This week I had a great question from a reader, Kevin Parisot:
“I am a team leader of a small app dev team and I came across your blog articles on the use of wikis. I am very interested in setting up a wiki for my team for many of the reasons you have noted. Hoping you could give me a little advice.
I’m hoping to find something that’s very easy to use and …free!
What wiki engine do you use and how did you choose it.”
My preferred wiki is MediaWiki – it’s fast, easy to use & install… and free! It’s the same software used by Wikipedia and is well supported with extensions. I’ve used it at two workplaces before with great success.
Where I work now we use TWiki, which is also very good and has plenty of extensions available, but I find it a little slower and clunkier to use than MediaWiki. On the other hand, it has access control (which we currently don’t use).
If you can get budget for it (because it’s not free) I would also recommend Confluence, by Atlassian. A wonderful feature it is has is cutting and pasting of images into the WYSIWYG editor; otherwise, uploading images can be a little tedious with wikis.
But for something free, and depending on your specific requirements and whether you need access control, I’d recommend MediaWiki or TWiki.
– if anybody else has any questions, please feel free to email them to me!
I have used and can provide comment on the following.
SharePoint – Terrible, run away as fast as you can.
Screwturn – Easy to set up, a ton of functionality, written in .NET, definitely recommended.
Confluence – Great features, superb integration but can be involved to set up.
The guy who is doing most of the development work on Momentus now is slowly moving us over to OneNote, which seems fairly user friendly. It seems to be easier to use as part of your daily activities and is definitely much more free form. i.e. easy to embed images. I think when you put stuff into a Wiki it is more final e.g. documentation, whereas OneNote tends to be used for making notes as you go along.
It is supposed to be multi-user, but I am not sure how it works when multiple users are editing the same page. Interestingly it automatically takes care of saving your work.
Thanks for your comments, Kane and Dean.