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Wiki Websites

A wiki is a website allowing users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows anyone to edit the content. Wikipedia is the most well known wiki website. This site, WikiChristian, is a wiki website.

Wiki wiki comes from the Hawaiian term for "quick" or "super-fast."


Wiki software originated in the design pattern community as a way of writing and discussing pattern languages. The Portland Pattern Repository was the first wiki, established by Ward Cunningham in 1995. He invented the wiki name and concept, and implemented the first wiki engine. Some people maintain that only the original wiki should be called Wiki (upper case) or the WikiWikiWeb; nevertheless, Ward Cunningham's Wiki is the most popular wiki site.

Cunningham coined the term wiki for the "wiki wiki" or "quick" shuttle buses at Honolulu Airport. Wiki wiki was the first Hawaiian term he learned on his first visit to the islands, when the airport counter agent directed him to take the wiki wiki bus between terminals. According to Cunningham, "I chose wiki-wiki as an alliterative substitute for "quick" and thereby avoided naming this stuff quick-web." .

In the final years of the 20th century, wikis increasingly were recognized as a promising way to develop private- and public-knowledge bases, and this potential inspired the founders of the Nupedia encyclopedia project, Jimbo Wales and Larry Sanger, to use wiki technology as a basis for an electronic encyclopedia: Wikipedia was launched in January 2001, it originally was based upon UseMod software, but later switched to its own, open source codebase, now adopted by many other wikis.

Today, the English-language Wikipedia is, by far, the world's largest wiki; the German-language Wikipedia is the second-largest, while the other Wikipedias fill many of the remaining slots. The fourth-largest wiki is, a Swedish-language knowledge base running UseMod software. The all-encompassing nature of Wikipedia is a significant factor in its growth, while many other wikis are highly specialized. Some also have attributed Wikipedia's rapid growth to its decision not to use CamelCase. In any case, its being the largest wiki has led to its being referred to, sometimes, as the Mother wiki on smaller, subject-specific wikis.



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