A Wiki User's Expectation Of Double Square Brackets

I am following Dave’s writing about the integration of Little Outliner with apps like Obsidian and Logseq. I think it’s important to note that neither Obsidian nor Logseq are outliners, they are markdown editors with outlining and wiki features. I would characterize Little Oultiner as an outline editor that could have other features like wiki and markdown.

How Obsidian handles text between doulbe brackets is an example of a feature it incorporates from wikis. There is an existing standard for using double brackets, it is an internal wiki link and the expected action is that it automatically links to a page that exists within the app hosting and editing the content. Usually what is between the double square brackets is the name of the page. If the page already exists, clicking the link loads that page in the app. If the page does not already exist, clicking the link creates a new page with that title in which one can then edit.

The key is that an internal link is generated and managed by the editing app not the user, where as an external link is provided and managed by the user of the app. As an example, I edit my now page in Little Outliner that I think is currently served by an instance of PagePark. (Click here to see the outline in Little Outliner) On that page the fourth note has a link to tech.frankm.info that is another outline I edit in Little Outliner. I created the link between the two using the linking tool in Little Outliner, but what if I had put double brackets around the words Technology That I Use in that sentence?

Based on my experience with wiki, Obsidian, and Roam, I expect that when a double bracket is put around those words Little Outliner creates a link to an outline (a page if you will in Little Outliner) with the name “Technology That I Use.” If I click that link in Little Outliner it opens the page in Little Outliner (could be a tab) and displays the contents of the page, or a blank page if it is new.

To complete the thought, from a publishing perspective, PagePark could follow the internal link to the OPML file and render it as it does today, with the net result of more easily writing and publishing a multi-page site edited by Little Outliner and served by PagePark.

Long time users of Little Outliner may recall the glossary function that automatically substitutes text between double quotes to corresponding text in a separate file. One way you can think of it is like a text expander where you can put a commonly used abbreviation in quotes and when the outline is rendered the associated text in the glossary file is subsituted.

For example, if you look at the second bullet under Notes in my status outline you see that “my blog” and “my Twitter feed” are in quotes and on the published page you see them as hyperlinks because I have the HTML for the hyperlinks in my glossary file, which is specified by the urGlossary value in the OPML head of the file. When I was publishing my blog using Fargo.io, (and prior iterations of Dave’s blogging platforms) the glossary was one of my favorite time saving features.

Frank McPherson @frankm
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