Using Xwiki as a collaborative "database", crazy?


I’m looking for a platform to build a collaborative “database” of plants for permaculture designers in New Zealand (where I live).

It needs to be easy for relatively untechnical people to update/add content and needs to be able to be searchable via facets, because the point is to be able to filter through a large set of data to find plants with specific features (eg. a plant 2m tall, that produces edible fruit or nuts and can flourish in full sun and clay soil).

An example of a search interface is the Southern Woods website.

I started off looking at using WordPress with the excellent plugin FacetWP, but I don’t think WPs collaborative editing is up to the task.

I’m a long time wiki user/lover so I started looking around for something that could do this. PracticalPlants is doing something similar based on Semantic MediaWiki, but again I don’t think it’s going to be easy enough for your average nontechnical gardener to participate.

And so I’ve eventually ended up here, playing with Xwiki … which so far seems amazing (not sure how managed to avoid it for the last decade)!

My question for this group is, do you think Xwiki is up for the task? Does what I’m trying to build seem within scope, or am I just trying to force it to do something it was’t really designed for?

I’m happy to pay for some professional support/developement (and I’m pretty technical) but this is a hobby project so the budget is limited. :slight_smile:

If you have any thoughts or suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Many thanks,

Collaborative database (with programing features) is pretty much the heart of XWiki :slight_smile: Everything else is built on it.

As a getting started you will probably be interested by which is designed to create very quickly and easily a collaborative collection of stuff. Then you can gradually improve it by adding new features/improvements to what is generated by default trough scripting. A great dev tutorial to learn how to manipulate custom databases at a lower level is

For professional support/dev you might want to look at

1 Like

Hi! I moved to XWiki from MediaWiki ten years ago. And found here all, people and technology, what I need to improve the information systems of several research groups I’ve worked and I’m working with. But you must be ready to open your mind to find different approaches to achieve the level of usability you would like to offer for nontechnical people: as @tmortagne stated, there are several nice entry-points to XWiki toolscape. I’m now forced to survive surrounded by developments mostly based on WordPress, but I’m still sticking to XWiki as the hub for the whole system. The most you want to easy living in your gardeners’ community, the most you’ll have to invest in the development of the frontend to load and retrieve data, information or knowledge. We sure you find here all the tools you could ever need or the way of plugin them into the toolscape.

Just my two cents! Cheers!

1 Like

Thank you both for your encouragement. I’ll keep experimenting and see where I end up.

Cheers, Adam.