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A few favorite products of 2018.

sorcererxw

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

WSL has been around for a year or two, but it has only recently gained popularity and I started using it. After some learning and tinkering, the user experience is really great.

  • As a developer, I often need to perform operations and configure environments locally. I am used to working in a Linux environment on servers and find it difficult to adapt to the Windows Command Line. Therefore, it would be great if I could use Linux commands/tools on my current system.
  • I use Ubuntu for my WSL, and I manage packages through apt. It allows me to quickly set up my development environment, which is much faster than installing everything one by one on Windows.

However, WSL still has some issues that limit its practicality to some extent.

  • It is not possible to directly call commands from WSL externally in Windows, such as using IDE to directly call git/jdk/python tools within WSL. Instead, you need to install them separately externally. As a result, the configuration within WSL becomes less meaningful.
  • Unable to install Docker, using Docker locally is advantageous for clean and convenient tool configuration. However, Docker on Windows is developed by Microsoft itself.
  • The IO performance is poor. The previous blog mentioned some solutions, but in my experience, although the peak speed can be fast, overall, the speed is still not fast.

I hope Microsoft will gradually optimize it in future iterations.

Notion

Artistic young people like to play with bullet journals, inserting various bits and pieces of life into notebooks, creating their own personalized life management, journal, and guide.

In the digital age, although there are already many note-taking products and many products that simulate physical planners, in my opinion, the one that comes closest to the concept of a physical planner is Notion.

I haven't been using Notion for a long time, but once I started using it, I was amazed. Notion blurs the line between traditional articles and folders, using blocks as the smallest unit to represent all elements. From a simple divider to a full article, everything can be considered as a block. A block can be both an element and a container, allowing one article to contain other articles, forming a tree-like structure with unlimited depth, which greatly facilitates document management.

In addition to hierarchical management, one of the reasons why Notion is considered a digital version of a bullet journal is because it allows you to embed various elements within each article. In addition to common elements in Markdown such as code blocks, tables, and formulas, you can also insert features like kanban boards, calendars, databases, file previews, and third-party service previews... Just like a bullet journal, you can throw all your personal life/work plans and ideas into one article.

Notion can be considered as a tool that integrates Gitbook (knowledge base), Trello (project collaboration management), and Evernote (note-taking). Although it may not excel in every aspect, it stands out for its all-in-one management, which can greatly improve efficiency.

Notion offers a convenient way to write and manage documents. The writing experience is on par with many excellent local editors, and with real-time syncing, I have decided to migrate my blog to Notion. However, the current issue is that Notion does not have a clear API documentation, making it impossible to directly publish blog posts through an API. In 2019, I hope to allocate some time to use technical means to integrate my blog with Notion.