Version 10

    This page tracks some of the commen problems of using clearspace compared to more popular wiki software (Mediawiki, Confluence, Twiki, etc.)  The goal of this page is to provide solutions/workarounds to these problems (if a solution exists), and to help address the problems when there is no current solution.  Note that several of these problems stem from the fact that Clearspace is designed to be a document management system and not a wiki.  Therefore it does not include any wiki markup features (ORG-260).  Using clearspace as a wiki could be the cause of many frustrations for users who want/need a wiki system.  Note: Many of these problems arose during the editing of this page.


    • Browser crashes while editing a page.  Using Firefox 3.0.x the browser sometimes crashes which attempting to open a page for editing.  This causes all firefox browser windows to close.  The problem is partially documented in jira issue ORG-82.  The problem seems to come and go in an unpredictable way.  The known workaround is to install firefox 3.5.

    • Failure during saving/publishing of a page.  When a page is published, there are some conditions that can cause the loss of information during the publishing process.  For example, if the session times out during editing, the work may be lost when publishing because clearspace no longer recognizes the session and does not save the edited page.  This is also described in ORG-257.

    • Slow editing of Links.  There does not appear to be a way to add a link with simple text markup.  The only two options for adding a page link are to directly edit the HTML (this is tedious and easy to make mistakes), or to use the link button which takes several seconds to load.  Once the link GUI is open, there is no way to just type in the name of another wiki page for a link.  You have to go to the "all content" or "browse history" sections in order to find the page to which you want to link.  This is very inconveinient compared to using a simple wiki link markup when you already know the page name.  For remote links, you must first use the GUI to add the link, and then carefully click (or move the cursor) to the appropriate place in order to create an alias for the link.

    • No way to create a new page directly where one does not exist.  For example, if I type in the name of a wiki page and I find that the page name does not exist, most wiki software provides an option to create this page.  Clearspace requires me to follow the add a page GUI options which wastes extra time.

    • The idea of separate spaces does not work well for a wiki.  Clearspace includes the ability to create "spaces" which are essentially subdirectories where document names do not conflict.  This might be useful for a highly compartmentalized organization where information is not readily shared between departments.  However for a wiki, this is counter productive because two departments may have a lot of duplicate information but not realize it.  They would also find it more difficult to find existing information available from another department.

    • Unreliable Undo.  The "undo" functionality is not predictable and many times changes cannot be undone.  It is not known what types of changes are revertable while editing a document and what changes are not revertable.

    • Unpredictable formatting.  For example, copying and pasting from one document to another does not always work reliably to preserve formatting.  Other examples of unreliable formatting include the list format: while editing a list, spaces (line breaks) can be added between bullet items.  When the document is published, these spaces are lost.
    • Jumping Cursor.  (ORG-404) Certain actions seem to cause unpredictable cursor movements in the editor.  For example pasting text into a document can cause the cursor to jump to random locations in the page throughout the rest of the session.


    • Cannot Copy and Paste.  Attempting to copy text from an open office docuement or even from a simple text document, often causes bizarre problems in the editor.  Some or all of the text will be lost, the cursor will begin to jump to random locations in the editor, and the formatting may change in locations not related to the recently pasted text. This is described in ORG-279


    • WYSIWYG editor does not display same formatting as published document.  Many times a document will look great while working in the editor, but when the document is published, the formatting changes.  Spacing is lost, headers change color, lists change their format.  This makes it nearly impossible to correctly format a document.  For example, see Clearspace Header Formatting.


    • Poor Handling of Image Files.  When uploading image files, the file seems to be uploaded to a unique location.  With MediaWiki the image becomes a separate page and the image can be replaced and have it's own history.  In Clearspace the image does not have it's own history, and cannot be used across multiple documents.  Also it is not possible to control the size of the image displayed on the final page.  The image can be resized in the wysiwyg editor, but the view here does not match the size of the image in the published page.
    • No way to copy an existing document.  Many times it's useful to copy an existing document instead of starting from scratch.  This is related to the lack of copy/paste features, but the difference is copying part of a document vs. copying the whole document and giving it a different name.  An example use case is a page for weekly meeting notes.  The meeting notes pages are created each week with the same basic structure.  If there was a way to create a template page, or copy an existing page, it would remove the need to re-create the same basic content each week.
    • No Aliasing of pages.  Sometimes a page moves or multiple names refer to the same page content.  In these cases it would be useful to be able to have several names refer to the same document.  This issue is probably related to the fact that clearspace doesn't have native support for meaningful page names (i.e. the real page name is DOC-xxxx instead of the title of the page).