Friday, October 14, 2005

Wiki software

One of my side projects at work is to get a wiki running for our department, and if all goes well to suggest it for the entire organization so it can be shot down in favor of something more expensive that isn’t my idea. I tried to get Mediawiki to run on my FreeBSD box but gave up. I was also unable to get it to work on my local machine running MySQL and Apache. The next wiki software I chose I ended up keeping:  Dokuwiki

The Dokuwiki software is perfect for what I am doing. It runs like a champ on my local machine, and it does not require MySQL; it’s uses the local file system and stores content in plain text files. The wikitext format is perfect for people that simply want to get content into a location without having to worry about coding HTML or saving to PDF or worrying about reliance upon Word. Content first, formatting later. I also like the fact that I do not need a database to back-end everything; this means a small footprint both on disk and in memory. The Dokuwiki software does “cache” the generated XHTML for topics. For Windows folks, NTFS compression on the data\cache and data\pages folders will further decrease the disk footprint (note: turn compression off on data\cache\*.idx and data\cache\purgefile).

I also found a neat little macro for Open Office at the Iannz OpenOffice.org page. The macro will convert a writer document to Dokuwiki compatible text. The object also contains a subroutine to convert all .html files in a directory to Dokuwiki .txt files. Sweet! Note for Windows users: edit the Folder macro to change the hard-coded directory name to the directory containing your .html source (a simple copy from Explorer then paste).

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