PageMaintainers: JohnGreenaway

Developer in UK with large financial company. We're using zwiki for an informal news/documentation intranet. Rewitten sections quite heavily, will submit them back if they're any use (and fairly stable...).

The modifications we're doing/done are:

Been looking at http://plone.org again now that it's got a very impressive installer that sets up zope, cmf and plone in one go. Now that zwiki looks like it may become cmf aware it could be extremely promising...


DeanGoodmanson, 2002/09/18 20:40 GMT (via web):
Could you explain how ZWiki is becoming CMF aware? (In light of CMFWiki...)

Screenshots of your UI improvements [for intranets]? would be appreciated.


JohnGreenaway, 2002/09/18 22:02 GMT (via web):
It looks like the CVS version of zwiki has got CMFWiki merged in now. So I guess it should be possible to add a zwiki to a CMF site using the latest CVS version. Haven't tried this yet...

We haven't got the old intranet pages anymore, had a rewrite fairly recently. Our newer version is much more zwiki.org like. The old version was essentially a three column table, with the centre one being the wiki content. Our current one is a cleaner one column version similar to this site. Will grab some screenshots tomorrow.


JohnGreenaway, 2002/09/21 12:30 GMT (via web):
Screenshots as promised. The current look is deliberately very simple and similar to zwiki.org. The different skins are controlled by the users with a choice of what CSS they want applied.

Looks beautiful! - SM


DeanGoodmanson, 2002/09/24 14:45 GMT (via web):
Thanks for the screenshots. Did having a pretty interface decrease the user acceptance time?


JohnGreenaway, 2002/09/24 17:57 GMT (via web):
Hard to say really. Most of the team are ecommerce developers, so are comfortable with using web pages in this way.

I think it's a tricky balance not to prettify it too much. Seems there's a psycological element at work with wikis that's different to normal pages. If you've got a very fancy look & layout, say http://www.cnn.com, which is what we orignally had, there seems to be a reluctance to edit yourself. Perhaps it's a fear that you might break something as the page is so "busy". Even though changing the content is no more complex, it feels like it is.

By making the page clean and more, well, "paper like" people seem happier to add content themselves. Still, there's a pretty low ratio of people who write to those who just browse. One noticable area that seems a good entry point for people has been the AnnoyingQuote part (called QuoteOfTheDay? with us). Most people who've edited pages seem to have tried that first.

Have run analog on the logs at various points. In terms of browsing quite a large increase in use came when we added the backlinks to the footer of each page. Seems to encourage people to wander off the established "paths" of pages that seem to emerge in wikis.


Simon, 2002/09/24 18:17 GMT (via web):
I think you expressed that very well. Here's another nice "wiki's wiki" I just came across - http://fit.c2.com


2002/10/17 21:35 GMT (via web):
Just trying out some DTML for the first time...

I'd like it to do this trivial loop (pseudocode):

        previousLetter="";
        for each pageName in wiki sorted alphabetically {
            currentLetter = first char of pageName;
            if currentLetter != previousLetter {
                previousLetter == currentLetter;
                print currentLetter;
            }
            print pageName;
        }

It just does a list of pages grouped by initial eg:

        A
        AboutThisSite
        Albatross

        B
        BeachBall

This is what I've translated it to:

        <dtml-let previousLetter="''">
        <dtml-in "Catalog(sort_on='id')">
            <dtml-let currentLetter="_['sequence-key'][:1]">
                <dtml-if "currentLetter != previousLetter">
                    ??? previousLetter == currentLetter ???
                    <h3><dtml-var currentLetter></h3>
                </dtml-if>
                <dtml-var sequence-key><br>
            </dtml-let>
        </dtml-in>
        </dtml-let>

Can't see how to do the line previousLetter == currentLetter though... The docs seem a bit sparse.


SimonMichael, 2002/10/18 23:16 GMT (via web):
I think you meant previousLetter = currentLetter. DTML isn't allowed to set much, but this is allowed and often used, though considered a bit of a hack:

 <dtml-call "REQUEST.set('previousLetter',currentLetter)">

Of course you could try another approach. Here's one on TestPage:

 <dtml-let pages="aq_parent.objectIds(spec='ZWiki TestPage')">
 <dtml-in "('a','b','c')" prefix=x>

 <dtml-var x_sequence_item>

  <dtml-in pages sort prefix=y>
  <dtml-if "y_sequence_item[0].lower() == x_sequence_item">
  <dtml-var y_sequence_item><br>
  </dtml-if>
  </dtml-in>
 </dtml-in>
 </dtml-let>


2002/10/19 10:26 GMT (via web):
Yes, meant =. Done that so many times. Think I like languages that make you type .equals() sometimes.

I see - you can use the request object as a temp storage area. DTML's quite interesting, Obviously from a pure architcture view it'd be better putting any fairly complex script in a .py file, but I think a wiki's a bit of an exception. Letting a user write pretty arbitrary code into a page and execute it could be very powerful. Can't think of any other wikis that have that feature.

With the explicit defining of an alphabet set - kinda wanted to avoid that for i18n. But then again it makes it harder to have an index line at the top like AllPages without it. Suppose if you had a different alphabet on your wiki you could just define a defferent set of letters you were interested in.

Just had a look around and MoinMoin has a interesting index where WikiNames are split MoinMoin:WordIndex. Might try that next. Cheers.


FlorianKonnertz, 2002/10/19 18:45 GMT (via web):
Ah, yes i've seen that. - It's also very useful. We should have this, too. Do you already have an idea how to implement this?

What i meant with WordIndex is a full text word index. But as far as i see it now, this is of course already the Search feature - I forgot about this, when i wrote the idea on GeneralDiscussion, lol :-) But now i have another idea: What about showing the number of occurrences of the searched word in each page? See my other notes on SearchDiscussion. --FloK

DeanGoodmanson, 2002/12/11 20:30 GMT (via web):
Got an odd question for you, John: What do you think of the AddingSmiliesPatch as a modification to STX itself, so all STX on a site could benefit? Did you use this in your Squishdot site?

JohnGreenaway, 2003/01/16 22:34 GMT (via web):
I seem to remember that's how we originally did it. We wanted the same strucured text format to appear throughout the site. Also given the frequency of zwiki code updates (lots) compared to core stx updates (few) it seemed a safer place to put it. It think we put it in StructuredText.py, intercepting before the call to HTMLNG.

After dropping the squishdot section (did swishdot ever turn up? haven't heard anything in a while...) we just stuck it into the zwiki code. With zwiki pretty stable (somewhere around .9) we stopped upgrading zwiki so regularly as there's so much custom code in ours now. Still chop bit out if the main zwiki codebase when something great's been added though.

Posting Deans comment back here

DeanGoodmanson
Thanks, John. Swishdot is still vaporware. There was some hope (via the zope list) that it would appear over Christmas vacation, but no. (Squishdot running on 2.6 did come through.) I worked on an RSS 2.0 feed for Squishdot over break myself, and that has the same calls needed to produce a "dump" of squishdot content before a migration. Your AllPages initiative has proven to be quite helpful to me recently as I've gotten a request for more ways to help be a better WikiLinker?.