The new Wikipedia appearance that took the whole village

All the other things we changed in addition to Wikipedia’s look

A watercolor sketch of hundreds of people building a giant version of the Wikipedia puzzle globe logo out of wood (

We became better at disagreeing

We worked effectively with our editing community

We improved our frontend development practices

We made improvements to backward compatibility

We improved language support

We simplified APIs and removed code paths

We retained a good level of accessibility

We built with performance in mind

We restructured our Wikitext markup language

We improved third-party support

We started to monitor visual regressions

We started to log JavaScript errors

We improved the mobile experience

… but we’ve still got work to do

  • The new desktop skin is not as responsive as we’d like it to be. This wasn’t prioritized as we have a mobile site and much of the challenge here lies in working with our content creators to make article content responsive (in particular large tables).
  • The new skin is not as performant as it could be. We’re currently shipping more than 2kb of CSS than we need to, for example, due to the way we roll out features, and overall the site’s critical CSS is a little larger than before. The flip side of this is added functionality that should make the site more useful, and a design that degrades on older browsers
  • The font size is smaller than we’d like it to be because changing it at this point would create significant work for our editors.
  • There are still remaining issues with accessibility on the site. We’ve received consultancy and believe we have identified those issues and continue to work towards fixing them.
  • Several blogposts about our work are still being written²

I'm Jon Robson, a Welsh/English/European/adopted-Singaporean open source web developer and published writer living in San Francisco.