[Moin-user] Beginner's guide: Management of MoinMoin wikis

Ole Holm Nielsen Ole.H.Nielsen at fysik.dtu.dk
Fri Oct 22 10:54:50 EDT 2010

Thomas Waldmann wrote:
>> We're happy users of MoinMoin wikis for a long time now, but when I had to
>> upgrade our MoinMoin version recently, I was quite frustrated about how
>> difficult it was to find answers to the simplest of questions.
> One part of that problem is maybe that docs are too widely distributed
> over lots of places (on the moin wiki, in docs/*, on the web).
> Another part is that moin is changing rather quickly and docs get
> outdated.
> Another problem is that some docs are wrong or contain errors.
>> I documented all the simple steps of installation, configuration and
>> upgrading MoinMoin on our RedHat Linux server in our wiki.  This is the page:
>>    https://wiki.fysik.dtu.dk/it/MoinMoin_Wiki
> You just added another place. ;)

What I have tried to address is the needs of a simple site with a few Wikis
running on a Linux server or two, and I think there's a need for
the OS nitty-gritty to be spelled out for a small site which only
uses Wikis on a small scale for in-house documentation, and therefore
only rarely work with the Wiki installation.

>> I'm sure that MoinMoin gurus will find this information trivial, but I bet that
>> most beginners will find lots of hints here that it would take hours to locate
>> in http://moinmo.in/ or elsewhere on the web.
> Well, maybe all doc related efforts would be more productive if
> everybody worked on the same docs/sites, not on lots of different
> docs/sites.

Agreed, but how I could contribute on the http://moinmo.in/ is yet another
opaque problem for me ;-)

> Of course docs in general are not trivial, because if one documents on a
> beginner level, there is lots of system specific information included
> that is different for different systems (and rather unrelated to moin
> itself).
> E.g. using rpm vs. dpkg, linux vs. windows vs. mac, different web server
> software, different setups at different providers, etc.
> Thus, our recent approach is that we primarily document moin and don't
> care too much about OSes, web server software, how to do basic system
> administration task (like changing owner/mode of files), etc.

Thanks very much for your thoughtful comments.  I'm sure you have
the right approach to documentation for large and diverse sites.

> You see this in moin 1.9 docs a bit (super-easy desktop install docs for
> end-users, but for server installation, we require admin knowledge),
> maybe we'll get more in that direction for moin2.
> Of course, if you have trouble then with apache configuration, the moin
> docs won't help you and you will have to learn that apache has docs,
> too. Same for linux, for mod_wsgi, for flup, ...
> But maybe that strategy helps us to make moin's docs better and more
> focussed if we don't try to explain the world.
>> I'm offering this "HowTo" information to the web now, hoping that some experts
>> on MoinMoin would take a little time to review it and offer me information
>> on how to improve it.  So I welcome comments and suggestions.
> Well, I had some ideas, but I think I would prefer to have that on the
> main site (moinmo.in), feel free to create or, preferably, improve some
> existing docs there. Also, maybe don't link to random french wiki sites
> if you just want to refer to a system page we deliver with moin (and
> have on master18.moinmo.in).

I'd like to contribute, but then I'm only a beginner om MoinMoin, and
I don't know where to contribute "beginner's info" into the documentation
maze on moinmo.in.

The "random french wiki site" in my page was actually the best information
I could find using Google.  I couldn't find anything in http://moinmo.in/
that explained the points that are well described in, e.g.,

> BTW, as a general note, don't expect big changes happening to moin 1.x
> releases, development has moved on to work on moin2, which is very
> different anyway and will need a docs review / rewrite anyway.
> If you like hacking and helping with moin2, feel invited to help that it
> gets better / easier to locate docs.
> BTW, try to move to 1.9.x soon, the end of 1.8.x is rather near.
> The primary change is that it's all based on wsgi then, but if you run
> apache, you can use the great mod_wsgi module. Will be faster than your
> current cgi based setup also.

Thanks for this important advice !  The status of 1.8 and 1.9 releases is
crucial information to any MoinMoin site ! So I'll be forced to figure out WSGI,
whose installation didn't look simple at all at my first glance. I should
make a dive into 1.9 and WSGI in the near future.  Since I'm a beginner of
MoinMoin and Python, I doubt I could contribute productively to moin2.

Thanks again,

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