Instiki Stylesheet Tweaks

As you all know, I love Instiki. I saw a page on the site this morning for Stylesheet Tweaks and just had to share mine. I don’t like how narrow Instiki is by default, and I didn’t really like the font. So, I changed it. I’ve hacked a lot of the templates (to make the textarea larger, for example), but my stylesheet is still mostly default with some significant changes.\
Your mileage may vary, especially on the edit page (where I did a good deal of hacking).\
Go get it.

Must-Have Apps for OS X

Since Steve just got himself a shiny new Powerbook, and asked for a list of apps he should throw on it, I decided to blog the list. Here is my “must-have” list of apps for OS X (unless otherwise noted, everything is either freeware or open source):

  • Adium – multi-service IM client. Themes, plugins, icon sets – everything you could ever want to customize your IM experience (and it’s faster than AIM).
  • Azureus – Best torrent client for OS X, even if it is Java.
  • BBEdit – If you can’t afford BBEdit, you can download TextWrangler for free. not free
  • BookIt – Keep your bookmarks synced up across all the browsers you’ve got installed on your machine. not free
  • Chicken of the VNC – Nothing else needs to be said. It is the chicken of the VNC world – light on the calories, long on possibilities.
  • Conversation – My favorite IRC client for OS X.
  • Instiki – Best wiki out there, period, especially on OS X.
  • MarsEdit – For to be editing your blog. not free
  • NetNewsWire – Best newsreader on any platform. Pay for it, because it’s friggin’ worth it (and so you can use the beta). not free (although there is NNW Lite)
  • NVu – I use it as a word processor when I don’t feel like writing documentation in HTML or on my wiki (you know, when you have to use an existing template). HTML editing goodness that just keeps getting better.
  • OmniOutliner – Why don’t other platforms have decent outlining software? Before Instiki, I couldn’t live without OmniOutliner. Even now, it’s great for brainstorming, taking notes during meetings, and making lists. not free
  • OnyX – A must-have for Powerbooks; OnyX runs all those BSD maintenance scripts that are supposed to run at 3 A.M., but never do because your laptop is sleeping.
  • SubEthaEdit – The first and best collaborative text editors. Great for taking notes at conferences, in meetings (with other people smart enough to have Powerbooks and bring them to meetings), etc. semi-not free
  • Tigerlaunch – Nice little menu item that has all your applications in it. Great when you don’t have something in your dock, but need to start it up.
  • Transmit – A great FTP Client with right-click editing of text files in your favorite text editor. Very cool. not free (check out Fugu or Cyberduck if you’re a cheap bastard).
  • VLC – For watching all the TV shows you download with Azureus. It plays everything, and plays it well.\
    There you have it (and I can’t believe I kept it alphabetical). I didn’t include stuff that should have come with the machine, like iPhoto (even though it’s amazing) or Safari. Am I missing anything?

S5 + Instiki = Happy Geek

[Warning:]{style=”color:#900;”} I’ve only tested this on 0.9.2 on OS X. This may not work at all on .10. Since .9.2 is working fine for me, and there isn’t a disk image for .10, I haven’t upgraded yet. When I do, I’ll see about posting instructions for it. Until then, you’re on your own.\
I use instiki all the time. I have it installed on my Powerbook and use it for note-taking, documentation writing, presentations, brainstorming and keeping info I would normally keep in a saved e-mail somewhere. It’s great. I love it.\
As I said, I’ve been using it for presentations. I’ll jot down the sections as h1’s, then go back and fill in bullet points. When I’ve got what I want to say, I’ll go in and add the s5 divs, then tweak, massage, correct and add until I’m happy with it. Once that’s all done, I cut and paste into a new copy of s5 and I’m good to go. Well, I’m fine as long as I don’t want to change it. Once I change it, I have to save, cut and paste all over again. Why bother?\
So, I had an idea. It shouldn’t be all that hard to create a new “print-like” view in Instiki that’s just s5. You know, it wasn’t! In about fifteen minutes, I had a link at the bottom of all my wiki pages that said “Presentation”. I clicked on it, and kaboom, I had a lovely presentation ready to go. It was scary simple. Here’s how i did it (I use OS X, but most of these instructions apply to any install of it, just don’t do the stuff that doesn’t apply):

# Make sure you have Instiki 0.9.2 and S5 (download the zip file)

# Go to Applications, right click on Instiki, and choose “Show Package Contents”

# Go to Contents, then Resources, then rb_src (on every other platforms, you should have an rb_src inside your instiki directory).

# Now, go to the app directory, then controllers and open up wiki.rb.

# You should see a line that says “def print” (in mine, it’s line 189). Above that line, put in:

<code>def preso
@page = wiki.read_page(web_address, page_name)

# Save that file and close it.

# Now, go back to the app directory, then to views.

# I went ahead and put my preso file up, so you can snag it.

# Drop preso.html into the views directory.

# Now, we need to create our link to the Presentation view, so in the views directory, open up page.rhtml, and search for “| Views:” – that should put you in the right place. Now, add the following:

<code> | Presentation</code>

# Save that file, and close it.

# Now, we have to make some decisions, mostly because I suck. I couldn’t figure out (in the fifteen minutes it took me to do this) where to drop the s5 stuff (the ui directory in the s5 zip file) to get it to get served out by WeBRICK (the webserver instiki runs), so I just dropped them in my local copy of Apache, which is always running anyway. I suggest you do the same, then change the urls at the top of preso.rhtml (for the CSS and JS files) to match that. Once you’ve done that, you’re almost done!

# Bounce Instiki.

# Now, try it! Isn’t that cool?\
All you need to do to create an s5-able wiki entry is enclose the stuff you want in a slide in (the spaces are important, so Textile doesn’t do something stupid with the HTML):

<code><div class="slide">

There you have it… s5 + Instiki = happy geek\
And some tags: and

SXSW In A Wiki

It’s totally not the same as being here, because the best thing about SXSW is the interaction with people who are just as weird, creative and passionate as you are, but we’ve been taking a lot of notes on the wiki, and I thought I’d share some of my personal favorites:

Wikified Yumminess

I’ve never liked wikis. I didn’t like wiki syntax, and I thought they always looked really slapdash and ugly. But, I’ve seen the light. I’ve seen Instiki (found via a whole lotta nothing. It’s painfully easy to install, and even easier to use. You can use Textile, Markdown or RDoc with it, and it gives you basic formatting tips right next to the editing window, so there’s no chance of getting confused. In OS X, it even gives you a Wiki menu item, which makes using it for random meeting notes and to-do lists REALLY easy.

If you’re looking for a personal note-taking app, or a wiki for your team, Instiki’s the way to go, really.