Friday, January 18, 2008


I thought I'd seen all the permutations of Wikis out there: written in php, stored as files; written in PL/SQL and stored in Oracle; and with a range of different markup conventions. And recently I've successfully used wiki style markup to better decorate output from Oracle Designer (of which more later in a separate post).

Today, in one of those serendipitious chances that comes from following a couple of irrelevant but intriguing blog links, I tripped over TiddlyWiki. Rather than giving you a server-side wiki, the whole thing is packaged on the client side. A TiddlyWiki is a single HTML file that contains its own code; which self-edits as you add content. You save the file locally (and can then publish to a website if you like).

As a tool written by web designers it just looks great. You don't just click and get another page; the expanded content (called a Tiddler) zooms out at you. You can choose to expand or collapse whichever tiddlers you like - at the same time. That may be a big advantage over more boring wiki implementations.

For large communities, it's probably all wrong - personal changes in effect fork the entire wiki; but it may be a very effective personal tool - kind of mind mapping on the cheap, but much prettier than editors like treepad (and instantly portable, no software install required - keep it on your USB stick).

Basic usage instructions can be found here - written as a TiddlyWiki so you can try it out. I'm going to see if I can turn a rather unexciting Designer entity report into a thing of beauty...

No comments: