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Messages - Dormouse [ switch to compact view ]

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1
Also saw this one: https://app.flowtelic.com. Haven't tried it at all. If I can't immediately see what I'd get out of it, I tend to make a note and pass on, maybe to revisit later. But I'm not keen on web apps and rather dubious about PWA for anything important, which has put me off wavemaker.

Glad to hear you are getting something out of Tangent. I'm content to use the tools I have for now (they're working well enough to be productive and I need to spend some time actually doing rather than constantly exploring new), but I like to keep my eyes open. Your comment about the graph is interesting - I've not found them useful previously and tbh never really tried them seriously as I wasn't clear what I'd get from using them. Makes sense that it's more useful if it's an active part of working.

One irritation I'm still having is the lack of hoisting in markdown programs. Folding appears to be standard, but hoisting much less so. And yet focus requires both.

2
I've noticed a little quirk in using outlines and headings.

Functionally they are the same, apart from heading levels being limited where outlines are not - and OPML translates them as if they are the same. But they don't ever feel the same, especially in markdown.

I've realised that's because my mind - and, I believe, most minds - pick up on the numbers in the headings and allocate some type of category. Outlines are just like folgezettel - they have parents, and maybe children, but no absolute number. Markdown headings are very fixed 1-6 and are usually directly written. Interestingly, headings in Word aren't quite like that - although they are 1-9, the most recommended workflow seems to manage them by increasing or decreasing their level rather than allocating one; and the number is rarely mentioned - it's all just styling. This make WP headings much more like an outline. Some markdown based programs also go for the increase/decrease workflow but the number always takes mental precedence over the hierarchical relationship.

I know better than to fight such embedded unconscious thought patterns and henceforth will stick to using outlines & WP headings, except where having an absolute level and number makes sense.

3
Tangent is awesome
Once you have spent enough time with it, I'd be interested in your ideas of its strengths and weaknesses.
It feels too early in its development for me to use it (and my current use cases don't seem ideally suited ot it), but I have liked the look and feel when I've looked it over.

4
Also notice Tangent Notes. Very early stages.
Just updated it. Does feel interesting. Very visual, card style interface. I could imagine working in it. Especially if I wrote many short pieces or short notes.

5
Given the lack of a reasonable combine and export option in Obsidian
While I was looking at it, I thought I ought to work out what I think is currently the best workflow for longform writing in Obsidian. The lack of tools for a single file approach makes it hard to recommend that purely. So, ..

A separate vault (or folder) for the long project.

Plugins required:
  • Bartender (for manual sequencing of files in the file explorer)
  • Pandoc (possibly + Obsidian Enhancing Export)
  • Novel word count (for visible word or page counts for each file or folder)
  • Better word count or File info panel (for word counts including a count for selected text, in the current note; and other info in the FIP)
  • Note Refactor - (optional - to make files easier to split)
  • Hover Editor (to give the option to do all the editing via the large document rather than the separate notes)

The basic technique is to have a single note that contains all the scenes, chapters etc as embeds, and then to export that document into the desired format.

Workflow(s) - there's a number of options.
One would be to write from the beginning using the large note with embeds and headings. I feel it is likely to be better to only do that at a later stage.
Easier to start in the conventional Scrivener/Ulysses way with separate scene/chapter notes in the explorer. With bartender, and using folders, it's easy to see everything in sequence and with their word count (via Novel Word Count). Once you are ready, you can select all the required notes and paste into a new note as links, and then make those links embeds. The bartender sequence will not be preserved, but, if the embeds are made into headings, the outline will allow them to be moved around.

Export is straightforward, but attention needs to be paid to the line/paragraph distinction.

6
Paragraphs, Lines and Enter
This remains an issue. If someone writes paragraphs only (ie no single new lines within the paragraph), then there may be no effective difference between a line and a paragraph - everything will depend on the settings of the export/conversion process. Depending partly on the use of copy/paste and the settings used within that.
Given the lack of a reasonable combine and export option in Obsidian, I decided to do a little testing. Two md files, one with an empty line between the lines (ie markdown definition of a paragraph) and one without (ie lines only), exported into docx

Inspire Writer - exported the no empty line file "correctly" (from my usage point of view) into paragraphs, and the one with markdown paragraphs into paragraphs with an empty space between the paragraphs.
iA Writer - exported the empty line into paragraphs, and the no empty line file was concatenated into a single paragraph.
Typora was the same as iA Writer. As was Writage.

In other words, Inspire Writer interprets markdown lines as if they were paragraphs - which is the way many people intend. But iA Writer and Typora stick rigidly to the markdown standard paragraphs. I was a little surprised by Typora because when I enter directly into it, the Enter = New Paragraph, but quite reasonably it regards that just as a keyboard adjustment for WYSIWYG.

Which means, for me, that I'd have to add an extra process (double spacing lines in text editor) if I wanted genuine paragraphs without adjusting keyboard behaviour to double Enter every time I pressed Enter should I type in Obsidian or iA Writer and export through iA Writer, Writage or Typora. Writing in Typora always exports as I want, as does writing in Inspire Writer. And writing directly into docx obviously works perfectly.

The combining options in Inspire Writer work well; in iA Writer the embed system export requires combining files one at a time - functional but quite high friction if done often, and no preview.

7
what do I need to see to believe that taking notes (and elaborate on them) is beneficial?
We have one outlier, Luhman, and ... well the entirety 'productivity' web (is this a hipster thing?) who are into it. But are they productive?
In the main, I don't believe that the people doing this are productive, apart from the mass production of notes.
Most appear to be students; probably the most driven and usually highly performing students anyway. Many appear to have the belief that it will help them learn (though that's not what Luhmann was about); and treat Ahrens' Smart Notes book as their bible even though it conflates his own ideas (developed largely around student note-taking) with those of Luhmann.

Luhmann lived an exraordinarily focused and regular life and was extremely disciplined. His system was perfected to optimise his productivity, and building on the usual reading and writing work typical of academics. He turned it into a form of painting-by-numbers (so rapid writing at the end). It was a form of academic mass production where the usual academic clay was sorted and then formed into bricks, with an index so that he could quickly find the bricks he wanted whatever he decided he wanted to build in the future.
It's a system I can see working very productively for any academic with his level of discipline (and ability to spot the best clay and craft good bricks).
But not so much for students, and not at all for anyone who doesn't actually have an intention to produce anything at the end of it.

Personally, I've never had that regularity, nor that style of discipline. Neverhteless, I can craft the bricks and the system makes it easy to drop and pick up as desired, with no loss of previously done work. So that's great.

How much effort is it to keep notes?
I don't know. People do appear to be producing prodigious quantities of them.
For me, I don't make a fraction of the notes that most seem to make (though I do have a very good memory, and my own workflow has always been heavily based on that). I have only ever made notes as an essential component of doing something, and even then usually only a fraction of what most seem to believe is required. Even when I was a student, I might make 4 lines of notes, and noticed others with 4 pages or even more; I never could understand what they thought they were going to do with them.

Who is measuring this?
I'd like to believe that everyone doing it will be measuring it for themselves. No way of avoiding bias.
Trying to do matched samples for group work would be fraught with problems, and I don''t think it could be made to work. A longidudinal single-case approach to carefully selected groups might work, but would be expensive to conduct.

8
I'm very happy with logseq so far.
That's great. Given the people who like it, I'm sure it's good and is, as you said, developing rapidly. Had more developers than Obsidian even before raising the $4m. The basic structure is very Roam-like. I've simply never go on with it well enough so far, but it's the one Obsidian alternative I check out regularly. Actually, I do keep an eye on Zettlr; I'm not in its core user group (which I see as post-grads and academics) but seems to me to be the most writer biased of the PKM apps.

Plus neovide, a nvim frontend, that does something really interesting with the cursor (check this: https://youtu.be/Vd5AACp6GG0?t=112) because it has better typing latency.
I do see what you mean. Looks very neat. Of course, I don't actually use emacs, vim, neovim or alternatives and use the mouse by preference when I can. And have never typed fast enough to have an issue with latency; even if I did hit an issue, I'd probably be sitting  back thinking while it untangled itself. I'm a fast typist so I assume that I simply spend too much time thinking and not typing.

9
I revisited the current state of the Obsidian plugins &etc that relate to writing while I was 'watching' the Kentucky Derby on internet TV. I made a few notes; then thought it was worth posting them here.

File Management
Bartender allows manual sorting of files in the file explorer. Not yet approved as community plugin (installable via BRAT), but does work and makes it easier to work using shorter notes - makes it more like Scrivener, Ulysses and most other programs. imho, it is more useful than the longform plugin at present (Longform last revised 4 months ago). otoh, when I turned the plugin off, all the files in the vault disappeared from the Obsidian file explorer (still visible on system) and they only reappeared when I restarted it; hasn't worked a few times and I've had to resort to stopping and restarting Obsidian.

File splitting and merging - I don't believe Obsidian has a good solution for merging files, and the splitting plugin (Note Refactor) works, but hasn't been updated for some time and the developer hasn't been active on Github since the middle of last year. There are easy solution for the files outside Obsidian, but I feel that this remains an area of weakness for Obsidian as a writing app, although embeds are a way of constructing long files from shorter ones, and is the method iA Writer uses (although that has an easier way of adding them).

Editable Embeds
The Hover Editor allows linked files and embeds to be edited directly without having to open the original file. This makes it possible to put together a long document from many files using embeds or links, whilst still being able to edit the sections from within the large file.

Word Counts
My preferred option for current file remains the File Info plugin; last updated about 3 months ago, but does everything I need. Better Word Count now works in Live Preview.

Another very useful plugin is Novel Word Count(only just updated). It adds the total word (or page etc) count to every file and folder in the Obsidian File Explorer. Very useful, but the value does come only when writing is done using multiple small files rather than big files with headings.

I don't believe there is a way of working with heading level word counts.

Blocks
There are two main block dragging plugins. The first covers every type of text, but only works in legacy editor, not Live Preview. The second is more recent, works in Live Preview, but thus far only works with lists. There's also a block copy/embed plugin.

Focus Mode
One plugin (Ghost) progressively fades lines the further away from the active line they are but doesn't work in Live Preview (I found this plugin quite useful sometimes, but only when the lines are short). The other hides the side panels and menus (more friction than it's worth for me).

Folding
Natively, Obsidian has the ability to fold headings and lists. The Creases plugin adds a much finer level of control, plus the ability to add creases (folds) wherever you want. I appreciate the potential value of this in very big documents, but haven't needed it myself as yet.

Outliner functionality
Best approached using two plugins (Outliner and Zoom) which are designed to work together. They're functional enough for simple outlining but Zoom now only works in Live Preview.

Colour highlights
The Highlightr works quite well, but has two disadvantages - it's not low friction and the HTML makes the edit pane a pain to read

Appearance
I mostly use the default theme for the simplicity, but the Minimal Theme has grown very impressively with a good set of settings to personalise the appearance without needing to do anything with CSS. Some themes are actively updated but many aren't.

Long-form writing using single file
Sadly (for me), I see very little that helps with this apaart from the folding options. The core Outline plugin, allows headings, with text below, to be moved around. The block embed/link plugin works for the headings and text too.
My impression is that long-form writing purely in Obsidian, would probably work most effectively using sections rather than a whole book or separate scenes/chapters.

One advantage of Obsidian over most writing programs
Is the ability to show a number of files at the same time, particularly if some are placed, hidden or half-hidden in the side panels. That's an extremely flexible arrangement which can be very useful. Most writing apps allow a side note to be triggered, or a program such as Notezilla can be used for multiple notes, but that's not quite the same thing. Obsidian also has the Callouts core plugin which makes it fairly simple to add standardised alerts/comments of different types.

Paragraphs, Lines and Enter
This remains an issue. If someone writes paragraphs only (ie no single new lines within the paragraph), then there may be no effective difference between a line and a paragraph - everything will depend on the settings of the export/conversion process. Depending partly on the use of copy/paste and the settings used within that.

10
Windows 11 Home edition is too 'stupified' for my tastes
idk whether you have the experience to have an opinion, but would you see it as more or less stupefied than MacOS?

11
I now read on an ereader (Onyx air note 2),
In case you haven't seen it, this thread on the Obsidian forum is still going. Quite a lot of Boox users there.


12
I will watch the videos you recommended.
Have looked. My issue mostly is the same as I have with Obsidian which is that using the features is relatively high friction and dependent on support of plugins which may or not be maintained into the future and the whole program is likely to shift and evolve in ways I might not want. As with Obsidian, I'm sure it will be much enhanced in 2 or 3 years time.

I tested document mode when I last used Logseq. Dynalist has something similar. A similar effect can be achieved in Obsidian using the block dragging plugin. I've even checked out writing in Workflowy bullets, with a document view in another program. I've not been persuaded by any of them. I always found friction in some part of the process: when is all said and done, the bullets remain bullets even when they are hidden. In theory, it ought to be extremely useful in the same way that Workflowy's kanban/outline view switch is, but I found it cumbersome and not hugely useful in practice.

I've not checked out the focus mode from the plugin. I can't actually remember checking any of the focus modes in Obsidian, and the typewriter mode only for a moment. What all these programs ignore, is that it's not the feature's existence that matters but how much it enhances a user's productive workflow. I don't love iA Writer's focus mode, but it is simple to use and robust (personally I'd add a focus of  x number of lines above and below the typewriter position, with x being easily changed), but I'm also not tempted to use iAW for long-form writing; I know how I coujld do it, but I think there are better ways for me.

I didn't check out the colour highlighting. Mostly because it works through HTML and CSS. Some of this is a conclusion that docx is always likely to be smoother and more robust than markdown+CSS+HTML as well as being easier to convert into any format I'm likely to use; (this particular comment is not against markdown/plaintext but adding CSS & HTML complexities to it). I stopped using the Obsidian plugin, because it was a little long-winded and intruded into my process, as well. I think the Logseq one works through slash commands which wouldn't suit my workflow either.

13
I'm probably moving away from amplenote and into logseq,
Any particular reason for moving from Amplenote, or is it purely the attraction of Logseq?

14
I stopped looking at logseq for about a year. Oh my, have they made progress. This company is a rocket. They have something very unique.
True, I've had a go with it a few times. I stay in touch. My main problem is that I simply haven't taken to it. Like Obsidian, there are many friction points and I feel it is, in general, rougher around the edges. But mostly it simply doesn't feel comfortable.
I don't like writing in it at all.
Other issues I've found and read about are that it can be quite slow and the outliner design is restrictive. Good maybe for zettelkasten.
I'm sure it can be tweaked to suit me better, but I when I ask myself whether that would be time well spent, I doubt it. But with its development speed, all that could change quickly. I will watch the videos you recommended.

I'd describe Scrivener as functional but rather complex and clunky, Ulysses/IW as functional and quite polished but simpler, and Obsidian/Logseq as too unpolished to use professionally. Small things are always being tweaked (ie changed) and I find that too disruptive -apart from the high friction parts of the workflow.

Aspects of Workflowy are quite high friction too, but the quick switch between outline and kanban views suits me perfectly. If it would only sort out the notes to make them a good environment for writing, I could see me spending most of my time using it. For now, IW works, Atlantis works - I'll see what works best in the end, switching between them is easy enough.

Still undecided about research. Obsidian probably best overall for now, but I keep my eyes on everything else too.

15
Where do you publish what you write?
I have worn, and wear, many hats but the short answer is that, in one way or another, I have always had publishers.

Although most pieces have have a restricted circulation and aren't accessible to the public (just about the opposite of a blog). Might require storytelling, but most hasn't been fiction. I suspect that most writers are like me in writing in specialised non-fiction niches. All my writing is print, or digital print equivalent, none is on the web.

After reading Alito's opinion in the news, I recognised his whole process as being same as any other writer - drafting, revising, receiving comments; and a very careful use of words; I expect he sees himself as a lawyer rather than a writer because he only has one niche but he has to have a writer's skill set - most judges do. Many excellent writers of fiction have also been lawyers (I assume they think of themselves as lawyers write fiction on the side); most fiction writers have to earn their money at something else to live (somehow translated in some writing circles to not being proper writers) because it's difficult to generate much income from fiction unless you are also, and principally, a marketer or have someone who does it for you. So there's a question about identity; personally, I'm happy to describe them all as writers, but probably not professional writers, unless Alito identifies as a writer.

But those who write in many (paid) niches I would describe as professional writers. I think this describes many people. And I suspect that most write, have written, or will write, fiction but not as their main activity because it's too hard to generat a sufficient reliable income. My income depends on delivering MSS

My new project is is fiction of a type I haven't tackled previously and I don't know what I'll do about publishing that. I have the luxury of not needing to make money with it, so I'm under no pressure apart from actually producing the words.


16
some look very interesting, like this one https://github.com/kevboh/longform that could be an alternative to scrivener.
Yes. To a very limited extent. In terms of usability, I find it nowhere near Scrivener - and Scrivener's not great (for me). I'll admit that I've not checked recent plugin upgrades, but it was not designed around export. Personally, I think it would have been better designed around working with a single markdown file, using headers for chapters, scenes etc instead of a convoluted process to connect smaller notes.

The kanban plugin can be quite useful too.

My biggest issue with using them is that they don't have all the features I need and they're not polished or designed for effective low-friction working. If they continue to be developed for long enough (I'm sceptical) then they might get there, but they seem a long way off yet.

17
Oh, and I now read on an ereader (Onyx air note 2), which adds a lot of constraints.
I have a Boox too. But it's not my main reader (or writer). It's for when light conditions - or my eyes - require e-ink and I need a bigger scale than a kindle or need to be able to use a wider range of programs and functions. I tried using Obsidian on it; it works, but not well enough to be especially productive, and I've largely given up using the mobile versions of Obsidian anyway.

Just bought a bluetooth mechanical keyboard (I type faster/bettr on a mechanical) and so far I only have it paired with laptop, Samsung tablet and phone. Maybe I'll use it with the Boox sometime (midsummer most likely), but only when the other options don't work with the light.

18
I thought I'd noticed a new post in this thread, but apparently not.

But having move from thinking it an issue for some people but not me, to encountering frictions that meant it is an issue for me, I have reached  the point of seeing it as a set of deeply weird incompatibilities. What I do now is check out evry program I use in detail to see how they manage it.

Typora and MarkEdit have Enter=New Paragraph in WYSIWYG mode, but not source. So, if you type half the document in WYSIWYG and half in source, then the behaviour of the Enter key changes halfway through.

Being a database program, Inspire Writer doesn't have to commit until export. At that point, export to docx has Enter=New Paragraph, while export to txt, rtf, md has Enter=New Line. Working with an external md file produces the latter behaviour in the file itself, but the former for docx AND for the appearance onscreen. It makes it a decent conversion/export to docx option for md files written in other programs.

19
Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Inspire Writer
« on: May 02, 2022, 11:07 AM »
I noticed that Inspire Writer introduced external folders one year earlier than Ulysses.

20
After quite a bit of testing what works and what doesn't work, I have arrived at a Plan A for writing.

Creation, Planning, Development - Mindmap, Kanban, Outline (Mindomo, Workflowy enabled by OPML). I find trying to write much in a Workflowy note too high friction (the text is faded and hard for me to read), so I'll do the ad hoc writing in iA Writer which I find simple enough.

Actual writing and early stages of editing - Inspire Writer and Atlantis. I have them set up to look very similar. I'm leaving the possibility of writing in Atlantis open. It has projects, combining and splitting files and one of the better implementations of an outline view (works fast & good visually) - the Outline in Word, while effective, still feels like an afterthought. In the later, pure docx, stage of editing, I'll also use Word.

David Hewson describes writing a book as like combining small tiles into a mosaic. I agree, but I'm a big-endian not a little-endian (usage derived directly from Jonathan Swift, not computing). I like being secure in the big picture with the tiles deriving from that. I see Scrivener as a little-endian program which always seems to focus my attention on the smallest elements); Atlantis is a big-endian (you can use many small files in a project and join them later, but it's not convenient; easier to work with the outline view imho); Inspire Writer/Ulysses is somewhere in the middle - little is easy, but the big view is always easy to see, and can work with big documents using headings (though it's not great for that). At the first draft stage, this Ulysses design feels easier to work with; we'll see - easy enough to just do more of the writing in Atlantis.

21
But with current (low) prices for storage, why does it matter?
Doesn't matter much. I was looking for reasons not to put more emphasis on docx and expected file size to be much larger as it's one of the justifications for plaintext I've come across frequently in fora for markdown apps. I remembered it being bigger myself. Half expected docx to be MB with the plaintext just being a few kb.

Storage price may be down but bandwidth and transfer can be an issue. Used to be a huge one for me.

The other side of it is computing power. Which is an issue on mobile. Loads more stuff in docx files and compressing and opening adds more load.

My current plan is to save the updated file every day,  date stamp in file name, and keep them all indefinitely.  I have versions,  but see this as different. So all the files will add up in the end, even if the individual files are small. They will also be backed up locally and cloud.


22
It's not unfair from my point of view since the programs using the MD and txt files don't zip them when saving. And I'm not going to add an extra process to my workflow.

It came as a surprise to me since I'm used to seeing my word processor files as quite large.

23
I thought I ought to test size of the different formats, to see how much extra space docx would take.
Thought the simplest method was simply to use the exports from Inspire Writer. I sed a 21,500 word file.

Results:
docx      55kb
rtf        128kb
md       117kb
txt        231kb
More or less the reverse of expectation, but does show that the docx size burden is a non-issue for what I do.

The other observation is that Word understood the exported headings, but Atlantis didn't.
I saved the docx from Word and it moved up to 78kb; Saved it as docx from Atlantis and it remained at 55kb, saved it as RTF and it became 122kb.
I added a few headings in Atlantis, and Word understood those. So looks to be an issue in Atlantis understanding headings created in other programs.
I checked again by adding a couple of headings in Word itself. Atlantis recognised one but not the other.

I thought I'd test again by exporting from Typora. It produced an md file at 118kb, and a docx file at 58kb.
So similar results to Inspire Writer, and suggesting that IW wasn't simply doing peculiar things.

Only conclusion seems to be that docx actually produces smaller file sizes than md, at least for the type of files that I produce (simple text files, with virtually no formatting). The files took longer to generate, so maybe there's compression involved in producing the docx files. I've no idea. The results are completely the reverse of what I expected and I'm still not sure I believe them. Still, the results do suggest that I won't be losing disk spaace by workig with docx. I have no idea at all why txt was twice as big as the other plaintext formats.

Addendum: Atlantis devs wanted to look at docx files where it failed to recognise headins. I'd deleted them. I made some more test files and Atlantis worked flawlessly. I might dig back through versions, but I might also not spend the iime and wait until I encounter a problem in real life - it's the type of situation where I'd expect devs to come up with a quick fix. So I don't regard this as an issue any more.




24
Another revision after playing around more. I'm about to start a huge project, so I want the workflow to be as right as possible before I start because changing things around later might be time consuming.

Programs:
Inspire Writer - the nicest environment to write in from my personal point of view. But hit a clunk when I saw it didn't treat HTML comments as comments and just exported them into Word. Ulysses has similar issues apparently, and according to David Hewson also breaks front matter in external files. idk if IW does that, but it has made me wary about relying on it - there's already the issues with idiosyncratic markdown and useful features being in the database. I don't believe it plays as nicely with other programs as I need.
iA Writer - a nice enough writing environment, but it's pretty hardline and rigid. Works okay with other programs. No WYSIWYG mode. Available on all platforms.
Word - it's not a lightweight text entry program, but it is to my mind much more useable than it used to be for writing, and no need to look at previews to estimate how a document will look in Word. Definitely the one to use once I have finished first draft, and not impossible before that. And, of coure, I could use Wordpad as my lightweight data entry program, excepting the lack of dark mode :( . But then there are the other lighter word processors - and Atlantis does have many writer oriented features.
Pure Writer (Android) - this is my favourite writing program on Android. I may need to remember to change the default setting to txt instead of md.

One of the big issues with this project is that I want a clear idea of the whitespace on pages as I am writing, and markdown is particularly poor for this. Specifically I need to see paragraph indents as I write and this requires new lines being paragraphs.
I tried looking at other programs like Typora (probably not out of it, though it has no specifically useful features), and I know Typora can do this. But when I pasted example markdown text, it didn't pick up all the paragraphs that needed indenting. It did pick the missing ones  as lines, which is more that iA Writer did. Markdown quirks and incompatibilities are extraordinarily irritating. I don't know about it keeping things safe for the long-term, because it's not great at passing them from one program to another. For a project his size, I need everything to run predicably and reliably.

Database or files?
Strong preference for files. Willing to accept database for a given period. But not minded to trust IW's database for this project. I'm not familiar enough with it, I've seen a few glitches in its interactions with other programs and its Ulysses syntax is eccentric. Interoperability is not a strength of databases.

Markdown or Rich Text?
This wasn't a question until recently - it was markdown of course. But markdown's not very interoperable, as I'm finding. You can shift from one program to another simply enough - it's just a few changes, and all is done - but constant switching between one program and another is a very different beast. `I'd assumed that I would settle on one program to use, and I very nearly did - more than once, but always there were little glitches - like the paragraph indent of iAW appearing only in the preview pane (in Pure Writer, they appear in the edit pane, but not in the preview pane, which strikes me as the more correct behaviour; I don't need indents exported, other programs will have their own settings). Minor but it will always niggle.
I haven't decided, but I'm starting to veer towards rich text. I know that works.

One long file or many short?
I haven't decided this. It will depend on how well it works. OPML export from Workflowy isn't really a constraintas it can be exported  in chunks, and it is easy to combine or split files by heading.
I'll start long and go from there.
If I go initial markdown, then I'll use HTML comments to contain section information from Workflowy.

Reflection on journey, Obsidian and all.
In practice, even if I go to rich text for this project, that's not a change of direction. This is just for writing, which I've not been examining in detail. I'd hoped Obsidian would become a good program for writing, but it has gone in the other direction and is increasingly becoming a programmers' (and students) program. I don't trust IW sufficiently, and Ulysses is Mac only. All other markdown editors tick some boxes, but not enough, and while they will all work on the same file, they don't always agree on the syntax. I might still go that way but I'm starting to feel not. I'm likely to go txt and docx. Which is where I have before, from time to time.

For research now, notes etc, it is wikilinks all the way and I'm agnostic whether that's with Workflowy or Obsidian or another PKM app, Not many focus on files unfortunately, so I will have to make the best of what I can find. But the important thing is the files and the folder structure. Or so I tell myself.

And after all that humming and hawing, and playing with the programs again, I'm going to go with Inspire Writer for the writing. The reason is simply that I know I will write more words using it than any alternative. And get them in the right order easier. I'll mitigate the risks of the database (I will use the database rather than external files) with daily exports to md and docx. It's an odd thing, I sit down with it and want to write; I sit down with the others and there are endless temptations to fiddle with the program.

Update - Now feels even odder. I've set Atlantis up to imitate, as best I can, the display settings in IW, using the same font/spacing etc. But it is still not quite the same. Feels heavier and not as easy to read. Nevertheless I've managed to get Atlantis into contender territory.And I'd forgotten Atlantis' blazing speed; other programs struggle to match it, depite being plaintext only: Atlantis is faster loading and working with the docx version of a document than they are with the markdown version. (tested with War and Peace)..

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First draft writing in IW and/or iAW.
Since it imports and exports OPML natively, I thou8ght I ought to have another look at Scrivener.
Was going well, apart from the complexity (manageable because I know it), and then it crashed the PC. It crashes very, very rarely, so I won't even look at it again for a while.

One thing I noticed when I was comparing the same text, pasted in, was how different they all looked. And my preferences weren't 100% consistent.

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