Using a Personal Wiki Beside Scrivener

Hi All,

tl;dr: What do you use your personal wiki for?

Note: The “Beside Scrivener” is not a tyop. Beside, in the sense of “next to/along with”, not ‘besides’, in the sense of ‘as a replacement for’.

This is in “Developers & Code” (and not, for example, in the other-software forum), because I will be discussing hacking a personal wiki’s underlying code, to add modules, etc, that help with the “Using a personal wiki beside scrivener”. I’m not talking about using a vanilla wiki for taking notes on world-building, I’m talking about using a wiki directly for even some things that Scrivener does (but really shouldn’t, as it is outside the scope of what Scrivener is for…IMHO) ducks runs returns fire,

I’m using TWiki, it is the system I’m most familiar with (>10 years). It is all based on Perl.

Using it for world building, I’ve added a random name generator (ie, something that Scrivener does, but really shouldn’t because Scrivener is a structured writing platform, not a fiction writing platform). When writing a graduate thesis, one rarely needs random names.

Because this is a Wiki, when it generates a random name, it supplies that name as a Wiki-Word (and is clickable to create the wiki page for that name). I have templates that force me to structure the “Character” name page a specific way, with page variables so that my index page immediately tells me if a name I’ve linked is in actual use, rather than a name I saw in the list and said ‘there’s a character there’, as:

| LauraLundeen    |          |                |
| LaurieDBACarius | *in use* | NewHorColorado |
| LukeTSprenger   | *in use* | Ae6023         |

The generator will name planets, systems, … um FTL transport hubs and their connection graphs … ok I got just a bit carried away there.

The character index page automatically generates a list of new names whenever I visit it, so if I need a new name, I can either pick from a list of “Laura Lundeen” names, or scroll down to the randoms and pick from that (or refresh the page to get a new list). Click a new one, it generates that names page, and once it is saved it shows up on the Character Index page, automatically.

I can even pull up a ship’s crew roster by going to the ship’s page, compiling the page looks for character pages with the ship’s name set on the LOCATION page variable (the Ae6023 example above).

So far, the Character naming infrastructure is nods working. What I’m wondering now, is what else I might use it for.

So: What are you using a personal wiki for? Or found yourself wondering…wouldn’t it be nice if it did this?


I used to do exactly as do for worldbuilding, only with VoodooPad, as described in this thread viewtopic.php?f=16&t=2093

I had great hopes for a personal as a quick and dirty means of getting the kind of functionality I wanted without having to go through the effort of coding an app.

Now I just use MultiMarkdown in a directory structure stored in Dropbox for portability. I add the smarts to the process with automated templates using Python with Tkinter (OS X and Ubuntu) or Editorial on iPad. I’ve got scripts that compile the whole lot into a very bookish PDF and a static HTML site.