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Forum:MediaWiki 1.19 end of support

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Forums: Workshop > MediaWiki 1.19 end of support

I've been digging around in an offline MediaWiki installation to learn more about how extensions work and noticed that support for 1.19 ends in about six months (May 2015). 1.23 is the new legacy long-term support version through May 2017. I wrote up some quick notes on the process, which seems straightforward; one concern would be the upgrade's effect on the Vector skin.

Seems as good a place to ask as anywhere... Would you like access to the wiki's servers to help with this sort of backend maintenance? Aeakett sent an email around to admins a while back saying he would like to step away from his technical responsibilities on the project, and we need someone else to pick up those tasks (ideally more than one person) before he officially steps down from the role. You seem to have a very good technical understanding of the wiki, so if you are willing to help out, we can arrange to get you server access. This will likely come with administrator status if no one in the community objects.
Sure! I don't think I can fill Aeakett's proverbial shoes, but I can certainly try to help out. Server administration is my "day" job so at least I have a good idea what not to do.
I think it's a great idea!
Back on topic: I've taken the PFW style modifications to the built-in Vector skin and applied them to a new, standalone skin named PFVector. As newer versions of MediaWiki will likely overwrite Vector and remove support for the skin file structure that Vector 1.19 uses, this should help futureproof the PFWiki for 1.23. (As a bonus, it should also make it marginally easier to make and roll back sweeping changes to the skin if/when that comes up in the future.)

You can test this "new" skin out yourself by switching to the PFVector skin in your Preferences, under Appearances. I've been using it for a couple weeks without issue; if you give it a try, please post any layout or usability issues that crop up in this thread.

I'm still not sure what the upgrade path for the mobile skin will be, but 1.23 works with MW's new official Minerva skin for mobile, which provides for switching between mobile and desktop skins via a link in the footer. I'll look into what would go into customizing that skin on my local test version and report back.

In my local install Minerva is a bit ornery to customize, but it's doable. The skin switching and mobile page editor work well, but for whatever reason it defaults to doing strange things with page content, like hiding navboxes by default and removing the ability to navigate redlinks (so no new article creation). These are pretty straightforward to fix. Talk pages are hidden by default but can be turned on in the mobile skin's settings.

Image and table handling is better than WPtouch's, and since it's Wikipedia's mobile skin, we get the same touch-friendly collapsing section headers, search bar, and menu.

Minerva has its own admin-accessible CSS similar to MediaWiki:Common.css, so ongoing CSS changes should be easy to make as needed.

What is the status of the upgrade of our MW software?
Still nothing?
Sent an email. I'm ready to pull the trigger, I think the only outstanding questions are regarding hosting.
I'm planning to move forward with the upgrade this weekend on our current host. I'll dupe the current server today and tomorrow, run a test upgrade on the dupe to confirm everything will work, and if all goes well, I expect to run the update around 10 a.m. PDT (5 p.m. GMT) on Sunday. The upgrade will take about an hour, during which time editing will be disabled and the site may be inaccessible.

I've run through practice upgrades with PFW's data several times and don't expect much trouble, but please let me know if the timing would cause any problems for anyone.

Thanks for taking care of this Oznogon. I've let people know about our upcoming downtime through our Facebook page and via Twitter.
The upgrade's done. I'm poking around testing things, so if you see weird edits or nonsense user account requests, please disregard them. Let me know if you see any quirks (I'm already on the bullet spacing changes in navboxes) or run into any functionality issues.

Bravo Oznogon - many thanks for handling this so smoothly. Everything looks good to me except my own look and feel has turned very grey. This is my own doing though as I use this: User:Fleanetha/vector.css and point at Vector. Font size is easy to change, but which Skin should I use my .css within now please?

EDIT: Swapped to PFVector which worked for a bit but is now grey again - hmm - any ideas pls as I clearly don't know what I am doing?

EDIT 2: I read the other forum notice and amended my preferences as suggested for the auto-population after 2 square brackets but this no longer works for me so am having to type everything in completely now. Any thoughts on remedying this please?

How did you switch to PFVector? This should do it permanently:

  • Go to Special:Preferences.
  • Click the Appearance tab.
  • Click the button to the left of PFVector.
  • At the bottom of the page, click the Save button.

If you've done this, can you email me a screenshot of what you're seeing, tell me what browser and version you're using, and on which operating system?

Regarding QuickLink, I'm still looking for a solution. The extension isn't working on 1.23 and isn't maintained, and the official alternative (LinkSuggest) doesn't have a 1.23-compatible version.

The workaround I suggested should enable an enhanced toolbar at the top of the article editor, which has a link button on it. Clicking that brings up a window that lets you insert a link and autocompletes what you enter into it like QuickLink did. 'You have to click the link button first'; it doesn't automatically happen when you enter two braces like QuickLink did. (Ergo why it's a workaround rather than a replacement.)

If I can fix QuickLink, it'll come back. If I can't, the link button workaround will be about as good as it gets unless someone else fixes it or backports the official LinkSuggest extension to 1.23.

Well - that is odd or I am. I redid the steps above and now it works perfectly. perhaps I omitted to save last time. Panic over and I have nice font back.

I had already done the steps you suggest but will play with the new box's functions now as that is new.

Many thanks again Oznogon - we have a lot of new good things in this upgrade.

Hey Fleanetha! Give entering double-braces and some text a try. Bonus: It works on curly/template braces now too.

Well that is very useful - thank you. It seems to need 4 characters before it makes any suggestions for me, but that's fine once you've got used to that delay. The curly bracket version works instantly. Did you tweak something or has is spontaneously started?

As I am writing I shall log a very puzzling development here too. Twice today I have had a period where clicking on any page brings up a blank white screen after it has thought a while about loading something. Firefox does its usual spinning icon and then finds the page but it does not populate the page with any content. Each time it has lasted several minutes - maybe half an hour. Bizarre. Anyone else experiencing this?

I just tweaked it to come up after 2 characters on standard links. Curly braces continue to work instantly. I think the extension ships with a higher limit by default to reduce database queries, but we're small enough for that not to be an issue.

I haven't seen the other problem you're describing, but I can look into it if you remember around what time of day that was occurring.

Thanks for that and just tested and it works. I think it already looks better than the previous incarnation, which did have its own foibles: thank you.

Re the blank page problem, it was occurring when I was making the 3 new person pages earlier - they are time stamped, so you can get the time in your TZ from the Recent Changes page.

I think the white-screen problems might have been my fault; I applied security updates to Apache and your timing was impeccable. Let me know if this continues happening; I'm also watching the logs.

I'm still tinkering a bit with LinkSuggest, particularly in Refreshed. Let me know if you hit problems with it. For instance, I've noticed it ignores redirects. That approach might provide cleaner results, but it doesn't particularly help with link discovery.

Thanks again Oznogon: this is a lot of work you're doing for us all. To help things should we all be on Refreshed - as you know I just moved to PFVector - but would that save you having to update everything several times? What is the difference between all these skins anyway? I shall experiment with Refreshed now to see if there are any differences. Re white pages, I'll let you know if I run into it again but to remind you, if you don't like me editing, you now have the power to block my id - much simpler!

Vector is the default MediaWiki skin, and the same skin used on Wikipedia. Aeakett did a great job modifying it to make PathfinderWiki look the way it does, but MediaWiki dramatically changed the way skins are packaged around v1.20 and replaced our old pre-v1.19 Vector skin with a rewritten, repackaged new version.

Last year, to prepare for that change, I copied the old Vector into a new skin named PFVector. It's simply the skin we've always used, renamed and repackaged so it wouldn't be overwritten by the update. I've made very few changes to it, most of them to fix issues that couldn't be fixed in MediaWiki:Common.css. If you used Vector before and want to keep on with the same layout, you should pick PFVector.

Refreshed is a new skin developed by the crew at Brickipedia. It uses responsive design to modify the layout automatically for differently sized screens, so that one skin works across desktops, tablets, and phones, and it automatically changes the layout to accommodate changes in browser widths. Earlier this year, I experimented with it to see if it would help with the caching problems that caused the mobile or desktop skins to show up when they shouldn't. It worked so well, and was easy enough to modify, that I spent a few weekends reimplementing our styles in a modified version of that skin. While there's some differences due to how Refreshed structures content, it's the new default because its responsive nature resolves the caching problem and eliminates the need for the separate WPtouch mobile skin.

I intend to support PFVector as long as folks want to use it, but Refreshed takes priority for now as it's what most unregistered visitors will see going forward.