This is the home page for the wikiCalc Beta Test
Latest version: Version 1.0 is now available!

This Alpha/Beta-Test set of pages has been replaced by the regular product pages.

*** See the "wikiCalc Product Home Page" ***

The wikiCalc program is a web authoring tool for pages that include data that is more than just unformatted prose. It combines some of the ease of authoring and multi-person editing of a wiki with the familiar visual formatting and data organizing metaphor of a spreadsheet. It can be easily set up to publish to basic web server space accessed by FTP and there is no need to set up server-side programs like CGI. It can, though, run on a server and be used with nothing more than a browser on the client.

There is a 15 minute screencast with audio showing a demo of wikiCalc that you can watch. See the "wikiCalc 0.97 Demonstration". Instructions for downloading your own copy of wikiCalc are in the "Downloading and Running" section, below.

screen shot of cell editing
wikiCalc is currently released in late Beta test. This means that it is not fully tested, has bugs, but has all of the features that will be in the 1.0 release. It is quite useful in its own right and is able to create, publish, and maintain a wide variety of web pages. For example, this page and many of the ones it links to about wikiCalc were created with the wikiCalc Beta. (The graphical design comes from a CSS file and the side bar is in a simple custom template. Much like a blogging tool, you can automatically wrap the output in static nice-looking stuff if you don't want the default.)

The Beta release is available for use on Windows, Mac, Linux/Unix, and other platforms that can run the Perl language. On Windows you need only download a single .exe file that will install wikiCalc, a Perl runtime, and assorted sample files. Other platforms need to have Perl already installed (but they commonly come with it pre-installed).

The program is written by Dan Bricklin (me) and is available under a GPL 2.0 license. When shipped it will also be available under other licenses and also as an optional commercial hosted service with support. SocialText will be doing the commercial distribution of wikiCalc and providing the resources for me to run an Open Source development project derived from wikiCalc. For historical purposes, you can read my essay explaining a little more about what wikiCalc is and why I created it on the "About wikiCalc 0.1" page on my blog.

This version includes a "Demonstration Setup" option to get you up to speed quickly if you just want to see what a browser-based spreadsheet feels like. It also has facilities for runtime recalculation and functions that can make simple web service requests.

wikiCalc is currently aimed at users who are comfortable figuring out how best to use a new tool. It is very flexible and there are many options to meet many different needs. It should be especially of interest to the DIY (Do It Yourself), corporate IT, and VAR (Value Added Reseller) crowd. Such people can set it up for use by others.
Downloading and Running

You will find information about how to download, run, and start using the wikiCalc Beta on the following pages:

For an explanation of the difference between runnning wikiCalc locally and remotely, as well as how it makes use of its directory structure to facilitate multi-user editing, see the "wikiCalc Architecture" page.

To see a list of some of the changes and additions in this new release, see "What's new in Beta 0.96 (and 0.97)".
News and Reviews

Here are links to some of what others have written about wikiCalc prior to this beta version:
Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier on NewsForge A first look at wikiCalc

March 8, 2006 (unclear which Alpha version this refers to - probably 0.2)
Daniel Terdiman on CNet Software pioneer Bricklin tackles wikis

February 17, 2006
Steve Garfield on Rocketboom Rocketboom Boston field correspondent Steve Garfield interviews Dan bricklin on wikicalc

A few minute video interview with a demo of version 0.2 filmed in mid January and published February 15, 2006
David Berlind on ZDNet Bricklin's WikiCalc: Much much more than just a mashup of wikis and spreadsheets

David also talks about the program at about 14 minutes into his podcast: Bill and Ray memos, WikiCalc, root kits and more (The Dan & David Show) [The "Dan" of the show is Dan Farber of ZDNet.]
David Berlind on ZDNet Podcast interview of PC industry icon Dan Bricklin and Bricklin cleans up wikiCalc with AJAX

David recorded an interview with me after trying an early version of the 0.2 release. He also wrote up some of his impressions.
Bugs, Problems, Issues, etc.

You will find a list of some of the known problems with the current release on the "wikiCalc Bug List" page.
More screenshots

Here are some more screen shots:

screen shot of text cell editing

screen shot of border setting
What Next?

Email any comments to the email address on this page. Check back on this home page for updates about bugs, etc., for now. Major new things will appear on my blog which has an RSS feed.