Monday, December 29, 2003


My recent entry about my desire for a Wiki that thinks in XML instead of text/html led me to an interesting application. David Pickett pointed me at WikidPad. I've been trying it out, and I have to say I really like it. It's a desktop application that lets you build a series of linked documents in much the same way that a Wiki does on the web. To me, it's sort of like OneNote, except instead of pages and tabs and sections, you get hyperlinks, which is fundamentally more powerful.

I'm definitely going to be shelling out for this one. I mean, it's only $12, and the last release was just last month, so I know it's still in active development). Of course there are things about it that I don't like. For example, while the keyboard shortcuts are plentiful, there are a few more I'd like to have. But I imagine the devs will be hearing from me about all the little nits I don't like. :) And the app is easily powerful enough to tackle the particular task I have in mind for it, which is to organize the hundred or so pages of notes I have for a role playing game I'm running. (Vampire, if you must know.)

At any rate, while it's nice that I have a tool that's good enough (and good), I still haven't found what I was originally looking for, which is the fusion of typed information (i.e. XML), the Wiki build-by-accretion model, and a desktop (not web) application. WikiPad has two of those three, but it's still a collection of untyped (i.e. text) information. Fortunately, the storage format - while not XML - is simple and textual, so if I need to parse it into something else, I can.

By the way, if anyone out there is interested in building something like an XMLWiki, give me a shout. While I don't have time to write the darn thing myself, I do have time to share my vision and to provide guidance to anyone that would like to tackle it as a side project. I think it's a fascinating subject, if for no other reason than that it involves figuring out the right balance between too little and too much structure.


  1. I'm working on something called WhaTBI (don't ask!), which I first mentioned in a post a couple of months back ( Unfortunately I haven't got that far at the moment, but it has got its own GDN workspace (, and I am hoping to get a bit of time to work on it in the coming weeks.
    I don't think it's exactly what you're asking about, but as it is intended to be a generic framework with O/x mapping, where x is likely to be either an RDBMS or some XML source (file, web service, RSS feed, etc.) and presentation components, I could certainly imagine that your proposed app could easily be implemented with it.

  2. Interesting. I'll have to be sure to check it out. Thanks!

  3. You might check out FlexWiki which is starting a windows editor to maintain wiki content.

  4. Bit of an update on WhaTBI?, in case you're interested, at

  5. Yeah, I ran across the FlexWiki editor just the other day. Haven't downloaded it yet, but it looks like just exactly what I want! (Assuming I get off my butt and add the features I want, or Omar rocks the house and does it right.)