Friday, August 25

Cool Collaboration

If you don't want to plunk down the money for Microsoft Sharepoint, you can get by with TikiWiki for some quick and easy collaboration among members of a project team. Tiki is an open-source Wiki software that I installed yesterday on my work laptop (A Dell XPS Pentium-M 2.0 GHz machine with 1GB RAM).

Tiki is powered by PHP4 and needs a web server and a database. I went with IIS 6 and MySQL 5.

The installation procedure is similar to something like Wordpress--it is possible to buy Tiki hosting space from an ISP, or install it locally.

First, download and install PHP. You can register PHP with IIS either as an ISAPI extension or as a CGI module. ISAPI is faster and more secure, but I went with CGI (which is simpler to install).

Next, you need to create a database user and a database schema in MySQL for Tiki. I used MySQL Administrator which comes with MySQL 5. You can use phpMyAdmin also if you like administering your MySQL over the web.

Next, extract the Tiki software in a directory on the local file system, and create a virtual directory (I called it "tiki") in IIS that points to the location of your Tiki installation.

Next, point your browser to http://[your web server]/tiki/tiki-install.php and setup of your Wiki will commence.

I loved the features offered by this software. I hesitate to call it simply "Wiki" software because it offers much more out of the box. I am still exploring, but it offers, in addition to the Wiki capabilities:

(1) Blogs, which is a nice touch if a particular member wants a soapbox of his/her own.
(2) Articles (by topic)
(3) Quizzes
(4) Forums (They included a complete forum/BB software??)
(5) Surveys (I have yet to toy with this)
(6) A group calendar
(7) Group chat
(8) FAQs
(9) Newsletters
(10) A workflow engine.


The Wiki software allows your site to be customized with themes and menus. And there is mail notification for changes. As if all this wasn't enough, Tiki is extensible with custom modules written in PHP. For example, there is a calculator mod, a world clock mod, a mod for WebDAV access to your Wiki, a mod that imports some cool avatars, etc.

I like.

I will try it out soon. I might have Apache I think and Mysql. I fiddled with some very basic Atlas Stuff, this weekend.
Blech! Look at DekiWiki. Hands down the best! DekiWiki is an interoperable (stores in XHTML) MediaWiki fork that includes a rich text (WYSIWYG) editor, hierarchies, page level permissions, clean interface, file attachment and indexing, image galleries, and much much more... It is, like MediaWiki, released under the Gnu General Public License Agreement and found at
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