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Tech:System Messages

ktip.png This page (and all pages in the Tech: namespace) is a developer discussion about a feature that is either proposed for inclusion in JAMWiki or one that has already been implemented. This page is NOT documentation of JAMWiki functionality - for a list of documentation, see Category:JAMWiki.
Status of this feature: Planned for Tech:JAMWiki 1.2.


Currently JAMWiki has three topics that are used globally to build pages: StyleSheet, LeftMenu, BottomArea. These should be moved to the JAMWiki: namespace. Additionally, use of global topics should be expanded to allow additional customization and flexibility. See the following pages for Mediawiki's implementation:

Proposed changes

  • Move global topics to the JAMWiki: namespace and rename for clarity and consistency with Mediawiki where applicable:
  • Create a new JAMWiki:SiteNotice topic to allow administrators to create an alert that appears at the top of every page. See (mediawiki:Manual:Interface/Sitenotice).
  • Create a new JAMWiki:Custom.css topic that allows administrators to override the StyleSheet / JAMWiki:System.css CSS:
    • The impetus behind this change is that upgrades would only change the StyleSheet / JAMWiki:System.css, so sites would more easily be able to maintain customizations.
    • Both files would be concatenated and rendered as jamwiki.css, the same as what is currently done with the StyleSheet topic.

Other considerations

Some additional notes:

  • It would be nice to allow Javascript to be handled similarly to CSS, which would mean introducing similarly editable topics. These would require special handling so that they were always editable even on wikis with Javascript disabled.
  • A mechanism for customizing site <meta> tags would also be useful, although system topics may not be the way to implement that.
  • Security will be a concern with these system topics - current all system topics are admin-only, but that might need to be made more flexible if there will be a significant number of such topics. Perhaps create a new permission for editing system topics?
  • Caching will need to be considered. Putting any wiki text in a system topic that cannot be cached would obviously be problematic.