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A node.js based wikifier for TiddlyWiki text.
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This is a first pass at creating node.js-based wikifier for wikitext formatted as TiddlyWiki text.

Rather than creating new code this code simply assembles the required parts from the TiddlyWiki core code repository along with the necessary bits of additional JavaScript. This means that as the TiddlyWiki core changes this code automatically keeps up to date.

By using jsdom and htmlparser with node, it is possible to simulate the browser environment that the wikifier would normally run in, and create some HTML output.


(The below is for OS X but should transliterate to other environments. It has also been tested on Ubuntu 12.04)

Install node.js and its package manager npm. If you are using brew that goes like this:

brew install node npm

One you have npm, install jsdom, htmlparser, jQuery (case sensitive), tav, location, navigator and xmlhttprequest

npm install net url jsdom htmlparser jQuery tav location navigator xmlhttprequest

If you want to use server.js you also need:

npm install memcached@0.0.10 hashlib node-uuid

hashlib may fail to install on your machine. If this is the case then manually install it via this link.

Node modules can cause headaches when runtime problems are encountered. Below is a dependency tree that is proven to work:

├── htmlparser@1.7.6
├── jQuery@1.7.4
├─┬ jsdom@0.2.15
│ ├─┬ contextify@0.1.3
│ │ └── bindings@1.0.0
│ ├── cssom@0.2.5
│ └─┬ request@2.11.4
│   ├─┬ form-data@0.0.3
│   │ ├── async@0.1.9
│   │ └─┬ combined-stream@0.0.3
│   │   └── delayed-stream@0.0.5
│   └── mime@1.2.7
├── location@0.0.1
├─┬ memcached@0.0.10
│ └─┬ hashring@0.0.6
│   └── bisection@0.0.2
├── navigator@1.0.1
├── net@1.0.0
├── node-uuid@1.3.3
├── tav@0.1.0
├─┬ url@0.7.9
│ ├── punycode@1.0.0
│ └── querystring@0.1.0
└── xmlhttprequest@1.4.2

Make sure you set NODE_PATH:

export NODE_PATH=/usr/local/lib/node

In the repo directory run:

make test

This will get all the necessary TiddlyWiki code and concatenate it into twikifier.js and then run that file as a node script. The test target runs all the files in the test directory against twikifier.

You can try your own wikitext by piping data into twikify on STDIN:

./twikify --collection=<url for tiddler collection> < /tmp/mysampledata.txt

or by giving the names of multiple files on the command line:

./twikify --collection=<url for tiddler collection> /tmp/mysampledata.txt \

<url for tiddler collection> should be replaced with the url of a collection of tiddlers, in JSON, as found in TiddlyWeb. Things like:

As the tool develops there will be other interfaces.

Use with TiddlyWeb and Tiddlyspace

Copy into the folder where the instance is running.

Add 'twikified' to the list of system plugins in

Run the twikifier server:



node server.js

Then start TiddlyWeb/Tiddlyspace

If you have connection problems after a restart, remove /tmp/wst.sock and try again.


TiddlyWeb and friends use WikklyText to do sever-side rendering of TiddlyWiki text to HTML. It works, but not great. It has long been thought that a transcoding of the TiddlyWiki wikifier would a) work better, b) be easier to extend and modify.

Also see the next section.


In order to get the TiddlyWiki wikifier to work standalone, a great deal of the TiddlyWiki code is required. Have a look at TWREMOTES in the Makefile and the comments in TwikifierBase.js. The general overview comment is that TiddlyWiki is non-functional: meaning its modules and methods are tightly coupled with others, have many side effects and make use of data from globals rather than passed in parameters. This means that independent code reuse is nigh on impossible.

That this is true is neither surprising, nor damning: TiddlyWiki was originally built as a single file application. However since there is code in there that could be useful if extracted and abstracted, hopefully this work can point out some of the problems.

I tried to write down a simple dependency tree that explains how each chunk of javascript requires another, but delineating the reasons got to be too much so instead: What follows has less explanation than it could.

twikifier functionality currently lives in twikify and TwikifierBase.js.

twikify requires global wikify() in Wikifier.js.

Wikifier.js requires the global formatter, a Formatter from FormatterHelpers.js.

FormatterHelpers.js requires the global config, from Config.js.

A Formatter needs formatters, which are in config and defined in Formatter.js.

Formatter.js requires FormatterHelper.js, creating a cycle.

Wikifier.js requires global createTiddlyText(), from Utilities.js.

Wikifier.js requires global createTiddlyElement(), from Utilities.js.

Formatter.js, to format links, requires global createTiddlyLink() from Utilities.js.

Utilities.js requires the pushUnique modification to the Array prototype. This is found in BasicTypes.js.

Formatter.js, FormatterHelpers.js, Utilities.js all make use of a store global. A store, is a TiddlyWiki class, from TiddlyWiki.js.

TiddlyWiki.js calls instanceof Tiddler (4 times) and new Tiddler (twice), thus requiring Tiddler.js.

Utilities.js has getTiddlyLinkInfo, which requires Lingo.js for messages. (Lingo.js requires Config.js and Utilities.js (for merge()).)

Presenting messages requires adding format() to the String prototype, thus requiring Strings.js.

This gets us to a working formatter, but not macros.

Adding Macros.js adds (limited, not yet tested) support for macros. Macros.js requires Config.js.

For macros to run, we need invokeMacro, which is from main.js. Rather than including main.js (which has active code at the global level) I made a copy of invokeMacro. It is not clear why the function definition code is in main.

The difficulty here is not so much that there are a bunch of interdependencies, but rather that the interdependencies are in the global scope and because the files are simply building blocks for a single file, there are no clues like import statements, namespaces, etc.


While the existing code will do basic rendering, to be truly useful in a TiddlyWeb situation, twikifier needs two things:

  • To present a web service or local socket that takes an input (a text string, a tiddler bag/title combo?) and returns the generated HTML.

Packaging this up as a node module would also be of use.


twikifier is written by Chris Dent and is Copyright 2011, Peermore Limited using a New BSD License.

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