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"This new note taking system is amazing!" starter pack:

  • proprietary software and storage format;
  • no API or tool hooks;
  • reinvents Zettlekästen, wikis, and/or Memex concepts without acknowledgement (and frequently missing key components);
  • syncs to a private cloud with no (or shitty) encryption, or assumes you'll only ever work on one machine;
  • gigantic kitchen sink prerequisites (Electron or "works with emacs/VScode/Eclipse");

@yojimbo Among others, yes. Almost every personal knowledgebase type system that people get excited about has a good chunk of those issues, though. Things that don't exist, but they're often fringe enough that there are pretty significant features missing (I don't blame the authors, but it's still frustrating from my point of view).

@calcifer Agreed. I really really like the ease of use of Roam, but I really don't like the closed platform. I haven't looked hard enough at resolving my issues though, I just wait for someone here to post their opinions!

@calcifer I am also trying to find a good solution to this problem. So far I just have a list of applications to research. Do you have a list of requirements?

@Ventronik partial req's list: open formats, at least one opensource implementation, cross-platform (I need macOS and Linux, iOS strongly desired, Windows would be nice), keeps the database offline on local machines but allows for sync (my preference is just that storage is files, so I can sync with whatever I wish), makes linking/backlinking/crosslinking easy, understands tasks in notes and lets me view them, encrypts notes, supports attaching stuff like PDFs/ images/ etc. to notes.

Closest I've found so far is Joplin; the attachment support is fiddly, and the way it handles tasks isn't great (it's Zettlekasten-like, so a task is a type of note; I really like my tasks to be lines in my notes for context, or if there was a simpler way to turn a line into a link to a task that would show task status from inside the note). It doesn't have the best hooks for automation, though it can be done with some fiddling.

But it's plaintext, does an OK job with its crypto (wouldn't trust natsec to it, but it's fine for my purposes), has reference apps that are opensource, and I can either sync those files or use one of a handful of services directly (which latter is necessary for the iOS app; minor niggle, but fine for my use since I'm forced onto Dropbox for a bunch of things anyway)

@calcifer This is why I just take notes in text files, using syncthing for multiple machine use.

@avalon I mostly use text files, but I work enough with diagram/etc. capture that I need a low-friction way to include captures in notes -- I can create with vim and just use markdown and image/item relative links, but I would at least need something that watched and rendered rich documents for image context and such. And I have a high utility associated with being able to edit on a mobile device something that's locally-stored and encrypted.

Just a directory of edited text files doesn't quite cut it for me, as the things I would need to wrap it with are a lot of fiddling -- I actually started there.

@avalon @calcifer For text file diagram you could use #PlantUML (#UML, #ArchiMate, mind maps, UI mocking, ERD and few more use case). It could be embedded in text file (#AsciiDoc) and rendered to image on the fly (for example via Firefox extension).

@szczezuja I'm not going to take an existing diagram I find or am shown during a meeting and carefully convert it to a text-based markup... the point of a system like this is in part to be a low-friction way to capture information. @avalon

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hackers.town

A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. Keep it fairly clean please. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.