If there's anything that will make me me think twice about switching away from Opera it's a killer, easy to use, personal wiki that doesn't work in Opera. Something like TiddlyWiki - "a reusable non-linear personal web notebook" - would fit the bill.

Essentially, it's a personal wiki which you upload to a server. (Everything is contained in a single file.) When you read it the server doesn't DO anything but send you the text. There's no database, no back end work at all. All the magic is done client-side with javascript. You edit the wiki using your browser (javascript, remember?) and save the changes to your own hard drive. In other words, this isn't a collaborative tool like the wikis you know and love, it's a single-user experience.

The changes you make aren't saved on the server, which may seem pretty limiting, but if you need a quick way to create and publish content that doesn't need to be edited by your readers (blogs, manuals, quick synopses, FAQs) it's awesome. Build it locally and upload the single file to a server.

Just viewing the wiki downloads a local copy (to your cache), but if your right-click and view source you can save the entire wiki and all its contents anywhere you like. At the main site you can also download an empty shell of a wiki to play around with. It's very easy to get started.

Having your own personal wiki, on your own computer, can be immensely handy. I've used one (Newton) for almost a year now to keep track of snippets of documentation and code, Linux tricks, reading lists, shopping lists, etc. and I don't know how I lived without it. Tomboy is another good one. I'm seriously thinking of switching to TiddlyWiki, though, because I basically live in my browser.

The only catch is that it doesn't work very well with Opera. :( There are work-arounds, but they're kludgy. I'm going to give it a shot, though. If it doesn't work I might... no, never mind. Okay. I might switch browsers. [gasp]

TiddlyWiki's interface is very different from what most of us are used to. It's a bit like working with file cards, pulling out just the ones you need and spreading them on your desk. Every link you click opens onto the same page, which can be handier than hell for some kinds of content, but unsuitable for other sorts. It's not very well suited to long articles, for instance. It would be extremely useful for anyone who thinks in "outline style," keeps calendars and contact lists where they belong (not in Outlook), folks who need to take notes, or anyone who works with code snippets. I actually thought "Larry would probably like this" when I first saw it.

Neat trick: You can create a new blog on Blogspot and copy/paste your wiki into the template field. Google is now hosting your wiki. Cool? Cool. Later, if you decide to make changes, just edit it locally and update your blog template with the more recent file. Here's an example, which is just a copy of the main TiddlyWiki page uploaded into a test blog I made for the purpose. I viewed the source at TiddlyWiki.com, then pasted it into the blog template. Voila!


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