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

H. Fox haganfox at users.sourceforge.net
Wed Mar 15 15:17:05 CST 2006

On 3/15/06, Neil Herber <nospam at eton.ca> wrote:
> At 2006-03-15  11:29 AM -0700, H. Fox is rumored to have said:
> > how about simple wording change which, wile subtle, seems
> >to make a big difference:
> >
> >     Rather than calling fields "Wiki Fields"
> >     or even fields, call them "field wikis".
> >
> >That's what they are, right?  The main installation (whatever it'
> >should be called) can be a field wiki or not.
> The term "field wiki" goes in my eye (or ear), travels toward the
> brain, and then just stops, because my brain can't figure out where
> to store it or what to relate it to.

I think that may be because you are accustomed to the old terminology.

If you let the phrase clink around in your cranium like a pinball for
a while, it'll come up with the idea that *a farm field is, itself, a
wiki*, not part of a "greater whole wiki", and that's the point.

Most of the confusion about farms appears to arise when people install
a farm and then want to share pages, searching, etc. among the fields.
 For those things it's not material whether the shared pages are in
fields or stand-alone wikis (except maybe for version).

> I think you are saying more or less the same thing that Jo did
> earlier - that there should be a code store and wikis that share that
> code store. (Pardon me if I have mis-paraphrased you both!) This is a
> useful model, but not the original intent of wiki farming as I understand it.

What I'm saying is that a "farm field" sounds like it's describing
something that resembles a wikigrop because it seems to be part of a
"farm wiki".  Farms aren't wikis, fields are.

Put (yet) another way, the base installation doesn't need to be a
*wiki*, which IMHO would mean it has these three things

1) A URL
2) Local configuration file (or at least the potential for it)
3) Unique pages

If it doesn't have a URL, it's not a wiki.  If it can't have it's own
wikipage, it's not a wiki.

> Since we want to have a simple-to-understand page on farming, I think
> we should work from the presumption that an admin would first do a
> single install of PmWiki, test it, maybe make it live, and then think
> about adding a second install.

Agreed.  Spawning a field wiki does not depend on whether an
installation already exists or the farmer is starting from scratch. 
There's just one extra thing to do (install PmWiki) in the latter

Mostly as an exercise for understanding farms, I wrote a document of
my own last night (not necessarily expecting it to be usable on
pmwiki.org).  It's not ready for prime time, but here's what I wrote
about that:

   This example starts from scratch.  If you already have a stand-alone
   wiki you can skip to "Install a ''farmconfig.php'' file".

Here's the whole thing.


One thing I learned is that farms are easy to understand once you get
the hang of them.  Note that I didn't say they were easy to *explain*.


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