WikiWhirl, Wiki Refactoring Language


The organization of corporate wikis tends to deteriorate as time goes by. Rearranging categories, structuring articles and even moving sections among articles are cumbersome tasks in current wiki engines. This discourages the layman. But, it is the layman who writes the articles, knows the wiki content, and detects refactoring opportunities. Our goal is to improve the refactoring affordances of current wiki engines by providing an alternative front-end tuned to refactoring. This is achieved by (i) surfacing the structure of the wiki corpus as a mind map, and (ii) conducting refactoring as mind map reshaping. To this end, we introduce WikiWhirl, a domain-specific language for wiki refactoring. WikiWhirl is supported as an extension of FreeMind, a popular mind mapping tool. In this way, refactoring operations are intuitively conducted as actions upon mind map nodes. In a refactoring session a user imports the wiki structure as a FreeMind map; next, conducts the refactoring operations on the map, and finally, the effects are saved in the wiki database. The operational semantics of the WikiWhirl operations follow refactoring good practices (e.g., authorship preservation). Results from a controlled experiment suggest that WikiWhirl outperforms MediaWiki in three main affordance enablers: understandability, productivity and fulfillment of refactoring good practices.

WikiWhirl logo




If you like it, and you want us to keep supporting WikiWhirl, donate! we have to maintain it during our lunch time!


Quick Intro

Demo Video

WikiWhirl Demo from Onekin on Vimeo.



  WikiWhirl FreeMind



1: Pop up menu customized to (i) show split and merge operations, (ii) prevent from removing specific nodes, (iii) launch groovy scripts, and (iv) launch external tools. 2: Tracking window to record user refactoring operations.

WikiWhirl configuration menu

WikiWhirl configuration menu.




If you use it, please, send me an email!

New (11th June 2013)

WikiWhirl plugin files (v0.4). Copy the contents to the freemind/plugins folder (FREEMIND_HOME/plugins/WikiWhirl.xml, FREEMIND_HOME/plugins/WikiWhirl/*).

Now with:

  • Automatic download and installation of MediaWiki 1.20.2
  • Word documents importation (XML 2003)
    • Automatic article/section creation
    • Manual article/section creation with an editor


How to pdf.


Tested with FreeMind 0.9.0

Click here


If you find any bug, please post a ticket here.


Copyright Onekin Research Group. All rights reserved. Revised: May 4th, 2013

Report questions/problems:
Gorka Puente García

This prototype has not any associated publication.

This prototype has not any associated project.

This prototype has not any associated author.


University of the basque country