pmuellr is Patrick Mueller

other pmuellr thangs: home page, twitter, flickr, github

Thursday, March 26, 2015

wiki: something old, something new

Back in 1995, Ward Cunningham - a fellow BoilerMaker - created a program called WikiWikiWeb, which created a new species of web content we now know as the "wiki".

My colleague Rick DeNatale showed it to me, and I was hooked. So hooked, I wrote a clone in REXX for OS/2, which I've sadly been unable to find. It's funny to see the names of some other friends on list of initial visitors.

Since then, I've always had some manner of wiki in my life. We still use wikis to document project information in IBM, I use Wikipedia all the time for ... whatever ..., and occaisonally use the free wiki service that GitHub provides for projects there. I think some credit also goes to Ward for helping push the "simplied html markup" story (eg, Markdown), to make editing and creating web content more approachable to humans.

Ward started a new project a few years back, Smallest Federated Wiki, to start exploring some interesting aspects of the wiki space - federating wikis, providing plugin support, multi-page views, rich change history. It's fascinating.

I've had in the back of my mind to get Federated Wiki to run on Bluemix for a while, and it seemed like an appropriate time to make something publishable. So, I created the cf-fed-wiki project, which will let you easily deploy a version of Federated Wiki on Cloud Foundry (and thus Bluemix), and is also set up to use with the new easy-to-deploy Bluemix Button (below).

Deploy to Bluemix

There are still some rough spots, but it seems workable, or at least something to play with.

The best way to learn about Federated Wiki is to watch Ward's videos.

Enjoy, and thanks for the wiki, Ward!