Nikola as engine for "digital gardening" - some ideas/suggestions

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Florian Felix

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Apr 12, 2021, 11:08:51 AMApr 12
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Hello,
I discovered Nikola throughout a longer search for Tools to do something that's called "digital gardening" . This is a trend, that has been evolving in the last year or so, which basically means not only treating your website as a feed,  but a place for displaying and linking thoughts, which makes it possible for others to discover them - a garden of thought instead of the "stream" that blogs and social media represent.
This comes on the back of a plethora of notetaking tools as "Roam Research" or "Obsidian", who use functions like bi-directional linking, transclusion, and/or visual mapping in their notetaking approaches. Digital gardening then means exporting the generated markdown notes via static site generator.
If you want to read up on this,
I think this blogpost is a good start, and an example of a "digital garden": https://tomcritchlow.com/2018/10/10/of-gardens-and-wikis/
A collection of material is found here: https://github.com/MaggieAppleton/digital-gardeners

What does this have to do with Nikola?
If you're using Roam or Obisidian, and you just want to publish your notes, you will by now find templates for many SSGs that will  and you're fine. Outside of that, FOSS tools like tiddlywiki or org-mode exist that have their own markup language and have made steps to emulate these systems. In the end, notetaking is a very individual thing, and while proprietary systems may cover a bigger portion of the market, there will always be other systems, or they will even gain in recognition (there probably is an influx in new users of tiddlwiki and orgroam now). So I was searching for a ssg that would be more flexible and powerful  then say, jekyll, easily expandable and with an active community. This is about being able to parse different textformats, having different types of "posts" and interaction between them, stuff you want to automate, and graphing, and I think Python is quite good as a basis here. Also, there is already  the org-plugin, and many others for commenting, search, sidebar, tagmanagement that could be very helpful. In the end there could be a toolcase for implementing your garden based on your choices and tinker with it.
So what would be needed (subjectively) (as plugins probably):

Tools to recognize and compile
- internallinks and backlinking/referencing
- transclusion
- (side/marginnootes)
- automatic compiling of a graphical visualization of the site or filtered elements of it with links to the displayed notes

with the possibility to easily adjust to/customize different syntax thats used for these "wiki" features

and a theme that implements that and a "notes" post-type as a default with an actual blogfeed being optional (not the other way around).
optionally i would love a plugin connecting tiddlywiki and nikola, maybe based on pytiddlywiki https://github.com/eniacization/PyTiddlyWiki (the static site generation in TW is not very much developped)... and "more indieweb features" (they are cool but i'm not too deep into that . in the end this could be more of an "edition" of nikola with a subrepo, and you have a small installation process which configures your digital garden in the way you need^^. But that's a far cry. Right now I'm thinking of erroring myself through these ideas to make my own "garden", but I don't know how far I can go, as I've never actually "developed" anything. -.^
so, what do you think, is this even reasonable? Are there maybe people who would wish for such features/work on them, too? :)

p.s. Here are some more examples of "digital garden" themes
digital-garden-jekyll-template.netlify.app/
https://simply-jekyll.netlify.app/ (not really a "digital garden but implements transcusion and sidenotes, also maybe shows the difficulties of jekyll as it is quite strict in its definition of "posts")
https://maggieappleton.com/ personally my favourite implementation when it comes to structure with the "dashboard" like starting page and the library






Maciej Kusz

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Aug 4, 2021, 8:05:41 AMAug 4
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Nikola is not a good fit for such thing. There is too much work to be done to implement such thing. I was struggling the same problem and found that mkdocs with a few plugins that support wiki syntax links is much better approach for such task since obsidian/roam note structure suits better a mkdocs file structure than nikola posts and pages (on the orher hand, nikola suits better blog and webpages structure). The only thing missing in mkdocs is an interactive map of notes connection like it in Obsidian/Roam.
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