[LINK] RFI: Public Wiki Servers?

Antony Barry tony at tony-barry.emu.id.au
Thu Dec 21 20:46:57 AEDT 2006


On 21/12/2006, at 4:58 PM, Roger Clarke wrote:

> Any further leads or constructive observations much appreciated!

Since I posted my request about wiki standardisation a month or so  
ago I've decided to use PmWiki <http://www.pmwiki.org/> which is  
written in php.  I'm converting much of my little web site <http:// 
tony-barry.emu.id.au/> to it, other than those things for which I use  
special software such as GEDitCom for my family history stuff <http:// 

It's open source (GPL), has an active development community <http:// 
www.pmwiki.org/wiki/PmWiki/MailingLists> and seems to be able to do  
much of, if not all, of what you want.

As well as farms you can do something simpler and set up "groups"  
which have their own appearance set by "skins" <http://www.pmwiki.org/ 

  It has password restrictions of multiple types which I think can be  
layered in the way that you want.

> Access control: PmWiki password protection can be applied to an  
> entire site, to groups of pages, or to individual pages. Password  
> protection controls who can read pages, edit pages, and upload  
> attachments. PmWiki's access control system is completely self- 
> contained, but it can also work in conjunction with existing  
> password databases, such as .htaccess, LDAP servers, and MySQL  
> databases.

It is extensible by 'cookbooks' <http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/ 
Cookbook> of which there seems to be many and I've added a few to my  
site. They let you add all sorts of things such as a blog etc. Mostly  
it's been a matter of adding two file and adding one line to a config  
file to enable them.

So far it's been a doddle to set up on MacOS even though I'm a unix  
duffer. I already had apache and php running as these are built into  

It is a delight to be able to look at a page in a browser, see  
something wrong, and just click "edit" to fix it no matter where I am  
or what computer I am using. It's also a delight to have most of the  
worries about formatting, navigation and layout handled without  
having to think about it.

The markup is pretty simple and there are a number of converter  
programs to convert from html, word etc. Some you don't even have to  
mount on your own site eg <http://diberri.dyndns.org/wikipedia/ 
html2wiki/>. The markup CAN do also sorts of stuff and can be easily  
extended to effectively do new classes and divs which can be provided  
to naive users.

BUT I haven't looked as closely at other wikis. I just saw that this  
one could do what I wanted, found it trivial to set up, started with  
it, and found that it could do more than I needed immediately and  
adopted a few of these extra things.

One month in and I've had no nasty surprises.

Hope that helps.


phone : 02 6241 7659 | mailto:me at Tony-Barry.emu.id.au
mobile: 04 1242 0397 | mailto:tony.barry at alianet.alia.org.au

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