Does Writeboard need to credit Wiki teechnology?


Update: I had not seen this before, but Rick’s article Geeks and the Technology Feedback Filterwonderfully ‘enriches’ my article with the user’ point of view. And I like the Jason idea *g*.

Hint: If you like any of my stuff regarding feedback in any kind, you want to subscribe to Rick before you subscribe to me. He is defenetly a better story teller than I am! :)

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I saw the mentioning of before, and today through this posting at Get Real that it is live.

Commenter Yannick Bollati has the opinion, that 37Signals has to credit Wiki for what Writeboard is.

I am a bit shocked that the authors do not even acknowledge on their site that their application is largely inspired, to say the least, from the Wiki technology…

Why should it? From what I can see from the screenshots, there is much more reason to ‘acknowledge’ MS Word for a decent way of showing the differences in the work process (or the first application to use it) – because Wiki’s usually only have this crappy diff version.

And as Wikis are supposed to be sharing knowledge to the open, Writeboard is not mainly about that.
Or do we call from now on anything using a technology like entering text through a web browser in a system with revision notes later and possible multiple viewers wiki technology? CMS anyone? CVS? Blogs?

Also I do not see, that wiki’s have a per default mechanism to edit by yourself, and let others based on a given email address change it too. A wiki is either open or closed and when it is closed it is not on a per page base. Yes, there may be systems in which on a per page basis you can set passwords, but that is not the default.

And for his comment on

This is just a low end version of a Wiki. Better use Jotspot instead…

There is a reason why we have several applications for the same task. Personal Preferences. And different task. What at first hands look just like “editing text online” gets more complicated if for example you use some of the jotspot features.

Yes, you can create whole “applications” with Jotspot – but sometimes you just want to write down text. And sometimes you just want to let others edit your page (Writeboard) and not mail it to them (jotspot). And if I want to work together with Backback or like the interface of the 37signal applications, why should I use an additional Jotspot with a total different UI?

It would be similar to say “oh and for this small segment, there are more sophisticated tools over at Linux! Yes, they do not only solve that problem, but you will be happy to need a hammer and get a whole garage! And yes, the are way more complicated because you also make coffee with them: you only have to install Linux for it!!!”. It is a stupid comparison.

But Writeboard should be compared to Unix, it is much more like Unix tools than Jotspot. One single application, usable for itself, but great in connection with others combined based on a similar UI (=command line switches) in one big environment (=the web).

And the user can pick what they want and need and combine it in a way they see fit. Like I for example: For my main job, I do use standalone windows versions of some basic unix tools like grep, sed and awk and combine them with MS Excel. Without the unix tools, it would be so much harder, even though Excel is capable of processing data. Without Excel, the created data would be useless. But together, they make a hell of a team.

Should Writeboard then acknowledge unix tools also? There is a time when acknowledgements are due, and a time when they are not. But certainly not here and especially not for wiki technology as the main father. Writeboard is what we had with text files in Winword since years, only that it now is online.


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