(From Aquarionics, 21st July 2003)
Part of AqWiki
About a month ago, I concieved a Project.
Basically, it was when ESR shifted the focus of the Jargon File by changing the “J Random Hacker” entry to more reflect his own beliefs. My plan to combat this was - and is - to file the whole Jargon File into a Wiki and let the world at it. Think an entry is biased? Change it.
All I needed to do was to get it out of the Jargon File format and into something that I could import into a wiki. Then I discovered something really, really fundermental.
All wikis suck.
In fact, the particular way all these Wiki’s sucked was two fold. The first was the most important: No existing wiki that I could install on this server could import data from an external source. All the ones that backed onto plain text files I couldn’t - for various reasons - install. All the ones that backed onto a mysql database had data structures six feet deep that I couldn’t hack my way around.
The second reason all wikis suck is the really, really horribly nasty text formatting that has become standard. ‘’’‘this is italic’‘’’ ‘’’‘’’‘’this is bold’‘’’‘’’’ is a little too baroque, verbose, and nasty for my liking.
This weekend, my project was to play around with PEAR (The PHP equivlient of CPAN, crossed with apt-get. It rocks), for which I needed a project. Plus, Dean Allen has just released Textile 2 beta, the best text-formatting library for PHP (and now perl) bar none. Aha, I thought. This will solve several problems.
So, this afternoon about 16:00 I started coding my own Wikilike, and now at 1am, I’ve finished the first cut. It uses textile for formatting, it does Wikilike things, and it backs on to the Aquarionics User System (currently only used for Forever, so if you had an account on Forever at about 8pm this evening - when I copied the database locally - you have an account on the Wiki. I haven’t gotten around to writing an account creation system for the wiki locally yet, so you’ll have to be anonymous if you don’t).
The current Wiki is up on my local server, it inherantly supports mulitple wiki’s per server, but I’ve still got to put in the really cool bits, like the XML-RPC interface, the ability for admins to lock pages, and stuff.
And the name? Well, it was done quickly (A Qwiki), it’s mine (Aq Wiki) and it’s slightly sick (Aqw Iki)
But it’s there, it’s working, and since I’m working in the morning, I’d better head to bed…