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  • In my profession I’ve recently been assimilated into the Notion universe. It’s truly brilliant.

    But it’s not free (as in freedom). So as I start to pour huge amount of work into structuring and using it, my woes of lock-in comes as expected.

    There’s this whole new class of digital tools flexible enough to be shaped by non-coders for virtually any workflow: Notion, Airtable, Coda, Next Matter.

    I sense that as the tools of this no-code movement develops further, users realize they don’t need to settle for other people’s workflow but can shape the tools to their liking instead of the other way around. Thus these tools may lay the groundwork for a new level of user expectancy, possibly leaving old rigid tools in the dust.

    So, is there anything FOSS that can even begin to compare to Notion?


  • @yusf interesting tools. never heard of them before. My first impression is: if the foss-communities works close(r) together, the idea of a seamless and shapy ui is possible. But for today: no, there is no foss around 🙂

  • App Dev

    @yusf Actually - NextCloud has or has apps that have features like this. I use some of them right now actually.

    Apps like , , , , , as well.

    The app list looks like:

    • Talk (Voice/IM)
    • ActivityPub(Social)
    • [F3 - Tasks and Projects] Deck(Kaban/Issue Tracking)
    • Rainloop (Email)
    • [F1 - Notes]Markdown Editor(Notes)
    • Passwords (lastpass like clone)
    • Calendar/Contacts support Cal/Card DAV
    • [F1 - Docs / F4 - Spreadsheets (& Databases / Real time collaboration]OpenOffice/LibreOffice for Spreadsheets and other Office documents (Docs)
    • PDF Viewer
    • Video Player (streaming, upload MP4/webm files and stream remotely)
    • Music Player (Streaming, upload audio file and stream remotely)
    • [F2 - Knowledge Base] PicoCMS app for self-hosted, markdown powered knowledge-base / websites. (with or without user created content too!)
    • [Notion and NextCloud have apps] Even has mobile and desktop apps too.

    I am sure there is a small feature here that I overlooked, but NextCloud, when configured properly is EXTREMELY powerful.

    Edit: All the apps listed above I am currently using in my Cloudron-installed NextCloud instance (with OpenOffice as the Office handler)

    Edit 2: Since some of you can't seem to open your mind a little bit, This response is in-fact ONE (not the ONLY) answer to OP's question: "So, is there anything FOSS that can even begin to compare to Notion?" I have edited my list to literally highlight where NextCloud and Notion have similar features. Is NextCloud Notion? No. Is it as seemless as Notion? No. Is it a FOSS alternative to Notion? Absolutely.


  • @murgero Nextcloud rocks, but how are any of those apps anything like @yusf is talking about, ie "Notion, Airtable, Coda, Next Matter"?


  • Notion is awesome! Havent been able to find anything like it that's selfhostable. 😞


  • @murgero If you havent played with notion, go check it out. Seriously cool. Give it about a week to sink it. But once adjusted, your expectations will change in what you desire from personal database software.


  • @will said in Notion-like FOSS app:

    your expectations will change in what you desire from personal database software

    And as in my case it's not "personal" at all but used professionally in small and large teams. So expectations will probably surge towards any software you use

    I feel that FOSS wiki software stayed ahead of the curve for some years, but now using MediaWiki/Dokuwiki/Wiki.js/Bookstack after using Notion for a while is pretty painful. I already feel I have to protect some userbases I maintain from experiencing Notion so that I still can deliver on providable FOSS wiki systems. 😩

  • App Dev

    @jdaviescoates said in Notion-like FOSS app:

    but how are any of those apps anything like @yusf is talking about, ie "Notion, Airtable, Coda, Next Matter"?

    The first 6 apps I listed are feature-like to what notion advertises on its site. Airtable and openoffice are similar, openoffice and coda are similar too (by allowing collaberation on documentation for example)

    Don't know why I was downvoted so much - I wasn't saying anything rude. I just listed apps that are currently available in Cloudron that can be used while notion is talked about... like what?


  • Try out notion, and then comment, you're being downvoted because you're speaking from a place of a lack of knowledge on the given topic. Your comments are not helpful on this specific topic because by your suggestions, it is obvious that you've never used notion.
    I say this with love my friend, try out notion and see how different it is from other solutions in this space.

  • App Dev

    @will I'll give notion a try I guess. but speaking from a purely technical standpoint I don't believe my comment justified being downvoted so much.

    I am sure notion is probably leagues better than using some 3rd party nextcloud apps, but the OP asked what FOSS solutions were out there, I obliged the question. That's all.


  • @murgero Again, how can you judge the technical merits of one solution compared to another when you clearly don't understand the feature set or use case of one of the solutions?
    Thats why you were down voted, and because your continued refusal to see the error of your understandable gap in knowledge, it comes across as hubris.
    Your heart is in the right place, but once you were told that your alternatives were not relevant, continuing to debate and come up with more non-applicable examples did nothing but muddy the waters and detract from finding a solution to OP's original question.

    The point is Notion isn't the end all be all, but it is super novel and unique, and a self hosted alternative would be super cool. As far as I can tell, one doesn't exist. Hope that changes!

  • App Dev

    @will said in Notion-like FOSS app:

    The point is Notion isn't the end all be all, but it is super novel and unique, and a self hosted alternative would be super cool. As far as I can tell, one doesn't exist. Hope that changes!

    Did you guys even read my response? I posted a FOSS replacement for Notion - that has ALL of notions FEATURES that are listed on the site. With the knowledge I had, I answered the ORIGINAL QUESTION the original poster had:

    "So, is there anything FOSS that can even begin to compare to Notion?"

    Yes, NextCloud can compare to Notion, as far as features go. I also happened to list other groupware like features because notion is groupware.

    Yes - I already acknowledged my knowledge of Notion was limited, and I even tried it. It's f--king amazing! BUT OP asked for a FOSS replacement for it, not if it was Open Source itself...

    Go back and read my original response. I'll even edit it to specifically point out where NextCloud and Notion are the same (as far as the feature goes).

    Edit: I'd like to apologize if my response comes off nasty. I do not mean to try and offend anyone on the forum. I'm just trying to stick to my original point. I hope we can all still be friends 🙂


  • I acknowledge the genuine intent of your original reply, @murgero. Thank you. As one of the recurring Cloudron community members your enthusiasm to further the project and help users out is quite notable.

    I think that the nature of what Notion brings makes it especially prone to be overlooked feature-wise compared to other tools: it’s the specific way of how elements from other novel tools are put together that makes Notion unique.

    So let’s move on. Notion has no FOSS counterpart for the time being. I don’t even se any FOSS no-code tools like the other ones mentioned in the original post. But let’s keep our ears to the ground.👂


  • @yusf some venerable wikis I used allow to generate dynamic elements and input interfaces in pages and build simple applications on demand with scripting.

    • TWiki and Foswiki with their own markup language, macros and numerous extensions.
    • Xwiki use Velocity, Groovy and code snippets.

    Recently Mavo opened: "A new, approachable way to create web applications. Create complex, reactive, persistent web applications by just writing HTML & CSS, without a single line of JavaScript and no server backend. Developed in the Haystack Group at MIT CSAIL and led by Lea Verou. "


  • @jeau I appreciate the suggestions and I recognize the similarities but their too far off still unfortunately.

  • App Dev

    @yusf Yeah - Sorry yusf. I get really passionate about FOSS as you can see 🙌


  • @murgero Im with you! I used to be die hard anti FOSS, now I'm studying CompSci so I can help out around here!
    If you think of FOSS in interpersonal relations, I just gave you a push to your mental git repo hahahah I hope you'll return the favor when I stumble!


  • @yusf
    My understanding is that anytype .io is similar to Notion. The developers say they plan to open source it after they release it.
    It is built on IPFS. You can check out a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hblHWfXA3XU

    I have no affiliation. I just stumbled upon it and have been awaiting its release. If it lives up to the hype, I hope to somehow use it with cloudron


  • @seeker Awesome app! This looks seriously awesome!


  • @will Yeah, I agree. I have been waiting for their beta. As for another possibility- there is also Tiddlywiki. Years ago the hurdle was collaboration. I wonder if they have solved that with a plugin or something