Thursday, August 25, 2005

Not tiddlywinks

TiddlyWiki. It's an incredible DHTML technology developed by some guy named Jeremy Ruston. He tries to describe it as a non-linear personal blog.

However, it's not that easy to wrap your brain cells around. It's an altogether new mental construct, so you have to explore one for a while to get it. In fact, to fully understand it, I recommend getting your own (it's open source) and create your own TiddlyWiki. Don't worry, it requires no knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, or CSS (its underlying technologies). If you know how to use a browser and save a file, you're ready to go.

That's not to say it's without limitations. For example, it's best suited for textual information because, although you can include images in a TiddlyWiki, you don't have quite the control over the images as you would in a standard Web page. Additionally, since all the content is stored in one file, if the Web page has a large volume of content, it could take a while to download the page after it's requested.

That said, it's potential for a Web "site" is amazing! In fact, probably one of the best examples I've seen of Web user interface design is a TiddlyWiki page. Elise Springer, a philospher at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, USA, is using TiddlyWiki for her homepage. You can check it out at MyWiki is also a TiddlyWiki page. It's not nearly as impressive as Elise's, but if you're so inclined, you can check it out at

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