Mediawiki Skins Design

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847195203
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/24/2008
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.52 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    your wiki looks different from Wikipedia?

    Why should you read this book? MediaWiki is the free open source package that powers Wikipedia. So if you are inclined to have a wiki on your website, MediaWiki is a good choice, as the performance of Wikipedia means that MediaWiki has been well tested and is immensely scalable. Carter focuses on how to customise the user interface. MediaWiki comes with several skins, and of these, Standard is used by Wikipedia. The others are essentially more rudimentary as the text explains.

    The main motivation for reading this book then becomes whether you might, or rather should, want to differentiate your wiki's user interface from Wikipedia. And indeed whether to distinguish it from other wikis that have deliberately mimicked Wikipedia's look and feel. There are good arguments for either approach, though the book doesn't really go into why you might want to copy Wikipedia. In the latter case, there is no need for the book.

    So suppose you want a totally different look. The text discusses how many features can be tweaked or even removed. The removal of functionality might seem bad. But some aspects might not be appropriate for your particular content choices. And Wikipedia's list of features could be daunting if you want readers of your wiki to also contribute content.

    The book's examples involve applying CSS, XHTML and PHP. Previous knowledge of these is expected, and of course of HTML itself. Treat the book as an advanced lesson in how these are integrated into an exceedingly non-trivial application. Plus you can see how MediaWiki can be combined with social bookmarking and Twitter. These can enhance the appeal of your website.

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