Zettelkasten Forum


Keywords or Rules for the Themes

How difficult would it be to allow the Theme configuration to include keywords or rules, the way code editors do? A somewhat similar function exists in iA Writer for syntax. However, I would like an option where I can associate different names or keywords with different colours. This could have an impact on the reading and recollection of notes.

Comments

  • Sorry, I don't follow: I'm not sure what you mean with these terms. Can you give an example?

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

  • The effect I would like is to highlight (in different colours) terms which are defined based on a customisable rule (regex) or a dictionary. For example, I could define a rule based on which all names are highlighted; or, I could add only certain names or words into a dictionary.

    Highlighting names would allow one to quickly get a sense of who and what the note is about. Right now I can get such a highlight effect in The Archive by either adding tags, bold or italics. While this can work nicely, it has its limitations: it only applies to notes which I wrote using this conventions; also, there are notes for which I don't want to change the actual text. But of course, if such a feature were available, there could be many other things worth highlighting in a note, such as references (@ref_name).

    The inspiration for this feature comes from code editors. I played a bit with Sublime Text where I can define a new syntax that matches strings in a markdown source, and then connect it to a new rule in the colour scheme.

  • @igm2103 I know this is not the same but I can approximate this not automatically.

    Using the names in the Onmi Bar they are highlighted in the editor window according to the theme.

    I can't help but want this too. I do see where the tendency would be to colorize everything in a trippy rainbow kaleidoscope of color. I am still grappling to figure out the focus and unfocused highlighting from search terms and how to easily reimplement them after being sidetracked in my exploration. This morning I was spelunking in the cave that is my zettelkasten and I came upon this note with a highlight. There seems no rhyme nor reason for this that I can figure for the highlight other than cosmic spooky serendipity.

    Will Simpson
    I'm a zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Productive Procrastination, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • @igm2103 What would you use that for?

    I know that general purpose text editors like Sublime can do a lot of things, but I don't know the utility of highlighting arbitrary pieces of text in one's notes starting from the style/theme. For 'semantic' highlights, there's of course the emphasis with * and **. I can also see a point in supporting Markdown flavors to highlight words in the text as some kind of callout (e.g. in CriticMarkup http://criticmarkup.com/spec.php for editing purposes), but you seem to have something different in mind.

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

  • @ctietze Such a feature would allow you to quickly parse (older) notes. The markdown headings (with their style/colors) allow you to quickly parse the structure of a note. If your notes are well organized in terms of structure, it is easy to find things because you know where to look for them. Highlighting terms would work similarly, but for the content rather than for the structure.

    Special marks (such as emphasis or others) do this to some extent. However, they highlight the note at the time of writing, not at the time of reading. When reading an old note you might be interested in something else. I agree with @Will that the OmniBar or the search function can highlight terms you are interested in at the time of reading, but that's a very narrow function. What the highlight feature I'm imagining would allow for are more moments of "cosmic spooky serendipity".

    Imagine that you are flipping through your notes, not necessarily because you are looking for a precise piece of information. The term highlighter would immediately reveal what those notes are about. The feature would be similar to the syntax highlighter in iA Writer, but for semantics. I mean by this that it would allow you to explore a text without having previously marked the individual words. The way the iA Writer allows you to highlight different parts of speech, you could work with different categories of terms: such as names of people you are interested in, concepts etc.

    Because I have not played enough with defining this feature in Sublime I cannot yet give you a strong example of where this would be really useful. I can only give the example of iA Writer which can allow you to quickly understand something about the style of a text; for example, by highlighting adjectives and adverbs:

    I would like to do something like that but for the content.

  • @ctietze said:
    .... you seem to have something different in mind.

    Might colorization of bits of text be handled with the forth coming user-space scripting?

    Will Simpson
    I'm a zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Productive Procrastination, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • @ctietze I think such a feature would allow one to quickly parse the content of an (older) note. It is a bit similar to how markdown headings (with their style and color) can be used to structure a note so that you can quickly make sense of the content. You can partially achieve this with marks (either emphasis or something else like CriticMarkup). However, marks (this also applies to the structure of a note) depend on what you are most interested in when writing the note. The feature I have in mind would allow you to highlight the parts you care about when reading the note. For this reason I think it is best not to hard-code (mark) the highlight in the note itself, but rather to use a more flexible implementation like a dictionary or search pattern.

    Because I have not had enough time to play with defining this highlight feature in Sublime I cannot provide you with a clear example. What I have in mind is something like the iA Writer syntax highlight, from which you can quickly get a sense of the style of a text:

    I imagine something similar, but for content or semantics. This feature would allow for more "cosmic spooky serendipity" (@Will). The highlight from the search function is a bit too narrow for this. Imagine you are flipping through your notes, but not necessarily because you are looking for a precise piece of information. The term-highlighter (which would allow you to define dictionaries/lists for the names of people, concepts etc. which can be mapped to different colors) would immediately reveal what those notes are about.

  • I think the best answer is "no": That's not what I had in mind thus far to have scripts achieve, but it's not impossible to do that way, either, should we find the need arise.

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

  • @ctietze I think such a feature would allow one to quickly parse the content of an (older) note. It is a bit similar to how markdown headings (with their style and color) can be used to structure a note so that you can quickly make sense of the content. You can partially achieve this with marks (either emphasis or something else like CriticMarkup). However, marks (this also applies to the structure of a note) depend on what you are most interested in when writing the note. The feature I have in mind would allow you to highlight the parts you care about when reading the note. For this reason I think it is best not to hard-code (mark) the highlight in the note itself, but rather to use a more flexible implementation like a dictionary or search pattern.

    Because I have not had enough time to play with defining this highlight feature in Sublime I cannot provide you with a clear example. What I have in mind is something like the iA Writer syntax highlight, from which you can quickly get a sense of the style of a text:

    I imagine something similar, but for content or semantics. This feature would allow for more "cosmic spooky serendipity" (@Will). The highlight from the search function is a bit too narrow for this. Imagine you are flipping through your notes, but not necessarily because you are looking for a precise piece of information. The term-highlighter (which would allow you to define dictionaries/lists for the names of people, concepts etc. which can be mapped to different colors) would immediately reveal what those notes are about.

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