February 22, 2024

Captain It’s Wednesday – Episode 064 – Tiddlywiki

Wednesday, November 29, 2023, Ralph Hersl

Organized notes with Tiddlywiki

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CIW – Episode 064 – November 29, 2023 – Tiddlywiki


  • Welcome all note takers to Episode 64 of Captain It’s Wednesday, the podcast about free software and free society, recorded on November 20 by Stefan Pfister and Ralf Hersel. In this episode we talk about Tiddlywiki.
  • Stefan introduces himself.

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Topic: Organized notes with Tiddlywiki

  • What exactly is Tiddlywiki? quinn (https://tiddlywiki.com/#Quine), one file, many individual files? The name includes the word “tiddly” which means “drunk” and “drunk wiki” or “crazy”. TW is available as a single file, but also many individual files that run via a Node.js server.
  • Who invented it? Jeremy Ruston (https://tiddlywiki.com/#JeremyRuston), Top Resources TW Home Page: https://tiddlywiki.com. He is now over 20 years old.
  • Where can I get more information about use? All references for more information can be found on the home page. There is a new forum: https://talk.tiddlywiki.org/. And an old Google email group: https://groups.google.com/g/TiddlyWiki
  • My own experience with TiddlyWiki: Kanban for managing writing performance surveys, a set of tasks for creative writing with Twine, a set of links on different topics with YouTube videos, created a writing environment that I don’t fully understand, but it works
  • Advantages:
    • 1 It can theoretically be saved and synced anywhere, including via USB
    • All you need to access the data is a Javascript-enabled browser
    • This means that it works on all operating systems that support such a browser
    • It’s very easy to use offline, for free
    • Ideal software for a free society: “Because it can be used without any complex server infrastructure, and because it is Open sourceIt has brought unprecedented freedom for everyone to keep their precious information under their control.” (Source: https://tiddlywiki.com/#TiddlyWiki)
    • With many plugins, you can adapt TW to your needs, such as enabling Markdown syntax, switching to German, and much more.
    • A rich programming language for all possible scenarios: TiddlyWiki knows not only associated pages and tags
    • In addition to linking and tagging, there are also conversion, templates, insertion and other things that I don’t know
    • Video resource for advanced work techniques and elements: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsdDs7oOLlg
    • In principle, it is possible to have full control over your own data without having to involve third parties
  • cons:
    • There is no synchronization service for TWs on different platforms
    • You must enable TW access on each operating system
    • WebDav via Nextcloud does not compare data with locally stored TW (see Joplin).
    • Modern browsers no longer support direct storage options
    • The TW’s Achilles’ heel is the lack of storage options
    • The user has to take care of his backups and storage options
    • This ensures that a lot of backup files are created by default
    • If something happens while working on a TW instance, the data entered will be lost until the last backup
    • In the case of a single-file TiddlyWiki file, the file and therefore all data can be completely destroyed
    • TW’s home page lists a lot of different methods that work with varying degrees of success and are unfortunately also prone to errors
    • There are 22 storage options for Linux alone: https://tiddlywiki.com/#Save
    • timimi is a web application that works well as a browser plugin
    • A relatively new approach is twexe, which you can live with just fine if you only use one operating system
    • TiddlyDesktop is a somewhat loveless-sounding Mac, Win and Linux software that comes from Ruston himself, who’s put together here something he himself wasn’t really convinced about.
  • Conclusion: In the end, we are left with a somewhat ambivalent impression of TW. It has very great potential. In principle, you can use it to create small websites as smart documents that can theoretically be used, read and edited for a very long time – as long as there are browsers that can display a website using Javascript. In this regard, a single TW file is a very durable and sustainable document format in which you can also store dynamic content.
  • Finally, we point out one a tool To TW, which I wrote about a year ago. This is part of a series of articles about structured notes. In it we have described 11 different options.
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