Year of the enterprise Wiki

Ward Cunningham created the first Wiki site in 1995 to collaborate with a band of like-minded programmers on the elucidation of common software patterns. That work continues today at Microsoft, where he works in the patterns and practices group. Meanwhile, the Wiki concept -- a Web site that every reader can also write and edit --has flourished beyond all expectations.

Flexible, direct, lightweight, and requiring only a Web browser to use, Wikis suit a wide range of applications. There are Wiki implementations for a dozen programming languages and content management systems. Wikipedia, the collaborative encyclopedia project that began in 2001, reached critical mass in 2004. Wikipedia milestones this year included the millionth article, the 30,000th contributor, and an explosion of press coverage.


As the Wiki phenomenon enters its second decade, it's hard to predict just how the technology will evolve. Two things seem certain: Wiki culture will continue to thrive, and enterprise users will continue to seek lighter, easier collaboration tools. [Full story at]

Here's one bit of Wiki evolution that I could have foreseen but didn't: the marriage of Wikis and folksonomy. Muness Alrubaie has built a working version of this concept as an extension to the Trac Wiki. As the documentation explains, it works just like you'd expect. If this page were a tag-aware Wiki page and I wanted to apply the tags wiki and folksonomy I'd write:

[[TagIt(wiki, folksonomy)]]
The page is added to the corresponding category pages and, if they don't exist, they're conjured automagically.

Great idea, Muness! I'm sure this will take off like a rocket.

Update: Oops. I forgot that it already did, way back when. I just remembered the CategoryCategory facility in the C2 Wiki. Here are pages in CategoryDatabase. The BerkeleyDbXml page concludes with:

CategoryXml, CategoryDatabase, CategoryOpenSource.

The idea carries through to modern Wikis -- here's the category page on Our Media's Socialtext-based Wiki.

Former URL: