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:
- 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.