fredag 26. mars 2010

Wikipedia prepares for user interface lift

The Wikimedia Foundation, creators of popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia, just announced that during the week of April 5, the site will begin rolling out changes in the default user interface settings for projects. The changes should make for a better user experience in finding and sharing content, according to the company’s blog.
The company claims some 500,000 current users have been beta testing the new interface for the last six months, but for those who haven’t can expect a few changes. A  new editing toolbar, armed with dialogs for inserting links and tables, will be available as well as the ability to create PDFs and printed books from Wikipedia articles, a feature previously only available to logged-in users. Wikipedia Commons, a database of downloadable files that anyone can contribute, will be the first to change, followed by English and other language Wikipedias. 
The default skin, which determines a page’s look and feel, will change from Monobook to Vector for sites using Wikipedia software MediaWiki. The effect could result in some gadgets, community-developed features available through the user preferences, not working properly. Widgets pulling from the sites API may also be affected. 
Additional changes are scheduled for later this year, though the company is only beginning to test them now. These changes include simplifying the editing system and creating a solitary search button, rather than the “go” and “search” buttons that exist today. The overall idea is to simplify, which may help Wikipedia to continue the movement of contributing content, but also keep the non-paid editors that keep the site running happy.
Companies: Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia

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