Removing the "What's new" section of the Wiki

I would like to remove the "What's New" section of the Wiki because it is manually maintained and generally doesn't get updated. This means that it appears the wiki isn't get updated when there are actually quite a lot of changes being made.

Additionally, the menu contains an option called "Recent Changes" that actually does show a list of changes.

The section I am referring to is this:
image

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Agreed. Never liked it.

I think there was some 'old-guard' stuff going on at the wiki that folks didnt want to touch.

But now that the last generation has been gone for a few years and rarely seen .. I think its time we do some right proper house cleaning.

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I agree. When I saw it this morning, I thought "Boy, this wiki must be out of date." There has to be a plugin for Wikimedia that will do this automatically.

Just came across this: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2419917/embedding-recent-changes-on-main-page-on-mediawiki

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I was actually working on that section when you posted this. I have initially tried removing it but that caused some layout problems.

I tried using your solution which is currently out there if you want to take a look. I am not sure if it has value or not. It does at least show that updates are happening.

It's an improvement, but I think it's a bit too verbose. I've seen a wiki history list before so I kinda know what is going on, but most people would not know what is going on. Is there a way to move it down the page so people with less expierence are not scared away by the wall of techy text?

I wonder if there is a way to generate an RSS feed of recently updated pages and just display that. I'm spit balling because I have never used Wikimedia.

@dalto I just noticed that there is an Atom feed for the Recent Changes page. Is there a way to capture the Page title, URL, and update time and date and display that as a list on the Wiki home page?

I am looking to see if there is a way to create a custom template that is a copy of the recent changes template that could then be customized to show less information.

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It doesn't look super easy to do. Given how much content needs updating, I feel like my time is better spent on the content.

I think we should either leave it the way it is now or remove it entirely. If we want to remove it, someone with better layout skills than me would probably be better suited to do the removal.

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I think we should leave it for now because it shows that the wiki is being edited. :slight_smile:

Is definitely an improvement. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I sinched it down to 6 entries and added hidebots and hideminor :wink:

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I'd suggest cutting it down to three lines for now...it takes up a lot of room and isn't really very useful for new users (or indeed most users I'd have to say). It looks kind of messy too. When someone who can do it comes along it should be moved to the bottom. Maybe there is some way to just have a line at the top that says "Last updated: Date" where the Date is that of the last edit (auto inserted)? That would show that it's being maintained (the first time I looked at it...I was like "wow that's outdated").

It doesn't actually take up much room because of the size of the TOC on the right.

Yeah, I thought of that, but it gets into reformatting the page unfortunately. But really the TOC should be where the What's new section is. After all TOCs are placed at the beginning of books for a reason :wink: . Then we have the contents page link, but there is the TOC right there on the left.

What makes sense to me is having the TOC at top, then just below it a small link (instead of a big section like now) Click for alphabetical contents page...or something like that.

I'm mostly thinking of first impressions here as the more new users who are enticed into actually using the wiki the better. I know when I first looked at it I was somewhat turned off and didn't come back to it for awhile...but them maybe i'm just weird.

Alas I've never really done more than minor contributions to wikis so changing the formatting is beyond my pay grade, for now.

Anyway what's there now is certainly better than the outdated info!

If we want it more fine-grained than
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Recent_changes
We might want to use
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:News

Well...except for the warning at the top of the page.

argh, I meant 'something like'
(Couldnt find anything same in quick search)

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