The term ProjectWiki stands for a certain class of WikiApplications, that contain a number of projects under a single hood. So ProjectWiki means to us "a single wiki for a number of projects" and we contrast this to a typical wiki "for a single goal (or project)".
Relationship to other wiki types
ProjectWiki (as an abstraction) has a strong overlap with CorporationWiki and OrganisationWiki which may have similar project needs but are in principle free in their requirements (e. g. KnowledgeManagement, OnlinePublishing, RemoteLearning or CommunityBuilding). So we keep e. g. the terms ProjectWiki and CorporationWiki separate although there is a continuum between them.
How does a project differ from a normal wiki?
- a project has a known project group (TargetGroup) of people that are obliged to do specific work (typical wiki users work for free on what they like to do)
- the goal of the project is given (typical wikis adapt their goals during the process)
- the time-frame of the project is given (typical wikis are open-ended)
What are the adavantages of using wiki for project work?
- compared to other collaboration systems (like Email, Chat, MailingList, Forum or BBS, Blog, ...) there is a (1) common persistent state of the system that (2) can reworked by all contributers (3) without doing redundant work.
What are the special needs of a multi-project wiki?
- A project needs a workspace that is clearly separated from the rest of the wiki. This is a Branch of the wiki, that is more (SubWiki) or less detached from the rest of the wiki. This also means UserManagement and UserRights.
- A user must be able to keep his own personal notes, private and/or public ones, depending on his needs. This may include his calendar and/or his task lists.
- It should be easy to share all kind of document and media files. ProWiki e. g. gives registered user a personal upload directory. It's also possible to configure a shared project (wiki) upload directory that all registered users can access.
- In a global collaboration situation the project workspace should be configurable to different user interface languages on the fly.
- A project should be able to have subprojects recursively. This is what ProWiki targets by WikiFractality.
Why not use separate wikis?
This is possible but it creates a number of problems, only the other way round. If you have separate wikis than you need to syndicate them for people that that interested in various subsets of them. This is somewhat harder than separating different workspaces for projects in a single wiki. Creating wikis also often has an administrative overhead (time, cost, decision process) which we like to avoid.
Yes, please do this ToDo to do something good
I am just digging into the huge diversity of different wikis. In fact and so far, ProWiki seems to be one of my favorites, because I didn't come across another wiki with such a consequent and well-designed concept and ease-of-use. I am impressed indeed.
Of course at the end you have to compare the pros and cons and this depends on the requirements one have. I am looking for a wiki for our company where I want to (a) distribute our policies (ISO), which of course needs some form of restriction, (b) allow employees to work together very freely, and (c) manage our (international) projects. For (a) and (b) ProWiki surely can fulfill all my requirements, but I have no idea of what ProWiki is capable of for (c). I hoped to find some information here, but was disappointed to find that page empty. Can anyone explore this side of ProWiki? How can ProWiki help to manage projects (with tasks, resources, etc.).
Dieter, I' writing this page now. it will take me a day or two. Just intervene, ask questions and direct me to your special interests, if you like to. -- HelmutLeitner August 4, 2006 12:03 CET