Show HN: Reor – An AI note-taking app that runs models locally

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on news.ycombinator.com

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  • reor

    Self-organizing AI note-taking app that runs models locally.

  • Thanks for your feedback!

    - Multiple vaults is in fact in a PR right now: https://github.com/reorproject/reor/pull/28

    - Manual linking is coming.

    - Minimizing the UI to chat is interesting. Right now I guess you can drag chat to cover anything - but yes perhaps a toggle between two modes could be interesting.

    - Read other formats also something in the pipeline. Just need to sort out the editor itself to support something like this. Perhaps pdfs would just be embedded into the vector db but not accessible to the editor.

    - Integrating with browser history and bookmarks is a big feature. Things like web clipping and bringing in context from different places are interesting...

  • obsidian-local-llm

    Obsidian Local LLM is a plugin for Obsidian that provides access to a powerful neural network, allowing users to generate text in a wide range of styles and formats using a local LLM.

  • SurveyJS

    Open-Source JSON Form Builder to Create Dynamic Forms Right in Your App. With SurveyJS form UI libraries, you can build and style forms in a fully-integrated drag & drop form builder, render them in your JS app, and store form submission data in any backend, inc. PHP, ASP.NET Core, and Node.js.

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  • obsidian-releases

    Community plugins list, theme list, and releases of Obsidian.

  • Great job!

    I played around with this on a couple of small knowledge bases using an open Hermes model I had downloaded. The “related notes” feature didn't provide much value in my experience, often the link was so weak it was nonsensical. The Q&A mode was surprisingly helpful for querying notes and providing overviews, but asking anything specific typically just resulted in less than helpful or false answers. I'm sure this could be improved with a better model etc.

    As a concept, I strongly support the development of private, locally-run knowledge management tools. Ideally, these solutions should prioritise user data privacy and interoperability, allowing users to easily export and migrate their notes if a new service better fits their needs. Or better yet, be completely local, but have functionality for 'plugins' so a user can import their own models or combine plugins. A bit like how Obsidian[1] allows for user created plugins to enable similar functionality to Reor, such as the Obsidan-LLM[2] plugin.

    [1] https://obsidian.md/

  • mindforger

    Thinking notebook and Markdown editor with LLM wingman.

  • Rear is a really interesting project with admirable goals. I believe this is just the beginning, but you have already done a great job!

    I have been working on my note-taking application (https://github.com/dvorka/mindforger) for some time and wanted to go in the same direction. However, I gave up (for now). I used ggerganov/llama.cpp to host LLM models locally on a CPU-only machine with 32GB RAM, and used them for both RAG and note-taking use cases (like https://www.mindforger.com/index-200.html#llm). However, it did not work well for me - the performance was poor (high hardware utilization, long response times, failures, and crashes) and the actual responses were rarely useful (off-topic and impractical responses, hallucinations). I tried llama-2 7B with 4b quantization and a couple of similar models. Although I'm not happy about it, I switched to an online commercial LLM because it performs really well in terms of response quality, speed, and affordability. I frequently use the integrated LLM in my note-taking app as it can be used for many things.

    Anyway, Reor "only" uses the locally hosted LLM in the generation phase of the RAG, which is a nicely constraint use case. I believe that a really lightweight LLM - I'm thinking about a tiny base model fine-tuned for summarization - could be the way to go (fast, non-hallucinating). I'm really curious to know if you have any suggestions or if you will have any in the future!

    As for the vector DB, considering the resource-related problems I mentioned earlier, I was thinking about something similar to facebookresearch/faiss, which, unlike LanceDB, is not a fully-fledged vector DB. Have you made any experiments with similarity search projects or vector DBs? I would be interested in the trade-offs similar to small/large/hosted LLMs.

    Overall, I think that both RAG with my personal notes as a corpus and a locally hosted generic purpose LLM for the use cases I mentioned above can take personal note-taking apps to a new level. This is the way! ;)

    Good luck with your project!

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