Talk:Universal Language Selector/Design/Interlanguage links

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Feel free to provide any feedback

Please make it stick across devices so that it works across handsets, tablets, and desktop

We've long talked about this feature and in a multi device world we shouldn't have to train each of our devices about what languages we speak Tfinc (talk)

Thanks for the feedback. That makes a lot of sense. There is no need to repeat the learning process once per device. Pginer (talk) 01:41, 11 February 2014 (UTC)


Now that the code landed in the ULS repo \o/ can we file bugs and enhancement requests in the ULS component? --Nemo 11:06, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Well, I filed two before I forget, with [Interlanguage links] label. --Nemo 21:57, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

ULS in "personal" position

What's wrong with this feature when the ULS trigger is in the personal tools position? It works just fine for me on testwiki: after enabling it in preferences, the ellipsis button is very clear and the language selector opens in a sensible way. --Nemo 20:55, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Removed from ULS, filed a bug. --Nemo 07:32, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for reporting this. There are a couple of related improvements we are working on:
  • Make sure that the beta feature is not listed as a beta feature on those wikis where it cannot be applied to avoid confusion.
  • Use a more accurate way to determine if the feature should be available for a given wiki. Currently the ULS position is used as a conservative way to make sure the feature only applies to wikis where we are sure interlanguage links exist. We can base this logic on $wgInterwikiMagic and $wgHideInterlanguageLinks instead which are the variables directly related to the use of interlanguage links on the sidebar.
--Pginer (talk) 11:52, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Edit manually

I just activated the new Beta function, as the first on the german wikipedia (yay!). How ever, the inital languages it shows (Alemannisch, العرب, Boarisch, català, English, français, italiano, lumbaart, rumantsch) are completely irrelevant to me and I'm missing a direct way of editing them (add, remove, sort) cause it should look more like (Deutsch, English, Alemannisch, français).--Sevku (talk) 19:29, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm the first who have activated it on the Dutch Wikipedia and I have the same question. - Supercarwaar (talk) 19:54, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
For context, the list comes from here: [1]. And if I understand correctly, when it comes to languages considered by CLDR in use in the country, it picks the first by number of speakers to reach the amount of 7-9. Languages that one has previously selected in ULS should come first in theory? I tried to select Latin but I don't manage to get it to the list. --Nemo 21:17, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
First, thanks for your interest in the feature and providing detailed feedback. Our design goal is to make a set-up process unnecessary by making it unnecessary to select a language more than once it if was not included in the initial list (since your last choices should be remembered). However, it seems that some of the criteria for selecting the relevant languages are not working yet. In particular previous choices should be the most important criteria to make a language appear in the initial list and are not working now. In a context where selecting a language to access content makes it appear the next time, there is not much need for having a specific set-up process, but once the criteria for anticipating languages is working, we can reevaluate this --Pginer (talk) 12:54, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
I had the same problem on Portuguese Wikipedia: the list I got when I used pt-BR in my preferences was not really interesting. For now, I prefer to keep using a hack: 16:04, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
I would also vote a feature to make prominent language I have an interest in. The showed language are not relevant. -- 03:43, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Showing languages I have showed an interest in does not always work. I often use iw links of languages I do not understand, e.g. to find files to use, or languages I understand only rudimentarily (but associated with the subject of the article), to perhaps get a hint or reference about a missing or dubious statement. Having these languages permanently added to the shorter list makes its contents more or less randomly chosen. Personally, I probably will use the complete list, but such "pollution" of the short list will probably annoy many users and have them refrain from checking exotic languages - which is a very nice aspect of using Wikipedia. --LPfi (talk) 14:49, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Labels look like links but aren't

Please make the blue labels in the UI actual links I can open by clicking the middle mouse button, for example. --TMg 15:17, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback. You are right, links on the language list should be real links. I've added this to the list of issues to be fixed. --Pginer (talk) 16:01, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Line height

The gray text at the bottom breaks in certain languages. For example in German it says "20 weitere

Sprachen" with a much to big line-height. --TMg 15:17, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

I've tried the Obama article with "195 weitere Sprachen" and it fits on the small window sizes for both Chrome and Firefox with and without the typography refresh, so I could not reproduce that (is there any beta feature / gadget that could be affecting this n your case?). One of the plans for the future is to integrate the label into the button with a shorter text ("X languages") which should reduce the issues. In any case we'll also need to review the line height for those cases that text requires a new line. --Pginer (talk) 16:14, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
The line break is not the problem. It can't be avoided in all languages. The line height is wrong. --TMg 14:06, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Search functionality obfuscated

The search box at the top of the UI doesn't look like a search box. It looks like a headline. The only hint that you can type something is the blinking text cursor. This is bad for usability. And it's strange since the same UI element in the ULS language selection actually does look like an input field (example screen shot). It does have a border. This one does not. --TMg 15:17, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Apart from the blinking cursor, the magnifying glass icon and the "search languages" placeholder text help to identify this as a search bar. The decision of avoiding too many boxes is to try to simplify the UI (the search bar occupies all the space on top becoming the main entry point since the map is not used here and it is more closely connected to the list of languages that it filters). During our tests with users we found no issues identifying and using the search bar, but we'll keep paying attention to it. --Pginer (talk) 16:26, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
I can't believe this. This is oversimplifying. Microsoft tried the same in a lot of places in Windows 8 and failed horribly. Nobody understood he can simply start typing without having an input field. Did you told your test users there is a filter functionality or did they found it without knowing it is there? Users are looking for search boxes. That's why every search engine still uses a small input field with a clearly visible border. But in this case there simply is no search box. Neither the icon nor the text make it clear that the list can be filtered by typing. Both look like labels for the pop-up (that's the purpose of the pop-up, to "search for a language", right?). The Winter experiment does have the same major design flaw. And the main question remains: Why do think it's a good idea to make every UI (the Beta checkboxes, the new Special:Search, and basically every pop-up in every extension recently developed by the WMF) look different? I once learned being consistent is a major aspect in usability. --TMg 14:27, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

"More" shouldn't show same languages again

I expected the "..." button to show what it says: more languages. Instead it's like it shows the same languages again (with the completely generic headline "Sprachen" in German), plus some more. I find this confusing. Are these two selections of "common" languages based on two different assumptions? --TMg 15:17, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

There are a couple of aspects to consider here. The initial list is supposed to be very short, so the first section of the language list ("Common languages") will leave more room for languages the user is interested in. The reason for keeping the initial languages also on the language list is to allow the language list to be able to find all languages. This is useful if you overlook a language in the initial list or went directly to the more languages list due to muscle memory. Having said that, I can imagine that for cases where there are few languages in addition to those in the main list, the "Common languages" section could possibly be skipped. I'll add a note on the future explorations for adapting the language list to few items. --Pginer (talk) 16:43, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
I understand and agree that having the "commons" section in the pop-up is probably a good idea. But it should be the same as the languages in the sidebar. Currently it's almost the same, sometimes with one or two more languages, sometimes with one or two missing, sometimes almost empty with a single language only. I don't see the benefit of this. It feels like it's random (the user can not understand the rules from comparing the two lists). And as I said the headline of the "commons" section is bad in German but I couldn't find the message (?uselang=qqx is ignored for some reason). PS: Found it. --TMg 14:42, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
If you take a look at the testing recordings, users were asked the following: "Could you search for the 'Mona Lisa' article, and access it in Spanish, Dutch, French and Russian" (you can see the tester box on the top-right area of the screen). They were asked to access the article in different languages which aligns with the user goal regardless of the technical means provided to do so. Those were part of some tests done through On one-on-one tests with users we followed a similar script (but also asking a more open version of the question initially: "access the languages you know"). In that case, we were able to have a conversation and ask why users made use of the different entry points, and even the users that didn't used search seemed to be aware of the search capability. Once the "known issues" section gets reduced, I'll plan some tests for the current feature. Then, we could check again if the problem appears. --Pginer (talk) 09:43, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Misplaced pop-up

Unfortunately this was a one-time issue I can't reproduce: the pop-up was misplaced, half hidden in the top left corner of the screen. This can be easily avoided by limiting the top and left position to positive integers. (With something like Math.max(0, x).) --TMg 15:17, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Are you facing issue like, here? --KartikMistry (talk) 15:31, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, exactly. It seems this is independent from the browser. Possible explanation: Parts of the menu on the left side collapse on page load. This may confuse the code that calculates the position of the pop-up. --TMg 14:31, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
same her (latest chrome, mac os). --Sebaso (talk) 08:17, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
This looks bad. Not exactly sure what's causing the issue. Will look into it as soon as possible. Thanks for reporting this. --Niharika (talk)


I turned it on my account at, but the iw links didn't change. It worked on my beta-wiki and accounts. It didn't work even when I switched the skin from mono to vector. Is this a known bug? Bennylin (talk) 19:53, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Works for me on Probably some local gadget or script of yours interfering? --Nemo 21:23, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Works for me on as well. --Niharika
I logged in as my robot, and it works. Still didn't work with my main account too even though I've tried deleting my scripts (id:Pengguna:Bennylin/common.js and id:Pengguna:Bennylin/monobook.js). Strange... Bennylin (talk) 12:02, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

It keeps annoying me.

The button stands out too much, distracting from the rest of the page. Please remove it, and instead make the "n more languages" text clickable. Keφr 19:48, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Oppose. I love this extremely simple button with no text. Please keep it and don't make it bigger by switching the "…" with text. --TMg 11:26, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
My reflect was to click the 73 more languagesinstead of the ellipses. Bennylin (talk) 12:16, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Me too. I was somehow subconsciously confused by the "…" at first sight which I think is a bad sign regarding UI design and usability. When clicking "…" I was even more confused since I would have expected the hidden languages to be somehow unfolded (as normally when three dots are used to omit sth. somewhere) but surely not a new UI dialog to pop up. I'd favor the proposed solution below (incorporate number of languages into a button) which will actually make the UI less distracting in my opinion (by saving one UI element). --Patrick87 (talk) 21:06, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
There is a benefit in having an entry point for switching languages that is understood in any language, but it is also true that the indicator of the total length could be understood as the entry point. We have explored several solutions:
  • Integrate both (example design) . While keeping the universal icon and avoiding the multiple-entry point problem, the main entry point becomes slightly more complex than it was.
  • Make the "X more languages" also to act as an entry point. Although it could make it work for users that click on it, having two separate entrypoints for the same thing next to each other seems not to be the best solution.
  • Remove the "X more languages", if the "..." is enough to indicate that there are more languages, do we need the specific number? While it is not strictly needed (it is not provided with the current language links), I think it communicates the multilingualism of our project and helps to answer a reasonable question ("in how many languages is the article available?") easier than what we currently are able to. I prefer to keep this info but I'm open to present it in a different way (popup? as part of the search field placeholder?). ---Pginer (talk) 09:58, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
The number is totally misleading. Because the extra interwikis are presented per continent basis (in itself is a bit problematic), some languages occur several times in several continents, i.e. France, English, Nederlands, etc. When it said 5 links, I expect to see the 5 links that were not in the short list, instead I get the full list, with the aforementioned redundancies. Bennylin (talk)

I would like it if the x more Languages would simply expand into a list of the remaining Languages.--Saehrimnir (talk) 18:22, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Interwiki titles

One of the good thing of having the old interwikis are for comparing titles between 'pedias. For example in the name of a person, does the majority of 'pedias use X or Y, or in the name of species, Latin or common, or geographic entities. Therefore reducing them to select few limits this functionality. Even after the "..." button is clicked, user still can't see the titles in other 'pedias (not even in mouse hover). A Wikidata-like list would be very useful, and an improvement over the old interwikis.

Also, can we select the short-list through our preferences? The autodetect isn't functioning properly; for example it tend to shows ar.wp and af.wp (alphabetical?), where I would prefer ms.wp and fr.wp. Bennylin (talk) 12:10, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your feedback. I added a new issue in our list about preserving the title information on language links. That would make the new language links to behave closer to the current ones. The auto-detect functionality not working is already a known issue, and there is already a fix for it in progress, so it should be working soon. --Pginer (talk) 10:09, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Two more things. For the extra interwikis, I can't middle click or Ctrl+click the link to open in a new tab too. And then ideally (although it would need extra information to be provided), an article should have an "article preferred interwiki" (i.e. not user preference). What I meant is, for language related articles, for example, ideally one of the shown interwikis should be from that language's Wikipedia article (when available). Granted it might not work for all articles, but most of the time I want to know what the speaker of the language said about that topic in their own language. Bennylin (talk) 13:32, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Besides the articles title being shown in the links pop-up title also remember to restore the translated language name to be shown in the pop-up title that was added this year (bugzilla:5231) – also in the pop-up language select. --Patrick87 (talk) 21:15, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Source code?

Where is the source code of this thing? --TMg 16:19, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

[2] [3] --Nemo 17:30, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Language variants selection

I really like the compact list. This helps me not to scroll down long list for some page to look after Chinese in English Wikipedia. And in Chinese Wikipedia, I also spent less time for looking for English related wiki.

This is a bug(bugzilla:51242) talking about the Support language variant selection at ULS, which suggest adding language variants in the language list instead of top bar right after Page/Discussion. I think it's pretty great to integrate language variants in ULS and looks good to UX transition. But experienced user use this feature heavily. And some technical problem force us to keep this selection in a outstanding position cause some ordinary reader often mislead to a language variant they don't want to, usually comes after a url.--Fantasticfears (talk) 07:32, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Accept-Language header

HTTP has an Accept-Language header. Is this used? For those who have configured it, it lists languages which the user should like to be offered. Where a default is offered, it is probably a language the user knows at least to some extent. Using the information is no privacy problem, as the information is there already (and a browser could choose to send the information only to trusted sites). --LPfi (talk) 15:09, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Accept-language header is used. I just checked to tweak it from the browser and the new language I added was appearing. Please, let us know if it is not working in your case. --Pginer (talk) 16:21, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought it was not mentioned in the documentation. Now I see it. --LPfi (talk) 11:59, 25 March 2014 (UTC)


I know I'm simplifying things, but what is wrong with

#p-lang li {display:none}
#p-lang .interwiki-de,
#p-lang .interwiki-es,
#p-lang .interwiki-fr,
#p-lang .interwiki-en {display:list-item}

Use JS to add some knobs and to persist the user's choice in his or her profile, and you should be done. Paradoctor (talk) 21:58, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

I think that's an excellent suggestion. It'll resolve quite a few complaints. I'll work on it. Thanks! Niharika (talk) 02:53, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Something in this beta feature is incompatible with edit button styling in Fixed header / Winter experimental beta feature This is currently only enabled on beta labs, but I need to fix it sooner rather than later. Any idea what might be causing this? Any way the styling could be limited to the left menu? Jdlrobson (talk) 21:35, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi, I'm not sure what's causing this issue. Could you point me the JS/CSS files you're using for the button styling? I'd like to see if the elements share any class/id by mistake. I'm just guessing here. Niharika (talk) 12:56, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Confusing selection of languages

Visiting no:Oslo with the eetension turned on I got

  • (af) Afrikaans
  • (am) አማርኛ
  • (an) aragonés
  • (ang) Ænglisc
  • (ar) العربية
  • (arc) ܐܪܡܝܐ
  • (en) English
  • (nn) norsk (nynorsk)
  • (se) sámegiella

Nynorsk is a variant of Norwegian and is correct, Northern Sami is another language used in Norway. English is a common secondary language. Due to the number of people in Norway from other countries I would expect to find Swedish (sv), Danish (da), Deutsch (de), and perhaps Urdu (bal), Finnish (fi), Russian (ru). In addition I would expect to find Icelandic (is) and Faroese (fo) due to geographical closeness and similarity of language.

In short, the present list of languages seems weird. 10:41, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi. Can you please put this on the Talk page instead? Thanks! Niharika (talk) 16:18, 29 March 2014 (UTC)