Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

> My goal was to contribute back the same way.

YES! So much of our computing-related triumphs come from documentation that other people wrote. Even super basic stuff that no senior developer or sysadmin would dream of asking, that stuff still needs to be written down by someone.

I have a dozen or so Markdown documents of varying sizes that I need to finish, proof and polish before putting them online. I sorely lacking in motivation (and sleep)

My quotes file recently reached 1MB of plain text, 160,257 words.

I started this file 17 years ago!

This is enough to fill three average sized novels!

One day... I might have a go at weaving a narrative through it.

recently came across http://jrnl.sh/

Vimwiki [1] is probably also worth a mention because it has a neat diary feature as well. Jrnl appears to have more diary specific features, but Vimwiki also worked well so far for my (probably rather basic) needs.

[1]: https://github.com/vimwiki/vimwiki

What do you mean by quotes file?

It’s a text file where I’ve copy and pasted paragraphs and comments I’ve found interesting from books and online, and a few of my own thoughts.

Each entry is preceded by the date the entry was made, and followed by a reference to the source.

Because I’ve used some of the material multiple times I’m vaguely aware of the overall structure, and I use it as a bit of a knowledge-base.

As an example I’ll probably pop this comment in there later, so some of the materiel is mundane. Some of it seemed profound in the context of my life at the time, but might make less sense years later out of context.

I’ve only ever deleted a handful of entries in that 17 years.

I guess parts of it are a bit like a diary too, but I’ve never been very good at intentionally keeping a diary.

Once upon a time they called it a commonplace book

Pretty interesting that the roots of Evernote begin in Early Modern Europe.

I've been doing this for years (on paper, no less) without knowing that it had a name.

Edit: Here's an article that gave me some good ideas about different things to do with my book.


I didn’t understand what the parent was trying to say until I read your comment.

Commomplace book - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonplace_book

I did the same sort of thing, but with quotes on paper. I took 30 years worth, organized them, and published the results as a book.

Link please. (:

Release the documents first, then finish or polish them. If you get bored with them, someone else might want to finish them off or extend them. But unless you publish them, they're only benefiting you. You might also find more motivation if they're already out there.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact