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TopicReferencePluginDev Discussion: Page for developer collaboration, enhancement requests, patches and improved versions on TopicReferencePlugin contributed by the TWikiCommunity.
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TopicReferencePlugin Discussions

Hi all. I was inspired to write this plugin after reading the support question HowToFindOrphanedTopics. I also had requests from other groups at my company to help them find topics they had misplaced. I hope this plugin proves useful. I plan to extend it a bit more to list references to non existing topics (dangling references) in future when I have some more time. Let me know what you think smile

-- JeffCrawford - 15 Apr 2006

Thank you Jeff for contributing this Plugin, very useful for TWiki champions to keep a wiki tidy!


  • To avoid namespace issues and confusion it is better to align the variable name with the name of the Plugin
  • The TOPICLIST variable is already used by the system, the parameter is the output format. The TOPICLIST variable of your Plugin has a different purpose, and the parameter has a different meaning. Better to use a different name.
  • Ideas for Plugin name / variable name: OrphansPlugins / ORPHANES, TopicRefPlugin / TOPICREFS, ReferenceCountPlugin / REFERENCECOUNT (what else?)
  • Make the SHORTDESCRIPTION a bit shorter: Find orphaned topics or reference counts to topics within a web
  • Document which parameter the default one is
  • Possibly add a web="" parameter
  • How about measuring and documenting the PluginBenchmarks?

-- PeterThoeny - 16 Apr 2006

Ok thanks for the feedback. It's my first plugin, so I need a bit of practice I guess :). I'll try to make some changes when I get some time.

-- JeffCrawford - 17 Apr 2006

Oops just realized that the variable is actually TOPICREFLIST, not TOPICLIST.

-- JeffCrawford - 17 Apr 2006

That makes sense. How about renaming the Plugin to TopicRefListPlugin?

-- PeterThoeny - 17 Apr 2006

Or TopicReferencePlugin, because without introduction at least I wouldn't know what a 'RefList' is supposed to be.

Interesting plugin, anyway. Will try it soon!

-- JosMaccabiani - 17 Apr 2006

Yes, TopicReferencePlugin / TOPICREFERENCELIST is also a good choice.

-- PeterThoeny - 19 Apr 2006

I'd like to highlight the Orphan-aspect of this plugin a bit more, perhaps simply OrphansAndReferencesPlugin?

-- SteffenPoulsen - 19 Apr 2006

Well I finally decided on TopicReferencePlugin / TOPICREFERENCELIST for the new plugin name and tag. Thanks for the input. I've modified the plugin to make it a little faster and added some of the recommended features. I'll try to get to the benchmarking when I can. Peter can you help me rename the topics, I don't have permissions to do so. Thanks.

-- JeffCrawford - 19 Apr 2006

I renamed the topics.

Jeff: I also added you to the TWikiCommunityGroup so that you can rename content. Please review that topic in regards to the additional responsibility you get.

-- PeterThoeny - 19 Apr 2006

Awesome, thanks.

-- JeffCrawford - 19 Apr 2006

great work. One thing: in my case, the first result is nut a bulleted item, there's probably a space missing somewhere

-- JosMaccabiani - 19 Apr 2006

Did you have whitespace before the tag? If the tag is flush to the left then it should work. I may need to modify it to remove preceding whitespace.

-- JeffCrawford - 19 Apr 2006

Interesting plugin smile I have added it to SVN and uploaded new version from there, so they are in sync. I also added a little pre-rendered example, btw.

That the plugin is now in SVN doesn't mean you have to do future updates in SVN (else I'll try to keep it in sync) - but if you would like to get SVN access, feel free to visit RequestAccessToDevelopBranch to get started.

-- SteffenPoulsen - 22 Apr 2006

Great thanks Steffen. I have some plans for some future enhancements such as: option to output in tabular form or perhaps to create a format for the output, add dangling reference checks (bit tricky to do this efficiently though). I'm willing to take suggestions too smile

-- JeffCrawford - 23 Apr 2006

Wow, I've been searching for such a function quite a while! Does the plugin only work on Dakar or also on Cairo version?

-- CedricWeber - 19 May 2006

The TestedOnTWiki table row lists 4.0 only. You could lobby the author to release a version that runs on Cairo and Dakar.

-- PeterThoeny - 20 May 2006

I have been able to install the plugin with no issues, but the plugin doesn't render the output (ie bullet lists, newlines, etc) when it runs. It does this for all skins, so I don't think it's related to my skin version (DragonSkin) with TWiki version 02 Sep 2004 $Rev: 1742 $, Plugin API version 1.025. Thanks in advance.

-- JohnVanBoxtel - 23 Jun 2006

Great plugin!

It would be nice to be able to sort the output by name or by count, or maybe to put the output in a table which could then be sorted by either.

-- ClifKussmaul - 24 Jul 2006 - 10:50

I installed the plugin but TWiki is not registering the plugin as available. When I run configure the plugin does not show up. Nor does the plugin show up on the TWiki/InstalledPlugins page. I am running 4.04 of TWiki. Any ideas?

-- ShawnDevlin - 26 Jul 2006 - 09:58

It would be usedul to enhance this Plugin find the opposite of orphaned topics: WantedTopics. If done we can "check" another TWiki feature in the WikiMatrix.

-- PeterThoeny - 15 Aug 2006 - 22:30

Note, that despite topics not being referred to by any other topic they still may not be orphaned as they are listed dynamically using SEARCH. Examples are the BugsContrib and the BlogPlugin applications where net data is stored in topics called Item1, Item2, Item3, ... and BlogEntry1, BlogEntry2, BlogEntry3, ... BlogComment1, BlogComment2, BlogComment3, ... respectively.

-- MichaelDaum - 16 Aug 2006

Yep, that is a special case. The orphaned search is useful to maintain conventional wiki content.

-- PeterThoeny - 16 Aug 2006

Hi All,
Sorry I haven't been working on the plugin for awhile. I made the "mistake" of telling my boss about twiki and inadvertently created a ton of work for myself, along with a bunch of new twiki addicts wink
In regards to the plugin I've added some improvements to the plugin (type, format and header attribute tags). And fixed some annoyances (e.g. whitespace before the tag messes up the first bullet item). Still planning to add dangling reference counts (e.g. like requested in WantedTopics). Sorry, but I haven't had time to test if this plugin needs modifications to work on Cairo yet.

-- JeffCrawford - 12 Oct 2006

How about merging this with OrphansPlugin?

-- CrawfordCurrie - 13 Oct 2006

This plugin doesn't appear to properly count page references that are of the form [[Wiki Word]]. As a result, some pages are showing up as orphans that aren't really.

-- JeffersonCowart - 12 Jun 2007

It also doesn't appear to count references that are made through %INCLUDE{...}%

-- JeffersonCowart - 12 Jun 2007

Way back in April 2006, JeffCrawford wrote

I plan to extend it a bit more to list references to non existing topics
 (dangling references) in future when I have some more time.

I've been moving pages between two webs. I don;t need an orphan checker nearly as much as I need a dangling reference checker. Has anyone worked this up?

Lots of scripts posted here, but I don't have server access and am unlikely to get it!

p.s. both dangling links and orphan checking should be built into TWiki!

-- VickiBrown - 09 Jul 2007

I believe dangling links and orphan checking should be a plugin functionality, not core TWiki.

-- PeterThoeny - 14 Jul 2007

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Topic revision: r28 - 2007-07-14 - PeterThoeny
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