Great to hear I'm not alone in my thoughts. Things like the edit
section link shouldn't have to be hacked in at the parser level - if
the parser returned the components of a page it would be trivial for
the skin to add these itself.
The fact you are resorting to hacks to do things which should be
trivial (the infoboxes is a great example) suggest that this is a
smell that would be good to fix.
I can't help but think of Wikipedia redefined  which had some
interesting ideas that alas would be very hard to try out in the
Another example I can give is in mobile is we render cleanup templates
as an overlay as these can fill an entire mobile screen on certain
articles making the content unreadable (very much against "a world in
which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all
them but it would be great to have a better solution for
the bottom of the page and create a link to that at the top for those
who need them) as currently this "a world in which every single human
On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM, Daniel Friesen
On Tue, 23 Apr 2013 11:06:13 -0700, Yuvi Panda
For wider distribution!
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jon Robson <jdlrobson(a)gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 5:13 AM
Subject: [WikimediaMobile] Rethinking MobileFormatter / Skins
To: mobile-l <mobile-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
I've been playing around with skins a lot recently. The MobileFrontend
extension has had to do various transformations to the content
pre-rendering to ensure certain things do not get rendered on mobile
(for example table of contents) as well as allow us to do collapsible
When rendering content skins are currently limited to rendering the
'bodytext' key. They cannot retrieve the underlying content. I would
like to remove restrictions to skin designers - for instance currently
a skin designer has no control over where the table of contents should
do. They could not easily put it in a side bar for instance.
I was experimenting with using the onOutputPageParserOutput hook 
(running based on the current skin) and think it might be a better
approach to run the transformations on smaller chunks of data. For
instance the table of contents is known to be in the lead section so
it seems like it would be more efficient to look for it there rather
than throughout the entire document. The solution is not complete but
provides an approach that I think would be more efficient on the long
Partially for other reasons I have contemplated making the TOC a post-parse
task. A placeholder gets put into the skin where the TOC goes. Then the TOC
is inserted afterwards.
Though 'when' is a little different in the situation I'm thinking of. In
that situation I'm just thinking of deferring it to ParserOutput::getText.
The same way we defer the editsection link.
It seems like a good idea to experiment with this
MobileFrontend extension with the goal to upstream it to core.
Would appreciate comments from people who know this area of code
rather well - Max comes to mind :)
I haven't given that much thought to it as a part of core. But the idea of
marking off various parts of the page content as components that can be
considered separate from the content and removed is an interesting idea.
Both TOC and parts of the content.
I've actually hacked things like that into live sites.
Blocks of mainpage content moved to the sidebar:
Infoboxes moved to the sidebar:
I also did it fairly recently for a client's (EAW's) wiki. But they don't
appear to have updated their content to make it work yet.
It's not directly related but in my plins to rewrite the skin system I have
considered something relevant.
A little stale but somewhat readable.
~Daniel Friesen (Dantman, Nadir-Seen-Fire) [http://danielfriesen.name/
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