[wikka-community] A csv to wiki table converter, and what to do with it?

Will Woodhull wwoodhull
Thu Oct 1 06:09:46 GMT 2009

Hi, I'm new to Wikkawiki, to wiki management in general, and to actually
contributing code to FOSS, so bear with me please.

I've put together a .csv to wikka v1.2 table conversion action:
{{cvsimport}}. The interface consists of a file loader like {{files}} (I
borrowed heavily) and a read-only textarea that displays the raw wikka table

The intended audience are some volunteers I'm working with who have some
spreadsheet skills but no time nor inclination to learn Wikka ways. They do
have an interest in maintaining the mailing lists and member rosters of the
community group, and believe me, that is priceless. But back to subject at

The intended workflow is that the volunteer would copy/paste a table from a
wikka page in "show" mode into their favorite spreadsheet app, do the
necessary housekeeping, and save the result locally in .csv format. They
would then go to the sole instance of the {{cvsimport}} action which might
be cleverly hosted on a page called CvsImport, select the local .csv file,
and copy/paste what then shows up in the textarea into the destination page.
Embellishments like adding a caption and column or row headers could then be


   1. The main one is that I've got volunteers who are happy to do the work
   if they can do it in a spreadsheet.
   2. This approach is also easier when working with large tables than
   composing directly in the Wikka format. I really think the Wikka format is
   about as good as it can get, but it is still far behind spreadsheets for
   ease of composition.
   3. Since critical steps in the process are not automated, the action does
   not expose the wiki to any greater risks than already present.
   4. I'm hoping that the volunteers will begin to explore other ways of
   using the wiki once they realize that they can in fact write fancy web
   pages, using mostly skills they already have.

Okay, so what do I do with this thing now? How do I place it in front of the
community where it can get properly critiqued and maybe put to use by

Will Woodhull
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