The other night while watching the Mars landing I mentioned to Brad that I know someone who works at JPL. Will Duquette, the author of the desktop wiki we had used for years, is a programmer at JPL. Trying to find his bio I did a quick google search for “will duquette desktop wiki”. Instead I discovered this “review” of RikiTikiWiki as the third result: Taking note: August 2011.
I took exception to some of the reviewer’s “points” (especially the ones he decided to print in bold). So, I filled out a comment from the link on his blog page. He didn’t publish one word of my comment. What kind of dick does a hatchet job of a review and then doesn’t publish comments from the software author? Anyway, for the record, here is what I said:
- Thanks for the kind words about my little program. I would like to clarify a couple of points in your post.
- Will Duquette is my friend, and I have used his Notebook application for years. When he stopped developing it, I asked for and received his permission to use his basic idea as the basis of my software. Both within the software documentation and on my web site I credit Will with the original software idea. Will’s desktop wiki has been extremely useful to our practice. I have presented and published a paper describing how helpful the wiki is in our hospital pharmacy. In both the presentation and the publication I credited Will’s software with helping to structure our practice.
- I had asked Will multiple times if he was working on a new version. His answer was yes, but it was a low priority and he simply did not have the time. So, I bit the bullet and wrote this little program, which is an incremental improvement over Notebook.
- So, your remark “It is nothing but a rewrite in Delphi of Will Duquette’s Notebook application”, is partially true. But, by leaving out my acknowledgement of Will’s software and his permission, you make it sound like I stole his idea.
- Although I kept Will’s basic interface, I did add some features which make the wiki more useful for us.
- The main reason I had to rewrite Will’s Notebook was that his was not multi-user enabled. We had a few instances of one user deleting another user’s work. A related problem was Notebook did not keep a history of edits. Another essential wiki feature missing from Notebook is a log of who had made the edits.
- Regarding your comment about my installation instructions: the purpose of the software is to maintain a shared knowledge base on the hospital intranet. Thus the instruction which states “install the wiki into “a shared folder on the network” and to give all staff read/write privileges”.
- Another point I’d like to clarify is the donation request. The software is fully operational and 100% free to use, there are no restrictions. I do ask for a donation, this is not required. I ask for donations from my fellow pharmacists to help defray the cost of developing and maintaining the software. This is an example of the software licensing model called Donationware. I also state that the source code is available on request.
- RikiTikiWiki was written for a specific audience, hospital pharmacists, and (as far as I know) is only available from my web site. I am curious how you came into possession of it?
Regarding my last point, I have since discovered that RikiTikiWiki has been uploaded to a bazillion different download sites and torrents (softpedia.com, softango.com, softsea.com, brothersoft.com, famouslywhy.com, fileguru.com, etc, etc). None of these sites have my permission to distribute my software! WTF?