Once upon a time a great King wrote a glorious script called foo1.2.

However, after the fifth or sixth person, the King grew tired of explaining to people how to use his script. To remedy this he got the royal scribe to write a little README containing everything his subjects needed to know to use the script.

By the release of foo2.2 it had grown into a host of scripts and the README became unmanageable. At this point the king decided to commision the writing of man pages.

Many peaceful years later the documentation had grown into a complex web of cross-referenced manpages and dozens of peasants each week were complaining that they could not find the information they needed.

So the king commanded his clerks to simplify the manpages and to create a wonderful wiki to hold all the other information which lived on through the ages, and was marvelled at for thousands of years.

Okay maybe this story is completely made up but, wikis are useful for big or small projects. Most people these days are familiar with the format of a wiki; people can easily navigate to the information they need and more importantly, easily edit the infomation there.

There are several wiki engines readily availiable. By far the most popular of these is mediawiki, which was developed for Wikipedia. It is easy to set up and runs almost anywhere (I once ran it on a Rasberry Pi). If you have an aversion to touching PHP to write your own, there are plenty of plugins and themes floating around on the internet.

With the rising popularity of git several git-backed wikis have become popular. GitHub's solution Gollum is very popular, in part because of the wide variety of markup it supports and in part because of the hosting offered by GitHub.

If you are a grumpy old fart like me then you will love git-backed wikis because they allow you to edit from the command-line rather than in the browser. I have known people turn web-editing off completely, but this may not be advisable since it will put an awful lot of people off and is against the spirit of wikis, being that they should be quick to edit. If a passing user does not know how to use git then it will not be quick to edit at all.

The option which Yakking has opted for is Ikiwiki. Ikiwiki is also git-backed and uses markdown. Ikiwiki is painless to get running.

In conclusion wikis are great for large and small projects because they are easy to run, easy to use and quick to edit, for better or worse.