Wiki Subjects

A big subject, almost a category.

What is a wiki ? What is semantic wiki ?

Wikis can serve many different purposes both public and private, including knowledge management, notetaking, community websites and intranets.

As Social Media

Not sure if this belongs here. Doesn't cover presence management, but does address social networking in a knowledge capture context.

Social information processing is "an activity through which collective human actions organize knowledge." It is the creation and processing of information by a group of people ...

Typically computer tools are used such as:

Authoring tools: e.g., blogs
Collaboration tools: e.g., wikis, in particular, e.g., Wikipedia
Translating tools: Duolingo, reCAPTCHA
Tagging systems (social bookmarking): e.g.,, Flickr, CiteULike
Social networking: e.g., Facebook, MySpace, Essembly
Collaborative filtering: e.g., Digg, the Amazon Product Recommendation System, Yahoo answers, Urtak

Social media technologies take on many different forms including blogs, business networks , enterprise social networks, forums, microblogs, photo sharing, products/services review, social bookmarking, social gaming, social networks, video sharing and virtual worlds.

Taking A Close Look At Wikipedia

It’s high time people stopped kvetching about Wikipedia, which has long been the best encyclopedia available in English, and started figuring out what it portends instead ...

The results of these collaborations, like Wikipedia, represent not just new methods of packaging knowledge, but a new vision of what might come to be meant by “knowledge”: something more like what Marshall McLuhan called “a galaxy for insight.”

As of Oct 2013

Yet Wikipedia and its stated ambition to “compile the sum of all human knowledge” are in trouble. The volunteer workforce that built the project’s flagship, the English-language Wikipedia—and must defend it against vandalism, hoaxes, and manipulation—has shrunk by more than a third since 2007 and is still shrinking.

Saving Wikipedia

... the future of Wikipedia has increasingly come into doubt over the past few years. Some observers question how long the website can stay relevant. Behemoths like Google and Facebook—the first and second largest websites, respectively—have billions of dollars at their disposal to pursue lofty goals like cataloguing the sum of knowledge or connecting every human being to the Internet ...

The global shift toward mobile Internet traffic has also made it more difficult to add new edits to the site because potential editors have so far been reluctant to make changes from their phones or tablets.

Hmmm, interest-ink ...

A Guide To Online Research -

Using Wikipedia -

'All the news that fits on the page ... I like the three column billboard format.

Can social media be a little too social a times ?

“Basically like most faculty, I’ve had a grouchy opinion about Wikipedia,” said Sean J. Gilsdorf, a lecturer on History and Literature. “My attitude has turned into one [of], rather than complaining about it, why don’t we try to do good things with it.”

Wiki Markup

MetaTags: #Wiki #Markup

The big three are Trac, MoinMoin and SemanticMediawiki.

Luckily, their wiki markup is very similar.

See PythonMarkup

Wiki Names

Why use group name /MySubjectTopic in one case and subpage name /MySubject/Topic in another. For example, a possible tree of pages for Servers, HTTP and Apache:

  • Servers
    • Servers/Apache
      • Servers/HTTP/Apache
    • Servers/HTTP
    • Servers/HTTPApache
  • ServersHTTP
    • ServersHTTP/Apache
  • ServersApache ( or trivially ServersHTTPApache )

Should it be ServersApache or Servers/Apache or what ?

Seems to me that subpage Page/SubPage should be reserved for a more concrete subject and use group PageSubPage for an instance of ...

Wiki name like ServersApache is more right, or maybe even better a subject page for Servers/HTTP and then an instance page for Servers/HTTPApache. The subpage seems a better fit to the section 'meta-tag' scheme, such as Servers#Apache or Servers/HTTP#Apache

They are definitely not the same because refactoring on content would require that all HTTP content migrate to Servers/HTTP and Servers/HTTPApache but only Apache content to migrate to ServersApache.

By the above reasoning, the entire /Notes content-type-disguised-as-subject should be called something else. Maybe the distinction is a small conceptual jump from /MySubject to /MySubjectTopic and a bigger jump to /MySubject/Topic, in other words, a matter of quantity rather than quality ... deserves more thought.

Wiki Path Rules

Resolving references to paths, a major subject in its own right.

What are basic rules ?


Main ( implied default wiki: )

 Ref-> Sub ( found, implicit "from here down" ) 


 Ref-> Sub ( not found, must say "Main/Sub" )


 Ref-> /Sub ( found, implied depth first )


 Ref-> ./Sub ( found, depth first explicitly "from here", probably better to say as "./ from parent" ) 


 Ref-> Sub1 ( found, breadth )

 Ref-> Sub ( not found ?, Search up ? )


 Ref-> ../Sub ( implied, "from parent-parent" )  


#TerminalReference ( a collection )



 Main/Sub ( not found )

 wiki:Main/Sub ( found )

  • Breadth ( Peers )
  • Depth First ( children, parents )
    • Look up
    • Look down
  • OR to heck with it and just use full path
  • realm: defaults
  • realm: versus interwiki: ?
  • #reference something like a section or an aspect ? Why not use tag:Reference ? Need to capture in any case.

More About Sections

Mozilla on the subject.

Sections and Outlines of an HTML5 Document -

Sectioning roots - A sectioning root is an HTML element that can have its own outline, but the sections and headings inside it does not contribute to the outline of its ancestor.

  <h1>Forest elephants</h1> 
    <p>In this section, we discuss the lesser known forest elephants</p>
    <p>Forest elephants do not live in trees but among them. Let's
       look what scientists are saying in "<cite>The Forest Elephant in Borneo</cite>":</p>
       <p>The forest element lives in Borneo...</p>

Note <h1> buried in <blockquote>. Good point about parsing section in wiki text. Proably need explicit <<Section>> macro.

Wiki Macros

  • Edit time
    • Generate expected output without DB update
    • Commit must include all update, inserts
  • Display time
  • Section ?

Flat File Database

A flat file database ( FFD ) uses a simple file system structure of directories/subdirectories/files to store content, rather than using a formal database such as MySQL or SQLite.

I used to think that FFD was a bad thing. Usually, one must grant directory/file read-write permissions to include all groups and users. This is of course a bad thing. However, one can also revoke directory/file read-write permission and make the content read-only.

To my knowledge so far, site 'lock-down' is a fool proof way to prevent anyone who with less than owner permissions to change the directory/files. This is a good thing, in fact more of a good thing than the bad thing of having only amorphous file structure to work with rather than relational database structure with SQL queries, etc.

PmWiki uses this structure and it has with stood the test of time. It's the only PHP based content management systems that I have used consistently for the last 10 years and has never been hacked by the bad boyz ... impressive. Is it the result of good luck, good security practices or lack of interest from aforesaid bad boyz ?

Semantic Wiki

See SemanticWiki and KnowledgeBase

Also See







Last modified 2 years ago Last modified on 05/03/2015 12:34:55 PM