Turtl v0.7 Update

October 09, 2018

Hi, everyone. We’re excited to announce the release of Turtl v0.7. We’ve been slowly testing and tuning it for many months now with the help of some dedicated contributors, and it’s finally ready for launch!

This is a really big update to Turtl, and deserves some explanation.

We’ve comletely rebuilt the server from scratch. What was once Common Lisp is now Javascript (the new server lives here for those interested).

We’ve also rebuilt/rearchitected a lot of the internals of Turtl as well. A lot of this has to do with making Turtl easier to use with teams, but has also made everything much faster and more stable. The app itself now takes seconds to do things that used to take minutes. On top of this, we’re now using a more secure method to protect your data.

Account migration

Because so much has changed since the last version, an account migration is required. Also, new accounts no longer use anonymous usernames and will require an email. I know this feels like a drastic change, but it’s incredibly hard to help people if all they have handy is a non-public username. If you really want to remain anonymous, you can use a fake email because confirmation of email accounts is only required to enable sharing. This works very closely to how personas operated in the past.

Account migration happens in the app itself. It downloads your profile off of the old server, reformats it for the new server, and publishes it to your newly-created account. The process should be straightforward, but feel free to reach out if you have problems. There were some issues with account migration on android on v0.7.0, but v0.7.1 has been released which fixes these issues.

Please note that migration does not move shares from the previous version. To share on the new version of Turtl, the person you want to share with also needs to be on the new version of Turtl and you must re-share with them.

Known issues

Migration is a complicated process and while we did a lot of testing before launching the new version, some people are experiencing problems:

  • Some users are experiencing a problem logging in with their old credentials (#190)
  • Some users are experiencing an issue where migration is not moving any of their data over (#192)
  • Your saved servers are lost when upgrading. If you were connecting to a non-default server, you will have to enter it again.

If you have a problem with migration, don’t worry, your data is safe on the old servers. The migration process copies your old data, it doesn’t actually change it. Please bear with us as we fix these problems.

Also, feel free to install the old version of Turtl until we have everything sorted out:

Other changes

Turtl now has the concept of Spaces. These act as containers for your data that keep things separate from each other. For instance, you might have a “Personal” space or a “Work” space. Spaces enable sharing between users…we still have boards, but they don’t allow sharing anymore. We might allow sharing for individual boards in the future (see this issue). Spaces allow more granular permissions with sharing, which should make using in team-based settings much easier.

As mentioned, Turtl still uses boards. However, boards cannot be nested under other boards anymore. I know this might upset some, but the feature was not used much and complicated the interface and architecture quite a bit.

Notes can now exist in at most one board. This was another feature that complicated things a lot but we felt didn’t add much.

Technical stuff

Turtl v0.7 now uses a new component called the Core which replaces most of the old app’s code. The core is built in Rust and handles all the syncing, sharing, and cryptography, allowing the js project to act purely as an interface/UI and not house any logic.

When building the Turtl project from scratch, you’ll need to follow instructions for building the core, the js project, and whatever final platform you’re building for (desktop/android).

Up next: iOS

One of our next big goals is an iOS app. The new core component makes this much easier and while we don’t have a specific timeline, we’ll try to be as transparent as possible about updates.


The Turtl project used to use Trello to track our progress, but we’ve since moved to a centralized github tracker to organize all of our bugs and feature requests.

Please see our new contributing page for more info on helping out with the project!

(Post photo credit: Jose Aragones)