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This article is about the type of website. For the article about Wikipedia, see Wikipedia. For other uses, see Wiki (disambiguation).
"WikiNode" redirects here. For the WikiNode of Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:WikiNode.
Interview with Ward Cunningham, inventor of the wiki
A wiki (i/ˈwɪki/ wik-ee) is a web application which allows people to add, modify, or delete content in collaboration with others. In a typical wiki, text is written using a simplified markup language (known as "wiki markup") or a rich-text editor. While a wiki is a type of content management system, it differs from a blog or most other such systems in that the content is created without any defined owner or leader, and wikis have little implicit structure, allowing structure to emerge according to the needs of the users.
The encyclopedia project Wikipedia is the most popular wiki on the public web in terms of page views, but there are many sites running many different kinds of wiki software. Wikis can serve many different purposes both public and private, including knowledge management,notetaking, community websites and intranets. 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 may also be imposed to organize content.
Ward Cunningham, the developer of the first wiki software, WikiWikiWeb, originally described it as "the simplest online database that could possibly work". "Wiki" (pronounced[ˈwiki][note 1]) is a Hawaiian word meaning "quick".
1.1 Editing wiki pages
1.3 Linking and creating pages
4 Trust and security
4.1 Controlling changes
4.3.1 Potential malware vector
5.4 Growth factors
8 Legal environment
9 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Ward Cunningham, inventor of the wiki
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 non-linear, evolving, complex and networked text, argument and interaction.
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 registration of 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 the open wikis produce a process of Social Darwinism. "'Unfit' sentences and sections are ruthlessly culled, edited…