A wiki is run using wiki software, otherwise known as a wiki engine. There are dozens of different wiki engines in use, both standalone and part of other software, such as bug tracking systems. Some wiki engines are open source, whereas others are proprietary. Some permit control over different functions (levels of access); for example, editing rights may permit changing, adding or removing material. Others may permit access without enforcing access control. Other rules may also be imposed to organize content. A wiki engine is a type of content management system, but it differs from most other such systems, including blog software, in that the content is created without any defined owner or leader, and wikis have little implicit structure, allowing structure to emerge according to the needs of the users.

The encyclopedia project Wikipedia Woodblock made ca. 1930 exactly the same way as they were made by artisans ca. 1830. The skill and the care are the same. There is a drawing or a copy of it coming from the artist. Then the woodcutter and the printer take over. Their skill varies. Hokusai once wrote to one of his editors that he was not happy with one of the woodcutters. In the case of the new cuts of the 36 views of the Fuji, only experts can distinguish the many versions - mainly by differences of the frame around the script

Attribution: Katsushika Hokusai [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/94/The_Fuji_from_the_mountains_of_Totomi.jpg Wikipedia is written collaboratively by largely anonymous volunteers who write without pay. Anyone with Internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles, except in limited cases where editing is restricted to prevent disruption or vandalism. Users can contribute anonymously, under a pseudonym, or, if they choose to, with their real identity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page is by far the most popular wiki-based website, and is in fact one of the most widely-viewed sites of any kind of the world, having been ranked in the top ten since 2007. (Wikipedia is not a single wiki but rather a collection of hundreds of wikis, one for each language.) There are at least tens of thousands of other wikis in use, both public and private, including wikis functioning as knowledge management resources, note-taking tools, community websites and intranets.

Ward Cunningham, the developer of the first wiki software, WikiWikiWeb, originally described it as “the simplest online database that could possibly work”.“Wiki” (pronounced WIK-ee) is a Hawaiian word meaning “quick”. For more information please read on at Wikipedia Article on Wiki.1

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.

Some well-known wikis

  • TikiWiki: The software we use here in our own wiki
  • C2.com: The wiki that started the whole movement
1 Wiki. (2016, May 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:11, May 11, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wiki&oldid=719578817