Note: overlaps with customizing appearance, HowZwikiSkinsWork, etc.

A Zwiki site's appearance is completely controlled by its "skin". A zwiki's skin is a set of "skin templates" - usually ZopeWiki:PageTemplates but occasionally a DTMLMethod or File - on the filesystem or in the ZODB. You can customize the skin by doing any of the following:

See: HowToCustomizeZwikiStandardSkin and HowToCustomizeZwikiPloneSkin. Also the FAQ and other subtopics below.

Some skin elements may be fine-tuned by setting folder properties, such as 'site_logo' - see QuickReference.

A note about upgrading

Note when you customize one or more skin templates, you create the possibility of extra work when upgrading Zwiki due to version skew. Old skin templates normally keep working through many Zwiki upgrades, but they may not show the latest features or in rare cases may stop working. This is easily fixed by reverting to the built-ins (rename or remove your custom templates), or by updating your templates with reference to the latest in ZWiki/skins/*. This is easier if you have kept track of your changes, eg with a recognizable marker comment.

Built-in skins

Zwiki ships with two built-in skins, one for standalone wikis and one for wikis in CMF/Plone:
  • 'standard' - the standard non-CMF skin (was called 'default' prior to 0.30).

    This has been evolving for several years, with these goals in mind:

    • be a neutral, general-purpose default that's usable out of the box for all users
    • be functional, ergonomic, and as fast as possible.
    • don't distract from the page content
    • don't scare anyone too badly

    Some people find it ugly. It's getting easier to customize all the time and all improvements compatible with the above are of interest. Example: http://zwiki.org .

  • 'zwiki_plone' - this is used when the wiki is inside a CMF or Plone site.

    This skin conforms to the Plone user interface and provides access to most Zwiki functions. It could use some more work though. Example: http://plone.zwiki.org .

Downloadable skins

None at the present time. Other Zwiki skins that we know about, available or otherwise:

  • Hallstein Lohne was offering to share his commonplace-based skin, no longer accessible.
  • DanMcmullen did a METAL refactoring of the standard skin called WikipageX. This has been merged since Zwiki 0.25, except for some layout changes. No longer maintained as a separate skin AFAIK.
  • JordanCarswell made an attractive wiki template (skin + default help pages) called CommonPlace, currently abandonware.
  • JohnGreenaway made some nice early skins, no longer accessible.

How to share a skin

It's easy to make a custom skin and share it with others. There are a lot of current and potential Zwiki users out there who would love to get their hands on some attractive new skins, so don't be shy! We can help you on #zwiki or DevDiscussion?. Note a screenshot or better, a link demonstrating your skin is worth 1000 words. Here are some options.

  1. (simplest) Package your custom templates in a tarball, post a link on this page and let people download and install
  2. (best for new skins) Ideally you should update your skin as Zwiki evolves (see "A note about upgrading"), and users should check for a new version when they upgrade Zwiki. Manual download makes this tedious and unlikely. A good solution is to maintain your skin on the filesystem in a CodeRepos repository, and make it publicly accessible via HTTP. This will make it easy for you to pull the latest Zwiki changes, and easy for everyone to pull your skin changes.
  3. (good for actively maintained skins) Get your skin shipped with Zwiki, in skins/ or as one of the WikiTemplates in content/. This provides greatest maintainability and ease of installation.