Review: wikidPad

wikidPad 1.06

Depending on how much Web surfing you've done lately, and how in touch you are with the whole "agile methodologies" thing, you might never have run across a wiki. A wiki is a website that's written by its visitors; every page can be edited directly (and easily) in the web browser by anyone who can view it. You might think this would lead to an avalanche of spam and pornography, but wikis keep track of the history of each page, and successful public wikis tend to breed a community of people dedicated to keeping things well organized. Two good examples are the original WikiWikiWeb and the open-source Wikipedia encyclopedia. Wikis tend to be powerful rather than flashy; among other nice features, it's easy to create new pages. You just enter a "wikiWord" (any word with an internal capital letter), and that becomes the name of a new page; all references are automatically linked to that page.

wikidPad brings the wiki idea to your desktop as a free-form organizer of information. The same general principle applies: type in whatever information you like, and type a wikiWord any time you want to create and link a new page. The results are automatically hyperlinked and saved by wikidPad, giving you a place to store birthdays, books you intend to read, to-do lists, computer part numbers, or any of the other miscellaneous information that clutters up your life.

wikidPad offers a lot of nice little features for formatting and organizing your information. These include:

  • Document indexing via attributes, which lets you file any page in multiple categories, accessible through views
  • Text and font formatting, including easy colors and icons for pages in the wiki
  • A treeview for quick access to any piece of information
  • Easy searching, including saved searches
  • AutoCompletion
  • Export to HTML or XML
  • Scriptability via Python

Overall, wikidPad offers a very nice way to store gobs of miscellaneous information. Its user interface is certainly not as pretty as, say, Microsoft OneNote (and there's no ink support in wikidPad, either). But the automatic linking functionality is so useful that it makes up for a lot of bells and whistles that you might now use anyhow. You can download a 30-day evaluation copy if you don't want to risk the measly 12 bucks.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.


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