Community wiki

Community wiki
Getting Started | Applications Summary | The Fine Print



Author/Maintainer(s): ralfbecker
Wikis were first invented by Ward Cunningham [1]. Depending upon which Internet source you believe, Wiki is either an abbreviation of "wiki wiki", Hawaiian for "quick" [2]; or Wiki is an play off of Rudyard Kipling's Rikki Tikki Tavi, a fast little mongoose.

Back to eGroupWare applications


The Wiki application provides a community-building tool. Each page in a Wiki is similar to a web page except anyone can edit it and it takes no expertise to edit it. This makes a Wiki an ideal tool for capturing tribal knowledge.


Wiki pages are read just like any other web pages. The Wiki automatically creates links to other Wiki pages out of inline references. So just include another word in a sentence as you type, and if it is already a page, the link shows up automagically.

It is easy to get started creating Wiki pages. Spend ten minutes reading the editing rules at WikkiTikkiTavi and/or and maybe print them out as a "cheat sheet". Then go to it! You're set. It's that simple.

The eGroupware Wiki has three modes: Read, Edit, and View History.

Read Mode

Ok, this one is a no brainer! :-) Read Mode is where you read Wiki information. It behaves just like any other web page. The title of the page is at the top. Immediately below it is a line with a link to the eGroupware main Wiki page, a link to Recent Changes, and a Search box. The Recent Changes page automatically shows all Wiki pages that have been modified recently. The Search box lets you easily find a wiki page with specific information. Below this line is the page contents.

Below the page contents is a line with links to Edit this document (if you have appropriate permission), View document history, and Preferences. Below that is a timestamp of when the document was last modified. Edit this document displays the page in Edit Mode. View document history displays the page in View History Mode. Preferences lets you change Wiki behavior.

Edit Mode

View History Mode

Wikis have strong built-in version tracking. It is easy to see exactly who has done what to any Wiki page. The Wiki philosophy is to empower people to make changes and trust them, but to hold them accountable after the fact. It is straight-forward to roll back a page to an earlier version.

View History Mode shows each recent version of the page, along with changes by author. Selecting Compute Difference will show the page with changes highlighted. Additions will be on a green background, while superceded or deleted content will be on yellow.


User Name

Information only. Not editable.

Edit Box

Rows and Columns control how large to make the edit box in Edit Mode.
Important note: This does not seem to work under Firefox/Mozilla.

History List

This is the maximum number of entries to display in a document's history list. Enter a larger number if you want to see every change ever made, but this can have performance implications.

Recent Changes

  • The number of days of edits to display on RecentChanges or any other subscription list. Set this to zero if you wish to see all pages in RecentChanges, regardless of how recently they were edited.
  • Display at least this many entries in RecentChanges and other subscription lists. Supercedes previous number if in conflict.
  • (Checkbox) History display should show all changes made by the latest author. Otherwise, show only the last change made.

How To...

...create the initial page, in order to setup the wiki.

1. In Admin name your wiki-site
2. On the wiki-start page klick on your start page
3. In the link in the adress line change the word 'view' to 'edit' as show below:[you pagename]
This does bring you directly to the edit window of your start-page.
Of course you can type the url[you pagename] directly in your browser, too.

...edit an existing page.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you should see a link to Edit this document. Click it.

...create a new page.

New pages are created by linking to them. Wiki interprets any word consisting of an upper-case letter, a string of characters in lower case, another upper-case letter, and at least one more character in lower case as WordsSmashedTogether. Generally, this is two or more words crammed together with their first letters capitalized. Wiki knows that you want these to be the name of a new page. Just save and view the page you're currently editing.

All WordsSmashedTogether that already exist as pages will automatically become links. WordsSmashedTogether that do not actually have pages that contain content yet will have a '?' (question mark) after them. Click on the question mark and you will be able to edit the new page.

...create a page without using WordsSmashedTogether.

WordsSmashedTogether are a quick way to make a new page. A more powerful alternative is to use two '(' (open parenthesis) followed by the page name, followed by two ')' (closed parenthesis). Optionally, a '|' (vertical bar) may separate the page name from what you want the link on the current page to read. In the following example, remove the spaces between the parenthesis and also from around the vertical bar to make it functional.
( ( This is a new page | This is what appears as the link caption on this page ) )

...put in a link to an external site.

Simply include the URL inline. This is a link to another site: Easy! Note that the Wiki whacked the http off to make it a little more reader-friendly (Hmm... Or maybe not. The http seems to get removed in preview mode, but not in view mode. - sfierbaugh ), but it is still obviously a link to an external site. You need to include the http when you type it.

Use an open square brace, followed by a URL, followed by a closed square brace to create a "footnote" type of link. This is a footnote[3] to another site. Optionally, anything after the URL (separated from it by a space) up to the closing square brace will become the text of the link. This is a link to another site. Any links using this syntax retain the square braces to clearly indicate that this is a link to an external site.

...put in a graphic.

Just include the graphic inline as a URL. Wiki is smart enough to know that it should be displayed inline. This is a graphic:
If you like to use a file (link) from the filemanager (VFS), you need to use the following syntax: vfs:/home/user/file or vfs:/home/group/file.
If you like to link a icon of EGroupware, you use: egw:application/icon.png, e.g.

Administrator's Notes

Wiki Security

Ah! If anyone can edit a Wiki then this is going to become a vast wasteland of graffiti! Nope. Wikis really encourage interaction, but they are rarely vandalized. Why bother? It's not secured, so no kudos for "hacking" it. And at the bottom of each page is a link to View document history which gives an easy way to see what each page used to look like and to roll things back. So vandalism seems a little futile. A little more common is cat fights over verbage in controvertial pages. These are inherently political in nature and the organization needs to sort them out.

More Wiki Manual pages:

(c)2004 Author: sfierbaugh, 180 Services
This page is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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