We made Obsidian to be your long-term second brain and personal knowledge base. As you put in more notes and make more connections, the knowledge base gets more valuable, so we think it's important that you can 100% own your data and not rely on any cloud services.
We believe you second brain should work similarly to your own brain and connections are crucial in thinking. Obsidian supports [[internal links]] between your notes out of the box, and provide a powerful graph view and backlink pane to help you understand your knowledge.
We also noticed how personal note-taking and knowledge management is, so we built Obsidian to be very extensible from the start, and let you put together your own workflow with plugins like daily notes and page preview as building blocks.
This leads to our three fundamental values of Obsidian:
1. Local-first, Markdown plain text based;
2. Link as first-citizen.
3. As extensible as possible.
Obsidian is a powerful front-end for your knowledge, like an IDE for your notes.
Learn more about Obsidian's features: https://obsidian.md/features
Read the story of the project and the team: https://obsidian.md/about
I currently use Andy Matuschak's  system, using his note-link-janitor script  to generate backlinks and Typora to edit. The only thing Obsidian adds is the graph view for me, but it seems that Obsidian generates backlinks using file name, not title. I prefer linking by title. Perhaps this can be an option? The editor also seems to be lacking a little... for instance I can't seem to render math. Hopefully some of my feedback will be useful to you.
Overall really cool idea, but probably not going to use for now. Will keep tabs, and wish you the best of luck!
My only problem with Quiver is that it seems that development has stopped, so the chances of adding new bits (like link autocomplete, for example), are thin. Other than that it's a pretty useful tool.
and the title will be reflected in the file navigator, instead of 20200528171636.md.
I'm imagining a version that runs as a daemon, watching the folder containing all the notes. It then looks for files that have been modified, and are not currently edited (.swp files for vim, for example), and runs an update.
I think I'd prefer something running in the browser, though that is of course not ideal for several reasons...
sits up in chair, attention captured
Where can I read more about this? My current personal wiki is powered by TiddlyWiki and while I don't necessarily love the performance, I do LOVE the link structure of TiddlyWiki (I can create a "table of contents" page a random tag, and then every page using that tag gets rendered on said page). I have similar plugins for VSCode to collect all of my todo comments all into one document, linking back to their respective files.
Curious if Obsidian has a similar feature beyond the mind-map view shown on the features page?
I have how to do that here: https://lesser.occult.institute/an-opinionated-approach-to-t... :)
But let us not get bogged down with ageism, the real question is what kind of monster uses both cyan and magenta text-shadow diagonally offset against each other???? !!! .... ?
The answer is Google, sort of: https://developers.google.com/fonts/docs/getting_started#ena...
The anaglyph effect is what I tweaked. It's not too unreadable with simpler fonts--I 100% acknowledge readability takes a massive hit with both the fraktur and the anaglyph. Ultimately, though, my goal with that blog is mostly to have fun, so the expressive aspect is important to me. I may play around later with doing an animated effect (a la https://codepen.io/anatravas/pen/mOyNWR ) so the glitchy vibe remains strong but there are more readable keyframes. (Would a proper designer use animated text like this? Certainly not. Am I a proper designer? Certainly certainly not.)
Then I went back in again, and started poking around with the element inspector. Then we had this discussion, and I am still not sure what the page content was actually about, but I have a sense that I might have found it interesting if I had stuck with it.
Click and drag that to the tab with your own TW open, and you're good to go!
I haven't used that plugin so I don't know if it's good or whatnot, but there you are.
I did not think of grabbing it out of stroll. Tried searching for plugins but never encountered the "Stories" plugin.
The app would need to be open source for this to be possible.
It's still possible to make money with an open-source product. When you're targeting a developer audience, it might even be more profitable to be open-source.
Source available proprietary software is readily inspectable, but often not legal to modify (at least not for free). It might still be extensible (ex plugins) though!
Closed source proprietary software is difficult to inspect, difficult to modify, and generally illegal to modify (for most use cases, in most jurisdictions). As above, it could easily be extensible though.
On the other hand, a well documented plugin or scripting system, which sits on top of the existing domain logic and is well documented and full of examples, generally is an excellent way to allow extending the base app.
The base app can be open or closed source. Without scripting or plugin system it's still a black box for most intents (as the time needed to study and change it would likely be too much).
As someone who writes plugins, being able to see "behind the curtain" is very helpful, especially for taking advantage of un-documented features.
please don't say the wording is the problem. "as extensible as possible" is fine. "as possible" is a qualifier, it clearly means "as extensible as possible without undermining other goals". you're pretending that they've promised to make it extensible at the expense of _everything_ else, and that assumption in context in unfounded.
it's true that paths to monetization exist for open source software, but they usually aren't accessible to an individual developer who is building a small bootstrapped side-project to generate small amounts of passive income.
setting that aside, though, the best way to make software (open- or closed-source) extensible is via a plugin API. without it, the only way for end users to extend open-source software is to fork and maintain the fork forever, or attempt to merge upstream. so one might argue that the quality of the plugin API (and its documentation) is the primary measure of a software's "extensibility".
- Blazingly fast
- Clean UI
- Sync with Dropbox, Github, iCloud...
- Great community
I have never looked back to Notion and Bear since I found it.
Btw, the Obs team is moving so fast.
Not really. The license says you are not allowed to take notes about work you get compensated for. So free only for 100% hobby projects.
Working in a start-up I don't have big 100% hobby projects that would require a lot of note keeping. YMMV
Is it worth the time to deny a (well intentioned) $150 request made by a software developer who costs a company (for example) $150K total (salary, benefits, and fixed costs)? $150 is 0.1% of $150K.
What are the benefits and costs? Some questions to ask include:
- How much time did the company spend in the process of denying this request? By the time you include emails, research, context switching, etc, I think it is fair to say this might consume 15 minutes of the engineer's time and 15 minutes of the denier's time. That would be 0.5 hours; assuming $80/hr, that is $40.
- What is the likely effect? Will it discourage an employee from trying a new tool? Might it encourage a culture of "build it here" rather than pay to use something that already exists? Might it encourage an employee to abuse the license? Might this increase the legal risk of the company? In the case of, say, online learning, it might encourage employees to browse dozens of crappy web resources rather than simply paying for a high quality learning resource. My point: being stingy has real effects on human behavior.
- Does the company pay the same level of detail to other areas that could easily save more money? Three examples: (1) Does a company need to spend $200/year/person on junk food or bottled water? (2) Does a company look carefully at ways to improve energy efficiency? (3) Does a company have a smart, regularly practiced, data-recovery plan in place? I could go on; I think you see my point: it is wiser to allocate effort and oversight in proportion to impact.
- To what degree does the company have issues with trust and accountability? What is the effect on morale are discouraged from trying and paying for useful software and tooling?
I think my overarching point is, again, illustrated by questions: What does a company truly value? Are they mindful and realistic about their costs and benefits?
P.S. This may be obvious to some (but not all): paying for software is not necessarily a bad thing. Open source has many advantages, but without ongoing contributions and/or a funding strategy, open source software is not necessarily a "safer" bet than closed-source software. A better litmus test is "can I export my data in a useful way if I decide to leave or switch?"
If your job pays well, work is interesting, good commute, good benefits, good manager, good coworkers, important mission, or a net positive combination of these things, that seems way more important than whether or not they'll buy you arbitrary software.
It depends on what the company values. This is what I meant when I wrote: "What does a company truly value? Are they mindful and realistic about their costs and benefits?"
> ALittleLight: It doesn't seem like an argument against the idea that you can work somewhere where they refuse to buy things like this, and still have it be a good job.
Correct, I made no such argument. You are free to make that value judgment.
It depends where you sit. Maybe you want to dig into ways an organization can improve? If so, that gets into questions about organizational values as well as costs and benefits of various options.
> ALittleLight: If your job pays well, work is interesting, good commute, good benefits, good manager, good coworkers, important mission, or a net positive combination of these things, that seems way more important than whether or not they'll buy you arbitrary software.
Again, feel free to make such a value judgement.
However, I would not use the word 'arbitrary' here, since in employment situations, there will be some understanding around expenses, often set out in policies and conversations. Even in organizations that are more flexible with expenses, employees are expected to use good judgment for business expenses.
If so, why?
1. The company should buy you this.
2. They may not.
3. If they didn't, that would be a concern.
5. Argument that the company should buy extra software.
Point 5 is off topic. There might be a good job that wouldn't buy you extra software and that wouldn't really be a concern.
It's like if someone said "Your job is bad if they don't offer free lunch". I might say "My job doesn't offer it, but it's not a concern because I like my job for other reasons" and your reply would be advocating for the benefits of free lunch. Free lunch might be great, but the topic is whether it's a concern that the company doesn't offer it, not whether it's great or not.
> A straw man (or strawman) is a form of argument
> and an informal fallacy based on giving the
> impression of refuting an opponent's argument,
> while actually refuting an argument that was not
> presented by that opponent. - Wikipedia
I'm going to have some fun looking up what others call that kind of rhetoric.
After re-reading the thread, it is clear that your 'understanding' (as written above) of the thread is inaccurate.
I'll annotate the first five comments in the thread, with your 'understandings' and my responses:
> allenleein: "Early user here. Obsidian is literally the best
> app in 2020 so far IMO. -Blazingly fast -Clean UI -Free -Sync
> [...] -Great community"
> 1. The company should buy you this.
> usr1106: "[it is] Not really [free]. The license says you are
> not allowed to take notes about work you get compensated for.
> So free only for 100% hobby projects.
> Working in a start-up I don't have big 100% hobby projects
> that would require a lot of note keeping. YMMV
> 2. They may not [buy you this]
> codezero: I'd be more concerned if you had a hard time getting
> reimbursed for this kind of software at your job.
> 3. If they didn't, that would be a concern.
> libria: "What's the concern for? A lot of great jobs still
> have penny-pinching managers. I've worked somewhere notoriously
> Frugal that was good and paid well but had no problem denying
> requests like this.""
Some of your other comments in this thread refer to this framing and value judgment. That's fine, but other comments are in no way obligated to agree or buy-in to that framing.
> xpe: I'll respond with a connected set of questions...
> Is it worth the time to deny a (well intentioned) $150 request
> made by a software developer who costs a company (for example)
> $150K total (salary, benefits, and fixed costs)? $150 is 0.1%
> of $150K.
> What are the benefits and costs? Some questions to ask include:
> [... time spent? likely effects? consistency in other areas? ...]
> I think my overarching point is, again, illustrated by questions:
> What does a company truly value? Are they mindful and realistic
> about their costs and benefits? [... P.S. ... snip]
5. Argument that the company should buy extra software.
A charitable reading (see the HN Guidelines) of my comment would see that I was responding to this part of libria's comment: "What's the concern for?" To put it very simply, I would be concerned by a company that was not mindful and realistic about their costs and benefits. Why? It is simple: I value working for mindful and realistic companies.
In summary, your understanding is inaccurate.
Is it fair to say you (Chris2048) have some expectation around how the thread evolved based on your assumptions of what is relevant?
I see the best conversations here as trying to understand each other.
I am not the same person, but I'm not sure that matters unless you know of OP specifically, you are asking: "how was my intention interpreted as X".
Im telling you the context of the thread implied it, otherwise your comments arent relevant to the POV of a dev.
At the risk of saying something we already know, HN discussion isn't limited to one person's definition of what a "hacker" or "developer" is:
> On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find
> interesting. That includes more than hacking and
> startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence,
> the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's
> intellectual curiosity.
You may prefer to discuss something from the point of view of a software developer. You may have desire to keep threads organized and on-topic.
Personally, I think your assessment of the "context of the thread" is both overly narrow and off target. But my goal is not to convince you my interpretation is correct...
...My goal is to show that your interpretation of the context of the thread is subjective. Again, subjective is fine; we don't need to agree. I want to emphasize that reasonable people can see it differently from you. I hope that you (and everyone on HN) can recognize this and think it through before they say a comment is "irrelevant".
So, forgive me for asking, but I can't help but wonder how you approached this thread. With curiosity? With a goal of understanding? With some other driving factors?
I would like to highlight a few important points from the HN guidelines that think we can all learn from (myself included) ...
> Please don't post shallow dismissals, especially of
> other people's work. A good critical comment teaches
> us something.
> Please respond to the strongest plausible
> interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one
> that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith.
> Be kind. Don't be snarky. Have curious conversation;
> don't cross-examine. Comments should get more
> thoughtful and substantive, not less, as a topic gets
> more divisive.
One motivation for reading this comment, frankly, is a plea for people to re-examine their communication tendencies and the resulting effects on (a) your ability to learn (e.g. a growth mindset); (b) this community; (c) all communities.
* why are you highlighting those HN guidelines?
* who are the "people" you want to "re-examine their communication tendencies", and what motivates this plea?
* why are you curious about how I "approached this thread"?
I answered your question: replying to a thread in an ambiguous or open-ended manner will cause people to fill in the gaps (infer your meaning) from the context of the thread. If your meaning does not follow from the context (i.e. is a non-sequitur) it's likely you will be misunderstood; In this case that you were offering "an argument against the idea that you can work somewhere where they refuse to buy things like this, and still have it be a good job."
Re: 1 & 2: I would like HN participants to consider the HN guidelines, because I often see what appears to be a lack of awareness. Following the guidelines (many of which are about self-reflection and tone) helps shape the community discussion constructively.
Re 3: I asked because I want to understand your motivations here.
Yes, I understand the general idea of non-sequiturs.
In summary, I think an accurate and charitable reading of my comment will realize that it was not a non sequitur nor off-topic.
Above your comment said:
> Im telling you the context of the thread implied it, otherwise your comments arent relevant to the POV of a dev.
My comments are relevant to the point of view of a developer. Moreover, HN discussion is about more than the POV of a developer.
It seems like you are dodging the question(s) i.e If you have some generality about HN participants, why put it in this thread (and not others). Since you don't put it in your profile, or copy-paste it in every comment you make, it seems to me there's a reason.
> In summary, I think an accurate and charitable reading of my comment will realize that it was not a non sequitur nor off-topic.
Another back-handed response, as it implies my own comments (which made the opposite conclusion) is therefore either/or not accurate, or not charitable. If you believe this, then why not explicitly say so - and then defend that position? you say "In summary", but I can't see what part of this post you are summarising.
> My comments are relevant to the point of view of a developer. Moreover, HN discussion is about more than the POV of a developer.
They might relevant, if there is enough context to understand them. And we are not talking about what is relevant to "HN discussion" - we are talking about this thread in particular.
My goal here is to use a calm, measured language. I was hoping this would help the conversation, but perhaps it upset you. You called my comments ‘back-handed’ and ‘two-faced’. I didn’t intend them that way.
You could have chosen different words. You may realize the words you chose were harsher than necessary. Even if you were correct in your assessment, which I don’t think you were, those choice of words will likely have a negative effect in a conversation. Especially online, particularly with someone you don’t know.
BTW, I am genuinely sorry if you think I’m trying to insult you in an obscure or sneaky way. I’m not. Doing that would be unkind.
Speaking of your claims that my comments were ‘two-faced’ or ‘back-handed’, there is another explanation. (Skip two paragraphs down for that)
If there’s one thing I could get across to you, it is: please open your mind to other explanations. Be charitable towards others. Don’t assume malice.
If you think you are already as charitable as you can be, then I don’t expect this advice to bother you. If you feel bothered by it, perhaps you should take a closer look at yourself. (I’m not claiming that I am perfect in this regard. It is a process.)
You might have reached the point in life when you realize and respect that people have different communication styles. Many people may not be as direct as you would like.
You say I ‘dodged’ your question. I hope you realize there are other ways to say the same thing with nicer connotations.
You also may realize you didn’t answer my questions, which I asked first. I don’t mind if you don’t want to answer.
I’ll try to phrase my thinking over the last few messages in a different way. My take is that many of your claims are overconfident, possibly because you aren’t actively asking yourself ‘how might other people see this’.
I think a big reason I’ve been replying is out of some (misplaced, perhaps) desire to help you. I think you would benefit by finding more ways to understand other people’s points of view.
I will admit, you seem capable of arguing just fine. So, I don’t see intelligence being a limiter. I would guess (with about 75% probability) that a lack of empathy is a limiter for you.
This is not meant to be harsh even though it may be direct. If true, you certainly aren’t alone and you definitely aren’t alone in a community of technical people. There’s plenty of rationality and technical knowledge but too little empathy.
Example in point: You did a nice job of criticizing my use of ‘in summary’. I’m both joking and not. My usage could be improved, but I think the intent was clear.
Based on what I’ve seen in your behavior, I predict you will reply. However, I don’t expect it to be much different in tone. Feel free to surprise me!
In any case, maybe you will check back in a few years and re-read this thread. Maybe you will see it with new eyes. Maybe it will be some value to you.
Just so you know, if you reply, I don’t expect to reply in timely manner (or ever). So, feel free to have the last word here.
Chris2048: are you the same person?
2. Each page in Roam is an outline (as in outliner), whereas each file in Obsidian is a Markdown file.
3. #tag is not the same as [[tag]] in Obsidian.
4. Rather than a built-in feature, "daily notes" is available as a plugin in Obsidian.
I downloaded Obsidian and it looks really nice. I use markdown already to make notes on my side project, but in my brain my thoughts are more diffuse as it's an MVP stage thing with so many ways to extend, so many things to think about. I think this would, at firs glance, help me alot.
One small thing I'd recommend would be when you first open it, could it create a default folder like (on Windows for example) Documents\Obsidian. And pre fill that as the folder (and I can change if I like). Then when I first use it there is less friction.
The other thing is to UX test that first screen where you are made to choose between new document and reading docs. I felt that made me think too much, and it might be the wording. I'd sort of prefer something like:
New User? Do you want to read help on getting started? Yes/No.
However I might not be typical, so watch over some shoulders as people first use the app and ask them what they are thinking.
Add a separate GUI for a workflow-y like list-editing (that saves as a markdown list format) and you've got a serious competitor to Roam as well as beating out more traditional competitors like Notion, Boostnote, etc.
e: ah, no inline LaTex.. I knew there was a catch!
FYI, they're the ones behind Dynalist.
Sadly, this makes it completely useless for me.
I've been using various personal wikis for years, and this hits most of what I am looking for.
But, I'd like to offer some suggestions.
- It would be cool if you would consider some tweaks for how the text is rendered. It can still be Markdown compatible, but for example allow linebreaks to be interpreted as linebreaks. Text used for reference often has different needs than what is being exported to HTML.
- Git integration. I just use git for syncing my knowledge bases. It makes the most sense for my multiple devices, and it is very rare that I even have conflicts and can't automatically merge differences.
I actually have a script that lets me use Dropbox or another syncing provider to sync my working tree, separate from the repo itself, so that my history isn't polluted with excessive automated commits, but it is still tracked relative to where it was checked out, and resolved automatically. That way you can have the strengths of git without the drawbacks.
You may also want to check out git-annex/datalad. I combine it with my home grown Markdown wikis for embedding references to files in my wikis, keeping my git history just pure text. One of my goals is to bridge file management with text management.
I'd be happy to share any of this if you're interested. I've had plenty of free time recently to further develop it.
I'm pretty much ready to abandon org-mode for this, but the git/git-annex combo is harder to leave behind.
Would love to hear more about your setup!
One suggestion - would you consider adding videos/gifs of your product on the features page? I feel like that would demonstrate your product much better, especially the linking part.
I was also able to move my plot outline into this, which was a godsend for me because previously it was in a word document, meaning I couldn't check things off. Now I have an interactive task list for it! And everything is all in one place!
One small suggestion: I would really like some place where it lists all the key commands (for instance, are there key commands for making headings? what about the key command for Replace, which I couldn't find?). Also, it would be nice if tags weren't necessarily represented inside the document from a viewing perspective. Maybe as a bar along the bottom, which is then copied into the markdown document transparently?
Thanks for making this!
$ snap install obsidian_0.6.4_amd64.snap
error: cannot find signatures with metadata for snap "obsidian_0.6.4_amd64.snap"
But then again, if it's on Snapcraft, you don't need to worry about distributing updates to your users.
The gist is to make your notes atomic and link them together whenever possible. [[ links provides auto-complete, and the backlink plugin tells you what notes links to this note, and what notes mention it but don't explicit link it.
The graph view is for discovery and navigation mostly. It lets you discover clusters, and identify "orphan" nodes that aren't connected anything. That might inspire you to think of connections and strength your knowledge network.
Hope that makes sense!
One piece of feedback, I couldn't discover in the app itself how to make references to other documents. I finally figured it out by looking at your web page and seeing the [[connections]] bit.
Could you describe Obsidian's pros'n'cons in comparison to VNote + Viki?
Essentially, we think wikilinks should identify the destination exactly and should not perform a search instead.
Thankfully it's all just plain text at the end of the day, and it's not hard to do some text processing to convert both ways.
Very interested in the graph and multiplexer features...
A Trello integration would be nice.
You and Shida have some serious product & programming chops ~ UWaterloo represent!
Some videos that might help:
I have been using personal wikis for about a decade, and 99% of the time I make an internal link, I want the caption to be the same as the page name.
I wish that the Markdown standard would just specify to render [[Page]] as [Page](Page).
We still want to give you the option to export internal links to standard [Markdown](link) links so that static site generators or sites like GitBooks can understand them out of the box.
> The use of OBSIDIAN for the exercise of your own trade or profession (...) does not qualify as personal use.
I would interpret this to mean that I as a developer can not use this to exercise the "trade" of software development. That would in turn mean that I can not use this to make notes of stuff I learn on my own time, if it is related to software development.
I would imagine most people not caring about this kind of license limitation, but it would be interesting if it was intended this way, or if this is just me being bad at licenses.
Analogously, a salaried software developer learning something and taking notes on their own time would be in the clear but a freelance developer tracking their projects or clients would be in violation.
What's not clear is how it applies to a salaried developer learning something and taking notes on the job (ie is time provided for professional development part of practicing your trade or merely a perk?) or a freelance developer using this product at all (same issue as previous scenario, except now it's not even clear where your job ends and personal time begins).
Where it gets weird is cases where the delineation between practice and study is unclear. Researchers are professionally employed to study things. On the clock professional development is study, but it's paid for by your employer. Freelancers manage their own time making even the distinction between paid and unpaid work unclear in some cases - were you studying as part of a current contract, or to better prepare yourself to take on similar work in the future?
Currently the closest match to this software I have installed is Quiver. Let’s compare costs over a period of 5 years:
That may not be a lot of money to you personally, but it fits my mental model of “expensive” pretty well.
My problem with Quiver wasn't just no updates, its a good tool how it is, but that plus no web/android/windows. Just figured it was time to finally hop of that sinking ship.
I.. wish someone had told me this 2 years ago when I started using quiver and it was already dead, before I put hundreds of notes in it that are now stuck in .qlite or .. pdf i think?
50/y is definitely a think about it and review yearly when budgeting type of expense as a personal expense, because all those recurring expenses add up! But as a business expense, if a $100k/y dev asks for a $50 tool I think their boss will say "why you waste my time asking, just get it and we'll pay for it".
90% of my notes are work related, so I don't really generate enough "hobby" notes to stress the tool and see if I want to use it. I'm not going to drop $50 to try and it and see if I like it. I'm also not going to violate their license to see if I like it.
I wish there were a trial for the commercial version. 14 or 30 days would be really useful as an evaluation period. Without being able to try it before I buy, though, it ends up being a pass from me even though $50 isn't _that_ expensive.
Moreover, are you suggesting that people should feel guilty for using free software?
Of those 2286 packages on your PC, how many of them are written by individual software engineers who are trying to make a living by writing software? And how many of them contribute to your overall wellbeing? I'm guessing that 99% of those packages are used by programs that you yourself don't use, that just come packaged with your OS or some other product. The other 1%, yes, I think you should think about paying for.
We live in a world where a certain kind of extractive personality--Zuckerberg, Gates, Ellison--makes billions from their software, because they are willing to be an asshole-to-the-hilt with their anti-competitive, unethical, and often downright illegal behavior. The 'nice guys' who write and maintain your compiler (if gcc) or editor (if vim or emacs) or scripting language (virtually all of them) and any number of other tools that we use daily, will struggle to pay their hospital bills in retirement. And yet people balk at $4/mo for software that they might use for years. And even if they only used it for 1 month, that $4 is inconsequential compared to the other factors (like learning curve, time investment, etc).
I do think people should be spending some money on their software tools each year. Maybe 1% of their income? That's around $100/mo, which seems like an awful lot, but only in comparison to the current price they're paying of $0. But think of how much better your tools would be, if the developer who makes them could earn a living wage from them, without having to embrace the capitalistic ideals that make us hate computers and software in the firstplace.
I really dislike this cup of coffee that is commonplace. Buying coffee from Starbucks is really expensive! Coffee costs about 30c to make yourself. Some people buy coffee every day - over a year that can up to a month's rent in a world-class city.
Personally I have paid for a lot of software over the years. I think 95% of the time I have ended up getting almost no value out of those purchases, especially with iOS apps and PC games I never play. I wish I had not been so frivolous with those $4 coffee-cup Steam purcahses and instead spent all that money donating to open source projects which I actually do use every day. In the future I will be trying to do so.
Yes. I've built multiple pieces of free software, including open source drivers, data packages, libraries and even the odd game mod. Those projects have been used by individuals, corporations and other projects, both opensource and closed.
And no, I'm not entitled to free software, but I am entitled to where I spend my time, money and support. I do financially support open source projects that I use (and keep a spreadsheet in Notion to track that on a yearly basis). I also believe that if I'm going to integrate software into my day-to-day and depend on that software, it must be open source or have an open source available alternative (ala Android).
Open source isn't about making (or saving) a dollar. It's about software being more than just a means to profit.
The product is applicable to anyone who needs a knowledge base so it’s $50/employee and that adds up quickly.
While the developer is free to charge whatever they like, I don’t like the trend of these products priced based on people thinking $50 isn’t that much and that spiraling into what should be a one time fee to every piece of software being $50/year forever.
This reminds me of the 4 hour workweek where there’s a plan to create recurring streams of revenue for little to no work.
I think the amount of time put into this product doesn’t warrant that price. Even though I think it’s a really neat product.
Imagine if the author of grep charged $5/month for the utility.
In other words, a year's worth of this (which is based off the idea that you would actually be using it. If you plan to use something you don't just stop using it after a month), is an entire month's worth of rent that you could pay instead.
Or maybe a different perspective, a month's worth of this is the same price as a month's worth of groceries.
fake edit: yes, they reviewed their pricing since I read it. the "sync" tier used to be at the 50$ mark.
If I understand correctly, licenses are usually written more strictly for legal purposes, but in my opinion your use case sounds like it should belong to personal use.
If anyone has pointers for us to make the license text more clear, please let me know!
For the private license, you could use/adapt the LicenseZero Private license ( https://licensezero.com/licenses/private ).
Those are more geared towards developer tools, so I'm not sure whether they'd be a good fit for your product. But all of them are written in simple to understand language so you should be able to figure that out by youself, and at the very least get a few pointers. If not, that is considered a bug with the license, and both projects are very open to feedback.
Also, since your post is fairly negative and unsubstantiated overall, would you care to suggest an alternative?
Well written legal documents are precise (not strict). The trouble is that you haven't unambiguously defined what qualifies as personal use, and there are a rather large number of obvious edge cases. This is a good example of something that should be drafted by a qualified attorney.
90% of the notes I generate are for my business, and probably ~10% of my notes are for personal stuff. The volume of personal notes isn't enough to be worth having my notes separated out while I trial Obsidian. Since I can't put any of my commercial notes in it without paying for it, I'm just giving up trying it.
If Obsidian works well for me, I'd definitely consider putting down $50/year for it. The price seems a little high to me, but if it works well, then I'd probably do it. But the license doesn't let me evaluate it, so I won't be able to find out if it works well for me. $50/year is way too high for me to put down to see if I like it.
A 14-day or 30-day evaluation period in the commercial license text would be really helpful to letting me see if Obsidian works for me.
My own personal setup is a bunch of markdown files and it’s great, so I like that approach, but I’m very cautious about investing time for something so important in a product i don’t control.
100% this. The peace of mind I get knowing that all of my data is under my control is worth it, after scrambling to archive content from failed or pivoting services, removing my data from businesses that try to exploit it or trying to migrate my data from one old app to a different newer app.
There are many different open-source and self-hosted wikis, note taking apps and mind-mapping tools. Some of them are listed here, just Ctrl-F for "wiki", "notes" and "knowledge"
It also allows people to read, audit, and trust the crypto code, which your model does not. For people like me, that’s a hard pass.
The problem is the bankruptcy court/buyer/ex-spouse/whatever may have a different preference. So you may want to set up something legally binding now when everyone is the same agreement.
Could you also solve this by GPL+Commercial license for those that pay?
As JWZ once said: "You can't take a dying project, sprinkle it with the magic pixie dust of 'open source,' and have everything magically work out." Has there ever been a case where a company as its last act released their software as open-source, and a community formed and picked it up?
Now, there are interesting communities that form around games, that tend to be a "dead product" after release, and for which there was a source dump (or not, actually): doom, openMW, openRA, etc.
Not saying such examples aren't out there. I just am unaware of any.
But for something I'm going to invest some time learning, and will rely on, that's a very difficult pill to swallow. I don't want to depend on proprietary software for important parts of my workflow. What if I want to switch to a pinebook, for instance? No ARM build seems to be available yet. And that's just a single example... (a WASM/LLVM IR build could sidestep that issue).
That said, I like the idea. Is there any open-source equivalent?
I don't see any restrictions regarding corporate usage.
Thinking to structure it around hugo.
I was using it via nextcloud and it worked perfectly for what it was. The web clipper also did a great job of snatching simplified versions of web pages.
What killed it for me was just my expanding desires. I want to things like
- view my knowledge base from my work machine without downloading the whole knowledge base to it.
- Be able to search my notes AND all the books i've read. I tried using pandoc to go epub to md but it was too clunky and the searchability within notes wasn't great.
If I was still using it as a drop in replacement for evernote I think it would be great, but to go beyond that starts to stretch the seams a bit.
I also second looking at github's awesome-selfhosted.
I love that this is basically just markdown with wiki links. I'm not too concerned about Obsidian going out of business and my notes not being useful anymore. Contrast that with Notion (which is great in many other ways), where I store my data on their cloud and even though I can export to markdown not everything is actually markdown (e.g. tables) so they just put a link to their site instead.
I also love that since this is locally stored, I have control of how I store my data. I have a private git repo, and just occasionally commit and push my changes.
I wish it were open source, that way I could feel better about the wiki links being useless if they go out of business. It's not a blocker for me though, since my notes are fairly straightforward and I mostly just use the links for table of contents files.
The downside of being locally stored is that it isn't cross-device capable. This limits me when I'm taking notes on my iPad. That said, I don't take many notes on my iPad so if I need to I can just manually transfer my notes when I get back to my computer. I can understand though that this would a be a show stopper for some people.
Overall, this solution works for me. I have high hopes that it will continue to improve and become even better than it is now. Thanks to the team for the hard work!
* bidirectional [[wiki links]]
* support for both inline and display math
* customizable themes / CSS
* rich formatting beyond markdown (e.g. wrap content in <div> tags with custom formatting--useful for e.g. placing a box around text, etc.)
* WYSIWYG (crucial for documents with tons of math and rich formatting as above) including wysiwyg editing of tables
Tools I've tried that come close but aren't quite good enough:
* Jupyter Lab / Notebooks
* OneNote (just let me write $\LaTeX$ math!)
It's actually been quite frustrating. because some apps are soooo close to what I need, but they're closed-source so I'm powerless to make the small improvements I need. My current workflow for notetaking uses a pretty suboptimal combination of Overleaf, Typora, and OneNote. I'd really like to be able to replace all three with a single tool. At the moment, the only thing that comes close is a Chrome tab with document.designMode="on".
To the Obsidian team: Please add inline math support and consider WYSWIG!
I’m on week 2 with it and I can hardly sleep I’m so excited by how it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.
Give Obsidian a try and let us know what you think! :)
I was actually seriously impressed that I was able to take a huge amount of text and shove it into Obsidian and the UI stayed completely smooth the entire time. Props to the Obsidian devs for that!
It appears to match all of your requirements, and is scriptable. It's also strongly FOSS, in the AGPL sense. It also has the ability to self-host a sync server.
I back everything up in a private git repo and then use various plugins built on top of mdbook to get all the functionality I want:
* rendering graphviz: https://github.com/dylanowen/mdbook-graphviz
* adding tags to the pages: https://github.com/dylanowen/mdbook-tag
* setting up sections to only render locally and not get published: https://github.com/dylanowen/mdbook-access
The plugin system is super easy to use and you don't need to code everything in rust. You can use any language.
I'm also working on a better renderer instead of just running the mdbook server all the time: https://github.com/dylanowen/mdnotes
I believe with plugins you can meet most of the requirements you have:
* bidirectional: definitely could be a plugin
* math support: potentially this feature: https://github.com/rust-lang/mdBook/blob/master/book-example...
* customizable themes: you can completely overwrite the wrapping html and CSS
* rich formatting beyond markdown: mdbook supports inline html/js as it's based on commonmark
* WYSIWYG: this is the main missing piece, my strategy is to just run my mdnotes application next to my text editor.
I feel the same exact way as you in regards to all these apps. I currently use Joplin but I wish it was more "roam like" but looked like https://bear.app/.
So far I've settled on using Typora with Joplin.
I use GitHub for all my personal writing and only now realized that a big part of it is due to its open source nature and data portability. I use emacs org-mode for my todo lists for the same reason. You're so right about how critical these features are.
I'm not paying $50/yr for that sorry. A yearly fee for this is unrealistic and is way more expensive than other products like Quiver or SimpleMind which offers a lifetime product
Devs, please consider the Jetbrains model - make the current version (up to v1 while in beta) have a lifetime license for a one-time fee, even commercial, and keep subscribers updated.
Since it's locally based, if I only need the basic features, I'm not sure what I'll be paying for with a subscription.
I want to switch companies without the hassle of requesting the application to be expensed every time.
(Also, their license page could do with some proofreading)
> (Also, their license page could do with some proofreading)
Interested to hear more! We did a few rounds of proofreading, did you find any typos?
You're really limiting your userbase (customer pool) here by expecting only enterprise users. Many people here are freelance designers, students with part-time jobs, researchers writing for-profit books, or they work for themselves. Most employers don't allow expenses for note-taking apps. I would encourage you to adopt this pricing model: https://simplemind.eu/features-pricing/
It looks cool, but I won't buy it until it's a lifetime license.
Edit: Sorry that this came out overly-negative. It's a beautiful product, congrats on launching it!
Personally, I would pay 25$ out of my own pocket for this app, but not if I have to ensure that the notes are not related to my work, only to my personal life. And with my personal projects I use similar technologies as I do at work. Should I then not look at the notes when at work? It is just to complicated to live up to the terms of the license.
Or what if I start taking notes on some random subject for fun, and eventually I write and sell a book based on them? All of a sudden I need to start paying a yearly fee?
It's not a prohibitive amount of money, but I'd be much happier with paying a one-time fee for the current version, then buying future versions if I choose to.
You can use Evernote for personal or work uses. They have two tiers for that. Or you can get your company to buy it for you and at least one other person, with extra features that benefit the enterprise, not the user.
Why would I ever want an edit mode and a preview mode while taking notes? Don't I want to be able to both see my note and edit it at any time?
I mean, I guess I could just ignore preview mode if the edit mode actually allowed me to see all of the content of my note, but it doesn't. Images are only visible in preview mode. So all the talk about transclusion seems dumb to me. I can't see jack unless I decide to stop working and start viewing. I just don't get it. Is this really what people do? Switch back and forth between editing and viewing all the time?
Or perhaps they just decide to put all the content of the note on-screen twice? But why would I ever want to look at the same content twice? We're not talking about folding, so I can see two different places in the same note. We're talking viewing the exact same content twice, cutting my usable screen real estate in half for displaying the content of my note. So I have 50% of the context I could have... And don't even get me started about how synchronized scrolling is impossible in this view if you use images in your note.
I feel like I must be taking crazy pills, because everybody seems to love using markdown, and I really want to like it, too. I know the benefits of plaintext. But I just don't get making that sort of usability sacrifice.
Many people in our community said things about "staying in the editor" so I guess that's a common workflow.
To be fair, I do enjoy the Typora model where my images get automatically included in the edit mode, but I don’t specifically need it.
Obsidian is trying this a bit with their headings, but seemingly small features like this are very difficult to get to feel natural, esp for devs comfortable with ASCII.
Yes, I do this all the time. In particular I want to be editing my markdown in a fixed-width font (because it includes a lot of code, typically), but also able to view it prettily.
That in the first five minutes of this post being online, several users more or less claim that this has changed their lives in their first-ever comment on HN strikes me as a little odd however.
(Yes I'm aware that this is also my first-ever comment on HN.)
I can attest to that as well, and given that Roam is unavailable, would suggest to try out this alternative that is pretty decent for what it does (even though Conaw (Roam's creator) does think it doesn't exactly align with what Roam really seeks to do, yk the thing)
Edit: to elaborate, I am not raving about either Roam or Obsidian, I am raving about they approaches they provide, and after nearly a month of using Roam it honestly feels like a game changer to me. Solved my art block a bit as well.
Hope that explains things!
Best of luck with the product, also +1 to the suggestion of an open source client from a sibling thread!
There's a new video out today if you want an overview: