Gathering API v0.1 ideas


#41

I’m trying to limit the number of documents because the search function in Dynalist is still cumbersome and you can work directly on search results only when it’s a document specific search.

But the way you are moving, I do wonder if you are thinking of a more Evernote style UI, with documents instead of cards.


#42

I definitely think evernotes tagging system is a gold standard to be emulated. I think of evernote to dynalist as this in terms of UI that I would like:

  • “1 evernote Note = 1 dynalist document”
  • “1 evernote notebook = 1 folder in dynalist”
  • “1 evernote notebook stack = nested folders in dynalist”

Evernote notes (analogy: dynalist docs) can be searched with tags, but dynalist docs cannot

The only workaround is to just name your docs with tags in the name. I mean, that’s what I do right now, but I would really like embedding meta-data tags for documents. Perhaps in the root bulletpoint’s note store that info there. Scaling up 1000 + evernote notes (analogy: dynalist docs) is easy with tags. Dynalist not so much.

I have about 70 documents at the moment, I could probably cut it down to probably 40. But as I take new courses, read new textbooks, each of those are going to have their own permanent document. I can only see 30 documents at any given time on my file panel on a 1920x1200 screen. The number of documents I will have in the forseeable future is only going to get bigger and more tedious to manage.

My general rule of thumbs for documents is this:

  • 1 course = 1 document this doc list grows quickly over time
  • 1 reference sheet = 1 document (e.g. a git sheet, a javascript specific doc, a CSS specific doc) this doc list grows steadily over time
  • 1 General sheet = 1 document (e.g. journal log notes, a doc for testing new powerpack features, a doc for common contacts for work, dynalist powerpack guidelines, a doc for all my livechat logs, a doc for really random ideas, etc) this doc list doesn’t grow in time
  • 1 project = 1 document (e.g. These are are like my journal log notes, but specific to that project. Examples also including travel planning as well) this doc list grows slowly over time

Project docs and reference sheet are sometimes finicky when deciding what should and shouldn’t be a doc (I have a lot of blank docs here that didn’t work out, e.g. a project got scrapped, I didn’t really need a reference sheet that I thought I needed or used github / anki /some other premade tool instead, etc), but coursenotes + general sheet notes are pretty much set in stone for me

I’m not utilizing tags as often as I do anymore… mostly because I hardly ever find myself doing tag searches and just use keyword searches (mostly, for a specific programming term or phrase). The only times I use tags is when I need to selectively organize how I look at a bunch of information on a doc, and when I do that its only a handful of tags I use. Also, I’ve been taking significantly less notes than I used to and being more selective on how many images / gifs I use, etc.

I started to use anki for retaining information long term from things I generate and breakdown in dynalist and its been working fairly well for me. What’s nice about dynalist is I can format some nice code blocks in dynalist using PowerPack and use graphic cloze deletion using shareX afterwards (image below). I have anki setup similar to how I’d set up evernote in terms of tagging structure / folder structure. I’m using it to to memorize APIs, functions, methods, properties, of any language that I’m trying to learn. I use my dynalist notes for inspiration on what flashcards I should be making. Then I go through my anki flashcards on my phone, and it looks really nice too. I’m thinking I still need a way to synchronize some sort of workflow from dynalist to anki (e.g. making anki tags faster, making cards easier, what cards am I missing on what subject, etc) Anki is really convenient for me here since I can do some mindless task while refreshing up on some knowledge I learned

Also, I don’t currently dynalist for any task management or collaboration at all… I just use tabsnooze on chrome and stickynotes still works good enough for me. Stick it on my bedroom doorknob, on my phone, on my wallet, on my desk, etc. Haven’t even looked at powerpack agenda at all. I like note reminders to be simple

Anyways, this got a bit off topic but those are all my updated notetaking conventions atm. Using dynalist mostly for just for taking notes.

I’m trying to limit the number of documents because the search function in Dynalist is still cumbersome and you can work directly on search results only when it’s a document specific search.

By the way, you know you can change what search results you see first, depending on which document is higher up on the file pane? I put my spammy notes at the bottom of my filepane so they appear last

That reminds me, that would be a nice idea too. Tell dynalist what the priority of search results should be when you search up an item. There’s no way to do anything like that as of now. I think search could be improved to do many more things overall though. I almost never remember when to tag things in general (since I’m usually thinking about my notes and that topic and just usually in a notetaking “zen mode”), so I always almost do keyword searches afterwards


#43

That’s a good tip about the order of documents in a Dynalist search.

I have a few PhraseExpress shortcuts for searching for Evernote. My most common is to populate the search filter with “intitle:” which only searches card titles.

The big problem, of course, is the size of the database. Mine is up to 6gb with nearly 20,000 cards. It’s impossible to use for normal work, but still useful as an archive and reference.


#44

First usecase:

write a dynalist companion timer/pomodoro-app:

  • have the full search functionality available
  • add/delete, check/uncheck items
  • reorder items
  • get notified about specific changes (webhooks)

Second usecase

make documents smart: run a script (whenever an item got changed, added, deleted, reordered) to e.g. calculate the current progress, sort the list…
(this functionality is somewhat available with browser extensions, which are not available for every client though)


#45

I see that we can make use of amsmath (or similar) notation to directly generate beautiful equations. I love that, so thank you for implementing it. Now I wonder if it might be possible to extend the LaTeX functionality a bit more.

Creating Tables with LaTeX Syntax

A nice and maybe easy solution for creating tables might be the generic whitespace ignoring syntax of a LaTeX-table. That way, there wouldn’t be a problem with indentation, for it is the very heart of an outliner like Dynalist.
So we could type in something like this:

\begin{tabular}{ l | c | r } Val1 & Val2 & Val3 \\ \hline 1 & 2 & 3 \\  4 & 5 & 6 \\  7 & 8 & 9 \\  \hline \end{tabular}

to generate this:

Of course, the math-symbols get initialized with the double -$: $$\wedge$$ as it is inline-practice of a given .tex-file. Would it be very difficult to implement a seperate function like \begin{} \end{} to behave like sketched above? I think that would be a fantastic feature.


#46

@P_A_Monsaille Thanks for the post!

Unfortunately this doesn’t belong under the API thread, which is for proposing ideas for the API (mainly for pulling data from Dynalist and push changes to Dynalist in a programmatic way).

Re: extending LaTeX, we use KaTeX for a partial LaTeX implementation, so I recommend looking into their official website to find out if it’s possible.

Thanks again for the kind post :slight_smile:


#47

Are you any closer to releasing an API?
I’m looking for ways to more tightly integrate Dynalist with Android (like notifications and a widget or something similar).


#48

Yes, it’s closer, alpha is likely to begin before the first half of 2018 ends. Hopefully that’s not too late for you!


#49

Hi - there are a lot of great ideas here. I hope you don’t wait to release the API until it has a robust feature set - I’d imagine 80% of use cases would be covered by two relatively straightforward endpoints:

  • A GET endpoint for entire documents in OPML form, e.g. https://dynalist.io/api/my+document/opml where projects is a document name. If the consumer needs something more specific, they can parse this.
  • A POST endpoint for adding items to a document, e.g. https://dynalist.io/api/my+document/task

I’d focus on these two things plus Zapier integration. Get that out, take the heat off, and build something more complete at your leisure.


#50

A good feature would be that some API is available, any API :slight_smile: Yes people, its time to release something on this front.

Having said that, I have been looking at other solutions that offer API support and came across Checkvist. They have a simple API that would allow for a lot of things to be done very easily. Check it out as a reference:
https://checkvist.com/auth/api

Chris


#51

Thanks for the pointer to their API page! Pretty useful reference :slight_smile:

For beta, we won’t have that many endpoints though. Will start with the most useful ones :slight_smile: