Weblogs and Wikis - Blurring the Boundaries

Early this morning Rael‘s Blosxom plugin ‘wikiwordish‘ found its way to the plugin registry. And a very nice plugin it is too. It allows you to use ‘wikiwordish’ notation like [[this]] to point to other weblog entries; the plugin intercepts them and creates a suitable hyperlink to the right place. For example, I can refer to an older entry about the Tiki parser for MoinMoin by just typing the name of the entry (‘tikiparser’) inside double square brackets; in other words, [[tikiparser]] in my weblog item source gets turned into this: [[tikiparser]].

I decided to expand on this lovely idea, by adding some more functionality to the plugin. With my expanded version of ‘wikiwordish’ (diff here) it is now possible to have InterWiki style links automatically recognised and expanded too. (I also made a modification to the regex in story(), as it wasn’t behaving quite right). So I can refer to the, say, StartingPoints page of the MeatBall Wiki by using a link in my weblog entry like this: [[MeatBall:StartingPoints]], which would be turned into a link like this: [[MeatBall:StartingPoints]].

The way it works is simple: you tell the plugin where to find an InterWiki ‘intermap’ file, which contains a list of InterWiki names and URLs. You can probably find this somewhere in your wiki installation. You can also add your own name/URL combinations in the configuration in case you’re not allowed to edit the intermap file; in my setup I’ve added the name ‘PipeSpace’ to refer to my MoinMoin-powered space Wiki (see the ‘Configurable Variables section’ in the code), so I can now create a link such as this: [[PipeSpace:AllConsumingRestIdeas]] which is turned into this: [[PipeSpace:AllConsumingRestIdeas]]. If you don’t want an icon to appear next to the link, you can turn that off in the configuration.

What’s more, some standard InterWiki links are not to wikis, but to other popular sites; for example [[IMDB:0088846 Brazil]] gives [[IMDB:0088846 Brazil]], and [[Dictionary:alliteration]] gives [[Dictionary:alliteration]].

Fun! Here’s to more weblog/wiki fusion.