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Forum: The Situation Room > Skin and Main Page

Hi everyone!

Now that there are some new admins around, I thought I'd post this here instead of in ProudHug's talk page.

My name is Nathan and I'm a wikia helper with the entertainment team. With the roll-out of Wikia's New Style, there's a couple of changes that'll be happening around here, and we'd like to help you guys transition into them.

The first change is moving into the Monaco Skin. We love the current look, and would like to help you set up the same look and feel in the Monaco format.

Second, the main page will be incorporating an extra ad, and will need to follow a two-column format. Here's a draft I put together from your current main page that won't break once the ads are turned on.

Here are some other examples of wikis that have switched to Monaco and/or have their main page formatted already:
World of Warcraft Wiki - Marvel Movies - Memory Alpha (Doesn't have the main page switched yet)

Would you like me to help you with customizing the skin, sidebar, and main page, or would you like to do it yourself?  :)


--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 17:33, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for taking the time to help us with these new changes, Nathan. I personally don't like the new look, but if it brings Wikia more money then it definitely helps us all! I have a question which betrays my ignorance and should be easy for you to answer: When I look at your development draft, I'm seeing your content, but to the right of the page I'm also seeing Wikia Spotlights and an advertisement. That column of stuff will cease to exist when the new changes are implemented, correct?
I'd love to help with this effort, but to put it simply, I'm not sufficiently competent with that kind of work. I'm a huge content contributor and my work with the meta-pages has been minimal and generally it was heavily "inspired" by other wikis. SignorSimon has added some ideas in the sandbox, and, though I happen to prefer the version you have, I suspect his input will be more useful. The News should be above the Quote box, and I added a clear-both spacer so the News no longer runs into the Wikia box at the bottom.
Lastly, if I could do something to help, it would be to make the Common metapage display our color scheme on all the skins. If the new Monaco-default could have the same color scheme as Monobook does, I'd be happy as a clam. The default colors for Monaco don't fit right on this wiki, so the closer it looks to our Monobook, the better. – Blue Rook 18:08, 16 July 2008 (UTC)talkcontribs
I'm more than happy to hang around and help out. :)
I'm assuming that you're seeing the ads to the right of the page because you're still viewing the page in Monobook, correct? In Monaco, those ads aren't there.
I didn't even realize Simon had made an effort at creating an upgrade from my page, so I'm glad you pointed that out. I can certainly modify my draft to incorporate his changes as well as your suggestions. However, if you guys would like some more time to work on Simon's draft instead, we have a little time before the main page ads come on here.
Making the custom monaco skin look as close as possible to the monobook one was my original intention. Would you guys like me to go ahead and put that together?
Thanks for the feedback, Rook, I'll get to work on updating my main page draft. :)
--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 18:17, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I updated both, I didn't realize Simon's was pretty much done with the exception of the quote of the day. (Which I fixed to be full-width). Can we move it to the main page and tweak it there if it needs more? :)
--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 18:39, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't have any problems with moving it there, so long as you keep your promise to stick around, at least for a bit, to help us with the inevitable "move that a little to the left..." kind of thing that will come up ;)
Glad to hear that we can change Monaco to have the color scheme our old guard created here! The default Monaco is ugly, ugly, and I was really peeved earlier since I believed it was being shoved down our throats with little hope for customizing it. – Blue Rook 19:05, 16 July 2008 (UTC)talkcontribs
I'm online all the time, and get the messages you guys leave on my talk page on every other wiki too, so I'm here to help!
I kind of forgot that I was going to wait to make a skin until Simon chimed in, and made one. It's not being used anywhere, and it fully open to modification, but here's what the main page would look like with the new layout and skin. If you want to see that skin on any other page on the wiki, just add: '?useskin=monaco&usetheme=custom' to the end of the url and it'll show up.
Sorry about not waiting. I really just forgot what I was going to do and did something else. :)
--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 19:45, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Is there any way to preserve out current sidebar? SignorSimon 19:58, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Also, it looks like the sidebar we have doesn't work in the new skin. SignorSimon 20:01, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Definitely. The new sidebar is at MediaWiki:Monaco-sidebar, and here's a link that explains you how it's set up. I'll fill it out the same as you have here, and then you guys can put more or less into it if you'd like.
Any tweaks needed to the skin? I wanted to remind you guys that unless you have 'let the admin's skin override my choice' set in your preferences, you'll still see monobook if it's your preferred skin for the wiki.
--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 20:18, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Just a minor quibble: why is it that when you click "View in Monaco" on your draft of the new page, the color scheme goes white instead of black? And one other thing, aside from the sidebar on the left of every page, the sidebar we use on character, location and episode pages (e.g. Jack Bauer - the one on the right) doesn't work with the new skin (I added that bit of text to end and it doesn't work). Thanks! SignorSimon 20:23, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Yea, I updated the link for monaco on my page, I forgot about that one. It should be right now.
I think I fixed the sidebar, but I couldn't see the one you're talking about on Jack's page.
Image:Jack_Bauer.jpg Here's a screenshot of what I see.
--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 20:34, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I see what you mean now, the image and such gets crammed over to the left instead of on the right. Let's see if I can fix it.
--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 20:35, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Here's what I see - Image:Jack_Bauer_sidebar.jpg. SignorSimon 20:37, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Better? Jack Bauer
--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 20:43, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

No, its exactly the same for me. SignorSimon 20:44, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

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Basically, I'm taking stuff out of the Monobook formatting and putting into the Monaco formatting page. I copied this other stuff in case you need it, but we can take any of it out if it doesn't work or you don't use it.
  • United States template table
  • Search page and Login page formatting
  • Scrollbar styling works in IE only
  • Research Files table formatting
  • References table formatting
  • Browser table formatting
  • Special:Preferences formatting
  • Special:Allmessages formatting
  • Simple table formatting
--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 20:54, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Aaah yeah it works now, thanks a bunch! SignorSimon 21:07, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Awesome! Is there any way you guys can make Monaco the new default skin? It's on your preferences page under the skin tab at the bottom.  :) I'll still be around if you need help changing anything else! :)
--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 21:09, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Holy crap, that's how you do it. If you check the Settings Log, you'll see I changed it to Monobook. That's because I was trying to toggle my own appearances. I had no idea it was affecting everybody's appearances. Isn't it strange that the way for admins to change the global appearances is located in "my preferences"? I was assuming it was located in something I hadn't seen yet, like "Global wiki preferences" or somesuch. Ah well, thanks for fixing that Simon! – Blue Rook 21:22, 16 July 2008 (UTC)talkcontribs

Yea, it's weird, it used to be in a special separate page before the newest skin. Only admins of the wiki can change the default skin, like always, and they can still change their own preferences without affecting the rest of the users. The dropdown box at the very bottom of the page appears for admins and lets them set the default. So don't worry if you still want to use monobook, Rook! :)
--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 21:28, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

There's just one other thing I think would be an improvement if possible. Is there a way to retain the normal sidebar when editing pages, instead of being given the "Editing tips" sidebar? Its not very helpful, and makes it harder to just get back to the wiki as the logo is no longer there. Any thoughts? SignorSimon 12:00, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

I've answered by own question! Don't worry about this. SignorSimon 13:27, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Cool! Glad you found it! :)
--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 18:08, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

I've just got one thing I think might need mentioning. At the minute the main page is very messy in terms of what it looks like to edit. I've started trying to make this better by renaming the Browser Banner from Template:BrowserBanner L to just {{BrowserBanner}}, but I think the other bits need to be sorted out as well. For one thing, the News template has two templates which seems a bit unnecessary to me. There's {{News}} as well as Template:MainPageR2, despite the fact that it is on the left. With this, can we remove the MainPageR2 template completely, and just have the coding from that put on the actual Main Page around the News template?

Also, the MainPageL2 template, which is in fact on the right, should be renamed in my opinion to at least reflect where it sits on the Page. I personally think that we might be able to do without this, and just have the Featured Article and On This Day templates put on the Main Page with the necessary coding written around them on the Main Page.

Hopefully that makes sense, and it would be helpful to see what you guys think of all this as well. --SignorSimon (talk/contribs/email) 09:40, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Makes sense. If you guys need any help getting that stuff done, don't hesitate to ask.
--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 11:24, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Simon I looked and I believe you're definitely right about the News template. The stuff from MainPageR2 looks easy to move to News. If you do it, feel free to delete MainPageR2.
I'm less confident about the FA/OTD/MainPageL2 stuff on the right side. I might sandbox it if you don't beat me to it in a few weeks.
Also on a slightly more random note, have you noticed we still have the unused MainPage template? It might be good to keep around or rip off wikicode from. – Blue Rook 00:42, 4 September 2008 (UTC)talkcontribs

I have to admit, I do agree with Proudhug in that the FA looks better in a place of prominance as on the old template. But it really isn't a good idea to start tampering with this now!! --SignorSimon (talk/contribs/email) 06:29, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

EDIT: OK I've made the changes to the Main Page by removed the L2 and R2 templates. They look OK to me, but I've kept the L2 template in case you want to revert the last edit. --SignorSimon (talk/contribs/email) 06:36, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

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