Me and My Uni Notes


This post is just a small description of the process that occurs in the background after I finish writing some notes. In future I will give more in-depth descriptions of the code and how everything happens.

Markdown

I write all of my university notes using Markdown syntax. As a cool side project to my uni work I decided that I would write a piece of software (in Java) that would help me in writing these notes. The piece of software was MyMarkdown. Now I had something I could write my notes in but I still wasn’t 100% happy as all my notes lived in one place, my laptop.

My VPS

I had recently had my external HDD die on me and so I wanted some form of cloud solution where I could backup all my notes, yet still have complete control over them. When I had a couple of small websites running and so I made the decision to switch to a VPS. This gave me complete control over what happened to the websites, how they ran and most importantly, the data on them. After setting up the VPS I installed Nextcloud (a great cloud platform). My notes are backed up to the Nextcloud instance using their desktop client.

What Next

When a new note has been uploaded, or a change has occurred in an existing note, a PHP script comes along and parses my file. It strips out the contents of it and stores it in a database where it is indexed. This makes all of the notes searchable and without too much hassle of constantly opening files on the server. I then wrote a front-end to this web server that rendered the markdown into HTML and presented it on a webpage. The advantage of this is that I can now access my notes from anywhere and on any device, regardless of whether or not the device supports markdown.