Content Management Systems

In Comes in Two Sizes Greg Wilson comments on Wiki technology.

One of the frustrations I find with wiki software (and, actually, open source software in general) is the proliferation of almost identical versions of a tool. There are too many wiki implementations out there, and each one seems to have one or two good features, but is also missing one or two important features.

TWiki is too large and feature-rich (and has a weird hybrid version of Wiki syntax), but it has real authentication (unlike most of the others) and has a working XML-RPC interface (useful for integrating with, say, movable type :-), so that’s why it is installed.

On the other hand, I’m using MoinMoin at work, because I don’t need authentication there, and it is easier to setup and use.

Anyway, what I’m really looking for for things like the rolemaster pages is a Content Management System that makes it easy for the casual user to create linked documents. This means, for example, that it should use Textile or Wiki syntax for editing. But the most important feature for me would be to extend the power of WikiWords to arbitrary phrases or keywords. For example, if I create a document with the title “Greg Wilson”, I’d like any instance of the string “Greg Wilson” to be replaced with a hyperlink. This makes it trivial to create content; just create the page, rebuild, and every reference to the topic will be magically linked, without using WikiWords. (The problem with WikiWords is that you have to remember to use them, and they don’t always fit comfortably. My Rolemaster characters don’t have last names, for example, so I’d have to name Alex as AlEx, or CharacterAlex, or something similar to get standard wikis to work).

WordPress comes close; there’s a plugin for keyword processing that could probably be extended to dynamically generate the list of keywords from the database. If only I had some time to play :-)

posted at 10:31 pm on Friday, February 27, 2004 in Site News | Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. Reid says:

    Hm, can’t tell if all of the posting was by you or by Greg Wilson, and I’m too lazy to clikc the link, so there you go.

    If you have a work that isn’t InterCaps, you can (with TWiki anyway) use a syntax like [[wiki][text]] which will use the ‘wiki’ part as the link href, and display it as ‘text’. So to be bizarre about it, you could use [[Alex][Alex]]. :-)

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