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This page is for discussing a reasonable minimum set of features that a wiki engine should provide. Probably WQS-1
as the first (backward) of a series of standards. Such Standards could go through an "-alpha" (suggested), a "-beta" (implemented by at least 3 different major engines) and a "-final" state (implemented by 7 different MajorWikiEngines
or adopted by WikiSym
Motivation: BeatDoebeli and me found that we have a common motivation to have such a standard because we will compete with our TWiki and ProWiki engines with CMS systems that have low quality wiki add-ins. Low quality wiki engines may be seen as a problem, because they may harm the reputation of the wiki as a tool for solving problems. For example some wiki add-ins lack deep linking, full text searching, back linking or even RecentChanges. Dealing with wiki newcomers and management people a WikiQualityStandard would ease our argumentation considerably. In the future a quality standard might also influence the adoption of other standards. E. g. at WikiSym there was a consensus that a future wiki exchange feature will be important for the acceptance of the wiki because the users can be sure that they can move their content to a different provider or engine in case they feel the need. A WQS-200x might include this kind of movability and so serve the interests of the wiki users and the high-quality wiki providers at the same time. -- HelmutLeitner
Features suggested for WQS-1 / WQS-2005:
- Wiki pages can be created and edited by users quickly in the wiki way.
- Simple WikiSyntax (or WysiwygWiki) allow typical text formatting without the need to learn HTML.
- Automatic linking converts written names of pages, images and websites to links (optional: automatic linking of pagenames may be configurable)
- A kind of "RecentChanges" page chronologically shows those pages that have been edited.
- A diff function shows the latest change of a page (perhaps also between page revisions).
- A fulltext search for page titles and page contents.
- A BackLink function shows the pages linking to the current page.
- Each wiki page has a readable URL that can be used for DeepLinking
- A VersionHistory is available for each page, and previous page revisions can be retrieved, for example as a protection against vandalism, spam or errors.
- A kind of EditConflict resolution ensures that no contributions are overwritten silently.
- A page index shows AllPages in the PageDatabase.
Features that might be considered for WQS-2:
- Support for tables (e.g. TableSyntax, WYSIWYG).
- Support for TableOfContents.
- Support for RichSiteSummary.
- Support for InterWiki linking.
- PageDeletion without needing admin access.
- Users can upload files and make them available for download or display.
- Some kind of spam protection that supports maximum openness, if this is wanted.
- IP- and IP-range-blocking to defend against certain attacks.
- Support for an upcoming standard WikiInterchangeFormat. (or XHTML-Basic + CSS rendering)
- Support for the WikiGateway interface.
- Support for Unicode / UTF-8. (internationalization)
- Some kind of e-mail notification on page changes.
I have been thinking on a parallel track, specifically can we create a category of the quality standard that marks a committed host? Meaning the host will do the proper upgrades, keep the site, and not FishBowl the site. -- MarkDilley
- Make an award for it, with a neat little image for the recipients to post on their wiki, perhaps? -- ChrisPurcell
Mark, do you mean a WikiHostQualityStandard? in the sense: what are the reasonable expectations that a wiki user has with respect to his participation? For example: that there is a mission statement that tells the participants what to expect and defines a reasonable framework for collaboration one can rely upon? That the system is open to public constructive participation, unless stated differently? That there is a long-term commitment of the host, unless stated differently? Things like that? -- HelmutLeitner
- Yes Helmut, all of those things, you have got it. I think that WikiHostQualityStandard? is both a subset of this discussion and larger than our specific interests in WikiPractices, unless you consider looking at the social upheaval that happens when a trusted network goes away, I wonder what examples we could come up with. :-) Best, MarkDilley
I suggest moving "Users can delete pages without needing admin access." from WQS-1 to WQS-2 -- it seems kind of "advanced" to me. -- BayleShanks
Bayle, I've moved it, although I do not see, why page deletion is such a big topic with many engines. ProWiki uses an RCS file to archive page states. On deletion only the wiki file is deleted, the RCS archive file remains existing. So a deleted page can be restored like a changed page. This seems very simple. -- HelmutLeitner