Steven and I spoke about this yesterday.  From a user persepctive, we don't want to implement something that degrades the  experience on every page load, in the content area, for a not insignificant portion of users (IE 6 + 7 turns out to be a little less than 4% of our page views). 

Steven is planning on touching base with Ori on this, and may have already.  I can't speak to the amount of JS cruft/maintainability of our code base the JS hack would create, but I imagine Ori can, and perhaps work with Trevor on a long-term solution if that's what we want to do.


On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 8:12 AM, Erik Moeller <> wrote:
On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 5:47 AM, Steven Walling <> wrote:

> In the interest of not waiting any more, my instinct is to deploy the first
> JS-reliant version, and defer perfecting the implementation based on when
> patches get submitted. :)

I would prefer that we not get too much in the habit of accepting
degradation of front-end performance and long term maintainability of
our codebase in order to push features out the door more quickly --
especially where it concerns code that gets loaded on every pageview.
Existing poor practices and problems are not a good reason for
exacerbating the issue (and indeed setting a poor example will reduce
our ability to set standards for others).

As you yourself say, site performance really matters, and that
includes flashes of unstyled content and DOM changes that shouldn't be
necessary. Moreover, JS cruft leads to maintenance burden down the

I'm very accepting of doing this when our objective is to learn
whether something is working or not (cf. ACUX). But the moment we
actually decide that a change makes sense, we should implement it at a
reasonable level of quality instead of layering on cruft.

So if you want to make the decision now that this change makes sense
based on the data we already have, please do a clean implementation
first. It can't become someone else's problem to do so.

Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge:

Design mailing list