The home page of the WikiWikiWeb in 2003
|Type of site||Wiki with focus on software design patterns|
|Registration||Not implemented; users can edit using any name and optionally create a page about themselves under that name|
|Owner||Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc.|
|Created by||Ward Cunningham|
|Launched||25 March 1995|
The WikiWikiWeb is the first ever wiki, or user-editable website. It was launched on 25 March 1995 by its inventor, programmer Ward Cunningham, to accompany the Portland Pattern Repository website discussing software design patterns. The name WikiWikiWeb originally also applied to the wiki software, written in the Perl programming language, that operated the website, which was subsequently renamed to "WikiBase". The site is frequently referred to by its users as simply "Wiki", and a convention established among users of the early network of wiki sites that followed was that using the word with a capitalized W referred exclusively to the original site.
The software and website were developed in 1994 by Cunningham in order to make the exchange of ideas between programmers easier. The concept was based on the ideas developed in HyperCard stacks that Cunningham built in the late 1980s. On March 25, 1995, he installed the software on his company's (Cunningham & Cunningham) website, c2.com. Cunningham came up with the name 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 or quick. 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 current WelcomeVisitors page contains the following description:
Welcome to WikiWikiWeb, also known as Ward's wiki or just Wiki. A lot of people had their first wiki experience here. This community has been around since 1995 and consists of many people. We always accept newcomers with valuable contributions. If you haven't used a wiki before, be prepared for a bit of CultureShock. The beauty of Wiki is in the freedom, simplicity, and power it offers. This site's primary focus is PeopleProjectsAndPatterns in SoftwareDevelopment. However, it is more than just an InformalHistoryOfProgrammingIdeas. It started there, but the theme has created a culture and DramaticIdentity all its own. All Wiki content is WorkInProgress. Most of all, this is a forum where people share ideas! It changes as people come and go. Much of the information here is subjective. If you are looking for a dedicated reference site, try WikiPedia; WikiIsNotWikipedia! (last updated 17 October 2010)
Hyperlinks between pages on WikiWikiWeb are created by joining capitalized words together (a technique referred to as CamelCase). This convention of wiki markup formatting is still followed by some more recent wiki software, whereas others, such as the MediaWiki software that powers Wikipedia, have abandoned it.
- History of wikis
- MeatballWiki, a wiki for discussion of online communities, that began as discussion of WikiWikiWeb
- WikiHistory on c2.com
- Interview: Wikinewsie Kim Bruning discusses Wikimania on WikiNews
- Interview with Ward Cunningham on Google Video
- The WikiBase software
- Wiki design principles
- The history of WikiWikiWeb, including comments by Ward Cunningham
- Correspondence on the Etymology of Wiki — Ward Cunningham