In-progress note-taking app based on lines.love
48480271 — Kartik K. Agaram 17 hours ago
be a little more robust after clearing link
229d2ea8 — Kartik K. Agaram 17 hours ago
show flash only when there's likely a problem
f58be261 — Kartik K. Agaram a day ago
Merge lines.love


browse  log 



You can also use your local clone with git send-email.

In progress. Manage a directory tree containing plain-text notes (with some line drawings). Notes/files connect to each other using symmetric cross-links which are saved outside the plain-text in a corresponding .json file.

Some features:

  • Multiple views into an independent repo of plain text notes (with some line drawings).
  • Notes can have arbitrary named relationships (links) to each other, resulting in a graph.
  • The primary visual metaphor is an infinite 2D surface of fixed-width, non-overlapping, notes that can be operated on with an extensible set of commands.
  • Commands usually (but not always) create new columns of notes. Each column is an independent visualization of a subset of notes.
  • App sources can be seamlessly edited from within the app (though packaging up modifications to share with others currently has some seams; see below)
  • Notes can contain hyperlinks in [[wikiwords]] to other notes. Hyperlinks can't contain spaces. Clicking on a hyperlink opens the target in a new column.
  • A few other things. Explore the command menu and palette along the top.

Some videos to help visualize these bullets (albeit with outdated UI):

pensieve.love is a compatible fork of lines.love, an editor for plain text where you can also seamlessly insert line drawings. Designed above all to be easy to modify and give you early warning if your modifications break something.

#Getting started

Install LÖVE. It's just a 5MB download, open-source and extremely well-behaved. I'll assume below that you can invoke it using the love command, but that might vary depending on your OS.

To try out pensieve.love with some sample data, run the following command from this repo's top-level directory:

love . sample

This will read the notes from the data.sample/ directory in this repo to give you a flavor for what the app is like.

While the sample gives you stuff to browse, don't use it to write any real notes. LÖVE limits what directories apps can list files from (which is great for privacy), but has some confusing rules around them. Each app can only write to files under a single directory, the app's save directory (love.filesystem.getSaveDirectory()). In addition, reads will also fall back to read from the repo directory, enabling the sample experience. However, edits you make will not modify the data.sample/ directory in this repo. Your notes will fragment between two directories, which can get confusing.

To create your own directory of notes, run without an argument:

love .

pensieve.love will then create a data/ directory in the app's save directory as above. Confusing location, but everything will be in one place.

#Modifying the app

Hit ctrl+w from within the app to modify its code. The infrastructure works, but it isn't advertised within the app because this particular app is currently too large to comfortably modify from within itself. I use more specialized editors while I improve the editing infrastructure further.

#Known issues

  • No support yet for Unicode graphemes spanning multiple codepoints.

  • No support yet for right-to-left languages.

  • Editing a note grows sluggish if it grows larger than 1.5KB or so. Either use smaller notes (I haven't seen any slowdowns with lots of notes on the surface) or maximize large notes when editing them.

  • Clicking on a note while editing it sometimes moves the cursor off screen above the viewport, disabling further edits. Workarounds:

    • Press ctrl+e twice to leave and reenter edit mode on the same note. This will reposition the cursor within the viewport.
    • Pan the surface with the mouse to bring the top of the note is in view.
  • Editing a note larger than 50KB grows sluggish (particularly during undo/redo) even when maximized.

  • If you kill the process, say by force-quitting because things things get sluggish, you can lose data.

  • Searching is slow. There's no index yet. Searching happens in the same thread as UI updates, so UI may go unresponsive with really large notes. I haven't observed this in practice.

  • Pressing keys while editing will try to always keep the text cursor on screen. This can have some strange implications:

    • A long series of drawings will get silently skipped when you hit page-down, until a line of text can be showed on screen.
    • If there's no line of text at the top of the file, you may not be able to scroll back up to the top with page-up.

    So far this app isn't really designed for drawing-heavy files. For now I'm targeting mostly-text files with a few drawings mixed in.

  • No clipping yet for drawings. In particular, circles/squares/rectangles and point labels can overflow a drawing.

  • Touchpads can drag the mouse pointer using a light touch or a heavy click. On Linux, drags using the light touch get interrupted when a key is pressed. You'll have to press down to drag.

  • Can't scroll while selecting text with mouse.

  • No scrollbars yet. That stuff is hard.

  • Hyperlinks have some limitations. They can't contain spaces, and they aren't currently clickable if they wrap across lines.

#Mirrors and Forks

This repo is a fork of lines.love, an editor for plain text where you can also seamlessly insert line drawings. Updates to it can be downloaded from:

Further forks are encouraged. If you show me your fork, I'll link to it here.

#Associated tools


Most appreciated.

In particular, pensieve.love has been exclusively tested so far with a US keyboard layout. If you use a different layout, please let me know if things worked, or if you found anything amiss.