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00028

Summary: Turn PmWiki into a full-fledged blogging tool
Created: 2004-09-04 01:16
Status: In Progress
Category: Feature
From: Jonas?
Assigned:
Priority: 555555 55555 55555 55555 55555 55555 55443 33221 11111 11111 11
Version:
OS:

Description:

Categories: Blog

Blog features contains a list and description of specific blog-like features that are under consideration -- feel free to vote for specific features there. Decisions about which features will be included in the core can go below.

--Pm September 20, 2005, at 02:34 PM

Adding the possibility to use PmWiki as a Blog. WikiCalendar is a start but it is not really suited to be used as a Blog. Features like trackback, commenting on locked pages, comment preview etc. are still missing. Now that PmWiki supports pages like Blog/20040904 it would be much easier to implement a Blog-like system.


PmWiki's primary goal has not been to be a blogging tool, although it can certainly become one with just a little work. In particular, I'd like to see a fairly complete list and/or descriptions of features needed to support blogging. --Pm


I've put up my explanation of why I want blogging capabilities in PmWiki and what features I think are needed on my site, at http://arndis.godsong.org/Aerie/IWantABliki. (It would have doubled the pagelength here, so...)

--Arndis/Bronwyn


I'll try to explain why PmWiki should support blogging, what I've done to use PmWiki 1.x as a blogging tool and what PmWiki 2.x should support to become a full-fledged blogging tool.

Why?

Wiki and Blog are two concepts which fit together extremely well. You can use a Wiki to organise structural content and a Blog to post ongoing messages/news. For example you could use a Wiki engine as CMS for you site and use it for your projects, articles, CV, bookmarks, etc. If you additionally want to write a diary, you would use a Blog engine.

There are many Wiki and Blog engines available but none of them really integrates Wiki and Blog. There are some attempts to integrate a Wiki into a Blog, e.g. WordPress Wiki Integration, but the result is mostly not really good, because the Wiki is not so tightly integrated as it should be (search, authorization etc.). There are also some attempts to turn a Wiki into a Blog engine. Although a Wiki is perfectly suited to be used as a Blog engine, those attempts also lack in many areas. Examples are [(approve links) edit diff], PmWiki Wiki Calendar or [(approve links) edit diff].

I think it would generate significant momentum for PmWiki, if it was the first Wiki engine to support a full-featured Blog engine.

Using PmWiki 1.x as a blogging tool

I was looking for an existing Wiki/Blog solution to use as a CMS for my private website. PmWiki 1.x offered exactly what I was looking for except a decent Blog engine. Then I discovered Wiki Calendar which was more or less what I wanted.

I did some changes to Wiki Calendar to make it more Blog-alike. You can download this version of Wiki Calendar (link fixed-16March2005) Δ. To set it up, add the following code to your config.php (this only works with PmWiki 1.x):

 include_once("local/wikilog/wikilog-config.php");

 $WikiStyle['blogcomment']['color'] = 'rgb(166,140,83)';

 # disable the Publish button
 $PublishCalendarTagFmt = '';

 # configure how weekdays are presented.
 #   0 - american style, Sun to Sat
 #   1 - european style, Mon to Sun
 $calendar_weekstyle = 1; 

 # configure how dates are presented.
 # 0 - american style, 11/17/2002
 # 1 - european style, 17.11.2002
 # 2 - international style, 2002-11-17
 $calendar_datestyle = 2;
 $space_date_titles = 1;
 $SpaceDateString = ' ';

 $calendar_months_start = 0;
 $calendar_months_number = 1;
 $summary_only = false;

 # configure how dates are linked
 # 0 - normal
 # 1 - Wiki style
 # 2 - dates with no entry don't get linked
 $date_link_style = 2;

You also need to add the following to your CSS file:

 input, textarea {
  border: 1px solid rgb(216,210,195);
  background: rgb(244,244,244);
  margin: 3px;
  padding: 2px;
 }

 input:focus, textarea:focus {
  background: rgb(250,250,250);
 }

 form label.left {
  margin-right: .3em;
  vertical-align: middle;
  float: left;
  width: 7em;
  text-align: right;
  padding: .1em;
 }

 form div.right {
  margin-left: 7.4em;
 }

 form {
  line-height: 140%;
 }

 fieldset {
  border: 1px solid rgb(216,210,195);
  color: rgb(166,140,83);
  font-weight: bold;
  width: auto;
  border: none;
 }

The changes I made to Wiki Calendar are

  • Allow comments on a locked page
  • Configure at the creation of a Blog entry whether to allow comments or not
  • Preview comments
  • Filter out WikiWords, ]], [[, {{ and }} in comments
  • Replaced existing forms with handicapped accessible forms to post Blog entries and comments

The main problem with Wiki Calendar is that it was not primarily developed to be a Blog engine. So it has features which are unneccessary (like publish a calendar) and lacks many features a decent Blog engine should have.

What features should PmWiki support to become a Blog engine?

The Blog engine should have the following features:

General Blog features

  • a calendar to add to the sidebar. Dates with Blog are entries linked to the corresponding Blog entry
  • Possiblity to search Wiki and Blog, search only Blog and search only Wiki
  • XML-RPC interface to post new entries (e.g. implement Blogger API, MetaWeblog API or/and MovableType API).
    • This could also be used with VoodooPad to provide a desktop based GUI for editing a wiki.
  • Customizable Blog categories, e.g. Links, Private, University, etc.

Comments

Syndication

  • Ping away (e.g. to [(approve links) edit diff], http://blo.gs/)
  • RSS. Basically this is already supported by PmWiki. But it would be nice to have a separate feed for Blog entries and comments.

Feel free to add things I forgot and please give some feedback.

--thom


Blog functionality integrated with wiki would indeed be a killer app. Particularly I think PmWiki could gain good momentum if it worked as a "solution" for, say, CMS system for sourceforge.net projects. These projects really need a blog-like system for project news plus wiki for discussion and documentation. Currently most people use PhpWiki on sourceforge since it has a "how to setup on sourceforge" page, and because it works with MySQL (since sourceforge does not protect project web space, which ends up in wiped-out filesystem-based wikis every once in a while), but PhpWiki is already behind PmWiki 1.x on customization, inline images support, authorization and uploads. And both don't support blogging.

As a concrete example, I had to set up a blog-like script plus PhpWiki in my sourceforge project page: http://freemmg.sf.net (blog) and http://freemmg.sf.net/phpwiki (the wiki). With PmWiki 2 supporting blogging and a database (MySQL) backend, AND having a nice "how to set up on sourceforge" page, I'm willing to bet that a good portion of the 70,000+ sourceforge projects would go for it. (I don't know if PmWiki has an aggressive marketing strategy such as e.g. Mozilla, but here goes my 2cents anyways :-) --Fabio


New User here, Sorry to butt in but one of the reasons I chose pmwiki is for its simple wiki features and simple flatfile. I really dont want more stuff in pmwiki. If I want more stuff(tm) then I would use tikiwiki which i also use.

Thanks


I don't think that the blogging support should be integrated into PmWiki. It should rather be available as a separate script that you can enable through an entry in config.php. TikiWiki is a configuration and administration nightmare, I'd never want PmWiki become something similar.

--thom


Obviously, we should keep PmWiki easy and simple to use. However, some people like me really need blog tool integrated when we use PmWiki as a CMS or personal website. Maybe blog tool could be a CookBook solution. I think WikiCalender is perfect good but not enough as a real blog tool. --Elias Soong


We defintely should keep PmWiki simple to admin and setup, and by makeing these additional features a cookbook module that could be distributed by default with the package, but you enable/disable in the config wouldn't greatly increese the difficulty to admin and setup PmWiki.

Alot of the features talked about here are greatly useful to even non-blogs, trackbacks, pingbacks, comments, and other blog features can easyly cross-platform into being a useful addition to a wiki website.

Also I think one of the major usefulnesses of a wiki application is as a CMS. It would be a natrual progression for PmWiki to become a more powerful CMS and to do that it needs blogger features. Afterall blogs are a MAJOR force on the internet right now. --raeky?


Hello,

I've seen wiki integration in some blog tools like wordpress or dotclear: CamelCase word is supported, even wiki syntax (dotclear) and can be used to link blog's article with wiki pages. This solution keeps both system separated, but give a way to link news with wiki pages in a simple way.

Gregory


Please let's keep pmwiki simple. It's not a blogging tool.


I'm not really concern with pmWiki being a blogging tool or not, but I'd love to be able to use VoodooPad with pmWiki! That would be a killer feature!


"3. Avoid gratuitous features (or "creeping featurism")"

 -- PmWikiPhilosophy

1. blog's to extend personal websites - that's good. blog-culture restitutes power to individuals
2. I am only afraid that this project will be overrun, from a very different audience, of which most of them are strange to the wikinature/culture. If my doubts can be dispelled and the PmWiki-community is able to handle it, I would love to have it, but I admit to be very intolerant against "reality show" driven motivations. (I am more and more convinced, that I need a blog for me and anybody else, simply to take part at the semantic web in an even more direct way. I am looking to integrate this --> http://hypergraph.sourceforge.net 16.1.05)
3. I agree for keeping this feature simple for admin and user. If not it should stay out.
4. do not tie it strongly with the PmWiki-engine, to enable a more vivid development of both, blogs and wikis.
5. PmWiki certainly will compete with blogs migrating to wikis or similar easy CMS, or its direct competitors which add blog-facilities.

The functions which enables blogging can be used also in a very different way, than commonly known blogs. I see its viability for the more scientific orientated public.

scoid?


For my application of PmWiki, I don't need blog functionality. In fact, blogs seem a world apart from my limited understanding of their nature. That might say more about my limits then about anything else, though. --Henning December 16, 2004, at 05:07 AM


Blogs and Wikis serve different audiences and different authors. The paradigm between their syntax and authoring environment are also different.

As a Cookbook script, sure. As a core feature, I would not recommend that direction.

I chose PmWiki for its flexibility and its simplicity. This would start PmWiki down the road of TikiWiki and/or TWiki, a lot under the hood, but very difficult to maintain.

My $.02 -- cheshyrekatt


Status?

I just wanted to check out what the current status of blogging features in PmWiki is.

Thanks.


To my mind PmWiki already is almost ready for using as blog. Only feature is needed badly is good comment script for creating build-in comments. In other words after installing this script you could add :comment(topic): (or something like that) to your page and it will be converted to link which will look like that: [CommentTopic(5)], where 5 is count of already added comments. I can't imagine myself reading blog distributed to plenty of pages and this feature would make creation of solid blogs possible. --CleverFool


I would just like to support what Thom and Fabio above have said. Developers use wikis and blogs. It's entirely logical to have a blog capability in a wiki if you're a developer. I find I often use one then the other and switching between applications is just a distraction, esp when I'm trying to hold a couple of complex ideas in my head at the same time and record them and the appropriate links. This is the app I've started deveoping myself so many times, but never finished.

So, fine, don't necessarily make it part of the core Pmwiki app - just make it a plugin. Not everyone is a developer and/or not everyone needs to blog.

All I would add, is that the blog needs to be user or group based. One blog shared between a team of developers would be a little average... Also, my blog tends to be my personal record - not for public consumption really - well, not outside my development team anyhow.

And, yes, bring on VoodooPad.

Profiles/DavidBrowning


An example using a WikiWikiWeb as a blogging tool - or maybe it's more a CMS - can be found at http://blogcms.com

What they claim:
BLOG:CMS is the most complete, feature-packed, personal publishing system on the market, developed by Radek Hulán. It includes state-of-the-art weblog, forum, wiki engine, news aggregator (atom / rss), and photo gallery.

But it needs MySQL. Take a look at their page. Any major functional difference to PmWiki? I haven't see it!

--Armin


BLOG:CMS is nothing more than Nucleus CMS with (not really tight) integration of DokuWiki and some other existing PHP scripts for forum and image gallery function. I don't see any reason why BLOG:CMS is so extremely over-hyped by its developer, Radek Hulán, it is nothing special. I also don't see any connection between BLOG:CMS and PmWiki. --thom


Blogging support?

I'm evaluating different Blog and Wiki engines. So far I liked PmWiki the most, but I really need blogging support.

What is the current status of blogging support in PmWiki?

--Martin


PM, please beware us from the featuritis syndrome! Keep blogging support out of PmWiki, there're several reasons to do so:

1. Blogs just suck, if there were a blog haters group, I'd join it. All that emberassing crap published by bloggers is a waste of time to read. Those bloggers should prevent us from their unfinished thoughts and keep the crap in their heads. They should learn to write decent papers or maintain decent Wikis and don't waste our time.

2. Such blogging stuff would bloat PmWiki, it was the simpliest and best Wiki so far, please keep it simple and don't break the Unix principle with adding crappy features to PmWiki.

3. Adding blogging stuff to PmWiki is a _killer_ feature, it will kill PmWiki.

4. Such feature would break the PM philosophy beside the Unix philosophy (write programs which solve 1 problem well, but nothing more).

--garbeam


I'm pretty interested in blogging support. Mostly, I'm interested in two things:

  1. Having a robust means of organizing content by the dates I choose to publish it, rather than the dates on which it was created or modified.
  2. Being able to interact with blog software from within the wiki. Blogs have a lot of great toys for interacting with their readers- things like trackback or even commenting.

--Russell


I use pmwiki, as well as livejournal. Wiki's and blogs (IMO) are two separate tools. I would love to see something like PmBlog as a standalone blogging tool that tightly integrates into PmWiki but does not require it and visa-versa. This way I could use one or the other or both together.

--TRhodes

--- Blogs and Wiki's while similar serve two different end purposes. Does PmWiki want to be a jack of all trade and a master of known or the best darn Wiki out there? I vote for the wiki. WHR


The why of adding //support// to PmWiki for blogging is, in my opinion a Wiki excels in getting content to the end user. We all know how easy it is to edit wiki pages, and how friendly the formatting is. A blog benefits from this very much. I currently use Bloxsom and it works fine... but it is a pain to use.

My opinion as to why PmWiki should have blogging support is based on the above thought and my own wants and uses. I like PmWiki, it serves the need I have. (rather well too I'd like to add).

Regardless however, I think the vast majority of 'blog features' should **not** be CoreCandidates as that in my opinion goes against the wonderful PmWiki philosophy. However there should be additions to the core for generic improvements and features, and indeed enhancements to pagelist (as an example) that blog support may generate can be beneficial to us all, regardless of how we tend to use PmWiki.

This makes me think there is no reason not to add support.

-- Feral January 01, 2006, at 05:48 PM

i absolutely second thom and others in their quest for some better blog support for pmwiki. pmwiki is already an incredibly powerful tool - both by its adaptability and its ease of use as wiki software. but imagine the possibilities if it had tight blog integration? pmwiki would be a powerhouse. there's no doubt in my mind that we should avoid "creeping featurism" but integrating the power of blogging with pmwiki is hardly that - ESPECIALLY if it's done as some sort of add-on, something that can be turned on or off, whatever. with this much discussion and debate, i can't see how it's "creeping" in any way. blogging, in spite of all the crappiness of the blogging world, is a most useful way of organizing and presenting news, updates, etc. pmwiki is already quite dynamic, but just think of how much sense it makes to have the power to easily allow a site to evolve as we do - day by day and even thematically. what really differentiates a blog engine from wikis is turning a blog entry into one page, or set of data that gets stored/indexed in a few ways: chronologically and categorically. entries are then displayed in digest form, with the ability to navigate to other entries by date or by category. being able to comment on the entries is nice, but not (in my mind) what defines a blog. rather, it's just a way of storing, categorizing and displaying information. pmwiki is great for displaying semi-static pages, but when it comes to displaying updates/news in a well-organized fashion, it's quite lacking. but kudos to pmwiki and its users for such community input for its evolution! --arthur


The features needed for blogging are already present in the system; they just need improving to the point where PmWiki can be used as a weblog tool (blogging isn't a feature in its own right, to my mind).

The only features we need that aren't already present are such things as trackbacks. These are largely unnecessary (even for most blogs), and many people that have weblogs don't use them at all ("Take your trackbacks and dangle").

Blogging features such as an improved commenting system (or a better way of doing comments, like pages with only certain sections editable, etc), more flexible or customisable RSS feeds and such would be a great benefit to PmWiki. Also, check out DokuWiki's plugin:blog:new for quite a nice implementation (much of which we already have, with categories and so on).


No vote on this one as I am neutral on the subject. I use PmWiki and set up a very simple blog using a couple recipes that works beautifully for me so far--complete with comments, and all. Not to familiar with hi-end blogs to know what features I am missing, but perhaps the question should focus more on specific features PmWiki should add. Blogging is already here to some extent, and easy to use/set up. The debate should be over tweaking it's blog capabilities.

I should add, in principle, I would like to see PmWiki focused on adding features that enhance flexibility, and not adding complete, built in systems. CMS/Blog/Forums, etc. Those should be set up in the recipes, by showing how to use existing its various capabilities in creative ways. Let's not bog PmWiki down, rather, give it good tools, and let the recipe developers work on specific applications. Just my thoughts. Caveman


This issue has been open for quite a while, what is the current state of this feature?


Funnily enough, I maintain several 'weblog' type of websites (for others and myself), which I almost use as if they are wiki-systems. And they are all built using Pivotlog. I don't really see much future in 'blogging' as something really special, or what many make of it. I've been writing and creating content for the web ever since 1994, and to me what people call a 'blog' is nothing more than a diary-type of homepage, which requires a couple of basic things:

  • Lots of community-based connectivity, so: Fast and reliable Google-indexing, digg and technorati linking and such for publishing via RSS. A commenting option per article (protected against abuse using a silly question answer for validation. Works like a charm).
  • Latest article on top, and my preference would even be to have the latest *edited* post (re)appear on top, i.e. last revision creates repositioning inside or towards front page!
  • Blog-postings are generally shorter than entire webpages about one subject, but my preference and usage of blogs tends to lean towards a total disregard for that, i.e. huge informative wikipages might as well BE blog-entries and vice versa. Visitors don't care. They're either looking for info, or interested in reading from or about you. Your feed can have both.
  • Time-navigational links to previous and next articles, visible from each article/post. A calendar is not needed, just a link back and forward.
  • Maybe archive links, for either years of postings or months of postings.
  • Direct link for each article easily available, either from the current URL or from a 'permanent link' below each article.
  • Using the first index of the domain-name is usually where I would want and expect the 'blog'-page to be. I.e. the actual domainname IS the blog-frontpage.
  • Big plus for many blog-systems is the editor, where you can select one or more words in an article you're typing and then easily create a hyperlink from that by pasting the URL in a box. Posting links, creating hyperlinks, should be very easy for blogging.

Pm; Most of this is perfectly visible on how I do it myself on http://jult.net and I very much would like to change MY domain there into a combination of pivot and PmWiki, since I end up using pivotlog more AS IF it's a wiki. ~Julius


I've read through these comments and there are several compelling arguments against building blogging tools into the core of PmWiki. I certainly would never want PmWiki to become anything like the ugly hulk of a beast that is TikiWiki.

That said, I do believe that PmWiki would benefit from a standard blogging implementation. As of October 2008, the cookbook section on blogs is a mess, with several recipes that are broken or incomplete. There are dozens of ways to hack together a blog, none of them quite right. It would be nice if we could come up with some collective agreement on what would be the most robust and elegant solution to creating a blog.

I think Oddmuse does a nice job of implementing simple blogging features (see http://www.oddmuse.org/cgi-bin/oddmuse/Blogging_Setup_Example). (Indeed, Alex Schroeder's blog is one of the nicest and most elegant blogs I've ever seen (because it's a wiki!).

As a web author, here's a few reasons why I believe wikis and blogs should go together:

  • Pros of blogs
    • Blogs are great at keeping readers updated with "fresh" news/updates.
    • Blogs provide a nice way to create a quick communities/conversations online.
    • The major engines have lots of built-in ways for linking with other social websites.
    • Chronological organization.
  • Cons of blogs
    • Blogs are ephemeral -- entries quickly become stale.
    • Tags are nice, but they can't substitute for a good old page of links.
    • It's relatively difficult to recombine/rework old material.
    • Blogs are inefficient tools for building up a communal body of knowledge.

(As a side note, I believe that many people use blogs as de facto knowledge repositories. But because blogs are meant for quick news rather than cumulative work, a lot of stuff gets buried.)

  • Pros of wikis
    • Great for creating hyperlinked repositories of knowledge.
    • Community can edit pages rather than simply posting comments.
    • Much more flexible than blogs.
    • Good for producing true documents (not just blurbs).
    • Information can be reworked, recombined.
  • Cons of wikis
    • Relatively difficult to keep readers updated about new content.
      • (I'm talking about wiki neophytes here, who might have difficulty making sense of a Recent Changes page.)
    • Conversations can quickly become unwieldy (this page is a good example).
      • (In fact, I'm not sure when this entry will be read. It would be nice to have a communal news feed to notify people of new entries.)
    • Chronological overviews of the entire site don't provide enough information about content of changes.

I think a bliki (blog + wiki) could provide the best of both worlds. Chronological news plus slow accumulation of knowledge.

Matt October 03, 2008, at 07:24 AM


I am not sure if people here have really gone through the PageList tool of PmWiki. It is very easy to use and can create excellent blogs very easily, which by no means are any inferior to those used in blogging sites or other CMS. If you don't believe it, check out this sample blog created using PmWiki: http://fling.seas.upenn.edu/~subhrabh/cgi-bin/Resume-pmwiki/index.php?n=Main.Blog. It's very easy to create, and it's even easier to add entries to the blog. Subhrajit January 02, 2010, at 03:00 AM

  • Your blog looks great Subhrajit! Is it in the cookbooks? As for the original question, I'm in favor of an official blog support, but I think it could be in a cookbook, not in the basic pmwiki installation (also BlogIt is good for blogging: BlogIt).Farvardin 2011-09-12
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