[Foundation-l] Self-determination of language versions in questions of skin?

Martin Maurer martinmaurer73 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 28 23:11:17 UTC 2010


I posted this yesterday at wikitech-l and was told to ask this
question here at foundation-l.

I'm a member of the German language Wikipedia community and have a
question that no-one could give me a definite answer to so far. I hope
someone here can answer it, or point me to where I should go to get a
definite answer.

The question is, what level of self-determination do the 260 language
versions of Wikipedia have as to the design of their user interfaces
(skins)? Can individual wikis choose independently modifications of
their skins, and which of the available skins to use as the default
for unregistered users, or is this controlled centrally by the

For backgrund, this question arose after the German language Wikipedia
(de.wikipedia.org) was switched from Monobook to Vector as the default
skin on the 10th of June 2010, resulting in considerable criticism
from the community. On the more sober side of the debate, it was asked
whether it would be theoretically possible to return to Monobook as
the default skin, at least for some time until the biggest known
issues with Vector have been fixed. Under the theoretical scenario
that a majority voted for a return to Monobook as the default skin,
would it be possible at all to switch it back? Or would the Foundation
not permit that?

The question seems to be a very fundamental one and I would also
appreciate insights into the big picture. How independent are the
language versions? To what degree can they govern themselves and to
what degree are they bound by decisions made centrally by the


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