I want to share some thoughts with you, and gather feedback.
I’ve been using Anytype for almost 4 months. And that’s a great experience.
Mostly, I’m using Anytype for academic purposes(University stuff, scientific work) and in addition to collect all the sources where I can get some insights(articles, movies, series, books, games) to build my own knowledge system.
But every time I start a new topic I create some kind of dashboard.
Unfortunately, right now this is the only option to structure my objects that satisfies me at least a little bit and even this method is not ideal, because not everything in this life needs flexibility.
Lets look at some keypoints.
All possible scenarios of linking and “nesting”:(the quotes are here and further in text for a reason).
- You can “create a new object inside of another object”
- You can create a new “child object” and link it to your “parent object” manually.
- You can link existing object to your “parent object”.
- That should work like “nesting”, right? But, it doesn’t work this way. What happens is, it created an independent object and momentarily links it to the page you consider as “parent object”. Forget about nesting. There’s no hierarchy. It’s just a link to another object.
You delete your child object - the link becomes broken. You delete the link - the object stays. Doesn’t that seem like broken feature to you?
2 and 3 option are just the same. And that’s the problem. All these three scenarios are equal to the result.
Therefore, I doubt very much that developers are able to make some kind of hierarchy or “classic tree sidebar” (so that the created dashboards are not a panel of links, but a panel of child objects).
Because, on the one hand, there is no conflict between the Anytype paradigm, that we think in objects, and the idea of some objects inside other objects (boxes, zip-archives, nesting dolls, etc. are the great example of how natural this idea is). But, on the other hand, if we treat all types of objects as equal, we won’t get the same clean workspace as in Notion or other hierarchical-oriented note-taking applications. After all, even photos, mp3, contacts have their own object type in Anytype. If we had the opportunity to see how a Notion-like sidebar would look like in Anytype case (when no hierarchy is applied and everything is connected only by links) - it would look like a nightmare of all your unsorted objects (do you remember that even files have their own types in Anytype?) in one place.
**Bottom line: **
1. I do not understand why “adding an object inside another object” is equivalent to simply linking one page to another.
2. I don’t understand why there is no nesting, because it is a very, very common way to structure things. Your computer, phone works so. It would give the Anytype workflow extra flexibility points if this feature was there.
3. I have some doubts that with the current paradigm of equality of all object types, it is realistic to implement the “normal hierarchical tree sidebar” that many of us expect.
4. In my opinion, nesting and linking should be different operations. And it can even be shown as a graph. Parent objects could be larger, more distant from other parent objects. The link rays could be bold (for example). In turn, child objects could be smaller, with thin rays and placed close to the parent.
Don’t get me wrong. Flexibility - it’s great. But, if you can’t structure objects in the way you want - that’s also a lack of flexibility. That’s your deal - how flexible your system should be.
Thanks for your attention!
Leave your feedback in the comments:)