[pmwiki-users] Exporting/importing a structured set of pages as e.g. a spreadsheet?

christian.ridderstrom at gmail.com christian.ridderstrom at gmail.com
Mon Nov 12 09:01:25 CST 2007

I just had a thought which I'd better share before I forget.

I've implemented a crude register using wiki pages, where each entry is 
stored on a separate wiki page. This is used to for instance list 
schematics/drawings. It could also be used for issue tracking, like PITS 
or Wikiforms. (Actually, I'm using Wikiforms).

Anyway, sometimes it can be very tedious having to edit many pages when 
changing e.g. the name of a field. Or making sure that each field has a 
proper entry. With field, I mean something in the wiki page that looks 
like this:

 	: field name :  Field data, maybe it is long and split
           over two lines.

Fields can also be created differently, but I can't remember how right 

So what I'd like is a way of editing several pages at once. One way could 
perhaps be based on some special page list with many edit buttons. I'm not 
sure this is that easy to scale for many pages though.

Another way might be a mechanism to take a set of structured wiki pages 
and export them as a spreadsheet. The user then edits the spreadsheet with 
e.g. OpenOffice. Finally he sends the spreadsheet back to the wiki, which 
imports the changes into separate pages.

The use case:

* The user goes to the wiki and exports a spreadsheet for a specific set
   of pages. He saves this spreadsheet locally.
* The user edits the spreadsheet.
* The user imports the spreadsheet back to the wiki.

The spreadsheet could for instance be structured so that each wiki page 
becomes a row, and each field in the wiki page becomes a column. The first 
column could simply be the name of the wiki page.

Perhaps having a template for how to generate the spreadsheet could be 
useful/flexible here.

The main problem that I see is how to deal with the parts of the wiki page 
that is not structured, i.e. not stored in specific fields.

If the pages are reasonably structured, e.g. any text not in fields will 
only occur after the fileds, then the "extra" text could just be put in a 
column of its own.

I like this idea but will not have time to implement it, so sadly I just 
have to offer it here as inspiration for someone else. That's not so bad 
itself, as the idea surely needs further discussion before something is 

Best regards,

Christian Ridderström, +46-8-768 39 44               http://www.md.kth.se/~chr

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