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Raised after a discussion with Michael Daum.

I had enabled Natskin Plugin to see how Natskin looked and left the plugin active.

I noticed that tabled viewed in Pattern skin did not display correctly.

When you first load a page the table is correct. When you refresh the display turns all white. Header and every 2nd line is no longer having any background colour.

You may ask why would you enable Natskin plugin and view with Pattern.

But it is a feature that users can choose their skin in their user topic in main. And then you can have one bloke using Pattern and another using Nat.

I will not use Natskin myself - but I promissed Michael to raise the bug.

And it may also be a problem others run into and instead of blaming Table plugin it is good to know what is causing the problem.

I found the connection by doing a binary disable/enable of the plugins because I saw the problem was not present on a couple of other Dakars with a difference plugin pack.


The forensic analysis of the NatSkin's relationship to the TablePlugin is outlined not quite accurate. Tables do display correctly. Only the colors are those that are tricked into the session preferences by the NatSkinPlugin according to its current skin state. The NatSkinPlugin will add a look for twikiTables that matches the current NatSkinStyle: see TWiki:Plugins.NatSkinPlugin#Style_support_for_the_TablePlugi for a complete list of colors that are used with the appropriate styles.

Sneaking in TABLEATTRIBUTES by setting them on the session level is a bad hack. But as complete css control of twikiTables was not accepted in July this year I had to do something to meet my goals fast as I got tired of all the talk-talk.

There are two possible solutions to ease the pain using NatSkin and PatternSkin on the same site not disturbing each other:

  1. hack the hack: only add session preferences for the TablePlugin if the current skin is actually the NatSkin; if the user switches back to the PatternSkin the session preferences have to be cleared automatically
  2. fix the TablePlugin: there's been a patch to the TablePlugin that added the css classes needed to make the TABLEATTRIBUTES hack obsolete. This needs to be redone for the current svn version as the TablePlugin moved on w/o incorporating this patch.

There are more css related proposals and patches by RobertWohlfarth (see TWiki:Plugins.TablePluginDev) that sound interesting but are not relevant for skinning. There's even a completely new table plugin by BramVanOosterhout (see TWiki:Plugins.BoundedTablePlugin) that adds a new table syntax to TWiki based on MediaWiki's syntax with css control out of the box.

(1) is the fast solution that only needs changes to the NatSkinPlugin. This will fix this bug. But (2) needs a new patch and then it being accepted by the current maintainer(s) of the TablePlugin, TWiki:Main/JohnTalintyre and TWiki:Main/PeterThoeny.

Anyway, the current TablePlugin on TWiki.org is not in sync with its svn counterpart. I am not sure if the svn version runs on cairo and the TWiki.org version runs on dakar. So there's a more fundamental problem also, which is not restricted to the TablePlugin alone.


Fixed in SVN 7780.


Summary NatSkinPlugin overwrites colors settings of twikiTables
ReportedBy KennethLavrsen

SVN Range Sun, 04 Dec 2005 build 7760
AppliesTo Extension
Component NatSkinPlugin
Priority Low
CurrentState Closed

Checkins 7780
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Topic revision: r5 - 2005-12-06 - MichaelDaum
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