[thelist] Wiki for Client Documentation

Brent Eades beades at almonte.com
Wed Aug 30 06:56:24 CDT 2006

Hershel Robinson wrote:

> I am now considering using such a system with my other clients and I 
> wanted to ask if people have any suggestions/feedback. MediaWiki is 
> really the only one I know, aside from Trac a bit, but Trac requires 
> The downside is that there is no WYSIWYG editing and the formatting of 
> text will be virtually impossible for a non-technical person to grasp. 

A few thoughts:

First, I wouldn't necessarily conclude that non-technical users couldn't
grasp basic MediaWiki mark-up.

I'm using MediaWiki for a documentation project that involves members 
with varying web skill levels, from zero to advanced. I created a 
simplified help file that explained the most basic mark-up -- titles, 
lists, bolding, etc -- and so far no one has complained of any 
difficulties using the wiki.

Mind you, most of the members are only adding simple comments to the 
discussion pages; so all they *really* need to know is that '~~~~' will 
insert their name and the date. Not too complicated :)

But I agree, non-technical users would be overwhelmed trying to create 
anything complex with MediaWiki (or most other wikis.) In the case of my 
project, I do all the 'complex' stuff and the others add comments or 
make simple edits.

There are efforts underway to integrate the FCK and TinyMCE editors with 


I haven't tried either, and would proceed with caution.

Finally, you might want to consider using one of the popular CMS 
products, such as Joomla, Typo3, Drupal, etc, as they typically offer 
WYSIWYG editing. (Although 'out of the box' they may not be ideal for 
managing documentation.)

Brent Eades	
Almonte, Ontario

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