[pmwiki-users] selling pmwiki to high school students

Crisses crisses at kinhost.org
Sat Feb 1 12:59:40 CST 2014


If the idea of their class in computers is to see if they would perhaps one day be programmers, sys admins, work in a techie business setting, etc. consider these scenarios where PmWiki fits:

Case Examples: 

A non-profit with several locations, and they want to have a passworded "intranet" section of their website with employee profiles with a photo of the employee, so that their employees can get to know one another across locations.

...They're also considering a separate section where the Board of Directors' reports can be stored under a different password.

A recruiting firm (I used Drupal I think...before I was doing development for PmWiki... but it's a good case for a CMS) wanted a document-management intranet for employees ("intranet" includes telecommuters, people on the road and traveling, etc.).  Again, passworded section that only employees can get into, and with different levels of access.  I can't tell you how much I hated Drupal.  PmWiki could do what it did, and more.  And easier.

A museum has a different home page picture that they only want posted near the holidays -- with an (:if date:) I can swap out photos only during certain months, put up a special holiday message, etc. and it will change itself every year.  

I have a site where I have a business membership directory. I can track any info like I would in a database: most importantly the day their membership expires.  The public pages list the people's contact information, but when I log in, I can see their expiration date, and I have it automagically hide people whose membership has expired.  If they re-up after it expires, just update the expiration date and POOF they're listed again.  With a little work, I could probably have the site email me near their expiry date so I remember to send them a re-up email.  Or have the site email them directly that their membership is expiring.  Note it would only email them if someone loads the website, but a cronjob would fix that issue if necessary.  

Anyway, all of this is through PmWiki's built-in permissions, Conditional Stamenents, PageTextVariables, and Pagelists.  No plug-ins required.

Features, continued:

Any website can have random information (like rotating quotes, rotating testimonials), hidden information on a page that only shows when logged in, or information that is seasonal or monthly in nature (my website used to change prices for a sale every month: in December I set up 12 different sales, and a message about the sale, and my prices throughout my website would update themselves each month of the year to reflect the sales...).  Do the work once, and let the website do the rest...

Page histories.  If you have to roll back to a previous version of a page in WordPress, you can't.  Maybe there's a plug-in for it, but it's built-in in PmWiki.  When I have a client who made a mistake and reverted the page, I go into the page history to see what they tried that broke the page. Awesome!

No database required.  You can probably get slashdotted and survive.

If you're viewing a page and you see a typo, just log in and fix it.  If you're already logged in, just hit edit and fix it.  On WordPress you have to open up the control panel and navigate to the page in question.  I've edited typos on my iPad & iPhone without needing special software or having to type in the login URL.

Tons of documentation that's included in the package.

A much smaller installation size than anything comparable even with all the documentation.  "Size doesn't matter" any more, but that slender size represents how much brainpower it requires to run PmWiki.  [That's why you can probably get /.'d and survive.] 1.8MB installed with the PmWiki.* files in wikilib.d.  Only 700KB if you remove the documentation (which is readily available on pmwiki.org).  WordPress 14.7MB installed, not counting running a database or anything else, no plug-ins, etc.  It's a hog.  WUSIWUG comes at a price, I guess.  This also translate into installation time, depending on your upload speeds....

... I guess that will do for now :)

> On Feb 1, 2014, at 7:47 AM, Peter Bowers wrote:
>> I am teaching a high school class in computers and our most recent project was creating a site in WordPress and in PMWiki.  At the end my students were not overly enamored with the setup and configuration of pmwiki and wanted to know why they would ever use that over WordPress.
>> I gave several thoughts but then I promised to write to the list to get further input.
>> If you were "selling" pmwiki to a group of high school students with limited technical experience but good potential, what would you say are its top advantages as compared with WP?
>> -Peter
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