Micro

Yesterday there was a train crash here in Portugal. A fast train circulating at 190 km/h crashed against a “maintenance” vehicle that did not respect the red sign as they say. All commercial trains here have a system to stop them automatically if they don’t respect a yellow/red light so they think the issue was human and related to the small maintenance vehicle that is not equipped with the system. Both workers on that vehicle ended up dying. More details on BBC. But let’s say that there were more than 200 people on the train and all of them survived and there were barely any serious injuries. That, that is impressive.

Henrique Dias 20 Jul 2020 09:25

Taking notes is a process… that’s true. Yesterday I found a post on HackerNews talking about how tired people are of new notes apps. I agree: there’s so many different note-taking apps that it becomes unbearable to find whatever fits you. I have a giang repository of markdown files with images and a …

So… replying to myself. Probably what I’m going to do is quite similar to what I had before: statically generate the notes from source markdown (or something else). I first need to decide the best language. Markdown is simples, yes, but sometimes I feel I need to add HTML to make it look exactly how I want it to. For example, I can’t just do this in markdown without using HTML. Some other markup languages allow for much more customization, such as Asciidoc.

Let me review the features I wrote yesterday to know if I can accomplish what I want this way. First, the must-haves:

Self hosted and open source Notes stored in plain text files Backlinking feature Supports LaTeX math Supports Mermaid diagrams

Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes even if I have to create some script to adapt it to whatever static website generator I’m using. Unfortunately Hugo does not easily allow me to process backlinks on its own. I may try a different, more flexible, static generator for this. It’s an experiment and that way I’ll learn more. Maybe Gatsby or even Eleventy.

Clean layout and possible to easily edit on mobile

Yes and kinda. Need to find a good app. There’s some such as iA Writer that I know work very well. But I need to find a way to make it easily work with a Git repository.

Web editor (maybe WYSIWYG)

GitHub editor works. Not WYSIWYG though.

Simple and humanly readable markup language (markdown or other)

Yes.

Search

Can be implemented, although a bit harder.

Now let’s finally review the good to have features.

Full-text search

Can be implemented too.

Mind map visualization

Yes.

Public/private stuff

Possible, harder, but possible.

Taking notes is a process… that’s true. Yesterday I found a post on HackerNews talking about how tired people are of new notes apps. I agree: there’s so many different note-taking apps that it becomes unbearable to find whatever fits you. I have a giang repository of markdown files with images and a lot of notes, all interconnected. And I still couldn’t find a good app for me. That’s why I’m considering building one simple system for myself, initially private to avoid possible noise, and then open source. My requirements for a system are these:

Must-have:

  • Self hosted and open source
  • Notes stored in plain text files
  • Backlinking feature
  • Supports LaTeX math
  • Supports Mermaid diagrams
  • Clean layout and possible to easily edit on mobile
  • Web editor (maybe WYSIWYG)
  • Simple and humanly readble markup language (markdown or other)
  • Search

Good to have:

  • Full-text search
  • Mind map visualization
  • Public/private stuff

Do you know any application that accomplishes all of this cumulatively? I liked this visually and there’s also this being built but I have no clue about when’s it going to be available or how the storage will work.

If I would create this, it would be just yet another note-taking app, but with a small difference in mind: this would be directed to be self-hosted for just one person. No services, for myself, as I wanted it to work.

Morning rant and controversial opinions: we should all be required to wear masks in public, whether we’re on a street or in an enclosed space. Some European countries are finally understanding the need. Look at the Asian countries: they were already doing that, it works. I use a mask everywhere but my home but I’m just protecting everyone else. Everyone needs to use a mask so it actually works and we protect each other. Using a mask doesn’t make hard to breath, using a mask is not complicated. Does your face get hotter? Yes, but just don’t leave home while it’s 40C. You shouldn’t be doing that in first place. It’s easy, it’s not expensive and it’ll help everyone. Other than that, it would also be cool to make sure everyone was tested before flying but that… that is much more complicated than just wearing a mask. I’m moving to the Netherlands in the second half of next month. I’m worried. I don’t know who I’ll encounter in the airport and plane and I’ll be leaving with people that will be just arriving from other countries. Just… wear masks and we will all be safer. It’s a community effort. We can stop this.

Last night before going to sleep… well actually while falling asleep I thought about writing this. It’s such a basic poem, but lemme just share it here.

I miss

I miss their hugs
I miss my hand on their hair
I miss their hand on my hair
I miss they holding my hands
I miss holding their hands
I miss their face
I miss their shape
I miss their skin
I miss them
I miss physical
I don’t miss coronavirus.

Physical contact is much more important than it seems to us. Yes, emotional connections are important. But emotional connections with physical contact reach cosmic proportions. They change us. Every touch, every cell touching each cell. Every feeling, every moment, everything.

Jan-Lukas Else 30 Jun 2020 20:48

For those who haven’t noticed, I’m blogging more regularly in German again 🇩🇪, the last days even more often in German than in English. And this although there will be much less people reading these articles. Somehow it is much easier for me to write texts in my mother tongue. The words flow much …

That’s really interesting. Even though my mother tongue is clearly not English, sometimes I find it much easier to express some thoughts in English rather in Portuguese. I feel the best for me would be to write in both at the same time but that’s obviously not good for readers 😂