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Features / Usability

Features / Usability


Complaints

posts: 4

I've tried asking for help on these forums before, but my attempt failed because of TW's session bug. I'll get to that in a bit. I've now given up on the software and have decided to switch my site to MediaWiki, so I write this now half to vent, and half in the hope that the nerds that run this project will take some sort of heed, and maybe do something about it. Although after putting up with this shit for a year, I don't hold much hope of that.

So, yes. The three points that utterly kill this software:

1) The sessions bug. Spend a long time writing a Wiki article, click Save... and you're logged out and what you've written is totally lost. Now, I know this isn't a bug that's only suffered by my site. It happens on both of my webhosts with 16x and 192, and it happens here, too, I found. It's unacceptable. And it, more than anything else, is why I have to get rid of this half-assed software. My site just loses too much content because of it.


2) It's ugly as hell in every possible way. Fonts are too tiny (what's this I'm writing in, 1pt?), pages barely ever render correctly (where's the login box? Oh, it's rendered to the right of the visible area), and, oh fuck, how ugly can software possibly be? Of course, I'm aware that TW ships with multiple themes. But most of them don't work. How rubbish.

3) How many files to upload? Sure, having 4000 files is fine when you run your own server or if you've got shell access to your webhosting, but d'you want to try uploading that many files to a remote host? It's practically impossible. The bloat doesn't end with the amount of files, either. This is the slowest software I've ever had the displeasure to use, and the only PHP software I've ever tried that won't run properly because it uses too much memory.


It's all very poor. Very, very poor.


Anyway, that all said, does anyone know the quickest and easiest way to dump the contents of my Wiki and convert it to Media Wiki format? If you could tell me, t'would be greatly appreciated.

And now, let the nerdy flames commence :-)

posts: 4

Oh, and, as I expected, that didn't post first time because I'd been logged out. No error message - it just silently dropped my post and logged me out. Logging in resulted in an error message, which was a nice change.

My. Do the nerds that make this software even use their own forum?


posts: 102

No direct comment ... (except that he is completely right about the font size when posting ... I always have spelling errors because I can't read what I'm writing)

TikiWiki has tons of problems but it does have the advantage of an admin area, which MediaWiki doesn't. All I can hope is that future updates will make TikiWiki less problematic to use. Or that MediaWiki will improve their admin section.


posts: 1539 Canada

Hi reddavid!

Can you point me to your previous posts about these issues?

Best regards,

M smile

posts: 4

> Hi reddavid!
>
> Can you point me to your previous posts about these issues?
>
> Best regards,
>
> M smile


I can't, because when it logged me out, it dropped my post. Because of failings in Tiki's design using the Back button couldn't retrieve it, and having just spent an hour writing the post, I was too disheartened to try again.

Having asked my members what they thought, it seems to be a common occurance.


posts: 4540 Japan

> I've tried asking for help on these forums before, but my attempt failed because of TW's session bug. I'll get to that in a bit. I've now given up on the software and have decided to switch my site to MediaWiki, so I write this now half to vent, and half in the hope that the nerds that run this project will take some sort of heed, and maybe do something about it. Although after putting up with this shit for a year, I don't hold much hope of that.

As Marc said, did you try to get help on these issues before, file bug reports, etc.? From a practical standpoint, as I mention below, there are solutions, or at least ways to cope.

> So, yes. The three points that utterly kill this software:
>
> 1) The sessions bug. Spend a long time writing a Wiki article, click Save... and you're logged out and what you've written is totally lost. Now, I know this isn't a bug that's only suffered by my site. It happens on both of my webhosts with 16x and 192, and it happens here, too, I found. It's unacceptable. And it, more than anything else, is why I have to get rid of this half-assed software. My site just loses too much content because of it.

Finding myself logged out fast was a problem for me in earlier versions of Tiki but not recently. I frequently take quite a while to finish a wiki page edit or forum post, as some of my replies here might suggest, and I almost never get logged out. There may be a configuration setting either at your sites or with your web browser that's responsible for the problems you've had, to some extent anyway. In any case, I strongly advise using the Opera browser. If you're ever logged out prematurely or otherwise a submit fails, just use the back button or press "z" to backtrack through your windows until you get to the one with your post — they're all cached locally. Nothing is lost as long as the browser window is open.

> 2) It's ugly as hell in every possible way. Fonts are too tiny (what's this I'm writing in, 1pt?), pages barely ever render correctly (where's the login box? Oh, it's rendered to the right of the visible area), and, oh fuck, how ugly can software possibly be? Of course, I'm aware that TW ships with multiple themes. But most of them don't work. How rubbish.

What specifically doesn't work? I agree that some of the bundled themes are, shall we say, "utilitarian," but they don't have theme-related functional problems to my knowledge. As for aesthetics, that's why themes.tikiwiki.org came about. You mention Mediawiki; the Tikipedia theme emulates the look. And if a detail like font size is a problem, it isn't difficult to modify your stylesheet or to find out how to do it. That's why people post in the theme-related forums.

Also there's a philosophy with Tiki that the support sites should be examples of the software, that Tiki should be used to support Tiki. This sometimes results in display problems, etc., but at least we know that things are constantly moving forward.

> 3) How many files to upload? Sure, having 4000 files is fine when you run your own server or if you've got shell access to your webhosting, but d'you want to try uploading that many files to a remote host? It's practically impossible. The bloat doesn't end with the amount of files, either. This is the slowest software I've ever had the displeasure to use, and the only PHP software I've ever tried that won't run properly because it uses too much memory.

Do you have a dial-up Internet connection? If so, I can understand there could be a problem. But I routinely install Tiki at hosted domains, FTPing the decompressed files (fortunately over a DSL connection). It does take a while, but the size of Tiki's upload isn't unreasonable given the number of features and so on. The Tiki 1.9.4 archive is 10.2MB. Xaraya (another CMS with arguably fewer features than Tiki) is 18.2MB. eGroupware is over 40MB. Mediawiki is only 3.2MB, but then it is a wiki only. It seems if you want the full set of tools, you have to accept the overhead. That said, Tiki's devs are very aware of the size and there's been some trimming of what isn't needed.

> It's all very poor. Very, very poor.
>
>
> Anyway, that all said, does anyone know the quickest and easiest way to dump the contents of my Wiki and convert it to Media Wiki format? If you could tell me, t'would be greatly appreciated.

I believe there's a "Dump" link on the Admin Wiki page that will make a downloadable file of your wiki pages. You could also use phpMyAdmin to export the tiki_pages table of your database. But I don't know how to create the Mediawiki pages since I'm not familiar with its database structure.

> And now, let the nerdy flames commence :-)

I hope my reply isn't seen as a nerdy flame. To the extent that your criticisms are valid, problems should be addressed. But I believe the problems you've described have solutions to some extent, as mentioned. Tiki certainly has room for improvement, but I wouldn't agree with your assessment overall.

-- Gary - zukakakina.com


posts: 1539 Canada

> This is the slowest software I've ever had the displeasure to use, and the only PHP software I've ever tried that won't run properly because it uses too much memory.
>

Hi!

A quick research shows that Tiki is not the only popular PHP application which needs more RAM:

http://ez.no/products/ez_publish/documentation/configuration/troubleshooting/not_enough_php_memory
http://codex.gallery2.org/index.php/Gallery1:FAQ
http://drupal.org/node/31819
http://www.xoops.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=46403&start=10
http://forum.joomla.org/index.php?topic=17481.msg150790

And even for MediaWiki:
http://wiki.novell.com/index.php/Installing_MediaWiki_on_SLES_9#Increase_Available_Memory_for_PHP

Best regards,

M smile


posts: 3606 United States

Most of your complaints have been addressed, but I'll chime in with my $0.02.....

>
> 1) The sessions bug. Spend a long time writing a Wiki article, click Save... and you're logged out and what you've written is totally lost. Now, I know this isn't a bug that's only suffered by my site. It happens on both of my webhosts with 16x and 192, and it happens here, too, I found. It's unacceptable. And it, more than anything else, is why I have to get rid of this half-assed software. My site just loses too much content because of it.
>

Good observation. In the Wiki Admin page, you can increase this time-out, but it is really just a band-aid. What I'd like to see is an alert for the user before they time out. Something like:

Warning! Your edit session will timeout in 1 minute. Please PREVIEW you r current edits to continue.

Or something similar. To the developers: How hard would this be to implement?


>
> 2) It's ugly as hell in every possible way. Fonts are too tiny (what's this I'm writing in, 1pt?), pages barely ever render correctly (where's the login box? Oh, it's rendered to the right of the visible area), and, oh fuck, how ugly can software possibly be? Of course, I'm aware that TW ships with multiple themes. But most of them don't work. How rubbish.
>

Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, eh? You're completely free to edit the CSS and create your own styles, as needed



> 3) How many files to upload? Sure, having 4000 files is fine when you run your own server or if you've got shell access to your webhosting, but d'you want to try uploading that many files to a remote host? It's practically impossible. The bloat doesn't end with the amount of files, either. This is the slowest software I've ever had the displeasure to use, and the only PHP software I've ever tried that won't run properly because it uses too much memory.
>
>


As for the number of files, I agree. This is especially difficult for "minor" updates. To reduce the number of files, I'd like to recommend:

  1. Shipping only 3 or 4 "base" themes with each install. Users can go to themes.tikiwiki.org to browse or download additional themes.
  2. Shipping only 3 or 4 "base" languages (those that are 90%+ completed). Users can always download additional languages, as needed.


These suggestions will help reduce the overall size by more than 1MB and more than 300 files.

-Rick

> It's all very poor. Very, very poor.
>
>
> Anyway, that all said, does anyone know the quickest and easiest way to dump the contents of my Wiki and convert it to Media Wiki format? If you could tell me, t'would be greatly appreciated.
>
> And now, let the nerdy flames commence :-)
>
>


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