Link to Entity Functionality, but as “quote” you can place anywhere

Hi guys,

ClickUp just came out with their latest 2.66 release with the ability to Link to a Text Block. Notion also has had this. Both are very similar, I would call “primitive” and although useful in concept, not useful in practice IMO. Among other issues in each case you only can past a raw link to the Block in question. However, the part about this I do like is that you can place the link to that block anywhere you like. Roam does have the ability to reference a “block” anywhere you’d like with actually showing the block of text, unlike ClickUp and Notion, which only display a link to the block, so you get no context without clicking.

Fibery has a superior solution already with Link to Entity. Superior because you can highlight any text you want, and relevantly, across multiple blocks, and then link it to any other Entity, with the link back to the source. Fantastic! However, I really miss the ability to manipulate this reference to where I need it to be.

To expand on this, right now when Linking to Entity, that link winds up in the “References” section. I think that’s great on the one hand as I like see it in with other references. However, I am finding many times daily where I’d like to refer to certain text across Fibery directly in a Comment or Rich Text area right where I’m writing, like you can do in Notion/ClickUp/Roam. So I’d like to propose an addition to the “Link to Entity” feature that would allow this. Perhaps call this “quote”?

I would propose this would be another addition to the menu that pops up when you highlight text currently. We have the more recent addition here of “Link To Entity” already, so perhaps one more would come in called “Quote Text” or something like that. If this could then copy the text in question to the clipboard, and then when pasting, unfurl copy, surrounded by quotes but looking like “Linked to Entity” blocks, you’d achieve this. You get benefit over Notion and ClickUp of:

  • you can see the actual quoted text, not just a link to it
  • Like with Link to Entity, you’d also see the entity where this text lives
  • If we get the “arrow” feature Image 2020-12-30 at 1.51.54 AM that would allow clicking back to that Entity, you can see even deeper context

Perhaps there’s an even simpler way to do this, I trust you guys will know best. Let me summarize by simply saying that the bottom line is to be able to do the same thing you can do now with Link To Entity, but simply place that reference wherever you want in a Rich Text field or Comment.

And I also wanted to refer back to @Oshyan pointing out of the very well executed “quote” function here in Discourse. This would be, I believe, Fibery pulling in some of that great functionality.

Thanks and hope this request is something you guys will support!

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Hah, I read this entire post thinking “Just like Discourse’s quote function?”, “like the Discourse quote function, right?”, “shouldn’t it work like how Discourse does it?”. Then finally, at the end. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

This is an interesting idea and I can certainly see the utility in it. I’m not sure how high a priority I’d put it, but I like it.

One thing that does come to mind for me, though, is that in some other systems, like Roam, the transcluded text is intentionally not formatted in a dramatically different way (you see only a small indicator outside the text). So it makes me wonder, is it important to make clear that these are quotes, and does that need outweigh the potential benefit of being able to e.g. re-use pieces of text in more cohesive ways with this “quoting”? Or could your purpose and a more general “remix” functionality be served by a new type of sidebar indicator, similar to but different from the one we get now with “ink to entity”. I’d argue that the text that is transcluded should not necessarily be highlighted, or maybe highlight on-hover, either of the text or the sidebar link to the source entity…

Also, of course, the link to source entity would need to go to the quote location. :grin:

Interesting ideas as always. Just a question of where to put this on the vast list of things to do. :grimacing:

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@B_Sp We’ve just started to consider Links in Fibery as first-class citizens. To be honest, in almost all systems this is not the case (and Fibery unfortunately is not an exception here so far). We do have plans to improve linking information in Fibery and add more freadom. You basically need a Transclusion here. We already have addressable text blocks in Fibery (when you highlight text), so we just need to add more things what you can do with the highlighted text. So far we only have Link to entity, but indeed we’d like to add Quote as well. It will generate a unique link that will show highlighted text if you paste it anywhere inside Fibery.

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Ok Michael great to hear from you on this!

Great to here you are thinking about this, and per @Oshyan’s comment, right now I’d be happy if I could use the existing Link to Entity and place it in a particular Rich Text or Comment area.

Here’s an example: We have a “Research” type of task. It has two Rich Text Fields: “Overview,” and “Conclusion” - the Conclusion is where the assignee writes what they found out.

When this task is marked “done,” we want to look at the Conclusion and move to the next action step that results from that. Lately we had one done and I wanted to just pull one part of a statement from that Conclusion which was relevant to another new task. I really wanted to reference the exact sentence in the new task’s Description area to show readers the context. Now, if I use “Link to Entity”, that exact sentence is buried down in the References area. So I can write in the description “see References for context,” but it’s not nearly as effective as if I had that quote right in the Rich Text Description area of this new, follow-on Entity.

Hope that makes sense and thanks again!

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I wanted to add here also that what we currently have in Fibery with linking to comments is more or less as good as ClickUp or Notion, except that those tools allow doing this with any block of text, not just comments (in fact you can’t do it with comments in Notion!). But in practice, in Fibery as well as in those tools, when you click “copy link” you wind up with a URL - which is granted pretty much unreadable in all cases - but then if you click it after embedding, it takes you directly to the block (or comment in the case of Fibery) in question, which is nicely highlighted in yellow.

So there is the beginnings of this feature in place and hope to see it evolve past the other tools out there very soon!

Wanted to add another way this could work simply in comments:

It would be great to be able to highlight a colleagues comment, just the part you want, and then have a reply auto-generate just like here in Discourse. This might be useful up the Comment stream as well - say 10 comments earlier if that is needed, for example if you need to remind somebody of something they promised last week, haha!

@Oshyan I believe this is more or less what you have supported as well? Sorry to keep at you, but looking for as much support on this, and clarification, as possible!

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Yeah, that would be nice to have. As I’ve said before, Discourse handles quoting really well. It’s probably one of the best quoting experiences I’ve ever had on any platform or tool anywhere…

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