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User Subwebs

TWiki provides each user with their own topic having their information and configuration. You may want to provide each user with a subweb Main/FirstLast having a topic having the user's information and configuration.


On a TWiki site having thousands of webs, web accountability is crucial. Each web needs to have clearly defined owners so that TWiki admins can take actions such as deletion of unused webs.

On a TWiki site having thousands of users, the Main web needs to be locked down to prevent random topics from accumulating. For that, a user should be able to have only FirstLast, FirstLastLeftBar, and FirstLastBookmarks topics on the Main web. This is inconvenient for users who want to have more topics for their personal use.

You may allow users to have a web for their personal use, but that would be messy on a large site - webs for personal use and team use co-existing at the same level. If you have thousands of top level webs (non subweb) and thousands of users, then you may end up having much more top level webs than otherwise.

If users have Main/FirstLast subwebs instead of Main.FirstLast topics, it would be a good compromise between accountability, convenience, and tidiness of the site.

How it works

In general, if the TopLevel/SecondLevel subweb exists, TopLevel.SecondLevel becomes a link to TopLevel/SecondLevel.WebHome. As such, if the user FirstLast has the subweb Main/FirstLast, Main.FirstLast becomes the link to Main/FirstLast.WebHome.

If user subwebs are enabled, user configration is read first from the user's subweb. If it fails, the user's topic is tried. This way, you can have some users having their subwebs while the other users having user topics.

Please note that a user's topic and the subweb of the same user cannot coexist. Because you cannot create the subweb TopLevel/SecondLevel if the topic TopLevel.SecondLevel exists. (SubwebAndTopicNames)


User subweb creation

If your TWiki site requires user registration, the registration mechanism needs to create the user's subweb instead of topic.

If there is no user registration on your TWiki site, there needs to be a mechanism to create a user subweb preferably on their own.

TWiki configuration

Needless to say, user subwebs requires $TWiki::cfg{EnableHierarchicalWebs} to be true in lib/LocalSite.cfg. Otherwise, you cannot use subwebs period.

To enable user subwebs, you need to set $TWiki::cfg{UserSubwebs}{Enabled} to true.

You may want to suppress Main.WebPreferences to be read before the preferences of a user subweb is read. If so, you need to set $TWiki::cfg{UserSubwebs}{IgnoreParentPrefs} to true. You may want to do so because users may not be happy with their user subwebs affected by changes in the Main web's preferences. In most cases, they can override preferences set in Main, still users need to do something to maintain their user subsites behavior.

You can specify the topic name containing user preferences by $TWiki::cfg{UserSubwebs}{UserPrefsTopicName}, which is WebHome by default.

Customize web creation permission

If all of the following are true, you need to have an appropriate canCreateWeb object method in the user mapping manager class.
  • Your TWiki doesn't have user registration
  • You lock down the Main web for tidyness
  • You want to have users create their subwebs on their own

Related Topics: AdminDocumentationCategory, SubwebAndTopicNames, AllowWebCreateByUserMappingManager, LargeSite

Topic revision: r1 - 2013-04-12 - TWikiContributor
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