Print Story We Used To Look Up At The Sky And Wonder At Our Place In The Stars.
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By xth again (Mon Jun 06, 2022 at 04:07:43 PM EST) (all tags)
About Joplin Budget Apps Interstellar


Lying: about

Another bank holiday today. Pentecost, the 3rd most important Christian holiday in protestant Germany. I grew up in a Catholic country and had to look up what it was all about. It's not as big over there. Not that I really care, I can't stand Christianity. Still, it was very sunny and spent both days at the open air swimming pool. Thanks for the day off, holy spirit!

Noting: Joplin

Like many people, I fell for the spell of Evernote back in the day. It didn't take them long to fall to shits and make me want to leave. But like many people, I was their prisoner. What was I going to do with my 30k notes? Of course they are in a proprietary format on their server. Actually even worse - I have the desktop app which taks 40Gb on my hardisk. But 40Gb of what? I can't read those notes and it still downloads them from the server anyway. It wasn't like that in the early days, all the notes were local files you can actually play with. Then it became a local SQLlite db. And now.. puff... gone
I toyed with the idea of building my own app. Yeah right. As if. I looked at open source apps. Boostnote looked good. Open source, saves files locally. Built with React, I could hack it if needed. I started migrating, but it doesn't have a Web Clipper. Well, I could contribute to the project and create one, right. But oops, before I could even start, they've gone closed source and pay only. Now I've got a few hundred notes in a Boostnote folder which I need to migrate somewhere.
Exactly the same story with another app called Notable. This one was a one person affair, also built with React. Also no Web Clipper, and no mobile app. He also switched to closed source. But nobody gave a shit, so I don't know what happened to the app. ACTUALLY... lol I just went and had a look, he's gone back to the free app model. Yeah buddy, I ain't trusting you no more. Especially since the link to the Github repo is gone.
The Obsidian people at least were open about it from day 1. It's free and you can kind of hack it but no open source. It's not that I don't want to pay for it (I am paying for Evernote), but this time I want to own my data and be able to take it out at will. Schofield's First Law of Computing and all. Also no Web Clipper. I resigned myself to use it but it's rather quirky. Anyhow I created a few hundreds notes in it as a test. Never had the enthusiasm to make me go "yeah! let's switch".
The last attempt was another app called Joplin. I had zero expectations and went to it for due diligence more than anything else. And... it's actually good. Very good. It's exactly the app I would have built if I had infinite time to build that sort of apps for myself. It has a Web Clipper, which converts all your notes to markdown instantly. So it looks like I have finally found something I can get excited about. I will be spending the next few weeks migrating and cleaning up all my notes.

Not Needing: A Budget

I think it was GZT that posted something on mastodon about alternatives to You Need A Budget. That's another app I want to migrate away from. They make a lot of weird design choices, and it doesn't look like the app is evolving at all . Barring a few minor UX changes. It looks to me they can barely cover their costs. If that. In the past I had built an "app" with Google Apps Sheets. It did the job but couldn't be bothered with adding features and fixing bugs. I just want something that works. Bucket looks interesting, but it's not multi-user, and that's a show stopper for me. I'm still on the lookout.

Blogging: Google Apps Script

I invested parts of the weekend working on a series of articles for my blog. About creating "apps" with Google Sheets - in this case, a simple CRM thing for managing job interviews. Not that anyone reads my blog, it's just a way to clarify my thoughts and have a "story" internally I can refer to. A lot of people are unaware how useful Google Sheets are for building little apps prototypes. And in data science world they actually use Google Sheets a lot, so those skills could come in handy.

Saddened by: Interstellar

The Boy and his best friend just finished watching Interstellar. I didn't as I was writing that post. They both look really sad. UPDATE: one of them is crying. Gosh, I didn't even know what it was, I assumed some sort of Marvel extravaganza. I like Nolan's movies, but I may just skip this one.
And that is all.
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We Used To Look Up At The Sky And Wonder At Our Place In The Stars. | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden)
Joplin by clock (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jun 07, 2022 at 08:12:01 AM EST
Been using it for a couple of years now. I have it across my ecosystem from my Macs to my Linuxes to my 'doze to my iOS. Excellent integration with NextCloud (that was a prereq for me).  I like that it uses markdown, but for the most part, it's a no-frills notetaking app that isn't OneNote or other garbage.

It's good stuff!


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

"a no-frills notetaking app" by xth again (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Jun 07, 2022 at 10:51:22 AM EST
...that's exactly my definition of very good! I have very basic needs. Sounds good!


[ Parent ]
I, too, want to move away from YNAB by miserere (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Jun 07, 2022 at 08:31:53 AM EST
And I, too, have built something that kind of works, most of the time, with regular tweaking, in Google Sheets. I don't need multiple users, and I'd rather have something that lives on my own hard drive and not in a cloud somewhere. I'll check out Bucket to see if it's the kind of thing I'm looking for especially since it does live on my hard drive - most of the stuff I've read about thus far have been web apps, and eh, that's fine, I guess, but not exactly what I'm looking for.

The "regular tweaking" was getting to me by xth again (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Jun 07, 2022 at 10:55:06 AM EST
Google Sheets being JS-powered means that handling dates was a pain, not to mention Sheet's own constant casting numbers to dates and dates to strings and all that jazz
I need multi-user because it's for the whole family
Bucket sounds exactly like your kind of thing, and the chap behind it said the moment he can't be bothered with it anymore he'll open source it.





[ Parent ]
That sounds ideal, then by miserere (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Jun 07, 2022 at 11:13:42 AM EST
And IANAP (not a programmer), so the issue with the dates was one thing, the issue with multi-page references was another, and I used power tools and conditional formatting to keep track of various categories, and that kept breaking in new and interesting ways... I just got tired of screwing with it, and I figured that eventually I'd find something I like.

[ Parent ]
how multiuser do you need it to be? by gzt (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Jun 07, 2022 at 10:24:33 PM EST
If you put the bucket file in a shared drive thing, doesn't that work? Granted, it doesn't deal with concurrency at all. Not to beat bucket evangelist, it definitely has annoying drawbacks and limitations.

My understanding is that you actually need to load by xth again (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Jun 08, 2022 at 04:15:59 AM EST
the file into Buckets to sync, you can't just have it "save to dropbox". I guess you could play tricks with symbolic links, and rsync but I am always wary of that kind of thing when multiple, non tekkie users are involved

It has to be hassle free otherwise The Wife won't use it - she already barely does, even though it was her idea originally to start budgeting!


[ Parent ]
i mean by gzt (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Jun 08, 2022 at 07:08:34 AM EST
I have the budget file sitting in a folder in my nextcloud that syncs between my computer and the wife's computer and we can both use buckets to look at it. Making changes simultaneously is bad. They actually do have a sharing thing with remote devices and whatever but I haven't tried it. I'm also not an expert buckets user, I've just started.

[ Parent ]
Ah OK... by xth again (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Jun 08, 2022 at 08:13:05 AM EST
...I must have misunderstood. If the file can just sit in a shared folder and we just need to be careful not to write to it at the same time, then it's totally doable. Thanks for the heads up, will take another look!


[ Parent ]
I wrote "Protestant Germany" ... by xth again (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Jun 08, 2022 at 04:18:16 AM EST
...but I should have written "Protestant NORTH Germany". The South is as hardcore catholic as it gets


My former VP went to run Product at Evernote by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Jun 13, 2022 at 08:58:51 PM EST
But he’s also since moved on from there, so hard to tell how much he’s responsible for your current discontent.

--
"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician
The UX on the website is top notch by xth again (4.00 / 1) #12 Tue Jun 14, 2022 at 09:25:53 AM EST
Everything else though... besides whatever internal problem they may have, IMHO the underlying issue is that it's not a product suitable for a large Silicon Valley type of company. A note taking app could never generate that kind of revenue. I don't expect them to be around for long TBH


[ Parent ]
We Used To Look Up At The Sky And Wonder At Our Place In The Stars. | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden)