alpha-quality Mobile Skin on the development wiki

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Tahnok

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Jun 16, 2011, 2:58:56 PM6/16/11
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Hello Appropedia Community,

I've made live the work I have been to create a mobile skin for
Appropedia. It's hosted on whatissustainability.org and should appear
automatically if you are using a mobile device. Otherwise you can
enable the skin called Thirteen to see what it looks like on your
desktop. If you have any feed back please email me or leave a note on
http://www.appropedia.org/User:Tahnok/mobile_skin

If you are interested the code for the skin is located at
https://github.com/tahnok/Thirteen .

Just a note. whatissustainability.org is a development wiki and any
changes made to it will get overwritten.

Enjoy!

Wesley Ellis
http://about.me/wellis

Chris Watkins

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Jun 19, 2011, 3:57:52 PM6/19/11
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Thanks Wesley, I love it - I love the fact that I can edit nicely, and I'm very impressed with the speed.

Notes:
  • From my preferences, "Menu" offers me only "Special" but it doesn't do anything. It would be nice to have special pages accessible through the skin - e.g. RecentChanges, Special:NewestPages or Special:NewPages, Special:Random, and "Other" in the menu. RecentChanges could be important enough for the main menu, but it's probably more logical to have a separate "Special" menu.
  • A way to browse the wiki would be great - e.g. a "main topics" menu, something like the wiki's sidebar. "Special:Random" is also important to the way some people browse.
  • The main page (and probably various others pages) don't flow well in the mobile skin. The front page is viewable, but it extends well out to the right. I'm assuming this is a matter of laying out the pages differently, rather than a problem with the skin, but not sure.


On a sidenote, I couldn't get the edit toolbar buttons (bold etc) to do anything when using Opera Mini on Android, but then I found the same problem with the regular skin on Appropedia. They work ok in the default browser.


I'm going to try this from the desktop as well, since I'm on a slow connection, and I'm thinking about installing it on my Wikipedia account.

There's a mobile site for Wikipedia, but it doesn't load the full page straight away, it doesn't allow editing. Yours is definitely better.

C


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Chris Watkins

Appropedia.org - Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

Lonny

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Jun 19, 2011, 5:41:10 PM6/19/11
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Hi Wesley,

This looks great!  Menu seemed to give me more options, but one big feature I didn't notice was search (except from the front page).  Is it there or do you think we should/shouldn't have it.

Thank you!
-Lonny

Wesley Ellis

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Jun 20, 2011, 11:39:49 AM6/20/11
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Search is there at the bottom but I guess it's not very easy to see as you missed it. I could move it to the top of the page.

Lonny

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Jun 20, 2011, 6:50:44 PM6/20/11
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Hi Wesley,

I am back on with my android and I definitely see the search bar. Maybe we could leave it downn below, but center it and have it be/say "Search" (instead of go)?

Thanks!
Lonny

Wesley Ellis

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Jun 21, 2011, 3:31:20 PM6/21/11
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Hi,

I've made some under the hood improvements as well as changing the location and appearance of the search bar. Hopefully it works better now.

I will try to come up with a way to include some way of browsing the wiki or viewing recent changes. These seem like related issues so I'll try to combine them

The main page flows funny because most of the widths and things are hard coded. It might be possible to have an alternate main page for mobile. Is this something I should look into?

Chris: I am not sure what you mean by "Menu only offers me special, but it doesn't do anything"

Wesley Ellis
http://about.me/wellis



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Chris Watkins

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Jun 22, 2011, 11:06:25 AM6/22/11
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On Wednesday, June 22, 2011, Wesley Ellis <tah...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I've made some under the hood improvements as well as changing the location and appearance of the search bar. Hopefully it works better now.

Thanks - can't miss it now.

>
> I will try to come up with a way to include some way of browsing the wiki or viewing recent changes. These seem like related issues so I'll try to combine them

Great. I'd suggest using the topic links in the Appropedia sidebar
(Appropriate technology portal, etc). It can always be changed later.
Those topics are set by [[MediaWiki:
Sidebar]] - it's probably hard to extract them dynamically, so
manually adding them to the skin might be best.

A "Browse" menu is one option. I'd also think about putting "Random"
in with these links. I wonder about adding a link to search (or
another search box) as the final item in the Browse menu...? Don't
underestimate the ability of a new person to not find things :) - when
everything is new, it's easy to forget seeing the search box up top,
if they're currently looking in the menus.

>
> The main page flows funny because most of the widths and things are hard coded. It might be possible to have an alternate main page for mobile. Is this something I should look into?

I think this is a separate job - don't worry for now. (I think the
ideal is to have one main page, but get it to flow better on a narrow
screen. I'm open to other ideas though.)

>
> Chris: I am not sure what you mean by "Menu only offers me special, but it doesn't do anything"

I mean if I'm logged in and select Main > My preferences, then select
Main again, I get only one menu item: a non-clickable one called
"Special".

Two other things I've thought about:
* The menu items (e.g. "Discussion") look the same as the menu
headings ("Menu"). Is it possible to mark them as different - e.g.
indent the green box for the menu item?
* When I turn my phone sideways, assuming there are no wide items on
the page, the text all gets bigger rather than more width of text
being shown. This is a good option (and I've seen the same thing in a
WordPress mobile skin). But I'm curious whether this is the best/only
option.
* After clicking a menu, it expands, but I'm taken to the top of the
page & have to scroll down again. Would be nice to be at the menu.

I know I'm being picky - it really is looking good.
Chris

> Wesley Ellis
> http://about.me/wellis
>
>
>
> On Sun, Jun 19, 2011 at 17:41, Lonny <appro...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> Hi Wesley,
>
> This looks great!  Menu seemed to give me more options, but one big feature I didn't notice was search (except from the front page).  Is it there or do you think we should/shouldn't have it.
>
> Thank you!
> -Lonny
>
>
>
>
> --
>
> For the public archive and subscription options, visit this group at
> http://groups.google.com/group/appropedia-community?hl=en
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> appropedia-commu...@googlegroups.com
>
>
> --
> For the public archive and subscription options, visit this group at
> http://groups.google.com/group/appropedia-community?hl=en
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> appropedia-commu...@googlegroups.com

Wesley Ellis

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Jun 22, 2011, 3:44:32 PM6/22/11
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How important is language support? (RTL, non-english) I don't really know much about how mediawiki handles such things, but if it's important enough I will work to make the skin work with multiple languages, or have an option to switch between languages.

Older browser support? (IE6) Is this something that's needed? I figure because the target is mobile devices, legacy desktop browsers shouldn't be too much of a concern, but then again if you are on a slow connection with an older machine...

Chris, what browser are you using? I have had issues with the menu buttons making the page move to the top before, but I introduced a fix for that. I implemented some fixes for android / firefox / iOS, but maybe it works different in Opera (I think you said you where using that)

For exploration, do you think that a full menu should be incorporated on each page? Or perhaps just a link to Appropedia:MobileExplore or something like that?

I've made it so that there is an explore menu, but I don't know if it should be kept.

Wesley Ellis
http://about.me/wellis
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