by Asim Jalis
There is something about wikis that disturbs me and I couldn't
quite put my finger on it before. Here is a stab at it. The
trouble is that they don't play well with non-wiki sites. It's
hard to integrate a blog into a wiki. Suppose I want to set up a
shareware site. It's hard to do this on a wiki. I mean the wiki
does not really make things easier for me. It makes them harder.
It's usually easier to just write raw HTML.
Wikis work for a certain type of application -- e.g. they are
great for web publishing. But it creates it's own little world
and does not play very well with others.
Contrast this with unix tools, which are really good at one
particular thing, and also play well with each other.
Incidentally, the command line tools that ship with windows are
frequently just as good as their unix counterparts. E.g. findstr
has more options than grep. But findstr loses to grep because
without decent pipes it cannot play well with the other
Object-oriented programs have the same problem. They are like
wikis in some ways. Each object is like a wiki page. It has a
name, and intuitive operations. The problem is that they don't
know how to play with non-object programs.
So each time you write a program you have to rewrite some core
objects again, because objects don't have a good mechanism for
reuse across projects.
You see the same thing with wikis. I have a page about me on each
wiki that I have visited. I make copies of the page wherever I
go. There is no easy way to reuse the page.
The web is different. The web thrives on leverage and reuse. It
accepts everyone. It does not give it's local wiki pages first
class status and everyone else second class status.
In this way it is like unix. For example using ssh I can create a
pipe that interconnects processes running on different machines.
I can pipe across the web.