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CodiMD, self-hosted, real-time collaborative markdown notes (github.com/codimd)
85 points by Grumbledour 9 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 20 comments

We use it to organize data within our Hackerspace and love it. It's both hacker-friendly and usable for the regular users and has a couple nice features, e.g. presentation mode. The only two issues I can think of are:

1. It's easy to get lost in the index view if you have a lot of notes,

2. It crashed once when we shared a lot of images.

Anyway, overall it's an amazing tool!

Is your instance publicly accessible? I have a similar use case and would love to see an example with similar data.

There's an official demo instance, free to use and experiment with: https://demo.codimd.org

Thanks! I’m aware of this. I was interested in seeing content that’s more similar to my use case.

Unfortunately our index page is not public and the content is in Polish anyway :/ Some things, such as meeting notes, can be found on our Wiki: https://wiki.hs-ldz.pl; if you don't speak Polish, you'll definitely need Google Translate or the like.

At a glance, I thought that it was a medical app due to the MD in the name. Don't know if it's too late to change the name, but I'd consider it.

As far as I understand it, they plan to do that. [0]

The history of the project is a bit confusing though. Not sure if a name change will not confuse things even more. Though the new name sound better to me as well.

[0] https://github.com/codimd/server/issues/452

I like this a lot, but I am also desperately in need of it having a better permissions model---right now you can only restrict caps to "all logged in users" and not "just some logged in users", which means there is no way to have authenticated guests / cross-institution collaboration.

I'm so sad every time that restriction makes me fall back on Google Docs.

If you run CodiMD in Sandstorm.io, you get very specific fine-grained sharing to a single document as an inherent capability. :)

Probably the biggest perk Google Docs/Sheets/etc. has is that each app isn't beholden to develop it's own account and sharing model. A bunch of apps with very limited or non-existent security models can work really well when you put them into a larger platform that implements those things instead. Etherpad, EtherCalc, etc. are similarly awesome apps that kinda need outside help if you want secure sharing.

I've been using this for some things recently, and it's quite nice, but I still prefer Google Docs. As Ericson2314 noted in another comment, it's missing a good permissions models. It's also lacking a robust suggestions and commenting system, which makes using it to collaborate much harder than I'd like.

I've used Google Docs a lot for taking notes on managing my "home computer lab." It fell down when I tried to copy commands I typed into a command shell and then copied/pasted into a Google document and then pasted back into the command shell. There was invisible reformatting that broke this in non-obvious ways. .Two consecutive spaces were converted to something that looked like spaces in the terminal but were not interpreted as such by the shell

I've been using Mkdocs since which uses Markdown and that preserves text perfectly. The formatting is lacking a bit but I can put up with that for the benefit of knowing when I copy a command from a document to a command shell (and often running as root) it is going to be exactly the same as what I originally typed.

The major downside to me is lack of standardization. Things don;t always look the same depending on which Markdown renderer I'm using (editor built in, Github, Makocs etc.)

Yeah, Google Docs is not great for documents with lots of code in them. There's an add-on called Code Blocks which helps a bit, but it's still nowhere near as simple as Markdown.

Ya, I feel like the commenting system in Google docs is the main killer feature for collaboration. I would love to use Markdown for everything (can we just make it a standard email format already?) but the commenting system in Google docs is keeping us there for the time being.

I hate suggesting competitors in the comments, but I have had good success using Quip for collaborative markdown editing, commenting, etc.

Quip is not open source whereas CodiMD is.

The Sandstorm community uses CodiMD grains for meeting notes. It's a pretty handy little app.

I used this when it was HackMD, absolutely loved it. It powered all of distributed discussions and this was from a bunch of stalwarts that wanted to blog with finger, chat with irc and communicate with mail.

I like markdown a lot, but the fact that there's no standard is leading developers to create new tools with support for "new features" every day. Text editors and static site generators now have so called plugins. Markdown was created to be simple to use, and I think the Project is what should be evolving, not the applications, or soon the most rich feature app will neither be open source, nor free.

The CommonMark standard [1] is an attempt to solve this problem, although I don't necessarily agree with all their syntax choies.

For instance, I find the redundancy built in to Markdown to be a misfeature--most Markdown editors don't distinguish between _this_ and this, even though the distinction between underlined and italic text is useful. Don't even get me started on all the different ways to create a heading and the headache it creates when parsing!

[1]: https://commonmark.org/

Wow this is fantastic.

One feature request? When you highlight some text on the left it should highlight the corresponding text on the right, and vice versa.

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