[pmwiki-users] RFC: PITS 00701 -- WikiFarm confusion

Neil Herber nospam at eton.ca
Tue Mar 14 10:09:18 CST 2006

At 2006-03-14  09:36 AM -0600, Patrick R. Michaud is rumored to have said:
>So, I could use some help here from people who have set up
>WikiFarms and struggled with it -- what is it about WikiFarms
>(and the associated documentation) that is confusing?

What confused me right off the bat was the terminology.

I expected a "farm" to be a collection of "fields", just as in the 
agricultural world. But in the original instructions I read, the 
place where pmwiki.php was installed seemed to be called the "farm 
field" or something similar, and it could be an active field, as well 
as being the code repository for the farm.

I quickly read the current instructions on 
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/PmWiki/WikiFarms and it looks like it now 
refers to the "farm's home directory" and seems to recommend using it 
only to hold the code. This is much clearer to me, and, I would hope, 
to new admins.

There are other "farming" pages, and perhaps confusion arises if they 
do not adhere to this model. As you said, there are lots of ways to 
set up a farm, and they all work.

As a side note, I am finding that I have too many fields, and I am 
considering combining some into a group structure in one field. 
Trying to use a sharing scheme between fields is just too cumbersome 
when it can be so simply addressed by groups.

Perhaps there should be more of a discussion of when to use fields 
versus groups. I personally like to organize such discussions around 
advantage/disadvantage lists, which makes it easier to follow. If 
someone can avoid using a farm in the first place, the problems go 
away. (Not that true PmWikiers run away from problems, they just add 
something to config.php ;-)


Neil Herber
Corporate info at http://www.eton.ca/
Eton Systems, 15 Pinepoint Drive, Nepean, ON, Canada K2H 6B1
Tel: (613) 829-4668 

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