Wards Wiki Tenth Anniversary

March 25th, 2005 will be the 10th anniversary of Ward Cunningham's wiki.

Hopefully he can get his new wiki administration system in place by then.

Tomorrow is the day!

Tomorrow is here. And tomorrow never dies.

Strange, looks like someone vandalized WikiHistory undetected. All of the 1995 dates were changed to 1994. Anyone have an offline copy to restore from? It has already dropped out of PageHistory. -- MichaelSparks

I have a backup from a year ago, but it's appearance suggests WikiHistory has not been changed in the way you describe. Where would you like it to be put, Michael?

Well, this is confusing.

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland_Pattern_Repository indicates 3/25/1995.
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki also indicates 3/25/1995.
  3. WikiHistory in its current form indicates 3/25/1994.
  4. http://web.archive.org/web/20031213120340/http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiHistory shows that previously, WikiHistory said 3/25/1995.
  5. http://c2.com/wiki/mail-history.txt (probably the most authoritative source) shows that it started around 3/16/2005.

Looks like the consensus is on 1995, but the day of the month is unclear. The email dump in http://c2.com/wiki/mail-history.txt shows that Ward was just getting c2.com itself up and running in 11/94, so any document that claims wiki started before that is clearly wrong.

Also, if wiki started on 3/25/1994, then we wouldn't be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year - it would be the 11th anniversary.

-- MichaelSparks

I have an early backup (from October 2001) which starts "This is the first ever wiki site, founded in 1994", but "1994" was changed to "1995" by May 2002.

From mail-history.txt, there is an email dated "March 16, 1995 11:06AM". In it, Ward writes:

"Steve -- I've put up a new database on my web server and I'd like you to take a look. It's a web of people, projects and patterns accessed through a cgi-bin script. It has a forms based authoring capability that doesn't require familiarity with html. I'd be very pleased if you would get on and at least enter your name in RecentVisitors. I'm asking you because I think you might also add some interesting content. I'm going to advertise this a little more widely in a week or so. The URL is http://c2.com/cgi-bin/wiki. Thanks and best regards. -- Ward"

This is just a text file on the web server, not a wiki page, so it should be immune to vandalism. The date here is trustworthy. This email was sent 03/16/1995, and Ward says that he will be advertising it further in "a week or so". I'm guessing that week or so was about 9 days, which leads to the 03/25/1995 date. Sounds pretty conclusive to me... anyone disagree?

-- MichaelSparks

The 03/25/1995 date seems to come from VisitorsInNinetyFive.

For what it's worth, archive.org first spidered http://c2.com/cgi-bin/wiki in Nov 1996; if you want to check old (but not oldest) copies of certain pages, you might find something interesting. -- DougMerritt

That's true, but the Nov 1996 archives seem to be inaccessible.

I know, I tried first; but archive.org servers go up and down all the time, that's not necessarily a permanent error. There are thousands of servers, and it's unpredictable whether a given page will be on a given server. They are frequently upgraded, they frequently crash...it's an interesting setup.

Anyway, although the oldest pages that archive.org might be most helpful, it's still possible that some certain e.g. 1998 version of some page might also be useful as a comparison. And given the above, there's no particular reason to think that it, too, would simultaneously be off line. Might or might not be. -- DougMerritt

Certainly, the January 5, 1998 version of PastVisitors also contains the March 25, 1995 date.

I've fixed the page - if everyone would review the change, that would be good. -- MichaelSparks

Happy tenth anniversary, everyone.

On to the next ten.

Which of the VisitorsInNinetyFive are still active? Looks like DaveSmith, RonJeffries?, and TomStambaugh. You guys should... uhh... give a speech or something.

Still checking in every so often. --DavidHooker

Let's celebrate by starting a giant threadmode Mother of all Flame/troll-wars. Seriously, congratulations and well done!


And now we're coming up on the twentieth anniversary in a few months. I just happened to notice, as I was directing a programmer to it for their first time. Seems like some celebration is warranted :)

CategoryWiki, CategoryWikiMaintenance, CategoryComputingHistory

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