David Chess


I'm putting together a little Wiki clone at IBM Watson Research, which will be either just a personal toy (having just learned Perl socket stuff, I of course had to write an http server and a newsreader and a...), or will be a place for other IBMers who are into computer-mediated-communication stuff to talk about things.

I don't currently plan to use the WikiBase code as such, but I will take a copy and read it over for my own pleasure and for corrections to and ideas for my own Wiki implementation.

I think Wiki is just Way Cool... *8)



March 23, 1999

My implementation of a Wiki-style collaborative space is working very nicely! It's only been tried out by half a dozen people so far, but they seem to like it, and I will probably invite others in shortly for a sort of informal task force.

My implementation differs from the WikiWikiWeb in at least the following ways:

  • it's a dedicated (if primitive) HTTP server, rather than a CGI script; this eliminates the CGI overhead, and allows it to keep the entire database in memory, which speeds up general operation, and especially full-Wiki-search.
  • It keeps RecentChanges in most-recent-first order *8) and has a cookie-based ?UnreadChanges facility so that you can tell what changes have happened since you last pushed the "update" button,
  • It keeps a copy of every change made, and has a within-Wiki facility to access all the changes for any page,
  • It has a Preview button on the editing page, so you can see how your raw text is going to be formatted before you Save,
  • It doesn't consider tabs significant; list-lines just start with a star in column one,
  • Most special pages like the edit-this-page page are first-class objects, and can be edited like any other page (I haven't fully implemented this, but intend to),
  • It allows for the linkification of a name that's not in the usual WikiName format, by enclosing in double-square-brackets (just in case),
  • It doesn't support nested lists, or non-UL lists, just because I'm lazy and I'm not sure they're needed,
  • It's a really primitive HTTP server, and only supports one connection at a time; on the other hand, it's fast enough that that may be OK,
  • No spelling checker yet


Last edited March 24, 1999
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