I have heard a few comments about skin creation being difficult. What are the major issues with that? Documentation? Flexibility? Maintenance?
Topic on Talk:Third-party MediaWiki users discussion
For me it's in general very hard to find out which CSS files are loaded, even for the default skin. So, a better structure and documentation would be nice. It's also hard to maintain a skin over different MediaWiki versions. So, if a skin becomes incompatible by a new MediaWiki version, admins do not update MediaWiki any more to keep their skin, which is bad.
But I totally agree with Ralfk. MediaWiki evolves quickly and it's hard to keep up with the changes. They recently started to split the main CSS files into smaller ones (i.e. diff.css) and moved them to dedicated ResourceLoader modules which is good because it improves the sharing of styles between skins.
In my opinion there is still a lot of programming logic in the skin.
So the main issues with skins are confusing structure(and documentation about it) and not enough isolation of skins form the code, which makes it easy for them to become incompatible?
Is there some best practices with skins that would ensure ( or at least make very likely) the compatibility of a skin with future releases ( after ResourceLoader, let's say)? Or is it that rather impossible to achieve?
What can be done to ease these issues? How is it done in other projects like Joomla or Drupal, where User:Katkov_Yury said skins are handled much better?
Skinning is very important. But many wiki maintainer in companies are still interested that their wiki looks similar to Wikipedia. But this is now changing. The most most important discussion for me are the requirements for the different types of skins? Which features have to be included? Which information has to be displayed and for whom? There is for instance a difference in enterprise wikis and public wikis. The first need information about quality and status of an article on top the second are asking for social media integration and features like central notice. Maybe we can share our experiences here?
BTW: We published a few remarks about skinning here to spread the idea :-)