Timeline of wikis

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This is a timeline of wikis.

Sample questions

The following are some interesting questions that can be answered by reading this timeline:

Big picture

Time period Development summary More details
1995–2002 Wiki sites First period in the history of wikis, in which the only people who could use wikis are those who can set up their own server, install the software, and get a wiki engine running.[1]
2002 – 2006 Wikis become accessible for the general population. Many different groups of people with various motivations get together to create hosted wikis, which are wiki engines that are installed and hosted on public servers, removing the administration burden associated with running one's own. However, the growth of wikis is severely limited during this period, as the only way one could use a wiki is to first set up a wiki engine on a server. This means that to use a wiki, one has to have access to a server that is available through the Internet as well as the skills to set up and run a wiki engine.[1] "From 2004 to 2006, something dramatic changed. Entrepreneurs noticed the market opportunity for providing hosted wikis (also known as wiki farms) that allowed people to create wikis without needing their own server or special skills. With a hosted wiki, anyone can get started right away. All you need to know is how to create and edit wiki pages, which is much easer than setting up a wiki engine."[1]

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
1945 In an essay in Atlantic Monthly titled As We May Think, Bush describes an imaginary future user interface: "Before him are the two items to be joined, projected onto adjacent viewing positions… The user taps a single key, and the items are permanently joined… Thereafter, at any time, when one of these items is in view, the other can be instantly recalled merely by tapping a button below the corresponding code space. Moreover, when numerous items have been thus joined together to form a trail, they can be reviewed in turn…".[2] " HyperCard in turn drew upon an idea suggested by Vannevar Bush in his 1945 Atlantic Monthly article “As We May Think.” There Bush envisioned the memex, a machine that would allow readers to annotate and create links between articles and books recorded on microfilm. HyperCard’s “stacks” implemented a version of Bush’s vision, but the program relied upon the user to create both the text and the links. For example, one might take a musical score of a symphony and annotate different sections with different cards linked together."[3]
1972 Prelude Swedish-Brazilian information scientist Kristo Ivanov publishes a PhD dissertation on Quality-control of information, containing a theoretical basis for what corresponds to the wiki-idea, in terms of systemic social interaction.[4]
1972 Prelude Researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University develop the ZOG multi-user database system, which is an indirect precursor of the wiki concept.[5]
1981 Prelude Two members of the ZOG team, Donald McCracken and Robert Akscyn, spin off a company from CMU and develop an improved version of ZOG called Knowledge Management System (KMS). KMS is a collaborative tool based on direct manipulation, permitting users to modify the contents of frames, freely intermixing text, graphics and images, any of which could be linked to other frames.
1985 Prelude Xerox releases the NoteCards. Developed by Frank Halasz at Xerox Parc, it is a system featuring typed objects and links. Each piece of hypertext (a "card") is placed in a separate window on the screen.[6][7]
1985 Prelude Janet Walker creates the Symbolics Document Examiner, to make all documentation for the Symbolics computer electronically available through hypertext.[7]
1987 Prelude Bill Atkinson releases HyperCard, which is probably the most wiki-like thing having existed before wikis. Created for organizing information, it is distributed with every Macintosh computer sold.[1] HyperCard would inspire the invention of wikis.[8]
1990 Prelude British scientist Tim Berners-Lee of CERN invents the World Wide Web, which was originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for automated information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world.[9]
1991 Prelude Tim Berners-Lee posts a short summary of the World Wide Web project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup, marking the debut of the Web as a publicly available service on the Internet.
1992 May Prelude ViolaWWW is released as a graphical browser providing features such as embedded graphics, scripting, and animation.
1993 April 30 Prelude CERN makes the source code of WorldWideWeb available on a royalty-free basis, making it free software.[10]
1993 Peelude The Mosaic graphical browser is introduced, gaining wide popularity due to its strong support of integrated multimedia.[11]
1994 Early development Ward Cunningham starts developing the WikiWikiWeb as a supplement to the Portland Pattern Repository, a website containing documentation about software design patterns, a particular approach to object-oriented programming.[12]
1995 March 25 Early development Cunningham's WikiWikiWeb officially starts as the first ever wiki site. It is founded as an automated supplement to the PortlandPatternRepository.[12] "On March 25, 1995, a computer programmer named Ward Cunningham premiered what he called “WikiWikiWeb” on his website, c2.com. The “wiki” part was inspired by the Wiki Wiki Shuttle service at the Honolulu airport—wiki is the Hawaiian word for “quick.” The program was meant to help share knowledge about software design patterns among developers, and worked inside a user’s browser. It also included built-in edit tracking, which implied that article changes were worth preserving and discussing."[13]
1995 May 1 Early development Ward Cunningham sends an email about WikiWikiWeb to a number of programmers, which cause an increase in participation.[12] Cunningham writes: “I've always been interested in the way programming ideas are carried by people as they move between projects … I've put together a new database to give the project [of documenting ideas about making programs work] another try. You can help.”[13]
1995 Feature introduction WikiWikiWeb introduces RecentVisitors and PeopleIndex as pages to help users know who is contributing.[14]
1995 Feature introduction WikiWikiWeb introduces NotSoRecentChanges, which consist in excess lines from the RecentChanges page being copied to a file of “ChangesIn”.[14]
1996 Feature introduction WikiWikiWeb introduces EditCopy, which offers the possibility to edit the backup copy of a page (this would be replaced in 2002 with Page History).[14]
1996 Feature introduction WikiWikiWeb introduces ThreadMode, the form of a page where community members hold a discussion, each signing their own contribution.[14]
1996 Feature introduction WikiWikiWeb introduces WikiCategories, allowing the creation of categories which can be added as an automatic index to pages. The use of categories is proposed by user Stan Silver on August 27.[15] His initial post suggested: "If everyone adds a category and topic to their page, then the category and topic pages themselves can be used as automatic indexes into the pages."[16]
1997 Feature introduction WikiWikiWeb introduces RoadMaps, which consists in proposed lists of pages to consult about specific topics, such as the Algorithms RoadMap or the Leadership RoadMap.[14]
1998 Background Computer scientist Marius Amado Alves creates the CasBah (Collective Authoring System Based on Hypertext), an independent invention of the wiki.[5] Implemented as a CGI program written in Ada, it has minimal wiki-like behaviour.[17]
1999 Feature introduction WikiWikiWeb introduces ChangeSummary as an aid to telling which changes added interesting new content and which were only minor.[14]
1999 Answers.com is launched as WikiAnswers.[18] It is an Internet-based knowledge exchange.[19]
2000 Feature introduction WikiWikiWeb introduces UserName, which allows a cookie that specifies a User Name to be used in place of the host name (IP identity) in the RecentChanges log.[14]
2000 Feature introduction WikiWikiWeb adds NewNotification to RecentChanges.[12]
2000 Feature introduction WikiWikiWeb introduces LikePages and VisualTour.[12]
2000 Feature introduction WikiWikiWeb introduces PageDeletion.[12]
2000 Feature introduction WikiWikiWeb introduces SisterSites.[12]
2000 Feature introduction WikiWikiWeb introduces QuickChanges.[12]
2001 January 15 Wiki launch Wikipedia is launched.[20]
2001 April 3 Literature Ward Cunningham and user Bo Leuf publish a book, The Wiki Way, which distills the lessons learned during the collective experience of the first wiki.[21]
2001 Wiki software launch JSPWiki is created by Janne Jalkanen.[22] It is a WikiWiki clone, written in Java and JSP.[23]
2002 January Wiki software launch PmWiki is created in PHP by Patrick Michaud.[24] It is a wiki-based content-management system (CMS) for collaborative creation and maintenance of websites.[25]
2002 January 25 Wiki launch MediaWiki is launched.
2002 February 26 Wiki launch Enciclopedia Libre Universal en Español is launched as a Spanish-language wiki-based online encyclopedia.[26]
2002 December 12 Wiki launch Wiktionary is launched.[27] Available in over 150 languages, it is a multilingual, web-based project to create a free content dictionary. Its volunteers are dubbed "Wiktionarians".[28]
2002 Wiki software launch TikiWiki is created in PHP by Luis Argerich.[29] It would be later renamed "Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware", or simply "Tiki".
2002 December Organization Socialtext is founded[30] as a company offering professional, web-based wiki service that lets users collaborate among them in their projects.[31] In 2012 it would be acquired by Bedford Funding, becoming subsidiary.[32]
2003 July 10 Wiki launch Wikibooks is launched in response to a request made by Karl Wick, a Wikipedia contributor seeking for a project to host and build free textbooks on subjects such as organic chemistry and physics. It is a project from Wikimedia for collaboratively writing open-content textbooks.[33][34]
2003 July Wiki launch Wikiquote is launched.[1] It is a free compendium of sourced quotations from notable people and creative works in every language, translations of non-English quotes, and links to Wikipedia for further information.[35]
2003 July Wiki launch Wikitravel is launched.[36] It is a wiki project aimed to create free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide.[37] In 2007, it would receive a Webby Award for Best Travel Website.[38]
2003 November 24 Wiki launch Wikisource is launched.[39] It is a free human-curated online digital library, hosting out-of-copyright & public domain texts, and also CC-Zero, CC-BY and CC-BY-SA licensed texts.[40]
2004 February Feature launch WikiWikiWeb introduces RecentPosts,[12] a temporary script that shows the IP addresses, UserNames (if set), and timestamps of changes to a WikiWikiWeb page extracted from four days of server logs.[41]
2004 February Wiki software launch Trac is launched. Created by Edgewall Software, it is an open source bug tracking and project management application, with wiki functionality.[42]
2004 March Wiki software launch Confluence is launched as a web-based corporate wiki (collaboration software). It is created by Atlassian.[42]
2004 April Wiki launch TV Tropes is launched.[43] It is a wiki website that collects and documents descriptions and examples of plot conventions and devices, more commonly known as tropes, within many creative works.[44]
2004 July Wiki software launch DokuWiki is launched. It is an open-source application intended for small companies' documentation needs.[42] Over the years, DokuWiki would become one of the most popular wiki engines available, achieving significant usage with stable interest over time.[45][46][47]
2004 September 7 Wiki launch Media file repository Wikimedia Commons is launched.[48] It offers public domain and freely licensed educational media content, including images, sound and video clips to everyone, in their own language.[49]
2004 September Wiki launch Wikispecies is started, with biologists around the world invited to contribute,[50] Supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, it is a wiki-based online project aimed to create a comprehensive free content catalogue of all species. It is directed at scientists, rather than at the general public.[51]
2004 September Wiki software launch FlexWiki is launched by Microsoft as an open source application.[52] Written primarily by David Ornstein, FlexWiki uses .NET technology and has an integrated scripting language called WikiTalk (based on Smalltalk). It stores content in either text files or a SQL Server database.[53] Though generally well-received, FlexWiki would fail to become popular and would be discontinued in December 2008.[42]
2004 October MinorEdits checkbox is removed.
2004 October Wiki software launch JotSpot is launched. Created by JotSpot, Inc. JotSpot would be bought by Google in 2006 for an undisclosed amount; Google would later release the technology, in modified form, as Google Sites in 2008.[42]
2004 October Wiki launch Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley, a member of the Wikimedia Foundation board, launch Wikicities.[54] In 2006 Wikicities would change its name to Wikia.[55]
2004 November 8 Wiki launch Wikinews is launched.[56] A project of the Wikimedia Foundation, it is a free-content news wiki.[57] As of September 2022, Wikinews sites are active in 29 languages,[58] with a total of 1,736,700 articles and 556 recently active editors.[59]
2004 November 23 Wiki launch Memory Alpha is officially launched.[60] It is a collaborative project to create the most definitive, accurate, and accessible encyclopedia and reference for everything related to Star Trek.[61]
2004 November 24 Wiki launch WoWWiki (also World of Warcraft Wiki) is launched.[62]
2005 January 5 Wiki launch Uncyclopedia is launched as a wiki parody of Wikipedia.[63] In July 2006, it would be acquired by Fandom, then known as Wikia.[64]
2005 January 15 Wiki launch wikiHow is launched with the goal of creating "the how-to guide for everything."[65][66] It is an online wiki-style publication featuring how-to articles on a variety of topics.[67] In October 2018, Gizmodo would include wikiHow in its list of "100 Websites That Shaped the Internet as We Know It", referring to it as "a consistently useful resource."[68] In 2019, Forbes would recognize wikiHow in its list of "The Best Small Companies Of 2019".[69]
2005 January Wiki launch WikiAnswers is launched. It would be rebranded Answers.com.
2005 February 7 Wiki launch Fallout Wiki is launched as The Vault by Polish translator Paweł Dembowski. It is a wiki about the Fallout fictional universe. In 2007, it would move to Wikia.[70]
2005 March 4 Wiki launch Wookieepedia is launched.[71]
2005 June 19 Wiki launch Baike.com is launched.
2005 September 6 Literature Anja Ebersbach, Markus Glaser and Richard Heigl publish Wiki: Web Collaboration.[72]
2006 March Rebranding Wikicities changes its name to Wikia.[55]
2006 April 6 Wiki launch LyricWiki is launched.[73]
2006 April 7 Wikiloc is launched.[74] It is a track sharing site, primarily based on trips taken while tracking the route using GPS or similar.[75]
2006 April Wiki software launch SamePage is created by eTouch Systems.[42]
2006 April Wiki launch Major Chinese wiki encyclopedia Baidu Baike is launched.[42]
2006 April Acquisition Internet Brands purchases the sites WikiTravel and World66.[42]
2006 May 9 Wiki launch AboutUs.com is launched.
2006 May 24 Wiki launch Geographic online encyclopedia project Wikimapia is launched.[76][77] It is a geographic online encyclopedia project, which implements an interactive "clickable" web map that utilizes Google Maps with a geographically-referenced wiki system, with the aim to mark and describe all geographical objects in the world.[78]
2006 June Wiki software launch Redmine is launched as an open source application similar to Trac.[42]
2006 June Literature Jane Klobas and Angela Beesley publish Books on Google Play Wikis: Tools for Information Work and Collaboration.[79]
2006 July Wiki software launch DekiWiki is launched an open source application created by MindTouch, Inc.[80] It starts as a fork of MediaWiki, but is then significantly rewritten before its release. DekiWiki would be later renamed to "Deki," then "w:MindTouch Core".
2006 Wiki launch United States Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte unveils Intellipedia, a secure, online site available only to intelligence analysts and officials with the proper clearance, and used to share information among the country’s 16 intelligence agencies.[1]
2006 August 15 Wiki launch Wikiversity is launched[81] as an independent Wikimedia Foundation project.[34] As of September 2022, there are Wikiversity sites active for 17 languages[82][58] comprising a total of 138,570 articles and 810 recently active editors.[58]
2006 September Statistics Wikia reaches approximately 1,500 wikis in 48 languages.[83]
2006 October Acquisition Google acquires JotSpot, a commercially developed wiki, which would be added to Google’s core offerings of mail, calendar, and shared documents sometime in 2007.[1]
2006 October 26 Wiki launch Metapedia is launched.[84] It is an online wiki-based encyclopedia dedicated to fascist, far-right, white nationalist, white supremacist, anti-feminist, homophobic, Islamophobic, antisemitic, Holocaust-denying and neo-Nazi points of view.[85][86][87][88][89][90]
2006 November Wiki launch Chinese wiki encyclopedia Hudong is launched by Pan Haidong.[91][42] In December 2012, the company would change its English name from Hudong to Baike.com.[92]
2006 November 21 Wiki launch Conservapedia is launched.[93] Established by American lawyer and Christian conservative activist Andrew Schlafly, it is a wiki encyclopedia project written from an American Conservative viewpoint, to fix what is seen as a liberal bias in Wikipedia.[94]
2006 December Wiki launch Clearspace is launched. Created by Jive Software, it would be later renamed "Jive SBS," then "Jive Engage" and then Jive.[42]
2006 December Wiki launch Sunshine Press launches the wikiLeaks.org website, as part of an international non-profit organization that obtains and publishes sensitive information.[95][96]
2006 December Wiki launch Wikivoyage is created as a non-commercial travel wiki by some former WikiTravel authors and administrators.[42]
2007 January Wiki launch Amazon.com releases Amapedia, a product-review wiki on its own website. It would be shut down in June 2010.
2007 January Project launch DBpedia is launched as a project to publish structured data from Wikipedia in machine-readable, queriable form. By 2008, it would become a major component of the Linked Data initiative.[97]
2007 February Wiki launch Penguin Books launches a wiki to create the planned novel A Million Penguins, in a well-publicized experiment at creating a crowd-generated novel. The wiki would be shut down a month later, not having created a coherent work.[98]
2007 Wiki launch ShoutWiki, a wiki farm, is founded.[99] An alternative to Wikia, ShoutWiki is a free, ad-supported wiki hosting service.[100]
2007 March Concept development The word "wiki" enters the Oxford English Dictionary.[101]
2007 March Wiki launch Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, launches Citizendium[102], an "expert-guided" encyclopedia wiki requiring participants to use their real names.
2007 May 22 Wiki launch RationalWiki is launched.[103] It is an online wiki whose stated goals are to "analyze and refute pseudoscience and the anti-science movement, document 'crank' ideas, explore conspiracy theories, authoritarianism, and fundamentalism, and analyze how these subjects are handled in the media."[104]
2007  ? Wiki launch Proteopedia is created at the Weizmann Institute of Science.[105] It is a wiki, 3D encyclopedia of proteins and other molecules.[106][107][108][109]
2007 October Wiki launch Wiki becomes a OnePileFilingSystem.
2007 December 6 Literature Mark S. Choate publishes Professional Wikis, which shows how to install, use, manage, and extend a wiki using MediaWiki. It teaches wiki terminology and how to create user accounts and new pages, among other skills.[110]
2008  ? Wiki launch WikiTree is launched.[111] It is a shared family tree website.[112]
2008 August Controversy United States presidential candidate John McCain is accused of plagiarizing Wikipedia in a speech about Georgia.
2008 September Wiki launch Catawiki is launched.
2008 November Literature Matthew Barton, Robert Cummings and Matt Barton publish Wiki Writing: Collaborative Learning in the College Classroom.[113]
2008 December Literature James A. West and Margaret L. West publish Using Wikis for Online Collaboration: The Power of the Read-Write Web.[114]
2009 January Wiki launch The Polymath Project begins.[115] It is a collaboration among mathematicians to solve important and difficult mathematical problems by coordinating many mathematicians to communicate with each other on finding the best route to the solution.[116]
2009 April Wiki launch Tricki is launched as a wiki aimed to store tricks and strategies for proving mathematical results.[117]
2010 May Wiki launch Google Wave is released to the general public.[118]
2010 May Wiki launch TermWiki is announced by CSOFT International Ltd.," a leading provider of multilingual localization, testing, and outsourced software development for the global market, announced today the upcoming launch of TermWiki, the localization industry’s first multilingual, collaborative and Wiki-based terminology management system."[119]
2010 August Wiki launch Open protein structure annotation network (TOPSAN) is launched as a wiki designed to collect, share and distribute information about protein three-dimensional structures.[120]
2010 December Wiki software launch Wiki functionality is added to the SAP NetWeaver Portal application.
2011 February Literature Dan Woods and Peter Thoeny publish Wikis For Dummies,[121] which attempts to offer a friendly guide to get the user you up and running in the wiki world in short time, from creating and editing wiki pages and going public to handling maintenance, promotion, and project management.[122]
2011 Wiki software launch A wiki application, named Phriction, is added to the open-source collaboration suite Phabricator.
2012 Wiki launch Another MediaWiki-based wiki farm, MyWikis, is launched.
2013 January 15 Wiki launch Wikimedia-hosted Wikivoyage is launched on the 12th anniversary of Wikipedia's founding.
2014 December Wiki launch Everipedia is launched.[123] It is a blockchain-based online encyclopedia.[124]
2015 April 17 Wiki launch Namuwiki is launched.[125]
2016 October Rebranding Wikia.com is rebranded as Fandom.[126] Wikia.com is renamed "Fandom powered by Wikia", to better associate itself with the Fandom website. Wikia, Inc. remains under its current name, and the homepage of Wikia.com is moved to wikia.com/fandom.[64]
2017 March 12 Wiki launch Timelines Wiki is launched by Issa Rice.[127] It is a wiki storing timelines on various topics.[128]
2017 October 30 Wiki launch WikiTribune is launched.[129]

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

Feedback and comments

Feedback for the timeline can be provided at the following places:


What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


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