Ward Cunningham

I've written hundreds of wiki pages. These are some of my favorites ...

I also edit a lot of pages. The single most common edit I do is to place related comments together. The second most common edit is to delete the duplication that becomes obvious once comments are adjacent. This works because I, as editor, can rely on context that wasn't present when the contributions were made. My third most common edit is to remove "protocol words" that may be required in conversation but are not important to the future reader. For example, someone might start a post by explaining that they don't mean to offend. I would remove such an introduction and then edit the remaining comment so that it simply does not offend.

I worked for DaveDodson at the PurdueComputingCenter. Dave would chuckle when he saw the students poring over their listings oblivious to the little trick that would make their programs trivial. Of course, he had to explain the tricks to someone.

I've used these patterns many times since.

Over the years I've learned a few things... I also passed through a couple companies without staying long enough to learn much of anything. That doesn't mean I didn't make some good friends though...

Recent book purchases ...

I have several patents. The government has put these online ...

My kids have me hanging out on AolInstantMessenger. I'm WardAtC2. My older boy, PatCunningham, goes by patman1919. Message me sometime.

I found this in a bio I wrote a few years ago. ...

I'm interested in large scale systems with distributed control. I take my inspiration from economics, politics, language, learning, culture and, of course, life itself. I'm most satisfied when I write software that borrows from such systems. I'm working on a distributed architecture that favors robustness over correctness. If you think you will miss correctness, consider these questions from the fields I mention:

Call me finicky ... Ward, you write "forward" and Kent writes "foreward". It's "foreword", words that go before. But regardless of the spelling .. thank you for the words -- JeanJordaan

AssumeGoodFaith is on meatball. Do we link?

Could you have your own UserName cookie functional when editing, please?

Oops. Sorry. Somehow my browser forgets it. Any hints? -- Ward

[Possibly the cookie doesn't resurrect if you disable cookies and then re-enable them.]

Ward: Following the advice in WikiStyle and TenWordLine, I'm experimenting with a browser-selected .CSS file to make reading text easier. I'd like to use the CSS to control page background color and body text color, but the Wiki pages automatically set the background color to white and the body text to black. Could you remove these settings from the html that Wiki generates... so we can control the colors via the browser CSS file? Would greatly appreciate it... JonDonahueCssStyle

The views (re: GeorgeBush) you describe as flame bait are by no means representative of a small minority of opinion outside of the US. A lot of people find your government, your military and security forces and your big business sinister. That should be allowed to be reflected on Wiki. -- AndyMorris

It was not the nature of the assertions that I considered baiting, but the antagonistic choice of words. Still, your thoughtful comments here (now abridged) have been taken to heart. -- Ward

It seems that this must be said:


Ward, I just made an edit to RichardKulisz and it seems to have inserted a bunch of HTML-ized text directly into the page. Also, when you do a quickDiff, it says:

Binary files /tmp/d27596.old and /tmp/d27596.new differ

-- FrancisHwang

Ward, the fixed RichardKulisz page is still corrupted - about half way through, the string "ta63142009" appears, followed by a repeat of a long chunk of text, but with a few extra paragraphs added. The paragraph interrupted by "ta63142009" seems to have it's completion missing, and "CategoryRant" has disappeared from the end of the page. -- VickiKerr

I will dig through the backups to recover this page. I will also examine the logs to see if I can figure out what happened to cause the corruption. Should anyone see this happen to another page, please note the circumstances and exact time. Thanks. -- Ward

The string "ta63142009" exists in the previous versions. If it was corrupted, it was corrupted a long time ago and no one noticed. (Perhaps a clue to empty the page.)

And the repetition of much of the page after that string was also there? If so, it's very odd that precisely that repetition disappeared when Francis did his edit. The extra paragraphs that also appeared were ones that Francis had deleted in March. -- vk

I pulled the copy from a cache from over a week ago. I more or less manually reconstructed the WikiSyntax. I'm not sure it was worth it, personally. 34kb of crap.

Before. http://sunir.org/c2/RichardKulisz-good.txt
After. http://sunir.org/c2/RichardKulisz-bad.txt

The easier solution for us is to delete most of the page. It's all old conversations anyway. Meanwhile, Ward will have to discover what happened, although it is probably the size of the page and the page database. I wonder how many pages are that large, and what would happen if the server forced a hard maximum of 32kb. -- ss

The good.txt allows the page to be reconstructed (by using the completion of the interrupted sentence that it contains, and perhaps some of the preceding text, though Francis was probably editing it out), and then, when the duplication is removed, the page reduces by over 16KB. This makes one wonder whether the corruption was somehow connected with the 32K boundary. -- vk

Well, you never know, but I've edited tons of different pages at or over 32K, and this is the first time I've ever seen the problem. I would support a 32K boundary, though, for reasons of form. -- FrancisHwang

I've restored the RichardKulisz page from the April 14 backup. I'm sorry for any inconvenience. -- Ward

Thanks, Ward. Any chance of correcting the minor problems with ISBN links (see WikiWikiBugs for details)?

Why does your robots.txt file no longer exist?


Thanks for your comment on AwkiAwki. There was a little bug with WikiNames in Links, but it is fixed now. -- olt

A QuestionOnChangesInMonthName: Do you have backup(s) of the Wiki database from a year ago? GerardBuisman would be interested in a long history of old 'ChangesIn<Month>' pages. See 'QuestionOnChangesInMonthName' page. -- JeffGrigg

Hi Ward. I would be honored if you'd drop by at BookShelved sometime - a short perusal of your "recent book purchases" list above convinces me that you'd like the place as well as bring your own special light to it. -- LaurentBossavit
What do you think of adding link to TextFormattingRules near GoodStyle link in the EditPage? --GirtsKalnins
Hi, Ward. Thank you for providing this Wiki! -- AndrewMartin

Is abuse followed by butchering a page, followed by threats of massive butchering, followed by censorship of reports of the abuse grounds for banning -- RichardKulisz

I've replaced my laptop with an iBook running MacOsx. This is a bit of an experiment. I gave up on Apple a few years ago because I found them to be in their own world; a nice world no doubt, but not my world. I thought Os X might be the breath of fresh air that community needed to draw me back in. We'll see. I am having a few problems.

Sorry to add text here, but WikiWikiSuggestions is too big for my browser.

On WantedPages, SamGentile turns up over 150 times, but there's a SisterSites version. It would be great if pages such as this could be filtered out, and I'm sure the logic that decides whether to link a WikiWord or put a "?" could be adapted. Thoughts? -- ColinWright, WikiGnome wannabe.
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