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Hello <<First Name>>,

welcome to the DokuWiki Newsletter. In this issue we present:



Enjoy your reading,

DokuWiki Newsletter team


Recent Development Activity

DokuWiki development is alive and kicking, and it is time to clean-up the main branch with a little bug hunting day. Everyone who wants to join in is encouraged to check the date poll.

Some interesting commits are the addition of PayPal interwiki links, auto-submitting in the popularity plugin and a mailprefix config setting that allows you to shorten notification mail subject lines if you have a long site name.

Localizations can now be customized. This allows you to override any text in ''inc/lang/xx/filename.txt'' by using a local ''conf/lang/xx/filename.txt'' without losing any changes on an upgrade.

The development & release teams has started to maintain a list of deprecated functions as a service to plugin & template maintainers. For example, the $NS global will be commented as deprecated in upcoming releases and then removed in the April 2013 release.

Featured Plugin: PageQuery

There are many different page listing and navigation plugins available for DokuWiki, all trying to serve different needs. PageQuery tries to unify many of their ideas into a compact all-in-one method of listing your wiki pages. But there are some additional features that make PageQuery quite unique.

Unlike with other plugins, PageQuery will not only display links gathered from a certain namespace but can also compile a list of links from any kind of search terms. The output then can be grouped and sorted by various conditions like author or creation/modification date.

Here's an example of all the pages in a namespace listed by date modified, and grouped by year and month:

PageQuery screenshot

Other cool features include preview tool-tips when you hover over a page link and the possibility to have each link accompanied by a small preview snippet of the page behind. Under the skin it makes heavy use of the excellent built-in page and full-text search functions available in DokuWiki, even enabling regular expressions.

Research Project Needs Pilot Users

The DokuWiki centered research project ICKE 2.0 finished successfully just recently (See November issue of the Newsletter).

Now the project partners CosmoCode, the Fraunhofer Society IFF and the University of Technology and Economy (HTW) are applying for funding to a follow up project. The aim is to develop methods and tools to increase the usability of wikis in the enterprise. They are now looking for companies who want to participate in the project, benefit form the great Wiki Know-How of the project partners and funding by the German Ministry of Education and Research.

Check the blog post for more info and contact details (German only).

The Plugin & Templates Team

The plugin team monitors the plugin namespace and tries continuously to improve the quality of the pages. One of our main tasks currently is to apply the new plugin-page template structure to existing pages. Parallel to that, we are restructuring the pages of the most popular plugins to be more user-friendly. Because of the huge number of plugins, we are always looking for new (technical & non-technical) members who are interested in working with us, to upgrade this essential DokuWiki area.

Unfortunately GitHub, a source code repository popular among DokuWiki developers, recently switched all downloads to HTTPS only. If your PHP installation is lacking SSL support, installing plugins hosted at GitHub through the plugin manager will fail. If you encounter problems, try installing them manually. A GitHub support request has been opened to solve this problem.

DokuWiki For Schools

OpenSchulPortfolioLast newsletter issue we introduced the ICKEWiki by CosmoCode, a special purpose pre-packaged version of DokuWiki with some extra plugins.
This time we managed to interview Frank Schiebel, author of OpenSchulPortfolio. It's another DokuWiki package, aimed at educational institutions. At the moment project documentation is in German only, but schools everywhere might be interested.

What is Open Schulportfolio?

It is an Open Source, non-profit project for educational institutions intended to help them organize, structure and document processes, data, relations, developments etc. It can also be used to represent the institution.

Since when does the project exist and what made you create it?

OSP was created in May 2010 to meet the requirements of a quality based documentation of school standards which is an obligatory element of the standardized evaluation of schools in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. I decided to develop a DokuWiki-based system because it has numerous advantages: Versioning, transparency, easy maintenance, non-hierarchical structure. Also, the search function and tagging options allow easy access to the content, thus optimizing usability for our school community.

Is OSP an answer to a situation with small or non-existent IT-support in schools?

Yes, that is what it was created for. Installation and maintenance are easy. In our school, OSP is maintained by one admin (configuration, access control) and five volunteers (structural editing, tagging etc.) who liked the idea of it and decided to spend some time and effort to help establish and edit OSP in the beginning. By now, about 10% of our staff contribute to it as editors.

Who is using it? What is the feedback so far?

We have been using it in our school since May 2010 and very soon made it our only platform of information and documentation. Word has spread about it, other schools asked for it, so I decided to create a installation package for download. About 15 schools are using it now, the feedback that has reached me was enthusiastic and promising, although some colleagues stated that it might take some time for the school community to adjust to the new system (the old system often being paper copies in binders in the staff room).

In September, I got invited to present OSP at the "Landesinstitut für Schulentwicklung" which is responsible for the standardized evaluation of schools in Baden-Württemberg. This resulted in creating an "officially recommended" version of OSP which will be described and made available on CD in the upcoming Manual for schools that face evaluation. The release of the manual is planned for spring 2011.

Which key features made you build your application based on DokuWiki?

I preferred DokuWiki over other Wiki-software mainly for two reasons:
  • DokuWiki does not need a database and stores its data transparently in text files.
  • DokuWiki has a well documented plugin-API that allows me to implement new features easily.

Can you name a favorite DokuWiki plugin that makes it special?

Of all its plugins, the most useful for schools are probably
  • Doctree2filelist which will allow an easy transition from the existing documentation/information/data pool to OSP and thus create a starting point for developing a new school portfolio that exploits the advantages of DokuWiki/OSP, and
  • Infomail which allows the notification of the users about important changes in OSP by a central instance such as the headmaster's assistants.

A lot of OSP is about usage, can you give us any tips on how to describe best practice and encourage it's usage.

We "lured" the school community by offering a quick, convenient, intuitive and remote(!) way of dealing with every day tasks: Finding forms, contacting colleagues, accessing the school calendar, booking labs or media stations, checking the stand-in schedules and timetables etc.

In a small evaluation at our school, we found that a few weeks after the introduction of OSP, most users valued the service aspect more than the portfolio aspect. Which seems logical as (1) the portfolio section is still about to be generated and (2) the content is not of high relevance for every day work. A majority of my colleagues have come to consider the use of OSP an integral part of their work flow.

You seem to have a lot of experience with several export methods, any last comments or wishes?

It would be great if it was possible to export document selections made by the bookcreator plugin as OpenOffice odt-files so that they can be edited after export.

Thank you Frank for sharing your thoughts with us.


Anteater Security Fix

This security update fixes problems in the XMLRPC interface where ACLs where not checked correctly sometimes, making it possible to access information that should not have been accessible. This only affects users who have enabled the XMLRPC interface (default is off). This update also includes a fix that caused errors in the general ACL checking function that could be exploited to gain access to restricted pages in rare conditions.

Powering WikiSym 2011

WikiSym is the biggest conference on Wikis and collaboration and held yearly in October. Of course each WikiSym has it's own wiki installation and this year's wiki will be powered by DokuWiki.

wikisym

Bug Tracker In DokuWiki

DokuWiki user Benoît HERVIER recently released a native bug tracker plugin aimed at those not requiring a full fledged issue tracker with all bells & whistles. There's a demo available at his own site.

Translation Plugin Hint

Remember to upgrade the translation plugin when upgrading from "Lemming" to the current DokuWiki version "Anteater", otherwise your wiki will look very strange. This due to changes in the SEARCH_QUERY_PAGELOOKUP event. Make it a good habit of checking & upgrading all plugins when upgrading your installation.

New Server

DokuWiki.org is now running on a new and more powerful server. This separates all DokuWiki related services from lead developer Andreas Gohr's personal projects and websites and makes the job of the Infrastructure Team much easier.


If you made any firewall exceptions for DokuWiki's update check, note that DokuWiki.org's IP address changed to 46.4.55.201.

Hetzner logo

Server costs (about 1000€ per year) are covered by your donations so keep them coming.

Forum Mails Restricted

Due to spammers using the forum's private messaging function to send spam emails to registered users, access to the mail functionality has been somewhat restricted. Please note that everyone still can make forum posts as soon as they register.

New Pagemove Plugin

Editx
is a new plugin for moving and renaming pages, compatible with DokuWiki version "Anteater", replacing the non-compatible PageMove plugin. It is still a work in progress, but DokuWiki user Danny Lin has got the basic functionality working. At the moment it requires one of the re-direct plugins to support the "move" feature.

Enterprise Survey

DokuWiki user and PhD student Xeeshan Ahmed Bhatti is looking for participants on his survey on "Success of Wiki Systems in Enterprises". If you have 5 to 7 minutes, help him out: English/French.

Follower Counts

Get more DokuWiki news by following us on your favorite social network:


Facebook: 352 fans
Twitter: 188 followers
Identi.ca: 66 subscribers
LinkedIn: 52 members
Xing: 96 members
GitHub: 184 watchers
 Ohloh: 167 users


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