This text is first and foremost a guide to what Wiki software is and how to install, customize, and administer it within your organization. Early sections discuss the advantages of Wiki Web sites, which allow all users to add and edit content. While it might sound like a free-for-all, the authors suggest such Web sites have been used successfully in research, business, and education to document project designs, for brainstorming, and for otherwise creating content in a collaborative fashion. Case studies for such organizations as Georgia Tech, New York Times Digital, and Motorola give a glimpse of Wiki used in real settings, so you will get a sense of what to expect.
This book is also a guide to the nuts and bolts of downloading and installing Wiki and customizing it for your site. Sections on basic tweaks to Wiki's Perl scripts will let you customize your site to match your organization's needs. Standout material includes almost three dozen customization tips. This volume is illustrated with actual screen shots of Wiki, so you can get a sense of what it is like for users to work together in such an unrestricted fashion.
Throughout the text, the authors are suitably upbeat about Wiki's prospects for wider adoption, but they are realistic enough to note compromises (such as requiring passwords and restricting edit rights) required in business settings. They also survey the field of Wiki open-source projects and clones, as well as other similar content-management solutions (such as Zope and the emerging WebDAV standard).
While it's hard to predict whether Wiki-based Web sites are for everyone, this book presents the pros and cons of a potentially exciting and useful tool that promotes collaborative content creation. This title can help any organization get going with a Wiki Web site, from the standpoint of planning, deployment, and basic administration. --Richard Dragan
- Collaboration tools explained
- Web-based collaboration
- Introduction to Wiki
- User conventions with Wiki
- Survey of Wiki open-source projects and clones
- Installing Wiki (including Apache Web Server and security issues)
- Using Wiki (making notes, Wiki used as a PIM, content management and links, page editing)
- How to structure Wiki content (suggested default structure: pros and cons)
- Customizing Wiki
- Tour of Wiki Perl scripts and tips for customizing your Wiki site
- Wiki add-ons (including spellchecking and uploading files)
- Administration in Wiki (viewing events, controlling access and authentication, database administration, and debugging techniques)
- Guidelines for Wiki projects (dos and don'ts)
- Wiki case studies for education
- Business and research
From the Back Cover
WikiWikiWeb (aka Wiki) is an open source collaborative server technology that enables users to access, browse, and edit hypertext pages in a real-time context. Such servers are a critical tool for efficiently, and effectively, coordinating collaborative documents, databases, and projects. Unlike many alternatives, Wiki supports flexible, user-defined attributes and structure. It is easy to use, concordant with current technologies and standards, and requires little investment in hardware, software, or training.
The Wiki Way: Quick Collaboration on the Web compiles in one handy volume all of the information you need to set up, customize, and run a Wiki server. It offers an in-depth presentation of Wiki theory, practical implementation information, and many examples that demonstrate how to apply and adapt Wiki to the demands of various situations.
The book opens with a tutorial on setting up, running, and using a Wiki server, along with important background information on content structuring. It then presents a more detailed description of the core technology, Wiki server customization, and administration. The final section includes numerous case studies that showcase the Wiki technology in action.
Specific topics covered include:
- An overview of the Wiki technology and Wiki clones
- Installing Wiki (including coverage of Apache configuration and security issues)
- Basic Wiki functionality, including browsing, editing, building content, and markup conventions
- How to structure Wiki content, including self-maintaining topic lists, subheadings, and parent-child-sibling page trees
- Customizing appearance, codes, change notification, navigation links, and search functionality
- The QuickiWiki component model and modules
- Managing members, user access, and passwords
- Parsing requests
- Wiki administration, including tracking page edits, database management, performance, and debugging
- Collaboration issues, such as open edit, writing style guidelines, and update notification
Highlighted tips throughout the text will help you avoid trouble spots and enhance the quality of your Wiki server. Several fascinating case studies focus on the use of Wiki servers at Georgia Tech, The New York Times, Digital, Motorola, and the TRW Propulsion Center, among others.
The companion CD-ROM contains the public license Wiki sources discussed in the book, along with the means to run them--either stand-alone, or using the industry-strength Apache Web server. Complete Perl and Apache server packages for both Linux and Windows are also included.