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Some objections to wikis

Some objections to wikis

All content is modifiable by any user

  • wikis save copies of successively edited versions
  • work that has been deleted or defaced can be recovered
  • e-mail or RSS alerts can announce page edits
  • in most wikis pages can be locked
  • wiki philosophy: mistakes should be easy to correct instead of difficult to make

All content is public

  • many wiki systems feature restricted access of certain pages and private workspaces
  • some wikis allow the person who creates a page to decide when to make it public

Wikis are ugly

  • Wikis allow students to concentrate more on content than on the way that content is displayed
  • Cunningham sees the lack of aesthetic appeal in his WikiWikiWeb as a functional advantage. "People look at it and say, 'hmm, this looks boring,' and go away. The quality is deep, not at the surface," he says. Giles Turnbill talking to Ward Cunningham about wiki (external link) (April 6, 2004)
  • the fact that all the pages have the same appearance adds internal consistency
  • some wikis allow the use of skins, Cascading Style Sheets and templates

Absence of an explicit organizing structure

  • list of "recent changes"
  • integrated search engine
  • bi-directional links
  • deciding on conventions for organizing and naming pages is part of the process
  • instructors may choose to establish categories, topics, and other prompts to direct student participation into more orderly channels

Attribution of individual work can be difficult

  • students may be required to sign or identify any work that they author
  • some wikis include tracking mechanisms

There is no unified set of software characteristics that are shared by all wikis

  • Different wikis may store content in distinct ways
  • There is no standard mark-up language among the various systems

but: efforts are being made to defined a markup standard (see RFC Draft for standardization of the Wiki Syntax (external link))

Simultaneous edits are allowed but not successful

  • many wikis have mechanisms that block pages in case of simultaneous edits
  • some wikis make it possible to edit sections of a page independently

Next: Differences Between Wikis Blogs and Discussion Boards...

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Page last modified on Sunday 26 of November, 2006 06:06:21 CST by admin.

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