media wiki

I setup a wiki for the first time today. I used just the standard mediaWiki download on a Windows box, under PHP. Not difficult at all. I’m not sure if it will be adequate for our needs as we need to bring in more data from outside databases to keep everything up to date. It almost feels a bit like the early web days with very basic editing facilities and secret codes to know how to display images, bold text, links etc. Easy enough though. I shall be interested to see how it grows. I have the feeleing that these sites that allow organic growth by their users just turn into the sort of shared desktop experience. Everyone puts things where they would like to have them, names the pages in different ways and the whole site loses its stucture and with that, its ability to be anything useful.

We need to make it easy, but with sensible defaults for the underlying structure. Perhaps I should look at some of the wiki packages that are easy to extend, so that we can tie it into our other automated systems.

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Joomla managed content

I wanted to have a look at the Joomla CMS ( all the developers came from the Mambo team, after the split with Miro , sad really ) , so to start with I set up apache, php, mySQL with the xampp package from apachefriends.org. It was very easy. Not very secure, with lots of cautions and red boxes, but great for a quick server. It can also switch between php4 and php5 so we can test both – a bonus. I installed on windows 2k, stopped all the IIS services and then ran xampp. It started up fine and the initial web page was just there on localhost. Everything can be run as a service as well.

Installed then checked the status. All seemed ok, apart from the SMTP mail not being there as default. I didn’t need this. Then downloaded Joomla and expanded it into a directory underneath the xampp/htdocs/ folder. Browse to localhost/joomla/ and the Joomla front page comes up. Joomla needs a password on the mySQL setup, so I looked at the command line app to do that, but before I did it, I checked the security page on the xampp opening screen. It shows 5 major Unsecure flages and gives a link to fix three of them. I did it this way. Added a weather secret password for the mySQL and similar for the xampp directory, admin user. It goes in .htaccess. Needed to do this on the localhost machine itself. Need to restart mySQL to pick this password up.

I’ll leave safemode OFF until I get used to joomla. It says that it may be used by some of the packages. Tut tut!

Php comes with the Ming Flash v0.3 module and it seemed to demo OK. Must try that sometime.

Joomla has a similar few pages to do the install, name the db, add the admin weather password etc. Pretty easy. Site came up and I needed to delete the installation pages. Delete the whole directory, refresh and we’re up and away. Glasshouse web site, news, rss feeds etc etc. This could be done in less than an hour!

Admin login to Joomla is site/administrator/index.php
Login to phpMyAdmin is root.

Q’s

Can we run two sites from the same Joomla installation pages?