Zettelkasten Forum


Modularity and file transclusion

Hi all,

Thank you for helpful software and discussions.

I need advice on making it easier to work with file transclusions in the Archive.

Background: To me a crucial strength of Zettel is similar to the modularity of LEGO:

  • individual Zettel (self-contained) — which can be
  • connected in chains, trails, longer arguments etc.

File transclusion — I find — is a great help to use this modularity:

  • indivdual notecards can be assembled by making lists
  • an notecards with lists of other notecards can by
  • Marked2 be displayed (transclude) as continuous text,
  • which can be used both to produce a continuous notes on a book, on a common theme, an outline of an argument or a draft of a paper or chapter.

A possible way to do 'file transclusion' is the formatting /filename.txt

Problem: While [[filename]] is a good tool to assemble lists with clickable links, it does not have the advantage of facilitating file transclusion.

I find myself making sometimes lists of notes using [[filname]], sometimes /filname.txt, sometimes both and sometimes reformating a list from one format to the other.

Question: Can I have both advantages at the same time, i.e. links in the Archive and file transclusion in Marked2?

Possible solutions:

  • a context menu (when clicking) that makes a 'search the archive' — such that there is an easier way to search for the id of a notecard (say 'click and search' 202008260959)
  • Or can transclusion formatting be tweaked, such that it in the Archive (or some other, equivalent software) can function as a link (similar to [[filename]])?

All the best,
Christian

Comments

  • What do you want to use the transclusion for? I wrote a script or two to assemble a transcluded outline from a list of links. (Here's a super old version; the new one isn't on the blog, yet.)

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • MultiMarkdown offers a syntax for file transclusion which is also supported by Marked2.

    For apps supporting MultiMarkdown, this may be a good option going forward. A {{link to another note}} could be formatted as a clickable link (similar to [[link to another note]]) while still instructing the MultiMarkdown processor to include the note's contents in the rendered output.

  • @Frankel said:
    Possible solutions:

    • a context menu (when clicking) that makes a 'search the archive' — such that there is an easier way to search for the id of a notecard (say 'click and search' 202008260959)

    I don't misunderstand your request. To get The Archive to search for UID all one has to do is format the UID like [[202008260959]]. I add this under the title of all my zettel. This has the added benefit of populating the note list with all the "backlinks".

    Will Simpson
    I'm a Zettelnant.
    Research: Rationalism, Zen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • Be aware that @Will uses a chevron character at the top to, if I remember correctly, distinguish that occurence from regular links. Otherwise, when you want to do a mass-renaming in your Zettelkasten based on links from [[202008281028]] to something else, you'd replace the original ID as well.

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • Thank you for your feedback (and sorry for my late response — was busy elsewhere).

    ctietze ask: "What do you want to use the transclusion for?" The script you offer addresses the same issue, but I aim for another way of handling file transclusions.

    File transclusions allow us

    • in the Archive to make lists of notes and
    • in Marked 2 to view the list of notes with the full text of the transcluded notes.

    In this way, I can work at

    • atomic notecards' and
    • -see how they work when stiched together (without running a script).

    This way of working I find very helpful, as it allows, step by step, to work on individual notecards and assemble a manuscript and see the flow of argument that is build.

    Transclusions already work very well and can be made, as Will point out, using {{link to another note}}. Another way (implemented by iA Writer — and then also by Marked 2) is the format /link to another note.txt

    My issue is that I find lists of transclusions somewhat awkward to work with in the Archive. One cannot easily jump to other notes as when using the [[some other note]] format. In sum, lists of notes can go into

    • either an 'the Archive workflow' with handy links by means of the [[some other note]] formatting
    • or an 'Marked 2 workflow' with immediate display of a the full text of transcluded notes.

    But why this choice?

    msteffens summarizes nicely what I aim for: "For apps supporting MultiMarkdown, this may be a good option going forward. A {{link to another note}} could be formatted as a clickable link (similar to [[link to another note]]) while still instructing the MultiMarkdown processor to include the note's contents in the rendered output."

    This would be very helpful.

    Thanks again.
    Christian

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