Here are a few miscellaneous paragraphs about my no-server personal wiki system.

I’m tired of calling it “my no-server personal wiki system.” From now on it’ll be called PNotes, which will at least save me some typing. Its GitHub repository will remain the same.

PNotes is missing two things most wikis have: a history of edits and a search field. But it’s easy to overcome both of these limitations.

When I need to create a set of notes for a new project, I copy the PNotes notes folder—my local version of what’s in the GitHub repository—to the new project’s folder and delete the .git subdirectory inside it. I then issue a

git init

command from within notes. This starts up a new git history that will focus not on the programming, which probably won’t change at all, but on the content files. From this point on, I use git add and git commit whenever I think it’s warranted. I’ve thought about putting git commit into the PNotes makefile, forcing a commit whenever I modify or make new HTML pages, but so far I haven’t done so. I prefer the freedom of committing only when I can think up a good commit comment.

Searching hasn’t been as big a deal as I first thought it would be. Normally, I know exactly which note page will have the information I’m looking for, and finding it is simply a matter of scrolling or using the browser’s Find command on that page. For those few occasions when I couldn’t remember where a piece of information is, I just opened a Terminal window in notes and used grep to find what I was looking for. This is not as smooth a solution as having a folder-wide search field available from the browser, but given the rarity of these searches, an in-browser solution just isn’t worth the effort.

One other thing I typically do when I create a new PNotes folder for a project: I replace the generic folder icon with a Moleskine notebook icon like one of these:

I found one of these, at a larger size, by doing a Google Image search and made the others by fiddling with the band color in Acorn. It’s nice to have the PNotes folder stand out.

A reminder on how to change the icon of a folder:

  1. Open the image you want to use and copy it to the clipboard.
  2. In the Finder, do a Get Info on the folder you want to change.
  3. Select the folder’s icon at the top of the Get Info window by clicking on it.
  4. Paste. The generic folder icon should be replaced by the image on the clipboard.

This post has turned out to be a bit more miscellaneous than I’d planned.