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Hierarchies or Networks?

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Posted by BrainTool
Jul 20, 2021 at 07:35 PM


Thanks folks, this is good food for thought.

I agree that some combination of hierarchy and cross linking is whats needed. You can certainly create hierarchies with bidirectional links in Roam et al as @Luhmann says, and any note taker tool will have nested bullets somewhere. However like @Alexander and @MadaboutDana, I personally tend to think of the hierarchy as primary. That said, like @James, sometimes I like to change the orientation of the hierarchy (eg instead of Projects:BrainTool:Resources:Chrome-Extensions:page.html I might want to see Resources:BrainTool:Chrome-Extensions:page.html).

My thought for BrainTool in the long run is to combine the notions of Topics (aka outliner headings), Tags *and* bidirectional Links. Each Topic is also a Tag and tags are inherited along the topic tree. Making a link between two topics basically adds the other topics tags to its linked counterpart. I can model this nicely in org-mode with the existing tags and links syntax.

So if I save a web page under Projects:BrainTool:Resources:Chrome-Extensions and then link it to the topic Resources:Healthcare:Standards:FHIR then the saved web page and associated notes will be tagged with all combinations of those Topics and (optionally) ‘cloned’ to show up in both places in the tree. BTW Roam and Obsidian support ‘transclusion’ which is, I think, just a fancy name for cloning.

I think the above can make sense in the context of categorizing data and taking notes as you work in a browser in a hierarchical fashion but also support the kind of UIs and visualizations you see in those networked tools. (BTW @Luhmann I like the look of Logseq, I had not realized it was based on org. Maybe I can do an easy integration.)

PS @Stephen I’d forgotten outlinersoftware was in the video! It has become one of my regular reads as BrainTool has started to take shape, so it deserves its moment in the spotlight!