Experimental Wiki

After playing with many different wiki engines until far too late at night, I’ve decided to try out “WikkiTikkiTavi”:http://tavi.sourceforge.net. “TWiki”:http://twiki.org is far too complicated, and “PHPWiki”:http://phpwiki.sourceforge.net does not seem to be under good development at the moment, and has been fairly buggy for me (which is in fact, why I’m switching), and “MoinMoinWiki”:http://moin.sourceforge.net, which seems to require a really silly amount of installation and confusion for a python script.

WikkiTikkiTavi is in early stages of development, but has a simple templating system, and seems to be fairly powerful, without being overly complex. In fact, it is quite simple.

If you don’t know much about Wiki, let me just tell you that it is a website that anyone can edit. Yes, even you. Each page has a link at the bottom that says “Edit this page”. You can click there, and edit the page, using simple markup instead of full HTML. New pages are produced anytime you put two words together and capitalize them, LikeSo. As soon as you do that, the page is produced, and you can begin editing the new page. Wiki’s live on soft security, and evolve as a function of their user base.

One thing a wiki does as part of ‘soft security’ is remember all changes made to itself. Say someone comes along and trashes something (which is actually very rare in the wiki world), some other kind soul can just come along and restore from the change log. Its a very unique thing.

Anyway, please give what may become the “new CowboyWiki”:/wiki/ a try, and let me know how you like it. If you aren’t used to wiki, I suggest reading a bit more about it, and them come play around. If you ARE used to wiki (“Andrew”:http://www.andrewsw.com, Will, “Dustin”:http://radioactiveantimatter.com/blog/ I’m looking in your direction), please let me know how you think of things. There are some nice features, for instance, just click Preferences to identify yourself, and your name now becomes a WikiWord. The sidebar is actually its own wiki page as well, so is editable. You can double click on the page to instantly open the Edit window, if you don’t want to click the link at the bottom. Many interesting features, but still deliciously simple. I want to hear your feedback!

2 Responses to “Experimental Wiki”

  1. on 30 Oct 2003 at 1:34 pm Andrew

    I have but a few questions/comments:
    1) What is the target community? (also see item (3))
    2) Do you know what sort of content you’d choose to put in the Wiki instead of in your blog? And vice versus?
    3) Is the bugginess of PHPWiki why there have been no edits to http://www.cowboysofjustice.com/wiki/ in the past few months? If not, there are other issues to contend with.
    4) I’m happy to help with MoinMoin installation – its setup is actually supposed to be simple if you follow the installation script – but unfortunately that doesn’t work well on hosted solutions (like you (I imagine) and I).
    5) As for WikkiTikkiTavi, other than a little bit of confusion about how the ‘”name becomes a Wiki Word” after clicking Preferences’ thing worked, my on major concern is that I’d appreciate a second set of “Save” and “Preview” buttons down at the bottom – after one has editted the document and then summarized what the change was, one will be at the bottom and that seems like the most natural place to look for a “Save” or whatever button.
    6) The edittable sidebar is _nice_ – I’ll have to see about hacking something like that into MoinMoin.
    7) You might also be interested in checking out CGI::Kwiki which has a nice writeup at http://www.perl.com/pub/a/2003/05/14/kwiki.html

  2. on 30 Oct 2003 at 3:53 pm sam

    I’ll try to provide a few answers. :)

    1. The target community is a group of friends who are scattered around the world at the moment. The so-called ‘cowboys of justice’.

    2. The sort of content that would go into the wiki is uncertain.. I’d like to use it as a place to store little thoughts, similar to how you use yours. How the others want to use it is uncertain.

    3. I believe so.. I just got an email from will asking about why the wiki was not behaving in different browsers, and what could be done to fix it. I’m sure there are other issues to contend with, but the programming issues are far easier to contend with than any others, so I tackled those first. ;)

    4. I’m sure with some fiddling I could get moinmoin to install properly, but with my general unfamiliarity of python, and my confusion about the install process, I decided to move back to a PHP/mySQL solution, which I’m far more familiar with in general.

    5. WikkiTikkiTavi, unlike many wikis, installs with absolutely no pages created. Typically, a wiki will install with some documentation/WhatIsWiki stuff already a part of it. I’m now faced with adding my own, which is something I hadn’t gotten to yet. Your idea to put save/preview buttons at the bottom is exactly what I had been considering.. I think that usability demands them to be at the bottom, like other forms, instead of the top, though a set both top and bottom would be best probably. I’ll make that change today.

    6. The sidebar is a nice hack, it was hacked in based on some tidbits found at the Tavi site.

    7. Kwiki is pretty intriguing, I’ll look more into it.. However, one thing it seems to lack is a way to ‘log-in’ and have your name become a page. I like this feature quite a bit, because it provides some indication of who is doing what, without resorting to IP addresses or anything.

    Thanks for your comments, andrew, you’ve given me some good stuff to consider.