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wikiisms:whatsawiki [2008/04/10 12:56]
Chris Freyer
wikiisms:whatsawiki [2009/07/07 12:10] (current)
Chris Freyer formatting changes on 'whats a wiki' page
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 ====== What's A 'Wiki'? ====== ====== What's A 'Wiki'? ======
-There are many aspects of a wiki, so I'll describe the ones that are important to me:+Its hard to define a wiki.  Basicallyit is a software system that allows groups of people to create, edit, and share information via a website.  But there is more to it than simple web page editing.
  
-**From a consumer perspective**, a wiki is a tool that lets people create and edit documents via a web browser.  Those documents are written using a simplified text format...no word processor required.  The advantage to the simplified format is that new users can become contributors very quicly, and experienced editors can do advanced markups with very little work.+From a //consumer// perspective, a wiki is a tool that lets people create and edit web pages via a browser.  The pages are written using a simplified text format...no word processor required.  The advantage to this approach is that new users can become contributors very quickly, and experienced user can do advanced editing with very little work.
  
-**From a technology perspective**, a wiki is "//the simplest online database that could possibly work//"((Ward Cunningham's description of the first wiki, [[http://www.wiki.org/wiki.cgi?WhatIsWiki|here]]  )).  Its not a relational database, or even a flatfile database.  Either one would imposes too much structure on the information.  Instead, a wiki is a freeform text entry system with a fancy text-to-HTML rendering engine...nothing more.  Everything else is an add-on.+From a //technology// perspective, a wiki is "//the simplest online database that could possibly work//"((Ward Cunningham's description of the first wiki, [[http://www.wiki.org/wiki.cgi?WhatIsWiki|here]]  )).  Its not a relational database, or even a flatfile database.  Either one would imposes too much structure on the information.  Instead, a wiki is a freeform text entry system with a fancy text-to-HTML rendering engine...nothing more.  Everything else is an add-on.
  
-**From a creative perspective**, a wiki allows people to express themselves in a stable environment.  It frees content creators from having to deal with website creation tools.  It eliminates the concept of file ; from having to know valid ID and password to a public location.  It eliminates meetings by +From a //creative// perspective, a wiki allows people to express themselves in a stable environment.  It frees content creators from the confines of their desktops.  It eliminates existing ideas about file ownership.  One person is no longer bottleneck.  Everyone can input their ideas into web pages.  The entire web is resource for content creators.
  
-**From a collaboration perspective**, document creation will never be the same again.  No more "who has the latest document?" questions.  No more emailing of documents.  No more offline conversations.  No more sharing of information by routine distribution of documents.  Instead--all of that happens in the wiki.  Several people can edit a document at the same time((each section of a document has its own "edit" button, allowing multiple authors to work at the same time)).  Notifications can automatically be emailed when a document changes.  And links between documents can be defined by the authors as needed.+From a //collaboration// perspective, document creation will never be the same again.  No more "who has the latest document?" questions.  No more offline conversations.  No more status updates via email.  Instead--all of that can happen in the wiki.  Several people can edit a web page at the same time ((each section of a page has its own "edit" button, allowing multiple authors to work at the same time)).  Notifications can be sent automatically when a page changes.  And links between pages can be created easily.
  
-**From a structural perspective**, a wiki might be viewed as total anarchy.  The structure of documents is not enforced.  Neither is the content.  Anyone can create anything anywhere on the wiki.  People are free to create their own structures.  The surprising part is that people __seek__ structure, and will strive to __create__ it when they don't see it.  There is a satisfying feeling that comes with creating something.+From a //structural// perspective, a wiki does not enforce structure on its users.  Anyone can create anything in the wiki, in any location.  People are free to create their own page structures.  The surprising part is that people naturally __seek__ structure, and will strive to __create__ it when they don't find it.  There is a satisfying feeling that comes with organizing something.
  
-**From a security perspective**, a wiki is a highly customizable tool.  A wiki can be open, protected, or private Users can be granted rights to see certain documents and not others.  Namespaces can be used to group documents for security purposes.  And most importantly--users can be restricted to creating or modifying pages in only one section of the wiki.  See my page on [[wikiisms:namespacesecurity|NameSpace Security]] for more details.+From a //security// perspective, a wiki is a highly customizable tool.  A wiki can be open, protected, or private 
 +  * an //open// wiki allows users to self-register and edit wherever they like 
 +  * a //protected// wiki allows everyone to read, but limits editing to certain groups of authorized users.   
 +  * a //private// wiki restricts viewing and editing to authorized users.   
 +Of course there are other security variations in between these three types, but the security concepts remain the same.  A wiki administrator has full control over what can be seen, who can see it, and who can edit it.  This is done using a concept called namespaces and namespace security.  [[wikiisms:namespacesecurity|See my page]] on the subject for more details.
  
  
/home/cfreyer/public_html/data/attic/wikiisms/whatsawiki.1207846567.txt.gz · Last modified: 2008/04/10 12:56 by Chris Freyer