Has anyone used a Wiki for collaborative writing

I am about to start working on a collaborated book that due to its content will be vetted by a team of people. I use Scrivener, but it won’t work for this. Has anyone used a Wiki for doing this? Or any other ideas? Maybe someone has made a website for this very purpose??

There are a couple of possibilities.

You can use a version control system like Subversion, Bazaar, Mercurial or Git to work on a collaborative text. Everyone simply use a texteditor. Programmers do this. I did this for a book and I can say that this approach is really good.

If you use LaTeX you can organize your work in several text files and compile it to see the result. A very good programme for this is Sphinx sphinx.pocoo.org, which was built to make documentation easy, but it is a very nice tool. You work with simple text files and compile html, pdf (from latex) and epub with it. If you want to see a real world example you can look at my open book project on Launchpad

code.launchpad.net/~janulrich-h … buch/trunk
The result of this “code” is here:
You can download the PDF to see the quality of typesetting.

Of course you can use Google Docs, to have the Word feeling or Etherpad, where many people can write at the same time.

Or you use as you suggested a wiki or a full grown Content-Management-System like Plone.

There has been quite a bit written on the topic of using wikis for collaborative writing. It would probably be a good idea to do a little Googling on the topic to get a better feel for what it will involve; the challenges you might face and which wiki technologies are best for this sort of thing. The main challenge will be in using an environment designed for fractal networking, and instead using it for structured document generation. There is no concept of order in wiki, save for whatever structure you impress within the content. But, for a work that will be vetted by a team, it’s article-based discussion facilities would be awfully handy; the ability to hold a conversation about the section in question, in a sidelined area. The other great thing about using wiki technology is that most of them give you built in version control, and the only other way to get that usually requires a considerable amount computer knowledge, though out of that, juh’s suggestion of Git is probably the easiest.

I would suggest against MediaWiki, the engine used by Wikipedia, mainly because it’s the engine used by Wikipedia. :slight_smile: It by far overkill for a project that will be looked at or worked on by a small team. By analogy, you probably wouldn’t need to buy a Google rack server to scour your personal computer. Spotlight does fine. There are many wiki projects out there, and there are a few that have been designed specifically for large-form authors. On the other hand, MediaWiki is very popular, and thus is easy to install as many providers have it available as a one-click type option.

I’ve used etherPad for writing with others

Google shut it down and Open sourced the code so they could concentrate on Wave - this was a far superior product. There are a few free providers, or you can self host.
I’ve used the PiratePad (piratepad.net/) site with no problems.
github.com/ether/pad/wiki/insta … structions

Also piratenpad.de/ allows you to create private “team” pads that are password protected (the website’s German, but the software interface is still English).