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.