Here’s what I did. First download the tar or zip file (as you need) from here. Then …
$ tar zxvf instiki-0.3.1.tgz (lot of output omitted) $ ruby instiki.rb 2500
Now you have a wiki server running locally on your computer. To see it, direct your browser to localhost:2500 and edit away.
What is a Wiki you ask? A Wiki is a set of web pages that can be easily edited from a browser. Hyperlinks within a Wiki are easy to setup and generally are keyed off of words with special capitalization. New pages can be created at the drop of a hat and the pages are always live and changable. Formatting rule are usually very simple, for example asterisks surrounding a word can make it *bold*.
Wikis are great for collaborative web sites, where everyone contributes a bit here and a bit to build the site. I’ve used Wikis to coordinate software projects and provide documentation.
Instiki uses RedCloth, a Ruby implementation of Textile to handle the formatting. Although a bit different from the formatting rules used by traditional Wikis, Textile looks to be very flexible in the kind of HTML it is able to produce. Yet it doesn’t seem to get in the way of just entering text.
Update: Instiki now as its own domain: www.instiki.org. I’ve updated the home page link in article.