A wiki is a website which allows people to add, modify, or delete the content via a web browser. Wikis use specialized wiki software and are usually created collaboratively. The content is typically non-linear, but you can, for example, create structures via links and categories. In order to find relevant content the search function is very important.


„Wikiwiki“ is Hawaiian and means „quick“. It describes the idea of sharing content easily and very fast.


Ward Cunningham

The first wiki (named WikiWikiWeb) was invented by Ward Cunningham (picture) in 1995. Cunningham was impatient with existing text processing programs and was looking for a new documentation system that was adapted to fit the needs of programmers. He wanted to develop a simple software that would allow programmers to work collaboratively on source codes and to publish them immediately. Also the new program should document all editing steps automatically to track all changes that have been made. In the end the first wiki was put online and is still working.

Basic functions

If you click on the edit link that you will find on every wiki page, it's editing window opens. Now you can see the wiki code. With a click on "save", all changes you made will be interpreted and shown as a html and it is then published online.


Everyone can change the content. Simply click on "edit" to be a wiki author.


Links are very important to interconnect articles.

WikiWord (CamelCase)

CamelCase or medial capitals is where a compound word or an abbreviation begins each element with a capital letter.


With the history function it's possible to recreate who changed what within an article.


This function lists recent changes in the wiki. So you will always know what is going on in the wiki.

Some well-known wikis


  • Ebersbach, Anja, Glaser, Markus und Heigl, Richard (2007): Wiki. Kooperation im Web, 2. Aufl., Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg.
  • Lange, Christoph (Hrsg.) (2006): Wikis und Blogs - Planen, Einrichten, Verwalten, Computer- und Literaturverlag.
  • Leuf, Bo und Cunningham, Ward (2001): The Wiki Way. Quick Collaboration on the Web, Addison Wesley: Boston u. a.