Second Generation Wiki

Last modified by Thomas Mortagne on 2023/10/10

First generation wikis are used to collaborate on content. Second generation wikis (a.k.a Structured and Applications Wikis) can be used to create collaborative web applications (by using the wiki paradigm and editing wiki pages). XWiki can be used either as a first generation wiki or a second generation one.

First generation wikis

Focused on content creation. Some example of features:
  • Page editing

    Use simple wiki syntax to format text, create tables, create links, display images, etc. Alternatively use a powerful WYSIWYG editor to edit the content of pages.

  • Version Control

    Any change made in XWiki is saved under version control, meaning you can view any previous version of a page, compare different versions or rollback to any past version.

  • Rights

    Control who can view, edit or delete pages in a flexible manner. Apply rights to a page, its children or an entire wiki.

  • Search

    Allows searching on the full wiki using wildcards, faceting search results, getting search result RSS feeds and more.

  • Exports

    Export wiki pages to PDF, ODT, RTF, XML or HTML.

Second generation wikis

Focused on structure and application creation (by editing wiki pages). Some examples of what can be created:
  • Blog

    Host one or multiple blogs to communicate information or organise it using categories and tags.

  • File Manager

    Manage your folders and files, having viewers for many supported file types (such as office and PDF), displaying a tag cloud and allowing filtering.

  • Meetings

    Organise meetings (create, view and modify meetings to come) and send invitations.

  • Forums

    Discuss important topics using multiple forums that support answers, comments and votes.

  • Tasks

    Create and assign tasks for designated projects, with associated assignees and due dates.

Today most of user's needs are not satisfied because it takes too long and it's too costly to develop small applications. On the other hand, a second generation wiki like XWiki is a perfect platform for this. XWiki is the toolkit for the web!

Next steps

If you're interested in learning how to write an application with XWiki, check out App Within Minutes, our tool to easily create applications, even by non developers.

You can also browse through the hundreds of Applications (and more generally Extensions) developed on top of XWiki. They can be installed in your wiki using the Extension Manager.

Once you've mastered it and if you wish to go further, check the Programming features, followed by the Developer's Guide.

Did you know?

Chris Anderson introduced the concept of Long Tail.

xwikilongtail.png Applying it to XWiki gives the above diagram.

What it means is that there are thousands and thousands of applications required by users that are not built today because of prohibitive complexity and costs (the yellow area is larger than the red area on the diagram).

They would also take too long to build and their value would decrease as more and more time passes for their implementation.

They need to be created here and now to have the highest possible value.

XWiki is a cost-effective solution that allows non-developers to create those required applications quickly and in an organic manner.

Get Connected