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Proposed change from MediaWiki to TWiki

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Proposed change from MediaWiki to TWiki


During the Wiki Nite meeting in Phoenix, the capabilities of TWiki vis-a-vis MediaWiki were discussed. MediaWiki is open-source Wiki software (from that Mayo Clinic currently supports for HL7 and makes available outside the Mayo firewall. TWiki is an alternate open source software package (from that the Medical Informatics group at Mayo is currently using inside the firewall for its own use.

TWiki has certain features (below) that may better serve HL7's requirements, but in order to keep a handle on support costs, Mayo is willing to provide HL7 with one or the other Wiki service, not both -- an understandable restriction.

TWiki Discussion

For a full comparison between the current Wiki (MediaWiki) and TWiki, see Wikimatrix comparison website. Among the features that make this alternative more attractive are:

  • allows developers to extend the functionality of TWiki with Plugins (Wikimedia has a similar principle called extensions)
  • has plugins available for such features as shared calendars, task lists, etc.
  • allows extension of administrative functions to HL7 Committees such that they can lock individual pages without having to request assistance from a Mayo system administrator (this is probably the only thing on this list not supported by Wikimedia, at least I haven't seen an extension which would cover this - first we have to determine if we really need this feature)
  • provides the ability for a user to request e-mail on a per-change or end-of-day basis for tracking a page (simial extensions exist for Wiki media: , or

Specific TWiki Proposal from M&M

As a consequence, a motion was made during the M&M Conference Call on Friday, January 20, 2006 to request that Mayo expose the TWiki functionality outside the firewall for the use by HL7, with the understanding that there will be a period of no more than 30-days during which both MediaWiki and TWiki will be available to allow conversion of existing HL7 content from one format to the other.

Woody Beeler was asked to follow up with Mayo, but to notify other committees who have content on the current Wiki before requesting a change.