Question about being dependent on plugins

I am just starting with Obsidian and there are a couple of plugins such as Make.MD that add critical functionality that allows me to consider using it as a replacement for evernote. But what happens if a plugin stops being maintained? Which I’ve probably only seen happen like a million times in the history of software :slight_smile:. I assume I might lose access to the feature it gave me? Thoughts and advice?


What happens, when a cloud service turns off its servers? Evernote, as I understand it, is dependent on the company’s servers. Just as Tesla cars or some of those nifty fridges with AI features. It will stop working altogether. It’s a jail and you don’t have a key.

On the other hand, there’s Obsidian. Your notes sit on your computer. Your plugins sit on your computer. You can even twiddle with the code.

So what when a plugin stops working? You make a trip to your vault, find the plugin’s folder and fix the problem. Or you roll your own plugin in the first place.

Since most of the plugins are open source, those who have access to the code can build a complete plugin themselves, or just download the archived releases even when the plugin is unmaintained.

But with the improvements of the Obsidian main App, it’s important for plugins to keep up with the changes. If a plugin is really important, but not longer maintained by its origianal author, hopefully there will be other developers step into and continue to maintain it.


I would continue using Evernote since you raised the question of being dependent on plugins. It is a problem that doesn’t have any clear answer yet. Maybe in the future there will be paid plugins that will give you the guarantee you are hoping for.

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Apart from Dataview, I prefer to use plugins which work directly with markdown, so that way if the plugin stops working, none of my existing notes are affected.


probably a dumb question, but why isn’t Dataview a core plugin at this point? It seems to have very widespread use and application.

They have addressed this feature in the past:

Oct 9, 2022

Oct 29, 2022

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If a plugin stops being maintained, nothing happens immediately (the popular Calendar plugin hasn’t been updated in quite some time but still works). If a bug is discovered, it won’t be fixed. If an Obsidian update breaks compatibility with the plugin it will stay broken, and if what’s broken is the part of it you need then you’ll lose that feature.

How much that matters depends on the plugin. Some just provide a more convenient way to do something, so losing them would be annoying but not a disaster. But if something like DataView stopped working, it could be a much bigger inconvenience.

If an important plugin stops being developed you could stop updating Obsidian to avoid breakage, but that’s obviously not a great long-term solution. It’s also possible that someone may fork an unmaintained plugin or write a replacement, but of course there’s no guarantee.

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