Features / Usability

Features / Usability

When to use perspectives, workspaces, and jailroot

posts: 20
I want to use tiki for a college website for clubs. What if I want to add multiple campuses, and beyond that - multiple colleges? Could it all be done on one wiki site? Is there a way to keep it all in one site, where everyone starts out at the same home page and then goes to their college, then campus, then club page? What would the best way be to have it organized where people would be exposed to opportunities to collaborate with others outside of the narrow boundaries of their club's forum page?
posts: 289 United States

Without giving it a whole lot of thought, and also without completely understanding your user breakdown, yes it should be more than possible using a combination of user groups and categories.

I would certainly advise you reading up on the documentation about User Group and Categories, so that you understand how Permissions work.

I would also strongly advise you to sit down and think very carefully about your security model before you go ahead and implement. While you will have the flexibility to change that model ad-hoc, having a clear indication of how you would plan to go about creating the security model will save you some headaches in the future.

On the face of it, I think at the most basic level, I assume a College can have multiple campuses, so you can create a user group for each College, with Campuses as subgroups.

Categories could be use to manage things such as clubs, such that individual or multiple campuses could have access to club material (wiki docs, forums etc.)

I'm inclined to not create user groups for clubs but I can't really give a good reason why at the moment except to say that depending upon how many clubs you're talking about user maintenance could become a complete nightmare. How do you intend to keep track of which individual users belong to which clubs? It's probably easier to keep track of which campuses are able to utilize which clubs.

Note that users can belong to more than one user group, and that user groups can be hierarchical (sub-groups as you mention).

I think to help you further we'd really need a much better understanding of your particular needs since there are many possible solutions, some better than others.

Update Just to tack on a little after-thought I had, Tiki also has an "Inter-Tiki" feature that lets you seamlessly work with multiple Tiki sites but I haven't used this, nor do I know its current state of functionality or operation, but it might be something else worth considering if one site ever got too large or unmanageable.

posts: 1561 Germany

I´d like to add some words ;-)

The project seems, that it would desperately cry for perspectives or even more workspaces.

Just not the time to write more right now (have to put my furniture into the truck - moving).

Check the docs on that and maybe come back to me, I am using that - groups, categories, perspectives, workspaces - for kind of a similar project, I actually develop.

Not campus, but different local groupd and an Intranet.

In the meantime, tell us a bit more specific about your project, like darkbee said.


posts: 20

Thank you very much for your thoughtful input. Would it be possible to see your wiki Torsten as an example?

So here's the deal - I've used Tiki Wiki before to pretty quickly create a page for work at datarecovery.com. I didn't learn a whole lot about all the features during the project, so my overall knowledge is pretty limited.

I need to make a page as a test for missouri community college association. They voted to use tiki for a year and then report at that point on how useful it was, etc. The domain I'm using is www.collegecollab.org. The only thing I've done so far is create a bunch of forums for each college at my campus to test. I just copied this wiki over from a test I made for my college which people didn't really pay much attention to.

So the overall goal is to foster collaboration between all the different groups at different colleges. The idea is for all the colleges to start out from the same page and then branch off to their college's page and go to their club page. The idea is to have a single portal where MCCA (missouri community college associastion) can feature things for everyone to see - such as a successful fund raising campaign performed at St. Louis Community College. This way every college in Missouri can be exposed to the same good idea, talk to each other, and then report back to their clubs and share the idea with the club members.

So the idea would be to give some kind of authority to each college to control their site while still preserving some control by MCCA.

If anyone knows for sure the best way to do this, please let me know. I'm very excited about getting it done and seeing it work.

As Darkbee pointed out, I see the value of doing it right the first time and well thinking out the security structure. I'd want to leave user maintenance up to the respective colleges, and have an MCCA set of users and permissions that would control the major MCCA pages.

The inter-tiki sounds interesting. I wonder when something like this becomes necessary instead of just having something like group pages, etc. I don't know how group pages function but this could involve a huge amount of clubs and colleges, so I think it should be pretty scalable.

posts: 1561 Germany

Hi Mike,

to start with a first view at the perspectives and workspaces look at http://workspace.vafk.org.
It is a small structure sceleton using perspectives, to show the principle.

If needed, I make up a sandbox-installation for you to play around a bit (wanted to do so anyway).


posts: 20

Thanks Torsten. That link returned a page not found error.

Were you thinking of setting up an example that would demonstrate how you use perspectives and workspaces? Thant would be awesome! Thanks Torsten.


posts: 20

Hey Torsten. I found your perspectives page:


and your sample page:

not sure why your link didn't work before but it does now.

I'm still learning how workspaces and perspectives work. I don't know if there should be separate wiki pages for each category and sub category, of if I should be just changing perspectives or workspaces or something each time.

posts: 2

Here's a good conversation I had about the subject:

    • mcca_mikebeary1> can someone please give me a general idea of how workspaces are different than perspectives?
    • mcca_mikebeary1> I'm having trouble finding a concise definition
    • nkoth> a workspace is a use case - there is technically not really a workspace feature. Perspectives, combined with other features such as category jailroots are the features that enable workspaces
    • mcca_mikebeary1> so its a general term that just describes the work area a person is in based on what they've clicked on, who they are, etc.?
    • mcca_mikebeary1> As opposed to a separate page or something?
    • nkoth> yes, workspaces is a rather general term
    • nkoth> describing a work area that could consist of a certain way it looks, certain permissions that exist in that state, and things presented, etc..
    • mcca_mikebeary1> I want to create a wiki that begins with a site for all the colleges in a Missouri, from which you select your college, and then select your campus and then your club. Would each of the different colleges just have their own workspace and then each campus would have their own workspace, etc?
    • mcca_mikebeary1> as opposed to making a totally separate page? I'm guessing perspectives and jailroot features would bring them to their workspace based on them selecting their college or their campus?
    • nkoth> possibly , but you have to consider what is your reason for dividing up the wiki into multiple workspaces to begin with. Is it to prevent one person from seeing the other group's things? Is it to present a different screen layout? Is it to limit the amount of things a person is seeing while in a particular workspace so that he is not information overloaded but he can still switch between workspaces?
    • mcca_mikebeary1> not to limit, but just so that each level can have their own calendar, their own forums, their own file galleries, etc.
    • nkoth> Sounds like you need to create some categories
    • nkoth> some perspectives
    • nkoth> and then configure each of the different perspectives to have different jailroot
    • nkoth> each perspective would have also its own different home page
    • nkoth> so that when you switch to it, the user sees that home page
    • mcca_mikebeary1> ok
    • nkoth> and while they are in that perspective they are exposed only to things in the category jail root of that perspective
    • mcca_mikebeary1> really, it'd be the same .php file, but a different theme kind of thing?
    • nkoth> basically tiki has a lot of preferences right?
    • mcca_mikebeary1> yes
    • nkoth> for each perspective you can have a different "setup" of preferences
    • mcca_mikebeary1> ok
    • nkoth> so the possibilities are really up to your imagination
    • nkoth> the UI is at tiki-edit_perspective.php
    • nkoth> you search for a pref, drag it into the perspective and configure it (basically overriding the global value) for that specific perspective
    • mcca_mikebeary1> So say for instance I go to Missouri's website. I'd be at the tiki-index.php. Then I'd select my local college. Are you saying at that point, I could be at my college's "site" but without ever leaving tiki-index.php? I'd just be changing everything based on jailroot and persepective settings?
    • nkoth> right
    • nkoth> the link to switch perspectives is tiki-switch_perspective.php?perspective=3 to switch to perspective 3
    • nkoth> So that could very well be how you "goto" to the college's "site" which is perspective 3
    • mcca_mikebeary1> And essentially what I’ve done by selecting my college's "site" is to select a different workspace?
    • nkoth> technically speaking, you switch to a different perspective
    • nkoth> which yeah I suppose it sounds synonymous with workspaces, but the point is that a perspective could be used for something as simple as say, having a different page header and not necessarily to the extent of creating workspaces which is what you are doing.
    • mcca_mikebeary1> ok, that makes sense.
    • mcca_mikebeary1> and what exactly is a jailroot?
    • nkoth> it is a pref (and so you can configure it globally or for any specific perspective)
    • nkoth> Basically it is a list of category IDs . If you set it to e..g 2, 3, and 5, then users can only see/search for/are exposed to items that are in categories 2, 3, and 5
    • mcca_mikebeary1> so kind of like bulk-processing for perspectives? So you don't have to change a whole lot of perspectives to achieve what you can with categories?
    • nkoth> not exactly.
    • nkoth> well, the point is that categories are just that, you put things in them and you can set permission for them
    • nkoth> by setting a category jailroot for a perspective, say the college's perspective
    • nkoth> you are basically saying that "while a user is in the college's 'site' he is exposed only to things inside those categories specified in that jailroot
    • nkoth> it could just be one category, or it could be many categories - it's up to you
    • nkoth> if you could perhaps cut and paste this conversation into the wiki page where you expected this info to be in the first place on doc.tiki.org, it could be useful for now, until you have developed more fancy documentation liek that youtube video you talked about
    • mcca_mikebeary1> Ok, I will definitely do that.