If you are looking for an open source alternative to Roam Research, TiddlyWiki is your best bet. Because it’s self-hosted—meaning you keep your data private—it may seem a bit more daunting to get started. So here is a guide which will take you from complete beginner to completely in love with TiddlyWiki in three steps. ... Read moreGetting started with TiddlyWiki: a beginner’s tutorial
Self-hosting TiddlyWiki with GitHub Pages
Because it is a single text file usually named
TiddlyWiki is easy to use, highly flexible, modifiable, and can be easily copied, backed up, and shared. There’s an active community of users and developers for the platform which dates back to 2004. There are a variety of examples and documentation online and plugins are literally as simple as dragging and dropping some files from one source directly into your own Wiki. For those interested in the OER movement, individual Tiddlers (TiddlyWiki’s name for cards or discrete entries within the wiki) can be easily dragged and dropped from other TiddlyWikis to copy them!
There are some useful instructions for hosting it almost everywhere–except on one’s own domain name.
The few easy options I’ve found for hosting a TiddlyWiki publicly online as a website were rely on someone else’s service as a subdomain. As much as I like the idea of TiddlySpot I really wanted to use my own domain name (not to mention that it’s non-obvious how to host a newer TiddlyWiki version 5 (TW5) instance there). I’d also seen TiddlySpace shut down a few years ago and didn’t want to deal with that potentiality—though I will admit that exporting would be as simple as downloading and moving a single file!
So after a month or so at tinkering around at several complicated solutions that always seemed beyond my grasp, I went back to IndieWeb basics. What is their recommendation for the easiest way to get a website up and running? The fact that an empty TiddlyWiki file is named
index.html gave me my answer: set up a GitHub Pages-based website and simply connect it to my domain!
However, as simple as this pathway may seem to some, I thought I’d briefly document the process I took so others can do the same for themselves.
First I’ll presume you’ve got a domain name and a host that will allow you to change the CNAME for where your domain name is pointed. (If you don’t, check out https://indieweb.org/personal-domain for details.)
In short, you’re going to upload a single file to your GitHub account and then point your domain name at it.
The idea of GitHub may scare a lot of people, but you won’t need to use git, know any git commands, or even know how git works since I’ll describe steps that entirely use the graphical user interface and don’t come anywhere near using the command line or any complicated GitHub applications. It’ll be as easy as dragging and dropping.
- Go to https://tiddlywiki.com/ and click on the “Download Empty” button on their homepage. This will allow you to save a file called
index.htmlto a convenient place on your computer.
- This one file is the entirety of your future website! Guard it well.
- If you don’t already have one, create an account at https://github.com/
- You’ll use this account and their free GitHub Pages service to host your website for free as long as the project folder (also known as a repository) you are hosting is public.
- At GitHub create a new repository.
- Name it
usernameis your username (or organization name if you’re doing it for your organization) on GitHub.
- Give your repository an optional descriptive name. I named mine “A TiddlyWiki commonplace book”
- Choose the “Public” option, otherwise no one will be able to visit your new website.
- Click “Create Repository”
- Name it
- Upload your TiddlyWiki to your new repository
- In the Quick Set Up box click on the link for “uploading an existing file”.
- On the subsequent page you can either drag and drop the empty TiddlyWiki
index.htmlfile you saved on your computer or you can click “choose your files” to find and upload the file.
- If you like, you can optionally add any additional README, License, or gitignore files as necessary. If you don’t know what these are you can safely skip them or revisit doing this later.
- Under “Commit changes” give your upload a short title; the suggested “Add files via upload” is fine. You can add an optional extended description if you like.
- Click on the “Commit Changes” button.
- P.S.: If you haven’t done so before you’ve just made your first Git commit. Congratulations!!
- Your https://github.com/username/username.github.io repository folder should now be ready and have your
index.htmlfile in it.
Setting up your domain
- Here you may need to consult with the the instructions your specific domain name registrar or host has for pointing your domain name (or subdomain) at your new GitHub Pages website. Usually they will have step by step instructions for doing this, but they can also often do it for you via email or phone support if you prefer.
- Instructions for Reclaim Hosting: https://community.reclaimhosting.com/t/mapping-a-domain-to-custom-dns-records/32
- Instructions for 1&1 using a subdomain: https://www.ionos.com/help/domains/configuring-cname-records-for-subdomains/configuring-a-cname-record-for-a-subdomain/
- Now you’ll want to configure your GitHub Pages site to dovetail with your domain.
- In your newly created GitHub repository, click on the “Settings” tab in the top right corner or go to https://github.com/username/username.github.io/settings
- Scroll down the page to the “GitHub Pages” section
- In the “Custom Domain” section enter your domain name
example.cominto the field and click the “Save” button.
Setting up your website
- It may take a while for the DNS system to propagate the changes from your host, but you should be able to visit your website and see your empty TiddlyWiki online. Congrations! You’ve got a new website.
- You’ll notice in the TiddlyWiki documentation that the first rule of TiddlyWiki is to always save or back up your wiki!
- (The second rule, in true Fight Club fashion, is–let’s say it together–to always save or back up your wiki!)
- Since our wiki is on GitHub, we’ll want to use the Save to a Git Service instructions. Once set up, the changes to our TiddlyWiki should automatically self-save (this can be changed within your wiki’s Control Panel too) or they can be saved manually using the TiddlyWiki checkmark save functionality.
- I’ll note that you can presently use your GitHub password in these settings, but this isn’t quite as secure as generating a custom token (or password), and sometime in late 2020, GitHub won’t allow you to use your basic account password this way, so you may as well set up the personal access token now.
- Setting up Personal Access Tokens
- You will need a Personal Access Token (essentially a password that will be specific to your TiddlyWiki account) in order to save your TiddlyWiki file.
- On GitHub, click on your user icon, select “Settings”, then “Developer Settings”
- Next click on the “Personal Access Tokens” tab and then click “Generate new token”
- Give your token a descriptive name like “TiddlyWiki”
- Under scopes, select “repo” (and all of its sub-scopes)
- Click the “Generate Token” button at the bottom of the page.
- Once created, immediately copy this string somewhere safe since navigating away from the page will not allow you to recover it. (If you do, you’ll need to regenerate a new token.)
- Finally copy the text of your token into the Tiddler noted above in place of your password. There’s no explicit save button, just ‘X’ out of the settings control panel and click your TiddlyWiki’s main save button.
- Your token value should be stored in browser local storage.
- Now you can edit any Tiddler and save it.
- After edits to your wiki, you’ll see that the checkmark icon on the page is red (depending on your theme), indicating changes to save. You can click on it to force a save.
- I’ve found it convenient to wait for the TiddlyWiki to schedule the save on its own, however, make sure you’ve saved any changes you want before closing your browser tab.
- Sometimes saves aren’t always successful and you’ll see error warnings, but usually they’ll clear themselves up on subsequent auto saves.
- If necessary, you can visit your GitHub repository for your wiki and it will indicate the interval of time since the last save.
- Everything after this you may be able to either handle yourself by poking around your new wiki or you can find lots of help in the two Google Groups listed above or by searching around online, in fora, or even step-by-step videos on YouTube.
- If you’ve done this as part of the IndieWeb or A Domain of One’s Own, be sure to log yourself into the IndieWeb wiki and add yourself to the examples on their TiddlyWiki page where you might also find some other useful ideas.
- If you like, you can delve deeper into GitHub and use one of their apps or command line functionality to regularly back up your website to your desktop, or you can make branches of your site on your local computer and then push those changes up to the cloud.
- If you find problems or encounter issues, feel free to drop me a line or catch me or others in the IndieWeb chat.
📺 Finding things in WordPress core with GitHub and Grep | YouTube
A short video on using tools to search the WordPress core code for filters and actions. Tips and tricks for WordPress development with Github and grep.
hat tip: John Johnson
👓 Displaying Webmentions with Posts | Amit Gawande
I have been using Blot, a simple blogging platform with no interface, for quite some time now for running my blog. I am not alone when I say this, but am mighty impressed with how simple it is to post things on blot and maintain the overall site. They are just some files in Dropbox - that’s about ...
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When it comes to professional WordPress development, it's imperative that developers understand both actions and filters - that is, it's important to understand WordPress hooks. Simply put, hooks...
📺 RSS in Plain English | YouTube
A short explanation of RSS and how it helps you save time reading the web.
This video introduces RSS as a way to subscribe to websites and save time on the Web. An "old vs. new" theme illustrates how RSS differs from visiting web sites independently, including:
• The new and old ways of reading news on the web
• An introduction to RSS Readers
• How to identify and subscribe to an RSS feed
• What to expect when using an RSS reader
Creating a tag cloud directory for the Post Kinds Plugin on WordPress
For others who haven’t realized the functionality is hiding in the Post Kinds Plugin, here are some quick instructions for enabling the tag cloud widget:
- In the administrative UI, go to
Appearance » Widgetsin the menu structure.
- Drag the “Tag Cloud” widget to one of your available sidebars, footers, headers or available widget areas.
- Give the widget a title. I chose “Post Kinds”.
- Under the “Taxonomy” heading choose
- If you want to show tag counts for your kinds, then select the checkbox.
- If necessary, select visibility if you want to create conditions for which pages, posts, etc. where the widget will appear.
- Finally click save.
You’ll end up with something in your widget area that looks something like this (depending on which Kinds you have enabled and which options you chose):
If you’re interested in changing or modifying the output or display of your tag cloud, you can do so with the documentation for the Function Reference wp tag cloud in the WordPress Codex.
👓 Sending your First Webmention from Scratch | Aaron Parecki
Webmention is one of the fundamental indieweb building blocks. It enables rich interactions between websites, like posting a comment or favorite on one site from another site. This post will walk you through the simplest way to get started sending webmentions to other sites so that you can use your ...
One useful thing for beginners that I don’t think got mentioned (pun intended!) in the article is that for receiving websites which don’t have a built in webmention form you can use a service like http://mention-tech.appspot.com/ which will allow you to manually put in the sending site and the receiving site and it will act as a bridge to send the webmention for you.
📺 Git Tutorial 5: Branches (Create, Merge, Delete a branch) | YouTube
In this tutorial, I'll cover a very powerful feature of git called branch. I will show you how you can manage alternate versions of your code by creating separate branches, how to merge branches and delete them.
📺 Git Tutorial 4: Undoing/Reverting/Resetting code changes | YouTube
In this tutorial, we will cover how to undo or revert a code change. Also I will show you how to reset your git branch to any previous commit id.
📺 Git Tutorial 3: Basic Commands: add, commit, push | YouTube
In this git tutorial we will learn how to commit a code change locally using git commit and how to upload it to remote using git push.
📺 Github Tutorial For Beginners – Github Basics for Mac or Windows & Source Control Basics | YouTube
If you've been wanting to learn Github, now's the perfect time! Github is seen as a big requirement by most employers these days and is very critical to business workflow. This Github tutorial will cover the basics of how to use Github and the command line.
Setting up WordPress for IndieWeb use
I spent some time this morning doing a dry run through setting up a suite of IndieWeb plugins on a fresh WordPress installation. Going off of a scant outline I talked for almost two hours describing IndieWeb functionality as I set it all up. Hopefully it will provide a useful guide to newcomers to the space until I can write up a more solid outline and take a more polished approach. Apologies in advance for the roughness of the audio, lack of quality, and even live mistakes. Hopefully folks won’t mind suffering through until we can come up with some better tutorials.
As prerequisites, I assume you’ve already got your own domain and have installed WordPress on a server or other host. I actually finish setting up the WordPress install as I start the video and then sign in for the first time as we begin.
While many of the core plugins are straightforward, there is a huge amount of leeway in how folks can choose (or not) to syndicate to sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others. Here I make the choice to use the Bridgy Publish plugin and only demonstrate it with Twitter. With one example shown, hopefully other silos can be set up with Brid.gy as well. The IndieWeb wiki details other options for those who want other methods.
At the end I walk through creating and syndicating a post to Twitter. Then I demonstrate commenting on that post using another CMS (WithKnown) from a separate domain.
I do my best to provide verbal descriptions and visual examples, but these can certainly be supplemented with further detail on the IndieWeb wiki. I hope to come back and add some diagrams at a later date, but this will have to suffice for now.
For those who would like an audio only version of this talk, you can listen here (.mp3):
🔖 Fundamentals of NetLogo | Complexity Explorer
About the Tutorial:
This tutorial will present you with the basics of how to use NetLogo to create an agent-based modeling. During the tutorial, we will briefly discuss what agent-based modeling is, and then dive in to hands-on work using the NetLogo programming language, which is developed and supported at Northwestern University by Uri Wilensky. No programming background or knowledge is required, and the methods examined will be useable in any number of different fields.About the Instructor(s):
Bill Rand is an assistant professor of Business Management at the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University and a computer scientist by training. He has co-authored a textbook on agent-based modelingwith Uri Wilensky, the author of the NetLogo programming language. He is also the author of over 50 scholarly papers, many of which use agent-based modeling as their core methodology. He received his doctorate in computer science in 2005 from the University of Michigan, and was also awarded a postdoctoral fellowship to Northwestern University, where he worked directly with Uri Wilensky as part of the NetLogo development team.Syllabus
- Introduction to ABM
- Tabs, Turtles, Patches, and Links
- Code, Control, and Collections
- Putting It All Together
WE’RE LAUNCHING A NEW TUTORIAL!
Fundamentals of NetLogo, a primer on the most used agent-based modeling software, will be available tomorrow.
Stay tuned for our launch announcement, and check out all our tutorials at https://t.co/APIkME07y5 pic.twitter.com/M8qIJp1R6x
— ComplexityExplorer (@ComplexExplorer) April 2, 2018
👓 Site Building with WordPress and Elementor | Throw Out The Manual
One of the biggest challenges for folks new to building a website with WordPress is that it feels very much like writing/blogging software out of the box. Yes, you can create pages, but as soon as you want to structure information in columns or do anything more complex than images and text you will quickly find you need to find a theme or a handful of plugins to get the job done (and if you don't know what you don't know, that's a huge hurdle). "Site Builder" plugins are becoming more and more popular and you even see more themes integrating them into their frameworks these days. Some are pretty good, some suck really badly. One I really like and wanted to demonstrate as a way to quickly get up and running with a WordPress site is Elementor which is both free (there's a Pro version that has more features I'll discuss in a bit) and incredibly user-friendly with a lot of great options.
I am curious how some of these site builders will do with the upcoming release of Gutenberg, however.