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I'm looking for an online collaborative tool, similar to Google Sheets or Google Docs, that:

  • is a text editor (ideally with monospace font, for code)
  • with an URL to access the RAW text
  • ideally, with no registration like many free "fiddle" websites, that generate random URLs when saving

Google Docs could work (you can write code in Google Docs after all!) but when doing File > Publish to web, the link is a web rendering of the text, and not the RAW text. I'm looking for a Share content link that gives access to the RAW content.

3 Answers 3

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I believe notion.so fits most of your needs.

  • text editor plus much more!
  • share via URL

Note that the design is not very similar to a text editor though:

enter image description here

Also, the "Share URL" doesn't give access to the "raw text content", but rather there is a web-page rendering:

enter image description here

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  • Welcome to our community Michael. We noticed you just started contributing, and both of your answers are for the same product. Do you have any affiliation with this product? If so, please document your affiliation, in full, at the top of your answers. Thank you, and again, welcome. Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 6:53
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    Thanks for the warm welcome. No affiliation, I am just an avid user, and want to share my experience with it.
    – Michael
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 7:33
  • Thank you! Is there a "text editor mode" in which there is no rich-text, no bold / italic etc. but only monospace font (like for code)?
    – Basj
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 8:11
  • Also does the "share via URL" give access to the raw text content?
    – Basj
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 8:12
  • @Michael I added screenshots so that it's easier to see the UX for future readers.
    – Basj
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 8:36
2

writexo.com could also be an option.

  • Simple interface
  • no registration required
  • Documents are identified by a hash in the URL (can be changed) - one URL for read/write access, one URL ("share URL") for readonly
  • Simple formatting options, such as bold/italic/hyperlinks
  • Allows toggling between proportional and monospace font (but only for the whole document)
  • Additional URL for seeing text as raw text, with formatting removed - see note below though about downloading

About the "raw text" option:

The link "Raw" in the UI does lead to a page that shows the text in monospace font and without formatting - however, behind the scenes the page uses HTML and Javascript to show the text, so it's not suitable for downloading directly as plain text.

However, you can download a JSON representation of the document under the URL https://writexo.com/get/DOCUMENT_HASH (replacing DOCUMENT_HASH of course). That will give you a JSON document like the following:

{
   "ops" : [
      {
         "insert" : "foo\nblabla\nbar\n"
      }
   ]
}

While this will require some postprocessing with a JSON parser to get the actual plain text, it is much simpler than parsing the HTML pages.

For example, using the jq JSON parser, you can download and extract the text with this command:

curl 'https://writexo.com/get/ho3h12qy'|jq '.ops[0].insert'

Note that if you use formatting such as bold, the JSON will be more complicated, but if you stick to plaintext, it should work.

Also note that the command above will still have quotes and newlines escaped - fixing that is left as an exercise :-).

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    Thanks! Nearly perfect, every requirement is met, except: the "RAW" share link (e.g. writexo.com/raw/ho3h12qy) displays the output like if it is just text, but in fact it's a HTML page with many tags (see view-source:https://writexo.com/raw/ho3h12qy) and sadly not just the raw text content.
    – Basj
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 20:09
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    @Basj: Yes, that's unfortunate. I found a way to download the text as JSON though, see my edit.
    – sleske
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 8:09
1

I think hackmd.io might fit the bill:

  • is a text editor (ideally with monospace font, for code) ✔
    • It is a Markdown editor, with a monospaced editor (and a renderer, but you can turn it off). If you use a code block and specify it's language there is code highlighting.
  • with an URL to access the RAW text ❓
    • If you go to https://hackmd.io/new it will create a new note with a unique URL. Adding ?edit to that URL will show the text in the editor, which is pretty close to "RAW" visually. You can share the URL with anyone, or create a shorter URL via the share button:
      enter image description here
    • If you want the note as a RAW format, because you want to do use it programmatically you probably can get it from the back-end, however, I am not familair with TypeScript to be sure how. But if you inspect the network traffic when loading a note, you'll see:
      • A GET request to
      https://hackmd.io/socket.io/?noteId=<note-id>&transport=polling&t=NwTCLip
      
      which returns a session ID.
      
      • A GET request to
      https://hackmd.io/socket.io/?noteId=<note-id>&transport=polling&t=NwTCLml&sid=<session-id>
      
      which returns a JSON with a str key that contains the raw content of the note.
      • To be honest, I have not gotten this to work when GETting these URL's myself, but who knows, maybe there's a way.
    • Note that if you share the URL without having an account, everyone with the URL will have read/write access to the note.
  • ideally, with no registration like many free "fiddle" websites, that generate random URLs when saving ✔
    • You don't need to register, simply going to https://hackmd.io/new gives you a shared Markdown file with a unique URL. I am not sure how long it remains on their server though...
    • Registering is an option though, and it seems to give some integration with Github and other advantages.

As always: I have no affiliation with this site, I just found it when I started researching an answer for this question.

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  • Like the other answer, nearly perfect, except that the share link does not give access to just the raw text content, instead there is a HTML rendering of it: for example, create a new document, type text, share, and then open the share link.
    – Basj
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 20:13
  • I understood that you need the "RAW" format just as a visual style, but perhaps you want to programmatically do something with it? Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 20:16
  • Yes @SaaruLindestøkke, indeed, "raw" not just visually, but really have an URL that give the raw bytes of the text, because yes I want to use it programmatically. Thanks again!
    – Basj
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 20:24

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