Experimenting with wikis has gotten to be a favorite past-time with me. I’m not sure why I’m enamored of wikis, only that it’s fun. That’s probably why I spent 2.5 hours–in a blink of an eye–trying to get PMWiki.org, one of my favorite php-based, no need for MySQL database, wikis going last night…ok, I was trying to get it to look like a blog. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work. I got pleasantly lost in the innards of my already cooked up config.php file.
I reminded myself of an old friend who would putter around his garage/doghouse featuring a top of the line PC, air-conditioning, couch and other amenities…it wasn’t so much what he was doing anymore as just spending time learning something new.
So, what a laugh to read Christopher Dawson’s account, Digging the Wikis. Come on, Chris, admit it! The real reason you did all this was because Dokuwiki was fun! I know the feeling…I spent one evening playing around with Dokuwiki to get this look….
chose the open source DokuWiki, for a few reasons.
- It’s free
- It’s incredibly simple to set up. All you need is FTP access (with write privileges) to a single folder on a web server. The DokuWiki folder and subfolders get copied to the server and the rest of the install happens via an install.php file that is accessible via any browser.
- It’s fully text-based; there are no databases to install or access and files are stored as text making them readable outside the wiki and easily transported to other wiki instances.
- It’s incredibly fast.
- It’s very well-documented.
- It’s customizable with templates and easily installed plugins.
- The default installation uses a wiki markup syntax, but a WYSIWYG editor can be installed for novice users.
- It takes a while to get the hang of creating namespaces (essentially directories) and pages for people used to a non-wiki interface, but once understood becomes quite simple for all users to extend the wiki and clearly organize files.
- It has basic authentication, roles, and access control lists built in, but can easily be connected to a database or LDAP server for more sophisticated authentication needs
- It scales very easily.
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure