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MeatballWiki

MeatballWiki

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Encyclopedia
MeatballWiki is a wiki
Wiki
A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include...

 dedicated to online communities
Online community
An online community is a virtual community that exists online and whose members enable its existence through taking part in membership ritual. An online community can take the form of an information system where anyone can post content, such as a Bulletin board system or one where only a restricted...

, network culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

, and hypermedia
Hypermedia
Hypermedia is a computer-based information retrieval system that enables a user to gain or provide access to texts, audio and video recordings, photographs and computer graphics related to a particular subject.Hypermedia is a term created by Ted Nelson....

.

Founded in 2000, its original goal was to focus on collaborative hypermedia, but current topics range from intellectual property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

 to cyberpunk
Cyberpunk
Cyberpunk is a postmodern and science fiction genre noted for its focus on "high tech and low life." The name is a portmanteau of cybernetics and punk, and was originally coined by Bruce Bethke as the title of his short story "Cyberpunk," published in 1983...

 to the confusion of URIs
Uniform Resource Identifier
In computing, a uniform resource identifier is a string of characters used to identify a name or a resource on the Internet. Such identification enables interaction with representations of the resource over a network using specific protocols...

.

According to founder Sunir Shah, it runs "a hacked-up version of UseModWiki
UseModWiki
UseModWiki is a wiki engine written in the Perl programming language. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License. Pages in UseModWiki are stored in ordinary files, not in a relational database. Something similar to the interface can be seen in MediaWiki with the classic skin.- History...

".

Founding of MeatballWiki


MeatballWiki was started in 2000 by Sunir Shah, a forum administrator from Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada, on Clifford Adams
UseModWiki
UseModWiki is a wiki engine written in the Perl programming language. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License. Pages in UseModWiki are stored in ordinary files, not in a relational database. Something similar to the interface can be seen in MediaWiki with the classic skin.- History...

's Internet domain usemod.com. It began as a fork
Fork (software development)
In software engineering, a project fork happens when developers take a legal copy of source code from one software package and start independent development on it, creating a distinct piece of software...

 from the original WikiWikiWeb
WikiWikiWeb
WikiWikiWeb is a term that has been used to refer to four things: the first wiki, or user-editable website, launched on 25 March 1995 by Ward Cunningham as part of the Portland Pattern Repository ; the Perl-based application that was used to run it, also developed by Cunningham, which was the first...

 created by Ward Cunningham
Ward Cunningham
Howard G. "Ward" Cunningham is an American computer programmer who developed the first wiki. A pioneer in both design patterns and Extreme Programming, he started programming the software WikiWikiWeb in 1994 and installed it on the website of his software consultancy, Cunningham & Cunningham , on...

, in order to provide a place to have discussions about Wiki outside of the original WikiWikiWeb.

Ward Cunningham created WikiWikiWeb with a primary focus on computer programming design patterns
Design pattern (computer science)
In software engineering, a design pattern is a general reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem within a given context in software design. A design pattern is not a finished design that can be transformed directly into code. It is a description or template for how to solve a problem that...

. While the scope of WikiWikiWeb was broad, users who strayed too far from the focus wanted to engage in discussions about the wiki itself and how it operated, referred to as WikiOnWiki discussions, were going beyond the scope of WikiWikiWeb. MeatballWiki was therefore created as a place for such discussions. As Sunir Shah stated in the WikiWikiWeb page referring to MeatballWiki: “Community discussions about how to run the community itself should be left here. Abstract discussions, or objective analyses of community are encouraged on MeatballWiki.”

MeatballWiki and UseModWiki


MeatballWiki is located on Clifford Adams's Internet domain, usemod.com, on which Adams also runs the UseModWiki forum, which is a wiki about the UseModWiki
UseModWiki
UseModWiki is a wiki engine written in the Perl programming language. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License. Pages in UseModWiki are stored in ordinary files, not in a relational database. Something similar to the interface can be seen in MediaWiki with the classic skin.- History...

 wiki engine. MeatballWiki and UseModWiki are thus two separate wikis located on the same Internet domain and using identical UseModWiki software. For most of 2001, UseModWiki
UseModWiki
UseModWiki is a wiki engine written in the Perl programming language. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License. Pages in UseModWiki are stored in ordinary files, not in a relational database. Something similar to the interface can be seen in MediaWiki with the classic skin.- History...

 was also used to run all versions of Wikipedia
Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site,...

.

MeatballWiki and the Wiki Community


The original intent of MeatballWiki was to offer observations and opinions about wikis and their online communities, with the intent of helping online communities, culture and hypermedia. Being a community about communities, MeatballWiki has become the launching point for other wiki-based projects and a general resource for broader wiki concepts and has reached "cult status". It describes the general tendencies observed on wikis and other on-line communities, for example the life cycles of wikis and people's behavior on them.
What differentiates MeatballWiki from many online meta-communities is that participants spend much of their time talking about sociology rather than technology, and when they do talk about technology, they do so in a social context.


The MeatballWiki members have created a “bus tour” of wikis.

See also

  • History of wikis
    History of wikis
    The history of wikis dates from 1994, when Ward Cunningham invented the concept and gave it its name . c2.com thus became the first wiki, or a website with pages that can be edited via the browser, with a version history for each page...

  • InterWiki
    InterWiki
    Interwiki linking is a facility for creating links to the many wikis on the World Wide Web. Users avoid pasting in entire URLs and instead use a shorthand similar to links within the same wiki ....

  • Meta-Wiki article on Constructionism and Reductionism
  • Online communities
  • UseModWiki
    UseModWiki
    UseModWiki is a wiki engine written in the Perl programming language. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License. Pages in UseModWiki are stored in ordinary files, not in a relational database. Something similar to the interface can be seen in MediaWiki with the classic skin.- History...

  • WikiWikiWeb
    WikiWikiWeb
    WikiWikiWeb is a term that has been used to refer to four things: the first wiki, or user-editable website, launched on 25 March 1995 by Ward Cunningham as part of the Portland Pattern Repository ; the Perl-based application that was used to run it, also developed by Cunningham, which was the first...


External links