Preview: Totally new PBwiki interface, features

10 Dec

This is the first preview of a major release we’re working on for early January 2008.

We’re working on a completely new interface with brand-new features:

  • New editor. We’ve improved the editor to be more responsive and have fixed a number of bugs. (My personal favorite: Bullet-pointing is now much, much easier.)
  • Page-level access. If you’ve ever wanted to allow certain people access to specific pages on your wiki, now you’ll be able to.
  • Page folders & folder access controls. This new feature will allow you to put pages in folders to better organize your wiki. A godsend for large wikis!
  • Improved 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 doing what — and to make sharing easier.

Beginning in early 2008, we’ll be sending you information about how to migrate over to the new interface. (If you don’t want to change, you can keep your current interface.)

Here’s a preview screenshot.


Golden Tickets: Get beta access to PBwiki 2.0
We have a limited amount of Golden Tickets to try out PBwiki 2.0 as a beta user. If you’re interested in trying out PBwiki 2.0 and giving us feedback, sign up for PBwiki 2.0 beta access.

We’re excited about the new release and will keep you updated beginning in early 2008!

42 Responses to “Preview: Totally new PBwiki interface, features”

  1. Erven Thoma at 12:20 am #

    Because the new interface takes up valuable horizontal real estate, I will need to keep my present interface. Although the new features are exciting, I wish that the pbwiki interface items were at the top and bottom, not on the right side.

  2. kadavy at 2:11 am #

    I support these interface changes, and don’t consider the horizontal space to be “valuable.” The line-length on blocks of text are too wide on the current interface – unless you resize your browser window to make it more narrow.

    The only argument I could make for keeping the columns browser-width would be to facilitate more side-by-side document editing (i.e. two browser windows).

  3. Stephen Fleming at 8:17 am #

    Erven: I’ll wait for the team to reply, but since most PBwiki pages scale nicely to different-width screens, I suspect you’ll still be able to use the new tools.

    Guys — Bravo! Will the “folders” be available for files as well? I have a site with a hundred or so uploaded files, and scrolling through that list is painful!


  4. Susan G. Stucka at 3:53 pm #

    How could I get some help with this PBwiki? I was trying to see if this would make a family genealogy site or a site for my family to communicated with my Aunt would is having problems with PC basics. Any Ideas?

  5. Axel Schultze at 3:58 pm #

    Can’t wait to get may hands dirty. Need a beta tester/

  6. John Flattery at 6:05 pm #

    the only thing I will be curious is how the new interface is viewable on portable devices, smartphones, palm etc. The current version is easily viewed. I hope the new version works out, it has some excellent new features. Thanks.

  7. Jason Chapman at 11:01 pm #

    Ah, I’ll wait to role out our WIKI until the new user authentication is rolled out. I am new to PBWiki, but not to user admin in general. It took a while for the penny to drop on how the current authentication works on the professional package. I know it would confuse my users as well.

    Is the new authentication going to be me setting up users and them logging into my wiki with their username and password?

  8. Pierre C at 12:23 pm #

    Great news about the new editor ! I’m a big user of bullet points, and improvements is needed !

  9. Ricky at 3:32 am #

    Hope they added a spell checker to the editor? Great ideas. hope the new features come wiki-wiki.

  10. Ciaran McGee at 4:54 am #

    Excellent news about the new levels of access for 2008 release. This was causing a problem implementing it in all our subjects at school. Now you have made it so much easier. Thanks!


  11. Craig Nansen at 5:13 am #

    I hope that the student logins don’t require an e-mail address for each student. That is one of the biggest drawbacks teachers have to use online resources – not all students, especially those in elementary school, have e-mail addresses.

    It would be nice if the classroom teacher could enter a list of student logins and passwords for a specific wiki. Being able to do this in a batch mode (i.e. copy and paste from a text document that has the username and password seperated by a comma with each username on a separate line).

  12. lynn mccartney at 6:17 am #

    These are great changes – I really like the ability to put files into folders. I have many presentations that include video. Those presentations are far less effective if the video has to be separated from the rest of the Ppt. folder.

  13. Frank Fulchiero at 7:16 am #

    Just wondering how hard it would be to set up LDAP or Active Directory authentication for PBWiki. That is, a student or faculty would sign in with their network name and password. My team thinks this is very important. We are using MediaWiki now, but are looking for a more sophisticated system, with GUI editing. I have tested PBWiki and like it otherwise.

  14. hsbc at 8:24 am #

    This looks quite nice although I’d probably prefer to have the SideBar placed above the page functions instead of below it where it almost looks abandoned.

    The search field placement is much improved. Will it have automatic focus on page load?

    If the improved login turns into what I hope it does, I’ll be a very happy customer.

  15. Richard Naylor at 8:59 am #

    I just wanted to say thank you! I wanted people to use a comment page and not be able to change everything and with this I can do that.

  16. Mike Bogdan at 10:21 am #

    Is the mid-January date for the new interface firm?

  17. Sandy Bernahl at 10:22 am #

    Can you restrict students to reply only certain time periods? This would help for targeted classes. Thanks,
    S. Bernahl

  18. Jeff Laun at 11:03 am #

    I am really excited for the new features. Mostly I have hope that the WYSIWYG editing will be truely WYSIWYG. The old point and shoot is good, but has too many bugs.

  19. Stefan Michalski at 3:38 pm #

    Single user logins and Page Level Access are the improvements i was waiting for. I didn’t want to shere all the contents and all the pages i created. The different kinds of permission levels are fit in my plans!
    I think my PBwiki page will be a better tool for my work. Thank you guys!

  20. Carolyn Harper at 4:10 pm #

    The new features look good. I’d agree with previous post that Sidebar could be more prominent, but it is good to get it out on its own. Some of my users never saw the Sidebar if their browser opened with Recent Activity or Quick Start showing on top of the Sidebar.

    Will we still be able to view Recent Activity?

    It would be nice to be able to add images similar to Microsoft Word & PowerPoint, with the ability to place them anywhere on the page. Presently, the image needs to be on its own line, and a lot of screen space is wasted.

    Thanks for a great resource for all of us!

  21. Lynn Corrigan at 1:42 am #

    I really like moving the tags and comments onto the sidebar – we’ve found in the past that users had to hunt to find them at the bottom of the page, so they weren’t used as much as they should be.

  22. Eduardo Carrillo at 1:56 pm #

    Excellent news!!!!

    I love that we will be able to use folders for the pages, but will this also apply to files? I hope so

    The Sidebar and other options on the right?? – Well, It’s debatable. You either use vertical or horizontal space for those sections. I guess we, the users, will wait and see how that translates into viewable space.

    In any case, I’m excited about the new upgrades.
    I can’t wait. I can’t wait. I can’t wait!!!!!

    Happy holidays to all

  23. Rebecca at 12:45 pm #

    Love the new features. Desperately need individ passwords after child involved in identity theft!! …At primary school …despite rigorous teaching on privacy & etiquette. I agree with someone else in this chain & hope that each child doesn’t need an email address as all our children don’t have one.

  24. Erven Thoma at 2:17 pm #

    The format on over 1,100 of my wiki pages is a table with several columns, so I need the width. Hence I removed the original Side Bar and created my own page links within the tables. I like the blue skin-template provided to free accounts, except that it does not allow as much width as the standard.
    To get the two tables on my many pages to warp and stack one under the other when viewing pages with Opera and Internet Explorer browsers, I am having to create a master table into which the other two tables are placed–a lot of trouble to modify so many pages. In Safari and Firefox the tables display correctly.
    I’ve noticed that the editor changes the code that I write and inserts a number of items. It also changes a tag to a tag and it inserts non-breaking space code. I also wish I could add css and javascript into the head area of the code instead of within each HTML tag.
    A side bar in a collapsing menu style would be nice.
    I hope that I can organize my 1,100+ pages into folders according to the alphabet (an “A” folder, a “B” folder, etc), even if I keep the old page interface. That feature is nice.

  25. Erven Thoma at 2:20 pm #

    Changed again–my recent post had a couple of tags but they got changes when the reply was posted. I’ll try using quotes around them.

    The sentence in question should read: It also changes a “” tag to a “” tag…

    Let’s see if that works.

  26. Erven Thoma at 2:22 pm #

    Still did not work! Grrrrr! I meant a break tag is replaced with a paragraph tag.

  27. Erven Thoma at 8:39 am #

    Don’t know where to put this, but there are incorrect links on

  28. paul at 1:54 pm #

    Frank: PBwiki does currently offer integration to 3rd party authentication via our API. You can read more about it at

    Erven: Thanks for the heads up! In the future, you can contact the support team directly for an immediate response.

    PBwiki Team

  29. Georg Romero at 9:05 am #

    I also agree with the repeated comment above that the SideBar is being relegated to too minor a spot in the new design. We use the sidebar for basic navigation (see, & really like the relative prominence given to the SideBar. One other sentiment echoed: we like using a shared login here at Cabrillo College Library, since none of our staff have to set up a separate account, or remember a different password, etc., so hopefully we will continue to be able to do this.
    Many thanks for all the other cool improvements, however!

  30. Mark Stoneman at 7:10 pm #

    That is rather a large sidebar, especially for someone on a small screen.

    One thing still missing, as far as I can tell: threaded discussions.

  31. grrtigger at 4:23 am #

    Nice! I set up a wiki here for my gaming group, and we’ve been filling up pages like nobody’s business. Those folders are going to come in handy. I like the look of the new interface, too.

    Re: SideBar, ours is also overloaded with a lot of main site navigation, so we’ll probably need to rethink how we’re using that.

  32. Frank Fulchiero at 11:22 am #

    Hi Paul, thanks for the info re: 3rd party authentication. Looks very promising. Will get into it deeper after break.

  33. Shweta at 11:34 pm #

    Great news about new editor

  34. Johnny at 1:23 am #

    I wonder will widgets work with this new interface? I rely on them heavily.

  35. Mark Preston at 8:03 am #

    The interface and other changes look interesting, but I hope the chaps at PBWiki are looking at the comments. There are some really good suggestions in there!

    I would like to be able to try the new interface – and then revert to the old one if I don’t like it or the class find it hard.

    I also have problems, as others have mentioned, with an email address being needed for each learner in a class. If we could set up the ability to log on without one, that would help.

    More useful still would be the ability to set up a class of logins so that each learner can log on, but the *entire* class could be removed or access rights changed in one step.

    Similarly, it would help if files stored by the class could be deleted in one step as well – perhaps at the same time?

    Most useful is the ability to change access rights on a page by page basis. This is the single crucial part of the new changes and will make a world of difference. In fact, it is so important that I am already preparing for it to be available – and please, please, please tell us in a matter of days that it is there for us. I suspect all involved in education would pretty muc kill for that as a new feature!

    On the whole – things look good and are getting better. Well done everyone.

  36. sue Campbell at 8:17 am #

    2.0 Help! I just went to set up a first 2.0 wiki. Put in the name and got to the second page that says they’ll only be available to paid users. This one I wanted to do is not going to be a paid account anytime soon. So I stopped and went back. But now the name I chose is stuck in my list and when I click on it it goes to a blank page that says this wiki is not set up yet.

    There is no way to delete this and start over, or to even set up this page. I’m stuck! But I did still want to set up a wiki with this name. Can I get this deleted somehow?

  37. Rachel at 7:21 am #

    Hi Sue,
    2.0 wikis are just like 1.0 wikis- their basic components are free, but we do have additional features available for a cost. When you get to the second page that lists the pricing plans, just scroll down a bit. You’ll see a link that says “No thanks, take me to my wiki!” Please e-mail us at support(at)pbwiki(dot)com and we’ll see what we can do about straightening out your account 🙂

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