Wikis

A wiki is a collection of workspace shared among users who can add, edit and upload information. A wiki is very useful for those groups that need to work collaboratively but not necessarily at the same time.   This means that you can grow a wiki 'organically' with full version (history) control!

The ADN has already implemented two wikis with very diverse purposes and both are on DoIT Departmental Websites.  This wiki was designed to allow anyone on campus to contribute code, suggested software, and other technology related things.  Instead of emailing everyone to ask, an individual will be able to go to the Code Library and find their answer.  If not, then they can email everyone and the new information can be added to the Code Library.  You can find the Code Library Wiki at https://adn.missouri.edu/CodeLibrary/.

 


Code  LIbrary Screenshot

The Second Implementation has been for the Application Development Network's Group How To Repository.  Combining Shibboleth and .htaccess, we have restricted access to only our ADN group (screenshot included below).  This is a perfect example of the 'organic' nature of a wiki.  Starting from nothing, we have over 50 fully searchable articles ranging from ADN common practices to how to install a wiki!.   These articles developed and were finalized in less than 3 weeks.  This was only possible because of a group effort and the ability for the entire team (from Students to Staff) to create, modify, and upload the information.  With a wiki, everyone can participate, thus spreading the work across all staff in the organization and not just a select few.

 

ADN How To Screenshot

 


With both the wiki and Shibboleth, you can be rest assured that you will be able to manage the 'organic' change!  Every page and every discussion page (called talk:Name of article) has its own version controlled called History.  With that, you can hold everyone accountable for their modifications by being able to see who made what changes and compare versions.  This ability is extended by the use of Shibboleth to restrict users to university pawprints and it will automatically log them into the wiki! See the Shibboleth Service Page for more details!

 

In summary:

  • Anyone can edit a wiki
    • With the optional Shibboleth extension, "anyone" can be anyone on campus (such as the code library) or to specific people (like the ADN How To)
    • If you do not use Shibboleth, then the editor's IP Address is automatically used as the author's username.
  • Wikis are instantaneous so there is no need to wait to publish
  • The wiki is online so it does not matter where the users are located
  • The wiki software keeps track of every edit made and it's a simple process to revert back to a previous version of an article
  • Widens access to the power of web publishing to non-technical users
  • The wiki has no predetermined structure which makes it a flexible tool and can be used for a wide range of purposes

If you are interested in using a wiki for your needs, please contact us using this Request Form.