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Beginners guide to Dokuwiki
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keveen2 #1
Member since Sep 2007 · 30 posts
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Subject: Beginners guide to Dokuwiki
When I first started using Dokuwiki I had a lot of problems understanding the working environment and the unfamiliar underlying concepts such as "namespace" and even "wiki". None of it makes sense to a non programmer. The namespace concept and the way documents are stored in wikis and the lack of navigation are particularly disconcerting and probably off-putting. I always have to translate the latest jargon back into plain old English so I can understand it. Here is what I worked out so far. I hope it helps anyone new to get started.

I'm assuming you know how to unzip and upload files and all that and you just want to get on and install and use the program.

Installation, thankfully, is a breeze. So you've downloaded, unzipped and installed the program. Install into an Offline server first so you can play around, mess up, and delete the lot and start again.Now what? Here's what I think most people might want to do after the initial messing around.

Change the site style.
Go here: http://wiki.splitbrain.org/wiki:tpl:templates and download and unzip your choice  into lib/tpl/ folder. Go to the Admin Configuration screen and select the new template and save. Go back to your start page and refresh the browser cache. The 3 that have worked  for me so far are: mmClean, r7throot1 and 3. They produce a nice Website look and work in both Firefox and IExplorer. You can then mess around with the stylesheet to create your own look and feel.

Create new pages
Now the hard part for a beginner - creating new pages and sections. There is no obvious way to create a page or a section in a wiki once you have created the first one.

Overview
Docuwiki, confusingly, uses the namespace concept to create folders as document categories - like drawers in a filing cabinet. It might be that the Dokuwiki way makes more sense in the end than Mediawiki but it is still confusing to most of us users that Mediawiki does it differently but still uses the same concepts and system names. In practical terms a namespace is a physical folder that is shown as a Section in a menu. Click on the section and you will see the documents it contains. Because Dokuwiki does not use a database it is easy to find and see the pages you create. Very nice! Where do the pages go? In the actual folder space on your computer the pages are stored as text files here: \data\pages - but don't edit them from there because you will mess up the wiki indexing.

So how do you create a new folder/namespace?
Dokuwiki installs with a default namespace/section/folder called wiki which comes with a file on syntax and another one about the program. Each folder is a namespace and inside each folder you will see the documents or pages you created. In the beginning when I created documents they were all getting dumped into the root folder and I couldn't work out how to put them somewhere more organised. Some templates come with the Index function already installed and you can see a list of the current folders and documents.

1. From a point in a document you are writing in - [[folder name:document  name]]
2. Search for a page eg computer:dokuwiki. If it does not exist and you click on the Create button you will create a new folder/namespace and a document called dokuwiki
3. Create a new document in a subfolder with [[foldername:subfolder name:document name]]

Delete all documents and folders
    If you edit a page and remove all its content then DokuWiki will delete the page, and the associated page name. Very nice!

Install Plugins - http://wiki.splitbrain.org/wiki:plugins?s=plugins
There are a lot of plugin enhancements and the first one you might like to install is a navigation system. The best (and simplest) I have found so far is NsToC Syntax Plugin http://dev.mwat2.de/dw/syntax_plugin_nstoc.zip which grabs the list of files stored in a section/namespace and presents them as a simple linked list - in fact it creates a navigable sitemap. I can't work without it right now.

Next you might like the addnewpage plugin - http://wiki.splitbrain.org/plugin:addnewpage which takes the sweat out of creating new pages. You have to add the template call - {{NEWPAGE}} to your start.txt file but manually via the backend by opening the file from your server via ftp. It won't work if you just add it to a page from the frontend. Alternatively, you can insert code into your template as follows:
<?php echo p_render('xhtml',p_get_instructions('{{NEWPAGE}}'),$info) ?>
Finally, the excellent Blog plugin  - http://wiki.splitbrain.org/plugin:blog creates an easy to use blog front end.

Insert newsfeeds
One other thing you might like to do is insert newsfeeds with the built-in function. The syntax is :
{{rss>http://slashdot.org/index.rss}}

This is about as far as I have got and I'm still discovering. I hope this outline helps newcomers. You can see my efforts here: http://www.healthwealthandmusic.co.uk/dokuwiki/.

Obviously I have described my personal experience and preferences and probably got a few things wrong. I'm looking forward to other suggestions. My purpose is to  produce a user-friendly website like experience. My site is currently private because I am using it as a blog and website. I'm trying out Mediawiki as well.
http://www.healthwealthandmusic.co.uk/wikis/homepage.html
http://dokuwiki.healthwealthandmusic.co.uk
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grahack #2
Member since May 2007 · 165 posts · Location: Nantes, France
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What about a wiki page with your interesting content in the 'mother-wiki' at Splitbrain? a tips:beginners or whatever page...
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keveen2 #3
Member since Sep 2007 · 30 posts
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thanks, I was waiting for feedback since I'm no expert! I hoped other users would add their discoveries as well.

I'll take a look at the link.
http://www.healthwealthandmusic.co.uk/wikis/homepage.html
http://dokuwiki.healthwealthandmusic.co.uk
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grahack #4
Member since May 2007 · 165 posts · Location: Nantes, France
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A nice way for people to add or edit content is to use a wiki ;)
I think that administrators here will be glad that you create your page. I could help you a bit if you want.
Your page could be called wiki:tips:non_programmers, maybe someone will find something better... Then you could update wiki:tips

I just think that you should avoid words like 'confusingly'. Namespaces are  just a 'way to think' that we have to understand. I think it's sometimes better for users to use the same words than the developpers, even if they seem 'confusing'.
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jnorris235 #5
Member since Oct 2007 · 3 posts
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In reply to post #1
Subject: Thank god!
I thought I was thick - why do such things exist and then make themselves impenetrable!

My problem is that it suggested I used the Playground - now I can't get out of it!
I want to start my own Manual.

It wont let me delete the 'Playground' folder and I'm just stuck! Already!
Help?
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jnorris235 #6
Member since Oct 2007 · 3 posts
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Subject: What??????????!!
I logged out and in again and found myself outside the Playground.
Trace says I have seen 'contents' (which has an arrow bullet point) and 'start' (which has a square bullet point - why I have no idea).

I have no idea what they pages are or where they came from.
I have called my wiki 'The Manual' in admin.

I clicked on Start page and then Edit.
I typed 'The Manual:Contents' and Save.

I understood this automatically created a folder called The Manual and a page called Contents.
The pages or folders (or namespace) just doesn't exist as far as I can see.

I installed NsToC Syntax Plugin - but where is it?

I then out of frustration clicked on the logo top right. At some point I must have put in my name!
Lo and behold up pops The Manual.

OK - I edit that and save. But my Contents page never got made, I wouldn't know how to get to it anyway and that NsToC doesn't seem to exist.

Why would anyone make a program so unhelpful!!
Am I missing something simple (no, not like a brain....)?
Your help appreciated!
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grahack #7
Member since May 2007 · 165 posts · Location: Nantes, France
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I'm sorry but your two posts are not very clear, and maybe not at the right place too.
please read this
Could you start a topic for each problem, and provide some useful information like: which version of DokuWiki, who is the host...
Please try to be precise and calm and, if possible, provide a link to your live installation of DW.
I personaly find this soft helpful, as its community. If you don't, why use it ?
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andi (Administrator) #8
Member since May 2006 · 2446 posts · Location: Berlin Germany
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In reply to post #6
Quote by jnorris235:
Why would anyone make a program so unhelpful!!

We do this to make your life miserable ;-). Seriously, you seem to miss some basic understanding on how a Wiki works in general and how to use DokuWiki. I recommend to have a look at http://wiki.splitbrain.org/wiki:screencast which provides links to some videos on basic DokuWiki usage.
Read this if you don't get any useful answers.
Lies dies wenn du keine hilfreichen Antworten bekommst.
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jnorris235 #9
Member since Oct 2007 · 3 posts
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Subject: Yeah - a little embarassed!
Andi>>We do this to make your life miserable ;-)<<

If only I'd known! I thought computing was meant to be easy....(after 35 years with them!)
Seriously tho,

I understood this software would help me write a Manual.
Indeed it was recommended as such somewhere.
It is just so un-intuitive to me. I think I'd rather use Kate (or any text editor) and folders!
In fact Google Docs is probably perfect.
I certainly didn't want the collaborative nature of it.

This strange idea of creating pages that don't exist - and I can still find no way to put them in any order or make folders (thanks for the video link though). Getting into the Playground, with no exit strategy is one to watch for. NsToC Syntax Plugin that I can't get to show me a hierarchical structure.

Sorry grahack - thought it obvious I'd just got docuwiki (therefor latest version). I'm actually using it with LAMP and Ubuntu, on my laptop, not live - and perhaps should have said instead of ranting off!

Thanks guys - I'll be calm - but it surely isn't worth this much effort (back to editpad!) to learn all this for a simple task.
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ujang #10
Member since Jan 2010 · 3 posts
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Subject: A simple step to create page
Hi all,

I has published a simple version on how to create dokuwiki page. Inspired by Dokuwiki faq, just to skip a few wrods of jargon like namespace, etc...

http://anyconfig.com/internet/dev/how-to-create-dokuwiki-p…

Hope this help
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ach (Administrator) #11
Member since May 2006 · 1336 posts · Location: London, UK
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You could add that Method 1 is the preferred method, but only if you change those links to *internal* links ...! You should never add external links that link to pages in the same wiki. Otherwise backlinks won't work and whenever you change some link-aware configuration option those links won't work as well.
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ujang #12
Member since Jan 2010 · 3 posts
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Subject: Method 1 - Modified.
Thanks Arc for your advice.

Sorry to make everyone confused. The preview window just act as canvas to create a new URL. It doesn't meant to be saved as link page especially as external link.

I have update the doc with explanation.



Thanks!!
This post was edited on 2010-02-02, 04:16 by ujang.
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