Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Wikkid Wiki

As with any creation being released, I'm writing this with some trepidation. I'd like to announce the first release, 0.1, of Wikkid Wiki.

What is it?

Wikkid is a wiki that uses the Bazaar DVCS as an underlying storage model. Wiki pages are text files in a branch.

Why another wiki, surely there are enough already?

There is the obvious reason, because I felt like it. But this is not the primary reason. Since I started working for Canonical I've come to appreciate the whole culture of free, libre, and open source software more. During the day I work on Launchpad. Primarily in the area of integrating the Bazaar DVCS. Launchpad doesn't have a wiki integrated, and it is my plan to see wikkid be the wiki that is integrated.

I have to admit to having very strong opinions myself on what I wanted for wikis in Launchpad. I've tried to encapsulate that in the vision below. Since no one else was looking at it, I took it upon myself. Discussions started last year between a small group of Launchpad developers, but there was no traction. At the start of March I started writing the Bazaar backed wiki. It needed a name though. Thankfully after trying several I got the perfect name from Aaron Bentley - wikkid.

The wikkid vision

  • Any wikkid wiki can be branched locally for off line editing.

  • Any branch can be viewed using wikkid - not limited to branches created through wikkid

  • A local wikkid server can be run using a Bazaar plugin

  • Local commits use the local users Bazaar identity

  • Wikkid can be configured to operate in a stand alone, public facing mode where it has a database of users

  • Wikkid can be integrated as a library into other python applications

  • Wikkid uses standard wiki markup languages - not inventing its own

What does Wikkid Wiki offer?

Right now, wikkid offers basic page editing, rendering and browsing.

  • ReST is the default wiki format

  • Creole 1.0 is also supported (as long as the first line is "# creole")

  • source files are syntax highlighted using pygments

  • you get to see your gravatar for your local Bazaar identity

  • no page locks are used, but instead a three way merge

  • conflicts due to concurrent editing are shown for the user to resolve

Where to from here?

Well here is just the beginning. The TODO file is quite long already, and
that is just a simple brain dump.

Things that I want to have done for 0.2 include:

  • Change the underlying server from twisted.web to WSGI

  • Change the generated URL format

  • Add the stand-alone user database code, along with sessions and logins and email validation

  • Add a view to show changes for a page

  • Allow the reverting of any historical change

  • Daily build of trunk into the wikkid developer's PPA

Ideally for the 0.2 release I'd like to provide everything that is needed for
wikkid to be deployed as a stand-alone, public facing, wiki.

Wow, how can I help?

Wikkid uses Launchpad for colaboration and project tracking -

  • You can get a copy of trunk using 'bzr branch lp:wikkid'

  • File bugs for any issues you find playing with it

  • Join the development and discussion mailing list

  • If you feel so inclined, you could implement a feature or fix a bug, push the branch to Launchpad and propose the merge

  • Come and chat in #wikkid on freenode, nothing fires developers up like having encouraging users


deryck said...

Congrats, Tim. Wikis! :-) You'll be honored throughout the Launchpad-o-sphere. :-)

gour said...

I agree!

Great stuff and has potential to greatly boost LP usage just if those devs could understand its importance.


simahawk said...

Great! This is one of the most important thing missing in LP! Congrats :)

Parth Malwankar said...

Thanks Thumper. One feature I have really wanted for a long time from launchpad was a wiki.

I look forward to using this project.

Anonymous said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................