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Suggested change to link presentation

I am having trouble understanding why Zettlr allows its unique identifiers (the time and date stamp) to be so visually prominent in links. I understand that every note must have unique identifier, and the date and time stamp is as good as any. One advantage of Zettlr over other implementations of markdown editing is that it can automatically generate a date and time stamp with a keyboard shortcut and can identify this ID within the content of the note, while other programs require that the ID be in the filename of the note. So it can link to a specific type of internal note content rather than linking to unique filenames.

Let's assume that users do not know the ID of any particular note from memory. This means that visually displaying the ID of a particular note is very low priority, because seeing that number will almost never be useful when I user wants to locate a note based on memory or association with its content. Some users might think that it is important to have the ID in the file name because they sometimes search for notes based on their creation or modification date. However, Zettlr can easily display this information below the filename (there's a setting for it) as well as sorting notes by such dates.

The ID is very prominent because it is the visual marker of direct links to other notes, whether or not the ID is part of the filename. I think there is a better alternative. If I link to a note with filename "web resources", the link looks like this:

[[20200220165511]] web resources

But why not instead have it not display the note ID and look like this:

[[web resources]]

It's the equivalent of this Markdown:
[web resources](zettlr://20200220165511)

...where "zettlr://" stands in for whatever link scheme you actually use.

It might not matter as much when linking within structured notes to other notes, but it would make it tremendously easier to read text within a sentence that links to other notes, and thus the change would encourage users to link more as they type. It is the difference between the unreadable:

Discussions of [[20200220165511]] Markdown standards rely heavily on [[20200223120241]] web resources but ignore the [[20200223120248]] challenges of groupthink.

and the readable:

Discussions of [[Markdown standards]] rely heavily on [[web resources]] but ignore the [[challenges of groupthink]].

It also would help clarify what the link links to. In the above example, it's ambiguous whether that note links to "challenges" or "challenges of groupthink". In the latter, it's clear. Do others agree or not?


  • You can already place the file name within the brackets, so if you have a file named "web resources.md", a link "[[web resources]]" will actually work. The ID is only that important because it "hides" the note contents, which is central to the concept of a Zettelkasten (but pls don't pinpoint me on any sources, I've read this years ago and just stuck with it).

    Also related: This issue: https://github.com/Zettlr/Zettlr/issues/559

  • It may be that [[web resources]] will work, but since when I select "web resources" from the drop-down menu, it types "[[20200223120241]] web resources", so it would be a bunch of extra steps to change the link every single time, which totally defeats the purpose of using the tool as a notetaking facilitator.

    The issue that you linked shows that other people agree. And, it seems that you agree with me that there is really no point to displaying the numbers within the link rather than the title of the filename. So the only issue is whether this is a priority for you, and it seems that it is not! That's fine--you have limited time and must prioritize. But I encourage you to make it more of a priority because I think that it really makes it hard to write with links inside of sentences and doesn't seem very hard to fix. You may not do this very often, of course, but others might.

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