Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm eavesdropping on a fascinating email exchange between Chris Dent (of Blue Oxen and Socialtext fame) now working on TiddlyWeb and Frank McIngvale who's project is WikklyText.

I haven't had time to take it all in yet. But it looks like Chris has got TiddlyWeb working on the Google App. Engine. And Frank has got a stand-alone TiddlyWiki markup language working.

The main idea of TiddlyWeb continues Chris's focus (since Blue Oxen days with EEKim, I'd guess) on sub-page level elements on wiki. Remember Blue Oxen's thing was Purple Numbers, individual paragraph Ids. Here, he's using "Tiddlers", the individually named, sub-page elements that TiddlyWiki would show or hide, and assembling them in a new, looser collections called "bags".

From what I understand so far, having named tiddlers rather than arbitrary purple numbers is definitely a move in the right direction. (In the sense that it makes the small pieces human-addressable as well as machine-addressable.) In fact each item is addressed by a combination of Tiddler name + bag name (where bag is more a kind of policy or query)

There's long discussion going on right now about URIs (which seem to become almost queries or operations on the bags) to access the tiddlers in a ReSTful way that I'm still absorbing.

Anyway, they're definitely "banging the rocks together" in wiki and breaking pages up into a finer granularity. And, after Twitter's discovery of the virtues of 140 character status updates, now generalized to a theory of micro-blogging, the world is definitely ready for a wiki micro-chunking experiment. Who knows where it will lead?
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