Monday, July 1, 2002

MegaWiki ties your information together with cool links


By Michael Connick

This is the third article in a series on using hacks to extend the power of your Palm handheld. The first article (at discussed what hacks are and the hack management software needed to utilize them on your Palm handheld. Last month's article (at talked about how to use LapTopHack to improve the usability of a keyboard accessory. This month's article will introduce you to the MegaWiki hack. MegaWiki (at will allow you to create Web-like hyperlinks between documents on your Palm handheld.

What is MegaWiki?

MegaWiki is a hack that allows you to create Web-like hyperlinks between data contained in the standard Palm OS applications (Memo Pad, Date Book, To Do List, and Address Book), as well as a large number of common third-party Palm OS applications. Jumping between desired items across applications is as easy as just clicking on a MegaWiki link. It creates what amounts to a miniature version of the World Wide Web inside your Palm handheld!

Why do I need MegaWiki?

MegaWiki can quickly tie together all of the information you carry in your Palm handheld. For example, you might have the name of someone in your Date Book with whom you have an appointment. If you want to find their phone number in order to confirm your appointment, you can just tap on their name, and you'll be quickly and automatically taken to the Address Book entry for the person. Perhaps you have a Memo Pad document that refers to a meeting note you saved in another Memo. Just tap on the Memo title, and you'll be taken right to it.

MegaWiki is a fast and simple solution that ties nearly all your Palm handheld's databases and applications together so that you can access your data quickly and easily, no matter what application you may currently be using.

How does it work?

MegaWiki is a hack that enables Palm handheld users to hyperlink the data in the Memo Pad, Date Book, To Do List, Address Book, and other application databases. In any text field, when a user taps on a MegaWiki link, the appropriate application is launched and the item corresponding to the link is displayed. If the item doesn't exist, it can optionally be created and displayed.

The primary form for links consists of strings (up to 100 characters long) surrounded by a pair of tag characters. These tag characters are called Super Tags. The characters used to represent tags can be specified on MegaWiki's Basic Preference Panel. The MegaWiki Basic Preference configuration form is shown in Figure A.