Today I got a personal wiki working in well under 2 hours on my Mac.
If you are a Mac user and would like an easy way to keep track of rough draft thoughts and your own personal memory jogging how-tos in a secure and simple way, I recommend the following:
- Download MAMP (Mac Apache, MySQL and PHP)
- Install by dragging to your applications folder as normal.
- Use the myPhpAdmin web-software (available at localhost:8888/MAMP/) to configure your database server (mysql) to accept connections from a new user (phpwikiuser, for example) and add a new database for it (e.g. phpwiki).
- Download phpwiki, and extract the archive using
tar -xzf phpwiki-version.tar.gz
(you may not need the z if the extension is just .tar, as safari automatically gunzips the file when it finishes downloading.)
- Rename the folder to whatever you like (e.g. phpwikiname) and move it into the docroot (default is /Applications/MAMP/htdocs, but you can reconfigure it in preferences).
- Finally, you will need to open the config file and enter the database login details for it, e.g.
or whichever your favourite text editor. (If you just use textedit or word, then you can go to the location (e.g. /Applications/MAMP/phpwikiname/lib/config.php) in finder and double click on the file, choosing TextEdit if no default is set.)
- Change the db type to mysql, and make sure that the database login details further down (in the mysql section!) match what you entered when you created the account. You could just use ‘root’ and ‘root’, but I would advise a less privileged user which only has permissions over the phpwiki database so it can’t break anything else you end up using MAMP for later.
Thats it! Navigate to localhost:8888/phpwikiname/ and edit your front page. Advantages of phpwiki are that it is small and light, has very simple creating and editing (just creating a link creates the page) and it does the job. It’s disadvantages (very insecure as anyone can edit and see who has been editing down to the IP address) are irrelevant if you are using them on a personal system, although you may prefer something a bit prettier (like mediawiki, which is what wikipedia uses; although I don’t use it because it is a sledgehammer to crack a nut for a personal wiki on your laptop – the instructions would be roughly the same though.).
That’s my 2 hours for today, tomorrow I will be covering the basics of theming a drupal web site.