Re: sample document library: laying the groundwork
From: Dirk Herr-Hoyman (
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 06:16:58 -0800 (PST)

On Feb 13, 2007, at 4:00 PM, Tim Mensch wrote:

Lyle Scheer wrote:
Hash: RIPEMD160

Not entirely true.  We use for our site,  It implements access control so that you
can assign editing access to certain areas, as well as viewing access.

I'd like to suggest an alternative to a Wiki for this. I've used TWiki,
and I've used other Wiki software, and while the idea is great, their
time has passed--and regardless, it's always been hard to get non- geeks
to use them.

The strength of a Wiki is that anyone can edit it from within their
browser. The weakness is that there are a zillion different flavors of
Wiki, each with its own markup that you need to memorize (the markup is how you tell it to italicize a word, or to make a link to another page, or to make a list, or to embed a PDF...any formatting that can't be done
in text) and switch between if you end up using more than one.

Here's what I've been doing: I set up a free content management system
called Drupal ( that has a word-processing-like web plug-in
as well as a Wiki-link plug-in. Now any authorized member can create
pages on my site and edit them, within a browser, using a simplified
word-processor that works in Internet Explorer or Firefox or Safari or
whatever you want to use. No more memorizing how to make text bold, or
looking at pages of symbols that once was a nice text file--and I can
still create new pages Wiki-style.

While I will agree with you Tim on the issues of editing in a word- processor like style, I will have to disagree that Drupal is the right tool for that.
I am also looking at Drupal, Joomla, Dot NET Nuke and several others in
my day job.  These are called Content Management Systems and have more
features than one would want, this is where you are trying to get a
very polished web presence with a bit of community thrown in.
What we need here is more like a reference book, an encyclopia if you will.

To be fair, TWiki now has "Wysiwyg" (word-processor-style) editing
features, and we're still using it at my current office (where I set it up originally), but I've always found the TWiki look, feel, and general
organization to be a bit awkward.

Yes it's true one is a bit constrained by a wiki.  Would not let
that get in the way.  Wikipedia is used by lots of folks every day
and they are not confused by the lack of a WYSIWYG editor.

The Mediawiki project IS looking into integrating WYSIWYG editors
as a plugin.  For example there is FCKedit, that's one I am fond
of, in:
So there ya go, some assembly is required and you'll be all set!

FCKedit is available as a plugin for the finer content management systems too, like Drupal and Joomla. There are no secrets in the world
of open source software!



Tim Mensch

Currently in Pleasant Hill Cohousing (CA):

Member of Tumblerock, a Boulder, CO area community
in its forming stages.

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Dirk Herr-Hoyman
Member of Arboretum Cohousing
Madison, WI

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