(Archived) Text Formatting Troubles and AppleScript Updates? in Mac Archives Posted February 18, 2010 It seems like there isn't enough time in the day to reply on all of the Evernote forum threads that I'd like to... so I can only imagine how you feel, Dave! Seriously -- I appreciate you taking the time to respond. For the sake of clarity, I'll try to comment "in line": 1.) I started this thread about the same time that I was writing a short piece about the iPad -- which ended up expanding into some of my recent thoughts about Evernote as well. (http://veritrope.com/opinion/the-poetry-in-not-pleasing-everyone). Maybe it was just interesting timing, but by juxtaposing the two, I really had to stop and consider the idea that the technology we use makes certain "core promises" to us as users. In that vein, I am glad to hear that Evernote is re-committing to delivering on the fundamentals -- text editing, open import/export, etc. -- that any good note-taking program must have. My suspicion is that the Evernote team is "eating it's own dogfood" quite a bit and that, as heavy Evernote users yourselves, these current short-comings annoy you as much as anyone! 2.) "We try to avoid giving specific timelines for future releases, since we don't like to look like jerks when things don't go as planned. But we've been doing work towards a lot of this lately." Anybody that reads this forum knows that you are not a jerk.... (QUESTION FOR DAVE'S CO-WORKERS AT EVERNOTE: IS THIS ACTUALLY TRUE?) You shared specifics here of what the team is working on to resolve some of these problems... and your users thanked you for it! In fact, I think the responses so far on this thread have pointed to something that would really be helpful and appreciated -- a Development Status page! Cultured Code does it for THINGS on a special page (http://culturedcode.com/status/), but even a Sticky at the top of the Mac forum with a thread of "Stuff We're Working On For The Next Release..." would probably work. 3.) "For example, a lot of the text formatting/editing complaints are indirect results that our "editor" is actually the WebKit engine in "edit mode", which produces funky HTML that we then sanitize to an internal, cross-platform subset. This means that some of the odd editor behavior (e.g. around lists) stems from the 20-year history of HTML behavior, which we try to work around with a cascade of tricks. For example, I'm 99% sure that this report is an artifact of how WebKit handles lists in "edit mode". I bet if you tried to do the same thing in raw WebKit, you'd get the same results. We're changing our internal representation to loosen the constraints on the HTML we produce to permit things like inline CSS 'style' attributes on elements, which should allow both a more natural editing transformation, and also permit future features that can't be expressed in our current representation (e.g. highlighting of text). RTF falls into the same boat ... we're taking RTF, handing it to WebKit, and getting strange results, so need to clean that up." Yeah...I've run into this type of WebKit nonsense before... recently, in fact, when I was writing that AppleScript for Scotty321 to convert his notes! But as I mentioned in his thread (http://forum.evernote.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=15041&p=59931#p59931), I really feel like this draws a line under the importance of AppleScript. Hopefully, it's not too weird to quote myself from that thread.... The fact of the matter is that, in this context, the AppleScripts that I write for import/export are like "taking an aspirin" for minor Evernote pain, whereas people like Dave and Geech are trying to provide a long-term, lasting cure for your workflow headaches. (Is this stretching the metaphor too far?) But aspirin has it's place -- which is why I urge anyone who cares enough about Evernote to read through forum posts like these to ask that additional AppleScript support be made a priority. Robust AppleScript implementation means that users like us can hack together some stop-gap solutions for workflow problems while the Developers work on the deeper fixes. It would also help everyday users develop workflows and contribute integrations as a community. For the Evernote Development Team and other API Developers, this could also really help shine a light on how people actually use (or would like to use) Evernote. Seems like a "WIN/WIN" to me! Again, here is my not-so-subtle pitch for some additional AppleScript development.... Because of the existing AppleScript support, I was able to quickly hack something together for Scott that at least was a "Band Aid" for his problem. Another example -- before Evernote had native HTML export, I was able to hack together an HTML Exporter with AppleScript (and a little Termnal-fu). It wasn't exactly the prettiest code in the world, but it worked well as a stop-gap solution until you guys rolled out the official, baked-in feature. Similarly, there are several complaints that I've seen here where users could at least temporarily ameliorate their own problems while you guys are working on the "big fix" -- if only there were a slightly more robust AppleScript implementation. I think you get what I'm saying here.... Anyone else feel the same?