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Bricklin, Socialtext Aim To Hatch 'Killer App' For Wiki Users

Socialtext announced earlier this month that it was teaming with software pioneer Dan Bricklin to integrate Bricklin's Web-based, collaborative spreadsheet with its enterprise wiki platform, and to encourage additional development efforts within the open-source community.
Socialtext announced earlier this month that it was teaming with software pioneer Dan Bricklin to integrate Bricklin's Web-based, collaborative spreadsheet with its enterprise wiki platform, and to encourage additional development efforts within the open-source community.

According to a Socialtext news release, it has the exclusive right to distribute Bricklin's wikiCalc software and to integrate wikiCalc with its own enterprise wiki platform. Socialtext combines the wiki's standard group editing and information-sharing model with additional security and collaboration features, including email, weblogs, tags, feeds, RSS, and a visual wiki editor.

Socialtext CEO Ross Mayfield noted that wikiCalc represents the missing piece of the collaboration puzzle for many of its customers.

"Socialtext's Open Source community and Enterprise clients will gain the ability to collaborate with structured information, which was a huge request from our partners in the financial and high-tech sector," Mayfield said. "Spreadsheets are the premiere tool most users utilize with structured information and wikiCalc brings this into the online space."

Dan Bricklin is best known as the creator of VisiCalc: the spreadsheet that, upon its release in 1979, represented the first "killer app" for the still-struggling desktop PC industry. Today, Bricklin is one of the most important figures within the open-source developer community, and he noted that Socialtext's embrace of Open Source played a key role in his dealings with the company.

"Socialtext has been a leader in the commercial wiki world," Bricklin stated. "Their commitment to social software and Open Source led me to choose them as my partner to move wikiCalc into commercial use."

Developers can find source code for Socialtext's products, including its commercial offerings, available for free download at the company's Open Source development site.