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UseModWiki is an implementation of the original Wiki concept created by WardCunningham. A "wiki" is a website that is collaboratively edited by its users, including the ability to change text written by other users (see WhatIsaWiki).

A Wiki is a collaboratively-edited website which many people also view as an anarchistic publishing tool. The distinguishing feature of wikis is that they typically allow all Special:Listusers users to edit any page, with full freedom to edit, change and delete the work of previous authors. Other typical wiki features include:

  1. A simple set of TextFormattingRules which allow access to a subset of HTML.
  1. Easy creation of links to wiki pages either by joining capitalized words or Surrounding them with special characters

(like Free Links which becomes Free Links).

  1. Easy creation of new wiki pages. On many wikis a link to an undefined page is displayed with a question mark

(like SampleUndefinedPage?). Click on the "?" link to create the new page. (Note that "SampleUndefinedPage?" is a special demo page--you can't create it.)

  1. A Special:Recentchanges Recent Changes page which lists pages that have been edited recently.

The oldest public wiki (the Portland Pattern Repository) was created in 1995, and remains active as of early 2004. Bo Leuf and Ward Cunningham wrote a book that tries to explain it all: The Wiki Way, ISBN 0-201-71499-X.