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AmbarSkinDev Discussion: Page for developer collaboration, enhancement requests, patches and improved versions on AmbarSkin contributed by the TWikiCommunity.
• Please let us know what you think of this extension.
• For support, check the existing questions, or ask a new support question in the Support web!
• Please report bugs below

Feedback on AmbarSkin

If you want to use this skin on a secured web, you need to add the "ambarsave" script to your twiki/bin/.htaccess file. Otherwise, you will get a "not allowed" message when you try to preview changes.

-- MichaelHensley - 06 Jun 2003

Thanks for this feedback. On my system I did not face this issue, but that might be to do with the other apache directives that are present in the .htaccess. It is anyway a good idea to add the following lines to .htaccess -

<Files "ambarsave">
       require valid-user

-- RaviASV - 12 Jun 2003

Don't forget to change the "TI Internal" comment in the view.ambar.tmpl file.

Also, is there a plan to do more of these? A search template, perhaps?

It looks great, though. Thanks for the work!

-- NathanConner - 24 Jun 2003

I do plan to do more of this skin for the other pages too, like "attach", "search" etc. Hope to find time soon to do this!

-- RaviASV - 24 Jun 2003

Nice looking skin! I've installed it at both my personal twiki (http://www.brayden.org/twiki/bin/view/Random/WebHome) and at my company's intranet twiki. Everyone who's seen it likes it. A couple of suggestions:

  1. The page title (i.e. the title that shows up in the browser's title-bar) should be different for edit and preview than it is for view. For example, "(edit) Main . WebHome", "(preview) Main . WebHome" and just "Main . WebHome".
  2. Since the skin has a side-navigation bar, it would be handy to have a 'printable' menu item on the menu bar.
  3. It would be nice to be able to customize the navigation bar for each user. I'm thinking of adding a include of Main.<user-name>Menu
  4. The navigation bar includes 'Find' and 'Go' (to topic) but they are shown below the contents of the WebMenu. In my opinion it would be better to have them above - easy change which I'll do at my site tonight.

Overall, though, I quite like this skin.

I've attached a zip file with diffs that change page-title for edit and preview, and allow user-specific menus. The nav bar will include Main.<username>Menu (e.g. Main.DaleBraydenMenu)).

-- DaleBrayden - 28 Jun 2003

Hi Ravi, Just to give you a heads-up: In ConsolidateFunctionalityFromSkins I describe a process I am driving to eliminate duplication of the codebase part of skins - in effect to centralise all code into one extension to TWiki and have skins purely a look and feel.

I'm interested that you have done some consolidation work in your new AmbarSkin and am wondering how much you've done. Perhaps you can describe your changes and insights on ConsolidateFunctionalityFromSkins?

Many thanks.

-- MartinCleaver - 29 Jun 2003

Dale, Thanks for your comments and the very valid suggestions. I will shortly update the Skin with some of these features.

Martin, I would be happy to share my insights on consolidation. I will be updating the topics you mention, in the coming week.


-- RaviASV - 02 Jul 2003

Hi Ravi, Thanks, I still look forward to your comments.

-- MartinCleaver - 07,26 Jul 2003

Hi Ravi, I also made a few changes to your skin. I modified it to place use the copyright notice on the bottom of the page to the standard variable, I also made the Web Menu modifiable, but I did by simply adding a few variables and not modifying the templates.

-- PaulPetterson - 27 Jul 2003

Ravi, I have a question/observation regarding your skin - but first to say that I like it! Observation: The %TMPL:INCLUDE{"twiki"}% (or any INCLUDE of an additional template) does not appear to "take". I am not a wizard at creating skins as I just started - am I correct or have I completely missed something? I ran into this because our company has a standard header that gets included at the top of every webpage. We have a TWiki template that was created to add onto skins but Ambar appears to ignore it. Any idea what is going on? I tried several changes but nothing made a difference.

Also, the text that covers installing AmbarSkin is not clear regarding the format of WebMenu -- it picks up the WikiName WebMenu and WebMenuFormat which appear to imply that the special directives and tags are honored/required. It should be clearly pointed out that the WebMenu that AmbarSkin needs is very pristine - I suggest including an example to such items as WebSearch, etc.


-- SteveRJones - 04 Aug 2003

Note, -- MattWilkie - 05 Aug 2003 replied to this in TemplateIncludesInAmbarSkin but the skin is still broken on template includes.

-- SteveRJones - 06 Aug 2003

All, I had been away for sometime and could not respond to your queries here sooner. I will post the clarifications to the broken includes and the comments for skins consolidation soon! Thanks for all your comments smile

-- RaviASV - 09 Aug 2003

Steve, I have answered your problem of template includes in the support web topic TemplateIncludesInAmbarSkin

-- RaviASV - 11 Aug 2003

Ravi, the following snippet of code that is part of your #PageTop portion of you templates produces different results on some of our TWiki webs running on the same server.

<span class="navsty">
<a href="%SCRIPTURL%/view%SCRIPTSUFFIX%/%WEB%/" accesskey=h title="Go to %WEB% home [Alt-h]"><img src="%PUBURL%/%TWIKIWEB%/AmbarSkin/home.gif" border=0><b>Home</b></a> |
 <i>User %WIKIUSERNAME%</i>

In the web that works we see the follwoing on the leftmost part of the header line - just as we would expect:

Home | User SteveJones 

but in another web we see:

ESS home [Alt-h]">Home | User SteveJones 

Note that the HTML portion actually shows up. Both webs are uppercase names - the one that works is called "CUE" and the one that does not is called "ESS". Any ideas?

-- SteveRJones - 12 Aug 2003

Update - below is a snippet of the actually rendered HTML (except that I added the "^'s" for emphasis). Note that the TWiki variable Plugins appears to have not been handled correctly, despite the fac that in other areas Plugins appears to work just fine. At this point I am stumped.

Non-Working web

<span class="navsty">
<a href="http://twiki.sps.mot.com/bin/view.cgi/ESS/" accesskey=h title="Go to <a href="/bin/view.cgi/ESS/ESS>ESS</a> home [Alt-h]">
<img src="http://twiki.sps.mot.com/pub/TWiki/AmbarSkin/home.gif" border=0><b>Home</b></a> |
 <i>User <a href="/bin/view.cgi/Main/SteveJones">SteveJones</a></i>

Working web

<span class="navsty">
<a href="http://twiki.sps.mot.com/bin/view.cgi/CUE/" accesskey=h title="Go to CUE home [Alt-h]">
<img src="http://twiki.sps.mot.com/pub/TWiki/AmbarSkin/home.gif" border=0><b>Home</b></a> |
 <i>User <a href="/bin/view.cgi/Main/SteveJones">SteveJones</a></i>
-- SteveRJones - 12 Aug 2003

Ok, I figured it out. Never, NEVER create a TWiki topic with the same name as your TWiki web. This creates all kinds of Plugins expansion probelms!!

-- SteveRJones - 12 Aug 2003

Ravi, I have run into an interesting anomaly. For Topics that include a form, if one simply saves the topic the values of the form fields are correctly saved. If, however, one previews the topic then saves, the values are all empty. This is true for newly created topics with forms or existing topics with forms. I have verified that the PREVIEW/SAVE cycle works correctly with the default skin.

Form values are also preserved and saved if one goes BACK from a preview, then clicks SAVE. Something having to do with SAVEing from PREVIEW.

Can you re-create this anomaly? I have made a few minor adjustments to AMBARSKIN, but only cosmetic. Still, I wanted to make sure.


-- SteveRJones - 11 Sep 2003

Steve, thanks for pointing this out. There seems to be a bug in the template. The % FORMFIELDS % variable is missing from the template. I will upload a new version of the skin with this bug-fix next week.


-- RaviASV - 12 Sep 2003

No problem -- in the meantime I simply disabled the SAVE button in the PREVIEW template.


-- SteveRJones - 12 Sep 2003

Ravi provided the diff to fix the failure to save FORMS from PREVIEW mode, which I have uploaded here. Here it is:

-- SteveRJones - 23 Sep 2003

Thanks for a great Skin. Very nice and clean. I've got a single, simple question: Is there a way to automagically put keyboard focus in the edit window when you select Edit. It is very nice and important that you can get to Edit by Alt-E, but a pain that you then need to position the mouse and click to get keyboard focus. Any help would be great!

-- FinnSchiermer - 20 Oct 2003

Edit focus can be done by a simple javascript in the body of the html. I agree this is very convenient and will improve usability. I will add this in and upload it in a couple of weeks.

-- RaviASV - 14 Nov 2003

This skin is the better TWiki skin I have ever seen ;-). I think that it is really important to work on skins because the first thing that people see is the look, not the content. This is a point wich is well described in the Wiki culture but if we need people to read / collaborate on the content, then, I think that we must work a little bit on the appearance. Well, yes, it is a seduction game, like girls when they want boys to look at their heart ;-).

I made some enhancements I suggest :

  • left menu is done via TWiki var %LEFTMENU% so each user can setup this var to be %INCLUDE{TOPIC}% or whatever. This var should be defined in TWikiPreferences but can be overloaded in users home page.
  • fixed some HTML so to get a nice and same appearance on all browsers (mainly problem of form starting/ending in tables)
  • added some elements in css, I think that we should add more but I am not an expert in CSS but see ambar.css
  • possibility do enable/disable (per user / per web / per TOPIC ) double clic edit (so you can just double clic text to start edit and you can disable it on some TOPICs (or user, web etc...).
  • automatic ask for TWiki registration (you may delete it if you do not need it)
  • added history / history diff like in DALLAS skin
  • added tooltip on user home page, you need to install nice ToolTipPlugin wink ,
  • added "show viewers of this TOPIC" you will need to install TopicReadersPlugin

Well, long life to ambar skin ! ... and many thank's !

-- PatrickNomblot - 09 Dec 2003

I ran into a problem with the ambarsave script. My bin directory resides on different place than the TWiki installation (web server requirement). I installed and ran TWiki however, the ambarsave script crashes on line 46, right after the

use ('../lib');

I could hardcode the right directory, but how to solve this in the most elegant way? I do not know Perl very much.

-- NikolayDiakov - 30 Mar 2004

There is problem with AmbarSkin + BeijingRelease + TWikiForms. If you edit a page with form, and use preview, after save the form will get completely empty. If you save it without preview, everything is OK. I will test it on latest beta later, but I think you should be aware,as this can be tried easily.

Update: Sorry, I failed to notice the patch. But why isn't already in default AmbarSkin installation?

-- JurajVariny - 15 Jun 2004

There is a call for bundling a few skins with Cairo at SkinsForCairoRelease, which must be ready by 31 Jul 2004.

-- BenoitFauvel - 27 Jul 2004

The skin is now updated (V1.2) to bundle the fix for form data being lost on direct save. Also the new package is compatible with the TWiki Skin Browser SkinPackage.

-- RaviASV - 22 Oct 2004

To the skin author: The package is not accessible in the query pages because filename AmabrSkin.zip is assumed. Could you re-upload the skin without the version number in the file name?

-- PeterThoeny - 03 Feb 2009

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
Texttxt PatchAmbarPreview.diff.txt r1 manage 0.4 K 2003-09-23 - 15:27 SteveRJones Ambar patch for AMBAR.PREVIEW not saving form data
Cascading Style Sheet filecss ambar.css r1 manage 2.7 K 2003-12-09 - 08:25 PatrickNomblot ambar skin enhancements
Compressed Zip archivezip ambar_drb_diffs.zip r1 manage 1.7 K 2003-06-29 - 06:22 DaleBrayden template diffs - from DaleBrayden 06/28
Unknown file formattmpl view.ambar.tmpl r1 manage 7.7 K 2003-12-09 - 07:59 PatrickNomblot Enhanced ambar view skin
Edit | Attach | Watch | Print version | History: r35 < r34 < r33 < r32 < r31 | Backlinks | Raw View | Raw edit | More topic actions
Topic revision: r35 - 2009-02-03 - PeterThoeny
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