Wiki migration

Philip Boulain prb at
Fri May 29 15:21:31 BST 2009

On 29 May 2009, at 14:50, Daniel Silverstone wrote:
> Option 2: Mediawiki
> -------------------
> Mediawiki is a very popular and well-known wiki engine. Used by
> Wikipedia and various other sites, it is richly featured but unlike
> trac, it is just a wiki engine.
> Pros: Only a wiki engine, so we're free to implement the other  
> features
> in other ways without confusion. Already has an example instance on  
> the
> machine which currently runs our SVN.
> Cons: Only a wiki engine. Written in PHP which means we cannot ever
> consolidate its functions onto pepperfish (where the rest of the
> websites are). Is complex and backs onto MySQL which is yet another
> failure point.

I would warn that I've dealt (briefly) with the MediaWiki code  
before, and it /is/ pretty horrendous, as one may expect for a  
project that has "grown" in PHP. Unfortunately, though, this is a  
pretty common flaw in wiki software. It will almost certainly go  
straight to the top of top(1) on your server, and this just gets  
worse if you want to borrow templates from Wikipedia, as you'll find  
yourself needing the option that runs all output through HTMLTidy. I  
really wish I was making that up.

On the flipside, this is balanced by its dominance meaning that there  
being a lot of people applying gaffer tape to it to keep it  
progressing and vaguely working. There are also extensions which may  
be useful for dealing with bug reports etc., such as Semantic  
MediaWiki[1] and Semantic Forms[2]; piles upon piles of ugly hacks,  
but the user experience can be that you can then create instances of  
types of things, and have a nice little form for people to fill in  

1.  is probably  
most useful, as it's the sandbox.
    The only live site I know of using this is Chickipedia, which was  
mentioned at the WWW2008 conference. Probably not advisable to visit  
at work.

| Philip Boulain   PhD student | --+--- | Modesty helps one to go for- |
| IAM, ECS, Uni of Southampton | |@.... | ward, whereas  conceit makes |
| | |..f.. | one lag behind.-Mao Tse-tung |

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