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

Neil Herber nospam at eton.ca
Tue Mar 14 14:12:06 CST 2006

At 2006-03-14  11:13 AM -0600, Jonathan Scott Duff is rumored to have said:
> > 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.
>If you think of it terms of arable land it might make more sense. The
>farm consists of several plots of land where crops are grown (the
>fields) and one plot of land for the farmhouse (where pmwiki.php lives)
>It just so happens that the plot of land that has the farmhouse is also
>big enough and arable enough to grow some crops, so the farmer has a
>little garden there too (A pmwiki installation that is both a "farm" and
>a "field").

Much to my embarrassment, I have discovered that my own notes about 
how I set up my farm uses similarly confusing language (URL 
suppressed to prevent mocking comments ;-).

As pedantic as it sounds, what if we agreed on some terminology?
* A farm (or wiki farm) is a collection of two or more wiki fields 
that use one copy of the PmWiki code.
* A field is a single wiki with a unique URL. Each field lives in its 
own directory.
* The "home field" is where most of the PmWiki code (particularly 
pmwiki.php) lives. Calling this the "farm field" or "farm directory" 
seems confusing to me, because the farm (to me) is the whole - not a 
part. The home field may have wiki content, or it may just be a 
warehouse for the code.
* A single installation of PmWiki can be converted to a farm by 
nominating it as the "home field" and adding other fields. (The 
nomination is a concept, not a real process.)

To simplify matters, the WikiFarms page should talk about how farms 
work and how to set one up from scratch without getting too worked up 
about security and all the possible options for directory placement.

A WikiFarmConversion page could describe how to change an existing 
single wiki to a farm.

A WikiFarmAdvanced page could talk about security, moving directories 
to unservable areas, sharing pages among fields, and so on.

I am willing to help write this up, but I would like to know if there 
are strong opinions for or against it first. As penance, I will start 
by rewriting my own notes about my farm to correspond to these ideas.


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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