September 6, 2011
Help Desk
This page serves as HelpDesk. Please put your questions here on this page and it will be answered typically within a day or two.

Maybe we should split this page and have a separate ProgrammingHelpDesk. -- HelmutLeitner May 30, 2007 7:26 CET

August 19, 2009: Also, AndriusKulikauskas and others are often at the Worknets chat room and can help people learn how to use ProWiki. Or leave a message at their wiki.

Some older questions have been moved to HelpDeskArchive. See also WikiFaq and ProWikiFaq.

Table of contents of this page
Section edit icon   
Tracking changes   
Adding a new variable   
Adding auto-links to text outside the wiki   
A file that lists the wiki pages?   
Recent Changes from newest to oldest   
Import data from TWiki   
August 6th 2007 Fulltext search in uploaded documents   
July 15th 2007 Allowed File Extensions   
July 9th 2007 Calender off by a day   
July 3rd 2007 List Super Pages for SubWiki   
May 29th 2007 UTF-8 Links   
May 29th 2007 Simple / Advanced Preferences Page   
May 29th 2007 Meatball style Recent Changes   
May 29th 2007 Linking   
April 26th 2007 Archive   
April 27th 2007 server.cfg error   
April 22nd 2007 Recognizing Actions Programatically   
March 11th 2007 Re: the variable   
February 23th, 2007   
February 5th, 2007   
January 23th, 2007   
January 17th, 2007   

Section edit icon    

AndriusKulikauskas November 11, 2009 13:30 CET Helmut, hi. My template for the Lithuania wiki is not showing the section edit icon because the image source is incorrectly given as "/image/icon edit.gif" (note the initial / which shouldn't be there). Where is that set, do you know?

Tracking changes    

AndriusKulikauskas September 2, 2009 11:39 CET Hi Helmut, I want to track changes when a page is created or updated and store that in a MySQL database. I wonder if I should simply track the recent changes logs or go into the ProWiki code. I wonder if you have any thoughts.

I decided to track the Recent Changes log. I've made some reports Pages by Type and Pages by Writer

Adding a new variable    

AndriusKulikauskas August 13, 2009 23:34 CET Hi Helmut! How can I create a new variable in Context pages such as WorkspaceUrl so that my template can call {WorkspaceUrl} ?

AndriusKulikauskas August 24, 2009 7:31 CET I'm still curious how to do that through the Context page, but I solved the problem I was working on. I have a "Write on this page" link and I needed it to work with the different domains we are using, removing the top level from {PageCur} as necessary. So I wrote a script: {Insert:program.linkforeditpage {PreInsert:DomainUrl} {PreInsert:PageCur}}

Adding auto-links to text outside the wiki    

AndriusKulikauskas February 16, 2009 21:48 CET Hi, Helmut! Suppose I have text outside of my wiki (say, in a text file) which I want to process so that any wiki words are automatically transformed into links just like my wiki does. Is there a function that does that which I can call or copy?

Sorry Andrius, currently there is no way to do this outside of the wiki. -- HelmutLeitner February 17, 2009 11:26 CET

Briefly, how is it done inside the wiki? I would try to do the same. AndriusKulikauskas February 17, 2009 15:04 CET

It's all in the script function TextMarkupImagesLinks. Probably you need just a few lines. -- HelmutLeitner February 17, 2009 17:32 CET

Thank you, Helmut!

A file that lists the wiki pages?    

AndriusKulikauskas February 16, 2009 21:48 CET Is there a file that lists the pages in the wiki?

Andrius, there are various ways to access the page list, although there is no file always kept current. There is the "pagelog" file that contains all additions and deletions in a format that is very simple and efficient to process. You can look at the script function PageIndexInit if you need a clue how to do this in Perl. -- HelmutLeitner February 17, 2009 11:26 CET

Thank you, Helmut!

Recent Changes from newest to oldest    

AndriusKulikauskas February 14, 2009 20:46 CET Hi Helmut, my wiki is showing recent changes from oldest to newest. How do I show it from newest to oldest?

Andrius, the configuration variable RcTop decides the sort direction (1=newest first, 0= oldest first). This can also be visualized using the newtop command-line parameter: your wiki, newest first your wiki, oldest first. There are a number of additional parameters that may also be useful, all beginning with "Rc" (for recent chanegs). -- HelmutLeitner February 16, 2009 15:18 CET

Thank you, Helmut, for explaining. I tried it now, but it doesn't work for me, see: and also I see that it is set as the default in I changed a little bit in that code but I'm not sure it is anything related except perhaps this line:

$text.=WikiRetFormPrefs($oldpar,-1); # Andrius 2008.12.13 simplifying Username form, was: $text.=WikiRetFormPrefs($oldpar,0);

in sub ShowStatusMessUserName

I wonder how I can debug this? Thank you.

AndriusKulikauskas February 18, 2009 23:06 CET Hi Helmut, it's working now for some reason, I don't know why. Maybe it takes time for the change to take affect? Maybe the browser cache needs to be cleared? I cleared mine today.

AndriusKulikauskas September 2, 2009 12:44 CET $newtop = RetParam("newtop", $RcTop); #Andrius 2009.09.02 I changed the code to this and now it works right. My version of the code has "rcnewtop" and I changed it to "newtop" and now it seems to work correctly.

Import data from TWiki    

Hi! I have a running TWiki system but I am considering switching to ProWiki. Is it possible to import data from my TWiki installation? Thanks for your help. --MatthiasRoeder

Matthias, welcome. As far as I know there is no conversion script, yet. Are you interested in helping to build one? -- HelmutLeitner August 16, 2007 8:00 CET

August 6th 2007 Fulltext search in uploaded documents    

Hey I'm searching a Wiki with a fulltext search on DOCUMENTS. So if I upload some documents e.g. .doc files, I want to search in this files over the normal search. Is this possible with ProWiki?

One would have to integrate one or more external tools to do this job. If available in OpenSource it should be possible to find someone to do the integration work. -- HelmutLeitner August 7, 2007 15:58 CET

July 15th 2007 Allowed File Extensions    

Hi Helmut. How can I change the allowed file extensions? I want to add various audio and video formats. In particular, .amr AndriusKulikauskas July 15, 2007 14:22 CET

Hi Andrius, just add ".amr" to the %UploadExtTab array in the script. Sorry for delayed answer, I was on vacation. -- HelmutLeitner August 7, 2007 16:24 CET

Helmut, Thank you, that works! I'm wondering if when I make changes like that, what will happen the next time I update the file? Also, how would one make that so it could be set in the Context? AndriusKulikauskas August 8, 2007 19:37 CET

Andrius, before the next update you should make a "diff" to save and later reintegrate the changes you've made. We could negotiate at that time which of your changes are specific and which are useful for the general ProWiki audience. Extensions could also be defined in the Context, but this would make wikis more vulnerable to attacks. -- HelmutLeitner August 14, 2007 15:09 CET

Helmut, that's helpful to know, thank you! AndriusKulikauskas August 15, 2007 22:41 CET

July 9th 2007 Calender off by a day    

Occasionally I find my calender off by a day. For example, right now I note that my embedded calender shows July 9th as Sunday. This "off by a day" runs into all future(and past) months too. My system time using 'date' is: Mon Jul 9 16:24:22 EDT 2007. How is the calender fuction determining the date? I also noted that in the "Preferences" page that the time does not take into account EDT (daylight savings) rather than EST.(maybe related??) Thanks, Ekim

Shouldn't depend on the system date, timezone or daylight savings. Have to check that. What timezone offset are you using in your preferences? -- HelmutLeitner

Currently set at -4 for EDT (Eastern Daylight Time, US) rather than EST (Standard). Hey I think that might be it! When that value is negative it throws off the local time. For example I entered -4 as the timezone offset and got the following result:
Storing the preferences
Username Peter_Smith stored. 
server time: July 11, 2007 1:38
local time: July 10, 2007 21:38
The preferences have been saved.
My command line time: date -u -- Wed Jul 11 13:38:52 UTC 2007. I note that the time displayed is 1:38 (no am/pm). It is really 13:38 so the "clock math" is off or may be mixing the 24/12 hour values. I checked -1 offset and it works, -2 does not, so it is that 12:00 threshold. Hope this helps.

July 3rd 2007 List Super Pages for SubWiki    

Helmut, when I set a subwiki such as Open Source Ecology then above the page name it doesn't list the pages above the page such as Worknets or OpenSourceEcology. How can I make it show the pages? AndriusKulikauskas July 3, 2007 11:14 CET

This is intentionally suppressed, to make it look as a separate wiki, not showing hierarchical position. It should be difficult to remove suppression, though. Maybe look into the code, what the script referring to the variable SubWiki does? -- HelmutLeitner July 11, 2007 8:59 CET

May 29th 2007 UTF-8 Links    

Hi Helmut, I want to use Lithuanian letters at ProWiki. However, links are not being set, for example, at our Lithuanian page the links /?idiniai and /?viesuoliai aren't working. What should I do? AndriusKulikauskas May 29, 2007 18:49 CET

Andrius, you can write explicite links using {{...}}. There is an unsolved problem with Unicode and automatic (CamelCase) linking, because we have no mechanism yet to generally recognize upper case Unicode characters. This means that Unicode characters are treated as lower case. If you can come up with something, it would be very helpful. -- HelmutLeitner May 30, 2007 7:11 CET

Helmut, Thank you for demonstrating at our website! Now I will know how to do it. For Lithuanian, we could write a routine that identifies and maps the upper case letters. Perhaps it could be implemented by first checking the first letter of each word? AndriusKulikauskas May 30, 2007 10:04 CET

Andrius, the constraint is that it (1) must fit into a regular expression search and (2) must not slow the parsing process. So, of course, in the end it has to do with recognizing the first letter as upper case but this is not the solution to the problem. -- HelmutLeitner June 2, 2007 9:52 CET

You may try \p{Lu}, which should match all unicode characters with property uppercase letter. Seems to work at least with german umlauts. Perl should be at least 5.8, don't know if 5.6.X version support this. See the perluniintro and perlunicode man pages. -- MarkusLude

Markus, thank you for your insight! Thank you, Helmut! AndriusKulikauskas June 5, 2007 23:29 CET

May 29th 2007 Simple / Advanced Preferences Page    

Helmut, I would like to have a simple preferences page that is just username. Or simply a username page. And then there could be a link to an advanced preferences page. I have just set up the EditByVisitorPage=WelcomeVisitor as you have. I suppose that for now I could just simplify the current preferences page. Where do I do that? And how could I then have a separate link to the full preferences? Thank you for all of your help and advice. AndriusKulikauskas May 29, 2007 10:02 CET

Andrius, there is already one shorter form, not as short as you want it to be, though. Look into function ShowFormPrefs, it shouldn't be hard to adapt. Maybe a global parameter $PrefsType could be introduced to set the default preferences type. -- HelmutLeitner May 30, 2007 7:18 CET

May 29th 2007 Meatball style Recent Changes    

Helmut, I suppose this would require just a bit of code on my part. Please advise where I should make the change. I would like recent changes as at Meatball Wiki where they are showing for a given wiki page on a given day the total of all the summaries regarding the changes. I think this helps make the wiki more social. Where in the code do I do that? Or do you have a setting for that. AndriusKulikauskas May 29, 2007 9:47 CET

Andrius, the function RcRetHtml produces the HTML from the already selected range of lines of the RcLog. Just track the number of changes and display them. -- HelmutLeitner May 30, 2007 7:21 CET

May 29th 2007 Linking    

Hi Helmut. It was great to meet in Graz. I'm working further on our WorkNets wiki. I ask for your advice on how to implement the following linking strategy. Given a wiki page name:

  • If the page exists exactly once in the entire wiki, then the link goes to that page. (Currently, it is not finding the page, for example, this page doesn't find AndriusKulikauskas.)
  • If the page exists more than once in the wiki
    • then it shows the page (if it exists) that is in the same position in the wiki hierarchy as the current page.
    • otherwise it shows a new page that is in the same position in the wiki hierarchy as the current page, and
      • it lists the links to the other pages in the wiki with that page name
      • and it allows that page to be edited so that text is added
  • It should be possible to insert that block with the multilink for that wiki page name or any other wiki page name
How much of that can I do with the existing set up? And what parts would I need to code? Thank you! AndriusKulikauskas May 29, 2007 9:19 CET

Can you expand on the "this page" => AndriusKulikauskas example. I do not understand it. ... In general one can do a lot using AutoLinkStrategies. If it is not sufficient, one should think to extend this mechanism. -- HelmutLeitner May 30, 2007 7:23 CET

April 26th 2007 Archive    

Hi Helmut. Today I will be using our ProWiki during a webinar. I noticed that certain important pages don't have the archive working, such as this page. The archive says: No archived revisions available. This, even though we're making many changes over many days. This is causing problems because we're overwriting each other's changes and we're not able to recover from that. I wonder if there might be a permissions problem, but what would be the relevant directories? Thank you for your help. AndriusKulikauskas April 26, 2007 13:12 CET

Archive not working throughout the site. I wonder why? It might be something to do with permissions. What are the relevant directories? Thank you for any hints. AndriusKulikauskas May 1, 2007 10:52 CET

Andrius, in changing the templates you may have removed the element that displays "Archive" and other additional functions. -- HelmutLeitner May 2, 2007 10:05 CET

Hi Helmut. The Archive link exists and takes me here, for example. But it says No archived revisions available. Whereas this WorkNets.txt_r file shows some changes but not the more recent changes. Full permissions are given to the web user. I wonder what might be the problem. AndriusKulikauskas May 2, 2007 10:29 CET

I checked the permissions and they are given to the web user but maybe they should be given to the worknets domain user? But that doesn't seem to help. AndriusKulikauskas May 2, 2007 10:58 CET

Have you all RCS executables installed and checked their permissions? (especially "rlog" which creates the RCS files content listing). -- HelmutLeitner May 2, 2007 12:09 CET

Helmut, it looks like I fixed it. Thank you for alerting me to rlog. I changed the ownership and permissions and now it seems to be working. AndriusKulikauskas June 6, 2007 13:29 CET

April 27th 2007 server.cfg error    

Ok, this time trying install on a debian server. Receiving:


Fehler beim Öffnen von File /var/www/prowiki default/server.cfg: No such file or directory Script= /var/www/prowiki default/wiki.cgi Function= FileRetStr Line= 1973

Any advice greatly appreciated -- SamRose

What are the relevant entries in your webserver configuration? How and where did you install the wiki software? Please give us more details.

Sam, sorry for the delay, I was "on the road". If you follow the installation instructions, everything should work. The error message is self-explaining. The software expects to be able to access "server.cfg" in the wiki directory. Typically this is a soft link to a central file. Something went wrong with that, either "server.cfg" has been deleted or it points to no existing file. Please check that. -- HelmutLeitner May 2, 2007 10:23 CET

No problem Helmut. Thanks for all of your help and advice. -- SamRose

April 22nd 2007 Recognizing Actions Programatically    

Hi Helmut! This week I migrated our wiki from to It went quite well except that today Sasha reported that he couldn't log in. And then later I couldn't log in either. None of us are able to add our names to the Preferences (we get the username deleted error). None of us are able to log in (we get the login error no username given. I have tried to change the permissions on the user files but it hasn't helped. What can I do on the server to fix this? or to debug this? AndriusKulikauskas April 22, 2007 0:00 CET

Helmut, the problem was caused by changes I made to the template. I was using a program. Perhaps it is disturbing the forms somehow. I will investigate further but I took it out for now. AndriusKulikauskas April 22, 2007 0:33 CET

I think I know what the problem is. I was introducing a form but that was conflicting with views and actions that introduce a form (such as for editing a page or logging in as a user). So I need to find a way to tell which action is occuring so that I can avoid them. AndriusKulikauskas April 23, 2007 12:11 CET

OK, I see that my problem was much simpler. I had accidentally deleted a </form> in my script it seems.

March 11th 2007 Re: the variable    

  • info: A nice man who likes women! Or is it a very nice man women love? Both!
(I was trying the info variable description of a page. It doesn't work! Well at least not this way! )

How does it work?


-- Robert Abitbol

10 days later... Oh well I guess I'll never have the answer to this question! Not in this lifetime. Perhaps in my second life.. Or my third...

Robert, sorry, but it was not clear what you tried and where, what you expected and what you got. As far as I see it (Index), it works. It also works here, below. -- HelmutLeitner March 21, 2007 15:16 CET

Command/ActionKillto block spammers and hostile robots
FeatureRequests/SpamDefensediscussion and new ideas regarding ProWiki spam defense.
FolderVirtualDatacontains the list of all pages that explain VirtualData
HelpDeskA nice man who likes women! Or is it a very nice man women love? Both!
JohnSmiththis is not a real user name, just an example.
NoCookieRestrictionsto limit what a anonymous user is allowed to post, defending against WikiSpam.
NoWikiavoid unintentional markups or links
Option/IndexAutoTalkdefines the default variable name for TalkingPages in page lists
Option/PageAutoTalkdefines the default variable name for TalkingPages
Option/VidaCachingturns VirtualData ON (OFF by default)
TalkingPageListsenhance page lists with additional information
TalkingPagesdisplays page data together with page links
VidaCachingmakes VirtualData efficient and its broad use possible
VidaOptionstune the VirtualData system
VideoBridgean example for a complex community project done in DorfWiki.
VirtualDatathe general concept to have page content act as data
WikiSpamunwanted advertizing - usually to casino or porn sites - posted to wikis.
word_containing_underlinesan example for automatically linked pagename containing underscore characters

February 23th, 2007    

MattisManzel: I put some confused questions on FractalWiki:EN/SandWiki/Forum

Just answered on the above mentioned page. Hope it will help Mattis ? Just let us know. Cheers. -- ChristopheDucamp February 14, 2007 17:17 CET

February 5th, 2007    

Thanks for the very nice WiKi server.
I need clarification on how to do the following
1) when user is loged in, i want to display the user name as it displayes at
the bottom of a page when the user edit's the page
in welcome page. How to do this?

I am unable to find it in help pages
Thank you for your answer.<r>


Hi Baskaran. The user name is contained in variable UserName (maybe UserPref if you refer to the name in the preferences). You can display the variable as part of the TemplateText using the command {Insert:UserName} or {Insert:UserName;default text}. There is also a prefabricated element that you can use {Insert:function.Login} which displays both names an links to access login/logout and for editing the Preferences and UserData.

Regarding the other question: there are some ways to suppress CamelCase links. You can turn them entirely off (WikiAutoLink). You can suppress specific links for the entire wiki (LinkSuppress) and you can do it for specific pages (see /Context here for the word WiKi). And you can use a < n > .... < / n > or < nowiki > .... < / nowiki > command (with the white space removed) to enclose elements where no wiki markup shall be applied. -- HelmutLeitner
Thanks a lot, Helmut

January 23th, 2007    

Hi, in FeatureRequests/TransClusion, it is written : "Note: ProWiki can insert pages into other pages by using the CdmlInsert command". Question : what is the syntax ? : [[insert]a wiki page ? Thanks ---OlivierSeres update (January 27th) , ok seen your InsertPage Page. Thanks a lot, Helmut --OlivierSeres

January 17th, 2007    

Hi Helmut, ChristopheDucamp kindly gave me a password to create my own space. I've got a problem on editing FractalWiki:FR/OlivierSeres/Context
  • Fractal asks me to login/pass
  • it says : "successfull, continue"
  • when i clic on "continue", it asks me the login/pass again.
  • and so on...
It seems (dixit xtof) , that PierrePhilippeCormeraie meets the same problem. I' m on Firefox2.0, and experience the same pb at home (My ISP is FreeTelecom) and at work (behind a proxy). It seems to acts similarly as a classical cookie issue. Any idea ? Thanks-- OlivierSeres

Hi Helmut and happy new year. Currently overloaded to help to seed some new branches on FractalWiki and that's the reason why I suggested and thank Olivier (Author Status) for reporting. Olivier, can you test again ? I just changed your command line in Context "status.for.edit.word.Context...' into * status.for.edit.leaf.Context.' I'll try to get more information from PPC about his unability to connect and write from Home (PPC can write at the office ?). Anyway the SelfRegistration and alternatives could could still be discussed and suggested on ProWiki's RegistrationFeatures. Thanks. -- ChristopheDucamp

Thanks Christophe, editing /Context now works @work (should work @home too), thanks a lot ! ---OlivierSeres