Roam

Roam and its variants are part of the WikiRevival.

Roam Research is a hosted service. Instead of billing itself as a wiki, it describes itself as “A note-taking tool for networked thought. As easy to use as a document. As powerful as a graph database. Roam helps you organize your research for the long haul.”

Org Roam is Roam implemented as part of Emacs‘ Org Mode and describes itself as “a solution for effortless non-hierarchical note-taking”.

Foam is Roam implemented on Visual Studio Code and describes its purpose as “organising your research, keeping re-discoverable notes, writing long-form content and, optionally, publishing it to the web.”

Obsidian is “a powerful knowledge base that works on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files.”

Logseq is “Logseq is a privacy-first, open-source platform for knowledge sharing and management.”

The fact that there are many variants should tip you off:

To understand why Roam is not much different from a local wiki, consider the description offered on the Foam page: “Create a … workspace for all your knowledge and research … Write your thoughts in markdown documents … link your thoughts together with [[wiki-links]], and navigate between them to explore your knowledge graph … discover relationships between your thoughts with the use of Backlinking.”

It’s the user interface and how it’s sold that matter. The features alone don’t seem much different from the local Wiki Mode for Emacs Alex Schroeder wrote 2001–2002, and others before him.

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Discussion

new: 2021-01-17 07:39 UTCAlex Schroeder: The fact that Roam Research can ask for $15 / month and more goes to show how utterly wikis failed to communicate their utility to the public, and how wiki developers failed to write software that rigorously puts non-developers’ needs first.

new: 2021-01-17 16:55 UTCTimurIsmagilov: When I was discussing MycorrhizaWiki, many people tried to compare it with Roam, Notion and friends. Indeed, nowadays, a WikiEngine has to beat them. But it is hard to “put non-developers’ needs first”. What are these? What do they do? Who are these people, after all.

Roam and its variants are part of the WikiRevival.

Do they know about that?

new: 2021-01-18 11:03 UTCLionKimbro: Hm, …

I think, …

I’ll believe it, when I see something cool made with it by a community of people.

new: 2021-01-17 16:55 UTCTimurIsmagilov: What do you mean? Do you want to see a good public knowledge base running Roam? I haven’t found any. It’s understandable, they are private.

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