Wiki Wiki Web
Site and software by Ward Cunningham. Text by many.

Launched in 1995, WikiWikiWeb is the first-ever Wiki. Its topic loosely centers on programming issues - and whatever its readers find to be "related" discourse. WikiWikiWeb is interesting both as a text about software and its culture and as software itself. Anyone can edit or add new content in a straightforward manner. No special permissions or logins are required - the system is based on trust, and on the premise that there are more constructive people out there to fix things than there are destructive people to destroy them.

This might sound a lot like a description of a typical weblog or message board: promising democratic content, but delivering a structure which is still determined from the top down and so is limiting to discussion. But because of its fluid method of contributions by many, which allows users to add new top-level texts and pages as well as to add onto existing ones, the WikiWikiWeb is a vast, rambling rhizome of tangents in which technical discussion flows naturally into and out of cultural discussion - of both programming and the broader cultural contexts in which programming exists.

For example, you might start out reading about what's PoliticallyCorrect, where you find that some people advocate a MoreDangerousAndBetter world. Danger often being rooted in perception, from there you might learn that others seem to think that HermeticallySealedStuffIsMagic - which is not a Good Thing - unless of course it is PerfectMagic.

Because WikiWikiWeb's contributors are many and are primarily programmers, it provides a "close-up" perspective on software culture, similar to that of the famous Jargon File - but with a wider range of content and authorship.

project homepage:
keywords: philosophical-interactive-efficient-countercultural-subjectivity-
hackerly-criticism-1990s software for the Internet
category: text - software art related/cultural critique of software
uploaded by amy, 27 Sep 2003

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