Links vs searches
I want to build on a previous popular thread and a exchange that @ctietze and I had on the Zettelkasten Discord about the practice of referring to automatic searches in software as "links" even though they are actually searches.
@ctietze I think it would really lessen confusion if you stopped calling them "links" - which they are not! They are saved searches for UIDs (or DTIDs, or just IDs). It is only in TheArchive that these act as link substitutes. They may be better than links, but calling them links confuses people and discussions. Rather than talking about them as links and then occasionally mentioning that they "actually (!) execute a search", just say up front that TheArchive doesn't use links, but uses saved ID searches instead.
Now it turns out (I think) that the popular ZK software Zettlr also implements "links" in this way. But since so many of these conversations are about workflow details and recommendations, it is a huge waste of time for there to be misunderstandings about these terms.
@cobblepot overlooked this -- I see where you're coming from, but am not sure if I agree about the essence of what a link is, and what it's not
First, let's all agree on a few things. First, definitions are arbitrary and we can define things however we like. Second, there will be some gray area counterexamples to any definition, but that does not make defining terms pointless, nor does it mean that all definitions are equally good. There is no unassailable definable "essence" of a link that won't have some counterexamples, because language is messy and people use words in inconsistent ways. But concepts are useful for communicating with other people and community and definitions provide a starting place for assumptions. (If you don't agree with me on this, please continue in another thread - I respect your position but don't want to have that argument here.)
Here's a proposal for using the terms "link" and "saved search" in the ZK community when referring to connections between separate notes in the ZK. I am not arguing that links are better than searches or vice-versa, and I am not arguing that anyone is using these terms incorrectly. I just want to get clarity so that those of us who are primarily interested in improving our systems (rather than debates or language games) can talk to each other without wasting time miscommunicating. These proposed definitions don't aim to describe links in contexts other than between ZK notes, such as file or web links, although to me they seem to cover those cases decently well also.
Link: text in a note (the body content) that refers to a specific, individual, distinct note (whether that note is another file, another individual entry in a database, etc.)
Search: text used for a search (whether implicit/explicit, automatic/manual, etc.) that returns a list of files (however ordered) that include this text (whether in the filename or in the note content)
Saved search: a method for automatically showing the results of a specific search (e.g. clicking on text with specific syntax such as [])
To me, links and searches are clearly different things and it creates problems to talk about them as if they are the same thing. They may accomplish similar goals, they may be equally good or one may be better than the other, but they are different ideas. If [] executes a search that can return one or many items, but [[20200101011100.org]] executes a command to show one specific note, they are different. The former is not a link and should not be talked about as such. The latter is and should.
Please comment and let me know whether you agree, disagree, etc. and why!
edit: sorry this was put in the wrong channel - I'll ask the mods to move it.
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