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Do Not Package Skin Packages Other Than Pattern and Classic with Release

Currently, we are packaging a number of skins with the release. However, this puts a great burden on plugin writers and core maintainers:

  • Any change to templates has to be vetted against all the shipped skins
  • When templates are used, they have to be provided for all the shipped skins
As there is no consistent treatment of skins and no policies of how skins should operate, this is a rather onerous burden.

In my own development, I have just focused on providing templates for PatternSkin and ClassicSkin, but I don't feel good about that. I believe that I should provide templates for all shipped skins, but cannot justify the effort without knowing the penetration of these skins. On the other hand, it is not good to ship skins which are only partially supported.

My suggestion is to either enforce that templates are developed in a systematic way (there is some work to do here) so that most new templates would automatically work with all skins or to remove all but the de facto standard skins from the shipping release.

Note that there was quite some hassle getting SectionalEditPlugin to work with PatternSkin, as it had a very different way of inserting topic actions than ClassicSkin. We cannot afford going through such exercises for many skins.

I do appreciate that we should make many skins available as these add to the attractiveness of TWiki. But right now the infrastructure is not there to really do that.

-- ThomasWeigert - 31 Mar 2005

I'm not sure what the specific proposal is here. I'm assuming that it's to drop DragonSkin from the release.

IMHO the code already constrains templates too much, by requiring various arcana embedded in the template text. Personally I do not ship templates for all skins for my plugins; I only support PatternSkin. My argument for this is that if anyone wants support for another skin, then they are in a position to develop and contribute it; my focus is on plugin functionality, not skins. For the more common plugs, the skins themselves ought to provide the templates (not in the skin packages, but as submissions to the plugin author).

On the other hand, even if not all plugins work with all skins, at least the skin browser gives you a choice.

So, I don't think I agree with your basic proposal, though TBH I'm not sure what it specifically is. I'm taking it off the roster for Dakar until I can be convinced otherwise.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 10 Apr 2005

My proposal is to ship only PatternSkin and possibly ClassicSkin with Dakar. If we cannot guarantee that the plugins work with all skins, it will just cause problems to ship more skins. It appears that all plugins do work with PatternSkin, and most authors also maintain templates for ClassicSkin. Nobody seems to be maintaining any templates for the other skins.

I think it is not a good idea to ship functionality that we know will not work.

-- ThomasWeigert - 10 Apr 2005

I think it can be counterproductive to ship less skins with TWiki since developers would be tempted to make incompatible code changes that break existing skins. A better approach is to evolve the TWiki functionality to better support skins in a coherent way.

-- PeterThoeny - 11 Apr 2005

I take that as a rejection, so I'm dropping it from DakarRelease.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 14 Apr 2005

See also SkinsAlternative

-- MartinCleaver - 14 Apr 2005

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Topic revision: r9 - 2006-04-06 - FranzJosefSilli
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