Proposal: for wikis in Plone and CMF sites, completely hide the page hierarchy by default. Non-plone wikis will still use hierarchy by default.

Why: wikis in plone are typically just part of a larger site, with its own hierarchy of folders and other content types. Zwiki's page hierarchy on top of this is confusing unless you're used to it. Better to just provide simple non-hierarchical wikis in Plone, by default, and let the admin enable wiki page hierarchy if they want it.

What happens with existing wikis, or when moving a wiki in/out of plone ?

A possible variation: hide page hierarchy when using the plone skin, show it when using the zwiki skin (in plone).

hide hierarchy --Richard Smith, Mon, 07 Aug 2006 10:27:54 -0700 reply

I can see why folks might like this - and for much of my use of zwiki in plone this would be appropriate - so i would like to see it as an option. On the other hand, I am just in the process of developing a site in which the plone hierarchy is minimal and the zwiki hierarchy is important. So... it goes both ways, I think.

Related to this, I would like an easier way to set the various options in zwiki. Sometimes there is an option for something but I don't know that it even exists.

standard wikis too ? --simon, Wed, 09 Aug 2006 11:47:24 -0700 reply

I'd even consider hiding page hierarchy by default for all wikis, not just plone ones.

Why Zwiki has automatic subtopics links:

  1. It used to be a big complaint that "the information is in the wiki, but I had no idea!". The automatic subtopics links were intended to solve that, and I think they do help quite a bit.
  2. They also aim to reduce the linking and editing effort when rapidly growing or refactoring a large hierarchical/book-like wiki (like zopewiki.org). This really works.

Why they are on by default: 99% of new wikis would not have found or enabled this option if it were off by default, so goal 1 would not have been fulfilled at all.

Why things might be different now: perhaps there are enough examples of zwikis showing subtopics to good effect, that the people who want the feature will know about it and will ask how to turn it on ? And meanwhile the people who don't want it will get a more familiar, simple wiki by default and perhaps feel more at ease.

Note there are several degrees of "hiding page hierarchy" from which to choose:

  1. hide just the automatic subtopics links
  2. hide the parent links (above the page title) as well
  3. hide the reparenting controls (in backlinks and page footer) completely
  4. hide the wiki contents view completely

Comments ?

Scale --jmax, Wed, 09 Aug 2006 12:04:48 -0700 reply

The hierarchy helps enormously with scale. I can see that with a little wiki (maybe < 100 pages), you could fly with no hierarchy fine and never really worry about it. But when the site gets big, the hierarchy becomes enormously helpful... either you need an auto-generated one like ZWiki does or you need to start building one (as in Wikipedia). So the question for Plone is: do you have any sense of the usage patterns for in-Plone wikis? If they tend to be small things, then you could just blank out the hierarchy altogether. But if these things get big, then you'll want to leave in some hints for getting it back.