A wiki is an open documentation system best thought of as a fast knowledgebase engine.
- 1 "wiki" ?! What does the word mean?
- 2 What's a wiki?
- 3 The basic problem
- 4 Solving the basic problem
- 5 A critical decision
- 6 Fear vs. Hope
- 7 The wiki attitude
- 8 Open documentation
- 9 It's all about culture
- 10 It's all about information
- 11 The wiki's accidental abilities
- 12 With great power comes great...
- 13 ... responsability
- 14 Current wiki uses
- 15 My wiki uses
- 16 My God, it's full of stars...
- 17 Some wikis
- 18 Wikis everywhere
- 19 Wikis everything
- 20 Further reading
"wiki" ?! What does the word mean? ∞
- Derived from the native Hawiian word "wiki-wiki", meaning "quick".
Pronnounced "wee kee wee kee"
Most people prounounce it "wikee".
What's a wiki? ∞
A wiki is a web engine which serves re-editable documents.
The original Wiki author, Ward Cunningham, defined the wiki as The simplest online database that could possibly work..
The basic problem ∞
The wiki solves a basic problem:
It's annoying to update a website
- Keep a copy of the website on your hard drive
- Edit pages
It may not seem like much, but this task can become extremely frustrating when repeated on a regular basis.
Solving the basic problem ∞
A basic wiki solves this problem by placing an edit button on every page.
Clicking this edit button serves the page's source in a textbox alongside a save button.
A critical decision ∞
- Lock it down
Prevent anyone else from using this feature.
- Open it up
Allow everyone to use this feature.
Fear vs. Hope ∞
Herein lies the wiki mindset. Fears are offset by good tools and planning:
- Revision tracking
- recent changes
This is seeing the positive side of the coin.
The wiki attitude ∞
The wiki attitude is the spirit of openness and collaboration.
Relate this to the creative spirit in open source software.
Open documentation ∞
Open documentation represents a complete shift in mindset and culture.
The spirit of free collaboration drives this new wiki mindset.
It's all about culture ∞
- IRC vs Instant Messaging
Email, Mailing lists, Newsgroups, Threaded Comments, Blogs, Forums
Like all these, the wiki has its own unique culture.
It's all about information ∞
The organization of information is of no particular importance to most systems.
- Mailing list or newsgroup archives.
- A forum.
The wiki's accidental abilities ∞
On a larger scale, a wiki is self-organizing, self-sustaining and breathes with a life not like any other collaboration system.
What is mere conversation elsewhere becomes real collaboration here.
With great power comes great... ∞
Wikis are naive. Graffiti, Trolls and Spam came.
Wikis are self-administrating, and develop an "interest"-based immune system:
- Dead links
... responsability ∞
- IP logging
- Handling edit collisions
Naivity persists! No common standards.
Current wiki uses ∞
- A knowledgebase.
- A weblog.
- Open documentation
Open authoring, open publication
My wiki uses ∞
- I write a lot and I have a bad memory
- Old notes find a new home
- Old thoughts find new life
- Poor attention span vs. a stunning time-to-committing ideas
Extremely long-term value
My God, it's full of stars... ∞
- Open documentation
- Replacing flagging solutions: The Emails, the Forums, The Blogs.
Some wikis ∞
- Portland Pattern Repository's Wiki:
Ward Cunningham's original wiki.
- Wikipedia (English):
The largest wiki -- over a half a million articles, and that's just what's in English.
Wikis everywhere ∞
Wikis are everywhere. Many open source projects use it as an open documentation system. Pick your favourite application and see if it has a wiki:
Wikis everything ∞
If a topic is popular and it doesn't have its own wiki, it will be featured somewhere on another wiki. Many wikis are general-purpose, so you could find a wiki page on just about any topic.
- Waikato Linux Users Group
- Portland Pattern Repository
- Extreme Programming Ottawa