[pmwiki-users] New PmWiki Features Page . . .

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at pobox.com
Tue May 30 12:51:50 CDT 2006

First, I must preface this post with my extreme gratitude and appreciation
to Ben for having drafted the new Features page.  It is outstanding;
far better than anything I had come up with.  All of my comments below
should be considered in that context.  :-)

On Mon, May 29, 2006 at 11:38:36AM -0500, Ben Wilson wrote:
> On 5/29/06, Neil Herber <nospam at eton.ca> wrote:
> > The set of "Not Yets" is potentially infinite. How does one decide
> > which features should be included or excluded from the "Not Yet"
> > list? This becomes an entirely subjective list which does nothing to
> > promote the use of PmWiki on PmWiki.org.
> When given a set of infinite choices, I chose to focus on those that
> the Wiki Matrix (WM) web site concentrates on.[1] That web site has
> canvased the legion wiki products and reduced the set of common
> features (or at least commonly sought after features) from which one
> may base a technical or business decision. By choosing a disinterested
> third party's list of comparison features, I sought to remove my own
> subjectivity.

I'm not sure that wikimatrix.org can count as a totally "disinterested
third party".  IIUC, Wikimatrix was created by Andreas Gohr, who 
is also the lead developer for DocuWiki.  This isn't to say that there's
any overt bias in Wikimatrix, or that it's unbalanced, or not worthwhile,
or anything like that -- it's just that I'm not sure we can label it

> It is worth noting that somebody, probably Pm, maintains the PmWiki
> entry on that web site. As such, one may wonder why repeat the list
> here? For one reason, the WM site is a simple list with very little
> commentary, and no links for further information. By expounding on the
> features on the PmWiki site, we are able to give features better
> treatment and link to relevant pages.[2]

Actually, I've been wondering exactly this -- instead of duplicating
the feature list on pmwiki.org, perhaps we should start off the
page with a link to PmWiki's feature list on WikiMatrix.  On a feature
comparison basis, WikiMatrix consistently shows that PmWiki compares
quite well on a feature basis.  Then on WikiMatrix we can (I think)
create links from the individual features back to an appropriate
anchor on the Features page (and from there into full documentation
pages as appropriate).

So, someone wanting a checklist of features can get it from WikiMatrix,
someone wanting a prose-like summary of PmWiki's Philosophy and features
can get it from the PmWiki.Features page, and detailed descriptions
of specific features can be in the documentation, cookbook, or other
location as appropriate.

> Second, this is not true duplication. The list of features themselves
> are addressed, and the initial answers I posted were based on the
> entries on that list.[3] However, the expounding was meant to provide
> a clearer, narrative answer and link to more information. The WM site
> does not give a clean interface for such narrative discussion.

I totally agree that a narrative description of features is what I've
been looking for from the Features page, and that it's more useful
than a checklist (WikiMatrix style) or table.

I need to think about the overall approach just a bit more and will
comment further.  However, I'd be very interested in hearing reactions/
commentary on what I've just written.

Thanks again to all for a very useful thread,


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