Commentary
6/10/2008
09:05 AM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
Commentary

Wikis Meets Spreadsheets In SocialCalc

It may not be peanut butter and chocolate -- or even baseball and apple pie -- but SocialText today announced a spreadsheet application than runs on the company's wiki platform. The multi-user product is designed to simplify version control and reduce errors.



It may not be peanut butter and chocolate -- or even baseball and apple pie -- but SocialText today announced a spreadsheet application than runs on the company's wiki platform. The multi-user product is designed to simplify version control and reduce errors.SocialText says SocialCalc's integrated editing, discussions, and version control reduces errors because users are always working with the correct and current content. The company says it improves on circulating traditional spreadsheets via email or sticking them shared drives or document management systems by work into increments and letting individuals work on their own sections with a roll-up dashboard, an audit trail of changes and simple notification updates.

Phew, that's a mouthful.

But SocialCalc was created by VisiCalc pioneer Dan Bricklin -- and is also connected to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project -- and has now been integrated with the SocialText wiki platform in an full-scale Ajax implementation for sharing, tagging, version control, security, and permissioning.

In a statement, Bricklin said:

"Traditionally, wikis have centered on paragraphs of text and have proven invaluable for dealing with information in that form. I am thrilled at how we have been able to bring spreadsheet editing into the wiki environment. Business people get the familiar layout, formatting, and calculation functionality of a spreadsheet together with the organic multi-page building and sharing functionality of a wiki."

Still, the product is in private beta, so I haven't actually seen it yet. Socialtext promises it will be commercially available within 90 days.

Here's a screen shot of the spreadsheet: SocialCalc Sheet

And here's one of the spreadsheet in the wiki: SocialCalc in Wiki

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