Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Looking for a good wiki? Try DokuWiki.


By Joe Dolittle

I love Wikipedia. There's no end to the fun I have searching for information on any topic that strikes my fancy. I spent countless hours that I should have been writing articles, instead reading the Wikipedia articles on Star Trek. Shh...don't tell Dave that!

But what if you want to set up your own wiki? Sure, there are loads of services you can sign up to that offer wikis of various styles and features. But what if you have your own server and just want your own wiki -- that you can own? What then?

We recommend DokuWiki. We initially discovered DokuWiki when we got turned onto it by the Frontier Kernel project, which hosts its online presence using DokuWiki. We found DokuWiki to be fast, easy to understand, and easy to manage.

The program is available as a free PHP download and includes important features including revision control, access control, plug-ins (although we haven't been brave enough to test these), templates, caching, and pretty decent full-text search.

In our tests, we found the install to be almost painless.

What we liked best, though, was how DokuWiki stores documents. Rather than store everything in a database, DokuWiki stores documents are simple text files. This means that even if your database fails, even if your server fails, as long as you've backed up your DokuWiki directory, you can read your DokuWiki content directly from your backups using any text editor -- without having to first reconstruct your entire environment.

Overall, DokuWiki is a simple, powerful, robust product and you can't beat the price. We give DokuWiki four wiki-wiki-ways out of five.