a life of coding

Friday, October 08, 2004

Putting a GUI on TikiWiki

TikiWiki is a nice platform for collaboration, but most people aren't going to want to learn Yet Another Wiki Synax. To this end, TikiWiki is experimenting with GUI editing tools for Wiki pages. TikiWiki blogs use a GUI called htmlArea for visual editing, and there are plans to migrate that functionality to Wiki pages. The current hold up is a debate over HTML vs XML page storage. Currently, pages are stored in Wiki + HTML (if enabled): the Wiki syntax can be mixed with HTML if necessary. It might be obvious that this can get pretty hairy, and wouldn't be the most robust system for later enhancements. With a little translation, Wiki format could instead generate an XML page description, which could later be rendered as restricted HTML (for viewing, or for GUI editing, but preventing common HTML exploits). Strap on a system for generating XML from HTML and Wiki from XML, and you have a much more robust system that could support rich editing while still allowing for traditional Wiki editing.

If you're a die-hard user, or don't want to wait for these large additions to the TikiWiki distribution, you can try these changes out yourself. The 1.61 patch for htmlArea is available at ysoya.net.


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