User talk:MitchO/Main Page

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Work in progress, boys. I think having the top title box mirror the main sight is a good one. I'm going nuts figuring out where I'm missing the open/close parenthesis, but I'd like the banks of links to be left, center, right boxes and then maybe I'll pretty up the titles of them. People who actually know what they're doing feel free to correct my crappy coding. --MitchO 22:33, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

Well, you could do what Wesley's just done on the front page (use HTML) -- or insert a {|- at the top, as follows:

JoCo Originals

JoCommunity Work

JoCopedia Links

--Bry 02:16, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

Although you'll notice the headers don't line up quite properly (I think the cell contents are centered vertically within each cell). Let me see:
JoCo Originals JoCommunity Work JoCopedia Links

How's that? --Bry 02:22, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

I was just typing about how I had to change the table to HTML in order to get the cells to have the right style, but it turns out Bry's solution looks a lot better. (Using Wiki formatting makes it easier to read, I think.) The only thing I'd change is to add to Bry's code the bold part here: style="width:15%; font-size:95%; vertical-align: top;" (and get rid of the valign= part). That way, everything's in the style= part. Nice job, Bry, and good luck, MitchO! — Wesley | 02:27, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
On second thought, that's not true; using valign= actually makes it easier to read still. — Wesley | 02:29, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
Haha, I can't take credit - it's still all Mitch's code under the hood. (I mean like a car, not like a Klansman.) --Bry 03:47, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

Non-tabular comments

I think the visual connection to the main page is a great idea, and I wouldn't mind if it were tied to it even more closely (maybe a little more orange?). I think there may be too much text there, though -- something simpler, like "Welcome to JoCopedia, the Jonathan Coulton wiki!", might feel less cluttered.

Obviously you haven't added all the content yet, but I would like a brief blurb on who JoCo is and what he's done, as well as the "what to do" for newbies. And maybe the links need to be a little more clear (as to where they're leading). But those are all problems with the current main page, not with your design -- I'm just getting everything down as I think of it.

And I fixed this earlier today on the Main Page, but the reason This Day in JoCo has been a little ahead (should be okay now) is because the code used "CURRENTMONTHNAME" and "CURRENTDAY", which are based on UTC time, rather than "LOCALMONTHNAME" and "LOCALDAY", which are based on the local time set in the wiki (here, US Eastern time).

(This just came to me as I was typing these comments: What about a "song of the day," with a trivia tidbit about it, along the lines of the "did you know?" box on Wikipedia and elsewhere?)

--Bry 03:47, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

I've taken the colors from the jonathancoulton.com css file to create this orange box:

January 19 in JoCo

There is no information for today. Add some!

Or maybe it looks better in all white with orange borders:

January 19 in JoCo

There is no information for today. Add some!
(By the way, Mitch, your box on the MitchO/Main Page is missing the closing |}.) --Bry 07:11, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
It is at this point that I am really glad I changed the "this day" templates to how the are now. It allows stuff like this to happen so much more easily. That is all. --Lex (talk - contribs) 09:32, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

Progress

Just a general update, thanks to Wesley and Bry the links below the banner are now set up properly. I still may yet change it into boxes so the titles can be pretty-fied. I *think* as of this writing I've close all my parentheses properly, if anyone reading this wants to take a peek. I used Bry's first color choices on This Day in JoCo, though I do want to make sure that the page is primarily blue with only splash orange.

General content responses:

  • How's the JoCo splash paragraph look? At this point, I'm more interested in the reader than the editor, so I'm trying to get that ... tone ... across.
  • I like "Today's Song", and started to fiddle with making it a double box with This Day, but of course I epic fail'd. It may really be something we have to consider a future option, though ... we'd have to discuss a randomization and/or list creation for songs, and that's a big project for something that isn't fleshing out or information. Eventually, maybe the song with a "Did You Know" hand written note about it would be the eventual step one:

Song of the Day!

Today's song is I'm Your Moon. Did you know that Pluto and Charon were briefly considered a Double planet before they invented a reason?

OK I'm on a roll. (Well, I'm Jewish, so I'm on a bagel. God, I love that bad joke.) ANYway ... opinions on the links? I went ahead and came up with more "explicit" sentences for them, but I'm unsure how they'll read in one of my thoughts about formatting:

Who is JoCo? · Who has JoCo worked with? · Questions · What does JoCo sing? · What does JoCo sing about? · Where will JoCo play (or played)? · The JoCo Forums · Fan contributors to the JoCo world

Actually, that's not bad looking. What do you folks think, that one or what's there now?:

I was able to remove the "Help" style links and put them on the "You want to help?" paragraph, which helps keep it clean.

(written while Mitch was writing the above)
Comments on tone: I do like the jokiness. My one concern is that it's very JoCo-reference-laden, which appeals to me, but also may throw off some JoCo newbies. I don't know how much of a concern that should be -- maybe it's safe to assume that JoCopedia editors know their way around JoCo songs. Then again, the people who read the main page are probably going to be those who are new to JoCo and/or new to JoCopedia. Also, there are serious JoCo fans who haven't listened to the whole corpus and might not know what "monkey butler Brian Dennehy" refers to, for instance. I just want something where someone who had never heard of JoCo could look at the opening paragraph and know what's going on without feeling too left out.
Also, I feel strongly that "JoCopedia" is an anarthrous noun, which is to say the text should be "Welcome to JoCopedia" and not "Welcome to the JoCopedia."
The questions make it easier to think about what the links are leading to, but they make me think about what I'm trying to do, and that's exactly what I don't want to have to do! I process the word "Biography" much faster than I process the question, "Who is JoCo?" Maybe that's just me. And I know I complained earlier that the links weren't clear enough -- maybe I should've said the grouping wasn't obvious enough. When I thought about it, I understood that "JoCo Originals" referred to links to JoCo, his performances, and his shows; "JoCommunity Work" referred to things for fans to do, and "JoCopedia Links" referred to things for editors to do -- but it wasn't at all intuitive. I think the grouping made general sense, but it could've been implemented slightly better. I'll give it a whirl.
--Bry 15:33, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
Here is that whirl:
JoCo The Fans JoCopedia

--Bry 16:10, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

Also, here's the title bar with the font from Coultonblog:

Welcome to JoCopedia!
3,402 pages!

(I'm not sure what it matters how many pages we have, considering how many of those are talk pages and templates, but that's another point.) --Bry 16:17, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

Thanks, I was trying to eyeball what font that was, but I couldn't quite get it. The number of pages is really just a vanity thing; I think it makes us feel like we're making real progress. I like statistics, what can I tell ya~. As for the links, I think there's going to be a back and forth about "plain language" versus "concise description"; it's kind of inevitable. At the very least, I would like to get Themes up there in the JoCo section. It's made some decent progress and if it's not mentioned there, it may be kind of buried. Do we really need a link to the main page when we're actually hosted on that site to begin with?

Hopefully we'll get a few more opinions (Lex has been noticeably absent for a couple days, for example) so we can get a true consensus.--MitchO 16:23, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

While we wait for more input:
JoCo Himself Fans and Collaborators JoCopedia
--Bry 22:31, 6 May 2008 (EDT)
Feel free to keep putting them here. I'd rather at least pretend there is some sort of collaborative effort going on here. I agree that "Collaborators" can probably move over with "Fans". I alphabetized each group of links on the page itself, so I'd probably repeat that here. --MitchO 22:41, 6 May 2008 (EDT)

Lex's long catch-up post

Sorry that I've been "noticeably absent" recently. It's really that I'm starting to see a lot of this take place without my direct involvement, which I think is always a good thing. Not because I'm lazy, but because it means that there's actually a small community building around this thing. I'm proud of my baby!

Anyway, thoughts:

  • No to formatting the initial links in that long ol' line. For one, it's broken my browser here at work, and for two is it using those extended ASCII bullet points that made the TAWnav templates screw up?
  • I don't know if it's just IE, but why is "Welcome to JoCopedia!" all squished up on the left?
  • I don't mind either way whether we pose those links as they are, or as questions. I prefer them with the shorter names though, simply because at the moment they're split into 3 columns (which I like!)
  • Are we going to have "article of the day" to go with the other "of the days"?
  • Number of pages does indeed include all of the pages from all of the namespaces. Talk pages, templates, everything. Try {{NUMBEROFARTICLES}} if you want to see the depressingly low (in fact I think it's too low, considering the number of song and show pages we have) number of articles in the main namespace. That number is another reason I tend to oppose namespaces :D

That should be all. For now. I'll try not to let any major developments like this fly by without noticing them, but the recent changes list gets bigger and bigger! --Lex (talk - contribs) 08:57, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

Thanks for the responses, Lex.
    • It does appear that the Welcome box squishes to the left in IE (Firefox user here); looks like it has something to do with the size of the text. I'll see what I can do about that.
    • It sounds like the one word phrases and the three sections is going to win the "how to format the links" contest.
    • I don't think we need an "article of the day" to go with This Day In and SotD. For one .. honestly, there isn't enough. What are we going to do, continually focus on old shows? Secondly, I think SotD is important because it does what I think is the bottom line for the Wiki: tries to expand people's knowledge and interest in all the songs. There's lots of cool or cutesy info in the JoCo world, which is why we're expanding all over the map, but the bottom line is the music and SotD best presents that. Do we want another WikiProject to try to collect data? I can probably come up with a ton of them on my own (I did a week's worth just scanning the Discography yesterday), but while I always would rather write things myself :p, I know it's best if the community creates them.
    • I noticed Wiki itself even has the vanity plate of "Number of Articles". It does use {{NUMBEROFARTICLES}}, not {{NUMBEROFPAGES}}, but yeah, they have a slightly more impressive number :P.
    • --MitchO 10:45, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

IE/Firefox/etc

OK, I think I've got the top banner stretching appropriately in all browser formats. If anyone checking this out can just give me a report or three on which browser they see it in and whether or not the blue bar is all the way across the bar, I'd appreciate it. It looks correct here on both Firefox and IE, but I'd like to know of at least one other instance of each (plus you Opera freaks and other misanthropes :P) --MitchO 10:59, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

Looks fine in IE here. --Lex (talk - contribs) 11:01, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
ETA: Also, the minor change button does exist in IE, just not for anonymous users, Mr. IP address :P --Lex (talk - contribs) 11:02, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
D'oh! -- Mr. IP
It looks okay to me in Firefox, IE, and Opera. I did notice, however, that I'm using a different (brighter) monitor at the moment than I was when I posted the "orange box" above, and the colors, which looked okay on a dimmer monitor, didn't look so good. (I've fixed it, above.) Instead of the orange color currently used for the background, I'd like #ffeecc , if you please. Yes, I'm picky... --Bry 14:00, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
Well, I'm futzing with colors as well. Do you guys think we should have a single, constant color scheme for each of the (currently) three boxes, or can each one have different variations of the blue/orange mix? --MitchO 14:08, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
I like the multiple-variations idea, although I wouldn't say no to monochrome. I've altered the colors on User:MitchO/Main Page to make the oranges more orangey. --Bry 14:24, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
Hey now, making my oranges more orangey is kind of personal, dontcha think? :P I think I like the "one box orange, one box blue, bottom box mixed" format ... maybe I'll just bring each color into the other box a little to make it flow. --MitchO 16:19, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

Colours

I can understand wanting to make the page similar to the JoCo wordpress site. I do have a minor concern; will we want/have to change the formatting on all the existing song/show/other pages to fit as well? It would seem out of place to have this lovely blue/orange colour scheme on all of one page :P --Lex (talk - contribs) 15:52, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

I think it's a matter of "starting somewhere", Lex. Really, we don't have that many other boxes on the site, so it wouldn't be that bad to eventually color up the joint. But right now the Main Page looks kind of beta-y to me, and if we're live on Jonathan's site, I think we need to at least present a good face. --MitchO 16:19, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
If we're talking universal color schemes, sounds like we're talking skins. Something to look into? --Bry 23:20, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
As I understand it, a MediaWiki "skin" is basically a CSS file telling your browser what to do with the raw wiki data. Without a CSS file, it looks rather ugly and weird. Anyway, if you want to put your main page boxes (and other boxes, eg templates) into classes, I can (as a temporary measure) add the CSS for those classes to the wiki, the same way I did the April Fools skin. Then if/when we use multiple skins, we can just modify those classes in each skin. --Lex (talk - contribs) 05:33, 8 May 2008 (EDT)
I rather would avoid complexity right now, and just force people to enjoy the coloring of my choosing. --MitchO 08:38, 8 May 2008 (EDT)

Ready for Prime Time?

Well, I think I like what we have here. I think we may be ready to go live with this version ... opinions? --MitchO 09:31, 9 May 2008 (EDT)

I'm all for changing to your version, Mitch. (I find it very tempting, though, to put in all the links -- "monkey butler Brian Dennehy", and "assistant Scarface" should obviously lead to a disambiguation page...) --Bry 12:50, 9 May 2008 (EDT)
I actually made a conscious decision not to make all the references in the opening paragraph into link after link, both to avoid it being click heavy and to not really "lean" towards those songs. --MitchO 13:03, 9 May 2008 (EDT)
I see what you mean, but I disagree -- two links in the first sentence, a link to Creative Commons, and four links at the end of the paragraph wouldn't be too intimidating, I feel, and I think by making all those references it's already leaning towards those songs a little (to the convert -- to the newbie it's just an inside joke with them on the outside). As ever, I'll make my point and defer to others -- if you'd like to leave them unlinked, please do. --Bry 13:19, 9 May 2008 (EDT)
I don't have any reservations. Green light from me, FWIW. -mtgordon 21:18, 9 May 2008 (EDT)
I like it! Looks very classy imo! Only thing I'd change is the Wikipedia link to just "wiki" and a relevant link to mediawiki or something about what a wiki is. Even if its one of these jokes I don't get (a la "the Youtubes" :P ) it is a bit misleading for the less wiki savvy out there. Otherwise I'm all for it. Also, can I really call him Puddin'? ^_~ ~ Percephene ~ talk contribs 03:13, 10 May 2008
Thanks Bry, Perceph. I thought the Wiki link does go to "what a wiki is", though? It goes to the definition of Wikipedia on Wikipedia. :p I'm totally going to re-arrange the SotD when this page goes live, btw ... The Town Crotch's factoid is my favorite so far and I'd hate to wait an entire year for the general populace to see it :) --MitchO 23:22, 9 May 2008 (EDT)
I like it. The layout of the page is good, and the introduction paragraphs are nice to have. The code itself was a little worrisome (with cases where a box contains nothing but another box, like a table containing a div), so I cleaned up a copy and put it on User:Wesley/Main Page. However, the spacing's a little different now, so if that's an issue, I fully support going ahead with yours. All in all, nice job, MitchO! (OT: anyone mind telling me what "Puddin" is from?) — Wesley | 06:58, 10 May 2008 (EDT)
Once again I've been away, this time because my computer hates me (I'm typing this from my phone!). However, I see no problems with this version of the page, so if you like you can go ahead and put it up. If I recall, I already gave mods the ability to edit protected pages. --Lex (talk - contribs) 10:04, 10 May 2008 (EDT)
Your main page is up, Mitch, and the first things I did were change the flashmob and add the links in the first paragraph that you didn't want... if other people agree with you, I'll take them off (or Lex can do it with his Mighty Sysop Powers). --Bry 11:08, 10 May 2008 (EDT)
Heh, nah it's fine Bry. No one else expressed an opinion one way or the other, so I should remove myself from being too "personal" about my build. It is a community effort, after all :). Thanks to you and everyone else for the opinions and coding help! --MitchO 12:58, 10 May 2008 (EDT)

Wiki news

I just realised, the Wiki enws section isn't on this version of the page. That makes me sad :( --Lex (talk - contribs) 17:40, 10 May 2008 (EDT)