Introducing Nots
Some time ago our team quietly launched the beta of Here are a brief introduction and our motivation for doing this project.

So, what is it? is a new way of doing documentation of the software projects. We’ve designed and implemented it with every day developer’s workflow in mind. Our goal is to keep knowledge every engineer in the team has and connect it to the code. And later to instantly find it and determine how relevant is it as of now. It must be easy and fast!

Here are some our hypothesis on what ideal knowledge base should look like. Briefly, we found, that none of the tools allow developers to attach some note to the line of code, function, class, file or entire branch.  We’ve been making software almost for two decades now, and often times there’s a need to store some piece of context behind a fragment of code. If it’s more than just a short plaintext note, like spec, design mockup or PDF, then the question of how and where to store that information comes up. 


Documentation Pays Dividends

Sometimes even big companies miss the point of doing documentation. For sure, in the short term, keeping, sharing and retaining knowledge requires lots of efforts, time and money. But even in the medium term range it will return your investments and will pay you back. With docs, most experienced developers would not be forced to spend their time troubleshooting basic issues. Junior developers are empowered to be self-sufficient. Proper docs do help orient newcomers. Engineers are now free to painlessly change projects, switch teams, go on vacation or even leave a company. All their knowledge is now written down. And available for everyone. Forever!


Introducing Nots

Based on our own experiences, we approached the problem of making a project knowledge-base from the unconventional point of view — from the developer’s standpoint. So for developers, it’s essential: 

  • To be able to have short memos. As for any creative people, for an engineer when she’s in “the flow”, it’s natural to quickly leave one-two sentences of the context or drop a PDF and move on. For Nots this is the default mode. But we also welcome engineers to write longer rich-formatted tech documents alongside with a code being describing.
  • No matter whether a note is just a bit of text or longer report, it’s ought to be always linked with the code. So that for any team member it’s trivial to discover, explore it, get the scope, ask the author a question or discuss. Even if a note is added many days ago.
  • To notice when the piece of docs got rotten. Nots tracks changes in the source code underneath each note and lets everyone know of how relevant the note is now. We call it “fresh rate” and this metric varies from the red one of 1.0 to the green one of 10. It’s really rewarding when everything is green. This promotes the entire team to keep docs in an up-to-date state.
  • Discuss the documentation in the context. Often times, a discussion is even more insightful than the actual doc. Nots allows leaving a comment right below the doc. Now your communication is not split across many messengers. But rather stored in one place and always linked to the code. There’s no need to waste time while searching for every tiny bit of information scattered among multiple platforms.
  • Being able to stick an image or large binary file (like PDF or DOC).  Sometimes it’s handy to associate a block of code, like a module, with a design doc, example of execution or design mockup. We allow adding as many attachments to the note as you want. All those binary files are stored in a special Attachments section of your Nots project. It’s now convenient to find a specific file later among dozens of attachments.


Check it out

Does all this resonate with you? Hop on the registration page and create an account. We are free of charge free for public projects. 

If you already have an account, here's the short guide on how to setup the project.