Purpose of the Joplin server?

I've been an Evernote user for some years, and every once in a while I look around to see if there is something that can replace it for me. This time I installed a couple of possible alternatives - Bookstack, Dokuwiki - on my Docker server, but they didn't really suit the purpose, and then I fell over Joplin server.

I remember trying it before but as a client only, and I sort of expected this Joplin server to be this web interface / webapp for Joplin. After finally getting it sort-of working, I found that not to be the case, so my question here is, what is the purpose of this server? I mean, if the clients can work with a simple webdav server why a specific joplin server that seems to do the same?

As for installing it, I think it's a bit overengineered:

  • First it started out throwing errors about not being able to connect to NTP. Actually, checking my logs, it was able to connect, but of course a docker container does not have, and should not have, privileges to change the server clock. By adding the environment variable MAX_TIME_DRIFT=0 i got over it, but it would really be better to remove it all together. Maybe it was added for a stand-alone server use-case, but even then it really isn't an app's job to alter system parameters.

  • Then I had to fiddle with the server url settings. I mean, why make these requirements. Just let the user use the IP and the port of their liking, then sort the rest in a reverse proxy, which brings me to the next.

  • Instead of a cryptic reference with too little information about using a reverse proxy, just tell users to install traefik or nginx-proxy-manager, two of the most used apps on Docker Hub.

  • Finally, the first thing I did after installing the server was of course to attempt to change the admin password - except

  1. The server is really anal about the password requirements. I mean, fine to make suggestions, but leave it at that. Users are presumably grown up, let them use the password they want. Maybe they're on a local network with no-one else. In any case, without being more specific about the requirements than "try to add a couple more words" it quickly gets really frustrating trying to guess what is needed for it to work. In the end I just left it as it was, then it can yak at me all it wants to change it.

  2. requiring confirming an email is also a nice suggestion, but please leave some config flag to disable it. Many consumer ISP's do not allow outgoing email, so it's a bit hard to do this on a homelab network.

Anyway, not a big deal, as it doesn't seem to provide a web interface anyway I don't quite see the point of it, so will just fall back on webdav - but if there is some future plans with this I suggest fixing these hurdles first.

Four reasons for Joplin Server, there are certainly more:

  • it's faster
  • it's reliable
  • one can share notes
  • one can share notebooks

There's a reason why this stuff is in place. Next time maybe inform yourself before posting long rants like that


Faster and more reliable than webdav? That's a big statement. Isn't sharing notes and notebooks the same thing? In any case not something I need. A web interface would be handy though. Anyway, I guess my questions has been answered then.

I would inform myself if you provided the info. As for rant - potato potato - I see it more as productive suggestions to bug fixes and improvements.

It is definitely faster, as it doesn't rely on a file system. There is a comparison somewhere on the forum... More reliable in a sense that the systems are tuned to match perfectly together.

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