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Smallest Federated Wiki and Dokuwiki
Is federation of dokuwikis possible or desired?
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rschram #1
Member since Jul 2013 · 11 posts · Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
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Subject: Smallest Federated Wiki and Dokuwiki
Hi everyone,

I have just been reading about a new approach to wikis developed by Ward Cunningham, the creator of the wiki concept, called federated wikis. A federated wiki, to the extent I understand it, is a collection of wiki instances which can draw upon each other's edits and changes in the same way that distributed version control systems allow multiple contributors to edit different parts of a collection of projects, taking up each other's changes and additions, and forking versions that differ substantially from the original. Any one user of a single member of a federated wiki can copy a page from the other wikis, edit and extend it, incorporating it into its local library of wiki pages, available to all as a separate parallel version. While centralized wikis were first created to bring people together to contribute to one document or library, a federated wiki suggests that people can borrow from each other as they develop their own wiki.

More info here:

  • http://fed.wiki.org/view/welcome-visitors
  • http://www.wired.com/2012/07/wiki-inventor/

In this current implementation, readers can browse, edit and fork pages through a Javascript client interface which presents a series of pages as parallel columns. Aside from the federation concept, I thought this was pretty appealing too, and helped me understand the different sources delivering the individual pages.

I was wondering if people have thought about bringing some of these ideas into Dokuwiki. Would it be possible for several Dokuwikis to share pages in this way? What would that require?

Cheers,
Ryan
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andi (Administrator) #2
User title: splitbrain
Member since May 2006 · 3358 posts · Location: Berlin Germany
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I looked at Ward's federate wiki a couple of times, but found it utterly confusing. I am not sure if it is solving a problem that actually exists. But maybe I'm wrong.

However I don't see how his approach could be easily integrated with DokuWiki. It seems like a very different concept of a wiki.
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rschram #3
Member since Jul 2013 · 11 posts · Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
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Subject: Federation is a movement
I agree that once I started to get my head around it, it sounded more like a political statement more than anything. Everyone should individually maintain their own copy of wiki pages because FREEDOM!

My attraction to it was two-fold. One is just the experience of browsing through pages as side-by-side panels made sense to me. It made me think (1) this is kind of like what people imagined hypertext to be like in the olden days, and (2) I could really use this as a way to read through my own wiki of notes, especially because linked (related) information is presented as adjacent frames. You can read down to go in-depth on one topic, and scan back and forth for context. The other attraction was that my own use of wiki is mostly as a solo author producing text for an audience to read. For various reasons, I can't open it up to collaborative authoring, but for other projects I see myself needing something of a conversation among separate authors.

Ryan
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