Use Mod Wiki

What is UseModWiki?

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Also see MeatBall (at, which is the largest wiki using UseModWiki...

UseModWiki 1.0.4 is now available, adding features like RSS feeds, file uploading, CSS classes, and better compatibility with 8-bit charsets. -- CliffordAdams
BTW: What is the motivation for the Subpages mod? I think there is a strong argument on WikiNameAdvantages for Constrained names reduce the need for guesswork. -- EricHerman

I agree that constrained names are valuable - this is the one reason that I allow only one level of subpages. (The advantages of WikiNames are also the reason I decided against arbitrary link names like some other wikis.) Deep hierarchies create arguments over classifications. In many cases, subpages should simply replace the current wiki method of using a Long-Prefix-Before-Each-Subpage. (See ComponentDesignPatterns or ExtremeProgrammingChallenge for samples.)

The main motivation is to provide topics more freedom to grow. Many wiki topics have grown beyond the comfortable boundaries of a single wiki page. Keeping summaries and discussions together creates huge pages, and leads to tension between ThreadMode and DocumentMode. Refactoring into completely separate pages often seems to harm the coherence of the ideas. I hope that subpages will allow more thorough discussion and exploration of ideas, while making it easier for people to find or avoid topics depending on their interests.

Another way to look at it is that the "top-level" wiki space is a commons, where pages compete for people's attention. When there are "too many" top-level pages about a topic, people complain about a TragedyOfTheCommons (or just leave). "Too many" varies by interest, and the perceived focus of the community. When patterns were the focus of the PPR, XP was an intruder. When XP and general development topics became common, much of the pattern community left. Subpages would make every topic a potential wiki in itself, and (I hope) greatly expand the wiki commons of people's tolerance. (See AppropriateWikiTopics)

One potential subpage benefit is that people could greatly expand their personal pages without intruding on the public view. I'm considering a prefix like "HidePage_" which would hide a subpage from the default RecentChanges. People could put bookmarks, unfinished pages, or anything of limited public interest there. Only those who want to read these pages would see them.

I don't know if any real communities will like subpages. (Subpage support is a configurable option in UseModWiki.) If anyone is still interested, more details about subpages can be found at -- CliffordAdams [Now (October 2000) one of the most active UseModWiki sites uses SubPages frequently.]

CategoryWikiImplementation CategoryWikiForum


After playing with and installing a whole bunch of wikis, I ended up choosing the use UseMod because (a) installation was extremely simple (standard Perl cgi-bin app with flat-file data storage and little configuration requried); (b) its feature set is nice, but not overwhelming. I would definitely recommend UseMod highly in terms of ease of installation and basic plain-goodness of basic features (along with a few nice extras). On the down side, the code is not modular at all, and there is no template system--the display of the HTML is simply coming from print() statements within the main script. So making large changes is hard. And an attempt I made to rewrite something was frustrating because the code is so non-modular. It feels like a one-person coding project. I would still like to find one that was template based, as well as perhaps a little more obvious interface for the newbies (UseMod is fine... just that the newbies can be so picky.)

-- Chris Burbridge

You may be interested in InfiniteMonkey.

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