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The term WikiWiki ("wiki wiki" means "quick" in the Hawaiian language; pronounced "weekeeweekee" or /wikiwiki/ in SAMPA) can be used to identify either a type of hypertext document (that uses HTML tags) or the software used to write it. Often called "wiki" for short, the collaborative software application enables web documents to be authored collectively using a simple markup scheme and without the content being reviewed prior to its acceptance. The resulting collaborative hypertext document, also called either "wiki" or "WikiWikiWeb," is typically produced by a community of users. Many wikis are immediately identifiable by their use of CamelCase, produced by capitalizing words in a phrase and removing the spaces between them; this turns the phrase into an automatic link (although this is not so in Wikipedia). The world's largest WikiWiki is Wikipedia, whose goal is to produce a complete encyclopedia from scratch.

The original WikiWikiWeb was established by Ward Cunningham in 1995 [1] (http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiHistory), who invented and named the Wiki concept, and produced the first implementation of a WikiWiki server. Some people maintain that only Ward's wiki should be called Wiki (upper case) or the WikiWikiWeb. Ward's Wiki remains one of the most popular Wiki sites. It is a mark of wiki culture that no two wiki clones are alike. It is often debatable whether a site is a wiki or not, and few people expend much effort trying to define or preserve the difference.

There are "guided bus tours" taking you to various wiki sites. At each site there is a "bus stop" giving some info about that wiki. You can "get off the bus" to stay longer at that wiki, or move on to the next. To start, go to the "bus stop" of Wikipedia: Wikipedia:TourBusStop.

You can search the page titles of various wikis at once using MetaWiki.

Characteristics of functioning wikis are that they have good software support, and an active user community -- its wiki community. In this they have similarities with web logs, which became popular at the end of the 1990s, but only wikis allow almost all users to edit most articles.

Wiki software originated in the design pattern community for writing pattern languages. The Portland Pattern Repository (http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?PortlandPatternRepository) was the first wiki.

See also: History of wiki, Wiki software

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Wiki Communities

Wiki Dictionary

Wiki Encyclopedias

Wiki-like systems

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