Talk:Ward Cunningham/Archive 1

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Undergraduate degree

Where did he get his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering? Anybody know?


the PPR page says it was started 1995. here it says 93

When I search for Ward Cunningham on the GAPP Microsoft site I get

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Why is this link included in the article.


An anon changed "May 26" to "May 20". I've reverted because, in a quick online check, I found no site giving the May 20 date. On the other hand, it seems that most or all of the sites saying May 26 are Wikipedia mirrors. I know that Ward Cunningham himself has looked in on Wikipedia, so I'll go back to May 26, figuring that he probably looked at his own article and would've corrected an error. JamesMLane 09:34, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It is May 26th. I thank you for your attention to detail. -- Ward

Prior use of "wiki"

The word wiki rang bells in my head for ages until I finally tracked down where I'd heard it used before.

Jasper Carrott, an English comedian, used the term when describing (as memory serves) aspects of a trip he made to Hong Kong some years ago, as part of one of his monologues.

"Wiki" and "Wikiwiki" were words he used to represent the conversation he had with Hong Kong locals when looking for something to eat.

The show aired before 1995 - give me time and I'll work out exactly when. The man may have been using the term for decades for all I know...

That's not to detract from the concept of this wiki (or to cast a slur on the slightly more well known wikiup of native North Americans).

Just to add a little more seasoning to the stew...

Peter Brooks

You're looking for the original 24 Carrott Gold, recorded in 1990. It's listed here on Amazon. ~~ Peteb16 15:45, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Leaving Microsoft

Wiki founder leaves Microsoft for Eclipse October 18 2005 [|]


I have another image of him from Wikimania 2006 that I think is slightly better than the current one: commons:Image:Wikimania 2006 dungodung 19.jpg. --Filip (§) 00:39, 13 August 2006 (UTC)


Hi What does Wiki mean in American Indian lingo??--Darrendeng 16:30, 29 November 2006 (UTC)


May 4th 2006 AV reference

Can I include a link to the main page of An Evening With Wiki Inventor Ward Cunningham in Conversation with John Gage please, of would someone like to take this when they reading and instert it. RoddyYoung 11:05, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

So the same guy who invented the wiki invented XP too?

I'm sorry but someone had to say it : that's impressive. I mean, from an engineering point of view. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 10:28, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

No, Kent Beck articulated the term Extreme Programming according to his book "Extreme Programming Explained". Mac D83 (talk) 18:29, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
"Was very close to the invention of" :-) Creativity is often a long-standing trait... – SJ +

Ward's "personal appeal"

The article has become a big vandalism target because of Ward's "personal appeal." Thank you to all the vigilant anti-vandals.

Speaking of his personal appeal, he wrote that "When we come together on Wikipedia to share our ideas we make something bigger than the sum of its parts."

Actually, we aren't allowed to share "our ideas," because that would be original research. He might have more accurately said that Wikipedia editors document the ideas of others. Am I right? (talk) 08:07, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Note: in the interview I frequently alternated between speaking of Wikipedia and of wiki in general. If I implied one could share ideas on Wikipedia it was surely a mistake that escaped copyediting. Sorry. WardCunningham (talk) 16:10, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I just cleaned a small collection of latent vandalism out of Ward Cunningham‎. It probably needs a more thorough review.
Ward, thanks for "appealing". Do you still host WikiWednesdays? —EncMstr (talk) 22:43, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

What was I talking about?

I'm suspicious of the quote, “There are those who give like Chalmers, and those who take, like Weir & Barlow. You can tell by reading what they write.”

I remember the event, and I remember responding to a question with some discussion of identifiable writing styles and motives, but I don't recall ever citing specific cases and I don't know who/what Chalmers or Weir & Barlow might be. I suspect confusion or malice with regard to this quote. WardCunningham (talk) 16:10, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

It was simple vandalism; the names were added in this edit on 7 June 2010. I've specialised, sort of, in the detection of overlooked vandalism like this: I've made it a habit to rummage through the history whenever I spot something suspicious in an article. Often enough, it turns out that the reason is this simple. What I hate is when the offending edit can't be reverted by simply hitting undo anymore (when the paragraph was edited in the meanwhile). I wish we had stable versions or flagged revisions or pending changes, or at least finally pending changes for controversial topics or heavily vandalised pages – as an alternative to semi-protection, like in last years' trial (nothing ever came out of it, even though it was considered a success as far as I can tell). Not all instances of overlooked vandalism are this harmless. Especially wholesale deletions of sections can go undetected forever. An especially insidious strategy is replacing part of an article by nonsense. Frustratingly, almost no-one will check the history; they'll simply delete the nonsense without restoring the original text, resulting in the loss of years of work sometimes. At least, people should be aware of the problem and use the history more. You can spare others a lot of works when you do it earlier rather than later. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:45, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Ward's Cunningham's contribution to Wikipedia

I am Robert Abitbol from Montreal, Canada and I can recall that one Saturday afternoon back in 2002 or 2003 I was chatting with [Ward Cunningham] on AIM and he mentioned that some guy wanted to use a wiki for an encyclopedia.

The Some guy was probably Jimbo.

I honestly didn't have the feeling that Ward thought much of the new wiki or that he had the feeling that the new wiki was going to be such a big thing for as I said, Ward was very casual about the new wiki.

They were dozens of wikis on Internet at that point.

I also remember that in the middle of an edit war, Jimbo Wales suddenly appeared and he asked me if I was interested in joining Wikipedia. I declined for I am not very much an encyclopedia type more a dictionary type I would say.

Most people think a wiki is a big thing when in fact it can be written with 10 lines of code. I know so because there was once on (Ward's wiki) a contest whose goal was to see who could code a wiki with the least numbers of lines of code. I did see an excellent wiki written with ten lines of code and it was an excellent wiki at it! Probably one of the best!

In order for a wiki to be a wiki you have to code an editable page, a list of Recent changes and a category system and that's about it. It's like saying that to build a bike you need two wheels and a guidon whatever you say in English.

The first two features (editable page and recent changes) were developed by Ward but the category system was invented by a user, wikizen whose name I forgot.

I honestly believe that Ward never thought then that Wikipedia would put him on the map for whenever we'd mention the word Wiki everyone would say: Ah Wikipedia!

He had probably never hoped or dreamed either that his name would be in an encyclopedia one day!

This is how wikis became mainstream: through Wikipedia.

Before Wikipedia no one except some programmers had a clue what a wiki was and I'm sure most people thought it was an exotic donut or a dirty word.

On the other hand, I have always thought that this I get the credit feud between Larry Sanger and Jumbo Wales was silly. As Ben Kovizjustly said: It is also the people who write Wikipedia who should get the credit.

Then again, can't we say that [Ward Cunningham] should get the credit for Wikipedia for he is the one who created the wiki tool in the first place?

I am 100% convinced.

In fact, I read that Ward said that as far as he was concerned, Wikipedia was just a wiki. Another wiki.

He was entirely right.

As History goes, it was [Ben Kovitz] who explained the wiki to Larry.

Everyone who put in his 2 cents in the wikipedia project should get the credit for Wikipedia. Including this guy whose name I forget who created the brilliant category system on

But look at it this way. Back in 1995, [Ward Cunningham] had the brilliant idea to create a strange program that enabled anyone on Internet to edit electronic index cards. He called it a wiki which means in Hawaian fast. He could have called it anything for the word wiki does not describe what a wiki does.

I say index cards because pages on a wiki are not connected to each other the same way paper index cards are not connected to one another and they can be organized in any which way the user wants. Each page on the wiki was independent.

From that point on, a lot of people contributed their ideas to the wiki concept. I have always wondered who created the Recent changes concept, which is a true wiki concept along with the categories concept. Probably Ward for I asked the question to an old-timer a few years ago and he said he remembered it was always there from the start.

Anyone who knows what creation is about will tell you: Sometimes it takes one word to change it all. I heard one sentence once and this has lead me to my life-time achievement, my Natural Language Translator.

Witness. All [John Lennon] contributed to MacCartney's song called Yesterday is one word. But what word! Yesterday!

Paul MacCartney played the song on the piano. He called it Scambled eggs. He asked John for a title and John answered You should call it Yesterday.

Now, I'm sure this is the one word ever pronounced that probably has generated the most money in royalties!

This goes to show that a small contribution can make the whole difference.

I have always had strong Microsoft bias and this bias has certainly not gotten me a lot of friends among progammers. I admit I did have this bias. And I still do. And I probably always will. IMHO [Steve Ballmer] and [Bill Gates] are truly marketing visionaries if not geniuses.

But look at it this way: They always credited each other for their success. They never feuded claiming they were the real reasons Microsoft got so big! They were both real team players.

To sum it all up, I'll say that Wikipedia (and even wiki) was a collective work from the start and everyone involved in the wiki process (and Ward Cunningham in the first place) deserves the credit: Larry and Jumbo deserve the credit and so does [Ben Kovitz] and so does each and every writer who contributes daily to this legendary undertaking.

But if you ask me who should get the biggest credit, I'd say it is [Ward Cunningham]. His vision of how each page should be independent from other pages is really what made the wiki tool so unique. Who could have come up with such a concept! A bunch of editable electronic index cards put on some site on Internet. This concept worked very well with encyclopedias and the wedding between encyclopedias and wikis was bound to to take place and it did.

We are not used to thinking in terms of independent idems. We think in terms of outlines.

If he had put a structured tool on Internet with an outline of some kind, would it have worked? I doubt it.

Last year I gathered a sort of legal content management system. I tried desperately to organize it as an outline but it never worked. I used the wiki system -an idea per page- and it worked A1.

As far as I'm concerned Ward's claim to fame is his concept of one idea per page editable page.

This is why Wiki and Pedia hit off so quickly and got hitched so fast. :-) Because encyclopedias are based on one idea per page and this one item per page is called an article.

What makes a wiki page important? Why is a page more read than another? It is because it appears in Recent Changes. A page that appears in Recent Changes gets every one's attention.

And talk about the brilliant category concept the guy came up with: A page can belong to many categories. Who could have thought of that?

Everyone who has ever invented anything has has a unique vision. Ward Cunningham had that unique vision I believe: independent editable by all pages.

You want to see how wikis can be used to store knowledge related to a programming language? Tcl-tk. Look here: It is IMHO one of the best wiki applications along with (When it is working! :-))

Remember what [Ward Cunningham] said: Wikipedia is another wiki. He was right!

I remember asking Ward if he felt the wiki invention was his life-time achievement and his answer was No. He felt his other invention related to how two programmers could work together was also another life-time achievement. It is called: Extreme programming.

He also told me that he made $ 60.00 with his wiki invention. Some guy who thought the concept was brilliant sent him a check once! I therefore believe Ward is probably the only inventor who has ever lived that did not make a fortune with his invention!

Ward opened the gold mine, [Ben Kovitz] showed Larry to the gold mine. Nupedia existed before Wikipedia thanks to Larry and Jimbo. The wedding took place.

What few people don't know is that before Media Wiki, the engine that runs Wikipedia, Usemod wiki used to run Wikipedia.

Usemod wiki was designed by another programmer but the core of the program, it's core engine was the wiki Ward programmed.

I'll say: A lot of people have been involved in this Wikipedia wedding and they should all be invited to the wedding and we should all say about them: They made the wedding possible.

But look at it this way, had [Ward Cunningham] and [Ben Kovitz] and [Larry Wales] and [Jimbo Wales] never existed, I pretty much doubt that the bride Pedia and the groom Wiki would have gotten married. They probably wouldn't have met in the first place!

And this was certainly not a marriage of convenience, it was a marriage of love!

In fact they loved each other so much that they melted both their names into one!

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 31 January 2012 (UTC)