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Open Source for the Enterprise by Gautam Guliani, Dan Woods

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Wikis

A Wiki (or a WikiWikiWeb) is a web site where all the pages are editable via the browser. WikiWiki means quick in Hawaiian, which is what Wiki webs are—quick to put together and quick to modify. More formally, Wiki webs are content management systems with very few hierarchies and controls. Wikis are well suited to building collaboration systems, since they have very flexible access controls and are easy to use. Wikis have simple text formatting rules that allow users to use rich markup tags without having to know any HTML. Wikis are implemented on a variety of platforms, with the LAMP platform leading the pack. Wikis use the filesystem or a small database as a content store and sometimes have a built-in caching layer.

In the enterprise context, Wikis can be used to provide a variety of solutions, including free-form collaboration sites, knowledge bases, and document management systems.

Wiki Capabilities

As you can see from the following subsections, Wikis have a variety of important capabilities in terms of content management and collaboration, as well as user management.

Basic features

  • The ability to edit any page from a web browser

  • Simple text formatting, the ability to create bold and italic words, and the ability to include hyperlinks to other Wiki pages and external web pages

  • The ability to search across all Wiki pages

Content management and collaboration features

  • The ability to attach files and build a simple document management process

  • Revision control, which allows users to ...

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