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A TWiki usage pattern in which a lot of small groups or discussion topics want their own TWiki web. I originally asked for AddingNewWebsGuidelines, then discovered similar issues raised in disussions of HierarchicallyNestedTwikiWebs, MultiLevelWikiWebs, HierarchicalNavigation, TaggingRelatedTopics, etc. This page is here to (1) identify the pattern, and (2) collect pointers to discussions, solutions, experiences, tools, tips, example sites, code changes, etc. that address the pattern.

-- MitchellModel - 04 Oct 2002

Separating Topic Clusters

The main pressure leading in the direction of LotsOfSmallWebs is the desire of many smallish groups for their own Wiki context. Examples:

  • individual development teams within a large development organization
  • departments and programs within a university
  • individual products within a site collecting information about a certain kind of product, such as:
    • computer games
    • Mac utilities
    • house & garden tools
    • information about and experience with different Wiki impementations
  • different releases of a software product (TWiki, e.g.)

While many topic clusters are (at least potentially) highly interlinked, most spectacularly the discussions of computing at the OriginalWiki, page clusters at some sites will not be. Casual users are intimidated by large masses of pages unrelated to their interests and goals. Shared name spaces get polluted unwittingly by people choosing page names based on their specific context (like ProgramGoals or BudgetPlans). People wanting to survey a subject have no easy way to isolate its pages. And so on.

Hierarchical Organization

Sometimes, but not always, there is a useful hierarchical pattern among the many small webs. Users will want to enter or survey a topic area at different levels for different purposes. This is more a matter of supporting the inherent hierarchical organization of the content than any particular implementation mechanism or GUI feature.

Operational Requirements

The pragmatic requirements for supporting LotsOfSmallWebs include: [discussion to be expanded]

  • search
  • index scanning
  • changes scanning
  • selective notification

TWiki Techniques

Mechanisms in the current TWiki implementation that can be used to support LotsOfSmallWebs

Mechanisms being worked on for future releases

Plugins, hacks, etc.

I read somewhere about a wiki (IIRC used/designed by Microsoft) which uses multiple "webs" which it calls wikis, and if need to distinguish, basewiki. All basewikis together are "wiki federation". In basewiki preferences you can setup which basewiki's namespaces will be imported as own, so even seemingly "local" link will point to a page in imported basewiki. I know this will still not handle forcing basewiki when creating link from a local page to non-existing page in other (imported) wiki, but it's a big (and user-friendly) step forward IMHO. And term "federation" describes nicely "separate, but equal" (and friendly) relation between basewikis.

-- PeterMasiar - 27 Apr 2004

Related Discussions

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Topic revision: r7 - 2004-04-27 - PeterMasiar
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