My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

I switched the Wiki theme as well

Last week I told you about the change of theme which I applied to my personal blog. It seems that I was not done then.
On a different server I host the SlackDocs Wiki ( and a lot more than that Wiki actually; is the same host which also provides you with the mirrors. This host is a physical server running in a datacenter on Slackware64 15.0 – nice and stable.

For an unrelated service I decided to upgrade the stock PHP 7.x to the 8.x version you can find in the ./extra directory because that is a version which offered better support and speed for that particular service.
Only the next day I found out that the PHP upgrade broke the Dokuwiki software which is what SlackDocs Wiki is actually based on. I could not use the Wiki’s admin interface to repair what got broken (afterwards I assumed I may have been thwarted by old cached PHP code; Dokuwiki obtains its rendering speed by caching the compiled PHP code so that it does not have to retrieve the script code all the time). Anyway, on the commandline I was able to upgrade the Dokuwiki to its latest version and along with that, all the plugins that I installed to extend the Wiki syntax or providing community editing capabilities.

So far so good, but the Wiki was still not rendering correctly with persistent errors in the browser and in the Apache httpd logs. They turned out to be caused by the Wiki theme (in Dokuwiki it is actually called a ‘template‘ not a ‘theme‘ like the blog). For SlackDocs I have been using the “MonoBook” template since its inception. The MonoBook template for Dokuwiki is inspired by the look and feel of the original MonoBookskin‘ for MediaWiki (the wiki engine powering Wikipedia) which was replaced by the Vector skin in 2010.
This MonoBook template has not been updated since 2014 and is no longer supported by the latest Dokuwiki. Eventually I was able to fix the ‘bad code’ in the template and now the Wiki renders just fine using it.
But it got me thinking that it might be wise to switch to a supported theme. That sounds trivial, but I chose MonoBook for a reason: it supports Discussion pages. When you open a SlackDocs page, you will find a couple of tabs above the article, called “Article“, Discussion“, “Read“, “Edit“, “Old revisions” and “PDF export“. The Discussion tab allows anyone to comment on the actual article and thus hopefully spark a discussion – with the author or with other readers.
So I needed another template with that same Discussion capability. That was not so hard in the end; the same person responsible for the MonoBook template is also maintaining a Dokuwiki port of Mediawiki’s Vector skin. And even though it has not been updated either since 2014, Vector is fully supported by the latest Dokuwiki – no errors in its code.

I have ported the SlackDocs configuration for MonoBook to Vector and enabled it. The result can be seen on the current instance of SlackDocs Wiki. Most notable  change is that the search entry field is now located at the top right of the page instead of halfway the left sidebar. Well, and it looks subtly different than MonoBook of course.

I hope you like it… but it’s not that I would go back to MonoBook if you don’t.

Enjoy! Eric



  1. Didier Spaier

    Very good job as always, thanks Eric!

  2. Owen Greaves

    Hey Eric,

    On the surface it looks the same, I’m certain moving to PHP 8.x will be a performance boost. As always, I appreciate the work you do, and you’ve been a great help to my lack of know how, plus….you’re an amazing resource for me to learn from, even after starting with Slackware when it first came out : ) I’m still learning.

    Blessings, Owen

  3. Anon

    The xhtml validator button at the bottom does not work.

    It points to an http link from an https page, which breaks it.

    • alienbob

      Thanks, I have fixed the Vector template. Now it shows a variety of XHTML violations but if you want those fixed you’ll have to submit bug reports to the various plugin authors 🙂

  4. chrisretusn

    Looks good, even though is similar to the old look, this one looks better.

  5. Francisco

    Hi Eric.

    I did not notice changes at first. Thanks for keeping SlakDocs Wiki alive. For me it is an slackware important learning tool.

    I am not a savvy Slackware user, in my learning curve as a new Slackware user I would like to share some of my experience on specific topics useful for new comers. Is it possible to do it in the wiki. Are there any specific rules about content to be published?.

    Thanks in advance for clarifying.


    • alienbob

      Hi Francisco,

      The SlackDocs Wiki is meant to be a community-driven knowledge base. If you learnt something and you think it might be valuable to others, for sure that is good information to put in a Wiki page.
      You can use any place inside the “howtos” namespace, i.e. start here:
      On that page you see several main sub-categories, if you feel that your topic belongs to one of them, click through to that sub-category and create your new page there. Every of those sub-category pages has that “Add page” button you see on the main Howtos page.
      Good luck!

      • Francisco

        Thanks Eric for your kind invitation.

        I think an account is necessary to publish content. But requesting for an account I got: “Action disabled: register”.

        Could you please check? Thanks Francisco.

        • alienbob

          The Wiki frontpage states “Please send me (Eric Hameleers) an email to my address with your request for a Wiki account. I need a valid email address from you, as well as your preference for a user-id. Also you must state what your intentions are for this account.” Please do so 🙂

  6. iagree

    I want less JavaScript, less CSS & web site should work in Internet explorer 6.

    • alienbob

      I want world peace, but that isn’t going to happen either 😉

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