Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Goodby my Wiki

This post is a little late in coming as I made the change earlier this year.

I used to use a hosting service,,  for my main website and email.  It ran a message board I built using Perl, and it also ran a older version of wikimedia for a personal wiki.  But the service cost a fair amount, and neither the message board nor the wiki was being used much.  So to save money, I cancelled it and moved the content to github.

The content is still available at, but I dumped the wiki pages to a flat directory.  If I want to edit them, I need to edit the raw HTML.

I somewhat mourn the loss of my wiki.  I like wikis for certain kinds of content.  It is especially powerful for collaborative efforts, particularly for geographically-separated teams.  But even for single-user personal-use, it presents such a low barrier to use.  If I want to update a page, it's just a few button clicks away.  And the update process is easy (assuming minimal use of fancy wiki markup).  And it's easy to see change history, roll back changes, etc.

Contrast this with web pages on github where you have to edit them locally in HTML, check in the changes, and sync with "gh-pages" branch to make them live.  It takes longer, and requires specialized software.  E.g. I can't easily do it from a phone or tablet.

There are "free" wikis out there, but I don't like the ads, and most of them use non-wikimedia software; the few I've tried I haven't liked.

Maybe someday I will try some kind of third-party content management system.  Or maybe I'll write my own wiki software as a fun personal project (maybe do the rendering of the markup in the browser in Javascript).  Or maybe I just don't really need a wiki.  Long ago, I imagined that the blog and the wiki would compliment each other, with content in each referring to content in the other.  Blog for "news", wiki for "content".  But it hasn't worked out that way.

So rest-in-peace  You were fun while you lasted.

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