FlexWiki compared to JSPWiki

We've been relatively happy using FlexWiki for a couple of years now on our intranet, but it's luster has been fading a little as I look at other Wiki implementations that have much more visibly active development communities. FlexWiki releases are very infrequent, and there haven't been any new features added in a long time.

I recently met with another company that uses J2EE technologies and they showed me their internal wiki which is using JSPWiki. I was very impressed. I hadn't realized how far behind FlexWiki had become.

Some things I liked about JSPWiki.

  • The search is fantastic
  • The ability to upload and attach files to pages is great. In FlexWiki you always have to copy images somewhere else on a file share which doesn't keep them together with their page.
  • Rich security model down to a page level
  • WYSIWYG editor can (supposedly) be set up
  • Personally, I prefer the explicit linking model where you need to wrap any words you want to turn into hyperlinks with square brackets rather than letting the wiki automatically hyperlink every single camel case word it runs across. In FlexWiki this leads you to have to wrap every camel case word you don't want link with double quotes. And in case you hadn't noticed there are a lot of camel cased words in our industry.
  • There are lots of slick dynamic plug-in tags built right in. I really like the table of contents tag.
    • table of contents tag, page index, undefined pages, unused pages, recent changes, many more... plus an active community contributing additional ones
  • Excellent RSS notification
  • A visibly active and responsive development community

Some of the places where I see that FlexWiki still has an edge over JSPWiki

  • JSPWiki has no concept of wiki namespaces like FlexWiki, you have to set up multiple web apps for each separate wiki. This makes JSPWiki harder to configure and patch because you have to do it multiple times
  • JSPWiki has no scripting language that I could see like WikiTalk, custom scripts are done in Java
  • JSPWiki's nested numbered lists always use numbers instead of letters like FlexWiki...leads to some strange looking outlines 1. 1. 1. 1.
  • JSPWiki doesn't seem to have as rich of a markup language, but it seems to be improving with each release
  • JSPWiki's table formatting is nowhere near as powerful as FlexWiki
  • FlexWiki runs under IIS and ASP.NET which can automatically use the Windows authentication model. You have to install some additional stuff to get JSPWiki (which runs nicely under Tomcat) to use NT authentication, I was able to get it to work, but it took some fiddling.
  • JSPWiki doesn't have a built-in e-mail notification newsletter like FlexWiki, apparently you can add it with a contributed plug-in, but I haven't fiddled with that yet.
  • For our shop the fact that JSPWiki runs under Java and Tomcat is non-standard, I personally am comfortable with it, but there are many in our company that aren't.

I've read that FlexWiki is undergoing a major refactoring at the moment which explains it's long silence. I'll be interested to see what they come up with, because for now as I see it, JSPWiki is going to be hard to beat. We'll probably use both for a while. The price is right on both of these.

I'm interested in seeing how JSPWiki compares to other wiki implementations out there.


  • Personally I have found Screwturn wiki to be my new favourite .NET wiki. Very stable, great features, and a good architectural foundation to build upon. Look forward to future releases of this!


  • Hi, how is your experience with the screwturn wiki? is flexwiki a .NET alternative?

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