Some time ago I proposed a relaunch of the web site design and was allowed / pleased to launch a voting:

We have 76% voting for a relaunch. This is a bigger majority than I have ever seen in any elections in Europe.

A proposal now was / is: Switch the template to either

  • bootstrap3 (old template)
  • bootie (first sample posted on Aug 5)

and see if the general website "functionality" is still given.

Please note: It is not about winning a design contest of being stylish. It is just about avoiding people to be scared of the website (and the content) when gathering the first impressions during the first visits.


Instead of hastily switching to an already existing template, I'd prefer a more structured methodology.

I havn't seen any concrete answers to jow's statement:

but need a few specific pointers of what a "modern look and feel" would entail.

There were already some proposals regarding a modernized logo, but nobody pushed this further.

You could start the discussion again by summarizing the past discussions, listing criticism of the old/current template, and listing poposals how to improve each critisized point.

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I would not call it "hastily". Rather call it "easily" - or, if you need the nature of speed in it, you can call it "quickly".
Maybe I am wrong, but there is no-one doing a feasibility study or a requirements analysis or a blueprint or a design thinking workshop for it. If this is the hurdle to take, we can close / delete the topic.
Concrete answers, proposals with specific pointers and summaries will lead to discussions and debates. Lots of people will spend time on writing and reading without any outcome.
Politicians do long lasting debates without any outcome.

The easiest solution is to go with bootstrap3 as that is the most recent/popular dokuwiki theme available. A snapshot exists of the demowiki

Later on if newer or better themes become available they could be considered.


I still don't understand what makes this theme less "scary" than the current front page? What exactly is it that scares people?

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i actually voted not to change but if they want to change i don't mind bootstrap3

Do you have a link?

Sorry, I meant the the screenshot shown.
It was posted in the other thread by @jow

I like to summarise what the result of this thread was so far - who participated:

thomas - leader: Prefers discussions, pros and cons, more evaluation
mbo2o: voted for the old design
jow - SysAdmin: new theme is not "less scary" than the old / current one

At least two of you seem to be "decision makers" and I do not expect any progress in the direction of a new design when I read the statements above.

But you cannot deny and ignore the poll with 75% voting for a change.
I don't know how the procedures in decision making are in this community, and how democratic it is. But it would be bad for possible polls in the future if this one is getting ignored.

Sorry, that seems based on a misunderstanding of both how democracy works and how openwrt is governed... With just 53 self selected voters that poll is hardly representative... and even if it would be see for how openwrt resolves such issues.
I would humbly say, both @jow and @tmomas actually chimed in with constructive proposals how to get more wind behind your quest, so why not follow up on those questions and proposals instead?

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I don't think that this poll is being ignored. It confirms what we know since at least 2 years: Quite a number of people would like to refresh the styling of the wiki.

My experience from the past 2 years: As soon as it comes to the point where good and bad things of the current design should be listed, and proposals for improvements too, activities come to a halt. Same in this case: Still no answer to

but need a few specific pointers of what a "modern look and feel" would entail.

How can we satisfy the users wishes without knowing what exactly the users want?

I am happy to support, and jow certainly too, but please give us some input we can act upon.


The poll was running for a long time though, I think you won't get more or a better representative result.
The proposal is shown below/above. The alternative is to wait for volunteers working on a complete and beautiful redesign or let us say "wait for a wonder" and keep the green mossy looking site as it is.

Anyways, I bet one Netgear R7800 that the poll result will be "inverted" when the page looks like this (and you offer the current, old style):

I am going to talk about Modern Design.
For me, it's not all about the looks, it's about making the site more accessible. For example, I saw some websites used for documentation with a "night mode".

What I am saying is, modernization is not solely about how good your site looks, it should also be about how the site is functioning.

So probably, all the people who voted for a change have something they think, can make the site more functional.
Some questions I would ask myself if I was making a similar website,
It's a documentation site, is there a content heirarchy? Is it understandable? Is the content upto date? Can we improve it somehow? Are we delivering the content in the best way possible?
It's all about a checklist on which the site needs to perform well. When that is done, then for looks, it's just a little bit of CSS and JavaScript and voila!

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I don't mean to be rude, but this is still all meta talk. What exactly is it that is not content related which makes the site scary? And more importantly, how will a theme switch make it not scary?

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I am trying to be as neutral as I can (not saying that the current theme scary). :sweat_smile:
From design point of view, since we try to find an order/pattern/symmetry/similarity in everything we see (i guess that's just how brain works), web designers try to use everything in their arsenal (fonts, color schemes and animations) accordingly.
It doesn't make the site more functional, but it kinda makes everything easy on the eyes.

nice one @mundane140
At the end of the day, it is a psychological thing.

Personally - for me, the site always made the impression that it is obsolete (actually still does in some areas), that no-one is working on it and no updates were done since 1998.
Other IT guys sitting next to me, experienced developers, techies, not web designers, asked me what this is about (when I showed openwrt to them) and they simply turned away with a comment like "this is / was something for weird hard / software bigots > 50 years old".

And it is true, somehow, the design / the site makes people feel like there is someone propagating to develop all apps in assembler.

I really needed learn that OpenWrt is still up to date, still modern and more secure than the firmwares from the devices vendors.
If the site does not look like in the 90's, the acceptance will dramatically increase.

Regarding understanding: There are (very) lots of things that I don't understand. Like someone can download binaries build from people I (they) don't know, stored on servers I don't own. But if a majority or a real high number of people are interested in something, I consider that it is not only crap.

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Any chance you can convince your designer friends to volunteer some time at least come up with a better theme than bootstrap3 to try out.

The structure can be worked on separately.

I agree with @jow the sysadmins task will be easier if we make concrete suggestions, they can't read our minds.


I think "scary" is just a way of saying it looks old and crufty. It looks kinda like some old aeronautical company that sells bolts and wheels or an old government project. The impression you get is that it's either old and unmaintained or it's meant for academics and software engineers, even though we all know that's not correct.

The LEDE wiki looked fine, but I believe using that look was vetoed, right?

Either way, the more you deviate from the built-in or popular DokuWiki templates, the more ongoing work needed to keep those changes up to date as DokuWiki updates.

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