wikis.sun.com tips & tricks

I spent some time exploring and experimenting with wikis.sun.com. First of all, it is a wiki that is open to people inside Sun as well as outside. Second, it is divided into spaces on various topics. Each space is created by a Sun employee, has its own set of permissions that control the access level for the users. Everything is possible -- from anybody can do everything, down to just the space owner can see and edit the pages of her wiki space.

The notation guide reveals some nice features. It is definitely worth to take a look. My personal highlight is the capability to include some external content to wiki pages. For example, the wiki page for the Sun Ray Conenctor for VMware View Manger lists all of Sun's blog postings that are tagged with 'srvc'. The wiki macro that does the trick is:

{rss:url=http://blogs.sun.com/main/feed/entries/atom?tags=srvc}

The other feature I like to discuss in brief is the page layout and a navbar with macros. Therefore, all my wiki pages are based on the same skeleton:

{section}
{column:width=70%}

main content goes here

{column}

{column:width=5%}
{column}

{column:width=25%}
{include:navbar}
{column}
{section}

This divides the page into 3 columns: 70% width for the main content, 5% white space, 25% for the navigation bar on the right. The latter contains the same elements for all pages by including another wiki page 'navbar'. Here is my navbar:

{panel:bgColor=#eef|borderColor=#ccc}
h6. Pages
[A Social Software Pattern Language]
{pagetree:startDepth=2}
\\\\
{pagetreesearch}
\\\\
{recently-updated-dashboard:showProfilePic=true} 
\\\\
{panel}

A light blue box with a tree view of all pages in the wiki space, a search element, and a log of recent changes in the wiki space to stimulate participation. '\\\\' is a forced empty line. Here is an example: A Social Software Pattern Language

BTW_ I strongly recommend to put such recurring elements to the right, in order not to break the visual connection between the page heading and the content.

enjoy,
mmprove

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