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ATTENTION!: It appears that our server has been hacked through this version of Liferay, meaning it is no longer secure, and so expect instability as we deal with this and attempt to upgrade to Liferay 7, which we failed to be able to do last year the last time the team attempted it, but we have no choice at this point, so bear with us as we try again. Save any long posts in a text file before posting them. You can follow me on Twitter at @danielmingram for updates if the site is down. Apologies for any complexity this causes. We will work as fast as we can. We have backups of the database, so hopefully nothing will be lost. Thanks to all helping with this complex process.

 

 

 

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MCTB2: Wiki hosting, wiki type: A call for tech help

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I go through this debate nearly every time I do major work on the MCTB(2), and that is: do I just go online, make it always a wiki, with all that wiki functionality, and abandon print?

There are so many advantages to this...

Regular updates, many internal links to various things, the lack of fixing something that will never feel finished in place for a few years until the next book update comes out, easy of updating it, and the like. Instant translation of ideas to the world...

BTW: the Liferay wiki drives me nuts. Its lack of authoring controls and the lack of ability to upgrade it to newer versions with those controls has totally annoyed me, and, while Florian has agreed to try to make it happen, plenty of pros have already failed (gone through 3 so far...). I want a wysiwyg editor: call me a baby, but markup languages make my blood run cold, reek of web 1.0, and break my creative flow.

Squarespace, where I host interactivebuddha.com, doesn't have real wiki functionality, so far as I can tell, which is too bad, because I like it: very user friendly and easy: nothing to get in the way of expression.

So, I have looked at Foswiki, as it has wysiwyg and appears to be one of those best-in-class, mature wikis that will probably be around for a while, and it would allow trusted people to help edit it, add to it, etc. as it has versions, controls on permissions, and the like, which is what I envisioned for here but I never could make happen.

Thoughts? Thoughts on who to host it? Dreamhost apparently hosts foswiki... Looking for something stable that will be around for a while and I could bail from if needed and move somewhere else. Anyone know anything about Dreamhost? Online reviews often seem to be created by advertisers rather than real people. (I guess advertisers are people, but you know what I mean). Set up my own server?... Any reasonable cost is fine: the VPS at Dreamhost is about $15/mo. which is fine.

I secured mctb.org for this purpose.

In my dreamworld, there would be software that was a wiki with full wiki functionality, but you could at any time just press a button on the website, add an address, pay for the thing, and a print version of whatever the latest version was would just be laser-printed and sent to your door, and you could also press another button and various mobile ebook versions would be downloaded to your computer, phone, ipad, whatever. Anyone want to write that software? The textbook world is dying for something like that, and it would yield the best of all worlds, so I think.

Anyway, wanted to know your thoughts.

Thanks,

Daniel

RE: MCTB2: Wiki hosting, wiki type: A call for tech help
Answer
4/29/13 1:50 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:

Thoughts? Thoughts on who to host it? Dreamhost apparently hosts foswiki... Looking for something stable that will be around for a while and I could bail from if needed and move somewhere else. Anyone know anything about Dreamhost? Online reviews often seem to be created by advertisers rather than real people.


My advice: Don´t host on cheap sh*t. Never! What you pay for is what you get, e.g. bad customer support.
I learned that lesson through pain.

Don´t fall for the ranking lists on hosting review sites. Hosting companies simply buy those rankings.
You should be able to get quality hosting for $ 15. Maybe a smaller company is better thant one of the giants.
Sven

RE: MCTB2: Wiki hosting, wiki type: A call for tech help
Answer
4/29/13 4:35 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I'm definitely not a techie, but I think this might be doable on Wordpress with various plugins.

RE: MCTB2: Wiki hosting, wiki type: A call for tech help
Answer
4/29/13 7:13 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I'm a computer techie by trade, but not in coding. I do have some web experience though. I can vouch for wordpress...Its a cheap, versatile platform to build a website on and has a huge array of plugins to get it to do what you want without going down to the coding level. I'm sure there is some fantastic wiki plugins out there,

I wouldn't advise setting up you're own host server -

1. It will be a pain in the arse to setup and fix when it breaks 2. Its not cost effective for what you want to do and web hosting these days is really cheap. I think I paid $1.99 a month with good customer service and no contract (I can't remember who they were at the mo)

As for printing the wiki off at any point. I imagine it would just be a case of exporting it (probably .pdf) and sending it to a printing company, for them to print it off. The hard part is making this process user friendly, so they just have to click 'print' and input their details.

Anyway, I'll look into it further once I have the time as this is just off the top of my head. I'm sure someone...somewhere has done something similar to this and it would then just be a case of finding out how they do it.

richie

RE: MCTB2: Wiki hosting, wiki type: A call for tech help
Answer
4/30/13 2:54 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:


Thoughts? Thoughts on who to host it? Dreamhost apparently hosts foswiki... Looking for something stable that will be around for a while and I could bail from if needed and move somewhere else. Anyone know anything about Dreamhost? Online reviews often seem to be created by advertisers rather than real people. (I guess advertisers are people, but you know what I mean). Set up my own server?... Any reasonable cost is fine: the VPS at Dreamhost is about $15/mo. which is fine.

I secured mctb.org for this purpose.

In my dreamworld, there would be software that was a wiki with full wiki functionality, but you could at any time just press a button on the website, add an address, pay for the thing, and a print version of whatever the latest version was would just be laser-printed and sent to your door, and you could also press another button and various mobile ebook versions would be downloaded to your computer, phone, ipad, whatever. Anyone want to write that software? The textbook world is dying for something like that, and it would yield the best of all worlds, so I think.



I have the skill-set to make this from scratch but I don't think it is necessary or commercially viable.

Consider the following:

1) You don't really need to set up a VPS, for something this simple. I used to run a website that got over 10,000 visitors a day on shared hosting.

Dreamhost has been around for a long time, I have never used them.

But don't worry about it too much it is easy to switch hosts, it is hard to switch software platforms.

2) Foswiki looks like a good project but overkill for your needs.

I would recommend something like this instead...
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-wiki-plugin/

then you can use this to set up to publish the whole thing as an ebook...
http://anthologize.org/

and from the ebook format there are many services that you can integrate it with to print it on demand for a fee.
---

I have a crazy amount commitments right now, and my focus isn't in building web-startups / software these days so not sure how much I will be able to help out.

But send me a pm, I can definitely be of some assistance.

RE: MCTB2: Wiki hosting, wiki type: A call for tech help
Answer
4/30/13 4:52 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Thanks for all your advice.

I went with Wordpress Wiki and BlueHost: seems standard and straightforward.

Anyway, I will let you know when it is up and running. Should be just days if all goes well.

D

RE: MCTB2: Wiki hosting, wiki type: A call for tech help
Answer
5/1/13 8:56 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
One more note from the non-tech savvy sector: I spent many hours struggling with setting up my wordpress site. In the end, the key was getting a theme with plenty of hand-holding features for the beginner. Once it's up, piece of cake.