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Update: I recognize that either Leo or info may be alternative "engines" for my AskSam for Linux approach (or the base on which to develop an alternative engine). See AskSamForLinuxDev.

One of my goals since before and since moving to Linux has been to find an equivalent of askSam for Linux. My first step forward was finding wikis, then TWiki in particular and starting WikiLearn.

I now feel like I've made another small step forward, and see the potential for quite a bit more movement (at the cost of more work wink ).

The purpose of this page is to describe the most recent step forward at some level, describe some of the possible further steps I see, and maybe encourage some others to adopt my current step and perhaps help me move forward with further steps.

I should warn you that this is something of a kludge and not the most convenient and straightforward approach, but after about a month of using this in various forms (and the most recent refinements), I find it very helpful for my own use. I could point out that my use of this offline has been part of the reason that my contributions to WikiLearn have dropped off considerably recently (as well as the frustrations with TWiki's performance on SourceForge for the last several months — it may be somewhat better recently).

Aside: I can imagine though, that I may be following the same path that the creator of askSam (do I know his name??) followed in originally developing askSam, and if I continue following, could have this evolve to something just as good or better (on the assumption that I'd change some of the approaches askSam takes (took the last time I used it) that I did not agree with.

To minimize suspense, I'll say the approach involves storing specially formatted records in a large plain text file edited with a standard editor (Nedit is what I use and recommend) with the use of various standard tools (search, sort (via the shell)) and some semi-custom tools (Nedit macros to support folding of what I will call "TWiki marked-up text" format — see NmTWikiFold and, later, NmTWikiFoldSingleHeading (under construction offline)).

I thought about writing a lot of description about this to give other potential users an indication of how to set up something similar for themselves, and I will (sporadically) work toward that end. I'd probably develop more enthusiasm and diligence in that task if someone wrote to me (on this page) and said they were interested and would like more information.

But, before I write any more at all, I'm taking a break to modify another page.





  • () RandyKramer - 27 Oct 2003
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