I Guess I Didn't Really Get Wikis

I'm familiar with Wikis; in fact I've used them -- I've made modest postings to Wikipedia for example.

But it turns out I really didn't get it.

Anton Huenermann and colleagues in Open Text have developed a Livelink Wiki feature. It would be easy to see Wikis as yet another Livelink collaborative feature along with Discussion Groups, Forums, Task List, News Channels, etc. Easy, but Wrong!

Wikis, as you may know, are a way to edit documents that appear as a webpage. One of the ideas is that documents develop by consensus. In the aforementioned Wikipedia, people write encyclopedia articles that appear as webpages, and then others amend and add material. Over time the richness and accuracy of individual articles, relationships between them and the overall collection size and quality improve. Previous versions are kept and it is possible to rollback if someone makes bad changes. Group consensus rules over time.

You could argue that the online editor feature of Livelink Enterprise Server, combined with open permissions could allow users to have this kind of a wiki experience -- easy editing by anyone with version control and rollback capabilities. What is different is that users would be editing a document (Word, text, html) that they would see as an object on a Livelink page but would have to open. In the case of a wiki, the document is the webpage.

There is a very fundamental paradigm at the core of Livelink ES and that is the representation of a list of documents in a folder/container hierarchy. As many have commented, Livelink appears as a web-based file system with a lot of other features.

Over time there have been many refinements to the appearance of a Livelink ES page, but the fundamental idea of a file list remains. We have even created modules like Appearance and Expressions that change the layout of Livelink pages -- change everything but the file listing in the center.

The other thing that is different about Wikis is the easy way to make links between different documents/pages. In fact it is so easy there is no visible hierarchy of content objects since such a hierarchy makes no sense. Any page may refer to any other page for any of a range of reasons related to context or meaning. To be accurate, in the case of the Livelink Wiki, a breadcrumb trail can be shown, but it is not usually relevant to user navigation.

So for the first time in Livelink ES, there is no file listing on pages and your position in a hierarchy is not apparent.