• @tal@lemmy.today
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    5 months ago

    I don’t use Evernote, so I don’t have a great feel for its capabilities, but my impression from the skims I’ve done in the past is that if someone is using Evernote, their workflow may not adapt directly to Markdown.

    It has the ability to have paper documents (handwritten things, business cards, etc) scanned in and the system is aware of it, can use the business cards as contacts.

    It’s got to-do lists. Markdown doesn’t really have a concept of that. Org-mode does, but that’s not really a standardized format like Markdown is.

    It has calendar integration.

    It has embedded images. From samples, Evernote seems to bill this as people using this for things like hand sketches. There are ways to embed images in some variants of Markdown, but Markdown (and associated software) isn’t really primarily aimed at mixed-media documents, and I would guess that part of the selling point of Evernote is that there’s a low bar to adding them.

    It supports embedding things like Excel documents.

    All that being said, I like Markdown, and for my own notes, I tend to use org-mode for things that aren’t gonna be distributed, and Markdown for things that are. But while I use them – and for my use cases, they do some things better, like having tables that recompute values in org-mode, and I can easily use source control on them – I don’t think that they’d be a great drop-in replacement for many people who use Evernote. They’d have to use a different workflow.

    Markdown is great if you spend a lot of time typing text on a computer. But if you spend time jotting notes by with some sort of stylus input mechanism or on paper, interspersing them with text, putting other non-text documents with it, I don’t know if it’s the best approach.

    • @tal@lemmy.today
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      5 months ago

      I’d add that I’d like to see a couple changes to Markdown, and would like to see a “Markdown Advanced” that tries to be more like org-mode.

      • Markdown’s numbered lists are, IMHO, a mess. Markdown auto-renumbers numbered lists. Having an auto-numbering numbered list feature is a nice idea, but with the syntax used – where lists often accidentally wind up renumbered – it is, I think, not a good idea. I’ve seen a ton of people wind up with mangled quoted numbered lists that they didn’t want renumbered and approximately nobody using the syntax for auto-numbering. I think that it’d be neat to do auto-numbering with something like a leading dash, but not where existing numbers are present.

      As it is:

      2. foo
      3. bar
      

      becomes

      1. foo
      2. bar

      EDIT: Okay, just noticed that in lemmy’s Markdown variant, the auto-renumbering apparently doesn’t occur, while it does on Reddit.

      • I think that Markdown’s use of parens in link syntax was a mistake, because parens are valid characters in a link, and using them requires escaping the URL. I think that using angle brackets or pretty much any character that isn’t used all over in URLs to delimit the URL would have been a better idea.

      As it is:

      [The Fallout series](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallout_%28series%29)
      

      produces

      The Fallout series

      • Markdown isn’t fully standardized. Lemmy Markdown isn’t the same as Reddit Markdown isn’t the same as pandoc Markdown. For example, in the above, list, Reddit Markdown supports embedding things like blockquotes in unnumbered list items, and Lemmy Markdown does not. kbin doesn’t even have perfectly-intercompatible syntax with Lemmy – they don’t have a common “spoiler text” syntax. You generally get something more-or-less usable as long as you don’t use some of the less-common features, but it’s really not in a form where I’d be comfortable really advocating for it for document interchange.

      “Markdown Advanced”

      What I’d like to also have is a “Markdown Advanced”. Today, I use org-mode as a marked-up text format that can do a lot of useful things (to-do lists as a first-order concept, calendar-integrated deadlines, inline spreadsheets that can update when values update, etc). Markdown can’t do that. But org-mode was developed for emacs, and while I understand that vim and probably some other editors have partial implementations, it was not standardized. I think that for org-mode, that’s probably a good thing – it lets the format be easily-extended. But it kills org-mode for document interchange – it’s only useful for stuff that you plan to keep to yourself, where you can ensure that you’re using the same program to read and write it. I’d like to see a marked-up text format that has these features and has a frozen, fully-specified, syntax, so that many programs can read and write it.