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I Have just created a patch to make it possible to put all user related topics on a seperate TWiki web by adding a userWebname variable in TWiki.cfg. This variable can be accessed on TWiki Topics by using %USERWEB%. It is meant to be applied to the December release.

Go to http://kevin.atkinson.dhs.org/twiki/user/ to find it.

Let me know what you think.

-- KevinAtkinson - 25 Jan 2002

The name of the Main Web is specified in TWiki.cfg by the $mainWebname variable. Why not simply change that and rename the two Main directories?

-- JohnTalintyre - 26 Jan 2002

I want all user related Topics to be in a separate web that is different from $mainWebname so that the main web can be used exclusively for the main contents of the site. This will also allow me to only allow trusted users to edit the main content of the site while still allowing users to modify there pages. I plan on providing a separate Pub web in which all users can contribute. Once someone proves there worth they will become a trusted user that can contribute to the main contents of the site.

-- KevinAtkinson - 26 Jan 2002

I'm still confused. By default TWiki uses the web names Main for users. However, as I said above you can change the name of this Web. If you like you can still have a Web called Main (or any other name) as the main content Web. As see the names Main and Test as historical, at work we've always used People rather than Main.

-- JohnTalintyre - 27 Jan 2002

But TWiki also uses the main Web as the start page if nothing else is given... Also using main to equal user is confusing.

-- KevinAtkinson - 27 Jan 2002

Arguments why we may want to put all user-related info into User web, and leave Main web as TWiki default start web cleaner, with just important (relevant, non-system) info about whole site, are at RenameMainWebToHome.

I would like to have Users separated from Main web, but I do not feel like applying patches by myself. Any chances making this patch into in BeijingRelease, or any later release?

-- PeterMasiar - 25 Feb 2002

A simpler solution is to make your default page not the Main web. For instance in our site it is the Koala web. The Main web is hidden in the Wiki group of webs, comprising Main, TWiki, Test ...

Putting users in another web is impossible for me. After one year of use, Users got accustomed to write Main.Username, and there are tons of pages with Main.Usernames. It is better to use another Web for the "portal" pages


-- ColasNahaboo - 02 Mar 2002

Colas said: A simpler solution is to make your default page not the Main web.

It will be nice simple solution for StartWithACleanSlate and RenameMainWebToHome. I am interested. Forgive my ignorance: How to do that?

So if I set MAINWEB to User and will keep my users there, and define another web, Home, as default web with all the pages, how I'll make default page Home.WebHome ?

-- PeterMasiar - 07 Nov 2002

Has this patch been tested with the Aug 2002 beta or even more recent alphas?

-- AdamTheo - 07 Dec 2002

KevinAtkinson has a great idea but it has soem advantages and drawbacks that haven't been discussed. I want to touch on them here although I hope to pull these and other ideas together for a long diatribe on the TWiki User Interface.

At present Main is a grab-bag. It holds both information about wiki and configuration details. In UNIX terms its as if /etc and /usr/share/doc were to be combined a bit. Having a distinct administrative web would be a boon.

The issue then becomes should what is now Main.Users be under the /etc/ equivilent to correspond to /etc/passwd, or should it be the home topic of the Users web?

  • The arguments in favuour of the former are that it centralizes things.
  • The arguments in favour of the latter ar that it corresponds to the UNIX-ness of /home and hence offers benefits if there the heirarchy of the suggestions by KevinAtkinson in UserWeb over a year ago.

One approach might be to have a Admin.TWikiUsers with entries that read:

    • Users.AntonAylward - 25 Dec 2002

or something like that.

This also has the advantage that if the Twiki is used as a glorified discusion board with users registering for different forums, each implemented as a different Web, we can also have the centralized administration with entries such as

    • Infosec.AntonAylward - 25 Dec 2002

We also have the flexibility of registration under each forum or centralized registration.

Yes, I know, there is a problem if a user wants to register for more than one forum. OK, so we go back to Users.AntonAylward and the page has a more extensive access control list.

My point is - well my points are:

  • Things like Users and Groups and Locations are administrative items that ought to be moved out of the main web.

There. I've said it. Separation of functionality and responsibility is both a good design princople anda good security principle. Having an Admin Web that is only alterable by the admin group or the admin ID -- and that being hard coded into the perl and not being an attribute of the contents of the Topics is a powerful security feature.

-- AntonAylward - 27 Dec 2002

I'm working on modifying the latest beta to split the Main and TWiki webs into the following:

  • A %TWIKIWEB% for system-wide configurations and settings.
  • A %MAINWEB% as an entry-point or "home" web, nothing more.
  • A %USERWEB% for all users and groups, and maybe locations for lack of a better place, even though I don't use locations at all.
  • %DOCWEB% for all user, administrator, and developer documentation on TWiki. Would contain the user FAQs and "WelcomeGuest" pages as well.

I am making this change to be compatible with existing installations that have USERWEB and MAINWEB together, and TWIKIWEB and DOCWEB together. You'd do this by setting those variables to the same values (Main and TWiki, respectively). I will personally set MAINWEB to Main, DOCWEB to Help, TWIKIWEB to System, and USERWEB to User or Users.

If the CoreTeam is interested, I will make all changes with generalization in mind, and will submit a diff for inclusion into the main codebase. However, I will not go through that extra work if there is no intention of making this change, I'll just hard-code stuff to save effort. Also, as a bonus, if the CoreTeam will make this change in the codebase, I'll also go through the effort of changing all the documentation in the package to relect these new variables and locations. I can have all of this done and initially tested within 3 weeks.

In short, I will gladly do all the work within 3 weeks if the CoreTeam allows this to be incorporated into the codebase, pending reviews of my actual diff for security, performance, etc, of course.

-- AdamTheo - 03 Oct 2003

Excellent. May I suggest also PLUGINSWEB? Some people prefer to put it into Twiki, other to Plugins.

-- PeterMasiar - 03 Oct 2003

Adam - I assume you've been around the TWiki community long enough to know that the core team does not often make decisions about including patches into the codebase on short notice and may not share their deliberations here. You may not hear anything for a while. I very much hope you can be patient in this regards since, personally, I think your changes would be a great improvement.

-- LynnwoodBrown - 03 Oct 2003

Adam, regardless of whether this goes into the core product or not, I want it, : ) especially if generalised as you described. If CoreTeam does not get around to it in a timely manner, please send it my way anyway and I promise I'll not pester you with tech support questions.

Peter, wrt to PLUGINWEB%: if the current TWiki web is split into as-shipped docs and system-wide configs it may no longer be necessary to have a special plugins web... just a thought.

-- MattWilkie - 03 Oct 2003

Lynwood: Yes, true. Thanks for pointing that out. I suppose I'll go ahead and make the extra effort of generalizing it (using variables everywhere instead of hard-coded locations) anyway, and submit the patch on the dear hope it is included after being tested. So expect to have a crude (barely tested) yet functional patch plus most of the documentation done in 3 weeks time.

As for the PLUGINWEB, it's a good idea, although I'd prefer to see plugins gone ahead and split into docs and settings pages. What kind of modifications does everyone think will be needed for this? If it's along the lines of what I'm doing now, I'll go ahead and do that split, too. (see below -- RafaelAlvarez)

-- AdamTheo - 03 Oct 2003

A find a lot of the above a bit curious. A work we renamed the Main Web to People (as I state above). This required no code changes to TWiki. The main configuration Web is TWiki and not Main as stated above, we renamed this to Wiki, again no code change needed. Then we created our main entry point Webs. There are comments above about Main being the default entry Web, but I can't recall this is coded anywhere in TWiki.

Okay so the TWiki (for us Wiki) Web has a bit of site configuration in it (including Plugins), even though it's mostly documentation, this is perhaps less than idea, but closer enough. TWiki does have some support for a Plugin Web, but you can't be sure that all Plugins will be happy there.

I should add that ours is a big TWiki with nearly 1000 registered users (I should add that only a small number are particularly active). It is based on code nearly 2 years old and we have had no stability of code problems during that time (except the occasional ones that we introduced ourselves!) We run under ModPerl on Solaris.

I've changed this to FeatureEnhancementRequest. Am I right in thinking that the main request is for the default TWiki to be configured differently rather than for code changes or have I misunderstood?

-- JohnTalintyre - 07 Oct 2003

Adam, I think this addition is a welcome one for its separation of configuration (site-dependent) data and distributed data.

At work, we choose the opposite option of John: leave Main only for users & groups, and have the main entry point on another web ("ILOG" for the main wiki, "RND" for the R&D wiki, "Koala" for the koala team wiki...)

  • Actually sounds the same. We use %MAINWEB% for people and group and have named it People. We have many entry points, although the "static" front page happens to be in the %TWIKIWEB% [ JohnTalintyre 09 Oct 2003 ]

But your proposed change would have additionnal benefits:

  • be able to name "Main" to something sensible like "User" (or "U" ?)
  • Have the %MAINWEB% Main entry point and all the site settings in %TWIKIWEB%, "Wiki" for me and all the locally-installed plugins (so for me %MAINWEB% and %TWIKIWEB% will be the same)
  • Have %DOCWEB% be composed of READ-ONLY pages coming directly from twki.org with no data locally modified. Its main page should %INCLUDE %MAINWEB%.DocWebTopic to include documentation of local settings first (skin used can make the Quickstart instructions quite different than the default)

As a CoreTeam member, I will gladly help you on this, if we agree that:

  • With correct setting of the new %-vars, existing sites could continue to run without having to update the contents in a too complex way
  • One will be able to have webs from the distrib and webs with local modifications totally separated

PS: on codev reactivity, please bear with Peter which has a lot of work this week and has to complete twiki.org relocation during next week.

Note that this has the good properties of separating the Plugins from the TWiki "doc" web, without having to modify the existing plugins code.

PICK To all Please have your input on the requirements. We will not want to have to do this twice smile

-- ColasNahaboo - 08 Oct 2003

The problem I have with 'user' is that it evokes 'drug user'!

-- MartinCleaver - 09 Oct 2003

I do not use drugs and do not have such problems smile Seriously, RuleOne advises not reinvent naming conventions. May I suggest to create alias USERWEB for MAINWEB? Then we can forget about IMHO less tham intuitive decisions from the past and call things intuitively.

-- PeterMasiar - 09 Oct 2003

I quite like 'People', or Id though.

-- MartinCleaver - 09 Oct 2003

I agree that Main %MAINWEB% is a bad name, that's why we named it People and only use it for People and Groups. However, this didn't require a code change, only a setting in TWiki.cfg We could maybe add %PEOPEWEB% or %USERWEB% but keep %MAINWEB% as an alias for backwards compatibility.

There are clearly improvements to be made in TWiki in this regard, but I still feel that much of what is asked for above is already possible.

-- JohnTalintyre - 09 Oct 2003

> There are comments above about Main being the default entry Web, but I can't recall this is coded anywhere in TWiki.

http://my-twiki.example.com/bin/view redirects to http://my-twiki.example.com/bin/view/%MAINWEB%/%HOMETOPIC% I couldn't find anywhere to change this in *Preferences or twiki.cfg.

I think I remember some of the "oops" pages doing the same.

-- MattWilkie - 18 Dec 2003

About the Plugins web, browsing the code I found out that when discovering plugins TWiki search for the Plugin Topic in both TWiki06x00 and a web called "Plugins" (a hardcoded name) if it exists. I moved all the plugins to said web and everything is working fine.

AFAIK, this behavior can be generalized by modifiying Twiki.cfg and the plugin discovering mechanism.

-- RafaelAlvarez - 06 Jan 2004

Location: (TWiki.pm, current alpha)

sub initialize
372:    $webName   = $1 || $mainWebname;  # untaint variable

Location: (wiki.pm, Jul 1999 release - just for historical interest)

sub initialize
98:                $webName= $1 || $mainWebname;

-- MS - 18 Dec 2003

Bump feature topic marked as scheduled for CairoRelease with 0% SpecProgress

-- SamHasler - 20 Apr 2004

I have used the original patch to change the version of TWiki I just downloaded (20030201). I'm not particularly familiar with diff - can someone here check my changes and perhaps make a patch?

-- IainHallam - 19 June 2004

Bumped feature to Dakaar due to lack of progress.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 30 Jun 2004

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Topic revision: r33 - 2005-02-16 - CrawfordCurrie
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