Wikidot OpenSource Development Direction

11 May 2009 20:01

Today we though that we might completely change the direction for Wikidot OpenSource. This would deprecate the previous Wikidot 1.0 Roadmap. Also this solution deprecates wdLite (which was a big dirty hack).

Single wiki mode

The main difference is introducing a new Wikidot installation mode: "sigle wiki mode" and setting it as the default instead of "wiki farm mode".

What does it mean?

  • you don't have to bother about:
    • domains (DNS)
    • mail configuration
    • root access (you can start Wikidot on custom port — default 8080)
  • you get direct administration panel for managing users


  • you get only ONE single wiki
  • you cannot create more wikis
  • every IP/DNS address pointing to the started server (and corresponding port) displays THE wiki
  • no mail invitations or password recovery
  • no HTTPS


Our main webserver is now Lighttpd, we forget about Apache. We can do this, because now you can run your regular Apache server on :80 port and Lighttpd serving Wikidot on :8080 (or other). They don't overlap, so there's no need to keep the compatibility.

Wikidot is a full web service with its dedicated web server running on separate port. This is the philosophy.


To make Wikidot easily installable, we're going to create a script (possibly a Makefile) that will simplify the whole process. It would be 4 steps:

  • install dependencies
  • setup the database
  • edit ini file (supply database credentials)
  • make

Dependencies are Lighttpd, PHP, PostgreSQL, ImageMagick and maybe a few other things. Each of them can be installed without root access, but with root access it would be just as easy as

  • aptitude install lighttpd php5-cgi postgresql-8.3 ImageMagick

(or so)

Running/stopping Wikidot:

  • ./wikidotctl start
  • ./wikidotctl stop

Next steps

Once all this is done (which isn't too much work BTW), we could make a *.deb package, that would take care of dependencies, database, creating a special user for wikidot, setting the root directory by convention and installing init script in proper place. Then you would just:

  • /etc/init.d/wikidot start/stop/restart

This should kill all Wikidot-is-to-hard-to-install issues.

… upgrade to wiki farm

Once you have your single-wiki Wikidot up and running you may want to upgrade to full featured wiki farm solution. The one-wiki would become the main wiki (as is for the service), other wikis would be able to be created. On the other hand, as your getting more powerful, you need to configure your DNS (have a domain-class just for your wiki farm), mail service and move the service to the main HTTP port (80).

The hardest thing

Q: What is the hardest thing to do in that plan?
A: The hardest thing is to create a module to manage wiki users.

This should not be too hard, so in the overall, this should work!

I'm waiting for your opinions.

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