Hey, PBwiki-ers! It’s worth mentioning that the tags support that we rolled out this month across PBwiki was largely inspired by a series of wonderful meetings we had with Nitin Borwankar. This guy is like the Johnny Appleseed of the tagging world! If you need tags support in your application, talk with him and he’ll give you the know-how hookup.
We noticed lots of Premium users asking us how they could get additional features. It happened about 50 times, and then you should have heard the groans in the office. It went something like, “Dear god, how have we not already built this?”
Now Premium users can upgrade to specific a la carte features. Do you just want encryption? No problem. What about lockable pages and hideable pages? Sure. A bonus: If you’re a Premium user and you add an additional feature, it lasts for the lifetime of your wiki.
To add extra features to your Premium wiki, click “Settings” and then “Features.”
We quietly rolled out a new feature that lets you save any wiki page as a PDF file. This might be really useful if you have a syllabus (print it out and give it to your class), a resume, a meeting agenda, or almost anything else.
To save your wiki page to PDF, look at the bottom-left box of your wiki for the “Save page as PDF” link. That’s it!
Well, it looks like PBwiki is now blocked in China. Time for a party shirt. Maybe they didn’t appreciate my recent trip there, where I dressed up like the Red Army and had Chinese tourists gigglingly ask me for a picture. I swear governments have no sense of humor.
In all honesty, this is a little disheartening. PBwiki’s #2 most popular language after English is Chinese by a very good margin, due in part to our excellent internationalization support and full-text Unicode-compliant search. So without a great deal of cleverness and tomfoolery on our part, we may have to say goodbye to China for now.
The technical details follow, for the interested; traceroutes from two IPs behind the same router – one that runs the production pbworks.com site (and is therefore blocked) and another that acts as a development box (and is not blocked). And yes, we’ve verified that people in China cannot access PBwiki.
So as many of you astute readers may have noticed, we use PHP on the backend. Nathan and I ran into a curious quirk today; if you do a require_once() in a function’s context, the variables set in the required file are not visible as globals once the function returns, even to functions in the required file.
The moral of the story? If you use globals in your includes, put all the require_once()s that you might need at the top of your PHP. Don’t try and be clever with conditional inclusion of your libraries.
So we’re going to be working on an API for all you PBwiki coders out there to make it easy to pull PBwiki content into applications and other web services, push content from other sources into PBwiki, and get alerted when a wiki is updated. We’re just in the first design phases of rolling out the API – check out our official Developer Wiki at http://api.pbworks.com/ for more information as it comes out or put in your two cents about what you’d like to see on the developer forums.