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Show HN: CodeOwl – Organize your notes, todos, and code snippets in one place (codeowl.io)
130 points by charbz on Jan 10, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 64 comments

Nice. I'd suggest automatically adding a todo list that had tasks about discovering all the features when a new user first loads the app. Having an essentially blank screen is going to cause a lot of users to bounce.

Also, I'd set

    .workspace { overflow: hidden}
as I'm getting a double scrollbar in Chrome (Windows 10).

great idea ! to start off with a pre-filled todo list Thank you

Good stuff. I could see myself using this. A few bits of feedback:

- Notes should be clamped to screen. There seems to be no limit to how far off screen I can drag something, after which I cannot bring it back (unless I create another note).

- It would be nice if there was some way to snap the notes along a grid so that it's easier to arrange things neatly.

- Collapsible notes would be nice (e.g. collapsing the note so that only the header is visible). Right now each tab has a very limited amount of space.

Awesome feedback , we were unsure between complete free-form and a grid system but seems like many people prefer a more rigid grid

Nice application, thanks.

There really needs to be a way to change the order of to-do's.

What happens to deleted to-do's? Gone forever?

Also CodeOwl combined with graphviz (as shown here- https://zwischenzugs.com/2017/12/18/project-management-as-co...) would be very cool- to-do list -> dependency diagram with colours updating as items are checked off...

Congrats on launch!

A call to action could be useful. "Welcome to CodeOwl! Create your first note/link now."

Looks nice!

No privacy policy, no about page. No info on who's actually behind this. No contact info whatsoever. Why should I register for an account or input any of my data?

Any possibility of allowing self-hosting? Would be fantastic to run on my local dev server.

as of today , we only implemented the cloud version running with firebase on the backend , but a localhost solution is definetly in the works. I can send you an email once a localhost version is ready -- stay in touch code.owl.app@gmail.com

Really cool. Like others have mentioned, tiling would be great. Free form isn't bad though, maybe make a toggle between free form and tiling?

This might be the best solution .. we will check the feasibility of it

Thank you all for the great feedback you have given me. Please join the CodeOwl subreddit to stay in touch, I will be posting updates over there for all the features requested in this thread !


Happy Coding

Bug report: When I add an invalid link (Like "123") to the Links widget it sends a request to "publicApi/links" which hangs for a few minutes before failing.

It looks like you're requesting the URL server-side to provide a preview, you may want to validate the URL before making the request, or catch invalid requests.

Also, just implement a give-up after 3-5 seconds. If a sever can't respond in that time, why bother (not worth the resources).

yikes .. this is what happens when you ship ship ship ! thanks for the report

To the CodeOwl developers: How did this Show HN work out for you?

What kind of traffic did you get to your site? Did people give it a solid test-drive? Did they offer good suggestions, find bugs, etc?


We got quite a bit of traffic , and the target group is perfect for codeowl, also the feedback has been overwhelming and mostly positive. I think Show HN is a great idea for dev tools

As someone planning to do a "Show HN", understanding what "quite a bit of traffic" means, would be helpful. Can you could divulge more details? Happy you got positive feedback. Seems like a good idea for a tool, and nicely implemented. Thanks.

I guess it's all relative , but we recieved about 7200 unique user sessions in 2 days from HN. Let me know when your Show HN is published :)

Thanks. That's helpful.

My app, if you care to take a look now:


(anyone reading this can try this as well)

Nice tool. I would make urls just clickable and hyperlink them. CodeOwl may not have access to everything I paste there and some urls may be broken if you don't have access.

    CodeOwl is not yet supported on small screen resolutions :(
Running in w3m on FreeBSD, decently large screen :)

Running on StumpWM on FreeBSD with 1920x1080 and looks good to me.


on a macbook pro 13.3 inch (2560x1600) if I resize the browser (Firefox) a little, the right side of the header (Share, login) becomes hidden.

Looks nice, but I'd save everything to local storage when it's not saved to the server. I expected it to be still there when I press F5.

Also, when you are dragging an item, make sure it get's the highers z-index, you don't want the tile you are holding to appear below another one while dragging.

I like the localStorage persistence ! you can expect this feature to be there soon , thanks for the feedback

I love it, a small project space manager.

But what does it use for storage? Do you have a backend or is it all browser storage? I assume backend since Firefox never prompted me about using browser storage.

Reason I ask is that all free things come to an end. Just like Taiga.io, which I used before for minor project management.

I am using firebase for storage currently the model is completely free , once you create enough dashboards you can request extra space also for free ( for all early adopter and for the foreseeable future )

This is exactly the kind of application my life needs! I've been using the Notes section of the toolbelt of Sublime.

edit- autosave would be great though. I made all these notes, then left for an hour (without saving), when I came back the page refreshed itself and everything was gone.

glad you find this useful .. this came about after years of frustration as a dev

Very cool man. I could definitely see myself using this. Is there a mode to set new notes to tiling mode rather than down a list? Something similar to https://i3wm.org/

This seems to be the most consistent feedback we've had so far, so you can definitely expect tiling mode to come soon

No worries man. I love the initial site and concept. I can't wait to see more of it. I will show it to my team next week. I'd love to save screenshots and an autosave, I'm pretty forgetful.

I will continue to use it and give you guys feedback. Nice work!

Random bug: All panes seem to accept pressing <enter> as valid input. The URL pane seems to spin forever if you just press <enter>.

Neat though, agreed with adding a todo to help the user navigate their first time through.

Interesting, thanks for reporting !

Feature request: Search. If I don't have the ability to search search through all my Notes/Todos/Code/Links, then it's kinda useless to me. I like it a lot, though. Thumbs up.

Search is a feature we are working on for the next update

Looks interessting. Is there an export?

Kanban might also be something to strive for. This should be easily implementable by just adding a column- or grid-layout with title-element at the top, per tab.

export sounds like an awesome feature to add .. I guess the format of the exported data is something I'd have to think about

any format in particular ? .. JSON would be the most natural , XML is possible .. plain text probably the most useful

Whatever would be simple and stable. So yaeh, JSON seems to be the obvious choice. I guess Firebase or your web-framework is already using it internally?

Export is the natural downfall of every cloud-solution. Because if people have no way to get their data, many will not bother to bound with a closed up tool.

I really like this and can imagine using it regularly. Do you have any plans to support more color options in the future?

do you mean color for text , or for the widgets themselves .. we do plan on creating a dark theme , as well as adding more coloring options to the widgets

I meant both the widgets and the text: I tried changing the color of the widget to grey and with the default text color it was very difficult to read, but I didn't see any way to change the color of the text.

Having the option to change the theme of the entire app or dashboard would be very desirable as a feature, at least to me.

Very cool. Be nice to have it as a Chrome plugin just to open it quickly, or have it there all the time as a new tab.

We were thinking of making a desktop client for codeowl , but chrome plugin might be even easier

Not just chrome. Some people use Firefox ;)

I tried it, it's promising. I'd like a desktop app/ browser plugin version too, I think. But don't take just my word for it... I'm not sure I'm a good client for this sort of app (e.g. I don't pay for Evernote, just use it within their "free" limitations)

Where is my Clojure syntax highlighting?

Clojure syntax -- noted

While calling out languages - rust.

Common Lisp would be great as well.

Sounds very interesting. Out of curiosity, why would I use this over, e.g. Org mode?

I would say the most obvious difference is having all your notes / dashboards in the cloud, accessible through a web-browser, and being able to share them with others through a url

That would be so cool to have for Org mode, a version of emacs that runs in the browser where you can cloud-edit your org mode files.

very interesting .. I will be looking into that ! thank you

nice work!

I couldn't figure out how to exit the full screen interactive code view.

The button to delete a todo and "check" a todo are pretty close together, easy to click the wrong one. maybe move the check to the left side of the text?

adding links is really slow.

Hey @charbz great project! How can I get in touch to provide some feedback?

Thank you ! feel free to write me on code.owl.app@gmail.com your feedback is much appreciated

nice work, looks very polished from the outset.

Couple of things: - Items don't reflow when you remove them? I only added loads of notes and removed the top two, but the rest stayed off the screen.

How do you search stuff you've save?

Can tabs not be renamed?

tabs can be renamed , simply click on the tab and change the name

Got it, must have not done that to start with!

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