Why joplin relies on markdown instead of HTML?

Markdown is ugly, limited, makes problems when using WYSIWYG editor
Html, on the other hand, is equally as ugly, abundant in features, and has no WYSIWYG editor issues.

What is the reason of Joplin so much build-up for markdown instead of focusing on HTML that can be both edited in code and have not problems with WYSIWYG editor? If Joplin would focused on HTML-first, it would be easier to develop functional WYSIWYG editor and Joplin would be the best Notebook-app choice without compromises. For now WYSIWYG editor even doesn't have text color option.

Are you seriously suggesting HTML is in any way as readable as Markdown?

There are plenty of other note taking apps that don't rely on Markdown but the entire reason I (and many others) picked Joplin is because it is Markdown first.


Well, I admit, I exaggerated when said HTML is same ugly as Markdown. But it's nearly same easy to write (if having emmet and decent auto-complete). Regarding "plenty of other note taking apps that don't rely on Markdown" – where are they? I searched a while, but didn't find HTML-relying (or other more functional than markdown syntax) free open source note taking app with incryption, third-party cloud storage and visual (WYSIWYG) editor. What I usually find is either markdown-editor or visual editor but with 0 modification possibility

A. Markdown is infinitely easier to work with, simpler, and cleaner than HTML.
B. If you want to do advanced HTML-y + CSS things. You can. Correctly implemented markdown (Joplin included) supports that.
C. The challenges with the WYSIWYG editor are a separate topic that I am not conversant on.

I came to Joplin because it is open source, supports end-to-end encryption, can sync across devices, has various cloud options (I pay for Joplin Cloud because it is awesome), gives me a "publish" option, ... and, of course, because it supports markdown without hampering usage of CSS (so many other editors block CSS).

So far, I have yet to find a similar application that even remotely matches Joplin's versatility. But it all started with that baseline markdown functionality.


Did you look at Trilium?

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I haven't come across it, thanks for the link. As far as I can see, it doesn't have an Android app – the ability to view and edit notes is very important to me (usually, I only need basic text and font color functionality for a phone editor).

You seem to be thinking from the perspective of being a user of WYSIWYG editors. At least for me, that is not the main feature of Joplin - it is not a feature I use at all.

I use Joplin because it is markdown. The ability to type a character or two that gives you the basic formatting and document structure and features you want immediately, is amazing. Coupled with a little of the ability to move around lines of text with the keyboard, as in a code editor, and it becomes an extremely fast way to note-take or list-make. Then add the Rich Markdown plugin, so WYSIWYG, and fine-tune that to your heart's delight with your own CSS, and the markdown is even pretty.

Writing HTML, even with emmet, is nowhere near as easy, fast, or clean.

For me, the point is to NOT have all the possibilities that HTML would give me. I want it basic and efficient. If I wanted my notes to be prettier, I could just create the pages in HTML, use a Word Doc, hey, even WordPress, and publish those.


If you're comparing Markdown to a WYSIWYG editor or commenting that Markdown is ugly, I think you're missing the point of Markdown. The point of it is to get basic formatting features with limited keystrokes and without having to take your fingers off the keyboard. It makes typing out notes, complete with formatting, so much easier and quicker. If you think it's ugly, just don't look at your notes in the editor view, but look at them in the formatted view.


Wow. Another clone of Evernote. Or is this an attempted clone of Joplin? Dunno. Anyway. I'm just glad to see other players out there. It's missing a significant pile of features that I use regularly, but it seems to be a solid project. Joplin would be wise to take a look at its UI elements, though. Its UI is a bit too busy, but I like how it is tabbed at the top by default (Note Tabs is a great plugin, though). Notes can have child notes. That's interesting. And I like the variety of note types. For example, having a Code Note where all the contents of the note are assumed to be code and the UI can adjust accordingly. I think that's kinda cool.

Anyway. Interesting project. Limited for what I need. But interesting.

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I everyone,
I think a lot of people are coming to Joplin looking for a Onenote replacement solution (at least I am).
Markdown (and the RT editor in joplin) is too limited for that, so it's very frustrating.
There was an interesting proposition here, but as far as I can see, it did not raised interest from the team.
Is there a reason ?
For now, Joplin is not meeting my expectations, but I keep a close eye on this great app.
Thanks for the trillium link, I'll give it a try.

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Joplin is targeting the Evernote community more than anything. Not really OneNote. At least from what I can tell.

As for the other WYSIWYG editor. I guess it just needs to be assessed. Does it bring handwriting recognition? That's the one thing OneNote has that I wish Joplin had. Otherwise ... meh. Joplin covers the bases, and then some. At least for me. But I always welcome improvement.

I don't know if I should mention that markdown supports HTML, so have at it with HTML if that's your choice.

It doesn't support all of html. Some html things are not saving in markdown. Joplin also supports .html notes, but it have some visual bugs (occurs after switching between WYSIWYG and markdown editor; probably related to css) and WYSIWYG editor doesn't utilizes html, don't even have the text color button. Also, there's no easy and built-in way to create html notes, thankfully there's a plugin for that.

I'm trying to think of something it doesn't support since I have created rather elaborate things in Joplin intermixed with tons of HTML and CSS. Page numbering and page headers don't work, IIRC. But that doesn't work with most any browser. (That might be CSS and not HTML. I can't recall.) That being said, I use Joplin via the markdown editor or an external editor since as soon as any WYSIWYG editor enters the fray, limitations generally arrive.

I'm not saying I don't believe you. It's just that … the HTML support is vast and, at least to any use case I applied, rather complete. As for CSS, you just can't use <IMPORT ... >. You have to use @import (and you have to override the application's default CSS). There was a reason (security?) support for <IMPORT ...> was removed but I can't recall why.

Good luck.