For those of you that have been living under a rock, the new Mediawiki Usability Initiative team released a new skin called "Vector" ( Original announcement: ).  Many of us like Monobook (many also hate it), Vector is supposed to be the new more friendly layout (you can read more about it here: ).  I would really appreciate it if everyone took just a few minutes to give Vector a shot, you can try it on any single page by adding ?useskin=vector ( For example: ).  You can also turn it on for yourself (While logged in) on your user account by following: My Preferences > Appearance > Vector > Save

What is the end goal?  We would like to see this become the default on Wikinews here in the short order.  While the concern has been raised that vector is still "Beta", it really isn't.  It has been released on all WMF wiki's as an option for all users & the code isn't being changed on a regular basis any more (other than to fix rendering compatibility & that is basically completed also: )

Who is this going to effect? Only new & anonymous users.  Registered users will continue to be able to choose what Skin they use.  So if you try Vector, think it is nice, but like your good old Monobook - not to fret - you can keep it.

How much pain is this going to cause?  Not as much as you'd think.  Most of the gadgets & what toys work perfectly fine in Vector.  Our resident expert of all things Javascript (Bawolff), fixed most everything a few weeks back.  Myself and many others have been running Vector for a few weeks now without incident.

How was this marketed?  We've had the /topic in #wikinews on IRC talking about vector for more than 2 weeks.  We've had the Anonnotice set.  It has been tweeted about on @en_wikinews several times. Recently I changed the Sitenotice. had been temporarily hacked to make all URLs append ?useskin=vector .  Also this is the last step, notifying wikinews-l and scoop.

Why are we doing this? I love Monobook, I thought it was the best skin there was.... That being said, Vector looks nice, is cleaner and most importantly IS NOT a major rearrange.  It took me about 2 minutes to acclimate to the minor adjustments, then I was off.  I believe that is a true improvement and that it will bring more users and keep them around hopefully just a little bit longer.  In addition to that, Wikinews has a small but involved use base - I think it would be quite the PR coup for us to be the first WMF site running Vector as the default.

Cut to the chase?  Please try out Vector and vote on it.  We've got enough community input already (theoretically) to submit the bug, but it would be nice for a few more people to chime in --

If you've got any questions, email me, email the list or ask on the Wiki.

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