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I recently just upped my StandardNotes subscription (the Black Friday ad is still active), and I'm now locked in for ~5.5 years. It's a very plain-text webapp/mobile app that aims to be simple and long-lasting, yet feature-full by means of optional extensions. It's not perfect, but I've been using it for a few months now without any data loss/major bugs encountered, and was excited to use it to ditch Google Keep/Google Authenticator.

It's amazing what you can do with simple text, especially with a Markdown-supporting editor.

I tried to love standard notes but I had several times where note contents were overwritten or missing between machines. I looked at the API for syncing and it did not give me confidence.

Using pass + git now. Works great.

Do you recall when this was? This kind of feedback is highly unusual for us. Most users love SN precisely for its reliable sync. Our syncing engine underwent large-scale changes in June/July of this year to solve an edge case with opening out-of-date clients. If you experienced any issues after this date with updated clients, I'd be very surprised, but would love to hear more if you can spare a moment.

The only other issue we have heard of precisely one other time has to do with Firefox pinned tabs + some assortment of Firefox browser extensions. To be clear, any reproducible issues with syncing are 100% fixed as quickly as possible.

Lastly, regarding our API for syncing, while our encryption specification is described in plain text detail, you'd have to inspect our source to see how syncing works.

I hadn't heard of StandardNotes before so I just went to the StandardNotes website. The explanation there is decent, but why no screenshot(s)? I had to go to Google Images to see what it actually looks like.

Out of curiosity - which Firefox browser extensions? I typically have SN open on my work PC in a Firefox pinned tab, and at home in a pin tabbed, and then on and off on mobile. I've never lost any data, but sometimes I'll have to refresh the tab for the right hand pane to load when just opening Firefox.

Is it possible to use VIM as a text editor in the terminal with SN? Or are users required to use a text editors supported by SN? This seems like an application I'm looking for but I can't ditch my vimrc and plugins

Yes, you can use https://github.com/tannercollin/standardnotes-fs to edit your notes with vim.

Wow, this might actually be what I need! Thanks!

Thanks for the follow up.

This was July or August of 2018 and Chrome on the desktop and Android.

Ah yeah, it would most likely have been the reason we updated our syncing engine in June of 2019. I don't believe you'd experience any of the same issues today.

I've switched to pass + git for my task list, diary, notes, creative writing. And of course passwords. It's working far better than the mix of things I was using previously.


I use working copy for accessing a git repo where I keep notes on my phone. It’s a great little app.

The only downside is I sometimes forget to commit and push, then expect docs to magically show up on my Desktop. I also wish it were a bit easier to add templates.

I’ve been building a markdown interpreter on top of that repo to parse some of the more structured parts of my journal into little graphs and things (so I can see how good I am at doing all my todos overtime, for example). I’m thinking about creating a sync system so I can get the real time saving, too.

I really, really want to just deal with plain files. So I think I’m going to try cooking up some sort of interface that commits to a git repo automatically/can spit out some templates and things, but have it be just git and plain files under the hood.

I've done this[1], it works super well. The templating and automatic git management makes it seamless to work with. Hopefully my codebase is enough of an inspiration for you to make your own tool!

[1] https://github.com/ghthor/journal

For mobile, I just use the `pass` Android app. It's very simple as an editor, but has build-in git support. My biggest issue has been forgetting to push and then creating merge conflicts, which don't work well on encrypted files.

I use markdown formatting for everything, so it's easy enough to export if I want to. For my diary I've written a script that decrypts the files (one per day), concatenates them, builds and index and spits out a single HTML file.

What are you using to encrypt/decrypt files?

In the script? the node-gpg package.

Was more curious about whether the pass app for android supports GPG, or whether you tend to edit outside and then paste stuff into it when you want to encrypt documents.

That's the main thing I'm lacking with my setup. I normally use git crypt when I need to encrypt something in a git repo, but I can't access files I encrypt with git-crypt via working copy.

I love the look of SN and their vision but its seems like if you start using any of the paid features that you are pretty much held hostage forever.

like the folders feature for organising your notes. what if for some reason you don't have the funds to pay next time your subscription is up, do you just go back to having thousands of notes without any organisation?

I pay for dynalist even though I don't need the premium features but because I want to support the devs and hopefully decrease the change of the service disappearing in the fir future. but it nice to know if I can't afford it for a year or two that I can still use service without having any drawbacks

i want to like StandardNotes but they basically force you to use the 5 year plan and it's much too expensive a cost to pay straight up (but i could and would use them if they slimmed it down to an annual charge, maybe even bi-annual, the current annual charge is overpriced tho). Bearapp is by far my favorite both by design, cost, stability and features, but I've left the Apple echosystem and their webapp isn't available yet and probably a long way off.

i guess, for us who can't afford StandardNotes, we're stuck with Joplin. bad phone app, no web app. but it has decent features and CLI support.

You can self host SN.

I don't have the economy to run my own server which would be more expensive than buying their 5-year subscription plan.

There is some irony in this, but it is still a fair complaint

Markdown is not plain text. Markdown destroys your single newlines. Plain text does not.

Markdown is plain text.

The output of Markdown processing is not.

Markdown is intended to be readable without processing as its syntax is mostly based on plain text email conventions. You should consider the ability to process Markdown to another output format to be an almost incidental benefit to using Markdown, rather than its primary function; meaning, Markdown syntax conveys semantics even without processing.

Its line behavior is based on plain text email client conventions, and plain text editor behavior, which many do not by default perform line wrapping, nor necessarily should, depending on user preference. Meaning, a Markdown file should be readable with line wrapping turned off, hence why it consumes line breaks, unless you use two spaces at the end of a line to override this behavior. (Think of the two spaces as an invisible rendering hint to Markdown processors.)

Email line length specifications: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2822#section-2.1.1

Yes, Markdown is like HTML, its input is a plain text format but its output looks different (your single newlines get removed from the output, because single newline has a different meaning in the source code than in the output, unlike in real plain text, where they stay newlines)

> and plain text editor behavior, which many do not by default perform line wrapping

Not true, in a plain text editor you can make ascii art, or a dashed list of items, without having to type special syntax, and it will not become one long line

Dynamic line wrapping for display is something different than removing newline characters ("\n") you type in the string. Markdown does the latter. Text editors do not remove newlines you type.

> plain text email client conventions

I don't think plain text email ever removes a deliberate newline you type either. Does it?

I'm curious how you use Standard Notes for 2FA?

Likely using the TokenVault[1] extension for StandardNotes.

[1]: https://standardnotes.org/extensions/tokenvault

That is correct.

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