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Deki Wiki Hayes: It's a Wiki and a Platform

The latest version of Deki Wiki, a commercially supported, open source wiki project, was released last week (July 24) under the GNU General Public License (GPLv2). MindTouch, the San Diego, Calif.-based company behind Deki Wiki, described the "Hayes" version as a combination of a wiki and an application development platform.

As a wiki, Deki Wiki Hayes supports the authoring, aggregating, organizing and sharing of content. As an application development platform, it provides tools for creating collaborative applications, and for adding wiki capabilities to existing apps.

Deki Wiki Hayes is similar to such content management system (CMS) frameworks as Drupal, Mambo, Joomla and DotNetNuke, but in the form of a wiki, explained Steve Bjorg, cofounder and CTO of MindTouch.

The Deki Wiki feature set includes WYSIWYG editing, advanced permissions, file versioning and indexing, and image galleries. The Hayes version comes with a new, comprehensive application programming interface (API) designed to allow the system to integrate with other applications using XML, JSON or PHP. The API provides methods for operating on pages, files and users, enabling developers to extend their applications with wiki capabilities.

Deki Wiki is built on Mono, an open source framework for running .NET applications on Linux distributions, sponsored by Novell.

"Being built on Mono…makes the Deki Wiki system agnostic," said Miguel de Icaza, VP for developer platforms at Novell, and founder of the Gnome and Mono projects, in a statement. "With Deki Wiki Hayes, MindTouch has combined the most flexible deployment options with the most advanced wiki feature set available."

The Hayes release is also the first wiki with a real service-oriented extension model, Bjorg said, which makes it possible to create composite apps by federating applications or data across many computers, operating systems and programming languages. This release also introduces a complete API, which is what will make it possible for developers to add wiki capabilities to their existing apps. Deki Wiki ships with several extension services, including Microsoft Windows Live services, maps, Widgetbox widgets and photo effects.

"Because of the way it manages services, it puts the power of those into the end users," Bjorg said, "allowing them to contribute great content without sacrificing safety, because it acts as a gatekeeper. It starts to look like an operating system, but in terms of a publishing platform; it manages all these services and access to them, but it doesn't require everything to be in one place."

The list of new features in Deki Wiki Hayes also includes:

  • Support for multiple authentication services, including OpenLDAP, Drupal, Active Directory, Wordpress, and Joomla
  • Full skinning and customization capabilities
  • Tagging, chronological tagging, tag categories
  • Commenting
  • Media gallery and image tools
  • Support for embedding rich media, such as videos and widgets

Deki Wiki Hayes can be installed on several operating systems, including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat Linux and Windows.
 
A "wiki" is a Web site whose content can be edited collectively by users at will. It's a shared-authorship model. Users can add new content and revise existing content without asking for permission to do so. Wikis can be left open to public access via the Internet, or restricted on a company's local area network. One of the largest and best-known examples of a wiki is the Wikipedia free online encyclopedia. In business, wikis are increasingly employed as a new type of collaboration tool. The term "wiki" is derived from wiki wiki, which is Hawaiian for quick.

In a traditional numbering scheme, this would be the 1.8 version of the Deki Wiki project. However, all of MindTouch's projects are named after parks in Minnesota, where one of the cofounders grew up. The company was founded by Bjorg and Vice President of Products Aaron Fulkerson.

The Deki Wiki open source community is hosted on OpenGarden.org. Information about downloading Deki Wiki Hayes is available on the OpenGarden "Hayes" page.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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