[pmwiki-users] Supporting different modes in default pmwiki

chr at home.se chr at home.se
Sun Aug 7 03:30:59 CDT 2005

>From some recent discussions I'm thinking that pmwiki could benefit from
taking a UI approach where different user roles are more explicitly
emphasized. I'll say that pmwiki is working in different modes to
correspond to these roles. In practice a mode might be implemented as a
(sub-)skin, but to separate design from implemenation I'll keep referring
to it as mode. The roles I'm thinking of here are quite simply the
audiences we've talked about before:

* A ''reader'' uses the wiki site to find information and he is thus
  interested in reading/browsing pages/files as well as doing searches.
  (In order to encourage contributions, I think the reader mode sould 
   still have a quick way to edit the current page, i.e an edit link).
  This is the mode a user should get the on the first visit to a site.

* An ''author'' contributes contents to the site. He also reads pages,
  but would like extra tools in the UI to make writing easier. The extra
  tools could simply be links for editing various pages and uploading.

* An ''administrator'' ... hmm, in addition to probably being an author,
  he might like links to various administrative pages.

Someone might now argue that we should just let skin designers come up
with these (sub-)skins on their own. I think however that it'd be better
with some kind of support from the pmwiki core for these modes. If nothing
else, it'd be nice with a variable called $PmWikiMode and consistent names
for some *basic* modes. Another thing the core should supply is a way for
setting the mode and remembering it. Perhaps simply via ?mode=... but I
have a feeling that we'd be best off with Patrick closely involved in
creating something like this. Frankly, I think that the best scenario
would be if vanilla pmwiki would contain a very basic implementation of
different modes.

Which of course leaves ut with the constraints on resources and the
question if this is something to really do before pmwiki 2.0...

best regards

Christian Ridderström, +46-8-768 39 44               http://www.md.kth.se/~chr

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