WWIVnet was a networked component of Wayne Bell's WWIV software. It was written in order to share messages between the boards of the 25 friends with whom Bell shared his software, but it was also available to anyone that registered. In its heyday there were over 1500 BBS's connected through this world wide network. It was much smaller than FidoNet, but the sysops were very involved and dedicated to BBSing, as a result a small core of systems are still running and more importantly still developing WWIV. The new owner of WWIV Software Services, Trader Jack, heads an all-volunteer team of programmers that are developing a Windows version of WWIV and a Linux version is also in development. The DOS version is still being improved as well.
At one point, WWIVnet was the world's largest proprietary BBS network, but by 1993 this was no longer the case, as many systems running Waffle and VBBS had become part of the network. For quite some time, continued development of the software floundered as author Wayne Bell tried to juggle both development and administration functions for the software. In 1992, he turned the administrative chores over to another sysop. WWIV-based networking had previously consisted of the following: WWIVnet (run by Wayne Bell and based in California), WWIVlink (based in Illinois) and IceNET (run by Jim Nunn in Buffalo, New York). One of the more recent additions to the networking software was the ability to create multiple networks. This has led to a million or so little RadDudeNets (as so named by one WWIVnet sysop, as WWIV does appeal to a lot of teenagers and pre-teens) popping up all over the place. The three aforementioned networks still stand out today as the only truly significant national WWIV-based networks, though. In years past, WWIVnet has had some gating (all external and often very klunky) to Fidonet and Usenet. Usenet gating is now accomplished more easily by the WWCP gateware, but that runs with Waffle and connects to WWIV.
Every BBS in the WWIVnet network was referenced by a unique number, and each area code with WWIVnet nodes had an area coordinator. A group of area codes were under a zone coordinator, and all zones were under the network coordinator. Originally, WWIVnet nodes were numbered by area code. The format was txyzz, where x and y were the first and last digits of the area code, and zz was a number that started with 00 in area codes with a second digit of 0, and 50 in area codes with a second digit of one. t would start at 0 (although leading zeros are not quoted in node numbers) and would increase each time zz filled up. Thus, node 5802 was a node in area code 508, 6754 was a node in area code 617, and 12263 was a node in a very busy area code 212. Around 1992-5, the rule that area codes would only have second digits of 0 or 1 were dropped. WWIVnet renumbered all nodes, except for node 1 and a few special nodes, into a zone based scheme. Node numbers were then of the format xzzz, where x was the zone number.
- Scott, Jason. The BBS Documentary Library.