Wiki Road Map

Posted by    |       Seam

In case you're wondering, this site is running on a new wiki platform that Christian has developed over the last few months. We'll use this wiki for the new site and, eventually, port across. For now, this blog is a perfect way to validate the content and plugin architecture and test the overall stability of the platform.

(Yeah, I know the site was crawling yesterday, hopefully this problem will be resolved soon, we'll see...)

Every page on this website is a wiki page, and was produced by writing wiki text. The only reason you see this content as a blog is that Christian has developed a set of plugins that may be used to aggregate and embed content within the surrounding Seam Text content.

For example, the Seam Text source of my blog home page is:


<div style="float:right; width:29%;">
<div style="margin-top:15px;">[<=blogRecentEntries]</div>
<div style="margin-top:15px;">[<=blogArchive]</div>

<div class="box" style="margin-top:15px;">
    <div class="boxHeader">My Links</div>
    <div class="boxContent">
        [My Photo Blog=>]

<div style="width:70%;">[<=blogDirectory]</div>

So why are we wasting our time building wikis and blogs when we could be doing real work? Well, first, it gives us a good way to explore the limits of our chosen application framework. (Mmmmm, dogfood...) Second, it is frankly embarrassing that major Java framework sites like and don't run on Java! /does/ run on Java (and JBoss) but to be honest we're simply not satisfied with the legacy-ish infrastructure that is available there at this time.

Nor are we satisfied with any of the other open source Java-based wiki's out there. This is partly because our needs go beyond a pure wiki engine. We need the platform to also support a blog, discussion forum and knowledge base, with a uniform interface for all of the following concerns:

  • user registration and administration
  • content creation and editing
  • content versioning and diffing
  • syndication
  • permissioning
  • tagging
  • attachments
  • preferences management
  • search

Much of this infrastructure is already in place. But we do have a few more items to go before we can start work on Top of my list are:

  • A forum plugin, which would aggregate content as a forum thread, just as the blog plugins aggregate content as a blog
  • A knowledge base plugin, to aggregate content as FAQ page
  • Support for tagging, in addition to the existing heirarchical organization of content
  • The ability to easily move pages between directories
  • a plugin for syndicating external Atom feeds onto the wiki
  • Help
  • Internationalization
  • A plugin for opinion polls (just for fun!)

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