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Definitions of wikis

Current Wikipedia definition (June 2006):

[A] type of website that allows users to add, remove, or otherwise edit and change all content very quickly and easily, sometimes without the need for registration. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for collaborative writing. The term wiki can also refer to the collaborative software itself (wiki engine) that facilitates the operation of such a website (see wiki software), or to certain specific wiki sites, including the computer science site (and original wiki), WikiWikiWeb, and the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

The word wiki is a shorter form of wiki wiki (weekie, weekie) which is from the native language of Hawaii (Hawaiian), where it is commonly used as an adjective to denote something "quick" or "fast" (Hawaiian dictionary). As an adverb, it means "quickly" or "fast".

Last year's Wikipedia definition (July 2005):

[A] web application that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows anyone to edit the content. The term Wiki also refers to the collaborative software used to create such a website (see Wiki software).

Wiki (with an upper case W) and WikiWikiWeb are both used to refer specifically to the Portland Pattern Repository, the first wiki ever created. Wiki proponents often spell 'wiki' with a lower case "w". The name is based on the Hawaiian term wiki wiki, meaning "quick" or "informal". It is used commonly in Hawaii as part of the Hawaiian Pidgin language.

Ward Cunningham's definition (writer of The Wiki Way, creator of the wiki):

The simplest online database that could possibly work.

Other definitions:

A server-based collaborative tool that allows any authorized user to edit Web pages and create new ones using nothing more than a Web browser and a text entry form on a Web page.

From Chawner, Brenda, and Paul H. Lewis. "WikiWikiWebs: New Ways to Communicate in a Web Environment." Information Technology and Libraries. Mar. 2006: 33-43, 33.

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