Project Wiki

  1. Install a WikiWikiClone somewhere on your intranet.
  2. Populate it with enough pages to show your team-mates what it's all about.
  3. Go wild.

When I first encountered the idea of wikis, I wanted to write my own. I looked at PikiPiki and some other PythonLanguage wikis, and strated to make my own, learning PythonLanguage at the same time. Once it was up and running, I thought that it needs a purpose. So I told about it to my collegues at work (system administrators), and we bagan to store important information about administering the network and the systems et all. There are only 5 of us using it (it's password-protected), but I quickly had to switch to a more mature project. Fortunatelly, transition to MoinMoin went relatively painlessly. The admin wiki is still growing, despite small number of users.

I've been using Pywiki for organizing my thoughts on one-man projects and have had good experiences. I confess to having an aversion to organization. This has been a constant thorn in my side. I've tried a variety of methods and tools, but I always just stop using them. The use of a ProjectWiki is the single largest improvement I have ever made in improving my ability to organize projects. Of course, I have a long way to go... I wonder if a wiki could be tweaked to have a more specific ProjectWikiNature?? Does anybody have any ideas? Adding some kind of scheduling functionality comes to mind, but that seems so un-wiki... The point would be to add features that would actually be used. --TimVoght

While using a ProjectWiki on a more hardware-oriented project, one idea jumped right out at me. I was outlining some ideas, and was doing some calculations on some of the pages. I soon found that some of the calculations were interdependent. What I needed was a SpreadsheetWiki, where each page could include a spreadsheet which could be referenced from other pages. It needs some client support (maybe browser plug-ins?), and I'm sure there are a few non-obvious issues, but I like the idea. It would also be nice to have scribble pads available for sketching out diagrams. Of course, RF engineers would want Smith charts... and so on. --TimVoght

Of course, taken to its logical conclusion, I suppose this all leads to DistributedObjects and some sort of document-centric framework like OpenDoc promised... -tv

(At which point it's not longer quick and simple, at least not if it's built on current technology. I really think this is crucial to the WikiNature. -- MartinPool.)

I'm trying. I did just this last week (without having seen this page, it just seemed like a good idea at the time), and I'm having trouble getting the idea seeded with the rest of the group.

I set it up because the existing Project approved way of sharing information is a seemingly infinite number of Notes databases, none of which seem to be indexed in any kind of useful way and none of which are searchable in any useful way either. This is because the approved document format is MsWord? docs, which are then attached to the page in Notes. Don't ask me why. Because no one finds the Notes databases especially useful, nobody uses them or adds to them unless they have to, and even then probably under duress. So the stuff in there is the "QA procedures required" stuff and nothing more. The quicker, faster, easier nature of Wiki just leapt out and slapped me in an idle moment while the servers were down.

I think we have enough people in the group, around 30 or so, to achieve critical mass, but it just isn't starting to move yet.

I'll keep trying.


I suspect that it's not a critical mass of users that is important, but a critical mass of content to attract the users. --TimVoght

I've just installed PyWiki internally, so that I can play with it some. I'd quite like people here to start using it for simple internal documentation/thoughts, but I'm having difficulty selling the idea to certain people. Principle objections have been the lack of control and the fact that there's no QualityProcedure? involved.

What sort of arguments can I use to sway people? What sort of projects/things are all of the various internal WikiClones being used for?


I've installed a WikiClone as a ProgrammersNotebook (well, it's a little broader because I do other things besides program). I told other folks in the company about it; as I expected, that didn't attract much interest. My plan is simply to keep adding content to it, and to spread the word any time I put something in that might be useful to others. That way, awareness will grow gradually; other people will start to try it, and will realise how much better it is than LotusNotes. After a while, they'll be hooked. Only time will tell whether this works...

(If anyone cares: it's PikiPiki, with a lot of modifications for things I found myself wanting to do, and one or two that I think might make it more palatable to fans of LotusNotes some day. PikiPiki was very easy to add stuff to; kudos to MartinPool.) --GarethMcCaughan

see ProgrammersNotebook

In my previous job I wrote all documentation (planning documents, "white papers" about applicability of things like personalization) with VisualPage? and stuck it on our intranet server. Now I'm running a ZwiKi server (currently on my laptop, as we don't even have our servers set up yet), and email URLs to people all the time. I'm starting to get some other people to stop writing stuff in MsWord? and getting it into Wiki. There's more resistance/fear associated with editing "someone else's page", unless there's clear granularity, like a group to-do list where someone will add a new item or add a note next to something. People love the way that stuff gets cross-linked a lot (and ZwiKi does the extra job of creating a hierarchy of links to a node's ancestors, which also helps provide context). I'm tempted to make it a WikiAuthoringSystem where we write documentation, then write a spider which grabs a series of pages, pours them into a prettier template, converts links, etc. so that those pages can be moved out to a public server. I'm also playing a little with a ZopeApplicationServer-based project mgmt system, and can see integrating the 2 for purposes of issue-discussion... --BillSeitz

: Re: the spider, wouldn't it be handy if a WikiClone would have some kind of an export function for any given page? It would strip away all the edit links and perhaps even cross references and wikiwords and all and just show you the "raw" HTML from the database. External links could still be there. It would be more or less "printer friendly" version that could also be just saved from the browser and read into another program or attached (not as HTML, of course ;) to a mail message or whatnot.

I started a Wiki in both the R&D and the IT department. The developer's did not adopt it yet, and the IT people either like or hate it. -- JuergenHermann

I have started about a dozen mini-Wiki sites at the company where I work (where I am the de facto "Wiki master"). Four have been ProjectWiki sites (i.e., dedicated to a single project, with a well-defined objective and a firm delivery date), of which one failed due to lack of interest, while the other three were acknowledged as significant factors in the success of the projects they supported. The other Wiki sites I've set up have been more TeamWiki than ProjectWiki sites. By TeamWiki I mean a Wiki that is intended for use over a long (usually open-ended) time by a team whose membership gradually turns over as one project after another comes and goes. See the TeamWiki page for other comments on similarities and differences between TeamWiki and ProjectWiki usage. -- CameronSmith

At TeamInaBox we use EclipseWiki as a ProjectWiki since it allows links to be made to a bug tracking tool and resources in the workspace. Versioning is managed for us and file navigation isn't an issue since the EclipseIde takes care of all that. Give it a try. ChanningWalton

See also PersonalWiki. Sometimes a ProjectWiki or TeamWiki starts out as a PersonalWiki.


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