Getting Things Done: Using Drupal as a Personal Wiki

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I was worried about wasting a lot of time trying to figure this out, but since there are a few projects at work that are using Drupal, I thought it would be worth it to get some familiarity with the platform. All told, it only took a few hours to get things going, and at least a third of that was getting it configured on the server properly.

How To (Install / Set Up Links)

This seems to be the Holy Grail of How To Make Drupal your Personal Wiki.

Some additional comments on Drupal as Personal Wiki

The first issue I ran into was that I wanted to install Drupal on a subdomain of this site (nelswadycki.com). I assumed that I wanted to set it up so that Drupal would be in a folder like /public_html/mywiki/ mapped to the appropriate subdomain.

After trying a few different queries, I came acorss Install Drupal with Cpanel and Fantastico, which told me to just install Drupal on the root directory and specify the folder in the Fantastico install settings.

After logging in (for the first time!) I immediately went to the User Admin section so that no new users could register.

Then I downloaded/unzipped/uploaded the wikitools module. Then I did the same with the recommended pearwiki filter. (Just a note for novices like me: To get the PearWiki filter to work, you need to get the PearWiki code, as well as the PearWiki MediaWiki parser)

Other modules (as suggested by Patrick Teglia):

A couple other small notes: In order to get it fully working the way I wanted, I created a “Book” from the first Wiki Page I added, and put the “Book” navigation at the top of the left sidebar (in the Default theme). I am totally in love with the hierarchical navigation and all the other navigation methods provided by the Book module.

Now I get to play around with all the different themes! 🙂 (Or more importantly, copy over all the data that I had in my previous wiki – hosted at wetpaint [which I highly recommend if you can’t host your own Drupal instance]) And truth be told, I actually kind of like the default theme for this use. If it were a public site, then I’d want something to make it more distinct, but the default is very clean and concise, which is good for helping find and add information quickly.

* I don’t want to mess around with HTML in my wiki like I do in my blogs. I want to be able to add stuff to the wiki as quickly as possible and having to do HTML markup will slow me down there. I like using it in blog posts because it gives me more control, but I (usually) take more care with blog posts than I do when adding things to what is essentially a Brain Dump Area.

+ FCKEditor kept adding <<br /> tags to all my line breaks and after a while of trying to figure out how to get it to stop, I disabled it and was able to use MediaWiki syntax for pseudo-rich formatting. I'm already somewhat familiar with MediaWiki syntax, so it should allow me to still input content fairly quickly (and more so after I have all the markup memorized).

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Posted on June 2, 2009, in Getting Things Done and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Getting Things Done: Using Drupal as a Personal Wiki.

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