Weak links

Many times I would find useful to have weak links that link the word to a certain note without the need to create the complex relationship of maps/backlinks etc. (the only feature would be that clicking on the linked word brings you to the target).

Example: I have a note called Carbon (the element). Naturally if I am studying organic chemistry (but not only) all notes would be linked to it creating a mess in the map. I would like a way to click on carbon on many different notes to access the carbon page but without creating a “strong” link. This, in my opinion, could be useful for “definition” notes.

17 Likes

Interesting!

Personally, I actually like having words/concepts with different meanings/applications. As the graph develops you naturally start to see the various meanings bundle and group together (because the related branches also connect to each other) and you end up with an hourglass type shape with the main word being the center, but you’re right that it may not be worth much value for things like carbon, which is very specific.

Have you thought about keeping your definition style notes in a separate folder, so that you can hide them in the graph view with a query? Perhaps it adds a bit of complexity to your vault but might be something to consider

1 Like

… so that’s a little like a “reverse” unlinked mention? …but only leads to one place? Clearly Obsidian does this very well the other way round already.

I like the idea and have wanted something similar, but I’m not sure how it would work as a feature? Just throwing an idea in… something like a context menu to show if there is a file named the same as currently selected text?

I also agree with you to a degree… tagging a file with #definition or similar would also do nicely there. But it still doesn’t work quickly in reverse without typing in a search term specially.

2 Likes

+1 to this. I would use it for links as navigation convenience rather than knowledge building. For example, linking today’s daily note with yesterday’s and tomorrow’s.

1 Like

I think weak-link is better in the frontmatter.

I second this. I like to use the local graph view with depth ~3 to navigate, but sometimes if one links to a note that has a bunch of other links, even though the link is not that important, it makes the graph unreadable. What I’m currently doing is trying to only link upwards (e.g. children link to parents but not the other way around) so I can hide outgoing links (which are usually the problematic ones for how I link), but it’s not possible to do this all the time and does not work for all situations. For example, daily notes linking to a project, I don’t want the project local graph cluttered with daily notes linking to it, but I do want to see the project’s notes that link to it.

2 Likes

I made an account to add the same thing. I also think that some type of weak link would be a really nice option to add. You could just format a link like ~[[]] and then it wouldn’t appear on the graph.

I like the graph for looking locally at what it is happening and then I also like to search around in order to recall connections. But when I have an idea like maybe ‘eyes’ for example and then a subcategory maybe ‘rods’ then ‘rods’ will also be connected to ‘fovea’ and ‘bipolar cells’ and then I have a single node that is being unfairly over-represented in terms of its importance as it’s not the broad concept rather because it is basic concept. Being able to toggle links in this way would make organization so much easier for me.

I started to feel the same need as my graph started to grow more and more. Hashtags are some way around it, because they don’t show on the main graph, or eventually you can add URI links to a specific note, they don’t leave traces on the main graph.
But those are just workarounds for a feature that would be very useful - having two types of links throughout the notes, easily switchable on & off on the graph. Tags can go only so far, and they often serve a different purpose for me.

I just realized that weak links are possible using the Admonition plugin. It’s considered a bug in the plugin but if we turn this into a separate plugin, it would be really useful.

@valentine.195 what do you think?

1 Like

I think I would not make it a new plugin, but an option to turn on and off per admonition type (or even with a parameter in the code block).

That’s if I even get the links working well :sweat_smile:

We already have two types of links, wiki [[Page]] and markdown [Page](./Page.md). A first step would be to be able to toggle these independently in the Graph View.

I would also love some kind of weak link mechanism. I’m currently imitating Andy Matuschak’s style, and it would be helpful if links from my daily log into the evergreen notes didn’t create strong connections and mess with the graph, since they’re not actually linking ideas together, they’re just for reference purposes.

I’m not sure what the semantics of it would be. Maybe a dashed line and no pull force on the graph, and a separate optional “weak link” section in the backlinks?

I’d also love such a feature. Most of my insights are in the form of connections between nodes. Being able to make them visible on the graph would be beautiful.

A—(weak connection)—B
A==(strong connection)==B (insight)

I found another workaround by using in line dataview queries, like =link("File to link")… Those links don’t appear on the graph view

1 Like