topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • Thursday May 6, 2021, 9:05 am
  • Proudly celebrating 15+ years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten  (Read 147719 times)

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 10,880
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #900 on: April 12, 2021, 03:27 PM »
I love seeing your processes, as they point out places that I can improve mine. I'd never looked at my Zettel from a perspective of taking things from my browser, other than what I explicitly consume. After seeing how integrated your browser was with your process, I looked for, and found, a webpage to MD converter that clipped from web pages in VS Code. Finding that minimizes one other tool that I use - Notion. I used that as a storage space for my web clippings, and used automation to get things out when needed. This skips that step!

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #901 on: April 13, 2021, 11:34 AM »
Thanks. I'm nibbling away at it, while still trying to get some stuff done.

The big issue I have now in the zettelkasten is the file management. I need to refine programs for doing that. Obsidian doesn't really: it does its bit with its own files, but not files in general. Was always going to be crucial with everything in files. I have ways of managing them,  but not a refined system.

Here's the summary of my zettelkasten, as previously described.
Screenshot_20210413-172048_DrawExpress Lite.jpgI'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #902 on: April 13, 2021, 03:03 PM »
The big issue I have now in the zettelkasten is the file management.

I have many file managers & TagSpaces. Plus Search utilities.
In the past, I've found that I tend to have a preferred file manager and setup for particular activities. But none of them jumped out at me once I was doing zettelkasten type notes in .md files. I probably don't want to change Directory Opus, which has been my general go to. I like Q-Dir for shuffling files between folders.
Will need to think about XYplorer more.
dk about TagSpaces. I suspect that I will stop using it. I like the idea, but I'm not sure it can be configured as part of a simple and efficient workflow - display is a bit noisy but also not as detailed as is needed for huge numbers of files.
I have OneCommander installed (v2 + v3 beta), and look at it from time to time. The attraction is Miller columns, and that does offer a genuine alternative in the way the file system is presented.
I like mouse rather than keyboard, which is different to many users, and many explorers which seem optimised for keyboard with less attention to mouse options.

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 10,880
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #903 on: April 13, 2021, 05:01 PM »
I already stopped using TagSpaces. With largish collections of documents, it really lags. I'm just using tags in my md documents for the markdown, and one of the editors that I'm using - Deepdwn- categorizes by the tags in the yaml.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #904 on: April 13, 2021, 05:52 PM »
I already stopped using TagSpaces. With largish collections of documents, it really lags.

It does. And the interface just isn't showing me enough. I don't remember it being like that on the desktop - different resolution, faster processor - but this ought not to be slow. So TagSpaces will go. That's OK, not invested much in it overall.

Still dk about Xyplorer. Tags etc aren't multi-platform etc, but it does at least have them. Test documents aren't really an issue because, as you say, they are typed in, but other types of files are. So I will look at how well it might do that.

But my big winner will be OneCommander (v3 beta). For the purpose of going through a very large collection of files, I find that the Miller Column approach suits me (and the mouse) perfectly. Has 7 colour tags - so something for very temporary visual use. But it's no use for tagging.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2021, 06:44 PM by Dormouse »

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #905 on: April 13, 2021, 06:43 PM »
Also noticed that Gingko is moving to $5 a month with a free trial rather than a document limit.

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 10,880
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #906 on: April 14, 2021, 08:55 AM »
Also noticed that Gingko is moving to $5 a month with a free trial rather than a document limit.

It's been that way for a while (the $5 a month), and it gets you the desktop app too, which is a self-sufficient application rather than being tied to the online version. I think it's been in transtition for a while, but I've been happily paying the $5 for a while.

Though I see he's developing v2, and it's a bit pricier- at $10 a month after beta!
« Last Edit: April 14, 2021, 09:03 AM by wraith808 »

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #907 on: April 14, 2021, 10:20 AM »
Though I see he's developing v2, and it's a bit pricier- at $10 a month after beta!
The email I received seemed to suggest that those paying 5 would just continue unchanged.
But I can see it being worth it for users who are productive with it. There's nothing else like it really.
I might have a look at the new version, but never progressed beyond quite liking the old one.

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 10,880
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #908 on: April 15, 2021, 02:56 PM »
Though I see he's developing v2, and it's a bit pricier- at $10 a month after beta!
The email I received seemed to suggest that those paying 5 would just continue unchanged.
But I can see it being worth it for users who are productive with it. There's nothing else like it really.
I might have a look at the new version, but never progressed beyond quite liking the old one.

Unless I just didn't pay attention, I never received an e-mail, and I'm a subscriber.

What it seems like to me taking a look, they are going to be separate products. The two options as I saw it were:

You can continue to pay for v1 and know that it will get no updates and be fine with it (after taking a look, I don't see anything compelling about v2, so might just do that).
You can migrate to v2.

The reason it seemed that way was that to use v2 at all, I had to set up a completely separate account.

A third option seems to be the new desktop app- I might go with that as it's supposed to be receiving updates and should get synchronization (which the current one doesn't have).

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #909 on: April 15, 2021, 04:04 PM »
Unless I just didn't pay attention, I never received an e-mail, and I'm a subscriber.
That's very odd. I half wondered if they said $10 to those currently paying $5.
From the email
if you are ...

A current paying customer paying 5$/month or more, your subscription also applies to the new version without any changes.
A customer paying less than 5$/month, you will eventually be asked to upgrade, or close your account. I can't continue to provide my time (in terms of customer support & software development) at that low a rate.
An existing free user, and happy with the service, you will eventually be asked to pay to continue using it.
A desktop version customer that received a number of free months of the web version, you will have those applied to the new web version as well.

My impression is that v2 web is in active development and the desktop app, being developed only slowly, is a lower priority.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #910 on: April 17, 2021, 05:53 PM »
The plugin allows .txt to follow markdown styling. It allows links and transclusions, in .txt files. It doesn't allow .txt to be read natively or to be transcluded itself, and links to .txt files have to be typed out in full. Neither are tags in .txt recognised and nor do .txt files appear in graphs. Having hit these limits, I am now wondering how much use I will be able to make of it. For some things it will work fine, but not being able to be transcluded means that the technique of embedding chapters into a file to produce a complete MSS won't work. Of course, there's no difficulty in renaming them all at that point but working out which format to work in at each stage doesn't seem straightforward now; quite a collection of swings and roundabouts.
Now looking as if there will be no further development, either into other extensions (unless someone writes a plugin for them) or giving any further Obsidian functionality to .txt files. That means the plugin gives me very little that is useful, which is a bit sad after seeing the possible gains. 

And naturally limits what I might get from Obsidian. I don't use Obsidian Search because I usually want to look across all files with text not just the extensions that Obsidian reads. Tags (ditto). The key feature in Obsidian for me is the wiki-link linking, so that means making sure I have .md versions of everything I might want in the linking system. I can live with that.

I'm still playing with different approaches (and programs) for search and tagging.
Still love nested vaults.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2021, 03:50 AM by Dormouse »

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #911 on: April 18, 2021, 04:20 AM »
I've had further thoughts about Obsidian locking itself in to full functionality only for .md files. That seems far too limiting for both writing and research where dealing with other formats is usually essential in real life. Like deciding on one wheel for motorised transport; yes, it's technically possible; yes, there are some advantages: but in the real world it ends up losing to alternative approaches.

The big remaining advantage for the program (because I really like wiki-links) is the automatic finding of files typed in a [[file]], and offer to create new if it doesn't exist. (And backlinks.) And it strikes me that it's not so difficult to set up such behaviour with the right search system, especially given nested vaults or folders; greater friction but not disqualifyingly greater. That leaves backlinks. Regex presumably required. Slower, and friction quite a bit greater than an automatic pane, but with the gain of working across all formats with text. And nothing to stop me just using Obsidian when pure .md will do.

At this rate, the programmatic centre of my system will be a search program. And, to be fair, that's always been the centre of my managing data/file concerns.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #912 on: April 20, 2021, 11:57 AM »
I've been interested to notice that my interest in new developments in Obsidian has dropped right away.

Apart from the students & developers who appear to be the core of the user group, I ought to be a prime target, since I make a lot of notes, am an active writer, and most of what I write has been in .md or .txt for a long time. They see Obsidian as a PKM application, but much pre-existing K is stored in non markdown files. The freedom of feeling that I could forget about conversions and just work with data and files in original format has been liberating.

I'm a little surprised I didn't develop it before, as I'm sure many people have been doing it for years, but the concept of nested vaults has been key. (And, conceptually, the 'vault' is quite different in this context to 'folder'.) But it absolutely requires relevant files to be in the vault. It's data and file organisation by project rather than folder. It means a 'vault' can be copied and moved separately on to any device or shared with other people, with no impact on anything else. Links work, but then the file location has to be considered and managed separately. I don't mind having more than one copy of a file if necessary, but once a project is completed the vault is automatically subsumed into something larger and any issues with doubling can be dealt with then. I'm not keen on symlinks, but maybe that will change.

For tags, I'll use a mix of #tags in text files and windows meta fields, and the XY database approach. This does imply potential issues in some future decade but the theoretically more resilient approaches just come with too high a cost at this point.

And I'll save everything into the nested vaults. (I am aware that this may cause Obsidian itself to slow dramatically.) I'll use Obsidian where it works, and other programs and formats when they are better. I'm happy to type wiki-links and #tags into all text tiles, whatever their extension.

Search will give me #tags and [[backlinks]] and identify the existence or not of files for [[links]]. The greatest friction will arise from creating the linked files that do not already exxist. That's okay, I anticipate it taking time to establish the best search system and optimal way of creating those files. Obsidian has system for marking blocks and linking to headings; I've never use either and have always felt the block marker to be an ugly kludge. I doubt I will need a replacement, but think I will just use a timestamp if I do.

Tranclusions are another matter. They are, effectively, a property of Obsidin .md files. By continuing to use Obsidian, I won't lose anything I have but I don't have an alternative for other formats.

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 10,880
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #913 on: April 20, 2021, 02:16 PM »
Tranclusions are another matter. They are, effectively, a property of Obsidin .md files. By continuing to use Obsidian, I won't lose anything I have but I don't have an alternative for other formats.

I've seen you talk about Transclusions before, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around what they entail. Do you have any examples you'd be willing to share?

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #914 on: April 20, 2021, 03:31 PM »
I've seen you talk about Transclusions before, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around what they entail. Do you have any examples you'd be willing to share?
I'll try to explain, because I think that will be easier.
Transclusion = Embed

The Syntax
[[linked file]]
![[transcluded file]]

So, if I'm writing a section, which I want to contain three photos, I will put in three links to those photos which preserves all my screen space for the writing.
There can be many photos to a section and, for example, four sections to a chapter. Each section to contain the photos as links.

I will have one note per chapter. All that note will contain is links to the sections, leaving plenty of space for comments produced during editing, review or development.
I will have one note for the book as a whole. All it will contain is links to the chapters. All easily fitted on one page, plus a few comments if needed.

The comments will not show on preview, export or print.
If I add an exclamation mark in front of every link, they then become transclusions. And an export of the book will include all the chapters and sections including the photos (apparently they can go many layers deep). If the CSS is right, then it's formatted just like a normal book.

This is the way I use them, I'm sure other people have very different uses.
The ease of adding or deleting the questionmark makes it very productive.


wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 10,880
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #915 on: April 20, 2021, 05:18 PM »
Ok, that makes sense. Thanks!

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #916 on: April 24, 2021, 12:01 PM »
I'm coming to realise that I don't like using Obsidian for serious writing. I don't even like sharing the files with it. I don't know why. It works perfectly well. The table and link technique is ideal for organising and managing a MSS. I'm quite happy using it for notes and short pieces - which is, after all, what it was designed for - but not for longer pieces. (I'm also vaguely aware that my preferences shift depending on whether a piece is short, long short, medium/moderate, long and very long.) I am able to write with many programs, and don't object to mixing and matching, but, I suppose, I dislike nearly all of them in one way or another. Such are the personal idiosyncracies in the search for a perfect system.

UPDATE
On reflection, I think it is down to file explorer. I'm used to seeing files in a hierarchical sequence reflecting position in the MSS. I find the explorer pane hogs too much space for the number of files displayed. The table of links is perfectly serviceable, but somehow the appearance disrupts my focus; too habit bound, I guess. Maybe I should look for reformatting the explorer pane, but I'm sticking to vanilla program until I'm totally confident of stability and data security (I'm keeping the number of moving parts I have to watch as small as possible).
« Last Edit: May 03, 2021, 11:26 AM by Dormouse »