Submitted by : simon at: 2003-10-26T21:32:10+00:00 (17 years ago)
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In a CMF or Plone site, Wiki Pages don't support workflow - they are always in the "visible" state. It's assumed that workflow is an unnecessary complication for a wiki. But, people frequently ask about this. So we'll list it as a known issue. Comment here if you see a better way for this to work.

IssueTracke? and Workflow? --Drew, Sun, 12 Oct 2003 09:04:37 -0700 reply

The issue tracker process itself seems to have some workflow aspects to it as well. Not so much submit, visible, publish, etc.. but submit -> in progress -> closed etc, a "custom" workflow. Just another observation; I don't see the strong benefit in formally making a connection there.

work flow in a wiki --Mon, 12 Apr 2004 16:42:59 -0700 reply

It seems to me that a customizable workflow in a wiki could greatly improve the integrity of the wiki, especially in the case of vandals or other undesirable edits. The concept of workflow is not inherently contrary to the guiding principle of open editing and/or submission that make wikis so appealing, however it would be an invaluable tool to bring wiki publishing more in line with the conventions and controls of traditional print publishing. (Most of these remarks presume that someone is doing something akin to the Wikipedia.)

While it is certainly possible to lock down a wiki to the point where the "openness" of collaboration is virtually nonexistent, this is obviously contrary to the wiki process and therefore not useful. Many of these concerns were voiced in the section on WikiVandalismDiscussion, and it is readily apparent that requirements such as logins to edit are so "intrusive" to the dynamics of the process that they are simply not feasible.

However, once an entry reaches a certain state of development, it might be desirable to freeze it to prevent un-reviewed editorial emendations. Open editing DOES NOT automatically imply open or immediate publication. A wiki editor (in the traditional sense of the term) could set a state on an entry which would require that any alterations be subject to approval (via workflow, not necessarily in a GodKing? manner -- though if that's how someone wanted to run their wiki, then so be it). Approval could then take the form of multiple experts or even be structured in such a way that comments could be attached and sent back to the author.

>From an administration standpoint, the publication history of entries could be categorized as 1) newly created 2) last modified 3) awaiting attention

This approach does presume that there is a staff structure of some sort to the wiki site (if only the administrator), and does require that people function in a maintenance or administration mode, as opposed to letting the wiki maintain itself through the good graces of those who visit.

A tool that would be highly beneficial for evaluating changed entries would be something akin to a "diff" script. The original entry could appear in a column on the left of the browser window, the revised entry in a matching column on the right, with the differences highlighted in a reverse color block. While this might not seem all that practical for heavily revised entries, it would greatly facilitate the approval of small edits -- such as spelling or punctuation -- which might otherwise be practically invisible. It would also be incredibly handy for editing very long entries.

If edits were to be diverted to a workflow before publication, clever programmers could come up with all manner of scripting tools to automatically examine the changes to an entry. These scripts could be used to counteract vandal behavior -- such as looking to see if an entry has been deleted -- or simply to improve the professionalism of the wiki, in the case of running a spellchecker against the text. By combining flexible report generation with tools such as these, workflow could go a very long way to assisting with wiki administration and content preservation chores. And if it's not "your thing"... don't use it.

property change --Sat, 01 May 2004 18:29:30 -0700 reply

Status: closed => pending

property change --Sun, 02 May 2004 18:12:16 -0700 reply

Status: pending => open

request for feedback --Fri, 15 Oct 2004 11:58:25 -0700 reply

hi folks, i am preparing a patch for ZWiki that is as well as adding full DublinCore? metadata abilities for ZWiki under Plone.

As a default I was thinking of providing a workflow that default ZWiki documents to the 'published' state. This means that they would be searchable through the Search interface of the site. If a user wanted to they could change the document to a 'private' state in which case it wouldn't be searchable.

By default the editing permissions would remain the same, ie. anyone who has privs to edit a document would still have them under 'private' state. Of course, being under workflow control means users could modify this to their wishes.

Comments? Alternate approaches?

... --d2m, Fri, 15 Oct 2004 12:14:03 -0700 reply

AFAIK ZWikiPage already implements zopes set of dublincore elements. do not mix metadata with workflow - there is no relation between them.

zwikipage dublincore implementation --Fri, 15 Oct 2004 12:21:50 -0700 reply

yes, it does have a basic support for dublincore but doesn't support the writing of metadata so you can for example search by keyword within a plone site.

and AFAIK the plone search requires some kind of workflow state in order to be searchable (visible or published) so it would make sense to use the same names they are using.

request for feedback --Simon Michael, Fri, 15 Oct 2004 12:26:10 -0700 reply

Your workflow plan sounds good to me. d2m is also right, if you wouldn't mind let's discuss your meta data fix on another issue (if needed).

request for feedback --Fri, 15 Oct 2004 14:42:31 -0700 reply

> This means that they would be searchable through the Search interface of the site.


request for feedback --Mon, 22 Nov 2004 17:59:49 -0800 reply

Did this patch (setting the default state of wiki pages) ever get done?

request for feedback --Tue, 30 Nov 2004 00:38:18 -0800 reply

I don't think so.. if I missed a patch, please let me know.

property change --Tue, 09 Aug 2005 18:14:32 -0700 reply

Severity: minor => serious

some recent discussion --simon, Wed, 10 Aug 2005 15:57:18 -0700 reply

jbb666: if wiki content doesn't have a workflow state then it seems it can be searched with the rest of portal content <br> jbb666: that alone would be a really useful feature...theres the idea of having a open/closed workflow as well, so that users could close a page for editing once a decision has been made for example <br> sm: I didn't understand that second last comment.. it can be searched ? <br> sm: you mean if eg it's not published, some users can't see it in search results ? <br> jbb666: my experience has been that if a wiki is not workflowed then the plone search won't find any of its content because it searches certain specific workflow states and wiki doesn't have one <br> sm: that's interesting.. I haven't noticed, perhaps due to being manager or not using advanced search <br> sm: I'd like to clarify the exact circumstances for docs <br> sm: have you been using zwiki for long ? <br> jbb666: on and off for the last year or so.... not major experienced with it really... <br> jbb666: im gonig to do some more testing right now.. <br> jbb666: ok searching works ok from simple search but not from advanced, unless you click off on all of the wf states at the bottom <br> sm: makes sense.. maybe you could add a note to[Zwiki and Plone] <br> sm: how would it be if wiki pages were published by default ? <br> jbb666: thats what i was thinking.. something like that.... it would mean anonymous users would see them and they'd show up in the plone navigation (i think) <br> jbb666: i wrote a comment on that page.... <br> sm: my only concern is that things would be anon-accessible unexpectedly <br> jbb666: i'd rather it just use the standard workflow. if someone wants to change the workflow they can. zwiki could ship with alternate workflows <br> jbb666: hmm <br> jbb666: gonna test with anon user to see what currently happens... <br> sm: another one is that zwiki expects all pages to be accessible within a wiki <br> sm: if a user can view some and not others, I'd expect things to break <br> sm: I'll be interested to hear how this works out for you in practice <br> jbb666: ok so currently you can access a wiki page as an anonymous user... but it doesn't show up in navigation... basically the same as 'visible' state which is default <br> jbb666: ok well i will play with adding workflow and seeing what happens.... <br> jbb666: hmm i get a site error: Unauthorized when trying to access a wiki page in the private state... <br> jbb666: its not that bad a message though... ;) <br> jbb666: other than that wiki search works ok and doesn't show private documents to users that dont have permissions <br>

simple solution for adding workflow --jbb666, Wed, 10 Aug 2005 20:11:58 -0700 reply

Just go into portal_workflows, make sure you're in Workflows tab, and add a relevant workflow id, or (Default) to use CMF's default workflow.

There's at least one known issue with this, a not so serious authorization dialog popping up when a member tries to access a wikipage in private state.

**(property change) ** --Mon, 16 Jan 2006 17:50:54 -0800 reply

Name: '#539 zwiki pages don't support CMF workflow' => '#539 Frank Johnson'

**(property change) ** --simon, Mon, 16 Jan 2006 18:46:48 -0800 reply

Name: '#539 Frank Johnson' => '#539 zwiki pages don't support CMF workflow'

note --simon, Sun, 26 Feb 2006 10:05:42 -0800 reply

jensens reports that initial workflow state for a page isn't correct, you have to change it to something and back again.

The docs at Zwiki and Plone need updating.

**(property change) ** --simon, Wed, 15 Mar 2006 18:06:47 -0800 reply

Name: '#539 zwiki pages don't support CMF workflow' => '#539 zwiki pages don't support CMF workflow out of the box'

... --betabug, Thu, 22 Feb 2007 16:22:12 +0000 reply

Severity: funded => normal

Is this still something we should change? --EmmaLaurijssens, Thu, 22 Feb 2007 16:54:22 +0000 reply

I mean, I have enabled workflow on my own sandbox site ( and it appears to be working .

Is this still something we should change? --EmmaLaurijssens, Thu, 22 Feb 2007 16:56:33 +0000 reply

Perhaps we should add something to the documentation, but I don't see what else to do with it

status ? --simon, Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:01:47 -0700 reply

This is documented on ZwikiAndPlone as being disabled by default and enableable by the wiki admin. To close this issue I think someone needs to go through the enabling process as a plone admin and verify that everything works as expected. From the comments above the only issue I hear is that maybe our default state needs to change from visible to published to work better in navigation and search. And if done, will this change have any impact on access to pages in existing plone zwikis. And furthermore, I would like to hear from one or more of us who has tried it, that a workflow-enabled zwiki really and truly works as expected and adds some value over a non-workflow'd zwiki. Testing needed, basically.

... --simon, Wed, 28 Oct 2009 17:50:04 -0700 reply

Category: admin-defaultcontent => general-plone