1. casperl

( casper [dot] labuschagne [at] gmail [dot] com )

Linux user since 1997, permanently trashed Windows for Ubuntu v1.0 in 2004 and never looked back.

I probably wasted a lot of time in my life by only using PMWiki for the first time in 2017. For the longest time I used Zim wiki on the Linux desktop, but experienced that performance became sluggish as the page count increased. PMWiki is faster in both usage and performance as personal wiki-running locally on localhost. My experience is that even Apache2 + PMWiki + Raspberry Pi 3 is faster than Zim on a AMD PC. And since we now practically live in our web-browsers, it makes sense to host a web-based wiki solution.

  1. Specific interests:
  • Genealogy.
  • Knowledge management.
  • Documentation of IT processes and site installations
  • Personal productivity
  • A blogging platform on steroids for articles and unstructured snippets of topical info.
    1. Genealogy

Where genealogy is concerned, I could not find a PMWiki genealogical cookbook plugin. Mediawiki has a genealogy plugin containing 7 specific funtions:

    1) Define and output a link to a parent:
      \{\{#genealogy:parent|Page Name Here}}
    2) Define a partner (no output produced; use partners to list):
      \{\{#genealogy:partner|Page Name Here}}
    3) List all siblings:
    4) List all partners:
    5) List all children:
    6) Display a tree (a connected graph):
      \{\{#genealogy:tree | ancestors=List | descendants=List}}

I am ploughing sluggishly through the Fox Forms documentation and setup. I think options 1 and 2 is easy to implement, while 3-5 should be do-able. 6 is not so easy due to the requirement for GraphViz, but it is merely a nice-to-have function.

Certainly, capturing genealogical data in a wiki-style workbook beats index cards or traditional notes. Ultimately the data will be entered into Gramps (LifeLines crashed and I lost my data) on Linux.

  1. IT Documentation

I have been doing documentation professionally for a decade and PMWiki offers intriguing possibilities on Intranets. Especially the option of having a main public Wiki and one or more private wikis restricted to individuals or workgroups where specific pages can possibly be shared on the global wiki through the wiki:MyOtherPage type syntax.

For Intranet/personal usage, I leave uploading at the default installed settings. Instead I have an uploads directory accessible from the localhost web server where I drag-and-drop content and then link to it within wiki pages as in / localhost / uploads / mydocument.pdf (spaces before /intentional for this demo purpose.)

  1. What do I miss in the PMWiki documentation?
  • EDIT* These recipe styled instructions do exist and are very prominent in the Cookbook section. It was my newbie mistake for 'assuming' that every entry in the Cookbook is an add-on module. Maybe it is an idea to indicate * Recipe * (or a recipe category?) where the Cookbook pages contain generic instructions, I am suspect there are gems hidden among that large number of Cookbook pages.

Simple recipe styled instuctions that lists how to specifically customise PMWiki towards a specific functionality. For example, a recipe called Bulletproof-Single-User-Restricted-Editing (which I need) showing 1) Step-One 2) Step-Two and 3) Step-Three. Ditto for an Easy Blogging recipe or a Personal Information Manager wiki recipe. Or even a recipe called How-To-Turbo-Charge-Your-RaspberryPi-With-PMWiki.

Otherwise PMWiki is not only great, it is brilliant.