The Return of TiddlyWiki

When I wanted to try OneNote instead of my private wiki, I was hesitant. I didn’t want to give up such an important chunk of my privacy. When the itch to switch back started poking at me, I told myself the same story. Privacy. After all, no one in Microsoft has business seeing my most personal notes. As it turned out, there was more to it than the sheer unease of the cloud. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the most important thing that got me back to TiddlyWiki is that it was completely mine.

My wiki contains macros which I built myself to handle my images and annotations. The “solar” color scheme became so familiar and inviting to me, I started using it on my website and productivity apps. Even the annoying drawbacks of this independent app, such as a lack of seamless sync and a weird android app that fails to answer my needs, resulted in creative solutions. My creative solutions. As I learned more from the apps limitation and discovered my personal workflow, it felt as if so did TiddlyWiki — learning about me and adjusting to my needs. Eventually, the search for privacy in a world full of cloud apps became the core, the soil on which my wiki blossomed. I can confidently say that I have never kept such a detailed, rich, and satisfying journal in my entire life.

The Wiki, which I affectionately call MojoTwo (CamelCase rules), taught me something that surprised me about myself. I value order and organization, even though my physical environment screams otherwise. The format of the dates, the style guide for laying out images and captions, the monthly summaries, the nicknames of people, the naming scheme of personal events and methods. Every single bit of it, mine. A whole world that is tailored and built for one person and his logic. Never did I lay my hands on an application that is 100% free and 100% open like this one.

TiddlyWiki is not going away. Not because I trust its creator, Jeremy Ruston, to never kill this project (to his credit though, he’s been at it for 12 years), but because it’s based on nothing but HTML and JavaScript, completely open source and transparent. As long as we use web browsers, there would be TiddlyWiki. As a Linux user, I can store copies of my wiki along with an image of an OS that could work for decades, not a couple of years before its overlords deem it irrelevant. I am considering even keeping it behind as a legacy, something that never occurred to me with a computer program before.

TiddlyWiki is one of these gems you never hear about unless you know exactly where to look.

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