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NatSkin Dev Archive

Archived stuff from NatSkinDev and NatSkinPluginDev.

-- MichaelDaum - 23 Aug 2006

NatSkinPlugin Archive

See also NatSkinDev on the NatsWiki.

-- MichaelDaum - 16 Mar 2005

Vielen Dank Michael!

How about measuring and documenting the PluginBenchmarks?

You specified nats-www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de as the home of the Skin and Plugin for package and Dev topic. Like this, people need to monitor two places; it might be better to specify just TWiki.org for the Plugin/Skin home, what do you think?

-- PeterThoeny - 19 Mar 2005

Ok, I'll change that. But will there be a working WebNotify comming? Otherwise plugin authors do have trouble tracking comments also. Currently doing it with WebRss which isn't the same ... at least this is active polling TWiki.org.

-- MichaelDaum - 19 Mar 2005

WebNotify will work again once we move TWiki.org off of SourceForge. As you pointed out, in the mean time you can use WebRss. This also works with a search, e.g. just natskin specific content with http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/WebRss?skin=rss&search=natskin

-- PeterThoeny - 19 Mar 2005

You can also monitor just WebChangesForAllWebs in a small window.

-- AntonAylward - 19 Mar 2005

How about rendering twiki's own news feed using the HeadlinesPlugin, thereby preventing extensive calls to searchWeb(). Here are examples for the plugin web and the codev web

-- MichaelDaum - 21 Mar 2005

I had an error at line 603 of lib/TWiki/Plugins/NatSkinPlugin.pm:

&TWiki::getRenderedVersion($menu, $theWeb );

but "sub getRenderedVersion" is in lib/TWiki/Render.pm, that why I fix it to be:

$menu = &TWiki::Render::getRenderedVersion($menu, $theWeb );
and it works

I'm not sure if it's a bug or my TWiki implementation has some problem?

-- NguyenDinhNam - 25 Mar 2005

Most probably not. The NatSkinPlugin has been written on a hacked beijing which translates to "runs-for-me". But anyway, nice to see that someone is trying out this stuff. Currently, I'm working on making the NatSkin dakar-ready. Given the default plugins that come with it, lots of macros that went into the NatSkinPlugin can be done with other means, that is the WebMenu thingy. Some of the hacks in the NatSkinPlugin will completely be factored into separate plugins, e.g. a DocumentRelationsPlugin. And the logon scheme has just been published independently as the AuthPagePlugin (there are login pages in the NatSkin already; see the oopslogon*.nat.tmpl files).

-- MichaelDaum - 25 Mar 2005

I like the styles of this skin! They are obviously targeted towards cleanliness and simplicity.

After a bit browsing around on the informatik-hamburg site I got blacklisted, after only 15 page views!

Also check the H1..H6 headlines: on Safari they will get an underline on mouse rollover, so they appear to be a link (and they are blue as well in some skins).

I really like the poll display, really beautiful! Could this be separated from your skin (= reusable)?

-- ArthurClemens - 26 Mar 2005

Oops, will decline the blacklist sensitivity ... (these are the default values). removed you from the blacklist again. view?raw=on is now same as view.

Good hint about the headlines. Actually headlines are all a_hrefs also. Will fix that.

What do you mean by poll display? The VotePlugin has already been published.

  • Ah, I see. Always better to see an example. -- ArthurClemens - 26 Mar 2005

-- MichaelDaum - 26 Mar 2005

The rest of it is css. Hit the raw button. Feel free to draw stuff off.

-- MichaelDaum - 26 Mar 2005

Arthur - from whic IP do you come?

-- MichaelDaum - 26 Mar 2005

Hm, you are not blacklisted afaics.

-- MichaelDaum - 26 Mar 2005

After installing the new SessionPlugin It stopped reporting to /data/.session/ thus broke the %NRONLINEUSERS% are you aware of this, if so what can be done about it, if anything?

-- TravisBarker - 07 Apr 2005

I suppose that it is completely possible that I have simply failed to install something correctly, which is causing this failure of the new SessionPlugin to report to /data/.session/ however since SessionPlugin seems to be working fine, I doubt this is the case.

-- TravisBarker - 07 Apr 2005

after changing the SessionPlugin.pm default setting of using /tmp to use /.session for its session data storage area. I discovered that the new style of files it stores there still breaks things

a new .session file looks something like this:

$D = {"_SESSION_ID" => "160871390701ff90a54badfa697sfd90","_SESSION_ETIME" => undef,"_SESSION_ATIME" => "1112842982","AUTHUSER" => "TravisBarker","_SESSION_REMOTE_ADDR" => "213.66.###.###","_SESSION_EXPIRE_LIST" => {},"_SESSION_CTIME" => "##########"};

now if we can modify NatSkinPlugin.pm to grep for "AUTHUSER" => "TravisBarker" we may be able to salvage it yet.

From NatSkinPlugin.pm line 522:

# getOnlineUsers: get list of users currently online.
# this is the number of users that have a session
sub getOnlineUsers
  if (@onlineUsers) {
    return @onlineUsers

  my $sessionDir = &TWiki::Func::getDataDir() . "/.session";

  #writeDebug("getOnlineUsers - sessionDir=$sessionDir");

  return if ! -e $sessionDir;

  # get list of unique usernames
  my %users = ();
  while (my $sessionFile = glob "$sessionDir/*") {
    my $text = &TWiki::Func::readFile($sessionFile);
    next if ! $text;

    #&writeDebug("getOnlineUsers - sessionFile=$sessionFile");

    my %sessionInfo = map { split( /\|/, $_, 2 ) }
         grep { /[^\|]*\|[^\|]*$/ }
         split( /\n/, $text );

    my $user = $sessionInfo{"user"};
    next if ! $user || $user eq &TWiki::Func::getDefaultUserName();

    #&writeDebug("getOnlineUsers - user=$user");
    $users{"$user"} = 1;

  @onlineUsers = sort keys %users;

  return @onlineUsers;

specifically talking about:

    my %sessionInfo = map { split( /\|/, $_, 2 ) }
         grep { /[^\|]*\|[^\|]*$/ }
         split( /\n/, $text );

can we just alter this regex to match the new format?

if so, I could use a bit of help parsing it.

-- TravisBarker - 07 Apr 2005

Thanks for your comments, Travis.

Note, however, that the NatSkinPlugin will not be developed any further. This stuff has been slapped out to get the NatSkin released which itself is currently being dakarized. With Dakar, SpreadSheetPlugin, SessionPlugin and AuthPagePlugin the supplemental functions could be nulled. I must admit that the NatSkinPlugin has been a bucket for a rant of things that don't belong there.

The functions you are refering to need a new home including the group summary stuff. There's only a name missing for the baby and we can start a new dev cycle ... including compatibility issues described above.

Here's a list of things in the NatSkinPlugin that are related .... somehow:

  1. number of registered users
  2. number of users currently online (incompatible with recent SessionPlugin)
  3. list of users currently online (needs a format argument)
  4. list of users that recently registerd (needs a format and a max argument)
  5. group summary: render TWikiGroups nicely (demo)

Plus, the SessionPlugin will see a major overhaul in the near future. So there's a kind of moving-target interdependency between all these plugins.

Any propositions for a name .. well UserInfoPlugin (shrug)?

-- MichaelDaum - 07 Apr 2005

UserInfoPluginDev sounds fine to me.

-- TravisBarker - 07 Apr 2005

The functionality you describe sounds good and partly supercedes TodaysVisitorsPlugin (not that you'd know that given we have 150 odd plugins and no categories to help grokability)...

Whatever we call it should align with whatever we call the PeopleWeb - (and I don't mean MainInfoPlugin!). If we call it the UserWeb then UserInfoPlugin is fine.

I actually wouldn't mind this going into the core.

-- MartinCleaver - 07 Apr 2005

Seems like a perfectly reasonable feature to be included into the core code, most CMS applications/forums etc include things like this. FudForum PhpNuke and tiki are all examples.

-- TravisBarker - 07 Apr 2005

There's a pre-repelase of the NatSkin and NatSkinPlugin available at NatSkinDev.

-- MichaelDaum - 12 Jul 2005

I installed NatSkin with Cairo 20040902 and it seems to be working everywhere. Do you have any further documentation for your Document Relations? Trying to wrap my head around what all I can do with them and a little more reading would be helpful.

-- CynthiaManuel - 17 Jul 2005

Actually, I'm going to remove the document relations stuff completely from this plugin, and give it a new home.

-- MichaelDaum - 08 Aug 2005

Hi, first of all, I REALLY like the smart look of the skin .. this is exactly what I was looking for (also since I use MT for my blog).

After installing NatSkin along with NatSkinPlugin and SessionPlugin however, I get the following exception on loading a page: Undefined subroutine &TWiki::getRenderedVersion called at ../lib/TWiki/Plugins/NatSkinPlugin.pm line 603.

On changing line 603 to: $menu = &TWiki::Render::getRenderedVersion($menu, $theWeb ); as suggested by NguyenDinhNam above, the error goes away but now I don't see any left side navigation menu on the page.

Any ideas on what might be wrong?

-- RishabhMisra - 23 Aug 2005

The ../lib/TWiki/something causes a common issue. Fix it by specifying an absolute path in twiki/bin/setlib.cfg.

-- PeterThoeny - 23 Aug 2005

I did, but it didn't help. Now the error message simply has the absolute path instead of ../lib/TWiki/Plugins/NatSkinPlugin.pm

-- RishabhMisra - 23 Aug 2005

Hi Rishabh, as already replied to your email ... there is a prerelease on NatSkinDev that you can give a try. However, the version I'm currently working on will be published very soon (including a Kubrick port immitating http://binarybonsai.com). Here's a demo site. Please do not report bugs on the current NatSkinPlugin but only on the available prereleases.

-- MichaelDaum - 23 Aug 2005

Thanks Michael, I did already install the pre-releases as per your email and it does seem to be working now. Look forward to final release of the new version.

-- RishabhMisra - 23 Aug 2005

OK, packaged the NatSkin 2.0 today.

-- MichaelDaum - 26 Aug 2005

Michael, on Safari my main content runs out of the window at the right.

-- ArthurClemens - 28 Aug 2005

Fixed in new version v2.10

-- MichaelDaum - 30 Aug 2005

Michael, I found a bug - system-wide specification of the SKINSTYLE doesn't work. I think the fix is around line 363:

    $theStyle =
      $skinStyle ||
      $currentStyle ||
      &TWiki::Func::getPreferencesValue("SKINSTYLE", $web) ||
      &TWiki::Func::getPreferencesValue("SKINSTYLE") ||

Is this correct?

-- JoanTouzet - 04 Oct 2005

There is also a concern that the TWikiSideBar and the MySideBarTemplate assume you've renamed your TWiki web to Support. This could easily be factored into a variable on the NatSkinPlugin page, or should at least be set to TWiki in the default case.

-- JoanTouzet - 06 Oct 2005

it already exists; it's called %TWIKIWEB% (TWiki06x00)

-- WillNorris - 06 Oct 2005

Right, but the default in the skin itself is "Support" hardcoded. This is IMO unfriendly, as it assumes you have a web named Support.

-- JoanTouzet - 06 Oct 2005

Don't worry about the Support web. Removed links to it in the recent svn version.

-- MichaelDaum - 07 Oct 2005

Packaged NatSkinPlugin-2.51 today. Have fun.

-- MichaelDaum - 09 Oct 2005


Michael, I made some small changes to the Plugin topic, feel free to take it into the next release:

* Fixed issue in plugin info table * Use standard URL instead of Interwiki link so that the plugin home can be seen also in a printed copy

Please watch out for broken links at a site where this Plugin is installed. Use Interwiki links as needed.

-- PeterThoeny - 12 Nov 2005

Michael I really like what you've done with natskin and I'm glad I finally made time to install it and give a proper test. I think this will become my default skin with out too much tweaking at all.

Some feedback:

Please don't put keyboard focus into the search box. It doesn't take effect until after the page has loaded. On long pages this means the user could have read three or four paragraphs down already and then all of a sudden they are jerked back up to the top without warning or intent. It also interferes with Firefox typeahead find (though thankfully prefacing typeahead's with a simple tab is an easy workaround).

Solution: use a short cut key instead; I favour alt-/ since the foreslash character is the same key as a question mark, and the same character used for searching by Vim and some other apps.

MD: Hm, the only way that I was experiencing an unpleasing focus-stealing behavior was when a page loads and I edit the url: focus will be forced to another text input field during typing. This is a bad behavior in general as the toolkit should be aware that the user is currently typing and prevent this using a soft decision strategy.

MW: Ahh, that narrows it down. I use the space bar and page-down a lot for scrolling.

Well, most apps aren't that clever. Which one are you using? Firefox presumably. What are your accessibility settings then, ie. are you using "Begin finding when you type".

MW: yes

Save doesn't always work, or rather it works but doesn't always go back to view mode (e.g. it is often behaving like checkpoint save).

MD: I've answered that question before on emails: "Save" saves (always), "Quit" quits (and saves), "Cancel" cancels (and does not save). This is quite common consensus. "Checkpoint" is a naming only known to TWiki and I don't like it. Admitted, this is a thing you have to accustom to.

MW: oh okay, that makes sense. I may have understood that on my own if [cancel] was on the same line as [quit]. perhaps. :O In any case each of the action links should have tool tips which further explain their functioning. "[save] and contine editing", "save and [quit] editing", "[cancel] edit, abandoning changes", etc.

MD: Good idea. Added in SVN 7705. Will package a NatSkin / NatSkinPlugin release v2.91. See also Bugs:Item1093.

Please add to NatSkinCSS, at least enough of a skeleton to tell the head from toes. wink For instance how do I add my own css file so my changes get clobbered on upgrades?

MD: Outch, yes I need to write more docu. Right now you'll have to work on example-based, sorry. In general, store YourCustomStyle.css into a file and attach it to the NatSkin topic. To implement a full-fledged Natskin style it has to be named *Style.css . If you just want to change little things here and there then do that in YourCustomVariations.css which can be loaded ontop of the predefined styles. Again, variations are named *Variations.css This naming scheme will become obvious if you look at the css files at pub/TWiki/NatSkin/*.css


Skin browser should show SETs: it would be really nice of the natskin browser would show the equvialent *   Set ... statements for each variant in an easy copy and paste block. (Be nicer yet to just click a button to save this to your home page .)

MD: Yes, a "Store" button to make the selection persitant would really be nice. But that needs extra perl code to implement that in a sensible way. To grok out the analogous *   Set ... statement is not obvious, admitted. Maybe we could have a link to an oops dialog that displays that as an interim solution to the "Store" feature.

Also using next and previous links don't always switch the style (perhaps this is related to the save-not-work item above).

MD: This new: can you file a bug report. But it is not directly related to the save-not-work thingy. Maybe indirect by the caching settings of your browsers.

In the switches there is confusion between which are mutually exclusive and which should actually be check boxes (Thin Layout for example).

MD: Yep! There's room for improvement. Can you frame a better layout?

MW: I'll give it a shot though right now my priority is just trying to find my way around this busy room!

-- MattWilkie - 01 Dec 2005

This plugin causes a minor issue for TWikiRelease04Sep2004 if SessionPlugin is installed. This plugin breaks MailerContrib (mailnotifier) and probably other programs.

To work around the issue make the following change to SessionPlugin.pm:

--- twiki/lib/TWiki/Plugins/SessionPlugin.pm.orig    2006-01-04 11:56:28.000000000 -0500
+++ twiki/lib/TWiki/Plugins/SessionPlugin.pm     2006-01-04 11:57:21.000000000 -0500
@@ -535,32 +535,35 @@
 sub clearSessionValueHandler
 ### my ( $key ) = @_;   # do not uncomment, use $_[0] instead

     TWiki::Func::writeDebug( "- ${pluginName}::clearSessionValueHandler( $_[0] )" ) if $debug;

     # This handler may one day be called by TWiki::clearSessionValue.
     # Use only in one Plugin.
     # New hook in TWiki::Plugins $VERSION = 'SOME FUTURE RELEASE'

+if ( defined($session) )
     # We do not allow clearing of $authUserSessionVar. That's one session variable
     # that can only be played with by this plugin. Users cannot clear it themselves.
     # If they could, it could allow them to be overly annoying.
     if( ( $_[0] ne $authUserSessionVar ) && defined( $session->param( $_[0] ) ) )
         $session->clear( [ $_[0] ] );

         return 1;

     return undef;

-- PeterWilliams - 04 Jan 2006

Thanks, Peter, for tracking down this issue. The NatSkin was never tested on TWikiRelease04Sep2004 as it seems to be a little more than just a security release ;). As dakar is ante portas I will not put much effort in supporting it. The patch you posted here, is it only needed to get the NatSkinPlugin up an running or is it a bug of the SessionPlugin. Maybe you should move this patch to SessionPluginDev.

-- MichaelDaum - 04 Jan 2006

That patch I posted is to get NatSkinPlugin, SessionPlugin and MailerContrib working nicely together in that release of TWiki. It is an integration bug I think. If you uninstall NatSkinPlugin then eveything works fine.

BTW, below is the error that is generated with a stack trace (in case anyone is searching for this issue):

Can't call method "param" on an undefined value at .../twiki/lib/TWiki/Plugins/SessionPlugin.pm line 552.
 at .../twiki/lib/TWiki/Plugins/SessionPlugin.pm line 552
        TWiki::Plugins::SessionPlugin::clearSessionValueHandler('SKINSTYLE') called at .../twiki/lib/TWiki/Plugins/NatSkinPlugin.pm line 1816
        TWiki::Plugins::NatSkinPlugin::clearSessionValue('SKINSTYLE') called at .../twiki/lib/TWiki/Plugins/NatSkinPlugin.pm line 113
        TWiki::Plugins::NatSkinPlugin::initPlugin('WebHome', 'Main', 'nobody', 'TWiki') called at .../twiki/lib/TWiki/Plugins.pm line 259
        TWiki::Plugins::registerPlugin('NatSkinPlugin', 'WebHome', 'Main', 'nobody', 'Main', 'nobody') called at .../twiki/lib/TWiki/Plugins.pm line 393
        TWiki::Plugins::initialize2('WebHome', 'Main', 'nobody') called at .../twiki/lib/TWiki.pm line 470
        TWiki::initialize('/Main', 'nobody') called at .../twiki/lib/TWiki/Contrib/Mailer.pm line 81
        TWiki::Contrib::Mailer::_processWeb('Main') called at .../twiki/lib/TWiki/Contrib/Mailer.pm line 73
        TWiki::Contrib::Mailer::mailNotify(1, 0, 'ARRAY(0x1401e4ac0)') called at ./mailnotifier line 65
Debugged program terminated.  Use q to quit or R to restart,

-- PeterWilliams - 04 Jan 2006

hi MD,

I'm not sure if this is a bug or not, but I'm playing with defaulttopbar.nat.tmpl, and setting an %IFSKINSTATETHEN% in it to optionally parse some code I added; I wanted something else to get rendered if the condition was false, but what's happening is that the %ELSIFSKINSTATE% is getting displayed as-is, as well as the %FISKINSTATE%. Same goes if I set %ELSESKINSTATE%. page is any on my site. Is this happening because of my HTML comments inside the IF ELSE FI statements?

-- EricCote - 28 Jan 2006

aaaah! now it's working. /me confused

but please ignore the above. thanks.

-- EricCote - 28 Jan 2006

Just downloaded and installed the latest NatSkinPlugin on TWiki Dakar RC1. Works great, just two tiny things. I cannot get the IFACCESS function to work in include-mode. I'm using:

%IFACCESS{"VSF.VsfMenu" mode="include"}%
but that just gives me an (unexpanded) %CALC%-statement instead of the topic.

And the USEWYSIWYG feature is also very nice! In theory it saves me having to hack up the plugin code every time I update. But although most of my users (will) use Kupu, I prefer to edit directly in TML using the normal editor. So in the end I still have had to modify the plugin code, to add a | TML | function to the topbar, just after Edit. I tried doing it in viewtopicactions.nat.tmpl, but it would need the ?t=... parameter to work properly, and I don't know how to do that in a simple way.

-- LevienVanZon - 31 Jan 2006

Hi Levien. IFACCESS is quite obsolete on a TWiki Dakar engine as it has INCLUDE{...warn="off"} . So try %INCLUDE{"VSF.VsfMenu" warn="off"}% to get the effect you want (probably). Use t=%GMTIME{"$year$mo$day$hours$minutes$seconds"}% to add a valid t urlparam. Oh, I see the problem with the unexpanded CALC...will fix that in the next plugin release. Thanks for reporting.

-- MichaelDaum - 01 Feb 2006

Hi Michael. Firstly, NatSkin rocks. It's amazing how so many people get suddenly positive when the see the facelift.

Secondly, a couple of points about MySideBar:

  • In the lastest version of Nat, it doesn't seem obvious that it exists. I went looking for it because I'd seen it in a previous version. Should it be a "broken" link on the user home page, like WikiNameSandbox
  • When I do create it, it's full of references to Twisty. Twisty's not in Dakar by default, and isn't a dependency for Nat, so I'm thinking they maybe shouldn't be there.
This topic does serve as a useful guide to what can be done, but it would probably scare the yikes out of a "normal" user who saw it for the first time. I guess the TWikiAdmin can customise these things in or out, but, if you're not ready for them, they can be distracting. Maybe a cookbook topic would be better? Cheers.

-- MarcusLeonard - 03 Mar 2006

Thanks for the positive feedback smile

Thanks for pointing out that the MySideBarTemplate might be a little overloaded. And you are right, the TwistyPlugin is not a necessity to drive the NatSkin and it would be too draconic to add it to the list of dependencies just to make the MySideBarTemplate happy. I will cut that down and ship a reduced one in the next release.

Putting in a broken link into the default homepages is not a good thing to do as that looks bad. That's what the TWiki.MySideBar topic is for. It renders a "Edit" or "Create" button depending on the user already having a personalized sidebar. It might be a good advice to admins to INCLUDE the MySideBar into the NewUserTemplate of their site. And that renders the Edit/Create button and links to a (yet non existing) cookbook.

Any help on doing a NatSkinSideBarCookBook very welcome.

-- MichaelDaum - 03 Mar 2006

I think that must be STYLESEARCHBOX instead of STYLESSEARCHBOX (not SS) http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/NatSkinPlugin

-- HelderVelez - 04 Apr 2006

Oh, yes, thanks. Will fix that in the next release.

-- MichaelDaum - 04 Apr 2006

I'm new to TWiki. Yesterday I installed NatSkin on TWiki 4.0.2 and I am impressed. I had two problems.

  • The custom side bar needs the Twisty plugin which isn't installed by the installer.
  • The installation instructions tell you how to install but they neglect to tell you to enable the plugin using /configure. (All the plugins I installed had this problem)

-- CedricScott - 12 May 2006

I've been using NatSkin for half a year now, and I've been very happy with it so far. After installing CGI-Telnet on my new host (no SSH yet - argh!) I was finally able to upgrade NatSkinPlugin and Natskin from v2.96 to v2.9993 on Dakar 4.0.2 (build 9626). However, the link displaying the username at the top right has suddenly stopped working, and displays $web before the username. What could be causing this change in behaviour? I checked the NatSkinPlugin script, and the problem seems to be with $dispUser, which used to be defined in NatSkinPlugin.pl. But I can't find where it is defined now?

-- LevienVanZon - 12 May 2006

Please consider adding the use strict; pragma to this plugin. Its use is important to ensure the quality of TWiki plugins, enables catching certain errors, and helps to avoid unpleasant surprises. See UseStrict for more.

-- MeredithLesly - 02 Jul 2006

Levien, the link displaying the username (when logged in) is generated by the standard WIKIUSERNAME tag. The topic actions are defined in TWiki.TWikiWebTopicActions. This is one of the things that changed. Lots of stuff that was hard-coded into the NatSkinPlugin is now configurable using WEBCOMPONENTs. Hope this helps.

-- MichaelDaum - 05 Jul 2006

The [[%ATTACHURL%/%TOPIC%.zip][Download]] link fails if this Plugin is installed; it works only here on TWiki.org. Better to write the full URL [[http://twiki.org/p/pub/Plugins/%TOPIC%/%TOPIC%.zip][Download]]. Actually I think it is better to keep the original text "Download the ZIP file from the Plugin web (see below)" (and fix the viewfile issue on TWiki.org.)

-- PeterThoeny - 05 Aug 2006

NatSkinDev Archive

General Discussion

(add comment)

Thanks for contributing this skin to the TWikiCommunity!

Where is the NatSkinPlugin that is listed as a dependency?

-- PeterThoeny - 16 Mar 2005

Thanks for this Michael. Perhaps you can take a look at the proposal in ConsolidateFunctionalityFromSkins and give us your thoughts: we'd prefer all skin plugin functionality to be in a shared plugin.

-- MartinCleaver - 16 Mar 2005

Thanks for your comments on NatSkinAppraisal, Anton. Well I just finished uploading the NatSkinPlugin now and hopefully added some more docu. Right now the code is in works-for-me state on my hacked Beijing engine. I know very well that some stuff isn't going to work on a pure Beijing or even on newer releases frown . But I delayed the NatSkinPlugin release long enuf and want to make a initial release anyway. So there's still work to be done. For example the %SEARCHSTRING% thingy is replaced with the last search string given to the natsearch. Substitution is done in some of the cgis (attach, oops, rdiff, rename, view). But unfortunately nearly all my cgis are hacked in many respects. All the different plugins and addons and hacks that I have installed on the NatsWiki are interweaved heavily, so that I can't just release my cgis, can I, hoping that anyone is going to overwrite his own versions. Hm ...

-- MichaelDaum - 16 Mar 2005

I've been reading ConsolidateFunctionalityFromSkins (partially wink ). Let's see what my opinions are while working on the NatSkin:

About Navigation: A decent left-hand-menu is a very essential technology that should be in twiki's core.

About Content: Don't overload topic pages (tm). I say no more.

About CSS: I had to remove lots of hardcoded html attributes from TWiki.pm to make it look the way I wanted. Most of the time I replaced stuff with class names and moved stuff into stylesheets. TWiki should have a clearly defined set of class names for (nearly) everything. Some layout is controlled more savely using the template engine.

About templates: (the tmpl files) I found that the default TWiki templates (from Beijing) weren't done logically enuf, that is which TMPL is defined where and which template is included when. Here's an outline of how templates call each other in the NatSkin: The base is a page.nat.tmpl file that defines the basic page layout with calls to well defined callbacks in places where needed,

  • %TMPL:P{"meta"}% inside the html head where meta tags should go (nofollow, noindex stuff)
  • %TMPL:INCLUDE{"javascript"}% inside the html head where the javascripts are should go; so a skin can define its javascript.bla.tmpl and this is loaded by page.tmpl
  • %TMPL:P{"onloadscript"}% inside the <body; > tag: this allows the NatSkin put the cursor into the search box on load, or into the login entry box during logon
  • %TMPL:P{"locator"}% orientation string
  • %TMPL:P{"topicactions"}% possible actions for the topic or the search
  • %TMPL:P{"sidebar"}% the left-hand-menu or the help menu during edit
  • %TMPL:P{"sidebarfooter"}% the lower end of the sidebar (where the NatSkin puts the "Edit Menu" anchor).
  • %TMPL:P{"content"}% the topic content
  • %TMPL:P{"contentfooter"}% the topic's attachments and other meta information

The other templates (most notably view.tmpl) include the page.tmpl add the content to be inserted into the page skeleton.

I think that this setup of templates is rather straight-forward and makes the templates rather small and clean. It is much more flexible compared to the (Beijing) default twiki.tmpl approach.

Summing up, a well-structured template set plus CSS class names will give you quite an amount of flexibility using the means already there. TWiki's template engine itself is fine like it is.

About WikiWords: If you hate WikiWords but want a wiki that you've got a problem.

About Search: I realy am a fan of the PhotonSkin's search engine, albeit I forked it into natsearch . This approach rox (Hey Esteban, mind the security flaws in it wink Thanks anyway!!! ) and should be refactored to become a core part of TWiki.

About Authentification: I don't like realm-based authentification. I'd rather prefer a decent login screen. Thanks to the SessionPlugin this is doable. But there should be a nice login page in the standard TWiki or the SessionPlugin to give the user a nice appearance.

-- MichaelDaum - 16 Mar 2005

Michael, I know I am the last person who should be talking but... you do know that the current release is Cairo and Dakar is waiting in the wings. If you modified Beijing in your NatSkin, you have quite a job ahead of you to upgrade... I hope I am misunderstanding what you said above...

-- ThomasWeigert - 17 Mar 2005

My fault is not giving feed back much earlier to the TWiki community. But you know that updating TWiki has always been a pain i-t-a. So what do you expect. I looked at some of the benchmarks of cairo and was not amused, so to say. Not an extra motivation to move to another release. But anyway, I should grab a recent release and give it a try. Maybe someone could help to port the NatSkin to cairo or dakar. Til then I'll put my complete twiki engine on my homepage...

-- MichaelDaum - 17 Mar 2005

Homepage? You mean http://nats-www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/MichaelDaum

-- AntonAylward - 17 Mar 2005

Michael, I know exactly what you mean.... I just moved from Athens to Cairo over the last months (and the production is still running Athens)... There is a reasonable hope that Dakar will bring performance in line again... but much what you did is paralleling the effort that went into PatternSkin (which is no, I believe, the de facto skin for many due to it looking so much better than ClassicSkin)... if we could end up with a scenario that your skin could be used as another choice instead of PatternSkin that would be the best outcome. My guess is that many or all the style elements you had to put in instead of the hardcoded HTML are also now in Cairo, but, of course, they will have different names...

By the way, I really like the look of your skin... it would be a shame if we could not bring it into the fold of the current TWiki....

-- ThomasWeigert - 17 Mar 2005

I've packaged my complete TWiki engine dowloadable from here .. just to let others test it. I will download Cairo and do the port (sigh). But my production engine will stay Beijing.

-- MichaelDaum - 17 Mar 2005

Michael, you might want to think about targeting the development branch instead. I suggest you talk to, e.g., CrawfordCurrie or some of the others who have a better feel for the current status. You don't want to spend a lot of effort porting to Cairo just to find out that you have to do it right again over again....

-- ThomasWeigert - 17 Mar 2005

grep -r "border=.1" .|grep -v .svn
./TWiki/Render.pm:          '<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="1"><tr>';
./TWiki/Form.pm:    my $text = '<div class="twikiForm twikiEditForm"><table border="1" '.

... not alone the TablePlugin not using CSS consequently. See ArthurClemens on TablePluginDev. Are these proposed changes those that I seen in Dakar? Shouldn't this plugin be rewritten to use CSS only?

-- MichaelDaum - 18 Mar 2005

Michael, please see my comment in NatSkinPluginDev on monitoring updates on two places.

-- PeterThoeny - 19 Mar 2005

I see from your notes on your MichaelDaumWouldLikeToCheckIn that the plugin would eventually go away.

I'm in two minds about this. First, I like this skin for the same reasons ArthurClemens mentions in the discussion of the plugin. Its simple and clean. I wold like to see it incorporated in the core. Its cleaner than DragonSkin and the ability to vanish the tool bars before logon makes it look more professinal.

But my reason about being ambivalent ove loosing the plugin is that I think you have generalized it so it can be used for a wide variety of skins.

I recently looked at PmWiki. I wasn't impressed with the PHP ut I was with the skins. However I suspect they would need an engine to support them. For a while, NatSkinPlugin looked like it might.

-- AntonAylward - 26 Mar 2005

While dakarizing the NatSkin I started cutting down everything that can be done with the SessionPlugin, AuthPagePlugin and the SpreadSheetPlugin. There is no reason to have an extra tag just to hide the topic actions as long as you are not logged in.

Here's a snipplet from view.nat.tmpl:


%WIKIUSERNAME% | [[%SESSIONLOGONURL%?username=TWikiGuest][Logout]]


[[https://%HTTP_HOST%%SCRIPTURLPATH%/oops%SCRIPTSUFFIX%?template=oopslogon][Logon]] |

Added newlines for readability.

Same holds with the %NAVIGATION% tag in the NatSkinPlugin. I added a a CSS's display:%CALC{...}% to switch on/off parts of the sidebar that are not relevant for the current web.

In other words, byebye %NAVIGATION%, byebye %USERACTIONS%.

Nevertheless, the new NatSkin will hide wikiness as far as possible.

What's left?

The document relations. This realy doesn't belong into the NatSkinPlugin. Let's call it DocumentRelationsPlugin ... some day.

Displaying TWikiGroups and online stats realy is a minor thing. Will rip that out and place it somewhere else. Serve yourself wink

The only thing I would realy miss is the natsearch aka PhotonSearch. But don't look at natsearch too close...

-- MichaelDaum - 26 Mar 2005

Michael, I think you are heading into a direction that if pushed further would be really great: Not every topic wants to show the topic actions, even if logged in, and really, topic actions (and other stuff in the template) is often topic specific. If we could somehow associate with a topic a subskin that, for example, hides the topic actions, or adds additional actions, or removes some actions, or does not allow form changes in edit, or has the form above the text in edit or view, etc. etc., that would be really powerful.

I keep toying with adding a metavariable that indicates aditional templates to apply to the topic and similar....

-- ThomasWeigert - 26 Mar 2005

Also, while dakarizing NatSkin, you might want to take a look at makeing the templates more consistent. Currently, the PatternSkin and the ClassicSkin have a few areas of inconsistencies in how the page is assembled which makes it hard to systematically overlay all skins (e.g., hiding the action bar for all skins). For many of my plugins I thus had to develop a template for every skin even if conceptionally one template added to the skin should have done it. The first step is to have every skin follow the same high-level order of assembling a page and merely adding detail in the defines (adding classes, placing buttone in different orders, etc.). A fresh look at these inconsistencies would help...

-- ThomasWeigert - 26 Mar 2005

I suggest that photonsearch ought also be examined and the best bits either modularised or brought into core.

-- MartinCleaver - 26 Mar 2005

Thomas, thanks for your remarks. I never followed the template path ("which eastern film is that") of the default or the pattern skin having the impression that TMPL:DEF s and TMPL:P s are done the wrong way arround and somehow counter-intuitive (at least I had problems following them). NatSkin's templates are organized in a way that twiki.nat.tmpl is doing the actual TMPL:P s whereas the view.nat.tmpl and co contain the TMPL:DEF s. So the twiki.nat.tmpl layouts the complete page for all of them, the "drawback" of which is that all pages must use one layout. But that's how it should be in the NatSkin because of usability via alikeness.

The topicactions are all defined by a macro TMPL:DEF{"topicaction"} TMPL:INCLUDE{"..."} =TMPL:END where view, edit, attach and rename use the template files viewtopicaction.tmpl, edittopicaction.tmpl, attachtopicaction.tmpl, and renametopicaction.tmpl respectively. (need to do some renaming still). So adding different topicactions per web or topic is straight forward via sub-skins already.

In addition, parts of the skin can always be disabled by CSS from within a topic:

<style type="text/css">
.twikiSideBar {background:pink; display:none;}

-- MichaelDaum - 27 Mar 2005

Michael, your skin would be more compatible if you would rename your CSS class names to the TWiki format, see TWikiCss.

-- ArthurClemens - 27 Mar 2005

I'm trying to. But that won't work out completely. The naming will be similar, You see, there aren't enuf classes for the NatSkin in TWikiCss and those that seem similar will be used differently, maybe. Classnames will try to follow the naming convensions as close as possible. Surely the skin will cover the classes emitted by the TWiki engine.

-- MichaelDaum - 27 Mar 2005

Shouldn't the PatternSkin omit the twiki prefix to its CSS class names. According to TWikiCss#Naming_conventions pattern would be a natural choice to prefix CSS class names in the PatternSkin, and nat for the NatSkin.

-- MichaelDaum - 28 Mar 2005

Hmm. When I was developing PatternSkin I had the perspective of new default skin, so it seemed natural to name everything with twiki.

In hindsight I agree it would be more clear if PatternSkin classnames where separate from classnames emitted by the TWiki core.

-- ArthurClemens - 28 Mar 2005

Here's the first pre-release (v1.91) of the new NatSkin

This is nearly a complete rewrite of the templates and the css. Two new styles (Independence and Squash) have been added, so now there are 8 different looks for the NatSkin.

The supplemental NatSkinPlugin has been rewritten to run on TWiki/Cairo and TWiki/Dakar.

The skin has still some issues on TWiki/Dakar (preview, quiet-save, oops-templates) but should be just fine on a TWiki/Cairo engine.

See the cairo demo and the dakar demo sites.

Please test.

-- MichaelDaum - 12 Jul 2005

very impressive - i like it smile

-- SvenDowideit - 12 Jul 2005

Ditto... only comment is that I like the style for forms better in PatternSkin, as it makes it less "old-fashioned" HTML table like... Otherwise, this skin is really great...

What are the issues you are facing with DakarRelease?

-- ThomasWeigert - 12 Jul 2005

Thanks for the hint. Fixed the twiki form tables in v1.92. Note, however, that the rest of the tables will not look sexy unless you patch the TablePlugin according to CompleteCssControlofTWikiTables.

-- MichaelDaum - 12 Jul 2005

It simply hasn't been tested thoroughly on dakar. There have been some glitches in the preview code at least. The oops messages are not covered on dakar yet. There's some docu lacking. There's no quiet-saveing yet. There are some font issues with the Gettysburg style. It has not been checked with IE at all.

-- MichaelDaum - 12 Jul 2005

Here's some docu about the template mechanisms of the NatSkin.

-- MichaelDaum - 12 Jul 2005

Great with the new forms. One more thing... bold face may not be the best to signal links, as you cannot tell it from the titles or other bold face text.

-- ThomasWeigert - 12 Jul 2005

Well, might be right for Clean, PlainJane and Independence. The others distinguish bold text from links by a different color. You'll have to hover with the mouse and if it splatters and flounders then this is a link most probably ;).

-- MichaelDaum - 12 Jul 2005

Yes, but I don't think you want to have your users having to mouse along the text to find links. Links should be clearly visible so that users can go there. If they have to check every word for whether it is a link they will get annoyed. Just look at a web site that uses underlines to highlight, rather than for links. After clicking on the 3rd underline that is not a link you will give up with that web site...

-- ThomasWeigert - 12 Jul 2005

Hm, alright. I adjusted Clean, PlainJane and Independence in v1.93.

-- MichaelDaum - 12 Jul 2005

Great. Now the only thing missing is the documentation. I read the template doco but I really don't know what it tells me... and I know the twiki templating mechanism pretty well... and there is not yet doco for the CSS customization section...

-- ThomasWeigert - 12 Jul 2005

What would you expect in the template docu (I start sounding like Eliza)?

-- MichaelDaum - 12 Jul 2005


Is this (15 Jul 2005) version for Cairo or Dakar?

-- AntonAylward - 15 Jul 2005

It works on B, C and D.

-- MichaelDaum - 16 Jul 2005

Added signature to Plugins topic; the report on the PluginPackage topic depends on it.

-- PeterThoeny - 23 Aug 2005

Peter, why not extract the plugin author from the plugin info table. Isn't this extra signature redundant?

-- MichaelDaum - 23 Aug 2005

That could probably be done; I know there is a redundancy. Why not simply use the default template, which follows our convention of signing topics?

Thinking this further, the current "Plugin Author" table row is used for two purposes: Original author(s) of the Plugin, and current maintainer. May be we could add a "Maintainer" table row?

-- PeterThoeny - 24 Aug 2005

OK, packaged the NatSkin 2.0 today.

-- MichaelDaum - 26 Aug 2005

There's already a bug reported by Maik Mueller about a javascript error on IE 5/6 when clicking on "Edit". Can someone else confirm?

-- MichaelDaum - 26 Aug 2005

There's a new NatSkinPoll on the demo site.

-- MichaelDaum - 26 Aug 2005

Why my left bar is %WEBSIDEBAR% when I set SKIN = nat?

-- BaoguiHuang - 15 Sep 2005

Do you mean the %WEBSIDEBAR% tag is not expanded? Visit the InstalledPlugins on your installation and see if there are any errors. Consult the error log files of your web server also. Are there other variables that don't get expanded? Is the NatSkinPlugin installed and running?

-- MichaelDaum - 15 Sep 2005

Thanks. It is ok now. It is because that Date::Parse didn't be installed and permistion RedDotPlug not right.

-- BaoguiHuang - 17 Sep 2005

nat skin left up corner search cann't be used. Error is : Software error: can't opendir /web/httpd/twiki/data/debug.txt: Not a directory at ../lib/TWiki/Plugins/NatSkinPlugin/Search.pm line 215. For help, please send mail to the webmaster ([no address given]), giving this error message and the time and date of the error. Why?

-- BaoguiHuang - 23 Sep 2005

Hi, BaoguiHuang. Can you give me more details: which (1) TWiki version, (2) NatSkinPlugin version and (3) perl version are you using. Actually, as far as I looked at the code, debug.txt should never be tried out as a directory ... though there might be a related bug in an earlier version of the NatSkinPlugin.

-- MichaelDaum - 23 Sep 2005

At first I search a string in left up corner search input box get error like that

Software error: can't opendir /web/httpd/twiki/data/atUidReg: Not a directory at ../lib/TWiki/Plugins/NatSkinPlugin/Search.pm line 215. For help, please send mail to the webmaster ([no address given]), giving this error message and the time and date of the error.

Then I change atUidReg to a dir. But the error above appear.

When I click the props for attached file get the error bellow.

Software error: Can't use string ("version") as a HASH ref while "strict refs" in use at ../lib/TWiki/Attach.pm line 196.

For help, please send mail to the webmaster ([no address given]), giving this error message and the time and date of the error.

-- BaoguiHuang - 27 Sep 2005

My twiki version is TWiki20040902.tar

-- BaoguiHuang - 27 Sep 2005

My NatSkinPlugin
Plugin Author: TWiki:Main/MichaelDaum Plugin Version: v2.10 (2005-08-30) Change History: 30 Aug 2005: added external link detection; fixed IFSKINSTYLE; added style support for the TWiki:Plugins.TablePlugin 26 Aug 2005: new NatSkin-2.0 release 28 Apr 2005: pre-release to fix installation on TWiki/Cairo 16 Mar 2005: Initial version TWiki Dependency: $TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.024 CPAN Dependencies: none Other Dependencies: SessionPlugin, RedDotPlugin Perl Version: >=5.6

-- BaoguiHuang - 27 Sep 2005

Oh, grooooovy. This thing does not suck! What an excellent contribution. Like I'm not going to have an install-fest. As if. Thank you, Michael.

-- MarcusLeonard - 01 Oct 2005

What can I do to resolve this problem?
Search function in right conner, prop for uploaded file and logout are all have problem. frown

-- BaoguiHuang - 08 Oct 2005

Some of the features of the NatSkinPlugin are not implemented under Dakar.

Some plugins that work satisfactory with PatternSkin don't seem to work with NatSkin. These seem to be ones that involve javascript such as TwistyPlugin and ones that make use of JSCalendar.

-- AntonAylward - 01 Oct 2005

Baogui, propably your problems are not NatSkin related. Contact me via email or join the #twiki irc channel on freenode and we can sort things out.

-- MichaelDaum - 08 Oct 2005

fixed TwistyPlugin support in svn 6900

-- MichaelDaum - 09 Oct 2005

Packaged NatSkin-2.51 today. Have fun.

-- MichaelDaum - 09 Oct 2005

Hello, have you already found the reason for this message: "Software error: Can't use string ("version") as a HASH ref while "strict refs" in use at ../lib/TWiki/Attach.pm line 196" after clicking the props for attached file please?

-- ZbynekCerveny - 11 Nov 2005

There is a bug in lib/TWiki/UI/Upload.pm. Change line 87 so it passes \%args as a hash reference instead of %args (the hash itself):

85:  if ( $fileName ) {
86:    # must come after templates have been read
87:    $atext .= TWiki::Attach::formatVersions( $webName, $topic, $fileName, \%args );
88:  }

-- WadeTurland - 13 Nov 2005

Wow, thak you very much.

-- ZbynekCerveny - 14 Nov 2005

I'm getting this message from a cron job that runs mailnotify -q each hour.

Possible unintended interpolation of @TWiki::Plugins::activePluginTopics in string at /usr/share/perl5/TWiki/Plugins/NatSkinPlugin.pm line 255.

Line 255 of NatSkinPlugin.pm looks like this:


I'm running TWiki on a Debian/Linux system. Any ideas what the cause might be? Package version is 20040902-1.


-- RayOntko - 19 Nov 2005

Hm, line 255 does not contain this command any more. Which version of the plugin are you using? Please, try the latest NatSkinPlugin version and see if the error still persists.

-- MichaelDaum - 19 Nov 2005

There is a minor issue using nat skin v2.93 (2005-12-20) with IE 6.0.2900... a border is showing up around multiple boxes in the top bar. To work around this issue I made the following change:

--- twiki/pub/TWiki/NatSkin/BaseStyle.css.orig  2006-01-05 16:28:54.000000000 -0500
+++ twiki/pub/TWiki/NatSkin/BaseStyle.css       2006-01-05 16:29:05.000000000 -0500
@@ -92,7 +92,7 @@
 .natTopBarSizer {
-  border:1px solid transparent; /* konqueror fix */
+  border:0px solid transparent; /* konqueror fix */

-- PeterWilliams - 05 Jan 2006

I just installed a new TWiki (TWiki/Dakar Wed, 14 Dec 2005 build 7851) with NatSkin v2.93 (2005-12-20), using the "Rusty" style. I noticed that in many cases the bar at the bottom 'pushes away' the main content from the right and from the bottom, resulting in a page which is mostly grey on the right, with a only the top and sidebars, and a tiny bit of content being visible. Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn't. Reloading the page usually fixes it, but not always. Weird. Any idea on what's happening here? This problem did not occur with the previous versions I tried (TWiki engine and NatSkin versions from late October). Has something changed since then that could be causing this?

Tested with various Firefox versions on Linux and Windows. So far I only tried it with the Rusty style. This is what it looks like when the problem occurs:



-- LevienVanZon - 10 Jan 2006

Hi Levien, others have reported this layout anomaly also. But til now I was not able to provide any fix and even have no idea what this is. Have you tried firefox-1.5 as this doesn't seem to show this. My current good-guess/working-hypothesis is that earlier firefoxes have problems to expand a table that have the table-layout:fixed + width:100% css attributes. The page itself is valid xhtml (modulo inline css). I fear that for firefox < 1.5 a sub-standard trick would be needed to work around that render bug. And there are already enough of them.

-- MichaelDaum - 10 Jan 2006

Hmm, it does indeed seem to work fine with Firefox 1.5 and Internet Explorer. Except that IE makes the dotted lines in the Rusty style look really ugly, urgh. smile

-- LevienVanZon - 16 Jan 2006

I've just installed current production release of TWiki (Cairo 04 Sep 2004 rev 1742) and latest NatSkin (v2.93.1). With Firefox 1.5 I see nothing but the body of the page. All bars and controls are gone. Other skins work well.

-- PetrKoloros - 18 Jan 2006

Petr, please check the file permissions of the templates. Note, that you need to install the NatSkinPlugin also.

-- MichaelDaum - 19 Jan 2006

Thanks. Not only templates but files in the data directory needed to have permissions fixed as well.

-- PetrKoloros - 20 Jan 2006

I'm using NatSkin v2.93.1, with Kubrick style. All works fine except under IE (6.0) I see no shaded border and no graphics (eg for external links). Digging around a bit I found there are references to Box.gif and Border.gif in BaseShadow.css, but those files simply aren't included in the zip file... Any hints on fixing this? (my attempts to create the gifs from the pngs only resulted in an ugly black frame where the shadow should be)

-- WimLivens - 19 Jan 2006

Oh, you are right. I missed to include them in the zip file. Here they are: Box.gif, Border.gif. Put them into the pub/TWiki/NatSkin directory. I will include them in the next official NatSkin release. Thanks for the hint. Note, however, that due to the limitations of IE the gif version of the decoration has no transparent shadow and thus doesn't look so appealing as the pngs. Same holds for external links: IE does not implement the css selector :after. So using any other browser will give you a nicer experience. IE 7.0 will support pngs though and most standard css too.

-- MichaelDaum - 20 Jan 2006

Thanks Michael, that solved it. I guess the IE folks can survive without those few bits.

-- WimLivens - 20 Jan 2006

I just installed NatSkin on my site (see http://rabbit-island.net/cgi-bin/twiki/view/Main), and have noticed that some pages seem to have a lot of excess white space between the topic text and copyright notice. It happens in both Firefox 1.5 and IE 6.0, though the amount of blank space added seems to vary.

I've also got a customization question about changing the locator string posted on the support forum here: HowToChangeLocatorString.

I'm loving the skin - it looks great.

-- MarcPerkins - 13 Feb 2006

Hi Marc, there's a minimum height of the main content area that is set to 50em. See the BaseStyle.css file. You might want to customize that to your needs, i.e. if you disable the sidebar.

-- MichaelDaum - 13 Feb 2006

Thanks for the reply! Changing the minimum height to a lower value helped, but there's still extra space above and below the revision information (http://rabbit-island.net/cgi-bin/twiki/view/Main/WebHome is currently showing this).

When I add table borders to the layout table (in defaultbody.nat.tmpl) it appears as though there's extra space both above and below the revision information, as well as extra space in the layout table below the last line of the main body.

-- MarcPerkins - 13 Feb 2006

I'm also encountering an error with mail notify, and it looks like it might be related to Nat skin; I've posted on it here: MailNotifyErrorswithDakar.

-- MarcPerkins - 14 Feb 2006

Yes, after upgrading my perl I encountered the same problem. The uninitialized value in line 157 was fixed in the latest release. But I was not able to track down the other occurrences in the anonymous eval calls. The issue might also be related to the CGI perl package as the problem didn't occur to me earlier. The mail notification works despite the warnings. Right now, I pipe them to /dev/null ... but that's no solution. I know wink .

-- MichaelDaum - 14 Feb 2006

I'm using NatSkin v2.96 with Dakar (having some trouble upgrading to v2.9992 - I cannot run the install scripts using FTP :-/ ). A problem I've noticed is that parts of tables etc. that do not fit onto the screen are not horizontally scrollable, and therefore cannot be viewed. This only seems to happen with NatSkin - PatternSkin and the Classic skin are OK. Is/was this a bug in NatSkin?

-- LevienVanZon - 21 Apr 2006

OK, I've managed to update both NatSkin and NatSkinPlugin to 2.9993, but the right part of big tables still falls off the screen and is not scrollable. Is this a bug or a feature? Can I patch the CSS in some way to make tables horizontally scrollable?

-- LevienVanZon - 12 May 2006

I have v 4.0.4 with NatSkin v2.9997. just went through the installation of the skin and i am having a problem that i can't seem to resolve. I think i am just missing something somewhere and need some help with it

this is the problem http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/viewfile/Plugins/NatSkinDev?rev=1;filename=wiki.png

-- CurtisRose - 06 Jul 2006

Curtis, you need to install the IfDefinedPlugin and the FilterPlugin and maybe more. Please have a look at the dependencies of the NatSkinPlugin. Check if you have all these plugins installed and enabled using configure

-- MichaelDaum - 08 Jul 2006

I have yet another problem after fixing my dependencies issue. on the logo at the top of the page, there is a quotation mark that appears, and becoms part of the link. if you view page source, it shows up right there as being in the tag. it only does this using natskin. and has done it since installed.

-- CurtisRose - 13 Jul 2006

NatSkin topic actions are different to other skins

(add comment))

(Discussion carried over from Bugs:Item1093.)

NatSkin uses

  1. "Preview": preview changes
  2. "Undo": abandon changes but continue editing
  3. "Save": save changes and continue editing
  4. "Cancel": abandon changes and exit
  5. "Quit": save changes and exit

There's no "Quiet Save" in NatSkin.

whereas PatternSkin has

  1. "Preview": same as above
  2. "Checkpoint": this is "Save" in NatSkin
  3. "Save": this is "Quit" in NatSkin
  4. "Cancel": same as above

There's no "Undo" in PatternSkin.

IMHO, Save & Quit is more common consensus than Checkpoint & Save for the same pair of functions.

To clarify that MattWilkie proposed to at least add according tooltips (see TWiki:Plugins.NatSkinPluginDev).

Fixed in SVN 7705. -- MD

"Quit" is not a logical label for a save button. "Quit" sounds more like abandoning, so like saving. Without having tested this on users my intuition tells me a Quit button is disturbing, or at least confusing.

-- AC

I really like the look of this skin. BUT its a skin, and as a skin must not change features or behaviour. Changing the labels and behaviour is outside the mandate of any skin. If you want to change this such changes must be done in a place common to all skins.

(end of rant).

-- MC

Additionally "Exit" is better than "Quit"

and ALT-S (save and exit topic) should remain.

-- MC

I agree with this. I love this skin, but I think the difference in terminology for basic functions is problematic. "Quit" really does sound like "bail out", not "save". And "save" in any other application normally doesn't mean "save and keep editing." If it's the normal environment for your users it won't matter because they'll all get used to it; I guess they won't be jumping between skins. But the differences in terminology are a problem where things are otherwise standardised.

-- MarcusLeonard - 06 Mar 2006


-- MartinCleaver - 19 May 2006

Can you all please lookup the different applications on your desktop (forget about twiki just for a moment) and make a comparison which one has a "Save", "Exit" and/or "Quit" button and what they do. Then look up their shortcut keys. I can't please you all, that is for sure. So please, please feel free customize the templates and rename the topicactions as you like.

Application Button Shortcut Description Pattern Nat
kwrite save ctrl-s save the current document checkpoint save
  close ctrl-w asks for save/discard/cancel, close the current document, keep running with an empty document    
  quit ctrl-q asks for save/discard/cancel, close the current document, terminate the application save quit
vim save :w save the current document checkpoint save
  delete buffer :bd close the current document but only if there are no modifications and fails otherwise, keep running with an empty buffer    
  exit :x save document, terminate the application save quit
openoffice / ms-office save ctrl-s save the current document checkpoint save
  close ctrl-w ask for save/discard/cancel, close the current document, keep running with an empty workspace    
  exit ctrl-q ask for save/discard/cancel, close the current document, terminate the application save quit
gimp save ctrl-s save the current document checkpoint save
  close ctrl-w ask for dontsave/cancel/save, close the current document, keep running with no document    
  quit ctrl-q asks for cancel/discard close the current document, terminate the application save quit

So far there is a definite confusion between "Quit" and "Exit" meaning the same. But the shortcuts ctrl-s, ctrl-w, ctrl-q: this is pretty much standard (yeah vim and emacs are different, but they are no applications for Aunt Tiffie anyway). I further observe that there is no notion of a "checkpoint" button in other desktop applications and that "Save" never means to close the document or even terminate the application. So I argue that PatternSkin (and so TWiki as PatternSkin is TheTWikiSkin) is quite wrong here. I agree that NatSkin could rename "Quit" to "Exit". But note also, that this will confuse the ctrl-q shortcut which is not ctrl-e following some ctrl+first_letter memo rule. So I conclude: change TWiki, not NatSkin ;).

Besides "Quiet Save" is dead. WebChanges, WebRss, WebAtom being based on SEARCH do not respect that and the changes cgi is broken, at least on twiki.org, or never used anywhere else.

-- MichaelDaum - 19 May 2006

natlogon should not be necessary

(add comment)

(Discussion carried over from Bugs:Item1767.)

At least in Dakar. Features don't belong in skins.

-- MartinCleaver - 03 Mar 2006

I'd agree with this too, in theory - but for the fact that I can't log out of PatternSkin (unless I delete the browser cookie), whereas Nat works fine. (I've posted a support question about Pattern, but it's not been responded to, so either it's a real worry or I am...)

-- MarcusLeonard - 06 Mar 2006

I was very impressed with Natlogon and the ability to log out correctly in Dakar.. but I can't log in! Logon points to "/bin/natlogon/Main/WebHome" .. but I end up at /bin/oops/Main/WebHome?template=oopslogon ..

Could you shed some light on what's gone wrong? (edit: ok it seems maybe it's supposed to redirect there? - But when I enter my logon details it dumps out a browser error saying it can't establish a connection. This doesn't happen when the Natskin is not used)

-- DavidWall - 07 Mar 2006

David, yes the redirect is correct. Please have a look at the file templates/oopslogonbase.nat.tmpl and replace the https in the form action with a http. Better: set up ssl for your apache not to send clear-text passwords over the internet. I will add an according installation instruction to the NatSkinPlugin.

-- MichaelDaum - 07 Mar 2006

Excellent! Thankyou very much Michael, this worked perfectly. I appreciate your quick response and immediate diagnosis of the problem. Obviously setting up SSL would be a far better alternative, but i'm very much a beginner with Apache and don't know how; learning more every day though!

My wiki is only used on an internal network so i'm not very worried from a security point of view.

-- DavidWall - 07 Mar 2006

I just configured Dakar and upgraded from Cairo. That worked fine. I installed NatSkin and have that configured as well. Everything was fine until I closed my browser and tried to get back in. The first problem was the redirect to the SSL URL. That fixed, I now get a page telling me I'm not registered! Of course, if I try to register, it tells me I already am...

Any thoughts? Thanks much!

-- RyanDaley - 24 Mar 2006

Quick follow up: I had set the skin globally in TWikiPreferences on my site. Changing it there and setting it via WebPreferences seems to work at this point.

I'm still confused what's happening here.


-- RyanDaley - 24 Mar 2006

The latest NatSkin release (v2.998) supports dakar's TemplateLogin scheme. natlogon is still nominal on legacy releases.

-- MichaelDaum - 05 Apr 2006

It's great to hear this, Micha.

-- MartinCleaver - 19 May 2006

natsearch should not be necessary

(add comment)

(Discussion carried over from Bugs:Item1768.)

Its a feature, what's so special about it that can't be added to search?

-- MartinCleaver - 03 Mar 2006

Natsearch is much more focused on usability.

For one it bundles a search+go box. Looking up a topic is much simpler than first trying to jump to it, missing it and then trying the same using a topic search and then trying the same using a fulltext search. Natsearch does that on its own in that order (see the docu for more info)

The other thing is that the way results are displayed can be customized for a specific TWikiApplication. For example the BlogPlugin customizes natsearch to display results more meaningfully. It generates links using the headlines and summaries using the teaser etc both stored in the form. That's application specific and the standard search provides no way to do the same.

-- MichaelDaum - 05 Jul 2006

NatSkin alters the attachment table actions

(add comment)

(Discussion carried over from Bugs:Item1774.)

In pattern skin, attachments are shown as:

icon     KubrickStyle.css     manage     12.2 K     28 Feb 2006 - 17:40     UnknownUser      

In NatSkin this shows as:

else     KubrickStyle.css     props, move     12.2 K     28 Feb 2006 - 17:40     UnknownUser    

I thoroughly welcome the ability to move an attachment, but this code is in the wrong place - this (props, move) is not SKIN it is functionality. Changes belong closer to the core.

Without consistency such adds complexity through needing more documentation and learning and making everyone's life harder.

Again, I thoroughly welcome the ability to move an attachment, but this code is in the wrong place.

-- MartinCleaver - 04 Mar 2006

As both PatternSkin and NatSkin have no common base there is no "right" place to put the attachment actions on, thus standardizing it. Note, that standards are not always entailing usability. Now about the issue: the table column of the attachments table has the title "Actions". However the only thing that you can do per attachment here is one action: clicking on "manage". The few things that you can do is changing their properties (comments, attributes), moving (which is used for deleting also) and creating a link to it in the topic text. Based on my own experience I decided to improve usability here by providing less generic action descriptors and making them accessible with less mouse clicks in between, meanwhile not cluttering the interface. That's why there's "props, move". This is not perfect but much more usable than the standard way.

-- MichaelDaum - 04 Jul 2006

I agree. This is why the table code has moved from core to templates: attachtables.tmpl.

-- ArthurClemens - 04 Jul 2006

Some feedback on the latest package:

  • The [[%ATTACHURL%/%TOPIC%.zip][Download]] link fails if this Skin is installed; it works only here on TWiki.org. Better to write the full URL [[http://twiki.org/p/pub/Plugins/%TOPIC%/%TOPIC%.zip][Download]]. Actually I think it is better to keep the original text "Download the ZIP file from the Plugin web (see below)" (and fix the viewfile issue on TWiki.org.)
  • Same for the Cairo_UI_pm.diff attachment.
  • There are many attachments in the Skin topic, one needs to hunt for the skin package. Better to hide attachments that do not need to be downloaded.
  • What is the reason for the [[%TOPIC%][The Natural Skin]] heading? Better to avoid linking to itself.

-- PeterThoeny - 05 Aug 2006

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
GIFgif Border.gif r1 manage 0.1 K 2006-01-20 - 04:11 UnknownUser  
GIFgif Box.gif r1 manage 0.9 K 2006-01-20 - 04:10 UnknownUser  
PNGpng weirdbar-small.png r1 manage 31.2 K 2006-01-10 - 12:41 LevienVanZon Screenshot
PNGpng wiki.png r1 manage 100.2 K 2006-07-06 - 19:43 CurtisRose screenshoot
Edit | Attach | Watch | Print version | History: r4 < r3 < r2 < r1 | Backlinks | Raw View | Raw edit | More topic actions
Topic revision: r4 - 2007-04-27 - PeterThoeny
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