[pmwiki-users] pmwiki skin

shout at joshleepictures.com shout at joshleepictures.com
Tue Aug 28 06:11:06 CDT 2012

I agree with what CarlosAB said. I think however that the way we use admin/user/recipe writer is somewhat unconsistent. In my email user refers to the admin, as in original/primary user of the PmWiki software, whereas CarlosAB usage of ‘user’ seems to refer to the actual editor.

We should also keep in mind, that there are different prototypal usage scenarios for the PmWiki software.

1) PmWiki as a collaborative content software aka WikiWikiWeb
2) PmWiki as a page-based CMS
3) PmWiki extended by recipes turning it into something else (e. g. bulletin board, etc.)

The term user changes somewhat in the scope of its scenario. Where the user “editor” in 1) will have to make some layout decisions, the admin probably wants the user “editor” in 2) to just use the predefined layouts, paragraph and character styles, maybe even wants to restrict the user to those.

> That freedom is not given directly to the user, but the recipe/skin
> writer and admin can give the user some freedom if he wants to, like
> in the examples I wrote before.

I am sorry if I am extending this thread far over its intended scope, but I think by discussing the skin we are trying to define PmWiki’s structure bottom up. As the default skin will always be a preset that either is as flexible and open as it can be, or tends to favor a certain usage of PmWiki (as the current default skin does by favoring wiki-like usage) it’s maybe time to let the user “admin” decide what he wants to have and supply him with two or more options (including two or more skins tailored to that purpose): one package for wiki-like use (that comes with all the default settings and tools for a common wiki) and one package for (in lack of a better word) CMS-like use (that comes with all the default settings and tools for a generic commercial website).

Take care, josh

On Aug/28, 2012, at 0252 , Carlos AB wrote:

> On 8/27/12, shout at joshleepictures.com <shout at joshleepictures.com> wrote:
>>>> When I put on my designer's hat […]
>>> If one does not want to allow that I say change the default template
>>> for your site.
>> Being a professional web designer, I would never use any of the premade
>> PmWiki skins (for obvious reasons, such as brand uniqueness). That said I
>> think, the css should go where it makes the most sense architecturally (for
>> the CMS and its recipes).
> I agree in part, as the skins made by Hans for instance, give you an
> incredible amount of freedom/flexibility when it comes to styling
> parts of it, while keeping all the great functionality it offers. I
> believe it would actually help the branding part, to have on your site
> the nice features included in the skins.
>> From a web development point of view it does not seem to make much sense to
>> me to have the core CMS and its extensions (recipes) overrule custom css.
> If by custom you are referring to a file such as pmwiki.css, the
> extensions/recipes can create new functionality that for instance, can
> hide for a moment the sidebar when editing a page to have a larger
> area for editing, change the layout a bit for a special page or even
> hide other parts of the skin by user or admin command.
> All that can be written as recipes or as part of the skin in skin.php
> file (so those changes would be somehow part of the custom css).
> Since no user has access to the <style> dynamic area, unless someone
> who knows what he is doing with it, ( skin recipe writer)  can give an
> opportunity for the user - with special and controled markup/options -
> to use it.
> I believe this kind of functionalitty helps in engaging users to
> participate more and be creative and it also gives users more freedom
> and power.
> Freedom with power, that is the kind of stuff marketeers use to sell
> stuff and it is highly addictive, trust me on that one. :-)
>> For once the custom css writer will eventually come up with a way to
>> overrule the preset css (!important). And the recipe writer will never be
>> able to supply a css that works for all color and layout variants of a skin
>> (or all skins and it potentially user customized variations for that
>> matter).
> That is another way to lock changes in the pmwiki.css or custom file
> as you say, but the user will only have access to include this kind of
> rule IF the skin/recipe writer or admin allows them to.
>> I think we will all agree that especially this is a question of coding
>> paradigms, whether you want the ‘user’ (user as in the one using the
>> software, not the recipient of the website) to have that much freedom. Put
>> in simple terms, should a user be allowed to come up with a css that styles
>> the PmWiki skin (which essentially is a flexible with skin with a fixed
>> width left column) into something totally different (e. g. a single col
>> white on black theme with the 'menu' column positon-fixed at the bottom)?
> That freedom is not given directly to the user, but the recipe/skin
> writer and admin can give the user some freedom if he wants to, like
> in the examples I wrote before.
>> Take care, Josh
> CarlosAB

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