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Wiki Wiki Shuttle at Honolulu International Airport

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Wiki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the type of website. For other uses, see Wiki (disambiguation).

"Edit summary" redirects here. For edit summaries as used in Wikipedia, see Help:Edit summary.

"WikiNode" redirects here. For the WikiNode of Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:WikiNode.

A wiki (i/ˈwɪki/ wik-ee) is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor.[1][2][3] Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include community websites, corporate intranets, knowledge management systems, and note services. The software can also be used for personal notetaking.

Wikis serve different purposes. Some permit control over different functions (levels of access). For example editing rights may permit changing, adding or removing material. Others may permit access without enforcing access control. Other rules can be imposed for organizing content.

Ward Cunningham, the developer of the first wiki software, WikiWikiWeb, originally described it as "the simplest online database that could possibly work."[4] "Wiki" (pronounced [ˈwiti] or [ˈviti]) is a Hawaiian word meaning "fast" or "quick".[5]

Contents [hide]

1 History

2 Characteristics

2.1 Editing wiki pages

2.2 Navigation

2.3 Linking and creating pages

3 Implementations

4 Trust and security

4.1 Controlling changes

4.2 Searching

4.3 Trustworthiness

4.4 Security

5 Communities

6 Conferences

7 Rules

8 Legal environment

9 See also

10 References

11 Further reading

12 External links

History

Main article: History of wikis

Wiki Wiki Shuttle at Honolulu International Airport

WikiWikiWeb was the first wiki.[6] Ward Cunningham started developing WikiWikiWeb in Portland, Oregon, in 1994, and installed it on the Internet domain c2.com [7] on March 25, 1995. It was named by Cunningham, who remembered a Honolulu International Airport counter employee telling him to take the "Wiki Wiki Shuttle" bus that runs between the airport's terminals. According to Cunningham, "I chose wiki-wiki as an alliterative substitute for 'quick' and thereby avoided naming this stuff quick-web."[8][9]

Cunningham was in part inspired by Apple's HyperCard. Apple had designed a system allowing users to create virtual "card stacks" supporting links among the various cards. Cunningham developed Vannevar Bush's ideas by allowing users to "comment on and change one another's text."[2][10]

In the early 2000s, wikis were increasingly adopted in enterprise as collaborative software. Common uses included project communication, intranets, and documentation, initially for technical users. Today some companies use wikis as their only collaborative software and as a replacement for static intranets, and some schools and universities use wikis to enhance group learning. There may be greater use of wikis behind firewalls than on the public Internet.

On March 15, 2007, wiki entered the online Oxford English Dictionary.[11]

Characteristics

Ward Cunningham and co-author Bo Leuf, in their book The Wiki Way: Quick Collaboration on the Web, described the essence of the Wiki concept as follows:

A wiki invites all users to edit any page or to create new pages within the wiki Web site, using only a plain-vanilla Web browser without any extra add-ons.

Wiki promotes meaningful topic associations between different pages by making page link creation almost intuitively easy and showing whether an intended target page exists or not.

A wiki is not a carefully crafted site for casual visitors. Instead, it seeks to involve the visitor in an ongoing process of creation and collaboration that constantly changes the Web site landscape.

A wiki enables communities to write documents collaboratively, using a simple markup language and a web browser. A single page in a wiki website is referred to as a "wiki page", while the entire collection of pages, which are usually well interconnected by hyperlinks, is "the wiki". A wiki is essentially a database for creating, browsing, and searching through information. A wiki allows for non-linear, evolving, complex and networked text, argument and interaction.[12]

A defining characteristic of wiki technology is the ease with which pages can be created and updated. Generally, there is no review before modifications are accepted. Many wikis are open to alteration by the general public without requiring them to register user accounts. Many edits can be made in real-time and appear almost instantly online. This can facilitate abuse of the system. Private wiki servers require user authentication to edit pages, and sometimes even to read them.

Maged N. Kamel Boulos, Cito Maramba and Steve Wheeler write that it is the "openness of wikis that gives rise to the concept of 'Darwikinism', which is a concept that describes the 'socially Darwinian process' that wiki pages are subject to. Basically, because of the openness and rapidity that wiki pages can be edited, the pages undergo a natural selection process like that which nature subjects to living organisms. 'Unfit' sentences and sections are ruthlessly culled, edited and replaced if they are not considered 'fit', which hopefully results in the evolution of a higher quality and more relevant page. Whilst such openness may invite 'vandalism' and the posting of untrue information, this same openness also makes it possible to rapidly correct or restore a 'quality' wiki page."[13]

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