Saturday, March 24, 2012

Project ThoughtStorms

Over on SmartDisorganized you can read how I've become enamoured of Ward Cunningham's new wiki.

Ward is, of course, the guy who invented the original wiki and is someone renowned for being extremely insightful in a low key kind of a way. With his new project, the Smallest Federated Wiki he's reinventing wiki for an age of mobile devices and rich browsers. Where each of us has our own wiki (as we have our own blog) but want to to share data between them, through a voluntary "pull" pattern closer to distributed source control managers such as git. And a world where we want wiki to act as a dashboard to an array of servers, sensors and data-streams.

This is an exciting, forward-looking vision of wiki, and I've completely re-oriented my thinking around it. I've now ported ThoughtStorms wiki across to the new engine, bringing it into the federation. I'll be doing the same with my other wikis. And I've decided that this is now the future of SdiDesk. I'll be writing converters for SdiDesk pages and SFW-plugins to handle the network diagramming etc. aspects.

This is exciting. Even seeing ThoughtStorms in the new format (where drag-and-drop refactoring is extremely easy) inspires me to start tidying it up with re-writes, purges of dead-links and other outdated material. That's not going to happen overnight, it happens at the organic rate of wiki's life, death, composting and rebirth, but this spring ThoughtStorms is definitely recovering from its recent hibernation. And I hope we'll soon see SdiDesk throwing up new shoots.

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