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I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

(OP)
We have a WIKI in engineering. It works great for sharing information. Anyone can update it and tracking changes is automatic. However, it is a pain to use. Doing everything with an arcane markup language by hand is very tedious.

I would like to put something like the WIKI on the floor for work instructions. However, it has to be easier to use because we are paying those guys to make things not learn how to edit a WIKI. Does anyone have a suggestion?

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

(OP)
Mike

It is the free version of Wikipedia.

I want to buy a new one. What do you suggest?

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

Who's Mike?

By the "free version of Wikipedia", do you mean you're currently using MediaWiki?

If the markup is your only concern, then many, many wiki engines include a WYSIWYG editor. They are of varying quality and I don't think you'll ever find one that works perfectly across every browser. The "arcane" markup is used for a reason.

Go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_wikis#F... and sort by WYSIWYG editing. FWIW, I've picked FosWiki, which happens to come with a WYSIWYG editor. It's usable, but for fine control I always drop back into markup mode.

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

I think I use PES wiki at home. I can't say it is any better than any other wiki, but it seems ok. At work we use the idiotic Sharepoint software which seems guaranteed to reduce participation

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

(OP)
Thanks guys keep the suggestions coming.

It seems like Miketheengineer's posts were removed because they were less than useful.

How easy is it to ad graphics and tables to these? Those are two of the more cumbersome parts of Mediawiki. Can you cut and paste from Word or Excel into either of them?

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

At the risk of suffering the same fate as miketheengineer:

Surely a Public Information Transmission Area is exactly what a wiki should be?

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

Our new broom has imposed sharepoint on us too. Not in any way convinced yet.

- Steve

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

At work we use "confluence". I'm sure it's expensive software (knowing our company). Seems to have a lot of fancy tools. Somewhere along the line I think the lost track of K.I.S.S.

Android Tasker software has a Wiki hosted by wikidot.com
Easy to use and to add to.
I like it.

=====================================
(2B)+(2B)' ?

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

There's three sides to a wiki - hosting it, creating/editing it, and reading it. Alongside usability for those three aspects there are also security considerations, for corporate wikis. I don't know much about them but I do know that the reason say wiki-on-a-stick http://stickwiki.sourceforge.net/ works is that it doesn't really worry about trying to separate editors from admins from readers.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

Quote (HDS)

How easy is it to ad graphics and tables to these? Those are two of the more cumbersome parts of Mediawiki. Can you cut and paste from Word or Excel into either of them?

Hmm, you might be trying to screw in a lightbulb with a hammer here. Rest assured, you're not the only one. This appears to be a common workflow desire for a lot of people, but it's not generally of interest to the people interested in Wiki development. Microsoft is a notoriously closed shop - no one except Microsoft can interoperate with Microsoft data. To be honest, if you're interested in compatibility with Microsoft products, maybe you should look at a Microsoft wiki. It's an expensive abomination and not really a wiki, but maybe Sharepoint is what you're after?

Otherwise, adapt to the wiki way - graphics should be added as images (copy from Word, paste into Paint, save as a png and then upload to the wiki), and tables should be created in the Wiki (ideally using the Wiki's markup language so you can copy/paste/edit with text editors.

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

(OP)
Liteyear, remember this is aimed at the shop floor not engineering. I'll have to look at sharepoint but it doesn't seem like anyone here likes it.

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

You may not like this suggestion much, but if you are prepared to do all the hard work wikifying stuff and administering the site, that is to say all the users are just readers and suppliers of naked content, then life will be a great deal more simple.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

Greg might be on the money here. Alternatively, if it's for the shop floor and they want to enter Word/Excel data, then why use a wiki? A wiki is for sharing content with very accessible editing from a browser, not for sharing Office documents. Maybe a document management system would be better suited. That way you don't even have to cut&paste - your users can use the tools (Word/Excel) they're used to, and upload the whole document. You don't get the features particular to a wiki, but it doesn't sound like your users care.

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

Before our division was sold off we had a corporate wiki.

I actually was similar to Eng-Tips in some ways in that it basically allowed fairly limited text posting but with the ability to have plenty of attachments.

I seem to recall it also allowed replies to posts.

So I guess it was almost more of an internal 'forum' than a wiki as such.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

(OP)
Maybe a PLM system for word files would work to keep track of the work instructions would do what I need better. It could categorize, search, record changes and allow searching and editing. Document links might be more difficult but I think are possible.

I think Sharepoint also does this but does anyone have a recommendation of a better option?

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

Are there constraints which prevent you from moving to or purchasing a solution as opposed to using a wiki (other than not having an infinite budget)? There are several database packages on the market (from free to enterprise) that are designed specifically for authoring, managing and deploying work instructions - both in PDF format as well as in a true paperless fashion. The better user interfaces present information in a graphical process tree format that was specifically designed to manage manufacturing information and allow for reuse of information, easy incorporation of images, easy revisions, etc.. Lots of possible ways to skin this cat and make your life easier. Really depends on your constraints, ability to change and ultimately, the consequences of not changing coupled with the benefits of moving to a new system. Several solutions can be found by searching Google for "work instruction software."

Best,

Barry Lucas
www.sequencesoftware.com

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

(OP)
My desire is something that anyone can edit as needed and has built in version tracking. Do these "work instruction softwares" have that type of access so anyone viewing them can edit them?

RE: I need a WIKI that is not a PITA

Collaborative enterprise versions will have multiple-author capabilities as well as rigorous version tracking but don't allow on the fly editing without a license and appropriate privileges within the software. I can appreciate the idea of an open environment which encourages participation but I would perhaps be concerned about having some level of control over who can make and approve changes. Some of the enterprise systems using paperless deployment have the option of providing feedback or suggesting a change from the shop floor which is then sent to the engineer that owns that process for review, acceptance and inclusion or rejection.

Barry Lucas
www.sequencesoftware.com

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