Can we advance the DokuWiki template ecosystem by showing how to convert an existing template to DokuWiki? You can help us to find out.

Hello <<First Name>>,

We have an issue with templates (aka skins, aka themes) at DokuWiki. Or maybe we don't.
The issue is that we don't have many maintained templates at all and hardly any modern ones. But maybe that's not an issue if that's the case because everyone is so very happy with the new (2012) default template?

Some statistics

Over 76% of DokuWiki installations use the default "dokuwiki" template. The second most popular template is the Vector template although it's only used by 2.5%.

When I asked forum members if they would be interested in crowdfunding the updates of some of the better templates, the participation was very sparse. Only three users voted in the course of 1 month.

The last template survey from August 2014 showed that only about 30% of all templates on are "real" and "serious" templates, i.e. templates which were at least updated once during the last 2 years, are actually downloadable and are not just slightly modified versions of another template.

No supply or no demand?

Maybe there is no need for any other template than the default?

I can easily believe that people prefer the standard template in many cases, especially if the wiki is used as a knowledge base or intranet. Although it's still beautiful enough to work for a blog or a CMS, the fact that it will look the same everywhere and that it won't be unique will surely be a reason why people would want to use other templates?
At least I've read some voices on the internet complaining about the lack of good DokuWiki templates.

I know there is not much of a supply. But is that also the reason for the low demand? Or do people simply not need any other template?
I would like to create a really nice and modern template. We'll see if that changes the use and/or demand.

Converting an existing template

Because the DokuWiki community doesn't include any designers (as far as I know), the best option to create a new modern template is by using a template which already exists but for a different CMS. And as that parent template needs to be GPL2-compatible, the only good source will be WordPress templates. The other good thing about WordPress is that there are thousands of themes to choose from.

I plan to convert an existing free template to a DokuWiki template during our Hackfest in Paris.
I could write a tutorial about the process while I am doing it, hoping to benefit aspiring template authors.

Help me choose a template

But I don't want to choose any old template. I would like to know what type of template people are looking for, specifically for non-wiki type usage. This is a great opportunity for non-developers to get involved.

Here is how you can help me choose a template: You can suggest any GPL2-compatible template (WordPress or other) on this Trello board and discuss them. On 22 March voting will be enabled and you can vote for your favourite template. A code quality check of a couple of winners will follow to make sure no unreasonable issues are introduced. In the end there will be a final vote in the forum between the three most popular templates which passed the quality check.

Hopefully this will help us advance the DokuWiki template ecosystem. It's about time.

Anika Henke
(DokuWiki UI lead)

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