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Plugins.KoalaSkin by ColasNahaboo has a couple of features which are worth moving to the twiki core. If you're not interested in how these pieces may or may not be migrated, and just want to use it, see Plugins.KoalaSkin for downloading and install details, and KoalaSkinDev for support and development discussion.


savemulti is an addon script from KoalaSkin which merges the functionality of the stock save and preview cgi scripts. Savemulti has been in use on many systems for a long time, years, with no significant problems reported. Go to SavemultiCgiScript to see what needs to be done to replace the stock SaveCgiScript with savemulti.

savemulti is just like save, with another optional parameter in the URL: action which can take the values (set by the forms in the edit template):

  • Checkpoint save & continue editing
  • QuietSave save but don't trigger email notification
  • Cancel cancel edit, release lock
  • Preview go to preview view.
  • anything else saves and returns to view mode.
Thus, basically this script is just an if/then/else on the value of action, doing in this case slight variations of what is done in save


searchmulti is like search, but with the new URL parameters (set by the KoalaSkin templates):
  • type that can be one of: all group web topicname goto create depending on the kind of operation you want to perform on the search string:
    • all: (simple) search all webs
    • group: search all webs in group of webs
    • web: search only in this web
    • topicname: search for topic name including this string in web
    • goto: same as TWiki standard "Go" field
    • create: create topic and go immediately in edit mode on it
  • web name of the current web
  • group list of all web names in the current group
  • groupleader name of the web leading the current group
So, searchmulti is a big if/then/else on the value of type, issuing different type of call to TWiki functions, notably TWiki::Search::searchWeb

I uploaded the 1.7 version as an official skin on the Plugins web as KoalaSkin. Thus this topic has been moved to KoalaSkinDev Continue the discussions there!

We are using TWiki on our internal R&D web for one year now, and as:

  • the number of webs is beginning to grow (~30)
  • we reach less technical users
  • other wikis are installed to replace tradional web sites
we began investigating if we could create a wiki skin that:
  • would feel like a "traditional" web site
  • with all wiki features
  • geared towards handling lots of webs
  • but keeping as close as possible to the standard TWiki mechanisms
  • and use as little javascript & images as possible, but rely more on CSS and work on all browsers

It is beginning to work. We named it the Koala Skin, and you can see it in action in our toy site http://koala.ilog.fr/wiki/bin/view/Koala/WebHome that will replace our public web site http://koala.ilog.fr . The web is write-protected, except for the Test web, where you can test things out.

You can download and toy with the skin itself if you want at: http://koala.ilog.fr/wiki/bin/view/Plugins/KoalaSkinPlugin There may be minor bugs, but it should work.

Feel free to discuss it here, and to steal as much ideas/code as possible smile

-- ColasNahaboo - 23 Feb 2002

Very nice - reminiscent of PhpWiki, which has quite a clean design I think... I really hope a cleaner sans-serif design like this can be used as the default skin for TWiki - it would make it look a lot better out of the box, and first impressions do make a big difference. I agree with using more CSS - have a look at PikiePikie for an example, they have some nice CSS-based skins up there that can be switched on the fly.

-- RichardDonkin - 23 Feb 2002

Very nice. I moved most of the Actions to the top of the page and used icons instead in DallasSkin (I also show all the webs to the left in a single column). Definitely runs along the same lines though. When are you doing to post it? I'd love to offer it as an alternative skin to our folks internally!

-- DavidWeller - 24 Feb 2002

Actually, we looked at commercial sites we felt were intuitive, and that people should be familliar with (http://amazon.com), and we were inspired by the implementation (CSS, no images) of the http://opera.com site. We are going to install it in 3 sites here next week, and I should post it in 2 to 3 weeks I think.

What I would like to see now is a good handling of the email notification problem. But it is far from simple.

-- ColasNahaboo - 24 Feb 2002

A very good skin! But please note in the readme that the PostfixArgToParentMeta patch is also needed at the moment. Or if someone uses the latest Alpha release, change the word "postfix" to "suffix" in templates/view.koala.tmpl.

You also need a patch for the %RANDURL% variable for the upper Edit link.

-- StefanScherer - 25 Feb 2002

Opps, sorry. I updated the page with the required dependencies: PostfixArgToParentMeta and RefreshEditPage (attached to topic)

-- ColasNahaboo - 25 Feb 2002

I just wanted to compliment your work. I've been investigating TWiki and while being very excited about it, I think it needs to be more usable for average user before it will gain wide exceptance. Developing some good skins designed for usability will go a long ways for that and yours is one of the best examples I've seen so far. Thanks for the excellent work!

-- LynnwoodBrown - 27 Feb 2002

Thanks. If you are not TWiki-savvy, I would suggest to wait for me to polish a bit the install before trying it (I will need to try the skin on a clean install to check the exact list of patches to apply to the engine before trying it).

BTW, I think we geeks need definitely users to check our work from time to time to do reality check. This made me choose the TWiki implementation, because of the open community around it allowing all kind of people to contribute ideas, and the openness of Peter Thoeny and the other core developers to be willing to go this route, which amounts to a lot more management work than the "just hack things in your corner". Kudos to them!

-- ColasNahaboo - 28 Feb 2002

Colas, I think you're on to a great idea here! Organizing the webs using "super webs" is a clever idea, and I've decided to use this web instead of the DallasSkin as our default web.

As you've indicated, there are a few problems. Aside from the ones that have already been mentioned, this is that I'm also seeing...

  • There is a menu reference ("Index") to the topic WebTopicIndex, which doesn't exist in the webs.
    • It is something that appeared in last version of TWiki. the page contains:
      %TOPICLIST{"   * $name"}%
      - Colas
  • There is a variable (%TOPICS%) which also doesn't appear to exist in TWiki
    • Oops. Forgot to say that you must define it (to nothing) in the site preferences (TWiki.TWikiPreferences). Users will override it in each web WebPreferences if needed to add web-specific topics in the left menu. See exemples on our toy site - Colas
  • The major table that renders %TOPIC% renders incorrectly, because it appears the row for "Parents" isn't closed correctly.

These problems may be the results of poor observations on my part, or failure to use the latest code snapshot (I try to keep the company TWiki system as close to the "official" releases as possible, because I don't have much time to fix Perl bugs at work smile )

Hopefully, today's release (maybe?) will clear these issues up.
Well, with time I added quite a few patches to TWiki. I will have to review them all to see which ones are still needed, as a lot were actually patches to the standard templates to get some of the features that are now in KoalaSkin and thus are not needed. Some have been integrated in the current alpha TWiki version but with changes. Expect it rather this week-end - Colas

-- DavidWeller - 28 Feb 2002

This skin is great, and I want to adopt it immediately. But it says it depends on the RefreshEditPage patch, which is supposedly for the 01 Dec 2001 version of TWiki. When I look at the patch, it's mostly changing the "Content-type" headers... but I can't find the corresponding code in my bin scripts. All the "Content-type" stuff seems to be defined in the templates. Is there a discrepancy between the patch and the lastest TWiki, or am I missing something?

As for the email notification, it looks like the problem is that the "sub-web" concept is faked by appearance, but there is no true hierarchy. Is there some way a web indicates its parent web? If so, I'd say notification should be handled as follows:

  • Start with the notification list in the sub-web.
  • Find the parent web, and merge its notification list.
  • Remove duplicates.
  • Now notify each person on the combined list.
This would allow people who are interested in an entire "uber-web" to just add themselves to the parent's notification list. Other folks who don't want everything can add themselves to individual subwebs.

-- JonReid - 28 Feb 2002

For the patches, I am a bit busy this week, I expect to clean things up this week-end

By email notification, there is no problem per se with the skin. I was referring to TWiki in general. What I would like to have is, when you edit and save a page:

  • have the option to be mailed once, as soon as somebody re-edits it
  • say that you want to monitor this page, but not the whole web.
  • if it is locked by somebody else, be mailed as soon as it becomes editable again
I didnt thought about monitoring the sub-webs, but it may be useful and should not to be too hard to patch into the existing mecanism.

For the fake web system, it is there by design. Mots of the problems with hierarchic web is the "multiple inheritance". Are you going to put the web about XML for Java programmers under the web group XML or Java ? In real web sites this means two webs will begin to exists: XML/JAVA and JAVA/XML. Or at our company, will the Doc for JRules web will be under Doc or Under JRules?

With fake webs, the same JAVAXML web can be in both groups.

-- ColasNahaboo - 28 Feb 2002

New version uploaded, in place on our toy site. addition: in edit mode a "preview" button, with a "back" button in the preview mode!. The edit mode is now really great. I do not have time to list the needed patches though.

-- ColasNahaboo - 28 Feb 2002

Is there any way to stop the side bar from rendering for certain pages??? I would like to be able to specify no sidebar on certain topics.

-- JohnCavanaugh - 28 Feb 2002

Thanks for the new version, you have improved the edit/preview pages! I'm used to the edit-preview-save cycle which is back again. I also like the QuietSave button, because I also often forget to check the "don't notify" checkbox.

-- StefanScherer - 01 Mar 2002

New version ( 1.5 ) uploaded to http://koala.ilog.fr/wiki/bin/view/Plugins/KoalaSkinPlugin

-- ColasNahaboo - 04 Mar 2002

The downloadable version does not seem to reflect your latest changes; I had to tweak things to get the ?time=nnnn thing. But it works, I'm excited! ...One request: when you do a BookView search, the colors need adjusting. It's very difficult to read the headers.

-- JonReid - 06 Mar 2002

Oops, sorry for the version mishap. Fixed.

And I fixed the colors for bookview in search (and search results when renaming topic too). Grab the new 1.6 version!

-- ColasNahaboo - 08 Mar 2002

I uploaded the 1.7 version as an official skin on the Plugins web as KoalaSkin. Thus this topic has been moved to KoalaSkinDev Continue the discussions there!

-- ColasNahaboo - 10 Mar 2002

Colas: is any of the above text worth keeping?

-- MattWilkie - 26 Apr 2004

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Topic revision: r26 - 2004-04-26 - MattWilkie
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