Hello, I'm Kévin (@zecakeh), and I'm here to tell you about some of my recent contributions to EteSync Notes.

Here I was, back in December, still trying to find a good notes app. Those were my criteria:

  • Open source
  • Available on Android and Linux (or be compatible with other apps)
  • Sync easily between my devices
  • Nice look
  • Have simple styling of notes
  • Support simple to-do lists

And the extras:

  • Self-hostable
  • Encrypted
  • A WYSIWYG editor
  • Adapt to the screen size

I stumbled upon the brand new EteSync Notes app. After playing with it for a few minutes, I realized it didn't check all the boxes, but had a lot of potential: it was already fully functional and needed just a bit of polish. Since I was also looking into contributing to a community project at the time, I took a look at the repository and found out it was using React Native, which I was already familiar with, and I agreed with most of the feature requests in the issues. It was time to start my journey with the EteSync Notes project!

My first contribution

Since projects are not always very active, I decided to start with a small problem to see if help was welcome. It was something that was annoying me and was already mentioned in one of the issues: the FAB on the notes list would go over the dialog to create a new note when the keyboard was up. Working on an UI problem would allow me to do it quickly because I was already familiar with the framework and to familiarize myself with the code without having to dig too deeply. And here's the result:

I created a Pull Request and was amazed when it was reviewed and accepted one hour later! This motivated me even more!

Keeping it coming

Since then, I have kept going through the issues in the repository, or the ones I have encountered. That allowed me to have a better understanding of how the app worked little by little and to work on more complicated tasks. And when I had questions, I just needed to go to the IRC/Matrix Chat and ask.
Here are some notable improvements I have worked on:

Adaptive icon on Android
Checkboxes in preview
Improve styles
Added some settings
The URL is updated on web

What's coming next

A few things I might be working on next:

I really want to thank Tom for being so approachable, available, helpful and patient with his reviews.