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Ziggy Wiki

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Ziggy Wiki2004-07-20 15:01
picture by Flemming Funch

So, I wrote a wiki program. Now, that is maybe stupid, as there are plenty of excellent wiki programs around. But the ones I first looked at didn't have the combination of features I was looking for. OK, looking closer, there really are some impressive choices out there. But, again, not necessarily how I'd want to do it.

And then I have the troublesome tendency to feel really compelled to make my own programs from scratch. Oh, not everything, but the moment I stare at somebody else's code that I need to make changes to, to make it do what I want, and it is likely to take more than an hour or two, it is inescapable. I instantly imagine that it is easier to just do my own, rather than spell myself through the odd ways somebody else has done it. Oh, in reality, it is never faster or easier. But I do usually end up with something I'm comfortable with, and that I can easily add new features to.

Anyway, it works now, even though it only does the rather basic stuff that most wikis do. Being able to edit a page, keeping track of revisions, searches, recently modified list, user login, various kinds of markup, etc. There's a little page about it here. It is a PHP program, using MySQL database, attempting to be standard and use XHTML and CSS.

I'm trying to force myself, for the first time, to go through the necessary steps to successfully give my software away. Oh, lots of people are using my software for free, that's not what I mean. I mean, the open source way, where you can actually go to a site and download the latest version, and install it without too much trouble, if you're a bit technically minded, and you have a linux server account. Now, that is not altogether trivial. There's quite a jump from being able to run something on my own server, to expecting that other people can go and do the same without running into a wall. I usually make it difficult to do that by adding a lot of features to my programs, and linking them all together, so that it is difficult to extract one of them and make it survive in the wild. So with this program I'll try to restrain myself a bit.

Now, if it is its own program, it needs a name, of course. Wiki programs have silly names that usually rhyme more or less badly with "wiki". So, how about Ziggy Wiki? Doesn't seem to be taken.

Some of the features I have in mind are things like:
- Being able to embed a number of different kinds of objects in a page, like RSS feeds, web service calls, calendars, etc.
- Using a wiki to design and generate a "real" website.
- Importing content from various non-wiki sources
- Organizational features, categories, etc.
- Image handling and storage

And I guess I'll integrate it as a parallel dimension to my weblog program somehow. Probably starting by making my own public wiki and seeing how it works out.

To test my wiki, try the SandBox where it shouldn't do any damage.

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