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Software Request: Open Source Personal Content Repository

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Posted by Glen Coulthard
Sep 11, 2018 at 02:28 PM

 

It seems that your use-case is becoming more and more popular these days. As a professor, I’m in a similar situation of content production and curation (and textbook authoring). Either self-produced or downloaded, I am often swimming in PDF, PPTX, XLSX, DOCX, PNGs, mindmaps, and other file formats. I’ve tried to get a handle on indexing content through my file system using X1 Search and Copernic, but haven’t been satisfied with the “discoverability” or “surfacing” of past data.

If it helps, here is what I use as a Windows/Linux user:
1. Dokuwiki - for wiki content that I moved from ConnectedText (oh, how I wish CT was still a going concern!) Wikis are great for text-based content and research links, revision control, searching, and quick editing/updating.
2. Markdown - for note-taking on various devices (Win/Lin/Mobile), synced online through Dropbox, Nextcloud, and/or Simplenote.
3. Cintanotes (Win) - for quick notes, web clipping, tagging, and most of the things I used to do in Evernote.
4. Scrivener (Win) - for serious writing, idea formation, and mapping out blog posts, lectures, and book chapters.
5. MindManager (Win) - for brainstorming, conceptualization, lecture production, and more. (I like the fact that I can attach links and documents to branches and then export out as a Word outline. I also have a lot of content in TheBrain, but have a tough time using it as a daily “trusted home” for my data.)

As a CRIMPer, I still have content stored in traditional outliners like myBase and MyInfo, but haven’t used them as much these days. The reason that I like Markdown is that I can easily generate searchable static websites and/or ebooks from the content (see MKDocs or Docusaurus), or I can convert the content into WordPress posts. I also host my own home-based unRAID server with GitLab (for markdown docs and revision-control), Nextcloud, Dokuwiki, and document shares - this lets me access the same content from any desktop, laptop, tablet, and/or phone (both within my home network and externally through a VPN.) Much of this server data is also synced with the cloud for backing up…but that’s another post

Anyway, hope that helps.
Glen

 


Posted by nathanb
Sep 11, 2018 at 03:23 PM

 

Based on your finalists, it looks like you are looking for a front-end index to a bunch of mixed media files (photos, vids, pdfs etc)?  That you are planning on storing the media in a file system archive, not ‘inside’ the database of the index system?

Tagspaces is probably what I’d use if I wanted a ‘future proof’ index of a file collection.  It also does light note-taking as a front-end to plain-text markdown files.

 


Posted by thouqht
Sep 11, 2018 at 05:10 PM

 

nathanb wrote:
Based on your finalists, it looks like you are looking for a front-end
>index to a bunch of mixed media files (photos, vids, pdfs etc)?  That
>you are planning on storing the media in a file system archive, not
>‘inside’ the database of the index system?
> >Tagspaces is probably what I’d use if I wanted a ‘future proof’ index of
>a file collection.  It also does light note-taking as a front-end to
>plain-text markdown files.

Hmmm that’s an interesting thought… I think as purely a front end to my file system that would work great. However as you suggest this, it makes me realize that I’d like to be able to create links *between* files as well. This is something that tiddlywiki, org-mode, or dokuwiki do quite well. However, perhaps a sophisticated enough tagging system would accomplish similar results…

 


Posted by MadaboutDana
Sep 11, 2018 at 08:11 PM

 

@Glen,

Yes, I think Dokuwiki is one of those unsung giants that’s actually far more powerful than it appears at first sight. Interesting insights into your software collection (and the reasoning for it, where not, of course, driven by CRIMPing ;-)) - thanks!

Cheers,
Bill

 


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Sep 12, 2018 at 07:15 PM

 

Glen Coulthard wrote:
>It seems that your use-case is becoming more and more popular these
>days. As a professor, I’m in a similar situation of content production
>and curation (and textbook authoring).

I agree about the ‘popularity’ of this situation. I would note three main requirements:

- Easy collection of material, either one’s own or from other sources, wherever one may be: via browser, email, clipboard, file system, open document, even on the field with a smartphone.
- Full search of that material, including files, plus ability to organise it via tags or folders etc.
- Ability to clip, edit, clone, recycle, and otherwise process the material, and publish it in a variety of media.

I very much appreciate Open Source Software, and in terms of longevity, nothing beats plain text—see Project Gutenberg as an example. Thereon however, I have yet to find an OSS which excels at the third bullet, and this is crucial in my case. My team chose Atlassian Confluence for a major knowledge management project and the result has vindicated us. This is not to say that it is without its flaws.

The article below, which I believe has been cited again in this forum, describes such a content management application with Confluence as its central tool:
https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/02/technology-behind-language-of-content-strategy/

 


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