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Quick access added to navigation box

Okay, let me know if anyone objects. I've created this page based on posts at Talk:Main_Page/editcopy, then added it as a link on the side toolbar. I think that another quick access box for builds would be useful as well, but I'm uncertain how best to organize it all into a single table. Any suggestions? --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 13:52, 25 August 2006 (CDT)

The tables aren't centered in their colored backgrounds and the colored backgrounds are different widths in my Firefox and IE6. I assume this isn't intentional? --Fyren 02:14, 28 August 2006 (CDT)
There were fewer columns for the second table so I set it at a narrower width; but feel free to adjust it. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 02:49, 28 August 2006 (CDT)
Check Project:Sandbox/QAL. If the section headers are to be inside of the colored backgrounds, they need to be left aligned. Alternatively, we could remove them and create fake headers with edit links that look the same but really aren't MediaWiki headers and then we can align them however we want. Don't know if anyone cares. I'm also going to add a second example to QAL in a moment. --Fyren 03:46, 28 August 2006 (CDT)
Fyren, do you know any way to have vertical text in an HTML table? --TurningL sml 04:06, 28 August 2006 (CDT)
test --TurningL sml 04:16, 28 August 2006 (CDT)
Woohooo, it works! But only in IE, I think. --TurningL sml 04:17, 28 August 2006 (CDT)
Right, writing-mode is IE-only "CSS." It's not in the CSS1/2 spec. We could wait for CSS3! Or use transparent images (or be really silly and use a bunch of line breaks) to get vertical text. --Fyren 04:34, 28 August 2006 (CDT)
I have to say I'm not really happy with the current design. What I had in mind when I created the original version is a compact table that fits on the Main Page and features links to the most popular pages. A link in the side bar is better than nothing, but it doesn't really speed up the access. If I have to click the sidebar link and then click the Monk Armor link to access Monk Armor I might as well click the Armor link on the Main Page and then click Monk Armor.
In order to allow for the quick links to be added to the Main Page we should really manage to keep each of the two tables at 50% page width, to fit them side by side.
With the campaigns table taking 100% page width the whole concept is b0rk3d, IMO. With 100% page width we wouldn't have needed to switch to "portrait" format in the first place. Sticking to the original "landscape" design I would have been able to fit 8 campaigns side by side with 100% page width, easily, so scalability wouldn't have been in issue until 2010 at least.
As for the professions table, I'd rather keep that at 50% width too. To do that I'd leave away the "Secondary Options" and "Profession Guides". They aren't very popular, so a quick access link isn't really warranted. --TurningL sml 04:02, 28 August 2006 (CDT)
While the tables still need work and polish of the looks, I am happy with the current solution. Placing them on the main page would (even in the smallest possible configuration) place a huge block there, totally messing up the main page design. The main page should be accommodating to first time visitor who have no idea how the wiki is organised. Our current design of lists organised by topic, together with a short explanation does that. The quick access list does not. It is designed for people who have some knowledge of the wiki and want one page that quickly gets them to the exact location they want, without having to pass through summary articles. --Xeeron 05:08, 28 August 2006 (CDT)
The problem for scalability on portrait format isn't a question of when do you hit 100%, but when do you exceed 50%. Once you're over 50% width, then you might as well go to lanscape mode, otherwise you have wasted screen real-estate (once over 50% width, nothing as currently designed could be wedged next to it). I think the landscape format could still be added onto the main page if the existing boxes were redesigned - possibly game basics could be merged with profession/guilds/etc (much of the Guilds/Professions section is redundant to the quick access, and would shrink that section, so not as big a box as you would think at first), and the professions box could be made a to looks like User:Fyren's alternate that is narrower. But as Xeeron pointed out, quick access is really more for someone who is more experienced and knows what they want - tables, due to a lack of comments to describe links, are not as user-friendly to newer players.

Modified table formatting

see: Project:Sandbox/QAL for examples of modified layouts.

I put up different ways of formulating the tables. I'm not suggesting we use these two instead. I was just fiddling. The second campaign table is lightly shorter horizontally. I stuck more "words" into the second profession table so it wasn't just straight rows of "W" or whatever. --Fyren 04:52, 28 August 2006 (CDT)

If we're still going to merge the professions quick access into the main page, then I like the stacked/narrower version of your second example in Project:Sandbox/QAL. But if kept in its own article, then I think the upper examples on that page are the better choice. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 09:04, 28 August 2006 (CDT)

Main Page draft

Here are two variants of a modified draft of the main page using the vertical professions table drafted by Fyren and the current landscape campaigns table from this article.

As I mentioned above, I really feel that the campaigns table should remain landscape, but we may be able to shrink the professions table by purging some of the links. I don't consider that solution as ideal as it removes some of the value in having a quick access table; but it would make the list somewhat more compact.

I've grown to prefer these links on their own page. As Xeeron pointed out, the table links are less user-friendly to newer players than the current main page with a link + description. The quick access links are really geared more towards players who are more familiar with the basics and just want to get to what they want quickly. Also, I think the tables start to make the main page excessively long (but that's a personal opinion). --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 16:16, 29 August 2006 (CDT)

Also, there's an older draft. It has a more unified feel to it, but it loses several quick links and you lose scalability of the campaigns quick link (as early as spring 2007 the scalability would be lost as the campaign width will exceed 50%):

I wanted to show it as one concept that had been put together. But, my preference would be to keep the quick links off the main page and keep them as their own article. It's the cleanest (best organised, consistent, and scalable) look to me. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 19:12, 29 August 2006 (CDT)

I prefer as it is now, seprate pages. But if the majority prefer the mix page, I would say choose Main Page 1 instead of 2, the second one is completely uncomfortable for me, its just doesnt feel right --Cwingnam2000 19:03, 29 August 2006 (CDT)
I would not like to have these on the main page. This info is not needed by a new user and the main page should really be kept as clean as possible so that new users find easily what they want. --Gem-icon-sm (talk) 19:16, 29 August 2006 (CDT)
Bad, evil. Too geeky. I do believe however that for a short while, the Quick access links link should be "advertized" on the main page so seasoned users know it's there. I bet you 90% of our users will not notice the added link on the side. --Karlos 19:21, 29 August 2006 (CDT)
Ditto to Karlos' comment. --Rainith 21:11, 29 August 2006 (CDT)

Mesmer page

Why add another intermediary between this and the Memer weapons? I have no problems with the "Index of Mesmer Weapons" being a link from the Mesmer profession articles - but it makes no sense on a quick access links page to force another level. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 10:35, 3 September 2006 (CDT)

Agree with Barek. The quick access link page uses a common scheme for all professions for a good reason. Mesmers shouldn't break that scheme. --TurningL sml 09:16, 4 September 2006 (CDT)
Well, I find weapons organized by attributes to be MUCH more useful than organization by collector/green/crafter. If I ever use one of those three lists, it's because I want to find a 20/20 or a 20/+5e weapon of a certain attribute. I'd advocate to change the other professions to follow the same scheme as the mesmer weapons, and I'd argue that scheme is more similar to the general profession Armor article scheme that all professions are using. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 10:09, 4 September 2006 (CDT)
Alternately, we create 5 columns (as some professions have 5 attributes) and directly link to the ones organized by attribute. I honestly regret ever inventing the collector and green weapon quick references that all professions use now, should've just invented the attribute ones at first. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 10:12, 4 September 2006 (CDT)
The professions section has plenty of width available to it. I would recommend adding a fourth column so that we have the original three (Green, Collector, Crafter) and a new fourth column for "by attribute". --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 10:48, 4 September 2006 (CDT)
There are up to 5 attributes...-User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 11:12, 4 September 2006 (CDT)
I was actually thinking more of a single page with a TOC to navigate the sections for each attribute. I don't feel strongly either way though. But, I would like to see a magic decoder ring added to decipher the color coding within the weapon lists (see mesmer weapon by attribute for one of many examples). Color coding is becoming more common on several pages, not just these. But without a key to help understand them, the color coding is more of a nuisance to reading the lists rather than a benefit. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 12:50, 4 September 2006 (CDT)

Green weapons

How about adding a box for green weapons to the quick link boxes? --Xeeron 07:05, 4 September 2006 (CDT)

There is one, under weapons, not sure what you mean — Skuld 07:08, 4 September 2006 (CDT)
Yeah, there is one, both in the campaigns table as well as the professions table. :confused: --TurningL sml 09:18, 4 September 2006 (CDT)
 :cleans glasses: Erm yes. "Look behind you, a Three-Headed Monkey!" :runs: --Xeeron 09:50, 4 September 2006 (CDT)

Font size

Any particular reason why the text is made small? If it's to cater for 1024, then just ignore me. Otherwise, I feel the standard size looks better. It also makes the wikicode easier to read without all the <small> and </small> clutters. --Ab.Er.Rant (msg Aberrant80) 05:19, 5 September 2006 (CDT)

It's left over code from when the concept was originally intended to be two 50% width boxes to be available to the main page. When I converted them to landscape layout to allow for additional columns, I just retained the formatting that I had copied from the original proposals.
I hadn't thought of the narrower screen resolutions though; so perhaps the smaller fonts still serve that purpose? I'm not certain how readable it will remain on a 1024x768 screen, or worse someone using an 800x600 screen if we eliminate the small font usage. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 10:57, 5 September 2006 (CDT)

The small font size is such an eye sore =_= Lightblade 04:38, 3 March 2007 (CST)

Link to Quick Access Page from main?

I remember once a few months back there was a link off the main page to the Quick Access pages. I remember thinking "wow, this is an awesome idea" because I hadn't kept up on the happenings on talk:editcopy. It's been gone for some time and I had wondered if it had been scrapped or not; fortunately it hadn't. I thought the Quick Access Links were a great idea, but I also don't think they should clutter up the main page too much. Why not just stick a link to the "Basic Concepts" top right panel under everything in there? I remember it being like that before and working really well...discuss, input, etc. The preceding unsigned comment was added by AtreidesHawkman (talk • contribs) 17:50, October 18, 2006 (CDT).

It's actually one click away from every page in the wiki (see the navigation box to the left of whatever article you're viewing). But, I know that many people miss it there, and several people don't even know it exists. So, I have no objections myself to adding it to the "Game basics" section in the upper right of the Main Page. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 18:03, 18 October 2006 (CDT)
Boy, now I feel sheepish. I totally missed that. --AtreidesHawkman 10:32, 21 October 2006 (CDT)
It has now also been added to the Main Page (lower left box, last entry). --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 10:39, 21 October 2006 (CDT)

Armor crafting quick reference

Anyone else think it would be convenient to also have links to the Armor crafting quick references on this page? — Stylva 08:05, 22 October 2006 (CDT)

I think the better question is what can be combined/condensed. As it is, the professions quick reference barely fits the width of a 1024x768 display. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 13:17, 22 October 2006 (CDT)
The crafting quick reference are arelady linked from the profession armor articles. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 13:25, 22 October 2006 (CDT)


Hero Skill Trainers Links

Okay, we've got quick links to the skills trainers by campaign.. but what about the new Hero Skill Trainers? Can we maybe fit the list of their locations into the same box as normal skill trainers? Mujaki 19:37, 20 November 2006 (CST)

I added a heroes link to the trainers column. If ANet decides to add hero skill trainers to future campaigns (which I doubt), a new column should be created, but for now, I think the single link should work. --Tometheus 15:00, 8 February 2007 (CST)

QA links on Main Page using NavFrame

I've drafted a version of the Main Page with the QA links included at the bottom, but using the collapsable "NavFrame" boxes. See User:Tetris L/Main Page, and tell me if you like it. Could this be an option to include the QA links in the Main Page?

There are some minor design issues (alignment, colors, font size, ...), but such details can be sorted out. Ignore for now.

Actually I'd prefer the QA navbar as vertical instead of horizontal, but that would have required some more work, which I'd rather not do without any feedback first. (See here and here for examples.)

The main problem I see with this is the users who have JavaScript disabled, or simply find the navbar annoyingt. But I think it is easily possible to have an alternative version of the Main Page with the JS navbar disabled (automated via inclusion, using parser functions). Users who have problems with JS can bookmark that Main Page as their default.

What do you think about it? --TurningL sml 05:24, 8 December 2006 (CST)

Nice! My main concern is the possible slowdown on the main page with the double code and images — Skuld 05:25, 8 December 2006 (CST)
Yeah, that may be a problem, too. I guess images aren't much of an issue, but the script code may put a strain on the server, as the Main Page is the page with the most views on GuildWiki, by far. But I'm just a mechanical engineer, who knows little about stuff like that. Our techies (Fyren & Co.) should look into it and comment. --TurningL sml 05:37, 8 December 2006 (CST)
The Campaign boxes are broken in Firefox. The images overlap the boxes and make the top line unreadable. Also for users who aren't logged in (a vast majority of the users I'm guessing) the boxes are by default expanded and the page is very long and cluttered. --Rainith 12:03, 8 December 2006 (CST)
There should definitely be no use of JS on the main page like this. Of all pages, the main page is the one that should be the one that caters to the lowest common denominator, not have either ugliness or messages like "click show or hide" and "this won't work without JS." --Fyren 12:06, 8 December 2006 (CST)
My concerns are both with possible slowdown on the Main Page from the use of the code, as well as comments I've made many times in the past where I consider horizontal lists of campaigns and professions to be inherently problematic due to scalability. If put on the Main Page, I would rather see just recreations of the above boxes - only two to show/hide that way, and scalability is improved. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 12:09, 8 December 2006 (CST)
While I don't really support the use of these boxes on the main page, the notice is unnecessary. The javascript degrades properly. Try disabling javascript and then viewing that page. You would never know that JS was supposed to be there. <LordBiro>/<Talk> 14:14, 8 December 2006 (CST)
Yikes - I just viewed it while logged out - Rainith is right, that's just ugly - the show/hide boxes never appear and everything is fully expanded. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 14:33, 8 December 2006 (CST)

Alternative?

Just a thought here; if we modified the contents of the Main Page correctly (ie: break them out into Main Page/contents, then we could have more flexibility. The primary Main Page could remain without JavaScript, but we could have a second one someplace like Main Page/Expanded or some such which combined both the shared contents from Main Page/contents, as well as adding the QA links via Java. The users who want the version with Java can bookmark that one (and the link might even be inserted someplace on the left tool box).
This could satisfy those who don't want JavaScript on the primary Main Page, as well as making an alternate version available for those who want an expanded Main Page that includes the QA links. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 14:33, 8 December 2006 (CST)

Pretty much my thoughts exactly. Make the default Main Page without the QA navbar, but offer an optional one with the navbar. I'll try to figure out a good way of switching, possibly one that "sticks", like a preference, if you know what I mean. --TurningL sml 14:42, 8 December 2006 (CST)
I was wondering about some method to get a preference to stick. Any ideas how to go about doing it? All I could think of was to look into user monobook.css options to see if it could be set from there; but that's not the most user-friendly method to instruct others for locking their preferred settings. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 15:13, 8 December 2006 (CST)
EDIT CONFLICT (stupid work inturrupting me, some of this may be resolved by Tetris' post above) - I was thinking something along the same lines. The page Tetris set up implies that it would be the "real" main page and there would be a sub-page for those who wanted one w/o the java stuff. I think it should be the other way around, with the "real" main page being the current Main Page and add a line at the bottom pointing to the "advanced" main page that people who want to can bookmark. --Rainith 14:50, 8 December 2006 (CST)

Quick access weapons

I have created an article for the warrior's attribute axe mastery. Any feedback would be nice. (look here) namnatulco 17:42, 27 December 2006 (CST)

Template Genie

Anyone think it might be useful to have Template_Genie accessible via some quick access link / page? I know most people probably don't know about it etc, and that it is 3rd party (although it was made 100% for guild wiki), but perhaps people can then weight it up and decide whether Guild Wiki want to adopt the tool. So what I am suggesting is a trial of making Template Genie more accessible to see if it takes off. Is this a possibility? As a result I would quite happily update, adjust the tool to suit user's needs. Vi7ER 08:18, 1 March 2007 (CST)

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