A public Roam database is my new wiki
I truly love my rudimentarylathe.org wiki, built with TiddlyWiki. TiddlyWiki is a wonderful, flexible, powerful bit of software. My use of TiddlyWiki has changed over time, and lately my wiki has become the only thing I’m using it for.
In order to publish the wiki, I need a few things. I need a web server. I need to use Firefox with the Timimi plugin or TiddlyDesktop in order to easily save my edits. I need a way to sync the file to the web server. Since I use Safari for browsing, adding Firefox just for TiddlyWiki eats up a lot of RAM.
None of these is especially difficult, but it adds overhead. I could use the Node.js-based configuration, but that adds even more dependencies. I’m trying to limit dependencies, not add them.
Using TiddlyWiki also means keeping up on TiddlyWiki. Having queries and plugins and all sorts of fun things available can be great, but in my case I’m only doing it to support my wiki. Do I need all that?
Roam has been wildly successful for me. I’m thrilled with it. It’s been the place I take notes for a while now and there’s no sign of that changing. This is surprising, considering my history.
When I first started using Roam late last year, I created both a public and private database. I experimented with them for a few weeks, but eventually gave up on the public one, because I was very into TiddlyWiki at the time and was unsure about my future with Roam.
Now that I’m all-in with Roam, I’ve been giving the public Roam database another shot. It’s going pretty well, and I intend to continue. One of my favorite things about it is that there’s no infrastructure to deal with. No plugins, sync, servers, etc. Just a browser.
I still need to decide what to put where (public vs private), but this isn’t a new problem. And there may be a solution at some point. I hear that the plan is to allow linking and embedding between private and public Roam databases. This would mean that if I want to share something from one db to another, I’ll be able to simply embed/transclude a block. This will be terrific.
The rudimentary lathe wiki has been mostly a journal, and with the Daily Notes feature of Roam, that becomes even easier. I worry a little that Roam can be harder to read than TiddlyWiki, what with all the bullets. On the other hand, TiddlyWiki is weird and always confuses people when they try to get around. Jump ball, I guess.
All this to say that I’ve been keeping my little wiki and daily notes in Roam instead of TiddlyWiki for a week or so again, and so far so good.
If you want to follow along, it’s here…
Or if you prefer something shorter, I’m redirecting from here: