I'm using JSPWiki as the basis for a web site our IT organization can use to review technology options that have been reviewed and approved or rejected by our Enterprise Architecture (EA) team. The web site is known as the Approved Product List (APL). The APL includes information on hardware (servers, networking, telephony, etc.), software (COTS, development tools, OS, DB, etc.), and services. This page contains some notes and comments on my experiences with JSPWiki.

Installation#

I began with a vanilla Dell machine running Windows XP 2002 service pack 2. SQL Server is installed on the machine, but not yet being used. I then installed (in order):

  • Sun's JDK 1.5.0.08
  • Tomcat 5.5.17
  • JSPWiki 2.2.33

I was able to get JSPWiki working without too much trouble.

Conversion#

We already had an APL web site with about 350 technology options that were reviewed by the EA team. The information for the existing web site was stored in a SQLite database. I wrote a utility that would convert the information from the database to wiki articles.

I copied the .txt files into the data directory for my wiki. Only about half of them appeard in the wiki at first. This was because the file names included things like spaces, dashes, and slashes. I removed those characters and the articles all appeared as desired after I re-indexed the articles. NOTE: I needed to delete the JSPWiki Work directory (see the JSPWiki.properties file for the location of the Work directory) and the Tomcat's Work directory to force the files to be re-indexed.

Customization#

I changed the appearance of the site to a new template. This was pretty straightforward.

I also created a little JavaScript to add a tree control to the left menu for navigation. This should have been simple, but I had a hard time getting the JavaScript to work. The problem appears to have been caused by blank lines in my JavaScript. JSPWiki will insert paragraph tags <P> when it finds a blank line. My tree control worked fine when I removed the blank lines.

I also used the WikiFormsPlugin to create a form that can be used to add new wiki articles on new technology options. This helps us get some consistency in the articles by encouraging users to enter things like a vendor name, Category, version number, etc.

Problems#

I tried to get my wiki working using SQL Server as a database instead of the file provider. I have not yet been able to get this working. The logs said that the JDBC jar files were not found in the classpath, but I can see them in the proper directory. I have to experiment with this more when I have time.

I also have been unable to get email notification working. I have followed the instructions for getting Java Mail 1.4 installed on the machine along (I think). I have both mail.jar and activation.jar installed in the right directories, my main page updated with the EmailNotifierPlugin, etc. The logs show that the notifier tries to run, but the connection to localhost port 25 is "refused". No further explanation is available as to why it is refused. I suspect that I may still have some configuration to fix within Tomcat. I'm still working on this one.


UPDATE - 9/11/06 I finally got email notifications working. My biggest problem was an invalid assumption I made that Java Mail included an SMTP server. Evidently it does not. Mail.jar is only an SMTP client. I turned on the SMTP server that is part of IIS and that got me a step closer. Then I needed to change the SMTP server so that it would accept connections from the wiki machine (yes, even though it was localhost). I found out how to do this from an Exchange support forum on the web. I had to:

1. Bring up the IIS administration tool from the Administration Tools folder under the Control Panel.
2. Locate Default SMTP Virtual Server.
3. Right click and select properties.
4. Click Access tab and select Relay button.
5. Alter setting to enable an IP Address or range.
6. Restart Virtual Server by right click on Virtual Server in menu and selecting stop and start.


I was disappointed to see that recent updates to this site report that security does not work with JSPWiki 2.2.33. I am reluctant to move to version 2.3 as it is described as a "beta". I'll probably do it anyway at some point. It's unclear to me if 2.3 will ever be called "stable" since it seems that all development activity is currently focused on 2.4.

Final Thoughts#

JSPWiki seems to works well! The site looks good, is fast, and provides most of the basic functionality I needed. The online documentation is a little confusing at times because conversation threads for different versions are inter-mixed. I found this especially frustrating when trying to implement SQL Server as the database provider for my wiki.


Contact Jeff Wilkins, but I'm not sure why you would...

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« This page (revision-5) was last changed on 11-Sep-2006 18:18 by Jeff Wilkins