Wiki software

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Wiki software (also known as a wiki engine or wiki application) is software that runs a wiki, or a website that allows users to collaboratively create and edit web pages using a web browser. A wiki system is usually a web application that runs on one or more web servers. The content, including all current and previous revisions, is usually stored in either a file system or a database. Wiki software is a type of collaborative software.

The first wiki application was WikiWikiWeb, created by Ward Cunningham in 1994 and launched on his company's website,, in 1995.[1]



The primary difference between wikis and more complex types of content management systems is that wikis tend to focus on the content, at the expense of the more powerful control over layout, workflow and publishing technologies such as blogs present in other CMSes.

The majority of wikis are free and open source software developed collaboratively. Many wikis are modular, providing APIs which allow programmers to develop new features without requiring them to be familiar with the codebase.

It is hard to determine which wiki applications are the most popular, although a list of lead candidates includes Foswiki, MoinMoin, TikiWiki, XWiki, DokuWiki, and MediaWiki (Google Insight for Search (history, trend, geographical statistics)). TWiki, Traction TeamPage and Atlassian Confluence are popular on intranets.

Hybrid wiki software

Due to the popularity of wikis, as well as the growth in complexity of wiki software, many applications exist that provide wiki functionality in addition to other standard web functionality. Many applications allow for creating blogs and discussion forums either in addition to wiki pages, or using wiki pages. A website that lets users publish blogs using wiki-style editing is known as a bliki. Some applications provide content management system functionality, also either in addition to using wiki functionality: TikiWiki is an example. In addition, applications exist that let users edit a spreadsheet in wiki style: WikiCalc is one example.

Semantic wikis

Some wiki applications allow for storing data within wiki pages, in a way that can be queried elsewhere, both in other wiki pages and externally. Wikis running with such applications are called semantic wikis; Freebase and Semantic MediaWiki are two examples.

Enterprise wikis

Enterprise wiki software is software meant to be used internally by corporations, with a greater emphasis on features like access control and integration with other software. Two proprietary wiki applications that gear themselves specifically to corporate users are Confluence and Socialtext.

Personal wikis

Some wiki applications are not intended for collaborative work, but for personal information organizing or content management. These applications are often referred to as desktop wikis or personal wikis.

Mobile wikis

Mobile wiki software is an extension of web-based wikis optimized for mobile devices, especially mobile phones. This is done by providing a version of the web site with conservative HTML coding optimized for the limited function browsers on devices like the BlackBerry[2] or iPhone[3].

Offline wiki viewing and editing

Various approaches to providing wiki functionality when the user is not online have been tried. For users who simply read the wiki's content when offline, a copy of the content can often be made easily; in the case of Wikipedia, CD-ROMs and even printed versions have been made of parts of the content. Allowing offline editing, however (where the changes are synchronized when the user is back online) is a much more difficult process. One approach to doing this is using a distributed revison control system as a backend of the wiki, e.g. ikiwiki.

See also


  1. The Wiki Way. Quick collaboration on the Web, Addison-Wesley (April 2001) ISBN 020171499X
  2. Socialtext Optimizes Wiki for Mobile Users, CIO Magazine, April 5, 2006, retrieved 2008-09-20
  3. W2: a little iPhone wiki, tuaw, July 15, 2007, retrieved 2008-09-20

External links

Personal tools

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