Dan Bricklin reached a milestone yesterday in the evolution of wikiCalc, the wiki-based spreadsheet. In releasing wikiCalc 0.96, it is feature-complete, and he put out a call for help:
What's next? I really need help testing this product...
...wikiCalc has the potential to be an important product for the Open Source community as well as for IT in general. It is a complete server-based spreadsheet that runs on your own server, not only on a service provided by others. It keeps an audit trail that may be helpful to corporations that are concerned about such things (Sarbanes-Oxley?). It works like a wiki as part of a web of potentially editable pages in a collaborative environment. It is written in a popular scripting language (Perl) that makes it well suited for experimentation. It would be great to have the 1.0 release come out after a reasonable amount of final testing.
Dan also advanced the formatting and publishing abilities of wikiCalc into something truly unique:
As an example, Dan replicated the IBM Financial Statements you would find in the investor relations section of their website. Only one key difference, the ability to let some people have the ability to edit this page.
In a visual sense, I wanted the product to be able to produce real web pages that were at a professional enough level that corporations would feel comfortable using the product for internal use and perhaps even external use. That was a real challenge which I believe that I've met.
Socialtext is working to integrate wikiCalc as SocialCalc into our Appliance, Hosted and Open Source distributions at the end of the year.