I had a very frustrating experience this morning. I decided to start editing an internal team wiki and ran into a significant roadblock: To edit the wiki, I first needed to learn "wikiml." What is wikiml? I'm glad you asked. It's a wiki markup language so that wikis look more like Web pages/documents, and not like a stream of undifferentiated text.
There's just one problem: Wikiml. Who wants to learn a markup language just so you can collaborate with colleagues? It's not that the markup language is particularly difficult (here's a cheat sheet for reference), but requiring the learning of a new language is a step backward, not forward, in terms of ease of use.
Wikis may be more powerful than a Microsoft Word document, but if they're not at least as easy, then they're simply not going to get used. Period. Google gets this: Google Docs is actually easier to use than Microsoft Word.
The Bible has this great counsel in Mark 2:27:
The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
The idea is that Biblical commandments were not designed to inhibit people, but to enable and improve them. Sometimes we let the letter of a law impede the spirit and end up cramping our capabilities. Is there a correlation to software?… Read more