I’ve been on the lookout for a good note taking app for practically forever now. I used to document things via blogposts, but lately time has been short and my thoughts too scattered to form a piece of content that would fit into that format’s requirements. I have instead been toying with the idea of a knowledge base where I simply dump everything that I think of or learn and make it indexable for both me and others. Excited to give Neuron a shot!
We’ve used Neuron for 6 months. Our team uses it to make lightweight comments about our development projects and production apps. Comments range from programming practices to building cheat sheets. We run all MD ‘zettels’ thru a GitHub repo and link the comments/notes to build idea networks. As the idea networks shake-out, we plan to move the MD files into our production documentation system - Sphinx (also an MD processor). But Sphinx requires a table of contents to link files. Neuron is much lighter weight and interactive - easy to add and link a new note. In our shop we do not standardize an editor - developers are free to use their favorite, so Emacs and Vim based systems are less attractive for us. Many folks use NotePad++ with an MD extension to write their MD notes. Before we committed to Neuron we looked at online services that also support idea-nets. But we wanted control of our files and didn’t want to go thru export/import processes to move files to/from the services.
I’m kind of surprised to find this is more of a index + search + display project instead of an editor. How well does it play with something like Obsidian or vim for editing?
Neuron is decoupled from editing.
Since the 1.0 release uses Wikilinks, you can edit your notes with Obsidian, Zettlr, Vim, Emacs, VSCode, etc. - as long as they support [[..]] syntax (otherwise, you can still use regular Markdown links) even if not all of them support all features of neuron (notably link queries). See https://neuron.zettel.page/editor.html
Some editor extensions (like vim and emacs) get closer integration to neuron via neuron query (queries the Zettelkasten in JSON), which can also be done (in the future) via Language Server Protocol.
I’ve noticed an error when using the static binary, where’s a good place to report this?
Ah, I wonder what that is. Probably something to do with failing to find some CLI tools that Nix automatically tracks as dependency (neuron uses fzf, ripgrep, gawk, bat, findutils for the ‘neuron search’ command).
You can report here: https://github.com/srid/neuron/issues
EDIT: New static binary with the fix has been published.
I have most of those installed already for other reasons surprisingly. I’ll file the issue there. Would you accept merge requests to create packages for Linux distros outside of Nix?
Neuron is written in Haskell. How do the Linux distros package Haskell software, like pandoc?
I’m not terribly familiar with Haskell, so I’m not sure how it would be different from other languages.
This looks really interesting, but as far as I can tell the only option for installation on macOS is by installing the nix package manager, which I’m not sure I want to spring for, especially given limitations of installing nix on modern macOSs.
macOS Nix install is possible though a little involved (instructions here).
Docker is another option:
echo "hello world" > ~/notes/hello.md
docker run --rm -t -i -p 8080:8080 -v $(pwd):/notes sridca/neuron neuron rib -ws 0.0.0.0:8080
Right, it is possible, but is quite involved, and I don’t want to run a whole Docker container for something lightweight like notes. Would you consider publishing the package on homebrew?
Have had my eye on Neuron for a while and very much sympathize with its philosophy. My #1 criterion is using any editor to work with plain-text files (preferably md) and get a thin layer of extra functionality on top, and Neuron is (surprisingly) the only real fit so far. This release finally pushed me to install Neuron.
I have one question: I like to keep my notes in a (shallow) hierarchical directory structure, so that they are easy to navigate using any regular file browser, cli or gui. Does Neuron only work with a completely flat set of files, or can it pick up notes from subdirectories as well? If not, is that something you’d consider supporting @srid?
I’d be open to it. But we will have to first decide on the exact semantics. (for example, if you have foo/bar/qux.md what is the unique ID of that note? “qux” or “foo/bar/qux”? The ID is used to link to it; so would it be [[qux]] or [[foo/bar/qux]]?).
We can discuss this here: https://github.com/srid/neuron/issues/309
Thanks, I’ll join in the discussion!
What are the chances to have a native (Not using WSL) Windows binary?
Also, does the binary generate the HTML like the site of Neuron?
Zettelkasten looks like a viable method for working with the notes. I need to research in this direction. Thanks