Terminology


administrators (intermediate) There are many ways to configure PmWiki:WikiFarms, and the PmWiki documentation contains lots of WkikFarm?-related terminology. This page attempts to explain the terminology that relates to WikiFarms?.

Why is this page needed?

  • to provide a place to find the preferred terminology with definitions
  • to explain where the term "farm" came from
  • to list various terms that have been deprecated but still exist in the documentation
  • to suggest alternate terms for deprecated terms

The origins of WikiFarms?

The term WikiFarm? was coined based on the similarity to "server farm", which are a collection of servers that use a common infrastructure. A wiki farm is nothing more than multiple wiki that share the same installation of the PmWiki software.

Some recipe and documentation authors, however, began writing about WikiFarms? using agricultural terms such as "field", "farmer", "barn", "crop", and "tractor". In some cases these terms made the documentation more confusing. It is suggested that documentation authors avoid the agricultural terms, as tempting as they may be, and keep in mind that a wiki in a wiki farm is like a server in a server farm.

Wikis and components in a WikiFarm?

All of the wikis in a farm are more or less the same, except the "home wiki" is a wiki that is located in the same directory as the PmWiki software. The home wiki needs special consideration because it shares the pub/ directory with all of the other wikis in the farm.

It is possible to move the PmWiki installation outside of the web dociment tree, but the pub/ diretory be needis to be somewhere within the web space.

Authors writing about these more complex farm set ups often have difficulty describing the components and their locations. However, it is probably not necessary or desireable to coin new terms for the components and their locations.

Suggested terms

Wiki
A wiki has a URL, page store, and is individually configurable.
WikiFarm?
A collection of two or more wikis running on the same web server and sharing a set of common components.
home wiki
The wiki in a farm that contains the components shared by all the others. In particular, the home wiki contains pmwiki.php and local/farmconfig.php
Farm-wide
Something available to or affecting all wikis in the farm.
Local
Something available to or affecting a specific wiki.
PmWiki engine
The software that makes PmWiki work, as opposed to the content of the wiki that readers see.
PmWiki installation directory
If you do a standard, single install of PmWiki, it goes into this directory.

Ambiguous terms

Installation directory
Installation of what? Some authors have used this to mean the directory that contains most of the shared components on a wiki farm. Others use it to mean a directory that has a complete standalone installation of PmWiki that is not part of a farm.
PmWiki installation
This is sometimes used to indicate a process, sometimes used to mean a single wiki in a farm, and sometimes refers only to the shared components of a farm.

Deprecated terms that should not be used

These terms still exist in the documentation (pending revisions), and will live forever in the PmWiki-Users list archive.

farm directory
The directory in which the home wiki lives or a directory where the shared components are stored.
field
Any wiki in a farm which is not the home wiki.
farm administrator
An administrator who has access to all of the wikis in a farm, particularly the home wiki.
field administrator
An administrator who has access to one or more wikis in a farm, but not the home wiki.
barn
The place where common components are stored.
crop
Packaged content and customizations that can be added to a wiki. See Cookbook:ListOfBundles for similar ideas.
tractor
The PmWiki engine or pmwiki.php itself.

Categories: WikiFarms

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