Sunday, May 22, 2016

Beyond Simplenote: I still want a graph layer (concept map) overlay for my memory augmentation notes collection

I still want a graph layer atop my notes.

Yes, I want my personal locally stored data unlocked memex. Since the passing fad of the web is now, you know, passing, maybe I’ll get one.

Maybe someone will play with this now that there’s not much point in doing another searchable memory augmentation app. Apple and Google each have their “good enough” solutions. Those solutions have scary data lock issues, but for their vendors that’s a feature, not a defect. (For the record, I’m still on Simplenote/nvAlt, despite the extremely very insanely annoying search bug in the Simplenote Mac client. [1])

The idea is as old as time. Each open data format note has a title, a body, tags, and a unique identifier. The app maintains a separate data store of noteID pairs (relationships, no directionality or additional relationship attributes necessary).  When viewing a note one sees titles of related notes. There’s a UI for viewing the graph that also treats tags as nodes [3], and a UI for editing relationships.

The key is that the individual notes remain separate files and the note-note store is plaintext/rich text as well. [2]

One day…

PS. I think this was kind of what Gopher did

- fn -

[1] My own extended memory collection has moved through DOS text files, FileMaker Pro text base, PalmOS Notes, DateBk MemoAvantGo files, Outlook Notes, Evernote, Google Notes (killed!), Toodledo Notes/Appigo Notebook,  and Simplenote/ResophNotes/NotationalVelocity/nvAlt. No wonder I’m a nut on data lock issues and distrust Cloud solutions for extended memory even as I use them. Also: Before Simplenote, Palm Notes, iOS Notes, Keep, EverNote and OneNote there was Tornado for DOS

[2] Remember when Mac Classic gave every file its own unique ID? Those were the days. How to get the unique ID for the notes is the trick for a plaintext implementation especially across platforms. With rich text one can bury the unique ID in the metadata. Unique ID could be an IP6 URI.

[3] Remember when graph data visualization was a thing? That was the early 90s I think, around the time of VRML and MCF/RDF.

See also: 

(This is started out as a tiny post but I kept finding more old material I wanted to think about …)

No comments: