Jeremy Ruston, using nothing more than HTML, CSS and Javascript, has created TiddlyWiki, which he describes as “an experimental microcontent WikiWiki.” Well, yes, but what’s really cool is that TiddlyWiki works from the desktop. It’s all locally driven from the browser. Sure, there are some minor awkwardnesses, like saving, but all in all this is just plain nifty. It’s also very cleverly designed specifically for microcontent, or snippets of text.

TiddlyWiki strikes me as an interesting possibility for a Dashboard gadget. The Digital Librarian points out, quite rightly, that TiddlyWiki has enormous potential as a way of annotating the web, especially when used cooperatively with a bookmarking system like Unalog.

More on Wikis

First, I’ve found a provocative definition of a wiki that I rather like, though this one works well too, as does this one. I’m still looking for my first Wiki system to install. So far, PhpWiki appeals the most. There’s a pre-Panther MacDev Center article by Giles Turnball “Installing a Wiki on Your iBooK” which sounds painstaking but doable. PhpWiki is what the Wikipedia uses.

Right now, I’m thinking of a web-based wiki, since I’m interesting in the potential of a wiki as a collaborative writing environment, but I also see lots of uses for a “personal wiki,” a wiki that is largely intended to be the data depository of a single person or household. There are some Mac OS X applications designed to create local wiki-like databases. Harald Scheirich’s PersonalWiki is one, Voodoo Pad is another.