Neil's Noodlemaps

My personal wiki setup

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I started with just org-mode and org-publish. As of March 2020, I started using org-roam, too.

This has been a nice progression. Using just plain org-mode got me started with minimal effort. Then org-roam has been a great extra layer on top, when I realised I wanted more to follow the zettelkasten/tiddler approach of smaller notes linked together. It provides a list of backlinks, as well as basic graphing/visualisation, so it goes some way to helping find the constellations, too.

I am very tied to text-editing in Emacs (with vi bindings), so big win here so far. To be honest I'm not a huge fan of org-mode markup for some reason, it's a bit ugly in places (I mean #+BEGIN_QUOTE, what the hell kind of syntax is that??), but I'm familiar with it and of course it integrates very nicely into Emacs.

With org-publish you can pretty easily (requires a bit of config) output the static HTML. org-roam taught me the nice idea of adding extra hook as well for org-publish, and has one for pulling in all your backlinks. I may switch to ox-hugo at some point, for improved publishing.

See my personal wiki config for some config bits and pieces.

I like this as an approach because it uses and leverages all of the existing functionality of the Emacs ecosystem. I'm not learning a new tool (although of course it was a new tool to me at one point, and I wouldn't really recommend all this to someone not already familiar with Emacs, it's a steep learning curve - worth it though!).

1 How it meets requirements

2 Local-first

I can write in org and org-roam without any connection. If I want to pull in some links then I need one at the moment, but I can just use the title.

3 Could be improved

  • search ing the HTML version. Not a big deal to be honest - I can search my local version easily enough, so it would only really be useful if I want other people to be able to search. Or sometimes I do want to search just so I can share a specific page with someone. (At the moment I go to /sitemap and that works well enough though). If I want improved publishing, I could use ox-hugo.
  • structured data, e.g. I can see the list of books I've read begging for something more structured than plain text, or the big old list of tracks. But let's see how we go. I'm not trying to build a database.
  • could mark it up with microformats
  • transclusion could perhaps be nice, or some of that block include stuff Roam has. In org-roam itself, some discussion here https://github.com/jethrokuan/org-roam/issues/317. fedwiki/tiddlywiki style transclusion in the publish would also be nice. A mention of that here: https://github.com/jethrokuan/org-roam/pull/263.
  • an easy to navigate edit history / permalinks - it doesn't affect my own usage of the wiki, and I do have it versioned in git, but my URLs aren't very cool - other people might experience linkrot and struggle to see history

4 Backlinks

This page last updated: 2020-08-03 Mon 21:59. Map. Index. All recent changes. License: Peer Production License.