What don't you include in your zettelkasten?
I'm currently learning a couple of different programming languages, one is very similar to programming languages I've worked with before; and the other one has several differences. The kind of notes I'll be writing while reading books and reference manuals for these languages will be notes containing the same information in my own words. Basic knowledge about programming languages will be pretty much exactly as states in the books and manuals.
Should I skip creating these notes and instead focus on actually practice programming in these languages; or should I take the time writing these notes?
The situation is a bit different regarding the two languages I'm learning, but I think that I maybe will end with the same solution for both languages. The first programming language is simple and similar to other programming languages I've worked in before. While I still need to read manuals and books to get to learn the languages, a big part of the language (syntax) and ecosystem (libraries) is similar to other languages and ecosystems I've used before. Therefore I don't see I would gain much from restating the information I already know. Some details of the language, which is one of the reasons why the language was actually created, will probably contain new information for me so while reading those sections it would probably help me restating that information.
The second language is quite different from the other languages that I've worked with before, and here it helps me to restate basic information to retain it.
For example, the language has quite different syntax for declaring variables to what I'm used to in other languages. This languages also have some specific parts that I'll need to spend more time on to understand.
While in some cases it helps me to restate the information I'm reading in my own words, I also see small programs using these languages and ecosystems as notes (but written in a formal language instead of a natural one). And I don't see much to gain to write notes in a natural language instead of formal ones. In my experience it takes me longer to describe a program behavior with a natural language than demonstrating the behavior with code examples.
I also see small opportunities to actually use these kind of notes for generating new knowledge inside my zettelkasten. For example, when I'm going to link to a note describing how to bind a variable to a value? If I do that my notes will mostly consist of links to trivial facts, without much new knowledge.
My solution to this problem is that I don't include these kind of notes in my zettelkasten, which in my interpretation of the Three Layers of Evidence is on the phenomenological layer. The notes that I will include in my zettelkasten are the notes on the interpretation and synthesis layers; and when needing to refer to language details I'll use references to the reference manuals or papers describing the language, instead of linking to my potential notes on the phenomenological layer.
What do you think of my idea?
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