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CoffeeBreakArchives 2004

Happy New Year everyone!

Amazing how high TWiki is if you search Google for Plugins; Google:Plugins smile

  • that is amazing #6. [Main.MattWilkie - 07 Jan 2004]

Unfortunately, search for Wiki and TWiki is nowhere to be seen frown

  • hmmm, first spotting with the naked eye at 15 parsecs orbiting venus... next sighting doesn't occur until #42 with java in hand, and it still isn't twiki.org. That doesn't happen until we get outside the local galaxy at an astounding 146. This is getting more curious all the time. I think we might be seeing the blogs gaming Google in action. [Main.MattWilkie - 07 Jan 2004]

-- JohnTalintyre - 06 Jan 2004

Search engine ranking is an interesting topic. Some other stats moved into table below:

For those in the San Francisco area: Wednesday, 07 Jan 2004, I will give a Web Collaboration with TWiki presentation at the Silicon Valley Linux User Group (SVLUG) at Cisco in San Jose, CA on 07 Jan 2004.

-- PeterThoeny - 06 Jan 2004

Second note.

Those who think wiki's are good for communicating should read the history of citadel, which I've just run across online. (I used to use them many, many years ago.) Notably, citadel has the, absolute, bar-none simplest and most-hidden user interface of any online-communication program.

When I think back at how easy it was to converse on citadels (and that was back in the 80's with systems running from two floppy disks), it illustrates how far web-based apps have yet to go.

  • the easiest (only?) way to "read new" on twiki is to view changes and manually click each topic, then scan to the 'end', or, yuck, get a diff
  • the best twiki can do in terms of ease-of-use for quickly entering a new message is the CommentPlugin plugin.
  • there is no way to relate and/or categorize (i.e. group) webs or topics (via children or manually) other than via a search result.
  • a massive amount of administration is needed (ex: "CoffeeBreakArchives" and refactoring) to keep twiki topics under control.

But the competition isn't any good, either. If slashdot represents "state of the art" in web-threading, then, well.. set my killfile to star.

My suggestion to implement a linear conversation system would be to:

  • install a modified CommentPlugin, which:
    • trims the top of the topic (auto-archive)
    • uses a signature line at the top of a comment
    • adds a "_follow_ up this comment / private reply " link at end of comment
    • colorize and indent followup-replies
  • discourage any topic editting which doesn't also refactor (a cultural change), i.e. encourage use of the plugin for conversations
  • implement a much better technique for "go to the next place with new comments" (rather than the current method: manual search)

-- JonathanCline - 12 Jan 2004

The TWikiNewsPortal more or less does what you describe in your linear conversation system. I need to find time to package it nicely and release...

I was scanning over the article about Citadel. Interesting read, and it seems to be different from a typical BBS. However I did not find anything that a typical Wiki system would lack. A room in Citadel is a topic in a Wiki, anyone can leave behind a scribble or start a new topic.

-- PeterThoeny - 12 Jan 2004

Bummer, a spammer is misusing my e-mail address peter@thoenyPLEASENOSPAM.com for a despicable purpose. I got a few auto-replies rejecting "my" e-mail because of inappropriate content (subject containing "s1ze" etc) frown Anyone knows if/how I can trace this person and put him behind bars?

  • It may be a virus (running on other people's systems). It sends fake "your message to xyz@somewhere has been rejected" emails to other people. I've been getting these for months. -- JonathanCline - 16 Jan 2004

-- PeterThoeny - 12 Jan 2004

If any of you guys are going to the World Congress on Intellectual Capital, feel call or email me and we'll catch up for a beer. +1 416 832 7759. http://worldcongress.mcmaster.ca

-- MartinCleaver - 13 Jan 2004

A room in Citadel is a topic in a Wiki

  • Yes, similar to what we are doing right here. Except the interface here is completely manual and blown way out of proportion. Which is why I suggested comment plugin.
  • Old text rolls off (expires from) the top. New text gets added to the bottom. (or visa-versa)

They also have a networking feature which, though simple, is very powerful. Basically it can:

  • mirror a room ("topic") to another system.
  • allow local changes in the room ("topic") to propagate to another system, and visa versa
  • allow per-room files ("topic attachments") to propagate to another system

In a wiki sense, think cvs merge functionality, on a per-topic basis.

-- JonathanCline - 16 Jan 2004

I (MartinCleaver) am in the UK for the next week or so. If anyone would like to meet up for a beer please call me on 07956 646 799. Cheers.

-- MartinCleaver - 19 Jan 2004

WebRss is broken, perhaps because of changes in Search? Don't have time right now to look at it, maybe someone else?

  • WebSearch is broken too. I can't get it to display any results. -- SamHasler - 19 Jan 2004
  • Sorry about that, is fixed now. There is a bug in the TWikiBetaRelease 18 Jan 2004 due to a last minute revert of PARAM to URLPARAM. This is now fixed, and a new TWikiBetaRelease 19 Jan 2004 is released. -- PeterThoeny - 19 Jan 2004
  • WebSearch is now working and is tres cool. And there was much rejoicing, yea. -- SamHasler - 19 Jan 2004

-- ArthurClemens - 19 Jan 2004

i just added VoodooPadXmlRpcAddOn which implements the VoodooPad XmlRpc API. it's still in the early stages, although it "works" ( with certain caveats---i'm most especially concerned about stripping ^M's from the text right now---would appreciate some feedback about that in VoodooPadXmlRpcAddOn ), but there are lots of interesting possibilities with a programmable interface for querying and updating a wiki.

-- WillNorris - 19 Jan 2004

I am off for a day or so, travelling to NY for the TWikiPresentation21Jan2004 at LinuxWorld. Get in touch if you are attending the show smile

-- PeterThoeny - 20 Jan 2004

I will be on holidays for 2 weeks, in the beautiful hills of Slovenia.

-- ArthurClemens - 22 Jan 2004

Hey, everyone! I'm finally getting into a position where I can spend some time working on TWiki again! I'm currently doing a CVS update and downloading a beta to set up for testing here on my machine. I plan on reaquainting myself with the code over the next week or so and then I'm going to start work on some general refactoring and cleanup.

-- WalterMundt - 23 Jan 2004

How'd the presentation go Peter?

Enjoy your vacation Arthur!

Welcome back Walter!

-- MattWilkie - 24 Jan 2004

The presentation went well, see TWikiPresentation21Jan2004Feedback.

Today I got again lots of bounced e-mails sent from "me". A spammer is continuing to send out e-mails using peter@thoenyPLEASENOSPAM.com as the From and Reply-to address.

Here is a header of one of the bounces:

Return-path: <peter@thoeny.com>
Received: from ravms by mx3.global.net.uk with mail-ok (Exim 3.36 #1)
        id 1AkrCO-000Kzo-00
        for billeboy@dialstart.net; Sun, 25 Jan 2004 20:49:40 +0000
Received: from host-80-48-3-73.olsztyn.mm.pl ([])
        by mx3.global.net.uk with smtp (Exim 3.36 #1)
        id 1AkrCM-000Kx7-00
        for billeboy@dialstart.net; Sun, 25 Jan 2004 20:49:38 +0000
Received: from [] by host-80-48-3-73.olsztyn.mm.pl id 5Bj0hi154tsm; Mon, 26 Jan 2004
02:41:37 +0600
Message-ID: <69$6$4445$r0v8ns1967-$1@dntn.lx>
From: "" <peter@thoeny.com>
Reply-To: "" <peter@thoeny.com>
To: billeboy@.....
Subject: RE:Satisfy her m ozhuwi qs j
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 04 02:41:37 GMT
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2919.6700
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Envelope-To: billeboy@.....

The body is html and has one link pointing to http://www.herbal-world.us/cgi-bin/tracker/clickalpha.cgi?id=haydeneric

herbal-world.us is registered in Thailand, but the company seems to be in the US since the website claims 2 days shipping. After some more research I found that herbal-world.us is just one of many incarnations of www.pureherbal.biz. The website of corse does not list any address of phone number. Any hints or help on tracking this spammer is appreciated smile According to Google http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Internet/Abuse/Spam/, a good source of information seems to be http://spam.abuse.net/

-- PeterThoeny - 26 Jan 2004

http://www.whois.sc/pureherbal.biz reveals all. Nice thing about this is that everyone who has a website has to eventually be billed for it. I guess he speaks Japanese so you might even find speaking to the said waster more productive than most of would. Give him some harsh words from me!

I've quoted the section with pre - even if you do nothing the spambots will come along all fill his technical and admin mailboxes with junk. Sweet.

HTH, Martin.

Website Title:  Herbal-RX - New Level Of **** Enlargement! 
Server Type:  Apache/1.3.29 (Unix) PHP/4.3.4 mod_ssl/2.8.16 OpenSSL/0.9.7a (Spry.com also uses Apache) 
Website Status:  Active 
Reverse IP:  Web server hosts 8 websites (reverse ip tool requires free login) 
IP Address: (ARIN & RIPE IP search) 
IP Location:   China - Chinanet Jiangxi Province Network 
Whois History:  10 records stored 
Record Type:  Domain Name 
Monitor:  Monitor or Backorder 
Wildcard search:  'pureherbal' or 'pure herbal' in all domains. 
Other TLDs:  .com .net .org .info .biz .us 
X X   X X [2 available domains] 


Domain Name:                                 PUREHERBAL.BIZ
Domain ID:                                   D5815719-BIZ
Sponsoring Registrar:                        DIRECT INFORMATION PVT. LTD., (D.B.A. DIRECTI.COM)
Domain Status:                               clientTransferProhibited
Registrant ID:                               DI_235309
Registrant Name:                             Akira Goshi
Registrant Organization:                     Goshi Media Inc.
Registrant Address1:                         9-6-1 Kinuta
Registrant City:                             Tokyo
Registrant Postal Code:                      1578570
Registrant Country:                          Japan
Registrant Country Code:                     JP
Registrant Phone Number:                     +81.333256090
Registrant Email:                            herbalworld@mail15.com
Administrative Contact ID:                   DI_235309
Administrative Contact Name:                 Akira Goshi
Administrative Contact Organization:         Goshi Media Inc.
Administrative Contact Address1:             9-6-1 Kinuta
Administrative Contact City:                 Tokyo
Administrative Contact Postal Code:          1578570
Administrative Contact Country:              Japan
Administrative Contact Country Code:         JP
Administrative Contact Phone Number:         +81.333256090
Administrative Contact Email:                herbalworld@mail15.com
Billing Contact ID:                          DI_235309
Billing Contact Name:                        Akira Goshi
Billing Contact Organization:                Goshi Media Inc.
Billing Contact Address1:                    9-6-1 Kinuta
Billing Contact City:                        Tokyo
Billing Contact Postal Code:                 1578570
Billing Contact Country:                     Japan
Billing Contact Country Code:                JP
Billing Contact Phone Number:                +81.333256090
Billing Contact Email:                       herbalworld@mail15.com
Technical Contact ID:                        DI_235309
Technical Contact Name:                      Akira Goshi
Technical Contact Organization:              Goshi Media Inc.
Technical Contact Address1:                  9-6-1 Kinuta
Technical Contact City:                      Tokyo
Technical Contact Postal Code:               1578570
Technical Contact Country:                   Japan
Technical Contact Country Code:              JP
Technical Contact Phone Number:              +81.333256090
Technical Contact Email:                     herbalworld@mail15.com
Name Server:                                 NS1.JONSDNS.BIZ
Name Server:                                 NS2.JONSDNS.BIZ
Created by Registrar:                        DIRECT INFORMATION PVT. LTD., (D.B.A. DIRECTI.COM)
Last Updated by Registrar:                   DIRECT INFORMATION PVT. LTD., (D.B.A. DIRECTI.COM)
Domain Registration Date:                    Thu Dec 04 05:50:48 GMT 2003
Domain Expiration Date:                      Fri Dec 03 23:59:59 GMT 2004
Domain Last Updated Date:                    Thu Dec 04 16:14:57 GMT 2003

>>>> Whois database was last updated on: Wed Jan 28 00:02:22 GMT 2004 <<<<


-- MartinCleaver - 28 Jan 2004

Whilst any part of any email header can be forged...

There's a number of things about these headers that don't look right, however sticking to the most important part ... The recieved headers look odd:

  • The first two claim that mx3.global.net.uk recieved the email from both "ravms" and again from host host-80-48-3-73.olsztyn.mm.pl

ie the email is goes to the same host (mx3.global.net.uk) twice. (You expect to see a chain of from W to X , from X to Y, from Y to Z. This set is equivalent to from X to Y, from Y to Z, from W to Z.

As a result I suspect that the first header is either faked or bogus. The source address as a result appears to be, unless the spammer is adding the third recieved header. In which case the origin is host-80-48-3-73.olsztyn.mm.pl.

In that situation either the owner of or or olsztyn.mm.pl had this email pass through their systems (or was the originator...). I suspect that the origin is all likelyhood The reason for that is because is part of a DoD .mil netblock ("whois"). (Meaning that the third recieved header might well also be bogus)

As a result I would suggest contacting abuse@tpnetPLEASENOSPAM.pl (listed as the abuse contact if you do "whois") with the full email headers, mentioning that you believe one of their customers who appears to be either dialup or DSL is sending spam.

They will probably take a very dim view of this and look into the matter. With luck that spammer will get shutdown. However it's likely that your email is being used as a source address by some automated script so you need to repeat this exercise with each email.

It's a PITA, but being sent from at address in Poland strikes me as more realistic than being sent from a DoD network. There's unfortunately no way of guaranteeing this is the case without seeing the headers from a variety of emails - in order to correlate the source addresses/networks (if there is a correlation).

Also bear in mind that person/people involved sending these emails may be completely unaware that their machines are being used to send spam. A sad breed of spammers are teaming up with crackers to take over people's machines for spaming. (There's a fairly politically incorrect term for them as well, but I'll omit that here - it's a fairly obvious contraction of spammers/hackers)

-- MS -- 27 Jan 2004

Thanks for the help!

-- PeterThoeny - 28 Jan 2004

Adding to that final point - I realised something this morning - part of the reason your email is being used might be due to the way some new viruses are working at the moment:

  • User recieves a spam email, with a viral payload.
  • Virus gets activated (various methods exist, some don't require an Outlook user to do anything other than read the email - people should patch, but home users do so far less often).
  • Current viruses I've heard of scan the following:
    • Address Book
    • Email folders
    • Browser cache To harvest emails. These emails harvested are used for both from & to fields of the email addresses.

The default set up for TWiki has* the email peter@thoenyPLEASENOSPAM.com inside it. Working on the assumption that the list of installations is pretty large now, this would imply that a percentage of web browsers out there have either a mail notification in their inbox, mail notifcation page in their cache, or web pages with emails embedded inside. (Given many sites don't switch on the spam prevention) To my mind this makes it almost inevitable for this sort of thing to happen. This is potentially a problem for anyone who's email has been distributed with TWiki.

  • Or had for a long time.

It might not be the case in this scenario, but the email headers above suggest this as at least a possible scenario. (And not that unlikely frown - the version number mentioned - 5.00.2919.6700 - is listed on this page as being one of the versions susceptible to email header based attacks on outlook - meaning the user might just be reading spam themselves.) (3 1/2 year old bug fix that appears not to have been patched on the source machine)

Summary - you might be a victim of supplying your email to all in sundry for display on large numbers of websites - I suspect as a result, this problem will only grow for you :-/ .

-- MS - 28 Jan 2004

Btw, AFAIK the "STOPSPAM" added to each email address here is more of a placebo. A lot of those "harvester programs" "clean up" the email addresses before they use them, so strings like "NOSPAM", "STOPSPAM" and the like will get eliminated anyway.

-- ChristianKohl - 28 Jan 2004

My e-mail address: In the past I already got bounces once in a while, which is an indication of what Micheal states. I get the same with my work e-mail as well. However, in January I got large number of bounces in two separate instances.

Spam padding: The effectiveness has been discussed elsewhere on TWiki.org. It is a simple 90/10 rule. Most spammers don't take the time to fiddle around these extra steps since there are enough sites readily available with plain e-mail addresses. Like a car with an alarm label on the door.

-- PeterThoeny - 28 Jan 2004

Anyone interested in a file manager plugin that would allow you to view and manipulate a file system, reference files from topics, etc.?

Or an application framework that utilizes command line calls and/or LWP calls to perl/php/java, takes their output and feeds into a TWiki topic?

-- CharlieSmith - 30 Jan 2004

Yes, very. My private library is growing rapidly, and it contains references to the files on my disk. So, file manager would be great. I already asked for referencing filesystem in LinkingToLocalFiles.

By the way - my library in actual stage is quite complex for the user, and therefore, in practice, it is uesful only for me. The other members of my expert teams can only read the topics. So, I'm waiting for TWiki News Portal by Peter Thoney to learn how to hide the complexity, and make my library fully collaborative application. I'm not a programmer, and hope such examplary applications would be great advantage for people like me.

-- AndrzejGoralczyk - 01 Feb 2004

I've got security warning messages when calling applictions from javascript functions with Netscape. Any ideas how to eliminate this? This is occuring where alias is used to point to an application brought up in window separate from TWiki. Same type of problem occurs whether javascript is in a TWiki page or not.

-- CharlieSmith - 30 Jan 2004

This was on slashdot a week ago, thought I'd mention it here: Culture Surprises in Remote Software Development Teams. The fourth page on Groupware and Cultural Differences is interesting. I wonder how much it can be seen on this site?

-- SamHasler - 05 Feb 2004

Thanks Sam for sharing this article. I have been living for extended time in European cultures, Japanese culture and now American culture, and wholeheartedly agree with most of content of the paper.

We have built our TWiki.org culture over time, and it works quite well most of the time.

  • Many virtual communities are driven my conventions, like how to sign, when to use ThreadMode, when DocumentMode. This is the case also here on TWiki.org. Conventions give a framework for communication, which enables members to work together efficiently. A right balance of conventions is important; to many will impose a higher barrier to entry for new members.
  • We encourage users to register and contribute as a person. The idea is to shake virtual hands. This gives a personal touch to our community and keeps the S/N ratio high, quiet different from other virtual communities like Slashdot.
  • We strive to build an an environment where knowledge sharing is a natural thing to do. That is, brainstorming ideas are welcomed and can be discussed in a constructive and free manner[1]. There is an assumption that anonymous contributions are more open because there is no fear of retribution. This assumption does not apply in an open culture like TWiki.org.
  • We encourage different opinions. There is a "but": Only if done in a way that respects the community and its members[2].

[1] A word on conversing: It is my true believe that it is possible to convey anything, no matter how revolutionary, crazy, severe or critical it is. The important question is how to convey it.

There are two modes on conversing on ideas/opinions. One is the having mode where defending one's opinion is key. Which often involves a shield to defend it. And in many cases attacks on other opinions or actions like "your attitude is just plain stupid". A person conversing in this mode puts himself above the other party, pressing the other party into the defensive. Obviously, the chance of getting one's message accross is slim.

In contrast, in the being mode of conversing, ideas are exchanged spontaneously and freely. One forgets about one's status and knowledge, and absorbes other ideas. Differences are conversed with "I understand your point of view but I can't agree because...", which puts the persons at the same level, respecting each other. Which in turn allows oneself to open up like a parabolic antenna to focus on the idea.

[2] We have seen friction at TWiki.org, mainly caused by conversations done in the having mode, accompanied by flames. So, different opinions brought forward in this way naturally have a slim chance of getting attention (in many places, not just TWiki.org). Which Michael interprets as the "top" not accepting different opinions.

I encourage the community to converse in the beeing mode. Lets get one more convention in place: Those who try to converse the having mode will see their content turned into the being mode, like in this example.

Happy collaboration smile

-- PeterThoeny - 06 Feb 2004

Hi I hope someone can help me, I am new to Twiki and have been practicing in my Sandbox with webforms. I need to enable them but I cannot edit webpreferences. Am I able to do this or do I need to have Twiki installed on my own PC. Sorry if I posted this in the wrong place...

-- AndrewStamp - 06 Feb 2004

Yes Andrew, you need to have a twiki at your disposal for which you have administrative privileges to experiment with forms.

Forms can be very confusing to understand and setup properly, especially at the beginning. However if you take your time and are methodical the mess does sort itself out eventually. I had to read the docs several times over before I finally got them working the first time. smile

This kind of question is normally posted in the Support web.

Kudos to SamHasler for the gentle refactoring example (noted in Peter's last post)

-- MattWilkie - 06 Feb 2004

Andrew, TWiki.org has locked down WebPreferences in all webs as a security measure. You can use thsi undocumented feature to add a form to a template topic: (shh, don't tell anyone wink )

  • Create a form topic, e.g. MyOwnForm
  • Create a template topic, e.g. MyOwnTemplate
  • Edit the template topic and append a formtemplate=MyOwnForm parameter to the URL and press enter, e.g. http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/edit/Sandbox/MyOwnTemplate?t=123456&formtemplate=MyOwnForm

-- PeterThoeny - 07 Feb 2004

MS, please try to be less abrasive. I can understand your exasperation with the HttpRequestAndVirtualHosts issue, as well as your displeasure with some of the other reactions to your contributions. I certainly agree with you that if one is to attempt to implement a protocol one should generally read the applicable parts of said protocol's definition. But expressing that exasperation in your comment doesn't help anyone; it makes it harder for PeterThoeny to accept your advice, harder for me to take your goodwill seriously, and harder for you to be heard without prejudice in this community. I hope that reading this advice from someone besides Peter will help you to understand that it is meant as such, and not as an insult or an attempt to create further argument. I know you probably find it difficult to regard his statements with impartiality given the way you perceive his actions.

-- WalterMundt - 06 Feb 2004

Hmm...upon further reflection I feel I must apologize for the tone of the above comment. When I first read your clarification in HttpRequestAndVirtualHosts, it seemed very hostile-sounding. But after I wrote the above I went back to it to see where I'd gotten that impression from...and found nothing substantive.

  • That may well be because text had been deleted. The reference to stupid that Peter links to above is now deleted. [ JohnTalintyre 09 Feb 2004 ]

I think I may be more biased than I had thought in your case, and it was unfair of me to act under the assumption that this was not the case. However, it always seems I can spot your contributions long before I get down to the signature. I'm not sure whether your style is actually "abrasive" or whether simply recognizing it as yours causes me to regard it as such. I don't really know how I acquired this prejudice; if there is something in your writing I wish I could tell you what to change to make your contributions more approachable.

I'm not removing my above comments because I think they illustrate the point that even when someone is trying to be fair and helpful they can come out sounding self-important and over-confident in their own point of view. It's something I'll try to be more careful of in the future.

I don't think you sound as possessive of your opinions as PeterThoeny seems to suggest. Rather, I think there are issues that you regard as factual or practical, while Peter sees them as things that are subject to personal preferences or developmental styles. Thus, to him you sound like you're ignoring his (as opinion, equally valid) position, while to you he sounds like a spoiled child who refuses to understand "the facts of life", so to speak. I don't know that either of you is completely right in all the things over which you have argued, although I'm glad you seemed to have reached a reasonably functional consensus w.r.t. HttpRequestAndVirtualHosts.

-- WalterMundt - 07 Feb 2004


I was exasperated with PeterThoeny in that particular case because I have repeatedly, over and over again explained how, and why the HTTP protocol works the way it does in those scenarios. I've worked day in day out in the protocol level details looking for foibles like that (and significantly more difficult issues) for years with that being an utterly trivial example. For it a) to be ignored, b) questioned without c) actually looking at the specs himself strikes me as, well, if I stated my opinion it would be treated as a flame. Doing a & b and coming back with - but RFC x, y, z says "...." is valid. Similar points hold with the recent topic storage changes. He'd made a stupid change which breaks the entire storage model. We all make stupid mistakes from time to time, but after this was pointed out, he simply stated this was acceptable. (Despite it being very easy to think of scenarios where it breaks TWiki hard in natural conversation - such as extending metadata handling)

I see the same thing time and again happening not just with me but with other contributors to TWiki.org. Being non-abrasive with PeterThoeny gets nowhere. Being abrasive also gets you nowhere with him. The latter however is less hassle, because quite frankly he does ignore people's viewpoints.

Conversely I've taken on board lots of what he says. (I've ceased putting overt patches or references to where code I've written that may be of use to people on TWiki.org. I've only started recently adding InterWiki links after discovering that RichardDonkin had added an InterWiki link. Even then I'm concerned that doing so will hack people off. Which is why I asked for confirmation that its use is acceptable, or for the link to be deleted.)

If I'm abrasive with PeterThoeny, it's because I personally have zero respect for him. I know the opposite also holds. Which is sad, but life isn't always a bouquet of roses. If TWiki is after "dominance" in the corporate world (TWikiAdvocacy) then it's a fact of life that people have differing opinions, and not everyone gets on or likes each other. This doesn't stop people working towards common goals.

The reason I try to be helpful (answer questions like "does this break TWiki", "how can I stop people spamming using my email", provide feedback on things like %FIELD%, etc) is because I like helping people. I don't particularly care if they don't like me. I don't particularly care if you take my code or not (it's all GPL'd and TWiki.org's distribution is GPL compliant these days). I offer it in case it's useful.

I'm sick of being treated as the enemy - it's just a piece of wiki software. (One which is very antiwiki-way these days, in my opinion)

-- MS - 07 Feb 2004

"Being abrasive [...] however is less hassle." Successful people avoid being abrasive to community members, because they know that this increases the success rate of getting the buy-in for one's idea and of getting things done.

-- PeterThoeny - 07 Feb 2004


> "Being abrasive [...] however is less hassle." Successful people
> avoid being abrasive to community members, because they know that
> this increases the success rate of getting the buy-in for one's idea
> and of getting things done.

You don't buy into ideas I put forward anyway I put them forward. I've had lots of different ways of putting them forward over the years I've been here.

I've tried explaining, asking, being patient, being exasperated, demonstrating, writing code, giving code, withholding code, helping people, telling people that if they like it/it fixes their problem, they should tell you etc. It makes no difference. You see the person, not the ideas. You see complaints about process, bugs, as a personal insult not for what they are - simple stuff that could be (should be?) dealt with simpler if you relaxed a little and trusted the community more. (Much like most other wikis do.)

And the sad thing is many on the core team have disagreed with some of your actions - just as they have mine - over the past few months (part of the reason I still come here actually, I know not every idea I have doesn't fall on deaf ears). Some of them even think the ideas are useful. (And then there's the ones I have like a BabelfishPlugin - a silly one if I've ever heard it) The thing that really saddens me about that though - is why do they always preface their mails with "don't mention me"... (so I won't) They seem (to me) to be afraid of the response they will get for disagreeing with you.

So I put forward responses to you just as they come. If that comes across as abrasive, that's life. I don't take the time to remove any rough edges when talking to you, because you (appear to) ignore people. There's no point smoothing them off if they're not going to be listened to anyway. (Possibly MeatBall:SelfFulfillingProphecy of course) Obviously those will show my opinion on more than what I'm talking about. At least you know where you stand with me. If I think something's good and I say so, you know I'm telling you the truth. Since if I thought the opposite you'd get the opposite. (It's also how I prefer to be treated - I'd rather hear the truth rather than couched, "spun" truths. cf Wiki:AbileneParadox)

Success is a relative term. If success on TWiki.org means I have to pretend x,y,z, and appear to always agree with you even when I believe you're wrong (especially about big things) then sorry, I'm happy to be a failure. If you mean success in the terms of do I have a fun project I can contribute to that people can download and make their lives easier? The yes, I do. I also feedback comments to this wiki project.

So, as I say above it might be abrasive, but what you see is what you get. And it's not an easy position to be in, but honesty with those you deal with is more important than success. (NB: I'm not accusing anyone of anything. )

Incidentally, I've also been on a separate online forum for over 10 years now whereby being what's been termed abrasive here and honest elsewhere is the norm. If an idea is good/comment is stated by people they think it's good/or whatever, and if it's bad it's challenged. And despite that, that community has largely stayed together, and grown very strong as a result. Without the need for real names, false politeness, false respect, and without fear from users. I've got a huge amount of respect for most people there as a result. Not every community works the same way. Kinda the point of Sam's post above.

(And that's editted to try and reduce any apparent abrasiveness)

-- MS - 08 Feb 2004

Hi Thomas,

I personally don't think this is an appropriate place, since it moves the comments out of context. But that's life. I suspect Crawford's seen it. If he has he (or whomever) may as well just delete the comment. It doesn't serve any purpose other than to answer his question. It's not as if the code isn't available smile

I actually poked my head in here, though, to suggest an "ideas to place" page. This is becoming a common idea in the Wiki:WikiNode network, and seems to work really well. It's very akin to something that happens on our wiki when there's no obvious place to put something.

The idea behind an ideas to place page is this: * You think of an idea * You don't know a suitable place to put it, or link it from * You could create an OrphanPage, but that causes problems long term with stale content, and TWiki really begins to slow down after a few thousand topics and sufficiently complex skins. (Contrast with Wiki:MediaWiki used by the wikipedia which deals with several hundred thousand interlinked topic pages)

Ideas to place gives somebody an alternative option. This also means all new interesting ideas end up in a certain place. Normally this is handled using a table, which is very simple:

  • An idea number
  • Essentially votes in favour or against. (Add one to the score and update if you like, subtract one if you don't. Leave as is if no preference either way).
  • A short description of the idea

Essentially this collapses a large number of single shot topics by drive by wiki visitors with an interesting idea into a single very positive topic, which simulataneously only enlarging the discussion space when someone has time to respond to the idea.

Conversely, in conjunction with the DeleteMe idea that seems to be a popular idea this might help with pruning the Codev web on a large scale to something more manageable - and might help to show trends in terms of what people are interested in seeing. (Both from a coding and users perspective)

The idea isn't new (what ideas in wikis are?). CoffeeBreak partly fulfills this role in TWiki.org at present, but doesn't have the same element of "feel free to dump your good idea here and leave-ness" about it - except very occasionally. If it's created, to have maximum impact, it should probably be linked from the templates for the page.

I won't create the topic just yet - I'll wait to see if it's considered useful. I do think in conjunction with DeleteMe (and possibly a RenameMe tag) even hacking & refactoring a complete web like the Codev web back so that the total signal (code and features) level is raised again can happen. (It might certainly help in the creation of GatewayTopics as content between topics gets collapsed over time)

Why create it?

  • One of the most common questions of possible contributors on #twiki - "Where can I post this idea" ? "I can't create a new page". (Even when the response is "of course you can, just name it appropriately, and preferably link to it from several appropriate pages.) An ideas to place page would give them the confidence of where to put the idea.

  • It enables visitors who happen to pass through from other wikis to see a common idiom where they can make observations and suggestions.

If it is implemented here, using the comment plugin (or possibly the EditTablePlugin then this might capture the essential speed and "drive-by-ideas"-ness.

-- MS - 08 Feb 2004

Michael. A few comments:

  • Please try and be more concise
  • You badly mis-respresent Peter; he tries hard to be fair to all contributors; he ends up putting in extra work based on your feedback, sometimes in areas of TWiki that are not so vital e.g. HandlingOfMetaDataInTopicText. Important, but not that important.
  • Don't mistake attempts by CoreTeam members to keep things peaceful with you as something else i.e. anti Peter's behaviour. Peter has always been a great lead for TWiki.org. He tries far harder than you possibly imagine to smooth things over with you.
  • You have a lot to offer TWiki, including clearly: a very high standard of technical knowledge, a lot of time spent on TWiki, willingness to help others.
  • Your style does hurt your case as you are often quick to antagonise others.

-- JohnTalintyre - 09 Feb 2004

"ideas to place" UsabilityIdeas partly fulfils this and is linked to from the web action bar. Perhaps it could be renamed and extended to ideas beyond usability.

not a good idea. UI is hard to keep up to date because it is too long. I wish now we had followed the PatchProposal model of using a Wiki:WikiBadge and a formatted search.

-- SamHasler - 09 Feb 2004, -- MattWilkie - 11 Feb 2004

"Ideas to place" vs. current UsabilityIdeas: I think mix of both is the best. First, in brainstorming phase, just throw idea on the wall (in a single topic - IdeaIncubator) and see if it will stick. I see no good reason to have hundreds of dead pages with dead ideas around, just to make SEARCH happy. If idea sticks, it's worth to refactor it ouf of the IdeaIncubator into own page when details of it's implementation are discussed. If not worth, 2-3 paragraphs can be moved to DeadIdeas page to warn future travellers.

-- PeterMasiar - 11 Feb 2004

IdeasToPlace isn't just some bizarre idea I've come up with -- it's designed to be something that most wikis (not wiki engines, wikis) would implement - along with a suitable WikiNode - it's to allow sensible handoff and dumping of ideas in a familiar place to drive by people. (The kind of thing that results in lots of dead topics)

Example: http://wikifeatures.wiki.taoriver.net/moin.cgi/IdeasToPlace

Rationale: http://mappersprocess.wiki.taoriver.net/moin.cgi/IdeasToPlaceTutorial

Copying a small snippet from there:

    IdeasToPlace exists so that newcomers can immediately start making contributions. ... Most wikis, ... develop social norms, rules of behavior. That way they don't step on each other's toes a lot. That's also good- every community needs these kinds of things.

    But what frequently happens is that newcomers can't make contributions without learning all of these rules. Where once, anything was immediately accepted, there is a lot of disconmfort with new ideas. ... There's a tension there. Newcomers are told, "You've got to learn how this works, before you can contribute anything." It's a problem.

    That's why IdeasToPlace exist: To keep an open door to new ideas and new people.

It's designed as a cross-wiki standard so that users are not totally disoriented by visiting a new wiki site. _It keeps doors open to newcomers - it's not for the locals - it's to encourage new blood. _

Also anyone who thinks this heavyweight really should look at the example above. The point is it's lightweight.

-- MS - 11 Feb 2004

Welcome back PeterMasiar smile   We have not seen you here for a long time.

-- PeterThoeny - 12 Feb 2004

I am not sure if this is a bug or some common mistake: on my development site (Beta release 2004) I can't override my Web's preferences in my own user topic. As a test I changed the WEBBGCOLOR, but it only changes in Edit and Preview mode (and raw=on mode!), not in normal view mode. Here on twiki.org it just works ok.

  • I could not find the problem, so I installed twiki beta again. Now I see that when I view topics, I am recognized as guest, so I see all TWikiGuest settings, and only on edit I am recognized as me and I see my color settings. This must be working differently on twiki.org...
    • What you're missing is the $doRememberRemoteUser setting or a session-managing plugin, either of which will maintain your username even for scripts that do not require authentication. If you would rather require a user account to view topics, then you would need to set/distribute the password for TWikiGuest (I think it's "guest" by default/so people can register), and add view to the scripts that have require valid-user in .htaccess. This would result in the browser sending the username and password with all view requests, so TWiki knows who is making them. -- WM 14 Feb 2004

-- ArthurClemens - 13 Feb 2004

Have fun with some interesting stats in TWikiVsWorld.

-- MattWilkie - 13 Feb 2004

  • Hey guys, I've just created a new plugin called EditInTablePlugin in response to a few of my users frustrations with aligning bars and locating cells when editing tables.
  • The plugin renders the tables as a grid of text edit boxes which are easy to edit and then save the table
  • It doesn't require any modifications to TWiki tables to work.
  • I'm considering enhancing it so it aligns the table bars for easy text editing.
  • Please let me know what you think 8)

-- RudiBierach - 14 Feb 2004

Whatever happened to HighResolutionLogos? Did we just abandon the idea of a more professional logo? Or did it (like so many other things) just stagnate?

  • Stagnate is probably the right word - PTh

-- CrawfordCurrie - 17 Feb 2004

Not necessarily more professional, but IMHO less cluttered TWiki look for the non-developer type. Comments / feedback welcome. http://wiki.pgmfi.org

-- DavidBlundell - 17 Feb 2004

I just upgraded the TWiki.org TWiki to the latest TWikiAlphaRelease. I will create a Beta in the next few days, please hammer on this alpha version and report any issues you might find.

-- PeterThoeny - 19 Feb 2004

Maybe I just caught the sourceforge servers at a good moment, but I think the new alpha release feels MUCH more responsive than the old version.

-- DavidBlundell - 19 Feb 2004

Who has experience in customizing the attachments table? I would like to add a classification dropdown.

-- ArthurClemens - 20 Feb 2004

A friend pointed me to an article in c't magazine (here in Holland). Its a translation from an earlier article in the German version (you can download it for little money from www.heise.de archiv - if you speak German. Well Peter in any case...) (Intro in English )

For all others: the autor makes a comparison of 5 Wiki engines: MediaWiki, MoinMoin, PhpWiki, TWiki and UseModWiki. The 4 page article is informative, and the autor (Erik Möller) is not biased. He is quiet positive on TWiki, except for the usability part.

Some data from the article:

A full text search test with 10.000 pages (80 MB):

Full text search
Wikipedia 1.0 s
MoinMoin 9.6 s
PhpWiki 2.5 s
UseModWiki 45.0 s
TWiki -

TWiki crashed on the 'long argument list' used in the test. With smaller data sets TWiki is as fast as MoinMoin.

Wiki checklist:

Name MediaWiki MoinMoin PhpWiki TWiki UseModWiki
Languages more than 20 8 7 English 18
Technical documentation - ++ - ++ O
User documentation O + + + -
Functions + + O ++ +
Ease of use ++ ++ + -- O
Scalability ++ - + - -
++ very good, + good, O suffices, - bad, -- very bad

TWiki is most succesful on intranets, but fails on the public websites. Bad usability can be compensated by training on intranets, but is not acceptable on the internet.

We know where we have some work to do...

Seriously, the points that were raised:

Positive points

  • Ease of use to change settings in topics and not on the webserver
  • Multiple webs, on larger installations (but see also below)
  • Authorisation control
  • Options that plugins provide

Negative points

  • Multiple webs is very confusing at the beginning
  • Standard design: a lot of accolades and vague navigation terms like 'Ref-By', 'Diffs' and 'Attach'
  • CamelCase syntax
  • Because of the versatility and expansability developers and users need much more time than with other wikis (note the discrepancy between this and the expansability score in the table above)

One thing that struck me is the option of free linking that MediaWiki (from Wikipedia) has. We can't have [[Pages with spaces]] because we still have the bug in TopicSaveErrorWithTopicsContainingSpace.

-- ArthurClemens - 25 Feb 2004

Good stuff, Arthur! Thanks for the translation. This should be taken as reinforcing the importance of three things which have been on the "to do" list for too long now:

  1. Simplify the shipped configuration (reduce # of shipped webs)
  2. Replace the default skin with a signifcantly more firendly one (eg PatternSkin)
  3. Link phrases

BTW, what was the 'expansability score'? It's not in the table.

  • I think that expansability and scalability are meant to be the same. But maybe I am wrong. -- ArthurClemens - 26 Feb 2004

-- CrawfordCurrie - 26 Feb 2004

I concur, good work Arthur. I looked at MediaWiki which scores better for ease of use. I notice that there a simple JavaScript editor with nice images - I wonder how much this contributed to ease of use. Very similar in functionality to JavascriptBasedEditor, which is not turned on by default in TWiki. WikiPedia is the main MediaWiki site and is in DocumentMode, so feature to have a link called "Discuss this page" makes sense - there's nothing so clear cut in TWiki for Webs in document mode e.g. the TWiki Web.

-- JohnTalintyre - 26 Feb 2004

Is it possible to put all of Main into TWiki? This would make it possible to ship with one web.

-- ArthurClemens - 26 Feb 2004

I still think we should keep Main, but rename it to something like People and only store user pages in it. TWiki should just have documentation in it, plus a few preference pages. Perhaps we should hide the fact these are Webs and only expose specfic links to them, leaving users with one Web for their content (by default).

-- JohnTalintyre - 26 Feb 2004

John is right, names are everything. Neither "Main" nor "TWiki" are intention-revealing. "People" and "System", on the other hand, are. Given the infrequency with which they are directly referenced, it seems logical to me to "hide" these webs as you suggest, on the default skin.

BTW, how about, instead of repeating the name of the current web 3 times in the header, we just use a highlight in the webs list to show the current web?

-- CrawfordCurrie - 26 Feb 2004

The wiki I run for Ars Technica's Linux community does something like that. The skin I made on there puts the web list at the front of the 'breadcrumb', and uses CSS to highlight the current web. The web name is still repeated in the "topicaction" header, though.

-- WalterMundt - 26 Feb 2004

Does anyone actually own the sourcing of a new skin for TWiki? Or is it just blowing in the wind?

-- CrawfordCurrie - 26 Feb 2004

No, noone owns it. But I am making a little progress in PatternSkinDev (which is halted a bit due to company TWiki implementation - which is also good smile ). Although it is not going as fast as I would like, I am commited to the job. Next week I will have some more templates ready.

-- ArthurClemens - 26 Feb 2004

Arthur - to make this easier for people to manage and to understand, can you make yourself the "owner" of the usability changes that are to go into CairoRelease, by setting the AssignedToCore: to you, and the ScheduledFor: to CairoRelease?

that way we know what is intended to be done, and can better help out.

for example: in AttachmentLogicFlawed it appears that you think this should get actioned, but i'm not sure who is going to co-ordinate the work..

  • Aha, I thought that 'assigned to' meant 'executing the code changes'. Of course I am willing to take on a coordinator role, although its hard for me to review perl code. I will see what I can take on. -- AC - 27 Feb 2004

similarly, the simplification of templates change looks as if its abandoned, even though i suspect that you are really working on it as a part of the pattern skin stuff (even if indirectly)

  • I am working on this, but I would hardly call it simplification... Perhaps more structured. -- AC - 27 Feb 2004

BTW: i like the PatternSkin so far. i'm going to need a timeframe for completion soon though as my boss has already asked me when i'm rolling out my prototype smile

  • Ok, I am awaiting your feedback / experiences! This thing definitely needs testing. -- AC - 27 Feb 2004

-- SvenDowideit - 27 Feb 2004

Slashdot has a story about a Government open source directory - worth registering TWiki with a suitable person's details and email address (Peter?). We have until the end of today, 1st March!

-- RichardDonkin - 01 Mar 2004

Thanks for the pointer, I am submitting now...

-- PeterThoeny - 02 Mar 2004

Hey Everybody, ChristopherHuhn has put out TouchGraphPlugin which makes the old TouchGraphAddOn actually useful instead of a curiosity and proof of concept. I went from download to enabling it in all my webs in less than 10 minutes. It needs some testing though, especially in different browsers and OSes. There is a nasty bug for at least some Mozilla based ones. You can see the plugin in action here.

TG-Plugin would be wonderful candidate for twiki.org if it can be made to play nice with all browsers.

-- MattWilkie - 05 Mar 2004

Following TWikiPresentation21Jan2004Feedback, we are staying tuned about some exciting news at Cebit.

-- BenoitFauvel - 19 Mar 2004

I have not heard back from the company, so I can't give an udate at this time.

-- PeterThoeny - 20 Mar 2004

Two threads at Slashdot about usability in open source projects:

-- ArthurClemens - 04 Apr 2004

I've changed to PatchProposal all the topics needed for KoalaSkin. I tried updating the KoalaSkin topic, but it failed to preview.

It looks like comment plugin is an old copy on twiki.org as it does not accept the %!COMMENT% without a trailing {}

-- MartinCleaver - 07 Apr 2004 - 18:08

This version of comment does not seem to comment like a normal edit. Is this intentional?

-- MartinCleaver - 07 Apr 2004 - 18:09

I noticed some small bugs on twiki:

  • Moved message (gmtime?): Plugins.PatternSkinDev moved from Codev.PatternSkin on gmtime by PeterThoeny - put it back
  • Edit screen (104?): -- [[Main.ArthurClemens#08Apr104][AC]]

-- ArthurClemens - 08 Apr 2004

If anyone is curious why I was absent from twiki the last month, this is the site I was working on. Most of the time went into setting up an application framework in ActionScript, which was quite a fulfilling job, because it is truly reusable. The site is in Dutch, but I think you will get the idea when you see it.

-- ArthurClemens - 09 Apr 2004

Sun's Java TWiki got a visual upgrade.

-- ArthurClemens - 11 Apr 2004

Arthur, I glanced over the site, looks very professional, also the Flash (?) application smile

I think the CodevCommunity and the CoreTeam agrees, we are glad to have you on board!

-- PeterThoeny - 15 Apr 2004

I noticed Groklaw is opening a new section called GrokDocs which is to be entirly seperate from the legal aspect of Open source, and focus on Usability. Looks like they want to provide a wiki (of some kind) that will facilitate a freeform place to post usability studies on all things linux.

Looks like a perfect chance to get the good TWiki name on (powered by?) what will nodoubt quickly become a high profile site.

I was thinking if the core team could put together a proposal of sorts to groklaw about using TWiki, listing some of the reasons why "we" might be chosen for such a project, it might just show the inititave they are looking for and put any decisions they are about to make "over the top" so to say. If such a pitch is made to the groksters, you could also mention that I am willing to help maintain it (for what its worth) and am also willing to spend some time helping them settle into the software as the are getting started.

See also THIS SlashDot article, aswell.

Just a thought.

I should also say that I think decisions will be made rapidly on this, so it might be good if we could move on this ASAP. Let me know if you decide to put something forward.

-- TravisBarker - 19 Apr 2004

Thank you to those who been pitching in to help me with some much needed refactoring around here! smile

-- MattWilkie - 20 Apr 2004

Thanks Travis for the heads up, watchful eyes help the TWikiAdvocacy. Sven volunteered to follow up on Groklaw.

I just created TWikiAdvocacyForPublicSites, please help in refining the message and spreading the word smile

-- PeterThoeny - 20 Apr 2004

I've had a try at refactoring UsabilityIdeas in RefactorUsabilityIdeas. I'd appreciate feedback. Is it worth completing this? (feedback in RefactorUsabilityIdeas)

-- SamHasler - 21 Apr 2004

With proud I can announce the birth of a new project I've worked on (as interaction designer this time): www.annefrank.org.

-- ArthurClemens - 26 Apr 2004

I would like to submit request to irc.freenode.net for #twiki to become an official channel for TWiki Dev and realtime Support and Discussion. doing so would allow the Dev team who frequent IRC to use a custom host maks reflecting our involvement with the TWiki project (name@developerPLEASENOSPAM.twiki or name@core_team.twiki etc) to those seeking help or discussion.

PTh: please see TWikiIRC#IrcCloak as I would need your approval for this.

-- TravisBarker - 01 May 2004

Visit TWikiHeart if you would like to recognize extra work done by a TWikiCommunity member.

-- PeterThoeny - 02 May 2004

I've documented my experiences of extracting data from TWiki topics into a SQL database over in ExtractingTopicDataToADatabase. I did this so I can write more complicated searches than %SEARCH{...}% allows, and because some of the data in TWiki is used as input to external applications, and I needed an easy way of getting at it from outside of TWiki itself.

-- AlanBurlison - 20 May 2004

Equi4 has a cool all-in-one wiki. It supports attachments and other interesting things like database storage and it's own httpd server and the whole thing is self hosted inside a single executable file. The whole package is called a Wikit. Back when I was trying to choose which wiki platform to choose, Wikit very nearly won out over twiki. http://equi4.com/wikit.html (local ref: MetaKit)

You're probably wondering what brought this non-sequitur about; the new EditorDaemonAddOn uses tclkit from equi4. this comment was originally posted there.

-- MattWilkie - 21 May 2004

ArthurClemens, in answer to your question at the top of the page you can't modify attachment tables unless someone applies TemplatesForMetaDataPresentation.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 23 May 2004

In the meantime I have created a custom solution by:

  1. adding a extra column in Attach.pm
  2. adding a dropdown box in attach.tmpl
  3. appending the value from the dropdown box to the comment field using a separator. You won't see the separator, because with view the comment string is split up in 2 using the separator

-- ArthurClemens - 23 May 2004

I'll be less active on twiki.org than usual for an unknown length of time. My wife gave birth to a baby girl on tuesday. smile

  • Congratulations Matt! Enjoy the new little life! -- Arthur
  • Hey Matt, congrats! The human brain develops most in the first 12 month of life, make sure to give the baby the chance to learn different sounds, lights, animals, people... And thank you very much for being so supportive to our community smile -- Peter
  • Congrats Matt! Sounds to me like you have some very interesting days ahead of you. smile -- TB

-- MattWilkie - 29 May 2004

The twikiplugins mailing list, used for automatic cvs commit notices, is working again! smile Subscribe if you want to know what the other developers are doing without having to do a cvs update or browse through the cvs-web.

-- MattWilkie - 22 Jun 2004

Yet another converted! The java.net wiki (http://wiki.java.net/bin/view/Main/WebHome) is using TWiki.

-- RafaelAlvarez - 28 Jun 2004

i just deleted an instance of wiki-spam in TWiki.WebSearch. The last author was an invalid account. How can that happen?

-- MattWilkie - 04 Jul 2004

User was created and subsequently "deleted". See Trash.GertQasw

-- CrawfordCurrie - 05 Jul 2004

Roasted grasshoppers and raw horse meat In the last 4 weeks I could not spend so much time on TWiki. Now I am back from my trip to Japan and Hong Kong. We had some unusual food in a Minshuku, an old style Japanese hotel: Roasted grasshoppers and raw horse meat.

This month I will spend time to get Cairo ready to be released.

On "deleted users": To keep the TWiki.org site clean, I remove daily bogus registrations.

-- PeterThoeny - 05 Jul 2004

Horse meat? Yuck. The grasshoppers look delicious. Honey roasted? wink

-- CrawfordCurrie - 06 Jul 2004

"Until yesterday morning the word “wiki” made me feel nauseous." - Wiki epiphany by Jonathon Delacour.

-- ArthurClemens - 18 Jul 2004

If people wonder where I've been hanging out the past few months:

  1. Working on a twiki bases extranet for my day job
  2. Creating and releasing VisDoc in the spare time I had left

I plan to be back in normal doing.

-- ArthurClemens - 22 Jul 2004

I have installed the latest Beta and on top of that the latest alpha release. Now I cannot see my attachments, although they are present in the topic file. Is there an outstanding bug I should know about? I am having no problems editing and saving topics.

  • Arthur - I think that you have a configuration problem, as i've been testing the alpha (see http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/twikicvs/bin/view/Codev/RenameTopicDoesMainMainUser for a live eg) -SD
    • How? The file data looks ok to me: %META:FILEATTACHMENT{name="burst-dl-2.gif" attr="" comment="" date="1090717008" path="burst-dl-2.gif" size="311" user="ArthurClemens" version="1.1"}% -- AC
    • Going back to TWiki20040507beta solves the problem: I get to see my attachment table again. So something happened between 2 months ago and now frown
  • Arthur - do me a favour and email me the .txt / attach it somewhere here? - sven

  • It turned out I didn't copy the attachtables.tmpl. Works now. Thanks Sven.

-- ArthurClemens - 24 Jul 2004

Its time for people to choose the neame for the release after Dakar

-- SvenDowideit - 25 Jul 2004

Already decided, EdinburghRelease. Once upon a time, Scotland used to be an independent country...

  • ah yes, now i'm going to pretend that i remeber that :). Thanks -- SD
-- PeterThoeny - 25 Jul 2004

There is too much happening on twiki.org for me to keep up anymore (this is a good thing!). If there is something you want to make sure I read, drop a line at MattWilkieMessages.

-- MattWilkie - 26 Jul 2004

Hint: You can get a view into content where you have been involved at TWiki.org, sorted by time. Here is the code borrowed (and modified) from BenoitFauvel's home page:

%TABLE{sort="on" initsort="2" initdirection="up"}%
| *Topic* | *Last Modified* | *Last Editor* |
%SEARCH{"guest" nosearch="on" nototal="on" web="Codev, Support, TWiki, Plugins, Sandbox" format="|[[$web.$topic]]|$date|$wikiusername|" }%

List only the webs of interest, and avoid the Main web because it is slow.

  • I wonder why BenoitFauvel was searching for topics modified my me? -- MartinGregory - 29 Jul 2004
    • It's just the variable %USERNAME% in there. So each person that logs in gets to see his/hers own name smile -- ArthurClemens - 29 Jul 2004

-- PeterThoeny - 27 Jul 2004

Check out the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, there will be an article on Wikis, possibly mentioning TWiki smile

-- PeterThoeny - 27 Jul 2004

TWiki.org is now upgraded to the latest Alpha code from SVN. Please kick the tires. We have now direct save, that is great smile

I could not yet create the new Beta. Is currently more time consuming because we are between server moves. Tomorrow...

I had to disable the CommentPlugin for now, possibly an upgrade miss on my side. Debug tomorrow...

-- PeterThoeny - 28 Jul 2004

Those who want to test PatternSkin, copy this to your user topic:

    • #Set TWIKILAYOUTURL = %PUBURL%/%TWIKIWEB%/PatternSkin/layout.css
    • #Set TWIKISTYLEURL = %PUBURL%/%TWIKIWEB%/PatternSkin/style.css
    • #Set SKIN = pattern

and remove the hashes (pound signs).

Please report bugs to PatternSkinDev.

-- ArthurClemens - 31 Jul 2004

Doesn't seem to do anyhting, Arthur. Or am I just jumping the gun?

  • I have the same settings as you, so I can't see what could be wrong. You could test the %SKIN% variable value. Here, it is: tagme, topmenu, pattern. -- ArthurClemens - 31 Jul 2004

-- CrawfordCurrie - 31 Jul 2004

Any idea why Pattern skin does not work in Main?

-- ArthurClemens - 31 Jul 2004

Arthur, there was an outdated templates/Main/view.tmpl file. I made a copy long time ago to show the "Please use the Sandbox web for testing" message at the bottom of the screen. I just copied it again.

  • Yes, but twiki.pattern.tmpl does not seem to be there (looking in the source). -- ArthurClemens - 01 Aug 2004
    • Not for the distro, only TWiki.org should have it also in the Main web (pending). This is because of the extra message. -- PTh

-- PeterThoeny - 31 Jul 2004

I will be speaking at LinuxWorld on Thursday in San Francisco on Wiki, a Shared Blog for the Corporate World. Please get in touch if you attend the conference smile

TWiki.org is just updated to the latest Alpha from SVN.

-- PeterThoeny - 04 Aug 2004

A Norwegian news service (digi.no) says Gartner just published a report on the most important new emerging technologies, and sorted them by current and potential importance.

I know not many of you read norwegian, but there's a figure from the report (with annotations in english) at the page which is rather interesting by itself. It mentions Wikis as "up and coming" in the next few years.

I don't have access to the full "hype cycle" report from Gartner - but I'm sure this is a pointer (yet another) that Wikis might be in the "sweet spot" soon smile

Direct link to article: http://www.digi.no/php/art.php?id=107447.

Gartner "hype cycles" link: http://www4.gartner.com/hc/asset_50595.jsp.

-- SteffenPoulsen - 06 Aug 2004

TWiki.org is again just updated to the latest Alpha from SVN.

-- PeterThoeny - 07 Aug 2004

UpgradeTWiki is basically ready for use - I don't think I'll do anything else to it except bug fixes.

It'd be nice if someone tested it (ideally prior to Cairo Release smile )

-- MartinGregory - 08 Aug 2004

Just reinstalled CommentPlugin on TWiki.org, see details in CommentPluginDev. I plan to take this version into CairoRelease.

Just release TWikiBetaRelease2004x07x30, the last one before the Cairo production release.

-- PeterThoeny - 07 Aug 2004

I upgraded a Beijing TWiki using the UpgradeTWiki version packaged up with this beta, and all went well, bar some minor aesthetics.

I have tidied up some aesthetics and uploaded a new verison.

-- MartinGregory - 08 Aug 200

Help needed:

As part on the Cairo release preparation, I contacted some companies and asked to contribute a sentence or two for the TWiki press release on how TWiki helps employees work together better. It would be great to get a testimonial from someone in VP level at a well known company. So far no luck. Any help in this field is greatly appreciated. See previous example at TWikiAdvocacy01Feb2003#Press_Release

-- PeterThoeny - 08 Aug 2004

The Gartner report certainly describes a very possible scenario, repeating history in high tech.

We are on the right track, and this is music to my ears. The key is to offer nicely packaged TWikiApplications as AddOnPackages. Possibly with a rating system identifying the winner applications.

-- PeterThoeny - 11 Aug 2004

Check out the nice testimonial from Yahoo! smile

-- PeterThoeny - 12 Aug 2004

OK, I just created one more Beta to test out UpgradeTWiki, see http://TWiki.org/release/TWiki20040816beta.zip. This beta is silent, not widely announced. It is the production release minus updates to TWikiHistory and TWikiUpgradeGuide (unless we find new bugs).

I am still looking for a good testimonial for the TWiki press release from a well known company, stating how TWiki helps employees work together better. Any help in this area is appreciated.

I am working day and night for the last few weeks. If you would like to get this release out soon you can help: In order to compile the TWikiHistory change log we need to get accurate descriptions of CairoRelease features/bugs/patches listed in CairoReleaseSummary.

-- PeterThoeny - 17 Aug 2004

One more (at least) update of UpgradeTWiki will be required.

  • It's done... it would be nice if someone would test it, but as far as I can tell it works. -- MartinGregory - 19 Aug 2004

-- MartinGregory - 17 Aug 2004

it'd be useful if the left menu held Cairo: TODO (Spec,Impl,Docs), Finished, Deferred in a similar manner to the way Patches, Bugs & Features are listed.

-- MattWilkie - 18 Aug 2004

Matt, please feel free.

-- ArthurClemens - 18 Aug 2004

I've tried to figure out how but my regex for AND NOT matching is not working. See Sandbox.CairoToDo for the attempt.

-- MattWilkie - 18 Aug 2004

Did you forget about the quotes surrounding the value?

-- ClaussStrauch - 18 Aug 2004

ahhh, yes, thank you Clauss! (and Sven and Crawford in TWikiIRC for finetuning the regex). I've added Cairo unfinished TODO's to WebLeftBar.

-- MattWilkie - 19 Aug 2004

Note that the regex you're using doesn't match values such as 5% or 0%. You might want to use something like: \"[0-9]{1,2}[^0-9]\", though just using \".{2,3}\" might be simplest.

  • It won't match empty progress fields either. Would \".{0,3}\" work? -- SamHasler - 19 Aug 2004

  • Yeah, if empty progress fields are allowed (and there seem to be fair number of such topics from looking at things scheduled for Dakar), then that'll probably work. -- ClaussStrauch - 20 Aug 2004

-- ClaussStrauch - 19 Aug 2004

I've changed all the TODO's to be of the form ![D]ocProgress.*value\=\".*100%.*\" which is a much better catch all. See ReleaseDocsToDo to see what it would pick up for Dakar.

They all use a %!RELEASETABLE% variable which is also used by ReleaseFeatureTable. Perhaps this should be renamed %!CURRENTRELEASE% and defined in TWikiPreferences for ease of update.

-- SamHasler - 20 Aug 2004

Hey Folks -- I'm in the process of getting TWiki adopted in a small software development team of 5-10 folks. It seems that we need a guidebook of sorts to think about collaboration and communication in a new way. I understand "The Wiki Way" by Ward Cunningham and co-author, comes recommended. Are there any other books out there on wiki, or just books on collaboration in general? I would especially like to know of any non-wiki-specific collaboration guidebooks out there. Maybe just a good all-around business book on getting your team to collaborate and communicate more effectively.


-- GaleStafford 24 Aug 2004

  • Wiki-books are scarce, to my knowledge there is none except Leuf/Cunningham. Mark Guzdial of Georgia Tech University has written some papers dealing with CoWeb which is a wiki they use in teaching. See for example Andreas Dieberger and Mark Guzdial: CoWeb - Experiences with Collaborative Web Spaces. In: Christopher Lueg and Danyel Fisher (Eds.): From Usenet to CoWebs: Interacting with Social Information Spaces. Springer: 2003. p. 155-166.
  • There's heaps of literature on CSCW or CSCL (Computer-Supported Collaborative Working/Writing/Learning) and collaborative writing. Some examples:
    • Ede, Lisa and Lunsford, Andrea: Singular Texts/Plural Authors: Perspectives on collaborative writing. Southern Illinois UP, 1990.
    • Rodriguez, Henrry: Using the WWW as infrastructure for collaborative production of documents . Licentiate Thesis. Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2001. http://www.nada.kth.se/utbildning/forsk.utb/avhandlingar/lic/010607.pdf
    • Publications by Mike Sharples, Rachel Rimmershaw.
  • There are probably even bigger heaps of sociological literature but I don't know about the English "scene" in this field.
  • Maybe the books by Owen Harrison on OpenSpace Technology could be helpful, too.
-- ChristianKohl - 26 Aug 2004

The TWikiReleaseTrackerPlugin is now ready for primetime. I'd appreciate if people could try it out and report success/failure before CairoRelease goes public - this would help me eliminate any issues before they affect a large number of people.

-- MartinCleaver - 24 Aug 2004

I plan to release Cairo over the weekend. Please let us know of any last minute issues that should be addressed.

-- PeterThoeny - 28 Aug 2004

Following the links from WebGuiVsTWiki I ended up that WebGUI's product comparison which pointed to http://www.cmsmatrix.org/. The only wiki I recognised was Tiki.

Peter: perhaps when you've got Cairo out the door you could register on that site (r.h.s of about page) and add TWiki to the matrix.

-- SamHasler - 28 Aug 2004

I didn't realise the site was run by Plain Black, the makers of WebGUI. Maybe it's not the best place to advertise TWiki after all.

-- SamHasler - 29 Aug 2004

I think it is a good place in that this is the best comparison of CMS packages I've seen and I think a lot of people will be using it, regardless of who hosts it.

-- LynnwoodBrown - 29 Aug 2004

I refactored out discussion above on TWiki applications to TWikiApplicationsShowcase

-- CrawfordCurrie - 30 Aug 2004

Shh, secret: The TWikiRelease01Sep2004 (CairoRelease) package is now available: TWiki20040901.zip, TWiki20040901.tar.gz. Please give it a try before I announce it widely in a few days, we can update some docs if needed.

-- PeterThoeny - 30 Aug 2004

release candidate feedback moved to KnownIssuesOfTWiki01Sep2004

-- WillNorris - 31 Aug 2004

While looking around kupu's website I noticed that oscom also have a CSM Matrix. Which incidentally appears second after Plain Black's on Google:CMS+Matrix. It's not as fancy as Plain Black's but wouldn't hurt to get listed there.

-- SamHasler - 04 Sep 2004

There are now automated NiceToHave tables on all the release topics. If you want a bug/feature to appear in them then simply set it's ScheduledFor field to the appropriate release. Note that DakarRelease is intended to be a slimmer, performance-focused release so anything that would decrease performance should be scheduled to EdinburghRelease.

When the CoreTeam decides a feature/bug should be included in the core they will set the AssignedToCore field to indicate the CoreTeam member that has agreed to commit the Feature or Bug into cvs. Doing this will automatically move the features from the NiceToHave tables to the appropriate bug/feature table.

-- SamHasler - 07 Sep 2004

Hi there, I've rented some webspace at a provider. Now I want to install TWiki there. Following TWikiInstallationGuide I have to "change ownership of the RCS lock user" as my cgi scripts are of course not running as user nobody. Now the "Fix" line in testenvt is exactly what I missed in my release of TWiki (which I downloaded just a few days before the 01-Sep-2004 version was released). Thanks.

-- DanielKabs - 10 Sep 2004

I've made a proposal for a new form and classification system in PostCairoDevelopmentModel#Proposed_new_Form_and_Classifica, any feedback would be appreciated.

-- SamHasler - 12 Sep 2004

just a quick note, sourceforge has run out of space on it's temp volume again. Although when you save a twiki.org topic there is an error message, what you write is saved what is not saved however is the revision history.

-- MattWilkie - 17 Sep 2004

I filed a support request two days ago, http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=1028680&group_id=1&atid=200001

To keep the page history consistent: Please retry to save the page in case you encounter the "No space left on device" error. SF has 5 load balanced servers, after one or two retries you should get a web server that works.

-- PeterThoeny - 17 Sep 2004

Have moved the personal webleftbar up the codev webleftbar - please say if you don't like it.

Also have added a link to TWikiIRC as I read this: http://koala.ilog.fr/twikiirc/bin/irclogger_log/twiki?date=2004-09-17,Fri&sel=151#l147

-- MartinCleaver - 20 Sep 2004

Something strange has happened to the default setup for when users log into a newly configured TWiki.

I followed the instructions for a htpasswd TWikiRegistrationPub setup with Cairo-out-of-the-box, and when I went to edit a page (before registering) I got a prompt to login that contained a broken sentence. It appears that some words "bump into" the text in $authRealm in a bad way.

Then, when I hit cancel, I was not taking to TWikiRegistrationPub, I was sent to apache's "sorry, you didn't succeed in authenticating" page.

Both these seem like backwards steps since Beijing. I haven't had a chance to track them down: maybe someone else "just knows" how all that's supposed to work!?

-- MartinGregory - 22 Sep 2004

I've just confirmed that the default $authRealm doesn't take into account the fact that Apache already says "Enter your name and password for". This needs to be fixed in the distsro TWiki.cfg. (I guess I should file a bug or somefink)

-- MartinGregory - 22 Sep 2004

Sounds like a candidate for a BugReport

-- PeterThoeny - 23 Sep 2004

Ugh. I wonder if someone here can advise (everyone on TWikiIRC, where these comments are copied from, is away on holidays at the moment)...

GreenAsJade I just installed a new twiki on my linux machine that serves my webpages

GreenAsJade Now I'm getting messages like this in my apache log:

GreenAsJade [Thu Sep 23 20:12:05 2004] [error] [client] script not found or unable to stat /opt/lampp/htdocs/twiki/bin/rdiff.pl

GreenAsJade Whoa!?

GreenAsJade Am I being hacked?

GreenAsJade I don't have a $suffix defined (my bin scrips don't have .pl)

GreenAsJade I also have this:

GreenAsJade [Thu Sep 23 20:12:00 2004] [error] [client] File does not exist: /opt/lampp/htdocs/robots.txt

GreenAsJade What is expecting to find a "robots.txt" in my apache document root?

GreenAsJade These messages stop appearing when I shut port 80 on my router.

(Which confirms my suspicions somewhat that it's really coming from outside my local (home) network, not just me doing silly things without knowing it).

I've just found that my access_log is full of things like this: - - [23/Sep/2004:20:12:01 +1000] "GET /twiki/bin/attach.pl/TWiki/WebChanges HTTP/1.1" 404 391 - - [23/Sep/2004:20:12:01 +1000] "GET /twiki/bin/view.pl/TWiki/TWikiHistory HTTP/1.1" 404 391 - - [23/Sep/2004:20:12:02 +1000] "GET /twiki/bin/view.pl/TWiki/WebSiteTools HTTP/1.1" 404 391 - - [23/Sep/2004:20:12:02 +1000] "GET /twiki/bin/view.pl/TWiki/ManagingWebs HTTP/1.1" 404 391 - - [23/Sep/2004:20:12:05 +1000] "GET /twiki/bin/rdiff.pl/TWiki/RandyKramer HTTP/1.1" 404 391


-- MartinGregory - 23 Sep 2004

Here's another wierd thing (unrelated)... from my log.txt:

| 23 Sep 2004 - 20:17 | Main.TWikiGuest | view | Castelain.WebHome |  | |
| 23 Sep 2004 - 20:24 | Main.MartinGregory | edit | Castelain.WebHome |  | |
| 23 Sep 2004 - 20:28 | Main.MartinGregory | save | Castelain.WebHome |  | |
| 23 Sep 2004 - 20:28 | Main.TWikiGuest | view | Castelain.WebHome |  | |

Why has TWiki decided that I'm guest again, after I save a page?

The very strange thing about this is that when I went to edit the page again, it again said (in the log) that I was MartinGregory _without prompting me to log in again as MartinGregory... as if I'm now MartinGregory for edit by TWikiGuest for view....

-- MartinGregory - 23 Sep 2004

While I'm on a roll, I have updated TWikiInstallationGuide to try to help people have an Apache configuration that works out of the box.

I added a line to the recommended httpd.conf saying AllowOverride All for bin/.htaccess.

Knowledgable people: please double check that this is safe!

If it is, please edit out my question to that effect on that page.

-- MartinGregory - 23 Sep 2004

TWiki.org use standard http authenication, but only for certain pages like edit. So when you go to edit a page the Web server prompts your browser for authenication, which (the first time) prompts you for your username and password. When you then do a view this information is not passed to the (stateless) Web server. But next time you do an edit the browser already has details and passes them to the Web server. An alternative and widely used approach is to use cookies to generate sessions e.g. see SessionPlugin.

-- JohnTalintyre - 23 Sep 2004

The question wasn't "why doesn't it reauthenticate?" but "why does it forget who I am?".

This doesn't materialise only in the logs: also MartinGregory is rendered as "guest" all the time, even after authenticating for an edit session.

-- MartinGregory - 23 Sep 2004

The web server may not set the REMOTE_USER environment variable when accessing scripts that do not require authentication, even though the browser may pass along the Authorization header from your previous authentication.

You can set $doRememberRemoteUser or do other session fu to have TWiki remember who you are when accessing scripts that don't require authenticated access.

-- ClaussStrauch - 24 Sep 2004

Martin, according to SamSpade that IP belongs to Google: http://samspade.org/t/lookat?a= so it must be following links from somewhere. (unless the IP is being spoofed; dunno if that is possible or not)

-- MattWilkie - 24 Sep 2004

Hey - that SamSpade is a good thing!

Thanks Matt - puts my mind at rest. I guess google must have been looking to see if links that were previously there still are ... an older incarnation of my twiki did have .pl! So it was hitting me with every link it had heard of before?! Kind of it to do it only one every few minutes or so!

(I had thought that google didn't grok twiki, though?)

-- MartinGregory - 24 Sep 2004

Clauss - thanks for the pointer to $doRememberRemoteUser!

Any clues about how to make Apache set REMOTE_USER all the time?

-- MartinGregory - 24 Sep 2004

I've been taking a good lack at the new default (Pattern) skin and generally the new UI at TWiki.org. It's an impressive change - it looks much more professional and crisp and it's great to see features that have been talked about for so long like checkpoint and save button making an appearance.

Well done smile

-- JohnTalintyre - 24 Sep 2004

And accelerator (shortcut) keys! That's so useful!

-- TorbenGB - 24 Sep 2004

It turns out that $doRememberRemoteUser is not what I was looking for: something of a security risk.

What I had actually done in other places is set

<File "view"> require valid-user </File>

That does the trick.

-- MartinGregory - 25 Sep 2004

PluginAppraisalDev is now functional - please comment on it before I roll it out across all plugins next week.

-- MartinCleaver - 28 Sep 2004

Hi AntonAylward, good to see your energy back on twiki.org (you type way too fast though :))

-- MattWilkie - 30 Sep 2004

I've added an InterSiteLinkRules entry enabling SVNget: type links (e.g. SVNget:bin/testenv), and changed CVSget: to also point to the new SVN repository. The idea is that old links using CVSget will point to the latest repository version, which seems more useful than pointing to the obsolete CVS repository.

I haven't changed the CVS:bin/testenv type links, perhaps someone more into SVN would like to do those?

-- RichardDonkin - 01 Oct 2004

I need some help troubleshooting some fatal browser issues: WhatsWrongIE. Please lend a hand. thanks.

-- MattWilkie - 06 Oct 2004

I used order="formfield(Number)" in a %SEARCH and was less than satisfied with the result, because it went like this: 101, 102, 103, 67

Is this alphabetical? Is there some way I can get the sort to be numerical?

-- MartinGregory - 07 Oct 2004

In SpacedWikiWordPluginNextGenDev it says

"Suggested documentation for new version of hack-free plugin"

so... is this plugin real or not?

(The current SpacedWikiWordPlugin isn't working properly with Cairo, so I'm searching around for what the right solution is!)

-- MartinGregory - 07 Oct 2004

Sort SEARCH: Current implementation does only ASCII sort. For now use TablePlugin's initsort feature

Spaced WikiWords: You can use SpreadSheetPlugin's $PROPERSPACE().

-- PeterThoeny - 07 Oct 2004

I just wanted to draw folks' attention to the BusinessWeek article about JotSpot which Peter mentioned in TWikiInTheNews. The key point in this article is that JotSpot raised $5.2 million eek! on the strength of one simple idea: build a wiki that enables easy-to-build web applications. Gee, sound familiar? This is the one area where I propose that TWiki is KING! We might remember this in TWikiAdvocacy and thinking about TWikiWhatWillYouBeWhenYouGrowUp. We should stop comparing TWiki to other run-of-the-mill wikis and start promoting it on the basis of the awesome potential of TWikiApplications.

-- LynnwoodBrown - 07 Oct 2004

JotSpot presents the building of web apps as something easy: Lego-style, with a few keystrokes, etc. TWiki could do this too, if the presentation of plugins is more targeted towards non-technical people. A demo web for plugins would also be nice.

Another idea is to present preformatted search query blocks, to show With a few keystrokes, data and services from other Web sites can be automatically tapped and deposited on the wiki.

-- ArthurClemens - 07 Oct 2004

Looks like they visited twiki.org, got all the ideas, and went off an implemented them while we sat around whingeing about the missing features and doing nothing. Please stop complaining about where TWiki could be, and instead take positive steps towards getting it there. Grrrr.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 07 Oct 2004

Yep, getting copied is the nicest form of flattery. TWiki's tag line is "Web Based Collaboration Platform" all along, that is a platform for web applications, aka TWikiApplications. As Arthur said, we can gain a lot by providing better tutorials and best practices (in Sandbox web) that make it easy for average users to put the Lego pieces together. Also mentioned in TWikiPresentation05Aug2004.

Appeal to community: Please spread the word, TWikiAdvocacy01Sep2004 is your ammunition. And work on easy to use Lego blocks that make use of the existing functionality. One example is the MeetingMinutes. Speaking of Lego blocks, what is a good name? Portlets? TWikilets? TWiklets? Tweaklets? Sniplets?

-- PeterThoeny - 07 Oct 2004

I just posted a first draft for a new QuickStartTutorial and would welcome suggestions for improvements.

-- LynnwoodBrown - 07 Oct 2004

Arthur, check out http://twikiplugins.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/twiki/view/TWiki/InstalledPlugins

it's got all of the plugins that currently (well, a few days ago) conform to AutomatedPluginsDownload and install cleanly using the TWikiOnSourceForge#Automated_Installation script. TWikiOnSourceForge#Plugins_automated_installation_s has the list of what works, and what doesn't (and usually, why). this can be used as part of the AutomatedBuild and TWikiTestInfrastructure as well as a public twiki site where people can collaborate on TWikiWebTemplate and TWikiApplication development which use plugins not installed at twiki.org (or, as far as i know, any other public twiki site). in particular, i'd like to see more project management facilities prototyped. perhaps sven can demonstrate his alternate bug tracking system there, and so on.

-- WillNorris - 07 Oct 2004

Nice work Will! That's great! Does it automatically reinstall the plugins? This means we can get rid of/replace the DemoURL field with a pointer to twikiplugins, and also that the TWikiReleaseTrackerPlugin can make its MD5 indexes from your installation.

-- MartinCleaver - 08 Oct 2004

thanks martin. i'd also like to thank RossSmith, whose scripts i based the updated work on. while it automatically installs everything it can so far, it doesn't automatically reinstall anything yet. i still need to finish installing local CPAN modules and have a way to backup and restore a wiki web before i get to the DailyBuildAndSmokeTest (that is what would automatically reinstall and run tests). it's getting to the point where i need to write a TWikiInstallerRoadmap.

-- WillNorris - 08 Oct 2004

Hey, anyone got any advice on how I could go about building the PluginAppraisals into the Dev pages? Peter wanted them in the dev topics but unless I can find a way to automate the insertion of these I'll just keep them as *Appraisals instead. I'd personally favour them as separate topics anyway: this way the results can somehow (onTopicSaveHandler?) be filtered into the MetaData. Perhaps we should create a Plugin that picks up a "ONTOPICSAVE" macro definition off a page and executes it when the page is saved. The macro could write into META, providing a solution to Sam's request to propagate up survey results into formfields and thus into cached and searchable results.

-- MartinCleaver - 08 Oct 2004

I'd rather you kept them separate, because the Dev pages get pretty cluttered as it is. Don't over-engineer this; a search in the Plugins web is a fine way to collate the results.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 08 Oct 2004

OK, *Appraisal then.

A FormattedSearch can also expand variables if you like to have CALCs evaluated.

-- PeterThoeny - 08 Oct 2004

"TWiki is king in this area"?

With all due respect to TWiki, it is in a different league to what JotSpot proposes.

TWiki may be the leader in current free wikis, but if JotSpot do what their hype says, then it may be worth the $5.2M.

Building applications in TWiki is possible. It can hardly be described as easy.

-- MartinGregory - 09 Oct 2004

And I am sure JotSpot does not require CamelCase smile

-- ArthurClemens - 09 Oct 2004

I made some small changes to the sidebar in the TWiki home. The site map is now on top, and there are links to the recent changes topics and RSS feeds.

-- PeterThoeny - 10 Oct 2004

I like it, except, can we change the icon used for changes? It looks like "go to top".

-- MartinCleaver - 10 Oct 2004

it does look like "go to top"

-- WillNorris - 10 Oct 2004

True. It should indicated the delta symbol for change. I first tried a small clock, but it was not obvious at that small size. What other symbol could be used?

-- PeterThoeny - 10 Oct 2004

why not just use the text HTML just like the XML image?

-- SamHasler - 11 Oct 2004

Hi Sam.

1) They are not really HTML, 2) All pages could be considered HTML, (so even if it was HTML it wouldn't discriminate) 3) An image saying the text CHANGES would be better but 4) Peter was looking for an image.

Is the XML page you refer to delivering RSS feed?

-- MartinCleaver - 11 Oct 2004

Some web sites use an orange 'RSS' image for RSS feed, some use 'XML'. Both are understood.

Still looking for a simple image that conveys the message of "recent changes" or "what's new"

-- PeterThoeny - 11 Oct 2004

I like the idea of a greek lowercase delta δmyself.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 11 Oct 2004

Good to see "download" right at the top - a big improvement from a little move!

-- MartinGregory - 11 Oct 2004

Like the new arrangement. One suggestion, put a link to TWikiInTheNews with the anchor Press.

-- SamHasler - 13 Oct 2004

Good suggestion Sam, "in the news" link is added.

Crawford, the lower case delta is not legible in the small size. Also, I am not sure if many people know the symbol. Still looking...

-- PeterThoeny - 13 Oct 2004

OK - I have to agree. How about Δt instead?
Anyone with an even rudimentary science background should recognise that.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 13 Oct 2004

How about something like refresh.gif ?

-- MartinCleaver - 13 Oct 2004

An icon with a clock/stopwatch?

-- ArthurClemens - 13 Oct 2004

try http://images.google.com/images?as_q=clock+icon&hl=en&imgsz=icon

-- WillNorris - 13 Oct 2004

Initially I tried to create a smaller version of the clock in recentchanges.gif but it was too small to be recognizable.

Martin, the turning arrows look like a "reload page".

I changed it to Crawford's suggestion.

-- PeterThoeny - 13 Oct 2004

See comments at the bottom of TWikiInstallationGuide.

I was suprised to hear of something on TWiki warning people away from editing something on TWiki. If my response is wrong, feel free to "refactor" it smile

-- MartinGregory - 18 Oct 2004

Good point. I added an encoyraging note to the document box on top, DocsUserNote.

-- PeterThoeny - 19 Oct 2004

Cool - I took the liberty of changing the wording ever so slightly to make it clearer... to me at least.

I sure would be more comfortable if someone would take a look at the Apache directive I added to TWikiInstallationGuide and confirm that I haven't put in an invitation for our users to totally open their kimono...

-- MartinGregory - 21 Oct 2004

I would appreciate any comments on InTopicTableVsFormFields - thanks.

-- MartinCleaver - 22 Oct 2004

KennethLavrsen pointed out in irc that SourceForge is planning a Project web service upgrade.

Most significantly for TWiki this will mean:

  • Old configuration:
    • Apache 1.3.26
    • Perl 5.005_03
  • New configuration:
    • Apache 2.0.51
    • Perl 5.8.3

-- SamHasler - 26 Oct 2004

Thanks Sam for the heads up. I also got an e-mail from SF, alerting that "it may be necessary to upgrade your scripts". The date for this upgrade has not yet been set.

Sven is currently working on the remaining steps of moving TWiki.org to our own server, currently sitting at ntwiki.ethermage.net (already used for SVN). Once done, the twiki.org DNS will resolve to the new server.

-- PeterThoeny - 26 Oct 2004

Please help in evangelizing TWiki. I just added a "how-to" note to TWikiAdvocacy01Sep2004.

On another note, my peter@thoeny.com e-mail address is not very reliable, some mail ends up in Nirvana without a bounce. In case you sent me e-mail and did not get a reply, re-send it to peter.thoeny@attglobalPLEASENOSPAM.net.

-- PeterThoeny - 26 Oct 2004

"TWiki is the most versatile as well as most difficult wiki engine for installation and usage I have ever tried. It should be made easier by any means." -- TWikiAccessControl

-- MartinCleaver - 26 Oct 2004

Note - someone mentioned in UpgradeTWiki that perl 5.8.3 breaks UpgradeTWiki.

I don't know why this is, and won't have a chance to look for a while. Does this bode bad things for the rest of the code base?

-- MartinGregory - 28 Oct 2004

actually, he said perl 5.8.0 didn't work; i suspect any point rev >0 would work

-- WillNorris - 28 Oct 2004

Re Perl 5.8.3 and TWiki.org - this should work fine, I've been running 5.8.3 for some time on my own site (and in fact we should recommend Perl 5.8 now for those who have access to it - see IssuesWithPerl5dot8). Apache 2.0 may be more of an issue.

-- RichardDonkin - 28 Oct 2004

Apache 2.0 is not an issue. It is an opportunity to get all parts of TWiki tested continuously on the Apache version near all new installations will run on. You can hardly find a major distribution today that does not come with Apache 2. I sure hope the move of TWiki.org happens to an Apache 2.0. Otherwise you will never get TWiki to be an up to date product. I run an office TWiki at Motorola with now 200 users on Apache 2. I run the Motion TWiki on the Internet with an average of 310 visitors viewing 1600+ pages per day and it also runs Apache2. So there is no reason to be scared of Apache 2.

An interesting detail about my Motion site.

Watch the statistics of how often the index page is visited before (hosted as static pages at Sourceforge) and after (hosted at my home server on a 512/512 ADSL). The jump is from 500 to 900 visits per day (non-unique). That is the difference between static dead boring content and a living orgamism like TWiki.

Since I started the TWiki site 4-5 new C-coders are now active on the project and the project is moving faster than ever.


-- KennethLavrsen - 28 Oct 2004

I agree that Apache 2.0 should work - may just be a matter of recommending specific 2.0.x versions (e.g. for the recent page hang issue) and ensuring IssuesWithApache2dot0 are addressed or documented. If someone can point the versions out, we can update TWikiSystemRequirements and SVNget:bin/testenv.

I've also updated InterSiteLinkRules so that the old CVS:lib/TWiki.pm links now work - would be nice if there was an SVN repository browser though, à la ViewCVS - does that exist?

-- RichardDonkin - 29 Oct 2004

Answering my own question: recent versions of ViewCVS do now include SVN support, so can we get this installed on the TWiki SVN repository? I use TortoiseSVN on Windows but a web interface would be handy, particularly for those CVS:lib/TWiki.pm type links.

-- RichardDonkin - 30 Oct 2004

thankyou Richard

i was about to start looking - CvsMonitor may eventually have svn support, but the new development tree is private at the moment - i'll look into it

Bad news. ViewCVS does not yet have SVN support in a currently released version. its going to be in version 1.0 (and the cvs HEAD version dies on the new server).

I'll add this to the list of tasks that still need to be done on TheNewTWikiDotOrgServer

-- SvenDowideit - 30 Oct 2004

The latest CommentPlugin and TWikiDrawPlugins are now installed on TWiki.org.

-- PeterThoeny - 01 Nov 2004

saw on /.: S5: A Simple Standards-Based Slide Show System might be of interest.

-- GillesEricDescamps - 03 Nov 2004

I'm initiated an experiment in WikiFacilitation on TWikiRoadMap. I invite folks to check it out and offer feedback. And most importantly, I invite you to respond to the poll regarding whether you support the idea of creating a TWikiRoadMap. Thanks! smile

-- LynnwoodBrown - 05 Nov 2004

On the edge of being TWikiInTheNews, Shlomi Fish today has an article on "Which Open Source Wiki Works For You?" at ONLamp (http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/onlamp/2004/11/04/which_wiki.html).

The conclusion regarding TWiki is something like "TWiki is impressive and powerful, but setting it up and enabling some features may be problematic." .. so I guess we all heard that one before smile

In the process Shlomi wrote a few small scripts, automating a few (somewhat) trivial tasks of installing TWiki in a linux/unix environment (fixing permissions, adding to httpd.conf). Could UpgradeTWiki / InstallTWiki benefit from incorporating these?

-- SteffenPoulsen - 05 Nov 2004

fix permisssions: definately -- if it's done right. Someone posted a fix-perms script to the TWiki web a couple of months ago, and some poor newbie ran it incorrectly and completely hosed his whole system because he was logged in as root and he "fixed" from / on down.

-- MattWilkie - 06 Nov 2004

Appeal to all Plugin authors & maintainers: Please help in measuring and documenting PluginBenchmarks data. 10 month after introduction only 8% of the 141 Plugins have benchmark data, see PluginBenchmarkReport.

This is also a good opportunity to improve Plugin code for better performance smile

-- PeterThoeny - 08 Nov 2004

Do we have records of how many times each plugin has been downloaded? This would be useful information to add to the PluginAppraisalReport

-- MartinCleaver - 09 Nov 2004

There is no data on Plugins download. TWiki's pub URL access is not tracked in the TWiki logs since no script is involved, and SourceForge does not make access logs available.

-- PeterThoeny - 20 Nov 2004

Wow. We seem to have now more then 30K public TWiki installations alone (see Google:inurl%3ATWikiPreferences), with more behind firewall (TWikiInstallations lists more behind firewalls then public ones, 158 vs 130). Almost scary.

Google lists us now on the first page if you search for Google:wiki, or for Google:collaboration+platform.

-- PeterThoeny - 20 Nov 2004

30,000 servers. Wow, good work! 30,000 Public and potentially vulnerable servers. Ouch!! We need a way to:

  1. notify everyone. (Hence Crawford's BroadcastMessageForAllDownloads)
  2. tabulate the servers (e.g. what version, what plugins) - e.g. further develop the TWikiInternetDeploymentsSpider
  3. document what modifications installations are running? - e.g. get the TWikiReleaseTrackerPlugin installed by default.

-- MartinCleaver - 20 Nov 2004

I just tried to rename the Plugins.DocsDevTopicNote to Plugins.ExtensionsDevHeader (to give it a more predictable name). It failed mid-way, with an insecure dependency.

I used the rename/move "looking for references in all public webs (recommended)".

It renamed the note, but it failed to update the references to it. I then had to go back and rename the note manually to its old name.

I tried the process again: the second time it worked.

-- MartinCleaver - 20 Nov 2004

I found a bit more precise result with Google by searching this query:"inurl:view/TWiki/TWikiPreferences": http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&q=inurl%3Aview%2FTWiki%2FTWikiPreferences&btnG=Search => about 26,000 hits. Still a lot.

-- ArthurClemens - 20 Nov 2004

that query would be missing a lot of windows installations, i assume, which tend to have a .pl extension on the scripts, no? it would also miss those installations who have renamed TWiki (admittedly, few) and it's probably picking up extras because of raw revisions. try http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&q=inurl%3ATWikiPreferences+-inurl%3Araw&btnG=Search instead.

-- WillNorris - 20 Nov 2004

OK, but you will get some doubles, like in your query with the first result. So now "inurl:view inurl:TWiki/TWikiPreferences -inurl:raw": http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&q=inurl%3Aview+inurl%3ATWiki%2FTWikiPreferences+-inurl%3Araw&btnG=Search

-- ArthurClemens - 20 Nov 2004

Please review TWikiSecurityAlertProcess

-- PeterThoeny - 21 Nov 2004

In between bouts of squashing very serious security breaches, this months of required reading is Group as User: Flaming and the Design of Social Software by Clay Shirky. " Yet despite three decades of descriptions of flaming, it is often treated by designers as a mere side-effect, as if each eruption of a caps-lock-on argument was surprising or inexplicable. Flame wars are not surprising; they are one of the most reliable features of mailing list [and other group collaboration tools] practice."

  • Thanks for that, Interesting read. I clicked through to Tragedy of the Commons and found it interesting too if rather academic. -- SamHasler - 27 Nov 2004

And this automated contributors list is very cool. I want it (if my admin can be convinced not to dump twiki as a too serious security hazard).

-- MattWilkie - 24 Nov 2004

Idea: For a little bit of temporary security hardening a) add search to the list of scripts which require authorisation to use, b) put together a cut-n-paste html snippet to add Google Search to your twiki site for non-authorised searching.


-- MattWilkie - 25 Nov 2004

Good idea about temporary hardening - first one was mentioned in Countermeasures in TWikiSecurityAlertEmail, but second one is really preferable. If you can suggest a snippet and put it on the search alert page that would be good.

-- RichardDonkin - 25 Nov 2004

IMPLEMENTED: GoogleYourTWiki, it only takes 1 minute

-- MattWilkie - 26 Nov 2004

Here's a much more conservative google search for twiki installations. (It finds around 800)


inurl:TWikiPreferences inurl:view -intitle:Main -inurl:rev -inurl:skin -inurl:raw -inurl:sortcol


  • It is a "repeat the search with the omitted results included" which doesn't affect the numbers but now you see multiple installations at the same site in the results (under different ~users in the url).
  • inurl:view will exclude sites that use short urls.
  • -inurl:rev -inurl:skin -inurl:raw could potentially exclude some sites that have these in their domain name.

-- SamHasler - 26 Nov 2004

Bad timing for TWikiSecurityAlertProcess: The hard disk failed on my laptop. Fortunately I have a backup, nothing is lost. But it might take some time to get my e-mail back. If anyone needs to reach me urgently by e-mail in the next 48 hours, please send it to pgthoeny@yahooPLEASENOSPAM.com and peter.thoeny@attglobalPLEASENOSPAM.net. Thank you for your understanding.

-- PeterThoeny - 26 Nov 2004

Martin - I had the same error as your insecure dependency on rename at TWiki.org. See RenameTaintErrorOnTWikiOrg.

-- RichardDonkin - 26 Nov 2004

My laptop is restored, I can be reached via peter.thoeny@attglobalPLEASENOSPAM.net as usual (but need to catch up with lotsamail)

-- PeterThoeny - 28 Nov 2004

Another occurrence of the topic rename bug on TWiki.org, see TopicRenameFailsOnCodev.

-- RichardDonkin - 30 Nov 2004

WikiNews] has sprung into being. This is another project from the Wikimedia people.

See also http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,65819,00. html?tw=wn_story_top5

-- AntonAylward - 04 Dec 2004

Quick note: I've changed the meaning of "3" from "Sufficient" to "Not rated" on the UserTemplates

-- MartinCleaver - 05 Dec 2004

May be you noticed, TWIki.org is now much faster. SourceForge upgraded their server farm over this weekend, see https://sourceforge.net/support/tracker.php?aid=1052417

-- PeterThoeny - 06 Dec 2004

Oh. I thought the imporvement was because I'd upgraded Firefox.

-- AntonAylward - 06 Dec 2004

I just updated the Wiki comparison table on http://www.splitbrain.org/dokuwiki/wiki:compare quite a bit, but I'm not sure of some of the answers, and I believe new sections could be added with stuff that TWiki has but others don't?

-- BartLouwagie - 06 Dec 2004

Quite a number of the "no" and "?" section could be "Yes - by means of plugin". And once you get into plugins you get into the great strength of TWiki - building applications!

-- AntonAylward - 06 Dec 2004

Today I noticed some lost topic changes. Some topics have a new revision but no new text, some list an incorrect person for topic changes. For example, in ProposedNewFormsInCodev I added the text starting with "This is now resolved after a lenghy IM discussion between SamHasler and PeterThoeny", but RCS tells it was Sam who did the change.

This is most probably a SourceForge issue after the server upgrade; the TWiki engine has not been updated in a while. Please report any issues in the SourceForge topic.

And we seem to be back at the crawling speed :-/

-- PeterThoeny - 07 Dec 2004

WebChangesForAllWebs is not showing all changes. There are topics I've edited not showing up; as a consequence of the new RCS problem perhaps?

And, I SQUASHED THE LITTLE ROTTEN BASTARD BUG which has been plaguing me for four months: UnresolvedVarsInURL !!! not fixed.

(also testing to see the version history thing is fixed now... -- MattWilkie - 09 Dec 2004)_

-- MattWilkie - 08 Dec 2004

We have a data corruption issue on TWiki.org caused by the recent SourceForge hardware upgrade. See details/follow-up in SourceForgeDec2004UpgradeIssue

As a workaround until this issue is resolved: Please save your changes two times! Thanks for your understanding and patience.

-- PeterThoeny - 09 Dec 2004

issue appears to resolved for the Codev web. Main, Plugins and Sandbox still to go.

-- MattWilkie - 09 Dec 2004

The issue was resolved since Thursday morning (SF support was quick)

-- PeterThoeny - 10 Dec 2004

Just discovered this: http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2004/12/emw187624.htm

Is anyone inclined to submit TWiki.org to the SXSW Interactive Web Awards? The PatternSkin is a great addition, probably justifying an entry. Deadline is this Friday.

-- PeterThoeny - 14 Dec 2004

I am currently working on the presentation for the LinuxWorld conference in Feb 2005 in Boston, this time focusing on Wiki based web development for the enterprise. Please send an e-mail to peter.thoeny@attglobalPLEASENOSPAM.net if you would like to help reviewing the material, thanks!

-- PeterThoeny - 14 Dec 2004

I took a look at the SXSW Web Awards site to see what potential there was to submit TWiki.org as an entry. On their Rules and Information page, it states that "This year's competition is open to all sites launched in the calendar year 2004." To my reading, this suggest that TWiki.org would not qualify, even with it's new skin. Too bad, it would have been nice for TWikiAdvocacy. Let's keep looking for these opportunities!

-- LynnwoodBrown - 15 Dec 2004

My Project Manager said today : Convert your Weakness into Wikiness. I found that a good motto... and put it on the WebTopBar (we are using Twiki is for Requirement gathering, where what you do not know (lack of knowledge) is a pain, and turn into quickly into weakness if you cannot share it....

-- LucAbom 16 Dec 2004

Wow! You leave for the wars for a few years, and when you get back the kid is all grown up and getting in trouble with the law!

-- KevinKinnell - 22 Dec 2004

What a surprise when I got your e-mail requesting to reset your password. Welcome back Kevin, nice to see you again here on TWiki.org smile

Many developers remember you well from the early days of TWiki.

-- PeterThoeny - 23 Dec 2004

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HappyHolidaysToAll and thanks for all the contributions smile

-- PeterThoeny - 24 Dec 2004

Wikimedia seems to be moving along nicely: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Quarto/September_2004_edition

translated into 7 languages with another 4 on the way.

-- MartinCleaver - 28 Dec 2004

Communitywiki has the ability to insert pictures of contributing authors. See http://www.emacswiki.org/cw/WhatCommunicationSoftwareToUse

-- MartinCleaver - 28 Dec 2004

Seeing your posts here, Martin, makes be think that we could use a topic along the lines of TWikiCompetitionNews. I personally enjoy hearing news about innovations in other wikis.

-- LynnwoodBrown - 28 Dec 2004

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Topic revision: r17 - 2005-06-24 - WillNorris
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