Big Progress

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tags: big-progress

Once upon a time we decided to open the source of Wikidot — the software behind the wikidot.com service. We forked the source, made it usable on domains other than wikidot.com, removed wikidot.com branding from different messages and made it really customizable.

Then I made the software extremely easy to install. It started with wdlite, which was not a success, because the software is not designed to work face-to-face with other applications sharing the same webserver, and wdlite tried to do that. Then I said, hey, why not run own webserver, but on some non-standard port. And I did it. Now I can run any number of Wikidots on my machine, each on its own port.

The making extremely easy to install finished with creating the *.deb package, that made installation as easy as 1 command, compared to 5 or 6 before. This can be both good and bad (if something goes wrong you won't know which part of the installation it is). Also the packaging I made is very bad. But it works from time to time. So this may save some people's time and this package can be used as a start for someone to create a really good Debian package.

The situation we're facing is we now have two products, which are:

  • wikidot.com with nice features
  • Wikidot.org with easy installation

We though we might migrate nice features from wikidot.com to Wikidot.org, but that seems impossible right now, because we have too many differences in code.

So we decided to go other way. Migrate features from Wikidot.org to .com, at least:

  • forms,
  • configuration with the INI file,
  • running on custom-port,
  • search phrase highligthing (if you come from google for example we'll highlight words you search for).

Then we'll replay the changes we made previously (when we created the open-source fork) to create the software unspecific and configurable again. We had a great change to test and do it the last time, so this time it's going to be much more smooth.

Then (and that's different from the previous situation) we'll apply the changes to the wikidot.com, so in fact we'll run the open source software to supply the wikidot.com service.

What does it mean?

  • Current Wikidot.org development is frozen until we have the NEW version based on current wikidot.com software. (I'll accept fixes from you of course, but not fix bugs myself).
  • Wikidot.org software will have all the great features that made wikidot.com much much better in the last year.
  • Wikidot.org software will have all new features before they reach wikidot.com.
  • You'll be able to actually see (and fix if you like) the software that runs wikidot.com.
  • The developers (meaning mainly Michał and me) will be focused on one product not on two of them.

If you really really need some of the bugs to be fixed before we freeze the development on current version, please open a bug, and leave a comment on this post to tell us how much you need it to be done and why we should consider doing it.

Thanks for your patience.

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