wikiCalc Gets Friendly with Socialtext

3 minute read
Angela Natividad avatar
This Enterprise wiki business is continuing its impressive momentum, and to little surprise. wikiCalc is just one demonstration of how much the wiki world has begun to offer businesses in terms of turning Web 2.0 tools and processes into tangible and manageable value.wikiCalc, the open source spreadsheet engine, has just gone 1.0. If you're wondering what a spreadsheet engine is, you're not alone. It's the phrase wikiCalc's makers came up with to describe the program's function. The wikiCalc system helps users create and manage web pages by using everyday spreadsheet logic. That's right: because we're sure you were looking for yet one more reason to spend more time with grids, editing web pages on wikiCalc is done in familiar Excel style. wikiCalc 1.0 includes more extensive documentation, separate pages with details for setting up edits, live viewing and similar topics. It keeps its Perl software base, which contributes in part to its growing following among programmers who picked it up early on and began molding the code for their own purposes. The framework is easily localized to other languages. Russian and Polish have reportedly come a long way, and other existing non-English users include speakers of German, Italian and Japanese.The savvy 1.0 version boasts a solid set of features, some new and others long standbys of older wikiCalc versions. If you've ever been made to data-crunch, you probably know most of these more intimately than you'd prefer: * Formulas for accessing over 100 built-in functions, including the ones most commonly used on an Excel spreadsheet (SUM, DSUM, and so on), as well as the ability to reference cell contents in other pages with specific formulas * Standard cell and table formatting, and optional hidden cells, columns and rows * Import and export with CSV and Tab-delimited text, as well as other formats * UI controllable from the keyboard or by mouse * A built-in warning function that tells you when you're editing a page someone else is modifying * Good ol' Ajax * Functionality on Windows, Linux/Unix and Macs, both client- and server-sidewikiCalc 1.0 also has the weight of Socialtext and iWoorx behind it. iWoorx used the wikiCalc code to create portals for business users who use spreadsheets and email regularly for exchanging simpler spreadsheets. They also blessed wikiCalc with advanced user administration, better graphing abilities and a free test-drive capability. Socialtext, wikiCalc's other new friend, recently partnered with Microsoft Sharepoint to bear a wiki collabo called SocialPoint. Building on their wiki empire, Socialtext plans to integrate wikiCalc into their existing wiki system (presumably the same one they recently unplugged) and provide hosting and support to users. They also committed to make financial contributions toward an open source project for wikiCalc so programmers can develop it in a community setting. Socialtext plans to call this collaboration the SocialCalc project. This will be released under a Socialtext Public License separate from the wikiCalc GPL 2.0 License, a more agreeable option for companies who might shy from the GPL strictness.Read more about the wikiCalc 1.0 release or watch the demo on how it works.wikiCalc is kindly purveyed by Software Garden, a company founded in 1985 by Dan Bricklin, the same guy who wrote the wikiCalc program. Software Garden is based in Newton Highlands, MA.