Forums > Senate Hall archive > SH Archive/New "Monaco" Skin Design for Wookieepedia

Late last year, John Q from Wikia posted a note on wikia-l detailing our plans for a new skin, now called Monaco. The new skin was designed as an evolution of Monobook with single sidebar on the left, prominent article actions, widgets, and a really robust multi-tiered navigation.

Wookieepedia is one of our biggest wikis and a staff favorite, so I just had to put together a Wookieepedia theme as I was designing Monaco. I initially tried to find an image of Coruscant that was a bit more vivid than the current background image that would repeat well. I didn't have much luck - everything that I found was too overpowering. In the end, I put together a Hoth scene and tinted the sky to make it work with the Wookieepedia colours.

Please post comments and feedback in this thread. It's looking like Monaco will be ready next week.

BladeBronson 20:07, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

(This is a rendering of the Photoshop file that I use to generate themes and isn't representative of the content and functionality of the skin. It is intended only to convey the theme's style.)


  • Am I to assume we won't have to deal with ads on the right hand side? -- Riffsyphon1024 23:22, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
    • That's correct. There is only a banner ad at the top. The sidebar contains no ads, so we were able to narrow it quite a bit to give the article more room. BladeBronson 23:43, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
      • I'm always for more article room. -- Riffsyphon1024 05:20, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I like the look so far. —Xwing328(Talk) 06:05, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
  • One other thing to notice is the width of the article is wider than even monobook was. You can read about how to customize this skin here: . You can even have your own personal sidebar by creating the page "User:<your user name here>/Monaco-sidebar (and Monaco-toolbox). This skin will be available to you to choose as default on Monday using the skin chooser. Johnq@fandom (talk) 10:09, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
  • As long as nobody messes with Monobook, I don't much care. -- Darth Culator (Talk) 13:10, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
    • Per Culator; a lot of us (I wouldn't be surprised if it was most of our admins and other highly active users) prefer Monobook to Quartz, and would much prefer to have that option open to us as well. I don't think that simply telling us that this new skin is better (as staff has done with Quartz) will change the fact that Monobook is more aesthetically pleasing and easier to use for advanced functions for a good deal of users. Graestan(Talk) 13:16, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Although I personally prefer Monobook, Monaco is a great improvement over Quartz. It certainly looks good, and the extra article width is a welcome change. Thanks for taking the time to customize it for Wookieepedia. :) --Imperialles 13:30, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Per Imp. It's a heck of a lot better than Quartz, but I'm still sticking with Monobook. Hobbes(Tiger's Lair) 16:16, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
  • As one of the (apparently few) users who actually liked the features of Quartz, I must say that the new Monaco skin really expounded on the ideas put forth by Quartz. One of the things absent from Quartz that I felt was one of its strongest strengths was the auto-complete on the Search Box - it was a huge time saver. Is there any plans to implement that in Monaco, or is it just going to be a Quartz-only feature? Another thing: the top bar (where the Article, Discussion, Edit, etc. are) seems more troublesome in this edition as opposed to both Monobook and Quartz. Having the links completely reversed just kind of annoys me. Just my comments. Good job, by the way - especially with the customizables. JorrelWiki-shrinkableFraajic 04:42, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
    • Search suggest will be back soon. Johnq@fandom (talk) 07:45, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
    • We're going to A/B test the Article/Discussion tabs on the right and left... whichever side results in the edit link being noticed more (i.e., more editing) is the one we'll default to. Johnq@fandom (talk) 07:47, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Hi... Monobook will always be with us because we know a lot of heavy users prefer it. We're not going to switch you. Our goal has always been to try to get new users, to increase the browsing behavior so people find more of the good content (because they usually land deep in the wiki from a search engine), etc. Quartz improved some of those #'s but the communities let us know the size of the right sidebar wasn't ok... so we hope we have the right balance with Monaco. Personally, I like to be able to create my own sidebar on every wiki on a page like User:Johnq/Monaco-sidebar... understand your reluctance to move away from monobook, but please at least take a look at some of the things we've done and provide feedback. :) Thanks. Johnq@fandom (talk) 07:26, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
    • Actually, you might want to take a look at this. Paste the contents of these pages as user sub-pages for yourself and then try out Monaco: User:Johnq/Monaco-sidebar and User:Johnq/Monaco-toolbox... there's a lot more that can be done with that sidebar and toolbox. Paste those as sub-pages under your own user page like User:<your_username_here>/Monaco-sidebar and /Monaco-toolbox and then select any of the monaco skins in the skin chooser (you can switch back to monobook easily). There's also the fact that Monaco is wider than monobook, you can keep widgets on the sidebar that might have useful info (and if they don't, please suggest what would), there's also the widget dashboard here where you can see a bunch of them at the same time for a quick update: Special:WidgetDashboard ... this page is unique to you - feel free to screw with it. It includes active talk pages, a shoutbox that only includes people online from wookieepedia, etc. I hear you one not wanting to move from monobook... but please still provide us with feedback. :) Johnq@fandom (talk) 07:40, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Question: What's the source for these images: File:Monaco wikia header.jpg, File:Monaco accent1.jpg and File:Monaco background strip.jpg? Also, would it be possible to make the little user menu in the right corner of the header editable, similar to the sidebar and toolbox? --Imperialles 11:54, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
    • I pulled the Star Destroyer and AT-ATs from somewhere... maybe even from Wookieepedia. The star background I drew, and the Hoth landscape was someone's vacation picture from Flickr that I heavily modified. It was licensed CC. Making the user menu user-editable is something that we want to do really soon.
  • The Monobook one now appears on mine like it was ages age - everything on the left. Is there anyway to get it back to how it was a few days ago? Jedi Master Walon 15:46, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
    • Hi... if you mean back to Quartz where the sidebar is on the right, then you can just go to the skin preferences under user preferences and choose one of the Quartz skins. If you mean back to monobook then you can change it there, too. Johnq@fandom (talk) 18:31, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Personal sidebar = brilliant idea. This just might finally get me off Monobook. Gonk (Gonk!) 16:30, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Per Gonk. Not to mention it's actually one of the easiest, most self-explanatory customization techniques out there. One minor, minor gripe, though; I kept getting a "INVALID-NAME" error thing when I put in templates like {{FULLPAGENAME}}. I've seen it used elsewhere, and sometimes it would jog correctly, but I couldn't get it to work. *shrug*. JorrelWiki-shrinkableFraajic 16:46, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
    • Actually, scratch that. Figured it out on my own. JorrelWiki-shrinkableFraajic 17:33, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
    • Can you post what you were doing and what you did to fix it? Others might have the same question. Johnq@fandom (talk) 18:31, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
      • Actually, it's quite stupid; I never actually checked to see if the page I was linking to existed (as was the case with {{FULLPAGENAME}})... Solution? Don't use a broken link :P. JorrelWiki-shrinkableFraajic 18:38, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
      • Heh, ok. Well, that might help someone anyway. :) Johnq@fandom (talk) 19:00, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Alright, now I've got a complaint - I'm sure it's not on Wikia's side, but I can't find any reason it would have changed. Anyway, the custom skin (the one with the AT-ATs and Star Destroyer on the top) that was here yesterday and the day before isn't here, and, everywhere I've looked, I can't find it. What happened to it? JorrelWiki-shrinkableFraajic 21:40, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
    • Actually, it's the top image's skin. JorrelWiki-shrinkableFraajic 21:41, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
    • I think you're talking about the skin that's shown in the image at the top of this page. It's a Monaco custom skin. We're enabling Monaco across the site now, so this should show up as the default soon. In order to see this before it's a default just add "?useskin=monaco&usetheme=custom" to the end of your url's. Johnq@fandom (talk) 22:32, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • The change from a Quartz default to a Monaco default will happen in a few hours barring major objection. From the comments on this thread it either appears people don't care (because they'll stick with monobook) or they're in favor due to the new layout, the personal sidebar, etc. Johnq@fandom (talk) 22:55, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
    • This is much better than Quartz. Thanks! —Silly Dan (talk) 21:56, 27 February 2008 (UTC)


Hi, it looks like the setting to turn on Monaco has been deleted a couple of times, but I'm not sure if it was a deliberate choice, or not realising that MedaWiki:AdminSkin should be set to "monaco-custom" rather than deleted by resetting to "default". The history is here, shall I restore the monaco-custom setting? If you see it, and it's not your choice of skin, then you may have "See custom wikis" checked in your preferences... maybe that's what's going wrong? -- sannse@fandom (talk) 11:09, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

  • That's what I believe has been happening, from seeing the names in the history tab. Greyman(Talk) 16:31, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
  • That's what happened with me, before I realized it and restored it. I think Riffsyphon1024 did the same thing. —Xwing328(Talk) 19:12, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I'll mention to John that this isn't clear. I think people naturally assume that if it's in your preferences it only affects you -- sannse@fandom (talk) 19:50, 27 February 2008 (UTC)


Monaco overlap

Overlapping sidebar in Firefox. Screen resolution: 1680 x 1050, 120 DPI.

  • Hi! I'm not sure if you'd call this a bug or user's settings, but my sidebar is overlapping (and covering up) the main body of the page. I can adjust my font size (Ctrl++ and Ctrl+-) to adjust this, but in order to make the bar fit, the font gets ridiculously small. Also, adjusting the default font size in the browser does not affect it (probably because Wookieepedia defines its own font styles). I asked Green tentacle and Jaymach about it, and they are not having the same problem, but are likewise using Firefox. Is there a setting or CSS style that can be adjusted to fix the width of the sidebar? Thanks! —Xwing328(Talk) 18:38, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
  • This problem exists in Firefox as well. Regrettably, I've had to switch back to Monobook in order to view the wiki without killing my eyes.--Goodwood Redstarbird (Alliance Intelligence) 13:01, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Tested it in Internet Exploder Explorer and it worked fine. Apparently it's just a Firefox problem for now. —Xwing328(Talk) 17:09, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Is it possible that it has something to do with the resolution as well as the number and length of the various toolbar links? (Recent Changes, Random Article, etc.)? JorrelWiki-shrinkableFraajic 17:40, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Could be. I'm currently running at 1680x1050 on a 22" LCD widescreen, which seems somewhat insane for Internet browsing (there's a fair point to that, really).--Goodwood Redstarbird (Alliance Intelligence) 20:40, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm not seeing it in Firefox 3.0b3 running at 1680x1050 resolution. --Imperialles 20:55, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm on FF with my laptop resolution at 1280x800 - I don't see this happening, even if I increase the font size dramatically (the page goes off to the left eventually, with a scroll bar... but that takes a very big font size). Those of you that do see it, what resolution do you have? And maybe you could give an idea of the font size? In firefox, if you start at "normal", how many steps up from there are you? Thanks -- sannse@fandom (talk) 21:55, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I've only seen this on Firefox 3 beta. Please leave me a note on my talk page if you see this happen with anything other than Firefox 3 beta.
    • Sannse, if I go two "steps" down from normal, the boxes don't overlap anymore. I also noticed that adjusting the font size "steps" changes the top bar (the one currently with the Star Destroyer image). If you look closely at the screenshot, you'll notice that the star destroyer image has to repeat vertically to fill up the given space. However, adjusting two steps down puts it into what I would consider normal perspective. Are these sizes for the very top and side bars based on "em" and/or "pt" sizes in the CSS code? If so, maybe changing those to fixed pixel values would work. —Xwing328(Talk) 03:08, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
  • It does seem that it's FF 3 beta that's the problem. christian is going to put in a bug report with Mozilla, and see what they say. Hopefully we can get this sorted before they fully release FF3. -- sannse@fandom (talk) 18:02, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
    • But I'm using I've compared my settings to another computer using the same browser, and the only difference was the browser's "Minimum font size." Mine was set to 10, the computer it worked fine on was set to "None." I set mine to none, and the sidebar still overlapped, but scaled the exact same as the page, so that decreasing/increasing the number of "steps" of the font size did not fix the overlap. —Xwing328(Talk) 21:26, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Solution: I had the same problem (Ubuntu 8.04, Firefox 3b5) and found this blog posting. After setting my dpi to 96 it works perfect. --Avatar@fandom 10:47, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Quartz Edit

  • The new layout is killing my browser slowly. Due to the computer I'm using having restrictions on it that I can't remove, I am unable to install any newer versions of Firefox. Anywho, here's the problem: Trak Nar 00:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
    • While on Wookieepedia, it causes my browser to run slower, and slower, and slower 'fore it freezes and dies altogether. This only happens on Wookieepedia. Other sites are not affected. However, my Gtalk widget disconnects and dies off as well. Also, the sidebar takes a hellish long time to load sometimes. This problem is very annoying when I'm trying to write an article, as I end up having to keep the article on my clipboard, close and reopen my browser at least three times, and then finally finish the article. Trak Nar 00:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
      • I tried switching back to an older layout, but all the other layouts look like the new layout. So, the problem continues. How soon will this be fixed? I'd like to be more active on Wookieepedia, but this bug is making it rather difficult to do so. Trak Nar 00:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
        • It frequently runs slow on Firefox for me. But it did using MonoBook too. I'm pretty sure it's the annoying Flash adverts. Green Tentacle (Talk) 12:51, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
          • Monoco is terrible!! CHANGE THE DEFAULT SKIN TO QUARTZ NOW! C Teng [talk]
  • Well, I switched back to classic ol' MonoBook and that seems to be working pretty well for me. There aren't any annoying Flash ads, either. Until the kinks are worked outta Monaco, I'm gonna just use MonoBook. Trak Nar 22:49, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Quartz is also available via your preferences, C Teng. You should be able to scroll down a little to see the colour variations of that. I've talked to Christian about these problems, and he's looking into solutions. It seems that it's mostly the Beta Firefox that's affected, but some others are affected too -- sannse@fandom (talk) 23:59, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure if this is a problem with the new Monaco skin, or something else ... but there is a problem with images and uploading files. Some images are not displaying in articles and you can't upload any new images, you get an error as demonstrated by looking at Special:Newimages. I'm using Firefox version 1.8.20080.20121 on Win 2000. - JMAS Hey, it's me! 14:25, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
That was a disc problem... for some reason (I didn't hear the conclusion) a disc filled up suddenly, bypassing our alarms. Grrr... The guys fixed it. -- sannse@fandom (talk) 17:41, 10 March 2008 (UTC)