This is a skin test to see how different skins installed in Portland Wiki appear. The goal is to find a way of creating a portland wiki skin that DOESN'T look like Wikipedia. There are a couple of ideas on how to go about doing this.
- DBE (Done by Expert) - the most popular way to do things in the past decade. Find the person good at doing this, give a bit of creative direction and let them rock out. That works pretty well, except it relies heavily on the notion that you can find and expert in media wiki skins. Mark D. noted there was someone he knew, but getting an expert to do it (out of the kindness of his/her heart seemed like a stretch (especially because mediawiki skins are preposterously difficult))
- Edit Vector (default skin) what wikipedia uses as its default. Sure, it looks relatively simple on screen, but look at the code behind it and it is super crazy complex. Crazy as html, it took me a couple of weeks picking the html that gets outputted, just to understand how and why. I almost got it, but then I looked at the .php, which is the file that produces the html, and I was way out of my league. I went back to the wiki peeps and complained about the skin being impossible to edit and my current IQ level. As always the group is sympathetic of my plight, at the same time stoic about a solution.
- Hack a simpler skin - so that's what I'm out for doing now. Vector is an absurdity, no way I can hack that monster, but perhaps there are simpler skins out there, I can tweak. I just can't help to think that there is a simple way through this. I mean, technology tends to get overly complicated when it's fostered and curated by hackers. There however a wide variety of hackers. Some hackers want to make as complicated and inhumane as possible, and the more confusing and unusable to non-techies it is, the better the brag rights. There however benevolent hackers. Ones who strive for a Promethean outcome. They stand between heaven and earth and have the wherewith all and kindness to help triage alien code into a terrestrial purpose. In this way, the various skins that are allowed to be alternates in the standard default install, may be what I need to produce a new skin.