Saturday, July 8, 2006

The simplest thing that could possibly work

A conversation with Ward Cunningham on wikis at artima developer.

In addition, wikis work best in environments where you're comfortable delegating control to the users of the system. There isn't a lot of logic in wiki about who can do what when, because wiki doesn't really understand what you're doing. It's just holding pages for you. Lot's of conventions are established for what is or isn't an appropriate use, but they're all in the minds of the users not in the business logic of the application. That works well if you have a trusting community that isn't looking for the computer to enforce some behavior. I've been asked sometimes whether wiki would fit in a corporate environment, for example. I think there are corporations that are together enough to have this trust of their own employees, and there are certainly corporations that aren't. Corporations that wouldn't trust their own employees to be able to maintain a web site need something other than wiki.

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