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Now that we've identified the requirements for our sample wiki, and we understand the basic data model of TiddlyWiki, with tiddlers, fields, wikitext, links, and tags, let's develop a broad outline of how we'll implement the requirements in TiddlyWiki. While it's easy enough to restructure a wiki if we need to, it still makes sense to get a clear idea of what we're trying to accomplish before we start, or we'll spend all our time restructuring instead of adding useful content.
It's helpful to be consistent when structuring a TiddlyWiki: if we want to be able to find all our meetings, for instance, it's probably a good idea to mark all of them as meetings in a consistent way (whether by linking to them from a central list of meetings, tagging them all with the same tag, putting
Meeting in a
tiddler-type field on all of them, or whatever). Prebuilt software for handling work notes would likely provide some built-in way to identify something as a meeting – perhaps a “New Meeting” button that created a different type of note – but in TiddlyWiki we have to make those decisions ourselves. (The upside, of course, is that we get to make these decisions based on what makes the most sense for us.)
So let's take another look at our requirements and figure out how, broadly, we want to structure the notes in our wiki. Specifically, let's identify some types of tiddlers. This is not a technical distinction that TiddlyWiki makes – a tiddler is a tiddler is a tiddler – but it's useful for a broad range of wiki use cases to classify tiddlers in some way based on what kind of content we store in them and how we use them.
Now we have to decide how to implement these classifications within TiddlyWiki. Tags are an easy and popular method, so let's use them here. We'll tag journal tiddlers
Journal, contact tiddlers
Contact, project tiddlers
Project, and meeting tiddlers
Meeting. We won't bother giving knowledge tiddlers a classification tag, since there are usually few situations in which we want to treat only those tiddlers separately, but you could create a
Knowledge tag too if you preferred.
We'll also have to decide how to associate the different types of tiddlers with each other. Since tiddlers are small and focus on only one idea, it's critical to associate them with each other in a coherent and understandable way, or they'll get lost. We'll discuss how this will work for each type of tiddler as we get to it.
If you're not sure how I came up with these divisions or why I made them, that's OK – you can just play along for now. Once you have a bit more experience with TiddlyWiki, we'll be returning to the reasons for and methods of dividing content into different tiddlers and different types of tiddlers, in Slicing Up Content.