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The word "wiki" comes from Hawaiian "wiki wiki" (=fast) and has recently established itself as an efficient method for collaborative document editing.

One of the most remarkable achievements based on the wiki principle is the Wikipedia, a wiki-based encyclopedia which went beyond 100.000 articles within two years from its start in January 2001. At the end of 2003, there were 185.000 articles available in the English-language version, and other languages were catching up. All content is contributed and incrementally improved by volunteers from many backgrounds. Despite the lack of "top-down" quality control and a flat hierarchy, many articles are of remarkable quality.

At the core of the wiki principle is the idea that the obstacle for contributing to a document should be lowered. In open wikis, anyone can edit a web page. In semi-open wikis, as the HUMAINE know-how melting pot, users must register before they can contribute.

Users can not only edit existing pages, but are free to add new pages easily. Others can then continue to work on these pages. It is even possible to link to an article which is yet to be created, and let others create that article.

Vandalism is prevented through an uneditable document history -- if anyone vandalises the current version of a document, it is easy to restore a previous version and ban that user. Experience shows that even in open wikis such as the Wikipedia, vandalism is rare compared to the number of constructive contributions.

In HUMAINE, we wish to try the experiment and create a wiki-based knowledge pool to which the entire research community in emotions and human-machine interaction can contribute. The discussions which are likely to accompany collaborative document editing have the potential to deepen the mutual understanding of different research communities and to contribute to the HUMAINE goal of finding a "common language" in this research area.

If you wish to contribute, please read the Wiki good practice document.

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