July 4, 2006
User Needs /
Tool Bar

Toolbar ?

Hello - I'm evaluating ProWiki, and this is the one thing I think is a sticking point. I like the clean-ness of the Cmdl Elements - this is easy to understand for me, but I think that beginners will have a problem EVEN when it is made clean like you have done. Why not a situation where, in the text edit screen, you have some javascript buttons that at least insert common markup or Cmdl Elements? Since you can set defaults for the Cmdl Elements, I believe on Context pages, I think it would be good to have a way just to insert the base Cmdl syntax string.

Regards, Rick Cogley Tokyo, Japan

Rick, yes, a non-WYSIWYG ToolBar is probably a necessary and useful intermediate step that needs to be done now. I'm not yet sure about when to take my summer vacation and whether I'll be do it before or after. So I can give no ETA yet, but I'm committing to that.

I revisited Javascript and Java BrowserIncompatibility issues and found the siutation much improved, so even graph-building and even true WYSIWYG all become feasible. -- HelmutLeitner June 30, 2006 9:06 CET

Perhaps that is one reason AJAX applications are becoming very popular these days, Helmut; the improvement in Javascript browser compatibility. PMWiki has a similar button bar type of pseudo-wysiwyg, which is easy to use, and I just found several Japanese AJAX based Wikis today on the web. Interesting stuff.

For example:

Kamiwiki has a very quick edit interface in which you just double-click the page:

PukiWiki+ is also Ajax based, and has an interesting Preview-while-editing feature which was apparently enabled via Ajax. Good visual feedback, this, and this would work quite well in a situation with just a button bar, since you can see the changes realtime.

-- RickCogley July 1st, 2006 22:20 JST

Rick, thank you for the links. I took a quick look and will dig into it deeper as soon as as possible.

At first sight I'm not really impressed with kamiwiki, because it doesn't display the page in IE and double-click-to-edit only works in Firefox with me (I currently use IE, Opera and Firefox as browser set for testing).

PukiWiki seems to be derived from MoinMoin. -- HelmutLeitner July 3, 2006 16:47 CET

I am not surprised about Kamiwiki not working on IE, but I just included it as an ajax example, but perhaps it is not a GOOD ajax example. The PukiWiki Plus edit screen seemed interesting to me, because it combines a wysiwyg-like real-time view feature, with simple Wiki markup.

The PukiWiki logo is definitely moin-like, but the site says they are derived from YukiWiki, which does not explain its origin. I think PukiWiki is perl and MoinMoin is python, fwiw. I am not sure how to tell...

RickCogley July 4, 2006 2:07 CET

Rick, there are different perspectives. In selling wikis it may be desirable to show fancy AJAX. The buying decision is often in the hands of people who'll never use the product. In everyday work it's important that it works on every desk, especially if a system is open to the public. People often don't see that this doesn't go together naturally. That's why I typically say: show me a solution that works with all major browsers and then I'll implement it in a similar, maybe even better way. If it can be seen, it's proven that it's possible. If it can't be seen there is a moderate probability that's impossible, however hard a programmer tries. And trying then may be a waste of time. It may work easily with the next generation of browsers though, so it a question of timing. -- HelmutLeitner July 4, 2006 11:23 CET

Helmut, I agree. It should cover as much ground as possible. I was thinking that this ability of AJAX to show the updates real time, but still not have to do a true wysiwyg editor. However, I understand that AJAX itself might be "pushing the envelope" a bit too far to work on the majority of browsers now. Not really understanding it well, I am in the dark a bit on how stable it is. It may well have the potential to crash a brower which is not the latest and greatest. By the way, my company uses a bug tracking product called TrackStudio, which has a nice AJAX interface, and our pretty-typical multinational clients do not have trouble with it.

That said, even a button bar with just the ability to insert the codes, or, wrap selected text w/ the clicked button's code, would be really helpful, I believe. Maybe that is more reasonable, and would certainly be welcome, and, still explainable to the buyer. -- RickCogley July 4, 2006 12:26 CET