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

Joachim Durchholz jo at durchholz.org
Wed Mar 15 11:20:33 CST 2006

Patrick R. Michaud schrieb:
> [lots of dismissals as "this isn't a large problem"]

Now while I agree that none of these problems are showstoppers, each of 
them can hinder an admin. It will take him an hour to find the cause, 
research a solution, and implement it - if things go well; the process 
can take days (if the symptoms don't directly point to the cause, or if 
the PmWiki installation isn't publicly accessible and we can't look at 
the ?action=diag output).

I'll grant that one can sensibly disagree about the severity of the problem.

However, I still have one question to ask:

What's the advantages of fields over installing multiple wikis with 
shared code?
(Or is it indeed just a terminological problem, and farms are already a 
shared-code thing?)

To expand on the idea of "common code wikis", here's how I'd expect a 
wiki software to work (and that's just my personal expectations, as a 
datapoint, and - maybe! - something that PmWiki might approach in the 
future, though of course there are other things than my personal 
preferences to consider):
1) There's one directory for the "wiki engine" and one directory for the 
"wiki data".
2) The data directory contains the index.php page that starts the 
machinery. index.php calls the wiki engine with any parameters required 
to make it find the data directory (ideally, the wiki engine would 
simply look at the current directory).
3) The engine takes all data from the work directory, falling back to 
the engine directory whenever the work directory comes up empty. (If 
this is applied to scripts as well, this can serve to override bits and 
pieces of the engine with wiki-specific code and configuration.)

I don't think it would be difficult to get PmWiki to such a scenario. On 
  a safe_mode-disabled server, this would allow webmasters to install 
the software, and nail down the configuration so that it "simply works" 
for their customers.
Being part of a web hoster, I can say that such a setup would make 
PmWiki instantly attractive for us. (Not that it isn't already - but we 
could then say things like "your WWW site comes with a preinstalled wiki 
that you can clone if you need multiple wikis", instead of "install and 
administer your own wikis". We could preinstall recipes that would make 
sense for our customers. That all would definitely make a difference.)


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