TWiki Reference Manual (TWiki-6.0.0, Mon, 14 Oct 2013, build 26523)

This page contains all documentation topics as one long, complete reference sheet.

On this page:

Related Topics: TWikiSite, TWikiHistory, TWikiEnhancementRequests, UserDocumentationCategory, AdminDocumentationCategory


TWiki System Requirements

Server and client requirements

Low client and server base requirements are core features that keep TWiki widely deployable, particularly across a range of browser platforms and versions. Many Plugins and contrib modules exist which enhance and expand TWiki's capabilities; they may have additional requirements.

Server Requirements

TWiki is written in Perl 5, uses a number of shell commands, and requires RCS (Revision Control System), a GNU Free Software package. TWiki is developed in a basic Linux/Apache environment. It also works with Microsoft Windows, and should have no problem on any other platform that meets the requirements.

Resource Required Server Environment *
Perl 5.8.0 or higher (5.8.4 or higher is recommended)
RCS 5.7 or higher (including GNU diff)
Optional, TWiki includes a pure Perl implementation of RCS that can be used instead (although it's slower)
GNU diff GNU diff 2.7 or higher is required when not using the all-Perl RcsLite.
Install on PATH if not included with RCS (check version with diff -v)
Must be the version used by RCS, to avoid problems with binary attachments - RCS may have hard-coded path to diff
GNU df Used by the site statistics to record disk usage statistics, optional. The df command is pre-installed on Linux and OS-X. On Windows install the CoreUtils for Windows.
GNU patch For upgrades only: GNU patch is required when using the TWiki:Codev.UpgradeTWiki script
GNU fgrep, egrep Modify command line parameters in configure if you use non-GNU grep programs
zip Zip archive command line utility. Used by the BackupRestorePlugin to create and restore from backups.
Cron/scheduler • Unix: cron
• Windows: cron equivalents
Web server Apache is well supported; see TWiki:TWiki.InstallingTWiki#OtherWebServers for other servers

Required CPAN Modules

Most of the CPAN libraries listesd below are part of a standard Perl installation so you most likely have them all!

See TWiki:TWiki.HowToInstallCpanModules for detailed information on how to install CPAN libraries

The following Perl CPAN modules are used by TWiki:

Module Preferred version Comment
Algorithm::Diff   Included in TWiki distribution
CGI >=3.18 Versions 2.89 and 3.37 must be avoided. Most version from 3.15 and onwards should work.
CGI::Carp >=1.26  
Config >=0  
Cwd >=3.05  
Data::Dumper >=2.121  
Encode >=2.1  
Error   Included in TWiki distribution
File::Copy >=2.06  
File::Find >=1.05  
File::Spec >=3.05  
File::Temp >=0.18 This version included in Perl 5.9.5. File::Temp needs to be updated on RedHat 5 and CentOS 5.
FileHandle >=2.01  
HTML::Parser >=3.28 Needed by the WysiwygPlugin for WYSIWYG editing
HTML::Entities >=1.25 Needed by the WysiwygPlugin for WYSIWYG editing
IO::File >=1.10  
Net::SMTP >=2.29 Used for sending mail
Text::Diff   Included in TWiki distribution
Time::Local >=1.11  

Optional CPAN Modules

The following Perl modules may be used by TWiki:

See TWiki:TWiki.HowToInstallCpanModules for detailed information on how to install CPAN libraries

Module Preferred version Description
Archive::Tar   May be required by the Extensions Installer in configure if command line tar or unzip is not available
Authen::SASL   Used for SMTP Authentication
CGI::Cookie >=1.24 Used for session support
CGI::Session >=3.95 Used for session support
Crypt::SMIME >=0.09 Required if S/MIME-signed administrative e-mail is enabled.
Digest::base    
Digest::SHA1    
Locale::Maketext::Lexicon >=0 Used for I18N support
Net::SMTP >=2.29 Used for sending mail
URI   Used for configure

Most of them will probably already be available in your installation. You can check version numbers with the configure script, or if you're still trying to get to that point, check from the command line like this:

perl -e 'use FileHandle; print $FileHandle::VERSION."\n"'

Client Requirements

The TWiki standard installation has relatively low browser requirements:

  • HTML 3.2 compliant
  • Cookies, if persistent sessions are required

CSS and Javascript are used in most skins, although there is a low-fat skin (Classic skin) available that minimizes these requirements. Some skins will require more recent releases of browsers. The default skin (Pattern) is tested on IE 6, Safari, and Mozilla 5.0 based browsers (such as Firefox).

You can easily select a balance of browser capability versus look and feel. Try the installed skins at TWikiSkinBrowser and more at TWiki:Plugins.SkinPackage.

Important note about TWiki Plugins

  • Plugins can require just about anything - browser-specific functions, stylesheets (CSS), Java applets, cookies, specific Perl modules,... - check the individual Plugin specs.

Related Topics: AdminDocumentationCategory

Back to top


TWiki Installation Guide

The following is installation instructions for the TWiki 5.1 production release on an Apache web server on Linux. Visit TWiki:TWiki.InstallingTWiki for the latest updates to this guide and supplemental information for installing or upgrading TWiki, including notes on installing TWiki on different platforms, environments and web hosting sites.

If you are upgrading from a previous version of TWiki, you probably want to read TWikiUpgradeGuide instead.

Preparing to install TWiki

Before attempting to install TWiki, you are encouraged to review the AdminSkillsAssumptions. This guide assumes you have, at a minimum, basic knowledge of server administration on the system on which TWiki is to be installed. While it is possible to install TWiki with FTP access alone (for example, on a hosted site), it is tricky and may require additional support from your hosting service (for example, in setting file ownership and installing missing Perl CPAN libraries).

To help setup a correct Apache configuration, you are very much encouraged to use the automatic tool TWiki:TWiki.ApacheConfigGenerator which generates the contents for an Apache config file for TWiki based on your inputs.

While this installation guide specifically describes installation on an Apache web server on Linux, TWiki should work fine with any web server and OS that meet the system requirements (see below). For additional notes on installing TWiki on other systems, see TWiki:TWiki.InstallingTWiki#OtherPlatforms.

If you are installing TWiki without Unix/Linux root (administrator) privileges (for example, on a hosted domain), see "Notes on Installing TWiki on Non-Root Account" below for supplemental instructions to the basic steps presented below.

If you are upgrading from an earlier major version of TWiki such as Cairo (TWiki-3) or TWiki 4.x you will need the information found at TWikiUpgradeGuide.

One of the more difficult tasks is installation of additional CPAN libraries. See TWiki:TWiki.HowToInstallCpanModules for detailed information on how to install CPAN libraries.

If you need help, ask a question in the TWiki:Support.WebHome web or on TWiki:Codev.TWikiIRC (irc.freenode.net, channel #twiki).

Basic Installation

  1. Download the TWiki distribution from http://TWiki.org/. (Example - download TWiki-5.1.2.tgz for Linux)
  2. Copy the downloaded package into the directory where you want to install TWiki (Example: /home/httpd ). Unpack the distribution in it (Example: tar xvfz TWiki-5.1.2.tgz). The unpack will create a directory called twiki which contains the TWiki package. In the rest of this document we assume this directory is called twiki.
    • Note: TWiki does not allow spaces in directory names. Especially on Windows make sure to use a directory path without spaces.
  3. Setup access file and directory rights to enable the webserver user (the user Apache runs the CGI scripts as) to read and write inside the twiki directory.
    • Warning: Do not just just run a chmod -R 770 twiki. The access rules have different meaning for files and directories. This is the most common mistake installers make.
    • The distribution tgz has the file and directory access rights setup to work with a reasonable security level that will work for all types of installations including shared hosting.
    • The ownership of the twiki directory tree is normally set to the user that unpacked the tgz and will have to be changed to the webserver user using the command chown -R user:group /path/to/twiki. The webserver username varies from Distributions. Examples for some major distributions:
      • RedHat, Fedora, CentOS, Gentoo, Mandriva : chown -R apache:apache /path/to/twiki
      • debian/Ubuntu/Kubunto : chown -R www-data:www-data /path/to/twiki
      • Suse : chown -R wwwrun:www /path/to/twiki
    • If you mistakenly change the access rights in a way that makes TWiki stop working, simply run the script found at TWiki:TWiki.SettingFileAccessRightsLinuxUnix to set the access rights of the entire TWiki tree back to the defaults in the distribution.
    • It is possible to define tighter access rules than the ones given by default after the installation is complete. But how tight they should be depends on your distribution and local needs. Typically you may want to limit all access from world if the webserver machine has login access for other users than root and the web server administrator. For a dedicated web server made just for running TWiki with limited login access the default access rights are reasonable.
  4. Check the Perl installation. Ensure that Perl 5 and the Perl CGI library are installed on your system.
    • The default location of Perl is /usr/bin/perl. If it's somewhere else, change the path to Perl in the first line of each script in the twiki/bin directory.
    • Some systems require a special extension on perl scripts (e.g. .cgi or .pl). This is normally only needed under Windows and only where perl scripts are only recognized by file extension. Linux and Unix users should normally never need to do this. If necessary, rename all files in twiki/bin (i.e. rename view to view.pl etc). If you do this, make sure you set the ScriptSuffix option in configure (Step 6).
  5. Create the file LocalLib.cfg located as twiki/bin/LocalLib.cfg
    • There is a template for this file in twiki/bin/LocalLib.cfg.txt. Simply copy LocalLib.cfg.txt to LocalLib.cfg. Make sure the ownership and access rights of the copy are the same as LocalLib.cfg.txt
    • The file twiki/bin/LocalLib.cfg must contain a setting for $twikiLibPath, which must point to the absolute directory path of your twiki/lib e.g. /var/www/twiki/lib.
    • If you need to install additional CPAN modules, but can't update the main Perl installation files on the server, you can set $CPANBASE to point to your personal CPAN install. Don't forget that the webserver user has to be able to read those files as well.
  6. Choose best configuration method for your webserver. There are two ways to configure Apache: config file included from httpd.conf or .htaccess files.
    • Apache config file: The recommended method is using a config file. With a config file you can put the entire TWiki configuration in ONE file (typically named twiki.conf). Performance is much better with a config file, and makes setting up a correct and safe installation easier. However using a config file requires that you can restart Apache which again means that you need root or sudo access to stop and start Apache. The TWiki apache config file is included from the main Apache config file httpd.conf. Most distributions have a directory from which any file that ends with .conf gets included when you restart Apache (Example RedHat/Fedora/Centos: /etc/httpd/conf.d). If you use a virtual host setup in Apache you should include the twiki.conf file from inside the desired virtual host config in your Apache configuration.
    • .htaccess files: This option should only be used when you cannot use a config file. Performance is slowed down because Apache has to look through all directories in search of possible .htaccess files each time someone views a page in TWiki. Normally this is the only way to control Apache in a shared host environment where you have no root or sudo privileges.
  7. Configure the webserver
    • Unless you are an Apache expert setting up the webserver can be quite difficult. But TWiki has three resources that make setting up Apache easier.
      • The best and easiest way is to use webpage TWiki:TWiki.ApacheConfigGenerator which contains a tool that can generate a safe and working config file for TWiki on Apache.
      • In the root of the twiki installation you find an example config file twiki_httpd_conf.txt (nevertheless, it is better to use the generator).
    • In case you do not have root priviledges on the server:
      • In the root of the twiki installation and in the twiki/bin directory you find example .htaccess files you can copy and modify. The files contains help text explaining how to set them up. In twiki/bin you find .htaccess.txt which can be copied to .htaccess and defined access to the CGI scripts.
      • In the root of TWiki you find pub-htaccess.txt which you can copy to pub/.htaccess, subdir-htaccess.txt which you can copy to all directories as .htaccess except bin and pub, and you find root-htaccess.txt which you can copy to .htaccess in the twiki root directory. But again only use .htaccess files if you do not have root priviledges.
    • If you are unsure about how to do this on your system, see TWiki:TWiki.InstallingTWiki#OtherPlatforms for links to information about various server setups.
    • Note: When you use config files you need to restart Apache each time you change a setting to make the new setting active.
  8. Run the configure script from your browser (enter http://yourdomain/twiki/bin/configure into your browser address bar)
    • Specify and reenter a password. This is your configure password, as well as the admin user password once TWiki is running.
      • Note: In case you forgot the password, you can reset it by deleting $TWiki::cfg{Password} from LocalSite.cfg file from {TWIKI_ROOT}/lib directory.
    • When you run configure for the first time, you can only edit the General Path Settings section. Save these settings, and then return to configure to continue configuration.
    • Resolve any errors or warnings it tells you about.
    • If your webserver can be accessed by more than one domain name make sure to add the additional alternative URLs to {PermittedRedirectHostUrls}
    • When you return to configure you now need to setup Mail and Proxies. Especially the {WebMasterEmail}, and {SMTP}{MAILHOST} must be defined to enable TWiki to send administrative emails, such as for registration and notification of topic changes. Many ISPs have introduced authentication when sending emails to fight spam so you may also have to set {SMTP}{Username} and {SMTP}{Password}. If you do not want to enable mailing or want to enable it later you can uncheck {EnableEmail}.
    • If you want administrative e-mails to be signed, see S/MIME setup instructions below.

You now have a basic, unauthenticated installation running. At this point you can just point your web browser at http://yourdomain.com/twiki/bin/view and start TWiki-ing away!

Important Server Security Settings

Before you continue any further there are some basic and very important security settings you have to make sure are set correctly.

  1. As already described above, you should protect the configure script from general access. The configure script is designed for use by administrators only and should be restricted to invocation by them only, by using the basic Apache authentication. Because of this there has not been put much effort into hardening the script. The configure script cannot save any settings once the password has been saved the first time, but the script could still be vulnerable to specially crafted field values and the script reveals many details about the webserver that you should not display in public.
  2. You absolutely must turn off any kind of PHP, Perl, Python, Server Side Includes etc in the pub directory. TWiki has some built-in protection which renames files with dangerous filenames by appending .txt to the filename. But this is a secondary security measure. The essential action that you must take is to turn off any possible execution of any of the attached files.
    Most Linux distributions have a default Apache installation which has PHP and server side include (SSI) enabled.
  3. Make sure that you deny access to all other twiki directories than the bin and pub directories. When you have access to the Apache config files the twiki_httpd_conf.txt file mentioned above also contains protection of these directories.
    For those who do not have access to the Apache config files a sample subdir-htaccess.txt file can be copied as .htaccess to the data, lib, locale, templates, tools and working directories.
  4. Attachments are not secured by default to the access control setting of the topic. In other words, anyone can read them if they know the direct URL of the attachment, which includes name of the web, topic and attachment. You can configure TWiki to secure attachments.

The TWiki:TWiki.ApacheConfigGenerator as well as the example twiki_httpd_conf.txt and example htaccess.txt files include the needed settings that protect against all 4 security elements.

Next Steps

Once you have TWiki installed and running, you might consider the following optional steps for setting up and customizing your TWiki site. Many of the references below refer to topics within your TWiki installation. For example, TWiki.TWikiSkins refers to the TWikiSkins topic in your TWiki web. Easy way to jump directly to view the pages is to open your own TWiki in your browser and write TWiki.TWikiSkins in the Jump test box to the right in the top bar and hit Enter. You can find these topics in the on-line reference copy at the official TWiki website: TWiki Release 5.1.

Enable Authentication of Users

This step provides for site access control and user activity tracking on your TWiki site. This is particularly important for sites that are publicly accessible on the web. This guide describes only the most common of several possible authentication setups for TWiki and is suitable for public web sites. For information about other setups, see TWikiUserAuthentication, and TWiki:TWiki.TWikiUserAuthenticationSupplement.

These are the steps for enabling "Template Login" which asks for a username and password in a web page, and processes them using the Apache 'htpasswd' password manager. Users can log in and log out.

  1. Under the Security Settings pane of configure :
    1. Select TWiki::LoginManager::TemplateLogin for {LoginManager}.
    2. Select TWiki::Users::HtPasswdUser for {PasswordManager}.
    3. Save your configure settings.
    4. Register yourself using the TWikiRegistration topic.
      HELP Check that the password manager recognizes the new user. Check that a new line with the username and encrypted password is added to the data/.htpasswd file. If not, you probably got a path wrong, or the permissions may not allow the webserver user to write to that file.
  2. Edit a topic (by clicking on the Edit link at beginning or end of topic) to check if authentication works.

You are strongly encouraged to read TWikiUserAuthentication, TWiki:TWiki.TWikiUserAuthenticationSupplement, and TWiki:TWiki.SecuringTWikiSite for further information about managing users and security of your TWiki site.

Note: The other LoginManager option TWiki::LoginManager::ApacheLogin uses a basic Apache type authentication where the browser itself prompts you for username and password. Most will find the TemplateLogin looking nicer. But ApacheLogin is required when you use Apache authentication methods like mod_ldap where all authentication is handled by an Apache module and not by the TWiki perl code. When you use ApacheLogin the apache configuration must be set up to require authentication of the some but not all the scripts in the bin directory. This section in the Apache config (or .htaccess) controls this

<FilesMatch "(attach|edit|manage|rename|save|upload|mail|logon|rest|.*auth).*">
   require valid-user
</FilesMatch>

The TWiki:TWiki.ApacheConfigGenerator includes this section when you choose ApacheLogin. In the example twiki_httpd_conf.txt and bin/.htaccess.txt files this section is commented out with #. Uncomment the section when you use ApacheLogin. It is important that this section is commented out or removed when you use TemplateLogin.

Define the Administrator User(s)

Administrators have read and write access to any topic in TWiki, regardless of TWiki access controls. When you install TWiki one of the first things you will want to do is define yourself as an administrator. You become an administrator simply by adding yourself to the TWikiAdminGroup. It is the WikiName and not the login name you add to the group. Editing the Main.TWikiAdminGroup topic requires that you are an administrator. So to add the first administrator you need to login using the internal TWiki admin user login and the password you defined in configure.

  • Navigate to the Main.TWikiAdminGroup topic
  • Follow carefully the steps TWikiAdminGroup of how to become an admin
  • Note that if you use ApacheLogin you have to be registered and logged in before you use the internal admin login

Set TWiki Preferences

Preferences for customizing many aspects of TWiki are set simply by editing a special topic with TWiki.

  • TWikiPreferences. Read through it and identify any additional settings or changes you think you might need. You can edit the settings in TWiki.TWikiPreferences but these will be overwritten when you later upgrade to a newer TWiki version. Instead copy any settings or variables that you want to customize from TWiki.TWikiPreferences and paste them into Main.TWikiPreferences. When you later upgrade TWiki simply avoid overwriting the data/Main/TWikiPreferences.txt file and all your settings will be kept. Settings in Main.TWikiPreferences overrides settings in both TWiki.TWikiPreferences and any settings defined in plugin topics. See notes at the top of TWiki.TWikiPreferences for more information.

Enable Email Notification

Each TWiki web has an automatic email notification service that sends you an email with links to all of the topics modified since the last alert. To enable this service:

  1. Confirm the Mail and Proxies settings in the Configure interface.
  2. Setup a cron job (or equivalent) to call the tools/mailnotify script as described in the MailerContrib topic.

Enable Signed Email Notification

TWiki administrative e-mails are an attractive target for SPAM generators and phishing attacks. One good way to protect against this possibility to enable S/MIME signatures on all administrative e-mails. To do this, you need an an X.509 certificate and private key for the the {WebMasterEmail} email account. Obtain these as you would for any other S/MIME e-mail user.

To enable TWiki to sign administrative e-mails:

  1. Enable e-mail as described above
  2. If necessary, convert your certificate and key files to PEM format ( openssl has all the necessary utilities)
  3. Place the certificate anyplace convenient that the webserver can read. It should be protected against write. The conventional place under linux is /etc/pki/tls/certs
  4. Place the key file in a secure location that only the webserver can read. It must not be readable by anyone else, and must not be served by the webserver.
  5. Using the configure script, change the following settings under Mail and Proxies:
    1. Follow the directions under {MailProgram} to enable an external mail program such as sendmail. Net::SMTP is not supported.
    2. Enter the full path to the certificate file in the {SmimeCertificateFile} configuration variable
    3. Enter the full path to the private key file in the {SmimeKeyFile} configuration variable
    4. Save the configuration
  6. Re-run the configure script an resolve any errors that it identifies

All out-going administrative e-mails will now be signed.

Enable WebStatistics

You can generate a listing manually, or on an automated schedule, of visits to individual pages on a per web basis. For information on setting up this feature, see the TWikiSiteTools topic.

Automate removal of expired sessions and lease files

Per default TWiki cleans out expired session and lease files each time any topic is viewed. This however comes at a cost of lower performance. It is an advantage to define a negative value in configure for {Sessions}{ExpireAfter} (turn on expert mode to see it), and install a cronjob to run the tools/tick_twiki.pl script. Read The topic TWikiScripts#tick_twiki_pl for details how to do this.

Enable Localization

TWiki now supports displaying of national (non-ascii) characters and presentation of basic interface elements in different languages. To enable these features, see the Localization section of configure. For more information about these features, see TWiki:TWiki.InternationalizationSupplement.

Tailor New User Profile Topic

When a new users registers on your TWiki, a user profile topic is created for them based on the NewUserTemplate topic (and its UserForm). It contains additional resources you can use to:

  • Localize the user topic.
  • Add a default ALLOWTOPICCHANGE so only the user can edit their own home topic. We do not encourage this for Intranet sites as it sends a wrong signal to new users, but it can be necessary on a public TWiki to prevent spam.
  • Add and remove fields defined in the UserForm

If you choose to tailor anything you are strongly advised to copy NewUserTemplate and UserForm to the Main web and tailor the Main web copies. TWiki will look for the NewUserTemplate in the Main web first and if it does not exist TWiki uses the default from the TWiki web. By creating a Main.NewUserTemplate and its Main.UserForm you will not loose your customization next time you upgrade TWiki.

If you added or removed fields from the user form you may also need to tailor TWikiRegistration.

Custom Start Web and Homepage

By default the TWiki home is Main.WebHome. Users tend to create content starting from the homepage. In most cases it is better to create a new web (workspace) for default content. That way the Main web can be kept clean and used just for users and TWiki groups. For example, you could create an "Intranet" web if TWiki is primarily used as an intranet, or a "KB" web if used as a knowledge base, etc.

If you have a dedicated web as a starting point you obviously want users start at the home of that web. This can be configured in two places: 1. Redirect from site home to web home, and 2. Set the wiki logo URL.

1. Redirect from site home to web home

When a user enters the domain name of your TWiki she expects to see the homepage. You can do that either with an Apache rewrite rule or an HTML meta redirect to redirect from / to /linux4sam/bin/view/Intranet/WebHome. Here is an example index.html containing an HTML meta redirect you can use: Customize it and put it in your HTML document root on your TWiki sever:

<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;/do/view/Intranet/WebHome" />
</head>
<body>
Redirecting to <a href="/do/view/Intranet/WebHome">Intranet home</a>...
</body>
</html>

2. Set the wiki logo URL

When a user clicks on the logo in the upper left or on the "Home" link in the top-bar she expects to navigate to the new homepage. You can do that by defining and customizing the following setting in Main.TWikiPreferences as described in the Set TWiki Preferences section:

URL of the logo:
   * Set WIKILOGOURL = %SCRIPTURLPATH{view}%/Intranet/WebHome

Customize the Look of Your TWiki!

The real power of TWiki lies in its flexibility to be customized to meet your needs. You can easily change the look of the default skins (called TopMenuSkin and PatternSkin) by reading the PatternSkinCustomization.

At the official TWiki website you can find more resources. A good place to start exploring what's possible is TWiki:TWiki.TWikiAdminCookBook which offers tips and tricks for customizing your TWiki site. Many of these are appropriate to implement immediately after installing TWiki and before adding content so now's a good time to look at these.

Customize Special Pages

Some pages are meant to be customized after choice of authentication. If you do not use the internal TWiki password manager the topics that contains the features for changing and resetting passwords and changing the email address should be changed to a note describing how to perform these tasks in your organization. The topics are:

Install Plugins

TWiki:Plugins.WebHome is an extensive library of plugins for TWiki, that enhance functionality in a huge number of ways. A few plugins are pre-installed in the TWiki distribution. For more information on these, see InstalledPlugins.

You activate installed plugin in the Plugins section of configure. In this section you also find a Find More Extensions button which opens an application which can install additional plugins from the TWiki.org website. If you are behind a firewall or your server has no access to the Internet it is also possible to install plugins manually. Manual installation instructions for the plugins can be found in the plugin topics on TWiki.org. Additional documentation on TWiki plugins can be found at TWiki:TWiki.TWikiPluginsSupplement.

Some plugins require that you define their settings in configure. You fill find these under the Extensions section of configure.

WYSIWYG And Raw Edit

From TWiki release 4.2.0 on the WYSIWYG editor has been replaced by a much better and more powerful editor and it was decided that WYSIWYG would be the default edit mode. An Edit Raw link is available for those that have a need or preference for this mode.

However you may prefer to have the same user interface as in TWiki 4.1 where Edit was the raw text editor and you had a WYSIWYG button. This is possible by adding the following setting in the Main.TWikiPreferences, WebPreferences or user hompages:

  • Set EDITMETHOD = raw

Copyright, License and Classification Statements

At the bottom of each topic you will find a default copyright message saying "Copyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors." The WEBCOPYRIGHT setting defines this. This is often not adequate.

  • If your TWiki is used in a commercial application without public access you should replace this by your normal copyright notice. You should also consider adding classifications (e.g. For Internal Use Only) so people do not have to add this manually to every new topic.
  • If your TWiki is public with public access you need to decide which copyright and license the contributions should be covered by. For open source type applications licenses such as the GNU Free Documentation License, FreeBSD Documentation License, and Creative Commons license are possible licenses to consider. Remember that once people have started contributing it is difficult and not correct to change or impose licenses on existing contributions.

You change the copy right statement globally by taking these steps.

  • Copy the setting WEBCOPYRIGHT from TWiki.TWikiPreferences to Main.TWikiPreferences and alter the copied text to your need.
  • You can create a unique message for each web by adding the WEBCOPYRIGHT setting to WebPreferences in each web. E.g. adding a confidencial classification to a very restricted web.
  • The WEBCOPYRIGHT in TWiki.WebPreferences covers the documentation that comes with TWiki and is covered by the original TWiki Copyright and GPL License. You will normally leave this unchanged.

Troubleshooting

The first step is to re-run the configure script and make sure you have resolved all errors, and are satisfied that you understand any warnings.

If, by any chance, you forget the "admin" password, the same used in "configure" script, then please login to the server. Delete $TWiki::cfg{Password}= ' ...';. Set the new password using "configure" script.

Failing that, please check TWiki:TWiki.InstallingTWiki on TWiki.org, the supplemental documentation that help you install TWiki on different platforms, environments and web hosting sites. For example:

It is also advisable to review TWiki:Codev/KnownIssuesOfTWiki05x00.

If you need help, ask a question in the TWiki:Support web or on TWiki:Codev/TWikiIRC (irc.freenode.net, channel #twiki)

Appendices

TWiki System Requirements

Low client and server base requirements are core features that keep TWiki widely deployable, particularly across a range of browser platforms and versions. Many Plugins and contrib modules exist which enhance and expand TWiki's capabilities; they may have additional requirements.

Server Requirements

TWiki is written in Perl 5, uses a number of shell commands, and requires RCS (Revision Control System), a GNU Free Software package. TWiki is developed in a basic Linux/Apache environment. It also works with Microsoft Windows, and should have no problem on any other platform that meets the requirements.

Resource Required Server Environment *
Perl 5.8.0 or higher (5.8.4 or higher is recommended)
RCS 5.7 or higher (including GNU diff)
Optional, TWiki includes a pure Perl implementation of RCS that can be used instead (although it's slower)
GNU diff GNU diff 2.7 or higher is required when not using the all-Perl RcsLite.
Install on PATH if not included with RCS (check version with diff -v)
Must be the version used by RCS, to avoid problems with binary attachments - RCS may have hard-coded path to diff
GNU df Used by the site statistics to record disk usage statistics, optional. The df command is pre-installed on Linux and OS-X. On Windows install the CoreUtils for Windows.
GNU patch For upgrades only: GNU patch is required when using the TWiki:Codev.UpgradeTWiki script
GNU fgrep, egrep Modify command line parameters in configure if you use non-GNU grep programs
zip Zip archive command line utility. Used by the BackupRestorePlugin to create and restore from backups.
Cron/scheduler • Unix: cron
• Windows: cron equivalents
Web server Apache is well supported; see TWiki:TWiki.InstallingTWiki#OtherWebServers for other servers

Required CPAN Modules

Most of the CPAN libraries listesd below are part of a standard Perl installation so you most likely have them all!

See TWiki:TWiki.HowToInstallCpanModules for detailed information on how to install CPAN libraries

The following Perl CPAN modules are used by TWiki:

Module Preferred version Comment
Algorithm::Diff   Included in TWiki distribution
CGI >=3.18 Versions 2.89 and 3.37 must be avoided. Most version from 3.15 and onwards should work.
CGI::Carp >=1.26  
Config >=0  
Cwd >=3.05  
Data::Dumper >=2.121  
Encode >=2.1  
Error   Included in TWiki distribution
File::Copy >=2.06  
File::Find >=1.05  
File::Spec >=3.05  
File::Temp >=0.18 This version included in Perl 5.9.5. File::Temp needs to be updated on RedHat 5 and CentOS 5.
FileHandle >=2.01  
HTML::Parser >=3.28 Needed by the WysiwygPlugin for WYSIWYG editing
HTML::Entities >=1.25 Needed by the WysiwygPlugin for WYSIWYG editing
IO::File >=1.10  
Net::SMTP >=2.29 Used for sending mail
Text::Diff   Included in TWiki distribution
Time::Local >=1.11  

Optional CPAN Modules

The following Perl modules may be used by TWiki:

See TWiki:TWiki.HowToInstallCpanModules for detailed information on how to install CPAN libraries

Module Preferred version Description
Archive::Tar   May be required by the Extensions Installer in configure if command line tar or unzip is not available
Authen::SASL   Used for SMTP Authentication
CGI::Cookie >=1.24 Used for session support
CGI::Session >=3.95 Used for session support
Crypt::SMIME >=0.09 Required if S/MIME-signed administrative e-mail is enabled.
Digest::base    
Digest::SHA1    
Locale::Maketext::Lexicon >=0 Used for I18N support
Net::SMTP >=2.29 Used for sending mail
URI   Used for configure

Most of them will probably already be available in your installation. You can check version numbers with the configure script, or if you're still trying to get to that point, check from the command line like this:

perl -e 'use FileHandle; print $FileHandle::VERSION."\n"'

Client Requirements

The TWiki standard installation has relatively low browser requirements:

  • HTML 3.2 compliant
  • Cookies, if persistent sessions are required

CSS and Javascript are used in most skins, although there is a low-fat skin (Classic skin) available that minimizes these requirements. Some skins will require more recent releases of browsers. The default skin (Pattern) is tested on IE 6, Safari, and Mozilla 5.0 based browsers (such as Firefox).

You can easily select a balance of browser capability versus look and feel. Try the installed skins at TWikiSkinBrowser and more at TWiki:Plugins.SkinPackage.

Important note about TWiki Plugins

  • Plugins can require just about anything - browser-specific functions, stylesheets (CSS), Java applets, cookies, specific Perl modules,... - check the individual Plugin specs.

Notes on Installing TWiki on Non-Root Account

The following supplemental notes to the Basic Installation instructions apply to installing TWiki on a system where you don't have Unix/Linux root (administrator) privileges, for example, on a hosted Web account or an intranet server administered by someone else.

Referring to the Basic Installation steps presented above:

  • Step 2: If you cannot unpack the TWiki distribution directly in your installation directory, you can unpack the distribution on your local PC and then manually create the directory structure on your host server and upload the files as follows:
    • Using the table below, create a directory structure on your host server
    • Upload the TWiki files by FTP (transfer as text except for the image files in pub directory.)
    • Note: Don't worry if you are not able to put the twiki/lib directory at the same level as the twiki/bin directory (e.g. because CGI bin directories can't be under your home directory and you don't have root access). You can create this directory elsewhere and configure the twiki/bin/setlib.cfg file (done in Step 2).
      TWiki dir: What it is: Where to copy: Example:
      twiki start-up pages root TWiki dir /home/smith/twiki/
      twiki/bin CGI bin CGI-enabled dir /home/smith/twiki/bin
      twiki/lib library files same level as twiki/bin /home/smith/twiki/lib
      twiki/locale language files dir secure from public access /home/smith/twiki/locale
      twiki/pub public files htdoc enabled dir /home/smith/twiki/pub
      twiki/data topic data dir secure from public access /home/smith/twiki/data
      twiki/templates web templates dir secure from public access /home/smith/twiki/templates
      twiki/tools TWiki utlilities dir secure from public access /home/smith/twiki/tools
      twiki/working Temporary and internal files dir secure from public access /home/smith/twiki/working

  • Step 3: Files in the pub directory must be readable as a url. This means that directory permissions should be set to 755 (or 775 ) and file permissions should be set to 644 (or 664). If you can run a chmod command, you can accomplish this in two quick steps by running these commands from the root direct:
    • chmod -R 755 pub
    • chmod 644 `find pub -type f -print`
    • In addition, you should create a .htaccess file in the pub directory, using the template included in the root level of the distribution entitled pub-htaccess.txt.
    • Note: This setup does not provide for absolute security for TWiki attachments. For more information, see TWiki:Codev.SecuringYourTWiki.

  • Step 6: In order to run the configure script, create a file called .htaccess in the bin directory that includes the following single line: SetHandler cgi-script . This informs the server to treat all the perl scripts in the bin directory as scripts.

For additional information about installing TWiki on a hosted accounts, see TWiki:TWiki.InstallingTWiki#WebHostingSites

Installing Manually Without Configure

It is highly recommended to use run configure from the browser when setting up TWiki. Configure does a lot of the hard work for you.

But there may be instances where you do not want to use configure or where configure simply won't run because of a missing dependency.

The manual steps you have to take are:

  • Copy the file lib/TWiki.spec to lib/LocalSite.cfg
  • Remove the comment # in front of $TWiki::cfg{DefaultUrlHost}, $TWiki::cfg{ScriptUrlPath}, $TWiki::cfg{PubUrlPath}, $TWiki::cfg{PubDir}, $TWiki::cfg{TemplateDir}, $TWiki::cfg{DataDir}, $TWiki::cfg{LocalesDir}, and $TWiki::cfg{OS} and make sure these settings have the correct values.
  • Make sure to define at least these settings: $TWiki::cfg{LoginManager}, $TWiki::cfg{WebMasterEmail}, $TWiki::cfg{SMTP}{MAILHOST}, $TWiki::cfg{SMTP}{SENDERHOST}.

Back to top


TWiki Upgrade Guide

This guide covers upgrading from a previous version of TWiki (such as TWiki-4.3) to TWiki-5.1

Overview

TWiki-5.1 is a minor release introducing mostly usability enhancements, feature enhancements, and adds extensions to strengthen TWiki as an enterprise collaboration platform. Use this guide to upgrade a previous TWiki release to TWiki-5.1. Use the TWikiInstallationGuide if you do not have data to carry forward.

Upgrade Requirements

  • Please review the AdminSkillsAssumptions before you upgrade TWiki
  • Review supplemental document TWiki:TWiki.TWikiUpgradeTo05x01 for latest information and experience notes.
  • To upgrade from a release prior to TWiki Release 01-Sep-2004, start with TWiki:TWiki.UpgradingTWiki on TWiki.org
  • To upgrade from a standard TWiki Release 01-Sep-2004 to the latest TWiki-5.1 Production Release, follow the instructions below
  • Once the upgrade has been applied, an existing earlier installation will still be able to read all the topics, but should not be used to write. Make sure you take a backup!

Major Changes Compared to Earlier TWiki Releases

See TWikiReleaseNotes04x00, TWikiReleaseNotes04x01, TWikiReleaseNotes04x02, TWikiReleaseNotes04x03, TWikiReleaseNotes05x00, TWikiReleaseNotes05x01, TWikiReleaseNotes06x00

New Upgrade Option with BackupRestorePlugin

TWiki now has a new solution to backup, restore and upgrade TWiki sites. It can be used via browser and on the command line. The BackupRestorePlugin is pre-installed in TWiki-5.1 and later releases; it can be installed in older TWiki releases as low as TWiki-2001-09-01 (Athens Release) to easily create a backup that can be restored on a new TWiki release. This offers an easy upgrade path for TWiki. The plugin is currently in Beta, check TWiki:Plugins.BackupRestorePlugin for updates.

Upgrade Procedure

The following steps are a rough guide to upgrading only. It is impossible to give detailed instructions, as what you have to do may depend on whether you can configure the webserver or not, and how much you have changed distributed files in your current TWiki release.

The main steps are:

  1. Install the new TWiki version, configure it, and get it to work similar to the old version
  2. Install additional extensions (plugins) -- make sure to use the latest versions
  3. Copy all the non-default webs from the old installation to the new
  4. Copy the users from old installation to the new including all their topics from Main
  5. Apply customizations to your skin (logos, menu bars etc)
  6. Apply preferences from old installation
  7. Switch-over

TIP After the extensions are installed (or upgraded) in step 2, take a "golden" backup. That will come in handy for your next patch or upgrade: By checking the differences between the golden copy and your production copy, you will be able to identify all the modifications that you have applied to the core or extensions.

Installation

  • Follow the installation instructions at TWiki:TWiki.TWikiInstallationGuide. Install the new release in a new directory. Do not install on top of the old release.
  • Use the configure script to configure TWiki.
    • If you are upgrading from a 4.x.x release, you can carry over the configure settings from the old release.
    • You need to run configure and save the configuration once when you upgrade as this will update the altered and added settings.
    • You can also choose to start with a fresh configuration and walk through all the settings using your old twiki/lib/LocalSite.cfg as a reference. This way you will not have old obsolete settings in the new LocalSite.cfg.
    • If at any time during the installation you want to start over from fresh, delete the LocalSite.cfg file and re-run configure.
  • Additional resources
  • Make sure you have a working basic TWiki before you continue

Install Extensions

  • From TWiki-4.1.0 and on, the configure script which you ran during installation supports installation of additional plugins.
  • Manual installation is possible. Follow the instruction on the plugin page at twiki.org.
  • Check the plugin topics from your old TWiki installation. There may be plugin settings that you want to transfer to the new TWiki installation.
    HELP Hint: For an easier upgrade later on, set the plugin preferences settings in the Main.TWikiPreferences topic, not in the plugin topic. To identify the plugin, prefix the name of the setting with the capitalized name of the plugin. For example, to change the DEFAULT_TYPE setting of the CommentPlugin, create a COMMENTPLUGIN_DEFAULT_TYPE setting in Main.TWikiPreferences.
  • Typical plugin settings you may have altered.
    • CommentPlugin - Set DEFAULT_TYPE
    • EditTablePlugin - Set CHANGEROWS, Set QUIETSAVE, and Set EDITBUTTON
    • InterwikiPlugin - Set RULESTOPIC
    • InterWikis - If you added your own rules you should save this topic and not overwrite it.
    • SlideShowPlugin - Make sure you did not change the embedded 'Default Slide Template' If you did you should save it. It is a bad idea to do. It is better to define your own slide show templates as separate topics that do not get overwritten when you upgrade.
    • SmiliesPlugin - Did you add your own smileys?
    • TablePlugin - Set TABLEATTRIBUTES.
  • Remember that a plugin must be activated in configure.
  • To avoid having to re-apply plugin settings each time you upgrade a plugin or TWiki itself, define the altered plugin settings in Main.TWikiPreferences instead.

Copy your old webs to new TWiki

  • Webs come in pairs, such as twiki/data/Engineering (for page content) and twiki/pub/Engineering (for attachments).
  • When upgrading from Cairo or earlier it may be necessary to unlock the rcs files in data and pub directories from the old installation using the following shell commands:
    • find data -name '*,v' -exec rcs -u -M '{}' \;
    • find pub -name '*,v' -exec rcs -u -M '{}' \;
  • Copy your local webs over to the data and pub directories of the new install. Do not copy the default webs: TWiki, Main, Trash, Sandbox, _default, and _empty.
  • Make sure all data and pub files and directories are owned by the webserver user.
  • Note: TWiki's WebChanges topics depend on the file timestamp. If you touch the .txt files make sure to preserve the timestamp, or to change them in the sequence of old file timestamps.

Copy Users And Their Topics From Main Web

  • Copy all the topics from the Main web and corresponding pub/Main directories from the old TWiki to the new TWiki but do not overwrite any of the new topics already inside the new Main directory!
  • Manually merge all the users from the old Main.TWikiUsers topic to the new TWiki. If you upgrade from Cairo you can simply use the old file and add the missing new system users to the list of users. If you upgrade from TWiki-4.0.x simply use the old topic. Starting from 4.2.0 TWiki no longer ships with a Main.TWikiUsers topic. When you register the first user TWiki now checks for an existing Main.TWikiUsers and if it does not exist it gets created.
    • If you want users to be able to use a login ID other than their WikiName, such as when using LDAP or SSO authentication, set the configure setting {Register}{AllowLoginName} to 1.
  • If you use data/.htpasswd for authentication copy this file from the old TWiki to the new.
    • If you upgrade from Cairo and you are using the Htpasswd login manager, then note that email addresses for users have moved out of user topics and into the password file. There is a script that performs this extra upgrade step for you - see tools/upgrade_emails.pl.
  • The old Sandbox web may have a lot of useful topic and users may use it actively for drafts. Manually select the topics (remember the corresponding pub directories) from the old Sandbox web and copy them to the one of the new TWiki. Decide if you want to overwrite the sandbox homepage and left menu bar or keep the new.
  • If you added or removed fields from the user topic form you may also have tailored TWiki.TWikiRegistration. Make sure you either reuse the registration topic from the old installation or apply the same field changes to the new TWiki.TWikiRegistration topic.
  • Starting from 4.2.0 TWiki ships with NewUserTemplate and UserForm in the TWiki web. If you choose to tailor anything you are strongly advised to copy NewUserTemplate and UserForm to the Main web and tailor the Main web copies. TWiki will look for the NewUserTemplate in the Main web first and if it does not exist it uses the default from the TWiki web. By creating a Main.NewUserTemplate and its Main.UserForm you will not loose your tailorings next time you upgrade TWiki.
  • Make sure all data and pub files and directories are owned by the webserver user.

Apply Customizations To The Skin

Apply Preferences From Old Installation

  • Transfer any customized and local settings from TWiki.TWikiPreferences to the topic pointed at by {LocalSitePreferences} (Main.TWikiPreferences). Per default this is Main.TWikiPreferences. This avoids having to write over files in the distribution on a later upgrade.
  • If you changed any of the topics in the original TWiki distribution, you will have to transfer your changes to the new install manually. There is no simple way to do this, though a suggestion is to use 'diff' to find changed files in the data/TWiki of the old and new TWiki installation, and transfer the changes into the new TWiki install. If you can run a GUI on your server, you may find that using a visual diff tool like WinMerge, meld, kdiff3, xxdiff, etc. is helpful.
  • Compare the WebPreferences topics in the old TWiki Installation with the default from the new TWiki installation and add any new Preferences that may be relevant.
  • Compare the WebLeftBar topics in the old TWiki Installation with the default from the new TWiki installation and add any new feature that you desire.

Switch-Over

Once you have tested the new TWiki you can switch over to the new site.

If the same domain and URL is used:

  • Update the DNS settings of the TWiki domain with the IP address of the new TWiki server.
  • Keep in mind that the updated DNS is not seen immediately by all users at the same time. The DNS propagation can take several hours and depends on the time to live (TTL) setting. Because of this it is recommended to disable content update on the old server. You could simply rename or move all scripts in twiki/bin that allow content update, such as attach, edit, manage, rename, save, upload, rest. Alternatively, if you have a recent TWiki version on the old server you can set a READONLYSKINMODE = 1 setting in Main.TWikiPreferences to turn the skin into read-only mode.

If the domain or URL changes:

  • Add a DNS setting for the new TWiki domain if needed.
  • Redirect users visiting the old TWiki to the new TWiki. The TWiki:Plugins.MovedSkin has been designed for that task. Install it on your old TWiki, and configure it with the proper URL of the new TWiki. After that, users on the old TWiki will see a yellow box informing them of the move, with a link to the new URL of the page visited.

Customization of Special Pages

Some pages in the TWiki web are meant to be customized after choice of authentication. If you do not use the internal TWiki password manager the topics that contains the features for changing and resetting passwords and changing the email address should be changed to a note describing how to perform these tasks in your organization. If you have made such customizations remember to replace these topics in the TWiki web with the tailored versions from your old installation. The topics are:

  • TWiki.ChangePassword
  • TWiki.ResetPassword
  • TWiki.ChangeEmailAddress

Upgrading from Cairo to TWiki-4 (additional advice)

Favicon

TWiki-4's PatternSkin introduces the use of the favicon feature which most browsers use to show a small icon in front of the URL and for bookmarks.

In TWiki-4 it is assumed that each web has a favicon.ico file attached to the WebPreferences topic. When you upgrade from Cairo to TWiki-4 you do not have this file and you will get flooded with errors the error log of your web server. There are two solutions to this.

  • Attach a favicon.ico file to WebPreferences in each web.
  • Preferred: Change the setting of the location of favicon.ico in TWikiPreferences so all webs use the favicon.ico from the TWiki web. This is the fastest and easiest solution.

To change the location of favicon.ico in TWikiPreferences to the TWiki web add the following setting to Main.TWikiPreferences:

   * Set FAVICON = %PUBURLPATH%/%SYSTEMWEB%/%WEBPREFSTOPIC%/favicon.ico

TWikiUsers topic in Main web

Your old Main.TWikiUsers topic will work in the new TWiki but you will need to ensure that the following four users from the TWikiUsersTemplate topic are copied to the existing TWikiUsers topic in proper alphabetical order:

   * TWikiContributor - 2005-01-01
   * TWikiGuest - guest - 1999-02-10
   * TWikiRegistrationAgent - 2005-01-01
   * UnknownUser - 2005-01-01

What these users are:

  • TWikiContributor - placeholder for a TWiki developer, and is used in TWiki documentation
  • TWikiGuest - guest user, used as a fallback if the user can't be identified
  • TWikiRegistrationAgent - special user used during the new user registration process
  • UnknownUser - used where the author of a previously stored piece of data can't be determined

You additionally need to ensure that TWikiUsers has the Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = TWikiAdminGroup, TWikiRegistrationAgent access control setting. Otherwise people will not be able to register.

Important Changes since TWiki-4.0.5

Supported Perl version

TWiki 4.0.5 worked on Perl version 5.6.X. Reports from users has shown that unfortunately TWiki 4.1.0 does not support Perl versions older then 5.8.0. It is the goal that TWiki should work on at least Perl version 5.6.X but none of the developers have had access to Perl installations older than 5.8.0.

Since TWiki 4.1.0 has some urgent bugs the development team decided to release TWiki 4.1.1 without resolving the issue with Perl 5.6.X. We will however address this and try and resolve it for a planned 4.1.2 release. The TWiki community is very interested in contributions from users that have fixes for the code which will enable TWiki to run on older versions of Perl.

See the WhatVersionsOfPerlAreSupported topic to keep up to date with the discussion how to get back support for earlier Perl versions.

Template spec changed

Until TWiki 4.0.5 TWikiTemplates the text inside template definition blocks (anything between %TMPL:DEF{"block"}% and %TMPL:END% was stripped of leading and trailing white space incl new lines.

This caused a lot of problems for skin developers when you wanted a newline before or after the block text.

From TWiki 4.1.0 this has changed so that white space is no longer stripped. Skins like PatternSkin and NatSkin have been updated so that they work with the new behavior. But if you use an older skin or have written your own you will most likely need to make some adjustments.

It is not difficult. The general rule is - if you get mysterious blank lines in your skin, the newline after the %TMPL:DEF{"block"}% needs to be removed. Ie. the content of the block must follow on the same line as the TMPL:DEF.

The spec change have the same impact on CommentPlugin templates where you may have to remove the first line break after the TMPL:DEF. See the CommentPluginTemplate for examples of how comment template definitions should look like in TWiki-4.1.X

An example: A CommentPlugin template that adds a comment as appending a row to a table. Before the spec change this would work.

<verbatim>
%TMPL:DEF{OUTPUT:tabletest}%%POS:BEFORE%
|%URLPARAM{"comment"}%| -- %WIKIUSERNAME% - %DATE% |
%TMPL:END%
</verbatim>

From Twiki 4.1.0 the old template definition will add an empty line before the new table row. To fix it simply remove the new line before the table.

<verbatim>
%TMPL:DEF{OUTPUT:tabletest}%%POS:BEFORE%|%URLPARAM{"comment"}%| -- %WIKIUSERNAME% - %DATE% |
%TMPL:END%
</verbatim>

The advantage of the spec change is that now you can add leading and trailing white space including new lines. This was not possible before.

Important Changes since TWiki-4.1.0

New location for session and other temporary files

An upgrader upgrading to 4.1.1 should note the following important change

The directory for passthrough files and session files have been replaced by a common directory for temporary files used by TWiki. Previously the two configure settings {PassthroughDir} and {Sessions}{Dir} were by default set to /tmp. These config settings have been replaced by {TempfileDir} with the default setting value /tmp/twiki. If the twiki directory does not exist twiki will create it first time it needs it.

It is highly recommended no longer to use the tmp directory common to other web applications and the new default will work fine for most. You may want to delete all the old session files in /tmp after the upgrade to 4.1.1. They all start with cgisess_. It is additionally highly recommended to limit write access to the {TempfileDir} for security reasons if you have non-admin users with login access to the webserver just like you would do with the other webserver directories.

Important Changes since TWiki-4.1.2

New WYSIWYG Editor

TWiki now ships with a new WYSIWYG editor based on TinyMCE which replaces the Kupu based editor. TinyMCE is not a perfect Wysiwyg editor but it is magnitudes better than the previously used Kupu editor.

The WysiwygPlugin that drives the engine behind both TinyMCE has additionally been heavily improved so that fewer TWiki Applications are negatively affected by editing in WYSIWYG mode.

When TinyMCEPlugin is enabled, the Edit button by default becomes WYSIWYG editing mode. A new Raw Edit link has been added to enable application developers to edit the good old way.

The WYSIWYG button has been removed.

NEWTOPICLINKSYMBOL removed

The NEWTOPICLINKSYMBOL preference which was deprecated in 4.1 has now been removed from the code. If you want to control the appearance of new links, you can use NEWLINKFORMAT.

UserForm and NewUserTemplate Customization

When a new user registers on TWiki his user topic is created based on the NewUserTemplate and UserForm.

The NewUserTemplate was located in the TWiki web and the UserForm in the Main web. When upgrading TWiki these were some of the topics you had to take care not to overwrite.

From 4.2.0 the UserForm and NewUserTemplate are distributed in the TWiki web. If you create the two in the Main web the Main web version will be used instead. So if you tailor the user topic format or the form then you should always copy the two files to the Main web and modify the ones in the Main web. When you later upgrade TWiki your tailored template and form will not be overwritten.

TWikiUsers no longer distributed

The Main.TWikiUsers topic contains all the registered users. It is a topic you do not want to overwrite when you upgrade TWiki.

From 4.2.0 this file is no longer included in the TWiki distribution. When you register the first time TWiki creates the Main.TWikiUsers topic in the Main web if it does not exist already. This means that you can now upgrade TWiki without risk of overwriting the important TWikiUsers topic.

  • For new installers this makes no difference at all
  • For upgraders this is one less problem to worry about as your important Main.TWikiUsers topic now no longer gets overwritten when upgrading.

New working directory

A new working directory which by default is located in the twiki root, has been introduced which contains:

  • registration_approvals - with 4.2.0 it is moved to here from the data directory.
  • tmp - so we now avoid having to fight with special access rights and /tmp directory that gets cleaned out when booting.
  • work_areas - with 4.2.0 it is moved to here from the pub directory. Configure automatically moved the directory when you upgrade.

Note: Remember to restrict access to this new directory when you upgrade.

The configure setting {WorkingDir} defines the container directory for temporary files, extensions' work areas, and intermediate registration data. The default is working under your installation root.

Take care for that change if you run your own routine to delete obsolete session files, which will now be found under working/tmp/cgisess*.

New Internal Admin Login

TWiki 4.2 introduces a new Internal Admin Login feature which uses "admin" (configurable) as username and the password used for configure to become temporary administrator. When you do a new installation you need to use this feature as Main.TWikiAdminGroup is now access restricted by default to avoid security attacks during the hours an installation may take. From configure there is a link to the TWikiAdminGroup topic and on TWikiAdminGroup the step by step instructions are written in a yellow box. Our advice is not to remove this help text in case you need it later.

Important Changes since TWiki-5.0.0

New TopMenuSkin

The TopMenuSkin adds pulldown menus for better usability and corporate/modern look&feel. This skin is based on the PatternSkin, which used the WebLeftBar in each web for navigation. The TopMenuSkin has a new WebTopBar that defines the menu structure in each web. A default menu is shown in case WebTopBar is missing in a web, so you do not need to add a WebTopBar topic to all your existing webs. See TopMenuSkin#WebSpecific instructions in case you need a customized menu structure in a specific web.

Important Changes since TWiki-5.1.0

New Page Bookmarks Feature

A new bookmark feature has been introduced that replaces the personal left-bar links. Bookmarking a page is now a simple point and click operation: In the Account pulldown menu, select "Bookmark this page...". Existing bookmarks can be managed with an edit table in Main.<wikiname>Bookmarks topic, accessible via the "----- Bookmarks -----" pulldown menu of the Account pulldown.

The personal left-bar topics such as JohnSmithLeftBar are no longer used. Ask users to select the "----- Bookmarks -----" pulldown menu of the Account pulldown to initially create the bookmarks topic, then to either bookmark pages, or to manually copy & paste old left-bar links to the bookmarks topic.

User Profile Pages Tailored for Workplace

Previous user profile pages had a bare bones look and the form fields were more tailored for public TWiki sites. TWiki-5.1 brings a more visual/modern page layout with profile picture selector, as well as default form fields tailored for the workplace.

Changes to the TWiki.UserForm:

Renamed:

  • FirstName to First Name (no change in %META:FIELD name)
  • LastName to Last Name (no change in %META:FIELD name)
  • OrganisationName to Organization
  • OrganisationURL to URL
  • Profession to Titles
  • VoIP to Skype ID
  • State to Region
Removed:
  • Address
  • InstantMessaging (IM)
  • HomePage
  • Comment
Added:
  • Department
  • Status Update

When upgrading user profile pages pay attention to the renamed and removed fields.

Back to top


TWiki User Authentication

TWiki site access control and user activity tracking options

Overview

Authentication, or "loging in", is the process by which a user lets TWiki know who they are.

Authentication isn't just about access control. TWiki uses authentication to identify users so it can keep track of who made changes, and manage a wide range of personal settings. With authentication enabled, users can personalise TWiki and contribute as recognised individuals, instead of ghosts.

TWiki authentication is very flexible, and can either stand alone or integrate with existing authentication schemes. You can set up TWiki to require authentication for every access or only for changes. Authentication is also essential for access control.

Quick Authentication Test - Use the %USERINFO% variable to return your current identity:

TWiki user authentication is split into four categories: Password management, user mapping, user registration, and login management. Password management deals with how users' personal data is stored. Registration deals with how new users are added to the wiki. Login management deals with how users log in.

Once a user is logged in, they can be remembered using a Client Session stored in a cookie in the browser (or by other less elegant means if the user has cookies disabled). This avoids the need of having to log in again and again.

TWiki user authentication is configured through the Security Settings pane in the configure interface.

Please note that FileAttachments are not protected by TWiki user authentication by default. The TWiki:TWiki.ApacheConfigGenerator has an option to protect file attachments.

TIP Tip: TWiki:TWiki.TWikiUserAuthenticationSupplement on TWiki.org has supplemental documentation on user authentication.

Password Management

As shipped, TWiki supports the Apache 'htpasswd' password manager. This manager supports the use of .htpasswd files on the server. These files can be unique to TWiki, or can be shared with other applications (such as an Apache webserver). A variety of password encodings are supported for flexibility when re-using existing files. See the descriptive comments in the Security Settings section of the configure interface for more details.

You can easily plug in alternate password management modules to support interfaces to other third-party authentication databases.

User Mapping

Often, when you are using an external authentication method, you want to map from an unfriendly "login name" to a more friendly WikiName. Also, an external authentication database may well have user information you want to import into TWiki, such as user groups.

By default, TWiki supports mapping of usernames to wikinames, and supports TWiki groups internal to TWiki. If you want, you can plug in an alternate user mapping module to support importing groups and other entities.

User Registration

New user registration uses the password manager to set and change passwords, and to store email addresses. It is also responsible for the new user verification process. The registration process supports single user registration via the TWikiRegistration page, and bulk user registration via the BulkRegistration page (for admins only).

The registration process is also responsible for creating user topics and setting up the mapping information used by the User Mapping support.

ALERT! Note: If you are restricting the entire Main web to TWikiGuest, you are required to add TWikiRegistrationAgent to ALLOWWEBCHANGE in your Main/WebPreferences. By doing so, new users are able to register without any errors.

Login Management

Login management controls how users log in. There are three basic options: No login, login via a TWiki login page, and login using webserver authentication support.

No Login (select none in configure)

No Login does exactly what it says. Forget about authentication to make your site completely public - anyone can browse and edit freely, in classic Wiki style. All visitors are given the TWikiGuest default identity so you can't track individual user activity.

ALERT! Note: This setup is not recommended on public websites for security reasons; anyone would be able to change system settings and perform tasks usually restricted to administrators.

Template Login (select TWiki::LoginManager::TemplateLogin in configure)

Template Login asks for a username and password in a web page, and processes them using whatever Password Manager you choose. Users can log in and log out. Client Sessions are used to remember users. Users can choose to have their session remembered so they will automatically be logged in the next time they start their browser.

Enabling Template Login

  1. Use the configure interface to
    1. select the TWiki::LoginManager::TemplateLogin login manager (on the Security Settings pane).
    2. select the appropriate password manager for your system, or provide your own.
    3. HELP there is also an EXPERT configure setting {TemplateLogin}{PreventBrowserRememberingPassword} that you can set to prevent browsers from remembering usernames and passwords if you are concerned about public terminal usage.
  2. Register yourself in the TWikiRegistration topic.
    HELP Check that the password manager recognises the new user. If you are using .htpasswd files, check that a new line with the username and encrypted password is added to the .htpasswd file. If not, you probably got a path wrong, or the permissions may not allow the webserver user to write to that file.
  3. Create a new topic to check if authentication works.
  4. Edit the TWikiAdminGroup topic in the Main web to include users with system administrator status.
    ALERT! This is a very important step, as users in this group can access all topics, independent of TWiki access controls.

TWikiAccessControl has more information on setting up access controls.

ALERT! At this time TWikiAccessControls cannot control access to files in the pub area, unless they are only accessed through the viewfile script. If your pub directory is set up in the webserver to allow open access you may want to add .htaccess files in there to restrict access.

TIP You can create a custom version of the TWikiRegistration form by copying the topic, and then deleting or adding input tags in your copy. The name="" parameter of the input tags must start with: "Twk0..." (if this is an optional entry), or "Twk1..." (if this is a required entry). This ensures that the fields are carried over into the user profile page correctly. Do not modify the version of TWikiRegistration shipped with TWiki, as your changes will be overwritten next time you upgrade.

TIP The default new user template page is in TWiki.NewUserTemplate. The same variables get expanded as in the template topics. You can create a custom new user profile page by creating the Main.NewUserTemplate topic, which will then override the default.

Apache Login (select TWiki::LoginManager::ApacheLogin in configure)

Using this method TWiki does not authenticate users internally. Instead it depends on the REMOTE_USER environment variable, which is set when you enable authentication in the webserver.

The advantage of this scheme is that if you have an existing website authentication scheme using Apache modules, such as mod_auth_ldap or mod_auth_mysql, you can just plug in directly to them.

The disadvantage is that because the user identity is cached in the browser, you can log in, but you can't log out again unless you restart the browser.

TWiki maps the REMOTE_USER that was used to log in to the webserver to a WikiName using the table in TWikiUsers. This table is updated whenever a user registers, so users can choose not to register (in which case their webserver login name is used for their signature) or register (in which case that login name is mapped to their WikiName).

The same private .htpasswd file used in TWiki Template Login can be used to authenticate Apache users, using the Apache Basic Authentication support.

Warning: Do not use the Apache htpasswd program with .htpasswd files generated by TWiki! htpasswd wipes out email addresses that TWiki plants in the info fields of this file.

Enabling Apache Login using mod_auth

You can use any other Apache authentication module that sets REMOTE_USER.
  1. Use configure to select the TWiki::LoginManager::ApacheLogin login manager.
  2. Use configure to set up TWiki to create the right kind of .htpasswd entries.
  3. Create a .htaccess file in the twiki/bin directory.
    HELP There is an template for this file in twiki/bin/.htaccess.txt that you can copy and change. The comments in the file explain what needs to be done.
    HELP If you got it right, the browser should now ask for a login name and password when you click on Edit. If .htaccess does not have the desired effect, you may need to "AllowOverride All" for the directory in httpd.conf (if you have root access; otherwise, e-mail web server support)
    ALERT! At this time TWikiAccessControls do not control access to files in the pub area, unless they are only accessed through the viewfile script. If your pub directory is set up to allow open access you may want to add .htaccess files in there as well to restrict access
  4. You can create a custom version of the TWikiRegistration form by copying the default topic, and then deleting or adding input tags in your copy. The name="" parameter of the input tags must start with: "Twk0..." (if this is an optional entry), or "Twk1..." (if this is a required entry). This ensures that the fields are carried over into the user profile page correctly. Do not modify the version of TWikiRegistration shipped with TWiki, as your changes will be overwritten next time you upgrade.
    The default new user template page is in TWiki.NewUserTemplate. The same variables get expanded as in the template topics. You can create a custom new user profile page by creating the Main.NewUserTemplate topic, which will then override the default.
  5. Register yourself in the TWikiRegistration topic.
    HELP Check that a new line with the username and encrypted password is added to the .htpasswd file. If not, you may have got a path wrong, or the permissions may not allow the webserver user to write to that file.
  6. Create a new topic to check if authentication works.
  7. Edit the TWikiAdminGroup topic in the Main web to include users with system administrator status.
    ALERT! This is a very important step, as users in this group can access all topics, independent of TWiki access controls.
TWikiAccessControl has more information on setting up access controls.

Logons via bin/logon

Any time a user requests a page that needs authentication, they will be forced to log on. It may be convenient to have a "login" link as well, to give the system a chance to identify the user and retrieve their personal settings. It may be convenient to force them to log in.

The bin/logon script enables this. If you are using Apache Login, the bin/logon script must be setup in the bin/.htaccess file to be a script which requires a valid user. Once authenticated, it will redirect the user to the view URL for the page from which the logon script was linked.

Sessions

TWiki uses the CPAN:CGI::Session and CPAN:CGI::Cookie modules to track sessions. These modules are de facto standards for session management among Perl programmers. If you can't use Cookies for any reason, CPAN:CGI::Session also supports session tracking using the client IP address.

You don't have to enable sessions to support logins in TWiki. However it is strongly recommended. TWiki needs some way to remember the fact that you logged in from a particular browser, and it uses sessions to do this. If you don't enable sessions, TWiki will try hard to remember you, but due to limitations in the browsers, it may also forget you (and then suddenly remember you again later!). So for the best user experience, you should enable sessions.

There are a number of TWikiVariables available that you can use to interrogate your current session. You can even add your own session variables to the TWiki cookie. Session variables are referred to as "sticky" variables.

Getting, Setting, and Clearing Session Variables

You can get, set, and clear session variables from within TWiki web pages or by using script parameters. This allows you to use the session as a personal "persistent memory space" that is not lost until the web browser is closed. Also note that if a session variable has the same name as a TWiki preference, the session variables value takes precedence over the TWiki preference. This allows for per-session preferences.

To make use of these features, use the variables:

%SESSION_VARIABLE{ "varName" }% Read a session variable
%SESSION_VARIABLE{ "varName" set="varValue" }% Set a session variable
%SESSION_VARIABLE{ "varName" clear="" }% Clear a session variable

Special read-only session variables:

  • %SESSION_VARIABLE{"AUTHUSER"}% - user ID, current value:
  • %SESSION_VARIABLE{"SESSION_REQUEST_NUMBER"}% - number of pages accessed by current user since login, current value:

Notes:

  • You cannot override access controls preferences this way.
  • You can use the SetGetPlugin to set and get variables that are not user specific. This plugin can store variables persistently if needed.

Cookies and Transparent Session IDs

TWiki normally uses cookies to store session information on a client computer. Cookies are a common way to pass session information from client to server. TWiki cookies simply hold a unique session identifier that is used to look up a database of session information on the TWiki server.

For a number of reasons, it may not be possible to use cookies. In this case, TWiki has a fallback mechanism; it will automatically rewrite every internal URL it sees on pages being generated to one that also passes session information.

TWiki Username vs. Login Username

This section applies only if you are using authentication with existing login names (i.e. mapping from login names to WikiNames).

TWiki internally manages two usernames: Login Username and TWiki Username.

  • Login Username: When you login to the intranet, you use your existing login username, ex: pthoeny. This name is normally passed to TWiki by the REMOTE_USER environment variable, and used internally. Login Usernames are maintained by your system administrator.

  • TWiki Username: Your name in WikiNotation, ex: PeterThoeny, is recorded when you register using TWikiRegistration; doing so also generates a user profile page in the Main web.

TWiki can automatically map an Intranet (Login) Username to a TWiki Username if the {AllowLoginName} is enabled in configure. The default is to use your WikiName as a login name.

NOTE: To correctly enter a WikiName - your own or someone else's - be sure to include the Main web name in front of the Wiki username, followed by a period, and no spaces, for example Main.WikiUsername or %USERSWEB%.WikiUsername. This points WikiUsername to the Main web, where user profile pages are located, no matter which web it's entered in. Without the web prefix, the name appears as a NewTopic everywhere but in the Main web.

Changing Passwords

If your {PasswordManager} supports password changing, you can change and reset passwords using forms on regular pages.

Changing E-mail Addresses

If the active {PasswordManager} supports storage and retrieval of user e-mail addresses, you can change your e-mail using a regular page. As shipped, this is true only for the Apache 'htpasswd' password manager.

Controlling access to individual scripts

You may want to add or remove scripts from the list of scripts that require authentication. The method for doing this is different for Template Login and Apache Login.
  • For Template Login, update the {AuthScripts} list using configure
  • For Apache Login, add/remove the script from .htaccess

How to choose an authentication method

One of the key features of TWiki is that it is possible to add HTML to topics. No authentication method is 100% secure on a website where end users can add HTML, as there is always a risk that a malicious user can add code to a topic that gathers user information, such as session IDs. TWiki developers have been forced to make certain tradeoffs, in the pursuit of efficiency, that may be exploited by a hacker.

This section discusses some of the known risks. You can be sure that any potential hackers have read this section as well!

At one extreme, the most secure method is to use TWiki via SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), with a login manager installed and Client Sessions turned off.

Using TWiki with sessions turned off is a pain, though, as with all the login managers there are occasions where TWiki will forget who you are. The best user experience is achieved with sessions turned on.

As soon as you allow the server to maintain information about a logged-in user, you open a door to potential attacks. There are a variety of ways a malicious user can pervert TWiki to obtain another users session ID, the most common of which is known as a cross-site scripting attack. Once a hacker has an SID they can pretend to be that user.

To help prevent these sorts of attacks, TWiki supports IP matching, which ensures that the IP address of the user requesting a specific session is the same as the IP address of the user who created the session. This works well as long as IP addresses are unique to each client, and as long as the IP address of the client can't be faked.

Session IDs are usually stored by TWiki in cookies, which are stored in the client browser. Cookies work well, but not all environments or users permit cookies to be stored in browsers. So TWiki also supports two other methods of determining the session ID. The first method uses the client IP address to determine the session ID. The second uses a rewriting method that rewrites local URLs in TWiki pages to include the session ID in the URL.

The first method works well as long as IP addresses are unique to each individual client, and client IP addresses can't be faked by a hacker. If IP addresses are unique and can't be faked, it is almost as secure as cookies + IP matching, so it ranks as the fourth most secure method.

If you have to turn IP matching off, and cookies can't be relied on, then you may have to rely on the second method, URL rewriting. This method exposes the session IDs very publicly, so should be regarded as "rather dodgy".

Most TWiki sites don't use SSL, so, as is the case with most sites that don't use SSL, there is always a possibility that a password could be picked out of the ether. Browsers do not encrypt passwords sent over non-SSL links, so using Apache Login is no more secure than Template Login.

Of the two shipped login managers, Apache Login is probably the most useful. It lets you do this sort of thing: wget --http-user=RogerRabbit --http-password=i'mnottelling http://www.example.com/bin/save/Sandbox/StuffAUTOINC0?text=hohoho,%20this%20is%20interesting i.e. pass in a user and password to a request from the command-line. However it doesn't let you log out.

Template Login degrades to url re-writing when you use a client like dillo that does not support cookies. However, you can log out and back in as a different user.

Finally, it would be really neat if someone was to work out how to use certificates to identify users.....

See TWiki:TWiki.SecuringTWikiSite for more information.

Back to top


TWiki Access Control

Restricting read and write access to topics and webs, by Users and groups

TWiki Access Control allows you restrict access to single topics and entire webs, by individual user and by user Groups. Access control, combined with TWikiUserAuthentication, lets you easily create and manage an extremely flexible, fine-grained privilege system.

TIP Tip: TWiki:TWiki.TWikiAccessControlSupplement on TWiki.org has additional documentation on access control.

An Important Control Consideration

Your organization will learn that, while fostering an open collaborative environment, soft security (peer review), together with version control (complete audit trail) will take care of any security concern you might have.

Open, free-form editing is the essence of WikiCulture - what makes TWiki different and often more effective than other collaborative environments. For that reason, it is strongly recommended that decisions to restrict read or write access to a web or a topic are made with great care - the more restrictions, the less wiki in the mix. Experience shows that unrestricted write access works very well because:

  • Peer influence is enough to ensure that only relevant content is posted.
  • Peer editing - the ability for anyone to rearrange all content on a page - keeps topics focused.
  • In TWiki, content is transparently preserved under revision control:
    • Edits can be undone by the administrator (per default a member of TWikiAdminGroup; see #ManagingGroups).
    • Users are encouraged to edit and refactor (condense a long topic), since there's a safety net.
As a collaboration guideline:
  • Create broad-based Groups (for more and varied input), and...
  • Avoid creating view-only Users (if you can read it, you should be able to contribute to it).

Permissions settings of the webs on this TWiki site

Web Sitemap VIEW CHANGE RENAME
  Listed DENY ALLOW DENY ALLOW DENY ALLOW
Preferences Home TWiki on       TWikiAdminGroup   TWikiAdminGroup
Preferences Home Linux4SAM on       TWikiAdminGroup, Lnx4samEditGroup   TWikiAdminGroup, Lnx4samEditGroup

Please Note:

  • A blank in the the above table may mean either the corresponding control is absent or commented out or that it has been set to a null value. The two conditions have dramatically different and possibly opposed semantics.
  • TWikiGuest is the guest account - used by unauthenticated users.
  • The TWiki web must not deny view to TWikiGuest; otherwise, people will not be able to register.

Note: Above table comes from SitePermissions

Authentication vs. Access Control

Authentication: Identifies who a user is based on a login procedure. See TWikiUserAuthentication.

Access control: Restrict access to content based on users and groups once a user is identified.

Users and Groups

Access control is based on the familiar concept of Users and Groups. Users are defined by their WikiNames. They can then be organized in unlimited combinations by inclusion in one or more user Groups. For convenience, Groups can also be included in other Groups.

Managing Users

A user can create an account in TWikiRegistration. The following actions are performed:

  • WikiName and encrypted password are recorded using the password manager if authentication is enabled.
  • A confirmation e-mail is sent to the user.
  • A user profile page with the WikiName of the user is created in the Main web.
  • The user is added to the TWikiUsers topic.

The default visitor name is TWikiGuest. This is the non-authenticated user.

Managing Groups

The following describes the standard TWiki support for groups. Your local TWiki may have an alternate group mapping manager installed. Check with your TWiki administrator if you are in doubt.

Groups are defined by group topics located in the Main web. To create a new group, visit TWikiGroups and enter the name of the new group ending in Group into the "new group" form field. This will create a new group topic with two important settings:

  • Set GROUP = < list of Users and/or Groups >
  • Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = < list of Users and/or Groups >

The GROUP setting is a comma-separated list of users and/or other groups. Example:

  • Set GROUP = SomeUser, OtherUser, SomeGroup

The ALLOWTOPICCHANGE setting defines who is allowed to change the group topic; it is a comma delimited list of users and groups. You typically want to restrict that to the members of the group itself, so it should contain the name of the topic. This prevents users not in the group from editing the topic to give themselves or others access. For example, for the MarketingGroup topic write:

  • Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = MarketingGroup

ALERT! Note: TWiki has strict formatting rules. Make sure you have a real bullet. (In raw edit it is three or six spaces, an asterisk, and an extra space in front of any access control rule.)

The Super Admin Group

A number of TWiki functions (for example, renaming webs) are only available to administrators. Administrators are simply users who belong to the SuperAdminGroup. This is a standard user group, the name of which is defined by {SuperAdminGroup} setting in configure. The default name of this group is the TWikiAdminGroup. The system administrator may have chosen a different name for this group if your local TWiki uses an alternate group mapping manager but for simplicity we will use the default name TWikiAdminGroup in the rest of this topic.

You can create new administrators simply by adding them to the TWikiAdminGroup topic. For example,

  • Set GROUP = RobertCailliau, TimBernersLee
A member of the Super Admin Group has unrestricted access throughout the TWiki, so only trusted staff should be added to this group.

Restricting Access

You can define who is allowed to read or write to a web or a topic. Note that some plugins may not respect access permissions.

  • Restricting VIEW blocks viewing and searching of content. When you restric VIEW to a topic or web, this also restricts INCLUDE and Formatted SEARCH from showing the content of the topics.
  • Restricting CHANGE blocks creating new topics, changing topics or attaching files.
  • Restricting RENAME prevents renaming of topics within a web.

Note that there is an important distinction between CHANGE access and RENAME access. A user can CHANGE a topic, but thanks to version control their changes cannot be lost (the history of the topic before the change is recorded). However if a topic or web is renamed, that history may be lost. Typically a site will only give RENAME access to administrators and content owners.

Controlling access to a Web

You can define restrictions on who is allowed to view a TWiki web. You can restrict access to certain webs to selected Users and Groups, by:

  • authenticating all webs and restricting selected webs: Topic access in all webs is authenticated, and selected webs have restricted access.
  • authenticating and restricting selected webs only: Provide unrestricted viewing access to open webs, with authentication and restriction only on selected webs.

  • You can define these settings in the WebPreferences topic, preferable towards the end of the topic:
    • Set DENYWEBVIEW = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWWEBVIEW = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set DENYWEBCHANGE = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWWEBCHANGE = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set DENYWEBRENAME = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWWEBRENAME = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >

For example, set this to restrict a web to be viewable only by the MarketingGroup:

  • Set ALLOWWEBVIEW = Main.MarketingGroup

If your site allows hierarchical webs, then access to sub-webs is determined from the access controls of the parent web, plus the access controls in the sub-web. So, if the parent web has ALLOWWEBVIEW set, this will also apply to the subweb. Also note that you will need to ensure that the parent web's FINALPREFERENCES does not include the access control settings listed above. Otherwise you will not be able override the parent web's access control settings in sub-webs.

Creation and renaming of sub-webs is controlled by the WEBCHANGE setting on the parent web (or ROOTCHANGE for root webs). Renaming is additionally restricted by the setting of WEBRENAME in the web itself.

Note: If you restrict access to the Main, make sure to add the TWikiRegistrationAgent so that users can register. Example:

  • Set ALLOWWEBCHANGE = TWikiAdminGroup, TWikiRegistrationAgent

Note: For Web level access rights Setting any of these settings to an empty value has the same effect as not setting them at all. Please note that the documentation of TWiki 4.0 and earlier versions of TWiki 4.1 did not reflect the actual implementation, e.g. an empty ALLOWWEBVIEW does not prevent anyone from viewing the web, and an an empty DENYWEBVIEW does not allow all to view the web.

Controlling access to a Topic

  • You can define these settings in any topic, preferable towards the end of the topic:
    • Set DENYTOPICVIEW = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWTOPICVIEW = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set DENYTOPICCHANGE = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set DENYTOPICRENAME = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWTOPICRENAME = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >

For example, set this to restrict a topic to be viewable only by the MarketingExecGroup:

  • Set ALLOWTOPICVIEW = Main.MarketingExecGroup

See "How TWiki evaluates ALLOW/DENY settings" below for more on how ALLOW and DENY interacts.

ALERT! If the same setting is defined multiple times the last one overrides the previous. They are not OR'ed together.

Allowing public access to specific topics in a restricted web

You may want to completely open up access to a specific topic within a restricted web - allowing access by anybody. There is a special group for that - Main.AllUsersGroup. The following setting allows view access to the topic by anybody even if they are not authenticated.

  • Set ALLOWTOPICVIEW = Main.AllUsersGroup

Alternatively, you can grant access only to authenticated users by Main.AllAuthUsersGroup. If an unauthenticated user accesses a topic having the following setting, they are asked to authenticate themself.

  • Set ALLOWTOPICVIEW = Main.AllAuthUsersGroup

Remember when opening up access to specific topics within a restricted web that other topics in the web - for example, the WebLeftBar - may also be accessed when viewing the topics. The message you get when you are denied access should tell you what topic you were not permitted to access.

As mentioned in the following section, meaning of an empty value set to DENYTOPICVIEW, DENYTOPICCHANGE, and DENYTOPICRENAME has been changed in TWiki 6.0. To keep those TWiki topics having empty DENYTOPICOPERAION accessible by everybody, those need to be replaced with

  • Set ALLOWTOPICOPERATION = Main.AllUsersGroup

For that, tools/eliminate_emptydenytopic is provided. After upgrading from pre 6.0 to post 6.0, you need to run it.

Empty values in access control variables

Setting an empty value to an access control variable is the same as not setting at all:

  • Set ALLOWTOPICVIEW =

ALERT! Since TWiki 4.0 and prior to TWiki 6.0 setting DENYTOPICVIEW, DENYTOPICCHANGE, or DENYTOPICRENAME to an empty value meant "do not deny anyone regardless of the corresponding ALLOWTOPICX", which is no longer the case. Back then, setting an empty value to DENYTOPICX was the only way to open up a topic to everybody in a restricted web. Now that we have AllUsersGroup and AllAuthUsersGroup, there is no need for that behaviour, which caused a lot of confusion and debate.

Securing File Attachments

By default, TWiki does not secure file attachments. Without making the following changes to the twiki.conf file, it is possible for anyone who has access to the server to gain access to an attachment if they know the attachment's fully qualified path, even though access to the topic associated with the attachment is secured. This is because attachments are referred to directly by Apache, and are not by default delivered via TWiki scripts. This means that the above instructions for controlling to topics do not apply to attachments unless you make the changes as described below.

An effective way to secure attachments is to apply the same access control settings to attachments as those applied to topics. This security enhancement can be accomplished by instructing the webserver to redirect accesses to attachments via the TWiki viewfile script, which honors the TWiki access controls settings to topics. See the notes below for implications.

The preferred method to secure attachments is by editing the twiki.conf file to include:

    ScriptAlias /do          /filesystem/path/to/twiki/bin
    Alias       /pub/TWiki   /filesystem/path/to/twiki/pub/TWiki
    Alias       /pub/Sandbox /filesystem/path/to/twiki/pub/Sandbox
    ScriptAlias /pub         /filesystem/path/to/twiki/bin/viewfile

Notes:

  • It is recommended to use TWiki:TWiki/ApacheConfigGenerator to generate the Apache config file for your TWiki.
  • You will need to restart your Apache server after this change.
  • Images embedded in topics will load slower since attached images will also be delivered by the viewfile script. The TWiki web and Sandbox web are excluded for performance reasons.
  • The viewfile script sets the mime type based upon file name suffix. Unknown types are served as text/plain which can result in corrupt files.

Controlling who can manage top-level webs

Top level webs are a special case, because they don't have a parent web with a WebPreferences. So there has to be a special control just for the root level.

  • You can define these settings in the Main.TWikiPreferences topic, preferable towards the end of the topic:
    • Set DENYROOTCHANGE = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWROOTCHANGE = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
Note that you do not require ROOTCHANGE access to rename an existing top-level web. You just need WEBCHANGE in the web itself.

How TWiki evaluates ALLOW/DENY settings

When deciding whether to grant access, TWiki evaluates the following rules in order (read from the top of the list; if the logic arrives at PERMITTED or DENIED that applies immediately and no more rules are applied). You need to read the rules bearing in mind that VIEW, CHANGE and RENAME access may be granted/denied separately.

  1. If the user is an administrator
    • access is PERMITTED.
  2. If DENYTOPIC is set to a list of wikinames
    • people in the list will be DENIED.
  3. If DENYTOPIC is set to empty ( i.e. Set DENYTOPIC = )
    • the access control setting is ignored.
      ALERT! Attention: The spec changed in TWiki-6.0; access was permitted in earlier TWiki releases.
  4. If ALLOWTOPIC is set
    1. people in the list are PERMITTED
    2. everyone else is DENIED
  5. If DENYWEB is set to a list of wikinames
    • people in the list are DENIED access
  6. If ALLOWWEB is set to a list of wikinames
    • people in the list will be PERMITTED
    • everyone else will be DENIED
  7. If you got this far, access is PERMITTED

Allowing web creation by user mapping manager

There are cases where DENYROOTCHANGE, ALLOWROOTCHANGE, DENYWEBCHANGE, and ALLOWWEBCHANGE, and DENYWEBCHANGE are not capable enough to implement web creation permission you want. To cope with such cases, when a new web is created, the canCreateWeb($cUID, $web) method of the user mapping manager is called if the method exists. If it returns true, TWiki goes ahead and create the web without checking access control variables. Please read AllowWebCreateByUserMappingManager for more details.

User masquerading

There are cases where it's handy to access TWiki on behalf of somebody else retaining a trace of your real identity rather than completely becoming a different user. We call it user masquerading. TWiki provides a framework to implement that. Please read UserMasquerading for more information.

This is an advanced feature and not many TWiki sites are using, but there is a part in the following section mentioning it, it's mentioned here.

Dynamic access control

This feature is regarded experimental. There are pitfalls and vulnerability. Before using this feature, please read this entire section through carefully.

You may want to restrict access dynamically -- based on topic name, a form field value, or some combination of factors. To cope with such situations, the dynamic access control mechanism is provided. If you set DYNAMIC_ACCESS_CONTROL 'on' at WebPreferences of the web, TWiki variables in access control variables mentioned above are expanded.

Example 1 - restriction based on topic name

Let's assume you need to restrict changes only to the CroniesGroup members excep with topics whose name ends with Public, which need be changed by anybody. That is achieve by the following settings on WebPrefences.

   * Set DYNAMIC_ACCESS_CONTROL = on
   * Set ALLOWWEBCHANGE = %IF{"'%CALCULATE{$SUBSTRING(%TOPIC%, -6, 6)}%' = 'Public'" then="%WIKINAME%" else="CroniesGroup"}%

Example 2 - restriction based on form field

Let's assume:

  • a web storing requests on topics whose name starts with ReqEnt
  • Each request topic has a form field "Requstor", which has the wiki name of the requestor
  • Users can view only requests they created
  • The members of the SupportGroup mail group can view all requests
That is achieve by the following settings on WebPrefences.

   * Set DYNAMIC_ACCESS_CONTROL = on
   * Set ALLOWWEBVIEW = %IF{"'%CALCULATE{$SUBSTRING(%TOPIC%, 1, 6)}%' = 'ReqEnt' and '%FORMFIELD{Requestor}%' != '%WIKINAME%'" then="SupportGroup" else="%WIKINAME%"}%

Specifically the following access control variables are subject to TWiki variable expansion in their values.

  • DENYTOPIC* (e.g. DENYTOPICVIEW, DENYTOPICCHANGE)
  • ALLOWTOIPC*
  • DENYWEB*
  • ALLOWWEB*
DENYROOT* and ALLOWROOT* are not subject to variable expansion. Because there has been no good use cases presented.

Dynamic access control in accessing a different web's topic

Let's assume WebA has the following lines on WebPreferences.

   * Set DYNAMIC_ACCESS_CONTROL = on
   * Set MEMBERS = JaneSmith, JoeSchmoe
   * Set ALLOWWEBVIEW = %MEMBERS%
This is not a good way to use dynamic access control but it does restrict accessonly to those listed in MEMBERS. However, access control doesn't work as expected when WebA.TopicB is accessed from WebC.TopicD by %INCLUDE{WebA.TopicB}% or other variables. This is because %MEMBERS% is defined in WebA and may have a different value in other webs.

You may think the following lines cheat the access control on WebA but actually not.

   * Set MEMBERS = %WIKINAME%
%INCLUDE{WebA.TopicB}%
This is because when a topic (e.g. WebC.TopicD) is accessed from browser and the topic refers to another topic in a different web (e.g. WebA.TopicB) and the different web employs dynamic access control, access to another topic is defined being on the safer side.

Topic level dynamic access control

On a topic, it's possible to use a variable defined on the topic for topic level access restriction. E.g.

   * Set MEMBERS = JaneSmith, JoeSchmoe
   * Set ALLOWTOPICVIEW = %MEMBERS%
[This is not a good way to use dynamic access control

Dynamic access control and user masquerading

Your user mapping handler may be providing the UserMasquerading feature. In that case, you expect dynamic access control to just work when user masquerading is in effect. Otherwise, you cannot test if your dynamic access control configuration is working as expected on your own.

Dynamic access control does work as expected even if user masquerading is in effect. For that, the following things are happening under the hood.

Let's think about Example 2 mentioned above. When you masquerading as SomebodyElse, you need to be able to see SomebodyElse's requests only. In the access control setting, a form field value is compared with %WIKINAME%. While user masquerading is in effect, your wiki name is YourNameOnBehalfOfSomebodyElse. It cannot match the form field value.

To make dynamic access control work under these circumstances, variable expansion for dynamic access control is skewed as follows. Specifically, the following variables are expanded to the value of SomeboyElse's rather than YourNameOnBehalfOfSomebodyElse's.

  • WIKINAME
  • USERNAME
  • WIKIUSERNAME

Vulnerability

It's possible to redefine function tags such as %IF{...}% in your personal preferences. In a future release of TWiki, a way to prevent function tags from being overridden by personal preferences will be provied. But until then, you need to be well aware of this vulnerability.

Disabling dynamic access control

You may not be comfortable with dynamic access control because it may slow things down. Or you may not want to be bothered by questions raised by users about it. If so, you can disable it by setting DYNAMIC_ACCESS_CONTROL 'off' and then finalizing at the local site level. (cf. TWikiVariables#Setting_Preferences_Variables)

Access control and INCLUDE

ALLOWTOPICVIEW and ALLOWTOPICCHANGE only applies to the topic in which the settings are defined. If a topic A includes another topic B, topic A does not inherit the access rights of the included topic B.

Examples: Topic A includes topic B

  • If the included topic B has ALLOWTOPICCHANGE set to block editing for a user, it does not prevent editing the including topic A.
  • If the included topic B has ALLOWTOPICVIEW set to block view for a user, the user can still view topic A but he cannot see the included topic B. He will see a message No permission to view B

Customizing "access denied" message

When access is denied, a page as follows is displayed:

access-denied.png

You may want to customize the passage annotated in the red rectangle. For example, with a web restricting access, you may want to show the link to an access request form.

You can achieve that by setting TOPIC_ACCESS_CONTACT varialbe on WebPreferences. e.g.

   * Set TOPIC_ACCESS_CONTACT = If you need to access this site, please apply [[Main.AccessForm][here]]
Please note that setting it on a topic other than WebPreferences does not take effect. This is a limitation of the current implementation.

Custom user/group notations

You can have custom user/group notations such as USER:userid and LDAPGROUP:group-name and use them for access control. For example:

   * Set ALLOWWEBCHANGE = UID:buzz, LDAPGROUP:foo-bar
In a large organization, TWiki may need to depend on user and group data provided by its infrastructure. Custom user/group notations are handy in such situations though it's not trivial to implement. Please read here for details.

Access Control quick recipes

Restrict Access to Whole TWiki Site

In a firewalled TWiki, e.g. an intranet wiki or extranet wiki, you want to allow only invited people to access your TWiki. There are three options:

1. Install TWiki Behind Firewall:

The firewall takes care of giving access to TWiki to authorized people only. This is a typical setup for a company wiki. As for TWiki configuration, no special setup is needed.

2. Extranet TWiki Using Template Login:

All TWiki content (pages and attachments) need to be access controlled. The Template Login allows users to login and logout. Only logged in users can access TWiki content.

Configuration: Follow the default setup, then change these configure settings:

  • Secure attachments as documented. The TWiki:TWiki.ApacheConfigGenerator is useful to get the setting right.
  • Require authentication for all TWiki scripts except backuprestore, configure, login, logon and resetpasswd with the following configure setting:
    $TWiki::cfg{AuthScripts} = 'attach, changes, edit, manage, oops, preview, rdiff, rdiffauth, register, rename, rest, save, search, twiki_cgi, upload, statistics, view, viewauth, viewfile';
  • When you install additional plugins make sure to add scripts they might introduce also to twiki/bin also to the {AuthScripts} configure setting.
    Attention: Some scripts of additional plugins might not be aware of TWiki's template login. Test all new scripts with a non-authenticated user!

3. Extranet TWiki Using Apache Login:

All TWiki content (pages and attachments) need to be access controlled. The Apache Login does not offer a logout; typically the browser needs to be restarted to logout. Only logged in users can access TWiki content.

Configuration: Enable user authentication with ApacheLogin and lock down access to the whole twiki/bin and twiki/pub directories to all but valid users. In the Apache config file for TWiki (twiki.conf or .htaccess), replace the <FilesMatch "(attach|edit|... section with this:

<FilesMatch ".*">
       require valid-user
</FilesMatch>

Notes:

  • In all three options, content can be restricted selectively with ALLOWWEBVIEW and other access control settings documented above. See also the next quick recipe.
  • In the extranet setup, someone with access to the site needs to register new users. If you still want public users to be able to register automatically follow TWiki:TWiki.RegisterOnViewRestrictedSite.

Authenticate and Restrict Selected Webs Only

Use the following setup to provide unrestricted viewing access to open webs, with authentication only on selected webs. Requires TWikiUserAuthentication to be enabled.

  1. Restrict view access to selected Users and Groups. Set one or both of these variables in its WebPreferences topic:
    • Set DENYWEBVIEW = < list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWWEBVIEW = < list of Users and Groups >
    • Note: DENYWEBVIEW is evaluated before ALLOWWEBVIEW. Access is denied if the authenticated person is in the DENYWEBVIEW list, or not in the ALLOWWEBVIEW list. Access is granted if DENYWEBVIEW and ALLOWWEBVIEW are not defined.

Hide Control Settings

TIP Tip: To hide access control settings from normal browser viewing, you can put them into the topic preference settings by clicking the link Edit topic preference settings under More topic actions menu. Preferences set in this manner are not visible in the topic text, but take effect nevertheless. Access control settings added as topic preference settings are stored in the topic meta data and they override settings defined in the topic text.

Alternatively, place them in HTML comment markers, but this exposes the access setting during ordinary editing.

<!--
   * Set DENYTOPICCHANGE = Main.SomeGroup
-->

Obfuscating Webs

Another way of hiding webs is to keep them hidden by not publishing the URL and by preventing the all webs search option from accessing obfuscated webs. Do so by enabling the NOSEARCHALL variable in WebPreferences:

  • Set NOSEARCHALL = on

This setup can be useful to hide a new web until content its ready for deployment, or to hide view access restricted webs.

ALERT! Note: Obfuscating a web without view access control is very insecure, as anyone who knows the URL can access the web.

Read-only Skin Mode

It is possible to turn the PatternSkin and TopMenuSkin into read-only mode by removing the edit and attach controls (links and buttons). This is mainly useful if you have TWiki application pages or dashboards where you do not want regular users to change content. The read-only skin mode is not a replacement for access control; you can use it in addition to access control. Details at PatternSkinCustomization#ReadOnlySkinMode.

Back to top


TWiki Text Formatting

These instructions are for contributors who prefer to use the Raw Edit over the default WYSIWYG editor. Working in TWiki is as easy as typing in text. You don't need to know HTML, though you can use it if you prefer. Links to topics are created automatically when you enter WikiWords. And TWiki shorthand gives you all the power of HTML with a simple coding system that takes no time to learn. It's all laid out below.

TWiki Editing Shorthand

Formatting Command: You write: You get:
Paragraphs:
Blank lines will create new paragraphs.
1st paragraph

2nd paragraph

1st paragraph

2nd paragraph

Headings:
Three or more dashes at the beginning of a line, followed by plus signs and the heading text. One plus creates a top level heading, two pluses a second level heading, etc. The maximum heading depth is 6.

TIP You can create a table of contents with the %TOC% variable.
TIP If you want to exclude a heading from the TOC, put !! after the ---+.
ALERT! Empty headings are allowed and won't appear in the table of contents.

---++ Sushi
---+++ Maguro
---+++!! Not in TOC

Sushi

Maguro

Not in TOC

Bold Text:
Words get shown in bold by enclosing them in * asterisks.
*Bold*

Bold

Italic Text:
Words get shown in italic by enclosing them in _ underscores.
_Italic_

Italic

Bold Italic:
Words get shown in bold italic by enclosing them in __ double-underscores.
__Bold italic__

Bold italic

Fixed Font:
Words get shown in fixed font by enclosing them in = equal signs.
=Fixed font=

Fixed font

Bold Fixed Font:
Words get shown in bold fixed font by enclosing them in double equal signs.
==Bold fixed==

Bold fixed

TIP You can follow the closing bold, italic, or other (* _ __ = ==) indicator with normal punctuation, such as commas and full stops.
ALERT! Make sure there is no space between the text and the indicators.
ALERT! All words enclosed by the indicators need to be on the same line.
_This works_,
_this does not _
_this fails
too_

This works,
_this does not _
_this fails too_

Separator (Horizontal Rule):
Three or more three dashes at the beginning of a line..
-------


Bulleted List:
Multiple of three spaces, an asterisk, and another space.
HELP For all the list types, you can break a list item over several lines by indenting lines after the first one by at least 3 spaces.
   * level 1
      * level 2
   * back on 1
   * A bullet
     broken over
     three lines
   * last bullet

  • level 1
    • level 2
  • back on 1
  • A bullet broken over three lines
  • last bullet
Icon List:
Multiple of three spaces, an asterisk, text icon:name and another space.
HELP Use the name of any TWikiDocGraphics icon.
   * icon:tip Icon list
      * icon:led-red Full
      * icon:led-green OK
   * icon:unchecked Item 1
   * icon:checked Item 2
   * icon:empty No bullet

  • Icon list
    • Full
    • OK
  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  • No bullet
Numbered List:
Multiple of three spaces, a type character, a dot, and another space. Several types are available besides a number:
Type Generated Style Sample Sequence
1. Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3, 4...
A. Uppercase letters A, B, C, D...
a. Lowercase letters a, b, c, d...
I. Uppercase Roman Numerals I, II, III, IV...
i. Lowercase Roman Numerals i, ii, iii, iv...
   1. Sushi
   1. Dim Sum
   1. Fondue

   A. Sushi
   A. Dim Sum
   A. Fondue

   i. Sushi
   i. Dim Sum
   i. Fondue

  1. Sushi
  2. Dim Sum
  3. Fondue

  1. Sushi
  2. Dim Sum
  3. Fondue

  1. Sushi
  2. Dim Sum
  3. Fondue
Definition List:
Three spaces, a dollar sign, the term, a colon, a space, followed by the definition.

Deprecated syntax: Three spaces, the term with no spaces, a colon, a space, followed by the definition.

   $ Sushi: Japan
   $ Dim Sum: S.F.

Sushi
Japan
Dim Sum
S.F.
Table:
Each row of the table is a line containing of one or more cells. Each cell starts and ends with a vertical bar '|'. Any spaces at the beginning of a line are ignored.
  • | *bold* | header cell with text in asterisks
  • |   center-aligned   | cell with at least two, and equal number of spaces on either side
  • |      right-aligned | cell with more spaces on the left
  • | 2 colspan || and multi-span columns with multiple |'s right next to each other
  • |^| cell with caret indicating follow-up row of multi-span rows
  • You can split rows over multiple lines by putting a backslash '\' at the end of each line
  • Contents of table cells wrap automatically as determined by the browser
  • Use %VBAR% or &#124; to add | characters in tables.
  • Use %CARET% or &#94; to add ^ characters in tables.
TIP The TablePlugin provides the |^| multiple-span row functionality and additional rendering features
| *L* | *C* | *R* |
| A2 |  B2  |  C2 |
| A3 |  B3  |  C3 |
| multi span |||
| A5-7 |  5  |  5 |
|^| six | six |
|^| seven | seven |
| split\
  | over\
  | 3 lines |
| A9 |  B9  |  C9 |

L C R
A2 B2 C2
A3 B3 C3
multi span
A5-7 5 5
six six
seven seven
split over 3 lines
A9 B9 C9
WikiWord Links:
CapitalizedWordsStuckTogether (or WikiWords) will produce a link automatically if preceded by whitespace or parenthesis.
TIP If you want to link to a topic in a different web write Otherweb.TopicName.
TIP To link to a topic in a subweb write Otherweb.Subweb.TopicName.
HELP The link label excludes the name of the web, e.g. only the topic name is shown. As an exception, the name of the web is shown for the WebHome topic.
ALERT! Dots '.' are used to separate webs and subwebs from topic names and therefore cannot be used in topic names.

It's generally a good idea to use the TWikiVariables %SYSTEMWEB% and %USERSWEB% instead of TWiki and Main.

WebStatistics

Sandbox.WebNotify

Sandbox.WebHome

Sandbox.Subweb.TopicName

WebStatistics

WebNotify

Sandbox

TopicName

Anchors:
You can define a reference inside a TWiki topic (called an anchor name) and link to that. To define an anchor write #AnchorName at the beginning of a line. The anchor name must be a WikiWord of no more than 32 characters. To link to an anchor name use the [[MyTopic#MyAnchor]] syntax. You can omit the topic name if you want to link within the same topic.
[[WikiWord#NotThere]]

[[#MyAnchor][Jump]]

#MyAnchor
To here

WikiWord#NotThere

Jump

To here

External Links:
URLs starting with file, ftp, gopher, http, https, irc, mailto, news, nntp and telnet are linked automatically if preceded by whitespace or parenthesis. External links are indicated with a trailing External link icon, and open up in a new browser tab or window; the behavior of both can be set in configure or preferences variables (see TWikiExternalLinks for details). Links can be prevented with an ! exclamation point prefix.
http://twiki.org

https://google.com

!http://escaped-link

http://twiki.org

https://google.com

http://escaped-link

Forced Links:
Use double square brackets to create forced links: Write [[link]] or [[link][label]] to force a link. Use the former for singleton words and if automatic linking is disabled. Use the latter one to specify a link label other than the link. For the link, you can use internal link references (e.g. WikiWords) and URLs (e.g. http://TWiki.org/).
TIP Anchor names can be added to create a link to a specific place in a document.
TIP To "escape" double square brackets that would otherwise make a link, prefix the leading left square bracket with an exclamation point.
TIP The topic title instead of the topic name is shown for [[WikiWord]] links if the SHOWTOPICTITLELINK preferences setting is enabled.
[[WikiWord]]

[[WikiWord#TheSyntax]]

[[WikiSyntax][wiki syntax]]

[[http://gnu.org/][GNU]]

[[Singleton]]

escaped:
![[WikiSyntax]]

WikiWord

WikiWord#TheSyntax

wiki syntax

GNU

Singleton

escaped: [[WikiSyntax]]

Topic Title Links:
Use double square brackets and a plus sign to create links with topic title: Write [[+TopicName]] or [[+Web.TopicName]] to show the topic title instead of the topic name. The topic title is defined by the form field named "Title", the topic preferences setting named TITLE, or the topic name if neither exists.
TIP An alternative syntax is [[TopicName][$topictitle]] or [[Web.TopicName][$topictitle]].
[[+BugN1234]]

[[+Bugs.BugN1234]]

[[BugN1234][$topictitle]]

The sky is falling

The sky is falling

The sky is falling

Prevent a Link:
Prevent a WikiWord from being linked by prepending it with an exclamation point.
!SunOS
SunOS
Disable Links:
You can disable automatic linking of WikiWords by surrounding text with <noautolink> and </noautolink> tags.
HELP It is possible to turn off all auto-linking with a NOAUTOLINK preferences setting.
 <noautolink>
 RedHat & SuSE
 </noautolink>

RedHat & SuSE

Mailto Links:
E-mail addresses are linked automatically. To create e-mail links that have more descriptive link text, specify subject lines or message bodies, or omit the e-mail address, you can write [[mailto:user@domain][descriptive text]].
a@b.com

[[mailto:a@b.com]\
[Mail]]

[[mailto:?subject=\
Hi][Hi]]

a@b.com

Mail

Hi

Twitter Links:
@twitter IDs are linked automatically. The link rule is defined by the {Links}{TwitterUrlPattern} configure setting.
@twiki

@twiki

Verbatim Text:
Surround code excerpts and other formatted text with <verbatim> and </verbatim> tags.
TIP The verbatim tag disables HTML code. Use <pre> and </pre> tags instead if you want the HTML code within the tags to be interpreted.
ALERT! Preferences variables (* Set NAME = value) are set within verbatim tags.
<verbatim>
class CatAnimal {
  void purr() {
    <code here>
  }
}
</verbatim>
class CatAnimal {
  void purr() {
    <code here>
  }
}
Literal Text:
TWiki generates HTML code from TWiki shorthand. Experts surround anything that must be output literally in the HTML code, without the application of TWiki shorthand rules, with <literal>..</literal> tags.
ALERT! Any HTML within literal tags must be well formed i.e. all tags must be properly closed before the end of the literal block.
IDEA! TWiki Variables are expanded within literal blocks.
<literal>
| Not | A | Table |
<literal>
| Not | A | Table |
Protected Text:
Experts protect text from mangling by WYSIWYG editors using <sticky>..</sticky> tags. Sticky tags don't have any effect on normal topic display; they are only relevant when content has to be protected from a WYSIWYG editor (usually because it isn't well-formed HTML, or because it is HTML that WYSIWYG would normally filter out or modify). Protected content appears as plain text in the WYSIWYG editor.
<sticky>
<div>
This div is required
</div>
</sticky>
This div is required

Using HTML, CSS and JavaScript

You can use most HTML tags in TWiki topics without a problem. This is useful where you want to add some content that is formatted in a way that is not supported using TWiki shorthand, for example, you can write <strike>deleted text</strike> to get deleted text.

There are a few usability and technical considerations to keep in mind:

  • On collaboration pages, it's better not to use HTML, but to use TWiki shorthand instead - this keeps the text uncluttered and easy to edit using the plaintext editor.
  • If you must use HTML, use XHTML 1.0 Transitional syntax.
  • Use <literal>..</literal> tags around blocks of HTML to avoid accidental interpretation of TWiki shorthand within the HTML.
  • ALERT! Script tags may be filtered out, at the discretion of your TWiki administrator.

Recommendations when pasting HTML from other sources (using the plain-text editor):

  • Copy only text between <body> and </body> tags.
  • Remove all empty lines. TWiki inserts <p /> paragraph tags on empty lines, which causes problems if done between HTML tags that do not allow paragraph tags, like for example between table tags.
  • Remove leading spaces. TWiki might interpret some text as lists.
  • Do not span a tag over more than one line. TWiki requires that the opening and closing angle brackets - <...> - of a HTML tag are on the same line, or the tag will be broken.
  • In your HTML editing program, save without hard line breaks on text wrap.

When using a WYSIWYG editor, you can just copy-paste directly into the editor, and the content will be converted to TWiki shorthand automatically when you save.

It is also possible to add Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript code to TWiki pages, which can be used to make TWiki application more interactive. To prevent TWiki from interpreting some text as markup, it can be enclosed in HTML-escaped <pre>-tags.

JavaScript Example: CSS Example:
<!-- <pre> -->
<script language="javascript">
<!--
  // put your JavaScript code here
//-->
</script>
<!-- </pre> -->
<!-- <pre> -->
<style type="text/css">
  /* put your CSS code here */
</style>
<!-- </pre> -->

Hyperlinks

Being able to create links without any special formatting is a core TWiki feature, made possible with WikiWords and inline URLs.

Internal Links

  • GoodStyle is a WikiWord that links to the GoodStyle topic located in the current web.

  • NotExistingYet is a topic waiting to be written because it is a red-link. Create the topic by clicking on the link. (Try clicking, but then, Cancel - creating the topic would wreck this example!)

External Links

  • http://..., https://..., ftp://..., gopher://..., news://..., file://..., telnet://... and mailto:...@... are linked automatically.

  • Write [[URL][label]] to get an external link with a descriptive text for the link, such as [[http://google.com/][Google home page]] to get Google home page.

  • E-mail addresses like name@domain.com are linked automatically.

TWiki Variables

TWiki Variables are names enclosed in percent signs that are that are expanded to some other text when the topic is displayed. For example, %TOPIC% is expanded to TWikiVariablesQuickStart. Some variables can take arguments in curly braces - for example, %INCLUDE{"OtherTopic" arg="value"}%.

Many TWiki variables are built-in, and others are predefined for your convenience. TWikiVariables describes how you can also define your own TWiki Variables at the entire site, individual web, or individual topic level. Variables are fully expanded before any of the TWiki text formatting rules are applied.

Commonly used variables:

  • %TOC% : Automatically generates a table of contents based on headings in a topic - see the top of this page for an example.
  • %WEB% : The current web, is TWiki.
  • %TOPIC% : The current topic name, is TWikiVariablesQuickStart.
  • %ATTACHURL% : The attachment URL of the current topic. Example usage: If you attach a file to a topic you can refer to it as %ATTACHURL%/image.gif to show the URL of the file or the image in your text.
  • %INCLUDE{"SomeTopic"}% : Server side include, includes another topic. The current web is the default web. Example: %INCLUDE{"TWiki.SiteMap"}%
  • %SEARCH{"sushi"}% : Inline search showing the search result embedded in a topic. FormattedSearch gives you control over formatting, used to create web-based applications.
  • Documentation Graphics: There are many graphics available to use in your topics. Use %ICON{"help"}%, %ICON{"tip"}%, and %ICON{"warning"}% to get: HELP, TIP, and ALERT!, respectively.
  • Use the TWiki Variables Wizard to build your variables.
  • See all TWiki Variables.

Tip, idea To "escape" a variable, prefix it with an exclamation mark. Write: !%SOMEVARIABLE% to get: %SOMEVARIABLE%.

TWikiPlugin Formatting Extensions

Plugins can extend the functionality of TWiki into many other areas. There are a huge number of TWiki plugins available from the Plugins web on TWiki.org.

Currently enabled plugins on this TWiki installation, as listed by %PLUGINDESCRIPTIONS%:

  • SpreadSheetPlugin (2013-10-10, $Rev: 26482 (2013-10-14) $): Add spreadsheet calculation like "$SUM( $ABOVE() )" to TWiki tables or anywhere in topic text
  • AliasPlugin (2.32, $Rev: 18536 (2010-04-26) $): Define aliases which will be replaced with arbitrary strings automatically
  • BackupRestorePlugin (2013-02-16, $Rev: 25448 (2013-10-14) $): Administrator utility to backup, restore and upgrade a TWiki site
  • BreadCrumbsPlugin (2010-08-01, $Rev: 19303 (2010-08-01) $): A flexible way to display breadcrumbs navigation
  • ColorPickerPlugin (2013-02-15, $Rev: 25074 (2013-10-14) $): Color picker, packaged for use in TWiki forms and TWiki applications
  • CommentPlugin (2013-02-10, $Rev: 24977 (2013-10-14) $): Quickly post comments to a page without an edit/preview/save cycle
  • DatePickerPlugin (2013-09-04, $Rev: 26272 (2013-10-14) $): Pop-up calendar with date picker, for use in TWiki forms, HTML forms and TWiki plugins
  • EditTablePlugin (2013-01-13, $Rev: 25108 (2013-10-14) $): Edit TWiki tables using edit fields, date pickers and drop down boxes
  • EmptyPlugin (2013-09-27, $Rev: 26432 (2013-10-14) $): Empty Plugin used as a template for new Plugins
  • FilterPlugin (2010-07-25, $Rev: 19240 (2010-07-25) $): Substitute and extract information from content by using regular expressions
  • FlexWebListPlugin (2010-07-25, $Rev: 19261 (2010-07-26) $): Flexible way to display hierarchical weblists
  • FootNotePlugin (2.008): Footnotes are notes placed at the end of a topic.
  • GluePlugin (2.1, $Rev: 18553 (2010-04-30) $): Enable markup to span multiple lines
  • HeadlinesPlugin (2013-02-16, $Rev: 25104 (2013-10-14) $): Show headline news in TWiki pages based on RSS and ATOM news feeds from external sites
  • IfDefinedPlugin (v1.1, $Rev: 18548 (2010-04-29) $): Render content conditionally
  • InterwikiPlugin (2013-02-12, $Rev: 25126 (2013-10-14) $): Text ExternalSite:Page links to a page on an external site based on aliases defined in a rules topic
  • JQueryPlugin (2013-09-28, $Rev: 26439 (2013-10-14) $): jQuery JavaScript library for TWiki
  • PreferencesPlugin (2013-09-08, $Rev: 26286 (2013-10-14) $): Allows editing of preferences using fields predefined in a form
  • RedDotPlugin (2010-07-27, $Rev: 21402 (2011-06-04) $): Renders edit-links as little red dots
  • RenderListPlugin (2013-01-28, $Rev: 24820 (2013-10-14) $): Render bullet lists in a variety of formats
  • SectionalEditPlugin: (disabled)
  • SetGetPlugin (2013-01-28, $Rev: 24822 (2013-10-14) $): Set and get variables in topics, optionally persistently across topic views
  • SlideShowPlugin (2013-04-07, $Rev: 25715 (2013-10-14) $): Create web based presentations based on topics with headings.
  • SmiliesPlugin (2013-01-13, $Rev: 24784 (2013-10-14) $): Render smilies as icons, like  :-)  as smile or  :eek:  as eek!
  • TWikiNetSkinPlugin: (disabled)
  • TablePlugin (2013-09-25, $Rev: 26425 (2013-10-14) $): Control attributes of tables and sorting of table columns
  • TagMePlugin (2013-03-12, $Rev: 25778 (2013-10-14) $): Tag wiki content collectively to find content by keywords
  • TinyMCEPlugin (2013-09-18, $Rev: 26397 (2013-10-14) $): Integration of the Tiny MCE WYSIWYG Editor
  • TwistyPlugin (2013-03-22, $Rev: 25508 (2013-10-14) $): Twisty section JavaScript library to open/close content dynamically
  • WatchlistPlugin (2013-09-15, $Rev: 26361 (2013-10-14) $): Watch topics of interest and get notified of changes by e-mail
  • WysiwygPlugin (2013-09-18, $Rev: 26391 (2013-10-14) $): Translator framework for WYSIWYG editors

Check on current Plugin status and settings for this site in TWikiPreferences.

Common Editing Errors

TWiki formatting rules are fairly simple to use and quick to type. However, there are some things to watch out for, taken from the TextFormattingFAQ:

  • Q: Text enclosed in angle brackets like <filename> is not displayed. How can I show it as it is?
    • A: The '<' and '>' characters have a special meaning in HTML, they define HTML tags. You need to escape them, so write '&lt;' instead of '<', and '&gt;' instead of '>'.
      Example: Type 'prog &lt;filename&gt;' to get 'prog <filename>'.

  • Q: Why is the '&' character sometimes not displayed?
    • A: The '&' character has a special meaning in HTML, it starts a so-called character entity, e.g. '&copy;' is the © copyright character. You need to escape '&' to see it as it is, so write '&amp;' instead of '&'.
      Example: Type 'This &amp; that' to get 'This & that'.

Related topics: WikiSyntax, WikiWord, WikiNotation, TextFormattingRules, TWikiEditingShorthand, TWikiRenderingShortcut, TWikiShorthand, TWikiVariablesQuickStart

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TWiki Variables

Special text strings expand on the fly to display dynamic content, such as user data or system info

TWikiVariables are text strings - %VARIABLE% or %VARIABLE{ parameter="value" }% - that expand into content whenever a topic is rendered for viewing. There are two types of variables:

  1. Preferences variables: Can be defined and changed by the user.
    Example: %T% renders as TIP
  2. Predefined variables: Defined by the TWiki system or by extensions.
    Example: %CALCULATE{}% is handled by the SpreadSheetPlugin

See list of all TWiki Variables currently defined in this TWiki installation.

TWiki Variables Wizard

Categories:
Arrow right
Variables:
Arrow down
Select a category and a variable
Arrow down
Build Your Variable:
Pre-load image: processing-bar-wide.gif

Using Variables

To use a variable type its name. For example,

  • type %T% to get TIP (a preferences variable)
  • type %TOPIC% to get TWikiVariables (a predefined variable)
  • type %CALCULATE{ "$UPPER(Text)" }% to get TEXT (a variable defined by a plugin)

Note:

  • To leave a variable unexpanded, precede it with an exclamation point, e.g. type !%TOPIC% to get %TOPIC%
  • Variables are expanded relative to the topic they are used in, not the topic they are defined in
  • Type %ALLVARIABLES% to get a full listing of all variables defined for a particular topic

Variable Names

Variable names must start with a letter, optionally followed by letters, numbers and underscore '_' characters. Both upper-case and lower-case characters can be used, %MYVAR%, %MyVar%, %My2ndVar%, and %My_Var% are valid names. Variables are case sensitive, e.g. %MyVAR% and %MYVAR% are not the same.

By convention all settings, predefined variables and variables handled by extensions are always UPPER-CASE.

Preferences Variables

Unlike predefined variables, preferences variables can be defined by the user in various places.

Setting Preferences Variables

You can set variables in all the following places:

  1. system level in TWiki.TWikiPreferences
  2. plugin topics (see TWikiPlugins)
  3. local site level in Main.TWikiPreferences
  4. user level in individual user topics in Main web
  5. web level in WebPreferences of each web
  6. If EXTRAPREFERENCES is defined at this point, it's regarded as having comma separated list of topics. Those topics are read in the listed order as if they were WebPreferences
  7. topic level in topics in webs
  8. session variables (if sessions are enabled)

Settings at higher-numbered levels override settings of the same variable at lower numbered levels, unless the variable was included in the setting of FINALPREFERENCES at a lower-numbered level, in which case it is locked at the value it has at that level.

If you are setting a variable and using it in the same topic, note that TWiki reads all the variable settings from the saved version of the topic before it displays anything. This means you can use a variable anywhere in the topic, even if you set it somewhere inconspicuous near the end. But beware: it also means that if you change the setting of a variable you are using in the same topic, preview will show the wrong thing, and you must save the topic to see it correctly.

The syntax for setting variables is the same anywhere in TWiki (on its own TWiki bullet line, including nested bullets):
[multiple of 3 spaces] * [space] Set [space] VARIABLENAME [space] = [space] value

Examples:

   * Set VARIABLENAME1 = value
      * Set VARIABLENAME2 = value

Spaces between the = sign and the value will be ignored. You can split a value over several lines by indenting following lines with spaces - as long as you don't try to use * as the first character on the following line.

Example:

   * Set VARIABLENAME = value starts here
     and continues here

Whatever you include in your variable will be expanded on display, exactly as if it had been entered directly.

Example: Create a custom logo variable

  • To place a logo anywhere in a web by typing %MYLOGO%, define the Variable on the web's WebPreferences topic, and upload a logo file, ex: mylogo.gif. You can upload by attaching the file to WebPreferences, or, to avoid clutter, to any other topic in the same web, e.g. LogoTopic. Sample variable setting in WebPreferences:
      * Set MYLOGO = %PUBURL%/%WEB%/LogoTopic/mylogo.gif

You can also set preferences variables on a topic by clicking the link Edit topic preference settings under More topic actions. Use the same * Set VARIABLENAME = value syntax. Preferences set in this manner are not visible in the topic text, but take effect nevertheless.

Parameterized Variables (Macros)

It is possible to pass parameters to TWiki variables. This is called a macro in a programming language.

To define a parameterized variable, set a variable that contains other variables, such as:

   * Set EXAMPLE = Example variable using %DEFAULT%, %PARAM1% and %PARAM2%
   * Set DEMO = Demo using %DEFAULT{ default="(undefined)" }%,
                %PARAM1{ default="(undefined)" }% and %PARAM2{ default="(undefined)" }%

A special %DEFAULT% variable denotes the default (nameless) parameter of the calling variable. Variables optionally may list a default="..." parameter that gets used in case the calling variable does not specify that parameter.

To use a parameterized variable (or call a macro), add parameters within the curly brackets, such as:

   * %EXAMPLE{ "foo" PARAM1="bar" PARAM2="baz" }%
   * %DEMO{ "demo" PARAM2="parameter 2" }% -- note that PARAM1 is missing
which resolves to:
  • %EXAMPLE{ "foo" PARAM1="bar" PARAM2="baz" }%
  • %DEMO{ "demo" PARAM2="parameter 2" }% -- note that PARAM1 is missing

Parameters in the variable definition are expanded using the following sequence:

  1. Parameter from variable call. In above example, %PARAM1% gets expanded to bar.
  2. Session variable and preferences settings

Example

Define variables:

   * Set DRINK = red wine
   * Set FAVORITE = My %DEFAULT{default="favorite"}% dish is %DISH{default="steak"}%,
                    my %DEFAULT{default="favorite"}% drink is %DRINK%.
TIP The default can be defined with a default parameter (%DISH{default="steak"}%), or as a preferences setting (Set DRINK = ...).

Use Variables:

%FAVORITE{ DISH="Sushi" DRINK="Sake" }%
Returns:
%FAVORITE{ DISH="Sushi" DRINK="Sake" }%

%FAVORITE{}%
Returns:
%FAVORITE{}%

%FAVORITE{ "preferred" }%
Returns:
%FAVORITE{ "preferred" }%

Access Control Variables

These are special types of preferences variables to control access to content. TWikiAccessControl explains these security settings in detail.

Local values for variables

Certain topics (a users home topic, web site and default preferences topics) have a problem; variables defined in those topics can have two meanings. For example, consider a user topic. A user may want to use a double-height edit box when they are editing their home topic - but only when editing their home topic. The rest of the time, they want to have a normal edit box. This separation is achieved using Local in place of Set in the variable definition. For example, if the user sets the following in their home topic:

   * Set EDITBOXHEIGHT = 10
   * Local EDITBOXHEIGHT = 20
Then when they are editing any other topic, they will get a 10 high edit box. However when they are editing their home topic, they will get a 20 high edit box. Local can be used wherever a preference needs to take a different value depending on where the current operation is being performed.

Use this powerful feature with great care! %ALLVARIABLES% can be used to get a listing of the values of all variables in their evaluation order, so you can see variable scope if you get confused.

Frequently Used Preferences Variables

The following preferences variables are frequently used. They are defined in TWikiPreferences#Miscellaneous_Settings:

  • %BB% - line break and bullet combined
  • %BB2% - level 2 bullet with line break
  • %BB3% - level 3 bullet with line break
  • %BB4% - level 4 bullet with line break
  • %BR% - line break
  • %BULLET% - bullet sign
  • %CARET% - caret symbol
  • %VBAR% - vertical bar
  • %H% - HELP Help icon
  • %I% - IDEA! Idea icon
  • %M% - MOVED TO... Moved to icon
  • %N% - NEW New icon
  • %P% - REFACTOR Refactor icon
  • %Q% - QUESTION? Question icon
  • %S% - PICK Pick icon
  • %T% - TIP Tip icon
  • %U% - UPDATED Updated icon
  • %X% - ALERT! Alert icon
  • %Y% - DONE Done icon
  • %RED% text %ENDCOLOR% - colored text (also %YELLOW%, %ORANGE%, %PINK%, %PURPLE%, %TEAL%, %NAVY%, %BLUE%, %AQUA%, %LIME%, %GREEN%, %OLIVE%, %MAROON%, %BROWN%, %BLACK%, %GRAY%, %SILVER%, %WHITE%)
  • %REDBG% text %ENDBG% - colored background (also %YELLOWBG%, %ORANGEBG%, %PINKBG%, %PURPLEBG%, %TEALBG%, %NAVYBG%, %BLUEBG%, %AQUABG%, %LIMEBG%, %GREENBG%, %OLIVEBG%, %MAROONBG%, %BROWNBG%, %BLACKBG%, %GRAYBG%, %SILVERBG%, %WHITEBG%)

There are additional useful preferences variables defined in TWikiPreferences, in Main.TWikiPreferences, and in WebPreferences of every web.

Predefined Variables

Most predefined variables return values that were either set in the configuration when TWiki was installed, or taken from server info (such as current username, or date and time). Some, like %SEARCH%, are powerful and general tools.

  • Show all TWiki Variables
  • Predefined variables can be overridden by preferences variables (except a few such as TOPIC and WEB)
  • Extensions may extend the set of predefined variables (see individual extension topics for details)
  • Take the time to thoroughly read through ALL preference variables. If you actively configure your site, review variables periodically. They cover a wide range of functions, and it can be easy to miss the one perfect variable for something you have in mind. For example, see %INCLUDINGTOPIC%, %INCLUDE%, and the mighty %SEARCH%.

Search or List Variables by Category

   Clear    Show all
Category

All TWiki Variables: ACTIVATEDPLUGINS, ADDTOHEAD, ALLVARIABLES, AQUA, ATTACHURL, ATTACHURLPATH, AUTHREALM, BASETOPIC, BASEWEB, BB, BB2, BB3, BB4, BLACK, BLUE, BR, BROWN, BUBBLESIG, BULLET, CALC, CALCULATE, CARET, COLORPICKER, COMMENT, CONTENTMODE, DASHBOARD, DATE, DATEPICKER, DISPLAYTIME, DISPLAYTIME2, EDITACTION, EDITFORMFIELD, EDITTABLE, ENCODE, ENDBG, ENDCOLOR, ENDSECTION, ENTITY, ENV, EXAMPLEVAR, FAILEDPLUGINS, FORMFIELD, GET, GMTIME, GMTIME2, GRAY, GREEN, GROUPS, H, HEADLINES, HIDE, HOMETOPIC, HTTP, HTTPHOST, HTTPS, I, ICON, ICONURL, ICONURLPATH, IF, INCLUDE, INCLUDINGTOPIC, INCLUDINGWEB, JQENDTAB, JQENDTABPANE, JQTAB, JQTABPANE, LANGUAGE, LANGUAGES, LAQUO, LIME, LOCALSITEPREFS, LOGIN, LOGINURL, LOGOUT, LOGOUTURL, M, MAINWEB, MAKETEXT, MAROON, MDREPO, META, METASEARCH, N, NAVY, NBSP, NOP, NOTIFYTOPIC, OLIVE, ORANGE, P, PARENTBC, PARENTTOPIC, PINK, PLUGINDESCRIPTIONS, PLUGINVERSION, PUBURL, PUBURLPATH, PURPLE, Q, QUERYPARAMS, QUERYSTRING, RAQUO, RED, REDBG, REMOTEADDR, REMOTEPORT, REMOTEUSER, RENDERLIST, REVINFO, REVINFO2, S, SCRIPTNAME, SCRIPTSUFFIX, SCRIPTURL, SCRIPTURL2, SCRIPTURLPATH, SCRIPTURLPATH2, SEARCH, SERVERTIME, SERVERTIME2, SESSIONID, SESSIONVAR, SESSIONVARIABLE, SET, SETGETDUMP, SILVER, SITENAME, SITESTATISTICSTOPIC, SLIDESHOWEND, SLIDESHOWSTART, SPACEDTOPIC, SPACEOUT, STARTINCLUDE, STARTSECTION, STATISTICSTOPIC, STOPINCLUDE, SYSTEMWEB, T, TABLE, TEAL, TOC, TOC2, TOPIC, TOPICLIST, TOPICTITLE, TOPICURL, TWIKIWEB, TWISTY, U, URLPARAM, USERINFO, USERNAME, USERREPORT, USERSIG, USERSWEB, VAR, VBAR, WEB, WEBLIST, WEBPREFSTOPIC, WHITE, WIKIHOMEURL, WIKILOGOALT, WIKILOGOIMG, WIKILOGOURL, WIKINAME, WIKIPREFSTOPIC, WIKITOOLNAME, WIKIUSERNAME, WIKIUSERSTOPIC, WIKIVERSION, WIP, X, Y, YELLOW, total 176 variables

Documenting TWiki Variables

This section is for people documenting TWiki variables of the TWiki core and TWiki extensions.

Each variable is documented in a topic named Var<name> in the TWiki web. For example, a %LIGHTSABER% variable has a documentation topic called VarLIGHTSABER. The topic is expected to have a specific format so that reports in this TWikiVariables topic, in TWikiVariablesSearch and in category topics work as expected.

Basic structure of a variable documentation topic:

  • Parent set to TWikiVariables
  • An anchor named the same like the topic, such as #VarLIGHTSABER
  • A ---+++ (level 3) heading with variable name, --, short description
  • A bullet with description of the variable (optional)
  • A Syntax: bullet with example syntax
  • A Parameters: bullet with a table explaining the parameters (optional)
  • An Example: bullet or two with examples
  • An Expands to: bullet with expanded variable (optional)
  • A Note: bullet with notes (optional)
  • A Category: bullet with one or more of the TWiki variables categories:
    AdministrationVariables, ApplicationsAndComponentsVariables, AttachmentsAndFilesVariables, ChartingAndDrawingVariables, DatabaseAndFormsVariables, DateAndTimeVariables, DevelopmentVariables, EditingAndContentUpdateVariables, EmailAndNotificationVariables, ExportAndPublishingVariables, FormattingAndRenderingVariables, ImportVariables, LinkingAndNavigationVariables, SearchingAndListingVariables, SecurityAndAccessControlVariables, SkinsAndTemplatesVariables, SystemInformationVariables, TablesAndSpreadsheetsVariables, UIAndVisualizationVariables, UsersAndAuthenticationVariables, WorkflowAndAutomationVariables
  • A Related: bullet with related links. Links have conditional IF so that links work properly locally in variable documentation topics and in the TWikiVariables topic

Example content of a VarLIGHTSABER topic:

#VarLIGHTSABER
---+++ LIGHTSABER -- laser sword to fend of unethical competition
   * The =%<nop>LIGHTSABER{}%= variable is handled by the LightsaberPlugin.
   * Syntax: =%<nop>LIGHTSABER{ _parameters_ }%=
   * Parameters:
     | *Parameter* | *Description* | *Default* |
     | =color="..."= | Color: =red=, =glue=, =green= | =white= |
     | =sound="..."= | Sound: =none=, =standard=, =loud= | =none= |
   * Example: =%<nop>LIGHTSABER{ color="red" }%= shows a red Lightsaber
   * Expands to: =%LIGHTSABER{ color="red" }%=
   * Note: The Lightsaber is a fictional weapon in the Star Wars universe, a "laser sword."
   * Category: FormattingAndRenderingVariables, UIAndVisualizationVariables
   * Related: [[%IF{"'%INCLUDINGTOPIC%'='TWikiVariables'" then="#"}%VarPLASMA][PLASMA]], LightsaberPlugin

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TWiki Formatted Search

Inline search feature allows flexible formatting of search result

The default output format of a %SEARCH{...}% is a table consisting of topic names and topic summaries. Use the format="..." parameter to customize the search result. The format parameter typically defines a bullet or a table row containing variables, such as %SEARCH{ "food" format="| $topic | $summary |" }%. See %SEARCH{...}% for other search parameters, such as separator="".

Syntax

Three parameters can be used to customize a search result:

1. header="..." parameter

Use the header parameter to specify the header of a search result. It should correspond to the format of the format parameter. This parameter is optional.
Example: header="| *Topic:* | *Summary:* |"

Variables that can be used in the header string:

Name: Expands To:
$web Name of the web
$n or $n() New line. Use $n() if followed by alphanumeric character, e.g. write Foo$n()Bar instead of Foo$nBar
$nop or $nop() Is a "no operation". This variable gets removed; useful for nested search
$quot or \" Double quote (")
$aquot Apostrophe quote (')
$percnt Percent sign (%)
$dollar Dollar sign ($)
$lt Less than sign (<)
$gt Greater than sign (>)

2. format="..." parameter

Use the format parameter to specify the format of one search hit.
Example: format="| $topic | $summary |"

Variables that can be used in the format string:

Name: Expands To:
$web Name of the web
$topic Topic name
$topic(20) Topic name, "- " hyphenated each 20 characters
$topic(30, -<br />) Topic name, hyphenated each 30 characters with separator "-<br />"
$topic(40, ...) Topic name, shortened to 40 characters with "..." indication
$topictitle Topic title, in order of sequence defined by: Form field named "Title", topic preference setting named TITLE, topic name
$parent Name of parent topic; empty if not set
$parent(20) Name of parent topic, same hyphenation/shortening like $topic()
$text Formatted topic text. In case of a multiple="on" search, it is the line found for each search hit.
$text(encode:type) Same as above, but encoded in the specified type. Possible types are the same as ENCODE. Though ENCODE can take the extra parameter, $text(encode:type) cannot. e.g. $text(encode:html)
$locked LOCKED flag (if any)
$date Time stamp of last topic update, e.g. 01 Sep 2014 - 07:28
$isodate Time stamp of last topic update, e.g. 2014-09-01T07:28Z
$rev Number of last topic revision, e.g. 4
$username Login name of last topic update, e.g. jsmith
$wikiname Wiki user name of last topic update, e.g. JohnSmith
$wikiusername Wiki user name of last topic update, like Main.JohnSmith
$createdate Time stamp of topic revision 1
$createusername Login name of topic revision 1, e.g. jsmith
$createwikiname Wiki user name of topic revision 1, e.g. JohnSmith
$createwikiusername Wiki user name of topic revision 1, e.g. Main.JohnSmith
$summary Topic summary, just the plain text, all TWiki variables, formatting and line breaks removed; up to 162 characters
$summary(50) Topic summary, up to 50 characters shown
$summary(showvarnames) Topic summary, with %ALLTWIKI{...}% variables shown as ALLTWIKI{...}
$summary(expandvar) Topic summary, with %ALLTWIKI{...}% variables expanded
$summary(noheader) Topic summary, with leading ---+ headers removed
Note: The tokens can be combined, for example $summary(100, showvarnames, noheader)
$changes Summary of changes between latest rev and previous rev
$changes(n) Summary of changes between latest rev and rev n
$formname The name of the form attached to the topic; empty if none
$formfield(name) The field value of a form field; for example, $formfield(TopicClassification) would get expanded to PublicFAQ. This applies only to topics that have a TWikiForm
$formfield(name, encode:type) Form field value, encoded in the specified type. This is in parallel to $text(encode:type) shown above. Comma followed by encode:type can be added to the $formfield(...) syntax below as well. But it needs to be the last paramer. e.g. $formfield(Description, 20, encode:html)
$formfield(name, 10) Form field value, "- " hyphenated each 10 characters
$formfield(name, 20, -<br />) Form field value, hyphenated each 20 characters with separator "-<br />"
$formfield(name, 30, ...) Form field value, shortened to 30 characters with "..." indication
$query(query-syntax) Access topic meta data using SQL-like QuerySearch syntax. Example:
$query(attachments.arraysize) returns the number of files attached to the current topic
$query(attachments[name~'*.gif'].size) returns an array with size of all .gif attachments, such as 848, 1425, 923
$query(parent.name) is equivalent to $parent
$query(query-syntax, encode:type) QuerySearch result is encoded in the specified type. This is in parallel to $text(encode:type) mentioned above
$pattern(reg-exp) A regular expression pattern to extract some text from a topic (does not search meta data; use $formfield instead). In case of a multiple="on" search, the pattern is applied to the line found in each search hit.
• Specify a RegularExpression that covers the whole text (topic or line), which typically starts with .*, and must end in .*
• Put text you want to keep in parenthesis, like $pattern(.*?(from here.*?to here).*)
• Example: $pattern(.*?\*.*?Email\:\s*([^\n\r]+).*) extracts the e-mail address from a bullet of format * Email: ...
• This example has non-greedy .*? patterns to scan for the first occurance of the Email bullet; use greedy .* patterns to scan for the last occurance
• Limitation: Do not use .*) inside the pattern, e.g. $pattern(.*foo(.*)bar.*) does not work, but $pattern(.*foo(.*?)bar.*) does
• Note: Make sure that the integrity of a web page is not compromised; for example, if you include an HTML table make sure to include everything including the table end tag
$pattern(reg-exp, encode:type) A text extracted by reg-exp is encoded in the specified type. This is in parallel to $text(encode:type) mentioned above
$count(reg-exp) Count of number of times a regular expression pattern appears in the text of a topic (does not search meta data). Follows guidelines for use and limitations outlined above under $pattern(reg-exp). Example: $count(.*?(---[+][+][+][+]) .*) counts the number of <H4> headers in a page.
$ntopics Number of topics found in current web. This is the current topic count, not the total number of topics
$tntopics The total number of topics matched
$nwebs The number of webs searched
$nhits Number of hits if multiple="on". Cumulative across all topics in current web. Identical to $ntopics unless multiple="on"
$n or $n() New line. Use $n() if followed by alphanumeric character, e.g. write Foo$n()Bar instead of Foo$nBar
$nop or $nop() Is a "no operation". This variable gets removed; useful for nested search
$quot or \" Double quote (")
$aquot Apostrophe quote (')
$percnt Percent sign (%)
$dollar Dollar sign ($)
$lt Less than sign (<)
$gt Greater than sign (>)

3. footer="..." parameter

Use the footer parameter to specify the footer of a search result. It should correspond to the format of the format parameter. This parameter is optional.
Example: footer="| *Topic* | *Summary* |"

Variables that can be used in the footer string:

Name: Expands To:
$web Name of the web
$ntopics Number of topics found in current web
$tntopics The total number of topics matched
$nwebs The number of webs searched
$nhits Number of hits if multiple="on". Cumulative across all topics in current web. Identical to $ntopics unless multiple="on"
$n or $n() New line. Use $n() if followed by alphanumeric character, e.g. write Foo$n()Bar instead of Foo$nBar
$nop or $nop() Is a "no operation". This variable gets removed; useful for nested search
$quot or \" Double quote (")
$aquot Apostrophe quote (')
$percnt Percent sign (%)
$dollar Dollar sign ($)
$lt Less than sign (<)
$gt Greater than sign (>)

4. default="..." parameter

Use the default parameter to specify a default message if there are no hits in a web. This parameter is optional.
Example: default="| *Note* | Nothing found in the [[$web.WebHome][$web]] web |"

Variables that can be used in the default string:

Name: Expands To:
$web Name of the web
$n or $n() New line. Use $n() if followed by alphanumeric character, e.g. write Foo$n()Bar instead of Foo$nBar
$nop or $nop() Is a "no operation". This variable gets removed; useful for nested search
$quot or \" Double quote (")
$aquot Apostrophe quote (')
$percnt Percent sign (%)
$dollar Dollar sign ($)
$lt Less than sign (<)
$gt Greater than sign (>)

Results pagination

When a search return many results, you may want to paginate them having the following line below the results.

«Prev   1   2   3   4   5   Next»

SearchResultsPagination describes how to do it.

Evaluation order of variables

By default, variables embedded in the format parameter of %SEARCH{}% are evaluated once before the search. This is OK for variables that do not change, such as %SCRIPTURLPATH%. Variables that should be evaluated once per search hit must be escaped. For example, to escape a conditional:
    %IF{ "..." then="..." else="..." }%
write this:
    format="$percntIF{ \"...\" then=\"...\" else=\"...\" }$percnt"

Examples

Here are some samples of formatted searches. The SearchPatternCookbook has other examples, such as creating a picklist of usernames, searching for topic children and more.

Bullet list showing topic name and summary

Write this:

%SEARCH{
 "FAQ"
 scope="topic"
 nosearch="on"
 nototal="on"
 header="   * *Topic: Summary:*"
 format="   * [[$topic]]: $summary"
 footer="   * *Topic: Summary*"
}%

To get this:

  • Topic: Summary:
  • TWikiFAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About TWiki This is a real FAQ, and also a demo of an easily implemented knowledge base solution. To see how it`s done, view the source...
  • TWikiFaqTemplate: FAQ: Answer: Back to: TWikiFAQ Contributors:
  • TextFormattingFAQ: Text Formatting FAQ This topics lists frequently asked questions on text formatting. Text formatting applies to people who edit TWiki pages in raw edit mode. TextFormattingRules...
  • Topic: Summary

Table showing form field values of topics with a form

In a web where there is a form that contains a TopicClassification field, an OperatingSystem field and an OsVersion field we could write:

| *Topic:* | *OperatingSystem:* | *OsVersion:* |
%SEARCH{ "[T]opicClassification.*?value=\"[P]ublicFAQ\"" scope="text" type="regex" nosearch="on" nototal="on" format="| [[$topic]] | $formfield(OperatingSystem) | $formfield(OsVersion) |" }%

To get this:

Topic: OperatingSystem OsVersion
IncorrectDllVersionW32PTH10DLL OsWin 95/98
WinDoze95Crash OsWin 95

Extract some text from a topic using regular expression

Write this:

%SEARCH{
 "__Back to\:__ TWikiFAQ"
 scope="text"
 type="regex"
 nosearch="on"
 nototal="on"
 header="TWiki FAQs:"
 format="   * $pattern(.*?FAQ\:[\n\r]*([^\n\r]+).*) [[$topic][Answer...]]"
}%

To get this:

TWiki FAQs:

  • How can I create a simple TWiki Forms based application? Answer...
  • How do I delete or rename a topic? Answer...
  • How do I delete or rename a file attachment? Answer...
  • Why does the topic revision not increase when I edit a topic? Answer...
  • TWiki is distributed under the GPL (GNU General Public License). What is GPL? Answer...
  • I've problems with the WebSearch. There is no Search Result on any inquiry. By clicking the Index topic it's the same problem. Answer...
  • What happens if two of us try to edit the same topic simultaneously? Answer...
  • I would like to install TWiki on my server. Can I get the source? Answer...
  • What does the "T" in TWiki stand for? Answer...
  • So what is this WikiWiki thing exactly? Answer...
  • Everybody can edit any page, this is scary. Doesn't that lead to chaos? Answer...

Nested Search

Search can be nested. For example, search for some topics, then form a new search for each topic found in the first search. The idea is to build the nested search string using a formatted search in the first search.

Here is an example. Let's search for all topics that contain the word "culture" (first search), and let's find out where each topic found is linked from (second search).

  • First search:
    • %SEARCH{ "culture" format="   * $topic is referenced by: (list all references)" nosearch="on" nototal="on" }%
  • Second search. For each hit we want this search:
    • %SEARCH{ "(topic found in first search)" format="$topic" nosearch="on" nototal="on" separator=", " }%
  • Now let's nest the two. We need to escape the second search, e.g. the first search will build a valid second search string. Note that we escape the second search so that it does not get evaluated prematurely by the first search:
    • Use $percnt to escape the leading percent of the second search
    • Use \" to escape the double quotes
    • Use $dollar to escape the $ of $topic
    • Use $nop to escape the }% sequence

Write this:

%SEARCH{
 "culture"
 format="   * $topic is referenced by:$n      * $percntSEARCH{ \"$topic\" format=\"$dollartopic\" nosearch=\"on\" nototal=\"on\" separator=\", \" }$nop%"
 nosearch="on"
 nototal="on"
}%

To get this:

Note: Nested search can be slow, especially if you nest more then 3 times. Nesting is limited to 16 levels. For each new nesting level you need to "escape the escapes", e.g. write $dollarpercntSEARCH{ for level three, $dollardollarpercntSEARCH{ for level four, etc.

Most recently changed pages

Write this:

%SEARCH{
 "\.*"
 scope="topic"
 type="regex"
 nosearch="on"
 nototal="on"
 sort="modified"
 reverse="on"
 format="| [[$topic]] | $wikiusername  | $date |"
 limit="7"
}%=

To get this:

DatePickerPlugin TWikiContributor 2013-09-04 - 23:19
ColorPickerPlugin TWikiContributor 2013-02-16 - 02:34
CommentPlugin TWikiContributor 2013-02-10 - 10:36
CommentPluginTemplate TWikiContributor 2013-02-07 - 00:57
VarDATEPICKER TWikiContributor 2012-12-12 - 06:00
VarCOLORPICKER TWikiContributor 2012-12-04 - 08:24
VarEDITTABLE TWikiContributor 2012-11-12 - 08:18

Search with conditional output

A regular expression search is flexible, but there are limitations. For example, you cannot show all topics that are up to exactly one week old, or create a report that shows all records with invalid form fields or fields within a certain range, etc. You need some additional logic to format output based on a condition:

  1. Specify a search which returns more hits then you need
  2. For each search hit apply a spreadsheet formula to determine if the hit is needed
  3. If needed, format and output the result
  4. Else supress the search hit

This requires the TWiki:Plugins.SpreadSheetPlugin. The following example shows all topics in the Main web that have been updated in the last 7 days.

Write this:

%CALCULATE{$SET(weekold, $TIMEADD($TIME(), -7, day))}%
%SEARCH{ "." scope="topic" type="regex" web="Main" nonoise="on" sort="modified" reverse="on" format="$percntCALCULATE{$IF($TIME($date) < $GET(weekold), <nop>, | [[$web.$topic][$topic]] | $wikiusername | $date | $rev |)}$percnt" limit="100" }%

  • The first line sets the weekold variable to the serialized date of exactly one week ago
  • The SEARCH has a deferred CALCULATE. The $percnt makes sure that the CALCULATE gets executed once for each search hit
  • The CALCULATE compares the date of the topic with the weekold date
  • If topic is older, a <nop> is returned, which gets removed at the end of the TWiki rendering process
  • Otherwise, the search hit is formatted and returned
  • This example is for illustration only, it is easier to use the date="..." paramter in SEARCH to restrict the date.

To get this:

The condition can be anything you like. To restrict search based on a date range it is easier to use the date="" parameter as shown in the next example.

Restrict search based on a date range

A search can be restricted based on a date range. The following example is identical to the previous one, showing all topics in the Main web that have been updated in the last 7 days.

Write this:

%SEARCH{
 "."
 scope="topic"
 type="regex"
 web="%USERSWEB%"
 nonoise="on"
 sort="modified"
 reverse="on"
 format="| [[$web.$topic][$topic]] | $wikiusername | $date | $rev |"
 limit="100"
 date="P1w/$today"
}%=

To get this:

Embedding search forms to return a formatted result

Use an HTML form and an embedded formatted search on the same topic. You can link them together with an %URLPARAM{"..."}% variable. Example:

Write this:

<form action="%SCRIPTURLPATH{"view"}%/%WEB%/%TOPIC%">
Find Topics: 
<input type="text" name="q" size="32" value="%URLPARAM{"q" encode="entity"}%" />&nbsp;<input type="submit" class="twikiSubmit" value="Search" />
</form>
Result:
%SEARCH{
 search="%URLPARAM{"q" encode="quote"}%"
 type="keyword"
 format="   * $web.$topic: %BR% $summary"
 nosearch="on"
}%

To get this:

Find Topics:  
Result:

Related Topics: UserDocumentationCategory, SearchHelp, VarSEARCH, VarENCODE, SearchResultsPagination, SearchPatternCookbook, RegularExpression, QuerySearch

-- Contributors: TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny, TWiki:Main.CrawfordCurrie, TWiki:Main.SopanShewale

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File Attachments

Each topic can have one or more files of any type attached to it by using the Attach screen to upload (or download) files from your local PC. Attachments are stored under revision control: uploads are automatically backed up; all previous versions of a modified file can be retrieved.

What Are Attachments Good For?

File Attachments can be used to archive data, or to create powerful customized groupware solutions, like file sharing and document management systems, and quick Web page authoring.

Document Management System

  • You can use Attachments to store and retrieve documents (in any format, with associated graphics, and other media files); attach documents to specific TWiki topics; collaborate on documents with full revision control; distribute documents on a need-to-know basis using web and topic-level access control; create a central reference library that's easy to share with an user group spread around the world.

File Sharing

  • For file sharing, FileAttachments on a series of topics can be used to quickly create a well-documented, categorized digital download center for all types of files: documents; graphics and other media; drivers and patches; applications; anything you can safely upload!

Web Authoring

  • Through your Web browser, you can easily upload graphics (or sound files, or anything else you want to link to on a page) and place them on a single page, or use them across a web, or site-wide.
    • NOTE: You can also add graphics - any files - directly, typically by FTP upload. This requires FTP access, and may be more convenient if you have a large number of files to load. FTP-ed files can't be managed using browser-based Attachment controls. You can use your browser to create TWikiVariables shortcuts, like this %H% = HELP.

Uploading Files

  • Click on the Attach link at the bottom of the page. The Attach screen lets you browse for a file, add a comment, and upload it. The uploaded file will show up in the File Attachment table.
    • NOTE: The topic must already exist. It is a two step process if you want to attach a file to a non-existing topic; first create the topic, then add the file attachment.
    • Any type of file can be uploaded. Some files that might pose a security risk are renamed, ex: *.php files are renamed to *.php.txt so that no one can place code that would be read in a .php file.
    • The previous upload path is retained for convenience. In case you make some changes to the local file and want to upload it, again you can copy the previous upload path into the Local file field.
    • TWiki can limit the file size. This is defined by the %ATTACHFILESIZELIMIT% variable of the TWikiPreferences, currently set at 10000 KB.
      • ALERT! It's not recommended to upload files greater than a few hundred K through a browser. Large files can be extremely slow-loading, and often time out. Use an FTP site for large file uploads.
  • Automatic attachments:
    • When enabled, all files in a topic's attachment directory are shown as attachments to the topic - even if they were directly copied to the directory and never attached by using an 'Attach' link. This is a convenient way to quickly "attach" files to a topic without uploading them one by one; although at the cost of losing audit trail and version control.
    • To enable this feature, set the {AutoAttachPubFiles} configuration option.
    • NOTE: The automatic attachment feature can only be used by an administrator who has access to the server's file system.

Downloading Files

  • ALERT! NOTE: There is no access control on individual attachments. If you need control over single files, create a separate topic per file and set topic-level access restrictions for each.

Moving Attachment Files

An attachment can be moved between topics.

  • Click Manage on the Attachment to be moved.
  • On the control screen, select the new web and/or topic.
  • Click Move. The attachment and its version history are moved. The original location is stored as topic Meta Data.

Deleting Attachments

Move unwanted Attachments to web Trash, topic TrashAttachment.

Linking to Attached Files

  • Once a file is attached it can be referenced in the topic. Example:
    1. Attach file: Sample.txt
    2. Edit topic and enter: %ATTACHURL%/Sample.txt
    3. Preview: %ATTACHURL%/Sample.txt text appears as: /linux4sam/pub/TWiki/FileAttachment/Sample.txt, a link to the text file.

  • To reference an attachment located in another topic, enter:
    • %PUBURLPATH%/%WEB%/OtherTopic/Sample.txt (if it's within the same web)
    • %PUBURLPATH%/Otherweb/OtherTopic/Sample.txt (if it's in a different web)

  • Attached HTML files and text files can be inlined in a topic. Example:
    1. Attach file: Sample.txt
    2. Edit topic and write text: %INCLUDE{"%ATTACHURL%/Sample.txt"}%
      • Content of attached file is shown inlined.
      • Read more about INCLUDE in TWikiVariables

  • GIF, JPG and PNG images can be attached and shown embedded in a topic. Example:
    1. Attach file: Smile.gif
    2. Edit topic and write text: %ATTACHURL%/Smile.gif
    3. Preview: text appears as /linux4sam/pub/TWiki/FileAttachment/Smile.gif, an image.

File Attachment Contents Table

Files attached to a topic are displayed in a directory table, displayed at the bottom of the page, or optionally, hidden and accessed when you click Attach.

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
Texttxt Sample.txt   manage 0.1 K 2000-07-22 - 19:37 TWikiContributor Just a sample
GIFgif Smile.gif   manage 0.1 K 2000-07-22 - 19:38 TWikiContributor Smiley face

File Attachment Controls

Clicking on a Manage link takes you to a new page that looks a bit like this (depending on what skin is selected):

Attach new file

Select a new local file to update attachment Sample.txt (UploadingUser)
Upload up to 10000 KB.

Comment

Describe the file so other people know what it is.

Properties

Images will be displayed, for other attachments a link will be created.

Attachments will not be shown in topic view page.

or Cancel

  • The first table is a list of all attachments, including their attributes. An h means the attachment is hidden, it isn't listed when viewing a topic.

  • The second table is all the versions of the attachment. Click on View to see that version. If it's the most recent version, you'll be taken to an URL that always displays the latest version, which is usually what you want.
    • To change the comment on an attachment, enter a new comment and then click Change properties. Note that the comment listed against the specific version will not change, however the comment displayed when viewing the topic does change.
    • To hide/unhide an attachment, enable the Hide file checkbox, then click Change properties.

Known Issues

  • Unlike topics, attachments are not locked during editing. As a workaround, you can change the comment to indicate an attachment file is being worked on - the comment on the specific version isn't lost, it's there when you list all versions of the attachment.
  • Attachments are not secured by default. Anyone can read them if they know the name of the web, topic and attachment. Ask your TWiki administrator if TWiki is configured to secure attachments.

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TWiki Forms - Foundation of TWiki Applications

Add structure to content with forms attached to twiki topics. TWiki forms (with form fields) and formatted search are the base for building database applications.

Overview

By adding form-based input to free form content, you can structure topics with unlimited, easily searchable categories. A form is enabled for a web and can be added to a topic. The form data is shown in tabular format when the topic is viewed, and can be changed in edit mode using edit fields, radio buttons, check boxes and list boxes. Many different form types can be defined in a web, though a topic can only have one form attached to it at a time.

Typical steps to build an application based on TWiki forms:

  1. Define a form template
  2. Enable the form for a web
  3. Add the form to a template topic
  4. Build an HTML form to create new topics based on that template topic
  5. Build a FormattedSearch to list topics that share the same form

TIP Tip: The blog How to Create a TWiki Application on TWiki.org is a good tutorial to get started with TWiki forms based applications.

Defining a Form

A Form Template specifies the fields in a form. A Form Template is simply a page containing a TWiki table, where each row of the table specifies one form field.

  1. Create a new topic with your form name: YourForm, ExpenseReportForm, InfoCategoryForm, RecordReviewForm, whatever you need.
    Tip, idea The name of a Form Template topic must end in Form.
  2. Create a TWiki table, with each column representing one element of an entry field: Name, Type, Size, Values, Tooltip message, and Attributes (see sample below).
  3. For each field, fill in a new line; for the type of field, select from the list.
  4. Save the topic

Example:
| *Name* | *Type* | *Size* | *Values* | *Tooltip message* | *Attributes* |
| TopicClassification | select | 1 | NoDisclosure, PublicSupported, PublicFAQ | blah blah... |   |
| OperatingSystem | checkbox | 3 | OsHPUX, OsLinux, OsSolaris, OsWin | blah blah... |   |
| OsVersion | text | 16 | | blah blah... |   |

Name Type Size Values Tooltip message Attributes
TopicClassification select 1 NoDisclosure, PublicSupported, PublicFAQ blah blah...  
OperatingSystem checkbox 3 OsHPUX, OsLinux, OsSolaris, OsWin blah blah...  
OsVersion text 16   blah blah...  

See structure of a form for full details of what types are available and what all the columns mean.

You can also retrieve possible values for select, checkbox or radio types from other topics:

Example:

  • In the WebForm topic, define the form:
    Name Type Size Values Tooltip message Attributes
    TopicClassification select 1   blah blah...  
    OperatingSystem checkbox 3   blah blah...  
    OsVersion text 16   blah blah...  

    ALERT! Leave the Values field blank.

  • Then in the TopicClassification topic, define the possible values:
    | *Name*            |
    | NoDisclosure      |
    | Public Supported  |
    | Public FAQ        |
    Name
    NoDisclosure
    Public Supported
    Public FAQ

Field values can also be set using the result of expanding other TWiki variables. For example,

%SEARCH{"Office$" scope="topic" web="%USERSWEB%" nonoise="on" type="regex" format="$web.$topic" separator=", " }%

When used in the value field of the form definition, this will find all topic names in the Main web which end in "Office" and use them as the legal field values.

Adding a Form to a Topic

  • To add a Form, follow the "More topic actions" link at the bottom of a topic, select "Add or Replace Form".
    • Select a Form Template topic. These are topics with names ending in Form that contain a Form Template table.
    • A Form is typically added to a template topic, either to the WebTopicEditTemplate topic in a web, or a new topic that serves as an application specific template topic.
    • Modify the template topic to set the initial Form values.

  • Additionally a new topic can be given a Form using the formtemplate parameter in the (edit or save) URL. Initial values can then be provided in the URLs or as form values:
    • other than checkboxes: name, ex: ?BugPriority=1
    • checkbox: namevalue=1, ex: ?ColorRed=1.
      Boxes with a tick must be specified.
    • Example: This will add a textfield for the new topic name and a "Create"-Button to your topic. When the button is pressed, the topic editor will open with the form "MyForm" already attached to the new topic.
          <form name="newtopic" action="%SCRIPTURLPATH{"edit"}%/%WEB%/">
             <input type="hidden" name="formtemplate" value="MyForm" />
             New topic name <input type="text" name="topic" size="40" />
             <input type="submit" class="twikiSubmit" value="Create" />
          </form>
             
  • Note: You can create a topic in one step, without going through the edit screen. To do that, specify the save script instead of the edit script in the form action. When you specify the save script you have to use the "post" method. Example:
        <form name="newtopic" action="%SCRIPTURLPATH{"save"}%/%WEB%/" method="post">
           .....
        </form>
           
  • The edit and save scripts understand many more parameters, see TWikiScripts#edit and TWikiScripts#save for details.

  • Note: Initial values will not be set in the form of a new topic if you only use the formtemplate parameter.

Changing a Form

  • To change a Form, follow the "More topic actions" link at the bottom of a topic, select "Add or Replace Form", and select a new Form.

  • You can change a form definition, and TWiki will try to make sure you don't lose any data from the topics that use that form.

  • If you add a new field to the form, then it will appear next time you edit a topic that uses the form.

  • If you delete a field from the form, or change a field name, then the data will not be visible when you edit the topic (the changed form definition will be used). If you save the topic, the old data will be lost (though thanks to revision control, you can always see it in older versions of the topic)

  • If two people edit the same topic containing a form at exactly the same time, and both change fields in the form, TWiki will try to merge the changes so that no data is lost.

Structure of a Form Template

A Form Template specifies the fields in a form. A Form Template is simply a page containing a TWiki table, where each row of the table specifies one form field.

Each row of the table defines one element of an input field:

Name Type Size Values Tooltip message Attributes

The Name, Type and Size columns are required. Other columns are optional. The form template must have a header row, e.g. at least | *Name* | *Type* | *Size* | is required. Columns:

  • Name column: Name is the name of the form field.

  • Type, Size, Value columns: Type, Size and Value describe the type, size and initial value of this form field. Type text, checkbox, select and more are described in the Form Field Types section below.

  • Tooltip message column: The Tooltip message will be displayed when the cursor is hovered over the field in edit view.

  • Attributes column: Attributes specifies special attributes for the field. Multiple attributes can be entered, separated by spaces.
    • An attribute H indicates that this field is hidden, e.g. not shown in view mode. However, the field is available for editing and storing information.
      TIP Tip: The TWiki form header is suppressed in view mode if all fields of the form are hidden. For better usability it is good to hide the whole form if the display and interaction of all form fields is done externally. For example, the display and modification of form field values can be done in a header topic that is included in each page.
    • An attribute M indicates that this field is mandatory. The topic cannot be saved unless a value is provided for this field. If the field is found empty during topic save, an error is raised and the user is redirected to an oops page. Mandatory fields are indicated by an asterisks next to the field name.

For example, a simple form just supporting entry of a name and a date would look as follows:

| *Name* | *Type* | *Size* |
| Name   | text   | 80     |
| Date   | date   | 30     |

Field Name Notes:

  • Field names have to be unique.
  • A very few field names are reserved. If you try to use one of these names, TWiki will automatically append an underscore to the name when the form is used.
  • You can space out the title of the field, and it will still find the topic e.g. Aeroplane Manufacturers is equivalent to AeroplaneManufacturers.
  • If a label field has no name, it will not be shown when the form is viewed, only when it is edited.
  • Field names can in theory include any text, but you should stick to alphanumeric characters. If you want to use a non-wikiname for a select, checkbox or radio field, and want to get the values from another topic, you can use [[...]] links. This notation can also be used when referencing another topic to obtain field values, but a name other than the topic name is required as the name of the field.
  • Leading and trailing spaces are not significant.

Field Value Notes:

  • The field value will be used to initialize a field when a form is created, unless specific values are given by the topic template or query parameters. The first item in the list for a select or radio type is the default item. For label, text, and textarea fields the value may also contain commas. checkbox fields cannot be initialized through the form template.
  • Leading and trailing spaces are not significant.
  • Field values can also be generated through a FormattedSearch, which must yield a suitable table as the result.
  • Variables in the initial values of a form definition get expanded when the form definition is loaded.
    • If you want to use a | character in the initial values field, you have to precede it with a backslash, thus: \|.
    • You can use <nop> to prevent TWiki variables from being expanded.
    • The FormatTokens can be used to prevent expansion of other characters.

General Notes:

  • The topic definition is not read when a topic is viewed.
  • Form definition topics can be protected in the usual manner, using TWikiAccessControl, to limit who can change the form template and/or individual value lists. Note that view access is required to be able to edit topics that use the form definition, though view access to the form definition is not required to view a topic where the form has been used.

Form Field Types

Each table row of a form template defines one element of an input field:

Name Type Size Values Tooltip message Attributes

Many types of form fields are available. Some are TWiki internal, some are provided by extensions. Find more TWiki form field extensions on TWiki.org. The Size and Value depend on the Type used. Form field types:

Type Description Size Value
text One-line text field Text box width in number of characters Initial (default) content
textarea Multi-line text box Columns x rows, such as 80x6; default is 40x5 Initial (default) content
label Read-only text label   Text of the label
checkbox One or more checkboxes that can be toggled individually Number of checkboxes shown per line Comma-space-separated list of item labels - can be a dynamic SEARCH
checkbox+buttons Like checkbox, adding [Set] and [Clear] buttons
radio Radio buttons, mutually exclusive; only one can be selected Number of radio buttons shown per line Comma-space-separated list of item labels - can be a dynamic SEARCH
combobox screenshot-combobox Text field & select combination box, rendered as a text input field and a button to open up a selector box Text box width in number of characters Comma-space-separated list of options of the select box - can be a dynamic SEARCH
select Select box, rendered as a picklist or a multi-row selector box depending on the size value 1: Show a picklist
• Number > 1: Multi-row selector box of specified size
• Range e.g. 3..10: Multi-row selector box with variable size - the box will never be smaller than 3 items, never larger than 10, and will be 5 high if there are only 5 options
Comma-space-separated list of options of the select box - can be a dynamic SEARCH
select+multi Like select, turning multi-select on, to allow Shift+Click and Ctrl+Click to select (or deselect) multiple items
select+values Like select, allowing definition of values that are different to the displayed text. For example:
| Field 9 | select+values | 3 | One, Two=2, Three=III | Various values formats |
shows
but the values of options Two and Three are 2 and III, respectively.
select+multi+values Combination of select+multi and select+values
color screenshot-small Single-line text box and a color picker to pick a color. The color can also be typed into the text box, such as #123456. Text box width in number of characters Initial (default) color
date screenshot-small Text input field and a button next to it to pick a date from a pop-up calendar. The date can also be typed into the text box. Text box width in number of characters Initial (default) date

Values in Other Topics

As described above, you can also retrieve possible values for select, checkbox or radio types from other topics. For example, if you have a rows defined like this:

| *Name*                 | *Type* | *Size* |
| AeroplaneManufacturers | select |        |
the TWiki will look for the topic AeroplaneManufacturers to get the possible values for the select.

The AeroplaneManufacturers topic must contain a table, where each row of the table describes a possible value. The table only requires one column, Name. Other columns may be present, but are ignored.

For example:

| *Name* |
| Routan |
| Focke-Wulf |
| De Havilland |

Notes:

  • The Values column must be empty in the referring form definition.

Using a form template on a different web

You can use a form template on a different web by specifying a form template in the WEB.TOPIC format.

In addition, you can put a comma separated list of webs in the TWIKIFORMPATH variable. It's referred to only when a form template is spcified without a web (TOPIC instead of WEB.TOPIC). The webs in TWIKIFORMPATH are examined in the listed order until the specified template is found.

TWIKIFORMPATH may contain TWiki variables. For example:

   * Set TWIKIFORMPATH = %APPLICATION_WEB%, %WEB%

If TWIKIFORMPATH is defined, the current web is examined only if all the webs listed in it don't have the form template.

Extending the range of form data types

You can extend the range of data types accepted by forms by using TWikiPlugins. All such extended data types are single-valued (can only have one value) with the following exceptions:

  • any type name starting with checkbox
  • any type name with +multi anywhere in the name
Types with names like this can both take multiple values.

Hints and Tips

Editing Just Form Data, Without Topic Text

In some cases you want to change only the form data. You have the option of hiding the topic text with two methods:

  • To display only the form whenever you edit a topic, set the preference variable EDITACTION to value form (see details).
  • To change the edit action in a URL, add a action=form parameter to the edit URL string, such as
    %SCRIPTURL{edit}%/%BASEWEB%/%BASETOPIC%?t=%SERVERTIME{$epoch}%;action=form (see details).

Build an HTML Form to Create New Form-based Topics

New topics with a form are created by simple HTML forms asking for a topic name. For example, you can have a SubmitExpenseReport topic where you can create new expense reports, a SubmitVacationRequest topic, and so on. These can specify the required template topic with its associated form. Template topics has more.

A Form Template specifies the fields in a form. A Form Template is simply a page containing a TWiki table, where each row of the table specifies one form field.

Update Specific Form Fields

All the form fields are shown and can be updated when editing a topic that has a form. It is possible to have more control over the layout of a form, or update just a subset of the form fields by using a custom HTML form. For example, in a bug tracker, each topic would include a header topic that shows a form with some fields to update specific form fields of the bug item. Use the EDITFORMFIELD variable to easily create this form in the header topic. Example:

%EDITFORMFIELD{ "form" type="start" action="save" topic="%BASETOPIC%" }%
| Priority: | %EDITFORMFIELD{ "Priority" topic="%BASETOPIC%" }% |
| Status:   | %EDITFORMFIELD{ "Status"   topic="%BASETOPIC%" }% |
|  | %EDITFORMFIELD{ "form" type="submit" value="Update" }% |
%EDITFORMFIELD{ "LastUpdate" type="hidden" value="%SERVERTIME{$year-$mo-$day}%" }%
%EDITFORMFIELD{ "form" type="end" }%

Assuming the base topic has a BugForm with Priority and Status fields of type select, a LastUpdate field of type text, and some other fields. Above form shows a table with selectors for Priority and Status, and an Update button. On form submit, the Priority, Status and LastUpdate fields are updated in the base topic.

Searching for Form Data

TWiki Forms accept user-input data, stored as TWikiMetaData. Meta data also contains program-generated info about changes, attachments, etc. To find, format and display form and other meta data, see TWikiMetaData, EDITFORMFIELD, FORMFIELD, SEARCH and METASEARCH variables in TWikiVariables, and TWiki Formatted Search.

Example
TWiki users often want to have an overview of topics they contributed to. With the $formfield parameter it is easy to display the value of a classification field next to the topic link:
| *Topic* | *Classification* |
%SEARCH{"%USERSWEB%.UserName" scope="text" nosearch="on" nototal="on" sort="modified" reverse="on"
format="|<b>[[$web.$topic][$topic]]</b> |<nop>$formfield(TopicClassification) |" web="Sandbox"}%

Searching forms this way is obviously pretty inefficient, but it's easy to do. If you want better performance, take a look at some of the structured wiki extensions that support higher performance searching e.g. TWiki:Plugins.DBCachePlugin.

Gotcha!

  • Some browsers may strip linefeeds from text fields when a topic is saved. If you need linefeeds in a field, make sure it is a textarea.

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TWiki Templates

Definition of the templates used to render all HTML pages displayed in TWiki

Overview

Templates are plain text with embedded template directives that tell TWiki how to compose blocks of text together, to create something new.

There are two types of template:

  • Master Templates: Define the HTML used to display TWiki pages.
  • Template Topics: Define default text when you create a new topic

TIP Tip: TWiki:TWiki.TWikiTemplatesSupplement on TWiki.org has supplemental documentation on TWiki templates.

Master Templates

TWiki uses master templates when composing the output from all actions, like topic view, edit, and preview. This allows you to change the look and feel of all pages by editing just a few template files.

Master templates are also used in the definition of TWikiSkins.

Master templates are stored as text files with the extension .tmpl. They are usually HTML with embedded template directives. The directives are expanded when TWiki wants to generate a user interface screen.

How Template Directives Work

  • Directives are of the form %TMPL:<key>% and %TMPL:<key>{"attr"}%.
  • Directives:
    • %TMPL:INCLUDE{"file"}%: Includes a template file. The file is found as described below.
    • %TMPL:DEF{"block"}%: Define a block. All text between this and the next %TMPL:END% directive is removed and saved for later use with %TMPL:P.
    • %TMPL:END%: Ends a block definition.
    • %TMPL:P{"var"}%: Includes a previously defined block.
    • %{...}%: is a comment.
  • Two-pass processing lets you use a variable before or after declaring it.
  • Templates and TWikiSkins work transparently and interchangeably. For example, you can create a skin that overloads only the twiki.tmpl master template, like twiki.print.tmpl, that redefines the header and footer.
  • HELP Use of template directives is optional: templates work without them.
  • ALERT! NOTE: Template directives work only for templates: they do not get processed in normal topic text.

TMPL:P also supports simple parameters. For example, given the definition %TMPL:DEF{"x"}% x%P%z%TMPL:END% then %TMPL:P{"x" P="y"}% will expand to xyz.

Note that parameters can simply be ignored; for example, %TMPL:P{"x"}% will expand to x%P%z.

Any alphanumeric characters can be used in parameter names. You are highly recommended to use parameter names that cannot be confused with TWikiVariables.

Note that three parameter names, context, then and else are reserved. They are used to support a limited form of "if" condition that you can use to select which of two templates to use, based on a context identifier:

%TMPL:DEF{"link_inactive"}%<input type="button" disabled value="Link>%TMPL:END%
%TMPL:DEF{"link_active"}%<input type="button" onclick="link()" value="Link" />%TMPL:END%
%TMPL:P{context="inactive" then="inactive_link" else="active_link"}% for %CONTEXT%
When the "inactive" context is set, then this will expand the "link_inactive" template; otherwise it will expand the "link_active" template. See IfStatements for details of supported context identifiers.

Finding Templates

The master templates shipped with a twiki release are stored in the twiki/templates directory. As an example, twiki/templates/view.tmpl is the default template file for the twiki/bin/view script.

You can save templates in other directories as long as they are listed in the {TemplatePath} configuration setting. The {TemplatePath} is defined in the Miscellaneous section of the configure page.

You can also save templates in user topics (IF there is no possible template match in the templates directory). The {TemplatePath} configuration setting defines which topics will be accepted as templates.

Templates that are included with an explicit '.tmpl' extension are looked for only in the templates/ directory. For instance %TMPL:INCLUDE{"example.tmpl"}% will only return templates/example.tmpl, regardless of {TemplatePath} and SKIN settings.

The out-of-the-box setting of {TemplatePath} supports the following search order to determine which template file or topic to use for a particular script or %TMPL:INCLUDE{"script"}% statement. The skin path is set as described in TWikiSkins.

  1. templates/web/script.skin.tmpl for each skin on the skin path
    • ALERT! this usage is supported for compatibility only and is deprecated. Store web-specific templates in TWiki topics instead.
  2. templates/script.skin.tmpl for each skin on the skin path
  3. templates/web/script.tmpl
    • ALERT! this usage is supported for compatibility only and is deprecated. Store web-specific templates in TWiki topics instead.
  4. templates/script.tmpl
  5. The TWiki topic aweb.atopic if the template name can be parsed into aweb.atopic
  6. The TWiki topic web.SkinSkinScriptTemplate for each skin on the skin path
  7. The TWiki topic web.ScriptTemplate
  8. The TWiki topic %SYSTEMWEB%.SkinSkinScriptTemplate for each skin on the skin path
  9. The TWiki topic %SYSTEMWEB%.ScriptTemplate
Legend:
  • script refers to the script name, e.g view, edit
  • Script refers to the same, but with the first character capitalized, e.g View
  • skin refers to a skin name, e.g dragon, pattern. All skins are checked at each stage, in the order they appear in the skin path.
  • Skin refers to the same, but with the first character capitalized, e.g Dragon
  • web refers to the current web

For example, the example template file will be searched for in the following places, when the current web is Thisweb and the skin path is print,pattern:

  1. templates/Thisweb/example.print.tmpl deprecated; don't rely on it
  2. templates/Thisweb/example.pattern.tmpl deprecated; don't rely on it
  3. templates/example.print.tmpl
  4. templates/example.pattern.tmpl
  5. templates/Thisweb/example.tmpl deprecated; don't rely on it
  6. templates/example.tmpl
  7. Thisweb.PrintSkinExampleTemplate
  8. Thisweb.PatternSkinExampleTemplate
  9. Thisweb.ExampleTemplate
  10. TWiki.PrintSkinExampleTemplate
  11. TWiki.PatternSkinExampleTemplate
  12. TWiki.ExampleTemplate

Template names are usually derived from the name of the currently executing script; however it is also possible to override these settings in the view and edit scripts, for example when a topic-specific template is required. Two preference variables can be used to override the templates used:

  • VIEW_TEMPLATE sets the template to be used for viewing a topic
  • EDIT_TEMPLATE sets the template for editing a topic.
If these preferences are set locally (using Local instead of Set) for a topic, in WebPreferences, in Main.TWikiPreferences, or TWiki.TWikiPreferences (using Set), the indicated templates will be chosen for view and edit respectively. The template search order is as specified above.

TIP Tip: If you want to override existing templates, without having to worry that your changes will get overwritten by the next TWiki update, change the {TemplatePath} so that another directory, such as the %USERSWEB% appears at the front. You can then put your own templates into that directory or web and these will override the standard templates. (Note that such will increase the lookup time for templates by searching your directory first.)

TMPL:INCLUDE recursion for piecewise customization, or mixing in new features

If there is recursion in the TMPL:INCLUDE chain (eg twiki.classic.tmpl contains %TMPL:INCLUDE{"twiki"}%, the templating system will include the next twiki.SKIN in the skin path. For example, to create a customization of pattern skin, where you only want to over-ride the breadcrumbs for the view script, you can create only a view.yourlocal.tmpl:

%TMPL:INCLUDE{"view"}%
%TMPL:DEF{"breadcrumb"}% We don't want any crumbs %TMPL:END%
and then set SKIN=yourlocal,pattern

The default {TemplatePath} will not give you the desired result if you put these statements in the topic Thisweb.YourlocalSkinViewTemplate. The default {TemplatePath} will resolve the request to the template/view.pattern.tmpl, before it gets to the Thisweb.YourlocalSkinViewTemplate resolution. You can make it work by prefixing the {TemplatePath} with: $web.YourlocalSkin$nameTemplate.

Default master template

twiki.tmpl is the default master template. It defines the following sections.

Template variable: Defines:
%TMPL:DEF{"sep"}% "|" separator
%TMPL:DEF{"htmldoctype"}% Start of all HTML pages
%TMPL:DEF{"standardheader"}% Standard header (ex: view, index, search)
%TMPL:DEF{"simpleheader"}% Simple header with reduced links (ex: edit, attach, oops)
%TMPL:DEF{"standardfooter"}% Footer, excluding revision and copyright parts

Template Topics

The second type of template in TWiki are template topics. Template topics define the default text for new topics. There are four types of template topic:

Topic Name: What it is:
WebTopicViewTemplate Alert page shown when you try to view a nonexistent topic. This page is usually used as a prompt to help you create a new topic.
WebTopicNonWikiTemplate Alert page shown when you try to view a nonexistent topic with a non-WikiName. Again, this page is used as a prompt to help you create the new topic.
WebTopicEditTemplate Default text used in a new topic.
<MyCustomNamed>Template Whenever you create a topic ending in the word "Template", it is automatically added to the list of available templates in the "Use Template" drop down field on the WebCreateNewTopic page.

When you create a new topic using the edit script, TWiki locates a topic to use as a content template according to the following search order:

  1. A topic name specified by the templatetopic CGI parameter
    • if no web is specified, the current web is searched first and then the TWiki web
  2. WebTopicEditTemplate in the current web
  3. WebTopicEditTemplate in the Main web
  4. WebTopicEditTemplate in the TWiki web

Variable Expansion

TWikiVariables located in template topics get expanded as follows when a new topic is created.

1. Default variable expansion

The following variables used in a template topic automatically get expanded when new topic is created based on it:

Variable: Description:
%DATE% Signature format date. See VarDATE
%GMTIME% Date/time. See VarGMTIME
%GMTIME{...}% Formatted date/time. See VarGMTIME2
%NOP% A no-operation variable that gets removed. Useful to prevent a SEARCH from hitting an edit template topic; also useful to escape a variable, such as %URLPA%NOP%RAM{...}% escaping URLPARAM
%STARTSECTION{type="templateonly"}%
...
%ENDSECTION{type="templateonly"}%
Text that gets removed when a new topic based on the template is created. See notes below.
%SERVERTIME% Date/time. See VarSERVERTIME
%SERVERTIME{...}% Formatted date/time. See VarSERVERTIME2
%USERNAME% Login name of user who is instantiating the new topic, e.g. guest
%URLPARAM{"name"}% Value of a named URL parameter. See VarURLPARAM.
%WIKINAME% WikiName of user who is instantiating the new topic, e.g. TWikiGuest
%WIKIUSERNAME% User name of user who is instantiating the new tpoic, e.g. Main.TWikiGuest

2. Preventing variable expansion

In a template topic, embed text that you do not want expanded inside a %STARTSECTION{type="templateonly"}% ... %ENDSECTION{type="templateonly"}% section. For example, you might want to write this in the template topic:

%STARTSECTION{type="templateonly"}%
This template can only be changed by:
   * Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = Main.TWikiAdminGroup
%ENDSECTION{type="templateonly"}%
This will restrict who can edit the template topic, but will be removed when a new topic based on that template topic is created.

%NOP% can be used to prevent expansion of TWiki variables that would otherwise be expanded during topic creation. For example, escape %SERVERTIME% with %SER%NOP%VERTIME%.

3. Causing variable expansion in a section

You can forcefully expand TWikiVariables by placing them inside a type="expandvariables" section in the template topic, such as:

 ...  

Example:

If you have the following content in a template topic:


   * %SYSTEMWEB%.ATasteOfTWiki - view a short introductory presentation on TWiki for beginners
   * %SYSTEMWEB%.WelcomeGuest - starting points on TWiki
   * %SYSTEMWEB%.TWikiUsersGuide - complete TWiki documentation
   * Sandbox.%HOMETOPIC% - try out TWiki on your own
   * Sandbox.%TOPIC%Sandbox - just for me

you will get this raw text in new topics based on that template topic:

   * TWiki.ATasteOfTWiki - view a short introductory presentation on TWiki for beginners
   * TWiki.WelcomeGuest - starting points on TWiki
   * TWiki.TWikiUsersGuide - complete TWiki documentation
   * Sandbox.WebHome - try out TWiki on your own
   * Sandbox.JimmyNeutronSandbox - just for me

4. Specifying variables to be expanded individually

You may want to mix variables to be expanded and variables not to be. By prepending a variable name with EOTC__ (EOTC followed by two underscores; EOTC stands for Expand On Topic Creation), you can have the variable expanded.

Here's an example.

%EOTC__SEARCH{"."
 topic="%URLPARAM{prefix}%*"
 nonoise="on"
 format="$percntINCLUDE{$topic}$percnt" separator="$n"
}%
This yields a series of %INCLUDE{...}%s, which are not expanded. This is not achievable by an expandvariables section.

Specifying a Form

When you create a new topic based on a template, you often want the new topic to have a form attached to it. You can attach a form to the template topic, in which case it will be copied into the new topic.

Sometimes this isn't quite what you want, as it copies all the existing data from the template topic into the new topic. To avoid this and use the default values specified in the form definition instead, you can use the formtemplate CGI parameter to the edit script to specify the name of a form to attach.

See TWikiScripts for information about all the other parameters to edit.

Automatically Generated Topic Names

For TWiki applications it is useful to be able to automatically generate unique topic names, such as BugID0001, BugID0002, etc. You can add AUTOINC<n> to the topic name in the edit and save scripts, and it will be replaced with an auto-incremented number on topic save. <n> is a number starting from 0, and may include leading zeros. Leading zeros are used to zero-pad numbers so that auto-incremented topic names can sort properly. Deleted topics are not re-used to ensure uniqueness of topic names. That is, the auto-incremented number is always higher than the existing ones, even if there are gaps in the number sequence.

Examples:

  • BugAUTOINC0 - creates topic names Bug0, Bug1, Bug2, ... (does not sort properly)
  • ItemAUTOINC0000 - creates topic names Item0000, Item0001, Item0002, ... (sorts properly up to 9999)
  • DocIDAUTOINC10001 - start with DocID10001, DocID10002, ... (sorts properly up to 99999; auto-links)

Characters after AUTOINC<n> are preserved, but are not taken into account when calculating the next increment. Use this to create topic names that have a unique identifier (serial number) and a descriptive text.

Example:

  • BlogAUTOINC0001-my-first-blog - creates topic name Blog0001-my-first-blog
  • BlogAUTOINC0001-my-crazy-cats - creates topic name Blog0002-my-crazy-cats
  • BlogAUTOINC0001-fondue-recipe - creates topic name Blog0003-fondue-recipe

Example link to create a new topic:

[[%SCRIPTURLPATH{edit}%/%WEB%/BugIDAUTOINC00001?templatetopic=BugTemplate;topicparent=%TOPIC%;t=%SERVERTIME{"$day$hour$min$sec"}%][Create new item]]

Template Topics in Action

Here is an example for creating new topics (in the Sandbox web) based on a specific template topic and form:

  • New example topic:

The above form asks for a topic name. A hidden input tag named templatetopic specifies ExampleTopicTemplate as the template topic to use. Here is the raw text of the form:

%EDITFORMFIELD{ "new" type="start" action="edit" topic="Sandbox.%TOPIC%" }%
   * New example topic: 
     %EDITFORMFIELD{ "topic" type="text" value="ExampleTopicAUTOINC0001" size="30" }%
     %EDITFORMFIELD{ "templatetopic" type="hidden" value="%SYSTEMWEB%.ExampleTopicTemplate" }%
     %EDITFORMFIELD{ "topicparent" type="hidden" value="%HOMETOPIC%" }%
     %EDITFORMFIELD{ "onlywikiname" type="hidden" value="on" }%
     %EDITFORMFIELD{ "onlynewtopic" type="hidden" value="on" }%
     %EDITFORMFIELD{ "form" type="submit" value="Create" }%
%EDITFORMFIELD{ "form" type="end" }%

Here is the equivalent form using a hand-crafted HTML form:

<form name="new" action="%SCRIPTURLPATH{edit}%/Sandbox/%HOMETOPIC%">
   * New example topic: 
     <input type="text" name="topic" value="ExampleTopicAUTOINC0001" size="30" />
     <input type="hidden" name="templatetopic" value="%SYSTEMWEB%.ExampleTopicTemplate" />
     <input type="hidden" name="topicparent" value="%HOMETOPIC%" />
     <input type="hidden" name="onlywikiname" value="on" />
     <input type="hidden" name="onlynewtopic" value="on" />
     <input type="submit" class="twikiSubmit" value="Create" />
</form>

ALERT! Note: You can create a topic in one step, without going through the edit screen. To do that, specify the save script instead of the edit script in the form action. When you specify the save script in an HTML form tag you have to use the "post" method. This is done automatically when using the EDITFORMFIELD variable. Example when using the HTML form tag:

<form name="new" action="%SCRIPTURLPATH{save}%/Sandbox/" method="post">
    ...
</form>

HELP The edit and save scripts understand many more parameters, see TWikiScripts#edit and TWikiScripts#save for details.

TIP TIP: You can use the %WIKIUSERNAME% and %DATE% variables in your topic templates to include the signature of the person creating a new topic. The variables are expanded into fixed text when a new topic is created. The standard signature is:
-- %WIKIUSERNAME% - %DATE%

Using Absolute vs Relative URLs in Templates

When you use TWikiVariables such as %PUBURL% and %PUBURLPATH% in templates you should be aware that using %PUBURL% instead of %PUBURLPATH% puts absolute URLs in the produced HTML. This means that when a user saves a TWiki page in HTML and emails the file to someone outside a company firewall, the receiver has a severe problem viewing it. It is therefore recommended always to use the %PUBURLPATH% to refer to images, CSS, Javascript files etc so links become relative. This way browsers just give up right away and show a usable html file.

Related Topics: TWikiSkins, TWikiForms, TWikiScripts, DeveloperDocumentationCategory, AdminDocumentationCategory

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TWiki Skins

A skin overlays regular templates to provide specific look and feel to TWiki screens.

Overview

TWiki uses TWikiTemplates files as the basis of all the screens it uses to interact with users. Each screen has an associated template file that contains the basic layout of the screen. This is then filled in by the code to generate what you see in the browser.

TWiki ships with a default set of template files that give a very basic, CSS-themable, look-and-feel. TWiki also includes support for skins that can be selected to give different, more sophisticated, look and feel. A default TWiki installation will usually start up with the PatternSkin already selected. Skins may also be defined by third parties and loaded into a TWiki installation to give more options. To see how TWiki looks when no skin is selected, view the current page with a non-existing skin.

TWiki topic content is not affected by the choice of skin, however a skin can be defined to use a CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) which can provide a radically different appearance to the text layout.

Relevant links on TWiki.org:

See other types of extensions: TWikiAddOns, TWikiContribs, TWikiPlugins

Changing the default TWiki skin

TWiki ships with the TopMenuSkin activated by default. You can set a skin for the whole site, a single web, a single topic, or for each user individually. This is done by setting the SKIN preferences setting to the name of a skin. If the skin you select doesn't exist, then TWiki will pick up the default templates. For example, to make the SKIN setting work across all topics and webs, put it in TWikiPreferences.

Skins can cascade using a skin path explained below. One skin can be based on another one, and extensions can introduce additional screen elements. For example, the TagMePlugin adds tag elements to the TopMenuSkin, and the TopMenuSkin is based on the PatternSkin, resulting in this skin path:

   * Set SKIN = tagme, topmenu, pattern

Defining Skins

You may want to define your own skin, for example to comply with corporate web guidelines, or because you have a aesthetic vision that you want to share. There are a couple of places you can start doing this.

The TWikiTemplates files used for skins are located in the twiki/templates directory and are named according to the skin: <scriptname>.<skin>.tmpl. Skin files may also be defined in TWiki topics - see TWikiTemplates for details.

To start creating a new skin, copy the default TWikiTemplates (like view.tmpl), or copy an existing skin to use as a base for your own skin. You should only need to copy the files you intend to customize, as TWiki can be configured to fall back to another skin if a template is not defined in your skin. Name the files as described above (for example view.myskin.tmpl).

If you use PatternSkin as your starting point, and you want to modify the layout, colors or even the templates to suit your own needs, have a look first at the topics PatternSkinCustomization and PatternSkinCssCookbook.

For your own TWiki skin you are encouraged to show a small 80x31 pixel This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform logo at the bottom of your skin:

<a href="http://twiki.org/"><img src="%PUBURL%/%SYSTEMWEB%/TWikiLogos/T-logo-80x15.gif" alt="This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform" width="80" height="15" title="This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform" border="0" /></a>

The standard TWiki skins show the logo in the %WEBCOPYRIGHT% variable.

ALERT! Note: Two skin names have reserved meanings; text skin, and skin names starting with rss have hard-coded meanings.

The following template files are used for TWiki screens, and are referenced in the TWiki core code. If a skin doesn't define its own version of a template file, then TWiki will fall back to the next skin in the skin path, or finally, to the default version of the template file.

(Certain template files are expected to provide certain TMPL:DEFs - these are listed in sub-bullets)

  • addform - used to select a new form for a topic
  • attachagain - used when refreshing an existing attachment
  • attachnew - used when attaching a new file to a topic
  • attachtables - defines the format of attachments at the bottom of the standard topic view
    • ATTACH:files:footer, ATTACH:files:header, ATTACH:files:row, ATTACH:versions:footer, ATTACH:versions:header, ATTACH:versions:row
  • changeform - used to change the form in a topic
  • changes - used by the changes script
  • edit - used for the edit screen
  • form
  • formtables - used to defined the format of forms
    • FORM:display:footer, FORM:display:header, FORM:display:row
  • login - used for loggin in when using the TemplateLoginManager
    • LOG_IN, LOG_IN_BANNER, LOG_OUT, LOGGED_IN_BANNER, NEW_USER_NOTE, UNRECOGNISED_USER
  • moveattachment - used when moving an attachment
  • oopsaccessdenied - used to format Access Denied messages
    • no_such_topic, no_such_web, only_group, topic_access
  • oopsattention - used to format Attention messages
    • already_exists, bad_email, bad_ver_code, bad_wikiname, base_web_missing, confirm, created_web, delete_err, invalid_web_color, invalid_web_name, in_a_group, mandatory_field, merge_notice, missing_action, missing_fields, move_err, missing_action, no_form_def, no_users_to_reset, notwikiuser, oversized_upload, password_changed, password_mismatch, problem_adding, remove_user_done, rename_err, rename_not_wikiword, rename_topic_exists, rename_web_err, rename_web_exists, rename_web_prerequisites, reset_bad, reset_ok, save_error, send_mail_error, thanks, topic_exists, unrecognized_action, upload_name_changed, web_creation_error, web_exists, web_missing, wrong_password, zero_size_upload
  • oopschangelanguage - used to prompt for a new language when internationalisation is enabled
  • oopsgeneric - a basic dialog for user information; provides "ok" button only
  • oopslanguagechanged - used to confirm a new language when internationalisation is enabled
  • oopsleaseconflict - used to format lease Conflict messages
    • lease_active, lease_old
  • preview - used for previewing edited topics before saving
  • rdiff - used for viewing topic differences
  • registernotify - used by the user registration system
  • registernotifyadmin - used by the user registration system
  • rename - used when renaming a topic
  • renameconfirm - used when renaming a topic
  • renamedelete - used when renaming a topic
  • renameweb - used when renaming a web
  • renamewebconfirm - used when renaming a web
  • renamewebdelete - used when renaming a web
  • searchbookview - used to format inline search results in book view
  • searchformat - used to format inline search results
  • search - used by the search CGI script
  • settings
  • view - used by the view CGI script
  • viewprint - used to create the printable view

twiki.tmpl is a master template conventionally used by other templates, but not used directly by code.

ALERT! Note: Make sure templates do not end with a newline. Any newline will expand to an empty <p /> in the generated html. It will produce invalid html, and may break the page layout.

Partial customization, or adding in new features to an existing skin

You can use recursion in the TMPL:INCLUDE chain (e.g. twiki.pattern.tmpl contains %TMPL:INCLUDE{"twiki"}%, the templating system will include the next twiki.SKIN in the skin path (which is explained below). For example, to create a customization of pattern skin, where you only want to remove the edit & WYSIWYG buttons from view page, you create only a view.yourlocal.tmpl:

%TMPL:INCLUDE{"view"}%
%TMPL:DEF{"edit_topic_link"}%%TMPL:END%
%TMPL:DEF{"edit_wysiwyg_link"}%%TMPL:END%
and then set SKIN=yourlocal,pattern.

Variables in Skins

You can use template variables, TWikiVariables, and other predefined variables to compose your skins. Some commonly used variables in skins:

Variable: Expanded to:
%WEBLOGONAME% Filename of web logo
%WEBLOGOIMG% Image URL of web logo
%WEBLOGOURL% Link of web logo
%WEBLOGOALT% Alt text of web logo
%WIKILOGOURL% Link of page logo
%WIKILOGOIMG% Image URL of page logo
%WIKILOGOALT% Alt text of page logo
%WEBBGCOLOR% Web-specific background color, defined in the WebPreferences
%WIKITOOLNAME% The name of your TWiki site
%SCRIPTURL% The script URL of TWiki
%SCRIPTURLPATH% The script URL path
%SCRIPTSUFFIX% The script suffix, ex: .pl, .cgi
%WEB% The name of the current web.
%TOPIC% The name of the current topic.
%WEBTOPICLIST% Common links of current web, defined in the WebPreferences. It includes a Jump box
%TEXT% The topic text, e.g. the content that can be edited
%META{"form"}% TWikiForm, if any
%META{"attachments"}% FileAttachment table
%META{"parent"}% The topic parent
%EDITTOPIC% Edit link
%REVTITLE% The revision title, if any, ex: (r1.6)
%REVINFO% Revision info, ex: r1.6 - 24 Dec 2002 - 08:12 GMT - TWikiGuest
%WEBCOPYRIGHT% Copyright notice, defined in the WebPreferences
%BROADCASTMESSAGE% Broadcast message at the beginning of your view template, can be used to alert users of scheduled downtimes; can be set in TWikiPreferences

The Jump Box and Navigation Box

The default skins include a Jump Box, to jump to a topic.

The box also understands URLs, e.g. you can type http://www.google.com/ to jump to an external web site. The feature is handy if you build a skin that has a select box of frequently used links, like Intranet home, employee database, sales database and such. A little JavaScript gets into action on the onchange method of the select tag to fill the selected URL into the "Go" box field, then submits the form.

Here is an example form that has a select box and the Jump Box for illustration purposes. You need to have JavaScript enabled for this to work:

Bare bones header, for demo only
Navigate:
Jump:

Note: Redirect to a URL only works if it is enabled in configure (Miscellaneous, {AllowRedirectUrl}).

Using Cascading Style Sheets

CSS files are gererally attachments to the skin topic that are included in the the skin templates - in the case of PatternSkin in the template styles.pattern.tmpl.

  • To see how CSS is used in the default TWiki skin, see: PatternSkin
  • If you write a complete new skin, this is the syntax to use in a template file:
<style type='text/css' media='all'>@import url('%PUBURLPATH%/%SYSTEMWEB%/MySkin/mystyle.css');</style>

Attachment Tables

Controlling the look and feel of attachment tables is a little bit more complex than for the rest of a skin. By default, the attachment table is a standard TWiki table, and the look is controlled in the same way as other tables. In a very few cases you may want to change the content of the table as well.

The format of standard attachment tables is defined through the use of special TWiki template macros which by default, are defined in the attachtables.tmpl template using the %TMPL:DEF macro syntax described in TWikiTemplates. These macros are:

Macro Description
ATTACH:files:header Standard title bar
ATTACH:files:row Standard row
ATTACH:files:footer Footer for all screens
ATTACH:files:header:A Title bar for upload screens, with attributes column
ATTACH:files:row:A Row for upload screen
ATTACH:files:footer:A Footer for all screens

The format of tables of file versions in the Upload screen can also be changed, using the macros:

Macro Description
ATTACH:versions:header Header for versions table on upload screen
ATTACH:versions:row Row format for versions table on upload screen
ATTACH:versions:footer Footer for versions table on upload screen

The ATTACH:row macros are expanded for each file in the attachment table, using the following special tags:

Tag Description
%A_URL% viewfile URL that will recover the file
%A_REV% Revision of this file
%A_ICON% A file icon suitable for representing the attachment content
%A_FILE% The name of the file. To get the 'pub' url of the file, use %PUBURL%/%WEB%/%TOPIC%/%A_FILE%
%A_SIZE% The size of the file
%A_DATE% The date the file was uploaded
%A_USER% The user who uploaded it
%A_COMMENT% The comment they put in when uploading it
%A_ATTRS% The attributes of the file as seen on the upload screen e.g "h" for a hidden file

Packaging and Publishing Skins

See TWiki:Plugins/SkinPackagingHowTo and TWiki:Plugins/SkinDeveloperFAQ

Browsing Installed Skins

You can try out all installed skins in the TWikiSkinBrowser.

Activating Skins

TWiki uses a skin search path, which lets you combine skins additively. The skin path is defined using a combination of TWikiVariables and URL parameters.

TWiki works by asking for a template for a particular function - for example, 'view'. The detail of how templates are searched for is described in TWikiTemplates, but in summary, the templates directory is searched for a file called view.skin.tmpl, where skin is the name of the skin e.g. pattern. If no template is found, then the fallback is to use view.tmpl. Each skin on the path is searched for in turn. For example, if you have set the skin path to local,pattern then view.local.tmpl will be searched for first, then view.pattern.tmpl and finally view.tmpl.

The basic skin is defined by a SKIN setting:

  • Set SKIN = catskin, bearskin

You can also add a parameter to the URL, such as ?skin=catskin,bearskin:

Setting SKIN (or the ?skin parameter in the URL) replaces the existing skin path setting, for the current page only. You can also extend the existing skin path as well, using covers.

  • Set COVER = ruskin

This pushes a different skin to the front of the skin search path (so for our example above, that final skin path will be ruskin, catskin, bearskin). There is also an equivalent cover URL parameter. The difference between setting SKIN vs. COVER is that if the chosen template is not found (e.g., for included templates), SKIN will fall back onto the next skin in line, or the default skin, if only one skin was present, while COVER will always fall back onto the current skin.

An example would be invoking the printable mode, which is achieved by applying ?cover=print. The view.print.tmpl simply invokes the viewprint template for the current skin which then can appropriately include all other used templates for the current skin. Where the printable mode be applied by using SKIN, all skins would have the same printable appearance.

The full skin path is built up as follows: SKIN setting (or ?skin if it is set), then COVER setting is added, then ?cover.

Conditional Skin Activation

TWiki skins can be activated conditionally using IfStatements. For example, you might want to use a mobile skin for iPhone and Android user agents, and the default skin otherwise. This example uses the print skin on iPhone and Android:

   * Set SKIN = %IF{
      "'%HTTP{"User-Agent"}%'~'*iPhone*' OR '%HTTP{"User-Agent"}%'~'*Android*'"
      then="print, pattern"
      else="topmenu, pattern"
     }%

Hard-Coded Skins

The text skin is reserved for TWiki internal use.

Skin names starting with rss also have a special meaning; if one or more of the skins in the skin path starts with 'rss' then 8-bit characters will be encoded as XML entities in the output, and the content-type header will be forced to text/xml.

Related Topics: TWikiSkinBrowser, AdminDocumentationCategory, DeveloperDocumentationCategory, TWiki:TWiki.TWikiSkinsSupplement

-- Contributors: TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny, TWiki:Main.MikeMannix, TWiki:Main.CrawfordCurrie

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TWiki Meta Data

Additional topic data, program-generated or from TWikiForms, is stored embedded in the topic text using META: tags

Overview

By default, TWiki stores topics in files on disk, in a really simple and obvious directory structure. The big advantage of this approach is that it makes it really easy to manipulate topics from outside TWiki, and is also very safe; there are no complex binary indexes to maintain, and moving a topic from one TWiki to another is as simple as copying a couple of text files.

To keep everything together in one place, TWiki uses a simple method for embedding additional data (program-generated or from TWikiForms) in topics. It does this using META: tags.

META: data includes program-generated info like FileAttachment and topic movement data, and user-defined TWikiForms info.

Meta Data Syntax

  • Format is the same as in TWikiVariables, except all fields have a key.
    • %META:<type>{key1="value1" key2="value2" ...}%

  • Order of fields within the meta variables is not defined, except that if there is a field with key name, this appears first for easier searching (note the order of the variables themselves is defined).

  • Each meta variable is on one line.

  • Values in meta-data are URL encoded so that characters such as \n can be stored.

Example of Format
%META:TOPICINFO{version="1.6" date="976762663" author="LastEditorWikiName" format="1.0"}%
   text of the topic
%META:TOPICMOVED{from="Codev.OldName" to="Codev.NewName"
   by="TopicMoverWikiName" date="976762680"}%
%META:TOPICPARENT{name="NavigationByTopicContext"}%
%META:FILEATTACHMENT{name="Sample.txt" version="1.3" ... }%
%META:FILEATTACHMENT{name="Smile.gif" version="1.1" ... }%
%META:FORM{name="WebFormTemplate"}%
%META:FIELD{name="OperatingSystem" value="OsWin"}%
%META:FIELD{name="TopicClassification" value="PublicFAQ"}%

Meta Data Specifications

The current version of Meta Data is 1.0, with support for the following variables.

META:TOPICINFO

Key Comment
version Same as RCS version
date integer, unix time, seconds since start 1970
author last to change topic, is the REMOTE_USER
format Format of this topic, will be used for automatic format conversion

META:TOPICMOVED

This is optional, exists if topic has ever been moved. If a topic is moved more than once, only the most recent META:TOPICMOVED meta variable exists in the topic, older ones are to be found in the rcs history.

%META:TOPICMOVED{from="Codev.OldName" to="Codev.NewName" by="talintj" date="976762680"}%

Key Comment
from Full name, i.e., web.topic
to Full name, i.e., web.topic
by Who did it, is the REMOTE_USER, not WikiName
date integer, unix time, seconds since start 1970

Notes:

  • at present version number is not supported directly, it can be inferred from the RCS history.
  • there is only one META:TOPICMOVED in a topic, older move information can be found in the RCS history.

META:TOPICPARENT

Key Comment
name The topic from which this was created, typically when clicking on a red-link, or by filling out a form. Normally just TopicName, but it can be a full Web.TopicName format if the parent is in a different Web.

META:FILEATTACHMENT

Key Comment
name Name of file, no path. Must be unique within topic
version Same as RCS revision
path Full path file was loaded from
size In bytes
date integer, unix time, seconds since start 1970
user the REMOTE_USER, not WikiName
comment As supplied when file uploaded
attr h if hidden, optional

Extra fields that are added if an attachment is moved:

Key Comment
movedfrom full topic name - web.topic
movedby the REMOTE_USER, not WikiName
movedto full topic name - web.topic
moveddate integer, unix time, seconds since start 1970

META:FORM

Key Comment
name A topic name - the topic represents one of the TWikiForms. Can optionally include the web name (i.e., web.topic), but doesn't normally

META:FIELD

Should only be present if there is a META:FORM entry. Note that this data is used when viewing a topic, the form template definition is not read.

Key Name
name Ties to entry in TWikiForms template, is title with all bar alphanumerics and . removed
title Full text from TWikiForms template
value Value user has supplied via form

Recommended Sequence

There is no absolute need for Meta Data variables to be listed in a specific order within a topic, but it makes sense to do so a couple of good reasons:

  • form fields remain in the order they are defined
  • the diff function output appears in a logical order

The recommended sequence is:

  • META:TOPICINFO
  • META:TOPICPARENT (optional)
  • text of topic
  • META:TOPICMOVED (optional)
  • META:FILEATTACHMENT (0 or more entries)
  • META:FORM (optional)
  • META:FIELD (0 or more entries; FORM required)

Viewing Meta Data in Page Source

When viewing a topic the Raw Text link can be clicked to show the text of a topic (i.e., as seen when editing). This is done by adding raw=on to URL. raw=debug shows the meta data as well as the topic data, ex: debug view for this topic

Rendering Meta Data

Meta Data is rendered with the %META% variable. This is mostly used in the view, preview and edit scripts.

You can render form fields in topic text by using the FORMFIELD variable. Example:
%FORMFIELD{"TopicClassification"}%
For details, see VarFORMFIELD.

Current support covers:

Variable usage: Comment:
%META{"form"}% Show form data, see TWikiForms.
%META{"formfield"}% Show form field value. Parameter: name="field_name". Example:
%META{ "formfield" name="TopicClassification" }%
%META{"attachments"}% Show attachments, except for hidden ones. Options:
all="on": Show all attachments, including hidden ones.
%META{"moved"}% Details of any topic moves.
%META{"parent"}% Show topic parent. Options:
dontrecurse="on": By default recurses up tree, at some cost.
nowebhome="on": Suppress WebHome.
prefix="...": Prefix for parents, only if there are parents, default "".
suffix="...": Suffix, only appears if there are parents, default "".
separator="...": Separator between parents, default is " > ".

Note: SEARCH can also be used to render meta data, see examples in FormattedSearch and SearchPatternCookbook.

Related Topics: DeveloperDocumentationCategory, UserDocumentationCategory

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TWiki Add-Ons

Add functionality to TWiki with extensions not based on the TWiki scripts.

Overview

An add-on runs separately from the TWiki scripts, e.g. for data import, export to static HTML, etc. Add-Ons normally do not call any TWiki code directly, though may invoke TWiki scripts. There are different types of add-ons, they may be stand alone scripts, browser plugins, office tool extensions, or even a set of TWiki topics that form a TWiki application.

Relevant links on TWiki.org:

See other types of extensions: TWikiContribs, TWikiPlugins, TWikiSkins

Add-Ons Installed on this TWiki

Number of topics: 2

Installing Add-Ons

Creating new Add-Ons

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TWiki Contribs

Reusable code that may be used over several plugins and add-ons.

Overview

TWiki contribs extend the functionality of TWiki, typically used by plugins and add-ons. They may also provide alternative implementations for sections of the TWiki core e.g. user management, or when an extension just can't be implemented as a plugin because it requires very close access to TWiki internals.

Relevant links on TWiki.org:

See other types of extensions: TWikiAddOns, TWikiPlugins, TWikiSkins

TWiki Contribs Installed on this TWiki

Number of topics: 6

Installing Contribs

Creating new Contribs

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TWiki Plugins

Add functionality to TWiki with readily available plugins; create plugins based on APIs

Overview

You can add plugins to extend TWiki functionality, without altering the core code. A plug-in approach lets you:

  • add virtually unlimited features while keeping the main TWiki code compact and efficient;
  • heavily customize an installation and still do clean updates to new versions of TWiki;
  • rapidly develop new TWiki functions in Perl using the plugin API.

Everything to do with TWiki plugins - demos, new releases, downloads, development, general discussion - is available at TWiki.org, in the TWiki:Plugins web.

TWiki plugins are developed and contributed by interested members of the community. Plugins are provided on an 'as is' basis; they are not a part of TWiki, but are independently developed and maintained.

Relevant links on TWiki.org:

See other types of extensions: TWikiAddOns, TWikiContribs, TWikiSkins

Installing Plugins

The TWiki:Plugins web on TWiki.org is the repository for TWiki plugins. Each plugin such as the TWiki:Plugins.ChartPlugin has a topic with user guide, step-by-step installation instructions, a detailed description of any special requirements, version details, and a working example for testing. There's usually a number of other related topics, such as a developers page, and an appraisal page.

Most TWiki plugins are packaged so that they can be installed and upgraded using the configure script. To install a plugin, open up the Extensions tab, follow the "Find More Extensions" link, and follow the instructions. A plugin needs to be enabled after installation.

Plugins can also be installed manually: Download the zip or tgz package of a TWiki plugin from the TWiki.org repository, upload it to the TWiki server, unpack it, and follow the installation instructions found in the plugin topic on TWiki.org.

Special Requirements: Some plugins need certain Perl modules to be pre-installed on the host system. Plugins may also use other resources, like graphics, other modules, applications, and templates. You should be able to find detailed instructions in the plugin's documentation. Use the package manager of the server OS (yum, apt-get, rpm, etc) to install dependent libraries.

If available, install CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) libraries with the OS package manager. For example, to install IO::Socket::SSL on Fedora/RedHat/CentOS, run yum install perl-IO-Socket-SSL. CPAN modules can also be installed natively, see TWiki:TWiki.HowToInstallCpanModules.

On-Site Pretesting

If you have a mission critical TWiki installation and you are concerned about installing new plugins, you can test new plugins before making them available by creating a second test TWiki installation, and test the plugin there. It is also possible to configure this test TWiki to use the live data. You can allow selected users access to the test area. Once you are satisfied that it won't compromise your primary installation, you can install it there as well.

InstalledPlugins shows which plugins are: 1) installed, 2) loading properly, and 3) what TWiki:Codev.PluginHandlers they invoke. Any failures are shown in the Errors section. The %FAILEDPLUGINS% variable can be used to debug failures. You may also want to check your webserver error log and the various TWiki log files.

Some Notes on Plugin Performance

The performance of the system depends to some extent on the number of plugins installed and on the plugin implementation. Some plugins impose no measurable performance decrease, some do. For example, a Plugin might use many Perl libraries that need to be initialized with each page view (unless you run mod_perl). You can only really tell the performance impact by installing the plugin and by measuring the performance with and without the new plugin. Use the TWiki:Plugins.PluginBenchmarkAddOn, or test manually with the Apache ab utility. Example on Unix:
time wget -qO /dev/null /linux4sam/bin/view/TWiki/AbcPlugin

TIP If you need to install an "expensive" plugin, but you only need its functionality only in a subset of your data, you can disable it elsewhere by defining the %DISABLEDPLUGINS% TWiki variable.

Define DISABLEDPLUGINS to be a comma-separated list of names of plugins to disable. Define it in Main.TWikiPreferences to disable those plugins everywhere, in the WebPreferences topic to disable them in an individual web, or in a topic to disable them in that topic. For example,

   * Set DISABLEDPLUGINS = SpreadSheetPlugin, EditTablePlugin

Managing Installed Plugins

Some plugins require additional settings or offer extra options that you have to select. Also, you may want to make a plugin available only in certain webs, or temporarily disable it. And may want to list all available plugins in certain topics. You can handle all of these management tasks with simple procedures:

Enabling/Disabling Plugins

Plugins can be enabled and disabled with the configure script in the Plugins section. An installed plugin needs to be enabled before it can be used.

Plugin Evaluation Order

By default, TWiki executes plugins in alphabetical order on plugin name. It is possible to change the order, for example to evaluate database variables before the spreadsheet CALCs. This can be done with {PluginsOrder} in the plugins section of configure.

Plugin-Specific Settings

Plugins can be configured with 1. preferences settings and/or 2. with configure settings. Older plugins use plugin preferences settings defined in the plugin topic, which is no longer recommended.

1. Use preferences settings:

Adinistrators can set plugin-specific settings in the local site preferences at Main.TWikiPreferences and users can overload them at the web level and page level. This approach is recommended if users should be able to overload settings. For security this is not recommended for system settings, such as a path to an executable. By convention, preferences setting names start with the plugin name in all caps, and an underscore. For example, to set the cache refresh period of the TWiki:Plugins.VarCachePlugin, add this bullet in Main.TWikiPreferences

  • Set VARCACHEPLUGIN_REFRESH = 24

Preferences settings that have been defined in Main.TWikiPreferences can be retrieved anywhere in TWiki with %<pluginname>_<setting>%, such as %VARCACHEPLUGIN_REFRESH%.

To learn how this is done, use the TWiki:Plugins.VarCachePlugin documentation and Perl plugin code as a reference.

2. Use configure settings:

The administrator can set plugin settings in the configure interface. Recommended if only site administrators should be able to change settings. Chose this option to set sensitive or dangerous system settings, such as passwords or path to executables. To define plugin-specific configure settings,

  • Create a Config.spec file in lib/TWiki/Plugins/YourPlugin/ with variables, such as
    $TWiki::cfg{Plugins}{RecentVisitorPlugin}{ShowIP} = 0;
  • In the plugin, use those those variables, such as
    $showIP = $TWiki::cfg{Plugins}{RecentVisitorPlugin}{ShowIP} || 0;

To learn how this is done, use the TWiki:Plugins.RecentVisitorPlugin documentation and Perl plugin code as a reference.

In either case, define a SHORTDESCRIPTION setting in two places:

  • As a setting in the plugin documentation, which is needed for the extension reports on twiki.org. Example:
    • Set SHORTDESCRIPTION = Show recent visitors to a TWiki site
  • As a global Perl package variable in the plugin package, which is needed by TWiki to show info on installed plugins. Example:
    our $SHORTDESCRIPTION = 'Show recent visitors to a TWiki site';

For better performance, make sure you define this in the plugin package:
our $NO_PREFS_IN_TOPIC = 1;

Listing Active Plugins

Plugin status variables let you list all active plugins wherever needed.

This site is running TWiki version TWiki-6.0.0, Mon, 14 Oct 2013, build 26523, plugin API version 6.00

%ACTIVATEDPLUGINS%

On this TWiki site, the enabled plugins are: SpreadSheetPlugin, AliasPlugin, BackupRestorePlugin, BreadCrumbsPlugin, ColorPickerPlugin, CommentPlugin, DatePickerPlugin, EditTablePlugin, EmptyPlugin, FilterPlugin, FlexWebListPlugin, FootNotePlugin, GluePlugin, HeadlinesPlugin, IfDefinedPlugin, InterwikiPlugin, JQueryPlugin, PreferencesPlugin, RedDotPlugin, RenderListPlugin, SetGetPlugin, SlideShowPlugin, SmiliesPlugin, TablePlugin, TagMePlugin, TinyMCEPlugin, TwistyPlugin, WatchlistPlugin, WysiwygPlugin.

%PLUGINDESCRIPTIONS%

  • SpreadSheetPlugin (2013-10-10, $Rev: 26482 (2013-10-14) $): Add spreadsheet calculation like "$SUM( $ABOVE() )" to TWiki tables or anywhere in topic text
  • AliasPlugin (2.32, $Rev: 18536 (2010-04-26) $): Define aliases which will be replaced with arbitrary strings automatically
  • BackupRestorePlugin (2013-02-16, $Rev: 25448 (2013-10-14) $): Administrator utility to backup, restore and upgrade a TWiki site
  • BreadCrumbsPlugin (2010-08-01, $Rev: 19303 (2010-08-01) $): A flexible way to display breadcrumbs navigation
  • ColorPickerPlugin (2013-02-15, $Rev: 25074 (2013-10-14) $): Color picker, packaged for use in TWiki forms and TWiki applications
  • CommentPlugin (2013-02-10, $Rev: 24977 (2013-10-14) $): Quickly post comments to a page without an edit/preview/save cycle
  • DatePickerPlugin (2013-09-04, $Rev: 26272 (2013-10-14) $): Pop-up calendar with date picker, for use in TWiki forms, HTML forms and TWiki plugins
  • EditTablePlugin (2013-01-13, $Rev: 25108 (2013-10-14) $): Edit TWiki tables using edit fields, date pickers and drop down boxes
  • EmptyPlugin (2013-09-27, $Rev: 26432 (2013-10-14) $): Empty Plugin used as a template for new Plugins
  • FilterPlugin (2010-07-25, $Rev: 19240 (2010-07-25) $): Substitute and extract information from content by using regular expressions
  • FlexWebListPlugin (2010-07-25, $Rev: 19261 (2010-07-26) $): Flexible way to display hierarchical weblists
  • FootNotePlugin (2.008): Footnotes are notes placed at the end of a topic.
  • GluePlugin (2.1, $Rev: 18553 (2010-04-30) $): Enable markup to span multiple lines
  • HeadlinesPlugin (2013-02-16, $Rev: 25104 (2013-10-14) $): Show headline news in TWiki pages based on RSS and ATOM news feeds from external sites
  • IfDefinedPlugin (v1.1, $Rev: 18548 (2010-04-29) $): Render content conditionally
  • InterwikiPlugin (2013-02-12, $Rev: 25126 (2013-10-14) $): Text ExternalSite:Page links to a page on an external site based on aliases defined in a rules topic
  • JQueryPlugin (2013-09-28, $Rev: 26439 (2013-10-14) $): jQuery JavaScript library for TWiki
  • PreferencesPlugin (2013-09-08, $Rev: 26286 (2013-10-14) $): Allows editing of preferences using fields predefined in a form
  • RedDotPlugin (2010-07-27, $Rev: 21402 (2011-06-04) $): Renders edit-links as little red dots
  • RenderListPlugin (2013-01-28, $Rev: 24820 (2013-10-14) $): Render bullet lists in a variety of formats
  • SectionalEditPlugin: (disabled)
  • SetGetPlugin (2013-01-28, $Rev: 24822 (2013-10-14) $): Set and get variables in topics, optionally persistently across topic views
  • SlideShowPlugin (2013-04-07, $Rev: 25715 (2013-10-14) $): Create web based presentations based on topics with headings.
  • SmiliesPlugin (2013-01-13, $Rev: 24784 (2013-10-14) $): Render smilies as icons, like  :-)  as smile or  :eek:  as eek!
  • TWikiNetSkinPlugin: (disabled)
  • TablePlugin (2013-09-25, $Rev: 26425 (2013-10-14) $): Control attributes of tables and sorting of table columns
  • TagMePlugin (2013-03-12, $Rev: 25778 (2013-10-14) $): Tag wiki content collectively to find content by keywords
  • TinyMCEPlugin (2013-09-18, $Rev: 26397 (2013-10-14) $): Integration of the Tiny MCE WYSIWYG Editor
  • TwistyPlugin (2013-03-22, $Rev: 25508 (2013-10-14) $): Twisty section JavaScript library to open/close content dynamically
  • WatchlistPlugin (2013-09-15, $Rev: 26361 (2013-10-14) $): Watch topics of interest and get notified of changes by e-mail
  • WysiwygPlugin (2013-09-18, $Rev: 26391 (2013-10-14) $): Translator framework for WYSIWYG editors

%FAILEDPLUGINS%

PluginErrors
SpreadSheetPlugin none
AliasPlugin none
BackupRestorePlugin none
BreadCrumbsPlugin none
ColorPickerPlugin none
CommentPlugin none
DatePickerPlugin none
EditTablePlugin none
EmptyPlugin none
FilterPlugin none
FlexWebListPlugin none
FootNotePlugin none
GluePlugin none
HeadlinesPlugin none
IfDefinedPlugin none
InterwikiPlugin none
JQueryPlugin none
PreferencesPlugin none
RedDotPlugin none
RenderListPlugin none
SectionalEditPlugin
TWiki::Plugins::SectionalEditPlugin could not be loaded.  Errors were: 
Can't locate TWiki/Contrib/EditContrib.pm in @INC (@INC contains: /home/admat91/public_html/linux4sam/lib . /usr/local/lib64/perl5 /usr/local/share/perl5 /usr/lib64/perl5/vendor_perl /usr/share/perl5/vendor_perl /usr/lib64/perl5 /usr/share/perl5 /home/admat91/public_html/linux4sam/lib/CPAN/lib//arch /home/admat91/public_html/linux4sam/lib/CPAN/lib//5.10.1/x86_64-linux-thread-multi /home/admat91/public_html/linux4sam/lib/CPAN/lib//5.10.1 /home/admat91/public_html/linux4sam/lib/CPAN/lib/) at /home/admat91/public_html/linux4sam/lib/TWiki/Plugins/SectionalEditPlugin.pm line 31.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at /home/admat91/public_html/linux4sam/lib/TWiki/Plugins/SectionalEditPlugin.pm line 31.
Compilation failed in require at (eval 91) line 1.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at (eval 91) line 1.

----
SetGetPlugin none
SlideShowPlugin none
SmiliesPlugin none
TWikiNetSkinPlugin
TWiki::Plugins::TWikiNetSkinPlugin::initPlugin did not return true (0)
TablePlugin none
TagMePlugin none
TinyMCEPlugin none
TwistyPlugin none
WatchlistPlugin none
WysiwygPlugin none
HandlerPlugins
afterEditHandlerWysiwygPlugin
afterRenameHandlerTagMePlugin
WatchlistPlugin
afterSaveHandlerTagMePlugin
WatchlistPlugin
beforeCommonTagsHandlerEditTablePlugin
PreferencesPlugin
TwistyPlugin
WysiwygPlugin
beforeEditHandlerTinyMCEPlugin
WysiwygPlugin
beforeMergeHandlerWysiwygPlugin
beforeSaveHandlerCommentPlugin
WysiwygPlugin
commonTagsHandlerSpreadSheetPlugin
AliasPlugin
BackupRestorePlugin
CommentPlugin
EditTablePlugin
FilterPlugin
FootNotePlugin
GluePlugin
HeadlinesPlugin
IfDefinedPlugin
JQueryPlugin
RedDotPlugin
SlideShowPlugin
SmiliesPlugin
initPluginSpreadSheetPlugin
AliasPlugin
BackupRestorePlugin
BreadCrumbsPlugin
ColorPickerPlugin
CommentPlugin
DatePickerPlugin
EditTablePlugin
EmptyPlugin
FilterPlugin
FlexWebListPlugin
FootNotePlugin
GluePlugin
HeadlinesPlugin
IfDefinedPlugin
InterwikiPlugin
JQueryPlugin
PreferencesPlugin
RedDotPlugin
RenderListPlugin
SetGetPlugin
SlideShowPlugin
SmiliesPlugin
TablePlugin
TagMePlugin
TinyMCEPlugin
TwistyPlugin
WatchlistPlugin
WysiwygPlugin
modifyHeaderHandlerWysiwygPlugin
postRenderingHandlerAliasPlugin
EditTablePlugin
FootNotePlugin
PreferencesPlugin
RedDotPlugin
WysiwygPlugin
preRenderingHandlerAliasPlugin
InterwikiPlugin
SmiliesPlugin
TablePlugin
redirectCgiQueryHandlerRedDotPlugin
startRenderingHandlerRenderListPlugin
This handler is deprecated - please check for updated versions of the plugins that use it!
31 plugins

The TWiki Plugin API

The Application Programming Interface (API) for TWiki plugins provides the specifications for hooking into the core TWiki code from your external Perl plugin module.

Available Core Functions

The TWikiFuncDotPm module (lib/TWiki/Func.pm) describes all the interfaces available to plugins. Plugins should only use the interfaces described in this module.

ALERT! Note: If you use other core functions not described in Func.pm, you run the risk of creating security holes. Also, your plugin will likely break and require updating when you upgrade to a new version of TWiki.

Predefined Hooks

In addition to TWiki core functions, plugins can use predefined hooks, or callbacks, as described in the lib/TWiki/Plugins/EmptyPlugin.pm module.

  • All but the initPlugin are commented out. To enable a callback, remove the leading # from all lines of the callback.

TWiki:Codev.StepByStepRenderingOrder helps you decide which rendering handler to use.

Hints on Writing Fast Plugins

  • Delay initialization as late as possible. For example, if your plugin is a simple syntax processor, you might delay loading extra Perl modules until you actually see the syntax in the text.
    • For example, use an eval block like this:
      eval { require IPC::Run }
      return "<font color=\"red\">SamplePlugin: Can't load required modules ($@)</font>" if $@;
  • Keep the main plugin package as small as possible; create other packages that are loaded if and only if they are used. For example, create sub-packages of BathPlugin in lib/TWiki/Plugins/BathPlugin/.
  • Avoid using preferences in the plugin topic; Define $NO_PREFS_IN_TOPIC in your plugin package as that will stop TWiki from reading the plugin topic for every page. Use Config.spec or preferences settings instead. (See details).
  • Use registered tag handlers.
  • Measure the performance to see the difference.

Version Detection

To eliminate the incompatibility problems that are bound to arise from active open plugin development, a plugin versioning system is provided for automatic compatibility checking.

  • All plugin packages require a $VERSION variable. This should be an integer, or a subversion version id.

  • The initPlugin handler should check all dependencies and return 1 if the initialization is OK or 0 if something went wrong.
    • The plugin initialization code does not register a plugin that returns 0 (or that has no initPlugin handler).

  • $TWiki::Plugins::VERSION in the TWiki::Plugins module contains the TWiki plugin API version, currently 6.00.
    • You can also use the %PLUGINVERSION{}% variable to query the plugin API version or the version of installed plugins.

Security

  • Badly written plugins can open huge security holes in TWiki. This is especially true if care isn't taken to prevent execution of arbitrary commands on the server.
  • Don't allow sensitive configuration data to be edited by users. it is better to add sensitive configuration options to the %TWiki::cfg hash than adding it as preferences in the plugin topic.
  • Always use the TWiki::Sandbox to execute commands.
  • Always audit the plugins you install, and make sure you are happy with the level of security provided. While every effort is made to monitor plugin authors activities, at the end of the day they are uncontrolled user contributions.

Creating Plugins

With a reasonable knowledge of the Perl scripting language, you can create new plugins or modify and extend existing ones. Basic plug-in architecture uses an Application Programming Interface (API), a set of software instructions that allow external code to interact with the main program. The TWiki Plugin API provides the programming interface for TWiki. Understanding how TWiki is working at high level is beneficial for plugin development.

Anatomy of a Plugin

A (very) basic TWiki plugin consists of two files:

  • a Perl module, e.g. MyFirstPlugin.pm
  • a documentation topic, e.g. MyFirstPlugin.txt

The Perl module can be a block of code that talks to with TWiki alone, or it can include other elements, like other Perl modules (including other plugins), graphics, TWiki templates, external applications (ex: a Java applet), or just about anything else it can call. In particular, files that should be web-accessible (graphics, Java applets ...) are best placed as attachments of the MyFirstPlugin topic. Other needed Perl code is best placed in a lib/TWiki/Plugins/MyFirstPlugin/ directory.

The plugin API handles the details of connecting your Perl module with main TWiki code. When you're familiar with the Plugin API, you're ready to develop plugins.

The TWiki:Plugins.BuildContrib module provides a lot of support for plugins development, including a plugin creator, automatic publishing support, and automatic installation script writer. If you plan on writing more than one plugin, you probably need it.

Creating the Perl Module

Copy file lib/TWiki/Plugins/EmptyPlugin.pm to <name>Plugin.pm. The EmptyPlugin.pm module contains mostly empty functions, so it does nothing, but it's ready to be used. Customize it. Refer to the Plugin API specs for more information.

If your plugin uses its own modules and objects, you must include the name of the plugin in the package name. For example, write Package MyFirstPlugin::Attrs; instead of just Package Attrs;. Then call it using:

use TWiki::Plugins::MyFirstPlugin::Attrs;
$var = MyFirstPlugin::Attrs->new();

Writing the Documentation Topic

The plugin documentation topic contains usage instructions and version details. It serves the plugin files as FileAttachments for downloading. (The doc topic is also included in the distribution package.) To create a documentation topic:

  1. Copy the plugin topic template from TWiki.org. To copy the text, go to TWiki:Plugins/PluginPackage and:
    • enter the plugin name in the "How to Create a Plugin" section
    • click Create
    • select all in the Edit box & copy
    • Cancel the edit
    • go back to your site to the TWiki web
    • In the JumpBox enter your plugin name, for example MyFirstPlugin, press enter and create the new topic
    • paste & save new plugin topic on your site
  2. Customize your plugin topic.
    • Important: In case you plan to publish your plugin on TWiki.org, use Interwiki names for author names and links to TWiki.org topics, such as TWiki:Main/TWikiGuest. This is important because links should work properly in a plugin topic installed on any TWiki, not just on TWiki.org.
  3. Document the performance data you gathered while measuring the performance
  4. Save your topic, for use in packaging and publishing your plugin.

OUTLINE: Doc Topic Contents
Check the plugins web on TWiki.org for the latest plugin doc topic template. Here's a quick overview of what's covered:

Syntax Rules: <Describe any special text formatting that will be rendered.>"

Example: <Include an example of the plugin in action. Possibly include a static HTML version of the example to compare if the installation was a success!>"

Plugin Settings: <Description and settings for custom plugin %VARIABLES%, and those required by TWiki.>"

Plugin Installation Instructions: <Step-by-step set-up guide, user help, whatever it takes to install and run, goes here.>"

Plugin Info: <Version, credits, history, requirements - entered in a form, displayed as a table. Both are automatically generated when you create or edit a page in the TWiki:Plugins web.>"

Packaging for Distribution

The TWiki:Plugins.BuildContrib is a powerful build environment that is used by the TWiki project to build TWiki itself, as well as many of the plugins. You don't have to use it, but it is highly recommended!

If you don't want (or can't) use the BuildContrib, then a minimum plugin release consists of a Perl module with a WikiName that ends in Plugin, ex: MyFirstPlugin.pm, and a documentation page with the same name(MyFirstPlugin.txt).

  1. Distribute the plugin files in a directory structure that mirrors TWiki. If your plugin uses additional files, include them all:
    • lib/TWiki/Plugins/MyFirstPlugin.pm
    • data/TWiki/MyFirstPlugin.txt
    • pub/TWiki/MyFirstPlugin/uparrow.gif [a required graphic]
  2. Create a zip archive with the plugin name (MyFirstPlugin.zip) and add the entire directory structure from Step 1. The archive should look like this:
    • lib/TWiki/Plugins/MyFirstPlugin.pm
    • data/TWiki/MyFirstPlugin.txt
    • pub/TWiki/MyFirstPlugin/uparrow.gif

Measuring and Improving the Plugin Performance

A high quality plugin performs well. You can use the TWiki:Plugins.PluginBenchmarkAddOn to measure your TWiki:Plugins.PluginBenchmarks. The data is needed as part of the Documentation Topic.

See also Hints on Writing Fast Plugins.

Publishing for Public Use

You can release your tested, packaged plugin to the TWiki community through the TWiki:Plugins web. All plugins submitted to TWiki.org are available for download and further development in TWiki:Plugins/PluginPackage.

Publish your plugin by following these steps:

  1. Post the plugin documentation topic in the TWiki:Plugins/PluginPackage:
    • enter the plugin name in the "How to Create a Plugin" section, for example MyFirstPlugin
    • paste in the topic text from Writing the Documentation Topic and save
  2. Attach the distribution zip file to the topic, ex: MyFirstPlugin.zip
  3. Link from the doc page to a new, blank page named after the plugin, and ending in Dev, ex: MyFirstPluginDev. This is the discussion page for future development. (User support for plugins is handled in TWiki:Support.)
  4. Put the plugin into the SVN repository, see TWiki:Plugins/ReadmeFirst (optional)

NEW Once you have done the above steps once, you can use the BuildContrib to upload updates to your plugin.

Thank you very much for sharing your plugin with the TWiki community smile

Recommended Storage of Plugin Specific Data

Plugins sometimes need to store data. This can be plugin internal data such as cache data, or data generated for browser consumption such as images. Plugins should store data using TWikiFuncDotPm functions that support saving and loading of topics and attachments.

Plugin Internal Data

You can create a plugin "work area" using the TWiki::Func::getWorkArea() function, which gives you a persistent directory where you can store data files. By default they will not be web accessible. The directory is guaranteed to exist, and to be writable by the webserver user. For convenience, TWiki::Func::storeFile() and TWiki::Func::readFile() are provided to persistently store and retrieve simple data in this area.

Web Accessible Data

Topic-specific data such as generated images can be stored in the topic's attachment area, which is web accessible. Use the TWiki::Func::saveAttachment() function to store the data.

Recommendation for file name:

  • Prefix the filename with an underscore (the leading underscore avoids a name clash with files attached to the same topic)
  • Identify where the attachment originated from, typically by including the plugin name in the file name
  • Use only alphanumeric characters, underscores, dashes and periods to avoid platform dependency issues and URL issues
  • Example: _GaugePlugin_img123.gif

Web specific data can be stored in the plugin's attachment area, which is web accessible. Use the TWiki::Func::saveAttachment() function to store the data.

Recommendation for file names in plugin attachment area:

  • Prefix the filename with an underscore
  • Include the name of the web in the filename
  • Use only alphanumeric characters, underscores, dashes and periods to avoid platform dependency issues and URL issues
  • Example: _Main_roundedge-ul.gif

Integrating with configure

Some TWiki extensions have setup requirements that are best integrated into configure rather than trying to use TWiki preferences variables. These extensions use Config.spec files to publish their configuration requirements.

Config.spec files are read during TWiki configuration. Once a Config.spec has defined a configuration item, it is available for edit through the standard configure interface. Config.spec files are stored in the 'plugin directory' e.g. lib/TWiki/Plugins/BathPlugin/Config.spec.

Structure of a Config.spec file

The Config.spec file for an extension starts with the extension announcing what it is:
# ---+ Extensions
# ---++ BathPlugin
# This plugin senses the level of water in your bath, and ensures the plug
# is not removed while the water is still warm.
This is followed by one or more configuration items. Each configuration item has a type, a description and a default. For example:
# **SELECT Plastic,Rubber,Metal**
# Select the plug type
$TWiki::cfg{BathPlugin}{PlugType} = 'Plastic';

# **NUMBER**
# Enter the chain length in cm
$TWiki::cfg{BathPlugin}{ChainLength} = 30;

# **BOOLEAN EXPERT**
# Set this option to 0 to disable the water temperature alarm
$TWiki::cfg{BathPlugin}{TempSensorEnabled} = 1;
The type (e.g. **SELECT** ) tells configure to how to prompt for the value. It also tells configure how to do some basic checking on the value you actually enter. All the comments between the type and the configuration item are taken as part of the description. The configuration item itself defines the default value for the configuration item. The above spec defines the configuration items $TWiki::cfg{BathPlugin}{PlugType}, $TWiki::cfg{BathPlugin}{ChainLength}, and $TWiki::cfg{BathPlugin}{TempSensorEnabled} for use in your plugin. For example,
if( $TWiki::cfg{BathPlugin}{TempSensorEnabled} && $curTemperature > 50 ) {
    die "The bathwater is too hot for comfort";
}

The Config.spec file is read by configure, which then writes LocalSite.cfg with the values chosen by the local site admin.

A range of types are available for use in Config.spec files:

BOOLEAN A true/false value, represented as a checkbox
COMMAND length A shell command
LANGUAGE A language (selected from {LocalesDir}
NUMBER A number
OCTAL An octal number
PASSWORD length A password (input is hidden)
PATH length A file path
PERL A perl structure, consisting of arrays and hashes
REGEX length A perl regular expression
SELECT choices Pick one of a range of choices
SELECTCLASS root Select a perl package (class)
STRING length A string
URL length A url
URLPATH length A relative URL path

All types can be followed by a comma-separated list of attributes.

EXPERT means this an expert option
M means the setting is mandatory (may not be empty)
H means the option is not visible in configure

See lib/TWiki.spec for many more examples.

Config.spec files for non-plugin extensions are stored under the Contrib directory instead of the Plugins directory.

Note that from TWiki 5.0 onwards, CGI scripts (in the TWiki bin directory) provided by extensions must also have an entry in the Config.spec file. This entry looks like this (example taken from PublishContrib)

# **PERL H**
# Bin script registration - do not modify
$TWiki::cfg{SwitchBoard}{publish} = [ "TWiki::Contrib::Publish", "publish", { publishing => 1 } ];
PERL specifies a perl data structure, and H a hidden setting (it won't appear in configure). The first field of the data value specifies the class where the function that implements the script can be found. The second field specifies the name of the function, which must be the same as the name of the script. The third parameter is a hash of initial context settings for the script.

TWiki:TWiki/SpecifyingConfigurationItemsForExtensions has supplemental documentation on configure settings.

Maintaining Plugins

Discussions and Feedback on Plugins

Each published plugin has a plugin development topic on TWiki.org. Plugin development topics are named after your plugin and end in Dev, such as MyFirstPluginDev. The plugin development topic is a great resource to discuss feature enhancements and to get feedback from the TWiki community.

Maintaining Compatibility with Earlier TWiki Versions

The plugin interface (TWikiFuncDotPm functions and plugin handlers) evolve over time. TWiki introduces new API functions to address the needs of plugin authors. Plugins using unofficial TWiki internal functions may no longer work on a TWiki upgrade.

Organizations typically do not upgrade to the latest TWiki for many months. However, many administrators still would like to install the latest versions of a plugin on their older TWiki installation. This need is fulfilled if plugins are maintained in a compatible manner.

TIP Tip: Plugins can be written to be compatible with older and newer TWiki releases. This can be done also for plugins using unofficial TWiki internal functions of an earlier release that no longer work on the latest TWiki codebase. Here is an example; the TWiki:TWiki.TWikiPluginsSupplement#MaintainPlugins has more details.

    if( $TWiki::Plugins::VERSION >= 1.1 ) {
        @webs = TWiki::Func::getListOfWebs( 'user,public' );
    } else {
        @webs = TWiki::Func::getPublicWebList( );
    }

Handling deprecated functions

From time-to-time, the TWiki developers will add new functions to the interface (either to TWikiFuncDotPm, or new handlers). Sometimes these improvements mean that old functions have to be deprecated to keep the code manageable. When this happens, the deprecated functions will be supported in the interface for at least one more TWiki release, and probably longer, though this cannot be guaranteed.

When a plugin defines deprecated handlers, a warning will be shown in the list generated by %FAILEDPLUGINS%. Admins who see these warnings should check TWiki.org and if necessary, contact the plugin author, for an updated version of the plugin.

Updated plugins may still need to define deprecated handlers for compatibility with old TWiki versions. In this case, the plugin package that defines old handlers can suppress the warnings in %FAILEDPLUGINS%.

This is done by defining a map from the handler name to the TWiki::Plugins version in which the handler was first deprecated. For example, if we need to define the endRenderingHandler for compatibility with TWiki::Plugins versions before 1.1, we would add this to the plugin:

package TWiki::Plugins::SinkPlugin;
use vars qw( %TWikiCompatibility );
$TWikiCompatibility{endRenderingHandler} = 1.1;
If the currently-running TWiki version is 1.1 or later, then the handler will not be called and the warning will not be issued. TWiki with versions of TWiki::Plugins before 1.1 will still call the handler as required.

Back to top


Official list of stable TWiki functions for Plugin developers

This module defines official functions that TWiki plugins can use to interact with the TWiki engine and content.

Refer to EmptyPlugin and lib/TWiki/Plugins/EmptyPlugin.pm for a template plugin and documentation on how to write a plugin.

Plugins should only use functions published in this module. If you use functions in other TWiki libraries you might create a security hole and you will probably need to change your plugin when you upgrade TWiki.

Deprecated functions will still work in older code, though they should not be called in new plugins and should be replaced in older plugins as soon as possible.

The version of the TWiki::Func module is defined by the VERSION number of the TWiki::Plugins module, currently 6.00. This can be shown by the %PLUGINVERSION% TWiki variable, and accessed in code using $TWiki::Plugins::VERSION. The 'Since' field in the function documentation refers to $TWiki::Plugins::VERSION.

Notes on use of $TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00 and later:

  • The version number is now aligned with the TWiki release version.
  • A TWiki-6.7.8 release will have a $TWiki::Plugins::VERSION = 6.78.
  • In an unlikely case where the patch number is 10 or larger, the patch number is added to the previous patch number. For example, TWiki-6.7.9 will have version 6.79, TWiki-6.7.10 will have 6.7910, and TWiki-6.7.11 will have 6.7911. This ensures that the version number can sort properly.
  • TWiki::Plugins::VERSION also applies to the plugin handlers. The handlers are documented in the EmptyPlugin, and that module indicates what version of TWiki::Plugins::VERSION it relates to.

A full history of the changes to this API can be found at the end of this topic.

Environment

getSkin( ) -> $skin

Get the skin path, set by the SKIN and COVER preferences variables or the skin and cover CGI parameters

Return: $skin Comma-separated list of skins, e.g. 'gnu,tartan'. Empty string if none.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (29 Jul 2001)

getUrlHost( ) -> $host

Get protocol, domain and optional port of script URL

Return: $host URL host, e.g. "http://example.com:80"

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

getScriptUrl( $web, $topic, $script, ... ) -> $url

Compose fully qualified URL

  • $web - Web name, e.g. 'Main'
  • $topic - Topic name, e.g. 'WebNotify'
  • $script - Script name, e.g. 'view'
  • ... - an arbitrary number of name=>value parameter pairs that will be url-encoded and added to the url. The special parameter name '#' is reserved for specifying an anchor. e.g. getScriptUrl('x','y','view','#'=>'XXX',a=>1,b=>2) will give .../view/x/y?a=1&b=2#XXX

Return: $url URL, e.g. "http://example.com:80/cgi-bin/view.pl/Main/WebNotify"

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

getViewUrl( $web, $topic ) -> $url

Compose fully qualified view URL

  • $web - Web name, e.g. 'Main'. The current web is taken if empty
  • $topic - Topic name, e.g. 'WebNotify'
Return: $url URL, e.g. "http://example.com:80/cgi-bin/view.pl/Main/WebNotify"

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

getPubUrlPath( ) -> $path

Get pub URL path

Return: $path URL path of pub directory, e.g. "/pub"

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (14 Jul 2001)

getExternalResource( $url, \@headers, \%params ) -> $response

Get whatever is at the other end of a URL (using an HTTP GET request). Will only work for encrypted protocols such as https if the LWP CPAN module is installed.

Note that the $url may have an optional user and password, as specified by the relevant RFC. Any proxy set in configure is honored.

Optional parameters may be supplied:

  • \@headers (an array ref): Additional HTTP headers of form 'name1', 'value1', 'name2', 'value2'. User-Agent header is set to "TWiki::Net/### libwww-perl/#.##" by default, where ### is the revision number of TWiki::Net and #.## is the version of LWP.
  • \%params (a hash ref): Additional options.

Below is the list of available %params. See CPAN:LWP::UserAgent for more details.

Name Usage
agent => $useragent ("User-Agent:" header)
cookie_jar => $cookies
credentials => [$netloc, $realm, $uname, $pass]
handlers => {$phase => \&cb, ...} Note: %matchspec is not available.
local_address => $address
max_redirect => $n
max_size => $bytes
method * => $method E.g. 'HEAD'
parse_head => $boolean
requests_redirectable => \@requests
ssl_opts => {$key => $value, ...}
timeout * => $secs
The parameters with * do not require LWP.

Example:

my $response = getExternalResource($url,
    ['Cache-Control' => 'max-age=0'], {timeout => 10});

The $response is an object that is known to implement the following subset of the methods of HTTP::Response. It may in fact be an HTTP::Response object, but it may also not be if LWP is not available, so callers may only assume the following subset of methods is available:

code()
message()
header($field)
content()
is_error()
is_redirect()

Note that if LWP is not available, this function:

  1. can only really be trusted for HTTP/1.0 urls. If HTTP/1.1 or another protocol is required, you are strongly recommended to require LWP.
  2. Will not parse multipart content

In the event of the server returning an error, then is_error() will return true, code() will return a valid HTTP status code as specified in RFC 2616 and RFC 2518, and message() will return the message that was received from the server. In the event of a client-side error (e.g. an unparseable URL) then is_error() will return true and message() will return an explanatory message. code() will return 400 (BAD REQUEST).

Note: Callers can easily check the availability of other HTTP::Response methods as follows:

my $response = TWiki::Func::getExternalResource($url);
if (!$response->is_error() && $response->isa('HTTP::Response')) {
    $text = $response->content();
    # ... other methods of HTTP::Response may be called
} else {
    # ... only the methods listed above may be called
}

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

Note: The optional parameters \@headers and \%params were added in TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

postExternalResource( $url, $text, \@headers, \%params ) -> $response

This method is essentially the same as getExternalResource() except that it uses an HTTP POST method and that the additional $text parameter is required.

The $text is sent to the server as the body content of the HTTP request.

See getExternalResource() for more details.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

getCgiQuery( ) -> $query

Get CGI query object. Important: Plugins cannot assume that scripts run under CGI, Plugins must always test if the CGI query object is set

Return: $query CGI query object; or 0 if script is called as a shell script

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

getSessionKeys() -> @keys

Get a list of all the names of session variables. The list is unsorted.

Session keys are stored and retrieved using setSessionValue and getSessionValue.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

getSessionValue( $key ) -> $value

Get a session value from the client session module

  • $key - Session key
Return: $value Value associated with key; empty string if not set

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (27 Feb 200)

setSessionValue( $key, $value ) -> $boolean

Set a session value.

  • $key - Session key
  • $value - Value associated with key
Return: true if function succeeded

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (17 Aug 2001)

clearSessionValue( $key ) -> $boolean

Clear a session value that was set using setSessionValue.

  • $key - name of value stored in session to be cleared. Note that you cannot clear AUTHUSER.
Return: true if the session value was cleared

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

getContext() -> \%hash

Get a hash of context identifiers representing the currently active context.

The context is a set of identifiers that are set during specific phases of TWiki processing. For example, each of the standard scripts in the 'bin' directory each has a context identifier - the view script has 'view', the edit script has 'edit' etc. So you can easily tell what 'type' of script your Plugin is being called within. The core context identifiers are listed in the IfStatements topic. Please be careful not to overwrite any of these identifiers!

Context identifiers can be used to communicate between Plugins, and between Plugins and templates. For example, in FirstPlugin.pm, you might write:

sub initPlugin {
   TWiki::Func::getContext()->{'MyID'} = 1;
   ...
This can be used in SecondPlugin.pm like this:
sub initPlugin {
   if( TWiki::Func::getContext()->{'MyID'} ) {
      ...
   }
   ...
or in a template, like this:
%TMPL:DEF{"ON"}% Not off %TMPL:END%
%TMPL:DEF{"OFF"}% Not on %TMPL:END%
%TMPL:P{context="MyID" then="ON" else="OFF"}%
or in a topic:
%IF{"context MyID" then="MyID is ON" else="MyID is OFF"}%
Note: all plugins have an automatically generated context identifier if they are installed and initialised. For example, if the FirstPlugin is working, the context ID 'FirstPlugin' will be set.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

pushTopicContext($web, $topic)

  • $web - new web
  • $topic - new topic
Change the TWiki context so it behaves as if it was processing $web.$topic from now on. All the preferences will be reset to those of the new topic. Note that if the new topic is not readable by the logged in user due to access control considerations, there will not be an exception. It is the duty of the caller to check access permissions before changing the topic.

It is the duty of the caller to restore the original context by calling popTopicContext.

Note that this call does not re-initialise plugins, so if you have used global variables to remember the web and topic in initPlugin, then those values will be unchanged.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

popTopicContext()

Returns the TWiki context to the state it was in before the pushTopicContext was called.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

Preferences

getPreferencesValue( $key, $web ) -> $value

Get a preferences value from TWiki or from a Plugin

  • $key - Preferences key
  • $web - Name of web, optional. Current web if not specified; does not apply to settings of Plugin topics
Return: $value Preferences value; empty string if not set

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

  • Example for Plugin setting:
    • MyPlugin topic has: * Set COLOR = red
    • Use "MYPLUGIN_COLOR" for $key
    • my $color = TWiki::Func::getPreferencesValue( "MYPLUGIN_COLOR" );

  • Example for preferences setting:
    • WebPreferences topic has: * Set WEBBGCOLOR = #FFFFC0
    • my $webColor = TWiki::Func::getPreferencesValue( 'WEBBGCOLOR', 'Sandbox' );

NOTE: As of TWiki-4.1, if $NO_PREFS_IN_TOPIC is enabled in the plugin, then preferences set in the plugin topic will be ignored.

getPluginPreferencesValue( $key ) -> $value

Get a preferences value from your Plugin

  • $key - Plugin Preferences key w/o PLUGINNAME_ prefix.
Return: $value Preferences value; empty string if not set

Note: This function will will only work when called from the Plugin.pm file itself. it will not work if called from a sub-package (e.g. TWiki::Plugins::MyPlugin::MyModule)

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.021 (27 Mar 2004)

NOTE: As of TWiki-4.1, if $NO_PREFS_IN_TOPIC is enabled in the plugin, then preferences set in the plugin topic will be ignored.

getPreferencesFlag( $key, $web ) -> $value

Get a preferences flag from TWiki or from a Plugin

  • $key - Preferences key
  • $web - Name of web, optional. Current web if not specified; does not apply to settings of Plugin topics
Return: $value Preferences flag '1' (if set), or "0" (for preferences values "off", "no" and "0")

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

  • Example for Plugin setting:
    • MyPlugin topic has: * Set SHOWHELP = off
    • Use "MYPLUGIN_SHOWHELP" for $key
    • my $showHelp = TWiki::Func::getPreferencesFlag( "MYPLUGIN_SHOWHELP" );

NOTE: As of TWiki-4.1, if $NO_PREFS_IN_TOPIC is enabled in the plugin, then preferences set in the plugin topic will be ignored.

getPluginPreferencesFlag( $key ) -> $boolean

Get a preferences flag from your Plugin

  • $key - Plugin Preferences key w/o PLUGINNAME_ prefix.
Return: false for preferences values "off", "no" and "0", or values not set at all. True otherwise.

Note: This function will will only work when called from the Plugin.pm file itself. it will not work if called from a sub-package (e.g. TWiki::Plugins::MyPlugin::MyModule)

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.021 (27 Mar 2004)

NOTE: As of TWiki-4.1, if $NO_PREFS_IN_TOPIC is enabled in the plugin, then preferences set in the plugin topic will be ignored.

setPreferencesValue($name, $val)

Set the preferences value so that future calls to getPreferencesValue will return this value, and %$name% will expand to the preference when used in future variable expansions.

The preference only persists for the rest of this request. Finalised preferences cannot be redefined using this function.

Returns 1 if the preference was defined, and 0 otherwise.

getWikiToolName( ) -> $name

Get toolname as defined in TWiki.cfg

Return: $name Name of tool, e.g. 'TWiki'

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (27 Feb 2001)

getMainWebname( ) -> $name

Get name of Main web as defined in TWiki.cfg

Return: $name Name, e.g. 'Main'

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (27 Feb 2001)

getTwikiWebname( ) -> $name

Get name of TWiki documentation web as defined in TWiki.cfg

Return: $name Name, e.g. 'TWiki'

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (27 Feb 2001)

User Handling and Access Control

getDefaultUserName( ) -> $loginName

Get default user name as defined in the configuration as DefaultUserLogin

Return: $loginName Default user name, e.g. 'guest'

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

getCanonicalUserID( $user ) -> $cUID

  • $user can be a login, wikiname or web.wikiname
Return the cUID of the specified user. A cUID is a unique identifier which is assigned by TWiki for each user. BEWARE: While the default TWikiUserMapping uses a cUID that looks like a user's LoginName, some characters are modified to make them compatible with rcs. Other usermappings may use other conventions - the JoomlaUserMapping for example, has cUIDs like 'JoomlaeUserMapping_1234'.

If $user is undefined, it assumes the currently logged-in user.

Return: $cUID, an internal unique and portable escaped identifier for registered users. This may be autogenerated for an authenticated but unregistered user.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

getWikiName( $user ) -> $wikiName

return the WikiName of the specified user if $user is undefined Get Wiki name of logged in user

  • $user can be a cUID, login, wikiname or web.wikiname

Return: $wikiName Wiki Name, e.g. 'JohnDoe'

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

getWikiUserName( $user ) -> $wikiName

return the userWeb.WikiName of the specified user if $user is undefined Get Wiki name of logged in user

  • $user can be a cUID, login, wikiname or web.wikiname

Return: $wikiName Wiki Name, e.g. "Main.JohnDoe"

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

wikiToUserName( $id ) -> $loginName

Translate a Wiki name to a login name.
  • $id - Wiki name, e.g. 'Main.JohnDoe' or 'JohnDoe'. Since TWiki 4.2.1, $id may also be a login name. This will normally be transparent, but should be borne in mind if you have login names that are also legal wiki names.

Return: $loginName Login name of user, e.g. 'jdoe', or undef if not matched.

Note that it is possible for several login names to map to the same wikiname. This function will only return the first login name that maps to the wikiname.

returns undef if the WikiName is not found.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

userToWikiName( $loginName, $dontAddWeb ) -> $wikiName

Translate a login name to a Wiki name
  • $loginName - Login name, e.g. 'jdoe'. Since TWiki 4.2.1 this may also be a wiki name. This will normally be transparent, but may be relevant if you have login names that are also valid wiki names.
  • $dontAddWeb - Do not add web prefix if "1"
Return: $wikiName Wiki name of user, e.g. 'Main.JohnDoe' or 'JohnDoe'

userToWikiName will always return a name. If the user does not exist in the mapping, the $loginName parameter is returned. (backward compatibility)

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

emailToWikiNames( $email, $dontAddWeb ) -> @wikiNames

  • $email - email address to look up
  • $dontAddWeb - Do not add web prefix if "1"
Find the wikinames of all users who have the given email address as their registered address. Since several users could register with the same email address, this returns a list of wikinames rather than a single wikiname.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

wikinameToEmails( $user ) -> @emails

  • $user - wikiname of user to look up
Returns the registered email addresses of the named user. If $user is undef, returns the registered email addresses for the logged-in user.

Since TWiki 4.2.1, $user may also be a login name, or the name of a group.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

isGuest( ) -> $boolean

Test if logged in user is a guest (TWikiGuest)

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

isAnAdmin( $user, $topic, $web ) -> $boolean

Find out if the user is an admin or not. If the user is not given, the currently logged-in user is assumed.

  • $user can be either a login name or a WikiName
  • a user mapping handler's isAdmin() may take $topic and $web arguments. That's why this function takes them too. For a user mapping handler whose isAdmin() doesn't care $topic and $web (e.g. TWikiUserMapping), $topic and $web are irrelevant, needless to say.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

Note: The parameters $topic and $web were added in TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

isGroupMember( $group, $id ) -> $boolean

Find out if $id is in the named group. e.g.

if( TWiki::Func::isGroupMember( "HesperionXXGroup", "jordi" )) {
    ...
}
If $user is undef, it defaults to the currently logged-in user.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

eachUser() -> $iterator

Get an iterator over the list of all the registered users not including groups. The iterator will return each wiki name in turn (e.g. 'FredBloggs').

Use it as follows:

    my $iterator = TWiki::Func::eachUser();
    while ($it->hasNext()) {
        my $user = $it->next();
        # $user is a wikiname
    }

WARNING on large sites, this could be a long list!

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

eachMembership($id) -> $iterator

  • $id - WikiName or login name of the user. If $id is undef, defaults to the currently logged-in user.
Get an iterator over the names of all groups that the user is a member of.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

eachGroup() -> $iterator

Get an iterator over all groups.

Use it as follows:

    my $iterator = TWiki::Func::eachGroup();
    while ($it->hasNext()) {
        my $group = $it->next();
        # $group is a group name e.g. TWikiAdminGroup
    }

WARNING on large sites, this could be a long list!

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

isGroup( $group ) -> $boolean

Checks if $group is the name of a group known to TWiki.

eachGroupMember($group) -> $iterator

Get an iterator over all the members of the named group. Returns undef if $group is not a valid group.

Use it as follows:

    my $iterator = TWiki::Func::eachGroupMember('RadioheadGroup');
    while ($it->hasNext()) {
        my $user = $it->next();
        # $user is a wiki name e.g. 'TomYorke', 'PhilSelway'
    }

WARNING on large sites, this could be a long list!

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

checkAccessPermission( $type, $id, $text, $topic, $web, $meta ) -> $boolean

Check access permission for a topic based on the TWiki.TWikiAccessControl rules

  • $type - Access type, required, e.g. 'VIEW', 'CHANGE'.
  • $id - WikiName of remote user, required, e.g. "PeterThoeny". From TWiki 4.2.1, $id may also be a login name. If $id is '', 0 or undef then access is always permitted.
  • $text - Topic text, optional. If 'perl false' (undef, 0 or ''), topic $web.$topic is consulted. $text may optionally contain embedded %META:PREFERENCE tags. Provide this parameter if:
    1. You are setting different access controls in the text to those defined in the stored topic,
    2. You already have the topic text in hand, and want to help TWiki avoid having to read it again,
    3. You are providing a $meta parameter.
  • $topic - Topic name, required, e.g. 'PrivateStuff'
  • $web - Web name, required, e.g. 'Sandbox'
  • $meta - Meta-data object, as returned by readTopic. Optional. If undef, but $text is defined, then access controls will be parsed from $text. If defined, then metadata embedded in $text will be ignored. This parameter is always ignored if $text is undefined. Settings in $meta override Set settings in $text.
A perl true result indicates that access is permitted.

Note the weird parameter order is due to compatibility constraints with earlier TWiki releases.

Tip if you want, you can use this method to check your own access control types. For example, if you:

  • Set ALLOWTOPICSPIN = IncyWincy
in ThatWeb.ThisTopic, then a call to checkAccessPermission('SPIN', 'IncyWincy', undef, 'ThisTopic', 'ThatWeb', undef) will return true.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (27 Feb 2001)

Webs, Topics and Attachments

getListOfWebs( $filter ) -> @webs

  • $filter - spec of web types to recover
Gets a list of webs, filtered according to the spec in the $filter, which may include one of:
  1. 'user' (for only user webs)
  2. 'template' (for only template webs i.e. those starting with "_")
$filter may also contain the word 'public' which will further filter out webs that have NOSEARCHALL set on them. 'allowed' filters out webs the current user can't read.

For example, the deprecated getPublicWebList function can be duplicated as follows:

   my @webs = TWiki::Func::getListOfWebs( "user,public" );

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

webExists( $web ) -> $boolean

Test if web exists

  • $web - Web name, required, e.g. 'Sandbox'

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (14 Jul 2001)

isValidWebName( $name, $templateWeb ) -> $boolean

Check for a valid web name.

  • $name - web name
  • $templateWeb - flag, optional. If true, then template web names (starting with _) are considered valid, otherwise only user web names are valid.
Return: true if web name is valid

If $TWiki::cfg{EnableHierarchicalWebs} is off, it will also return false when a nested web name is passed to it.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.4

createWeb( $newWeb, $baseWeb, $opts )

  • $newWeb is the name of the new web.
  • $baseWeb is the name of an existing web (a template web). If the base web is a system web, all topics in it will be copied into the new web. If it is a normal web, only topics starting with 'Web' will be copied. If no base web is specified, an empty web (with no topics) will be created. If it is specified but does not exist, an error will be thrown.
  • $opts is a ref to a hash that contains settings to be modified in
the web preferences topic in the new web.

use Error qw( :try );
use TWiki::AccessControlException;

try {
    TWiki::Func::createWeb( "Newweb" );
} catch Error::Simple with {
    my $e = shift;
    # see documentation on Error::Simple
} catch TWiki::AccessControlException with {
    my $e = shift;
    # see documentation on TWiki::AccessControlException
} otherwise {
    ...
};

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

moveWeb( $oldName, $newName )

Move (rename) a web.

use Error qw( :try );
use TWiki::AccessControlException;

try {
    TWiki::Func::moveWeb( "Oldweb", "Newweb" );
} catch Error::Simple with {
    my $e = shift;
    # see documentation on Error::Simple
} catch TWiki::AccessControlException with {
    my $e = shift;
    # see documentation on TWiki::AccessControlException
} otherwise {
    ...
};

To delete a web, move it to a subweb of Trash

TWiki::Func::moveWeb( "Deadweb", "Trash.Deadweb" );

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

eachChangeSince($web, $time) -> $iterator

Get an iterator over the list of all the changes in the given web between $time and now. $time is a time in seconds since 1st Jan 1970, and is not guaranteed to return any changes that occurred before (now - {Store}{RememberChangesFor}). {Store}{RememberChangesFor}) is a setting in configure. Changes are returned in most-recent-first order.

Use it as follows:

    my $iterator = TWiki::Func::eachChangeSince(
        $web, time() - 7 * 24 * 60 * 60); # the last 7 days
    while ($iterator->hasNext()) {
        my $change = $iterator->next();
        # $change is a perl hash that contains the following fields:
        # topic => topic name
        # user => wikiname - wikiname of user who made the change
        # time => time of the change
        # revision => revision number *after* the change
        # more => more info about the change (e.g. 'minor')
    }

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

getTopicList( $web ) -> @topics

Get list of all topics in a web

  • $web - Web name, required, e.g. 'Sandbox'
Return: @topics Topic list, e.g. ( 'WebChanges',  'WebHome', 'WebIndex', 'WebNotify' )

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

topicExists( $web, $topic ) -> $boolean

Test if topic exists.

  • $web - Web name, optional, e.g. 'Main'.
  • $topic - Topic name, required, e.g. 'TokyoOffice', or "Main.TokyoOffice"

$web and $topic are parsed as described in the documentation for normalizeWebTopicName. Specifically, the Main is used if $web is not specified and $topic has no web specifier. To get an expected behaviour it is recommened to specify the current web for $web; don't leave it empty.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (14 Jul 2001)

isValidTopicName( $name ) -> $boolean

Check for a valid topic name. Names considerd valid for autolinking are WikiWords (such as 'SanFrancisco') and acronym (such as 'SWMBO').

  • $name - topic name
Return: true if topic name is valid

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.4

checkTopicEditLock( $web, $topic, $script ) -> ( $oopsUrl, $loginName, $unlockTime )

Check if a lease has been taken by some other user.

  • $web Web name, e.g. "Main", or empty
  • $topic Topic name, e.g. "MyTopic", or "Main.MyTopic"
Return: ( $oopsUrl, $loginName, $unlockTime ) - The $oopsUrl for calling redirectCgiQuery(), user's $loginName, and estimated $unlockTime in minutes, or ( '', '', 0 ) if no lease exists.
  • $script The script to invoke when continuing with the edit

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.010 (31 Dec 2002)

setTopicEditLock( $web, $topic, $lock )

  • $web Web name, e.g. "Main", or empty
  • $topic Topic name, e.g. "MyTopic", or "Main.MyTopic"
  • $lock 1 to lease the topic, 0 to clear an existing lease

Takes out a "lease" on the topic. The lease doesn't prevent anyone from editing and changing the topic, but it does redirect them to a warning screen, so this provides some protection. The edit script always takes out a lease.

It is impossible to fully lock a topic. Concurrent changes will be merged.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.010 (31 Dec 2002)

saveTopic( $web, $topic, $meta, $text, $options ) -> $error

  • $web - web for the topic
  • $topic - topic name
  • $meta - reference to TWiki::Meta object
  • $text - text of the topic (without embedded meta-data!!!
  • \%options - ref to hash of save options \%options may include:
    dontlog don't log this change in twiki log
    forcenewrevision force the save to increment the revision counter
    minor True if this is a minor change, and is not to be notified
Return: error message or undef.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (29 Jul 2001)

Example:

    # read topic:
    my( $topicMeta, $topicText ) = TWiki::Func::readTopic( $web, $topic )
    # example to change topic text:
    $topicText =~ s/APPLE/ORANGE/g;
    # example to change TWiki form field:
    my $field = $topicMeta->get( 'FIELD', 'Title' );
    if( $field ) {
        $field->{value} = $newTitle;
        $topicMeta->putKeyed( 'FIELD', $field );
    }
    # save updated topic:
    TWiki::Func::saveTopic( $web, $topic, $topicMeta, $topicText, { forcenewrevision => 1 } );

Note: Plugins handlers ( e.g. beforeSaveHandler ) will be called as appropriate.

saveTopicText( $web, $topic, $text, $ignorePermissions, $dontNotify ) -> $oopsUrl

Save topic text, typically obtained by readTopicText(). Topic data usually includes meta data; the file attachment meta data is replaced by the meta data from the topic file if it exists.

  • $web - Web name, e.g. 'Main', or empty
  • $topic - Topic name, e.g. 'MyTopic', or "Main.MyTopic"
  • $text - Topic text to save, assumed to include meta data
  • $ignorePermissions - Set to "1" if checkAccessPermission() is already performed and OK
  • $dontNotify - Set to "1" if not to notify users of the change
Return: $oopsUrl Empty string if OK; the $oopsUrl for calling redirectCgiQuery() in case of error

This method is a lot less efficient and much more dangerous than saveTopic.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.010 (31 Dec 2002)

my $text = TWiki::Func::readTopicText( $web, $topic );

# check for oops URL in case of error:
if( $text =~ /^http.*?\/oops/ ) {
    TWiki::Func::redirectCgiQuery( $query, $text );
    return;
}
# do topic text manipulation like:
$text =~ s/old/new/g;
# do meta data manipulation like:
$text =~ s/(META\:FIELD.*?name\=\"TopicClassification\".*?value\=\")[^\"]*/$1BugResolved/;
$oopsUrl = TWiki::Func::saveTopicText( $web, $topic, $text ); # save topic text

moveTopic( $web, $topic, $newWeb, $newTopic )

  • $web source web - required
  • $topic source topic - required
  • $newWeb dest web
  • $newTopic dest topic
Renames the topic. Throws an exception if something went wrong. If $newWeb is undef, it defaults to $web. If $newTopic is undef, it defaults to $topic.

The destination topic must not already exist.

Rename a topic to the $TWiki::cfg{TrashWebName} to delete it.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

use Error qw( :try );

try {
    moveTopic( "Work", "TokyoOffice", "Trash", "ClosedOffice" );
} catch Error::Simple with {
    my $e = shift;
    # see documentation on Error::Simple
} catch TWiki::AccessControlException with {
    my $e = shift;
    # see documentation on TWiki::AccessControlException
} otherwise {
    ...
};

getRevisionInfo($web, $topic, $rev, $attachment ) -> ( $date, $user, $rev, $comment )

Get revision info of a topic or attachment

  • $web - Web name, optional, e.g. 'Main'
  • $topic - Topic name, required, e.g. 'TokyoOffice'
  • $rev - revsion number, or tag name (can be in the format 1.2, or just the minor number)
  • $attachment -attachment filename
Return: ( $date, $user, $rev, $comment ) List with: ( last update date, login name of last user, minor part of top revision number ), e.g. ( 1234561, 'phoeny', "5" )
$date in epochSec
$user Wiki name of the author (not login name)
$rev actual rev number
$comment WHAT COMMENT?

NOTE: if you are trying to get revision info for a topic, use $meta->getRevisionInfo instead if you can - it is significantly more efficient.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (29 Jul 2001)

getRevisionAtTime( $web, $topic, $time ) -> $rev

Get the revision number of a topic at a specific time.

  • $web - web for topic
  • $topic - topic
  • $time - time (in epoch secs) for the rev
Return: Single-digit revision number, or undef if it couldn't be determined (either because the topic isn't that old, or there was a problem)

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

readTopic( $web, $topic, $rev ) -> ( $meta, $text )

Read topic text and meta data, regardless of access permissions.

  • $web - Web name, required, e.g. 'Main'
  • $topic - Topic name, required, e.g. 'TokyoOffice'
  • $rev - revision to read (default latest)
Return: ( $meta, $text ) Meta data object and topic text

$meta is a perl 'object' of class TWiki::Meta. This class is fully documented in the source code documentation shipped with the release, or can be inspected in the lib/TWiki/Meta.pm file.

This method ignores topic access permissions. You should be careful to use checkAccessPermission to ensure the current user has read access to the topic.

See usage example at TWiki::Func::saveTopic.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

readTopicText( $web, $topic, $rev, $ignorePermissions ) -> $text

Read topic text, including meta data

  • $web - Web name, e.g. 'Main', or empty
  • $topic - Topic name, e.g. 'MyTopic', or "Main.MyTopic"
  • $rev - Topic revision to read, optional. Specify the minor part of the revision, e.g. "5", not "1.5"; the top revision is returned if omitted or empty.
  • $ignorePermissions - Set to "1" if checkAccessPermission() is already performed and OK; an oops URL is returned if user has no permission
Return: $text Topic text with embedded meta data; an oops URL for calling redirectCgiQuery() is returned in case of an error

This method is more efficient than readTopic, but returns meta-data embedded in the text. Plugins authors must be very careful to avoid damaging meta-data. You are recommended to use readTopic instead, which is a lot safer.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.010 (31 Dec 2002)

attachmentExists( $web, $topic, $attachment ) -> $boolean

Test if attachment exists

  • $web - Web name, optional, e.g. Main.
  • $topic - Topic name, required, e.g. TokyoOffice, or Main.TokyoOffice
  • $attachment - attachment name, e.g. logo.gif
$web and $topic are parsed as described in the documentation for normalizeWebTopicName.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

readAttachment( $web, $topic, $name, $rev ) -> $data

  • $web - web for topic
  • $topic - topic
  • $name - attachment name
  • $rev - revision to read (default latest)
Read an attachment from the store for a topic, and return it as a string. The names of attachments on a topic can be recovered from the meta-data returned by readTopic. If the attachment does not exist, or cannot be read, undef will be returned. If the revision is not specified, the latest version will be returned.

View permission on the topic is required for the read to be successful. Access control violations are flagged by a TWiki::AccessControlException. Permissions are checked for the current user.

my( $meta, $text ) = TWiki::Func::readTopic( $web, $topic );
my @attachments = $meta->find( 'FILEATTACHMENT' );
foreach my $a ( @attachments ) {
   try {
       my $data = TWiki::Func::readAttachment( $web, $topic, $a->{name} );
       ...
   } catch TWiki::AccessControlException with {
   };
}

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

saveAttachment( $web, $topic, $attachment, $opts )

  • $web - web for topic
  • $topic - topic to atach to
  • $attachment - name of the attachment
  • $opts - Ref to hash of options
  • $ignorePermissions - Set to "1" if checkAccessPermission() is already performed and OK.
$opts may include:
dontlog don't log this change in twiki log
comment comment for save
hide if the attachment is to be hidden in normal topic view
stream Stream of file to upload
file Name of a file to use for the attachment data. ignored if stream is set. Local file on the server.
filepath Client path to file
filesize Size of uploaded data
filedate Date

Save an attachment to the store for a topic. On success, returns undef. If there is an error, an exception will be thrown.

    try {
        TWiki::Func::saveAttachment( $web, $topic, 'image.gif',
                                     { file => 'image.gif',
                                       comment => 'Picture of Health',
                                       hide => 1 } );
   } catch Error::Simple with {
      # see documentation on Error
   } otherwise {
      ...
   };

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

moveAttachment( $web, $topic, $attachment, $newWeb, $newTopic, $newAttachment )

  • $web source web - required
  • $topic source topic - required
  • $attachment source attachment - required
  • $newWeb dest web
  • $newTopic dest topic
  • $newAttachment dest attachment
Renames the topic. Throws an exception on error or access violation. If $newWeb is undef, it defaults to $web. If $newTopic is undef, it defaults to $topic. If $newAttachment is undef, it defaults to $attachment. If all of $newWeb, $newTopic and $newAttachment are undef, it is an error.

The destination topic must already exist, but the destination attachment must not exist.

Rename an attachment to $TWiki::cfg{TrashWebName}.TrashAttament to delete it.

use Error qw( :try );

try {
   # move attachment between topics
   moveAttachment( "Countries", "Germany", "AlsaceLorraine.dat",
                     "Countries", "France" );
   # Note destination attachment name is defaulted to the same as source
} catch TWiki::AccessControlException with {
   my $e = shift;
   # see documentation on TWiki::AccessControlException
} catch Error::Simple with {
   my $e = shift;
   # see documentation on Error::Simple
};

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

Assembling Pages

readTemplate( $name, $skin ) -> $text

Read a template or skin. Embedded template directives get expanded

  • $name - Template name, e.g. 'view'
  • $skin - Comma-separated list of skin names, optional, e.g. 'print'
Return: $text Template text

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

loadTemplate ( $name, $skin, $web ) -> $text

  • $name - template file name
  • $skin - comma-separated list of skins to use (default: current skin)
  • $web - the web to look in for topics that contain templates (default: current web)
Return: expanded template text (what's left after removal of all %TMPL:DEF% statements)

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

Reads a template and extracts template definitions, adding them to the list of loaded templates, overwriting any previous definition.

How TWiki searches for templates is described in TWikiTemplates.

If template text is found, extracts include statements and fully expands them.

expandTemplate( $def ) -> $string

Do a %TMPL:P{$def}%, only expanding the template (not expanding any variables other than %TMPL)

  • $def - template name
Return: the text of the expanded template

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

A template is defined using a %TMPL:DEF% statement in a template file. See the documentation on TWiki templates for more information.

writeHeader( )

Print a basic content-type HTML header for text/html to standard out. No return value.

Note: In TWiki versions earlier than TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.3, this function used to have $query and $contentLength parameters. Both were marked "you should not pass this parameter".

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

redirectCgiQuery( $query, $url, $passthru, $viaCache )

Redirect to URL

  • $query - CGI query object. Ignored, only there for compatibility. The session CGI query object is used instead.
  • $url - URL to redirect to
  • $passthru - enable passthrough.
  • $viaCache - forcibly cache a redirect CGI query. It cuts off all the params in a GET url and replace with a "?$cache=..." param. "$viaCache" is meaningful only if "$passthru" is true.

Return: none

Print output to STDOUT that will cause a 302 redirect to a new URL. Nothing more should be printed to STDOUT after this method has been called.

The $passthru parameter allows you to pass the parameters that were passed to the current query on to the target URL, as long as it is another URL on the same TWiki installation. If $passthru is set to a true value, then TWiki will save the current URL parameters, and then try to restore them on the other side of the redirect. Parameters are stored on the server in a cache file.

Note that if $passthru is set, then any parameters in $url will be lost when the old parameters are restored. if you want to change any parameter values, you will need to do that in the current CGI query before redirecting e.g.

my $query = TWiki::Func::getCgiQuery();
$query->param(-name => 'text', -value => 'Different text');
TWiki::Func::redirectCgiQuery(
  undef, TWiki::Func::getScriptUrl($web, $topic, 'edit'), 1);
$passthru does nothing if $url does not point to a script in the current TWiki installation.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

addToHEAD( $id, $header, $requires )

Adds $header to the HTML header (the tag). This is useful for Plugins that want to include some javascript and custom css.

  • $id - Unique ID to prevent the same HTML from being duplicated. Plugins should use a prefix to prevent name clashes (e.g EDITTABLEPLUGIN_JSCALENDAR)
  • $header - the HTML to be added to the section. The HTML must be valid in a HEAD tag - no checks are performed.
  • requires optional, comma-separated list of id's of other head blocks this one depends on. Those blocks will be loaded first.

All TWiki variables present in $header will be expanded before being inserted into the section.

Note that this is not the same as the HTTP header, which is modified through the Plugins modifyHeaderHandler.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

example:

TWiki::Func::addToHEAD('PATTERN_STYLE','<link id="twikiLayoutCss" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="%PUBURL%/TWiki/PatternSkin/layout.css" media="all" />');

expandCommonVariables( $text, $topic, $web, $meta ) -> $text

Expand all common %VARIABLES%

  • $text - Text with variables to expand, e.g. 'Current user is %WIKIUSER%'
  • $topic - Current topic name, e.g. 'WebNotify'
  • $web - Web name, optional, e.g. 'Main'. The current web is taken if missing
  • $meta - topic meta-data to use while expanding (Since TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2)
Return: $text Expanded text, e.g. 'Current user is TWikiGuest'

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

See also: expandVariablesOnTopicCreation

renderText( $text, $web ) -> $text

Render text from TWiki markup into XHTML as defined in TWiki.TextFormattingRules

  • $text - Text to render, e.g. '*bold* text and =fixed font='
  • $web - Web name, optional, e.g. 'Main'. The current web is taken if missing
Return: $text XHTML text, e.g. '<b>bold</b> and <code>fixed font</code>'

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

internalLink( $pre, $web, $topic, $label, $anchor, $createLink ) -> $text

Render topic name and link label into an XHTML link. Normally you do not need to call this funtion, it is called internally by renderText()

  • $pre - Text occuring before the TWiki link syntax, optional
  • $web - Web name, required, e.g. 'Main'
  • $topic - Topic name to link to, required, e.g. 'WebNotify'
  • $label - Link label, required. Usually the same as $topic, e.g. 'notify'
  • $anchor - Anchor, optional, e.g. '#Jump'
  • $createLink - Set to '1' to add question linked mark after topic name if topic does not exist;
    set to '0' to suppress link for non-existing topics
Return: $text XHTML anchor, e.g. '<a href='/cgi-bin/view/Main/WebNotify#Jump'>notify</a>'

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

E-mail

sendEmail ( $text, $retries ) -> $error

  • $text - text of the mail, including MIME headers
  • $retries - number of times to retry the send (default 1)
Send an e-mail specified as MIME format content. To specify MIME format mails, you create a string that contains a set of header lines that contain field definitions and a message body such as:
To: liz@windsor.gov.uk
From: serf@hovel.net
CC: george@whitehouse.gov
Subject: Revolution

Dear Liz,

Please abolish the monarchy (with King George's permission, of course)

Thanks,

A. Peasant
Leave a blank line between the last header field and the message body.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

wikiToEmail( $wikiName ) -> $email

  • $wikiname - wiki name of the user
Get the e-mail address(es) of the named user. If the user has multiple e-mail addresses (for example, the user is a group), then the list will be comma-separated.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

Deprecated in favour of wikinameToEmails, because this function only returns a single email address, where a user may in fact have several.

Since TWiki 4.2.1, $wikiName may also be a login name.

Creating New Topics

expandVariablesOnTopicCreation ( $text, $web, $topic ) -> $text

Expand the limited set of variables that are always expanded during topic creation

  • $text - the text to process
  • $web - name of web, optional
  • $topic - name of topic, optional
Return: text with variables expanded

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

Expands only the variables expected in templates that must be statically expanded in new content.

The expanded variables are:

  • %DATE% Signature-format date
  • %SERVERTIME% See TWikiVariables
  • %GMTIME% See TWikiVariables
  • %USERNAME% Base login name
  • %WIKINAME% Wiki name
  • %WIKIUSERNAME% Wiki name with prepended web
  • %URLPARAM{...}% - Parameters to the current CGI query
  • %NOP% No-op

See also: expandVariables

Special Handlers

Special handlers can be defined to make functions in plugins behave as if they were built-in to TWiki.

registerTagHandler( $var, \&fn, $syntax )

Should only be called from initPlugin.

Register a function to handle a simple variable. Handles both %VAR% and %VAR{...}%. Registered variables are treated the same as TWiki internal variables, and are expanded at the same time. This is a lot more efficient than using the commonTagsHandler.

  • $var - The name of the variable, i.e. the 'MYVAR' part of %MYVAR%. The variable name must match /^[A-Z][A-Z0-9_]*$/ or it won't work.
  • \&fn - Reference to the handler function.
  • $syntax can be 'classic' (the default) or 'context-free'. 'classic' syntax is appropriate where you want the variable to support classic TWiki syntax i.e. to accept the standard %MYVAR{ "unnamed" param1="value1" param2="value2" }% syntax, as well as an unquoted default parameter, such as %MYVAR{unquoted parameter}%. If your variable will only use named parameters, you can use 'context-free' syntax, which supports a more relaxed syntax. For example, %MYVAR{param1=value1, value 2, param3="value 3", param4='value 5"}%

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

The variable handler function must be of the form:

sub handler(\%session, \%params, $topic, $web)
where:
  • \%session - a reference to the TWiki session object (may be ignored)
  • \%params - a reference to a TWiki::Attrs object containing parameters. This can be used as a simple hash that maps parameter names to values, with _DEFAULT being the name for the default parameter.
  • $topic - name of the topic in the query
  • $web - name of the web in the query
  • $meta - topic meta-data to use while expanding, can be undef (Since TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.4)
  • $textRef - reference to unexpanded topic text, can be undef (Since TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.4)
for example, to execute an arbitrary command on the server, you might do this:
sub initPlugin{
   TWiki::Func::registerTagHandler('EXEC', \&boo);
}

sub boo {
    my( $session, $params, $topic, $web ) = @_;
    my $cmd = $params->{_DEFAULT};

    return "NO COMMAND SPECIFIED" unless $cmd;

    my $result = `$cmd 2>&1`;
    return $params->{silent} ? '' : $result;
}
would let you do this: %EXEC{"ps -Af" silent="on"}%

Registered tags differ from tags implemented using the old TWiki approach (text substitution in commonTagsHandler) in the following ways:

  • registered tags are evaluated at the same time as system tags, such as %SERVERTIME. commonTagsHandler is only called later, when all system tags have already been expanded (though they are expanded again after commonTagsHandler returns).
  • registered tag names can only contain alphanumerics and _ (underscore)
  • registering a tag FRED defines both %FRED{...}% and also %FRED%.
  • registered tag handlers cannot return another tag as their only result (e.g. return '%SERVERTIME%';). It won't work.

registerRESTHandler( $alias, \&fn, )

Should only be called from initPlugin.

Adds a function to the dispatch table of the REST interface

  • $alias - The name .
  • \&fn - Reference to the function.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

The handler function must be of the form:

sub handler(\%session)
where:
  • \%session - a reference to the TWiki session object (may be ignored)

From the REST interface, the name of the plugin must be used as the subject of the invokation.

Example


The EmptyPlugin has the following call in the initPlugin handler:

   TWiki::Func::registerRESTHandler('example', \&restExample);

This adds the restExample function to the REST dispatch table for the EmptyPlugin under the 'example' alias, and allows it to be invoked using the URL

http://server:port/bin/rest/EmptyPlugin/example

note that the URL

http://server:port/bin/rest/EmptyPlugin/restExample

(ie, with the name of the function instead of the alias) will not work.

registerExternalHTTPHandler( \&fn )

Should only be called from initPlugin.

Adds a function to modify all the HTTP requests to any external resources.

  • \&fn - Reference to the function.

The handler function must be of the form:

sub handler(\%session, $url) -> (\@headers, \%params)
where:
  • \%session - a reference to the TWiki session object (may be ignored)
  • $url - a URL being requested

The returned \@headers and \%params are added to the request in the same manner as getExternalResource, except that \%params will not override any entries that have been set earlier. All the params explicitly given by the caller of getExternalResource or postExternalResource will have the highest precedence.

Example:

sub initPlugin {
    TWiki::Func::registerExternalHTTPHandler( \&handleExternalHTTPRequest );
}

sub handleExternalHTTPRequest {
    my ($session, $url) = @_;
    my @headers;
    my %params;

    # Add any necessary @headers and %params
    push @headers, 'X-Example-Header' => 'Value';
    $params{timeout} = 5;

    # Return refs to both
    return (\@headers, \%params);
}

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

decodeFormatTokens($str) -> $unencodedString

TWiki has an informal standard set of tokens used in format parameters that are used to block evaluation of paramater strings. For example, if you were to write

%MYTAG{format="%WURBLE%"}%

then %WURBLE would be expanded before %MYTAG is evaluated. To avoid this TWiki uses escapes in the format string. For example:

%MYTAG{format="$percntWURBLE$percnt"}%

This lets you enter arbitrary strings into parameters without worrying that TWiki will expand them before your plugin gets a chance to deal with them properly. Once you have processed your tag, you will want to expand these tokens to their proper value. That's what this function does.

Escape: Expands To:
$n or $n() New line. Use $n() if followed by alphanumeric character, e.g. write Foo$n()Bar instead of Foo$nBar
$nop or $nop() Is a "no operation".
$quot Double quote (")
$aquot Apostrophe quote (')
$percnt Percent sign (%)
$dollar Dollar sign ($)
$lt Less than sign (<)
$gt Greater than sign (>)

Note that $quot, $aquot, $percnt and $dollar all work *even if they are followed by alphanumeric characters*. You have been warned!

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

Searching

searchInWebContent($searchString, $web, \@topics, \%options ) -> \%map

Search for a string in the content of a web. The search is over all content, including meta-data. Meta-data matches will be returned as formatted lines within the topic content (meta-data matches are returned as lines of the format %META:\w+{.*}%)

  • $searchString - the search string, in egrep format
  • $web - The web to search in
  • \@topics - reference to a list of topics to search
  • \%option - reference to an options hash
The \%options hash may contain the following options:
  • type - if regex will perform a egrep-syntax RE search (default '')
  • casesensitive - false to ignore case (default true)
  • files_without_match - true to return files only (default false). If files_without_match is specified, it will return on the first match in each topic (i.e. it will return only one match per topic, and will not return matching lines).

The return value is a reference to a hash which maps each matching topic name to a list of the lines in that topic that matched the search, as would be returned by 'grep'.

To iterate over the returned topics use:

my $result = TWiki::Func::searchInWebContent( "Slimy Toad", $web, \@topics,
   { casesensitive => 0, files_without_match => 0 } );
foreach my $topic (keys %$result ) {
   foreach my $matching_line ( @{$result->{$topic}} ) {
      ...etc

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

Plugin-specific File Handling

getWorkArea( $pluginName ) -> $directorypath

Gets a private directory for Plugin use. The Plugin is entirely responsible for managing this directory; TWiki will not read from it, or write to it.

The directory is guaranteed to exist, and to be writable by the webserver user. By default it will not be web accessible.

The directory and it's contents are permanent, so Plugins must be careful to keep their areas tidy.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1 (Dec 2005)

readFile( $filename ) -> $text

Read file, low level. Used for Plugin workarea.

  • $filename - Full path name of file
Return: $text Content of file, empty if not found

NOTE: Use this function only for the Plugin workarea, not for topics and attachments. Use the appropriate functions to manipulate topics and attachments.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (07 Dec 2002)

saveFile( $filename, $text )

Save file, low level. Used for Plugin workarea.

  • $filename - Full path name of file
  • $text - Text to save
Return: none

NOTE: Use this function only for the Plugin workarea, not for topics and attachments. Use the appropriate functions to manipulate topics and attachments.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (07 Dec 2002)

Read-only and Mirror Webs

The following functions are for ReadOnlyAndMirrorWebs.

getSiteName() -> $siteName

Returns the current site name if it's defined. Otherwise returns the null string.

getContentMode( $web ) -> $contentMode

Returns the content mode of the specified $web. Please read ReadOnlyAndMirrorWebs about content mode.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

webWritable( $web ) -> $boolean

Checks if the web is wriable on this site - if it's master or local. Returns true if it's writable. Returns false otherwise.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

Using multiple disks

The following functions are for UsingMultipleDisks.

getDiskList() -> @diskIDs

Returns IDs of disks used by TWiki. An disk ID is "" (a null string) or a decimal number without leading 0.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

getDiskInfo($web, [$diskID]) -> ($dataDir, $pubDir, $diskID)

Returns the relevant paths and the disk ID of the specified web on the specified site.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

trashWebName(web => $web | disk => $diskID) -> $trashWebName

Returns the name of the trash web to which topics of the $web web are moved. Or returns the name of the trash web of the specified disk.

Each disk (file system) TWiki uses needs to have a trash web since a topic deletion may entail an attachment directory move, which is possible only within the same disk/file system.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

General Utilities

getRegularExpression( $name ) -> $expr

Retrieves a TWiki predefined regular expression or character class.

  • $name - Name of the expression to retrieve. See notes below
Return: String or precompiled regular expression matching as described below.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.020 (9 Feb 2004)

Note: TWiki internally precompiles several regular expressions to represent various string entities in an I18N-compatible manner. Plugins authors are encouraged to use these in matching where appropriate. The following are guaranteed to be present. Others may exist, but their use is unsupported and they may be removed in future TWiki versions.

In the table below, the expression marked type 'String' are intended for use within character classes (i.e. for use within square brackets inside a regular expression), for example:

   my $upper = TWiki::Func::getRegularExpression('upperAlpha');
   my $alpha = TWiki::Func::getRegularExpression('mixedAlpha');
   my $capitalized = qr/[$upper][$alpha]+/;
Those expressions marked type 'RE' are precompiled regular expressions that can be used outside square brackets. For example:
   my $webRE = TWiki::Func::getRegularExpression('webNameRegex');
   my $isWebName = ( $s =~ m/$webRE/ );

Name Matches Type
upperAlpha Upper case characters String
upperAlphaNum Upper case characters and digits String
lowerAlpha Lower case characters String
lowerAlphaNum Lower case characters and digits String
numeric Digits String
mixedAlpha Alphabetic characters String
mixedAlphaNum Alphanumeric characters String
wikiWordRegex WikiWords RE
webNameRegex User web names RE
anchorRegex #AnchorNames RE
abbrevRegex Abbreviations e.g. GOV, IRS RE
emailAddrRegex email@address.com RE
tagNameRegex Standard variable names e.g. %THIS_BIT% (THIS_BIT only) RE

normalizeWebTopicName($web, $topic) -> ($web, $topic)

Parse a web and topic name, supplying defaults as appropriate.

  • $web - Web name, identifying variable, or empty string
  • $topic - Topic name, may be a web.topic string, required.
Return: the parsed Web/Topic pair

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

Input Return
( 'Web', 'Topic' ) ( 'Web', 'Topic' )
( '', 'Topic' ) ( 'Main', 'Topic' )
( '', '' ) ( 'Main', 'WebHome' )
( '', 'Web/Topic' ) ( 'Web', 'Topic' )
( '', 'Web/Subweb/Topic' ) ( 'Web/Subweb', 'Topic' )
( '', 'Web.Topic' ) ( 'Web', 'Topic' )
( '', 'Web.Subweb.Topic' ) ( 'Web/Subweb', 'Topic' )
( 'Web1', 'Web2.Topic' ) ( 'Web2', 'Topic' )

Note that hierarchical web names (Web.SubWeb) are only available if hierarchical webs are enabled in configure.

The symbols %USERSWEB%, %SYSTEMWEB% and %DOCWEB% can be used in the input to represent the web names set in $cfg{UsersWebName} and $cfg{SystemWebName}. For example:

Input Return
( '%USERSWEB%', 'Topic' ) ( 'Main', 'Topic' )
( '%SYSTEMWEB%', 'Topic' ) ( 'TWiki', 'Topic' )
( '', '%DOCWEB%.Topic' ) ( 'TWiki', 'Topic' )

sanitizeAttachmentName($fname) -> ($fileName, $origName)

Given a file namer, sanitise it according to the rules for transforming attachment names. Returns the sanitised name together with the basename before sanitisation.

Sanitation includes filtering illegal characters and mapping client file names to legal server names.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

buildWikiWord( $text ) -> $text

Converts arbitrary text to a WikiWord.

  • $pre - Arbitrary Text
Return: $text

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.3 (18 Jan 2010)

spaceOutWikiWord( $word, $sep ) -> $text

Spaces out a wiki word by inserting a string (default: one space) between each word component. With parameter $sep any string may be used as separator between the word components; if $sep is undefined it defaults to a space.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

writeWarning( $text )

Log Warning that may require admin intervention to data/warning.txt

  • $text - Text to write; timestamp gets added
Return: none

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.020 (16 Feb 2004)

writeDebug( $text )

Log debug message to data/debug.txt

  • $text - Text to write; timestamp gets added
Return: none

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.020 (16 Feb 2004)

writeLog( $action, $extra, $web, $topic, $user )

Write the log for an event to the logfile.

  • $action - name of the event, such as 'blacklist'.
  • $extra - arbitrary extra information to add to the event.
  • $web - web name, optional. Base web is taken if empty. Ignored if web is specified in $topic.
  • $topic - topic name, optional. Can be Topic or Web.Topic. Base topic is taken if empty.
  • $user - WikiName, login name or cUID of user, optional. Name of logged-in user is taken if not specified.
Return: none

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.4

Example: Calling TWiki::Func::writeLog( 'blacklist', 'Magic number is missing' ) will add a log entry like this:

| 2011-01-19 - 01:13 | guest | blacklist | TWiki.TWikiRegistration | Magic number is missing | 1.2.3.4 |

Note: Older plugins that use $TWiki::cfg{LogFileName} or call the internal TWiki function directly should be fixed to use writeLog.

To maintain compatibility with older TWiki releases, you can write conditional code as follows:

  if( defined &TWiki::Func::writeLog ) {
    # use writeLog
    TWiki::Func::writeLog( 'myevent', $extra, $web, $topic );
  } else {
    # deprecated code if plugin is used in older TWiki releases
    $TWiki::Plugins::VERSION > 1.1
      ? $TWiki::Plugins::SESSION->writeLog( 'myevent', "$web.$topic", $extra )
      : TWiki::Store::writeLog( 'myevent', "$web.$topic", $extra );
  }

formatTime( $time, $format, $timezone ) -> $text

Format the time in seconds into the desired time string

  • $time - Time in epoc seconds
  • $format - Format type, optional. Default e.g. '2013-12-31 - 19:30'. Can be '$iso' (e.g. '2013-12-31T19:30Z'), '$rcs' (e.g. '2013/12/31 23:59:59', '$http' for HTTP header format (e.g. 'The, 2013-07-23 07:21:56 GMT'), or any string with tokens '$seconds, $minutes, $hours, $day, $wday, $month, $mo, $year, $ye, $tz' for seconds, minutes, hours, day of month, day of week, 3 letter month, 2 digit month, 4 digit year, 2 digit year, timezone string, respectively
  • $timezone - either not defined (uses the displaytime setting), 'gmtime', or 'servertime'
Return: $text Formatted time string

Note: If you used the removed formatGmTime, add a third parameter 'gmtime'

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.020 (26 Feb 2004)

isTrue( $value, $default ) -> $boolean

Returns 1 if $value is true, and 0 otherwise. "true" means set to something with a Perl true value, with the special cases that "off", "false" and "no" (case insensitive) are forced to false. Leading and trailing spaces in $value are ignored.

If the value is undef, then $default is returned. If $default is not specified it is taken as 0.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

isValidWikiWord ( $text ) -> $boolean

Check for a valid WikiWord or WikiName

  • $text - Word to test

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.100 (Dec 2005)

extractParameters($attr ) -> %params

Extract all parameters from a variable string and returns a hash of parameters

  • $attr - Attribute string
Return: %params Hash containing all parameters. The nameless parameter is stored in key _DEFAULT

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.025 (26 Aug 2004)

  • Example:
    • Variable: %TEST{ 'nameless' name1="val1" name2="val2" }%
    • First extract text between {...} to get: 'nameless' name1="val1" name2="val2"
    • Then call this on the text:
  • params = TWiki::Func::extractParameters( $text );=
    • The %params hash contains now:
      _DEFAULT => 'nameless'
      name1 => "val1"
      name2 => "val2"

extractNameValuePair( $attr, $name ) -> $value

Extract a named or unnamed value from a variable parameter string.

  • $attr - Attribute string
  • $name - Name, optional
Return: $value Extracted value

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

  • Example:
    • Variable: %TEST{ 'nameless' name1="val1" name2="val2" }%
    • First extract text between {...} to get: 'nameless' name1="val1" name2="val2"
    • Then call this on the text:
      my $noname = TWiki::Func::extractNameValuePair( $text );
      my $val1  = TWiki::Func::extractNameValuePair( $text, "name1" );
      my $val2  = TWiki::Func::extractNameValuePair( $text, "name2" );

Note: Function TWiki::Func::extractParameters is more efficient for extracting several parameters

entityEncode( $text, $extra ) -> $text

Entity encode text.

  • $text - Text to encode, may be empty
  • $extra - Additional characters to include in the set of encoded characters, optional
Return: $text Entity encoded text

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

Escape special characters to HTML numeric entities. This is not a generic encoding, it is tuned specifically for use in TWiki.

HTML4.0 spec: "Certain characters in HTML are reserved for use as markup and must be escaped to appear literally. The "<" character may be represented with an entity, &lt;. Similarly, ">" is escaped as &gt;, and "&" is escaped as &amp;. If an attribute value contains a double quotation mark and is delimited by double quotation marks, then the quote should be escaped as &quot;.

Other entities exist for special characters that cannot easily be entered with some keyboards..."

This method encodes HTML special and any non-printable ASCII characters (except for \n and \r) using numeric entities.

FURTHER this method also encodes characters that are special in TWiki meta-language.

$extras is an optional param that may be used to include additional characters in the set of encoded characters. It should be a string containing the additional chars.

entityDecode( $text ) -> $text

Decode all numeric entities (e.g. &#123;). Does not decode named entities such as &amp; (use HTML::Entities for that)

  • $text - Text to decode, may be empty
Return: $text Entity decoded text

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

urlEncode( $text ) -> $text

URL encode text, mainly used to encode URL parameters.

  • $text - Text to encode, may be empty
Return: $text URL encoded text

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

Encoding is done by converting characters that are illegal in URLs to their %NN equivalents. This method is used for encoding strings that must be embedded verbatim in URLs; it cannot be applied to URLs themselves, as it escapes reserved characters such as = and ?.

RFC 1738, Dec. '94:

    ...Only alphanumerics [0-9a-zA-Z], the special
    characters $-_.+!*'(), and reserved characters used for their
    reserved purposes may be used unencoded within a URL.

Reserved characters are $&+,/:;=?@ - these are also encoded by this method.

This URL-encoding handles all character encodings including ISO-8859-*, KOI8-R, EUC-* and UTF-8.

This may not handle EBCDIC properly, as it generates an EBCDIC URL-encoded URL, but mainframe web servers seem to translate this outbound before it hits browser - see CGI::Util::escape for another approach.

urlDecode( $text ) -> $text

URL decode text, mainly used to decode URL parameters.

  • $text - Text to decode, may be empty
Return: $text URL decoded text

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

Deprecated functions

From time-to-time, the TWiki developers will add new functions to the interface (either to TWikiFuncDotPm, or new handlers). Sometimes these improvements mean that old functions have to be deprecated to keep the code manageable. When this happens, the deprecated functions will be supported in the interface for at least one more TWiki release, and probably longer, though this cannot be guaranteed.

Updated plugins may still need to define deprecated handlers for compatibility with old TWiki versions. In this case, the plugin package that defines old handlers can suppress the warnings in %FAILEDPLUGINS%.

This is done by defining a map from the handler name to the TWiki::Plugins version in which the handler was first deprecated. For example, if we need to define the endRenderingHandler for compatibility with TWiki::Plugins versions before 1.1, we would add this to the plugin:

package TWiki::Plugins::SinkPlugin;
use vars qw( %TWikiCompatibility );
$TWikiCompatibility{endRenderingHandler} = 1.1;
If the currently-running TWiki version is 1.1 or later, then the handler will not be called and the warning will not be issued. TWiki with versions of TWiki::Plugins before 1.1 will still call the handler as required.

The following functions are retained for compatibility only. You should stop using them as soon as possible.

getScriptUrlPath( ) -> $path

Get script URL path

DEPRECATED since 1.1 - use getScriptUrl instead.

Return: $path URL path of TWiki scripts, e.g. "/cgi-bin"

WARNING: you are strongly recommended not to use this function, as the {ScriptUrlPaths} URL rewriting rules will not apply to urls generated using it.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

getOopsUrl( $web, $topic, $template, $param1, $param2, $param3, $param4 ) -> $url

Compose fully qualified 'oops' dialog URL

  • $web - Web name, e.g. 'Main'. The current web is taken if empty
  • $topic - Topic name, e.g. 'WebNotify'
  • $template - Oops template name, e.g. 'oopsmistake'. The 'oops' is optional; 'mistake' will translate to 'oopsmistake'.
  • $param1 ... $param4 - Parameter values for %PARAM1% ... %PARAMn% variables in template, optional
Return: $url URL, e.g. "http://example.com:80/cgi-bin/oops.pl/ Main/WebNotify?template=oopslocked&param1=joe"

DEPRECATED since 1.1, the recommended approach is to throw an oops exception.

   use Error qw( :try );

   throw TWiki::OopsException(
      'toestuckerror',
      web => $web,
      topic => $topic,
      params => [ 'I got my toe stuck' ]);
(this example will use the oopstoestuckerror template.)

If this is not possible (e.g. in a REST handler that does not trap the exception) then you can use getScriptUrl instead:

   my $url = TWiki::Func::getScriptUrl($web, $topic, 'oops',
            template => 'oopstoestuckerror',
            param1 => 'I got my toe stuck');
   TWiki::Func::redirectCgiQuery( undef, $url );
   return 0;

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

permissionsSet( $web ) -> $boolean

Test if any access restrictions are set for this web, ignoring settings on individual pages

  • $web - Web name, required, e.g. 'Sandbox'

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (27 Feb 2001)

DEPRECATED since 1.2 - use getPreferencesValue instead to determine what permissions are set on the web, for example:

foreach my $type ( 'ALLOW', 'DENY' ) {
    foreach my $action ( 'CHANGE', 'VIEW' ) {
        my $pref = $type . 'WEB' . $action;
        my $val = getPreferencesValue( $pref, $web ) || '';
        if( $val =~ /\S/ ) {
            print "$pref is set to $val on $web\n";
        }
    }
}

getPublicWebList( ) -> @webs

DEPRECATED since 1.1 - use getListOfWebs instead.

Get list of all public webs, e.g. all webs that do not have the NOSEARCHALL flag set in the WebPreferences

Return: @webs List of all public webs, e.g. ( 'Main',  'Know', 'TWiki' )

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (07 Dec 2002)

formatGmTime( $time, $format ) -> $text

DEPRECATED since 1.1 - use formatTime instead.

Format the time to GM time

  • $time - Time in epoc seconds
  • $format - Format type, optional. Default e.g. '31 Dec 2002 - 19:30', can be 'iso' (e.g. '2002-12-31T19:30Z'), 'rcs' (e.g. '2001/12/31 23:59:59', 'http' for HTTP header format (e.g. 'Thu, 23 Jul 1998 07:21:56 GMT')
Return: $text Formatted time string

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (7 Dec 2002)

getDataDir( ) -> $dir

DEPRECATED since 1.1 - use the "Webs, Topics and Attachments" functions to manipulate topics instead

Get data directory (topic file root)

Return: $dir Data directory, e.g. '/twiki/data'

This function violates store encapsulation and is therefore deprecated.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (07 Dec 2002)

getPubDir( ) -> $dir

DEPRECATED since 1.1 - use the "Webs, Topics and Attachments" functions to manipulateattachments instead

Get pub directory (file attachment root). Attachments are in $dir/Web/TopicName

Return: $dir Pub directory, e.g. '/htdocs/twiki/pub'

This function violates store encapsulation and is therefore deprecated.

Use readAttachment and saveAttachment instead.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000 (07 Dec 2002)

checkDependencies( $moduleName, $dependenciesRef ) -> $error

DEPRECATED since 1.1 - use TWiki:Plugins.BuildContrib and define DEPENDENCIES that can be statically evaluated at install time instead. It is a lot more efficient.

Since: TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.025 (01 Aug 2004)

TWiki API History

TWiki-2001-09-01 (Athens Release)

$TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.000

EmptyPlugin.pm

  • commonTagsHandler($text, $topic, $web)
  • endRenderingHandler($text)
  • outsidePREHandler($text)
  • insidePREHandler($text)
  • startRenderingHandler($text, $web)

Func.pm

  • checkAccessPermission($type, $login, $topicText, $topicName, $webName) -> $boolean
  • expandCommonVariables($text, $topic, $web) -> $text
  • extractNameValuePair($attrs, $name) -> $value
  • formatGmTime($time) -> $text
  • getCgiQuery() -> $query
  • getDataDir() -> $dir
  • getDefaultUserName() -> $loginName
  • getMainWebname() -> $name
  • getOopsUrl($web, $topic, $template, @theParams) -> $url
  • getPreferencesFlag($key) -> $boolean
  • getPreferencesValue($key, $web) -> $value
  • getPublicWebList() -> @webs
  • getPubDir() -> $dir
  • getPubUrlPath() -> $path
  • getRevisionInfo($webName, $topic, $rev, $attachment) -> ($date, $user, $rev, $comment)
  • getScriptUrl($web, $topic, $script) -> $url
  • getScriptUrlPath() -> $path
  • getSessionValue($key) -> $value
  • getSkin() -> $skin
  • getTopicList($web) -> @topics
  • getTwikiWebname() -> $name
  • getUrlHost() -> $host
  • getViewUrl($web, $topic) -> $url
  • getWikiName() -> $wikiName
  • getWikiUserName($text) -> $wikiName
  • getWikiToolName() -> $name
  • internalLink($preamble, $web, $topic, $linkText, $anchor, $createLink) -> $text
  • isGuest() -> $boolean
  • permissionsSet($web) -> $boolean
  • readFile($filename) -> $text
  • readTemplate($name, $skin) -> $text
  • readTopic($webName, $topic) -> ($meta, $text)
  • redirectCgiQuery($query, $url)
  • renderText($text, $web) -> $text
  • saveFile($filename, $text)
  • setSessionValue($key, $value)
  • topicExists($web, $topic) -> $boolean
  • userToWikiName($user, $dontAddWeb) -> $wikiName
  • webExists($web) -> $boolean
  • wikiToUserName($wiki) -> $loginName
  • writeDebug($text)
  • writeHeader()
  • writeWarning($text)

TWiki-2003-02-01 (Beijing Release)

$TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.010

EmptyPlugin.pm

  • afterEditHandler($text, $topic, $web)
  • beforeEditHandler($text, $topic, $web)
  • beforeSaveHandler($text, $topic, $web)
  • initializeUserHandler($loginName, $url, $pathInfo)
  • redirectCgiQueryHandler($query, $url)
  • registrationHandler($web, $wikiName, $loginName)
  • writeHeaderHandler($query)

Func.pm

  • checkTopicEditLock($web, $topic) ->($oopsUrl, $loginName, $unlockTime)
  • readTopicText($web, $topic, $rev, $ignorePermissions) -> $text
  • saveTopicText($web, $topic, $text, $ignorePermissions, $dontNotify) -> $oopsUrl
  • setTopicEditLock($web, $topic, $lock) -> $oopsUrl

TWiki-2004-09-02 (Cairo Release)

$TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.025

EmptyPlugin.pm

  • afterCommonTagsHandler($text, $topic, $web)
  • afterSaveHandler($text, $topic, $web, $error)
  • beforeCommonTagsHandler($text, $topic, $web)
  • earlyInitPlugin()

Func.pm

  • afterAttachmentSaveHandler(\%attrHash, $topic, $web, $error, $meta)
  • beforeAttachmentSaveHandler(\%attrHash, $topic, $web, $meta)
  • checkDependencies($moduleName, $dependenciesRef) -> $error
  • extractParameters($attr) -> %params
  • formatTime($time, $format, $timezone) -> $text
  • getPluginPreferencesFlag($key) -> $boolean
  • getPluginPreferencesValue($key) -> $value
  • getRegularExpression($regexName) -> $pattern

TWiki-4.0.0 (Dakar Release)

$TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

EmptyPlugin.pm

  • mergeHandler($diff, $old, $new, \%info) -> $text
  • modifyHeaderHandler(\%headers, $query)
  • postRenderingHandler($text)
  • preRenderingHandler($text, \%map)
  • renderFormFieldForEditHandler($name, $type, $size, $value, $attributes, $possibleValues) -> $html
  • renderWikiWordHandler($linkText, $hasExplicitLinkLabel, $web, $topic) -> $linkText

  • endRenderingHandler($text)
  • startRenderingHandler($text, $web)

Func.pm

  • addToHEAD($id, $header)
  • attachmentExists($web, $topic, $attachment) -> $boolean
  • clearSessionValue($key) -> $boolean
  • checkDependencies($moduleName, $dependenciesRef) -> $error
  • createWeb($newWeb, $baseWeb, $opts)
  • expandTemplate($def ) -> $string
  • expandVariablesOnTopicCreation($text) -> $text
  • getContext() -> \%hash
  • getListOfWebs($filter) -> @webs
  • getScriptUrl($web, $topic, $script, @params) -> $url
  • getRevisionAtTime($web, $topic, $time) -> $rev
  • getWorkArea($pluginName) -> $directorypath
  • isValidWikiWord($text) -> $boolean
  • loadTemplate($name, $skin, $web) -> $text
  • moveAttachment($web, $topic, $attachment, $newWeb, $newTopic, $newAttachment)
  • moveTopic($web, $topic, $newWeb, $newTopic)
  • moveWeb($oldName, $newName)
  • normalizeWebTopicName($web, $topic) ->($web, $topic)
  • readAttachment($web, $topic, $name, $rev) -> $data
  • registerRESTHandler($alias, \&fn,)
  • registerTagHandler($var, \&fn, $syntax)
  • saveAttachment($web, $topic, $attachment, $opts)
  • saveTopic($web, $topic, $meta, $text, $options) -> $error
  • searchInWebContent($searchString, $web, \@topics, \%options) -> \%map
  • sendEmail($text, $retries) -> $error
  • wikiToEmail($wikiName) -> $email
  • writeHeader($query, $contentLength)

  • checkDependencies($moduleName, $dependenciesRef) -> $error
  • formatGmTime($time, $format) -> $text
  • getDataDir() -> $dir
  • getOopsUrl( $web, $topic, $template, @params ) -> $url
  • getPubDir() -> $dir
  • getPublicWebList() -> @webs
  • getScriptUrlPath() -> $path

TWiki-4.0.1 (Dakar Patch Release)

$TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1

EmptyPlugin.pm

  • afterSaveHandler($text, $topic, $web, $error, $meta)
  • beforeSaveHandler($text, $topic, $web, $meta)

Func.pm

TWiki-4.1 (Edinburgh Release)

$TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.11

EmptyPlugin.pm

  • afterRenameHandler($oldWeb, $oldTopic, $oldAttachment, $newWeb, $newTopic, $newAttachment)

Func.pm

No changes

TWiki-4.2 (Freetown Release)

$TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

EmptyPlugin.pm

  • afterCommonTagsHandler($text, $topic, $web, $meta)
  • beforeCommonTagsHandler($text, $topic, $web, $meta)
  • commonTagsHandler($text, $topic, $web, $included, $meta)

Func.pm

  • decodeFormatTokens($str) -> $unencodedString
  • eachChangeSince($web, $time) -> $iterator
  • eachGroup() -> $iterator
  • eachGroupMember($group) -> $iterator
  • eachMembership($wikiname) -> $iterator
  • eachUser() -> $iterator
  • emailToWikiNames($email, $dontAddWeb) -> @wikiNames
  • expandCommonVariables($text, $topic, $web, $meta) -> $text
  • getCanonicalUserID( $user ) -> $cUID
  • getExternalResource($url) -> $response
  • getSessionKeys() -> @keys
  • isAnAdmin($login) -> $boolean
  • isGroup($group) -> $boolean
  • isGroupMember($group, $login) -> $boolean
  • isTrue($value, $default) -> $boolean
  • popTopicContext()
  • pushTopicContext($web, $topic)
  • sanitizeAttachmentName($fname) -> ($fileName, $origName)
  • setPreferencesValue($name, $val)
  • spaceOutWikiWord($word, $sep) -> $text
  • wikiNameToEmails($wikiname) -> @emails
  • permissionsSet($web) -> $boolean
  • getOopsUrl( $web, $topic, $template, $param1, $param2, $param3, $param4 ) -> $url

TWiki-4.3 (Georgetown Release)

$TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.2

EmptyPlugin.pm

No changes

Func.pm

No changes

TWiki-5.0 (Helsinki Release)

$TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.3

EmptyPlugin.pm

No changes

Func.pm

  • buildWikiWord( $text ) -> $text

TWiki-5.1 (Istanbul Release)

$TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.4

EmptyPlugin.pm

  • Callback function registered by registerTagHandler has two new parameters $meta and $textRef

Func.pm

  • afterAttachmentSaveHandler(\%attrHash, $topic, $web, $error, $meta) -- added $meta
  • beforeAttachmentSaveHandler(\%attrHash, $topic, $web, $meta) = added =$meta
  • writeLog( $action, $extra, $web, $topic, $user )

TWiki-6.0 (Jerusalem Release)

$TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 6.00

EmptyPlugin.pm

No changes

Func.pm

  • isAnAdmin( $user, $topic, $web ) -> $boolean -- added $topic and $web
  • expandVariablesOnTopicCreation( $text, $web, $topic ) -> $text -- added $web and $topic
  • postExternalResource( $url, $text, \@headers, \%params ) -> $response
  • registerExternalHTTPHandler( \&fn )
  • getContentMode( $web ) -> $contentMode
  • webWritable( $web ) -> $boolean
  • getDiskList() -> @diskIDs
  • getDiskInfo($web, $siteName) -> ($dataDir, $pubDir, $diskID)
  • trashWebName(web => $web | disk => $diskID) -> $trashWebName
  • entityEncode( $text, $extra ) -> $text
  • entityDecode( $text ) -> $text
  • urlEncode( $text ) -> $text
  • urlDecode( $text ) -> $text

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TWiki CGI and Command Line Scripts

Programs on the TWiki server performing actions such as rendering, saving and renaming topics.

The TWiki scripts are located in the twiki/bin and twiki/tools directories. This topic describes the interfaces to some of those scripts. All scripts in the twiki/bin directory can be called from the CGI (Common Gateway Interface) environment or from the command line. The scripts in the twiki/tools directory can only be called from the command line.

CGI Scripts

Details on CGI scripts located in the twiki/bin directory.

General Information

CGI environment

In the CGI environment parameters are passed to the scripts via the URL and URL parameters. Environment variables are also used to determine the user performing the action. If the environment is not set up, the default TWiki user is used (usually guest).

Command-line

You must have the twiki/bin directory on the perl path to run the scripts from the command line. To avoid issues with file permissions, run the scripts as the web server user such as nobody or www.

Parameters are passed on the command line using '-name' - for example,

$ cd /usr/local/twiki/bin
$ save -topic MyWeb.MyTopic -user admin -action save -text "New text of the topic"
All parameters require a value, even if that is the empty string.

Common parameters

All the scripts accept a number of common parameters. The first two components of the URL after the script name are taken as the web and the topic, respectively. Standard URL parameters are:

Parameter Description Default
topic If this is set to a URL, TWiki will immediately redirect to that URL. Otherwise it overrides the URL and is taken as the topic name (you can pass Web.TopicName)  
user Command-line only; set the name of the user performing the action. Note: this usage is inherently insecure, as it bypasses webserver login constraints. For this reason only authorized users should be allowed to execute scripts from the command line.  
skin Overrides the default skin path (see TWikiSkins)  
cover Specifies temporary skin path to prepend to the skin path for this script only (see TWikiSkins)  

attach

Despite the name, this script doesn't actually attach a file to a topic - for that, use upload. This script is part of the transactions sequence executed when a file is uploaded from the browser. it just generates the "new attachment" page for a topic.

Parameter Description Default
filename Name of existing attachment (if provided, this is a "manage attachment" action) none (in which case this is a "new attachment" action)

changes

Shows all the changes in the given web.

The changes script can receive one parameter:

Parameter Description Default
minor If 0, show only major changes. If 1, show all the changes (both minor and major) 0

The main difference between invoking this script and using WebChanges is that WebChanges is based on a %SEARCH%, while this script reads the changes file in each web, making it much faster.

Note: The result from changes script and the topic WebChanges can be different, if the changes file is deleted from a web. In particular, in new installations the changes script will return no results while the WebChanges topic will.

configure

configure is the browser script used for inspection and configuration of the TWiki configuration. None of the parameters to this script are useable for any purpose except configure. See configure.

edit

The edit script understands the following parameters, typically supplied by HTML input fields:

Parameter Description Default
action Optional. Use the editaction template instead of the standard edit. If action=text, then hide the form. If action=form hide the normal text area and only edit the form. You can change the Edit/Edit Raw buttons to always append the action parameter in skins like Pattern and Classic by setting the topic or preference variable EDITACTION to the value text or form. To edit the topic once the EDITACTION is defined as form simply remove the action=form from the browser URL of the edit script and reload the edit window  
onlynewtopic If set, error if topic already exists  
onlywikiname If set, error if topic name is not a WikiWord  
templatetopic The name of the template topic, copied to get the initial content (new topic only)  
text Initial text for the topic  
topicparent The parent topic  
formtemplate Name of the form to instantiate in the topic. Overrides the form set in the templatetopic if defined. (will remove the form is set to 'none')  
contenttype Optional parameter that defines the application type to write into the CGI header. Defaults to text/html. May be used to invoke alternative client applications  
anyname Any parameter can passed to the new topic; if the template topic contains %URLPARAM{"anyname"}%, it will be replaced by its value  
breaklock If set, any lease conflicts will be ignored, and the edit will proceed even if someone is already editing the topic.  
redirectto If the user continues from edit to save, and if the save (or cancels the edit) process is successful, save will redirect to this topic or URL. The parameter value can be a TopicName, a Web.TopicName, or a URL.
Note: Redirect to a URL only works if it is enabled in configure (Security setup > Miscellaneous {AllowRedirectUrl}).
 
t Provide a unique URL each time a topic is edited, typically specifying parameter t=%SERVERTIME{$epoch}% in an edit link. This is done to prevent browsers from caching an edit session, which could result in editing outdated content. The parameter name and value is arbitrary, but must be unique each time.  

Form field values are passed in parameters named 'field' - for example, if I have a field Status the parameter name is Status.

  1. The first sequence of ten or more X characters in the topic name will be converted on save to a number such that the resulting topic name is unique in the target web.

Note: Most skins support the definition of EDIT_SKIN, which is used as the value of the cover parameter in edit URLs. This allows you to override the default edit skin on a web, topic or user basis.

login

Used for logging in when TWiki login is being used (e.g TemplateLoginManager).

Parameter Description Default
origurl URL that was being accessed when an access violation occurred. the login process will redirect to this URL if it is successful none
username username of user logging in none
password password of user logging in none

logon

Used for logging in when Web Server authentication is being used (e.g. ApacheLoginManager). The script does nothing; it is purely a placeholder for triggering the login process. The webserver will be set up to require a valid user to access this script, thus triggering the webserver login process.

manage

Performs a range of management functions.

Parameter Description Default
action One of createweb, renameweb, deleteUserAccount, editSettings or saveSettings none

Note: The manage script can only be called via http POST method for createweb renameweb, and deleteUserAccount.

action=createweb

Parameter Description Default
newweb Name of the new web ''
baseweb Name of the web to copy to create the new web ''
webbgcolor value for WEBBGCOLOR ''
sitemapwhat Value for SITEMAPWHAT ''
nosearchall Value for NOSEARCHALL ''

action=renameweb

Parameter Description Default
newsubweb Name of the web after move ''
newparentweb New parent web name ''
confirm If defined, requires a second level of confirmation. Supported values are "getlock", "continue", and "cancel" ''

action=editSettings

No parameters

action=saveSettings

Parameter Description Default
text Text of the topic ''
originalrev Revision that the edit started on Most recent revision
redirectto If the savesettings process is successful, save will redirect to this topic or URL. The parameter value can be a TopicName, a Web.TopicName, or a URL.
Note: Redirect to a URL only works if it is enabled in configure (Security setup > Miscellaneous {AllowRedirectUrl}).
All other parameters may be interpreted as form fields, depending on the current form definition in the topic.

action=bulkRegister

See BulkRegistration.

Parameter Description Default
OverwriteHomeTopics Whether to overwrite existing home topics or not false
EmailUsersWithDetails Whether to mail registered users or not false
LogTopic Topic to save the log in Same as topic name, with 'Result' appended.

action=changePassword

Change password, email address, or both, of a user.

Parameter Description Default
username god alone knows none
oldpassword current password none
password new password none
passwordA new password confirmation none
email new email address none
password, =passwordA and email are optional. If neither or password and passwordA is set, then the user password is left unchanged. If email is unset, their email is left unchanged.

action=resetPassword

Reset the password for a single or multiple users

Parameter Description Default
LoginName list of usernames to reset none - error if not set
Introduction message to be sent alongside the reset, most often used to announce to the user that they have been given an account. ''

This is used by BulkResetPassword and ResetPassword. Only administrators can provide a list of LoginNames, non-admins can only provide a single LoginName.

BulkRegistration provides the means to create multiple accounts but it does not announce those accounts to the users who own them. BulkResetPassword is used to assign the passwords, the Introduction is used to explain why they are receiving the mail.

action=deleteUserAccount

Unregisters (removes) the currently logged-in user.

Parameter Description Default
password Users' password none

oops

This script is mainly used for rendering pages containing error messages, though it is also used for some functional actions such as manage pages (move topic etc).

oops templates are used with the oops script to generate system messages. This is done to make internationalization or other local customizations simple.

The oops script supports the following parameters:

Parameter Description Default
template Name of the template file to display  
def Optional, can be set to the name of a single definition within template. This definition will be instantiated in the template wherever %INSTANTIATE% is seen. This lets you use a single template file for many messages. For an example, see oopsmanagebad.tmpl.  
paramN Where N is an integer from 1 upwards. These values will be substituted into template for %PARAM1% etc.  

preview

This script is deprecated. Its functions are covered by the save script.

rdiff

Renders the differences between version of a TWiki topic

Parameter Description Default
rev1 the higher revision  
rev2 the lower revision  
render the rendering style {sequential, sidebyside, raw, debug} DIFFRENDERSTYLE, sequential
type {history, diff, last} history diff, version to version, last version to previous diff
context number of lines of context  
TODO:
  • add a {word} render style

register

Parameter Description Default
action register or verify or resetPassword or approve  
topicparent The parent topic of the new user profile page {UsersTopicName} configure setting

Note: The register script can only be called via http POST method, not GET. Make sure to specify the "post" method if you call the register script via a form action.

rename

Used for renaming topics and attachments.

Parameter Description Default
skin skin(s) to use  
newweb new web name  
newtopic new topic name  
breaklock    
attachment    
confirm if defined, requires a second level of confirmation  
currentwebonly if defined, searches current web only for links to this topic  
nonwikiword if defined, a non-wikiword is acceptable for the new topic name  
redirectto If the rename process is successful, rename will redirect to this topic or URL. The parameter value can be a TopicName, a Web.TopicName, or a URL.
Note: Redirect to a URL only works if it is enabled in configure (Security setup > Miscellaneous {AllowRedirectUrl}).
 
disablefixlinks Bypass fixing WikiWord links in the rename destination topic if rename is done across webs. Fixing links in the renamed topic such as from SomeLink to Otherweb.SomeLink is usually desirable so that links in the copied topic still point to the same target off (links are fixed)

Note: The rename script can only be called via http POST method, not GET. Make sure you specify method="post" if you call the rename script via a form action.

copy

Used for copying the current topic in its entirety including its history and attachments.

Parameter Description Default
newweb destination web name current web
newtopic destination topic name current topic
nonwikiword if defined, a non-wikiword is acceptable for the destination topic name  
redirectto If the copy process is successful, copy will redirect to this topic or URL. The parameter value can be a TopicName, a Web.TopicName, or a URL.
Note: Redirect to a URL only works if it is enabled in configure (Security setup > Miscellaneous {AllowRedirectUrl}).
 
overwrite By default, copy does not happen if the destination topic already exists. If this parameter is 'on', the destination topic is deleted if exists before copying takes place off (no overwrite)
disablefixlinks Bypass fixing WikiWord links in the copy destination topic if copy is done across webs. Fixing links in the copied topic such as from SomeLink to Otherweb.SomeLink is usually desirable so that links in the copied topic still point to the same target off (links are fixed)

mdrepo

Used to retrieve and update data in MetadataRepository. Please read MetadataRepository#mdrepo_script_from_command_line and MetadataRepository#mdrepo_script_from_browser.

rest

This REST (Representational State Transfer) script can be invoked via http in the same way as the other TWiki scripts (see Invocation Examples, below) to execute a function that is associated to a "subject" and a "verb" (see below). These functions are usually registered by plugins using the TWiki::Func::registerRESTHandler method. The rest script will print the result directly to the browser unless the endPoint parameter is specified, in which case it will output a redirect to the given topic.

The rest script supports the following parameters:

username If TemplateLogin, or a similar login manager not embedded in the web server, is used, then you need to pass a username and password to the server. The username and password parameters are used for this purpose.
password See username
topic If defined as the full name (including web) of a topic, then when the script starts up plugins will be passed this as the "current" topic. If not defined, then Main.WebHome will be passed to plugins.
endPoint Where to redirect the response once the request is served, in the form "Web.Topic"

The function is free to use any other query parameters for its own purposes.

ALERT! Note: The rest script should always require authentication in any TWiki that has logins. Otherwise there is a risk of opening up major security holes. So make sure you add it to the list of authenticated scripts if you are using ApacheLogin.

Invocation Examples

The rest script assumes that it will be called with URL in the form:

http://my.host/bin/rest/<subject>/<verb>

where <subject> must be the WikiWord name of one of the installed TWikiPlugins, and the <verb> is the alias for the function registered using the TWiki::Func::registerRESTHandler method. The <subject> and <verb> are then used to lookup and call the registered function.

<subject> and <verb> are checked for illegal characters exactly in the same way as the web and topic names.

As an example, the EmptyPlugin has registered a function to be used with the rest script under the subject EmptyPlugin and the verb example. Click below to see the rest script in action (run as TWikiGuest).

Call the Plugin

Note that for Plugins to register REST handlers, they must be enabled in configure.

save

The save script performs a range of save-related functions, as selected by the action parameter.

Parameter Description Default
action_save=1 default; save, return to view, dontnotify is off  
action_quietsave=1 save, and return to view, dontnotify is on  
action_checkpoint save and redirect to the edit script, dontnotify is on  
action_cancel exit without save, return to view  
action_preview preview edited text  
action_addform Redirect to the "change form" page.  
action_replaceform... Redirect to the "change form" page.  
action_delRev Administrators only delete the most recent revision of the topic - all other parameters are ignored. You have to be an administrator to use this, and not all store implementations will support it.  
action_repRev Administrators only replace the text of the most recent revision of the topic with the text in the text parameter. text must included embedded meta-data tags. All other parameters are ignored. You have to be an administrator to use this, and not all store implementations will support it.  
onlynewtopic If set, error if topic already exists  
onlywikiname If set, error if topic name is not a WikiWord  
dontnotify if defined, suppress change notification  
templatetopic Name of a topic to use as a template for the text and form (new topic only)  
text New text of the topic  
forcenewrevision if set, forces a revision even if TWiki thinks one isn't needed  
topicparent If 'none' remove any current topic parent. If the name of a topic, set the topic parent to this.  
formtemplate if defined, use the named template for the form (will remove the form is set to 'none')  
editaction When action is checkpoint, add form or replace form..., this is used as the action parameter to the edit script that is redirected to after the save is complete.  
originalrev Revision on which the edit started.  
edit The script to use to edit the topic when action is checkpoint edit
editparams The parameter string to use to edit the topic  
redirectto The save process will redirect to this topic or URL if it is successful. (Typically this would be the URL that was being viewed when edit was invoked). The parameter value can be a TopicName, a Web.TopicName, or a URL.
Note: Redirect to a URL only works if it is enabled in configure (Security setup > Miscellaneous {AllowRedirectUrl}).
view topic being edited

Any errors will cause a redirect to an oops page.

The parameters are interpreted in according to the following rules.

  1. The first sequence of ten or more X characters in the topic name will be converted to a number such that the resulting topic name is unique in the target web.
  2. When the action is save, checkpoint, quietsave, or preview:
    1. The new text is taken from the text parameter, if it is defined,
      • otherwise it is taken from the templatetopic, if it is defined, (new topic only)
      • otherwise it is taken from the previous version of the topic, if any,
    2. The name of the new form is taken from the formtemplate, if defined
      • otherwise it is taken from the templatetopic, if defined, (new topic only)
      • otherwise it is taken from the previous version of the topic, if any,
      • otherwise no form is attached.
    3. The value for each field in the form is taken from the query, if it is defined
      • otherwise it is taken from the templatetopic, if defined, (new topic only)
      • otherwise it is taken from the previous version of the topic, if any,
      • otherwise it defaults to the empty string.

Merging is only enabled if the topic text comes from text and originalrev is > 0 and is not the same as the revision number of the most recent revision. If merging is enabled both the topic and the meta-data are merged.

Form field values are passed in parameters named 'field' - for example, if I have a field Status the parameter name is Status.

ALERT! Note: The save script can only be called via http POST method, not GET. Make sure to specify the "post" method if you call the save script via a form action. Example:

<form name="new" action="%SCRIPTURLPATH{save}%/Sandbox/" method="post">
    ...
</form>
It is not possible to call save from an <a href=""> link.

search

CGI gateway to the %SEARCH% functionality driven by the following CGI parameters:

Parameter: Description: Default:
"text" Search term. Is a keyword search, literal search or regular expression search, depending on the type parameter. SearchHelp has more required
search="text" (Alternative to above) N/A
web="Name"
web="Main, Know"
web="all"
Comma-separated list of webs to search. See TWikiVariables#VarSEARCH for more details. Current web
topic="WebPreferences"
topic="*Bug"
Limit search to topics: A topic, a topic with asterisk wildcards, or a list of topics separated by comma. All topics in a web
excludetopic="Web*"
excludetopic="WebHome, WebChanges"
Exclude topics from search: A topic, a topic with asterisk wildcards, or a list of topics separated by comma. None
type="keyword"
type="literal"
type="regex"
Do a keyword search like soap "web service" -shampoo; a literal search like web service; or RegularExpression search like soap;web service;!shampoo %SEARCHVAR- DEFAULTTYPE% preferences setting (literal)
scope="topic"
scope="text"
scope="all"
Search topic name (title); the text (body) of topic; or all (both) "text"
sort="topic"
sort="created"
sort="modified"
sort="editby"
sort="parent"
sort=
 "formfield(name)"
Sort the results of search by the topic names, topic creation time, last modified time, last editor, parent topic name, or named field of TWikiForms. The sorting is done web by web; in case you want to sort across webs, create a formatted table and sort it with TablePlugin's initsort Sort by topic name
limit="all"
limit="16"
Limit the number of results returned. This is done after sorting if sort is specified All results
date="..." limits the results to those pages with latest edit time in the given time interval. All results
reverse="on" Reverse the direction of the search Ascending search
casesensitive="on" Case sensitive search Ignore case
bookview="on" BookView search, e.g. show complete topic text Show topic summary
nonoise="on" Shorthand for nosummary="on" nosearch="on" nototal="on" zeroresults="off" noheader="on" noempty="on" Off
nosummary="on" Show topic title only Show topic summary
nosearch="on" Suppress search string Show search string
noheader="on" Suppress search header
Topics: Changed: By:
Show search header
nototal="on" Do not show number of topics found Show number
zeroresults="off" Suppress all output if there are no hits zeroresults="on", displays: "Number of topics: 0"
noempty="on" Suppress results for webs that have no hits. Show webs with no hits
header="..."
format="..."
Custom format results: see FormattedSearch for usage, variables & examples Results in table
expandvariables="on" Expand variables before applying a FormattedSearch on a search hit. Useful to show the expanded text, e.g. to show the result of a SpreadSheetPlugin %CALC{}% instead of the formula Raw text
multiple="on" Multiple hits per topic. Each hit can be formatted. The last token is used in case of a regular expression ";" and search Only one hit per topic
nofinalnewline="on" If on, the search variable does not end in a line by itself. Any text continuing immediately after the search tag on the same line will be rendered as part of the table generated by the search, if appropriate. off
separator=", " Line separator between hits Newline "$n"

statistics

Refresh the WebStatistics topics in range of webs.

Parameter Description Default
webs comma-separated list of webs to run stats on all accessible webs
logdate YYYYMM to generate statistics for current month

For example:

  1. from browser http://www.at91.com/linux4sam/bin/statistics updates all user webs
  2. from browser http://www.at91.com/linux4sam/bin/statistics?webs=TWiki,Main,Sandbox updates TWiki,Main,Sandbox
  3. from browser http://www.at91.com/linux4sam/bin/statistics/TWiki updates TWiki
  4. from command line twiki/bin/statistics updates all user webs
  5. from command line twiki/bin/statistics -webs=TWiki,Main,Sandbox updates TWiki,Main,Sandbox
  6. from command line twiki/bin/statistics TWiki.WebHome updates TWiki

See TWikiSiteTools#WebStatistics_site_statistics for updating statistics using cron.

upload

Uploads an attachment to a topic. The HTTP request is expected to be in multipart/form-data format.

Parameter Description Default
hidefile if defined, will not show file in attachment table  
filepath local (client) path name of the file being uploaded. This is used to look up the data for the file in the HTTP query.  
filename deprecated, do not use  
filecomment Comment to associate with file in attachment table  
createlink if defined, will create a link to file at end of topic  
changeproperties if defined, this is a property change operation only - no file will be uploaded. null
updatefield If defined and if the value matches the name of a form field, it will update that form field with the name of the uploaded file.  

You can use a tool like curl to upload files from the command line using this script.

ALERT! Note: The upload script can only be called via http POST method, not GET.

view

Used for viewing topics.

Parameter Description Default
raw=on Shows the text of the topic in a scrollable textarea  
raw=debug As raw=on, but also shows the metadata (forms etc) associated with the topic.  
raw=text Shows only the source of the topic, as plain text (Content-type: text/plain). Only shows the body text, not the form or other meta-data.
raw=expandvariables Similar to raw=text but TWiki variables are expanded.  
raw=all Shows only the source of the topic, as plain text (Content-type: text/plain), with embedded meta-data. This may be useful if you want to extract the source of a topic to a local file on disc.  
section Allows to view only a part of the topic delimited by a named section (see VarSTARTSECTION). If the given section is not present, no topic content is displayed.  
contenttype Allows you to specify a different Content-Type: (e.g. contenttype=text/plain)  
rev Revision to view (e.g. rev=45)  
template Allows you to specify a different skin template, overriding the 'view' template the view script would normally use. The default template is view. For example, you could specify /linux4sam/bin/view/TWiki/TWikiScripts?template=edit. This is mainly useful when you have specialized templates for a TWiki Application.  
topic redirects to show the specified Web.Topic, or, redirects to a URL, if allowed by {AllowRedirectUrl} and {PermittedRedirectHostUrls} configure settings  
createifnotexist If createifnotexist is set to 1 and in case the topic does not exist, it is created automatically on view. Useful to create topics automatically based on a specific template (see example below). Behind the scene, the view script redirects first to the save script, passing along all URL parameters. Thus all URL parameters of the save script can be used, such as templatetopic, topicparent and redirectto. Next, the save script creates the topic and redirects back to the view script (or displays an error in case there were any issues creating the topic).  
extralog Add additional text to TWiki log, next to the user agent string. Useful to log actions by cache scripts and crawlers.  

TIP Example use of createifnotexist to link to the bookmark page of a user, and to create the page on the fly if needed:
[[%SCRIPTURL{view}%/%USERSWEB%/%WIKINAME%Bookmarks?createifnotexist=1&amp;templatetopic=%SYSTEMWEB%.UserBookmarksTemplate&amp;topicparent=%WIKINAME%][Bookmarks]]

ALERT! For historical reasons, the view script has a special interpretation of the text skin. In earlier TWiki versions the skin=text parameter was used like this: http://.../view/MyWeb/MyTopic?skin=text&contenttype=text/plain&raw=on which shows the topic as plain text; useful for those who want to download plain text for the topic. Using skin=text this way is DEPRECATED, use raw=text instead.

viewfile

Used for viewing attachments. Normally, a site will publish the attachments (pub) directory using a URL. However if it contains sensitive information, you will want to protect attachments using TWikiAccessControls. In this case, you can use the viewfile script to give access to attachments while still checking access controls.

Parameter Description Default
filename name of attachment  
rev Revision to view  

Instead of using the filename parameter, you can append the attachment name to the end of the URL path (after the topic) e.g. http://www.at91.com/linux4sam/bin/viewfile/Webname/TopicName/Attachment.gif

Command Line Scripts

Details on command line scripts located in the twiki/tools directory.

geturl.pl

This is a very simple script to get the content of a web site. It is marked as deprecated and might be removed (or enhanced) in a future TWiki release. Its functions are covered by the standard wget and curl commands.

  • Usage: geturl.pl <host> <path> [<port> [<header>]]
  • Example: geturl.pl some.domain /some/dir/file.html 80
  • Will get: http://some.domain:80/some/dir/file.html

rewriteshebang.pl

Simple script to rewrite the #!/usr/bin/perl shebang lines specific to your local Perl installation. It will rewrite the first line of all your TWiki cgi scripts so they use a different shebang line. Use it if your perl is in a non-standard location, or you want to use a different interpreter (such as 'speedy').

tick_twiki.pl

This script executes a number of non-essential regular administration tasks that will help keep your TWiki healthy and happy, such as removing expired sessions and lease files.

It is intended to be run as a cron job or a scheduled task once a week. Example crontab entry:
0 0 * * 0 cd /usr/twiki/bin && perl ../tools/tick_twiki.pl

Note: The script has to be run by a user who can write files created by the webserver user.

Related Topics: AdminDocumentationCategory, DeveloperDocumentationCategory

-- Contributors: TWiki:Main.ArthurClemens, TWiki:Main.CrawfordCurrie, TWiki:Main.MichaelDaum, TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny, TWiki:Main.RafaelAlvarez, TWiki:Main.SvenDowideit, TWiki:Main.ThomasWeigert, TWiki:Main.WillNorris

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Page Rendering Process

Overview of how TWiki works

To achieve a goal in TWiki either by making use of existing features or implementing new features, good understanding of how TWiki works is crucial. That said, this topic explains how TWiki processes various TWiki operations - view, edit, save, attach, upload, etc.

Basics

Here's the basic steps of the page rendering by TWiki.

  1. Preferences variables are read. TWikiVariables#PreferencesVariables describes what exactly happens in this step. This step is taken regardless of script (view, edit, etc.) while the steps below may not happen. For example, the save script saves the topic text and then redirects to the corresponding view URL hence the script doesn't take the following steps
  2. The page template for the script is read and expanded. TWikiTemplates explains this step
  3. TWiki variables in the template are expanded. A view and edit templates have %TEXT%, which is expanded to the raw text of the page
  4. TWiki markup is converted into HTML

Preferences variables are read

Preferences variables are defined at an early stage of TWiki processing. After this step, no preferences variables are set.

Please note that topics INCLUDE'd by the current topic are not read for preferences variables. %SET{"VARIABLE" value="VALUE"}% and %CALCULATE{"$SET(VARIABLE, VALUE)"}% in an INCLUDE'd topic take effect since %INCLUDE{...}%, %SET{...}%, and %CALCULATE{...}% are variables expanded in a later stage. But "   * Set VARIABLE = VALUE" in an INCLUDE'd topic doesn't have a chance to be read.

Template is read and expanded

As mentioned above, TWikiTemplates describes how a template is selected and read. It's worth mentioning that template expansion happens before variable expansion. At the end of step, all template directives are resolved, hence there aren't any %TMPL:XXX{...}% or %TMPL:XXX%.

Variable expansion

Variables may be nested - a variable may be a parameter of another variable and there is no limitation of nesting level. If variables are nested, they are processed from the inner-most to the outer-most.

A topic may have any number of variables. Variables at the same nesting level are processed from top to bottom.

You can see it from the example below.

Raw text:

%SET{"foo" value="abc"}%
%GET{"foo"}%
%SET{"foo" value="def"}%
%GET{"foo"}%

Result:

abc

def

TWiki markup to HTML

At this point, all variables are expanded. Markup described on TextFormattingRules are converted into HTML

You may want to suppress this step to see the result of variable expansion not converted into HTML. You can do that by supplying raw=expandvariables URL parameter to a view URL: e.g. http://www.at91.com/linux4sam/bin/view/Main/?raw=expandvariables

Plugins

So far, how plugins are involved with page rendering hasn't been discused. Here's how.

In many cases, plugins introduce predefined variables such as %CALCULATE{...}% and %GET{...}%. Those don't make structural difference to how a TWiki topic is written. Those variables are introduced by calling e.g. TWiki::Func::registerTagHandler('CALCULATE', \&_CALCULATE) in initPlugin() in the plugin code file.

Some plugins extend TWiki markup. For example, the table notation in TWiki (an example shown below) is provided by the TablePlugin. Though the table notation is regarded as an integral part of TWiki markup, it is implemented by a plugin rather than the TWiki core.

| One One | One Two | One Three |
| ^ | Two Two | Two Three |
| Three One | ^ | Three Three |

There are various places in the TWiki core where functions provided by plugins are called. For example, TablePlugin has a function named preRenderingHandler() defined. It's called before the TWiki markup to HTML conversion takes place.

As you can imagine, if a plugin has postRenderingHandler() defined, it's called after the core TWiki markup to HTML processing.

A plugin may have commonTagsHandler() defined, which is called immediately after normal TWiki variables are expanded. Since a commonTagsHandler() may yield TWiki variables, normal TWiki variable expansion is conducted again after that.

SpreadSheetPlugin has commonTagsHandler() defined to process %CALC{...}%. You may think %CALC{...}% can be implemented simply by TWiki::Func::registerTagHandler() but it cannot be since %CALC{...}% needs to look outside its parameters to do things such as %CALC{"$SUM($ABOVE())"}%.

In addition to preRenderingHandler(), postRenderingHandler(), and commonTagsHandler(), there are other functions called from TWiki core as well. You can see the complete list of such functions on EmptyPlugin.pm in the EmptyPlugin.

Back to top


TWiki Site Tools

Utilities for searching, navigation, and monitoring site activity

TWiki Site Tools include utilities for navigating, searching and keeping up with site activity. Preferences can be configured by web or site-wide. You are currently in the TWiki web. In particular, TWiki provides two highly configurable, automated site monitoring tools, WebNotify, to e-mail alerts when topics are edited, and WebStatistics, to generate detailed activity reports.

WebNotify - recent changes alert

Each TWiki web has an automatic e-mail alert service that sends a list of recent changes on a preset schedule, like once a day. Users can subscribe and unsubscribe using WebNotify in each web. The Perl script mailnotify is called by a background process at regular intervals. The script sends an automated e-mail to subscribed users if topics were changed in a web since the script was last run.

Web Changes Notification Service

Each TWiki web has an automatic e-mail notification service that sends you an e-mail with links to all of the topics modified since the last alert.

Users subscribe to email notifications using their WikiName or an alternative email address, and can specify the webs/topics they wish to track, Whole groups of users can also be subscribed for notification.

The general format of a subscription is:

three spaces * subscriber [ : topics ]

Where subscriber can be a WikiName, an E-mail address, or a group name. If subscriber contains any characters that are not legal in an email address, then it must be enclosed in 'single' or "double" quotes. Please note that the guest user TWikiGuest does not have an email address mapped to it, and will never receive email regardless of the configuration of that user.

topics is an optional space-separated list of topics:

  • ... without a Web. prefix
  • ...that exist in this web.
Users may further customize the specific content they will receive using the following controls:
  • Using wild-card character in topic names - You can use * in a topic name, where it is treated as a wildcard character. A * will match zero or more other characters - so, for example, Fred* will match all topic names starting with Fred, *Fred will match all topic names ending with Fred, and * will match all topic names.
  • Unsubscribing to specific topics - Each topic may optionally be preceded by a '+' or '-' sign. The '+' sign means "subscribe to this topic". The '-' sign means "unsubscribe" or "don't send notifications regarding this particular topic". This allows users to elect to filter out certain topics. Topic filters ('-') take precedence over topic includes ('+') i.e. if you unsubscribe from a topic it will cancel out any subscriptions to that topic.
  • Including child-topics in subscription - Each topic may optionally be followed by an integer in parentheses, indicating the depth of the tree of children below that topic. Changes in all these children will be detected and reported along with changes to the topic itself. Note This uses the TWiki "Topic parent" feature.
  • Subscribing to entire topic ("news mode") - Each topic may optionally be immediately followed by an exclamation mark ! and/or a question mark ? with no intervening spaces, indicating that the topic (and children if there is a tree depth specifier as well) should be mailed out as complete topics instead of change summaries. ! causes the full topic to be mailed every time even if there have been no changes, and ? will mail the full topic only if there have been changes. One can limit the content of the subscribed topic to send out by inserting %STARTPUBLISH% and %STOPPUBLISH% markers within the topic. Note that "news mode" subscriptions require a corresponding cron job that includes the "-news" option (see details).

Examples: Subscribe Daisy to all changes to topics in this web.

   * daisy.cutter@flowers.com
Subscribe Daisy to all changes to topics that start with Web.
   * daisy.cutter@flowers.com : Web*
Subscribe Daisy to changes to topics starting with Petal, and their immediate children, WeedKillers and children to a depth of 3, and all topics that match start with Pretty and end with Flowers e.g. PrettyPinkFlowers
   * DaisyCutter: Petal* (1) WeedKillers (3) Pretty*Flowers
Subscribe StarTrekFan to changes to all topics that start with Star except those that end in Wars, sInTheirEyes or shipTroopers.
   * StarTrekFan: Star* - *Wars - *sInTheirEyes - *shipTroopers
Subscribe Daisy to the full content of NewsLetter whenever it has changed
   * daisy@flowers.com: NewsLetter?
Subscribe buttercup to NewsLetter and its immediate children, even if it hasn't changed.
   * buttercup@flowers.com: NewsLetter! (1)
Subscribe GardenGroup (which includes Petunia) to all changed topics under AllnewsLetters to a depth of 3. Then unsubscribe Petunia from the ManureNewsLetter, which she would normally get as a member of GardenGroup:
   * GardenGroup: AllNewsLetters? (3)
   * petunia@flowers.com: - ManureNewsLetter
Subscribe IT:admins (a non-TWiki group defined by a custom user mapping) to all changes to Web* topics.
   * 'IT:admins' : Web*
In addition to single quotes ('), double quotes (") do the same job for a non-TWiki group.

A user may be listed many times in the WebNotify topic. Where a user has several lines in WebNotify that all match the same topic, they will only be notified about changes that topic once (though they will still receive individual mails for news topics).

If a group is listed for notification, the group will be recursively expanded to the e-mail addresses of all members.

ALERT! Warning: Because an email address is not linked to a user name, there is no way for TWiki to check access controls for subscribers identified by email addresses. A subscriber identified by an email address alone will only be sent change notifications if the topic they are subscribed to is readable by guest users. You can limit what email addresses can be used in WebNotify, or even block use of emails altogether, using the {MailerContrib}{EmailFilterIn} setting in =configure.

TIP Tip: List names in alphabetical order to make it easier to find the names.

Note for System Administrators: Notification is supported by an add-on to the TWiki kernel called the MailerContrib. See the MailerContrib topic for details of how to set up this service.

Note: If you prefer a news feed, point your reader to WebRss (for RSS 1.0 feeds) or WebAtom (for ATOM 1.0 feeds). Learn more at WebRssBase and WebAtomBase, respectively.

You can also use %USERSWEB% instead of Main, but this is not necessary even if you have renamed the main web by configuring {MainWebName} in configure.

WebSearch - search TWiki site

WebSearch is an extremely fast and flexible search facility, part of the core TWiki feature set. WebSearchAdvanced offers more options, including:

  • topic title or full-text search
  • regular expressions
  • search within web or site-wide
  • index-style A-Z alphabetical listing sorted topic title
  • many more

See also: SearchHelp for help; TWikiVariables and FormattedSearch for including hard-coded searches in text.

WebChanges - what's new

To check for the most recently edited topics while on-site, use the WebChanges link, usually located in the toolbar. It lists the most recently modified topics, newest first, along with the first couple of lines of the page content.

This is simply a preset SEARCH. The number of topics listed by the limit parameter.:

%SEARCH{
 ".*"
 web="TWiki"
 type="regex"
 nosearch="on"
 sort="modified"
 reverse="on" 
 limit="50"
}%

WebRss and WebAtom - news feeds on recent changes

You can point your news reader at WebRss and WebAtom to find out what is new in a TWiki web. WebRssBase and WebAtomBase have the details. Like WebChanges, this is based on a %SEARCH{}%.

WebIndex - list of topics

WebIndex lists all web topics in alphabetical order, with the first couple of lines of text. This is simply a preset SEARCH:

%SEARCH{
 "\.*"
 scope="topic"
 type="regex"
 nosearch="on"
}%

WebStatistics - site statistics

You can generate a listing manually, or on an automated schedule, of visits to individual pages, on a per web basis. Compiled as a running total on a monthly basis. Includes totals for Topic Views, Topic Saves, Attachment Uploads, Most Popular Topics with number of views, and Top Contributors showing total of saves and attachment uploads. Previous months are saved.

TIP You can create a WebStatistics link using TWikiVariables with %STATISTICSTOPIC%

TWiki also generates overall site usage statistics in Main.SiteStatistics (do not create that page, it is created automatically based on SiteStatisticsTemplate). On a monthly basis, the following items are recorded using system data and TWiki log data across all webs: Number of webs, number of topics, number of attachments, number of topic views, number of topic updates, number of files uploads, data size, pub size, disk use, number of users, number of groups, number of plugins installed compared to total number of plugins available, and the 10 top contributors.

Configuring for automatic operation

  • You can automatically generate usage statistics for the whole site and all webs. To enable this:
    • Make sure variable {Log}{view}, {Log}{save} and {Log}{upload} are set in configure. This will generate log file entries (see below).
    • Call the twiki/bin/statistics script from a cron job - once a day is recommended. This will update the SiteStatistics and the WebStatistics topics in all webs.
    • Attention: The script must run as the same user as the CGI scripts are running, such as user nobody or www-data. Example crontab entry:
      0 0 * * * (cd /path/to/twiki/bin; ./statistics >/dev/null 2>&1)
    • There is a workaround in case you can't run the script as user nobody : Run the utility twiki/tools/geturl.pl in your cron job and specify the URL of the twiki/bin/statistics script as a parameter. Example:
      0 0 * * * (cd /path/to/twiki/tools; ./geturl.pl mydomain.com /urlpath/to/twiki/bin/statistics >/dev/null 2>&1)
    • NOTE: geturl.pl will do a TWiki CGI request as the TWikiGuest user, so if you use this workaround, the WebStatistics topics you are updating will have to be writable by TWikiGuest.

When running from the command line or a cron job, you can pass parameters to the script like this:

cd twiki/bin; ./statistics -logdate 2011-05 -webs TWiki,Sandbox

Generating statistics manually by URL

  • If {Stats}{DisableInvocationFromBrowser} config parameter is false (it's false in this installation), the twiki/bin/statistics script can also be executed as a CGI script - just enter the URL in your browser. Examples:
    • Update current month for all webs you have access to:
      /linux4sam/bin/statistics
    • Update current month for Main web only:
      /linux4sam/bin/statistics/Main
    • Update Sep 2014 for Main web:
      /linux4sam/bin/statistics/Main?logdate=2014-09
    • Update Sep 2014 for the ProjectX, ProjectY and ProjectZ webs:
      /linux4sam/bin/statistics?logdate=2014-09;webs=ProjectX,ProjectY,ProjectZ

The maximum number of items in columns

There are columns having a list of items. The maximum number of items listed in a column is specified as follows.

Topic Column and part Configuration parameter Default
WebStatistics of webs Affiliation breakdown in "Topic views", "Topic saves", and "File uploads" columns {Stats}{TopAffiliation} 10
"Most popular topic views" column {Stats}{TopViews} 10
"Top viewers" column {Stats}{TopViewers} 10
"Top contributors for tpoic save and uploads" column {Stats}{TopContrib} 10
Main.SiteStatistics The list of webs viewed the most number of times in the "Webs Viewed" column {Stats}{SiteTopViews} 0
The list of webs updated the most number of times in the "Webs Updated" column {Stats}{SiteTopUpdates} 0
Affiliation breakdown in "Topic Views", "Topic Saves", and "File Uploads" columns {Stats}{SiteTopAffiliation} 10
"Top Viewers" column {Stats}{SiteTopViewers} 10
"Top Contributors" column {Stats}{SiteTopContrib} 10

Affiliation breakdown of views, saves, and uploads

If you run TWiki in an orgaization, you may want to see division breakdown of topic views, topic saves, and file uploads - in a month, how many topic views are there from the R&D division, the Sales division, etc.

You can have affiliation breakdown at the Topic views, Topic saves, and File uploads columns of WebStatistics and SiteStatistics as follows.

Month: Topic
views:
Topic
saves:
File
uploads:
Most popular
topic views:
Top viewerss: Top contributors for
topic save and uploads:
2013-08 10325
(150 unique users)
6921 R&D
1736 Operation
  927 Sales
  623 Management
    98 Unknown
7
(3 unique users)
7 R&D
3
(1 unique users)
3 R&D
6941 WebHome
  872 WebSearch
  848 ToolSiteMap
  376 ToolDashboard
  223 WebSearchAdvanced
  185 ContRequests
  127 WebTopicList
    89 ToolPersonalWebs
    72 ToolMasquerading
    70 TWikiAdminUser
525 PeterThoeny
  49 MahiroAndo
    9 HdeyoImazu
5 HdeyoImazu
1 MahiroAndo
1 PeterThoeny

Affiliation breakdown is turned off by default. To turn it on, you need to do two things.

  1. Provide getAffiliation($cUID) object method in the current user mapping handler. It's supposed return the affiliation (division, department, etc.) of the $cUID. If the affiliation is unknown, it returns undef.
  2. Set {Stats}{Breakdown} configuration papameter true by putting the following line in lib/LocalSite.cfg.
    $TWiki::cfg{Stats}{Breakdown} = 1;
    

Excluding some webs from WebStatistics update

You can exclude webs from WebStatistics update by specifying {Stats}{ExcludedWebRegex} config parameter as follows.

$TWiki::cfg{Stats}{ExcludedWebRegex} = '^(Trash(x\d+x)?\d*|Sandbox\d*)\b';

You may wonder when this is needed.

There are webs not worth updating WebStatistics such as the Trash web. When a web is deleted, it becomes a subweb of the Trash web. By default, not only the Trash web but also subwebs of the Trash web are subject to WebStatistics update.

On a large TWiki site, you may have dozens of Trash webs - you may rotate Trash webs and you may be UsingMultipleDisks (each disk requires its own Trash - e.g. Trashx1x and Trashx2x). If you have Trash, Trash1, ..., Trash10 for rotation and if you use 3 disks for TWiki, you end up having 33 Trashes.

Preventing WebStatistics and SiteStatistics from growing big

WebStatistics topics grow in size every month. By default you have only 10 lines per month, but you may have a lot more. If so, in 5 years, WebStatistics gets really big. Besides, if you run the statistics script every day, you increase the revision of each WebStatistics by one every day. If a topic has hundreds of revision, some operations such as getting the original creator of the topic takes long.

There is an option to prevent the boundless growth of WebStatistics. If you set $TWiki::cfg{Stats}{TopicPerYear} true, the statistics script writes the result to WebStatisticsYYYY where YYYY is the current year (e.g. WebStatistics2014) instead of WebStatistics. The parameter is false by default.

  • If TWiki:Plugins/RedirectPlugin is installed, viewing WebStatistics causes redirection to the WebStatisticsYYYY of the year. Otherwise, WebStatistics shows links to WebStatisticsYYYY topics.
  • After you change {Stats}{TopicPerYear} to true but before you run the statistics script, you should run twiki/tools/switch2yearlystats to rename WebStatistics of all webs to WebStatisticsYYYY of the year. In case WebStatistics is not in the same format as its current template, it's renamed to WebStatistics0000.

The description above is applied to Main.SiteStatistics as well. If {Stats}{TopicPerYear} is true:

  • The site-wide statistics are written to Main.SiteStatisticsYYYY of the year instead of Main.SiteStatistics
  • Main.SiteStatistics shows the list of Main.SiteStatisticsYYYY topics or redirects to the latest one depending on the availability of RedirectPlugin.
  • twiki/tools/switch2yearlystats renames Main.SiteStatistics to Main.SiteStatisticsYYYY of the year or Main.SiteStatistics0000.

Upgrade from pre 6.0

Statistics topic conversion

There are several changes made to WebStatistics and SiteStatistics. If existing statistics topics are kept as they are, topic update by the statistics script doesn't work well. By running tools/convert_stats_twiki6 after upgrade, all statistics topics are converted for the current version of statistics.

Top Contributors on SiteStatistics

The number of contributors listed on the "Top Contributors" column on SiteStatistics is specified by {Stats}{SiteTopContrib}. Prior to TWiki 6.0, it was specified by {Stats}{TopContrib}. If you have a custom {Stats}{TopContrib} value, you need to set {Stats}{SiteTopContrib} as well. Otherwise, the number of "Top Contributors" on SiteStatistics becomes the default value, which is 10.

Log Files

TWiki generates monthly log files which are used by the statistics script

  • The log file is defined by the {LogFileName} setting in configure
  • The file name is log<year><month>.txt
  • Example path name: twiki/logs/log201409.txt
  • Each access gets logged as:
    | <time in GMT> | <wikiusername> | <action> | <web>.<topic> | <extra info> | <IP address> |
  • Example log entry:
    | 01 Sep 2014 - 09:28 | Main.TWikiGuest | view | TWiki.WebRss |  | 66.124.232.02 |
  • Actions are logged if enabled in configure by the {Log}{action} flags
  • Logged actions:
    Script Action name Extra info
    attach attach when viewing attach screen of previous uploaded attachment: filename
    changes changes  
    edit edit when editing non-existing topic: (not exist)
    login, logon,
    attach, edit,
    register, rest,
    view, vewfile
    sudologin,
    sudologout
    Login name of administrator user who is logging in or out
    manage changepasswd Login name of user who's password is changed
    mdrepo mdrepo operation and its arguments
    rdiff rdiff higher and lower revision numbers: 4 3
    register regstart WikiUserName, e-Mail address, LoginName: user attempts to register
    register register E-mail address: user successfully registers
    register bulkregister WikiUserName of new, e-mail address, admin ID
    rename rename when moving topic: moved to Newweb.NewTopic
    rename renameweb when renaming a web: moved to Newweb
    rename move when moving attachment: Attachment filename moved to Newweb.NewTopic
    resetpasswd resetpasswd Login name of user who's password is reset
    save save when replacing existing revision: repRev 3
    when user checks the minor changes box: dontNotify
    when user changes attributes to an exising attachment: filename.ext
    save cmd special admin parameter used when saving
    search search search string
    upload upload filename
    view view when viewing non-existing topic: (not exist)
    when viewing previous topic revision: r3
    viewfile viewfile Attachment name and revision: File.txt, r3

E-mail

Configuring outgoing mail

Outgoing mail is required for TWikiRegistration and for recent changes alert.

TWiki will use the Net::SMTP module if it is installed on your system. Set this with the {SMTP}{MAILHOST} setting in configure.

  • TIP You can define a separate {SMTP}{SENDERHOST} configure setting to set the mail sender host - some SMTP installations require this.
  • ALERT! If you are using SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux) you might need to configure it to allow TWiki to send e-mails:
    $ sudo setsebool -P httpd_can_sendmail on
    $ sudo setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect on

You can use an external mail program, such as sendmail, if the Net::SMTP module is not installed or not functioning properly. Set the program path in {MailProgram} and set {SMTP}{MAILHOST} to an empty value in configure.

The notify e-mail uses the default changes.tmpl template, or a skin if activated in the TWikiPreferences.

mailnotify also relies on two hidden files in each twiki/data/Web directory: .changes and .mailnotify. Make sure both are writable by your web server process. .changes contains a list of changes; go ahead and make this empty. .mailnotify contains a timestamp of the last time notification was done.

Setting the automatic e-mail schedule

For Unix platforms: Edit the cron table so that mailnotify is called in an interval of your choice. Please consult man crontab of how to modify the table that schedules program execution at certain intervals. Example:

% crontab -e
0 1 * * * (cd /path/to/twiki; perl -I bin tools/mailnotify -q)
The above line will run mailnotify nightly at 01:00. The -q switch suppresses all normal output. Details at MailerContrib.

For ISP installations: Many ISPs don't allow hosted accounts direct cron access, as it's often used for things that can heavily load the server. Workaround scripts are available.

On Windows: You can use a scheduled task if you have administrative privileges. TWiki:Codev/CronTabWin is a free scheduler for Windows.

Site Permissions

  • TWikiAccessControl describes how to restrict read and write access to topics and webs, by users and groups
  • SitePermissions lists the permissions settings of the webs on this TWiki site

Backup and Restore

TWiki has a solution to backup, restore and upgrade TWiki sites. It can be used via browser and on the command line. The BackupRestorePlugin is pre-installed in TWiki-5.1 and later releases; it can be installed in older TWiki releases as low as TWiki-2001-09-01 (Athens Release) to easily create a backup that can be restored on a new TWiki release. This offers an easy upgrade path for TWiki. See also TWikiUpgradeGuide.

Help with crontab

The crontab command is used to schedule commands to be executed periodically.

  • Wikipedia.org:Crontab - crontab documentation
  • pycron - crontab for Windows

Related Topics: AdminDocumentationCategory, AdminToolsCategory

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Managing Topics

Browser-based rename, move, and delete for individual topics

Overview

You can use browser-based controls to change a topic's name, move it to another TWiki web, or delete it to a hidden Trash web.

How to Rename/Move/Delete a Topic

  1. Click on [More topic actions] (bottom right of page) on the topic to be changed, then, in the new screen, on [Delete topic] or [Rename/move topic]. You can now rename and/or move/delete in one operation:
  2. To web: Select the target web if other than the current web.
  3. To topic: Enter the new topic name - default is current name
    ALERT! NOTE: You'll be warned if any of the topics to be affected are locked (being edited), or if there is a name conflict.
  4. Update links: Prevent updates by unchecking individual items on the list of referring links - these topics will NOT to be updated with the new name (by default, all referring links will be updated).
  5. Click on [Rename/Move]: the topic will be renamed and links to the topic updated as requested.
    • If any of the referring pages are locked then they will be listed: you can correct these later by again pressing [Rename/Move].
    • HELP There is a Put back feature that allows you to undo a Rename/Move/Delete - an instruction line and undo link will appear at the bottom of the modified topic. This allows you to revert from the last modification only.

Deleted Topics: How to Clear the Trash

Deleted topics are moved to a special Trash web - they are NOT physically erased from the server. All webs share Trash - in case of a name conflict with a topic already Trash, the user is alerted and asked to choose a new name.

The Trash web should be be cleared periodically, by archiving (saving) the text and RCS files if required (recommended), then deleting them from the Trash directory.

  • ALERT! This can only be done from on the server, not through the browser.
    • TIP Since simple FTP access to the Trash directory is all that's required for maintenance, it's possible to grant Trash admin privileges to multiple users, while strictly limiting server access.

Redirecting from an Old Topic

You can use TWikiMetaData to place a command in the WebTopicViewTemplate and WebTopicNonWikiTemplate that will indicate that a topic has been moved by searching for %META:TOPICMOVED{...}%. Customize something like this:

%METASEARCH{type="topicmoved" web="%WEB%" topic="%TOPIC%" 
title="This topic used to exist and was moved to: "}%

Note: Do not modify the TWiki.WebTopicViewTemplate - modifications would be lost on the next TWiki upgrade. Instead, create a WebTopicViewTemplate in the Main web with the same content and modify it to your needs.

How Rename/Move Works

  1. %SEARCH%, with a special template, finds and displays all occurrences of the topic name in other topics, site-wide. These referring links are by default automatically changed to the new topic and/or web name. This includes relevant TWikiMetaData definitions.
    • User can omit one or more topics from the update list by unchecking them.
    • <pre> and <verbatim> are honored - no changes are made to text within these areas.
  2. The topic is moved (if locks allow).
  3. References are changed (locks and permissions permitting).
  4. Any referring topics that can't be changed due to locks are listed - user can take note and change them at another time.

How Referring Topics Are Found

First, matching topics in the current web are listed - matches are to topic. Next, all webs (including the current one) are listed that match web.topic. All webs will be searched during rename, even if NOSEARCHALL is defined on a web, though access permissions will of course be honored.

Changed references are kept are as short as possible, ex: topic is used in preference to web.topic.

Effect of User Access Settings

User permissions affect the 'rename' functions in various ways. To rename a topic, you need all of VIEW, CHANGE and RENAME access to that topic. To alter referring topics, you need CHANGE access. See TWikiAccessControl for information on setting up access permissions.

Special Considerations

Consider carefully whether to make browser-based Rename/Move/Delete widely available, or to restrict it to an administrator/moderator group. Allowing all users to easily manipulate topics can be extremely useful in refactoring a busy web or site. However, there are at least two significant potential drawbacks to take into account:

  • When referring links are updated, the modified topics appear in WebChanges, creating the impression that editorial changes were made. This can undermine the usefulness of WebChanges.
  • Due to current limitations, fairly heavy use of Rename/Move/Delete functions can lead to an accumulation of minor technical problems (ex: broken links) and usability issues (ex: user confusion). If Rename... is used heavily, these negatives will obviously increase, in number and effect.

Ultimately, the size, objectives, and policies of your TWiki site, the real-world behavior of your user group, and most importantly, the initial TWiki site management leadership, will determine the most effective implementation of this feature, and the success of the site overall.

Known Issues

Rename/Move is fairly complicated due to the dynamic generation of links. Ideally, it would be possible to run the required part of rendering in a way that would allow identification of the text to be changed. Unfortunately, these hooks don't exist in TWiki at present. Instead, %SEARCH% is used with a special template to show the text to be changed, and the selected topics are then altered. One drawback is that search can show matches that will not be updated due to case differences. Other mismatches with actual rendered output are also possible as the approaches are so different.

The following shows some limitations of square bracket processing.

[[Old Topic]]  => [[NewTopic][Old Topic]]
[[old topic]]  => [[NewTopic][old topic]]
[[old t opic]] => not changed
[[OldTopic]]   => [[NewTopic]]

Related Topics: UserDocumentationCategory, AdminDocumentationCategory

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Managing Webs

Adding, renaming and deleting webs are all web-based operations.

Overview

A TWikiSite is divided into webs; each one represents one workspace, one area of collaboration. Each web is a container for topics. Each topic is a container for page content and attachments. Administrators can add/rename/delete webs.

Namespace and URL

The name of the web and topic is represented in the page URL. For example, http://twiki.example.com/do/view/Sandbox/WebNotify tells us that we view topic WebNotify located in the Sandbox web.

TIP Tip: The URL of a web's homepage ends in /WebHome by default. The name of the homepage topic can safely be omitted to make for shorter and more legible links. For example, http://twiki.example.com/do/view/Sandbox links to the homepage of the Sandbox web.

Choose Web Template

New webs are based on a web you specify. There are two types of webs you can use to create a new web:

  • Use a specially designed TemplateWeb. This is an invisible web that begins with an underscore "_" character (for example _default).
  • Use an existing web as a template web. This may be useful if you already have a web that you would like to use as a starting point.

In either case all topics in the template web will be copied into the new web. Make sure to verify that your new web has all the custom modifications that you desire. Any settings defined in the form below will automatically be set in the WebPreferences of the new web.

Adding a New Web

Create a new web by filling out this form.
ALERT! Note: Keep the number of webs to a minimum! Don't create a new web for each little project. Cross-linking topics is easier, and searches are faster, if there are only a few larger webs. You can organize content within a web using categories, TWikiForms and FormattedSearch.
Name of new web: The name must start with an upper case letter, followed by upper or lower case letters or numbers. Specify a short name to avoid long URLs.
Based on web: Select a TemplateWeb.
Web color:
Select color for the new web, shown in the list of webs.

Note: Use a light color within the top 1/4th area of the center square depicting the saturation/luminance gradients.
Site Map: Yes   No Include this web in the site map
Description:
 
 

Enter a short description of the web. Write [[Web.TopicName][title]] instead of just TopicName if you include links. This description will be used in the SiteMap.
Hidden: Yes   No Specify if you want to exclude the web from a "search all webs" search. This will not prevent users accessing the web, it will simply hide it from searches. Use access control if needed.
 

Notes:

  • You must have ROOTCHANGE access to create a top-level web (one with no parent)
  • Only the person who created it has permission to change the WebPreferences in the new web

Hierarchical Webs

You can only create hierarchical webs (webs within webs) if the {EnableHierarchicalWebs} setting in configure is enabled. Hierarchical webs are currently enabled.

TIP Note: You might not need hierarchical webs. TWiki topics already have a parent/child relationship within a web, which is shown in the breadcrumb. Try to keep the number of webs to a minimum in order to keep search and cross-referencing simple. TWiki runs faster if hierarchical webs are disabled.

You can create hierarchical webs via the Adding a New Web form above, by using a slash- or dot-separated path name which is based on an existing web name in the Name of new web: field.

Example:

To create a sub-web named Bar inside a web named Foo, use Foo/Bar or Foo.Bar as the new web name in the form above.

Sub-web Preferences are Inherited

The preferences of a sub-web are inherited from the parent web and overridden locally. Preferences are ultimately inherited from the TWiki.TWikiPreferences topic.

Example Preference Inheritance for Sandbox/TestWeb/SubWeb.SubWebTopic topic:

  1. TWiki.TWikiPreferences site-wide preferences
  2. Sandbox.WebPreferences inherits from and overrides settings in TWiki.TWikiPreferences
  3. Sandbox/TestWeb.WebPreferences inherits from and overrides settings in Sandbox.WebPreferences
  4. Sandbox/TestWeb/SubWeb.WebPreferences inherits from and overrides settings in Sandbox/TestWeb.WebPreferences
  5. Sandbox/TestWeb/SubWeb.SubWebTopic inherits from and overrides settings in Sandbox/TestWeb/SubWeb.WebPreferences

Navigation

The PatternSkin indicates sub-webs by indenting them in the sidebar relative to their level in the hierarchy. The SiteMap shows a list of webs; sub-webs are separated by dots, such as Web.SubWeb.SubSubWeb.

Renaming or Deleting a Web

Rename a web via the Tools section in each web's WebPreferences topic. You may delete a web by moving it into a Trash web.

Permissions

You may only rename a web if you have the following permissions

  • You must be allowed to rename and changes topics in the web you want to rename
  • You must be allowed to rename topics in the parent web of the web you want to rename
  • If the web is a root web (i.e. it has no parent web) then you must have permission to both create and rename root webs. These permissions are controlled by the ALLOWROOTCHANGE preference, which can be set in Main.TWikiPreferences.
  • If you move the web to another parent web you must be allowed to create and change topics in the new parent web.

When you rename a web TWiki will try and update all links that refer to the old web. You should note that links only get updated in topics that you are allowed to edit. If you use access rights in the TWiki installation it is generally best to let an administrator rename webs to avoid too many broken links.

Edit Conflicts

If anyone is editing a topic which requires updating, or which lives in the web being renamed, a second confirmation screen will come up which will indicate which topics are still locked for edit. You may continue to hit the refresh button until an edit lease is obtained for each topic which requires updating (the "Refresh" button will change to "Submit"), or hit "Cancel", which will cancel your edit lease on all affected topics.

Renaming the TWiki or Main webs

Although technically possible, it is strongly advised not to rename the TWiki and Main webs. It complicates upgrades, and some extensions may make assumptions on the names of those system webs. For this reason, the rename web link is disabled in the WebPreferences topic in those webs.

HELP Suggestion: Create a web that is the entry point for your TWiki, and change the link of the upper left site logo to that web. Do that with a WIKILOGOURL setting in Main.TWikiPreferences.

If you want to rename the TWiki or Main webs anyway:

  • Physically move the webs below twiki/data and twiki/pub on the shell level.
  • Change the {SystemWebName}, {UsersWebName} and/or {LocalSitePreferences} settings in the configuration using the configure interface.

Related Topics: AdminDocumentationCategory, AdminToolsCategory

-- Contributors: TWiki:Main/MikeMannix, TWiki:Main/PeterThoeny, TWiki:Main/GrantBow

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Manage Users

Register users on your TWiki site; change/reset/install passwords; remove user accounts

ALERT! Some of the features below may be disabled, depending on your TWiki configuration.

Authentication and Access Control

List Users

Register Users

You don't have to have user profile pages in TWiki for Authentication to work - see TWikiUserAuthentication for details.

  • TWikiRegistration is used when you want new users to individually register with TWiki by filling out a form

For administrators only:

  • BulkRegistration to register multiple users at the same time
  • Default user profile page form definition and template:
    • UserForm in TWiki web - form definition (do not change)
    • NewUserTemplate in TWiki web - template page (do not change)
  • Customized user profile page form definition and template:
    • UserForm in Main web - form definition (clone from the one in the TWiki web and customize)
    • NewUserTemplate in Main web - template page (clone from the one in the TWiki web and customize)

Query and Edit User Account Data (Passwords, E-mails)

Note that the below features are only relevant when you use an internal password manager where TWiki can set and reset passwords.

  • ChangePassword is for users who can remember their password and want to change it
  • ResetPassword is for users who cannot remember their password; a system generated password is e-mailed to them
  • ChangeEmailAddress changes the hidden email address stored in the password file

For administrators only:

Changing User Account Names

To change the user's WikiName:

  • Rename the user profile page in the Main web, such as from JaneSmith to JaneMiller.
    • Fix backlinks in the Main web only
    • Make sure the group topics are updated (if any.)
  • Edit the Main.TWikiUsers topic and move the user's entry so that the list is in proper alphabetical order.
  • Recreate the old topic with a pointer to the new topic, so that links in other webs work properly. Example content:
    %M% Jane Smith is now known as JaneMiller

If external authentication is used and you want to change the login name:

  • The login name needs to be changed in the authentication server (e.g. A