Friday, August 29, 2014

TiddlyWiki — a non-linear personal web notebook

I'm starting to love TiddlyWiki. It's been a never-ending search for a decent tool where I could store some notes, organized by topics, and having links and relations among each other, that are also searchable. Basically, a personal wiki site for notes on certain topics.

First I used Redmine but this requires a decent infrastructure to run - Ruby + a whole host of dependent libraries, admin rights, etc. These are not available everywhere. And, it is especially painful upgrading these things.

Then I searched for node-based wikis. There are a few. Node is relatively easy to install and npm takes care of dependencies but this is still not ideal. The ultimate drawback is that none of the available wiki solutions include a simple text search. Ugh.

Using text files, spiced with Markdown syntax for decent visual effects when used in a Markdown Editor, was ok. The files are indexed by a desktop search engine and can even be searched. But, this is also not that great.

Finally, in comes TiddlyWiki. Technically, it is just an HTML page that includes all the grease (javascript, css, default content and templates). Therefore, it runs in a browser. The downside is that any change dumps a new file, when used like that. But the good devs of TiddlyWiki have used node-webkit to create a desktop version of TiddlyWiki. This is a customized browser that runs your wiki. Runs pretty smooth and the content is separate from the engine, which is great. This way it is also easy to save any changes, avoiding any browser-caused issues.

Markdown syntax is supported via plugin. The posts have to be marked as text/x-markdown type and then they get rendered properly.

So far this looks great and exactly what I was looking for.

TiddlyWiki — a non-linear personal web notebook

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