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From "Cole, Ronald" <>
Subject RE: wish lists
Date Sun, 22 Mar 2009 18:59:54 GMT
Dear Derek,

Thanks for your question. It really made me focus on what it is exactly that we need. 

It is so very hard to figure out what open source project to incorporate and which not to.
There are generally many competitors, and no one has a really good perspective on all of them.
The advocates of every particular project, who are busy investing so much of their own time,
will generally advocate their own project completely. So it makes it very hard to determine
which path to go down. I have gotten away from complete technical reviews (which we do not
have time for) and have fallen back to relying on my intuition - which is flawed, but at least

We are blessed with little funding and tight deadlines :-)  But we are trying to prove that
an open source project can be developed by a government agency. I know most of you have never
heard of the United States Institute of Peace ( But you will ;-)

Below are the things I can think of that what would be present in an ideal wiki for us to
incorporate. We are using a less than ideal system (as described in bullet point 3) but its

1.) I want something that is completely easy to install. Note: JSPWiki is easy to install
(at least for me). I have had no time getting it run on my stack.
2.) I want something that can just display one page with no adornment other than the body
text. Perhaps this is possible, but it looks like its going to take some fiddling.
3.) I want pages that we can pre-load with data easily before the wiki is every called. When
people create simulations they may put starting text in some of the documents that the players
will work on. Currently we use MySQL as a database, and so working with a very simple text
editor, I can just allow CRUD operations on the stuff from the database and all is well, and
all is done.
4.) Ideally, I want a wiki where I can control the persistence layer. We are doing online
training simulations and trying to capture as much of the interactions as possible in the
database. This will make it easy for play back and analysis. We are integrating many tools
into this project and if we start allowing the data to slip into many different places, we
will have lots of problems down the road.
5.) I want a wiki that works, like google shared docs seems to, to handle transparently the
issue of multiple people editing at once. (I know this is asking for a lot.) Baring that,
I want something that can warn a user if someone else (who may have authenticated - see #6
below - with the same user name) is editing.
6.) I want a system where our application can log in, and then users of the system just have
to get by our own internal authentication.
7.) Ultimately we want a system that we can just call up a page based on its URL (ending in
something like 'mydatabase_789') and have document '789' which is associated with the 'mydatabase'
schema pop up, and have in it any starting text that the simulation author desired. 

It is quite a wish list. Which is why we are probably going to stick with the simple but functional
system that we have for quite a while to come. But as I stated in my first email, I applaud
your effort and look forward to the day we integrate your wiki into our project.


"It should be our pride to teach ourselves as well as we can always to speak and write as
simply and clearly and unpretentiously as possible, and to avoid like the plague the appearance
of possessing knowledge which is too deep to be clearly and simply expressed." -- Karl Popper
From: Derek Hohls []
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009 4:11 AM
Subject: Re: wish lists


I, like others I am sure, am curious as to exactly what features you
think that  JSPWIKI "will need to develop a bit more"?

If you need more control over document editing, it might be worth
considering a CMS (content management system).  If you want to stick
with a JAVA/Tomcat stack, then some examples are:

Alfresco, for example, offers "drag and drop" functionality for
document management - see:

>>> On 2009/03/19 at 07:35, in message
"Cole, Ronald" <> wrote:

Dear JSPWiki Community,

Just want you all to know that we are rooting for you.

I manage an open source project myself. We are creating a way for
non-programmers to create multi-player online training simulations. (see for details)

We need a good document editing tool to allow players to work on
documents together. This is kind of tricky since one has to point to the
document by the specific database and document id of it. We are using a
very simple, but functional, WYSIWYG editor right now (openWYSIWYG 1.0).

I*d like to have more features than what we have now, specifically
the ability to prevent players from clobbering each other*s edits, but
ease of installation is a big deal for us. Right now all we have to do
is copy the files up, and boom its installed.

We are working on an apache/tomcat stack already, so I would rather use
JSPWIKI than a php based wiki, but from what I*m seeing, JSPWIKI will
need to develop a bit more before we can just *pop* it in.

So please keep up your good work!  You are making my life, and the
lives of many other people, better.



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