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Wednesday·05·March·2008

Is ikiwiki a Website Meta Language killer? //at 03:03 //by abe

from the there-was-nothing-better-—-until-now dept.

On this year’s Chemitzer Linux-Tage (CLT, engl. “Chemnitz Linux Days’) I attended a few talks of which especially formorer’s ikiwiki talk was very interesting.

I attended his talk since I found out that ikiwiki is command line wiki compiler in contrary to the thousands of solely web based wikis out there. As a big fan of statically generated content this idea sounded very interesting to me.

But just having a short look at ikiwiki’s web page didn’t help to get started and it seemed as if I had not the right idea of how ikiwiki works to get started. So formorer’s talk seemed to be a good possibility to get an idea of how ikiwiki works without much effort.

During the talk I noticed that ikiwiki can many things I do with the Website Meta Language (WML), but can do some more things WML can’t do out of the box:

  1. It’s not only a framework to generate web pages, it’s more like a content management system (CMS).
  2. Versioning is intergal part of ikiwiki without reinventing the wheel: It works out of the box with — beyond others — Subversion, Git and Mercurical (Hg).

And when formorer showed that even Tobi Oetiker uses ikiwiki, I noticed that ikiwiki probably could be a WML killer, since I knew Tobi as a WML fan. And ikiwiki looks very appealing for the WML fan inside me, too…

OTOH: Intergrating WML as a backend to ikiwiki could be an interesting idea, though.

Hearing what kind of input files ikiwiki can process, I also got the idea of using hnb (Hierachical Notebook) files as input for ikiwiki. hnb files are already XML and so a conversion to XHTML shouldn’t be that hard.

But when searching the web for “ikiwiki hnb” I found the blog postings of a few people switching away from hnb, e.g. to vimoutliner. Since I’m an Emacs addict and don’t like vim very much (if I use a vi, I use nvi or elvis), I searched for “emacs hnb” and indeed found someone who switched from hnb to org-mode – of which I never heard before. Unfortunately org-mode doesn’t seem to be in Debian (Update 00:23: Yeah, yeah, I now know it’s included in emacs22, but emacs22 hasn’t made it into kfreebsd-i386 yet, so I didn’t notice. See the comments. :-) but I’ll play around with it a little bit. Unfortunately a first test wasn’t that promising. But we’ll see.

Now playing: Men at Work — Down Under

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Hackergotchi of Axel Beckert

About...

This is the blog or weblog of Axel Stefan Beckert (aka abe or XTaran) who thought, he would never start blogging... (He also once thought, that there is no reason to switch to this new ugly Netscape thing because Mosaïc works fine. That was about 1996.) Well, times change...

He was born 1975 at Villingen-Schwenningen, made his Abitur at Schwäbisch Hall, studied Computer Science with minor Biology at University of Saarland at Saarbrücken (Germany) and now lives in Zürich (Switzerland), working at the IT Support Group (ISG) of the Departement of Physics at ETH Zurich.

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