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Update: The community has stepped up to take over development of ZiddlyWiki. So, it appears ZW will live on!

Update 11/7/2007: has been dead for a long time now. I really like TiddlyWiki and think there should be a solid server implementation like ZW was; make your plea in a comment on this post if you’d like to discuss a ZW comeback.

ZiddlyWiki was a product I built and maintained for awhile. Now, I’ve decided to give it up. I don’t have the mental bandwidth to keep it up, and I’ve neglected its users for quite awhile. I will be letting the domain names expire shortly, and the latest version will be made available here for anyone wanting to take the product as their own and keep it up-to-date.

One thing I found in building ZW is that the amount of support required from people is enormous. I realize now that some open-source products require more support than others, particularly end-user products. I’ve released open-source libraries before without near as much required followup support, but then again, they were meant for developers — not end users.

Undoubtedly, this move will make somebody mad. Good news with ZiddlyWiki: you can always export your data and move to another TiddlyWiki-based product.

If you’re interested in taking over the project, let me know: [my first name]

ZiddlyWiki Version
Old ZW Documentation



  1. I’m sorry to hear that. You’ve done a good job while it lasted.

    In my experience the key to a successful open source project is to get *other* people to do the work. You want to be in a position where you’re accepting/rejecting patches, and not writing them yourself. Unfortunately this requires a certain critical mass to achieve. Ziddlywiki may be too small. Perhaps 1% of users are motivated/capable of fixing bugs/adding features themselves, and if you have less than 100-1000 users, you’ll find yourself doing all of the work.

    One has to learn to say “no — do it yourself and send me a patch”. (politely) With less than 100 users this is also a recipe to let your codebase stagnate though.

    — Bob

  2. That is exactly the position I found myself in. Everyone wanted some (nice) feature, yet no one had the skills (nor would admit to having the skills) to do it themselves. Plus, it just got to the point where it wasn’t fun anymore. But I haven’t given up on open-source — just learning what works and what doesn’t. Turns out there’s a bit more to it than just putting the code out there.

  3. Zope makes this particularly hard too. You can’t just ‘diff’ your zope site, and *everyone* customizes their zope setup. I think this is the major reason that zope has thousands of half-finished, stagnating projects.

    I’ve found a problem with escaping in ziddlywiki, and I was just going to fix it but I was thinking…how the heck would I send you a patch? I made a backup of my site, but I can’t even diff it to see what I changed! Anyway…

  4. Indeed. While the initial development of ZW with Zope was a lot of fun, the maintainability of the project and the difficulty of collaboration thereafter made continued progress a challenge.

    If I were to start over, knowing what I know now, I’d write it in Rails. Turns out a lot of the development of ZW was in the JavaScript; much of that could be reused on another adaptation. In fact, one could write a JS library that acts as a generic AJAX API to the TW frontend… but there I go dreaming again. I need to finish the projects I’ve got going right now… :-)

  5. Anyway, I was really happy when I used ZiddlyWiki, and it was the fist inspiration leading me to build a site based on TW. Thank you Tim, for all your effort and help. I’m really sorry that I couldn’t give but just take.

    Wish you successful in your new projects :)

    • Nandalal Gunaratne
    • Posted August 13, 2006 at 10:35 am
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    I understand the problems of keeping a project going while you have a lot of other things going.

    I wonder if Tiddlywiki will have a place in Zope 3? Zwiki is already there, one of the first Products to be ported…….

    I wonder if I just import empty.html into Zope 3, how far I can go :-)

  6. Thank you for creating this object. I’m sorry to see that it had become unscalable, I’ve been using TW as a core tool for alomst a year, and have been dabbling with getting a server side version working for quite a while now, ZW seemed the best option of the server side versions available, and for personal use I think I am going to press on with it. The fundtionality that it already has pretty much covers what I need, so again thank you for the creation, and please know that it is appreceated.

    – Ian

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] I collect the notes for blog posts in a Wridea account and my researches on various topics in a ZiddlyWiki installation. After I finish researching on a blog topic, I then copy all these notes into a text file and then start writing the article in a word processor, saving the draft in my WordPress dashboard if I can’t finish the article yet. […]

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