Monday, November 24, 2008

Turned-on, Titillated and Tingly over TiddlyWiki

There goes my cheesy alliteration again :-)

So I have a few hare-brained ideas for projects I want to work on. Some of them are started, some of them never come to fruition. Most of the time, I feel like George Lucas. He didn't make the Star Wars movies fast because he felt the technology of the time would not match his vision. I am like that somewhat. I felt that a website/html would be too much work to cross-reference the stuff on my archive. Then along came blogging and 'labels' aka 'tags'. Now we were getting somewhere.

So I started a blog, then revisited some projects I had in the back of my mind. Didn't really start working on them yet. Spladdle forum member, RPP, reads my site and blog and pm'd me recommending "TiddlyWiki" for my project (martial arts magazine index)... I explore and start messing with it. He even sent me a sample which was better than what I started to do... will add on to his sample as I add data to it.

At work, we have CNBC tv on all day. There's a commercial that plays periodically from Northern Trust. An older golfer is watching a younger golfer address the ball and ready to tee off. The older golfer says to the younger one (don't have exact quote... words to the effect of...), "You know all those golf tips? Keep your head low, knees bent, eyes on the ball? Well, forget all that... just swing!" While I was checking on the various features of TiddlyWiki, I didn't really start it yet, I was so into the mechanics of it. RPP 'just swung' and started one LOL Granted he had experience with TiddlyWiki already, but the point is, I should've just started to test drive it and not check the color of the car, the tire size, the hubcaps, the leather interior seats, etc.

I am deeply indebted to RPP for turning me onto TiddlyWiki. Not only does it look like it will do what I want it to do, but I can do all kinds of things with it, maybe put my archives all onto it.




Oh wait, for those that don't know what TiddlyWiki (TW) is... in a few words... it's a reusable non-linear personal web notebook. Wha?! What did you say?

Did you ever cut and paste notes off the net into one long MS Word document? Then you do a Ctrl-F to look for each instance of your search term until you find the appropriate section with the content you needed? Or pasted various posts on a subject from the forums as one document and then manage differing documents in various folders with all the folders being a unique subject?

What TW is is a single self-contained html webpage... you don't need to be connected to the Net to use it or update it - this is called 'client-side' and if it was connected to the Net, that would be called 'server-side'. Jeremy Ruston created TW back in 2005 IIRC... what he did was add javascript and CSS coding to a single html file (all webpages are coded with html). When you add notes to it, it will overwrite itself... much like a MS Word document, after you click save. The notes, or in TW parlance, a 'tiddler', can be edited later, closed for later retrieval. Ruston calls the tiddler's 'micro-content'. Going back to the long document of notes... you find one note on page 13 and another one on 36 but you have to either scroll up and down to check out both notes or cut and paste both notes into a new document to view together. TW will let you open both tiddlers with the information you want on the same webpage. If you wanted to add something to the text, double-click anywhere in the text portion and edit, then hit close. If you wanted to add a different tag to whatever tags you have already, just add the tag in the tag field.

Pretty powerful... I can go further into TW, but it's best YOU play with it to see if it will fit your needs. If you are like me and like to collect information/tidbits on various subjects and want to organize it in some fashion and also be able to retrieve it easily, give TW a try. All this power and functionality and I've not gotten to the best parts yet. All you need is a browser, prefably Firefox. You don't need to be connected to the Net. If it's text-base info, you can take the TW with you. People put it on a Memory stick. Now for the best part of all... [Begin Infomercial voice] Now how much would you pay for a product like this? $100? What if I said you could have this product for cheaper than that? $50? I could do better right? What if I told you it was free! Would you give it a try then? If so, check out the following links for more info:

http://www.tiddlywiki.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TiddlyWiki

This entry dedicated to RPP... thank you again for turning me onto to TW!

2 comments:

RPP said...

Thanks mate! Hope your project goes well! It sounds like you know more about TiddlyWiki than I do now LOL. Good luck again.

Stickgrappler said...

it helped tremendously that you pointed me in the right direction.

hmmm... should've added 'Taken' into "Turned-on, Titillated and Tingly over TiddlyWiki"" lol ... cheesy alliteration rules!

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