The homepage of the WikiWikiWeb in 2003
Type of site
Wiki with focus on software design patterns
Available inEnglish
HeadquartersPortland, Oregon
OwnerCunningham & Cunningham, Inc.
Created byWard Cunningham
RegistrationNot implemented; users can edit using any name and optionally create a page about themselves under that name
LaunchedMarch 25, 1995; 29 years ago (1995-03-25)
Current statusActive (Read-only indefinitely since February 1, 2015)[1]
Ward Cunningham in 2011

The WikiWikiWeb is the first wiki, or user-editable website.[1] It was launched on 25 March 1995 by programmer Ward Cunningham and it has been a read-only archive since 2015. The name WikiWikiWeb originally also applied to the wiki software that operated the website, which was later renamed to "WikiBase".


WikiWikiWeb is the first wiki, or user-editable website.[1] The site was launched on 25 March 1995 by programmer Ward Cunningham to accompany the Portland Pattern Repository website discussing software design patterns.

The name WikiWikiWeb originally also applied to the wiki software that operated the website, written in the Perl programming language and later renamed to "WikiBase".

Hyperlinks between pages on WikiWikiWeb are created by joining capitalized words together, a technique referred to as camel case. This convention of wiki markup formatting is still followed by some more recent wiki software, whereas others, such as the MediaWiki software that powers Wikipedia, allow links without camel case.


The software and website were developed in 1994 by Cunningham in order to make the exchange of ideas between programmers easier. The concept was based on the ideas developed in HyperCard stacks that Cunningham built in the late 1980s.[2][3][4] On March 25, 1995, he installed the software on his company's (Cunningham & Cunningham) website: The site was frequently referred to by its users as simply "Wiki"; users of the early network of wiki sites that followed in the 1990s and 2000s followed a convention that using the word with a capitalized W referred exclusively to WikiWikiWeb.[citation needed]

In December 2014, WikiWikiWeb came under the attack of vandals, and was put into a read-only state.[5] On February 1, 2015, Cunningham announced that the Wiki had been rewritten as a single-page application and migrated to the new Federated Wiki.[1]

When moved to read-only, the WikiWikiWeb's WelcomeVisitors page contained the following description in the first two paragraphs:[6]

Welcome to WikiWikiWeb, also known as "Wiki". A lot of people had their first wiki experience here. This community has been around since 1995 and consists of many people. We always accept newcomers with valuable contributions. If you haven't used a wiki before, be prepared for a bit of CultureShock. The usefulness of Wiki is in the freedom, simplicity, and power it offers.
This site's primary focus is PeopleProjectsAndPatterns in SoftwareDevelopment. However, it is more than just an InformalHistoryOfProgrammingIdeas. It started there, but the theme has created a culture and DramaticIdentity all its own. All Wiki content is WorkInProgress. Most of all, this is a forum where people share ideas! It changes as people come and go. Much of the information here is subjective. If you are looking for a dedicated reference site, try WikiPedia; WikiIsNotWikipedia!


Cunningham came up with the name WikiWikiWeb because he remembered a Honolulu International Airport counter employee who told him to take the Wiki Wiki Shuttle, a shuttle bus line that runs between the airport's terminals. "Wiki Wiki" is a reduplication of "wiki", a Hawaiian language word for "quick".[7] Cunningham's idea was to make WikiWikiWeb's pages quickly editable by its users, so he initially thought about calling it "QuickWeb", but later changed his mind and dubbed it "WikiWikiWeb".

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Cunningham, Ward (February 1, 2015). "Migrating Wiki on Federated Wiki". Archived from the original on February 3, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  2. ^ WikiHistory Archived 2002-06-21 at the Wayback Machine on
  3. ^ "Interview: Wikinewsie Kim Bruning discusses Wikimania". Wikinews. August 9, 2005. Archived from the original on 22 October 2021.
  4. ^ Interview with Ward Cunningham Archived 2007-05-07 at the Wayback Machine on Google Video
  5. ^ Cunningham, Ward (February 1, 2015), WikiWiki System Notice on, archived from the original on October 8, 2020, retrieved October 5, 2020
  6. ^ "Welcome Visitors". Archived from the original on 2020-04-23. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  7. ^ Andrews, Lorrin (1865), A dictionary of the Hawaiian language to which is appended an English-Hawaiian vocabulary and a chronological table of remarkable events, Henry M. Whitney, p. 514