The change in interface is coming

Starting the week of April 5th, the Wikimedia Foundation will begin rolling out changes to the default settings on all projects. Wikimedia Commons is planned to be switched over first, and English and other language Wikipedias, and our sister projects will follow as our development and operations teams are ready.
What will change?
The default MediaWiki skin in all Wikimedia Foundation projects will change from Monobook to Vector, and the editing toolbar will be replaced with the new enhanced editing toolbar with dialogs for inserting links, tables and more. These features will be familiar to users who have chosen to opt-in to the beta that has been available since August 6th, 2009.
Who will be affected by this change?
Anyone using the site anonymously, or logged in users whose settings are set to the current site defaults. Users who are affected by these changes may also have user scripts and styles which may not perform similarly to how they did before the swtich-over, or may not be loaded at all. Also, some gadgets, community-developed features available through the user preferences, may not be compatible with these changes. Users who have enabled those gadgets may experience issues related to these incompatibilities. Fortunately, many of the most popular gadgets have already been adapted to Vector during the beta testing period.
Finally, external tools which use screen-scraping to access content rather than the API may be affected by this change, as the HTML structure of Vector is different in some ways from that of Monobook. If, on the other hand, you have built an application that relies on the MediaWiki API to process content, your application will not be affected by this deployment.
How can users make sure their user scripts, user styles, gadgets and external tools will still work?
By testing them with the new settings, you will be able to verify compatibility and resolve any issues. By clicking the “Try Beta” link at the top of any page, and then opting into the beta, you will have turned on the same settings which will be made default.
Another way to test skin compatability is to append “?useskin=vector” to the end of the URL of a page.
For example, the URL would become to see how the page would look using the Vector skin.
What if users decide they want to return to the previous settings?
When a site is switched over to the new settings, the “Try Beta” link at the top of each page will be replaced with a set of links which will provide more information about what changes have been made and a convenient way to change users settings back to how they were before the switch over.
Naoko Komura and the Wikimedia Foundation User Experience team

Archive notice: This is an archived post from, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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It’s good that the Usability Initiative are finally rolling out their changes.

Nice !!! Lets get ready for the first substantial change since monobook.

Hello, I love the new beta skin and I’m really glad it’s the new default, but please, please, fix the Justification above the Edit summary box, I left feedback several times, and it’s really bugging me, please fix it.
All the best, and congrats for the new skin (it’s great)

It’s worth noting for script developers that if they switch to Vector to test their scripts, they’ll need to create Special:Mypage/vector.js and import their script to be tested there (most scripters will probably know this, but it has caused confusion already).

Anyone using the site anonymously, or logged in users whose settings are set to the current site defaults
does this mean that anyone on monobook (the current site default) will automatically be switched to vector ? O_o

Please try to avoid JavaScript. Pages are really unreadable. Sorry, I have found at the moment as an example only this page in English:
Try e.g. German:
Disable JavaScript, Zoom into the page and the top layout is horrible.
If this “flags” are big enough they spread without JavaScript over the text so it is unreadable.
In the new design they are below the text, e.g.
But the layout is still not usable. Please compare with activated JavaScript.
(BTW: Commenting here w/o JavaScript is not possible.)

Just to be sure – the main edit box will still be a textarea right?

But I’m perfectly happy with monobook!

Nux :
Just to be sure – the main edit box will still be a textarea right?


@ Josh and Derk-Jan So happy to hear your support!
@ Sebastian Are you referring to the alignment of the text and the edit summary box?
@ Phillip Great reminder!
@ Darkoneko and OlEnglish Yes, if the current default (monobook) will be switched to the new default (Vector) But we will provide a simply way to revert back, if you prefer to stay on monobook.

I’m sticking with Monobook, but for readers it’s a nice enough layout. For editors and admins, Monobook is definitely more workable.

@Darkoneko/OlEnglish: I would imagine it will only switch for those users who have never changed their skin settings, since there’s nothing in the DB for them (or at least, just a “default skin” pointer… thingie – I really don’t know a lot about the inner workings of the prefs DB table, but I do know that it differentiates between “default skin” and “Monobook”/”Vector”/whatever the default skin actually is at any given moment) – this means that, as long as you’ve changed your skin and then switched it back to Monobook (or perhaps even just clicked “Save changes” when looking at… Read more »

today is the 5th of April. Hopefully you guys can release the new version ASAP.

I think the Beta sucks. I’ve entered my comments at length but have no idea if anyone has even read them. I find this strange – the whole point of MediaWiki is to make information openly available but there is no place where the feedback can be seen, let alone discussed.
Please correct me if I’m wrong.

@fileranting – The new default UI (formerly the usability beta) was rolled out to Commons on April 5. Have you had a chance to visit Commons after the switch?
@Mark – The beta survey data summary and raw data is found in this page.

@Naoko – thanks for the link!

Sad to see this happen, Vector is such a horrible skin.

So profound ah! But I know it is to me, I hope you can do a good job.

I keep it at monobook 🙂