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WikiWikiWeb page from 1994

WikiWikiWeb (also known as WardsWiki) was the first wiki application ever written. It was developed in 1994 by Ward Cunningham in order to make the exchange of ideas between programmers easier and was based on the ideas developed in HyperCard stacks that he built in the late 1980s.[1][2][3] He installed the WikiWikiWeb on his company's (Cunningham & Cunningham) website,, on March 25, 1995. Cunningham named it WikiWikiWeb because he remembered a Honolulu International Airport counter employee who told him to take the Wiki Wiki Shuttle, a 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 WikiWikiWeb's WelcomeVisitors page contains the following description:

Our site's primary focus is PeopleProjectsAndPatterns in SoftwareDevelopment. Nevertheless, it is much more than just an InformalHistoryOfProgrammingIdeas. It has a culture and DramaticIdentity of its own. In particular, all Wiki content is WorkInProgress and this will always be a forum where people share new ideas. WardsWiki changes as people come and go. Much of the information that remains is subjective or dated. If you are looking for a dedicated reference site, try WikiPedia.

Some words are written in CamelCase because this is the markup used to create inter-page links by WikiWikiWeb's software, WikiBase. Later wiki engines for other websites, such as Wikipedia, dropped this convention.


WikiWikiWeb and its designated sister sites

Site Pages Founder
WikiWikiWeb 34226 Ward Cunningham
WhyClublet 4782 Richard Drake
MeatBallWiki 5122 Clifford Adams, Sunir Shah
GreenCheese (dead) Peter Merel
TheReformSociety (dead) Peter Merel
The Adjunct 737 Earle Martin
WikiBase 359 Ward Cunningham
FitWiki 225 Ward Cunningham

WikiWikiWeb as a precursor to other online communities

The WikiWikiWeb played an important historical role in the World Wide Web and the Internet because of its influence on other online communities. Its focus on specialized programming made its content relatively unintelligible to people outside the programming sphere; however, editors (so-called wiki citizens, or wikizens), visitors, and readers of the WikiWikiWeb took up the basic idea of making pages user-modifiable and created their own new wiki engines (programs that run wikis) and wikis outside of the WikiWikiWeb.

Wiki communities outside the 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.[4]

A notable example of the WikiWikiWeb's legacy is Wikipedia. A WikiWikiWeb user, programmer Ben Kovitz of San Diego, California, introduced the WikiWikiWeb to Larry Sanger of Internet company Bomis on the evening of January 2, 2001. At the time, Bomis was working on the online encyclopedia Nupedia; but that project failed, so Sanger suggested running an open encyclopedia on UseModWiki, an indirect clone of WikiWikiWeb's engine. Sanger presented the idea to Jimmy Wales, then head of Bomis, and he agreed. The UseModWiki-based encyclopedia eventually came to be known as "Wikipedia."

Other popular websites have since come to embrace the wiki method, such as, which in 2007 launched its own Amapedia after two years of trialing wiki technology for customer reviews for items.

See also


External links


fa:ویکی‌ویکی‌وب fr:WikiWikiWeb ko:위키위키웹 no:WikiWikiWeb pl:WikiWikiWeb pt:WikiWikiWeb ru:WikiWikiWeb sv:WikiWikiWeb tr:WikiWikiWeb

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