[pmwiki-users] It's time to change pmwiki default skin!

Petko Yotov 5ko at 5ko.fr
Tue Sep 20 09:07:02 CDT 2011

On Tuesday 20 September 2011 13:09:26, rogutes at googlemail.com wrote :
> I'm not browsing with mobile devices, but I am not against supporting
> them. Are you thinking about a special skin for very small screens, or one
> skin that is good enough for both use cases?

I'm not sure the same page could look fantastic on screens wide 172px and 
2048px at the same time. So it would probably be either different skins or 
different "skin modes" as some suggested.

> I think that the best approach would be to aim for simplicity in the new
> default skin (minimal distractions on the homepage) and use media queries,

What is "media queries"?

I see a future mobile skin (mode) primarily targeting readers and not writers 
of pmwikis in the wild, simply because editing a long text on a mobile phone 
is way too long and difficult and is done only in rare cases.

I wouldn't worry too much about the pmwiki.org website on the tiny screens of 
mobile phones -- our visitors are admins coming to download and install PmWiki 
and recipes, read the documentation and customize their installations (SSH, 
FTP...). You don't do these things on a phone. That's why I want a balanced 
pmwiki.org home page, neither too complex and overwhelming, nor too simple and 

> By the way, does http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/PmWiki/BasicEditing look ok on
> small widths (but bigger than my 172x220)?

On a 240x320 the markup examples don't look too good, but as I said this 
documentation page will be read by wiki writers who are more likely to be on a 
normal screen. On 360x640, especially landscape 640x360 it is quite good.

> And would it really be a good idea to move the sidebar down for mobile
> devices (as someone suggested)? It would mean a lot of vertical scrolling
> to reach it on longer pages. And if the sidebar is on the side, one can
> zoom out and back in to reach it (or scroll horizontally, if the sidebar
> has position:fixed).

The "fixed" position in CSS should be used carefully, because if the sidebar 
or other element is taller than the screen, a part of it will never be 
displayed. And desktop browsers don't have the same zoom feature as mobile 
ones. For example, this skin has a sidebar taller than the screen of my laptop


and only half of the sidebar is shown, up to the "Skins" link. Fortunately, 
this skin has a mode with a scrolling sidebar, without position:fixed.

For a mobile device I would probably prefer a different menu, that is a wiki 
page other than Site.SideBar, with less selected links, eg. a topbar in a 
single line which needs much less screen area than a full sidebar. If more 
links are required, they could be placed at the bottom of the page like on the 
other popular websites (Wordpress...).


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