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Minimalism has always been an important aspect of WardsWiki.

Consider the following:

Line count:

wc mb.pl wikibase.pl
   1250    4427   34369 mb.pl
    359    1180   12147 wikibase.pl

Unique lines:

sort mb.pl | uniq | wc
    842    3976   31745
sort wikibase.pl | uniq | wc
    304    1099   11734

Lines to implement RecentChanges feature:

The question is what is the minimal kernal of a wiki? There is an absolute minimum, but also a MinimumViableWiki.

It would be interesting to see the statistics on the actual implementation of WikiWiki. WikiBase hasn't been updated in a long time. Also, WikiWiki is split over several scripts (e.g. Wiki:FullSearch, Wiki:TopTen, Wiki:QuickChanges, Wiki:WantedWikiPages), whereas UseModWiki/MeatballWiki is only one script.

It's worth bearing in mind that the minimality comes at the expense of bugs, some of which were serious. For example, unresolved EditConflicts. Even today, WardsWiki generates invalid HTML.

Also, it is a minimality of code, not features. For example, Ward included a spelling checker.

Sometimes it's hard to tell the bugs and missing features from the intended features. The old edit-clobbering behavior was actually defended as a feature for some time. Likewise, the lack of reasonable "diff" tools (until recently) has been considered a feature, since it "forced people to reread the whole page".

In many ways, Wikis (C2 and otherwise) have succeeded far beyond people's expectations. Sometimes I think that the successful wiki admins have become overcautious about adding features, for fear of upsetting or even unraveling the existing community. Other times I think it is better to leave the experiments to the newcomers, and allow the existing communities to enjoy their well-earned success. (And sometimes I'm just plain confused. ;-) --CliffordAdams

See also FeatureKarma, WikiPrinciples.


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