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UnixReview.com: Tool of the Month: TWiki

Jan 25, 2002, 00:04 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier)
"This month, I'll examine TWiki, a tool that can be used for online collaboration. It's free, powerful and relatively easy to setup. The name TWiki is a nod to the original Wiki and the weird little robot from the 80s TV show, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. (Interesting bit o' trivia -- the voice for TWiki was provided by the legendary Mel Blanc for part of the series run.)

The word Wiki itself comes from wiki wiki, which is a Hawaiian phrase meaning "quick." The original Wiki was created by Ward Cummingham, and the concept has taken off in a big way. There are now many Wiki clones written in a variety of languages. A Wiki is a collaborative online environment that allows anyone (by default, anyway) to add or edit material. It goes beyond simple text editing by making it easy to link pages and implement search features and revision control.

TWiki is somewhat complicated to use. Potential contributors must learn TWiki shorthand in order to create and edit pages. Many Wikis require users to register before contributing; the combination of intellectual investment and exposed identity reduce the Anonymous Coward phenomenon that often reduces online communities to inane chatter. (The concept of allowing anyone to post anonymously is, in my opinion, vastly overrated.) Additionally, the constant revision factor means that banal and useless content will probably wind up on the virtual cutting room floor soon enough. If the majority of contributors are concerned about the quality of the information, anything that is off-topic will get weeded out."

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