Ward Cunningham on Google's JotSpot acquisition

Ward Cunningham on Google's JotSpot acquisition

Summary: Google spent undisclosed millions acquiring a wiki this week (JotSpot), so I wondered, what does the original inventor of the wiki think about it? Find out in this interview with Ward Cunningham...

TOPICS: Google

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.

Topic: Google

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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  • wiki + programming?

    I don't get it. Does this mean building more complex web applications with wiki technology?

    If so, I like it.
    • re: wiki + programming

      I can see the wiki concept evolving into an application framework along with a collaborative IDE. Then web application development gets reduced to authoring widgets and connecting them up to web services.
  • Solid

    I like this move by Google.