Write Plain Text Files

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

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  • athens

    Athens is a knowledge graph for research and notetaking. Athens is open-source, private, extensible, and community-driven.

    Have you tried Athens Research? [0]

    It is open source and everything is stored locally but not in markdown files. You can self-host the desktop app to share notes.

    [0]: https://github.com/athensresearch/athens

  • notable

    The Markdown-based note-taking app that doesn't suck.

    For several years I was ad avid notepad.exe + plain text files practitioner for capturing any note but have switched to using https://notable.app for capturing any adhoc notes.

    It has the same in spirit & benefits of maintaining plain-text .md files in a static directory but has all the niceties of rich markdown, embeds, attachments, search and metadata captured in .md frontmatter to tag notes with categories + pinned notes in a minimal, focused UI. I've tried many but it's been the only note taking app that's stuck & replaced notepade.exe for me.

  • Appwrite

    Appwrite - The Open Source Firebase alternative introduces iOS support . Appwrite is an open source backend server that helps you build native iOS applications much faster with realtime APIs for authentication, databases, files storage, cloud functions and much more!

  • obsidian-releases

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

    Do you know https://obsidian.md/? It's a note taking app with plugins. There are some for todos and excalidraw for drawing on whiteboards.

  • Asciidoctor

    :gem: A fast, open source text processor and publishing toolchain, written in Ruby, for converting AsciiDoc content to HTML 5, DocBook 5, and other formats.

  • fsnotes

    Notes manager for macOS/iOS

    https://fsnot.es - FSNotes is a native (~100% Swift) FOSS app which I believe is modelled after Bear.app.

    I have been looking at it for sometime now, from a distance.

    Very active development. Lots of options. But it still doesn’t seem as stable as I would like it to be.

    Though sometimes it seems kinda all over. For example - it lets you set a storage and then another storage for “git” handling id you’d like to use it. Adding external folder doesn’t import the notes, it just shows a folder there. Sometimes restarting the app does the trick, or just removing or adding again.

    So there’s sync option (iCloud only), there’s storage location, there’s external folder addition, then there’s git as well. I am sharing it here because many of you might like these many features.

    I still believe it has huge potential and I’ll give it a more full fledged try once it has a more reliable and transparent sync option unlike what iCloud sync is (my biggest gripe with iCloud sync is it doesn’t let me choose where I want to see/keep the raw files and there’s no versioning and if there is I’m not. It fails not in silence but radio silence).

  • jrnl

    Collect your thoughts and notes without leaving the command line.

    Here's another very similar project which follows the same concept and construct: https://jrnl.sh

    PS. I am not the author or contributor just a daily user of it and i like it.

  • TiddlyWiki

    A self-contained JavaScript wiki for the browser, Node.js, AWS Lambda etc.

    Just, without the CSS and Javascript.

    Adding in some script... maybe people would like https://tiddlywiki.com/

    Open Source, usable on iOS and Android via apps. Is pretty much a self contained webpage but it allows drag'n'drop image files onto the edit box.

  • Scout APM

    Less time debugging, more time building. Scout APM allows you to find and fix performance issues with no hassle. Now with error monitoring and external services monitoring, Scout is a developer's best friend when it comes to application development.

  • Gollum

    A simple, Git-powered wiki with a sweet API and local frontend.

    Another advantage layers on the source control: many source code management services will render your markdown and give you a search interface. GitHub popularized it. But other hosts like Azure Devops and GitLab support this as well. You can make a relatively pleasant document management system on top of this.

    You can even run this on your own computer without an internet connection. Working Copy on iOS supports. Gollum, originally created by Tom Preston-Werner, strives to be compatiable with GitHub's wiki feature [2]. For my part, I've been learning Rust by writing a clone of Gollum called Smeagol [3].

    Though really the point of the original article is: all these tool don't matter. Your plain text files can live longer than any of particular tool and continue to be useful.

    [1] https://workingcopyapp.com/

    [2] https://github.com/gollum/gollum

    [3] https://smeagol.dev/

  • nb

    CLI and local web plain text note‑taking, bookmarking, and archiving with linking, tagging, filtering, search, Git versioning & syncing, Pandoc conversion, + more, in a single portable script.

  • ExtDiff

    Compare documents using MS Word from the command line.

    Word also includes a nice GUI diffing tool for docx files. It's possible to make git diff use it using something like https://github.com/ForNeVeR/ExtDiff

  • notetaker

    Note taker for notes, blog posts, todo lists from the command line

    I was sick of all these services and apps with proprietary formats as well and starting writing markdown files organised in folders.

    I've started a simple Bash utility for organising, searching notes and extracting TODOs out of them: https://github.com/hkdobrev/notetaker

    I'd be glad if someone finds it useful.

  • orgdown

    Plain text adoption often implies markdown for a richer experience, but we also have the wonderful https://orgmode.org markup.

    There is no shortage of markdown-based tools on all platforms. Our org markup options, on the other hand, are very few outside of Emacs. Org markup itself is super versatile and can power lots of use-cases.

    I built two org-powered apps for iOS myself:

    https://plainorg.com

    https://flathabits.com

    There are other great ones out there:

    https://beorg.app

    https://logseq.com

    https://organice.200ok.ch

    https://orgro.org

    http://orgzly.com

    Lastly, a shoutout to Karl Voit who's been driving org markup awareness outside of Emacs with Orgdown https://gitlab.com/publicvoit/orgdown. He's also discussed org markup's strengths at https://karl-voit.at/2017/09/23/orgmode-as-markup-only

  • orgro

    An Org Mode file viewer for iOS and Android

    Plain text adoption often implies markdown for a richer experience, but we also have the wonderful https://orgmode.org markup.

    There is no shortage of markdown-based tools on all platforms. Our org markup options, on the other hand, are very few outside of Emacs. Org markup itself is super versatile and can power lots of use-cases.

    I built two org-powered apps for iOS myself:

    https://plainorg.com

    https://flathabits.com

    There are other great ones out there:

    https://beorg.app

    https://logseq.com

    https://organice.200ok.ch

    https://orgro.org

    http://orgzly.com

    Lastly, a shoutout to Karl Voit who's been driving org markup awareness outside of Emacs with Orgdown https://gitlab.com/publicvoit/orgdown. He's also discussed org markup's strengths at https://karl-voit.at/2017/09/23/orgmode-as-markup-only

  • github-orgmode-tests

    This is a test project where you can explore how github interprets Org-mode files

    Plain text adoption often implies markdown for a richer experience, but we also have the wonderful https://orgmode.org markup.

    There is no shortage of markdown-based tools on all platforms. Our org markup options, on the other hand, are very few outside of Emacs. Org markup itself is super versatile and can power lots of use-cases.

    I built two org-powered apps for iOS myself:

    https://plainorg.com

    https://flathabits.com

    There are other great ones out there:

    https://beorg.app

    https://logseq.com

    https://organice.200ok.ch

    https://orgro.org

    http://orgzly.com

    Lastly, a shoutout to Karl Voit who's been driving org markup awareness outside of Emacs with Orgdown https://gitlab.com/publicvoit/orgdown. He's also discussed org markup's strengths at https://karl-voit.at/2017/09/23/orgmode-as-markup-only

  • organice

    An implementation of Org mode without the dependency of Emacs - built for mobile and desktop browsers

    Plain text adoption often implies markdown for a richer experience, but we also have the wonderful https://orgmode.org markup.

    There is no shortage of markdown-based tools on all platforms. Our org markup options, on the other hand, are very few outside of Emacs. Org markup itself is super versatile and can power lots of use-cases.

    I built two org-powered apps for iOS myself:

    https://plainorg.com

    https://flathabits.com

    There are other great ones out there:

    https://beorg.app

    https://logseq.com

    https://organice.200ok.ch

    https://orgro.org

    http://orgzly.com

    Lastly, a shoutout to Karl Voit who's been driving org markup awareness outside of Emacs with Orgdown https://gitlab.com/publicvoit/orgdown. He's also discussed org markup's strengths at https://karl-voit.at/2017/09/23/orgmode-as-markup-only

  • logseq

    A local-first, non-linear, outliner notebook for organizing and sharing your personal knowledge base. Use it to organize your todo list, to write your journals, or to record your unique life.

    Plain text adoption often implies markdown for a richer experience, but we also have the wonderful https://orgmode.org markup.

    There is no shortage of markdown-based tools on all platforms. Our org markup options, on the other hand, are very few outside of Emacs. Org markup itself is super versatile and can power lots of use-cases.

    I built two org-powered apps for iOS myself:

    https://plainorg.com

    https://flathabits.com

    There are other great ones out there:

    https://beorg.app

    https://logseq.com

    https://organice.200ok.ch

    https://orgro.org

    http://orgzly.com

    Lastly, a shoutout to Karl Voit who's been driving org markup awareness outside of Emacs with Orgdown https://gitlab.com/publicvoit/orgdown. He's also discussed org markup's strengths at https://karl-voit.at/2017/09/23/orgmode-as-markup-only

  • word-to-markdown

    A ruby gem to liberate content from Microsoft Word documents

    Pre-commit hook to convert to plaintext or markdown[0].

    And there you go, a human readable diff.

    [0]https://github.com/benbalter/word-to-markdown

  • xee

    Automatically exported from code.google.com/p/xee

  • constitution

    Constitution of India, in plain text (with git history)

    > “Git for everything“

    Just to show how useful this is here’s Indian Constitution with amendments as commits:

    https://github.com/captn3m0/constitution

  • vim-journal

    :memo:

    As someone who lives in a terminal, I find Junegunn’s “journal” markup format a lot more pleasing on the eyes than Markdown — holy kaleidoscopic colours, batman. Bonus: in a weird way, the colours of journal trained me to love lisp.

    [1]: https://github.com/junegunn/vim-journal

  • Tyche

    A Git-Bot to help you organise your life (by i5heu)

    I think the positive sides are more relevant than the negative ones.

    https://github.com/i5heu/Tyche

  • bugben

    My home - bugben.com

    I tried to git my resume once upon a time. It's still something I'd love to finish doing, it just makes sense to have a git repository as a timeline of your life:

    https://github.com/ben174/bugben

  • dupver

    Deduplicating VCS for large binary files in Go

    I wound up writing dupver https://github.com/akbarnes/dupver after getting frustrated with the lack of versioning tools for binary files. One neat thing about .docx files and their ilk is that they are "just" zip files so it isn't hard to add special handling to pull out their contents and run deduplication over that.

  • zonote

    Cross-platform desktop note-taking app. Sticky notes with Markdown and Tabs. All in one .txt file.

    I was also looking for a way to better visualize text as a set of notes while still using markdown and .txt, then I came up with the idea "Sticky notes + Markdown + Tabs, All in one .txt file"[1]. It's nothing fancy, just a prototype using electron and vanilla javascript.

    [1] https://github.com/zonetti/zonote

  • stackedit

    In-browser Markdown editor

    I mourn that StackEdit [1] got abandoned. It's online markdown editor that can use git as a backend. Fully cross platform editing (in browser) with synced all text. I used it with GitHub private repository for all my notes but editing on mobile was really buggy. So I moved to notion (unfortunately).

    [1]: https://github.com/benweet/stackedit

  • markor

    Text editor - Notes & ToDo (for Android) - Markdown, todo.txt, plaintext, math, ..

  • resume

    The TeX source for my resume (by chrisfinazzo)

    I eventually settled on LaTeX - although I considered dropping all the way down to groff/troff and having TeX be an intermediate step in the process.

    Custom LaTeX classes made this more trouble than I was willing to deal with, so I decided to not pursue it further. I suspect Markdown might have similar challenges dealing with this, although given that the "verbose mode" is just HTML, I might be able to make it work.[1]

    The print media type has been around for eons, but the @page rules don't support everything I need and are generally absent in WebKit browsers.

    [1]: https://github.com/chrisfinazzo/resume

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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