Tiddlers are dense and long

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Rika Goldberg

Oct 14, 2021, 12:52:53 PM10/14/21
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I use my Tiddlywiki as a Zettelkaten (work in process!) and some of my Tiddlers are quite long. I title the Tiddler with a unique piece of information, in my own words, and then I include a description and resources. Some of my Tiddlers get very long...maybe too long. Is there a best practice for Tiddler length and what to include in the Tiddler?

Mark S.

Oct 14, 2021, 1:13:39 PM10/14/21
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I think the length is up to you, depending on your own interpretation of "semantic unit"

In terms of pragmatics, there have been multiple approaches to how to deal with long tiddlers. One of the current approaches is discussed in this  [thread](https://talk.tiddlywiki.org/t/section-editor-plugin-first-stable-release/1060)

TW Tones

Oct 15, 2021, 12:42:53 AM10/15/21
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Also the editoolbar button "Excise" is great for breaking one tiddler into more than one link, tag or transclusion available.

There are often natural break locations like with a heading and all its "children" or things that you may reuse.

Charlie Veniot

Oct 15, 2021, 12:17:15 PM10/15/21
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The best practices are the ones that fit you, and they incrementally evolve as you evolve making all kinds of discoveries.

When you find your workflows and organization becoming unwieldy, then you'll know you need to change something.  (Change when it "costs", in whatever way imaginable, too much not to change.)

So keep doing what you are doing, but find little moments to read about features in TiddlyWiki, about plugins, about all things information/knowledge/documentation management.

Take all that you read and park each in the back of your mind, so that when you do run into things getting unwieldy, you'll have a "wait a minute, I read something about that", if not enough for you to know what to do, you'll know enough to ask the kinds of questions that get you help right pronto.

Find little reads like What Do We Mean by Componentization (for Knowledge)?, and investigate features like transclusion (and the great "Excise" feature Tones mentioned) and the terrific "Details widget" plugin by Thomas Elmiger .

Cheers !

TW Tones

Oct 16, 2021, 2:06:15 AM10/16/21
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I would support Charlies comment by pointing out a case for long tiddlers (when search is a available to you) that some people just find it easier not to break information up into smaller pieces, sometimes this draws your attention to the fact you are almost repeating yourself. If and when you must then consider breaking it up. "Horses for courses".


Oct 16, 2021, 3:24:49 AM10/16/21
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One main point with a tiddler is that you can reuse the content in different narratives. But if you don't reuse the content in other narratives, then there is no real need for a more fine grained partition of the content.

As the others describe: In practice this often means creating a tiddler of any arbitrary length. If the need arises to split it, then just do so. It is a natural and "need based" process. Often the context steers how long tiddlers are. Many of my tiddlers are just the tiddler title, no content text. Some are several pages long. Some are several pages because they are generated lists, but occasionally it is several pages of raw text. Obviously, the use case for your wiki affects this; are you a novel author or is the TW used for your shopping lists.

...but you say this is for your Zettelkasten (a system I've never used) so wouldn't you face the exact same "problem" regardless of how you manifest this? I.e if your purpose is "zettelkasten" then wouldn't that steer how long the content of your tiddlers would be?



Oct 16, 2021, 6:26:11 AM10/16/21
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Mat wrote (slightly edit by me):
... you ... reuse the content in different narratives. But if you don't reuse the content in other narratives, then there is no real need for ... fine grained partition of the content.
...but you say this is for your Zettelkasten ... I.e if your purpose is "zettelkasten" then wouldn't that steer how long the content of your tiddlers would be?

Right.  Traditional Zettelkasten entries never change their titles. And they tend towards a strict, delimited, unchanging, scope. FWIW, in various experiments in TW with Zettlekasten, there has been translusion used to cope, particularly, with "inter-referring" between them.  A modest extension from the basic idea of their "invariability". Bimlas has written and worked extensively about this. I'll look for his links if there is interest.

Side comment, TT

Hans Wobbe

Oct 16, 2021, 8:27:36 AM10/16/21
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@ TiddlyTweeter

The thoughts in this thread are a good review of some basic concepts would likely be helpful to newCoimers as well as veterans.  Hence I think there (/should be)  interest in accepting your offer to add some links.



Oct 16, 2021, 9:00:36 AM10/16/21
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Ciao Hans (hww...@gmail.com)

Meanwhile, till I can find the exact Bimlas discussion, I did write a long note on Zettlekasten that had an interesting ensuing discussion ... https://groups.google.com/g/tiddlywiki/c/pCcWB2zVD40/m/3YILA5jsBQAJ 

Best, TT


Oct 16, 2021, 9:13:26 AM10/16/21
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Ciao TT

Thanks for the link to additional information.  I'll certainly review that material since this topic and it's related issues are on my mind quite a bit lately as I re-design some systems that pre-date TW5.2.0.


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