QOwnNotes – App of the Week

We asked Patrizio Bekerle for an interview about QOwnNotes. Why did he write QOwnNotes, and how does it work with ownCloud?
ownCloud - App of the week: QOwnNotes by Patrizio Berkele

ownCloud-Contributor Patrizio Bekerle

In the editor wars between Vim and Emacs users, QOwnnotes did not take part – and quietly conquered its own area of application. QOwnNotes is especially popular for its high scriptability – there are a ton of community-written scripts for it.

There is also an QOwnNotes app for ownCloud, providing API access for a QOwnNotes desktop client, enhancing QOwnNotes by a few functionalities. We interviewed Patrizio Bekerle, who wrote the QOwnNotes software, as well as its ownCloud integration app.


What problem did you try to solve with QOwnNotes, why did you write it?

In late 2014 I needed a way to quickly take notes with one keyboard shortcut and the current date in the filename (until I have the time to change it to something better). The notes should be stored as simple text files in a directory so I can sync them easily. The desktop software needed to run on every popular operating system.

After trying out several text editors, I found none that could really do that in the way I liked it, so I wrote my own. 🙂

I cannot remember if I used ownCloud before or because I created QOwnNotes, but I loved ownCloud because it is FOSS and I could host it myself and as PHP-developer it also was a great fit for me. ownCloud notes met most of my requirements for note taking in the web at that time.

Which three QOwnNotes scripts do you consider most useful?

I love scripts to create new notes from text I copied from web applications like Note from Jira issue and Note from Bitrix24 task. Also the script @tag tagging in note text is pretty awesome because with it they can store their tags inside the notes.

If you need to modify the way the user interface looks you can do so with Custom user interface styling, or Custom note preview styling if you want to do the same with the preview.

What do you have to know to write a QOwnNotes script?

Scripts are written in JavaScript (inside QML files). There are a lot of examples on and you can always use the scripting repository at as reference for new scripts.

There is a documentation of all the API calls on

You can use as many private and local scripts as you like and if you want make a script public you can create a pull-request on

How secure is your encryption of the notes, what algorithm do you use?

Note encryption is by default done by the Botan library with AES-256.

You can also use your own encryption with the help of the scripting engine. There are already scripts for encrypting notes with PGP (PGP Encryption) or Keybase (Keybase Encryption).

I guess the weakest point of the encryption would be the password you are using to encrypt a note. And keep in mind that the headline isn‘t encrypted.

Do you plan to include more Code highlighting?

Only for the preview, if a fully fledged browser will be used for the preview somewhere in the future, which would have advantages (usage of JavaScript libraries in the preview, fewer html rendering errors) and disadvantages (bad backward compatibility, issues with printing/exporting, larger applications size, larger memory footprint, possibly slower rendering speed).

Okay, thanks a lot for answering our questions! Keep up the good work!


December 12, 2017

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