It would be great if I could tell ikiwiki to automatically instantiate pages for each tag, according to a template, especially when $tagbase is set.

Tags are mainly specific to the object to which they’re stuck. However, I often use them the other way around, too: as concepts. And sometimes I’d like to see all pages related to a given concept (“tagged with a given tag”). The only way to do this with ikiwiki is to instantiate a page for each tag and slap a map on it. This is quite tedious and I’d really love to see Ikiwiki do so by default for all tags.

Also see: and

I would love to see this as well. -- dato

I have create a patch to for add the option for auto create tag pages. A new setting is used to enable or disable auto-create tag pages, tag_autocreate. The new tag file is created during the preprocess phase. The new tag file is then complied during the change phase.

see git history of this page if you want the patch --smcv

This uses a template called autotagpage.tmpl, here is my template file:

[[!inline  pages="link(<TMPL_VAR TAG>)" archive="yes"]]

A quirk I have not figured out is during the sub change, see my comments in the code. I am not sure if that is the best way to handle it.

-- Jeremy Schultz

No, this doesn't help:

+       # This refresh/saveindex is to fix the Tags link
+       # With out this additional refresh/saveindex the tag link displays ?tag
+       IkiWiki::refresh();
+       IkiWiki::saveindex();

On the second extra pass, it doesn't notice that it has to update the "?"-link. If I run ikiwiki once more, it is updated. I don't know yet how this should be fixed, because I don't know the internals of ikiwiki well enough. Something inhibits detecting the need to update in refresh() in; perhaps, this condition:

    if (! $pagemtime{$page}) {
            push @add, $file;

is not satisfied for the newly created tag page. I shall put debug msgs into to find out better how it works. --Ivan Z.

I've made another attempt at fixing this

The current progress can be found at my git repository on branch autotag:


It's not entirely finished yet, but already quite usable. Testing and comments on code quality, implementation details, as well as other patches would be appreciated.

Here's what it does right now:

  • enabled by setting tag_autocreate=1 in the configuration.
  • Tag pages will be created in tagbase from the template autotag.tmpl.
  • Will correctly render all links, and dependencies. Well, AFAIK.
  • When a tag page is deleted it will automatically recreated from template. (I consider this a feature, not a bug)
  • Requires a rebuild on first use.
  • Adds a function add_autofile() to the plugin API, to do all this.


  • Will still create a page even if there's a page other than $tag under tagbase satisfying the tag link. (details? --Joey)
  • Call from to, which adds a module dependency in the wrong direction. (fixed --Joey )
  • Add files to RCS.
  • Unit tests.
  • Proper documentation. (fixed (mostly) --Joey)

--David Riebenbauer

Starting review of this. Some of your commits are to very delicate, optimised, and security-sensitive ground, so I have to look at them very carefully. --Joey

First of, sorry that it took me so damn long to answer. I didn't lose interest but it took a while for me to find the time and motivation to address you suggestions. --David Riebenbauer

  • In the refactoring in f3abeac919c4736429bd3362af6edf51ede8e7fe, you introduced at least 2 bugs, one a possible security hole. Now one part of the code tests if ($file) and the other caller tests if ($f). These two tests both tested if (! defined $f) before. Notice that the variable needs to be the untainted variable for both. Also notice that if ($f) fails if $f contains 0, which is a very common perl gotcha.
  • Your refactored code changes -l $_ || -d _ to -l $file || -d $file. The latter makes one more stat system call; note the use of a bare _ in the first to make perl reuse the stat buffer.
  • (As a matter of style, could you put a space after the commas in your perl?)

The first two points should be addressed in da5d29f95f6e693e8c14be1b896cf25cf4fdb3c0. And sure, I can add the spaces. --David Riebenbauer

I'd like to cherry-pick the above commit, once it's in shape, before looking at the rest in detail. So just a few other things that stood out.

  • Commit 4af4d26582f0c2b915d7102fb4a604b176385748 seems unnecessary. srcfile($file, 1) already is documented to return undef if the file does not exist. (But without the second parameter, it throws an error.)

You're right. I must have been some confused by some other promplem I introduced then. Reverted. --David Riebenbauer

Sorry, That one was reverted anyway. --David Riebenbauer

I reverted the commit and addressed the issue in a358d74bef51dae31332ff27e897fe04834571e6 and 981400177d68a279f485727be3f013e68f0bf691. --David Riebenbauer

This doesn't seem to have all the refinements that autoindex has:

  • autoindex attaches the record of deletions to the index page, which is (nearly) guaranteed to exist; this one attaches the record of deletions to the deleted page's page state. Won't that tend to result in losing the record along with the deleted page?

This is probably on of the harder things to do, 'cause there are (most of the time) several pages that are responsible for the creation of a single tag page. Of course I could attach the info to all of them.

With current behaviour I think the information in %pagestate is kept around regardless whether the corresponding page exists or not. --David Riebenbauer

Sorry, I'll try to be clearer: autoindex hard-codes that the index page of the entire wiki is the one responsible for storing the page state. That page isn't responsible for the creation of the tag page, it's just an arbitrary page that's (more or less) guaranteed to exist. --smcv

I don't like that autoindex has to do that, but %pagestate values are only stored for pages that exist, so it was necessary. (Another way to look at this is that %pagestate is not the ideal data structure.) --Joey

Aha! Having looked at write again, it turns out that what this feature should really use is %wikistate, I think? :-) --smcv

Ah, indeed, that came after I wrote autoindex. I've fixed autoindex to use it. --Joey

Ok, now I know what you mean. --David Riebenbauer

  • autoindex forgets that a page was deleted when that page is re-created

Yes, I forgot about that and that is a bug. I'll fix that. --David Riebenbauer

In my branch, it keeps a list of autofiles that were created, not deleted. And I think that turns out to be necessary, really. However, I see no way to clean out that list on deletion and manual recreation -- it still needs to remember it was once an autofile, in order to avoid recreating it if it's deleted yet again. --Joey

Are these really the semantics we want? It seems strange to me that this:

  • tag a page as foo
  • tags/foo automatically appears
  • delete tags/foo
  • create tags/foo manually
  • delete tags/foo again
  • tags/foo isn't automatically created

isn't the same as this:

  • create tags/foo
  • delete tags/foo
  • tag a page as foo
  • tags/foo automatically appears

or even this:

  • create tags/foo
  • tag a page as foo
  • delete tags/foo
  • tags/foo automatically appears (?)


I agree that the last of these is not desired. It could be avoided by extending the list of autofiles to include those that were not created due to the file/page already existing.

Hmm, that would fix the previous scenario too. --Joey

  • autoindex forgets that a page was deleted when it's no longer needed anyway (this may be harder for autotag?)

I don't think so. AFAIK ikiwiki can detect whether there are taglinks to a page anyway, so it should be quite easy. I'll try to implement that too. --David Riebenbauer

It'd probably be an interesting test of the core change to port autoindex to use it? (Adding the file to the RCS would be necessary to get parity with autoindex.) --smcv

Good suggestion. Adding the files to RCS is on my todo list anyway. --David Riebenbauer

I think it may be better to allow the add_autofile caller to specify if it is added to RCS. In my branch, it can do so by just making the callback it registers call rcs_add; and I have tag do this. Other plugins might want autofiles that do not get checked in, conceivably. --Joey

Regarding the call from to, wouldn't this be quite easy to solve by moving verify_src_file to --smcv

True. I'll do that. --David Riebenbauer Fixed in my branch --Joey

Available in a git repository branch.
Branch: origin/autotag
Author: Joey

I've pushed an autotag branch of my own, which refactors things a bit and fixes bugs around deletion/recreation. I've tested it fairly thouroughly. --Joey

Even if this is already marked as done, I'd like to suggest an alternative solution:

Instead of creating a file that gets checked in into the RCS, the source files could be left out and the output files be written as long as there is no physical source file (think of a virtual underlay). Something similar would be required to implement alias directive, which couldn't be easily done by writing to the RCS as the page's contents can change depending on which other pages claim it as an alias. --chrysn

I agree with chrysn. In fact, is there any good reason that the core tag plugin doesn't do this? The current usability is horrible, to the point that I have gone 2.5 years with Ikiwiki and haven't yet started using tags. --Eric

See transient pages for progress on this. --smcv