Obsidian: A Mind Mapping Markdown Editor

by lifelonglearner1 min read27th May 202014 comments

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This is a linkpost for https://obsidian.md/

I just saw this app today. It's made by the same people behind Dynalist, which is similar to Workflowy. I know other people on here have been on a big Roam kick, and I think Obsidian allows importing for Roam tags (or something, I haven't used Roam before.)

I think Eli previously asked for some mind-mapping software. This seems relevant to people who want a new way to do their note organization in a mind-mapping way.

The screenshot looks pretty clean:

obsidian screenshot

I'm also trying this out, and I'll try to post my personal thoughts later. They have a public roadmap you can follow. I've been using Typora as my editor of choice for a while now because it supports inline LaTEX and a nice markdown styler, but it looks like adding support for these two things is on the way.

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For all the Linux-friendliness, it can be easy to miss that it's closed source. https://github.com/obsidianmd only lists nonessential components.

How does it compare to https://foambubble.github.io/foam?

Do you think this is better than having e.g. a personal wiki ?

I think that'd work pretty well too, for roughly the same function. I don't know of any simple self-hosted local wiki software off the top of my head though.

I mainly shared this because it seems like mind-mapping is a common-enough use case for people in this community and people seem to be on an "alternative note-taking format" kick right now.

I don’t know of any simple self-hosted local wiki software off the top of my head though.

PmWiki can do this, though whether it’s ‘simple’ is a matter of perspective. (It’s certainly easy to use.)

Oh, sick. The standalone instructions don't seem too complicated.

You have TiddlyRoam a self-hosted local wiki with mind-maping, plus lots of plugins and themes. example

But is there some functionality that this would provide that a wiki doesn't ? (or some nice interface for that functionality that a wiki doesn't).

Or is just the simplicity of installation and/or the simplicity of the data format ?

I think the most prominent functionality is the mind-mapping. Wikis, AFAICT, don't have that. If you're visually inclined, having the graph layout and being able to traverse / see the connections could be useful.

Also, yeah, this runs locally.

I think the most prominent functionality is the mind-mapping. Wikis, AFAICT, don’t have that.

Oh, but they do.

Oh cool, I'm really unfamiliar with wikis, so I didn't know about these.

It's awesome that this functionality exists.

I only briefly glanced at both links, but I think they just output a static graph, is that right?

I guess maybe someone might prefer also using the graph for interactive traversal.

The output is in SVG format, but the cool thing about SVGs is that they (a) can have hyperlinks in them, and (b) can be displayed in the browser. So the generated SVG is displayed in your browser, and each of the nodes are links to the wikipage the node represents, so you can indeed use it to navigate the wiki.

Oh, nice! I didn't realize that hyperlinks were there too. In that case, yup, I can see that it does basically the same thing.

This appears to be a personal wiki.