JLiki 10: TiddlyWiki Plugins

by JL Beeken on 7-26-2008

If you’ve read the previous JLiki posts you have everything you need to build your genealogy wiki. But in WikiWorld there’s always more. Some of it’s easy and some of it’s way-out-there.

Sometimes it’s useful to be able to import tiddlers from one wiki to another without the stress and strain of copying and pasting. Either on your own hard-drive or from the Internet.

I’ve put a wiki out on the web for you to import from, as a demonstration. So, first, open your wiki.

Then click ‘backstage’ in the upper right of your wiki and click on ‘import’. I’m going to give you the URL because otherwise you won’t know what it is. So first choose whatever is in the top box for Choose, (sometimes it says ‘file’, sometimes it says TiddlyWiki) and where it says ‘Enter the URL…’ paste this:

http://www.jgen.ws/jlikiplugins.html

Import Tiddlers, TiddlyWiki

Then click ‘open’. Commonly, there will be a longer list of available tiddlers, but I’m just starting my collection. Tick the boxes next to LinkCodes and FormatCodes and click ‘import’. If you already made a tiddler called LinkCodes in JLiki 8, this will overwrite what you have so you may not want to. (You can still go and see what it looks like so you can decide.) When it says ‘done’ you can close that box. Click the Refresh button in your browser. If you don’t click Refresh after importing tiddlers they won’t work.

They should now be listed alphabetically on your All list. Add them to the top of your MainMenu, and you’ll have access to them while you’re making your wiki.

There are some other things there that you might also be interested in. The plugins are for you to look at. If you’re going to import any of them you should use the link given to go to the source directly in case there’s a newer version. Plugins have been developed by various people to enhance the wiki experience in more ways than I’ll ever know.

Importing plugins from other websites is done exactly the same as I’ve described above. Enter the URL of the website and click ‘open’. When you’re opening a wiki from a website sometimes the list is quite long and you need to wait a minute for it to load. Anything in bold is already part of your own wiki so ignore those.

Plugins run the gamut from easy to hard, useful to irrelevant. They’re not necessarily up to date with the latest version of TiddlyWiki and therefore don’t work. Most of them probably are up-to-date but I’m too dumb to figure them out. I do better with the ones that come with instructions. If you have time for a second hobby you could become a TiddlyWiki plugin aficionado.

Not everything you’ll see on a list are plugins. It’s a list of every tiddler in the wiki. You can also import those. For that matter you can save entire wikis and open them directly from your own computer but watch out for being overwhelmed. Here come the TiddlyRabbits.

What I would suggest is getting a new blank TiddlyWiki and using that for plugin testing. If you find anything you want to use in your genealogy wiki, you can import there.

JLiki Plugins is now my official repository for wiki sidelines as I discover them and deem them desirable. If you find any you particularly like and think would be useful to our projects, please drop us a line about them. You can go back to either of these addresses anytime and see what’s new.

Here are some of the main places you can go looking for plugins and other instruction:

Plugins add size to your tiddler and slow it down (eventually). If you get to noticing that, one trick is to turn off ‘enable animations’.

If you get carried away with your project, linking every source document you’ve collected over the past 30 years, you might as well burn the whole thing to a DVD. I mean, if it ever comes to that …

But hey! Picture this … Multiple permalinked wikis … each on their own 8GB flash-drive … all plugged in at the same time. Someone, run and get the disco ball!

That’s it, fellow-JLikians. You’re now on the cutting edge of genealogy publishing. Go forth and spread your WikiWords. Class dismissed but stay in touch.

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