[pmwiki-users] PmWiki with WikiForms as quality managment documentation database - minor problems

Henning Ruch (DHL DE) Henning.Ruch at dhl.com
Thu Sep 21 08:21:30 CDT 2006

Hi everyone,

I'm just about to migrate the quality management documentation (all the standard operation procedures and forms) of the company I
work for from an older system (some propretiary hack) into PmWiki. The approach I'm using is to set up a wiki group for each
department, giving the write password to the responsible manager, and use the WikiForms recipe to create one page with meta
information per document. The combination of the page history and the upload versioning feature preserves a full history of the

I've hit a number of minor problems with that approach, though:

1) I have found that using "&action=download"-style downloads, the upload versioning's "," separator for the time stamp breaks the
download of old versions. I avoided that problem by changing the separator to "." in download.php. (Not really a problem, except
that I feel I shouldn't have tempered with the main distribution's code.)

2) I'd like to enable direct downloads for the documents as it's considerably faster, but PITS 00588 (problem with non-ASCII
characters) unfortunately makes this impossible.

3) There is a problem in the interaction between password protection and WikiForms date fields. This only occurrs if the user is not
yet authorized upon editing the page and thus gets the password request right then. This results in a PHP error message and the
content of the date field being ignored. I have circumvened that for the moment by using a text field for the date right now, but
I'm certain that will lead to dates being entered in different formats, with the inevitable impact on sortability. (I'm
PHP-illiterate - maybe the interaction problem is not a difficult one, but I've not been able to figure it out myself.)

4) Trying unsuccessfully to circumvene the password problem, I did also experiment with AuthUser (having only used plain passwords
previously), creating a new login form where the password (which will remain the primary means of logging in for a while) is
displayed in the top position. My problem with that: The cursor is still in the "name" field upon calling the field, and I have no
idea how to get it to default to the "password" field.

5) Trying to keep things as simple as possible for the users, I tried to provide the "Attach:" markup as a default entry for their
WikiForms, but found that WikiForms does not store field data if I provide defaults. (I stated in my bug report in the cookbook that
wiped fields result from using the attach markup, but have since found that any use of defaults seems to have this effect, including
the use of a simple "1" for the document version number.)

PmWiki and WikiForms are going to give me all major aspects of the functionality I need, so I'm going to proceed to migrate all of
the old documents next week and go "live" with the new system in October. However, I'm a bit worried about the combined "friction"
of these minor issues.

So any idea you might have on how these issues could be fixed (or circumvened elegantly) would ge a greatly appreciated! :-) The
fewer mentions of "work-arounds" I'm going to have to make when introducing the new system, the happier my users will be, so even
one solved problem would already help me a good deal.

Thanks in advance! :-)


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