What is a wiki?

A wiki wiki web is a platform for online collaboration. It provides a website on which pages can be easily edited by anyone. This has been successfully used for many communities out there, the most famous being Wikipedia ( Also the first wiki is (

One of the features of wikis is that they allow easy editing of the content. Most wikis (and this one as well) provide a simple markup-language. With this language, you can just add text from your browser, fixing typos and adding content as much as you want, without having to think too much about how it will look. When you click the Edit button on this wiki, you see a summary of the markup rules used here (try them in the sand-box!). Read wiki-conventions to find out how to contribute to the wiki in a positive way.

The easy editing allows people to share their thoughts and improve together on ideas and solutions. Look around and see how it works, respect the changes made by others, and maybe even help improving what you see!

The Life cycles of wiki pages

A wiki page has a life cycle, just like any other living being does as well. It usually begins with someone having something to say about something. So she writes that down on a wiki page. This can be anything from a finely crafted, and wonderfully beautiful page, or a "sketch-page" that is full of errors, and is only half thought out. (Note that both submissions are quite valid, as we will see later).

Document Mode

If the contribution is anonymous, that is unsigned, it is a general wiki convention that pretty much anyone can go in there and add to, and modify the content as they see fit. In doing so however, there are a few ground rules that need to be followed:

In general, if you are modifying text, you are either fixing spelling errors and making corrections, or making additions. Sometimes however, there is a piece of content that you are sure you can make better, so get in there and do it!

In this anonymous, unsigned mode, the wiki-page is said to be in document mode.

Thread Mode

Sometimes in this process of edit, and rediting a page, some or all of the authors choose to identify themselves and/or intersperse a document-mode page with their own comments (something like "hey, I had a different experience there...") This is called thread mode. Thread mode is good in that it accommodates various different points of view, but finding information in a wiki page in thread mode can be difficult. At some mystical point in a threaded, wiki page's life, some enterprising wiki-gnome will come around and distill the information in the various comments back into a document-mode page.

The fact that the word "mystical" was used in the previous paragraph should raise a few alarm bells. Sometimes a thread-mode page will go on for days, weeks, and even years, because no one is brave enough to turn the thread-mode page into a document-mode one. Frequently these pages will get bigger and bigger, and turn into a horrible mess for anyone to try and swim through. This is called thread mess.

Editing in the middle of thread mode, unless you are doing the big distillation (called a refactoring) is considered a big no-no, unless you are correcting spelling and grammatical errors.

What is this wiki?

This wiki is about the Scheme programming language and the community which evolved around it. The focus is intentionally vague since we want to provide a collaboration place for everyone who's working with Scheme, for any purpose they deem appropriate.

Since we focus on Scheme, this wiki does some things different - schemier - then others. The most notable difference is that we shun CamelCase WikiLinks and prefer dash-separated wiki-links. The original Wiki was born out of the SmallTalk/Java community, so it makes sense for them to use CamelCase. We are the Scheme community. We use dashes. :-)

Special Markup

We provide some special markup not found in the normal WiLiKi:

User pages

If you want to edit and comment regularily on this wiki, create a user page for yourself. It's easy - go to category-userpage and add your name. The form Forename-Lastname is preferred, but it's up to you. Then you can edit that page by following the question mark link at the end, and write down whatever you want the world to know about you. You can also add your portrait of yourself or an avatar by adding portrait:/<url goes here>" to your userpage. Suggested portrait size is 48 by 48 pixels.

Further reading

For further reading, look at other wikis out there. Here's a small list: