Edge Notes

Motivation: sometimes you want to capitalize on the power of associations that often accompany the creation of a link between notes.

Current Limitations: often this process will generate a unique new idea requiring a new note where the insight is often the connection itself.

Idea: a plug-in which, for certain chosen links, turns the link into a note itself. I.e., gives independent life to the edge between notes. Simultaneously it would make the edge in graph view clickable, taking you to the newly created note.

Example: suppose you have the following

  • Note A: a theorem
  • Note B: a theorem
  • Link (A,B) in A to B

And suppose the connection itself is powerful: I.e.,

  • The realization that A implies B

Proposed Solution:
Label the link (A,B) in A as “Node-worthy” which would

  1. Create a note “AB”
  2. Automatically includes a link (AB, (A,B)) ie, a link from the newly created AB to the link in A which was so significant in its own right.
  3. Allow the edge in graph-view to itself be clickable, taking you to AB.

This would really set Obsidian apart as association and insight manager.

Thoughts?

4 Likes

Seems very powerful. I was reading an article above my head about linear hypergraphs and thought of this plugin request. It made me wonder how you envision edges visualized and being clickable when groups of 3 or more nodes are all linked to each of the other nodes in their group?

Thanks

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Right. Having a k complete graph (a graph in which all nodes are connected to each of the other k nodes in the component) in the standard visualization would be very messy.

One possibility is having shaded semi-transparent area rather than all the lines.

For example, in the most minimal case, if you had {A, B}, and (A,B) as the edge of significance, since edges are not first-class objects as yet, rather than try and create a note AB pointing to A (which would not illustrate the connection’s importance) you could somehow have

  • a connection-node label that takes AB with a tag that generates AB

  • then creates two visual pointers \AB, A/, \AB,B/

  • Finally you could use area to transparently shade the region enclosed by the triangle {AB,A,B}. This triangle would have edges {\AB,A/, \AB,B/, (A,B)}

I’m using \ x,y / as notation to indicate not a true link but a generated visual helper.

Ultimately there should still be a link from AB, into A so as to point to the note that inspired the important connection (A,B).

TL;DR In summary, given a highly important association / link (A,B) between A and B, I imagine:

  1. A way to click on the link (A,B) which takes you to a note AB in which you would write out the association importance etc. I.e, making edges first class objects.
  2. On the standard view there would be this note “AB” with some syntax indicating its status as link-note.
  3. AB would point to A in the standard view
  4. In some alternative view enabled by a plugin, link-notes would form a triangle with the two notes between which the edge of importance lies.
  5. This triangle would have {AB, A, B} as nodes, and {\AB,A/,\AB,B/,(A,B)} as edges and would be lightly filled in. Clicking on the shaded region would open AB.

Similarly the transitive connection (ABC), ie a chain of thoughts would be a shaded n-gon with {(A,B),(B,C), \ABC,A/, \ABC,C/} thus allowing us to click on the shaded region and taking us to ABC, a note about the connections.

5 Likes

Does anyone know if this has been developed in the meantime? I’m looking for this functionality as well. One of the ways to remember / learn about concepts more easily is to think about how two or more concepts are related to each other, describing their differences, commonalities etc; being able to make notes of the relationships between concepts would be a great feature to have, in that sense.