I’ve contributed to many wiki sites but I’ve never put one together before. Now that my joojoo is on its way (yeah!) I decided to make joojoobe.com into a proper wiki. Beyond the typical issues of content aggregation, organization, and re-learning their markup syntax, I’ve found the process to be educational especially from a structural mechanics point of view.

  • Editing the navigation links required editing a config file (no web interface). This isn’t too painful but it certainly isn’t as simple as WordPress.
  • The default links at the bottom are not necessarily what I want, and they are not easy to change. I want a “License”, and I don’t see “About” as being important in this context. To change it you need to modify a config file, but even then they are meta objects that you are adding and removing. I understand the desire to constrain the list of options to those that are typical, but the guidance here is far too lacking for a command line interface.
  • There are many pages that the Wiki expects to be there such as “Help:Contents”, “Help:Editing”, and “wiki:Copyrights”. The first one is easy to find, its in the “toolbox” on every page. But the links to the others are embedded in the Wiki app but difficult to find. Even the “Special:WantedPages” page doesn’t show these pages.
  • The ability to do something as typical and trivial as putting references into your text requires a plug-in to render them correctly. Unlike WordPress the installation of these plugins is manual and requires access to the server.

My recent work within WordPress and MediaWiki has been useful in seeing what is good and not-so-good within a generalized and configurable system. I’d recommend playing with both and probably Drupal as well for anyone who is launching into the construction of a user configurable environment.