Weblogs: Atom

Atom and Wikis - a WikiGateway

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Early in September Joe Gregorio blogged his thoughts on an extremely intriguing idea - an Atom interface to a wiki. Strangely enough it was a possibility I was considering at the time too. I did a cursory investigation on the source of Usemod (my favourite wiki - if only it returned valid well structured XHTML) and I felt a sizeable refactoring and rewrite would be necessary for Usemod wiki to support AtomAPI calls.

Earlier today I received an email or three from Bayle Shanks about my old atomrest.pl (My bare-bones Perl implementation of AtomAPI). He is working on a library of client-side functions to Wikis. The main script from this is a WikiGateway.

He says:

WikiGateway translates requests into the idiosyncratic HTML form interfaces of various popular wiki servers (so far, only UseMod, but other contributions would be welcome). The wiki which you are accessing doesn't have to know about WikiGateway; it sees you as just another user. Basically, WikiGateway does Wiki I/O and import/export.

One of the new features on his to-do list is an AtomAPI gateway into a Wiki. This is an amazingly clever idea and bypasses the refactoring and rewriting problems I hit above.

So far he's modified the atomrest.pl script so it works better with Ben Trott's XML::Atom client, and also got it working within his WikiGateway script.

I was very surprised he asked for my permission to use the atomrest.pl script in his WikiGateway. Surprised in the fact that someone out there thinks my code is useful. Of course, if the script does what he needs, he is free to use it in his GPL project. I'm happy I can contribute this tiny piece to Open Source - as payment for the benefits Open Source has already given me.

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