Randy Kramer

Updated 12/20/00

I am evaluating WikiEngines and WikiFarms prior to choosing one for my own personal use and for various public uses. To get additional input from experienced wiki users, and help others, I am putting the review on this wiki.

There are other pages with useful information about WikiEngines and WikiFarms. I suggest you try the two pages in the first sentence, and then these: WikiEngineReview is the first page of the evaluation, and also lists the other pages.

I have assigned the pages in the review to CategoryWikiEngineReview.

-- RandyKramer mailto:rhkramer@fast.net

Perl, Python, Smalltalk?

I copied the following from WhatMakesAgoodLanguageGood (where I put it).


For people who use SmallTalk and have tried Dolphin and Squeak, which would you recommend? (See brief note about my background, below.) I guess one criteria would be: if I try a free version and like it, then choose a more "advanced" product for permanent adoption, how much reprogramming of old projects must be done (to use them in the "advanced" product). Another: Will the free product meet all my needs or will I eventually want to switch to a commercial product? I prefer Dolphin. I found Squeak really hard to understand and use. It has some really great multi-media support, on the other hand. -- rj

If you want to learn something "deep" from the language, both ST and Eiffel have something (different) to offer. If you want to write quick little programs that are useful, look at Python. Or check out RubyLanguage. -- rj

Randy, I appreciate this page and other comments made elsewhere. I hope that it is okay for me to make an observation about programming languages as they relate to (vis a vis) wikis. I cannot help but notice that more wikis are written in Perl than anything else and that a major RubyLanguage web site, RubyGarden, uses UseMod for its wiki engine rather than RWiki. UseMod is a Perl wiki engine whereas RWiki is a Ruby wiki engine. This certainly may reflect the person-hours that have gone into the development of the two languages, i.e., RubyLanguage being newer than Perl. -- JonathanSmith 10 Feb 2003.

I put these questions on this page just to avoid creating ANWP (Another New Wiki Page). It seems there are plenty of pages about programming languages on WardsWiki, and thus this seems an appropriate forum for this question. I have not read all the language related pages. I will start doing that, but I'm hoping some kind souls might point me to the best summaries or most useful descriptions. I believe there have been language wars on this wiki (LanguagePissingMatch) - it is not my intent to provoke another one. It is an attempt to be lazy, and not read all the pages related to languages. Thanks!

My background: I've programmed, mostly non-professionally, in many languages. Extensive experience in Algol and Algol like languages (PL1, Pascal). Also minor experience in a host of (old) languages like Lisp (sorry, maybe old isn't the right categorization for all of these), Snobol, LCC (Algol like syntax interactive interpreted language), Simula (don't remember a thing), Fortran, APL (almost forgot that one, wish I had), have read C and C++, some experience with proprietary process control languages (<forgot names of EMC's languages (one C-like, one fill in the blanks), Intellution's Fix). Experience with ladder logic (hard and software). Spent about six months writing a project in VB (5 then 6). I'm learning PERL. I've tried learning C and C++, they are still on my list because I hope to help with AbiWord development, but I periodically get discouraged and give up. (I may help AbiWord in other ways.))

My purposes: Hard to articulate a clear vision at this time. Current project is reviewing wikis. I've looked at Swikis (and ComSwikis?) - they don't meet my needs as I see them, yet, if I could easily modify them ... Plan on learning Linux (coming from a Dos / Windows background (most recently)), PERL, and possibly other languages. Planning to document my learning experiences so that others can possibly learn a little easier, anticipate using a wiki for much of that documentation. (I know, that probably doesn't clarify my goals for a programming language very much. Would like to find a magic bullet, if in no other sense than as the last language I have to learn.)

My style: I've always liked the Algol-like syntax. (I learned Algol first, and then wondered why they taught me Fortran.) I prefer programs that are well documented, and tend to go overboard. My Visual Basic project (not finished due to job focus changes) was done in an attempt at a LiteraryProgram? style. My standard rant is about cryptic programs and that is my standard complaint about APL and C / C++.

PS: I've been a Dos / Windows / Microsoft Word / AskSam / ZyIndex? user for 15 years. I'd like to migrate to Linux. It looks like my initial migration will be to utilize server aps (wiki and search engines) rather than desktop aps. (X is rather a disappointment. I keep 20 to 30 windows open on Win95 (with 64 MB ram) with good response and rare crashes. In KDE, I can keep only 2 to 4 open with 32 MB ram (with acceptable response), and 4 to 6 with 48 MB (Mandrake 7.0).)

(I'll probably copy this to my home page, as it seems like a useful beginning (of something).) -- RandyKramer

Dolphin only supports Windows, but supports it very well. If you are using Windows, I'd use Dolphin rather than Squeak. If you are using Linux, you don't have much choice. Portability is supposed to be OK as long as you don't do much GUI stuff. In practice, you will eventually find the commercial versions of Dolphin more cost-effective than the free one. (Note: I've only use Squeak long enough to discover I hated its UI.) -- DaveHarris

Thanks Dave, that's helpful! Now, how about some Python / Eiffel / SmallTalk opinions?

Use the area below for messages not related to the WikiEngineReview. I have deleted some older messages. I have moved (or summarized) most messages related to the WikiEngineReview to that page.
Randy, thank you for your review work. I think you do a very good job. If you need help with German language wikis, leave me a note. -- HelmutLeitner


Thank you very much! I may take you up on your offer, although I think it is more likely I will stop reviewing forums soon and get back to engines. I know that Parsimony might have up to 25,000 forums, it is not my intent to review or list all of those. If there are some "major" forums of "general" interest, it might be appropriate to list those, but after a little more effort I will leave it to others to add whatever interests them.

Thanks again! -- RandyKramer

I looked at Parsimony and they say to offer forums and wikis. But in fact the 25.000 forums are pure message forums. The only wiki I saw was in the help and support section and seems to contain less than 30 pages. The message forums are pretty disgusting with a large percentage of "adult" contributions. No communities, almost pure noise. -- hl


Thanks again! I had looked at Parsimony and found the message forums, but thought maybe I was looking in the wrong place. Thanks for clarifying. -- rhk

Message (DeleteMe):


How's the Wiki for LyX going? My free time is slowly freeing up (so to say) so if there's something small/easy to do, I can give it a try. Drop me an email if you'd like, I'm afraid my web-based email lost your address (for some reason). -- DavidDeLis


Thanks, I'll check out your page and try emailing you -- sorry if your note has been here for a while, I haven't checked this page in quite a while. (I came back today to read up on closures.) I've lost interest in LyX, was more interested in AbiWord (and am, when I want a word processor), but most of my needs now are met by TWiki and Nedit (for editing TWiki pages) &mdash; I managed to create a set of Nedit macros that fold TWiki text files on the headings, which makes it very useful. PeterThoeny has been kind enough to let me have a web over at twiki.org and I'm running a "site" called WikiLearn (http://twiki.org/twiki/bin/view/Wikilearn/WebHome). If you have some learnings on LyX you want to share, feel free to start some pages over there. (You might do a search first, I might have a few, but more likely they are still on my personal (T)Wiki (not accessible from the Internet).)

-- RandyKramer


Thanks for the WikiEngineReview work. The ObjectEvangelist in me got detoured by your above questions, before I could make it down here to jot you this note.

If you are interested, I am willing to trade Mentoring you in SqueakSmalltalk (FreeAsInBeer) in exchange for your feedback on what aspects of SqueakSmalltalk cause you to trip or stumble.

-- LantzRowland

Thanks for the offer (and sorry for this late response, although I think we did "email". I'm currently embarked on learning Python. (I hope when I drop back by this (my) page again, I can say I know Python (and not that I've switched to something else again). -- RandyKramer

Great Work! -- AnĂ­bal Rojas

Great page. -- JackWasey

Thanks to you both!!

-- RandyKramer

Thanks for your contributions (especially WikiForumsCategorized).

Have you seen these 2 other ways of finding wiki?

SwitchWiki (at WorldWideWiki) is a wiki dedicated to listing and categorizing other wiki.

The WikiNode network is a distributed system. One page called "WikiNode" on each wiki has a short list of pointers to related wiki.

-- DavidCary

You're welcome!

No, I didn't know about SwitchWiki or the WikiNode network prior to reading your note. IIUC, SwitchWiki has now moved to www.wikiindex.com, although a(n old?) copy remains at WorldWideWiki. I may do some looking around at all of those--thanks!


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