[pmwiki-users] Change the content of many pages at a time

Peter Bowers pbowers at pobox.com
Tue Dec 9 00:49:43 CST 2008

Wikish handles bulk replaces using the "sed" command.  It supports regular
expressions, but if your "find text" is "date_of_birht" that is a very
legitimate regex -- regexes start simply and only get complicated when you
add periods, brackets, asterisks, etc.

You can see examples at Cookbook/WikiShExamples


Note that the challenge of doing it within php is the execution timeout.
WikiSh has ways to work with this timeout, but they are a little awkward.
If you can increase that timeout while you are doing the search/replace that
is your easiest solution.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: pmwiki-users-bounces at pmichaud.com [mailto:pmwiki-users-
> bounces at pmichaud.com] On Behalf Of kirpi at kirpi.it
> Sent: Friday, December 05, 2008 4:42 PM
> To: PmWiki-Users List
> Subject: [pmwiki-users] Change the content of many pages at a time
> Pmwiki is so nice that we use it extensively, really.
> Now, one may need to make bulk changes to the content of all/many
> pages at a time. This is particularly true now that, thanks to PTVs,
> we can use pmwiki pages to record fields like "Date_of_birth:
> 2009/10/09".
> Imagine you have 300 pages in a Friends group, one per friend, and
> each page contains:
>     * Name: xxx
>     * Surname: xxx
>     * Date_of_birht: xxx
>     * Email: xxx
> What if I want to correct "Date_of_birht" to "Date_of_birth" to all
> the 300 pages?
> And, what if I want to add a "Sex:" variable just below "Surname:"?
> I've been told that there are unix tools like awk[1] which can make
> the trick but, as far as my experience goes and despite nice pages
> like "Become an expert in 60 minutes", it turns out that it may takes
> ages before you can use awk: you have to *first* study Regular
> Expressions[2] (which are a very complicated beast and may take weeks
> to master), and later approach awk itself.
> I personally found Emacs to be a friendlier choice, although not
> necessarily easy to use[3].
> I just started Cookbook/BulkReplace[4], but I'm surely not able to
> write about technical subjects.
> My questions are:
> a) Does anybody want/is_able to contribute his/her knowledge to the
> Cookbook/BulkReplace page, in order to provide pmwiki users with
> useful/practical advices on the matter?
> b) Does anybody know of a way to use php for such a purpose, so that a
> general script could be made into a recipe?
> Luigi
> ----
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AWK
> [2] http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/RegularExpressions thanks to
> Joachim Durchholz
> [3] I do not know how to write "line break"
> [4] http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/BulkReplace
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