We're going to make logins and access controls much better

15 Aug

pbwiki_logo_250.gifToday we had a team meeting about improving PBwiki logins and access controls. This is something that is a top priority for us, and we’ll be working on it in phases starting immediately.

What to expect in the coming months
Better control over access on your wiki. You’ll be able to send certain pages to certain people, including groups of people (“Send this page to the engineering team”). For example, if you edited an agenda but only want marketing to get notified of the change (or the VP of marketing), you’ll be able to do that. You’ll be able to seamlessly add and remove access from your wiki using a simple interface.

Better visibility of who’s doing what. Our new system will let you easily see who changed what on your wiki. For example, if you add 20 people to your wiki, you’ll be able to see who’s confirmed their invitation and who’s edited a page.

Better handling of multiple wikis. Not much more to say about this except that it will be awesome.

Two examples
Let’s take two examples: Mr. Businessman and Mrs. Teacher.

Mr. Businessman is in charge of the wiki for his small company. He needs high security for his wiki — including an auditable trail of who changed what on the wiki, and IP locking so only people from his company can access the wiki (IP whitelisting is already available for business wikis). With these new features, he can say that Michelle changed the Meeting page on 8/10/07. He can have a full, printable record of changes. He is working on a draft and doesn’t want his manager to see it yet, so he hides it from everyone except his colleagues in marketing. He needs the marketing team’s input, so he gives them access.

Later, after it’s finished, Mr. Businessman will change the permissions so the CEO can see everything, the VP of Marketing can see all marketing materials, and his project manager can see relevant projects.

Mrs. Teacher has a classroom with 35 students and she uses PBwiki as a collaborative space for writing essays together, posting her syllabus, and letting the students collaborate. Using the new system, she’ll be able to import all of her students from an Excel/CSV file into her wiki and give them immediate access. She’ll also be able to see exactly who changed what on any page, including revoking access (or undoing a change). This is hardly ever a problem, but we know educators want to be sure about who’s changing what.

These changes will be slowly rolled in over the next few months, so keep your eyes peeled. We’ll keep you updated every step of the way. If you have feedback, leave a comment here!

-Ramit
Part of your PBwiki team

13 Responses to “We're going to make logins and access controls much better”

  1. JJW August 22, 2007 at 12:34 am #

    sweet. good news. we’re looking forward to the changes!

  2. Bloobeard August 22, 2007 at 6:03 am #

    This wil be great when it comes. However the timeline is a bit vague. “Changes will be slowly rolled in over the next few months” WHat is th epriority? What will be first and roughly when?

  3. PM User August 22, 2007 at 9:20 am #

    For teams using pbwiki as a project management solution within their company, it is important to have greater control over notifications. Bombarding members, contributors, or casual visitors with 8+ emails every day, after a change is made every hour (the current default) is considered rude or inappropriate in many large corporations / organizations.

    A potential solution to this would be to allow an administrator the ability to set a default for all new visitors to the page. An option would be for a daily or weekly digest of all changes, and links to those pages that were changed. Currently, an email is only sent out immediately after the first change to occur since the minimum email time has elapsed. I believe the digest would be a killer feature, especially at my organization, if this is to be adopted more widely.

    I really hope this feedback helps.

  4. eddiekar72 August 22, 2007 at 9:41 am #

    It all sounds very exciting. Can´t wait for the changes to come into effect.

    I didn´t know I was so addicted to Peanut Butter….

  5. Respect2Glory August 22, 2007 at 8:22 pm #

    Ever had a peanut butter, jelly and marshmallow creme sandwich with a glass of chocolate milk? Well, that’s almost as good as PBwiki! *big grins* (That’s one of my annual ‘feel good’ foods, but I enjoy PBwiki so much more!)

  6. Paul McNeely August 23, 2007 at 10:25 am #

    “Better handling of multiple wikis. Not much more to say about this except that it will be awesome.”

    Please tell me you implementing Open Id. This would make a lot more sense then what you have.

  7. Excalibur August 26, 2007 at 7:37 am #

    Ever had a peanut butter, jelly and marshmallow creme sandwich with a glass of chocolate milk?
    No, and as I have survived well into my fifties without one, I am not in the least inclined to try it..sounds revolting. How comes the most technologically sophisticated society on the planet has the worst cuisine….I think we should be told.

  8. David Lindsay September 6, 2007 at 10:05 pm #

    I can’t wait for user-level access controls. If every student has their own unique login/password, that they have to use to access the wiki, that will make individual accountability possible- simply a must!

  9. Brian Hadfield September 10, 2007 at 8:28 pm #

    I would like to see the ability to add comments, as a visitor. The admin could approve them (like a blog). This would be a nice feature!

  10. Staffan Humlebo December 11, 2007 at 1:16 am #

    Have those changes taken place now? Did not see them as I logged in on harnostudierfilosofi.pbwiki.com today…..

  11. Cindy January 1, 2008 at 5:08 pm #

    Can’t wait for easier log ons for my wiki users. I use my wiki’s for training and information for faculty and they always have problems with the very confusing pbwiki.identity/log on procedures.

    I make screen shot instructions for them, but your interface changes frequently and my instructions are out of date and they can’t figure out how to register and log on. I can’t make new screen shots because the cookie’s detect me and by pass the log on instructions.

    Please make ‘simple’ instructions we can send to new users when you do your upgrade.

    Thanks Cindy

  12. Carl Woznial January 5, 2008 at 7:09 am #

    Well, my wiki subscription runs out at the end of the month, and I don’t know if I will re-subscribe. It is absolutely essential that independent access controls are available for individual pages. It seems that the wiki designers are working primarily on tweaking the interface and not dealing with some basic infrastructure issues that make the design considerations moot if the wiki can’t do the job it needs to do.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Preview: Totally new PBwiki interface, features - The Daily Peanut - December 10, 2007

    [...] logins. A few months ago, we noted how logins on PBwiki are more confusing than they need to be. In the new release, we’ll be improving logins and making it easier to track who’s [...]

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