I am a bit of an information whore. If I find something interesting, useful, or even potentially helpful online, I save it to my computer in case I ever need it again. I have developed a fairly sophisticated directory structure to organize this massive amount of info (and with programs like Copernic, it is almost never too difficult to find). But lately, especially paralleling my ever increasing appreciation of Wikipedia, I have thought it would be really nice to start linking together all of the information I have in a wiki style format. With this as a goal, I went looking to see what was out there. Basically, I wanted a free (preferably open-source) self-contained wiki style program that would make it easy to format and link together various documents without having to set anything up on an online server. I found three programs, and I've tested two. The programs I've tested are Wikidpad and Notepad (the third program I found is Zim, but it appears to be early in development and requires a bit of work in order to install it from the source code).
This is the most complete program of the two. Also, it appears to be under continual development, which means it going to get better. That said, the program still feels like it is in a beta stage. The Preview Mode does not always match the Export to HTML output. Also, certain meta-characters are not hidden in the preview mode (like << and >>). Second, it seems to lack a number of features it should have. For example, it would be nice to be able to embed images. Additional formating options would be nice. In particular, I wish there was a way to generate mono style characters that span just a few words in a sentence. Finally, it currently only works on Windows, but given the fact that it's written in Python, it seems possible that there could be multiple versions for different platforms.
A final note: A number of features are easily missed due to the fact that they are not made transparent:
(1) The program initially seems to lack an undo feature (which would be bad), but it is available when you right-click the edit screen.
(2) The main search feature only takes you to page, but it doesn't say where the string you were searching for is in the page. In order to find the precise location, you need to press: Ctr-F or F3 (press F3 again to find next match).
(3) Finally, the documentation needs to be worked up (How, for example, do I make table headers? I have yet to figure this one out).
This program is the most straightforward and lest buggy of the two, but it has two main things going against it. First, it lacks certain features with it should have, and second, the development pace of that application makes it uncertain when such features will be included (it doesn't appear to be developed since early 2005). With regard to the features it is missing, it does not support support tables (!) or numbered lists (!!). There are some user-contributed scripts that have been made available on the website to support these features, but I had difficulty getting them to work.