SiYuan as an Outliner?

Is it (or will it be) possible to use SiYuan as an Outliner app, similar to RemNote?

At first glance, it seems this might be possible if I keep all my content within Lists. However, I'm not sure if this is the intended use for this feature.

I'm also not sure if this could lead to peformance issues. I noticed that there is always a short loading time (a spinning wheel shows for about half a second) whenever I unfold a header or list item in SiYuan. This happens even if there are only a couple of blocks nested within. I also noticed that most docs in the "SiYuan User Guide" Notebook are relatively quite short.

For comparison, I have documents in RemNote that are a few times longer than the entire "SiYuan User Guide", with deeply nested structures, and there are no noticeable lags. This is essential for my workflow, as it allows me to quickly navigate and restructure my notes, with almost zero friction.

Of course, I understand if you're not interested in focusing on outliner features for SiYuan. The app already looks and works great as a note-taking app!

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    forestknows updated this article at 2023-07-07 00:55:46

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    • mka

      Trying the lists feature as outliner for some days on. It's far from Workflowy or Remnote experience. The overall behavior is different, feels unfinished. But far most about the search and filter inside the outlines. Very difficult to see the context and zoom through the search out of the box. Maybe with a lot of sql queries you could do the work but the experience is still bad.

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    • zxhd86

      It depends on how you use Siyuan.

      • Extreme support for Siyuan outline note mode

        • Simple node

          *Node example

          • * 111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
          • A single node with 400 child nodes will not be stuck. (simple node)
          • Each node has 200 child nodes, a total of 20,000 nodes, and there will be no lag when using folding and focus (simple nodes)
        • Complex math nodes

          *Node example


          • There will be no lag in 13 complex mathematical nodes in a single node. (logseq is 52)
          • 13 complex math nodes per node, 117 complex math nodes in total, no lag when using folding and focusing (logseq folding will not render, almost equivalent to plain text nodes)
        • Conclusion: Siyuan performs well when it contains only plain text nodes, that is, nodes that do not need to be rendered, and can completely replace outline notes. But if complex, rendering-requiring nodes are used, such as math blocks, then performance drops dramatically and it cannot compete with real outline notes.

    • forestknows

      Yeah I vaguely understand how RemNote structure its data. Everything is a "rem", an equivalent to "block" in other apps. And whether a block in RemNote can be a page, a folder, etc. is just a matter of how you designate the identity of that block.

      That's it. They do have the concept of Documents, though that's just a Rem that shows in the sidebar (plus some other small differences). Even Slots (their equivalent to Attributes) and tags are Rems! It's very elegant and powerful.

      I think the answer to your question if SiYuan can be used as an Outliner app is that it absolutely can. Block is still the smallest unit here. Though I don't know if it can support your RemNote workflow.

      I do notice a slight lag when unfold a header in SiYuan not matter how large the content within is, so I think it's more like a quirk (definitely should be improved) than a performance issue. However, there is no lag when unfold a list.

      You are right! I missed that. Thanks for pointing it out. That completely changed my view. I updated one of my replies above to reflect that (I tagged you). With that, I think SiYuan might be fully able to support my RemNote workflow, and much more! Will investigate further.

    • Nhan

      Preface with I don't know anything about coding. But yep I believe you can use CSS code to make things more compact. I would prefer that too. However, while waiting for some community effort to make the CSS code, currently using Ctrl + or Ctrl - to zoom in/out the interface works well enough for me.

      Btw, could you elaborate a bit more on why SiYuan "isn't sufficient to translate what Logseq has"? What are the exact features that SiYuan is missing?

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