Against wiki

I dislike wikis.

It wasn’t a bad idea for storing object oriented software info (thanks, Ward!) and I didn’t mind maintaining one for a bunch of other nerds ten years ago.

But now they’re everywhere, and it’s annoying. Reasons I dislike the wiki phenomenon are:

  1. Every nerd who saw the idea reimplemented it, so there are 20 different wiki software packages, all different from each other.
  2. It”s yet another example of the user interface that nerds thing is intuitive. It’s so easy, and fun, and transparent! If you like learning another markup language, that is.
  3. Wikis are used for everything. As a shared resource for software development it makes a lot of sense. As the knowledge base for a tech support site, or an archive of scripts, or damn near anything else, it’s worse than useless. How many times have we seen “Our useful resource thingy is now a wiki! Enjoy, everyone!” and then been asked to create our own answers to a problem?
  4. Wikipedia.
  5. Administering one of these things is a huge pain in the ass. I never know whether I’m changing my own user settings, the entire site, or someone else’s user settings. No one using the site has any clue how wiki code works or any desire to learn, and I don’t blame them, so I end up doing all the stuff that’s supposedly intuitive and simple and beautiful.

ACCENTUATIVE THE POSITIVE I have to say that I love HTML and its successors, hyperlinking, the WWW, and the Internet. I just don’t want to play Choose Your Own 404 Adventure or User-Generated Reality all the time!