TiddlyWiki Configuration (part2, with a transclusion use case)

Please, if you do not know TiddlyWiki, read "A Gentle Guide to TiddlyWiki" at TiddlyWiki.com .

Latest Updates

I've added a few new items to my standard TiddlyWiki configuration tasks:
  • Create Navigation Tiddler
  • Configure Settings
  • Customize Appearance (Palette)
  • Customize Appearance (Theme Tweaks)
  • Setup "Fancy" TiddlyWiki Title and Subtitle
Please find details in my project,  CJ's Configuring TiddlyWiki.

In the remainder of this blog post, I want to discuss how transclusion helps with the setup of "Fancy" TiddlyWiki Title and Subtitle.  By "Fancy", I mean using formatting with wikitext, as per this TiddlyWiki.com tiddler, and/or using HTML code.

A TiddlyWiki Transclusion Use Case

Some Background Info

 TiddlyWiki's Basic Title and Subtitle

We set the title and subtitle for a TiddlyWiki instance via the Control Panel, on the "Info" tab and "Basics" sub-tab.  (See the screenshot below.) 

(Click here for a larger image)

Whatever value gets entered in the "Title of this TiddlyWiki" field will show in the side bar's "Title Area".  Whatever value gets entered in the "Subtitle" field will show in the side bar's "Subtitle Area."

Quick Mention: EditText Widgets

The fields in which we edit Title and Subtitle values are called "EditText Widgets."

Although I can't explain how this technically works, I know this much: a value entered in an EditText widget is saved in the text area of whatever tiddler linked to that EditText Widget.  (For details about EditText Widgets, please see this tiddler at TiddlyWiki.com.)

As per the screenshot below:
  • the "Title of this TiddlyWiki" EditText Widget value is saved into a System Tiddler called "SiteTitle"
  • the "Subtitle" EditText Widget value is saved into a "System Tiddler" called "SiteSubtitle"
  • (For details about "System Tiddlers", please see this tiddler at TiddlyWiki.com. ) 

(Click here for a larger image)

The Magic of Transclusion References in EditText Widgets

Just going by the images above, the "Title" and "Subtitle" areas in the Sidebar present the content of the "SiteTitle" and "SiteSubtitle" system tiddlers.  This happens, like so many things in TiddlyWiki, via some internal transclusion mechanism.

Although the EditText widgets for SiteTitle and SiteSubtitle do not provide enough room for anything but very simple text, we could setup "Fancy" Title and Subtitle by editing the related system tiddlers.

I wouldn't recommend it.  To me, messing around directly with system tiddlers risks causing all kinds of headaches.

It seems so much safer (and orderly, if you are at all like me), to create our own tiddlers for Title and SubTitle, and to put tiddler transclusion references in the related EditField widgets.

  • Created a tiddler called "Fancy TiddlyWiki Title"
  • Set the value of "Title of this TiddlyWiki" EditText Widget to "{{Fancy TiddlyWiki Title}}", which gets saved into the "SiteTitle" system tiddler
  • Created a tiddler called "Fancy TiddlyWiki Subtitle"
  • Set the value of "Subtitle" EditText Widget to "{{Fancy TiddlyWiki Subtitle}}"

This turns into transclusion of a transclusion.  Double-Transclusion?Transclusionx2?  Meh.

At some point soon after opening the TiddlyWiki, the Title Area fills up with the content of the "SiteTitle" system tiddler (i.e. {{Fancy TiddlyWiki Title}}.)  Because {{Fancy TiddlyWiki Title}} is a transclusion reference, that gets replaced in the Title Ara with the content of the "Fancy TiddlyWiki Title" tiddler.

Same thing happens with the Subtitle Area.

Well, that explanation came out right clumsily.  So, let's show all of that in pictures:

"Fancy TiddlyWiki Title" Tiddler

(Click here for a larger image)

"Fancy TiddlWiki Subtitle" Tiddler

(Click here for a larger image)

Control Panel's Title and Subtitle Values

(Click here for a larger image)

The "Fancy" Result:  Sidebar Title and Subtitle Areas

(Click here for a larger image)

Nothing can match experiencing things with some hands-on exploration.  Please go to the CJ's Configuring TiddlyWiki TiddlyWiki instance and play.

Cheers !

Intertwingularity Mapping with TiddlyWiki: TiddlyWiki Configuration (part1)

For my take on "Intertwingularity Mapping", please view the post Intertwingularity Mapping Defined (alpha version 0.1?)

An Intertwingularity Mapping project may very well "unofficially" begin with discussion and recording of information in whatever medium, for example:

  • sticky notes or any kind of pen-to-paper scenario
  • electronic files (documents, emails, etc.)
  • chalk/white boards

Sooner more likely than later, though, Intertwingularity Mapping necessitates some kind of formal medium with which to record, organize, and share information.  That likely requires software along with some hardware infrastructure / architecture (at its simplest: one or more files in some folder hierarchy somewhere; at its most complicated: some sort of solution requiring web servers and/or database servers.)

  • To me, no solution can handle Intertwingularity Mapping better than a wiki.  I'll do some ranting and raving about that in some future post(s).
  • For my purposes (various personal Intertwingularity Mapping projects), TiddlyWiki easily takes first place for Intertwingularity Mapping.  Sometimes, though, I need to quickly sort out deeply intertwingled information with help from Vym (a light mind mapping tool) or from Treesheets (a wickedly cool and agile hierarchical spreadsheet for free form data organization.)

Regardless of the solution used for an Intertwingularity Mapping project, a few things need some attention before recording and structuring information:
  • technical configuration of the solution
  • "look and feel" design/configuration
    • From Wikipediacomprises aspects of its design, including elements such as colors, shapes, layout, and typefaces (the "look"), as well as the behavior of dynamic elements such as buttons, boxes, and menus (the "feel").

I've recently started pondering about setting up a sample project to demonstrate Intertwingularity Mapping, and this has become a bit of a challenge: what kind of project can I imagine that will keep me motivated with a practical end-product goal?

Since I am a huge fan of TiddlyWiki, and am often creating new Intertwingularity Projects with TiddlyWiki, and have been wanting to somehow contribute to the TiddlyWiki community (without coding, for lack of Javascript programming skills), it dawned on me:  map information related to my standard approach to configuring every TiddlyWiki instance I create !

And so I've created this brand new Intertwingularity Mapping project:

This project will attempt to:
  • showcase how I like TiddlyWiki configured
    • technical configuration
    • look and feel configuration
  • describe each configured item
    • why I've configured as I've done
    • how to achieve the configuration 
  • showcase/describe Intertwingularity Mapping on this project

I've seeded my intertwingled project with the first two configuration items:
  • Install Relink Plugin
  • Configure Default Tiddlers

Me thinks I'll be having a good time with this, and I hope you find the information useful.  Stay tuned !

Cheers and best regards !

My American Sign Language project got a little bit more intertwingled

A quick follow-up to my 2020-04-24 post, American Sign Language and my intertwingled project.

I've made some pretty good progress on my little software project to create a web-based application to help learn American Sign Language.  I'm spending much more time programming than actually learning ASL, but this is turning into a really fun way to learn the alphabet and digits.

If you are interested in learning to spell in American Sign Language and/or interested in programming (with SpiderBasic specifically or in general), check out the current incarnation of my application here.

(Click here to view larger image.)

Technical side-note on intertwingled scope creep ...

I am a career-long SQLWindows (today: OpenText Gupta Team Developer) programmer, just a little over 25 years now.

Although a superb product, SQLWindows is much too expensive for hobby-programming. Besides, I have no interest in using any kind of computer other than a Linux-enabled Chromebook at home.

In my quest to find the right hobby-programming tools for home, I found myself extremely frustrated by available options until I discovered SpiderBasic.

Despite my fascination with the little gem that is SpiderBasic, I found myself continuously frustrated by the lack of structure that suits me so well with SQLWindows.

So my already intertwingled ASL project got a little bit of creep in scope: I am now also simultaneously working on "RAD.sb", a framework that facilitates rapid development of database applications with SpiderBasic.

Intertwingled fun !

From gas generator to JOI lamp: an intertwingled journey


How looking into these:
image by "GBleem"
licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license 

Turned into buying one of these:
image Copyright © JOI

For years, I had been searching for backup heating solutions in the event of a winter-time power outage.  Getting a gas generator did not float my boat at all: I have never been crazy about storing gas and oil, and getting into whatever maintenance involved in owning a gas generator.

When a local store recently had a pretty good sale on a very small gas generator, and not having any luck finding a decent alternative for emergency heat, I started looking more at gas generators and tiny portable electric heaters, just enough to keep the house from freezing.

Searching the web and reading whatever content I could find, I was getting a little bit flustered at the amount of time looking for helpful information and not really finding any.

Then, for whatever reason and straight out of left field, I started thinking about solar heating, which then got me thinking about solar mass and how in winter time, the interior of a car can be quite comfortable just from the warmth of sunlight.

So I started searching the web for content related to solar mass, and I somehow found this video about a thermoelectric generator:

I had never heard of thermoelectricity before, and I suddenly found myself wondering about the possibility of somehow charging devices via heat generated by my kitchen oven and even heat from baseboard heaters in winter time.

Gas generators no longer being on my mind, off I went searching for thermoelectric generator (TEG), looking for anything about TEG devices and/or TEG applications. 

I wasn't having much luck until I found a video review of the Caframo JOI lamp, which uses a tea light to power 8 LED lights via the magic of TEG's.

Very rarely do I ever buy anything without spending a few days doing some research about a product and any alternative options.  In this case, after quickly checking out a couple more reviews right away, I put in an online order for a JOI lamp and extra tea lights (https://joi.caframobrands.ca/) within an hour after seeing the first video.

I love the thing!  The product is unique and beautiful, and it provides really pretty and practical lighting in the event of a power outage (I always have a bunch of tea lights for emergencies) and as an alternative to regular lighting at any time.

Although the joi lamp may seem a little pricey, the thing is solidly built and quite attractive, the materials seem of very good quality,  and there are eight TEG's in there.  TEG's are not all that cheap. 

The lamp is awesome to own, and me thinks would make for an excellent gift.

NOTE: a similar product, the "HLC candle-powered LED light" does not seem to be as good a product as the JOI lamp.

Good folk out there have already published some very good YouTube videos of the JOI lamp.  Here are a few for your convenience:

This video very nicely shows the operation of the JOI lamp:

Note how the door of the lamp must be left open, after lighting the tea light, for 45 seconds before closing the door, and it takes about 2.5 minutes for the LED's to turn on at maximum brightness.

I really love this lamp.  I just find it is the coolest thing and looks awesome.  If you get one too, I hope you and yours enjoy it as much as I do.

Cheers !

Our fates are all intertwingled

I just heard this a moment ago, and I find it such a powerful statement:

Racism in America is like dust in the air. 
It seems invisible -- even if you're choking on it -- until you let the sun in. 
Then you see it's everywhere.  
― Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The murder of George Floyd is a horrifying and unacceptable loss.  Just one of way too many senseless deaths because of race.  Every single death is one too many.  How can anyone expect anything other than the resulting rage?

Yet that rage now creates more innocent victims, and I wish for victimization to end.

I wish for looters to stop looting.  I wish for instigators of violence and destruction to stop instigating violence and destruction (while still continuing to protest for change.)  I wish for leaders of all stripes to hurry up and initiate a process of healing (and to get with the deeds of righteous change), instead of egging on more violence and destruction with statements like "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

A message to the rioters and the looters:  your anger is more than just, but violent and destructive actions might have very unintended and regrettable consequences, such as empowering the wrong kind of people.

All of that aside, Abdul-Jabbar's quote reminds me that our fates are all intertwingled.  That what we do unto others, we do unto ourselves.

When a police officer kills (or even just causes harm) without justification, that kills (or otherwise does harm to) all of us (including other police officers.)

When anybody assaults a police officer who has done no injustice to anyone and does rightly serve to protect, the assault is done to all of us.

When someone's livelihood is looted/destroyed, the looting/destruction is done to all of us.

When any one community is harmed, the harm is done to all of us.

We all lose.

I desperately hope for everybody to de-escalate.  For whatever reason, this quote comes to mind:

Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. 
But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. 
As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. 
This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.
― Lao Tzu

When everyone is unyielding and takes a hard position, all sides get harmed.  This world needs more yielding, understanding, and uniting.  It takes some courage and empathy all around.

We are all one, regardless of race, creed, politics, gender, sexual orientation, heritage, ancestry, you name it.  Those who can't get on board with that really must get out of the way and make room for those who can bring about a just society.  Good for all of us to hold the right feet under the fire without setting everything on fire.  Good for certain of us to stop gaslighting.

Prayers and thoughts (1) to the George Floyd family, (2) for healing, (3) for righteous justice and (4) evolution of the human condition.  Way too many prayers and thoughts to list; these four capture them all for me at the moment.

For the least of us who may think we do not have the power to be agents of change, even the smallest acts of love/kindness/support can play a part.

Any act, however tiny or seemingly benign, can have huge positive consequences (or huge negative consequences, so good to make beneficial choices!):

It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world. 
– Author unknown

I don't know what I can do, but writing is a start.  Well, as part of parsing through the tsunami of thoughts, a case of intertwingulitis, with much appreciation for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his profound words.