Improved Outlining & Unlinked References

With the recent teaser about full text search (very exciting):

I am wondering if there would be other improvement on the horizon as well in terms of managing free text across the platform. In particular, I was wondering about the following:

Text Blocks
Are there any plans to support text blocks (a la Roam)? This would be to allow linking to specific passages and embedding a live view of a passage as a block reference (and maybe even querying :yum:). I assume some level of text blocks must currently exist to allow linked references to function, but I wasn’t sure how far the functionality can be extended.

Outliner/Bullet List
I’m hoping that there would be some improvements to the outlining capabilities (or bullet support), including a better mechanism of collapsing/expanding sections of text. Again I am looking at Roam as one of the best implementations. Currently, you are able to use the three heading levels for expanding/collapsing but being able to do this with nested/indented bullets is also super helpful. There is some weird behaviour with the bulleted lists when deleting lines and moving sections which changes the indent level. So hopefully that can be fixed.

Unlinked References
Since the linked references exist, it is only natural to ask for unliked references feature :wink: At first I didn’t really think I would miss this feature from the other tools (Roam, Athens, Amplenote, …) but as I create more textual material, I am beginning to see real value in the feature in creating new entities and linkages over time.

Linked References
The linked references capability of Fibery is great and I am hoping it can be improved to allow more flexibility on the context (I think I’ve see a discussion on this but can’t seem to find a link).

These were a few items I had been collecting over the last little while. Hoping to see some of these features in the future.

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Hey, great to see this post as this is a lot of stuff I support!

You discuss a lot of Roam-like functionality in Fibery. I think a lot of the basics of the way Roam handles references/highlighting, what’s displayed in them, etc. could be easily duplicated in Fibery, and it would really help out my team with Highlights. Unfortunately, right now I am the only one who uses them, as most of the rest of my team finds them too hard to follow. A big reason for this is something that this request below would solve:

Is this what you were referring to with your point here?

Yes, that is exactly the post I was thinking of. I totally agree that having the ability to see the child blocks and the parent block (even if it is shown smaller and with the breadcrumb notation > > ) is quite important. I also really like the ability to expand/collapse blocks of text and it would be great to be able to do that in the original rich-text field and in the references area.

image

I think what makes Roam particularly painless for writing is also the ability to edit the original text even when it is referenced (either at the bottom of the page or with a block reference). I never thought too much about this but once you use it a bit, you really understand why it is so important.

Based on the image above, I also think there is not enough said about the “Unlinked References” section and how easily you are able to find instances of things that can now be referenced to an entity once it has been created.

I think the text block is critical for allowing most of this to happen. I know this is asking way too much from one platform and it might not be possible based on Fibery’s architecture, but I thought while the team is working on text search, there might be an opportunity to think about this.

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Hey great to see all this support for Roam-like implementation of Highlights in Fibery. Most of what you are talking about wouldn’t really require that much addition to what we already have in Fibery. I don’t think these are features that Roam has figured out that are patentable or otherwise worthy of being limited to Roam.

With this point:

to illustrate what I mean by some of what you are talking about being doable in Fibery, we’d just need to be able to edit the referred texts where they show up in references, and have those changes update in real time on the originating area.

Also, I have wished that when you “Link to Entity” with this command:

Which is also a very Roam-like feature, you could have more say in where that link goes in the destination entity. Right now, it only goes to the “References” area. But often I want to reference that in the middle of some Rich Text, like I can do in Roam. It would be great if we could do that in Fibery.

Thanks again!

Personally, I wouldn’t want users to be able to directly edit something from a location that references it. I want users to open the referenced item before making any edits.
It might sound like an unnecessary obstacle, but I want a user to be able to see the context and all related info before making changes, not just see the item from a single point of view.

There might be situations where you’re not the only thing that references the item, and you end up ‘breaking’ it for someone else, because you haven’t seen that something else relates to/depends on it.

Hope that sort of makes sense.

I understand the concern. I think the call to provide more context around the references per @B_Sp would mitigate this to some extent. And just to be clear, I am just hoping to be able to edit the text/highlight that references another entity, not all of the entity’s other fields. I think it is imperative that once permissions are implemented, that editing also follows the same permission settings so if a user is unable to edit a rich-text field, they would not be able to edit the reference text either. Finally, I think this can be further mitigated by providing an administrative setting to allows each admin to decide if this is allowed for users or not.

Isn’t this “transclusion”? If so I’m pretty sure they have some plans for this in some form.