My other site over at “cleverbird.com”:http://cleverbird.com has been reasonably busy since the beginning my b-school days. I’d been adding info about various things — especially “finding a job”:http://cleverbird.com/wiki/pmwiki.php/JobSearchTips/JobSearchTips every so often, and, frankly, I’d outgrown “what was there”:http://cleverbird.com/pwyky. So today, in an exceptionally aggressive effort to avoid doing work, I made some changes.
I changed two things in particular:
* I switched to a new “wiki”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki engine, “PmWiki”:http://www.pmwiki.org/
* I “refactored”:http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?WhyRefactorWikiPages all of my content
h3. Moving to PmWiki
I had started out using “pwyky”:http://infomesh.net/pwyky/ as my engine, principally because it was:
* Easy to install without command-line access
* Written in “Python”:http://python.org, which I can at least pretend to know
* Because it was written in Python, and missing some key features, I thought I’d add the features to learn more about Python
Six months later, those reasons don’t make as much sense. The features that weren’t there by and large still arent, because I haven’t had time to add them. And I’m recognizing further that, in the future, I’ll be programming the Web less, and using clever tools like MT and wikis more. Instead, I needed a wiki that was:
* Still easy to install without command-line access
* Offered some kind of security so everyone couldn’t just change my pages
* Offered robust text formatting
* Accepted at least some HTML in pages
* Had a reasonable templating system so that I could make it non-hideous
Apart from being easy-to-install and non-hideous by defaulty, pwyky sadly was none of these.
After a search, I found PmWiki. It’s hideous by default, but it has a clever templating system and every other feature I could want. Initial experience suggests it will be a very satisfactory solution.
Pwyky offers no export function; PmWiki offers no import. Someday — probably around the time I get my next wiki engine — both of these will be must-have features. For the moment, I had few enough pages that I could just cut-and-paste from one wiki to the other. As I was doing so, I realized that cleverbird.com’s initial organization didn’t make that much sense. For example, the home page linked to different pages based on the format, not the content, of those pages — there was actually a top-level link for “lists.”
In the name of being reasonable, I organized the new cleverbird.com around the kinds of information I offered. And I split the pages up to facilitate that kind of organization. Yeah, there was a fair amount of rewriting, but that was fun. Now I’ve just got to make those pages look non-hideous.