[pmwiki-users] Hiearchical Groups Proposal.
editor at fast.st
Fri Oct 13 17:23:21 CDT 2006
I remember the long discussion about this some time back, and tried to
follow it--though the technical aspects largely went over my head.
Now I'm gaining an interest in this for many practical uses on my
site. And just to see PmWiki keep getting better.
My suggestion though is to back and analyze why we want hierarchical
groups. To me it seems the reasons break down into a couple general
1) To set attributes for multiple groups at one time (by setting
something in a super group, and have it apply to all the the sub
groups under it). Similarly to do the same things for local.config
files. One file controls config settings for all the subgroups.
2) To be able to specify in pagelists and searchboxes whole sets of
groups (by saying search such and such super group and all the
subgroups are automatically included.
If there are other reasons, I'd like to consider them because I have
an idea, based on my experience with Drupal that could meet these
needs in an even better way. Something they called taxonomy.
Instead of actually having real "hierarchical groups", they used
virtual groups, with a complicated scheme we could do much better at
with catagories. If there was a way to define attributes for
categories (how about Something.CategoryAttribute?action=attr) or the
like, and then apply those attributes to any page with that category
tag, you could easily create hierarchies with great flexibility and
power (ie, pages could be in multiple groups, and some pages from some
groups could all be linked together, etc).
You could do the same thing with local config files, by calling them
Category.Something.php, or whatever. Those settings automatically
apply to all the pages connected to that category.
As far as pagelists and searchboxes, it could also work by setting a
search criteria to category=whatever (like we do groups). Maybe it
can already do this. Don't know. Of course we would want the searching
of categories to include sub-categories, wherever we put categories in
Additionally, to really make this useful, there should be a way to set
a whole group to a category, perhaps by creating a page called
SomeGroup.Category, where every page in that group is automatically
considered as being in all the categories listed on that page. (Or
perhaps could use a groupheader/groupfooter). This would allow you to
string multiple groups together very quickly.
It might also be nice to have an invisible markup for categories.
Again, maybe there is one, I don't know...
I know Categories are already hierarchical, but probably don't work
the way described above. On the other hand, it might be something that
could be developed fairly easy without having to mess with the current
page system. As PmWiki can already do virtually anything the average
site admin wants, it follows that those clever enough to come up with
special enough applications to require a hierarchical system could
learn how to use categories as described above easily enough. But
more importantly, the above kind of system would be far more flexible
and powerful than any rigid pagenaming scheme.
There may be some things I'm not seeing, but thought I would throw
this out, as it could work beautifully. Drupal does some amazing
things with it's taxonomy (dynamic menubars, forums, permissions,
etc.), but it was tough to get a handle on it conceptually. With
PmWiki, on the other hand, it would be far easier to use, and much
more versatile. In fact combining the power of something like Drupals
taxonomy with PmWiki's innate flexibility would give us more
possibilities than we can probably grasp any time soon.
I'd really like to see us work towards developing that kind of
potential. Any thoughts?
PS. I looked at Stirlings proposal and thought it was very good, if
we do decide to go with a rigid hierarchical groups scheme. The best
I've seen yet, though I do think the idea of Categories would be
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