πŸ“š Node [[federated wiki]]

Federated Wiki

Federated Wiki

I had known about Federated Wiki for a while, hearing about it through IndieWeb originally and Wikity. But I never really grokked or explored it.

I then started getting in to personal wikis in 2019.

And then in 2021 after reading the chapter on Federated Wiki in [[Free, Fair and Alive]] and [[Mike Hales]] posting on social.coop about how some of the neighbourhood features works has made me understand more about the exciting ideas it encapsulates.

I'm not yet using it because I'm happy with my wiki in org-roam but I'd like to explore Federate Wiki and its ideas more, one way or another.

Federated Wiki sites share pages circulating within a creative commons. A single-page browser application can read from many sites at once and save changes in that browser. Users who host their own sites can login there to have their edits shared back to the federation as they edit. [http://fed.wiki.org/view/welcome-visitors website]

FedWiki is the next wiki-generation. It is a [[software]] that allows everybody to create individual wiki pages while circulating its content in a global - federated - environment. It opens multiple paths for individual knowledge organization while demanding equal responsibility in creating a knowledge [[commons]] . This knowledge commons emerges out of thousands of wiki sites people freely contribute to.

In short: FedWiki provides an [[discrimination-free infrastructure]] that allows for co-creation in diversity.

"Just as the wiki changed how people write, FedWiki will change how people work." (Ward Cunningham)

YOUTUBE 3nB8ml6UowE Keynote by Ward Cunningham, May 19th2015. [http://lanyrd.com/2015/writethedocs/sdmwxk/ html]

Catalog of federated wiki sites with domain names for page titles and brief descriptions tuned for search.

We publish federated wiki software as a Node.js package ready to run on a variety of platforms. This is usefully run on a personal laptop or an industrial server in the cloud. Most people get started by joining a community and launching sites and/or servers with their help. The server software supports a multi-tenant "farm" option useful for small groups or heavy users. [https://www.npmjs.com/package/wiki npm]

A community of open-source developers maintain both the client-side and server-side applications most frequently used to browse and edit pages. Pages themselves are composed of paragraph-sized items of various kinds. This same community provides a core set of plugins for rich content pages and a variety of experimental plugins that push boundaries of web computing. [https://github.com/fedwiki github]

Ward Cunningham started the federation in 2011 with a workshop project called Smallest Federated Wiki or simply SFW. The data visualization and sharing mechanisms were supported by Nike's Sustainable Business and Innovation group. Early history has been documented in a series of video screencasts. Search for "video".

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β­• portal to [[fed wiki]] built by an Agora user
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Status Quo



  • Single source of truth: it's a trustworthy source. People know to get their data from here.

  • Tons of information. Crowdsourcing has done the


  • Because it's a single source of truth, there are constant fights over what belongs where that are often fruitless.

  • There are also strong arguments that are made for information being 'out of scope' for wikipedia and belonging to a page or site that is more domain specific.

  • The organization is bloated and inneficient. They really don't need your donations.

  • The servers are centralized and controlled by a single private entity with the potenial to hold data (partially - sans clever parsers) captive.



  • Tons of information with moderators who are experts on their domains.

  • Dedicated contributors, existing communities, easy to edit.


  • Divided into lots of different wikis with no interoperability between them.

  • Tons of overlap between wikis (i.e. multiple star wars and minecraft ones, among other franchises and tropes)

  • Typically used for casual and hobby interests rather than professional writing and work - why?

Personal wiki implementation


  • Super flexible.


  • Not a consistent or reliable source of information, as it's typically controlled by one person.

  • Can be disorganized and things can easily become unmaintained.

Version control managed files


  • Built-in consensus algorithm.


  • Concurrent modification hurts.


  • Decentralized: share information from many sources without being controlled by any of them

  • Open: should incorporate as many sources of knowledge as possible, and individual wikis should have tons of agency.

  • Easy to use: it should be incredibly easy to contribute to and communicate with some sort of central wiki.

Information Sources

In order of priority:

  1. Wikia sites (there are tons!)

  2. Wikipedia

  3. wiki.c2.org

  4. Assorted third party wikis.

  5. [perhaps] personal wikis

  6. etc...

Fusing all of the Wikia sites into a single, cohesive wiki seems incredibly useful.

Feature Ideas

  • shared & enhanced pages :: fuse pages that cover similar or related topics together into one view.

  • consensus :: condense and share overlapping information, reducing the amount of duplication.

  • interoperable :: shift from one wiki to another easily.

Wiki IR related decentralized wiki idea (what we were talking about in chat, but not really what is above)

  • uses wiki IR standard to link together many peoples personal wikis

  • there is an engine at the center (or several?) that crawl the wikiverse and attempt to bring together pages that are similar

    • when pages are similar (by AI?, NLP measure), suggest several types of merging

      • suggestion ways

        • as part of wiki IR cli tool display suggestions

        • make tiny website dashbaord backed by small webapp that phones to recomender engine

      • types of page merging (between peoples federated wiki)

        • link at the bottom of page to other pages with similar content (like webring)

        • transclude entire other page to bottom of your page (and vice versa, both pages in the link transclude eachother)

        • suggest that pages are merged using git-esque strategy (pull request, text diff/merge tools like mergely)

          • q: where does consenus page live? on neither page? (next to ai engines) on one page? (one of the merge requesters 'wins', one conceceds), or both (they share :))

      • goals of merging

        • reduce information duplication

        • instead of conflicts of information being resolved in backchannel of wikipedia, consensus arguments are disputed publicly through pull requests and accepted/rejected page links

        • epic and cool

Conversation linking

  • make conversations first class primitive of wiki, so that concepts are linked to discussion in which they are conceived

  • can be as simple as citations linking to specific conversations

  • uses matrix? hard part is technical challenge of implementation

Backlink fixing

  • move/rename pages and update backlinks

Automatically backup videos/external sites

Provide tools to make good public/private separation

  • so that people can have shareable personal wiki concepts/reference pages, while also having extremely messy private brainstorming (brainstorming=unformed,errorfull,shameless,indulgently bad, creative, risky)/exobrain wiki pages.

Syntax that is not static/markup

  • I want a markup syntax like (move [otherpage]: " this concept deserves to be in other page, but right now i am in [firstpage] and don't want to move all the way to otherpage in emacs so im gonna write this thought in a move block: this thought")

    • and that will append that thought to the bottom of other page once i save or run tool or something (linter?)

Smart todo aggregation system

  • dokuwiki has decent one,

  • zimwiki also has some good features (like hiding todo until certain date)

New types of syntax

  • some syntax for assigning how sure you are of an idea, or how much you like it

    • font size???!

    • number of exclamation points vs question marks !!!

First class support for sorting lists

  • idk how this would work but interactive sorting is underrated!!!


  • like roam/logseq/etc.

  • but if they want to use those interactively, just use them and use wiki IR to convert wiki to them

  • maybe support something simple like


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πŸ›οΈ Stoas for [[federated wiki]]
πŸ“– Open document (Hedgedoc) at https://doc.anagora.org/federated-wiki
πŸ“– Open document (Etherpad) at https://stoa.anagora.org/p/federated-wiki