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25 years ago today, Apple genius Bill Atkinson held a press conference at MacWorld in Boston to unveil HyperCard. Apple pitched HyperCard as a way to hyperlink together a series of graphic cards or screens. The cards had the sort of detail that required bitmapped graphics, which Apple knew how to deliver. Because the cards were bitmapped, they tended to highlight their uniqueness, like the pages of a highly designed magazine. The most important feature though was the hyperlink, you can click to jump to related cards. HyperCard was designed for personal use.
Screenshot of HyperCard
Screenshot of Ward's c2.com wiki
HyperCard inspired a generation of young programmers, designers, artists, and other creative people, including Tim Berners-Lee who said that it inspired him when he built the World Wide Web.
In 1994, Ward Cunningham invented the WikiWikiWeb, now known as Wikis. He was inspired by HyperCard, and designed wikis as text-based hypercards for teams. Ward installed his WikiWikiWeb on http://c2.com/ in 1995. Where does the name come from? Ward remembered a Honolulu International Airport counter employee telling him to take the "Wiki Wiki Shuttle" bus that runs between the airport's terminals. "I chose wiki-wiki as an alliterative substitute for 'quick' and thereby avoided naming this stuff quick-web."
In 1998 I released the first version of TWiki, which was the first wiki specifically designed for the workplace. As a structured wiki you could create web applications that run in the wiki. Indirectly I was inspired by Bill Atkinson as well: In a way TWiki is a HyperCard for web applications.
Thank you Bill Atkinson for HyperCard!!!
-- PeterThoeny - founder of TWiki.org