Will Anytype Survive?

The questions and criticism are quite valid. I wrote that some months ago, but never published it, so a few things I mentioned may be a bit outdated or outright wrong.

I don’t have an issue with the license. Au contraire, it’s a quite reasonable model. The issue is with promoting the message of open sourcing, but then not really doing it. If that makes sense.

On the technologies, I have to disclose that I’m not a developer/software engineer. I know a tiny bit on the topic, but 100% talking from ignorance here. That being said, it’s clear to me that the team is tackling some big problems with a mentality of do it right from the beginning. That strategy comes with it’s advantages and disadvantages, but I really appreciate the approach. It’s quite rare to see this nowadays, as most companies “move fast and break things”.
I’m just concerned that this may mean that other companies just come along, look at the product and create something similar in less time, and without any morals…

The offline-first part… Please make the toggle. Please make it so the app gets online as an option (offline by default). I think that’s the right way to do it, and only then it’s reasonable to claim that the app is offline-first. Otherwise, we could also argue that Windows 11 is offline-first… If you aren’t connected to the internet…
Maybe the toggle already exists and I missed it. I just read about it a few months ago, but I don’t think I’ve seen it.

2 Likes

Define “offline-first” please ?

Many offline-first has local database AND a server : the goal is to be fully functionnal when you have no Internet access.

Or you can choose a definition on the Internet (here a radome one, from an android dev website)

An offline-first app is an app that is able to perform all, or a critical subset of its core functionality without access to the internet.

Easy to check.
Cut your network → Launch Anytype and use it: it’s works
Cut your network → Install Anytype, use it : it’s works

For me, what’s missing is the guarantee of having all your data synchronized on your device. But that’s not (maybe… bad faith, because I think it should be) an offline-first problem, since offline = no network = no sync or sync problems.

But yes, an easy switch would be a welcome extension of this concept.
A button that would switch Anytype from “Offline first” (works in loca but syncs online) to “Offline only” (all local, no network used).

But such a button already exists! When creating a new account, check the “gear” icon on top right, and select “local only” (or similar wording).

1 Like

I didn’t know about that, but I don’t think there’s a button/toggle to go offline with an already created account.

I’ll have to correct my initial reference. The webpage says “local first”. And I know the app works offline. It’s just that the “local first” wording of that feature brings to mind something like Obsidian, which you install and (AFAIK) doesn’t even try to connect to the server until you set up an account, or probably for updates and plugins.

I’ll be honest, this feature is not something I personally care too much about, and personally, I have seen enough to trust the team. This is more of a nit-pick, and my point for the team is: be more careful with your wording, as it may not entirely be a lie, but it’s a bit deceptive. I don’t think it’s done intentionally, that’s why I want to bring it to their attention. Because I care about the project, and thus far, the team has done a great job. Otherwise, I would’ve just left…

3 Likes

Thank you for coming back. I think what we’ve learned is that it’s important not to misinterpret already defined terms. This happened when we announced that we would open-source Anytype along with its public release. Some people interpreted ‘open-source’ according to the established definitions, whereas I viewed ‘open-source’ literally as ‘open source code.’ This misunderstanding became apparent when someone posted a link to Anytype on Hacker News. We realized that we were misleading people and subsequently changed our wording on the website to ‘open code.’

It seems you might be making a similar assumption regarding Anytype not being ‘local-first.’ In fact, it is 100% local-first. This term was defined in the article, two authors of which are our investors, to describe a technology that combines the benefits of both local-only and cloud technologies. For instance, through this perspective, Obsidian is seen as a local-only product because it stores your data in markdown files on your disk. Its sync service is merely an end-to-end encrypted cloud that does not facilitate real-time collaboration. By this definition, Obsidian is as much ‘local-first’ as Anytype clients are open-source. If your Anytype app on Windows does not work without an internet connection, it’s considered a bug, and we are happy to investigate.

Regarding the ‘local-only by default’ option, we plan to introduce it alongside payments. This aligns with our philosophy that software should be free, as it is digital and cheap to copy, but resources on the network are physical and scarce and thus paid.

On the technical side, only time will tell if our strategy was the right one, but we are currently confident in our choice.

12 Likes

I found out this topic while looking at discussions about what other apps are doing. To answer the question in the title, I may say that the word should not be on “survive” but “thrive” because AnyType after these years is already surviving, but it’s not their goal obviously.

To explain myself better, I suggest to all of you here you care about a startup, a mission, a product, ecc. to read Simon Sinek book “The Infinite Game”. I read it recently and I must say my vision of the world, of business, has changed completely. (is way better now).

What I feel about AnyType team is that they are brave because they decided to be in the infinite game, and thus they will surely shine, sooner or later.

@anton and team, I bet reading that book will give your team even more confidence in what you are doing, and to adjust you communication to the community accordingly. Highly recommend.

6 Likes

Thank you for the recommendation!

2 Likes

Thanks for developing such a great app!
Hopefully it will support Alipay or WeChat payment methods to make it easier for Chinese users to pay!

2 Likes