Bookmarked Why te database version and how it’s going (by Tienson Qin)

Long time blog buddy Jörg Kantel, aka der Schockwellenreiter, points to the discussion above, on how Logseq is moving away from running on top of you file system towards a database tool. I understand how that may help solve the issues they indicate w.r.t. collaboration and synchronisation, but like Jörg I don’t like it when my stuff is locked away in some database structure I don’t have ready acces to from inside other apps and scripts. It’s why e.g. Joplin is out of bounds for me. For Jörg it’s even more key I think, as he seems to be blogging directly from his markdown files. (I write my blogposts in markdown in Obsidian, but have a micropub script to push it one time / one-way to my website.)

There’s an intriguing remark further down that page that they will maintain both the markdown files and add a database on top, to provide other tools access. I wonder how that will work in practice, and how it impacts the things they intend to solve with the database. I use the closed source Obsidian, and it too has some data stored outside the files that keeps track of graphs etc., and I wonder if this is what they mean or not.

Jörg is looking at Foam as a result. When I started using Obsidian a few months after its launch in March 2020, Foam was more like an idea on top of VS Code editor than an application. I could be tempted to look at Foam again, but using VS Code as its base is something that doesn’t appeal to me.

We’ll continue to support both file-based and database-based graphs, with a long-term goal of achieving seamless two-way sync between the database and markdown files. This will allow you to leverage the benefits of the database version while still being able to use other tools

Tienson Qin

I just realised that it’s a month this Friday that I started using markdown textfiles and Obsidian for notes, and that I have not used my local WordPress install at all during that time, nor Evernote much. I made 4 notes in EN in a month: 1 bookmark, 1 shopping list, 2 call logs. Compared to 47 notes the month prior to it.

Day logs and work notes are now in markdown files, internal wikipages are now my Garden of the Forking Path notes in markdown files. Those were previously in my local WP install. Bookmarks aren’t mindlessly send to Evernote at a touch of a button anymore, with the vague intention of reading later and/or having it come up in a search at some point in the future. Reading ‘later’ never really works for me (Instapaper never succeeded in really landing in my workflow). So now it’s either I read it and want to keep it for reference by adding a snapshot to Zotero, or I did not read it and trust that if it’s important it will resurface at some point again. Other elements in my use of Evernote I’ve recreated on the go in text files quite naturally: Folders for each of my areas of activity match up with what I have as Notebooks in EN.

It feels like coming full circle, as I have for the most part been note taking in simple text files since the late ’80s. I started paying for Evernote in 2010, after using the free version for a while, and used wiki in parallel to text files for note taking for a number of years before that (2004-2008 I think). Textfiles always had my preference, as they’re fast and easy to create, but it needed a way to connect them, add tags etc., and that was always the sticking point. Tools like Obsidian, Foam and others like it are mere viewers on top of those text files in my file system. Viewers that add useful things like visualising connections, and showing multiple queries on the underlying files in parallel. It adds what was missing. So after a month, I am getting more convinced that I am on a path ditching Evernote.

Time to start syncing some of my notes folders to my phone (through NextCloud), and choose a good editor for Android, so I can add/use/edit them there too.