How do I get my mediawiki wiki to look unique?
November 7, 2005 5:28 AM   Subscribe

I've a mediawiki wiki set up locally and I'd like to have the wiki pages display a custom header/footer--basically I'd like to include it into a pre-existing template. I'm not finding too much information on the meta site, and am actually looking for a good site or article(s) penned for mediawiki customizor novices in mind that would pretty much push me in a good direction to go. Also, can anyone point me to any mediawiki-enabled Web sites that are highly customized layout? Every mediawiki site I've come across looks pretty much the same layout with the only real diffence being in colors.
posted by missed to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
I'd point you at the internal MediaWiki-based wiki I set up for my group at work, but.. well.. I'm sure you know exactly why I can't.

You'll want to look in the skins subdirectory if you want to start hacking the HTML. The default skin is called "MonoBook", and uses the obviously named files and subdirectories. But you might be better off sticking to CSS changes ("MediaWiki:Monobook.css") and configurable messages ("Special:Allmessages"), since they're tracked and diffable and revertable and so forth.
posted by Plutor at 5:37 AM on November 7, 2005

Check out the meta mediawiki page on skins. It's a bit dated, but it'll help you get started.
The simple approach is to copy Monobook.php and the related .css file to, say, Missed.php and missed.css. You'll see Missed show up in your skin options now. Then start tinkering with the CSS. Chances are, you can do whatever you need here.
Depending on your PHP skills, you can alter Monobook's methods to change what gets emitted -- change the sidebar into a a dropdown list, for example. If you need to make changes that relate to user groups ("Only sysops should ever see a certain link" for instance), you'd do it here. Check includes/Skin.php for all of the various methods you can override in your skin.
If you want to use a particular skin as a default, change $wgDefaultSkin in your LocalSettings.php.
posted by boo_radley at 6:28 AM on November 7, 2005

The Community Breast Health Project uses a customized mediawiki skin. I started with a copy of monobook. I would also recommend starting with at least version 1.5.2 of mediawiki; the menu handling is much better.
posted by Loser at 8:53 AM on November 7, 2005

Free software advocates and projects seem to love MediaWiki. Here are some examples of extensively customized MediaWiki installations: The Banshee Music Player, The Tango Desktop Project, The Hula Project, and the Imendio Developer Pages.
posted by SemiSophos at 11:41 AM on November 7, 2005

Oh, and openSUSE, iFolder, and Mono.
posted by SemiSophos at 11:45 AM on November 7, 2005

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