Hi all,

I recently rediscovered Zim and its new Python version.  I'm excited
by the rapid progress that's being made and I'm looking forward to
using it more.

I've been using Evernote for quite a while, mainly as a web clipper,
because with a few clicks and a few keystrokes I can capture a snippet
of text, quickly tag it with several tags, and be done.  The desktop
client doesn't work in Linux, but the Web interface has been good
enough, and the new version is much better.  I also like being able to
email notes and photos to it from my phone, and the mobile versions
are nice.  I haven't tried the Zim Firefox extension yet, but I will

However, my thoughts are more general than the specific features
between Evernote and Zim.  Let me use as an example something I use
Evernote for extensively: collecting quotes.  I've always found quotes
interesting, and over the years I've collected them on paper, in
Newton, Basket, Zim, Evernote, etc.  Aside from concerns about its
being closed and proprietary, I find Evernote to be the best at doing
this because it stores small snippets of text separately, with
individual metadata.  I can view a list of "notes" in a summary view
which shows the title of the note and the first part of the note's
text.  I can select tags, like "funny" or "inspiring", and see a list
of quotes that have those tags.

Zim now supports tags, and I think it's handy how tags can be put
anywhere in a note, right next to the text they apply to.  However, in
this scenario, I think it would be much less useful.  Storing
individual quotes as individual pages in Zim would result in separate
files on-disk for each one.  If, for example, I wanted to see all
quotes tagged "funny", I could select the "quotes" and "funny" tags in
the tag cloud, but then I'd see a list of pages in the small list view
below the tag cloud, with no metadata, no sorting, no summary, etc.
If I stored all quotes in one page in Zim, then if I searched for the
"funny" tag, I'd just get the Quotes page as a result, and I'd have to
Find through the page for "@funny", with no sorting, no metadata for
individual quotes, etc.

I'm not sure how to reconcile this other than simply saying that Zim
doesn't seem to handle this use case very well.  Perhaps some
different UI widgets would be handy, like a page-list that could
occupy the top half of the window, above the note-editing/viewing
widget, next to the index pane.  It would resemble a mail client in
this configuration, but it could display some metadata and a summary
for each page.  But I still wonder if, after storing several thousand
short snippets of text, if this would not be very efficient in memory
and on disk, and if it would cause Zim to load slowly.

I also wonder about some of the ways Emacs Org-mode works, how it
parses text into individual items with separate metadata and presents
different views of the items.  It would be very interesting if Zim had
some of this functionality, although I wonder if, in this use case
again, parsing a long page of text into several thousand small items
would be very inefficient.  I wonder if a SQLite database would be
more apt to this situation (not that I'm necessarily suggesting that
Zim use SQLite instead of files).  How does Zim's index handle this
right now?

I'd love it if Zim could do some of the things Evernote does, but it
seems like it would require some fairly fundamental changes.

Thanks for your thoughts.  Keep up the good work, everyone!  Zim has a
bright future.


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