Allow a user to apply an arbitrary diff, in order to modify a given page (or, even better, a given set of pages).


To edit intensively an ikiwiki-powered website can quickly get annoying for anybody meeting enough of the following conditions:

  • living mainly offline
  • having no commit access to the RCS backing up the site (BTW, please note I can send my ssh public key to anyone who asks for, free of charges)
  • hating web-browsers and despising textareas
  • loving in his/her own preferred $EDITOR

... and when one gathers all of these defaults, she/he is on her/his way to get mad. Soon.

Before it's too late, some dareful ones dream of the following playflow:

  1. Go online.
  2. Update local working copy.
  3. Go offline.
  4. $EDITOR : write, report, answer, propose
  5. Go online.
  6. Update local working copy (and optionally fix conflicts between local changes and remote ones).
  7. Generate a diff.
  8. Use a web-browser to paste the diffs (or better, upload them into a form) somewhere on the wiki, and click "Apply".
  9. git pull (to reflect locally the fact that the diff has been applied to the remote repo)
  10. Go offline.

(This is for sure a bit theoretical: the ones who dream of this would actually insert various steps about branching, merging and rebasing random stuff.)


This has to be thought very carefully, to avoid one to apply diffs to pages he/she is not allowed to edit. Restricting a given diff to modify only one page may be easier.


Also see joey's idea on discussion, to allow (filtered) anonymous push to this wiki's repository.

Ideally the filtering should apply the same constraints on what's pushed as are applied to web edits. So locked pages can't be changed, etc.

That could be accomplished by making the git pre-receive hook be a ikiwiki wrapper. A new git_receive_wrapper config setting could cause the wrapper to be generated, with $config{receive} set to true.

When run that way, ikiwiki would call rcs_receive. In the case of git, that would look at the received changes as fed into the hook on stdin, and use parse_diff_tree to get a list of the files changed. Then it could determine if the changes were allowed.

To do that, it should first look at what unix user received the commit. That could be mapped directly to an ikiwiki user. This would typically be an unprivelidged user (that was set up just to allow anonymous pushes), but you might also want to set up separate users who have fewer limits on what they can push. And, of course, pushes from the main user, who owns the wiki, would not be checked at all. So, let's say $config{usermap} is a hash, something like {usera => "wikiusera", userb => "wikiuserb"}, and pushes from users not in the hash are not checked.

Then it seems like it would want to call check_canedit to test if an edit to each changed page is allowed. Might also want to call check_canattach and check_canremove if the attach and remove plugins are enabled. All three expect to be passed a CGI and a CGI::Session object, which is a bit problimatic here. So dummy the objects up? (To call check_canattach the changed attachment would need to be extracted to a temp file for it to check..)

If a change is disallowed, it would print out what was disallowed, and exit nonzero. I think that git then discards the pushed objects (or maybe they remain in the database until git-gc .. if so, that could be used to DOS by uploading junk, so need to check this point).

Also, I've not verified that the objects have been recieved already when whe pre-receive hook is called. Although the docs seem to say that is the case. --Joey

Update: The git pre-receive hook stuff is written, and seems to work. I think it makes more sense than using diffs, and so think this todo could probably be closed. --Joey

I agree, closing this. I really prefer this solution to the one I was initially proposing. Is this pre-receive hook already enabled on If not, do you plan to enable it at some point? --intrigeri

git push to this wiki gave me the answer. Well done! --intrigeri