[pmwiki-users] wiki farm terminology
jo at durchholz.org
Sat Mar 18 09:24:53 CST 2006
> I like to question the term
> "wiki engine" used in the documentation.
> Do we need to use it, as I don't think it helps?
> Instead of "how to install the PmWiki engine" I would rather say
> "how to install PmWiki", and instead of
> "Installing the pmwiki engine outside the web document tree"
> rather "Installing PmWiki outside the web document tree".
I think the term "PmWiki" usually covers the standard installation, i.e.
the code plus one wiki.
The "engine" terminology just distinguishes the code part.
> And what further complicates some descriptions is that there is no
> name for "the PmWiki installation directory".
> This is not a friendly term, and possibly confusing.
> It is potentially confusing, apart from a mouthful, as pmwiki
> installs into several directories: the "Base" for pmwiki.php and its
> subdirectories scripts/ cookbook/ wikilib.d/ pub/
These are all part of the installation directory, so I don't see much
potential for confusion here.
> In fact it may be more helpful to call the "pmwiki installation
> directory" simply the "Farm directory", abbreviated as var $FarmD.
I'd find that more confusing, actually. I agree that a "wiki farm" is a
series of wikis (that terminology is indeed well-established, as several
have already remarked), but I'd also say "let the analogy end here".
It's entirely unclear what a "farm directory" might be; there's no
established terminology here: it could be the directory that holds just
the configuration of a farm, or a directory that holds the code, or a
directory that holds code and wikis.
Established standard terminology is:
"Installation directory" - wherever administrator unpacked the archive
to. I know it's a mouthful (too many syllables, word count is actually
the same), so many people say "install directory" instead (but then
that's getting "too geeky" for a tool like PmWiki that wishes to appeal
"Engine" - whatever makes the software work. It think that term actually
covers quite nicely the non-wiki components of PmWiki - it's somewhat
fuzzy, in just the same way as there's a certain fuzziness about the
exact border between a "local wiki" and "PmWiki code & configuration
data". It's a term that invokes wheels and cylinders, not grass and
flowers, and as such it's somewhat less "friendly", but then computers
are more machine than biology either.
Yes, I'm all for sticking with standard terminology. Priorities on
1) Make it clear.
2) Make it nice.
Sorry, but there's really no alternative to that. In my varied
professional career, I have done a few years of documentation, and
getting "too ornate" invariably created documents that were fun to read
but didn't fulfill their purpose: teach the reader to deal with the
contraptions in question.
> And call it that even if there are not several wikis or fields in the
> setup. Then we have simply a single wiki small farm.
It's also a PmWiki installation. No difficulties with that.
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