Export Format Options

plugin-idea

(Tim P) #1

For me one of the most important things when trusting an application to convert all my notes from plaintext (markdown + images) to a databse format is a good export strategy. It should be possible to export all notes in a way which makes it possible to work with them well in case moving away from Inkdrop is necessary.

I just ran a test export of all notes, and noticed that the structure is not optimal (for me):

The export looks like this:

20181017-Markdown Example-example.md
20181017-Testery Test-Pi4apJA4an.md
20181017-Welcome-welcome.md
EXXraJie7-small-kitten-meowing.jpg

To be able to use notes in a file manager like Finder, I often enter the first characters of a file to focus it. Entering «Typo», will focus the note «Typography.md» e.g. So for me having the created-date at the beginning is a problem.

Another problem is the randomly generated string at the beginning of images, which were dropped onto Inkdrop. If there really is a need for a random string as part of the filename, can’t it be at the end? Also having the markdown-files next to the image files is very messy. In other applications (maybe it was bear?), notes can be exported as TextBundle files, which include all images.

Markdown Example.md
Testery_Test.textbundle    (includes small-kitten-meowing.jpg)
Welcome.md

Another approch would be to create one asset-directory where all the images of all notes go, e.g. images or _images (so it is on top of the file-list).

A third approach I have seen is that one image-directory per markdown file is created, this would look like this:

Markdown Example.md
Testery Test/
    small-kitten-meowing.jpg
Testery Test.md
Welcome.md

I like the approach most where all images are thrown into one _images folder.

The importance of export options and bugfree experience are key to me (and supposedly many others). When Inkdrop was announced on Hackernews, this was one of the concerns posted – to be locked in.

If export formatting was added, internal references to other notes would be needed to be updated as well (not sure if this is possible right now).

e.g. cats.md has an internal link to mama_cat.md and kitty.md (see other topic). But yeah, only mentioning this on the side.


(Takuya Matsuyama) #2

Hi Tim,

Thank you for the request.

Yeah it could be somewhat improved though, it sounds like your suggestion is a personal preference.
It would need more discussions with other people so that we can find the best approach.
In terms of implementation, it is not possible to make an image folder for each note because images don’t belong to specific note. You can insert the same image into multiple notes.

Supporting internal references to other notes would be nice.

Thanks.


(Tim P) #3

Hi Takuya,

it sounds like your suggestion is a personal preference

It kind of is, yes. But reading other peoples comments, especially on Bear App, people seem to have the same concerns as me. When working with file-based text editors the only thing which can go wrong is that a non-standard version of Markdown is used and there are some weird characters in the file, which can not be rendered everywhere, but all files can still be opened in another editor in case the user wants to switch.
With database-based text editor like Bear and Inkdrop this is not so easy and imo one of the most important features to support early on – great export support.

In terms of implementation, it is not possible to make an image folder for each note because images don’t belong to specific note. You can insert the same image into multiple notes.

Ah, I understand. Having one folder for all images would work, right?

Supporting internal references to other notes would be nice.

I agree. I hope you can implement it, so internal links also works in the exported files.

I tried so many markdown editors over the years, thought a few times «this is it», but always walked away at some point. Inkdrop looks great! But I don’t think I will use it for the rest of my life, this is why great export is so important to me.


(Takuya Matsuyama) #4

I understand your need but I still think it’s personal preference.
If you really need it, you can create a plugin for exporting all notes and images with your preferred directory structure.


(Tim P) #5

I don’t have the time right now to code it myself.

notes/
  _images/
    cat.png
    dog.png
  subnotes1/
    topic1.md
    topic2.md
    topic3.md
    …
  subnotes2/
    topic1.md
    topic2.md
    …

If there is no way to come back to the same format I currently have, throwing all my notes at Inkdrop would be a really bad decision. Currently it is a one-way street, and therefore not for me. I realy like a lot of the features it offers, but no flexibility in export options is a deal breaker for me.


(Frank Tank) #6

Maybe one could have the option to specify a template for the naming of outputted files? The string at the start of the filename would also be a concern for me, as files are commonly sorted by filename, not only as personal preference. Every file manager in the world sorts files based on their names as standard…
So this creates quite a mess of files.


(Tim P) #7

True, also navigation in a list of files by hitting keys in a file manager is quite fast, e.g. typing Ty would automatically jump to my markdown file Typography.md, this also breaks with the filenames generated by Inkdrop.