Tinderbox Forum

Backlinks (v8.7)

You’re right: [[< works as expected when you type the name, but doesn’t create the backlink when you use the popup list in 8.9.1. We expect to correct this shortly.

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While we’re talking about initiating backlinks (which are very welcome!) I was wondering about the differences between using this mechanism and the longstanding ‘Footnote’ feature.

The only ones I can see are that footnotes (cmd-opt-ctl-f for sibling notes)

  • the outgoing and incoming links are named (note and note+ respectively), while zip links are always untitled initially
  • the editing window immediately switches to the newly created note, and it doesn’t with ziplinks.

Are there any others I’ve missed?

On their different uses/advantages: my first thought is that zip links are very good for linking to existing notes and for creating notes on the fly ready to work with later (I know you can add text as you create them, but that’s only feasible for a few words), while footnotes are better for an immediate detour to capture a thought (and cmd-’ to return).

UPDATE: I’d missed that ziplinks add the backlink into the text as well as into the link dialogue — so that’s another reason for their use if you need the link in the text.

No. The ziplinks link-creation metaphor was added as a number of current in-vogue apps (Roam, Obsidian,etc.) and techniques (Markdown, zettelkasten, etc.) mean many user want to (or only intuit how to) create links by using old wiki-style mark-up that employs ‘[[’ square brackets. The nature of the apps forming people’s expectations also means often they want/need to link to note titles ($Name) though the ability use other anchor text was added (as was the ability to place (some) text at the end of the target note’s text). The other benefit was for touch-typists who want a key-only link creation method.

So, unless you only really understand linking via wiki/Markdown style or are a zealous keyboard-input-only type I don’t think there is anything particularly new or special for the wider user base. But, Tinderbox is a toolbox and we don’t all have to use every tool. I think the decline in noise around ziplinks means the feature’s working pretty well for those who need it for their particular processes.

Thanks Mark

I did find one extra difference while you were posting your reply (you’re too quick :grinning:) — the [[^ mechanism adds a textual backlink into the text, which I can see being useful in some circumstances.

I’m happy both are available. As a touch-typist myself, I hate using the mouse, and I like the new feature (helps to prevent duplicate note names) but footnotes are just as keyboard friendly: type the title, shift-back word the appropriate number of times, cmd-opt-ctl-f and you’re done.

Me too, lest I indicate otherwise. I think the main confusion is that ziplinks are method of making (untyped) text links. A ziplink-created link is not a formal link type.

I think the confusion comes from those used to using apps with much more limited implementation of hypertext and so the [[ assume almost magical meaning. But Tinderbox users are a braod church and there’s usually more than one way to do things - use which ever fits one’s personal style the best.

I’d agree Tinderbox’s existing footnote method seems to be little mentioned. But I think the issue is less footnoting and more the very narrow process-constrained methods people are trying to implement (as learned on other less flexible apps). That’s not to disparage those latter apps, but just because app X only does something one way, it doesn’t meant app Y has to follow such a narrow approach. Human nature is the thing we do/use most seems more ‘normal’ (and thus set our expectation of the status quo), so if you are going from no choice to choice it can feel a bit weird at first - like when you first take the stabiliser wheels of your first real bicycle. :slight_smile:

And therein lies the rub :grinning:

The only app perfectly aligned with your needs is the one you write for yourself, which means that for most of us some form of compromise is inevitable.

Fortunately, playing with new programs to find the perfect match is far more important than doing any other work, so nothing is lost…

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Amen!