And God said Let there be text, and there was text
Mar 7 2016 by Satyajit
** Update 2021: I stopped working on this project and saola no longer is what I built. **
And God said “Let there be text, and there was text”. This would be the start of the bible if the historians of UNIX wrote one.
~/.bashrc etc, all these wonderful ways of storing information in a very simple and importantly easily accessible format of file. It was all text.
In this age we are so concerned about speed and scalability that we forget a lot of what is essential. Sometimes storing my personal finances, a list of my contacts or my task, all it needs is a text file. I can always use
awk to manipulate them. I can fire up my favourite editor1 and modify it. I can store my files in my local harddisk, sync it with Dropbox or put them in some remote server that I can access. If one of these services die I always have my text files and not have to worry if I can open them.
A while back I wanted to create a simple application for my iPhone. All I wanted was to store information as plain text, write small scripts that would generate reports. It turned out to be quite a task. This got me thinking about how we do things in the UNIX world. User details are stored in
/etc/passwd. Logs, configurations, startup scripts2 all of them are stored as plain text and I could use any language to manipulate them. And thus started my process of developing Saola.
POSTing to the script that you have written.
Even though a lot of work has gone on developing it is still in a very early stage. There are features that we haven’t implemented yet, there are things that would definitely break. But this is the beginning of a new era. It is like one said on HN: A note platform for the web 3.0.
Here are a few plans that we have in mind:
- Provide a nice sync feature. I really would like to use existing tools like
- Be able to render various text formats like csv, org, rst etc.
- Make it more like the UNIX filesystem
- More language support, may be a lisp?
Spread the word, give it a shot and let me know what you think. Register at Saola.
- Emacs for me and vi for the evil ones ;)
- Sadly systemd is taking it away from me