On Sun, Oct 27, 2013 at 4:23 PM, MZMcBride <z(a)mzmcbride.com> wrote:
Steven Walling wrote:
You're leaving out two key facts here:
1. The 'VectorBeta' change is to create an _opt-in_ beta for typography
changes, as part of the release of BetaFeatures extension. We'd only be
providing something to users who want to try this font stack. It's a
choice they get to make, and in that sense I think it's a little wrong
for us to dictate anything based solely on ideology.
Why is this a key fact? Will we soon be allowing users to opt in to
Facebook "like" buttons, Google Analytics, and "all rights reserved"
copyright for their contributions? I don't think making something optional
somehow makes it a better idea.
In the case of MediaWiki, by using sans-serif, aren't we specifically not
dictating to users what to use? I don't follow your logic here.
Brad's original email failed to point out that the VectorBeta patch isn't a
"direction we're going in" for all of Vector or all of MediaWiki. It's
opt-in preference for users on Wikimedia projects, where the BetaFeatures
extension is to be deployed. The patch he brought up is essentially no
different than a skin like Cologne Blue setting a different font stack, for
users who choose it.
2. This beta font stack for desktop is based
primarily on our mobile
font stack, which is already the default seen by all mobile readers and
editors on Wikimedia projects. People keep saying "traditionally" we
have not specified a real font stack, but the truth is we abandoned
that tradition going back to October 2012:
This makes no sense to me. Why should we be following mobile's trends? The
mobile site currently intentionally disables anonymous editing (a direct
violation of core Wikimedia principles). It also contains a number of
other questionable design decisions, much as its predecessors did.
Would you say we abandoned the tradition of allowing anonymous editing
simply because of the mobile team's questionable design decision? Again, I
have difficulty following your logic here.
I think when people say "traditionally," they mean "with the exception of
the mobile team, which doesn't seem to care about adhering to Wikimedia or
MediaWiki design philosophies." Yes, you can find plenty of other examples
of the mobile team doing things like this, but that hardly seems like a
good reason to import those choices into desktop.
Sorry if you don't like MobileFrontend's design, but it's clearly not an
opinion universally shared among readers and editors on the mobile version
of Wikimedia projects. It's nearing 20% of our overall traffic every month,
and growing like weeds. Thousands of people a month are editing via
mobile too. Neither of those things would be happening if your logic was
correct, and their divergent choices from the rest of MediaWiki were really
so awful for users. The way MobileFrontend is designed is highly effective
for people on mobile devices, and I think there's no reason to block an
experiment to let people opt-in to its style of typography on desktop.