Wiki to Blog and Back Again by Adam Shand

UPDATE: I have since migrated back from Drupal to my home brew MoinMoin blog. I believe that this is the last piece of content which I need to migrate.

Below are my experiences migrating from a wiki (MoinMoin) to Drupal. I'm still going forward, so I'm obviously happy with Drupal, but there have definitely been some frustrations, some of which I didn't expect. So for what it's worth ...

What I Like About Drupal

Primarily, that it's a blog tool. I've made various attempts at keeping a diary/journal/blog in the past and always failed because it was a hassle ... so far I'm doing better with Drupal than I have with anything else in the past.
  • I love the taxonomy system. 
  • I like that it's easily themeable. I was always fighting with Moin to change the way it looked ... and always felt like I was losing the battle.
  • I like its wide range of usability (bookmarks, photo galleries, blogs etc).
  • I like that I can paste HTML into the Drupal editor, and it "just works". I often save copies of webpages (because too often other people's websites disappear). I've spent *lots* of time converting HTML to wiki markup by hand … and it gets old.
  • I love that the developer community is friendly and open to new ideas, and always experimenting with how to do things better.

What I Miss from Wiki

Primarily the intertwingularity of wikis. I find the systems that wikis have developed to interconnect data hugely valuable. Backlinks, accidental linking, recent changes, title and word indexes etc.
  • I really miss the ease of wiki markup for data entry. I've used a lot of wiki's now, and I've found that I'll use a wiki page for documentation before any other method (before HTML, Word, or even a text file). It's just easier.
  • I like that my content was separate from the markup. I didn't have to worry about generating correct HTML. If I want to change the way it renders, I change the HTML and changes
  • I love the simplicity of wiki. Simplicity is at odds with features (which is what led me to Drupal), but there is something magical about the simplicity of wikis.

What I Don't Like About Drupal

  • I don't like writing in HTML. I don't want to think about well-formed HTML as I write, I just want to write. I find wiki mark up less intrusive. I've started writing Mozilla Composer and then pasting the HTML into Drupal.
  • I don't like that many of the Drupal modules I rely on (image, weblink, taxonomy_dhtml, traceback, referrer block etc) don’t always get timely updates.
journal posted on 9 Jan 2003 in #failing, #nerding & #wanting

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