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README.md

TreeBase

TreeBase is a system for growing collaborative, limitless knowledge bases that get better with age.

When TreeBase Helps

TreeBase helps you build knowledge bases about anything. It doesn't matter how simple or complex the domain.

TreeBase is useful whether you are building a knowledge base by yourself or with thousands of people.

TreeBase Implementations

Demo TreeBases

How it Works

TreeBase stores data in plain text files using Tree Notation. Instead of storing data in rows in a compressed binary format, you store data in regular files.

So a database of planets might look like this:

planets/
 venus.planet
 mercury.planet
 earth.planet
 mars.planet
 jupiter.planet
 saturn.planet
 neptune.planet
 uranus.planet

Each file contains information in a schema that you specify in a Grammar file.

For example, the file mars.planet might look like this:

diameter 6794
surfaceGravity 4
yearsToOrbitSun 1.881
moons 2

The Grammar file (TreeBase's version of "Schemas"), for this file would be this:

planetNode
 root
 todo Change pattern to postfix.
 pattern \.planet$
 inScope abstractIntPropertyNode abstractFloatPropertyNode
 catchAllNodeType errorNode
anyFirstCell
 todo remove the need for this
errorNode
 baseNodeType errorNode
intCell
 highlightScope constant.numeric.integer
floatCell
 highlightScope constant.numeric.float
keywordCell
 highlightScope keyword
abstractIntPropertyNode
 cells intCell
 firstCellType keywordCell
 abstract
abstractFloatPropertyNode
 cells floatCell
 firstCellType keywordCell
 abstract
surfaceGravityNode
 extends abstractIntPropertyNode
diameterNode
 extends abstractIntPropertyNode
moonsNode
 extends abstractIntPropertyNode
yearsToOrbitSunNode
 extends abstractFloatPropertyNode

TreeBase delegates to Git for versioning, backups, and collaboration.

Do I need to use a library to use TreeBase?

No. You can use the TreeBase system without installing any new software on your computer. In fact, you don't even need to use a computer at all. Pen, paper, and some folders work well for small TreeBases.

Can I use TreeBase with my existing SQL databases?

Yes. With one command you can turn any TreeBase database into a SQL database. There is no lock-in.

Can I use TreeBase with my existing JSON or CSV workflows?

Yes. With one command you can convert any TreeBase into JSON, CSV, TSV, etc. There is no lock-in.

Does TreeBase scale?

For collaborative knowledge bases, yes. We have been using TreeBase for over 2 years in systems with millions of lines and dozens of collaborators.

At the moment TreeBase works best for knowledge bases of less than 100,000 entities/files (each file can have many facts). For larger TreeBases you are likely to hit some scaling challenges. Read more on that here.

Our focus with TreeBase is on collaborative knowledge bases, like Wikipedia for data. You are free to experiment with using TreeBase in other domains, and if you do please let us know how you are using it, but at the moment our focus is on knowledge bases.

How is this different than Wikipedia?

You can think of TreeBase as similar to the MediaWiki system that powers Wikipedia. The difference is whereas Wikipedia is focused on narratives first and semantic facts second, TreeBase is focused on semantics first and narratives second.

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