[Israel.pm] Central Wiki for Perl (?)

Shlomi Fish shlomif at iglu.org.il
Thu Jun 29 13:01:46 PDT 2006


Hi all!

I'm aware of several relatively limited-in-scope Perl wikis:

1. Win32 Perl's : http://win32.perl.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page - 
Pretty active so far

2. pound-perl.pm : http://p3m.org/ - seems dead for more than a year.

3. Perl-Begin's - 
http://perl-begin.berlios.de/Wiki/mediawiki/index.php/Main_Page - also very 
inactive. I've placed some links, tutorials and essays there, but did not 
update it since.

There are also local or ad-hoc wikis for conferences, and local Perl Monger 
groups, and some of them are active, very active or quite useful, but they 
don't really account.

While I may be invoking Joel's Quarreling Kids Rule here[1], I think a central 
wiki for Perl may be a good idea, not only as a way to consolidate all these 
specialised wiki's, but also to be "The Perl Wiki" which everyone will refer 
to. We can have http://wiki.perl.org/ for easy linking and good Google Juice.

Adam Kennedy and I used MediaWiki for win32.perl.org and the Perl-Begin's 
wikis respectively. It's my favourite wiki engine by far, and it's probably 
the wiki engine with most wikitext there written in (by property of being 
used in Wikipedia, and many other wikis). It's written in PHP and requires a 
MySQL database, but that shouldn't matter much to us:

http://www.perl.com/pub/a/2000/12/advocacy.html [2]

It is derived from UseModWiki, which is a nice easy-to-install and use wiki 
written in Perl, which has become relatively unmaintained by its author. 
UseModWiki has a fork called Oddmuse which should be better. (and is also 
written in Perl). Now the MediaWiki syntax is backwards compatible with the 
UseMod/Oddmuse wikis' one, albeit it has many more extensions. I have once 
installed UseModWiki, but did not try Oddmuse yet.

Kwiki is very modular and its code should be very clean, but I personally find 
the default (and currently only) syntax very limiting and annoying. It is 
possible to write a better syntax and plug-it in yet, but no-one's did it 
yet. One can possibly port it from UseModWiki. After talking with many people 
on #perl's IRC, I know that many of them would like something like that.

If we want to use MediaWiki, we could get hosting at Wikia ( 
http://www.wikia.com/wiki/Wikia ). In fact, I'm considering moving the 
Perl-Begin wiki there too (unless of course there will be wiki.perl.org where 
I'll incorporate the Perl Begin content there under the Beginners/ section), 
because it's hard to maintain more than one MediaWiki instance in Berlios.de. 

This is assuming people don't want the trouble of admining a wiki on the 
perl.org wiki. (Which is time consuming due to security upgrades, version 
upgrades and dealing with spam, as I could tell from admining the various 
MediaWiki instances on iglu.org.il.).

Regards,

	Shlomi Fish

[1] - See:

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/APIWar.html

Quoting a paragraph or two:

<<<<<<<
But the idea of unifying the mess of Visual Basic and Windows API programming 
by creating a completely new, ground-up programming environment with not one, 
not two, but three languages (or are there four?) is sort of like the idea of 
getting two quarreling kids to stop arguing by shouting "shut up!" louder 
than either of them. It only works on TV. In real life when you shout "shut 
up!" to two people arguing loudly you just create a louder three-way 
argument.
>>>>>>>

There's a bit more about Atom and RSS there.

[2] - I did receive some heat from the Israeli Pythoneers Group ( 
http://www.python.org.il/ ) which I helped initiate, for using MediaWiki 
instead of MoinMoin. One of the Israeli Pythoneers is a MoinMoin developer, 
and he recommended it.

We found two problems in MediaWiki that were better in MoinMoin:

1. On Hebrew Pages the main Hebrew title was left-aligned instead of 
right-aligned because the entire wiki had English as the default language. 
This was a relatively minor problem.

2. It was not very possible to have versions of the pages in different 
languages using the same wiki instance. (Unless you put them under different 
URLs). This was an annoyance, but I think we ended up having pages with both 
Hebrew and English in them anyhow.

At one point one of the Pythoneers, installed MoinMoin on iglu.org.il in a 
relatively hacky way and using lots of symlinks. I ended up telling him that 
since I already have 4 instances of MediaWiki (6 or so now), using the same 
central directory and configuration file, I did not want to bother to worry 
about another wiki of a different implementation.

This convinced him that they should maintain such a MoinMoin wiki on a 
different host (or in a MoinMoin provider.) It wasn't set up yet, and I think 
right now most of them are content with the MediaWiki instance, which isn't 
seeing too much activity anyway (except some towards meetings).

Today I disabled an iglu.org.il domain which only had one old (and probably 
hole-ridden) instance of PHP-BB... "Sys admin is a job for masochists, but it 
let you also be sadistic sometimes."

Regards,

	Shlomi Fish
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Shlomi Fish      shlomif at iglu.org.il
Homepage:        http://www.shlomifish.org/

95% of the programmers consider 95% of the code they did not write, in the
bottom 5%.



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