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WikiWikiWeb, or simply WikiWiki or Wiki (with a capital 'W'), is the first ever wiki, written in Perl. It accompanies the Portland Pattern Repository (PPR) on and is located at The term wiki that is used to refer to other similar groups of modifiable Web pages, e.g. Wikipedia, came from this original wiki.

In order to make the exchange of ideas between programmers easier, Ward Cunningham started developing WikiWikiWeb in 1994 and installed it on his company Cunningham & Cunningham's Internet domain on March 25, 1995. Cunningham named WikiWikiWeb that way because he remembered a Honolulu International Airport counter employee telling him to take the so-called "Wiki Wiki" Chance RT-52 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 name 'Ward's Wiki' (or, in camel case, 'WardsWiki') is also used for WikiWikiWeb, but this term often carries a negative connotation due to its suggestion that Ward Cunningham maintains strict ownership and control over the entire community, a role which he actively avoids. Other names have been suggested to try to avoid ambiguity with the generic concept of a wiki, and to reflect the growing amount of non-pattern related content. The term C2 Wiki is also used.

WikiWikiWeb should not be confused with the PPR, since WikiWikiWeb is a complement to the repository. The PPR itself predated WikiWikiWeb, and includes some static pages (pages that don't belong to WikiWikiWeb). As explained on WikiWikiWeb's HowToCiteWiki page:

This wiki and the pages in it are a feature of the Portland Pattern Repository, published by Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc., Portland, Oregon [...].

WikiWikiWeb's WelcomeVisitors page contains the following description:

This wiki's primary focus is PeopleProjectsAndPatterns in SoftwareDevelopment. However, it is much more than just an InformalHistoryOfProgrammingIdeas. It started there, but the theme has created a culture and DramaticIdentity all of its own. All Wiki content is WorkInProgress. Most of all, this is a forum where people share ideas! It changes as people come and go. If you are looking for authoritative information, try WikiPedia. All the information here is subjective.

The software for WikiWikiWeb is called Wiki Base.

[edit] WikiWikiWeb and its designated sister sites.

Site Pages Founder
WikiWikiWeb [1] [2] Ward Cunningham
WhyClublet [3] [BrokenLink] Richard Drake
MeatBallWiki [4] [BrokenLink] Clifford Adams, Sunir Shah
GreenCheese [5] [BrokenLink] Peter Merel
TheReformSociety [6] [BrokenLink] Peter Merel
The Adjunct [7] [BrokenLink] Earle Martin
WikiBase [8] [BrokenLink] [9] Ward Cunningham
FitWiki [10] [BrokenLink] Ward Cunningham

[edit] WikiWikiWeb as a precursor to other online communities.

WikiWikiWeb plays an important historical role on the World Wide Web and the Internet, because of its influence on other online communities. WikiWikiWeb's focus on specialized programming makes its content relatively unintelligible to people outside the programming sphere, but, nevertheless, editors (so-called "wiki citizens" or "wikizens") and visitors and readers of the WikiWikiWeb took the idea of making pages user-modifiable outside the WikiWikiWeb and created their own new wiki engines (programs which run wikis) and wikis.

Wiki communities outside 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.

Probably the most famous example of WikiWikiWeb's legacy is Wikipedia. A WikiWikiWeb user, programmer Ben Kovitz of San Diego, California, introduced 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 turned out to fail, 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".

[edit] External links



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  • World Wizzy is a static snapshot taken of Wikipedia in early 2007. It cannot be edited and is online for historic & educational purposes only.