CM (8 Aug 03) First about the page name: the stuff below has been first described on my personal page, then relocated by JCW on his Wiki about Wikit, then relocated (still by JC) here.. ;-). That's why it sounds like a duplicate of Suggestions for Wikit. Sorry about this. (I have started reorganizing the page while keeping some of the 2002 stuff, but it will take some time...)
JC: This page relocated from www.equi4.com/wikit ... most of this is by Christophe Muller.
Ideas for Wikit enhancements
Suggestions for the Wikit engine are gathered into the Suggestions for Wikit page. Below are described a couple of ideas that I have been experimenting with on some previous sources of Wikit before a overhaul from JC and others (AK I think). For a long time (one year?) these experiments have not been applied to the new wikit source. I have now (08 Aug 2003) almost completed the port to the Wikit currently in use.
I will send a tarball to JC so that pieces might get integrated if he wants. Note that I am not advocating to take everything, as I am not sure yet of all UI aspects.. and of the use for the Tcl'ers Wiki. This is provided as-is.. I can also provide the patches for people who are running "home-Wikit"s ;-) if they like some of the features. (I would create an "experimental" branch on CVS but have no access through our firewall :-( except to sourceforge because of their hack..).
I first describe the principles in which I believe, from a GUI-guy point of view, you might disagree of course.. debate is always welcome. See also in the "Biblio" section below a link to Dr. Nielsen's illuminating harangue :-). Then I (too shortly) describe the ideas one by one, and precise if they have been implemented already, if the developments are in progress, or if they are just vaporware..
The question one might ask is Why are you not using a Perl or PHP wiki that is already much more developed than wikit?
And my answer is that I'm very much concerned by the usability issue. I see other wikis with embedded HTML, %variables%, keywords, plugins, etc. and IMHO, they have many advantages but they also have a big drawback- their learning curve is slowly becoming as steep as HTML or LaTeX or even worse (Word!). Actually, I even find the rendered HTML pages difficult to read (and so difficult to use!) with many links, tables, etc. KISS is a good principle in UI (still IMHO). See, in the links below, Dr. Nielsen's site.
So yes, I would like more powerful features in wikit, and also a better looking CSS-ized HTML code with a few nice looking features, but no, I don't want Word at all. For this reason, I prefer to slowly modify wikit in a way that suits this philosophy rather than switch to Twiki, PHPWiki, or you-name-it-wiki.
A good example of this is the "Generation of headers" feature (see below) in wikit without any new markup!
What has been developed by JCW in the latest Wikit versions
I haven't ported my versions of these as they have been redevelopped by JCW (most of the time in a more elegant way) and intergated into the official Wikit, so they now come for free !
What is available as patches in an experimental version of Wikit
(I might have forgotten things.. I'll have a look at diff files.. :-).
What has not been ported to the newest version
What has not yet been coded
What is below is either out-of-date or not reorganized yet, and needs to be updated ---> very soon! ;-)
Already implemented features are:
Plus the integration of two patches:
Brian is the author of tkoutline. For seeing its new feature in action, click to see the last diffs of its own wiki - Home Page: [L1 ]). BTW, I find it very nice the way Brian gave access to the diff (i.e., the footer's Update on ... becomes a link).
My roadmap is:
Still in progress are:
Other Suggestions (see also Suggestions for Wikit):
Wow... - After seeing all this, I'm now bent more than ever on placing nwikit into CVS. It will, as with Metakit and Tclkit, be essentially a reado-only setup. But in this case with eager interest in helping to consolidate things. There seem to be, right now, three people working on wikit improvements - not to ignore several who have helped in the past. The CVS setup is not intended to prevent anyone from going their own way and doing whatever they like with the wikit codebase - just an option for those who wish to see things come back full circle.
One last comment, *please* consider joining the TclersWiki discussion group on Yahoo. It's been dormant lately, but I suspect that'll change soon. I'll announce my nwikit progress there asap.
Anyway, great to see all these ideas... -JCW
PS. One of these day's I'll move my notes to the Wikit or Suggestions for Wikit page, or perhaps create a new page do discuss progress.
CM Thanks for your fast comment! I also agree that for three developers, a full-featured sourceforge site is really not worth the time to set it up!.. but a CVS with all the versions would be nice. I will try to finish the features that I am currently developing asap, in order to reach a stable state (hopefully). Then I will send a version to you and Brian, so that you can play with it, then I'll try to apply my patches to your new version (CVS might help me there.. :-). BTW, I am subscribed to the TclersWiki mailing-list (Larry "LV" put me in :-)
BTW, I am not sure that everything listed above will be desirable for the official version, even if some features are very necessary for us internally (I'm thinking about the export mechanism for instance), I'll leave it to you to decide what to integrate...
JCW Ah, but see, that's one of the things I'd like to refine a bit: the presence of packages will trigger functionality, i.e. plugins - in the nicest possible way I hope.
Info about Obtaining Wikit from CVS has been moved to a separate page -jcw
KPV I like it when you search for a page, the resulting list has the date the page was last changed. I'd like that also when clicking on a reference. That's the page you get when you click on another page's title, or by going to, say "[https://wiki.tcl-lang.org/1683!] ". mmmm, how do I get the "!" to be part of the URL?
12nov02 jcw - Date is now listed on back-ref ("bang!") pages. As for getting it into an URL wikit will accept, try this: https://wiki.tcl-lang.org/1683%21
DKF If you're going to refer to local resources, couldn't you use a file: URL?
CM (8 Aug 03): actually the "local://" URL protocol has a different meaning than "file:" which according to the W3C RFCs means "access a file on the local computer". It would be like "http://127.0.0.1/file ". What I really want is accessing a file that is remote and by the HTTP protocol. So your remark made me realize that choosing local for something on the server was a bit of an abberation too ! :-D I was thinking as the server guy... I have evaluated several other possibilities such as "http://this/file ", "http:/// ", "http:file ", "fs://file" (inspired by nsf://) and finally decided to port the feature as http:path/file as it really represents what we want, an HTTP way of getting a file relative to the current page... except in pure HTML we would have no protocol as all in the HREF (just "path/file") but this is not possible in Wikit as we need to recognize when to put a link or not.. What do you think of the new UI ?
DKF Also, the most painful part about going from something based on ISO 8859-1, or even ASCII, to (La)TeX is the fact that TeX uses a completely different encoding, but which is similar in enough places for you to think you've done enough when just doing simple tests.
CM I have have "swapped" the doc generation ideas for a while :-), but I have a small hack already running: a bourne shell script is gathering a list of pages, then running a couple of sed/awk/whatever to fix things, then html2ps, and finally ps2pdf, which produces ... something, if not as nice as LaTeX :-). An elegant way of developing a doc generation feature would be: to add a third formatter to Wikit (besides Tk and HTML) that would produce Docbook SGML (or Docbook XML I have no clue which is best), which could then be concatenated, and converted to LaTeX, Ooo's XML, etc. A nice project for 2004..
What I would like is some feedbacks on what features would need to be ported first to the new wikit structure. My first guess would be the HTML tags, CSS tags with a sample of CSS, and the generation of headers. Maybe also the title information for brackets links. Any thoughts?
(Same day -jcw)
Please be sure to visit the new starkit site [L3 ]. It's a name change, but also has some technical implications. Very very new, though the plans to do this were born several months ago.
Well, first of all, by now the new wikit is a fact, it's a starkit, it drives the Tcl'ers Wiki, and it seems to hold out. I've made a few changes since you first set up this page - I sure hope they simplify your future work on wikit:
A few interesting links for people working on Wiki engines (there are so many! ;-)
Metakit mailing-list: http://www.equi4.com/mailman/listinfo/metakit
Shin: How about a tool to extract an RSS-Feed from the "Recent Changes" page? Or even better, how about creating a RSS-Feed-Page (Let's say page 8)?
Done a long time ago: see How to generate a Recent Changes RSS Feed, or, https://wiki.tcl-lang.org/rss.xml .