I think the second reasons why FB and Twitter got so successful next to the network effect is that new posts don't require subject lines. When I still was on those platforms I often found myself just offloading random thoughts without thinking a lot about how to format or name that snippet.

When you write an Wordpress or most other blog engines your are required to think about a subject line. That alone is enough to not write anything in the first place at least for me. And I think many will agree with me on that.

This is also why notes on my website do not have a subject line. They are meant for quick and easy publishing.

Generate UIDs for Tiddlywiki

How do I generate a unique title for a new Tiddler?

Questions like this one pop up fairly regularly at the Tiddlywiki mailing list. I had the same problems when I just started out and so I know the struggle when one does not know how to create a Tiddler scheme that either does not need the title or does generate somewhat unique IDs automatically.

For most things I do with TiddlyWiki I use it as a CRUD platform and create forms which modify and create Tiddlers behind the scenes. For these kinds of setups I do not care about the Tiddler names at all since I never look for them directly and all data retrival happens via filter operations over their fields.

So most projects I create follow a workflow like this:

  1. Enter mostly uniform data/information into a form build from Widgets to create a new record of some sort (i.e. new book in my library).
  2. Have a standardised view on those records (every book has a title, cover, author, short summary and release year). For this I use ViewTemplates, which show record fields in whatever way I need to.
  3. Have a view over all records of one type similar to TiddlyWiki's own Tiddler manager where I can delete/update records.

Creating these forms in the first place needs some getting used to since they are build from WikiText and abovementioned Widgets. But so far I could achieve every layout I wanted this way and by now most projects are just a copypasta of previous ones I made.

A few years back I created a little Javascript macro that generates a random 6-place ID for new records and has been my go to whenever I had to create unique Tiddler names. Maybe this is of use to you too :)

/*\

title: $:/tjout/macro/uid.js
module-type: macro
type: application/javascript

Return new UID for tiddler title

1. Create a new Tiddler and past below content into the text field
2. Set the type of the TIddler to "application/javascript"
3. Create the field "module-type" with value "macro"
4. After reloading the Wiki type "<<uid>>" whenever you want an unique ID

\*/
(function() {

    "use strict";

    exports.name = "uid";

    exports.params = [];

    exports.run = function() {
        let newID;
        do {
            newID = Math.random().toString(36).substr(2, 6);
        } while (this.wiki.getTiddler(newID))
        return newID;
    };

})();

Maggie Appleton wrote about bi-directional links and the Xanadu project in her post A short history of bi-directional links where she pointed out that a DigitalGarden would be ideal for internal links since they are under ones control. Her initial inspiration of this concept came from Andy Matuschak who pretty much does the same thing I do for my notebook here in a Tidder's footer:

Anytime Andy links to another one of their notes on the site, it'll pop up as a related note at the bottom of the page.

In a future post I will dig into this as well and show how I use TiddlyWiki to generate files for Hugo to consume.

Plain text blogging

I just stumbled upon a blogpost by Lindsey Kuper about her prefering plain text over a complex WYSIWYG blogging framework.

Being a minimalist (borderline obsessed sometimes) when it comes to software I wholeheartedly agree with her about the ease of administration and migration. Having everything under version control feels save and one can simply start fiddeling away without having to fear breaking something.

Not for everybody

I do not think however that this kind of setup is for everybody. Some of my friends are not as technically inclined as I am and I know for a fact that a plain text editor and typing out some form of Markup would already stretch their abilities thin. Most never used a console before and for some even the MacOS terminal is terrifying dark magic. For those users a editor that resembles Libreoffice or Word is the only way they can publish something other than a post on Facebook or Twitter.

Summary

Whilst the "ease" of plain text editing and writing is second nature to folks like me who code in their free time and can get lost in the terminal for hours on end, WYSIWYG is ideal for all those that just want to get stuff out there and do not care how that works behind the scenes.

When testing my site with Monocle preview the post date was missing. This site runs Hugo, so I had to fix the date format string for dt-published: {{ .Date.Format "2006-01-02T15:04:05+01:00" }}.

The Shawshank Redemption

Today we started the IMDB top 250 list marathon with #1 on that list "The Shawshank Redemption". Half way through that movie I realized I had seen it before when I was about 10 years old. Back then of course I did not understand what it was about and thought of it being somewhat boring.

Whilst some of the scenes might seem a little lengthy compared to modern movies having at least 25 jumpcuts per minute I quite enjoyed the slower pace. It was a earthing experience and I felt with Brooks being lost after 50 years in prison. He articulated the same experience of the world moving way faster than what he remembered. Writing this I feel like an old man even though I am just in my thirties.

Even though I have seen the movie before I could not remember Andy's escape and think they did a marvelous job building up to that moment. Up until we saw the empty cell I was convinced Andy had taken his life and left a little surprise for the warden in those "deposits".

I think watching IMDB top movies will grant me a lot more of those great pieces of art. Looking forward to the remaining 249 movies on that list.

It is done!

My website is live. Right now I support Webmentions and Indieauth. Another post how I set it all up will follow shortly.