are a mix of 3D, flat, and perspective, glassy, gradient, and solid, monocolour and multicolour. I'd prefer to see a more unified selection.
  • Let's see sample content in “Interesting stuff”. The heading should start with the big text, so you could either emphasize “Interesting stuff” or swap position and start with “Blank” (or whatever).


 Michael Z. 2009-04-11 15:06 z
  • Indexes: if the language-based index is intended to replace the script-based one, it is certainly more interesting. I'll Wait to see what the consensus on it is first, though.
  • Boxiness/icons: The latest try is a version with no box on the right. It is clear that if we go that way the boxes need to be way less invasive than they are ATM, and keeping the icons on the right is a good idea.
  • Icons too disparate: Since almost all of them are SVG, or at least should be (The Nuvola and index are the exception, and I'll ask for SVG recreations, maybe replacing the index one with a SVG of the gorgeous globe you found), I was intending to go over at Commons and ask if somebody could streamline the colors based on the WOTD icon.
  • "Let's see sample content in “Interesting stuff”"
  • There IS sample content. Some 10 of them, all different types, in fact. It just happen one is a blank. Try clicking the "refresh" links to purge the page. I've tried putting the "Interesting stuff" in big, but that name lacks a bit of punch. Circeus 17:06, 11 April 200
If an option is to have no boxes, then let's see a mock-up with no boxes. There's not much point in looking at a combination. I'd like to see a real proposal, and be able to compare different ones. (Apologies if the plan is to have boxes on the left and not on the right.) Michael Z. 2009-04-11 17:39 z
Well, right now, I'm putting for discussion a proposal with (for the middle section, anyway) boxes on the left only. I'm thinking more and more that I should make this page a "master", and use it to links to several different proposals instead. Also, I'd like to point out I haven't edited the index yet 'cause I'm still reusing the same subpage as the front page: I'm not editing below the main content until I know what the first visual section will be like. Besides, no point ironing out every little kink at this stage when I'm overhauling major elements on a day-to-day basis. Circeus 17:51, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough, and I didn't mean to demand more work of you. Thanks for the good work so far. Michael Z. 2009-04-11 17:58 z
Re: indexes, consensus is clearly to ignore it. If you replace the current one with the new for a couple of days, that may generate some responses. I don't think it's optimal, and I would like to get any comment at all. Michael Z. 2009-04-11 19:01 z

Newer version: changes/comments[edit]

This is the version I'm now discussing.

  • It has all the left-hand content within a single table and box, which looks much neater IMHO. Its background color has been toned down a notch.
  • The right-hand content is now boxless to allow an increased focus on the featured content. I've also used a single table there for code simplicity. Text there has been improved the best I could per EncycloPetey's comments.
  • It obviously looks much better and balanced when the content on the right is shorter or near equal to that on the left, so I've removed the "Scriptorium" link to help. In that vein, keeping three features on the left seems a good idea to help keeping it that way. I'd further recommend reintroducing a header for FWOTD (especially as using a single box takes less room).
  • Index has been replaced with User:Mzajac's proposal. However, it needs its border harmonized. Because there would otherwise be two globe icons, I've replaced the "other dictionaries" one. Again.
  • I need to figure out why exactly the boxes won't align on the left-hand side (it gets obvious when you reach the index and foreign dictionaries). It's probably a stupid little thing (like leftover margins of padding somewhere)
  • I'd also like to point out the proposal makes some small changes to the WOTD template(s), primarily by the use of {{purge}} (which makes the "refresh" link page independent: there is no need for the refresh link to go to the WOTD page), and the removal of the "edit" link, which is really not that useful on the front page (it is only usable by admins, and I'd venture to guess it is not used often enough to justify its likely confusing presence).

Circeus 05:32, 13 April 2009 (UTC)


I've two comments on the text, but will first say that I like the new look and layout so far. (1) "Get Involved" sounds too informal to me, and is probably too idiomatic for some users whose first language is not English. What about "Participate" instead? (2) The "descriptions" under the "More than Words" items are not helpful. Yes, they inject humor and are fun, but they won't be helpful for non-native speakers, and won't be especially descriptive for sight impaired users, searches, etc. --EncycloPetey 18:12, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

The writing should be good, and appropriate, but don't dumb it down or neuter it for learners (who are not the same as “non-native” or ESL readers, who may have a better command of the written and idiomatic language than any of us). In fact, why not use interesting idioms and link to their entries?
I can't imagine what sight-impairment could have to do with this. Michael Z. 2009-04-11 18:42 z
Sight-impaired users often use software that reads the text aloud. Run-ons, sentence fragments, or missing punctuation can result in problems with the software's intonation. I agree about not dumbing it down, but the text should be descriptive and meaningful, not merely playful. --EncycloPetey 18:49, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
It would be arrogant for us to second-guess what disabled readers can and can't perceive through their assistive technologies. But the little I've read on the subject says that they want to read the same things everyone else reads. There are real measurable accessibility problems which we should address in our dictionary, but this certainly isn't one of them.
Besides, do run-ons, sentence fragments, or missing punctuation result in problems with your books' or your websites' intonation? Screen readers are sophisticated software which its users become very adept with, and customize for themselves. Don't mistake something you've may have experienced now and then with your OS's text-to-speech software as being the same thing. And an odd turn of phrase may make any reader stop and reread a sentence, sighted or not. Michael Z. 2009-04-11 19:11 z
You've given an excellent reason in support my assertion: "an odd turn of phrase may make any reader stop and reread a sentence, sighted or not". You seem to be arguing against my point without cause. I find the descriptions awkward, too, I am not belittling others. Please stop reading patronizing motives into my attempts to improve the main page for everyone. Please don't dismiss the concerns of others based on the "little" you've read. Accessibility of the Main Page is most definitely an issue we should concern ourselves with. --EncycloPetey 19:23, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not patronizing you, just trying to understand what you're saying and explain my reasoning. How about the next time you write something that implies blind readers can't understand written humour I'll just call it B.S.? Accessibility is a series of technical requirements. Unless you have real experience with screen readers, then don't try coaching Wiktionary editors to write in some way you imagine will be helpful. That is patronizing. Michael Z. 2009-04-11 21:28 z
That was not appropriate. I apologize. I didn't mean to discourage any attempt to improve the writing, only to say that I don't believe blind readers require any special writing style. Please try to forgive my outburst, EP. Michael Z. 2009-04-12 19:32 z
Given your decisive arguments of late, I almost forgot you were human. DAVilla 17:36, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm stating decisively and unambiguously that I lost sight of the point and chose my words badly. If you disagree with this view, I am prepared to demonstrate a comprehensive argument, supported by quotations from the literature, line diagrams, tables of figures, and sworn affidavits of eyewitness testimony. Michael Z. 2009-04-13 20:58 z
No problem there. These are exactly the sport of details I want input on (because there's no way I want to be blamed for bad stuff on the front page!). I'll change "get involved" back to "discussion rooms" or "participate" when I next revise the proposal. Feel free to edit the descriptive text for the right-column (or, in fact, any aspect of the page: it's an open proposal after all!). Circeus 18:54, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Weekly Rotation of Interests[edit]

I had the idea of using exactly seven topics for Interesting Stuff that can be put on a weekly rotation for sake of consistency. What this would establish are essentially seven mini-czars controlling seven independent projects, each on a weekly instead of daily rotation.

The selection of Interesting Stuff as shown now can be found on THIS PAGE. Putting aside technical issues like funny scripts, it would be nice to highlight at least these:

  1. A FOREIGN PHRASE for wayfarers, maybe Fridays?
  2. TRANSLATIONS into several languages.
  3. SYNONYMS from our (Edit: linked) THESAURUS.
  4. RHYMES with chimes.
  5. An APPENDIX entry including the GLOSSARY.
  6. An ETYMOLOGY, particularly one with a backstory, (Twice edited:) or DESCENDANTS of an ancient term.

The seventh might be an FYI, including writing tips that would normally be found in usage notes. Really, it all depends on whether there's enough interest for us to do this. I absolutely do not want to have to fall back on one of the bureaucrats or near-bureaucrats. WOTD is enough for anyone without having to act as a coordinator.

I'm also worried that the glossary, phrasebook, and thesaurus may not have enough content. The first I've combined with the corresponding namespace. The other two are a problem of attention because they really should have a lot more content. At this point it's probably easier to find a list of synonyms within some dictionary entry than in Wikisaurus. That may be our fallback. For the phrasebook it would be nice to have an audio link, but that's not realistic for every presentation at this point. If it were implemented we may end up seeing a lot of repeated content, for instance just greetings in several dozen languages. In other words, all of this is doable, just not ideal at the moment. By ideal I mean dazzling, and by doable I mean respectably presentable.

None of these doubts are necessarily game-stoppers. We have easily enough content to go for two years (a hundred weeks) and many regular contributors interested in these specific areas. With projected growth, in that time we will be dazzling. (Edit:) If not, we can always switch up the rotation. We would probably revamp within that timeframe anyway.

By the way, I've left out FUNNY QUOTE and WORD OUT (or yesterday's news) because I think that could be better mixed in with newly discovered terms in a separate box. All of these are quotations, after all. As I have said elsewhere, it is the last that interests me most, but it would always be good to find a partner. What I have in mind is lining up a sequence of neologisms only after they've been cited and inspected, in the case of RFV passed and archived. Nominations would be taken as well because for instance murram never went through a formal process, just cited upon creation, yet I couldn't find it in OneLook. That being my only real tool, I could use some help in sifting through recently cited terms that may already appear elsewhere. DAVilla 19:33, 12 April 2009 (UTC) Edited. DAVilla 22:57, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

I want to note first that the way I see it, we can have no more than three features in the space we have on main page. It appears fairly likely that the second will end up being a FWOTD, as such keeping any of Newly Discovered, In the News or funny quote in is definitely an option, especially as the Rhyming book is NOT IMHO developed enough for a regular weekly feature yet. As such I recommend we select another feature for rhymes (I say "Newly discovered"), and use the last for any chosen feature that does not fit the other, so far we have "rhymes", "funny quote" and "in the news" I'm sure as time goes on we'll figure out more stuff to put there (i.e. false friends?, anagrams? DYK-like feature for records like the longest single-syllable word?).
In any case, I don't want these circumlocutions to sidetrack the discussion on the layout itself. Circeus 04:55, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
IMO it's entirely on point to decide how many boxes need to be on the page and to weigh content to determine that. I think you'd already decided that three is enough for aesthetic if not other reasons. In the end it looks like you may be right. As you say, there aren't enough rhymes pages either, even those sparsely populated, and for me that's just one shortcoming too many. We're going to have to put quotations et al. back into the mix. I guess one positive thing about that is we have plenty of newly discovered terms to pick from, and can choose only those that don't embarrass us. It's not just that a lot of people here seem to be embarrassed by our content of eye-dialectical spellings etc., it's that we would be able to pick the ones that actually do shine, those completely absent from the OED and any dictionaries of slang or technical terms. Wiktionary firsts.
However, news quotations may pose a problem to the above proposal. They're much better when posted immediately. I wouldn't want to have more than one every week, every two weeks would be fine, but it wouldn't fall on a particular day. So that right there kinda kills this idea. In that case I'd like to know how Interesting Stuff is going to be coordinated, and that's going to be an important question if this goes through. Now we need not only mini-czars to sift through nominations in each category, but also someone to select which category is going to be drawn from day to day. And quite frankly I'm not sure if I want to do all the back-end work to present neologisms ripe for the picking, and then not have them picked. Besides the fact that coordination is automated, one good thing about a rotation is it provides assurance. If someone is over my head then they're not going to agree with which new term is best to present, and I may as well let them pick it. That's fine with me provided I'm assured that I'll get a slot. Otherwise my work is for nothing, and why should I keep it up when some neologism I really like is upstaged by a funny quote that isn't all that funny? DAVilla 17:30, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
WOTD is not edited more than 7 days i advance, although due to balance concerns, Petey usually decides at the beginning of the month. I think it's not a bad thing if we decide that the "floating" feature can be replaced without warning by a "in the news" if something interesting and relevant crops up during the week (cf. the niggardly, macaca and nappy-headed -gates in recent years). Circeus 21:02, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
On closer inspection the content I dug up from RFV is over a longer period of time than I'd realized, which makes a weekly rotation better suited. DAVilla 08:45, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

I've divided the year into 20 weeks designated A and 20 weeks designated B, alternating, plus 12 weeks at the beginning of each month designated C. See Wiktionary talk:Main Page/interesting. This should give us enough flexibility to split up what we want to feature. For instance, I've put rhymes on the first Tuesday of the month, which would be accessed at rhymes/C1 through rhymes/C12. That way the choice of content is controlled by a master switch, yet we don't have to worry about whether there's a rhyme prepared for a specific day, only for a specific week. Like WOTD, this would fall back on last year's featured content. 19:33, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Refresh and updating[edit]

Several anons have commented of late on refresh problems with WOTD. Thus far, I haven't seen this issue addressed, either here or elsewhere. We didn't have this problem a year ago, and if we're going to think about expanding the list of rotating items on the Main Page, we need to solve this glitch. Is there a way to encourage or even force a refresh of the Main Page for visitors (without nasty side effects)? --EncycloPetey 19:53, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I say this is independent of my skills (I don't do scripting) or even the redesign itself (not that I'd mind if people want to wait 'til it's fixed). This should move over to WT:GP. Circeus 22:41, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

New box design[edit]

Word of the day  for April 17

knell v

  1. To ring a bell slowly, especially for a funeral; to toll.
  2. To signal or proclaim something by ringing a bell.

Code needs more work though. 08:48, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

It's a bit garish - but I like the fade. Conrad.Irwin 15:09, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure it looks so good if you stack three within the box, though. Circeus 15:31, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
It might if the fade "progressed" from dark/medium to medium dark/medium light, and finally medium/light, as though they were slits looking through to a complex background. DAVilla 05:28, 18 April 2009 (UTC)


I like this a lot now, but would like to propose:

  • Removing the "subtitle" from the interesting box and the "from Eastern Europe" from Word du Jour.
  • Renaming "Glossary Page of Interest", perhaps "featured glossary" or "Glossary of Interest"
  • Changing or removing the colour of "Languages of the world" or "Wiktionaries in other languages"
  • Not listing the English Index twice (though I like it in both places)

If I get time I'll try and fix up the RSS feeds which I notice are pointed at my toolserver account (and are broken). Are there any indices which people particularly want? I've refrained from overwriting the French and German ones as they are currently "todo" lists. Conrad.Irwin 15:19, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I'd tend to agree with all of those. I have to admit I was never much good at color-tweaking a design, so if somebody wanted to step in to do color work, I sure wouldn't mind.
Re: indexes, here's a wishlist: Russian (or Polish or another Slavic language), Turkish, Arabic, one of Japanese or Chinese, Finnish, An Indic and a Dravidian language, a Southeast Asian language, an African language or two, a language from the pacific, a native american language from each of northern (Maybe Navajo or Inuktitut?), central (Nahuatl?) and southern America (Maya? Guaraní? Quechua?). The idea there is that if we can get a more worldly balance, we can get rid of the unneeded a-z bits and the definite (though it was never meant) bias they display. Circeus 15:47, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Arabic would be hard, if you want to organize it by root letters- could a bot find that information from the entries we currently have? Nadando 01:03, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, I put Arabic in owing to the fact it IS a major world language (arguably more so than several for which we have proper indexes), and I think it's a good idea to expand to more non-latin languages. We can use a language where alphabet organisation makes sense: Sindhi, Persian and Urdu are options, but I don't think wikt: is as developed with these languages as with Arabic. Circeus 01:26, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Based on your wishlist, the additions to make to the page would be Index:Russian, Index:Turkish, Index:Persian (surprisingly much better developed than Arabic), Index:Japanese (it's more popular than Chinese in the US), Index:Hindi, Index:Telugu, Index:Thai, Index:Swahili, Index:Nahuatl. It would indeed remove the eurocentrism and show readers that the Wiktionary is multilingual, and not just European. I couldn't find any good indexes for Pacific and American so I left them out for now. It might be preferable to add some more words for these languages before adding the indexes to the main page, but I don't know how hard that is. -- Prince Kassad 09:31, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Why do we have to list alphabets on the main page by language? The indexes are fine the way they're set up now, but to add some navigation tools, why can't we just throw up scripts here, like:
Roman: A B C Ch Cs D E F G Gy H I J K L Ll Ly M N Ñ Ny O Ö P Q R S Sz T Ty U Ü V W X Y Z Zs &
and have each of those pages link to the appropriate languages? It's a little more indirect as far as click-throughs go, but whatever we do would have to be more indirect, apart from listing every index on the home page or otherwise having a huge selective bias.
And yes, Chinese and Arabic are major omissions right now. DAVilla 05:20, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand – which page would Roman A link to? The translingual indexes are not so good – MediaWiki's so-called “alphabetizing” doesn't put COO, coop, co-operation, or coöperation anywhere near each other. I don't see much point in aggregating languages by script, grouping Croatian with Quechua for example, rather than with Macedonian.
We already have a link to the list of all language indexes and feature 58 individual languages. When they are better developed, it would be nice to order the indexes by number of world speakers. Michael Z. 2009-04-20 18:39 z
DAVilla's point is a bit muddled. He consider that linking to the individual letter pages within the index is unnecessary. I agree on a theoretical level: if all indexes have alphabet pages, giving links to these pages on the front is unnecessary and space-hogging. In the current, however, model it serve to showcase the difference between these and the non-automated indexes.
As to his "Roman" example, I believe it hails back to the original scripture-based index. Circeus 19:32, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
This is what I mean. 00:07, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Now restored, fuck! DAVilla 17:56, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
So if I am browsing the home page and I want to look up the Galician word ñu, I look up “Roman”, click on the Ñ, then in the Roman index click Galician, then click Ñ again in the Galician index, then find my word on the page (in a large index like English, I would have to click yet again). Not an optimal experience for the reader. Michael Z. 2009-04-22 17:10 z
Yeah, one might well argue that in this case, Special:PrefixIndex links are far more efficient (not to mention that the choice of letters is... odd IMHO). Circeus 02:48, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Except that PrefixIndex can't alphabetize its way out of a wet paper bag. It's not efficient at all when COO, cooperation, co-operation, and coöperation fall pages apart from each other; just gives readers the mistaken impression that words are missing from the dictionary, or that we have no respect for someone who actually wants to find words. Michael Z. 2009-04-23 04:23 z
Uh, no. You click on Ñ (which is only listed on the first line, the one that says Roman script) and then you click on Galician. You're already there. DAVilla 00:54, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Well that only requires two (or three) clicks, but one (or two) is better. It's also confusing because the context and page hierarchy change unexpectedly. They select a letter to find a list of languages, then select a language to find a the letter again, and the path of entry through Index:Roman script/ñ is unexpectedly replaced by navigation for Index:Galician/ñ and Index:Galician.
A translingual letter index may be useful as a secondary option for readers who want to look up a word but don't know its language, but this doesn't allow that. Michael Z. 2009-04-24 02:00 z
Do you want me to move and/or edit Index:Galician and Index:Galician/ñ to point back to Latin/Roman so that the hierarchy is preserved for this example? Of course those are live pages but if you want me to play around with them to illustrate what a proper hierarchy would look like then I'd be more than happy to make intrusive edits. I just need your permission first so that I don't get yelled at for doing so.
Absolutely listing the languages is more direct. But if you aren't going to list several dozen languages then you're going to have to be unreasonably selective about which ones you do list. If we can agree on how to do that then sure, list away. It was my impression that the current list is a little Euro-centric. This is offered as an alternative. DAVilla 17:36, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, no, my point is that the current hierarchy of language→letter is intuitive, which is probably why we already have it that way. I don't think it's helpful to create a second hierarchy letter→language(→letter) for the home page.
I also don't think we have to be unreasonably selective. Currently, the proposal emphasizes the indexes which are best developed, which is reasonably practical. If the list isn't ideal, then let's get to work building the neglected indexes.
As I mentioned above, I think a reasonable target would be to list language by frequency of use (without deciding exactly what that means, for the moment, but see w:List of languages by number of native speakers). Feature letter indexes for the 5 or 10 most-spoken languages, with links to the next 40 indexes or so. Michael Z. 2009-04-24 17:53 z