I think someone (Sumana?) asked us to post here with the stuff we did so people could follow-up, etc., so I'm kicking it off with this thread.
As I mentioned in the 30 second intro, I am interested in investigating ways to get the skin system in the path towards becoming a saner and more easily understandable component of mediawiki. I teamed with Felipe Schenone and Michael Rubio and we collected what we hope to be the full set of documentation resources related to skins into a shared google doc. I proceeded to read up the pages and write summaries so the relevant ones can be then used to write a hopefully complete, coherent and readable description of the skinning system to be placed here on mw.org; this is still a work in progress, but the document is freely editable, so any comments, corrections or additions are welcome.
Felipe preferred a more hands-on approach, and worked on the changes that were eventually submitted to Gerrit, proposing a way to make the core skins more modular. That sparked an interesting discussion, and at the moment it seems what is needed is some general agreement within the dev community on what the goal for skins should be (e.g. making them into extensions?) so that steps to get to that could be taken towards that, with discussion focusing more on implementation details than on the merits of the changes' rationales. I will probably start a thread on the mediawiki-l to discuss this after I finish reading the documentation we collected.
Apart from that, I mostly did small changes, which I submitted to gerrit:
- Rename $usableSkins to $allowedSkins (already merged)
- skin: Remove the id "anonlogin" and merge pt-anonlogin with pt-login
- Rename Skin::getUsableSkins() to Skin::getAllowedSkins()
- Rename variable _AdminPassword2 to _AdminPasswordConfirm for clarity
- Several tweaks to the install.php script
Finally, I did some edits to mediawiki.org as I browsed around reading about the stuff I worked on.