First generation wikis are used to collaborate on content. Second generation wikis can be used to create collaborative web applications.

Today most of user's needs are not satisifed because it takes too long and it's too costly to develop small applications. Actually lots of adhoc applications are developed today using tools like Microsoft Excel. However when it comes to developing a collaborative web application Excel is not the right tool. On the other hand a second generation wiki like XWiki is a perfect infrastructure for this. XWiki is the toolkit for the web!

Chris Anderson introduced the concept of Long Tail. Applying it to XWiki gives the following 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. 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.

Examples of applications

  • A blogging application
  • An RSS feed aggregator
  • Mashups. For example combining Google Maps with Delicious with Flickr with Google Base with Google Calendar with...
  • Collaborative authoring of documents in real time
  • Form-based applications to enter collections of items
  • A Poll/Survey application

You can check Applications (a.k.a. Extensions) developed on top of XWiki.

Next step

If you're intested in learning how to write an application with XWiki, check the Programming feature then check out the Developer's Guide.


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