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Last post Author Topic: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten  (Read 100269 times)

JavaJones

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #675 on: August 14, 2020, 06:14 PM »
But I can't think of a way to get convenient, reliable transclude atomicity in a set of every changing plaintext files without a paying a price re (2). Seems like something has to give. Bet: transclusion will prove so useful that Markdown syntax will be extended for it. Hopefully in a standardized way. NetCommonMark (Net as in networked notes) on the horizon? Once standardized other note apps would have similar transclude views so there would be less of an lock-in effect to the Obsidian editor.

I can't think of one either. IF you allow arbitrary programs to access *and* edit the data, then all bets are off, period. Unless, of course, those programs all support the same standards. And then it's questionable what value using different programs would have.

Atomicity and transclusion is completely compatible with file-based systems though, as far as I can see. It may have a performance overhead, but there is nothing stopping a tool like Obsidian from having a "working database" or sidecar XML files or whatever it needs to support those raw text files to have extra features like block references and transclusions, etc. There is a repeated distinction made here between "database" and "file based" in relation to things like references, network views, and other things, and I just don't see them being that related. Having everything in a DB may make it easier or faster to do certain things like transclusion (since in theory all text is dynamically generated from the DB in all cases). But as far as I can see a reasonable version of similar functionality can be created using offline, text-based systems with augmentation. If I'm wrong someone please explain it to me. :D

- Oshyan
« Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 06:20 PM by JavaJones »

Nod5

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #676 on: August 15, 2020, 02:49 AM »
Unless, of course, those programs all support the same standards. And then it's questionable what value using different programs would have.
We could then use one specialized tool (Obsidian) most of the time, with all kinds of bells and whistles (graphs, complex search/filtering designed for the specific file format, ...) but now and then use some other tool (VS Code, AutoHotkey, ...) to access some files and do other operations or formatting on them.

There is a repeated distinction made here between "database" and "file based" ... But as far as I can see a reasonable version of similar functionality can be created using offline, text-based systems with augmentation.
True

wraith808

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #677 on: August 15, 2020, 01:40 PM »
Obsidian can't export to markdown because it doesn't contain the notes in the first place. The files have an independent existence and can be edited using any program at any time.

I don't understand the point of that distinction. They don't need to be exported because they're *already* markdown, aren't they?

- Oshyan


I think the distinction is that there is no need to export.  With Roam, you're at their mercy if something happens to the service, which iss one of the reasons that I prefer to work on local plain text files.

panzer

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #678 on: August 16, 2020, 02:48 PM »
How I use Obsidian to manage my goals, tasks, notes, and software development knowledge base:
https://joshwin.impr...pment-knowledge-base

panzer

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #679 on: August 17, 2020, 02:13 PM »
How To Take Notes So Good They Become Your Second Brain:
https://hackernoon.c...econd-brain-yl4r3uhm

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #680 on: August 17, 2020, 04:24 PM »
the three level approach seems pretty straightforward: raw view, transclude view (resolve transcluded content, resolve UID strings as small icons, dots, color styling or some such) and preview view (fully resolved).
Remember, Obsidian is heading for a WYSIWYG,  Typora-like, editor. Raw will be an option, but preview will disappear.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #681 on: August 17, 2020, 04:39 PM »
Bet: transclusion will prove so useful that Markdown syntax will be extended for it. Hopefully in a standardized way. NetCommonMark (Net as in networked notes) on the horizon?
I'm not convinced. Too many blatantly obvious needs have never been addressed.
Obsidian is likely to be resistant to going far out on a limb, syntax-wise. Wikilinks are a growing standard in programs that use them, and Obsidian would probably go with a transclusion syntax if the other programs did too.

It's a fast moving space, I think there will be many more developments over the next few years.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #682 on: August 17, 2020, 04:43 PM »
Obsidian can't export to markdown because it doesn't contain the notes in the first place. The files have an independent existence and can be edited using any program at any time.

I don't understand the point of that distinction. They don't need to be exported because they're *already* markdown, aren't they?

- Oshyan


I think the distinction is that there is no need to export.  With Roam, you're at their mercy if something happens to the service, which iss one of the reasons that I prefer to work on local plain text files.
Yes.
Roam's markdown is in a database.

The other point is that Obsidian takes no ownership of the files,  even when it's running and the vault is open. Many programs lock a file when it has been opened.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #683 on: August 17, 2020, 04:58 PM »
there is nothing stopping a tool like Obsidian from having a "working database" or sidecar XML files or whatever it needs to support those raw text files to have extra features like block references and transclusions, etc

It would change the way the program worked.
Either you add multiple UIDs to the files (which can be done manually now), which makes reading the raw view harder, or you'd have to put them in a database equivalent which managed that outside of the file. The minute you do that, that database is needed as well as the files. Current process is that the files are loaded when a vault is opened, and that's all that's needed.

I  imagine that someone may try to do what you suggest in a plugin when the API is published,  but I don't see the developers doing it. I'm not sure how such a database would deal with files being added to the folder when Obsidian is closed.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #684 on: August 17, 2020, 06:35 PM »
There have been suggestions for Obsidian to support MMD, adding some desired functionality missing from GFM Commonmark. I'm not sure the developers would be keen to add yet another standard to comply with,  but they could just add the elements they want.

panzer

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #685 on: August 26, 2020, 03:09 PM »
My Productivity Stack: What Apps I Use for My Second Brain:
https://www.daltonma...s/productivity-stack

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #686 on: August 26, 2020, 05:36 PM »
So Notion + Obsidian + Evernote + Things3 + iOS Reminders. Can't convince myself that keeping all those balls in the air at once is efficient. Reminders are specific, and so is Evernote providing he only uses it for OCR, but the others cover all tasks.

panzer

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #687 on: August 27, 2020, 05:03 PM »
neutriNote: Markdown with Math in Just 3 MB:
https://play.google....ab.nano&hl=en_US

panzer

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #688 on: August 30, 2020, 03:54 PM »
Octo - a markdown based notes app with hashtag organization:
https://octo.app

wraith808

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #689 on: August 30, 2020, 04:11 PM »
Octo - a markdown based notes app with hashtag organization:
https://octo.app


More information about it at https://github.com/voraciousdev/octo

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #690 on: August 30, 2020, 05:24 PM »
There's also Amplenote

Imports from Evernote, Roam and Markdown. Exports Markdown.
Mostly advertising itself as a secure, encrypted alternative to Roam.
PWA app like Octo; I'm not massively keen on that myself.
Seems to be aimed at tasks and productivity notes, rather than notes in general.
Free trial but no free tier.
The blog is quite interesting.

JavaJones

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #691 on: September 04, 2020, 06:05 PM »
Notion now has bi-directional links/references. It's pretty basic at present, but hopefully means they will put some more attention into this type of functionality.
https://twitter.com/.../1301478546792214528

- Oshyan

superboyac

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #692 on: September 05, 2020, 12:55 AM »
There's also Amplenote

Imports from Evernote, Roam and Markdown. Exports Markdown.
Mostly advertising itself as a secure, encrypted alternative to Roam.
PWA app like Octo; I'm not massively keen on that myself.
Seems to be aimed at tasks and productivity notes, rather than notes in general.
Free trial but no free tier.
The blog is quite interesting.
geezus h christ almighty

will it ever end


Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #693 on: September 06, 2020, 04:43 AM »
There's also Amplenote
will it ever end
Not for a couple of years I think.
To be fair to Amplenote, they've been going since last year, so predating Roam's popularity.

Most older apps will be looking to add similar functionality, without necessarily understanding how it would be used, and the new wave will be adding features.

My recommendation for users is to make a decision about database or files (or any combination according to preferred workflow), pick the app(s) that seem to suit best for now and then just use it(them). Check alternatives only when hitting an issue. They're all going to change and develop dramatically (some will vanish) and it will be easier to compare in a few years. Everyone is aware of what the others are doing,  so the whole herd will add desirable features in a lagged sync.

Wiki-links have become standard. I expect that there will be a lot of pressure for markdown expansions to cover the new usage. I've already seen proposals to replace markdown completely. The new generation of users won't want to be adding HTML for simple features like underlining or colour.

I've noticed a huge proportion of Mac users on Obsidian boards - Linux too -  and believe this is also true for Roam. Obsidian's developers use Windows. Not sure if this has any implications.

Also noticed that Dendron now has transclusions; not sure when it was added. I expect transclusion to be as pervasive as bidirectional links. I can see that having a big impact for Notion in particular.

JavaJones

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #694 on: September 06, 2020, 06:08 PM »
My recommendation for users is to make a decision about database or files (or any combination according to preferred workflow), pick the app(s) that seem to suit best for now and then just use it(them). Check alternatives only when hitting an issue. They're all going to change and develop dramatically (some will vanish) and it will be easier to compare in a few years. Everyone is aware of what the others are doing,  so the whole herd will add desirable features in a lagged sync.

While I agree with your overall point, again I think this DB or files thing may be a false dichotomy, at least for many people. I've yet to see a compelling real-world example of specific, practical workflows that would necessitate "files" that have no DB component. I think you may feel strongly that your own workflows demonstrate this, so I'd love to hear some examples of how you intend to (or already do) work this way and what significant advantages it brings you (vs. for example an Obsidian plugin that does the same thing as some external tool you use directly on files).

In other words I think there are other ways to achieve/solve the feature/functionality desires you have that make you want to work with "files", while still having nothing to do with a files vs. DB distinction. Whether you want to accept whatever sacrifices that might entail, such as having to pay for an Obsidian plugin for example, is another matter.

I do however think there is a very clear and important distinction between cloud/SaaS (Roam, Notion) and desktop/offline, perhaps with optional cloud sync (Obsidian, Anytype). *That* to me seems the more important choice to make since all of these systems pretty much import and export various flavors of markdown.

- Oshyan

JavaJones

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #695 on: September 06, 2020, 06:10 PM »
Speaking of online vs. offline and Anytype, I recently got onto the private beta for it and it's surprisingly good already. It's pretty much feature-parity with Notion for *pages* functionality, but has no usable database functions as yet. It's clear though that they will get there as there is a hidden DB that indexes *all of your pages* already. And that's exciting, if they keep it, because it means all pages will be able to have meta-data, be sortable, filterable, etc. in DB views. This is unlike Notion, where there is a hard distinction between Pages (stand-alone) and Pages in a DB.

Happy to answer questions anyone has on Anytype in present state, too.

- Oshyan

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #696 on: September 07, 2020, 04:23 AM »
all of these systems pretty much import and export various flavors of markdown.
One big advantage of files is that there is no export. I have them and I know what they look like. I never have to worry about changes to what is exported or glitches in the system.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #697 on: September 07, 2020, 04:31 AM »
a very clear and important distinction between cloud/SaaS (Roam, Notion) and desktop/offline, perhaps with optional cloud sync (Obsidian, Anytype).
I agree that this is an important distinction, but most of the database systems have online availability.

A few advertise a local database as a USP, but that brings a heavy price in terms of availability on all devices. My own guess is that these will wither and only the cloud sync (optional or not) will survive. Many programs are happy to advertise the program as free and only charge for sync - they know that's the best combination for hooking new users and making continuing users pay.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #698 on: September 07, 2020, 05:01 AM »
I think this DB or files thing may be a false dichotomy, at least for many people. I've yet to see a compelling real-world example of specific, practical workflows that would necessitate "files" that have no DB component. I think you may feel strongly that your own workflows demonstrate this, so I'd love to hear some examples of how you intend to (or already do) work this way and what significant advantages it brings you (vs. for example an Obsidian plugin that does the same thing as some external tool you use directly on files).
For many I agree the distinction is moot. They want all functions within a program and, in practice, a database works better for them. Because for many things a database can work faster or introduce features that are cumbersome in plain standalone files.

For me the workflow advantage of files is simple: I use other programs with those files. Those programs are standalone and feature rich. If one falls by the wayside, I can use another. I can use them at the same time as I have them open in Obsidian. I am not limited to whatever is available in Obsidian. I can simultaneously use Obsidian competitors such as Foam or Dendron. Because I can do this at the same time there is no switching disadvantage compared to an Obsidian plugin; in fact there's an advantage because I can use multiple windows where Obsidian is limited to one window per vault (apparently a limitation of Electron).

I don't care about when the Obsidian editor becomes wysiwyg because I can just use Typora. In practice I do most of my writing in WriteMonkey. I often have ProWritingAid open on the files.


Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #699 on: September 07, 2020, 05:05 AM »
I think there are other ways to achieve/solve the feature/functionality desires you have that make you want to work with "files", while still having nothing to do with a files vs. DB distinction.
But the distinction is key to being able to use the other programs.
In theory, their features could be duplicated, but I doubt they will be and my freedom of choice will be reduced.