Edit Wiki entries in OpenOfice
A few days ago Sun Microsystems created an extension for OpenOffice which enables you to edit any MediaWiki page, which will be a blessing for those of us who are trying to maintain a Wiki.
I myself prefer to edit pages online, through the normal interface, but when I am using a Wiki for personal entries to jot down my thoughts for example, it's better if I don't have to think about formatting and other special syntax for MediWiki. This also enables newcomers to the Wiki world to edit sites easily.
Sun Wiki Publisher supports many of MediaWiki's features like headings, lists and so on, but I did have a problem with image handling. As long as you actually have the image online already its fine, but if you want to put in a new one it won't happen. The official documentation contains this, but it also says "currently not supported", so they probably will add this later on.
For me this extension will only become an option when it supports image uploading, since I find MediaWiki's picture handling a bit weird and hard to get used to as is. Since this first official release is still just 0.9.3, they are probably adding new features by the boatload to get to 1.0, I expect that this extension will become much more usable in the near future.
Update: The extension has not been updated since 2009 and user comments on the extension page suggest that it is no longer working with recent versions of Open Office. It is not clear why development has stopped but it may have something to do with the transfer of Open Office to the Apache Foundation.
It is not clear if the extension will ever be updated again, from the looks of it right now it seems as if it is dead.Advertisement
Building software on top of wiki syntax which was developed for the sake of ditching software… sounds very very wrong. :)
Upd: looking at actual description from Sun it seems that it is supposed to be more of converter from something to wiki, not editor. Makes sense if you want to flush existing docs in another format to wiki.
Also I think MediaWiki for personal use is total overkill. It’s engine that is built to scale up, not down.
I agree with you that Wiki is supposed to be used for what you’re saying, but this doesn’t mean people don’t use it in different ways.
You’re forgetting that you’re probably more of an advanced user, but your Mom or Dad might not be, and with the help of software like this they could also contribute to the net. No, it’s not the best solution, but it will be useful someone, and that’s the point.
I think that having to install software, learning how to use it and changing wiki with it is actually more complex that working with wiki in intended (direct) way in browser.
Also this app from Sun is supposed to interact only with MediaWiki servers… So as soon as person dependant on it encounters another wiki on another engine… game over? :)
Yep, I am advanced user, but as such I have experience of setting up wiki and kicking less advanced people to use it. :) Believe me – telling people that they need nothing except their browser instantly beats “you have to download that, install this, set it up for connection with server, etc”.