2/17/2017: Echo Echo Ideas

A funny thing is happening as I accumulate bodies of text and ideas, however poorly organized. It’s the same thing that happened the first (and really, last, if I were being honest) time I blogged with any frequency.

I’m forgetting what I’ve already posted and I’m finding my brain rediscovering paths I tread 15 years ago.

The thought process in this case goes like this:

“The problem with blog posts is that they’re serialized in time. You have to go through them in chronological order (or referenced by their posting time/date) in order to find something specific. There should be an extremely fluid way to be able to cross-reference meaningful posts and concepts between them with an absolute MINIMUM of extra work (or post searching.) Then you could jump in at any point and spider through conceptual relationships rather than chronological ones.”

Now this is a describing a Wiki. And no I don’t mean that giant bag of shit over at wikipedia. I mean Ward Cunningham’s original wiki. You’d type a post and use what was called a WikiWord, two (or more, iirc) words joined together, both capitalized. That meant you were typing a post title.

When you saved the text and it rendered in to a web page, the rendering code looked for WikiWords (yes, plurals created an interesting issue) and just replaced that with a link to a page of that name/title. IF that page didn’t exist, the link took you to a “create new page?” form. If it did, it took you right to the page.

Clicking on the page title brought you to a search page that listed all references to that page.

This way you can type a topic post and put in references to the pages you’re going to back fill later on. Back when the original was really active, it was kinda amazing how, if you were adding to a page, which was the primary method of conversation, you could type a WikiWord with the intention of filling in that page only to find out that it already existed when you saved your changes. So additional connections were drawn between existing content.

It really is absolutely genius in its simplicity.

I worked on a couple wiki style plugins for blogging systems back in the early 2000s. Movable Type, Blogspot (before Google fucking ate it), Radio Userland…aaaannnd I don’t remember the other popular ones. I was never patient enough to get them working with the apis correctly.

But now when I look for wiki plugins for WordPress (swidt?) I find that the generally accepted definition of a wiki has changed from what it was to the Wikipedia style full blown content management systems, which is just disgusting.

So I may end up whipping myself up some WordPress plugins. We’ll see.

Knowing me I already said all this a few months ago.