My personal wiki requirements


Without getting into the weeds of specific tooling, what do I actually want to do with a personal wiki?

1 Higher level stuff

[NOTE: this is pretty wiki/garden focused - I would like to take this up a level to also include the stream stuff I want, too. That's currently kind of separate in blog tooling.]

  • something that makes writing easy to do and easy to maintain. Whatever works best for you for getting your ideas down, is the most important.
  • Next up is some way of linking those ideas.
  • A way to help you see the constellations of your thoughts
  • If you want it to feed into publish discussion (which I do), you probably want some way of publishing it.
  • Libre software. I don't want to use a commercial VC-funded silo that will monetise me and my thoughts, then close down.

Lilia Efimova writes about her dream wiki/weblog tool in 2004(!).

2 More technical stuff

Some more personal/techy bits of it that I want:

  • plain-text: I just want text files, man. Mainly so I can edit them with spacemacs, but for all the other benefits of plain text over a DB.
  • backed by version control: I just like VC for things that incrementally change over time. Also acts as a kind of backup if you push to a remote somewhere.
  • publishable as HTML: so I can point other people to it if it's ever handy to do so
  • easy to write and maintain: otherwise I know my enthusiasm will fizzle out. For me that means key bindings and navigation that's intuitive to me.
  • local first: I want to be able to work on this without needing an Internet connection available. To be fair, I usually do have one available, but very occasionally not. And those times when I don't are quite often those when I have the most time and headspace for writing. I also like local-first as a general principle.

Right now, I'm not so bothered about web access / mobile support. I have ways of taking fleeting notes while I'm out and about if I need to, and I see longer-form writing as more of a desk-based activity.

In short I basically want a mash-up of TiddlyWiki and emacs, so I can do all the text editing in emacs, but with all the work that has gone into knowledge management in TiddlyWiki.

3 Elsewhere in the garden

Notes that link to this note (AKA backlinks).

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