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DokuWiki Thoughts

I have been getting to know DokuWiki. It's adorable!

These are some notes about the software itself.

Software Distribution

I love that the download page for DokuWiki has an option for “wiki on a stick” which is almost exactly what it sounds like. You can download DokuWiki with a stripped down Apache installation that is meant to run off of a flash drive.

I like this for a few reasons:

Firstly, the nostalgia factor for me in specific is very strong, because I ran the early stenoweb wiki this way for several years before moving it to Landon's house, and then before moving it back to my own dorm room, before putting it up on The Slice.

Secondly, I think it's great that they aren't being exclusionary to people who might want to try the software, run it informally, or run a small installation at home.

You could update this to 80 or another port if you wanted.

Listen 8800 ServerName microapache ServerRoot . DocumentRoot ./../dokuwiki ServerAdmin

No Database

The next most obvious thing to address, and this is a huge positive for me, is the fact that DokuWiki is designed to use flat files. In reality, the more complicated changes to keep track of with MediaWiki is managing a MySQL database.

With this setup, you should be able to download a new distribution and drop your data folder into it. I could also drop the data folder onto an entirely separate server, such as a debian linux VM running LigHTTPD or with some light configuration updates, perhaps even Mac OS X's built-in web server.

For even more fun, in an environment like the Mac OS X built-in web server, I should be able to allow others to host DokuWiki instances in their home directories, allowing them a separate space entirely.


I'll be a little bit honest, I'm super curious about the namespace stuff. It seems like it focused a bit more than MediaWiki does on namespaces, and I thikn that's an interesting way to categorize things. My old wiki has lots of pages that had multiple categories, and things would intersect.

For example, there was a Cory category and a Landon category, and a Computers category.


The next most obvious advantage to Dokuwiki is that it's completely offline. If I wanted to, I could run it on a machine with no Internet connection whatsoever, and because (so far) the installation I'm using lives on a portable USB hard disk, I can run it on my office computer or on a separate machine I have with me at work.

The only real bummer is that I can't super easily move the data from Windows to Mac, but that doesn't mean I can't ultimately end up using both, just that doing so will be mildly awkward.

And, admittedly, there Is A Point at which you should just put something on a server, and at that point, I'll admit I wonder a little bit why I'm not using something a little more established in my environment, like SharePoint.

I should be able to add PHP to IIS on my SharePoint server and use that machine for a doku installation, but, again, why would I bother doing that when I could just: Use SharePoint?

Permissions and Defaults

This probably belongs higher up, but one thing I noticed straight-away is that you can do user management and that you can prevent unregistered users from making edits. You can also trivially disable self-service user creation. The nice thing here is that if this was hosted in public somewhere and you wanted to prevent editing, you could do so easily. If this was a shared wiki, but not widely shared, you could make accounts for collaborators.

wiki/dokuwiki_thoughts.txt · Last modified: 2019/10/26 17:11 by coryw