Concrete5 Wiki

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Hi, im just starting to brainstorm about building a potential Wiki using concrete5 .. i'm still learning a lot about the concept of how a wiki functions, but feel like c5 could offer a lot of the functionality that something like wikipedia does, but for a more niche area of development ..

i would love to hear from the community if there is anything specific mediawiki (or similar software) can do that concrete5 can't, and where there might be room for development, feature requests etc.. if this works i would be happy to make the structure & configuration of this public ..

thanks in advance!

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frz replied on at Permalink Best Answer Reply
1) turn on advanced permissions. you may not need em today but you'll want em later.

2) enable site registration so anyone can signup, choose a level of validation you like... alternatively you COULD see what happens if guests can edit pages - i've never run a live site that way but hypothetically it could work.

3) set your permissions so registered users can edit & admin everything.

4) Let people start adding & editing pages.

5) Enjoy learning about the difference between anarchy and community.

mose replied on at Permalink Reply
The nice thing is that Concrete5 supports page versions. If someone royally messes things up, you could revert to a previous version.
diorist replied on at Permalink Reply
I know this is an old post, but I ran across it today and figured I'd weigh in for the record. My perspective comes from having implemented mediawiki and DokuWiki a couple of years ago and having built sites on C5 and Joomla.

Both C5 and wikis support basic goals of 1) empowering communal add/edit/delete of existing content; 2) storage and display of content blocks; 3) retention of editorial versions, so that content can be reviewed and/or rolled back; and 4) administrative control of editorial permissions.

That said, C5 and wikis approach these tasks somewhat differently. IMHO, neither is perfectly administrator- or user-friendly.

Both wiki platforms were maddeningly inflexible to skin and use. Wikis are architected to look like wikis---they're anti-"pretty." To the degree that templating was supported, it had weird limitations, like how in DokuWiki it was hard to add a sidebar and impossible to put an edit link on the same line as a section title without hacking the core php. Mediawiki had a skin market, although it was mostly variations on core skins and a few sad, staid alternatives. Adding image sliders, complex css, suckerfish menus, section-or page-specific script was almost unthinkable, 'cause (I guess) wikis aren't supposed to be slick.

Neither wiki I built had a working wysiwig editor, and their (different) markup languages had an ascii-like charm lost on my non-professional writers. Adding tables was nightmare-inducing.

Writers also foundered on namespace assignments, which seemed unduly confusing. Navigation was limited and rudimentary. You couldn't change page names once they were created. Plus, it was, on the whole, much easier to link to non-existent pages than existent ones.

By contrast, C5 makes admin editing, content organization, and design customization easy. The lack of categories and sections requires some mental retooling vs. Joomla and especially vs. namespaces; however, it's ultimately organizationally flexible. Navigation is a relative breeze, too. Wikis pretty much have one or two nav options that generally pull members dynamically. That makes sense in a flat page hierarchy, but more complex sites need better nav options. In general, I also prefer C5's model of page control (it exists or you get a 404) to the wiki model of ad-hoc page creation.

That said, C5 makes public editing harder to do and administer than wikis. Wikis excel at letting readers perform almost in-line edits of one "main content" block. With C5, you can authorize editing by group and by page, but you have to then exclude (by page) all blocks that editors shouldn't touch. Editing a single block by-section isn't supported at all. (IOW, wiki permissions are content-exclusive by design, whereas C5 permissions are inclusive.) Some wikis also autosave drafts, which would be great in C5. Nimble-fingered editors hit "Escape" instead of "Enter" surprisingly often.

C5 puts page creation (the Composer) only in the dashboard. Editors have to leave the comfy front end and go into scary admin-land to add a page. And then you still have to config your dashboard so editors can't wreak havoc on things they shouldn't touch.

End of the day, what I'd really love to see is C5 fully empower community content interaction without introducing wiki-like hurdles. It's actually already close, but there needs to be a way for 1) an only quasi-trusted group of authorized users to edit only the content blocks you explicitly allow; 2) users to edit content in-line, with an edit button per block or section; and 3) users to add pages on the fly from the front end. All of that without losing C5's lovable power and accessibility, of course.

Anyway, FWIW...