by Leuf, Bo
Suitable for system administrators or managers seeking an affordable content-management solution, The Wiki Way shows off how to take advantage of Wiki collaborative software, which allows users to post and edit content remotely. This book is all you need to get up and running with this exciting (and free) way to build and manage content.
This text is first and foremost a guide to what Wiki software is and how to install, customize, and administer it within your organization. Early sections discuss the advantages of Wiki Web sites, which allow all users to add and edit content. While it might sound like a free-for-all, the authors suggest such Web sites have been used successfully in research, business, and education to document project designs, for brainstorming, and for otherwise creating content in a collaborative fashion. Case studies for such organizations as Georgia Tech, New York Times Digital, and Motorola give a glimpse of Wiki used in real settings, so you will get a sense of what to expect.
This book is also a guide to the nuts and bolts of downloading and installing Wiki and customizing it for your site. Sections on basic tweaks to Wiki's Perl scripts will let you customize your site to match your organization's needs. Standout material includes almost three dozen customization tips. This volume is illustrated with actual screen shots of Wiki, so you can get a sense of what it is like for users to work together in such an unrestricted fashion.
Throughout the text, the authors are suitably upbeat about Wiki's prospects for wider adoption, but they are realistic enough to note compromises (such as requiring passwords and restricting edit rights) required in business settings. They also survey the field of Wiki open-source projects and clones, as well as other similar content-management solutions (such as Zope and the emerging WebDAV standard).
While it's hard to predict whether Wiki-based Web sites are for everyone, this book presents the pros and cons of a potentially exciting and useful tool that promotes collaborative content creation. This title can help any organization get going with a Wiki Web site, from the standpoint of planning, deployment, and basic administration. --Richard Dragan
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