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Shane D.

Help Shape the Future of Evernote

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Hi All,

In this installment of Evernote Behind the Scenes, CEO Ian Small pulls back the curtain and invites you, the customer, to center stage. Ian chats with Jenn, a senior manager at Evernote, about the importance of our beta program, what we look for in customer feedback, and how your participation helps us co-create a better Evernote with our customers.

Become a member of the Evernote Beta Program today at https://evernote.com/betaprogram.

Subscribe to our channel to follow the journey, and join the conversation on the Evernote Forum!

 

 

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Initial reaction: some helpful hints to beta users (all common-sense to folks who have engaged in software development and related support work), clarification on preview vs. beta in the Evernote world, a RealSoonNow tease as to availability, and of course, how to join up. Laying the groundwork, I'd say; nothing too specific or momentous, but all fair game.

With respect to desktop betas, as mentioned, side-by-side installations would be great. I had been using both the beta and classic versions of Evernote web because the beta wasn't feature complete. The question I have is whether they also run on the same underlying local data stores (i.e., in Windows, the SQLlite .exb and associated files), and if so, could the two clients be used at the same time? Not a huge problem if not, but switching between classic and beta in the web application is simple and painless (hats off the the web team for that).

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1 hour ago, jefito said:

The question I have is whether they also run on the same underlying local data stores

I'm guessing not.  PDFs accessed in Windows Preview have to be downloaded and notes are slower to display in general.  I wonder if the local store is similar to the mobile apps, limited to recently accessed notes.  This would be good to know for many reasons like off line access or personal backups of notebooks, two not so small issues for desktop centric folks..  Simple spelunking shows only one EXB for me.  Of course a different naming convention could be in use. 

After the above, turned off connectivity and got the answer, see below.  The message appeared in the top middle of the Preview window.  Couldn't do anything.  Now I understand why there are no sync options in the Preview.  It basically acts like a browser or, better put, an EN mobile app.

ScreenClip.png.64cf2ea3c30c9757b0cdbfd5d7748616.png

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1 hour ago, CalS said:
3 hours ago, jefito said:

The question I have is whether they also run on the same underlying local data stores

I'm guessing not.

On the other hand, from a previous episode: https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/120075-behind-the-scenes-series-improving-search-in-evernote-web/?do=findComment&comment=538278@Ian Small said:

 

Quote

3. Following up on #2 above, we are NOT planning on eliminating Windows and Mac versions of Evernote with local stores, nor Android and iOS versions with local stores, etc.  Being able to use Evernote whether online or offline is a major feature/benefit and in a million years that's not going away.  Of course, having a local store would be even better if sync was fully robust.  Working on that.

I guess the follow-up to the follow-up ought to have been to determine whether the local note stores are transient a la mobile (modulo online notebooks), or however Windows' on-demand sync works (which I've never used) or permanent (our old friends, .exb files). Also, it's not clear to me that the Windows Preview is the basis for the forthcoming beta. I'm guessing not.

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2 hours ago, jefito said:

I guess the follow-up to the follow-up ought to have been to determine whether the local note stores are transient a la mobile (modulo online notebooks), or however Windows' on-demand sync works (which I've never used) or permanent (our old friends, .exb files). Also, it's not clear to me that the Windows Preview is the basis for the forthcoming beta. I'm guessing not.

For sure on the follow up.  ODS kind of works like offline notebooks but it's at the note level, if that makes sense.  All note headers are downloaded but only recently accessed notes are fully local.  They get released based upon a time value entered by the user.  Helps if you are disk constrained but more issues with search times, merges, and backups for my liking.

Heard today that a preview 3 is close so we'll see what changes are in it.  I'm guessing not on the preview as a base for the beta as well.  Just seems like the plumbing to support local storage is not trivial, even if you have done it before.  Maybe the code is highly modular, don't know.  End of the day I can only react to what is in front of me and the preview as it sits is a browser app in desktop clothing that performs like a browser app.  Optimistic it is temporary in general and because of the quote you reference.  As always, the musings of this writer have no particular basis in specific fact or knowledge.  Never been one to let the facts get in the way of a good story.  ;)

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Shortest response to all speculation above:  we have been investing for the last several months in replacing the plumbing in client apps, including in the modern web experience.  When we are done (we aren't, yet) this will mean a common codebase shared across all the clients for cloud-client functionality such as sync, which should help us both isolate and stamp out bugs as well as driving more consistent behaviour across any user's Evernote experience that spans multiple devices.  None of the previews put out to date incorporate any of this work, which is foundational to implementing the local data store for desktop and mobile clients that we all know and love.  We plan to shoot a Behind the Scenes video that talks about the new plumbing, but the architect we need for that is ... ahem ... busy right now, or else you would have seen it before this one!

Side by side installations on desktop machines of the beta and of a current production release will have distinct local data stores; you will be able to use both at the same time (I do that, right now).

Back to lurking
ian

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@Ian Small, got it and I appreciate the clarifications, as always. Looking forward to seeing the new stuff and videos, whenever they're ready -- having been around for going on 11 years, patience is not much of a problem for me. Cheers!

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5 hours ago, Ian Small said:

Side by side installations on desktop machines of the beta and of a current production release will have distinct local data stores; you will be able to use both at the same time (I do that, right now).

Thanks for the insight. 

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Evernote Team, please count me in. I have signed up in the Beta Program page and I promise I will give you guys good and useful feedback. :P

And thanks for letting us know what is happening under the curtain and where we are heading to. 

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I wonder whether encryption (by the user) of notes and notebooks is being factored into the currently in-development syncing architecture and new software clients? The available option of encrypting bits of text within a note feels very half-baked.

I'm hoping that the reason this feature hasn't yet appeared on the new web beta is that encryption is being completely re-thought and re-architected behind the scenes. Here's hoping, at least...

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Thanks again for sharing.

With „side-by-side“ installations I would rethink doing betas. As it is now, I can not integrate the need to have a solid, performant app and at the same time do a beta. So NO BETA until this can be done independently from the actual productive app version.

P.S. This forum is full of postings where users complain about bugs, that you can’t reproduce, and then you find out they are „beta-ing“. Maybe the background color of all betas should be changed, to a light green or something.

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I have been a user since 2008 and applied for the beta programme months ago and not a peep from from Evernote. Clearly 100,000 more important people than me 😀

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Maybe it is just a question of patience. Some betas were closed to new participants because they wanted to run it with the same bunch of people from the beginning to the end. Makes for more valid results, when you do not have new people dropping in halfway through.

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Isn't the reason no one has heard back about the beta program, that there are no betas to test yet? I thought the videos made this clear. The only beta available right now is what Ian Small called the "modern web experience", which seems to be randomly available to more and more people. But it doesn't even seem to have a way to report bugs, so it doesn't seem like a formal beta (maybe I'm wrong about this - I applied for the beta program, and some weeks later the modern web experience became available to me, but no notification that I was now a beta tester).

I'm only talking about the "new" Evernote. There is still an active beta program for existing releases - betas for upgrades to the current iOS version still happen.

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