Hi Talk Tiddlywiki, sorry you haven’t been very active lately. I stayed away from this site and Tiddlywiki for a long time because I found myself in a loop of perfectionism and “analysis paralysis” (I don’t like these words very much, but they actually give a good idea of my situation)
I will give you a short personal story to illustrate a problem of mine, then I will tell you about an idea/something that could help users who have found themselves in a similar situation to mine.
I trusted that Tiddlywiki could be a great system to help me manage my personal projects. Unfortunately it was almost the opposite. Overwhelmed by the possibilities of this wonderful program, I wanted to do it all, and have it all.
An empty Tiddlywiki is lightweight, infinitely customizable and with tons of possibilities.
But for a new user with little knowledge of programming and tiddlywiki, this in my opinion can be a danger. It certainly was for me. I spent months using almost all of my free time to create the “perfect tool” for myself. I also built some nice systems that I was planning on sharing in the form of a “my empty tiddlywiki” but unfortunately I opened too many projects and completed very few.
For almost all my creations I have consulted the answers to past questions on this forum, and sometimes I have asked some myself (to which I have always received excellent answers for which I renew my thanks)
The point is that TiddlyWiki could really be the perfect tool for me and many other users. But I fear that in reality it is only for a select few.
For many it will be too complicated, and many others, once downloaded, will not dig deep enough and will not understand how much TiddlyWiki can really do and will abandon it without knowing what a wonderful tool it really is.
Others, like me, will get lost in this sea of information and possibilities and after a long time they will reluctantly turn away. I came back because I trust TiddlyWiki is right for me. But I thought I’d share my concerns.
- What I think many users would need is a “guide”.
But I don’t mean better documentation, or new tutorials. The ones we already have I found to be quite good, if one really cares to learn.
However, what would be most needed is, alongside the “empty” TiddlyWiki files, some “non-empty” TiddlyWiki, which provide some basic tools and an example of how it “should” be used, based on user needs.
Unfortunately the empty TiddlyWiki, unless you build a lot upon it, is not a very interesting tool, especially when you start to have a lot of tiddlers.
I know there are many wonderful plugins, and many users have also been generous enough to share their projects. From those one can patch up the “dream TiddlyWiki” which would be perfect for one’s needs.
But discovering that those plugins and project exist, finding them, and making them coexist well in your TiddlyWiki is a big task. (And you quickly risk being overwhelmed by the enormous possibilities)
Not to mention that you often also need to think about how to manage the information you enter in your TiddlyWiki (for example, create a consistent notation or tag system that helps you manage your tiddlers without problems)
However, if there was a pre-packaged wiki, with plugins already on board or already in the core, this could be very convenient for many users.
In this “non-empty TiddlyWiki” there could already be the most useful plugins, well integrated with the rest of the wiki and a simple pre-built interface ready for use. (For interface I mean maybe a Sidebar tab can help you filter through your tiddlers, a bookmark section… Not necessarely, these are just the first ideas I came up with)
In my opinion, if we looked for the most requested functions, we could as a community build some simple example wikis, ready for use. Maybe with few but useful suggestions on how to use it (maybe reccomending a naming convention where needed etc.) It could be done by categories: one for taking notes, another to be used aa planner... So each new user can try and see what TiddlyWiki can really do right ahead - without having to first get lost in a sea of information and then re-emerge only if tenacious enough. It is in my opinion better if many inexpirienced users don't start from scratch. (I know there are also example-wikis made by wonderful members of the community that could be used as a starting point but they are, often necessarily, niche applications.)
- The tools already exist, in my opinion this could be done without much effort. Just some coordination.
I think we could collect which are the most convenient and most requested functions for a common use of Tiddlywiki and build an example wiki with those functions that one can then use as a “frame” for their own personal wiki, without having to start from nothing (that can be overwhelming)
It will not be perfect for everyone, but it would serve as a good starting point.
I’m not saying this out of laziness, I spent many months trying to build it on my own, and I will continue my efforts to build my “perfect tool”. And I’m willing to help as much as I can, to give back as much as I recived from the community. But in my opinion this could bring a lot of users in, I really think it could.
In any case, I don’t know if what I proposed can really be done or if it will be a good thing to have. (I’m quite convinced of it, but you never know )
But I wanted to at least let you know about some problems I encountered using TiddlyWiki.