(My notes’ journey from TiddlyWiki, GTDTiddlyWiki, ZiddlyWiki to “no name” TiddlyWiki)
I organize my notes and tasks lists using GTDTiddlyWiki and a bunch of index cards that serve as a hipster PDA. GTDTiddlyWiki is a single web page that serves as a browser-based scratch pad or notebook. The notes are organized into Tiddlers – chunks of information that are easy to hyperlink and edit.
GTDTiddlyWiki, however, isn’t online and I have had problems synchronizing my GTDTiddlyWiki versions in my home PC and my office computer. I transfer the files either using a diskette, a CD or through Streamload, an online drive. I lost quite a few notes when I mistakenly overwrote the current version with an older one saved in my online drive.
I needed an online TiddlyWiki, one that can be saved on a server.
TiddlyWiki was released by Jeremy Rustom in an open source license. As a result, various people worked on the code, improved on it and released adaptations of it.
There are a lot of TiddlyWiki adaptations, some server-based – meaning it runs on a web server and is saved there. There’s PHPTiddlyWiki, which runs on a PHP / Mysql backend. I took note of it but I browsed through other adaptations – I wanted a server-based TiddlyWiki that does not need a database.
I saw a link to TiddlyWiki Remote and found it promising. I downloaded the package, uploaded it to my site, checked on the page and found a bunch of errors. I took note of the errors and looked for another package. I figured that if I couldn’t find another package, I’ll check TiddlyWiki Remote again and try to fix the errors and if I couldn’t fix it, e-mail the author for help or find their discussion board.
I then found the link to ZiddlyWiki – a Zope-based adaptation of TiddlyWiki. Now, I don’t know Zope from dope but I was able to install one using a free account with www.objectis.net. ZiddlyWiki is fairly easy to install, you just download the package from the author’s site (in .zexp format) and then import it into your site.
What’s good about ZiddlyWiki is that it uses Zope’s authentication to limit the users who can edit your wiki. I used ZiddlyWiki for a week and encountered no problems – my only fear was that since it was publicly accessible (the authentication is limited to the editing of entries) – my personal and confidential notes will be seen by anyone who can find his or her way into the ZiddlyWiki installation.
I researched for ways to limit access into my ZiddlyWiki installation but my deadlines allowed me only a few minutes to look for solutions. I couldn’t find one yet (hell, it took me close to an hour to figure out how to place an index file into the root of my free Zope account.) As temporary fix, I renamed my ZiddlyWiki directory into a label that included numerals and letters, hoping it would be harder to locate by interlopers (it’s not as if my notes are interesting or that these contain secrets to eternal life – I just didn’t want my notes publicly available).
I would have continued looking for ways to protect access, and not just editing, to my ZiddlyWiki using a password if not for another error. Suddenly, my ZiddlyWiki started encountering errors and could no longer save new notes or edits to older ones. Since it took me close to an hour to figure out how to put an index file into the root of my free Zope site – I knew it would take me close to eternity to even figure out why my new tiddlers were not being saved.
I was crushed. I decided to look at my notes to reconsider other server-based TiddlyWikis I found earlier.
While checking into the sites, I decided to search for other TiddlyWiki adaptations and found this [link]. It — I say “it” because the author still has to find a name for the package and it seems he has stopped working on it since the last entries were made last year yet — was another server-based adaptation of TiddlyWiki.
It runs and saves files on a web server and doesn’t need a database. What is even better is that I could run it in my PlogHost website account and then limit access to the installation by using a .htaccess file. What worried me (needlessly I would find out later) was whether the .htaccess would mess up with the permissions on running the TiddlyWiki.
I downloaded the whole package, edited the users file (or at least tried to edit it – there were no instructions in the site) and uploaded it into my website. I accessed the installation and found that I couldn’t edit anything. I made a mistake in editing the users php file. I found the instructions here [link] – re-edited the file and soon I was running my new TiddlyWiki without any hitches.
I protected the folder containing the file using .htaccess and found that even with it, the TiddlyWiki was still running flawlessly. Within minutes from uploading the files – I was already transferring notes from my Ziddly Wiki to my new Tiddly Wiki.
Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu. He has written and edited for such publications as The Freeman, The Independent Post, Today, Sun.Star Cebu, Cebu Daily News, Philstar Life, and Rappler.
He is also a mobile app and web developer and co-founded InnoPub Media with his wife Marlen.
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