This is a short introduction to Foswiki.

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Slide 1: What is a Wiki?

Hula girl The basic function of Foswiki is a Wiki (if that helps!)

A Wiki is like a web site, except that you can edit the content in your browser

  • "Wiki" is short for "wiki wiki", the Hawaiian for "Quick" (and a perfect excuse for a picture of a cute girl in a hula skirt)
  • The idea originates from Macintosh Hypercard, via Ward Cunningham
  • In Ward's words, Wiki is "the simplest online database that could possibly work"
  • A Wiki is basically a shared, online, persistent whiteboard

Slide 2: Foswiki Wiki

Whiteboard Foswiki implements the basic Wiki idea of a shared whiteboard

  • Anyone can add content
    ... or change what is written
    ... or change the organisation of the content
  • Whatever you write is
    ... nicely presented
    ... remembered... and never forgotten
  • Write using state-of-the-art What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) text editing
    ... or you can use a simple topic markup language that is quick to learn and easy to remember
    ... or you can use full HTML for complex formatting tasks

Foswiki is also an "application platform" that lets you quickly build and use your own online applications.

Foswiki is an Open-Source development on
  • governed by the Foswiki Association
  • with over 100 regular volunteer contributors in many countries
  • Free open source wiki

Slide 3: Foswiki features

Foswiki builds on the original Wiki concept, and adds features that make it very useful in a business environment.
  • Revision control of all pages, so a record of every change to every page is kept
    r6 < r5 < r4 < r3 < r2
  • Powerful macros allow users to build and use their own online applications
  • Highly configurable look and feel, through use of templates
  • Plugins interface eases
    • customisation
    • extension
    • integration of existing applications
  • Hundreds of extensions support additional features and integrate third party applications
  • Strong security

Slide 4: Applications of basic Foswiki

Foswiki can be used as:
  • A whiteboard
  • A document repository
  • A collaborative authoring environment
  • A notebook / scrapbook
  • A chat room

Slide 5: Extended applications

Foswiki-with-extensions can be used:
  • for Content Management (CMS) of websites
  • for presentation development
  • as a Blog
  • as a (simple) database
  • as a project management system
  • for mashups
  • as a tracking tool
  • (truth is, we don't really know its limits!)