[FEATURE DISCUSSION] Linking to notes using UIDs inside the notes
In this thread, a slightly off-topic discussion had emerged about the usefulness of UIDs for robust linking between notes, and about the downsides of starting note names with UIDs. @ctietze then asked us to move our ideas and suggestions to separate threads.
I had suggested a possible change to The Archive that would allow for the UIDs to be moved from the beginning of the file name to the content of a note:
Ideally, we would want the UID to not clog up the file name, but still be able to use it to link to a note directly and not just get a list of notes, which also includes all the notes that link to the original note. One way to accomplish this would be to include the UID together with a prefix in the note body, for example "ID:201802130850". The format of the internal links would remain "[]".
The obvious downside of this approach would be that, with the current version of The Archive, you would need to manually prepend "ID:" to the search string after clicking a link (and also hit Arrow Down to actually view the single remaining note). That would not be terribly convenient... unless The Archive had an option "[x] Prepend ____ whenever an internal link is clicked". Ideally, TA would also always show a note if it was the only remaining search result -- this would actually be a universally useful feature, especially when you use tags.
Maybe there are other ways to solve this problem, but implementing such a prepend option does not strike me as terribly difficult, and it would allow you to keep foolproof linking without all the disadvantages of starting file names with UIDs.
Fortunately, moving UIDs between file names and note bodies is very easy to do programmatically, so even if you already have a Zettelkasten with 3000 notes whose names start with UIDs, you could just use a short script to migrate them to the new format. The same holds true if you, for whatever reason, wanted to go back to file names starting with UIDs: All you would need to do is to run a simple script once.
I intentionally put "[FEATURE DISCUSSION]" instead of "[FEATURE REQUEST]" in the title of this topic, because (A) it is possible that there is an even more elegant solution to the problem that didn't occur to me, and (B) because I am not 100% sure whether I myself would actually switch to linking via UIDs, because I don't rename notes very often, my note titles are not too long, and I kinda like the links (and especially the external
thearchive:// links to be self documenting).
I am, however, curious to hear what others think about this approach and the idea to have a "[x] Prepend ____ whenever an internal link is clicked" function in The Archive.
PS: For the other feature mentioned in the quoted post, that a note is shown automatically when it is the only search result left, I have created a feature request thread here.
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