Timeline for Timeless
|Milestone 1: Catch up with task triage/patch review/immediate bugfix backlog||November 2018 - January 2019|
|Milestone 2: Midpoint!||January 2019|
|Milestone 3: Resolve major outstanding issues affecting non-Wikipedia projects||March/April 2019|
|Milestone(s) 4-n: Feature development per the proposal||May 2019|
|Milestone 5i: Product actually works with things!||August 2019|
|Milestone 6!: RfCs affecting the future of skinning establish a general path forward for MediaWiki in general||...very funny.|
Please prepare a brief project update each month, in a format of your choice, to share progress and learnings with the community along the way. Submit the link below as you complete each update.
May - July
Welcome to the first issue of the Timeless newsletter! This issue is being sent or forwarded to everyone who has at some point expressed an interest in the project, give or take, as well as a couple of other potentially relevant pages, so if you would like to continue (or start) receiving this newsletter directly, please sign up for further updates on the meta page.
The Timeless grant has been selected for funding, and the project is now underway!
While I've had a somewhat slow start working on the project for health reasons, I'm pleased to announce that everything described in the proposal is now either happening, or on its way to happening.
- The project now has a hub on Meta to serve as a directory for the various related pages, workboards, and local discussions and help pages. It's probably incomplete, especially with regards to specific language projects that might have local pages for Timeless, so if you know of others, please add them!
- Outreach: I've been talking to various people and groups directly about skinning, desktop/mobile interfaces, project management, specific component support, and other things, and have begun to compile a very shoddy list of skinning problems and random issues on mw.org based on this. Some of this may inform the direction of this project, or possibly this project will result in building a more proper list that can then be used for other things. We shall see.
- Some development - task triage, code review, bug fixing, and various rabbit holes involving ...overflows.
General plan for the future:
- Triage the rest of the workboard.
- Catch up with all the talkpages and other bug reports that have been left various other places that are not the project workboard
- Do all the bug fixes/features/other things!
- Some proposals aimed at Commons and Wikisource in particular (maybe, we'll see)
Essentially, the grant as written shall be carried out. This was the plan, and remains the plan. Timelines remain fuzzy, but while there have been some initial delays, I don't particularly expect the timeline for project as a whole to change a whole lot.
Also, for anyone at Wikimania right now: I am also at Wikimania. Come talk to me in person!
Thank you all for your interest and support thus far!
This issue has been sent regardless of signup status. To receive future issues please add yourself on the massmessage list.
Welcome to the second issue of the Timeless newsletter, complete with gratuitous mentions of totally different skins.
- Themes are coming to Timeless! Your infobox and navbox templates in particular are probably going to look absolutely horrible in the new built-in night mode.
- Some progress has been made on the whole triaging bugs front, but I seem to be mostly putting that off in favour of fixing random ones instead, and then finding they're back again two days later.
- An audit and general updates of a totally different skin, BlueSky, because of its implementation of a new form of Theme functionality, a model which I would like to reuse for Timeless. But apparently I need to put this functionality back first because I kind of accidentally removed it awhile back. Whoops.
- I am beginning to get a clearer picture of just how bad our skin/extension intercompatibility problems are, which is somehow even worse than I thought. More complaints have been documented on my 'everything is horrible' skinning scratchpad on mw.org, along with some random rambling, if you really want to know. Most of it involves core being horrible and everyone not working on skins assuming all skins are Vector.
General plan for the next month:
- Continue triage of the rest of the workboard and consolidate with feedback on talkpages and other bug report sources
- More of the neverending bug fixes
- Putting themes back in BlueSky (T148064), immediately followed by copying that into Timeless! (T131991)
- A total redesign of the (sticky) header, because it's bad and it makes me sad (T173215 or something, because: task T181484, task T173811, task T173525, task T161282, task T183700, task T131577, task T131998, task T165921, task T132000)
- Some proposals aimed at Commons and Wikisource in particular
- Formatting my skinning gripes page into something actually readable/actionable
- Absolutely everything else I said I'd do, probably
Thank you all for reading this blog post by your friendly neighbourhood
mad scientist skins developer. Stay tuned for next time, where no mention whatsoever will be made of MonoBook!
September - December
Welcome to the third issue of the Timeless newsletter, complete with a somewhat dubious explanation of where I've been all this time.
Somewhat dubious explanation of where I've been all this time:
I suffered a rather bad concussion in October, which knocked me pretty much completely out of commission through November, and I'm still recovering even now. One person = bus factor of one, even though it wasn't actually a bus but a very short flight of stairs.
- Random bugs have been fixed. More bugs have been found. For a full list of horrors, see the workboard.
- Implementing themes (T131991: the dark/night mode and winter variants of the skin) has proven far more complicated than initially thought, lacking either the extension, or preferably, some core support for this functionality. Thus:
- I have submitted a Request for Comment proposing to merge Extension:Theme into core - this will enable skins to specify style variants as distinct options for users to select in their preferences by letting the skin specify the styles separately for each, a much neater way of implementing this than some of the existing hacks.
- Jack Phoenix has already submitted a patch to do this. We simply need the buy-in and consensus to merge it, and to resolve whatever issues may arise from this wider review.
Until next time, hopefully with no further injuries,
March - April
Welcome to the fourth issue of the Timeless newsletter, with a cat! Or maybe not.
Un chat qui miaule???
It's true! The angry cat, a fundamental part of Timeless, has resulted in confusion and bug reports all across the projects and phabricator. And now it shall be immortalised forever in the new, shiny Timeless logo.
After putting off the project for three months because I got hit in the head with a flight of stairs, and then putting off the project for another two months while working out what the status of the grant was, I have now put off the project even more in order to focus on my other project for a bit. So progress lately has been a bit whims-based as a result:
- The project now has a logo. For some reason.
- The angry cat in the background is now customisable! See for instance: not a cat. What would you like to replace it with on your project?
- I broke, unbroke, and then sort of sideways broke all the form styles. Help.
- The French Wiktionary voted to set Timeless as their default skin, with results possibly as you might expect: I ran away and hid, and the WMF said no. A bit of discussion later and we largely agreed that all else aside, this is a bit of a branding issue, but we love the enthusiasm! Also the bug reports that inevitably come out of such a discussion. I'm still working on properly going through those.
- Theme support is still stuck in limbo, but now we have another skinning RfC. tl;dr, we wanna replace the entire skinning system, and Skizzerz'll write a prototype later.
I will be fully resuming work on Timeless next week, or maybe the week after, depending on what madness (or illness) comes out of the Hackathon in Prague. Please come talk to me there to discuss strategy!
May - August
Welcome to the fifth and final issue of the Timeless newsletter!
Progress was made. True story.
I am happy to announce that after about a year, this delightful project in which absolutely nothing has gone according to plan is coming to a close. Or at least, the grant-funded portion is. Which means we will now be resuming our regular schedule of random whims-based development, you probably won't notice any difference whatsoever unless you use MonoBook, and there's a report.
What's new from the past two months:
A lot less than we'd hoped, frankly. We:
- Fixed various bugs, some of which even weren't for stuff I'd just broken two patches previously.
- Resolved sundry compatibility issues for other extensions, templates onwiki, whatever, largely by removing dumb crap from the css.
- Implemented some shiny new features you'll probably hate or just never use or actually see, like click-toggled dropdowns, icons everywhere, and options to select a default layout or set an image for the site header wordmark.
- Brought the total number of open tasks on the Timeless workboard down to 70.
We also wound up with:
- Patches resulting in RelatedArticles working in MonoBook, and FlaggedRevisions showing up in Minerva, unless someone actually managed to turn that off as well. (Blame T181242.) It's possible we went a little overboard with the whole 'let's close all the tasks!' sprint.
- An unfortunate repeated discovery that themes (the Night/Winter variants I keep insisting will happen at some point) are still pretty far off on the horizon. Um.
- Possibly a quite a few more bugs coming your way. This month, and especially the past week, have been a bit of a mess, development-wise. While hopefully none of the worse issues make it to production, please keep the reports coming for whatever you do find and we'll get it fixed as soon as we can. Y'all've been amazing about this, and it's really appreciated.
And I guess that's that. I'm really bad at reporting, and this is a report. For the purposes of the grant, this was a requirement, but do you want me to keep trying to send these out?
New end date
31 July 2019
After delays caused by illness and personal injury, the project hit midpoint in january, as opposed to finishing in december as originally planned. While amount of actual work hasn't significantly changed, because the delays do mean a bit more maintenance/backlog is involved and I'm still not quite at 100%, I don't really expect things to go quite at the originally anticipated pace even now, so let's aim for may and wind up ending in june. -— Isarra ༆ 09:24, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
- Amending this to July, rather than June - I currently estimate about 1.5 months of specific work remaining on this, and will be delaying for part of April-May to focus specifically on CollaborationKit, so accounting for that and another month to actually write the report, based on how long the midpoint took, I expect to be submitting the final report by the end of July. -— Isarra ༆ 19:30, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
- Noting here that the new final report due date is 30 August 2019. -- Best, JTud (WMF), Grants Administrator (talk) 20:43, 28 March 2019 (UTC)