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Feature Proposal: Comments on sysadminning TWiki from John Mechalas


Reducing work required by sysadmin to administer twikis.

Description and Documentation

John reports that the following two features are some of the biggest obstacles to managing twikis at Intel:

  1. PluginsPerWebOrPageNeeded
  2. BackslashesInLogin

I will report these as separate items for tracking - but I thought it appropriate to have a single item to note that at least one sysadmin thinks these are his two biggest problems with wiki.


John Mechalas is one of Intel's sysadmins. His comments are relayed to twiki.org by AndyGlew. I (Andy) vouch for John's experience as a sysadmin - I have worked with him for over 15 years, me as the customer of web based tools, John as the sysadmin who pioneers web based tools at Intel.

John's overall comment is that wikis are too hard to administer. Actually, he isn't supposed to administer them - twikis and other wikis have only a minimal support level at Intel - but nevertheless he fields a lot of the support and install requests. He has automated much of that process; his BKM is to give each requester a dedicated twiki site, using a package that John has created out of the official twiki install with certain standard customizations for Intel (such as setting up Intel corporate authentication).

Nevertheless, John still finds twiki administration a time waster.

He comments: "Many of the people asking for a wiki site do not realize how much work it is to administer it. Because it is not fully supported, they have to do it themselves. But unless they are long time wiki users and admins (he points to me, Andy Glew), they get overloaded, and complaints come to the sysadmins."

John would like to be able to give many such twiki users sub-webs of the same twiki --- but twiki does not support that well, since many need different plugins.

"Most of the wiki tools, including twiki, do not seem to scale to really large companies - 10s of thousands of people using the same system. In his experience, Intel-wide wikis fail."

I'll add more comments in particular topics - along with the concrete, specific, feature requests.


Impact and Available Solutions

WhatDoesItAffect: Install, Auth, Prefs, Plugins, Security


-- Contributors: AndyGlew


-- AndyGlew - 09 Jun 2006

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Topic revision: r2 - 2006-06-09 - AndyGlew
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