Orphaned pages in Anytype

This is a part bug report, part support question; I hope I’ll be able to get some help here as well!

Describe the bug

Occasionally, when using /page, a new page is created and the user is able to create the content of the page fine. However, upon closing the page, the new page isn’t appended (and linked) to the parent page. The result is a page that’s orphaned on its own without a link from any page. This page can’t be found in the home page, but it can be found by searching. When trying to use /link, this page doesn’t appear in the list.

To Reproduce

Steps to reproduce the behavior:

    1. On a page, create another sub-page by using /page.
    1. A new page will appear; feel free to edit it as much as you’d like.
    1. Close the page.
    1. The page is orphaned and there isn’t a link to the parent page that created it.

Expected behavior

I’d expected the link to be formed on the parent page, where /page is replaced with the name of the newly-created page.

Desktop:

  • OS: macOS Big Sur 11.0.1
  • Version: 0.16.4

Additional context

Here’s a screenshot of one orphaned page; there aren’t any links from and to the page itself:

How can I archive or remove these pages? Thanks for the help and advice in advance!

Edit: Interestingly enough, these orphaned pages don’t appear on the Android app!

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Yeah, the case with orphaned pages is strange. I am guessing when a user deletes a page, they would want the child pages to be deleted as well. This issue needs to be addressed.

Nevertheless, you can archive them via the three dot menu.

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Ah, neat! I didn’t realise the option to archive there. Thanks for pointing it out, @BGray!

@arashnrim Thank you for your notice! I tried to reproduce it in the 16.8 version and it doesn’t reproduce. Do you still have this behavior?

@Kirill_Lem Yes, child pages are still orphaned.

To reproduce, just create a page within another page and archive the mother page. Do CTRL/CMD + S and search for the child page you created earlier and open it. You will find the ‘Links from page’ and ‘Links to page’ sections empty. You can also check the ‘Archive’ section in your dashboard, the child page will not be listed.

@BGray @arashnrim, sorry for the long answer. Pages in Anytype have graph structure, and when you put the mother page in the archive, you just delete the connection between the mother page and a nested page. That’s why you see the orphaned page

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This is a part of the indexing issue that we are going to fix with the database release

So if you create a page with the /page inside any other page you see no connections in navigation (CMD+O)?

Cause archiving as @Kirill_Lem said disables the connection and that behavior is correct.

@vova_ermolaev ‘That behavior’ has problems. If you have a parent page and 20 child pages linked to it and you want to delete (archive) all of them, you need to do it one by one. Otherwise, all the child pages and their content will show up in the search results whenever you search for something.

I would say all of them needs to be archived and they shouldn’t be unlinked at all when archived.

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Thanks for the explanation, @Kirill_Lem and @vova_ermolaev!

Apologies for the lack of updates on my end, as well. So far, I haven’t been experiencing this issue anymore since the new updates rolled in, but yes, you’ve described the issue right. The page doesn’t appear when I used /link and is orphaned in navigation. Even so, it is searchable.

I’ll continue to see if this issue exists following the new Anytype updates that has gone by. I haven’t noticed them so far just yet!

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@BGray

The problem is that we never know what pages are children and what are a parents. You can mention or link any page in Anytype and deletion of such page can be very destructive to your data if we will delete the whole branch. Because your data is interconnected it’s better to imagine siblings with connections to other siblings that can create the graph like on the image below.


We think about the smart deletion logic that will track orphaned pages and recommend to delete them also in your case and will release a better interface to work with deleted pages. I hope this will make the experience better.

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@arashnrim love to hear that, I hope this problem will never happen again!

Anyway, this thread was very interesting, thanks for your initiative

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@vova_ermolaev Thanks, I also do agree that the ‘smart deletion logic’ you are talking about could be quite useful.

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This seems like a problem primarily arising out of the needlessly opaque navigation system (hard to navigate, hidden, hard to see full structure of). Notion and others that take a more traditional tree structure approach do not seem to have any need for this. In Notion a page can be at multiple places in the hierarchy, but they are all visible, there is no way to “lose” a page AFAIK. And there should not be IMO. So once again this just goes back to my other feature request, which I know is being considered: https://community.anytype.io/t/-/976

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@Oshyan you are right, those problems definitely linked with each other.

I can’t say much, but we found the solution and interface example, that can show branch as a hierarchical directed graph based on one factor. It will look like a traditional tree structure approach. And it can be used in the sidebar. And in deletion. Sounds complex, but I hope it will be easy to use.

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@vova_ermolaev Sounds good! I hope so too. :slight_smile:

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@vova_ermolaev

Great that this obscure navigation is being addressed! Can’t wait to see what fix it has gone through next year :wink:

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