Template talk:Columns-list

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List formatting bug reported

I've submitted the list-balancing issue described in the template documentation to the Godville developers via the Ideabox bug section, along with a request that they add the following corrective CSS (from Wikipedia) to both vector and wptouch skins:

div.columns {
    margin-top: 0.3em

div.columns dl,div.columns ol,div.columns ul {
    margin-top: 0

That adjustment will move the top margin offset to the correct place, for multi-column lists, and will make this template usable, so hopefully they'll accept the request. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 18:49, 26 August 2018 (UTC)

Hrm. Alas, unlike my previous bug submissions, there's been no action on this for long enough (4+ days) that I'm inclined to think it won't be happening. (I realize 4 days is not a very long time at all, but it's longer than it's taken to address any of my other Wiki bugs by more than 2 days!)
Could be they're just looking into the issue, it's certainly a less cut-and-dried one than anything I've previously reported; those were unambiguous bugs, this is... not quite that unambiguous. It's possible it'll still happen, but it now also seems possible that it won't. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 11:37, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

List-balancing CSS

Just to re-explain this issue as clearly as possible, because I'm going to submit it to the Ideabox again as a bug, and link here:

The current Godville CSS for both the Vector and WPTouch skins adds margin-top spacing to list blocks (<ul> <ol> <dl>), which messes up attempts to format lists into multiple columns because the margin spacing is only added to the first column. As a result, the first column holds one fewer items than the other columns, unbalancing the list.

See this example 11-item list, made multi-column with {{columns-list|colwidth=15em}}. When formatted in the desktop-browser (Vector) skin, the list should balance:

  • As two columns of 6 and 5 items.
  • As three columns of 4, 4, and 3 items.
  • As four columns of 3, 3, 3, and 2 items.


  • First item
  • Second item
  • Third item
  • Fourth item
  • Fifth item
  • Sixth item
  • Seventh item
  • Eighth item
  • Ninth item
  • Tenth item
  • Eleventh item

To correct for this, Wikipedia's Vector skin CSS includes the following adjustment, which only applies to lists inside a <div class="columns"> container:

div.columns {
    margin-top: 0.3em

div.columns dl,div.columns ol,div.columns ul {
    margin-top: 0

This moves the margin-top value from the list tag to the enclosing div, allowing it to affect the entire list instead of only the first column.

Adding that same correction to the Vector and WPTouch skins on GodWiki would allow {{Columns-list}} and {{Div col}} to format correctly. It would have no other side-effects, because only <div class="columns"> containers are affected by the added styles. This change would be greatly appreciated. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 05:11, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

This contribution comment might be too late, but I went searching for some discussion of this list-balancing CSS issue on the wikipedia and wikimedia talk pages for the relevent templates, along with the common.css, vector.css, and wptouch.css stylesheets so I could point there (in support of your request), and was unable to find any discussion of it (you may be more successful though?).
However, one thing I did find was a clear example of this same issue, with the correct rendering here on Wikipedia (see the second example rendering correctly) and and incorrect rendering here on Wikimedia, demonstrating the correctness of your proposal. I also found this discussion regarding the issue (and the same solution) on another wiki, which linked helpfully to this overly detailed explanation of rendering problems in multi-column layouts.
If it's not too late, I'd like to support your proposed CSS change. (I'm replying 6 days after you stated your intent to resubmit, so this may be futile.) --Djonni (talk) 13:02, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Well, I did (re-)submit that bug moments after I posted this, and since 6 days later it's still balancing wrong I think it's safe to assume the change has once again been rejected for whatever reason. I tried twice and failed, so at this point pushing any harder feels at best a waste of time, if not unwise.
I assume there never was any discussion of this issue at Wikipedia, because I assume they never encountered it. My guess is that whoever wrote the multi-column templates implemented/requested the changes to the CSS at the same time (if not before), hence the "columns" class name on the <div> that encloses the list.
It's only when external wikis attempt to "borrow" the templates without having the corresponding CSS changes in place that this becomes a problem, since it's far more common for wiki users to have template-creation access than for them to be able to edit the wiki's CSS. (And here we don't even have the ability to install user common.css or vector.css where we could fix it individually.) -- FeRDNYC (talk) 05:07, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Considering how helpful the list-balancing logic/template would be for the responsive layout of the Main Page if it could be reliably used, I'm hopeful that the change can be made. Perhaps the Hypothetical Future Admin could lend a hand, hypothetically. --Djonni (talk) 06:36, 1 November 2018 (UTC)