[pmwiki-users] Conversion from a phpwiki

Mary Sue Ittner msittner at mcn.org
Tue Feb 10 18:09:32 CST 2009


My group of bulb (as in flower) enthusiasts started a wiki about 5 years 
ago. None of us even knew what a wiki was and someone suggested php wiki 
software and we  went from there. Most of our wiki users know nothing about 
programming and neither do I. We are all volunteers. I've been the 
administrator over the years with others helping me who have come and gone, 
some with a bit of programming knowledge. We've had problems with our wiki, 
first with security which we solved with a sign in and passwords and also 
with php upgrades that have made things not work anymore. Over the years a 
number of outside  people have been kind enough to help us fix many of the 
problems we have had with the software.

The site that hosts us recently upgraded to PHP version 5.2.6 and our wiki 
went down. One of the people who advertises as being available for hire on 
your site helped us get it going so it can be read, but there are a few 
problems with editing and uploading no longer works. Ibiblio.org who hosts 
us has told us we really need to convert to another wiki as phpwiki is no 
longer being supported or developed. I've been looking at wikis for the 
past week and pm wiki is the one I like the best of all the ones I've 
researched. I searched your archives to see if anyone else had questions 
about converting from phpwiki and found a few messages from 2005 and don't 
know if the solutions suggested are still relevant.

We have a lot of pages, probably more than 900 and also a lot of images 
(around 8500) and the wiki syntax is very different for a lot of the things 
we do (italics, bold, tables, internal links, etc.) Our image files were 
not stored in the wiki, but in a files section and originally we just had 
the url to point to them. One of my wiki helpers figured out a way to do 
thumbnails for our pictures. Here's how he explains it: " One of the big 
features was the addition of on the fly thumbnail creation.  If the editor 
of the wiki page provided the proper syntax around a url to an image file 
on our server, our customized wiki would check to see if a thumbnail sized 
image file existed in a parallel directory structure.  If not it would 
create the thumbnail sized image file, and the parallel directories too if 
needed.  It would also automatically regenerate the thumbnail file if its 
timestamp got out of synch with the full sized image file.  This was really 
nice because we got good page load times because we weren't just sending 
the full sized images to the user's browser and resizing them.  It also 
automatically managed the creation of the thumbnail files and directories 
so the Wiki users could just upload a new image file, edit a wiki page to 
add their new image and the wiki would take care of it all without any 
intervention from the user or the wiki administrators." We really loved 
this feature and would hope we could find a way to keep it.  Perhaps as a 
recipe? Here's an example of one of our genera pages that shows the thumbnails.
And we'd hope we wouldn't have to load all our image files in again as that 
would double our conversion task.

Our wiki is not all that complicated and we don't really need it to be. 
Although a lot of people have contributed to our wiki, most of them are not 
very unsophisticated and a lot of them struggle with what we have.

Switching sounds like a nightmare (we considered it several years ago and 
none of us wanted to take on all the work.) Now we have more to change, but 
I think we don't have a choice if we want to keep what we have for the long 
run. The other option is to have someone create a custom wiki for us and we 
are looking into that, but I worry about the ongoing support for that and 
don't know if we could afford it either.

Do you think pm wiki would work for us and if so, do you have any 
suggestions about how to convert? All of our data is in a MySql database, 
plus I have all the pages in both zip files and individual files that can 
be opened in a text editor. I don't have a clear idea of how ibiblio would 
help us. I expect they would give us a place to work on the migration while 
the old wiki was still available for all those who wanted to look at the 
old one in the meantime.

Thanks for any help.

Mary Sue

More information about the pmwiki-users mailing list