The Wiki is Down, Yo.

bq. Looks like somebody tried to cramma-lamma Swiss Cake Rolls into the disk drive.

Ahem, well, I’ve been getting a few emails about the Homestar Runner Wiki being down this weekend. Don’t nobody panic. We’re not gone forever or anything.

The wiki has simply exceeded its bandwidth limit, which means too many people are visiting and the server can’t handle the traffic. The site should be up tomorrow at the start of the new month and we’ll most likely be moving it to a more powerful server sometime in the next few weeks.

MeanDean Notices Me (Sorta)

One of my favorite bloggers has “noticed the Homestar Runner Wiki”:http://blogs4god.com/linker/article.php?a=001881. MeanDean (Dean Peters) of “blogs4God.com”:http://www.blogs4god.com and “Heal Your Church Web Site”:http://www.healyourchurchwebsite.com comments:

bq. Ain’t technology grand?! Lookie what I found … the Homestar Runner Wiki, a collaborative knowledge-base dedicated to the Homestar Runner Flash cartoons created by The Brothers Chaps. We are currently working on 900 articles. COooool!

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localhost

I’ve been thinking for a long time about how nice it would be to have my own private wiki for notetaking and general thought collection. I’d want to be able to access it offline (for taking notes in classes where I don’t have a wireless connection) and I wouldn’t want anyone besides me to have access. I’ve used a few freeware note programs — some even patterned after wikis — but none of them compare remotely to MediaWiki[1].

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Homestar Runner Wiki v1.0

The new “MediaWiki”:http://www.mediawiki.com rendition of the “Homestar Runner Wiki”:http://www.hrwiki.org has gone live. There’s still a bit of work to be done, but the community has pounced on it and it should be complete in no time. If you’ve never contributed before, now would be a great time to get involved.

Wiki Wiki Wiki

SitePoint has put out a new article that features wikis — what they are, why they work, who should use them, etc. It’s written by the same guy who mentioned wikis in an article a few weeks ago. Most of the arguments and explanations he presents can be found on most wikis already, but it is nice to see them presented clearly and succinctly in one place.

One thing that interested me is that he spends a lot of time talking about a stand-alone personal wiki called Notebook (what an original name, eh?). I’ve downloaded it to my computer and I’m this close to using it for my personal journaling in place of Movable Type. Up till now I’ve kept a password protected personal blog in an unadvertised location. I’ll let you know what I decide.

HomestarRunnerWiki v0.1

I finally got around to installing ’Tavi on my site. I’ve decided the wiki will be a knowledge-base for Homestar Runner.

You can get to the HomestarRunnerWiki at hrwiki.joeyday.com. Feel free to head over to the sandbox and play around with editing a page. Over the next few days I’ll be adding more information about how to format things like bold and italic text, bulleted items, tables, etc.

More About Wikis

SitePoint ran an article today that mentions wikis. The article is about hypertext — what it is, why it was invented, and how understanding it can help you make better webpages.

Here’s the article: “Caffeinate Your Hypertext“.

The article explains (very matter-of-factly) that hypertext and HTML aren’t the same thing. Hypertext is simply a text document that is — as the article puts it — caffeinated. HTML, on the other hand, is a standardized language used in creating hypertext.

I rather enjoyed reading the article, since it introduces several sites that are using hypertext in new and innovative ways. It lists the WikiWikiWeb among many others.

Wiki Anyone?

In case you haven’t noticed yet, Stu’s got a nice forum set up. While he’s fiddling with MT and his new forum, I’m trying hard to figure out how to install a Wiki on my site.

Some of you may be asking yourselves, “What the heck is a Wiki?” Well, a wiki is a site where anyone can edit any page at any time. Now before you start asking all the obvious questions, let me direct your attention to a few pages that might help you understand what I’m talking about.

Check out WhyWikiWorks and WikiGettingStartedFaq.

One very successful wiki is the Wikipedia, a free, open encyclopedia. They have over 160,000 entries and it reads just like any other good encyclopedia. I would probably trust it to provide information for my next research paper, even though it’s been written and revised entirely by ordinary web-surfers!

Anyway, there are a ton of WikiEngines out there, but I think I found the one I want to use. It’s called WikkiTikkiTavi. It uses PHP and MySQL, and (supposedly) every page validates as XHTML 1.0 Strict. You can also specify where it should look for the stylesheet, which means I can customize the layout of the page to my heart’s content.

Unfortunately, installing ‘Tavi requires shell access, which I don’t have. Actually, I’ve read through the installation directions about five times, and I think I’ve found ways around almost all of the command line stuff. I probably won’t install it for a couple of days (because I know it will be a big project), but I think I’ve got a rough plan for how I’m going to do it. Wish me luck!