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I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten

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I'm probably moving away from amplenote and into logseq,
-urlwolf (May 04, 2022, 09:07 AM)
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Any particular reason for moving from Amplenote, or is it purely the attraction of Logseq?

I will watch the videos you recommended.
-Dormouse (May 04, 2022, 04:16 PM)
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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.

I now read on an ereader (Onyx air note 2),
-urlwolf (May 04, 2022, 09:07 AM)
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In case you haven't seen it, this thread on the Obsidian forum is still going. Quite a lot of Boox users there.

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.

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).

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

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.

I'm very happy with logseq so far. Plus neovide, a nvim frontend, that does something really interesting with the cursor (check this: because it has better typing latency. I don't like modal interfaces though. And the many trips to 'esc' are ditracting.


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