Active development of JAMWiki has ceased, and bug fixes and support will be limited at best. If you are interested in taking over management of JAMWiki please send an email to the jamwiki-devel mailing list.

About JAMWiki

There have been many (at least two) requests for more information about the history behind the JAMWiki project, so the paragraphs below attempt to provide background on why there is a wiki with a name that sounds like a fruit spread, how it began, and where it might be going.


The humble origins

JAMWiki started when its founder was searching for a Java-based wiki engine that used the well-known Mediawiki syntax. This wiki engine needed to be licensed with either an Apache or LGPL license in order to provide a nice middleground between the BSD license ("you don't have to give anything back") and the GPL ("you have to give everything back). The search led to Very Quick Wiki, but after three months of contributing, as sometimes happens in the open source world there were differing opinions about project goals and management that led to irreconcilable differences, and after an amicable parting a modified version of the VQWiki codebase was imported into a separate Subversion repository as JAMWiki revision 1 on June 15, 2006.

While initial development was fast and furious, as is often the case the biggest hurdle the project faced was coming up with a name. Knowing that the project hoped to offer the features of Mediawiki while utilizing the Java platform led to names like "Java Mediawiki", but after a night of much wine the name was shortened to "JAMWiki". Thereafter a domain name was registered and the project was officially launched.

Following the split with Very Quick Wiki, JAMWiki development was a round-the-clock undertaking, and after two weeks, an unhealthy amount of coffee, and 189 commits, JAMWiki 0.0.1 was unleashed upon the world. This initial version lacked support for user accounts, ran only on Postgres or using a file-based format, and didn't support file uploads or other basic features, but nonetheless generated some interest and was the first of a quick succession of releases that soon led to a very usable and feature-rich Java-based wiki. Within four months there were 24 JAMWiki releases that added tons of new features and included contributions from several developers.

The awkward first years

Starting from December 2006 the project's founder returned to working full-time, and development slowed from its early torrid pace. JAMWiki 0.5.0 was released in January 2007, followed at one-month intervals by several bug fix releases. This pace set the new standard for JAMWiki releases, with approximately six-to-nine months between major releases and near-monthly bugfix releases. During this time the contributions of other developers played a larger role as the project moved to Maven, adopted enterprise-grade login and authentication, implemented a larger portion of the Mediawiki feature set, and generally moved in very positive directions. In addition, this time saw the list of translations grow to over twenty different languages through the efforts of individuals from Mongolia to Denmark to Brazil.

To infinity and beyond ...

Throughout its history one of the main focuses of the project has been on writing easy-to-understand, maintainable code. While this has often meant losing contributions when patches could not be cleaned up or re-implemented, the current codebase has aged well and has proven to be both flexible and scalable. As ever-larger organizations implement JAMWiki in their production sites the project has proven to be a valuable tool.

Ongoing developments will focus on improving support for Mediawiki features, improving scalability, and implementing and improving features such as virtual wikis that help differentiate JAMWiki from other offerings. In addition, as the project matures there is ever-increasing interest in growing the development community, including those who don't write code but can contribute translations, artwork, testing, documentation, and other vital elements.