Online software development: the WikiRAD


I love the idea of social software. Specifically, while it has been several years since I first encountered the wiki concept (Ward Cunningham‘s c2.com), and I have been a Wikipedia contributor for a while, it is only since I checked out the emerging wiki hosting sites (see Google and social software: wikis) that I realize that wikis are becoming mainstream. Sites like Wikispaces, JotSpot and PbWiki are providing anyone with the tools to safely and effortlessly develop a body of knowledge.

On a seemingly unrelated point, I am currently developing some stuff in PHP (codeword ‘photcasting‘ but more on that later) and I realise my development environment is so amateuristic: I use a text-editor with FTP support (the last couple of years it has always been Editplus), and everytime I save some code, I overwrite the older version on the ‘live’ server. I also develop on different PCs in a typical week (easily 3) and so I don’t have 1 development PC with PHP running where I could stage everything before I deploy it to my ‘production’ site. With a bad broadband connection, when a ‘save’ operation goes wrong, you end up with a ‘crucialstuff.php’ script file that is empty (0 bytes) and brings your whole site down. Unfortunately, I know this from (repeated) experience.

Earlier today, I was thinking about these 2 issues one right after the other and bam: they collided. I have a new development paradigm: the WikiRAD.

‘WikiRAD’ development

WRITE CODE

COMPILE AND RUN

So take Sourceforge, drop in a Wiki system for writing the code, a system for online debugging and profiling and tada: life has just become so much easier for a programmer.

All remarks are welcome!

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💬 internet💬 webdev