The hard drive on my work computer failed last week, so now I have a new hard drive with a clean installation of everything. Our head of IT recommended switching my default browser from Firefox to Chrome, so I did that, but when I did, I discovered to my dismay that TiddlyWiki stopped remembering things like my user name and where to save backups. I use TiddlyWiki for my reference notes — things like chunks of XML or MathML that I want to be able to find very quickly and copy and paste into another document. I’ve amassed hundreds of them, but they don’t save me much time, compared to entering the code anew, if I can’t find the one I want very quickly.
(TiddlyWiki, I’ve found, is less good for my project notes. I want to be able to have anywhere from five or six to maybe a dozen or more project notes open at one time, and be able to switch among them and jot new items down in them quickly. TiddlyWiki is good for switching quickly among notes, but it’s a little more trouble to make additions, partly because you’re forced to think more about format. So I use Notepad++, a great text editor, for project notes and other “active” notes, and TiddlyWiki for “reference” notes that I want to refer to quickly but don’t need to make frequent changes to. It’s worth taking a little more time to think about readable format for a note you’re going to be referring to over and over again for months or years to come; not so much for things you need to jot down but that won’t be needed a week from now.)
Anyway, the problem in a nutshell is that TiddlyWiki is a Java-based program that keeps your notes in an HTML file, and you look at your notes and make changes to them by means of a browser, like Firefox (which I used to use) or Chrome (which I’m using now). Your preferences for things like user name and where to save backups are kept in a cookie. And, unlike Firefox, Chrome doesn’t let you save cookies from local HTML files, only from websites. Argh!
There are various ways to work around this, and I probably wasted a good half hour searching the Internet and reading about the somewhat complicated workarounds other people have used, before I found the simple solution that is built right into TiddlyWiki already. So I’m jotting it down here in case I need it again two years from now and I’ve forgotten what it was, or in case somebody out there is searching the Internet for a simple solution to the same problem.
All you need to do is open the “SystemSettings” tiddler. In the right sidebar, click on the “More” tab and then the “Shadowed” tab and select “SystemSettings” from the list. Into this tiddler, insert the settings you want to make permanent for this file. (Permanent in the sense that they will persist no matter what machine the file is opened on.) For example, mine right now contains:
txtUserName: Scott Marley
To find the terms to use for the options (like “txtUserName”), click on “options” in the right sidebar, and then on “AdvancedOptions” at the bottom of the box that appears.
That’s it. Took me all of thirty seconds to fix once I knew what to do.
As a side note, with Chrome you also need to be sure that the file “TiddlySaver.jar” is stored in the same folder as your TiddlyWiki HTML files or you won’t be able to save changes. If you’ve lost the file, like I had (because I hadn’t needed it with Firefox), you can get it again by downloading a fresh copy of TiddlyWiki at TiddlyWiki.com.