Wiki at GSI: Towards a collaborative application platform

Abstract

As it is growing GSI's TWiki installation is evolving from a free-text documentation system to a rapid development toolbox for web-based groupware applications. I'd like to present the TWiki features and extensions that enable this functionality and also give a report on the current installation status in general.

Start presentation

Slide 1: Welcome

TWiki as a toolbox for bottom-up web applications

Slide 2: Situation pre Wiki

  • No central documentation system in the IT department
  • Most of the knowledge esp. about workflows only implicit
    • You have to go and ask
    • People must be available

Slide 3: Wiki paradigm in brief

  • Collection of HTML pages (topics)
  • In place editing with simple markup (WikiML)
  • Easy cross-referencing using WikiWords (CamelCase)
  • Revision control

Prominent Wiki implementations:
  • Mediawiki
  • Moinmoin
  • TWiki

See my talk at last Hepix in Karlsruhe

Slide 4: TWiki praise

TWiki: A Wiki focussed on cooperate intranets

  • Integrated access control on a per web and per topic basis
  • Attachment support
  • Tracing of most recent changes
    • Syndication with RSS newsfeeds
    • 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
  • Powerful markup including macros

Slide 5: Current status

  • Central installation of TWiki since 2 years
    • Substantial growth during the last six month
      • Nevertheless satisfactory performance and usability (since upgrade to recent TWiki release and hardware)
    • Central documentation and coordination tool of the IT department
    • Separate wikis for CBM and Hades collaborations:
      • Virtual Wikis : run on the same server, common codebase
      • Distinct topics, attachments and users

Slide 6: Statistics

GSI wiki key figures for September 2005:

  • Total users: 270
  • New registrations: 50
  • Topics: 2600
  • Topic views: 90000
  • Topic edits: 4000
  • Attachment uploads: 800

Slide 7: TWiki pros and cons

Cons

  • Recent TWiki vulnerabilities
    • Debian package already secured by hardening patch cool!
  • lock, modify, unlock (RCS) instead of copy, edit, merge
    • Content loss due to early lock release (only once?)
  • Editor a bit too simple:
  • No offline editing

Pros

  • Shallow learning curve
  • Tables are easily operated thanks to EditTablePlugin and TablePlugin
  • Inspirational like a good toy (a geek tool?)

  • (T?)Wiki is an excellent toolbox for modelling workflows
    • bottom-up approach

Slide 8: Vacation Calendar

 
Name
arrow_leftarrow_right
JulAug
Fr
19
  Mo
22
Tu
23
We
24
Th
25
Fr
26
  Mo
29
Tu
30
We
31
Th
1
Fr
2
  Mo
5
Tu
6
We
7
Th
8
Fr
9
  Mo
12
Tu
13
We
14
Th
15
Fr
16
 

  • 20 Oct 2005 - 24 Oct 2005 - Helmut
  • 10 Oct 2005 - 14 Oct 2005 - Walter - Hepix SLAC
  • 10 Oct 2005 - 14 Oct 2005 - Christo - Hepix SLAC
  • 07 Oct 2005 - Hans - ill - dead!
  • 17 Oct 2005 - Christo
  • 10 Oct 2005 - Sergei
  • 21 Oct 2005 - Sergei

Slide 9: Meeting minutes à la TWiki

Search

  • Topic name or full-text search, optionally with regular expressions
    • Display of search results may be completely customized
      • may contain partial content from of the search results using pattern matching

  • Retrieve a list of existing meeting minutes formatted as a table:
%SEARCH{"MeetingMinutes[0-9]{6}" scope="topic" regex="on" limit="12"
        nosearch="on" reverse="on" nototal="on" 
        header="| *Date* | *Minute taker* | *Latest change* | *Revision* |" 
        format="|  [[$topic][$pattern(.*? (\d+[ .]+\S+[ .]+\d+).*)]]  |  $createwikiusername  |  $date by $wikiusername  |    $rev  |"
}%

Slide 10: Meeting minutes à la TWiki

Templates and Forms

  • New minutes are created via a simple webform:
<form name="new" action="%SCRIPTURLPATH%/edit%SCRIPTSUFFIX%/%INTURLENCODE{"%WEB%"}%/">
     <input type="text" name="topic" value="MeetingMinutes%SERVERTIME{$ye$mo$day}%" size="23" />
     <input type="hidden" name="templatetopic" value="MeetingMinutesEditTemplate" />
     <input type="hidden" name="formtemplate"  value="MeetingMinutesForm" />
     <input type="submit" value="create" />
</form>

  • The created topic uses the given template

  • The meeting participants are listed using the associated DataForms:
| *Name* | *Type* | *Size* | *Values* | *Tooltip message* |
| Participant | checkbox+buttons |  7  | FirstParticipant, SecondParticipant, ... |  |

Slide 11: Meeting minutes à la TWiki

Finalization

  • Probably meeting minutes must not be changed after all participants agreed on their content (i.e. ISO 9000)
  • ApprovalPlugin models this workflow

Slide 12: List of server topics

  • %SEARCH{...}% again ...

  • Topic creation form
    • Special topic template

  • InterwikiPlugin: Shortcuts to GSI's hardware database web-frontend
    • GsiDbDetail:lxdv10

Slide 13: List of server topics

CommentPlugin for logbook entries

  • %COMMENT{type="logbook"}%

%TMPL:DEF{PROMPT:logbook}%
<textarea %DISABLED% name="comment">%MESSAGE%</textarea>
<input %DISABLED% type="submit" value="Add entry"/>
%TMPL:END%

%TMPL:DEF{OUTPUT:logbook}%%POS:AFTER%
| %DATE% | %URLPARAM{"comment" newline="<br />"}% | %WIKIUSERNAME% | 
%TMPL:END%

 
08 Oct 2005 Condition clear ChristopherHuhn

Slide 14: A light-weight Trouble Ticket System

ActionTrackerPlugin:
  • %ACTION{closed="10-Oct-2005" due="10-Oct-2005" creator="Main.ChristopherHuhn" state="closed" who="Main.ChristopherHuhn"}% Hepix talk at SLAC
Assigned to Due date Description State Notify  
ChristopherHuhn 2005-10-10 Hepix talk at SLAC (go to action) closed HpcGroup edit
* %ACTIONSEARCH{...}% for todo lists
  • actionnotify cron job

Slide 15: A light-weight Trouble Ticket System

No such template def TMPL:DEF{PROMPT:incident}
Assigned to Due date Description State Notify  
WalterSchoen 2005-10-17 Alles kaputt
- Created by ChristopherHuhn, 07 Oct 2005 21:28:56 (go to action)
closed edit

Slide 16: Carpool token management

Participant Tokens
Burkhard 2
Kilian 3
Michael 7
Marc -4
Stefan -8
Sum 0


Next driver (token count -8): Stefan
Modus operandi:
  • Drivers earn one point for each fellow passenger
  • Passengers must give away one point per ride

  • SpreadSheetPlugin for calculations: %CALC{"$IF( $SUM(R2:C2..R6:C2) = 0, Error! Sum must be 0! , )"}%

  • ChartPlugin for the diagram: %CHART{type="bar" table="carpooltokens" data="R2:C2..R6:C2" xaxis="R2:C1..R6:C1" yaxis="on" datalabel="box"}%

Slide 17: Next projects

  • Portal for system announcements
    • Replace all wall shell script mess
    • Form-based input
    • Distribution with RSS
    • Category-based cleanup

  • Email notifications enhancements
    • Immediate notifications
    • Subscribers list form
    • Plugin to automatically subscripe editors

Future: A portal for system announcements

Month wiki.gsi.de total hades-wiki.gsi.de total cbm-wiki.gsi.de total Registrations Topics total Topic views Topic edits File uploads
Nov 2003 6 6 6 6 135 560 93 4
Dec 2003 6 6 6 0 173 213 27 1
Jan 2004 6 6 6 0 237 0.1 0.1 0.1
Feb 2004 6 6 6 0 299 1009 84 5
Mar 2004 7 7 7 1 356 1049 225 15
Apr 2004 8 8 8 1 377 501 118 29
May 2004 8 8 8 0 384 443 64 17
Jun 2004 10 10 10 2 398 705 53 2
Jul 2004 13 13 13 3 458 2023 171 0
Aug 2004 13 13 13 0 606 4533 896 120
Sep 2004 14 14 14 1 631 1785 228 4
Oct 2004 16 16 16 2 644 1119 89 8
Nov 2004 19 19 19 3 687 3246 332 19
Dec 2004 20 20 20 1 703 1641 347 209
Jan 2005 29 29 29 9 829 7574 1614 382
Feb 2005 30 30 30 1 955 9573 1816 516
Mar 2005 36 36 36 6 1135 20419 2162 717
Apr 2005 78 78 78 42 1312 20316 1711 682
May 2005 81 84 87 9 1400 12335 1446 698
Jun 2005 104 126 131 44 1594 16683 1686 693
Jul 2005 139 170 175 44 1992 39954 4444 762
Aug 2005 171 209 214 39 2361 77543 2139 290
Sep 2005 202 256 268 54 2629 90517 4200 796
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
10-JG-04-hills-A074R1.jpgjpg 10-JG-04-hills-A074R1.jpg manage 73.3 K 2005-10-07 - 19:44 ChristopherHuhn Pre-wiki documentation situation?
Wiki-stats.pdfpdf Wiki-stats.pdf manage 25.9 K 2005-10-06 - 19:27 ChristopherHuhn Wiki statistics - PDF version
Wiki-stats.pngpng Wiki-stats.png manage 72.5 K 2005-10-07 - 19:55 ChristopherHuhn Wiki statistics - PNG version
Wiki-stats.swfswf Wiki-stats.swf manage 8.9 K 2005-10-06 - 19:55 ChristopherHuhn Wiki statistics - SWF version
scherbenhaufen.jpgjpg scherbenhaufen.jpg manage 323.5 K 2005-10-07 - 15:04 ChristopherHuhn Documantation sitation
Topic revision: r22 - 2016-01-29, ChristopherHuhn
 
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