[pmwiki-users] Recommended recipes?
twylite at crypt.co.za
Fri Aug 28 07:06:36 CDT 2009
Thanks everyone for your responses.
With regard to stability, active maintenance and potential conflicts:
Petko, Kathryn, and Eemeli all suggested looking at the Discussion,
ChangeLog and ReleaseNotes sections of the recipe page; coupled with an
assessment of how active the author is in the community by looking at
this mailing list, the RecentChanges page and responsiveness to
questions/discussions on the recipe page.
This sounds like excellent advice once you have a smallish set of
candidate recipes, and as such is a solution to part of my problem. But
it remains a little overwhelming when hundreds of recipes are involved.
Kathryn Andersen wrote:
>> > I have now committed quite a lot of time & effort into this research,
>> > and I have still failed to answer my basic questions:
>> > (1) which recipes does everyone find useful
> That is an impossible question to answer, because "useful" depends
> on what people use PmWiki for, and PmWiki is so flexible that it
> can be used for a great many things.
> What is more relevant to your needs is to actually say what you
> want and need to do with PmWiki, what kind of recipes you would
> therefore need, and allow people to comment on that subset of recipes.
It's a bit of a catch-22. As I mentioned in my mail I am intending to
set up 2 sites:
(1) A knowledge base for my development team, with additional support
for issue tracking and CRM.
(2) A personal web site with a blog (allowing public comments), a
knowledge base section (allowing public comments) and a collaborative
development section (open for all editing).
Beyond that, I don't know enough specifics about what I want until I am
either aware of a problem that needs to be solved (e.g. page spam, need
a ToC, etc) or I am aware of functionality that exists and I think "that
would be nice".
So basically if I don't know it exists, I'm not going to look for it
unless I have a specific problem that needs to be solved. Which means
that short of browsing through all the recipes I won't find ones that
could be enhancements rather than just solutions.
Looking at Wikis in general and knowing now a little about what
functionality PmWiki lacks (in the core), I can tell that most people
will want extensions to solve the following problems (and the
ListOfBundles-Candidates confirms this):
* Table of Contents
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/PageTableOfContents looks widely
used, well supported, and is part of the PublishPDF library (which seems
like a good thing). Uses (:toc:)
But http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/HandyTableOfContents is also
PageTableOfContents won't because of generated content. Uses (:htoc:)
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/NumberedHeaders also sounded useful
(especially in a corporate environment), but appears to be obsolete
because PageTableOfContents can do numbering now ... but that fact isn't
immediately obvious. Uses (:toc:) and other markup.
Then there is http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/SlimTableOfContents,
which will work with SectionEdit -- implying that other ToC recipes like
PageTableOfContents won't (and I still don't know the answer to that
until I try). Uses (:toc:) or (:toc:)
While some of these recipes have compatible markup, other's don't (or
have extended markup that would be incompatible across recipes).
Discovering a month in that I have made a poor choice will mean altering
the markup on numerous pages.
* Rename pages
Any non-trivial Wiki will require periodic content maintenance and
reorganisation, and this will often require pages to be renamed.
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/RenamePage seems to do the job, it
is widely used and listed as stable. The discussion section indicates a
couple of corner cases (e.g. moving unqualified attachments, unqualified
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/MovePage is an alternative, and
suggests that RenamePage has problems.
RenamePage hints at consequences to moving between Groups (unqualified
attachments may go astray), but I don't see any discussion on any recipe
page of the interaction between page renaming and
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/UploadPlus. Are there situations
(similar to page renaming) that may affect the choice to use a
CustomPageStore or to group uploads?
* Restricted delete
Recovering deleted pages is often not straightforward (sometimes not
possible at all, sometimes not possible through the web interface), so
it can be desirable to restrict page deleting to some set of authorised
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/DeleteAction seems to be the PmWiki
approach for doing this.
* Diff between arbitrary revisions
Most Wikis have this functionality; PmWiki seems to lack it.
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/ViewDiff appears to do this
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/InlineDiff also looks like a
popular/useful enhancement, but doesn't appear to diff arbitrary
revisions. Are these two compatible? Also InlineDiff has a "modified
version" attached to the bottom of the page; is that a separate
* Typographic extensions
Something I haven't encountered often and wouldn't know to look for is
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/MarkupExtensions . I first came
across it looking for Footnote support (a feature I find very useful and
which is quite common amongst Wikis). MarkupExtensions contains a
number of nice-to-haves, and it seems popular in the PmWiki community.
* A better way to handle attachments
Most CMS, Blog or Wiki software that supports attachments provides
built-in support or extensions to manage attachments: rename, delete,
show size and download count, etc.
At a glance there are about a dozen extensions that may do this:
AttachDelete, AttachIcons2, AttachImageSize, AttachLinks,
AttachlistEnhanced, AttachListSort, AttachSize and
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/Attachtable. The latter seems to
have the most functionality but is also the newest (few recommendations
an little information on the extent of its use).
In addition I have encountered a couple of extensions that everyone
should know about:
NewPageBoxPlus seems to be an excellent building block for just about
any site that requires pages based on a template. For example it is
trivial to build a lightweight CRM by creating a "Customers" group with
a NewPageBoxPlus to create new customer pages from an appropriate
There are alternatives, including
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/Fox from the same author which seems
extremely powerful but also a lot more complex (and it competes with
other Forms recipes, so they may also warrant consideration).
If I hadn't encountered NewPageBoxPlus I may have moved on to evaluating
another Wiki engine!
"Warn authors when they move away from a page without saving it." The
potential value of this extension speaks for itself.
Which brings me to the following points:
(A) Possibly the most useful resource I have come across so far are the
pages in http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Category/Bundles. This, to me, is
evidence of people with an investment in PmWiki saying "this is what I
find useful". But I was hesitant to put too much value on that
information because some pages (e.g. ListOfBundles-Candidates) have not
been edited in 2 years.
I think that extending and updating this information - particularly
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/Bundle - will be very helpful.
(B) Perhaps the most useful feedback I have received is this from Petko
> And I believe you can have a peace of mind with a recipe released by Pm,
> Dominique Faure or Eemeli Aro, among others. There are other active developers
> in the community, I just haven't had the need to use and the time to review
> their recipes.
... along with responses from Chris Cox and Kathryn Andersen. This is
community knowledge that is not readily available to a newcomer. This
gives me a lot more confidence in selecting recipes.
Question: what about John Rankin and HansB - they also seem to be listed
as maintainers for a lot of extensions?
(C) Eemeli Aro wrote:
> Regarding recipe status, perhaps we need some kind of recommended set
> of terms to use, along with a page giving a slightly longer
> description of each term, as I for example have ended up with a
> perpetual beta for all my recipes since "stable" seems like a rather
> strong term to use.
I think this is a really excellent idea. At the very least it should be
possible to distinguish "not for production use" from "probably good
enough for production use and a couple of people are using it" and
"running without problems for a year on our huge public site".
(D) Eemeli Aro wrote:
> 2009/8/27 Peter Bowers <pbowers at pobox.com>:
>> > On Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 11:06 AM, Petko Yotov<5ko at 5ko.fr> wrote:
>>> >> We have discussed such votes/endorsements systems, I hope we'll be able to add
>>> >> one soon. I also hope that users will vote.
>> > +100 on adding one soon!
>> > [He said, without much hope and completely in the dark as to why
>> > previous seemingly fruitful discussions on the topic have fallen
>> > flat.]
> Seconding Peter on this. Is it Petko or PM we should be prodding to get this moving?
May I suggest a download count on each recipe? To my mind this would
produce valuable information more quickly and with less dependence on
community participation than a voting scheme. Combining the two would
be first prize.
What I'd like to do next is get some feedback on the recipes I listed
above (Table of Contents .. NotSavedWarning) and use that feedback to
update http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/Bundle. I'm also keen to
hear any other similar suggestions (generally useful recipes that
provide functionality common in other Wikis or CMSs).
I also have a notion that the concept of Bundles could be supplemented
by a FAQ-like list of recommendations, preempting the sort of questions
that would be asked on this list. This would be similar to the
"Questions answered by this recipe" section in each recipe, but focused
on recommending one of several possible answers.
Q: I want a Table of Contents, what recipe should I use? A:
PageTableOfContents is right for most people; it produces a ToC and
optionally numbered headings...
Q: I want to add an Issue Tracker to my Wiki, what recipe(s) should I
use? A: ...
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