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Summary

This gadget is designed to empower a motivated user to create a custom "home page" or "landing zone" at this (or any other) wiki. The new look Special:WidgetDashboard has a column layout styled after Special:MyHome. The significant difference being that you are free to pick and place content in just about any location on the dashboard.

myLZ is at it's best when used along with myContent

At first glance the new dashboard appears to have just two columns however the third column is preserved so that a user wit a wide screen monitor can take advantage of the extra width if they choose to.
TIP for 4:3 aspect ratio monitors: use that third column to store any less frequently used widgets or experimental WikiPage widgets.

Before and after screenshots

myLZ column widths are fashioned after the layout of MyHome. The original three columns are identified as sidebar_3, sidebar_4 and sidebar_5 and are fixed width at 206px each - just like sidebar_1 the so-called "Monaco sidebar" a.k.a. "navigation sidebar". (Perhaps sidebar_2 is the right hand sidebar which only appears for the Monobook skin.)

When myLZ is enabled :

  • sidebar_1 remains fixed width at 206px (plus some margin)
  • sidebar_3 becomes variable width at 66% of available width (but never narrower than 330px)
  • sidebar_4 becomes variable width using the balance of available width (but never narrower than 330px)
  • sidebar_5 keeps it's default fixed width of 206px

As seen in the right hand image, sidebar_5 can be useful for storing those less frequently used standard widgets or for storing experimental WikiPage widgets.

Before and after checking the myLZ box at Special:Preferences Gadgets tab
MyLZ Registered dashboard before

3 columns are identified as sidebar 3, 4 and 5

MyLZ Registered dashboard after

With "myLZ" sidebars 3 and 4 mimic MyHome columns

On 4:3 aspect ratio displays supporting a 1024px wide browser window, sidebar_5 wraps to a position below sidebar_3.
However, on wide-screen displays (e.g. 1152px and wider) sidebar_5 can be viewed alongside _1, _3 and _4. (The actual threshold is around 1090px.)
At 800px and narrower, sidebar_4 will also wrap to a position below sidebar_3. (The actual threshold is around ~880px.)

So most displays with aspect ratios of 16:9, 16:10, 5:4 and 25:16 (are any of the newer aspect ratios omitted here?) will be able to view a total of 4 columns of widgets side by side so long as the screen width has 1090px or more.

Almost any page can be a source page for a WikiPage widget

Note that in the above example familiar content from Special:RecentChanges appears inside a widget. It renders very nicely in the wide sidebar_3 format on the right but it is obscure when rendered in a 206px wide box on the left. Not all special pages will render properly within a widget framework. You cannot directly specify Special:RecentChanges as the source page for a custom widget but you can do so indirectly.

  • The specified source page may be in any namespace but for the sake of reusing other people's ideas at Virtual Skipper Wiki we'll agree to use sub-pages below Widget in the main namespace.

Content from a handful of Special: pages can be used inside a custom widget.

  1. First create a sub-page below Widget e.g. Widget/RecentChanges
  2. then at that sub-page transclude the special page of interest e.g. {{Special:RecentChanges}}
  3. Add a new WikiPage widget to the sidebar or widget dashboard and edit the "Source page" parameter to read :Widget/RecentChanges
    • notice the deliberate : prefix to identify the main namespace. Whenever you create a custom widget you must specify both the namespace and page name.
  4. You can give the widget any title that you wish. When embedded in a page the title bar is not displayed but when you view that same custom widget in your dashboard (or sidebar) your custom title will be displayed.

How to .. enable/disable myContent

MyLZ Registered preferences

Enable/disable via Gadgets tab at Preferences

Like any other gadget, myLZ is enabled or disabled via a single check box on the Gadgets tab at Special:Preferences.

How to .. copy this "myLZ" feature to another wiki

  1. You must request the Gadgets Extension be enabled for the target wiki.
  2. Visit Special:Gadgets at the wiki you are currently reading to find links to the myLZ pages within the MediaWiki namespace and copy each one to the MediaWiki namespace at the target wiki. (Sysop privileges required.)
  3. Finally visit MediaWiki:Widgetdashboard-description and copy that source WikiText to your target wiki and customize as desired.

That's all there is to it! Just remember that sometimes it is necessary to flush your browsers cache for changes in CSS or JS to take effect.

How to .. make a "myLZ" style dashboard my default at all wikis I visit

If you love this feature as much as the author does then you might want to adopt this style of dashboard as a personal default at every wiki you visit. Of course this does not affect any other users at those wikis. To learn how, please read both this blog and this blog.

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