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Community Wishlist Survey 2017/Mobile and apps/Permanent opt-out of mobile frontend

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Permanent opt-out of mobile frontend

  • Problem:

A number of Wikimedians like myself use only desktop version of Wikimedia projects while on mobile.

I do it since I had a 208×208 display Symbian smartphone and I do it still when I have an Android touch screen with much bigger display.

The reason I do it is because I want to have the same experience as on desktop, because for me it is important to have access to all the tools and features (e.g. article deletion; CentralNotice administration; user blocking; rollback; flagged revisions; user scripts and styles for fast image tagging, RfD creation, disambig highlighting; and so forth) the same way I do when browsing from a desktop machine. Even for normal reading the folded sections in Minerva skin provide not the best experience, especially for looking up some information with browser Find feature.

This yields to the result that by far the most useful feature of mobile frontend is the "Desktop" link, which is hard to click on (related articles load late and I end up clicking on them), which does not always work (I regularly have an error claiming I need to enable cookies to toggle while they are enabled), which is unaccessible while on watchlist and which is just unnecessary step to do. It also has to be followed on each wiki or every time after following Google search results. The thing to keep in mind that it often has to be done while on mobile data which are not always unlimited and cheap.

  • Who would benefit:

Users who prefer desktop experience on mobile devices.

  • Proposed solution:

Add a "force desktop view" option to preferences. This should allow to disable mobile front-end permanently for the user account. This should also make links like en.m.wikipedia.org direct to desktop version (that's what Google gives in search results).

Optionally provide an alias to &useskin=minerva which will show current page in mobile view (possibly in current selected mobile skin when we have not just minerva)

  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets: I need help looking them up, I am pretty sure there were some


My editing is done exclusively on my phone (as it is my only internet connection), but prefer the desktop view because of the tools & scripts available in desktop. (Why does mobile = limited functionality?)

Further to my frustration is that Wikipedia doesn't comply with my browser's request desktop mode preference. Maybe start with that. Senator2029 talk 23:59, 16 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

@Senator2029: Which browser/platform is this? I just tried Chrome/Android and it correctly didn't redirect. Max Semenik (talk) 07:31, 17 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I'm using Chrome in Android and if I pull up an article in mobile view and use the browser's "Request desktop site" I don't get the desktop version (it doesn't redirect to the non-mobile version); I get a variant of the mobile version with no sidebar. Editing a page or section uses the mobile editor. Ca2james (talk) 05:26, 18 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I also regularly get redirecting errors when going between article pages, and other pages like History/talk, and frequently having trouble getting to the desktop versions of those pages on my phone. I would appreciate a session-length opt-out like this. Sadads (talk) 07:43, 23 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
what/where/who/wtf is «Browser's "Request desktop site"»? Sounds interesting. Sometimes - increasingly more I'm afraid - I follow a link to the mobile version and they look quite bad/poor on desktop. So any auto-magically fixing that would be good for readers, I guess. - Nabla (talk) 15:08, 2 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Interestingly, for the opposite (always use wikipedia-mobile-frontend), there is at least a Chrome Extension called Wikipedia-Mobile-4-Ever on w:en:GitHub. --X:: black ::X (talk) 14:30, 14 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]