TWiki Reference Manual (01-Dec-2001)

This page contains all documentation topics as one long, complete reference sheet.
Doubleclick anywhere to return to the top of the page.

Note: Read the most up to date version of this document at

Related Topics: TWikiSite, TWikiHistory, TWikiPlannedFeatures, TWikiEnhancementRequests

TWiki System Requirements

Server and client system requirements for TWiki 01-Sep-2001


Maintaining minimum client and server requirements is necessary to keep TWiki deployment as broad as possible.

Server Requirements

TWiki is written in Perl 5, uses a number of shell commands, and requires RCS (Revision Control System), a GNU Free Software package. TWiki is developed in a basic Linux/Apache environment. It also works with Microsoft Windows, and should have no problem on any other platform that meets the requirements:

Required Server Environment
Resource Unix Windows
Perl 5.005_03 or higher
Non standard Perl modules Net::SMTP (or sendmail) Net::SMTP, MIME::Base64, Digest::SHA1
RCS 5.7 or higher
Other external programs ls, fgrep, egrep
Web server Apache; others (with support for CGI, authentication, extended path) *

Current documentation covers Linux only. A TWikiOnWindows installation guide is next.

Client Requirements

The TWiki standard installation has extremely low browser requirements:

You can easily add capabilities, through customizing the templates, for one, while tailoring the browser requirements to your situation.

Known Issues

-- MikeMannix - 15 Sep 2001

TWiki Installation Guide

Installation instructions for the TWiki 01-Sep-2001 production release


These installation steps are based on the Apache Web server on Linux. TWiki runs on other Web servers and Unix systems, and should be fine with any OS and server that meet the system requirements. Documentation for other platforms is currently limited. For Windows, check TWiki:Codev/TWikiOnWindows. Search the TWiki:Codev web for other intallation notes.

Standard Installation

Request and download the TWiki 01-Sep-2001 distribution in Unix ZIP format from (To install TWiki on SourceForge, for use on a software development project, read TWiki:Codev/SourceForgeHowTo.)

Step 1: Create & Configure the Directories

NOTE: If you don't have access to your Web server configuration files - for example, if you're installing on an ISP-hosted account - use the alternative Step 1 instead.

Example httpd.conf entries:
 ScriptAlias /twiki/bin/ "/home/httpd/twiki/bin/"
 Alias /twiki/ "/home/httpd/twiki/"
 <Directory "/home/httpd/twiki/bin">
    Options +ExecCGI
    SetHandler cgi-script
    AllowOverride all
    Allow from all
 <Directory "/home/httpd/twiki/pub">
    Options FollowSymLinks +Includes
    AllowOverride None
    Allow from all

Step 1 for Non-Root Accounts

To install TWiki on a system where you don't have server administrator privileges, for example, on a hosted Web account:

TWiki dir: What it is: Where to copy: Example:
twiki/bin CGI bin cgi-enabled dir /home/smith/public_html/cgi-bin
twiki/lib library files same level as twiki/bin /home/smith/public_html/lib
twiki/pub public files htdoc enabled dir /home/smith/public_html/pub
twiki/data topic data outside of htdoc tree (for security) /home/smith/twiki/data
twiki/templates web templates outside of htdoc tree (for security) /home/smith/twiki/templates

Step 2: Set File Permissions

Step 3: Set the Main Configuration File

Step 4: Finish Up from Your Browser

That's it for the standard virgin installation of TWiki. Read on for server-level customization options.

Additional Server-Level Options

With your new TWiki installation up and running, you can manage most aspects of your site from the browser interface. Only a few functions require access to the server file system, via Telnet or FTP. You can make these server-level changes during installation, and at any time afterwards.

Enabling Authentication of Users

Adding a New Web

To create a new web:

  1. Create a new web data directory under twiki/data and check the file permission of the directory.
    • Use a name starting with characters A..Z, followed by a..z and/or 0..9 characters, but not a WikiWord.
  2. Copy all files from the twiki/data/_default directory to the new data directory, preserving the original files' owner, group and permissions (on Unix, use cp -p). The data files must be writable by the owner the CGI scripts are running on (usually, nobody).
    • HINT: You can set permissions of .txt and .txt,v files to -rw-rw-rw- (666) and then edit the topic using your browser; RCS will restore the file permissions correctly when saving the topic.
  3. Add the new web to the web list (visible in the upper right corner of each topic) by editing the site-level preferences, TWikiPreferences:
    • Add the new web to the %WIKIWEBLIST% variable.
  4. Update the web settings by editing the WebPreferences topic of the new web:
    • Customize the %WEBTOPICLIST% variable to contain the web-specific links you prefer.
    • Set the WEBBGCOLOR variable to a color. The number represents the unique color for the web.
    • Set Plugins, access privileges, custom variables, other web-level options (ex: %WEBCOPYRIGHT% can be set for an individual web).
  5. Add the new web to the color-coded web directory table by editing the TWikiWebsTable topic.
  6. Test the new web: view pages, create a new page.

That's it for a basic new web set-up!

Optionally, you can also:

NOTE: User home topics are located in the web - don't try to move them or create them in other webs. From any other web, user signatures have to point to web, using a Main.UserName or %MAINWEB%.UserName format. (The %MAINWEB% variable is an advantage if you ever change the Main web name, but the standard Main.UserName is easier for users to enter, which is the bottom line!

TWiki File System Info

See Appendix A: TWiki File System for an installed system snapshot and descriptions of all files in the TWiki 01-Sep-2001 distribution.

-- PeterThoeny - 13 Sep 2001
-- MikeMannix - 03 Dec 2001

TWiki Upgrade Guide

Upgrade from TWiki 01-Dec-2000 or TWiki 01-Sep-2001 to TWiki 01-Dec-2001 (previous to new full release)


This guide describes how to upgrade either from TWiki 01-Dec-2000 or TWiki 01-Sep-2001 to TWiki 01-Dec-2001.

Upgrade Requirements

Major Changes from TWiki 01-Sep-2001

The latest 01-Dec-2001 release includes the following new features and enhancements compared to the 01-Sep-2001 release:

Major Changes from TWiki 01-Dec-2000

The 01-Sep-2001 release includes the following new features and enhancements compared to the 01-Dec-2000 release:

TWiki Directory Structure and File Names

The TWiki directory structure remains the same, with one exception, the TWiki configuration file and Perl modules have been moved from the twiki/bin directory into it's own twiki/lib directory tree. The following files have been renamed and moved:

From TWiki 01-Dec-2000: To TWiki 01-Dec-2001:
twiki/bin/ twiki/lib/TWiki.cfg
twiki/bin/ twiki/lib/
twiki/bin/ twiki/lib/TWiki/
twiki/bin/ twiki/lib/TWiki/
twiki/bin/ twiki/lib/TWiki/
twiki/bin/ twiki/lib/TWiki/

A new twiki/lib/TWiki/Plugins directory contains the new Plugin modules.

Standard Upgrade Procedure from 01-Sep-2001 to 01-Dec-2001 Release

This incremental update can be performed easily.

The following steps describe the upgrade assuming that $TWIKIROOT is the root of your current 01-Sep-2001 release.

  1. Back up and prepare:
    • Back up all existing TWiki directories $TWIKIROOT/bin, $TWIKIROOT/pub, $TWIKIROOT/data, $TWIKIROOT/templates.
    • Create a temporary directory and unpack the ZIP file there.
  2. Update files in TWiki root:
    • Overwrite all *.html and *.txt files in $TWIKIROOT with the new ones.
  3. Update template files:
    • Overwrite all template files in $TWIKIROOT/templates with the new ones.
  4. Update script files:
    • Overwrite all script files in $TWIKIROOT/bin with the new ones.
  5. Update library files:
    • Overwrite the library in $TWIKIROOT/lib with the new one.
    • Overwrite all *.pm library files in $TWIKIROOT/lib/TWiki and $TWIKIROOT/lib/TWiki/Plugins with the new ones.
  6. Update data/TWiki files: (in case you want the updated docs)
    • Using your browser, merge the new TWiki.TWikiRegistration topic (or TWiki.TWikiRegistrationPub in case you used that one) into your existing TWiki.TWikiRegistration topic.
    • In the temporary twiki/data/TWiki directory where you unzipped the installation package:
      • Remove the files you do not want to upgrade: TWikiPreferences.*, TWikiWebsTable.*, WebNotify.*, WebPreferences.*, WebStatistics.* and all WebTopic* files.
      • In case the cgi-scripts are not running as user nobody: The *,v RCS repository files delivered with the installation package are locked by user nobody and need to be changed the user of your cgi-scripts, i.e. www-data. A simple way to switch the locker of the RCS files is to use sed:
        for f in *,v; do sed 's/nobody\:/www-data\:/' $f > x; mv x $f; done
    • Move all remaining *.txt and *.txt,v files from the temporary data/TWiki directory to your $TWIKIROOT/data/TWiki directory.
  7. Update pub/TWiki files:
    • Move the new pub/TWiki/TWikiDocGraphics directory into your $TWIKIROOT/pub/TWiki directory.

Standard Upgrade Procedure from 01-Dec-2000 to 01-Dec-2001 Release

The idea is to have the new and old installation work in parallel so that you can test the new installation before switching over. That way you can make the switch on your live TWiki installation within one minute without affecting the users.

Before Switch: After Switch:
Current 01-Dec-2000: New 01-Dec-2001: Obsolete 01-Dec-2000: New 01-Dec-2001:
twiki/templates/ twiki/templates2/ twiki/templates1/ twiki/templates/
twiki/bin/ twiki/bin/2/ (overwritten) twiki/bin/
(N/A) twiki/bin/lib/ (N/A) twiki/lib/
twiki/data/TWiki twiki/data/TWiki2 twiki/data/TWiki1 twiki/data/TWiki
(other directories do not change)

Alternatively you could move the existing installation away, install the 01-Dec-2001 release into it's place and move your webs and pub files back.

Follow this step-by-step guide to upgrade from the 01-Dec-2000 TWiki to the 01-Dec-2001 release, importing your original page data and related files:

Pre-Upgrade Preparation

Two major areas of TWiki functionality - TWikiTemplates and TWikiForms (input forms associated with a topic)- are entirely different in the new TWiki. If you've customized your templates or use Category Tables, read those sections before starting your upgrade.

The following steps describe the upgrade on Unix. Windows setup is very similar. It's assumed that $TWIKIROOT is the root of your current 01-Dec-2000 release, ex: export TWIKIROOT=/some/dir/

Step 1: Backup & Unpack

  1. Back up all existing TWiki directories twiki/bin, twiki/pub, twiki/data, twiki/templates.
  2. Create a temporary directory and unpack the ZIP file there:
    mkdir -p ~/tmp/
    cp -p ~/downloads/ ~/tmp/
    cd ~/tmp/
    unzip ~/tmp/

Step 2: Upgrade TWiki document files

  1. Move the document files to your TWiki root ( twiki ):
    mv ~/tmp/TWiki*.html $TWIKIROOT
    mv ~/tmp/index.html $TWIKIROOT
    mv ~/tmp/readme.txt $TWIKIROOT
    mv ~/tmp/license.txt $TWIKIROOT

Step 3: Install new template files

  1. Move & rename the template directory to a temporary twiki/templates2 directory, ex:
    mv ~/tmp/templates $TWIKIROOT/templates2
  2. Pay attention to the file and directory permissions (security issue). Set file permissions, ex:
    chmod 644 *.cgi

Step 4: Install new data and pub files

  1. Move the TWiki web to a temporary TWiki2 twiki/data/TWiki2 directory. Do the same to files attached to this web, ex:
    mv ~/tmp/data/TWiki $TWIKIROOT/data/TWiki2
    mv ~/tmp/pub/TWiki $TWIKIROOT/pub/TWiki2
  2. Move & rename the Know web to a temporary twiki/data/Know2 directory, ex:
    mv ~/tmp/data/Know $TWIKIROOT/data/Know2
    mv ~/tmp/pub/Know $TWIKIROOT/pub/Know2
  3. Move the _default and Trash web, ex:
    mv ~/tmp/data/_default $TWIKIROOT/data
    mv ~/tmp/data/Trash $TWIKIROOT/data
  4. Move the MIME types file, ex:
    mv ~/tmp/data/mime.types $TWIKIROOT/data
  5. Move the TWiki logo files, ex:
    mv ~/tmp/pub/*.gif $TWIKIROOT/pub
  6. Pay attention to the file permissions of the TWiki2 and Know2 directories and its files. The files must be writable by the cgi-scripts (usually user nobody).
  7. In case the cgi-scripts are not running as user nobody: The *,v RCS repository files delivered with the installation package are locked by user nobody and need to be changed the user of your cgi-scripts, i.e. www-data. A simple way to switch the locker of the RCS files is to use sed:
    for f in *,v; do sed 's/nobody\:/www-data\:/' $f > x; mv x $f; done

Step 5: Install new CGI scripts

  1. Move & rename the CGI script directory to a temporary twiki/bin/2 directory, ex:
    mv ~/tmp/bin $TWIKIROOT/bin/2
  2. If necessary, change the script names to include the required extension, ex: .cgi
  3. Copy any additional scripts you might have from the 01-Dec-2000 release, ex:
    cp -p $TWIKIROOT/bin/somescript $TWIKIROOT/bin/2
  4. In case you use basic authentication, rename .htaccess.txt to .htaccess and customize it, ex:
    cd $TWIKIROOT/bin/2
    mv .htaccess.txt .htaccess
    diff ../.htaccess .
    and merge the content
  5. Pay attention to the file and directory permissions (security issue). Set permissions, ex:
    chmod 755 *.cgi

Step 6: Install new Perl library files

  1. Move the lib directory to a temporary twiki/bin/lib directory, ex:
    mv ~/tmp/lib $TWIKIROOT/bin
  2. Pay attention to the file and directory permissions (security issue). Set permissions, ex:
    chmod 644 *.pm

Step 7: Set configurations and test installation

  1. Merge the content of the old twiki/bin/ into the new twiki/lib/TWiki.cfg configuration file. Use the diff command to find out the differences, ex:
    cd $TWIKIROOT/bin/lib
    diff ../ TWiki.cfg
  2. Make sure to set the correct temporary location of templates and scripts, ex:
    $scriptUrlPath    = "/twiki/bin/2";
    $templateDir      = "/home/httpd/twiki/templates2";
  3. Do not merge the functions extendHandleCommonTags, extendGetRenderedVersionOutsidePRE, extendGetRenderedVersionInsidePRE from the old twiki/bin/ This is now handled by the Default plugin twiki/lib/TWiki/Plugins/
  4. Test your new TWiki installation to see if you can view topics. Point your browser to the old installation and fix the URL to see the new installation, ex:
    • Old URL: http://localhost/cgi-bin/view
    • New URL: http://localhost/cgi-bin/2/view

Step 8: Update topics

You can do the following changes using your old TWiki 01-Dec-2000 or new TWiki 01-Dec-2001 installation. Pointing your browser to the old installation for edit-copy-edit-paste operations is recommended, so that users don't get surprised by meta data content showing up in topics.

  1. Remember that you now have two TWiki webs:
    • The original TWiki web.
    • The new TWiki2 web, which gets renamed to TWiki when you switch over the installation.
  2. In case you customized TWiki.TWikiRegistration, merge your changes back into TWiki2.TWikiRegistration.
  3. Copy TWiki.TWikiWebsTable to TWiki2.TWikiWebsTable.
    • Do the same for any other topics you might have created in the TWiki web.
  4. In TWiki2.TWikiPreferences, merge the old TWiki.TWikiPreferences settings and customize it.
    • Add your webs to WIKIWEBLIST
    • Set the SMTPMAILHOST
  5. In WebPreferences of all webs, add or change the following web preferences: (see TWiki.WebPreferences)
    • Add a NOSEARCHALL in case you want to exclude the web from a web="all" search:
      * Set NOSEARCHALL = on
    • In WEBTOPICLIST, remove the %WEB% . {} decoration from the list (it is now in the templates), ex:
      * Set WEBTOPICLIST = <a href="Home">Home</a>
        | <a href="WebChanges">Changes</a>
        | <a href="WebIndex">Index</a>
        | <a href="WebSearch">Search</a>
        | Go <input type="text" name="topic" size="16" />
    • Add a these new preferences:
      * Set DENYWEBVIEW =
      * Set ALLOWWEBVIEW =
  6. Optional: In WebSearch of all webs, replace content with this one line:
  7. Optional: In WebChanges of all webs, replace content with this one line:

Step 9: Customize template files

NOTE: Skip this step if you did not customize your template files.

  1. Remember that you have now two template directories:
    • The original twiki/templates.
    • The new twiki/templates2, which gets renamed to twiki/templates when you switch over the installation.
  2. Customized templates and skins need to be upgraded to the new TWikiTemplates. This isn't difficult, but you have be familiar with the new template set-up before starting the conversion. The safest way is to use the new templates as a base and to merge your changes back. Changes in new templates:
    • Templates are now rendered by TWiki. You can use all TextFormattingRules, but you have to escape unwanted ones. Also, remove empty lines unless you want a =<p /> tag added.
    • Added TWikiMetaData rendering.
  3. Form Templates replace the TWikiCategoryTables:
    • Create a replacement WebForm topic based on twikicatitems.tmpl in each web that uses a Category Table. See details in TWikiForms and compare with the settings in the Know2.WebPreferences topic.
      NOTE: Do not remove the twikicatitems.tmpl file, it is still used for topics that are of the old format.
    • Searches need to be adjusted to deal with format change. It is possible to define a regular expression search that can deal at the same time with topics in the old format and new format.
      • Example: List all topics in the Know web that have a TopicClassification? of PublicFAQ?:
        %SEARCH{ "[T]opicClassification.*?(|value\=).*?[P]ublicFAQ" casesensitive="on" regex="on" nosearch="on" web="Know"}%
        (The [T] and [P] is done so that search does not find the topic where this search string is located in!)
      • Example: Create a link that lists all topics in the Know web with a TopicClassification? of PublicFAQ?:
        value%5C%3D%29.*%3F%5BP%5DublicFAQ&regex=on][All Public FAQ]]

        All Public FAQ
  4. For each web that has a custom notedited.tmpl template, create an equivalent WebTopicEditTemplate to conform with the new TemplateTopics. The new format replaces the notedited.tmpl, notext.tmpl and notwiki.tmpl templates.

Step 10: Switch over to new installation

In this step, you move the working 01-Dec-2001 installation to the old 01-Dec-2000 installation, so that users don't have to change the URL.

  1. Test your new 01-Dec-2001 installation under twiki/bin/2/view to make sure everything works as expected.
    • NOTE: Don't worry about the Plugins, they'll work after the switch.
  2. Edit $TWIKIROOT/bin/2/TWiki.cfg and remove the /2 from $scriptUrlPath and $templateDir, ex:
    $scriptUrlPath    = "/twiki/bin";
    $templateDir      = "/home/httpd/twiki/templates";
  3. Rename the TWiki2 web to TWiki, including attachments, ex:
    cd $TWIKIROOT/data
    mv TWiki TWiki1
    mv TWiki2 TWiki
    cd $TWIKIROOT/pub
    mv TWiki TWiki1
    mv TWiki2 TWiki
  4. Rename the templates2 directory to templates, ex:
    mv templates templates1
    mv templates2 templates
  5. Move the lib directory one level up from $TWIKIROOT/bin/lib to $TWIKIROOT/lib, ex:
    mv bin/lib .
  6. Copy content of bin/2 to bin, ex:
    cd $TWIKIROOT/bin
    cp -p bin/2/* .
    cp -p bin/2/.htaccess .
  7. Point your browser to the original URL and make sure the relocated 01-Dec-2001 installation works as expected: check browsing, searching and user registration.
  8. Clean up and remove obsolete directories:
    • Remove directory $TWIKIROOT/bin/2
    • Remove directory $TWIKIROOT/templates1
    • Remove directory $TWIKIROOT/data/TWiki1
    • Remove directory $TWIKIROOT/pub/TWiki1
    • Remove temporary directory, ex: ~/tmp

Step 11: Test the TWiki Plugins

  1. Test the new TWikiPlugins by checking the Plugins settings in TWikiPreferences.
    • The EmptyPlugin, DefaultPlugin, and InterwikiPlugin should be preinstalled. To check the InterwikiPlugin, go to its page.
  2. If you have customized the functions extendHandleCommonTags, extendGetRenderedVersionOutsidePRE and extendGetRenderedVersionInsidePRE in twiki/bin/
    • Merge those changes back into twiki/lib/TWiki/Plugins/

General Format Changes

Known Issues

-- JohnTalintyre - 18 Jul 2001
-- MikeMannix - 12 Sep 2001
-- PeterThoeny - 03 Dec 2001

TWiki User Authentication

TWiki site access control and user activity tracking


TWiki does not authenticate users internally, it depends on the REMOTE_USER environment variable. This variable is set when you enable Basic Authentication (.htaccess) or SSL "secure server" authentication (https protocol).

TWiki uses visitor identification to keep track of who made changes to topics at what time and to manage a wide range of personal site settings. This gives a complete audit trail of changes and activity.

Authentication Options

No special installation steps are required if the server is already authenticated. If it isn't, you have three standard options for controlling user access:

  1. Forget about authentication to make your site completely public - anyone can browse and edit freely, in classic Wiki mode. All visitors are assigned the TWikiGuest? default identity, so you can't track individual user activity.
  2. Use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer; HTTPS) to authenticate and secure the whole server.
  3. Use Basic Authentication (.htaccess) to control access by protecting key scripts: attach, edit=, installpasswd, preview, rename, save, upload using the .htaccess file. The TWikiInstallationGuide has step-by-step instructions.

Partial Authentication

Tracking by IP address is an experimental feature, enabled in lib/TWiki.cfg. It lets you combine open access to some functions, with authentication on others, with full user activity tracking:

Quick Authentication Test - Use the %WIKIUSERNAME% variable to return your current identity:

TWiki Username vs. Login Username

This section applies only if your is installed on a server that is both authenticated and on an intranet. internally manages two usernames: Login username and TWiki username. can automatically map an intranet username to a TWiki username, provided that the username pair exists in the TWikiUsers topic. This is also handled automatically when you register.

NOTE: To correctly enter a WikiName - your own or someone else's - be sure to include the Main web name in front of the Wiki username, followed by a period, and no spaces. Ex:
Main.WikiUsername or %MAINWEB%.WikiUsername
This points WikiUser to the web, where user registration pages are stored, no matter which web it's entered in. Without the web prefix, the name appears as a NewTopic? everywhere but in the Main web.

Changing Passwords

Change and reset passwords using forms on regular pages. Use TWikiAccessControl to restrict use as required.

Change password

Forgot your old password? Then use ResetPassword instead. Please only use ResetPassword in case you really forgot your password. Thank you.

Your WikiName: **
Old password **
New password **
Retype new password **
     (Fields marked ** are required)

After submitting this form your password will be changed.

Request for reset of password

Please only use this ResetPassword form in case you really forgot your password. Otherwise just change it using ChangePassword. Thank you.

Your WikiName: **
New password **
Retype new password **
     (Fields marked ** are required)

After submitting this form you will receive a page with yor new password appearing encrypted.

-- MikeMannix - 29 Aug 2001

TWiki Access Control

Restricting read and write access to topics and webs, by users and groups


TWikiAccessControl allows you restrict access to single topics and entire webs, by individual user and by user groups, in three main areas: view; edit & attach; and rename/move/delete. These controls, combined with TWikiUserAuthentication, let you easily create and manage an extremely flexible, fine-grained privilege system.

An Important Control Consideration

Open, freeform editing is the essence of the WikiCulture - it's what makes TWiki different and often more effective than other collaboration tools. So, it is strongly recommended that decisions to restrict read or write access to a web or a topic are made with care. Experience shows that unrestricted write access works very well because:

As a collaboration guideline:

Users and Groups

Access control is based on users and groups. Users are defined by their WikiNames, an then organized into unlimited combinations under different user groups.

Managing Users

A user is created by with the TWikiRegistration form. The process generates a topic in the Main web in the new user's WikiName. The default visitor name is TWikiGuest?.

Managing Groups

Groups are defined by group topics in the Main web, like the TWikiAdminGroup. To start a new group:

  1. Create a new topic with A name that ends in Group, SomeGroup
  2. Define two variables:
    • Set GROUP = < list of users and groups >
    • Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = < list of users and groups >

Restricting Write Access

You can define who is allowed to make changes to a web or a topic.

Deny Editing by Topic

Denying editing of a topic also restricts attaching files to it; both privileges are assigned together.

Deny Editing by Web

Restricting web-level editing blocks creating new topics, changing topics or attaching files.

The same rules apply as for restricting topics, with these additions:

Restricting Rename Access

You can define who is allowed to rename, move or delete a topic, or rename a web.

Deny Renaming by Topic

To allow a user to rename, move or delete a topic, they also need write (editing) permission. They also need write access to change references in referring topics.

Deny Renaming by Web

You can define restrictions of who is allowed to rename a web.

The same rules apply as for topics, with these additions:

Restricting Read Access

You can define restrictions of who is allowed to view a web.

Known Issues

Selective Unrestricted Web Access

Hiding Control Settings


The SuperAdminGroup

By mistyping a user or group name in the ALLOWTOPICCHANGE setting, it's possible to lock a topic so that it no-one can edit it from a browser. To avoid this:

$superAdminGroup = "TWikiAdminGroup";

-- MikeMannix? - 02 Dec 2001

TWiki Text Formatting

Working in TWiki is as easy as typing in text - exactly like email. You don't need to know HTML, though you can use it if you prefer. Links to topics are created automatically when you enter WikiWords. And TWiki shorthand gives you all the power of HTML with a simple coding system that takes no time to learn. It's all layed out below - refer back to this page in a pop-up window from the Edit screen.

TWiki Editing Shorthand

Formatting Command: Example: You write: You get:
Blank lines will create new paragraphs.
1st paragraph

2nd paragraph
1st paragraph

2nd paragraph

At least three dashes at the beginning of a line, followed by plus signs and the heading text. One plus creates a level 1 heading (most important), two pluses a level 2 heading; the maximum is level 6. Note: A Table of Content can be created automatically with the %TOC% variable, see TWikiVariables.
---++ Sushi

---+++ Maguro



Bold Text:
Words get bold by enclosing them in * asterisks.
Italic Text:
Words get italic by enclosing them in _ underscores.
Bold Italic:
Words get _bold italic by enclosing them in _ double-underscores.
__Bold italic__
Bold italic
Fixed Font:
Words get shown in fixed font by enclosing them in = equal signs.
=Fixed font=
Fixed font
Bold Fixed Font:
Words get shown in bold fixed font by enclosing them in double equal signs.
==Bold fixed==
Bold fixed
Note: Make sure to "stick" the * _ = == signs to the words, e.g. take away spaces.
_This works_,
_this not _
This works, _this not _
Verbatim Mode:
Surround code excerpts and other formatted text with <verbatim> and </verbatim> tags.
Note: Use <pre> and </pre> tags instead if you want that HTML code is interpreted.
Note: Each tag must be on a line by itself.
class CatAnimal {
  void purr() {
    <code here>
class CatAnimal {
  void purr() {
    <code here>
At least three dashes at the beginning of a line.

List Item:
Three spaces and an asterisk.
   * bullet item
  • bullet item
Nested List Item:
Six, nine, ... spaces and an asterisk.
      * nested stuff
    • nested stuff
Ordered List:
Three spaces and a number.
   1 Sushi
   1 Dim Sum
  1. Sushi
  2. Dim Sum
Definition List:
Three spaces, the term, a colon, a space, followed by the definition.
Note: Terms with spaces are not supported. In case you do have a term with more then one word, separate the words with dashes or with the &nbsp; non-breaking-space entity.
   Sushi: Japan
   Dim&nbsp;Sum: S.F.
Dim Sum
Optional spaces followed by the cells enclosed in vertical bars.
Note: | *bold* | cells are rendered as table headers.
Note: |   spaced   | cells are rendered center aligned.
Note: |     spaced | cells are rendered right aligned.
Note: | 2 colspan || cells are rendered as multi-span columns.
Note: In case you have a long row and you want it to be more readable when you edit the table you can split the row into lines that end with a '\' backslash character.
| *L* | *C* | *R* |
| A2 |  2  |  2 |
| A3 |  3  |  3 |
| multi span |||
| A4 \  | next \  | next |
A2 2 2
A3 3 3
multi span
A4 next next
WikiWord Links:
CapitalizedWordsStuckTogether (or WikiWords) will produce a link automatically.
Note: In case you want to link to a topic in a different web write Webname.TopicName.



#SquareBrackets Forced Links:
You can create a forced internal link by enclosing words in double square brackets.
Note: Text within the brackets may contain optional spaces; the topic name is formed by capitalizing the initial letter and by removing the spaces; i.e. [[text formatting FAQ]] links to topic TextFormattingFAQ. You can also refer to a different web and use anchors.
[[wiki syntax]]

[[Main.TWiki users]]
wiki syntax

Main.TWiki users

Specific Links:
Create a link where you can specify the link text and the link reference separately, using nested square brackets like [[reference][text]]. Internal link references (i.e. WikiSyntax) and external link references (i.e. are supported. The same Forced Links rules apply for internal link references. Anchor names can be added as well, like [[WebHome#MyAnchor][go home]] and [[][Yahoo!]].



You can define a link reference inside a topic (called an anchor name) and link to that. To define an anchor write #AnchorName at the beginning of a line. The anchor name must be a WikiWord. To link to an anchor name use the [[MyTopic#MyAnchor]] syntax. You can omit the topic name if you want to link within the same topic.


#MyAnchor To here


To here

Prevent a Link:
Prevent a WikiWord from being linked by prepending it with the <nop> tag.

Using HTML

You can use just about any HTML tag without a problem - however, there are a few usability and technical considerations to keep in mind.

HTML and TWiki Usability

TWiki HTML Rendering


Being able to create links without any formatting required is a core TWiki feature, made possible with WikiWords. New TWiki linking rules are a simple extension of the syntax that provide a new set of flexible options.

Internal Links

External Links

TWikiPlugin Formatting Extensions

Plugins provide additional text formatting capabilities and can extend the functionality of into many other areas. For example, the optional SpreadSheetPlugin lets you create a spreadsheet with the same basic notation used in TWiki tables.

Available Plugins are located in the Plugins web on Currently enabled plugins on this TWiki installation, as listed by %PLUGINDESCRIPTIONS%:

Check on current Plugin status and settings for this site in TWikiPreferences.

-- MikeMannix? - 02 Dec 2001

TWiki Variables

Text strings expanded on the fly to display data or system info


TWikiVariables are text strings - %VARIABLE% - that expand into content whenever a page is opened. Variables are replaced by their actual values: stored data, or system info (like the date, or the current user). There are predefined variables, and Preference variables that you set. You can also define custom variables, with new names and values.

Predefined Variables

Most predefined variables return values that were either defined when TWiki was installed, or taken from server info (like current username, or date and time). Many of the variables let you control how the formatted results appear. expands the following variables (enclosed in % percent signs):

Variable: Expanded to:
%WIKIHOMEURL% The base script URL of, is the link of the Home icon in the upper left corner, is
%SCRIPTURL% The script URL of, is
%SCRIPTURLPATH% The path of the script URL of, is /twiki/bin
%SCRIPTSUFFIX% The script suffix, ex: .pl, .cgi is
%PUBURL% The public URL of TWiki, is
%PUBURLPATH% The path of the public URL of, is /twiki/pub
%ATTACHURL% The attachment URL of the current topic, is
Example: If you attach a file you can refer to it as %ATTACHURL%/image.gif
%ATTACHURLPATH% The path of the attachment URL of the current topic, is /twiki/pub/TWiki/TWikiVariables
%URLPARAM{"name"}% Returns the value of a URL parameter. Ex: %URLPARAM{"skin"}% returns print for a .../view/TWiki/TWikiVariables?skin=print URL. Is
%WIKITOOLNAME% Name of wiki tool, is
%WIKIVERSION% Wiki tool version is 04 Sep 2004 $Rev: 1742 $
%USERNAME% Your login username is guest
%WIKINAME% Your Wiki username. Same as %USERNAME% if not defined in the TWikiUsers topic. Is TWikiGuest
%WIKIUSERNAME% Your %WIKINAME% including the Main web name. Usefull for signatures. Is Main.TWikiGuest
%MAINWEB% The Main web containing TWikiUsers, OfficeLocations? and TWikiGroups?. Is Main
%TWIKIWEB% The web containing all documentation and configuration of is TWiki
%WEB% The current web is TWiki
%BASEWEB% The web name where the includes started, e.g. the web of the first topic of nested includes. Same as %WEB% in case there is no include.
%INCLUDINGWEB% The web name of the topic that includes the current topic. Same as %WEB% in case there is no include.
%HOMETOPIC% The home topic in each web. Is Home?
%NOTIFYTOPIC% The notify topic in each web. Is WebNotify
%WIKIUSERSTOPIC% The index topic of all registered users. Is TWikiUsers
%WIKIPREFSTOPIC% The web preferences topic. Is TWikiPreferences
%WEBPREFSTOPIC% The web preferences topic. Is WebPreferences
%STATISTICSTOPIC% The web statistics topic. Is WebStatistics
%TOPIC% The current topic name, is TWikiVariables
%BASETOPIC% The name of the topic where the includes started, e.g. the first topic of nested includes. Same as %TOPIC% in case there is no include.
%INCLUDINGTOPIC% The name of the topic that includes the current topic. Same as %TOPIC% in case there is no include.
%SPACEDTOPIC% The current topic name with added spaces, for regular expression search of Ref-By, is TWiki%20*Variables
%TOPICLIST{"format"}% Topic index of a web. The "format" defines the format of one topic item. It may include variables: The $name variable gets expanded to the topic name; the $web variable gets expanded to the name of the web. Parameters are format, separator and web:
Parameter: Description: Default:
"format" Format of one line, may include $name and $web variables "$name"
format="format" (Alternative to above) "$name"
separator=", " line separator "\n" (new line)
web="Name" Name of web Current web
%TOPICLIST{"   * $web.$name"}% creates a bullet list of all topics.
%TOPICLIST{separator=", "}% creates a comma separated list of all topics.
%TOPICLIST{" <option>$name</option>"}% creates an option list (for drop down menus).
%WEBLIST{"format"}% Web index, e.g. list of all webs. Hidden webs are excluded, e.g. webs with a NOSEARCHALL=on preference variable. The "format" defines the format of one web item. The $name variable gets expanded to the name of the web, $qname gets expanded to double quoted name, $marker to marker where web matches selection. Parameters are format, separator and web:
Parameter: Description: Default:
"format" Format of one line, may include $name variable "$name"
format="format" (Alternative to above) "$name"
separator=", " line separator "\n" (new line)
webs="public" comma sep list of Web, public expands to all non-hidden "public"
marker="selected" Text for $marker where item matches selection, otherwise equals "" "selected"
selection="%WEB%" Current value to be selected in list section="%WEB%"
%WEBLIST{"   * [[$name.Home]]"}% creates a bullet list of all webs.
%WEBLIST{"" webs="Trash,public" selection="TWiki" separator=" "}% Dropdown of all public Webs + Trash Web, current Web highlighted.
%GMTIME% GM time, is 27 Nov 2021 - 18:27
%GMTIME{"format"}% Formatted GM time based on time variables.
Variable: Unit: Example
$seconds seconds 59
$minutes minutes 59
$hours hours 23
$day day of month 31
$month month in ISO format Dec
$mo 2 digit month 12
$year 4 digit year 1999
$ye 2 digit year 99
Variables can be shortened to 3 characters. Example:
%GMTIME{"$day $month, $year - $hour:$min:$sec"}% is
27 Nov, 2021 - 18:27:21
%SERVERTIME% Server time, is 27 Nov 2021 - 19:27
%SERVERTIME{"format"}% Formatted server time.
Example: %SERVERTIME{"$hou:$min"}% is 19:27
%HTTP_HOST% HTTP_HOST environment variable, is
%REMOTE_ADDR% REMOTE_ADDR environment variable, is
%REMOTE_PORT% REMOTE_PORT environment variable, is 35298
%REMOTE_USER% REMOTE_USER environment variable, is
%INCLUDE{"page" ...}% Server side include to IncludeTopicsAndWebPages. Parameters are page name, and an optional pattern="(reg-exp)". The page name is:
"SomeTopic" The name of a topic located in the current web, i.e. %INCLUDE{"WebNotify"}%
"Web.Topic" A topic in another web, i.e. %INCLUDE{"TWiki.TWikiWebsTable"}%
"http://..." A full qualified URL, i.e. %INCLUDE{""}%
%STARTINCLUDE% If present in included topic, start to include text from this location up to the end, or up to the location of the %STOPINCLUDE% variable. A normal view of the topic shows everyting exept the %STARTINCLUDE% variable itself.
%STOPINCLUDE% If present in included topic, stop to include text at this location and ignore the remaining text. A normal view of the topic shows everyting exept the %STOPINCLUDE% variable itself.
%TOC% Table of Contents of current topic.
%TOC{"SomeTopic" ...}% Table of Contents. Shows a TOC that is generated automatically based on headings of a topic. Headings in WikiSyntax ("---++ text") and HTML ("<h2>text<h2>") are taken into account. (But not "<H2>text</H2>", which can be used to exclude a heading from the TOC.) Parameters are topic name, web and depth:
Parameter: Description: Default:
"TopicName" topic name Current topic
web="Name" Name of web Current web
depth="2" Limit depth of headings shown in TOC 6
Examples: %TOC{depth="2"}%, %TOC{"TWikiDocumentation" web="TWiki"}%
%SEARCH{"text" ...}% Inline search, shows a search result embedded in a topic. Parameters are the search term, web, scope, order and many more: [1]
Parameter: Description: Default:
"text" Search term. (Is a regular expression or literal, depending on the regex parameter) required
search="text" (Alternative to above) N/A
web="Main Know"
Wiki web to search: A web, a list of webs separated by whitespace, or all webs. [2] Current web
Search topic name (title) or in the text (body) of the topic Topic text (body)
Sort the results of search by the topic names, last modified time, or last editor Sort by topic name
Limit the number of results returned All results
regex="on" RegularExpression search Literal search
reverse="on" Reverse the direction of the search Ascending search
casesensitive="on" Case sensitive search Ignore case
nosummary="on" Show topic title only Show topic summary
bookview="on" BookView search, e.g. show complete topic text Show topic summary
nosearch="on" Suppress search string Show search string
noheader="on" Suppress search header
Topics: Changed: By:
Show search header
nototal="on" Do not show number of topics found Show number
format="..." Flexible custom result formatting: see FormattedSearch for usage Results in table
Example: %SEARCH{"wiki" web="Main" scope="topic"}%
%METASEARCH{...}% Special search of meta data
Parameter: Description: Default:
type="topicmoved" What sort of search is required?
"topicmoved" if search for a topic that may have been moved
"parent" if searcing for topics that have a specific parent i.e. its children
web="%WEB%" Wiki web to search: A web, a list of webs separated by whitespace, or all webs. required
topic="%TOPIC%" The topic the search relates to required
title="Title" Text the is pre-pended to any search results required
Example: %METASEARCH{type="topicmoved" web="%WEB%" topic="%TOPIC%" title="This topic used to exist and was moved to: "}%, you may want to use this in WebTopicViewTemplate and WebTopicNonWikiTemplate
%METASEARCH{type="parent" web="%WEB%" topic="%TOPIC%" title="Children: "}%
%VAR{"NAME" web="Web"}% Get a preference value from a web other then the current one. Example: To get %WEBBGCOLOR% of the Main web write %VAR{"WEBBGCOLOR" web="Main"}%, is #444444

[1] Note: The search form uses identical names for input fields.

[2] Note: A web can be excluded from a web="all" search if you define a NOSEARCHALL=on variable in its WebPreferences.

Preferences Variables

Additional variables are defined in the preferences ( site-level ( SL ) in TWikiPreferences, web-level ( WL ) in WebPreferences of each web, and user level ( UL ) preferences in individual user topics):

Variable: Level: What:
%WIKIWEBMASTER% SL Webmaster email address (sender of email notifications) , is
%WIKIWEBLIST% SL List of webs (in upper right corner of topics)
%WEBTOPICLIST% WL Common links of web (second line of topics)
%WEBCOPYRIGHT% SL , WL Copyright notice (bottom right corner of topics)
%WEBBGCOLOR% WL Background color of web
%NOSEARCHALL% WL Exclude web from a web="all" search (set variable to on for hidden webs)
%NEWTOPICBGCOLOR% SL , UL Background color of non existing topic. ( UL needs authentication for topic views )
%NEWTOPICFONTCOLOR% SL , UL Font color of non existing topic. ( UL needs authentication for topic views )
%EDITBOXWIDTH% SL , UL Horizontal size of edit box, is 100
%EDITBOXHEIGHT% SL , UL Vertical size of edit box, is 20
%RELEASEEDITLOCKCHECKBOX% SL , UL Default state of the "Release edit lock" (UnlockTopic) check box in preview. Checkbox is initially checked if Set RELEASEEDITLOCKCHECKBOX = checked="checked", or unchecked if empty. If checked, make sure to click on Edit to do more changes; do not go back in your browser to the edit page, or you risk that someone else will edit the topic at the same time! Value is: checked
%DONTNOTIFYCHECKBOX% SL , UL Default state of the "Minor Changes, Don't Notify" (DontNotify) check box in preview. Check box is initially checked if Set DONTNOTIFYCHECKBOX = checked="checked", or unchecked if empty. Value is: checked
%ATTACHLINKBOX% SL , UL Default state of the link check box in the attach file page. Check box is initially checked if value is set to CHECKED , unchecked if empty. If checked, a link is created to the attached file at the end of the topic. Value is:
%HTTP_EQUIV_ON_VIEW% SL http-equiv meta tags for view, rdiff, attach, search* scripts.
%HTTP_EQUIV_ON_EDIT% SL , UL http-equiv meta tags for edit script.
%HTTP_EQUIV_ON_PREVIEW% SL , UL http-equiv meta tags for preview script.
%DENYWEBCHANGE% WL List of users and groups who are not allowed to change topics in the web. (More in TWikiAccessControl)
%ALLOWWEBCHANGE% WL List of users and groups who are allowed to change topics in the web. (More in TWikiAccessControl)
%DENYTOPICCHANGE% (any topic) List of users and groups who are not allowed to change the current topic. (More in TWikiAccessControl)
%ALLOWTOPICCHANGE% (any topic) List of users and groups who are allowed to change the current topic. (More in TWikiAccessControl)
%DENYWEBRENAME% WL List of users and groups who are not allowed to rename topics in the web. (More in TWikiAccessControl)
%ALLOWWEBRENAME% WL List of users and groups who are allowed to rename topics in the web. (More in TWikiAccessControl)
%DENYTOPICRENAME% (any topic) List of users and groups who are not allowed to rename the current topic. (More in TWikiAccessControl)
%ALLOWTOPICRENAME% (any topic) List of users and groups who are allowed to rename the current topic. (More in TWikiAccessControl)
%FINALPREFERENCES% SL , WL List of preferences that are not allowed to be overridden by next level preferences

Setting Preferences

Creating Custom Variables

Example: Create a custom logo variable

-- PeterThoeny - 13 Sep 2001
-- MikeMannix - 30 Nov 2001

File Attachments

Each topic can have files attached to it, similar to an email attachment. Use your browser to upload or download a file. Attachments are stored under revision control, so uploads can never be lost, and files changes can be made with a rollback option that lets you retrieve all previous versions.

What Are Attachments Good For?

File Attachments can be used to create powerful groupware solutions - file sharing, document management - and for speedy Web authoring.

Document Management System

File Sharing

Web Authoring

Uploading Files

Downloading Files

Moving Attachment Files

An attachement can be moved between topics. To do this click Action on the attachment to be moved. On the control page, select the new web and topic, the click Move. The attachment and its version history are moved. The original location is stored as topic Meta Data.

Deleting Attachments

It is not possible to delete attached files with the current TWiki implementation. However, they can be moved to another topic. You may care to have a topic Trash.TrashAttachments - move attachments that are no longer wanted here.

Linking to Attached Files

File Attachment Contents Table

Files attached to a topic are displayed in a directory table, displayed at the bottom of the page, or optionally, hidden and accessed when you click Attach.

Attachment: Action: Size: Date: Who: Comment:
Sample.txt action 30 22 Jul 2000 - 19:37 PeterThoeny Just a sample
Smile.gif action 94 22 Jul 2000 - 19:38 PeterThoeny Smiley face

File Attachment Controls

Clicking on an Action link takes you to a new page that looks like this:

Attachment: Action: Size: Date: Who: Comment: Attribute:
Sample.txt action 30 22 Jul 2000 - 19:37 PeterThoeny Just a sample  
Smile.gif action 94 22 Jul 2000 - 19:38 PeterThoeny Smiley face  

Update attachment Sample.txt

Version: Action: Date: Who: Comment:
1.1 view 2001. PeterThoeny  

C:\DATA\Sample.txt (PeterThoeny)
Local file:
Link: Create a link to the attached file at the end of the topic.
Hide file: Hide attachment in normal topic view.
Help text ...

Topic FileAttachment . { | | Move attachment | Cancel }

Known Issues

TWiki Forms

Form-based input in topics, with name/value pairs stored as Meta Data variables; multiple forms per web & topic


By adding form-based input to free-form content, you can structure topics with unlimited, easily searchable categories. When forms are enabled for a web and selected in a topic, the form appears in edit mode, and the contents are rendered as a table when viewing the actual page. When editing, can switch forms, if more than one is defined, or remove forms entirely. Form input values are stored as TWikiMetaData; all data is saved.

Form Templates replace TWikiCategory Tables from the 01-Dec-2000 version of TWiki.

Main Changes from Category Tables

Form Templates more powerful, flexible replacement for the original TWikiCategoryTable. Data from existing category tables can be imported directly.

Form Templates Category Tables
defined in topics defined in templates
many forms per web one table per web
saved as Meta Data saved as HTML
Change & Add Form buttons UseCategory radio button

Importing Category Table Data

On upgrading from the previous TWiki, a Form Template topic has to be built for each web that used a Category Table, recreating the fields and values from the old twikicatitems.tmpl. The replacement Form Template must be set as the first item in the WebPreferences variable WEBFORMS. If missing, pages will display, but attempting to edit results in an error message.

The new Form Template system should work with old Category Table data with no special conversion. Data is assigned to Meta variables the first time an imported topic is edited and saved in the new system.

NOTE: If things aren't working correctly, there may be useful entries in data/warning.txt.

Defining a Form Template

A Form Template is simply a page containing your form, defined in a table where each row is one form field.

Form Template Elements

Defining a Form in One Topic

  1. Create a new topic with your Form name: MyForm, ExpenseReport, InfoCategory, RecordReview, whatever you need.
  2. Create a TWiki table, with each column representing one element of an entry field: Name, Type, Size, Values, and Tooltip msessage (see sample below).
  3. For each field, fill in a new line; for the type of field, select from the list.
  4. Save the topic.

Example: WebForm from the TWiki.Know web
| *Name* | *Type* | *Size* | *Values* | *Tooltip message* |
| Know.TopicClassification | select | 1 | Know.NoDisclosure, 
  Know.PublicSupported, Know.PublicFAQ | blah blah... |
| Know.OperatingSystem | checkbox | 3 | Know.OsHPUX, Know.OsLinux,
  Know.OsSolaris, Know.OsWin | blah blah... |
| Know.OsVersion | text | 16 | | blah blah... |

Name Type Size Values Tooltip message
TopicClassification? select 1 NoDisclosure?, PublicSupported?, PublicFAQ? blah blah...
OperatingSystem? checkbox 3 OsHPUX?, OsLinux?, OsSolaris?, OsWin? blah blah...
OsVersion? text 16   blah blah...

Defining a Form with Multiple Topics

The Form Template can also be defined in an alternative way by using more then one topic:

Example: WebFormTemplate

Enabling Forms by Web

Forms are enabled on a per web basis. The WEBFORMS variable in WebPreferences is optional and defines a list of possible Form Templates. Example:

Including Forms in New Topics

When you create a new topic in a web that has the WEBFORMS Preferences variable set, an Add Form button appears at the bottom of the page. You can start all new topics with forms enabled, and pre-select a form if there's more than one available:

  1. Edit the WebTopicEditTemplate topic, adding the name of an available Form.
  2. Create a new topic to check - the Form should appear with values set.
    • Click Change to switch or remove Forms.

A form embedded in a topic also appears in a new topic. This is done by specifying the formtemplate parameter in the URL.

Setting Up Multiple Form Options

Form Template Data Storage

The Form Template topic name, fields and values are stored as TWikiMetaData. The order of field/value pairs in the Meta Data is the same as in the Template.

-- JohnTalintyre - 16 Aug 2001
-- MikeMannix? - 03 Dec 2001

TWiki Templates

Definition of the templates used to render all HTML pages displayed in TWiki


The new modular template system offers flexible, easy control over the layout of all TWiki pages. The master template approach groups parts that are shared by several templates - like headers and footers - in a common file. Special variables allow individual layouts to include parts from a master template - variables are mixed with regular HTML mark-up for template-specific content. Templates are used to define page layout, and also to supplydefault content for new pages.

Major changes from the previous template system

Where the old templates were each complete HTML documents, the new templates are defined using variables to include template parts from a master file. You can now change one instance of a common element to update all occurrences; previously, every affected template had to be updated. This simplifies the conversion of templates into XHTML format, and provides a more versatile solution for templates and for TWikiSkins. The new system:

Functional Specifications

TWiki Master Template

All common parts are defined in a master template, twiki.tmpl, that all other templates use.

Template variable: Defines:
%TMPL:DEF{"sep"}% "|" separator
%TMPL:DEF{"htmldoctype"}% Start of all HTML pages
%TMPL:DEF{"standardheader"}% Standard header (ex: view, index, seach)
%TMPL:DEF{"simpleheader"}% Simple header with reduced links (ex: edit, attach, oops)
%TMPL:DEF{"standardfooter"}% Footer, excluding revision and copyright parts
%TMPL:DEF{"oops"}% Skeleton of oops dialog

Types of Template

There are two types of templates:

HTML Page Templates uses HTML template files for all actions like topic view, edit, preview and so on. This allows you to change the look and feel of all pages by editing just some template files.

The template files are in the twiki/templates directory. As an example, twiki/templates/view.tmpl is the template file for the twiki/bin/view script. Templates can be overloaded per web. The following search order applies:

  1. twiki/templates/$webName/$scriptName.tmpl
  2. twiki/templates/$scriptName.tmpl

Note: $webName is the name of the web (ex: Main), and $scriptName is the script (ex: view).

Note: TWikiSkins can be defined to overload the standard templates.

Special variables are used in templates, especially in view, to display meta data.

Template Topics

Template topics define the default text for new topics. There are three types of template topics:

Topic Name: What it is:
WebTopicViewTemplate Help text shown when you view a non existing topic.
WebTopicNonWikiTemplate Help text shown when you view a non existing topic that has not a WikiName.
WebTopicEditTemplate Default text shown when you create a new topic.
All template topics are located in the TWiki web. The WebTopicEditTemplate can be overloaded. The following search order applies when you create a new topic:

  1. The topic name specified by the templatetopic CGI parameter.
  2. WebTopicEditTemplate in the current web.
  3. WebTopicEditTemplate in the TWiki web.

Template Topics in Action

Here is an example for creating new topics based on a specific template topic:

Above form asks for a topic name. A hidden input tag of name "templatetopic" specifies the ExampleTopicTemplate as the template topic. Here is the HTML source of the form:

<form name="new" action="%SCRIPTURLPATH%/edit%SCRIPTSUFFIX%/%WEB%/">
   * New example topic: 
     <input type="text" name="topic" value="ExampleTopic%SERVERTIME{$yearx$mox$day}%" size="23" />
     <input type="hidden" name="templatetopic" value="ExampleTopicTemplate" />
     <input type="hidden" name="onlywikiname" value="on" />
     <input type="submit" value="Create" />
     (date format is <nop>YYYYxMMxDD)

The "onlywikiname" parameter enforces WikiWords for topic names.

Note: Use can use the %WIKIUSERNAME% and %DATE% variables in your topic templates as the signature; those variables are expanded when a new topic is created. The standard topic signature is:

Templates by Example

Attached is an example of an oops base template oopsbase.tmpl and a example oops dialog oopstest.tmpl which is based on the base template. NOTE: This isn't the release version, just a quick, simple demo.

Base template oopsbase.tmpl

The first line declares the delimiter variable called "sep", used to separate multiple link items. The variable can be called anywhere by writing %TMPL:P{"sep"}%

%TMPL:DEF{"sep"}% | %TMPL:END%
  <title> %WIKITOOLNAME% . %WEB% . %TOPIC% %.TMPL:P{"titleaction"}%</title>
  <base href="%SCRIPTURL%/view%SCRIPTSUFFIX%/%WEB%/%TOPIC%">
  <meta name="robots" content="noindex">
<body bgcolor="#FFFFFF">
<table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0">
    <td bgcolor="%WEBBGCOLOR%" rowspan="2" valign="top" width="1%">
      <a href="%WIKIHOMEURL%">
      <img src="%PUBURLPATH%/wikiHome.gif" border="0"></a>
      <b>%WIKITOOLNAME% . %WEB% . </b><font size="+2">
      <B>%TOPIC%</b> %TMPL:P{"titleaction"}%</font>
  <tr bgcolor="%WEBBGCOLOR%">
    <td colspan="2">
--- ++ %TMPL:P{"heading"}%
<table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0">
  <tr bgcolor="%WEBBGCOLOR%">
    <td valign="top">
      Topic <b>%TOPIC%</b> . {

Test template oopstest.tmpl

Each oops template basically just defines some variables and includes the base template that does the layout work.

%TMPL:DEF{"titleaction"}% (test =titleaction=) %TMPL:END%
%TMPL:DEF{"webaction"}% test =webaction= %TMPL:END%
Test heading %TMPL:END%
Test =message=. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah...

   * Some more blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah...
   * Param1: %PARAM1%
   * Param2: %PARAM2%
   * Param3: %PARAM3%
   * Param4: %PARAM4%
Test =topicaction=:
[[%WEB%.%TOPIC%][OK]] %TMPL:P{"sep"}%
[[%TWIKIWEB%.TWikiRegistration][Register]] %TMPL:END%

Sample screen shot of oopstest.tmpl

With URL: .../bin/oops/Test/TestTopic2?template=oopstest&param1=WebHome&param2=WebNotify


Known Issues

-- PeterThoeny - 23 Jul 2001
-- MikeMannix - 14 Sep 2001

TWiki Skins

Skins overlay regular templates with alternate header/footer layouts; topic text is not affected


Skins are customized TWikiTemplates files. You can use skins to change the look of a topic, for example, the layout of the header and footer. Rendered text between header and footer does not change. You can also use skins to define an alternate view, like a view optimized for printing.

Defining Skins

Skin files are located in the twiki/templates directory and are named with the syntax: <scriptname>.<skin>.tmpl. For example, the Printable skin for the view template is view.print.tmpl.

Activating Skins

A skin can be activated in two ways:

The ?skin=name URL parameter overrides the SKIN Preference value.

-- PeterThoeny - 14 Jul 2001

TWiki Formatted Search Results

Inline search feature allows flexible formatting of search result


By default, the format for displaying a search result is fixed, e.g. a table with rows of topic name and topic summary. Use the format="..." parameter to specify a customized format of the search result. The string of the format parameter is typically a bullet list or table row containing variables (i.e. %SEARCH{ "food" format="| $topic | $summary |" }%).


Two paramters can be used to specify a customized search result:

1. header="..." parameter

Use the header paramter to specify the header of a search result. It should correspond to the format of the format parameter. This parameter is optional. I.e.
header="| *Topic:* | *Summary:* |"

2. format="..." parameter

Use the format paramter to specify the format of one search hit. I.e.
format="| $topic | $summary |"

Variables that can be used in the format string:

Name: Expands To:
$n New line
$web Name of the web
$topic Topic name
$locked LOCKED flag (if any)
$date Time stamp of last topic update, i.e. 27 Nov 2021 - 18:27
$isodate Time stamp of last topic update, i.e. 2021-11-27T18:27Z
$rev Number of last topic revision, i.e. 1.4
$wikiusername Wiki user name of last topic update, i.e. Main.JohnSmith
$username User name of last topic update, i.e. JohnSmith
$summary Topic summary
$formfield(name) The field value of a form field, i.e. $formfield(TopicClassification) would get expanded to PublicFAQ. This applies only to topics that have a TWikiForm
$pattern(reg-exp) A regular expression pattern to extract some text from a topic, i.e. $pattern(.*?\*.*?Email\:\s*([^\n\r]+).*) extracts the email address from a bullet of format * Email: ....

Note: For $pattern(reg-exp), specify a RegularExpression that scans from start to end and contains the text you want to keep in parenthesis, i.e. $pattern(.*?(from here.*?to here).*). You need to make sure that the integrity of a web page is not compromised, i.e. if you include a table make sure to include everything including the table end tag.


Bullet list showing topic name and summary

Write this:

%SEARCH{ "FAQ" scope="topic" nosearch="on" nototal="on" header="   * *Topic: Summary:*" format="   * [[$topic]]: $summary" }%

To get this:

Table showing form field values of topics with a form

Write this in the Know web:

| *Topic:* | *OperatingSystem:* | *OsVersion:* |
%SEARCH{ "[T]opicClassification.*?value=\"[P]ublicFAQ\"" scope="text" regex="on" nosearch="on" nototal="on" format="| [[$topic]] | $formfield(OperatingSystem) | $formfield(OsVersion) |" }%

To get this:

Topic: OperatingSystem: OsVersion:
IncorrectDllVersionW32PTH10DLL OsWin 95/98
WinDoze95Crash OsWin 95

Extract some text from a topic using regular expression

Write this:

%SEARCH{ "__Back to\:__ TWikiFAQ" scope="text" regex="on" nosearch="on" nototal="on" header="TWiki FAQs:" format="   * $pattern(.*?FAQ\:[\n\r]*([^\n\r]+).*) [[$topic][Answer...]]" }%

To get this:

TWiki FAQs:

-- PeterThoeny? - 28 Nov 2001

TWiki Meta Data

Additional topic data, program-generated or from TWikiForms, is stored in META variable name/value pairs


TWikiMetaData uses META variables to store topic data that's separate from the main free-form content. This includes program-generated info like FileAttachment and topic movement data, and user-defined TWikiForms info. Use META variables to format and display Meta Data.

Meta Data Syntax

Example of Format
%META:TOPICINFO{version="1.6" date="976762663" author="PeterThoeny" format="1.0"}%
   text of the topic
%META:TOPICMOVED{from="Codev.OldName" to="Codev.NewName"
   by="JohnTalintyre" date="976762680"}%
%META:FILEATTACHMENT{name="Sample.txt" version="1.3" ... }%
%META:FILEATTACHMENT{name="Smile.gif" version="1.1" ... }%
%META:FIELD{name="OperatingSystem" value="OsWin"}%
%META:FIELD{name="TopicClassification" value="PublicFAQ"}%

Meta Data Specifications

The current version of Meta Data is 1.0, with support for the following variables.


Key Comment
version Same as RCS version
date integer, unx time, seconds since start 1970
author last to change topic, is the REMOTE_USER
format Format of this topic, will be used for automatic format conversion


This is optional, exists if topic has ever been moved. If a topic is moved more than once, only the most recent META:TOPICMOVED meta variable exists in the topic, older ones are to be found in the rcs history.

%META:TOPICMOVED{from="Codev.OldName" to="Codev.NewName" by="talintj" date="976762680"}%

Key Comment
from Full name i.e. web.topic
to Full name i.e. web.topic
by Who did it, is the REMOTE_USER, not WikiName
date integer, unx time, seconds since start 1970



Key Comment
name The topic from which this was created, WebHome if done from Go, othewise topic where ? or form used. Normally just topic, but is full web.topic format if parent is in a different Web. Renaming a Web will then only break a few of these references or they can be scanned and fixed.


Key Comment
name Name of file, no path. Must be unique within topic
version Same as RCS revision
path Full path file was loaded from
size In bytes
date integer, unx time, seconds since start 1970
user the REMOTE_USER, not WikiName
comment As supplied when file uploaded
attr h if hidden, optional

Extra fields that are added if an attachment is moved:

Key Comment
movedfrom full topic name - web.topic
movedby the REMOTE_USER, not WikiName
movedto full topic name - web.topic
moveddate integer, unx time, seconds since start 1970


Key Comment
name A topic name - the topic represents one of the TWikiForms. Can optionally include the web name i.e. web.topic, but doesn't normally


Should only be present if there is a META:FORM entry. Note that this data is used when viewing a topic, the form template definition is not read.

Key Name
name Ties to entry in TWikiForms template, is title with all bar alphanumerics and . removed
title Full text from TWikiForms template
value Value user has supplied via form

Recommended Sequence

There is no absolute need for Meta Data variables to be listed in a specific order within a topic, but it makes sense to do so a couple of good reasons:

The recommended sequence is:

Viewing Meta Data in Page Source

When viewing a topic the Raw Text link can be clicked to show the text of a topic (ie: as seen when editing). This is done by adding raw=on to URL. raw=debug shows the meta data as well as the topic data, ex: debug view for this topic

Rendering Meta Data

Meta Data is rendered with the %META% variable. This is mostly used in the view, preview and edit scripts.

Current support covers:

Variable usage: Comment:
%META{"form"}% Show form data, see TWikiForms
%META{"attachments"}% Show attachments, exclude hidden
Options for Attachments:  
all="on" Show ALL attachments (including hidden)
%META{"moved"}% Details of any topic moves
%META{"parent [options]"}% Show topic parent
Options for parent:  
dontrecurse="on" By default recurses up tree, at some cost
prefix="..." Prefix for parents, only if there are parents; default ""
suffix="..." Suffix, only appears if there are parents; default ""
separator="..." Separator between parents, default is " > "

Known Issues

At present, there is no Meta Data support for Plugins. However, the format is readily extendable and the code that supports the format needs only minor alteration.

-- JohnTalintyre - 29 Aug 2001
-- MikeMannix - 03 Dec 2001

TWiki Plugins

Plug-in enhanced feature add-ons, with a Plugin API for developers


You can add Plugins to extend TWiki's functionality, without altering the core program code. A plug-in approach lets you:

Everything to do with TWiki Plugins - demos, new releases, downloads, development, general discussion - is available at, in the TWiki:Plugins web.

Preinstalled Plugins

TWiki comes with three Plugins as part of the standard installation.

Installing Plugins

Each TWikiPlugin comes with full documentation: step-by-step installation instructions, a detailed description of any special requirements, version details, and a working example for testing.

Most Plugins can be installed in three easy steps, with no programming skills required:

  1. Download the zip file containing the Plugin, documentation, and any other required files, from TWiki:Plugins.
  2. Distribute the files to their proper locations - unzip the zip archive in your TWiki installation directory - if have a standard TWiki installation, this will distribute automatically. Otherwise, place the files according to the directory paths listed on the Plugin top in TWiki:Plugins.
  3. Check the demo example on the Plugin topic: if it's working, the installation was fine!

Special Requests: Some Plugins need certain Perl modules to be preinstalled on the host system. Plugins may also use other resources, like graphics, other modules, applications, templates. In these cases, detailed instructions are in the Plugin documentation.

Each Plugin has a standard release page, located in the TWiki:Plugins web at In addition to the documentation topic (SomePlugin), there's a separate development page.

On-Site Pretesting

To test new Plugins on your installation before making them public, you may want to use one of these two approaches:

Managing Plugins

When you finish installing a Plugin, you should be able to read the user instructions and go. In fact, some Plugins require additional settings or offer extra options that you have to select. Also, you may want to make a Plugin available only in certain webs, or temporarily disable it. And may want to list all available Plugins in certain topics. You can handle all of these management tasks with simple procedures.

Setting Preferences

Installed Plugins can be toggled on or off, site-wide or by web, through TWikiPreferences and individual WebPreferences:

Plugin execution order in TWiki is determined by searching Plugin topics in a specific sequence: First, full web.topicname name, if specified in INSTALLEDPLUGINS; next, the TWiki web is searched; and finally, the current web.

Plugin-specific settings are done in individual Plugin topics. Two settings are standard for each Plugin:

  1. One line description, used to form the bullets describing the Plugins in the TextFormattingRules topic:
    • Set SHORTDESCRIPTION = Blah blah woof woof.
  2. Debug Plugin, output can be seen in data/debug.txt. Set to 0=off or 1=on:
    • Set DEBUG = 0

Listing Active Plugins

Plugin status variables let you list all active Plugins wherever needed. There are two list formats:

DEMO: Automatically List Active Plugins Using Variables

On this TWiki site, the active Plugins are: DefaultPlugin, HeadlinesPlugin, InterwikiPlugin, TablePlugin, VisualConfirmPlugin.

You can use any of these active TWiki Plugins:

The TWiki Plugin API

The Application Programming Interface (API) for TWikiPlugins provides the specifications for hooking into the core TWiki code from your external Perl Plugin module. The Plugin API is new to the Production version of TWiki with the 01-Sep-2001 release.

Available Core Functions

The lib/TWiki/ implements ALL official Plugin functions. Plugins should ONLY use functions published in this module.

ALERT! If you use functions not in, you run the risk of creating security holes. Also, your Plugin will likely break and require updating when you upgrade to a new version of TWiki.

Predefined Hooks

In addition to TWiki core functions, Plugins can use predefined hooks, or call backs, listed in the lib/TWiki/Plugins/ module.

Plugin Version Detection

To eliminate the incompatibility problems bound to arise from active open Plugin development, a Plugin versioning system and an API GetVersion detection routine are provided for automatic compatibility checking.

Creating Plugins

With a reasonable knowledge of the Perl scripting language, you can create new Plugins or modify and extend existing ones. Basic plug-in architecture uses an Application Programming Interface (API), a set of software instructions that allow external code to interact with the main program. The TWiki Plugin API Plugins by providing a programming interface for TWiki.

The DefaultPlugin Alternative

Anatomy of a Plugin

A basic TWiki Plugin consists of two elements:

The Perl module can be a block of code that connects with TWiki alone, or it can include other elements, like other Perl modules (including other Plugins), graphics, TWiki templates, external applications (ex: a Java applet), or just about anything else it can call. In particular, files that should be web-accessible (graphics, Java applets ...) are best placed as attachments of the MyFirstPlugin topic. Other needed Perl code is best placed in a lib/TWiki/Plugins/MyFirstPlugin/ directory.

The Plugin API handles the details of connecting your Perl module with main TWiki code. When you're familiar with the Plugin API, you're ready to develop Plugins.

Creating the Perl Module

Copy file lib/TWiki/Plugins/ to <name> contains no executable code, so it does nothing, but it's ready to be used. Customize it. Refer to the Plugin API specs for more information.

Writing the Documentation Topic

The Plugin documentation topic contains usage instructions and version details. It serves the Plugin files as FileAttachments for downloading. (The doc topic is also included in the distribution package.) To create a documentation topic:

  1. Copy the Plugin topic template from EmptyPlugin. To copy the text, go to the page and:
    • click Edit
    • select all in the Edit box & copy
    • Cancel the edit
    • paste & save as a text file or new topic on your site
  2. Customize the template for your Plugin; you'll probably want to post a working version on your local TWiki site.
  3. Save your topic as a text file, for use in packaging and publishing your Plugin.

OUTLINE: Doc Topic Contents
Check EmptyPlugin on for the latest Plugin doc topic template. Here's a quick overview of what's covered:

Syntax Rules: <Describe any special text formatting that will be rendered.>"

MyFirstPlugin Settings: <Description and settings for custom Plugin %VARIABLES%, and those required by TWiki.>"

How-to Instructions: <Step-by-step set-up guide, user help, whatever it takes to install and run, goes here.>"

Test Example: <Include an example of the Plugin in action: if it works, the installation was a success!>"

Plugin Info: <Version, credits, history, requirements - entered in a form, displayed as a table. Both are automatically generated when you create or edit a page in the TWiki:Plugins web.>"

Packaging for Distribution

A minimum Plugin release consists of a Perl module with a WikiName that ends in Plugin, ex:, and a documentation page with the same name(MyFirstPlugin.txt).

  1. Distribute the Plugin files in a directory structure that mirrors TWiki. If your Plugin uses additional files, include them ALL:
    • lib/TWiki/Plugins/
    • data/TWiki/MyFirstPlugin.txt
    • pub/TWiki/MyFirstPlugin/uparrow.gif [a required graphic]
  2. Create a zip archive with the Plugin name ( and add the entire directory structure from Step 1. The archive should look like this:
    • lib/TWiki/Plugins/
    • data/TWiki/MyFirstPlugin.txt
    • pub/TWiki/MyFirstPlugin/uparrow.gif

Publishing for Public Use

You can release your tested, packaged Plugin to the TWiki community through the TWiki:Plugins web. All Plugins submitted to are available for download and further development in TWiki:Plugins. Publish your Plugin in three steps:

  1. Post the Plugin documentation topic in the TWiki:Plugins web:
  2. Attach the distribution zip file to the topic, ex:
  3. Link from the doc page to a new, blank page named after the Plugin, and ending in Dev, ex: MyFirstPluginDev. This is the discussion page for future development. (User support for Plugins is handled in TWiki:Support.)

-- AndreaSterbini - 29 May 2001
-- PeterThoeny - 14 Sep 2001
-- MikeMannix - 03 Dec 2001


Utilities for searching, navigation, and monitoring site activity


TWikiSiteTools include utilities for navigating, searching and keeping up with site activity. Preferences can be configured by web or site-wide. You are currently in the TWiki web. In particular, TWiki provides two highly configurable, automated site monitoring tools, WebNotify, to email alerts when topics are edited, and WebStats, to generate detailed activity reports.

WebNotify Recent Changes Alert

Each TWiki web has an automatic email alert service that sends a list of recent changes on a preset schedule, like once a day. Users can subscribe and unsubscribe using WebNotify in each web. The Perl script mailnotify is called by a deamon in regular intervals. The script sends an automated email to subscribed users if topics were changed in a web within last interval.

Configuring Outgoing Mail will use the Net::SMTP module if it is installed on your system. Set this with the SMTPMAILHOST variable in TWikiPreferences.

You can use an external mail program, like sendmail, if the Net::SMTP module is not installed. Set the program path in $mailProgram in TWiki.cfg.

Setting the Automatic Email Schedule

For Unix platforms: Edit the cron table so that mailnotify is called in an interval of your choice. Please consult man crontab of how to modify the table that schedules program execution at certain intervals. Example:

% crontab -e
15,45 * * * * (cd ~twiki/public_html/bin; ./mailnotify -q)
The above line will call mailnotify at 15 minutes and 45 minutes past every hour. The -q switch suppresses all normal output.

For ISP installations: Many ISPs don't allow hosted accounts direct cron access, as it's often used for things that can heavily load the server. Workaround scripts are available.

On Windows NT/2000: You can use a scheduled task if you have administrative privileges. Note: AT on an NT machine is pretty limited. Microsoft lists several third-party replacements (as of 2001-11-20, none of them free).

WebStatistics Site Usage Log

You can generate a listing manually, or on an automated schedule, of visits to individual pages, on a per web basis. Compiled as a running total on a monthly basis. Includes totals for Topic Views, Topic Saves, Attachment Uploads, Most Popular Topics with number of views, and Top Contributors showing total of saves and attachment uploads. Previous months are saved.

Configuring for Automatic Operation

Generating Statistics Manually by URL


WebSearch is an extremely fast and flexible search facility, part of the core TWiki feature set. Options include:

See also: TWikiVariables for including hard-coded searches in text.


To check for the most recently edited topics while on-site, use the WebChanges link, usually located on the upper toolbar. It lists the most recently modified topics, newest first, along with the first couple of lines of the page content.

This is simply a preset SEARCH. The number of topics listed by the limit parameter.:

%SEARCH{".*" web="TWiki" regex="on" nosearch="on" order="modified" 
reverse="on" limit="50"}%


WebIndex lists all web topics in alphabetical order, with the first couple of lines of text. This is simply a preset SEARCH:

%SEARCH{"\.*" scope="topic" regex="on" nosearch="on"}%

-- MikeMannix? - 01 Dec 2001

Managing Topics

Browser-based rename, move, and delete for individual topics


Use browser controls while viewing a topic, to change its name, move it to another TWiki web, or delete it to a hidden Trash web.

How to Rename/Move/Delete a Topic

  1. Click on [More] (bottom right of page) on the topic to be changed, then, in the new screen, on [Rename/move].
  2. Select target web if other than the current web - chose Trash to delete a topic
  3. Enter the new topic name - default is current name
    NOTE: You will be warned if there are locks or if there is a name conflict.
  4. Select from the list of referring links any topics NOT to be updated with the new name (by default, all referring links will be updated).
  5. Click on [Rename/Move]: the topic will be renamed and links to the topic updated as requested.
    • If any of the referring pages are locked then they will be listed.
    • You can correct these later by again pressing [Rename/Move].

Referring Topics

Referring topics are found using the the %SEARCH% variable, see the template searchrenameview.tmpl. First, matching topics in the current Web are listed - matches are to topic. Next, all Webs (including the current one) are listed that match web.topic. Because %SEARCH% is used, Webs marked in WebPreferences as NOSEARCHALL will not show up in the search for refernces to the topic being changed.

Changed references are kept are as short as possible, ex: topic is used in preference to web.topic.

About Deleting a Topic

Deleted topics are moved to the Trash web - NOT physically erased from the server. All webs share Trash - in case of a name conflict with a topic already Trash, the user is alerted and asked to choose a new name.

Clearing the Trash

The Trash web should be be cleared periodically, by archiving the contents if required (recommended), then deleting the files from the Trash directory.

Redirecting from an Old Topic

You can use TWikiMetaData to place a command in WebTopicViewTemplate and WebTopicNonWikiTemplate that will show if a topic has moved by searching for the tag %META:TOPICMOVED{...}%. Customize something like this:

%<nop>METASEARCH{type="topicmoved" web="%WEB%" topic="%TOPIC%" 
title="This topic used to exist and was moved to: "}%

Effect of Access Settings

Permissions affect the rename function in various ways. To rename a topic, you need both change and rename permissions. To alter refer4ing topics, you need change permission. See TWikiAccessControl for information on setting up access permissions.

How Rename/move Works

  1. %SEARCH%, with a special template, finds and displays all occurrences of the topic name in other topics, site-wide. These referring links are by default automatically changed to the new topic and/or web name. This includes relevant TWikiMetaData definitions.
    • User can omit one or more topics from the update list.
    • <pre> and <verbatim> are honoured - no changes are made to text within these areas.
  2. The topic is moved (if locks allow).
  3. References are changed (locks and permissions permitting).
  4. Any referring topics that can't be changed due to locks are listed - user can change them at another time.

Known Limitations

Rename/move in is fairly complicated due to the dynamic generation of links. Ideally, it would be possible to run the required part of rendering in a way that would allow identification of the text to be changed. Unfortunately, these hooks don't exist in TWiki at present. Instead, %SEARCH% is used with a special template to show the text to be changed, and the selected topics are then altered. One drawback is that search can show matches that will not be updated because of case differences. Other mismatches to actual rendered output are also possible as the approaches are so different.

The following shows some limitations of square bracket processing.

[[Old Topic]]  => [[NewTopic][Old Topic]]
[[old topic]]  => [[NewTopic][old topic]]
[[old t opic]] => not changed
[[OldTopic]]   => [[NewTopic]]

-- MikeMannix - 15 Sep 2001

Managing Webs

Adding, renaming and deleting webs are manual operations done directly on the server


Managing TWiki webs requires direct access to the installation files on the host server. There are currently no browser-based equivalents of the Rename/move/delete topic tools for working with webs.

Adding a New Web

Adding new webs is quick and easy - you can have a basic web up and running in a couple of minutes:

  1. Create a new directory under twiki/data/, ex: twiki/data/Newweb
    • the name has to start with a capital and cannot be a WikiWord
  2. Copy in the contents of twiki/data/_default.

For detailed instructions, see TWiki Installation Guide: Adding a New Web.

Renaming or Deleting a Web

NOTE: If you plan to rename the web, remember that TWiki stores user and group topics in %MAINWEB%, default named Main. That means, every WikiName signature - Main.SomeUserName - points to it and would need updating (unless the variable, %MAINWEB%.SomeUserName, is used throughout).

  1. Prepare your site: Search each web for links to the target web, searching topic text for Oldwebname., including the dot so you'll find references like Oldwebname.SomeTopic.
    • Make changes as required, to Newwebname.SomeTopic or better yet, to %MAINWEB%.SomeTopic.
  2. Edit the TWikiPreferences topic: Rename or delete the web from the WIKIWEBLIST variable.
  3. Edit the TWikiWebsTable topic: Rename or delete the web from the table.
  4. Login to the server, via Telnet or FTP.
  5. Go to twiki/data and rename or remove the web directory.
  6. Go to twiki/templates and rename or remove the web directory if present.
  7. Go to twiki/pub and rename or remove the web directory if present.

-- MikeMannix - 14 Sep 2001

Appendix A: TWiki File System

Annotated listings of files included in the 01-Sep-2001 TWiki distribution


This Appendix contains directory and file listings, and individual file descriptions, for the full 01-Sep-2001 TWiki distribution package.

Directory Structure

You can rename the root TWiki directory - twiki - to whatever you like by changing it in the twiki.cfg configuration file. However, to keep the current installation and future upgrades simple, you should leave the subdirectory structure intact:

Directory: Files: Used for:
twiki list Start-up info
twiki/bin list Perl scripts
twiki/lib list Configuration file, main library, Perl system modules, Plugins
twiki/pub list Public files (e.g. images) and FileAttachments and their RCS histories
twiki/data list Topic text (page content) and RCS histories
twiki/templates list HTML templates, used by TWiki scripts

File Descriptions

A rundown of the individual files included in the current 01-Sep-2001 distribution, organized by TWiki root directories.

Files in twiki

Application info and the current reference documentation. Full file list:

File: Used for:
index.html A page with a link to first launch TWiki after install
license.txt GNU General Public License and TWiki-specific info
readme.txt General TWiki start-up info with relevant URLs
TWikiDocumentation.html All documentation packaged as a single page
TWikiHistory.html TWiki development timeline

Files in twiki/bin

Perl CGI scripts. Full file list:

File: Used for:
.htaccess.txt Authentication. Rename to .htaccess and customize if used
attach Script that shows the attach file page (FileAttachment)
edit Script to edit a topic
geturl Script to fetch URL data
installpasswd Script to install new password by admin
mailnotify Script called by cron job to notify users of changes
oops Script that shows an OK or oops dialog
passwd Script to reset and change password
preview Script to preview topic after edit
rdiff Script to see differences of topics
register Script to register new users
rename Script to rename/move topics and move attachments
save Script that saves a topic, called by preview
search Script that displays search results
statistics Script to create statistics topic
testenv Script to test CGI environment variables
upload Script that does file upload (FileAttachment)
view Script to view a topic ( the script )
viewfile Script to view a file attachment

Files under twiki/lib

The new lib/TWiki/Plugins directories contain configuration, library and function files, and TWikiPlugins. Full file list:

File: Used for:
TWiki.cfg For configuration, used by Main TWiki library
TWiki/ Access control
TWiki/ Attachment handling
TWiki/ Form handling
TWiki/ Public functions that Plugins may use
TWiki/ Meta data in topics
TWiki/ SMTP mail handling
TWiki/ Plugin handling
TWiki/ Preferences handling
TWiki/ Search engine, used by
TWiki/ Back-end storage, *.txt text file and *.txt,v RCS repository file handling
TWiki/Plugins/ Handles some legacy rules
TWiki/Plugins/ Empty plugin, use to create your own
TWiki/Plugins/ Use aliases as links for predefined URLs

Files under twiki/pub

The pub directory stores data-related files, including images used by TWiki and FileAttachments. Attachments are stored in sub-directories created with the related topic name. Partial file list:

File: Used for:
favicon.ico ICO file
twikilogo.gif GIF file
twikilogo1.gif GIF file
twikilogo2.gif GIF file
twikilogo3.gif GIF file
twikilogo4.gif GIF file
twikilogo88x31 GIF file
wikiHome.gif GIF file
icn/_filetypes.txt GIF file
icn/bat.gif GIF file
icn/bmp.gif GIF file
... ...
TWiki/FileAttachment/Sample.txt TEXT file
TWiki/FileAttachment/Smile.gif GIF file
TWiki/PreviewBackground/blankltgraybg.gif GIF file
TWiki/PreviewBackground/blankwhitebg.gif GIF file
TWiki/PreviewBackground/previewbg.gif GIF file
TWiki/WabiSabi/wabisabi.gif GIF file
Know/IncorrectDllVersionW32PTH10DLL/W32PTH10.DLL DLL file

Files under twiki/data

TWiki page data stored as individual text files. Each active web has its own subdirectory. The TWiki distribution includes four start-up webs - Main, TWiki, Know, Test - with documentation and demo content, a Trash web, and a _default directory containing all topics required to start a new web. Partial file list:

File: Used for:
.htpasswd Basic Authentication (htaccess) password file
debug.txt Program messages useful for debugging
mime.types Recognized file formats
warning.txt Diagnostic messages for identifying problems
_default directory can be copied to empty directory when creating new Webs
_default/.changes Web-level record of topic changes
_default/.mailnotify Web-level timstamp of last e-mail notification
_default/WebChanges.txt Display most recent topic changes in web
_default/WebChanges.txt,v Revisions history (RCS)
_default/WebHome.txt Default web home page
_default/WebHome.txt,v Revisions history (RCS)
_default/WebIndex.txt Lists all topics in a web
_default/WebIndex.txt,v Revisions history (RCS)
_default/WebNotify.txt Subscribe/unsubscribe to web changes email alert
_default/WebNotify.txt,v Revisions history (RCS)
_default/WebPreferences.txt Web-level preference settings
_default/WebPreferences.txt,v Revisions history (RCS)
_default/WebSearch.txt Web-level search options
_default/WebSearch.txt,v Revisions history (RCS)
_default/WebStatistics.txt Generates web usage statistics
_default/WebStatistics.txt,v Revisions history (RCS)
... ...

Files in twiki/templates

Templates used to control appearance of all rendered pages. Full file list:

File: Used for:
attach.tmpl Attach file control screen
attachagain.tmpl Control screen
attachnew.tmpl Control screen
changeform.tmpl Control screen
changes.tmpl Displays WebChanges list of recently changed topics
edit.iejs.tmpl Edit window with IE specific JavaScript
edit.tmpl Main edit window
mailnotify.tmpl Email notification
moveattachment.tmpl Control screen
oopsaccesschange.tmpl Error message
oopsaccessgroup.tmpl Error message
oopsaccessrename.tmpl Error message
oopsaccessview.tmpl Error message
oopsauth.tmpl Error message
oopsbadpwformat.tmpl Error message
oopschangepasswd.tmpl Error message
oopsempty.tmpl Error message
oopslocked.tmpl Error message
oopslockedrename.tmpl Error message
oopsmissing.tmpl Error message
oopsmore.tmpl More topic actions message
oopsmoveerr.tmpl Error message
oopsnoformdef.tmpl Error message
oopsnotwikiuser.tmpl Error message
oopsnoweb.tmpl Error message
oopspreview.tmpl Error message
oopsregexist.tmpl Error message
oopsregpasswd.tmpl Error message
oopsregrequ.tmpl Error message
oopsregthanks.tmpl Error message
oopsregwiki.tmpl Error message
oopsrenameerr.tmpl Error message
oopsresetpasswd.tmpl Error message
oopsrev.tmpl Error message
oopssave.tmpl Error message
oopssaveerr.tmpl Error message
oopssendmailerr.tmpl Error message
oopstopicexists.tmpl Error message
oopsupload.tmpl Error message
oopswrongpassword.tmpl Error message
preview.tmpl Preview Changes screen
rdiff.tmpl Displays text changes before & after (Diffs)
register.tmpl Registration page
registernotify.tmpl Registration notification
rename.tmpl Doing a new topic rename, user chooses web & topic
renamebase.tmpl Used by other rename templates
renameconfirm.tmpl Confirms a pre-specified rename, ex: undoing a rename
renamerefs.tmpl Rename done, but some references not changed (topics were locked)
search.tmpl Search screen
searchbookview.tmpl Search results with full topic content
searchmeta.tmpl Search screen
searchrenameview.tmpl Used by rename to list references to topic being renamed
twiki.tmpl Base template definitions used by other templates
view.plain.tmpl Printable topic view with reduced header/footer
view.print.tmpl Topic view without header/footer
view.tmpl Main topic view

TWiki File System Snapshot

The following partial directory listings from a Linux installation show typical file permissions and ownership. This is provided for general debugging use only and isn't an exact representation of the current distribution.

Directory twiki/bin:

drwxrwxr-x    2 twiki twiki    4096 Sep 14 22:45 .
drwxrwxr-x    5 twiki twiki    4096 Aug  3 01:57 ..
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     895 Aug 25 01:32 .htaccess
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     782 Aug 25 01:32 .htaccess.txt
-rw-rwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    4819 Sep  7 01:44 attach
-rwxrwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    3381 Jul 21 18:41 changes
-rw-rwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    8056 Sep  3 22:44 edit
-rwxrwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    1736 Nov 17  2000 geturl
-rwxrwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    4481 Aug 21 19:10 installpasswd
-rwxrwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    5829 Aug 21 22:03 mailnotify
-rwxrwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    4512 Aug 25 22:10 makedistrib
-rw-rwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    2254 Aug 21 19:25 oops
-rwxrwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    6399 Aug 22 18:31 passwd
-rw-rwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    5315 Sep  3 22:45 preview
-rwxrwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    8946 Sep  8 18:35 rdiff
-rw-rwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    9199 Aug 25 21:02 register
-rwxrwxr-x    1 twiki twiki   13481 Sep  7 21:17 rename
-rw-rwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    4645 Sep  7 01:44 save
-rwxrwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    4166 Jul 21 18:45 search
-rw-rwxr-x    1 twiki twiki   10006 Sep  7 01:42 statistics
-rwxrwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    9356 Aug 31 10:04 testenv
-rw-rwxr-x    1 twiki twiki   13782 Aug 21 22:17 upload
-rwxrwxr-x    1 twiki twiki   10164 Sep  8 18:24 view
-rw-rwxr-x    1 twiki twiki    2773 Sep 13 17:21 viewfile

Directory twiki/templates/:

drwxrwxr-x    2 twiki twiki    4096 Sep  8 00:47 .
drwxrwxr-x    4 twiki twiki    4096 Sep 10 23:21 ..
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    2573 Aug 31 13:06 attach.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    1604 Aug  3 14:52 attachagain.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     449 Aug  3 14:47 attachnew.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    1309 Sep  3 22:47 changeform.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    1619 Aug 31 13:16 changes.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki   11842 Sep 10 19:00 edit.iejs.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    2603 Sep  3 22:48 edit.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     981 May 28 20:14 mailnotify.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    1499 Aug 31 13:16 moveattachment.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     570 Aug  1 01:24 oopsaccesschange.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     586 Aug  1 01:24 oopsaccessgroup.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     573 Aug  1 01:47 oopsaccessrename.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     573 Aug  1 01:24 oopsaccessview.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    1014 Aug  1 01:25 oopsauth.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     405 Aug  1 01:49 oopsbadpwformat.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     344 Jul 31 10:16 oopschangepasswd.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     624 Jul 31 02:09 oopsempty.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     918 Jul 31 02:20 oopslocked.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     590 Jul 31 10:25 oopslockedrename.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     328 Jul 31 10:26 oopsmissing.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    2158 Sep 13 02:03 oopsmore.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     407 Aug  1 10:22 oopsmoveerr.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    1136 Aug  1 01:30 oopsnoformdef.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     522 Aug  1 01:31 oopsnotwikiuser.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     413 Jul 31 02:07 oopsnoweb.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     393 Aug  1 01:32 oopspreview.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     462 Aug  1 01:32 oopsregexist.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     345 Aug  1 00:52 oopsregpasswd.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     356 Aug  1 00:53 oopsregrequ.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     540 Aug  1 01:57 oopsregthanks.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     679 Aug  1 01:02 oopsregwiki.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     411 Aug  1 10:23 oopsrenameerr.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     483 Aug  1 01:59 oopsresetpasswd.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     921 Sep  7 23:47 oopsrev.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     774 Aug  1 01:35 oopssave.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     477 Aug  1 02:01 oopssaveerr.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     452 Aug  1 01:37 oopssendmailerr.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     379 Aug  1 10:23 oopstopicexists.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     342 Jul 31 10:09 oopsupload.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     364 Aug  1 02:05 oopswrongpassword.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    2584 Sep  3 22:49 preview.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    1539 Sep  8 18:29 rdiff.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     552 Jul 14 19:23 register.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    1151 Aug 23 16:38 registernotify.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     789 Aug  8 23:32 rename.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    2310 Sep 10 14:56 renamebase.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     475 Aug  3 16:53 renameconfirm.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     589 Aug  8 23:32 renamerefs.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    1792 Aug 31 18:38 search.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    1650 Aug 31 18:38 searchbookview.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     149 Sep 13 02:00 searchmeta.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    2044 Aug 31 18:38 searchrenameview.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    2246 Aug 31 13:08 twiki.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     418 Aug 31 13:07 view.plain.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki     826 Aug 31 13:08 view.print.tmpl
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki twiki    1770 Sep  8 00:32 view.tmpl

Directory twiki/data/:

drwxrwxr-x    8 nobody nobody  4096 Sep  7 01:04 .
drwxrwxr-x    4 nobody nobody  4096 Sep 10 23:21 ..
-rw-rw-rw-    1 twiki  twiki    159 Aug 24 19:49 .htpasswd
drwxrwxr-x    2 nobody nobody  4096 Sep  9 02:45 Know
drwxrwxr-x    2 nobody nobody  4096 Sep  9 02:45 Main
drwxrwxr-x    2 nobody nobody  8192 Sep 14 23:22 TWiki
drwxrwxr-x    2 nobody nobody  4096 Sep  9 02:45 Test
drwxrwxr-x    2 nobody nobody  4096 Sep 14 12:04 Trash
drwxrwxr-x    2 nobody nobody  4096 Sep  9 02:45 _default
-rw-rw-rw--   1 twiki  twiki      0 Jul  1 02:20 debug.txt
-rw-rw-r--    1 twiki  twiki    3419 Aug 13 00:15 mime.types
-rw-rw-rw--   1 twiki  twiki      0 Jul  1 02:19 warning.txt

Partial file list for twiki/data/Main:

drwxrwxrwx   2 nobody  nobody  4096 Aug 19 04:15 .
drwxrwxrwx   6 nobody  nobody  4096 Aug  3 01:09 ..
-rw-rw-rw-   1 twiki twiki     3716 Aug 19 02:19 .changes
-rw-rw-rw-   1 twiki twiki        9 Aug 19 02:45 .mailnotify
-rw-r--r--   1 nobody  nobody   358 Aug 18 17:22 OfficeLocations.txt
-r--r--r--   1 nobody  nobody   878 Aug 18 17:22 OfficeLocations.txt,v
-rw-r--r--   1 nobody  nobody   680 Aug 18 17:36 TWikiGuest.txt
-r--r--r--   1 nobody  nobody  1989 Aug 18 17:36 TWikiGuest.txt,v
-rw-r--r--   1 nobody  nobody   459 Aug 18 17:19 TWikiUsers.txt
-r--r--r--   1 nobody  nobody  3840 Aug 18 17:19 TWikiUsers.txt,v
-rw-r--r--   1 nobody  nobody    95 Aug 19 03:06 WebChanges.txt
-r--r--r--   1 nobody  nobody   284 Aug 19 03:06 WebChanges.txt,v
-rw-r--r--   1 nobody  nobody  1853 Aug 18 18:08 WebHome.txt
-r--r--r--   1 nobody  nobody  6523 Aug 18 18:08 WebHome.txt,v

Directory twiki/pub/:

drwxrwxrwx   6 nobody  nobody  4096 Aug  3 01:21 .
drwxrwxr-x   3 twiki   twiki   4096 Jun 17 16:35 ..
drwxrwxrwx   3 nobody  nobody  4096 Jun 17 16:35 Know
drwxrwxrwx   3 nobody  nobody  4096 Aug  3 01:21 TWiki
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki   1078 Jan 14  2000 favicon.ico
drwxrwxr-x   2 twiki   twiki   4096 Jun 17 16:35 icn
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki   3016 Oct  5  1999 twikilogo.gif
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki   5320 Oct  5  1999 twikilogo1.gif
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki   6125 Oct  5  1999 twikilogo2.gif
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki   7218 Oct  5  1999 twikilogo3.gif
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki   6710 Oct  5  1999 twikilogo4.gif
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki   3501 Sep 14 11:57 twikilogo88x31.gif
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki   2877 Jun  7  1999 wikiHome.gif

Partial file list for twiki/pub/icn/:

drwxrwxr-x   2 twiki   twiki   4096 Jun 17 16:35 .
drwxrwxrwx   6 nobody  nobody  4096 Aug  3 01:21 ..
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki    801 Mar 26  1999 _filetypes.txt
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki    143 Mar  9  1999 bat.gif
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki    926 Mar  9  1999 bmp.gif
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki    141 Mar 25  1999 c.gif
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki    144 Mar  9  1999 dll.gif
-rw-rw-r--   1 twiki   twiki    152 Mar  9  1999 doc.gif

-- MikeMannix? - 14 Sep 2001
-- PeterThoeny? - 14 Sep 2001

Appendix B: TWiki Development Timeline

01-Dec-2001 Release (Athens)

01-Sep-2001 Release

01-Dec-2000 Release

01-May-2000 Release

01-Sep-1999 Release

01-Jul-1999 Release

1998 Releases

Dev Flow

The typical TWiki development flow...