Thursday, February 20, 2003

Wiki, Weblog and Pine

It seems I'm not the only one - James Strachan wants to use a WYSYWIG editor for wiki.

The main point of wiki is the ease of authoring. Well, learning a new set of rules (slightly different for every wiki ) and editing it in a HTML form is not "easy" by my definition.

Some web browsers have a nice menu option - "Edit this page", and you are presented with a decent HTML editor. Of course, it generates crappy HTML, but it's easy to filter it out to the same level as wiki ( i.e. only simple tags with no style attributes ). And then - you can either "publish" ( again, widely available ) or just "mail" - so you can do your stuff offline.

I see a lot of value in the wiki style - but _one_ style, chosen by the author and not by each site. And used when the author preffers to use a text editor ( a decent one - not a form ) - like pine or vi or emacs. Again - "mail this" is so trivial and available in so many editors.

As you have noticed - I am not happy with the current model for "agregators" and "authoring" for weblogs. For exactly the same reason. Even if they will create an intuitive and easy to use agregator and authoring tool ( and I heard they're not ) - why should people have to learn and install another tool ?

Last days I tought about this - as my "mail agregator" is growing and I am moving to the publishing side, I'm prioritising the list of features. Composing a weblog using wiki style from pine is very high - since I use pine a lot. I also use Evolution

or Mozilla from time to time - so authoring weblogs in one of those and publishing it via a simple "send email" is the second priority.

Back to wiki - the fundamental idea is to be VERY simple. Using a familiar tool is simpler. It is harder to implement the wiki ( you need to enable webdav or some mail filters, better locking, convery ugly html to wiki or simple html, support multiple editors, etc ).

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