Wiki explorations

February 10, 2019 - Wiki Explorations


After reading a few interesting conversations (especially this one) on micro.blog, I’ve found myself going quite far down the wiki rabbit hole over the past week or so.

I’ve used TiddlyWiki for a while now, and even managed to get it do do a few interesting things. I like that I can save a copy to my Dropbox, and now I’m using TiddlyDesktop, it’s relatively painless to make and save changes.

But while it’s pretty ok” to use, and there is a lot going for it really, it’s the user interface that I struggle with a bit. The concept of tiddlers is pretty cool (single units of information, almost like a little card, that you then link together), but the way they open and close (and the way you can sometimes get lost and find yourself accidentally closing the wrong things if you’re on a closing-down-roll) and position themselves still feels a bit odd, after a few years of playing around with it. It’s also very mouse-heavy, and I like the idea of creating links via text, the way nvAlt was so good at. (But now I am primarily on a Windows laptop, and the alt versions of nvAlt for Windows are pretty poor.)

So–I’ve been looking around for a new wiki. I tried out wikidPad, which I have mucked around with in the past. It’s the other end of the spectrum to TiddlyWiki: bare-bones, text-based, straightforward. But it reminds me of my programming days back in the 90s. It’s so Windows. And then I feel shallow for feeling that way, and then I close wikidPad and wonder why we aren’t BFFs.

Next up: DokuWiki. I even managed to set it up to run from Dropbox. Structurally, it’s even more old-school wiki than wikidPad is, with formal editing and versioning. Because it’s sitting on Dropbox I can view it on any web browser, and it’s super-easy to use from the get-go (even though I think it deserves a lot more digging).

You can see where I’m going here. I didn’t stick with DokuWiki either. So what’s the verdict then?


I’m finding that Zim Wiki is easy to use, quick to enter and create new records, saves everything as plain-text, lives on Dropbox, and has lots of plugins. I really like the feel of it, despite the fact that its linking seems to work slightly differently to other wikis. It sure isn’t perfect, but right now it’s working for me! :)