Don’t Panic! I Haven’t Given Up on The Take! Or Anything

In fact, I broke my entire website trying to improve the experience of it.

You may recall that I installed MediaWiki software a million years ago so that when the time came to look stuff up on The Take! Wiki, you wouldn’t have to deal with Wikia’s bullshit. All fine and well, but then I decided that I wanted you to also have the option of choosing between a predominately dark theme and a light one. I felt it was important for you to have that option in an area of the site that would involve so much reading.

But changing the colors on a wiki is not as simple as merely editing the CSS. MediaWikis use “skins”, which include a lot of other stuff in the mix and they are hard to build. While I don’t consider myself a web developer per se, I think I am a pretty talented script kiddie, but this shit was complex, yo. One of those thing where you correct all the references and it still doesn’t work.

From here, the only option I had at this point was to write up my stylesheets and post instructions on how to edit the skin’s CSS for yourself by pasting one or the other into the editor. However, I think that’s asking a lot for many users who aren’t comfortable with that kind of thing.

But then I found an extension that basically did what I wanted: let me make different stylesheets based on the same skin and then display them as options in the Preferences where each user can easily try those themes out before committing.

Unfortunately, I had to update the wiki software to be compatible with the extension and that’s where the trouble began.

The process was described as being easy enough. Just dump the update files on top of the old stuff in in my FTP program and it would work. That ain’t what happened though. What happened is it started redirecting any link in the wiki to the site’s homepage.

Honestly, I don’t even know what I did to fix this. I think it has something to do with .htaccess files and conflicts between those for the wiki and those for this WordPress blog. But basically, I fought with this shit for week, consulted with both MediaWiki’s support and my webhost; neither could find the answer. Somehow I got it back up this weekend.

Unfortunately, I had to remove all my content from my site to get the access permissions to right themselves.

I honestly think it’s nice to have a fresh start. I have backups of that content, but I’m just gonna resume clean from here and repost the best of that stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *