Someone joked about giving Jane the title of “Chief Wiki Officer”. We have about 7 wiki’s internally and there’s no end in sight! I think we could consolidate them and use access controls to keep various communities distinct but – for those of us who have to roam across them – integrated. This got me thinking about the limits of current wiki technology. Is there any comprehensive list of wiki platforms?
At the same time at the Foundation in Cape Town we are busy gearing up to commit about R30m (about $4.5m in today’s terms) to create a complete set of school books for all subjects in the South African curriculum in wiki format. I got to wondering which format we should use. There’s a lot of action around MediaWiki (used by Wikipedia) but one of our goals is to be able to print low cost books – real books with tables of contents etc on real paper – for those schools which don’t have bandwidth or PC’s. Can MediaWiki produce DocBook output? Or should we be using a different collaborative platform altogether? I remember hearing about a DocBook wiki system, but can’t find any references to that now.
So here’s the question – if you wanted to write a book collaboratively, with rigorous access control and revision control but also with chapters and sections, and an index and tables of contents etc – what platform would you use (free software greatly preferred, and open format’s required, of course :-)).