Rob Daasch

I'm an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Portland State University.

Wiki is installed as a collaborative document server on a Solaris Sparc5.

12/1997. Update of Wiki at PSU. I have retained my original comments about my modifications and additions to the original HyperPerl. Recently, I put enough time in on Wiki to produce a tar file. It can be found at ... aasch/wiki.tar.Z [1].

To set-up a local wiki I started with Ward's HyperPerl and made a few changes. One of the most troublesome, as far as the portability of the original was concerned, is that on SunOS a dbm page can not be larger than a disk block. This meant that at around 2K worth of text you couldn't add any more to the page. Yeow that hurt! To avoid this "feature" meant that I had to dump dbm entirely and go with the directory and a file per page. So the original HyperPerl is a little frayed now from that attack, sorry.

While I was in there, I reintroduced a spelling checker, page title searching and a couple other things I like on Ward's wikibase. I haven't written a "all the pages" script yet though I would like one. [try just using the regular search but just give it a space character ...] I did compose some "?TutorialPages" and tarred them up so that when I create new databases that background information comes in without a lot of trouble. A comment from a colleague prompted me to "insert" a space between each local reference linkpattern (ie. [A-Z][a-z]+) as an aid to readability. The effect is particularly obvious when I produce the Postscript. I added RCS as an additional backup. Right now RCS is much too aggressive, because it cuts a version for no better reason than the user hit the "Save" button.

On the administrative side I have done a few other things. The system this runs on has the Netscape version something-or-other server running. It provides cleaner administrative features than NCSA for logins to directories, logging of access etc. What I have done for wiki is set aside a wiki root directory and limit access to it from the server. Users can logon, fiddle around, change passwords and the like but this way the "integrity" of the edit sessions is maintained by the limited access. This is not bolted onto wiki itself, mind you, so when other opportunities to use the wiki server appear that do not require this feature, that's great, the wiki perl need not be changed.

[an alternative approach is CvWiki, where the version control system *IS* the security mechanism. In general, I think Rob and I have thought along similar lines, but CvWiki seems to have gone further on them. Check it out. --PeterMerel]

Thank you Ward for your help getting this set up. I'll keep you posted if the folks use it and if not why.

At PSU the server has not been a raving success. Some of the hesitation is WYSIWYG. Fewer among us are prepared to compose text with markup of any kind.

I'm noticing a similar reluctance at HP. It seems that one of the chief gripes is just with the basic emphasis patterns - all those little quotes make simple things look complicated. Another is with the tabs - having to remember how many spaces make a tab is not BleedingObvious enough. --PeterMerel

Yea, let's get rid of tabs. -- WardCunningham


Last edited January 13, 1998
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