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What is

see live website

notebook is a set of tools for writers, game designers, and roleplayers to create magnificent universes – and everything within them.

From a simple interface in your browser, on your phone, or on your tablet, you can do everything you'd ever want to do while creating your own little (or big!) world.

notebook is a writer's planning tool for creating anything from universes to characters, to plots, to individual items.

It is also meant to expand into many areas to benefit writers (and exciting to developers), including areas like:

  • Automated revision services

  • Structuring real-time natural language processing output into a semantically reusable state

  • Decision-making algorithms for improving reading comprehension, reading level, accent-correction, and other real-time writing suggestions

  • A knowledge graph of structured data in your universe, and an engine to manipulate it in awesome ways

  • Machine learning on generating character and location names, suggesting realistic defaults (random or not), and more

  • and tons more

The Issue Tracker

If you are interested in helping out, check out the issue tracker. I've loaded it with tons of action-based, chunk-sized improvements that I think anyone familiar with Rails will be able to jump in and complete. Feel free to make suggestions, open issues, join discussions, or ask where you should look in the code to get started implementing something. :)

You'll notice there are *a lot* of issues in *a lot* of milestones. Call it feature creep, but I've separated every potential idea for full-fledged services into milestones that can be worked on completely independently of others. The features are (for the most part) has no deadlines and are in development simultaneously, meaning if you see a feature you would really like to use, you can make that feature happen by jumping directly into it and completing its issues.

TL;DR Milestones are independent of each other – work on whatever you want to see made!

Installing the notebook development stack locally

Install ruby 2.6.6 (using `rbenv`, `rvm`, any other Ruby version manager, or just plain ol' ruby)

rbenv install 2.6.6

Install necessary libraries

sudo apt install imagemagick libmagickwand-dev
sudo apt install libpq-dev

Clone the code

git clone

Install gems

bundle install

Create database

rake db:create

Run initial database migrations

rake db:migrate
rake billing_plans:initialize_defaults
rake data_migrations:create_default_billing_plans
rake db:seed

Finally, run the server with

bundle exec rails server

You should now see a copy of the site running locally at localhost:3000/!

You can also run background workers with sidekiq (and can run specific queues with the `-q <queue_name>` flag):

bundle exec sidekiq -C config/sidekiq.yml

Running the notebook stack locally with Docker

  • install Docker

  • install Docker Compose

  • clone this git repo

  • cd into the root of this repo, and then run

    docker-compose up
  • You should now see a copy of the site running locally at localhost:3000/

Deployment to

Deployment to the live production servers at will only be done by approved developers, and consists of a deployment of

  • deploy github to staging (done only by approved developers)

  • mirror data from live into staging

  • run regression tests on staging environment

  • deploy from staging to live (viewed at


Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, comments, or concerns! :)

© Andrew Brown 2016

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