Wiki Standards

Why should any "standards" apply to WikiEngines?

See also Picking A Wiki For Your Private Notebook.

Should this be structured as a Wiki Pattern Language? See the bold items below.

Specific potential standards

WikiSyntax: CommonMark or another flavor of MarkDown - this isn't followed by many of the "classic" WikiEngines, but should be from now on.

InterWiki - WikiWikiWeb:InterWiki was the original idea to have a single web-wide wiki NameSpace, transparently distributed across many servers. That idea was mostly dead/inactive, until new Federated Wiki projects started.

Automatic Linking, using Smashed Together Words as Wiki Name/WikiWord rules. These support other standards below like InterWikiMap and Sister Sites.

  • update: in building WikiFlux I decided to break this rule, for the sake of normal-reader-friendliness, going with DoubleBrackets

Remote Wiki Links (using InterWikiMap, WikiWikiWeb:InterWikiMap, MeatballWiki:InterMap): making it easy to link from wiki to another by simply using HostName:PageName.

  • MeatballWiki:InterMapTxt is (?) the definitive list of possible URLs to look up; surprising-to-me, the 'Hostname' doesn't have to be Camel Case, just initial-cap (so 'Hostname:PageName' works).
  • not surprisingly, this assumes that all servers use the same Wiki Name and page URI conventions (Page Name As URL); so if your wiki assigns some other ID as a URI (some use a number, others allow spaces in Wiki Names and replace those with underscores in the associated URI), those pages are less likely to get linked to by other wikis.
  • UseMod:InterWiki also uses the Meatball Wiki approach.
  • TWiki:InterSiteLinkRules seems to use at least the same naming methods, though the actual list management looks different.
  • Zwiki, unfortunately, neither uses this list of hostnames, nor even this approach of having the list contained in a single page. Instead, it scatters them through single-wiki pages like Zwiki.

MeatballWiki:InterWikiSearch and MeatballWiki:MetaWiki perform title searches across a number of wikis.

Sister Sites: a given wiki defines some "sister sites", and caches a list of valid Wiki Name-s for each. Then, for any page it delivers, it checks that list, and if finding matches, shows those "TwinPages" links (typically via icon) at the bottom of the page.

Unified Recent Changes: for a defined set of wikis (the same list used for Sister Sites?), provide a merged RecentChanges view. But note that RecentChanges lists often imply a higher currency (hourly?) than Sister Sites (daily?). Maybe RSS/Universal Inbox is a better approach to this? But note that most people use web-based RssAggregator-s like Google Reader, which can't even deal with BasicAuth for a closed wiki, much less other authentication schemes.


Zwiki, being based on Zope, gets Zwiki:WikiAcquisition. This can mean that when you nest one WikiSpace inside another, inner references to an existing outer Wiki Name will be recognized/activated. Sometimes this isn't what you want.

A different context/perspective

Imagine you're CIO of a BigCo, and there's interest from all over the company in using Wiki. Do you force everyone to use the same WikiEngine? Or just let bottom-up behavior go its own way?

What's the smallest amount of specification you might demand?

To get some Knowledge Management benefits of people learning from each other, would want to make it easy for people to read multiple sites and link from one to the other. So Wiki Name and InterWikiMap features would help.

I could also see insisting on every wiki supporting an RSS format of RecentChanges. But you could probably implement that with some simple scraping from a central spider. (Not unlike an Intranet Search Engine.)

One would hope that people were working together across dept lines. Which means a given person could end up writing in multiple wiki sites. This would seem to push toward a single SmartAscii choice.

You'd probably want Hard Security (so authorized people could use spaces from outside the FireWall). You might not worry about which subset of the company is allowed to use a given space... which might allow Single Sign-On validation through something like a central POP/IMAP server.


How do I personally intend to increase adoption of Wiki Standards?

write up something establishing the position. That way people can find it.

have some running code which support those positions - key for credibility

seek input from Ward Cunningham ("endorsement" of some standards, implementation on Quicki Wiki code base)

seek input from authors of key WikiEngines, try to get congruence toward some of the potential standards

Start pushing it around in Social Software Alliance

Idea for a better use of human intelligence --2003/09/28 09:18 GMT
No doubt the InterWiki under a common administration is the basic-anarchic platform for Collective Intelligence to unfold and Open Society and a World Government to be built upon. See (link discussions for further Info in German and English on different wikis) --MattisManzel

2003/12/08 09:49 GMT

There is a wiki way to develop wiki standards. The standards you mention above were developed on Meatball Wiki by the collective efforts of all the major wiki developers. Inter Map Txt, InterWiki, Touch Graph link standard, Mod Wiki, and soon perhaps a Wiki Syntax standard were all done there, and I'm proud of that. Not to disrespect the Jsp Wiki guys who made the Xml Rpc For Wiki interface. --SunirShah

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