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 <<O>>  Difference Topic TWikiTopics (r1.12 - 01 Feb 2003 - PeterThoeny?)
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TWiki Topics

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TWiki Topics

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The basic building block of a TWiki site is called a topic, identified by a unique, hopefully descriptive, WikiWord title. It may seem easier just to call them pages - but when you've used TWiki for a while, the difference is obvious. In the end,

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The basic building block of a TWiki site is called a topic, identified by a unique, hopefully descriptive, WikiWord title. It may seem easier just to call them pages, but specifically a topic is the content of a page. The distinction seems small but will become more important as your skill using TWiki increases. TWikiSites are built using topics.

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Topic Features

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Characteristics

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A TWiki topic is a self-contained information unit rich in features. Each topic has:

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A TWiki topic is a rich information unit. Each topic has:

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  • name
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    • link to it from other topics just by typing it in
  • an edit link to a collaboration area where you can:
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    • link to it from other topics just by typing it in it's WikiWord
  • content
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    • use simple TWiki shorthand to represent complex HTML and special TWiki tags
    • include links to other topics, Web sites, images, sound files, or anything else you can put on a regular Web page, using easy shorthand
    • do all of that within your browswer, with no HTML editor, just simple codes and a handy pop-up quick reference panel
  • extra Web forms option:
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    • enter simple TWiki shorthand to represent complex HTML and special TWiki tags
    • enter HTML if you are familiar with it
    • include links to other topics, URLs, Web sites, files, images, sounds, or anything else you can put on a regular Web page
    • handy pop-up quick reference
    • do all of this through whatever web browswer you are familiar with
  • access control
    • independently determine who can see, edit, rename, move or delete topics
    • set permissions by individual users and user groups
    • over-ride topic, TWiki web or site
  • revision control
    • topic changes are automatically saved
    • efficiently stores every change made to the original version
    • lets you compare and retrieve changes between any two versions, or review them all
    • displays any previous version as a regular Web page or as raw topic text
  • TWiki web
    • a TWiki organizational unit to which the topic belongs
    • relevant when searching for a topic, referencing it or typing in it's URL
  • meta-data
    • hidden contextual data stored within each topic.
    • parents
      • automatically links a new topic as the "child" of the topic it was created from
      • hierarchical, parent-child navigation
      • allows manual assignment of parent topic from a list of all topics in the local web
      • offers navigation by topic parents
  • backlinks
    • named referred-by (Ref-By)
    • lists all topics that reference the current topic

Features that can be used by topics and sites include:

  • skins
    • fully configurable look and feel for all topics
    • default and user selectable per session
  • plug-ins
    • new feature packages
    • developer community evolving existing and new capabilities
  • add-ons
    • enhanced capability without an interface to users
  • FileAttachment
    • upload files through your browser to the TWiki server
    • attach any type of file (documents, images, applications) for viewing online, storage or sharing downloads with others
    • upload revisions of existing files with automatic backup of all previous revisions
  • formatted search
    • embedded searches of topics, data and meta-data, optional regular expressions
    • custom formatting for outputting lists or tables, optional layout, headings, summary, etc.
  • variables
    • similar to a command line context with site wide and locally defined variables
    • over-ride topic, TWiki web or site
  • forms
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    • accesses meta-data
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  • a FileAttachment feature that lets you:
    • upload files through your browser to the TWiki server
    • attach any type of file (documents, images, applications) for viewing online, storage or sharing downloads with others
    • upload revisions of existing files with automatic backup of all previous versions
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  • flexible access control:
    • independently determine who can see, edit, rename, move or delete topics
    • set permissions by individual users and user groups
  • RCS revision control to automatically save all topic changes:
    • efficiently stores every change made to the original version
    • lets you compare and retrieve changes between any two versions, or review them all
    • displays any previous version as a regular Web page or as raw topic text
  • a referred-by search that list all topics that link to a particular topic
  • hierarchical parent-child topic navigation:
    • automatically links a new topic as the "child" of the topic it was created from
    • allows manual assignment of parent topic from a list of all topics in the local web
    • offers navigation displays, by topic parent, or by related topic
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The configuration of your TWiki site and your personal user account determine which of these features are installed and available to you.

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The configuration of your TWiki site, skins and your personal user account can modify the way these features are used and presented to you.

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How to create and edit a topic

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Creating and editing topics

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Making it incredibly easy for you to add and edit information on existing topics, create new topics, and link all TWiki topics, is a TWiki main function.

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A primary purpose of TWiki is to make it incredibly easy for you to add and edit information on existing topics, create new topics, and link between TWiki topics.

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  • To modify a topic, click the Edit link at the left of the toolbar at the bottom of every page. An editing window appears. Type away. Use the GoodStyle and TextFormattingRules links to get pop-up window help.
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  • To modify a topic: click the Edit link in the toolbar at the bottom left of every page (using the Default skin). An editing window appears. Type away. Use the GoodStyle and TextFormattingRules links to get pop-up window help.
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  • To add a new topic, the simplest way is to type a new WikiName on an existing topic, while you're in edit mode. When the topic is saved, the new name will appear highlighted, with a ? at the end: click the ? and a new edit window appears. Enter, preview and save as usual. The new topic now exists.
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  • To add a new topic: the simplest way is to type a new WikiName in an existing topic, while you're in edit mode. When the topic is saved, the new name will appear highlighted, with a ? at the end: click the ? and a new edit window appears. Enter, preview and save as usual. The new topic now exists.
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Another way to add a topic is to type a new topic name in the Go box or an unknown topic URL. You can type in either a WikiName to create the topic in the current web or Web.TopicName to create a topic in a different web than the current page. Topics created with the Go box or URLs do not have parent meta-data defined.

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How to attach files and use other features

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Other features

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  • [Ref-By] - displays all the TWiki topics with links to the topic you're on
  • [Diffs] - generates a page showing every change made to the topic you're on, with names, dates, and changes made
  • r1.3 | > | r1.2 (ex) - some specific previous version stuff that you can check out on your own
  • [More] - opens up a whole new screen of additional controls

It looks like a lot - it is a lot, and there's more. BUT, it's all simple, flexible, and optional - the only way to confuse yourself or your site set-up and users is by using features you really don't need. Unlike the usual expensive, complex collaboration and project management packages, TWiki is fully functional and effective just by typing in text and making WikiWord links. All the rest is there only if you need it!

  • Most controls are self-explanatory, and also include instructions and help links.
  • Experiment. You can always Cancel or go Back whenever you like.
  • Get in-depth info from the complete documentation, including the User's Guide and Configuration Manual and TWiki Reference.
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  • [Ref-By] - displays all the TWiki topics with links to the current topic
  • [Diffs] - generates a page showing every change made to the current topic, with names, dates, and changes made (diffs)
  • r1.3 | > | r1.2 (ex) - view most recent revision and changes
  • [More] - opens up a new screen containing additional controls

It looks complicated, but the basics you need to begin with are very simple to use. The flexible and optional features are ready when you care to learn about them - the only way to confuse yourself or your site set-up and users is by using features you really don't need. Unlike the usual expensive, complex collaboration and project management packages, TWiki is fully functional and effective just by typing in text and making WikiWord links. All the additional features are there, but only if you need them!

  • Some controls are self-explanatory and also include instructions and help links.
  • Experiment. You can always Cancel an edit or (using revision control) go Back whenever you like.
  • Get in-depth info from the complete documentation, including the User's Guide, Configuration Manual and TWiki Reference.
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How to rename, move or delete a topic

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Renaming, moving or deleting topics

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You can now rename, move and delete individual topics from your browser. All three options are available by clicking More on the control strip at the bottom of every page. The access settings for a topic, web or entire site may be disabled for one or more of the three options, depending on your site set-up and personal permissions. In any case, all three are similar and extremely easy to use.

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You can rename, move and delete individual topics by clicking More on the control strip at the bottom of every page. The access settings for a topic, web or entire site may be disabled for one or more of the three options, depending on your site set-up and access permissions.

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Reviewing and Reverting

RCS revision control automatically saves all topic changes. To look at earlier versions of a topic, click on Diffs link in topic commands. If you would like to revert to an earlier version or reclaim part of an earlier version, just copy from the old topic revision to the current topic revision. This is a step by step set of instructions:
  1. In the Diffs view, take note of what version of the topic you want to reclaim and then return to View.
  2. Select More in the topic commands.
  3. Under "View previous topic revision," enter the version number you want to reclaim and check "raw text format." Then click on "View revision."
  4. Select either the portion of that version you want to reclaim or the entire text of the topic if you want to revert completely to that version. Select Copy under your browser's Edit menu.
  5. Return to the most recent version of the topic and select Edit from the topic commands.
  6. Either paste in the portion of the topic you wish to reclaimed or replace the entire text with the text you copied from the earlier version.
  7. Preview and save the topic.
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-- MikeMannix? - 12 May 2002

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-- MikeMannix - 22 May 2002
-- GrantBow? - 17 Jan 2003


Topic TWikiTopics . { View | Diffs | r1.12 | > | r1.11 | > | r1.10 | More }
Revision r1.11 - 12 May 2002 - 19:10 GMT - MikeMannix?
Revision r1.12 - 01 Feb 2003 - 11:46 GMT - PeterThoeny?
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