Wiki wishlist
June 7, 2010 7:12 AM   Subscribe

Is there any Wiki software that can be downloaded and which resides on a local machine?

I have a couple of projects coming up, for which Wiki software would be a perfect organizational tool.

However, given the confidential nature of these projects (NDAs, etc.) I would prefer that the software and the data reside on my personal computer, and not on the web.

Are there any such tools out there?

Failing that, which wiki web sites allow one to limit who can view the information?
posted by dfriedman to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
There's definitely more complex wiki stuff out there. But Zulupad worked for my own personal notetaking in college. There was a more complex one I was looking at on Sourceforge, but I'm having trouble tracking that down.
posted by edbles at 7:20 AM on June 7, 2010

If you're looking for a little personal wiki platform, I've made good use of tiddlywiki. Totally self-contained and designed for personal use on a PC. You can share it if need be by putting it on a server someplace, but it's really made for the exact situation you describe.
posted by jquinby at 7:20 AM on June 7, 2010

The answer is yes you can do this. Typically you can just run a web server on your own computer and share with whoever you like on your network (or internet, if you want). Setting up a server can easily be done through an install of MAMP.

I googled "personal wiki" an got this list on the first hit.

Having no experience with them, I can't personally recommend any particular one.
posted by qwip at 7:20 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you're on a Mac, Voodoo Pad would be good for you. (I haven't played with any of the Windows alternatives.) As far as hosted solutions, I've heard good things about PBwiki, which lets you create private wikis. Of course, you could always install Apache on your own workstation and run whatever wiki software you like.
posted by paulg at 7:25 AM on June 7, 2010

A comparison site that might be useful for you is:
posted by Simon_ at 7:26 AM on June 7, 2010

I've done this by setting up a webserver on my machine (not open to the internet, only to my computer) and installing MediaWiki, which I found pretty easy to use (possibly because I'm used to Wikipedia). If that all seems a bit too in depth I'd second using Tiddlywiki for something nice and simple.
posted by teraspawn at 7:27 AM on June 7, 2010

You can use absolutely any wiki software you like. Most will come with installation instructions: you just need to follow the instructions on your own computer. As gwip says, you will need to install a web server program first (Apache is probably your best bet).

Once you have installed it, you will be able to connect to it using your web browser, with an address something like http://localhost/wiki. The last part of this address will depend on where exactly you installed the wiki. "localhost" means "the same computer that you are typing on".

Other people could theoretically connect to this web server on your machine and see your wiki, by navigating to http://yourcomputername/wiki. It's likely that your firewall settings or your home modem/router (if you're at home) will prevent this. You can test it out from another computer, and if you can still see the wiki, you can change the firewall settings on your PC to prevent external access. Alternatively, you could configure Apache to deny remote access, but fiddling with your firewall will probably be easier for you.
posted by emilyw at 7:31 AM on June 7, 2010

I like Zim. Works out of the box on Windows and most Linux distros. If OSX, it needs some dependencies that are available via MacPorts or Fink.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:32 AM on June 7, 2010

All very helpful, thanks.

Apparently this is more common than I thought!
posted by dfriedman at 7:47 AM on June 7, 2010

I found Instiki to be several notches more powerful than TiddlyWiki, while still being very simple to install. Most importantly to me, it offers Markdown formatting & revisions.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 9:23 AM on June 7, 2010

These are all great suggestions, you'll find one you love.

I favor tiddlywiki because of it's insanely great portability. You don't need to install anything at all. It's a self contained file that will open in most any web browser on any platform. You can pop it on a flash drive or in your Dropbox and your wiki can be secure but accessible from anywhere.

If you are on a Mac and only on a Mac, Voodoo Pad is total awesome.
posted by quarterframer at 9:44 AM on June 7, 2010

There's also a wiki plugin for vim, if you ever used vi/vim that might be something to look at, if you only need text and links, that might be lighter and easier to tweak than GUI wikis.
posted by rainy at 9:59 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Forgot: viki
posted by rainy at 9:59 AM on June 7, 2010

wikidpad is great for a private wiki.
Very basic, no bells and whistles a "notepad on steroids".
posted by adamvasco at 11:28 AM on June 7, 2010

I've tried many of the desktop wikis listed above, and I finally ended up with Treepad. It's been perfect for organizing my notes, and it's very simple. Some of the wikis above were too simple, some too complicated. What I like about Treepad is its basic simplicity and its intuitive organizational structure. It's tiny (size-wise, I mean), private (since it's not online), and easily accessed right on my desktop. There's nothing to actually install. You could even just put it on a thumb drive. It utilizes a visual (collapsible) tree structure (each page is a 'node'), which I think would be useful for organizing projects and larger writing assignments (like dissertations, etc.). It's one of the best applications I've ever downloaded!
posted by Mael Oui at 8:15 PM on June 7, 2010

MoinMoin's Desktop Edition.
posted by PueExMachina at 8:00 PM on June 8, 2010

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