Socialtext and others are happy to announce a community standard for wikis called the “Universal Edit Button.” The UEB appears in your web browser’s toolbar to let you know the web page you’re reading is part of a wiki page. That means you can edit it!
You probably know that wikis, like Socialtext and Wikipedia, enable people to work together both more closely and at much larger scale than ever before. The UEB creates a common notification icon and a common way to “click to edit” across many more wikis across the whole web. We hope to increase the size of the read/write web, so more and more people can easily work together via wikis.
Here’s how it looks in my Firefox browser:
It works by having the wiki engine include a little bit of HTML markup in each editable wiki page. Your web browser then auto-detects the markup, and displays the Universal Edit Button to let you know you can edit the page.
UEB support isn’t built into browsers yet, but there is an extension for Firefox 2 and 3 available now. Check out UniversalEditButton.org to get UEB-enabled today, and then come back to any Socialtext hosted wiki (like Exchange) to see it in action!
The idea for a Universal Edit Button idea has been kicking around for a while, but it finally all came together at the 2008 RecentChangesCamp held in May at the Socialtext headquarters in Palo Alto. Big thanks to Mark Dilley and Ward Cunningham at AboutUs, Travis Derouin and Jack Herrick at wikiHow, Brion Vibber at the Wikimedia Foundation, John Abbe at Wagn, and all the other wiki community folks who worked together to get this off the ground!
Other posts around the web:
- Marshall Kaplan: Wiki Providers Come Together to Offer Universal Edit Button
- Rick Turoczy: Getting wiki with it: Wiki types (AboutUs included) collaborate on universal wiki edit button
- Wikimedia Foundation: http://blog.wikimedia.org/2008/06/19/firefox-3-and-the-wiki-edit-button/
- John Abbe: Universal Edit Button
- Martin Cleaver: Wiki this site: The Universal Edit Button launches today