ThoughtStorms Wiki

A personal note-taking tool combining the ConcordOutliner with wiki's ConcretePageNames

The original OWL came about when DaveWiner open-sourced his Concord Editor.

I took it and ran it as the front-end to a simple wiki engine. So that outlines were named pages, and it was trivially easy to create links between them.

See the following (pretty terrible) video I made at the time (2014) about its capabilities.

Outliner with Wiki Linking in 2014

However, while this was, in many ways, spectacularly powerful and useful. I was also frustrated by the obvious disconnect between this tool and my other wikis. Ever since SdiDesk I'd been writing personal notes in a wiki. I'd ported them to SmallestFederatedWiki and then when ProjectThoughtStorms came along, from the SFW to that.

Further development of OWL was put on hold while I tried to figure out how to unify it with a) ProjectThoughtStorms and b) MindTrafficControl.

CardiganBay is now my project to unify all of these tools. OWL outlines ended up being ported to nested bullet-lists in CardiganBay. Eventually there might be some outliner like functionality. Though that's a medium term aspiration.

Get it

See OWL on GitHub : https://github.com/interstar/OWL for the desktop version that stores pages as files on my machine

There's also a version that runs as an Android app. (https://github.com/interstar/OWLdroid)

(And as the video shows, I can successfully use BitTorrentSync to synchronize my laptop with my tablet.)

Update 2020

I don't want to make too big a thing of this, because clearly this is old history ... but isn't this very similar to RoamResearch which everyone in the new DigitalGardening movement is now raving about? ;-)

I had automated backlinks and network diagrams in SdiDesk in 2004, I had outlining with wiki-linking and a page-store in OWL in 2014. If I had actually focused on OWL and spent the years from 2014 working on it, polishing the UI and adding the good bits of SdiDesk to it, it would have been, not identical, but plausibly comparable to, Roam.

Anyway, no regrets. I'm onto the next thing. CardiganBay is where a lot of good ideas are going to be coming together. And I think it's going to be a great. :-)

But obviously I'm not going for Roam Clone. If you want that, you want something like AthensResearch.

CardiganBay has other objectives. Particularly to help clean up ThoughtStorms wiki. And we'll keep going our own way. But the real lesson is ... I really need to put more into finishing and polishing some of my experiments into something that other people can actually use.