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Some thoughts about Wiki

May 4, 2009

To tell the truth, I’ve never edited a wiki. That’s quite a shame. (?) But, recently, there were some circumstances that made me take a closer look at wiki softwares. I thought that it would be easy to edit an entry. However, to my surprise, editting function of most wiki softwares was quite primitive. MediaWiki, the one that powers Wikipedia, did not come with WYSIWYG editor by deafault. I’m not a big fan of WYSIWYG editors, still I feel that some kinds of visual help would be nice for normal people. This should be one of the reasons why people don’t contribute to wiki. Even I, a person who works with computer languages for ten years, still feel unconfortable when I see the wiki source at the first time, how would you expect ordinary people to feel at ease?

I thought markdown and wmd might help; however, they don’t. MediaWiki has markdown plugins but it’s still not the solution. They lack of live preview function that is available in wmd. And, to my knowledge, there is no wmd plugin for MediaWiki at the moment. But, the most important thing is that markdown was not designed for wiki, therefore you will still need to deal with cryptic format.

I should do more research on this. Human friendly syntax for wiki could be my Master project 🙂

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