## Twisty's Tesseract

from Twisty's Mind come Twisted Products

# Futureproofing

- Posted in Systems Administration by

## Making New Content

New content is being created with several goals in mind:

• First and foremost, I wish to futureproof my content. When platforms change with future hardware and software, it is best if the content does not have to be altered just to keep up with its platforms.
• MarkDown (.md), and its many incarnations, can help futureproof content. Different 'flavors' of MarkDown include CommonMark, MultiMarkDown (MMD), GIThub Flavored MarkDown (GFM), and even ReStructured Text (ReST).
• MarkDown files are great for creating static pages. In most cases, they can be converted in advance into HTML pages, or dynamically converted on the web server, or in cases like MDwiki can even be read directly as *.md text by the client's browser and converted automatically using Javascript.
• Math is important to me. While HTML standards have advanced to include MathML, the real standard of publishing for Math is LaTeX. This is usually expressed into web pages and posts by the use of programs like MathJax.

I am currently trying out different wiki and CMS systems that minimize my workflow of creating content pages from my phone and posting them to my web server as directly as possible. My leading candidate, while lacking features like tagging and blog automation, happens to be MDwiki. There is also a more involved MultiMarkDown-CMS that includes bells and whistles like tagging, blogging, and online search, but my first impression is that the workflow may be too demanding for my mobile desires.

## MDwiki

I am very impressed with the elegance of MDwiki. You can start your own wiki site faster than you may suspect:

1. Download a copy of the MDwiki.html. You might do that as simple as viewing this very page, and using "Save As..." to store it as MDwiki.html or index.html.
2. Write content. Your first page should likely be called index.md.
3. Upload these files (the MDwiki.html and all your *.md text files) to your web server.

That's it! No fancy installations. No special server requirements. Just point your browser to read the Markdown file, through the MDwiki file, using the "shebang" of #! like so:

www.twisty.org/MDwiki.html#!index.md


In fact, if you rename the MDwiki.html to index.html so that it is your web folder's default page, then it can be reached with the simpler:

www.twisty.org/#!index.md


...or in the case of just the index file, you can even omit the shebang and the filename!

As a bonus, you can fetch the Markdown text source file directly: e.g. www.twisty.org/gimmicks.md without the shebang.

### G2M2.net

A similar Javascript client-side solution is G2M2.net. It adds some file searching/indexing options and custom themes, but is focused more on GitHub servers.

I'm loving MDwiki for now. I will likely keep a copy on my thumbdrive so that I can instantly place my website on any web server... or even any file browser.

## Why Not MultiMarkDown-CMS?

I like the results of MMD-CMS, but not its workflow. It was designed with laptop users in mind, requiring them to execute a shell script called "mmd2html", which in turn calls an installed Linux command for multimarkdown. Since my aim is to bypass such requirements, and post directly from my Android phone, it seems this CMS is not in the cards.

It is conceivable to place this executable on the web server, but I'd rather not entrench a platform that may fail my futureproofing goals. The CMS has not been updated since 2010, so while the MultiMarkDown executable is better maintained, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

## What about HTMLy and Pico flat-file CMSs?

These are still promising prospects. Their only single downside I've found so far is its dependence on PHP as a server engine. That's a small cost that is not likely to vanish from the web server landscape any time soon. So with the many positive benefits such as taxonomy (categories and tags), blogging, searching, etc., I could switch to either of these in the very near future.

## Old Content

If you are looking for old content, you may try old.twisty.org.