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From: David Libert <libert.david@gmail.com>
To: emacs-orgmode@gnu.org
Subject: Using org-mode and git to make a wiki
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 2009 03:09:55 -0400	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <30672390906170009s43afecb8w7ef92e6a48257273@mail.gmail.com> (raw)

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I only started learning about org-mode in the last few days.  I have been
reading documentation about it and am very impressed by the system.

I have been wondering about the possibilties if using org-mode and git to
run an improved style of wiki.  I will give some details below.  This could
be a point of discusion here in the mailing list, or else some of us could
quickly try to set something up along these lines.  If people here express
interest I may set up one myself.

I will open discussion by noting some background about myself.  I had heard
of wikis in general for some time and had read some and followed
them.  Then in the last couple of weeks I started two wikis of my own,  in
Wkispaces.  You can link to those from my web page in the signature

After a small bit of writing into my Wikispaces wikis I explored around in
the world of wikis, and came upon org-mode,  from the point of view
of running it as a wiki.  I am very impressed by org-mode, I think it is the
best wiki style system I have seen so far.

I was thinking what an impovement it would be over regular wikis, if they
could be running in org-mode, with all the outlining features.  And how
great for the writer to be composing messages in emacs instead of a crude
online editor, such as the one at Wikispaces.

Then it occurred to me there would such an easy way to get all that with
existing programs.  Unlike a true wiki, don't read it over the web.
Instead have a local copy, so your own local emacs in org-mode can process
it, even for reading.  That way, the writer is allowed to assume
the readers will have all the org-mode functionality in reading.

Use git for transport.  The "wiki" would be distibuted across a peer-to-peer
network, with git pushes and pulls.  So you don't need to be an
instution like Wikisaces to set this up.  You don't need a server.  An
ordinary pc could seed the wiki by providing a first node.  The distrbution
would give redundancy and security, ie against data loss.

Wikis in general need history and version control.  So why not make it the
best (in my opinion anyway) version control with git.  So make the wiki
the best editor  (emacs)  and make the version control be the best version
control  (git).  And the best wiki system (org-mode).

I found in the org-mode home page the  worg project,  which is smilar to
this.  A git repository, and writers contribute to worg through git.  But
worg publishes the org-mode as html  and in the end serves it up as a web

I propose we never go to html.  Stay in emacs and org-mode the whole time.
So you know your readers have the full functionality of org-mode
to be reading your writing.

I could see this as taking over the world.  Not realistically, I know in the
real world there is too much intertia and most people are slow to change.
But in terms of making a usable system that I would like to use in a

For example, instead of conventional email, with individuals who I was
already closely collaborasting with, I would like to have a shared space
this with only the pair of us having read and write access.  In a group of
only two we could have push and pull permission with each other.  So
instead of sending an email,  you would write a note into a new file or edit
it into an esiting one, commit and push.  On the other side, there could
be scripts to alert you when that dedicated git repositiry has been updated,
giving you the equaivalent of  "you have new mail".

But all the collarabateed email would be together in an org directory, and
we could use org to organaze it and structure it, including by refactoring
after the fact.  So the final result could be more strcutred than a mailbox.

It would be easy to forward mail.  Each mail corrspondent could have their
own directory of org-mode files in a git repostory.  To forward mail,
you open both respositrories, each ion their own firectory, then just use
emacs to copy an org-mode file between directories.  Or if you did
individual messages inside a larger file as a heading, yank that and copy to
another buffer into another directory.  Then commit and push in
the second directory.

You could have a main index org file in the mail directory, which would be
like a mail box lisitng in refular email.  And the users could manually
put an opening line linking to the new message.  These could be editted in
manually blog style at the top of the list.  So the recipeitn could
easily find new messages.  And as tyhe index grew it could be archived by
org-mode.  making a permanent index of all mail.

But other indexes could be added later  grouping like messages tofether by
making new lists of links.  Or use org-mode tags.  The full power
of org-mode to refactor.  What you don't have in ordinary email.

And git provides protection against mistakes or bad deletions and so on.

Similarly a small group could make a group version of this.  A group of
friends who want to share all messages.  Or a work group.

And similarly, a system like this could replace mailing lists or discussion
groups.  For susbsription only groups, and adminstrator could give
out permissions for appropriate git access.  For an open puiblic group, just
put up the url for the git repository in a public place, likie a web
page, or in messages of other newsgroups and so on.

Anyone reading that link to the respository, if they are willing to run the
correct software (git, emacs, org-mode)  could pull and read.

Writing is a bit triickier.  The group could include members that would list
themselves as volunteers to welcome newbies.  They could
include email addresses, and newbie could email in a request for a pull,
giving their own public respositry they set up.  The old timers
would be crosslinked with a systems of pulls and pushes.

Or else a special resosptiry coukld be set up the universal push permission.

Once a newbie has written once into the "wiki",  they could include their
repo in a list in the wiki, and then they are in better.

You could have many of these, on specialized topics.  As with forwardiong
email, articles could be moved betweren them by individuals.
Or it would be easy to use git to merge two of these into one.

You could also readily fork them, again using git.

I could see systems like this as ideally replacing email, news, mailiong
lists, regular wikis, and blogs.  All the blogging functionality could
be readily copied over into editting appropriately in org-mode.

And new functions could be written for inside org-mode  to automate certain
uses like that.

Of course big changes like that don't really happen.  So what I really mean
is I could see a small community arising using this.  Anf I would
like to be doing that myself, partially replacubg all thiose fucntions that
way for myself, for while I was interacting wioth others doing it.

The org-mode page could link to such pages, with some instruction to
newbies, much as they presently host worg.

Even if the official org-mode page didn't want to be involved in something
like that, it could be a worthwhile starting project for any small
group of individuals.

I have been googling org-mode and git.  I find things a bit like this, but
never this idea of doing a sort of wiki like system enitrely inside
without export to html.

David Libert
email :    libert.david@gmail.com
web:     http://web.ncf.ca/ah170/

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             reply	other threads:[~2009-06-17  7:10 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 7+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2009-06-17  7:09 David Libert [this message]
2009-06-17  7:31 ` Using org-mode and git to make a wiki Nicolas Girard
2009-06-17  8:43   ` David Libert
2009-06-17 15:59 ` Matthew Lundin
2009-06-20 18:56   ` Bastien
2009-06-22 11:34     ` Sebastian Rose
2009-06-25 17:20       ` Tim O'Callaghan

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