A wiki is a web application that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows anyone to edit the content. "Wiki" also refers to the software used in such websites. For a more complete definition, see Wikipedia:wiki.
The wiki format is particularly useful in a community setting, where it can be used as a repository of collective wisdom and knowledge, refined and developed by an iterative collaboration process, as well as serving as a central reference point for various community activities (IRC channels, real-life get-togethers, etc.)
Wikis are also very powerful tools for mapping out knowledge, as they make it much easier to show the intertwingularity of accumulated pieces of information.
- subwikis: discussion of an idea for making wikis more flexible
- Traditional Wiki
- Confluence (proprietary)
- Deki Wiki: uses PHP, Mono, and a few other things; seems to require root access to install, so won't work with shared servers
- Dokuwiki: plain-text data storage; uses PHP
- LynxWiki: has built-in Python scripting
- MediaWiki: uses PHP and MySQL
- PM Wiki: uses PHP and MySQL, but has more flexible security features
- Wagn: Ruby and MySQL or Postgres
- WikyBlog: PHP and MySQL; some access control
- Variants on the wiki concept:
- Why Wiki Works discussion at MeatballWiki
- A Tale of Two Wikis: Techniques for building, managing and promoting collaborative communities: the founder of WikiFur and Creatures Wiki speaks on the topic of building a community around a wiki. (Perhaps this actually belongs in a "how-to"-ish section, rather than "philosophy"? Both of these links are "non-technical", however...)
- 2007-03-26 The Wiki Workplace: "The information and communication technologies that are transforming media, culture, and the economy are also reshaping how companies and employees function. New social computing tools such as wikis and blogs put unprecedented communication power in the hands of employees. .. Some companies worry about the risks of uncontrolled communications leaking out. But a growing number believe the new collaboration tools are good for innovation and growth—they help employees connect with more people, in more regions of the world, with less hassle and more enjoyment, than earlier generations of workplace technology."
- The wiki format is well-suited for documenting pattern languages