Wiki Introduction

... you can doubleclick on – to change the content of – this page. Right from your browser. Here and now, if you wish (but please see below first).

Ward Cunninghams “Eureka”
Steve — I've put up a new database on my web server and I'd like you to take a look. It's a web of people, projects and patterns accessed through a cgi-bin script. It has a forms based authoring capability that doesn't require familiarity with html. I'd be very pleased if you would get on and at least enter your name in RecentVisitors. I'm asking you because I think you might also add some interesting content. I'm going to advertise this a little more widely in a week or so. The URL is PPR:FrontPage. Thanks and best regards. — Ward

You do not have a clue what a wiki is but you are willing to find out. Thats why you want to read this.
You came back, knowing what a wiki is. That is why you want to contribute.

Wiki Origin

“Wiki” (engl.: quick) is part of the Hawaian word wiki-wiki, which means “very quick”. The naming was inspired by Wiki-Wiki Busses, that connect the Terminals at Honolulu International Airport (HNL), Hawaii.

The very first wiki originates from the developer Ward Cunningham, who rather incidentely designed this technique around 1995 as a small practical tool for quick and straightforward collaboration in software development.

Stopp. This was not a single person invention. Read the whole story.

Wiki What?

Inventing the World Wide Web involved my growing realization that there was a power in arranging ideas in an unconstrained, weblike way. - Tim Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web
  • Structure, which is defined in a completely free manner by users
  • A “view” of this structure from any perspective
  • A broad range of capabilities for formatting text that does not reqire a knowledge of HTML

A wiki is a site that can be built on the fly. By default, all users have the right to do anything. Each can creat new pages and edit existing pages. The database can provide information on what has changed on a particular page in the recent past, who changed what on the page, and previous versions can be restored, if necessary.

Wiki Philosophy

A Wiki-Wiki-Net consists of pages as space to share common tasks. Simply spoken: Joint text editing and distribution never has been easier before.

In addition the documentation is driven by the strive for Zen ideals, mainly pointed out through WabiSabi 侘寂. Zen catches a glimpse of beauty in the imperfection and impermanence of existing things. That is all there really is to know.

Ways to use a wiki

Can you imagine other ways of using a wiki than listed below?
You decide how to use your wiki!
Do not hesitate to write down your ideas and experiences.

In General

A wiki can be used in different ways. Here is a short list:

  • Authoring tool
  • A database for some subject
  • A personal “notebook” or organizer
  • A method for managing personal or group to-do lists and checklists
  • A tool for creating and maintaining real-time documentation for a project
  • A means of organizing one's own thoughts


What Are Wikis For
Wiki in education
Education part2

Wiki @ work

Here you may find examples for corporate wiki use: User stories


Some short examples

Is there something like the best Wiki-Software?

Hm. Some developers try to create all-in-one devices suitable for every purpose. A tool which does everything and satisfies every users needs presumably is infeasible. We favor tools that do little, but do it as well as possible. Every wiki-software has pros and cons. There are many other wikis that can be compared with WackoWiki.

What else is there?

differentiation – forum, blog, cms

Why a forum may be inconvenient?

If you need a site for ongoing discussions of something or to interact with someone, then the first thing that may come to mind is a forum. However, forums quickly become inconvenient, because of the following:

  • Forums have a clear, previously defined structure — for example, “rooms” — some of which contain threads, while others contain messages..
  • Forum messages are arranged in chronological order. Practically speaking, this isn't very useful if you're trying to do something more than just interact with someone, i.e., get something accomplished in a collaborative way.
  • The capability to format text is extremely limited, if not absent altogether.

Forum messages can't potentially be published for more than just these three reasons. Messages do not have permanent URLs (addresses). In addition, the moderator has power over everyone; in practice, nobody has their own “personal corner.”

more details


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