Traditionally, more skins has created more headaches, but maybe it's
time to rethink this infrastructure  and encourage a more abundant
selection of skins on our wikis. From my perspective the lack of
competition in the Wikipedia skin world is preventing innovation. FWIW
I'd love to have a go at making a new skin based on Winter's ideas in
my spare time with a fixed header, but given that I have no confidence
it will ever get on the cluster I have no motivation to do this. Where
is Apex deployed for example ? Why can't I try this out on
Wikipedia and see if I prefer the experience?
I've heard complaints from some skin writers, that the lack of
stability in MediaWiki's skin system is a major annoyance for them. I
don't know how representative that view is, but redesigning the skin
system every 6 months is probably not a great way to get more skins
The closest thing I see to MediaWiki are Wikia wiki's and Wordpress
and both of those seem to have a much more active and healthy skin
ecosystem. Is this something we want to recreate or are we saying that
Vector is the only skin MediaWiki will ever need? If that's the case,
Last I checked, Wikia was running MediaWiki, and their code was open
source (albeit, with weird dependencies).
Its unsurprising that wordpress is beating us in skin diversity, given
the use case and how the install base of wordpress is distributed.
Our skin ecosystem could probably be better, but I'm unconvinced by
this comparison. I don't think its as horrible as you make it out
though. I've seen plenty of wikis use skins that are not
Choice is an important aspect of any open source
As a general statement, that's debatable. There's plenty of open
source projects that specifically try to reduce choice in order to be
minimal, or meet other requirements. As far as MediaWiki, goes I'd
agree that skin choice is an important goal. Its not entirely clear
that that is an important goal for Wikimedia though.