Wiki Web

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The page you are reading was (at some point) generated dynamically from a database of information by a program on a web server. The information in the database can be modified by anyone and this leads to the creation of a truly collaborative web site.

If you are a newcomer and want to know how to get started with this site, then please see Getting Started With Wiki.

The original Wiki was invented by WardCunninghamNew Page and was then called Wiki Wiki. It was built for the Pattern Languages community to aid in the collaborative creation and documentation of software patterns. To see this Wiki in action, and get more information on Wikis in general go to

This particular Wiki started with Dolphin Wiki Web from Object Arts. It is implemented as bunch of Perl scripts that were derived from another Wiki clone called JOS Wiki[1]. The original Dolphin implementation implementation is available for download at [2].

I started with Dolphin Wiki Web because it had a few features that I liked, and the source code was readily available, and was simple enough that I could understand it and start hacking on it within a couple of hours. A much bigger, functionally richer descendent of JOS Wiki is TWiki, but that one has too many features and requires me to resister in order to download it.

I hacked on this some more. To start, I trimmed some unnecessary functionality which I didn't expect to use. I don't plan on adding many features, since I do have a day job. However, I may clean some things up in my spare time.

- BruceDodsonNew Page

DolphinWikiWeb Advantages

There are a number of advantages that Dolphin Wiki Web has over some other Wiki implementations. Some of these are inherited from JOS.

  • Pages are kept as separate text files rather than in a Perl DBM. This avoid the 1K limit in some versions of DBM and, one could argue, it's more secure. (Why?)

  • Pages are additionally rendered as true HTML files which are fed back to your browser. This means that when a page is revisited it can be pulled straight from the browser's cache which is obviously much faster than having to re-submit a request to the Wiki server program. This does have a few ramifications for Wiki Web Browsing.

  • All of the HTML is generated using template files that can be created using a standard HTML editor such as Microsoft Frontpage. This makes it easy to give a new look and feel to future webs without having to get in and modify Perl script.

  • The Wiki Text Formatting Rules allow for the inclusion of small chunks of HTML. You're encouraged to use this feature sparingly, however.

  • A page can be deleted if no other page has references to it. (I've been thinking, though, maybe you should have to clear the content first. Or maybe clearing the content should trigger a delete. - BruceDodsonNew Page)

  • All changes to pages are logged. If a page is deleted, the log file remains. Although there is, as yet, no easy way to revert to a previous version of a page, the information is available to do this manually, if necessary.

  • The Perl code can control several webs on the same server without having to be tailored for each. (But this flexibility made things more complex, and was not needed, so BruceDodsonNew Page removed it.)

Related pages: Wiki Beginners Topics

This page last edited on 31 May 2002 at 06:16 GMT