1 - Native Preview Experience


  • remove Markdown Preview Enhanced (MPE) dependency
    • MPE has a huge surface area and we only use a small part of its feature set
    • MPE is a sizable download (40mb) with performance issues on startup and a few other cases
    • MPE is based on markdown-it whereas dendron is based on remarkable
      • this makes our features sets incompatible and makes a lot of the MPE code base unsuitable for extension
      • this also causes notes in the preview to render differently from code in the browser
  • use next.js for markdown preview
    • next.js is already used in Dendron webviews (eg. Dendron: Configure) and the plan is to convert all UI components to webviews
    • next.js lets us add rich visualizations based on React and the latest web technologies
    • next.js will let us eventually use MDX
    • next.js can eventually be used as a scaffold for our own web client or dedicated desktop client

Goals with v1

  • use next.js to do local preview of dendron notes

Stretch Goals

  • scroll sync
  • use next.js to preview dendron site
  • better preview for schemas

Additional Features

  • folding of headers

Future Goals

  • use next.js to provide WYSWYG experience for dendron notes
  • incorporate native lookup inside Dendron


  • we currently render notes into HTML for publication with 11ty. it seems like duplicate effort to re-create this in next.js
    • ideally, want to either serve the static assets from 11ty using next.js or use next.js to generate the static assets
    • kevin's thoughts: I like to be able to use next.js for everything down the line (static site generation + preview) but it might make more sense presently to implement a vscode specific preview and then figure out how to merge 11ty and next.js afterwards
  • Dendron currently uses express as a backend
    • we generate static assets from next.js at compile time using next export and then serve them over express
    • Moving forward, if we want to use next.js for preview generation, we will probably need to swap out express with next.js
    • reason we currently have the next.js/express split is because next dev dynamically re-compiles each route one at a time which causes our integration tests to fail (our integration tests call on the APIs from express ) and next.js causes the initial call to fail
    • we'll need to either find a workaround in next.js our use next.js custom server functionality to embed express
    • kevin's thought: use custom server functionality. we'll lose out on some next.js code splitting features but should give us the best of both worlds otherwise


  • bundle next.js with dendron using custom router
  • add api to dendron engine to preview a note
  • update Dendron: Show Preview command to call API with current note