[Moin-user] Why oh why!

Rick Vanderveer rick.vanderveer at gmail.com
Wed Dec 10 16:27:08 EST 2008

Hey Peirre,
Well, you have to understand that part of upgrading the code is doing away
with the flawed design decisions that had become a royal headache to work
around.  For example, the code that handled spaces in links/URL's was a
nightmare, and was seriously hampering development.  At some point, you
simply have to drop it, and move on.  You cannot have a "legacy" switch
because the whole point is to purge that ugly code to begin with, if you
kept it you'd only be tripling the work for yourself!  This is absolutely no
different than any other software project, whether you're talking about a
small open source project, or a huge operating system project. As we all
know, every operating system changes many behaviors between major releases
(especially, it seems, Microsoft.  But Apple or linux is no different).

So, my advice is, if you want to maintain absolute legacy behavior-- stay
with that release, forever!  It won't expire on you, and assuming it's
behind a firewall it's perfectly safe!  A twenty year old Mac Plus computer
will still be able to perform the exact same tasks (which isn't much, by
today's standards) as the day it was bought.

But, the moment you want a new feature (such as TaskTable), the game
changes.  As the expression goes: "you can't have your cake and eat it
too."  Just like the old person with the Mac Plus suddenly decides he want's
to get onto the "in-tar-nets", he has to get a new computer, and learn a new
operating system, etc., all of which might be quite painful for him.

Since you already bite into that apple, you might as well go the rest of the
way.  From 1.7 to 1.8, it's a baby-step.  Might as well get fully current
since your wiki is effectively disrupted anyway, and take advantage of *all*
the latest features!


On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 2:45 PM, Pierre Coupard <ppc at alum.com> wrote:

> Hey, thanks everybody for your replies. I apologize if the tone of my
> message sounded nasty or ungrateful, I must admit I had a bout of
> despair when I wrote it.
> To address the points you have made: I had backed up the data before
> trying the upgrade, so I wasn't in any danger of permanently losing
> anything. But I wasn't too happy about downgrading back to 1.5.3.
> As far as documentation is concerned, the Debian package is quite devoid
> of it, as are most Debian packages. I did however try to do my homework
> and found a lot of information on the net, most of it quite diluted and
> unhelpful (to me) . I'm afraid the first time I read something useful
> about the upgrading process is when I read your responses on this forum.
> I ended up making a quick awk script to fix the pages for the new
> syntax, and fixing a few remaining things by hand. It was quicker for me
> to do this than to massage our data with multiple scripts.
> I still think a "legacy" flag would be a good idea. Actually, what would
> be even better would be a "syntax version" variable. As someone firmly
> on the user side of MoinMoin, I reckon users should have the option of
> keeping things as they are (including not retraining people) : I'm a IT
> guy by accident, my real work is gun designer, so I really have no time
> to muck about with software. As for our MoinMoin users, they are
> gunsmiths in their 50s. The last thing you want with old geezer artisans
> who can barely check their email is ask them to learn a new wiki syntax.
> I couldn't care less if the new syntax is better, what I care about is
> disturbing these guys' habits as little as possible, as they get grumpy
> quite easily.
> This isn't a reproach, I personally like the new MoinMoin syntax and I
> appreciate your efforts to make MoinMoin better, but in my particular
> reality with my users, the syntax change only brings me trouble. Having
> the option of using the latest MoinMoin but keeping the old syntax would
> be good.
> I will stick with 1.7.1, I won't upgrade to 1.8. That's because it's the
> version in the Debian-testing package, and -testing is as cutting-edge a
> Debian distro as my production server is ever going to run. The 1.7 GUI
> window is no problem for me, I edit my pages in vi with the "It's all
> text!" Firefox add-on myself, and my users are used to it, so I won't
> rattle the nest again.
> Anyway, thanks a lot for your answers, I won't panic next time :)
> I just have one last question : I would like to use MoinMoin to keep
> track of daily tasks for the workers, and to keep track of machine
> maintenance schedules, etc... What I have in mind is using
> MonthCalendars to enter those things, and on the terminal PC in the
> workshop, have a cron job requesting the relevant date pages for the day
> from the wiki to print out reminders every morning. Do you think
> something like this already exist, or should I get coding?
> Take care y'all.
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