Oct 19 2008

Ease of Installation: DokuWiki, PHP, files

Published by at 7:11 am under Technology   

In the past I’ve installed MediaWiki, ruwiki, git-wiki, and several other Wiki implementations (Perl, and Java implementations), with varying degrees of effort. For example, ruwiki required considerable gymnastics to get the right Ruby libraries in place on the machine I hosted it on, MediaWiki required a database, etc. Ruby libraries, databases, JVMs, and the like are all at the top of my toolbox so in most cases it’s just a few minutes and a few commands, which seems amply easy until compared wtih…

Yesterday I set up a DokuWiki instance (which stlruby.org might migrate to), and found that its underpinnings (PHP, plain text files) make for ridiculously easy installation:

  • wget
  • tar xzf
  • browse to install page, set a few settings
  • delete install page

Yet those underpinnings are very well suited to the task at hand. A typical Wiki does not need a database underneath it. As with many things, this reminded me of a general principle: use the least complex, most readily and commonly available, easiest to administrate technology appropriate for the task at hand.

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One response so far

One Response to “Ease of Installation: DokuWiki, PHP, files”

  1. Craig Buchek says:

    I hadn’t really thought about the underlying principle of simplicity — I just like DokuWiki because it’s very easy to set up, and has all the features I need. I even use it as a CMS for my personal web site. It’s also nice to be able to access the wiki pages without having to bring up the web server or database, if necessary.

    Sorry I did not get you my install instructions in a timely fashion. But as I said, it’s pretty darn simple to install. (I wasn’t even aware of the now 2-year-old through-the-web install page; I always edit the config file by hand.)

    I’ve documented how I installed and configured 2 of my DokuWiki instances. The first is more thorough on the installation and config: http://wiki.boochtek.com/build/wiki , while the 2nd one has info on upgrading: http://wiki.sluug.org/build/wiki

    Craig