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Bruce Prochnau

BKDesign Solutions

  • Background: College, MCSE, (not certified presently), ten years web exp. Full time web developer.
  • Heard of From: either a websearch on wiki or a wiki site
  • Summary:
In part, I focus on the design and simplification of twiki. For a simplified install by ftp to webservers, and complete redesign and simplification of the CSS and templates done to Web Standards by a member of the Web Standards Group, feel free to contact me to discuss your needs.

Note: The below is a slighly edited commentary over the past 2+ years I have been working with twiki. I ramble on abit, and please don't interpret it as an attack on the developers. I respect them highly for the platform that has been produced. Just because I look at things differently does not mean I am right and they are wrong. Just different smile

TWiki is an awesome program, hats off to the dev team, but the installation HAS to be made more user friendly for non-programmers for TWiki to advance or become more popular.

An installation containing previous changes and admins already in the program is not good and completely unwanted, unpopular, and not neccessary at all. Why give a download to a program that has admins pre installed??? You want to be admins of every twiki on the WWW? Lose the previous changes, the "v" files, the admins preinstalled. This creates a very bad impression.

If it is not recomended for the average webdesigner to attempt to install it, how can the non tech be expected to? I don't think you want TWiki to be a programmers only platform...

Update on the above (Oct-2006): This was said over two years ago, and the situation has gotten worse in some respects.

-- BruceRProchnau - 29 Sep 2004

Major changes to templates and styles, installed TWiki in a separate directory with htaccess for shorter URL's. Ported Movable Type to publish everything INTO TWiki making Movabletype a TWiki web.

Have designed a Movable Type TWiki integration. Fully functional database integration with the benefits of both platforms in one. Will be released as a Movable Type addon. Movable Type publishes everything into TWiki's database, using all MT tags and plugins, and TWiki takes over the rest.

Feel free to leave comments. forget it lol, no comments in 2 years

-- BruceRProchnau - 09 Feb 2005

Well here is a comment smile Hope you are doing well, in the absence of having to wrap your mind around painful stuff like installing TWiki. I will not even attempt it. Do you know of an easier wiki which works well for creating documentation, does not store stuff in a database and has a simple interface? Greets, jsbpepe at easy dot com.

-- MartinS - 25 Jul 2005

Well. I came across this in October...for messages use my email above. I don't check here often. The install program for twiki seems to be trying to get more complex all the time, rather than simpler. I was amazed that it still comes overloaded with users and changes. I tried working with them to improve that but was too "simple" I guess.

I can hack it into simplicity quite easily, and can do so for anyone wanting a simpler Twiki. As to the database, it has a simple txt based database which is fine, making it easy to add to and customize. My movable Type - TWiki integration adds a mysql database to the platform, opening up some interesting posibilities...

The program itself, once hacked into a simpler form, has enormous potential and has a lot of advantages, such as many permissions options (very much like a microsoft network). Once learned-also very configurable. So I do enjoy working with it and installation is now a breeze. I am more than wiling to do installs and customizations for anyone wanting that. (Update: Not the release of 2006)

I can make twiki look like any website on the net, and make it easy and simple to use.Just holler smile

-- BruceRProchnau - 19 Oct 2005

I find the new release useless. It's been complicated ten times worse than before. After several years of redesigning it I find twiki no longer is it like it was. I hate it. Installing had become a snap, in the new release everything is broken. I cannot even get authorization to work properly. This is ridiculous. TWiki will never be popular as long as it is increasingly made more complicated. It is getting worse all the time. It's obvious thats what they want, and it really is their choice.

Everything I have done to redesign it and add functions no longer work in the new release. Editing and changing the templates is all changed. I have been redesigning programs for years. It isn't my place to say all this, the programmers have the right to do anything they like. But don't ask for feedback then.

I have quite a few come to my site asking for installations. I will not install the latest version of twiki unless your budget is very large :). I do have a highly simplified version including all new templates and CSS which I recommend and will be happy to install and redesign for anyones site.

-- BruceRProchnau - 29 Jul 2006 (Edited Oct/06)

Thanks for taking the time to give the feedback, Bruce!

To me this sounds like you have gotten bitten by somewhat the same issues as JChristoph descripes in Plugins.JChristophFuchsStopsWorkOnTWikiPlugins.

We are currently trying to figure out ways to involve your TWiki user type more in our development process, to be more "customer oriented" - and not least in the interest of getting the feedback "early" instead of "late" as in this case.

But all of this is going to take us a while, so in the mean time I will wish you the best of luck on the product you are going to choose for your future use smile

-- SteffenPoulsen - 30 Jul 2006 - 11:20

Actually I have a number of programs I have been using for years, and thank you. I also have a simple version of twiki that is very usable. My user type is a common sense ftp install on an apache webserver using ftp of a simplified version, which I have locked away in a safety deposite box wink (Just kidding...mostly).

TWiki now holds the world record for being completely incomprehensible and uninstallable by any normal person, even the average developer. As far as my personal experience goes, which is over the past ten years doing websites.

But this is a choice you people at twiki made. I tried very hard a year or more ago to get this implimented and was shut out. Now the newest version of the program is basically unusable and uninstallable by 99.5% of people. I can only assume that is intentional.

I don't mean all this as a personal attack. You guys are very talented programmers.

I was once told, and seen many references to how to make twiki more popular. I can only assume that wasn't really a question anyone wanted an answer to, and that answers would be looked at as an interesting remark perhaps...

BTW, this is not for my future use, its my clients use, now and in the future. I make a living doing this stuff and have for some years now.

Twiki will never include normal users as it is. Saying you are trying to figure out how to include my user type doesn't make sense. My user type is a normal person living on planet earth smile

Definitely time for a fork.

The Mobable Type TWiki integration I mention above can also be used as twiki only without the Movable Type part, without the Movable Type integration, but MT does add an amazing number of new features.

Either one includes new and much simpler templates, and a much simpler CSS file. It is also W3C valid XHTML and CSS.

-- BruceRProchnau - 05 Oct 2006 - 07:47

I really think we are on to something with the new release process - but as always, only time will be the real judge of that.

I recognize the temptation to make a hard split between one self and what is not felt to be comfortable ("you people at TWiki"). But there is no such split. There is only us.

-- SteffenPoulsen - 06 Oct 2006 - 12:54

Well said Steffen, thanks.

-- BruceRProchnau - 29 Oct 2006

please can any one tell me what are the advantages of TWiki when compared to other Enterprise Wiki and MediaWiki..

-- PrasadHari - 21 Mar 2007

Adressing Bruce's concern regarding difficulties installing TWiki: with TWiki 4.2 a number of installers for various platforms have been created. See Additional Downloads of TWiki.

-- ArthurClemens - 20 Feb 2008

Personal Preferences (details in TWikiVariables)

  • I prefer to be wealthy:
    • Set EDITBOXWIDTH = 70
  • I prefer not to work too hard:
    • Set EDITBOXHEIGHT = 22
  • I prefer to be online
    • Set EDITBOXSTYLE = width: 99%
  • I prefer to live in the bush
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Topic revision: r27 - 2009-04-07 - PeterThoeny
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