Wiki Web Dot Com Discussion

This is a discussion about WikiWebDotCom (

The first discussion was about WikiWebDotCom giving credit to WardCunningham. Credit is given to WardCunningham at

The second discussion about an improper Trademark/Servicemark of the name WikiWeb is also over. Basically, people were offended by WikiWebDotCom's attempt to Trademark the name WikiWeb. The were unable to obtain the Trademark, because their name was too similar to their service and product. The claim of the Tradmark on their site has been removed

Below is what transpired in both discussions...

This is completely outrageous. I was absolutely disgusted to find that there was no mention of Ward and C2 WikiWikiWeb anywhere on the home page or on the Company page.

Who are these folks? How do they have the brass neck to take someone's idea and give absolutely no credit for that at all? Did Ward know anything about this?

-- AlanFrancis

Apparently MontyKamath is the president - he has posted on Usenet in behalf of, which is how I found out about them. I second AlanFrancis's feelings on there being no mention of Ward and the original WikiWiki web. Trying to trademark "WikiWeb" seems a bit extreme, too. However, it may be that there's no malicious intent here, and there's still time to find a solution that will satisfy all parties. -- CurtisBartley

Your defense of Dr. Cunningham is noble but unnecessary. There is now a reference and thank you to Dr Cunningham on the web page at:

I personally called Dr. Cunningham before the site went "live" for public use and he wished us good luck in our efforts. I assured him that WikiWeb, Inc. would NEVER take credit for creating the wiki. We have much respect for Dr Cunningham and his associates. He is an upstanding Smalltalker and a good role model for the Smalltalk community.

Our intention was to put this thank you page in place before inviting people to come to the site. Not having this page in place sooner was an oversight on my part.

Finally, I would like to thank you for removing my home address from this page.

Thank you! MontyKamath President WikiWeb, Inc.

I'm confused about why people are upset. Does Ward own the Wiki concept? Seems like plenty of people have reimplemented Wiki's all over the place. Is the issue here that WikiWebDotCom does this commercially and doesn't bother to mention Ward's name? Or is there something deeper here? -- JohnPassaniti

I can't speak for anyone else, but I think it's co-opting the Wiki name that bothers me the most. That, and the lack of credit where credit is due. On the other hand, I think the notion of hosting wikis commercially is a good one, and I've even though about it myself from time to time. If they'd had a different name and included proper attribution to Ward, I don't think I'd mind at all. Instead I'd be pleased. -- cb

I totally agree. I'm all for lots of Wikis (I have one myself - See ServletBasedWiki) but what annoyed me was just blatantly co-opting domain, that "service mark" stuff and ABSOLUTELY NO MENTION OF WARD OR C2. That's what really got me. I used their feedback form to suggest that they at least credit Ward. -- AlanFrancis
I've known MontyKamath for four years and he is a decent guy trying to make a living while remaining working in Smalltalk. I am sure he meant no offense to Ward as he has always spoken highly of WardAndKent. I too hope that some "olive branch" should be put forth to mend the fences that have been torn. Certainly, it would be nice for WikiWebDotCom to acknowledge the incredible vision Ward has shown in the WikiWikiWeb.

Monty has always been supportive of Smalltalk and the SmalltalkCommunity?. He has contributed a decent base of open source Smalltalk code including some handy tools for VisualAge and SqueakSmalltalk.

If you must organize an hate mail campaign, please do it in e-mail. I was surprised that someone posted his home address above. I hope this was also an oversight. I have taken the liberty of editing it out and I hope that future posters will respect the privacy and safety of Monty and his *family*.

-- DavidMitchell

It was me and it was an oversight. I cut'n'pasted the info from whois as I thought it would aid anyone who could tell us who the company were. I didn't realize it was a home address. Obviously anyone who wanted it could get from whois, so while I'm not sure what the fuss is about, I apologize for the oversight -- AlanFrancis

I noticed last week that another couple of 'commercial-looking' wikis which didn't credit Ward have sprung up:,, These are all based on the Comanche server, which is an outgrowth of Swiki (the Squeak Wiki). No mention on the latter two of their origins (e.g. links to the source code!). The comanche site links back to the Swiki sites, so you can figure out your way back to the Wiki from there, but apart from that, no mention.

NikiNiki also reinvents the Wiki as 'clublets' (and looks really nice) but doesn't mention Ward. I find it hard to fault this one though 'cos people like KentBeck write on it.

It seems interesting (to me at least) that there seem to be more direct WikiClones which are just people running Swiki than there are people running the original WikiWiki software (most people seem to re-implement WikiWiki in their own tongue). Swiki has simpler TextFormattingRules - I think this could be part of it. -- BrianEwins

We all like to be complimented on our looks, so thanks Brian. At clublets, we acknowledge Ward and Wiki's seminal role to almost everyone we talk to. On any new open or passworded community, his page comes as standard! On our old demo site, which Kent and others visited, Ward put up his own page eighteen months ago and later tried our PrototypeObject?-based database scripting language, with semi-disastrous effects for our version management. Anyone care to debug?

Click on the icon next to any person's name to see what they contributed.

-- RichardDrake

A search for "WikiWeb" on Yahoo turns up 25 hits, one of which is the Cunningham & Cunningham home page.
Google ( turned up about 310 hits on 29Apr00. WikiWebDotCom was first on the list; Ward didn't even make the top 10.

Search for WikiWiki ( and the first entry is Maybe the wiki we are in right now doesn't show up because of the robots.txt ( -- MarkoSchulz
I really like the fact that it is there; I just set up a wiki there so a group I am associated with can try it out, which is something I've been meaning to do for a long time, but this made is pathetically easy, not to mention free. On the other hand, credit should be given where credit is due, and considering they are appropriating the name as well as the idea, I think they should provide some kind of acknowledgement. I put a thank-you to Ward on my start page. I wish the people who created the site would do the same. --MatthewWilbert

I like it, too. I'm admin for several wikis there. My "main" page there is

<>< TimChambers
I have no problem with the site (now that they have acknowledged Ward's contribution). I'm glad they're using and promoting Smalltalk, I'm glad they're raising the visibility of Wiki, and I'm glad that they're spreading WikiNature.

I do have a problem with their service mark claim. I have, with Ward's cooperation and permission, been creating and supporting private Wiki clones since late 1997. The term "WikiWeb" is widespread within the communities that I support, and is still used throughout those webs as a link back to this site. Further, the name has crept or leaked into numerous shell-scripts, PERL modules, and similar source-code. In short, I began and continued using this name, with Ward's permission, long before WikiWebDotCom came into being.

I therefore have an enormous problem with WikiWebDotCom's claim that this name now belongs to them. Shall I stop using the name? Shall I find and change all the references? Shall I change all my code? I think not. Certainly such a change would be disruptive and expensive (in terms of my time).

-- TomStambaugh

I agree, the appropriation of WikiWeb seems to me obnoxious. I can't help but recall an e-mail spam I received a couple months ago announcing the domain name (my name) had been squatted and was for sale to the highest bidder. (I then replied something to the effect that I thought was still available... to my chagrin, I learned was for sale too.) -- BillKelly

Interesting discussion. I got turned on to WIKI recently by DenhamGrey from this page: and am also playing on wikiwebdotcom and swiki, which are maybe more "mainstream" than the original WIKI (here). Of course I put Ward and his site at or near the top of every index I provide. The whole thing is one heck of a fascinating experiment, and my guess would be that Ward & Co. (while should of course get full credit for this) are more interested in spreading the concept itself than being in the center of squabbles. Isn't the source code in most instances free as well? Anyway, THANKS WARD CUNNINGHAM and all who have and are contributing to this interesting journey! LarsHeyerdahl

According to their press releases they use VisualAgeSmallTalk? and an OracleDatabase, but there is no mention anywhere on the site of any person, no list of company officers, no programmers brag page, no nothing.

Their business model seems to be advertising driven.
From as of 4Apr00.

WikiWeb SM is the service mark name of WikiWeb, Inc. Use of this service mark by any one other than WikiWeb, Inc. under any circumstances is forbidden unless explicit written permission is granted by WikiWeb, Inc.

All information contained within the web site, excluding the content added by users, is protected by US and international copyright law.

Information presented on the web site is the sole property of WikiWeb, Inc. and cannot be copied, or duplicated without the express written consent of WikiWeb, Inc.

I'm no lawyer, but does that mean that our words would be "owned" by wikiweb inc. ?

-- AlanFrancis

One wonders. It's probably just boilerplate legalese, but it really torks me off. IhateLawyers?.

Maybe so. For that reason, I wouldn't use the wikiweb inc WikiFarm, even though they seem to have a nice fast site.

(To avoid any possible misunderstanding: wikiweb inc is not this wiki.)

-- RogerBrowne

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