[dokuwiki] dokuwiki comments from a newbie

  • From: Jason Keltz <jas@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: dokuwiki@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2007 15:27:09 -0400

I have been experimenting with DokuWiki for a few weeks. I think the system is powerful, has a very "clean", clutter-free feel to it. It's easy to use, and I intend to integrate it into our own systems for use by many users. Doing some experimentation, I have some feedback that I was hoping to pass on to the developers, and I believe that this is probably the best forum for this feedback.

As you know, the default Dokuwiki template does not include an optional sidebar. In order to get a sidebar, you need to go out an install one of the custom user-written templates. sidebars are very common these days. I would love if the default installation included a simple sidebar. If I use the default template on my site, I can be pretty much guaranteed that as new versions of Dokuwiki come out, that the template that I am using for my site is going to work because it will have been tested *with* the dokuwiki version being released. I can't really say that about the custom user-written templates. On the templates page on the DokuWiki site, you can see that some templates are frequently updated, and others have stopped working many versions ago. It would also be nice if there were a few other template choices that came directly with the system.

It would be great if plugins could add their own section to the "edit bar" that comes up when editing a page. The default Dokuwiki system is so great, but it becomes even more powerful when you add plugins. However, when you add plugins, each with their own codes for so many things, you have to remember so many codes for so many things. If these plugins could add their own code to the edit bar, you could get away without reading the documentation every time you want to use a plugin that has crazy codes. Take the math plugin as an example -- it would be terrific if there was a drop down menu with all the codes that you could use. It would be nice if with the discussion/blog plugins, you could click an icon to insert a discussion/blog/etc.

The "index" feature is really great and gives a top-down overview of the whole wiki site. It would be nice if the "index" was extended to provide a "create" button that let you create either a new namespace, or add a wiki page to an existing namespace. I know that there are other ways to create pages, but I just think that this would be a nice feature.

The ACL system is very powerful -- probably one of the most powerful that I have seen looking at some of the other wiki packages. However, the fact that it only displays the ACLs for the current namespace seems a bit confusing. (I know that there is a different plugin that gets around this). All of the other options in the "admin" menu apply to the whole site, but the ACLs only apply to the current namespace.

The biggest problem for me by far is that there are so many plugins that I want to use to increase the default capabilities of Dokuwiki (and I know I'm not alone here), yet if I use these plugins, each written by a different developer, then each and every time I upgrade my Dokuwiki package, I need to be aware that I need to individually test each plugin that I am using. Plugins which aren't released with the package may/may not work with a new version. If they don't work, the developer may choose to update it, or may choose not to update it leaving me without a plugin. It would be wonderful if Dokuwiki users could vote on the plugins on the site, and if there was enough interest in a particular plugin, it would be great if it could be integrated right into the default install so that it could be tested and released with the package. This would save a lot of time, effort, and trouble. Of course having the capability for everyone to write their own plugins is wonderful, and I'm glad that there are a lot of people writing great extensions to Dokuwiki.

None of these are show stoppers for me. Again, I love the system, and I appreciate all the people that do the hard work on development of Dokuwiki, templates, and plugins. It's a wonderful product, and I look forward to using it for a long time to come.

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