A Wiki is a web-based writing space based on the original Wiki Wiki Web. It is typically collaborative, but doesn't have to be.

WikiWay: What are its defining characteristics (to me): (see also WikiWikiWeb:ElementsOfWikiEssence)

  1. browser-based WebApp, so anyone can author from anywhere

  2. uses lite pseudo-markup (SmartAscii), so easy to author, and easy to read in ASCII mode (I often copy stuff over into an MsOutlook note to synch to my Pilot so I can edit offline).

  3. Smashed Together Words method of Automatic Linking makes it easy to build up a bushy hypertext space (Intertwingularity).

  • A WikiWord is a word with an initial cap and at least one other cap in the middle (aka Camel Case - there are various special cases here, but I'll ignore those for now). When the page is viewed, the wiki app checks every WikiWord to see if there's a node in the WikiSpace with that name: if so, it automatically links to it (renders the HTML href); else, it generates a '?' as a suffix to the WikiWord, which if clicked on takes you to an empty form so you can create that node. This provides a Shared Language and Accidental Linking.

  • almost every WikiEngine has a BackLinks feature, which is a way of providing the Two Way Links that Ted Nelson and other HyperText gurus have always wanted to be added to the World Wide Web.

  1. In a Collaboration Ware Context (which is what it was originally designed for), the ability of anyone to edit any page (vs each page having a single 'owner') encourages involvement.

Some categories of wiki (which may overlap) (WikiTypes):

There's a fair amount of wiki-theory discussion at Meatball Wiki.


There are WikiEngines and WikiFarms and Wikoid Spaces.

There is a Wikipedia project to build an encyclopedia on top of a wiki engine. It was noted in the end-2001 Ny Times "Year in Ideas" issue (the article was written by Steven Johnson).

I was thinking that Justin Hall's old stuff is like a manually coded Wiki.

Some wiki sites I want to visit: (Meatball Wiki:TourBus)

Things I want to work on next (Jun2004)

Are wikis ugly? need CSS?

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