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TWiki Admin Cook Book

This page has many tips and tricks, particularly useful when you're installing TWiki for the first time. This guide is most useful before or immediately following a TWiki installation!

See also:

During Installation

Rename Main web to User web

You can rename the Main web to User. It will make Wiki Word? links to usernames more meaningful (User.UserName instead of Main.UserName); but does not bring much gain for other types of topics like (User.EngineeringGroup or User.TokyoOffice). Just rename data/Main to data/User, and change $mainWebname variable in lib/TWiki.cfg file. Signatures in all existing topics need to be fixed as well.

See also TWiki:Codev.RenameMainWebToHome, TWiki:Codev.RenameTheMainWeb, TWiki:Codev.SeparateHowtoWeb for arguments pro and con.

Help with remembering passwords

Users keep Forgetting Passwords (see TWiki:Codev.ForgettingPasswords ). When demonstrating TWiki to new users and/or helping them with TWiki Registration?, do not forget to show the user how to use the "remember my password" feature in their browser.

A quick way to check the guest password is to view the .htaccess file.

AuthName 'TWiki UserName (i.e. TWikiGuest/guest)'

Before First Presentation

Tips about first presentation -- read TWiki:Main.TWikiCourseOutlineExample and TWiki:Codev.HowToGetInternalBuyInForTWiki. TWiki:Main.TWikiPresentations page has Peter Thoeny's full presentation, Richard Donkin added an excellent PowerPoint version (only 18 slides), with places to add your own info.

How to build participation: read Wiki Org?:TipsForSiteOperators - advice directly from Ward Cunningham, author of Wiki concept and first Wiki.

Consider installing #Comment Plugin and #Slide Show Plugin before your first demo.

Simplify menu in page templates

How to get nice pages with simpler menu options for beginners

A Skin is TWiki's way to present different system-generated formats (like header/footer/sidebar menu) and exactly the same information from the page body (see TWiki Skins?). The "Classic" TWiki skin is oriented towards advanced power users. Newbies may feel overwhelmed by the number of options. Many simpler custom skins are in development at TWiki:WebHome. Consider using a simpler custom skin to make a better "first impression": TWiki is simple to use.

There is currently a discussion at TWiki:Codev.SimplerDefaultTemplates about simpler default template for TWiki:Codev.SimplerTWikiDistribution.

Customize tutorial for beginners

Select simpler skin and customize beginner's help topics accordingly.

Best of Plugins

With more than 60 TWiki plugins (and counting), there are a lot to choose from. Plugins are mainly contributed by TWiki users who are software developers. Plugins are a relatively new TWiki addition, so there are fewer established standards than for the core TWiki code. This means that not all plugins are equal in ease of installation, operation, or compatibility with each other. Here are selected plugins that are reliable, easy-to-use and offer basic enhanced functionality.

CommentPlugin -- TWiki:Plugins.CommentPlugin

User-friendly alternative of Edit, without losing Wiki spirit. Comments can be entered in a conventional Web form style with a text box and a submit button. This is all displayed on a TWiki page without having to use TWiki's Edit. Text added appears exactly as if edited normally, and topic can be edited also using the full TWiki Edit. This is useful to encourage participation among your users who are not yet comfortable with TWiki capabilities.

SlideShowPlugin -- TWiki:Plugins.SlideShowPlugin

This Plugin allows you to convert topics with headings into web based presentations. This is a useful alternative to PowerPoint, especially if you need to link to related content.

SpreadSheetPlugin -- TWiki:Plugins.SpreadSheetPlugin

This Plugin allows you to add spreadsheet calculation like "$SUM( $ABOVE() )" to tables located in TWiki topics.

TablePlugin -- TWiki:Plugins.TablePlugin

A must-have, this Plugin allows you to control attributes of tables and sorting of table columns.

TopicVarsPlugin -- TWiki:Plugins.TopicVarsPlugin

This lets you create variables, like a graphics icon library, in any topic - instead of only in Web Preferences - and refer to them from other topics within the same web.

TWiki-based applications

Please add your favorite TWiki tips/trick to TWiki:TWiki.TWikiAdminCookBook to help the next new TWiki admin. (One BIG area: include pages of implemented basic SEARCHes, like, to generate a straight TOPICS list (alphabetical web topic titles only); also, simple combos of forms + search, like one- and two-category forms to use to classify pages, and then searches to find and display in few useful formats; more in that general area.)

Contributors: TWiki:Main.GrantBow, TWiki:Main.JonReid, TWiki:Main.MikeMannix, TWiki:Main.MikeMaurer, TWiki:Main.PeterMasiar, TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny

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