It’s December and that means it’s the holiday season! As we prepare for the holidays and spend some quality time with our families, we’d like to share a little present with you — think of it as our way of saying “Thank you for the past year”! But first, let us tell you the story behind it…
It all started with Isarra, ShoutWiki’s designer — though this story predates her ShoutWiki career. In addition to having a university degree in Computer Science, Isarra is a highly skilled individual, as witnessed through several of her creations. And that’s also the very reason why I had offered her a position in ShoutWiki a fair while ago. Before that happened, she designed several graphics for us as a volunteer, as well as several propositions for a new logo and a new skin.
In September 2013, things had changed enough and Isarra was able to join ShoutWiki, which greatly pleased all of us. By that time Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia, or simply put, the Wikipedia parody, had moved hosting. It’d never have been possible without Isarra, who in addition to her role as an Uncyclopedia administrator helped the entire MediaWiki community by creating and enhancing several tools for moving a wiki without direct database access; these tools include the set of command-line scripts for grabbing a wiki’s contents and the MediaWikiAuth extension. I had the opportunity to help Isarra with the development work, which would eventually benefit not just the Uncyclopedia community, but ShoutWiki and the MediaWiki community at large, too.
Now that you know who the creator is, it’s time to meet the creation: the Aurora skin for MediaWiki! This skin was designed by Isarra exclusively for ShoutWiki and as such, it won’t be available anywhere else. We’ve been working on the skin for quite a while — after all, the initial mockup was written well before Isarra joined ShoutWiki staff, but it wasn’t until 8 December 2013 that we had an almost-ready, feature-complete skin up and running.
As Isarra herself described the Aurora skin, “It has attained this level of threatening usually restricted to things out of myth and legend” — and legendary is just the word that I’d use to describe it. Why? Unlike any other MediaWiki skin, the Aurora skin…
- …is exclusive to ShoutWiki
- …supports multiple social networking sites “out-of-the-box”
- …features two sidebars
- …has a built-in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) clock
At this point, we want to emphasize two things: the Aurora skin will become the default skin on ShoutWiki Hub, but as always, you will have the ability to choose what skin you want to use. We at ShoutWiki believe in choices and options, not in restrictions, gates and walled gardens.
Right now Aurora is not available for previewing, but we expect to launch it very soon. Stay tuned!
On behalf of the staff team,
Head of the Customer Support Team