Why Use GNote When There’s Tomboy?

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Sun, Dec 13 - 7:35 am EDT | 9 years ago by
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GNote is interesting is an interesting application because it is a sticky notes application which allows wiki-like syntax, linking, and so on. And it looks very much like Tomboy, as it’s a re-write of that application. I installed GNote from the PPA. And when it was finally installed, guess what. I launched it and was surprised to see something very similar. Except that, of course, under the Tools menu, there’s no such thing as “post to your blog” as an option.

This is GNote. And yes, it looks very much like Tomboy.

This is GNote. And yes, it looks very much like Tomboy.

What is to love about it?

  • For one thing it loads so much faster than Tomboy.
  • Another thing is that it seems to use only half the memory that Tomboy uses.
  • It recognized all my Tomboy notes and so I didn’t really have to do anything to make sure it does that. Very convenient.

For me these three reasons are awesome enough. : D

So GNote was written as an exercise in porting Tomboy to become non-Mono and I think that it works pretty well on my netbook. And I like that. Looking for netbook-compatible applications is something I am interested in so that I won’t have to worry much about performance issues and stuff. Here’s hoping that Ubuntu Remix, Moblin, and other netbook-friendly Linux distros will have GNote by default. I like using Tomboy but for the sake of practicality, this looks like the better option. For those who are dependent on some of the plugins for Tomboy, you might have to write your own or just dare to try to use the plugins for Tomboy. However that’s really iffy as an article on LWN pointed out support for them is pretty spotty.

If you’re looking for an alternative to Tomboy which is faster and uses less memory, then GNote is the way to go.

Addendum: If you want to know more about the background of GNote, check this out this blog entry.

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  • Tom

    But GNote is not cross-platform and Tomboy is. Personally, I think cross-platform is good and I try to use and support cross-platform applications.

  • Tim

    Does GNote automatically upload your notes to an online backup service? Tomboy uploads notes to Ubuntu One in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.

  • http://automorphic.blogspot.com Sandy

    Just to clarify one thing, Gnote doesn’t support Tomboy add-ins at all. Just like with the rest of Tomboy, the add-ins have to be ported to C++ before they can be used by Gnote.

    So things like the blogposter add-in you’ve written about, and Ubuntu One sync, and various other features are completely missing.

  • http://www.pulsewidth.ca ernst

    When I first saw Gnote I was kind of excited to start using it, what with its lighter footprint, faster loading and all. Then I noticed something conspicuously absent from the options: synchronization. I use Tomboy’s local folder sync along with Dropbox to sync three machines at work(one running Windows Tomboy) and another pair at home. If someone was to show me how this could be accomplished in Gnote I would gladly switch, but I’ll stick with Tomboy for now….

  • http://fluidity.googlecode.com Jens Knutson

    GNote seems promising, except that it…
    * Lacks sync support
    * Can’t search using phrases
    * Is missing several plugins from Tomboy
    * Is still a bit buggy – has several obnoxious corner-case bugs left to squash
    * but most importantly, it HAS NO MAINTAINER – Hub quit the project once the port was basically complete. (Check git.gnome.org – no development activity since August, save for one small fix for XDG dir spec compliance)

    Tomboy, on the other hand, is still in active development, has more plugins, and has Snowy to round out its mega-awesomeness.

    What’s more, I personally have about 400 notes, and after using either app for a day or two, they pork up almost equally. GNote will bloat out to 40-45 MB, Tomboy will bulk up to around 45-50. 5MB RAM in exchange for something as powerful as note sync? No contest: RAM is CHEAP, my time is not.

    I’m not a Mono fan, and I’d love to see GNote succeed, but I don’t see that happening. Until it can do what Tomboy does, and do it as well, I can’t justify using it.

    • Sheldon

      I know this is quite late in coming , however, Gnote functions quite well qithout Tomboy plugins and, more importantly, it’s easy to sync with Ubuntuone.

      Just find .local/share in your home folder
      In the right pane of nautilus, hilight gnote folder and right-click
      scroll to Ubuntu One in the context menu and choose
      Syncronize this folder

  • Rahul Sundaram

    Gnote does have a maintainer and active releases. So Jens is incorrect on his claim.

  • http://whatthenix.blogspot.com Mitch

    Well… for one thing, Tomboy is Mono based, that’s why it’s so cross platform. I don’t know about you, but I personally prefer, if I’m running *nix to stick with *nix. I don’t really feel like supporting M$’s takeover of every computerized function.

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