Thursday, June 29, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Ward Cunningham


Computer programmer, most famous as the inventor of the first wiki, which was first called WikiWikiWeb, and one of the pioneers of software design patterns and Extreme Programming.
Ward Cunningham
Top down hierarchies make communication work when it is expensive, I hope that wiki can be a flagship in this move in the industry to produce computer support for this kind of work and evolve organizational forms.
Cunningham quotes
Why have a locked wiki when you can instead just post static Web pages?
Cunningham
Now, with wikis, you have a place to write. A wiki is a place to write in the same way that a party is a place to talk. There are thoughts all around you. Some are interesting, some less so. At a party or on a wiki, a word or two will be your trigger. Ideas start flowing. Talking or writing, you're among friends, the stage is set, you say your piece, it fits in, your words trigger the next thought: conversation.




Cunningham Ward quotes
Many people have experience with a program that's gotten out of control. They have an idea. They think they know what they want to do. But when they go to put the idea in, the idea is forgotten by the time they've figured out how to put it in.
Cunningham Ward
Computers are famous for difficulties. A difficulty is just a blockage from progress. You have to try a lot of things. When you finally find what works, it doesn't tell you a thing. It won't be the same tomorrow. Getting the computer to work is so often dealing with difficulties.
Ward Cunningham quotes
Traditionally, the cost of change curve said that if we detect the need for a change early, it costs less to make the change than if we detect the need late. I tackled that curve by saying, let's almost intentionally make mistakes so we can practice correcting them. That practice will help reduce the cost of making changes late.
Our feeling was that the limiting factor on any change was not when it was done, but how much thinking was required.
Ward Cunningham
There is a programming smell hereÖ which is kind of like the smell in your refrigerator, you know. There's a sign that there's something wrong, but you can't quite put your finger on it. But you know if you leave it there, its only going to get worse.
Cunningham Ward quotes
The web has been an experiment in anonymity. Conscious design of low level protocols. Lots of identity infrastructure has been created to make it an online shopping mall, which makes it unpleasant for all of us because the machinery isnít that great.
Cunningham
The idea of where does an idea come from and who should get credit for it is pretty soft. But I think people are pretty good at dealing with that softness and recognizing contribution when they know the people involved. With collective ownership, we create a social situation where you can get to know a person by how they spin their intellect into source code statements.
Cunningham Ward
I actually enjoy complexity that's empowering. If it challenges me, the complexity is very pleasant. But sometimes I must deal with complexity that's disempowering. The effort I invest to understand that complexity is tedious work. It doesn't add anything to my abilities.
Ward Cunningham
I like the notion of working the program, like an artist works a lump of clay. An artist wants to make a sculpture, but before she makes the sculpture, she just massages the clay. She starts towards making the sculpture, and sees what the clay wants to do. And the more she handles the clay, the more the clay tends to do what she wants. It becomes compliant to her will.
A development team works on a piece of code over several months. Initially, they make a piece of code, and it's a little stiff. It's small, but it's still stiff. Then they move the code, and it gets a little easier to move.




Ward Cunningham quotes
When a manager asks for hard data, that's usually just his way of saying no.
Ward Cunningham
Over and over, people try to design systems that make tomorrow's work easy. But when tomorrow comes it turns out they didn't quite understand tomorrow's work, and they actually made it harder.
Cunningham quotes
Global collaboration is something that Wiki mastered in a small way and here we can master it in a big way.
Cunningham Ward
Anonymity relieves refactoring friction. Have learned that people want to sign things. But try to write in a way where you donít have to know who said it. But when someone who is not in a giving mood uses anonymity (spammers), that abuse can drive us away from anonymity. But I hope we can drive the ill-intended out without having to give up the openness.
Cunningham Ward quotes
So today, let's write a program simply. But let's also realize that tomorrow, we're going to make it more complex, because tomorrow it's going to do more. So we'll take that simplicity and we'll lose some of it. But tomorrow, hopefully tomorrow's program is as simple as possible for tomorrow's needs. Hopefully we'll preserve simplicity as the program grows.
Ward Cunningham
I could say, "Wait! Wait! I know what's going to happen down here!" Well you knew what was going to happen down here. How does it help us get our job done for me to tell you what's going to happen down here? You could say, "Stop! I want to draw on the white board what we're going to do tomorrow, because I can see it coming." Well maybe I can see it coming too, but why make a commitment? It will come soon enough. So, we're certainly here and now, but I think we can become excellent predictors. It's just that we're careful not to depend upon prediction anymore than we have to.
Ward Cunningham quotes
What is simplicity? Simplicity is the shortest path to a solution.
Ward Cunningham
When people work code they can often see things I set out to do that they wouldn't notice otherwise. And there are no obligations to say, "Ward you're brilliant," but sometimes they say, "Ward you're brilliant." And that strokes my ego. Pride of ownership? You bet.
Cunningham Ward
When I was at Tek, I was frustrated that computer hardware was being improved faster than computer software. I wanted to invent some software that was completely different, that would grow and change as it was used. Thatís how wiki came about.


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