Some News

tags: cleaning-up news open-source projects

21 Dec 2009 20:47

The fact, this site is inactive doesn't mean we don't work on open source release of Wikidot software. In fact almost every day I do some cleaning in code, that makes it less specific to and more universal. We run software on several servers in different paths, with different operating systems (CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Mac OS X) and under different domains (both local and global). This software begins to be customizable again :-).

Recently I entirely removed the $GLOBALS['site'] variable from source, moved all Wikidot persistent files (beside database) to data/ directory (for easier backups and clarity), improved without-SSL configurations, worked hard on page saving internal API. In my free time I'm working on enabling INI configuration instead of old-bad conf/GlobalProperties.php which is hard to maintain.

We added HMAC-based hashing to saved passwords (instead of plain MD5, which might be simple to break for some silly passwords if one has database access), we do more things in background than before, we optimized user interface, fixed text label and enabled cross-site-includes which lets regular users share their wiki code snippets, just as they were included by other sites. It's been long time since we moved our closed software to Git, and this makes developing it pretty nice. We're using branches (many of them) and a nicely described process to organize work nicely without breaking to many things and thus to produce high quality code. Oh, and we use Wikidot daily. As our issue-tracker, blog engine, chat room, personal file space and more, more, more.

Pieter made Wikidot development more open, predictable and user-driven. He created at least the following successful projects at Wikidot (for Wikidot):, and many templates of sites (or even full-blown applications) that are instantly-ready-to-use by simply cloning them. The central place for those templates is

Having all of this done and being done, we're all getting this project to a point where we can (once again) open its source to other people and let them fix (or at least find) bugs, improve code quality and performance, add features and contribute to our outstanding wiki service. This time, we would like to continue open-developing, in contrast to the last opening of the source, which was basically forking the closed sourced and not merging changes in open-source back to

Comments: 2, Rating: 0

Big Progress

tags: big-progress

12 Aug 2009 19:01

Once upon a time we decided to open the source of Wikidot — the software behind the service. We forked the source, made it usable on domains other than, removed 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:

  • with nice features
  • with easy installation

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

So we decided to go other way. Migrate features from 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, so in fact we'll run the open source software to supply the service.

What does it mean?

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

Comments: 4, Rating: 0

DEB Packages For Wikidot

tags: deb debian package

08 Aug 2009 22:23

A few days ago I started learning how to make DEB packages, to finally make the packages for Wikidot.

Today I managed to build the file, but the package is still far from being good. Anyway, I'm going to publish it, to reveal its badness.

I'm looking for someone to publish the package in their PPA at launchpad (or somewhere else).

Once we get more mature, we'll make separate packages for different things (PHP code, single-wiki-installation package and stuff) — i.e. do packages the "Debian way".

And all this is only for this:

aptitude install wikidot

(Not true right now, because we need a custom repository, but once we improve the package building, Wikidot may finally get into Debian repositories or at least Ubuntu's.)

Comments: 2, Rating: 0

Demo Server Published

tags: demo server

30 Jul 2009 12:08

Today I launched the demo server. This is an EC2 machine that runs the newest Wikidot from git. Feel free to experiment!

Comments: 5, Rating: 0

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