Micro

Hey y’all! Two quick big updates: first, I replaced the wizard emoji on my headers to a cute picture my friend Christiaan made based on a picture of me! Secondly, just created a darkroom page intended to replace the #LifeThroughLenses tag with a much sleeker look. Check it out!

Addendum: OMG, I’ve been using Hugo for, literally, 1/4 of my life!

I have been living in Eindhoven, The Netherlands for two weeks already! Isn’t that crazy? So far, I’ve only had one week of (remote) classes. What bothers me most is that most professors just decided that we should watch the videos of the lectures from previous quarters (because they already recorded them). In addition, all three courses I have this quarter are fully evaluated by a single exam that just counts 100% of the grades. Very theoritical so far. However, I know that some other courses later on are not like this. Other than that, it’s being an amazing experience.

(The post services in the Netherlands are super fast)

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.

Just created a subdomain with my notes, or wiki, or digital garden. Whatever you want to call it. It’s mostly for personal reference if I need it, but you can take a look too 😉

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.

I’ve been in spring cleanup mode since yesterday and I started on GitHub and ended up archiving and deprecating dozens of repos that were either unmaintained or actually supposed to be deprecated.

On this website, I just removed the ActivityPub support of my website because of two reasons: it had bugs and wasn’t working properly (I think) and there were only two or three people following me, being 2 of them bots. The other one also follows me through RSS so I hope I don’t affect them very much.

Today and tomorrow I’ll also proceed to make some internal upgrades and decouple the webmentions from the static generation process of this website, inspired by Jan-Luka’s post. I need to upgrade to Caddy 2 as well as some other changes I might share later.

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.