Updated 2013-09-19 10:41:13 by RLE

I've been implementing my own wiki software in StoryServer and have made a few changes compared to how this particular wiki works. I did this after surveying other wikis to see how they handle text formatting, dynamic pages and so on, and taking into account my own personal preferences.

So now I'm wondering what other folks might like to see changed, if change were possible. For an existing system, changes to formatting rules would be catastrophic. But with a new system, it's possible to make some changes. The question is, are there any changes truly worth making?

To get things started, I'll mention some of the changes I adopted.

I use * for bulleted lists, # to start numbered lists, sort of like the meatball wiki [1] does. That seemed more natural and easy to remember than the method used in this wiki.

I've kept the linking method used by this wiki, however (enclosing links in [ ]'s) rather than SmashingWordsTogether that many other wiki's do. I can see the advantage to the latter, but don't find it particularly appealing. It makes reading the page awkward.

I've also kept the double and triple single quotes for highlighting -- I really like that.

Bulleted lists that are separated by whitespace continue to be separated by whitespace. This wiki seems to smash bulleted items together. I sometimes want them close together, sometimes not. My wiki tries to render bullets as you entered them (though, admittedly, this was sort-of by accident).

I've added the ability to add section headings. Essentially, any paragraph that is a single, bolded sentence gets rendered as an <h2> element. Looking around, that's what people seem to do naturally, so I figured why not make it a feature?

I've also added a fancy look to the page, so my wiki won't work well in text-only browsers. But, given the power of storyserver it would be quite easy to write a text-based look without having to change any of the basic software.

At present, I haven't implemented the feature of clicking on a page name to see what documents reference the current document. Neither have I implemented the "expand" feature that this wiki has. I'm not convinced those are used all that often, though I'd love to hear what others feel about it.

My goals have been to make the wiki more palatable to "normal" people (read: not computer geeks) in the hope that these people can actually get use out of the software. I personally think that the somewhat bare-bones and hackish nature of the wiki is put-offish to a large percentage of people.

Comments? What would you do different if you had the chance, or do you like it just the way it is?

See also, Thoughts on 'Special' Wiki Pages

--Bryan Oakley

DKF: For those that are interested, I incorporate a lot of my ideas about what to do with Wikis in the TIP system [2]

EE: I personally find the expand feature to be quite useful, and I like it.

BBH : It would be nice to see what the recent changes to a page were. teh SF site page for tkoutline is a wiki & the Date stamp of the last update is a link that brings up a diff of the page from previous version. Don't know how hard it would be to bring that functiionality to this wiki - but it would be extremely nice if it could.

LV: Donal did something similar with the TIP wiki. I think that something like a SCM will be in kiwi, to make things like this easier.

See also new features requested for wiki.