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jordan (120)

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Journal of jordan (120)

Monday September 15, 2003
09:42 AM

Wiki recommendations, anyone?

[ #14716 ]

We've been using elog at work for a knowledgebase. It's not really working out very well.

I think it's too much like a ticketing system. People are intimidated by it and don't want to enter information until they have it in a good format for an ENTRY. It's the wrong psychology, but it's hard to overcome. Even I feel that way.

I'm thinking a Wiki might be a better format. I'm exploring options. I want something pretty powerful as there will be a lot of people using it at two geographically disparate locations. I'd like lots of flexibility and features to cover all the kinds of data we might want to put out there.

I'm attracted to TWiki. Does anyone want to scare me away? Is the setup and maintenance here a big deal? Should I instead focus on something simpler and move up to TWiki when I hit limitations?

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  • I looked at the Twiki code recently, and it's really scary. So scary I wouldn't even consider installing it.
    • Nah. The install isn't a problem. It helps, however, to know how CGI work and the issues around the webserver owner and file permissions. The code may be scary, but it's been in use for a long time.
      • My point wasn't that I thought the install would fail, but rather that the code was so disturbing that I would not be _willing_ to install it.
      • I think I understand how CGI work and have a good handle webserver owner/file permission issues.

        The code might be ugly, I don't know, but I hear that is pretty frightening too, but I use it a lot.

        The fact that there's a huge user base, it's mature and actively developed mean a lot to me.

        Can anyone comment on how difficult it is to setup and maintain?

        • Setup is fairly simple -- IIRC you just need to unpack the files into a directory, chown them if necessary, and point Apache to them. If you want HTTP auth then there's a file to edit in the /cgi-bin/twiki/ directory. Maintenance (in the programming sense) is basically zero. Taking care of content is far more time consuming.

          Modifying the look of it is somewhat of a pain. It doesn't use a modern templating system, which is more an indiciation of its age than anything else. It does have a facility called 'S

            • One nice thing about TWiki is the number of plugins. They're very easy to create as well: big plus.

            I would love to be able to integrate this knowledge-base/Wiki with the application we support for examples and tutorials. Plug-ins might be a big win.

            I'll try it out!

  • After a real quicky survey of existing modules I settled for CGI::Wiki to build a documentation wiki with. Its modular approach made it easy for me to customize it, integrating with the rest of the app's TT templates, adding diffs with Text:Diff. I found it easy to understand CGI::Wiki's source code.
  • Only lately has our Wiki (Twiki) started to take off. For a while I was on the only one creating pages, but then slowly, a couple of people started and once I forced (instead of asked) my sys admins to use it, we're now rockin'. I'm finding that people find the Wiki syntax intimidating, just because it is different, even though it is simple. Also, some people aren't comfortable with the philosophy of a continuously modified document -- they want to do once, completely, and be done with it . So asking th

  • I recommend (and have recommended []) CGI::Kwiki [].