Wiki Migration

Posted: 2019-07-30 11:15:33 by Alasdair Keyes

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For about 10 years I've used a wiki to document everything that I learn and need to keep track of. This contains everything from walkthroughs of installing/configuring software, to lists of interview questions to ask potential hires.

When I first started working in hosting, I began collecting text files with information given to me by other colleagues. Over time this got un-wieldy so I created a MediaWiki wiki https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki. I mainly picked this as it was both a wiki I was using at my workplace and it was a common interface; being the software that Wikipedia uses.

Over time I've kept Mediawiki updated but gradually I've had more and more problems with updates breaking and needing fixing so I started looking around for other wiki tools.

New Wiki

I eventually found Dokuwiki https://www.dokuwiki.org/. It's more lightweight and simple but seems to be up to the tasks that I need it for. It uses flat files as a back-end so I don't need to backup both files and a database and after importing all my data it's only 1/4 of the size on disk.

$ du -hs public_html.mediawiki/
203M        public_html.mediawiki/
$ du -hs public_html.dokuwiki
48M         public_html.mediawiki/

I did have to install the tag and pagelist Dokuwiki plugins to allow me to use tags, which are the Dokuwiki version of Mediawiki's categories.

Migration

It would be nice to have been able to copy my articles directly across to the new wiki, but the Mediawiki syntax (https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Formatting) and Dokuwiki syntax (https://www.dokuwiki.org/wiki:syntax) are different. The key differences were

I knocked up a quick Perl script to connect to the Mediawiki DB and parse the articles into a format suitable for Dokuwiki. This was mostly done with regex replace statements to insert spaces and change tags etc.

While I was at it, I took this time to delete or update any old articles. So now I have a new wiki with refreshed info and am very pleased with Dokuwiki.


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