linux n00b

A web knowledge base?

Posted in Administration, Knowledge Base by downforce on April 14, 2007

I’m currently in the process of trying to find a piece of software that I can use as a web-based knowledge base.

To date, I’ve been using MediaWiki, but I find the navigation of wiki’s painful. If you want everything in one page, it’s great, but once you start getting sub-pages, often cross-referencing, I find it becomes cumbersome to navigate around.

Here’s what I want

  • Ability to search the entire knowledge base for a word/string/phrase contained within a document.
  • Easy to view and then edit the data.
  • Ability to reference and cross-reference documents in a tree structure.
  • Ability to enter information as easy as it is to in either the WordPress WYSIWYG editor or code editor.
  • Is compatible with Opera! (You’ll see why in a sec)
  • Is web-based and runs on apache2 and if necessary, php5 and mysql. No postgresql.
  • GPL (or equally ‘free’) software.

The one I like most at the moment and have been entering data into is KnowledgebasePublisher, but it’s not quite working out how I hoped.

The structure of the information is exactly what I want, and the search feature is good too, but viewing then editing information is painful. There is a public and admin view which are different parts of the site. In public view, you can’t edit in admin view you can’t view! There is a WYSIWYG editor but is just plain bad. Switching between (using WP definitions) Code and Visual adds all it’s own formatting, often overwriting what I’ve put in! I have to manually type out all the HTML tags to get the formatting I want. This is where MediaWiki excelled. The last annoying aspect is that by default in admin mode, you only see the last ten posts by order of original date!

I used to send my self “Daily” emails with various links and stuff I found on the web during my lunch breaks, often researching my next ‘pet’ project but work monitors emails so I wanted to stop this so now I can just stick all the links in a text document and then stick em on my site at the end, with minimal hits on my web-server through work’s proxy. Instead I wanted to create a loooong thread which I can edit/add/del links as I find them and deal with them. If they are good, stick them in another topic related thread, e.g. I am building one for debugging my current Postfix issues.

Anyway, so now KBP is starting to bug me (after 3 days and building up 35 articles), I want to find something else. I’ve been scouring, under document storage and information management. Haven’t found anything that crash hot, except one which then I realised was proprietary for something like $200USD pa! No way Jose! I’m I want GPL! If I really like it then I’ll donate. But the search continues.

I’m now contemplating expanding my search into a CMS type system. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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  1. […] 17th, 2007 I was thinking about my problem finding a personal knowledge base app that I can host on my web […]

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