Mindtouch Deki Wiki: Open Source Review

About three months ago I was looking for a wiki for a private project and used WikiMatrix to figure out what wiki software best met my needs. My main requirements were that the software was open source, easy-to-use, and there was a free hosted version to play around with. Unfortunately, there were a lot of choices that met these criteria so I slogged through a bunch of options with little luck and even some that fell outside my criteria. After a pretty exhaustive search I came upon Deki Wiki an open source Wiki platform by MindTouch. The bonus came when I found the free hosted version of Deki Wiki at Wik.is.

The reason I liked Deki Wiki was because the interface was particularly easy to use and the WYSIWYG editor was intuitive (no wiki mark-up to write) plus it seemed pretty straight-forward to customize.

Mindtouch Deki Wiki

The only thing better than cool software, is cool software made by cool people. Last month I met the co-founder and CEO of MindTouch, Aaron Fulkerson, who is a very cool guy. Since we were at a “business” conference it was nice to meet someone a little less stuffy as proven by his recent quote in the Industry Standard:

“It’s all about providing the connective tissue to the enterprise so IT people can kick ass,” Fulkerson said. “And it’s about helping IT get value out of their SOA (service-oriented architecture) investment.”

Or another Fulkerson gem from a recent Linux.com article:

When I told people we were open source, nobody knew what we were talking about. It was like, ‘Whatever, you’re smoking crack.’ But I cantell you now, things are very different. People understand the business model. It doesn’t seem so fantastic or crazy any more.

Imagine a quote about your enterprise software company that doesn’t mention TCO or ROI. Very refreshing.

Anyhow, tonight I was reading TechCrunch and saw they had a story on PBWiki (the same Wiki software that powers BarCamp.org) and listed a few other Wiki sites like Wetpaint, SocialText, and Google Sites (re-branded JotSpot). I wasn’t entirely surprised that MindTouch wasn’t on the list because they seemed to have materialized out of nowhere. They also seem to be very popular their Sourceforge statistics show that Deki Wiki is averaging over 1,000 downloads a day. Maybe Michael ought to add MindTouch to his list.

If that’s not enough you got a love a company whose marketing device is a big white rabbit (checkout Ross’s Flickr set for pictures).