Take Your Wiki on Holiday With You


This little tool the tiddlywiki is very very cool. It’s billed as a reusable personal journal tool which works very much like a wiki, but has a couple of really really wicked features.

Number one, it’s all packed up inside a single html file, so as you’ll discover when you navigate to the site, just being on the site means you’ve already downloaded the tool. Just save the page as an html file to your computer and you’ve got it.

Number two, all the posts in the wiki (“tiddlers” ) can be navigated by tags/categories, by timeline, or by hyperlinks. They all sit behind the front page (in the same html file remember?) so when you click on a tag, you pull up that entry to the top of the column in your viewing page (your previous viewed posts get shunted down). That means you compile your own viewing page, comprising all the entries or “tiddlers” you’ve pulled up.

Think of what this means from the point of view of reviewing content across the wiki. In traditional wikis, you click on a hyperlink and go to another page leaving the first page behind (and the context for the hyperlink you’ve chosen to click). In tiddlywiki, the entry you want comes to the top of the page, and the place you’ve linked from is still visible below it – making it much easier to compare against the context of the link. Great for building cross references in policy documents, glossaries and the like. No more flipping back and forth across the wiki to ensure consistency.

Number three, because it’s in a single html file, all you need to use it is a web browser. You can use it offline and online, on a desktop for your private drafting and journaling use, on a shared network drive for people to open and collaborate on (even if the intranet isn’t hosting it) or on a website.

So you can even take it on holiday with you. Start your initial drafting on the beach somewhere on your laptop, then bring it back to the office and put it on a network drive for colleagues to drop in and edit or comment on, and then release it onto the web for wider comment and change.

The only thing it doesn’t look particularly strong on is the rollback feature of the typical wiki, where you can see previous versions and the changes made. A beautiful, simple, scalable tool. Thanks to Ben Cowell via Nerida Hart of actKM for this link.

2 Comments so far


Tiddlywiki rocks! I’m a veteran since day three of the FirstVersion http://www.tiddlywiki.com/firstversion.html .
What is so special about it is that it’s extreme open source: you go to http://www.tiddlywiki.com and you have the source (in your browser, just slect view source). Next it’s build using a language that in principle can be understood. At least I re-started coding after so many years.
And it was an amazing way to experience how open source work and product development is different from other styles (which I know as well, working in a big company). Last not least the ease of use: just put a tiddlywiki on a shared drive or web server and you have a content management/publishing tool.
Another valuable even if humbling experience: I think in the early hdays I helped to get it across the chasm, but now that there are so many really good people working on tiddlywiki, I can’t really participate significantly, thus I withdrew.

Posted on August 21, 2007 at 03:24 PM | Comment permalink

Ben Cowell

Glad you like it, Patrick.  Its a very impressive and useful guerrilla wiki (I love that phrase, similar to “stealth KM”, but more conspiratorial).  True too about the lack of a history funtion, though I suspect that if the issue isn’t yet resolved via a plugin, the work is under way.

Posted on August 27, 2007 at 06:18 AM | Comment permalink

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