Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

WikiWiki on a Break

I was just looking at the Portland Pattern Repository, the original Wiki, at the DocTest page, and I thought I'd add some notes in response to the discussion. This text showed up at the top of the edit screen:

Advice to visitors: Spam is not allowed on this site. Unwanted links are removed before indexing is allowed. If you are new here, please consider reading GoodStyle before contributing. If you just want to try out how Wiki works, please edit WikiWikiSandbox instead of existing pages or adding new ones. Thank you.

And you have to type a "code word" to save the text -- not a CAPTCHA, but some unknown word. I look around a little, and figure I'll try editing the sandbox. Maybe they are being cute and the word is "the code word"? Well, no, doesn't work and "this has been logged". OK, whatever. But they were serious -- now I'm forbidden from even reading the site. Geez. I know wiki spam is a big problem, but how the hell was I supposed to figure that out? And now I'm forbidden? That's the most unfriendly system I've ever seen on a Wiki... and such a jump, from total trust to complete obscurity, just like that. Is the spirit of WikiWiki dead?

OK... maybe I'm being melodramatic. By the time I've written this I can get back in. Looking at Have Eye Been Banned the Wiki has indeed become closed to public editing. Some more discussion on EditCodeWord. Transitional, I guess. Sigh. Hell, if it's temporarily closed they should just say so, without the mysterious code word.

Created 13 Apr '05


What actually has happened is that the Wiki is in a "probationary" mode right now, while Ward and a few others figure out a better way to deal with this. During times when Ward can personally keep an eye on things, the edit page displays the current code word, i.e., "Type the code word, foobarbaz, here then press [Save] to finish editing." When he can't, the code word itself is elided.

Again, this is only a temporary solution, until the real solution is rolled out.

# Tim Lesher

Before that they had banned all ip adresses that started with 200, so I couldn't use the c2 wiki for a long time. Maybe you could try to persuade then to use the webware wiki or moinmoin and only let subscribers edit the pages.
# Leonardo Santagada

wikis are prown to spam. plus who know what can happen

# john