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The WikiWikiWeb is the first ever wiki, or user-editable website. It was launched on 25 March 1995 by its inventor, programmer Ward Cunningham, to accompany the Portland Pattern Repository website discussing software design patterns. The name WikiWikiWeb originally also applied to the wiki software that operated the website, written in the Perl programming language and later renamed to "WikiBase". The site is frequently referred to by its users as simply "Wiki", and a convention established among users of the early network of wiki sites that followed was that using the word with a capitalized W referred exclusively to the original site.

WikiWikiWeb 2.JPG
The WikiWikiWeb logo
WikiWikiWeb screenshot.png
The homepage of the WikiWikiWeb in 2003
Type of site
Wiki with focus on software design patterns
Available in English
Owner Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc.
Created by Ward Cunningham
Registration Not implemented; users can edit using any name and optionally create a page about themselves under that name
Launched March 25, 1995; 22 years ago (1995-03-25)
Current status Active (Read-only indefinitely since February 1, 2015)
Ward Cunningham in 2011.



The software and website were developed in 1994 by Cunningham in order to make the exchange of ideas between programmers easier. The concept was based on the ideas developed in HyperCard stacks that Cunningham built in the late 1980s.[1][2][3] On March 25, 1995, he installed the software on his company's (Cunningham & Cunningham) website, Cunningham came up with the name WikiWikiWeb because he remembered a Honolulu International Airport counter employee who told him to take the Wiki Wiki Shuttle, a shuttle bus line that runs between the airport's terminals. "Wiki Wiki" is a reduplication of "wiki", a Hawaiian language word for Quick.[4] Cunningham's idea was to make WikiWikiWeb's pages quickly editable by its users, so he initially thought about calling it "QuickWeb", but later changed his mind and dubbed it "WikiWikiWeb".

As of May 2015, the WikiWikiWeb's WelcomeVisitors page contained the following description:

Welcome to WikiWikiWeb, also known as Ward's wiki or just Wiki. A lot of people had their first wiki experience here. This community has been around since 1995 and consists of many people. We always accept newcomers with valuable contributions. If you haven't used a wiki before, be prepared for a bit of CultureShock. The beauty of Wiki is in the freedom, simplicity, and power it offers. This site's primary focus is PeopleProjectsAndPatterns in SoftwareDevelopment. However, it is more than just an InformalHistoryOfProgrammingIdeas. It started there, but the theme has created a culture and DramaticIdentity all its own. All Wiki content is WorkInProgress. Most of all, this is a forum where people share ideas! It changes as people come and go. Much of the information here is subjective. If you are looking for a dedicated reference site, try WikiPedia; WikiIsNotWikipedia!

Hyperlinks between pages on WikiWikiWeb are created by joining capitalized words together, a technique referred to as CamelCase. This convention of wiki markup formatting is still followed by some more recent wiki software, whereas others, such as the MediaWiki software that powers Wikipedia, allow links without CamelCase.

In December 2014, WikiWikiWeb came under the attack of vandals, and is now in a read-only state.[5] On February 1, 2015 Cunningham announced that the Wiki had been rewritten and migrated to the new Federated Wiki.[6]

See also


  1. ^ WikiHistory on
  2. ^ Interview: Wikinewsie Kim Bruning discusses Wikimania on WikiNews
  3. ^ Interview with Ward Cunningham on Google Video
  4. ^ Andrews, Lorrin (1865), A dictionary of the Hawaiian language to which is appended an English-Hawaiian vocabulary and a chronological table of remarkable events, Henry M. Whitney, p. 514 
  5. ^ Cunningham, Ward (February 1, 2015), WikiWiki System Notice on, retrieved February 4, 2015 
  6. ^ Cunningham, Ward (February 1, 2015), Migrating Wiki on Federated Wiki, retrieved February 4, 2015 

External links