May 31, 2006 at 12:11 AM by Dr. Drang
Too many projects being done in a half-assed way for me to come up with a good post about any of them, but…
I’ve been exploring wikis and blogs as a way of keeping track of information at work, and I’ve come to the conclusion that each has its place, that I should not try to wedge bloggy stuff into a wiki or vice versa.
What is bloggy stuff? My project notes, mainly. They’re generated entirely by me, they’re associated with particular dates, they don’t change frequently, and they can be categorized according to project. And although I moved this blog from Blosxom to Movable Type a few months ago, I’ve decided Blosxom is a better choice for project notes because:
It’s much faster to add a post to Blosxom than to MT. Write a text file, save it to the appropriate directory, and you’re done. Now, it’s true that Blosxom, in its usual dynamically-generated configuration, is slower at loading pages than MT, but that doesn’t matter on a local server that’s mainly being accessed by me.
It’s layout is whatever I want it to be. While I suppose I could create a set of MT templates from scratch, I blanche at the thought. Even the modest template modifying I did to set up this site was painful, as Six Apart apparently want the templates to have this complicated
The various blogospheric reasons I abandoned Blosxom on this site do not apply to a blog meant for my eyes only.
Removing a category from a Blosxom blog—which I’ll want to do each time a project closes—is simply a matter of moving a directory out of Blosxom’s
$datadirand over to wherever I want them archived. This is a one-step process. In contrast, MT and WordPress would both require me to select the posts I want to remove, export them into an archive, then delete them from the blog—a three-step process.
What’s wiki-y stuff? So far, our company network and phone layout, lists of commonly-purchased supplies (complete with links to the items at online vendor sites), our library of engineering standards, and an early start on equipment inventories. This information changes often, is—or should be—generated by more than one person, and probably shouldn’t be archived when it’s no longer current. I’ve been using Instiki, which was certainly easy to set up, but I think I’ll be moving to Oddmuse. Instiki runs on its own server software, Webrick, instead of Apache, and—on a Mac, at least—runs only when I’m logged in, which isn’t very convenient for a community service. Both wikis can use Markdown, so I should be able to move the articles we have so far over to Oddmuse.
Later this week, I’ll describe how I’ve set up my project notes blog, including the use of jsMath for equations and an
@media CSS section for eliminating the navigational sidebar when printing the notes. Betcha can’t wait.