2024-02-10T14:12:13 Status: #blog Tags: #altova #markdown #blogs #knowledgebase #society #zettelkasten Links: [[Altova]] | [[Knowledge base]] | [[Markdown]] | [[Zettelkasten]] | [[AI]] # Reorganizing my Knowledge Base (and Blog) Taking notes and organizing them in a digital [[Knowledge base]] so that they can be easily retrieved has been a long-time quest of mine, and I've gone through several generations of software and devices over the past 35+ years... ```mermaid flowchart LR; Newton & HyperCard --> PalmPilot --> Evernote --> OneNote & Keep --> Obsidian ``` ![[Newton.png|left wtiny]] Apple's [Newton](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Newton) was a fantastic device and way ahead of its time, with handwriting recognition, note taking, calendar, contacts, and a few custom apps. It was not the most successful device given that it was rather large, and the battery didn't last very long, but it had a really smart operating system and was one of the first mobile devices based on ARM chips. At about the same time, [HyperCard](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HyperCard) served as a knowledge base software on MacOS for storing information in linked hypertext format, even before the advent of the World Wide Web. <br style="clear:both" /> ![[Palmpilot5000_eu.png|right wtiny]] A couple of years before the age of smartphones, the [PalmPilot](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PalmPilot) was a nifty little device that served a similar purpose. Much smaller than the Newton, of course, it could really be comfortably carried in a pocket and you had access to your contacts, calendar, notes, and ... not much more, really. Instead of the Newton's handwriting recognition anywhere on the screen, you had to write in a special notation inside a little area at the bottom of the screen, though. <br style="clear:both" /> Once the smartphone came about, everything shifted to apps, of course, and especially those that were available on multiple platforms - eventually with cloud-based synchronization between the devices, of course. I used Evernote for several years in the beginning, and then eventually migrated to using a combination of Microsoft OneNote and Google Keep for various tasks, with OneNote being more for the permanent storage of knowledge and Keep more for shopping lists, to-do items, books I wanted to read, and other more transient information. At the same time, my personal blog had gone through several iterations of platforms, from the original Blogger to WordPress and subsequently to Squarespace for the last couple of years, and it also included important knowledge that was, however, completely disjointed from my internal knowledge base. ```mermaid flowchart LR; Blogger --> WordPress --> Squarespace --> Obsidian ``` ![[obsidian-icon.svg|left wtiny]] Over the past few weeks I have now begun a new chapter of knowledge management and exported all of my content from OneNote, Google Keep, and from my blog and imported them all into [Obsidian](https://obsidian.md), thereby converting them into [[Markdown]] format and - most importantly - simply having them as regular text files on my laptop, instead of some proprietary format in some proprietary software. And having all of the information all in one place, instead of being separated between blog and internal knowledge base. The blog is now simply a one folder in my [[Knowledge base]] that I decide to share with the world by publishing it under the [xmlaficionado.com](https://www.xmlaficionado.com) domain. Having my entire Knowledge Base in Markdown format has several benefits: - The system is entirely future-proof, because all information is encoded in separate text files and no longer dependent on any particular app or other piece of software - [[Markdown]] content can be written very quickly and easily using just a few more keystrokes than plain text input - Instead of requiring menu commands to add formatting, all stylistic information is encoded in a handful of special characters - The Markdown format is much more information-dense than [[JSON]] or [[XML]] and less rigid in terms of hard syntax rules, making it better suited for human data entry by hand - while still being computer-readable - Markdown also happens to be the native language that major [[AI]] systems produce as their favorite output format, e.g. [ChatGPT](https://chat.openai.com/) Now that I finally have all of the notes in the same place, I can start improving the linkage between the notes and employing the [[Zettelkasten]] method to organize my knowledge base further. And using a combination of [[XMLSpy]] and [Obsidian](https://obsidian.md) to manage the information gives me these additional advantages: - Markdown editing and visual preview in [[XMLSpy]] - Find in Files with global Find/Replace over all files with regular expressions in XMLSpy: ![[XMLSpyMarkdownProject.png]] - Visual markdown editing and interactive graph views in [Obsidian](https://obsidian.md): ![[ObsidianMarkdown+Graph+Outline.png]] - Configurable templates for new blog posts as well as internal [[Zettelkasten]] ideas and notes - Synchronizing all files not just between my laptops and desktops, but also with my phone via [Obsidian Sync](https://obsidian.md/sync) - Publishing to my Blog via [Obsidian Publish](https://obsidian.md/publish) (even from my phone) So take a look at the early results here on my [blog](https://www.xmlaficionado.com) and explore the interactive knowledge graph on the right. You will likely noticed that some nodes on the graph are just dummy MOC (Map of Contents) nodes that still need to be filled with more information and links, but this will all come together nicely over the next few weeks, as I add more links and expand upon the existing information. --- # References - https://obsidian.md - https://www.altova.com/xmlspy-xml-editor/markdown-editor - https://keep.google.com/ - https://www.onenote.com/ - https://evernote.com/ - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PalmPilot - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Newton - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HyperCard