This is a short introductory training course for TWiki beginners.

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Slide 1: A Taste of TWiki

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

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

  • "Wiki" is short for "wiki wiki", the Hawaiian word for "Quick"
  • The idea originates from Macintosh Hypercard, via Ward Cunningham
  • In Ward's words, Wiki is "the simplest online database that could possibly work"
  • A Wiki is basically a shared, online, persistent whiteboard

Slide 2: TWiki Wiki

Whiteboard TWiki implements the basic Wiki idea of a shared whiteboard

  • Anyone can add content
    ... or change what is written
    ... or change the organisation of the content
  • Whatever you write is
    ... nicely presented
    ... remembered... and never forgotten

TWiki also acts as an "application platform" to integrate a number of other functions.

TWiki is an Open-Source development on

Slide 3: Where is it used?

TWiki is mainly used in commercial environments, often on corporate intranets
  • Examples: Disney, British Telecom, SAP, Wind River, Motorola, Epic Games
    Disney logo British Telecom logo SAP logo Motorola logo Epic Games logo

A number of public Wiki sites also use TWiki

Slide 4: TWiki Features

TWiki builds on the original Wiki concept and adds a number of features that make it very useful in a business environment.
  • TWiki pages are fully revision controlled, so a record of every change to every page is kept
    r6 < r5 < r4
  • The look-and-feel is highly configurable, through use of templates
  • A "plugins" interface eases
    • customisation
    • extension
    • application integration

Slide 5: Applications of basic TWiki

Basic TWiki can be used as:
  • A whiteboard
  • A document repository
  • A collaborative authoring environment
  • A notebook / scrapbook
  • A chat room

Slide 6: Extended applications

TWiki-with-extensions has been used as:
  • A Content Management System (CMS) for websites
  • A presentation development tool
  • A Blog
  • A database
  • A project management system
  • A tracking tool
  • (truth is, we don't really know its limits!)

Slide 7: Structure of a TWiki page

TWiki pages are usually organised into three parts:
  • A header
  • A body
  • A footer

  • The header and the footer are generated by the system
  • The body contains the text of the page, as entered by you
TWiki 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 TWiki page is generally highlighted in colour, and will usually contain an icon that gives you an idea of where you are, such as a company logo.
TWiki home MyCo.MyTopic Webs:
Myco | Main | TWiki | Sandbox
Changes | Index | Search | Go
It will also usually contain a number of 'links' that you can click on. You will generally see:
  • Changes - gives you a list of recent changes
  • Index - gives you a full index
  • Search - takes you to a search page, where you can search all the text
  • Go - lets you type in the name of a page you already know

Slide 9: The Page Header ... continued

TWiki home MyCo.MyTopic Webs:
Myco | Main | TWiki | Sandbox
Changes | Index | Search | Go
You may also see in the header (usually at the top right) a list of the TWiki "webs". A web is a collection of pages that are related closely together
  • For example, we might have a web called "Enemies", where we keep all we know about our enemies, and another called "Friends"
  • There's usually a safe play web called something like "Sandbox" or "Scratch", where you can create pages just to try things out
  • And some admin areas, like "Main" and "TWiki"

Slide 10: The Page Footer

The footer of the page is also highlighted in colour, and is usually where you will find the links that let you change the content.
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  • The Edit link takes you to an interactive page where you can change the page content
  • The Attach link lets you attach files
  • The other links invoke other, more complex, functions, mainly to do with revision tracking - they can safely be ignored for now

Slide 11: Editing Pages

  • You've read a page, and you disagree with it violently! It says:
    Everyone knows that the world is an OblateSpheroid
    But you know for a fact it is flat! wink
  • You've clicked the edit link, and an edit page has appeared. But it doesn't look much like what was on the page before - it's full of strange hieroglyphics!
_Everyone_ *knows* that =the world= is an OblateSpheroid
  • Now what?

Slide 12: What's in a page

  • The hieroglyphics are what's known as "TWiki Markup" or "formatting"
  • They are a really simple way of telling the browser how you want the page to look
  • You don't have to use them
    • TWiki understands pages in plain text just fine.

      Actually it is perfectly and absolutely flat

      appears as

      Actually it is perfectly and absolutely flat

Slide 13: Formatting just makes pages prettier

... and easier to read

_Actually_ it is *perfectly* and __absolutely__ flat

appears as

Actually it is perfectly and absolutely flat
  • A full description of all the formatting can be found in the TextFormattingRules and TextFormattingFAQ
  • The best thing to do is just to type until you get stuck
    • then follow the link on the edit page to the help.

Slide 14: Commonly used formatting

TWiki 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:
  • ---+ indicates a heading. Add more +'s for a deeper heading.
    You type You see
    ---+ This is a heading

    This is a heading

    ---++ And so is this

    And so is this

  • %TOC% will insert a table of contents

Slide 15: More common formatting

  • A blank line gives a paragraph break
  • --- on a line of its own gives a horizontal bar
  • Text in stars *like this* looks like this
  • Text in underscores _like this_ looks like this
  • Text in equals signs =like this= looks like this
  • Bulleted lists use three spaces followed by an asterisk (*) at the start of the line
    • The depth of the bullet is given by the number of spaces, in multiples of three
You type You see
   * Bullet
      * Sub-bullet
  • Bullet
    • Sub-bullet
  • Numbered lists use a number in place of the *. The list is numbered automatically, so you can just use a 1

Slide 16: Even more.....

  • You can create a table using vertical bars:
     | Cat | Feline |
     | Bear | Ursine |
     | Wolf | Lupine |
  • appears as
    Cat Feline
    Bear Ursine
    Wolf Lupine