Obsidian releases v1.1 with Canvas plugin included

Version 1.1 of Obsidian, including the new Canvas core plugin, is out today, for the public to use.

It’s a good tool.

Katie

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It looks really cool. I just wonder when people talk about how “future proof” Obsidian is, if this isn’t one of those scenarios where – yah, it’s just text files, but you need a pretty intense plugin to make it work. I could be wrong, but if someone is running 20 plugins and Canvas, Obsidian might not be as future proof as we think it is.

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Obsidian is not 100% future proof. Like all software it will become unsupported eventually, plugin developers will lose interest or the ability to support their work (this is already happening), and on some, hopefully distant, version of macOS or Windows or Android, Obsidian will be deprecated and inoperable.

This is the way of all software. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth fretting about. I’m not future proof either, and that doesn’t stop me from having a good time while I’m here.

Katie

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I think @AppleGuy 's point is that one of Obsidian’s key selling points is that it is a group of markdown files. This is, obviously, not that.

However, per the announcement, the JSON format used for these canvas files has been open-sourced and can be found here

I believe this balances “future-proofing” while allowing the app to mature and grow fairly well. Personally, I am content. But, because of the “group of markdown” files being a core pillar of the app, changes like this will always make some members of the community, understandably, a bit nervous at first blush.

Been using Canvas for a minute, as I get Insider builds. It is quite a useful and functional tool. Highly recommend any Obsidian users check it out and play around with it.

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I think the odds are good that either Obsidian’s format will be adopted by other apps or Obsidian will develop compatibility with an emerging standard.

Obsidian is also mulling over graph data stored as markdown comments right now (possibly ending up with JSON in the comments.) Hoping for a similar outcome there as well.

Not saying to use Obsidian or not to use it.

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One good thumb rule—not original to me—is it’s OK to use plug-ins to create documents, but be careful using plug-ins that are required to view documents.

For example, I like the natural language dates plug-in. I can type the word “today” and expand that to today’s date, or type the word “Thursday,” and expand it to last Thursday’s date. The output is just a date, and it’s human readable, and will continue to work, even if the natural language plug-in breaks.

On the other hand plug-ins like the new canvas, and Dataview are required to read documents, and therefore you need to be more careful with those.

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I think that’s a good rule of thumb. It needs to be tempered against the fungibility or criticality of the document. Also, Dataview is a query-and-display plugin. The data are elsewhere in the document (or sets of documents). If, hypothetically, Dataview dies and cannot be revived, there is no data lost. The only thing that’s lost is a portrayal of the data.

Katie

3 Likes

I love it! They’ve done a great job of making it usable and powerful.

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True, but the portrayal contains important information, which makes Dataview risky. Might be worth the risk for many, though.

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I created a canvas for something on Tuesday. Went to use it today and it was gone. Obsidian search isn’t showing anything. Manually looking though files and I don’t see it. I look in my trash, it’s not there. Finder search doesn’t see anything. I did find it in a Time Machine back up from yesterday, so I am not crazy. Obsidian (or something else) seems to have just erased it.

Anyone else see similar behavior?

Edit: One other person reporting this on the Obsidian forums. I posted it there as well.