For quite some time I've had vague thoughts about experimenting with wiki systems on http://zhurnaly.com/ for a variety of reasons: personal learning, software diversification, feature-space exploration, etc. Of course, I fully realize that when I start doing this sort of seductive programming play, I'm likely to waste (uh, I mean, "invest") huge amounts of otherwise-productive time. The Cluster Wiki code that Bo Leuf developed works exceptionally well on http://zhurnal.net , I'm used to it, and I enjoy it. So why mess with success?

Ah, but the eye tends to rove ... and by chance last week I ran across http://www.wikimatrix.org/ , a site that offers an array of information about a wide spectrum of wiki systems. The "Wiki Choice Wizard" on Wikimatrix accepted my major criteria:

  • page history needed
  • What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editing optional
  • hosted on my own system
  • data stored in files, not a database
  • code open-source and free
  • program written in Perl
    and came up with a short list of candidates: ikiwiki, KeheiWiki, Oddmuse, PodWiki, ProWiki, TWiki, UseMod and Wala Wiki. Several of them looked tempting to me, but one — Oddmuse — jumped out for its apparent ease of installation. Oddmuse supports Creole, a new common wiki markup language that appears to be exceptionally well-designed and is based on a considerable amount of human-factors research. And Oddmuse is still under active development, has a vibrant community of users, and includes some nice version-control features — a frill at times, but valuable for me when I accidentally delete material that I'm working on and have to struggle to reconstruct it.

So with all that as background, a few days ago I set up a test system at http://zhurnaly.com/cgi-bin/wiki running Oddmuse. It took more than minutes to configure but less than hours, and that time includes a flock of mistakes that I made along the way. So far, Oddmuse looks promising, but much more remains to be done.

The ZhurnalyWiki Oddmuse experiment is likely to either:

  • evolve into something useful; or
  • quickly go extinct!

Meanwhile, feel free to mess around on http://zhurnaly.com/cgi-bin/wiki and let me know what you think about it — thanks!

TopicZhurnal - TopicProgramming - 2007-07-10

(correlates: ZhurnalWiki, ZhurnalyWiki Software Update 2008, Spectrum of Deceit, ...)