Tinderbox Forum

Navigating to aliases

Hello all,
I’m looking for a better way of navigating to a notes’ aliases. Currently, I do two things:

  1. I have the $Aliases system attribute in my key attributes list. From here I can see the note’s aliases, but when I click on any of them in the pop-up list menu nothing happens, so I manually navigate to the various containers they’re in, or:
  2. I use the search tool (cmd F), search for the name of the alias and check the aliases checkbox to include them. Then, I click on the alias I want to navigate to.

Is there a faster way? Ideally I would like to go to aliases just as easily as I go to linked notes, either through the links pane or selecting the note from the list of links under the note in map view.

I wouldn’t expect #1 to work, as that is the method for setting KA values.

I don’t believe there is a (menu) method for navigating to aliases, but that might reflect the fact that I never recall asking for this in the past. So I’d suggest emailing in a feature request info@eastgate.com, explaining what you need.

Please don’t read this as push-back against doing this. i’m simply explaining a likely reason why there isn’t a method for doing this.

It might help, if you described why you need to do this. There might be another way around the problem. For what are your aliases used?

Thank you, mwra, it’s interesting this hasen’t been requested before.

I use aliases for making sense of the same note in different contexts. Some are automatically created with agents and queries, and some I create myself and place in containers that function as collections that reflect varying criteria of association or classification.

Sometimes I have aliases in different parts of the same container, closer to other notes that share some underlying similarity I’m making sense of.

During my thinking process I often find myself asking “in what other contexts have I previously thought about this note?”. When this happens in Devonthink I can see a list of all replicants in the info pane, including their location in the group structure, and I can navigate to them by clicking on the relevant replicant. In iMapping i do it via right click menu, which shows all equivalents.

This allows me to quickly find and work with related content, but in a way that’s different to links. I use links when I have more clarity about the semantic relationship, and I can express it in some sentence or proposition. I use alises when I’m not yet sure about what the exact relations and all I know is that all aliases under a container have something in common that I’m still trying to figure out. Or when what they have in common is a more complex criteria that can only be expressed with a query agent.

As a way around it, I’ve thought about linking to all containers that have the alias, but I feel this adds unnecesary complexity. I like the distinct functions that links and aliases provide, and I think it would be nice to be able to browse aliases as easily as I can browse links.

I will email the feature request, and I’m still curious if I haven’t thought of another possible workflow or even paradigm.

How about an agent that locates every container that holds an alias of This Particular Note?

This is a great idea, thank you! It also lets me do other things, like spatial hypertext with my existing associations to a note. I will definitely be doing this in my workflow, creating agents with the “contains(noteName)” query, which lets me to then explore the contexts where I have decided to explore related contexts :smiley:

How could I see a breadcrumb of the containers parent structure? In the Aliases attribute I can see the full address of the aliases. This helps me understand the larger context:

In the Treemap View, I use Color Expression set to $Name==“aliasedNoteName” to make sense of the various contexts I’ve used an alias, but when I’m in other views I would like to be able to also see the full addresses of the alias.

I would personally love an “alias roadmap” similar to the link roadmap.
I find the instances section of the info pane in Devonthink very helpful to quickly see and jumpt to related contexts. The groups that contain the replicant are shown in red, and you can jump to their container groups by clicking on them:

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