Earlier this week Google announced they had acquired yet another Web 2.0 company, this time JotSpot, for an undisclosed sum. JotSpot's main product is a wiki, a site for collaboration among many users across a network. Wikis were invented by Ward Cunningham, currently the Director of Committer Community Development at Eclipse. I asked Ward what he thought of thie acquisition and about where wikis were heading.
ZDNet: Do you know Joe Kraus or any of the people at Jotspot?
Cunningham: I met Joe at a conference once. He told me that I was responsible for cutting his retirement short.
ZDNet: Your first wiki was open source, which was one of the factors in its spread and popularity. Jotspot is not. What are your thoughts on that?
Cunningham: I think the industry owes a kind word to the thousands of people that proved wiki viable ten years ago.
ZDNet: In Jotspot 2.0 they were branching out beyond wikis into group calendars, bug tracking, and so forth. Looking at all Jotspot and Google do, what do you see as some of the possibilities for the future?
Cunningham: I foresee the unification of wiki and programming. Wiki was founded on principles I had already seen work in Agile/Extreme programming. Once the technology catches up it will all be one thing.
ZDNet: Does the concentration of information at one company (Google) worry you at all?
Cunningham: I'm not worried so long as you can get your data out.