SEATTLE - The inventor of the online collaboration tools known as Wikis has left software giant Microsoft Corp. to join the Eclipse Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to open source technologies.
In 1995, Ward Cunningham created the first Wiki, an information-sharing Web site that lets visitors contribute, edit and delete any item they see.
The best known is Wikipedia, where volunteers contribute to a free online encyclopedia that now boasts hundreds of thousands of entries in many languages.
But Wikis sometimes create problems: The Los Angeles Times tried letting readers rewrite the paper's editorials online but quickly suspended its "Wikitorials" after being flooded with foul language and pornography.
Cunningham worked in Microsoft's technical "patterns and practices" group. At Eclipse, he'll support communities of developers on various projects.
Microsoft, which believes that software blueprints should be closely guarded, competes with open source groups that believe that all core software and any updates should be freely shared.