Introducing Cheeatz: Evernote your code with Gists and Markdown

Last 2 months I have been working hard on Cheeatz

By Cheeatz – that is cheat sheet. (and I hope it sounds like Cheese for you)

It is on Evernote Dev Cup

Basically right now it is what the pitch line says:

Evernote your code with Gist and Markdown

so with Cheeatz you can write in markdown, embed your gist and save it into evernote – with all those formatting.

Demo

Write markdown and save gist into evernote.

For HOW-TOs, [visit the site](cheeatz.com/editor) or watch this video.
It is good for both non-developers and developers.

Basically with this web app:

  • you input your markdown with the live-preview,
  • If you are developer and writing about some code – embed gist by id when you want!
  • save to Evernote and open it for modify later
  • and share it to your friends.

Use Cases

  • you are creating cheatsheet
  • you are creating documentation
  • you are jotting notes against some code

Upcoming / Missing features:

  • create gist right away from the editor
  • Tagging
  • Code language-syntax highlighting in editor

Why Evernote

I am addicted to Evernote and I think it provides really nice features – esp synchronization and search, of course.

There are various ways to embed code in a blog post or documentations. Gist is great gaining popularity. Nice syntax highlighting and one thing definitely important – every gist is a git repo. The only thing missing is pull request, and Cheeatz is little bit into that.

Also for sure the Evernote DevCup is very kind to developers – thus I started to create this prototype on Evernote’s API

It is non-trivial

you may first think why don’t I just clip the gist and paste into evernote.

It work in some scenarios, but what If your gist changes? your markdown changes? You definitely needsynchronization.

Also most blogging platforms allow you to embed gist and show it in browser, but we also render the gist view and save it to your Evernote.

You can view in Evernote your gist with all those highlighting and search it, even offline.

But Why

This is a prototype, what I aim is something bigger.

The current prototype missed the most important feature: search for Cheeatz and collaborate for it.

There has been too many times that when I code I google for quick snippets. I look for stuff likejava buffered input stream or unix kill process by name but I need to read through many pages to get that simple code.

A recent example, I was working with a Java expert and I saw him literally google for Thread.sleep()example and paste it into the code. Whay he got is the Thread.sleep with the try catch.

Admit it, We all cheat

Thanks to google I can be a programmer with my bad memory. “Cheating” for a solution provides you the correct syntax, quick answer and more importantly, best practices insights on stuff that you never thought of.

Cheating Ecosystem

What we need is a platform that we can cheat better, together.

Again, gist is great. But there too many gists. Trust the cloud, voting up and down will be helpful.

Also we will need ways that people can contribute to the same cheat sheet. What if every cheeatz is a git repository as well? then you got all those familiar clone-pull requests.

With Markdown you write less

I only discovered markdown this year but it is definitely game-changing.

I have been using different approaches to sync markdown and evernote, but for seamless integration I will need to create my own.

Stackoverflow is there

Stackoverflow is great. It literally saves days and years for developers. You know what I mean.

However, sometimes I feel that Stackoverflow should be places for problems that required detailed and quality discussion. As its policy says, google and read the documentation before you ask the question. For questions like how to loop an array in java or how to wait the document ready in jQuery, that should really be other places.

Last Year I was learning Groovy at company and really it is Groovy Goodness by mrhaki that taught me how to. Sometimes you know what you want to do – loop an array or so, just you need to get damn syntax right. or sometimes you don’t know what you are doing – you see those examples and you got some idea. That site is excellent – you google it and it provides examples and expected results in a precise manner. Many cases you just copy, paste and modify a little bit you get what you want. This is quite inspiring for me.

Save some brain power

Personally I am little bit into cognitive science and thus I believe providing the most efficient information retrieval is really something important. Unified format. Applicable platforms. Executable code readily result will ease our brain Time are saved and less neurons are distracted.

A little bit more serious than my stuff before, at least I bought my very first domain name.

Stack

At the moment, it is Node.js/express.js/require.js/Redis. Yeoman for dev. Trying to put AngularJs into the picture.

Thanks to many more node libraries, I will write a little bit more on this latter.

So at the very least this blog post is written in the editor of Cheeatz I created, and I think it helped.

Thanks to my friends @gilbertwat and @westerpantz for contributing and make this happening.

Now I need to rush for my other projects – but let me know your thoughts on this. I do agree it might be quite fragile and slow right now, but if I can learn that it is something really worth the effort I will definitely improve it, and I believe this is how everything started.

Advertisements