Friday, February 13, 2009

Reanabling FCKEditor for MoinMoin Wiki

The Costs of Free Software

FCKEditor, the rich text editor feature in MoinMoin wiki has been removed from the Debian/Ubuntu distributions from a decision the maintainer(s) made after notification of a security issue of enabling it. Obviously I wasn't the only person who got annoyed by its removal, given that the rich text editing feature has been the first place why many, like I, have used the wiki altogether.

So even the 'free' as in 'freedom' in software turns out to be not so free anyway - given that I had no freedom in weighing my own pros and the cons of dealing with the potential security problem. For me, the answer is clear as day - the wiki is only used in a secured local area network and has no editing rights, not even reading rights to anybody outside the intranet - so why should anybody dictate that I can't use FCKEditor with MoinMoin?

(No) thanks to them, this post wouldn't have existed if not for the shortsightedness in destroying the appeal of what otherwise would be an attractive software package. For all that FOSS is worth, it's main Achilles heel is certainly the lack of attention to the needs of end customers. That's why FOSS companies have to make their money out of service - because there is none!

How to Reanable FCKEditor for Debian/Ubuntu's MoinMoin

The workaround to using Debian/Ubuntu's version of MoinMoin is downloading the current version from the website and install it. Converting it to use your existing settings should be a relatively painless task.

Download the package
and install a local version of MoinMoin. Follow the same instructions as given on how to install as given in BasicInstallation section. I'll assume that you've installed it in /usr/local/ as was given in the example:

% python install --prefix='/usr/local' --record=install.log

Using /usr/local will separate the Debian/Ubuntu copy from your self installed copy.

You can then proceed on to installing MoinMoin using the same instructions from Ubuntu 7.04 - the instructions are still valid, but the thing that you have to watch out is to remember to replace all references of /usr/share/ with /usr/local/share.

In addition, you will have to modify the moin.cgi file. In downloaded version, it does not point to the /etc/moin configuration path. In order to reuse your old configuration, add the following line in red into your moin.cgi file:

#sys.path.insert(0, '/path/to/wikiconfigdir')
#sys.path.insert(0, '/path/to/farmconfigdir')
sys.path.insert(0, '/etc/moin')

This will make the wiki start reading from the /etc/moin directory like your Debian/Ubuntu package does.

Debian/Ubuntu has made further changes in the configuration to ensure you don't use the GUI editor, so you have to revert them back by adding or modifying the two lines your /etc/moin/ file:

# The GUI WYSISYG editor is not installed with Debian.
# See /usr/share/doc/$(cdbs_curpkg)/README.Debian for more info
editor_force = True
editor_default = 'text' # internal default, just for completeness


Once the changes are made, restart apache, and FCKEditor should be reenabled again.


Yuuko said...

FCKeditor is really good but i've heard many bad things about it. And tinyMCE is easier to integrate to any scripts in the web.

Unknown said...

I am currently using tinyMCE for work, and it certainly has more features than FCKeditor, so certainly no complaints about that.

Given I haven't really gone into the details of tinyMCE, the only complaint I have is that it generates HTML rather than wiki-syntax - maybe I'm wrong about this.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to install only the FCKEditor package included into Lenny and modifying the /etc/moin/ to enable it ?


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