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TWiki's New Look (ca. late August, 2004)

If you haven't visited twiki.org or WikiLearn in a while, you may have been surprised by the new look.

The Pattern Skin

Most of the new look, including the new style and the left hand column ("sidebar") is due to the application of the Pattern Skin.

Another nice feature of the pattern skin is that it does not include the page name/title on the page, thus we can display a title of our choice to avoid the dreaded camelcase titles.

Low Screen Resolution / Horizontal Scrolling

Whatever screen resolution you are using, because of the added width due to the left sidebar (web bar), you may find an increased need for horizontal scrolling. The problem occurs more often with low screen resolution, e.g. 640x480. To minimize the problem, you can set options on your TWiki "home" page to either:

In either case, make sure there are no extraneous spaces at the end of the inserted lines.

Because of the superior look of the Pattern Skin, I recommend you use the LowRes.css variation of the Pattern Skin.

Note that in order to have a TWiki home page, you must be registered at twiki.org, and in order for the skin selection to take effect, you must log in from your current browser session. One way (the only way?) to log in is to start to edit a page (and then cancel, if you really don't intend to edit anything).

Note: If you (like I) leave your browser open 24 hours a day, you may find that, the next day, new pages come up with out the settings specified on your TWiki home page. (I find the sidebar back on the left.) There may be some sort of timeout built into TWiki, but I think the more likely cause is that my dialup gets a new IP the next day and TWiki (since it does not use cookies), forgets who you are. (There is something like a "DoRememberUser" option that can be set to remember the user based on his IP. I suspect some of my other problems that seem somewhat intermittent to me occur when my dialup (in a separate NAT box), disconnects and reconnects (immediately, or ASAP) with a new IP. Anyway, logging in again (by starting a new edit, even if you cancel it) gets me back to my preferences.

Aside: Although I haven't thought of a good reason to do so, you can apparently customize your own sidebar. (Again, only if you have registered and are logged in, iiuc.)

New Options for Saving (with or w/o Pattern Skin)

Another change is the new options for saving (after editing), which mean you no longer (necessarily) have to go through the Edit -> Preview -> Save (-> re-Edit) cycle. The following list includes the old and added functions:

  • Cancel: cancels the edit, returns to the View page.

  • Preview: presents a static image of the View page for proofreading purposes. This is the one case (see reminder, below) in which it is safe to return to the edit screen via your browser back button.

  • Save: saves the page immediately (no Preview required — that's a change) and presents the View page.

  • Checkpoint (Save): saves the page and returns to the Edit view for further editing.

  • QuietSave: like save, "Minor changes, don't notify" is automatically checked

Reminder: as before, do not use your browser back button to re-edit a page after saving it — data is occasionally lost when doing this.

Aside: I've done no testing to see if any of the new options release the edit lock immediately (nor have I seen evidence of such a change).

Accelerator Keys for Save

In some browsers (IE: yes, konqueror: no, others: ??) you can press <alt>and the first letter of the save option to initiate that action. Mozilla: yes -- AndrewCates - 21 Sep 2004



Report problems on Plugins.PatternSkinDev or Plugins.Pattern Skin Browser Anomalies

Spell Checking

I've noticed some odd behavior with spell checking (misspelled words sometimes show up in red and sometimes do not (spellchecking is done only in the edit mode)) -- I really don't know whether it has anything to do with the new skin or not, especially since it doesn't necessarily seem correlated to use of one skin or the other. In addition, on the Win95/IE5 machine I'm using, I haven't recently (ever?) seen any red to indicate misspelled words._

konqueror specific

Now moved to Plugins.Pattern Skin Browser Anomalies


Avoid (Minimize) Horizontal Scrolling

Done — WillNorris and ArthurClemens modified the css to put the sidebar on the right — Thanks!!

Detailed (Old) Comments

Some of my verbose, unorganized, "stream of consciousness" comments can be found on Revision 1.6 of Codev.TWiki's New Look.

-- RandyKramer - 26 Aug 2004

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Topic revision: r13 - 2004-09-21 - AndrewCates
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