r46 - 15 Aug 2004 - 08:15:44 - PeterThoeny?You are here: TWiki >  TWiki Web  > TWikiDocumentation

TWiki Reference Manual (TWiki-4.0.5, Tue, 24 Oct 2006, build 11822)

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

Note - if you are reading this at twiki.org, then you are reading about the most recent code under development.
If you want to read about the features on your local TWiki, then you should read the documentation there!

Note: Read the most up to date version of this document at http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/TWiki/TWikiDocumentation

Related Topics: TWikiSite, TWikiHistory, TWikiPlannedFeatures, TWikiEnhancementRequests


1 TWiki System Requirements

Server and client requirements

Low client and server base requirements are core features that keep TWiki widely deployable, particularly across a range of browser platforms and versions. Many Plugins and contrib modules exist which enhance and expand TWiki's capabilities; they may have additional requirements.

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.

Resource Required Server Environment *
Perl 5.005_03 or higher (5.8.4 or higher is recommended)
RCS 5.7 or higher (including GNU diff)
Optional, TWiki includes a pure perl implementation of RCS that can be used instead (although it's slower)
GNU diff GNU diff 2.7 or higher is required when not using the all-Perl RcsLite.
Install on PATH if not included with RCS (check version with diff -v)
Must be the version used by RCS, to avoid problems with binary attachments - RCS may have hard-coded path to diff
GNU patch For upgrades only: GNU patch is required when using the TWiki:Codev.UpgradeTWiki script
Other external programs fgrep, egrep
Cron/scheduler • Unix: cron
• Windows: cron equivalents
Web server Apache is well supported; see TWiki:TWiki.InstallingTWiki#OtherWebServers for other servers

Required CPAN Modules

The following Perl modules are used by TWiki:
Module Preferred version
Algorithm::Diff (included)  
CGI::Carp >=1.26
Config >=0
Cwd >=3.05
Data::Dumper >=2.121
Error (included)  
File::Copy >=2.06
File::Find >=1.05
File::Spec >=3.05
File::Temp (included with perl 5.6 and later)
FileHandle >=2.01
IO::File >=1.10
Text::Diff (included)  
Time::Local >=1.11

Optional CPAN Modules

The following Perl modules may be used by TWiki:
Module Preferred version Description
CGI::Cookie >=1.24 Used for session support
CGI::Session >=3.95 Used for session support
Digest::base    
Digest::SHA1    
Jcode   Used for I18N support with perl 5.6
Locale::Maketext::Lexicon >=0 Used for I18N support
Net::SMTP >=2.29 Used for sending mail
Unicode::Map   Used for I18N support with perl 5.6
Unicode::Map8   Used for I18N support with perl 5.6
Unicode::MapUTF8   Used for I18N support with perl 5.6
Unicode::String   Used for I18N support with perl 5.6
URI   Used for configure

Most of them will probably already be available in your installation. You can check version numbers with the configure script, or if you're still trying to get to that point, check from the command line like this:

perl -e 'use FileHandle; print $FileHandle::VERSION."\n"'

Client Requirements

The TWiki standard installation has relatively low browser requirements:

  • HTML 3.2 compliant
  • Cookies, if persistent sessions are required

CSS and Javascript are used in most skins, although there is a low-fat skin (Classic skin) available that minimises these requirements. Some skins will require more recent releases of browsers. The default skin (Pattern) is tested on IE 6, Safari, and Mozilla 5.0 based browsers (such as Firefox).

You can easily select a balance of browser capability versus look and feel. Try the installed skins at TWikiSkinBrowser and more at TWiki:Plugins.SkinPackage.

Important note about TWiki Plugins

  • Plugins can require just about anything - browser-specific functions, stylesheets (CSS), Java applets, cookies, specific Perl modules,... - check the individual Plugin specs.
    • TIP Note: Plugins included in the TWiki distribution do not add requirements, except for the CommentPlugin which requires Perl 5.6.1.

Related Topics: AdminDocumentationCategory


2 TWiki Installation Guide

Installation instructions for the TWiki 4.0 production release.

If you are upgrading from a previous version of TWiki, you probably want to read TWikiUpgradeGuide instead.

TWiki should be fine with any web server and OS that meet the system requirements. The following installation instructions are written for experienced system administrators; please review the AdminSkillsAssumptions before you install TWiki. If you need help, ask a question in the TWiki:Support web or on TWiki:Codev.TWikiIRC (irc.freenode.net, channel #twiki)

HELP Hint: TWiki:TWiki.InstallingTWiki on TWiki.org has supplemental documentation that help you install TWiki on different platforms, environments and web hosting sites.

Basic Installation

  1. Download the TWiki distribution from http://TWiki.org/download.html.
  2. Make a directory for the installation and unpack the distribution in it.
  3. Make sure the user that runs CGI scripts on your system can read and write all files in the distribution.
    Detailed instructions on file permissions are beyond the scope of this guide, but in general:
    • During installation and configuration, the CGI user needs to be able to read and write everything in the distribution,
    • Once installation and configuration is complete, the CGI user needs write access to everything under the data and pub directories and to lib/LocalSite.cfg. Everything else should be read-only.
    • Everybody else should be denied access to everything, always.
  4. Make sure Perl 5 and the Perl CGI library are installed on your system.
    The default location of Perl is /usr/bin/perl. If it's somewhere else, change the path to Perl in the first line of each script in the twiki/bin directory.
    HELP Some systems require a special extension on perl scripts (e.g. .cgi or .pl). If necessary, rename all files in twiki/bin (i.e. rename view to view.pl etc). If you do this, make sure you set the ScriptSuffix option in configure (Step 6).
  5. Create the file /twiki/bin/LocalLib.cfg.
    There is a template for this file in /twiki/bin/LocalLib.cfg.txt.
    The file must contain a setting for $twikiLibPath, which must point to the absolute file path of your twiki/lib e.g. /home/httpd/twiki/lib.
    HELP If you need to install additional CPAN modules, but can't update the main Perl installation files on the server, you can set $CPANBASE to point to your personal CPAN install. Don't forget that the webserver user has to be able to read those files as well.
  6. Configure the webserver so you can execute the bin/configure script from your browser.
    • Explicit instructions for doing this are beyond the scope of this document, though there is a lot of advice on TWiki.org covering different configurations of webserver. To help you out, there's an example Apache httpd.conf file in twiki_httpd_conf.txt at the root of the package. This file also contains advice on securing your installation. There's also a script called tools/rewriteshebang.pl to help you in fixing up the shebang lines in your CGI scripts.
  7. Run the configure script from your browser, and resolve any errors or warnings it tells you about.
You now have a basic, unauthenticated installation running. At this point you can just point your Web browser at http://yourdomain.com/twiki/bin/view and start TWiki-ing away!

Next Steps

Once you have your TWiki running, you can move on to customise it for your users.

Troubleshooting

  • The first step is to re-run the configure script and make sure you have resolved all errors, and are happy that you understand any warnings.
  • TWiki:TWiki.InstallingTWiki on TWiki.org has supplemental documentation that help you install TWiki on different platforms, environments and web hosting sites.
  • If you need help, ask a question in the TWiki:Support web or on TWiki:Codev.TWikiIRC (irc.freenode.net, channel #twiki)


Warning: Can't find topic TWiki.WindowsInstallCookbook


3 TWiki Upgrade Guide

Upgrade from the previous TWiki 01-Sep-2004 Prodcution Release to TWiki-4.0.0

Overview

TWiki-4.0.0 is a major new release. You can chose between an automated upgrade using a script or a manual update.

Upgrade Requirements

  • Please review the AdminSkillsAssumptions before you upgrade TWiki
  • Review TWiki:TWiki.TWikiUpgradeTo04x00x00 for latest information and experience notes.
  • To upgrade from a release prior to TWiki Release 01-Sep-2004, start with TWiki:TWiki.UpgradingTWiki on TWiki.org
  • To upgrade from a standard TWiki Release 01-Sep-2004 to the latest TWiki-4.0.0 Production Release, follow the instructions below
  • Once the upgrade has been applied, an existing earlier installation will still be able to read all the topics, but should not be used to write. Make sure you take a backup!
  • Not all Plugins written for TWiki Release 01-Sep-2004 are fully supported with Dakar. Make sure the Plugins you use can be upgraded as well!

Major Changes Compared to TWiki Release 01-Sep-2004

See TWikiReleaseNotes04x00.

Automated Upgrade Procedure

If you would prefer to do things manually, or if you made custom modifications to distributed files (except topics), then skip to the manual upgrade procedure below.

The upgrade script is called "UpgradeTwiki", and is found in the root of the distribution. It can be run by any user, though you will need to make sure you correct the permissions so that the webserver user can write all files in the new installation when you have finished. The upgrade script does not write to your existing installation.

The upgrade script will upgrade the TWiki core only. Plugins will need to be upgraded separately.

Note: To upgrade from a Beta, do not use UpgradeTWiki. Instead follow the steps outlined in Upgrading a Beta, below.

It will:

  • Create a new TWiki installation, placing the files from the distribution there as appropriate
  • Where possible, merge the changes you've made in your existing topics and attachments into the new twiki
  • Where not possible, it will tell you, and you can inspect those differences manually
  • Create new configuration files for the new TWiki based on your existing configuation information
  • Set the permissions in the new TWiki so that it should work straight away
  • Attempt to setup authentication for your new TWiki, if you are using .htaccess in the old one
  • Tell you what else you need to do

To perform the upgrade, you need to:

  • Check first if there is a newer UpgradeTwiki script available, see TWiki:Codev.UpgradeTWiki
  • Create a new directory for your new installation: Let's call this distro/
  • Put the distribution zip file in distro/
  • Unzip it
  • Choose a directory for the new installation. I will call this new_twiki. This directory must not already exist.
  • Change directory to distro/ and run:
    ./UpgradeTwiki <full path to existing_twiki's setlib.cfg> <full path to new_twiki>
  • confirm your system settings by pointing your browser to the configure script

Assuming all goes well, UpgradeTwiki will give you the final instructions.

Visit TWiki:Codev.KnownIssuesOfTWiki04x00x00 and fix known issues that apply to you.

There are a few points worth noting:

  • UpgradeTwiki may not be able to merge all the changes you made in your existing TWiki into the new installation, but it will tell you which ones it couldn't deal with
  • UpgradeTwiki creates the new installation in a new directory tree. It makes a complete copy of all your existing data, so:
    • Clearly you need to point it to a location where there is enough space
    • If you have symlinks under your data/ directory in your existing installation, these are reproduced as actual directories in the new structure. It is up to you to pull these sub-directories out again and re-symlink as needed
  • UpgradeTwiki doesn't deal with custom templates or Plugins, you will have to reinstall these in the new installation.
  • If you are using the Htpasswd login manager, then note that email addresses for users have moved out of user topics and into the password database. There is a script that performs this extra upgrade step for you - see tools/upgrade_emails.pl.

Manual Upgrade Procedure

The following steps are a rough guide to upgrading only. It is impossible to give detailed instructions, as what you have to do may depend on whether you can configure the webserver or not, and how much you have changed distributed files in your current TWiki release.

  1. Follow the installation instructions, and install the new release in a new directory.
  2. Copy your local webs over to the data and pub directories of the new install
    • You could also use softlinks to link the web directories in data and pub to the old installation area
  3. Unlock the rcs files in data and pub directories from the old installation using the following shell commands:
    • find data -name '*,v' -exec rcs -r -u -M '{}' \;
    • find pub -name '*,v' -exec rcs -r -u -M '{}' \;
  4. Examine your old TWiki.cfg, and for each local setting, set the corresponding value in the configure interface for the new install.
    • If you can't use configure, then copy the new TWiki.cfg to LocalSite.cfg, and edit LocalSite.cfg. Remove all the settings that you didn't change in your previous install, and change the remaining settings to the values from your old TWiki.cfg.
  5. Transfer any customized and local settings from TWiki.TWikiPreferences to the topic pointed at by {LocalSitePreferences} (Main.TWikiPreferences). This avoids having to write over files in the distribution.
  6. If you changed any of the topics in the original TWiki distribution, you will have to transfer your changes to the new install manually. There is no simple way to do this, though the following procedure may help:
    1. Install a copy of the original TWiki release you were using in a temporary directory
    2. Use 'diff' to find changed files, and transfer the changes into the new Dakar install.
    3. Install updated plugins into your new area.
  7. Point your webserver at the new install.
  8. Visit TWiki:Codev.KnownIssuesOfTWiki04x00x00 and fix known issues that apply to you.
  9. If you are using the Htpasswd login manager, then note that email addresses for users have moved out of user topics and into the password database. There is a script that performs this extra upgrade step for you - see tools/upgrade_emails.pl.

You are highly recommended not to change any distributed files if you can avoid it, to simplify future upgrades!

Upgrading a Beta

If you followed the recommendations and avoided modifying any distributed files, then this is quite straightforward:
  1. Follow the installation instructions, and install the new release in a new directory.
  2. Copy your local webs over to the data and pub directories of the new install
    • Be careful to copy over the user topics and TWikiUsers?.txt in the Main web
  3. Copy over your bin/LocalLib.cfg and lib/LocalSite.cfg files
  4. Copy over any local files you created (such as .htpasswd and .htaccess files)
  5. Point your webserver at the new install.
If you changed any of the distributed files, you will have to continue from Step 5 above.

Upgrading from Cairo to TWiki4 (additional advice)

Favicon

TWiki4's PatternSkin introduces the use of the favicon feature which most browsers use to show a small icon in front of the URL and for bookmarks.

In TWiki4 it is assumed that each web has a favicon.ico file attached to the WebPreferences topic. When you upgrade from Cairo to TWiki4 you do not have this file and you will get flooded with errors the error log of your web server. There are two solutions to this.

  • Attach a favicon.ico file to WebPreferences in each web.
  • Change the setting of the location of favicon.ico in TWikiPreferences so all webs use the favicon.ico from the TWiki web. This is the fastest and easiest solution.

To change the location of favicon.ico in TWikiPreferences to the TWiki web add this line to TWikiPreferences

   * Set FAVICON = %PUBURLPATH%/%TWIKIWEB%/%WEBPREFSTOPIC%/favicon.ico


4 TWiki User Authentication

TWiki site access control and user activity tracking options

Overview

Authentication, or "login", is the process by which a user lets TWiki know who they are.

Authentication isn't just to do with access control. TWiki uses authentication to identify users, so it can keep track of who made changes, and manage a wide range of personal settings. With authentication enabled, users can personalise TWiki and contribute as recognised individuals, instead of shadows.

TWiki authentication is very flexible, and can either stand alone or integrate with existing authentication schemes. You can set up TWiki to require authentication for every access, or only for changes. Authentication is also essential for access control.

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

TWiki user authentication is split into three sections; password management, user registration, and login management. Password management deals with how users are recognised (authenticated). Registration deals with how new users are added to the wiki. Login management deals with how users log in.

Once a user is logged on, they are remembered using a "session id" stored in a cookie in the browser (or by other less elegant means if the user has disabled cookies). This avoids them having to log on again and again.

Please note FileAttachments are not protected by TWiki User Authentication.

TIP Tip: TWiki:TWiki.TWikiUserAuthenticationSupplement on TWiki.org has supplemental documentation on user authentication.

Password Management

As shipped, TWiki supports the Apache 'htpasswd' password manager. This manager supports the use of .htpasswd files on the server. These files can be unique to TWiki, or can be shared with other applications (such as an Apache webserver). A variety of password encodings are supported for flexibility when re-using existing files. See the descriptive comments in the Security Settings section of the configure interface for more details.

New User Registration

New user registration uses the password manager to set and change passwords. It is also responsible for the new user verification process. the registration process supports single user registration via the TWikiRegistration page, and bulk user registration via the BulkRegistration page (for admins only).

The registration process is responsible for creating user topics.

Login Management

Login management controls the way users have to log in. There are three basic options; no login, login via a TWiki login page, and login using the webserver authentication support.

You can select your chosen login through the Security Settings pane in the configure interface.

No Login (select none in configure)

Does exactly what it says on the tin. Forget about authentication to make your site completely public - anyone can browse and edit freely, in classic Wiki style. All visitors are given the TWikiGuest default identity, so you can't track individual user activity.

ALERT! Note: This setup is not recommended on public websites for security reasons; anyone would be able to change system settings and perform tasks usually restricted to the TWikiAdminGroup.

Template Login (select TWiki::Client::TemplateLogin in configure)

Template Login asks for a username and password in a web page, and processes them using whatever Password Manager you choose. Users can log in and log out.

Enabling Template Login

  1. Use the configure interface to
    1. select the TWiki::Client::TemplateLogin login manager (on the Security Settings pane).
    2. select the appropriate password manager for your system, or provide your own.
  2. Register yourself in the TWikiRegistration topic.
    HELP Check that the password manager recognises the new user. If you are using .htpasswd files, check that a new line with the username and encrypted password is added to the .htpasswd file. If not, you probably got a path wrong, or the permissions may not allow the webserver user to write to that file.
  3. Create a new topic to check if authentication works.
  4. Edit the TWikiAdminGroup topic in the Main web to include users with system administrator status.
    ALERT! This is a very important step, as users in this group can access all topics, independent of TWiki access controls.

TWikiAccessControl has more information on setting up access controls.

ALERT! At this time TWikiAccessControls cannot control access to files in the pub area, unless they are only accessed through the viewfile script. If your pub directory is set up in the webserver to allow open access you may want to add .htaccess files in there to restrict access.

TIP You can create a custom version of the TWikiRegistration form by deleting or adding input tags. The name="" parameter of the input tags must start with: "Twk0..." (if this is an optional entry), or "Twk1..." (if this is a required entry). This ensures that the fields are carried over into the user home page correctly.

TIP You can customize the default user home page in NewUserTemplate. The same variables get expanded as in the template topics

Apache Login (select TWiki::Client::ApacheLogin in configure)

Using this method TWiki does not authenticate users internally. Instead it depends on the REMOTE_USER environment variable, which is set when you enable authentication in the webserver.

The advantage of this scheme is that if you have an existing website authentication scheme using Apache modules such as mod_auth_ldap or mod_auth_mysql you can just plug in directly to them.

The disadvantage is that because the user identity is cached in the browser, you can log in, but you can't log out again unless you restart the browser.

TWiki maps the REMOTE_USER that was used to log in to the webserver to a WikiName using the table in TWikiUsers. This table is updated whenever a user registers, so users can choose not to register (in which case their webserver login name is used for their signature) or register (in which case that login name is mapped to their WikiName).

The same private .htpasswd file used in TWiki Template Login can be used to authenticate Apache users, using the Apache Basic Authentication support. This allows the TWiki registration support to maintain usernames and passwords.

Warning: Do not use the Apache htpasswd program with .htpasswd files generated by TWiki! htpasswd wipes out email addresses that TWiki plants in the info fields of this file.

Enabling Apache Login using mod_auth

You can use any other Apache authentication module that sets REMOTE_USER.
  1. Use configure to select the TWiki::Client::ApacheLogin login manager.
  2. Use configure to set up TWiki to create the right kind of .htpasswd entries.
  3. Create a .htaccess file in the twiki/bin directory.
    HELP There is an template for this file in twiki/bin/.htaccess.txt that you can copy and change. The comments in the file explain what need to be done.
    HELP If you got it right, the browser should now ask for login name and password when you click on the Edit. If .htaccess does not have the desired effect, you may need to "AllowOverride All" for the directory in httpd.conf (if you have root access; otherwise, e-mail web server support)
    ALERT! At this time TWikiAccessControls do not control access to files in the pub area, unless they are only accessed through the viewfile script. If your pub directory is set up to allow open access you may want to add .htaccess files in there as well to restrict access
  4. You can create a custom version of TWikiRegistration by deleting or adding input tags. The name="" parameter of the input tags must start with: "Twk0..." (if this is an optional entry), or "Twk1..." (if this is a required entry). This ensures that the fields are carried over into the user home page correctly.
    You can customize the default user home page in NewUserTemplate. The same variables get expanded as in the template topics
  5. Register yourself in the TWikiRegistration topic.
    HELP Check that a new line with the username and encrypted password is added to the .htpasswd file. If not, you may have got a path wrong, or the permissions may not allow the webserver user to write to that file.
  6. Create a new topic to check if authentication works.
  7. Edit the TWikiAdminGroup topic in the Main web to include users with system administrator status.
    ALERT! This is a very important step, as users in this group can access all topics, independent of TWiki access controls.
TWikiAccessControl has more information on setting up access controls.

Logons via bin/logon

Any time a user enters a page that needs authentication, they will be forced to log on. It may be convenient to have a "logon" as well, to give the system a chance to identify the user and retrieve their personal settings. It may be convenient to force them to log on.

The bin/logon script accomplishes this. The bin/logon script must be setup in the bin/.htaccess file to be a script which requires a valid user. However, once authenticated, it will simply redirect the user to the view URL for the page from which the logon script was linked.

Sessions

TWiki uses the CPAN:CGI::Session and CPAN:CGI::Cookie modules to track sessions using cookies. These modules are de facto standards for session management among Perl programmers. If you can't use Cookies for any reason, CPAN:CGI::Session also supports session tracking using the client IP address. See How to choose an authentication method for a discussion of the pros and cons of the various authentication methods.

There are a number of TWikiVariables available that you can use to interrogate your current session. You can even add your own session variables to the TWiki cookie. Session variables are referred to as "sticky" variables.

Getting, Setting, and Clearing Session Variables

You can get, set, and clear session variables from within TWiki web pages or by using script parameters. This allows you to use the session as a personal "persistent memory space" that is not lost until the web browser is closed. Also note that if a session variable has the same name as a TWiki preference, the session variables value takes precedence over the TWiki preference. This allows for per-session preferences.

To make use of these features, use the tags:

%SESSION_VARIABLE{ "varName" }%
%SESSION_VARIABLE{ "varName" set="varValue" }%
%SESSION_VARIABLE{ "varName" clear="" }%

Note that you cannot override access controls preferences this way.

Cookies and Transparent Session IDs

TWiki normally uses cookies to store session information on a client computer. Cookies are a common way to pass session information from client to server. TWiki cookies simply hold a unique session identifier that is used to look up a database of session information on the TWiki server.

For a number of reasons, it may not be possible to use cookies. In this case, TWiki has a fallback mechanism; it will automatically rewrite every internal URL it sees on pages being generated to one that also passes session information.

TWiki Username vs. Login Username

This section applies only if you are using authentication with existing login names (i.e. mapping from login names to WikiNames).

TWiki internally manages two usernames: Login Username and TWiki Username.

  • Login Username: When you login to the intranet, you use your existing login username, ex: pthoeny. This name is normally passed to TWiki by the REMOTE_USER environment variable, and used internally. Login Usernames are maintained by your system administrator.

  • TWiki Username: Your name in WikiNotation, ex: PeterThoeny, is recorded when you register using TWikiRegistration; doing so also generates a personal home page in the Main web.

TWiki can automatically map an Intranet (Login) Username to a TWiki Username if the {AllowLoginName} is enabled in configure. The default is to use your WikiName as a login name.

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, for example Main.WikiUsername or %MAINWEB%.WikiUsername. This points WikiUsername to the Main web, where user home pages are located, 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

If your {PasswordManager} supports password changing, you can change and reset passwords using forms on regular pages.

Changing E-mail Addresses

If the active {PasswordManager} supports storage and retrieval of user e-mail addresses, you can change your e-mail using a regular page. As shipped, this is true only for the Apache 'htpasswd' password manager.

Controlling access to individual scripts

You may want to add or remove scripts from the list of scripts that require authentication. The method for doing this is different for each of Template Login and Apache Login.
  • For Template Login, update the {AuthScripts} list using configure
  • For Apache Login, add/remove the script from .htaccess

How to choose an authentication method

One of the key features of TWiki is that it is possible to add HTML to topics. No authentication method is 100% secure on a website where end users can add HTML, as there is always a risk that a malicious user can add code to a topic that gathers user information, such as session IDs. The TWiki developers have been forced to make certain tradeoffs, in the pursuit of efficiency, that may be exploited by a hacker.

This section discusses some of the known risks. You can be sure that any potential hackers have read this section as well!

Firstly, the most secure method is without doubt to use the webserver authentication support, with Sessions turned off.

The second most secure method is to use TWiki's internal authentication with Sessions turned off. This method is less secure than using the webserver because passwords are sent in plain text and can therefore be intercepted in transit.

As soon as you allow the server to maintain information about a logged-in user, you open a door to potential attacks. There are a variety of ways a malicious user can pervert TWiki to obtain another users session ID, the most common of which is known as a cross-site scripting attack. Once a hacker has an SID they can pretend to be that user.

To help prevent these sorts of attacks, TWiki supports IP matching, which ensures that the IP address of the user requesting a specific session is the same as the IP address of the user who created the session. This works well as long as IP addresses are unique to each client, and as long as the IP address of the client can't be faked.

The third most secure method is to use sessions with IP matching ({UseIPMatching} switched on). Shorter session expiry times are more secure ({Sessions}{ExpireAfter}). The default session lifetime is 6 hours, which is quite a long lifetime for a session.

Session IDs are usually stored by TWiki in cookies, which are stored in the client browser. Cookies work well, but not all environments or users permit cookies to be stored in browsers. So TWiki also supports two other methods of determining the session ID. The first method uses the client IP address to determine the session ID. The second uses a rewriting method that rewrites local URLs in TWiki pages to include the session ID in the URL.

The first method works well as long as IP addresses are unique to each individual client, and client IP addresses can't be faked by a hacker. If IP addresses are unique and can't be faked, it is almost as secure as cookies + IP matching, so it ranks as the fourth most secure method.

If you have to turn IP matching off, and cookies can't be relied on, then you may have to rely on the second method, URL rewriting. This method exposes the session IDs very publicly, so should be regarded as the least secure method.

See TWiki:TWiki.SecuringTWikiSite for more information.


5 TWiki Access Control

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

TWiki Access Control allows you restrict access to single topics and entire webs, by individual user and by user Groups. Access control, combined with TWikiUserAuthentication, lets you easily create and manage an extremely flexible, fine-grained privilege system.

TIP Tip: TWiki:TWiki.TWikiAccessControlSupplement on TWiki.org has additional documentation on access control.

An Important Control Consideration

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

  • Peer influence is enough to ensure that only relevant content is posted.
  • Peer editing - the ability for anyone to rearrange all content on a page - keeps topics focused.
  • In TWiki, content is transparently preserved under revision control:
    • Edits can be undone by the TWikiAdminGroup (the default administrators group; see #ManagingGroups).
    • Users are encouraged to edit and refactor (condense a long topic), since there's a safety net.
As a collaboration guideline:
  • Create broad-based Groups (for more and varied input), and...
  • Avoid creating view-only Users (if you can read it, you should be able to contribute to it).

Permissions settings of the webs on this TWiki site

Web Sitemap VIEW CHANGE RENAME
Listed DENY ALLOW DENY ALLOW DENY ALLOW
Main ... on       TWikiAdminGroup?   TWikiAdminGroup?
TWiki ... on       TWikiAdminGroup   TWikiAdminGroup
Sautrela ... on       GttsGroup   TWikiAdminGroup

See TWikiAccessControl for details

Please Note:

  • A blank in the the above table may mean either the corresponding control is absent or commented out or that it has been set to a null value. The two conditions have dramatically different and possibly opposed semantics.
  • TWikiGuest is the guest account - used by unauthenticated users.
  • The TWiki web must not deny view to TWikiGuest; otherwise, people will not be able to register.

Note: Above table comes from SitePermissions

Authentication vs. Access Control

Authentication: Identifies who a user is based on a login procedure. See TWikiUserAuthentication.

Access control: Restrict access to content based on users and groups once a user is identified.

Users and Groups

Access control is based on the familiar concept of Users and Groups. Users are defined by their WikiNames. They can then be organized in unlimited combinations by inclusion in one or more user Groups. For convenience, Groups can also be included in other Groups.

Managing Users

A user can create an account in TWikiRegistration. The following actions are performed:

  • WikiName and encrypted password are recorded using the password manager if authentication is enabled.
  • A confirmation e-mail is sent to the user.
  • A user home page with the WikiName of the user is created in the Main web.
  • The user is added to the TWikiUsers topic.

The default visitor name is TWikiGuest. This is the non-authenticated user.

Managing Groups

Groups are defined by group topics located in the Main web, such as the TWikiAdminGroup. To create a new group, visit TWikiGroups and enter the name of the new group ending in Group into the "new group" form field. This will create a new group topic with two important settings:

  • Set GROUP = < list of Users and/or Groups >
  • Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = < list of Users and/or Groups >

The GROUP setting is a comma-separated list of users and/or other groups. Example:

  • Set GROUP = Main.SomeUser, Main.OtherUser, Main.SomeGroup

The ALLOWTOPICCHANGE setting defines who is allowed to change the group topic; it is a comma delimited list of users and groups. You typically want to restrict that to the members of the group itself, so it should contain the name of the topic. This prevents users not in the group from editing the topic to give themselves or others access. For example, for the TWikiAdminGroup topic write:

  • Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = Main.TWikiAdminGroup

ALERT! Note: TWiki has strict formatting rules. Make sure you have three spaces, an asterisk, and an extra space in front of any access control rule.

The Super Admin Group

By mistyping a user or group name in the settings, it's possible to lock a topic so that no-one can edit it from a browser. To avoid this, add the WikiNames of registered administrators to the super admin group topic called TWikiAdminGroup. The name of this topic is defined by the {SuperAdminGroup} configure setting. Example group setting:

  • Set GROUP= Main.ElizabethWindsor, Main.TonyBlair

Restricting Access

You can define who is allowed to read or write to a web or a topic. Note that some plugins may not respect access permissions.

  • Restricting VIEW blocks viewing and searching of content.
  • Restricting CHANGE blocks creating new topics, changing topics or attaching files.
  • Restricting RENAME controls who is allowed to rename, move or delete a topic.
    • To rename, move or delete a topic, the user also also needs VIEW and CHANGE permission. They also need CHANGE access to change references in any referring topics (though the rename can proceed without this access), and CHANGE access to the target topic.
  • Restricting MANAGE controls access to certain management functions, such as 'create web'. It must be set in the TWiki web.

Controlling access to a Web

You can define restrictions of who is allowed to view a TWiki web. You can restrict access to certain webs to selected Users and Groups, by:

  • authenticating all webs and restricting selected webs: Topic access in all webs is authenticated, and selected webs have restricted access.
  • authenticating and restricting selected webs only: Provide unrestricted viewing access to open webs, with authentication and restriction only on selected webs.

  • You can define these settings in the WebPreferences topic, preferable towards the end of the topic:
    • Set DENYWEBVIEW = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWWEBVIEW = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set DENYWEBCHANGE = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWWEBCHANGE = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set DENYWEBRENAME = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWWEBRENAME = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >

Be careful with empty values for any of these. In older versions of TWiki,

  • Set ALLOWWEBVIEW =
meant the same as not setting it at all. However since TWiki Dakar release, it means allow noone access i.e. prevent anyone from viewing the web. Similarly
  • Set DENYWEBVIEW =
now means do not deny anyone the right to view this web. See "How TWiki evaluates ALLOW/DENY settings" below for more on this.

Controlling access to a Topic

  • You can define these settings in the WebPreferences topic, preferable towards the end of the topic:
    • Set DENYTOPICVIEW = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWTOPICVIEW = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set DENYTOPICCHANGE = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set DENYTOPICRENAME = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >
    • Set ALLOWTOPICRENAME = < comma-delimited list of Users and Groups >

Remember when opening up access to specific topics within a restricted web that other topics in the web - for example, the WebLeftBar - may also be accessed when viewing the topics. The message you get when you are denied access should tell you what topic you were not permitted to access.

Be careful with empty values for any of these. In older versions of TWiki,

  • Set ALLOWTOPICVIEW =
meant the same as not setting it at all. However since TWiki Dakar release, it means allow no-one access i.e. prevent anyone from viewing the topic. Similarly
  • Set DENYTOPICVIEW =
now means do not deny anyone the right to view this topic. See "How TWiki evaluates ALLOW/DENY settings" below for more on this.

Controlling access to Attachments

Attachments are referred to directly, and are not normally indirected via TWiki scripts. This means that the above instructions for access control will not apply to attachments. It is possible that someone may inadvertently publicise a URL that they expected to be access-controlled.

The easiest way to apply the same access control rules for attachments as apply to topics is to use the Apache mod_rewrite module, and configure your webserver to redirect accesses to attachments to the TWiki viewfile script. For example,

    ScriptAlias /twiki/bin/ /filesystem/path/to/twiki/bin/
    Alias /twiki/pub/       /filesystem/path/to/twiki/pub/

    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/+twiki/+pub/+TWiki/+.+
    RewriteRule ^/+twiki/+pub/+([^/]+)/+((([^/]+)/+)+)(.+) /twiki/bin/viewfile/$1/$4?filename=$5 [L,PT]
</verbatim

That way all the controls that apply to the topic also apply to attachments to the topic. Other types of webserver have similar support.

__Note:__ Images embedded in topics will load much slower since each image will be delivered by the =viewfile= script.

---+++ How TWiki evaluates ALLOW/DENY settings

When deciding whether to grant access, TWiki evaluates the following rules in order (read from the top of the list; if the logic arrives at *PERMITTED* or *DENIED* that applies immediately and no more rules are applied). You need to read the rules bearing in mind that VIEW, CHANGE and RENAME access may be granted/denied separately.
   1 If the user is a [[#SuperAdminGroup][super-user]]
      * access is *PERMITTED*.
   1 If DENYTOPIC is set to a list of wikinames
      * people in the list will be *DENIED*.
   1 If DENYTOPIC is set to _empty_ ( i.e. <tt>Set DENYTOPIC =</tt> )
      * access is *PERMITTED* _i.e_ no-one is denied access to this topic
   1 If ALLOWTOPIC is set
      1 people in the list are *PERMITTED*
      1 everyone else is *DENIED*
         * Note that this means that setting ALLOWTOPIC to empty _denies access to everyone except admins_ (unless DENYTOPIC is also set to empty, as described above)
   1 If DENYWEB is set to a list of wikiname
      * people in the list are *DENIED* access
   1 If ALLOWWEB is set to a list of wikinames
      * people in the list will be *PERMITTED*
      * everyone else will be *DENIED*
         * Note that setting ALLOWWEB to empty _denies access to everyone except admins_
   1 If you got this far, access is *PERMITTED*

---++ Access Control quick recipes

---+++ Obfuscating Webs

Another way of hiding webs is to keep them hidden by not publishing the URL and by preventing the ==all webs== search option from accessing obfuscated webs. Do so by enabling the ==NOSEARCHALL== variable in %WEBPREFSTOPIC%:
   * ==Set <nop>NOSEARCHALL = on==

This setup can be useful to hide a new web until content its ready for deployment, or to hide view access restricted webs.

__%X% Note:__ Obfuscating a web without view access control is *very* insecure, as anyone who knows the URL can access the web.

---+++ Authenticate all Webs and Restrict Selected Webs

Use the following setup to authenticate users for topic viewing in all webs and to restrict access to selected webs. Requires TWikiUserAuthentication to be enabled.

   1. *Restrict* view access to selected Users and Groups. Set one or both of these variables in its %WEBPREFSTOPIC% topic:
      * ==Set <nop>DENYWEBVIEW = &lt; list of Users and Groups &gt;==
      * ==Set <nop>ALLOWWEBVIEW = &lt; list of Users and Groups &gt;==
      * __Note:__ =DENYWEBVIEW= is evaluated before =ALLOWWEBVIEW=. Access is denied if the authenticated person is in the =DENYWEBVIEW= list, or not in the =ALLOWWEBVIEW= list. Access is granted in case =DENYWEBVIEW= and =ALLOWWEBVIEW= is not defined.

---+++ Authenticate and Restrict Selected Webs Only

Use the following setup to provide unrestricted viewing access to open webs, with authentication only on selected webs. Requires TWikiUserAuthentication to be enabled.

   1. *Restrict* view access to selected Users and Groups. Set one or both of these variables in its %WEBPREFSTOPIC% topic:
      * ==Set <nop>DENYWEBVIEW = &lt; list of Users and Groups &gt;==
      * ==Set <nop>ALLOWWEBVIEW = &lt; list of Users and Groups &gt;==
      * __Note:__ =DENYWEBVIEW= is evaluated before =ALLOWWEBVIEW=. Access is denied if the authenticated person is in the =DENYWEBVIEW= list, or not in the =ALLOWWEBVIEW= list. Access is granted in case =DENYWEBVIEW= and =ALLOWWEBVIEW= is not defined.

---+++ Hide Control Settings

__%T% Tip:__ To hide access control settings from normal browser viewing, place them in HTML comment markers.

<blockquote>
==&lt;!--== <br />
==&nbsp;  * Set <nop>DENYTOPICCHANGE = %MAINWEB%.<nop>SomeGroup== <br />
==--&gt;==
</blockquote>


6 TWiki Text Formatting

Working in TWiki is as easy as typing in text. 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 laid out below.

TWiki Editing Shorthand

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

2nd paragraph
1st paragraph

2nd paragraph

Headings:
Three or more dashes at the beginning of a line, followed by plus signs and the heading text. One plus creates a top level heading, two pluses a second level heading, etc. The maximum heading depth is 6.

You can create a table of contents with the %TOC% variable. If you want to exclude a heading from the TOC, put !! after the ---+.

ALERT! Empty headings are allowed, but won't appear in the table of contents.

---++ Sushi
---+++ Maguro
---+++!! Not in TOC

Sushi

Maguro

Not in TOC

Bold Text:
Words get shown in bold by enclosing them in * asterisks.
*Bold*
Bold
Italic Text:
Words get shown in italic by enclosing them in _ underscores.
_Italic_
Italic
Bold Italic:
Words get shown in 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
TIP You can follow the closing bold, italic, or other (* _ __ = ==) indicator with normal punctuation, such as commas and full stops.

ALERT! Make sure there is no space between the text and the indicators.

_This works_,
_this does not _
This works,
_this does not _
Verbatim (Literal) Text:
Surround code excerpts and other formatted text with <verbatim> and </verbatim> tags.
TIP verbatim tags disable HTML code. Use <pre> and </pre> tags instead if you want the HTML code within the tags to be interpreted.
ALERT! NOTE: Preferences variables (* Set NAME = value) are set within verbatim tags.
<verbatim>
class CatAnimal {
  void purr() {
    <code here>
  }
}
</verbatim>
class CatAnimal {
  void purr() {
    <code here>
  }
}
Separator (Horizontal Rule):
Three or more three dashes at the beginning of a line..
-------

Bulleted List:
Multiple of three spaces, an asterisk, and another space.
HELP For all the list types, you can break a list item over several lines by indenting lines after the first one by at least 3 spaces.
   * level 1
      * level 2
   * back on 1
   * A bullet
     broken over
     three lines
   * last bullet
  • level 1
    • level 2
  • back on 1
  • A bullet broken over three lines
  • last bullet
Numbered List:
Multiple of three spaces, a type character, a dot, and another space. Several types are available besides a number:
Type Generated Style Sample Sequence
1. Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3, 4...
A. Uppercase letters A, B, C, D...
a. Lowercase letters a, b, c, d...
I. Uppercase Roman Numerals I, II, III, IV...
i. Lowercase Roman Numerals i, ii, iii, iv...
   1. Sushi
   1. Dim Sum
   1. Fondue

   A. Sushi
   A. Dim Sum
   A. Fondue

   i. Sushi
   i. Dim Sum
   i. Fondue
  1. Sushi
  2. Dim Sum
  3. Fondue

  1. Sushi
  2. Dim Sum
  3. Fondue

  1. Sushi
  2. Dim Sum
  3. Fondue
Definition List:
Three spaces, a dollar sign, the term, a colon, a space, followed by the definition.
   $ Sushi: Japan
   $ Dim Sum: S.F.
Sushi
Japan
Dim Sum
S.F.
Table:
Each row of the table is a line containing of one or more cells. Each cell starts and ends with a vertical bar '|'. Any spaces at the beginning of a line are ignored.
  • | *bold* | header cell with text in asterisks
  • |   center-aligned   | cell with at least two, and equal number of spaces on either side
  • |      right-aligned | cell with more spaces on the left
  • | 2 colspan || and multi-span columns with multiple |'s right next to each other
  • |^| cell with caret indicating follow-up row of multi-span rows
  • You can split rows over multiple lines by putting a backslash '\' at the end of each line
  • Contents of table cells wrap automatically as determined by the browser
TIP The TablePlugin provides the |^| multiple-span row functionality and additional rendering features
| *L* | *C* | *R* |
| A2 |  B2  |  C2 |
| A3 |  B3  |  C3 |
| multi span |||
| A5-7 |  5  |  5 |
|^| six | six |
|^| seven | seven |
| split\
  | over\
  | 3 lines |
| A9 |  B9  |  C9 |
L C R
A2 B2 C2
A3 B3 C3
multi span
A5-7 5 5
six six
seven seven
split over 3 lines
A9 B9 C9
WikiWord Links:
CapitalizedWordsStuckTogether (or WikiWords) will produce a link automatically if preceded by whitespace or parenthesis.
TIP If you want to link to a topic in a different web write Otherweb.TopicName.
HELP The link label excludes the name of the web, e.g. only the topic name is shown. As an exception, the name of the web is shown for the WebHome topic.

It's generally a good idea to use the TWikiVariables %TWIKIWEB% and %MAINWEB% instead of TWiki and Main.

WebStatistics

Sandbox.WebNotify

Sandbox.WebHome
WebStatistics

WebNotify?

Trash.Sandbox?

Anchors:
You can define a reference inside a TWiki 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.
[[WikiWord#NotThere]]

[[#MyAnchor][Jump]]

#MyAnchor To here
WikiWord#NotThere

Jump

To here

Forced Links:
You can create a forced internal link by enclosing words in double square brackets.
Text within the brackets may contain optional spaces; the topic name is formed by capitalizing the initial letter and by removing the spaces; for example, [[text formatting FAQ]] links to topic TextFormattingFAQ. You can also refer to a different web and use anchors.
TIP To "escape" double square brackets that would otherwise make a link, prefix the leading left square bracket with an exclamation point.
[[wiki syntax]]

[[Main.TWiki users]]

escaped:
![[wiki syntax]]
wiki syntax

Main.TWiki users

escaped: [[wiki syntax]]

Specific Links:
You can create a link where you specify the link text and the URL separately using nested square brackets [[reference][text]]. Internal link references (e.g. WikiSyntax) and URLs (e.g. http://TWiki.org/) are both supported. The rules described under Forced Links apply for internal link references.
TIP Anchor names can be added as well, to create a link to a specific place in a topic.
[[WikiSyntax][wiki syntax]]

[[http://gnu.org][GNU]]
wiki syntax

GNU

Prevent a Link:
Prevent a WikiWord from being linked by prepending it with an exclamation point.
!SunOS
SunOS
Disable Links:
You can disable automatic linking of WikiWords by surrounding text with <noautolink> and </noautolink> tags.
HELP It is possible to turn off all auto-linking with a NOAUTOLINK preferences setting.
 <noautolink>
 RedHat &
 SuSE
 </noautolink>
RedHat & SuSE
Mailto Links:
E-mail addresses are linked automatically. To create e-mail links that have more descriptive link text, specify subject lines or message bodies, or omit the e-mail address, you can write [[mailto:user@domain][descriptive text]].
a@b.com

[[mailto:a@b.com]\
[Mail]]

[[mailto:?subject=\
Hi][Hi]]
a@b.com

Mail

Hi

Using HTML

You can use just about any HTML tag without a problem. You can add HTML if there is no TWiki equivalent, for example, write <strike>deleted text</strike> to get deleted text.

ALERT! There are a few usability and technical considerations to keep in mind:

  • On collaboration pages, it's better not to use HTML, but to use TWiki shorthand instead - this keeps the text uncluttered and easy to edit.
  • If you use HTML use XHTML 1.0 Transitional syntax.
  • ALERT! Script tags may be filtered out, at the discretion of your TWiki administrator.

Recommendations when pasting HTML from other sources:

  • Copy only text between <body> and </body> tags.
  • Remove all empty lines. TWiki inserts <p /> paragraph tags on empty lines, which causes problems if done between HTML tags that do not allow paragraph tags, like for example between table tags.
  • Remove leading spaces. TWiki might interpret some text as lists.
  • Do not span a tag over more than one line. TWiki requires that the opening and closing angle brackets - <...> - of an HTML tag are on the same line, or the tag will be broken.
  • In your HTML editing program, save without hard line breaks on text wrap.

TIP TWiki converts shorthand notation to HTML for display. To copy a fully marked-up page, simply view the source in your browser and save the contents. If you need to save HTML frequently, you may want to check out TWiki:Plugins/PublishAddOn.

Script tags

You can use HTML <script> tags for your TWiki applications. However note that your TWiki administrator can disable <script> in topics, and may have chosen to do so for security considerations. TWiki markup and TWikiVariables are not expanded inside script tags.

Hyperlinks

Being able to create links without any special formatting is a core TWiki feature, made possible with WikiWords and inline URLs.

Internal Links

  • GoodStyle is a WikiWord that links to the GoodStyle topic located in the current web.

  • NotExistingYet? is a topic waiting to be written. Create the topic by clicking on the ?. (Try clicking, but then, Cancel - creating the topic would wreck this example!)

External Links

  • http://..., https://..., ftp://..., gopher://..., news://..., file://..., telnet://... and mailto:...@... are linked automatically.

  • E-mail addresses like name@domain.com are linked automatically.

  • [[Square bracket rules]] let you easily create non-WikiWord links.
    • You can also write [[http://yahoo.com Yahoo home page]] as an easier way of doing external links with descriptive text for the link, such as Yahoo home page.

TWiki Variables

TWiki Variables are names that are enclosed in percent signs % that are expanded on the fly. Some variables take arguments, such as %INCLUDE%. For those variables, the arguments are included in curly braces ({ and }).

Variable In brief Full documentation
%TOC% Automatically generates a table of contents based on headings in a topic - see the top of this page for an example. VarTOC
%WEB% The current web, is TWiki. VarWEB
%TOPIC% The current topic name, is TWikiDocumentation. VarTOPIC
%ATTACHURL% The attachment URL of the current topic. Example usage: If you attach a file to a topic you can refer to it as %ATTACHURL%/image.gif to show the URL of the file or the image in your text. VarATTACHURL
%INCLUDE{"SomeTopic"}% Server side include, includes another topic. The current web is the default web. Example: %INCLUDE{"TWiki.SiteMap"}% VarINCLUDE
%SEARCH{"sushi"}% Inline search showing the search result embedded in a topic. FormattedSearch gives you control over formatting, useful for creating web-based applications. VarSEARCH

TWikiPreferences defines some site-wide variables. Among them are:

  • Line break: Write %BR% to start a new line.
  • Colored text: Write: %RED% Red %ENDCOLOR% and %BLUE% blue %ENDCOLOR% colors to get: Red and blue colors.

There are many more variables. To see them all, go to TWikiVariables.

Documentation Graphics: There are many graphics available to use in your topics. Use %ICON{"help"}%, %ICON{"tip"|%, and %icon{"warning"}% to get: HELP, TIP, and ALERT!. To see all of the graphics available, see TWikiDocGraphics.

tip To "escape" a variable, prefix it with an exclamation mark. Write: !%SOMEVARIABLE% to get: %SOMEVARIABLE%.

TWikiPlugin Formatting Extensions

Plugins can extend the functionality of TWiki into many other areas. There are a huge number of TWiki plugins available from the Plugins web on TWiki.org.

Currently enabled plugins on this TWiki installation, as listed by %PLUGINDESCRIPTIONS%:

  • AttachContentPlugin ($Rev: 11758$): Caches portions of a topic in attachments to that topic
  • BibtexPlugin (1.5, $Rev: 16333 (12 Dec 2008) $): Embeds BibTeX entries in a TWiki page
  • BreadCrumbsPlugin (v0.05, $Rev: 11409$): A flexible way to display breadcrumbs navigation
  • CalendarPlugin (Dakar, 9113): Show a monthly calendar with highlighted events
  • CaptchaPlugin (Dakar, 1.5-pre3): To prevent automated bots from spamming
  • CodeMikelPlugin (Dakar, $Rev: 9813$):
  • CommentPlugin (Dakar, 8164): Allows users to quickly post comments to a page without an edit/preview/save cycle.
  • EditTablePlugin (any TWiki, 11706): Edit TWiki tables using edit fields, date pickers and drop down boxes
  • ExplicitNumberingPlugin (Dakar, 6827): Use the ##., ##.. etc. notation to insert outline numbering sequences (1, 1.1, 2, 2.1) in topic's text. Support also numbered headings.
  • FilterPlugin (0.97, $Rev: 11709$): Substitute and extract information from content by using regular expressions
  • FlexWebListPlugin (v0.09, $Rev: 11715$): Flexible way to display hierarchical weblists
  • GenPDFLatexPlugin (Dakar, 1.300): Support functions for the GenPDFLatexAddOn package
  • GluePlugin (1.51, $Rev: 11220$): Enable TWikiML to span multiple lines
  • IfDefinedPlugin (v0.95, $Rev: 11518$): Render content conditionally
  • InterwikiPlugin (Dakar, $Rev: 8329$): Link ExternalSite:Page text to external sites based on aliases defined in a rules topic
  • NatSkinPlugin (3.00-pre10, $Rev: 11714$): Supplements the bare bones NatSkin theme for TWiki
  • PreferencesPlugin (Dakar, 9839): Allows editing of preferences using fields predefined in a form
  • RedDotPlugin (1.37, $Rev: 11521$): Renders edit-links as little red dots
  • RenderListPlugin (1.033): Render bullet lists in a variety of formats
  • SlideShowPlugin (Dakar, $Rev: 8154$): Create web based presentations based on topics with headings.
  • SmiliesPlugin (Dakar, 8154): Render smilies as icons, like  :-) for smile or  :cool: for :cool:
  • SpreadSheetPlugin (any TWiki, 10197): Add spreadsheet calculation like "$SUM( $ABOVE() )" to tables located in TWiki topics.
  • TablePlugin (Dakar, 8154): Control attributes of tables and sorting of table columns
  • TocPlugin (Dakar, 6827): Sophisticated table of contents generation
  • TwistyPlugin (1.2.0, $Rev: 11829$): Twisty section JavaScript library to open/close content dynamically

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

Common Editing Errors

TWiki formatting rules are fairly simple to use and quick to type. However, there are some things to watch out for, taken from the TextFormattingFAQ:

  • Q: Text enclosed in angle brackets like <filename> is not displayed. How can I show it as it is?
    • A: The '<' and '>' characters have a special meaning in HTML, they define HTML tags. You need to escape them, so write '&lt;' instead of '<', and '&gt;' instead of '>'.
      Example: Type 'prog &lt;filename&gt;' to get 'prog <filename>'.

  • Q: Why is the '&' character sometimes not displayed?
    • A: The '&' character has a special meaning in HTML, it starts a so called character entity, i.e. '&copy;' is the © copyright character. You need to escape '&' to see it as it is, so write '&amp;' instead of '&'.
      Example: Type 'This &amp; that' to get 'This & that'.


7 TWiki Variables

Special text strings expand on the fly to display user data or system info

TWikiVariables are text strings - %VARIABLE% or %VARIABLE{ parameter="value" }% - that expand into content whenever a topic is rendered for viewing. There are two types of variables:

  1. Preferences variables: Can be defined and changed by the user
  2. Predefined variables: Defined by the TWiki system or by Plugins (for example, the SpreadSheetPlugin introduces a %CALC{}% variable)

Using Variables

To use a variable type its name. For example,

  • type %T% to get TIP (a preferences variable)
  • type %TOPIC% to get TWikiVariables (a predefined variable)
  • type %CALC{ "$UPPER(Text)" }% to get TEXT (a variable defined by Plugin)

Note:

  • To leave a variable unexpanded, precede it with an exclamation point, e.g. type !%TOPIC% to get %TOPIC%
  • Variables are expanded relative to the topic they are used in, not the topic they are defined in
  • Type %ALLVARIABLES% to get a full listing of all variables defined for a particular topic

Variable Names

Variable names must start with a letter. The following characters can be letters, numbers and the underscore '_'. You can use both upper-case and lower-case letters and you can mix the characteres. E.g. %MYVAR%, %MyVar%, %My2ndVar%, and %My_Var% are all valid variable names. Variables are case sensitive. %MyVAR% and %MYVAR% are not the same variable.

By convention all settings, predefined variables and variables used by plugins are always UPPER-CASE.

Preferences Variables

Unlike predefined variables, preferences variables can be defined by the user in various places.

Setting Preferences Variables

You can set variables in all the following places:
  1. local site level in TWiki.TWikiPreferences
  2. local site level in Main.TWikiPreferences
  3. user level in individual user topics in Main web
  4. web level in WebPreferences of each web
  5. topic level in topics in webs
  6. plugin topics (see TWikiPlugins)
  7. session variables (if sessions are enabled)

Settings at higher-numbered levels override settings of the same variable at lower numbered levels, unless the variable was included in the setting of FINALPREFERENCES at a lower-numbered level, in which case it is locked at the value it has at that level.

The syntax for setting Variables is the same anywhere in TWiki (on its own TWiki bullet line, including nested bullets):
[multiple of 3 spaces] * [space] Set [space] VARIABLENAME [space] = [space] value

Examples:
  • Set VARIABLENAME = value
    • Set VARIABLENAME = value
Spaces between the = sign and the value will be ignored. You can split a value over several lines by indenting following lines with spaces - as long as you don't try to use * as the first character on the following line.
Example:
   * Set VARIABLENAME = value starts here
     and continues here

Whatever you include in your Variable will be expanded on display, exactly as if it had been entered directly.

Example: Create a custom logo variable
  • To place a logo anywhere in a web by typing %MYLOGO%, define the Variable on the web's WebPreferences topic, and upload a logo file, ex: mylogo.gif. You can upload by attaching the file to WebPreferences, or, to avoid clutter, to any other topic in the same web, e.g. LogoTopic. Sample variable setting in WebPreferences:
    • Set MYLOGO = %PUBURL%/%WEB%/LogoTopic/mylogo.gif

You can also set preferences variables on a topic by clicking the link Edit topic preference settings under More topic actions. Preferences set in this manner are not visible in the topic text, but take effect nevertheless.

Access Control Variables

These are special types of preferences variables to control access to content. TWikiAccessControl explains these security settings in detail.

Local values for variables

Certain topics (a users home topic, web site and default preferences topics) have a problem; variables defined in those topics can have two meanings. For example, consider a user topic. A user may want to use a double-height edit box when they are editing their home topic - but only when editing their home topic. The rest of the time, they want to have a normal edit box. This separation is achieved using Local in place of Set in the variable definition. For example, if the user sets the following in their home topic:
   * Set EDITBOXHEIGHT = 10
   * Local EDITBOXHEIGHT = 20
Then when they are editing any other topic, they will get a 10 high edit box. However when they are editing their home topic, they will get a 20 high edit box. Local can be used wherever a preference needs to take a different value depending on where the current operation is being performed.

Use this powerful feature with great care! %ALLVARIABLES% can be used to get a listing of the values of all variables in their evaluation order, so you can see variable scope if you get confused.

Frequently Used Preferences Variables

The following preferences variables are frequently used. They are defined in TWikiPreferences#Miscellaneous_Settings:

  • %BR% - line break
  • %BULLET% - bullet sign
  • %BB% - line break and bullet combined
  • %BB2% - indented line break and bullet
  • %RED% text %ENDCOLOR% - colored text (also %YELLOW%, %ORANGE%, %PINK%, %PURPLE%, %TEAL%, %NAVY%, %BLUE%, %AQUA%, %LIME%, %GREEN%, %OLIVE%, %MAROON%, %BROWN%, %BLACK%, %GRAY%, %SILVER%, %WHITE%)
  • %H% - HELP Help icon
  • %I% - IDEA! Idea icon
  • %M% - MOVED TO... Moved to icon
  • %N% - NEW New icon
  • %P% - REFACTOR Refactor icon
  • %Q% - QUESTION? Question icon
  • %S% - PICK Pick icon
  • %T% - TIP Tip icon
  • %U% - UPDATED Updated icon
  • %X% - ALERT! Alert icon
  • %Y% - DONE Done icon

There are additional useful preferences variables defined in TWikiPreferences, in Main.TWikiPreferences, and in WebPreferences of every web.

Predefined Variables

Most predefined variables return values that were either set in the configuration when TWiki was installed, or taken from server info (such as current username, or date and time). Some, like %SEARCH%, are powerful and general tools.

  • ALERT! Predefined variables can be overridden by preferences variables
  • ALERT! Plugins may extend the set of predefined variables (see individual Plugins topics for details)
  • TIP Take the time to thoroughly read through ALL preference variables. If you actively configure your site, review variables periodically. They cover a wide range of functions, and it can be easy to miss the one perfect variable for something you have in mind. For example, see %INCLUDINGTOPIC%, %INCLUDE%, and the mighty %SEARCH%.

This version of TWiki - TWiki-4.0.5, Tue, 24 Oct 2006, build 11822 - predefines the following variables:

ACTIVATEDPLUGINS -- list of currently activated plugins

ALLVARIABLES -- list of currently defined TWikiVariables

  • Syntax: %ALLVARIABLES%
  • Expands to: a table showing all defined TWikiVariables in the current context

ATTACHURL -- full URL for attachments in the current topic

ATTACHURLPATH -- path of the attachment URL of the current topic

AUTHREALM -- authentication realm

BASETOPIC -- base topic where an INCLUDE started

  • The name of the topic where a single or nested INCLUDE started - same as %TOPIC% if there is no INCLUDE
  • Syntax: %BASETOPIC%
  • Related: BASEWEB, INCLUDINGTOPIC, INCLUDE, TOPIC

BASEWEB -- base web where an INCLUDE started

  • 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.
  • Syntax: %BASEWEB%
  • Related: BASETOPIC, INCLUDINGWEB, INCLUDE, WEB

DATE -- signature format date

DISPLAYTIME -- display time

DISPLAYTIME{"format"} -- formatted display time

  • Formatted time - either GMT or Local server time, depending on setting in configure. Same format qualifiers as %GMTIME%
  • Syntax: %DISPLAYTIME{"format"}%
  • Example: %DISPLAYTIME{"$hou:$min"}% expands to 10:37
  • Related: DISPLAYTIME, GMTIME, SERVERTIME

ENCODE{"string"} -- encodes a string to HTML entities

  • Encode "special" characters to HTML numeric entities. Encoded characters are:
    • all non-printable ASCII characters below space, except newline ("\n") and linefeed ("\r")
    • HTML special characters "<", ">", "&", single quote (') and double quote (")
    • TWiki special characters "%", "[", "]", "@", "_", "*", "=" and "|"
  • Syntax: %ENCODE{"string"}%
  • Supported parameters:
    Parameter: Description: Default:
    "string" String to encode required (can be empty)
    type="entity" Encode special characters into HTML entities, like a double quote into &#034; URL encoding
    type="url" Encode special characters for URL parameter use, like a double quote into %22 (this is the default)
  • Example: %ENCODE{"spaced name"}% expands to spaced%20name
  • ALERT! Note: Values of HTML input fields must be entity encoded, for example:
    <input type="text" name="address" value="%ENCODE{ "any text" type="entity" }%" />
  • Related: URLPARAM

ENDSECTION{"name"} -- marks the end of a named section within a topic

  • Syntax: %ENDSECTION{"name"}%
  • Syntax: %ENDSECTION{type="include"}%
  • Supported parameter:
    Parameter: Description:
    "name" Name of the section.
    type="..." Type of the section being terminated; supported types "section", "include", "templateonly".
  • If the STARTSECTION is named, the corresponding ENDSECTION must also be named with the same name. If the STARTSECTION specifies a type, then the corresponding ENDSECTION must also specify the same type. If the section is unnamed, ENDSECTION will match with the nearest unnamed %STARTSECTION% of the same type above it.
  • Related: STARTSECTION

FAILEDPLUGINS -- debugging for plugins that failed to load, and handler list

FORMFIELD{"fieldname"} -- renders a field in the form attached to some topic

  • Syntax: %FORMFIELD{"fieldname"}%
  • Supported parameters:
    Parameter: Description: Default:
    "fieldname" The name of a TWiki form field required
    topic="..." Topic where form data is located. May be of the form Web.TopicName Current topic
    format="..." Format string. $value expands to the field value, and $title expands to the field title "$value"
    default="..." Text shown when no value is defined for the field ""
    alttext="..." Text shown when field is not found in the form ""
  • Example: %FORMFIELD{"ProjectName" topic="Projects.SushiProject" default="(not set)" alttext="ProjectName field found"}%
  • Related: SEARCH

GMTIME -- GM time

GMTIME{"format"} -- formatted GM time

  • Syntax: %GMTIME{"format"}%
  • Supported variables:
    Variable: Unit: Example
    $seconds seconds 59
    $minutes minutes 59
    $hours hours 23
    $day day of month 31
    $wday day of the Week (Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat) Thu
    $dow day of the week (Sun = 0) 2
    $week number of week in year (ISO 8601) 34
    $month month in ISO format Dec
    $mo 2 digit month 12
    $year 4 digit year 1999
    $ye 2 digit year 99
    $tz either "GMT" (if set to gmtime), or "Local" (if set to servertime) GMT
    $iso ISO format timestamp 2020-08-03T10:37:50Z
    $rcs RCS format timestamp 2020/08/03 10:37:50
    $http E-mail & http format timestamp Mon, 03 Aug 2020 10:37:50 GMT
    $epoch Number of seconds since 00:00 on 1st January, 1970 1596451070
  • Variables can be shortened to 3 characters
  • Example: %GMTIME{"$day $month, $year - $hour:$min:$sec"}% expands to 03 Aug, 2020 - 10:37:50
  • ALERT! Note: When used in a template topic, this variable will be expanded when the template is used to create a new topic. See TWikiTemplates#TemplateTopicsVars for details.
  • Related: DISPLAYTIME, GMTIME, SERVERTIME

GROUPS -- a formatted list of groups

HOMETOPIC -- home topic in each web

HTTP -- get HTTP headers

HTTP_HOST -- environment variable

HTTPS -- get HTTPS headers

  • The same as %HTTP% but operates on the HTTPS environment variables present when the SSL protocol is in effect. Can be used to determine whether SSL is turned on.
  • Syntax: %HTTPS%
  • Syntax: %HTTPS{"Header-name"}%
  • Related: HTTP, REMOTE_ADDR, REMOTE_PORT, REMOTE_USER

ICON{"name"} -- small documentation graphic or icon of common attachment types

  • Generates the HTML img tag of a small graphic image attached to TWikiDocGraphics. Images typically have a 16x16 pixel size. You can select a specific image by name, or you can give a full filename, in which case the type of the file will be used to select one of a collection of common file type icons.
  • Syntax: %ICON{"name"}%
  • Examples:
    • %ICON{"flag-gray"}% returns flag-gray
    • %ICON{"pdf"}% returns pdf
    • %ICON{"smile.pdf"}% returns pdf
    • %ICON{"/dont/you/dare/smile.pdf"}% returns pdf
    • %ICON{"http://twiki.org/doc/xhtml.xsl"}% returns xsl
  • Graphic samples: arrowbright arrowbright, bubble bubble, choice-yes choice-yes, hand hand
  • File type samples: bmp bmp, doc doc, gif gif, hlp hlp, html html, wav mp3, pdf pdf, ppt ppt, txt txt, xls xls, xml xml, zip zip
  • Related: ICONURL, ICONURLPATH, TWikiPreferences, FileAttachments, TWikiDocGraphics

ICONURL{"name"} -- URL of small documentation graphic or icon

  • Generates the full URL of a TWikiDocGraphics image, which TWiki renders as an image. The related %ICON{"name"}% generates the full HTML img tag. Specify image name or full filename (see ICON for details on filenames.)
  • Syntax: %ICONURL{"name"}%
  • Examples:
    • %ICONURL{"arrowbright"}% returns http://gtts.ehu.es/TWiki/pub/TWiki/TWikiDocGraphics/arrowbright.gif
    • %ICONURL{"novel.pdf"}% returns http://gtts.ehu.es/TWiki/pub/TWiki/TWikiDocGraphics/pdf.gif
    • %ICONURL{"/queen/boheme.mp3"}% returns http://gtts.ehu.es/TWiki/pub/TWiki/TWikiDocGraphics/mp3.gif
  • Related: ICONURLPATH, ICON, TWikiPreferences, FileAttachments, TWikiDocGraphics

ICONURLPATH{"name"} -- URL path of small documentation graphic or icon

  • Generates the URL path of a TWikiDocGraphics image, typically used in an HTML img tag. Specify image name or full filename (see ICON for details on filenames.)
  • Syntax: %ICONURLPATH{"name"}%
  • Examples:
    • %ICONURLPATH{"locktopic"}% returns /TWiki/pub/TWiki/TWikiDocGraphics/locktopic.gif
    • %ICONURLPATH{"eggysmell.xml"}% returns /TWiki/pub/TWiki/TWikiDocGraphics/xml.gif
    • %ICONURLPATH{"/doc/xhtml.xsl"}% returns /TWiki/pub/TWiki/TWikiDocGraphics/xsl.gif
  • Related: ICONURL, ICON, TWikiPreferences, FileAttachments, TWikiDocGraphics

IF{"condition" ...} -- simple conditionals

  • Evaluate a condition and show one text or another based on the result. See details in IfStatements
  • Syntax: %IF{"CONDITION" then="THEN" else="ELSE"}% shows "THEN" if "CONDITION" evaluates to TRUE, otherwise "ELSE" will be shown
  • Example: %IF{"defined FUNFACTOR" then="FUNFACTOR is defined" else=" is not defined"}% renders as ==
  • Related: $IF() of SpreadSheetPlugin

INCLUDE{"page"} -- include other topic or web page

  • Syntax: %INCLUDE{"page" ...}%
  • Supported parameters:
    Parameter: Description: Default:
    "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.SiteMap"}%  
    "http://..." A full qualified URL, i.e. %INCLUDE{"http://twiki.org:80/index.html"}%. Supported content types are text/html and text/plain.
    IDEA! if the URL resolves to an attachment file on the server this will automatically translate to a server-side include.
     
    pattern="..." A RegularExpression pattern to include a subset of a topic or page none
    rev="2" Include a previous topic revision; N/A for URLs top revision
    raw="on" When a page is included, normally TWiki will process it, doing the following: 1) Alter relative links to point back to originating host, 2) Remove some basic HTML tags (html, head, body, script) and finally 3) Remove newlines from tags spanning multiple lines. If you prefer to include exactly what is in the source of the originating page set this to on. disabled
    warn="off" Warn if topic include fails: Fail silently (if off); output default warning (if set to on); else, output specific text (use $topic for topic name) %INCLUDEWARNING% preferences setting
    section="name" Includes only the specified named section, as defined in the included topic by the STARTSECTION and ENDSECTION variables  
    PARONE="val 1"
    PARTWO="val 2"
    Any other parameter will be defined as a variable within the scope of the included topic. The example parameters on the left will result in %PARONE% and %PARTWO% being defined within the included topic.  
  • Note: JavaScript in included webpages is filtered out as a security precaution per default (disable filter with raw parameter)
  • Examples: See IncludeTopicsAndWebPages
  • Related: BASETOPIC, BASEWEB, INCLUDINGTOPIC, INCLUDINGWEB, STARTINCLUDE, STOPINCLUDE, STARTSECTION, ENDSECTION

INCLUDINGTOPIC -- name of topic that includes current topic

  • The name of the topic that includes the current topic - same as %TOPIC% in case there is no include
  • Syntax: %INCLUDINGTOPIC%
  • Related: BASETOPIC, INCLUDINGWEB, INCLUDE, TOPIC

INCLUDINGWEB -- web that includes current topic

  • The web name of the topic that includes the current topic - same as %WEB% if there is no INCLUDE.
  • Syntax: %INCLUDINGWEB%
  • Related: BASEWEB, INCLUDINGTOPIC, INCLUDE, WEB

LANGUAGE -- current user's language

  • Returns the language code for the language used as the current user. This is the language actually used by TWiki Internationalization (e.g. in user interface).
  • The language is detected from the user's browser, unless some site/web/user/session-defined setting overrides it:
    • If the LANGUAGE preference is set, it's used as user's language instead of any language detected from the browser.
    • Avoid defining LANGUAGE at a non per-user way, so each user can choose his/her preferred language.
  • Related: LANGUAGES

LANGUAGES -- list available TWiki languages

  • List the languages available (as PO files) to TWiki. Those are the languages in which TWiki's user interface is available.
  • Syntax: %LANGUAGES{...}%
  • Supported parameters:
    Parameter: Description: Default:
    format format for each item. See below for variables available in the format string. "   * $langname"
    separator separator between items. "\n" (newline)
    marker="selected" Text for $marker if the item matches selection "selected"
    selection="%LANGUAGE%" Current language to be selected in list (none)
  • format variables:
    Variable Meaning
    $langname language's name, as informed by the translators
    $langtag language's tag. Ex: en, pt-br, etc.
  • Example: <select>%LANGUAGES{format="<option $marker value='$langtag'>$langname</option>" selection="%LANGUAGE%"}%</select> creates an option list of the available languages with the current language selected

LOCALSITEPREFS -- web.topicname of site preferences topic

  • The full name of the local site preferences topic. This topic is read for preferences before TWiki.%TWIKIPREFSTOPIC% is read.
  • Syntax: %LOCALSITEPREFS%
  • Expands to: Main.TWikiPreferences, renders as TWikiPreferences

LOGIN -- present a full login link

LOGOUT -- present a full logout link

MAINWEB -- name of Main web

MAKETEXT -- creates text using TWiki's I18N infrastructure

  • Syntax: %MAKETEXT{"string" args="..."}
  • Supported parameters:
    Parameter Description Default
    "text" or string="text" The text to be displayed. none
    args="param1, param2" a comma-separated list of arguments to be interpolated in the string, replacing the [_N] placeholders in it. none
  • Examples:
    • %MAKETEXT{string="Notes:"}%
      expands to
      Notes:
    • %MAKETEXT{"If you have any questions, please contact [_1]." args="%WIKIWEBMASTER%"}%
      expands to
      If you have any questions, please contact webmaster@example.com.
    • %MAKETEXT{"Did you want to [[[_1]][reset [_2]'s password]]?" args="%TWIKIWEB%.ResetPassword,%WIKIUSERNAME%"}%
      expands to
      Did you want to reset Main.TWikiGuest's password?
  • Notes:
    • TWiki will translate the string to the current user's language only if it has such string in its translation table for that language.
    • Amperstands (&) followed by one letter (one of a...z, A...Z) (say, X) in the translatable string will be translated to <span class='twikiAccessKey'>X</span>. This is used to implement access keys. If you want to write an actual amperstand that stays just before a letter, write two consecutive amperstands (&&): they will be transformed in just one.
    • translatable string starting with underscores (_) are reserved. You cannot use translatable phrases starting with an underscore.
    • Make sure that the translatable string is constant. Specially, do not include %VARIABLES% inside the translatable strings (since they will get expanded before the %MAKETEXT{...}% itself is handled).

META -- displays meta-data

  • Provided mainly for use in templates, this variable generates the parts of the topic view that relate to meta-data (attachments, forms etc.) The formfield item is the most likely to be useful to casual users.
  • Syntax: %META{ "item" ...}%
  • Parameters:
    Item Options Description
    "formfield" name="..." - name of the field. The field value can be shortened as described in FormattedSearch for $formfield Show a single form field
    "form" none Generates the table showing the form fields. See Form Templates
    "attachments" all="on" to show hidden attachments Generates the table showing the attachments
    "moved" none Details of any topic moves
    "parent" dontrecurse="on": By default recurses up tree, this has some cost.
    nowebhome="on": Suppress WebHome.
    prefix="...": Prefix that goes before parents, but only if there are parents, default "".
    format="...": format string used to display each partent topic, default "[[$web.$topic][$topic]]"
    suffix="...": Suffix, only appears if there are parents, default "".
    separator="...": Separator between parents, default " > ".
    Generates the parent link
  • Related: METASEARCH

METASEARCH -- special search of meta data

  • Syntax: %METASEARCH{...}%
  • Supported parameters:
    Parameter: Description: Default:
    type="topicmoved" What sort of search is required?
    "topicmoved" if search for a topic that may have been moved
    "parent" if searching for topics that have a specific parent i.e. its children
    "field" if searching for topics that have a particular form field value (use the name and value parameters to specify which field to search)
    required
    web="%WEB%" Wiki web to search: A web, a list of webs separated by whitespace, or all webs. current web
    topic="%TOPIC%" The topic the search relates to, for topicmoved and parent searches current topic
    name form field to search, for field type searches. May be a regular expression (see SEARCH).  
    value form field value, for field type searches. May be a regular expression (see SEARCH).  
    title="Title" Text that is prefixed to any search results empty
    default="none" Default text shown if no search hit empty
  • Example: %METASEARCH{type="topicmoved" web="%WEB%" topic="%TOPIC%" title="This topic used to exist and was moved to: "}%
  • Example: You may want to use this in WebTopicViewTemplate and WebTopicNonWikiTemplate:
    %METASEARCH{type="parent" web="%WEB%" topic="%TOPIC%" title="Children: "}%
  • Example: %METASEARCH{type="field" name="Country" value="China"}%
  • Related: SEARCH, META

NOP -- template text not to be expanded in instantiated topics

  • Syntax: %NOP%
    • In normal topic text, expands to <nop>, which prevents expansion of adjacent variables and wikiwords
    • When the topic containing this is used as a template for another topic, it is removed.
  • Syntax: %NOP{...}% deprecated
    • In normal topic text, expands to whatever is in the curly braces (if anything).
    • ALERT! Note: This is deprecated. Do not use it. Use %STARTSECTION{type="templateonly"}% .. %ENDSECTION{type="templateonly"}% instead (see TWikiTemplates for more details).
  • Related: STARTSECTION, TWikiTemplates

NOTIFYTOPIC -- name of the notify topic

PLUGINDESCRIPTIONS -- list of plugin descriptions

  • Syntax: %PLUGINDESCRIPTIONS%
  • Expands to:
    • AttachContentPlugin ($Rev: 11758$): Caches portions of a topic in attachments to that topic
    • BibtexPlugin (1.5, $Rev: 16333 (12 Dec 2008) $): Embeds BibTeX entries in a TWiki page
    • BreadCrumbsPlugin (v0.05, $Rev: 11409$): A flexible way to display breadcrumbs navigation
    • CalendarPlugin (Dakar, 9113): Show a monthly calendar with highlighted events
    • CaptchaPlugin (Dakar, 1.5-pre3): To prevent automated bots from spamming
    • CodeMikelPlugin (Dakar, $Rev: 9813$):
    • CommentPlugin (Dakar, 8164): Allows users to quickly post comments to a page without an edit/preview/save cycle.
    • EditTablePlugin (any TWiki, 11706): Edit TWiki tables using edit fields, date pickers and drop down boxes
    • ExplicitNumberingPlugin (Dakar, 6827): Use the ##., ##.. etc. notation to insert outline numbering sequences (1, 1.1, 2, 2.1) in topic's text. Support also numbered headings.
    • FilterPlugin (0.97, $Rev: 11709$): Substitute and extract information from content by using regular expressions
    • FlexWebListPlugin (v0.09, $Rev: 11715$): Flexible way to display hierarchical weblists
    • GenPDFLatexPlugin (Dakar, 1.300): Support functions for the GenPDFLatexAddOn package
    • GluePlugin (1.51, $Rev: 11220$): Enable TWikiML to span multiple lines
    • IfDefinedPlugin (v0.95, $Rev: 11518$): Render content conditionally
    • InterwikiPlugin (Dakar, $Rev: 8329$): Link ExternalSite:Page text to external sites based on aliases defined in a rules topic
    • NatSkinPlugin (3.00-pre10, $Rev: 11714$): Supplements the bare bones NatSkin theme for TWiki
    • PreferencesPlugin (Dakar, 9839): Allows editing of preferences using fields predefined in a form
    • RedDotPlugin (1.37, $Rev: 11521$): Renders edit-links as little red dots
    • RenderListPlugin (1.033): Render bullet lists in a variety of formats
    • SlideShowPlugin (Dakar, $Rev: 8154$): Create web based presentations based on topics with headings.
    • SmiliesPlugin (Dakar, 8154): Render smilies as icons, like  :-) for smile or  :cool: for :cool:
    • SpreadSheetPlugin (any TWiki, 10197): Add spreadsheet calculation like "$SUM( $ABOVE() )" to tables located in TWiki topics.
    • TablePlugin (Dakar, 8154): Control attributes of tables and sorting of table columns
    • TocPlugin (Dakar, 6827): Sophisticated table of contents generation
    • TwistyPlugin (1.2.0, $Rev: 11829$): Twisty section JavaScript library to open/close content dynamically
  • Related: ACTIVATEDPLUGINS, FAILEDPLUGINS, PLUGINVERSION

PLUGINVERSION -- the version of a TWiki Plugin, or the TWiki Plugins API

PUBURL -- the base URL of attachments

PUBURLPATH -- the base URL path of attachments

QUERYSTRING -- full, unprocessed string of parameters to this URL

  • String of all the URL parameters that were on the URL used to get to the current page. For example, if you add ?name=Samantha;age=24;eyes=blue to this URL you can see this in action. This string can be appended to a URL to pass parameter values on to another page.
  • ALERT! Note: URLs built this way are typically restricted in length, typically to 2048 characters. If you need more space than this, you will need to use an HTML form and %URLPARAM{}%.
  • Syntax: %QUERYSTRING%
  • Expands to: rev=46;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;amp=;sortcol=1;table=31;up=0
  • Related: URLPARAM

REMOTE_ADDR -- environment variable

REMOTE_PORT -- environment variable

REMOTE_USER -- environment variable

REVINFO -- revision information of current topic

REVINFO{"format"} -- formatted revision information of topic

  • Syntax: %REVINFO{"format"}%
  • Supported parameters:
    Parameter: Description: Default:
    "format" Format of revision information, see supported variables below "r1.$rev - $date - $wikiusername"
    web="..." Name of web Current web
    topic="..." Topic name Current topic
    rev="1.5" Specific revison number Latest revision
  • Supported variables in format:
    Variable: Unit: Example
    $web Name of web Current web
    $topic Topic name Current topic
    $rev Revison number. Prefix r1. to get the usual r1.5 format 5
    $date Revision date 11 Jul 2004
    $time Revision time 23:24:25
    $username Login username of revision jsmith
    $wikiname WikiName of revision JohnSmith
    $wikiusername WikiName with Main web prefix Main.JohnSmith
  • Example: %REVINFO{"$date - $wikiusername" rev="1.1"}% returns revision info of first revision
  • Related: REVINFO

SCRIPTNAME -- name of current script

  • The name of the current script is shown, including script suffix, if any (for example viewauth.cgi)
  • Syntax: %SCRIPTNAME%
  • Expands to: view
  • Related: SCRIPTSUFFIX, SCRIPTURL, SCRIPTURLPATH

SCRIPTSUFFIX -- script suffix

  • Some TWiki installations require a file extension for CGI scripts, such as .pl or .cgi
  • Syntax: %SCRIPTSUFFIX%
  • Expands to:
  • Related: SCRIPTNAME, SCRIPTURL, SCRIPTURLPATH

SCRIPTURL -- base URL of TWiki scripts

SCRIPTURL{"script"} -- URL of TWiki script

  • Syntax: %SCRIPTURL{"script"}%
  • Expands to: http://gtts.ehu.es/TWiki/bin/script
  • Example: To get the authenticated version of the current topic you can write %SCRIPTURL{"viewauth"}%/%WEB%/%TOPIC% which expands to http://gtts.ehu.es/TWiki/bin/viewauth/TWiki/TWikiVariables
  • ALERT! Note: In most cases you should use %SCRIPTURLPATH{"script"}% instead, as it works with URL rewriting much better
  • Related: PUBURL, SCRIPTNAME, SCRIPTSUFFIX, SCRIPTURL, SCRIPTURLPATH, SCRIPTURLPATH{"script"}

SCRIPTURLPATH -- base URL path of TWiki scripts

SCRIPTURLPATH{"script"} -- URL path of TWiki script

SEARCH{"text"} -- search content

  • Inline search, shows a search result embedded in a topic
  • Syntax: %SEARCH{"text" ...}%
  • Supported parameters:
    Parameter: Description: Default:
    "text" Search term. Is a keyword search, literal search or regular expression search, depending on the type parameter. SearchHelp has more required
    search="text" (Alternative to above) N/A
    web="Name"
    web="Main, Know"
    web="all"
    Comma-separated list of webs to search. You can specifically exclude webs from an all search using a minus sign - for example, web="all,-Secretweb". The special word all means all webs that do not have the NOSEARCHALL variable set to on in their WebPreferences. Note that TWikiAccessControls are respected when searching webs; it is much better to use them than NOSEARCHALL. Current web
    topic="WebPreferences"
    topic="*Bug"
    Limit search to topics: A topic, a topic with asterisk wildcards, or a list of topics separated by comma. Note this is a list of topic names and must not include web names. All topics in a web
    excludetopic="Web*"
    excludetopic="WebHome, WebChanges"
    Exclude topics from search: A topic, a topic with asterisk wildcards, or a list of topics separated by comma. Note this is a list of topic names and must not include web names. None
    type="keyword"
    type="literal"
    type="regex"
    Do a keyword search like soap "web service" -shampoo; a literal search like web service; or RegularExpression search like soap;web service;!shampoo %SEARCHVAR- DEFAULTTYPE% preferences setting (literal)
    scope="topic"
    scope="text"
    scope="all"
    Search topic name (title); the text (body) of topic; or all (both) "text"
    order="topic"
    order="created"
    order="modified"
    order="editby"
    order=
     "formfield(name)"
    Sort the results of search by the topic names, topic creation time, last modified time, last editor, or named field of TWikiForms. The sorting is done web by web; if you want to sort across webs, create a formatted table and sort it with TablePlugin's initsort. Note that dates are sorted most recent date last (i.e at the bottom of the table). Sort by topic name
    limit="all"
    limit="16"
    Limit the number of results returned. This is done after sorting if order is specified All results
    date="..." limits the results to those pages with latest edit time in the given TimeInterval. All results
    reverse="on" Reverse the direction of the search Ascending search
    casesensitive="on" Case sensitive search Ignore case
    bookview="on" BookView search, e.g. show complete topic text Show topic summary
    nonoise="on" Shorthand for nosummary="on" nosearch="on" nototal="on" zeroresults="off" noheader="on" noempty="on" Off
    nosummary="on" Show topic title only Show topic summary
    nosearch="on" Suppress search string Show search string
    noheader="on" Suppress search header
    Topics: Changed: By:
    Show search header, unless seach is inline and a format is specified (Cairo compatibility)
    nototal="on" Do not show number of topics found Show number
    zeroresults="off" Suppress all output if there are no hits zeroresults="on", displays: "Number of topics: 0"
    noempty="on" Suppress results for webs that have no hits. Show webs with no hits
    header="..."
    format="..."
    Custom format results: see FormattedSearch for usage, variables & examples Results in table
    expandvariables="on" Expand variables before applying a FormattedSearch on a search hit. Useful to show the expanded text, e.g. to show the result of a SpreadSheetPlugin %CALC{}% instead of the formula Raw text
    multiple="on" Multiple hits per topic. Each hit can be formatted. The last token is used in case of a regular expression ";" and search Only one hit per topic
    nofinalnewline="on" If on, the search variable does not end in a line by itself. Any text continuing immediately after the search variable on the same line will be rendered as part of the table generated by the search, if appropriate. off
    recurse="on" Recurse into subwebs, if subwebs are enabled. off
    separator=", " Line separator between search hits "$n" (Newline)
    newline="%BR%" Line separator within a search hit. Useful if the format="" parameter contains a $pattern() that captures more than one line, i.e. contents of a textfield in a form. "$n" (Newline)
  • Example: %SEARCH{"wiki" web="Main" scope="topic"}%
  • Example with format: %SEARCH{"FAQ" scope="topic" nosearch="on" nototal="on" header="| *Topic: * | *Summary: * |" format="| $topic | $summary |"% (displays results in a table with header - details)
  • HELP Hint: If the TWiki:Plugins.TablePlugin is installed, you may set a %TABLE{}% variable just before the %SEARCH{}% to alter the output of a search. Example: %TABLE{ tablewidth="90%" }%
  • Related: METASEARCH, TOPICLIST, WEBLIST, FormattedSearch

SERVERTIME -- server time

SERVERTIME{"format"} -- formatted server time

  • Same format qualifiers as %GMTIME%
  • Syntax: %SERVERTIME{"format"}%
  • Example: %SERVERTIME{"$hou:$min"}% expands to 12:37
  • ALERT! Note: When used in a template topic, this variable will be expanded when the template is used to create a new topic. See TWikiTemplates#TemplateTopicsVars for details.
  • Related: DISPLAYTIME, GMTIME, SERVERTIME

SESSIONID -- unique ID for this session

SESSIONVAR -- name of CGI and session variable that stores the session ID

SESSION_VARIABLE -- get, set or clear a session variable

SPACEDTOPIC -- topic name, spaced and URL-encoded deprecated

  • The current topic name with added URL-encoded spaces, for use in regular expressions that search for backlinks to the current topic
  • Syntax: %SPACEDTOPIC%
  • Expands to: Var%20*SPACEDTOPIC
  • ALERT! Note: This is a deprecated variable. It can be duplicated with %ENCODE{%SPACEOUT{"%TOPIC%" separator=" *"}%}%
  • Related: SPACEOUT, TOPIC, ENCODE

SPACEOUT{"string"} -- renders string with spaces inserted in sensible places

  • Inserts spaces after lower case letters that are followed by a digit or a capital letter, and after digits that are followed by a capital letter.
  • Useful for spacing out WikiWords
  • Syntax: %SPACEOUT{ "%TOPIC%" }%
  • Expands to: TWiki Variables
  • Supported parameters:
    Parameter: Description: Default:
    separator The separator to put between words e.g. %SPACEOUT{"DogsCatsBudgies" separator=", "}% -> Dogs, Cats, Budgies ' '
  • TIP Hint: Spaced out WikiWords are not automatically linked. To SPACEOUT a WikiWord but preserve the link use "double bracket" format. For example, [[WebHome][%SPACEOUT{"WebHome"}%]] expands to Web Home
  • Related: SPACEDTOPIC, $PROPERSPACE() of SpreadSheetPlugin

STARTINCLUDE -- start position of topic text if included

  • 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 everything exept the %STARTINCLUDE% variable itself.
  • Note: If you want more than one part of the topic included, use %STARTSECTION{type="include"}% instead
  • Syntax: %STARTINCLUDE%
  • Related: INCLUDE, STARTSECTION, STOPINCLUDE

STARTSECTION -- marks the start of a section within a topic

  • Section boundaries are defined with %STARTSECTION{}% and %ENDSECTION{}%.
  • Sections may be given a name to help identify them, and/or a type, which changes how they are used.
    • type="section" - the default, used for a generic section, such as a named section used by INCLUDE.
    • type="include" - like %STARTINCLUDE% ... %STOPINCLUDE% except that you can have as many include blocks as you want (%STARTINCLUDE% is restricted to only one).
    • type="templateonly" - start position of text to be removed when a template topic is used. This is used to embed text that you do not want expanded when a new topic based on the template topic is created. See TWikiTemplates for more information.
  • Syntax: %STARTSECTION{"name"}% ................ %ENDSECTION{"name"}%
  • Syntax: %STARTSECTION{type="include"}% ........ %ENDSECTION{type="include"}%
  • Syntax: %STARTSECTION{type="templateonly"}% ... %ENDSECTION{type="templateonly"}%
  • Supported parameters:
    Parameter: Description: Default
    "name" Name of the section. Must be unique inside a topic. Generated name
    type="..." Type of the section; type "section", "include" or "templateonly" "section"
  • ALERT! Note: If a section is not given a name, it will be assigned one. Unnamed sections are assigned names starting with _SECTION0 for the first unnamed section in the topic, _SECTION1 for the second, etc..
  • ALERT! Note: You can define nested sections. It is not recommended to overlap sections, although it is valid in TWiki. Use named sections to make sure that the correct START and ENDs are matched. Section markers are not displayed when a topic is viewed.
  • Related: ENDSECTION, INCLUDE, NOP, STARTINCLUDE, STOPINCLUDE

STATISTICSTOPIC -- name of statistics topic

STOPINCLUDE -- end position of topic text if included

  • 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.
  • Syntax: %STOPINCLUDE%
  • Related: INCLUDE, STARTINCLUDE

TOC -- table of contents of current topic

TOC{"Topic"} -- table of contents

  • 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. Any heading text after "!!" is excluded from the TOC; for example, write "---+!! text" if you do not want to list a header in the TOC
  • Syntax: %TOC{"SomeTopic" ...}%
  • Supported parameters:
    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
    title="Some text" Title to appear at top of TOC none
  • Example: %TOC{depth="2"}%
  • Example: %TOC{"TWikiDocumentation" web="TWiki" title="Contents:"}%
  • Example: see TWiki:Trash.Sandbox.TestTopicInclude
  • TIP Hint: TOC will generate links to the headings, so when a reader clicks on a heading it will jump straight where that heading is anchored in the text. If you have two headings with exactly the same text, then their anchors will also be identical and they won't be able to jump to them. To make the anchors unique, you can add an invisible HTML comment to the text of the heading. This will be hidden in normal view, but will force the anchors to be different. For example, ---+ Heading <!--5-->.
  • Related: TOC

TOPIC -- name of current topic

TOPICLIST{"format"} -- topic index of a web

  • List of all topics in a web. The "format" defines the format of one topic item. It may include variables: The $name variable gets expanded to the topic name, $qname to double quoted name, $marker to marker parameter where topic matches selection, and $web to the name of the web.
  • Syntax: %TOPICLIST{"format" ...}%
  • Supported parameters:
    Parameter: Description: Default:
    "format" Format of one line, may include $web (name of web), $name (name of the topic), $qname (name of topic in double quotes), $marker (which expands to marker for the item matching selection only) "$name"
    format="format" (Alternative to above) "$name"
    separator=", " line separator "$n" (new line)
    marker="selected" Text for $marker if the item matches selection "selected"
    selection="TopicA, TopicB" Current value to be selected in list (none)
    web="Name" Name of web Current web
  • Example: %TOPICLIST{"   * $web.$name"}% creates a bullet list of all topics
  • Example: %TOPICLIST{separator=", "}% creates a comma separated list of all topics
  • Example: %TOPICLIST{" <option>$name</option>"}% creates an option list (for drop down menus)
  • Example: <select>%TOPICLIST{" <option $marker value='$name'>$name</option>" separator=" " selection="%TOPIC%"}%</select> creates an option list of web topics with the current topic selected
  • Related: SEARCH, WEBLIST

TWIKIWEB -- name of TWiki documentation web

  • The web containing all documentation and site-wide preference settings for TWiki
  • Syntax: %TWIKIWEB%
  • Expands to: TWiki
  • Related: MAINWEB

URLPARAM{"name"} -- get value of a URL parameter

  • Returns the value of a URL parameter.
  • Syntax: %URLPARAM{"name"}%
  • Supported parameters:
    Parameter: Description: Default:
    "name" The name of a URL parameter required
    default="..." Default value in case parameter is empty or missing empty string
    newline="<br />" Convert newlines in textarea to other delimiters no conversion
    encode="entity" Encode special characters into HTML entities. See ENCODE for more details. no encoding
    encode="url" Encode special characters for URL parameter use, like a double quote into %22 no encoding
    multiple="on"
    multiple="[[$item]]"
    If set, gets all selected elements of a <select multiple="multiple"> tag. A format can be specified, with $item indicating the element, e.g. multiple="Option: $item" first element
    separator=", " Separator between multiple selections. Only relevant if multiple is specified "\n" (new line)
  • Example: %URLPARAM{"skin"}% returns print for a .../view/TWiki/TWikiVariables?skin=print URL
  • ALERT! Note: URL parameters passed into HTML form fields must be entity ENCODEd
  • ALERT! Note: When used in a template topic, this variable will be expanded when the template is used to create a new topic. See TWikiTemplates#TemplateTopicsVars for details.
  • ALERT! Note: There is a risk that this variable could be misused for cross-site scripting.
  • Related: ENCODE, SEARCH, FormattedSearch, QUERYSTRING

USERINFO - retrieve details about a user (by default the logged-in user)

  • Syntax: %USERINFO%
  • Expands to: =guest, TWikiGuest, =
To format that information differently:
  • Syntax: %USERINFO{format="$username is really $wikiname"}%
  • Expands to: guest is really TWikiGuest.
    • The tokens $emails, $username, $wikiname, $wikiusername, and $groups are available for use in the format string .By default, the info will be formatted as a comma-separated list of the username, wikiusername, and emails.
To get information about another user:
  • Syntax: %USERINFO{"TWikiGuest" format="$username is really $wikiname"}%
  • Expands to: guest is really TWikiGuest
    • The parameter should be the wikiname of a user. You can only get information about another user if the {AntiSpam}{HideUserDetails} configuration option is not enabled, or if you are an admin. (User details are hidden in this TWiki)

USERNAME -- your login username

VAR{"NAME" web="Web"} -- get a preference value from another web

  • Syntax: %VAR{"NAME" web="Web"}%
  • Example: To get %WEBBGCOLOR% of the Main web write %VAR{"WEBBGCOLOR" web="Main"}%, which expands to #FFEFA6
  • Related: WEBPREFSTOPIC

WEB -- name of current web

WEBLIST{"format"} -- index of all webs

  • List of all webs. Obfusticated 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.
  • Syntax: %WEBLIST{"format" ...}%
  • Supported parameters:
    Parameter: Description: Default:
    "format" Format of one line, may include $name (the name of the web), $qname (the name of the web in double quotes), $indentedname (the name of the web with parent web names replaced by indents, for use in indented lists), and $marker (which expands to marker for the item matching selection only) "$name"
    format="format" (Alternative to above) "$name"
    separator=", " line separator "$n" (new line)
    webs="public" comma separated list of webs, public expands to all non-hidden "public"
    marker="selected" Text for $marker if the item matches selection "selected"
    selection="%WEB%" Current value to be selected in list section="%WEB%"
  • Example: %WEBLIST{"   * [[$name.WebHome]]"}% creates a bullet list of all webs.
  • Example: %WEBLIST{"<option $marker value=$qname>$name</option>" webs="Trash, public" selection="TWiki" separator=" "}% creates a dropdown of all public webs + Trash web, with the current web highlighted.
  • Related: TOPICLIST, SEARCH

WEBPREFSTOPIC -- name of web preferences topic

WIKIHOMEURL -- site home URL deprecated

WIKINAME -- your Wiki username

WIKIPREFSTOPIC -- name of site-wide preferences topic

WIKITOOLNAME -- name of your TWiki site

WIKIUSERNAME -- your Wiki username with web prefix

WIKIUSERSTOPIC -- name of topic listing all registers users

  • Syntax: %WIKIUSERSTOPIC%
  • Expands to: TWikiUsers, with Main prefix renders as TWikiUsers
  • Related: WIKIUSERNAME

WIKIVERSION -- the version of the installed TWiki engine


8 File Attachments

Each topic can have one or more files of any type attached to it by using the Attach screen to upload (or download) files from your local PC. Attachments are stored under revision control: uploads are automatically backed up; all previous versions of a modified file can be retrieved.

What Are Attachments Good For?

File Attachments can be used to archive data, or to create powerful customized groupware solutions, like file sharing and document management systems, and quick Web page authoring.

Document Management System

  • You can use Attachments to store and retrieve documents (in any format, with associated graphics, and other media files); attach documents to specific TWiki topics; collaborate on documents with full revision control; distribute documents on a need-to-know basis using web and topic-level access control; create a central reference library that's easy to share with an user group spread around the world.

File Sharing

  • For file sharing, FileAttachments on a series of topics can be used to quickly create a well-documented, categorized digital download center for all types of files: documents; graphics and other media; drivers and patches; applications; anything you can safely upload!

Web Authoring

  • Through your Web browser, you can easily upload graphics (or sound files, or anything else you want to link to on a page) and place them on a single page, or use them across a web, or site-wide.
    • NOTE: You can also add graphics - any files - directly, typically by FTP upload. This requires FTP access, and may be more convenient if you have a large number of files to load. FTP-ed files can't be managed using browser-based Attachment controls. You can use your browser to create TWikiVariables shortcuts, like this %H% = HELP.

Uploading Files

  • Click on the Attach link at the bottom of the page. The Attach screen lets you browse for a file, add a comment, and upload it. The uploaded file will show up in the File Attachment table.
    • NOTE: The topic must already exist. It is a two step process if you want to attach a file to a non-existing topic; first create the topic, then add the file attachment.
    • Any type of file can be uploaded. Some files that might pose a security risk are renamed, ex: *.php files are renamed to *.php.txt so that no one can place code that would be read in a .php file.
    • The previous upload path is retained for convenience. In case you make some changes to the local file and want to upload it, again you can copy the previous upload path into the Local file field.
    • TWiki can limit the file size. This is defined by the %ATTACHFILESIZELIMIT% variable of the TWikiPreferences, currently set at 10000 KB.
      • ALERT! It's not recommended to upload files greater than a few hundred K through a browser. Large files can be extremely slow-loading, and often time out. Use an FTP site for large file uploads.
  • Automatic attachments:
    • When enabled, all files in a topic's attachment directory are shown as attachments to the topic - even if they were directly copied to the directory and never attached by using an 'Attach' link. This is a convenient way to quickly "attach" files to a topic without uploading them one by one; although at the cost of losing audit trail and version control.
    • To enable this feature, set the {AutoAttachPubDir} configuration option.
    • NOTE: The automatic attachment feature can only be used by an administrator who has access to the server's file system.

Downloading Files

  • ALERT! NOTE: There is no access control on individual attachments. If you need control over single files, create a separate topic per file and set topic-level access restrictions for each.

Moving Attachment Files

An attachment can be moved between topics.

  • Click Manage on the Attachment to be moved.
  • On the control screen, select the new web and/or topic.
  • Click Move. The attachment and its version history are moved. The original location is stored as topic Meta Data.

Deleting Attachments

Move unwanted Attachments to web Trash, topic TrashAttachment.

Linking to Attached Files

  • Once a file is attached it can be referenced in the topic. Example:
    1. Attach file: Sample.txt
    2. Edit topic and enter: %ATTACHURL%/Sample.txt
    3. Preview: %ATTACHURL%/Sample.txt text appears as: /TWiki/pub/TWiki/FileAttachment/Sample.txt, a link to the text file.

  • To reference an attachment located in another topic, enter:
    • %PUBURLPATH%/%WEB%/OtherTopic/Sample.txt (if it's within the same web)
    • %PUBURLPATH%/Otherweb/OtherTopic/Sample.txt (if it's in a different web)

  • Attached HTML files and text files can be inlined in a topic. Example:
    1. Attach file: Sample.txt
    2. Edit topic and write text: %INCLUDE{"%ATTACHURL%/Sample.txt"}%
      • Content of attached file is shown inlined.
      • Read more about INCLUDE in TWikiVariables

  • GIF, JPG and PNG images can be attached and shown embedded in a topic. Example:
    1. Attach file: Smile.gif
    2. Edit topic and write text: %ATTACHURL%/Smile.gif
    3. Preview: text appears as /TWiki/pub/TWiki/FileAttachment/Smile.gif, an image.

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.

IAttachment Action Size Date Who Comment
txtSample.txt manage 0.1 K 22 Jul 2000 - 19:37 UploadingUser Just a sample
bmpSmile.gif manage 0.1 K 22 Jul 2000 - 19:38 UploadingUser Smiley face

File Attachment Controls

Clicking on a Manage link takes you to a new page that looks a bit like this (depending on what skin is selected):

Update attachment Sample.txt

Version Action Date Who Comment
1 view 22 Jul 2000 - 19:37 UploadingUser Just a sample

Previous upload Sample.txt (TWikiContributor) Select a new local file to update this attachment.
Local file Upload up to 10000 KB.
Comment
Link Images will be displayed, for other attachments a link will be created.
Hide file Attachments will not be shown in topic view page.

  • The first table is a list of all attachments, including their attributes. An h means the attachment is hidden, it isn't listed when viewing a topic.

  • The second table is all the versions of the attachment. Click on View to see that version. If it's the most recent version, you'll be taken to an URL that always displays the latest version, which is usually what you want.
    • To change the comment on an attachment, enter a new comment and then click Change properties. Note that the comment listed against the specific version will not change, however the comment displayed when viewing the topic does change.
    • To hide/unhide an attachment, enable the Hide file checkbox, then click Change properties.

Known Issues

  • Unlike topics, attachments are not locked during editing. As a workaround, you can change the comment to indicate an attachment file is being worked on - the comment on the specific version isn't lost, it's there when you list all versions of the attachment.
  • Attachments are not secured. Anyone can read them if they know the name of the web, topic and attachment.


9 TWiki Forms

Add structure to content with forms attached to twiki topics. TWiki forms (with form fields) and formatted search are the base for building database applications.

Overview

By adding form-based input to freeform content, you can structure topics with unlimited, easily searchable categories. A form is enabled for a web and can be added to a topic. The form data is shown in tabular format when the topic is viewed, and can be changed in edit mode using edit fields, radio buttons, check boxes and list boxes. Many different form types can be defined in a web, though a topic can only have only form attached to it at a time.

Typical steps to build an application based on TWiki forms:

  1. Define a form template
  2. Enable the form for a web
  3. Add the form to a template topic
  4. Build an HTML form to create new topics based on that template topic
  5. Build a FormattedSearch to list topics that share the same form

Defining a Form Template

A Form Template specifies the fields in a form. A Form Template is simply a page containing a TWiki table, where each row of the table is one form field.

Form Template Elements

  • form template - a set of fields defining a form
    • A web can use one or more form templates
  • form - additional meta data (besides the freeform TEXTAREA) attached to a topic
    • Within a form-enabled web, individual topics can have a form or no form
  • form field - a named item in a form (also known as a key)
  • field type - selects the field type:
    Input type Type field Size field Value field
    One or more checkboxes checkbox number of items per line comma list of item labels
    One or more checkboxes, plus Set and Clear buttons checkbox+buttons (same) (same)
    One or more radio buttons (radio buttons are mutually exclusive; only one can be selected) radio (same) (same)
    Read-only label text label ignored text
    Drop-down menu or scrollable box select 1 for drop down, 2 and up for scrollable box comma-separated list of options
    A one-line text field text text box width in number of characters initial text, if a new topic is created with a form template
    A text box textarea columns x rows, e.g. 80x6; default size is 40x5 initial text, if a new topic is created with a form template
  • field value - one or more values from a fixed set (select, checkbox, radio type) or free-form (label, text, text area).

Defining a Form

  1. Create a new topic with your form name: YourForm, ExpenseReportForm, InfoCategoryForm, RecordReviewForm, whatever you need.
  2. Create a TWiki table, with each column head representing one element of an entry field: Name, Type, Size, Values, Tooltip message, and Attributes (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 (you can later choose to enable/disable individual forms).

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

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

You can also retrieve possible values for select, checkbox or radio types from other topics:

Example: WebForm

  • In the WebForm topic, define the form:
    Name Type Size Values Tooltip message Attributes
    TopicClassification select 1   blah blah...  
    OperatingSystem checkbox 3   blah blah...  
    OsVersion text 16   blah blah...  

    ALERT! Leave the Values field blank.

  • Then in the TopicClassification topic, define the possible values:
    Name Typedown Tooltip message
    NoDisclosure option blah blah...
    Public Supported option blah blah...
    Public FAQ option blah blah...

Field values can also be obtained as the result of a FormattedSearch. For example,

%SEARCH{"Office$" scope="topic" web="%MAINWEB%" nototal="on" nosummary="on" nosearch="on" regex="on" format="$web.$topic" separator=", " }%

when used in the value field of the form definition, will take the set of field values to be all topic names in the Main web which end in "Office".

Notes:

  • A very few field names are reserved. If you try to use one of these names, TWiki will automatically append an underscore to the name when the form is used.
  • The field value will be used to initialize a field when a form is created, unless specific values are given by the topic template or query parameters. The first item in the list for a select or radio type is the default item. For label, text, and textarea fields the value may also contain commas. checkbox fields cannot be initialized through the form template.
  • If a label field has no name (blank first column in the form definition) it will not be shown when the form is viewed, only when it is edited.
  • The topic definition is not read when a topic is viewed.
  • Field names can include any text, but you should stick to alphanumeric characters. If you want to use a non-wikiname for a select, checkbox or radio field, and want to get the values from another topic, you can use [[...]] links. This notation can also be used when referencing another topic to obtain field values, but a name other than the topic name is required as the name of the field.
  • Field names have to be unique. If the same name is necessary (as when the field values for several fields are obtained from the same topic), an alternative name must be assigned using the [[...]] notation.
  • The topic defining field values can also be generated through a FormattedSearch, which must yield a suitable table as the result.
  • Form definition topics can be protected in the usual manner, using TWikiAccessControl, to limit who can change the form template and/or individual value lists. Note that view access is required to be able to edit topics that use the form definition, though view access to the form definition is not required to view a topic where the form has been used.
  • The Tooltip message column is used as a tooltip for the field name (only if field name is a WikiName) - you only see the tooltip in edit view.
  • The Attributes column is used to define special behavior for that form field (multiple attributes can be entered, with or without separators):
    • An attribute H indicates that this field should not be shown in view mode. However, the field is available for editing and storing information.
    • An attribute M indicates that this field is mandatory. The topic cannot be saved unless a value is provided for this field. If the field is found empty during topic save, an error is raised and the user is redirected to an oops page. Mandatory fields are indicated by an asterisks next to the field name.

Enabling Forms by Web

Forms have to be enabled for each individual web. The WEBFORMS variable in WebPreferences is optional and defines a list of possible form templates.

Example:
  • Set WEBFORMS = BugForm, FeatureForm, Books.BookLoanForm
  • With WEBFORMS enabled, an extra button is added to the edit view. If the topic doesn't have a Form, an Add Form button appears at the end of the topic. If a Form is present, a Change button appears in the top row of the Form. The buttons open a screen that enables selection of a form specified in WEBFORMS, or the No form option.

Add a form to a topic

  • Edit a topic and follow the "Add form" button to add a Form to the topic. This is typically done to a template topic, either to the WebTopicEditTemplate topic in a web, or a new topic that serves as an application specific template topic. Initial Form values can be set there.

  • Additionally a new topic can be given a Form using the formtemplate parameter in the (edit or save) URL. Initial values can then be provided in the URLs or as form values:
    • other than checkboxes: name, ex: ?BugPriority=1
    • checkbox: namevalue=1, ex: ?ColorRed=1.
      Boxes with a tick must be specified.
    • Example: This will add a textfield for the new topic name and a "Create"-Button to your topic. When the button is pressed, the topic editor will open with the form "MyForm" already attached to the new topic.
          <form name="newtopic" action="%SCRIPTURLPATH{"edit"}%/%WEB%/">
             <input type="hidden" name="formtemplate" value="MyForm" />
             New topic name <input type="text" name="topic" size="40" />
             <input type="submit" value="Create" />
          </form>
             
  • TIP Tip: For TWiki applications you can automatically generate unique topicnames.

  • ALERT! Note: Initial values will not be submitted to the form of a new topic if you only use the formtemplate parameter.

Build an HTML form to create new Form-based topics

  • New topics with a form are created by simple HTML forms asking for a topic name. For example, you can have a SubmitExpenseReport topic where you can create new expense reports, a SubmitVacationRequest topic, and so on. These can specify the required template topic with its associated form. Template topics has more.

Changing a form

  • You can change a form definition, and TWiki will try to make sure you don't lose any data from the topics that use that form.

  • If you change the form definition, the changes will not take affect in a topic that uses that form until you edit and save it.

  • If you add a new field to the form, then it will appear next time you edit a topic that uses the form.

  • If you delete a field from the form, or change a field name, then the data will not be visible when you edit the topic (the changed form definition will be used). If you save the topic, the old data will be lost (though thanks to revision control, you can always see it in older versions of the topic)

Searching for Form Data

TWiki Forms accept user-input data, stored as TWikiMetaData. Meta data also contains program-generated info about changes, attachments, etc. To find, format and display form and other meta data, see TWikiMetaData, FORMFIELD, SEARCH and METASEARCH variables in TWikiVariables, and TWiki Formatted Search.

Example
TWiki users often want to have an overview of topics they contributed to. With the $formfield parameter it is easy to display the value of a classification field next to the topic link:
| *Topic* | *Classification* |
%SEARCH{"%MAINWEB%.UserName" scope="text" regex="off" nosearch="on" nototal="on" order="modified" reverse="on"
format="|<b>[[$web.$topic][$topic]]</b> |<nop>$formfield(TopicClassification) |" web="Sandbox"}%

Extending the range of form data types

Several Plugins allow you to extend the range of data types accepted by forms. For example, the TWiki:Plugins.DateFieldPlugin lets you add a 'date' type to the available data types. All data types are single-valued (can only have one value) with the following exceptions:
  • any type name starting with checkbox
  • any type name with +multi anywhere in the name
Types with names like this can both take multiple values.

Gotcha!

  • Some browsers may strip linefeeds from text fields when a topic is saved. If you need linefeeds in a field, make sure it is a textarea.

Importing Category Table Data

Very, very old TWiki releases used a system called the "TWikiCategoryTable". Later releases support automatic import of this 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.

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


10 TWiki Templates

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

Overview

There are three types of template:

  • Master Templates: Define blocks of text for use in other templates
  • HTML Page Templates: Define the layout of TWiki pages
  • Template Topics: Define default text when you create a new topic

All three types of template use the TWiki template system.

The TWiki Template System

Templates are plain text with embedded template directives that tell TWiki how to compose blocks of text together to create something new.

How Template Directives Work

  • Template directives are embedded in templates.
  • Directives are of the form %TMPL:<key>% and %TMPL:<key>{"attr"}%.
  • Directives:
    • %TMPL:INCLUDE{"file"}%: Includes a template file. The file is found as described below.
    • %TMPL:DEF{"block"}%: Define a block. Text between this and the %TMPL:END% directive is not used in-place, but is saved for later use with %TMPL:P. Leading and trailing whitespace is ignored.
    • %TMPL:END%: Ends a block definition.
    • %TMPL:P{"var"}%: Includes a previously defined block.
    • %{...}%: is a comment.
  • Two-pass processing lets you use a variable before or after declaring it.
  • Templates and TWikiSkins work transparently and interchangeably. For example, you can create a skin that overloads only the twiki.tmpl master template, like twiki.print.tmpl, that redefines the header and footer.
  • HELP Use of template directives is optional: templates work without them.
  • ALERT! NOTE: Template directives work only for templates: they do not get processed in normal topic text.

TMPL:P also supports simple parameters. For example, given the definition %TMPL:DEF{"x"}% x%P%z%TMPL:END% then %TMPL:P{"x" P="y"}% will expand to xyz.

Note that parameters can simply be ignored; for example=%TMPL:P{"x"}%= will expand to x%P%z.

Any alphanumeric characters can be used in parameter names. You are highly recommended to use parameter names that cannot be confused with TWikiVariables.

Note that three parameter names, context, then and else are reserved. They are used to support a limited form of "if" condition that you can use to select which of two templates to use, based on a context identifier:

%TMPL:DEF{"link_inactive"}%<input type="button" disabled value="Link>%TMPL:END%
%TMPL:DEF{"link_active"}%<input type="button" onclick="link()" value="Link" />%TMPL:END%
%TMPL:P{context="inactive" then="inactive_link" else="active_link"}% for %CONTEXT%
When the "inactive" context is set, then this will expand the "link_inactive" template; otherwise it will expand the "link_active" template. See IfStatements for details of supported context identifiers.

Finding Templates

Templates are stored either in the twiki/templates directory, or can also be read from user topics. As an example, twiki/templates/view.tmpl is the default template file for the twiki/bin/view script.

Templates that are included using %TMPL:INCLUDE% are also found using the same search algorithm, unless you explicitly put '.tmpl' at the end of the template name. In this case, the string is assumed to be the full name of a template in the templates directory, and the algorithm isn't used.

TWiki uses the following search order to determine which template file or topic to use for a particular script. The skin path is set as described in TWikiSkins.

  1. templates/web/script.skin.tmpl for each skin on the skin path
    • ALERT! this usage is supported for compatibility only and is deprecated. Store web-specific templates in TWiki topics instead.
  2. templates/script.skin.tmpl for each skin on the skin path
  3. templates/web/script.tmpl
    • ALERT! this usage is supported for compatibility only and is deprecated. Store web-specific templates in TWiki topics instead.
  4. templates/script.tmpl
  5. The TWiki topic web.topic if the template name can be parsed into web.topic
  6. The TWiki topic web.SkinSkinScriptTemplate for each skin on the skin path
  7. The TWiki topic web.ScriptTemplate
  8. The TWiki topic TWiki.SkinSkinScriptTemplate for each skin on the skin path
  9. The TWiki topic TWiki.ScriptTemplate
Legend:
  • script refers to the script name, e.g view, edit
  • Script refers to the same, but with the first character capitalized, e.g View
  • skin refers to a skin name, e.g dragon, pattern. All skins are checked at each stage, in the order they appear in the skin path.
  • Skin refers to the same, but with the first character capitalized, e.g Dragon
  • web refers to the current web
For example, the example template file will be searched for in the following places, when the current web is Thisweb and the skin path is print,pattern:
  1. templates/Thisweb/example.print.tmpl deprecated; don't rely on it
  2. templates/Thisweb/example.pattern.tmpl deprecated; don't rely on it
  3. templates/example.print.tmpl
  4. templates/example.pattern.tmpl
  5. templates/Thisweb/example.tmpl deprecated; don't rely on it
  6. templates/example.tmpl
  7. Thisweb.PrintSkinExampleTemplate
  8. Thisweb.PatternSkinExampleTemplate
  9. Thisweb.ExampleTemplate
  10. TWiki.PrintSkinExampleTemplate
  11. TWiki.PatternSkinExampleTemplate
  12. TWiki.ExampleTemplate

Template names are usually derived from the name of the currently executing script; however it is also possible to override these settings in the view and edit scripts, for example when a topic-specific template is required. Two preference variables can be user to override the templates used:

  • VIEW_TEMPLATE sets the template to be used for viewing a topic
  • EDIT_TEMPLATE sets the template for editing a topic.
If these preferences are set locally (using Local instead of Set) for a topic, in WebPreferences, in Main.TWikiPreferences, or TWiki.TWikiPreferences (using Set), the indicated templates will be chosen for view and edit respectively. The template search order is as specified above.

Master Templates

Master templates use the block definition directives (%TMPL:DEF and %TMPL:END%) to define common sections that appear in two or more other templates. twiki.tmpl is the default master template.
Template variable: Defines:
%TMPL:DEF{"sep"}% "|" separator
%TMPL:DEF{"htmldoctype"}% Start of all HTML pages
%TMPL:DEF{"standardheader"}% Standard header (ex: view, index, search)
%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

HTML Page Templates

HTML page templates are files of HTML mixed with template directives that tell TWiki how to build up an HTML page. As described above, the template system supports the use of 'include' directives that let you re-use the same sections of HTML - such as headers and footers - in several different places.

TWiki uses HTML page templates when composing the output from all actions, like topic view, edit, and preview. This allows you to change the look and feel of all pages by editing just a few template files.

HTML page templates are also used in the definition of TWikiSkins.

Template Topics

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

Topic Name: What it is:
WebTopicViewTemplate Error page shown when you try to view a nonexistent topic
WebTopicNonWikiTemplate Alert page shown when you try to view a nonexistent topic with a non-WikiName
WebTopicEditTemplate Default text shown when you create a new topic.
When you create a new topic, TWiki locates a topic to use as a content template according to the following search order:

  1. A topic name specified by the templatetopic CGI parameter
    • if no web is specified, the current web is searched first and then the TWiki web
  2. WebTopicEditTemplate in the current web
  3. WebTopicEditTemplate in the TWiki web

Edit Template Topics and Variable Expansion

The following variables get expanded when a user creates a new topic based on a template topic:

Variable: Description:
%DATE% Signature format date. See VarDATE
%GMTIME% Date/time. See VarGMTIME
%GMTIME{...}% Formatted date/time. See VarGMTIME2
%NOP% A no-operation variable that gets removed. Useful to prevent a SEARCH from hitting an edit template topic; also useful to escape a variable like %URLPARAM%NOP%{...}%
%STARTSECTION{type="templateonly"}%
...
%ENDSECTION{type="templateonly"}%
Text that gets removed when a new topic based on the template is created. See notes below.
%SERVERTIME% Date/time. See VarSERVERTIME
%SERVERTIME{...}% Formatted date/time. See VarSERVERTIME2
%USERNAME% Login name of user who is instantiating the new topic, e.g. guest
%URLPARAM{"name"}% Value of a named URL parameter
%WIKINAME% WikiName of user who is instantiating the new topic, e.g. TWikiGuest
%WIKIUSERNAME% User name of user who is instantiating the new tpoic, e.g. Main.TWikiGuest

%STARTSECTION{type="templateonly"}%
...
%ENDSECTION{type="templateonly"}%
markers are used to embed text that you do not want expanded when a new topic based on the template topic is created. For example, you might want to write in the template topic:


This template can only be changed by:
   * Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = %MAINWEB%.TWikiAdminGroup

This will restrict who can edit the template topic, but will get removed when a new topic based on that template topic is created.

%NOP% can be used to prevent expansion of TWiki variables that would otherwise be expanded during topic creation e.g.i escape %nop>SERVERTIME% with %SER%NOP%VERTIME%.

All other variables are unchanged, e.g. are carried over "as is" into the new topic.

Template Topics in Action

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

  • New example topic:   (date format is YYYYxMMxDD)

The above form asks for a topic name. A hidden input tag named templatetopic specifies ExampleTopicTemplate as the template topic to use. Here is the HTML source of the form:

<form name="new" action="%SCRIPTURLPATH{edit}%/%WEB%/">
   * New example topic: 
     <input type="text" name="topic" value="ExampleTopic%SERVERTIME{$yearx$mox$day}%" size="26" />
     <input type="hidden" name="templatetopic" value="ExampleTopicTemplate" />
     <input type="hidden" name="topicparent" value="%TOPIC%" />
     <input type="hidden" name="onlywikiname" value="on" />
     <input type="hidden" name="onlynewtopic" value="on" />
     <input type="submit" class="twikiSubmit" value="Create" />
     (date format is <nop>YYYYxMMxDD)
</form>

See TWikiScripts for details of the parameters that the edit script understands.

TIP TIP: You can use the %WIKIUSERNAME% and %DATE% variables in your topic templates to include the signature of the person creating a new topic. The variables are expanded into fixed text when a new topic is created. The standard signature is:
-- %WIKIUSERNAME% - %DATE%

Automatically Generated Topicname

If you want to make a TWiki application where you need automatically generated unique topicnames, you can use 10 X's in the edit / save URL, and they will be replaced on topic save with a count value. For example, BugIDXXXXXXXXXX will result in topics named BugID0, BugID1, BugID2 etc.

Example link to create a new topic:

[[%SCRIPTURLPATH{"edit"}%/%WEB%/BugIDXXXXXXXXXX?templatetopic=BugTemplate&amp;topicparent=%TOPIC%&amp;t=%SERVERTIME{"$day$hour$min$sec"}%][Create new item]]=

Master Templates by Example

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

Base template oopsbase.tmpl

The first line declares a 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%
<html>
<head>
  <title> %WIKITOOLNAME% . %WEB% . %TOPIC% %.TMPL:P{"titleaction"}%</title>
  <base href="%SCRIPTURLPATH{"view"}%/%WEB%/%TOPIC%">
  <meta name="robots" content="noindex">
</head>
<body bgcolor="#FFFFFF">
<table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0">
  <tr>
    <td bgcolor="%WEBBGCOLOR%" rowspan="2" valign="top" width="1%">
      <a href="%WIKIHOMEURL%">
      <img src="%PUBURLPATH%/wikiHome.gif" border="0"></a>
    </td>
    <td>
      <b>%WIKITOOLNAME% . %WEB% . </b><font size="+2">
      <B>%TOPIC%</b> %TMPL:P{"titleaction"}%</font>
    </td>
  </tr>
  <tr bgcolor="%WEBBGCOLOR%">
    <td colspan="2">
      %TMPL:P{"webaction"}%
    </td>
  </tr>
</table>
--- ++ %TMPL:P{"heading"}%
%TMPL:P{"message"}%
<table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0">
  <tr bgcolor="%WEBBGCOLOR%">
    <td valign="top">
      Topic <b>%TOPIC%</b> . {
        %TMPL:P{"topicaction"}%
      }
    </td>
  </tr>
</table>
</body>

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%
%TMPL:DEF{"heading"}%
Test heading %TMPL:END%
%TMPL:DEF{"message"}%
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%
%TMPL:END%
%TMPL:DEF{"topicaction"}%
Test =topicaction=:
[[%WEB%.%TOPIC%][OK]] %TMPL:P{"sep"}%
[[%TWIKIWEB%.TWikiRegistration][Register]] %TMPL:END%
%TMPL:INCLUDE{"oopsbase"}%

Sample screen shot of oopstest.tmpl

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

testscreen.gif

Related Topics: TWikiSkins, DeveloperDocumentationCategory, AdminDocumentationCategory


11 TWiki Skins

Skins overlay regular templates to give different looks and feels to TWiki screens.

Overview

TWiki uses TWikiTemplates files as the basis of all the screens it uses to interact with users. Each screen has an associated template file that contains the basic layout of the screen. This is then filled in by the code to generate what you see in the browser.

TWiki ships with a default set of template files that give a basic look-and-feel. TWiki also includes support for skins that can be selected to give different, more sophisticated, look and feels. A default TWiki installation will usually start up with the PatternSkin already selected. Skins may also be defined by third parties and loaded into a TWiki installation to give more options. To see how TWiki looks when no skin is selected, view this topic with a non-existant skin.

Topic text is not affected by the choice of skin, though a skin can be defined to use a CSS (Cascading Style Sheet), which can sometimes give a radically different appearance to the text.

TIP Tip: TWiki:TWiki.TWikiSkinsSupplement on TWiki.org has supplemental documentation on TWiki Skins.

Changing the default TWiki skin

TWiki default ships with the skin PatternSkin activated. If you want to modify the layout, colors or even the templates to suit your own needs, have a look first at the topics PatternSkinCustomization and PatternSkinCssCookbook.

Defining Skins

You may want to define your own skin, for example to comply with corporate web guidelines, or because you have a aesthetic vision that you want to share.

The TWikiTemplates files used for skins are located in the twiki/templates directory and are named according to the skin: <scriptname>.<skin>.tmpl. For example, the template used for pages generated by the view script with the print skin selected is view.print.tmpl (this is how the Printable control is implemented). Skin files may also be defined in TWiki topics - see TWikiTemplates for details.

To start creating a new skin, copy the default TWikiTemplates (like view.tmpl), or copy an existing skin to use as a base for your own skin. You should only need to copy the files you intend to customise, as TWiki can be configured to fall back to another skin if a template is not defined in your skin. Name the files as described above (for example view.myskin.tmpl.

ALERT! Note: Two skin names have reserved meanings; text skin, and skin names starting with rss have hard-coded meanings.

The following template files are used for TWiki screens, and are referenced in the TWiki core code. If a skin doesn't define its own version of a template file, then TWiki will fall back to the next skin in the skin path, or finally, to the default version of the template file.

(Certain template files are expected to provide certain TMPL:DEFs - these are listed in sub-bullets)

  • addform - used to select a new form for a topic
  • attachagain - used when refreshing an existing attachment
  • attachnew - used when attaching a new file to a topic
  • attachtables - defines the format of attachments at the bottom of the standard topic view
    • ATTACH:files:footer, ATTACH:files:header, ATTACH:files:row, ATTACH:versions:footer, ATTACH:versions:header, ATTACH:versions:row
  • changeform - used to change the form in a topic
  • changes - used by the changes script
  • edit - used for the edit screen
  • form
  • formtables - used to defined the format of forms
    • FORM:display:footer, FORM:display:header, FORM:display:row
  • login - used for loggin in when using the TemplateLoginManager
    • LOG_IN, LOG_IN_BANNER, LOG_OUT, LOGGED_IN_BANNER, NEW_USER_NOTE, UNRECOGNISED_USER
  • moveattachment - used when moving an attachment
  • oopsaccessdenied - used to format Access Denied messages
    • no_such_topic, no_such_web, only_group, topic_access
  • oopsattention - used to format Attention messages
    • already_exists, bad_email, bad_ver_code, bad_wikiname, base_web_missing, confirm, created_web, delete_err, invalid_web_color, invalid_web_name, in_a_group, mandatory_field, merge_notice, missing_action, missing_fields, move_err, missing_action, no_form_def, no_users_to_reset, notwikiuser, oversized_upload, password_changed, password_mismatch, problem_adding, remove_user_done, rename_err, rename_not_wikiword, rename_topic_exists, rename_web_err, rename_web_exists, rename_web_prerequisites, reset_bad, reset_ok, save_error, send_mail_error, thanks, topic_exists, unrecognized_action, upload_name_changed, web_creation_error, web_exists, web_missing, wrong_password, zero_size_upload
  • oopschangelanguage - used to prompt for a new language when internationalisation is enabled
  • oopslanguagechanged - used to confirm a new language when internationalisation is enabled
  • oopsleaseconflict - used to format lease Conflict messages
    • lease_active, lease_old
  • preview - used for previewing edited topics before saving
  • rdiff - used for viewing topic differences
  • registernotify - used by the user registration system
  • registernotifyadmin - used by the user registration system
  • rename - used when renaming a topic
  • renameconfirm - used when renaming a topic
  • renamedelete - used when renaming a topic
  • renameweb - used when renaming a web
  • renamewebconfirm - used when renaming a web
  • renamewebdelete - used when renaming a web
  • searchbookview - used to format inline search results in book view
  • searchformat - used to format inline search results
  • search - used by the search CGI script
  • settings
  • view - used by the view CGI script
twiki.tmpl is a master template conventionally used by other templates, but not used directly by code.

ALERT! Note: You are strongly recommended not to TMPL:INCLUDE the default templates, or templates from other skins, when you are defining your own skin. If you do, you run the risk that the included file might change and break your skin.

Variables in Skins

You can use template variables, TWikiVariables, and other predefined variables to compose your skins. Some commonly used variables in skins:

Variable: Expanded to:
%WEBLOGONAME% Filename of web logo
%WEBLOGOIMG% Image URL of web logo
%WEBLOGOURL% Link of web logo
%WEBLOGOALT% Alt text of web logo
%WIKILOGOURL% Link of page logo
%WIKILOGOIMG% Image URL of page logo
%WIKILOGOALT% Alt text of page logo
%WEBBGCOLOR% Web-specific background color, defined in the WebPreferences
%WIKITOOLNAME% The name of your TWiki site
%SCRIPTURL% The script URL of TWiki
%SCRIPTURLPATH% The script URL path
%SCRIPTSUFFIX% The script suffix, ex: .pl, .cgi
%WEB% The name of the current web.
%TOPIC% The name of the current topic.
%WEBTOPICLIST% Common links of current web, defined in the WebPreferences. It includes a Go box
%TEXT% The topic text, e.g. the content that can be edited
%META{"form"}% TWikiForm, if any
%META{"attachments"}% FileAttachment table
%META{"parent"}% The topic parent
%EDITTOPIC% Edit link
%REVTITLE% The revision title, if any, ex: (r1.6)
%REVINFO% Revision info, ex: r1.6 - 24 Dec 2002 - 08:12 GMT - TWikiGuest
%WEBCOPYRIGHT% Copyright notice, defined in the WebPreferences
%BROADCASTMESSAGE% Broadcast message at the beginning of your view template, can be used to alert users of scheduled downtimes; can be set in TWikiPreferences

The "Go" Box and Navigation Box

The default %WEBTOPICLIST% includes a "Go" box, also called "Jump" box, to jump to a topic. The box also understands URLs, e.g. you can type http://www.google.com/ to jump to an external web site. The feature is handy if you build a skin that has a select box of frequently used links, like Intranet home, employee database, sales database and such. A little JavaScript gets into action on the onSelect method of the select tag to fill the selected URL into the "Go" box field, then submits the form.

Here is an example form that has a select box and the "Go" box for illustration purposes. You need to have JavaScript enabled for this to work:

Bare bones header for demo only
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Using Cascading Style Sheets

CSS is used by PatternSkin, the TWiki skin that is selected in new installations. See that skin topic for information how CSS is used.

CSS files are gererally attachments to the skin topic that are included in the the skin templates - in the case of PatternSkin in the template css.pattern.tmpl.

Write in your main template:

<style type='text/css' media='all'>@import url('%PUBURLPATH%/%TWIKIWEB%/MySkin/mystyle.css');</style>

Attachment Tables

Controlling the look and feel of attachment tables is a little bit more complex than for the rest of a skin. By default, the attachment table is a standard TWiki table, and the look is controlled in the same way as other tables. In a very few cases you may want to change the content of the table as well.

The format of standard attachment tables is defined through the use of special TWiki template macros which by default, are defined in the attachtables.tmpl template using the %TMPL:DEF macro syntax described in TWikiTemplates. These macros are: