Talk:Compact Personal Bar

About this board

Compact personal bar is a clean and organized personal bar with quick access to the features you use most. This feature paves the way for a simplified site header with access to contextual tools when you need them, try it out with the upcoming Fixed Site Header beta feature.

Please give us feedback on your experience using this beta feature so we can change and improve it. Each language is welcome in this discussion! You can read more about the feature here. See the roadmap and known bugs on trello.

Known Issues:

  • Internet Explorer and old Safari (desktop and mobile) are not yet supported
  • Language and Notifications flyouts do not work in most cases
  • Shortcut/access keys may not work in some cases
  • Compact Personal Bar breaks some gadgets

Note: this page is using Flow, to give feedback on Flow please use the Flow talk page

Guycn2 (talkcontribs)

In my opinion, this tool is the most important tool for modernizing MediaWiki (except for the VE).

Is it still being developed? I really miss the comfortable uncluttered appearance of this tool.

BTW, I've always been dreaming of being notified when a page on my watchlist is changed, and AFAIK this tool is the only thing that allows it.

Florianschmidtwelzow (talkcontribs)

As far as I know, currently no-one is working to improve the feature :/

Guycn2 (talkcontribs)

Very sad :(

Reply to "When is it back?"

Compact personal bar beta feature is disabled until critical bugs are resolved.

Summary last edited by He7d3r 00:13, 7 February 2015 9 years ago

Currently disabled, until at least phab:T85541, phab:T66862 and phab:T67073 are fixed. Per phab:T86831 and m:Tech/News/2015/05.

Jaredzimmerman (talkcontribs)

Due to resourcing the compact personal bar beta feature will be removed from sites within the next two weeks. This does not mean that the learning and data gained from the experiment is lost. The Design and Product teams will work to either find new resources to update the feature in future, or take the learnings that we gained from the trial and apply them to new features and enhancements to the sites.

The outstanding development tasks for compact personal bar are available on phabricator here if community developers would like to work on the code there will be staff members availbe to help review.

Thank you for everyone who participated in the experiment, and for all of your feedback.

Ricordisamoa (talkcontribs)

It was more than an experiment, disabling it broke many users' workflow.

Biblioworm (talkcontribs)

So this is why my bar suddenly vanished a few minutes ago! I really liked it... (talkcontribs)

It's a useful tool, why stop it?

Srittau (talkcontribs)

This is very unfortunate. Instead of just immediatly clicking the little star to go to my watchlist, I now have to scan a lot of (mostly useless to me) words to find it.

FRacco (talkcontribs)

)-: It was very useful! :-(

Ensahequ (talkcontribs)

I liked a lot, too, and I found it useful. Do you have at least one picture showing how it was working?

Metrophil (talkcontribs)

I really liked it, too. I hope it will be possible to use that bar again soon.

NemesisIII (talkcontribs)

It was really useful and I liked it. I hope the idea will not be forgotten.

Xelgen (talkcontribs)

It was quite useful and well recieved by community. As sysop, I've got few requests by users today, asking what happened to it. I think it should stay in our plans, though I can't commit to development myself at the moment.

Hoff1980 (talkcontribs)

it was usefull. Why disabling, it was working perfectly.

Sillyfolkboy (talkcontribs)

I can also state that this was serving its purpose very well in its current format - Wikipedia is FAR behind in replacing long text for simple, intuitive icons (a design omnipresent in virtually every common piece of software or OS). This was particularly needed because the site is so very text heavy; in this respect it was a great improvement, visually and functionally. The links I most used were the ones displayed. I infrequently used the hidden ones. I do not even consider this a beta feature at all. I would happily advocate for the release of this as a gadget, and even as a default on Wikipedia!

Raymond (talkcontribs)

I really liked it too. Hope it will come back soon.

Jaredzimmerman (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks everyone for the great feedback, many of us here also like the feature. However even we acknowledge it was not yet perfected. As of today it has 19 outstanding bugs, including 2 critical ones related to echo notification and language tools. Until those bugs are resolved I think it is unwise to release, either as an extension or gadget.

If you are a developer I would urge you to take a look at the open issues on phabricator related to the feature. I'm happy to work with any community developer who would like to work on the feature.

Cirdan (talkcontribs)

Since it worked fine for many of us, can't we have it back as a Beta or even Alpha gadget? If it clearly says that it's not supported by the WMF and might not work (or break further in future versions), this should be fine.

Felistoria (talkcontribs)

+ 1 Cirdan.

Gerardduenas (talkcontribs)


Gparyani (talkcontribs)

As I stated in my below reply, you can force enable it by adding the line "mw.loader.load("skins.vector.compactPersonalBar");" (without the outer quotes) to your vector.js.

Salix (talkcontribs)


FRacco (talkcontribs)

Please, where can I find all icons used by the Compact Personal Bar? Some oh them are in commons:Category:Wikicons, but Beta icons doesn't exit for example. Thanks in advance.

Gparyani (talkcontribs)

Anyone who's interested can force enable it by adding the following line into your vector.js:


C-we (talkcontribs)

Please hurry up to bring it back to us! It is - thanks to Gparyanitalk - a very useful feature. And it also made a small design step in the very right direction.

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I've added a summary at the top, explaining why this was temporarily (we hope) disabled. It was breaking the language selector at various wikis. See phab:T85541 for details, and phab:T86831 and m:Tech/News/2015/04 for background and the announcement. Sorry it wasn't announced more clearly, early, and widely.

Илья Драконов (talkcontribs)

It was very useful, when will we see it again? Allready 7 months we are waiting!

Julius1990 (talkcontribs)

I don't want to add anything in anything since i'm not a developer but author for Wikipedia. this feature worked fine for many of us, and it was in my opion one of the very few things that the WMF got done that actually helped my workflow instead of disrupting it like with MV and the like ... it is a declaration of bankruptcy for the WMF and its developers that they can't maintain a by many editors well-received tool.

AKlapper (WMF) (talkcontribs)
Guycn2 (talkcontribs)

I really enjoyed this tool. Will it come back?

Gparyani (talkcontribs)

It's still there. Just follow my above advice to force-enable it.

YMS (talkcontribs)

In case anyone is missing it since like ten days or want to install it now but don't get it to work: The code has been removed. :(

Metrophil (talkcontribs)

That is very sad :(

Guycn2 (talkcontribs)

What a shame... I really love this tool and now even the JS code doesn't work...

Ensahequ (talkcontribs)

Why? :,(

Ricordisamoa (talkcontribs)

To everyone who is not following phab:T46448: I put an experimental comeback at toollabs:cpb. I advise against using it except for demonstration purposes.

Reply to "Tool Labs"
RomanLier (talkcontribs)

I would like to enable this feature. Is there a way to do it?

Tar Lócesilion (talkcontribs)

For some reasons, this product is discontinued, so if you ask how to enable it on a wiki maintained by WMF, the answer is: you can't do it :(

Florianschmidtwelzow (talkcontribs)

The reason is pretty simple: No one has the time to maintain it :/ If you, btw., be interested in doing some work to bring it back, I think there would be some very happy people (including me) :P

Tar Lócesilion (talkcontribs)

How much time have WMF developers spent working on projects that turned out to be discontinued due to 'lack of time'... Ironic, isn't it? Yet CPB is/was charmingly useful and many of us want it to be back. Anyhow.

Reply to "How can I enable it?"

Why is IE support limited?

Leaderboard (talkcontribs)

Why is Internet Explorer support limited in Compact Personal Bar? I'm facing some problems with it and the Purge tool.

I filed a task at Phabricator and was rejected , them saying that it is out of scope.

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks for filing phab:T85460, I've merged it into the related bug ticket phab:T67073

I'm not a dev, so can't help explain why IE isn't supported yet (I know it's a very troublesome family of browsers though, as Microsoft is infamously bad about meeting web-standards.).

Gparyani (talkcontribs)

This used to be true in the past, but is no longer.

In fact, Internet Explorer 11 puts some interesting things in its user agent string to fool older-style browser detection scripts into thinking it's a Gecko-based browser (and Gecko-based browsers will be served the standards-compliant code while old versions of IE get served the old-style IE-specific code).

Gparyani (talkcontribs)

I honestly don't know why.

It works perfectly fine for me in Internet Explorer 11. Just because users of older versions of IE are experiencing problems does not mean it should be unsupported for IE11 too...

Leaderboard (talkcontribs)

I don't know either. I experienced these problems with IE9 especially.

Can't test now with IE11 , as it seems to be disabled currently.

Gparyani (talkcontribs)

Force enable it by adding this line into your vector.js:


Bypass your browser's cache, then try.

Reply to "Why is IE support limited?"

Item ordering and additional items

Diwas (talkcontribs)

I suggest some flyouts in one row 1. page, 2. talk, 3. search box, then the icons and at last the personal flyout:

Inside page (article, help, ...) flyout

   ... maybe:
   What links here
   Related changes
   Page information
   related page on sister projects
   wikidata item

Inside talk (article talk, help talk, ...) flyout


Inside Search box flyout (no changes)

Search box

Outside of flyout (icons):

   Messages / flyout
   Notification / flyout

Inside personal flyout:

   Watchlist (count[1])
   Messages (count)
   Notifications (count)
   Other items added by extensions & gadgets[2]
   Privacy (WMF specific)
   Log out
Jaredzimmerman (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Sounds a lot like some of the things we've done in the prototype for have you taken a look at that?

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)
Diwas (talkcontribs)

I took a look now. Yes, it is similar, but the flyout for contents should be splitted to contents and talk. And now I have to click to open the content flyout. Since, in Winter, I need four clicks to open the talk history. One (mouseover and one) click should be enough.

Jaredzimmerman (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Good point Diwas, talk history is currently a few clicks away. (although only 2 not 4 though…?) however, I'm not sure that its something we really need to make more visible than 2 clicks away. Especially in light of how much easier it it for people to use Flow than current talk pages, this instance where the average user will need to access talk history pages will hopefully be much more infrequent.

Diwas (talkcontribs)

The flyout (there in Winter) do not open for me by mouseover, but only by click. But this is nothing we have to research. When you are reading the talk page and you want to open the article history, you need two clicks. Yes, it is only one wasting click, but it needs only one little icon to split article (with it's history and edit and more) and talk (with it's history and edit and maybe more). Since now, when you are reading the article, the flyout shows article (read article), edit (edit article), discussion (read discussion), history (article history). When you are reading the talk, the the flyout shows article (read article), edit (edit talk), discussion (read talk), history (talk history). This may be the context-menu concept, but the items are ambiguous. It is a mix of stable items and items with changing action by stable labels (history, edit). One extra icon would be more easy and efficient. When you are reading, editing or see the history of the arrticle, the article icon should be highlighted (a little bit). When you are reading, editing or see the history of the talk, the talk icon should be highlighted.

Quiddity (talkcontribs)
6tabs-vector userscript in action

For many years I used the "6tabs" userscripts to add the history links to my personal UI. ( vector version, monobook version), and I really liked having those history links instantly available.

(I stopped using it because it doesn't work well with WikiLove and VisualEditor. I partially use Navigation Popups for semi-quick access to things like this, although it's not possible to use Navpopups to directly access the talkpage-history from the article itself..)

I agree that being able to subtly tweak this kind of thing, is very useful for powerusers. Particularly because the reverse is also often true - when I'm on the talkpage, I often want to consult the history of the article/project page.

(Personally, I never use the "jump straight to editing" link, because I always need to read the page first! But I assume it is useful for some editors' use-cases, as it is also the top-link in the Navpopups actions menu (?).)

Diwas (talkcontribs)

If I move the mouse pointer from the top, out of the window, down to the search box, it is hidden by the compact personal bar. Which can be solved by an integration of page ,talk, search box and compact personal bar into one superbar. Or you add a search box on the second position in the compact personal bar..

Reply to "Item ordering and additional items"

Ist furchtbar unbequem / I find it inconvenient

Atlasowa (talkcontribs)

Habe das einige Wochen getestet und finde es unpraktisch. Besonders das Aufklappen nervt. Habe es jetzt deaktiviert.

Jaredzimmerman (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Atlasowa, thank you for trying out the beta feature, I'm sorry that you find it inconvenient or impractical to use, however based on your feedback there isn't anything actionable for us to do to improve it for you. Would you care to give us some more feedback on how we can improve the feature so it would be useful for you?

Atlasowa, vielen Dank für das Ausprobieren der Beta-Funktion, tut mir leid, dass Sie es unbequem oder unpraktisch zu bedienen, jedoch basierend auf Ihrem Feedback gibt es nichts umsetzbare für uns zu tun, um zu verbessern es für Sie. Würdest du uns etwas mehr Rückmeldungen, wie können wir die Funktion zu verbessern, damit es sinnvoll für Sie wäre, zu geben?

Based on the translation : Have the test a few weeks and find it impractical. Especially the unfolding annoying. I have disabled it now.

Atlasowa (talkcontribs)

Jaredzimmerman (WMF): Thanks for the quick response :-)

You're right, this is not really actionable feedback. Some examples:

I DON'T LIKE GREY. It looks disabled. And not everybody uses a HD screen with optimum light conditions. Grey is a bad idea. Kill your design darlings!

I use the "my contributions" link quite often to check on responses to my recent edits - on articles that i don't want to put on my watchlist forever. This "my contributions" link is in the drop-down, so it is harder to reach/click now.

I often unintentionally clicked on my user page (top of drop-down) when trying to unfold the drop-down. I have also clicked on the drown-down when i wanted to use the search field (too similar in design and placement).

Since you are tracking all clicking on the new "Compact Personal Bar", you can probably tell which links users click most - but can you compare this with the click-action on the old Personal Bar? (If you can't, how can you have a meaningful interpretation of data?) BTW, on german Wikipedia one admin has hidden the "beta"-link for everybody, so it is also hidden in the new "Compact Personal Bar" (in case you're wondering why nobody clicks on it).

I do like the logout-button on mobile WP (power-off-button). Is not used in the "Compact Personal Bar", unfortunately.

The watchlist = star-icon is fine. I think it should make a short blink when i add a new article to my watchlist (in addition to the rotation animation of the other star icon). BTW, in the Wikipedia edit window there is a "Watch this page" tick box, there should be the star icon next to it too (consistency).

Beta Features - Compact Personal Bar Sketch

The bell icon for notifications is nice, haven't seen it in action/in beta. Does it swing?

The version 2 design never reached german WP, afaik.

Re:FLOW 1) Why is this flow text input field so freaking tiny? Huge whitespace everywhere in flow, but in the text input ... no space left? Gaarrrr. 2) When i started the topic, after writing the topic title, Flow asked "Add some details, if you'd like" - i thought, i don't need a subtitle or mouseover or whatever. I certainly didn't expect that to be the the actual text input field for my comment...! "Add some details, if you'd like" - seriously!?! What do you think users do on Wikipedia? Write tweets? Do you WANT them to write tweet-long comments? Gaaarrr.

Jaredzimmerman (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Atlasowa: Thanks for the feedback, very much appreciated. I'll try to address each point

  • We are making the icons more dark and having hover and click stated to combat the issue of it appearing too light, this change hasn't rolled out anywhere ( isn't being singled out)
  • You're not the first to request contributions be outside the flyout as well, however we've not received a lot of feedback requesting this either, we'll continue to evaluate requests like yours and the analytics data we're receiving as well.
  • eventually with the changes proposed by Winter the search and flyout won't be stacked so hopefully this is a temporary issue
  • We are tracking user clicks for the compact person bar and user clicks on the same targets outside the compact personal bar for users that do not have it enabled so that we can compare behaviors for logged in users, we're not finding any significant falloff of users accessing any items, so that's good, but we'll continue to watch for trends as the number of users increases.
  • Thats a great idea with the animation, the watchlist star (for watching a page already has an animation too, do you think it would be distracting to have them both animating?) perhaps we could do something where when you watchlist a page the start actually animates as though it would going into the watchlist icon in the compact personal bar?
  • The bell is being used on mobile web and eventually apps as well, it doesn't swing or animate (yet…)
  • We purposefully left logout without an icon to distinguish it from the others, but we can look into having an icon as well.

Thank you for the flow feedback, would you mind giving it directly to the flow team on the project talk page?

Atlasowa (talkcontribs)

Jaredzimmerman (WMF): Yes, i would mind. If you put me through the hassle of using flow to give you feedback, then you can run the errands with the feedback on flow.

Jaredzimmerman (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Atlasowa, I'm sorry that you feel Flow is a hassle to use, its not that it bothers me that you are giving flow feedback here, I just want to make sure that the team working on Flow receives your feedback in order to improve it, and hopefully make it less of a hassle for you.

Atlasowa (talkcontribs)

Jaredzimmerman (WMF): " I just want to make sure that the team working on Flow receives your feedback in order to improve it" - then please DO make sure! No, wait, actually, you're less interested in getting valuable feedback for beta features, than in forcing another beta feature (flow) on users that intend to give you feedback. See bug 65078. Wow.

Superbass (talkcontribs)

As an author and Administrator I need my watchlíst frequently. It is anoying to do two clicks instead of one to access the watchlist. I' ve no sollution for that exept to exclude the watchlist from the feature and leave the usual link

Jaredzimmerman (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Superbass, I'm not sure I understand, watchlist is still only 1 click away, the star icon that accesses the watchlist is both inside and outside the flyout. Effectively there is no change to the number of clicks for accessing watchlist. Am I misunderstanding what you're asking for?

Superbass (talkcontribs)

Jaredzimmerman (WMF): The thing is: I didn`t realize the star icon is to access the watchlist and only tried to find it at the dropdown. It's fine, then, thanks

Jaredzimmerman (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Superbass: ok, glad to have that resolved. That icon will be updated soon to be more clearly differentiated from that watch/unwatch this page icon.

Atlasowa (talkcontribs)

Jaredzimmerman (WMF): When you update the icon, please think about making the watchlist icon more prominent. For example by giving it a colour (red, blue?). I worry that new users only see the highly visible notifications, and are paying far less attention to their watchlist. And while the notifications are about me-me-me (my edits, my conversations, my thanks, my status, my reverts, ...), the watchlist is about the articles, about actual Wikipedia content. In the old days, there was only the watchlist and the users talkpage - now the notifications could distract contributors from that. That could be harmful. Can you somehow check that out? usertesting, clicktracking?

Jaredzimmerman (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Atlasowa: thanks for the feedback, in tracking click-throughs during the beta feature we've noticed no significant drop in activity of people accessing their watchlists. We know this is a self selecting group, and we'll watch out for that. We will definately look into your point of using color to emphasize new content or changes in watchlist and other "notification streams"

Atlasowa (talkcontribs)

Jaredzimmerman (WMF): I found some research about notifications, which seems to support my concerns that the competition for user attention between the "me-me-me-notifications-bling-icon" vs. "static watchlist-link" has harmful effects on productivity:

meta:Research:Notifications/Experiment_1#Summary: Our results suggest that the presence of Notifications effectively increases the amount of activity that new users will engage in (more edits, more edit sessions and more hours spent editing). However, the effect of Notifications on the productivity of new users is unclear. On average, users with Notifications were less likely to make productive contributions to articles, but in our experiment, a few highly productive newcomers made up some of the difference.

Our results also show that newcomers with Notifications enabled are more burdensome. They made more edits that were reverted by others and they were more likely to be blocked.

Reply to "Ist furchtbar unbequem / I find it inconvenient"
Metrophil (talkcontribs)

Hi, I just wanted to tell you, that I really like that compact personal bar. There's just one thing: If there are new "messages" on the Watchlist, what about marking the little star thing (where you click on to go to your watchlist) yellow?

Jaredzimmerman (WMF) (talkcontribs)

We're definitely considering including a count for new items that appear in watchlist, glad to hear you'd be interested in something like this.

Reply to "Feedback by me"

selection of icons, some other things about the handling

CennoxX (talkcontribs)
  1. For me it's a deterioration, that you now have a longer mouse way to get to Preferences, even as an advanced user, that's an often used page for me. So I'd like to get an direct icon for that.
  2. In contrast to that I only need the notifications icon, if I have a new notification.
  3. if I read articles etc. and I click once on the notification icon, I expect it to open as a small box, so that I can take a quick look at my notifications and go easy back, read my articles (as it does if I edit somewhere). Instead a click opens the notifications page. Maybe it's an option, to open the small box if I click once, and if I click a second time to open the notification page.
  4. on the expendable options, there is a link to "new messages (none)" this is not necessary, if there are no new messages, I don't need a link to it.
  5. I think the order of the links is not good solved. The first few options are already clickable icons, I could easy go to them, without opening the menu. In contrast, the option Preferences is far down, and has so an unnessesary long mouse way.
Jaredzimmerman (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I'm sorry you find it to be worse than the current state of things. From our analysis of how users use the current links in the personal bar we've found there to be no real difference in the access frequency from users who are using the compact personal bar and those that aren't and while I agree that its a little bit more mouse moving its still one click away, but I understand your point. From looking at the frequency at which we see users accessing options in the personal bar, preferences is access pretty infrequently. Thats why it didn't seem to need a presence outside of the dropdown.

That might be the case of you, however many users use notification as a means of getting to their old notifications, additionally this is similar to how notifications work on pretty much every web application with a notification works, so I don't think it would make sense for us to differ from this pattern.

The echo (notifications) flyout not overlaying on the current page is a bug tracked T66862 here already.

The "new messages (none)" showing when a user has enabled compact personal bar is a bug tracked here T69750 already.

There are other threads here on the talk page, where people are talking about icon ordering. The current order is based on the way things are ordered and the frequency that people are accessing tools now. Feel free to propose alternate ordering, but please know that the current ordering is based on common usage data which might be different from yours.

Thanks for the feedback!

Reply to "selection of icons, some other things about the handling"

Messages and notifications popup does not always display

Summary by Jaredzimmerman (WMF)

Tracked in task T66862

WolfgangRieger (talkcontribs)

Klicking on the echo button does not display a popup with recent notifcations, but instead opens the notification page, which is annoying. PS: I see that this is a known issue.

Jaredzimmerman (WMF) (talkcontribs)

yep! its definitely one of the first things on our list, we have limited resources to devote to this beta feature at the moment, but as soon as we have time we'll resolve this.

Reply to "Messages and notifications popup does not always display"