[pmwiki-users] wiki farm terminology

DaveG pmwiki at solidgone.com
Sat Mar 18 10:23:57 CST 2006

 > I would rather say "how to install PmWiki"
I agree. Keep it clear, and keep it short. In my prior attempts at 
writing this, I've called the install directory the PmWiki base, but 
that's simply because it's less of a mouthful than PmWiki installation 
directory, really not significant. I do think a description of the 
directories that are part of the base should be documented clearly.

However, I think Hans has a point. The key problem is we don't have a 
means of differentiating the PmWiki code base from the usual default 
wiki. This often means the author of write-ups needs to think a minute 
-- but it's a one time thought, and then we move on, so I don't think 
it's a big issue either way. The priority should be clarity for the reader.

 > simply the "Farm directory"
This I would steer away from. The farm term is useful in a few 
circumstances, but don't fall back into the trap of using the analogy to 

Joachim Durchholz wrote:
> Hans schrieb:
>> 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 
> to newbies).
> "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 
> terminology are:
> 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.
> Regards,
> Jo
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