~ Wikis then and now
m=August y=2005 bt=Keynote at Wikimania 2005 r=20070824
Beginning with much humility, Cunningham talks about the history of the wiki, HyperCard, real index cards (as boundary objects between people), object-oriented design, agile methodology, the Web, and his current thoughts on "folk memory"
05 diagram of computer controlled radio
11 HyperCard metaphor is that of the index card, about the size of the early Mac screen
12 wanted to model something irregular that wouldn't fit into a database row-columns
13 make people, project, and idea cards for his company
14 title and place to write with links between
14 but didn't like the completeness requirement, what it to refer to things he hadn't created yet; create a list of things that could be searched for
15 if something wasn't found, one could hold down the button and it would create a new card (button event handler)
16 demoed it for his colleagues: people wanted to fix and correct and put in politics of the organization
17 involved with object oriented programming at the time, working with folks designing oscilloscopes; used his cards to model the modular objects
19 started writing the same information on real index cards. This had a huge impact: one could spread cards on the table, handle, and pass them around with others
20 people would point to a blank area on the table where the nonexistent (not yet defined) card would eventually go
21 "They had need for a name for something they didn't know how to say."
22 the thing represents an idea in their head about which they can talk
23 people would ask him: "help us find our objects"
23 people wrote the same sort of things on their cards
23 so he decided to create a list of object responsibilities: enumerated five, then ran out of steam. It was like trying to write down all the words you knew.
24 who has heard of software patterns? Good, more people than HyperCard.
24 and architect and his graduate students to study of why European cities are so much nicer than American. They concluded it was because European cities were built before their architects.
26 the first four patterns he came up with for people who had to make a design in a day
27 four things to design from the point of view of the user
28 for every task you have to do, make a window, which can be chopped up into panes, and their content must be standard: text, list, table, graph. And you can do things by popping up little menus
29 the previous project had been in basic, type 1 for yes, type 0 for no, type interface. Using this system they came back with a focused and complete approach to solving the problem
30 the designers made a beautiful design, but it got messed up like I hand it off to engineers, because he didn't teach them the patterns. Still, he saw very ordinary people do extraordinary work using this approach, this became the focus of his life
30 culminated in 1995 Conference on Pattern Languages of Programming Languages, in Illinois
31 people at the conference and say, this sure sounds like the World Wide Web
32 you should put all this on the web, so he went home and got a Web server, figured it out, through a 14.4 modem
33 maybe a couple hundred patterns could do all computer science
33 solicited text descriptions of patterns, and he could translate into HTML
33 did that for two programs, and then wrote a program that could process simple structured text
33 people couldn't follow the simple rules
34 created a form interface to the generator, you try your best, and I'll show you what you got (took himself out of the loop)
34 generator is a page or two of Perl, the first wiki
35 "We knew we needed to get a community together to pour content into this thing."
35 he remembered the hyperstack and one that ability to be able to know whether there was something on the other side of the link
35 probably picked up the wiki syntax camel case from Smalltalk
36 he is heard that some Wikipedians think that once they got rid of this convention, that's when Wikipedia took off
36 I'm not offended of getting rid of camel case, I don't care. I would get annoyed if people got rid of red links
37 developers have been talking about the difficulties of having cross-server/national Wikis linking to each other
38 "This is simple, but it is not necessarily easy."
38 I just put more RAM in my server, but you guys have done so much more. The developers of Wikimedia are totally awesome. Stand up. (Applause)
39 "You guys make me look so smart."
39 this is how it came together, or forgot some things that influenced me, where bad things that i knew not to do. I had read some papers from the first world wide web conference. Voting people in or out of the inner circle. all kinds of models about who does or doesn't get to do what. I figured all of that could be faked. I'll just let everybody do everything, and if this thing lasts six months, it'll be cool
41 for years later people began to ask them about it: his 11 design principles: open, incremental, organic, mundane, universal, overt, unified, precise, tolerant, observable, convergent
secion: the here and now (what happens to Wikis)
57 Ward's wiki feels like it's in its old age, growth is evening off. In this case, it was there to cause action (agile advocacy), and that action has been done
57 what is Wikipedia here to do? The potential of Wikipedia is so much stronger, than even my and success, was a therefore, and what is the cool thing to do?
58 year some problems we as a society are facing: population growth, energy, climate
59 these will require us to reframe the way we think, "we don't have a choice but to solve them or suffer."
59 if we can use computers and networks to help us solve these problems, it would be a good thing
59 you are thinking, I thought I was just coming to a conference... but remember we don't have to solve these problems all at once, and we don't have to do them alone. "Remember, you don't have to do it all at once, and you don't have to do it alone, and you don't even have to really believe that you'll do it. Y and and and and and and ou just have to act act like you do and do every little part, and everybody will fit it together and it could happen, which would be great for my kids. "
1:00 my new dream: moving from his earlier interests in (integrated circuits/radio, object models, simulation) to (fiber optics, peer-to-peer networks, cultural evolution)
1:02 perhaps if we embrace peer-to-peer in Wikis, Wikipedia would cease to be an encyclopedia, perhaps it would lose some of its earlier purpose, smarter people than I will figure out how to make it all work
1:02 when people change how they think, they will change how they talk. "I want to accelerate the rate at which culture changes in a positive way."
1:05 we got a lot objects, thousands or millions of computers, and the game is to connect and send the best objects back and forth. Nobody can hold the whole picture because this gigantic.
1:19 encyclopedia<->Wikimedia | simulated worlds<->folk memory | real world<->cultural evolution
1:21 questioner: Wikis and Wikipedia seem to be predicated on openness, is it true you work for its antithesis Microsoft? And how do you feel about GPL?
1:22 I'm for developers, whether they are a Microsoft or not. When he first started Wikis, he wasn't too concerned about the license a road on the top of the "this is going to be open source somehow someday." I've since learned there's lots of little important distinctions in these licenses, getting them right is important. Microsoft is aware of this and wants to do the lights and stuff correctly too, I'm the first person to publish something at the creative Commons license, and I had tremendous support.
1:24 I'm glad to work there, and I'm glad to be here, and I'm still the same person that wrote the wiki
1:26 ... (rambling question)... how can we share our ideas and since the possibilities to the mainstream media?
1:26 That was a great question, could you repeat the question? (Laughter)
1:26 I had similar feelings, and the press is profound. "Informed people, expressing opinions, and driving towards consensus and insight is how it's got to work. Wikipedia is enfranchising,... it demands a certain level of performance that if you can't speak coherently, you know, you can't play. But there are plenty of people that can help you become coherent."
1:31 questioner: (confusing remarks about autonomy and decentralization being important for Wikipedia)...