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Wagn: A Revolutionary Open Source Wiki on Rails

In Miscellaneous

Everyone knows how wikis work by now - but when was the last time you saw a wiki that struck you as advancing the state of the art? Despite scores of implementations, most wikis are similar to the original. But the Wagn project is trying to change this - and using Rails as its infrastructure.

The basic innovation with Wagn is that instead of the editable units being pages, they're cards - and cards come in many different types, each with their own properties. So there are basic cards with a rich-text editor, HTML cards, plain text cards, image cards, executable Ruby cards, user account cards, and more. In addition, it supports "plus cards" - linkages between other cards that let you assign tags or attributes or indicate how other cards combine into tuples. The effect is a sort of cross between a wiki and a database.

Other features include the ability to nest cards within other cards, dynamic form building, a permissions model, and WQL - the wiki query language - which lets you build up flexible cards through searching for other cards.

The source for Wagn is available on GitHub, and it's under active development. If you've got a reasonably sophisticated user base, it would be a great alternative to a more structured CMS for many sites.

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5 Comment Responses to “Wagn: A Revolutionary Open Source Wiki on Rails”

  1. #1
    Ben Atkin Says:

    I tried this one out. The code on GitHub is in a state of flux and I had to do a few tricks to get it to work (including making it use Rails 2.1 rather than Rails 2.2). It seems promising, though.

  2. #2
    John Abbe Says:

    Wow, thanks for the positive review! It's especially meaningful to us since we feel like you get most of what we're trying to do (tuples, cross between a wiki and a database, WQL, nesting/inclusion). Another design principle (with much work ahead) is to keep smoothing the ramp from reader to editor to site-builder. Anyway, we hope it's cool with you that we've quoted you on

  3. #3
    Pete Forsyth Says:

    We recently decided to use Wagn as the basis for RecentChangesCamp, an international wiki-oriented conference that will take place in Portland, Oregon in February 2009. It's a great tool. Many of us have experience using it on, an Oregon-based project that serves non-profits and charitable foundations.

  4. #4
    John Abbe Says:

    To learn more about RecentChangesCamp, see - lots of great wiki folks, and other tech and non-tech people will be there.

  5. #5
    MarkDilley Says:

    Check out Ward Cunningham's talk at the launch of Connectipedia a major wiki based on Wagn - video

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