Architecture meetings/RFC review 2014-07-16

18:00 to 19:00 UTC on 16 July 2014, at #wikimedia-office connect.

Requests for Comment to review edit

  1. Requests for comment/Vertical writing support

Summary and logs edit

Meeting summary edit

Meeting ended at 18:57:49 UTC.

Action items edit

  • group working on ASL needs someone to help with the CSSJanus improvements
  • brion to look into the cssjanus provisionally
  • YairRand to propose at wikitech-l next steps for this RfC after Wikimania
  • brion to report on cssjanus progress to wikitech-l somewhere in the next few weeks

Action items, by person edit

  • brion
    • brion to look into the cssjanus provisionally
    • brion to report on cssjanus progress to wikitech-l somewhere in the next few weeks
  • YairRand
    • YairRand to propose at wikitech-l next steps for this RfC after Wikimania

People present (lines said) edit

  • YairRand (81)
  • brion (63)
  • qgil (22)
  • slevinski (13)
  • GunChleoc (11)
  • Nikerabbit (10)
  • MaxSem (9)
  • tesh (6)
  • wm-labs-meetbot (3)
  • aharoni (2)
  • YuviPanda (1)

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Full log edit

Meeting logs
[17:59:11] <YairRand> the meeting starts in a minute, yeah?
[17:59:21] <brion> that’s the schedule i’ve got yes :D
[17:59:25] <qgil> hi, one or two, I will facilitate it
[17:59:36] <YairRand> great
[18:00:25] <QueenOfFrance> what's the meeting about?
[18:00:33] <YairRand> Vertical writing support
[18:00:40] <QueenOfFrance> oh cool
[18:00:53] <qgil> ok, just finished a meeting, landing here
[18:01:44] <qgil> brion, you're here. good. can we start? Tim-away ?
[18:01:59] <brion> i think we’re good to go
[18:02:07] <brion> it’s a bit early for tim
[18:02:17] <qgil> (or late)  :)
[18:02:18] <qgil> ok
[18:02:20] <brion> :D
[18:02:26] <qgil> #startmeeting
[18:02:26] <wm-labs-meetbot> qgil: Error: A meeting name is required, e.g., '#startmeeting Marketing Committee'
[18:02:51] <qgil> #startmeeting Architecture RfC meeting
[18:02:51] <wm-labs-meetbot> Meeting started Wed Jul 16 18:02:51 2014 UTC and is due to finish in 60 minutes. The chair is qgil. Information about MeetBot at
[18:02:51] <wm-labs-meetbot> Useful Commands: #action #agreed #help #info #idea #link #topic #startvote.
[18:02:51] <wm-labs-meetbot> The meeting name has been set to 'architecture_rfc_meeting'
[18:03:06] <qgil> #link
[18:03:17] <YairRand> So, vertical writing support in Mediawiki.
[18:03:21] <qgil> Alright, this we have one topic to focus
[18:03:44] <qgil> #topic Vertical writing support
[18:03:50] <qgil> #link
[18:04:06] <qgil> YairRand, all yours
[18:04:10] <YairRand> People who stand to benefit from support for vertical writing include the millions of people whose native language is a sign language, Inner Mongolian speakers, and many speakers of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
[18:04:17] <YairRand> (CSS spec for vertical text is at )
[18:04:25] <YairRand> Vertical text is supported by IE8+ (with partial support in 5.5-7), Chrome, Safari, and Opera 15+, but is not yet supported by Firefox. (Mozilla Bug: )
[18:04:34] <YairRand> (Some of these have moderately buggy support, but there aren't any really serious issues as far as I can tell.)
[18:04:43] <tesh> تحذير
[18:04:43] <tesh> warning
[18:04:43] <tesh> you may be watched
[18:04:43] <tesh> do usa&israel use the internet(facebook,youtube,twitter, chat rooms ..ect)to spy??
[18:04:43] <tesh> do usa&israel use the internet 2 collect informations,,can we call that spying??
[18:04:43] <tesh> do they record&analyse everything we do on the internet,,can they harm you using these informations??
[18:04:43] <YairRand> In order to support vertical writing, CSSJanus needs to be extended to be able to support vertical text, and scripts need to be modified to work with the different page direction.
[18:05:01] <YairRand> A lot of scripts access or modify direction-related styles which need to be changed in a vertical text environment. For example, width needs to become height and vice versa, top <-> left, bottom <-> right, margin-top <-> margin-left, and so on.
[18:05:03] <qgil> tesh please respect our meeting
[18:05:10] <brion> YairRand: what’s the behavior in Firefox? is it sorta legible or totally broken?
[18:05:17] <YairRand> totally broken
[18:05:22] <YairRand> doesn't react to the styles at all
[18:05:24] <brion> heh ok
[18:05:27] <YuviPanda> qgil: is a spambot, has been flodding other channels recently. kickban would be appropriate
[18:05:43] <brion> worst case we devise a browser warning for firefox until they get vertical support in :(
[18:06:22] <YairRand> Even more difficult to deal with is that many scripts call direction-related functions upstream. Example: (mediawiki.toc.js) clicking on the show/hide button in the table of contents calls jQuery.fn.slideUp/Down on the ToC. There are no horizontal equivalents of those functions in jQuery.
[18:06:35] <qgil> #info Vertical text is supported by IE8+ (with partial support in 5.5-7), Chrome, Safari, and Opera 15+, but is not yet supported by Firefox. (Mozilla Bug: )
[18:06:41] <YairRand> not sure what can be done about that
[18:06:53] <brion> #info upstream uses of directiony things like jquery animations may be tricky too
[18:07:19] <YairRand> ah, "partial support" in IE5.5-7 refers to supporting vertical-rl but not vertical-lr
[18:07:22] <brion> those could potentially be redone with css transitions etc
[18:07:55] <YairRand> For those who aren't familiar with how a vertical-writing oriented page would look, please take a look at (assuming you have a supporting browser, i.e., not firefox)
[18:08:04] <YairRand> Or, if you don't have a supporting browser,
[18:08:21] <qgil> #link
[18:08:27] <YairRand> things turn sidewards :)
[18:08:29] <qgil> #link
[18:08:48] <brion> YairRand: is that implemented with some javascript overrides or something?
[18:08:54] <brion> seems to render in safari :D
[18:08:56] <YairRand> brion: yes
[18:09:23] <YairRand> js actually is just loading a big manually-rotated version of vector.css
[18:09:43] <brion> #info current signwriting incubator uses some javascript/css overrides, manually rotated css. need to automate this process into RL
[18:10:18] <slevinski> The SignWriting Gadget contains the code used to transform the display.
[18:10:29] <brion> #link
[18:10:29] <brion> nice
[18:10:47] <YairRand> supporting optional vertical writing in Chinese, Japanese and Korean comes with the additional issue of needing to be able to rotate existing wiki page CSS on the spot.
[18:11:16] <brion> *nod*
[18:11:40] <YairRand> I think the easiest to start with would be just getting vertical writing to work with the ASL wikipedia and such
[18:11:43] <brion> YairRand: do we want to concentrate on the sign languages case or also include the CJK? is it simpler to do the vertical-onlies?
[18:11:46] <brion> ah perfect :D
[18:11:56] <MaxSem> did someone actually check with natives if putting page layout on its side is good for them? because monitors are still mostly wider horizontally
[18:11:58] <brion> i tend to agree
[18:13:02] <brion> ^ re starting on the sign language
[18:13:37] <YairRand> MaxSem: I haven't asked any native speakers regarding rotating the whole skin layout, no.
[18:13:50] <YairRand> but I strongly suspect that it's the best solution
[18:14:07] <Nikerabbit> I guess it depends on the language and perhaps even content
[18:14:10] <brion> otherwise tricky to do UI elements i guess
[18:14:24] <YairRand> quite
[18:14:29] <GunChleoc> MaxSem: I thnk you have a point there, especially with wide screen, but the correct writing rotation is still what a native speaker would expect IMO. Some modern screens can be rotated, so that would solve that issue anyway.
[18:15:32] <Nikerabbit> shuld we also consider doing article content and interface support as separate steps?
[18:15:41] <GunChleoc> Regardin the screenshot, the stuff on the left is from the bottom up rather than top-down. Is that by design or WiP? I'm not a native BTW, just thinking out loud
[18:16:03] <brion> Nikerabbit: hmm, that might make sense for CJK but not sure how that would work for ASL/signwriting
[18:16:21] <YairRand> GunChleoc: the left goes to the top and vice-versa
[18:16:40] <MaxSem> also, gotta have a way to REALLY QUICKLY switch the layout to the traditional one, otherwise visitors from other wikis will be lost
[18:16:44] <YairRand> since the search box is on the right, it gets moved to the bottom
[18:16:58] <MaxSem> even finding prefs is hard
[18:17:07] <Nikerabbit> brion: I guess CSS Janus work is needed for both, and that is a big chunk?
[18:17:28] <qgil> MaxSem, "Back"?
[18:17:47] <GunChleoc> OK I just thought that it looked weird to have the writing top-down and the menus bottom-up, but it that's how it's supposed to be, OK. Just checking ;)
[18:18:15] <Nikerabbit> how's the progress on getting signwriting into unicode?
[18:18:24] <MaxSem> hmm, on macs mouse wheels aren't scrolling horizontally-oriented pages
[18:18:29] <brion> GunChleoc: the menus are top-down as well; the ones at the bottom are the ones that are right-aligned in english :)
[18:18:41] <YairRand> Nikerabbit: getting it into unicode isn't strictly necessary
[18:18:45] <brion> MaxSem: use trackpad like steve jobs intended
[18:18:59] <MaxSem> steve jobs is dead
[18:19:08] <YairRand> slevinski, care to explain the current method of getting around unicode?
[18:19:13] <Nikerabbit> YairRand: I agree, but still something I would aim for
[18:19:13] <MaxSem> and my hand is hurt from using is heavily
[18:19:30] <slevinski> SignWriting in Unicode is a work in progress
[18:19:31] <GunChleoc> Oh, I get it now. Shouldn't the lillle search magnifying glass be at the top of the field though, since it's in the position where one starts typing?
[18:19:53] <aharoni> [ the only website I know that actually uses vertical writing is the site of the Communist Party of China: ]
[18:19:57] <YairRand> GunChleoc: in horizontal writing, is the glass at the start or the end?
[18:19:59] <YairRand>  :)
[18:20:07] <aharoni> works quite nicely in Chrome
[18:20:08] <slevinski> The SignWriting symbols themselves are proposed, but not the 2-dimensional layout.
[18:20:41] <slevinski> The current technique for SignWriting uses a lite ASCII markup. The page link above contained some of that code, called Formal SignWriting
[18:20:46] <GunChleoc> YairRand: Duh, I never noticed that you stuck the thing at the end
[18:20:52] <GunChleoc> I'll shut up now *lol
[18:21:00] <MaxSem> also, with current layout pages are oriented from left to right but english chars are displayed with right side as their "top"
[18:21:09] <MaxSem> ie kinda upside down:)
[18:21:21] <YairRand> figuring where things are supposed to be in these layouts is... unintuitive :)
[18:21:33] <brion> MaxSem: it looks a little odd, but is consistent with embedding english in CJK vertical text
[18:21:41] <slevinski> The ASCII markup is given a zero size font and the SignWriting image is pulled in as a background image
[18:21:44] <brion> keeps the direction flowing right
[18:21:44] <MaxSem> "little" :P
[18:21:47] <GunChleoc> Just turn your head to the left and imagine wou're writing from right to left, is that it?
[18:22:01] <YairRand> GunChleoc: that'll work
[18:22:39] <slevinski> The SignWriting images are created by a SignWriting Icon Server running on Wikimedia Labs.
[18:22:55] <GunChleoc> I guess what got me dorn the gearden path with the search box is the missing "Search" title, which would be displayed top to bottom
[18:23:11] <slevinski> We have an experimental TrueType font that shows promise, but it is not production ready yet.
[18:23:24] <YairRand> ah, certain browsers don't handle input boxes very well in vertical orientation
[18:24:01] <YairRand> as in, it's still sort of acting like a horizontal element
[18:24:19] <YairRand> thus, no large visible "Search" going from top to bottom
[18:24:43] <GunChleoc> Sounds like you got your work cut out for you
[18:24:44] <YairRand> ASL WP is probably going to need a custom solution to input boxes anyway, though
[18:25:16] <YairRand> I believe slevinski is working on a special input for signwriting, yeah?
[18:25:21] <YairRand> *input method
[18:26:05] <slevinski> Yes, the special input for SignWriting is a work in progress
[18:26:17] <YairRand> anyhow, major issues from the mediawiki side: rotating scripts (probably rather difficult)
[18:26:50] <YairRand> there are also minor things like that image thumbs need to assign height instead of width attributes
[18:27:03] <YairRand> (currently being dealt with using js on incubator)
[18:27:58] <YairRand> though honestly, I'd consider only the lack of CSSJanus support to be a completely blocking bug regarding the ASL WP
[18:28:25] <YairRand> everything else is pretty much inconveniences
[18:28:38] <YairRand> (on mediawiki's side)
[18:28:47] <brion> YairRand: so who’s going to work on the CSSJanus tweaks?
[18:28:56] <brion> you guys ready to do that work or you need help with it?
[18:29:18] <YairRand> I personally do not actually have the relevant skills for that
[18:29:34] <Nikerabbit> I'm bit wary when I see "custom solutions" mentioned so often. We need to ensure all relevant parts of code can handle this like they do for RTL currently
[18:29:48] <brion> #action group working on ASL needs someone to help with the CSSJanus improvements
[18:30:15] <YairRand> I hear from theDJ's summary of the arch summit that "Roan & Trevor will gladly help anyone to do this"
[18:31:29] <YairRand> one other minor issue is how to display vertical languages in interwiki boxes
[18:31:36] <YairRand> they don't quite fit
[18:31:42] <brion>  :)
[18:31:57] <YairRand> of course, sign languages in particular have a larger issue of how to get the characters to display in the first place
[18:31:58] <brion> YairRand: is there a semi-standard way of squishing them into horizontal view? (eg standard rotation)
[18:32:06] <brion> worst case: SVG ;)
[18:32:12] <YairRand> I think yes
[18:32:18] <YairRand> not positive
[18:32:22] <YairRand> slevinski?
[18:32:47] <slevinski> Horizontal is possible
[18:33:07] <YairRand> in sign languages in general?
[18:33:15] <slevinski> Some information may be lost, such as body weight shifts to the left and right
[18:33:32] <YairRand> but that generally wouldn't be relevant in a single language's name, right?
[18:33:52] <slevinski> Not for a name
[18:33:59] <YairRand> excellent
[18:34:23] <YairRand> of course, getting the image in there is still potentially an issue.
[18:34:28] <brion> #info need to work out lang name display also
[18:35:09] <YairRand> Another issue: Certain images need to be rotated.
[18:35:25] <YairRand> Is this handled by CSSJanus for ltr/rtl, btw?
[18:35:35] <slevinski> The vertical layout uses lanes (left, middle, and right) for discussions. Horizontal writing would loose the lane information as it does not use lanes.
[18:35:57] <slevinski> Only punctuation would need to be rotated to switch from vertical to horizontal.
[18:36:25] <YairRand> I meant the mediawiki icons, actually
[18:36:35] <YairRand> arrows and such
[18:36:44] <brion> YairRand: so there’s ability to specify rtl overrides for icons which the flipping can use automatically
[18:36:58] <brion> we could probably devise a vertical extension to that yeah
[18:37:07] <brion> #info make sure icon flipping is extended to vertical as well (arrows etc)
[18:37:23] <YairRand> the override at incubator is also using manually rotated images
[18:37:34] <YairRand> not a good long-term solution :)
[18:38:01] <brion> yeah the other possibility is to apply CSS transformations but that way may lie madness ;)
[18:38:24] <YairRand> can those even be applied to background images?
[18:38:37] <brion> mmm, you can transform an entire element, that owuld include the bg i think
[18:38:52] <brion> but i’m not sure you can transform a background image *without* transforming the contents
[18:38:54] <brion> of the delemnt
[18:38:56] <brion> *element
[18:39:18] <YairRand> wouldn't work for things like the vector tabs shading
[18:39:35] <brion> hmm those should really be CSS gradients anyway :)
[18:39:51] <YairRand> or the little arrow in the "More" box, I think
[18:40:17] <YairRand> actually maybe it could
[18:40:29] <YairRand> I dunno. probably not going to be the method used anyway.
[18:41:22] <YairRand> (Hm, I feel like I missed one of the issues...)
[18:41:28] <brion> YairRand: so going forward — you are the main contact on this?
[18:41:39] <YairRand> apparently :)
[18:41:49] <brion> great :D
[18:42:16] <brion> YairRand: do you want to check in with roan or trevor about cssjanus?
[18:42:33] <brion> and if they don’t have time to poke at it right now, i’ll see if i can help
[18:43:13] <YairRand> I don't have any useful skills to add on that front, which makes me question the whole me being the main contact on this thing...
[18:43:27] <brion>  :)
[18:43:37] <brion> anyone else able/willing to take on part of that?
[18:45:46] <qgil> silence  :)
[18:45:53] <Nikerabbit> I am curious of this project, but I am not Janus expert either
[18:46:00] <brion> :D
[18:46:13] <brion> YairRand: ok sounds like you’re still point person but you need a technical liason :)
[18:46:20] <YairRand>  :)
[18:46:48] <YairRand> ah, other point: (copied from theDJ's summary) "we need a language -> rotation map, like we have for rtl/ltr directionality. Ideally we would get this information from CLDR (, but it is not in that so we need to bolt it on top of our language data first. (the Translate/Localization team can be involved)"
[18:47:41] <Nikerabbit> I could do some small tasks and help where I can, if you come up suitable tasks, like the one above ;)
[18:47:49] <brion> awesome
[18:47:57] <brion> wonder if we can upstream that to CLDR also
[18:48:14] <brion> #info CLDR missing language->verticalness mappings, can we upstream these?
[18:48:23] <Nikerabbit> brion: prolly, can talk to Amir & Nemo_bis when we know what we want
[18:48:45] <YairRand> I already have a list of sign languages in ISO. there aren't all that many vertical languages (I think), so it might be simple enough to just build a list manually.
[18:49:00] <YairRand> (I hope, at least)
[18:49:11] <GunChleoc> Maybe you can poke the people at CLDR? They areworking on a new version at the moment
[18:49:37] <Nikerabbit> I guess it's a bit chicken and egg, but if we already use certain info in MediaWiki, that could convince and speed up CLDR processing
[18:49:53] <YairRand> hm, perhaps
[18:49:54] <brion> *nod* let’s probably start with a local mapping and then try to push it upstream
[18:50:22] <qgil> (10 minutes to go)
[18:51:03] <brion> ok i’m willing to look into the cssjanus provisionally, can take some of my research time for that
[18:51:07] <GunChleoc> Give them the info you have when you poke them, that might speed things up. I've only been ilvolved with them as a translaor so far, so I don't know how the techy stuff works. They do have a bug tracker though
[18:51:10] <brion> and will escalate to roan/trevor as necessary :D
[18:51:25] <YairRand> excellent :)
[18:51:36] <brion> YairRand: anything else we need to plan before wrapping up for now?
[18:51:42] <brion> next checkin date for the rfc?
[18:52:00] <qgil> #action brion to look into the cssjanus provisionally
[18:52:01] <brion> YairRand: oh — anyone working on this going to be at wikimania?
[18:52:10] <brion> we could do some testing there
[18:52:40] <YairRand> brion: I'm not going to be at wikimania.
[18:52:51] <YairRand> dunno regarding anyone else
[18:53:12] <brion> ok then we’ll probably plan to regroup online sometime after
[18:53:32] <brion> qgil: any recommendations on scheduling, or leave that to later?
[18:54:03] <qgil> It would be good to have a tentative date that is realistic, or some measure to make sure the discussion and work doesn't die...
[18:54:27] <qgil> YairRand seems to be quite dedicated, though. :)
[18:54:50] <brion> :D
[18:55:07] <qgil> YairRand, will you want to summarize the status after Wikimania, and find then a tentative date for the continuation of this RfC?
[18:55:27] <YairRand> qgil: sure
[18:55:50] <YairRand> I'm not sure how I'm going to find out what happens at wikimania, though
[18:55:55] <brion> i’ll probably initiall test with japanese as i am slightly better at reading that than signwriting :) but i’ll just start with the flipping code and that should apply to both
[18:56:09] <brion> YairRand: i’ll send mails to wikitech-l when i get something working
[18:56:20] <qgil> #action YairRand to propose at wikitech-l next steps for this RfC after Wikimania
[18:56:21] <YairRand> brion: great :)
[18:56:43] <qgil> Alright, anything else?
[18:57:03] <YairRand> not that I can remember at the moment, hopefully I'm not forgetting something major...
[18:57:13] <brion> great sounds like we’re about wrapped up
[18:57:21] <qgil> Thank you YairRand for a well prepared RfC meeting
[18:57:27] <brion> #action brion to report on cssjanus progress to wikitech-l somewhere in the next few weeks
[18:57:34] <qgil> Thank you everybody for your participation
[18:57:40] <brion> \o/
[18:57:44] <YairRand> Thank you very much :)
[18:57:49] <qgil> #ENDMEETING
[18:57:50] <wm-labs-meetbot> Meeting ended Wed Jul 16 18:57:49 2014 UTC. Information about MeetBot at . (v 0.1.4)
[18:57:50] <wm-labs-meetbot> Minutes:
[18:57:50] <wm-labs-meetbot> Minutes (text):
[18:57:50] <wm-labs-meetbot> Minutes (wiki):
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[18:57:51] <brion> :D
[18:58:56] * YairRand leaves with giant smile
[18:59:02] <qgil>  :)
[18:59:07] <brion> yayyyy
[18:59:13] <brion> good meeting everyone :) see ya next time
[19:00:27] <Nikerabbit> qgil: thanks