Open Source Wiki Craziness!

Having been a user of wikipedia and many open-source applications with public wikis, I foolishly thought it would be easy to setup a corporate wiki for my office. Wrong! I'm a fan of Ubuntu for a quick Linux deployment whether for desktop or server applications. So I quickly downloaded the latest Ubuntu and went to Google the most highly reviewed open source wikis available for me to install. How many wiki applications do we need in this world? Why are there so many developers working on so many variants of wikis? I don't get it. I think wiki development would proceed much more efficiently and quickly if the developers would team up into a small handful of wiki categories/types instead of the myriad of wiki types available. I mean how many PHP-based wikis do we need? How many perl or python wikis do we need?

Perhaps the wiki developers are so fragmented because they can't get along and come to a working agreement on the scope of their projects? I don't know - I'm not a developer. But I am a user of wikis and I'm fairly competent to install applications on Ubuntu (not just using Synaptic or apt-get either!). But first selecting a wiki, and then installing/configuring a wiki has got me quite frustrated! I first selected MoinMoin because its the wiki application that Ubuntu uses on their public wiki. That installed rather easily, but I found that installing a new theme was not nearly as neat and tidy as installing a Joomla theme. And it was supposed to be designed for easy theme manipulation! Then I started thinking that I might prefer more control over my corporate wiki than what MoinMoin provides, so I pulled MoinMoin and decided to try Twiki.

Gulp! What a headache! I followed the instructions found online for installing Twiki on Ubuntu 7.10. Twiki will ONLY work on the server / localhost! I can't access it from the network! Why? How can I configure it for network access? The online wiki HOWTO does not help. Aaargh! I'm frustrated for now. But hopeful that tomorrow I can try it all again! One more try with Twiki, then off to MediaWiki perhaps. And who knows what nightmares lurk around the corner for tomorrow's install.

How can I be a wiki evangelist / champion in my organization when I can't even get the darn thing working correctly?

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