[Translators-l] Short message about reference formatting

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Thu Jul 13 00:04:29 UTC 2017

This is absolutely not CSS "hack", but standard CSS feature.

Only broken by some bad CSS inserted by default in MediaWiki (notably for
all bulleted/numbered/definition lists, both in the wiki or HTML syntax,
with their top/bottom margins that can't work nicely in multicolumn
containers where these margins should be moved)... but that could be solved
when we'll have the possibility to attach stylesheets to wiki pages instead
of in each element to fix what default MediaWiki stylesheets forces

Another thing that Mediawiki still does not accept (even though they are
completely harmless) are columns groups in tables (OK: there's no
wikisyntax for them in wikitables, but I don't see why colgroup elements,
or even thead/tbody's/tfoot elements are forbidden, even if they are also
needed for accessibility of tables: this requires hacking tables with lot
of CSS)

And this is not a minority of wikis that use such technic (even if they
don't have necessarily a very simple template to do that easily for
references): there are lot of pages using that.

Multicolumnn rendering is often far better than using tables with a static
number of columns (that won't fit very well, on narrow smartphone screens
or on large screens where lot of horizontal space is left unused).
Multicolumn output could also be used for galleries, without necessarily
using the REAL CSS+Javascript hack defined with mode="hover*".

More generally we lack some basic features in Mediawiki to handle
dynamic/flexible layout patterns that will work across all display sizes.
There are now great layout frameworks used on modern websites (so these
sites are usable on all screens, and will still remain "accessible" with
various text sizes, zoom levels, or display resolutions between low-dpi
displays like TVs and high-dpi displays like smartphones).

So this proposal is in fact very minor: this was not really needed, the
needs are clearly elsewhere. This is a solution for a problem that actually
does not exist: when there's no problem, it's better not to fix it. This
proposal is then a non-solution...

I'll better welcome the addition of stylesheets per page, possibly also per
templates (not generated multiple times at each inclusion, but just
referenced only once on pages that will use transclude them): this was
recently announced and will solve lot of problems and will help simplifying
lot of templates, and avoiding many errors and simplifying the edition of
articles or tables.

2017-07-13 0:07 GMT+02:00 Whatamidoing (WMF)/Sherry Snyder <
ssnyder at wikimedia.org>:

> The fact that a minority of wikis have implemented CSS hacks to do this is
> exactly why this message needs to reach everyone.  Communities can either
> remove the old CSS (recommended), or ask to be taken off the list for
> default-on (acceptable).
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