WikiWikiWeb (also known as WardsWiki) is the first wiki software ever written. It was developed in 1994 by Ward Cunningham in order to make the exchange of ideas between programmers easier. It was based on the ideas developed in HyperCard stacks that he built in the late 1980s. He installed the WikiWikiWeb on his company Cunningham & Cunningham's website c2.com on March 25, 1995. Cunningham named WikiWikiWeb that way because he remembered a Honolulu International Airport counter employee telling him to take the Wiki Wiki Shuttle, a shuttle bus line that runs between the airport's terminals. "Wiki Wiki" is a reduplication of "wiki", a Hawaiian-language word for fast. Cunningham's idea was to make WikiWikiWeb's pages quickly editable by its users, so he initially thought about calling it "QuickWeb", but later changed his mind and dubbed it "WikiWikiWeb". The WikiWikiWeb's WelcomeVisitors page contains the following description:
- Our site's primary focus is PeopleProjectsAndPatterns in SoftwareDevelopment. Nevertheless it is much more than just an InformalHistoryOfProgrammingIdeas. It has a culture and DramaticIdentity of its own. In particular, all Wiki content is WorkInProgress and this will always be a forum where people share new ideas. WardsWiki changes as people come and go. Much of the information that remains is subjective or dated. If you are looking for a dedicated reference site,try WikiPedia.
WikiWikiWeb and its designated sister sitesEdit
|MeatBallWiki||4622||Clifford Adams, Sunir Shah|
|The Adjunct||630||Earle Martin|
WikiWikiWeb as a precursor to other online communitiesEdit
The WikiWikiWeb played an important historical role in the World Wide Web and the Internet, because of its influence on other online communities. The WikiWikiWeb's focus on specialized programming made its content relatively unintelligible to people outside the programming sphere. However, editors (so-called "wiki citizens" or "wikizens"), visitors and readers of the WikiWikiWeb took up the basic idea of making pages user-modifiable and created their own new wiki engines (programs which run wikis) and wikis, outside of the WikiWikiWeb.
Wiki communities outside the WikiWikiWeb implemented their wiki engines to create wikis focused on content other than programming. The versatility of wikis and their multiple applications is what subsequently made them popular in the Internet's communities.
The most famous example of the WikiWikiWeb's legacy is Wikipedia. A WikiWikiWeb user, programmer Ben Kovitz of San Diego, California, introduced the WikiWikiWeb to Larry Sanger of the Internet company Bomis on the evening of January 2, 2001. At the time, Bomis was working on the online encyclopedia Nupedia, but that project failed, so Sanger suggested running an open encyclopedia on UseModWiki, an indirect clone of WikiWikiWeb's engine. Sanger presented the idea to Jimmy Wales, the then head of Bomis, and he agreed. The UseModWiki-based encyclopedia eventually came to be known as "Wikipedia".
Other popular websites have since come to embrace the wiki method, such as Amazon.com, which in 2007 launched its own Amapedia after two years of trialling wiki technology for customer reviews for items.
- Wiki:WikiHistory, including comments by Ward Cunningham
- Wiki:WikiBase - the Wiki Base software
- Correspondence on the Etymology of Wiki - Ward Cunningham
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