This is a short introduction to Foswiki.

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Slide 1: A short introduction to Foswiki

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Slide 2: What is a Wiki?

Hula girl The basic function of Foswiki is a Wiki (if that helps!)

A Wiki is like a web site, except that you can edit the content in your browser

Slide 3: Foswiki Wiki

Whiteboard Foswiki implements the Wiki idea of a shared whiteboard

Foswiki is also an "application platform" that lets you quickly build and use your own online applications
... and can be extended using an open plugins architecture
... with hundreds of user-contributed extensions already available off-the-shelf

Foswiki is an Open-Source development on

Slide 4: Foswiki features

Foswiki builds on the original Wiki concept, and adds features that make it very useful in a business environment.

Slide 5: Applications of basic Foswiki

Foswiki can be used as:

Slide 6: Extended applications

Foswiki-with-extensions can be used:

Slide 7: Structure of a Foswiki page

Foswiki pages are called topics. When they are viewed in the browser, they are usually organised into four parts:

Foswiki is very configurable, and the look can change. However the essentials will all be there on the page (somewhere!)

Slide 8: The page header

The header of a Foswiki page is generally highlighted, and will usually contain an icon that gives you an idea of where you are, such as a company logo. It will also usually contain:

(this is just an example. Your header will look much better smile )

Slide 9: The menu - part 1

The menu, normally located either on the right or the left side of the content, or sometimes at the top, usually includes a toolbox and a web section.

The Toolbox section usually contains these items

Often the site administrator simplifies the toolbox, so you may not have all these items in your menu bar.

Slide 10: The menu - part 2

The Webs section lists all the webs that you can access

A web is a collection of pages that are related closely together

The Main web contains all the user home pages. The System web contains documentation for Foswiki and all extensions. The Sandbox web is a playground area.

Your wiki may contain any number of webs, and webs can contain other webs.

Slide 11: The menu - part 3

Besides the Tools and Webs sections it is common to add your own links to important places.

These menu entries can be different from web to web.

Near the footer of the page you usually find an action bar which looks similar to this

Edit | Attach | Print version | History: r2 < r1 | Backlinks | View wiki text | Edit wiki text | More topic actions

Slide 13: Editing Pages

_Everyone_ *knows* that =the world is a %BLUE%flat%ENCDCOLOR%=

Slide 14: What's in a page

Slide 15: The hieroglyphs just make pages prettier

... and easier to read

_Actually_ it is an *Oblate* __Spheroid__

appears as

Actually it is an Oblate Spheroid

Slide 16: Commonly used formatting

Foswiki understands pages in plain text just fine, but you can jazz them up using some simple formatting shortcuts. Here are some of the more commonly used ones:

You typeYou see
---+ This is a heading

This is a heading

---++ And so is this

And so is this

Slide 17: More common formatting

You type You see
   * Bullet
      * Sub-bullet
  • Bullet
    • Sub-bullet

Slide 18: Even more.....

     | Cat | Feline |
     | Bear | Ursine |
     | Wolf | Lupine |
Cat Feline
Bear Ursine
Wolf Lupine

Slide 19: WikiWords

Slide 20: Referencing other pages and URLs

Slide 21: More formatting

Slide 22: Creating new pages

Slide 23: Attachments

I Attachment Action Size Date WhoComment
txt Sample.txt manage 0.1 K 22 Jul 2000 - 19:37 ProjectContributor Just a sample
gif Smile.gif manage 0.1 K 22 Jul 2000 - 19:38 ProjectContributor Smiley face

The links in the above table are just for show, and don't really go anywhere

Slide 24: Wiki Culture

Enough about mechanics; how is a wiki actually used ? Well, that's really up to you, but there are a number of tricks that the wiki community has developed for collaborative writing that work pretty well: Foswiki doesn't automatically distinguish between these modes; they are purely semantic.

Slide 25: That's fine for the internet, but...

People often say that wiki culture isn't appropriate in a corporate setting. Ignore them! Sharing information helps any company work more efficiently. However, there may be genuine security concerns, so:

Slide 26: DocumentMode

Slide 27: ThreadMode

You may see a comment box on a page in ThreadMode that makes it easy to quickly add your inputs. Typing in a comment and adding it to a page this way is known as "blogging" wink

Slide 28: StructuredMode

Slide 29: Contributed features

Basic Foswiki is rich with features, but is enriched even further by optional extension modules that may (or may not!) be installed in your Foswiki. These are usually classified as skins (modules that change the look-and-feel), plugins (modules that enhance functionality), wiki applications (sets of topics that implement an application) or contribs (modules that customise foswiki at a deep level).

When Foswiki is first installed, it comes with a default set of extensions pre-installed; you can see the list by visiting the InstalledPlugins page.

There are a huge number of other extensions available from

Slide 30: Getting more information

Foswiki has been worked on for over fifteen years, and there's a lot of it. It can be daunting at first, so don't try to learn the whole thing in one go. The best way to start is to use it, and when you need to do something new, browse this web or look for examples online.

If you get stuck, you can refer to the web, which has a wealth of online resources, or join the friendly Foswiki IRC channel at irc://

Slide 31: Credits and Acknowledgements

Related topics: WelcomeGuest, WikiCulture, TwentyMinuteTutorial, TopicsAndWebs