Clint’s Thoughts how I spend my five minutes of freedom

20Sep/05Off

TiddlyWiki’s First Birthday

This day last year TiddlyWiki 1.0 was released. The next version, 1.2.33, will probably be due for a release this Thursday. Its been a good year.

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19Sep/05Off

What is TiddlyWiki?

The name (no, its not WigglyTiki!)

When ever I'm telling a friend or relative ( or enemy for that matter) about TiddlyWiki the name always throws them off.

"Tinkily What?!?!?" they always say.

"No, think Tiddlywinks, but it's 'Wiki' at the end."

"Oh!"

That's how easily the name issue gets cleared up.

The system (what does it do?)

After the name its easy to explain what TiddlyWiki (or TW for short) does:

TiddlyWiki is an HTML page that acts as a self-contained program.

That's pretty nifty really. A pros and cons list would look like this.
Pro:

  • Acts like a program
  • Saves its data back to its self

Cons:

  • JavaScript is required.

The potential

TiddlyWiki also provides a host of possibities. You can expand its functionality via plugins and skin it using CSS.

Because TiddlyWiki has been developed 'correctly' and doesn't use old styling techniques (like <FONT> or table based layouts, CSS powered styling is a piece of cake. I'll get around to showing some styling tips eventually (another day).

Plugins are also topics for another day, but the perfect point here is that I used to take the base TiddlyWiki code and then have to hack it to add functionality. Jeremy Ruston, the creator of TiddlyWiki added the idea of plugins and macros. A plugin allows you to add functionality on top of TiddlyWiki without touching the internal code.

With TW plugins I can add in a a feature like a tag cloud without altering the code. The functionality will exist and it doesn't have to bloat the base TW code fot other TW users who don't require the functionality of a tag cloud. Now, TW has a relatively rapid rate of development with new versions coming out every few weeks so upgrades can happen frequently. The plugins won't get over-written when upgrading your TW (as manual code modifications do).

Summary

So, 'What is TiddlyWiki?' Useful.

Other links and better explanations

Now I'll probably say this a number of times, but I just need a bit of a disclaimer. This is my first public blog (and serial writing attempt) so feel free to kindly correct any of my writing or information.

Here are some other spots that do a bit of a better job explaining all of this:
Euicho's better explanation (it really is a lot clearer)
BlogJones has a great tutorial.

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9Sep/05Off

Why in the world a TW blog?

Let me put the cart before the horse. TiddlyWiki (which I'll give you the scoop on later) has an incredible userbase. However, because of how the system is currently setup, the great inter-linking between different TiddlyWiki appears to be nil. At least that's what Google is thinking.

Google (the search engine, duh!) crawls around websites and reads them. Its been called most important blind visitor any site could have. As Google crawls each site, it finds links and follows them, just like you or me. If a site has a lot of links pointing to it, Google figures its probably a pretty important site. This phenomenon is called 'Google juice' or, at least that what I call it. So now you know the lingo; if I'm linking to a site I'm giving it Google juice and making it more popular in google's eyes.

So what does this have to do with TiddlyWiki? Plenty. The google crawler is not only blind, but it also ignores any JavaScript on a page. (Which gives us a darn good reason to code a version of any page that works sin-JavaScript.) TiddlyWiki being very Ajax-ish happens to rely very heavily on JavaScript. Without JavaScript, a page looks like this:

NathanBower's GTDTiddlyWiki is an adaptation of an earlier revision of TiddlyWiki. It's geared towards DavidAllen's GettingThingsDone methodology for personal productivity. It's available [[here|http://shared.snapgrid.com/gtd_tiddlywiki.html] ] and Nathan is also hosting a forum for discussions about it [[on his site|http://shared.snapgrid.com/gtd-forum/] ].\n\nIf you want to have the GTD look-and-feel but still be able to use the latest TiddlyWiki features, check out the GTD Style at [[TiddlerWiki|http://checketts.objectis.net/wiki/] ]

Notice how a link is rendered [[TiddlerWiki|http://checketts.objectis.net/wiki/] ] rather than the usual html <a href="http://checketts.objectis.net/wiki/"> TiddlerWiki </a>? This confuses the Google crawler and no linkage.

Lets not cry over spilt google juice. This TW blog will try to act as the Ace TW correspondent in these dark times. Okay the 'Ace' is probably exagerating, but we'll let you judge the blog by its fruits.

Let the google juice flow.

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