Soft Linking for better Graph organisation

WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND

Adding a Soft Link relation that will group objects until overridden by a different link. Overriding would happen automatically by just linking as normal but the Soft Link would prevent potentially thousands of unsorted unique items in the graph.

HOW COULD IT BE DONE WITH REAL WORLD USE CASES

I’m a person who journals (though I think this feature would be useful for many people) and so it doesn’t take too long for me to end up with hundreds of pages of journal entries. Journal entries really want to “live” inside my Journal set and right now when I create them they link to that set to keep them from flying around the graph unsupervised.

This does cause an issue though as soon as you get, say, in excess of 30 objects. While those objects are very conveniently all clustered around a single node, as soon as I want to link to a journal entry from a project because I had been thinking about it there, it will pull the whole journal over for the ride which immediately obfuscates the value of the graph for my working projects. This leads to me either not linking, or having to navigate to the text I’m thinking of and just copy it out - this feels bad though because it denies the information the benefit of context.

What I’d like to see happen instead is that the link to the Journal set could be a soft link, meaning that it would be actively used for clustering the objects only when there was no other link. As soon as the object has another link, that would take precedence and behave as now. Essentially tearing a page out of my diary and slipping it in to my project where needed.

In the graph view I’d expect the Soft Link to appear like any other link until overridden, at which point it would disappear (to prevent long messy noodles) unless either the parent or child of the link was selected, and then it could be displayed (maybe as a dashed line to show it was not active but that’s where the object came from).

The journal cluster would simply sit off to the side, untethered, regardless of how many pages got torn out and distributed. A diary should be a repository for thoughts, but not the owner of them, you should be able to pull them out for use as the journal itself is irrelevant to the knowledge within.

Something like this would get more and more important as the journal grows over (hopefully a long) time.

TL;DR
A relation that links objects in the graph only if the objects have no other links.
This would help with clustering of dense miscellaneous objects like journals or inspiration notebooks etc.

RECOMMENDED ALTERNATIVES

An alternative is to, when linking to something from the journal, manually go into that page and remove the “Related to Object” link. Doing so, however, would also potentially remove it from the set it was in (depending on how the user had set up filtering).

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Soft links would also help me with clustering tasks that haven’t been linked to an immediate project

Your point and request are valid and it would be interesting to explore the idea but in the meantime let me suggest a workaround.

You said that you have a set called journals, right? So in order to link your entries to the set, you could create a relation called "x’ of the type object. Then select your “journal” set for this relation.

Now, as you said when you come up with a project which a particular entry would be relevant to it, then you can just link your entry to that particular project with either the “link to object” command to create a block or an inline mention using “@”. After doing so, you can delete the journal from the relation “x”, so it would no longer have a link with the mentioned set. I believe this will do it for you.

Thanks - yeah this is what I’m currently doing but it is an extra step to remove the original link, and if the object is no longer relevant and is unlinked, the user would need to go in and reconnect it to the original set manually. I do think there’d be some benefit to having the soft link act like a custom default value

2 Likes

Hello @Erindale we will introduce the ability to link object to the sets in the graph. Will it solve your initial problem of unlinked diary enties?

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It’ll solve some of the issues people are having for sure.
I still think having a link that can be overridden would be useful though when you want to essentially tear a page out from somewhere and pin it to a project elsewhere.
As long as the links to sets can be toggled for each set rather than it being global, and as long as there’s a way to have something appear in a set which has linking turned on, but to turn off that backlink on that one object so you can link it to another project without dragging over all the whole set in the graph, then I think it’ll work fine!