Did Dhum Dhum update the page? It was done by an anonymous user, but it's nearly identical with User:Dhum Dhum/Main page. I find it hard to believe that he'd go through 10+ changes without noticing he was logged in. Doesn't really matter, but...
I don't like dealing with heavily-tablized pages. I'm going to have to steel myself to edit this from now on.
It's really spaced out, and there's a lot of screen real estate that's dead. Like all the space around List of countries... couldn't that be tightened up some?
I think I mentioned Jakob Nielsen before... anyways, one of his principles is that people don't scroll. So, it's important to put important nav stuff up in the first half of a page, if it scrolls at all. I'd love to tighten up some of the dead space on this screen to make it not scroll.
I think we could get away with moving the destinations section off to a directory-style page. That would free up a lot of real estate.
OK, that's my deux sous. -- Evan 08:19, 22 Nov 2003 (PST)
What a surprise to see my draft version of the main page as the actual main page. Evan, here are my answers to your questions (my numbers correspond to yours).
Well, thanks Evan...
No, I didn't update the page. As you say, it was done by an anonymous user, so I started investigating. I looked at User:126.96.36.199's contributions and I found that he had written the last entry on Talk:Maramures and the Mountains Tour. Even if he was not logged in he signed with User:Ronline. So, discarding the possibility that some other user signs as Ronline, there's a high probability that it's him.
I agree, but I think we should keep this important link on the main page. See point 6 for more.
I agree again.
One of the things I didn't like was exactly this. To me, the destinations section is just a list of countries. There's no particular reason to keep them on the main page.
I haven't done so, but I'll surely will in the next few days.
Something extra: as I said before, I was surprised to see my experiment surface as the actual main page. I was even more surprised that there had been no discussion about it. I do think that a radical change of such an important page needs to be discussed beforehand (and maybe now is the time...). As a side note I'd also like to mention that User talk:Dhum Dhum/Main page has also been changed (albeit slightly). I thought it was a tacit convention that user pages and their subpages are normally not changed by other users.
Yes - it was me who updated the page with the tables. I didn't log in due to the my automatic login being disabled (I'm changing that now ;-) I think the page with the tables is so much better, but it's really good that you guys are discussing potential improvements! -- Ronline, 23 Nov 2003
I do like this main page much more than the old one. It's simply more lucid. Btw, what should be bad with the tables? The main page isn't something that the "HTML-have-not"s need to edit. And even lynx can handle tables quite well. So, there shouldn't occure problems with poor browsers. -- Hansm 10:01, 2003 Nov 23 (PST)
I am an HTML have-not, and I need to edit the page. I find the table-based layout hard to edit and update. It doesn't use markup sections, so I can't edit one section of the page at a time. I have to navigate through lots of td's and tr's and br's just to find the section I need to add a link to. We're a Wiki site, we should use Wiki markup. Formatting shouldn't be my problem -- it should be the Wiki engine's problem. My problem should be content. Anyways, the whole thing incented me to add Wikitravel:Avoid HTML. -- Evan 11:28, 23 Nov 2003 (PST)
OK, than I understand the problem. At the end, it will remain the admin's decision. Anyway, I like the new look. -- Hansm 06:47, 2003 Nov 24 (PST)
Well, I have a bit of a "double" feeling towards the new main page.
On the one hand, I can't deny that this page looks better than the one before. The main page is often one of the first pages a Wikitravel visitor will see. So, apart from the content that should draw their attention, we might as well have something that looks nice too.
On the other hand I feel quite uncomfortable with the way this has happened: no discussion, no consencus, just one user who made the change. I'm still convinced that radically changing an important page like this one needs to be discussed properly beforehand.
The fact is that if we do want the main page to have a nice table format with colours, we just have to use HTML for now. At present, I see no other way. I don't know much about HTML either. Everything I've learned comes from tables in Wikipedia. That's also where I got the idea for creating User:Dhum Dhum/Main page.
So, why don't we build a bridge between those so-called HTML-haves and HTML-have nots. I made Main page/test, where we can test things out and try to make a page that both looks good and is not too difficult to edit. That should be possible, no? I started with copying what I have in my user space at this moment. Anyone who's interested? But keep in mind: it should be nice and simple at the same time. DhDh 11:51, 24 Nov 2003 (PST)
So, I just filed a RFE against MediaWiki in SourceForge asking for a table markup language. Turns out there already is an undocumented one, which will be in the next stable release. Looks like we'll have a Wikimarkup table-based Main Page sooner rather than later... --Evan 18:57, 28 Nov 2003 (PST)
Hey, so what happened to the above idea? I'm talking about wikitravel on bootsnall and I just got this comment:
My first impulse was to look up local info to see how everything was structured and what kind of entries were being made.
Problem was, other than the search feature (which I don't like using) I couldn't find a simple way there. I want to be able to click through to get to where I'm going.
ie: Index > N. America > Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver
Maybe I was missing the easy way to look that up?
And I actually didn't know what to say. How do we expect people to get to the content? I'm wondering if we need to think a bit more about readers and not just contributors (ie we head to the recent change or something and start from there).... comments? Majnoona
So can we add a link to List of countries from the front page? And maybe one to the content that was in the destinations page? I know that was too much stuff for the front page, but I didn't realize it was totally gone... Majnoona
You worked on it! B-) Anyways, although I originally proposed it, I agree that the loss of the destinations section might be a little much. After all, most people who are going to be coming to Wikitravel's main page will be looking for travel info, not looking to share. (Sad but true). What if we did this?