xowiki – a wiki implementation for OpenACS in XoTcl
Thoughts on xowiki version .46
I have to say that with the advent of xowiki in openacs, I regained my love for using the OpenACS framework. This has to be one of the greatest additions to the wiki scene and should be the "killer" app for people thinking of using OpenACS.
xowiki doesn't attempt to be a clone of the other wiki's out there, but instead tries to harbor the great features of OpenACS as well as make it simple for anyone to add content to a site. It's evolution isn't really related to the earlier veneers on top of the content repository, but it certainly has superceded them on all levels.
What can you do with xowiki?
Well to start with you can do anything Wiki with it. Of course, like most all modern wiki's, you have the option of using a wysiwig interface to enter text. In the case of xowiki, it is using Xinha. You aren't limited to wysiwig editing however as xinha easily allows you to go straight to the metal and code whatever html you would like. Of course, OpenACS has built in security limiting tags allowed, but you can set that in the parameters screen in administration. Though not an xowiki problem, I am hoping to see a more modern approach to allowing more tags by default in a future version of OpenACS.
You can create templates for end users to fill out. This creates a standard page in the case of things like review sites or encyclopedia sites. There is support for "book" type wiki's, you can now put your documentation or anything else that flows like a book into xowiki and retain the feel. There are anonymous pages, these can be used for things like news. Of course, being an OpenACS package, you get the complete OpenACS framework, perfect for building community sites, and so much better than those off the shelf PHP sites you are so frustrated with.
OpenACS is a real framework, built with scalability and extensibility in mind. It has been around for many years and is optimized for community sites. In fact, ACS stands for ArsDigita Community System, and supports both PostgreSQL and Oracle as back-end database servers. I highly recommend that you try it.