“It is nothing but a rewrite”

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?

RikiTikiWiki for Windows

RikiTikiWiki screen shot

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