Wiki Is Not Wiki

Ce ci n'est pas une Wiki

You are reading one WikiPage (of around thirty thousand) on the PortlandPatternRepository's WikiWikiWeb. It is also known as WardsWiki, "the wiki" or just "the wiki".

It's called WardsWiki because "Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc." bought an Internet domain and set up a Web server, and WardCunningham installed some software to serve up these pages. He wrote the software too, with some help from various people - this is always the way when you are the first.

Despite being called "the wiki", WardsWiki isn't the only wiki site on the Internet, it was merely the first. There is a big list of other PublicWikiForums which cover other topics ranging from artificial intelligence through juggling and sailing to ZopeApplicationServer.

WardsWiki isn't even the only wiki site on this Web server ( There are some others tucked away which discuss CruiseControl software, FrameworkForIntegratedTest software, etc. WardsWiki is more general, and while there is a stated purpose for the site and a definition of what is OnTopic here, we tend to digress into discussions of the finer points of WikiZenship and so on.

It is possible you are reading this because somebody told you that you are WikiSquatting. This is a term that may offend some people - we don't mean to offend, we just haven't thought of a better name. All we're saying is that if you want to make wiki pages about food recipes (for example), then they would be better placed on a WikiForum dedicated to food and cooking. We are just trying to be tidy. We are the sort of people who put our books on book shelves, and when we see them in the cutlery drawer we feel compelled to tidy up!

Another way of saying the same thing

WardsWiki is one of many PublicWikiForums, which in turn is a type of WikiForum (the opposite of course being NonPublicWikiForums).

WikiForums are served up by WikiEngines, which are in turn "hosted" on a Web server somewhere. Another name for a WikiEngine is WikiClone - many different types of WikiEngine have been made, but they all copy the original idea of this particular WikiEngine. SoftwareEngineers enjoy ReinventingTheWheel, even though they complain that it is wasteful.

Of course this is all very confusing, because now we have several different things all named "wiki": pieces of software, Web sites, this part of a Web site (there are other things on you know), even the abstract concept of wiki.

This is why I say that WikiIsNotWiki. The word has so many meanings, all closely linked, that you will have to look at the context to decide what is being said - and this can be tricky if you're new to wiki (in any of its meanings). We will have to be more careful what we say, I think.
Now I think I've got this straight, but since I'm trying to be pedantic in order to reduce WikiNewbies' confusion I'll stand corrected if someone corrects me! -- MatthewAstley
See WikiHasManyMeanings for an explanation of the different meanings of the word "wiki".
Is this page here just because someone is jealous of Ward dreaming it up before they did?

CategoryWiki CategoryWikiIsNot

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