Hey, all —

Introducing the *Mod-Loader Plugin*:  

This plugin allows shadow tiddlers in a wiki to be patched at boot-time.  
This makes it possible to change the TiddlyWiki core without creating 
conflicts or errors when the wiki is upgraded.  Almost any code in the core 
can be patched. †  It's also possible to patch other, non-core plugins.  If 
any conflicts do arise, the patch operation is aborted and the wiki will 
load without modifications.

While it's still in development, the modloader is ready to use.  I expect 
this will be useful for developing plugins that change TiddlyWiki's 
behavior at deeper levels, including the instrumentation and optimization 
work we've been discussing here.  It should be possible to generate a mod 
from a git branch and distribute this, making it easier to distribute and 
test branch functionality.  More tools will be necessary to make this 

The plugin includes a Patch Maker utility 
to generate patch files by comparing a shadow tiddler with a non-shadow 
tiddler that is overriding it.  I'll probably make this a bit more 
convenient to use in the future.

As a final note, and echoing Jeremy's sentiment, it remains preferable to 
avoid using mods to create a plugin whenever possible.  The modloader is 
designed to offer a safer alternative to overshadowing core code, when new 
functionality does require core changes.

*Example Mod*:

Here's my attribute-modules "mod" plugin:  

It also renders patch tiddlers with some nice formatting.  Example:  

*Technical detail*:

The modloader runs as a startup module, before all modules provided by the 
core.  It scans the wiki for patch tiddlers and applies them to the 
specified "source" tiddlers.  The results are generated into a new plugin, 

If any conflicts are encountered while applying patches, the modloader 
aborts completely to preserve the integrity of the wiki and no mods are 
applied.  A visual warning will be generated.  Warnings are also generated 
if a mod attempts to patch an "unpatchable" tiddler †.

† Raw markup tiddlers and bootloader code cannot be patched.  Startup 
modules cannot be patched, because they are loaded before the modloader 
runs.  I'm discussing ways to remove the latter restriction with Jeremy.

The modloader currently overshadows startup.js in order to prevent 
non-startup modules from being loaded before the modloader runs.  This 
might impact the modloader's compatibility with future versions of the 
core.  This is another restriction that might be lifted in future versions 
of the core.

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