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Last post Author Topic: looking for...a wiki?  (Read 17251 times)

Target

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looking for...a wiki?
« on: September 03, 2008, 07:53:21 PM »
this is pretty trivial but I have an idea I've been kicking around for a couple of days and I need some guidance...

we recently moved office and the new site doesn't have any white boards - that could be a good thing, but it doesn't leave us anywhere to note our teams whereabouts (planned leave, meetings, etc)

I was thinking along the lines of a 'web' page that could sit on one the local machines and provide the same basic function, ie a simple table where we can add a name, and details of upcoming events/absences (see the attached HTML example).  It shouldn't be static, rather users should be able to edit or update their respective entries

It seems to me that a wiki would do exactly what I want, but I've never really gotten into them (love the idea, just can't quite grasp the reality) so I have no idea whether or not there's something out there that might fit (from literally thousands :o)

any ideas?

EDIT - 04Sep 11:20 added the attachment i forgot to add (DOH!!)

« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 08:22:51 PM by Target »

mouser

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2008, 08:06:41 PM »
This is a great question -- i hope we hear some good suggestions because i'll bet a lot of people would benefit from the right thing.

My intuition is this:
Your first instinct to use a wiki is a good one BUT you'd probably be better off with a web service slightly more specifically designed for this function -- ie events, quick notices, etc.  Rather than a pure wiki which is more flexible in some ways but will be harder for novices to use.

Looking forward to seeing what other people suggest.

Shades

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2008, 08:12:59 PM »
When I installed a Wiki (mediawiki 1.x.x) I fell instantly in love with it. The edit options are limited, so you are reasonably stuck in the layout from the wiki but it is an ideal "whiteboard".

It took me a whole day to create something of a portal from all the "scribbles" that are currently stored, but I have nicely sorted all of them and I think it is very accessible now. It contains information on how to restore an XP system without the need for re-installation of all your software to backup Oracle Database servers to website maintenance... all not more than 4 mouse-clicks away.

Likely there are better systems out there right now, but this one works for me. Also...no more memo\s on the monitor anymore.  ;)

kartal

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2008, 08:14:15 PM »
http://www.wikyblog.com This is a nice hybrid wiki.

http://www.pmwiki.org/ this one is flat file databse with many extensions, does not require database backend.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 08:16:56 PM by kartal »

sri

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2008, 08:22:40 PM »
<a href="https://sridharkatakam.com">My blog</a>

Target

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2008, 08:30:31 PM »
some clarification

I anticipate this would be a single self contained page (think wiki on a stick) as, apart from the aforementioned attendance details, it won't be sued for data storage or sharing

given that, I doubt I need database support, nor do I really need 'whiteboard' functionality

I visited wiki matrix yesterday, but most everything had a dependency on something else (linux, PHP, webserver, IIS, PERL, Python, etc) which would be overkill and i suppose I was trying to avoid

mouser

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2008, 08:37:18 PM »
I think the primary question you should answer first is:
are you open to using an online web service (ad supported probably), or do you require something you will install and run locally.

Target

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2008, 08:39:19 PM »
local - we're inside a corporate network and this is something that would be local to our (small) group

sri

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2008, 08:46:30 PM »
<a href="https://sridharkatakam.com">My blog</a>

Shades

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2008, 09:22:39 PM »
@Target:

Your solution would be: Tiddlywiki

This is a one file Wiki (with a lot javascript behind it). It's about 300 Kbyte in size when you begin with it, and will grow according to your input. You can put it on a webserver if so desired or keep it on an USB stick.

Instead of a "one-hit-wonder" this Wiki would be a "one-file-wonder"  ;)

Target

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2008, 09:23:43 PM »
nice site - thanks sri!!

FYI it doesn't have to be a wiki - it just seemed like a wiki would match my basic requirements.

Another consideration is the fact that my colleagues are not tech savvy, so the need to understand and use wiki syntax may rule this out...

thinking about it a bit more an alternative may be a simple AHK script that generates the requisite HTML file (with links to the script for processing updates...)

fenixproductions

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2008, 09:26:36 PM »
The smallest (but nice) solution would be:
http://tiddlywiki.com

Edited
2Shades
You were 4 min quicker.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 09:28:17 PM by fenixproductions »

Paul Keith

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2008, 10:39:11 PM »
Yes, for wikis, I third tiddlywiki because of it's popularity but from the screenshot, it sounds to me that what you really want is something like Compendium.

http://compendium.open.ac.uk/institute/

It takes a while but certainly less than trying to understand a wiki-syntax.

ender

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2008, 08:12:37 AM »
you already said, you are not looking for an online solution, but just in case you are reconsidering it, I have a friend who tried this and she is quite happy with how it works.
Shrugs , how about go and see it if you have time, cannot hurt.

Easy Way to Create Your Own Wiki
Wikis can be thought of as user modifiable web pages. It sounds attractive but in reality most wiki software requires both site owners and users to acquire some rather arcane markup language skills to make the system work. This site seeks to overcome this barrier by employing new wiki software that features a user-friendly interface.
http://www.wetpaint.com/

Paul Keith

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2008, 10:14:33 AM »
I second wetpaint. It's probably the most popular simple to use online wiki out there...but...I don't know that is what the OP is looking for. I'm not even sure he's still looking at this thread because it's been 10 days since he last replied.

nite_monkey

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2008, 01:04:00 PM »
If your office has google accounts, then you can use  url=http://sites.google.com]sites.google.com[/url]. That way when ever someone leaves, they can update their status where ever they are at.
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Deozaan

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2008, 02:05:07 PM »
Fellow DC Member Allen made his own wiki called Minki. I haven't used it myself, but it might be simple enough for what you need.


nontroppo

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2008, 03:51:19 PM »
Um, AFAIK, tiddlywiki is not a solution for a collaborative group, it offers shaky multiuser support and the tiddlywiki public wiki itself runs on mediawiki. It is excellent as a personal wiki, but won't work in a group as envisaged by the OP.

I went through this issue and set up a collaborative whiteboard for my group last year. There are thousands of possible solutions! As I have experience setting up a large public wiki (based on Wakkawiki), I went the wiki route, and about the best low-maintainance wiki out there is Dokuwiki:

http://www.dokuwiki.org/dokuwiki

It uses flat file storage (not annoying databases to set up, just PHP+web server), and works brilliantly in small-medium group settings. It has nice ACL/user setup and is fast and elegant. I use it to allow our group to contribute our shared knowledge easily. You could easily set up a contact/schedule page as you envisage.

If you wanted a much more specialised featureful groupware management system loosely based on a wiki, Tikiwiki is pretty formidable:

http://tikiwiki.org/TikiFeatures

Other groupware software worth looking at:

http://www.simple-gr...de/cms/Main/Features
http://en.wikipedia....egory:Free_groupware

However, if you don't mind hosting online, GCal would be a super simple thing to set up:

http://www.google.com/calendar/

If all you need is simple present/away tracking. GCal syncs nicely with lots of cross-platform calandar software, which doesn't force everyone to use the same app. A notch higher, perhaps Chandler and a chandler server set up locally would allow open-source and flexible group scheduling?

http://chandlerproject.org/

Chandler looks very nice IMO.
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PPLandry

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2008, 05:24:02 PM »
This seems like a trivial task to do with SQLNotes (I'm the designer). You would have a centrally located database (absolutely no setup required), and each user could update their info. Being a database, you could keep a history (Lets see, who was where on June 15th?)

Information presentation could be within the SQLNotes UI or through ODBC enabled apps like Excel and Access.

Over and above the Agenda / presence tracking, SQLNotes allows more general information management, group sharing and storage (Excel-like numeric data, EverNote-like textual and web content) along with sophiticated reporting (pivot tables and charts). Its outlining capabilities are great for brainstorming (Mindmaps are coming soon). It can be used for project managements with the built-in Gantt charts.

It is automatically multi-user with individual cell locking (not record-level locking), hence, users can modify different aspects of the same item at the same time. All changes are time-stamped and user-stamped. Newest version is portable on XP/Vista, hence does not require installation. Free while in beta (stable). $50 per seat afterwards. www.sqlnotes.net

[edit] As for online wikis, I use http://www.wikispaces.com/ alot and it just works well, always. Wetpaint seems nice too, has a better rich text editor but is a bit more complex to use.[/edit]
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« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 06:53:57 PM by PPLandry »

nontroppo

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2008, 07:05:20 PM »
if you want to pay some money for areliable intranet groupware organiser, look no further than backpack from 37signals:

http://www.backpackit.com/
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phillfri

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2008, 09:44:08 PM »
this is pretty trivial but I have an idea I've been kicking around for a couple of days and I need some guidance...

we recently moved office and the new site doesn't have any white boards - that could be a good thing, but it doesn't leave us anywhere to note our teams whereabouts (planned leave, meetings, etc)

I was thinking along the lines of a 'web' page that could sit on one the local machines and provide the same basic function, ie a simple table where we can add a name, and details of upcoming events/absences (see the attached HTML example).  It shouldn't be static, rather users should be able to edit or update their respective entries

It seems to me that a wiki would do exactly what I want, but I've never really gotten into them (love the idea, just can't quite grasp the reality) so I have no idea whether or not there's something out there that might fit (from literally thousands :o)

any ideas?

EDIT - 04Sep 11:20 added the attachment i forgot to add (DOH!!)



There's only one answer for you if you want to minimize your efforts and maximize ease of use: Deki Wiki. Can be run as a virtual VMware machine on Windows XP/Vista. VMware server is now free for commercial use (I wouldn't use the V2 yet, stick with V1.07). The basic Deki Wiki is also free. It took me about 15 minutes to install a test system at work. You'll love how easy this one is too work with.

You can get VMware server here: VMware Server
You can download the VM for Deki Wiki here: Deki Wiki  Use the red "Download VMware" button to download.

Install VMware server first then the Deki Wiki VM.

It may look a bit daunting, but all the fancy things they show on the web site demos is where you can go with this wiki if you want to. It also functions out of the box like a straight old-fashioned wiki application, with a way better than average end user interface.

Deki Wiki has a helpful community forum also. Have fun.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 09:51:45 PM by phillfri »

40hz

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2008, 10:17:48 PM »
Take a look at these collaboration suites:

Mindquarry at www.mindquarry.com/do

Kablink at www.kablink.org

Neither are toys, but any moderately competent IT type should be able to get things up and running fairly easily. Might be overkill for what you want to do.

If you're running Microsoft Small Business Server you can always take advantage of the SharePoint features.

For a low-tech approach, you could just use Post-it Notes. Find a stickable surface (a glass window in the conference area is one possibility) that can be divided into organizational and functional areas and have at it!

Note: if you ever do get a whiteboard, try using it in conjunction with Post-Its. Stuff you may want to rearrange goes on the Post-It. Use the markers to draw lines and grouping boxes around individual Post-Its to show relationships, etc. Best of both worlds when you do it that way!
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 10:39:46 PM by 40hz »

Target

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2008, 06:48:51 PM »
still here, and impressed with the responses, however most of them seem like major overkill...

to further clarify this, there is no requirement for a collaborative type tool

we are (locally) a very small group (4 staff) that, while functionally part of the same team, all work independently and report to management interstate.  The intention here was not for a time or attendance tracking tool, rather for a simple FYI type arrangement so that we have some visibility of each others movements.

Also, operating inside a corporate LAN precludes installing a lot of software (client/server apps, databases, etc).

I've been playing around with a TiddlyWiki and have modified my original layout from a set of defined fields for each user to a single tiddler for each user which seems like an acceptable solution - yet to be put to the test though

SQL notes sounds like an interesting alternative (I've looked at this one before, albeit sometime ago, and not in this context), though again, it may be overkill.

PPLandry

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2008, 07:46:43 PM »
The intention here was not for a time or attendance tracking tool, rather for a simple FYI type arrangement so that we have some visibility of each others movements.

Seems to me something as simple shared Google Calendars (one per worker) should do then, or for that matter, a simple text, word or excel file, put on the LAN.

As for using SQLNotes (now portable so compatible with Corporate IT rules), it will definitely do much more... But what is your definition of an overkill? An app that does much more, if nevertheless fast loading, simply gives you more room for expanding  :Thmbsup:

I can certainly provide a simple template for such a setup, if you want...
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz
« Last Edit: September 16, 2008, 10:40:09 AM by PPLandry »

Armando

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Re: looking for...a wiki?
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2008, 10:19:01 AM »
There's a new web app in beta that might do what you're looking for : http://wiggio.com/

Quote
Welcome to Wiggio!

Wiggio is a totally free, online toolkit that makes it easy to work in groups.

As seniors at Cornell, we started wiggio out of our own frustrations with unnecessarily clogged inboxes, using five different websites for five different functions, and all the other hassles associated with working in groups. We were tired of sending eleven emails back and forth just to set a meeting time. We were tired of that guy who just never knows where and when to be there. We were tired of list-servs, contact lists, phone-chains and incompatibilities. We wanted everything to be in one place, and we wanted it simple. So we created wiggio.