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Choosing a wiki

I am setting up a wiki at work. These are our requirements:

  • File based storage–so I don’t have to deal with installing a database on the wiki server
  • Authentication of some kind–so that we can know who made changes to what document
  • Versioning–so we can roll back changes if need be.
  • PHP based–our website already runs php and I don’t want to deal with alternate technologies if I don’t have to.
  • Handles binary uploads–in case someone had a legacy doc they wanted to share.
  • Publish to PDF–so we can use this wiki for more formal documents. We won’t publish the entire site, but being able to do this on a per document basis is required.

I see this wiki both as a repository for company muscle memory (technical decisions, R&D results) and a place for more formal documents (requirements) that might be published to PDF. Basically, I’m trying to get rid of .doc files as a technical document format. I read about this on some XP mailing lists of which I used to be a part and am interested to see how effective it might be.

I started with PHPWiki but its support for PDF was lacking. (At least, I couldn’t figure it out, even though it was documented.)

After following the wizard process at WikiMatrix (similar to CMSMatrix, which I’ve touched on before), I found PmWiki, which has support for all of our requirements. It also seems to have a nice extensible architecture.

Installation was a snap and after monkeying around with authentication and PDF installation (documented here), I’ve added the following lines to my local/config.php:

$EnablePostAuthorRequired = 1;
$EnableUpload = 1;
$UploadDir = "/path/to/wiki/uploads";
$UploadUrlFmt = "";
$UploadMaxSize = 100000000; // 100M