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FS#2562 - New Dokuwiki default template, fixed width (?) too narrow

Attached to Project: DokuWiki
Opened by Chris Green (chrisisbd) - Friday, 13 July 2012, 16:51 GMT
Last edited by Guy Brand (bug) - Thursday, 01 August 2013, 09:03 GMT
Task Type Bug Report
Category CSS, XHTML, JS, Browsers → Template
Status Closed
Assigned To No-one
Operating System All
Severity Medium
Priority Normal
Reported Version none
Due in Version Undecided
Due Date Undecided
Percent Complete 100%
Votes 0
Private No


I was just looking at the plugins section of the documentation and the new default template makes it look really odd because it's so narrow.

My screen is 1920x1200 but I don't run my browser full screen and I have a bookmarks sidebar so the window that Dokuwiki gets to use is
around 1000 pixels wide I guess (maybe a little more) but the new template appears to use only about half of that wasting a lot of screen
space and making the information down the middle in a very narrow column.

Can we not go back to a floating layout?
This task depends upon

Closed by  Guy Brand (bug)
Thursday, 01 August 2013, 09:03 GMT
Reason for closing:  Won't fix
Comment by Anika Henke (ach) - Friday, 13 July 2012, 17:25 GMT
I personally feel the design is *too wide* now. At least if we followed certain readability guidelines, it is. See or

You have to keep in mind that most of the content of has been added while a full-width template was used. That doesn't mean it doesn't fit in general, but some of it would have been added in a different way if the template had a width in the first place.
The only things which really don't work well with a restricted width are big tables (see FS#2467) and the media manager.

If you need a wider width or a full-width design for your personal wiki, that's very easy to do with the new default template. Just change "__site_width__" in style.ini to either a higher number or to "100%".
Comment by Anika Henke (ach) - Friday, 13 July 2012, 17:30 GMT
Hmm, you wrote your browser window is about 1000px wide and the template uses half of that? That can't be right. With default browser settings the content of the template is 970px wide.
Comment by Chris Green (chrisisbd) - Friday, 13 July 2012, 20:20 GMT
Reply to your first comment:-
It's possibly too wide if you consider the whole width of the template but in practice on the plugin documentation there is so much width taken up by columns on the left and the right that there's very little left for the 'body' text in the middle. I can obviously change the width on my wiki but this won't affect what I see when I go to look at the Dokuwiki documentation (or at least not most of it).

... and to the second:-
Yes, the *whole* DokoWiki template may be 970px wide but the text in the middle is nothing like that much. The "line-length-readability" URL you refer to is for the line length of a block of text which is not what we're looking at here. The text in the middle of the page is *much* less than the whole width of the page.

Comment by Anika Henke (ach) - Friday, 13 July 2012, 22:50 GMT
Well, as you usually have only one template, you can only give the body text a width which fits in most cases, but never in all cases. Yes, for the plugin page the text is too narrow, but for the other 95% of it is not. And as we cannot give different widths (or designs) per page, this problem is literally unsolvable.
It only makes sense to adjust the width of the text so that it is readable for the majority of the pages and not the edge cases. I think we should rather re-design the plugin page to fit better into the new template, then change the template to fit this specific edge case.
Comment by Chris Green (chrisisbd) - Saturday, 14 July 2012, 09:30 GMT
Yes, OK, redesigning the plugins page might be the best approach.

I think it's a pity we're moving to a fixed width layout though. Surely it should be up to the user to decide how wide they want their screen to be.
Comment by Peter (usrlocal) - Thursday, 26 July 2012, 21:59 GMT
I very much support the orginal posts plea.

I know about readabilty guidelines, but I trust my own feelings more then some guidelines. Using fixed width normaly means to waste space to the right and to the left.

By definition, web pages _do_ look different for each user - this is the internet, not a printed document. These common fixed-width narrow print-copy-alike web pages nowadays give me pain (not only for the flashing ads to the left and to the right ;-) ). Especially restricting the header and footer width to the text block dimensions make it look like being designed by people from the printing business. In case the lines are to long for somebodys ease - the browser window can be narrowed and a well designed page (the new dw template seems to be very, very good on this) will fit into it, making the lines shorter. This is the freedom of choice. Forcing a fixed or maximum width is not.

Most monitors and laptop screens provide more space in width then in height, the new template puts too much information off the screen on my small netbooks screen.

It's good news, that the width parameter can easily be changed for my own Dokuwiki installations (I already did this for other templates with success). But with the hardcoded maximum width being the default, most sites using the dokuwiki default templates I regular visit will turn into narrow-text space-wasing sites in the near future.

Unfortunately I do not expect changes in the next releases default template - however I needed to express my thoughts on this matter as I am little bit disappointed about the road my favourite documentation tool takes here.

Comment by Anika Henke (ach) - Sunday, 07 October 2012, 11:15 GMT
I just created a userstyle for all those who wish to see in a full width:
Comment by Eli Fenton (zioth) - Tuesday, 13 November 2012, 17:55 GMT
I'd like to throw in my vote too, to return to 100% width as the default. As was said above, laptops are much wider than they are tall. This means a ton of space is wasted. As screen resolutions increase, which is happening quite rapidly at the moment, DokuWiki will look worse and worse.