May 27, 2006
Wiki Faq

This page is for frequently asked questions.

Q. Where are the not so frequently asked questions?

A. They are shattered over all the existing wikis. For anyone can comment and ask questions on any wiki page.

Q. We want to build a wiki but don't want that anyone can edit any page. Can we protect the pages against destructive users?

A. Yes, you can. You can configure the user to either declare his name (soft) or to use a formal login (hard). You can also protect pages or groups of pages by making them editable only by certain users or user groups. See HowTo/ProtectPages.

But in general the risk of destruction is very small. Note that the page archive holds page revisions so nothing can be really destroyed.

Q. How can I create a new page?

A. The recommended way is:

  1. To use the pagename somewhere on a page. Store it.
  2. Click the "?" link behind the pagename and create the page.

Q. This is a nice system but why don't you use HTML?

A. A wiki can be configured to use HTML but typically it's not used for a number of reasons:

  • historical: WardCunningham went that way and we stay compatible.
  • safety: allowing HTML introduces certain risks.
  • technical:
    • faulty HTML can make a page unreadable and even unworkable
    • even HTML-experts are not good at writing browser-independent HTML.
  • social: using HTML created two classes of users. Computer experts able to create e. g. tables and normal users. We prefer e. g. CdmlTable to make life equally easy for everyone.

Q. What happens when two users edit a page at the same time?

A. Ok, we call this an edit collision and it creates no problems. To describe the situation I talk about user A (the one you saves his work first) and user B.

  • User A doesn't see anything from this edit collision, he opens the page and saves it.
  • When user B saves his work he gets a notice that a collision happened and he will get two windows on his screen. The first window contains the current (new) stored version of the page. The second window contains the version he created. User B can now copy his contribution from the second window to the first window.
Collisions happen rarely. To avoid additional work: save early and often.

Q. What happens if there are three or more users? Will there be three or more windows?

A. No, the situation is not complicated further. The user always sees his work in relation to the currently stored version of the page.

Q. What software is used at WikiService? Is it freely available?

A. We use ProWikiSoftware. It was proprietary until March 2006, now it is OpenSource. You can download ProWiki, install and maintain it. You can get a working ProWiki at reasonable costs from ProWikiProviders.

FolderWiki FolderStartingPoints