I think there are two distinct ways to offer a web version:
The notes stay local and the web app asks for permission to read the write to the local filesystem. No user data is ever uploaded to the cloud. This is a pure replacement of the Obsidian executable. This is similar to a web app like vscode.dev.
The web app gets its data from the cloud. This is similar to a web app like Evernote Web or Notion.
Personally, I am looking for Option 1. But Option 2. is likely what most people ask for when they ask for a web app.
I understand Obsidian is based on Electron, which means it’s already written using web technologies. So Options 1. is probably not than far. Take a look at the File Syetem Access API
What are the benefits of Option 1 over an executable?
not requiring any executable to be installed.
Security: this is as secure as the browser, which means much more than any executable installed on the OS with broad permission of reading the entire file system. notably, Obsidian is based on Electron, so it’s embedded chromium is probably never truly up to date, therefore subject to security vulnerabilities.
Option 1 would solve the Chromebook use case, assuming users are using Google Drive to sync their notes.
if Obsidian was open source, I’d be glad to contribute.
This is not possible, at least at the moment. The new Browser file API is bare bone and lacks many features the provided by Electron (Node’s FS API). Obsidian functionality can’t be implemented on top of it.
What about using Obsidian Sync instead? It is extremely expensive, but could be a solution, maybe? Or do you think it might also be possible to use git for syncing in a browser-version of Obsidian? There are a number of projects which allow sync to git within the browser, if I’m not mistaken. Of course, I don’t know if that would work for electron/Obsidian.
+1 to this idea. I’d pay significantly more for Obsidian Sync (as an add on to the Sync subscription perhaps? This would also make the sync subscription much more attractive to me vs just using iCloud) if it came with the ability to run Obsidian in the browser/web directly hooked up to the vault on Obsidian Sync servers.
This solves the corporate install issue
More ways to access is always better (ex: if I am on my wife’s iPad, much less friction to go to the web app vs set up the app just so I can save a web note or something). All the data is already on Obsidians server if I am using Sync!
Folks who are principally opposed to having the app on the web due to privacy concerns need not worry; if the data backend is coming from Obsidian Sync, they wouldn’t be impacted at all since they would also have been opposed to using the Sync feature anyway
Could E2E be preserved if there was some sort of device onboarding process where an authenticated device provided a key to the device wanting to access via web? That would be still a bit of friction but solve some of the use cases mentioned upthread.
Signed up just to say I would love a web app. I spent the last 6 months getting really used to keeping my notes in Obsidian and now that is essentially gone as I cannot install onto my new corporate laptop at my new job.