01265: New homepage and default [[skin(s)/]] ideas

Summary: New homepage and default skin ideas
Created: 2011-09-15 18:10
Status: Confirmed
Category: CoreCandidate
From: Petko
Priority: 22
Version: 2.2.30

Description: This entry tries to sum up a discussion on the mailing list.

New homepage for www.pmwiki.org

See also: PITS.01137 Key PmWiki Features on the front page and PmWiki.RoadMap-Talk.

Mailing list comments:

  • Less links on the homepage (SideBar & PageActions: -history, -backlinks, -AllRCShort),
    • "Get it", "Learn it", "improve it", "communicate"
  • columns/boxes/screenshots?
  • Brand name to show it is more than a wiki: CMS, galleries, blogging, semantic wiki (PTVs), etc.
  • Tagline Blues: What's the Site About?

External comments:

Compare with other free software homepages:

Compare with other PmWiki sites:

Template systems:

Example documentation sites:

Screencasts (probably not on the homepage, but with the documentation):

Other-pages enhancements:

  • RecentChanges, Upload (add file-type icon via css) (See PITS.01310).

New skin for the default installation


Ideas See also NewSkinIdeas.

  • More than one skin shipping with the core? for mobile devices? (Copyrights?)
  • Links: color, text-decoration:underline/none, border-bottom:dotted or solid/lighter? Visited/unvisited links.
  • Sidebars: menu, wikiright, wikileft, wikinav, wikiside, (:noleft:), (:noright:)? Easily switch to right sidebar.
  • Fonts:
    • reference to microsoft-only fonts (OTOH, some of these fonts are widely available like msttcorefonts and Liberation fonts with the same metrics)
    • fonts mentioned to avoid: Verdana, Georgia
    • change from px to em
    • serif or sans? Use of different fonts for menus/content can look ugly. Lot of low-res screens around, so it is probably better to stay with Sans body.
    • I think it would look more appealing and modern to use webfonts for the homepage (the default installed theme might not use them), for example: http://wiki.txt2tags.org/
    • allow preformatted text and large tables to scroll horizontally
  • Page width: centered, max-width:##em; (50em for the content area?); select between a wide and narrow layout
  • Template structure: header, footer, logo, search: included as pages? Div/CSS, no tables?
  • New logo?
  • Users mentioned these skins: Gemini, Alalike, Triad, BeeblebroxNetGila, Lt9602,SkinsGallery
  • BETTER documentation about skins
  • <link rel="alternate stylesheet" href="highcontrast.css" type="text/css" title="High Contrast Color Style" />
  • mechanism for skin selection and preferences?
  • Support for RTL?

Pm's comment on the mailing list:

Just a reminder that part of the reason behind the simplicity of
PmWiki's default skin is to make it easier for people (who may not
have a lot of HTML/CSS knowledge) to see how/where to customize it.

This isn't to say that I'm voting in favor of the current skin,
just that "how it looks" isn't the only criterion.

I'd be fine with a high-quality and slightly complex skin if
we also have a good "how to customize your own skin" tutorial
to go along with it.



  • Alalike would be a bad example because its sidebar and header are fixed width (breaks when increasing text size). --- Rogutės, 2011-09-16
  • BeeblebroxNetGila would be a bad example because of the colors (too much contrast between the red header and background, too little contrast between the links and the background). --- Rogutės, 2011-09-16
  • Gemini does many things right. --- Rogutės, 2011-09-16
  • If there comes a need to group sidebar links into things like "Discover", "Learn it", "Communicate" (which I find too abstract), I think that the example of textpattern.com would be one to follow:
  look at the   learn from   community   check the   about the
    features     the docs     support      weblog     software

"Ready to use" template systems tend to be bloatware, and in the end you might invest as much work to understand it as a "make from scratch" takes --Oliver

It is possible to word wrap preformatted text with css alone (with just a few css hacks for older browsers) --CarlosAB

We don't want to word-wrap it, we want it to scroll horizontally. For program code and ASCII art for example it is important. If it is preformatted, the author meant that it should look exactly like it was typed, otherwise just a monospaced font would be used. --Petko September 24, 2011, at 11:18 AM

Some skin ideas (not necessary for the default one)

Farvardin 2011-10-02

  • WikiFooter to become part of core
  • in fact remove all content from template and make it part of a wiki page (eg header Actions, page logo, wiki header) in Site or similar Group
simon October 19, 2011, at 05:19 PM]]

I like PmWiki so much better than WordPress, but I am continually struck by how WordPress's look-and-feel has evolved while PmWiki's has stayed static. The website and default looks old. It is important that there exists a simple skin so that people who want to configure a skin can see how. But is that the average user? Can't it ship with a couple of skins that actually look good, and not like it's 15 years old? MichaelPaulukonis June 23, 2015, at 08:33 AM