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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Is it worth looking at Confluence Wiki Again?
Date Thu, 15 Sep 2011 19:30:36 GMT
On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 6:11 PM, TJ Frazier <> wrote:
> On 9/6/2011 18:12, Rob Weir wrote:
>> Moving this point to its own thread
>> On Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 6:03 PM, drew<>  wrote:
>>> On Tue, 2011-09-06 at 17:30 -0400, TJ Frazier wrote:
>>>> On 9/6/2011 13:43, Matt Richards wrote:
>>>>> Well, I thought Terry has resigned from the project according to
>>>>> another
>>>>> thread, leaving the wiki migration at a bit of a stand still. Figured
>>>>> could step in and pick up where he left off on this. Am I able to, as
>>>>> non-contributor reach out to Apache Infra on this (from what I read it
>>>>> seems
>>>>> the infra ML are for existing contributors only)? Not sure who all is
>>>>> involved at this point.
>>>> As Pedro commented, you don't need a newbie to help with the conversion.
>>>> But in the long run, I volunteer to learn whatever is needed to support
>>>> the MW system. All I have to offer is that I am a sysop on the live
>>>> wiki,
> <snip>
>> Another option to consider is that of content translation: MediaWiki
>> to Confluence.  Remember. Confluence is fully supported by Apache
>> Infra.  We would also find a lot of people on the list who could help
>> write and test wiki text conversion code.  It is just string
>> manipulation, right?  How hard can that be?  Even I can help with
>> that.
>> But seriously, the MW plans were always precarious.  We did not have a
>> deep bench of expertise on the sys admin side of that package.  Even
>> if we have a volunteer or two step in now, aren't we still rather
>> thin?  Wouldn't we still be one "life change" away from being back
>> where we are now?  But if we can figure out a content-level migration
>> to Confluence wiki, then we would have something much more sustainable
>> long term.
>> Just an idea.
>> -Rob
> My question is, "Is it worth looking at Confluence Wiki /at all?/ "
> Q: Why does everybody use Cwiki?
> A: Infra supports it.
> Q: Why does Infra support Cwiki?
> A: Everybody uses it.
> Hmm. "Very interesting," as Arte Johnson used to say.

This is true, but there is more here than may be immediately evident.

The fact that a service is widely supported by Apache Infra is very
important.  Remember, we no longer have Oracle's full-time web admin
staff to mind the OOo severs.  We'll soon be independent of that and
Apache will be responsible for routine maintenance, upgrades as well
as responding to problems.

And we must not underestimate the potential for problems.  Apache is a
high profile target. So is OpenOffice. Mix them together and the
question is not "if" someone will attack our website and try to take
it down.  The question is "when?".

I don't say that to scare you.  Just to point out reality.

It is worth looking back at the note from Mark Thomas [1] sent to the
list back in July, to understand what it means to be using an
unsupported server app at Apache:

"The much more important question is who will support it. There have
been far too many examples of projects requesting a service, promising
to help support it and then never being heard from again when it needs
maintenance. If the current maintenance is performed by Oracle rather
than the community there will be concerns about the viability of that

On a related note, infrastructure will not tolerate project managed
systems that are insecure. We will shut them down first and ask
questions later. Projects are expected to keep on top of security for
the services that they manage. We do arrange things so projects can
only shoot themselves in the foot but will still expect security to be
maintained. "

I fully acknowledge that moving to CWiki would result in an imperfect
translation of the content that will take additional effort to clean
up.  And that moving to MWiki will be faster.  But we only need to
migrate once, right?  But we need to maintain this for the next 10
years.  That is why I talked about CWiki being "more sustainable".
Sure, it is pain now.  But we'll have much more help at Apache going
forward if we're using the same software that everyone else uses.  If
we use MWiki, we may migrate faster, but we'll be shut down at the
first sign of a problem.

I'm not saying the MWiki is unworkable.  But if we really want this to
work, long term, then we should be looking to have a solid base of
admin experience to help maintain it in the long term.  Not just help
migrating, but longer term.  And not just one person, but maybe 3
people who know it well and another 2 who can start learning it now.
Remember, the OOo wiki was not just a little thing on the fringes of
the project.  It was at the center of how the project was run.  Having
a sustainable wiki is essential for the AOOo project.



> *Personal gripes.*
> My biggest gripe with Cwiki is the help; the file is neither searchable nor
> editable (do that in Mwiki to see how an example /really/ works); it is also
> in need of some serious editing. (To be fair, I have not yet explored their
> User Guide, but I will.) It is not clear to me that Apache users are best
> served by Confluence.
> *Conversion problems.*
> Terry sized this as "man-years of effort". I agree.
> Going the other way (Cwiki to Mwiki) should be, as Rob wrote, "just string
> manipulation", because MW is richer in features than CW, so a good
> translation possibility exists. It may not exist in reverse.
> One big snag is the MW templates, which are used for everything from
> copyright attribution to inter-page tables of contents. Given that the
> output of any MW artifact is displayable HTML, it is /possible/ to convert
> to a CW page that looks exactly like the MW page. However, offering the
> functionality of being able to add a line to a TOC template, and have
> everything else happen automatically ... that's hard. (Please note that
> 'possible' != 'reasonable'.)
> Then there are smaller things, like sortable tables (on all columns, too!).
> In MW, that's 'class = "prettytable"' -> 'class = "prettytable sortable"';
> just add the one word. <snide> Can CW do it at all? </snide>
> The <math> ... </math> feature is of some use in explaining the more
> abstruse Calc functions (in FAQ pages). The major user is the Math Guide's
> wiki version. (I maintain that document.) Not really an essential element,
> but nice.
> I have little doubt that a serious conversion survey will turn up a number
> of such problems.
> *Migration problems.*
> There are some technical problems with the migration (that is, running MW at
> Apache); most of those appear to have short- and long-term solutions. I will
> save the details for a more technical thread, and/or the wiki.
> --
> /tj/

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