Features which were not implemented for a long time


I will start with my background. I am working in IT and there are a lot of information which I need to learn in order to accomplish my tasks properly. The new information is well organized in books, courses. etc. It has a structure - a product is divided in modules and there are parent-child relations - and it has a sequence in reading of such material - you can’t read all chapters simultaneously.

I started to take a look at Obsidian from the very start and it was promising but in my opinion it failed to develop the application in a proper way. I will explain why.

As I mentioned before we read from chapter 1 to chapter 2 and it is obvious to be able to arrange notes in file explorer in a such way. Unfortunately have only these options


The only way to place in a right order is to assign artificially a number in the front of the name of the note.
If you take a look at Obsidian help vault there is the same problem. The “Start Here” not is not the first note. It was misleading me when I started to read the help file for Obsidian.


Second most requested feature is the static graph. For the same mentioned before reason I (and I believe a lot of users) want to place notes in a specific location and all child noted to be located underneath. We also would like to be able to collapse branches, expand them when it is necessary and I want to stress it one more time we need it STATIC. I saw a lot of requests and even some users willing to pay for it but nothing happen for years.

Long time ago users try to find the right program to help them with the tasks they need to accomplish even the program is not ideal for it. Nowadays this paradigm moved to another approach - there is the task and you can find the program for it. But it looks like it is not the case at least for me.

I am not sure why development is done in a way it is done today. It looks like developers try to implement what is easy to implement but not what is requested by users.

So my final thought - Obsidian doesn’t fit for Personal Knowledge Base. It lacks at least these 2 features which doesn’t allow me to use it.

I wonder how long we have to wait until something will be done in such direction.
I wonder if there is alternative which allow to keep notes locally with not proprietary format and be able to structure notes (structuring is one of fundamentals for engineering).

I am very disappointed and frustrated with development.

Obsidian is basically a viewer of text files. The viewer tool shouldn’t be the one to force structure in a knowledge base. Prescribing structure to users would be an immediate reason for me to dump a tool.

The fact that Obsidian indeed doesn’t aids my learning because it allows emergent insights from the material at hand. The networked structure is the point why Obsidian is useful to me. Knowledge isn’t hierarchical nor linear. If you need a structure (structures are tools, and usually temporary) you make it as part of your knowledge base. This means that you can make the type of structures that serve your need, your way of working, and the way your mind works.

If material you add has the structure you say then there are several ways of using that structure in Obsidian as it is.
One is by adding the connections in the notes and using the local graph setting to show the structure.
One is creating a note that presents the structure (Map of Content, and you could even pin that note to the sidebar as tab in the place you now have the list of file names) Indeed I have several highly structured parts in my notes where I use both those things locally (a 19 chapter book on organisational strategy by someone, a legal guide I wrote for a client, and a reference architecture. Those last two are directly automatically published to my client’s website from my notes and presented in a rigid structure there).
As for within my working notes (getting things done style) I have a cascading number of maps of content, that starts with a note called ‘Everything starts here’. My navigation, in other words, is largely inside my notes. This has as an added bonus that if Obsidian goes away (tools always go away or change), that the navigational structures that are important for me are inside my notes, and I will be able to keep working with those notes regardless of Obsidian.

There are also several plugins that can do things you indicate you’d like to have.
Canvas is useful to map out notes relative to each other in a fixed position. Excalidraw can be used in the same way.
Excalibrain mimicks The Brain, a tool I heavily used 20 yrs ago, and allows you to set the parent-child relations you mention.
I use all three, but again, only in the instances where they provide value as structure. The vault as such is fully a network of notes, any structure or presentation there-of is localised and limited to the parts where such structure is an element of the work and sensemaking I do with it.

The given navigational aids by Obsidian in your screenshots are then useful other ways to look at the same content and search it. There is never one single right way.

All you mentioned in your post is not the case with my requirements. Personal Knowledge Base if it is used for describing the system should be structural. All mechanisms and technology use this principal sometimes named module design. Take a look at IP addresses or software programs. All of them have a structure.
May be it is not the case in your circumstances but if you will make a search in our forum you will find numerous requests for such features which are ignored for a long time by developers which will lead in a long run for Obsidian failure.
I hope something will change in a nearest future or at least we will receive an explanation why such features are hard to implement.

My point is that any structure you may need, you can make yourself within your material. And you can use that structure as your main navigation. That’s the point of the tool imo. That it is without prejudice towards a certain structure, but enables anyone to have their own. Just create it.

My circumstances require a lot of structure too, for parts of my material at least, in IT settings just like you. But that structure is mine to make, not to demand of others.

I don’t want to make a structure inside the note. I want to have a structure based on part of my notes. This is the main point. I can easily create a structure inside a word document but this is not what a lot of people want.

Take a look at the following link

This request was created in June 2020 and has 76 posts inside.

Moved out of Share&Showcase.

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