On Mon, 2002-01-28 at 11:12, Mike Orr wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 27, 2002 at 08:02:07PM -0600, Ian Bicking wrote:
> > > One counter-argument is that wikis are good for building documentation
> > > collaboratively, so one can generate content for an entire manual that
> > > way. That has to be weighed against, do you really *want* a hundred pages
> > > of manual material in the inflexible wiki format? You can do a basic
> > > conversion to another format programmatically, but there still would be
> > > a lot of manual reformatting aftwards for things the wiki format can't
> > > quite do.
> > This is a problem. Maybe TWiki and most -- all? -- Wikis aren't really
> > up to it. They aren't great at technical documentation, and the markup
> > is rather ambiguous. Oh, and web interfaces suck.
> > Now, with an XMLRPC interface... and Emacs happens to have an XMLRPC
> > library available... well, that could be a much better interface.
> > Still, the markup needs work anyway. Though using Zebra style
> > outline-mode HTML markup... well, at least Emacs users could be in
> > heaven.
> My local Python group has been putting some work into extending
> MoinMoin. If we gave them a request along these lines, I'm sure
> they'd be all over it. Also, MoinMoin has a lot of library interfaces
> already... It may have WebDAV. Of course, the problem with WebDAV
> is finding an editor that supports it, besides Microsoft Word (and I
> suppose Emacs).
Well, I suppose that Gnome VFS and probably KDE ioslaves do/will support
it, which would carry a number of editors along with. I believe Windows
is supporting it at the filesystem level as well (as Linux should, but
stupid libc is the most underdeveloped library ever :-P ). An XMLRPC
interface would be quite easy to paste on, and potentially support
another set of editors.
> Some links about extending MoinMoin, changes we (not I) have added,
> and ideas for future changes:
> (The site is an example of MoinMoin in action, too.)
> There was a link for WebDAV (on a PikiePikie site) but it seems to be
> dead now.
> [Background: MoinMoin, PikiPiki and PikiePikie are wiki implementations
> in Python. WebDAV is a client/server protocol for importing/exporting a
> text object from an application so it can be modified in an external
> editor; Zope has it.]
> At some point we'd have to port the wiki pages from TWiki to MoinMoin,
> which would lose some features, but it'd be in Python instead of Perl.
The only feature that TWiki has that I really, really like (and I would
be sad to see go) is the versioning. None of the Python Wikis have
versioning, do they? (Except maybe ZWiki... but that might be more
heretical than Perl :) -- actually MoinMoin looks like it has
something, but I'm not sure what exactly it is. The interface aspects
should be easy to add if we really want them (printable pages, etc). I
have come to like the login.
The other big flaw that all the Wikis have is the markup. Some Wikis
use plain HTML markup, with the single extension of using [names] to do
intra-Wiki linking. (I actually prefer the explicit use of  to
WikiNotation) It's not the best to edit, but at least you aren't
committing yourself to some nonstandard markup. For Webware everyone
will know HTML, so it wouldn't restrict contributions. I believe Swiki
(Squeak) uses straight HTML. HTML might create more garbage diffs in
CVS, though, if the system did versioning.
I think to export in this style from TWiki shouldn't be too bad. We
could create an even more minimal printable template, and mirror the
site based on that. Then we'd be left with plain HTML as generated from
TWiki markup, and we'd just have to undo the intra-Wiki links (which is
just a simple regex). As long as the new Wiki uses text files on the
backend, we'd be finished -- assuming we were willing to give up any
history we had at that point (which isn't a big deal if we just do it