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Shane D.

Behind the Scenes: Achieving Feature Parity in Evernote Web

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Hi Everyone,

The web experience is where the journey begins, but it’s far from the end.

In this installment of Evernote Behind the Scenes, CEO Ian Small chats with Nick, an engineering manager at Evernote, about the work he and his team are doing to create a more modern web experience.

See some of the new features, upgrades to popular features, and under-the-hood improvements that will be coming soon to all Evernote platforms.

Subscribe to our channel to follow the journey!

 

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Hi Nick !

Tell Ian, if you deliver all this, from my side you can take any vacation you want to take !

Just do not go for hunting down elephants !

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Really like the ribbon option for the left panel.  Excellent!  Hopefully the list views will be options as well.  Added my two cents to the survey in the view options drop down. 

ScreenClip.png.8bdfce75cdd7e852962f2db79bcdddfc.png

Also hoping there will be more robustness in the search ares.  Can't really modify a search easily at this point (tag and/or notebook drop downs)  Thanks.

 

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Email I received yesterday at 11:51pm from Charlotte has incorrect links.

The discussion link opens up the June 4th video, and the YouTube link says 404 not found.

image.thumb.png.beaae8ae8e4099017a54bee9838e6d06.png

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51 minutes ago, TK0047 said:

The discussion link opens up the June 4th video, and the YouTube link says 404 not found.

Have you tried the forum link above in the header (not sure if that is the one you are referring to or not)?  That works for me.

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I like the improvements being made and appreciate the videos. Thanks to all.

Will drag and drop functionality be coming to the desktop app as well?

 

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Interesting video, I really enjoy this channel 🙂

I'm a little bit confused about the Chinese and American restaurant sub-tag example.  As far as I know,  in  EN windows, it's impossible to put the same tag into different tag hierarchies. Obviously, this feature as described in the video would be a great alternative for folders and would  alleviate the endless folders vs tags discussions...

 

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1 hour ago, eric99 said:

I'm a little bit confused about the Chinese and American restaurant sub-tag example.    As far as I know,  in  EN windows, it's impossible to put the same tag into different tag hierarchies.

Right1809497152_ScreenShot2019-07-11at08_21_44.png.ea3f271ee1b5665be487ec10a11e8661.png, it wasn't the a great example for organization structure
I would put HK Restaurant as a sub tag of Hong Kong (I like prefixed tagnames)

Unless they are planning a redesign on tag hierarchy

>>alleviate the endless folders vs tags discussions...

Only if they rename Tags to .... Folders  😋

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Thanks for the videos! 

I would like to have the reminder function also in the new Evernote Web. 

First steps are already implemented ... 

 2019-07-11_17-30-27_Evernote-Web.png.2af37feaf6a9efa54685e79e13bf9980.png

 

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This week's video: short form:

  • Stack/unstack operations : good to have, finally. Clients without these were crippled
  • Nested tags: ditto. Exposing nesting is a must for those users who use tags to navigate similar to file system folder. In addition, there must also be easy ways to add/remove tags to/from the current search filter, a la the current Windows client; should cover operations from a tag tree and also tag name filters.
  • The slide in/out sidebar UI is friendly and useful (similar to GMail's, but the chevron makes Evernote's more discoverable)
  • As for the stuff about syncing, will wait to see it in action. Probably not a number 1 in my use case, but for collaboration scenarios, critical.
51 minutes ago, eric99 said:

I'm a little bit confused about the Chinese and American restaurant sub-tag example.  As far as I know,  in  EN windows, it's impossible to put the same tag into different tag hierarchies. Obviously, this feature as described in the video would be a great alternative for folders and would  alleviate the endless folders vs tags discussions...

I suppose you could read it that way, but they never demonstrated it, and it seems potentially problemati, or at least confusing. I didn't get any notion that that was really planned, though. If I had Chinese / Restaurant and American / Restarant sub branches, what happens when you click on the Restarant tag under Chinese? Does the filter automatically inherit the Chinese tag? Could be useful, sure, but then again, what if I want to list all notes that have the Restarant tag? Do I need to multi-select? Is there a special operation like Ctrl+Click that selects all versions of the tag?

I think that this would be a big change to the Evernote architecture, potentially leaking into the search language as well, where tags are contextless (a search operates on a tag name regardless of whether it comes from your account or from a shared notebook). Not that I'm opposed to adding new capabilities to search, having proposed several changes over time (e.g. one for hierarchical tag search: https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/15173-shouldnt-selecting-a-parent-tag-search-child-tags/?tab=comments#comment-74067). Hopefully we'll get clarification on this, though.

I doubt that it would halt the tag vs. notebooks debate, though: tags will still be labels (a note can have zero or more tags) and notebooks will still be containers (a note belongs to exactly one notebook). Changing that would be a big architechural change.

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6 minutes ago, jefito said:

This week's video: short form:

  • Stack/unstack operations : good to have, finally. Clients without these were crippled
  • Nested tags: ditto. Exposing nesting is a must for those users who use tags to navigate similar to file system folder. In addition, there must also be easy ways to add/remove tags to/from the current search filter, a la the current Windows client; should cover operations from a tag tree and also tag name filters.

You are right, and I want to add something for clarity:

Nesting tags is far superior to nested folders, that we all know from OSes like Windows or MacOS. A document can belong into just one folder, one folder into just one other, etc. This means that all organization must be done tree-type, and the only movement is up and down, following the branches. If a document has several uses, one starts to create help-structures or else. Nothing really works, or you end up with a lot of duplicates.

One example: Some invoices may be tax deductible, other not, some invoices (but not the same as the tax stuff) will be needed when claiming warranty, others not etc. With folders, you have to decide whether you build a "tax" tree, or a "warranty tree", but no matter how, the other aspect will be missing.

With tags, you can create both structures side by side. If you need to find all tax related stuff for 2018, you just search for "tax" AND "2018", and it will find among others all the relevant invoices. Same with searching for warranty, here maybe by direct search for the device plus the tag "warranty" or "invoice" (to exclude all the other notes with user manual etc.). There is always just one note somewhere in its notebook, but with tags, the approach is more like a net, not a tree. Access is possible from many entry points.

This is why IMHO nesting tags is important, and nesting notebooks is not. If the tag nesting feature would be available on all clients, I would probably change my tagging strategy from a 2-level-nesting to a multi-level nesting. Because it means re-tagging, this can be done step by step, never loosing the searchability of all notes. You can apply the new tags side by side to the existing ones, and when you are completely done, you just delete the old tags. This step-by-step method is another pro for tags - when you change a folder structure, you have to do it in one go, for not to create a complete chaos.

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4 hours ago, eric99 said:

endless folders vs tags discussions...

and the "endless folders vs tags discussions" get started again 😕

along with tags vs notebooks and nested notebooks  😕

@PinkElephant  These discussions belong elsewhere

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Same procedure as every year, Ms Sophie ?

Yes, James, same procedure as every year !

(This joke is for German readers only ...)

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Looking forward to a more consistent sync experience. My sync experience has been fine; but I hope these changes will make the sync code more debug-able and easier to maintain.

I hope the editor moves in the same direction - strong, functionally isolated modules that, when there's a problem, help isolate the problem, or better still, catch the problem in the development phrase.

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

These discussions belong elsewhere

These discussions have already happened elsewhere...

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1 hour ago, jefito said:

These discussions have already happened elsewhere...

These discussions have already happened "everywhere" ... 😏

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3 hours ago, jefito said:

 If I had Chinese / Restaurant and American / Restarant sub branches, what happens when you click on the Restarant tag under Chinese? Does the filter automatically inherit the Chinese tag? Could be useful, sure, but then again, what if I want to list all notes that have the Restarant tag? Do I need to multi-select? Is there a special operation like Ctrl+Click that selects all versions of the tag?
 

Yes, if you click somewhere in the tag tree, all tags in the path are ANDed as you would expect.  At the other hand, if you just specify the filter tag:Restaurant, it  will retrieve all restaurants, whatever the place, very intuitive, no magic at all. The best of both worlds.

Edit: underneath there exists no tag hierarchy, all tags are flat and therefore there is only one version of the restaurant tag, so no need for a special operation like Ctrl+Click that selects all versions of the tag

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2 hours ago, eric99 said:

Yes, if you click somewhere in the tag tree, all tags in the path are ANDed as you would expect.  At the other hand, if you just specify the filter tag:Restaurant, it  will retrieve all restaurants, whatever the place, very intuitive, no magic at all. The best of both worlds.

Actually, I wouldn't expect that behavior, since I don't generally use Evernote tags that way (maybe I'm just Evernote brainwashed). There are times when I'd like the option to filter that way, but that's something I'd want to control explicitly in the tag tree (via Ctrl+click vs. Click, say). And I can I can see the case for both AND (which filters a list down), and for OR (include any of a tag and its subtags, which you can do in the Windows client, but not in a particularly convenient way) operations, again with a way to do it in the tag tree (and the search language as well).

2 hours ago, eric99 said:

Edit: underneath there exists no tag hierarchy, all tags are flat and therefore there is only one version of the restaurant tag, so no need for a special operation like Ctrl+Click that selects all versions of the tag

Sure is a tag hierarchy and it's it's expressed explicitly in the API: http://dev.evernote.com/doc/reference/Types.html#Struct_Tag. To allow for multiple appearances of  a tag in the hierarchy, that'd have to change (say, to allow a tag to have more than one parent).

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10 hours ago, jefito said:

Sure is a tag hierarchy and it's it's expressed explicitly in the API: http://dev.evernote.com/doc/reference/Types.html#Struct_Tag. To allow for multiple appearances of  a tag in the hierarchy, that'd have to change (say, to allow a tag to have more than one parent).

What I meant was that the tag tree position isn't used while filtering, as far as I understand it. The Struct_Tag is only used to represent the tags in a structured way.

This doesn't change the fact that the struct needs to be changed to allow for multiple appearances of  a tag in the hierarchy

While thinking about all this, I realized that these 'multiple parent' trees can already be simulated with 'Saved searches' by using proper naming:

'America' , 'America/Restaurants' , 'China' , 'China/Restaurants'  using the flat tags America, China and Restaurant

 

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3 hours ago, eric99 said:

What I meant was that the tag tree position isn't used while filtering, as far as I understand it.

There is one case that I know of -- in the Windows client -- where it's used: Tools / Options / Navigation / [] "Automatically select child tags", when checked, will cause the current search filter to generate an any: (i.e., OR) search with a tag and its childre. The hover text says: "Check this option if you want child tags to be automatically selected if you select a parent tag in the left panel or Tag Picker." I never found it particularly useful (it doesn't narrow your results), and got a few surprises when I had it enabled unwittingly and clicked on a parent tag while browsing, and all of a sudden had a huge any: search with dozens of tags. But it's there.

I'd like it if we could exploit tag tree structure in search (search language, or when browsing), both up the tree, or down, but it would need to be explicitly controllable, so no surprises.

3 hours ago, eric99 said:

While thinking about all this, I realized that these 'multiple parent' trees can already be simulated with 'Saved searches' by using proper naming:'America' , 'America/Restaurants' , 'China' , 'China/Restaurants'  using the flat tags America, China and Restaurant

Yep, other users certainly do that sort of thing. I find it awkward and less flexible than using separate tags, but it's available and workable for some cases. Problem with using compound tags is that you can't search on the secondary tag ('Restaurant' in this case), because tag search is not infix (i.e., tag:*Restaurant doesn't work).

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11 hours ago, eric99 said:

What I meant was that the tag tree position isn't used while filtering, as far as I understand it.

Confirmed; the tag hierarchy is not a factor for filtering purposes
We see this when we have multiple tags with the same name (shared notebooks), all the tags are used in the filter

>>This doesn't change the fact that the struct needs to be changed to allow for multiple appearances of  a tag in the hierarchy

We would have to select our tags from the tag tree in the sidebar as per folder methodology 😕

The method I use is to define tag relations independent from the hierarchy; I store this information in a note479735426_ScreenShot2019-07-12at06_39_10.png.a59c05fa644feb7dadbd0055992b00cd.png

I use this when assigning tags via a script on my Mac (Applescript)

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Hi,

 

Power user of Evernote since 2012, this serie is the best news in the company since this time. Please carry on, I am not a fan of forums but I decided to join this one after all that time

Using Evernote hourly on Ubuntu (web and Tusk app) as well as Android and at work on Chrome (Windows version...).

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1 hour ago, jefito said:

There is one case that I know of -- in the Windows client -- where it's used: Tools / Options / Navigation / [] "Automatically select child tags", when checked, will cause the current search filter to generate an any: (i.e., OR) search with a tag and its childre. The hover text says: "Check this option if you want child tags to be automatically selected if you select a parent tag in the left panel or Tag Picker." I never found it particularly useful (it doesn't narrow your results), and got a few surprises when I had it enabled unwittingly and clicked on a parent tag while browsing, and all of a sudden had a huge any: search with dozens of tags. But it's there.

I'd like it if we could exploit tag tree structure in search (search language, or when browsing), both up the tree, or down, but it would need to be explicitly controllable, so no surprises.

Yep, other users certainly do that sort of thing. I find it awkward and less flexible than using separate tags, but it's available and workable for some cases. Problem with using compound tags is that you can't search on the secondary tag ('Restaurant' in this case), because tag search is not infix (i.e., tag:*Restaurant doesn't work).

 

1 hour ago, jefito said:

 Problem with using compound tags is that you can't search on the secondary tag ('Restaurant' in this case), because tag search is not infix (i.e., tag:*Restaurant doesn't work).

When using tag suffixes, wildcards can be used:  Restaurant_us ,  Restaurant_ch   may be searched as tag:Restaurant*

In case of the Saved Searches, any part of the name can be specified in the selection: for instance,  'America/Restaurants' can be selected as 'staurants'

 

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7 minutes ago, eric99 said:

When using tag suffixes, wildcards can be used:  Restaurant_us ,  Restaurant_ch   may be searched as tag:Restaurant*

Of course you can, but so what? You' changed your premise. The example I was responding to was "America/Restaurants" and "China/Restaurants", and you cannot do an Evernote search that identifies restaurants based on those tags. You have to pick your poison: something has to come first in a compound tag, but then you can't search on suffixes using wildcards. You can solve this using separate tags ("American", "Chinese", "Restaurants"), but then you bump into the browse problem, where a tag must exist in exactly one place in the hierarchy. You pick your poison there as well, and that's the poison I tend to prefer.

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I'm very happy to hear feature parity across platforms is a priority. At times it feels like a completely separate product on each platform. I'm particularly happy to hear that syncing is being addressed.

The main reason I almost never use Evernote web is the absence of the saved search feature which is critical to my workflow. I've always been astonished that that was not included in the new version. (And yes, I realize I could roll back to the prior version of Evernote Web but that has its own issues.) I'm hoping that's one of the features that will be prioritized at some point because I'd like to have Evernote web as an option.

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On 7/10/2019 at 1:06 PM, PinkElephant said:

Hi Nick !

Tell Ian, if you deliver all this, from my side you can take any vacation you want to take !

Just do not go for hunting down elephants !

Thanks! I wouldn't think of doing so. Elephants are one of my favorite animals. 

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On 7/11/2019 at 10:13 AM, John in Michigan USA said:

Looking forward to a more consistent sync experience. My sync experience has been fine; but I hope these changes will make the sync code more debug-able and easier to maintain.
 

Sync is top of mind for our engineering group. We've spent considerable time rebuilding the sync engine for all of our clients. I'd love for us to do a Behind The Scenes video on this work. Unfortunately, it doesn't make for a great video because it's mainly a software architecture improvement. 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Nick Nassiri said:

Sync is top of mind for our engineering group. We've spent considerable time rebuilding the sync engine for all of our clients. I'd love for us to do a Behind The Scenes video on this work. Unfortunately, it doesn't make for a great video because it's mainly a software architecture improvement. 

But... but... it would work for me!! :) 

Or you could revive the old  Evernote Tech Blogs...

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As long as this basic way of implementing nested tags isn't carried over onto other versions I am grateful for a welcomed improvement. So, while it's a good way to test new ideas and such on the web, the web is still going to be a bottle neck for power use and desktop versions of Evernote from 10 years ago are still going to be more powerful.

The only worrisome part of the video is 0.51 where the list of notebooks to choose from hasn't (yet) been adapted to the lenght of the names of the notebooks. This has always been the worst part of how tags have been displayed/handled on iOS. It gives you like 15 letters max..

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2 hours ago, gustavgi said:

The only worrisome part of the video is 0.51 where the list of notebooks ...

I'm not sure why you saw that in the video, but I also find the truncated display of tag names a problem. Notebook and stacks too, but I have minimal entries.

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When will be the notification function available in the web version of Evernote? I think is't one of the best features to remember tasks. 

In the MacOS version this function is present bus in d beta version of de web version it's not (or i haven't found it yet). 

De position of the label is in de webversion is not very functional when you work in Evernote because when you work i a fullscreen (F11) it's hide after the windows taskbar if there's a notification in windows.

 

 

Schermafbeelding 2019-07-17 om 14.31.03.png

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