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What is Tiki Wiki?
Tiki Wiki is a Free and Open Source software system that combines Content Management, knowledge management, wiki content creation, and a number of other features into an all-in-one system described as having "the most built-in features" of any similar piece of software.
All in one
Most content management platforms focus on one core feature -- such as blogging -- and then provide additional features that directly support that main feature. Even when a CMS system expands to do a number of disparate things very well, the original focus continues to exert some influence over how the developers implement new ideas. (An example of this is WordPress, where every stored piece of content is called a â€œPost,â€ no matter what it is.)
In this typical model, the development team keeps the core system focused on a handful of key features, and ancillary features are provided through plugins or modules.
In contrast, Tiki Wiki takes a maximalist approach to feature development. Their goal, almost literally, is to create a content management platform that has â€œwhatever feature you can imagine.â€
What does "everything" include?
Ideally, everything really would include everything. In reality, it only means almost everything.
Here is a brief view of their feature list, organized (sort of) by category:
- Content Management and Knowledge Base
- Wiki, Blog, Newsletters, RSS, FAQs, File gallery, Photo Album, Tags, Search, video management, Forums
- Project Management and Team Collaboration
- Tasks, Permissions, Timeline, Proposals/Votes, Bug & issue trackers
- Products, Shopping Cart, Payment, Membership, Credits, Accounting
- Social networking/Community
- Friends, Maps, Inter-user messages, Surveys, Polls, Chat, Share link, Comments, Calendar, Forum
- Office suite
- Spreadsheet, Slideshow, Drawings, Database, Reports
- Personal Information Management (PIM)
- Calendar, Webmail, Address book, Notepad, Time Sheet
E-learning : Quizzes, Slideshow, webinar integration
TikiWiki has so many features that they provide a page describing features they don't have. (It's shorter than then self-described â€œincompleteâ€ feature list.) As of this writing, a few notable â€œmissing featuresâ€ are:
- Customer Relationship Management
- Desktop publishing / print document preparation
- Learning Management tools (grade books, class membership management)
What is interesting about the list of not-included features is that they are described as â€œmissing.â€ This suggests that anything not currently included will, if possible, be included in the future.
How does Tiki do everything?
Tiki Wiki is a Community Open Source project, as opposed to a Corporate Open Source project. This means that the development is done by the community, and the project is owned collectively by all the users and developers. There is no large organization behind the project steering its development in one way or the other.
Further, leadership and development are distributed activities. Rather than a few people managing pull requests, almost anyone who wants it can get commit access to the code repo. There are over 500 people with permission to commit code, and 250 people have actually done so. There is, on average, a new commit to the code base every two hours.
This radically decentralized development philosophy means that anyone who wants to add a new feature can do so, and many have.
Why use something that does everything?
Chances are, you don't need software that does everything. You need a website to do one or two things. So why not just use WordPress if you need a blog? Or CubeCart if you need ecommerce?
The fact is, you don't really know what you might need next month, or next year, or five years down the road. Many website owners find themselves scrambling to add features as they realize that they need to do more with limited resources, or as their business model changes.
Moreover, many popular content management systems already do everything, they just don't admit to it. WordPress is a blogging tool, right? But you can use it to run an online store, a wiki, a project management system, a social network, a bulletin board, or a knowledge base.
The difference between Tiki Wiki â€œdoing everythingâ€ and WordPress (or another CMS) and its ability to do almost anything is one of philosophy and perspective. Most other systems require third-party plugins. With Tiki, everything is core. Everything is included.
Advantages to the all-in-one model
- Users can start using any new functionality as they need or want to, without having to install new plugins or modules.
- Developer eyes are on all features, making bugs shallow.
- All features stay compatible with new releases. (As opposed to plugins breaking every time you upgrade core.)
- Features are more likely to be inter-operable, with less chance of interaction problems.
Tiki Wiki has deliberately simple hosting requirements, because they want people to be able to use their software whether they are on high-powered dedicated servers or shared hosting plans.
Most hosts meet the minimum requirements:
- 512 MB RAM
- 100 MB free storage
- PHP 5.5+
- MySQL or MariaDB 5.x+
Additionally, TikiWiki is available for one-click installation from a number of admin control panel install managers.
Tiki Wiki Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Long-Term Support version?
Tiki-Wiki is available Tiki Stable version and Long-Term Support (LTS) version. For users who have all the features they need, the LTS version is a great option for reducing the number of updates you need to do each year. While new features are rolled out as part of the regular release cycle for the Tiki Stable version, LTS users will only receive necessary security updates.
What technologies are Tiki-Wiki built on?
Tiki-Wiki was developed using PHP, MySQL, the Smarty template engine, jQuery, and Zend Framework.
How hard is it to set up a new site?
Setting up a site is as simple as installing the software. Much like other CMS platforms, a basic site is created along with the installation process. To customize your site, you can use one of the included wizards. The Configuration Profile Wizard lets you choose between a collaborative community, company intranet, personal blog, or a website for a small business. The Admin Wizard walks you through a number of options. Or you can manually activate or deactivate site features using the Admin Panel.
Can I test Tiki-Wiki before I install it?
Yes. Demo versions are available for both the Tiki Stable and LTS versions of Tiki-Wiki. They allow you to log into a test installation and get a feel for the user interface. You can run the setup wizards, build a community, business, or personal site, and make changes using the admin panel.
How can I contribute to Tiki-Wiki?
You can join the Tiki-Wiki community simply by signing up. Once you’re a member, you can offer suggestions, join discussion groups, ask questions, and more. If you’re a developer, you can also ask to join the development team. Developers are expected to follow the community’s 3 Rules, which paraphrased are to respect the software project and the Tiki-Wiki community, commit to projects early and often to allow for more community interaction and feedback, and make your changes optional whenever possible.
Can I migrate a site from another CMS to Tiki-Wiki?
That depends on the CMS you were using. There are migration utilities available for several CMS packages, including Mediawiki, PHPWiki, PostNuke, PHPNuke, and TWiki. The utilities and instructions are available on the Tiki-Wiki website. Unfortunately, there do not appear to be migration tools for WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.
Can I move a Tiki-Wiki installation from one server to another?
Yes. Before you start, be sure to check that your new server meets all the requirements. To make this easy, Tiki-Wiki has built a server check tool called Tiki Check. Once you’re certain your new system supports Tiki, you should create a backup of your entire site, including the MySQL database. Next you’ll want to restore your files and database on the new server. Yes, before you install Tiki-Wiki. Once your old site is restored, install Tiki-Wiki. During the installation process you’ll be asked to specify you database location, hence restoring all that information first.
Why can’t I find the option to add a new page?
If you’re used to WordPress or similar CMS platforms, you may find yourself a little lost in the Tiki-Wiki admin control panel. The trick is to remember this CMS is based on a wiki. If you want to add a new page, just create a link from an existing page. Tiki-Wiki will automatically create the destination page when you click on the link. You can also add pages using the Quick Edit module.
Is there a maximum page size that can be used?
By default, the maximum page size for a wiki page is 16MB. However, if you’re running image-rich pages, or just like your pages extra long, you can edit the data type used to generate pages and increase the maximum size to a much-harder-to-reach 4GB. You’ll need to enter some manual edits to your database table, so make sure you review the MySQL documentation on the Tiki-Wiki site.
Is it possible to upload several images at one time?
Absolutely, though it’s not as simple as with some other CMS platforms. If you want to enable batch uploading, you first need to enable that option in Admin Panel, under the File Gallery page. Even after it’s enabled, you won’t find a handy mass upload window. Instead, you have to do the batching yourself by archiving the files and/or images into a .ZIP file. Once you have your .ZIP file created, you can use the Batch Upload option on the File Upload page to add all of your images.
Can I get new themes for Tiki-Wiki?
Tiki-Wiki is designed to be an all-in-one solution, so it comes bundled with all the available options, including themes. You can see what themes are available through the Admin Panel, on the Look & Feel page. In addition to the pre-installed themes, you can make a number of modifications to color, font, and images. Or you can create your own custom theme. A Tiki-Wiki theme can be created from any Bootstrap 3 style sheet.
What type of support is available for Tiki-Wiki?
Like many open source projects, support is provided through a number of community-based features, including forums, mailing lists, newsletters, and IRC channels. Additionally, there is an extensive library, of documentation and FAQs available on the Tiki-Wiki website. There is also a network of service providers available to assist with installation, training, hosting, and other issues. For a list of service providers near you, check the website.