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Technical Writing - What Should a Good Documentation Wiki Site Look Like? from Mohammad Daniyal's blog

Let's say you decided to set up a technical writing wiki site to support your document projects. What should be the futures you should be looking for? Here are some of them...


Ease of Installation. Some wikis are so complicated to install that you'd better find a computer engineer to do it for you. But Onion links are much simpler to install. And some web hosting companies offer a one-click installation on their server. Select a wiki that is appropriate for your level of technical expertise.


Browser Independence. Your wiki site should display exactly the same in all popular browsers, with all its features enabled. An authorized user should be able to edit all the document pages you post regardless of the browser type.


Auto Web Links. You should be able to link all your wiki pages by default without inserting any HTML codes into the source code of your pages.


Revision Management. Your wiki should keep a backup copy of every version of your document. That way you can always go back and refer to an earlier version for retrieval or comparison purposes.


Searching Capability. You and your readers should be able to search your document pages by keywords. Be aware that different wikis use different search syntaxes.


E-mail Notification. Your wiki should be able to send you an e-mail every time anybody changes something on any page. This should be configurable by user class and page type.


User Access. You should be able to create different user groups with different access authorizations including plain "Visitors," "Writers," "Editors," Administrators," etc.


Plugin Choices. Does your wiki software accept different plugins to access and search your database, graphic plugin to create diagrams and charts for your documentation pages, group meeting and follow-up plugin to coordinate meetings and distribute the minutes, etc.


Upload and Download Capability. You should be able to upload and download any kind of text, image and even multi-media attachments to and from your wiki pages.


Page Management Capability. Your wiki should allow those with the proper authorization to change the name, move, delete, edit and add documentation pages.


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