Karachi   ->   Sweden   ->   Karachi, again   ->   Dubai   ->   Bahrain   ->   Karachi, once more   ->   London and Leeds

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Free Wiki Hosting

I've been looking for a place to host a Wiki. After trying out some free Wiki hosting providers, I concluded that "must-have" features for me are
  • backup support
  • access control list
  • easy version management
  • flexible licensing system

Desired features are
  • support for custom style sheets
  • ease of editing by providing more shortcuts
  • user names and contributions could be highlighted to motivate people

The ones I tried include:

pbwiki (Peanut Butter Wiki): Setting up a wiki is extremely easy on this site. There are some editing features as well. But there is no access control list. The wiki can be made private (users will need a wiki-wise password to edit) but that's it. You can view the editing time stamps but there is no version management. In terms of backup, you can download a zip file containing raw text. There is no credits attribution system. The content creator owns the copyright as well. A sample wiki can be seen here. pbwiki is simple and nice.

Schtuff: I don't like the name but the features are good. It provides several style sheets (but none except one is good). A fine grained access control list is available. Page creator's name is visible at the top with the last revision timestamp.

You can tag pages that can help in organizing things. You can also add some pages to the left side bar. RSS syndication and email notifications are also available. There is built-in version management and you can revert to older versions from the history. The content creator owns the copyright as well. The worst thing is editing. There is minimal support for shortcuts in editing, except for a spell-checker which is quite good; you have to add <br> tags yourself! In short, except for the editing front and it's name, Schtuff is good. A sample space can be seen here.

Wikicities: Based on the MediaWiki (that is actually used at Wikipedia), it provides excellent editing features and an access control mechanism. The version management system is also very sound. The negative point is actually very debatable. It's the licensing scheme and creation policy. The contributors must agree to GFDL license. And Wikia reserves the right to move wikis around and merge them to bigger wikis. A sample wiki can be seen here.

I may finally move to paid hosting providers. This might result in another short review. If you have some experience in this regard, please share.

Meanwhile, life moves on with things. They are supposed to be good things. I shall be leaving for UK today and shall be back by 11th, Insha Allah. It will be time for the arrival of new students.

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