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timoc

Evernote to support Git version control as backup mechanism for Evernote repository and document change tracking

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As a premium subscriber - I want evernote to make my versioned notebooks available in evernote markup as git repositories.

The minimum implementation would be a daily cron or similar to export/update a personal read-only git repo for version controlled backups.

A backup is not a backup if it cannot be restored, it is an archive at best. Next step is to allow me to restore my evernote information from my Evernote git repository.

The rationale:

  1. I have an easy backup mechanism - running git clone on a regular basis.
  2. Anyone who can use git, will want (and understand) this feature, which would be amazing for Windows, OsX, and Linux
  3. It makes it easier for people to do whatever they want with regards to personal automation around their evernote notes.
  4. It will lower the barrier for innovation on evernote content on all platforms.
  5. If write access allowed, It makes it easier to use any other external text/xml manipulation tool to update evernote.
  6. Make it easier to detect and track changes in your documents, as git is a mature tool for this, and so are the tools that use it.

This "git backup" feature has the side benefit of making it easier for mature 3rd party tools on unsupported platforms e.g. Linux, OpenBSD, or anywhere GUI's fail, but git works!.

That's it.

This is what i am campaigning for now.

 

Edited by timoc
Added document change tracking as benefit
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Your post would be clearer if you provided more detail for the terms "Git" and "git repositories"?

>>A backup is not a backup if it cannot be restored,

I think I understand this - the Mac has an automatic backup mechanism and my Evernote database is backed up hourly, daily, weekly etc
However I can't use it because its the entire database, not individual notes.

Would the EN Note History feature qualify?
I have my own version running daily.  It exports a copy of the previous days changed notes in both html and enex format

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 7.29.19 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-04-02 at 7.28.01 AM.png

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We, as premium users, want access to our data at our will using an opensource tool. Since you are, in fact, only our data stores without an official linux app, several users would benefit from the proposition of evernote markups added to a git repository that will in fact mimc your account when paying for access.

We want our notes raw. Since every platform has access to an official app, we feel backstabbed as Evernote is not necessarily used on a computer with Windows or Mac or Android.

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If i want to continue increasing the value and reliance of the data i store in evernote, i want to be able to backup (and restore) with confidence. That's as simple as i can put it. 

What i am asking for is a single supported way of backing up *all of* my evernote data, inducing history, shared documents and attachments, such that i am independent of needing the application or website if i have to investigate a backup at a later date.

@DTLow,

Thanks, for the tip, but i don't know what EN Note is. There is a tool called geeknote that can do something similar on any platform that supports Python (and i think C/C++?)  but that is not what i am asking for. Also a Mac backup feature is not Evernote being capable of creating backups.

When i assert "a backup is not a backup if it cannot be restored" what i mean is can i take that backup and use it to restore my application state back to where it was when i took the backup. How many people have even tried to restore from a backup after they have been made? not many. Its always too late to find out after the disaster that you are missing some critical piece to get up and running again. In my day job, when i backup a database, its always to a text file that the database software itself can use to restore the structure and content such that the application using that application using the database is in the same state as when the it was backed up. That is how you manage data with any value.

Another mantra of managing data with value is the classic 3-2-1 backup rule:

  • Have at least three copies of your data.
  • Store the copies on two different media.
  • Keep one backup copy offsite.

I have no idea how to manage the 3-2-1 rule with evernote without keeping backups of the application and operating system it is running on. I guess i could run evernote in a virtual machine, and keep that VM under backup, but seriously WTF?

@piotroxp

Please to not make this about Linux, I started there, but its not about that to me any more. What i am asking for is backup and restore in text, of my historical information and attachments. The reason i specify a version control system is because this is exactly what they have been designed to do and git is the best version control system for the job (in my humble opinion).

I'm a Linux user and Windows user. I want evernote to be a tool i can use anywhere, but that is too much to expect from evernote. There is very little return on investment for them for non mainstream platforms, i mean who wants to support whatever the Tesla roadster runs on :). But seriously, see my response to @DTLow. The fact that a cross platform version control system has the fringe benefit of (assuming it was done right) making support for non windows/mac users, much, much easier, is no longer relevant to me.

The epiphany i had was i don't care any more about that cross platform problem, its not the problem i actually want to solve. I want to know that if i invest the time and money into using evernote for anything other than a toy, then i can do so with confidence.

I love that evernote has its own version control of my source documents. its part of what makes the service valuable to me.

As wikipedia states:

Quote

A component of software configuration management, version control, also known as revision control or source control,[1] is the management of changes to documents, computer programs, large web sites, and other collections of information. Changes are usually identified by a number or letter code, termed the "revision number", "revision level", or simply "revision". For example, an initial set of files is "revision 1". When the first change is made, the resulting set is "revision 2", and so on. Each revision is associated with a timestamp and the person making the change. Revisions can be compared, restored, and with some types of files, merged.

The need for a logical way to organize and control revisions has existed for almost as long as writing has existed, but revision control became much more important, and complicated, when the era of computing began. The numbering of book editions and of specification revisions are examples that date back to the print-only era. Today, the most capable (as well as complex) revision control systems are those used in software development, where a team of people may change the same files.

I propose git, but any tool would work, because as already stated, that is exactly what they were designed to do.

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16 minutes ago, timoc said:

Thanks, for the tip, but i don't know what EN Note is.

EN Note History was my shortform for Evernote Note History, as shown in the attached image
A built-in feature that keeps track of changes on a note-by-note basis.

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Timoc,
As much as what you're proposing sounds awesome, I would exactly make it about Linux, lack of official Linux client for paying Linux-based customers and the general approach of Evernote towards giving paying users open-source access. Your goal is yours, mine is mine - our interests coincide and this is the momentum.

As a premium user for 3 years, the split second there is a valid evernote rival, I am jumping boat. I am paying Evernote just for data storage, because I can't fully experience the service. And I'm paying them, because there is no one else on the market.

Just because everyone is comfortable with buggy, spying, unstable and untested piece of ***** that windows is does not mean that users building their own systems should be discriminated against because of a business decision to get inside walled gardens.

If Evernote doesn't want to build a linux client, sure as hell they will not give you your git backups. This should fly all over the infosphere with a header like "Evernote is discriminating it's Linux and FOSS paying users".

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Given that Evernote's value proposition is as a service that allows you to sync data across multiple platforms (they give the apps away) - I think it's extremely unlikely that they will build in an alternative (and free) solution that could potentially allow users to circumvent (and avoid paying for) the service.

Add in the fact that Git is a very well known development tool, but completely unknown in the rest of the world, it strikes me that from a purely bang per buck point of view, this would be not be something that they'd be likely to move ahead with.

The Linux argument has been around for a while, my guess is that they've looked at the numbers and made a business decision not to bother - I've seen no sign that the number of desktop linux users is growing at a significant enough rate to change this.

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