Jason Tourtelotte - The developer/packager/maintainer of Wikka who appreciates and welcomes participation in Wikka from all others.


A few thoughts on Wikka


I discovered wikis about a year ago, and went through a phase where I tried out about a dozen different wiki engines on my web server. My favorite wiki engine turned out to be WakkaWiki because it is light-weight and quick. After working with Wakka for a while, I noticed that there were many good modifications and bug fixes available for it that were suggested by Wakka users, but the Wakka maintainers were not implementing them. I couldn't understand it. Other people were presenting them with completed code, and all they had to do was patch it in. But they weren't doing anything. Over a year had passed since the last WakkaWiki release.

Lucky for me, Wakka was open source, which means the code is available, and the license permitted modifications. So I decided to code my own release and worked on it for a few months before releasing the first version.

When I started the Wikka project I could barely concatenate two strings in PHP. But it didn't take long to understand the syntax thanks to my experience with other languages such as Visual Basic, C, Pascal, Java, REXX, and a few other obscure ones.

The biggest challenge with starting the Wikka project was learning "regular expressions". I've known about regular expression coding for years, but didn't have a compelling reason to study it. Hacking Wakka presented me with a compelling reason, because the core of the WakkaWiki code is based on parsing text through regular expressions. Have you ever seen a regular expression? Yikes. Here's an example.....
preg_match("/^[A-ZÄÖÜ][A-Za-zÄÖÜßäöü]+[:]([A-Za-z0-9ÄÖÜßäöü]*)$/s", $thing)
The amazing thing is that I now understand this code.

Bottom line: It's been a great learning project for me, and now I've received positive feedback from a few people around the world. Even more exciting, people are now becoming involved and presenting code and ideas for to me to include in Wikka.

I smiled when I discovered this on a German site:
http://www.myxoops.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=1812&forum=5
"And the most beautiful: WakkaWiki experiences a straight revival as Wikka under http://wikka.jsnx.com
Wiki lives!"
[Thanks to Google for helping me with the translation to English.]

And that's how I see Wikka, as a revival. It's what WakkaWiki should have been.

-- JsnX




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