NVultra news update

Brett Terpstra (drink!) mentions NVultra on the most recent episode of the Overtired podcast:


He says the code is ready to go but they’re struggling with pricing. He’s opposed to subscription pricing, but sees that as the only option given some of their goals for the product.

Also, co-developer Fletcher Penney is an ER doctor as his day job, and is busy nowadays due to the pandemic. Penney needs a quiet week to focus on the launch. (My $0.02: So I guess we’ll be seeing NVultra in a year then?).

Separately, Terpstra and co-host Christina Warren talk about the terrible withdrawal effects of going off antidepressants too early. Warren says it’s like going off heroin, and then walks it back. Terpstra says he can speak from personal knowledge that the two are very different. That was definitely a “wait, what?!” moment for me.


How long has nvU been in development? Feels like we’ve been hearing about it for at least 3 or 5 years? Have I got my timeline wrong?

The announcement blog post was published on April 10th, 2019.

Seriously, the whole thing is a joke. Even if the application is good.

Re. the announcement for nvUltra, formally you are right. But as you can see in the first line Brett has been talking about a successor to nvAlt (which nvUltra is) for much, much longer. The fact that it got a different name when he teamed-up with Fletcher Penney doesn’t change that.

In any case, I wish them well as I continue using FSNotes (on my Mac) and Notebooks on my iPad.

Who wants to subscribe to nvUlta given its already very bad track record before release?

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Well yes, I get your point. While the name nvUltra was announced on April 10th, 2019, the project has been under development long before that in the form of a successor to nvAlt.

You’ve probably heard of it already, but just in case: maybe take a look at Obsidian too. It looks very promising to me in so many aspects.


How come you use two different apps and not Notebooks on both iPad and Mac?

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Or FSNotes on my iPad…

Good question!

My preferred note taking app is definitely FSNotes. Not only because it’s open source (I paid on the App Store b.t.w.). So it would make sense to use it on all platforms. However, FSNotes does not offer WebDAV syncing on iOS - only iCloud - , which is an absolute must have for me. About the only plain text notes app on iOS that did (or does) offer decent WebDAV syncing is Notebooks. However, at least on the Mac it also generates a lot of .plist files that clutter up my notes on Android… So I decided to use the app that best fits my needs on each platform.
By the way, on Android I’m using Markor.


I half-freaked the first time I ran then quit FSNotes on my Mac and saw it had created all those visible .plist files throughout my hard drive. (Yes, I pointed it towards my Documents folder :grimacing:). and the dev should have had ‘Hide system files’ on by default.

Since the .plist files never shows up on the iOS app either way, I’m surprised they show up in Android. Perhaps the Android app has a similar setting to the Mac app?

Let’s be respectful to Brett. He seems like a good guy, and he certainly has made significant contributions to the power users (lowercase intended) community.

Don’t want NVultra? That’s fine. I don’t expect to use it myself.


Nobody has been disrespectful to Brett in this thread here. It has all been about the disappointment of nvUltra.

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I’m disappointed in the release delay, but I’m not disappointed in the app, which we haven’t seen. But it looks interesting, and seems to be aiming at some combination of features of most Markdown editors, Apple Notes and Drafts, with built-in Markdown preview. I’m eager to put it through its paces and see if it’s worth paying for.

My main reservation is in the consistent kitchen-sink geekiness of Terpstra’s apps. It’s one of the reasons I shy away from Scrivener, which I own, in favor of paying a subscription for Ulysses.

I almost never jump onto a new piece of hardware or software anyway, so I don’t care if a new app is a couple of weeks or months late. (On the other hand, I wash my hands of apps that don’t bother to update, or have lovely-looking roadmaps posted that never get fulfilled, a la the bifurcated and seemingly-abandoned Gingko app and service.)

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I’ve been using the beta since its early releases. I would say it is more focused on a system of files than as a one-off editor of unrelated files. Though it can certainly be used in that mode, if desired. That is consistent with nvUltra’s roots in nvAlt and Notational Velocity. Yes, it is full of tweaky settings, but not overwhelming so. (No toolbar.)

No, it is not handsome. It is functional and rich. Serviceable and utile. In most respects it out-Obsidians Obsidian, other than not having the rather useless graph view that Obsidian borrowed from Roam.


Sounds interesting. Can you say any more about the system of files?

Didn’t mean this to sound mysterious. It’s a folder of files. Like nvAlt. One can open multiple folders in tabs. Create a new linked plain text markdown file by using the [[double bracket syntax]] that dates back to Notional Velocity and others. A file has whatever content one wishes. Penney MultiMarkdown, and Critic Markdown, of course. Three optional panes (files, editor preview). File-level transclusion (i.e., whole files, not sections of blocks).


Being an engineer, I call this “Bringing out the Engineering Gun”

When I am being a project manager, I have to bring out the Engineering gun and shoot the Engineers. Sometimes I have to bring out this gun and commit design suicide myself.

Because Engineers will continue to engineer, Designers will continue to design because it is what each one enjoys and they try to pursue perfection that is unattainable.

I am sure this is the root cause of the delay. Brett is Brilliant but probably needs a realistic guidance to focus the release to a fixed set of options.

I think the hardest person to manage is oneself and few people manage to do this well consistently, myself included


‘Kitchen sink” is something I value about Brett. It’s one of the things that makes me think he’s on my wavelength: Make what you would like to use and try to keep it relevant to others.

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Then you would’ve shot Freddie Mercury. :slight_smile: Seriously, it’s a bit like microwave popcorn: You ship when the popping gets less frequent.


Then you must love Microsoft Word.


Mostly I love my own code. :slight_smile:

I’m known to go - a la Freddie - “this simply won’t do” a lot. :slight_smile: Such is my “kitchen sink” approach. Though, with filterCSV, I’ve got into “ship early, ship often” mode.