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 have started the migration of material out of Evernote in earnest. The idea is to make my Evernotes available in Obsidian in markdown. I don’t want all that stuff from Evernote to clutter up my current collection in Obsidian, so I am creating a second Obsidian Vault, in which all Evernote exported material will reside. This way it is available in Obsidian, but separate from the more organised material.

The route to getting there is:

  1. Exporting Evernote notebooks 1 by 1 as ENEX file (Evernote’s xml format)
  2. Importing each ENEX file into Joplin as markdown as a separate notebook. Joplin is a well working note making app in its own right. Here I use it solely to translate ENEX files to markdown.
  3. Exporting the Joplin notebook as markdown to the location of the Obsidian Vault

I notice that sometimes importing ENEX doesn’t work perfectly. Usually because of some special characters used in a note or title of a note, sometimes because of the included images etc. Sometimes doing it again fixes it. Sometimes it isn’t. I’m not worried about that. I have the ENEX files available as archive, and can search them as well. Also none of it will likely be critical information, as I haven’t been missing it in the past 8 months or so that I didn’t use Evernote.
[UPDATE: What helps to fix imports into Joplin is removing large PDF’s included in Evernotes, as well as removing special characters from note titles (specifically underscores and commas, and adding titles to unnamed notes.]
[UPDATE 2: All material is now exported from Evernote, transformed in Joplin and exported again as regular markdown]

Having done this export / import, this completes my withdrawal from Evernote after I stopped using it last September, something I wanted to do since 2016 at least. I need to cancel my subscription by June, and will delete the notes in Evernote beforehand. Judging by my subscription history I have used exactly 10 years, from October 2010 to September 2020.