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Ars Technia: Word is Dead, Long Live Wikis!

twitter (104583) writes | more than 4 years ago

Data Storage 1

twitter writes "A Word fan at Ars Technia has declares death of Word and the rise of Wikis. He completely missed the point of Word Perfect, the OOXML ISO scandal and many other things but there's one thing he did not miss, the typical document flow at most companies sucks life in a way that Wikis fix perfectly.

People keep doing [passing poorly revisioned Word docs in email and storing them in random network locations], but it is an astoundingly awful way to work.

I chose MediaWiki, the open-source software that powers Wikipedia. It was relatively easy to install on a virtual Linux server. ... The real win, however, was that everyone started using it. One day you wake up and everything is on a wiki somewhere. How did that happen? It happens in much the same way as typewriters suddenly disappearedbecause a better alternative arrived. Wordand I know I'll be attacked for saying thisis the new typewriter.

Welcome to the obvious. Print is dead, replaced by easy to use, concurrently editable, well revisioned and easily searched electronic document systems that cost next to nothing to set up. The read write web Lee Berners first imagined is here."
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1 comment

Great for research groups (1)

Kanel (1105463) | more than 4 years ago | (#28926009)

Wikis have shown themselves as a slick way to update homepages of say, a research group at a university. With the old homepages, if you wanted to publish a link to the latest paper you had produced, you had to send a mail to some designated webpage-maintainer, typically a student, who eventually fired up his editor then edited and uploaded the relevant page after testing it locally. If something was wrong with the page, you went bitching to him. This student would eventually finish his thesis, leave, and the page went static.

With a wiki, typically everyone in the group has access, everyone can add their own papers, there's no need for FTP to edit or upload photos, no need to know HTML coding. Things get done and they get done quickly. Other groups maintain internal wikis documenting the complicated and often ill-documented lab procedures. You don't set apart a day to produce a memo on the procedure that is then circulated to everyone and has to be re-circulated to new students. Instead you write a few snippets while you'r waiting at the lab-bench, others add in details and the text is always up-to-date, no old copies being circulated around.
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