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What is DokuWiki?
DokuWiki is an Open Source wiki system geared toward documentation. It uses plain text files to store information, and has a focus on ease of use.
What is a wiki?
A wiki is a content-driven website that allows its users to update the content of any page. A wiki is powered by wiki software that manages user access, revision history, menus, and rendering (along with other typical website features).
While different users may have different privileges, and thus not every user may be able to edit any page, the concept of a wiki site is that there is a low level of permission needed to begin contributing.
Wiki systems assume that every user might become a contributor. To that end, one of the key characteristics of wiki systems is that they do not have a typical "back-end". Editing and administrative functions tend to be available from the same public-facing user interface that displays content. This is unusual for most first-time wiki administrators, and takes some getting used to.
The premier example of a wiki is the encyclopedia site Wikipedia.
Why a wiki
As opposed to other forms of content management (such as a blog), a wiki is most appropriate when the knowledge you wish to collect and share is widely distributed. It is especially appropriate if the consumers and producers of information will be part of the same peer-group. In this case, a wiki allows members of the group to contribute their own knowledge, and then benefit from the knowledge contributed by other members of the same community.
DokuWiki is an Open Source wiki system that allows you to easily launch a wiki site of your own. It places a strong development emphasis on being easy to use, which makes it an especially good choice for a non-technical contributor community. For this reason, many companies use DokuWiki for their corporate knowledge base.
The most distinguishing feature of DokuWiki is that all the content is stored in plain text (.txt) files. It does not use a database, unlike almost all other wiki and content management systems.
This lack of a database makes the software easier to install, easier to configure, easier to back up, easier to restore after a failure, and easier to move. It lowers the technical requirements for hosting, which makes it less expensive to run and available for a wider variety of hosting situations.
Other features include:
- Simple syntax
- Most wiki systems use a somewhat complicated markup syntax for editing page content, requiring contributors to learn a set of unusual tags and typing conventions. DokuWiki's syntax is much simpler. Additionally, DokuWiki provides, by way of plugins, support for alternative editing syntaxes, such as markdown.
- Highlighted diff comparison
- DokuWiki allows you to view versions of a page side-by-side, highlighting changes from one version to the next.
- Embeded images and other media
- A page on the wiki can contain more than text. The editing screen provides an easy way to upload images, videos, sound files, and other media to the wiki, which can be placed onto the page with simple embed tags.
- Customizable Interwiki links
- This feature allows users to easily link to other commonly referenced sites, such as Wikipedia or Google, as well as to other pages on the same wiki. The feature is configurable, so you can allow easy-linking to any site your wiki community needs.
- Section Editing
- Users can open and edit a small portion of a page without having to navigate the entire article.
- Automatic table of contents
- Section headers in an article are automatically translated into a table of contents at the the top of the page.
- Page Locking
- Moderators can prevent a page from being edited, or restrict access to only certain classes of users. This is especially important in a conflict over page content, or in the case of vandalism.
- The system periodically autosaves while a page is open for editing, so progress is never lost.
- DokuWiki supports a number of anti-spam measures, including read-only pages, granular control over page access, black-lising, email obfuscation, and nofollow links.
- Internationalization and Localization
- DokuWiki provides UI and editing support for over 50 languages. Additionally, multiple translations of a page can be created and toggled by the user.
- DokuWiki has full support for templates to customize the site's look and plugins to customize its behavior. Over 80 templates and over 900 plugins are already available, and you can write your own as well.
DokuWiki will run on almost any web server, as long as it has PHP 5.2 or later.
DokuWiki is very easy to install and some web hosts even provide one-click installation through the Control Panel.