[Moin-user] Various newbie questions about links

Kenneth McDonald kenneth.m.mcdonald at sbcglobal.net
Wed Aug 10 17:36:44 EDT 2005

Several lengthy questions, I'm afraid. To put them in context, I'm a  
tech writer/documentation manager at a small graphics firm. We are  
planning on making documentation available to our users via MoinMoin,  
so that we can easily update it, and so they can provide insights and  
suggestions for other users about various aspects of the package.  
MoinMoin was chosen because it has a nice plugin architecture, all of  
the features we need and a large subset of the ones we desire, and  
because Python is by far my favorite programming language :-)

Since this will be a corporate web site, we need to keep a certain  
amount of control over the site. In addition, we want to make sure  
the site looks "clean", i.e. not a wiki*; this will keep new users  
from being confused by the naming, and also (we hope) keep the  
documentation in a format that might translate over to a book at some  

     * I have nothing against the "wiki look" :-) -- it's just not  
appropriate for what we're doing.

But of course, we still want to use all of the great MoinMoin  
features. :-)

So, the questions:

1) I'll be disabling CamelCasing, both because we prefer the visuals  
of ["Titles with Spaces"], and because our product has controls with  
names like 'SetVal Off', which really wouldn't be nice to use with  
camel case on. As far as I can tell, the best way to do this is to  
copy Parser/wiki.py into the plugins directory, and modify it by  
stripping out the appropriate regex. Are there better ways of doing  
this? Any subtleties I should be aware of?

2) We'd like to be able to organize things hierarchically (eg. ["Ref/ 
Controls/Edit Menu/Paste"]), but to be able to refer to certain  
things via a shorthand (eg., ["Edit:Paste"] might be a shortcut for  
the above link.) Is there some way of doing this in MoinMoin? If not,  
is writing a macro the best way to do this? (I've just barely looked  
at writing macros.) I suppose it could be done by creating "shortcut  
pages" which simply include the "official page", but perhaps there's  
a more elegant (and less labor-intensive way) of doing this?

3) In a similar vein to the above question, we'd also like to be able  
to put arbitrary text in a link, rather than displaying the link  
text; for example, [[Link(Go here for info, Ref/Controls/Edit Menu/ 
Paste)]] might be a link to the indicated page, but display on the  
screen with just the text "Go here for info".

4) We'll be keeping edit control over quite a few of the pages to  
ourselves, but will be allowing users to add comments to a comments  
page that is inlined via the Include macro. Ideally, we'd like the  
comments section of a page to be presented in a different style, say  
with an outline and a slightly different background shade. I know I  
can probably accomplish this by developing a new macro starting from  
the Include codebase, but was wondering if there's a simpler way.

We're looking forward to using MoinMoin. I hope that, as I get to  
know more about it, I might be able to contribute something back to  
the MoinMoin community.

Ken McDonald

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