04 - digital garden tooling

August 29, 2020

Thinking about building (a) digital garden(s) has helped solidify the kinds of tooling I'd like to use to write and create relations among writing. In building out a version of my digital garden, these are the features I think I'll need:

  1. bi-directional links: Donna Haraway tells us, 'Nobody lives everywhere; everybody lives somewhere. Nothing is connected to everything; everything is connected to something' (Staying with the Trouble 31). This is echoed in the model of my thinking or how I'm thinking, but it also reminds us that cognitive and note keeping models can allow us to connect seemingly disparate nodes or ideas. It's not that everything leads to everything else, but everything leads to something else, which is potentially everything else.
  2. link preview (internal): internal preview links are a helpful quality of life feature that allows you to preview where you're heading. Prevents tab bloat.
  3. flat lists: in the preview post, I talked about trying to think a antihierarchical model of data relation. Flat lists give us access to everything at once or in one place, while relationships can add the perception of depth. Relations among data can be cultivated by the author (initial implementation), but I'm also thinking about how readers traverse this topography.
  4. tags: tagging allows the accretion of information -- suddenly you have 50 things tagged with 'x' -- whereas categories predetermine what information is important. Rather than writing for a particular category or topic, I'm interested in the tags and ideas that become important over time.
  5. cli: generate files with frontmatter for new posts. Better than code snippets (bound to editor) and will always have parity with what the garden is expecting.