[pmwiki-users] Totally Perplexed by Farming and Fields...
gdb at soundchasers.com
gdb at soundchasers.com
Mon Jan 23 00:13:11 CST 2006
Hi Neil and all...
> I hope this helps somewhat ...
Actually, I am a little more confused now than when I started (iow: dreamed up
this idea in my head), but it's not because of you. It's because of something
I started thinking about after writing my first message. :)
Basically, let me explain a bit about my original thought process. I've
actually been running PmWiki for close to a year now. When I first
found it, I
was stunned with it's flexibility and customizability. While it admittedly
lacked a few things I was looking for, the beta cycle that was going on
2.0 release was adding many of the features that I was looking for.
Unfortunately, keeping up with the beta releases grew to be too much of a
stress, so I stopped updating my site until the 2.0 release became
official...and then I held back until the 2.0 release stabilized (which it
appears to now at update 13).
In the meantime, I worked with the beta version, and started running into some
issues / limitations. Chief amongst these were the limitation(s) on
of (:include :) directives that can be used on a page. I've been converting
nearly five years of blog / journal articles, from multiple web sites, and
posting them into a signle group in the wiki. This caused issues where I
needed to split index pages, and split wiki-trail indexes, etc. Not exactly a
pleasurable experience having to update a whole bunch of pages to reflect name
changes, not to mention the headache that changing the naming scheme in
mid-stream was causing in and of itself.
And, to make things a bit more painful, creating a single blog entry required
editing as many as four pages: the entry itself, the wiki-trail index, the
archive index, and the blog group front page. There were equal challenges for
nearly every group -- just adding an item required editing a minimum of two,
and as many as six pages.
Then there was the issue of consistent formatting. As time went on, I refined
my styles / formatting a bit, and really wanted to work out a way to make it
consistent across the whole wiki. This applied to other groups, not just the
Next there came the desire (once it was worked out) to start adding categories
to all my pages. This applies to the blog, gallery, essays, fiction, poetry,
links, etc. literally everything. Which, of course, means that I have to go
back and edit every single page in the wiki (last count was over 500).
And, to top all of this off: because of the way I had structured things
initially, it seemed that there wasn't a good way to set up exclusion
searches, there wasn't a good way to modify the navigation system to do
the things I want, etc. (Not that the results aren't possible, just needed to
take a step back and re-think the organization from the ground up.)
Okay - so, I started thinking about how to re-organize the site. The
I came up with was to use the farm feature to create fields for each of the
major pieces of the site: news, blog, gallery, links, etc. Then, create a
system field (called sys), and organize all the adminstrative forms, indexes,
etc. by group for each of the fields. (IE, for the blog field, there would be
a blog.* group in the sys field that would store forms, and indexex, etc.) My
hope was / is that by organizing things this way, I could minimize the impact
to the individual fields when re-organizing things in the sys field (yeah, it
would still require some fancy footwork, but I think it can be done...) Also,
this brought about the added bonus of being able to customize the
each field, and some other niceties.
Now, I am starting to wonder if I am going to run into some other issues with
the approach that I was thinking of with fields. Like:
- Will search work across multiple fields?
- If it will, can I restrict which fields the search will work with?
- Will categories work across multiple fields?
- Can I restrict the categories to work within a specific field if deisred?
Now, if I am starting to run into things that are going to become major
problems, I may need to step back and look at re-organizing things under a
group structure instead. Maybe through some work with <group>.php files, and
other group-level customizations I can get to where I want to go.
Question: is it possible to change the page used for the sidebar "on-the-fly">
Maybe through <group>.php? IE, if I wanted to have a <group>.sidebar replace
site.sidebar for each group in the wiki, would this be possible?
FYI - before anyone says anything: I've looked at Bundle4Blog and CMSLike, and
am not convinced they offer the level of tools I want... I know I am
work with things in quite a different way than has been the traditional case.
However, I think if I can get where I want to go, I might be able to offer a
more finely-tuned solution, or at least the ideas / rough code to get to the
Anyway, sorry for this long mess of a message...I'm hoping that if others read
their way through this, they might be able to throw in some other thoughts /
ideas. I really appreciate the input that you've given me so far...:)
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