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A response to common questions / concerns about TikiWiki CMS/Groupware

I am one of the project admins for Tiki. I wrote this to clarify certain things. I am concerned (and sometimes annoyed) by some negative things written about TikiWiki.

  • There are plenty of good/amazing things with Tiki
  • There are plenty of bad/annoying things with Tiki.
  • You are the best person to evaluate your needs.
  • As with any tool, Tiki can be really good or bad depending what type(s) of projects you are trying to accomplish and what type of user you are. Please see: User types.

TikiWiki has an all-in-one approach to features. Think of it as a suite of applications like Open Office. Tiki has more built-in features than any other Web app (if you know of one, please let me know). The features are built-in and all optional instead of offered via 3rd party modules/extensions/plugins, and getting write access to the code is very easy. Some people are concerned about all the features and that "it can't work" or "it's not the way to do it". Since Tiki has a different model than the "conventional wisdom", I feel it's important to explain how it works and why it works. I like to think of it as applying the Wiki Way to Software development. About explaining if it works, well the proof is there!

The code is simple and has community coding in mind. Please see the goals of Luis Argerich, TikiWiki founder.

The TikiWiki community eats its own dog food and this is a great thing. We use Tiki's features to manage our processes and to solve our challenges. This is one of the reasons we've arrived at a phenomenal, tightly integrated and robust set of features. We are quite lucky to be a community that is building a community management system. Some people could think or say that we are suffering from NIH syndrome. TikiWiki offers a large number of interactions with services, standards, data format, etc., however, it is designed to be great as an all-in-one standalone application. Many CMS systems are not using their own application for their project documentation. That means that if you want to emulate what they do, you need to install separately a wiki and a CMS. With Tiki, you have this all-in-one. What is wrong with installing several applications? Read on :-)

I don't like Tiki Wiki/CMS/Groupware response
System G has hundreds of templatesTiki is a very powerful & flexible to make custom themes. Here are some examples. The Theme control center permits you to easily use several themes on the same site. Not just changing the .css but also the layout completely. The templates use the Smarty template engine and some basic programming is possible there. It's easy to customize the site depending on user/group/permissions whatever. You can save these custom *.tpl files in their own "theme" to override the default templates, and keep future upgrading easy.
Yes, but all Tiki sites look alikeHow would you recognize the ones that don't? Please see
I am gonna do some heavy template work but I want it to be easy to upgrade later on.Don't modify files which are shipped with Tiki. Put all your modified templates in templates/styles/mystylename/*.tpl and they will override basic templates. You should never need to use php code in these Smarty template files because Smarty supports basic logic. However, if you really did, you can use {PHP} my php code{/PHP} to add php code to your template without changing the default php code.
Yes, but I prefer {add your CMS name here}Ok, I guess if you prefer another system, you are here because someone has forced you to use Tiki. Sorry about this. But if you really have no choice, how about making the best of it? If you see a user interface which is not as intuitive as your preferred system, can you log a feature request with a screenshot? Is Tiki missing a favorite feature? Ask in IRC. Maybe the feature exists but you haven't discovered it yet.
Yes, but what about stability/long-term support?Are businesses now today more stable than 5-10 years ago? You have the source code!
No Hablo Inglès, Je ne parle pas anglais.
So what are Tiki's weaknesses?Again, this depends on what your goal / projet is. IMHO, weakness are 1- default themes are not very nice 2-Admin interface is not intuitive enough 3-The application is too vast for new users. We need better Installation and configuration profiles to get people started is a mess. Points 1,2,3 are being worked on at the moment 1, 2, 3 and the situation is still bad but improving. #4 is bad and needs some tender loving care. #5 Release cycles have historically been are way too long so we have move to a 6 month release calendar. You can also take a look at: SWOT: State of Tiki Dashboard.

© Marc Laporte
Last update from CVS: Tuesday 08 of December, 2009 [14:51:40 UTC]