Working offline with Unplugged

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Socialtext Unplugged Introduction

Socialtext Unplugged allows you to work on your wiki while your computer is offline.

Socialtext Unplugged lets you "unplug" a set of wiki pages to your desktop or laptop computer. You can read and edit them on your computer, while you are not connected to the internet -- perhaps on an airplane or train or in a cafe with unreliable network access. Later, you can "sync" changes back to your wiki.

You can unplug recently changed pages in a wiki, a single page, or pages in a blog or tag group. Anywhere you see the blue Unplugged icon, you can unplug that set of pages. The unplug icon can be found on the dashboard of your wiki, at the bottom of every page, and at the top of lists of wiki pages such as what's new , tags, and the results of a search.


You will only see the Unplugged icon if unplugged has been enabled for your wiki by a wiki administrator. See Enabling and Disabling Unplugged

Below is a brief overview of the main features of Unplugged. If you would like to get started quickly, follow the Walkthrough to unplug recent changes.

Unplugging a page

You can unplug a single page by clicking the Unplugged icon at the bottom right corner of the page:


Unplugging a set of pages

To unplug the last 50 recently changed pages in a wiki, go to "What's New" and click the Unplugged icon. By default, unplugging "What's New" will give you the last 50 pages changed to work with on your hard drive while you're offline.

Unplugging more than 50 pages

Unplugging a large wiki may be very slow -- so slow that your browser will time out before you can unplug all the content. To avoid this problem, by default, if you click on the "unplug" icon on the dashboard of your wiki, you get the most recently changed 50 pages.

You work around the default by modifying the url to unplug the pages. You can change the number that appears in the url to increase or decrease the number of pages you get. For example, on a Mac, you can control-click on the Unplugged icon, copy the URL, paste it into the browser, and append ";count=100" to the url to get 100 pages instead of the default of 50. On a PC, right-click the Unplugged icon to copy the URL. For example, a url might look like this:

and to modify it to unplug the last 100 pages, you would paste the following url into a browser window:;count=100

You can find the total number of pages in a wiki by going to "What's New" and then "All Pages". The total number of pages is in parentheses in the top left hand corner of the page.

Working offline

Once you click the Unplugged icon, you can open the page or pages you have unplugged with your browser. Or you can save the unplugged pages to a convenient location on your computer, to be opened in a browser later. Either way of downloading the file will work, and will result in a saved file on your hard drive.

The screen you will work in should look like your normal browser window, containing something like this in the body of the page:


You may want to read through a few of the help files within Unplugged. The GettingStarted window has links to explanations of how to save changes, browse and edit, and sync changes. The Walkthrough to unplug recent changes is another good place to get started, and Unplugged's internal documentation contains more detail.

View page

Click on an underlined link to a page to view that page's content.

The page will open as a mini-window, or "tiddler", inside your main Unplugged browser window. Above each open mini-window is a toolbar with options like edit, save, and close.

Create page

Click on a word or phrase with a dotted underline to create and edit a new page, much as you would in a regular wiki page.

You can also create a page by clicking "New tiddler" in the right hand sidebar. Name your new page, create its text and click "done". When you sync, it will be added to the pages on your server.

Note: tags added while Unplugged will not sync to your server. You must add tags on the wiki directly, while you are online.

Edit page

Click "edit" in the top toolbar of a mini-window to edit the content of that window. In the edit window, the top right hand toolbar gives the option of "done", "cancel", or "delete".


To save what you've typed in the edit and tagging windows, click "done" in the toolbar above that edit window.


Clicking "close" on the toolbar above a mini-window will close that window. You can open it easily again from the list of pages in the sidebar. Clicking "close all others" in the toolbar of a mini-window will keep that mini-window open while hiding all others.


Clicking "Save" in the "Backstage" toolbar at the very top of your Unplugged page will save all your changes to your hard drive. They won't be saved back to your server until you sync them.

Syncing pages will automatically save them to your hard drive.


You can click "Options" in the right hand sidebar and set the Autosave option to save changes to your hard drive every few minutes.


Syncing your pages back to the server

When you are ready to synchronize your unplugged pages back to the wiki on your server, click "sync" in the righthand sidebar.

A list of all the pages you have unplugged will appear. The pages you have changed will be highlighted in green, and will have the boxes next to them checked.


Click on the "sync" button at the bottom of the page, and your pages will synchronize with your wiki on the server.

The changed and sync-ed pages will now be highlighted in purple in the sync list view.


You can then click "close", up at the far right hand side of the page to close the sync window and return to the basic Unplugged interface, where you can continue editing and viewing pages.

If you sync pages without saving first, Unplugged will save the changed pages to your hard drive before syncing. You can also save them first on your hard drive, and then sync.

While you have been editing pages offline, some of those pages may also have been changed on the server. Unplugged will warn you of potential conflicts in editing, during the sync process.

If anyone else has changed a page on the server, you will get a warning and a choice to override those changes. The sync list will show the pages you have changed that also have been changed on the server highlighted in red, and the "Synchronization status" column for that page will indicate that it's been changed on the server.


If you write over changes someone else has made in your wiki, it's okay. Those changes won't be lost, and you can easily find them using the revision history. You can integrate and merge offline changes with online changes by clicking the "Revisions" option in the top right hand toolbar in your wiki. See Page revision history for a walkthrough of reverting to previous revisions as well as comparing and integrating two different revisions.

Enabling and disabling Unplugged

New wikis will be created with Unplugged turned on, by default. Existing wikis may or may not have Unplugged enabled.

To turn Unplugged on and off for a wiki, you must be a wiki administrator.

Click on "Settings" in the upper right hand toolbar of any wiki page.

Click on "Workspace Features" in the left hand sidebar. Near the bottom of the page, there are radio buttons to enable or disable Unplugged for a wiki.

Making this change will turn Unplugged on or off for all users of a wiki.

For server administrators

To turn off Unplugged for a wiki, your server administrator can use st-admin:

st-admin set-workspace-config --workspace workspacename enable_unplugged 0

And to turn it back on again by default, here is the command:

st-admin set-workspace-config --workspace workspacename enable_unplugged 1

Walkthrough to unplug recent changes

Here's a step-by-step Walkthrough to unplug recent changes. Unplug, save, change something, and sync the page back to your server.

Unplugged has many more capabilities and interesting features, which you can read about in the extra documentation that will come up on your browser when you unplug your wiki. However, following this basic walkthrough should be enough to get you started and working offline.

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