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1. # Self promotion vs. Original content vs. Own content vs. User created vs. ...?

This question has come up a few times now in the "Unofficial Tildes Chat" Discord server meta/curation channels, but I wanted to open up the discussion to ~tildes at large so we can perhaps...

This question has come up a few times now in the "Unofficial Tildes Chat" Discord server meta/curation channels, but I wanted to open up the discussion to ~tildes at large so we can perhaps finally get a more definitive judgement on it. So here goes:

What are people's thoughts on using the above topic tags in cases where a Tildes user posts something that they themselves have created, have hosted on their own site (or another), and/or could potentially profit from (monetarily or otherwise)?

Should only one of the tags be standardized on, or is there enough of a distinction between some of them for their use to be situational?

Should such tags be required?

Can anyone think of any better tags for such situations than the ones listed?

2. # Announcing the alpha release of Intergrid

Intergrid is an online outliner and note-taking app. It's inspired by – and in many ways replicates – Indigrid, except it's on the Web. It's free to use, and it's readily available right from the...

Intergrid is an online outliner and note-taking app. It's inspired by – and in many ways replicates – Indigrid, except it's on the Web. It's free to use, and it's readily available right from the main page.

# Why Intergrid?

The main goal of Intergrid is to help you focus on the notes.

There are no settings. You can't pick the font. Theming is not an option. There's only content, and what you want to do with it.

Plus, it looks cool.

# Is it feature-complete?

Hell no. It's been in development for three months – which is to say, not very long. It still has ways to go.

Which is why I'm keeping the initial release rather quiet: Tildes and a handful of friends are the only people to know about it so far.

# Are there bugs?

Afraid so. There are some I know about, and there are probably some I couldn't even reach.

# Why release it, then?

Because it works already. You can add, edit, and save your notes in-browser. As long as you have cookies enabled, it will serve you. (Intergrid doesn't use cookies, and has no tracking to speak of, but the permission for localStorage – the technology used to store and gather data about your notes – is adjacent, as far as browsers are concerned.)

It would be of particular use to people on systems other than Windows. While the current version is focused on desktops, future versions may gain mobile support – all the more likely because, outside from a handful of hardcoded interactions and design considerations, there's nothing preventing mobile users from enjoying the app.

There's also the pragmatic reason: something Jeff Atwood called "Always Be Shipping", all the way back in 2007. You can't get feedback on an app that has no public version. Your programming expertise and design sense will only get you so far. Getting it out there – and going forward with the feedback – is a generous part of the process.

# Where are you planning to take it?

The first step would be the fix the bugs. There will be a list of known ones in the comments.

Once those are fixed (or can be postponed without repercussions to being able to use the app), there are features I'm going to implement within the next couple of months. Most of them, at least initially, are going to be put in to keep up with Indigrid's feature set.

• Views: open, move, and close columns, each hosting a different view on the notes, allowing you to gain perspective or edit multiple ideas simulatenously

• Bookmarks: store views as separate named bookmarks, allowing you to traverse different mental spaces within the notes

• Action History and Undo/Redo: record changes to the notes and time-travel between its different states, because sometimes, you want to be able to "go there" and not be weighted down by rock-solid commitment

• Offline Use: work with your notes even when the Internet is down

(Even though the code for columns is already in the development branch, I was unable to come up with a respectable way of handling it before New Year, which is when I promised to release the app.)

In the long term, I'd like to make sure you could access your notes from any browser on any device. This plan also includes the ability to create and share read-only or editable partial copies of your notes – for example, as presentation or a basis for an online discussion. After finishing with shaping up the current, local-only version, this is where want to take the development. I reckon it would take me somewhere between 6 and 12 months to finish the codebase for this.

# Anything else I should know?

Do keep in mind that this is an early release. There may be bugs – perhaps even the kind that will rid you of your notes. If you're uncomfortable about using software this early in development, please don't: your sanity is dearer to me than getting users.

It will, however, get stable over time. If there's ever a breaking change on the horizon – the kind of change that will change an aspect of Intergrid radically – users will be notified about it at least two weeks ahead, so that at least they could backup their notes. I want to ensure the safety of mind for the users of Intergrid, so that they know their notes are in safe hands.

That said, make regular backups anyway. The nodes are encoded/decoded as indented plain text, which means they can be transferred to and from a simple textfile with copy/paste. Any single whitespace character – space, tab etc. – is considered one level of indentation, so it doesn't matter how you indent your plain-text notes: they will be aligned as you'd expect. Intergrid and Indigrid both export tab-indented text.

# Can I help?

From the coding and design perspective, I would appreciate open-source involvement. However, at this stage, even though there's a repository awaiting changes, I'm uncomfortable making it public just yet, because licensing is hard and I don't want to get into any sort of legal trouble without at least understanding what I'm dealing with.

Once this and other aspects of open-sourcing the code are dealt with, I'm going to post another update.

If you'd like to support the development financially, you could donate via PayPal.me. The first \$5 or so will go to supporting the infrastructure: the monthly hosting payment and 1/12th of the yearly domain name price. (Even though the domain name has been paid for for the next two years, I'd like to be able to host the app reliably. The domain name is directly tied to the data saved – you can't access another website's saved data unless they're on the same main domain – which is why it's important to keep it.)

Check out Intergrid

impacts.to
4. # Book-focused Discord server

Howdy, I think this might appeal to some of you, sorry if it comes off a bit spammy. I've started a Discord server mostly for discussion of books (Other things too...our rule is if it's text-based...

Howdy, I think this might appeal to some of you, sorry if it comes off a bit spammy. I've started a Discord server mostly for discussion of books (Other things too...our rule is if it's text-based or if it's printed on a page, it's allowed. We welcome interactive fiction, comics, poetry, theory, visual novels, etc.) that is aiming to keep discussion at least somewhat serious and a respectful atmosphere similar to what Tildes aims for. Eventually we'll do wider recruitment (posters in universities, probably), but for now we're trying to get a decent server culture going with people we can trust to not shit all over everything. If this sounds appealing, we'd love to have you :)

Paste with rules, should look familiar.

Permanent link for those who would like to join: https://discord.gg/yr4pA96

5. # Data Dictatorships: The Arms Race to Hack Humankind (my latest book)

As many of you know, my book Data Dictatorships has just come out and I believe the timing couldn't be better. For the last year I’ve been banging my head against the wall trying to understand the...

As many of you know, my book Data Dictatorships has just come out and I believe the timing couldn't be better.

For the last year I’ve been banging my head against the wall trying to understand the complexity of our current situation with the technological disruption. And this book contains all the answers I have found along the way.

Forget about fake news, election interferences or being watched on the Internet. The reality is much more chaotic, complex and dreadful than that.

The truth is that data has become the raw materialization of power, and this is making dictatorships more efficient than ever before. Few dare to say it, but liberal democracy is likely going to die. (At least as we know it.)

But I believe if we start global conversations about this, maybe we can change things. And these conversations could start as small as a thread in this forum.

I hope you can find the time to check out the content of this book. And it would be great if we could start a threat talking about these threats we’re facing.

I know this might be perceived as spam for a lot of people. And that's fair. But I'm not trying to sell anything. In fact, I'm giving it away for free (the digital version.)

I hope you enjoy my small contribution to the world.

PS. My book has gotten to the front page of Hacker News, you can also join the conversation there: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21417319

6. # Typesetting Markdown Blog: What Next?

Some of you have read the Typesetting Markdown blog series (https://dave.autonoma.ca/blog/). The plan was to finish the last two parts with Annotated Text (basically markup for Markdown) and...

Some of you have read the Typesetting Markdown blog series (https://dave.autonoma.ca/blog/). The plan was to finish the last two parts with Annotated Text (basically markup for Markdown) and Figure Drawing (MetaPost); however, people have asked for a post on Markdown to EPUB, others have asked for high-quality PDF theme templates using ConTeXt, and some have requested rendering Markdown into HTML.

Within the realm of Markdown, digital documentation, typesetting with ConTeXt, R, externalized interpolated strings, and bash scripting, what would interest you for the next post in the series?

(Please flip through the blog series to see the topics that have been covered.)

7. # First release of my native Markdown notes app, Notementum (v0.1.0)

Screenshot I posted a few days ago about a notes app I was working on called Notementum, and I'm happy to show you the first release (0.1.0). Installation instructions are available on the Github...

Screenshot

I posted a few days ago about a notes app I was working on called Notementum, and I'm happy to show you the first release (0.1.0). Installation instructions are available on the Github repo: https://github.com/IvanFon/notementum

There's still lots of things I'd like to add, both big and small, and definitely a few bugs here and there, but I've been going for too long without sharing it, and I find it's best to release as early as you can to start getting feedback, and perfect it later.

One things that's missing is documentation. I'd like to start on this soon, but I'm probably not going to share this anywhere other than Tildes just yet, so this comment will do for now :)

Right now, the app only runs on Linux. I'd like to add Windows support, and it almost works, the problem is that WebKit2Gtk, the embedded web view I use to show note previews, doesn't support Windows. I'm going to explore some other options in the future, whether that's figuring out how to compile it, or allowing other preview methods (user's web browser, PDF, etc.).

The app is also very much in alpha, so you shouldn't use this for anything important, there may be bugs that can cause you to lose some of your data. If you do use this for anything, make sure you backup your notes database.

If you want to use it, here's a wall of text on usage:

Usage

The notes database is located at ~/.notes.db. When you launch the app, it'll load it, or automatically create it if it doesn't exist. I'd eventually like to allow choosing different locations, but it's hard coded for now.

The interface is fairly simple. The leftmost sidebar displays a list of notebooks, and the "middlebar" displays a list of notes. Selecting a notebook will display the notes within it in the notes list. Selecting a note will open it in the editor, which is to the right.

To create a new note, press Escape to focus on the searchbar above the notes list, and start typing a title. If no existing notes are found, press enter, and a note will be created with the title you entered.

To rename a note, double-click on it in the notes list.

The editor has a toolbar with 4 buttons, from left-to-right:

• Toggle between editor and preview (shortcut: Ctrl+E)
• Assign the current note's notebook
• Delete the current note

The green circle all the way to the right turns into a loading indicator when you have unsaved changes. Once you stop typing for a few seconds, your changes will be saved, and it'll switch back into a green circle.

### Notebooks

Notebooks aren't created directly, they're based on what notebooks your notes are assigned to. This means that, to create a notebook, assign it to a note. To delete a notebook, just delete all the notes contained within it, or assign them to a different notebook.

Clicking on the notebook toolbar button brings up this dialog. To create a new notebook, double click on <New notebook> and type in a name.

### Attachments

The notes database also stores attachments. This means that the entirety your notes can be contained in your database. Clicking on the attachment toolbar button brings up this dialog. The toolbar allows you to upload an attachment or delete it respectively. Pressing Insert Selected will insert the image at your cursor in the editor (![](image.png)).

### Theme

The screenshots show the app with my desktop Gtk theme, Arc Dark. On your desktop, it'll use whatever your theme is. It should look good with any Gtk theme, but at some point I may bundle Arc Dark with it.

The note preview currently has it's colours hard coded to look good with Arc Dark, so it may look a bit off on other themes. I'll try to sort that out at some point.

Planned features
• load/save database to/from different path
• Windows support
• note exports
• database encryption
• changing syntax highlighting theme
• note tags
• full-text search
• proper documentation
• more keyboard shortcuts
• integrated sync
• although you should already be able to use Git, Synthing, Dropbox, etc.
• Vim mode for editor
• maybe somehow embed a terminal to allow using vim/emacs/whatever
Boring technical stuff

The app was made with Python and Gtk+ 3. I've done this before and I really enjoy the development experience, especially with Glade to design the interface. There are still some Gtk features that I should really be using to make things simpler (GtkApplication, actions, and accelerators) that I'll be adding later.

The database uses sqlite 3. This is convenient, as it allows for storing everything in one file, and will make fast searches easier in the future. Attachments are stored as base64 directly in the database. This makes it easy to have all your notes be contained entirely in the one database, but I may have to think about a more efficient method in the future.

Markdown rendering is done using mistletoe, which has been great to use. Syntax highlighting and MathJax renderers were already available, so it was just a matter of combining both and adding custom image loading from the database, which was very easy. Mistletoe has a very easy to use API, so this was no problem.

For LaTeX math rendering, I'm using MathJax. It supports pretty much everything, which is nice, but it can take a while to load. I'm currently loading it from a CDN in a <script> tag, so I'm hoping once I load it from a local file it'll be a bit faster. If not, I may have to find another solution.

Like I said, the app still has a few bugs that need to be fixed. If you find any problems, it would be great if you could leave a comment here or open a Github issue (or if you have any feature requests).

8. # Typesetting Markdown – Part 7: Mathematics

autonoma.ca
9. # A music Discord server borrowing some principles from Tildes

Hi there, I've started a new public server on Discord for music discussion, recommendations, etc. I've seen a number of these go down in flames or completely lose the appeal for their core...

Hi there, I've started a new public server on Discord for music discussion, recommendations, etc. I've seen a number of these go down in flames or completely lose the appeal for their core audience, so I've borrowed some principles from Tildes, adapted for the somewhat different but related issues this kind of Discord server typically runs into. I thought this may be of interest to some users here, so you're all welcome as long as you play by our rules!

If you'd like to see our rules and goals first, check the paste here. They'll be pretty familiar to anyone here, though they are subject to change depending on our needs. This should go without saying, but to be clear, this server is not officially connected to Tildes, nor is it exclusive to Tildes users. There just might be some overlap in ideas :)

Here's our permanent invite link if you'd like to join: https://discord.gg/kC4sSQq

tilde.town

17. # I'm working on an app for learning Chinese, anyone interested in helping me test it?

dong-chinese.com
18. # Who identifies project stakeholders? Here's how to find out.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

GitHub
20. # 10 things I learned about ancient China from studying Chinese characters

dong-chinese.com

23. # Posting original links (own content)

What is our policy about posting original contents (e.g. me submitting a blog post I wrote, which I just did a few minutes ago)? IMO, if it is a personal blog, it should be okay, and not really...

What is our policy about posting original contents (e.g. me submitting a blog post I wrote, which I just did a few minutes ago)?

IMO, if it is a personal blog, it should be okay, and not really different from submitting a text topic here. Especially if the blog is not tracking you.

unknown user

jonlu.ca
25. # Comparing Textile vs. Markdown for mobile use

gkayaalp.com

This is going to sound like a total rant, but I just don't know what to do anymore. I've been completely screwed by OnePlus and they really just don't care. I bought a OnePlus 6T back at the end...

This is going to sound like a total rant, but I just don't know what to do anymore. I've been completely screwed by OnePlus and they really just don't care. I bought a OnePlus 6T back at the end of November and received it in early December. It has barely worked for about two weeks since then. The ticket I have open with them is ridiculously long. And then they just went dead silent on me. I assumed I was being ignored. I even got the perma-hold ignore on the phone too. But today OnePlus finally replied after 27 days!! During all this time I just went out and bought a Pixel 3XL and I am tickled pink with it.

If anyone wants a good laugh at my expense you are welcome to read my story on my site read my story on my site.

From the bottom of my heart - be careful spending your money with OnePlus.

*edit - formatting

27. # XOR Swap Explained Visually

teaearlgraycold.me

reddit
30. # Do any of you have blogs?

If you do, link them in this thread! A bit of writing's always fun, (and selfishly, I've got a new RSS reader to break-in,) and Tildes is built around the transfer of ideas, so why not share?

32. # Policy on self promotion?

I'm sure occasional self promoted content is actually fine (asking for feedback on music, games, etc), but I've been a part of several subreddits that had to implement rules where you had to split...