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What is Foswiki?

Foswiki is an enterprise collaboration and information sharing tool targeted for professional use in many types of companies—from small businesses to large organizations.

Foswiki is a wiki: a website with easily editable web pages. It looks like a normal web site but it encourages contributions, edits, updates, questions, and answers from its users. It's a powerful way of enabling a community to communicate asynchronously using intranet or public internet websites. Foswiki is simple to learn and use. It aims to provide a transparent way for you to publish and exchange your ideas with others over the web and eliminates the one-webmaster syndrome of outdated intranet content.

Foswiki supports storing structured data—name-value pairs—and provides advanced query tools that enable users without programming skills to build powerful yet simple applications to process information and support workflows. Developers can extend the functionality of Foswiki with plugins.

Foswiki is a fork from the TWiki project. Restrictions on the use of the TWiki brand resulted in many of its developers starting the Foswiki project. Foswiki is backwards compatible with all content from older TWiki installations.

Foswiki 1.1 ships with TWikiCompatibilityPlugin installed by default, thus if activated enables most extensions made for TWiki to work under Foswiki.

Foswiki is released under the GNU General Public License.

What is the difference between Foswiki and TWiki?

The Foswiki project is a community-led, open source project. The project was created when the TWiki project changed its governance model to centralize control over its direction.

For more information on what Foswiki can offer you, please see "Why should I use Foswiki?"

Why should I become a Foswiki developer?

The Foswiki community is vibrant and active. But that requires people actually helping out not only on the code but also on web design, information structuring and writing good documentation as well as helping out others on our free support offerings.

So if you are using Foswiki and you feel like you'd like to contribute back to the project using your bare hands, then think about becoming a Foswiki developer. You will find a helpful and supportive environment with a lot of people similar to yourself or your organization.

You might also thing about becoming a member of the Foswiki Association, the non-profit organization handling the financial and legal matters of Foswiki, as well as helping organizing the conferences and meetings of the community members.

In return you will get a much deeper insight into Foswiki and all of its affairs which will help you even more in case you are using Foswiki as a tool in your organization

See HowYouCanHelp for more information on how you can contribute!

What makes Foswiki an ideal collaboration tool?

Community and corporate wikis are based on a simple concept: allow information to flow as freely as possible by allowing the entire community to edit and update information, with as few barriers as possible. This approach provides a framework that enables an active and involved set of contributors to combine their efforts in creating and improving the data contained within the wiki.

Foswiki goes a step beyond simple aggregation of text documents by providing ways to associate meta-data with pages, and powerful macros that can extract the associated page data and content, based on complex searches. Foswiki also allows you to define a page with various parameters that can be replaced. Using parameterized pages as building blocks, combined with Foswiki's multi-faceted searching capabilities and versatile plugins that can interface with a variety of external APIs or provide additional interactivity, Foswiki users can create flexible and effective applications using Foswiki's Topic Markup Language (TML). Users can enter data using simple forms or TML, and a Foswiki application can combine and display the data in different formats: tabular, graphical, XML, in combination with external Web APIs like Google Maps, you name it!

Examples of Foswiki applications include the following:
  • bug/task tracking — see the Foswiki task tracker
  • categorized Frequently Asked Question lists — see the Foswiki support question list
  • event calendars
  • action item registers
  • project status reporting
  • mashups combining user-entered data with external queries (such as LDAP)

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Topic revision: r18 - 26 Apr 2012, MichaelDaum
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