Dossier” is an open-source proof-of-concept of an idea I have been exploring recently, best described as “structured notes” or “database meets wiki”.

At the moment what I have is about two hours worth of hurriedly slapped-together PHP, but I think it demonstrates that the idea has some merit.

The idea is to take a loosely structure database containing records with arbitrary key-value pairs (like this) and present it in an intelligently interlinked way (like this).

Conceptually, it’s similar to a relational database, except each record can have any number of fields, and they do not have to be the same fields from record to record. You can even repeat fields on a single record. (Say, for a example if you have a record of a person who has been married multiple times, you could just repeat the “Spouse” property on that record.)

Like a wiki, you do not have to worry about manually creating links between records. Those will be discovered for you automatically based on properties and property values.

I doubt that the idea is completely original, but after much searching, I’ve not found anything that implements it this particular way, and certainly not so simply.

I hope it is interesting to other info-nerds. There are plenty of feature possibilities up for grabs if you want to fork and contribute such as: user accounts, authentication, write access to the database, improved design, and so on.