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Slide 1: GSI Wiki - a collaborative documentation tool

  • Why?
  • Wiki, what's that?
  • Twiki
  • GSI specific installation
  • Enhanced features
  • Roadmap

Slide 2: Wiki? - Why?

2003: GSI linux farm documentation incomplete

Dream the IT paradise: automatic AI ... documentation system

MY documentation, 1st attempt: using hand-crafted HTML pages:
  • Different tools for read and write; no ubiquitous write access.
  • Lousy link maintenance.
  • Collaborative? Read access for the whole team, write access only for me.

  • Too static!
    • Most of the content is always outdated.

  • Central GSI CMS did not meet the requirements ...

Slide 3: Wiki? - What's that?

---++ 2nd level heading

2nd level heading

*Bold*</code Bold
| 1 |  2  |  2 |
| 4 |  5  |  6 |

2 2 2
4 5 6

  • easy
  • open
  • incremental
  • organic

  • chaotic?

Slide 4: Wiki - Is it working?

  • Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia
    • founded in 2001
    • available in more than 100 languages
      • more than 50 with 1000 topics and more
    • 1,3 million topics overall
      • 400000+ in Englisch
      • 200000+ in German
    • Associated projects:

Slide 5: Wiki! - Which?

200+ OpenSource implementations of a Wiki:

The Wikipedia engine, PHP + MySql, focussed on the features needed for Wikipedia.

Emerged to an all inclusive CMS (Photo galleries, WebMail etc.)

A popular Python Wiki

Simple Perl implementation with limited features

Another Perl Wiki

Personal Wiki as a Plugin for Eclipse IDE

Polished commercial Wiki (beta) with WYSIWYG and Email-Gateway

Slide 6: TWiki - Why?

TWiki: A Wiki focussed on cooperate intranets

  • Revision control and Changelog
  • Integrated access control on a per web and per topic basis
  • Attachment management
  • Tracing of most recent changes
    • Syndication with RSS
    • Email notifications
  • Hundreds of plugins and add-ons
  • Implementation in Perl based on the UNIX toolbox:
    • Filesystem based
    • RCS for revision control
    • Search using grep

Slide 7: Advanced features

  • TWiki.Macros for dynamic content: %SEARCH{"text"}%, %TOC%, ...
  • Templates define topic patterns
  • Meta data may be added to topics using forms

Shortcuts for external URLs
GSI Oracle device database, manpages, Debian packages, Debian Bugs, Wikipedia, ...

for pretty printing of source code

draw diagrams using a java applet
renders embedded LaTeX formulas

Slide 8: Advanced features

add calculations to TWiki tables
Render charts from data in TWiki tables

Add content skipping Edit MOVED TO... Preview MOVED TO... Save cycle
run TWiki as a bulletin board

turns a topic into a HTML presentation

turns topics into PDF

Slide 9: TWiki weaknesses

It's a geek tool

File system backend and complex rendering engine (variable expansion, ...)

Webs should not grow to large?

No clear cut between data and code complicates upgrade

Slide 10: GSI Wiki, deployed since Nov. 2003

Slide 11: Current GSI Wiki status

  • Unique position as documentation tool for the GSI Linux team
    • Knowledge base
    • Installation log
    • Hardware Database
    • Meeting minutes
    • Trouble ticket system
    • Group calendar

  • Used all over the IT department:
    All OS's, Oracle, Operating, Security, Grid, Controls

  • Adopted by the experiments: Hades, CBM, ...

Slide 12: TWiki management practices at GSI

  • Read access == write access

  • Many small groups
    • Normally a one-to-one mapping of groups to webs
    • Every member of a group can add new members

  • Daily backup on filesystem level (TSM)

  • In the long-term an editor-in-chief has to keep the stuff together?!

  • Evolution from free form content to TWiki applications representing workflows

Slide 13: Roadmap

  • Migration to new server, upgrade to the current release
    • Mainly usability + bugfixes

  • Virtual Wikis
    • Provide collaborations with their own distinct wiki space
    • Share same codebase, but distinct data

  • Enhance usability
    • Smarter update notifications (Email, Instant Messaging?, RSS)
    • Data import/export (HTML, PDF, MS Office)
    • WYSIWYG editor
    • Search index in addition to built-in grep

Slide 14: Roadmap

  • Increase performance
    • Develop a benchmark procedure
    • Evaluation of CGI accelerators, esp. mod_perl
    • Evaluation of cache addons

  • Availabilty, Clustering, Content export

  • Advanced TWiki applications:
    • Better utilization of meta data and forms
    • IT department announcements (walls)
    • Portal

  • Perform GSI internal wiki training

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This topic is write-protected:

I'd appreciate feedback!

More information

-- ChristopherHuhn - May 2005
Topic revision: r14 - 2016-01-18, ChristopherHuhn
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