[moin-user] can I use jus MoinMoin 2.0?

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Mon Mar 11 11:27:51 EDT 2019

On Thursday 7. March 2019 19.22.57 Renato Pontefice wrote:
> Hi,
> I know that the subject is not good.
> I try to explain:
> I need to start to write the documentation for the group I work with.
> I thought to:
> - write the doc using a wiki
> - transfer the content of wiki to sphinx
> - create .pdf or web site with the same content
> But I saw today, that moon 2 can do anything by himself.
> Is it?

As was already noted, you can use Moin 1.x or 2.0 to maintain documentation 
for publishing on the Web: you just create and edit pages and they will 
already be available on the Web as HTML documents. For PDF, there is an export 
"action" that converts pages to PDF, although I think that printing to PDF in 
the browser probably does the job better.

As I understand it, Sphinx is a tool that allows you to maintain a collection 
of documents that are then converted to other formats for publishing. So, you 
run Sphinx on some files and it will produce some HTML documents for serving 
via a normal Web server. (There may also be some "dynamic" functionality with 
Sphinx such as searching, and let us not forget Sphinx's huge JavaScript 
payloads and rather badly implemented sidebar.)

Whether you (or your group) prefer Moin or Sphinx probably depends on a few 
things. Moin does support multiple document formats (Moin wiki syntax and 
reStructuredText, for example), whereas Sphinx appears to favour 
reStructuredText. So if you prefer Moin syntax then I doubt that Sphinx would 
be a good choice. Meanwhile, Sphinx probably supports output as PDF directly, 
but I wonder whether it too is as good as what your browser would generate.

Moin is also a system that you have to deploy to dynamically serve up its 
pages whereas Sphinx, again as far as I know, favours static publishing. You 
can export Moin sites to static content using the "export dump" functionality, 
but it has its drawbacks. I had to change it to generate reasonable links and 
then put a script in front of the result, which almost defeats the point of 
generating static pages. (Almost, because the script is vastly simpler than 
deploying Moin and worrying about it.)

You could edit Moin pages in the filesystem and then generate "export dumps" 
if you really wanted to, with Moin never being used on the Web. My approach 
has been to write some tools for converting Moin format documents directly to 
HTML, and I hope to make these tools available soon.

I hope this helps to explain things.


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