References reloaded

We are working on a new version of the Reference feature as part of our H2 plans.

We know this feature is complex, but we strongly believe it will add much value to Fibery. Here’s what we have in store for you with the new Reference feature:

  1. Better Integration: Our goal is seamlessly integrating references into Fibery as a first-class entity. This will make references feel like a more natural and integrated part of the platform.
  2. Easy and Powerful Linking: With the new version, you can connect any rich text content highlights in Fibery to any Database entities. This will make it easy to link and relate different pieces of information.
  3. Weighted Links: Adding support for weights in reference links that will help you understand the importance and value of each reference.

If you are curious about what we have in the works, you can check out the current feature drafts in our public roadmap:

We’d love to hear from you. We’d love to get your feedback if you have any issues with the current Reference feature or any ideas for the new version. Please drop your comments below.

We’ll keep you updated on our progress.

Having been using Fibery only a month (and loving it) this is something I was trying to utilize. Your plans are good ones. When taking inspiration, Obsidian does this hands-down the best.

In Obsidian typing [[ and then either (1) creating a link or (2) linking to something was super easy. At the same time I really did not like the Obsidian MD-focused WYSIWG and recognize that you may not want to use the same [[ and ]] - but it was super help.

One thing Obsidian well was to enable you to [[ and ]] and not create the full link (entity). I found that to be an extremely useful feature because I could, say, be writing instructions or something and know that I wanted to further point out concept 2, concept 3, concept 4, but I didn’t want to break the flow of my writing, and then what you enclosed in [[ ]] was like a semi-named entity/link. It would be viewable, available in a list (which would be much easier in Fibery because it’s a real database rather than at dataview query hack of markdown notes), etc.

Interestingly I have been writing materials for my team’s future transition to Fibery and I find myself missing that feature a lot. Because when you’re in a creative groove you just want to keep going, not start setting up things elsewhere. I have found that I can’t always create an entity within an entity. Things likes blocks with different types (header, text, image) and/or paragraph spaces appear to throw it off, though I’m unsure I fully understand it yet. Are there rules to entities within entities?

References should be quite flexible in this regard because it could be a page, a section, a block (and all its content), an image, a sentence, etc. - all referencing the same things just in different formats (e.g. list of images, glossary, wiki, blocks tagged ‘X’).


I have one more thought and a question:


The open-ended Reference resonates with me. Thanks for bringing it up. I added the following to the feature description. Hopefully, it represents your needs well:

References can be open-ended, meaning they do not require specific targets. This is useful when the creator does not need to identify a specific target for support.


Awesome. One of the very best features of Obsidian was the ability to use transclusions. That is essentially references on Steroids:

You could right click the heading of a block and link (perhaps in your case reference) the block from another page.

Or you could transclude the entire block in another page. Practically everyone using Obsidian used that feature all the time, including me. A real use case for me then and for me now:

Say I’m writing a Product Areas document. Already, I use the smart folders for this, and I note that if I want to make a smart folder around the various product areas, the smart folder itself would best be the Product Areas “document” and the individual product areas would be underneath.

Then, let’s say one of the product areas is “Integrate with Datastore” - well the Smart Folder (or perhaps other way you devise) entry for “Integrate with Database” sitting within “Produc Areas” would effectively be transcluded in the “Product Areas” doc or whatever you call it, meaning it shows up in its entirety.

Why is this so special? Because you can then modify data (let’s say it’s no longer relevant) in either place and it would be reflected in both. Maybe you have 45 different documents that reference that “Integrate with Datastore” well they can readily be updated in the actual reference or from within any of the 45 documents and they all update. This is useful for things like Out-of-date items, changed methodology, procedures where an element is no longer used, etc.

Okay I’ll leave you alone now.


dataview query backlinks and outgoing links, for sure. You should reference Obsidian, embed for block-level or heading, also those plugin support those things’s really impressive. TTF hacker’s write many good plugins in there.
Also 1 more side pane on the right would be nice for UX

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Awesome :heart_eyes:

Yes this would be really awesome and very helpful for our Wiki’s. We used synced blocks a lot in Notion so that all data is up to date.

@kalman will this also work for the Readwise highlights (or other integrations)?

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Also 1 more side pane on the right would be nice for UX

Hey Minh, I posted a feature request for that here: Also 1 more side pane on the right would be nice for UX. So add your vote!

The post is poorly written so I’ll edit. I also managed to hack a solution together in the screenshot attached. It’s slightly different than what you may have in mind for a third window. For me, the third window is most useful as a scratchpad - basically a pinned unfiled note in OneNote - which I later replicated in Obsidian. I can just write things and then create entities out of them, like a running to-do list. Now my hack is not great but I’m using a browser extension to hack up the styles so it works better.

Microsoft’s edge browser has a split screen option which I guess could be useful for some people:

And I think other browsers may have similar functionality (possibly via add-on/extension)


Yes, I am actually using Vivaldi, which is highly flexible for the far right window. I used that because Chrome and Edge would not get narrow enough. :slight_smile:

I tried using an extension called User JavaScript and CSS to override some of the Fibery styles to make that as minimalist as possible, but I could not figure that out!

Oh, and I thought of one absolutely killer feature for References: Whiteboard integration.


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Transclusion and reference are two ways to include content into another document, each with advantages and disadvantages.

  • Transclusion offers greater flexibility as it allows you to modify the included content in any place and reflect those changes in all the locations where it is transcluded. This is because the included content is inserted into the target document rather than just being linked.
  • Reference, on the other hand, is less flexible but ensures the preservation of the source of truth.

I understand your use case, but it appears to differ from the information-gathering use case we focus on. Transclusion would be addressed as a separate project.


The solution is integration independent. Once the information is in the Fibery database, you should create a reference from that content.

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Agree, this is part of the bigger plan. You’ll be able to organize your references in the whiteboard, but I didn’t want to get ahead of myself. It’s already a big enough task as it is.


That makes sense. To me, and I think the same for others, having it SHOW the content is much more important than having it inline editable everywhere, though perhaps also out of scope, if that helps clarify.

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It is very interesting to hear that you are exploring this. This is actually missing in almost all of the tools within TFT space. I think assigning weighting to references is a very specific case of attaching data/properties to links/edges. So I would argue that reimagining references based on a more flexible/generic property graph approach would provide the most benefit. Even if the details of implementing properties on a references is a big ask, I think building on a model that allows for that in the future is a better approach.

I think having the ability to transclude/embed blocks of content across entities/documents is one of the major shortcomings of fibery at the moment, if you are using it beyond a database/airtable substitute (i.e. if you want to use fibery to its full potential). I find myself copy and pasting content repeatedly just to ensure the new item (e.g. meeting notes, specifications, ideas list, …) has some of the prior context in it and then having to spend time keeping the multiple versions in sync or keeping track of the latest version. Transclusion neatly resolves this.

However, I do think any effort towards transclusion should ensure that it doesn’t require the source content to be formatted in a particular way (a priori) or require modifications to it when transcluding. Both of these would add a lot of friction to the process. I discussed the issue here (responding to how early versions of blocks looked in fibery). I do think Obsidian or Roam’s approach to each bullet, line being a block/node that can be transcluded is the way to go long term.

I think this issue has come up a couple of times. I do find it immensely helpful in some context to be able to edit original content in another context. However, I do understand the concerns that it might be dangerous to do in other context. I think an easy way of dealing with this might be through settings/customization. It could be that transclusion by default just reproduces (or embeds) the content and the user/admin would have to intentionally allow editing of transcluded content (out-of-context).

as chr1sg said, the new pane’s not really an hard thing to get alternative. Currently I’m using Opera One Browser to pinned some panes. the main thing new pane need’s display something can querry like backlinks, outgoinglinks, tags, search files … as in Obsidian using right now
But i think fibery can easily handle this with some feature similar to this expand thing

The weight attribute is an implementation of the Insight Gathering use case.
We are trying to make the solution generic and flexible so that users can add more fields to the Reference database. Btw, this is challenging on the UI side.
But we are committed to nailing the Insight Gathering use case without closing the door to future use cases.

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True! No need to edit it everywhere. Showing the content is solving the use case.

Make it edit able everywhere is a nice to have because it will only save you some time/clicks :slight_smile:


I believe that the problem is different. Access control manages who can edit specific text.

I am more concerned about editing specific text without understanding the original context. This could damage the integrity of the document. Therefore, I think that the Reference should be edited in the original context, even if the user has the right to edit the target document.

@kalman Do you take into account in the architecture of the new references, their (future) role in relation graphs as mentioned here? Knowledge Graph / Graph View / 3D visual report - #5 by Yuri_BC

We are not currently considering these use cases, but I don’t think any design concepts make them impossible in the future.

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