Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


TiddlyWiki as note system

I don't remember exactly why I looked at TiddlyWiki again about a week ago. I just noticed that Don Park mentioned it, so I thought I would post before I forgot.

TiddlyWiki is a wiki (sort of) that also happens to be completely self-contained in one HTML file...including being able to edit and save the contents back to disk. It does this through some JavaScript magic, but basically it allows me to have a local copy on my hard drive which I can "run" in my browser. Since it's one file, it could also be copied to a (for example) USB keychain and carried around and run anywhere, on any OS that gives you access to a supported browser, which today means anything that can run Firefox or IE.

Both Kris and I are using it to keep our own personal, private notes -- it's our new default home page.

What I love about this use is the lack of context switching. I've been thinking about this a lot lately in the context of computer interaction and interruptions which flow through that space. Switching apps is disruptive, and the app I spend most of my time in is my web browser. With all my notes being only one tab a way, there is no transition into note taking mode or "to do list" mode.

And yes, of course I've been thinking of crazy ideas. TiddlyWiki is an interesting little secret right now. What if we glued it into Drupal? Create a page, and that page is a TiddlyWiki. Every page is an entire wiki, with TiddlyWiki's unique editing/reading style. I'm not quite sure what it would do, but I'm sure it would be interesting.

Oh, and in the best tradition of Steve Jobs, just one more thing: TiddlyWiki on your iPod...with wiki links to songs, playlists, artists, etc., of course.