[pmwiki-users] FAST Data and Magic Boxes!

The Editor editor at fast.st
Sat Sep 23 20:50:08 CDT 2006

Hi all,

Just a quick note to mention I have released a new version of FAST
Data with some extremely nice features.

A tagging effect like wikipedia built on PmWiki's categories, and a
buddylist feature.  This is in addition to the mailing list feature
that came out before and the line and page templating feature in
imitation of ADL.  This recipe is really getting to be quite powerful.

I also revised the (:keep:) markup to do some extraordinary things.
What I am calling Magic Boxes.  You have to see one to believe it.

But basically you can create a textbox, save the contents, retrieve
them as a page variable, and display them anywhere in the site you
want.  They will look just like they did in the textbox.  The magic is
you don't need any slashes for line breaks, and you can even have
spaces at the beginning fo the line with no ill effect. And even more
"magical", you can retrieve the box content back into your textarea
and again it will look exactly as it was before, with easy line breaks
and leading spaces.  If you know anything about what PmWiki does under
the hood you'll realize this is quite a break through.  Personally, I
was stunned.

Initially I was just trying to track down some interminable quirky
little  bugs--determined to get to the bottom of them.  I finally
realized what PmWiki was doing, and fixed it.  But then  the
implications dawned on me...  Imagine:  rather than having users edit
wiki pages directly, just give them a Magic Box.  They can still use
most any markups they want, but without worrying about \\ or  !
And it works just like they would expect.  All perfectly editable.
Full permissions, whatever.  Sweet.

I don't think any user of mine will ever have to edit a wiki page
directly again!

I'm in the process of uploading my live site.  If I have time I'll get
the FAST Data Demo up shortly thereafter.  Maybe with a sample magic
box.   :)


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