Unsimplness, Dokumented

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -- Dr. Suess

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My unsim.pl domain is for doing or trying out web-related things that are not necessarily simple, and for writing up what I found, to make it simpler for later. Some successful experiments may later be moved to an other domain, other things (like a blog where I write up some unsim.pl adventures, and not to forget this wiki!) are intended to permanently remain here.


I've set up this wiki for creating and gathering documentation for a number of projects I'm working with / on, as well as any analysis needed for that work. I'll be using several different top-level namespaces on this wiki:

  • global will be for cross-project things, such as integration between different packages
  • project is where each project gets its own namespace, and some of those will get a mantis namespace below it for issue documentation
  • photo is for documentation of my toolset of photo management (DAM) and editing software (graphical and metadata); this is still in heavy flux at the moment (and thus its own “project”), but I'm aiming for a core set to be installed on both Nikola (my Debian “mainframe” computer) and Dennis (my laptop running Fedora)
  • meta is for notes and documentation about DokuWiki itself (but not work on code or plugins: that will go under project


In this section I'll write up some general motivations, issues and such about how I'm setting up this whole complex of sites under the unsim.pl domain: things that are not about any single project but have wider scope. Expect things like interlinking sites, general security, etc.

Any work on and documentation about interlinking and integrating tools will go into the global namespace.

Current toolset

I'm combining a set of tools, both for working on web-related projects, and for writing about and documenting both the software packages themselves, and my ideas and work on them. Below a little overview of the tools and what I intend to use them for.

Third-party software I am using/adapting/extending:

Software Intended use
DokuWiki This will be my primary documentation tool. I'll also try to integrate it with a Git repository and the Mantis bug Tracker. Plugins used for gearing it towards using it as a technical writing tool and for integration.
Partially meta to document things about (using) DokuWiki itself.
Git I intend to use Git locally for source management, combined with a public online system. I have not yet decided which, it it will probably be (hosted) Gitorious. While this won't be a 'project', it's mentioned here since I intend to integrate with DokuWiki and Mantis.
Mantis Bug Tracker My issue tracker of choice, it now also comes with a plugin system that I have yet to figure out. I intend to integrate this with both DokuWiki and whatever online Git repository I end up using.
Partially meta to record issues with Mantis itself, and any tweaks I make.
Multi-site Wordpress Intended for various blogs, one of which will be my 'rescued' Posterous blog. There will also be a blog about my software adventures - not so much documentation as experience.
StatusNet Since identi.ca is being converted to use pump.io as its engine, I've “moved out”, taking my data with me. I'll use the StatusNet software (or possibly the GNU Social variant, later) to set up my own instance. I'll need to document a lot of it, especially as I also want to make changes, so DokuWiki and Mantis come in here as well, as well as Git.
Shaarli I've started to share some development-related bookmarks online with this small but beautiful little system. I'm making tweaks as well, both in theming and in functionality, which of course will be documented in DokuWiki and tracked in Mantis.
Piwik I've started to use Piwik for analytics of at least some of these sites. I like the idea of self-hosting my analytics, but that doesn't exclude I'll be using StatCounter as well.
Piwigo A package that allows you to host and share your photos. Very flexible, a number of different themes, and easily extensible with themes and plugins. I'm developing my own theme for it (see below), and poking into the core software as well where I'd like some things work differently for better integration between plugins and themes, for example.
phpDocumentor phpDocumentor 2 is a tool with which it is possible to generate documentation from your PHP source code. With this you can provide your consumers with more information regarding the functionality embedded within your source and not just what is usable to them from your user interface. I'm actually using not version 2 but 1.4.4 for now, as this is what gets installed by the Softaculous cPanel plugin. The idea is to use it to produce documentation for the PHP programs I'm writing (or the PHP portion of what I'm working on: see below)

Software 'tools' I am developing myself, either multi-purpose of as an extension to one of the packages mentioned above:

Software Intended use
PageNavigator A little class I am developing to provide an admin-friendly and user-friendly pagination widget, given little more than the total number of pages, but extremely flexible. Basic functionality is there, and already implemented in Shaarli; I intend to use this with my StatusNet instance as well. And I'll need to put this in a repo so I can link to it!

Some other tools I use on my (Debian Wheezy) desktop: Thunar, Geany, XChat, SQLyog (as a Windows program installed in Wine it runs seamlessly), Gnome Connection Manager as SSH client, grep, find… to be extended!

Global topics:


This is the collection of projects and mini-projects that I'm working on and thus each get their own namespace within this wiki where I can write up bugs, fixes and workarounds and other adventures.

  • DokuWiki - I'm not intending any major changes; this is more to write up small code changes I'm making to make it suit my purposes better: hardly a project, but this is the best place to fit it into my scheme
  • DokuWiki plugins - some plugins I want to use (or already use!) do need a bit of work, or I may want to derive a new one from an existing one, or even create new plugins from scratch
  • Mantis - I'm using a MantisBT installation to keep track of my own issues for the projects I'm working on and the software I'm using for it; the plan is also to integrate it with this wiki, and it needs some further tweaks for turning it into a more secure but publicly viewable issue tracker
  • Multi-Site WordPress - I will use WordPress for several blogs, including a 'rescued' blog from now-disappeared Posterous
  • StatusNet - Setting up my own StatusNet node, where I want to make some changes, and then import all my data exported from identi.ca. For now there's only the Line up! Let Marjolein find you! cover page… Meanwhile I've found a temporary home as "Temporary Marjolein" on Erkan Yilmaz' Oracle instance (thank you!)
  • Shaarli - unsim.pl bookmarks Using Shaarli to post my development-related bookmarks
  • Piwik - Self-hosted analytics, already implemented on unsim.pl bookmarks, my Line up! Let Marjolein find you! cover page for my StatusNet node and now this wiki as well
  • phpDocumentor - phpDocumentor 2 is a tool with which it is possible to generate documentation from your PHP source code. It's some years since I've used this awesome documentation tool; still I already ran into some issues (partly not with phpDoc itself, but using it in a cPanel shared-hosting environment). I'll try to write up what I find, and any possible fixes or workarounds
  • Taxon - A resurrection of my old “Taxon” name for software development; all software projects of my own that I intend to share will come under this master project (and name space).
    • PageNavigator - A little PHP class I am developing to generate an admin-friendly and user-friendly pagination widget; given little more than the total number of pages (the current page can usually be derived from the URL), but extremely flexible: behavior can be influenced by setting extra configuration parameters. Basic functionality is in place, and already implemented in Shaarli; I intend to use this with my StatusNet instance as well. And I'll need to put this in a repo so I can link to it!
    • Piwigo Taxon theme - My first theme for Piwigo, still under heavy development. I'm aiming for modern code, strict progressive enhancement with clean separation between HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript (using jQuery); configurability; choice of layouts, with responsiveness for both large screens and small devices; support for self-hosted web fonts (maybe Google fonts later as well). There will be plenty to write about this theme, but also about how I envision plugins and themes could better integrate with each other. I have plans for at least one plugin, too.
    • Anti-Spam for Piwigo (and other software) - I want my Piwigo site as 'open' as possible, which includes allowing people to comment without having to create an account. There are some anti-spam extensions for Piwigo, but they involve CAPTCHAs which I don't want to use. As much as possible, I want anti-spam to be unobtrusive (I have a few such things already in my sign-up form on the Line up! Let Marjolein find you! cover page). I don't think such anti-spam measures can be (easily) made part of a theme, nor is it appropriate even if it could be - so I'll need to make a plugin: the spammers are already happily attacking my site (not that they get anywhere, because I have moderation turned on: they merely provide me with test material ;-)).

These projects may be interlinked with my Mantis Bug Tracker installation, through a special issues (or similar) namespace within the specific project namespace. The project name (namespace) here should match the project name in Mantis for this interlinking to work - this will take some work, since I like readable names, not scrunched-together-all-lowercase names.


In this section I'll gather documentation of photo management and photo editing software I am either evaluating or have installed (or uninstalled!); each program will get its own page here:

Linux software for photographers:


Meta is a namespace to write up things about the tools I'm using: documentation, stumbling blocks, tips, and those sort of things.

  • DokuWiki - Not a project as such: Things I'm finding (or not finding) while learning to work with DokuWiki itself: DW has excellent documentation already, so this is for some stumbling blocks, as well as things - like plugins - that will be important in particular for using it for software project documentation. If any of this leads to code changes (that I make), that will be described under the respective project and/or in Mantis.
home.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/09 07:27 by Marjolein Katsma